Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
COGSWELL, William (1838-1895)

COGSWELL, WILLIAM, a Representative from Massachusetts; born in Bradford, Mass., August 23, 1838; attended Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., and Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.; was graduated from the Dane Law School, Harvard University, in 1860; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Salem; was commissioned a captain in the Second Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, May 11, 1861; lieutenant colonel October 23, 1862; colonel June 25, 1863; brevetted brigadier general of Volunteers December 15, 1864; mustered out July 24, 1865; resumed the practice of his profession; mayor of Salem 1867-1869, 1873, and 1874; member of the State house of representatives 1870, 1871, and 1881-1883; served in the State senate in 1885 and 1886; delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1892; elected as a Republican to the Fiftieth and to the four succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1887, until his death in Washington, D.C., May 22, 1895; interment in Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem, Mass.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: In the Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, 1893, 3 items.
A letter from William Cogswell to William A. Swan pertaining primarily to the silver question and other matters before Congress, Grover Cleveland and the Democratic Party, and local politics in Salem, Mass. Also includes an illustration of William Cogswell on a plate removed from a book.


Louisiana State University Libraries
Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections
Baton Rouge, LA
Papers: 1889, 1 item.
A letter from William Cogswell to Samuel A. Christie written on October 1, 1889. In the letter, William Cogswell recounts the capture of a group of Confederate guerillas in Virginia, 1862, by Union troops under Cogswell's command.


Peabody Essex Museum
Salem, MA
Papers: 1861-1894, 2 linear feet.
Military & political papers series documents William Cogswell's activities as quartermaster and officer (rising from captain to general) with Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, 2nd Regiment, during the Civil War, including correspondence, accounts of battles, muster rolls, inventories, maps, and other materials; and contains speeches given by Cogswell relating to his political career as mayor of Salem (1867-1869, 1873-1874), and member of Massachusetts General Court, House of Representatives (1870-1871, 1881-1883) and Senate (1885-1886), and U.S. House of Representatives (1887-1895). Speeches series consists of Cogswell's speeches made before political, civic, and military groups during his terms as U.S. Representative, relating to a variety of topics, including Civil War military campaigns, fisheries, agriculture, and state and national politics. A finding aid is available in the repository.

  • Cogswell, William. An address before the alumni of Atkinson (N.H.) Academy. Manchester, N.H.: Printed by J. B. Clarke, 1887.
  • ------. Address of Gen. William Cogswell, of Salem, at the grand New England celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation, the charge of the Mass. 54th, at Fort Wagner, and the adoption of the 15th amendment: Held under the auspices of the colored citizens of New Bedford, July 18, 1871. Salem: Printed at the office of theSalem Gazette, 1871.
  • ------. The assistant to family religion. 2d ed. N.p., 1828.
  • ------. A sermon delivered ... in Medway. [N.p.], 1826.
  • United States. 54th Cong., 1895-1897. Memorial addresses on the life and character of William Cogswell (late a Representative from Massachusetts), delivered in the House of Representatives and Senate, Fifty-fourth Congress, first and second sessions. Published by order of Congress. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1897.