Patrick Collins (mayor)

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Patrick Andrew Collins[1]
Mayor PA Collins.png
37th Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts
In office
January 6, 1902[2] – September 13, 1905
Preceded by Thomas N. Hart
Succeeded by Daniel A. Whelton (acting)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 4th district
In office
March 4, 1883 – March 3, 1889
Preceded by Leopold Morse
Succeeded by Joseph H. O'Neil
Member of the Massachusetts Senate
In office
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born March 12, 1844
Fermoy, County Cork, Ireland
Died September 13, 1905(1905-09-13) (aged 61)
Hot Springs, Virginia, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Mary E. (Carey) Collins
Children 2 daughters, 1 son
Residence Boston, Massachusetts
Alma mater Harvard Law School
Profession lawyer

Patrick Andrew Collins (March 12, 1844 – September 13, 1905) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts and Mayor of Boston from 1902 until his death.


Early life[edit]

Collins was born March 12, 1844, near Fermoy, County Cork, Ireland. His family emigrated to the United States and settled in Chelsea, Massachusetts, in 1848 after the death of his father.

Collins attended public schools until the age of 12. He then worked at various trades in Massachusetts and Ohio. At age 15, he returned to Boston and learned the upholstery trade. Working in an upholstery shop, he rose to position of foreman and became active in the trade union movement. He became a secretary of his union and a delegate to the Trades Assembly.

Interested in a career in law, Collins saved his money and became active in politics.

Bust of Collins in the Commonwealth Avenue mall in Boston

Public service[edit]

In 1867, Collins was nominated for a seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Shortly afterward, he started working for a law firm. He was elected to the House, serving two terms in 1868 and 1869. He then served two terms in the Massachusetts Senate in 1870 and 1871. During his time in the state legislature, he studied law at Harvard Law School. He graduated and was admitted to the bar in 1871.

Collins practiced law in Boston. He served as judge advocate general of Massachusetts in 1875. He also served as delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1876, 1880, 1888, and 1892. He lived on Percival Street in Meeting House Hill in Dorchester.[3]

Collins was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1882 and served three terms in the 48th, 49th and 50th Congresses from 1883 to 1889.[4] He was also Chairman of the Democratic State Committee from 1884 to 1890. He retired from Congress in 1889 and resumed his law practice. He also served on the boards of directors of several companies and civic organizations. Collins served as consul general in London under President Grover Cleveland from May 6, 1893, to May 17, 1897.

Collins was the Democratic candidate for Mayor of Boston three times. In December 1899, he lost to Republican incumbent Thomas N. Hart (40,838 votes to 38,557 votes). The two candidates had a rematch in the December 1901 election, this time with Collins prevailing (52,035–33,196) to win his first term as mayor. Collins was re-elected in December 1903, defeating Republican challenger George N. Swallow (48,745–22,369).

Collins served as mayor from January 1902 until his death. He died during an official visit to Hot Springs, Virginia, on September 13, 1905.[5] He was interred in Holyhood Cemetery in Brookline, Massachusetts.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mayors of Boston: An Illustrated Epitome of who the Mayors Have Been and What they Have Done". Boston, MA: State Street Trust Company. 1914: 43. 
  2. ^ "Collins Becomes Mayor Today". The Boston Post. January 6, 1902. p. 1. Retrieved March 18, 2018 – via 
  3. ^ Sammarco, Anthony M. (1995). Dorchester. Arcadia Publishing. p. 54. ISBN 9781439616154. 
  4. ^ "Massachusetts", Official Congressional Directory, 1884 
  5. ^ "Patrick A. Collins Dead". Fitchburg Sentinel. Fitchburg, Massachusetts. September 14, 1905. p. 5. Retrieved March 18, 2018 – via 

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Leopold Morse
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 4th congressional district

March 4, 1883 – March 3, 1889
Succeeded by
Edward D. Hayden
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas N. Hart
Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts
Succeeded by
Daniel A. Whelton

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website