Schuyler Colfax, Jr.

Burial Location Visited Vice President Grave #
South Bend, Indiana April 20, 2010 20th Visited


Vice President Schuyler Colfax is buried at the                                             Amid the emergence of rumors
entrance of South Bend's City Cemetery. His                                               that he was involved in a 
marker is visible through the front gate in this                                            political scandal, Colfax was left
photograph.                                                                                            off of the 1872 presidential


Colfax was interred in South Bend following                                                The angel that adorns Schuyler
his death in 1885. That was the same year                                                 Colfax's grave marker.
that Ulysses S. Grant, whom he served as
VP under, passed away.

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* At the youthful age of nineteen, Colfax became the editor of the South Bend Free Press, a newspaper that he used to voice his political opinions and allegiances, which lay with the Whigs at the time. Several years later, he gained more control over the newspaper when he purchased the company.

* As speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Colfax was instrumental in passing the 13th amendment to the United States Constitution, the addition that outlawed slavery.

* Schuyler Colfax was one of the congressmen that voted to impeach President Andrew Johnson in 1868. Johnson's fate was determined by one last vote, which belonged to Edmund G. Ross from Kansas. Ross was one of seven Republican senators who voted against the conviction of the president.

* Colfax's political career came to an abrupt end with the surfacing of the Crédit Mobilier of America Scandal. Two companies, Union Pacific Railroad and Crédit Mobilier of America, swindled the U.S. government into paying them millions of dollars to construct railways across America. Most of the money was actually used to buy stocks, which the company heads sold and made a killing at the market. Congressman Oak Ames, who took over the operation in 1867, went forward and offered some of his fellow congressmen Crédit Mobilier stocks that were lower than face value, accompanied by bribes. The bribes were to prevent investigations and to have congress pass bills that paid Crédit Mobilier more money. Between the bribes and the stocks, the crooked congressmen made a large financial profit. In September of 1872, word finally got out about the underhanded dealings. As Congress dug into the scandal, it was revealed that one of the politicians involved was Vice President Schuyler Colfax, who had been the speaker of the House at the time of the transactions. Though Colfax's involvement crushed much of his credibility, he had already lost the vice presidential nomination to Henry Wilson, meaning the scandal had no effect on his re-election.

* After his vice presidency, Colfax took on a new career: lecturing. That occupied him for the remaining 
twelve years of his life. On January 13, 1885, he embarked on a journey that was to take him to a speaking engagement in Iowa. Upon reaching Mankato, Minnesota, Colfax needed to switch trains. In sub-zero temperatures, the sixty-one-year-old man strode three quarters of a mile from depot to depot, a walk that greatly exhausted him. Colfax's body could not take the strain, and he collapsed dead of a heart attack shortly thereafter.

Second Lady: Ellen Maria Wade Colfax
      - Spouse: Evelyn Clark Colfax (      -1863)
                      Ellen Maria Wade Colfax (1836-1911)

Political Party:
Republican Party

Served Under:
Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1873)

Last Words:

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