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Richard Henry Whiteley (December 22, 1830 - September 26, 1890) was a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator-elect from Georgia.


Born in County Kildare, Ireland, Whiteley immigrated to the United States in 1836 with his parents, who settled in Georgia. He received private instruction in elementary education. He engaged in manufacturing. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1860, commencing practice in Bainbridge, Georgia.

Whiteley opposed secession, but after the adoption of the ordinance entered the Confederate States Army and served throughout the Civil War, attaining the rank of major. He served as member of the State constitutional convention in 1867.

He was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1866 to the Fortieth Congress, then presented credentials as a Senator-elect to the United States Senate on July 15, 1870, to fill the vacancy in the term beginning March 4, 1865, but as the election took place prior to the readmission of Georgia into the Union was not admitted to a seat.

Whiteley was elected as a Republican to the Forty-first Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the House declaring Nelson Tift not entitled to the seat. He was reelected to the Forty-second and Forty-third Congresses and served from December 22, 1870, to March 3, 1875. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the Forty-fourth Congress and for election to the Forty-fifth Congress.

Following his time in Congress, he moved to Boulder, Colorado, in 1877 and resumed the practice of his profession. He died in Boulder on September 26, 1890, and was interred in the Masonic Cemetery.

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PD-icon This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.