PHELPS, William Walter, (1839 - 1894)


Carte-de-visite, C.M. Bell, ca. 1880, Collection of U.S. House of Representatives

PHELPS, William Walter, a Representative from New Jersey; born in New York City August 24, 1839; attended private schools near Bridgeport, Conn., and Mount Washington Institute, New York; was graduated from Yale College in 1860 and from the law department of Columbia College, New York City, in 1863; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in New York City; retired from the practice of law in 1868; engaged in banking in New York City, with residence in Englewood, N.J.; also served as a director of numerous railroads; elected to the Forty-third Congress (March 4, 1873-March 3, 1875); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1874 to the Forty-fourth Congress; delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1880 and 1884; Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Austria in 1881; relinquished the position in 1882; elected as a Republican to the Forty-eighth, Forty-ninth, and Fiftieth Congresses (March 4, 1883-March 3, 1889); declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1888; appointed by President Harrison one of the commissioners to represent the United States at the International Congress on the Samoan Question, which met in Berlin in 1889; appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Germany in 1889 and served until 1893; appointed a special judge of the court of errors and appeals of the State of New Jersey in 1893; died in Englewood, Bergen County, N.J., June 17, 1894; interment in the City Cemetery, Simsbury, Conn.