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Julius C. Burrows
Burrows was born in North East, Pennsylvania and moved then with his parents to Ashtabula County, Ohio. He attended district school, Kingsville Academy , and Grand River Institute in Austinburg, Ohio . He studied law and was admitted to the bar at Jefferson, Ohio in 1859. He moved to Richland, Michigan in 1860. He was principal of the Richland Seminary and commenced the practice of law in nearby Kalamazoo in 1861.
Burrows raised an infantry company in 1862 to fight in the American Civil War and served as its captain until the fall of 1863. He was elected circuit court commissioner in 1864 and was prosecuting attorney for Kalamazoo County 1866-1870. He declined appointment as supervisor of internal revenue for Michigan and Wisconsin in 1868. He was elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives for the Forty-third Congress , serving from March 4, 1873 to March 3, 1875 and as chairman of Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Navy.
Burrows was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1874, but was subsequently elected to the Forty-sixth and Forty-seventh Congresses , serving from March 4, 1879 to March 3, 1883. He was chairman, Committee on Territories in the Forty-seventh Congress.
Burrows is sometimes cited as a contributing factor in why New Mexico was delayed in achieving statehood. In an 1876 debate, Burrows, an admired orator, spoke forcefully in favor of a bill intended to protect the civil rights of freed black slaves. Stephen B. Elkins, the New Mexico Territory Delegate to Congress arrived late, just as Burrows was finishing. Unaware of the full import of Burrows speech, Elkins shook his colleague's hand in congratulations, a gesture that many southern congressmen interpreted as support for the civil rights legislation. As a result, Elkin's handshake with Burrows is blamed for costing New Mexico the votes of several southern votes needed to achieve statehood. While Colorado achieved statehood in 1876, New Mexico remained a territory for another 36 years.
Burrows was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1882 and was subsequently elected a to the Forty-ninth and to the five succeeding Congresses, serving from March 4, 1885 until his resignation on January 23, 1895, having been elected U.S. Senator. He was chairman, Committee on Levees and Improvements of Mississippi River in the Fifty-first Congress.
Burrows was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Francis B. Stockbridge and was reelected in 1899 and 1905, serving from January 24, 1895 to March 3, 1911. He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination. He was chairman, Committee on Revision of the Laws of the United States in the Fifty-fourth through Fifty-sixth Congresses and the Committee on Privileges and Elections int the Fifty-seventh through Sixty-first Congresses . He was a member of the National Monetary Commission and its vice chairman 1908-1912.
After this, Burrows retired from active business pursuits and political life. He died in Kalamazoo and is interred in Mountain Home Cemetery there.
- American National Biography
- Dictionary of American Biography
- Holsinger, M. Paul. "J.C. Burrows and the Fight Against Mormonism, 1903-1907." Michigan History 52 (Fall 1968): 181-95
- Orcutt, Dana. Burrows of Michigan and the Republican Party. New York: Longmans, Green and Company, 1917.
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