James Hamilton LEWIS, Congress, WA (1863-1939)

Senate Years of Service:
1913-1919; 1931-1939
Democrat; Democrat

LEWIS, James Hamilton, a Representative from Washington and a Senator from Illinois; born in Danville, Pittsylvania County, Va., May 18, 1863; moved with his parents to Augusta, Ga., in 1866; attended Houghton school in that city and the University of Virginia at Charlottesville; studied law in Savannah, Ga.; admitted to the bar in 1882; moved to the Territory of Washington in 1885 and commenced the practice of law in Seattle; member, Washington Territorial legislature 1887-1888; elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1897-March 3, 1899); unsuccessful candidate in 1898 for reelection; served during the Spanish-American War as inspector general with rank of colonel in Puerto Rico; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for United States Senator in 1899; moved to Chicago, Ill. in 1903 and resumed the practice of law; corporation counsel for Chicago 1905-1907; unsuccessful candidate for Governor in 1908; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 26, 1913, to March 3, 1919; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1918; Democratic whip 1913-1919; chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of State (Sixty-fourth and Sixty-fifth Congresses); unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor of Illinois in 1920; practiced international law; again elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1930; reelected in 1936 and served from March 4, 1931, until his death in Washington, D.C., April 9, 1939; Democratic whip 1933-1939; chairman, Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments (Seventy-third through Seventy-sixth Congresses); funeral services were held in the Chamber of the United States Senate; original interment in the Abbey Mausoleum, adjoining Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.; remains removed and reinterred in unknown location.


Dictionary of American Biography; Lewis, James Hamilton. The Two Great Republics, Rome and the United States. Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1913; U.S. Congress. Memorial Addresses. 76th Cong., 1st sess., 1939. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1939.

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