James W. Patterson

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James Willis Patterson
James W. Patterson - Brady-Handy.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1863 – March 3, 1867
Preceded by Thomas M. Edwards
Succeeded by Jacob Benton
United States Senator from
New Hampshire
In office
March 4, 1867 – March 3, 1873
Preceded by George G. Fogg
Succeeded by Bainbridge Wadleigh
Member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born (1823-07-02)July 2, 1823
Henniker, Merrimack County
New Hampshire, USA
Died May 4, 1893(1893-05-04) (aged 69)
Hanover, Grafton County
New Hampshire, USA
Resting place Dartmouth College Cemetery
Hanover, Grafton County
New Hampshire
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sarah Parker Wilder
Children George Willis Patterson
Arthur Hubert Patterson
Parents William Pattersona
Frances M. Shepard Patterson
Alma mater Dartmouth College
Profession Professor

James Willis Patterson (July 2, 1823 – May 4, 1893) was an American politician and a United States Representative and Senator from New Hampshire.

Early life, education and family

Born in Henniker, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, he was the son of William and Frances M. Shepard Patterson.[1]

Patterson pursued classical studies, graduated from Dartmouth College in 1848,[2] and was principal of the Woodstock Academy in Connecticut for two years. He attended the Theological Seminary at New Haven, Connecticut, where he studied law.[3]

He married Sarah Parker Wilder and they had two children, George Willis Patterson and Arthur Hubert Patterson.[1]

Early career

Patterson was a professor of mathematics, astronomy, and meteorology at Dartmouth College from 1854 to 1865.[3]

Patterson was a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 1862.

U.S. Representative

Elected as a Republican to the Thirty-eighth and Thirty-ninth Congresses Patterson was a United States Representative for the third district of New Hampshire from (March 4, 1863 - March 3, 1867). He was elected to the U.S. Senate and served from March 4, 1867, to March 3, 1873. In the Senate he was chairman of the Committee on Enrolled Bills during the Forty-first Congress and a member of the Committee on the District of Columbia during the Forty-first and Forty-second Congresses.[4]

Later career

Patterson was a regent of the Smithsonian Institution and in 1877-1878 was again a member of the State house of representatives. He was State superintendent of public instruction from 1881 to 1893, and president of American Institute of Instruction.


Patterson died in Hanover, Grafton County, New Hampshire, on May 4, 1893 (age 69 years, 306 days). He is interred at Dartmouth College Cemetery, Hanover, New Hampshire.

The Patterson School, which was merged with the Garnett school in 1929 and then became Shaw Middle School at Garnett-Patterson, in Washington, DC was named in his honor because he sponsored the legislation creating a public school system for black students in Washington, DC. It was closed in 2013.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "James W. Patterson". 1997-2014 Ancestry.com. Retrieved 30 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Dartmouth College. General catalogue of Dartmouth college and the associated institutions: including the officers of government and instruction, graduates and all others who have received honorary degrees. 1890. p. 220. Retrieved 30 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Smith, Baxter Perry. The History of Dartmouth College. Houghton, Osgood, 1878. p. 871. Retrieved 30 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Grossman, Mark. Political Corruption in America: An Encyclopedia of Scandals, Power, and Greed. ABC-CLIO, 2003. pp. 253–255. Retrieved 30 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

United States Senate
Preceded by
George G. Fogg
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from New Hampshire
Served alongside: Aaron H. Cragin
Succeeded by
Bainbridge Wadleigh
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Thomas M. Edwards
U.S. Representative for the 3rd District of New Hampshire
March 4, 1863–March 3, 1867
Succeeded by
Jacob Benton