William Hayden English

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William Hayden English

William Hayden English (born August 27, 1822 in Lexington , Scott County , Indiana , †  February 7, 1896 in Indianapolis , Indiana) was an American politician . He was the Democratic Party candidate for vice presidency alongside Winfield Scott Hancock in the 1880 presidential election .

William English was trained in Classical Classics at Hanover College before studying law , being admitted to the bar and practicing in Lexington. In 1843 he was a principal clerk in the Indiana House of Representatives ; between 1844 and 1848 he was employed as an official in the US Treasury Department in Washington, DC .

In 1850, English served as Secretary of the Indiana Constitutional Convention; A two-year term as a member of the State House of Representatives followed. At times he was also the chamber's speaker . In 1853 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives as representative of Indiana’s Second Congressional Constituency. There he completed four terms before he left Congress in 1861 . In Washington he was one of the allies of Indiana's Senator Jesse D. Bright and was known as a southern sympathizer . He introduced a bill later named after him as the English Bill in Parliament, which provided for the expansion of the Kansas Territory , which was about to join the Union, by several million acres of land. The prerequisite for this, however, was the consent of the population to a draft constitution for the new federal state, which would have allowed slavery there . The proposal was rejected by a large majority in Kansas.

After serving as a MP, English moved to Indianapolis. In 1880 he was nominated as a Vice-Presidential candidate for the Democrats; Winfield Scott Hancock, a politically inexperienced former Union Army general in the Civil War , ran for president . Hancock and English achieved only 1,898 fewer votes than Republicans James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur , but were clearly behind in the Electoral College vote with 155: 214. The plan to win a large part of the northern states had failed; English's home state Indiana also voted for Garfield by a majority.

William Hayden English died in his home town of Indianapolis in 1896. The city of English , the administrative seat of Crawford County , is named after him. A statue was erected there in his honor as well as in front of the Scottsburg courthouse . His son William also sat for Indiana in the US House of Representatives from 1883 to 1884; his grandson William English Walling also became a politician and belonged to the Socialist Party .

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