Benjamin Tappan


HON. BENJAMIN TAPPAN, was a leading man in public affairs, achieving a national reputation. Judge Tappan was born in Northampton, Mass., on May 25, 1773 and was admitted to the bar at Hartford, Conn., about the year 1798. In 1799 he came to Ohio and settled at Ravenna, being the first white settler in Portage county. In 1801 he married at Weathersfield, Conn., Miss Nancy, sister of Hon. John C. Wright, and with her came to Steubenville, in 1809. Here his abilities soon made him conspicuous, and he became judge of the court of common please in 1816, holding that office one term, his last official act in that capacity being at the last term in 1823. He was afterward appointed United States judge by President Jackson, but the senate failing to confirm the appointment, he held that place but a few months. In 1838 he was elected United States senator, receiving fifty-seven votes as a democrat to fifty for Thomas Ewing, whig, and one blank. This was on December 20, and the following year he took his seat, serving a term of six years, ending in 1845. After his return he resumed the practice of law, which he followed for several years, and taking into partnership with him Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, he finally turned over his business to him and retired. He died April 1857, full of years and honors. There are now two of his sons living, Dr. Benjamin Tappan of this city, and Prof. Eli Tappan, of Kenyon college, Gambier, Ohio. Judge Tappan published a volume containing a report of court decisions while he was on the bench, copies of which are now very scarce.

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