William Walter Phelps

William Walter Phelps ( born August 24, 1839 in New York City; † June 17, 1894 in Englewood, New Jersey) was an American diplomat and politician. Between 1873 and 1875, and from 1883 to 1889, he represented the State of New Jersey in the U.S. House of Representatives.


William Phelps attended private schools near Bridgeport ( Connecticut ). Then he was in New York at Mount Washington Institute. This was followed up in 1860 to study at Yale College. After a subsequent law degree from Columbia College and his 1863 was admitted as a lawyer he worked until 1868 in New York in this profession. In the following years he embarked on a successful career in the banking industry and in the railway business. He was director of several railroad companies.

Politically, Phelps member of the Republican Party. In the congressional elections of 1872 he was in the fifth electoral district of New Jersey in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington DC chosen, where he became the successor of George A. Halsey on March 4, 1873. Since he Democrat Augustus W. Cutler defeated in 1874, he was initially able to complete only one term in Congress until March 3, 1875. In the years 1880 and 1884, he participated as a delegate to the Republican National Conventions relevant.

Between 1881 and 1882, Phelps was the successor of John A. Kasson Ambassador of the United States in the Empire of Austria - Hungary. In the congressional elections of 1882 he was elected again in the fifth district of his state in Congress, where he replaced John Hill on March 4, 1883. After two re- elections, he could spend up to March 3, 1889 three further terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1888, Phelps opted not to run again. He was also known as an art collector. However, most of the pieces in his collection were destroyed in a fire.

In 1889 he was appointed by his party colleague, President Benjamin Harrison, the American delegates at the Samoa Conference in Berlin. Between 1889 and 1893 he was the successor of George H. Pendleton U.S. ambassador to Germany. During this time, his previously ailing health deteriorated even more. After his return from Germany he was appointed in New Jersey on June 20, 1893 appeal judges. Since February 1894, went with his health drastically downhill. In May, he could not leave his bed. He died on June 17, 1894 in Englewood.