WINTHROP, Robert Charles, American political leader: b. Boston, Mass.. 12 May 1809; d there, 16 Nov. 1894. He was graduated from Harvard in 1828, studied law with Daniel Web ster, and was admitted to the her in 1831_ He soon became active in political life, allying him self with the Whig party, and in 1834 was elected to the Massachusetts legislature, where he served five years, being speaker of the house for three years. In 1840-50 he was a member of Congress, and in 1847-49 speaker of the House of Representatives. In URI. on Webster's resignation from the Senate, Win throp was appointed his successor for the un expired term, but in 1851 failed to secure elec tion to the Senate. In 1851, as Whig candidate for governor, he received a plurality of votes, but the constitution at that time required an absolute majority for election; the election. therefore, went to the legislature, where he was defeated. Daring his term in Congress be had shown himself a conservative, and, though the extension of slavery, and to the ean War, he had no sympathy with the extreme abolitionists, and desired compromise between North and South. His defeat was
due, therefore, to a coalition between the Free Soilers and the Democrats in the Massachusetts legislature After the Whig party dissolved, be took no prominent part in political work; be did not join the Republican party. but occasion ally spoke in behalf of the Democrats, though not actively affiliated with them. He made fre quent public on various national an niversaries and occasions, being the chief speaker at the laying of the cornerstone of the Washington Monument in 1848. and on the completion of the work in 1885. He was president of the Massachusetts Historical As sociation for 30 years. and had a leading part in the organization and direction of the Pea body Filocation Fund (q.v.). He wrote 'Life and Letters of John Winthrop' (1864 67 '' a Bowdoin and Franklin' ( 670 ; ut Henry Clay' (11f811_ onsult Winthrop, R. C., Jr., 'Memoir of Is C. X1inthrop' (Boston 1897).