Open main menu

Walter Quintin Gresham (March 17, 1832 – May 28, 1895) was a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and of the United States Circuit Courts for the Seventh Circuit and previously was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Indiana. He served as Postmaster General of the United States and United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Chester A. Arthur and as United States Secretary of State under President Grover Cleveland.

Walter Q. Gresham
Walter Q. Gresham - Brady-Handy.jpg
33rd United States Secretary of State
In office
March 7, 1893 – May 28, 1895
PresidentGrover Cleveland
Preceded byJohn W. Foster
Succeeded byRichard Olney
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
In office
June 16, 1891 – March 3, 1893
Appointed byoperation of law
Preceded bySeat established by 26 Stat. 826
Succeeded byJames Graham Jenkins
Judge of the United States Circuit Courts for the Seventh Circuit
In office
October 28, 1884 – March 3, 1893
Appointed byChester A. Arthur
Preceded byThomas Drummond
Succeeded byJames Graham Jenkins
35th United States Secretary of the Treasury
In office
September 5, 1884 – October 28, 1884
PresidentChester A. Arthur
Preceded byCharles J. Folger
Succeeded byHugh McCulloch
31st United States Postmaster General
In office
April 9, 1883 – September 4, 1884
PresidentChester A. Arthur
Preceded byTimothy O. Howe
Succeeded byFrank Hatton
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Indiana
In office
September 1, 1869 – April 9, 1883
Appointed byUlysses S. Grant
Preceded byDavid McDonald
Succeeded byWilliam Allen Woods
Personal details
Born
Walter Quintin Gresham

(1832-03-17)March 17, 1832
Lanesville, Indiana
DiedMay 28, 1895(1895-05-28) (aged 63)
Washington, D.C.
Resting placeArlington National Cemetery
Political partyRepublican (1854–1892)
Democratic (1892–1895)
Educationread law
Military service
Allegiance United States
 • Union
Branch/service United States Army
 • Union Army
Years of service1861–1864
RankUnion Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brigadier General
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

Contents

Education and careerEdit

Born on March 17, 1832, near Lanesville, Indiana,[1] Gresham read law in 1854.[1] He entered private practice in Corydon, Indiana from 1854 to 1860.[1] He was active as a campaign speaker for the Republican ticket in 1856, and in 1860 was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives as a Republican in a strong Democratic district.[2] In the House, as Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs, he did much to prepare the Indiana troops for service in the Federal army.[2] He served in the United States Army from 1861 to 1865, during the American Civil War.[1] He returned to private practice in New Albany, Indiana from 1866 to 1867.[1] He was an agent for handling Indiana state finances from 1867 to 1869.[1]

Civil War serviceEdit

Gresham was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 38th Indiana Volunteer Infantry on September 18, 1861. In December of that year, he was promoted to colonel and placed in command of the 53rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry.[3] The 53rd Indiana Infantry subsequently took part in Grant's Tennessee campaign of 1862, including the Siege of Corinth and Battle of Vicksburg.[2] During the Siege of Vicksburg, Colonel Gresham commanded a brigade.[2] In August 1863, he was appointed brigadier general of volunteers, and was placed in command of the Federal forces at Natchez, Mississippi.[2] In 1864, he commanded a division of the XVII Corps in Sherman's Atlanta Campaign, and before the Battle of Atlanta, on July 20, he received a gunshot wound to his knee that forced him to retire from active service, and left him lame for life.[2] In 1865 he was appointed a brevet major general of volunteers.[2]

District Court serviceEdit

Gresham received a recess appointment from President Ulysses S. Grant on September 1, 1869, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Indiana vacated by Judge David McDonald.[1] He was nominated to the same position by President Grant on December 6, 1869.[1] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 21, 1869, and received his commission on December 21, 1869.[1] His service terminated on April 9, 1883, due to his resignation.[1]

Cabinet officesEdit

 
Walter Quintin Gresham

In April 1883, Gresham succeeded Timothy O. Howe as Postmaster General of the United States in President Chester A. Arthur's cabinet, taking an active part in the suppression of the Louisiana Lottery, and in September 1884, he succeeded Charles J. Folger as United States Secretary of the Treasury.[2] In the following month he resigned to accept a federal judicial post.[2]

Court of Appeals/Circuit Court serviceEdit

Gresham received a recess appointment from President Chester A. Arthur on October 28, 1884, to a seat on the United States Circuit Courts for the Seventh Circuit vacated by Judge Thomas Drummond.[1] He was nominated to the same position by President Arthur on December 3, 1884.[1] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 9, 1884, and received his commission the same day.[1] Gresham was assigned by operation of law to additional and concurrent service on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on June 16, 1891, to a new seat authorized by 26 Stat. 826 (Evarts Act).[1] His service terminated on March 3, 1893, due to his resignation.[1]

Swing in political philosophy, Secretary of State service and deathEdit

Gresham was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1884 and 1888, in the latter year leading for some time in the balloting.[2] His 1888 candidacy was supported by several notable agrarian unions, including The Agricultural Wheel, Grange and Farmer's Alliance.[4] Gradually, however, he grew out of sympathy with the Republican leaders and policy, and in 1892 advocated the election of the Democratic candidate, Grover Cleveland, for the presidency.[2] Gresham was United States Secretary of State in President Grover Cleveland's cabinet from 1893 to 1895.[2] He died on May 28, 1895, in Washington, D.C.[1] He is interred in Arlington National Cemetery.[citation needed]

FamilyEdit

Gresham was born to William Gresham (1802–1834) and his wife Sarah Davis. William had been elected a Colonel in the militia of Indiana. He was a member of the Whig Party and was elected Sheriff of Harrison County, Indiana. On January 26, 1834, William was fatally stabbed while assisting in the arrest of Levi Sipes, a so-called "desperado".[5] His paternal grandparents were George Gresham (born 1776) and Mary Pennington. George was born in Virginia but later settled in Kentucky. He moved to Indiana in 1809. Mary was the only sister of Dennis Pennington, speaker of the first Indiana Senate.[5] George Gresham was a son of Lawrence Gresham. Lawrence was born in England but moved to the Colony of Virginia in 1759. He initially served as an indentured servant of an uncle. He was released from service upon reaching adulthood. He later served in the Continental Army. He married Sarah O'Neal. Lawrence followed his son to Kentucky and Indiana well into his old age.[5]

HonorsEdit

Gresham is the namesake of communities in Oregon, Nebraska and Wisconsin.[6]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Gresham, Walter Quintin - Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l   Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Gresham, Walter Quinton". Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ Perry, Henry F. (1906). History of the 38th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Palo Alto CA: F.A. Stuart. pp. 14–15.
  4. ^ "The Farmers for Gresham.; Walter Q. Gresham. The Strong And Cunning Hand". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. 1888-06-20. p. 12. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
  5. ^ a b c "Matilda Gresham, "The Life of Walter Quintin Gresham" (1919)".
  6. ^ Sedgwick, Theron E. (1921). York County, Nebraska and Its People: Together with a Condensed History of the State. S.J. Clarke. p. 463.

SourcesEdit

External linksEdit

Legal offices
Preceded by
David McDonald
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Indiana
1869–1883
Succeeded by
William Allen Woods
Preceded by
Thomas Drummond
Judge of the United States Circuit Courts for the Seventh Circuit
1884–1893
Succeeded by
James Graham Jenkins
Preceded by
Seat established by 26 Stat. 826
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
1891–1893
Succeeded by
James Graham Jenkins
Political offices
Preceded by
Timothy O. Howe
United States Postmaster General
1883–1884
Succeeded by
Frank Hatton
Preceded by
Charles J. Folger
United States Secretary of the Treasury
1884
Succeeded by
Hugh McCulloch
Preceded by
John W. Foster
United States Secretary of State
1893–1895
Succeeded by
Richard Olney