Member Biography

James Xavier McLanahan 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1842       14 Democrat
1843       14 Democrat
1844       18 Democrat


05/17/1809 - 12/16/1861

James Xavier McLanahan, (D14) Adams, Cumberland, Franklin Counties 1842-1843 (D18) Adams and Franklin Counties 1844

Early Life:

James Xavier McLanahan, born May 17, 1809, Greencastle, Franklin County, Pennsylvania; son of William and Mary Gregg McLanahan; Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 1827; studied law; admitted to the bar, 1837; attorney, commenced law practice, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1842-1844; elected, Democrat, United States House of Representatives, 1849-1853; resumed law practice of law; married, Anne Mathilda McBride McLanahan; died, December 16, 1861 (aged 52), Borough of Manhattan, New York, New York County, New York; interment, Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Bronx County, New York. 

Early Career:

Studied law under George Chambers, United States Congressman, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice. 

Pennsylvania Politics: 

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 14th district, Adams, Cumberland, Franklin Counties, 1842-1843. 

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 18th district, Adams and Franklin Counties, 1844. 

Continued Government Service/National Politics:

Elected, Democrat, United States House of Representatives, Thirty-first, Thirty-second Congresses 1849-1853); chairman, Committee on the Judiciary (Thirty-second Congress); not a candidate for renomination, 1852.


Grandfather, Andrew Gregg, United States House of Representatives, 1791-1807; United States Senate, President Pro Tempore, Senate, 11th Congress, 1807-1813; appointed, Pennsylvania Secretary of State, 1816; unsuccessful campaign, Governor of Pennsylvania, 1823. 

Second cousin, Andrew Gregg Curtin, 15th Governor of Pennsylvania. 

Second cousin, Andrew Gregg Curtin, III, 14th district, Centre, Lycoming, Sullivan, Clinton Counties, 1856-1858 12th district, Clinton, Lycoming, Centre, Union Counties 1859 12th district, Clinton, Lycoming Counties 1860-1861.

Andrew Gregg III - Pennsylvania Senate Library (


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

James Xavier McLanahan (1809-1861) | Dickinson College 

James Xavier McLanahan (1809-1861) - Find a Grave Memorial

Congressional Biography

After 3 session(s) serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, James Xavier McLanahan  went on to serve in congress