James G. Blaine of Maine was among the most powerful figures in American politics in the late 19th century. He not only served for five years in the U.S. Senate (1876-1881), but also spent 13 years in the House of Representatives, serving as Speaker of the House, and was twice named secretary of state. A founder of the Republican Party, Blaine was the party’s candidate for president in 1884. The perpetual mutual contempt between Blaine and fellow Republican Roscoe Conkling drew national attention for many years. A journalist by trade, Blaine was well known as an enthusiastic debater and outspoken politician. He wrote Twenty Years of Congress: From Lincoln to Garfield, an account of his time spent as a federal legislator.