John Bingham

John Armor Bingham ( born January 21, 1815 in Mercer, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, † March 19, 1900 in Cadiz, Ohio ) was an American politician of the opposition party and the Republican Party. From 1855 to 1863 and from 1865 to 1873 he was a member of the House of Representatives of the United States for the 16th and the 21th Congressional District of the State of Ohio. He was the initiator of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.


John Armor Bingham was born in Mercer. There he attended the public schools. After his family had moved to Ohio, he was for two years an apprentice at a printing plant. At Franklin College, he studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1840. In New Philadelphia, he opened a law office. From 1846 to 1849 he was a prosecutor in Tuscarawas County.

Politically active, he was, as he was in 1854 elected as a candidate of the opposition party in the U.S. House of Representatives. 1856, 1858 and 1860, he was re-elected as a candidate of the Republican Party. 1862 was his candidacy unsuccessful. The House of Representatives appointed him in the same year one of the managers in the impeachment trial of Judge West Hughes Humphreys.

During the Civil War he supported the Northern States. Abraham Lincoln appointed him in 1864, Judge Advocate General's Corps. In 1865 he was Solicitor before the United States Court of Claims. In 1864 he was again elected to the House of Representatives. As one of the three judges, he was involved in the negotiations following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. On June 29, 1965, the judgment was rendered.

During his time in Congress again, he was instrumental in the preparation and drafting of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In 1868 he was involved as a judge at the impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson. In 1873 he finally left the Congress. President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him in 1873 to the U.S. ambassador to Japan. There he served until 1885. He retired to private life and died in 1900 in Caidz. He was buried in the Union Cemetery.