James Phelan, Jr.

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James Phelan, Jr.

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of James Phelan, Sr. and Elizabeth "Eliza" Phelen

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About James Phelan, Jr.


James Phelan, Jr. (December 7, 1856 – January 20, 1891) was a nineteenth-century lawyer and politician from Tennessee. He served as a United States Congressman from Tennessee, representing the tenth district.


Phelan was born in Aberdeen, Mississippi to James Phelan, Sr., a member of the Confederate Congress, and Eliza J Phelan. He was of Irish descent on his father's side, and Scottish descent on his mother' side. He attended various schools. In 1874 he went abroad, and in 1878 received his Ph.D from the University of Leipzig. Returning to the United States, he married Mary Early of Virginia, with whom he had three children.


In 1881, Phelan became the owner of the The Avalanche, a newspaper in Memphis, Tennessee. He was admitted to the Tennessee bar that same year, and began the practice of law in Memphis.

Elected as a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives, Phelan served in that body from March 4, 1887, until his death in 1891. During his term in the House, he published his book, History of Tennessee, the Making of a State (Boston, 1888). He was also the author of Philip Massinger and his Plays (Leipzig, 1878).


Phelan died in Nassau, Bahamas on January 30, 1891. He is interred at Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee.

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James Phelan, Jr.'s Timeline

Age 35