Joseph Carey

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By The Golden Gate

By Joseph Carey
American History

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Joseph M. Carey

Joseph M. Carey
Joseph M. Carey

Joseph Maull Carey (January 19, 1845—February 5, 1924) was a lawyer, rancher, judge, and politician from Delaware who spent most of his political career in Wyoming before and after it achieved statehood.

Carey was born in Milton, Delaware and was educated in Fort Edward Collegiate Institute and Union College before graduating from the law department at the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1864. He was admitted to the bar three years later, in 1867.

Shortly afterwards, he struck west and became the first United States Attorney for the Territory of Wyoming from its organization and served in that capacity from 1869 to 1871. He subsequently became an associate justice in the Supreme Court of the Territory of Wyoming. He served the court from 1871 to 1876 before retiring from the bench to become a rancher.

Afterwards, he began to enter politics, first as a member of the Centennial Commission from 1872 to 1876, and then as a member of the Republican National Committee from 1876 to 1879. He was subsequently elected as mayor of Cheyenne, Wyoming (from 1881 to 1885) and then was elected to the United States House of Representatives representing the Territory of Wyoming from 1885 to 1890. When the territory became a state, he was elected to the United States Senate from 1890 to 1895. In 1895 however, he failed in a run for re-election and returned to the practice of law. He did not reenter politics until 1911 when he made a successful campaign to be Governor of Wyoming.

In 1912, he abandoned his Republican party and was one of the organizers of the Progressive Party which sought to re-elect Theodore Roosevelt. He also served as the vice president of the Federal Land Bank and a member of the board of trustees of the University of Wyoming at Laramie.

He died in Cheyenne, Wyoming.


  • American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Peters, Betsy R. ‘Joseph M. Carey and The Progressive Movement in Wyoming.’ Ph.D. dissertation, University of Wyoming, 1971.
  • Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
Preceded by:
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Wyoming
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Mayor of Cheyenne, Wyoming
Succeeded by:
Francis E. Warren
Preceded by:
Morton Everel Post
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wyoming's At-large congressional district

March 4, 1885 – July 10, 1890
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Wyoming
November 15, 1890 – March 3, 1895
Served alongside: Francis E. Warren
Succeeded by:
Francis E. Warren
Preceded by:
Bryant B. Brooks
Governor of Wyoming
Succeeded by:
John B. Kendrick

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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