Otis, Harrison Gray

Otis, Harrison Gray,

1765–1848, American political leader, b. Boston; nephew of James Otis. He practiced law in Boston, and was elected (1795) to the Massachusetts legislature. A staunch Federalist, he served (1797–1801) in Congress and was again a member of the state legislature from 1802 to 1817. In 1814 he was a leader of the Hartford ConventionHartford Convention,
Dec. 15, 1814–Jan. 4, 1815, meeting to consider the problems of New England in the War of 1812; held at Hartford, Conn. Prior to the war, New England Federalists (see Federalist party) had opposed the Embargo Act of 1807 and other government measures;
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 and subsequently defended that meeting. Otis was a U.S. Senator (1817–22) and mayor of Boston (1829–31). He published Letters Developing the Character and Views of the Hartford Convention (1820) and Otis' Letters in Defence of the Hartford Convention (1824).

Bibliography

See biographical study by S. E. Morison (1913, repr. 1969).


Otis, Harrison Gray,

1837–1917, American soldier and journalist, b. Marietta, Ohio. He was (1860) a member of the Republican national convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln for President, served with distinction in the Civil War, and, as brigadier general, participated (1898) in the Spanish-American War. In 1886 he acquired control of the Los Angeles Times, a newspaper that under his management became bitterly opposed to organized labor. His newspaper plant was dynamited in 1910, and two union laborers were convicted of the crime.
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Otis, Harrison Gray

(1765–1848) U.S. representative/senator; born in Boston, Mass. A prominent Boston lawyer, he made a fortune in land speculation. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives (Fed., Mass.; 1797–1801) and then in the U.S. Senate (Federalist, later Whig; 1817–22). During the furor caused by the Embargo Act of 1807, he became the leader of the states' rights movement in Boston and he was the most prominent member of the Hartford Convention (1814). In the Senate debate over the Missouri Compromise, he opposed the extension of slavery, but he was not an active abolitionist. He was mayor of Boston (1829–31).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.