Joseph Reed Ingersoll

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Joseph Reed Ingersoll
Appletons' Ingersoll Jared - Joseph Reed.jpg
United States Minister to Great Britain
In office
August 21, 1852 – August 23, 1853
PresidentMillard Fillmore
Preceded byAbbott Lawrence
Succeeded byJames Buchanan
Chair of the House Judiciary Committee
In office
March 4, 1847 – March 4, 1849
Preceded byGeorge O. Rathbun
Succeeded byJames Thompson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd district
In office
October 12, 1841 – March 4, 1849
Preceded byJohn Sergeant
Succeeded byJoseph R. Chandler
In office
March 4, 1835 – March 4, 1837
Serving with James Harper
Preceded byHorace Binney
Succeeded byJohn Sergeant
Personal details
Joseph Reed Ingersoll

(1786-06-14)June 14, 1786
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DiedFebruary 20, 1868(1868-02-20) (aged 81)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political partyWhig
Ann Wilcocks (m. 1813)
ParentsJared Ingersoll
Elizabeth Pettit
EducationPrinceton College

Joseph Reed Ingersoll (June 14, 1786 – February 20, 1868) was an American lawyer and statesman from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1835 he followed his father, Jared Ingersoll, and his older brother, Charles Jared Ingersoll, to represent Pennsylvania in the U.S. House.


He graduated from Princeton College in 1804, he studied law with his father, was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Philadelphia. He was elected in 1834 as a Whig anti-Jacksonian candidate to the Twenty-fourth Congress, he declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1836, serving 1835–1837. He resumed the practice of law.

Ingersoll was elected as a Whig to the Twenty-seventh Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Sergeant, he was reelected as a Whig to the Twenty-eighth, Twenty-ninth, and Thirtieth Congresses. He declined to accept the nomination as a candidate for reelection in 1848. In all, his second stay in office lasted from 1841 to 1849.

He was the chairman of the United States House Committee on the Judiciary during the Thirtieth Congress, he was an advocate for protection and a firm supporter of Henry Clay. One of his noted efforts in the House was a defense of Clay's tariff of 1842.

In 1852, President Millard Fillmore sent him to the United Kingdom as the U.S. Minister. He served about a year, and then retired to private life, devoting himself to literary pursuits; the degree of LL.D. was conferred on him by Lafayette and Bowdoin in 1836, and that of D.C.L. by Oxford in 1845.

He died in Philadelphia in 1868. Interment in St. Peter's Protestant Episcopal Churchyard.


He was a warm adherent of the Union, and at the time of the American Civil War prepared an essay entitled "Secession, a Folly and a Crime." He published a translation from the Latin of Roceus's (Francesco Rocco's) tracts "De Navibus et Naulo" and "De Assecuratione" (Philadelphia, 1809), and was the author of a Memoir of Samuel Breck (1863).



  • United States Congress. "Joseph Reed Ingersoll (id: I000019)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • The Political Graveyard


U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Horace Binney,
James Harper
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district

alongside James Harper
Succeeded by
John Sergeant and George Washington Toland
Preceded by
John Sergeant
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district

alongside George Washington Toland (1841–1843)
Succeeded by
Joseph R. Chandler
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Abbott Lawrence
U.S. Minister to Britain
Succeeded by
James Buchanan