Chandler, Zachariah

Chandler, Zachariah,

1813–79, U.S. Senator from Michigan (1857–75, 1879) and Secretary of the Interior (1875–77), b. Bedford, N.H. He moved to Detroit in 1833 and through merchandising, land speculation, and banking became a millionaire. Mayor of Detroit (1851–52), he helped organize and was long the boss of the Republican party in Michigan. Old Zack, as he was called, was an able and uncompromising abolitionist. A leading radical Republican, most closely associated with Benjamin F. WadeWade, Benjamin Franklin,
1800–1878, U.S. senator from Ohio (1851–69), b. near Springfield, Mass. He moved (1821) to Ohio and studied law. He was successively prosecuting attorney of Ashtabula co.
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, he was a member of the congressional committee on the conduct of the war, and he violently opposed Lincoln's Reconstruction program. Chandler remained a powerful figure in the Senate until he was turned out by the Democratic landslide of 1874. He then entered the cabinet of President Grant and was also chairman of the Republican National Committee in the disputed election of 1876.


See biographies by W. C. Harris (1917) and M. K. George (1969); T. H. Williams, Lincoln and the Radicals (1941).

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Chandler, Zachariah

(1813–79) U.S. senator; born in Bedford, N.H. He moved to Michigan in 1833 where he prospered in business. A Whig and prominent abolitionist, his home in Detroit became a stop on the underground railroad and he was a founder of the Republican Party. Elected to the U.S. Senate (Rep., Mich.; 1857–75, 1879) he supported Radical Republican positions during the Civil War and Reconstruction. He also used his influence in the Senate to exert control over affairs in Michigan. President Grant appointed him secretary of the interior (1875–77).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.