Harrison H. Riddleberger bigraphy, stories - American politician

Harrison H. Riddleberger : biography

October 4, 1844 - January 24, 1890

Harrison Holt Riddleberger (October 4, 1844January 24, 1890) was an American lawyer, newspaper editor, and politician from Woodstock, Virginia. He served in the Virginia House of Delegates and State Senate, and was U.S. Senator from Virginia from 1883 to 1889.

Riddleberger was born in Edinburg, Virginia in Shenandoah County. During the American Civil War, he served in the Confederate Army for three years, reaching the rank of captain. After the war, he became a practicing attorney in Woodstock. He also held a number of public offices. In 1871, he was elected to the House of Delegates, serving until 1875. In 1876, he became a Commonwealth attorney of Shenandoah County, serving until 1880. In 1879, he was elected to the state Senate, serving until 1882. He was editor of the Shenandoah Democrat and the Virginian at Woodstock.

In the late 1870s, Riddleberger joined former Confederate general and railroad builder William Mahone in forming a coalition of blacks, Republicans, and "Conservative" Democrats which became known as the Readjuster Party. The Readjusters dominated Virginia's politics for about 10 years, until a group of "Conservative" Democrats led by John S. Barbour, Jr. took power in the late 1880s.

Riddleberger was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Readjuster, serving from March 4, 1883, to March 4, 1889. In the Senate, he caucused with the Republicans. He served as chairman of the Committee on Manufactures (which later became the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation). He was not a candidate for reelection. He died the year after leaving the Senate, on January 24, 1890. He was interred at Cedarwood Cemetery in Edinburg.

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