James Xavier McLanahan

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James Xavier McLanahan
Chair of the House Judiciary Committee
In office
March 4, 1851 – March 4, 1853
Preceded byJames Thompson
Succeeded byFrederick P. Stanton
Member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 16th district
In office
March 4, 1849 – March 4, 1853
Preceded byJasper E. Brady
Succeeded byWilliam H. Kurtz
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate from the 14th district
In office
Preceded byWilliam R. Gorgas
Succeeded byJesse C. Horton
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate from the 18th district
In office
Personal details
Greencastle, Pennsylvania
DiedDecember 16, 1861
New York City
Political partyDemocratic

James Xavier McLanahan (1809 – December 16, 1861) was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania's 16th congressional district from 1849 to 1853.

Early life and education[edit]

McLanahan was born near Greencastle, Pennsylvania to William and Mary (Gregg) McLanahan,[1] he was the grandson of Pennsylvania Senator Andrew Gregg and second cousin to Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin.[2] He graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1827, he studied law under George Chambers who went on to become a Congressman and Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice.[3] He was admitted to the bar in 1837 and commenced practice in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.


He served as a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate for the 14th district from 1841 to 1842 and for the 18th district from 1843 to 1844.[4]

McLanahan was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-first and Thirty-second Congresses, he was the chairman of the United States House Committee on the Judiciary during the Thirty-second Congress. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1852, he resumed the practice of law and died in New York City in 1861. Interment in First Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.[5]


  1. ^ Johnson, Rossiter (1904). The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans. Boston: The Biographical Society. p. 1835. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  2. ^ "James Xavier McLanahan (1809-1861)". www.archives.dickinson.edu. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  3. ^ Nevin, Alfred (1876). Men of Mark of Cumberland Valley, 1776 - 1876. Cumberland County, PA: Fulton Publishing Company. p. 386. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  4. ^ "James Xavier McLanahan". www.legis.state.pa.us. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  5. ^ "James Xavier McLanahan". www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 14 June 2019.


Pennsylvania State Senate
Preceded by
William R. Gorgas
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate, 14th district
Succeeded by
Jesse C. Horton
Preceded by
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate, 18th district
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jasper E. Brady
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 16th congressional district

Succeeded by
Carlton B. Curtis