WILMOT, David, (1814 - 1868)

Senate Years of Service: 1861-1863
Party: Republican

Courtesy U.S. Senate Historical Office

WILMOT, David, a Representative and a Senator from Pennsylvania; born in Bethany, Pa., January 20, 1814; completed preparatory studies in the academy at Aurora, N.Y.; studied law; admitted to the bar of Bradford County, Pa., in 1834 and commenced practice in Towanda, Bradford County, Pa.; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth, and Thirty-first Congresses (March 4, 1845-March 3, 1851); was not a candidate for renomination in 1850; was the author of the ‘Wilmot Proviso’ relative to slavery in newly annexed territory; took a leading part in the founding of the Republican Party in 1854; presiding judge of the thirteenth judicial district 1851-1861; unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania in 1857; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Simon Cameron and served from March 14, 1861, to March 3, 1863; was not a candidate for reelection in 1862; member of the peace convention of 1861, held in Washington, D.C., in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war; appointed by President Abraham Lincoln a judge of the United States Court of Claims in 1863 and served until his death in Towanda, Pa., March 16, 1868; interment in Riverside Cemetery.


Dictionary of American Biography; Duff, James H. “David Wilmot, the Statesman and Political Leader.” Pennsylvania History 13 (October 1946): 283-89; Going, Charles. David Wilmot, Free-Soiler: A Biography of the Great Advocate of the Wilmot Proviso. 1924. Reprint. Gloucester, Mass.: P. Smith, 1966.