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Depew

york, central, declined, president, republican and after-dinner

DEPEW, Chauncey Mitchell, American lawyer, legislator, politician and orator : b. Peekskill, N. Y., 23 April 1834. He was gradu ated from Yale College in 1856, studied law in Peekskill and in New York and was admitted to the bar in 1858. He was soon after elected to the New York assembly and served as chair man of the committee on ways and means. For a time he was acting speaker of the house. In 1863 he was nominated upon the Republican ticket for secretary of State and was elected by over 30,000 majority. In 1865 he declined a renomination. President Grant tendered him the Japanese mission about this time, but Dr. Depew declined the office to enter the service of the New York and Harlem Railroad as attorney. In 1869, when the consolidation oc curred of the Hudson River, Harlem and New York Central railroads he was made a director and attorney for the newly organized company. In 1872 he accepted the nomination for lieuten ant-governor on the Republican State ticket, but was defeated by a small plurality. In 1875 he became general counsel for the entire Van derbilt system of railroads, and in 1882 second vice-president of the reorganized New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, and presi dent in 1885. The same year Yale College con ferred upon him the title of LL.D. During this period he was acting as a regent of the State University. He remained president of the New York Central until 1898, when he became chairman of the board of directors of the Van derbilt system, which included the New York Central and Hudson River, Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, Michigan Central and the New York, Chicago and Saint Louis railroads. His political career during these later years was eventful. In 1885 he declined the election to the United States Senate. In 1888 he figured prominently as a candidate for the presidential nomination at the National Republican Conven tion, withdrawing from the contest in favor of Benjamin Harrison, of Indiana, who, after his election and elevation to the Presidency, ten dered to Mr. Depew the portfolio of Secretary

of State, which was declined owing to large rail road interests. In 1899, on 17 January, he was elected to the United States Senate as junior member from New York State. He remained in the Senate until 1911. He became involved in the investigation of certain New York life insurance companies in 1905, with the result that he repaid to the Equitable Life Assurance So ciety, of which he was a director, a loan made to a concern in which he was interested, and he resigned from the directorate of the Equi table. Since 1885 Dr. Depew has been regarded as one of the leading Republicans of the coun try. Dr. Depew was married in 1871 to Elise Hegeman, who died 1893, leaving one son. He was married again in 1902 to Miss Palmer. Dr. Depew's fame abroad is even greater than in the United States. In London and Paris he is re garded as America's representative citizen. This fame rests largely upon his ability as orator, after-dinner speaker and lecturer. He delivered important addresses at the Washington Centen nial at New York in 1889 and the dedication of the World's Columbian Exposition, at Chi cago, in 1893, and , orations at the memorial services of President Garfield and General Sher man. As a wit and humorist, Dr. Depew has ac quired a name second to none in this country, and he has been in great demand for many years at annual dinners and banquets as the chief after-dinner speaker. He has published collec tions of his orations and after-dinner speeches in one volume (1890), and his later speeches (1(1898)89 . Consult Clemens, (Depew Story Book)