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Robert B. Van Valkenburgh

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Subject: United States Ambassador to Japan, John Moore Allison, Florida Supreme Court justices, Prattsburgh, New York, USS Shenandoah (1862)
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Robert B. Van Valkenburgh

Robert B. Van Valkenburgh

Robert Bruce Van Valkenburgh (September 4, 1821 – August 1, 1888) was a United States Representative from New York, officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War, and subsequent US Minister Resident to Japan.

Biography

Born in Prattsburgh, Steuben County, New York, he attended Franklin Academy there. He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and commenced practice in Bath. He was a member of the New York State Assembly (Steuben Co., 1st D.) in 1852, 1857 and 1858. In 1858, he was the Republican candidate for Speaker, but was defeated by Democrat Thomas G. Alvord on the 53rd ballot.

Van Valkenburgh was in command of the recruiting depot in regiments early in the Civil War. He was elected as a Republican to the 37th and 38th United States Congresses, holding office from March 4, 1861, to March 3, 1865. While in the House he was Chairman of the Committee on Militia (37th and 38th Congresses). He served as colonel of the One Hundred and Seventh Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry, and was its commander at the Battle of Antietam.

Following the war, he was Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1865. He was appointed Minister Resident to Japan on January 18, 1866, and remained on the post until November 11, 1869. It was in his role as Minister

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