James Mitchell Ashley

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James Mitchell Ashley

James Mitchell Ashley (born November 14, 1824 in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , † September 16, 1896 in Alma , Michigan ) was an American politician and the fifth governor of the Montana Territory from 1868 to 1870 .

Early years

James Ashley did not enjoy a regular school education, but taught himself the basics of school. He spent his youth on steamboats on the Ohio River and the Mississippi River . In 1848 he settled in Portsmouth ( Ohio ), where he was involved in the publication of a newspaper. At the same time he started studying law. In 1849 he was admitted to the bar, but without taking up this profession. After moving to Toledo , he became a wholesaler for pharmaceuticals there.

Political career

In the lead up to the Civil War , Ashley was a supporter of the movement to end slavery . Between 1859 and 1869, Ashley represented Ohio's tenth congressional electoral district in the US House of Representatives . There he was chairman of the committee that dealt with the affairs of the US territories . He belonged to the radical faction of the Republican Party and was one of the leading forces who unsuccessfully pushed for the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson between 1867 and 1868 .

James Ashley also introduced what is known as the Arizona Organic Law, establishing the Arizona Territory, into Congress, which was enacted by President Abraham Lincoln in February 1863 . After Green Clay Smith's resignation as governor of the Montana Territory in April 1869 , Ashley was appointed as his successor by President Ulysses S. Grant . Ashley stayed in this area until 1870. Then he returned to Toledo. There he built the railway company Ann Arbor Railroad , of which he was president between 1877 and 1893.

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