Rufus P. Spalding

Rufus Paine Spalding ( May 3, 1798 in West Tisbury, Dukes County, Massachusetts; † August 29, 1886 in Cleveland, Ohio) was an American lawyer and politician. Between 1863 and 1869 he represented the state of Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives.


In 1817 Rufus Spalding graduated from Yale College. After a subsequent study of law and qualifying as a lawyer, he began to work in this profession. He practiced first in 1820 in Little Rock (Arkansas ) and then from 1821 to 1835 in Warren (Ohio ). Then he moved to Ravenna. Between 1839 and 1842 he sat as an MP in the House of Representatives from Ohio, which he was president in the meantime. From 1849 to 1852 he served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio. He then worked as a lawyer in Cleveland. Politically he was first a member of the Democrats. He was an opponent of the expansion of slavery. In this issue he fell out with his party and joined the Free Soil Party. In the decade before the Civil War he fought for the escaped slaves from the South and represented smugglers to justice. He was a staunch opponent of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. According to his political views on the slavery Spalding joined the Republican Party, founded in 1854. He was also involved in the founding of the Party of Ohio.

In the congressional elections of 1862 Spalding in the 18th electoral district of Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington DC chosen, where he became the successor of Sidney Edgerton on March 4, 1863. After two re- election he was able to complete in Congress until March 3, 1869 three legislative periods. These were minted until 1865 by the events of the Civil War. Since 1865 the work of the Congress was overshadowed by the tensions between the Republicans and President Andrew Johnson, which culminated in a narrowly failed impeachment. In the years 1865 and 1868 the 13th and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution were ratified. Spalding was a supporter of assassinated in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln. Many of his proposals for the reconstruction were taken and implemented by Congress. In 1868 he gave up another Congress candidate.

After the end of his time in the U.S. House of Representatives Rufus Spalding again worked as a lawyer. He died on August 29, 1886 in Cleveland, where he was also buried.