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Colfax, Schuylerlocked

(23 March 1823–13 January 1885)
  • Phyllis F. Field


Colfax, Schuyler (23 March 1823–13 January 1885), congressman and vice president of the United States, was born in New York City, the posthumous son of Schuyler Colfax, a bank clerk, and Hannah Stryker. He and his mother lived with his widowed grandmother while he attended public schools. At age ten he entered the workforce as a store clerk. In 1834 his mother married George W. Matthews, who removed the family to New Carlisle, Indiana, in 1836. Matthews ran a store (in which Colfax clerked) and held the patronage position of village postmaster. In 1841 Matthews was elected county auditor on the Whig ticket and moved to the county seat, South Bend. Colfax served as his deputy until 1849. Following his parents’ wishes, Colfax read law, but his real love was politics. He corresponded with prominent Whigs, contributed to ...

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