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Calhoun Benham


Date Party Office Votes Result
09-06-1854 Whig CD-AL 34411 Loss

Candidate Biography:

Born: ~1824 in Hamilton County, Ohio
Married: Elizabeth D. Marbury (in 1855)
Military Service: State Militia (1856 San Francisco Insurrection), Confederate Army (Civil War)
Died: June 12, 1884 in San Francisco, CA

1860s: United States District Attorney for California

  • In 1856, Benham served as Captain of the "Benham Guard"; Second Division, Second Brigade. According to the California Military Museum, "The Benham Guard was organized in response to the Proclamation of Governor J. Neely Johnson declaring San Francisco in a "State of Insurrection"." At that time, the government for San Francisco had been replaced by a "Vigilance Committee" (vigilantes who tried and hung James P. Casey for the murder of newspaper editor James King) 
  • LEGAL TROUBLES: On November 15, 1861, Benham was arrested with William M. Gwin and J. L. Brent by Army Brigadier General E. V. Sumner for "disloyal utterances" against the United States.
  • DUELING: Benham was the principal second for Chief Justice Terry in the duel that killed US Senator David C. Broderick.

Source: "Californians in the Rebels Ranks", The Los Angeles Star. December 19, 1862. Transcribed by Dee Sardoch.