« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
HOLMES, ELIAS BELLOWS.
THIS gentleman is to be classed among the public men of our country, of whom so many have their record in these pages, who owe to their own indomitable energy the signal success they have achieved in life. He was born in the town of Fletcher, Vermont, May 27th, 1807. At the age of sixteen years, his parents being dead, he was left destitute of property, with a younger brother and two still younger sisters dependent upon him. Five years previous to this time, owing to the straitened cir. cumstances of his father, he had worked for a neighbor at the pay of six dollars per month, in order to procure means to defray the charge for attending the district school, and other per, sonal expenses. At fifteen he took upon himself the office of instructor, and continued laboring during the summer and teaching during the winter, until the decease of his father, After that event, the means acquired through teaching and oth. er personal efforts enabled him not only to educate his sisters, but also to prepare himself to enter upon the study of the law. In 1827 he removed to Pittsford, Monroe county, New York, where he entered, as a clerk and student, the law office of his uncle, Ira Bellows, with whom he remained until, in October, 1830, he was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the state. In February, 1831, he established an office at Brock. port, then a thriving village in Monroe county, where he still resides. He soon found himself in the prosecution of a successful and lucrative practice, to which he gave his personal atten. tion until 1837. In 1835 he was married to Maria, daughter of Hiel Brockway, of Brockport. He has two sons and one daughter living. In the mean time he had made large and somewhat fortunate investments in real estate, as well as in mercantile and other branches of business. Unremitted application, however, had somewhat impaired a constitution naturally vigorous, and he therefore entered into a partnership by which he was reliey
ed from the necessity of giving his personal attention to the business of his profession. He was thus restored to a state of comfortable health. In the year 1844 he was nominated as representative from the twenty-eighth district, comprising the county of Monroe, and was elected by a strong majority to the twenty-ninth Congress. Of that body he was not a speaking member, but, like many of the best, though least-known men in the national councils, a working member, uniformly in his seat, and scrupulously attentive to the business of the House. He belongs to the Whig party, whose confidence he enjoys, and whose principles he maintains and defends.
As an exception to the generally silent votes which he has given on matters of public concern, we note a speech delivered in the House, developing his views on the causes and policy of the Mexican war, and which is understood to have been so acceptable to his constituents as to have contributed to his re-election, by a largely-increased majority, to the thirtieth Congress. He had voted in favor of the act of the 13th of May, declaring the existence of a state of war with Mexico; first, however, having endeavored in vain to introduce an amendment to the first section, declaring that its provisions should not be “deemed to apply to that portion of the country west and south of the River Nueces, except so far as to withdraw, and, if need be, to rescue our army from the region of the Rio Grande." (See title, Robert C. WINTHROP.) Some weeks subsequent to this vote, he found opportunity to explain his reasons for the course he had taken. He believes the war to have been, from the outset, wantonly provoked and unconstitutionally commenced. Referring to the vote he had given, he says:
“Our army was in peril. The last that we heard from them was, that a part of them were prisoners of war, and the balance were short of provisions, and surrounded by ten thousand Mericans. Whether they had been relieved, had relieved theme .selves, or at that moment were prisoners of war, on their way to the City of Mexico, was not known. I was for protection, and, if need be, for rescue at all hazards. Fifty thousand volunteers and ten millions of money were asked for by the President. In my judgment, this was necessary, if our army had been captured. I could not, by any act of the majority, be prevented from voting for those supplies and succor; when the