LATHAM, Milton Slocum (1827-1882)

LATHAM, MILTON SLOCUM, a Representative and a Senator from California; born in Columbus, Ohio, May 23, 1827; pursued classical studies and graduated from Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, in 1845; moved to Russell County, Ala.; taught school; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1848 and commenced practice; circuit court clerk for Russell County 1848-1850; moved to San Francisco, Calif., in 1850; clerk of the recorder's court in 1850; district attorney for the Sacramento district in 1851; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-third Congress (March 4, 1853-March 3, 1855); declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1854; collector of the port of San Francisco 1855-1857; Governor of California 1859-1860, when he resigned, having been elected Senator; elected as a Democrat on January 11, 1860, to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of David C. Broderick; took his seat March 5, 1860, and served until March 3, 1863; unsuccessful candidate for reelection; engaged in the practice of law in San Francisco, Calif.; manager, London & San Francisco Bank (Ltd.) 1865-1878; moved to New York City in 1879, where he became president of the New York Mining and Stock Exchange; died in New York City on March 4, 1882; interment in Lone Mountain (later Laurel Hill) Cemetery, San Francisco, Calif.; reinterment in Cypress Lawn Cemetery, Colma, Calif.

California Historical Society
San Francisco, CA
Papers: 1848-1921. 2 boxes. Correspondence, papers, and legal documents relating to his political career and contemporary issues. Letters are primarily to Latham and are concerned with state and local Democratic politics (1857-1862), California senatorial controversy of 1857, and Civil War problems dealing with the defense of the West and of overland mail routes.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in Capt. George Wallace papers, 1853-1881; and Anthony Zellerbach papers, 1863-1867.

California State Archives
Sacramento, CA
Papers: Gubernatorial papers and photographs.

Stanford University Libraries
Special Collections
Stanford, CA
Papers: 1850-1860. 2 items and 1 volume. 2 letters (1850) describe Latham's trip and arrival in California. Day journal (January 1, 1860-May 6, 1860) describes his election and first months as a senator in Washington, D.C.

University of California, Berkeley
The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, CA
Papers: Ca. 1853-1866. 6 items. Also letters and photographs in several collections.

University of Rochester
Rush Rhees Library
Rochester, NY
Papers: 3 letters by and 1 to Latham (1860-1863) in various collections. Finding aid.

Virginia State Library and Archives
Richmond, VA
Papers: January 26, 1855. 1 letter. From John Wilson, commissioner of the General Land Office, explaining the refusal of a patent based on Revolutionary War service of John Paul Jones.

  • Robinson, Edgar E., ed. "The Day Journal of Milton S. Latham: January 1 to May 6, 1860.'' Quarterly of the California Historical Society 11 (March 1932): 3-28.
  • Thompson, William F., Jr. "M.S. Latham and the Senatorial Controversy of 1857.'' California Historical Society Quarterly 32 (June 1953): 145-59.