Edward Bates, LL. D., an American statesman and jurist, born in Goochland co.,Va., Sept. 4, 1793, died in St. Louis, Mo., March 25, 1869. He emigrated in 1814 to Missouri with his elder brother Frederick, then secretary of the territory, commenced the practice of law, and became eminent at the bar. He was a leading member of the legislature of Missouri for many years, under the territorial and state governments, as well as of the convention which framed the constitution of the state, and he represented the state in the 20th congress (1827-'9). He was however but little known out of his own state when the internal improvement convention met at Chicago in 1847, before which he delivered an address which gave him a national reputation. Efforts were made to bring him back to political life, but he would neither be a candidate for office in Missouri, nor accept a place ottered him in the cabinet of President Fillmore. Mr. Bates was the friend of Henry Clay in 1824, and followed him in supporting the administration and in advocating the reelection of Mr. Adams. In 1854 he was an opponent of the repeal of the Missouri compromise, and afterward opposed the admission of Kansas under the Lecompton constitution.
He presided at the whig national convention at Baltimore in 1856, was strongly supported as a candidate for president in the republican national convention at Chicago in 1860, and was United States attorney general under the administration of President Lincoln, which office he resigned in 1864.