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[item], folder, box, Edmund B. Fairfield pamphlets and sermons, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
Edmund Burke Fairfield was minister, educator and college administrator in Ohio, Michigan and Nebraska, and republican politician, who first gained fame for a speech opposing slavery in the territories delivered in 1857.
Fairfield was born in August 7, 1821 Parkersburg, Virginia (later West Virginia). His father Micaiah was a slaveholder who emancipated his slaves when the family moved to Troy, Ohio and established a printing business. Edmund enrolled first at Denison University then spent three years at Marietta College before graduating from Oberlin in 19452. He then spent three years tutoring Latin and Greek at Oberlin and studying theology. He spent two years as a minister in New Hampshire and two years as pastor of the Ruggle Street Baptist in Boston.
In 1848 Fairfield become president of Michigan Central College, later renamed Hillsdale college, and served in the post for twenty years. He was elected t the Michigan State Senate in 1857, representing the 14th district for one term before being elected Lieutenant Governor on the Republican ticket with Governor Moses Wisner, 1859-1861. In 1863 Fairfield embarked on a ten-month tour of Europe and upon his return went on extended lecture tour through Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and Illinois.
Fairfield resigned the Presidency of Hillsdale in 1869 and spent time in Mansfield, Ohio before being chosen as Chancellor of the University of Nebraska in 1876.
Fairfield was married three times: to Lucia Ann Jennison, in 1845, with whom he had three children; to Mary A. Baldwin on August 22, 1859 with whom he had ten children and lastly to Mary Allen Tibbitts on June 16, 1883. He died November 7, 1904 in Oberlin, Ohio.