Jonathan Roberts (politician)

Jonathan Roberts (August 16, 1771 – July 24, 1854) was an American politician who served as a United States Representative and Senator from Pennsylvania from 1811 to 1814 and 1814 to 1821 respectively. He was a member of the Democratic-Republican Party.

Jonathan Roberts
United States Senator
from Pennsylvania
In office
February 24, 1814 – March 4, 1821
Preceded byMichael Leib
Succeeded byWilliam Findlay
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district
In office
March 4, 1811 – February 24, 1814
Preceded byRobert Brown, John Ross and William Milnor
Succeeded byRoger Davis and Samuel Henderson
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
In office
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1771-08-16)August 16, 1771
near Norristown, Province of Pennsylvania, British America
DiedJuly 24, 1854(1854-07-24) (aged 82)
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Resting placeNear Norristown
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
CommitteesCommittee on Claims
Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses
Committee on Public Buildings

Life and careerEdit

Roberts was born near Norristown in the Province of Pennsylvania and was educated by a private tutor.[2] He later worked as a wheelwright apprentice.[2] From 1799 to 1800 Roberts served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1807 to 1811.[2]

On March 4, 1811, he began his tenure as a United States Representative from Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district,[3] having been elected as a Democratic-Republican.[2] Working through the 12th and 13th United States Congresses he resigned on February 24, 1814, having been elected to the United States Senate to replace Michael Leib, who himself had resigned.[2] He started his service in the Senate on the same day.[2]

Re-elected to a full term later in 1814, Roberts was the chairman of the Committee on Claims from the 14th through to the 16th Congress inclusive.[2] During the 16th he was also on the Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses and the Committee on Public Buildings.[2] He left the Senate on March 4, 1821.[2]

From 1823 to 1826 he was again a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and later became the collector of customs at the port of Philadelphia from 1841 to 1842.[2] In 1848, Roberts built a school in Upper Merion for poor children who had to walk some distance from mill workers' houses to their previous school.[1]

He died at the age of 82 on his farm, Robertsville, in King of Prussia, and was interred in the Roberts family cemetery In Upper Merion township, near Norristown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Roberts School". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Roberts, Jonathan, (1771 - 1854)". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ "Index to Politicians: Roberts, J". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)


U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district

March 4, 1811 – February 24, 1814
alongside (1811 – 1813): Robert Brown and William Rodman (in a 3-seat district)
alongside (1813–1814): Roger Davis (in a 2-seat district)
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 1) from Pennsylvania
February 24, 1814 – March 3, 1821
Served alongside: Abner Lacock, Walter Lowrie
Succeeded by
Preceded by Oldest living U.S. senator
November 19, 1853 – July 24, 1854
Succeeded by