James Wilson (Indiana politician)

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James Wilson
Member of the United States House of Representatives from Indiana's 8th district
In office
March 4, 1857 – March 3, 1861
Preceded byDaniel Mace
Succeeded byAlbert S. White
United States Minister to Venezuela
In office
October 10, 1866 – August 8, 1867
Preceded byErastus D. Culver
Succeeded byThomas N. Stilwell
Personal details
BornApril 9, 1825
Crawfordsville, Indiana
DiedAugust 8, 1867 (aged 42)
Caracas, Venezuela
Political partyRepublican
SpouseEmma Ingersoll
ChildrenHenry Lane Wilson, John Lockwood Wilson, Tilghman Howard Wilson
Military service
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1846–1847, 1861–1865
Rank Brevet Lieutenant Colonel
Battles/warsMexican–American War
American Civil War

James Wilson (April 9, 1825 – August 8, 1867) was a United States representative from Indiana. He and his wife, Emma (Ingersoll) Wilson (daughter of Stephen Ingersoll and Hannah Elizabeth Bullard, sister to Lurton Dunham Ingersoll, were the parents of John Lockwood Wilson, Howard Wilson and Henry Lane Wilson.


James Wilson was born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, in 1825. He graduated from Wabash College in Crawfordsville in 1842 at the age of 17. In 1845, he graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, with a degree in law.

Mexican-American War

Wilson served in the United States military during the Mexican–American War from June 17, 1846, to June 16, 1847.

Political career

After he turned to Crawfordsville in 1847, Wilson worked in the law office of Tilghman Howard (later the namesake of one of his sons), and he was admitted to the bar in 1848. Wilson became actively involved in politics in the mid-1850s, and he was a member of the newly formed Republican Party. In 1856, Wilson decided to run for the seat of 8th District Indiana Representative. During the election, Wilson defeated Daniel Wolsey Voorhees, and Wilson officially became a member of Congress on March 4, 1857. During the congressional election of 1858, Wilson was reelected. Wilson's time in Congress came to an end on March 3, 1861. He had served in the Thirty-Fifth and Thirty-Sixth Congresses of the United States of America.

Civil War

During the American Civil War, Wilson was appointed captain of Volunteers on November 26, 1862. He was honorably discharged from the military on December 6, 1865, with the rank of brevet lieutenant colonel. At the end of the war, Wilson returned to his law practice in Crawfordsville.

Later career and death

In 1866, President Andrew Johnson appointed Wilson to the position of Minister Resident to Venezuela. He served in this capacity from 1866 until his death in Caracas, Venezuela, on August 8, 1867. Wilson is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Crawfordsville, Indiana.


  • United States Congress. "James Wilson (id: W000589)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on 2009-04-20

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 8th congressional district

March 4, 1857 – March 3, 1861
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by United States Minister to Venezuela
October 10, 1866 – August 8, 1867
Succeeded by