Washburn, Israel

Washburn, Israel

(1813–83) U.S. representative, governor; born in Livermore, Maine. The eldest of 11 children, he studied law with an uncle, becoming a lawyer (1834–50) before going to the U.S. House of Representatives (Whig, Maine; 1851–61). He left the Whig Party to form the antislave Republican Party in 1854 (and is credited with coining the party's name). As governor of Maine (1861–63), he provided extra volunteers and money to support the Union war effort. An unsuccessful senatorial candidate, he was a port collector (1863–78) and railroad president (1878–83) in Portland.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.