American Abolitionists and Antislavery Activists:
Conscience of the Nation

Updated August 19, 2018













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

Republican Party



Chapter by Henry Wilson: "Origin of the Republican Party," in History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, 1872.

The determined purpose of the Slave Power to make slavery the predominating national interest was never more clearly revealed than by the proposed repeal of the Missouri compromise. This was a deliberate and direct assault upon freedom. Many, indeed, under the pleas of fraternity and loyalty to the Union, palliated and apologized for this breach of faith ; but the numbers were increasing every hour, as the struggle progressed, who could no longer be deceived by the hollow pretences. They could not close their eyes to the dangers of the country, and they were compelled to disavow what was so manifestly wrong, and to disconnect themselves from men and parties who were making so little concealment of their nefarious purposes and of their utter profligacy of principle.

Pulpits and presses which had been dumb, or had spoken evasively and with slight fealty to truth, gave forth no uncertain sound. Calm argumentation, appeals to conscience, warnings, and dissuasions from the impending crime against liberty, were to be heard on every side. To the utterances of the sacred desk were added the action of ecclesiastical bodies, contributions to the press, and petitions to State legislature and to Congress. The antislavery and Free Soil journals entered earnestly upon the work of indoctrinating and impressing the popular mind and heart. In arousing the people, they strove to convince them that so long as a national party had a Southern wing it could never be trusted on any point in which the interests of slavery were involved, and concerning which the wishes of slaveholders had been clearly pronounced. The religious press, too, joined in the general pro test, and substituted a more earnest tone for the too languid and equivocal utterances hitherto deemed all that prudence or policy would allow. Foremost was the New York “Independent." Conducted with signal ability, it did much to disseminate right views, change the current of public sentiment, and place Christian men where they should always have been in active sympathy with those who were doing battle against the giant wrong of the nation.

The political press of the North still clung, very generally at least, to the parties of which its respective journals were the recognized organs; but there were some exceptions. The New York " Evening Post " had been an able advocate of the Free Soil cause of 1848, but had joined in the " Barnburner " defection and rendered important aid in the election of Franklin Pierce. But the Kansas-Nebraska act was more than it could accept, much less advocate. It therefore joined in the general protest against the measure, and became a very effective agent in the development of that popular sentiment which rendered the Republican Party a possibility. The New York "Tribune" took the lead, though at the outset Mr. Greeley was hopeless, and seemed disinclined to enter upon the contest. So often defeated by Northern defection therein, he distrusted Congress; nor had he faith that the people would reverse the verdict of their representatives. He told his associates he would not restrain them, but, as for himself, he had no heart for the strife. They were more hopeful; and Richard Hildreth, the historian, Charles A. Dana, a veteran journalist, James S. Pike, and other able writers, opened and continued an unrelenting and powerful opposition in its columns, and did very much to rally and reassure the friends of freedom and to nerve them for the fight. Even Mr. Greeley himself became inspired by the growing enthusiasm, and some of the most trenchant and telling articles were from his practiced and powerful pen.

These discussions from pulpit, platform, and press, all pointed to political action as the only adequate remedy. In the Northern States there were Abolitionists, Free-Soilers, antislavery Whigs, anti-Nebraska Democrats, and antislavery members of the American party, which had just come into existence. Many of these sought help, and thought they saw how help could be secured, through existing organizations, and they clung with tenacity to them; but, as the conflict progressed, large and increasing numbers saw that no help could be reasonably hoped for but through the formation of a new party that could act without the embarrassment of a Southern wing. But the formation of a national and successful party from materials afforded by the disintegration of hitherto hos tile organizations was a work of great delicacy and difficulty. Such a party could not be made; it must grow out of the elements already existing. It must be born of the nation's necessities and of its longings for relief from the weakness, or wickedness, of existing organizations.

The mode of organizing this new party of freedom varied according to the varying circumstances of different localities and the convictions of different men. In some sections a local election afforded the opportunity and the demand for inaugurating a movement that increasing numbers saw to be both necessary and impending. Such an opportunity and demand were furnished in New Hampshire by the death of Mr. Atherton, member of the United States Senate, which occurred in November, 1853. As his successor was to be chosen by the legislature to be elected in the following March, an active canvass sprang up during the month of February and the early weeks of the month in which the election occurred, in which the leading men of the State and of several of the neigh boring States took part. Strenuous efforts were made to com bine the Free-Soilers, Whigs, and anti-Nebraska Democrats in some common action; and these efforts were so far successful as to prevent the election of a Democrat, although they failed to elect their candidate. It was, however, the beginning of a process by the operation of which the majority of the State became Republican in fact and name, and sent John P. Hale to the Senate, in 1855, to fill Mr. Atherton's term, and James Bell for the full term. Mr. Wilson of Massachusetts canvassed the State for several weeks, advocating a fusion, into one organization, of the opponents of the repeal of the Missouri prohibition.

But one of the earliest, if not the earliest, of the movements that contemplated definite action and the formation of a new party, was made in Ripon, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, in the early months of 1854. In consequence of a very thorough canvass, conference, and general comparison of views, inaugurated by A. E. Bovey, a prominent member of the Whig party, among the Whigs, Free-Soilers, and Democrats of that town ship, a call was issued, signed by himself, representing the Whigs, Mr. Bowen, representing the Democrats, and Mr. Baker, representing the Free-Soilers, for a public meeting to consider the grave issues which were assuming an aspect of such alarming importance. The meeting was held on the last of February, in the Congregational church. It was largely at tended by persons of both sexes from the town and surrounding country. It was a meeting solely for the discussion of principles and comparison of views. Among the speakers was Professor Daniels, who subsequently, as a resident of Virginia and editor of the Richmond “State Journal," maintained and advocated with distinguished zeal the views and principles then enunciated. The burden and drift of the speeches were the hopeless subserviency of the national parties to the behests of the slaveholders, the necessity of abandoning them, and the proposed policy of constructing a party from the materials thus set at liberty, with such as could be persuaded to leave the Democratic Party for a similar purpose. A resolution was adopted that, if the Nebraska bill, then pending, should pass, they would “throw old party organizations to the winds, and organize a new party on the sole issue of the non-extension of slavery."

A second meeting was held on the 20th of March, for the purpose of organization and for the adoption of such preliminary measures as the inauguration of the new party required. By formal vote the town committees of the Whig and Free Soil parties were dissolved, and a committee of five, consisting of three Whigs, one Free-Soiler, and one Democrat, was chosen. “The work done on that evening," says Mr. Bovey, “was fully accepted by the Whig and Free Soil parties of all this section immediately; and very soon -- that is to say, in a few months -- by those parties throughout the entire State." A State convention was held in July, by which the organization of the party was perfected for the State, a majority of the delegation was secured for the next Congress, and a Free-Soiler, Charles Durkee, was elected to the Senate of the United States. At the meeting of the 20th of March, Mr. Bovey, though stating his belief that the party should and probably would take the name of “Republican," advised against such a christening at that time and by that small local body of men. He, however, wrote to the editor of the New York “Tribune," suggesting the name, giving his reasons therefor, and requesting him, if his views corresponded with his own, to call the attention of his readers to it in the columns of his paper. Thus early did the men of that frontier town inaugurate a movement which was destined to sweep and control the nation, and which did sweep the country, and change entirely the policy of the government. Whether there was or was not in this general uprising any local action which antedated it, few will question the propriety of his language who took the initiative when he says: " The actors in this remote little eddy of politics thought at the time that they were making a bit of history by that solitary tallow candle in the little white school-house on the prairie; and whether ever recognized and published or not, they think so still."

But that “little eddy “on that far-off margin was only one of many similar demonstrations, -- signs of a turn of the tide in the great sea of American politics. In Washington, on the morning after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, there was a meeting of some thirty members of the House at the rooms of Thomas D. Eliot and Edward Dickinson, of Massachusetts, called at the instance of Israel Washburn, of Maine, for consultation in regard to the course to be adopted in the exigencies of the case. The hopelessness of any further at tempts through existing organizations was generally admitted; though a few still counselled adherence to the Whig party, in the expectation of securing its aid for freedom. But most present had become convinced that in a new party alone lay any reasonable hope of successful resistance to the continued aggressions of the arrogant and triumphant Slave Power. The name “Republican " was suggested, discussed, and finally agreed upon as appropriate for the new organization.

In pursuance of the same object and in harmony with these suggestions, Mr. Washburn addressed a public meeting in Bangor, in which he spoke of “this great consideration that now overrides all the old party divisions and effete organizations of the country." “Every true Republican," he said, " must take the place, if not the name, of that wise conservative party, whose aim and purpose were the welfare of the whole Union and the stainless honor of the American name." Alluding to this Washington meeting, on another occasion, he attributed much of the first and moving impulse that led to it to Dr. Bailey, editor of the " National Era," of whom he says that he " strove incessantly to bring members of different parties to act together in opposition to the Nebraska iniquity" ; and that, " after the purpose to form such a party had been arrived at, there was no one present who did not feel that the measure was only carrying out the policy of which Dr. Bailey had been the earliest, the ablest, and the most influential advocate."

On the 8th of June, 1854, there was held a State convention of the Whig party of Vermont. The spirit of the meeting was strongly antislavery, and the purpose to dissolve all connection with the slavery propagandists and the politicians and parties they controlled was unmistakable. The seventh and eighth resolutions of the platform, drawn by E. P. Walton, afterward member of Congress, invited " the freemen of Vermont " and " the people of all the other States who are dis posed to resist the encroachments and the extension of slavery "to co-operate for that purpose, and, "in case a national convention shall be called "for that purpose, "to send dele gates thereto." A State ticket in harmony with these sentiments was put in nomination.

On the 16th of the same month, a call was issued for a mass convention of "all persons who are in favor of resisting by all constitutional means the usurpations of the propagandists of slavery." This convention met on the 13th of July. Resolutions identical in spirit and aim with those of the June convention were adopted, one of which closed with these words: “We propose, and respectfully recommend to the friends of freedom in other States, to co-operate and be known as Re publicans." A delegation to a national convention, if one should be held, was appointed, consisting of one Free-Soiler, three Whigs, and one antislavery Democrat. A State ticket was nominated; but, the State committees of the parties being empowered "to fill vacancies," a fusion ticket was made up and chosen by little less than two thirds of all the votes cast at the election, and a legislature was elected which sent Jacob Collamer, an anti-slavery Whig, and Lawrence L. Brainard, a Free-Soiler, to the United States Senate.

But, whatever suggestions others may have made, or whatever action may have been taken elsewhere, to Michigan be longs the honor of being the first State to form and christen the Republican Party. More than three months before the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, the Free Soil convention had adopted a mixed ticket, made up of Free-Soilers and Whig in order that there might be a combination of the antislavery elements of the State. Immediately on the passage of the Nebraska bill, Joseph Warren, editor of the Detroit " Tribune," entered upon a course of measures that resulted in bringing the Whig and Free Soil parties together, not by a mere coalition of the two, but by a fusion of the elements of which the two were composed. In his own language, he “took ground in favor of disbanding the Whig and Free Soil parties, and oi the organization of a new party, composed of all the opponent of slavery extension. Among the first steps taken was withdrawal of the Free Soil ticket. This having been effected, a call for a mass convention was issued, signed by more than ten thousand names. This convention met on the 6th of July and was largely attended. A platform, drawn up by Jacob M. Howard, afterward United States Senator, was adopted, not only opposing the extension of slavery, but declaring for its abolition in the District of Columbia. The report also proposed the name of “Republican “for the new party, which was adopted by the convention. Kinsley S. Bingham was nominated for governor, and was triumphantly elected; and Michigan, thus early to enter the ranks of the Republican Party, has remained steadfast to its then publicly avowed principles and faith.

On the 13th of the same month, a convention was held at Columbus, Ohio. The call was addressed to those in favor of “breaking the chains now forging to bind the nation to the car of American slavery." It was largely attended, and its proceedings inaugurated a canvass of the State, which resulted in the election of an anti-Nebraska delegation to Congress by more than seventy thousand majority. On the same day, a similar convention was held in Indiana, at which speeches were made by Henry S. Lane, Henry L. Ellsworth, and Schuyler Colfax. Similar results followed. The elections of the following autumn were carried by the friends of freedom, and the permanent organization of the party was assured.

In New York, the Whigs held a convention early in the summer, under the lead of Mr. Seward and Thurlow Weed, adopted a series of resolutions, and also nominated a ticket in decided opposition to the Nebraska policy. On the 17th of August, an anti-Nebraska convention was held at Saratoga. Resolutions were introduced by Mr. Greeley indorsing the policy of those States which had already taken steps toward the formation of a new party; but without action thereon the convention adjourned, to meet on the 26th of September at Auburn. At this adjourned meeting a proposition to form a new party was introduced; but, though debated, it was not adopted. The Whigs having by their platform and ticket put themselves in substantial accord with the sentiments of the convention, it was deemed expedient to retain the Whig organization and to contest the election under its auspices. The ticket was successful, and Myron H. Clark and Henry J. Raymond were elected governor and lieutenant-governor.

Immediately after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, a large and enthusiastic State convention of the Free Soil party was held in Boston, at which addresses were made by Giddings, Hale, Andrew, and others. Its spirit and purpose were well expressed by Mr. Wilson. “If there is," he said,” a ' forlorn hope ' to be led, we will lead it, and others may take and wear the honors. But we go with none who do not wear our principles upon their foreheads, and have them engraved on their hearts."

During the subsequent weeks, there were many conferences and attempts to unite the leaders and members of the Whig and Democratic parties in the proposed combination against the Slave Power, but with indifferent success, the Whigs preferring to retain their organization intact, and professing to believe that slavery could be more effectively opposed by it than by that proposed. But a convention met in Worcester on the 20th of July. Judge Oliver B. Morris was made president, an organization was effected, the name “Republican " accepted, and a platform, reported by Seth Webb, Jr., was adopted. A State convention of delegates was held at Worcester on the 7th of September. The venerable Robert Rantoul presided. A series of resolutions was reported by John I. Baker, and an elaborate and eloquent address was made by Mr. Sumner. Mr. Wilson, who had been the Free Soil candidate the previous year, was nominated for governor ; and Increase Sumner, up to that time a member of the Democratic party, was nominated for lieutenant-governor. In these conventions no prominent Whigs or Democrats took part, and few members of those par ties were present. Being composed mainly of Free-Soilers, the Whig and Democratic presses naturally united in pronouncing “fusion “a failure. They referred to the fact that the leading men in one or both of the conventions were Jackson, Bird, Keyes, Andrew, Webb, Swift, Wilson, and Sumner, as evidence that the new party was only the old Free Soil party under another name. This failure of the attempted fusion, through the persistent purpose of leading Whigs to adhere to their organization, was recognized by thousands of antislavery men who saw that the demolition of the Whig and Democratic par ties by the American party might produce a political chaos out of which a new and better creation might soon spring. They therefore united or co-operated with that organization, and gave their support to- it, joined in the election of members of Congress and the legislature, and so impressed their policy on the legislation of the State as to draw from Theodore Parker the declaration that the legislature of that year was " the strong est antislavery legislative body that had ever assembled in the country."

Though the Republican Party was not immediately organized in all the free States, its spirit inspired and its ideas largely pervaded the North. Within one year eleven Republican Senators were elected and fifteen States had secured anti-Nebraska majorities. Out of one hundred and forty-two Northern members of the House, one hundred and twenty were opposed to the iniquitous measure. They were in sufficient numbers not only to control the election of Speaker, but they were able, by a majority of fifteen, to declare that, " in the opinion of this House, the repeal of the Missouri compromise of 1820, prohibiting slavery north of 36 30' was an example of useless and factious agitation of the slavery question, unwise and unjust to the American people."

Several States which had failed to organize a Republican party in 1854 did so in 1855. It was in that year that Ohio came into line, by completing a Republican organization and putting in nomination Salmon P. Chase and Thomas H. Ford for governor and lieutenant-governor. Conservative Whigs and proslavery “Americans” supported ex-Governor Trimble, and did what they could to defeat the Republican ticket; but it was carried by nearly fifteen thousand majority.

The Republicans of Pennsylvania held a convention at Pittsburg on the 5th of September. Judge William Jessup was president, and Alexander K. McClure was chairman of the committee on resolutions. Eloquent speeches were made by John A. Bingham, Mr. Giddings, and Lewis D. Campbell of Ohio, and by Allison and Howe of Pennsylvania. Letters were received from Wilmot, Hale, B. F. Butler of New York, and Wilson of Massachusetts. " Pennsylvania," wrote the latter, ",holds in her hand the result of the election of 1856; if she stands firm, that year will witness the complete overthrow of the Slave Power of the South and the servile power of the North." Passmore Williamson, then imprisoned by Judge Kane, was nominated as canal commissioner. Many Whigs and “Americans," however, refused to act with the Re publicans, and he was withdrawn, and another was nominated who received the support of Whigs, “Americans," and Republicans. But the change did not effect the result, for the Democracy carried the State by a decisive majority.

When the American National Council was disrupted in 1855, another effort was made in Massachusetts to attract to the Republican Party the men of antislavery tendencies of that broken organization and of other parties. On the 16th of August, a meeting without distinction of party was held at Chapman Hall in Boston. John Z. Goodrich presided. A committee, on motion of Samuel Bowles, was chosen to pre pare a plan of practical action. George Bliss, Moses Kimball, Franklin Dexter, William Bingham, members of the Whig party, and Dana, Adams, Park, Walker, Wilson, Keyes, Stephen C. Phillips, and John L. Swift, Republicans, made brief, conciliatory, and eloquent speeches. The aged, venerable, and venerated Lyman Beecher uttered a few words of hope, trust, and confidence. On the 30th of August, there was a meeting of conference committees in Boston. It represented the American party, the “Know Somethings," an antislavery organization which had held a national convention at Cleve land in June, and a committee representing the Chapman Hall meeting. A proposition made by Charles Allen was sent by the Chapman Hall committee to the other committees, proposing a call for a union convention to form a new political party. Robert B. Hall suggesting that they were not there to make conditions but to conclude arrangements, a resolution was returned to the Chapman Hall committee to the effect that they were ready to co-operate in calling a State convention without distinction of party, with “the view of placing Massachusetts in sympathy and connection with the great Republican movement now in progress." After debate this resolution was laid upon the table, and a simple resolve was passed, proposed by Mr. Bowles, inviting the committee to a conference. This invitation was accepted, the conference was held, and a committee of twenty-six was appointed to call a State convention, at the head of which was placed the venerable Samuel Hoar. In pursuance of a call made by this committee, indorsed by eminent citizens of all parties, a State convention was held at Worcester on the 20th of September. P. Emory Aldrich called the convention to order. Nathaniel P. Banks presided, and, on taking the chair, expressed “sympathy with its objects and fidelity to its acts." Richard H. Dana, Jr., chairman of the committee on the platform, reported an admirable address to the people of the State, and a series of resolutions. There was a sharp contest between the supporters of Governor Henry J. Gardner and the friends of a new candidate. After an excited and somewhat angry debate, Julius Rockwell, a member of the Whig party, was nominated for governor by the small majority of thirteen. Although the American supporters of Governor Gardner had joined in the call of the convention and had participated in its proceedings, they were not satisfied with the result. An American State convention was called, Governor Gardner was nominated and elected, and the Republicans of Massachusetts were a second time defeated.

In New York two conventions were held on the 26th of September at Syracuse, for the purpose of organizing a Republican party, which had not been done the previous year, on account of the action of the Whigs, and the plea that the people were not yet ready. Reuben E. Fenton presided, and Joseph Blunt was chairman of a committee of conference with the Whig convention. That convention, under the lead of John A. King and Edwin D. Morgan, afterward Republican governors, adopted antislavery resolutions, united with the Republican convention, and formed a union ticket at the head of which was placed the name of Preston King. But the conservative and “silver gray” Whigs refused their support. Many anti-Nebraska Democrats voted for what was known as the “soft " ticket, although the convention of that section of the party, composed largely of those who had voted for Van Buren in 1848, had failed to condemn in fitting terms the repeal of the Missouri compromise. Under these untoward circumstances the Republican ticket was defeated by the ticket headed by John T. Headley, and supported by the proslavery “Americans” and “silver gray " Whigs.

The sudden and simultaneous uprising and action of the people of the free States in 1854, in consequence of the repeal of the Missouri compromise, under the common designation of " anti-Nebraska," had, for the moment, rather the character of a temporary combination for a specific purpose than a permanent organization, based on a general agreement and looking forward to continued association, though it led, and was an important step, in that direction. It was a combination of Free-Soilers, Republicans, “Americans," old Whigs and Democrats, who were indignant at the removal of the ancient “landmarks of freedom." For the time they were united in their object to oppose and rebuke the administration for this breach of faith. In some of the States this battle was fought under the lead of the Whigs, in others under that of the rising American organization, and in others with those who had just assumed the name of Republicans. But in the next year, when the effort was made to define more clearly the principles and perfect more fully the organization of this new party of freedom, thousands who had voted in 1854 under these various names and organizations, and with different motives, for its principles, refused to follow its lead and to be called by its name. In consequence, there was a real or seeming reaction, and some States, which had thus condemned the faithless administration of Franklin Pierce, failed, that year, to give Republican majorities.

Source:  Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 2.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1872, 406-418.







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Founders and Political Leaders - Part 1

ADAMS, Charles Francis, 1807-1886, Vice President, Anti-Slavery Free Soil Party, newspaper publisher and editor.  Son of former President John Quincy Adams.  Grandson of President John Adams.  Opposed annexation of Texas, on opposition to expansion of slavery in new territories.  Formed “Texas Group” within Massachusetts Whig Party.  Formed and edited newspaper, Boston Whig, in 1846. (Adams, 1900; Duberman, 1961; Goodell, 1852, p. 478; Mitchell, 2007, pp. 32-33; Pease, 1965, pp. 445-452; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 51, 298; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 12-13. Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 1, Pt. 1, pp. 40-48)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

ADAMS, Charles Francis,
diplomatist, son of John Quincy Adams, born in Boston, 18 August, 1807; died there, 21 November, 1886. When two years old he was taken by his father to St. Petersburg, where he learned German, French, and Russian. Early in 1815 he travelled all the way from St. Petersburg to Paris with his mother in a private carriage, a difficult journey at that time, and not unattended with danger. His father was soon afterward appointed minister to England, and the little boy was placed at an English boarding-school. The feelings between British and Americans was then more hostile than ever before or since, and young Adams was frequently called upon to defend with his fists the good name of his country. When he returned after two years to America, his father placed him in the Boston Latin school, and he was graduated at Harvard College in 1825, shortly after his father's inauguration as president of the United States. He spent two years in Washington, and then returned to Boston, where he studied law in the office of Daniel Webster, and was admitted to the Suffolk bar in 1828. The next year he married the youngest daughter of Peter Chardon Brooks, whose elder daughters were married to Edward Everett and Reverend Nathaniel Frothingham. From 1831 to 1836 Mr. Adams served in the Massachusetts legislature. He was a member of the Whig Party, but, like all the rest of his vigorous and free-thinking family, he was extremely independent in politics and inclined to strike out into new paths in advance of the public sentiment. After 1836 he came to differ more and more widely with the leaders of the Whig Party with whom he had hitherto acted. In 1848 the newly organized Free-Soil Party, consisting largely of Democrats, held its convention at Buffalo and nominated Martin Van Buren for president and Charles Francis Adams for vice-president. There was no hope of electing these candidates, but this little party grew, six years later, into the great Democratic Party. In 1858 he was elected to Congress by the Republicans of the 3d District of Massachusetts, and in 1860 he was reelected. In the spring of 1861 President Lincoln appointed him minister to England, a place which both his father and his grandfather had filled before him. Mr. Adams had now to fight with tongue and pen for his country as in school-boy days he had fought with fists. It was an exceedingly difficult time for an American minister in England. Though there was much sympathy for the U. S. government on the part of the workmen in the manufacturing districts and of many of the liberal constituencies, especially in Scotland, on the other hand the feeling of the governing classes and of polite society in London was either actively hostile to us or coldly indifferent. Even those students of history and politics who were most friendly to us failed utterly to comprehend the true character of the sublime struggle in which we were engaged— as may be seen in reading the introduction to Mr. E. A. Freeman's elaborate "History of Federal Government, from the Formation of the Achaean League to the Disruption of the United States" (London, 1862). Difficult and embarrassing questions arose in connection with the capture of the Confederate commissioners Mason and Slidell, the negligence of Lord Palmerston's government in allowing the "Alabama" and other Confederate cruisers to sail from British ports to prey upon American commerce, and the ever manifest desire of Napoleon III, to persuade Great Britain to join him in an acknowledgment of the independence of the confederacy. The duties of this difficult diplomatic mission were discharged by Mr. Adams with such consummate ability as to win universal admiration. No more than his father or grandfather did he belong to the school of suave and crafty, intriguing diplomats. He pursued his ends with dogged determination and little or no attempt at concealment, while his demeanor was haughty and often defiant. His unflinching firmness bore clown all opposition, and his perfect self-control made it difficult for an antagonist to gain any advantage over him. His career in England from 1861 to 1868 must be cited among the foremost triumphs of American diplomacy. In 1872 it was attempted to nominate him for the presidency of the United States, as the candidate of the liberal Republicans, but Horace Greeley secured the nomination. He was elected in 1869 a member of the board of overseers of Harvard College, and was for several years president of the board. He has edited the works and memoirs of his father and grandfather, in 22 octavo volumes, and published many of his own addresses and orations. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I. pp. 12-13.


Adams, John Huy, 1822-1881, politician, businessman, abolitionist, Illinois State Senator, 1854-1870.  Helped in founding of the Republican Party.  Friend of Abraham Lincoln.  Father of famous social reformer and activist, Jane Adams.  (Adams, 1910; Berson, 2004; Elshtain, 2002; Knight, 2005; Linn, 2000)


Allison, William Boyd, Senator, born in Perry, Wayne Co.,  2 March, 1829. He spent his early years on a farm, and was educated at Alleghany College, Pennsylvania, and Western Reserve College, Ohio. He studied law, and practised in Ohio until 1857, when he went to Dubuque, Iowa. He was a delegate to the Chicago Convention of 1860, a member of the governor's staff in 1861, and rendered valuable service in raising troops for the war. He was elected in 1862 to the 38th Congress, as a Republican, and returned for the three succeeding Congresses, serving in the House of Representatives from 7 December, 1863, till 3 March, 1871. In 1878 he was elected to the U. S. Senate, as a Republican, for the term ending in 1879, and he has been twice reelected. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1887, Vol. I, p. 53.  Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936.)


Andrew, John Albion, 1818-1867, reformer, anti-slavery advocate, lawyer, Governor of Massachusetts, member Conscience Whig, Free Soil Party, Republican Party.  Opponent of slavery.  In Boston, he took a prominent part in the defense of fugitive slaves Shadrach, Burns and Sims.  Supported John Brown in legal defense.  (American National Biography, Vol. 1, 2002, p. 489; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 1, Pt. 1, p. 279; Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I. pp. 72-73)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

ANDREW, John Albion,
statesman, born in Windham, Maine, 31 May, 1818; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 30 October, 1867. His father, descended from an early settler of Boxford, Massachusetts, was a prosperous merchant in Windham. John Albion was graduated at Bowdoin in 1837. He was a negligent student, though fond of reading, and in his professional life always felt the lack of training in the habit of close application. He immediately entered on the study of the law in the office of Henry H. Fuller, in Boston, where in 1840 he was admitted to the bar. Until the outbreak of the war he practised his profession in that city, attaining special distinction in the fugitive-slave cases of Shadrach Burns and Sims, which arose under the fugitive-slave law of 1850. He became interested in the slavery question in early youth, and was attracted toward many of the reform movements of the day. After his admission to the bar he took an active interest in politics and frequently spoke on the stump on behalf of the Whig Party, of which he was an enthusiastic member. From the year 1848 he was closely identified with the anti-slavery party of Massachusetts, but held no office until 1858, when he was elected a member of the state legislature from Boston, and at once took a leading position in that body. In 1860 he was a delegate to the Chicago Republican Convention, and, after voting for Mr. Seward on the early ballots, announced the change of the vote of part of the Massachusetts delegation to Mr. Lincoln. In the same year he was nominated for governor by a popular impulse. Many feared that the radicalism of his opinions would render him unsafe in action, and the political managers regarded him as an intruder and opposed his nomination; yet he was elected the twenty-first governor of Massachusetts since the adoption of the constitution of 1780 by the largest popular vote ever cast for any candidate. He was energetic in placing the militia of Massachusetts on a war footing, in anticipation of the impending conflict between the government and the seceded states. He had announced this purpose in his inaugural address in 1861, and, upon being inducted into office, he sent a confidential message to the governors of Maine and New Hampshire, inviting their cooperation in preparing the militia for service and providing supplies of war material. This course of action was not regarded with favor at the time by a majority of the legislature, although his opponents refrained from a direct collision. On receiving the president's proclamation of 15 April, 1861, he despatched five regiments of infantry, a battalion of riflemen, and a battery of artillery to the defence of the capital. Of these, the Massachusetts 6th was the first to tread southern soil, passing through New York while the regiments of that state were mustering, and shedding the first blood of the war in the streets of Baltimore, where it was assailed by the moborn Governor Andrew sent a telegram to Mayor Brown, praying him to have the bodies of the slain carefully sent forward to him at the expense of the common wealth of Massachusetts. He was equally active in raising the Massachusetts contingent of three years' volunteers, and was laborious in his efforts to aid every provision for the comfort of the sick and wounded soldiers. He was four times reëlected governor, holding that office till January, 1866, and was only then released by his positive declination of another renomination, in order to attend to his private business, as the pecuniary sacrifice involved in holding the office was more than he was able to sustain, and his health was seriously affected by his arduous labors. In 1862 he was one of the most urgent of the northern governors in impressing upon the administration at Washington the necessity of adopting the emancipation policy, and of accepting the services of colored troops. In September, 1862, he took the most prominent part in the meeting of governors of the northern states, held at Altoona, Pennsylvania, to devise ways and means to encourage and strengthen the hands of the government. The address of the governors to the people of the north was prepared by him. Governor Andrew interfered on various occasions to prevent the federal authorities from making arbitrary arrests among southern sympathizers in Massachusetts previous to the suspension of the habeas-corpus act. In January, 1863, he obtained from the Secretary of War the first authorization for raising colored troops, and the First Colored Regiment (54th Massachusetts Infantry) was despatched from Boston in May of that year. Governor Andrew was particular in selecting the best officers for the black troops and in providing them with the most complete equipment. Though famous as the war governor of Massachusetts, he also bestowed proper attention on the domestic affairs of the commonwealth. In his first message he recommended that the provision in the law preventing a person against whom a decree of divorce has been granted from marrying again, should be modified; but the proposition met with strong opposition in the legislature, especially from clergymen, and it was not till 1864 that an act was passed conferring power upon the supreme court to remove the penalty resting upon divorced persons. He also recommended a reform in the usury laws, such as was finally effected by an act passed in 1867. He was strongly opposed to capital punishment, and recommended its repeal. A law requiring representatives in Congress to be residents of the districts from which they are elected was vetoed by him on the ground that it was both unconstitutional and inexpedient, but was passed over his veto. Of the twelve veto messages sent by Governor Andrew during his incumbency, only one other, in the case of a resolve to grant additional pay to members, was followed by the passage of the act over the veto. His final term as governor expired 5 January, 1866. In a valedictory address to the legislature he advocated a generous and conciliatory policy toward the southern states, “demanding no attitude of humiliation; inflicting no acts of humiliation.” Governor Andrew was modest and simple in his habits and manner of life, emotional and quick in sympathy for the wronged or the unfortunate, exceedingly joyous and mirthful in temperament, and companionable with all classes of persons. The distinguished ability that shone out in his administration as governor of Massachusetts, the many sterling qualities that were summed up in his character, his social address, and the charm of his conversational powers, together with his clear and forcible style as an orator, combined to render him conspicuous among the state governors of the war period, and one of the most influential persons in civil life not connected with the federal administration. Soon after the expiration of his last term as governor he was tendered, but declined, the presidency of Antioch College, Ohio. He presided over the first national Unitarian Convention, held in 1865, and was a leader of the conservative wing of that denomination—those who believed with Channing and the early Unitarians in the supernaturalism of Christ's birth and mission, as opposed to Theodore Parker and his disciples. After retiring from public life Mr. Andrew entered upon a lucrative legal practice. In January, 1867, he represented before the general court about 30,000 petitioners for a license law, and delivered an argument against the principle of total prohibition. His death, which occurred suddenly from apoplexy, was noticed by public meetings in various cities. He married, 25 December, 1848, Miss Eliza Jane Hersey, of Hingham, Massachusetts, who with their four children survived him. See “Memoir of Governor Andrew, with Personal Reminiscences,” by Peleg W. Chandler (Boston, 1880), “Discourse on the Life and Character of Governor Andrew,” by Reverend E. Nason (Boston, 1868), and “Men of Our Times,” by Harriet Beecher Stowe. A life of Governor Andrew, by Edwin P. Whipple, was left unfinished at the time of Mr. Whipple’s death in 1886. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888.  pp.72-73.


Anthony, Henry Bowen, 1815-1884, Republican, statesman, newspaper editor, Governor of Rhode Island, U.S. Senator 1859-1884, voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery (Appletons’, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 81-82; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 1, Pt. 1, pp. 316-317; Anthony, Henry Bowen, A Memoir, 1885; Congressional Globe)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

ANTHONY, Henry Bowen, statesman, born of Quaker parents, in Coventry, Rhode Island, 1 April, 1815; died in Providence, 2 September, 1884. He was descended in a direct line from John Anthony, who came from England about 1640 and settled on the island of Rhode Island. He was graduated at Brown University in 1833, and devoted himself to literary pursuits. He became editor of the Providence "Journal" in 1838, and in 1840 was admitted into partnership, the paper being published under the name of Knowles, Vose & Anthony till the death of  Mr. Vose in 1848, when it was continued under the name of Knowles & .Anthony till 1 January, 1863, when it became Knowles, Anthony & Danielson.  Mr. Anthony gave himself up to his newspaper with all the energy and enthusiasm of his nature. No amount of work staggered him; early and late he was in his office, and for many years he had around him a brilliant circle of young men. He early developed poetical taste, and there are several pieces of merit that bear his name. His mind was quick and accurate, and he had a wonderful memory; and his editorial labors contributed largely to the growth of the art of journalism in New England. He had many offers to go to other cities and take charge of newspapers, but declined them all. In 1837 he married Sally Rhodes (daughter of the late Christopher Rhodes, of Pawtuxet), who died in 1854. In 1849, and again in 1850, he was elected governor of Rhode Island. As a Whig at the first election he had a majority of 1,556; at the second, fewer than 1,000 votes were cast against him. He declined a third election, and gave himself once more entirely to his editorial work. This continued till 1859, when he was elected, as a Republican, to the U. S. Senate, where he remained by reelections till his death. During his service in the Senate he still contributed largely to his paper. Three times he was elected president protem of the Senate—in March, 1863, in March, 1871, and in January, 1884; but the last time his failing health prevented him from accepting. He was exceedingly popular in Washington, and often spoken of as "the handsome senator." He served on many important committees, and was twice the chairman of the committee on printing, his practical knowledge of that subject enabling him to introduce many reforms in the government printing. He was at different times a member of the committees on claims, on naval affairs, on mines and mining, and on post-offices and post-roads. On the trial of President Johnson he voted for impeachment. He was not a frequent or brilliant speaker in the Senate, but always talked to the point, and commanded attention. He shone more as a writer than as a speaker. His memorial and historical addresses were models of composition. .A volume of these addresses, printed privately in 1875, contains a tribute to Stephen A. Douglas, delivered 9 July. 1861; one to John R. Thompson, 4 December, 1862; one to William P. Fessenden, 14 December, 1869; and three different addresses on Charles Sumner-the first on the announcement of his death in the Senate; the second when Mr. Anthony, as one of the committee appointed by the Senate, gave up the body of Mr. Sumner to the governor of Massachusetts; and the third when Mr. Boutwell presented in the Senate resolutions of respect for Mr. Sumner's memory. Mr. Anthony also spoke in the Senate on the death of William .A. Buckingham, and on 21 January, 1876, delivered a short address on the death of Henry Wilson, Vice-President of the United States. When the statues of General Greene and Roger Williams were presented to Congress by the state of Rhode Island, Mr. Anthony made the addresses, and he also made a short address at the presentation of the statues of Trumbull and Sherman. One of his best efforts was .when he introduced the bill providing for repairing and protecting the monument erected in Newport, Rhode Island, to the memory of the Chevalier de Tiernay, commander of the French naval forces sent out in 1780 to aid the American Revolution. Mr. Anthony had a warm and affectionate nature, genial manner, a commanding figure, and was a perfect specimen of a man. In his last days, with manly courage, he calmly waited for the end. As soon as his death was known, Governor Bourn and Mayor Doyle issued proclamations to that effect, and called upon the people to attend the funeral, which took place from the first Congregational Church in Providence on Saturday, 6 September It was the largest funeral ever known in Rhode Island. Mr. Anthony bequeathed a portion of his library, known as the "Harris Collection of American Poetry," to Brown University. It consists of about 6,000 volumes, mostly small books, and many of them exceedingly rare. It was begun half a century ago by the late Albert G. Greene, continued by Caleb Fiske Harris, and, after his death, completed by his kinsman, the late senator. The Reverend Dr. J. C. Stockbridge, a member of the board of trustees of the university, is preparing an annotated catalogue of the collection. Appletons’, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 81-82


Arnold, Isaac Newton, 1815-1884, lawyer, historian, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives 1860-1864, voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.  Republican.  Introduced anti-slavery bill in Congress.  Served as an officer in the Union Army.  Active in Free Soil movement of 1848. Protested Fugitive Slave Law, October 1850. Outspoken opponent of slavery.  (Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I. p. 96; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 1, Pt. 1, pp. 368-369; Congressional Globe)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

ARNOLD, Isaac Newton,
lawyer, born in Hartwick, Otsego County, New York, 30 November, 1815; died in Chicago, 24 April, 1884. His father, Dr. George W. Arnold, was a native of Rhode Island, whence he moved to western New York in 1800. After attending the district and select schools, Isaac Arnold was thrown on his own resources at the age of fifteen. For several years he taught school a part of each year, earning enough to study law, and at the age of twenty was admitted to the bar. In 1836 he moved to Chicago, where he spent the rest of his life, and was prominent as a lawyer and in politics. He was elected city clerk of Chicago in 1837, and, beginning in 1843, served several terms in the legislature. The state was then heavily in debt, and Mr. Arnold became the acknowledged champion of those who were opposed to repudiation. In 1844 he was a presidential elector, and in 1860 was elected to Congress as a Republican, serving two terms. At the battle of Bull Run he acted as volunteer aide to Colonel Hunter, and did good service in caring for the wounded. While in Congress he was chairman of the committee on the defences and fortifications of the great lakes and rivers, and afterward chairman of the committee on manufactures, serving also as member of the committee on roads and canals. He voted for the bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia, and in March, 1862, he introduced a bill prohibiting slavery in every place under national control. This bill was passed on 19 June, 1862, after much resistance, and on 15 February, 1864, Mr. Arnold introduced in the House of Representatives a resolution, which was passed, declaring that the constitution of the United States should be so amended as to abolish slavery. His ablest speech in Congress was on the confiscation bill, and was made 2 May, 1862. In 1865 President Johnson appointed him sixth auditor to the U. S. Treasury. Mr. Arnold was an admirable public speaker, and delivered addresses before various literary societies, both at home and abroad. Ha had been intimate with Abraham Lincoln for many years before Mr. Lincoln's election to the presidency, and in 1866 he published a biography of him (new ed., rewritten and enlarged, Chicago, 1885). This was followed in 1879 by a “Life of Benedict Arnold,” which, while acknowledging the enormity of Arnold's treason, vindicates and praises him in other respects. The author claimed no relationship with the subject of his work. His life of Lincoln is valuable for the clearness with which it shows the historical relations of the president to the great events of his administration; and the author's death is said to have been caused, in part, by his persistent labor in completing his last revision of this work. Mr. Arnold was for many years president of the Chicago Historical Society, and Hon. E. B. Washburne delivered an address on his life before the society, 21 October, 1884 (Chicago, 1884). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I. pp. 96.


Arthur, Chester Alan

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

ARTHUR, Chester Alan, twenty-first president of the United States, born in Fairfield, Franklin County, Vermont, 5 October, 1830; died in New York City, 18 November, 1886. His father was Reverend William Arthur (given below). His mother was Malvina Stone. Her grandfather, Uriah Stone, was a New Hampshire pioneer, who about 1763 migrated from Hampstead to Connecticut River, and made his home in Piermont, where he died in 1810, leaving twelve children. Her father was George Washington Stone. She died 16 January, 1869, and her husband died 27 October, 1875, at Newtonville, New York Their children were three sons and six daughters, all of whom, except one son and one daughter, were alive in 1886.

Chester A. Arthur, the eldest son, prepared for college at Union Village in Greenwich, and at Schenectady, and in 1845 he entered the sophomore class of Union. While in his sophomore year he taught school for a term at Schaghticoke, Rensselaer County, and a second term at the same place during his last year in college. He joined the Psi-Upsilon Society, and was one of six in a class of one hundred who were elected members of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the condition of admission being high scholarship. He was graduated at eighteen years of age, in the class of 1848. While at college he decided to become a lawyer, and after graduation attended for several months a law school at Ballston Spa, returned to Lansingburg, where his father then resided, and continued his legal studies. During this period he fitted boys for college, and in 1851 he was principal of an academy at North Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont In 1854, James A. Garfield, then a student in Williams College, taught penmanship in this academy during his winter vacation.

In 1853, Arthur, having accumulated a small sum of money, decided to go to New York City. He there entered the law office of Erastus D. Culver as a student, was admitted to the bar during the same year, and at once became a member of the firm of Culver, Parker & Arthur. Mr. Culver had been an anti-slavery member of Congress from Washington county when Dr. Arthur was pastor of the Baptist Church in Greenwich in that county. Dr. Arthur had also enjoyed the friendship of Gerrit Smith, who had often been his guest and spoken from his pulpit. Together they had taken part in the meeting convened at Utica, 21 October, 1835, to form a New York anti-slavery Society. This meeting was broken up by a committee of pro-slavery citizens; but the members repaired to Mr. Smith's home in Peterborough, and there completed the organization. On the same day in Boston a women's anti-slavery society, while its president was at prayer, was dispersed by a mob, and William Lloyd Garrison was dragged through the streets with a rope around his body, threatened with tar and feathers, and for his protection lodged in jail by the mayor. From these early associations Arthur naturally formed sentiments of hostility to slavery, and he first gave them public expression in the Lemmon slave case. In 1852 Jonathan Lemmon, a Virginia slave-holder, determined to take eight of the slaves of his wife, Juliet — one man, two women, and five children — to Texas, and brought them by steamer from Norfolk to New York, intending to re-ship them from New York to Texas. On the petition of Louis Napoleon, a free colored man, on 6 November, a writ of habeas corpus was issued by Judge Elijah Paine, of the superior court of New York City, and after arguments by Mr. Culver and John Jay for the slaves, and H. D. Lapaugh and Henry L. Clinton for the slave-holder, Judge Paine, on 13 November, released the slaves on the ground that they had been made free by being brought by their master into a free state. The decision created great excitement at the south, and the legislature of Virginia directed its attorney-general to appeal to the higher courts of New York. The legislature of New York passed a resolution directing its governor to defend the slaves. In December, 1857, the supreme court, in which a certiorari had been sued out, affirmed Judge Paine's decision (People v. Lemmon, 5 Sandf., 681), and it was still further sustained by the court of appeals at the March term, 1860 (Lemmon v. People, 20 New York Rep., 562). Arthur, as a law student, and after his admission to the bar, became an earnest advocate for the slaves. He went to Albany to secure the intervention in their behalf of the legislature and the governor, and he acted as their counsel in addition to attorney-general Ogden Hoffman, E. D. Culver, Joseph Blunt, and (after Mr. Hoffman's death) William M. Evarts. Charles O'Conor was employed as further counsel for the slave-holder, and argued his side before the court of appeals, while Mr. Blunt and Mr. Evarts argued for the slaves. Until 1855 the street-car companies of New York City excluded colored persons from riding with the whites, and made no adequate provision for their separate transportation. One Sunday in that year a colored woman named Lizzie Jennings, a Sabbath-school superintendent, on the way home from her school, was ejected from a car on the Fourth avenue line. Culver, Parker & Arthur brought a suit in her behalf against the company in the supreme court in Brooklyn, the plaintiff recovered a judgment, and the right of colored persons to ride in any of the city cars was thus secured. The Colored People's Legal Rights Association for years celebrated the anniversary of their success in this case. Mr. Arthur became a Henry Clay Whig, and cast his first vote in 1852 for Winfield Scott for president. He participated in the first Republican state Convention at Saratoga, and took an active part in the Fremont Campaign of 1856. On 1 January, 1861, Governor Edwin D. Morgan, who on that date entered upon his second term, and between whom and Mr. Arthur a warm friendship had grown up, appointed him on his staff as engineer-in-chief, with the rank of brigadier-general. He had previously taken part in the organization of the state militia, and had been judge-advocate of the second brigade. When the Civil War began, in April, 1861, his active services were required by Governor Morgan, and he became acting quartermaster-general, and as such began in New York City the work of preparing and forwarding the state's quota of troops. In December he was called to Albany for consultation concerning the defences of New York Harbor. On 24 December he summoned a board of engineers, of which he became a member; and on 18 January, 1862, he submitted an elaborate report on the condition of the national forts both on the sea-coast and on the inland border of the state. On 10 February, 1862, he was appointed inspector-general, with the rank of brigadier-general, and in May he inspected the New York troops at Fredericksburg and on the Chickahominy. In June, 1862, Governor Morgan ordered his return from the Army of the Potomac, and he acted as secretary of the meeting of the governors of the loyal states, which was held at the Astor House, New York City, 28 June. The governors advised President Lincoln to call for more troops; and on 1 July he called for 300,000 volunteers. At Governor Morgan's request, General Arthur resumed his former work, resigned as inspector-general, and 10 July was appointed quartermaster-general. In his annual report, dated 27 January, 1863, he said: “Through the single office and clothing department of this department in the City of New York, from 1 August to 1 December, the space of four months, there were completely clothed, uniformed, and equipped, supplied with camp and garrison equipage, and transported from this state to the seat of war, sixty-eight regiments of infantry, two battalions of cavalry, and four battalions of artillery.” He went out of office 31 December, 1862, when Horatio Seymour succeeded Governor Morgan, and his successor, Quartermaster-General S. V. Talcott, in his report of 31 December, 1863, spoke of the previous administration as follows: “I found, on entering on the discharge of my duties, a well-organized system of labor and accountability, for which the state is chiefly indebted to my predecessor, General Chester A. Arthur, who by his practical good sense and unremitting exertion, at a period when everything was in confusion, reduced the operations of the department to a matured plan, by which large amounts of money were saved to the government, and great economy of time secured in carrying out the details of the same.”

Between 1862 and 1872 General Arthur was engaged in continuous and active law practice — in partnership with Henry G. Gardner from 1862 till 1867, then for five years alone, and on 1 January, 1872, he formed the firm of Arthur, Phelps & Knevals. He was for a short time counsel for the department of assessments and taxes, but resigned the place. During all this period he continued to take an active interest in politics; was chairman in 1868 of the central Grant club of New York; and became chairman of the Executive Committee of the Republican state Committee in 1879.

On 20 November, 1871, he was appointed by President Grant collector of the port of New York, and assumed the office on 1 December; was nominated to the Senate 6 December, confirmed 12 December, and commissioned for four years 16 December On 17 December, 1875, he was nominated for another term, and by the Senate confirmed the same day, without reference to a committee — a courtesy never before extended to an appointee who had not been a senator. He was commissioned 18 December, and retained the office until 11 July, 1878, making his service about six and two thirds years.

The New York Republican state Convention, held at Syracuse, 22 March, 1876, elected delegates to the national convention in favor of the nomination of Senator Conkling for president. The friends of Mr. Conkling in the state convention were led by Alonzo B. Cornell, then naval officer in the New York custom-house. A minority, calling themselves reform Republicans, and favoring Benjamin H. Bristow for president, were led by George William Curtis. At the national convention at Cincinnati, 14 June, sixty-nine of the New York delegates, headed by Mr. Cornell, voted for Mr. Conkling, and one delegate, Mr. Curtis, voted for Mr. Bristow. At the critical seventh ballot, however, Mr. Conkling's name was withdrawn, and from New York sixty-one votes were given for Rutherford B. Hayes, against nine for James G. Blaine; and the former's nomination was thus secured. At the New York Republican state Convention to nominate a governor, held at Saratoga, 23 August, Mr. Cornell and ex-Governor Morgan were candidates, and also William M. Evarts, supported by the reform Republicans led by Mr. Curtis. Mr. Cornell's name was withdrawn, and Governor Morgan was nominated. In the close state and presidential canvass that ensued, Messrs. Arthur and Cornell made greater exertions to carry New York for the Republicans than they had ever made in any other campaign; and subsequently General Arthur's activity in connection with the contested countings in the southern states was of vital importance. Nevertheless, President Hayes, in making up his cabinet, selected Mr. Evarts as his secretary of state, and determined to remove Messrs. Arthur and Cornell, and to transfer the power and patronage of their offices to the use of a minority faction in the Democratic Party. The president had, however, in his inaugural of 5 March, 1877, declared in favor of civil service reform — “a change in the system of appointment itself; a reform that shall be thorough, radical, and complete; that the officer should be secure in his tenure so long as his personal character remained untarnished, and the performance of his duties satisfactory.” In his letter of acceptance of 8 July, 1876, he had used the same words, and added: “If elected, I shall conduct the administration of the government upon these principles, and all constitutional powers vested in the executive will be employed to establish this reform.” It became necessary, therefore, before removing Arthur and Cornell, that some foundation should be laid for a claim that the custom-house was not well administered. A series of investigations was thereupon instituted. The Jay commission was appointed 14 April, 1877, and during the ensuing summer made four reports criticising the management of the custom-house. In September, Secretary Sherman requested the collector to resign, accompanying the request with the offer of a foreign mission. The newspapers of the previous day announced that at a cabinet meeting it had been determined to remove the collector. The latter declined to resign, and the investigations were continued by commissions and special agents. To the reports of the Jay commission Collector Arthur replied in detail, in a letter to Secretary Sherman, dated 23 November On 6 December, Theodore Roosevelt was nominated to the Senate for collector, and L. Bradford Prince for naval officer; but they were rejected 12 December, and no other nominations were made, although the Senate remained in session for more than six months. On 11 July, 1878, after its adjournment, Messrs. Arthur and Cornell were suspended from office, and Edwin A. Merritt was designated as collector, and Silas W. Burt as naval officer, and they took possession of the offices. Their nominations were sent to the Senate 3 December, 1878. On 15 January, 1879, Secretary Sherman communicated to the Senate a full statement of the causes that led to these suspensions, mainly criticisms of the management of the custom-house, closing with the declaration that the restoration of the suspended officers would create discord and contention, be unjust to the president, and personally embarrassing to the secretary, and saying that, as Collector Arthur's term of service would expire 17 December, 1879, his restoration would be temporary, as the president would send in another name, or suspend him again after the adjournment of the Senate. On 21 January, 1879, Collector Arthur, in a letter to Senator Conkling, chairman of the committee on commerce, before which the nominations were pending, made an elaborate reply to Secretary Sherman's criticisms, completely demonstrating the honesty and efficiency with which the custom-house had been managed, and the good faith with which the policy and instructions of the president had been carried out. A fair summary of the merits of the ostensible issue is contained in Collector Arthur's letter of 23 November, 1877, from which the following extract is taken: “The essential elements of a correct civil service I understand to be: first, permanence in office, which of course prevents removals except for cause; second, promotion from the lower to the higher grades, based upon good conduct and efficiency; third, prompt and thorough investigation of all complaints, and prompt punishment of all misconduct. In this respect I challenge comparison with any department of the government under the present, or under any past, national administration. I am prepared to demonstrate the truth of this statement on any fair investigation.” In a table appended to this letter Collector Arthur showed that during the six years he had managed the office the yearly percentage of removals for all causes had been only 2¾ per cent. as against an annual average of 28 per cent. under his three immediate predecessors, and an annual average of about 24 per cent, since 1857, when Collector Schell took office. Out of 923 persons who held office when he became collector, on 1 December, 1871, there were 531 still in office on 1 May, 1877, having been retained during his entire term. In making promotions, the uniform practice was to advance men from the lower to the higher grades, and all the appointments except two, to the one hundred positions of $2,000 salary, or over, were made in this method. The expense of collecting the revenue was also kept low; it had been, under his predecessors, between 1857 and. 1861, 59/100 of one per cent. of the receipts; between 1861 and 1864, 87/100; in 1864 and 1865, 1 30/100; between 1866 and 1869, 74/100; in 1869 and 1870, 85/100; in 1870 and 1871, 60/100; and under him, from 1871 to 1877, it was 62/100 of one per cent. The influence of the administration, however, was sufficient to secure the confirmation of Mr. Merritt and Mr. Burt on 3 February, 1879, and the controversy was remitted to the Republicans of New York for their opinion. Mr. Cornell was nominated for governor of New York 3 September, 1879, and elected on 4 November; and Mr. Arthur was considered a candidate for U. S. Senator for the term to begin 4 March, 1881.

On retiring from the office of collector, General Arthur resumed law practice with the firm of Arthur, Phelps, Knevals & Ransom. But he continued to be active in politics, and, in 1880, advocated the nomination of General Grant to succeed President Hayes. He was a delegate at large to the Chicago Convention, which met 2 June, and during the heated preliminary contest before the Republican National Committee, which threatened to result in the organization of two independent conventions, he conducted for his own side the conferences with the controlling anti-third term delegates relative to the choice of a temporary presiding officer, and the arrangement of the preliminary roll of delegates in the cases to be contested in the convention. The result of the conferences was an agreement by which all danger was avoided, and when, upon the opening of the convention, an attempt was made, in consequence of a misunderstanding on the part of certain Grant delegates, to violate this agreement, he resolutely adhered to it, and insisted upon and secured its observance. After the nomination, 10 June, of General Garfield for president, by a combination of the anti-third term delegates, a general desire arose in the convention to nominate for vice-president some advocate of Grant and a resident of New York state. The New York delegation at once indicated their preference for General Arthur, and before the roll-call began the foregone conclusion was evident: he received 468 votes against 283 for all others, and the nomination was made unanimous. In his letter of acceptance of 5 July, 1880, he emphasized the right and the paramount duty of the nation to protect the colored citizens, who were enfranchised as a result of the southern rebellion, in the full enjoyment of their civil and political rights, including honesty and order, and excluding fraud and force, in popular elections. He also approved such reforms in the public service as would base original appointments to office upon ascertained fitness, fill positions of responsibility by the promotion of worthy and efficient officers, and make the tenure of office stable, while not allowing the acceptance of public office to impair the liberty or diminish the responsibility of the citizen. He also advocated a sound currency, popular education, such changes in tariff and taxation as would “relieve any overburdened industry or class, and enable our manufacturers and artisans to compete successfully with those of other lands,” national works of internal improvement, and the development of our water-courses and harbors wherever required by the general interests of commerce. During the canvass he remained chairman of the New York Republican state Committee. The result was a plurality for Garfield and Arthur of 21,000 in the state, against a plurality of 32,000 in 1876 for Tilden and Hendricks, the Democratic candidates against Hayes and Wheeler.

Vice-President Arthur took the oath of office 4 March, 1881, and presided over the extra session of the Senate that then began, which continued until 20 May. The Senate contained 37 Republicans and 37 Democrats, while Senators Mahone, of Virginia, and Davis, of Illinois, who were rated as independents, generally voted, the former with the Republicans and the latter with the Democrats, thus making a tie, and giving the vice-president the right to cast the controlling vote, which he several times had occasion to exercise. The session was exciting, and was prolonged by the efforts of the Republicans to elect their nominees for secretary and sergeant-at-arms, against dilatory tactics employed by the Democrats, and by the controversy over President Garfield's nomination, on 23 March, for collector of the port of New York, of William H. Robertson, who had been the leader of the New York anti-third term delegates at the Chicago Convention. During this controversy the vice-president supported Senators Conkling and Platt in their opposition to the confirmation. On 28 March he headed a remonstrance, signed also by the senators and by Postmaster-General James, addressed to the president, condemning the appointment, and asking that the nomination be withdrawn. When the two senators hastily resigned and made their unsuccessful contest for a reelection by the legislature of New York, then in session at Albany, he exerted himself actively in their behalf during May and June.

President Garfield was shot 2 July, 1881, and died 19 September His cabinet announced his death to the vice-president, then in New York, and, at their suggestion, he took the oath as president on the 20th, at his residence, 123 Lexington avenue, before Judge John R. Brady, of the New York supreme court. On the 22d the oath was formally administered again in the vice-president's room in the capitol at Washington by Chief-Justice Waite, and President Arthur delivered the following inaugural address:

“For the fourth time in the history of the republic its chief magistrate has been removed by death. All hearts are filled with grief and horror at the hideous crime which has darkened our land; and the memory of the murdered president, his protracted sufferings, his unyielding fortitude, the example and achievements of his life, and the pathos of his death, will forever illumine the pages of our history. For the fourth time the officer elected by the people and ordained by the constitution to fill a vacancy so created is called to assume the executive chair. The wisdom of our fathers, foreseeing even the most dire possibilities, made sure that the government should never be imperilled because of the uncertainty of human life. Men may die, but the fabrics of our free institutions remain unshaken. No higher or more assuring proof could exist of the strength and permanence of popular government than the fact that, though the chosen of the people be struck down, his constitutional successor is peacefully installed without shock or strain, except the sorrow which mourns the bereavement. All the noble aspirations of my lamented predecessor which found expression in his life, the measures devised and suggested during his brief administration to correct abuses and enforce economy, to advance prosperity and promote the general welfare, to insure domestic security and maintain friendly and honorable relations with the nations of the earth, will be garnered in the hearts of the people, and it will be my earnest endeavor to profit and to see that the nation shall profit by his example and experience. Prosperity blesses our country, our fiscal policy is fixed by law, is well grounded and generally approved. No threatening issue mars our foreign intercourse, and the wisdom, integrity, and thrift of our people may be trusted to continue undisturbed the present assured career of peace, tranquillity, and welfare. The gloom and anxiety which have enshrouded the country must make repose especially welcome now. No demand for speedy legislation has been heard; no adequate occasion is apparent for an unusual session of Congress. The constitution defines the functions and powers of the executive as clearly as those of either of the other two departments of the government, and he must answer for the just exercise of the discretion it permits and the performance of the duties it imposes. Summoned to these high duties and responsibilities, and profoundly conscious of their magnitude and gravity, I assume the trust imposed by the constitution, relying for aid on Divine guidance and the virtue, patriotism, and intelligence of the American people.”

He also on the same day appointed Monday, 26 September, as a day of mourning for the late president. On 23 September he issued a proclamation convening the Senate in extraordinary session, to meet 10 October, in order that a president pro tem. of that body might be elected. The members of the cabinet were requested to retain their places until the regular meeting of Congress in December, and did remain until their successors were appointed, except Secretary Windom, who, desiring to become a candidate for senator from Minnesota, resigned from the treasury 24 October Edwin D. Morgan was nominated and confirmed secretary of the treasury, but declined the appointment; and Charles J. Folger, of New York, was then nominated and confirmed, was commissioned 27 October, and qualified 14 November He died in office, 4 September, 1884. The other members of the cabinet of President Arthur, and the dates of their commissions, were as follows: State Department, Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, of New Jersey, 12 December, 1881; treasury, Walter Q. Gresham, of Indiana, 24 September, 1884; Hugh McCulloch, of Maryland, 28 October, 1884; war, Robert T. Lincoln, of Illinois, 5 March, 1881 (retained from Garfield's cabinet); U.S. Navy, William E. Chandler, of New Hampshire, 12 April, 1882; interior, Henry M. Teller, of Colorado, 6 April, 1882; attorney-general, Benjamin H. Brewster, of Pennsylvania, 19 December, 1881; postmaster-general, Timothy O. Howe, of Wisconsin, 20 December, 1881 (died in office, 25 March, 1883); Walter Q. Gresham, 3 April, 1883; Frank Hatton, of Iowa, 14 October, 1884. Messrs. Frelinghuysen, McCulloch, Lincoln, Chandler, Teller, Brewster, and Platton remained in office until the end of the presidential term, 4 March, 1885.

The prominent events of President Arthur's administration, including his most important recommendations to Congress, may be here summarized: Shortly after his accession to the presidency he participated in the dedication of the monument erected at Yorktown, Virginia, to commemorate the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at that place, 19 October, 1781. Representatives of our French allies and of the German participants were present. At the close of the celebration the president felicitously directed a salute to be fired in honor of the British flag, “in recognition of the friendly relations so long and so happily subsisting between Great Britain and the United States, in the trust and confidence of peace and good-will between the two countries for all the centuries to come, and especially as a mark of the profound respect entertained by the American people for the illustrious sovereign and gracious lady who sits upon the British throne.” On 29 November, 1881, an invitation was extended to all the independent countries of North and South America to participate in a Peace Congress, to be convened at Washington 22 November, 1882. The president, in a special message, 18 April, 1882, asked the opinion of Congress as to the expediency of the project. No response being elicited, he concluded, 9 August, 1882, to postpone indefinitely the proposed convocation, believing that so important a step should not be taken without the express authority of Congress; or while three of the nations to be invited were at war; or still, again, until a programme should have been prepared explicitly indicating the objects and limiting the powers of the Congress. Efforts were made, however, to strengthen the relations of the United States with the other American nationalities. Representations were made by the administration with a view to bringing to a close the devastating war between Chili and the allied states of Peru and Bolivia. Its friendly counsel was offered in aid of the settlement of the disputed boundary-line between Mexico and Guatemala, and was probably influential in averting a war between those countries. On 29 July, 1882, a convention was made with Mexico for relocating the boundary between that country and the United States from the Rio Grande to the Pacific, and on the same day an agreement was also effected permitting the armed forces of either country to cross the frontier in pursuit of hostile Indians. A series of reciprocal commercial treaties with the countries of America to foster an unhampered movement of trade was recommended. Such a treaty was made with Mexico, 20 January, 1883, General U. S. Grant and Mr. Wm. H. Trescott being the U. S. commissioners, and was ratified by the Senate 11 March, 1884. Similar treaties were made with Santo Domingo 4 December, 1884; and 18 November, 1884, with Spain, relative to the trade of Cuba and Porto Rico, both of which, before action by the Senate, were withdrawn by President Cleveland, who, in his message of 8 December, 1885, pronounced them inexpedient. In connection with commercial treaties President Arthur advised the establishment of a monetary union of the American countries to secure the adoption of a uniform currency basis, and as a step toward the general remonetization of silver. Provision for increased and improved consular representation in the Central American states was urged, and the recommendation was accepted and acted upon by Congress. A Central and South American commission was appointed, under the Act of Congress of 7 July, 1884, and proceeded on its mission, guided by instructions containing a statement of the general policy of the government for enlarging its commercial intercourse with American states. Reports from the commission were submitted to Congress in a message of 13 February, 1885. Negotiations were conducted with the republic of Colombia for the purpose of renewing and strengthening the obligations of the United States as the sole guarantor of the integrity of Colombian territory, and of the neutrality of any interoceanic canal to be constructed across the isthmus of Panama. By correspondence upon this subject, carried on with the British government, it was shown that the provisions of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty of 19 April, 1850, cannot be urged, and do not continue in force in justification of interference by any European power, with the right of the United States to exercise exclusive control over any route of isthmus transit, in accordance with the spirit and purpose of the so-called “Monroe doctrine.” As the best and most practicable means of securing a canal, and at the same time protecting the paramount interests of the United States, a treaty was made with the republic of Nicaragua, 1 December, 1884, which authorized the United States to construct a canal, railway, and telegraph line across Nicaraguan Territory by way of San Juan River and Lake Nicaragua. This treaty was rejected by the Senate, but a motion was made to reconsider the vote. Before final action had been taken it was withdrawn, 12 March, 1885, by President Cleveland, who withheld it from re-submission to the Senate, and in his message of 8 December, 1885, expressed his unwillingness to assert for the United States any claim of paramount privilege of ownership or control of any canal across the isthmus. Satisfaction was obtained from Spain of the old claim on account of the “Masonic,” an American vessel, which had been seized at Manila unjustly, and under circumstances of peculiar severity. Prom the same government was also secured a recognition of the conclusiveness of the judgments of the U. S. courts naturalizing citizens of Spanish nativity. From the British government a full recognition of the rights and immunities of naturalized American citizens of Irish origin was obtained, and all such that were under arrest in England or Ireland, as suspects, were liberated. Notice was given to England, under the joint resolution of Congress of 3 March, 1883, of the termination of the fishery clauses of the treaty of Washington. A complete scheme for re-organizing the extra-territorial jurisdiction of American consuls in China and Japan, and another for re-organizing the whole consular service, were submitted to Congress. The former recommendation was adopted by the Senate. The balance of the Japanese indemnity fund was returned to Japan by Act of 22 February, 1883, and the balance of the Chinese fund to China by Act of 3 March, 1885. A bill that was passed by Congress prohibiting the immigration of Chinese laborers for a term of twenty years was vetoed, 4 April, 1882, as being a violation of the treaty of 1880 with China, which permitted the limitation or suspension of immigration, but forbade its absolute prohibition. The veto was sustained and a modified bill, suspending immigration for ten years, was passed 6 May, 1882, which received executive approval, and also an amendatory Act of 5 July, 1884. Outstanding claims with China were settled, and additional regulations of the opium traffic established. Friendly and commercial intercourse with Corea was opened under the most favorable auspices, in pursuance of the treaty negotiated on 22 May, 1882, through the agency of Commodore R. W. Shufeldt, U. S. N. The friendly offices of the United States were extended to Liberia in aid of a settlement, favorable to that republic, of the dispute concerning its boundary-line, with the British possession of Sierra Leone. The flag of the international association of the Congo was, on 22 April, 1884, recognized first by the United States. A commercial agent was appointed to visit the Congo basin, and the government was represented at an international conference at Berlin, called by the emperor of Germany, for the promotion of trade and the establishment of commercial rights in the Congo region. The renewal of the reciprocity treaty with Hawaii was advised. Remonstrances were addressed to Russia against any prescriptive treatment of the Hebrew race in that country. The international prime meridian of Greenwich was established as the result of a conference of nations, initiated by the U. S. government, and held at Washington. 1 October to 1 November, 1884. In response to the appeal of Cardinal John McCloskey, of New York, the Italian government, on 4 March, 1884, was urged to exempt from the sale of the property of the propaganda the American College in Rome, established mainly by contributions from the United States, and in consequence of this interposition the college was saved from sale and virtual confiscation. On 3 August, 1882, a law was passed for returning convicts to Europe, and on 26 February, 1885, importation of contract-laborers was forbidden.

The suspension of the coinage of standard silver dollars, and the redemption of the trade dollars, were repeatedly recommended. The repeal of the stamp taxes on matches, proprietary articles, playing-cards, bank checks and drafts, and of the tax on surplus bank capital and deposits, was recommended. These taxes were repealed by Act of Congress of 3 March, 1883; and by executive order of 25 June, 1883, the number of internal revenue collection districts was reduced from 126 to 83, The tax on tobacco was reduced by the same Act of Congress; and in his last annual message, of 5 December, 1884, the president advised the repeal of all internal revenue taxes except those on distilled spirits and fermented liquors. Congress was advised to undertake the revision of the tariff, but “without the abandonment of the policy of so discriminating in the adjustment of details as to afford aid and protection to American labor.” The course advised was the organization of a tariff commission, which was authorized by Act of Congress of 15 May, 1882. The report of the commission submitted to Congress 4 December was made the basis of the tariff revision Act of 3 March, 1883. On 12 July, 1882, an act became a law enabling the national banks, which were then completing their twenty-year terms, to extend their corporate existence. Overdue five per cent. bonds to the amount of $469,651,050, and six per cent. bonds to the amount of $203,573,750, were continued (except about $56,000,000 which were paid) at the rate of 3½ per cent, interest. The interest-bearing public debt was reduced $478,785,950, and the annual interest charge $29,831,880 during the presidential term. On 1 July, 1882, “An act to regulate the carriage of passengers by sea” was vetoed because not correctly or accurately phrased, although the object was admitted to be meritorious and philanthropic. A modified bill passed Congress, and was approved 2 August The attention of Congress was frequently called to the decline of the American merchant marine, and legislation was recommended for its restoration, and the construction and maintenance of ocean steamships under the U. S. flag. In compliance with these recommendations, the following laws were enacted: 26 June, 1884, an act to remove certain burdens from American shipping; 5 July, 1884, an act creating a bureau of navigation, under charge of a commissioner, in the treasury Department; and 3 March, 1885, an amendment to the postal appropriation bill appropriating $800,000 for contracting with American steamship lines for the transportation of foreign mails. Reasonable national regulation of the railways of the country was favored, and the opinion was expressed that Congress should protect the people at large in their inter-state traffic against acts of injustice that the state governments might be powerless to prevent.

The attention of Congress was often called to the necessity of modern provisions for coast defence. By special message of 11 April, 1884, an annual appropriation of $1,500,000 for the armament of fortifications was recommended. In the last annual message an expenditure of $60,000,000, one tenth to be appropriated annually, was recommended. In consequence, the fortifications board was created by Act of 3 March, 1885, which made an elaborate report to the 49th Congress, recommending a complete system of coast defence at an ultimate cost estimated at $126,377,800. The gun-foundry board, consisting of army and navy officers, appointed under the Act of 3 March, 1883, visited Europe and made full reports, advising large contracts for terms of years with American manufacturers to produce the steel necessary for heavy cannon, and recommending the establishment of one army and one navy gun factory for the fabrication of modern ordnance. This plan was commended to Congress in a special message 26 March, 1884, and in the above-mentioned message of 11 April; also in the annual message of that year. In the annual message of 1881 the improvement of Mississippi River was recommended. On 17 April, 1882, by special message, Congress was urged to provide for “closing existing gaps in levees,” and to adopt a system for the permanent improvement of the navigation of the river and for the security of the valley. Special messages on this subject were also sent 8 January and 2 April, 1884. Appropriations were made of $8,500,000 for permanent work; and in 1882 of $350,000, and in 1884 of over $150,000, for the relief of the sufferers from floods, the amount in the latter year being the balance left from $500,000 appropriated on account of the floods in the Ohio. These relief appropriations were expended under the personal supervision of the Secretary of War. On 1 August, 1882, the president vetoed a river-and-harbor bill making appropriations of $18,743,875, on the ground that the amount greatly exceeded “the needs of the country” for the then current fiscal year, and because it contained “appropriations for purposes not for the common defence or general welfare,” which did not “promote commerce among the states, but were, on the contrary, entirely for the benefit of the particular localities” where it was “proposed to make the improvements.” The bill, on 2 August, passed Congress over the veto by 122 yeas to 59 nays in the house, and 41 yeas to 16 nays in the Senate. In connection with this subject it was suggested to Congress, in the annual messages of 1882, 1883, and 1884, that it would be wise to adopt a constitutional amendment allowing the president to veto in part only any bill appropriating moneys. A special message of 8 January, 1884, commended to Congress, as a matter of great public interest, the cession to the United States of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in order to secure the construction of the Hennepin Canal to connect Lake Michigan by way of Illinois River with the Mississippi. Unlawful intrusions of armed settlers into the Indian territory for the purpose of locating upon lands set apart for the Indians were prevented, or the intruders were expelled by the army. On 2 July, 1884, the president vetoed the bill to restore to the army and place on the retired list Major-General Fitz-John Porter, who, on the sentence of a court-martial, approved by President Lincoln 27 January, 1863, had been dismissed for disobedience of orders to march to attack the enemy in his front during the second battle of Bull Run. The reasons assigned for the veto were, (1) that the Congress had no right “to impose upon the president the duty of nominating or appointing to office any particular individual of its own selection,” and (2) that the bill was in effect an annulment of a final judgment of a court of last resort, after the lapse of many years, and on insufficient evidence. The veto was overruled in the house by 168 yeas to 78 nays, but was sustained in the Senate by 27 to 27.

A new naval policy was adopted prescribing a reduction in the number of officers, the elimination of drunkards, great strictness and impartiality in discipline, the discontinuance of extensive repairs of old wooden ships, the diminution of navy-yard expenses, and the beginning of the construction of a new navy of modern steel ships and guns according to the plans of a skilful naval advisory board. The first of such vessels, the cruisers “Chicago,” “Boston,” and “Atlanta,” and a steel despatch-boat, “Dolphin,” with their armaments, were designed in this country and built in American workshops. The gun foundry board referred to above was originated, and its reports were printed with that of the department for 1884. A special message of 26 March, 1884, urged continued progress in the reconstruction of the navy, the granting of authority for at least three additional steel cruisers and four gun-boats, and the finishing of the four double-turreted monitors. Two cruisers and two gun-boats were authorized by the Act of 3 March, 1885. An Arctic expedition, consisting of the steam whalers “Thetis” and “Bear,” together with the ship “Alert,” given by the British admiralty, was fitted out and despatched under the command of Commander Winfield Scott Schley for the relief of Lieutenant A. W. Greely, of the U. S. Army, who with his party had been engaged since 1881 in scientific exploration at Lady Franklin Bay, in Grinnell Land; and that officer and the few other survivors were rescued at Cape Sabine 22 June, 1884. On recommendation of the president, an Act of Congress was passed directing the return of the “Alert” to the English government.

The reduction of letter postage from three to two cents a half ounce was recommended, and was effected by the Act of 3 March, 1883; the unit of weight was on 3 March, 1885, made one ounce, instead of a half ounce; the rate on transient newspapers and periodicals was reduced, 9 June, 1884, to one cent for four ounces, and the rate on similar matter, when sent by the publisher or from a news agency to actual subscribers or to other news agents, including sample copies, was on 3 March, 1885, reduced to one cent a pound. The fast-mail and free-delivery systems were largely extended; and also, on 3 March, 1883, the money-order system. Special letter deliveries were established 3 March, 1885. The star service at the west was increased at reduced cost. The foreign mail service was improved, the appropriation of $800,000, already alluded to, was made, and various postal conventions were negotiated.

Recommendations were made for the revision of the laws fixing the fees of jurors and witnesses, and for prescribing by salaries the compensation of district attorneys and marshals. The prosecution of persons charged with frauds in connection with the star-route mail service was pressed with vigor (the attorney-general appearing in person at the principal trial), and resulted in completely breaking up the vicious and corrupt practices that had previously nourished in connection with that service. Two vacancies on the bench of the supreme court were filled — one on the death of Nathan Clifford, of Maine, by Horace Gray, of Massachusetts, commissioned on 20 December, 1881. For the vacancy occasioned by the retirement of Ward Hunt, of New York, Roscoe Conkling was nominated 24 February, 1882, and he was confirmed by the Senate; but on 3 March he declined the office, and Samuel Blatchford, of New York, was appointed and commissioned 23 March, 1882.

Measures were recommended for breaking up tribal relations of the Indians by allotting to them land in severalty, and by extending to them the laws applicable to other citizens; and liberal appropriations for the education of Indian children were advised. Peace with all the tribes was preserved during the whole term of the administration. Stringent legislation against polygamy in Utah was recommended, and under the law enacted 22 March, 1882, many polygamists were indicted, convicted, and punished. The Utah commission, to aid in the better government of the territory, was appointed under the same act. The final recommendation of the president in his messages of 1883 and 1884 was, that Congress should assume the entire political control ot the territory, and govern it through commissioners. Legislation was urged for the preservation of the valuable forests remaining upon the public domain. National aid to education was repeatedly urged, preferably through setting apart the proceeds of the sales of public lands.

A law for the adjudication of the French spoliation claims was passed 20 January, 1885, and preparation was made for carrying it into effect. Congress was urged in every annual message to pass laws establishing safe and certain methods of ascertaining the result of a presidential election, and fully providing for all cases of removal, death, resignation, or inability of the president, or any officer acting as such. In view of certain decisions of the supreme court, additional legislation was urged in the annual message of 1883 to supplement and enforce the 14th amendment to the constitution in its special purpose to insure to members of the colored race the full enjoyment of civil and political rights. The subject of reform in the methods of the public service, which had been discussed by the president in his letter of 23 November, 1877, while collector, to Secretary Sherman, and in his letter of 15 July, 1880, accepting the nomination for vice-president, was fully treated in all his annual messages, and in special messages of 29 February, 1884, and 11 February, 1885. The “act to regulate and improve the civil service of the United States” was passed 16 January, 1883, and under it a series of rules was established by the president, and the law and rules at all times received his unqualified support, and that of the heads of the several departments. The final distribution of the moneys derived from the Geneva award among meritorious sufferers on account of the rebel cruisers fitted out or harbored in British ports was provided for by the Act of 5 June, 1882. In the annual message of 1884 a suitable pension to General Grant was recommended, and, upon his announcement that he would not accept a pension, a special message of 3 February, 1885, urged the passage of a bill creating the office of general of the army on the retired list, to enable the president in his discretion to appoint General Grant. Such a bill was passed 3 March, 1885, and the president on that day made the nomination, and it was confirmed in open session amid demonstrations of approval, in a crowded Senate-chamber, a few minutes before the expiration of the session.

The president attended, as the guest of the city of Boston, the celebration of the Webster Historical Society at Marshfield, Massachusetts, and made brief addresses in Faneuil Hall, 11 October, 1882, and at Marshfield, 13 October He commended the Southern Exposition at Louisville, Kentucky, by a letter of 9 June, 1883, attended its opening, and delivered an address on 2 August He aided in many ways the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition at New Orleans; and on 16 December, 1884, in an address sent by telegraph from the executive mansion in Washington, he opened the exposition, and set in motion the machinery by the electric current. On 25 September, 1883, he was present at the unveiling of the Burnside monument at Bristol, Rhode Island On 26 November, 1883, he attended the unveiling of the statue of Washington on the steps of the sub-treasury building in New York City; and 21 February, 1885, he made an address at the dedication, at the national capital, of the Washington monument, which had been completed during his term.

President Arthur's name was presented to the Republican presidential Convention that met at Chicago 3 June, 1884, by delegates from New York, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Louisiana. On the first ballot he received 278 votes against 540 for all others, 276 on the second, 274 on the third, and 207 on the fourth, which resulted in the nomination of James G. Blaine. He at once telegraphed to Mr. Blaine, “As the candidate of the Democratic Party you will have my earnest and cordial support,” and in the canvass which ensued he rendered all possible assistance to the Republican cause and candidates. The national convention, in its resolutions, declared that “in the administration of President Arthur we recognize a wise, conservative, and patriotic policy, under which the country has been blessed with remarkable prosperity, and we believe his eminent services are entitled to and will receive the hearty approval of every citizen.” The conventions in all the states had also unanimously passed resolutions commendatory of the administration.

Mr. Arthur married, 29 October, 1859, Ellen Lewis Herndon, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, who died 12 January, 1880, leaving two children, Chester Alan Arthur, born 25 July, 1865, and Ellen Herndon Arthur, born 21 November, 1871. Their first child, William L. H. Arthur, was born 10 December, 1860, and died 8 July, 1863. Mrs. Arthur was the daughter of Commander William Lewis Herndon, of the U. S. Navy, who, in 1851-'2, explored the Amazon River under orders of the government. He perished in a gale at sea, 12 September, 1857, on the way from Havana to New York, while in command of the merchant-steamer, “Central America.” (See 
Herndon.)

In person, Mr. Arthur was tall, large, well-proportioned, and of distinguished presence. His manners were always affable. He was genial in domestic and social life, and warmly beloved by his personal friends. He conducted his official intercourse with unvarying courtesy, and dispensed the liberal hospitalities of the executive mansion with ease and dignity, and in such a way as to meet universal commendation from citizens and foreigners alike. He had a full and strong mind, literary taste and culture, a retentive memory, and was apt in illustration by analogy and anecdote. He reasoned coolly and logically, and was never one-sided. The style of his state papers is simple and direct. He was eminently conscientious, wise, and just in purpose and act as a public official; had always the courage to follow his deliberate convictions, and remained unmoved by importunity or attack. He succeeded to the presidency under peculiarly distressing circumstances. The factional feeling in the Republican Party, which the year before had resulted in the nomination of General Garfield for president as the representative of one faction, and of himself for vice-president as the representative of the other, had measurably subsided during the canvass and the following winter, only to break out anew immediately after the inauguration of the new administration, and a fierce controversy was raging when the assassination of President Garfield convulsed the nation and created the gravest apprehensions. Cruel misjudgments were formed and expressed by men who would now hesitate to admit them. The long weeks of alternating hope and fear that preceded the president's death left the public mind perturbed and restless. Doubt and uneasiness were everywhere apparent. The delicacy and discretion displayed by the vice-president had compelled approval, but had not served wholly to disarm prejudice, and when he took the murdered president's place the whole people were in a state of tense and anxious expectancy, of which, doubtless, he was most painfully conscious. All fears, however, were speedily and happily dispelled. The new president's inaugural was explicit, judicious, and reassuring, and his purpose not to administer his high office in the spirit of former faction, although by it he lost some friendships, did much toward healing the dissensions within the dominant party. His conservative administration of the government commanded universal confidence, preserved public order, and promoted business activity. If his conduct of affairs be criticised as lacking aggressiveness, it may confidently be replied that aggressiveness would have been unfortunate, if not disastrous. Rarely has there been a time when an indiscreet president could have wrought more mischief. It was not a time for showy exploits or brilliant experimentation. Above all else, the people needed rest from the strain and excitement into which the assassination of their president had plunged them. The course chosen by President Arthur was the wisest and most desirable that was possible. If apparently negative in itself, it was positive, far-reaching, and most salutary in its results. The service which at this crisis in public affairs he thus rendered to the country must be accounted the greatest of his personal achievements, and the most important result of his administration. As such, it should be placed in its true light before the reader of the future; and in this spirit, for the purpose of historical accuracy only, it is here given the prominence it deserves. His administration, considered as a whole, was responsive to every national demand, and stands in all its departments substantially without assault or criticism.

He died suddenly, of apoplexy, at his residence, No. 123 Lexington avenue. New York, Thursday morning, 18 November, 1886. The funeral services were held on the following Monday, at the Church of the Heavenly Rest. President Cleveland and his cabinet, Chief-Justice Waite, ex-President Hayes, James G. Blaine, Gens. Sherman, Sheridan, and Schofield, and the surviving members of President Arthur's cabinet, were in attendance. On the same day a special train conveyed his remains to Albany, where they were placed by the side of his wife in the family burial-place in Rural cemetery.
[Appleton’s 1900]


Ashley, James Monroe, 1824-1896, Ohio, Underground Railroad activist. Republican Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.  Adamant opponent of slavery.  Member, Free Soil Party, 1848.  Joined Republican Party in 1854. (Dumond, 1961, p. 339; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, p. 110; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 1, Pt. 1, pp. 389-390; Congressional Globe)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

ASHLEY, James Monroe, Congressman, born near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, 14 November, 1824. His education was acquired while a clerk on boats on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Later he worked in printing-offices, and became editor of the "Dispatch." and afterward of the "Democrat," at Portsmouth, Ohio. He then studied law, and was admitted to the bar of Ohio in 1849, but never practised. Subsequently he settled in Toledo, where he became interested in the wholesale drug business. He was elected to Congress as a Republican in 1859, and was reelected four times, serving continuously from 5 December, 1859, till 3 March, 1869. He was for four terms chairman of the Committee on Territories, and it was under his supervision that the territories of Arizona, Idaho, and Montana were organized. He was nominated for the 41st Congress, but was defeated, and in 1869 was appointed governor of Montana. In 1866 he was a delegate to the loyalist convention held in Philadelphia. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1887, Vol. I, p. 110.


Baker, Edward Dickenson

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

BAKER, Edward Dickenson, soldier, born in London, England, 24 February, 1811; killed at the battle of Ball's Bluff, 21 October, 1861. He came to the United States at the age of five with his father, who died in Philadelphia while Edward was yet a youth. The boy supported himself and his younger brother by working as a weaver, and occupied his leisure hours in study. Impelled to seek his fortune in the far west, he moved with his brother to Springfield, Illinois, where he studied and soon began the practice of law. His genius for oratory rapidly gained him distinction and popularity, and, entering the political field as a Whig. He was elected a member of the legislature in 1837, of the state senate in 1840, and representative in Congress in 1844. When the Mexican War began he raised a regiment in Illinois and marched to the Rio Grande. Taking a furlough to speak and vote in favor of the war in the U.S. House of Representatives, he returned and overtook his regiment on the march from Vera Cruz. He fought with distinction in every action on the route to Mexico, and after the wounding of General Shields at Cerro Gordo commanded the brigade and led it during the rest of the war. On his return to Galena, Illinois, he was again elected to Congress; but, becoming interested in the Panama Railroad, he declined a renomination in 1850. In 1851 he settled in San Francisco, where he took rank as the leader of the California Bar and the most eloquent orator in the state. The death of Senator Broderick, who fell in a duel in 1859, was the occasion of a fiery oration in the public square of San Francisco. He received a Republican nomination to Congress, but failed of election. Moving to Oregon, he was elected to the U. S. Senate in 1860 by a coalition of Republicans and Douglas Democrats. The firing upon Fort Sumter prompted him to deliver a passionate address in Union Square, New York, in which he pledged his life and his declining strength to the service of the union. He raised the California regiment in New York and Philadelphia, but declined a commission as general of brigade. In the disastrous assault at Ball's Bluff he commanded a brigade, and, exposing himself to the hottest fire, fell mortally wounded while leading a charge. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1887, Vol. I, p. 144.


Baldwin, John Denison, 1809-1883, journalist, clergyman, Republican Member of the U.S. House of Representatives 1863-1867, voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.  Editor of the anti-slavery journal, Republican in Hartford, Connecticut.  Owner, editor of Free-Soil Charter Oak at Hartford, Connecticut.  In 1852 became editor of the Commonwealth in Boston.  Supported Negro causes. (Appletons’, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 148-149; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 1, Pt. 1, p. 537; Congressional Globe)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

BALDWIN, John Denison, journalist, born in North Stonington, Connecticut,
28 September, 1809; died in Worcester, Massachusetts, 8 July, 1883. He supported himself from the age of fourteen, pursued academical, legal, and theological studies in New Haven, and received the honorary degree of master of arts from Yale College. He was licensed to preach in 1833, was pastor of a church in North Branford, Connecticut, for several years, and made a special study of archaeology. He became editor of the “Republican,” an anti-slavery journal, published in Hartford, and subsequently of the “Commonwealth,” published in Boston. From 1859 he owned and edited the “Worcester Spy.” He was elected to Congress in 1863, and reelected twice. He published “Raymond Hill,” a collection of poems (Boston, 184 7); “Prehistoric Nations” (New York, 1869, and “Ancient America” (1872). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I. pp. 148-149.


Baker, John I., Massachusetts


Banks, Nathanial Prentiss, 1816-1894, Waltham, Massachusetts, statesman, anti-slavery political leader.  Republican U.S. Congressman and Speaker of the House of Representatives.  Union General.  Governor of Massachusetts.  Member of the Free Soil and, later, Republican parties.  He was opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska Bill of 1854.  He was also opposed to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, as this repeal favored the slave power.  Banks was called, “the very bone and sinew of Free-soilism” (Scribner’s, 1930, p. 578) (Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. 1, pp. 158-159; Scribner’s, 1930, pp. 577-580; Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 2.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1872, 348)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

BANKS, Nathaniel Prentice, statesman, born in Waltham, Massachusetts, 30 January, 1816; died there, 1 September, 1894. He was early employed in a cotton factory, of which his father was superintendent, and learned the trade of a machinist. He was ambitious to fit himself for a wider field of work, and studied diligently during his leisure hours, securing engagements to lecture before meetings and assemblies at an early age. He became editor of the local paper at Waltham, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and in 1849 was selected to represent his native town in the legislature of Massachusetts. At this time the ancient power of the Whig Party was waning in New England, and the Free-Soil Party was making its influence felt. Mr. Banks advocated a coalition between the Democrats and the new party, and was elected speaker of the state assembly in 1851 and re-elected in 1852. In 1853 he was a delegate to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, and was selected to be its chairman. On the tide of success that attended this political combination, he was in 1853 elected to Congress as a Coalition-Democrat. During this term of service he withdrew from the Democratic Party and identified himself with the American or “Know Nothing” Party, and by an overwhelming vote, as against the Whig and Democratic candidates in his district, he was re-elected to Congress. In the preceding Congress he had demonstrated his ability, and he was now nominated for speaker of the House of Representatives. A contest lasting more than two months followed, and he was elected by a small majority on the 133d ballot, when the dead-lock had been broken by the adoption of the plurality rule. The American Party went out of existence, and Mr. Banks was elected to the 35th Congress as a Republican by a larger majority than before, and served until 4 December, 1857, when, having been elected governor of Massachusetts, he resigned his seat in Congress. He was re-elected governor in 1858 and 1859. In 1860 he accepted the presidency of the Illinois Central Railroad, succeeding General (then Captain) George B. McClellan in that capacity, but gave up the office when the Civil War began in the following year, and was commissioned a major-general of volunteers and assigned to the command of the 5th Corps in the Army of the Potomac. For this duty he was in a degree qualified by experience in the state militia. His first active service was on the upper Potomac and in the Shenandoah valley, where a part of his corps acquitted itself well at the battle of Winchester, 23 March, 1862. He was left in April and May to guard the Shenandoah with two divisions. The exigencies of the service caused the withdrawal of one of these (Shields's), and General Banks was left with about 8,000 men. Upon this force “Stonewall” Jackson made one of his sudden onslaughts with his whole corps, and the command only escaped capture by rapid and well-ordered marching and stubborn fighting. Through good generalship the bulk of the army crossed the Potomac at Front Royal on 26 May, and the Confederate leader failed to realize his apparently reasonable expectation of capturing the entire force. General Pope was placed in command of the Army of Virginia, 27 June, 1862, and concentrated his forces in the neighborhood of Culpepper Court-House early in August. General Banks's corps was ordered to the front on 9 August, and late in the afternoon of that day a severe fight took place, known as the battle of Cedar Mountain, which lasted well into the night. Banks's corps held the position against a largely superior force, was strengthened during the night, and before the morning of August 11th the Confederates retreated to the Rapidan. After participating in General Sigel's campaigns in September, General Banks was placed in command of the defences of Washington while preparations were secretly made to despatch a strong expedition by sea to New Orleans. He was assigned to the command of this expedition, which sailed from New York in November and December, and on reaching New Orleans he succeeded General Benjamin F. Butler in command of the department. Baton Rouge was occupied with a strong force, and during the winter rcconnoissances were made toward Port Hudson and other points in the vicinity. Early in April of 1863 he led the army up the Têche country, encountering no very formidable opposition, as far as the Red River. Thence he crossed the Mississippi and invested Port Hudson in connection with the fleet under Farragut. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to storm the works, involving heavy losses to the assaulting columns. In July the news of the surrender of Vicksburg was received, and on the 9th of that month the garrison of Port Hudson, 6,000 strong, capitulated, and the Mississippi River was once more open to the sea. No military movements of great importance were undertaken in the department until the succeeding spring, when General Banks's army, supported by a powerful fleet, was sent up the Red River with the intention of regaining control of western Louisiana. At the same time General A. J. Smith with 10,000 men descended the Mississippi, reaching the rendezvous first, and was joined by General Banks, who assumed command of the whole force at Alexandria. The army advanced along the south bank of Red River as far as Sabine Cross-Roads, when it suffered a defeat by the Confederates under General Richard Taylor, and was obliged to fall back to Pleasant Hill, having sustained heavy losses in men and material. Here on the following day the Confederates renewed the attack, but were repelled with great loss, and the national army retreated without further serious molestation to Alexandria, where a new complication arose in consequence of the subsidence of the Red River after the spring freshets. The gun-boats were unable to descend the river owing to shoal water, and were only saved by the engineering skill of Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Bailey (q. v.). The whole force then retreated to the Mississippi. General Banks has been censured for the failure of this expedition, but it was undertaken contrary to his advice and in spite of his protest. During his command of the Department of the Gulf he endeavored to reorganize the civil government of Louisiana, but did not accomplish it in a manner satisfactory to the inhabitants. He was relieved of his command in May, 1864, resigned his commission, and, returning to Massachusetts, was elected to Congress from his old district. He was reëlected to the successive Congresses until 1877, failing only in 1872, when he was active in behalf of Horace Greeley, the liberal-Democratic candidate for president. He served for a long time as chairman of the committee on foreign relations. He was again elected to Congress in 1888, and in 1891 he received a pension.—His daughter, Maud, after a course of study and training at the New York school of acting, went upon the stage in 1886, making her first appearance at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in the character of Parthenia in “Ingomar.”—His brother, Gardner, soldier, born in Waltham, Massachusetts; died there, 9 July, 1871. At the beginning of the Civil War he raised a company for the 16th Massachusetts Regiment, in which he rose to the rank of colonel in 1862. He was with his regiment at Fair Oaks, Glendale, Malvern Hill, Kettle Run, Chantilly, and Fredericksburg. Lieutenant Hiram H Banks, his brother, was killed by his side in the second Bull Run battle. General Hooker said, in a letter to Governor Andrew: “There is no doubt but at Glendale the 16th Massachusetts saved the army.” From constant exposure Colonel Banks contracted an inflammatory rheumatism, which completely disabled him for active service. The battle of Fredericksburg was the last he shared with his comrades of the 16th. In 1864, after an illness of several months at Waltham, he went as a planter to Louisiana, where he remained until his return home four days before his death. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1887, Vol. I, pp. 158-159.


Bashford, Coles

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

BASHFORD, Coles, governor of Wisconsin, born near Cold Spring, Putnam County, New York, 24 January, 1816; died 25 April, 1878. He was educated at the Wesleyan Seminary (now Genesee College), Lima, New York, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1841. He was elected district attorney for Wayne County, in 1847, and in 1850 resigned and moved to Algonia, now a part of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He was a member of the Whig State Convention in 1851, and in 1852 was chosen for the state senate, from which he resigned in 1855. He was the first Republican governor of the state, serving from 1855 to 1857, and declining a renomination. He practised law in Oshkosh till 1863, when he moved to Tucson, Arizona. From 1864 till 1867, he was president of the First Territorial Convention, and in 1866 was elected delegate and was attorney-general of the territory to Congress, serving from March, 1867, to March, 1869. He was appointed secretary of the territory in 1869, and served till 1876, when he resigned, and resumed the practice of his profession. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, p. 190.


Bates, Edward, 1793-1869, Virginia, statesman, lawyer, Society of Friends, Quaker.  Congressman.  U.S. Attorney General, Lincoln’s cabinet.  Member, Free Labor Party, Missouri.  Anti-slavery activist.  (Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, p. 193; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 1, Pt. 2, pp. 48-49)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

BATES, Edward, statesman, born in Belmont. Goochland County, Virginia, 4 September, 1793; died in St. Louis, Missouri, 25 March, 1869. He was of Quaker descent, and received most of his education at Charlotte Hall, Maryland, finishing under the care of a private tutor. In 1812 he received a midshipman's warrant, and was only prevented from going to sea by his mother's influence. From February till October, 1813, he served in the Virginia Militia at Norfolk. His elder brother, Frederick Bates, having been appointed secretary of the new territory of Missouri, Edward emigrated thither in 1814, and soon entered upon the practice of law. As early as 1816 he was appointed prosecuting attorney for the St. Louis Circuit, and in 1820 was elected a delegate to the state constitutional convention. Toward the close of the same year he was appointed attorney-general of the new state of Missouri, which office he held for two years. He was elected to the legislature in 1822, and in 1824 became state attorney for the Missouri District. About this time he became the political friend of Henry Clay. In 1826, while yet quite a young man, he was elected a representative in Congress as an anti-democrat, serving but one term. For the next twenty-five years he devoted himself to his profession, but served in the legislature again in 1830 and 1834. In 1847 Mr. Bates was a delegate to the convention for internal improvement, held in Chicago, and here made a favorable impression upon the country at large. In 1850 President Fillmore offered him the portfolio of Secretary of War, which he declined. Three years later he accepted the office of judge of the St. Louis Land Court. In 1836 he presided over the Whig Convention held in Baltimore. When the question of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise was agitated, he earnestly opposed it, and thus became identified with the “free-labor” party in Missouri, opposing with them the admission of Kansas under the Lecompton Constitution. Mr. Bates became more and more prominent as an anti-slavery man, until in 1859 he was mentioned as a candidate for the presidency. He was warmly supported by his own state, and for a time it seem that the opposition to Governor Seward might concentrate upon him. In the National Republican Convention of 1860 he received 48 votes on the 1st ballot; but when it became apparent that Mr. Lincoln was the favorite, his name was withdrawn. When Mr. Lincoln, after his election, decided upon selecting for his cabinet the leading men of the Democratic Party, including those who had been his principal competitors, Mr. Bates was appointed Attorney-General. In the cabinet he played a dignified, safe, and faithful, but not conspicuous, part. In 1864 he resigned his office and returned to his home in St. Louis. From this time he never again entered into active politics. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I. pp. 193.


Beatty, John

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

BEATTY, John, soldier, born near Sandusky, Ohio, 16 September, 1828. He received a common-school education and entered on a business career in a banking-house at an early age. He took an active banking-house at an early age. He took an active part in public affairs, and was identified with Free-Soil Party until it was merged in the Republican. In 1860 he was a Republican presidential elector. In 1861 he enlisted as a private in the 3rd Ohio Infantry, and was appointed  successively captain and Lieutenant-Colonel. He took part in the early western Virginia Campaigns, became a colonel in 1862, and commanded a brigade in the fight at Stone River, 31 December 1862, to 2 January, 1863.  In 1863 he was commissioned a brigadier general and served through the Tennessee and Chattanooga Campaigns.  He was elected to the Fortieth Congress  and was twice re-elected. In 1884 he was Republican presidential elector at large. In 1886 he was a member of the board of state charities. He has written "The Citizen Soldier" (Cincinnati. 1876) and "The Belle o' Becket's Une" (Philadelphia. 1882). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 208-209.


Beecher, Reverend Henry Ward, 1813-1887, social reformer, clergyman, abolitionist leader.  Supported women’s suffrage and temperance movements.  Opposed compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Act.  Supported early Republican Party and its candidate for President, John C. Fremont.  Son of abolitionist Lyman Beecher, brother of author Harriet Beecher Stowe, who was the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Charles Beecher, and Edward Beecher.  (Applegate, 2006; Filler, 1960, pp. 155, 196, 241; Hibben, 1942; Mabee, 1970, pp. 140, 240, 241, 298, 300, 318, 320, 337, 365; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 380, 656-657; Rugoff, 1981; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 218-219; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 1, Pt. 2, pp. 128-135; American Reformers: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary, New York, 1985, pp. 64-66)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

BEECHER, Henry Ward, clergyman, born in Litchfield, Connecticut, 24 June, 1813; died in Brooklyn, New York, 8 March, 1887. At an early age he had a strong desire for a seafaring life, which he renounced in consequence of a deep religious impression experienced during a revival. He studied at the Boston Latin-school, in Mount Pleasant Institute, was graduated at Amherst in 1834, and then studied theology at Lane seminary, under the tuition of his father, who was president of the institution. He first settled as a Presbyterian minister in Lawrenceburgh, Indiana, in 1837, and married Eunice White, daughter of Dr. Artemas Bullard; then moved to Indianapolis in 1839, where he preached until 1847. In that year he received a call from Plymouth Church, a new Congregational society in Brooklyn, New York, and almost from the outset he began to acquire that reputation as a pulpit orator which he maintained for more than a third of a century. The church and congregation under his charge were among the largest in America. The edifice has a seating capacity of nearly 3,000. Mr. Beecher discarded many of the conventionalities of the clerical profession. In his view, humor had a place in a sermon, as well as argument and exhortation, and he did not hesitate sometimes to venture so near the comic that laughter was hardly to be restrained. He was fond of illustration, drawing his material from every sphere of human life and thought, and his manner was highly dramatic. Though his keen sense of humor continually manifested itself, the prevailing impression given by his discourses was one of intense earnestness. The cardinal idea of his creed was that Christianity is not a series of dogmas, philosophical or metaphysical, but a rule of life in every phase. He never hesitated to discuss from the pulpit the great social and political crimes of the day, such as slavery, intemperance, avarice, and political abuses. In 1878 he announced that he did not believe in the eternity of punishment. He now held that all punishment is cautionary and remedial, and that no greater cruelty could be imagined than the continuance of suffering eternally, after all hope of reformation was gone; and in 1882 he and his congregation formally withdrew from the association of Congregational churches, since their theology had gradually changed from the strictest Calvinism to a complete disbelief in the eternity of future punishment. His sermons, reported by stenographers, for several years formed a weekly publication called the “Plymouth Pulpit.” He early became prominent as a platform orator and lecturer, and as such had a long and successful career. His lectures came to be in such demand, even at the rate of $500 a night, that he was obliged to decline further engagements, as they interfered with his ministerial duties, and for a long time he refused all applications for public addresses except for some special occasion. In January, 1859, he delivered an oration at the celebration of the centennial anniversary of the birthday of Robert Burns, which is considered one of his most eloquent efforts. He became a member of the Republican Party on its formation, and delivered many political sermons from his pulpit, also addressing political meetings, especially in 1856, when he took an active part in the canvass, not only with his pen but by speaking at meetings throughout the northern states. During the presidential canvass of 1884, Mr. Beecher supported the Democratic candidate, and by his action estranged many of his political admirers. In the long conflict with slavery he was an early and an earnest worker. In 1863 he visited Europe, and addressed large audiences in the
principal cities of Great Britain on the questions involved in the Civil War then raging in the United States, with a special view to disabuse the British public in regard to the issues of the great struggle. His speeches exerted a wide influence in changing popular sentiment, which previously had been strongly in favor of the southern Confederacy, and were published in London as “Speeches on the American Rebellion” (1864). In April, 1865, at the request of the government, he delivered an oration at Fort Sumter on the anniversary of its fall. In 1878 he was elected chaplain of the 13th Regiment, N. G. S. New York, and appeared on parade in the customary uniform. In 1871 one of his parishioners, Henry W. Sage, founded a lectureship of preaching, called “The Lyman Beecher Lectureship,” in Yale College divinity school, and the first three annual courses were delivered by Mr. Beecher. In the summer of 1874, Theodore Tilton, formerly Mr. Beecher's associate, afterward his successor, in the editorship of the “Independent,” charged him with criminality with Mrs. Tilton. A committee of Plymouth Congregation reported the charges to be without foundation; but meanwhile Mr. Tilton instituted a civil suit against Mr. Beecher, laying his damages at $100,000. The trial lasted six months, and at its close the jury, after being locked up for more than a week, failed to agree on a verdict. They stood three for the plaintiff and nine for the defendant. Mr. Beecher was of stout build, florid, and of strong physical constitution. He was fond of domestic and rural life; a student of nature; a lover of animals, flowers, and gems; an enthusiast in music, and a judge and patron of art. He owned a handsome residence at Peekskill on the Hudson, which he occupied during a part of every summer. In 1886 he made a lecturing tour in England, his first visit to that country after the war. During his theological course in 1836, for nearly a year Mr. Beecher edited the “Cincinnati Journal,” a religious weekly. While pastor at Indianapolis he edited an agricultural journal, “The Farmer and Gardener,” his contributions to which were afterward published under the title “Plain and Pleasant Talk about Fruits, Flowers, and Farming” (New York, 1859). He was one of the founders and for nearly twenty years an editorial contributor of the New York “Independent,” and from 1861 till 1863 was its editor. His contributions to this were signed with an asterisk, and many of them were afterward collected and published as “Star Papers; or, Experiences of Art and Nature” (New York, 1855), and as “New Star Papers; or, Views and Experiences of Religious Subject” (1858). The latter has been republished in England under the title of '”Summer in the Soul.” On the establishment of the “Christian Union” in 1870, he became its editor-in- chief. To a series of papers in the '”New York Ledger” he gave the title “Thoughts as they Occur,” by “One who keeps his eyes and ears open,” and they were afterward published under the title of “Eyes and Ears” (Boston, 1864). In addition to the foregoing, Mr. Beecher published “Lectures to Young Men on Various Important Subjects” (Indianapolis, 1844, revised ed., New York, 1850); “Freedom and War: Discourses suggested by the Times” (Boston, 1863); “Aids to Prayer” (New York, 1864); “Norwood; or, Village Life in New England” (1867); “Overture of Angels” (1869), being an introductory installment of “Life of Jesus the Christ; Earlier Scenes” (1871); “Lecture-Room Talks: A Series of Familiar Discourses on Themes of Christian Experience” (1870); “Yale Lectures on Preaching” (3 vols., 1872-'4); “A Summer Parish: Sermons and Morning Services of Prayer” (1874); “Evolution and Religion” (1885). Also, numerous addresses and separate sermons, such as “Army of the Republic” (1878); “The Strike and its Lessons” (1878); “Doctrinal Beliefs and Unbeliefs” (1882); “Commemorative Discourse on Wendell Phillips” (1884); “A Circuit of the Continent,” being an account of his trip through the west and south (1884); and “Letter to the Soldiers and Sailors” (1866, reprinted with introduction, 1884). He edited “Plymouth Collection of Hymns and Tunes” (New York, 1855), and “Revival Hymns” (Boston, 1858). Numerous compilations of his utterances have been prepared, among which are: “Life Thoughts” (New York, 1859), by Edna Dean Proctor; “Notes from Plymouth Pulpit” (1859), by Augusta Moore; both of the foregoing have been reprinted in England; “Pulpit Pungencies” (1866); “Royal Truths” (Boston, 1866), reprinted from a series of extracts prepared in England without his knowledge; “Prayers from Plymouth Pulpit” (New York, 1867); “Sermons by Henry Ward Beecher: Selected from Published and Unpublished Discourses,” edited by Lyman Abbott (2 vols., 1868); “Morning and Evening Devotional Exercises,” edited by Lyman Abbott (1870); “Comforting Thoughts” (1884), by Irene Ovington. Mr. Beecher had completed the second and concluding volume of his “Life of Christ,” which is to be published this year (1887), with a re-publication of the first volume. His biography has been written by Lyman Abbott (New York, 1883). A new life, to be written by his son, William C. Beecher, will include an unfinished autobiography. Mr. Beecher was buried in Greenwood cemetery, and a movement was immediately begun for a monument, to be paid for by popular subscription. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I. pp. 218-219.


Bell, James, Senator


Bingham, John Armor, born in Mercer, Pennsylvania, in 1815.  Republican Congressman, judge, advocate, U.S. Army.  Bingham was one of the writers and sponsors of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  One of three military judges presiding in the Lincoln assassination trial.  (Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I. p. 263; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 1, Pt. 2, p. 277)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

BINGHAM, John A.,
lawyer, born in Mercer, Pennsylvania, in 1815. He passed two years in a printing-office, and then entered Franklin College, Ohio, but left, on account of his health, before graduation. He was admitted to the bar in 1840, was district attorney for Tuscarawas County, Ohio, from 1846 till 1849, was elected to Congress as a Republican in 1854, and re-elected three times, sitting from 1855 till 1863. He prepared in the 34th Congress the report on the contested Illinois elections, and in 1862 was chairman of the managers of the house in the impeachment of Judge Humphreys for high treason. He failed of re-election in 1864, and was appointed by President Lincoln judge-advocate in the army, and later the same year solicitor of the court of claims. He was special judge-advocate in the trial of the assassins of President Lincoln. In 1865 he returned to Congress, and sat until 1873, serving on the committees on military affairs, freedmen, and reconstruction, and in the 40th Congress as chairman of the committees on Claims and Judiciary, and as one of the managers in the impeachment trial of President Johnson. On 3 May, 1873, he received the appointment of minister to Japan, which post he held until 1885, when he was recalled by President Cleveland.  Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, p. 263.


Bingham, Kinsley S.

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

BINGHAM, Kinsley S., senator, born in Camillus, New York, 16 December, 1808; died at Oak Grove, Michigan, 5 October, 1861. He received a common-school education, and was clerk in a lawyer's office for three years. In 1833 he emigrated to Michigan and settled upon a farm. In 1837 he was elected to the Michigan legislature, continued during eight years a member of that body, and for three years as speaker. In 1849 he was elected a representative in Congress, and served on the committee of commerce. In 1854 he was elected governor of the state, and in 1859 was chosen U.S. Senator. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 264.


Bintliff, James, 1824-1901, abolitionist, newspaper editor, publisher, proprietor, businessman, Union Army colonel, helped found Republican Party.  (Hunt, Roger, Brevet Brigadier Generals in Blue. Gaithersburg, MD, 1990)


Bird, Francis William

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

BIRD, Francis William, 1809-1894, anti-slavery political leader, radical reformer.  Member of the anti-slavery “Conscience Whigs,” leader of the Massachusetts Free Soil Party.  Led anti-slavery faction of the newly formed Republican Party.  Supported abolitionist Party leader Charles Sumner.  Opposed Dred Scott decision.  “Bird Club” greatly influenced radical Republican politics in Massachusetts and in the U.S. Senate.  Organized Emancipation League.  Supported enlistment of African Americans in the Union Army and emancipation of Blacks in the District of Columbia.  Supported women’s rights, Indian rights, suffrage rights for Chinese, and other causes. (American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 2, p. 805)


Bissell, William H.

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

BISSELL, William H., statesman, born in Hartwick, near Cooperstown, New York, 25 April, 1811; died in Springfield, Illinois, 18 March, 1880. He was self-educated, attending school in summer and teaching in the winter; was graduated at Philadelphia Medical College in 1835, and practised medicine two years in Steuben County, New York, and three years in Monroe County Illinois.. He was elected to the Illinois legislature in 1840, and distinguished himself as a forcible and ready debater. He studied law, and practised successfully in Belleville, St. Clair County, and became prosecuting attorney in 1844. He was a captain in the 2d Illinois Volunteers in the Mexican War, and distinguished himself at Buena Vista. He was a representative in Congress from Illinois as an independent Democrat, serving from 2 December, 1839, till 3 March, 1845. He separated from the Democratic Party on the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, and was chosen governor as a Republican in 1856. He was re-elected, and died in office. While he was in Congress his resistance of the Missouri Compromise involved him in a controversy with the southern Democrats, and hot words passed between him and Jefferson Davis on the subject of the bravery of the northern as compared with the southern soldiers, which led to a challenge from Mr. Davis. In accepting the challenge to a duel, Mr. Bissell chose as the weapons muskets, at thirty paces, whereupon the friends of Mr. Davis interfered. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1887, Vol. I, p. 271.


Blackburn, William Jasper, born 1820, newspaper editor, U.S. Congressman, printer, opponent of slavery.  Published Blackburn’s Homer’s Iliad, in Homer, Louisiana.  Published pro-Union paper in the South during the Civil War.  Published editorials against the assault in the Senate against Charles Sumner, who was opposed to slavery.  (Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 272-273)

Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:

BLACKBURN, William Jasper,
editor, born in Randolph County, Arkansas, 24 July, 1820. He was early left an orphan, and received his education in public schools, also studying during the years 1838-'9 in Jackson College, Columbia, Tennessee; after which he became a printer, and worked in various offices in Arkansas and Louisiana. Later he settled in Homer, Louisiana, where he established “Blackburn's Homer Iliad,” in which he editorially condemned the assault on Charles Sumner by Preston S. Brooks, being the only southern editor that denounced that action. Although born in a slave state, he was always opposed to slavery, and his office was twice mobbed therefor. The “Iliad” was the only loyal paper published during the Civil War in the gulf states. He was a member of the constitutional convention of Louisiana convened in 1867, and was elected as a Republican to Congress, serving from 17 July, 1868, till 3 March, 1869. From 1872 till 1876 he was a member of the Louisiana State Senate. Subsequently he moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, and became owner and editor of the Little Rock “Republican.” He received the nomination of the Republicans for the state senate, but failed to secure his seat, though he claimed to have been elected by 2,000 majority. Mr. Blackburn is known as an occasional writer of verse. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I. pp. 272-273.