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William S. Groesbeck


AMONG the Democratic members of Congress from Ohio, few, if any, have been more highly esteemed by all parties than Mr. Groesbeck. He has always borne the a reputation of being a fair and honorable man, not a bitter partisan; and though he clings with all the tenacity of his ancestry to the Democratic faith, he holds to its large and really beneficent theories of human government, rather than to the narrow and pettifogging views of the lower order of politicians, who proclaim themselves Democrats without any just understanding of the real meaning of the name.

WILLIAM S. GROESBECK was born in Albany county, New York, in 1826. He was of Dutch ancestry, the Groesbecks being a numerous and highly respectable family among the early settlers of the Mohawk valley. We think he did not have the advantage of a full collegiate course, but he has been a diligent student, and is specially well versed in English literature. He studied law in Albany, and after being admitted to the bar removed to Cincinnati, in 1847, or 1848, and engaged in the practice of his profession. His legal attainments were such as speedily to bring him into prominence, and doubtless, into a lucrative practice. In 1852, we find him at the age of twenty-six, employed as a member of a commission in the difficult and responsible work of codifying the laws of Ohio; he had already (in 1851) been a member of the State Constitutional Convention; and in both duties he had distinguished himself. In 1856, he was elected a Representative in Congress from Cincinnati, and was then a member of the Committee on Foreign affairs, an important position for so young and new a member. In January and February, 1861, he was a member of the " Peace Congress," and favored compromise measures. The next year he was a member of the Ohio Senate, but never a bitter opponent  of the war. In 1866, when the "National Union Convention," or as it was appropriately named by a New York wit, "the Arm-in-arm Convention" met in Philadelphia, Mr. Groesbeck was one of its ablest members. Here, too, his best efforts were made in behalf of conciliation, and a reunion of the hitherto discordant elements at the North and South. 

When, in 1868, President Johnson was put on his trial, he secured the services of Mr. Groesbeck as one of his counsel, and his whole bearing during that protracted trial was such as to win for him the respect of his opponents.

Since 1868, Mr. Groesbeck has devoted himself very sedulously to his profession, but his party claim him as one of their very ablest men, and many of them have been very anxious to nominate him for the Presidency, but he has steadfastly resisted all overtures of the kind, and is understood to favor for his party the nomination of the Cincinnati candidates for the coming Presidential campaign. 

Mr. Groesbeck is more a jurist than a politician, and though he possesses the ability to fill with credit any position, he would, we believe, enjoy judicial much more than political honors.

Source: Men of Our Day; or Biographical Sketches of Patriots, Orators, Statesmen, Generals, Reformers, Financiers and Merchants, Now on the state of Action: Including Those Who in Military, Political, Business and Social Life, are the Prominent Leaders of the Time in This Country, by L. P. Brockett, M. D., Published by Ziegler and McCurdy, Philadelphia Penna; Springfield, Mass; Cincinnati, Ohio; St. Louis, Mo., 1872 

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