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William D. Kelley

AKA William Darrah Kelley

Born: 12-Apr-1814
Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA
Died: 9-Jan-1890
Location of death: Washington, DC
Cause of death: Heart Failure
Remains: Buried, Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Gender: Male
Religion: Quaker
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Government
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Powerful 19th century Congressman

William D. Kelley quit school at the age of eleven to help support his widowed mother, worked as a copy boy at the Philadelphia Inquirer and apprenticed as a printer. He later worked as a jeweler, and came to national attention after his 1854 speech against the slave trade, "Slavery in the Territories", was published and widely read. He became a city judge in Philadelphia, but left the bench and the Democratic Party after the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. He co-founded a new political party opposed to slavery, the Republican Party, and was Elected to the House of Representatives in 1860, where he served until his death almost thirty years later.

A leading progressive of his time and one of America's most powerful politicians, Kelley introduced numerous bills for women' suffrage, authored legislation that extended suffrage to black men in the District of Columbia, wrote several protectionist trade laws, and introduced the first legislative call for preservation of Yellowstone Park. In a time when published speeches were vital to political debate, Kelley's oratories on suffrage and labor were the two best-selling speeches of the second half of the 19th century. His daughter was suffragette and labor reformer Florence Kelley, who founded the National Consumers League.

Father: David Kelley (watchmaker/jeweler, b. 1784, d. 1816)
Mother: Hannah Darrah Kelley
Wife: Caroline Bartram Bonsall Kelley (b. 1829, m. 4-Oct-1854, d. 1903)
Daughter: Elizabeth Kelley (b. 1857, d. infancy)
Daughter: Florence Kelley (activist)
Daughter: Marian Kelley (b. 1863, d. infancy)
Daughter: Josephine Kelley (twin b. 1864, d. infancy)
Daughter: Anna Kelley (twin b. 1864, d. 1870)
Son: William Darrah Kelley, Jr. (twin b. 1865, d. 1888)
Son: Albert Bartram Kelley (insurance salesman, twin b. 1865, d. 1931)
Daughter: Caroline Kelley (b. 1869, d. infancy)

    US Congressman, Pennsylvania 4th District (1861-90)
    Pennsylvania State Official Court of Common Pleas Judge:(1846-56)
    Pennsylvania State Official Deputy Attorney General:(1845-46)
    The Philadelphia Inquirer Proofreader (1820s)
    Pennsylvania Bar Association
    Heart Attack 9-Jan-1890 (fatal)

Author of books:
The Equality of All Men Before the Law: Claimed and Defended (1865)
Reasons for Abandoning the Theory of Free Trade and Adopting the Principle of Protection to American Industry (1872)
Speeches, Addresses (1872)
Letters on Industrial and Financial Questions (1872)
Letters from Europe (1880)
The Old South and the New (1887)


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