Edward John Phelps

Edward John Phelps (July 11, 1822March 9, 1900) was a lawyer and diplomat from Vermont. He is notable for his service as Envoy to Court of St. James's from 1885 to 1889. In addition, Phelps was a founder of the American Bar Association, and served as its president from 1880 to 1881.

A prominent Democrat even as Vermont was trending towards the Republicans, Phelps was the son of Senator Samuel S. Phelps and his first wife, Francis (Shurtleff) Phelps. Edward Phelps graduated from Middlebury College in 1840, taught school in Virginia, and studied for a career as an attorney, first in the office of Middlebury attorney Horatio Seymour, then at Yale Law School. He practiced in Burlington, and served as Second Comptroller of the Treasury from 1851 to 1853. Phelps supported the Union during the American Civil War, but was a critic of what he regarded as the excesses of the Abraham Lincoln administration. He served as a delegate to the Vermont constitutional convention of 1870, and was one of the founders of the American Bar Association. Phelps served as ABA president from 1880 to 1881. In 1880, he was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for Governor of Vermont.

Phelps was Envoy to Court of St. James's in Britain from 1885 to 1889. He later taught law at Yale Law School, the University of Vermont, and Boston University. He supported Republicans after 1896, in response to his disagreement with the Democratic Party's turn towards the Free Silver movement. He died in New Haven, Connecticut, and was buried at Greenmount Cemetery in Burlington. Provided by Wikipedia
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