Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. On my continuing quest to find quality ready reference history sources on the Web, I discovered this great resource. It allows for searches for information on members of the US Congress from 1774 to the present day by entering a name, position or state.

A site description reads, "The electronic publication of this information provides the first revision of the Biographical Directory of the American Congress since 1989. It includes biographies of each of the more than 13,000 individuals who have served in the Congress of the United States since 1789 and in the Continental Congress between 1774 and 1789. In addition to the biographies of Senators, Representatives, Delegates, Resident Commissioners and Vice Presidents, this information contains guides to research collections and extended bibliographies. The work serves as a comprehensive record of the men and women who have served in the Congress of the United States."

Each biography is full of information including details on service in Congress, other government jobs held, other employment the person had, birth date and location, education attained, death date and burial location, and other notable facts such as military service. The writing is stilted and does not follow actual rules for grammar (why so few periods?) hurting readablity but as a whole it is still informative.

Here is a sample entry on William Grangier Blount:

BLOUNT, William Grainger, (son of William Blount and nephew of Thomas Blount), a Representative from Tennessee; born near New Bern, Craven County, N.C., in 1784; attended the New Bern Academy; moved with his parents to Knoxville, Tenn., in 1792; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1805 and commenced practice in Knoxville; also engaged in agricultural pursuits; member of State house of representatives in 1811; secretary of state of Tennessee 1811-1815; elected as a Republican to the Fourteenth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John Sevier; reelected to the Fifteenth Congress and served from December 8, 1815, to March 3, 1819; declined to be a candidate for renomination; resumed the practice of his profession in Knoxville; moved to Paris, Henry County, Tenn., in 1826 and continued the practice of law until his death on May 21, 1827; interment in the City Cemetery.

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