Israel Washburn, Jr.

Israel Washburn, Jr. Brief Biography

Israel Washburn, Jr. (June 6, 1813 - May 12, 1883) was a United States political figure. Originally a member of the Whig Party, he later became a founding member of the Republican Party.

In 1854, angry over the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Washburn called a meeting of 30 members of the US House of Representatives to discuss forming what became the Republican Party. Republican gatherings had taken place in Wisconsin and Michigan earlier in the year, but Washburn's meeting was the first in the U.S. Capital, and among U.S. Congressmen. He was probably also the first politician of his rank to use the term "Republican", in a speech at Bangor, Maine on June 2, 1854. Washburn represented the district which included Bangor and the neighboring town of Orono, Maine, where he had his home and law office.

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