Member Biography

James Xavier McLanahan 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1841       14 Democrat
1842       14 Democrat
1843       18 Democrat
1844       18 Democrat


05/17/1809 - 12/16/1861

James Xavier McLanahan, (D14) 1841-1842 (D18) 1843-1844 Adams, Cumberland, Franklin Counties

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 and commenced law practice, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; elected, Pennsylvania State Senate 1842-1844; elected, Democrat, United States House of Representatives, Thirty-first and Thirty-second Congresses, 1849-1853; resumed law practice of law; married, Anne Mathilda McBride McLanahan, son, George William McLanahan; died, December 16, 1861; (aged 52) New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York; interment Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Bronx County, New York.

Early Career:

Studied law under George Chambers who went on to become a Congressman and Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 14th district, 1841-1842.

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 18th district, 1843-1844.

Continued Government Service/National Politics:

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


Grandson of Andrew Gregg, militia during the American Revolution, tutor, College of Philadelphia, 1779-1783, United States Congressman from Pennsylvania, 1791- 1813: United States House of Representatives, 1791-1807; United States Senate, 1807-1813; appointed, Pennsylvania Secretary of State, 1816; unsuccessful campaign, Governor of Pennsylvania, 1823.

Second cousin, Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin.  



Congressional Biography

After 4 session(s) serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, James Xavier McLanahan  went on to serve in congress