Alley, John Bassett (Congressman:Antebellum & Civil War)
John Bassett Alley (January 7, 1817 – January 19, 1896) was a businessman and politician who served as a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts before and during the American Civil War. Autograph Slip Writing Signed, n.d. - 5 x 2 written in blk ink on lovely heavy age-toned parchment while serving in the House of Representatives. Apperas to be a leaf taken from a tablet of bond parchment. Overall, fine condition.
Born in Lynn, Massachusetts, Alley attended the common schools and Phillips Academy Andover. At the age of fourteen was apprenticed to work for a shoemaker.
Alley was released at nineteen. In the meantime, his parents, John B. Alley Sr. and Mercy Buffum Alley, and his younger sister, Sarah Buffum Alley, joined the Church of Christ (Latter Day Saints) in 1832, later renamed the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and moved to Nauvoo, Illinois where Sarah was one of the first women to marry polygamously, and became the first woman in Mormon history to bear a child as a polygamist.
He moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1836. Freighted merchandise up and down the Mississippi River. He returned to Lynn, Massachusetts in 1838 and entered the shoe manufacturing business. He established a hide and leather house in Boston in 1847.
He served as member of the first Board of Aldermen of Lynn, Massachusetts in 1850. He served as member of the Governor's council 1847-1851. He served in the State senate in 1852. He served as member of the constitutional convention of 1853.
Alley was a Free Soil Candidate for Congress in 1852. Alley was elected as a Republican to the Thirty-sixth and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1859 – March 3, 1867).
He served as chairman of the Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads (Thirty-eighth and Thirty-ninth Congresses). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1866. He became connected with the Union Pacific Railroad.
During the 1880s and 1890s Alley was involved in a protracted lawsuit known as the Snow-Alley case which damaged his health and cost him a large part of his fortune.
Alley abandoned active business pursuits in 1886 and lived in retirement until his death in West Newton, Massachusetts, January 19, 1896. He was interred in Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn, Massachusetts.