Schuyler Colfax was bornin New York City on 23rd March, 1823. As a child his family moved to New Castle, Indiana and in 1841 became deputy auditor of Joseph County. He eventually became a journalist and worked for the Indiana State Journal, the South Bend Free Press and the St. Joseph Valley Register.
A member of the Republican Party, Colfax was elected to the 34th Congress in 1855. A strong opponent of slavery Colfax became associated with the group known as the Radical Republicans. Colfax strongly supported the Freeman's Bureau, the Civil Rights Bill and the Reconstruction Acts. After the American Civil War Colfax clashed with President Andrew Johnson and voted for his impeachment in 1868.
Later that year Ulysses S. Grant selected Colfax as his running mate. Grant and Colfax won 26 states out of 34. Three states, Virginia, Mississippi and Texas, had no vote as they had not been yet admitted to the Union. However, Grant only won 52.7 per cent of the popular vote and only narrowly beat his Democratic opponent, Horatio Seymour.
Colfax served as vice president between 3rd March, 1869 and March, 1873. During his period of office Colfax and several other politicians were rumored to have received money in exchange in return for not investigating the construction company of the Union Pacific Railroad. Although only one politician, Oakes Ames of Massachusetts, was censured, it was partly the reason why Colfax was not renominated as Grant's running mate in 1872. Schuyler Colfax died in Mankato, Minnesota, on 13th January, 1885.