This week’s Vice-President is: Schuyler Colfax!
Born:March 23, 1823
Died: January 13, 1885
Vice-President #: 17
Under: Ulysses S. Grant
Dates: March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1873
Fun Facts: At the age of 16, Schuyler “Smiler” Colfax began writing articles about his native Indiana for the New York Tribune, a Whig Party newspaper edited by Horace Greeley. He moved quickly from journalism to politics, sliding from Whig to Know-Nothing to the newly formed Republican Party, becoming a Congressman in 1854 and the Speaker of the House in 1863. He became the first man to move from this office to the Vice-Presidency (James K. Polk, also a former Speaker, became President in 1844) serving as Grant’s Vice-President in 1868. He was replaced in Grant’s second term by Henry Wilson, having become embroiled in the infamous, Credit Mobilier Scandal.
In 1885, after walking almost a mile in below-freezing weather in Minnesota, he dropped dead of a heart attack.
A beautiful smiler came in our midst,
Too lively and fair to remain;
They stretched him on racks till the soul of Colfax
Flapped up into Heaven again,
May the fate of poor Schuyler warn men of a smiler,
Who dividends gets on the brain!