Pendleton, George Hunt, 1825–89, American political leader, b. Cincinnati. He was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1847 and served (1854–56) in the state senate. He was an antiwar Democrat in the House of Representatives (1857–65) and vice presidential candidate on the unsuccessful Democratic ticket headed by Gen. George B. McClellan in the Civil War election of 1864. Pendleton advocated the so-called Ohio Idea—to pay in greenbacks those government bonds not specifying payment in specie (see greenback); this stand probably cost him the Democratic presidential nomination in 1868. After running unsuccessfully for the governorship of Ohio in 1869, he was president of the Kentucky Central RR until 1879, when he returned to Congress as U.S. Senator from Ohio. He secured the adoption (1883) of legislation introducing competitive examinations in the civil service. For this and for his support of other reform measures the Democratic party in Ohio denied him renomination. In 1885, President Cleveland appointed him minister to Germany, which post he held until his death.
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