Francis Preston BLAIR, Jr., Congress, MO (1821-1875)

Senate Years of Service:

BLAIR, Francis Preston, Jr., a Representative and a Senator from Missouri; born in Lexington, Ky., on February 19, 1821; as a child moved with his father to Washington, D.C.; attended private schools and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; graduated from Princeton College in 1841; studied law at Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky.; admitted to the bar in 1842 and commenced practice in St. Louis in 1843; enlisted as a private during the Mexican War; served as attorney general of the Territory of New Mexico; resumed the practice of law in St. Louis; member, State house of representatives 1852-1856; elected as a Republican to the Thirty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1857-March 3, 1859); successfully contested the election of John R. Barret to the Thirty-sixth Congress and served from June 8 to June 25, 1860, when he resigned; unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the Thirty-sixth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by his own resignation; elected to the Thirty-seventh Congress and served from March 4, 1861, until his resignation in July 1862 to become a colonel in the Union Army; chairman, Committee on Military Affairs (Thirty-seventh Congress); presented credentials as a Member-elect to the Thirty-eighth Congress and served from March 4, 1863, to June 10, 1864, when he was succeeded by Samuel Knox, who contested the election; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Vice President of the United States in 1868; member, State house of representatives 1870; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Charles D. Drake and served from January 20, 1871, to March 3, 1873; was not a candidate for reelection; State insurance commissioner in 1874; died in St. Louis, Mo., July 8, 1875; interment in Bellefontaine Cemetery.


Dictionary of American Biography; Smith, William E. The Francis Preston Blair Family in Politics. 2 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1933; Wurthman, Leonard B., Jr. “Frank Blair: Lincoln’s Congressional Spokesman.” Missouri Historical Review 64 (April 1970): 263-88.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present