Jesse David BRIGHT, Congress, IN (1812-1875)

Senate Years of Service:

BRIGHT, Jesse David, a Senator from Indiana; born in Norwich, Chenango County, N.Y., December 18, 1812; moved with his parents to Madison, Ind., in 1820; attended the public schools; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1831 and commenced practice in Madison, Jefferson County, Ind.; elected judge of the probate court of Jefferson County in 1834; United States marshal for the district of Indiana 1840-1841; member, State senate 1841-1843; lieutenant governor of Indiana 1843-1845; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1845; reelected in 1850 and 1856 and served from March 4, 1845, to February 5, 1862, when he was expelled for support of the rebellion; served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Thirty-third, Thirty-fourth and Thirty-sixth Congresses; chairman, Committee on Enrolled Bills (Twenty-ninth Congress), Committee on Public Buildings (Twenty-ninth Congress), Committee on Revolutionary Claims (Thirtieth Congress), Committee on Roads and Canals (Thirty-first through Thirty third Congresses), Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds (Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Congresses); unsuccessful candidate for election in 1863 to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by his expulsion; moved to Carrollton, Ky., in 1863 and then to Covington, Ky.; member, State house of representatives 1866; president of the Raymond City Coal Co., 1871-1875; moved to Baltimore in 1874; died in Baltimore, Md., May 20, 1875; interment in Greenmount Cemetery.


American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Cooney, Charles F. “Treason or Tyranny? The Great Senate Purge of ‘62.” Civil War Times Illustrated 18 (July 1979): 30-31; Murphy, Charles. “The Political Career of Jesse Bright.” Indiana Historical Society Publications 10 (1931): 101-45.

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