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BRIGGS, JAMES A.

BRIGGS, JAMES A. (6 Feb. 1811-22 Aug. 1889), an attorney active in local and national POLITICS, was credited by some with creating General William Henry Harrison's successful 1840 presidential campaign slogan, "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too." After leaving Cleveland for New York (1857), Briggs was influential in the nomination of his friend Abraham Lincoln as the Republican Party's presidential candidate (1860). Briggs was born in Claremont, NY. Moving to Cleveland at age 22, he served as a notary public for Cuyahoga County (1835, 1838, 1841, 1847, and 1852), and was county auditor (1842, 1844, and 1846) (see CUYAHOGA COUNTY GOVERNMENT). Briggs became the first attorney of the re-chartered Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati Railroad (see RAILROADS). During 1848-49, he published and edited the DAILY TRUE DEMOCRAT, which promoted the ideals of the FREE SOIL PARTY. Briggs worked with Charles Bradburn to establish the Cleveland high school system in 1847 (see CLEVELAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS); he replaced Bradburn on the Cleveland Board of Education in 1854. He was among the original incorporators of the Society for Savings Bank (1849) (see SOCIETY CORP) and was the first president of the Mercantile Library Association (1852) (see LIBRARIES, ARCHIVES AND HISTORICAL SOCIETIES). In the realm of WELFARE/RELIEF, Briggs helped organize the Cleveland Protestant Orphan Asylum (see BEECH BROOK), participated in the movement for TEMPERANCE, and served as vice-president of the SOCIETY FOR THE RELIEF OF THE POOR. He belonged to the CLEVELAND BAR ASSOCIATION.

In 1857, Briggs moved to Brooklyn, NY, where he became an assessor and a special correspondent to several newspapers, including the CLEVELAND LEADER. Briggs married Margaret Bayard in 1842. After she died, he married Catherine Van Vechten.