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James Findlay

From Ohio History Central
Findlay, James.jpg

James Findlay was an early Ohio military and political leader

Findlay was born in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, on October 12, 1770. He moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1793 and became an attorney. Findlay played an important role in the politics of both the Northwest Territory and the State of Ohio. He served as a member of the Territorial Legislature. He also received federal appointments as United States Receiver of Public Monies in 1800 and United States Marshal in 1802. Cincinnatians elected Findlay as one of their representatives to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1803.

He also played an active role in the Ohio Militia with the rank of brigadier general. In this position, Findlay helped disrupt the western plans and projects of former Vice President Aaron Burr. In 1805 and 1806, and again in 1810 and 1811, he served as Mayor of Cincinnati. While serving as mayor, Findlay conceived the Findlay Market, which helped allow local farmers and businesses to sell their wares. During the War of 1812, Findlay rose to the rank of colonel in the Second Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Following the war, Findlay returned to politics. He was one of Ohio's members of the United States House of Representatives from 1825 to 1833 and was an unsuccessful candidate for governor in 1834. He died in Cincinnati on December 28, 1835.

For most of his political career, Findlay worked with the Democratic-Republican Party. When that party ended in the 1820s, Findlay joined Andrew Jackson in the Democratic Party. Although both of these political parties favored an agricultural society, Findlay did participate in the early industrialization of Ohio. He was an investor with William Henry Harrison, Jacob Burnet, and others in the Cincinnati Bell, Brass, and Iron Foundry.

See Also


  1. Aaron, Daniel. Cincinnati, Queen City of the West, 1819-1838. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 1992. 
  2. Fess, Simeon D., ed. Ohio: A Four-Volume Reference Library on the History of a Great State. Chicago, IL: Lewis Publishing Company, 1937 
  3. Ratcliffe, Donald J. "The Role of Voters and Issues in Party Formation: Ohio, 1824." Journal of American History 59 (1972): 847-871.  
  4. Ross, Steven J. Workers on the Edge: Work, Leisure, and Politics in Industrializing Cincinnati. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1985.  
  5. Stevens, Harry Robert. The Early Jackson Party in Ohio. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1957.