CHANDLER, ZACHARIAH (1813-1879), American politician, was born at Bedford, New Hampshire, on the 10th of December 1813. In 1833 he removed to Detroit, Michigan, where he became a prosperous dry-goods merchant. He took a prominent part as a Whig in politics (serving as mayor in 1851), and, impelled by his strong anti-slavery views, actively furthered the work of the "Underground Railroad," of which Detroit was one of the principal "transfer" points. He was one of the organizers in Michigan of the Republican party, and in 1857 succeeded Lewis Cass in the United States Senate, serving until 1875, and at once taking his stand with the most radical opponents of slavery extension. When the Civil War became inevitable he endeavoured to impress upon the North the necessity of taking extraordinary measures for the preservation of the Union. After the fall of Fort Sumter he advocated the enlistment of 500,000 instead of 75,000 men for a long instead of a short term, and the vigorous enforcement of confiscation measures. In July 1862 he made a bitter attack in the Senate on General George B. McClellan, charging him with incompetency and lack of "nerve." Throughout the war he allied himself with the most radical of the Republican faction in opposition to President Lincoln's policy, and subsequently became one of the bitterest opponents of President Johnson's plan of reconstruction. From October 1875 to March 1877 he was secretary of the interior in the cabinet of President Grant, succeeding Columbus Delano (1809-1896). In 1876, as chairman of the national republican committee, he managed the campaign of Hayes against Tilden. In February 1879 he was re-elected to the Senate to succeed Isaac P. Christiancy (1812-1890), and soon afterwards, in a speech concerning Mexican War pensions, bitterly denounced Jefferson Davis. He died at Chicago, Illinois, on the 1st of November 1879. By his extraordinary force of character he exercised a wide personal influence during his lifetime, but failed to stamp his personality upon any measure or policy of lasting importance.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)