DENNY, Harmar (1794-1852)

DENNY, HARMAR, (great-grandfather of Harmar Denny Denny, Jr.), a Representative from Pennsylvania; born in Pittsburgh, Pa., May 13, 1794; was graduated from Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., in 1813; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1816 and commenced practice in Pittsburgh, Pa.; member of the State house of representatives 1824-1829; elected as an Anti-Masonic candidate to the Twenty-first Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William Wilkins; reelected to the Twenty-second through Twenty-fourth Congresses and served from December 15, 1829, to March 3, 1837; was not a candidate for renomination in 1836; resumed the practice of law in Pittsburgh, Pa.; delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1837; presidential elector on the Whig ticket in 1840; commissioner under act of incorporation of the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. April 13, 1846; incorporator of Ohio & Pennsylvania Railroad Co., 1848; declined the nomination to be a candidate for Congress in 1850; president of the Pittsburgh & Steubenville Railroad Co. in 1851 and 1852; trustee of the Western University of Pennsylvania and director of the Western Theological Seminary; died in Pittsburgh, Pa., January 29, 1852; interment in Allegheny Cemetery.

Dartmouth College
Rauner Special Collections Library
Hanover, NH
Papers: 1835, 6 pages.
A letter from Harmar Denny to Daniel Webster written on November 5, 1835. In the letter, Harmar Denny writes that the whole party is with Van Buren. Webster, Harrison, and Jackson are potential candidates, and that the anti-masonic Party will hold convention.


Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, PA
Papers: In the Denny-O'Hara Family Papers, ca. 1769-1875, 9.5 linear feet.
Persons represented include Harmar Denny. An inventory is available in the repository.

  • Backofen, Catherine. "Congressman Harmar Denny." Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine 23 (June 1940): 65-78.