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Lamar was born in Monticello, Florida, and attended Jefferson Academy in Monticello and the University of Georgia in Athens. He lived in Athens from 1866 through 1873. After returning to Florida, Lamar graduated from Lebanon Law School in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1875. He gained admittance to the bar and began practicing law in Tupelo, Mississippi. He then served as clerk of the circuit court of Jefferson County, Florida, from January 1877 to January 1881. In 1883, he became judge of the Jefferson County court and served in that position until 1886
In 1887, Lamar was elected to the Florida House of Representatives and declined his selection as that body's speaker. In 1889, he became Florida Attorney General and served until 1903. In 1902, he won election as a Democrat to represent Florida's newley created 3rd district in the United States House of Representatives during the 58th United States Congress. He won reelection to two more terms. Rather than seek reelection for a fourth term in 1908, Lamar ran an unsuccessful campaign for one of Florida's seats in the United States Senate.
In 1915, Lamar became the national commissioner to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, California. The next year, he moved to Washington, D.C.. Lamar died in Thomasville, Georgia, on September 26, 1928 and was buried in Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens.
Charles Merian Cooper
| Florida Attorney General
1889 – 1903
James B. Whitfield
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 3rd congressional district
March 4, 1903 - March 3, 1909
Dannite H. Mays
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