Thanks to a dedicated, determined, and tenacious group of Galenians, Elihu Benjamin Washburne has been recognized as the distinguished statesman he was. Educated at Harvard University, Washburne was a respected lawyer who served in Congress for sixteen years before and during the Civil War. He was one of the most powerful Congressmen during that time, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and champion of the Anti-Slavery Movement. With his brothers, Washburne helped create the Republican Party. He was the 25th Secretary of State prior to President Grant naming him Minister to France, a position he held from 1869 to 1877.
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