Joshua Reed Giddings Law Office

Built in 1823, this law office was the primary workplace of Congressman Joshua R. Giddings.

Joshua R. Giddings

Joshua Reed Giddings was born in Bradford County, Pennsylvania on 6th October, 1795.  He worked as a schoolteacher before studying law in Ohio. Admitted to the bar in 1821, he worked as a lawyer in Jefferson.  More information about Joshua Giddings in our Research Hub.

Giddings Law Office

Joshua Giddings’ law office was built in 1823.

This diminutive Federal-style building was in keeping with the tradition of early nineteenth-century doctors and lawyers who built offices next to, but detached from, their homes.

A member of the Whig Party, Giddings was elected to Ohio’s House of Representatives in 1826. In 1831 Giddings formed a partnership with Benjamin Wade. Over the next few years both men became leading figures the anti-slavery movement in Ohio.

Famous in the history of the abolitionist movement, this office at one time served both Joshua R. Giddings and his friend and colleague, Benjamin F. Wade. Both were elected to Congress and spent their careers as outspoken opponents of slavery. Wade was elected president of the Senate during the Johnson administration and, as such, would have become president of the United States had one more senator voted for the impeachment of Andrew Johnson. Giddings’ office still houses his desk, law library, and the first safe brought to Ashtabula County.

Elected to the 25th Congress in 1838 Giddings was forced to resign in March, 1842, after he was censured when he defended slave mutineers. However, he was promptly re-elected by his constituents and remained in Congress for the next seventeen years. Along with his son-in-law, George W. Julian, he was a leading member of the Radical Republicans in Congress.

The Giddings Law Office was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1974.  The building was relocated to its current location in 2013.

Get in Touch

 © 2023 Ashtabula County Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy | Powered by Wordpress | Theme by ovatheme