American Abolitionists and Antislavery Activists:
Conscience of the Nation

Updated June 10, 2018










l to r: Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips




Free Soil Party - Part 2


Free Soil Party, founded August 9-10, 1848, in Buffalo, New York.  It included members of the “Conscience Whigs” Party, Democrats and members of the Liberty Party.  The motto was, “Free Soil, Free Speech, Free Labor and Free Men.”  It was a third party, whose main purpose was opposing the expansion of slavery into the Western territories acquired after the war with Mexico.  The party argued that free men on free soil was a morally and economically superior system to slavery.  The party agreed with the Wilmot Proviso, and tried to remove existing laws that discriminated against freed African Americans.  The party was active from 1848 to 1852.  The party’s support came largely from the areas of upstate New York.  The party membership was absorbed by the Republican Party at its founding in 1854. It sent two senators and fourteen members of the U.S. House of Representatives to the Thirty-First congress in 1849. (References)

  • Chapter by Henry Wilson, "Coalition in Massachusetts. Election of Mr. Sumner," in Henry Wilson, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, 1872.
  • Officers, members and supporters of the Free Soil Party: Part 1 and Part 2

Keyes, Edward L., Congressman, member of the Free Soil Party. (Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 2.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1872, 345, pp. 122, 157, 252, 345)


King, Preston, 1806-1865, U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator, politician.  Son of founding father Rufus King.  Opponent of the extension of slavery into the new territories acquired from Mexico after 1846.  Supporter of the Wilmot Proviso in Congress.  Co-founder of Free Soil Party.  Opposed the Fugitive Slave Act and the Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854.  U.S. Senator, 1857-1863.  Supported Lincoln and the Union.  Later organized Republican Party and supported William H. Seward, Thurlow Weed and John Frémont.  (Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. III; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 12, p. 708; Encylopaedia Americana, 1831, Vol. VII, pp. 326-328; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 5, Pt. 2, p. 396)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

KING, Preston,
senator, b. in Ogdensburg, N. Y., 14 Oct., 1806; drowned in Hudson river, 12 Nov., 1865. He was graduated at Union in 1827, studied law, and practised in St. Lawrence county, N. Y. He entered politics in early life, was a strong friend of Silas Wright, and an admirer of Andrew Jackson, and established the “St. Lawrence Republican” at Ogdensburg in 1830, in support of the latter. He was for a time postmaster there, and in 1834-'7 a member of the state assembly. He was a representative in congress in 1843-'7 and in 1849-'53, having been elected as a Democrat, but in 1854 joined the Republican party, was its candidate for secretary of state in 1855, and in 1857-'63 served as U. S. senator. Early in 1861, in the debate on the naval appropriation bill, Mr. King said that the Union could not be destroyed peaceably, and was one of the first to give his opinion thus plainly. In closing, he said: “I tell these gentlemen, in my judgment this treason must come to an end—peacefully, I hope; but never, in my judgment, peacefully by the ignominious submission of the people of this country to traitors—never. I desire peace, but I would amply provide means for the defence of the country by war, if necessary.” After the expiration of his term, Mr. King resumed the practice of law in New York city. He was a warm friend of Andrew Johnson, and, as a member of the Baltimore convention of 1864, did much to secure his nomination for the vice-presidency. After his accession to the presidency, Mr. Johnson appointed Mr. King collector of the port of New York. Financial troubles and the responsibilities of his office unsettled his mind, and he committed suicide by jumping from a ferry-boat into the Hudson river. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. III.


Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866, lawyer, soldier.  Union General.  U.S. Senator from Kansas, 1861-1866.  Elected Senator in 1861 and in 1865.  Active in the abolitionist movement in Kansas in the 1850’s.  A leader in the Jay Hawkers and Free Soil militant groups.  Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. (Appletons’, 1888, Vol. III, p. 606; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 5, Pt. 2, p. 576; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 13, p. 121; Congressional Globe)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

LANE, James Henry,
soldier, b. in Lawrenceburg, Ind., 22 June, 1814; d. near Leavenworth, Kansas, 1 July, 1866, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1840, and elected to the city council of Lawrenceburg. In May, 1846, he enlisted as a private in the 3d Indiana volunteer regiment, organizing for the Mexican war, was chosen colonel, and commanded a brigade at Buena Vista. He became colonel of the 5th Indiana regiment in 1847, and in 1848 was chosen lieutenant-governor of Indiana. From 1853 till 1855 he was a representative in congress, having been chosen as a Democrat, and voted for the repeal of the Missouri compromise. In 1855 he went to Kansas, where he took an active part in politics as a leader of the Free-state party, and was made chairman of the executive committee of the Topeka constitutional convention. He was elected by the people major-general of the free-state troops, and was active in driving out the Missouri invaders. In 1856 he was elected to the U. S. senate by the legislature that met under the Topeka constitution; but the election was not recognized by congress, and he was indicted in Douglas county for high treason and forced to flee from the territory. In 1857 he was president of the Leavenworth constitutional convention, and again made major-general of the territorial troops. In 1858 he shot a neighbor named Jenkins in a quarrel about a well, for which he was tried and acquitted. On the admission of Kansas to the Union in 1861, he was elected to the U. S. senate, serving on the committees of Indian affairs and agriculture. In May, 1861, he commanded the frontier guards that were organized for the defence of Washington, and on 18 Dec. he was made brigadier-general of volunteers; but the appointment was cancelled, 21 March, 1862. He commanded the Kansas brigade in the field for four months, rendering good service in western Missouri. He narrowly escaped from the Lawrence massacre in August, 1863, and was an aide to Gen. Curtis during Gen. Sterling Price's raid in October, 1864. He was a delegate to the Baltimore convention of 1864. He was re-elected to the United States senate in 1865, but in the following year, while on his way home, he was attacked with paralysis, his mind became unsettled, and he committed suicide. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. III, pp. 606.


Langston, Charles Henry, 1817-1892, Ohio, African American (Black mother, White father), abolitionist leader.  He and his brother, Gideon, were the first African Americans to attend Oberlin College.  Active in Ohio Negro Convention Movement.  Helped found the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society in 1858.  Active in Liberty, Free Soil and Republican parties.  Involved in slave rescue in violation of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.  Recruited Black troops for the Union Army. 

(Blue, 2005, pp. 5-6, 13, 65-67, 66-78, 83-84, 86-88, 118, 120, 156, 266-267; Sinha, 2016, p. 467; Minutes, Convention of the Liberty Party, June 14, 15, 1848, Buffalo, New York)


Larned, Joseph Gay Eaton, lawyer, born in Thompson, Connecticut. 29 April, 1819; died in New York City, 3 June, 1870, was graduated at Yale in 1839, taught in Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina, for a year and a half, studied law, taught in Waterloo, New York, and in 1842 became a tutor at Yale. In 1847 he resigned the tutorship, was admitted to the bar, and began practice in New Haven. In 1852 he moved to New York City. He was especially familiar with the law of patents, and became interested in the development of certain inventions. In 1855 he engaged in the manufacture of steam fire-engines of a design that was invented mainly by himself, and was the first used in New York City. In introducing them he overcame strong opposition. In 1863 he was appointed by the U. S. government assistant inspector of iron-clads, and until the end of the war supervised the work in the Brooklyn U.S. Navy yard. He subsequently resumed legal practice. He was one of the founders of the Free-Soil Party in Connecticut, and in 1845 contributed to the ' New Englander" a series of articles on "Massachusetts vs. South Carolina." During the later years of his life he interested himself in genealogical subjects, and compiled records of his ancestors which formed the basis of "The Learned Family," by William L. Learned (Albany, 1882).  Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. III, p. 620.


Leavitt, Joshua, 1794-1873, New York, reformer, temperance activist, editor, lawyer, clergyman, abolitionist leader.  Active supporter of the American Colonization Society.  Helped in raising funds for the Society.  Founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), New York, 1833.  Manager, AASS, 1833-1837.  Executive Committee, AASS, 1834-1840.  Recording Secretary, AASS, 1838-1840.  Executive Committee, American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (A&FASS).  Advocated political action to end slavery, which led him to help found the Liberty Party.  Edited the newspaper, The Evangelist, which was founded by abolitionists Arthur and Lewis Tappan.  He later became editor of The Emancipator, which was founded by Arthur Tappan in 1833.  Leavitt toured extensively, lecturing against slavery.  His speeches were edited into a pamphlet entitled, “The Financial Power of Slavery.”  It was one of the most widely circulated documents against slavery. 

(Blue, 2005, pp. 20, 25, 34, 45, 50, 54, 94, 119, 122; Davis, 1990; Dumond, 1961, pp. 159, 175, 179, 266, 286, 301; Filler, 1960, pp. 24, 63, 101, 132, 142, 150, 168, 172, 174, 177, 189, 194, 266-267; Mitchell, 2007, pp. 1, 7-8, 17, 20, 28-30, 36, 45-49, 167, 217; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 42, 363-364; Sorin, 1971, pp. 51, 68-71, 96, 131, 132; Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 2.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1872, 345; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. III, pp. 649-650; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 6, Pt. 1, p. 84; American Reformers: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary, New York, 1985, pp. 518-519; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 13, p. 339; papers in the Library of Congress; Staudenraus, P. J. The African Colonization Movement, 1816-1865. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961, pp. 129-130, 214, 219)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

LEAVITT, Joshua, reformer, b. in Heath, Franklin co., Mass., 8 Sept., 1794; d. in Brooklyn, N.Y., 16 Jan., 1873. He was graduated at Yale in 1814, admitted to the bar in 1819, and began to practise in Putney, Vt., in 1821. In 1823 he abandoned his profession for the study of theology, and was graduated at Yale divinity-school in 1825. He settled the same year at Stratford, Conn., where he had charge of a Congregational church until 1828. In 1819, while a student of law in Heath, Mr. Leavitt
organized one of the first Sabbath-schools in western Massachusetts, embracing not only the children, but the entire congregation, all of whom were arranged in classes for religious instruction. He also became interested in the improvement of the public schools. Before he entered the theological seminary he prepared a new reading-book, called “Easy Lessons in Reading” (1823), which met with an extensive sale. He subsequently issued a “Series of Readers” (1847), but these were not as popular. When the American temperance society was formed he became its first secretary, and was one of its travelling agents, in many places delivering the first temperance lecture the people had heard. In 1828 he removed to New York city as secretary of the American seamen's friend society and editor of the “Sailor's Magazine.” He established chapels in Canton, the Sandwich islands, Havre, New Orleans, and other domestic and foreign ports. He also aided in founding the first city temperance society, and became its secretary. He became in 1831 editor and proprietor of the newly established “Evangelist,” which under his management soon grew to be the organ of the more liberal religious movements, and was outspoken on the subjects of temperance and slavery. Mr. Leavitt bore a conspicuous part in the early anti-slavery conflict. His denunciation of slavery cost his paper its circulation in the south and a large proportion of it in the north, well-nigh compelling its suspension. To offset this loss he undertook the difficult feat of reporting in full the revival lectures of Charles G. Finney (q. v.), which, though not a short-hand reporter, he accomplished successfully. The financial crisis of 1837 compelled him, while erecting a new building, to sell out the “Evangelist.” In 1833 he aided in organizing the New York anti-slavery society, and was a member of its executive committee, as well as of that of the National anti-slavery society in which it was merged. He was one of the abolitionists who were obliged to fly for a time from the city to escape mob violence. In 1837 he became editor of the “Emancipator,” which he afterward moved to Boston, and he also published in that city “The Chronicle,” the earliest daily anti-slavery paper. In the convention that met at Albany in 1840 and organized the Liberal party, Mr. Leavitt took an active part, and he was also chairman of the national committee from 1844 till 1847. In 1848 Mr. Leavitt became office-editor of the New York “Independent,” and was connected editorially with it until his death. Mr. Leavitt was an earnest and powerful speaker. In 1855 Wabash college conferred on him the degree of D. D. Dr. Leavitt's correspondence with Richard Cobden, and his “Memoir on Wheat,” setting forth the unlimited capacity of our western territory for the growth and exportation of that cereal, were instrumental in procuring the repeal of the English corn laws. During a visit to Europe he also became much interested in Sir Rowland Hill's system of cheap postage. In 1847 he founded the Cheap postage society of Boston, and in 1848-'9 he labored in Washington in its behalf, for the establishment of a two-cent rate. In 1869 he received a gold medal from the Cobden club of England for an essay on our commercial relations with Great Britain, in which he took an advanced position in favor of free-trade. Besides the works already mentioned, he published a hymn-book for revivals, entitled the “Christian Lyre” (1831). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. III, pp. 649-650.



Mann, Horace, 1796-1859, Boston, Massachusetts, educator, political leader, social reformer, anti-slavery activist.  U.S. Congressman, Whig Party, from Massachusetts.  He filled former Congressman John Qunicy Adams’ seat.  Co-founder of the Young Men’s Colonization Society in Boston.  Co-founded monthly paper, The Colonizationist and Journal of Freedom.  He defended the American Colonization Society and its policies against criticism by William Lloyd Garrison.  Opposed extension of slavery in territories annexed in the Mexican War of 1846.  Said, “I consider no evil as great as slavery...”  Argued against the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.  Reelected to Congress and served from April 1848 until March 1853.  In 1852, he was a Free Soil candidate (lost) for Governor of Massachusetts.

(Mabee, 1970, pp. 64, 157, 160, 168, 170, 171, 261, 294, 409n9; Appletons’, 1888, Vol. IV, pp. 190-191; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 6, Pt. 2, p. 240; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 14, p. 424; Staudenraus, P. J. The African Colonization Movement, 1816-1865. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961, p. 204).

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

In the spring of 1848 Mann was elected to Congress as a Whig, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John Quincy Adams. His first speech in that body was in advocacy of its right and duty to exclude slavery from the territories, and in a letter in December of that year he said: "I think the country is to experience serious times. Interference with slavery will excite civil commotion in the south. But it is best to interfere. Now is the time to see whether the Union is a rope of sand or a band of steel." Again he said: "I consider no evil as great as slavery, and I would pass the Wilmot proviso whether the south rebel or not." During the first session he volunteered as counsel for Drayton and Sayres, who were indicted for stealing seventy-six slaves in the District of Columbia, and at the trial was engaged for twenty-one successive days in their defence. In 1850 he was engaged in a controversy with Daniel Webster in regard to the extension of slavery and the fugitive-slave law. Mann was defeated by a single vote at the ensuing nominating convention by Mr. Webster's supporters; but, on appealing to the people as an independent anti-slavery candidate, he was re-elected, serving from April, 1848, till March, 1853. In September, 1852, he was nominated for governor of Massachusetts by the Free-Soil Party, and the same day was chosen president of Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio. Failing in the election for governor, he accepted the presidency of the college, in which he continued until his death. He carried that institution through pecuniary and other difficulties, and satisfied himself of the practicality of co-education. His death was hastened by his untiring labors in his office. He published, besides his annual reports, his lectures on education, and his voluminous controversial writings, " A Few Thoughts for a Young Man" (Boston, 1850); "Slavery: Letters and Speeches" (1851); "Powers and Duties of Woman'' (1853); and "Sermons" (1861). See "Life of Horace Mann," by his wife (1865); "Life and Complete Works of Horace Mann " (2 vols., Cambridge, 1869); and "Thoughts selected from the Writings of Horace Mann " (1869). His lectures on education were translated into French by Eugene de Guer, under the title of "De l'importance de l'education dans une republique," with a preface and biographical sketch by Edouard R. L. Laboulaye (Paris, 1873).


Mclean, John, 1785-1861, Morris County, New Jersey, jurist, attorney.  U.S. Supreme Court Justice, January 1830-.  Dissented against the majority of Justices on the Dred Scott case, stating that slavery was sanctioned only by local laws.  Free Soil and later Republican Party candidate for President of the U.S.  (Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. IV, p. 144; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 6, Pt. 2, p. 127; Longacre, James B. & James Herring, National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans.  Philadelphia: American Academy of Fine Arts, 1834-1839)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

McLEAN, John, jurist, born in Morris County, New Jersey, 11 March, 1785; died in Cincinnati, Ohio, 4 April, 1861. In 1789 his father, a poor man with a large family, moved to the west and settled, first at Morgantown, Virginia, subsequently at Nicholasville, Kentucky, and finally, in 1799, on a farm in Warren County, Ohio. Young McLean worked on the farm that his father had cleared till he was sixteen years old, then received private instruction in the classics for two years, and at the age of eighteen went to Cincinnati to study law, and, while acquiring his profession, supported himself by writing in the office of the clerk of the county. In the autumn of 1807 he was admitted to the bar, and began practice at Lebanon. In October, 1812. he was elected to Congress from his district, which then included Cincinnati, by the Democratic Party, defeating two competitors in an exciting contest, and was re-elected by the unanimous vote of the district in 1814. He supported the Madison administration, originated the law to indemnify individuals for the loss of property in the public service, and introduced an inquiry as to pensioning the widows of fallen officers and soldiers. He declined a nomination to the U. S. Senate in 1815. and in 1816 was elected judge of the supreme court of the state, which office he held till 1822, when President Monroe appointed him commissioner of the general land-office. In July, 1823, he was appointed Postmaster-General, and by his energetic administration introduced order, efficiency, and economy into that department. The salary of the office was raised from $4,000 to $6,000 by an almost unanimous vote of both houses of Congress during his administration. He was continued in the office by President John Q. Adams, and was asked to remain by General Jackson in 1829, but declined, because he differed with the president on the question of official appointments and removals. President Jackson then tendered him in succession the War and the Navy Departments, and, on his declining both, appointed him an associate justice of the U. S. Supreme Court. He entered upon his duties in January, 1830. His charges to grand juries while on circuit were distinguished for ability and eloquence. In December, 1838, he delivered a charge in regard to aiding or favoring "unlawful military combinations by our citizens against any foreign government with whom we are at peace," with special reference to the Canadian insurrection and its American abettors. The most celebrated of his opinions was that in the Dred Scott Case, dissenting from the decision of the court as given by Chief-Justice Taney, and enunciating the doctrine that slavery was contrary to right and had its origin in power, and that in this country it was sustained only by local law. He was long identified with the party that opposed the extension of slavery, and his name was before the Free-soil Convention at Buffalo in 1848 as a candidate for nomination as president. In the Republican National Convention at Philadelphia in 1856 he received 196 votes for the same office to 359 for John C. Fremont. In the Republican Convention at Chicago in 1860 he also received several votes. He published " Reports of the United States Circuit Court" (6 vols., 1829-'55); a " Eulogy on James Monroe" (1831); and several addresses. John's son. Nathaniel Collins, soldier, born in Warren County, Ohio, 2 February, 1815. was graduated at Augusta College. Kentucky, in 1832, studied for a year or two longer at Harvard, and took his degree at the law-school there in 1838. He married a daughter of Judge Jacob Burnet the same year, and began practice in Cincinnati, where he attained success at the bar. He entered the National Army on 11 January, 1862, as colonel of the 75th Ohio Volunteers, being commissioned brigadier-general on 29 November, 1862, and resigned on 20 April, 1865.  Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. IV, p. 144.


Mills, John, member of the Free Soil Party. (Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 2.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1872)


Medill, Joseph, journalist, born in New Brunswick, Canada. 6 April, 1823. His father moved in 1832 to Stark County, Ohio, where the son worked on a farm, subsequently studied law, and practised at Massillon. He founded a Free-Soil paper at Coshocton in 1849, established "The Leader," a Whig journal, at Cleveland in 1852, and in 1854 was one of the organizers of the Republican Party in Ohio. Soon afterward he went to Chicago, and with two partners bought, in May, 1855, the "Tribune," with which he has since been identified. He was a member of the Illinois Constitutional Convention in 1870, and the author of a minority representation clause. In 1871 he was a member of the U. S. Civil Service Commission, and  was elected mayor of Chicago. He spent a year in Europe in 1873-'4, and on his return purchased a controlling interest in the "Tribune," of which he became and continues editor-in-chief.   Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. IV, p. 285.


Morrill, Anson Peaslee, 1803-1887, anti-slavery governor of Maine, U.S. Congressman, 1861-1863.  Brother of abolitionist Lot Myrick Morrill.  Early founding member of the Republican Party in 1856.  (American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 15, p. 884; Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. IV, p. 408; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 7, Pt. 1, p. 196)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

MORRILL, Anson Peaslee,
statesman, b. in Belgrade, Kennebec co., Me., 10 June, 1803; d. in Augusta, Me., 4 July, 1887. He received a common-school education and devoted himself to mercantile pursuits in his native town. He soon bought an interest in a woollen-mill, and subsequently became connected with several extensive manufactories. In 1833 he was elected as a Democrat to the legislature, in 1839 he was made sheriff of Somerset county, and in 1850 he became land-agent. In 1853, when the Democratic convention decided to oppose prohibition, he cut loose from that party, and was a candidate for governor on the Free-soil and Prohibition tickets, but was defeated. The following year he was again a candidate, and, although there was no choice by the people, he was elected by the legislature, being the first Republican governor of Maine. He was an unsuccessful candidate for re-election, being defeated in the legislature through a coalition between the Whigs and Democrats. The party that Gov. Morrill had formed served as the nucleus for the movement in 1856 when the National Republican party first took the field, and he was a delegate to the convention that nominated John C. Frémont for president. He was elected to congress in 1860, and served from 4 July, 1861, till 3 March, 1863. Declining a re-election, he became largely interested in railroads in his native state, and remained out of politics until 1881, when he was sent to the legislature. He removed to Augusta in 1876.  Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. IV.


Morton, Marcus

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

MORTON, Marcus, jurist, born in Freetown, Massachusetts, 19 February, 1784; died in Taunton, Massachusetts, 6 February, 1864. He was graduated at Brown in 1804, studied at Litchfield, Connecticut, law-school, and was admitted to the bar in Taunton, Massachusetts He was clerk of the state senate in 1811—'13, elected to Congress as a Democrat in 1816, serving in 1817—'21, was a member of the executive council in 1823, and became lieutenant-governor the next year. He was on the state supreme bench in 1825-'39, was elected governor of Massachusetts by one vote over Edward Everett in 1840, and from 1845 until his resignation in 1848 was collector of the port in Boston, he left the Democratic Party about 1848 to become a Free-Soiler, and was a member of the state constitutional convention in 1853, and of the legislature in 1858. Harvard gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1840. He advocated the restriction of slavery, and throughout the Civil War was an ardent supporter of the National cause.—His son, Marcus, jurist, born in Taunton, 8 April, 1819, was graduated at Brown in 1838, studied two years at Harvard law-school, and was admitted to the bar in 1841. He practised in Boston, but since 1850 has resided in Andover. He was a member of the State Constitutional Convention in 1853, and in 1858 was in the legislature, and was appointed a justice of the Superior Court of Suffolk County. He was elevated to the superior bench in 1859, and became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts in 1869, and chief justice in 1872. He received the degree of LL. D. from Princeton in 1870. and from Harvard in 1882.  Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. IV, p. 431.


Newhall, Benjamin F., 1802-1863, abolitionist.  Member, Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1842-1843.  Member, Liberty and Free-Soil Parties.  Active in Underground Railroad.


Nye, James Warren

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

NYE, James Warren, senator, born in De Ruyter, Madison County, New York, 10 June, 1814: died in White Plains, New York, 25 December, 1876. He was educated at Cortland Academy, Homer, New York, leaving it in 1832 to study law in Troy, N. Y. After being admitted to the bar, he practised in his native county, gained a reputation as an effective speaker before a jury, was chosen district attorney, and in 1840 was elected county judge, serving eight years, he was a Democrat in politics up to the time of the Barn-burner Campaign. In 1848 he was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress as a Free-Soil Democrat. Moving to Syracuse, New York, he practised there till 1857, when he went to New York City, having been appointed the first president of the Metropolitan Board of Police, which office he held till about 1860. He was a member of the Republican Party from its formation, and was identified with its Radical wing. He was a witty and eloquent platform orator, and during the canvass of 1860 did effective service for his party in a tour through the west in company with William H. Seward. In 1861 President Lincoln appointed him governor of Nevada Territory, where he counteracted the influence of the Pro-slavery Party and, with Thomas Starr King, of San Francisco, did much to keep the Pacific States and Territories in the Union during the early period of the Civil War. On the admission of Nevada as a state, in 1865, he was elected U. S. Senator, and drew the short term, and in 1867 was re-elected. He was noted for his humor and conversational powers. After he retired from public life his mind became impaired.  Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. IV, p. 547.


Ogden, William Butler, 1805-1877, Chicago, former mayer of Chicago, entrepreneur, railroad president.  Member of the Free Soil Party in 1860.  Elected to the Illinois State Senate.  (Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. XIII, p. 644)


Opdyke, George

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

OPDYKE, George, mayor of New York, born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, in 1805; died in New York City, 12 June, 1880. His ancestor, Gysbert, was an early settler of New York State. George went to the west at eighteen years of age and settled in Cleveland, Ohio, but afterward moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, and, returning to the north in 1832, engaged in business in New York City, where he subsequently established the banking-house of George Opdyke and Company. He was a member of the Buffalo Free-Soil Convention in 1848, served on its committee on resolutions, and was a candidate for Congress on the Free-Soil ticket in New Jersey, and while in the legislature in 1858 he was zealous in protecting the franchises of New York City from spoliation. He was a delegate to the National Republican Convention in 1860, and was instrumental in the nomination of Abraham Lincoln. He was mayor of New York in 1862-'3, and was energetic in sustaining the National government, in raising and equipping troops, and did much to prevent commercial panics. He served in the New York Constitutional Convention in 1867-'8, in the New York Constitutional Commission in 1872-5, was a member of the New York Chamber of Commerce in 1858-80, and its vice-president in 1867-75. He published a "Treatise on Political Economy," in which he took advanced views against the economic evils of slavery, and in favor of inconvertible paper money and free trade (New York, 1851); "Report on the Currency " (1858; and " Official Documents. Addresses, etc." (1866).  Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. IV, p. 583.


Palfrey, John Gorham, 1796-1881, author, theologian, educator, opponent of slavery.  Member of Congress from Massachusetts from 1847-1849 (Whig Party).  Early anti-slavery activist.  Palfrey was known as a “Conscience Whig” who adamantly opposed slavery.  He freed 16 slaves whom he inherited from his father, who was a Louisiana plantation owner.  While in Congress, Palfrey was a member of a small group of anti-slavery Congressmen, which included Joshua Giddings, of Ohio, Amos Tuck, of New Hampshire, Daniel Gott, of New York, David Wilmot, of Pennsylvania, and Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois.  In 1848, Palfrey failed to be reelected from his district because of his anti-slavery views.  In 1851, he was an unsuccessful Free Soil candidate for the office of Governor in Massachusetts.  (Rayback, 1970, pp. 82, 95, 97, 245, 248; Appletons’, 1888, Vol. IV, p. 634; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 7, Pt. 2, p. 169; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 16, p. 932)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

PALFREY, John Gorham,
author, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 2 May, 1796; died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 26 April, 1881, received his elementary education at a boarding-school kept by the father of John Howard Payne at Exeter, and was graduated at Harvard in 1815. He afterward studied theology, and was ordained pastor of the Brattle street Unitarian Church, Boston, 17 June, 1818, as successor to Edward Everett. His pastorate continued until 1830, when he resigned, and in 1831 he was appointed professor of sacred literature in Harvard, which chair he held till 1839. During the period of his professorship he was one of three preachers in the University chapel, and dean of the theological faculty. He was a member of the House of Representatives during 1842-'3, Secretary of State in 1844-'8, and was a member of Congress from Massachusetts, having been chosen as a Whig, from 6 December, 1847, till 3 March, 1849. In the election of 1848 he was a Free-Soil candidate, but was defeated. He was postmaster of Boston from 29 March, 1861, till May, 1867, and after his retirement went to Europe, where he represented the United States at the Anti-slavery Congress in Paris in the autumn of 1867. After his return he made his residence in Cambridge. He was an early anti-slavery advocate, and liberated and provided for numerous slaves in Louisiana that had been bequeathed to him. He was editor of the “North American Review” in 1835-'43, delivered a course of lectures before the Lowell Institute in Boston in 1839 and 1842, contributed in 1846 a series of articles on “The Progress of the Slave Power” to the “Boston Whig,” and was in 1851 one of the editors of the “Commonwealth” newspaper. He was the author of two discourses on “The History of Brattle Street Church”; “Life of Colonel William Palfrey,” in Sparks's “American Biography”; “A Review of Lord Mahon's History of England,” in the “North American Review “; and also published, among other works, “Academical Lectures on the Jewish Scriptures and Antiquities” (4 vols., Boston, 1833'52), “Elements of Chaldee, Syriac, Samaritan, and Rabbinical Grammar” (1835); “Discourse at Barnstable, 3 September, 1839, at the Celebration of the Second Centennial Anniversary of the Settlement of Cape Cod” (1840); “Abstract of the Returns of Insurance Companies of Massachusetts, 1 December, 1846” ( 1847); “The Relation between Judaism and Christianity” (1854); and “History of New England to 1875” (4 vols., 1858-'64). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. IV, pp. 634. [Grandson of William Palfry 1741-1780].


Phillips, Stephen Clarendon, 1801-1857, philanthropist.  U.S. Congressman, Whig Party.  Also member of Free Soil Party. 

(Mabee, 1970, p. 161; Rodriguez, 2007, p. 437; Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 2.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1872; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. IV, p. 763)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

PHILLIPS, Stephen Clarendon, philanthropist, b. in Salem, Mass., 1 Nov., 1801; d. on St. Lawrence river, 26 June, 1857. He was graduated at Harvard in 1819, and began the study of law, but soon discontinued it to engage in business in Salem. He was in the lower house of the legislature in 1824-'30, was elected to the state senate in the latter year, and in 1832-'3 was again a member of the legislature. He was then chosen to congress as a whig to fill a vacancy, and served during three terms—from 1 Dec., 1834, until his resignation in 1838—when he became mayor of Salem, which place he then held until March, 1842. On his retirement from this office he devoted the whole of his salary as mayor to the public schools of Salem. He was the Free-soil candidate for governor of Massachusetts in 1848-'9, and a presidential elector in 1840. Mr. Phillips discharged several state and private trusts, and was many years a member of the state board of education. Retiring from public life in 1849, he engaged extensively in the lumber business in Canada, and met his death by the burning of the steamer “Montreal” while coming down the St. Lawrence river from Quebec. Mr. Phillips was president of the Boston Sunday-school society, and author of “The Sunday-School Service Book,” in several parts (Boston). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. IV, pp. 763.


Picton, Thomas

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

PICTON, Thomas, journalist, born in New York City, 9 May, 1822, entered Columbia, and subsequently the University of New York, where he was graduated in 1843. After studying law he was admitted to the bar in 1843. Several years later he visited Europe, and, after travelling over the continent, resided in the environs of Paris, participating in the Revolution of 1848 as an officer of the 2d Legion of the Banlien. Upon his return to New York he began the publication of "The Era" in 1850 in conjunction with Henry W. Herbert, and in 1851 he became one of the editors of "The Sachem," afterward entitled the " True American," a vigorous advocate of the Associated Order of United Americans. A little later he edited the "True National Democrat," the organ of the Free-Soilers. On the reorganization of the "Sunday Mercury" he became one of its editors, and contributed to the paper a series of popular stories under the name of "Paul Preston." These were subsequently published in book-form, and had an extensive sale. At the beginning of the Civil War he raised a battalion, which was consolidated with the 38th New York Regiment, with which he went to the field. During the reign of Maximilian in Mexico, Mr. Picton was employed in the service of the Liberals, and wrote a " Defence of Liberal Mexico," which was printed for distribution among the statesmen of (his country. General Rosecrans remarked that this publication had "done more for the cause of Mexico than all other external influences combined." He has translated some of the first modern romances from the French, and several of his light dramas are popular. He is the author of "Reminiscences of a Sporting Journalist," issued in serial form, and. besides the works mentioned, has edited "Frank Forester's Life and Writings" (New York, 1881). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, p. 6.


Pierce, Henry Lillie

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

PIERCE, Henry Lillie, member of Congress, born in Stoughton, Massachusetts, 23 August, 1825. He received a good education, engaged in manufacturing, and as early as 1848 took an active part in organizing the “Free-Soil” Party in Massachusetts. He was a member of the Massachusetts Legislature in 1860–6, and in 1860 was instrumental in getting a bill passed by both branches of the legislature removing the statutory prohibition upon the formation of militia companies composed of colored men. He was elected to Congress as a Republican to fill the vacancy caused by the death of William Whiting, was re-elected for the next congressional term, and served from 1 December, 1873, till 3 March, 1877, when he declined a renomination. In the presidential election of 1884 he was prominent in organizing an independent movement in support of Cleveland, and has since taken a leading part in the effort to revise the tariff legislation and reduce the taxes on imports. He was mayor of Boston in 1873, and again in 1878. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, p. 12.


Pierpont, John, 1785-1866, Massachusetts, poet, lawyer, Unitarian theologian, temperance reformer, abolitionist leader, member of the anti-slavery Liberty Party.  Liberty Party candidate for Massachusetts.  Free Soil candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1850.

(Appletons’, 1888, Vol. V, p. 14; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 7, Pt. 2, p. 286; Dumond, 1961, p. 301)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

PIERPONT, John,
poet, b. in Litchfield, Conn., 6 April, 1785; d. in Medford, Mass., 26 Aug., 1866. He was a great-grandson of James, who is noticed below. He was graduated at Yale in 1804, and after assisting for a short time in the academy at Bethlehem, Conn., in the autumn of 1805 went to South Carolina, and passed nearly four years as a private tutor in the family of Col. William Allston. After his return in 1809 he studied law at Litchfield, was admitted to the bar in 1812, and practised for a time in Newburyport, Mass. The profession proving injurious to his health, he relinquished it, and engaged in business as a merchant, first in Boston, and afterward in Baltimore. In 1816 he abandoned commerce for theology, which he studied, first at Baltimore, and afterward at Cambridge divinity-school. In April, 1819, he was ordained pastor of the Hollis street church, Boston. In 1835 he made a tour through Europe and Asia Minor, and on his return he resumed his pastoral charge in Boston, where he continued till 10 May, 1845. The freedom with which he expressed his opinions, especially in regard to the temperance cause, had given rise to some feeling before his departure for Europe; and in 1838 there sprung up between himself and a part of his parish a controversy which lasted seven years, when, after triumphantly sustaining himself against the charges of his adversaries, he requested a dismissal. He then became for four years pastor of a Unitarian church in Troy, N. Y., on 1 Aug., 1849, was settled over the Congregational church in Medford, and resigned, 6 April, 1856. He was a zealous reformer, powerfully advocated the temperance and anti-slavery movements, was the candidate of the Liberty party for governor, and in 1850 of the Free-soil party for congress. After the civil war began, though seventy-six years of age, he went into the field as chaplain of a Massachusetts regiment, but, finding his strength unequal to the discharge of his duties, he soon afterward resigned, and was appointed to a clerkship in the treasury department at Washington, which he held till his death. Mr. Pierpont was a thorough scholar, a graceful and facile speaker, and ranked deservedly high as a poet. He published “Airs of Palestine” (Baltimore, 1816); re-issued, with additions, under the title “Airs of Palestine, and other Poems” (Boston, 1840). One of his best-known poems is “Warren's Address at the Battle of Bunker Bill.” His long poem that he read at the Litchfield county centennial in 1851 contains a description of the “Yankee boy” and his ingenuity, which has often been quoted. He also published several sermons and addresses. See Wilson's “Bryant and his Friends” (New York, 1886). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 14.


Poland, Luke Potter

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

POLAND, Luke Potter, jurist, born in Westford. Vermont, 1 November. 1815: died in Waterville, Vermont, 2 July, 1887. He attended the common schools, was employed in a country store and on a farm, taught at Morristown, Vermont, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1836. He was a member of the state constitutional convention in 1843, and prosecuting attorney for the county in 1844-'5. In 1848 he was the Free-soil candidate for lieutenant-governor, and in the same year he was elected a judge of the Vermont Supreme Court. He was re-elected each successive year, becoming chief justice in 1860, until he was appointed in November, 1865, on the death of Jacob Collamer, to serve out his unexpired term in the U. S. Senate. On its conclusion he entered the house of representatives, and served from 1867 till 1875. While in the senate he secured the passage of the bankrupt law, besides originating a bill for the revision and consolidation of the statutes of the United States. As chairman of the committee on Revision in the House, he superintended the execution of his scheme of codification. He was chairman of the committee to investigate the outrages of the Ku-Klux Klan, and of the investigation committee on the Credit Mobilier Transactions; also of one on the reconstruction of the Arkansas State Government. Several times, while serving on the committee on elections, he came into conflict with other Republicans on questions regarding the admission of Democratic members from the south. He was chairman of the Vermont delegation to the Republican National Convention of 1876, and presented the name of William A. Wheeler for the vice-presidency, for which office he himself had been brought forward as a candidate. Mr. Poland was a representative in the state legislature in 1878. He was elected to Congress again in 1882. and served from 1883 till 3 March, 1885. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, p. 50.


Rantoul, Robert, Jr., 1805-1852, statesman, reformer, lawyer, writer, publisher, industrialist, U.S. Congressman.  Democratic and Free Soil Member of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Served one term, December 1851-1852.  Strong opponent of slavery and the Fugitive Slave laws.  Opposed extension of slavery into the new territories.  Served as defense counsel for escaped slave Thomas Simms in Massachusetts State Court.  (Appletons’, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 182-183; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 8, Pt. 1, p. 381)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

RANTOUL, Robert,
statesman, born in Beverly, Massachusetts, 13 August, 1805; died in Washington, D. C., 7 August, 1852, was graduated at Harvard in 1826, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1829, and began practice in Salem, but transferred his practice in 1830 to South Reading, Massachusetts. In 1832 he moved to Gloucester. He was elected to the legislature in 1834, serving four years, and assuming at once a position as a leader of the Jacksonian Democracy, in which interest he established at Gloucester a weekly journal. In the legislature he formed a friendship with John G. Whittier, who wrote a poem in his memory. He sat upon the first commission to revise the laws of Massachusetts, and was an active member of the judiciary committee. He interested himself in the establishment of lyceums. In 1836-'8 he represented the state in the first board of directors of the Western Railroad, and in 1837 became a member of the Massachusetts board of education. In 1839 he established himself in Boston, and in 1840 he appeared in defence of the Journeymen bootmakers' organization, indicted for a conspiracy to raise wages, and procured their discharge on the ground that a combination of individuals to effect, by means not unlawful, that which each might legally do, was not a criminal conspiracy. He defended in Rhode Island two persons indicted for complicity in the Dorr Rebellion of 1842, Daniel Webster being the opposing counsel. He was appointed U. S. District attorney for Massachusetts in 1845, and held that office till 1849, when he resigned. He delivered in April, 1850, at Concord the address in commemoration of the outbreak of the Revolution. In 1850 he was the organizer and a corporator of the Illinois Central Railroad. Daniel Webster having withdrawn from the senate in 1850, on being appointed Secretary of State, and having been succeeded by Robert C. Winthrop, Mr. Rantoul was elected, serving nine days. He was chosen as an opponent of the extension of slavery by a coalition of Democrats and Free-Soilers to the National House of Representatives, and served from 1 December, 1851, till his death. In 1852 he was refused a seat in the National Democratic Convention on the ground that he and his constituents were disfranchised by their attitude toward slavery. He was an advocate of various reforms, and delivered lectures and speeches on the subject of educational advancement, several of which were published, and while a member of the Massachusetts legislature prepared a report in favor of the abolition of the death-penalty that was long quoted by the opponents of capital punishment. He took a prominent part in the agitation against the Fugitive-Slave Law. As counsel in 1851 for Thomas Simms, the first escaped slave delivered up by Massachusetts, he took the ground that slavery was a state institution, and that the general government had no power to return fugitives from justice, or runaway apprentices or slaves, but that such extradition was a matter for arrangement between the states. He lent his voice and pen to the movement against the use of stimulants, but protested against prohibitory legislation as an invasion of private rights. After leaving the legislature, where the variety of his learning, the power of his eloquence, and his ardent convictions against the protection of native industry and other enlargements of the sphere of government, and in favor of educational and moral reforms had attracted attention, he became a favorite lecturer and political speaker throughout New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. He edited a “Workingmen's Library,” that was issued by the lyceums and two series of a “Common School Library” that was published under the sanction of the Massachusetts board of education. See his “Memoirs, Speeches, and Writings,” edited by Luther Hamilton (Boston, 1854). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 182-183.


Raum, Green Berry

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

RAUM, Green Berry, commissioner of internal revenue, born in Golconda, Pope County, Illinois, 3 December, 1829. He received a common-school education, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1853. In 1856 he moved with his family to Kansas, and at once affiliated with the Free-state Party. Becoming obnoxious to the pro-slavery faction, he returned the following year to Illinois and settled at Harris£ At the opening of the Civil War he made his first speech as a “war.” Democrat while he was attending court at Metropolis, Illinois. Subsequently he entered the army as major of the 56 Illinois Regiment, and was promoted lieutenant-colonel, colonel, and brevet brigadier-general. He was made brigadier-general of volunteers on 15 February, 1865, which commission he resigned on 6 May. He served under General William S. Rosecrans in the Mississippi Campaign of 1862. At the battle of Corinth he ordered and led the charge that broke the Confederate left and captured a battery. He was with General Grant at Vicksburg, and was wounded at the battle of Missionary Ridge in November, 1863. During the Atlanta Campaign he held the line of communication from Dalton to Acworth and from Kingston to Rome, Georgia. In October, 1864, he re-enforced Resaca, Georgia, and held it against General John B. Hood. In 1866 he obtained a charter for the Cairo and Vincennes Railroad Company, aided in securing its construction, and became its first president. He was then elected to Congress, and served from 4 March, 1867, till 3 March, 1869. In 1876 he was president of the Illinois Republican Convention, and in the same year he was a delegate to the National Convention of that party in Cincinnati. He was appointed commissioner of internal revenue, 2 August, 1876, and retained the office till 31 May, 1883. During this period he collected $850,000,000 and disburse $30,000,000 without loss. He wrote “Reports” of his bureau for seven successive years. He is also the author of “The Existing Conflict between Republican Government and Southern Oligarchy.” (Washington, 1884). He is at present (1888) practising law in Washington, D.C. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, p. 186.


Read, John Meredith

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

READ, John Meredith, jurist, born in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania, 21 July, 1797; died in Philadelphia, 29 November, 1874. was graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1812, and admitted to the bar in 1818. He was a member of the Pennsylvania legislature in 1822-3, city solicitor and member of the select, council, in which capacity he drew up the first clear exposition of the finances of Philadelphia, U. S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 1837-'44, solicitor-general of the United States, attorney general of Pennsylvania, and chief justice of that state from 1860 until his death. He early became a Democrat, and was one of the founders of the Free-soil wing of that party. This induced opposition to his confirmation by the U. S. Senate when he was nominated in 1845 as judge of the U. S. Supreme Court, and caused him to withdraw his name. He was one of the earliest and staunchest advocates of the annexation of Texas and the building of railroads to the Pacific, and was also a powerful supporter of President Jackson in his war against the U. S. bank. He was leading counsel with Thaddeus Stevens and Judge Joseph J. Lewis in the defence of Castner Hanway for constructive treason, his speech on this occasion giving him a wide reputation. He entered the Republican Party on its formation, and at the beginning of the presidential canvass of 1856 delivered a speech on the " Power of Congress over Slavery in the Territories." which was used throughout that canvass (Philadelphia, 1856). The Republican Party gained its first victory in Pennsylvania in 1858, electing him judge of the supreme court by 30,000 majority. This brought him forward as a candidate for the presidency of the United States in 1860: and Abraham Lincoln's friends were prepared to nominate him for that office, with the former for the vice-presidency, which arrangement was defeated by Simon Cameron in the Pennsylvania Republican Convention in February of that year. He nevertheless received several votes in the Chicago Convention, notwithstanding that all his personal influence was used in favor of Mr. Lincoln. The opinions of Judge Read run through forty-one volumes of reports. His " Views on the Suspension of the Habeas Corpus" (Philadelphia, 1863) were adopted as the basis of the act of 3 March, 1863. which authorized the president of the United States to suspend the habeas corpus act. He refused an injunction to prevent the running of horse-cars on Sunday, since he could not consent to stop "poor men's carriages." Many thousand copies of this opinion (Philadelphia, 1867) were printed. His amendments form an essential part of the constitutions of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and his ideas were formulated in many of the statutes of the United States. Brown gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1860. Judge Read was the author of a great number of published addresses and legal opinions. Among them are " Plan for the Administration of the Girard Trust "(Philadelphia, 1833); 'The Law of Evidence" (1864); and "Jefferson Davis and his Complicity in the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln" (1866).


Riddle Albert Gallatin

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

RIDDLE, Albert Gallatin, lawyer, born in Monson, Massachusetts, 28 May, 1816. His father moved to Geauga County, Ohio, in 1817, where the son received a common-school education, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1840, practised law, and was prosecuting attorney from 1840 till 1846. He served in the legislature in 1848–9, and called the first Free-Soil Convention in Ohio in 1848. In 1850 he moved to Cleveland, was elected prosecuting attorney in 1856, defended the Oberlin slave-rescuers in 1859, and was elected to Congress as a Republican, serving from 4 July, 1861, till 3 March, 1863. He made speeches then in favor of arming slaves, the first on this subject that were deliver in Congress, and others on emancipation in the District of Columbia and in vindication of President Lincoln. In October, 1863, he was appointed U.S. consul at Matanzas. Since 1864 he has practised law in Washington, D.C., and, under a retainer of the State Department, aided in the prosecution of John H. Surratt for the murder of President Lincoln. In 1877 he was appointed law-officer to the District of Columbia, which office he now (1888) holds. For several years, from its organization, he had charge of the law department in Howard University. Mr. Riddle is the author of “Students and Lawyers,” lectures (Washington, 1873); “Bart Ridgely, a Story of Northern Ohio.” (Boston, 1873); “The Portrait, a Romance of Cuyahoga Valley” (1874); “Alice Brand, a Tale of the Capitol" (New York, 1875); “Life, Character, and Public Services of James A. Garfield” (Cleveland, 1880); “The House of Ross” (Boston, 1881); “Castle Gregory.” (Cleveland, 1882); “Hart and his Bear” (Washington, 1883); “The Sugar-Makers of the West Woods” (Cleveland, 1885); “The Hunter of the Chagrin" (1882); “Mark Loan, a Tale of the Western Reserve” (1883); “Old Newberry and the Pioneers” (1884); “Speeches and Arguments” (Washington, 1886); and “Life of Benjamin F. Wade’’ (Cleveland, 1886). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, p. 248.


Roberts, Jonathan Manning, 1771-1854, Upper Merion County, Pennsylvania, U.S. Senator, U.S. Congressman, opponent of slavery.  Called for the prohibition of slavery from Missouri in the Senate.  (Appletons’, 1888, Vol. V, p. 274; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 8, Pt. 1, p. 9)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

ROBERTS, Jonathan Manning, investigator, born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 7 December, 1821; died in Burlington, New Jersey, 28 February, 1888, studied law, was admitted to the bar at Norristown, Pennsylvania, in 1850, and practised his profession for about a year, but abandoned it and engaged in commercial pursuits. These proving financially successful, he found time to gratify his desire for metaphysical investigations. He also took an interest in politics, being an enthusiastic Whig and strongly opposed to slavery. He was a delegate to the Free-soil Convention at Buffalo, New York, that nominated Martin Van Buren for president in 1848, and subsequently canvassed New Jersey for that candidate. When the so-called spiritual manifestations at Rochester, New York, first attracted public attention, Mr. Roberts earnestly protested against the possibility of their having a supernatural origin. After several years of patient inquiry he came to the conclusion that they were facts that could be explained on scientific principles and resulted from the operation of natural causes. This conviction led to his establishing an organ of the new faith at Philadelphia in 1878 under the title of “Mind and Matter.” His fearless advocacy of his peculiar views involved him in litigation and caused his imprisonment. Finding the publication of a journal too great a tax on his resources, he abandoned it, and devoted the rest of his life to study and authorship. Among his manuscript, of which he left a large amount, is “A Life of Apollonius of Tyana” and “A History of the Christian Religion,” which he completed just before his death.  Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography, 1888. Vol. V, p. 274.


Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894, territorial governor, Kansas, member Free Soil Anti-Slavery Party, 1855  (Rodriguez, 2007, p. 58; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, p. 283; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 8, Pt. 2, p. 34; Annals of Congress; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 18, p. 641)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

ROBINSON, Charles, governor of Kansas, b. in Hardwick, Mass., 21 July, 1818. He was educated at Hadley and Amherst academies and at Amherst college, but was compelled by illness to leave in his second year. He studied medicine at Woodstock. Vt., and at Pittsfield, Mass., where he received his degree in 1843, and practised at
Belchertown, Springfield, and Fitchburg, Mass., till 1849, when he went to California by the overland route. He edited a daily paper in Sacramento called the “Settler's and Miner's Tribune” in 1850, took an active part in the riots of 1850 as an upholder of squatter sovereignty, was seriously wounded, and, while under indictment for conspiracy and murder, was elected to the legislature. He was subsequently discharged by the court without trial. On his return to Massachusetts in 1852 he conducted in Fitchburg a weekly paper called the “News” till June, 1854, when he went to Kansas as confidential agent of the New England emigrants' aid society, and settled in Lawrence. He became the leader of the Free-state party, and was made chairman of its executive committee and commanderin-chief of the Kansas volunteers. He was a member of the Topeka convention that adopted a free-state constitution in 1855, and under it was elected governor in 1856. He was arrested for treason and usurpation of office, and on his trial on the latter charge was acquitted by the jury. He was elected again by the Free-state party in 1858, and for the third time in 1859, under the Wyandotte constitution, and entered on his term of two years on the admission of Kansas to the Union in January, 1861. He organized most of the Kansas regiments for the civil war. He afterward served one term as representative and two terms as senator in the legislature, and in 1882 was again a candidate for governor. In 1887 he became superintendent of Haskell institute in Lawrence. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 283.


Robinson, William Stevens

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

ROBINSON, William Stevens, journalist, born in Concord, Massachusetts, 7 December, 1818; died in Malden, Massachusetts, 11 March, 1876. He was educated in the public schools of Concord, learned the printer's trade, at the age of twenty became the editor and publisher of the "Yeoman's Gazette " in Concord, and was afterward assistant editor of the Lowell "Courier." He was an opponent of slavery while he adhered to the Whig Party, and when the Free-Soil Party was organized he left the "Courier," and in July, 1848, took charge of the Boston "Daily Whig." His vigorous and sarcastic editorials increased the circulation of the paper, the name of which was changed to the " Republican "; yet, after the presidential canvass was ended, Henry Wilson, the proprietor, decided to assume the editorial management and moderate the tone of his journal. Robinson next edited the Lowell "American," a Free-Soil Democratic paper, till it died for lack of support in 1853. He was a member of the legislature in 1852 and 1853. In 1856 he began to write letters for the Springfield "Republican" over the signature " Warrington," in which questions of the day and public men were discussed with such boldness and wit. that the correspondence attracted wide popular attention. This connection was continued until his death. From 1862 till 1873 he was clerk of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. "Warrington," by his articles in the newspapers and magazines, was instrumental in defeating Benjamin F. Butler's effort to obtain the Republican nomination for governor in 1871, and in 1873 he was Butler's strongest opponent. Besides pamphlets and addresses, he published a "Manual of Parliamentary Law" (Boston, 1875). His widow published personal reminiscences from his writings entitled "Warrington Pen-Portraits," with a memoir (Boston, 1877).—His wife, Harriet Hanson, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 8 February, 1825, was one of the intellectual circle of factory-girls that composed the staff of the " Lowell Offering." She is a sister of John W. Hanson. She contributed poems to the Lowell "Courier" while Mr. Robinson was its editor, and from this introduction sprang a friendship that resulted in their marriage on 30 November, 1848. She was his assistant in his editorial work, and was as devoted as himself to the anti-slavery cause. She has also taken an active part in the woman's rights movement, and in 1888 was a member of the International council of women at Washington. 1). C. Her works include "Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement" (Boston, 1881); "Early Factory Labor in New England" (1883); and " Captain Mary Miller," a drama (1887). . Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 289-290.


Sanborn, Franklin Benjamin, 1831-1917, abolitionist leader, journalist, prison and social reformer, Secretary of the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee.  Secretary of the Massachusetts Free Soil Association.  Secretly supported radical abolitionist John Brown, and his raid on the U.S. Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, (West) Virginia, on October 16, 1859.  Brother of Charles Sanborn.  (Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 327, 338, 476, 478-479; American Reformers, pp. 715-716; Appletons’, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 384; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 8, Pt. 2, p. 326; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 19, p. 237)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

SANBORN, Franklin Benjamin,
reformer, b. in Hampton Falls, N. H., 15 Dec., 1831, was graduated at Harvard in 1855, and in 1856 became secretary of the Massachusetts state Kansas committee. His interest in similar enterprises led to his active connection with the Massachusetts state board of charities, of which he was secretary in 1863-'8, a member in 1870-'6, and chairman in 1874-'6, succeeding Dr. Samuel G. Howe. In 1875 he made a searching investigation into the abuses of the Tewksbury almshouse, and in consequence the institution was reformed. Mr. Sanborn was active in founding the Massachusetts infant asylum and the Clarke institution for deaf-mutes, and has devoted much attention to the administration of the Massachusetts lunacy system. In 1879 he helped to reorganize the system of Massachusetts charities, with special reference to the care of children and insane persons, and in July, 1879, he became inspector of charities under the new board. He called together the first National conference of charities in 1874, and was treasurer of the conference in 1886-'8. In 1865 he was associated in the organization of the American social science association, of which he was one of the secretaries until 1868, and he has been since 1873 its chief secretary. With Bronson Alcott and William T. Harris he aided in establishing the Concord summer school of philosophy in 1879, and was its secretary and one of its lecturers. Since 1868 he has been editorially connected with the Springfield “Republican,” and has also been a contributor to newspapers and reviews. The various reports that he has issued as secretary of the organizations of which he is a member, from 1865 till 1888, comprise auout forty volumes. He has edited William E. Channing's “Wanderer” (Boston, 1871) and A. Bronson Alcott's “Sonnets and Canzonets” (1882) and “New Connecticut” (1886); and is the author of “Life of Thoreau” (1882) and “Life and Letters of John Brown” (1885). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 384.


Scammon, Jonathan Young, 1812-1890, Whitefield, Maine, lawyer, businessman, educator, newspaper publisher, Whig and Republican state leader, member of the Free Soil Party.  Founded the Chicago Journal in 1844, the Chicago Republican in 1865.  (Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. XVI, pp. 407-408)


Smith, Gerrit, 1797-1874, Peterboro, New York, large landowner, reformer, philanthropist, radical abolitionist.  Smith was one of the most important leaders of the abolitionist movement.  Originally, he supported the American Colonization Society (ACS) and served as a Vice President, 1833-1836.  Smith later came to reject the idea of sending freed slaves back to Africa.  Smith became a leader and important supporter of William Lloyd Garrison and the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  He served as a Vice President of the AASS, 1836-1840, 1840-1841.  Smith also served as Vice President of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1840.  He was the founding President of  the New York State Anti-Slavery Society, October 1836, in Utica, New York.  Smith came to believe that slavery could be abolished by political means and he was instrumental in the founding of the Liberty Party in 1840.  He was the President and co-founder of the Liberty League in 1848 and was its presidential candidate in 1848.  He was active in supporting the Underground Railroad.  Smith was a member of the Pennsylvania Free Produce Association.  He supported the New England Emigrant Aid Company of Massachusetts, which sent anti-slavery settlers to the Kansas Territory.  He was one of six abolitionists (known as the “Secret Six”) who secretly supported radical abolitionist John Brown.  Supported women’s rights and suffrage.  He served as an anti-slavery member of Congress, 1853-1854.  After the Civil War, he supported the right to vote for Blacks. 

(Blue, 2005, pp. 19, 20, 25, 26, 32-36, 50, 53, 54, 68, 101, 102, 105, 112, 132, 170; Dumond, 1961, pp. 200, 221, 231, 295, 301, 339, 352; Filler, 1960; Friedman, 1982; Frothingham, 1876; Harrold, 1995; Mabee, 1970, pp. 37, 47, 55, 56, 71, 72, 104, 106, 131, 135, 150, 154, 156, 187-189, 195, 202, 204, 219, 220, 226, 227, 237, 239, 246, 252, 253, 258, 307, 308, 315, 320, 321, 327, 342, 346; Mitchell, 2007, pp. 5, 8, 13, 16, 22, 29, 31, 36, 112, 117-121, 137, 163, 167, 199, 224-225, 243; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 46, 50, 51, 56, 138, 163, 206, 207, 327, 338, 452-454; Sernett, 2002, pp. 22, 36, 49-55, 122-126, 129-132, 143-146, 169, 171, 173-174, 205-206, 208-217, 219-230; Sorin, 1971, pp. 25-38, 47, 49, 52, 66, 95, 96, 102, 126, 130; Staudenraus, P. J. The African Colonization Movement, 1816-1865. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961, pp. 128, 129, 165, 189-190, 201, 213, 221, 224, 225, 230-231; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 583-584; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 9, Pt. 1, p. 270; American Reformers: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary, New York, 1985; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 20; The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. II. New York: James T. White, 1892, pp. 322-323; Harlow, Ralph Volney. Gerrit Smith: Philanthropist and Reformer. New York: Holt, 1939.)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

SMITH, Gerrit, philanthropist, born in Utica, New York, 6 March, 1797; died in New York City, 28 December, 1874, was graduated at Hamilton College in 1818, and devoted himself to the care of his father's estate, a large part of which was given to him when he attained his majority. At the age of fifty-six he studied law, and was admitted to the bar. He was elected to Congress as an independent candidate in 1852, but resigned after serving through one session. During his boyhood slavery still existed in the state of New York, and his father was a slave-holder. One of the earliest forms of the philanthropy that marked his long life appeared in his opposition to the institution of slavery, and his friendship for the oppressed race. He acted for ten years with the American Colonization Society, contributing largely to its funds, until he became convinced that it was merely a scheme of the slave-holders for getting the free colored people out of the country. Thenceforth he gave his support to the Anti-Slavery Society, not only writing for the cause and contributing money, but taking part in conventions, and personally assisting fugitives. He was temperate in all the discussion, holding that the north was a partner in the guilt, and in the event of emancipation without war should bear a portion of the expense; but the attempt to force slavery upon Kansas convinced him that the day for peaceful emancipation was past, and he then advocated whatever measure of force might be necessary. He gave large sums of money to send free-soil settlers to Kansas, and was a personal friend of John Brown, to whom he had given a farm in Essex County, New York, that he might instruct a colony of colored people, to whom Mr. Smith had given farms in the same neighborhood. He was supposed to be implicated in the Harper's Ferry affair, but it was shown that he had only given pecuniary aid to Brown as he had to scores of other men, and so far as he knew Brown's plans had tried to dissuade him from them. Mr. Smith was deeply interested in the cause of temperance, and organized an anti-dramshop party in February, 1842. In the village of Peterboro, Madison County, where he had his home, he built a good hotel, and gave it rent-free to a tenant who agreed that no liquor should be sold there. This is believed to have been the first temperance hotel ever established. But it was not pecuniarily successful. He had been nominated for president by an industrial congress at Philadelphia in 1848, and by the land-reformers in 1856, but declined. In 1840, and again in 1858, he was nominated for governor of New York. The last nomination, on a platform of abolition and prohibition, he accepted, and canvassed the state. In the election he received 5,446 votes. Among the other reforms in which he was interested were those relating to the property-rights of married women and female suffrage and abstention from tobacco. In religion he was originally a Presbyterian, but became very liberal in his views, and built a non-sectarian church in Peterboro, in which he often occupied the pulpit himself. He could not conceive of religion as anything apart from the affairs of daily life, and in one of his published letters he wrote: “No man's religion is better than his politics; his religion is pure whose politics are pure; whilst his religion is rascally whose politics are rascally.” He disbelieved in the right of men to monopolize land, and gave away thousands of acres of that which he had inherited, some of it to colleges and charitable institutions, and some in the form of small farms to men who would settle upon them. He also gave away by far the greater part of his income, for charitable purposes, to institutions and individuals. In the financial crisis of 1837 he borrowed of John Jacob Astor a quarter of a million dollars, on his verbal agreement to give Mr. Astor mortgages to that amount on real estate. The mortgages were executed as soon as Mr. Smith reached his home, but through the carelessness of a clerk were not delivered, and Mr. Astor waited six months before inquiring for them. Mr. Smith had for many years anticipated that the system of slavery would be brought to an end only through violence, and when the Civil War began he hastened to the support of the government with his money and his influence. At a war-meeting in April, 1861, he made a speech in which he said: “The end of American slavery is at hand. The first gun fired at Fort Sumter announced the fact that the last fugitive slave had been returned. . . . The armed men who go south should go more in sorrow than in anger. The sad necessity should be their only excuse for going. They must still love the south; we must all still love her. As her chiefs shall, one after another, fall into our hands, let us be restrained from dealing revengefully, and moved to deal tenderly with them, by our remembrance of the large share which the north has had in blinding them.” In accordance with this sentiment, two years after the war, he united with Horace Greeley and Cornelius Vanderbilt in signing the bail-bond of Jefferson Davis. At the outset he offered to equip a regiment of colored men, if the government would accept them. Mr. Smith left an estate of about $1,000,000, having given away eight times that amount during his life. He wrote a great deal for print, most of which appeared in the form of pamphlets and broadsides, printed on his own press in Peterboro. His publications in book-form were “Speeches in Congress” (1855); “Sermons and Speeches” (1861); “The Religion of Reason” (1864); “Speeches and Letters” (1865); “The Theologies” (2d ed., 1866); “Nature the Base of a Free Theology” (1867); and “Correspondence with Albert Barnes” (1868). His authorized biography has been
written by Octavius BORN Frothingham (New York, 1878).  Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 583-584.


Smith, Horace E., New York, abolitionist leader, member of the Free Soil Party. (Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 2.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1872)


Spalding, Rufus Paine, 1798-1886, Massachusetts, lawyer, jurist.  Republican Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio, 1863-1869.  Opposed the extension of slavery into the new territories.  In 1847, declared: “If the evil of slavery had been restricted, as it should have been, to the thirteen original states, self-interest might have led to the extinction of the practice long before now.”  Spalding joined the anti-slavery Free Soil Party in 1850.  He opposed the Fugitive Slave Act.  He encouraged fellow attorneys in Cleveland to oppose the Act.  He represented Underground Railroad conductor Simon Buswell in his defense, arguing the Fugitive Slave Act was unconstitutional.  He opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.  Spalding was elected to Congress in 1862.  While there, he introduced legislation to repeal the Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 and 1850.  One of the organizers of the Republican Party.  Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. Sinha, 2016, pp. 524, 525; Appletons’, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 620-621; Congressional Globe.

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

SPALDING, Rufus Paine,
jurist, born in West Tisbury, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, 3 May, 1798; died in Cleveland, Ohio, 29 August, 1886. He was graduated at Yale in 1817, and subsequently studied law under Zephaniah Swift, chief justice of Connecticut, whose daughter, Lucretia, he married in 1822. In 1819 he was admitted to practice in Little Rock, Arkansas, but in 1821 he went to Warren, Ohio. Sixteen years later he moved to Ravenna, Ohio, and he was sent to the legislature in 1830-'40 as a Democrat, serving as speaker in 1841-'2. In 1840 he was elected judge of the Supreme Court of Ohio for seven years, but when, three years later, the new state constitution was adopted, he declined a re-election and began practice in Cleveland. In l852 he entered political life as a Free-Soiler, and he was one of the organizers of the Republican Party. He was a member of Congress in 1863-'9, where he served on important committees, but he subsequently declined all political honors. Judge Spalding exercised an important influence in restoring the Masonic Order to its former footing after the disappearance of William Morgan. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 620-621.


Stanton, Edwin McMasters, 1814-1869, statesman, lawyer, anti-slavery activist.  U. S. Secretary of War, 1862-1867.  Favored Wilmot Proviso to exclude slavery from the new territories acquired by the U.S. after the War with Mexico in 1846.  Member of the Free Soil movement.  (Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 65, 67, 69, 72, 144, 147-148; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 648-649; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 9, Pt. 1, p. 517; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 20, p. 558)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

STANTON, Edwin McMasters, statesman, born in Steubenville Ohio, 19 December, 1814; died in Washington, D. C., 24 December, 1869. His father, a physician died while Edwin was a child. After acting
for three years as a clerk in a book-store, he entered Kenyon College in 1831, but left in 1833 to study law. He was admitted to the bar in 1836, and, beginning practice in Cadiz, was in 1837 elected prosecuting attorney. He returned to Steubenville in 1839, and was supreme court reporter in 1842-'5, preparing vols. xi., xii., and xiii. of the Ohio reports. In 1848 he moved to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and in 1857, on account of his large business in the U. S. Supreme Court, he established himself in Washington. During 1857-'8 he was in California, attending to important land cases for the government. Among the notable suits that he conducted were the first Erie Railway litigation, the Wheeling Bridge Case, and the Manney and McCormick reaper contest in 1859. When Lewis Cass retired from President Buchanan's cabinet, and Jeremiah S. Black was made Secretary of State, Stanton was appointed the latter's successor in the office of Attorney-General, 20 December, 1860. He was originally a Democrat of the Jackson school, and, until Van Buren's defeat in the Baltimore Convention of 1844, took an active part in political affairs in his locality. He favored the Wilmot proviso, to exclude slavery from the territory acquired by the war with Mexico, and sympathized with the Free-Soil movement of 1848, headed by Martin Van Buren. He was an anti-slavery man, but his hostility to that institution was qualified by his view of the obligations imposed by the Federal Constitution. He had held no public offices before entering President Buchanan's cabinet except those of prosecuting attorney for one year in Harrison County, Ohio, and reporter of the Ohio Supreme Court for three years, being wholly devoted to his profession. While a member of Mr. Buchanan's cabinet, he took a firm stand for the Union, and at a cabinet meeting, when John B. Floyd, then Secretary of War, demanded the withdrawal of the United States troops from the forts in Charleston Harbor, he indignantly declared that the surrender of Fort Sumter would be, in his opinion, a crime, equal to that of Arnold, and that all who participated in it should be hung like André. After the meeting, Floyd sent in his resignation. President Lincoln, though since his accession to the presidency he had held no communication with Mr. Stanton, called him to the head of the War Department on the retirement of Simon Cameron, 15 January, 1862. As was said by an eminent senator of the United States: “He certainly came to the public service with patriotic and not with sordid motives, surrendering a most brilliant position at the bar, and with it the emolument of which, in the absence of accumulated wealth, his family was in daily need.” Infirmities of temper he had, but they were incident to the intense strain upon his nerves caused by his devotion to duties that would have soon prostrated most men, however robust, as they finally prostrated him. He had no time for elaborate explanations for refusing trifling or selfish requests, and his seeming abruptness of manner was often but rapidity in transacting business which had to be thus disposed of, or be wholly neglected. As he sought no benefit to himself, but made himself an object of hatred to the dishonest and the inefficient, solely in the public interest, and as no enemy ever accused him of wrong-doing, the charge of impatience and hasty temper will not detract from the high estimate placed by common consent upon his character as a man, a patriot, and a statesman.

Mr. Stanton's entrance into the cabinet marked the beginning of a vigorous military policy. On 27 January, 1862, was issued the first of the president's war orders, prescribing a general movement of the troops. His impatience at General George B. McClellan's apparent inaction caused friction between the administration and the general-in-chief, which ended in the latter's retirement. He selected General Ulysses S. Grant for promotion after the victory at Fort Donelson, which General Henry W. Halleck in his report had ascribed to the bravery of General Charles F. Smith, and in the autumn of 1863 he placed Grant in supreme command of the three armies operating in the southwest, directed him to relieve General William S. Rosecrans before his army at Chattanooga could be forced to surrender. President Lincoln said that he never took an important step without consulting his Secretary of War. It has been asserted that, on the eve of Mr. Lincoln's second inauguration, he proposed to allow General Grant to make terms of peace with General Lee, and that Mr. Stanton dissuaded him from such action. According to a bulletin of Mr. Stanton that was issued at the time, the president wrote the despatch directing the general of the army to confer with the Confederate commander on none save purely military questions without previously consulting the members of the cabinet. At a cabinet council that was held in consultation with General Grant, the terms on which General William T. Sherman proposed to accept the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston were disapproved by all who were present. To the bulletin announcing the telegram that was sent to General Sherman, which directed him to guide his actions by the despatch that had previously been sent to General Grant, forbidding military interference in the political settlement, a statement of the reasons for disapproving Sherman's arrangement was appended, obviously by the direction of Secretary Stanton. These were: (1) that it was unauthorized; (2) that it was an acknowledgment of the Confederate government; (3) that it re-established rebel state governments; (4) that it would enable rebel state authorities to restore slavery; (5) that it involved the question of the Confederate states debt; (6) that it would put in dispute the state government of West Virginia; (7) that it abolished confiscation, and relieved rebels of all penalties; (8) that it gave terms that had been rejected by President Lincoln; (9) that it formed no basis for peace, but relieved rebels from the pressure of defeat, and left them free to renew the war. General Sherman defended his course on the ground that he had before him the public examples of General Grant's terms to General Lee's army, and General Weitzel's invitation to the Virginia legislature to assemble at Richmond. His central motive, in giving terms that would be cheerfully accepted, he declared to be the peaceful disbandment of all the Confederate armies, and the prevention of guerilla warfare. He had never seen President Lincoln's telegram to General Grant of 3 March, 1865, above quoted, nor did he know that General Weitzel's permission for the Virginia legislature to assemble had been rescinded.

A few days before the president's death Secretary Stanton tendered his resignation because his task was completed, but was persuaded by Mr. Lincoln to remain. After the assassination of Lincoln a serious controversy arose between the new president, Andrew Johnson, and the Republican Party, and Mr. Stanton took sides against the former on the subject of reconstruction. On 5 August, 1867, the president demanded his resignation; but he refused to give up his office before the next meeting of Congress, following the urgent counsels of leading men of the Republican Party. He was suspended by the president on 12 August on 13 January, 1868, he was restored by the action of the Senate, and resumed his office. On 21 February, 1868, the president informed the Senate that he had removed Secretary Stanton, and designated a secretary ad interim. Mr. Stanton refused to surrender the office pending the action of the Senate on the president's message. At a late hour of the same day the Senate resolved that the president bad not the power to remove the secretary. Mr. Stanton, thus sustained by the Senate, refused to surrender the office. The impeachment of the president followed, and on 26 May, the vote of the Senate being “guilty,” 35, “not guilty,” 19, he was acquitted—two thirds not voting for conviction. After Mr. Stanton's retirement from office he resumed the practice of law. On 20 December, 1869, he was appointed by President Grant a justice of the Supreme Court, and he was forthwith confirmed by the Senate. Four days later he expired.

The value to the country of his services during the Civil War cannot be overestimated. His energy, inflexible integrity, systematized industry, comprehensive view of the situation in its military, political, and international aspects, his power to command and supervise the best services of others, and his unbending will and invincible courage, made him at once the stay of the president, the hope of the country, and a terror to dishonesty and imbecility. The vastness of his labors led to brusqueness in repelling importunities, which made him many enemies. But none ever questioned his honesty, his patriotism, or his capability. A “Memoir” of Mr. Stanton is at present in preparation by his son, Lewis M. Stanton. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 648-649.


Stanton, Henry Brewster, 1805-1887, New York, New York, Cincinnati, Ohio, abolitionist leader, anti-slavery agent, journalist, author.  Worked with William T. Allan and Birney.  Financial Secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), Manager, 1834-1838, Corresponding Secretary, 1838-1840, and Executive Committee of the Society, 1838.  Secretary, 1840-1841, and Member of the Executive Committee, American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1840-1844.  Leader of the Liberty Party.  Wrote for abolitionist newspapers.  Worked against pro-slavery legislation at state level.  Later edited the New York Sun

(Dumond, 1961, pp. 164, 219, 238-240, 286; Filler, 1960, pp. 68, 72, 134, 137, 156, 189, 301; Mitchell, 2007, pp. 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 14016, 18, 28, 36, 45, 47, 101, 162, 223; Rodriguez, 2007, p. 162; Sorin, 1971 p. 63-67, 97, 131, 132; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 649-650; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 9, Pt. 1, p. 525)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

STANTON, Henry Brewster, journalist, born in Griswold, New London County, Connecticut., 29 June, 1805; died in New York City, 14 January, 1887. His ancestor, Thomas, came to this country from England in 1635 and was crown interpreter-general of the Indian dialects, and subsequently judge of the New London County court. His father was a manufacturer of woollens and a trader with the West Indies. After receiving his education, the son went in 1826 to Rochester, New York, to write for Thurlow Weed's newspaper, “The Monroe Telegraph,” which was advocating the election of Henry Clay to the presidency. He then began to make political speeches. He moved to Cincinnati to complete his studies in Lane Theological Seminary, but left it to become an advocate of the anti-slavery cause. At the anniversary of the American Anti-Slavery Society in New York City in 1834 he faced the first of the many mobs that he encountered in his tours throughout the country. In 1837-'40 he was active in the movement to form the Abolitionists into a compact political party, which was resisted by William Lloyd Garrison and others, and which resulted in lasting dissension. In 1840 he married Elizabeth Cady, and on 12 May of that year sailed with her to London, having been elected to represent the American Anti-Slavery Society at a convention for the promotion of the cause. At its close they travelled through Great Britain and France, working for the relief of the slaves. On his return, he studied law with Daniel Cady, was admitted to the bar, and practised in Boston, where he gained a reputation especially in patent cases, but he abandoned his profession to enter political life, and removing to Seneca Falls, New York, in 1847, represented that district in the state senate. He was a member of the Free-Soil Party previous to the formation of the Republican Party, of which he was a founder. Before this he had been a Democrat. For nearly half a century he was actively connected with the daily press, his contributions consisting chiefly of articles on current political topics and elaborate biographies of public men. Mr. Stanton contributed to Garrison's “Anti-Slavery Standard” and “Liberator,” wrote for the New York “Tribune,” and from 1868 until his death was an editor of the New York “Sun.” Henry Ward Beecher said of him: “I think Stanton has all the elements of old John Adams; able, stanch, patriotic, full of principle, and always unpopular. He lacks that sense of other people's opinions which keeps a man from running
against them.” Mr. Stanton was the author of “Sketches of Reforms and Reformers in Great Britain and Ireland” (New York, 1849), and “Random Recollections” (1886). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 649-650.


Stearns, George Luther, 1809-1867, Medford, Massachusetts, merchant, industrialist, Free Soil supporter, abolitionist.  Chief supporter of the Emigrant Aid Company which financed anti-slavery settlers in the Kansas Territory.  Founded the Nation, Commonwealth, and Right of Way newspapers.  Member of the “Secret Six” who secretly financially supported radical abolitionist John Brown, and his raid on the U.S. Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, (West) Virginia, on October 16, 1859.  Recruited African Americans for the all-Black 54th and 55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiments, U.S. Army.  (Filler, 1960, p. 268; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 207, 327, 338; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, p. 655; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 9, Pt. 1, p. 543)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

STEARNS, George Luther,
merchant, born in Medford, Massachusetts, 8 January, 1809; died in New York, 9 April, 1867. His father, Luther, was a teacher of reputation. In early life his son engaged in the business of ship-chandlery, and after a prosperous career undertook the manufacture of sheet and pipe-lead, doing business in Boston and residing in Medford. He identified himself with the anti-slavery cause, became a Free-Soiler in 1848, aided John Brown in Kansas, and supported him till his death. Soon after the opening of the Civil War Mr. Stearns advocated the enlistment of Negroes in the National Army. The 54th and 55th Massachusetts Regiments, and the 5th Cavalry (colored), were largely recruited through his instrumentality. He was commissioned major through the recommendation of Secretary of War Stanton, and was of great service to the National cause by enlisting Negroes for the volunteer service in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Tennessee. He was the founder of the “Commonwealth” and “Right of Way” newspapers for the dissemination of his ideas. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 655.


Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874, Boston, Massachusetts, statesman, lawyer, writer, editor, educator, reformer, peace advocate, anti-slavery political leader.  U.S. Senatorial candidate on the Free Soil ticket.  Entered the Senate in December 1851.  Opposed the Fugitive Slave Law and the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.  Organizer and co-founder of the Republican party.  He was severely beaten on the Senate floor by pro-slavery Senator Preston S. Brooks.  It took him three and a half years to recover.  Strong supporter of Lincoln and the Union. He was among the first to support emancipation of slaves.  As a U.S. Senator, voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.

(Blue, 1994, 2005; Mabee, 1970, pp. 74, 103, 173, 178, 248, 354, 261, 299, 329, 337, 356, 368, 393n17; Mitchell, 2007, pp. 60, 62, 67-68, 89, 174, 238, 243; Potter, 1976; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 54, 59, 201-203, 298, 657-660; Sewell, 1988; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 744-750; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 9, Pt. 2, p. 214; American Reformers: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary, New York, 1985, pp. 783-785; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 21, p. 137; Congressional Globe; Donald, David. Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War. New York: Knopf, 1960.)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

SUMNER, Charles, statesman, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 6 January, 1811; died in Washington, D. C., 11 March, 1874. The family is English, and William Sumner, from whom Charles was descended in the seventh generation, came to America about 1635 with his wife and three sons, and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The Sumner’s were generally farmers. Job, grandfather of Charles, entered Harvard in 1774, but in the next year he joined the Revolutionary Army, and served with distinction during the war. He was not graduated, but he received in 1785 an honorary degree from the college. He died in 1789, aged thirty-three. Charles Pinckney Sumner (born 1776, died 1839), father of Charles, was graduated at Harvard in 1796. He was a lawyer and was sheriff of Suffolk County from 1825 until a few days before his death. In 1810 he married Relief Jacob, of Hanover, New Hampshire, and they had nine children, of whom Charles and Matilda were the eldest and twins. Matilda died in 1832. Sheriff Sumner was an upright, grave, formal man, of the old Puritan type, fond of literature and public life. His anti-slavery convictions were very strong, and he foretold a violent end to slavery in this country. In his family he was austere, and, as his income was small, strict economy was indispensable. Charles was a quiet boy, early matured, and soon showed the bent of his mind by the purchase for a few cents of a Latin grammar and '”Liber Primus” from a comrade at school. In his eleventh year he was placed at the Latin-school where Wendell Phillips, Robert C. Winthrop, James Freeman Clarke, and other boys, afterward distinguished men, were pupils. Sumner excelled in the classics, in general information, and in writing essays, but he was not especially distinguished. Just as he left the Latin-school for college he heard President John Quincy Adams speak in Faneuil hall, and at about the same time he heard Daniel Webster's eulogy upon Adams and Jefferson. It was in a New England essentially unchanged from the older, but refined and softened, that Sumner grew up. At the age of fifteen he was reserved and thoughtful, caring little for sports, slender, tall, and awkward. His thirst for knowledge of every kind, with singular ability and rapidity in acquiring it, was already remarkable. He had made a compend of English history in eighty-six pages of a copybook, and had read Gibbon's history.

In September, 1826, he began his studies at Harvard. In the classics and history and forensics, and in belles-lettres, he was among the best scholars. But he failed entirely in mathematics. His memory was extraordinary and his reading extensive. Without dissipation of any kind and without sensitiveness to humor, generous in his judgment of his comrades, devoted to his books, and going little into society, he was a general favorite, although his college life gave no especial promise of a distinguished career. In his junior year he made his first journey from home, in a pedestrian tour with some classmates to Lake Champlain, returning by the Hudson River and the city of New York. In 1830 he was graduated, and devoted himself for a year to a wide range of reading and study in the Latin classics and in general literature. He resolutely grappled with mathematics to repair the defect in his education in that branch of study, wrote a prize essay on commerce, and listened carefully to the Boston orators, Webster, Everett, Choate, and Channing. No day, no hour, no opportunity, was lost by him in the pursuit of knowledge. His first interest in public questions was awakened by the anti-Masonic movement, which he held to be a “great and good cause,” two adjectives that were always associated in his estimate of causes and of men. Mindful of Dr. Johnson's maxim, he diligently maintained his friendships by correspondence and intercourse. On 1 September, 1831, he entered Harvard Law-School, of which Judge Joseph Story was the chief professor. Story had been a friend of Sumner's father, and his friendly regard for the son soon ripened into an affection and confidence that never ceased. Sumner was now six feet and two inches in height, but weighing only 120 pounds, and not personally attractive. He was never ill, and was an untiring walker; his voice was strong and clear, his smile quick and sincere, his laugh loud, and his intellectual industry and his memory were extraordinary. He began the study of law with the utmost enthusiasm, giving himself a wide range, keeping careful notes of the moot-court cases, writing for the “American Jurist,” and preparing a catalogue of the library of the Law-school. He joined the temperance society of the professional schools and the college. His acquirements were already large, but he was free from vanity. His mental habit was so serious that, while his talk was interesting, he was totally disconcerted by a jest or gay repartee. He had apparently no ambition except to learn as much as he could, and his life then, as always, was pure in word and deed.

The agitation of the question of slavery had already begun. “The Liberator” was established by Mr. Garrison in Boston on 1 January, 1831. The “nullification movement” in South Carolina occurred while Sumner was at the Law-school. He praised President Jackson's proclamation, and
saw civil war impending; but he wrote to a friend in 1832: “Politics I begin to loathe; they are for a day, but the law is for all time.” He entered the law-office of Benjamin Rand, in Boston, in January, 1834, wrote copiously for the “Jurist,” and went to Washington for the first time in April. The favor of Judge Story opened to Sumner the pleasantest houses at the capital, and his professional and general accomplishments secured an ever-widening welcome. But Washington only deepened his love for the law and his aversion to politics. In September, 1834, he was admitted to the bar. During the month that he passed in Washington, Sumner described his first impression of the unfortunate race to whose welfare his life was to be devoted: “For the first time I saw slaves [on the journey through Maryland], and my worst preconception of their appearance and ignorance did not fall as low as their actual stupidity. They appear to be nothing more than moving masses of flesh, unendowed with anything of intelligence above the brutes. I have now an idea of the blight upon that part of our country in which they live.” Anticipating hearing Calhoun, he says: “He will be the last man I shall ever hear speak in Washington.” In 1835 he was appointed by Judge Story a commissioner of the circuit court of the United States and reporter of Story's judicial opinions, and he began to teach in the Law-school during the judge's absence. This service he continued in 1836-'7, and he aided in preparing a digest of the decisions of the Supreme Court of Maine. He wrote upon literary and legal topics, he lectured and edited and pleaded, and he was much overworked in making a bare livelihood. In 1835 his interest in the slavery question deepened. The first newspaper for which he subscribed was “The Liberator,” and he writes to Dr. Francis Lieber, then professor in the college at Columbia, South Carolina: “What think you of it? [slavery] Should it longer exist? Is not emancipation practicable? We are becoming Abolitionists, at the north, fast.” The next year, 1836, his “blood boils” at an indignity offered by a slave master to the Boston counsel of a fugitive slave. Sumner now saw much of Channing, by whose wisdom and devotion to freedom he was deeply influenced. His articles in the “Jurist” had opened correspondence with many eminent European publicists. His friends at home were chiefly among scholars, and already Longfellow was one of his intimate companions. In the summer of 1836 he made a journey to Canada, and in December, 1837, he sailed for France.

He carried letters from distinguished Americans to distinguished Europeans, and his extraordinary diligence in study and his marvellous memory had equipped him for turning every opportunity to the best account. During his absence he kept a careful diary and wrote long letters, many of which are printed in the memoir by Edward L. Pierce, and there is no more graphic and interesting picture than they present of the social and professional life at that time of the countries he visited. Sumner remained in Paris for five months, and carefully improved every hour. He attended 150 university lectures by the most renowned professors. He walked the hospitals with the great surgeons. He frequented the courts and theatres and operas and libraries and museums. He was a guest in the most famous salons, and he saw and noted everything, not as a loiterer, but as a student. On 31 May, 1838, he arrived in England, where he remained for ten months. No American had ever been so universally received and liked, and Carlyle characteristically described him as “Popularity Sumner.” He saw and studied England in every aspect, and in April, 1839, went to Italy and devoted himself to the study of its language, history, and literature, with which, however, he was already familiar. In Rome, where he remained for some months, he met the sculptor Thomas Crawford, whom he warmly befriended. Early in October, 1839, he left Italy for Germany, in the middle of March, 1840, he was again in England, and in May, 1840, he returned to America.

He showed as yet no sign of political ambition. The “hard-cider campaign” of 1840, the contest between Harrison and Van Buren, began immediately after his return. He voted for Harrison, but without especial interest in the measures of the Whig Party. In announcing to a brother, then in Europe, the result of the election, he wrote: “I take very little interest in politics.” The murder of Lovejoy in November, 1837, and the meeting in Faneuil Hall, where Wendell Phillips made his memorable speech, and the local disturbances that attended the progress of the anti-slavery agitation throughout the northern states, had plainly revealed the political situation. But Sumner's letters during the year after his return from Europe do not show that the question of slavery had especially impressed him, while his friends were in the most socially delightful circles of conservative Boston. But in 1841 the assertion by Great Britain, of a right to stop any suspected slaver to ascertain her right to carry the American flag, produced great excitement. Sumner at once showed his concern for freedom and his interest in great questions of law by maintaining in two elaborate articles, published in a Boston newspaper early in 1842, the right and the justice of such an inquiry. Kent, Story, Choate, and Theodore Sedgwick approved his position. This was his first appearance in the anti-slavery controversy. In 1842 Daniel Webster, as Secretary of State, wrote his letter upon the case of the “Creole,” contending that the slaves who had risen against the ship's officers should not be liberated by the British authorities at Nassau. Sumner strongly condemned the letter, and took active part in the discussion. He contended that the slaves were manumitted by the common law upon passing beyond the domain of the local law of slavery; and if this were not so, the piracy charged was an offence under the local statute and not under the law of nations, and no government could be summoned to surrender offenders against the municipal law of other governments. In April, 1842, he writes: “The question of slavery is getting to be the absorbing one among us, and growing out of this is that other of the Union.” He adjured Longfellow to write verses that should move the whole land against the iniquity. But his social relations were still undisturbed, and his unbounded admiration of Webster showed his generous mind. “With the moral devotion of Channing,” he said of Webster, “he would be a prophet.”

In July, 1843, Sumner published in the “North American Review” an article defending Commodore Alexander Slidell Mackenzie for his action in the case of the “Somers” mutiny, when a son of John C. Spencer, Secretary of War, was executed. He published also a paper upon the political relations of slavery, justifying the moral agitation of the question. In this year he contributed largely to the “Law Reporter,” and taught for the last time in the Law-school. In the election of 1844 Sumner took no part. He had no special sympathy with Whig views of the tariff and the bank, and already slavery seemed to him to be the chief public question. He was a Whig, as he said in 1848, because it seemed to him the party of humanity, and John Quincy Adams was the statesman whom he most admired. He was overwhelmed with professional work, which brought on a serious illness. But his activity was unabated, and he was elected a member of various learned societies. His letters during 1844 show his profound interest in the slavery question. He speaks of the “atrocious immorality of John Tyler in seeking to absorb Texas,” and “the disgusting vindication of slavery” by Calhoun, which he regrets that he is too busy to answer. In 1845 he was deeply interested in the question of popular education, and was one of the intimate advisers of Horace Mann. Prison-discipline was another question that commanded his warmest interest, and his first public speech was made upon this subject at a meeting of the Prison-discipline Society, in May, 1845. This was followed, on 4 July, by the annual oration before the civil authorities of Boston, upon “The True Grandeur of Nations.” The oration was a plea for peace and a vehement denunciation of war, delivered, in commemoration of an armed revolutionary contest, to an audience largely military and in military array. This discourse was the prototype of all Sumner's speeches. It was an elaborate treatise, full of learning and precedent and historical illustration, of forcible argument and powerful moral appeal. The effect was immediate and striking. There were great indignation and warm protest on the one hand, and upon the other sincere congratulation and high compliment. Sumner's view of the absolute wrong and iniquity of war under all circumstances was somewhat modified subsequently; but the great purpose of a peaceful solution of international disputes he never relinquished. The oration revealed to the country an orator hitherto unknown even to himself and his friends. It showed a moral conviction, intrepidity, and independence, and a relentless vigor of statement, which were worthy of the best traditions of New England. Just four months later, on 4 November, 1845, Sumner made in Faneuil hall his first anti-slavery speech, at a meeting of which Charles Francis Adams was chairman, to protest against the admission of Texas. This first speech had all the characteristics of the last important speech he ever made. It was brief, but sternly bold, uncompromising, aggressive, and placed Sumner at once in the van of the political anti-slavery movement. He was not an Abolitionist in the Garrisonian sense. He held that slavery
was sectional, not national; that the constitution was meant to be a bond of national liberty as well as union, and nowhere countenanced the theory that there could be property in men; that it was to be judicially interpreted always in the interest of freedom; and that, by rigorous legal restriction and the moral force of public opinion, slavery would be forced to disappear. This was subsequently the ground held by the Republican Party. Sumner added to his reputation by an elaborate oration at Cambridge, in August, 1846, upon “The Scholar, the Jurist, the Artist, the Philanthropist,” of which the illustrations were his personal friends, then recently dead, John Pickering, Judge Story, Washington Allston, and Dr. Channing. The reference to Channing gave him the opportunity, which he improved, to urge the duty of anti-slavery action. It was the first time that the burning question of the hour had been discussed in the scholastic seclusion of the university.

In September, 1846, at the Whig State Convention held in Faneuil Hall, Sumner spoke upon the “Anti-Slavery Duties of the Whig Party,” concluding with an impassioned appeal to Mr. Webster to lead the Whigs as an anti-slavery party. He sent the speech to Mr. Webster, who, in replying coolly, politely regretted that they differed in regard to political duty. In October, Sumner wrote a public letter to Robert C. Winthrop, representative in Congress from Boston, censuring him severely for his vote in support of the Mexican War. He wrote as a Whig constituent of Mr. Winthrop's, and during his absence from Boston he was nominated for Congress, against Mr. Winthrop, by a meeting of Whigs, including Charles Francis Adams and John A. Andrew. But he immediately and peremptorily declined, and he warmly supported Dr. Samuel G. Howe, who was nominated in his place. During this period, when “Conscience Whigs” were separating from “Cotton Whigs,” Sumner was untiring in his public activity. He spoke often, and he argued before the supreme court of the state the invalidity of enlistments for the Mexican War, and delivered a lecture upon “White Slavery in the Barbary States,” which was elaborated into a pamphlet, and was a valuable historical study of the subject. In June, 1847, a speech upon prison-discipline showed his interest in the question to be unabated. On 29 September, 1847, he spoke for the last time as a Whig, in the State Convention at Springfield, in support of a resolution that Massachusetts Whigs would support only an anti-slavery man for the presidency. The resolution was lost, and upon the Whig nomination of General Zachary Taylor, 1 June, 1848, a convention of anti-slavery men of both parties was called at Worcester on 28 June, at which Sumner, Charles Francis Adams, Samuel Hoar (who presided), and his son, E. Rockwood Hoar, with many other well-known Whigs, withdrew from the Whig Party and organized the Free-soil Party. “If two evils are presented to me,” said Sumner in his speech, alluding to Cass and Taylor, “I will take neither.” Sumner was chairman of the Free-Soil State Committee, which conducted the campaign in Massachusetts for Van Buren and Adams, nominated at the Buffalo Convention. In October, 1848, he was nominated for Congress in the Boston District, receiving 2,336 votes against 1,460 for the Democratic candidate. But Mr. Winthrop received 7,726, and was elected. In May, 1849, he renewed his plea for peace in an exhaustive address before the American peace Society on “The War System of the Commonwealth of Nations,” and on 5 November, 1850, his speech, after the passage of the Fugitive-Slave Law, was like a war-cry for the Free-Soil Party, and was said to have made him senator. In the election of members of the legislature the Free-Soilers and Democrats united, and at a caucus of members of the Free-Soil Party Sumner was unanimously selected as their candidate for U. S. Senator. He was more acceptable to the Democrats because he had never been an extreme Whig, and the Democratic caucus, with almost equal unanimity, made him its candidate. The legislature then chose George S. Boutwell governor, Henry W. Cushman lieutenant-governor, and Robert Rantoul, Jr., senator for the short term. These were all Democrats. The House of Representatives voted, on 14 January, 1851, for senator, casting 381 votes, with 191 necessary to a choice. Sumner received 186, Robert C. Winthrop 167, scattering 28, blanks 3. On 22 January, of 38 votes in the Senate, Sumner received 23, Winthrop 14, and H. W. Bishop 1, and Sumner was chosen by the Senate. The contest in the house continued for three months. Sumner was entreated to modify some expressions in his last speech; but he refused, saying that he did not desire the office, and on 22 February he asked Henry Wilson, President of the Senate, and the Free-Soil members, to abandon him whenever they could elect another candidate. On 24 April, Sumner was elected senator by 193 votes, precisely the necessary number of the votes cast.

When he took his seat in the Senate he was as distinctively the uncompromising representative of freedom and the north as Calhoun had been of slavery and the south. But it was not until 26 August, 1852, just after the Democratic and Whig national Conventions had acquiesced in the compromises of 1850, that Sumner delivered his first important speech, “Freedom National, Slavery Sectional.” It treated the relations of the national government to slavery, and the true nature of the constitutional provision in regard to fugitives. The speech made a profound impression. The general view was accepted at once by the anti-slavery party as sound. The argument seemed to the anti-slavery sentiment to be unanswerable. Seward and Chase both described it as “great,” and it was evident that another warrior thoroughly equipped was now to be encountered by the slave power. On 23 January, 1854, Stephen A. Douglas introduced the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, by which the Missouri Compromise was repealed, and on 21 February, 1854, Sumner opposed it in a speech characteristically comprehensive and exhaustive, reviewing the history of the restriction of slavery. On the eve of the passage of the bill he made a solemn and impressive protest, and his reply to assailants, 28 June, 1854, stung his opponents to madness. He was now the most unsparing, the most feared, and the most hated opponent of slavery in Congress. On 17 March, 1856, Mr. Douglas introduced a bill for the admission of Kansas as a state. On 19 and 20 May, Sumner delivered a speech on the “Crime against Kansas,” which again aroused the country, and in which he spoke, in reference to the slave and free-soil factions in Kansas, of “the fury of the propagandists and the calm determination of their opponents,” who through the whole country were “marshalling hostile divisions, and foreshadowing a conflict which, unless happily averted by freedom, will become war—fratricidal, parricidal war.” It provoked the bitterest rejoinders in the Senate, to which Sumner replied contemptuously. In his speech he had sharply censured Senator Butler, of South Carolina, and Senator Douglas, and two days after the delivery of the speech, as Sumner was sitting after the adjournment writing at his desk alone in the Senate-chamber, Preston Smith Brooks, a relative of Butler's and a representative from South Carolina, entered the chamber, and, after speaking a few words
to Sumner, struck him violently upon the head with a bludgeon, and while Sumner was trying in vain to extricate himself from the desk and seize his assailant, the blows continued until he sank bloody and senseless to the floor. This event startled the country as a presage of civil war. The excitement was universal and profound. The House of Representatives refused to give the two-third vote necessary to expel Brooks, but he resigned and appealed to his constituents, and was unanimously re-elected. Sumner was long incapacitated for public service. On 3 November, 1856, he returned to Boston to vote, and was received with acclamation by the people and with the highest honor by the state and city authorities. On 13 January, 1857, he was re-elected senator, receiving all but ten votes, and on 7 March, 1857, he sailed for Europe, where he submitted to the severest medical treatment. With characteristic energy and industry, in the intervals of suffering, he devoted himself to a thorough study of the art and history of engraving.

For nearly four years he was absent from his seat in the Senate, which he resumed on 5 December, 1859, at the opening of the session. He was still feeble, and took no part in debate until the middle of March, and on 4 June, 1860, on the question of admitting Kansas as a free state, he delivered a speech upon “The Barbarism of Slavery,” which showed his powers untouched and his ardor unquenched.
Mr. Lincoln had been nominated for the presidency, and Sumner's speech was the last comprehensive word in the parliamentary debate of freedom and slavery. The controversy could now be settled only by arms. This conviction was undoubtedly the explanation of the angry silence with which the speech was heard in the Senate by the friends of slavery. During the winter of secession that followed the election Sumner devoted himself to the prevention of any form of compromise, believing that it would be only a base and fatal surrender of constitutional principles. He made no speeches during the session. By the withdrawal of southern senators the Senate was left with a Republican majority, and in the reconstruction of committees on 8 March, 1861, Sumner was made chairman of the committee on foreign affairs. For this place he was peculiarly fitted. His knowledge of international law, of the history of other states, and of their current politics, was comprehensive and exact, and during the intense excitement arising from the seizure of the “Trent” he rendered the country a signal service in placing the surrender of Slidell and Mason upon the true ground. (See MASON, JAMES MURRAY.) While there was universal acquiescence in the decision of the government to surrender the commissioners, there was not universal satisfaction and pride until on 9 January, 1862, Sumner, in one of his ablest speeches, showed incontestably that our own principles, constantly maintained by us, required the surrender. One of the chief dangers throughout the Civil War was the possible action of foreign powers, and especially of England, where iron-clad rams were being built for the Confederacy, and on 10 September, 1863, Sumner delivered in New York a speech upon “Our Foreign Relations,” which left nothing unsaid. Happily, on 8 September, Lord Russell had informed the American minister, Charles Francis Adams, that the rams would not be permitted to leave English ports.

Throughout the war, both in Congress and upon the platform, Sumner was very urgent for emancipation, and when the war ended he was equally anxious to secure entire equality of rights for the new citizens. But while firm upon this point, and favoring the temporary exclusion of recent Confederates from political power, he opposed the proposition to change the jury law for the trial of Jefferson Davis, and disclaimed every feeling of vengeance. He was strong in his opposition to President Andrew Johnson and his policy. But the great measure of the Johnson administration, the acquisition of Alaska by treaty, was supported by Sumner in a speech on 9 April, 1867, which is an exhaustive history of Russian America. He voted affirmatively upon all the articles of impeachment of President Johnson, which in a long opinion he declared to be one of the last great battles with slavery.

Early in the administration of President Grant, 10 April, 1869, Sumner opposed the Johnson-Clarendon Treaty with England, as affording no means of adequate settlement of our British claims. In this speech he asserted the claim for indirect or consequential damages, which afterward was proposed as part of the American case at the Geneva arbitration, but was discarded. In his message of 5 December, 1870, President Grant, regretting the failure of the treaty to acquire Santo Domingo, strongly urged its acquisition. Sumner strenuously opposed the project on the ground that it was not the wish of the “black republic,” and that Baez, with whom, as president of the Dominican Republic, the
negotiation had been irregularly conducted, was an adventurer, held in his place by an unconstitutional use of the navy of the United States. Sumner's opposition led to a personal rupture with the president and the Secretary of State, and to alienation from the Republican senators, in consequence of which, on 10 March, 1871, he was removed, by the Republican majority of the Senate, from the chairmanship of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. He was assigned the chairmanship of the Committee on Privileges and Elections; but, upon his own motion, his name was stricken out. On 24 March he introduced resolutions, which he advocated in a powerful speech, severely arraigning the president for his course in regard to Santo Domingo. In December, 1871, he refused again to serve as chairman of the Committee on Privileges and Elections. Early in 1872 he introduced a supplementary civil-rights bill, which, since January, 1870, he had vainly sought to bring before the Senate. It was intended to secure complete equality for colored citizens in every relation that law could effect; but it was thought to be unwise and impracticable by other Republican senators, and as drawn by Sumner it was not supported by them. He introduced, 12 February, 1872, resolutions of inquiry, aimed at the administration, into the sale of arms to France during the German War. An acrimonious debate arose, during which Sumner's course was sharply criticised by some of his party colleagues, and he and Senators Trumbull, Schurz, and Fenton were known as anti-Grant Republicans.

Sumner was urged to attend the Liberal or anti-Grant Republican
Convention, to be held at Cincinnati, 1 May, which nominated Horace Greeley for the presidency, and the chairmanship, and authority to write the platform were offered to him as inducements. But he declined, and in the Senate, 31 May, declaring himself a Republican of the straitest sect, he denounced Grantism as not Republicanism in a speech implying that he could not support Grant as the presidential candidate of the party. The Republican Convention, 5 June, unanimously renominated Grant, and the Democratic Convention, 9 June, adopted the Cincinnati platform and candidates. In reply to a request for advice from the colored citizens of Washington, 29 July, Sumner, in a long letter, advised the support of Greeley, on the general ground that principles must be preferred to party. In a sharp letter to Speaker Blaine, 5 August, he set forth the reasons of the course he had taken.

But the strain of the situation was too severe. His physicians ordered him to seek recreation in Europe, and he sailed early in September, leaving the manuscript of a speech he had proposed to deliver in Faneuil Hall at a meeting of Liberal Republicans. He opposed the election of Grant upon the ground that he was unfaithful to the constitution and to Republican principles, and otherwise unfitted for the presidency; and he supported Greeley as an original and unswerving Republican, nominated by Republicans, whose adoption as a candidate by the Democratic Party proved the honest acquiescence of that party in the great results of the Civil War. He returned from Europe in time for the opening of the session, 2 December, 1872. The Republican majority omitted him
altogether in the arrangement of the committees, leaving him to be placed by the Democratic minority. But Sumner declined to serve upon any committee, and did not attend the Republican caucus. On the first day of the session he introduced a bill forbidding the names of battles with fellow-citizens to be continued in the army register or placed on the regimental colors of the United States. From this time he took no party part and made no political speech, pleading only for equality of civil rights for colored citizens. At the next session, 1 December, 1873, he was placed on several committees, not as chairman, but as one of the minority, and he did not refuse to serve, but attended no meetings. During this session the cordial relations between Sumner and the Republicans were almost wholly restored, and in Massachusetts the Republican feeling for him was very friendly. Again, promptly but vainly, 2 December, 1873, he asked consideration of the civil-rights bill. On 27 January, 1874, he made for the bill a last brief appeal, and on 11 March, 1874, after a short illness, he died. The bill that was his last effort to serve the race to whose welfare his public life had been devoted was reported, 14 April, 1874, substantially as originally drawn, and passed the Senate, 22 May. But it failed in the house, and the civil-rights bill, approved 1 March, 1875, was a law of less scope than his, and has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Sumner's death was universally lamented. One of the warmest and most striking eulogies was that of Lucius Q. C. Lamar, then a representative in Congress from Mississippi, who had been a sincere disciple of Calhoun and a Confederate officer, but who recognized in Sumner a kindred earnestness and fidelity. The later differences with his party were forgotten when Sumner died, and only his great service to the country in the most perilous hour, and his uncompromising devotion to the enslaved race, were proudly and enthusiastically remembered. Among American statesmen his life especially illustrates the truth he early expressed, that politics is but the application of moral principles to public affairs. Throughout his public career he was the distinctive representative of the moral conviction and political purpose of New England. His ample learning and various accomplishments were rivalled among American public men only by those of John Quincy Adams, and during all the fury of political passion in which he lived there was never a whisper or suspicion of his political honesty or his personal integrity. He was fortunate in the peculiar adaptation of his qualities to his time. His profound conviction, supreme conscientiousness, indomitable will, affluent resources, and inability to compromise, his legal training, serious temper, and untiring energy, were indispensable in the final stages of the slavery controversy, and he had them all in the highest degree. “There is no other side,” he said to a friend with fervor, and Cromwell's Ironsides did not ride into the fight more absolutely persuaded that they were doing the will of God than Charles Sumner. For ordinary political contests he had no taste, and at another time and under other circumstances he would probably have been an all-accomplished scholar or learned judge, unknown in political life. Of few men could it be said more truly than of him that he never lost a day. He knew most of the famous men and women of his time, and he was familiar with the contemporaneous political, literary, and artistic movement in every country. In public life he was often accounted a man of one idea; but his speeches upon the “Trent” case, the Russian treaty, and our foreign relations showed the fulness of his knowledge and the variety of his interest. He was dogmatic, often irritable with resolute opposition to his views, and of generous self-esteem, but he was of such child-like simplicity and kindliness that the poisonous sting of vanity and malice was wanting. During the difference between Sumner and his fellow-Republicans in the Senate, one of them said that he had no enemy but himself, and Sumner refused to speak to him for the rest of the session. But the next autumn his friend stepped into an omnibus in New York in which Sumner was sitting, and, entirely forgetting the breach, greeted him with the old warmth. Sumner responded as warmly, and at once the old intimacy was completely restored. From envy or any form of ill-nature he was wholly free. No man was more constant and unsparing in the warfare with slavery and in the demand of equality for the colored race; but no soldier ever fought with less personal animosity. He was absolutely fearless. During the heat of the controversy in Congress his life was undoubtedly in danger, and he was urged to carry a pistol for his defence. He laughed, and said that he had never fired a pistol in his life, and, in case of extremity, before he could possibly get it out of his pocket he would be shot. But the danger was so real that, unknown to himself, he was for a long time under the constant protection of armed friends in Washington. The savage assault of Brooks undoubtedly shortened Sumner's life, but to a friend who asked him how he felt toward his assailant, he answered: “As to a brick that should fall upon my head from a chimney. He was the unconscious agent of a malign power.” Personally, in his later years, Sumner was of commanding presence, very tall, and of a stalwart frame. His voice was full, deep, and resonant, his elocution declamatory, stately, and earnest. His later speeches in the Senate he read from printed slips, but his speech upon Alaska, which occupied three hours in the delivery, was spoken from notes written upon a single sheet of paper, and it was subsequently written out. Few of the bills drawn by him became laws, but he influenced profoundly legislation upon subjects in which he was most interested. He was four times successively elected to the Senate, and when he died he was the senior senator of the United States in consecutive service. In October, 1866, when he was fifty-five years old, Sumner married Mrs. Alice Mason Hooper, of Boston, daughter-in-law of his friend, Samuel Hooper, representative in Congress. The union was very brief, and in September, 1867, Mr. and Mrs. Sumner, for reasons that were never divulged, were separated, and they were ultimately divorced. Of the “Memoir and Letters of Charles Sumner,” written by his friend and literary executor, Edward L. Pierce, two volumes, covering the period to 1845, have been published (Boston, 1877). His complete works in fifteen volumes are also published (Boston, 1870-'83). The notes by himself and his executors supply a chronology of his public career. There are several portraits of Sumner. A crayon drawing by Eastman Johnson (1846) hung in Longfellow's study, and is engraved in Pierce's memoir. A large daguerreotype (1853) is also engraved in the memoir. A crayon by William W. Story (1854) for Lord Morpeth is now at Castle Howard, Yorkshire. An oil portrait by Moses Wight (1856) is in the Boston public library, another by Morrison (1856) in the library of Harvard College. A portrait by Edgar Parker was painted several years before his death. There is a photograph in the “Memorial History of Boston”; a photograph (1869) engraved in his works; another (1871) engraved in the city memorial volume of Sumner; a full-length portrait by Henry Ulke (1873) for the Haytian government—copy presented to the state of Massachusetts by James Wormely (1884), now in the State library; a photograph (1873), the last likeness ever taken, engraved in the state memorial volume; Thomas Crawford's bust (1839) in the Boston art museum; Martin Milmore's bust (1874) in the state-house, a copy of which is in the Metropolitan art museum, New York; a bronze statue by Thomas Ball (1878) in the Public garden, Boston; and a statuette in plaster by Miss Whitney (1877), an admirable likeness. The illustration on page 747 represents Mr. Sumner's tomb in Mt. Auburn cemetery, near Boston. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 744-750.


Swisshelm, Jane Grey Cannon, 1815-1884, abolitionist leader, women’s rights advocate, journalist, reformer.  Free Soil Party.  Liberty Party and Liberty League.  Republican Party activist.  Established Saturday Visitor, an abolition and women’s rights newspaper.  (Appletons’, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 13; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 9, Pt. 2, p. 253; Blue, 2005, pp. 8-9, 50, 138-160, 268, 269; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 21, p. 217; The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. II. New York: James T. White, 1892, p. 316; Hinks, Peter P., & John R. McKivigan, Eds., Encyclopedia of Antislavery and Abolition.  Westport, Connecticut, Greenwood, 2007, Vol. 2, pp. 668-670)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

SWISSHELM, Jane Grey,
b. near Pittsburg, Pa., 6 Sept., 1815; d. in Swissvale, Pa., 22 July, 1884. When she was eight years of age her father, James Cannon, died, leaving a family in straitened circumstances. The daughter worked at manual labor and teaching till she was twenty-one, when she married James Swisshelm, who several years afterward obtained a divorce on the ground of desertion. Two years later she removed with her husband to Louisville, Ky. In this city she became an outspoken opponent of slavery, and her first written attack upon the system appeared in the Louisville “Journal” in 1842. She also wrote articles favoring abolition and woman's rights in the “Spirit of Liberty,” of Pittsburg, for about four years. In 1848 she established the Pittsburg “Saturday Visitor,” a strong abolition and woman's rights paper, which, in 1856, was merged with the weekly edition of the Pittsburg “Journal.” In 1857 she went to St. Cloud, Minn., and established the St. Cloud “Visitor.” Her bold utterances caused a mob to destroy her office and its contents, and to throw her printing-press into the river. But she soon began to publish the St. Cloud “Democrat.” When Abraham Lincoln was nominated for the presidency, she spoke and wrote in his behalf and for the principles of which he was the representative. When the civil war began and nurses were wanted at the front, she was one of the first to respond. After the battle of the Wilderness she had charge of 182 badly wounded men at Fredericksburg for five days, without surgeon or assistant, and saved them all. She was a prolific writer for newspapers and magazines, and published “Letters to Country Girls” (New York, 1853), and an autobiography entitled “Half of a Century” (1881). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI.


Tabor, Horace Austin Warner

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

TABOR, Horace Austin Warner, senator, born in Holland, Orleans County, Vermont, 30 November, 1830. He received a common-school education, and learned the trade of a stone-cutter in Massachusetts. but in 1855 he moved to Kansas and engaged in farming, and was an active member of the Free-Soil party. In 1856 he was a member of the Topeka legislature that was dispersed at the point of the bayonet by order of President Pierce. In 1859 he moved to Colorado, and the following spring he settled in California Gulch (now Leadville). There he worked in the mines until 1865, when he engaged in business, and combined both occupations I till May, 1878. During the latter month August Rische and George F. Hook, to whom he had advanced money, discovered what was afterward known as the "Little Pittsburg" mine. By the terms of his agreement. Mr. Tabor was entitled to a one-third interest, which he sold the following year for $ 1,000,000. This capital he invested in mines, banking stock, and other remunerative property, which greatly increased his wealth. In October, 1878, he was elected the first lieutenant-governor of Colorado, and he held the office until January, 1884. He was chosen U. S. Senator to fill the unexpired term of Henry M. Teller, resigned, and served from 2 February till 4 March. Besides the investments mentioned above, Senator Tabor has purchased 175,000 acres of copper lands in Texas, and 4,600,000 acres of grazing lands in southern Colorado, and is interested in irrigating canals and other enterprises that give employment to a large number of laborers. He has also obtained from the republic of Honduras a grant of every alternate section of land for 400 miles bordering on the Patook River. On this tract are immense groves of mahogany, ebony, and similar valuable woods, orchards of bananas and other tropical fruits, together with deposits of gold, silver, and coal. In addition to the section-grant, he has secured a mineral grant of 150 square miles in the interior. Altogether Mr. Tabor is probably one of the largest owners of land in the world. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888


Tappan, Lewis Northey, 1788-1873, New York, NY, merchant, radical abolitionist leader.  Lewis Tappan and his brother, Arthur, were among the most important activists in the cause of abolition in America.  With his brother, Arthur, in 1828, Lewis began publishing anti-slavery newspaper, The Emancipator, paying for the editor and expenses for printing.  Lewis Tappan’s house was destroyed by a pro-slavery mob in July 1834.  He was a member of the Free-Soil Party from its beginning.  Co-founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833.  Member of the Executive Committee of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1840-1855, Treasurer, 1840-1842, Secretary, 1842-1844, Corresponding Secretary, 1845-1846, 1848-1855.  Leader of the Philadelphia Free Produce Association.  Wrote Life.  Both Lewis and Arthur Tappan were despised by slaveholders in the South.

(Blue, 2005; Burin, 2005, p. 89; Dumond, 1961, pp. 159, 218, 287; Filler, 1960, pp. 26, 31, 50, 55, 61, 63, 68, 72, 94, 102, 130, 136, 138, 144, 150, 152, 158, 164, 165, 168, 174, 177, 189, 194, 210, 247, 262; Harrold, 1995; Mabee, 1970, pp. 8, 9, 13-19, 21, 24, 26, 38, 42-49, 51, 55, 58, 91, 93, 104, 105, 130, 190, 151-156, 190, 202, 219-221, 226-229, 233, 234, 251-253, 257, 334, 340, 341, 343, 344, 345; Mitchell, 2007; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 42, 106, 161, 162, 163, 166, 174, 290, 362; Sorin, 1971, pp. 70, 93, 96, 102, 113, 114, 131; Abolitionist, Vol. I, No. XII, December, 1833; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 32-34; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 9, Pt. 2, p. 203; American Reformers: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 21, p. 311; The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. II. New York: James T. White, 1892, p. 321; Tappan, Lewis. Life of Arthur Tappan. New York, Hurd and Houghton: 1870; Hinks, Peter P., & John R. McKivigan, Eds., Encyclopedia of Antislavery and Abolition.  Westport, Connecticut, Greenwood, 2007, Vol. 2, pp. 673-675; Wyatt-Brown, Bertram, Lewis Tappan and the Evangelical War against Slavery, 1969; Staudenraus, P. J. The African Colonization Movement, 1816-1865. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961, pp. 76, 128-129, 219, 228, 230; Minutes, Convention of the Liberty Party, June 14, 15, 1848, Buffalo, New York)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

TAPPAN, Lewis, merchant, born in Northampton, Massachusetts, 23 May, 1788; died in Brooklyn, New York, 21 June, 1873, received a good education, and at the age of six
teen became clerk in a dry-goods house in Boston. His employers subsequently aided him in establishing himself in business, and he became interested m calico-print works and in the manufacture of cotton. In 1827 he moved to New York and became a member of the firm of Arthur Tappan and County, and his subsequent career was closely identified with that of his brother Arthur. With the latter he established in 1828 the “Journal of Commerce,” of which he became sole owner in 1829. In 1833 he entered with vigor into the anti-slavery movement, in consequence of which his house was sacked and his furniture was destroyed by a mob in July, 1834, and at other times he and his brother suffered personal violence. He was also involved in the crisis of 1837, and afterward withdrew from the firm and established the first mercantile agency in the country, which he conducted with success. He was chief founder of the American missionary association, of which he was treasurer and afterward president, and was an early member of Plymouth church, Brooklyn. He published the life of his brother mentioned above, but afterward joined in the Free-Soil movement at its inception. He was widely known for his drollery and wit and for his anti-slavery sentiments. Judge Tappan published “Cases decided in the Court of Common Pleas,” with an appendix (Steubenville, 1831). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 32-34.


Tappan, Mason Weare, 1817-1886, lawyer, soldier.  U.S. Congressman, Free Soil Party, 1855-1861.  (Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 33-34)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

TAPPAN, Mason Weare, law
yer, born in Newport, New Hampshire, 20 October, 1817; died in Bradford, New Hampshire, 24 October, 1886. His father, a well-known lawyer, settled in Bradford in 1818, and was a pioneer in the anti-slavery movement. The son was educated at Kimball Union Academy, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1841, and acquired a large practice. He was early identified with the Whig party, and afterward was a Free-Soiler and served in the legislature in 1853-'5. He was elected to Congress as a Free-Soiler, by a combination of the Whigs, Free-Soilers, Independent Democrats, and Americans, at the time of the breaking up of the two great parties, Whigs and Democrats. He served from 3 December, 1855, till 3 March, 1861, and was a member of the special committee of thirty-three on the rebellious states. On 5 February, 1861, when a report was submitted recommending that the provisions of the constitution should be obeyed rather than amended, he made a patriotic speech in support of the government. Mr. Tappan was one of the earliest to enlist in the volunteer army, and was colonel of the 1st New Hampshire Regiment from May till August, 1861. Afterward he resumed the practice of law, and held the office of attorney-general of the state for ten years preceding his death. He was a delegate to the Philadelphia Loyalists' convention of 1866, and presided over the New Hampshire Republican convention on 14 September, 1886. In the presidential election of 1872 he supported his life-long friend, Horace Greeley. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 33-34.


Tappan, Samuel Foster, 1831-1913, Manchester, Massachusetts, journalist, Union Army officer, abolitionist, Native American rights activist.  Co-founded Lawrence, Kansas, as part of the New England Emigrant Aid Company.  Active in the Free-Soil movement to keep slavery out of the territory of Kansas.  Served as a correspondent for the New York Tribune, reporting on the anti-slavery activities there.  Related to the abolitionist Tappan family


Treadwell, Seymour Boughton, 1795-1867, political leader, temperance and anti-slavery activist.  Wrote, “American Liberties and American Slavery Morally and Politically Illustrated,” 1838.  Editor of anti-slavery newspaper, Michigan Freeman.  (Appletons’, 1888, vol. VI, pp. 155-156)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

TREADWELL, Seymour Boughton,
politician, born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1 June, 1795; died in Jackson, Michigan, 9 June, 1867. His parents moved in his infancy to Monroe County, New York, where he was educated. He taught in western New York and Ohio, and in 1830 engaged in trade in Albion, New York, where he began to attract notice as a temperance and anti-slavery advocate. He moved to Rochester in 1837, and went to Michigan in 1839 to conduct the “Michigan Freeman,” an anti-slavery organ, at Jackson. He took an active part in all the conventions and movements of the Abolitionists, supporting James G. Birney for president in 1840 and 1844 and John P. Hale in 1852. In 1854 he was nominated by the Free-Soil party for commissioner of the state land-office and twice elected. He acquired note, especially by a remarkable state paper in which he denied the constitutionality of the payment by the state of the expenses of the judges of the supreme court. The correctness of his views on the question was maintained by the state auditors in opposition to the attorney-general. He lived in retirement after 1859 on a farm near Jackson. He became first known to the public as the author of a work entitled “American Liberties and American Slavery Morally and Politically Illustrated” (Rochester, 1838). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 155-156.


Tuck, Amos, 1810-1879, Parsonfield, Maine, lawyer, politician, abolitionist.  Co-founder of the Republican Party.  Free-Soil and Whig anti-slavery member of the U.S. Congress.  Opposed the Democratic Party and its position supporting the annexation of Texas and the extension of slavery to the new territories.  Elected to Congress in 1847 and served until 1853.  Prominent anti-slavery congressman, allied with Joshua R. Giddings of Ohio and John G. Palfrey of Massachusetts.  (Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 10, Pt. 1, p. 27)


Tyndale, Hector

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

TYNDALE, Hector, soldier, born in Philadelphia, 24 March. 1821: died there, 19 March, 1880. His father was a merchant engaged in the importation of china and glassware, and young Tyndale succeeded to the business in 1845, in partnership with his brother-in-law, Edward P. Mitchell. He made several tours of Europe, inspecting closely all the chief factories, and becoming practically familiar with the whole art of pottery. His natural taste, thus cultivated, made him a most expert connoisseur, and led to his selection in 1876 as one of the judges of that section of the Centennial exhibition, in which capacity he wrote the elaborate report on pottery. His private collection was one of the most complete in the country. He first became interested in politics in 1856 as a Free-Soiler, and was a member of the first Republican committee in Philadelphia. He was not an Abolitionist, and had neither knowledge of nor sympathy with John Brown's raid, but when Mrs. Brown came to Philadelphia on her way to pay her last visit to her husband and bring back his body after his execution, she was without escort and was believed to be in personal danger. An appeal was made to Tyndale, who at once accepted the risks and dangers of escorting her. In the course of this self-imposed duty he was subjected to insults and threats, and on the morning of the execution was shot at by an unseen assassin. It had been threatened in the more violent newspapers of the south that John Brown's body should not be restored to his friends, but ignommiously treated, and a "nigger's" body substituted for his friends. When the coffin was delivered to Tyndale by the authorities, he refused to receive it until it was opened and the body was identified. He was in Europe when he heard the news of the firing on Fort Sumter, and at once returned home and offered his services to the government. He was commissioned major of the 28th Pennsylvania Regiment in June, 1861, and in August was put in command of Sandy Hook, opposite Harper's Ferry. The regiment fought in twenty-four battles and nineteen smaller engagements, in all of which Tyndale took part, except when he was disabled by wounds. He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in April, 1802, and served in General Nathaniel P. Banks's corps in the Shenandoah valley, under General John Pope at Chantilly and the second battle of Bull Run, and later in General Joseph K. F. Mansfield's corps. At Antietam as the senior officer, he commanded a brigade in General George S. Greene's division of the 12th Corps, holding the ground in front of the Dunker church against three separate assaults of the enemy, in which the brigade captured seven battle-flags and four guns. Early in the day he received a wound in the hip, but he kept the field until the afternoon, when he was struck in the head by a musket-ball and carried off the field. For "conspicuous gallantry, self-possession, and good judgment at Antietam" he was promoted to brigadier-general of volunteers, 29 November, 1862. After slow and partial recovery from his wounds he applied for active duty, and in May, 1863, was assigned to a brigade under General Erasmus D. Keyes near Yorktown. and served with the Army of the Potomac until September, when he was sent with General Joseph Hooker to the relief of Chattanooga. In the battle of Wauhatchie he carried by a bayonet charge a hill (subsequently known as Tyndale's hill), thus turning the flank of the enemy and relieving General John W. Geary's division from an assault by superior numbers. He also participated in the series of battles around Chattanooga, and in the march to the relief of Knoxville. He was sent home on sick-leave in May, 1864, and, finding his disability likely to be lasting, he resigned in August. In March, 1865, he was brevetted major-general of volunteers for gallant and meritorious services during the war. In 1868 he was the Republican nominee for mayor of Philadelphia, and was defeated by 68 votes in a poll of more than 120,000. In 1872 his kinsman. Professor John Tyndall of London, delivered a series of lectures in this country, and resolving to devote the proceeds to the establishment of a fund "for the promotion of science in the United States by the support in European universities or elsewhere of American pupils who may evince decided talents in physics," he appointed General Tyndale with Professor Joseph Henry and Dr. Edward L. Youmans trustees. Professor Tyndall in 1885 changed the trust and established three scholarships, in Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania. The last-named institution called its share the Hector Tyndale scholarship in physics. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 202.


Underwood, Francis Henry

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

UNDERWOOD, Francis Henry, author, born in Enfield, Massachusetts, 12 January, 1825. He was educated partly at Amherst, then taught in Kentucky, read law, and was admitted to the bar. He returned to Massachusetts in 1850, and thenceforward took an active part in the anti-slavery cause. He was clerk of the Massachusetts Senate in 1852, and afterward literary adviser of the publishing-house of Phillips, Sampson, and Company. He conceived the idea of uniting the literary force of the north to the Free-Soil movement by means of a magazine, and after several years of effort was the means of securing the eminent writers that made the fame of the "Atlantic Monthly." He assisted in the management of that magazine for two years, until the firm with which he was connected came to an end. He was then (1859) elected clerk of the superior court in Boston, which post he held for eleven years, when he resigned and entered private business, chiefly to obtain more leisure for literary work. His studies have been mainly in English literature, but his writings cover a wide field. He served for thirteen years in the school board of Boston. In 1885 he was appointed U. S. consul at Glasgow, Scotland. His lectures on "American Men of Letters" and his occasional speeches, such as that before the Glasgow Ayrshire society "On the Memory of Burns," have been much admired. In 1888 the University of Glasgow conferred on him the degree of LL. D. His works include a " Hand-Book of English Literature" (Boston. 1871); "Hand Book of American Literature" (1872); "Cloud Pictures." a series of imaginative stories, chiefly musical (1872); "Lord of Himself," a novel of old times in Kentucky (1874); "Man Proposes," a novel (1880); " The True Story of Exodus, an abridgment of the work by Brugsch-Bey (1880); and biographical sketches of Longfellow (1882), Lowell (1882), and Whittier (1883). Dr. Underwood is engaged upon an elaborate popular history of English literature. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 209-210.


Van Buren, Martin

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

VAN BUREN, Martin, eighth president of the United States, born in Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York, 5 December, 1782: died there, 24 July, 1862.

[…] But on the newly emergent question of Texas annexation he took a decided stand in the negative, and on this rock of offence to the southern wing of his party his candidature was wrecked in the Democratic national convention of 1844, which met at Baltimore on 27 May. He refused to falter with this issue, on the ground of our neutral obligations to Mexico, and when the nomination went to James K. Polk, of Tennessee, he gave no sign of resentment. His friends brought to Polk a loyal support, and secured his election by carrying for him the decisive vote of New York. Van Buren continued to take an interest in public affairs, and when in 1847 the acquisition of new territory from Mexico raised anew the vexed question of slavery in the territories, he gave in his adhesion to the " Wilmot Proviso." In the new elective affinities produced by this "burning question" a redistribution of political elements took place in the chaos of New York politics. The "Barnburner" and the "Hunker" factions came to a sharp cleavage on this line of division. The former declared their "uncompromising hostility to the extension of slavery." In the Herkimer Democratic convention of 26 October. 1847, the Free-Soil banner was openly displayed, and delegates were sent to the Democratic national convention. From this convention, assembled at Baltimore in May, 1848, the Herkimer delegates seceded before any presidential nomination was made. In June, 1848, a Barnburner convention met at Utica to organize resistance to the nomination of General Lewis Cass. who. in his "Nicholson letter," had disavowed the "Wilmot proviso." To this convention Van Buren addressed a letter, declining in advance a nomination for the presidency, but pledging opposition to the new party shibboleth. In spite of his refusal, he was nominated, and this nomination was reaffirmed by the Free-Soil national convention of Buffalo, 9 August, 1848, when Charles Francis Adams was associated with him as candidate for the vice-presidency. In the ensuing presidential election this ticket received only 291,263 votes, but, as the result of the triangular duel. General Cass was defeated and General Zachary Taylor, the Whig candidate, was elected. The precipitate annexation of Texas and its natural sequel, the war with Mexico, had brought their Nemesis in the utter confusion of national politics. Van Buren received no electoral votes, but his popular Democratic vote in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York exceeded that of Cass. Henceforth he was simply a spectator in the political arena. On all public questions save that of slavery he remained an unfaltering Democrat, and when it was fondly supposed that "the slavery issue" had been forever exorcised by the compromise measures of 1850, he returned in full faith and communion to his old party allegiance. In 1852 he began to write his "Inquiry into the Origin and Course of Political Parties in the United States" (New York, 1867), but it was never finished and was published as a fragment. He supported Franklin Pierce for the presidency in 1852, and, after spending two years in Europe, returned in time to vote for James Buchanan in 1856. In 1860 he voted for the combined electoral ticket against Lincoln, but when the Civil War began he gave to the administration his zealous support. Van Buren was the target of political accusation during his whole public career, but kept his private character free from reproach. In his domestic life he was as happy as he was exemplary. Always prudent in his habits and economical in his tastes, he none the less maintained in his style of living the easy state of a gentleman, whether in public station at Albany and Washington, or at Lindenwald in his retirement. As a man of the world he was singularly affable and courteous, blending formal deference with natural dignity and genuine cordiality. Intensely partisan in his opinions and easily startled by the red rag of "Hamiltonian Federalism," he never carried the contentions of the political arena into the social sphere. The asperities of personal rivalry estranged him for a time from Calhoun, after the latter denounced him in the Senate in 1837 as "a practical politician," with whom " justice, right, patriotism, etc., were mere vague phrases," but with his great Whig rival. Henry Clay, he maintained unbroken relations of friendship through all vicissitudes of political fortune. Asa lawyer his rank was eminent. Though never rising in speech to the heights of oratory, he was equally fluent and facile before bench or jury, and equally felicitous whether expounding the intricacies of fact or of law in a case. His manner was mild and insinuating, never declamatory. Without carrying his juridical studies into the realm of jurisprudence, he yet had a knowledge of law that fitted him to cope with the greatest advocates of the New York bar. The evidences of his legal learning and acute dialectics are still preserved in the New York reports of Johnson. Cowen, and Wendell. As a debater in the Senate, he always went to the pith of questions, disdaining the arts of rhetoric. As a writer of political letters or of state papers, he carried diffusiveness to a fault, which sometimes hinted at a weakness in positions requiring so much defence. As a politician he was masterful in leadership—so much so that, alike by friends and foes, he was credited with reducing its practices to a fine art. He was a member of the famous Albany regency which for so many years controlled the politics of New York, and was long popularly known as its " director." Fertile in the contrivance of means for the attainment of the public ends which he deemed desirable, he was called "the little magician," from the deftness of his touch in politics. But combining the statesman's foresight with the politician's tact, he showed his sagacity rather by seeking a majority for his views than by following the views of a majority. Accused of "non-committalism." and with some show of reason in the early stages of his career, it was only as to men and minor measures of policy that he practised a prudent reticence. On questions of deeper principle — an elective judiciary, Negro suffrage, universal suffrage, etc.—he boldly took the unpopular side. In a day of unexampled political giddiness he stood firmly for his sub treasury system against the doubts of friends, the assaults of enemies, and the combined pressure of wealth and culture in the country. Dispensing patronage according to the received custom of his times, he yet maintained a high standard of appointment. That he could rise above selfish considerations was shown when he promoted the elevation of Rufus King in 1820, or when he strove in 1838 to bring Washington Irving into his cabinet with small promise of gain to his doubtful political fortunes by such an "unpractical" appointment. As a statesman he had his compact fagot of opinions, to which he adhered in evil or good report. It might seem that the logic of his principles in 1848, combined with the subsequent drift of events, should have landed him in the Free-Soil party that Abraham Lincoln led to victory in 1860: but it. is to be remembered that, while Van Buren's political opinions were in a fluid state, they had been cast in the doctrinal molds of Jefferson, and had there taken rigid form and pressure. In the natural history of American party-formations he supposed that an enduring antithesis had always been discernible between the "money power" and the "farming interest " of the land. In his annual message of December, 1838, holding language very modern in its emphasis, he counted "the anti-republican tendencies of associated wealth " as among the strains that had been put upon our government. This is indeed the mam thesis of his " Inquiry," a book which is more an apologia than a history. In that chronicle of his life-long antipathy to a splendid consolidated government, with its imperial judiciary, funding systems, high tariffs, and internal improvements— the whole surmounted by a powerful national bank as the "regulator" of finance and politics—he has left an outlined sketch of the only dramatic unity that can be found for his eventful career. Confessing in 1848 that he had gone further in concession to slavery than many of his friends at the north had approved, he satisfied himself with a formal protest against the repeal of the Missouri compromise, carried through Congress while he was travelling in Europe, and against the policy of making the Dred Scott decision a rule of Democratic politics, though he thought the decision sound in point of technical law. With these reservations, avowedly made in the interest of " strict construction" and of "old-time Republicanism" rather than of Free-Soil or National reformation, he maintained his allegiance to the party with which his fame was identified, and which he was perhaps the more unwilling to leave because of the many sacrifices he had made in its service. The biography of Van Buren has been written by William H. Holland (Hartford, 1835); Francis J. Grand (in German, 1835); William Emmons (Washington, 1835): David Crockett (Philadelphia, 1836): William L. Mackenzie (Boston, 1846); William Allen Butler (New York, 1862); and Edward M. Shepard (Boston, 1888). Mackenzie's book is compiled in part from surreptitious letters, shedding a lurid light on the "practical politics" of the times. Butler's sketch was published immediately after the ex-president's death. Shepard's biography is written with adequate learning and in a philosophical spirit.


Van Dyke, Henry Herbert

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

VAN DYKE, Henry Herbert, financier, born in Kinderhook, New York, in 1809; died in New York City, 22 January, 1888, was apprenticed to a printer early in life, and at twenty-one years of age became editor of the Goshen "Independent Republican." He was subsequently connected with the Albany "Argus," and was active in state politics as a Free-Soil Democrat, following the lead of Martin Van Buren in the revolt against the "Hunker" Democrats that resulted in the election of Zachary Taylor to the presidency as a Whig. He subsequently joined the Republican Party, and was a presidential elector on the Fremont ticket in 1856. He became superintendent of public instruction for the state of New York in 1857, and in 1861 superintendent of the state banking department, holding office till 1865, when he was chosen by President Johnson assistant U. S. treasurer. The failure of his health compelled his resignation of that post in 1869. He was president of the American Safe Deposit Company in 1883-'8, and, among other business offices, held the presidency of the Erie Transportation Company. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 245.


Wade, Edward, 1802-1866, West Springfield, Massachusetts, Ohio, lawyer, prominent abolitionist.  Free Soil party U.S. Congressman from Ohio in the 33rd Congress.  Republican representative in the 34th and 35th Congresses.  Opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.  (Blue, 2005, pp. 11-13, 213, 226, 236, 268; Dumond, 1961, pp. 302, 363; Mitchell, 2007, pp. 23, 25, 26, 48, 65, 71, 72; Rodriguez, 2007, p. 56)


Wadsworth, James Samuel

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

WADSWORTH, James Samuel, soldier, born in Geneseo, New York, 30 October, 1807; died near Chancellorsville, Virginia, 8 May, 1864, was educated at Harvard and Yale and studied law in Albany, completing his course with Daniel Webster. Although he was admitted to the bar in 1833, he never practised his profession, but devoted himself to the management of the family estate in western New York, which amounted to 15,000 acres. In 1852 he was elected president of the State Agricultural Society, in which he was interested during his life. He promoted education and the interests of the community in which he lived. He founded a public library in Geneseo. was a subscriber to the endowment of Geneseo College, aided in establishing the school-district library system, and was active in philanthropical labors. Although a Federalist by education and a Democrat by conviction,  he supported the Free-Soil Party in 1848, and continued to act in defence of the anti-slavery movement. He was a presidential elector on the Republican ticket in 1856 and 1860. In 1861 he was a delegate to the Peace Convention in Washington, and at the beginning of the Civil War he was among the first to offer his services to the government. In April, 1861, he was commissioned a major-general by Governor Edwin D. Morgan, but the appointment was subsequently revoked. When communication with the capital was cut off, he chartered two ships upon his own responsibility, loaded them with provisions, and went with them to Annapolis, where he superintended the delivery of the supplies. He was volunteer aide to General Irvin McDowell at the first battle of Bull Run, where he was commended for bravery and humanity. Afterward he was made brigadier-general of volunteers, 9 August, 1861, assigned to a command in the advance under General George B. McClellan, and guarded the city of Washington. On 15 March, 1862, he became military governor of the District of Columbia. In the autumn of 1862 he was the Republican candidate for governor of New York, but was defeated by Horatio Seymour. In the following December he was assigned to the command of a division in the Army of the Potomac under General Ambrose B. Burnside, and participated in the battle of Fredericksburg, 13 December, 1862. He displayed great military skill in the command of the 1st Division of the 1st Army Corps under General John F. Reynolds. At Gettysburg his division was the first to engage the enemy on 1 July, 1863, and on that day lost 2,400 out of 4,000 men. During the second and third days' fighting he rendered good service in maintaining the heights on the right of the line. At the council of war held after the victory he was one of the three that favored pursuit of the enemy. Early in 1864 he was sent on special service to the Mississippi Valley, and made an extensive tour of inspection through the southern and western states. On the reorganization of the Army of the Potomac in 1864, he was assigned to the command of the 4th Division of the 5th Corps, composed in part of his old command. While endeavoring to rally his troops during the battle of the Wilderness, 6 May, 1864, he was struck in the head by a bullet, and before he could be removed the enemy had gained possession of the ground where he lay. Although unconscious, he lingered for two days. It is said that his troops were inspired by his heroic bearing continually to renew the contest, when but for him they would have yielded. He was brevetted major-general of volunteers on 6 May, 1864. Horace Greeley, in his " American Conflict" (Hartford, 1864-'6), says: "The country's salvation claimed no nobler sacrifice than that of James S. Wadsworth, of New York. . . . No one surrendered more for his country's sake, or gave his life more joyfully for her deliverance." In 1888 a movement was in progress for the erection in Washington of a monument to his memory. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 312-313.


Walden, John Morgan

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

WALDEN, John Morgan, M. E. bishop, born in Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio, 11 February, 1831. He was graduated at Farmers' (now Belmont) College, near Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1852, and engaged in educational work for two years and in editorial work for four years, during the last year and a half of which he was editor and publisher of a free-state paper in Kansas. He was also a member of the Topeka legislature, and of the Leavenworth Constitutional Convention at the time of its adoption of a constitution in 1858, under which he was elected superintendent of public instruction. In September of that year he left Kansas and entered, as a minister, the Cincinnati conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, where he occupied several important posts. After a few years he was elected corresponding secretary of the Freedmen's Aid Commission, an undenominational society. He remained in this office until August, 1866, when, on the organization of the Freedmen's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he was chosen its first corresponding secretary, and he has been officially connected with it ever since, being its president at the present time. In 1868 he was elected one of the publishing agents of the Western Methodist book concern, and he held that post sixteen years. He was a member of every general conference from 1868 till 1884, when he was elected bishop. He is a man of great industry and capacity for business   and giving attention to energy thing that is committed to his care. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 320.


Walker, Amasa, 1799-1875, Boston, Massachusetts, political economist, abolitionist.  Republican U.S. Congressman from Massachusetts.  Active and vigorous opponent of slavery.  Walker was an early supporter of the New England Anti-Slavery Society, 1834.  He submitted a resolution outlining the objectives of the Society to be the principles of religion, philanthropy and patriotism.  American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS) Manager, 1837-1840, 1840-1841, 1843-1844, Counsellor, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, 1840-1841.  Co-founder of Free Soil Party in 1848.  Served in Congress December 1862 through March 1863.  

(Filler, 1960, pp. 60, 254; Mabee, 1970, pp. 258, 340, 403n25; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 324-325; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 10, Pt. 1, p. 338; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 22, p. 485; Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 1.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1872, 223-230; Annual Report of the New England Anti-Slavery Society, 1834)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography :


WALKER, Amasa, political economist, b. in Woodstock, Conn., 4 May, 1799; d. in Brookfield, Mass., 29 Oct., 1875. He received a district-school education in North Brookfield, where among his fellow-students was William C. Bryant. In 1814 he entered commercial life, and in 1820 formed a partnership with Allen Newell in North Brookfield, but three years later withdrew to become the agent of the Methuen manufacturing company. In 1825 he formed with Charles G. Carleton the firm of Carleton and Walker, of Boston, Mass., but in 1827 he went into business independently. In 1840 he withdrew permanently from commercial affairs, and in 1842 he went to Oberlin, Ohio, on account of his great interest in the college there, and gave lectures on political economy at that institution until 1848. After serving in the legislature, he became the Free-soil and Democratic candidate for speaker, and in 1849 was chosen to the Massachusetts senate, where he introduced a plan for a sealed-ballot law, which was enacted in 1851, and carried a bill providing that Webster's Dictionary should be introduced into the common schools of Massachusetts. He was elected secretary of state in 1851, re-elected in 1852, and in 1853 was chosen a member of the convention for revising the state constitution, becoming the chairman of the committee on suffrage. He was appointed in 1853 one of the examiners in political economy in Harvard, and held that office until 1860, and in 1859 he began an annual course of lectures on that subject in Amherst, which he continued until 1869. Meanwhile, in 1859, he was again elected to the Massachusetts legislature, and in 1860 he was chosen a member of the electoral college of that state, casting his ballot for Abraham Lincoln. He was also elected as a Republican to congress, and served from 1 Dec., 1862, till 3 March, 1863. Mr. Walker is best known for his work in
avocating new and reformatory measures. In 1839 he urged a continuous all-rail route of communication between Boston and Mississippi river, and during the same year he became president of the Boston temperance society, the first total abstinence association in that city. He was active in the anti-slavery movement, though not to the extent of recommending unconstitutional methods for its abolition, and in 1848 he was one of the founders of the Free-soil party. Mr. Walker was a member of the first International peace congress in London in 1843, and was one of its vice-presidents, and in 1849 he held the same office in the congress in Paris. The degree of LL. D. was conferred on him by Amherst in 1867. In 1857 he began the publication of a series of articles on political economy in “Hunt's Merchant's Magazine,” and he was accepted as an authority on questions of finance. Besides other contributions to magazines, he published “Nature and Uses of Money and Mixed Currency” (Boston, 1857), and “Science of Wealth, a Manual of Political Economy” (1866), of which eight editions have been sold, and it has been translated into Italian. With William B. Calhoun and Charles L. Flint he issued “Transactions of the Agricultural Societies of Massachuetts” (7 vols., 1848-'54). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 324-325.


Ward, Samuel Ringgold, 1817-1866, New York, American Missionary Association (AMA), African American, abolitionist leader, newspaper editor, author, orator, clergyman.  Member of the Liberty Party and the Free Soil Party.  Wrote Autobiography of a Fugitive Negro, His Anti-Slavery Labours in the United States, Canada and England, 1855.  Lecturer for American Anti-Slavery Society.  Member and contributor to the Anti-Slavery Society of Canada. (Dumond, 1961, p. 330; Mabee, 1970, pp. 128, 135, 136, 294, 307, 400n19; Sernett, 2002, pp. 54-55, 62-64, 94, 117, 121, 126, 142, 149, 157-159, 169, 171-172; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 34, 46, 48, 53, 166, 446-447, 454; Sorin, 1971, pp. 85-89, 96, 104, 132; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 10, Pt. 1, p. 440; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 22, p. 649; Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., & Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, eds. African American National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2013, Vol. 11, p. 380)


White, W. A., U.S. Congressman, member of the Free Soil Party. (Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 2.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1872, 345)


Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892, poet, essayist, journalist. Wrote antislavery poetry.  Supported the Wilmot Proviso and was opposed to the inclusion of slavery in the new territories.  His poetry presented his views on the equality of the races.  Supported the abolition of slavery, but did not necessarily support the tactics of the abolitionist movement.  Member of the Free Soil Committee for Brooklyn and writer for the Brooklyn Freeman, a Free Soil newspaper.  In 1856, he wrote to the people of the South, in an unpublished work, “You are either to abolish slavery, or it will abolish you.”

(Hughes, Meltzer, & Lincoln, 1968; Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 485-486; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 10, Pt. 2, p. 143)


Whittier, John Greenleaf, 1807-1892, Haverhill, Massachusetts, poet, journalist, newspaper publisher and editor, Society of Friends, Quaker, radical abolitionist.  Wrote antislavery poetry.  Publisher and editor of the Pennsylvania Freeman.  Founding member, Manager, and Secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Member of the Executive Committee, American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.  Leader and active with the Liberty Party.  Member, Free Soil Party.  Called for immediate abolition of slavery in the United States. 

(Blue, 2005, pp. 5, 37-64; Drake, 1950, pp. 113, 127, 137, 140-142, 158-159, 176, 181, 195; Dumond, 1961, pp. 167, 245, 286, 301; Filler, 1960, pp. 56, 66, 90, 105, 134, 148, 151, 194; Mabee, 1970, pp. 2, 4, 9, 11-13, 18, 21-22, 25-26, 29-30, 35-36, 48, 51, 65, 194, 211, 309, 326, 329, 359, 368, 373, 378; Pease, 1965, pp. 65, 102-104, 123-128; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 161, 433, 641, 723; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 493-494; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 10, Pt. 2, p. 173; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 23, p. 350; The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. I. New York: James T. White, 1892, p. 407).

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

WHITTIER, John Greenleaf, poet, b. in Haverhill, Mass., 17 Dec., 1807. His parents were members of the Society of Friends, and to the principles and practices of this sect he always remained faithful, […]

The literary impulse in him must have been strong, for while yet in his nineteenth year he contributed anonymous verse to the poet's corner of the “Free Press,” a journal edited by W. L. Garrison in Newburyport, and enjoyed the furtive bliss of print. Garrison saw signs of promise in these immature experiments, sought out the author, and gave him the precious encouragement of praise and sympathy. This led to a lasting friendship, and, with the traditions of his sect, may have had some influence in preparing Whittier to enlist in the anti-slavery crusade which began with the establishment of the “Liberator” in 1831, and afterward caught so much of its inspiration from his fervid lyrics. The ambition to become a poet was awakened in him appropriately enough by a copy of Robert Burns's poems, which fell into his hands in his fourteenth year.

His father dying, he carried on the farm for the next five years, and in 1835 was sent to the general court from Haverhill. During all these years he had been an industrious writer, seeking an outlet in all directions and contributing poems to John Neal's “Yankee” and to the “New England Magazine,” where the “Autocrat” began his admirable discourses. In 1829 he undertook the editorship of the “American Manufacturer” in Boston, and in 1830 succeeded George D. Prentice as editor of the “Haverhill Gazette” during the first six months of the year, and then of the “New England Weekly Review” in Hartford, Conn. This office he resigned in 1832 on account of failing health and returned home. In 1836 he became secretary of the American anti-slavery society, and afterward removed to Philadelphia, where for a year (1838-'9) he edited the “Pennsylvania Freeman.” This he did with such sincerity that its printing-office was sacked and burned by a mob. At that time it required the courage of passionate conviction to maintain principles the noisier profession of which was to become profitable a few years later. Delicate as his organization was, Whittier faced many a brutal mob with unflinching composure. He was never a mere fanatic, but always quick to recognize and celebrate high qualities even in an adversary, as many of his poems show. He refused to follow Garrison in the renunciation of political action as one means of reform. In 1840 he took up his abode in Amesbury, a quiet village near his birthplace, and there (with the exception of six months spent at Lowell as editor of the “Middlesex Standard”), in the simple dignity of a frugal independence, the fruit of his own literary labors, he has lived ever since, and happily still lives, known and loved wherever our tongue is spoken. From 1847 to 1859 he contributed editorially to the “National Era,” an anti-slavery newspaper published at Washington, in which '”Uncle Tom's Cabin” was first printed.

In his seclusion Whittier was never idle, nor did he neglect his duties as a citizen while confirming his quality as a poet. Whenever occasion offered, some burning lyric of his flew across the country, like the fiery cross, to warn and rally. Never mingling in active politics (unless filling the office of presidential elector may be called so), he probably did more than anybody in preparing the material out of which the Republican party was made. When the civil war was impending he would have evaded it if possible by any concession short of surrender, as his “Word for the Hour” (January, 1861) shows. While the war continued he wrote little with direct reference to it, and never anything that showed any bitterness toward the authors of it. After it was over he would have made the terms of settlement liberal and conciliatory. He was too wise and too humane to stir the still living embers of passion and resentment for any political end however dear to him.

Of all American poets, with the single exception of Longfellow, Whittier has been the most popular, and in his case more than in that of any other the popularity has been warmed through with affection. This has been due in part to the nobly simple character of the man, transparent through his verse, in part to the fact that his poetry, concerning itself chiefly with the obvious aspects of life and speculation, has kept close to the highest levels of the average thought and sentiment. His themes have been mainly chosen from his own time and country—from his own neighborhood even—he deals with simple motives and with experiences common to all, and accordingly his scenery (whether of the outward or the inward eye) is domestically welcome to all his countrymen. He is never complex in thought or obscure in expression, and if sometimes his diction might gain in quality by a more deliberate choice, yet the pellucid simplicity of his phrase and the instant aptness of his epithet as often secure a more winning felicity through his frankness of confidence in the vernacular. His
provincialisms of word or accent have an endearing property to the native ear, though even that will consent to a few of his more licentious rhymes. One feels that it is a neighbor who is speaking. Nor should the genial piety of his habitual thought and the faith that seeks no securer foothold than the Rock of Ages, on which the fathers stood so firmly, be overlooked among the qualities that give him a privilege of familiar entrance to a multitude of hearts and minds which would be barred against many higher, though not more genuine, forms of poetry. His religion has the sincerity of Cowper's without those insane terrors that made its very sincerity a torture. There are many points of spiritual likeness between the English and the American poet, especially in their unmetaphysicized love of outward natures, their austerity tempered with playful humor, and in that humanity of tone which establishes a tie of affectionate companionship between them and their readers. Whittier has done as much for the scenery of New England as Scott for that of Scotland. Many of his poems (such, for example, as “Telling the Bees”), in which description and sentiment mutually inspire each other, are as fine as any in the language.

Whittier, as many of his poems show, and as, indeed, would be inevitable, has had his moments of doubt and distrust, but never of despair. He has encountered everywhere the moral of his inscription on a sun-dial, convinced that “there's light above me by the shade below.” He, like others, has found it hard to reconcile the creed held by inheritance with the subtle logic of more modern modes of thought. As he himself has said:

“He reconciled as best he could

 Old faith and fancies new.”

But his days have been “bound each to each with natural piety”; he has clung fast to what has been the wholesome and instructive kernel of all creeds; he has found consolation in the ever-recurring miracles, whether of soul or sense, that daily confront us, and in the expression of his own delight and wonder and gratitude for them has conveyed that solace to the minds and hearts of all his readers. One quality above all others in Whittier—his innate and unstudied Americanism—has rendered him alike acceptable to his countrymen and to his kindred beyond the sea. His first volume was “Legends of New England,” in prose and verse (Hartford, 1831), which has been followed by “Moll Pitcher” (1832); “Mogg Megone” (Boston, 1836); “Ballads” (1838); “Lays of My Home, and other Poems” (1843); “Miscellaneous
Poems” (1844); the first English edition of his poetry, entitled “Ballads, and other Poems,” with an introduction by Elizur Wright (London, 1844); “The Stranger in Lowell” (1845); “Supernaturalism in New England” (New York and London, 1847); “Leaves from Margaret Smith's Journal” (Boston, 1849); “Voices of Freedom” (Philadelphia, 1849); a larger English collection of his “Poetical Works” (London, 1850); “Old Portraits and Modern Sketches” (Boston, 1850); “Songs of Labor, and other Poems,” and “The Chapel of the Hermits, and other Poems” (1853); “A Sabbath Scene: a Sketch of Slavery in Verse” (1853); “Literary Recreations and Miscellanies” (1854); “The Panorama, and other Poems” (1856); “Complete Poetical Works” (2 vols., 1857); “Home Ballads and Poems” (1860); “Snow-Bound” (1862); a new edition of his “Complete Poetical Works” (1863); “In War Time, and other Poems” (1863); “National Lyrics” (1865); a collection of his “Prose Works” (2 vols., 1866); “The Tent on the Beach” (1867); “Among the Hills” (1868); an illustrated edition of his “Complete Poetical Works” (1868); one corresponding in typography with the “Prose Works” (1869); a volume of his “Ballads of New England” contains sixty illustrations by various artists (1869); “Miriam, and other Poems” (1870); “The Pennsylvania Pilgrim, and other Poems”  (1872); “Hazel Blossoms” (1874); “Mabel Martin” (1875); a new collected edition of his “Poetical Works” comprising poems that he had written till the date of publication (1875); “Centennial Hymn” (1876); “The Vision of Echard, and other Poems” (1878); “The King's Missive, and other Poems” (1881); “Bay of Seven Islands, and other Poems” (1883); “Poems of Nature” (1885); and “St. Gregory's Guest, and Recent Poems” (1886). A final edition of his poetical and prose works has been supervised by himself, and includes his sister's poems (7 vols., 1888-'9). See a “Biography,” by Francis H. Underwood (Boston, 1875; new ed., 1883), and “John G. Whittier: his Life, Genius, and Writings,” by W. Sloane Kennedy (1882). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI. pp. 493-494.


Willard, Victor, Wisconsin state senator, member of the Free Soil Party


Wilmot, David, 1814-1868, lawyer, jurist, anti-slavery activist, U.S. Congressman, Pennsylvania.  He was an early founder of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania.  Introduced Wilmot Proviso into Congress to exclude slavery in territories acquired from Mexico in 1846-1849.  The Proviso stated:  “
Provided, That, as an express and fundamental condition to the acquisition of any territory from the Republic of Mexico by the United States, by virtue of any treaty which may be negotiated between them, and to the use by the Executive of the moneys herein appropriated, neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any part of said territory, except for crime, whereof the party shall first be duly convicted.”  Congressman Wilmot’s writings suggest that one of his motives was to protect White laborers in the new territory.  In a New York speech, Wilmot talked of the end of slavery when he stated, “Keep it within its given limits… and in time it will wear itself out.  Its existence can only be perpetrated by constant expansion…  Slavery has within itself the seeds of its own destruction.”  In 1856, Wilmot attended the Republican national convention and supported John C. Frémont as its presidential candidate.  He was appointed by the Pennsylvania state legislature to serve in the U.S. Senate from 1861-1863.

(Blue, 2005, pp. 10, 13, 52, 105, 184-212, 265; Dumond, 1961, pp. 359-360; Going, 1966; Mitchell, 2007, pp. 32-33, 47-48, 60, 92, 98, 146, 147, 255n; Morrison, 1967; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 49, 133, 252, 261, 397, 476, 513, 517-518; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 544; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 10, Pt. 2, p. 317; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 23, p. 553)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

WILMOT, David,
jurist, U.S. Congressman, born in Bethany, Pennsylvania, 20 January, 1814; died in Towanda, Pennsylvania, 16 March, 1868. He received an academical education at Bethany and at Aurora, New York, was admitted to the bar at Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania, in 1834, and soon began practice at Towanda, where he afterward resided. His support of Martin Van Buren in the presidential canvass of 1836 brought him into public notice, and he was subsequently sent to Congress as a Democrat, serving from 1 December, 1845, to 3 March, 1851. During the session of 1846, while a bill was pending to appropriate $2,000,000 for the purchase of a part of Mexico, he moved an amendment “that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any part of said territory.” This, which became known as the “Wilmot Proviso,” passed the house, but was rejected by the Senate, and gave rise to the Free-Soil movement. Mr. Wilmot was president-judge of the 13th district of Pennsylvania in 1853-'61, a delegate to the National Republican conventions of 1856, and 1860, acting as temporary chairman of the latter, was defeated as the Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania in 1857, and elected to the U. S. Senate as a Republican, in place of Simon Cameron, who resigned to become Secretary of War in President Lincoln's cabinet, serving from 18 March, 1861, to 3 March, 1863. In that body he was a member of the committees on pensions, claims, and foreign affairs. He was appointed by President Lincoln judge of the U. S. Court of Claims in 1863, and died in office. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI. pp. 544.


Wilson, Henry, 1812-1875, abolitionist leader, statesman, U.S. Senator and Vice President of the U.S.  Massachusetts state senator.  Member, Free Soil Party.  Founder of the Republican Party.  Strong opponent of slavery.  Became abolitionist in 1830s.  Opposed annexation of Texas as a slave state.  Bought and edited Boston Republican newspaper, which represented the anti-slavery Free Soil Party.  Called for the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1815.  Introduced bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia and the granting of freedom to slaves who joined the Union Army.  Supported full political and civil rights to emancipated slaves.  Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. 

(Appletons’, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 548-550; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 10, Pt. 2, p. 322; Congressional Globe)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

WILSON, Henry,
statesman, b. in Farmington, N. H., 16 Feb., 1812; d. in Washington, D. C., 22 Nov., 1875. He was the son of a farm-laborer, whose ancestors were from the north of Ireland, and at the age of ten was apprenticed to a farmer till the age of twenty-one. During those eleven years of service he received not more than twelve months' schooling altogether, but read more than a thousand volumes. When his apprenticeship terminated in December, 1833, he set out from Farmington on foot in search of work, which he found at Natick, Mass., in the house of a shoemaker. On attaining his majority he had his name, which was originally Jeremiah Jones Colbaith, changed by legislative enactment to the simpler one of Henry Wilson. He learned the trade of his employer and followed it for two years, earning enough money to return to New Hampshire and study in the academies at Stafford, Wolfborough, and Concord. At the same time he made his appearance in public life as an ardent Abolitionist during the attempts that were made in 1835 to stop the discussion of the slavery question by violent means. The person to whom he had intrusted his savings became insolvent, and in 1838, after a visit to Washington, where his repugnance to slavery was intensified by the observation of its conditions, he was compelled to relinquish his studios and resume shoemaking at Natick. In 1840 he appeared in the political canvass as a supporter of William Henry Harrison, addressing more than sixty Whig meetings, in which he was introduced as the “Natick cobbler.” In that year and the next he was elected to the Massachusetts house of representitives, and then after a year's intermission served three annual terms in the state senate.

He was active in organizing in 1845 a convention in Massachusetts to oppose the admission of Texas into the Union as a slave state, and was made, with John Greenleaf Whittier, the bearer of a petition to congress against the proposed annexation, which was signed by many thousands of Massachusetts people. In the following year he presented in the legislature a resolution condemnatory of slavery, supporting it with a comprehensive and vigorous speech. In 1848 he went as a delegate to the Whig national convention in Philadelphia, and on the rejection of anti-slavery resolutions spoke in protest and withdrew. On his return he defended his action before his constituents, and soon afterward bought the Boston “Republican” newspaper, which he edited for two years, making it the leading organ of the Free-soil party. He was chairman of the Free-soil state committee in 1849-'52. In 1850 he returned to the state senate, and in the two following years he was elected president of that body. He presided over the Free-soil national convention at Pittsburg in 1852, and in the ensuing canvass acted as chairman of the national committee of the party. As chairman of the state committee he had arranged a coalition with the Democrats by which George S. Boutwell was elected governor in 1851 and Charles Sumner and Robert Rantoul were sent to the U. S. senate. He was a candidate for congress in 1852, and failed of election by only ninety-three votes, although in his district the majority against the Free-soilers was more than 7,500. In 1853 he was a member of the State constitutional convention and proposed a provision to admit colored men into the militia organization. In the same year he was defeated as the Free-soil candidate for governor. He acted with the American party in 1855, with the aid of which he was chosen to succeed Edward Everett in the U. S. senate. He was a delegate to the American national convention in Philadelphia in that year, but, when it adopted a platform that countenanced slavery, he and other Abolitionists withdrew. He had delivered a speech in advocacy of the repeal of the fugitive-slave law and the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia shortly after taking his seat in the senate in February, 1855. On the disruption of the American organization through the secession of himself and his friends, he took an active part in the formation of the Republican party, with the programme of opposition to the extension of slavery. On 23 May, 1856, the morning after his colleague in the senate, Charles Sumner, was assaulted by Preston S. Brooks, Mr. Wilson denounced the act as “brutal, murderous, and cowardly.” For this language he was challenged to a duel by Brooks; but he declined on the ground that the practice of duelling was barbarous and unlawful, at the same time announcing that he believed in the right of self-defence.

During the next four years he took part in all the important debates in the senate, delivering elaborate speeches on the admission of Kansas, the treasury-note bill, the expenditures of the government, the Pacific railroad project, and many other topics. His speeches bore the impress of practical, clear-sighted statesman ship, and if the grace of oratory and polished diction was wanting, they always commanded attention and respect. The congressional records during his long term of service in the senate show that he was one of the most industrious and efficient members of that body, and that his name stands connected with nearly all the important acts and resolves. Strong in his convictions, he was fearless in their expression, but he was scrupulously careful in his statements, and the facts he adduced were never successfully disputed. In March, 1859, he made a notable reply to James
H. Hammond, of South Carolina, in defence of free labor, which was printed and widely circulated through the northern states. He had been continued in the senate for a full term by an almost unanimous vote of the Massachusetts legislature in the preceding January. In March, 1861, he was made chairman of the committee on military affairs, of which he had been a member during the preceding four years. He induced congress to authorize the enlistment of 500,000 volunteers at the beginning of hostilities between the states, and during the entire period of the war he remained at the head of the committee, and devised and carried measures of the first importance in regard to the organization of the army and the raising and equipment of troops, as well as attending to the many details that came before the committee. He had been connected with the state militia as major, colonel, and brigadier-general from 1840 till 1851, and in 1861 he raised the 22d regiment of Massachusetts volunteers, and marched to the field as its colonel, serving there as an aide to Gen. George B. McClellan till the reassembling of congress.

During the session of 1861-'2 he introduced the laws that abolished slavery in the District of Columbia, put an end to the “black code,” allowed the enrolment of blacks in the militia, and granted freedom to slaves who entered the service of the United States and to their families. During the civil war he made many patriotic speeches before popular assemblages. He took a prominent part in the legislation for the reduction of the army after the war and for the reconstruction of the southern state governments, advocating the policy of granting full political and civil rights to the emancipated slaves, joined with measures of conciliation toward the people who had lately borne arms against the United States government. He was continued as senator for the term that ended in March, 1871, and near its close was re-elected for six years more. He was nominated for the office of vice-president of the United States in June, 1872, on the ticket with Ulysses S. Grant, and was elected in the following November, receiving 286 out of 354 electoral votes. On 3 March, 1873, he resigned his place on the floor of the senate, of which he had been a member for eighteen years, in order to enter on his functions as president of that body. The same year he was stricken with paralysis, and continued infirm till his death, which was caused by apoplexy.

It is but just to say of Henry Wilson that with exceptional opportunities which a less honest statesman might have found for enriching himself at the government's expense, or of taking advantage of his knowledge of public affairs and the tendency of legislation upon matters of finance and business, he died at his post of duty, as he had lived, rich only in his integrity and self-respect. Among his many published speeches may be mentioned “Personalities and Aggressions of Mr. Butler” (1856); “Defence of the Republican Party” (1856); “Are Workingmen Slaves?” (1858); “The Pacific Railroad” (1859); and “The Death of Slavery is the Life of the Nation” (1864). He was the author of a volume entitled “History of the Anti-Slavery Measures of the Thirty-seventh and Thirty-eighth United States Congresses,” in which he relates the progress of the bills relating to slavery and cites the speeches of their friends and opponents (Boston, 1865); of a history of legislation on the army during the civil war, with the title of “Military Measures of the United States Congress” (1866); of a small volume called “Testimonies of American Statesmen and Jurists to the Truths of Christianity,” being an address that he gave before the Young men's Christian association at Natick (1867); of a “History of the Reconstruction Measures of the Thirty-ninth and Fortieth Congresses, 1865-'8” (1868); of a series of articles on Edwin M. Stanton that were reprinted from a magazine, with those of Jeremiah S. Black, with the title of “A Contribution to History” (Easton, Pa., 1868); of a published oration on “The Republican and Democratic Parties” (Boston, 1868); and of a great work bearing the title of “History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America,” on which he labored indefatigably during his last illness, yet was not quite able to complete (3 vols., Boston , 1872-'5). See his “Life and Public Services,” which was written by his friend, Thomas Russell, and Rev. Elias Nason, who was his pastor for many years (1872). Congress directed to be printed a volume of “Obituary Addresses,” that were delivered in both houses, on 21 Jan., 1876 (Washington, 1876). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI. pp. 548-550.


Woodard, Willard, educator, publisher, member of the Free Soil Party






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References


(Blue, 1987; Blue, 1973; Blue, 2005, pp. 3, 4, 7, 9-13, 35, 54-55, 66, 68-75, 121, 123, 139, 142, 144-145, 146, 170-171, 184, 198-205, 212, 214, 218-219, 236, 245; Duberman, 1968; Dumond, 1961; Earle, 2004; Filler, 1960, pp. 108, 122, 132, 182, 187, 189, 200, 213, 219, 223, 228, 233, 237, 253; Foner, 1995; Maybee, 1970, pp. 98, 110, 161, 173, 178, 247, 253, 261, 278, 279, 391n29; Mitchell, 2007, pp. 4, 7, 9, 19, 22, 26, 35, 44-47, 53-56, 60-73; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 50, 133-136, 173, 225, 297-298, 354, 514, 650-651; Sernett, 2002, pp. 124-127, 152; Smith, 1897)