Jurist and statesman, born West Liberty, Virgina, 1789; died Lancaster, Ohio, 1871.
In 1831 he was elected United States senator from Ohio, under President Harrison was appointed secretary of the treasury (1841), and under President Taylor secretary of the interior.
During the Civil War he unreservedly supported the government and sent to Lincoln the telegram "There can be no contraband of war between neutral points," which secured the freeing of the English envoys Mason and Slidell, and averted war between England and the United States.
Stricken while arguing a case (1869) he was baptised in the court room, and received into the Catholic Church in the following year.
His law partner and main support in political life was his eldest son Philemon (1820-1896).
His other sons, Hugh Boyle (1826-1905) and Charles (1835-1883), rendered distinguished service with the Union Armv during the Civil War.
His daughter Eleanore Boyle (1824-1888), married William Tecumseh Sherman, subsequently the famous general, who had been adopted in childhood by her father.
Friendship with Father De Smet led her to take a special interest in the Catholic Indians.
New Catholic Dictionary