|Name||William Czar Bradley|
Westminster, Vermont , United States
|| March 23, 1782
|| March 03, 1867
|Last Modified||Joshua L.|
Dec 05, 2004 11:47am
|Info||BRADLEY, William Czar, (son of Stephen Row Bradley), a Representative from Vermont; born in Westminster, Vt., March 23, 1782; received his early education in the schools of Cheshire, Conn., and Charlestown, N.H., and for a short time attended Yale College, New Haven, Conn.; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1802 and commenced practice in Westminster; prosecuting attorney for Windham County 1804-1811; member of the State house of representatives in 1806, 1807, and 1819; member of the Governorís council in 1812; elected as a Republican to the Thirteenth Congress (March 4, 1813-March 3, 1815); agent of the United States under the treaty of Ghent to fix the boundary line between Maine and Canada 1815-1820; elected to the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Congresses (March 4, 1823-March 3, 1827); resumed the practice of law; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor in 1830, 1834, and 1838; again a member of the State house of representatives in 1850; presidential elector on the Republican ticket in 1856; member of the State constitutional convention in 1857; retired from the practice of his profession in 1858; died in Westminster, Windham County, Vt., March 3, 1867; interment in the Old Cemetery. |
William Czar Bradley (1782-1867) of Westminster, Vermont, was one of the great lawyers and political figures of the middle nineteenth century. Largely self-taught after his expulsion from Yale University for a prank, he read law in Massachusetts and Vermont and was admitted to the bar at age twenty. He was appointed State's Attorney for Windham County in 1804 and used that post as a steppingstone for a long career in law and politics in Vermont. He served as representative from Westminster in 1806-7, 1819, and 1852; United States Representative from Vermont 1813-1815 and 1823-1827. At first a staunch Jacksonian Democrat, (he was nominated five times for governor by the Democrats), Bradley joined the anti-slavery wing of the party then abandoned it for the Free Soil Party and finally became one of the early members of the new Republican Party. He was a presidential elector from Vermont in 1856, where he cast his vote for John C. Fremont, the first presidential candidate of the Republican Party.
This bust of Bradley was sculpted circa 1860 by Larkin Goldsmith Mead (1835-1910) of Brattleboro. It is on display in the Vermont Historical Society museum.
Mead's career was launched after he achieved notoriety for a snow sculpture of an angel that he did in Brattleboro in January 1856. Two years later he received a commission for a statue of "Agriculture" for the dome of the new state house, still under construction after a fire destroyed its predecessor in 1857; and in 1859 he won the design competition for a statue of Ethan Allen, a copy of which now stands on the portico of the State House. In 1861 Mead served as a battle-field illustrator for Harper's Weekly. He moved to Italy in 1862 where he worked on other commissions, including the tomb of Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois. A preliminary version of the bust of Lincoln that Mead designed for the tomb is in the Vermont State House.
William Czar Bradley was born in Westminster, Vermont on March 23, 1782. He received his early education in the schools of Cheshire, Connecticut and Charlestown, New Hampshire. He attended, for a short time, Yale College, and went on to study law. He was admitted to the bar in 1802 and began his legal practice in Westminster. He served as prosecuting attorney for Windham County from 1804-1811; as a member of the State house of representatives and was elected to Congress in 1813. He resumed the practice of law and ran unsuccessfully several times for Governor. He retired from the practice of law in 1858. He died in Westminster, Windham County, Vermont on March 3, 1867; interment in the Old Cemetery. [Source: William Czar Bradley, Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress]
Bradley was reputedly writing poety at age six and published his first book, "The Rights of Youth," at age twelve. He entered Yale College at age thireteen and was expelled "for some supposed misconduct." "He studied law under Judge Simeon Strong at Amherst, Mass., and later with his own father at Westminster, Vt., being admitted to the bar at twenty. He was States Attorney for Windham County, 1802-9; Town Representative for Westminster, 1806-7; elected Representative to Congress at thirty-two, and again in 1823, serving till 1827, again represented his two in the Legislature, 1850; and was agent for the Untied States in fixing the northeastern boundary, 1815-20. . . . Mr. Bardley wrote considerable verse that was never published." [Walter John Coates & Frederick Tupper (eds.), Vermont Verse: An Anthology 227 (Brattleboro: Stephen Daye Press, MCMXXI)]