About Charles Frederick Crisp, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Charles Frederick Crisp (January 29, 1845 – October 23, 1896) was a United States political figure. A Democrat, he was elected as a Congressman from Georgia in 1882, and served until his death in 1896. From 1890 until his death, he was leader of the Democratic Party in the House, as either the House Minority Leader or the Speaker of the House. He was also the father of Charles R. Crisp who also served in Congress.
Crisp was born in Sheffield, England, January 29, 1845. Later in that year, his parents immigrated to the United States and settled in Georgia were he attended the common schools of Savannah, Georgia and Macon, Georgia. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, he was temporarily residing in Luray, Virginia with his parents, who were in the middle of a Shakespearean play tour. He enlisted in a local unit, the "Page Volunteers" of Company K, 10th Virginia Infantry, and was commissioned lieutenant. He served with that regiment until May 12, 1864, when he became a prisoner of war at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. He was held as one of the Immortal Six Hundred at Fort Pulaski, Georgia and later transferred to Fort Delaware. After his release in June 1865, he joined his parents at Ellaville, Georgia.
Crisp studied law at Americus, Georgia. He was admitted to the bar in 1866 and commenced practice in Ellaville. He was appointed solicitor general of the southwestern judicial circuit in 1872, and reappointed in 1873 for a term of four years. Later, he was appointed judge of the superior court of the same circuit in June 1877. Crisp was elected by the general assembly to the same office in 1878 and reelected judge for a term of four years in 1880 when resigned that office in September 1882 to accept the Democratic nomination for Congress.
Crisp served as president of the Democratic gubernatorial convention at Atlanta, Georgia in April 1883. he was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-eighth and to the six succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1883, until his death. In Congress, he served as chairman, Committee on Elections (Fiftieth Congress), Committee on Rules (Fifty-second and Fifty-third Congress); and Speaker of the House of Representatives (Fifty-second and Fifty-third Congresses). He was nominated for United States Senator in the Georgia primary of 1896. He died in Atlanta, Georgia on October 23, 1896 and was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery. Crisp County, Georgia is named in his honor.