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James Warren Nye (June 10, 1815 December 25, 1876) was a United States Senator from Nevadamarker.


He was born in DeRuyter, New Yorkmarker, he attended the common schools and Homer Academy in Homer, New Yorkmarker; he studied law in Troy, New Yorkmarker, was admitted to the bar, and practiced in Madison Countymarker.

Nye was district attorney in 1839 and served as judge of Madison County from 1840 to 1848. He was an unsuccessful Free-Soiler candidate for election to the Thirtieth Congress in 1846, and was first president of New York City's Metropolitan Board of Police, holding that office from 1857 to 1860.

In 1861, Nye was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln as Governor of the newly created Nevada Territory; upon the admission of Nevada as a state into the Union in 1864, he was elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate; he was reelected in 1867 and served from December 16 1864 to March 3 1873. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection. While in the Senate, Nye was chairman of the Committee on Enrolled Bills (Thirty-ninth Congress) and a member of the Committees on Revolutionary Claims (Fortieth Congress) and Territories (Forty-first Congress).

Mark Twain was briefly Senator Nye's secretary. In Sketches Old and New he gives an account of their parting, which occurred after Twain supposedly wrote ridiculous letters to constituents, following the Senator's orders not to address controversial issues.

He died in White Plains, New Yorkmarker in 1876 and was interred in Woodlawn Cemeterymarker, New York City.

Nye County, Nevadamarker, the largest county in the state, is named for James W. Nye.


Carl Schurz and his neighbor in the Senate, James Nye in a cartoon from Harper's Weekly

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