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William James Purman (April 11, 1840 – August 14, 1928) was a Republican US Representative from Floridamarker.

Born in Millheimmarker, Centre County, Pennsylvaniamarker; attended the common schools and completed his studies at Aaronsburg Academy, Centre County, Pa.; taught school; studied law at Lock Haven, Pennsylvaniamarker; during the American Civil War entered the Union Army as a private and served on special duty at the War Department until transferred to Florida in 1865; was admitted to the bar in 1868 and commenced practice in Tallahassee, Floridamarker; member of the State constitutional convention in 1868; served in the Florida State Senate 1869-1872; appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State senate as secretary of state in 1869, but declined; chairman of the Florida Commission in 1869 for entering into negotiations for transfer of West Florida to the State of Alabamamarker, which transfer was not ratified by Alabama; assessor of United States internal revenue for the district of Florida 1870–1872; chairman of the Republican State committee 1870–1872; member of the Republican National Committee 1876–1880; elected as a Republican to the Forty-third United States Congress and served from March 4, 1873, to January 25, 1875, when he resigned; member of the Florida House of Representatives for one session and resigned when elected to Congress; elected to the Forty-fourth United States Congress (March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1877); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1876 to the Forty-fifth United States Congress; returned in 1878 to Millheim, Pa., and engaged in agricultural pursuits; moved to Boston, Massachusettsmarker, in 1883; moved to Washington, D.C.marker, where he lived in retirement until his death; the remains were cremated and the ashes deposited in a vault at Glenwood Cemetery.


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