John Sherman (politician)

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John Sherman, nicknamed "The Ohio Icicle" (May 10, 1823 – October 22, 1900), was a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Ohio during the Civil War and into the late nineteenth century. He served as both Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of State and was the principal author of the Sherman Antitrust Act. His older brothers were Charles Taylor Sherman, a US Judge in Ohio, and General William Tecumseh Sherman of Civil War fame. His younger brother was banker Hoyt Sherman.


Early life

Sherman was born in Lancaster, Ohio, to Mary Hoyt Sherman and Charles Robert Sherman, a justice in the Ohio Supreme Court. When he died in 1829, John's mother was left with eleven children to take care of. His brother, William, went to live with Maria and Thomas Ewing who were friends of the Shermans.

Sherman was educated at common schools as well as an academy in Ohio, but left early to work as an engineer on canal projects. He later began studying law and was admitted to the bar in 1844. He became partners with his brother the same year and practiced out of Mansfield, Ohio. He married Cecilia Margaret Stewart in 1848, the daughter of an Ohio judge.

Political career

After his marriage, Sherman took up an interest in politics. He was a delegate to the 1848 Whig National Convention which nominated General Zachary Taylor for the presidency and again to the 1852 Whig National Convention which nominated General Winfield Scott. In 1853, he moved to Cleveland, Ohio. In 1854, he was elected a Republican to the United States House of Representatives for Ohio's thirteenth district where he was the Republican candidate for Speaker in the long contest of 1859-60 and served as chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means from 1860 to 1861.

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