Blair was born in Franklin City, Kentucky, in 1813.† His father, Francis Blair Sr., was one of
President Andrew Jacksonís close political advisors.
Blair graduated from West Point and served briefly in the Seminole War in Florida.† Resigning from the army, he attended law
school at Transylvania College in Lexington
and then moved into law practice and served in public office in Missouri and Maryland.† His views on slavery led him from the
Democratic Party to the Republican Party, and he argued the case for Dred
Scottís freedom before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Blair was a delegate to the Chicago
convention where Abraham Lincoln was nominated for president in 1860.† Blair was made postmaster general of the United States in Lincolnís first cabinet.† He became known as a strong pro-Lincoln man
during his service in the presidentís administration.† Blair was maneuvered out of the Lincoln cabinet by the
Radical Republicans after President Lincolnís death, but he supported Andrew
Johnsonís moderate policy toward the South.
Honorable Montgomery Blair, postmaster general in Lincolnís cabinet.
of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division