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James R. Vineyard


Date Party Office Votes Result
09-06-1854 Democratic AD-09 0 Win
09-04-1861 Democratic SD-02 0 Win

Candidate Biography:

James Russell Vineyard
Born: January 16, 1801 in Frankfort, Kentucky
Died (in office): August 30, 1863 in Los Angeles, CA

1836: Member, Michigan Territorial Legislative Council
1841: Councilmember, Wisconsin Territorial Legislature [State Legislature]
1846: Delegate, Wisconsin Constitutional Convention
1840s: Assemblymember, Wisconsin State Legislature

  • OUCH: "As a member of the territorial legislature in 1842, Vineyard shot and killed a fellow legislator on the floor of the Wisconsin Council (now the State Senate) shortly after adjournment on February 11th. According to the website of the Wisconsin Historical Society; "Following a debate on the floor of the Council of the Legislative Assembly, Charles C.P. Arndt implied that fellow Council member James R. Vineyard, a personal friend of Baker, had made misstatements on Baker's behalf. After an uproar during which Vineyard denied Arndt's accusations, adjournment was declared... In the moments following adjournment, Arndt approached Vineyard's desk on the floor of the assembly and the two continued their disagreement. As Arndt came closer to Vineyard he raised his hand and struck Vineyard in the head. Before any other legislator could intervene to separate the two men, Vineyard drew a pistol and shot Arndt in the chest. Arndt reeled backward and fell to the floor, dying where he had fallen about five minutes later." [a photo of the vest and detailed description]
  • Vineyard was the oldest member of the State Senate in 1863 at age 58.

Source: History of Political Conventions in California, 1849-1892 by Winfield J. Davis (1893)
Source: Wisconsin Dictionary of History by the Wisconsin Historical Society
Source: Website of the Wisconsin Historical Society [website]