Blair, Montgomery

Blair, Montgomery,

1813–83, U.S. Postmaster General (1861–64), b. Franklin co., Ky., son of Francis P. BlairBlair, Francis Preston,
1791–1876, American journalist and politician, b. Abingdon, Va. Through the Frankfort, Ky., journal Argus of Western America, which he edited with Amos Kendall, Blair was an ardent supporter of Andrew Jackson. At William T.
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 (1791–1876). He resigned from the army in 1836 after serving against the Seminole and settled in St. Louis as the legal and political protégé of Senator Thomas H. BentonBenton, Thomas Hart,
1782–1858, U.S. Senator (1821–51), b. Hillsboro, N.C.

Benton moved to Tennessee in 1809, was admitted to the bar in 1811, and served (1809–11) in the state senate. In 1815, he went to St.
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. A successful lawyer and mayor of St. Louis (1842–43), he moved to Washington, D.C., where he was the first U.S. solicitor in the Court of Claims and made many appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court, including one as counsel for Scott in the famous Dred Scott CaseDred Scott Case,
argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1856–57. It involved the then bitterly contested issue of the status of slavery in the federal territories. In 1834, Dred Scott, a black slave, personal servant to Dr. John Emerson, a U.S.
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. His antislavery views brought him to the Republican party, and he became Postmaster General in the Lincoln cabinet. To appease the radicals in the cabinet, the President forced his resignation before the election of 1864. Opposed to radical Republicanism, he returned to the Democratic party and was one of Samuel J. TildenTilden, Samuel Jones,
1814–86, American political figure, Democratic presidential candidate in 1876, b. New Lebanon, N.Y. Admitted to the bar in 1841, Tilden was an eminently successful lawyer, with many railroad companies as clients.
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's counsel in the disputed election of 1876.


See W. E. Smith, The Francis Preston Blair Family in Politics (1933); B. J. Hendrick, Lincoln's War Cabinet (1946).

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