Samuel Swinfin Burdett – Captain, United States Army, Member of Congress, Government Official

Courtesy of the U.S. House of Representatives

Representative from Missouri; born at Sutton-in-the-Elms, Leicestershire, England, February 21, 1836; when twelve years of age immigrated to the United States; worked on a farm in Lorain County, Ohio, and attended the common schools; studied law at Oberlin College, Ohio, was admitted to the bar in 1858 and commenced practice in Dewitt, Iowa; entered the Union Army as a private in the First Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, in May 1861; promoted to the rank of lieutenant, later becoming captain, and served until August 1864; assistant provost marshal general from March 1 until August 1, 1864; moved to Osceola, St. Clair County, Mo., in December 1865; attorney for the seventh circuit in 1868 and 1869; delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1868; elected as a Republican to the Forty-first and Forty-second Congresses (March 4, 1869-March 3, 1873); chairman, Committee on Manufactures (Forty-second Congress); unsuccessful candidate in 1872 for reelection to the Forty-third Congress; resumed the practice of law in Osceola, Mo.; appointed Commissioner of the General Land Office in 1874; engaged in the practice of law in Washington, D.C., residing at Glencarlyn, Va., during his last years; commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic in 1885 and 1886; died at Sutton-in-the-Elms, Leicestershire, England, September 24, 1914; interment in Arlington National Cemetery.  His wife, Nancy E. Burdett (1824-1906) is buried with him in Section 3.

Note: He was the Commander-in-Chief of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) in 1885-86.  The photo below is courtesy of the GAR and its successor organizations.

WASHINGTON, September 25, 1914 – Captain Samuel S. Burdett, 78 years old, once Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, died yesterday in England. A cablegram received here says that his body will be cremated on Monday. Captain Burdett was born in Leicestershire, England, and came to this country when 12 years of age and later settled in Lorain County, Ohio.

Later he went to Iowa and was admitted to thebar in that State in 1859. In 1861 he helped organize Company B of the First Iowa Cavalry, in which he enlisted as a Private, and at the end of his three years' service was mustered out as Captain.

In 1868 he was elected to the Forty-first Congrtess from Missouri and re-elected to the Forty-second Congress.  In 1874 President Grant made him Commissioner of the General Land Office. In 1878 he settled in Washington and became the law partner of W. W. Curtis. Captain Burdett was twice commander of the Kit Carson Post 2 in Washington, and in 1885 was elected Commander-in-Chief ofthe G.A.R.

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