Francis Wade Hughes
|Attorney General of Pennsylvania|
March 14, 1853 – January 17, 1855
|Preceded by||James Campbell|
|Succeeded by||Thomas E. Franklin|
|Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania|
January 21, 1852 – March 14, 1853
|Preceded by||Alexander L. Russell|
|Succeeded by||Charles Alexander Black|
|Member of the Pennsylvania Senate, 8th district|
|Preceded by||James Mathers|
|Succeeded by||Henry C. Eyer|
|Born||August 20, 1817|
Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
|Died||October 22, 1885(aged 68)|
Francis Wade Hughes (August 10, 1817 – October 20, 1885) was an American lawyer and politician from Pennsylvania. He served as a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 8th district from 1843 to 1844. He served as Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 1852 to 1853 and as Attorney General of Pennsylvania from 1853 to 1855. Although pro-Union, he was tarred as a secessionist "traitor" in the press during the 1862 elections, ending his political career. During the 1870s, he was the chief prosecutor in the Molly Maguires trials.
Early life and education
Hughes was born the fifth and youngest child of John Hughes and Hannah Bartholomew. He studied law in Pottsville, Schuylkill County and Philadelphia. He was admitted to the bar of Schuylkill County in 1837.
Hughes was elected to the Pennsylvania Senate for the 8th district and served from 1843 to 1844. In 1852 he was appointed Secretary of the Commonwealth, which he resigned in 1853 to become Attorney General.
As chairman of the 1862 Democratic State Committee, Hughes was singled out for vilification. His family ties in the Confederacy were played up, and worse, a draft resolution he authored (but never introduced) for the 1860 convention, suggesting Pennsylvania might secede, was attacked. Hughes was forced to resign, and never returned to politics.
He married Sarah Silliman, of Pottsville, in 1839.
- Today called District Attorney.
- Broadwater, Robert P. (2008). Did Lincoln and the Republican Party Create the Civil War?: An Argument. McFarland.
- Bulik, Mark (2014). The Sons of Molly Maguire: The Irish Roots of America's First Labor War. Oxford University Press.
- Roberts, Ellwood (1904). Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. 1. Montgomery County: T. S. Benham.
- Shankman, Arnold (July 1971). "Francis W. Hughes and the 1862 Pennsylvania Election". The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. 95 (3): 383–393. JSTOR 20090572.
- * "Pennsylvania State Senate: Francis Wade Hughes". Pennsylvania General Assembly. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
| Member of the Pennsylvania Senate, 8th district
Henry C. Eyer
Alexander L. Russell
| Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Charles Alexander Black
| Attorney General of Pennsylvania
Thomas E. Franklin