Member Biography

James Leonard Graham 


Pittsburgh Times, June 21, 1895; Biographical Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania, of the Nineteenth Century (Philadelphia: Galaxy Publishing Company, 1874), 391; Philadelphia Inquirer, July 30-June 3, 1867.

Sessions Office Position District Party
1863       24 Republican
1864       24 Republican
1865       25 Republican
1866       25 Republican
1867       25 Republican
1868     Speaker 25 Republican
1869       25 Republican
1870       25 Republican
1871       25 Republican
1872       23 Republican
1873       23 Republican
1874       23 Republican

COUNTIES: Allegheny  


11/17/1817 - 06/20/1895

James Leonard Graham (R24) Allegheny County 1863-1864 (R25) Allegheny County 1865-1871 (R23) Allegheny County 1872-1874   

Early Life:

James Leonard Graham, born November 17, 1817, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; son of William and Frances Graham; Allegheny Seminary, ordained, Methodist-Episcopal minister, 1837; school director, Allegheny City schools, twenty years; president, Allegheny Savings Bank, fifteen years; director, of the poor, Allegheny County, nine years; elected, council, Allegheny City, one term; admitted, Allegheny County Bar, 1857; attorney, Baldwin and Graham, 1857-1895; elected, sheriff, Allegheny County, 1857-1861; elected, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1863-1874; elected, Speaker of the Senate, 1868; delegate, State Republican Convention, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, 1867; delegate, National Republican Convention, 1868; presided, Republican State Convention, 1869; Pennsylvania representative, Vienna International Exposition, 1873; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1883-1892, elected, Speaker of the House, 1885-1886, not a candidate for reelection, 1893 term; married, Mary Margaret Stubbs Graham; children, Harrison, Crossen, Frances, John S., Dale B., George R., William H., Ella Stephenson; died, June 20, 1895, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; interment, Union Dale Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. 

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 24th district, Allegheny County, 1863-1864; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 25th district, Allegheny County, 1865-1871, elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 23rd district, Allegheny County, 1872-1874; Speaker of the Senate, 1868; backed adoption, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments, Civil Rights Act, 1866, Emancipation Proclamation, a resolution instructing the Pennsylvania congressional delegation to impeach and prosecute President Andrew Johnson during debate over the 1867 Reconstruction Acts; chaired, Vice and Immorality Committee, 1867, Corporations, 1870, Finance Committee. Member, George O. Evans “Treasury Ring Scandal” Investigating Committee. 

The Evans Embezzlement or "The history of a bold and successful conspiracy to defraud the state of Pennsylvania" - 

Delegate, State Republican Convention, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, 1867.

Delegate, National Republican Convention, 1868.

President, State Republican Convention, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, 1869. 

Appointed, Governor Hartranft, Pennsylvania representative, Vienna International Exposition, 1873. 

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1st district, Allegheny County, 1883-1893, elected, 98th Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1885-1886, presided over 143 freshmen out of 201 total members; Act 162 of 1885, which exempted manufacturers from having to pay state taxes, Act 233 of 1885, which prohibited women and boys under the age of 14 from working inside or outside of coal mines; became; committee assignments, Constitutional Reform, Federal Relations, Ways and Means, appointed chairman, Ways and Means Committee, 1887-1892. 

Unsuccessful campaigns, three nominations, 23rd Congressional District, United States House of Representatives.

Speaker Pennsylvania House of Representatives Biography:

James L. Graham - PA House of Representatives - PA House of Representatives (

Pennsylvania House of Representatives Biography:

Official Website - PA House Archives Official Website (


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members "G""Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

James L. Graham (1817-1895) - Find a Grave Memorial