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Full text of "Biographical and historical sketches of early Indiana"

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977 2 

^Q8b GENEALOGY COLLECTION 

1152349 fl ^^ ^ 



ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 1833 00821 3032 




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BIOGRAPHICAL 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES 



EARLY INDIANA 



WTLLLVM WESLEY WOOLLEN 



He that vrUes 
Of iiiahit a j'nust, more certainly invites 
His Jitdt/cs than his friench; there ^s not a gvest 
But irill find Aoiiifthiiui irnnlinr/ or iU-dreM. 

—Sir: R. HdWAUO. 



INDIAN ATOMS 
i'ri:i,isiii:i) ]i\ iiammond & co 

1 s s ;} 



COPYRIGHT BY 

EMMA W. HUBBARD, 

1SS3. 



-CARLON & HOIXENBECK, 

IPRINTERS AND BINDERS, 

INDIANAl'Ol.lS. 





\ 



\ 




.1152349 



TO 

EMMA W. HUBBARD 

WHO GREATLY AIDED ME IN THE PREPARATION OP THESE 
SKETCHES, THIS BOOK IS 

affectionately Ifnecribeb 

BY HER FATHER 

THE AUTHOR 



PREFACE. 



Many of the sketches contained in this book were originally published in the 
Indianapolis Journal. These, and such as have been given the public in other 
papers, have been carefully revised and rewritten. Some of the sketches, how- 
ever, were prepared expressly for this work. 

I have not written of living men, but only of those who have passed away. 
The dead Governors of Indiana — both Territorial and State — are sketched, and 
monographs of other distinguished men are given. The book contains other 
papers, of a historical character, the whole making a work which, I hope, will 
prove of i^ermanent value. 

The information contained in this book, which necessarily develops much of 
the early political history of the State, was obtained from various sources, and 
can not elsewhere be found without great research and labor. No inconsiderable 
part of it is derived from the author's own observation and recollection, and 
would pass away with him were it not committed to writing. 

Should this book be favorably received' by the public, it will, most probably, 
be followed by another of similar character, for the author is in possession of 
abundant material for such a work. 

Such as the book is, I send it forth. Whatever may be the verdict of the pub- 
lic upon it, I shall have the satisfaction of knowing that it was conscientiously 
written. It contains nothing which I do not believe to be true, and in its prepa- 
ration I accepted nothing as evidence which I did not regard as conclusive. I 
ask for the work the public's considerate judgment, and I shall be content to 

abide its verdict. 

WILLIAM WESLEY WOOLLEN. 

Indianapolis, May, 1883. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



William Henry Harrison, 1 

John Gibson, 11 

Thomas Posey, 21 

Jonathan Jennings, 29 

Eatliff Boon, ' 42 

William Hendricks, 51 

James Brown Eay, 56 

Noah Noble, 65 

David Wallace, 70 

Samuel Bigger, 77 

James Whitcomb, 81 

Joseph A. Wright (!!'i</ijDtoYe), 94 

AsHBEL P. Willaed, 104 

Abram A. Hammond (M'lVAp^ate), 113 

Henry' S. Lane, 120 

Oliver P. Morton (((vV^ jjtoe), 130 

James D. Williams, 147 

Christopher Harrison, 160 

Milton Stapp, 168 

David Hillis, I73 

James Noble, 178 

John Tipton, 185 

Oliver H. Smith, 196 

Albert S. White, 204 

Edward A. Hannegan, 211 

•Jesse D. Bright, 223 

John W. Davis, 233 

George G. Dunn, 241 

William W. Wick, 252 

TiLGHMAN A. Howard, 262 



Vlll TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

PAGE. 

James H. Cravexs, 273 

Andrew Kennedy, ^ . , 281 

Robert Dale Owen, 289 

Thomas Smith, 309 

John L. Robinson, . 315 

Cyrus L. Dunham, 321 

John Law, 332 

Michael C. Kerr (with plate), 335 

Isaac Blackford, 344 

Stephen C. Stevens, 353 

Charles 'Dewey, 360 

Jeremiah Sullivan, . . . 366 

A Historical Trio, . . 373 

Benjamin Parke, 384 

Thomas Randolph, 391 

Williamson Dunn, 400 

Abel C. Pepper, 407 

Joseph Lane, 412 

James Gregory, 426 

Joseph G. Marshall (u'i^/tjj/afe), 432 

Michael G. Bright, . 449 

Nicholas McCarty, 457 

Calvin Fletcher, 464 

William H. Morrison, 475 

James S. Athon, 478 

Michael C. Garber, 480 

John D. Defrees, 485 

Free Masonry in Indiana, 489 

Madison from 1844 to 1852, 513 

Indiana Press in the Olden Time, 538 



WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON. 



Indiana Territory, when organized, embraced all the coun- 
try lying between the present Ohio State line and the Mississippi 
river, the great northern lakes and the river Ohio, excepting a 
small part of Michigan and that portion of Southeastern Indiana 
ceded to the United States at the treaty of Greenville. It was 
created by an act of Congress passed May 7, 1800, and re- 
mained under territorial government until December 11, 1816, 
when the State of Indiana was admitted into the Federal Union. 

The first Governor of Indiana Territory was William Henry 
Harrison. He was born in Berkele}', Charles City county, Vir- 
ginia, February 9, 1773. He was the youngest son of Benja- 
min Harrison, one of the foremost men of the revolutionary 
era, and he lived to add new luster to his father's name. When 
nineteen 3'ears old he entered the army as an ensign, and fought 
under both St. Clair and Wayne. In 1795 he was appointed a 
captain, and assigned to the command of Fort Washington, a 
fortress standing on the present site of Cincinnati. Two years 
afterward he resigned his place in the army, and was appointed 
Secretary' of the Northwestern Territory, of which his old com- 
mander, General St. Clair, was Governor. On the 3d of Oc- 
tober, 1799, ^^^ Territorial Legislature elected him a delegate 
to Congress by a vote of eleven to ten, the latter number being" 
cast for Arthur St. Clair, Jr., a son of the Governor. On the 
13th of Mav, 1800, he was appointed Governor of Indiana Ter- 
ritory, and on the loth of January following he arrived at Vin- 
cennes and took possession of his office. He remained in con- 
trol of the executive department of the Territory until Septem- 
ber, 181 2, when he was appointed a brigadier-general of the 
army and assigned to the command of the northwestern fron- 



2 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

tier. The next year he was promoted to the rank of major- 
general, and continued in the mihtary service of the country 
until the close of the second war with Great Britain, when he 
threw up his commission and retired to his farm near Cincin- 
nati. But he did not remain long in private life. In 1816 he 
was elected to Congress from the Cincinnati district, and con- 
tinued a member of that body for three ^-ears. In 1849 he was 
chosen a member of the Ohio Senate, and served two 3^ears as 
a Senator. In 1824 Ohio sent him to the Senate of the United 
States, where he sat until 1828, when President John Quincy 
Adams appointed him minister plenipotentiar}^ to Colombia. 
But his residence abroad was short, as General Jackson recalled 
him soon after becoming President. On his return to the United 
States he went back to his old home at North Bend, and soon 
afterward was elected clerk of the Court of Common Pleas of 
Hamilton count}^, an office he held for twelve years. In 1836 
he was a candidate for President of the United States and re- 
ceived seventy-three electoral votes, being those of the States 
of Vermont, New Jerse}^ Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky', 
Ohio and Indiana. The electors who cast the vote of Indiana 
for him were John C. Clendening, Achilles Williams, Hiram 
Decker, Austin W. Morris, Milton Stapp, Albert S. White, 
Enoch McCarty, Marston G. Clark and Abram P. Andrews. 
In 1840 he was again the Whig candidate for the presidency, 
and this time was triumphantl}^ elected, receiving 234 electoral 
votes to 60 cast for Martin Van Buren. The electors for In- 
diana this 3'ear were Jonathan McCart}-, Joseph G. Marshall, 
John W. Payne, Joseph L. White, Richard W. Thompson, 
James H. Cravens, Caleb B. Smith, William Herod and Sam- 
uel C. Sample, several of them being among the most brilliant 
men Indiana has ever produced. ' Thus, for the second time, 
did Indiana vote for her first Territorial Governor for the high- 
est office in the gift of the people. He was bound to her citi- 
zens by the strongest ties, for he had scattered the savage hordes 
at Tippecanoe, and at the Thames, and saved the homes of the 
pioneers from pillage. General Harrison was inaugurated Pres- 
ident of the United States, March 4, 1841, and in one month 
afterward — on the 4th of April, 1841 — he died. His remains 
were taken to his home at North Bend and there interred. The 



WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON. 3 

soil of Ohio never hid from sight one more dearly beloved 
than he. 

General Harrison was educated at Hampton Sidney College, 
and afterward studied medicine. But his entrance into the 
army, and his subsequent active service in the military and civil 
departments of the government, made its practice impossible. 
America has had no more illustrious family than that of the 
Harrisons. For four generations its members have sat in the 
national councils. General Harrison's father, Benjamin Har- 
rison, was a delegate to the Continenal Congress, and signed 
the Declaration of American Independence. He was three 
times elected Governor of Virginia, and was a member of the 
convention called to ratify the Federal constitution. The Gen- 
eral's son, John Scott Harrison, was a member of Congress 
from 1853 to 1857, and his grandson. General Benjamin Harri- 
son, is now a Senator of the United States from Indiana. What 
a line of glorious ancestors has the Senator I 

General Harrison's career as Territorial Governor of Indiana 
was an eventful one. For a time faction was rampant about 
him, fomented bv able and ambitious men. These men sought 
to break him down, but he was too strongl}- entrenched in the 
affections of the people. Among the private papers of Thomas 
Randolph, a warm personal and political friend of General 
Harrison, is an unfinished and unsigned letter, believed to have 
been written by Benjamin Parke, the first delegate to Congress 
from Indiana Territorv. It has never hitherto been published, 
and is exceedingly valuable, giving, as it does, a graphic ac- 
count of the intrigues against Governor Harrison, and naming 
the men engaged in them. It is to be regretted that the narra- 
tive was not brought down to a later da}-. The following is a 
copy of the paper : 

"ViNCENNES, 5 September, 1808. 

"Sir — The moral and political history of the people of this 
government exhibits numberless instances of the most baretaced 
inconsistency, duplicity, cunning and depravity. Remorse has 
lost its sting, shame its blush, and probity, justice, honor have 
all been supplanted by the most unblushing hypocrisy. 

" To comply with your request, it will be needless to enume- 
rate many cases. The leading features will enable vou to form 



4 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

a complete idea of the whole. In fact, a profile will give vou 
ample materials for a miniature. 

" In -1801, about a year after the Territorial government com- 
menced, I came to this place. At that time I found Colonel 
Edgar and Robert Morrison eager for the establishment of the 
second or representative grade of government. The partisans 
of the measure were principallv in the two western counties. 

" R. M. went so far as to address circular letters to the peo- 
ple of the Territory, showing the ease with which it might be 
attained and the advantages that would result from it. It was 
notorious that he expected, from the standing of himself and 
party, to be the first delegate to Congress. But the measure 
was opposed upon the following grounds : By the census of 
1800 the population of the Territor}^ amounted to about 5,600 
souls. Comparatively speaking, there was no emigration and 
no prospect of there being any for some time. The county of 
Dearborn was then within the limits of the Northwest Territory. 
No purchase had then been made of the Indians, and the}^ all 
appeared to be averse to selling a single acre, and boundaries 
between us and the Indians on the Mississippi and in this countv 
were not defined. The lines of Clark county, containing 150,- 
000 acres, had been run. In fact there was scarcely an acre 
of ground for settlement save in Clark count}' and the two do- 
nations. Those who had removed to the county had principally 
to settle on the public lands in the neighborhood of the old set- 
tlements, and, in fact, to which we had no title, as the Indian 
lines had not been run. The expenses of the second grade were, 
by some, estimated at about from $12,000 to 5^15,000. How- 
ever, the smallness of the population ; the barren prospects of 
a speedy increase of it ; our confined situation with regard to 
the Indians ; their aversion to selling any of their lands, and 
the supposed expenses of the establishment, influenced a great 
majority of the people against the measure. Some expressed 
their sentiments on the subject to the Governor, by petition. 
However, the project failed. There was little stir made in regard 
to it for some time atlier. 

" In 1803 the politics of the West took a new directix)n. Sat- 
isfied with no establishment from which they could not derive 
either office or emohmient, they seized with avidity every cir- 



WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON. 5 

cumstJince that might effect a change in our political situation. 
In the summer of that 3^ear we received information of the ces- 
sion of Louisiana. Instantly the project was formed b}^ the 
Edgar and Morrison party to connect the counties of St. Clair 
and Randolph to the country now called the Louisiana Terri- 
tory, and make one government of the whole. Edgar was to 
be the Governor and R. Morrison the secretary, and all the 
posse were to be amply provided for in this new arrangement. 
A slight schism, however, took place in their party about this 
time. James Higgin, an attorney, notorious for his avarice, 
impudence and cowardice, proposed Judge Dowis as Governor 
of the new Territory, promising himself an office if the Judge 
succeeded. These projects failed also. 

'" It ought to have been observed that in 1802 a convention ot 
delegates assembled at this place to take into consideration the 
situation of the Territory, and to petition Congress for redress 
on certain subjects. The petition was agreed to, and the major- 
ity of the delegates voted a clause for the introduction of slaverv 
for ten years, or rather a suspension of the sixth act of the 
compact for ten years. It was then proposed to elect an agent 
to go forward with the petition. I, with others, was proposed. 
Morrison was violently opposed to m}^ being appointed. I have 
been told, for I was in Kentucky at the time, that he wished the 
appointment himself. I was appointed, and this affair satisfied 
him and his party that their influence was trifling, and some 
change must be wrought to place them in the situation desired. 

"After the golden prospects which the cession of Louisiana 
opened to this Territorv had vanished, a project for dividing the 
territory and forming a distinct government of the counties of 
Randolph and St. Clair was brought forward. However, little 
more than conversation was had on it at that time. It was soon 
entirely suspended by the agitation produced b}' another project, 
that of going into the second grade of government. 

"• In the autumn of 1802 a treaty with the Indians was made 
at this place, by which the United States became possessed of 
the country from Point Coupie to the mouth of White river ; 
and from twelve miles west of the Wabash to the distance of 
seventy-two miles east. This was the flrst purchase that was 
made. In August, 1803, the Kaskaskian Indians sold their 



b BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

land to the United States, In March, 1804, Congress passed a 
law for establishing land offices at Kaskaskia and Vincennes, 
and authorizing the survey and sale of the lands purchased by 
the above treaties. In August, 1804, the Delaware treaty was 
made, by which the United States acquired the lands of the 
Wabash, south of the first mentioned purchase and the road 
leading from this place to Clarksville, thence down the Ohio to 
the mouth of the river Wabash. (See the several treaties and 
act of Congress in the laws of the United States.) 

" In the year , the Northwestern Territory assumed a 

State government, by which the counties of Wayne and Dear- 
born were annexed to the Indiana Territory. 

' ' The purchases from the Indians had increased the emigration 
to the Territorv. It was also accelerated by the establishment 
of land offices at Kaskaskia and Vincennes. In the summer of 
1S04 the subject of adopting the second grade of government 
was agitated with considerable warmth. 

" With agriculture improved, population increased, the coun- 
ties of Dearborn and Wavne added to the territory ; possessed 
of all the lands from the falls of the Ohio to the Mississippi, with 
the exception of the Pyan Kaskaw claim, of no great extent, 
and which was shortly purchased ; and offices established at 
Kaskaskia and Vincennes for the sale of public lands, it was 
thought that the measure might be safely gone into. To this ad- 
vantageous change in our situation was added, that the expenses 
of the establishment would not exceed $3,500 (I thought about 
$3,000) ; that the people would be entitled to a partial repre- 
sentative government ; that they would have the absolute con- 
trol over one branch of the Legislature ; that it would give them 
a Representative in Congress, and, although he would not be 
entitled to vote, yet from his situation he would acquire respect 
and attention, and would give a faithful representation of our 
situation, and that some sacrifices ought to be made to obtain 
even the partial exercise of the rights considered so dear and ot 
such universal importance to the several States. 

" But strange as it may seem, to a case so plain, and princi- 
ples resulting from it so obvious, forgetting former professions, 
and lost to all sense of shame, Edgar, Morrison & Co. were op- 
posed. In 1801 raising $10,000 or $15,000 would have been a 



WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON. 7 

slight tax and no burden ; yet, in 1804, with an increased pop- 
ulation, an immense purchase of lands, ofhces opened for then- 
sale, and our situation in every respect changed infinitely for 
the better, between $3,000 and .$4,000 would be ruin to the peo- 
ple ; although the office of Governor was obnoxious on account 
of the extent of its prerogatives, and the conduct of the Gover- 
nor reprehensible for the t3a-anny of his conduct, yet it would 
endanger the rights and liberties of the people to diminish his 
prerogatives and contract the sphere of his duties ; and although 
in 1801 the Edgar and Morrison party were so violently in favor 
of the measures, in 1804 they were its most bitter opponents. 

"In this county J. R. Jones, Vigo, Hurst, the Governor, the 
Johnsons and m^^self were in favor of the measure. Vander- 
burg and Mcintosh were opposed to it. In Randolph, Fisher 
and Menard were in favor of it. 

" By the act of Congress of May, 1800, (the Division act) the 
Governor of the Territory was authorized that whenever in his 
opinion a majority of the freeholders of the same were in favor 
of the second grade of government, to declare the Territory to 
be in the second grade, and issue his writ for an election of 
Representative. An absolute and undefined discretion was 
devolved on him as to the mode of collecting the evidence, its 
kind and qualities, upon which this fact depended in his own 
mind. Petitions had been presented to him both for and against 
the measure. From them he could form no definite^pinion. 
He had neither evidence of the signing nor of the signers being 
freeholders. Thus situated, and conscious it was necessary, 
from the clamor, that the question should be put to rest, he 
wisely determined to authorize, by proclamation, an election in 
the several counties, on a certain dav, at which, under the reg- 
ulations of the election law, the freeholders could express their 
voice. 

" This was public, open, fair and just. The notice was pub- 
lic and general, and an opportunity aflbrded to all of a candid 
expression of their will. This was particularly the case as to 
Randolph, St. Clair, Knox, Clark and Dearborn. It was not 
the case as to Wa3^ne, as I will hereafter explain. 

"In the month of , 1804, the election accordingly took 

place. The vote stood as follows : 



•o BIOGRAPHICAI. AND HISTORICxVL SKETCHES. 

For. Against. 

"St. Clair 22 59 

Randolph 40 21 

Knox 163 12 

Clark 35 13 

Dearborn 26 

Totals 269 131 

Majorit}' 138 

"Giving a majorit}' of 138 in favor of the second grade of 
government, 

"As to the county of Wayne, a proclamation was sent to De- 
troit by mail, and another by express by way of Fort Wayne. 
This to increase the chances of their receiving the information 
in time. However, no election was holden in that county. My 
memory does not enable me to state correctlv the cause that pre- 
vented it ; but it has been said that it was received before that 
•da}^ elapsed, but not in time to give it the necessary' publicitv, 
as it ought to have been published a certain number of days be- 
fore the election ; but as the proclamation was issued on the 

day of , in 1804, and the election authorized to be holden 

on the day of the next , and as it was immediatel}^ 

forwardecl, and in time to attain the object in view, according 
to the source or mode of conveying intelligence to that county, 
the failure of the election in that county ought not to have 
affected the result of the election in the other counties. This 
trom an obvious principle and notorious examples. In a gen- 
eral election the result is not to be affected by want of its 
possibility in every district ; or, if known, by the electors fail- 
ing to give their votes, or from the officers conducting it ille- 
gally. so is this principle in elections, that had the 

county of Knox, which was in the majority, or the county of St. 
Clair, which was in the minority, alone expressed its voice, it 
would unquestionably have settled the question. The principle 
is limited to this alone : If the proper officer performs his duty ; 
if there is a fixed time in which proclamations shall be issued ; 
that it be done in the time prescribed b}- law ; or, if not fixed 



WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, 



by law, if it be issued so as to afford reasonable time for its dis- 
tribution ; with a view to its being done by mail or by private 
express : distance of place, roads, season of the year, etc., the 
law and reason and common sense are complied with. As to 
examples, the case of Mr. Adams in — 96 ; Governor Strong, of 

Massachusetts, in ; C. Mead, elected to Congress from 

Georgia in 1805, are conclusive. 

" Upon the receipt of the returns, and learning that no elec- 
tion had been held at Detroit, the Governor declared the Terri- 
tory to be in the second grade of government, and issued writs 
for an election of members of the House of Representatives. 
Yet it has been stated ten thousand times, and is now repeated 
with much contidence by Rice Jones, that the Governor thrust 
the people of the Territory into the second grade against then- 
will. This view brings us down to the fall of the year 1804. I 
will proceed to recount a few things that grew out of this change 
in the political character of our government." 

Here the paper ends. 

I shall not attempt to do that which the author of this letter 
proposed to do, for I am not writing the history of the Territorial 
government, but attempting to sketch the life of its head, of the 
most influential and important man within its jurisdiction. 

General Harrison was emphatically a man of the people. 
The pioneers of Indiana loved and honored him as they did no 
other man. They testified to this on every occasion that offered. 
Both times he ran for the presidency Indiana voted for him, 
although a majority of her citizens were averse to the partv 
whose candidate he was. He was an honest man. No taint of 
dishonor attaches to his name. William Mcintosh, his terri- 
torial treasurer, once accused him of official dishonesty, but 
was mulcted in heavy damages by a jury of his peers for the 
libel. 

General Harrison was Southern-born, and grew up under the 
influence of human slavery. It is no wonder, then, that he 
favored the abrogation of the article in the ordinance of 1787 
prohibiting slavery in the Northwestern Territory, but for- 
tunately for Indiana, as well as for the General's fame, Con- 
gress refused its consent to the change. 



lO BIOGRAPHICAL AXD HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

When General Harrison was a candidate for the presidency 
his political opponents belittled his talents, and tried to make 
the people believe he was an ignorant and ordinar^?^ man, Thev 
said he was a backwoodsman, living in a log cabin ; a man who 
treated his guests to hard cider. His supporters accepted these 
charges as true, and utilized them in his behalf. Log cabins, 
with corn-cobs tied to the latch-strings of their doors, were car- 
ried in the processions of his partisans and made to do duty in 
his cause. The result proved that it never renders a man un- 
popular with the people to have them believe he is one of them- 
selves. 

The house in which General Harrison lived while Governor 
of Indiana Territory still stands. The intelligent stranger sel- 
dom visits Vincennes without asking to see it. In the yard near 
it stand the trees under which the Governor held his celebrated 
conference with Tecumseh. The house and its surroundings 
are held in veneration by the inhabitants of the " Old Post," 
and the time will come when the people of the country will visit 
the spot and the grave at North Bend as they now do Mount 
Vernon, Monticello and the Hermitage. It was in this house 
that the civil government of Indiana Territory was planned, 
and its master was the one, of all others, who did most to rear 
the structure. He was a master builder, and builded well. 



JOHN GIBSON. 



John Gibson, Secretary of Indiana Territory from its organ- 
ization until it became a State, and for a while Acting Governor 
of the Territory, was born at Lancaster, Pa., May 23, 1740. 
He received a good education, and when eighteen years old 
joined General Forbes's expedition against Fort Du Qiiesne, 
which stood on the present site of Pittsburg. The expedition 
was successful, resulting in the capture of the fort, and when 
peace was declared 3'oung Gibson settled at Fort Pitt, formerly 
Du Qiiesne, as an Indian trader. Soon afterward he was taken 
captive by Indians, and, with other white men, condemned to 
be burned at the stake. An aged squaw, however, who had 
lost a son in battle, adopted the young trader, and thereby saved 
his life. He remained with the Indians several years, and 
learned their language, manners and customs. During his res- 
idence with them he maintained conjugal relations with a sister 
of Logan, the chieftain made immortal by his speech on the 
murder of his family. The life he was compelled to lead among- 
the Indians did not suit Gibson, and he determined to abandon 
it. A suitable opportunit}- offering, he left his savage associates, 
returned to Fort Pitt, and resumed his business as a trader. 

In 1774 Mr. Gibson accompanied Lord Dunmore in his march 
against the Shawanee towns. Previous to this expedition the 
family of Logan, including his sister, known as "Gibson's 
squaw," were killed at Yellow creek by a family named Great- 
house. The Indians, at the time of their murder, were on a 
friendly visit to the Greathouses, and their " untimely taking 
off" was an act of treacher}^ of the basest kind. Logan laid 
the blame of the foul murders at the door of Colonel Cresap, a 
celebrated Indian fighter of that day, but history exonerates 



12 BIOGRAPHICAL AXD HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Cresap from the charge. In a deposition made at Pittsburg, 
on the 4th of April, 1800, General Gibson gives this account of 
Dunmore's expedition, and of Logan's celebrated speech : 

"This deponent further saith that in the year 1774 he accom- 
panied Lord Dunmore on the expedition against the Shawanees 
and other Indians on the Scioto : that on their arrival within 
fifteen miles of the town they were met by a flag and a white 
man by the name of Elliott, who informed Lord Dunmore that 
the chiefs of the Shawanees had sent to request his lordship to 
halt his army and send in some person who understood their 
language : that this deponent, at the request of Lord Dunmore 
and the whole of the officers with him, went in ; that on his 
arrival at the town, Logan, the Indian, came to where this 
deponent was sitting with Cornstalk and other chiefs of the 
Shawanees and asked him to walk out with him : that they went 
into a copse of wood, w^here thev sat down, when Logan, after 
shedding abundance of tears, delivered to him the speech nearlv 
as related by Mr. Jefferson in his ' Notes on the State of Vir- 
ginia ; ' that he, the deponent, told him that it was not Colonel 
Cresap who had murdered his relatives, and although his son. 
Captain Michael Cresap, was with a partv who had killed a 
Shawanee chief and other Indians, yet he was not present when 
his (Logan's) relatives were killed at Baker's, near the mouth 
of Yellow creek, on the Ohio ; that this deponent, on his return 
to camp, delivered the speech to Lord Dunmore, and that the 
murders perpetrated as above were considered as ultimately the 
cause of the war of 1774, commonlv called Cresap's war." 

The speech reterred to was as tbllows : 

" I appeal to any white man to say, if he ever entered Logan's 
cabin hungrv, and he gave him not meat ; if he ever came cold 
and naked, and he clothed him not. During the course of the 
last long and bloody war Logan remained idle in his cabin, an 
advocate of peace. Such was my love for the whites, that my 
countrymen pointed as thev passed and said : ' Logan is the 
friend of white men.' I had even thought to have lived with 
3'ou, but tor the injuries of one man, Colonel Cresap, who, last 
spring, in cold blood and unprovoked, murdered all the rela- 



JOHN GIBSON. 13 

tives of Logan, not even sparing my women and children. 
There runs not a drop of mv blood in the veins of any living 
creature. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it : I 
have killed many ; I have fully glutted my vengeance ; for my 
country, I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbor a 
thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He 
will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn 
for Logan ? Not one ! "' 

On the breaking- out of the revolutionarv war, Colonel Gib- 
son raised a regiment and marched at its head to the scene of 
hostilities. He and his regiment were with the armv at New 
York, and remained with it during its retreat through the Jer- 
sevs. Soon after this he was assigned to the command of the 
Western frontier, a position he was admirably qualified to fill. 
When the war had ended, and the independence of the colonies 
was assured, he returned to Pittsburg and resumed his former 
avocation of a trader. 

In 1788 General Gibson was elected a member of the conven- 
tion that made the first constitution of Penns3'lvania. Subse- 
quently he was, for several vears, a judge of the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas of Alleghany countv, and at the same time he served 
as general of the State militia. 

In April, 1793, President Washington appointed Benjamin 
Lincoln, of Massachusetts, Beverly Randolph, of Virginia, 
and Timothv Pickering, of Pennsylvania, commissioners to 
treat with the Indians northwest of the river Ohio. These gen- 
tlemen requested General Gibson, under date of May 26, 1793. 
" to point out the most suitable persons for interpreters, and we 
request your aid in engaging them," etc. They also asked him 
to procure for them 80,000 white wampum, to use in their nego- 
tiations with the Indians. At that time General Gibson was 
a general of the Pennsylvania militia, and under date of. July 
II, 1794, he wrote Governor Mifflin as follows: 

"I have written to the different inspectors of mv division, 
pressing them to have the men ready, agreeably to the requisi- 
tion of the adjutant-general, and you may rely on my using 
every means in my power for the protection of the western 
frontiers." 



14 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

The historian of St. Clair's defeat gives this account of the 
Gibson family : 

" Colonel George Gibson, who was mortally wounded at St. 
Clair's defeat, was the father of General George Gibson, of the 
War Department, and of the late Chief Justice of Pennsyl- 
vania. He was the brother of General John Gibson, commonl}^ 
called by the noni de guerre ' Horsehead,' the well known Indian 
interpreter in Dunmore's war. Colonel George Gibson, besides 
being a gallant soldier, was an accomplished gentleman, a man 
of wit and of fine imagination. Had he, instead of his brother, 
been at the treaty of Camp Charlotte, and present at the deliv- 
ery of Logan's speech, that posthumous leaf from the plants of 
Sir William Johnson might have been imputed to him." 

On the 7th of May, 1800, Congress passed an act dividing 
the Northwestern Territory, and creating that of Indiana. Soon 
afterward, President Jefferson appointed General Gibson Secre- 
tary of the new Territory, and he at once started for its capital. 
Tie reached Vincennes in July, 1800, and the Governor, Wil- 
liam Henrv Harrison, not having arrived, he commenced to 
organize the Territorial government. He made several appoint- 
ments of Territorial officers, and did other things in the direction 
of creating a civil government. He continued in charge of the 
executive department of the Territor}^ until the arrival of Gov- 
ernor Harrison, the next January, when his executive functions 
ceased. He confined himself to the Secretarj^'s office until the 
summer of 1812, when he again became Acting Governor, 
administering the affairs of the Territory at the most critical 
period of its existence. On the i8th of June, 1812, Congress 
declared war against Great Britain, and on the 4th of the next 
September, Fort Harrison, then commanded by Captain Zach- 
ary Ta3'lor, afterward President of the United States, was 
attacked b}^ a large bod}' of Indians. The day after the attack, 
and even before the news of it had reached Vincennes, Gov- 
ernor Gibson took active measures for the gathering of mil- 
itary forces at Vincennes, in anticipation of trouble with the 
Indians. He wrote to Governor Harrison, at Frankfort, Ky., 
for one company of regular troops and two companies of Ken 
tucky militia, with stores, wagons, etc., asking that the}' be sent 



JOHN GIBSON. 15 

as expeditiously as possible. There being some clela}- from 
lack of arms and equipments for some six hundred men, who 
were at Louisville, and Governor Gibson meantime being- 
advised of the investment of Fort Harrison, on September 9, 
181 2, wrote a second letter urging the immediate march of the 
troops without their baggage, as the danger seemed imminent. 
Responding to this appeal, by the 20th of September Gen- 
eral Winlock reported at White river, sixteen miles from Vin- 
cennes, with six hundred and forty infantry and six hundred 
mounted men, but one day behind. Nor was the commandant 
at Louisville the only officer to whom Governor Gibson applied 
for help. He also informed General Samuel Hopkins, of Hen- 
derson county, Kentucky, of Indiana's emergency, and asked 
for volunteers from Kentucky at once, saying, "The exigency 
is such as to preclude the possibilit}^ of applying for aid from 
your quarter through the proper channel." In response to this. 
Colonel Philip Barbour, at Henderson, on the nth of Septem- 
ber, dispatched Major William R. McGary, with two hundred 
and fortv-one men, for Vincennes, with promise of the rest of 
the regiment just as soon as arms could be procured for them. 
Barbour wrote of Major McGary to Governor Gibson : 

" The Major is brave, firm and determined, and, I doubt not, 
wall give you a good account of an}' command you may be 
pleased to order him on." 

In the latter part of September General Hopkins reached 
Vincennes with two thousand mounted volunteers from Ken- 
tucky. Colonel William Russell, of the United States Arm}', 
was also there with a considerable number of men. These, 
with the soldiers of General Winlock and Major McGary, made 
a large army, and one which had been mainly gotten together 
within a single month. 

Meantime, Captain Taylor, in command at Fort Harrison, 
informed Governor Gibson by messenger that he had been able 
to maintain his garrison against a severe assault by the In- 
dians, lastmg seven hours. On September 12, Governor Gibson 
instructed Colonel Robert Robertson to use such militia as could 
be so employed to guard the boundaries of Clark and Harrison 



16 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES, 

counties, "taking care to have an 63-6 to Linley's settlement, 
the Drift Wood and Pigeon Roost settlements." He added, 
"You will give particular orders to the officers commanding 
to employ their men continually in reconnoitering and scouring 
through the country on the frontier, and should anything extra- 
ordinary or alarming occur, 3-ou will give me the earliest intor- 
mation thereof by express." Colonel Paddock, at the same 
fime, received instructions identical with the above. 

September 9, 181 2, Governor Gibson wrote Colonel Robert- 
son, who, at the head of a bod}' of men, was on the wav to the 
Delaware towns, as follows : 

" ViNCEXNES, September the 9th. 1812. 
"Sir — I have just been informed that a body of men have 
undertaken an expedition against the Delaware towns, under an 
impression that the Delawares had done or countenanced the 
murders which have been committed on the frontiers of Clark 
county. I have official information that the great bodv of the 
Delaware tribe are now in council at Piquea, with commission- 
ers appointed by the President, to hold a treat}' with the Indi- 
ans, or such of them as wish to remain the friends of the United 
States. They being under the immediate protection of the 
United States, I do hereby forbid all citizens of this Territory 
from proceeding against the Delawares without permission from 
government, assuring you, at the same time, that no person will 
be more willing to punish them than myself if thev are found to 
be guilty. Very truly, 

"John Gibson, 

'''•Acting Governor.'''' 

The above letter shows Governor Gibson to have been a just 
man. In the excited state of the people at that time there are 
few who would have troubled themselves about seeing that jus- 
tice was done an Indian. Retribution, not justice, was what the 
people were clamoring for. 

Colonel Russell reached Fort Harrison in due time, and soon 
after General Hopkins followed him with his armv. In a letter 
written to Governor Gibson by General Hopkins, dated Fort 
Harrison, November 8, 1812, he says: 



JOHN GIBSON. 17 

"Letters, etc., sent to Fort Harrison by sate hands might 
probably find their way to us ; we are kept wholl}' uninformed of 
everything passing. We feel the want of whisky badl}' ; any 
other thing could be better done without. General Butler 
informs me the contractor had a supply, which, by this time, 
might have arrived here had it been sent on. Our supplv of 
bread-stuffs and meat will, I hope, suffice." 

It seems the pioneer soldiers of Indiana loved their grog. 
General Hopkins puts it before powder and ball in importance, 
and, in fact, it might have done about as good execution if it 
had possessed the qualities of the modern article. 

The temptation to outline the history of the Wabash and Illi- 
nois campaigns of 18 12 is a strong one, as I have original mate- 
rials at hand which could be used for the purpose, but my ob- 
ject is not to write history, except incidentally, but to sketch 
men. I have made these slight digressions to show the reader 
that Governor Gibson was equal to the occasion, that he took 
good care of the people under his jurisdiction, and that, too, 
when great watchfulness and discretion were demanded. 

Governor Gibson was in charge of the Governor's office for 
about one year, and then gave place to Governor Posey. All 
this time — that is to sa}^ from the day of his arrival at Vincennes 
until the commencement of Governor Posey's administration, 
and thence on until Indiana became a State — General Gibson 
was in charge of the Secretary's office. No complaint was ever 
made of the way he discharged its duties ; nor was there of his 
actions as Governor. In his double capacity of Secretary and 
Governor he so conducted the affairs of the Territory as to escape 
criticism from the ambitious and plotting men around him, some- 
thing his chief, General Harrison, a good and patriotic man, 
was unable to do. He kept aloof from the cabals and intrigues 
of Territorial days, confining himself to the discharge of his 
public duties. He did not become involved in the quarrels 
about him, and as a consequence enjoyed the good-will and 
friendship of those who were hostile among themselves. 

While Secretary of Indiana Territory General Gibson was 
not conspicuous in public affairs outside of his official duties. 
He seemed content with attending to his business, leaving to 



lb BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICxVL SKETCHES. 

Others the task of righting neighborhood wrongs and settHng 
private grievances. It was only on extraordinary occasions 
that his name appears in the proceedings of the public gatherings 
of these days. In July, 1812, a public meeting was held at Vin- 
cennes to consider the subject of the war with England. General 
Gibson was chosen its president, and strong resolutions were 
passed approving the declaration of war, and indorsing the course 
of the Madison administration. The Western Stin, a paper pub- 
lished atVincennes b}^ Elihu Stout, the grandfather of Hon. Henry 
S.Cauthorn, makes frequent mention, during the summer of 181 2, 
of the valuable information furnished by General Gibson, then 
the Acting Governor of the Territor}-, in relation to public mat- 
ters generally, and particularly in regard to Indian affairs. In 
the Sim of September i, 181 2, is a proclamation of General 
Gibson, as Acting Governor, requiring all aliens in the Territory 
to report, conformably to the law of Congress passed July 6, 
1798, to him in person, in the county of Knox, and to certain 
persons named by him in the other counties of the Territorj^ 

On the 26th of December, 181 2, the Sun contains General 
Gibson's proclamation, as Acting Governor of the Territory, 
convening the Legislature, and naming February i, 1813, as 
the time for its meeting. 

On the i6th of January, 1813, the Suji contains the general 
orders of General Gibson as commander-in-chief of the Terri- 
torial militia, promoting Daniel Sullivan to the rank of colonel, 
and ordering that " on account, of the present aspect of affairs 
the whole of the militia of the Territorv hold themselves in 
readiness to march at a moment's warning, and when warned, 
will rendezvous according to law." 

In the Su)i, of Februar}^ 6, 181 3, is the address of General 
Gibson, as Acting Governor, delivered before the Legislature on 
the previous Tuesday. It is plain, pointed and brief. He says 
he is no speaker. The topics alluded to b}- him are " the de- 
volving of the gubernatorial duties upon him ; " " his promise to 
discharge them fairly and justly," etc. He alludes "to the just 
war with England," and approves of the course of President 
Madison. Attention is called in the address "to the frequent 
and numerous Indian massacres, and the uncertainty of life and 
property in the Territory." He calls attention to the necessity 



JOHN GIBSON. 19 

of reform in "the militia organization of the Territory, the 
revenue laws and the salaries of public officers." 

On the 6th of March the Sun contained the reply of James 
Scott, the Speaker of the Territorial Legislature, to General 
Gibson's speech before that body, in which the Speaker said: 

"Your patriotism has long drawn down the attention of the 
only nation upon eartii enjoying the liberal exercise of national 
liberty. We are happy, sir, in congratulating you that, not- 
withstanding the many years that the critical eye of env}^ has 
had an opportunity of observing vou in the discharge of your 
duties of a national concern, and important trusts confided in 
you by your nation, that yet, for the most cogent reasons, 
national patronage is extended to you in the evening of vour 
life." 

This florid and prolix speech does not indicate an embryo 
jurist ; nevertheless, the Speaker afterwards became a very 
eminent judge of our Supreme Court. On the 12th of March. 
18 13, Governor Gibson prorogued the Legislature, after a ses- 
sion of forty days, and directed it to reassemble at Corydon on 
the first Monday of the next December. In the meantime the 
records and offices of the Territorial government were removed 
to Cor3'don, Governor Gibson accompanying them. In May, 
18 13, he was superseded in the Governor's office by General 
Thomas Posey, and from that time until the admission of Indi- 
ana into the Union he acted as Territorial Secretary. 

General Gibson's knovvledije of the Indian lang'uag'e most 
probably once saved General Harrison's life. At a conference 
between the latter and Tecumseh, at Vincennes, the Indian, 
becoming angry, arose to his feet, flourished his tomahawk, and 
directed his followers to be ready to obey his command. Gen- 
eral Gibson, who was present, understanding the Shawanee 
tongue, called the guard, which he had stationed near by, and 
on their appearance the cowed savage resumed his seat. When 
his threatening language was translated for the Governor, he 
broke up the conference and ordered Tecumseh awav. 

Alter much research I have been unable to find the origin of 
General Gibson's pseudonym of " Horsehead.'' I assume that 
it was liis Indian name; at least that it was given him by tlie 



20 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Indians. He was known by it long before he came to Indiana 
Territory, and it clung to him while he lived. It ma}' be that 
it was given to him because of his strong common sense, com- 
mon sense sometimes being denominated " horse sense." 

When the State government of Indiana was formed, General 
Gibson went back to Vincennes, his old home, to live. Soon 
afterward he left Indiana, and during the remainder of his life 
resided with his son-in-law, George Wallace, at Braddock's 
Field, near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, at whose house he died 
April lo, 1822. 

The Western Clarion, a paper published at Madison, Indiana, 
in its issue of June 10, 1822, contains a letter supposed to have 
been written by Mr. Wallace, dated Pittsburg, April 19, 1822, 
which says that " General Gibson died recentl}' at Braddock's 
Field, near Pittsburg." It also sa3^s that " he had been care- 
full}' educated, with uncommon pains, as he was a good scholar, 
and his classical attainments were considerable." It gives a 
summary of the leading incidents of his life, to the time In- 
diana became a State, and concludes as follows : 

" At this period, having become somewhat inhrm, and being 
afflicted with an incurable cataract, he, with his amiable wife, 
removed from Vincennes to the residence of his son-in-law, 
Mr. George Wallace, in the neighborhood of this place, where 
he was attended till the moment of his death with the most ex- 
emplary filial piety." 

Having safely passed the dangers of field and flood, of both 
civilized and savage warfare, he was mercifully permitted to 
liv^ far beyond the allotted years of man, and to die with his fam- 
ily about him. God was with the old pioneer to the end. Gib- 
son county, in this vState, was named in his honor, and it is, 
therefore, his most enduring monument. 



THOMAS POSEY 



Thomas Posey, the last Governor of Indiana Territory, was 
born in Virginia, on the banks of the Potomac, July 9, 1750. 
He was the son of a farmer, and grew up a farmer's bo}'. His 
education was scanty, being confined to those branches ordina- 
rily taught in the countr}^ schools of that day. The famil}- was 
respectable, but not wealthy, and the high distinction afterward 
reached by General Posey can not be attributed to family influ- 
ence, nor the efibrts of powerful friends. It was the work of 
himself. 

When nineteen years old young Posey left his paternal home 
and went into the western part of the State, then the frontier of 
civilization. He was, no doubt, prompted to this change by a 
spirit of adventure and a desire to find full scope for his dar- 
ing nature. Soon after locating in his new home the occasion 
ofiTered for him to go soldiering, and he eagerly embraced it. 
It was in the year 1774, the year of Dunmore's expedition 
against the Indians, that he first put on the knapsack and 
shouldered his musket. Dunmore's army was in two divisions, 
one of which was commanded by himself and the other by 
General Lewis. The plan of the campaign was for Dunmore 
to march to Pittsburg and thence down the Ohio river to the 
mouth of the Kanawha, where the united army was to rendez- 
vous. Lewis was to cross the mountain, march down the Ka- 
nawha valle}^ and join Dunmore. Posey was with Lewis, and 
when that General reached the appointed rendezvous he en- 
camped, to await the arrival of his superior. But when Dun- 
more reached Pittsburg he changed his mind, and, instead of 
going forward to join I>ewis, he marched liis armv against the 



2 2 BIOGRAPHIC AI. AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Shawanee towns on the Scioto. On the loth of October, 1774^ 
Lewis was attacked b}' a large body of Indians under Cornstalk, 
and one of the bloodiest battles ever fought b}^ Indians and 
white men took place. Seventv-live Virginians were killed out- 
right and one hundred and forty wounded, w^hile the loss of the 
Indians w^as still greater. The latter were defeated and driven 
awa}^, and soon afterward peace was established, at Camp Char- 
lotte, by the treaty between Lord Dunmore and the Indians. 
The battle between General Lewis and Cornstalk is known in 
history as the battle of Point Pleasant. Posey behaved wath 
great gallantry, giving evidence of the coolness and braverv 
which afterward made him one of the most conspicuous figures 
in the military service of his country. 

The w^ar having ended, Posey went back to his home in West- 
ern Virginia, but did not long pursue his peaceful avocations. 
The next year (1775) war broke out between the colonies and 
Great Britain. Posey was elected a member of the committee 
of correspondence of his county, similar committees being chosen 
in the other counties of the colony, the purpose being to keep 
the people advised of what was going on and to draw them to- 
gether in closer union. Shortly after hostilities had commenced 
Posey raised a company of infantry and took it to the field. 
His commander was the General Lewas under whom he had 
alreadv fought, and the enemy against whom he marched was 
led by Lord Dunmore, w^ho had been Lewis's superior officer 
the year before. The two armies met at Gwyn's Island, and in 
the battle which tbllowed Dunmore was beaten and driven off 
the held. 

After the Virginia campaign had ended, the regiment to 
which Captain Posey was attached joined the army of Wash- 
ington in the Jerseys. The company then became a part of a 
regiment of picked men, armed with the rifle and commanded 
by Colonel Morgan, which did gallant service on many a field. 
At Piscataway it was surrounded by the enemy and cut its way 
out in a hand to hand fight, wdiich left manv a brave man on 
the ground. Afterwards it was with Gates at S^iratoga, and 
helped compass the surrender of J^urgo\'ne there. Subsequently 
Captain Posey was given command of this noted regiment, and 
headed it at the drawn battle of Monmouth. In 1778 the regi- 



THOMAS POSEV. 23 

ment was sent to the relief of the people of Wyoming, whose 
calamities have been made the subject of one of our finest 
poems. 

In the spring of 1779 Colonel Posey joined the main arm}" 
under Washington, and was assigned to the command of the 
Eleventh Infantrj^ Subsequently his regiment was transferred 
to the army of Wayne, and was with it at the taking of Stony 
Point. Marshall gives this account of Posey's actions in this 
battle : 

" Colonel Fleury was the first to enter the fort and strike the 
British standard. Major Posey mounted the works almost at 
the same instant, and was the first to give the watchwprd, ' The 
fort's our own.' " 

After the taking of Stony Point Colonel Posey went to South 
Carolina, and subsequently to Yorktown, at which place he wit- 
nessed Cornwallis's surrender. In the winter of 178 1-2 he 
served with Wayne in Georgia, and on the 24th of June, 1781, 
was in the battle, near Savannah, fought with Guristersigo and 
his Indian followers. In this battle Posey killed several Indians 
with his own hands, displaying the greatest gallantry through- 
out the entire engagement. After this he served with Greene 
in South Carolina, being with him when peace was declared. 

During the Revolutionar}^ war Colonel Posey lost the wife of 
his 3"outh. After the peace he married again, and settled in 
Spottsylvania count}^, Virginia. 

In 1785 Colonel Posey was appointed colonel of the militia of 
his county, and the next vear was made county-lieutenant, an 
office of much honor and dignity. He continued to act as 
county-lieutenant and magistrate until 1793, when he was again 
called into the military service of his country. 

The Indians in the Northwest continued hostile. Many had 
been the expeditions sent against them, and manv the chastise- 
ments they had received, but they had not been conquered. 
Washington determined to break their spirit and subdue them, 
and with these ends in view he appointed Mad Anthony Wayne 
to conduct an expedition against them. He also selected Gen- 
erals Wilkinson and Posev as his lieutenants. These men were 



24 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

all revolutionary soldiers and had large experience in fighting 
the foe they were chosen to conquer. General Posey was with 
Wayne for some time and aided greatly in rendering successful 
the campaign of that able and patriotic man. 

Early in the winter of 1793 General Posey applied for leave 
of absence in order to visit his home. The following is Wayne's 
letter granting it : 

" Headqliarters, Greenville, 

"December 5, 1793. 

"Dear Sir — I must acknowledge that it was with ditfiiculty 
I at length prevailed upon myself to grant 3'ou leave of absence 
at a crisis when I was conscious that your aid and advice were 
extremely necessary to me, perhaps to the nation. Friendship 
may have prevailed over duty on this occasion, but I have the 
consolation that it may eventuall}^ be in your power to render 
as essential services to your country during your absence in the 
Atlantic States as you could have done in the wilderness of the 
West. I have only to regret the temporary absence of a friend 
and brother officer with whom I have participated in almost 
every vicissitude of fortune from the frozen lakes of Canada to 
the burning sands of Florida. I have, therefore, to request that 
3^ou will endeavor to return to your command on or before the 
last of March ensuing, and, in the interim, I pray 3'ou to make 
a point of impressing every member of Congress with whom 
you may converse with the absolute necessity of the immediate 
completion of the Legion, and that you also pay a visit to the 
seat of government, and wait personally upon the President and 
Secretar}^ of War, and give them every information, viva voce, 
that they may wish to receive relative to the situation of the 
Legion, together with the motives and circumstances which in- 
fluenced an advance and halt at this place. You will also sug- 
gest the expediency and polic}'^ of permitting settlers to take 
possession of it the moment the Legion takes up its line of 
march in the spring. 

"Wishing you a safe and quick passage through the wilder- 
ness and a happy meeting with your family and friends, I am, 
with the truest and most lasting triendship and esteem, etc., 

"Anthony Wayne." 



THOMAS POSEV. 25 

\\"hen the war was over, General Posey resigned his com- 
mission in the army, and soon afterwards removed to Kentucky. 
In a short time after settHng there he was elected a member of 
the State Senate, and was chosen Speaker of that bod}^ He 
thereb}^ became ex-officio Lieutenant Governor of the State, and 
held the place during his entire service in the Senate. 

In 1809, on account of the unsatisi^actorj^ conditions of our re- 
lations with France and England, Congress ordered the raising 
of an army of 100,000 men, and the President fixed the quota 
of Kentucky at 5,000. General Posey was commissioned a 
major general and assigned to the command of the Kentucky 
troops. He at once proceeded to organize and equip his forces, 
but the call for troops was premature. War was not declared, 
and the forces were disbanded. Soon after this General Posey 
removed to Louisiana. He never seemed contented except 
when on the frontier, and whenever his home ceased to be near 
the dividing line between civilization and the woods he moved 
away. 

In 181 2, when war was about to be inaugurated with Great 
Britain, General Posey, then a citizen of Louisiana, raised a 
compan\' of infantr}- at Baton Rouge, and for some time was its 
captain. Seldom in the histor}' of military men do we find one 
who, having held a major-general's commission, consents to 
command a company. But with General Posey patriotism was 
stronger than pride. Had he believed it best for his countr}', 
he would have shouldered a musket and marched in the ranks. 

John N. Destrihan was one of the first Senators sent by 
Louisiana to the Senate of the United States. Soon after his 
election he resigned, and Governor Claiborne appointed Gen- 
eral Posey to fill the vacancv. He sat in the Senate until March 
3, 1813, when President Madison appointed him Governor of 
Indiana Territory. He reached Vincennes the next May and 
entered upon the discliarge of his official duties. Soon alter 
this the Territorial capital was removed to Corydon, necessi- 
tating a change of the Governor's residence to that town. On 
the 6th of the next December he delivered his first message to 
the Legislature. He was in delicate health at the time, and on 
the 27th of the same month he addressed a letter to the presi- 
dent of the legislative council, in which he said : 



26 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

"I wish 3rou to communicate to your honorable bodv that the 
delicate state of m}^ health will not admit of my longer continu- 
ance at this place [Cory don]. I find myself badly situated on 
account of the want of medical aid. Mv physician is at Louis- 
ville, and I have taken all the medicine brought with me. The 
weather is moderate now, which will be favorable to m}^ going- 
to Jeffersonville, where any communication that the two houses 
of the Legislature may have to make will find me. Mr. Pra- 
ther will, in the most expeditious manner, bring them on ; and 
it will take but a short time for me to act upon them and for his 
return, which would not detain the Legislature in-session more 
than a day longer. Be assured, sir, that nothing but imperious 
necessity compels me to this step." 

On the 6th of Januar}^, 1814, the legislative council passed 
the following preamble and resolution : 

"Whereas, Both houses of the Legislature did, on the 4th 
inst., inform the Governor that they had gone through their 
legislative business, and were ready to be prorogued ; and, 

"Whereas, The expense of near fifty dollars per day doth 
arise to the people of the Territory b}^ reason of the Legislature 
being kept in session — all of which evils and inconvenience 
doth arise from the Governor leaving the seat of government 
during the session of the Legislature and going to Jefterson- 
ville, and the Legislature having to send their committee of 
enrolled bills to that place to lay them before him lor his 
approval and signature ; be it, therefore, 

" Resolved, That in order to prevent any further expense ac- 
cruing to the Territory at the present session, that the President 
of the Legislative Council and the Speaker of the House of 
Representatives be, and are hereby authorized to receive the 
report of the Governor of the laws by him signed or rejected, 
and his order of prorogation, and communicate the same to the 
clerks of their respective houses, who shall insert the same in 
their journals in the same manner as if the two houses were in 
session." 

The Plouse of Representatives concurred in this resolution, 
whereupon the two houses adjourned without day. 



THOMAS POSEY. 27 

On the first Monday in December, 1815, the Legislature of 
the Territor}" met in session at Corydon. Governor Posey, who 
resided at Jeffersonville, was too unwell to be present, and sent 
his message to the two houses by his private secretary-. Colonel 
Thom. The message was a brief one, treating principally upon 
questions aftecting tlie internal affairs of the Territory. This 
was his last formal communication to the Legislature, and to it 
that bod}^ responded in the following complimentary language : 

"' They (the Legislature) can not retrain from declaring their 
perfect approbation of your official conduct as Governor of this 
Territor}^ During j^our administration many evils have been 
remedied, and we particularly admire the calm, dispassionate, 
impartial conduct, which has produced the salutary effects of 
quieting the violence of party spirit, harmonizing the interests 
as well as the feelings of the different parties of the Territory. 
Under your auspices we have become one people." 

In May, 18 16, delegates were elected to make a State consti- 
tution, and in the following June the}" met at Corydon and per- 
formed the work. The next August officers were elected for 
the new State. At this election General Posey was a candidate 
for Governor, but was beaten by Jonathan Jennings, by a very 
decisive vote. 

When Governor Posey's official term had expired, by reason 
of the admission of Indiana into the Union, he was appointed 
Indian agent for Illinois Territory, with headquarters at Shaw- 
neetown. Early in the spring of 1818, while descending the 
Wabash river from Vincennes, he caught a deep cold, which 
threw him into a fever. When he reached Shawneetown he 
was compelled to take to his bed. He continued to grow worse 
until the 1.9th of March, when he died. 

Governor Posey was a most amiable man in private life. He 
was a member of the Presbyterian church, and ver^'^ active in 
church work. He was president of a Bible society, and did 
much to distribute the Scriptures among the poor and needy of 
the Territorv. 

In person. Governor Posev was exceedinglv attractive and 
commanding. He was tall, athletic, and had a handsome lace. 



^8 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

His manner was graceful and easy, denoting the gentleman he 
was. Some ten j^ears ago a correspondent of the Cincinnati 
Coniniercial started the story that Governor Posey was a natural 
son of George Washington, but the romance did not take root. 
Had he been Washington's son, begotten in wedlock, he would 
have honored his father's name. 

Dillon, in his history- of Indiana, says that when General Po- 
sey was appointed Governor of Indiana Territory, ''he was at 
the time a Senator in Congress from the State of Tennessee." 
This is a mistake. He never lived in Tennessee, and never 
served her in any official capacity whatever. Five States 
might properly claim that he once lived within their borders, 
but Tennessee is not one of the five. She must be content with 
Jackson and Polk, and other eminent men who have served her 
ably and well, and leave to Virginia, to Kentucky, Louisiana, 
Indiana and Illinois the honor of having once been the home ot 
Thomas Posey, a revolutionary patriot, and the last Territorial 
Governor of Indiana. 



JCXx\THAN JENNINGS. 



Jonathan Jennings, the first Governor of Indiana, was born 
in Hunterdon county, N. J., in 1784. His father was a Presb}'- 
terian minister, and, soon after Jonathan's birth, removed to 
Favette county. Pa. It was here that the future Governor grew 
to manhood. After obtaining a common school education he 
went to a grammar school at Cannonsbur^, Pa. Here he studied 
Latin and Greek, as well as the higher branches of mathematics. 
Thus liberally educated, he commenced the study of the law, but 
before being admitted to the bar he left Penns3dvania and started 
for Indiana Territor}^ Arriving at Pittsburg, he took passage 
on a flatboat and floated down the Ohio river to Jeftersonville, 
where he landed, having determined to make that town his 
home. He was then very young, and in appearance 3"ounger 
than he really was. He resumed his legal studies, and in a 
short time was admitted to the bar. But clients were few, and 
the young attorney sought other means for a living besides the 
practice of his profession. He wrote an unusually good hand, 
and was soon made clerk of the Territorial Legislature. While 
tilling this place he became acquainted with most of the leading 
men of the Territor}-, and in 1809, when the Territorv entered 
into the second grade and the people became possessed of a 
right to elect a delegate to Congress, he became a candidate Ibr 
the place. His opponent was Thomas Randolph, then Attorney- 
general of the Territory, and a man of much learning and abil- 
ity. The contest between Jennings and Randolph was exceed- 
ingly exciting and bitter. Randolph was Virginia born, and 
believed in the divinity of slavery, while Jennings, a native of a 
free State, considered slaverv ablio-ht and a curse. The Terri- 



30 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

tory was but sparsely inhabited, the settlements being on its 
eastern and southern borders, with one at Vincennes, on tlie 
Wabash. The question at issue was that of slavery. The 
Governor of the Territory, William Henry Harrison, and the 
Virginians about him, were striving to have the provision of the 
ordinance of 1787 prohibiting slaver}' in the Northwestern Ter- 
ritory suspended or repealed, and Jennings and other free-state 
men were trying to prevent this. The territorial delegate would 
have much to do in determining the matter, hence the two par- 
ties battled fiercely for the election of their respective favorite. 
The intelligent reader need hardly be told that the Territory was 
then virtually a slave Territory. Negroes were bought and 
sold in the market at so much a head. The author has been 
permitted to examine the private papers of Mr. Randolph, and 
among them are two bills of sale for negroes, executed at Vin- 
cennes in 1809. There is, also, among Mr. Randolph's papers, 
a letter from General James Dill, Randolph's father-in-law, 
written from Vincennes to his wife at Lawrenceburg, sa^ang he 
had not bought her a negro servant because they rated too high, 
but he hoped soon to find one at a price he could stand. Public 
sentiment at Vincennes was then as pro-slavery as it was at 
Richmond. Randolph was its representative and exponent, 
and it rallied to his support with all the dogmatism that used to 
characterize its adherents. Jennings was then a young man — 
a mere youth — but he met the assault of the pro-slavery men 
with the courage of a hero. He made a thorough can\'ass of 
the Territory, riding on horseback to all the settlements. As is 
known, the eastern part of Indiana was mainly settled b}' Qvui- 
kers from the Carolinas. These people hated slavery, and thev 
supported Jennings almost to a man, Randolph hardly getting 
enough votes in the Whitewater country to pay for the counting. 
General Dill, who followed Jennings in the canvass, hoping to 
counteract his work, in a letter to Randolph says that " wher- 
ever Jennings goes he draws all men to him." In a letter from 
Brookville, he sa3'S the only man he finds for Randolph is 
Enoch McCarty, and that he publicl}^ declares that Jennings 
will be elected. 

The election for delegate came off in Mav, and Jennings was 
victorious. His total vote in the Territory was 428, and that of 



JONATHAN JENNINGS. 3 1 

Randolph 402 . John Johnson received 8 1 votes at the same elec- 
tion ; so it will be seen that Jennings was elected by a plurality 
and not by a majorit3^ To us of the present day the vote which 
elected Jennings seems too insignificant to make a congressman. 
Wards in some of our cities now contain more voters than did the 
Territor}' of Indiana at that time. But the vote, meager as it was, 
virtuall}^ lixed the status of Indiana upon the subject of slavery 
for years to come. Had Randolph been elected, the clause in 
the ordinance of 1787 prohibiting slaver}^ in the Territory would 
have been abrogated and the "peculiar institution'' established 
by law. This done, it would have remained to curse our people 
until the day that American slavery went down in blood. 

Governor Harrison gave Mr. Jennings his certificate of elec- 
tion, and the delegate went to Washington and took his seat in 
the National Congress. But he was not permitted to hold it 
unchallenged. Mr. Randolph contested his election on the 
ground that at one of the voting places in Dearborn county, the 
election was not legally held . At this precinct Jennings received 
a greater majoritv than that given him in the Territory ; con- 
sequently, if the vote of this precinct could be thrown out he 
would be defeated. There was a grave question as to the le- 
gality' of the entire election, but as Mr. Randolph had advised 
the Governor that an election could be held under the law, he 
refused to raise the point. Both Jennings and Randolph ap- 
peared before the committee on elections and stated their cases. 
The committee reported to the House " that the election held for 
a delegate to Congress for the Indiana Territory, on the 22d of 
Ma}^, 1809, being without authority of law is void, and con- 
sequently the seat ot Jonathan Jennings as delegate for that Ter- 
ritory is herebv declared to be vacant." The report of the com- 
mittee was considered in committee of the whole, and adopted, 
but on being reported to the House, that bod}' refused its con- 
currence, and confirmed Jennings in his seat. 

Much bad feeling grew up between Jennings and Randolph 
on account of this election and contest. Each resorted to hand- 
bills and scattered them far and wide. Randolph was the more 
sarcastic and bitter ; Jennings, the more persuasive and convinc- 
ing. In a circular dated " Jeffersonville, Indiana Territory, Oct. 
10, 1810," addressed to the people of the Territorv, he sa^■s : 



32 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. ^ 

" If Mr. Randolph succeeds in his wishes by fair means, with- 
out injuring me, reh^ upon it, that I shall never envy his success, 
nor take the advantage of his absence to traduce him. But, if 
he expects to ascend the political ladder by slander and detrac- 
tion, he ought not to be surprised if his borrowed popularit\- 
should forsake him and leave him, like other thorough-going' 
politicians, without so much as the consolation of an approving- 
heart." 

The friends of Mr. Randolph partook of that gentleman's 
hatred of Mr. Jennings. Waller Ta3dor, then a territorial 
judge, in a letter to Mr. Randolph dated June 3, iSog, savs he 
had publicl}^ insulted Mr. Jennings without thelatter's resenting 
it, and that Jennings was a " pitiful coward." He also says: 
"Jennings revenges himself on me b}-^ sa3'ing he never did any- 
thing to injure me, and professes esteem," Surelv, if it be true, 
that " He that ruleth his spirit is greater than he that taketh a 
city," Jonathan Jennings was a great man. It is evident that 
Taylor's purpose was to provoke him to a duel, but he kept his 
temper and gave the hot-blooded Virginian no excuse for chal- 
lenging him. 

In 1811 Mr. Jennings was re-elected to Congress', his oppo- 
nent being Waller Taylor, the same man, who, two years be- 
fore had tried to provoke him to mortal combat. In 18 13 he 
was again re-elected, his competitor this time being Judge 
Sparks, a very worthy and popular man. 

The Territor}^ of Indiana was now ready to pass from its 
chrysalis condition and become a State. Earh^ in 1816 Mr. 
Jennings reported a bill to Congress enabling the people of the 
Territory to take the necessary steps to convert it into a State. 
Delegates to a convention to form a State constitution were 
elected in May, 18 16, Mr. Jennings being chosen one from the 
county of Clark. The delegates met at Corydon, June 10, and 
organized the convention by electing Mr. Jennings president 
and William Hendricks secretarv. The convention continued 
in session nineteen davs, and then adjourned, having made the 
constitution under which the people of Indiana lived and pros- 
pered for thirty-four vears. The constitution required that an 
election should be held on the first Mondav in August. 1816, 



JONATHAN JENNINGS. 33-^, 

for the election of a Governor, Lieutenant-governor and other 
officers, the Territorial officials in the meantime continuing in 
office. The candidates for Governor were Jonathan Jennings 
and Thomas Posey, the then Territorial Governor, Governor 
Posey was a Virginian by birth. He was a gallant soldier in 
the revolutionary war, and for a time served in the Senate of 
the United States from the State of Louisiana. He was con- 
sidered the pro-slavery candidate, and, although the question 
of slaverv had been settled in Indiana by the adoption of the: 
State constitution, the pro-slavery men of the Territory still 
kept up their organization. Jennings had been a leader of the- 
free-state part}" since his entrance into public life, and now that 
he was a candidate for governor, that party rallied to his sup- 
port. He received 5,211 votes, and Governor Posey 3,934, his. 
majoritv being 1,277. 

The making and putting into motion of the machinery of a 
new State requires abilit}" of a high order. Revenue is to be 
created, laws tor the protection of life and property to be drawn 
and passed, and divers other things to be done that the founda- 
tions of the government may be properly laid. The Governor 
proved himself equal to the task. The State machinery started 
off without impediment and ran without friction. It did its work 
well, for it was guided by a master hand. 

In his hrst message to the Legislature, delivered Nov. 7, 18 16.. 
Governor Jennings sa3^s : 

" I recommend to your consideration the propriety of provid- 
ing by law to prevent more effectually an}- unlawful attempts to 
seize and carry into bondage persons of color legally entitled 
to their freedom ; and at the same time, as far as practicable, ta 
prevent those who rightfully owe service to the citizens of any 
other State or Territory, from seeking, within the limits of this 
State, a refuge from the possession of their lawful owners. 
Such a measure will tend to secure those who are free from any 
unlawful attempts to enslave them, and secure the rights of the 
citizens of the other States and Territories so far as ought rea- 
sonablv to be expected." 



34 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

In his message to the Legislature of 1817, he thus refers to 
the subject of fugitive slaves coming into the State : 

'* Permit me again to introduce to 3'our attention the subject 
of slaves escaping into this State, and to suggest the propriety 
of making further provisions by law calculated to restrain them 
from fleeing to this State to avoid their lawful owners, and to 
enable the judges of our Circuit Courts, or any judge of the 
Supreme Court, in vacation, to decide, with the aid of a jur}", 
upon all claims of this character without delay. This subject, 
in the adjoining State of Kentucky, has produced some excite- 
ment in the citizens and an interference on the part of their 
Legislature. To preserve harmony between our State and 
ever}- other, so far as ma}^ depend on our exertions, is a duty 
the discharge of which is intimatelv connected with our best in- 
terests as a State, and solemnly required of Indiana as a mem- 
ber of the Union." 

On the loth of December, 1817, Governor Jennings sent to 
the House of Representatives a letter from Governor Slaughter, 
of Kentucky, and his answer thereto. The letter was referred 
to a special committee, of which General Samuel Milroy was 
chairman. In his letter Governor Slaughter complains of the 
difficulty the citizens of Kentucky encounter in reclaiming their 
slaves who escape into Indiana, and says : " You must be sen- 
sible, sir, that occurrences of this sort can not fail to produce 
discontent here and a spirit of animosity toward 3^our State, 
which is equally the interest of all to avoid." In his reph' Gov- 
ernor Jennings says : 

" With regard to the subject matter of your letter — the diffi- 
culty said to be experienced by your citizens in reclaiming their 
slaves who escape into this State — allow me to state in rela- 
tion to my views on this subject, that I have been and still am 
desirous that ever}^ municipal regulation, not inconsistent with 
the constitution of the United States or of this State, may be 
adopted by the legislative authorit}' of the latter, calculated to 
secure to the citizens of ever}^ State or Territor}^ of the Union 
the means of reclaiming any slave escaping to this State that 



JONATHAN JENNINGS. . 35 

may rightfully belong to them or either of them with as little 
delay as the operation of the law will admit." 

The committee to which this matter was referred made a 
lengthy report, in which the^• said: iiS/S'^^-Q 

" On the subject of the difficulties said to be experienced h\ 
the citizens of Kentucky in regaining their fugitive slaves, your 
committee are of opinion that the feelings of His Excellency, 
as well as of the Legislature of Kentucky, have been governed 
in a great degree bv the improper representations of individuals 
who have been disappointed in their attempts to carrv away 
those whom the}^ claim as slaves from this State, without com- 
plying with the preliminary steps required by law, together with 
the groundless assertions of unprincipled individuals who have 
attempted, in man}- instances, to seize and carry away people 
of color, as slaves, who were free, and as much entitled to the 
protection of the laws as any citizen of Indiana. * * * It 
is a well-known fact that, w^hatever may be the opinion of our 
citizens on the abstract principles of slavery, and however re- 
pugnant it may appear, in their estimation, to the principles of 
moral justice, there is but one sentiment prevalent on this sub- 
ject of people of color migrating, in any circumstances, to this 
State. It is believed, if not restricted, it would, in time, become 
an evil of not much less magnitude than slavery itself. * * * 
Your committee, in the further prosecution of the duties as- 
signed them, will take into consideration the laws on the subject 
of slaves escaping into this State, a.s well as the laws for the 
punishment of the crime of man-stealing, and, if it shall be 
found that any new provisions are necessary on either of these 
subjects, they will form the subjects of future reports." 

In the last paragraph the committee showed its teeth, and 
told kidnappers to beware, or they would get bitten. 

I have spoken thus fully of Governor Jennings's recommend- 
ations upon the subject of the rendition of fugitive slaves, be- 
cause it was a question that confronted the young Common- 
wealth at its birth, and the people of the present day should 
know how it was met. That it was considered in a states- 
manlike way and disposed of to the best interest of the people 



T,6 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

must be admitted by those who study it in the light of this time. 
Public sentiment upon the question of slavery was then wideh' 
different from what it is now, and in coming to a correct con- 
clusion as to its treatment this fact should not be forgotten. 
Governor Jennings was far in advance of the public men of his 
day in Indiana upon this subject, and while his utterances seem 
to us exceedingly conservative, they are those of one of the 
most pronounced anti-slavery men of his time. 

In 1818, President Monroe appointed Governor Jennings a 
commissioner to negotiate a treaty with the Indians, his associ- 
ates being General Cass and Judge Benjamin Parke. The 
commissioners reached St. Mary's in September of that 3'ear, 
and proceeded with their work. On the 3d of October Gov- 
ernor Jennings wrote from St. Mary's to Christopher Harrison, 
the Lieutenant-governor, that '' Understanding some otbcial 
business is necessar^^ to be transacted, permit me to inform 3^ou 
that my absence is still necessary, and that it may be necessary 
for you to attend the seat of government to discharge such du- 
ties as devolve on the executive of Indiana." Lieutenant-gov- 
ernor Harrison thereupon went to Corydon, took possession of 
the executive office, and performed the duties of Governor un- 
til Jennings's return from Saint Mary's. The constitution of 
the State prohibited the Governor from holding " an}^ office un- 
der the United States," and Governor Jennings, having accept- 
ed and performed the duties of Indian Commissioner, contrary 
to this provision, the Lieutenant-governor claimed that the 
Governor had therebv Ibrfeited his office, and that he, the 
Lieutenant-governor, had become Acting Governor of the State. 
Governor Jennmgs refused to accept this interpretation of the 
law, and demanded possession of the executive office. The 
Lieutenant-governor left the room he had been occupying, and 
taking with him the State seal, opened an office elsewhere. 
The State officers were in a quandary what to do. Two men 
were claiming to be Governor, and they did not know which 
to recognize. Such was the condition of affairs when the Leg- 
islature of 1818 convened. On the loth of December of that 
vear Ratliff" Boon, then a senator from the count}^ of Warrick., 
appeared upon the floor of the House and said : 



JONATllAX Jp:NXI>.<iS. 37 

" Mr. Speaker, I am directed bv the Senate to intbrm this 
House that the Senate has appointed a committee on their part 
to act with a similar committee which mav be appointed on the 
part ot' the House of Representatives to wait on the Lieutenant- 
governor, and hite acting Governor, and intbrm him that the 
two houses of the General Assemblv have met, formed a quorum, 
and are now ready to receive any communications which he 
may please to make relative to the executive department of 
government, and request a similar committee be appointed on 
the part of the House of Representatives, and that on the part 
of the Senate Messrs. Boon and DePauw were appointed that 
committee. 

"Whereupon, on motion of Mr. Milro^^ the House ordered 
' that a similar committee be appointed on the part of this House 
to act with the committee on the part of the Senate, and to learn 
from the Lieutenant-governor, if he should please to make any 
communications, at what time and in what manner the two 
houses may expect them.' " 

Thus it will be seen that the Lieutenant-governor was ac- 
knowledged to be the chief executive bv both branches of the 
Legislature. The next day Mr. Sullivan, chairman of the House 
■committee under the resolution above quoted, reported to the 
House that the committee had waited on " His Excellency Lieu- 
tenant-governor Harrison, and had informed him that a quorum 
of both houses of the General Assemblv had convened and were 
ready to receive anv communication he might be pleased to 
make to them," and that the Lieutenant-governor, had replied, 
"That, as Lieutenant-governor he had no communication to 
make to the Senate or House of Representatives, but as Lieu- 
tenant and Acting Governor, if recognized as such, he had." 

The same day a committee was appointed by the House to 
investigate the troubles in the Executive Department, and next 
day reported through their chairman. General Milroy, that they 
" are of the opinion, from the testimon}^ herewith transmitted, 
that His Excellency, Governor Jonathan Jennings, did, in .the 
months of September and October last, accept an appointment 
under the government of the United States, by virtue of which 



38 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

he, together with others, did repair to St. Mary's, and then and 
there did negotiate and conclude a treaty with various tribes of 
Indians on behalf of the United States ; and that he did sign said 
treaty as the agent or otKcer of the United States, and he did 
thereto subscribe his name with others." 

The committee addressed Governor Jennings a note, inform- 
ing him that they had been appointed to investigate his actions 
in relation to the treaty of St. Mary's, with a view of deter- 
mining if he had tbrfeited his office of Governor, and asking 
him to appear before them and make his defense. He Teplied 
in a courteous note, in which he said : 

"If the difficult}^ real or supposed, has grown out of the cir- 
cumstances of my having been connected with the negotiation 
at St. Mary's, I feel it my duty to state to the committee that I 
acted trom an entire conviction of its propriety and an anxious 
desire, on my part, to promote the welfare and accomplish the 
wishes of the whole people of the State in assisting to add a 
large and fertile tract of country to that which we already pos- 
sess." 

Governor Jennings declined to appear in person before the 
committee, but wrote General Milroy to " receive and introduce 
jNIr. C. Dewey as my counsel to the committee of which you are 
chairman." 

The committee took the testimony of several persons, from 
which it conclusively appeared that Governor Jennings had 
acted as a commissioner of the United States at St. Mary's. 
The testimony was reported to the House, and that body, on the 
i6th of December, passed a resolution •' that it was inexpedient 
to further prosecute the inquiry into the existing difficulties in 
the executive department of the government of the State." and 
thereupon recognized Governor Jennings as the rightful Governor 
by receiving his message. The vote by which this resolution 
was passed was 15 yeas and 13 nays ; so it will be seen that a 
change of two votes would have put Governor Jennings out of 
office. Indeed, had a vote been taken directly upon the ques- 
tion, a majority of the House would probabh' have declared that 
he had forfeited the governorship, for this he most unquestion- 



JONATHAN JENNINGS. 39 

ablv had done. But the Legislature, appreciating the motive 
of his action, a\'oided the issue, and he remained in office. 

So soon as the Legislature recognized Jennings as Governor, 
the Lieutenant-governor resigned, saying in a note to the House 
that " As the officers of the executive department of the Gov- 
ernment and the General Assembly have refused to recognize 
that authority which, according to my understanding, is consti- 
tutionally attached to the office, the name itself is not worth re- 
taining." The next year he ran against Mr. Jennings for Gov- 
ernor, and was badly beaten, receiving but 2,008 votes in a 
total of 11,256. 

In May, 1820, Governor Jennings left Corydon with General 
Tipton, to meet the commissioners appointed by the Legislature 
to locate and lay out a permanent capital of the State. As is 
known, the ground upon which Indianapolis stands was selected, 
and although Governor Jennings was not officially a partv to 
the selection, he was present when it was made, and no doubt 
advised it. 

In August, 1822, Governor Jennings was elected a represen- 
tative to Congress from the Second congressional district, and 
on the 1 2th day of next month — September — resigned the gov- 
ernorship. The remainder of his term — until Dec. 5, 1822 — 
was filled by Ratliff Boon, the Lieutenant-governor. Governor 
Jennings was re-elected to Congress in 1824, in 1826, and in 
1828, serving his district continuously for eight years. In 1830 
he was again a candidate, but was beaten b}' General John Carr, 
a gallant soldier of the war of 181 2. The defeat of Governor 
Jennings at this election was not because the people had lost 
confidence in his judgment or ability to serve them, but because 
the}" believed such a result would conduce to his good. He 
was of convivial habits, and at Washington had become a reg- 
ul;ir drinker. His friends saw the habit was growing on him, 
and were fearful that if they continued him in public life he 
would become a drunkard. Therefore many of them ^■oted 
against him, believing such a course was best for him. The 
habit, however, had become so fastened upon him that his re- 
tirement to private life did not cause him to leave it ofi\ He con- 
tinued to drink while he lived, and in his later years was otten 
incapacitated for business by the too free use of the liquor he 



40 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

made on his farm. This habit — the single vice of his lite — fol- 
lowed him to the grave. 

On leaving Congress, Governor Jennings retired to his farm 
near Charlestown, where he remained until his death. In 1832, 
President Jackson appointed him a commissioner to negotiate 
a treaty with the Indians for the Indian lands in northern Indiana 
^nd southern Michigan. His associates in the commission were 
Dr. John W. Davis and Mark Crume, the treaty being held at 
the forks of the Wabash river, near where the city of Hunting- 
ton now stands. Mr. John H. B. Now^and, of Indianapolis, w^as 
at the treaty, and tells this stor}' of what happened there : 

"' During the preliminary council. Dr. Davis, who was a pomp- 
■ous, big-feeling man, said something that gave offense to Oba- 
nob}^, one of the head chiefs of the Pottawatomies. The chief 
addressed Governor Jennings saying : ' Does our Great Father 
intend to insult us by sending such men to treat with us? 
Why did he not send Generals Cass and Tipton? You (point- 
ing to the Governor) good man, and know how to treat us. 
{Pointing to Crume). He chipped beef for the squaws at Wa- 
bash. (Meaning that Crume was the beef contractor at the 
treat}' of 1826.) Then pointing to Dr. Davis, he said : ' Big man 
and damn fool." The chief then spoke a few^ words to the Pot- 
tawatomies present, who gave one of their peculiar yells and 
left the council house, and could only be induced to return after 
several days, and then onl}^ through the great influence of Gov- 
ernor Jennings." 

The signing of the treat}^ at the forks of the Wabash was Gov- 
ernor Jennings's last official act. He remained on his farm, cul- 
tivating the soil and spending his leisure in his librarv, until 
July 26, 1834, when the end came. He died at home, sur- 
rounded by his family and friends, beloved b}' them all. The 
next day his bod}' was placed in a common farm wagon and 
taken to Charlestown and buried. The day was intenselv hot, 
and but few were at his burial, these few being members of his 
family and particular friends. He was laid at rest on a hill 
overlooking the town, and his grave was unmarked bv head or 
foot stone. Thus it has remained until the present time, and 



JOXATIIAX JEXXING.S. 41- 

Avere it not that a tew men and women still live who were pres- 
ent at his burial, no one would certainh- know where the re- 
mains of the First Governor of Indiana are interred. 

Men who plant civilization in the wilderness, who organize 
backwoodsmen into communities, and throw around them the 
protection of the law, should not be forgotten. They render 
mankind a priceless service, and those who come after them and 
enjoy the fruits of their labor and their sacrifices should never 
tire in honoring their memory. Jonathan Jennings was such a 
man, and Indiana owes him more than she can compute. He 
fought slaverv to the death when it sought to fasten itself upon 
her territory ; he helped secure for her sons and daughters the 
best portion of her rich and fertile lands, and 3'et he sleeps the 
long sleep without a stone to mark his resting place. Shame 
on Indiana I 

The first Governor of Indiana, like the first President of the 
United States, died without issue. He was twice married, but 
no child was born in his household to call him father. 

Governor Jennings was a man of polished manners. A lady 
who knew him well, and was often a guest at his house, told the 
author that she never met a more fascinating man. He was al- 
\vays gentle and kind to those about him. He was not an orator, 
but he could tell what he knew in a pleasing way. He wrote 
well, as well perhaps, as an}- of his successors in the Governor's 
ofiice. He was an ambitious man, but his ambition was in the 
right direction — to serve the people the best he could. He had 
blue eves, fair complexion and sandy hair. He was about five 
feet eight and one half inches high, and in his latter days in- 
clined to corpulenc}'. He was broad-shouldered and heavy-set. 
and weighed about 180 pounds. He died comparatively young, 
but he did as much for the well-being of Indiana as any man 
that ever lived. Will not she do something to mark the spot 
where he lies? 



RATLIFF BOON. 



There is some uncertainty as to the birthplace of Ratliti' 
Boon. Lanman, in his " Biographical Annals of the Civil Gov- 
ernment," savs he was born in Franklin county, North Caro- 
lina, in 1 781. Boon's grandson, David N. Boon, in a letter to 
the author, says he was born January 18, 1781, in the State of 
Georgia. Lanman is usually correct, and his account should 
not be lightly considered, but I assume that the statement of 
the grandson is true, and that the Empire State of the South 
has the honor of being the birthplace of one of Indiana's most 
influential pioneers. 

When Ratliff Boon was a boy his father emigrated to Ken- 
tucky, and settled in Warren county. Ratlift' learned the gun- 
smith's trade in Danville, and in 1809 came to Indiana Territor}-, 
and located in what is now Boon township, Warrick county. 
In 1813, on the organization of Warrick county. Boon was ap- 
pointed its first treasurer, which office he held for several years. 
• He was a member of the House of Representatives in the ses- 
sion of 1816-17, and in 1818 was elected from Warrick county 
to the State Senate, and took his seat in December of that year. 
He possessed, in an unusual degree, the qualities which make 
a leader, and at once drew to himself a large following. Three 
years afterward (in 1819) he was elected Lieutenant-Go^'ernor 
of the State on the ticket with Jonathan Jennings, and on the 
resignation of that gentleman, September 12, 1822, to accept a 
seat in Congress, Lieutenant-Governor Boon filled out the un- 
expired term of the Governor. 

In August, 1822, Governor Boon was re-elected Lieutenant- 
Governor of Indiana on the ticket with William Hendricks. 



RATLIFF BOON. 43 

He served as Lieutenant-Governor until the close of the legis- 
lative session of 1824, and then resigned to become a candidate 
for Congress in the First District. His letter notifs-ing the Sen- 
ate of his resignation, dated Januar}^ 30, 1824, was as follows: 

"Gentlemen of the Senate — This day closes with me, 
perhaps forever, the honor of presiding over your honorable 
body. Circumstances combined have made it necessar}^ for me 
to resign into the hands of the people from which it emanated 
the office of Lieutenant-Governor ; the object of which, when 
explained, I flatter myself will be received as a sufficient apol- 
og}^ for making it. 

" I shall carry with me, from this into whatever situation I 
may be placed, a grateful recollection of the civilities which I 
have received from many of you, and of the almost unlimited 
confidence which has been reposed in me by a generous public. 
No one can estimate more highly the value of your favor, nor 
could any one with more unfeigned gratitude than I do the hon- 
ors which have been conferred on me. And, in conclusion of 
this address, permit me to solicit 30U to accept assurances of my 
best wishes for j^our present felicity, and a hope for your future 
prosperit3^ 

" I have the honor to be, with sentiments of regard and es- 
teem, yours and the public's obedient humble servant. 

" CoRYDON, Januar}^ 30, 1824. R. Boon." 

On the same day the Senate was notified by a communication 
from Robert A. New, the Secretarv of State, that the resigna- 
tion of Governor Boon had, that da3% been filed in his office. 

Governor Boon was elected to Congress in August tbllowing,- 
and two years afterward was a candidate for re-election, but was 
defeated by Colonel Thomas H. Blake. In 1829 he was again a 
candidate for Congress, and this time was successful. He was 
re-elected in 1831, in 1833, in 1835, ^^^ ^^ 1837, most of the 
time serving as chairman of the Committee of Public Lands. 
In 1836 he was a candidate for United States Senator, but was 
defeated by Oliver H. Smith. His congressional career ended 
in March, 1839. '^"^ '^ ^^^^' months afterward he removed from 
Indiana and settled in Pike countv, Missouri. 



44 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

In Missouri Governor Boon at once became active in public 
affairs, and soon was one of the leading men of the State. At 
that time Missouri elected her congressmen on general ticket, 
and not by districts, as is now the case. Colonel Thomas H. 
Benton was then the political dictator of Missouri, and con- 
trolled its politics as absolutely as a feudal lord controlled the 
action of his dependents. A rebellion against the autocratic 
rule of Benton was inaugurated, and Boon became its principal 
leader. He placed himself in antagonism to Benton, and thereby 
incurred the latter's deadly hostility. Early in 1844 Boon be- 
came a candidate for Congress, and at once went to work to 
secure his election. He espoused the measures of reform then 
in agitation, and although he did not live to see them consum- 
mated, justice to his memory requires me to say that he gave 
them the momentum that insured them success. Before he had 
formally announced himself as a candidate he received the fol- 
lowing letter from a committee of St. Louis Democrats : 

" St. Louis, January 31, 1844. 
^' Hon. RatUff Boon: 

" Sir : At a meeting of the Democratic party of the citv and 
county of St. Louis, convened on the 8th inst., at the court 
house in said cit3^ a committee was appointed to interrogate the 
aspirants to important offices in this State. In the absence of 
S. Penn, Jr., Esq., chairman of said committee, the under- 
signed beg leave to submit the following questions, to wit : 

"I. Are you in favor of a convention to amend the constitu- 
tion so as to equalize representation according to population, 
and to limit the judicial tenure according to established Demo- 
cratic principles? 

"2. Are you in favor of the passage of a law by the next 
General Assembl}^ to lay off" the State into districts, and to pro- 
vide that each district shall elect one member? 

"3. Are you in favor of the bills, as originall}- introduced 
last session, commonly denominated ' the currenc^' bills? " 

"4. Are you still in favor of the principles and will vou sus- 
tain the doctrines embodied in the address adopted and pul)- 
lished by the Democratic National Convention held at Balti- 
more in May, 1840? 



RATLIFF BOON. 45 

"You are most respectfully requested to furnish, at your 
earliest convenience, direct and categorical answers to the fore- 
going interrogatories. V'ery respectfully, 

"Thomas B. Hudson. 

" L. T. Labeaume. 

" N. Ranney. 

" D. H. Armstrong." 

To this letter Governor Boon replied as follows : 

"Louisiana, Mo., February 14, 1844. 

" Gentlemen — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt 
of your communication of the 31st ult., in which you say that at 
a meeting of the Democratic party of St. Louis you were ap- 
pointed a committee to interrogate the aspirants to important 
offices in this State. 

"Whilst I am insensible of having authorized the use of my 
name as an aspirant to any office at the next August election, I 
am, nevertheless, proud of the opportunity thus afforded me to- 
express my sentiments touching some of the leading questions 
of political economy, about which there exists so great a diver- 
sit}^ of opinions among the Democrats of Missouri. And in my 
answer to your several interrogatories, I will respond to each 
one of them in the order in which they stand arranged. 

" To your first interrogatory I answer — I am. 

"To your second, I answer — I now am and ever have been 
in favor of electing members of Congress b}' single districts. 

"To your third interrogatory I answer — I now am and ever 
have been opposed to those bills, from their first introduction 
into the Missouri Legislature. 

" To your fourth interrogatory I answer — That I have not 
before me the address of the Democratic convention held in 
Baltimore in 1840, but from my present recollection of the prin- 
ciples therein set forth, they will continue to receive from me a 
cordial support, Ver}' respectfully, R. Boon. 

"Thomas B. Hudson and others. Committee." 

The contest became exceedingly bitter between the reformers 
and the adherents of Benton. In looking over some newspaper 
clippings sent me by a grandson of Ratliff Boon, I am reminded 



46 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

of the contest in Indiana in i860, between the administration 
men and the friends of Judge Douglas. On the ist of March, 
1844, a committee of St. Louis Democrats wrote Governor 
Boon, asking him questions upon various subjects, and ending 
as follows : ' ' We also desire to learn from vou whether vou 
are willing to submit your pretensions to the convention above 
named (the State convention), abide its decision and support 
its nominees." To this letter Governor Boon replied as follows : 

"Louisiana, Mo., March 7, 1844. 
" Gentlemen — Your letter of the ist inst. came to hand last 
evening. And as I have determined to submit mv pretensions 
to a seat in the next Congress of the United States, subject to 
the untrammeled decision of the freemen of Missouri, in the ex- 
ercise of the elective franchise, it will, for the present, super- 
sede the necessity of my going into detailtouching my views of 
national policy. Suffice it to say that I am a Democrat of the 
true Jeffersonian stamp, and will, in due season, write out tor 
publication a full expose of m^- political creed. 

" Very respectfullv, R. Boon."- 

From this time on the battle between the two wings of the 
party waxed hotter and hotter. As a sample of the political 
literature of that day, I copy the following communication pub- 
lished in an organ of the Reformers : 

" OLD PIKE. 

" Doubtless it will be gratifying to the friends of the Demo- 
cracy everywhere, and to the warm admirers of Hon. R. Boon 
in particular, to learn that this war-worn veteran, who for the 
last thirty years has bravel}^ battled side b}^ side with the noble 
spirit of the nation against every species of fraud upon the 
rights of the people, ' is himself again ; ' that by the superior 
skill of his accomplished ph^'sician. Dr. W. B. Gorin, a disease 
which had fastened itself upon him, and for several months 
seemed to leave little hope of his recovery, has been, in a meas- 
ure, removed, and that he is once more actively associated, as 
was his wont, with the unterritied Democracy — confirming the 
doubting, giving strength and efficacy to their action — aiding 



RATLIFF BOON. 47 

and assisting the pure and disinterested in combatting alike the 
open and disguised enemies of republicanism, and lending dig- 
nity to their councils. I have been drawn into these reflections 
bv unexpectedl}' seeing this time-honored father of Democracy 
called, a few days since, to preside, at Louisiana, over one of 
the largest and most respectable political meetings ever assem- 
bled at that place. ■ Spectator." 

The editor of the paper which published this communication 
says, " Colonel Boon was one of the most sterling Democrats in 
Indiana, and is one of the best in Missouri : yet his Democracy, 
past services and unflinching integrity have not saved him from 
the machinations of those whose instrument the editor of the 
Missoiiricm is." 

"Spectator" was at tault in relation to the success of Dr. 
Gorin's skill, for Governor Boon soon had a relapse and was 
compelled to take to his bed. His health was such that he de- 
termined to withdraw from the canvass. This he did, very 
much to the regret of his friends. He recovered his health suf- 
ficiently to get about the town, but not to travel. He was very 
anxious for the election of Mr. Polk, and as the election hinged 
on the result in New York, he was at the wharfboat all day 
November 20, 1844. in hope of learning how New York had 
voted. He said during the day that if the boat brou^jht the 
news of Polk's election he would be willing to go home and 
die. When the boat came with the information that New York 
had voted for Polk and he was elected, Ratliff Boon went home, 
and in a lew hours afterward died. He was buried in the cem- 
et^y at Louisiana, and his son, Baily Hart Boon, caused a 
monument to be erected at his grave bearing this inscription : 

'' Ratliff Boon, 
'' Born January 18, 1781 : died November 20, 1844." 

And the earthly career of Indiana's second Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor was ended. 

E. C. Murra}', Esq., of Louisiana, Mo., who married a grand- 
daughter of Ratlifi'Boon, has furnished the author the following 
account of Governor Boon's career in Missouri, \^'ritten \)\ 
Colonel N. P. Minor: 



48 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

" In 1839 Hon. R. Boon came to Missouri from Indiana, and 
settled at Louisiana permanent!}^ with his family, Mrs. Luce, 
Baily H. Boon and Matilda, afterward intermarried with John 
Folks, Jr. He was then apparently a long ways on the shady 
side of life, and yet full of pluck and vigor, and there was never 
more vitality concentrated in one small body than in his. He 
was the ver}' embodiment of courage and daring, and as we 
listened to his fierce philippics on his enemies, and looked into 
his small but deep-set e3^es, we could not but realize the truth of 
General Jackson's encomium on Boon, when he called him 
'faithful among the faithless." The Missouri Republican, the 
Whig organ, called him ' Collar Boon,' because they said he 
wore the collar of General Jackson, for whom he had intense 
admiration. But it was all words ; he was a born partisan, 
loved his friends and hated his enemies, but at heart he was too 
honest and independent to fawn on any man, and if General 
Jackson, as much as he loved him, had been recreant to his 
trust. Boon would have branded him as he afterward did Colo- 
nel Benton. His interest in politics never abated by his change 
of location ; in fact he always wore his harness, and he was al- 
ways ready to strike heavy blows for what he thought was right. 
About this time Benton began to show treachery to the Demo- 
cratic party, although he did not go off then boldly with Van 
Buren, Dix and others. He had his currency bills pass the 
Legislature, the object being to suppress the circulation of small 
bank bills, the passing or receiving them being made a felony. 
Of course, no one regarded the law, and it fell still-born. In 
1843, I think, a Whig Congress had passed their mandamus act 
ordering the State to district before electing their member? ot* 
Congress. As 1844 approached it was evident that Benton's 
heart was with Van Buren and Blair, then avowed Freesoilers, 
although I believe he voted for Polk. The Democracy divided, 
and a fierce war followed. Colonel Boon became the candidate 
of what was called the soft wing of the Democracy on account 
of their opposition to the folly of Benton's currency bills, and 
he made a splendid canvass of the State. Much might be writ- 
ten of Colonel Boon's career in Missouri, to demonstrate how 
profound and fixed he was in his views, and how unyielding he 
was in all thinL^-s. The labor of the canvass and advancinir 



RATLIFF BOON. 



49 



years had worn out the old man, and he was admonished to set 
his house in order. He was wilhng to go, but he wanted to 
know that James K. Polk was elected before his eyes closed in 
death. The November election came at last, but the result was 
so close that none knew who the lucky man was. The State of 
Louisiana, long in doubt, after weary weeks, declared for Polk, 
and then the Empire State, New York, trembled in the balance. 
Then a single county in that State, then a single township in 
that county of that State, hung fire, until some time in No- 
vember, when the news reached us that New York had voted 
for Polk, which made him President. Then the venerable 
old man, with the spra}^ from the Jordan of death beating in 
his face, exclaimed, ' Polk has beaten Henry Clay ; I am willing 
to go ;' and with the evening tide he entered that undiscovered 
land we call death. N. P. Minor." 

Knowing that the Hon. Charles H. Test was familiar with the 
prominent men of early Indiana, I wrote him, requesting his 
recollections of Ratliff Boon, and in reply received the follow- 
ing : 

" Dear Sir — I had but a slight acquaintance with Ratliff 
Boon. He lived on the west side of the State and I on the east. 
The first time I ever saw him was in 1817, at Corydon. He 
was a member of the first Legislature after the admission of In- 
diana as a State, and appeared to be an active member of the 
body. I recollect a circumstance occurring at that session of 
the General Assembly, strongly illustrative of the spirit of the 
times in regard to the negro race. A gentleman of Kentucky, 
by the name of Sumner, had determined to manumit his slaves, 
some forty in number, and with that view petitioned the Legis- 
lature to be allowed to settle them in Indiana, promising to pro- 
vide for them until such time as they were able to take care of 
themselves. The petition was referred to a select committee 
of which Boon was a member. The committee reported to the 
House a letter addressed to Mr. Sumner, in which they compli- 
mented Mr. Sumner as a philanthropist, but could not consent 
to his proposition to settle his freedmen in Indiana, as it set a 
dangerous precedent. The}^ declared it would not do to allow 



50 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

free negroes to settle in Indiana, as in process of time they 
might inaugurate all the horrors of the massacre of St. Do- 
mingo. The reasons given for rejecting the petition of Mr. 
Sumner are at this da}^ somewhat laughable, but the manner in 
which it was done was quite as much so. The idea of a sage 
Legislature addressing a letter to a private individual is quite as 
ludicrous as the fears that at some future da}^ we might all be 
murdered by the freedmen if allowed to live within our bounda- 
ries. Amos Lane, of Dearborn, was the only member who op- 
posed the report of the committee. 

" In those early days the whole State was infested by wolves. 
Farmers could raise no sheep. The Legislature undertook to 
give some protection in this particular, and passed a law allow- 
ing a premium on wolf scalps, to be paid out of the State treas- 
ury. The whole revenue of the State did not amount to much 
more than the expenses of an incorporated small city do now. The 
law failed to designate the kind of wolf for the killing of which 
the premium should be paid. It was intended, without doubt, 
to embrace the large gray species, for they were the mo'st to be 
feared among the farmers' sheep. Boon, however, went to 
hunting prairie wolves, found in great numbers in the Wabash 
country, and at one haul drew from the treasury about $700. 
The next year the Legislature repealed the wolf law to save the 
treasury from bankruptcy. 

"Boon was a lithe, active man when I last saw him. In 
height he was about five feet ten inches, spare in person, and as 
straight as an Indian. His forehead was low and receded rap- 
idly from his eyebrows. His face in this particular was pecul- 
iar. Without doubt he was closely connected with the Boones 
of Kentucky. Yours truly, 

"Charles H. Test." 

There are few men now living who knew Ratlift' Boon, and 
these few are widely scattered. He belonged to a type of men 
suited to frontier life, and his career, both in Indiana and Mis- 
souri, was that of a courageous and self-reliant man. He was 
a pioneer of two States, and he left his impress upon them both. 



WILLIAM HENDRICKS. 



William Hendricks, Governor of Indiana from 1822 to 1825^ 
was born at Ligonier, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, in 
1783. He was educated at Cannonsburg, having for a class- 
mate Dr. W3die, afterward a distinguished president of the State 
University at Bloomington. They both became eminent, one as 
a statesman, the other as an educator, but their diverse path- 
ways did not sever their early friendship, which terminated only 
with their lives. 

After reaching manhood Mr. Hendricks left Pennsylvania 
and located at Cincinnati, Ohio. He remained there but a year 
or so, and during that time studied law and was admitted to the 
bar. In 1814 he left Cincinnati and took up his abode at Madi- 
son, this State, and resided there until he died. 

Indiana was then a Territory, and the same year, 1814, he 
was elected a member of the House of Representatives of the 
Territorial Legislature from Jefferson county, and was chosen 
Speaker of that bod3^ The question of a State government was 
then agitating the people, and in 1816 a convention was held at 
Cory don to form a State constitution. This was but two years 
after Mr. Hendricks settled at Madison, but during this time he 
became so well known that on the organization of the conven- 
tion he was made its secretary. He so discharged the duties of 
this office as to win the good opinion of the delegates, and when 
the convention adjourned he had established for himself a repu- 
tation for business aptitude and political sagacity equal to that 
of any man within the boundaries of the State. At the next 
August election — the first held under the State government — he 
was elected the sole representative of the people of the new 



52 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

State to the National Congress. He was re-elected in 1818 and 
in 1820, thus serving the people of Indiana in Congress for six 
consecutive years. He discharged the duties of his high posi- 
tion wdth so much acceptability that at the end of his third term, 
in 1822, he w^as elected Governor of the State without opposi- 
tion, receiving 18,340 votes, all that were cast. Thus he and 
Jonathan Jennings, the first Governor, exchanged places. 

Before Governor Hendricks's term as Governor had expired 
the Legislature elected him a Senator of the United States, and 
on Saturday, February 12, 1825, he filed his resignation as 
Governor in the office of the Secretary of State, and notified 
the Senate thereof in the following communication, dated at 
Indianapolis the day aforesaid : 

" Gentlemen of the Senate — Permit me to inform you 
that I have filed in the office of the Secretary of State my resig- 
nation as Governor, and to assure you of the great degree of 
gratitude, which, under all circumstances, I must ever feel for 
the many signal instances of confidence reposed and honor con- 
ferred by the people and Legislature of the State. I have the 
honor to be, with the greatest respect, your obedient servant, 

' ' William Hendricks . ' ' 

In 1831 he was re-elected, and at the expiration of this term — 
in 1887 — he retired to private life, and never afterward took 
upon himself the cares of public office. Thus it will be seen 
that for twenty-one years — from 1816 till 1837 — ^^ served with- 
out intermission the people of Indiana in the three highest 
offices within their gift. 

Men who found empires should not be forgotten. They plant 
the tree of civil liberty, and water its roots, while those who 
come after them but trim its branches to preserve its S3^mmetry. 
If they plant carelessly and in poor soil the tree will have but a 
sickly growth. That the men who planted Indiana in the wil- 
derness sixty-seven years ago planted wisel}^ and well, is evi- 
denced by its wonderful growth. It was then inhabited only 
by a few thousand hardy pioneers, who had settled on its south- 
ern and eastern borders ; now it contains two millions of prosper- 
ous people, its whole area being covered with happy homes. 



WILLIAM HENDRICKS. 53 

William Hendricks had as much to do with laying the found- 
ations of this great State and commencing its superstructure as 
any other man, excepting Jonathan Jennings only, and yet how 
few there are who know he ever lived. How transitory is the 
fame of human greatness. 

" This is the state of man ; to-day he puts forth 
The tender leaves of hope, to-morrow blossoms, 
And bears his blushing honors thick upon him ; 
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost," 

and he dies and is forgotten. 

Worldl}^ honors are not easily won, although the bard tells us 
that some men have greatness thrust upon them. In the con- 
test for fame there is sharp competition, and those onl}^ win who 
have endurance and mettle. A number of educated and tal- 
ented 3'oung men had come to Indiana in quest of fortune, 
and had William Hendricks been a dolt or a laggard he would 
have been distanced in the race. But he was neither. He was 
talented and energetic, and he won. He also knew how to 
utilize the means at his command and to make the most of the 
situation. When he came to Indiana he brought with him a 
printing press, and soon afterward commenced the publication 
of a weekly paper. It was called the Eagle, and, I believe, 
was the second newspaper published in the State, the Vmcennes 
Sun being the first. Through his paper he became known and 
paved the way for his political fortune. He made the first re- 
vision of the laws of the State and had it printed on his own 
press. The Legislature offered to pay him for this work, but 
he declined all pecuniary compensation. It then passed a res- 
olution of thanks, the only return for his labor he would take. 

Governor Hendricks was a friend to education. Hanover 
College and the State University at Bloomington both received 
his fostering care. He took an active interest in public enter- 
prises, and frequently aided them with his purse. He was very 
politic in his actions, never antagonizing a man when he could 
honorably avoid it. He had a large estate, and after leaving 
the Senate he spent his time in managing it and practicing law. 
He held on to his real estate with great tenacity, leasing it for 
a term of years when practicable, instead of selling it. Many 



54 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

houses were erected at Madison on property leased of him, and, 
like most houses built under such circumstances, they were 
poorly and cheaply constructed. His disposition to lease rather 
than sell his property caused much dissatisfaction among the 
people, and very greatly lessened his influence. 

On the i6th of May, 1850, Governor Hendricks rode out to 
his farm, just north of Madison, to oversee the building of a 
family vault. While assisting in the preparation of a receptacle 
for his body " after life's fitful fever" was over, he was taken 
ill and soon afterward died. The author is not certain whether 
he died at the farm-house or was taken back to his home in the 
citv, but is inclined to the opinion that he breathed his last near 
the spot where he is buried and where his remains have crum- 
hled to dust. 

The Indiana Gazettee?- of 1850 thus speaks of him : 

*' Governor Hendricks was for many years by far the most 
popular man in the State. He had been its sole representative 
in Congress for six years, elected on each occasion by large ma- 
jorities, and no member of that body, probably, was more atten- 
tive to the interests of the State he represented, or more indus- 
trious in arranging all the private or local business entrusted to 
him. He left no letter unanswered, no public office or docu- 
ment did he fail to visit or examine on request ; with personal 
manners very engaging, he long retained his popularity." 

Governor Hendricks was of a family that occupies a front 
place in the history of Indiana. There is probably no other 
one in the State that has exerted so wide an influence upon its 
politics and legislation as his. His eldest son, John Abram, 
was a captain in the Mexican war, and a lieutenant-colonel in 
tthe war of the rebellion. He was killed in the battle of Pea 
Ridge while in command of his regiment. Another son, Thomas, 
was killed in the Teche country during General Banks's cam- 
paign up Red river. A brother and a nephew sat in the State 
Senate, and another nephew, Hon. Thomas A. Hendricks, has 
.received the highest honors his State could confer upon him. 

Governor Hendricks was about six feet high and had a well- 
proportioned body. He had auburn hair, blue eyes and a florid 



WILLIAM HENDRICKS. 55 

complexion. His manners were easy and dignified, and his 
address that of a well-bred gentleman. He was not a great 
law3^er, nor an eloquent advocate, but he prepared his cases 
with care and was reasonably successful at the bar. In early 
life he was a Presbyterian, but in his later years he joined the 
Methodist church and died in her communion. He never had 
a picture taken of himself, so there is no portrait of him in the 
State librar3% while portraits of the other Governors are there. 
This is to be regretted, for the people whose ancestors honored 
him so highly would like to know something of his form and 
features. The only picture they can have of him must be drawn 
with the pen, and the author submits this sketch as an effort in 
that direction. Would that the work were better done. 



JAMES BROWN RAY 



One of the most noted and influential men of early Indiana 
was James Brown Ray. He was born in Jefferson county, Ken- 
tucky, February 19, 1794, and when quite a youth went to Cin- 
cinnati, Ohio, and read law with General Gano, of that city. 
On the loth of December, 1818, he married Mary Riddle, and 
soon afterward removed to Brookville, Indiana, and commenced 
the practice of the law. Brookville was then the home of many 
ambitious and able men, but the young Kentuckian soon took 
rank among the ablest and most influential of them. In August, 
1822, he was elected to the State Senate from Franklin county^ 
and took his seat on the 2d of December following. On the 
30th of January, 1824, Ratliff' Boon, then Lieutenant-Governor 
of the State, resigned his office, and on the same day Mr. Ray 
was elected President -pro tempore of the Senate. The Senate 
journal shows that, on motion of Mr. Stapp, it was "resolved 
that a committee be appointed to wait on His Excellency, the 
Governor, and inform him that the Hon. Ratliff" Boon having 
resigned the office of Lieutenant-Governor, the Senate has 
elected James B. Ray as President ■p7-o tempore.'''' Mr. Ray 
presided over the Senate for the balance of the session, and 
when that body met, in January, 1825, on motion of Dennis 
Pennington, the Senator from Harrison county, Mr. Ray again 
took the chair as President. A very interesting debate took 
place as to whether the election of Mr. Ra}^ at the previous ses- 
sion continued him as President _^rc tern-pore of the Senate, and, 
a vote being taken, it was decided that it did not ; whereupon 
he called General Stapp to the chair and took his place upon 
the floor. An election then took place for V resident pro tern- 



JAMES BROWN RAY. 57 

■pore, which resuhed in the re-election of Mr. Ray, who there- 
upon resumed his seat as the Senate's presiding officer. 

Governor WilHam Hendricks having been elected to the 
United States Senate, resigned the Governorship on the 12th 
day of February, 1825. When the Senate received notice of 
his resignation Mr. Ray left the presiding officer's seat and at 
once entered upon the discharge of his duties as Acting-Gov- 
ernor. The Senate unanimously passed a resolution thanking 
him for the ability and fairness with which he had discharged 
his duties as presiding officer, an honor fairly won, for he had 
been impartial in his rulings and courteous in announcing 
them. He was then a young man, but he was one of the most 
popular and influential politicians in the State. He became a 
candidate for Governor, and the next August was elected to 
that office over Isaac Blackford by a majority of 2,622. Three 
years afterward — in August, 1828 — he was a candidate for re- 
election, his competitors being Dr. Israel T. Canby and Harbin 
H. Moore. Governor Ray received 15,141 votes; Dr. Canby, 
12,315, and Mr. Moore, 10,904. Governor Ray having received 
a plurality of the votes was re-elected, and held the office of 
Governor until the inauguration of Noah Noble, in 183 1. 

During Mr. Ray's service as Governor no exciting questions 
agitated the people of the State. In 1830 the terms of the Su- 
preme Judges expired, and he determined to reorganize the 
court. He reappointed Judge Blackford, but refused to nomi- 
nate to the Senate Judges Scott and Holm an. It was charged 
at the time, and very generally believed, that his refusal to re- 
appoint Judges Scott and Holman was because they had declined 
to aid him in his senatorial aspirations. Be this as it may, he 
would not send their names to the Senate, but, in their stead, 
nominated Stephen C. Stevens and John T. McKinney. This 
action of Governor Ray cost him many friends. Up to that 
time no man in the State was so popular, but after this his popu- 
larity waned, and finall}^ almost disappeared. The people be- 
lieved this action of Governor Ray was prompted b}' personal 
reasons and not for the public good, hence they withdrew their 
support and confidence from him. A sad example was this of 
what one false step will do. 

In 1826, while filling the executive chair of Indiana, Gov- 



58 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES, 

ernor Ray was appointed a commissioner, on the part of the 
United States, to negotiate a treaty with the Miami and Potta- 
watamie Indians. His associates in the commission were Gen- 
erals Cass and Tipton, and the result of the treaty was the 
ceding of a tract of land ten miles wide, on the north line of 
the State, and the cession of a small body lying between the 
Wabash and Eel rivers. Through the exertions of Governor 
Rav the Indians donated to the State one section of land for 
each mile, to aid in building the road from Lake Michigan to 
the Ohio river, known as the Michigan road. This was an im- 
portant cession, and Governor Ray deserves the gratitude of the 
people of Indiana for obtaining it. 

The constitution of the State prevented the Governor from 
holding any office of honor or profit under the government of 
the United States, and when Governor Ra}^ asked to be ap- 
pointed a member of the commission to negotiate the treaty 
which I have named, he requested that no commission, but 
merely a letter of authority should be sent him. He remem- 
bered the difficulty Jonathan Jennings had encountered by act- 
ing as commissioner to negotiate an Indian treaty while holding 
the office of Governor, and sought to avoid a similar difficulty 
by acting without the authorit}^ of a regular commission. But 
his precaution did not save him from trouble. The Legislature 
took cognizance of his action, as it had done with Governor 
Jennings, and, as in that case, settled the matter by evading it. 

The record of this controversy is as follows. It is of interest 
in showing the somewhat stilted dignity of those early states- 
men in the exercise of their official functions : 

In the Legislature of 1826 Mr. Craig, a representative from 
Riple}^ county, offered the following resolution : 

^'•JResolved, That it is the opinion of this House that James B. 
Ray, Esq., who now is acting in and filling the office of Gov- 
ernor of this State, has forfeited his right to act in and fill said 
office of Governor by accepting of and exercising at Mississin- 
awa, during a part of the year 1826, the office of commissioner 
under the United States, together with Lewis Cass, Esq., Gov- 
ernor of the Territor}^ of Michigan, and John Tipton, of Fort 
Wavne, Indian agent, to treat with the Pottawatamie and Miami 



JAMES BROWN RAY. 59 

tribes of Indians, for the purchase of lands lying within the 
State of Indiana ; and that the Senate be informed of this 
opinion, and their opinion requested." 

The resolution was offered on the 5th of December, 1826. 
The next da}' the House passed a resolution " That a committee 
be appointed to wait on James B. Ray, Esq., and inform him 
that there is now a resolution before this House tending to de- 
clare his office as Governor of the State vacated, in consequence 
of his having accepted and exercised the authorit}^, under the 
President of the United States, of treating with certain Indian 
tribes within this State during the present year ; and that he, 
the said James B. Ray, has leave, should he judge proper, to 
avail himself of the privilege to appear before this House and 
defend himself, either in person or by counsel." The Speaker 
appointed Messrs. Johnston and Bassett the committee, who 
served Governor Ray with a copy of the resolution, and the 
following day the Governor sent the House a letter, of which the 
following is a copy : 

" Gentlemen of the House of Representatives — As the 
Executive of the State, it will at all times give me pleasure to 
answer any suitable requisition made of me by either branch of 
the General Assembly, and I acknowledge the resolution which 
I have had the honor of receiving from the House of Repre- 
sentatives, through the gentlemen composing their committee, 
to be full evidence that I had reason to have the confidence in 
the members composing ^^our body, that you would not arraign 
my conduct whilst holding the important and responsible situa- 
tion to which the voice of the people of the State has called me, 
without in the first place allowing me the sacred constitutional 
privilege to which the humblest citizen is entitled, of being heard 
in my defense. At the same time, feeling conscious of having 
committed no act since I have been honored with the office of 
Governor, incompatible with its high obligations and duties, 
and which was not intended, to the best of my ability, for the 
prosperity of the State of our choice, I must express mv convic- 
tion that the harmony of the co-ordinate branches of this gov- 
ernment, the laws of delicacv, and the true interests of our 
common country at this late period, with which I have been 



6o BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

favored through your committee ; asking to be permitted to add, 
that in no transaction of mine, official or other, have I anything 
proper to be communicated, which shall not be at all times sub- 
ject to the inspection of my fellow citizens of the State, or their 
representatives. If I have erred in the manner intimated in a 
resolution sent me, I have erred with the fathers of the repub- 
lic, the first patriots of the age, and in attempting to do good 
and advance the highest interests of our beloved country. As 
custom, precedent and example passed in review before me, I 
could not be insensible of their force, and have been made to 
feel as if I had done my duty to my conscience and the State. 
" I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obe- 
dient servant, J. Brown Ray." 

This exceedingly diffuse and muddy communication was re- 
ceived and the question debated by the House until just before 
the close of its sitting that day, when a vote was taken on Mr, 
Craig's resolution, which resulted in 28 yeas and 30 nays. The 
House then, by a vote of 31 yeas to 27 nays, passed a resolution 
to receive the message of Governor Ray, whereupon the mes- 
sage was delivered, and the effort to declare the Governorship 
vacant ended. 

In Governor Ray's messages to the Legislature he argued 
forcibly and eloquently the great advantage that must accrue to 
Indiana by the construction and operation of railroads, and pre- 
dicted much which, although at the time seemed chimerical, 
has really come to pass. Many considered him insane and his 
utterances those of a madman, but time has demonstrated that 
in the main he was correct. He saw more plainly than any 
other man of his day the future of the State in which he lived. 
After he left office he continued to dilate upon his favorite sub- 
ject, and to predict a great future for Indianapolis. A writer, 
who seems to think the Governor was somewhat off his mental 
balance, thus speaks of him in a late article in an Indianapolis 
paper : 

" During a long period of mental disturbance in his old age, 
Governor Ray was fond of discussing his ' grand scheme ' of 
railroad concentration at Indianapolis. Here was to be the 



JAMES BROWN RAY. 6 1 

head of a score of radiating lines. At intervals of five miles 
were to be villages, of ten miles towns, and of twenty miles 
respectable cities. This crazy whim, as everybody regarded it, 
has been made a fact as solid as the everlasting hills. The 
only point of failure is the feature that possessed special inter- 
est to the Governor. The Union Depot and point of concen- 
tration of the radiating lines are not on his property, opposite 
the Court-house, where, by all the requirements of symmetry 
and consistency, they should have been. Oddly enough, one 
expedient in construction, which certainly looked silly, has been 
actually put in use successfully in some one or another of our 
far Western lines. Where deep gorges were to be crossed, he 
thought that trestle-work might be replaced by cutting off the 
tops of growing trees level with the track and laying sills on 
these for the rails. It is not many months since the papers pub- 
lished a description of exactly that sort of expedients in cross- 
ing a deep and heavily timbered hollow on a Western railwa^^ — 
the Denver and Rio Grande probably. So thoroughly has the 
great ' hub ' scheme and its connections and incidents been 
identified with Governor Ray and his hallucinations, that there 
are few who know anything of the matter at all who will not 
be surprised to learn that the origination of it is at least as 
likel}^ to be the work of Governor Noble's deliberate reasoning 
as of Governor Ray's fantasies. In his annual message of 1833-4, 
he discusses the importance of the internal improvement S3'stem, 
then projected and widel}^ debated, but not adopted by the 
State, and only partially pursued b}^ the help of canal land 
grants by Congress, and he argues for the concentration of ar- 
tificial facilities for transportation here. In other words, with- 
out saying it, he wants Indianapolis to be exactly the ' hub ' 
that Governor Ray predicted it would be. Whether the rational 
Governor in office got his notions from the fancies of the de- 
ranged ex-Governor, or the latter only expanded in his fantastic 
projects the official suggestion of the other, we shall never know. 
But the probability is that the sane Governor profited by the 
. hints he saw in the wild talk of the insane Governor. For 
Governor Noble was not a strikingly original genius, and Gov- 
ernor Ray, as eccentric and egotistical as he was, had more 
than an averajje allowance of brains." 



62 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

After Governor Ray ceased to be Governor he resumed the 
practice of law, but he did not succeed in getting much legal 
business. He seemed to have "run down at the heel," and, 
although he was in the prime of life, the public appeared to 
think him superannuated, as having passed his day of usefulness. 
In 1835 ^^ became a candidate for clerk of Marion county 
against Robert B. Duncan, Esq., and, for a time, seemed bent 
on making a lively canvass. But, before the election came oft', 
he had virtuall}^ abandoned the contest. Although he did not 
formally withdraw^, he had no tickets printed, and w^ien the bal- 
lots were counted, it was found that few of them had been cast 
for him. In 1837 he ran for Congress, in the Indianapolis dis- 
trict, against William Herrod, and was defeated, receiving but 
5,888 votes to his competitor's 9,635. This want of apprecia- 
tion by the public soured him, and made him more eccentric 
than ever. 

In the summer of 1848 Governor Ray made a trip to Wiscon- 
sin and returned home by way of the Ohio river. While on the 
river he became unwell and, on reaching Cincinnati, w^as taken 
to the house of a relative. The disease proved to be cholera, 
and terminated in his death August 4, 1848. He w^as buried in 
the Spring Grove Cemetery, near Cincinnati, outside the State 
he had helped to found. 

Governor Ray's first wafe died while he w^as in the Senate, 
and in September, 1825, he married his second wife, Mrs. 
Esther Booker, of Centreville, Indiana. 

Governor Ray was egotistical, very dressy and fond of dis- 
play. He liked sensations, and more than once, while Gov- 
ernor, exercised his executive functions in a manner that w^as 
highly tragical. In the summer of 1825 three executions of 
white men were to take place at Pendleton for the killing of 
some Indians. The day arrived and two of the murderers 
w^ere hung, the sheriff" delaying the execution of young Bridges, 
a mere boy, in hope the Governor w^ould interfere. Mr. John 
H. B. Nowdand, in his "Prominent Citizens of Indianapolis," 
thus speaks of this event : 

"Alter they (Bridges, senior, and Sawyer) had hung about 
thirty minutes they were taken down and placed in coffins at 



JAMES BROWN RAY, 63 

the foot of the gallows. The young man, who had witnessed 
the scene, was then placed in the wagon (which had been read- 
justed on the hillside) with the intention of waiting until the last 
moment for Governor Ray or a pardon. He had not been in 
this situation long before the Governor made his appearance 
(which created a shout from all present) on a large, fancy gray 
horse. He rode directly up to the gallows, where the young 
man was seated on a rough coffin in the wagon. The Governor 
handed the reins of the bridle to a bystander, commanding the 
prisoner to stand up. 'Sir,' said the Governor, 'do you know 
in whose presence you stand?' Being answered in the nega- 
tive, the Governor continued : ' There are but two powers 
known to the law that can save you from hanging by the neck 
until you are dead ; one is the Great God of the Universe, the 
other is J. Brown Ray, Governor of the State of Indiana. The 
latter stands before you (handing the young man the written 
pardon) ; you are pardoned.' " 

Had Governor Ray turned his attention to dramatic literature, 
the Buffalo Bills of Indiana would have had no occasion to go 
outside the State for their blood-and-thunder plays. 

In traveling it was the custom of Governor Ray to register 
his name on steamboats and at hotels as "J. Brown Ray, Gov- 
ernor of Indiana." But, then, he was not the only great man 
who has been vain. Either Sir Walter Raleigh or Murat would 
have registered with all his titles. 

Governor Ray was a brave man, and sometimes a belligerent 
one. When a young lawyer at Brookville, James Jones, a 
farmer, attacked him, and in a hand to hand fight was worsted. 
When he and Calvin Fletcher were in the active practice of the 
law they had a personal difficulty at Danville, which caused a 
good deal of talk at the time. The court was in session, and 
one morning while the lawyers in attendance were warming 
their backs at the hotel fire. Governor Ray and Mr. Fletcher 
got into a controversy about something the former had said in 
one of his messages to the Legislature. The dispute begat bad 
blood, and eventually Governor Ray told Mr. Fletcher that if 
he repeated the offensive remark he would thrash him. Those 
who knew Mr. Fletcher are aware that threats had but little 



64 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

terror to him, so he reiterated the accusation, whereupon Gov- 
ernor Ray caught him by the nose. At this Mr. Fletcher struck 
the Governor in the face, but before he could repeat the blow 
his arm was caught by the bystanders and the belligerents sep- 
arated. Both these men had the courage of their convictions, 
and were ever ready to maintain them in the old Western style. 

In his latter days Governor Ray was so eccentric that most 
people thought his mind diseased. He always walked with a 
cane, and sometimes he would stop on the street and, with his 
cane, write words in the air. It is no wonder that those who 
saw him do this believed him insane. A short time before he 
died he advertised, in an Indianapolis paper, a farm and a tav- 
ern-stand for sale, and for a proposition to build a railroad from 
Charleston, South Carolina, through Indianapolis to the north- 
ern lakes, all in one advertisement. 

In person. Governor Ra}^ in his younger days, was very pre- 
possessing. He was tall and straight, with a body well-pro- 
portioned. He wore his hair long and tied in a queue. His 
forehead was broad and high, and his features denoted intelli- 
gence of a high order. For many years he was a leading man 
of Indiana, and no full history of the State can be written with- 
out frequent mention of his name. 



NOAH NOBLE. 



Noah Noble, fourth Governor of Indiana, was born in Clark 
county, Virginia, January 15, 1794. When he was a little boy 
his father emigrated to Kentucky with his famil}^, and there 
Noah grew to manhood. About the time Indiana was admitted 
into the Union Mr. Noble came to the State and located in 
Brookville. His brother James had preceded him to Brook- 
ville, and had become quite prominent in public affairs. In 
1820, a few years after Mr. Noble settled at Brookville, he was 
elected sheriff of Franklin county, and was re-elected in 1822. 
In August, 1824, he was chosen a representative to the State 
Legislature from Franklin county, virtuall}^ without opposition, 
there having been but twenty votes cast against him. At that 
time he was probably the most popular man in Franklin countv. 
Enoch McCarty was then clerk of the count}^, and, being a can- 
didate for re-election, was considerably disturbed when he heard 
that the friends of Mr. Noble were talking of him for the office. 
In a conversation between the partisans of McCarty and those 
of Noble about the clerkship, one of them said : " Let's elect 
Enoch McCart}^ clerk, and Noah Noble Governor." In this 
way was the movement started that landed Governor Noble in 
the executive chair. Lazarus Noble, a 3^ounger brother of 
Noah, was receiver of public moneys for the Brookville land 
district. In 1826 the office was changed to Indianapolis, and 
while on his way to that place with his books and papers, Laz- 
arus Noble died. President Adams appointed his brother Noah 
to the vacancy, and the new receiver at once came to Indiana- 
polis and opened his office. He filled the place with great ac- 
ceptability until 1829, when he was removed by President Jack- 

5 



66 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

son for political considerations, and the office given to James 
P. Drake. While receiver of public moneys Mr. Noble was 
brought into contact with many people, and he made friends of 
them all. He often assisted the immigrant with money to enter 
his land, and in other ways accommodated and befriended him. 
In 1830 he was appointed one of the commissioners to locate 
and lay out the Michigan road. In 1831 he was a candidate 
for Governor of the State, and although he was a Whig and 
the Democracy had a large majorit}- in the State, he was elected 
over James G. Reed (Democrat) by 2,791 majority. This was 
a remarkable result, for Milton Stapp, also a Whig, was a can- 
didate, and polled 4,422 votes. 

In 1834 Governor Noble was a candidate for re-election. He 
received 27,676 votes, and his opponent, James G. Reed, 19,994. 
In 1839, ^fter his gubernatorial term had expired, the Legisla- 
ture elected him a member of the Board of Internal Improve- 
ments. In 1841 he was chosen a Fund Commissioner, a very 
important and responsible position. E^rly in 1841 he was of- 
fered b}' the President of the United States the office of General 
Land Commissioner, but he' declined the place because he 
thought he was needed in Indiana to help the State out of her 
financial embarrassments. 

Governor Noble died at his home near Indianapolis (now 
within the city limits), February 8, 1844, and was buried in 
Greenlawn Cemetery. About five years ago his remains were 
taken up and reburied at Crown Hill by the side of his wife. 

That Governor Noble was beloved by his neighbors is evinced 
by the way they received news of his death. So soon as it was 
known in the city that he was dead a meeting was held at 
Browning's hotel, at which Nicholas McCarty presided. A 
committee of arrangements, consisting of forty-three persons, 
was appointed, and as evidence of the mutability of earthly 
things, it may be noted that Alfred Harrison is the only one of 
of the forty-three now (1883) living. The next day a meeting 
was held at the Court-house, to which the committee of fortV- 
three made report. Samuel Merrill, chairman of the commit- 
tee, reported the following resolutions : 

"Whereas, It has pleased Almighty God to remove from us 
by death our respected fellow-citizen, Noah Noble, who, as 



NOAH NOBLE. 67 

Governor of the State for six years, and in the performance of 
various other official duties, acquired for himself the approba- 
tion and respect of a large portion of the community ; and, 

"Whereas, The ability, integrity and patriotism of Gov- 
ernor Noble as a public officer, and his uniform kindness, lib- 
erality and anxiety for the welfare of others as a private citizen, 
secured to him to an extent unexampled amongst us the friend- 
ship and good wishes of his neighbors and numerous acquaint- 
ances ; therefore, 

^'•Resolved, tuianmioiisly, That this assembly deeply sympa- 
thizes with the bereaved family of Governor Noble in the loss 
they have sustained. 

" Resolved, unanhnously , That the public services and private 
character of the deceased have been such that his death inspires 
general gloom and deep regret in the community and State of 
which he was so distinguished an ornament. 

'■'■ Resolved, unanimously. That, as a mark of respect for the 
memory of Governor Noble, this assembly will attend the fu- 
neral at two o'clock to-morrow, and will wear the usual badge of 
mourning for thirty days. 

" Resolved, That copies of the foregoing preamble and reso- 
lutions be sent to the widow and children of the deceased, and 
also to the yotirnal 3.nd Sentinel iox publication." 

Messrs. Douglas Maguire, Samuel Merrill, Judge James Mor- 
rison, Dr. Richmond and others, made speeches in favor of the 
resolutions, and, on the vote being put, they were unanimously 
adopted. The next day the remains of Governor Noble were 
taken from his home to the Methodist church in Indianapolis, 
where appropriate religious services were held. Rev. Dr. 
Gurley led in prayer, after which Rev. L. W. Berry preached 
the funeral sermon. The exercises closed with a prayer by 
Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, after which the corpse was taken 
to Greenlawn and buried. 

Governor Noble's father was a slaveholder, and some of the 
negroes once owned by him, and with whom the Governor had 
played when a bo}^ were sold out of the famil3^ After Gov- 
ernor Noble had removed to Indianapolis he sought out these 
negroes, bought them, and brought them to his home. He 
looked after them while he lived, saw they wanted for nothing 



6o BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

necessary for their comfort, and in his will provided for their 
maintenance and support. This incident illustrates his good- 
ness and kindness of heart, and his interest in the race which 
for centuries had worn the bondsman's 3^oke. 

Governor Noble once gave public notice that if any one 
hunted on his farm " with dog or gun," he would be prosecuted 
to the full extent of the law. One day the late George McOuat, 
then a lad, and his younger brother, Andy, while hunting on 
the Governor's farm flushed a flock of quails, which sought 
refuge in some beech trees near the Governor's house. The 
3'oung hunters were under the trees trying to get a favorable 
position to shoot when they saw the Governor running toward 
them with a gun in his hand and shouting, " Get out of my 
inclosure ; don't you dare to shoot in my woods." Andy was 
scared, and started to run, but his brother George commanded 
him to stop, and he obeyed. George paid no attention to the 
Governor, and getting a favorable position, pulled the trigger 
and brought down five birds. The Governor looked on with a 
certain degree of admiration, for he loved a good shot, and was 
proud of his own ability to make one, and when the birds fell, 
in a pleasant tone he said : "Well, I believe there is no scar- 
ing a Scotch boy." " You are right. Governor," said the elder 
of the brothers, " and particularly when that boy is a Mac- 
gregor." The McOuats are descendants of the Macgregors. 

Governor Noble had a laudable ambition to go to the United 
States Senate, but it was never gratified. In 1836 he was a 
candidate to succeed William Hendricks, but was defeated by 
Oliver H. Smith. He led on the first ballot, and continued in 
the lead until the eighth, when Mr. Smith ran ahead of him, 
and on the next ballot was elected. In 1839 he was again a 
candidate for the Senate, to succeed General John Tipton, but 
was defeated by Albert S. White, on the thirty-sixth ballot. 
Governor Noble occupied about the same position in Indiana 
that Henr}^ Clay did in the United States. He was the strong- 
est man in his party, but his antagonisms were such that he 
could not draw from the opposition. The consequence was, 
that while leading ofl'with a large plurality, he never could get 
a majority. His political opponents preferred any other candi- 
date to him, and when they found thev could not elect their 



NOAH NOBLE, 69 

own man the}^ always went to the one who could beat Governor 
Noble. This fact shows he was a positive man. A negative 
man is the one to draw from an opposing party ; the positive 
one, however, keeps his friends. 

Governor Noble was one of the most efficient promoters of the 
internal improvement system, and when the svstem broke down 
his popularity waned. He never lost his hold upon his friends, 
but he never had enough of them to reach the goal of his am- 
bition — the Senate of the United States. 

Governor Noble was a remarkable man. "Self taught, al- 
most, he readily acquired a capacity for managing all kinds of 
important business ; with a very feeble constitution, he could 
endure almost any fatigue ; and so much of an invalid as seldom 
to be free from pain, and always living on the diet of a hermit, 
he was never otherwise than cheerful, and few persons ever did 
so much to promote good feeling in the society in which he 
lived. His benevolence was not manifested merely by profes- 
sions, but his kind looks and kinder words were always attended 
by the most substantial aid whenever distress or difficultv ap- 
pealed to his sympathy." 

Oliver H. Smith says that Governor Noble '' was one of the 
most popular men with the masses in the State. His person 
was tall and slim, his constitution delicate, his smile winning, 
his voice feeble, the squeeze of his hand irresistible. He spoke 
plainly and well, but made no pretense to eloquence. As Gov- 
ernor he was very popular; his. social entertainments will long 
be remembered." John H. B. Nowland says of him : " In his 
friendships he was warm and devoted, and confiding to a fault. 
He had a mild and benevolent countenance, and a smile for all 
with whom either business or circumstances brought him in con- 
tact." 



DAVID WALLACE. 



David Wallace, Governor of Indiana from 1837 to 1840, 
was born in Mifflin county, Pennsylvania, April 24, 1799. 
When he was a little boy his father emigrated to Ohio, and set- 
tled near Cincinnati. General William H. Harrison lived in 
the neighborhood, and between him and the Wallace family a 
friendship was formed that lasted while they lived. General 
Harrison was then in Congress, and through his influence young 
David secured the appointment of a cadet to West Point. This 
act bound the young emigrant to the old pioneer with hooks 
of steel, and he lived to repay the debt thus contracted with 
interest compounded. 

Mr. Wallace graduated at West Point in 1821, and afterwards, 
for a short time, was a tutor in that institution. He then entered 
the army as a lieutenant of artillery, and in about one year re- 
signed his commission. His father having emigrated to Indiana 
in 1817, and settled at Brookville, the son came to his paternal 
home and commenced the study of the law in the office of Miles 
C. Eggleston, a distinguished jurist of that day. In 1823 he was 
admitted to the bar, and soon obtained a large practice. He 
entered politics, and was elected to the Legislature in 1828, 
1829 and 1830. In 183 1 he was elected Lieutenant-Governor 
of the State, and in 1834 ^^^ re-elected. Indiana never had a 
Lieutenant-Governor who excelled him as a presiding officer, 
and but few who equaled him. His voice was good, his manner 
dignified, and his decisions just and impartial. In 1837 he was 
elected Governor, defeating for the office John Dumont, an able 
and distinguished lawyer who lived at Vevay, on the southern 
border of the State. He had been closely identified with the 



DAVID WALLACE. ^I 

internal improvement system, and was elected Governor upon 
that issue, but during his term of office the system broke down 
and took him with it. It is the nature ot" the American people 
to go from one extreme to the other, and the measure that gave 
him office in 1837 defeated him in 1840. When the Whig State 
convention met that 3'ear it passed him bv and nominated for 
Governor Samuel Bigger, a man who had not been identified 
with the internal improvement system. He stepped aside with- 
out a murmur, and at once resumed the practice of the law. 
The next year, 1841, he was elected to Congress from the In- 
dianapolis district, defeating Colonel Nathan B. Palmer. Two 
y^ears afterward, 1843, he was a candidate for re-election, but 
was defeated by William J. Brown 1,085 votes. In 1846 he 
Avas chairman of the Whig State central committee. He again 
went back to the law, and practiced it uninterruptedly until 
1850, when he was elected a delegate to the constitutional con- 
vention from the county of Marion. In this body he was chair- 
man of the Committee on Public Institutions, and was a mem- 
ber of the Committee on the Practice of Law and La\v Reform. 
He took but little part in the deliberations of the convention, 
his name only appearing nine times in its records, except on the 
call of the roll. It seems strange that a man of his talents and 
experience in public life should have taken so insignificant a 
part in the proceedings of the convention ; but strange as it is, 
it is true. He made one speech in opposition to the proposition 
of Judge Pettit to abolish grand juries, which was a strong pre- 
sentation of the reasons why it should not be done. 

In another speech delivered on a series of resolutions intro- 
duced by Mr. Rariden, approving of Mr. Clay's compromise 
measures, Governor Wallace made the following rather note- 
worthy statement. He said : 

"Mr. President — I hope that the charge of being an abo- 
litionist will not be made aarainst me because I vote against the 
postponement of these resolutions. I ought to be above suspi- 
cion, for when I had the honor of a seat in Congress I voted to 
expel the high priest of abolitionism from that bod}^ — Joshua R. 
Giddings. I voted for that expulsion, and I speak of it now as 
an act that, under the same circumstances, and influenced bv 



72 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

the same impressions which then operated on me, I would 
cheerfully do again. I voted on that occasion regardless of 
consequences, honestly believing that the welfare of the country 
demanded such an example." 

In 1856 Governor Wallace was elected Judge of the Court of 
Common Pleas, and held the office until he died. As a judge 
he was impartial and able, and made the best record of his life. 

He died suddenly on the 4th of September, 1859, ^"*^ ^^^^ next 
day the Indianapolis bar convened to take action upon his death. 
Judge David McDonald presided at the meeting, and John Co- 
burn acted as secretary. Several gentlemen delivered ad- 
dresses, and a committee on resolutions was appointed. The 
resolutions were reported by Mr. Coburn, one of them declar- 
ing that the dead jurist " was a just judge — firm, upright, clear, 
patient, laborious, impartial and conscientious." Mr. Coburn 
was appointed to present the resolutions to the Circuit Court, 
and twenty-one days afterward he performed the dutv, accom- 
panying the presentation with an eloquent eulog}^ upon the life 
and character of the deceased. The address was a chaste and 
elegant production, and worthy of its distinguished subject. 
Speaking of Governor Wallace's ability as a speaker, Mr. Co- 
burn said : 

"As an orator Governor Wallace had few equals in the na- 
tion. With a voice modulated to the finest and nicest precision, 
an eye sparkling and expressive, a countenance and person re- 
markable for beauty and symmetrv, he stepped upon the speak- 
er's stand, in these respects, far in advance of his compeers. 
His style of deliver)^ was impressive, graceful, and at times 
impassioned, never rising to a scream or breaking into wild ges- 
ticulations, and never descending into indistinctness or lassi- 
tude. His style of composition was chaste, finished, flowing, 
and beautiful, often swelling up into rarest eloquence or melt- 
ing down into the tenderest pathos. * * * His prepared 
orations were completed with the severest care. As the sculp- 
tor chisels down and finishes his statue, chipping and chipping 
away the stone to find within his beautiful ideal, so did he elabo- 
rate his thoughts till the}^ assumed the shape he would give 
them, and so will retain them forever.'' 



DAVID WALLACE. 73 

Previous to ordering the resolutions placed upon the records 
Judge Wick said : 

" The political and official history of the deceased would lead 
one, in the absence of knowledge of his personal character, to 
expect that he had become more or less imbued with the spirit 
of the times. But those who have known him longest, and the 
most intimately, can unite their voices in calling for proof or 
allegation that he ever knowdngly wronged a fellow-creature, 
or pocketed a single cent in dishonesty or corruption. 

" Few persons born at the close of the last century, and flour- 
ishing during more than half the present one, prominent in 
both private and political station, can present such a record as 
this. 

"Verily, the absence of evil is the best evidence of the pres- 
ence of good — far better than all the monuments ever erected 
by either real or Pharisaic piet}^" 

On the 7th of November, 1835, a convention was held on the 
Tippecanoe battle-ground, at which General Harrison was 
formally put forward for the presidency. William Ross Wal- 
lace read a poem, and Governor Wallace, in replying to a toast, 
said : 

"We have been told b}^ the magic genius of our youthful 
poet that we are standing on one of the proudest battle fields 
of our country, the very soil of which has been rendered holy 
by the blood of heroes ; that some of the noblest of Kentucky 
chivalry are sleeping beneath our feet, inclosed in the same 
grave, mingling their dust with the bravest of the sons of In- 
diana ; that, although no monument as j^et arises to commemo- 
rate their deeds, no inscription to claim the homage of gratitude 
from the traveler, scarce a vestige to indicate the exact place of 
their repose, still — still they are not forgotten. Their memories 
and their sacrifices have found an abiding place and a sanctu- 
ary in the hearts of the living who are here, and of everv son 
and daughter of Indiana w^io is absent, and there they remain, 
to be forever fondly and devotedly cherished while man has a 
soul to worship at the altar of patriotism, or woman a tear to 
shed at the tomb of the fallen brave." 



'74 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

He then pronounced a glowing eulogy upon General Harri- 
son, during which he said : 

" It is the first time in my life that the opportunity has pre- 
sented itself enabling me to pay a long-existing debt of grati- 
tude to one whose name and whose services are identified with 
the history and the glory of this field. Twenty-four years ago, 
and 3^ou all recollect how consternation and dismay pervaded 
the whole line of our Western frontier ; how conflagration and 
murder and massacre were the ordinary scenes of the day ; and 
how the fiend-like yell of the savage was often the last sound 
that rang upon the ear of the dying pioneer as he sank beneath 
the assassin blow of the Indian knife or tomahawk. And there, 
too, you recollect, there was in the field that mighty genius — 
that man — I scarce know where to place or what to name him — 
the sworn, the inveterate enemy of our race, who grasped so 
astoundingly the scepter of power, and with a giant's strength 
and a god's ability, seemed to wave it over the wilderness, and 
to make the tribes and nations there bow to its supremac}^ ; to 
forget the national feud and private animosities, and to catch 
from it the same fierce, terrible and unrelenting hate toward us 
"which fired and burned and blazed in his own bosom. But why 
this allusion to the past? * * * Why, that you may recol- 
lect more vividly the thrill of joy and shout of exultation with 
which you received the tidings of the battles fought and victory 
w^on on this field ; that you may recollect with what sincerity of 
heart you hailed the victor's return, and blessed the memory of 
those who gallantly perished in the fight ; that you may recol- 
lect in all its freshness the unbribed, unasked burst of approba- 
tion and applause which everywhere rose to greet and welcome 
the honored chieftain of the battle ; how, with one voice, you 
proclaimed him your preserver ; the restorer of peace to your 
firesides ; the matchless warrior, who, on Tippecanoe, had 
broken and dispersed the fierce legions of the border foe ; who 
rolled back with one sweep of his arm the destructive war-cloud 
which the charmed genius of the savage had so wonderfully 
gathered and concentrated and suspended over your boundless 
forests, shading tliem with terror and bristling them with 
death." 



DAVID WALLACE. 75 

While Governor of the State, Governor WaUace issued a 
proclamation appointing a day for thanksgiving and prayer. 
It was the first paper of the kind issued b}^ a Governor of In- 
diana, and it established a precedent which has been followed to 
the present time. Governor Wallace, in this matter, but fol- 
lowed the custom of the Governors of the New England States, 
who for a long time previous had been in the habit of annuall}^ 
calling upon the people to meet together and give thanks for 
the blessings they enjo3'ed. 

When in Congress Governor Wallace was a member of the 
Committee of Ways and Means, and in committee gave the 
casting vote in favor of assisting with a donation, Professor 
Morse to develop the magnetic telegraph. This act was ridi- 
culed by his political opponents, and cost him many votes the 
last time he ran for Congress. But he lived to see the telegraph 
established in nearly all the countries of the world and the 
wisdom of his action acknowledged by all. 

Governor Wallace was not a money-making and money- 
getting man. He took more pleasure in filling his mind with 
knowledge than in filling his pockets with money. He entered 
into a business venture at Fort Wayne which, proving unfortu- 
nate, cost him his entire estate. One day, while sitting in his 
3'ard talking with his oldest son, the sheriff came with an exe- 
cution which he sought to levy upon the Governor's property. 
After some parleying the sheriff left, and the Governor, ad- 
dressing his son, said: "William, I want you to remember 
that it will be a good deal better to have a few thousand dollars 
laid away for old age than to have been Governor of the State 
or a member of Congress." 

Governor Wallace was a man of great equanimity of temper. 
He was never known to exhibit anger in his family, but in his 
home and in his business affairs he was uniformly courteous and 
kind. He was a lover of books, and was one of the most de- 
lightful of readers. In this respect he was superior to most 
men who make reading and elocution a profession. It was his 
custom of evenings, at his home, with his familv and friends 
around him, to read aloud choice selections from the writings 
and speeches of poets and statesmen. Those who were so for- 
tunate as to be admitted to his familv circle, and had the privi- 



'/6 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

lege of being present on such occasions, will ever remember 
the pleasure the exhibitions aftbrded. 

Governor Wallace was twice married. His first wife was a 
daughter of John Test, and his second a daughter of Dr. John 
H. Sanders. The latter still lives, and is prominent in reforma- 
tor};- work. She is one of the leaders of the woman's suffrage 
movement, and is quite active in the temperance cause. She is 
a good public speaker, and is a woman of great force of char- 
acter and large influence. 

When a young man. Governor Wallace had a well-propor- 
tioned body, but in his latter years its symmetry was marred by 
an undue amount of flesh. He had black hair, dark e3'es, and 
a ruddy complexion. He was cultured and well-bred. His 
address was good, and his manners unexceptionable. He was 
prominent at a time when Marshall and Dunn, the two Smiths, 
Whitcomb, Bright and Howard lived, and had he not been a 
man of talent he would inevitably have been obscured by their 
greatness. That he was not is the best evidence that can be 
adduced of his abilit}^ and acquirements. 



SAMUEL BIGGER. 



The life-journey of a man like Samuel Bigger is difficult to 
sketch in a way that will interest the reader. From the time he 
grew to manhood he occupied the table-lands of life. There 
were no mountains in his pathway nor gorges for him to cross. 
If his road was not smooth it was level, and if not macadamized 
it was solid enough to bear his weight. He ever occupied a 
respectable plane ; he never fell below it, and his altitude was 
never much above it. 

Samuel Bigger, Governor of Indiana from 1840 to 1843, was 
born in Warren county, Ohio, March 20, 1802. He was the 
eldest son of John Bigger, a Western pioneer, and for many 
years a member of the Ohio Legislature. The son loved his 
books, was fonder of them than of farm work, a disposition 
which remained with him while he lived. When eighteen years 
old he contracted a deep cold which settled on his lungs and 
came near costing him his life. His feeble health unfitted 
him for manual labor and determined his father to qualif)^ him 
for a profession. He was prepared for college in the neigh- 
borhood, and then entered the one at Athens, from which he 
graduated with honor. Subsequentl}^ he studied law, and in 
1829 removed to Liberty, Indiana, and commenced the prac- 
tice of his profession. He remained at Libertv but a short 
time, when he removed to Rushville, where his public life be- 
gan. He was elected to the Legislature in 1834, ^^^ re-elected 
in 1835. ■'■^ the Legislature of 1834 ^^"- ^^§S^^ "^vas a candi- 
date for Speaker of the House, his opponent being Colonel 
James Gregory. On the first ballot he received 37 votes. 
Colonel Gregory 38, and one vote was cast scattering. On the 



78 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

second ballot each of the candidates received 38 votes. The 
vote continued about even until the sixth ballot, when Colonel 
Gregory was elected, receiving 39 votes, one more than a ma- 
jority. The next year Mr. Bigger was chosen judge of his judi- 
cial circuit, and served acceptably until called to a higher office. 
In 1840 he was nominated for Governor b}/^ the Whig State con- 
vention, and, after an exciting race, was elected, beating Gen- 
eral Tilghman A. Howard. He was a candidate for re-election 
in 1843, and was defeated by James Whitcomb, one of the ablest 
of Indiana's Governors. Soon after leaving the gubernatorial 
office he removed to Fort Wayne and resumed the practice of 
law. His professional career at Fort Wayne was honorable, 
but was too brief for him to obtain a lucrative practice. He 
died at Fort Wayne in 1845, and was buried in the cemetery 
there. 

While Governor Bigger was Chief Executive of Indiana the 
State was overwhelmed with debt. The internal improvement 
system broke down the year before his election, leaving the 
people in the slough of despond. Little was done during his 
administration to relieve the State from its financial embarrass- 
ments, that being reserved for his successor, Governor Whit- 
comb. 

In February, 1841, the Legislature appointed Governor Big- 
ger " to prepare a compilation and revision of the general stat- 
ute laws of this State, and to suggest such amendments and 
alterations in any of said statutes, and to prepare such additions 
as he might deem proper, with a view to the adoption and enact- 
ment by the Legislature of a full and complete code of general 
laws." This was a work Governor Bigger was well qualified 
to do. He entered upon it at once, but becoming convinced 
that he could not, of himself, prepare the revision in the time 
fixed by the law, he asked the next Legislature to allow him 
an assistant. His request was granted, and George ,H. Dunn 
became associated with him in the work. The revision was 
reported to the Legislature in 1842, and passed that body almost 
as it came from the hands of the revisers. It was intelligently 
and carefully done, and is a memento of the painstaking care 
and legal ability of its author. 



SAMUEL BIGGER. 



79 



The Hon. Finley Bigger, in a note to the author, gives this 
graphic account of his brother's early life : 

"When a boy, his (Governor Digger's) temper was very 
equable, and it was seldom any one ever saw him angry, or 
even vexed. He was nevertheless high-strung and sensitive, 
and to have been decoyed or hurried into a wrong act would 
have mortified him greatly. A cowardly or unmanly act in 
another would sometimes throw him off his guard and prompt 
him to action. I recollect, when at school, an instance which 
I will name. A boy, much larger than his victim, struck and 
knocked a small boy down and then kicked him. Samuel broke 
a gad from a bush, took the large boy by the arm, and gave him 
a severe flogging. This was the only time in his whole life that 
I ever saw him evince what one might call hot temper. 

"When quite a boy he was noted for expertness in wearing 
out the seat and knees of his breeches ; a good pair would last 
him about a week. I have heard my mother sa}^ that, as a 
matter of economy, she once made him a buckskin suit, and 
that even the pants of this didn't stand his gyrations long. 

" He was alwa3^s, in his young days, fond of his books, but 
the state of his health compelled him to moderate this desire. 
His early life was passed in the midst of great men — the West- 
ern pioneers,* who felled dense forests and cultivated farms, and 
at the same time built log houses, barns, school-houses and 
churches, employed and paid teachers and preachers, lived at 
first on venison, wild turkeys and bear meat killed with their 
rifles. Sometimes they dropped the ax and hoe, shouldered 
their rifles, and hastened to some point to defend their homes 
from an invasion of savages. A common necessity and a com- 
mon danger made all these men brothers. Among such men 
Samuel began his life and grew to manhood. No one knew 
him better than I, and it may look unseemly in a brother, but 1 
only do just reverence to his name and memorv when pronounc- 
ing him a great man in goodness, great in heart, and great in 
soul." 

Governor Digger's talents were not of the showy kind. As 
a speaker he was plain and simple. He made no attempt at 
florid oratory, and would have failed if he had. His mind was 



8o HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 

of the judicial order. He carefully weighed a question before 
deciding it, and reached his conclusions b}^ feeling his way. 

Governor Bigger was beaten for Governor in 1843 mainly by 
the influence of the Methodist church. His opponent, James 
Whitcomb, was a member of that denomination, and during the 
canvass it was charged that in opposing some legislation which 
resulted in the establishment of Asbury University, Governor 
Bigger had said that the Methodist church did not need an ed- 
ucated clergy ; that an ignorant one was better suited to the 
capacity of its membership. The vote of the church was cast 
almost solid against him and caused his defeat. The author 
well remembers hearing the late Bishop Ames say, in 1846: 
" It was the amen corner of the Methodist church that defeated 
Governor Bigger, and I had a hand in the work." 

Governor Bigger was a Presbyterian, and for many years 
was a ruling elder in the church. He was a capable musician, 
being a good bass singer, and a skillful performer upon the vio- 
lin. For many years he led the church choir, and took much 
delight in the work. He was a man of line form and presence. 
He was six feet two inches high, and weighed two hundred and 
forty pounds. His hair was black, his eyes a blue hazel, and 
his complexion dark. The expression of his face was kind and 
benignant, and denoted the goodness of his heart. His talent 
was not of the highest order, but he accomplished more in life 
than others more brilhant than he. He was a patriotic citizen, 
an incorruptible judge, and an executive officer of very respect- 
able ability. 



JAMES WHITCOMB. 



The student of Indiana history will look in vain for a more 
eminent name than that of James Whitcomb. It is a name 
which should excite love and veneration in the bosom of everv 
Indianian, for his State gave Whitcomb her highest honors, 
and he bore them honestly and well. 

James Whitcomb was born near Windsor, Vermont, Decem- 
ber I, 1795. When James was a little boy his father left the 
barren fields of the Green Mountain State and came to the 
Great West, then the El Dorado of the enterprising and am- 
bitious. The famil}- settled near Cincinnati, Ohio, and at once 
began the work of opening up and improving a farm. Hard 
work and coarse fare were their lot, their new home being in 
a barren pasture for the cultivation of the mind, but a rich one 
for the growth of a stead}' independence and a true manhood. 
The future Governor and Senator was known in the neighbor- 
hood as a studious bo\', one who read all the books he could 
lay his hands upon. His father often complained of his sonS 
love of books rather than of manual labor, and more than once 
told him he would never amoimt to anything in life ; for, be it 
known, that old John Whitcomb, like many another pioneer, 
thought it more important that his son should be able to lay off 
a straight corn row and to deftly handle the sickle and the 
scythe than to read Homer and Virgil in the original. But the 
son did not agree with the father, and contmued to borrow 
books and to read them when his daily work was done. In 
this way he acquired a great fund of information, and was 
noted throughout the settlement as the most studious and intel- 
ligent bov in it. Indeed, so well established was his reputa- 
6 



82 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

tion for diligence and knowledge, that a Mr. Johnson — a 
neighbor — once said to him, "Jimmy, some day you will be a 
United States Senator; 3rou study while others play." This 
incident Governor Whitcomb related to a friend a few moments 
after he was elected to the United States Senate in 1849. 

When the lad had fitted himself for college he entered 
Transylvania University, and by teaching during vacation 
managed to maintain himself at college until he graduated. 
On leaving college he entered a law office and bent his best 
energies to acquiring a knowledge of the profession in which he 
afterward became eminent. In March, 1822, he was admitted 
to the Fayette County, Kentucky, bar, and two years after 'this 
he came to Indiana and settled at Bloomington, then one of 
the most promising towns in the State. He soon became 
known as an able advocate and practitioner, and in 1826 was 
appointed Prosecuting Attorney of his circuit by James Brown 
Ray, then Governor of the State. In discharging the duties of 
this office he traveled over a large scope of countr}^ and became 
acquainted with man}- leading men. In 1830 he was elected to 
the State Senate, and was re-elected in 1833. In the Senate he 
had for associates Calvin Fletcher, John Dumont, and other 
men of distinction, but it is saying only w^hat is known to those 
who are familiar with the history of that day, that in ability and 
influence he outranked them all. The internal improvement 
fever was then at its highest point, and Whitcomb did more to 
stay its progress than an}^ other man in the State. On the roll- 
call, there were but nine votes against it, Whitcomb being one 
of the nine. 

While in the Senate Mr. Whitcomb participated largely in 
the debates of that body, and during most of the time was chair- 
man of the Judiciarv Committee. He was felt in the Committee- 
room as well as in the Senate chamber. 

In October, 1836, General Jackson appointed Mr. Whitcomb 
Commissioner of the General Land Office, and the next June he 
was reappointed by President Van Buren, and served as com- 
missioner until the end of Mr. Van Buren's term. On taking- 
charge of the land office Mr. Whitcomb found himself embar- 
rassed by reason of his inability to read French and Spanish, 
many of the land grants being printed in these tongues ; he 



JAMES WHITCOMB. 83 

therefore commenced at once to study these hmguages, and 
soon qualilied himself to read them with facility and ease. 

Early in 1841 Mr. Whitcomb left Washington and returned 
to Indiana. He located at Terre Haute, opened an office and 
commenced the practice of law. Business came to him quickly, 
and he soon commanded a large and lucrative practice. He 
was then one of the best known and most popular members of 
his party, and at the Democratic State convention of 1843 he 
was nominated for Governor of the State. His opponent was 
Samuel Bigger, who, three years before, had beaten Tilghman 
A. Howard, one of the ablest and purest men in the State, 8,637 
votes. Mr. Whitcomb entered the canvass with confidence and 
zeal, and was elected Governor by 2,013 majority. Three years 
afterward, in 1846, he was re-elected, beating Joseph G. Mar- 
shall, the Whig candidate, 3,958 votes. 

Governor Whitcomb occupied the executive chair during an 
eventful period of the State's history. He entered the office 
with the State loaded down with debt, upon which no interest 
had been paid for years ; he left it with the debt adjusted and 
the State's credit restored. " He smote the rock of national 
resources, and abundant streams of revenue burst forth ; he 
touched the dead corpse of public credit, and it sprang upon its 
feet." It M^as at his suggestion and on his recommendation 
that the Butler bill was passed, whereby one-half the State's 
debt was paid by a transfer of the Wabash and Erie canal, and 
the other half arranged for by the issuance of bonds drawing a 
low rate of interest. The settlement was alike satisfactory to the 
bondholders and the people, and in Governor Whitcomb's own 
words, restored ''the tarnished escutcheon of Indiana to its 
ori<»;inal brioiitness." Had he done nothinij else, he would de 
serve the gratitude of all. but this was only one of the man\' 
things he did for the good of the people and the honor of the 
State. It was by his efforts that a public sentiment was created 
which demanded the establishment of our benevolent and re- 
formatory institutions, and he it was who awakened the people 
of Indiana to the importance of establishing common schools 
and providing a fund for their maintenance. It was while he 
was Governor that the Mexican war broke out, and Indiana 
was called upon tor soldiers to assist in '• conquering a peace." 



84 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Five reu'iments of infantry were organized and mustered intO' 
the service under his direction, and the ease and rapidity with 
which it was done proved him as able in organization as in 
finance. 

Tlie Legislature of 1849 elected Governor Whitcomb to the 
Senate of the United States for the term commencing in March 
of that year. He was qualitied b}' talent, b}^ education, and by 
experience for the place, and he would have added luster to a 
name already great by his service there, had his health been 
good and he permitted to serve out his term. But disease had 
fastened itself upon him, and therefore he was unable to dis- 
charge his senatorial duties as he otherwise would have done. 
He often left the capital in quest of health, but he found it not. 
His disease (gravel) was painful in the extreme, but he bore it 
with Christian fortitude. He died at New York, October 4, 
1852, away from the State whose representative he was. His 
remains were brought to Indianapolis and buried in Greenlawn 
Cemeter}', where they have mouldered to dust. The State 
erected a monument to his memory, and it still stands to point 
out the spot where lies all that is mortal of one whose influence 
upon public sentiment is felt even at the present da}-. 

Governor Whitcomb's poverty in early life forced upon him 
habits of economy which never left him. By many his econom}^ 
was considered parsimony, and indeed, if it were not such, it 
it was near akin to it. It cost him a seat in the Senate of the 
United States at a time when he ver^^ much desired the honor. 
In 1843 he wrote a remarkable pamphlet, entitled " Facts for 
the People," the most effective treatise against a protective 
tariff ever written. In those da3^s corruption funds to carr}^ 
elections were unknown, and after the Democratic State con- 
vention of 1843 had nominated him for Governor, and Jesse 
D. Bright for Lieutenant-Governor, a proposition was made in 
the convention to raise a fund to publish Whitcomb's pamphlet 
far gratuitous circulation. Whitcomb headed the paper with a 
donation of twenty dollars, and after him came Bright with a 
two hundred dollar subscription. In 1845, when a United States 
Senator was to be chosen, Mr. Bright was selected instead of 
the Governor ; his two hundred dollars contribution brought its 
reward. The remarkable pamphlet to which reference has 



JAMI<:S WIIITCOMI!. 85 

been made is out of print, and can only be found in tbe libraries 
of those antiquarians who delig-ht in preserving the treasures of 
the past. It was with great difficuUv that the author was able 
to procure a copy, and he has transcribed a page or so for the 
edification of the reader. This was done to show Governor 
Whitcomb's st3de and the simple manner in which he gave his 
thoughts to the public. It is extracted from a chapter entitled 
*'A Familiar Example : " 

'' Suppose one of our incorporated towns in Indiana should 
pass a law, or ordinance, that all articles brought within the town 
limits to market from the country should pav a tax. Among 
others, svippose the tax of fifty cents on every bushel of potatoes. 
Suppose a bushel of potatoes could be raised for fifty cents. 
The farmer taking them to market, ' to make himself whole,' 
would be obliged, then, to charge one dollar a bushel ; that is, 
fifty cents for the trouble of ' raising and hauling ' them to town 
and fifty cents for the tax which he would be obliged to pay for 
the privilege of selling them. 

•* Now, one raising potatoes in town, in his garden, or on his 
outlot, with the same trouble or expense of fifty cents a bushel, 
could get his dollar a bushel in market also, although he would 
have to pay no tax, because he would ask and could get the 
highest price in market, for the tax on the farmer's potatoes 
would keep them up to a dollar, and the town people must pay 
that or do without ; and it is manifest that the tax, although 
paid by the farmer in the first instance, would, after all, be paid 
by the people in town, who were the buyers, the farmer being 
obliged to charge just so much more. So a high tax, to be sure, 
would cause fewer potatoes to be eaten, and, of course, tewer 
would be sold by the farmer. The farmer, also, could not buy 
as many articles in town as he would have done had he sold 
more potatoes. He couldn't be as good a customer to the me- 
chanics in town, nor get as much sugar, tea, coffee, salt, iron, 
etc., as he would have done if he had sold or exchanged more 
■of his potatoes. He can't, for instance, get leather from the 
tan-yard in town, because the people in town can't afford to give 
the money for his produce. He is not well prepared for tanning 
leather on his farm, and besides he has too many other matters 



S6 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

to attend to ; but leather he must have, and the time it takes to 
tan an inferior article would have enabled him to raise potatoes 
enough to buy twice as much from the tanner, if the tax was 
not in the way. 

'' So far, such a tax would diminish trade and be injurious tO' 
both parties. 

'' Now, the operation of such a law between town and coun- 
try is precisely that of a tariff' between this and a foreign 
country. 

" The most difficult national question can be understood b^' 
any man who is able to attend to his own business without the 
aid of a guardian, if exhibited to him bv a familiar example, 
and if he will think for himself. There are too many who are 
interested in veiling such questions beneath the mist of decep- 
tive words and pompous declamation. 

-" But to return. Another and more important etl'ect would 
be produced by this town tariff. The advanced price on pota- 
toes, occasioned b}- the tax, would not all be paid into the town 
treasur}^. That part paid on the potatoes sold by the farmer 
would go into the treasurv, but the extra fifty cents a bushel 
paid for those raised in town would go into the gardener's 
pocket. The gardener would be benefited by that part of the 
operation, and not the town government, for carrying on which 
the tax was imposed. 

''Again, if the tax on potatoes should be so high that the 
farmers would take theirs to other towns where the taxes were 
not so high, then none would be brought from the country to- 
the first town, and no tax would be derived from that source. 
That would be a prohibitory tariff'; and the first town would be 
compelled to resort to direct taxation to pay the town expenses. 
The farmers, too, being compelled to trade with other towns, 
the mechanics, merchants, etc., in the first town would lose the 
benefit of their custom. 

" But the potatoes that might 3'et be raised in our own town 
would still bring a dollar a bushel, although it would cost the 
gardener but fifty cents a bushel to raise them. The remaining 
fifty cents would then be a tax on the rest of the community for 
the exclusive benefit of the gardener, not a cent of it going into 
the treasurv, for the common benefit of the citizens. 



JAMES WHITCOMB. 87 

'*A11 this would be bad enough. But the argument of the 
town council would be, that they wanted to protect the garden- 
ers until the}^ could raise and sell potatoes as cheap as the farm- 
ers, and make the town independent of the country'. Well, sup- 
pose the ten or a dozen gardeners should have bought up nearly 
all the outlots for that purpose, and having no other cultivation 
to attend to, should, by the aid of machinery, wealth, etc., ac- 
tually raise potatoes so cheap that after the people of the town 
had bought all the potatoes they wanted of them, at a high 
price, there would still be an overplus, which the gardeners 
could afford to be at the expense of sending to the other towns 
and undersell the farmers. Would the gardeners need a tax on 
their neighbors for their own protection any longer? 

" But perhaps it might still be urged that if the profits of the 
gardeners were so high, it would encourage others to turn gar- 
deners also, and so cheapen the article. But, to make the com- 
parison just as to our large manufactories, suppose it required 
great wealth to procure machinery, etc., to engage in the busi- 
ness ; that it could generally be done onl}^ by rich companies ; 
they could then undersell any new beginner, and break him up, 
and then indemnify themselves by again raising their prices. 
Besides, it is seen that they already raised more potatoes than 
were used in the town. And would the gardeners ask for an 
increased tax if they believed it would cheapen the article and 
diminish their profits? 

"Another argument is that, b}' encouraging others in town to 
turn gardeners, there would be fewer mechanics, etc., left to 
attend to their old business and more gardeners to buy their 
work. But there are but few gardeners needed, as their work 
is carried on by machinery, etc., and it is not machinery, but 
human beings, that need shoes, leather, salt, sugar, coffee, etc. 
A gardener can use onlv a small part of these articles which 
are for sale in town, and, by their high tax, the}' have driven 
off the farmers who would have used them in exchange for 
their productions. Is it strange that under such circumstances 
the iiardeners should become rich, and the rest of the town 
complain of ' hard times? ' 

"Not satisfied with all this, however, suppose the gardeners, 
made wealthv by this very tax, should beg the town council to 



88 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

la}' a still higher tax on potatoes. Would there be an}- reason 
or justice in it? It might be natural enough for the gardeners 
to ask, but would j^ou suppose that a town council, fairly elected 
b}' all the citizens, would pass such a law? Would you suppose 
that, to gratify one-tenth part of the people in the town, they 
would be willing to increase the already heavy burdens of tax- 
ation on the other nine-tenths?" 

After this sketch was prepared and published, in February, 
1882, bv request, the Indiana-polis Sentinel reproduced the 
pamphlet named, and it was widely distributed during the po- 
litical campaign of 1882. In respect to the document and its 
author, the Sentinel, of August 26, spoke editorially as follows : 

"The Sentinel h.Q.s no hesitanc}' in recommending the widest 
possible circulation of this remarkable production b}' one of the 
most remarkable men that was ever connected with public af- 
fairs in Indiana. Governor Whitcomb was an intellectual giant. 
He was a man of loft}^ integrity. He was sans peuj- et sans re- 
^roche. He was a man of the people. His colossal mind 
grasped ever}- problem of statecraft and mastered it. No ques- 
tion was too occult for his analytical powers. In the crucible of 
his reasoning faculties the pure gold of fact was brought forth 
from the dross of fiction. Sophisms were exposed, duplicity 
was throttled, subterfuges were swept away and plain people 
were permitted to comprehend the most intricate questions re- 
lating to their welfare, and the pamphlet in question is a monu- 
ment to his clear-sightedness." 

Besides being an inveterate user of snuff, Governor Whit- 
comb was addicted to smoking. But his habits of econom}' 
were such th,at when his cigar was so far consumed that he 
could no longer manipulate it with his fingers, he would insert 
a pin in the stump to hold bv, and thus get all the good (or 
bad) there was in it. One day he was in the office of Horatio 
J. Harris, then Auditor of State, when Mr. Harris used a match 
to light a cigar. A fire was in the grate at the time, and the 
Governor thus reproved the Auditor for his reckless extrava- 
gance : "Why didn't you light your cigar by the fire?" said 
the Governor. "A man has no right to wantonl}^ destro}' a 



JAMES WHITCOMB. 89 

thing of value. A match has its value, and the one you used 
could have been saved/' 

Governor Whitcomb was as economical of time as of money. 
He wasted neither. It was his custom to read as he walked, 
and those who used to see him going from his boarding house 
to his office will remember that he was nearly alwa3's reading 
a book. 

While he had a remarkable memory in most things it was 
very defective in relation to names. He was often unable to 
recall the names of his friends, an imperfection which caused 
him much annoyance and inconvenience. 

Governor Whitcomb was a verv able lawyer. Governor 
Porter rates him as the tirst in^the State of his day, but the esti- 
mate I think is too high. But if he did not stand at the head 
of his profession, his place was very near him who did. In 
arguing his case before a jury it was his custom to first present 
the side of his opponent, and then demolish it. Like the player 
in the bowling alley, who puts up the pins to knock them down, 
he set up his adversary's arguments that he might scatter them 
with his own. 

During the Legislature of 1845 Governor Whitcomb became 
involved in a quarrel with the Senate over the appointment of 
Supreme Judges. The terms of Judges Dewey and Sullivan 
having expired, he refused to reappoint them. He sent the 
names of Charles H. Test and Andrew Davidson to the Senate 
as successors to Devvev and Sulli\'an, but the Senate refused to 
confirm them. He then nominated E. M. Chamberlain and 
Samuel E. Perkins, but thev were also rejected. He then 
designated William W. Wick and James Morrison for the 
places, but the Senate refused its consent. After the Senate 
adjourned he appointed Samuel E. Perkins and Thomas L. 
Smith, who served until their successors were chosen. The 
opposition to Governor Whitcomb in these appointments was 
led bv Joseph W. Chapman, then a Democratic Senator from 
Laporte, and afterward a distinguished judge of the Madison 
circuit. The reason the Governor gave for his refusal to reap- 
point the old judges was tiie fact that tlie court docket was be- 
hind, and he believed it needed younger men to bring it up. 

Governor Whitcomb was a member of the Methodist church, 



90 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

and an active worker in its cause. He frequently led in public 
prayer, and for some time was a class-leader in the church. 
In his public utterances he often referred to the Deity, and al- 
ways in a reverential manner. In December, 1844, Mr. W. P. 
Dole, a Senator from Vermilion count}^ offered a resolution in 
the Senate "to refer so much of the Governor's message as 
referred to the goodness of God to the priesthood." This irrev- 
erent proposition met with no favor, even from the Governor's 
political opponents. 

When he died. Governor Whitcomb was Vice-President ot 
the American Bible Society, an organization he loved, and to 
which he contributed with his means. He willed his- library to 
Asbury University, an institution he favored in many w^ays. 
The library w^as large, containing many rare books, but the 
collection was ill-assorted and disjointed. It showed that he 
gathered his books without a S3^stem, picking them up here and 
there as he came across them. 

Governor Whitcomb was one of the best amateur musicians 
in the country. He composed manv pieces of music lor the 
violin, an instrument upon which he played with rare skill and 
ability. Many stories are told of him and his "fiddle." but 
one must suffice lor this biographv. 

Oliver H. Smith, in his book entitled " Earl}- Indiana Trials 
and Sketches," tells of a trip he took with Governor Whitcomb 
from Indianapolis to Eastern Indiana. They stopped for the 
night at a house standing on the present site of Knightstown. 
Mr. Smith sa3^s : 

"Entering the cabin, there sat before the fire a lame young 
man by the name of Amos Dille, with an old violin in his hand, 
scraping away, making anything but music. He laid the violin 
on the bed and started with our horses to the stable. As he 
closed the door, Mr. Whitcomb took it up, soon put it in tune, 
and when Amos returned was playing light and beautiful airs. 
Amos took his seat by me seemingly entranced, and as Mr. 
Whitcomb struck up ' Hail, Columbia ' he sprang to his feet. 
' If I had fift}^ dollars I would give it all for that fiddle ; I never 
heard such music before in my life.' After playing several 
tunes Mr. Whitcomb laid the instrument on the bed. Amos 



JAMES WHITCOMB. 9 1 

seized it, carried it to tlie tire wliere he could see it, turned it over 
and over, examined ever}- part, and sang out, ' Mister, I never 
saw two fiddles so much alike as yours and mine.' " 

Governor Whitcomb was alwavs well dressed, was always 
clean. It was his custom when traveling over the circuit to 
take a night-shirt, which he would put on before retiring. This 
custom was so different from that of the ordinary itinerant law- 
ver that his brother attorne3's resolved to pla}- a prank upon 
him. While at a tavern in the eastern part of the State, kept 
bv one Captain Berrv, the resolve was carried out. I again 
quote from Mr. Smith : 

"Taking the Captain to one side, Fletcher said: 'Do you 
know. Captain Berry, what Mr. Whitcomb is sa3'ing about your 
beds?' 'I do not; what did he sa}^?' 'If you will not men- 
tion mv name, as you are my particular friend, I will tell you.' 
' Upon my honor, I will never mention your name ; what did 
he sav?' 'He said your sheets were so dirty that he had to 
pull oft' his shirt every night and put on a dirty shirt to sleep 
in.' ' I'll watch him to-night.' Bed-time came, and Captain 
Berrv was looking through the opening of the door when Mr. 
Whitcomb took his night-shirt out of his portmanteau and began 
to take oft^ his day-shirt. Captain Berr\- pushed open the door, 
sprang upon Whitcomb and threw him upon the bed. The 
noise brought in Mr. Fletcher and the other lawyers, and alter 
explanations and apologies on all sides the matter was settled." 

In his remarkable address entitled " The Advocate,'' deliv- 
ered before the Central Law School, in April, 1882, Governor 
Thomas A. Hendricks pays the following eloquent tribute to 
the subject of this sketch : 

"• Governor Whitcomb was a great scholar. He was capable 
not only of acquiring but of using the accumulations of learn- 
ing. With him learning became an influence, an instrumen- 
tality, a power. His tastes were cultivated. He commanded 
beautiful and strong language, and in it he clothed his thoughts, 
that were always appropriate to the subject and the occasion. I 
heard him address the people in his first candidacy for Gov- 



92 • BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

ernor. It was the greatest political speech I have ever heard. 
There was not in it a vulgarism or an appeal to low sentiment. 
He addressed reason, emotion, sympathy. The multitude stood 
enraptured. As men went from the place of the meeting they 
fell into grave and serious conversation about what they had 
heard, and the impression remained. From that dav he was a 
leader, but not as men commonly speak of leadership ; he ma- 
neuvered for no combinations ; he was a leader in a higher 
sense. He declared what he believed to be the truth, and 
trusted to its influence upon men's minds to bring them into 
common action. He led legislators because it was safest for 
them to follow. His manner was grave and serious, his voice 
was full and musical, and his deliverv almost without gesture. 
I never heard him in court, but am sure he was a formidable 
antagonist before either court or jurv." 

Governor Whitcomb was an active Freemason. He was the 
first man knighted in Indiana, the honor being conferred upon 
him May 20, 1848. Raper Commanderv was organized in his 
house, and for some time held its meetings there. He was 
proud of his connection with Masonrv ; in his affections Masonry 
stood only second to his church. 

Governor Whitcomb was married March 24. 1846, to Mrs. 
Martha Ann Hurst. His wife died July 17, 1847, shortly after 
giving birth to a daugher, now the wife of Claude Matthews, 
Esq. He recorded her death in the family Bible, and followed 
the record with these words: "• How brief our happ}' sojourn 
together." 

If not universally loved, Governor Whitcomb was universally 
respected. He was kind to the young and aspiring. Professor 
Collett, the distinofuished sfeolo^'ist, savs he feels he is indebted 
to Governor Whitcomb's advice for whatever success in life he 
has attained. On being asked what the advice was he replied : 
" Follow one line of thought and research with your whole 
mind and soul ; take no active part in politics until maturity has 
brought you settled thought. The life of a politician is not al- 
ways reputable ; it has so many elements of deceit and dishon- 
esty that it is hard to follow it and keep clean one's hands and 
soul." 



JAMES WHITCOISIB. 93: 

Governor Whitcomb was compactl}^ and strongly built ; he 
was somewhat above the average size of man ; he had a dark 
complexion and black hair, which usually fell in ringlets to his 
shoulders. His features were good and expressive, and his 
manners the most elegant. His appearance was that of a 
courtier, and in any circle of society he would have been con- 
sidered a pattern of propriety. He was not a fop, but, like 
man}' other eminent men, he had a weakness in that direction. 
Foibles he had, but they were insignificant in comparison with 
his many virtues. He was a talented and an honest man, and 
when the roll of Indiana's great is made up, among the first in 
the list will be the name of Whitcomb. 



JOSEPH A. WRIGHT. 



There are many examples of self-made men, but there are 
few more striking and worthy of stud}' than that of Joseph A. 
Wright. Some men have reached a higher eminence than he, 
but thev are few. Where one attained his altitude, thousands 
fell by the way. His career shows the possibilities of life, and 
ought to stimulate young men to new exertions when the}^ are 
faint and ready to fall. 

Joseph A. Wright, for seven years Governor of Indiana, was 
born at Washington, Pa., April 17, t8io. When a boy he em- 
igrated to Indiana with his parents and settled at Bloomington. 
Thev were poor and unable to give their son the education he 
desired, but this did not prevent him from securing it. " Where 
there is a will there is a way," says the proverb, and so said 
the boy. He entered the State University as a student, and 
paid his wav by ringing the college bell and doing the janitor's 
work. To get money to buy his books and clothing he bore 
oft'brick from the brick-yard, and gathered nuts from the woods. 

Being also trained in the use of the trowel, and doubtless glad 
of a chance to use it, he proved to be a convenience in doing- 
small jobs around the premises. Proof of this appears on the 
records of the Indiana college to-day, as the following passages 
which the author has taken pains to copy show : 

EXTRACTS FROM THE RECORDS, 

"Friday, May 6, 1828. 
^'■Ordered, That Joseph A. Wright be allowed for ringing the 
college bell, making hres, etc., in the college building during 
the last session of the College Seminary, the sum of $16. 25 ; also, 




av^d tv J. C Isnttre. from a TtiGtGt'.mfJi. 



PmST FRESIDEHT OF THE HTDMIA STATE BQAED OP AGRICULTURE 



JOSEPH A. WRIGHT. 95 

for a lock, bell-rope and brooms, the sum of ^l' 1.37 j, and that the 
treasurer of the State Seminary pay the same." 

" Bloomingtox, Friday, October 31, 1828. 

"* Ordered b\ the Board of Trustees, That Joseph A. Wright 
be and he is hereby allowed the sum of one dollar for repairing 
the top of one of the college chimneys, and that the treasurer 
pav the same."' 

"November 18, 1828. 

•'Joseph A. Wright is allowed for repairing arches in the 
small seminary building and kitchen the sum of $1.25." 

B}' such expedients and humble yet persistent exertions he 
defrayed his expenses for a couple of years, and then he left 
college and entered the law office of Judge Hester as a student. 
In 1829, when less than twenty years old, he stood his examina- 
tion, and obtained his license to practice law. Soon after this 
he removed to Rockville, and hung out his shingle as a lawyer. 
In 1833 he was elected a member of the State Legislature. 

A rather amusing incident, given by Robert Dale Owen in 
Scribner^s Monthlw should not be omitted. It happened while 
he and Mr. Wright were members of the House of Representa- 
tives. Mr. Owen writes : 

•' The most flowery speech on our side was made bv a prom- 
ising young man, then fresh from college and classical recollec- 
tions, Joseph Wright. A poor boy, he had entered the State 
University as janitor, and afterwards became, flrst. Governor of 
the State, and then foreign minister. I remember that he was 
descanting, in a somewhat sophomoric strain, on the duty of 
Indiana toward the children of the State — her best treasures — 
when his eye was arrested bv a chubbv little fellow of seven or 
eight, son of one of our members, who had been sitting on his 
father's knee and had strayed ofl', coming down the center aisle 
toward the orator. 

** * Ah, there!' said Wright, extending his arms to the boy, 
who stopped, abashed at the sudden address. ' Look there ! I 
am reminded, when I gaze vipon that little one, of a pleasant 
stor\' Irom the annals of Rome, in her old republican days. It 



o6 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES, 

is related of the mother of the Gracchi, when several of her 
lady friends were exhibiting to her, somewhat vauntinglv, no 
doubt, their costly ornaments, while she, simple in her tastes. 
had little to show them in return, that she turned to her children, 
playing in the room, and exclaimed, * These are my jewels I ' 
Let us learn wisdom, gentlemen, from the mother of the Grac- 
chi.' 

'' ' The mother of the what? ' exclaimed, in an under-tone, a 
rough young country member, named Storm, and whom, be- 
cause he seldom opened his lips except to move the previous 
question, we had nicknamed 'Previous Qiiestion Storm.' His 
exclamation was addressed to the member next to whom he was 
sitting, Thomas Dowling, of Terre Haute. Now, of all things, 
Dowling loved, from his heart, a good joke ; and this was too 
good a one to be lost. So, composing his features, he replied 
gravely to Storm : 'Why, don't you know her? It is a noted 
old woman in Parke county, where Wright comes from. Ev- 
erybody knows her there. You get up and ask Wright, and no 
doubt he'll tell you all about her.' " 

In 1840, the year of the Harrison political tornado, Mr. Wright 
was elected to the State Senate. In 1843 he was elected to Con- 
gress, and two years afterward was beaten for that office by Ed- 
ward W. McGaughey 171 votes. In 1849 ^^^ ^'^^'^^ nominated for 
Governor, and defeated John A. Matson 9,778 votes. In 1852 he 
again ran for Governor, and defeated Nicholas McCarty 
20,031 votes. In 1857 he was appointed United States Minister 
to Prussia, and served four years as such. In 1862 he was ap- 
pointed by Governor Morton United States Senator, and sat in 
the Senate until the next Januar}-. In 1863 President Lincoln 
appointed him a commissioner to the Hamburg Exposition. In 
1865 he again went to Prussia as United States Minister, and 
remained there until he died. His death occurred at Berlin, 
March II, 1867, and his remains were brought to New York, 
and there buried. This is an epitome of the life and death of 
Joseph A. Wright. 

Governor Wright will be best remembered as Governor of 
Indiana. His service in Congress, one term in the House and 
one year in the Senate, was too brief for him to make much 



JOSErU A. \\'RIGHT. 97 

impression there. As Governor, he was an important factor in 
shaping legislation and moulding public opinion in his State. 
It was while he was Governor that the constitution under which 
we live was made. It was while he was Governor that the State 
Agricultural Society was formed,, and it was while he was Gov- 
ernor that the Free banking law was passed, and the charter for 
the Bank of the State of Indiana granted. In 1852, on the or- 
ganization of the State Board of Agriculture, he was chosen its 
President. He was re-elected in 1853 and in 1854. He took 
great pride in the work of this society. He used to quote the 
saying of Horace Greeley, that " the man who makes two blades 
of grass grow where but one had grown before, is a public ben- 
efactor." Agriculture was a "'hobb}'" with him. From the 
fact that he had never been a farmer his political opponents 
made sport of his farming pretensions. The}^ used to tell a 
story on him, which is too good to be omitted here. It was said 
that in one of his speeches before an agricultural society, he 
advised farmers to buy hydraulic rams to improve their sheep I 
The storv, although apochryphal, had great credence at the 
time. Another, which was true, will bear repeating : Some 
one brought him a bunch of hog bristles, taken from the paunch 
of a cow. He exhibited this as a great curiosity, and was wont 
to descant upon it for the editication of his farmer friends. At 
last it was discovered that the cow from which the bristles were 
taken was in the habit of browsing near a pork-house where 
hog's hair was spread to dry. While eating grass she had 
swallowed th^ bristles, and, as they were indigestible, they re- 
mained in her stomach until she died. This discovery spoiled 
the Governor's lecture on the cow. 

Governor Wright was an anti-bank man. and opposed with 
the whole weisfht of his influence the free bank law and the bill 
chartering the Bank of the State of Indiana. He vetoed both 
these measures, but the Legislature passed them, notwithstand- 
ing his opposition. The bill to charter the Bank of the State 
passed the Senate at the session of 1855, in its closing hours. 
and when the Senate had adjourned the Governor ascended 
the President's chair and made a bitter speech against the bill, 
asserting that it was passed by corruption and fraud. Tiiis 

7 



98 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

speech caused much bad feehng between the Governor and the 
members of the Legislature, and also the Lieutenant-Governor, 
who had been an advocate of the bill. The Legislature having 
passed the bank bills over the Governor's veto, he sought to 
bring the laws into disrepute, and thereb}- impede the organiza- 
tion of banks under them. He commenced a suit in the Marion 
Circuit Court against John D. Defrees and others for the pur- 
pose of having the charter of the Bank of the State declared 
null and void. The case was decided against him, but he ap- 
pealed to the Supreme Court, and that tribunal affirmed the 
judgment of the court below. Having exhausted all legal 
measures, he was compelled to retire from the contest, which 
he very reluctantly did. But he renewed the tight in the Leg- 
islature of 1857. In his message to this Legislature he said: 

"The means and appliances brought to bear to secure the 
passage of this charter would, if exposed to the public gaze, 
exhibit the nakedest page of fraud and corruption that ever dis- 
graced the Legislature of an}^ State. While men of pure and 
honorable sentiment were led into its support in the belief that 
the approaching close of the existing bank required them thus 
early to provide a successor, others supported it upon promise 
of stock, equivalents in money, or pledges as to the location of 
certain branches. To make up the constitutional vote in its 
favor the names of members were recorded on its passage who 
were at the moment absent, and many miles distant from the 
capital." 

Upon the deliver}^ of this message the Senate raised an in- 
vestigating committee of five, at the head of which was Horace 
Heftren, the Senator from Washington. The examination of 
the committee was thorough and exhaustive, and, although some 
suspicious transactions were discovered, nothing was developed 
to justify the sweeping charges of the Governor. A majority 
of the committee reported that man}^ dishonorable things had 
been done by the speculators who engineered the bill through 
the Legislature, and recommended that the charter be revoked. 
Mr. Heffren, the chairman, dissented from the opinion of a 
majority of the committee, taking the ground that one Legis- 
.ture had no right to review and pass judgment upon the acts 



JOSEPH A. WRIGHT. qq 

of another. The investigation and reports of the committee 
practically amounted to nothing, for the bank was organized, 
and made for itself one of the most honorable records known 
in the histor}^ of banking. 

Governor Wright was more fortunate in his contest with the 
free banks than with the Bank of the State. He sent a mes- 
senger to a small town near the Illinois line with some $2,000 
of the bills of a bank located there for the purpose of testing 
its bottom. The messenger demanded pavment of the bills, 
and the bank being unable to redeem them, sutfered the dis- 
honor of protest. The result justified the Governor's often ex- 
pressed opinion, /. c, that some of the free banks were merely 
banks of circulation. His action in testing the solvency of a 
single bank brought on a crisis with the system. Those which 
could not stand the test of solvency — the redemption of their 
bills — were forced to suspend and wind up their affairs. For 
some time the value of Indiana free bank bills was an uncer- 
tain quantity. The banks of Indianapolis fixed a price upon 
these bills, and this price was as fluctuating as the mercurv in 
March. It often varied as much as ten per cent, a day ; some- 
times down, and then up. This state of affairs continued until 
all the illegitimate banks were closed, leaving onlv those stand- 
ing which had been organized with capital, and were under the 
control of reputable men. 

Until the summer of 1861 Governor Wright acted and voted 
Avith the Democratic party. He tavored the compromise meas- 
ures of 1850, being their zealous advocate. During their pend- 
ency in Congress he invited John J. Crittenden, then Governor 
of Kentucky, to visit Indiana. This eminent Kentuckian was 
warmly received wherever he appeared, and when he returned 
to his home he took with him the best wishes of the people of 
Indiana. It was believed at the time that this visit did much to 
allay sectional animosity and assuage the bad feeling existing 
between the North and the South. About one vear and a half 
after Governor Crittenden's trip to Indiana Governor Wright 
was invited to visit Kentucky. He accepted the invitation, and 
at Frankfort was recei^■ed with great honors. . The welcoming- 
address was made bv Lazarus W. Powell, tlien Governor of the 



lOO BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCH?:S. 

State, one of the most eloquent men of that time. In his repl}'. 
Governor Wright said : 

"Governor Powell, you refer to the invitation extended to 
Governor Crittenden to visit our State in 1850, and have al- 
luded to me in connection therewith. That invitation, sir, came 
from the people of Indiana, and it was due to the exalted worth, 
talents and services of your then distinguished Executive. It 
was peculiarlv appropriate, in the dark hour of our countrv\s 
history, when the tempest of disunion frowned in the political 
horizon, that the people of two States like Kentucky and In- 
diana, differing in their institutions, should meet together, 
smoke the pipe of peace, and pledge themselves to the support 
of the constitution. It was eminently proper, in this dark and 
tr3ang hour, that the heart of this nation should speak, and 
when Kentuckv and Indiana spake, the heart did speak. 

'• On crossing the beautiful Ohio, 3'esterday, I was reminded 
of the custom of some of tlie aboriginal inhabitants of this coun- 
trv, in performing the marriage ceremony of the tribe. The 
bride stood upon one side of the stream and the groom upon the 
other, their hands plaited together, and the clear, living waters 
of the rivulet, emblematical of their virtue and purity, and tend- 
ing to a common union, the great ocean of love. Kentucky 
and Indiana have clasped hands upon the Thames and the Tip- 
pecanoe, and at Buena Vista, and for forty years, in peace and 
in war, thev have been shaking hands ; and to-day (shaking 
the hand of Governor Powell) they renew the covenant afresh, 
that Kentucky and Indiana will live by the bond of their union, 
the ark, the covenant, the pillar, the cloud, the constitution [ 
They theoreticallv and practically carry out the doctrine of non- 
intervention, each State attending to its own municipal affairs." 

During Governor Wright's ofticial term the Washington 
Monvimental Association requested the several States to con- 
tribute blocks for the Washington monument. At that time 
there were but few stone quarries open in Indiana, the principal 
ones being those at Vernon, in Jennings count}^, and at Saluda 
Landing, in Jefferson county. Governor Wright had a block 
from the Saluda quarr}- properly dressed and prepared at Mad- 
ison, and sent to Washington. It bore this inscription, dictated 



JOSEPH A. WKKJHT. lOI 

bv the Governor: "Indiana knows no East, no West, no 
North, no South ; nothing" but the Union." The stone was 
placed in the Washington monument, a work w'hich was com- 
menced over thirtv vears ago, and is still unfinished. 

In the report of Postmaster General Barry, made in "1830, 
under the caption of " Contracts made for carrying the mails," 
the following ma}' be found: "The Postmaster General re- 
ports route No, 10, from Brownstown to Terre Haute, Ind,, once 
a week, 134 miles, awarded to Alfred J, Athon. at $398, Joseph 
A. Wright bid -$334 per annum. Wright was not sufficiently 
known nor recommended : therefore his bid was rejected," 
Mr, Wright was then a voung lawver of Bloomington, and be- 
ing badlv in need of monev sought to make a few dollars by 
c^ettinp- a mail contract. As wall be seen, he was not sufiicientlv 
known for his bid to be regarded. What a commentar}- on the 
possibilities of life is this ! The man who was then too insig- 
nificant to be considered, afterward sat in both branches of the 
Legislature of his State, and for nine years was its Governor, 
Not onl\- this, but he served in both houses of Congress, and 
twice represented his countrv at a foreign court. I have told 
the reader who the unsuccessful bidder was : can he tell me 
who was the successful one, and what became of himr I im- 
agine not. 

Governor Wright was a Democrat of the straightest sect. He 
stood high in the councils of his party, and contested with Jesse 
D. Bright for the leadership, but without success. He was strong 
with the people, but weak with the leaders. Mr. Bright always 
kept the upper hand of him, and when he aspired to the United 
States Senate, in common parlance, Mr. Bright sat down upon 
him. The rivalries of these party leaders begat bad blood, and 
Mr. Bright was outspoken in his denunciations of the Governor. 
In a letter, now in possession of the author, he thus speaks ot him : 

" While the Governor is acli\e in getting up his certificates to 
prove a lie the truth. I am wagging on in the even tenor of my 
wav, a firm believer in the correctness i)f that old. time-honored 
maxim. 'Truth is mightv and will prevail." He has begged a 
truce out of Governor Whitcomb, I understand. The latter 
shows he is a man of peace : though very timid, he will make 



I02 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

good all he has uttered or written as to that prince of liars and 
hypocrites.'' 

Governor Wright was in Europe when the rebellion began, 
but he warmly espoused the cause of the government, and did 
much to create a correct sentiment at the court to which he was 
accredited. He returned home in the fall of 1861, reaching 
Indianapolis on the 7th of September of that year. He was 
warmly received by his old neighbors and friends, General Du- 
mont making the welcoming speech. The next February Mr, 
Bright, his old rival and enemy, was expelled from the United 
States Senate, and Governor Wright was appointed to the place. 
Will Cumback wanted the appointment, but Governor Morton 
said there was poetic justice in Governor Wright's taking 
the place of Mr. Bright, and he gave it to him. The appoint- 
ment only lasted until the meeting of the next Legislature, and 
the Democracy, having a majorit}' in that Legislature, elected 
Hon. David Turpie to fill out Mr. Bright's unexpired term. 
Thus it will be seen that as a Democrat, Governor Weight 
never reached the Senate. It was only after he had cut loose 
from his part}' and affiliated with those he had ever fought that 
he reached the coveted honor. 

In 1863 Governor Wright was appointed b}- President Lin- 
coln Commissioner to the Hamburg Exposition, and remained 
some time abroad. Two 3'ears alter this President Johnson ap- 
pointed him Minister to Prussia. This was the second time he 
represented his government at Berlin. He made man}^ friends 
at the Prussian capital, among them Baron von Humboldt, with 
whom lie maintained a very close intimacy. As previously 
stated in this sketch, he died in Berlin while United States Min- 
ister there. 

Governor Wright was an able canvasser. He had the faculty 
of getting at the people and getting hold of them. In his 
speeches he used to say the people were more interested in se- 
lecting good County Commissioners than good Congressmen. 
He was a member of the Methodist church, and man}- believed 
he used his church connection to advance his political fortunes. 
In the canvass of 1852 he went to Madison and remained there 
over Sabbath. On Sunday morning he attended Third Street 



JOSEPH A. WRIGHT. IO3- 

Methodist Church, and afterward dined with William Griffin, a 
leadinof Roman Catholic. In the afternoon he attended the 
Wesley Chapel Sunday-school, and delivered a lecture to the 
scholars ; and in the evening he attended the services of Wes- 
ley Chapel. Thus it will be seen that he put in his whole time 
on Sundav, and when the votes were counted that fall it was 
found that he had carried Jefferson county. Whig though it was. 
His most effective electioneering was done in the circles of his 
church. 

Governor Wright was tall and raw-boned. He had a large 
head, and an unusually high forehead. His hair was light and 
thin upon his head, his eyes blue, and his nose and mouth large 
and prominent. He was an effective speaker, mainly on ac- 
count of his earnestness and simplicity. He was not an elo- 
quent man, and did not compare with Willard as a stumper, but 
the people liked to hear him talk, and listened attentively to 
what he said. While not the greatest man in the State, he was 
one of the most influential ; and, to his honor be it said, his in- 
fluence was exercised for the public good. Economy and hon- 
esty in public life, and morality and religion in private station,. 
had in him an advocate and an exemplar. 



ASHBEL PARSONS WILLARD. 



Robert Pollock, author of "The Course of Time," died 
before he was 28 ; Lord Byron, of whom it had been said, 

"He laid his hand upon the ocean's mane, 
And played familiar with his hoary locks," 

died at ^6 ; WilHam Pitt was Prime Minister of England at 25, 
and Ashbel P. Willard was Governor of Indiana at 36. What 
a lesson for 3^oung men ! 

Ashbel Parsons Willard was born October 31, 1820, in Oneida 
county, New York. He was educated at Hamilton College, 
and studied law with Judge Baker in his native count}^ He 
emigrated to Marshall, Michigan, in 1842, and lived there for 
a year or so. He then made a trip to Texas on horseback, and 
on his return stopped at Carrolton, Kentucky, and there taught 
school for a while. After this he went to Jetferson county, 
Kentuck3^ and took a school near Louisville. His spare hours 
were employed in reading, and the knowledge he gained at 
this time was of great benefit to him in after life. 

The contest for the presidenc^' in 1844 between Clay and 
Polk was an exciting one, and in no part of the country ^id 
party spirit run higher than in Kentucky, the home of Clay. 
Young Willard was a Democrat by birth and by education, 
and was firmly grounded in the faith. He had a natural love 
for politics, and he soon left the school-room for a more excit- 
ing theater. He commenced stumping for Polk, and during 
the campaign spoke at New Albany, just across the river from 
Louisville. He made such a favorable impression that many of 
the first men of the town solicited him to come and settle among 



ASHBEL PARSONS WILLARD. IO5 

« 

them. What thev said impressed him. and next spring he 
left Kentucky and took up his abode at New Albany. He lived 
there until he died, except when at the State capital attending 
to his official duties. 

He opened a law office at New Albany, but clients were tardy 
in coming, and to get money to pay his necessary expenses he 
supplemented his professional income by a small salary receiv^ed 
for writing in the office of the county clerk. The first office 
Mr. Willard held was that of common councilman. He took 
pride in the place, and won the good opinion of the people 
without respect to party. The next year, 1850, he was elected 
to the State Lea^islature, and from that time until he died he 
occupied a conspicuous place in the public eye. On the organi- 
zation of the House he was chosen chairman of the Committee 
on Ways and Means, and thus became leader of the House. 
We now find him, at thirty years of age, the acknowledged 
chief of his part}' in the popular branch of the Legislature, and 
never was chieftain more lovingly followed. Alert and watch- 
ful, he was always ready for the contest. He could parry a 
blow or give one with as much dexterity as an old knight of the 
lance. His address and manner were so captivating that before 
the session closed he had made prisoners the hearts of his tellow 
members. Those who did not like his politics liked the man. 
and when the members separated and went to their homes they 
took with them the fondest recollections of the gallant young- 
leader of the House. 

When the Democratic State Convention of 1852 convened, 
the delegates were met bv an overwhelming public sentiment 
demanding the nomination of Willard for Lieutenant-Governor. 
The demand was recognized and the nomination made. Joseph 
A. Wright, the nominee for Governor, was an able and popular 
man. but he was noj the equal of Willard on the hustings. 
Indeed, I only state a fact well known to those familiar with the 
public men of that day, when I sa\' that, as a political stumper. 
Mr. Willard had no equal in the State, with the exception of 
Henry S. Lane. There were men who surpassed him as de- 
baters and logicians, but none who matched him in impassioned 
oratory, with the exception named. He was elected and, at the 
next session of the Legislature, took his seat as President of the 



I06 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Senate. As a presiding oliicer he was courteous, prompt and 
decisive. He was a warm partisan, and his decisions were 
sometimes influenced by party zeal ; but, on the whole, he 
averaged well. In politics he met fire with fire, and believed 
in doing evil that good might come. Witness his casting vote 
in the Senate in 1855 on the resolution to go into an election for 
United States Senator. The People's part^^ having a majority 
on joint ballot, nominated Joseph (t. Marshall, of Jefierson. 
for United States Senator. The Senate was a tie, and, by the 
casting' vote of Lieutenant-Governor Willard, refused to go into 
an election. There can be no justification for this act. The 
most that can be said in its defense is that the Lieutenant- 
Governor followed a line of bad precedents. Several times in 
the histor}' of Indiana politics has a legislative minority failed 
to discharge its constitutional duty by refusing to go into an 
election for Senator. Happily the law has been so changed as 
to break up this reprehensible practice. 

In 1856 Willard was nominated for Governor. Two years 
before the Know-nothing partv had swept the State. Willard 
had antagonized it from the first, having fought it bitterly and 
unrelentingh^ It had gone to pieces, but those of its members 
who entered the Republican party took with them an intense 
hostility to the Democratic candidate. Oliver P. Morton, then 
a young lawyer of Wayne county, and afterwards the great 
war Governor of Indiana, was Willard's opponent for Governor. 
The contest between them was memorable. It was a battle of 
giants. Morton fought with the battle-ax of Richard Cosur de 
Lion, and Willard with the sword of Saladin. The sword con- 
quered, and the young man who, eleven years before, had come 
to Indiana poor and friendless, was now the Governor-elect of 
a great State. I shall not speak of Governor Willard's admin- 
istration of the State government further than to say that it 
commanded the approbation of his political friends and met the 
condemnation of his political enemies. The time is too recent 
to examine it without political bias, so I will pass it by. 

In the summer of i860 Governor Willard's health gave way. 
It had been bad for A-ears, but his strong will enabled him to 
keep up and attend to his official duties. The last speech he 
attempted to make was at Columbus, this State. At that time 



ASHBEL PARSONS WILLARD. lO/ 

the Democratic party was suffering from internal disorders. 
The Nebraska bill had disrupted it, and the wonder is that a 
man of Governor Willard's discernment and sagacit}- did not 
see it was doomed to defeat. But he continued hopeful of its 
future, and did all he could to insure its success. He attended 
many of its conventions and labored hard to heal its wounds. 
He went to Columbus as a peacemaker, but he had his labor for 
his pains. The convention, after much wrangling, nominated 
Dr. William M. Daly, a Methodist preacher, for Congress. 
The delegation from Jefferson was intensely hostile to him, al- 
though that county was his home, and, when the nomination 
was made, one of the delegates arose and proposed three cheers 
for McKee Dunn, the Republican candidate. To hear a mem- 
ber of a Democratic convention propose cheers for a Republican 
was, indeed, shocking to Willard, and he at once mounted the 
rostrum and commenced to speak. His voice was as musical, 
and he controlled it as artistically as ever, but in the midst of 
an impassioned appeal for harmony he suddenly stopped. He 
was taken ill, having a hemorrhage of the lungs, but the bleed- 
ing soon stopped, and he left the room. 

Soon after the convention at Columbus Governor Willard 
went to Minnesota in quest of health. But the trip had been too 
long delayed to do him permanent good. Disease was eating 
at his vitals, and refused to release its hold at the bidding of 
the bracing air of the Northwest. On the 4th of October, i860, 
he became suddenl}^ worse, and on the evening of that day 
breathed his last, and there went from the face of the earth one 
of the brightest intellects of the day. 

Governor Willard was the first Governor of Indiana to die in 
office. The people, without respect to party, paid homage to 
his remains as they passed through the towns and cities of the 
State. They were brought to Indianapolis, and for three days 
lay in state, being viewed by thousands who loved the young 
man eloquent. On the day after the October election, i860, 
they were taken to New Albany, his old home, and there in- 
terred. 

Some incidents illustrating Willard's character, and his pinver 
as an orator, may appropriately conclude this sketch ot his lite 
and death. 



108 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

On the Saturday before the presidential election in 1856, 
Governor Willard went to Madison to deliver a political ad- 
dress. It had been announced that he would speak in the 
Court-house, but the deputy sheriff' had let the Fillmore men 
have it that evening for the purpose of holding a political meet- 
ing. There was but a handful of these men, and it was be- 
lieved that this was but a ruse to prevent Governor Willard 
from speaking. A party of Democrats, headed by Joseph W. 
Chapman, went to the deputv sheriff and charged him with be- 
ing a party to the trick. They told him that Willard should 
have the Court-house, and if he — the deputy sheriff — did not 
open its doors, they would break them down. Judge Chapman 
and his friends went to Governor Willard and told him the 
situation, and what they intended to do. He said there should 
be no trouble, and that he would speak in the market-house. 
His friends objected to this, but he remained firm, saying that 
as the Democracy was " on top " it could afford to be generous. 
That evening he addressed an immense crowd in the market- 
house in his happiest vein. He was never more eloquent and 
effective. During the delivery of his speech he was interrupted 
by huzzas for Fremont. Some of his friends started for the 
offender with a view of putting him out of the house, but Wil- 
lard stopped them, saying: " Let him alone. Enjoy the music 
while you can. After Tuesday ' hurrah for Fremont ' will be 
the dearest music vou can buy." 

Soon after the election in 1856, Governor Willard was invited 
by the Legislature of Mississippi to visit Jackson as a guest of 
the State. Being acquainted with a gentleman who is familiar 
with public events in Mississippi, the author requested him to 
give an account of this event. The following is his response : 

"Mr. Woollen — Of course my recollection of details must 
be somewhat imperfect, as I was then a lad of fifteen years. I 
will give them as I remember them. It was in December, 1856, 
alter the Democratic victorv, the Lep'islature bein"' in regular 
session. Governor Willard and other prominent Democrats 
were invited to visit the capital of the State, Jackson. I re- 
member his speech was full of vigor and patriotic sentiments, 
and overflowina' with kindness towards his entertainers and the 



ASIII5EL PARSONS WILLARl). 



109 



whole Southern people. I can not now recall anv expression 
of his, but I know his address was received with the greatest 
enthusiasm. After the speech-making, reception and general 
hand-shaking, a banquet at the Spengler House was given, and 
three hundred people were present. Wit flowed as freely and 
sparkled as brightl}'" as the generous wines which graced the 
board. General good feeling prevailed. David C. Glenn was- 
the newly appointed Attorney-General of the State, just barely 
of the constitutional age. He was considered one of the bright- 
est lawyers of the commonwealth, and was a brilliant and elo- 
quent writer. He came from the sea-coast country, or the 
" Piney Woods " district, as it was then called. His brilliancy 
and eloquence were famous throughout the State. His capacity 
for a drinking bout was also well established. In fact, he was 
considered the best, heaviest and solidest drinker in the South- 
west. The reputation of Governor Willard in this particular 
had preceded him, and it was determined to pit Glenn against 
him. The result was that Glenn was put hors dii combat at an 
early stage of the proceedings, and Willard held his own as 
cool and clear-headed and as steady on his pins at the close of 
the banquet as he was at the commencement." 

Colonel John S. Williams thus speaks of Governor Willard 
in the Lafayette Times: 

"x\s a political organizer and mere party man the late Gov- 
ernor Willard never had an equal in the State of Indiana. I 
will not except his great rival, Governor Morton. I remember 
the Saturday before the State election, in 1856, his arrival in 
Lafayette to make the closing speech of the campaign. Com- 
ing into my apartments, he found me, in company with the late 
Senator Hannegan, talking over the political situation. We at 
once asked him what he 'thought of the political situation and his 
chances of election. * I've got 'em sure.' 'Can you give the 
hgures I ' I inqujred. 'Yes,' he responded: 'get your paper 
and I will give you the vote of every county.' Commencing 
with Posey count}-, in the southwest corner of the State, and 
without any list before him, he named every county, giving his 
estimate of majorities in each one. Strange to say, he had not 
missed a single county. I liave his figures now before me. In 



no BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

several counties the}' correspond with the official vote, and, in 
the aggregate, do not vary three hundred votes as declared by 
the board of State canvassers. His majority over Governor 
Morton was about six thousand." 

In 1857 news came to Indianapolis of the John Brown raid. 
Among those connected with Brown was John E, Cook, a 
brother-in-law of Governor Willard. Governor Willard's tamil}' 
had not heard of Cook for years, and, when it was pub- 
lished that one John E. Cook was arrested for participating in 
the Harper's Ferry tragedy, they could hardly believe it was 
Mrs. Willard's brother. But it was he, and when Governor 
Willard knew this fact he determined his course at once. 

The raid of John Brown on Harper's Ferry was reprobated 
by all save a few abolitionists, and they were hushed to silence. 
Willard was 3^oung, was ambitious, and had great expectations 
of the future. He had a national reputation as an orator, and 
visions of the first office in the people's gift no doubt flitted be- 
fore him. To identif}^ himself as a friend of one connected 
with the detested raid would sureh' damage him at the South, 
and might do so at home. But he hesitated not. He deter- 
mined to go to the rescue of his kinsman. He sent a special 
messenger to his friend, Daniel W. Voorhees, requesting his 
immediate presence. The messenger found Mr. Voorhees at 
Vincennes engaged in an important trial, but the eloquent ad- 
vocate turned the case over to another and went to his friend 
as fast as the cars could take him. He found him in sore dis- 
tress. He comforted him as best he could, and without delay 
the two started for Charleston, Virginia, where young Cook 
was imprisoned. The meeting between Willard and his brother- 
in-law was deeply affecting. One was Governor of a great 
State, the other a prisoner, charged with crime, but the differ- 
ence between them did not stop the flow of affection from one heart 
to the other. And, here, let it be recorded, that Cook's love 
for Willard probably cost him his life. It was stated at the 
time, and not contradicted, that after Governor Willard left the 
prison the keeper opened a way for Cook's escape. But he 
would not embrace it. He said if he escaped the blame would 
be laid on Willard, and would ruin his prospects for future 



ASHBEI, I'ARSONS WILLARD. Ill 

preferment ; hence he staid in prison and met his fate. Brave 
and considerate man I Prisoner though 3^ou were, convict 
though you were to be, this act of self-abnegation proves you 
to be a hero. 

On the 8th of November, 1859, Cook was put upon his trial. 
He was defended bv Mr. Voorhees in a speech of transcendent 
eloquence, but it availed him naught. The fiat of a frenzied 
public had gone forth that he should die, and there was no put- 
ting it aside. After he was convicted Governor Willard ap- 
pealed to Governor Wise for his pardon, but the appeal was in 
vain, and the voung man suffered the extreme penalty of the 
law. 

Governor Willard's efforts to save Cook's life, instead of les- 
sening his popularity at home, increased it. People admired 
his courage and commended him for what he had done. Par- 
ticularly was this true of his political opponents, and from that 
time until he died the}- respected and esteemed him as they had 
never done before. 

In the Legislature of 1857 the Democrats had a majority on 
joint ballot, but the Republicans had the Senate. The two 
houses met in joint convention to count the vote for Governor, 
and when this was done, adjourned to a subsequent day. The 
purpose of thus adjourning was to elect United States Senators. 
The Republicans refused to go into another joint convention, so 
the Democrats were in a great strait to know what to do. It 
was contended that there having been a joint convention, a ma- 
jority of the members of the Legislature could meet on the day 
appointed and legally elect the Senators. The Republicans 
controverted this position, and contended that it took a majori- 
ity of each branch of the Legislature to constitute a legal con- 
vention. Senator Bright was disposed to consider this as the 
correct view of the question, and refused to accept an election 
which he believed to be tainted with illegality. The subject 
was referred to Samuel E. Perkins, Joseph W. Chapman and 
James Hughes, three lawyers of the highest standing. After 
examining it, these gentlemen came to the conclusion that an 
election held, as proposed by the Democrats, would be legal. 
A caucus of the Democratic members of the Legislature was 
held in the hall of the House to recei\'e the report of the com- 



112 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

mittee. The report was read by Judge Chapman, and when he 
had concluded Governor Willard arose and said that if a ma- 
jorit}" of all the members of the Legislature met in joint session 
and elected Messrs. Bright and Fitch to the Senate, he would 
commission them, and he had no doubt they would get their 
seats ; that the Senate of the United States would not refuse to 
receive men whose commission bore the great seal of the State 
of Indiana. The author was present at the caucus, and well 
remembers the effect of Governor Willard's speech. Although 
one of the youngest men in the hall, he was looked to for ad- 
vice and guidance. His emphatic declaration that he would 
commission Messrs. Bright and Fitch if they were elected in 
the manner proposed, and that he had no doubt of their admis- 
sion in the Senate, caused the doubting Thomases to give wav 
and cease their opposition. 

In person Governor Willard was very prepossessing. His 
head and face were cast in the tinest moulds, his eyes were blue, 
his hair auburn and his complexion florid. By nature he was 
open and frank. He was generous to a fault, carrying his heart 
on his sleeve. A more magnetic and attractive man could no- 
where be found, and had he lived to the allotted age of man- 
kind, he must have reached still higher honors. 

The Wester )i Democratic Reviexi\ in its October number, 1854, 
thus sums up Governor Willard's characteristics as an orator : 

" Willard, though a young man, is the best popular orator in 
the United States. His language is chaste and elegant, utterly 
void of commonplace and provincialisms, his manner that of 
a practical speaker, his voice one of the best we have ever 
heard for an orator. He speaks with rapidity, precision and 
uncommon emphasis, and can be heard distinctly by an im- 
mense number of persons at once. His commanding talents 
will, one day, lift him far above the reach of the most bitter 
stings of prejudice and the boldest shafts of enmitv." 




a~ clU- 



Qiyi^^-^ ^^ L ^^-T-^ 



ABRAM ADAMS HAMMOND. 



Abram Adams Haminiond, once Governor of Indiana, was 
born at Brattleboro, Vt., March 21, 1814. He came to Indiana 
when six years old, and was raised at Brookville, where he 
studied hiw with John Ryman, a lawyer of note of that place. 
In 1835, having previously been admitted to the bar, he re- 
moved to Greenfield, in Hancock county, and commenced the 
practice of his profession. In 1840 he removed to Columbus, 
Bartholomew county, and soon afterward formed a partnership 
with John H. Bradley in the practice of the law. While a res- 
ident of Columbus he was chosen Prosecuting Attorne}^ of his 
circuit, and acquitted himself with decided ability in the office. 
In 1846 Mr. Hammond and Mr. Bradley removed to Indiana- 
polis, and the next year to Cincinnati. But not being satisfied 
with their location, they returned to the former city in 1849, ^^^ 
Mr. Hammond formed a partnership with Hugh O'Neal, a cele- 
brated criminal lawyer of his da3^ In 1850 the Legislature of In- 
diana passed a law creating a Court of Common Pleas for Marion 
county. Mr. Hammond was chosen the first judge of this court. 
He, however, held the office but a short time, resigning it to 
leave for the West. In 1852 Judge Hammond went to San 
Francisco, Cal., and became a partner in the practice of the 
law with the eminent Rufus A. Lockwood. The next \'ear he 
returned to Indiana, and in 1855 remo^'ed to Terre Haute' and 
formed a partnership with Hon. Thomas H. Nelson in the prac- 
tice of the law. He lived in Terre Haute until elected Lieuten- 
ant-Governor of the State. 

In 1856 the Democratic wState Convention of Indiana nom- 
inated the late John C. Walker for Lieutenant-Governor. Soon 



114 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

after the nomination had been made it was discovered that Mr. 
Walker was not eligible for the office by reason of his not having 
reached the constitutional age. He therefore withdrew from 
the ticket, leaving the vacancy to be filled by the State Central 
Committee. 

On the dissolution of the Whig part}', after the disastrous 
campaign of 1852, many of its members entered the ranks of 
the Democracy. There was but little difference in the national 
platforms of the two great parties in that year, so these recruits 
had not far to go. Judge Hammond was one of the most prom- 
inent men in Indiana who took the new departure, and as there 
was a disposition to recognize this element of the Democratic 
party, the State Central Committee put him on the ticket in the 
place of Mr. Walker. He had not been a prominent politician, 
but he was well known over the State as an able lawyer. He 
made an active canvass, speaking in the principal cities, and 
when the election came off was chosen Lieutenant-Governor. 
He made a most excellent presiding officer of the Senate, his 
rulings being so fair and his decisions so just that even his po- 
litical opponents bestowed encomiums upon him. 

During the time that Mr. Hammond was Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor and Governor, the Democratic party was greath' dis- 
tracted b}^ the slavery question. The President, Mr. Buchanan, 
and his cabinet held the doctrine that the constitution of the 
United States protected slaver}^ in the Territories, and that 
slaveholders had the legal right to take their slaves into the 
Territories of Kansas and Nebraska. Mr. Douglas, the great 
apostle of popular sovereignty, controverted this position, and 
contended that the people of the Territories had the right of 
determining the question for themselves so soon as they had 
organized a civil government. In an elaborate paper, published 
in Harper's Magazine, he argued to this effect with great force 
and plausibility, if not witli irresistible logic. There was an 
" irrepressible conflict" between the two wings of the Democ- 
racy, which culminated at the Charleston convention in 1S60, 
and severed the p^rt}' in twain. That con\ention adjourned 
without making a nomination, and subsequently reassembled at 
Baltimore, where one wing of the party nominated Mr. Douglas 
for the presidenc}', and the other John C. Breckenridge. The 



Ar.KAM ADAMS IIAIMMONI). II5 

right between the factions was bitter and relentless — more bitter 
than against the Republicans. The mass of the party in Indiana 
followed the lead of Douglas, but man}' of the politicians tried 
hard to compass his overthrow. Previous to the meeting of the 
Democratic State Convention of i860 Governor Ilammond 
went to several county conventions for the purpose of using his 
influence to have administration delegates sent to the State 
con\ention. The author saw him at the convention in Jefl:erson 
county, and well remembers his efforts to have delegates chosen 
who would sustain Mr. Buchanan. He was fully in accord with 
Senator Bright. Governor Willard, United States Marshal Rob- 
inson, and others in their opposition to popular sovereignty as 
expounded bv Douglas, and, with them, he favored the admis- 
sion of Kansas under the Lecompton constitution. But he did 
not follow Senator Iiright into the Breckenridge movement. 
The organization of the party in Indiana was for Mr. Douglas, 
and Governor Hammond stood by the organization. He, how- 
ever, gave Mr. Douglas but a passive support, his heart not 
being in the fight. A Breckenridge electoral ticket was formed, 
which received 12,295 votes in the State, but, had these votes 
been added to those cast for Mr. Douglas, Mr. Lincoln would 
still have carried Indiana. His vote was 139,033, that of Mr. 
Douglas 115,509, that of Breckenridge 12,295, and that of Bell 
(Union) 5,306. It will thus be seen that Mr. Lincoln's majority 
in the State over all opposition was 5,923. 

Governor Willard died at St. Paul, Minnesota, October 5, 
i860, and Mr, Ilammond became Governor. On Frida}', Jan- 
uary II, 1861, he delivered his first and only message to the 
Legislature. In it he refers to the death of Go\-ernor Willard ; 
to the borrowing of $125,000 of Winslow, Lanier & Co., of 
New York, to pay the semi-annual interest on the State debt, 
the necessity for which he declares was occasioned by "the 
failure of the Senate of Indiana to pass a revenue bill for the 
years of 1857-8." He recommends legislation ^to protect the 
ballot-box, a law requiring " the collection of the debts due the 
v^tate in gold and silver," and the establishment of a sub-treasury 
in which to keep the funds of the State. He says '"the estab- 
lishment of a house of refuge upon the grounds selected and 
purchased ff)r that jmrjiose [one hundred acres h'ing foiu" miles 



Il6 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

west of Indianapolis, bought of Colonel Drake], is imperati\'elv 
demanded-T-demanded alike by good morals and sound policy — 
and I recommend that prompt and adequate action be taken bv 
the Legislature in the matter, and that an appropriation for that 
purpose be made." He closes his message as follows : 

" It gives me great pleasure to say that Indiana, as a State» 
has hitherto taithfulh" kept the bond of union with all her sister 
States. Her record is unstained b}" any act of bad faith. She 
has never attempted, directly or indirectly, to evade or -avoid 
any of the requirements of the Federal- constitution, and no man 
can doubt that if the same could be said of ever}- other State » 
instead of discord, peace and harmony would reign throughout 
our borders. Let us then take pride in maintaining the high 
position we have thus far occupied as a conservative, union- 
loving State, and while we throw our weight into the scale in 
favor of any practical mode of settling the present trouble, let 
us endeavor to aid in that more permanent and lasting settle- 
ment that must flow from a restoration of amity and cordiality 
among all our people. North and South. Then, as you have 
met in a legislative capacity, 3'ou should place Indiana, in this 
controversy, where she rightly belongs, as a conservative, law- 
abiding and Union State. Show to the people of the Conted- 
eracy that Indiana will maintain the constitutional rights of 
every State in this Union : that she will extend to the South all 
rights in the Territories belonging to this a^overnment that she 
would claim for herself; that she will look to the constitution 
and the laws to determine rights of property, and not permit 
any moral question to intertere to affect that determination, and 
that all property recognized by the constitution and laws shall 
be alike protected. This position, although it ma}^ not aftect 
the action of the extreme Southern States, yet it may do much 
to bring about a convention of the border free and slave States. 
And regarding, as I do, these States to be conservative, and in 
favor of maintaining the Union as it is, it would be well for the 
peace of this countrv if they could meet in convention and con- 
sult together in regard to the present unhapp}^ differences ex- 
isting between thp North and South. They might, by their con- 
servative action, induce the extremists of the North and South 



ABRAM ADAMS HAMMOND, Iiy 

to pause and reflect upon the consequences which must nec- 
essarily resuh from their fanatical course, and if, by their action, 
this much could be gained, there would then be hope that b}^ 
a union of the conservative elements of the country these un- 
happy differences might be satisfactoril}'^ settled, and the best 
government under heaven saved tVom the horrors of disunion 
and civil war," 

These recommendations of Governor Hammond were favor- 
ably received and acted on by the Legislature. Subsequently 
a sub-treasury law was passed, and is still upon the statute 
books. Although the Legislature he addressed failed to provide 
for the creation of a house of refuge for juvenile offenders, a 
subsequent one passed such a law. It w^as during the adminis- 
tration of Governor Baker that the institution at Plainfield w'as 
established, but a part of the honor for its creation justh' belongs 
to Governor Hammond. 

Governor Hammond's recommendation that Indiana should 
be represented in a convention of the border States, then about 
to be held, was adopted. Five davs at'ter the delivery of his 
message, Lieutenant-Governor Morton became Governor by 
reason of the resignation of Governor Lane, who had been 
elected to the United States Senate, Governor Morton was 
opposed to Indiana's sending delegates to the Peace Congress, 
but the Legislature passed a joint resolution for their appoint- 
ment, whereupon the Governor named Caleb B. Smith, Pleas- 
ant A, Hackelman, Godlove S. Orth, Thomas C. Slaughter and 
Erastus W. H. Ellis as the delegrates. 

The Peace Congress met at Washington Cit^■, February 4, 
1861, and organized by the election of John Tyler, once Presi- 
dent of the United States, as its president. Much was hoped 
from it. but nothing obtained. There were several propositions 
before it, notably the one named for Mr. Crittenden, looking to 
a compromise of the differences between the sections ; but they 
were all rejected. The delegates from Indiana opposed all 
compromise or concessions to the South, and after several days 
of fruitless efforts to reach an accommodation the convention 
adjourned. Governor Hammond was in favor of the Crittenden 
compromise, and if he had had the selection of the Indiana del- 



Il8 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

egates he would have chosen men who would have supported 
that measure. 

x\bout the time Governor Hammond went out of office his 
health gave wa}'. Rheumatism fastened itself upon him and 
never let go its hold. After this time he suffered almost con- 
tinuouslv and was compelled to walk with crutches. He tried 
all manner of remedies to get relief, but to little purpose. After 
awhile asthma attacked him, and in the summer of 1874 ^^ went 
to Colorado, hoping to be benefited bv its climate. But the 
dr\- air of the mountains failed to work a cure. He died at Den- 
ver, August 27, 1874, '^^^^^ ^o^^^" davs afterward his remains 
reached Indianapolis and were taken to the house of John M. 
Talbott, an old friend of the Governor. On the day of their 
arrival Governor Hendricks issued an order for the closing of 
the State offices during the obsequies. On the afternoon of 
September i, the funeral took place at Mr. Talbott's residence, 
Rev. F. M. Bird officiating. The pall-bearers were Governor 
Hendricks, Major Gordon, Judge Roache, Aquilla Jones, Cap- 
tain Dodd, Hon. Joseph E. McDonald, William Mansur and 
Simon Yandes, who escorted his remains to Crown Hill Ceme- 
tery, where they were buried. 

Governor Hammond w^as the first Lieutenant-Governor of 
Indiana to become Governor on account of death. In 1822 
Lieutenant-Governor Boon became Governor, succeeding Jon- 
athan Jennings, and in 1825 James Brown Ray, President of the 
Senate, became Governor, as the successor of William Hen- 
dricks, but in both cases the vacancies were caused by resigna- 
tion, and not by death. 

Governor Willard died October 5, i860, and Governor Ham- 
mond served until the inauguration of Governor Lane, Januar\- 
14, 1861. Two da3S afterward Governor Lane resigned and 
Lieutenant-Governor Morton became Governor. Thus it will 
be seen that in a period of one hundred and three days Indiana 
had four different Governors, a fact without a parallel in the 
history of the country, so far as my knowledge goes. 

Governor Hammond was not a showy man, but he was an 
able one, much abler than the public ga\'e him credit for. He 
had an analytic and logical mind, and was remarkably clear in 
stating his positions and drawing his conclusions. He had not 



ABRA:M ADAMS HAMMOND. 



119 



great learning, but he was a close observer of events, and dur- 
ing life gathered a mass of information not found in books. 
He was not particularly well read in the law, but he was a good 
lawyer, for he comprehended principles and was able to apply 
them in his practice. 

While Governor Hammond's residence was at Indianapolis 
trom 1849 until ^^^ died, except the 3^ear he was at Terre Haute, 
vet he made several changes in the location of his business. 
He would have succeeded anywhere, for in ability he was far 
above most of his competitors at the bar, but he would hardlv 
be well settled at one place before he would close his office and 
open one elsewhere. He was not content to '" watch and wait." 
but wanted the business to come at once. 

Until he became afflicted with rheumatism Governor Ham- 
mond was an unusualh^ hne specimen of physical manhood. He 
walked with a spring and moved with the agilitv of an athlete. 
He was of medium height, compactly built, and of dark com- 
plexion. His head was large and well-shaped. While the ex- 
pression of his countenance was kind and gentle, it never 
betrayed passion or emotion. He was cool, deliberate and self- 
possessed, keeping his feelings and temper under perfect con- 
trol. He was frank in his manners, honorable in his dealino-s 
and dignified in his deportment. Although not one of the most 
learned Governors of Indiana, he was, bv nature, one of the 
ablest. 



HENRY SMITH LANE. 



Henry Smith Lane, for two da3-s Governor of Indiana, was 
born in Montgomery county, Kentucky, February 1 1 , i8i i . He 
was well educated, and when eighteen ^^ears old commenced 
the study of the law. Soon after reaching his majority he was 
admitted to the bar, and in 1835 came to Indiana and settled at 
Crawfordsville. He had a winning address, abounded in anec- 
•dote, and was fluent in speech. He soon obtained a good legal 
practice, particularh^ in criminal cases. He became very popu- 
lar, and in 1837 "^^'^^ elected to the State Legislature from his 
county. 

In 1840 the Democracy of Indiana nominated General Tilgh- 
man A. Howard, then a member of Congress from the Seventh 
District, for Governor of the State. General Howard resigned 
his seat in Congress to make the race, and Edward A. Hanne- 
gan and Henrv S. Lane became candidates to fill the vacancy. 
In many respects the}' were alike. They were both wonder- 
fully eloquent, but neither very logical. Mr. Lane was elected, 
defeating his competitor some 1,500 votes. The next year he 
was again a candidate for Congress, and defeated John Bryce 
by an immense majority. He never was elected to Congress 
after this. 

In 1844 Mr. Lane stumped Indiana for Henry Clay, and none 
mourned the defeat of the Kentucky statesman more than he. 
On the breaking out of the Mexican war he engaged earnestly 
in the work of raising troops and stimulating the war spirit 
among the people. In Mav, 1846, he attended a war meeting 
at Indianapolis and participated activel}' in its proceedings. 
He was a member of the committee on resolutions, and assisted 



HENRY SMITH LAXE. 121 

in drawing those adopted by the meeting. The resolutions 
were preceded b}' the following preamble : 

"Whereas, The cherished malice of the Mexican govern- 
ment toward the United States has at length resulted in the au- 
dacious invasion of our territory by her troops, and the shedding 
of American blood on American soil." 

This preamble was followed b}' a series of resolutions, one of 
which pledged the government the support of the West " with- 
out regard to political distinctions.'" The account of this meet- 
ing, published at the time, says that '' Henr^- S. Lane being 
called for by the meeting, addressed it in that peculiar strain 
of inspiring eloquence for which he is so distinguished, and 
which is possessed by few other men of our country." No man 
in the State was w^armer in his support of the war than Mr. 
Lane, and few did so much to enthuse the people and unite* 
them in its support. But he did other things besides talking to 
aid the country- in its war with Mexico. He raised a company' 
of volunteers, and when the first regiment was organized, he 
was chosen its major. While in the field he was promoted to 
the lieutenant-colonelcy, and served as such until the regiment 
disbanded. His regiment was engaged most of the time it was 
in Mexico in guarding supply trains and protecting posts, but 
nevertheless its services were valuable to the government. 

After the expiration of the term for which Colonel Lane had 
enlisted he returned to Indiana, landing at Madison. The 
night of his arrival he made a speech in the Madison Court- 
house in support of the war. He was a leading Whig, and in 
this speech he severely attacked those men of his part}'^ who 
opposed the war with Mexico. He declared that if Governor 
Corwin and others of his school w^ere to shape the policy and 
la}' down the principles for the Whig part3^ it would become 
the dutv of all patriotic men to abandon it. The fiery eloquence 
of the speaker kindled anew the war spirit at Madison, and a 
company was soon organized, which went into the field as part 
of the Fifth- Indiana Regiment, commanded by Colonel James 
H. Lane. 

In 1849 Colonel Lane was again a candidate for Congress in 
his district. His opponent was Hon. Joseph E. McDonald. 



122 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

afterward a Senator of the United States. Thb contest between 
these distinguished men was conducted with entire good feel- 
ing, and resulted in the election of Mr. McDonald. 

On the organization of the People's party in 1854, Colonel 
Lane entered it. That party having a majority of the Legisla- 
ture that year, Colonel Lane came to Indianapolis and labored 
for the election of Joseph G. Marshall to the United States Sen- 
ate. But the Democrats, having control of the Senate, refused 
to go into an election for Senator, and none took place. 

When the Republican party was formed. Colonel Lane took 
a position at its head in Indiana, and such was his reputation 
throughout the country that when the national convention of 
the Republican party met in 1856 he was 'chosen its president. 
His speech on taking the chair was wonderfulh'^ eloquent and 
spirit-stirring. The delegates became so enthused during its 
deliver}'- that they cheered the speaker to the echo. The con- 
vention nominated Fremont and Dayton for President and \"ice- 
President, and Colonel Lane at once took the stump in Indiana 
in their support. They were defeated at the election \yhich 
followed, but the principles the}' represented soon became dom- 
inant in the country. 

In 1859 Colonel Lane and Colonel William M. McCartv re- 
ceived the votes of a majority of the members of the Indiana 
Legislature for United States Senators. They went to Wash- 
ington and contested the seats held by Senators Bright and 
Fitch, but the Senate decided against them. 

The Republican State convention of i860 nominated Colonel 
Lane for Governor and Oliver P. Morton for Lieutenant-Go\'- 
ernor. Their Democratic competitors were Thomas A. Hen- 
dricks and David Turpie. It is questionable if four men of 
equal ability were ever pitted against each other as candidates 
for Governor and Lieutenant-Governor in Indiana. They started 
out to make joint canvasses, and for some time continued their 
debates. The candidates tor Governor began their can\-ass at 
Jeftersonville. The}' then went to Charlestown, thence to New- 
Albany, and then down the river, stopping at the leading towns, 
until they reached Evansville. Soon after they spoke at Evans- 
ville Colonel Lane left Mr. Hendricks and went to Chicago to 
attend the convention \yhich nominated Abraham Lincoln lor 



HENRY SMITH LAXE. 1 23 

President. When the convention was over he returned to In- 
diana and resumed his debates with Mr. Hendricks, speaking 
tirst at Fort Wavne, and afterward at several other towns in the 
northern part of the State. After filHng these appointments 
Colonel Lane refused to turther extend the joint discussion, and 
during the remainder of the campaign canvassed by himself. 
In this he acted wisel}', tor while he was Mr. Hendricks's su- 
perior as a popular orator, he was not his equal as a debater. 
The election resulted in the choice of Colonel Lane b}^ a large 
majority, and on the 14th of January, 1861, he took the oath of 
otfice and entered upon his oHicial duties. In his message to 
the Legislature he said : 

"The novel, alarming and treasonable assumption that an\" 
State in the Union has a right, under the Federal constitution, 
to secede at pleasure is a doctrine unknown to the constitution, 
at war with the principles on which our government was es- 
tablished, and destructive of those high and sacred objects 
sought to be accomplished by the confederation. ^ * The 
doctrine of secession, peaceable or forcible, now or at any other 
time, is a dangerous heres}^ fraught with all the terrible conse- 
quences of civil war and bloodshed, and leading directly to 
the utter ruin of all our institutions. This heresy has not 3'et 
poisoned the public sentiment of Indiana, and may God, in 
his kind providence, put afar ofl' the evil day which shall wit- 
ness its prevalence amongst us. I most sincerely believe, and 
am proud to declare, that the people of Indiana, of all parties, 
are true to the constitution and loyal to the Union ; and that 
they will always be in the future, as they have shown, them- 
selves to have been in the past, willing to yield a ready and 
clieerful obedience to all the requirements of the constitution 
of the United States, and to maintain and uphold at all times, 
under all circumstances, and at every hazard, the glorious form 
of free go\'ernment under which we live." 

Two da\s after the deli\'ery of this message Governor Lane 
was elected to the Senate of the United States. He at once 
resigned the governorship, having held the office but two days — 
the shortest term in that office on record in Indiana. 



124 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

In the Senate Colonel Lane did not attain any great distinc- 
tion. It was not the place for the exercise of his peculiar tal- 
ents. These were better suited to the hustings than to a legis- 
lative body. He was placed upon the Committee of Militarv 
Affairs, and upon that of Pensions, and reached the chairman- 
ship of the latter committee before his senatorial term expired. 
He zealously sustained the government in its war for the Union, 
voting it all needful supplies, and upholding its hands in ever}- 
way he could. But he was not an ultra man, and did not advo- 
cate ultra measures. In the beginning of the trouble he had 
favored concessions to the South not inconsistent with national 
honor and national union, but when the flag was fired on at 
Fort Sumter the compromising spirit left him. Absolute and 
unconditional obedience to the law was the only condition he 
had to offer the South after that. 

When Colonel Lane's senatorial term expired he returned to 
liis home at Crawfordsville, and never afterward held public 
office, unless the appointment of Indian Commissioner, tendered 
him by General Grant, ma}^ be said to have been a public one. 
He lived at his pleasant home, at peace with the world and en- 
joying the affection of his neighbors and friends until the end 
came. And when it did come grief abounded throughout the 
State. 

On the afternoon of Friday', June i8, 1881, Colonel Lane was 
upon the streets of Crawfordsville enjoying his usual health. 
In the evening he entertained some of his friends at his resi- 
dence, and after they had gone, retired to bed as usual. He 
was taken sick in the night, suffering from smothering spells 
and pains in the region of the heart. The next morning, how- 
ever, he arose, dressed himselt", and for some time sat on his 
porch, smoking. About 11 o'clock that morning he com- 
plained of being unwell. He undressed himself and went to 
"bed, and continued to grow worse until half-past one o'clock 
that afternoon, when he died. 

The news of Colonel Lane's death was telegraphed over the 
countr3% and created a profound sensation. He was universally 
popular in Indiana, and his death was mourned as sincerely by 
his political opponents as bv his political friends. The people 
of his town held a meeting the dav he died, and passed resolu- 



HENRY SiNIITH LANE. 125. 

tions testilying of their love for the dead statesman. When the- 
nevvs reached Indianapolis Governor Porter issued an order that 
" the State officefs be draped in mourning for a term of thirty 
days, and that on the day of the funeral they be closed." On 
Monday, June 20, the State officers met and resolved to attend 
the funeral in a body. The same evening a public meeting was 
held at Indianapolis, over which ex-Governor Hendricks pre- 
sided, to testifv of the high respect in which the deceased was 
held b}^ the people of the State capital. In his speech stating- 
the object of the meeting, Governor Hendricks said : 

" It is now twenty-one 3'ears since we were the candidates of 
our respective parties for Governor, and I came out of that 
campaign respecting him most thoroughlv, and have so con- 
tinued to do ever since." 

In his speech at this meeting Senator McDonald said : 

" In 1849 ^'^^^ were competitors for Congress. He was alwa^'s 
the soul of honor, and generous to his opponents alike in the- 
practice of the law and on the stump." 

General Coburn said : 

" Caleb B. Smith was a more fluent and graceful speaker.. 
perhaps, General Howard more stately and polished, Samuel 
Parker excelled him in the keenness of satire and ridicule, but 
in the intensity of force, point, and a wonderful droller}^, Lane 
was simply unapproachable." 

General Harrison said of him : 

" There was no personal malice in his speeches ; if they con- 
tained hostility or bitterness it was directed towards the political 
principles of his opponents. He was, to an eminent degree, a 
man of the most genial and kindly feeling, of an open-hearted, 
sympathetic disposition." 

Judge Gresham said : 

" The conditions under which Colonel Lane came forward 
and gained his power do not now exist, and perhaps never will 



126 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES, 

again. That power consisted largely in his ability to speak to 
the feelings of men. He depended greatl}^ upon the inspiration 
of the moment. Thoughts came as he spoke, and he made a 
better speech ex tempore than by writing it out." 

The Committee on Resolutions, consisting of Major Jonathan 
W. Gordon, John M. Butler, Thomas A. Hendricks, Albert G. 
Porter and Joseph E. McDonald, reported to the meeting a 
memorial, in which they said : 

"• In private and social life he was a model man and citizen. 
* * * His peculiar gifts as an orator fitted him lor the field 
of politics, and he entered it with all the enthusiasm of his na- 
ture. * * * He was a wise man, just and generous withal : 
and many a charitable act that was known only to his giving 
hand will be revealed by Him who seeth in secret and rewardeth 
openly. He was capable of intense enthusiasm and passion, 
but able to restrain and direct them to ends of beneficence and 
order. His last year was like the hour of a glorious and cloud- 
less sunset; and even now, that he has left us, his ]ight still 
streams far up our skies to enlighten and cheer us amid the 
gloom of the present." 

Tuesday, June 21, was designated as the dav the remains of 
Colonel Lane would be laid at rest. The hour of the funeral 
was I o'clock, but long before the time arrived, business in 
Crawfordsville was suspended, and the people began to meet in 
the grounds about the home of the distinguished dead. The 
bells were tolled, and gloom hung over the city like a pall. 
Among the distinguished persons from a distance were ex-Sena- 
tors Hendricks and McDonald, Governor Porter, Senators 
Harrison and Voorhees, Judge Gresham, and many other noted 
men. The religious services were conducted b}' Rev. John L. 
Smith, after which the remains, followed by an immense con- 
course of people, were taken to Oak Hill Cemetery, deposited 
in a vault, and subsequently buried. The pall bearers were 
Samuel Binford, Governor Porter, James Heaton, R. B. F. 
Peirce, Peter S. Kennedy, Senators Voorhees and Harrison. 
B. F.' Ristine, Prof. Campbell and Governor Hendricks. Some 
of these gentlemen had often met him on the hustings and been 



HEXRY SMITH LANE. 12'/ 

the objects of his keenest satire and inimitable drollery, but 
these contests had left no stings, and they mourned him as a 
friend. 

The monument erected to the memor}^ of Colonel Lane is 
thus described : 

••It is an obelisk of Scotch granite, from the quarries of 
Aberdeen, Scotland, resting upon a double base of American 
granite, which is eight feet and two inches square. Upon the 
lirst Scotch granite base is the name 'Lane' in raised, large 
block letters. Within the die is a polished panel, upon which 
inscriptions are to be carved. On the die, which is bordered 
bv polished columns, are the letters, ' H. S. L.,' forming a 
beautiful monogram. The shaft is thirteen feet high, and is 
surrounded by a finial, the terminal of which is a polished ball. 
The height of the entire structure is thirtv-two feet. The 
monument weighs fortA'-five tons. It is a magnificent piece of 
workmanship, and is a worthy memorial of the distinguished 
man whose resting place it marks." 

In October, 183 1, when but twenty years old, Mr. Lane de- 
livered an address before the Colonization Society in Bath 
county, Kentucky, which proves him to have been opposed to 
slavery in his 3'outh. In his speech he said: •• This society 
presents the onh' plausible wa}' of removing the evil of slavery 
from this country." He was not an abolitionist, but a coloniza- 
tionist. In this respect he was like Henry Clay, at whose po- 
litical shrine he was a worshiper. He also declared that "The 
history of all times admonishes us that no nation or community 
of men can be kept in slaver}- forever ; that no power earthly 
can bind the immortal energies of the human soul ; and how- 
ever unpleasant the reflection may be, it is nevertheless true 
that we must free our sla\es, or the\' will one da}- free them- 
selves. Perhaps they may soon rise in their might and majesty 
of freemen and cast their broken chains at their feet with a 
mighty eflbrt, which will shake this republic to its center. The 
light of history shows us that men determined to be free can 
not be conquered." The speaker lived to see the negro free 
and enfranchised, but the work was not accomplished by the 



120 HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 

Colonization Societ3\ The great e\'il of human slavery could 
only be destroyed by the sword. 

While Colonel Lane was an anti-slaver^^ man, he did not^ 
until after the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, favor anti- 
slavery agitation. In 1842, when in Congress, he voted to cen- 
sure Joshua R. Giddings for introducing his celebrated resolu- 
tions in the Creole case. The passage of the vote of censure 
on Mr. Giddings caused the sturdy old abolitionist to resign his 
seat and appeal to his constituents for vindication. 

Colonel Lane became popular at a time when the world was 
in love with his peculiar orator}'. He abounded in anecdote, 
was very felicitous in illustrations, and extremely happy in his 
applications of them. He spoke easih' and fluently, and there 
was a peculiar charm in his delivery. He could enthuse a 
crowd as but few other men could do ; but he was not a logical 
speaker, and as a debater he was excelled b}- many of far less 
reputation as an orator than he. While in the United States 
Senate he seldom said a word. The debates of that body were 
not suited to one of his type, and, as a consequence, he seldom 
or never participated in them. On the hustings he was the 
equal of anv man who sat in the Senate with him, but he felt 
his deticiencies as a Senator, and when his term expired refused 
to be a candidate for re-election. But in a canvass before the 
people he was superb. We never had a man in Indiana who 
excelled him in this respect, and but few who equaled him. 
While mingling among the people, addressing them from the 
stump, he felt his power, and was at home. He could then say, 
without the semblance of egotism, "My toot is on my native 
heath, and my name is Macgregor." It may truh' be said of 
Colonel Lane that " He was not analytical or philosophical. 
He rarely attempted to make a speech instructive to the unin- 
formed or convincing to the undetermined. His mission, fixed 
by the character of his intellect and the intensity of his feelings, 
was rather to stir men up to act, to give them impulse and mo- 
tive, than to arm them for controversy or determine the direction 
of their action.": 

Colonel Lane was a speaker, not a writer. He wrote nothing, 
unless it were a letter, or a paper designed for use at the time. 
He never wrote his speeches, and did not care whether they 



HENRY SMITH LAXP:. 



129 



were published or not. He made them to influence those who 
heard them, and not those who were to come after him. 

Colonel Lane was a member of the Methodist church, and 
was a God-fearing man. He was a gentleman, a patriot and a 
Christian, and was esteemed as such by those who knew him. 

In person Colonel Lane was tall and slender and somewhat 
stoop-shouldered. His face was thin and wore a kindly ex- 
pression. In his latter days the long beard he wore was as 
white as snow. He moved quickl}^, and his bearing was that 
of a cultured man. 

* "None knew him but to love him, 
None named him but to praise." 



OLIVER P. MORTON 



Fully realizing the difficulty before me I commence this 
sketch of Oliver P. Morton. Sufficient time has not elapsed 
since he was a leading factor in the politics of the country for 
him to be correctly weighed and judged. He held high offi- 
cial positions and great power during a great civil war, a war 
that fanned the passions of the people to the fiercest heat. By 
many he was considered little less than a god, b}^ some as little 
better than a devil. History will accord him the place of a man 
who accomplished great results ; of a man of strong will and 
passions : of intense love of country and of great intellect. He 
had the weaknesses inherent in mankind, but his great deeds 
obscured them, and he will go down to future ages as the 
foremost man Indiana has yet produced. 

Oliver Perr}" Morton, the War Governor of Indiana, was 
born in Saulsburv, Wa3me count}', Indiana, August 4, 1823. 
The original name of his family, which was of English origin, 
was Throckmorton, but the last member to so write it was his 
grandfather. The father of the late Governor left off" Throck " 
from the famih* name, writing it " Morton," which example 
was followed by his children. He called the boy Oliver Hazard 
Perry, but when the future statesman reached an age when he 
could determine for himself he eliminated Hazard from his 
name. 

When Oliver was a boy he attended the academy of Prot^ 
Hoshour at Centerville, but the family being poor he was 
placed, at the age of fifteen, with an older brother to learn the 
hatter's trade. He worked some four years at this business, 
and I doubt not became proficient in his calling, for he always 




^''/^r,> y'^ //,./. 






oi.i\'1':r v. mortox. 131 

mastered anything he undertook. Concluding that the hatter's 
business did not suit him he resolved to abandon it and qualit\' 
himself for the profession of the law. With this object in view- 
he entered Miami University in 1843, and remained there a 
couple of years. He then returned to Centerville and com- 
menced the study of the law with the late Judge Newman. He 
soon secured a good practice and rose to prominence at the bar. 
In 1852 he was elected Circuit Judge. He served on the bench 
about a 3'ear, when, preferring the practice to judicial service, 
he resigned. He then attended a law school at Cincinnati for 
one term, and resumed his legal practice. 

Up to this time Judge Morton had been a Democrat. The 
county in which he lived was largely Whig, thus \'irtuallv pre- 
cluding him from holding elective offices. Had he been in 
political accord with the majoritv in his county he would, no 
doubt, have become prominent in the politics of the State at an 
earlier day than he did. But in 1854 politics underwent a change 
that brought him to the front. The repeal of the Missouri Com- 
promise created a rebellion in the Democratic party, and Judge 
Morton became a political rebel. He entered the "People's" 
movement in 1854, '^^^^ ^^ i^S^ became one of the creators of 
the Republican party. He was a delegate to the Pittsburgh 
convention of that year, a convention that gave the Republican 
party form and shape, and breathed into its nostrils the breath 
of life. His prominence was such that in May, 1856, he was 
unanimously nominated for Governor of the State. His op- 
ponent was Ashbel P. Willard, a brilliant man, and the superior 
of Morton as a stumper, but greatly his inferior as a logician 
and a debater. Both the candidates were young and able. 
They canvassed the State together and drew immense crowds 
of people to hear them. The speeches of Willard were florid 
and spirit-stirring, those of Morton plain and convincing. He 
made nt) eflbrt to be eloquent or witty, but addressed himself 
to the reason and conscience of his hearers. Although he was 
beaten at the polls, he came out of the contest with his popu- 
laritv increased and with the reputation of being intellectual! \- 
one of the strongest men in the State. 

The defeat of Judge Morton for Governor in 1856 had a de- 
pressing eftect upon him, as, indeed, did all his defeats. Mr. 



132 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SIvP:TCHES. 

Murat Halstead, of Cincinnati, gives this account of a meeting' 
between him and Judge Morton : 

"The night after the day \vhen he was beaten bv Wihard tor 
Governor of Indiana, Morton called at my office, and was wearv 
and depressed. His first State campaign had ended in disaster, 
and he seemed to have no political future. He was himself of 
the opinion at the time that that was the end of his career as a 
politician. Could he have looked ten years ahead he would 
have beheld himself a leading man of the countr^^" 

In i860 Judge Morton was nominated for Lieutenant-Governor 
of Indiana on the ticket with Henry S. Lane. Colonel Lane 
was a more popular orator than Judge Morton, but far behind 
him in executive abilitv. Both were able, and thev had able 
men to contend with. Judge Morton's opponent was David 
Turpie, afterward a United States Senator, and one of the 
strongest writers and debaters in the State. They made a joint 
canvass, and ably discussed the issues then before the country. 

The election resulted in the choice of Lane and Morton, and 
when the Legislature convened in January, 1861, the latter was. 
duly inaugurated Lieutenant-Governor of the State. Two days 
afterward Governor Lane was elected to the United States Sen- 
ate, and resigned the governorship, whereupon Lieutenant- 
Governor Morton became Governor. It was while filling this 
term as Go\'ernor that Morton did his best public work, and 
created for himself a fame as lasting as the State itself. A civil 
war was about breaking out when he became Governor, and 
few so well comprehended what would be its magnitude as he. 
While many believed the trouble would pass away without an 
armed conflict, and that if one did commence it would be of 
short duration, Go\ernor Morton plainh' saw its coming, and 
knew it would be one of the hardest fought and bloodiest con- 
tests the world e\er saw. Man}' of Governor Morton's part\' 
friends, and among them Governor Lane, had favored conces- 
sions to the South before hostilities began ; but not so Governor 
Morton. The only compromise he had to ofler the South was 
absolute obedience to the laws of the land. He opposed the 
scheme of a peace congress, and when the Legislature passed 
a joint resolution providing for the appointment of peace com- 



()LI\KR P. MORTON. I33 

missioners, he selected men who were pubHcl}' known to be 
opposed to any compromise or concessions. He commenced 
preparing tor the coniiict that he knew was coming, and when 
Beauregard lired on Sumter, April 12, 1861, the Governor of 
Indiana was neither surprised nor appalled. Oh the 15th of 
April, three days after the attack on Sumter, President Lincoln 
called for seventv-five thousand men to put down the rebellion. 
The same day Governor Morton telegraphed him as follows : 

"Indianapolis, April 15, 1861. 
" To Abraham Liticohi, President of the Ihiited States: 

•' On behalf of the State of Indiana, I tender to you for the 
defense of the nation, and to uphold the authority of the gov- 
ernment, ten thousand men. Oliver P. Morton, 

^^ Governor of Indiana.'" 

In seven days from the date of this offer, over three times the 
number of men required to fill Indiana's quota of the President's 
call offered their services to the government. The struggle 
was to get into the army, not to keep out of it. Never, in the 
world's history, did the people of a State respond more cheer- 
fullv and more enthusiasticall}^ to the call of duty than did the 
freemen of Indiana in the spring of 1861. 

On the 24th of April Governor Morton reconvened the Leg- 
islature, which had adjourned a short time before. In his mes- 
sage to that bod}' he particularlv described the condition of 
public affairs and asked that one million of dollars be appropri- 
ated to meet the emergencies of the occasion. At this special 
session there was little or no division among the members upon 
the subject of the war. They voted a loan of two millions, pro- 
vided for all needful supplies, and sustained the Governor in his 
efforts to put Indiana in the fore-front in the war for the Union. 
It was only when the war pointed to the abolition of negro 
jslaverv that division among the people of Indiana began. 

There is not room in a sketch like this to go into the details 
of Governor Morton's public acts. He displayed extraordinary 
industry and ability in putting troops into the field, and in pro- 
viding for their needs while there. He never tired in working 



134 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

for their comfort, and his efforts in their behalf justly earned 
him the title of " The Soldiers' Friend." 

'The Legislature of 1862 was not in accord with the political 
opinions of Governor Morton. It refused to receive his mes- 
sage, and in other wavs treated him with want of consideration 
and respect. While a bill was pending in the House to take 
from the Governor the command of the militia and give it to a 
board composed of State officers, his friends in that body lel't 
the capital and went to Madison, The Legislature was thus 
broken up before the appropriation bills had passed, and the 
Executive was left without money to run the government. In 
this emergency he applied to certain count}- boards and banks 
for funds to defray the expenses of the State government. Large 
amounts were furnished him, but not enough to answer his pur- 
pose ; so he went to Washington and obtained from the national 
government a quarter million of dollars. He established a Bu- 
reau of Finance and appointed General W. H. H. Terrell his 
financial secretary. This bureau was created in April, 1863, 
and continued in existence until January, 1865. During the 
intervening time all the disbursements on account of the ex- 
penses of the State, except salaries, were made by this bureau. 
It received a total of $1,026,321.31, every cent of which was- 
properly accounted for. Its creation was without authority of 
law, but it served a necessar}^ purpose, and was in consonance 
with many things done during these troublous and exciting; 
times. I know of no parallel to this action of Governor Morton 
in the histor^^ of the country. He ran, for many months, the 
State government outside of legal channels, but he ran it so 
honestly and well that the people not onlv excused the act, but 
applauded it. By assuming great responsibilities he kept the 
machinery of the State government smoothly in motion in all 
of its departments, and preserved the financial credit of the 
commonwealth by securing an advance of about -$600,000 through 
a New York banking house to pay the interest on the public 
debt. 

In 1864 Governor Morton was again nominated for Go\'ernor 
of Indiana, and this time was elected, defeating his opponent, 
Hon. Joseph E. McDonald, bv a majoritv of 20,883 votes. He 
and Mr. McDonald made a joint canvass of the State, and 



OLI^■ER 1'. :\ioRTOx. 135 

passed through it with the utmost good teehng. Although 
standard-bearers of their respective parties, during one ot' the 
most exciting canvasses ever made, nothing occurred to mar 
the personal friendship long existing between them. This 
friendship continued while Governor Morton lived. After he 
had been prostrated by disease, and, indeed, was on his death- 
bed, Mr. McDonald, then his colleague in the Senate, visited 
him and assured him that should he be unable to attend the next 
session of the Senate, without injur}- to his health, he. Mr. 
McDonald, would pair with him upon all political questions. 
For this generous offer Senator McDonald was severely criti- 
cised b}^ the Democratic press at the time, but, nevertheless, it 
detracted nothing from his popularity, but rather added to it. 

In the summer of 1865 Governor Morton received a partial 
paralytic stroke, from which he never recovered. The disease 
struck the lower part of his body, affecting his limbs to that 
extent that he never walked afterward without the assistance of 
canes. At this time he was in the prime of life, with great 
phvsical and mental vigor. His mind was in no wise affected 
by the shock, but continued to grow stronger while he lived. 
In December following this attack of paral3'sis Governor Morton 
turned over the executive department of the State to Lieuten- 
ant-Governor Baker and went to Europe. While there he re- 
ceived medical attention from the most eminent specialist in the 
treatment of nervous diseases on the continent, but although 
the treatment benefited him, it did not restore him to health. 
He remained in Europe until the next March, and then returned 
home and resumed his official duties. 

In Januar}', 1867, Governor Morton was elected to the United 
States Senate. He resigned the governorship and was suc- 
ceeded b}^ the Lieutenant-Governor, Conrad Baker, who served 
the remainder of the gubernatorial term. In 1873 Mr. Morton 
was re-elected to the Senate and continued a member of that 
body while he lived. 

In the Senate Mr. Morton ranked amonp' its ablest mem- 
bers. As a party leader he stood like Saul, the son of Kish, 
among his fellows. He was chairman of the Committee of 
Privileges and Elections, and did more to determine the polic\- 



136 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

of the Senate, and of the Republican party of the country, upon 
political questions, than any other member of that body. 

Mr. Morton served in the Senate during a most exciting and 
troublous time. It was while he was there that the question of 
reconstruction of the rebellious States was before the country. 
He supported the most repressive and radical measures affect- 
ing these States and their inhabitants, treating them as con- 
quered provinces subject to rehabilitation by Congress. He 
favored the impeachment of President Johnson on account of 
his differences with Congress upon the reconstruction question, 
and when the impeachment failed none regretted it more than he. 

In 1874 Senator Morton voted for the inflation bill vetoed by 
President Grant, and the next year he supported the redemption 
act. He opposed the electoral commission bill of 1877, holding 
that the President of the Senate had the right to open and count 
the votes. But when Congress passed the act he accepted a 
place upon the commission and voted against going behind the 
returns as certified to the Senate. In a speech delivered at 
Richmond, Indiana, in the summer of 1865, he argued against 
conferring upon negroes the right to vote, and soon afterward 
became a champion of negro suffrage. Once, after making a 
speech in the Senate in its favor, he was twitted by Senator 
Doolittle with inconsistency, and replied as follows : 

" I confess, and I do it without shame, that I have been 
educated by the great events of the war. The American peo- 
ple have been educated rapidly ; and the man who says he has 
learned nothing, that he stands now where he did six ^^ears ago, 
is like an ancient mile-post bv the side of a deserted highway." 

In the spring of 1877 Senator Morton went to Oregon as 
chairman of a Senate committee, to investigate matters con- 
nected with the election of Senator Grover of that State. His 
associates on the committee were Senators Saulsbur}^ of Dela- 
ware, and McMillen, of Minnesota. The committee sat eighteen 
days and took a large amount of testimon}-, which was subse- 
quently submitted to Congress. While in Oregon, Senator 
Morton delivered a political speech at Salem, the last speech 
he ever made. It was characteristic of the man, being strong, 
logical, and exceedinglv hastile to the South. On his way 



OLIVER F. MORTON. 137 

home from Oregon he stopped awhile at San Francisco for 
rest. On the evening of the sixth of August, being still in that 
citv, he ate a hearty supper and retired to rest. He awoke in 
the night and found his left side paralyzed. The next day he 
started home in a special car, and was met by his brother-in-law. 
Colonel Holloway, at Cheyenn-e, and by his family physician. 
Dr. Thompson, at Peoria. These gentlemen accompanied him 
to Richmond, Indiana, when he was taken to the residence of 
Mrs. Burbank, his mother-in-law. He remained there until 
October 15, when he was removed to his home in Indianapolis. 
There, surrounded bv his wife and children and intimate 
friends, he remained until Thursday, November i, 1877, when 
the end came. 

After his paralvtic stroke in 1865, Senator Morton always sat 
while making a speech. As he was never profuse in gestures, 
the unusual posture did not militate against the effectiveness of 
his addresses. In the Senate he had a "rest" to support him 
while standing, but he was never long upon his feet, always 
<:onducting his debates and making his set speeches sitting in 
his chair. 

In 1870 President Grant offered Senator Morton the English 
mission. It was declined for the reason that should he resign 
his seat in the Senate, a Democrat would be elected in his place. 
He was too good a part}- man to accept office at the expense of 
his party, and besides, I doubt not, his work in the Senate was 
more congenial to his tastes than the negotiation of treaties. 
His nature was to reach his ends in a straioiitforward wav, and 
not by the tortuous road of diplomacy. 

During the time Senator Morton hi}' sick nigh unto death 
the interest of the people in his condition was intense. The 
great newspapers sent special correspondents to Indianapolis 
to keep them advised of his pulse-beats. Bulletins were issued 
ever}' hour, which were telegraphed over the country and posted 
at the newspaper offices. Previous to that time the health of no 
public man had created so much concern among the people. 

The death of no man, with the exception of that of President 
Lincoln, ever created so much grief in Indiana as did that of 
Senator Morton. At Indianapolis, gloom hung over the city 
like a pall. Bells were tolled, and public and pri\ate buildings 



138 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

were draped in mourning. Men walked the streets with sad- 
dened faces and measured footsteps. The citv legislature met, 
passed suitable resolutions and appropriated money to defray 
the expenses of the city government in attending the funeral. 
Nor were the manifestations of grief confined to Indiana. The 
President of the United States issued an order directing the 
flags on all the public buildings to be placed at half-mast. He 
also ordered that the government departments should close on 
the da}^ of the funeral. The city council of Cincinnati, which 
had previoush' placed a portrait of Senator Morton in its hall, 
met and appointed a committee, to go to Indianapolis to attend 
his funeral. 

The remains of the great Senator were taken from the fam- 
ily residence to the Court-house, where they la}^ in state during^ 
the Sunday and part of Monday succeeding his death. They 
were then conveyed to Roberts Park Church, where the funeral 
exercises were conducted, and thence to Crown Hill Cemetery, 
where they were placed in a vault, and afterwards buried on 
the spot where he stood on Soldiers' Decoration or Memorial 
Day, in May, 1876, when delivering his great speech to the peo- 
ple there assembled. The procession, which followed the re- 
mains to Crown Hill was an immense one, and was under the 
command of General Lew Wallace, as chief marshal, who 
ably directed its movements. 

Never before did. so manv distinoTiished men attend the fu- 
neral of a citizen of Indiana. A son of the President of the 
United States, two cabinet ministers, six United States Sen- 
ators, seven members of the national House of Representatives, 
besides other men eminent in the politics and legislation of the 
countr3^ were present, as well as thousands of people from all 
parts of Indiana and from other States of the Union. 

The day after Senator Morton died his colleague, Senator 
McDonald, announced the fact in the Senate, whereupon the 
Vice President appointed Senators McDonald, Davis of Illinois, 
Burnside, Bavard, Cameron of Pennsylvania, and Booth, a 
committee to attend the funeral on behalf of the Senate. 

On the 17th of the next January Mr. McDonald offered in 
the Senate a series of resolutions in relation to Senator Morton's 



OLI\'EK P. MORTON. 1 39 

death, which was unanimousl}' adopted. In speaking to these 
resolutions, Senator McDonald said : 

" Naturally combative and aggressive, intensely in earnest in 
his undertakings, and intolerant in regard to those who differed 
with him, it is not strange that while he held together his friends 
and followers with hooks of steel, he caused many whose pat- 
riotism and love of country were as sincere and unquestioned 
as his own to place themselves in political hostility to him. 
That Oliver P. Morton was a great man is conceded by all. In 
regard to his qualities as a statesman, men do differ now and 
alwa3^s will. But that he was a great partisan leader — the 
greatest of his day and generation — will hardly be questioned, 
and his place in that particular field will not, perhaps, be soon 
supplied." 

Senator Edmunds said : 

" He was a man of strong passions and great talents, and 
was, as a consequence, a devoted partisan. In the fields in 
which his patriotism was exerted, it may be said of him, as it 
was of the Knights of Saint John in the holy wars : ' In the 
fore-front of every battle was seen his burnished mail, and in 
the gloomy rear of ever}' retreat was heard his voice of con- 
stancy' and courage.' " 

Senator Thurman said of him : 

"' He evaded no duty however onerous ; he asserted his claim 
to leadership at all times and under all circumstances, however 
great might be the sacrifice of comtbrt, repose or health." 

Senator Conkling paid this eloquent tribute to his memory: 

"As a party leader he was too great for an}- party or any 
State readily to suppl}' his place. As an efficient, vigilant, and 
able representative he had no superior in either House of Con- 
gress. Oppressed and crippled by bodih' infirmity, his mind 
never faltered or flagged. Despite pain and sickness, so long- 
as he could be carried to his seat he was never absent from the 
Senate or the committee. No labor discouraged him, no con- 



140 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

tingenc}' appalled him, no disadvantage dismayed him, no de- 
feat disheartened him. He will go down to a far hereafter, not 
as one who embellished and perpetuated his name bv a studied 
and scholastic use of words, nor as the herald of resounding 
theories, but rather as one who da}- by da}' on the journey of 
life met actual affairs and realities and grappled them with a 
^rasp too resolute and quick to loiter for the ornament or the 
advantage of protracted and tranquil meditation." 

Senator Burnside said : 
» 

" Morton was a great man. His judgment was good ; his 
power of research was great, his integrity was high, his patri- 
otism was loftv, his love of family and friends unlimited, his 
courage indomitable." 

The closing speech in the Senate upon the adoption of the 
resolutions was made by Mr. Voorhees, Mr. Morton's successor. 
In it Mr. Voorhees said : 

" Senator Morton was, without a doubt, a very remarkable 
man. His force of character can not be overestimated. His will 
power was simply tremendous. He threw himself into all his 
undertakings with that fixedness of purpose and disregard of 
obstacles which are always the best guarantees of success. This 
was true of him whether engaged in a lawsuit, organizing troops 
during the war, conducting a political campaign or a debate 
in the Senate. The same daring, aggressive policy character- 
ized his conduct everywhere." 

At the close of his speech Senator Voorhees moved the adop- 
tion of the resolutions, and they were unanimously agreed to 
by the Senate. Similar resolutions passed the House of Rep- 
resentatives, and eulogies were delivered upon the dead Sen- 
ator by several of the people's representatives. One of the 
best and most just estimates of Senator Morton is the following, 
taken from an address delivered b}^ ex-Governor Hendricks 
before the Central Law School of Indiana. Governor Hen- 
dricks said : 

" Governor Morton was not what is called a ready speaker, 
in the sense of speaking upon the sjnu" of the moment. He 



()I>I\'ER P. MORTON. 14! 

was one who became ready bv careful forethought and prepar- 
ation. The order of arrangement received great care. The 
positions followed one after another in adroit sequence, with 
studied etibrt, to the close. The matter was carefully chosen 
and considered. The manner or style did not share the same 
attention. His sentences were not alwa3'^s smooth, sometimes, 
indeed, rough, but always strong and forcible. Sometimes a 
passage occurred, as if not noticed by himself, of almost classic 
force and beautv. His voice was clear and strong, his gesture 
heavy and not frequent, and his utterance deliberate and dis- 
tinct. As he spoke the impression was lelt that he had other 
and further forces which he might summon to his aid if needed 
either to establish his own position or attack that of his adver- 
sary'. Force was the marked quality of his style. He chose 
the shortest, boldest and most direct method both of attack and 
defense. When stated, his proposition was understood, and he 
would not delay to repeat it. He lacked the power of persua- 
sion. It was probably a weakness in the court-house, as it was 
at the head of a political party. In debate he was a combatant. 
He could not conciliate. The development of that quality was 
probably the result of the turbulent times in which he was an 
actor." 

After having quoted so largel}^ from others, it may seem a 
work of supererogation for me to attempt an anal3'sis of Senator 
Morton's character. But as some of his leading traits have not 
been touched upon in the extracts I have given, I will essa}' the 
task. 

A prominent characteristic of Senator Morton was tenacitv 
of purpose. When he attempted a thing he did it. If he 
could not succeed in one way, he would in another. He never 
tired and he never let up. He would abandon a position at 
once, if by so doing he could better succeed in his ultimate 
purposes. But he was never conciliatory. If an obstruction 
appeared in his pathway and he wanted to continue his journey, 
he would take a club and knock it aside. If, however, he be- 
lieved it best to retrace his steps and take another path he did 
not hesitate to do so. In 1868 he delivered a speech in the 
wigwam on the Court-house square, Indianapolis, and replied 



142 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

to the charge of inconsistency made against him by Go^ ernor 
Hendricks two nights before, by confessing that his course was 
inconsistent with the sentiments of his Richmond speech, but 
■declared it to be '" consistent with the logic of events." Most 
men would have hunted evidence to defend their consistenc}', 
but he admitted the contrariet}^ of his public life upon the negro 
question, and justified it. 

Another marked trait in Senator Morton's character was fore- 
sight or looking ahead for what was coming. The author had 
opportunities for observing this characteristic of the Senator 
■during a trip they took together in 1865. At that time travel 
was so great that seats in railroad cars were hard to get, and 
sleeping-car accommodations only secured by industry' and fore- 
sight. In these matters he succeeded because he was always 
in advance of others. At Harrisburg, where we had missed 
connection wdth the train from Philadelphia, and were compelled 
to lie over until the next one arrived, the Senator had an oppor- 
tunit}' of exemplifying the trait I have named. On the arrival 
of the Philadelphia train it was observed that it was full to over- 
flowing. There was not a vacant seat in it, and the efibrt to 
secure one was hopeless. While taking in the situation, the 
Senator observed a passenger car attached to an engine on a 
side track some distance from the depot, and saying, " That car 
will be added to the train," broke and ran for it. He boarded 
it and secured the most comfortable seat in it for himself and 
the author. When the car was attached to the train and the 
crow'd entered it, it found him seated and at his ease. When 
we reached Pittsburg he gave another evidence of his care and 
forethought. No one was permitted to pass the gate that leads 
to the western bound train without exhibiting a ticket. Before 
we reached the Pittsburg depot Senator Morton had selected 
a Pan-Handle pass from among many others, and, holding it 
in his hand he took a position on the steps of the car, and at 
the earliest possible moment sprang from it and rushed to the 
gate. He was the first to pass its portals, and when the author, 
who was among the first to follow him, entered the sleeping car, 
he found that the Senator had secured berths for both. 

Senator Morton was well versed in the sciences. He knew 
as much of geology as some who make it a study, and he knew 



* OLIVER P. 3IORTOX. I43 

more of theology than manj^ whose province is to teach it. He 
was familiar with all creeds, and knew the arguments that best 
sustained them. He was particularly conversant with those 
which infidels use against Christianit}-, and could designate the 
strongest points as readih^ as he could the weakest of an oppo- 
nent in a political debate. 

But it was as a politician and statesman that he made his 
great reputation, and no estimate of his character would be at 
all complete without weighing and considering his political ac- 
tions. 

As Governor of Indiana Senator Morton displa^^ed wonder- 
ful energy, tact and forethought. He distanced all contempo- 
rarv Governors in putting troops into the field, and excelled 
all in providing for their wants while there. His best claims 
to fame rest upon his administration of the office of Governor. 
In that office he showed remarkable powers of organization and 
ability to use that organization to accomplish his purposes. In 
these respects he had no peer in the Union. 

While having charity for the masses of the South who went 
into the rebellion. Senator Morton hated their leaders with in- 
tense hate. The last public letter he wrote and the last public 
speech he made showed that his animosities toward them were 
neither alla^'ed nor placated. The}- were rather intensified by 
the fact that the policy he had advocated was being abandoned 
and the people of the South were being restored to self-govern- 
ment. He seemed to forget that the war was ended and the 
country at peace. He wanted a polic}' continued which might 
be justified b}- the exigencies of war, but which was without 
defense in time of peace. In these extreme views he was not 
sustained by the country, nor even bv his partv. This was 
evinced by the vote lie received at Cincinnati in 1876. Al- 
though the ablest man in his party, and confessedly the best or- 
ganizer and leader it contained, he received but a single North- 
ern vote for the nomination for President except those cast b}' 
the delegates from his own State. His main support came from 
the extreme South, and was rendered by men who did not rep- 
resent the people of that section. They were mostly negroes 
latelv freed from slavery. Northern men who had gone South 



144 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

for pelf and personal aggrandizement, and Southern men \yho> 
had separated themselves from the masses of their section. 

It is greatly to the honor of Senator Morton that, living and 
holding office during an era of venality and corruption, he kept 
his hands clean. With opportunities to enrich himself pos- 
sessed by few, he contented himself with a moderate compe- 
tency, and illustrated by the simplicity of his habits the princi- 
ples of the democracy he professed. If he had vices cupidity 
was not one of them. 

Senator Morton was not what is called a society man. At'ter 
he entered politics he became so much absorbed that he had 
but little time for social ga^'eties and pleasures. But he was a 
family man, of domestic habits and tastes, passionately loving^ 
his wife and children and spending his happiest hours in their 
society. 

The State pride of Senator Morton was intense. Indiana 
had been a butt for the ridicule of men for years who knew but 
little about her, and he determined to raise her to a plane where 
she could be ridiculed no longer. x\nd he did it. In the great. 
civil war, which tried the mettle and patriotism of the people, 
Indiana came, under his guidance, to the front, vea, to the fore- 
front of the line. Senator Morton was an untiring worker, but he 
had no taste for the drudgery of details. He left this to others, 
and was very careful who they were. His brother-in-law,. 
Colonel W. R. Holloway, and General W. H. H. Terrell were 
his most trusted lieutenants, and rendered him services of incal- 
culable value. Senator Morton was not a member of any 
church, but he was a believer in the Christian religion. In a 
letter to a friend, written from New York on the eve of his de- 
parture for Europe, in 1865, he said : 

"You are right when 3^ou say you believe that I deeply ap- 
preciate the prayers which have been offered up b}- the pra5ang 
friends whom I have left behind me. I am no infidel. I was 
educated b}^ pious grandparents to a professed belief in Chris- 
tianity, and taught to reverence holy things ; and though I may 
not, in many things, have led a Christian life, yet I have never 
fallen into disbelief, nor have I been the immoral man some 
would have the world to believe. The Christian gentleman is. 



OLIVER P. MORTON. 1 45 

the noblest and loveliest character on earth, for which I enter- 
tain the highest respect and love. I recognize the hand of 
Providence in all the affairs of man, and believe there is a di- 
vine economy which regulates the lives and conduct of nations." 

These are not the sentiments of a scoffer, nor of an unbeliever. 

The mind of Senator Morton was massive and logical. He 
possessed the facult}^ of getting at the "bottom facts," and of 
weighing them with deliberation and judgment. He was never 
superficial in the examination or treatment of a subject. His 
comprehension was broad and far-reaching, his perception acute 
and penetrating, enabling him, with singular clearness, to pre- 
sent his opinions and arguments in a convincing and masterly 
manner. 

As a legislator it can be said of Senator Morton that he orig- 
inated and accomplished much. He introduced man}' impor- 
tant measures and Ibllowed them up with persistent advocacy 
until they were disposed of. Many of them passed and became 
laws. He showed large capacity and fertile expedienc}" as a 
law-maker, and as a party man never lost sight of the important 
bearing congressional action would have on the success of his 
part}'. And thus it was that he always took a leading part in 
such legislation as affected the political destiny of the organiza- 
tion to which he belonged. He was quick to observe the strong 
points of political advantage and the weak points in the record 
and programme of his opponents. These he pressed with a 
vigorous industry, scarcely equaled in Senatorial annals. He 
was far-seeing in the political future, full of well-defined ex- 
pedients, comprehending, as if by intuition, the political situa- 
tion, and was undoubtedly the most aggressive, bold and clear- 
lieaded Republican politician of his time. 

A statue of Senator Morton has been made and will soon be 
placed in one of the public parks at Indianapolis. It is of 
bronze, is of life size, and represents the distinguished states- 
man in a standing posture. It was executed by Francis Sim- 
mons, an American artist residing in Rome. He made the 
statue of William King, contributed by Maine to the collection 
in the national capitol. He also designed the army and nav}- 

10 



146 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

monument at Washington, and is known throughout the civil- 
ized world as a man eminent in his profession. Although the 
remains of Governor Morton were buried at Crown Hill, near 
Indianapolis, the statue of him will be placed in the heart of the 
city. It will stand where visitors to the State's capital can see 
the form and lineaments of the great War Governor, and be re- 
minded of his public work and patriotism. The money which 
is^to pa}' for this monument was contributed by a generous pub- 
lic ; therefore the monument will be an acknowledgment of the 
people's love and veneration for the man whose memory it was 
erected to perpetuate, and who was Indiana's most distin- 
guished son. 



JAMES D. WILLIAMS. 



In a book entitled " Eminent and Self-Made Men of Indiana," 
published at Cincinnati, by the Western Biographical Publish- 
ing Company, is the following monograph of the late Governor 
Williams, written b}- the author of these sketches : 

James Douglas Williams, Governor of Indiana, is a type ot 
the Western pioneer now seldom seen east of the Mississippi 
river. Born in Pickaway county, Ohio, Januar}^ i6, 1808, he 
moved with his father's family to Indiana in 1818, and settled 
in Knox county, near the historic city of Vincennes. He grew 
to manhood there, and there remained until January. 1877, 
when he came to the capital of Indiana to take the reins of the 
State government, at the command of over 200,000 American 
freemen. 

When Governor Williams arrived in Indiana, and for many 
years afterward, the State w^as sparsely populated. In many parts 
of it there were no w^iite men or women, and where there were 
white settlements dwelling houses were far apart, and commu- 
nication with the outside world ditlicult and unfrequent. There- 
fore, it was hard to establish and maintain schools and churches, 
and the newspaper was an unusual visitor at the fireside of the 
pioneer. It was under such circumstances as these that Gov- 
ernor Williams grew to manhood and entered upon the duties 
of life. The little schooling he received was obtained in the 
log school-house, at times when his services could be spared 
from the farm. But, if the advantages of the school-room were 
measurably denied him, he was somewhat compensated for their 
loss by mingling with the best people in his settlement, and 
learniniT from them something of the outside world. Therefore, 



148 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

when he reached his majority he was unusual!}' well versed, 
for one in his circumstances, in the news of that day and the 
history of the past. Added to this, he had a well-knit, hardv 
frame, was supple and agile in his movements, and, taken all 
in all, was the most promising young man in the settlement. 
He could m.ake a full hand at the plow, in the harvest-held, or 
at the log-rolling, and was known throughout the neighborhood 
as a young man of industrious habits and of more than ordinarv 
culture. 

When Governor Williams was twenty years of age his father 
died. Being the oldest of six children, the care of the famih'' 
devolved on him. He accepted this responsibility and acquitted 
himself well, as he has alwa3's done when charged with impor- 
tant duties. Three years afterward, at the age of twentv-three, 
he married Nancy Huffman, who lived until this vear to bless 
and comfort him in his declining years. B3' her he has had 
seven children, two of whom only are living. His wife, like the 
mistress of the Hermitage, was wedded to her country home, 
and throughout his long life, most of which has been spent in 
the public service, has remained on his farm and participated in 
its management. Her death occurred June 27, 1880. 

Governor Williams entered public life in 1839, ^^ ^ justice of 
the peace. For four A^ears he held this office and decided the 
controversies and adjusted the difficulties of his neighbors with 
great judicial fairness. His decisions were sometimes dissented 
from, but in no case were corrupt moti\'es imputed to him. His 
neighbors knew his integrit}^ and while they sometimes criti- 
cised his conclusions they never impugned the motives by which 
he reached them. In 1843 he resigned his office of justice of 
the peace, and the same vear was elected to the lower branch 
of the State Legislature. From that time until 1874, '^'^'hen he 
was elected to the national Congress, he was almost continu- 
ously in the legislative service of the State, sometimes in the 
House of Representatives, and then in the Senate. A history 
of his legislative work would be a historv of the legislation of 
Indiana from 1843 to 1874. -'^C) man in the State has been so 
long in public life as he, and no one has more faithfully served 
the people. He is identified with most of the important meas- 
ures of legislation durinir this time, and is the author of manv 



JAMES U. WILLIAMS. 1 49 

of them. It is to him that the widows of Indiana are indebted 
for the law which allows them to hold, without administration, 
the estates of their deceased husbands, when they do not ex- 
ceed three hundred dollars in value. He is the author of the 
law which distributed the sinking fund among the counties of 
the State ; and to him more than to any other man, with proba- 
bly the exception of the late Governor Wright, are the people 
indebted for the establishment of the State Board of Agricul- 
ture, an institution that has done so much to foster and develop 
the agricultiu'al interests of Indiana. He was for sixteen years a 
member of this Board, and for four of them was its President. 
During his management of its affairs it was a self-supporting 
institution, and, besides, it accumulated an extensive and valu- 
able property during the time he was at its head. It has hap- 
pened, since he ceased to control its direction, that its finances 
have become so disordered that to preserve its existence the 
Legislature of the State has been compelled to take from the 
public treasury large sums of money and bestow them upon the 
society. It is safe to say that had he continued at its head no 
such necessity would have arisen. 

In 1872 Governor Williams was the nominee of the Demo- 
cratic members of the Legislatiu"e for United States Senator, 
but his party being in the minority he was defeated for the 
office b}' the late Senator Morton. In 1874 Governor Williams 
was elected to Congress tVom the Vincennes district, and took 
his seat the ensuing fall. He was made chairman of the Com- 
mittee on Accounts of the House. Abuses had crept into this 
branch of the public service. Officers and employes acted upon 
the theory that "Uncle Sam" was a rich goose, from which 
every one had the right to pluck a quill. He soon taught them 
that public property was as sacred as private propert}', and that 
no one had a right to its use without rendering an equivalent. 
This brought upon him the maledictions of those who hover 
about the capital to fatten upon the rich pickings there to be 
found ; but it endeared him to those whose money supplies 
them. It was while at his post at Washington, attending to his 
public duties, that a telegram was handed him announcing his 
nomination for Governor of Indiana by the Democratic conven- 
tion of that State. He had not been a candidate for the place, 



150 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

and was as much surprised as an}'^ one when informed that the 
nomination had been made. 

The campaign of 1876 in Indiana was a memorable one. It 
never had its counterpart in this countr}^, except in 1858, when 
Douglas and Lincoln, in Illinois, contested for the Presidential 
stakes in i860. Senator Morton announced earl}- in the can- 
vass, in a speech he delivered in the Academy of Music in In- 
dianapolis, that the election of Williams as Governor meant 
the election of Tilden as President. Events proved the truth 
of the Senator's declaration ; for neither the decision of the 
electoral commission nor the legerdemain practiced b}^ the re- 
turning boards can obscure the fact that the United States 
voted in November as Indiana did in October. Hendricks and 
McDonald, Landers and Gooding, Voorhees and Williams, and 
many other able men, entered the fight as champions of the 
Democracy ; while Morton and Harrison, Cumback and But- 
ler, Gordon and Nelson, and other men of prominence and 
ability, marshaled the forces of the Republicans. The conflict 
was so fierce that it shook the whole country. The Republican 
speakers and journals ridiculed the Democratic candidate for 
Governor, and made sport of his homespun clothes and plain 
appearance ; but the Democrac}- seized upon his peculiarities 
and made them watchwords of victory. Blue Jeans clubs were 
formed throughout the State, and the name the Republicans 
had given the Democratic candidate in derision was accepted 
by his friends and made to do service in his behalf. When the 
campaign was ended and the ballots were cast and counted, it 
was ascertained that the plain and honest old farmer of Knox 
had beaten his opponent — General Benjamin Harrison — over 
5,000 votes. The result was as gratifying to his friends as it 
could have been to him, for the}- knew he had never been found 
wanting in any place he had been called upon to fill ; and they 
felt entire confidence that his legislative and congressional 
laurels would not turn to gubernatorial willows. The predeces- 
sors of Governor Williams for more than two decades have been 
eminent men. The three immediate ones were Morton, Baker, 
and Hendricks, the first and the last of whom have national 
reputations. While he has not the organizing ability and aggres- 
siveness of Morton, the reading and legal erudition of Baker, 



JAMES D. AVILLIAMS. 15I 

nor the elegance and symmetrical development of Hendricks, 
he has other qualities as an executive officer as valuable as 
those possessed by an^^ of them. He is careful and painstaking, 
and enters into the minutest details of his office ; and he per- 
forms no official act without thoroughly understanding its im- 
port and etlect. He is self-willed and self-reliant, and proba- 
bly consults fewer persons about his official duties than did any 
of his predecessors for a generation. 

During iiis canvass for Governor it was charged by his politi- 
cal opponents that his selection would place in the executive 
chair one who would be influenced and controlled b^^ others, but 
experience has proved the falsity of the charge. If an}- just 
criticism can be made upon him in this regard, it is that he has 
not sufficiently given his confidence to his friends. Instead of 
being swayed to and fro by others, he goes, perhaps, to the 
other extreme, and refuses to be influenced by any. Better, 
however, be stubborn than fickle, for the first insures stability 
and fixedness of purpose, while the latter alwa3^s results in un- 
certainty and doubt. 

Governor Williams is economical and simple in his tastes and 
habits. By industry and care he has accumulated a handsome 
competency, which, no doubt, will increase each succeeding 
year of his life. The necessities of his youth caused him to be 
careful and saving of his earnings, and he has clung to the hab- 
its then formed to the present day. He is fond of amusements 
and is an adept in social games and pastimes. He frequently 
visits the theater, and it is as pleasant as it is common to see him 
enter a place of public amusement accompanied bv his grand- 
children or some of his country neighbors. He is courteous in 
his intercourse with others, is a o-ood conversationalist, and is 
never at a loss for words to express his thoughts. He stands 
six feet four inches in his boots : is remarkably straight and erect 
for one of his 3-ears ; has large hands and feet ; has high cheek 
bones ; a long, sharp nose ; twinkling gray eyes ; a clean shaven 
face, skirted with whiskers upon his throat, and a head covered 
profusely with black hair, in which scarcely a gra}^ filament is 
to be seen. His phj'siognomy denotes industry and shrewdness, 
and does not belie the man. He dresses plainly but with scru- 
pulous neatness. He is a good judge of human nature, and he 



152 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

who attempts to deceive or overreach him will have his labor 
tor his pains. Such is James D. Williams, the Centennial Gov- 
ernor of Indiana. 

Governor Williams will retire from his office in January, 1881. 
His age is such that it is probable that his public life — forty-two 
vears in the service of the people — will then be ended. That 
he has acquitted himself well in all the positions he tilled ; that 
he has made the world better b}^ having lived in it, and that he 
is entitled to honorable mention in the history of his adopted 
State, will be the verdict of the people, when, like Cincinnatus 
of old, he lays aside the robes of office and retires to his farm, 
there to spend the evening of his life in quietude and rest. 



On Saturday evening, October 30, 1880. Governor Williams 
attended the dedication of the dining hall of the House of Re- 
fuge, at Plaintield. During the dedicatory exercises he was 
called out by a toast to "• Our present Governor," and responded 
in a neat speech of some ten minutes, the last speech he ever 
made. He told the boys when they left the House of Refuge 
to go into the countr}', to keep awav from towns and cities, 
which, he said, were filled with pit-holes and sinks of iniquit}'. 
He declared that he had fully realized this to be true during the 
four years he had lived in a city, and that as soon as his term 
as Governor expired he was going back to his farm to stay 
while he lived. (Alas ! he was taken there before another put 
on his official robes.) That night Governor Williams and the 
author slept in the same bed. He was up many times, a dozen 
or more, on account of discharges from the bladder, and next 
morning I said to him that I thought he ought to consult a plw- 
sician, as he evidently had disease of the kidneys or bladder. 
He replied, he thought not, that the trouble was "a breaking 
down of the fence all along the line." It struck me at the 
time that the words were very expressive, and they sank deep 
into my memory. The illustration was drawn from the farm, 
a place he never forgot, no matter where he was, nor in what 
business he was engaged. The next day Governor Williams, 
Governor Baker, Senator Briscoe and myself drove from Plain- 
field to Indianapolis in a two-horse carriage. Governor Baker 
holding the reins. During most of the trip the conversation ran 



JAMES D. WILLIAMS. I53 

upon farm-life and its effect upon boys. Both the Governors 
expressed great concern about the future of the bo3's at Plain- 
field, and agreed that the farm was the place for them to go 
when they left the Reformator}-. 

On the Tuesday after the dedication at Plainfield, Governor 
Williams walked to the polls and cast his ballot for electors for 
President and Vice-President of the United States. He was 
unwell at the time, and after exercising this right of citizenship 
he returned to his rooms at the Washington Club House, never 
to leave them again. For several days he retained his cheer- 
fulness and saw those of his friends who called upon him. He 
also dispatched such public business as demanded immediate 
attention, his last official act being to respite a man sentenced 
to be hanged. During his illness he had the best of medical 
attention, careful nursing and the presence of several personal 
friends, among them Hon. John T. Scott, who remained with 
him almost constantly. He continued to grow worse until Sat- 
Tirday noon, November 20, when he died. 

The news of Governor Williams's death spread over Indiana- 
polis with great rapidity-. In an hour or two flags were placed 
at halt-mast on all the public buildings, arid upon many private 
ones. That afternoon a meeting" of citizens was held in the 
parlors of the Washington Club House to take action in relation 
to the Governor's death. A committee was appointed to pre- 
pare a memorial, and it was determined that the remains should 
lie in state at the Court-house at Indianapolis on Monday, on 
Tuesday morning be taken to Vincennes, and lie in state at the 
Court-house there until. that evening, and then be conveyed to 
the homestead near Wheatland, and the next da}^ be buried. 

On Sunday the remains lay in state in the parlors of the 
Washington Club House. On Monday morning they were 
taken to the Marion count}' Court-house and placed on a bier 
in the main hall. Thousands of people — white and black — 
citizens of Indianapolis, and citizens from other parts of the 
State, passed by the casket and viewed, tor the last time, the 
face of the farmer Governor. The same day a meeting of the 
citizens was held in the Court-house, at which Hon. Joseph E. 
McDonald presided and the author of this sketch acted as sec- 
retar}-. Hon. Walter Q. Gresham, Solomon Claypool, Thomas 



154 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

F. Davidson, Augustus N. Martin and William P. Fishback, 
the committee appointed the Saturday previous, reported a me- 
morial, from which I make the following extracts : 

'' He never lost his fondness for the soil, nor for the men who 
till it ; and in the midst of his most pressing official engage- 
ments it was his wont to seek a respite from public care in the 
active management of his farm at Wheatland. * * * It is 
worthy of note and emphasis that Governor Williams was a 
man of singular purity of character. His private and domestic 
virtues are attested by all who enjoyed the intimacy of his per- 
sonal friendship, and his official integrity was never blurred b}^ 
even an imputation of dishonest}'. His conception of official 
station was that it was a public trust, to be administered with 
the same care, prudence and frugality which a wise man would 
bestow upon his private affairs. It is to his honor that at a time 
when the tendencies in official station were in the direction of a 
lavish and careless expenditure of the public monevs, he used 
his influence in Congress to check those tendencies and expose 
existing abuses. As Governor he evinced the same watchful 
care of the public interests, and, though a warm partisan, no 
alleged party necessity, no consideration of personal friendship, 
could swerve him from what he believed to be the path of dutv. 
* * * * * * * *. 

"Measured by the best standards Governor Williams was a 
worthy citizen, a faithful public servant, a good man. His vir- 
tues were many and conspicuous, 

"' And e'en his failings leaned to virtue's side.' " 

Hon. William H. English arose and seconded the adoption of 
the memorial, and in a verj^ appreciative speech said, among 
other things : 

"When I say he represented the people, T mean it in the 
broadest and best sense, for he was literally of the people, and 
always especially devoted to their interests — himself a hard- 
working tiller of the soil, a true type of that class of sturdy pio- 
neers whose stout hearts and strong arms have made Indiana the 
great and prosperous State it is to-day. The masses of the peo- 



JA]NrES D. WILLIAMS. 1 55 

pie did honor to themselves in honoring" him, for he was their 
true representative. He was not a man learned in the lore of 
books — not in one sense a man of culture — but he was a man of 
most excellent judgment, and his mind was well stored with 
useful and practical information ; and what is more than all, and 
better than all, he was what is said to be God's noblest work^ 
an honest man." 

Ex-Governor Hendricks said : 

" I believe that no man living has served the people of the 
State in so many important respects for so long a period, com- 
mencing, as I perceive bv^ the memorial, in" 1839, '^Iniost con- 
tinuousl}'. He was a public servant until the day of his death, 
more than forty years — not all the time in public service, but for 
the greater portion of that period, and what gives emphasis to 
this circumstance, is the fact that for the most of the time he 
was selected by his immediate neighbors, among whom he was 
raised, and with whom he had all the relations of life. Such a 
man, so indorsed, is worthy of the respect which we pay him 
to-day. It is a great loss when such a man dies, and I feel that 
the public service suffers in his death. I wish simply, in rising, 
to express my profound regard for his character and tor the ex- 
cellence of his public service." 

Hon. Jonathan W. Gordon closed a very eloquent speech, as 
follows : 

"When a generation of men shall come — as it will come in 
4:he State of Indiana — that will believe that economy will be 
subserved by lavish expenditure of money in building a temple 
to preserve the memorv of the great \\ho have served the peo- 
ple. Governor Williams's name and memory and face and monu- 
ment will be entitled to a conspicuous place in that temple." 

General Benjamin Harrison, who was Governor Williams's 
opponent in the gubernatorial contest of 1876, paid this gener- 
ous tribute to the memorv of the departed Governor : 

" If there were nothing to be said of Governor Williams's 
relation to the public affairs of Indiana at all, his life would be 



156 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

an honorable and successful one. I have always felt that the 
successful pioneer, one of those who pressed toward the edge 
of civilization in the earl}^ da3^s, and made a successful fight 
with the wilderness, and cleared the primitive forest and made 
of it a meadow, and of the marsh a dry field, and who built up 
around him and for himself and for the family that God gave 
him, a competence, elevated them, that that life was an honor- 
able life and worthy of mention in any assembly. This work 
'Governor Williams has done conspicuously." 

Ex-Governor Baker said : 

" He was not a learned man, but not an uneducated man. I 
mean b}^ that, he was a man who knew how to think. He had 
learned the art of thinking, but had he been an educated man 
he would have been a good lawyer. He had a discriminating 
mind. He was one of the best parliamentarians I ever knew, 
hardly ever making a mistake. He was a man of a strong, 
generous, emotional nature. I have seen him on several occa- 
sions when he could not control his emotions. I was with him a 
few weeks ago, at the house of a friend, when some songs of the 
little folks touched him so that he filled up and could not speak." 

Re\\ Dr. Bartlett spoke thus eloquently of Governor Williams : 

" Cincinnatus was found at the plow when his promotion 
came. Our Governor, we may say, has never left the plow. It 
is a credit to the institutions of the countr}- that you can take the 
plain workingmen, that 3'ou can take the early suffering pioneers, 
men who can only make headway bv virtues that are rugged, 
and severe and stern, virtue that labors with unremitting toil, 
the ingenuity that comes from making much out of little, build- 
ing your house with a hammer and a saw rather than with the 
refined implements of a later day." 

On Tuesday, November 23, the remains of Governor Williams, 
accompanied by the State officers and hundreds of leading citi- 
zens, were taken to Vincennes on a special train. They were 
met at the Vincennes depot by a committee and taken to the 
Court-house, where they lay in state during the day. The 
weather was intensely cold, but, notwithstanding this, thou- 



JAMES D. WILLIAMS. 157^ 

sands of Knox county farmers were in Vincennes to take a last 
look upon the remains of the man they loved so well. That 
evening the corpse was taken to the old homestead, and the 
next day buried in the cemetery near by. 

During the present year, 1883, the famih' of Governor Wil- 
liams procured a granite monument and placed it at the head 
of his grave. On the 4th of July it was unveiled with impos- 
ing ceremonies in the presence of thousands of his forrrier neigh- 
bors and friends. Hon. D. W. Voorhees made a ver^- eloquent 
address on the occasion, in which he said : 

" He lived and died a practical farmer. He knew the labor- 
ing people better than anv other public man Indiana ever pro- 
duced. He was born in their ranks and remained there to the 
end. He was at home in the broad and wholesome held, and 
he was familiar with the wants and ways, the hardships and the 
hopes of those who eat their bread by the sweat of their faces. 
From the da3^s of Cincinnatus to the present time, men seeking 
popular favor have been paraded and eulogized as farmers who 
could not tell a field of wheat from a field of oats, but the farmer 
in whose memory we are here to-da}- drove his team and held 
the plow ; planted the corn, attended its growth, and gathered 
it in ; sowed his small grain, and reaped his harvests ; raised 
horses, cattle, sheep and hogs, and fed them with his own hands. 
He made more than two blades of grass grow where none grew 
before, and thus advanced the general welfare." 

Speeches were also made on this occasion bv Ex-Governor 
Baker, Ex-Senator McDonald, Senator Harrison and Hon. Ja- 
son B. Brown, all of them being eloquent and appreciative. 

The monument which stands at Governor Williams's grrave 
bears this inscription : 

.James D. Williams, 

Born January G, 1808; 

Died November 20, 1880. 

A representative of the people for many years ; 

Was one term in Congress ; 

Governor of Indiana from 1877 until his death. 

A faithful officer 

and 

An honest man. 

Indiana honored him in life and cherishes his memorv in death. 



158 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

In the spring- of 1880 the author of these sketches accom- 
panied Governor Williams in a trip to the Gulf of Mexico. Af- 
ter leaving Nashville, at every point of importance upon the 
road he was received b}' large delegations of people. When 
he reached Mobile, he was met by the recorder, who is the 
chief executive officer of the city, the president of the Cotton 
Exchange and the president of the Board of Trade, who es- 
corted him to his quarters at the Battle House. After dinner 
he held quite a levee in the parlors of the hotel, where man}^ of 
the leading people of the city called upon him. While thus 
engaged, a young girl, some twelve or fourteen 3rears old, called 
at the office of the hotel, with a large bouquet, and asked for 
him. The clerk, thinking she was a flower girl, seeking to 
■dispose of her wares, tried to have her leave the hotel without 
seeing the Governor, but this she would not do. She came 
into the parlor where he was seated surrounded by a number 
of gentlemen and ladies, and approaching him, said: "This 
is Governor Williams, I believe?" "Yes, my daughter," he 
replied. She then presented him the bouquet, which he ac- 
cepted with the grace of a courtier. She asked if he did not 
remember receiving a bouquet at Laporte, during the canvass 
of 1876, from a little girl who was sick. He replied that he re- 
membered it well. She then said: " I am the girl who sent 
it to vou, and your kind acknowledgment makes mamma verv 
anxious to see you." "Where is 3"our mamma?" asked the 
Governor. "At home," replied the girl, giving the street and 
number. "She shall see me," said the Governor, who then 
arose, excused himself to the ladies and gentlemen present and 
left the room. On reaching the street he called a hack and 
was driven to the mother's home. 

This incident illustrates one prominent trait in his character — 
his love for children. 

On our return home from the South we stopped one da}^ in 
Nashville. While there I procured a hack and asked Governor 
Williams to accompany me to the Hermitage, as I wished to see 
the home and grave of Jackson. He did so, and on our return 
said to me : " This morning I went with you, now I want you 
to go with me." I asked him, "Where?" He replied, " To see 
the finest farm in America, if not in the world." He ordered a 



JAMES D. WILLIAMS. I59 

•carriage and we drove to the farm of General Harding, some 
seven miles from Nashville. I shall not attempt to describe the 
farm. After seeing it I had no disposition to question the Gov- 
ernor's judgment. We went over the farm, chaperoned b}- Gen- 
eral Jackson, General Harding's son-in-law, and saw some of 
the hne stock for which the farm is noted. A horse, for 
which $30,000 had been paid in Europe, particularly attracted 
the Governor's attention. He examined him critically, and 
pointed out his excellencies and his defects. I wondered at the 
time what Governor Williams thought of General Harding's in- 
vestment, for I knew he would never have put $30,000 in a horse. 
He believed in utility, but not in show. As we walked over the 
farm Governor Williams, several times, plucked blades from the 
blue-grass sod and examined them with a critic's eye, some 
times tasting them. He spoke of the blue-grass of the Wabash 
country", which, he said, was as tine as anv he had ever seen. 
Often, after our return home, did Governor Williams speak to 
me about our visit to General Harding's farm, but never once 
about that to the Hermitage. While he loved the memory of 
Jackson he loved still more fine stock and rich blue-grass pas- 
tures. 

Governor Williams was the only farmer ever elected Gover- 
nor of Indiana. He belonged to the class who till the soil and 
husband its increase. He loved his calling and was successful 
in it. The tarmers of the State considered him their represen- 
tative and Avere proud of his. fame. Posteritv will revere his 
memory and he will go down in histor\^ as the Farmer Gover- 
nor of Indiana. 



CHRISTOPHER HARRISON. 



On the south bank of the Choptank river, fourteen miles 
from its confluence with Chesapeake bay, stands the beautiful 
town of Cambridge. It is one of the oldest towns on the East- 
ern Shore of Maryland, having been settled earl}^ in 1600 by 
immigrants from England, man}-- of whom were of gentle 
blood. In the Episcopal burying-ground at Cambridge may 
now be seen tombstones covered with ivy, upon which are en- 
graved the names and coats of ai'ms of the earl}^ settlers of that 
countr^^ The town is in Dorchester county, and is the most 
beautiful as well as one of the most populous on the peninsula 
lying between the Chesapeake and Delaware bays. In this 
town, sometime during the year 1775, Christopher Harrison, 
first Lieutenant-Governor of Indiana, was born. 

Christopher Harrison's family were English. His parents 
emigrated to Marvland about the. middle of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, and settled at Cambridge. The family was of good so- 
cial standing in England, one of its members having held an 
important office in the city government of London. The Har- 
risons were received into the aristocratic circles of Maryland, 
for be it known that nowhere in the country- were the lines di- 
viding the people yito classes more distinctly drawn than in the 
land first settled by Calvert. The abolition of slavery destroyed 
this, and now a man in that countr\^ is not measured by the ne- 
groes he owns, nor by the number of years his ancestors lived 
off the labor of others. During the war of the rebellion the 
author of this sketch, who is a native of Dorchester county, 
asked an old school-fellow about one of their early friends, and 
was told that he was sheriff' of an adjoining count}-. Knowing 



CHRISTOPHER HARRISON. l6l 

that in the days of his bo^^hood the sons of shiveholders onh' 
were elected to office, the author remarked : "Well, Frank has 
risen in the world." "Yes," said his friend, "in this country 
the bottom rail has become the rider." 

Christopher Harrison was liberall}^ educated. He graduated 
at St. John's College, Annapolis, and soon after entered the 
counting-room of William Patterson, one of the merchant 
princes of Baltimore, as his confidential clerk. He was re- 
ceived into Mr. Patterson's family as an equal, a privilege to 
which he was entitled both by his birth and his education. Mr. 
Patterson was the father of Madame Bonaparte, then Elizabeth 
Patterson, one of the most beautiful and brilliant women Amer- 
ica has ever produced. The 3'oung clerk became her friend, 
and for a while acted as her tutor. There is a tradition that an 
attachment grew up between the young people, resulting in an 
engagement of marriage. It is also said that the match was 
opposed b}^ the lady's father, and that Harrison, finding his 
suit hopeless, left Baltimore and sought surcease of sorrow in 
the wilderness of the West. There is a good deal of evidence 
to support this tradition, but not enough, I think, to make the 
matter conclusive. It is, however, certain that Christopher 
Harrison had a love aftair at this period of his life, and that it 
caused him to leave his native State and come to the new Ter- 
ritor}^ of Indiana. Thomas P. Williams, of Baltimore, who 
married his niece, in a letter to Judge Banta, of Franklin (to 
whom I am indebted for much of the material for this sketch), 
thus speaks of this epoch in Mr. Harrison's life : 

" In early life he was a confidential clerk of the late William 
Patterson, of this city, one of our princely merchants, and who 
was the father of Madame Bonaparte, who recently died in this 
city. He instructed, or rather aided her in her studies as a 
young girl, and has often spoken of her as the brightest and most 
ambitious person he ever knew. I have been informed that in 
a sketch of Madame Bonaparte it is incidentally mentioned that 
Mr. Harrison made love to this then beautiful woman, but this, 
I think, is a mistake. He had, however, a love affair, which 
was the cause of his leaving home, and of not being heard from 
for years. Both his family and the family of the lady objected 

II 



1 62 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

to the marriage, and, while the 3'oung people were devotedh' at- 
tached to each other, the}^ did not marr^^, for Mr. Harrison said 
he would not enter a family where there was opposition ; and 
seeing no end to this opposition, he preferred to go West." 

The belief was quite general among Mr. Harrison's friends 
in Indiana that he and Madame Bonaparte had been lovers, and 
if there had been nothing of it, it is somewhat strange that the 
•husband of his niece, at whose house he lived for man}- years 
; after his return to Maryland, should have said anything about it. 

In 1809, when Williamson Dunn settled in Jefferson county, 
where Hanover now stands, Christopher Harrison was living in 
a log cabin on the bluffs of the Ohio river, near by. When he 
came there I know not, but on a beech tree standing near his 
cabin door, were engraven these words : 

"Christopher Harrisox, July 8, 1808." 

Perhaps he made the inscription as a memento of the day he 
located upon this beautiful and romantic spot. His cabin stood 
upon a point known as " Fair Prospect," a site which commands 
a view of the Ohio river for miles up and down. It had but a 
single room, and was roughly made, but inside were many 
things which testified of the culture of its occupant. Books 
were there, some of them classical, and paints and brushes and 
■easels were to be seen, and pictures hanging on the wall. He 
also had about him man's most faithful friend — the dog. Back 
•of his cabin, jutting against its chimney of clay, was a kennel, 
in which the companions of his solitude were wont to shelter 
themselves from the wind and the rain. 

This hermit of the wilderness was quite a hunter. He sup- 
ported himself mainl}- by his dog and gun, for the woods 
abounded in game, and his necessities were few. Thus lived 
Christopher Harrison until 1815, when George Logan came 
along and bought his land. It is supposed that by this time the 
keenness of disappointed love had worn off, for he threw soli- 
tude behind him and went out into the world. At that time 
Salem was one of the most important towns in the State, and 
■thither the hermit of the Ohio bluffs determined to sfo. He and 



CIIRISTOl'HER HARRISON. l6j 

Jonathan Lyons, one of the original proprietors ot Madison, 
bought a miscellaneous stock of merchandise and took it to Sa- 
lem, where the}' opened out a store. For many years they sold 
goods together, doing the largest business in their line in the 
place. 

While at Salem Christopher Harrison lived alone. His dwell- 
ing was a little brick house of two rooms, one of them barel}' 
large enough for a bed. An old colored woman came each 
morning to tidy up the house and put things in order, and, with 
this exception, no one scarcely eyer entered his door. But the 
lot upon which it stood was otten visited. It was iiftv feet one 
way b}^ a hundred the other, and nearh' ever}' toot of it not 
covered by the house was planted in flowers. Here the boys 
and girls of the town would come for flowers, and seldom did 
they go away empty-handed. The master of the house made 
bouquets and gave them, drew pictures for them, and in many 
other ways sought to please and make them happ\'. One who 
remembers his Salem home says he painted a picture of a grape- 
vine clinging to his porch so perfectly that she once, on seeing 
it, reached out her hand, thinking she was about to pluck a 
bunch of grapes. About 1830 Governor Harrison left Salem 
and moved upon a tarm a few miles away, where he lived until 
1834, when he left Indiana and returned to his native State. 
While he lived on his farm it was his custom, in melon time, 
to fill his wagon with this delicious fruit for his little friends in 
town. He would cut the name of each favorite on the rind, 
and then deliver the melons to the delighted young Iblks. He 
evidently loved children. But I can not longer dwell upon his 
tastes and habits, and must hurry along and say something 
about his public life, else the reader will wonder why this sketch 
was written. 

In 1816 Christopher Harrison was elected Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor of Indiana, at the first election held under the State gov- 
ernment. At the same election Jonathan Jennings was elected 
Governor over Thomas Posey, while Harrison's competitor was 
John Vawter. He served as Lieutenant-Governor for a couple 
of years, and then resigned in a pet, and went home. The 
cause of this unnatural act in an office-holder was this : In 
1818, Governor Jennings, General Cass and Judge Parke were 



104 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

appointed b}^ the President of the United States, commissioners 
to negotiate for the purchase from the Indians of the lands in 
the central part of the State. The constitution of the State for- 
bade the Governor from holding " an}' office under the United 
States," but Governor Jennings accepted the office and dis- 
charged its duties. Lieutenant-Governor Harrison claimed that 
Jennings had vacated his office, and that he (Harrison) had be- 
come Acting Governor. He took possession of the executive 
office and attempted to assume its duties, but Jennings appealed 
to the Legislature, and that body recognized him as the legal 
Governor. This so incensed the Lieutenant-Governor that he 
resigned his office. The day he resigned his office of Lieuten- 
ant-Governor, he sent to the House of Representatives a letter 
dated Corydon, December i8, 1818, addressed to the Speaker^ 
in w^hich he said : 

" I have this day delivered to the Secretary of State, to be 
hied in his office, m}- resignation of the office of Lieutenant- 
Governor of this State. As the officers of the executive depart- 
ment of government and the General Assembly have refused to 
recognize and acknowledge that authority which, according to 
my understanding, is constitutionally attached to the office, the 
name itself, in my estimation, is not worth retaining." 

Upon the reading of this letter the House passed the following 
resolution : 

'■^Resolved, That the House of Representatives view the con- 
duct and deportment of Lieutenant-Governor Christopher Har- 
rison as both dignified and correct during the late investigation 
of the differences existing in the executive department of this. 
State." 

The next year, 1819, he was a candidate tor Governor against 
Governor Jennings, but was badl}' beaten, receiving but 2,088' 
votes in a total of 11,256. 

But his defeat for Governor in 1819 did not end Christopher 
Harrison's public life in Indiana. In 1820 the Legislature elect- 
ed him and James W. Jones, of Gibson count}^ and Samuel P, 
Booker, of Wa3'ne count}', commissioners to survey and lay off 



CHRISTOPHER HARRISON. 165 

Indianapolis, the new capital ot' the State. At the time tixed by 
law for the commissioners to meet none of them except Mr. 
Harrison appeared. He determined to act bv himself, and at 
once proceeded to business. He appointed Elias P. Fordham 
and Alexander Ralston surveyors, and Benjamin I. Blythe 
clerk. This was in April, 1821, and the next October the lots 
were sold under the direction of General John Carr, the State 
agent. At this sale Christopher Harrison bought several lots, 
some of which he held until after he left the State. 

On December i, 1823, he made his report of the condition of 
the 3 per cent, fund, of which he was agent, and in 1824 the 
Legislature appointed him and Governor Hendricks commis- 
sioners to open a canal around the falls of the Ohio. This re- 
port dates January 18, 1825. 

After Governor Harrison returned to Maryland he lived 
around among his relatives and friends. For many years he re- 
sided with his sister, Mrs. Lockerman, and spent his time, when 
not reading, in hunting and fishing in Chesapeake bay and its 
estuaries. Judge Banta has several of his letters written at this 
time, in w^hich he very minutel}' describes his manner of life. 
He says he is "uncle" to all the young folks in the neighbor- 
hood. He tells of his success in hunting and fishing, of the 
number of canvas-back ducks and sheep's-head fish he brings 
home to " the pot." 

Mr. Williams, in the letter heretofore referred to, says : 

*•' He was a student all his life, and his* acquirements were 
various and extensive. He was not satisfied wath a superficial 
knowledge of anything ; he went into matters thoroughly. He 
was reticent, and it w^as difficult to get at what he knew or 
thought on any subject. He was the soul of honor, and no man 
I ever knew had a more thorough contempt tor a mean act. He 
was generous to excess. He had no love tor money or its ac- 
cumulation. He had opportunities tor making a fortune, but he 
gave away as he made. From the simplicity and purity of the 
man and his great goodness I became greatly attached to him. 
He was the best informed man I ever met. At one time lie lived 
in m}' family for ten years, and I know him thoroughly. He 



l66 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

was an honest man and died poor. He was a remarkable man, 
and deserves a place in histor3^" 

Governor Harrison died at the home of Mr. H. C. Tilghman,. 
in Talbot count3% Md., in 1863, '^t the ripe age of eighty-eight 
years. And another Indiana pioneer was laid at rest. 

When Christopher Harrison arrived at man's estate he was 
the owner, by inheritance, of a number of slaves. To these he 
gave their freedom, and never afterward was he the proprietor 
of human flesh and blood. In those days it ^^■as a rare thing 
for a young slaveholder to free his chattels, but Christopher 
Harrison stood not upon precedent ; he acted for himself. 

Governor Harrison was a well-built man, of medium height. 
While he lived in the cabin near where Hanover now is he was 
erect in carriage, but later in life he became bent or stoop- 
shouldered. He had an oval face, light complexion and blue 
e3'es, saj's one authority. Another describes him the same, 
except that his eyes were gray. He was always careful of hivS 
dress. Usually he was cleanly shaved, and in his person was- 
always scrupulously clean. He was a tree-thinker, but he had 
great respect for the Qiiaker church. After he returned to 
Maryland he trequently extolled the virtues of the Qiiakers he 
knew in Indiana. He was a great student, being a voracious 
reader of books. Judge Banta has a couple of books, one of 
them printed in Latin, which once belonged to the old pioneer. 
They contain notes and emendations in his handwriting, and 
interspersed through them are beautiful pictures, in water col- 
ors, drawn bv the deft hand of their owner. 

Dr. Alexander H. Bayly, who lives at Cambridge, Maryland,, 
the town in which Christopher Harrison was born, in a recent 
letter to the author of these sketches, sa3^s : 

"Well, indeed, do I remember the sturdv old gentleman as 
he visited, for the last time, the home of his childhood. I can 
see him now, dressed in the old style, slowly wandering around 
our town, lost, as it were, in the memories of ' the long, long" 
ago.' Sad, indeed, must have been his thoughts. Being bald, 
he wore a black silk skull-cap, which gave rise to the report 
that he had been scalped by the Indians. His lather, Robert 
Harrison, was a proud, aristocratic Englishman, and all stood 



CHRISTOPHER HARRISON, 1 67 

in awe of him. He owned, lived and died on his farm, 'Ap- 
pleby,' in the suburbs of Cambridge, on the Blackwater road^ 
where old Dr. Joseph E, Muse once lived, and where he died. 
After his death it was bought b}^ the late Governor Thomas H. 
Hicks, who resided on it at the time of his death. You, no 
doubt, recollect the farm. [The author remembers it well.] 

"• Christopher Harrison, or as he was most commonly called 
here, 'Old Kit Harrison," was a descendant of the John Caile^ 
now resting in our old graveyard, and was related to William 
G. Harrison and others of Baltimore. The family was highh' 
respected and influential." 

Christopher Harrison never married. He lived his fourscore 
and eight years without a helpmeet, but he was blessed with lov- 
ing friends. These cared for him in his old age, and when the 
messenger came and called him to his fathers, they laid him 
away in his silent tomb and covered him with his native earth. 
There I will leave him at rest. 



MILTON STAPP. 



Indiana owes much to Kentucky. She owes her for thou- 
sands of pioneers who helped cut down her forests and bring 
her lands into cultivation ; she owes her for statesmen of trans- 
cendent ability, and particularly does she owe her for the gal- 
lant rangers she sent to beat back the savage foe. 

Among the men from Kentucky who came to the help of In- 
diana in her trials was Milton Stapp, the subject of this sketch. 
He was born in Scott county, Kentucky, in the year 1793. His 
boyhood was spent in the ordinary way, there being nothing 
unusual in his history until after he was nineteen years old. 
The tidings of Indian cruelty that came to him from across the 
Ohio river fired his blood and stimulated his patriotism to such 
a degree that he resolved to go to the rescue of his imperiled 
countrymen. He enlisted as a private soldier in the regiment 
commanded b}- Colonel Richard M.Johnson. He participated 
in all the skirmishes and battles of his regiment, and at the bat- 
tle of the Thames, fought October 5, 1813, he was wounded in 
the neck by a musket ball. He carried the scar of this wound 
while he lived — a badge " more honorable than the star or gar- 
ter," for it testified of blood spilled in saving women and chil- 
dren from outrage and butchery and their homes from pillage. 
When peace was declared, and the inhabitants north of the 
Ohio river no longer needed his musket, he returued to his 
Kentucky home. In his march through the Territory of Indiana 
to meet the Indians and their British allies, he saw a countrv 
rich in soil and natural advantages, and believing that such a 
land presented more inducements to the young and ambitious 
than the countrv where he lived, he determined to make it his 



MII.TOX STAPP. 169 

4 

home. Therefore, in 1816, the year Indiana was admitted into 
the Union, he left Kentuck}^ and came to this State, making- 
his home at Madison, a town on the southern border. At that 
time Madison was a leading town and the home of men who 
subsequently became famous. 

The young settler was ambitious, and knowing that the road 
to political preferment usually ran through legal fields, he de- 
termined to study law. He entered the office of the late James 
F. D. Lanier, as a student, and, after acquiring sufficient knowl- 
edge, w^as admitted to the bar. He began the practice as a 
partner of his preceptor, but having chosen his profession more 
as a means than as an end, he did not give it his sole attention. 
His mind ran on other things, mainly on public employment, 
and he was exceedingly- active in trying to secure it. He was 
fond of display, and the militia law of that time gave him scope 
for the gratification of this propensity. It was then the custom 
to have an annual muster at Madison, which all the able-bodied 
soldiers of the town and its vicinage were required to attend. 
The glories of these musters have departed, but the remem- 
brance of them still gladdens the lovers of devastation and 
carnage. Governor Corwin once described " parade dav " so 
graphicallv that the reader will pardon its insertion here : 

" We all in fancy now see the gentleman tVom Michigan in 
that most dangerous and glorious event of the life of a militia 
general on the peace establishment — a parade day I That day 
for which all other days of his life seem to have been made. 
We can see the troops in motion ; umbrellas, hoe and ax han- 
dles, and other deadlv implements of war overshadowing all 
the fields, when lo ! the leader of the host appears. 

" Far ort' his coming shines; 

his plume, white, after the fashion of the great Bourbon, is ol' 
ample length, and reads its doleful history in the bereaved necks 
and bosoms of forty neighboring hen-roosts. Like the great 
Suwarofi', he seems somewhat careless in forms and points of 
dress ; hence his epaulets may be on his shoulders, back or 
sides, but still gleaming, gloriouslv gleaming in the sun." 



lyO BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

This picture, though drawn of a Michigan general, portrays- 
the aspects of the Indiana brigadier equalh^ well. Napoleon 
was no fonder of drilling the Old Guard than was General 
Stapp of drilling the Madison militia. He and Major Coch- 
rane would arra}^ themselves in the attire of warriors and march 
at the head of their columns. They were the boiler and en- 
gine that ran the military machine." To see them on their 
prancing steeds, their white plumes waving in the air. their 
swords flashing in the sunlight, was enough to drive Jupiter to- 
cover and Mars to his temple. The General's renown as a 
militiaman spread throughout the land, and did much to bring 
him into public notice. But he did not devote all his time to the 
intoxicating militia drilling. He became a candidate for the 
State Legislature in 1822, and was elected from Jeflerson count3%. 
and in 1823 he was chosen State Senator from Jeflerson and 
Jennings counties, of which body he was made President -pro 
tern., in December, 1825, and in 1828 he was elected Lieuten- 
ant-Governor of the State, on the ticket with James B. Ray. 
His term expired in 183 1, but he still continued in politics. 
In that year he ran for Governor, receiving only 4,422 votes, 
while Governor Noble received 17,959, and James G. Reed 
15,168. Noble was elected, but he went to the Legislature 
again, and was an active and successful advocate of the inter- 
nal improvement system of that time. In 1836 the system cul- 
minated, and in 1839 broke down. A debt of $15,000,000 had 
been contracted, upon which no interest was .paid for years. 
Bankruptcy overtook the people, and ruin ran riot. The unfin- 
ished public works were abandoned, and afterward sold. A 
commission of three was appointed to settle this debt. General 
Stapp being one of the commission. After this he was elected 
Agent of State and charged with the care of the bonded 
debt. But neither his career as Fund Commissioner nor as 
x\gent of State proved him a Morrison or a Gallatin. As Agent 
of State he placed a large amount of bonds with the Morris 
Canal and Banking Company for negotiation. The institution 
broke, with the money received for the bonds in its coflers, and 
all the State ever got from it were a few Brooklyn water lots, 
upon which was an old soap factory. 

It will thus be seen that as a public financier General Stapp 



jNiilton ST API'. r/r 

was not a success. But, in justice to his memory, be it said 
that no charge of dishonesty was laid at his door. Many thought 
him weak, but none beheved him dishonest. 

In 1834, when the Madison branch of the State Bank of In- 
diana was organized, General Stapp was appointed its cashier. 
In a short time he resigned this position, to take the presidency 
of the Madison Savings Institution, a bank of discount and de- 
posit. He remained at the head of this institution so long as it 
transacted business. 

In 1850 General Stapp was elected maj^or of Madison, the 
last office he held in Indiana. He made a most excellent mayor, 
certain!}^ as good a one as the city ever had. He administered 
the law fearlessly and without favor. He had the intelligence 
to know his duty and the courage to perform it. He never 
filled an office with so much honor to himself, and with so much 
acceptability to the people. 

In the spring of 1853 General Stapp bought a half interest in 
the Madison Daily Bajiiier, and took editorial charge of the 
paper. He continued to direct its columns until it died. 

In i860, w^hen sixty-seven years old. General Stapp left Mad- 
ison and removed to Texas. He was active and reasonably 
vigorous at the time, and bid fair to live many years in his new 
home, but the war soon coming on, he determined to leave. 
He had fought under the old flag when he was 3'oung, and he 
w^ould not desert it now. Communication by public convey- 
ance between the sections having ceased, he procured a spring 
wagon and a mule, and, taking his famih' with him, traveled 
overland from Goliad, Texas, to Sedalia, Mo. From there he 
came by railroad and steamer to Madison. He remained at his 
old home until the war had ended, and in 1865 returned to 
Texas as Collector of Internal Re\'enue tor the Galveston dis- 
trict. Galveston was his home, but he traveled extensively 
over the State in attending to his official duties. On one of his 
trips, w^hile crossing a stream between Goliad and Galveston, 
he suddenly became surrounded by a flood of w^ater, and was 
compelled to climb a tree to save his life. The water continued 
to rise, and all communication with land was cut off. By hal- 
looing he made himself heard, but there w^as no boat in which 
to go to his relief. This was in the afternoon, and he had to 



172 HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 

^ta}^ in the tree top until the next morningi By that time a 
boat had been constructed, and the General was relieved from 
his perilous situation. It rained hard during the whole of his 
water captivity, and when succor came he was found to be suf- 
fering from a burning fever. He was taken to his home at 
Galveston, and soon after reaching there he died. The news 
of his death reached Madison on the 4th of August, 1869, but 
his remains were not removed from Galveston until the first day 
of the next November, when they were shipped to Madison. 

His funeral took place on the 9th of November, at the residence 
of his nephew, William Stapp, in the. house which was formerly 
his home. After the services the body was taken to the Madi- 
son cemetery and there interred. 

In politics General Stapp was a Whig, while the party exist- 
ed, and on its dissolution he did not attach himself to either of 
the great political parties. Hence, during the latter part of his 
life, his was a free lance in politics. But, when the war came, 
he took his position on the side of the Union, a place where all 
who knew him expected him to stand. 

General Stapp was a man of great energy and courage. He 
had many ups and downs in life, but he bore his misfortunes 
well, and, at a time when most men would have given up work 
and sought ease in the chimney corner, he went to a new coun- 
try to build up his fortunes anew. He was an active member 
of the Baptist church and prominent in the religious work of 
that denomination. In his credulity he was as simple as a child. 
His heart was tender, and he was never happier than when 
binding up the wounds of others. In person he was rather un- 
der the usual size. He had light hair with a somewhat golden 
tinge, a fair complexion and light-blue eyes. His self-esteem 
was great, but it hurt no one but himself. Sharp and designing 
men worked upon it to his disadvantage ; but, take him alto- 
gether, he averaged well. He was a kind and good neighbor, 
a brave and patriotic citizen, and an active Christian worker — 
qualities wdiich more than compensate tor the defects of his 
character. 



DAVID HILLIS. 



David Hillis, Lieutenant-Governor of Indiana from 1836 to 
1840, was born in 1785, and emigrated to Indiana in 1808, set- 
tling in Jefferson county, near Madison. He was, at the time, 
vigorous and healthy, with a body capable of enduring the pri- 
vations incident to the life of a pioneer. He entered a large 
tract of land near Madison, much of it hilly and broken, but 
enough of it was level to make him a very desirable farm. He 
built him a cabin on the edge of a ridge that now bears his 
name, and commenced to open up a tarm. 

It was on such a spot as I have named that the young pioneer 
commenced the battle of life. There were no settlers near him ; 
he was alone in the woods. His brother Ebenezer, and the Ry- 
kers — Colonel John, Samuel J. and Gerrardus — had come to the 
Territory about the same time as himself and settled some three 
miles awav, but they lived too far from him to be considered 
neighbors. With the exception of them, no white man lived 
nearer than Madison. Christopher Harrison had settled some 
time before on the bluff of the Ohio river, near where Hanover 
now is, and the year after Mr. Hillis came to the Territorv Wil- 
liamson Dunn left his Kentucky home and located near the 
cabin of Harrison. With these and a few other exceptions all 
the territory now comprised in Jefferson county, outside of the 
settlement at Madison, was wild and uninhabited. 

A short time after Mr. Hillis had built his cabin and com- 
menced clearing up his land, the Indians became hostile. The 
settlers lived in constant fear of the tomahawk and scalping- 
knife, and well they might, for they were used with merciless 
severity. To protect the settlements from Indian incursions, a 



174 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

■company of rangers, or mounted men, was organized at Madi- 
son and mustered into the service of the government. William- 
son Dunn was captain of the company and David Hillis its tirst 
lieutenant. This w^as in the spring of 1813. For some time the 
rangers were engaged in the building of block-houses and in 
scouring the woods for Indians, but in June, 1813, they marched 
to the Indian towns on White river, and in the fall of that vear 
made a campaign to the Wabash countr^^ Thev went to Fort 
Harrison, near Terre Haute, where Captain Tavlor, afterward 
President of the United States, was surrounded bv the Indians. 
The presence of the rangers was most opportune, for had they 
not come when thev did the garrison must soon have surren- 
dered to the enemv. In the spring of 18 14 Captain Dunn lett 
the service, and from that time until the compan}- disbanded it 
was commanded by Lieutenant Hillis. This compan^^ of ran- 
gers rendered great service to the settlers, and its commanders 
Avere not forgotten. Both Captain Dunn and Lieutenant Hillis 
were held in high esteem by the people. Both of them were 
time and time again given public office, and both of them hon- 
ored the places given them. 

When the company of rangers was mustered out of service, 
Lieutenant Hillis went back to his farm. He employed a large 
number of men in clearing his land and putting it in order for 
the plow and the harrow. No other farmer in the countr^' gave 
work to so many men. 

Lieutenant Hillis was a civil engineer, and one skilled in his 
profession. He was appointed government survevor, and tor 
several 3^ears was engaged in surveying the public lands of 
Northern Indiana, Michigan and Illinois. 

Soon after the organization of the State government Lieu- 
tenant Hillis was elected an Associate Judge of the Jefferson 
Circuit Court. He displayed a legal acumen unusual in one 
not bred to the law, and when he left the bench he took with 
him the good will of the bar and his brother judges. 

In 1823 Judge Hillis commenced his legislative career, and it 
was continued almost uninterrupted!}' while he lived. In that 
3'ear he was elected to the State Legislature, and he was re- 
elected each succeeding year, with one exception, until 1830. 
Two 3'ears afterward, in 1832, he was sent to the State Senate, 



DAVID HILI.IS. 



/D 



and in 1835 he was re-elected. At that time there were manv 
able men in the Senate, but Judge Hilhs ranked them all, being- 
chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, and, there- 
fore, the Senate's leader. 

Such was Judge Hillis's prominence and popularity that, in 
1837, 1"^^ ^^'^^ nominated for Lieutenant-Governor on the ticket 
with David Wallace. His competitor was James Gregor\% an 
able and popular man, but Judge Hillis defeated him at the 
polls. The issue in this campaign was the internal improve- 
ment system, and upon that question Judge Hillis occupied the 
popular side. 

In 1842 Governor Hillis was again elected to the Legislature. 
When the Legislature met he was nominated for Speaker of 
the House, but his party being in the minoritv, he was defeated. 

In 1844 Governor Hillis was, for the tenth time, elected to 
the Legislature. Soon after the election he was taken sick and 
never recovered. When the Legislature met he was unable to 
leave his home, but hoping to regain his health, he did not re- 
sign his seat. The session ended without his being able to at- 
tend a single sitting, or, indeed, to come to the capital. He 
lingered through the spring and until midsummer, when he 
died. His death took place at his homestead, on the 8th day 
of July, 1845. Being known and beloved bv almost every man 
and woman in his county, his death caused great public sorrow. 
The people from far and near came to his funeral, and man\' 
not of his blood wept at his grave. He was buried a few hun- 
dred yards north of his dwelling, and all that was mortal of the 
old pioneer has gone to dust. 

Governor Hillis was kind and obliging to all who had deal- 
ings with him. He gave largely to the poor and to benevolent 
and religious purposes. He had the qualities which drew men 
to him and kept them there. His large estate had manv ten- 
ants, and these tenants were always the landlord's friends. 

In religion Governor Hillis was a Seceder of the straightest 
sect. Indeed he was the head and front of the Seceders' 
church at Madison. He would come to town on Sundav morn- 
ing, bringing his family and dinner with him. and devote the 
da}' to religious services. He would listen to a two hours" ser- 
mon in the morning and return to church to listen to another 



176 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

equall}- as long. A sermon was never too long for him, if it 
abounded in gospel unction. The house of God was to him the 
best of all places. He never tired of being there. Were he 
now living he would consider the half-hour discourses of our 
preachers as mere exordiums of what gospel talks should be. 

No guest left Governor Hillis's house on the Sabbath. Those 
who came to it on Saturday remained until Mondav. He be- 
lieved in the Bible injunction and kept holy the Sabbath day, 
and he saw that all his household obeyed the command. He 
would not permit his sons to pluck apples from the trees on Sun- 
day. One of them once said to me that when a boy the sound 
of a falling apple or walnut, on the Sabbath, shocked him. so 
still was everything about his father's house. 

Governor Hillis abhorred secret societies. He held them sin- 
ful, and thought no Christian should belong to one. He be- 
lieved the singing of Iwrnns in worship to be wrong, but took 
great delight in the singing of psalms of approved rendition. 
This pleasure was in nowise marred by faulty time or measure, 
when the words were according to Rouse. 

Governor Hillis's old homestead still stands. It was one of 
the first brick farm-houses built in Jefferson county, and, when 
new, was the wonder of the people. It is located near a spring 
of ever-flowing water, and all around and about it great locust 
trees are growing. These trees were planted bv the old pio- 
neer, and he lived to see them grow large enough to protect 
him from the sun as he walked about his 3^ard or sat under the 
branches of his trees. But the house has passed into the hands 
of strangers. Those who tread its halls and rest in its cham- 
bers have none of the builder's blood in their veins. They are 
not to the manor born. 

When Governor Hillis died he left surviving him a widow, 
two sons and several daughters. His oldest son, William C. 
Hillis, represented J eflerson county in the Legislature of 1849- 
50, and subsequently served a term as treasurer of his county. 
He afterwards emigrated to Missouri, and subsequently to Iowa. 
He is now police judge of Des Moines, and Master Commis- 
sioner of the United States Court for the district of Iowa. The 
3^oungest son, David Burke Hillis. is a practicing pliysician of 



DAVID HILLIS. 177 

Keokuk, Iowa, and occupies a high place in his pi-ofession. 
The sons detract nothing from their lather's well-earned fame. 

There are but few men living who knew David Ilillis, but 
there are many who revere his name. 

In person. Governor Hillis was about the average size of 
man. He had black hair and eyes, and a good face. He was 
well educated for the time in which he lived, but he was not a 
classical scholar. He was one, of the most noted men in his 
section of the. State — a section which has given Indiana several 
of her most distinguished sons. 



12 



JAMES NOBLE. 



At the time ot the formation of the State government of In- 
diana, and for many 3^ears afterward, the politics and offices of 
the State were controlled by a few families, chief among them 
being the Nobles. It is James Noble, the head of this family, 
that I now propose to sketch. 

The Nobles were of Virginia stock, the family home being 
near Fredericksburg, a city rendered famous by the great bat- 
tle fought there during our civil war. 

Near the close of the eighteenth century Thomas T. Noble, 
the father of James, left Virginia with his family and emigrated 
to Kentucky. His life was like that of other pioneers who set- 
tled in the wilderness of the West. His son James was a hardy 
boy, inured to labor. He grew up strong and self-reliant. 
When but seventeen 3ears old he married Mar}^ Lindsay, of 
Newport, and soon afterwards entered the law office of a Mr. 
Southgate as a student. After finishing his legal studies and 
being admitted to the bar, he removed to Brookville, Ind., and 
commenced the practice of his profession. He soon became 
known as an eloquent advocate, his practice extending through- 
out the Whitewater countr}-. In those days the bar of eastern 
Indiana was very able. James Brown Ra}-, John T. McKin- 
ney, David Wallace, Oliver H. Smith, Amos Lane, George H. 
Dunn, John Test and other noted men were contemporaneous 
w'ith James Noble, and were his competitors at the bar. But 
as a speaker upon the hustings and as a jur}- lawyer he excelled 
them all. Some of them were better judges of the law, and 
stronger before the court, but none equaled him in swaying the 
masses upon the stump and in influencing juries in the box. 



JAMES XOI5L?:. lyc) 

When Indiana resolved to emerge from her territorial condi- 
tion and become a State, the people of Franklin countv sent 
General Noble to Cor^^don to help make a constitution. In the 
constitutional convention he was chairman of the Committee on 
the Legislative Department, and he was also a member of the 
Judiciary Committee. When the work of the convention was 
done he returned to Brookville and continued the practice of 
the law. The next August he was elected a member of the hrst 
Legislature under the State government. It met at Cor3'don, 
November 4, 1816, and adjourned January 3, 1817. Among 
the members of this Legislature who are remembered now, 
were James Noble, Amos Lane, John Dumont, Williamson 
Dunn, Davis Floyd, Samuel Milro3^ Isaac Blackford and Rat- 
liff Boon. Isaac Blacktbrd was elected Speaker of the House, 
and John Paul President of the Senate. Three days after their 
organization the two houses met in joint convention and de- 
clared Jonathan Jennings to have been elected Governor, and 
Christopher Harrison Lieutenant-Governor, whereupon these 
gentlemen took the oath of otiice and entered upon their respec- 
tive duties. The next day, November 8, 18 16, the General 
Assembly, by a joint vote, elected James Noble and Waller 
Taylor to represent Indiana in the Senate of the United States. 
Thus it will be seen that in four days from the time General No- 
ble took his seat in the Legislature he was elected a member of 
the highest legislative body in the world. This was not an ac- 
cident ; it was because his fellow-members knew his eminent 
qualifications for the place. 

In the Senate General Noble had for associates the ablest 
men the country has yet produced. He was not dwarfed bv 
their stature, but maintained a respectable standing among them. 
He continued in the Senate until February 26, 1831, when he 
died at his boarding-house in Washington. On Mondav, Feb- 
ruary 28, 1831. William Hendricks, his colleague, arose in the 
Senate and said : 

" Mr. President — It becomes my painful dut\' to announce 
to the Senate the death of my respected colleague. He de- 
parted this life on Saturda}' evening last, at 10 o'clock. His 
services in this body have been faithful and uninterrupted for 



l80 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

the last fifteen years. The}^ have been honorable to himself and 
useful to his country ; but man goeth to his long home, and with 
him these services have terminated in the meridian of life. He 
had indeed lived to see his early associates in the business of 
this house retire to other spheres of life, or, like himself, pass 
silently to the grave ; 3^et his friends might reasonably have- 
hoped and expected for him a longer period of usefulness and 
distinction. On an occurrence like the present, and especially 
standing as I do in the midst of a circle so intimately acquainted 
with the deceased, it will not be expected of me to pronounce 
his eulogy ; but I can speak, and I may be permitted to speak, 
in the language of early and well-tried personal friendship of 
one highlv prized, not onl}^ b}^ m^^self, but by the State he has 
so long had the honor to represent ; of an individual idolized by 
almost every circle in which he ever moved. He was a bold 
and fearless politician, warm and generous in his feelings. He 
had a heart that responded to every appeal of S3'mpatl\y and 
benevolence ; a heart formed for the most ardent attachment. 
Open and undisguised, the prominent traits of his character 
were always before the world ; but a long period of familiar ac- 
quaintance could only develop the ardor, the devotion and the 
value of his friendship. For such an associate it may well be 
permitted us to mourn, and well assured am I that in pajdng 
these last honors to his memory we are but giving expression to 
the feelings of every member of the Senate. His society I have 
enjoyed when he was in health ; in sickness I have frequently 
been near him and endeavored to soothe his hours of anguish 
and distress, and I had an opportunity of watching, with intense 
anxiety and great solicitude, the last moments of his life." 

Mr. Burnet then submitted the following resolution, which 
was agreed to : 

'■'■Resolved, unaiiiinonsly, That a committee be appointed to 
take order for superintending the funeral of the Hon. James 
Noble, deceased, which will take place at half-past ii o'clock 
this day, and that the Senate will attend the same, and that no- 
tice of this event be given to the House of Representatives." 

The chair stated that under the circumstances of the case. 



JAMES NOBLE. l8l 

upon being informed 3'esterday of the death of the kite Senator 
from Indiana, he had appointed a committee of arrangements 
and pall-bearers, and hoped the course he had pursued would 
not be disapproved of. 

Mr, Burnet then submitted the tbllowino: resolutions, which 
were adopted : 

^''JResolvcd, ii)ia)iimoHsly, That the members of the Senate, 
from a sincere desire of showing every mark of respect due to 
the nfemory of the Hon. James Noble, deceased, their late as- 
sociate, will go into mourning for him for one month, b}" the 
usual mode of wearing crape round the left arm. 

Resolved, unanimously. That, as an additional mark of re- 
spect for the memory" of the Hon. James Noble, the Senate do 
now adjourn.'" 

On the same day a message was received in the House of 
Representatives from the Senate, notifying the House of Sena- 
tor Noble's death, and informing it that his funeral would take 
place that day at 11:30 o'clock a. m., whereupon Mr. Test, the 
member representing the district in which Senator Noble had 
formerh' lived, offered the following resolution and moved its 
adoption : 

'^Resolved, That the members of this House will attend the 
funeral of the Hon. James Noble, late a member of the Senate 
from the State of Indiana, this day at the hour appointed, and, 
as a testimony of respect for the memory of the deceased, they 
will go into mourning and wear crape around the left arm for 
thirty da3's." 

The resolution was agreed to unanimously. 
On motion of Mr. Vance it was then ordered : 

"That for the purpose of attending the funeral of the late 
,Senator Noble, the House take a recess until 3 o'clock p. m." 

The committee of arrangements issued the following order in 
relation to the funeral of General Noble : 



l82 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

ORDER OF PROCESSION' 

FOE THE FUNERAL OF THE 

HONORABLE JAMES NOBLE, 

Soiator of the United States from the State of Indiana. 

The coaiQiittee of arrangements, pall-bearers and mourners will attend at Mrs.. 
Galvin's, the late residence of the deceased, at 11 o'clock A. m., to morrow, at which 
time the corpse will be removed, in charge of the committee of arrangments, at- 
tended by the Sergeant-at-Arms, to the Senate Chamber, where divine service will 
be performed. 

At 11:30 o'clock the funeral will move from the Senate Chamber to the^lace of 
interment in the following order : 

Pall-Bearers : 

+ h 

Mr. Holmes. I ^^ I Mr. Burnett. 

X 

Mr. Claytox. | ]\Ir. Woodbury. 

Mr. R0BIN8ON. u Mr. Frelinghuysen. 



February ^7^ 1S31. 



+- 



The funeral will take place this day at 11 o'clock. 
February 2S, IS.U. 

The body of the deceased was brought into the chamber of 
the Senate and placed in front of the secretary's desk, soon 
after which the House of Representatives, preceded by their 
Speaker and clerk, together with their sergeant-at-arms, en- 
tered the chamber, and were immediatel}' followed b}^ the Presi- 
dent of the United States, the heads of departments, and the 
judges of the Supreme Court, who respectively took the seats 
prepared for them. The chaplain of the Senate (the Rev. Mr. 
Johns) then arose and delivered an eloquent and very impres- 
sive address, which was followed by a fervent prayer by the 
Rev. Mr. Gurley, the chaplain of the House. A procession 
was then formed and proceeded to the Eastern Branch burial 
grovind, where the remains of the deceased were solemn!}- in- 
terred. There they have mouldered to dust. 

Oliver H. Smith, in his " Early Indiana Trials and Sketches," 
makes frequent mention of General Noble. He thus speaks ot 
a passage at arms between him and Mr. Calhoun, then Vice- 
President of the United States. Addressing the chair. General 
Noble said : 



JAMES NOBLE. I 83 

"I tell vou, Mr. President, the Little Magician will spoil 
your dish M'ith the old hero ; he is as cunning as a serpent and 
as harmless as a dove." 

" The Senator will confine himself to the subject." 

"Which subject?" 

"■ The one before the Senate." 

"■ I am trying to do so. I see but one subject before the Sen- 
ate — the other is at the White House." 

" The Senator will take his seat." 

"As I was saying, the Little Magician — " 

" The Senator was directed to take his seat." 

" So I did, but the chair did not expect me to sit there the 
balance of the session." 

Mr. Smith declares General Noble to have been one of the 
strongest and most effective speakers before a jur}^ or a pro- 
miscuous assembly he ever heard. He gives his opinion of him 
as a party leader in these words : 

"General Noble was, as the saying is, born for a leader. 
His person, his every act, look and motion suited the populace. 
He was emphatically a self-made man — quick, ready and al- 
wa3^s prepared. His taste was quite military, and the old set- 
tlers of Whitewater will not soon forget the General in full uni- 
form, mounted on 'Wrangler,' at the head of his division." 

There are but few men now living who were personally ac- 
quainted with General Noble. The Hon. Jacob B. Julian, of 
Indianapolis, has given the author the following account of a 
trial at which General Noble was a conspicuous figure : 

" In the spring of 1821 Hampshire Pitt was placed on trial 
in the Wayne Circuit Court at Centerville, for the murder of 
William Mail, both men of color. Noble was the leading coun- 
sel for the defense, and made one of his ablest speeches. I 
was then a little bo}-, and was taken into the court-room while 
he was addressing the jur}^ by an older brother, and such was 
the violence of his actions, and so loud and terrific were his 
denunciations of the prosecution and all connected with it, that I 
became alarmed and demanded that I should be taken away. 



184 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

I need not say that I have lived to learn that such performances 
are harmless. Of all the men connected with this trial, Samuel 
King, one of the jurors, onl}- survives. He resides in the State 
of Iowa, and is ninetv-four years of age." 

General Noble was a large, well-proportioned man of tine ad- 
dress and bearing. His hair was black, his e3^es dark and his 
complexion florid. He was, in fact, one of the finest looking 
men of his da}- in the Whitewater valley. With his eas}" and 
graceful manners, his fine conversational powers, added to his 
warm heart and generous nature, he was the idol of the people 
of his section of the country, and was perfectly invincible be- 
fore them. He was a good lawyer, though he specially excelled 
as an advocate, in which department of the practice he had no 
equal in his part of the State. His style was what would be 
called Western, now. He had a voice of great compass to 
which he gave the fullest scope, and it was generalh' known for 
several squares around the Court-house when he was addressing 
a jury. There was no occasion for a juror to hold his hand be- 
hind his ear to catch the sound, or to use an ear-trumpet, when 
General Noble was pleading a case before him. He spoke loud 
enough to be heard. 

Mrs. Austin, H. Brow^n, a granddaughter of General Noble, 
has in her possession a miniature portrait of her distinguished 
ancestor. It is that of a man in the prime of life, with a full, 
round, ruddy face, large nose, small and unusually shapely 
mouth, dark eyes, and black hair gathered into a queue and 
hanging down his back. Such is the picture of James Noble, 
a Senator of the United States from Indiana from 1816 to 183 1. 



JOHN TIPTON. 



Among the pioneers of Indiana few did a grander work than 
John Tipton. He was a great man in the council and in the 
held, and no history of the State can be written without honor- 
able mention of his name. Man}' of his leading characteristics 
were inherited from his father, Joshua Tipton, who, born in 
Maryland, emigrated to East Tennessee, where he became a 
man of note and influence. He was well acquainted with In- 
dian character, and led many a fora}' against the hostile Chero- 
kees. He thus became an object of hatred to the wily savages, 
and on the i8th of April, 1793, was waylaid and murdered b^' 
them. It was from the loins of such a man that John Tipton 
sprang. 

John Tipton, the subject of this sketch, was born in Seyier 
county, Tennessee, August 14, 1786. From a child he was 
used to the ways of the Indian. He knew his habits, his treach- 
ery, and his sayageness. He could trail him like Chingach- 
gook or circumyent him like Pathfinder. The Indian murdered 
Joshua Tipton, and John Tipton felt it his duty to avenge his 
father's death. And inexorabl}- he did it. Many an Indian bit 
the dust at the command of John Tipton's rifle, and many a 
pioneer's home was saved from savage incursion by a health\- 
dread of the same terrible weapon. 

When John Tipton had reached his majorit\- he was know n 
in the section where he lived as a man of untiring industry and 
of unquestioned courage. He became dissatisfied with his con- 
dition and opportunities, and determined to leave Tennessee and 
find a home in the territory northwest of the river Ohio. With 
him to determine was to act, so in the fall of 1807 ho left Ten- 



1 86 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

nessee with his mother and her family, and came to Indiana. 
He settled in Harrison county, near Brinley's Ferry, on the 
Ohio river, and for manj^ years made that place his home. 
Buying fifty acres of land, which he mainly paid for with money 
earned by splitting rails and clearing ground for his neighbors, 
he commenced the battle of life anew. In a short time he was 
the acknowledged leader of his neighborhood when leadership 
was required, and when it became necessary to organize the 
good people to drive out the horse-thieves and counterfeiters 
with which it was infested he was put in the van. The}' lett 
the neighborhood without a fight, tor when he told them the}^ 
must go or take the consequences, thev well knew what it 
meant. 

In the summer of 1809 a military company called the '• Yel- 
low Jackets" was formed near young Tipton's home, of which 
he became a member. It was commanded by Captain Spier 
Spencer, and was designed for active service should the neces- 
sity occur. On the loth of September, 1811, the company en- 
tered upon the campaign that culminated in the battle of Tip- 
pecanoe and the rout of the army under the Shawanee prophet. 
The young soldier kept a journal of this campaign, and it, with 
a journal of his trip to Indianapolis to locate the State capital, 
is in the possession of Mr. John H. Holliday, of Indianapolis. 
These journals are written upon common writing paper, folded 
and stitched, and are yellow with age. On the front page of 
that giving an account of the Tippecanoe campaign are these 
words : 

"John Tipton, 

September 11. 18 11. 

*' Steal Not this Book for fear of Shame, for here vou see the 
Oner's Name." 

At the end of the journal is this certificate of its authenticity, 
written in General Tipton's own hand : 

" This Day Book kept During the Campane in the year 1811 
wherein His Excellency Governor Harriijon was Commander in 
Chief and Col. J. B. Boyd of the 4th united States Riegement 
was Second in Command Everything therein Stated the Sub- 



JOIIN TIPTON, 



1 8^ 



scriber holds himself Ready to make appear to Bee fact from 
the Best information could be Had as it was duly kept by 
himself. John Tipton." 

On a page at the back of the journal are these lines : 

" Young major Dark received a wound, 

.Just by his father's side, 
Those feeble hands shall be Revenged 

For my son's death he cry'd 
And like a man distracted ^ 

Out of the lines he flew 
And like a bold Virgin-i-an 

A savage there he Slew." 

The journal begins as follows : 

"An acompt of the march and encampment of the riflemen 
of harrison County I. T. Commanded by Capt Spencer, con- 
sisting of 47 men, besides officers in Company with Capt. R. 
M. heath, with 22 men." 

It commences Thursday, September 12, 1811, and ends Sun- 
day, November 24, 181 1 , a period of seventy-three days. It gives 
a minute and particular account of everything that occurred 
under his notice during the time it covers, and is, perhaps, the 
fullest narrative in existence of the campaign it describes. 

The battle of Tippecanoe was fought November 7, 181 1, and 
I copy the entries in General Tipton's journal narrating the 
events of the da}^ preceding the battle, the da}- of the battle and 
the day after. Thev are as follows : 

"• Wednesday the 6 a verr^- Cold day we moved earley a scout 
sent but thev Came back had seed indian sines. We marched 
as usel till 12. Our Spies caught four horses and seed some In- 
dians. Stopt in a prairie the foot throwd all their napsacks in 
the waggons, we formed in order for Battle — marched 2 miles 
then formed the line of Battle we marched in 5 lines on the ex- 
treme Right, went into a Cornlield then up to the above town 
and surrounded it the}' met us Pled for Peace they said they 
would give us satisfaction in the morning. All the time we ware 
there the^' kept hollowing. This town is on the west side of 



I OS BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

wabash — miles above Vincinnis on the Second Bank neat built 
about 2 hundred 3^ards from the river. This is the main town, 
but it is scatterino- a mile Ions' all the wav a fine Cornfield, after 
the above moovement we mooved one mile farther up. Campd 
in timber between a Creek and Prairie after crossing a fine 
Creek and marching ii miles. 

" Thursda}' the 7 agreeble to their promised. Last night we 
ware answered by the firing of guns and the Shawnies Break- 
ing into our tents a blood Combat Took Place at Precisely 15 
minutes before five in the morning which lasted two hours and 
20 minutes of a continewel firing while many times mixed 
among the Indians so that we Could not tell the indians and our 
men apart, they kept up a firing on three sides of us took our 
tent from the gueard fire. Our men fought Brave and B3" the 
timel}^ help of Capt Cook with a compan}- of infantry we maid 
a charge and drove them out of the timber across the prairie. 
Our Loost in killed and wounded was 179 and theirs graiter 
than ours, among the Dead was our Capt Spier Spencer and 
first Lieutenant mcmahan and Captain Berry that had been at- 
tached to our company and 5 more killed Dead and 15 wounded, 
after the indians gave ground we Burried our Dead. Among 
the Kentuckians was killed ma}-] Owen and mayj Davis badly 
wounded and a number of others in all killed and wounded was 
179 but no company suffered like ours, we then held an Elec- 
tion for officers. I was Elected Capt, Saml. Flanagan first 
Lieut and Jacob Zenor second Lieut and Philip Bell Ensign, 
we then built Breastworks our men in much confusion, our 
flower been too small and all our beeve lost. Last night onley 
half Rations of whisky and no corn for our horses, m}' horse 
killed I got mcmahans to Ride. 37 of them had been killed 
wounded and lost last night. I had one quart of whisky. 

" Frida}' the 8th a cloudy Da}^ and last night was also wet and 
•cold, w^e La}^ all night at our Breastwork fire in the morning- 
Spies sent out found the indians had Left their town, the horse- 
men was all sent to burn the town. We went and found grait 
Deal of Corn and Some Dead indians in the houses, loaded 6 
waggons with Corn and Burnt w^hat was Estimated at 2 thou- 
sand Bushels and 9 of our men Died last night." 



JOHN TIPTON. 189- 

The journal closes on the 24th of November, the day General 
Tipton reached his home. He describes that event in these 
words : 

"' Sundav the 24th a Cloudv and Rainy morning we moved 
Early Came to Corrvdon at half past ten. I staid two hours 
and half took Breakfast mooved up to Coonrod's found my Lt 
and sick man. Staid 2 hours had my horses fed got some 
whiskv, met one of m}- neighbors, mooved again and at 2 
o'clock got safe Home after a campaign of 74 days. John 
Tipton." 

It was reported bv a member of General Harrison's staff that 
while the battle of Tippecanoe was raging, and after the death 
of Captain Spencer and his lieutenants, General Harrison rode 
up, and, addressing Ensign Tipton, asked where was his cap- 
tain. "Dead, sir," replied the ensign. "Your first lieuten- 
ant?" "Dead, sir." "Your second lieutenant?" "Dead, 
sir." "Your ensign!" "He stands before you." "Hold 
your position, m}- brave lad, a little longer, and I will send you 
assistance." General Tipton says nothing about this incident 
in his journal, but nevertheless it may be true, as his modesty 
might have prevented him from recording it ; but I think the 
probabilities are that it rests on no better foundation than the 
current gossip of the camp. 

After the Tippecanoe campaign had ended General Tipton 
arose, bv regular gradation, until he became a brigadier-gen- 
eral in the military service of the State. It may be mentioned 
that in 1813 he piloted Captain Dunn's company of rangers 
through the. wilderness and in the same year acted as officer 
of the spies during the campaign to the Indian town on the West 
Fork of White river. 

At the first election under the State constitution General Tip- 
ton was elected Sheriff of Harrison county. He was afterward 
re-el,ected, and continued to discharge the duties of the ofiice 
until August, 18 19, when he was elected a representative to the 
State Legislature. 

On the nth of Januarv, 1820, the Legislature appointed 
George Hunt, John Conner, John Gilliland, Stephen Ludlow, 
Joseph Bartholomew. John Tipton. Jesse B. Durham. Frederick 



190 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Rapp, William Prince and Thomas Emerson, commissioners to 
select and locate a new capital for the State. In General Tip- 
ton's journal, giving an account of his trip for this purpose, he 
says : 

'' On Wednesda^^ the 17th of May, 1820, I set out from Cory- 
don, in company with Governor Jennings. I had been ap- 
pointed by the last Legislature one of the commissioners to 
select and locate a site for the permanent seat of government 
of the State of Indiana. We took with us Bill, a black boy," 
etc. 

He gives a very particular account of the journey to the house 
of William Conner, where the commissioners were to meet and 
qualify. The commissioners were divided in judgment between 
Conner's farm, the mouth of Fall creek (Indianapolis), and 
the Bluffs near Waverl}^ The Fall creek site was chosen, 
upon General Tipton's motion, as will be seen from the tbllow- 
ing extract from his journal : 

"Wednesday, 7th (June). A fine, clear morning. We met 
at McCormick's, and on my motion, the commissioners came to 
a resolution to select and locate sections numbered i and 12, and 
east and west fractional sections numbered 2, and east fractional 
section 1 1 , and so much off the east side of the west fractional 
section number 3 to be divided by a north and south line running 
perelled to the west boundary of said section, as will equal in 
amount 4 entire sections in t. 15, n. of R. 3, E. We left our 
clerk making out his minuets and our report and went to camp 
to dine. Returned after dinner. Our paper not being ready B. 
(General Bartholemew), D. (Colonel Durham) and m3'Self re- 
turned to camp at 4 ; the}" went to sleep, and me to writing. 
At 5 we decamped and went over to McCormick's. Our clerk 
having his writing read}', tlie commissioners met and signed 
their report, and certified the service of the clerk. At 6:45 the 
first boat landed that ever was seen at the seat of government. 
It was a small ferry flat with a canoe tied alongside both loaded 
with the household goods of two families moving to the mouth 
of Fall creek. They came in a keel boat as far as they could 
get it up the river, then reloaded the boat and brought up their 



JOHN TIPTON. 191 

goods in the flat and canoe. I paid tor some corn and w 
(whisky?) 62 A." 

During the nine years between the Tippecanoe campaign and 
the location of the State capital General Tipton had very much 
improved in composition, as is attested by his journals. The 
one recording his trip to Indianapolis and return is much more 
correctlv written than the one giving an account of the Wabash 
campaign. He was a growing man, and he grew in ability to 
write, as well as in other things. 

In August, 182 1, General Tipton was re-elected to the Leg- 
islature from his countv. At the session following he was cho- 
sen a commissioner on the part of Indiana to meet a similar 
commissioner from Illinois to fix and locate the boundary be- 
tween these States. The work was done the ensuing summer, 
and the action of the commissioners ratified by the Legislature 
during the session of 1822-3. 

In March, 1823, General Tipton was appointed by President 
Monroe general agent for the Pottawattomie and Miami Indians 
in Northern Indiana. He at once removed to Fort Wayne, 
where the agency was located. In the spring of 1828, at his 
suggestion, the agencv was removed from Fort Wayne to Lo- 
gansport. In 1826, two years before his removal to Logansport, 
he was mainly instrumental in securing from the Indians valu- 
able lands for public settlement. 

On the death of United States Senator James Noble, in Feb- 
ruary, 1831, Governor Ray appointed Robert Hanna to the va- 
cancy. Soon after this appointment was made a movement was 
.started to have the Legislature, when it met, elect General Tip- 
ton to the place. For some time he declined to allow his name 
to be used, but finally he gaye way and became a candidate. 
The tbllowing letter, written to Dr. Stewart, of Delphi, will be 
read witla interest : 

"At Home, Jul}' 23, 1831. 

"Dear Sir — Your note of yesterday has been received, and 
in reply I have to inform you that I would greath^ prefer remain- 
ing in the situation I now hold, as Indian agent, to any other 
that could be given me. I have many letters on this same sub- 
ject, and am of opinion we should weigh well this matter before 



192 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

we act. If, after the election, it is found best to use a name^ 
and mine is best (strongest), I will go with m^^ friends for the 
cause and lor our countr}- ; but believe me, that I am not seek- 
ing office, and will esteem it a sacrifice of peace and propert}^ 
to do this. My talent is not of the kind that I wish to see in the 
United States Senate. Johx Tipton." 

Such was General Tipton's hold upon the people of Indiana, 
and such their confidence in his integrity and wisdom, that, not- 
withstanding his opposition, he was elected in December, 1831, 
to fill out General Noble's term, and in 1833 he was elected for 
the full term of six years. Politically, he was a friend of Gen- 
eral Jackson ; but he opposed with all his power that great man 
in his warfare upon the Bank of the United States. He believed 
the bank a necessity, and its issues the best currenc}' the people 
had ever had. When party stood in the way of conviction he 
put party aside. 

General Tipton took great interest in the material and educa- 
tional aft airs of Logansport, the town where he lived. On his 
removal there he took steps to organize the Eel River Seminary 
Society and to construct school-houses and raise money to pay 
teachers. He built saw and grist mills, and, in fact, was '" the 
motive power that gave form and imparted energy to every 
movement calculated to improve society and induce progress to- 
ward the unfoldment and utilization of all the natural advan- 
tages with which Cass county has been and is so abundantly 
supplied." He was the proprietor of additions to Logansport, 
and was interested with Mr. Carter in the original plat of the 
town. In 1838 he was given discretionar}^ powers to remove 
the disaffected Indians west of the Mississippi river. He over- 
came many difficulties in this work and accomplished it with 
dispatch. 

General Tipton was twice married ; the first time, about the 

year 1818, to Miss Shields, who died in less than two years 

after their marriage. The second time was in April, 1825, to 
Matilda, daughter of Captain Spier Spencer, who was killed at 
the battle of Tippecanoe. The second Mrs. Tipton died at 
their residence in Logansport on the 14th of February, 1839, a 
few days prior to the close of her husband's senatorial career. 



JOHN TIPTON. 193 

The prestige of his name as a civiHan and statesman, added 
to his fame as a military leader, did not completely fill his meas- 
ure of honor. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and 
occupied a distinguished position in the order. He received 
the first degrees in Pisgah Lodge, No. 5, at Corydon, Indiana, 
in the year 181 7. He was soon after elected Master, and as 
such represented that lodge at the first session of the Grand 
Lodge of Indiana, at which time he was elected Senior Grand 
Warden, holding that position until 1820, when he became Grand 
Master. Having served one term, he was again elected Grand 
Master in 1828. In 1822 he received the Chapter degrees at 
Louisville, Kentucky, at the hands of Companion Snow, of 
Ohio. Subsequently he filled many important positions in the 
Grand Lodge, and was chiefly instrumental in the institution 
of Wayne Lodge, No. 25, at Fort Wayne, and Tipton Lodge, 
No. 33, at Logansport, Indiana, in 1828, and also of Logan 
Ro3'al Arch Chapter, No. 2, at the latter place, in 1837, i^ ^^^ 
of which he achieved the highest honors. 

On the morning of April 5, 1839, having the day previous 
taken cold while superintending the proposed improvement of 
the extensive water privileges owned by him, after a few hours 
of apparently unconscious suffering, he died, in the meridian 
of life, honored and respected by all save the few who were un- 
able to command his energies in behalf of what his judgment 
could not approve. He was buried with the honors of war and 
in accordance with the rites of his cherished order, on Sunday, 
April 7, 1839. 

General Tipton was an excellent judge of land, and his op- 
portunities were such that he was enabled to secure a large 
amount of the best in the State. He entered an extensive body 
in Bartholomew county, and donated sixty acres of it, where 
the city of Columbus now stands, to the count}^ for the purpose 
of erecting public buildings. For awhile the county seat was 
called " Tiptonia," in honor of General Tipton, but after awhile 
the county officers, who were not political friends of the Gen- 
eral, changed the name to Columbus. This action of the of- 
ficials of Bartholomew county was ver}' ungenerous, and deeply 
touched General Tipton. Afterward he took but little interest 

13 



194 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

in the affairs of that county, and seldom or never visited its 
capital. He was entitled to the name, by reason of his public 
services and private liberality, and to take it from him after it 
had been bestowed was an insult not to be forgotten. 

There is an elevation on the bank of White river, at Colum- 
bus, probably one hundred feet high, which is known as "Tip- 
ton's Mound." In early times it was called " Tipton's Knoll," 
and the street leading to it was named Tipton street, but now 
" Knoll" has been changed to " Mound," and Tipton street to 
Third street. General Tipton's name may be stricken from the 
map of Columbus, but his donation to Bartholomew county will 
stand as a memento of his public spirit and private munificence. 
It was he, also, who donated to the State the beautiful Battle 
Ground of Tippecanoe. (See journal of constitutional conven- 
tion.) 

In a recent histor}^ of the Miami Indians, by Thad. Butler, 
Esq., it was stated that Samuel McClure, of Marion, was pres- 
ent at the Indian treat}' of 1826. Desiring to know the facts in 
the case I addressed Mr. McClure a letter, and received the 
following repl}' : 

"Marion, Ind., x\pril 10, 1882. 

" William W. Woollen, Esq^ : Dear Sir — Yours of the 7th 
inst. at hand and contents noted, and in answer I will say that 
Mr. Butler got his statement a little wrong when he said that I 
was at the treat}' of the Miami Indians in 1826. I was at the 
payment which occurred in November, 1826, and my recollec- 
tion is that General Tipton and Martin M. Ray were there and 
made the payment at that time. I was but a boy, about nine- 
teen years old, and they were strangers to me. My father, 
Samuel McClure, came to Wabash in Januarv, 1827, and set- 
tled at the spring where the treaty was made, and lived in the 
cabins built for that purpose. 

"I knew General Tipton, but was not intimate with him. 
Knew him to be a shrewd, smart and very decided man ; posi- 
tive in having his orders obeyed, and he made a good agent tor 
the government and also for the Indians. I was at every pay- 
ment he made tlie Indians. 

"General Tipton lived in the fort at Fort Wayne when I 
came to the State, but in the fall of 1827, or in the spring of 



JOHN TIPTON. 195 

1828, he moved from Fort Wayne to the mouth of Eel river, on 
the east side of the Wabash, andhved in a two-story hewed log 
house built by a man named Chamberlin, who moved from there 
to Rochester, or where Rochester now is. I think it was before 
Logansport was laid off. The General bought lands on the 
same side of the river and made quite a nice improvement, and 
lived there until his death. Yours very respectfully, 

"Samuel McClure.'" 

Oliver H. Smith, in his " Early Indiana Trials and Sketches,"' 
thus speaks of General Tipton : 

" He was about the medium height, well set, short face, 
round head, low, wrinkled forehead, sunken gray eyes, stern 
countenance, good chest, stiff sandy hair standing erect from 
his forehead. He was not what is called an eloquent debater, 
still he was plain and strong as a speaker. He saw the ques- 
tion clearly, and marched directly at it without rhetorical flour- 
ishes. He was a strong, if not an eloquent debater, and was 
alwa3's formidable upon the subject he had in charge, and he 
seldom or never interfered with the business of others be3-ond 
a silent vote." 

General Tipton was about five feet eight inches high, was 
slightly though compactly built, and weighed about 140 pounds. 
He was muscular and strong for one of his weight, and in man- 
ner he was quick and active. His stern features and sharp eyes 
denoted a man born to command and to see that his commands 
were obeyed. He had unconquerable will, and when deter- 
mined upon a line of policy he moved forward with all the en- 
ergy of his nature to execute it. He alwa3's took the lead, and 
others followed as a matter of course. A leadinof citizen of 
Fort Wayne said that Fort Wayne owed more to General Tip- 
ton in his day than to an}^ other man. The same is true of Lo- 
gansport, the city in which he died. Indiana, however, owes 
him more than an}- of her cities, for he did as much to free her 
from Indian depredations and to render her people secure in 
their homes as anv other man of his time. 



OLIVER HAMPTON SMITH. 



Oliver Hampton Smith, Congressman and Senator, was 
born October 23, 1794, on Smith's Island, near Trenton, New 
Jersey. He came very near being drowned when a boy, hav- 
ing taken the cramp while swimming. In his "Early Indiana 
Trials and Sketches," he thus describes this incident: 

"The breathing ceased, the pressure on my lungs was pain- 
ful, my head rolled over on the gravelly bottom, my mind was 
clear as my eyes closed on a bright sun. I fell, as it were, into 
a sound sleep. Some thirty minutes afterward I felt very sick, 
the water was running from my mouth, and my eyes seemed to 
open involuntarily. There stood Isaac Fox bending over me. 
When I was drowning he ran down to the bank of the river, 
learned where I went down, floated over me, and saw me lying 
quietly on the bottom. I had been there near ten minutes. He 
dived down and brought me up, and took me, unconscious, to a 
tavern just by, and rolled and rubbed me into life. As I opened 
my eyes he cried aloud for joy." 

Had it not been for the opportune presence and daring of 
young Isaac Fox this sketch would never have been written. 

Young Smith commenced attending school when he was six 
3'ears old, in a building near his home. He went to this school 
off and on until 1813, when, on account of the death of his father, 
he left home and went out into the world to seek his fortune. 
He visited New York, and then went to Pennsylvania, where 
for a time he worked in a woolen mill. On reaching his ma- 
jority he received $1,500 from his father's estate, which he in- 
vested in an enterprise that proved to be unfortunate. On 



OLIVER HAMPTON SMITH. 1 97 

closing it out the only thing he had to show for his patrimony 
was a Canadian pony, upon which he rode to his brother Thom- 
as's. He remained there a short time and then started West. 
On his arrival at Pittsburg he engaged as captain of a coal boat 
bound for Louisville, Kentucky. The boat had another lashed 
to it, and during the trip down the river the captain discovered 
that the consort of his boat was about to strike a snag. He 
knew if she did she would sink and take down with her the one 
upon which he stood. He met the exigenc}- with promptitude. 
Seizing an ax he cut the rope which bound the vessels together, 
and in a moment afterward the fated boat struck the snag and 
sank to the bottom. This incident illustrates Mr. Smith's judg- 
ment and promptitude. 

In 1817 Mr. Smith came to Indiana. He first settled at Rising 
Sun, but in a short time he removed to Lawrenceburg and com- 
menced the study of law. In March, 1820, he was personally 
examined by Miles C. Eggleston, then Judge of the Third Ju- 
dicial Circuit, and licensed to practice law. Soon after this he 
removed to Versailles, in Ripley county, and opened an office, 
but, not liking the location, in a few months he removed to Con- 
nersville, where he lived until 1839, at w^hich time he became a 
citizen of Indianapolis. At Connersville Mr. Smith, notwith- 
standing the strong competition, soon obtained a large practice. 
He came in contact with the lawyers of Brookville and Law- 
renceburg, as well as those at his home, but his ability was such 
that he was able to earn and maintain a position among them 
equal to the best. 

In August, 1822, Mr. Smith was elected to the Legislature 
from Fayette county. On his way to Cory don, then the capital 
of the State, he stopped over night at Madison and had his 
horse taken to the stable by General Milton Stapp, and on the 
organization of the House, when the county of Jefferson was 
called, the " flaxen-headed hostler" stepped forward and took 
the oath of office. General Joe Lane, afterwards famous as a 
warrior and statesman, Avas also a member, as were Dennis Pen- 
nington, Isaac Howk, John Dumont, William A. Bullock, and 
others whose names have come down to the present day. Mr. 
Smith was made chairman of the Judiciary Committee, an im- 
portant position, and one which is usually given to the ablest 



198 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

lawyer in the body. It is, therefore, evident that his profes- 
sional reputation was at that early day well estabHshed. In 1824 
Governor Hendricks appointed Mr. Smith prosecutor of the 
Third Judicial Circuit. It was while he held this office that 
Hudson, Sawyer, Bridge, sr., and Bridge, jr., were indicted 
and tried for the killing of a party of friendly Indians near Pen- 
dleton, in Madison county. In an address delivered before the 
Marion County Agricultural Society, Mr. Smith thus speaks of 
this trial : 

■" I was circuit prosecuting attorney at the time of the trials at 
the falls of Fall creek, where Pendleton now stands. Four of 
the prisoners were convicted of murder, and three of them hung, 
for killing Indians. The court was held in a double log cabin, 
the grand jury sat upon a log in the woods, and the foreman 
signed the bills of indictment, which I had prepared, upon his 
knee ; there was not a petit juror that had shoes on — all wore 
moccasins, and were belted around the waist, and carried side 
knives used by the hunters." 

In 1826 Mr. Smith became a candidate for Congress against 
Hon. John Test, who had represented the district for three full 
terms. The district comprised one-third of the State, and ex- 
tended along its eastern border from the Ohio river to the Mich- 
igan line. Mr. Smith traversed the district from one end to the 
other, and spoke to the people whenever and wherever he could 
get an audience. He made a trip, under great difficulties, to 
Fort Wayne, and when the election came off he received just 
ten votes in Allen county. Allen county then, as now, voted 
pretty much one way. But the other counties of the district 
did better by Mr. Smith, for he was elected by over 1,500 ma- 
joritv. Mr. Smith served with distinction in Congress. His 
speech on the appropriation to build the Cumberland road was 
the ablest argument in its favor made in the House. He was 
attentive and industrious in his public duties. When his term 
expired he returned to the practice of the law and to the culti- 
vation of his lands. 

In December, 1836, he was a candidate for the United States 
Senate. His competitors were Noah Noble, William Hen- 
dricks and Ratliff Boon. On the lirst ballot he ran behind 



OLIVER HAMPTON SMITH. 



199 



both Governor Noble and Governor Hendricks, but on the 
eighth he took the lead, and on the ninth was elected. The 
second night after the election he reached his home, and the 
next morning started to Cincinnati with a drove of hogs. But 
I will let him tell the stor}" : 

" Late in the evening I reached Henrie's Mansion House, in 
Cincinnati, covered wdth mud. There were many inquiries 
about the result of our senatorial election ; I was asked if there 
had been an election. ' Which is elected, Hendricks or Noble? ' 
' Neither.' ' Who, then, can it be? ' ' I am elected.' ' You ! 
What is your name?'^ 'Oliver H. Smith.' 'You elected a 
United States Senator I I never heard of you before.' " 

In the Senate Mr. Smith was chairman of the Committee on 
Public Lands. He took great pride in the place, and filled it 
with distinguished abilitv. 

In 1839, while holding the office of Senator, Mr. Smith re- 
moved to Indianapolis, and afterward resided there w^hile he 
lived. He had a large law practice in the Federal courts as 
well as in the State courts, and wdien not in Washington attend- 
ing to his public duties he was industriously engaged in his 
profession. 

In 1842 Mr. Smith was a candidate for re-election to the Sen- 
ate, but w^as defeated by Edward A. Hannegan. In March, 
1843, his senatorial services terminated, and he came back to 
his home. Soon after this he turned his attention to railroads, 
and Indianapolis is mainly indebted to him for the building of 
the Indianapolis and Bellefontaine road, now^ known as the Bee 
Line. He was at different times president of two railroads, and 
he directed their affairs with the same energv and intelligence 
that he displayed in ever3'thing he undertook. 

In 1857, having measurably abandoned the law, and his rail- 
road enterprises being, in a manner, suspended, he commenced 
writing a series of sketches for the Imiiaiiapolis Joitnial on 
early times in Indiana. The}' attracted much attention, and the 
next year the publishing house of Moore, Wilstach, Ke3's & 
Co., of Cincinnati, brought them out in book form. The book 
is valuable as a record of early Indiana times, containing as it 



200 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

does many historical incidents which otherwise would have been 
forgotten. Had its extraneous matter been omitted, and the 
author confined himself to sketching Indiana men and their ac- 
tions, the book, while not so bulk}^ would have been of more 
value than it is. There is a good deal of genuine humor in it, 
and its matter otherwise is interesting, but its style is not that 
of a practiced writer. It is, however, a most valuable contri- 
bution to the history of the times of which it treats, and will 
live while the State exists. As a sample of its st3^1e I copy 
the following from a sketch entitled, " Earh' Condition of In- 
diana : " 

"At the time I came into the State, in March, 1817, there was 
not a railroad in the United States, nor a canal west of the Al- 
legheny mountains. The telegraph had not been discovered, 
fire was struck bv the flint and steel — the falling sparks were 
caught in ' punk ' taken from the knots of the hickorv tree. 
There was not a foot of turnpike road in the State, and plank 
roads had never been heard of. The girdled standing trees 
covered the cultivated fields, the shovel plow the only cultiva- 
tor ; no roads west of Whitewater ; not a bridge in the State ; 
the traveling all done on horseback, the husband mounted be- 
fore on the saddle, with from one to three of the youngest chil- 
dren in his arms — the wife, with a spread-cover reaching to the 
tail of the horse, seated behind, with the balance of the children 
unable to walk, in her lap. We young gentlemen retained the 
luxury of a single horse : not a carriage nor buggy in all the 
countr}'. After some years Mr. Lovejoy brought a buggy with- 
out a top to Connersville, from New England. I borrowed it to 
ride to Wa3me count}-, but I gave up the buggy and took my 
horse for fear the people would think me proud and it would 
injure m}^ election to Congress." 

Mr. Smith died on Saturday, March 19, 1859. On the Mon- 
day following, the Indianapolis bar met in the Court-house to 
take action upon his death. Governor David Wallace presided, 
and Simon Yandes, Esq., acted as secretary. Governor Ham- 
mond, Jonathan W. Gordon and Hugh O'Neal were appointed 
a committee on resolutions, and reported a series, in which the 
private worth and public service of the deceased were recounted 



OLIVER HAMPTON SMITH. 20I 

and extolled. Speeches were made by Mr. Yandes, John L. 
Ketcham, Hugh O'Neal and Governor Wallace. The speech 
of the last gentleman was particularly able and discriminating. 
In it he said : 

" He had no envy in his composition. He never tried to 
crush others. His egotism had been sometimes spoken of dur- 
ing his life, but it was the simplest egotism the world ever saw. 
He never assailed another, or tried to pull him down that he 
might raise himself. Detraction he was never guilty of. He 
was ambitious, but his ambition was to surpass you, not to ruin 
you. He would give you all the merit you deserved, and often 
more, and then claim that he excelled you. This was the ex- 
tent of this feature of his character." 

The meeting appointed Governor Willard, Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor Hammond, R. L. Walpole, Albert G. Porter, John L. 
Ketcham, John Coburn, Robert B. Duncan and Governor Wal- 
lace Mr. Smith's pall-bearers, and Simon Yandes, Esq., to pre- 
pare a eulogy on his life and character. It adjourned to meet 
at the house of Governor Willard, from whence the members 
proceeded in a body to the residence of Mr. Smith to attend his 
funeral. 

On the 29th of March Governor Wallace asked the Marion 
Circuit Court to have the resolutions adopted at the bar meeting 
spread upon its records. He accompanied the request with a 
few remarks, after which Simon Yandes, Esq., delivered a ver}- 
appreciative and eloquent eulog}- upon the life and character 
of the deceased. Mr. Yandes had long been his friend, and 
for many years was his law partner, and was, probably, better 
qualified to bring out the prominent and salient points in his 
character than any other man. In this address he said : 

" It is said he was ambitious. It is true he was ambitious of 
excellence, and this was his greatest merit. He mav have been 
but too ambitious of success, and it is perhaps but fair to ad- 
mit that is a fault of our profession, especially among its lead- 
ers. It does not become me to pass upon a measure of intellect, 
or the comparative rank of a man so distinguished as he was. 
No man in the State more filled the public eye ; and, indeed, it 



202 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

may be said that his senatorial and other services gave him a 
reputation that was national. He and our lamented Marshall 
had this trait of greatness in common : they rose with the occa- 
sion, and always seemed to have a force in reserve. He was of 
great and varied abilit}^, prompt alike for the debates of the Sen- 
ate or the bar ; in the argument of fact or law, and of all classes 
of cases, he intuitively fastened upon the leading and governing- 
points." 

Previous to making the order to have the proceedings of the 
bar meeting spread upon the records, Judge Majors said : 

"As a lawyer Mr. Smith was ever true to the interest of his 
t:lient. In the prosecution of his cases in court he displayed 
much zeal and earnestness. He was generally well prepared 
and ready for trial, and if unsuccessful, from inadvertence or 
oversight, it was a very rare occurrence. He was an honorable 
opponent, and very liberal in his practice, yet very capable and 
sometimes ready to seize upon the weakness or oversight of an 
adversar}^ Mr. Smith's career at the bar was a successful one. 
He well merits the tribute paid to his memory b}' his brethren 
of the bar. The court takes great pleasure in directing that 
the resolutions be spread upon the record." 

Mr. Smith was a jovial man, of a happy disposition, and he 
loved to make others happy, hence he would say things which, 
taken from their surroundings, would appear the height of ego- 
tism. He was an irrepressible talker ; would talk to an}^ one 
and every one he met. A gentleman who knew him well, and 
who was also acquainted with Judge Stor}', saj'S Mr. Smith, in 
this respect, more nearly resembled that distinguished jurist 
than any one he ever knew. One day a boarder at a hotel kept 
by a Mr. Sloan (who w^as a good liver and had a rubicund face) 
complained, in Mr. Smith's presence, of the fare he had at his 
hotel, when Mr. Smith remarked, " What better could you ex- 
pect? Sloan eats all the good things himself; there is nothing 
left for his boarders." One da}' a friend said to him that he 
was too much given to self-praise, when, with a twinkle of the 
eve, he replied, " Wl\y not praise one's self? A man can praise 
himself more in a minute than his friends will in a year." The 



OLIVER HAMPTON SMITH. 203 

Tea-der should bear in mind Mr. Smith's wit and disposition to 
be facetious, else he will form a wrong idea of his character. 

He had vanity, but, according to Governor Wallace, it was 
the simplest the world ever saw — it harmed no one. 

Mr. Smith's disposition was such that he made the best of 
•everything. He never grieved over things that could not be 
prevented, and when they came upon him he bore them with 
fortitude aad soon forgot them. 

Indiana has produced few men who will be so long remem- 
bered as Mr. Smith. As a law3'er he ranked among the very 
first in the State, as a politician he had great influence, and as a 
statesman he maintained a very high standing while in the Sen- 
ate of the United States. He was also an active promoter of 
railroads, and his book containing sketches of early Indiana 
will li^'e when his other works are forgotten. He himself says : 

"These sketches will live and be read by thousands when 
the author and his subjects shall sleep together in the silent 
tomb." 

Mr. Smith is in his tomb. Most of the men he mentioned have 
gone the way of all the earth, but his book still lives, and is 
more highly prized as the years roll on. It is the only record 
we have of the men and times of which it treats, and will be 
read with more interest fifty years from now than it is to-day. 

Mr. Smith was five feet ten inches high, and weighed about 
180 pounds. He was broad-chested — was large from the waist 
up. The lower part of his body was correspondingly smaller 
than the upper, and, when he was subjected to great physical 
exercise it was too weak to bear him up. Often, when fatigued 
by travel and compelled to speak, he would address the people 
sitting. His eyes were dark, his hair was black and stood up 
upon his head. He had large, shaggy e3"ebrows, and the gen- 
eral outline of his features denoted energy, pluck and endurance. 
His place is in the front rank of the great men of Indiana. 



ALBERT S. WHITE. 



Among the most scholarly men who have attained eminence 
in the politics of Indiana was Albert S. White. His writings 
were copiously embellished with classical allusions, and his 
speeches were rich in references and quotations from the most 
noted thinkers and publicists of the world. 

Albert S. White was born in Blooming Grove, New York, 
October 24, 1803. He graduated from Union College, New 
York, in 1822, having for a classmate the Hon. William H. 
Seward, one of the most eminent men of his time. Mr. White 
studied law at Newburg, New York, and in 1825 was licensed 
to practice his profession. Soon after this he emigrated to In- 
diana and located at Rushville. After practicing law a year or 
so in that town, he removed to Paoli, where he remained but a 
short time, and then took up his abode in Lafayette. This was 
in March, 1829, and from that time until his death, Lafayette, 
and its near neighbor, Stock well, was his home. 

During the session of 1828-29 Mr. White reported the pro- 
ceedings of the Indiana Legislature for the Indianapolis "yoiir- 
nal, the first work of the kind done in the State. He did it 
thoroughly and well, as the files of the paper will attest. In 
1830 and 183 1 he was the assistant clerk of the Indiana House 
of Representatives, and from 1832 to 1835 he was its clerk. 
During these years of service in the House he was brought in 
close contact with the leading men of the State, a circumstance 
which was of great benefit to him in his future political career. 
In 1833 he was a candidate for Congress against Edward A. 
Hannegan, and was defeated. He had neither the brilliancy 
nor eloquence of Hannegan, but he , was the superior of that er- 



ALBERT S. WHITE. 



205 



ratic man in education, culture, and in most of the qualities 
which go to make up the successful man. Four years after this 
he was elected to Congress from his district, defeating Nathan 
Jackson by a majority twice as large as the latter's vote. The 
3'ear before he was on the Whig electoral ticket, and in the 
electoral college cast his vote for William Henry Harrison. 

On the expiration of the senatorial term of General John Tip- 
ton, in 1839, ^^'' White was chosen to succeed him. A pro- 
tracted struggle took place over this election, the candidates 
being Governor Noble, Colonel Thomas H. Blake and Mr. 
White. It was not until the thirty-sixth ballot was reached that 
an election took place ; on that ballot Mr. White received a ma- 
jority of the votes. He was then a young man, but his training 
had been such as to acquaint him with public business, and when 
he took his seat in the Senate he was no novice in the duties 
of the place. He actively opposed the annexation of Texas, as 
he did every measure which was calculated to extend the area 
of slaver}^ He was of a conservative temperament, and usually 
voted with the moderate men of his party, but he was conscien- 
tiously an anti-slavery man, and always acted with those who 
strove to confine slavery to the territor}^ it then polluted. He 
was active in securing grants of land to aid in the extension of 
the Wabash and Erie canal, and it was largely by his influence 
that such grants were obtained. 

On the expiration of his senatorial term in 1845, Mr. White 
resumed the practice of the law, but in a short time he aban- 
doned it and entered actively into the business of railroading. 
He was president of the Indianapolis and Lafayette railroad 
from its organization until 1856, and during three years of the 
time was also at the head of the Wabash and Western railway. 
He performed the duties of these places with ability, and to the 
satisfaction of the public and the roads. 

In i860, when the country had need of its strongest and most 
experienced men, Mr. White was again called into the public 
service. He was elected to Congress from his district, and hav- 
ing had experience both in the House and the Senate, he at 
once took high rank as a member. He was made chairman of 
a select committee raised to consider the question of compensa- 
ted emancipation. Mr. White reported a bill appropriating 



206 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

$180,000,000 to pay loyal men for their slaves, and $2O,0oo,ooO' 
to aid in the colonization of the freedmen. This measure was 
recommended by Mr. Lincoln, and supported by him with all 
the influence of his position, but the madness of the Southern 
people prevented its adoption. Had the men of the South been 
wise they would have accepted this proffer as a solution of the 
slavery question. Had they done so there would have been no 
war, and the devastation that swept over the Southern States 
would have been avoided. In presenting the bill, Mr. White 
accompanied it with a report in which the social and political 
influences of slavery were elaborately argued. He contended 
that the white and black races should be separated, and the lat- 
ter colonized in the equatorial regions of America. In his 
speech supporting the bill, he told the Southern members that if 
they did not accept the olive branch it would be withdrawn, and 
their slaves would be taken from them without compensation. 
The result is known. The ofter was rejected and the slaves 
freed by a proclamation by the President. 

Mr. White failed of a renomination to Congress mainW on 
account of his action in regard to the emancipation question. He 
was, however, appointed by Mr. Lincoln one of three commis- 
sioners to adjust the claims of citizens of Minnesota and Da- 
kota against the government for Indian depredations. He dis- 
charged the duties of this position, as he did all his public 
trusts, honestly and well. 

On the death of Hon. Caleb B. Smith, January 7, 1864, Pres- 
ident Lincoln appointed Mr. White United States Judge for the 
District of Indiana. He had been out of law practice so long 
that many doubted the wisdom of the appointment, but it proved 
a good one. He soon adapted himself to his new position, and 
had he lived would have proven a worthy successor of the em- 
inent man who preceded him. But his term was of short dura- 
tion, for, on the 4th of the next September, eight months from 
the time of his appointment, he died at his home in Stockwell, 
a town of which he was one of the founders. His deatli caused 
a gloom throughout the State, but its darkest shadows rested 
over Lafayette, where he had lived so long. A special train 
left there for Stockwell the Wednesday morning after his death, 
and soon returned with his remain's. Thev were met at the 



ALBERT S. WHITE. 207 

Lafayette depot by an immense concourse of people, headed by 
the mayor, the city council, and the members of the bar. The 
procession moved to the Fifth-street Methodist church, where 
an appropriate discourse was delivered by Rev. John L. Smith, 
after which all that was mortal of Albert S. White was taken to 
the Greenbush Cemetery, and there interred. Subsequently, 
William F. Reynolds, a wealthy citizen of Lafayette, and a 
great admirer of Mr. White, erected over his grave a monu- 
ment which still stands to mark the resting place of the scholar 
and jurist. It is of Bedford stone, and represents an oak tree, 
thunder-riven, blasted, dismantled, its branches shattered b}^ 
the storm, but enough of the trunk standing to show how loftily 
and nobly it towered toward the heaven. A pair of doves nestle 
on a broken limb, and an ivy vine clings and clambers around 
the root. On a scroll fastened to the tree is inscribed the name, 
date of birth and death of Mr. White, and a simple tribute to 
his worth as a man, a legislator, judge, lawyer, citizen, friend. 
The inscription is as follows : 

The grave of 

Albert S. White. 

In all relations of life, admirable. 

As a friend, sincere; as a citizen, public spirited ; as a lawyer, honest ; 

as a legislator, wise ; as a judge, without reproach. 

It is a beautiful tribute of friendship to exalted worth. 

In the Fayette Observer, of July 22, 1826, is the full text of an 
address delivered by Mr. White, at Rushville, on the Fourth of 
July of that year. It is a chaste and elegant production, abound- 
ing in classical allusions, couched in the choicest language. It 
could only have been prepared by a scholar of great erudition, 
one familiar with the classic authors. In apologizing for the 
space occupied by the speech, the editor says : 

"We pretend not to be ver}- h'nx-e3-ed in historicarpolitics, 
nor very sensitive to beauties or deformities in rhetoric and 
belles-lettres ; nor, indeed, to profess the talents or to exercise 
the privileges of reviewing public performances ; nevertheless, 
we can venture to express our belief that the speech of Mr. 
White, fraught, as it seems to us to be, with many historical in- 
cidents that can not fail to be pleasing to those w^io delight in 



208 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

the stoiy of ' the times that tried men's souls,' \vill fully com- 
pensate its readers for time and labor." 

Mr. White was then a young man, fresh from college, and his 
address was scmew^hat sophomoric, 3"et its diction is such as to 
stamp its author as one who had drunk deeply of the waters of 
classical lore. 

Mr. White had but little in common with the typical Western 
pioneer, and it is, therefore, somewhat strange that he should 
have reached the eminence he did. He never sunk his man- 
hood nor lowered his self-respect by trying to get down to the 
level of ever}^ man who approached him. He was in no sense 
a demagogue, and never sought to curry favor by pretending to 
be what he was not. He w^as always dignified, was always a 
gentleman. The last speech made by Mr. White was delivered 
on the I St of June, 1864, at the dedication of Crown Hill Ceme- 
tery'. It was an elegant production, entirelv worthy of its dis- 
tinguished author. The following extracts from this address 
will serve to show the author's style : 

"You do well, friends, to leave for a day the busy pursuits of 
common life to plant these altars here. Your city is but little 
older than Jonah's gourd, but where are now the men who built 
it? Where are your Nobles, your Wallaces, your Merrills, 
your Coes, your Mitchells, 3^our Coburns, your Stevenses, your 
Walpoles, your Footes, your Browns, your Morrises, your Saun- 
derses, 3rour McCart\^s, and your Blackfords? 

" Of some the public history of our State, and of others the 
traditionary annals of your city, will have preserved the mem- 
or}^ but though their virtues ma}^ survive, their persons will 
have been forgotten. Let the honored remains of such be 
transferred to these guarded grounds, and here, side by side, 
let them sleep with other cotemporaries equall}^ dear to memory. 
As time rolls round and the inmates of these grounds are 
counted by thousands ; as strange guests are deposited here 
from the m^n-iads of emigrants who will flock to our capital af- 
ter its fortunes have been made, the stor}- of the pioneer settlers 
will have a thrilling interest, and their graves a peculiar sane- 
tit}'. In this respect your cemetery grounds will have a more 
classic interest than those of Mt. Auburn, Greenwood, Laurel 



ALBERT S. WHITE. 2O9 

Hill or Spring Grove, or even the famous cemetery of Pere la 
Chaise, which is said to contain the dust of Heloise and Abe- 
lard." 

While Mr. White was in Congress Mr. Lincoln promised him 
the Lafa3"ette postoffice for a friend, but after he left Washing- 
ton the President changed his mind, and appointed Mr. James 
P. Luse. Mr. Luse was not Mr. White's candidate, and when 
word came to Lafayette of the appointment, Mr. White at once 
went to Washington to remonstrate against it. As soon as Mr. 
Lincoln saw him he knew his business and sought to mollify 
him before he had time to speak. " I see how it is. White," 
said the President, " but before you proceed to business I want 
to tell you a story. In one of our large towns in Illinois a new 
hotel was opened to the public with a splendid entertainment to 
a large number of invited guests. Among these came a big, 
lean man, who was supposed to be a guest, and at the table he 
made tremendous havoc among the viands, eating with a 
voracity that struck everybody with astonishment. After din- 
ner the man approached the landlord and said : ' I was not in- 
vited to 3'our dinner, but I was very hungr}^, and came of my 
own accord. I have nothing with which to pay you for j^our 
bountiful dinner, and all that you can do in the case is to kick 
me out of doors, and I shall be greatly obliged if you do kick 
me out! I shall feel in that case that I have paid the debt.' 
"Now, White, I promised 3^ou that Lafayette appointment; 
I admit it. Just before I left Springfield an old friend, with 
whom I had often fished and hunted and slept, came to see me, 
and I asked him if I could do anything for him, but he said 
there was no office he wanted. Well, the other day this good 
old friend of mine came on, and, of course, was m}^ guest ; and 
before he left he asked me for the Lafayette postoffice for some 
friend of his, and I had to give it to him. You see, White, I 
admit I had promised it to you, but what could I do but give it 
to him? Now, if 3'ou will kick me out of doors, and go quits, 
I shall feel greath' obliged to 3'ou," whereupon the President 
turned his back to Mr. White, drew aside his coat tail, and 
asked for the kick. Mr. White used to tell this stor3', and add : 

14 



2IO BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

"Just think of it! The President of the United States asking 
to be kicked ! " 

In person Mr. White was small and spare. He had a thin 
visage, a large Roman nose and a narrow chest. Plwsically 
he was weak ; intellectually he was strong. Had his career in 
life depended alone upon his body he would have been a failure , 
but depending, as it did, upon his mind and heart as well, he was 
a success. He was one of the first men of the Wabash country 
and of the State, and his name will not be forgotten while learn- 
ing and scholarship are cherished, and honor and patr otism 
revered. 



EDWARD A. HANNEGAN. 



Edward A. Hannegan was born in Ohio, but early in life he 
moved to Lexington, Kentucky, and grew to manhood there. 
He acquired a good education, studied law, and, when twenty- 
three years old, was admitted to the Lexington bar. Not long 
after this he left Kentucky and started West in search of a lo- 
cation. When he reached Covington, a town on the Wabash, 
he stopped, and for many years afterward made it his home. 
He opened an office and commenced the practice of his pro- 
fession. In a short time he obtained a lucrative business, his 
practice not being confined to the county in which he lived, but 
extending to many others in the western part of the State. But 
the law was too dr}^ to satisfy his fiery nature, so he entered 
politics. He was elected to the State Legislature, and became 
a leading member of that body. He advocated the passage of 
a bill chartering the State Bank of Indiana, and was particu- 
larly active in trying to secure an appropriation for the improve- 
ment of the Wabash river at the rapids. This was in Januar}-,. 
1833, and the next August he was elected to Congress from his- 
district, defeating Albert S. White, afterward his colleague in 
the United States Senate. He was re-elected in 1835, ^^^ ^"^"~ 
ing his two terms established a reputation for eloquence excelled 
by few in the House. In 1840 he was again a candidate for 
Congress, but, after a most laborious and exciting contest, he 
was defeated by Henry S. Lane, afterwards Governor of In- 
diana, and then a Senator of the United States. 

The Legislature of 1842 was very evenly divided between the 
Whig and Democratic parties. Oliver H. Smith was the Whig 
candidate for United States Senator, and General Tilghman A. 



212 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Howard the Democratic. On the first ballot Mr. Smith re- 
ceived 72 votes ; General Howard, 74 votes ; Edward A. Han- 
negan, 3 votes ; and Joseph G. Marshall, i vote. On the second 
ballot Mr. Smith received 75 votes ; General Howard, 74 votes ; 
and Mr. Hannegan, i vote. On the third ballot Mr. Smith re- 
ceived 73 votes ; General Howard, 73 votes ; and Mr. Hanne- 
gan", 3 votes. The fourth ballot was the same as the third, ex- 
cept that Governor William Hendricks received one of the 
•votes which before was cast for Mr. Hannegan. On the fifth 
l)allot Mr. Smith received 71 votes ; General Howard, 73 votes ; 
and Mr. Hannegan, 2 votes. On the sixth ballot Mr. Hanne- 
gan received 76 votes, and was elected, General Howard hav- 
ing withdrawn from the race. 

This election caused much excitement at the time. David 
Hoover, of Wayne county, and Daniel Kelso, of Switzerland 
county, refused to vote for General Howard, and, as he could 
not be elected without their support, he withdrew from the con- 
test. It was said that both Hoover and Kelso were pledged to 
the support of Mr. Smith. Hoover, who was a Democrat, 
•elected from a Whig county, voted for Mr. Smith on the first and 
second ballots, and then went over to Mr. Hannegan. Kelso 
voted for Hannegan on every ballot ; therefore it will be seen 
that Hoover and Kelso virtually selected the Senator. 

Mr. Hannegan took his seat in the Senate on the 4th of De- 
cember, 1843, and served until the 4th of March, 1849. Dur- 
ing his service in that body he made several speeches which 
attracted the attention of the countr}^, notably, one on the Ore- 
gon boundary. He occupied an extreme position on this ques- 
tion, being " for 54-40, or fight." In a letter to the committee 
inviting him to be present at a meeting of the friends of Mr. 
Dallas, held in Philadelphia, January 8, 1846, he sent the fol- 
lowing toast : 

"Oregon — Ever}' foot or not an inch; 54 deg., 40 min. or 
delcnda est Britannia.'" 

The committee replied : " The Hon. Edward A. Hannegan. 
The true-hearted American statesman, who truly represents the 
people on the Oregon question — the whole of it or none ; Oregon 
or war ! " 



EDWARD A. HANNEGAN. 213 

He attacked President Polk, who favored a compromise pol- 
icy, in a most bitter manner. He said of him : 

" So long as one human eye remains to linger on the page of 
history the story of his abasement will be read, sending him 
and his name together to an infamy so profound, a damnation 
so deep, that the hand of resurrection will never drag him forth. 
So far as the whole tone, spirit and meaning of the remarks of 
the Senator from North Carolina are concerned, if they speak 
the language of James K. Polk, then James K. Polk has spoken 
words of falsehood with the tongue of a serpent." 

He closed the speech as follows : 

"For the singleness and sincerit}' of my motives I appeal to 
heaven. By them I am willing to be judged now and hereafter, 
so help me God, when, prostrate at thy feet, I falter forth my 
last brief prayer tor mercy on an erring life." 

Mr. Hannegan's votes in the Senate were alwa3^s in accord 
with those of his party friends. On the ist of March, 1847, Mr. 
Upham, of Vermont, while the Mexican treaty was before the 
Senate, moved "that there shall be neither slavery nor invol- 
untary servitude in any Territory w^hich shall hereafter be ac- 
quired or annexed to the United States, otherwise than in pun- 
ishment for crimes." Among the nays was Mr. Hannegan. 
In this, however, he but obeyed his party's will, for he had for 
company Senators Bright, Cass and Dickinson, from the free 
States, and all the Senators from the South. 

The Thirtieth Congress expired March 4, 1849, ^"^ with it 
Mr. Hannegan's senatorial term. In its closing hours Mr. Polk 
nominated him for Minister to Prussia, and the Senate con- 
firmed the appointment. He was commissioned on the 29th of 
March, 1849, '^^^ ^^ once sailed for Berlin. Mr. Hannegan 
was unfitted for diplomacy both by nature and b}' habit. He 
was naturally open and frank, carr^-ing "his heart upon his 
sleeve," and besides, his convivial habits were such as to make 
him an unsafe depository of secrets. It is therefore no wonder 
that his career at Berlin was such as added nothing to his char- 
acter or that of his government. He was recalled on the 13th 



214 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

of the next January, and with that recall the public life of Mr. 
Hannegan ended. He returned to his home at Covington, and 
the next year was a candidate for the State Legislature. At 
that time the question of removing the county seat from Coving- 
ton to a more central point agitated the people of his county, 
and the canvass was made mainly upon that issue. Jacob Dice, 
a Democrat, who favored the removal of the county seat to 
Chambersburg, became a candidate against Mr. Hannegan, and 
receiving the votes of those who favored a change, and also of 
many Whigs at the county seat who were particularly hostile to 
his opponent, was elected. Mr. Hannegan took his defeat 
much to heart. Like many other generous and warm-hearted 
men, he loved his cups, and his defeat caused him to drink the 
harder. The habit grew upon him until, in a fit of madness, he 
killed one whom he dearly loved. This tragic event took place 
in his own house, and at the time created intense excitement 
not only at Covington, but throughout the State. Mr. Hanne- 
gan and his brother-in-law. Captain Duncan, had been drinking 
deeply, and angry words passed between them. Mrs. Hanne- 
gan, who was present, asked her husband to go up stairs, which 
he did, and lay down upon his bed. Captain Duncan started 
after him, when his sister requested him not to go, saying her 
husband was drinking and trouble might ensue. But he refused 
to heed her, and went up stairs and into Mr. Hannegan's room. 
As he entered, the latter half arose and awaited the Captain's 
coming. A Spanish dagger was within his reach, and as Cap- 
tain Duncan approached he called Mr. Hannegan a coward and 
slapped him in the face. Hannegan snatched the dagger, and 
in an instant drove it to the hilt in the Captain's body. The lat- 
ter, all wounded and bloody, walked into an adjoining room and 
lay down to die. When his sister came, and friends gathered 
about him, he told them no blame attached to Mr. Hannegan, 
that the fault was all his own. Hearing this, Hannegan ran to 
the wounded man, threw his arms around him, and madly kissed 
him again and again upon the forehead, sobbing all the time as 
though his heart would break. The wounded man died the 
next day and was buried in the cemetery at Covington. Never 
aftei-ward did Hannegan enter that city of the dead. Not even 



EDWARD A. HANNEGAN. 215 

when his wife died and was there laid to rest would he cross its 
portals. 

In the Madison Banner, of May 13, 1852, a paper conducted 
by the author of this sketch, is the following notice of Captain 
Duncan's death : 

" Captain Duncan, whose unfortunate altercation with ex-Sen- 
ator Hannegan we mentioned yesterday, died on Saturday, 
twent3^-six hours after receiving the fatal blow. Captain D. was 
a brother of Mrs. Hannegan, and a member of her family. He 
was formerly a citizen of Newark, Ohio, and commanded a 
company of mounted riflemen during the Mexican war. His 
personal appearance was exceedingly prepossessing and com- 
manding. He was about forty years of age, and had never 
been married. 

"Nothing has transpired as to the cause of this lamentable 
affair, but it is generally attributed to the influence of liquor. 
No steps have yet been taken to arrest Mr. Hannegan. The 
anguish of his mind is said to be indescribable. His friends are 
apprehensive that the consequences of his rash act will drive 
him mad. What a lesson I 

" ' Better be with the dead, 
Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace, 
Than on the torture of the mind to lie 
In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave ; 
After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well ; 
Passion has done its worst, nor steel, nor poison, 
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing 
Can touch him farther.'" 

Mr. Hannegan was not indicted and tried for the killing of 
Captain Duncan, the universal sentiment of the people being in 
his favor. But had he been convicted it would have added 
nothing to his suflering. He sought surcease of sorrow by 
leaving the State and going to a distant place, but peace did 
not come. He removed to St. Louis in 1857, and on the 25th 
of January, 1859, ^^^ died in that city. His remains were 
brought to Terre Haute and deposited in the earth with impos- 
ing ceremonies, on the banks of his own beloved Wabash. Let 
us hope that the peace which came not to him on earth was 
found when he entered the dark portals of death. 



2l6 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Mr. Hannegan was warm in his friendships, and had a large 
personal following. He and Judge John R. Porter and Jose- 
phus Collett maintained the closest intimacy for many years. It 
was their custom to often meet at the home of Mr, Collett and 
spend days together. Hannegan was a brilliant conversation- 
alist. Porter a fascinating talker, and Collett the best story tel- 
ler in the country 'round about. When they met it was seldom 
they parted until 

"Some wee short hour ayont the twal." 

One evening they entered into a compact that the one who 
first died should return to his friends, if it were possible, and 
give them words or tokens of what was going on in the other 
world. 

After this every time they met, before separating, they would 
clasp hands and renew the covenant. Judge Porter first 
" crossed the river," and soon afterward Mr. Hannegan wrote 
Mr. Collett a note stating that he would be with him the next 
Wednesday evening. He came at the time, and was received 
by Mr. Collett with all his wonted cordiality. But he was 
nervous and ill at ease. After supper the tvyo friends conversed 
until bedtime without either of them naming Judge Porter. 
When the time for retiring arrived, Mr. Collett announced it, 
and proposed conducting Mr. Hannegan to his room, where- 
upon Hannegan sprang to his feet, and in an excited manner 
said: "Joe Collett, has John Porter been back to you?" "No, 
Mr. Hannegan," replied Mr. Collett; "has he appeared to 
you? " " No ; and now I know there is no coming back after 
death. John Porter never broke his word." This instance 
illustrates Mr. Hannegan's faith in mankind, and his confidence 
in the veracity of his friend. 

When Mr. Hannegan was on his way to Covington in search 
of a location, he was overtaken in the woods, one evening, by 
darkness. He saw a cabin, and, approaching it, asked for 
shelter for the night. It was given him, and next morning, 
when ready to resume his journe}', he demanded his bill, and 
was answered there was none. This was a boon to the young 
man, for he had but a pittance in his pocket, and could ill have 
spared the small amount he expected to pay. He never forgot 



EDWARD A. HANNEGAN. 21 7 

the kindness then shown him, and vears afterward, when he 
had become famous, he repaid the debt with interest doubly com- 
pounded. A rich neighbor had killed the son of the woman 
who had given him shelter and bread in the woods, and Han- 
negan was employed to prosecute him. The attorney for the 
defense tried to make capital for his client by speaking of the 
efforts made to convict him, dwelling particularly on the em- 
ployment of the most eloquent man in the country to prosecute 
him. Hannegan replied by telling the story of his stopping in 
the cabin in the woods, and saying that the woman who then 
gave him shelter and bread had come to him in her extremity, 
and requested his services in prosecuting the murderer of her 
son. " She said she had no money to give me," said Hanne- 
gan, "but she had a horse which I could send for when I 
pleased." With flashing eye and quivering lips, he continued: 
"When Edward A. Hannegan and his family are starving for 
bread, then, but not till then, will he send for the home." 

In some respects Mr. Hannegan was superstitious. He would 
not commence a journey or any important business on Friday. 
Neither would he pay out money on Monday, and so well was 
this fact known that his bills were never presented on that day. 

For years a great rivalry existed between Covington and At- 
tica. Hannegan headed it in Covington, and James D. McDon- 
ald in Attica. In 1848, when the water was being let into the 
Wabash and Erie Canal below Lafavette, the level at Attica 
was necessarily filled before the Covington level was reached. 
Some ten days before the latter level could be filled Mr. Han- 
negan and a party of his friends went to Attica for the purpose 
of having the water drawn into the Covington level. The boat- 
men prevented this from being done, and Mr. Hannegan left 
for home. A few da3'^s afterward he returned, with some two 
hundred followers, determined to turn on the water. The partv 
took possession of the lock, placed guards around it, and turned 
on the water. Ezekiel M. McDonald, and some half dozen 
other citizens of Attica, were present, and mixed with the crowd 
in a friendly wa}'. A Covington man knocked a Mr. Herr, of 
Attica, down, while he was in the water, and Mr. McDonald, 
on attempting to go to his assistance, \\as struck with a club 
and badl}' hurt. The Covington men, having accomplished 



2l8 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

their purpose, returned home and disbanded. Mr. McDonald 
determined to hold Mr. Hannegan personally responsible for 
the assault upon him, and punish him for it. Some six months 
afterward he and Hannegan met at the Brown Hotel, in Cov- 
ington, and McDonald at once assaulted him. The parties 
were separated before either was hurt, and Hannegan left the 
hotel. He went home and armed himself and returned at the 
head of some forty of his friends, and demanded that McDon- 
ald be surrendered to him. The latter was secreted in the house, 
and knew what was going on. The landlord, however, told 
the mob that McDonald had gone, and it left in search of him. 
Ahorse was obtained, and McDonald left town by way of the 
Crawfordsville road, and by a circuitous route reached his home. 
Had he been caught he would have been killed, so excited and 
mad were Hannegan and his friends. 

Two years after this, Mr. Hannegan made overtures to Mr. 
McDonald for a settlement of the feud between them. With 
the assistance of mutual friends a reconciliation was reached, 
■and ever afterward they and their families were upon the best 
of terms. 

Mr. Hannegan's manners were elegant. He was courteous 
to ladies and delighted in their society. While he was in the 
Senate, Mrs. Maur}^, an English woman, visited the United 
States and afterward published a book. She was fascinated 
with Hannegan, and in her book praises him to the skies. She 
says : 

"This is a genuine son of the West; ardent, impulsive and 
undaunted ; thinking, acting and daring with the most perfect 
freedom. His spirit is youthful and buoyant, and he is ever 
sanguine of success, though he feels acutely the bitterness of 
disappointment. Show me a gentler, more affectionate nature 
than Edward Hannegan, you can not ; and believe me, the 
Western men in general resemble him. * * * When Mr. H. 
made his speech on the Oregon question, I was in the gallery 
immediately above, and in the excitement of the moment I 
threw down my glove to the speaker ; it fell at his side. The 
chivalrous Hannegan instantly picked it up, pressed it to his 
lips, looked gratefully up to the gallery, bowed and placed it in 



EDWARD A. HANNEGAN. 219 

his bosom. The fortunate glove was transmitted b}- the next 
•day's post to the lady of the Senator, then in Indiana. I pre- 
serve the less happy fellow to it. * * * 

"This Senator was not born in the State he represents, but in 
Kentuck}/^ (?), in the city of Lexington (??) ; consequently, in 
the very atmosphere of Henry Clay, and I can not well tell how 
he escaped being a Whig. He is a Presbyterian, but has com- 
mitted his only son to the care of Dr. Hailandiere, Catholic 
Bishop of Vincennes, in Indiana, to be educated at the college 
in that city. A devoted lover of the country and of its inde- 
pendence, he so pined at last in Washington that he was com- 
pelled to go home for a fortnight to refresh his spirits and re- 
cruit his health. I met him on the Ohio on his way. ' Come 
home with me,' said he to the Doctor and myself; ' come home 
with me, and I will show you the lovely valley of the Wabash. 
I can endure those hot and crowded halls no longer ; I must have 
free air and space to roam in ; I like to hunt when I please, and 
to shoot when I please, and to fish when I please, and to read 
when I please. Come home with me and see how I live in In- 
diana.'" 

Mr. Hannegan, like most other men, did not enjoy a practi- 
cal joke at his own expense. A jolly Irishman, still living at 
Covington, delighted in playing'pranks upon his distinguished 
friend. On one occasion a Teutonic sausage-grinder was hold- 
ing forth to a crowd upon the wonderful merits of his sausage, 
and declaring that " Meester Hannegan, he buys 'em," when 
the jolly Irishman, with a twinkle in his eye, said: "Pshaw! 
Hannegan says you make j^our sausages out of dead hogs." 
**Did he sa};- dot; did he say mine sausage was made from 
dead hogs?" asked the butcher, terribly excited. "Yes, he 
did," replied the Irishman, as he left and went on his way. 
The meat man wanted to hear no more. With coat oft' and shirt 
sleeves rolled up, he ran, butcher-knife in hand, to Hannegan's 
office door, which he pounded vigoroush'. Mr. Hannegan, 
who, at the time, was entertaining some friends, quickl}' turned 
the knob and met the irate butcher face to face. There stood 
the angr}' German, flomnshing his butcher-knife, and pouring 
forth a torrent of broken words with such energy that Hanne- 



220 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

gan was really alarmed. " Meester Hannegan, Johnny Mac 
says you tells him I make sausenges out'en dead hogs I " yelled 
the butcher. "I makes nice, clean sausenges, and I wants to 
know about it." "Why, my good friend," said Mr. Hanne- 
gan, " who told you that? " " Vy, John Mac." " Did he ; did 
the rascal say that? Let's go and see him." Excusing him- 
self to his friends, Mr. Hannegan and the sausage man started 
out to hunt the jolly Irishman. Arriving at his house, he was 
called out, and when he appeared a broad smile upon his face 
soon developed into a loud laugh. "Now, Mr. .Mac," began 
Hannegan, " did 3^ou intimate that I cast any reflections on this 
man or his business? Why, sir," growing more excited, "he 
was about to assassinate me." The Teuton began talking, 
also, and between the two, the noise was lively. After awhile 
there was a lull, and the joker said to the butcher, ' You don't 
make sausages out of live hogs, do you?" "Light broke in 

upon the German, and uttering the words , he walked 

away. By this time Hannegan was somewhat mollified, and 
addressing the L-ishman said : "Johnny Mac, jokes are jokes, 
but when they reach the point that a friend is in danger of as- 
sassination, it is carrying them a little too far." The story soon 
spread over town, and Hannegan enjo3^ed it as much as any 
one ; but the sausage-grinder's occupation was gone. He could 
not stand the raillery to which he was subjected, so he left Cov- 
ington and sought fields for peddling his sausage where jokes 
did not so much abound. 

Mr. Hannegan was on the steamer Princeton, February 28, 
1844, when a large gun exploded, killing Abel P. Upshur, Sec- 
retar}' of State, Thomas W. Gilmer, Secretar}^ of the Navy, 
and several other distinguished men. President Tyler was on 
board, but was not injured by the explosion. In a letter to Dr. 
Stewart, of Delphi, dated March i, 1844, ^^'- Hannegan says .• 
" The horrible occurrence on the Princeton j^ou will see in 
the papers. I was standing with General Jessup at the main- 
mast, some twenty-five or thirty feet from the explosion, and 
was the first person who pressed forward to the place. Colonel 
Benton had been prostrated by the awful concussion, having 
been standing immediately behind the breech of the gun. When 
I reached his side he was lifting a poor sailor in his arms whose 



EDWARD A. HANNEGAN. 221 

left arm was shot oft'; thoughtless of himself, he thought only 
of the poor, suffering man. He was cool and collected. I asked 
him if he was wounded. "No, Hannegan," was his reply; 
''but look at this poor fellow. Bring a surgeon to him, quick." 
Judge Phelps, of Vermont, was standing near Benton at the 
time of the explosion, and acted likewise with great coolness and 
courage. He declared publicly that injustice shall no longer be 
done to Benton's generous and noble heart ; that he will seek 
an occasion in the Senate to pay him a tribute. He is, as you 
know, a warm Whig. Benton and Phelps were standing im- 
mediately by the bulwarks which were swept away, and their 
hats were also carried overboard, with the bonnet of a lady who 
stood between them. Benton is out of danger, but not able to 
sit up. The force of the concussion struck his breast ; had it 
struck his head, he must have been instantly killed." 

When Mr. Hannegan was in the Senate, Bishop Simpson 
was President of Asbury University at Greencastle. Mr. Han- 
negan had a high appreciation of Bishop Simpson's power as a 
preacher, and invited him to go to Washington and speak to 
the "Godless Congressmen." The bishop went, and notwith- 
standing Mr. Hannegan's effort to get him an audience, he 
preached his first sermon largel}' to empty benches. But those 
who did hear him were charmed with his discourse, and his 
subsequent appointments drew crowded houses. He remained 
at Washington over a month, preaching every Sunday, and al- 
ways with much acceptabilit}^ Mr. Hannegan is entitled to the 
credit of first introducing Bishop Simpson to the leading men 
of the country, and of securing for him a hearing which was the 
commencement of his reputation as one of the best pulpit orators 
in the country-. 

In some respects Mr. Hannegan was a great man, but in oth- 
ers he fell far below several of his cotemporaries. He was 
like the comet that flashes athwart the heavens, dazzling the 
eve a moment with its brilliancy, and then disappearing. He 
and Jesse D. Bright were in the Senate together, and although 
he was Mr. Bright's senior in years and in public service, he 
did not exercise anything like the influence of that gentleman, 
eitlier in the Senate or in the country. He was a more brilliant 
man than Bright, but he lacked the latter's strength of charac- 



222 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

ter and his knowledge of men. In speaking of the Indiana 
Senators of that day, it was always Bright and Hannegan, not 
Hannegan and Bright. Governor Willard used to sa}-, ^ Start 
Hannegan down stream at high tide, and he can gather more 
driftwood than an}^ man I know, but he isn't worth a curse tO' 
row up stream." 

The following incident is related as illustrative of Hannegan's 
impulsive nature. A paper called the Fountain Ledger was 
started in Covington by J. P. Luse for the purpose of support- 
ing the Whig cause in the then strong Democratic county of 
Fountain, and defeating Hannegan. It became very bitter and 
personal in its war with the People'' s Friend, then published by 
Solon Turman. It was especially severe on Hannegan, and 
hence the editor incurred the enmity of him and his friends. 
After the election, which resulted in the defeat of Hannegan, 
Mr. Luse bought the Lafayette yoinnial and removed to Lafay- 
ette. Shortly after the unfortunate homicide of Captain Dun- 
can by his brother-in-law, Hannegan, occurred. It was ex- 
pected that Mr. Luse would embrace that opportunity to de- 
nounce Hannegan and inflame the public mind against him. 
On the contrary, he published a very mild, kind and consider- 
ate editorial, referring most generousl}^ to Hannegan, and ask- 
ing the calm judgment of the countr}^ on his awful deed. Some 
two years after, Mr. Hannegan accidentally met Mr. Luse at 
• Danville, Illinois, rushed up to him, embraced him, and in his 
impulsive and characteristic way evinced his deep appreciation 
of his kindness. Ever after, till Hannegan's death, they were 
friends. 

In person Mr. Hannegan was below^ the medium height ; 
he was firmly and compactly built, and in his latter davs was 
inclined to corpvdency. He had a ruddy complexion, blue eyes, 
and light brown hair. He was a charming companion, a fasci- 
nating talker, and a public speaker of true eloquence. He was 
not a profound man nor a great scholar, but what he lacked in 
profundity he made up in brilliancy, and his deficiencies in schol- 
arship were largely compensated for by his quick wit, his fertile 
imagination, and his power to express himself in the choicest of 
language. He was of Irish descent, and inherited many of the 
characteristics of that warm-hearted and impulsive race. 



JESSE D. BRIGHT. 



For twenty years prior to i860, Jesse D. Bright was a leading- 
man in Indiana. He was the autocrat of his party, and ruled 
it as absolutely as did Governor Morton the Republican party 
when in the zenith of his power. Indeed, in many respects 
these men were alike. Both loved power and knew the art of 
getting it ; both loved a friend and hated an enem}-, and both 
knew how to reward the one and punish the other. 

Mr. Bright was born in Norwich, New York, December 18, 
181 2, and came to Indiana when a boy. His family located at 
Madison, and there young Bright grew up to man's estate. He 
had a good constitution, and was one of the healthiest and 
strongest men in the town. He was fond of athletic sports, and 
was always ready to test the strength and endurance of an}^ who 
chose to challenge him. He would accommodate them with a 
friendly tussle or a regular knockdown — ^just as the}' pleased to 
have it. I do not mean by this that he was quarrelsome, for he 
was not ; but I do mean that he had muscle and grit, and was 
not loth to let it be known. His physique was splendid. He 
weighed about two hundred pounds and had a well-proportioned 
body, save, probably, a little too much fullness in the abdgmen. 
His face was cleanly shaven, and his clothes fitted him well and 
were of good quality. He had a good head and a good lace, 
and he stood straight upon his feet and carried himself as one 
having authority. He was imperious in his manner, and brooked 
no opposition either from friend or foe. Indeed, he classed 
every man as foe who would not do his bidding, and made per- 
sonal devotion to himself the test of Democracy. He had natu- 
ral talents of a high order, but was deficient in education and 



224 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

cultivation. In his public speeches he was a frequent violator 
of grammar and of logic, but his manner was so earnest and 
his delivery so impressive, that what he said found a lodgment 
in the minds of his hearers. He was the Danton of Indiana 
Democracy, and was both loved and feared by his followers. 

Mr. Bright was the best judge of men that I ever knew. In- 
deed he seemed to have an intuitive knowledge of men and their 
thoughts. He seldom or never gave his confidence to a man 
that abused it. He often withheld it from gentlemen of his own 
political household and bestowed it upon those of another faith. 
As an illustration of this fact the following incident is narrated : 
One evening in 1852 the editor of a Whig paper was in Mr. 
Bright's parlor on invitation, when the door-bell rang, and Mr. 
Bright said : "I must ask of you the favor to step into another 
room ; that is John A. Hendricks at the door ; I don't want him 
to meet you here ; he wants my influence for Congress ; I must 
humor him, but I can not trust him ; he is uncertain anyhow, 
and if he is not nominated by the Democrats will leave us and 
go over to the opposition ; if he sees you here he will suspect 
where you get some of your items about Joe Wright. Mr. Hen- 
dricks was not nominated by the Democrats, did go over to the 
opposition, and in 1856 was the candidate of the '" People's" 
party for Congress in the Third District, and was defeated by 
the late Judge Hughes. He was killed at the battle of Pea 
Ridge during the rebellion, and his photograph may be seen in 
our State Library. He was a son of ex-Governor William Hen- 
dricks, and a cousin of Hon. Thomas A. Hendricks. 

Mr. Bi'ight was an earnest man, and whatever he undertook 
he did with all his might. There was nothing " "alf and 'alf" 
about him. He struck out from the shoulder, right and left, 
and his blows were those of a giant. He never conciliated : 
he demanded absolute obedience ; he permitted no divided al- 
legiance, and the Democrat that looked with favor upon his 
rival. Governor Wright, committed an offense for which there 
was no atonement. In those da3^s Governor Wright was a 
strong man with the people of Indiana. His character was en- 
tirely different from that of Mr. Bright. He had not the bold- 
ness nor the courage of the Senator, and in the battle for the 
leadership had to go to the wall. Bright hated him with a 



JESSE D. BRIGHT. 225 

healthy hatred, and was disposed to make war on him " to the 
knife, and the knife to the hilt." Hovyever, throug'h the inter- 
position of friends a truce was established ; but it lasted only a 
short time. The late James Blake and Judge S. E. Perkins 
once published a card in which the}^ said that all matters of dif- 
ference between these Democratic leaders having been sub- 
mitted to them for settlement, were satisfactorily and honorably 
adjusted. How hollow the truce ! The fires smouldered and 
soon broke out again. Both wanted to go to the United States 
Senate, but the matter was finally settled by the return of Bright 
and the appointment of Wright as Minister to Berlin. 

Mr. Bright chose the law for a profession, and was early ad- 
mitted to the bar. At that time the Madison bar was the ablest 
in the State. Marshall, and Sullivan, and Stevens, and the 
elder Bright, and several other distinguished men were mem- 
bers of it, so when the young lawyer opened his office, business 
was slow in coming. He never mastered the philosophy of 
law% and did not equal his brother Michael as a lawyer, but he 
spoke well, and, being popular with the people, succeeded in 
getting a fair amount of business. 

The county of Jefferson was Whig, and Mr. Bright was a 
Democrat of the strictest sect, but notwithstanding this he was 
elected Probate Judge of the county, and held the office for 
vears. Subsequently he was appginted United States Marshal 
for Indiana, and it was while in this office that he laid the foun- 
dation of his political career. His business took him all over 
the State, and he made friends wherever he went. His knowl- 
edge of mankind was such that he never, or ver}' rarely, mis- 
took his man, and the friends he made were bound to him with 
hooks of steel. Afterwards, when he needed these friends to 
help on his political fortunes, he knew where to find them, and 
they failed him not. 

Away back in the forties, the Whigs of Jefferson count}^ nom- 
inated Williamson Dunn for the State Senate. He was a pio- 
neer of the State, and commanded a company of rangers in the 
war of 181 2. He was a man of great physical and moral cour- 
age and unquestioned integrity. But he was a Presbyterian 
elder and held to the faith and teachings of Calvin with the 



2 26 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

greatest tenacity. He was ultra on the Sunday question, and 
was very active in tr^nng to stop the Sunday mails. This caused 
dissatisfaction with his nomination, and the disaffected brought 
out Shadrach Wilber, also a Whig, as an independent candi- 
date. The fight waxed warm between the supporters of Dunn 
and of Wilber, and much bad blood was aroused. When the 
blood was seething a new Richmond entered the field. He saw 
his chance and embraced it. He knew the passion between 
the friends of the other candidates was too intense to be allayed, 
so he entered the lists and won the fight. That Richmond wp.s 
Jesse David Bright. 

In the State Senate Mr. Bright took rank, at once, as the 
leader of his party. In fact, he was a born leader of men. He 
always stood at the fore-front of the line. 

In 1843 Mr. Bright was nominated for Lieutenant-Governor 
on the ticket with James Whitcomb. He canvassed the State 
thoroughly, speaking in everv county. He had not the grace 
nor the eloquence of his chiet", but his speeches were equally or 
more effective. He had an earnestness of manner, and a cer- 
tain rough and turgid eloquence that won the people's favor, 
and when the canvass closed he had established a reputation as 
a politician second to none in the State. He was elected, and 
came to Indianapolis the leader and beau ideal of the voung 
Democracy. 

No one in his party disputed his right to lead, and no one out- 
side of it, except his great compeer, Joseph G. Marshall, dared 
cross sworils with him in the city where he lived. His success 
in doing what he attempted was proverbial. He filled his office 
well, presiding with fairness and dignity, and so won the affec- 
tions of the Senators and Representatives that they soon elected 
him to the Senate of the United States. At this time [when 
elected to the United States Senate], he was barely eligible to 
a seat on account of his age, he being the voungest man that 
had ever taken a seat in the Senate. 

In 1850 he was a candidate for re-election to the Senate. 
Robert Dale Owen, who was also a candidate, openly charged 
him with having attempted to secure his return by bribery. Be- 
ing advised of this charge a few da3^s before the election he ap- 
plied to Postmaster-General Campbell and obtained a special 



JESSE D. BRIGHT. 227 

order to be taken to the Ohio river in the United States mail 
coach. [At that time no raih'oad crossed the mountains.] At 
Wheeling he took a steamer for Cincinnati, and from that city 
telegraphed to Madison to have an engine and car read}- to con- 
vey him to Indianapolis. When he stepped ashore in the citv 
of his home he at once boarded the car, which awaited him, and 
was borne to the State capital as fast as steam could propel him. 
Great was the wonderment among tlie politicians at Indianapo- 
lis when they saw him upon the streets of that cit}-. Thev 
thought he was at Washington, and expected the election to 
come off in his absence. He sought Mr. Owen, and soon sat- 
isfied that gentleman that he had been misinformed about the 
alleged bribeiy. Mr. Owen thereupon withdrew from the race, 
and Mr. Bright was re-elected without further contest. 

In 1856, his second term having expired, he again sought a 
re-election, but the Republican members of the Legislature 
refused to go into an election. They had met the Democratic 
members in joint convention to canvass the votes for Governor 
and Lieutenant-Governor, and when that was done took their 
leave and refused to go into joint convention again. 

The Democratic members adjourned to a fixed da}-, and when 
it arrived again met, but did nothing but organize and adjourn 
until another dav. The intention had been to elect the Senators^ 
[two were to be chosen] at the second meeting, but Mr. Bright 
refused to accept an election unless satisfied it would be legal, 
of which he had his doubts. At his suggestion, the question 
was referred to Samuel E. Perkins, James Hughes and Joseph 
W. Chapman, all eminent lawyers and jurists, who subsequently 
reported to a caucus that an election held under the circum- 
stances existing would be legal. The Democratic and American 
members of the two houses soon after this met in joint conven- 
tion and elected Messrs. Bright and Fitch to the Senate. The 
next Legislature, being Republican, declared this election ille- 
gal, and chose Henry S. Lane and William M. McCartv as 
Senators, and these gentlemen went to Washington and claimed 
their seats. The}- were, however, refused admission to the 
Senate bv a part}- vote, with the exception of Senators Doug- 
las, Mason and l?roderick, Democrats, who voted to admit 
them. This vote of Douglas made Mr. Bright his enemy for 



228 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

life, and in i860 he opposed Mr. Douglas's election to the Pres- 
idency with all the influence and power he possessed. 

In the Senate of the United States Mr. Brijjht did not rank 
high as a debater, but he was good at committee work, and 
won and maintained a respectable standing. He was popular 
with the Senators, and enjoyed their personal friendship. Be- 
tween him and Henry Clay there was a warm attachment, and 
more than once was he the guest of that gentleman at Ashland. 
When Mr. Clay introduced his omnibus bill, and the Committee 
of Thirteen was raised, Mr. Bright had a place upon it. He 
stood by the author of this bill during the bitter light over it, and 
when it went to pieces clung to the fragments. Such was his 
standing that on the death of Vice President King, in 1853, he 
was elected President -pro tempore of the Senate. He filled 
this office until the inauguration of John C. Breckinridge, in 
1857, and thus for four years stood within one step of the Pres- 
idency. 

While President of the Senate he did not assign Sumner, 
Chase and Hale to places upon the committees, and when asked 
his reason for failing to do so, replied : " Because they are not 
members of any healthy political organization." He did not 
see the seeds of the great Republican party which were then 
sprouting and about to burst through the ground. 

In 1857, when forming his cabinet, President Buchanan of- 
fered Mr. Bright the secretaryship of State, which office he de- 
clined. 

At the time of Mr. Bright's entrance into political life, and 
for many years afterward, public sentiment in Indiana was 
strongly Southern. Northern Indiana was but sparsely settled, 
and the immigrants to the southern and central parts of the State 
were mostly from the South. Mr. Bright lived on the southern 
border, and in sentiment and feeling was a Southern man. He 
•owned a farm in Kentuck}^, well stocked with negroes, and was 
thus identified with the South by interest as well as feeling. 
Once he had the temerity to bring one of his slaves to Madison. 
'Out somehow or other she got away, probably by the help of 
Chapman Harris or Elijah Anderson. A Senator from a free 
State, he was the owner of slaves and a representative of In- 
diana, his largest material interests were in Kentucky. Dur- 



JESSE D. BRIGHT. 229 

ing most of the time for many years he hved at Washington and 
in Kentuck}' in the midst of slavery. So it is no wonder he be- 
came poHtically permeated with the virus of that abominable 
institution. When the war came and slavery was about to be 
destroved, he had no heart for the contest. All the Southern 
Senators, save those from the border States, excepting Andrew - 
Johnson only, left Washington and went home to help on the 
rebellion. Mr. Bright did not believe that war would restore 
the Union as it was, and therefore he opposed the war. He 
wanted the Union to stand dominated and controlled by South- 
ern men, and rather than have any other Union he was willing 
to see the country go to pieces. It is but just to say that he 
was not a secessionist fer se, and would gladly have had the- 
Union remain as it was. He knew that war mea«t the destruc- 
tion of slaverv, and, being a slaveholder, he opposed the war. 
Just before the commencement of hostilities, but when it was 
apparent that the conflict must come, he wrote a letter to Jef- 
ferson Davis, the provisional President of the Confederate 
States, introducing an old friend and Ibrmer fellow-townsman. 
The letter was as follows : 

"Washington, D. C, March i, 1861. 
" My DexVr Sir — Allow me to introduce to your acquaintance 
my friend, Thomas Lincoln, of Texas. He visits your capital 
mainly to dispose of what he regards a great improvement to 
fire-arms. I recommend him to 3'our fav^orable consideration 
as a gentleman of the first respectabilit}^ and reliable in ever^^ 
respect. Very truly j^ours, Jesse D. Bright. 

"To His Excellency Jefferson Davis, President of the Confed- 
eration of States." 

Lincoln was arrested on his wa}' to the Confederate capital 
with the letter of Mr. Bright upon his person. Proceedings 
were at once commenced against the writer, and alter a short 
and angr}^ contest, ended in his expulsion trom a body in which 
he had sat for sixteen years and over which he had presided for 
a quarter of the time. He defended himself as best he could, 
and when the vote was taken, gathered up his books and pa- 
pers, and left the Senate never to return. He came back to 
Indiana, and tor some time quietly staid at his home. But 



230 HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 

when the Democracy, in 1862, elected a majority of the Legis- 
lature, he determined to be a candidate for his unexpired time 
in the Senate. When the Legislature met he came to Indian- 
apolis and asked his party friends to vindicate him by sending 
him back to the body which had disowned him. But "the 
scepter had departed from Judah," and the boon was refused 
him. Judge Turpie was elected to the place, and Mr. Bright 
left Indianapolis, swearing vengeance against those who had 
brought about his discomfiture. He laid the principal blame of 
his defeat at the door of Governor Hendricks, and ever after- 
wards was a personal and political enemy of that gentleman. 

In i860 Mr. Bright organized and led the Breckenridge part}' 
in Indiana. He stumped the State for the 3^oung Kentuckian 
and gave the movement all the force and vitality that it had in 
this State. He made a speech at Franklin, in which he was 
very bitter on Douglas and his friends. After he had concluded 
his address and was going to his hotel, he observed an old per- 
sonal and political friend on the opposite side of the street. He 
crossed over, and taking the friend by the hand, said : " Why 
were you not out to hear me speak ? " He was answered : " Mr. 
Bright, I am sorry to see you engaged in such a work. I can 
give no countenance to your effort to break up the Democratic 
party." " I am endeavoring to place the Democratic part}' on 
a solid basis. A number of old Whigs and free-soilers are in 
the party, and they must not control it." He was reminded 
that the organization in Indiana had declared for Douglas, and 
that the mass of the Democratic voters were for him. "Yes," 
said he, " the State Convention did instruct for Douglas, but 
Hendricks and McDonald, Hammond and Dunham consented 
to these instructions without consulting me." 

In June, 1868, he went to Indianapolis on a political mission, 
and stopped at the Bates House. One afternoon the author re- 
ceived a note from him, asking his presence at the hotel, and 
on going there met Mr, Bright, Hon. D. W. Voorhees, James 
B. Rj^an and Robert S. Sproule. The conversation was upon 
political matters, and during it Mr. Bright asked Mr. Voorhees 
whom he favored for the Democratic nomination at New York. 
Mr. Voorhees answered. General Hancock, whereupon Mr. 
Bright asked Mr. Ryan the same question. Mr. Ryan replied 



JESSE 1). BRIGHT. 23 1 

that his choice was Mr. Hendricks, and the author, on being 
asked for his favorite, named the same gentleman. I then said : 
" Mr. Bright, we have named our choice, now name yours." 
Drawing his nether lip between his teeth, as if to give empha- 
sis to what he said, he replied: "Not your man Hendricks. 
He is the Oily Gammon of the Democratic party. He paid his 
respects to me in 1863 ; I propose paying mine to him in 1868." 
Pausing for an instant, he continued: " Salmon P. Chase is 
the proper man for the Democracy to nominate at New York. 
He is a Democrat, now that slavery has gone, and there is no 
reason why Democrats should not support him. If he be nom- 
inated, he will be elected ; any other man will be defeated." 
In order that the reader may see how Mr. Bright kept his word, 
I will recall the fact that his nephew, Richard J. Bright, ser- 
geant-at-arms of the United States Senate, was a delegate to 
the New York convention, and that he steadily voted against 
the nomination of Mr. Hendricks. Had Indiana been solid for 
Governor Hendricks he would undoubtedly have been the nom- 
inee instead of Governor Seymour. 

In the summer of 1865 Mr. Bright came to Indianapolis, di- 
rect from Washington. The President, Andrew Johnson, had 
broken with his part}', and there was much controvers}- among 
Democrats as to the proper thing to do. A number of Mr. 
Bright's old friends gathered about him, and one of them asked 
him what covirse the Democracy ought to pursue. " Support 
Johnson," he answered ; " he is right in his tight with Congress 
and Democrats should hold up his hands. God knows how I 
hate him, but I will stand b}' him in this light. In 1842 I can- 
vassed a part of the State with Dr. John W. Davis, of Sullivan 
county. One da}- while he was speaking a man kept interrupt- 
ing him by asking him questions. At last Mr. Davis became 
tired of the interruptions, and, turning to the man, said : ' M}^ 
friend, to save time and trouble, I will say that I am in favor of 
evervthing the Democratic part\^ ever did do, or ever will do." 
Now, gentlemen," continued Mr. Bright, " I will not ask you 
to indorse Andv Johnson as broadly as Dr. Davis did the Dem- 
ocratic party, but I wall ask 3'ou to indorse him when he is in 
the right." In the same conversation Mr. Bright advised his 
partv friends to do what tliev could to secure the election of 



2^2 BIOGRAPHICAL AXD HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Judge Hughes to the United States Senate, as the successor ot' 
Governor Lane. Judge Hughes was then a RepubHcan Sen- 
ator trom the county of Monroe, and had been as uhra as the 
most ultra upon the question ot' the war. •• You can"t elect a 
Democrat,'" said ]\Ir. Bright, •• and Mr. Hughes is tar prefer- 
able to an old-time Republican. "Tis true, he has straved from 
the fold, but we Baptists believe in election and foreordination. 
Hughes is one of the elect ; he may go astray, but he will not 
be lost." It will be remembered that shortly afterwards Judge 
Hughes returned to the Democratic partv, and remained in it 
while he lived. 

Mr. Bright left Indiana soon after the Legislature of 1S63 re- 
fused to return him to the United States Senate, and took up his 
residence in Kentuckv. Subsequentlv he served two terms in 
the Kentucky Legislature, and at one time was prominently 
named for United States Senator from that State. He once told 
the author that he could have gone to the Senate from Ken- 
tucky had he chosen to make the contest. 

Mr. Bright was a good business man, as well as a good poli- 
tician. He had large interests in the coal mines of West Vir- 
ginia, out of which he made much monev. In 1874 ^^^ removed 
to Baltimore, but he was broken down in health, and on the 20th 
day of !May, 1875, ^^ died in that city, of organic disease of the 
heart. He was buried there, and all that was mortal of Jesse 
D. Bright is mouldering to dust near the banks of the "Blue 
Patapsco." 

Most of the men who were cotemporaries of Mr. Bright are 
dead. At Madison, where he commenced his political life and 
where he lived so long, he had as devoted tbllowers as any man 
that ever lived. The Old Guard was not more devoted to Na- 
poleon than was the Democracy of Jefferson county to Jesse D. 
Bright. Of his captains, there are but three remaining — John 
Kirk, John Marsh and Rolla Doolitde. These men love the 
memory of their dead chieftain, and will tell 30U for the asking 
that Jesse D. Bright was a warm friend and a good hater — as 
true to his friends as the needle to the pole and as inexorable to 
his enemies as death itself. 



JOHN WESLEY DAVIS. 



From 1829, when he entered public life, until 1859, ^^'hen he 
died, Dr. John Wesley Davis, of Carlisle, Sullivan county, was 
one of the prominent men of Indiana. He was judge of a court, 
often a legislator, repeatedlv a Congressman ; he was a foreign 
minister and Governor of a Territory, and all these places he 
filled with credit to himself and to his adopted State. 

The author has in his possession a manuscript autobiography 
of Dr. Davis. It is without date, but, as it speaks of matters 
which occurred in 1858 it must have been written but a short 
time before his death. He gives the incidents of his earlv life 
with more minuteness than is necessary for a paper like this, 
but as I do not wish to abridge or alter it, I copv it entire. It 
was written with his own hand, and is a valuable contribution 
to the histor}' of the dav. It is as follows : 

•• I was born in the village of New Holland. Lancaster county, 
Pennsylvania, on the i6th of April. 1799. A portion of mv 
childhood was spent with my maternal grandfather, Jones. 
When I was about ten vears old mv father purchased a farm 
one mile east of Shippensburg, in Cumberland countv, Penn- 
sylvania, and settled upon it. Until I was seventeen years of 
age most of my time was spent upon my father's farm ; how- 
ever, during that period I was bound an apprentice to a clock- 
maker by the name of Hendel M. Carlisle, but my health failed 
from confinement, and I quit that business and was next sent to 
learn storekeeping. Being changeful in mv disposition. I did 
not long remain at it, and m\' father then sent me to a Latin 
school in Shippensburg, \\here I continued about a year, and 
then commenced the studv of medicine in Carlisle, under the 



234 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

direction of Dr. George D. Foulke. The winter of 1819-20 I 
spent in attending medical lectures at the University of Mary- 
land, Baltimore. The intervening summer, between the win- 
ters of 1820 and 1821, I spent in practicing medicine in the vil- 
lage of Concord, Franklin county, Pennsylvania. In October, 

1820, I married Ann Hoover, of Shippensburg, and shortly 
afterward returned to Baltimore to attend a second course of 
lectures. I graduated at the universit}^ on the 2d day of April, 

1821. After graduating I attempted to practice my profession 
at Shippensburg, but becoming discouraged with mj- prospects, 
I moved, in August, 182 1, to Old Town, Allegheny county, 
Maryland, and there practiced medicine until early in the spring 
of 1823, when I moved to Carlisle, Indiana, where I arrived in 
April of that year with just three cents in my pocket. M}^ pro- 
fessional prospects were anything but flattering for the first few 
weeks of m}^ residence here, but eventually I obtained my share 
of the practice. 

"In 1826 1 thought to better my condition in some respects, and 
in the spring of that 3"ear removed to Terre Haute, where, in 
August following, myself and two children were taken sick with 
bilious fever, and, after lingering several weeks, and partially 
recovering, I returned to Carlisle, and am indebted to the kind- 
ness of Mr. John Widener, in his care and nursing at his house, 
for my recovery. I continued the practice of my profession 
until the summer of 1828, when I was induced to be a candidate 
for the State Senate against William C. Linton, and was de- 
feated by a few votes. The district then, as now, was composed 
of the counties of Vigo, Clay and Sullivan. I went to Indian- 
apolis at the opening of the Legislature and became a candidate 
for clerk of the House, and was again unsuccessful, there being 
four candidates in the field (Mr. Hurst, Mr. Sheets, Mr. Hunt- 
ington and mj^self) ; my share of the ballots was onl}" eleven, 
and Mr. Hurst was elected. My successful competitor for the 
Senate solicited me to be a candidate for sergeant-at-arms to 
that body. 1 consented, and was elected. In the summer of 
1829 I ran against Associate Judge John H. Eaton forjudge of 
the Probate Court, under the new law, and was elected. I 
served two years, and then (in 1831) was a candidate for the 
Legislature, and was elected. In 1832 I was re-elected to the 



JOHN WESLEY DAVIS. 235 

Legislature without opposition, and at the session which fol- 
lowed I was elected Speaker over Harbin H. Moore. After my 
election in 1832, and prior to the meeting of the Legislature, I 
was appointed by the President one of three commissioners to 
hold treaties with the Indians, the other commissioners being 
Governor Jennings and M. Crume, Esq. After discharging our 
duties as commissioners we all resigned, and I repaired to my 
legislative duties. In 1833 I became a candidate, with five oth- 
ers, for Congress, and was defeated by Mr. John Ewing, he re- 
ceiving two more votes than I. In 1835 ^ ^"^^^ again a candidate 
for Congress, and was elected over Mr. Ewing by nearly 1,000 
majoritv. In 1849 ^ opposed Mr. Ewing again for Congress, 
and was elected (to the best of my memory) by a majority of 
1,297. 

"At a special session, held the first Monda}' in May, 1841, 
preparatory to a called session of Congress, R. W. Thompson 
and m3^self were the candidates, and he was successful, but not 
by so large a majoritv as that received b}' General Harrison the 
preceding fall. After my defeat lor Congress in 1841, I was in- 
duced to be a candidate for the Legislature, and was successful. 
When the Legislature met I was again elected Speaker of the 
House. In 1842 I was again returned to the House of Repre- 
sentatives, but declined beino- a candidate for the chair. In 
1843 I was again a candidate for Congress, m}- competitor being 
the talented George G. Dunn, whom I defeated by a majority 
of some 800 to i.ooo votes. [Mr. Davis's majority over Mr. 
Dunn was 962. ] 

" In 1845 I was again returned to Congress over Rev. Eli P. 
Farmer by a majorit}^ of about 3,000. [His majority was 2,930.] 
On the assembling of Congress I was elected Speaker of the 
House, by a party vote, over the Hon. Samuel P. Vinton, of 
Ohio. 

" In 1847 I was nominated bv several Democratic conventions 
for Congress, but as the conventions were not attended bv dele- 
gates from all the counties in tlie district, I declined to run. 

'*In December, 1847, President Polk appointed me Commis- 
sioner to China. I very soon embarked on m^• mission in the 
United States sloop of war Plymouth. I was oX^er four months 
on my voyage out. and had a most irksome and disagreeable 



236 BIOGRAPHICAL ANb HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

journey. Early in the 3'ear 1850 I asked leave of my govern- 
ment to return home, and in the summer of that year started 
home by what is usually called the overland route, touching at 
Singapore, Penary, the Island of Ceylon, the Red Sea, Suez, 
across the desert to Cairo, down the Nile to Atfeh, thence by 
the Mamonda canal to Alexandria, and thence by the Mediter- 
ranean to England. I then visited France, returned to Eng- 
land, and then came home. 

" In 185 1 I was again returned to the Legislature, and again 
was elected Speaker of the House. During the session the 
House took some action which I construed into an implied cen- 
sure, whereupon I resigned the speakership. 

"On the 8th of January, 1852, I was appointed one of the 
delegates from Indiana to the Democratic national convention 
that met in Baltimore in June of that year. On the assembling 
of that body I was chosen its president ; I had several times be- 
fore been a delegate to Democratic conventions. 

•' Up to about this time I attended to the duties of my profes- 
sion at all times when my public engagements permitted. 

•' In 1853 President Pierce sent me a commission as Governor 
of Oregon, unsolicited by myself, or by any one else, so far as I 
know. I declined this appointment at first, but, after an inter- 
view with the President, I went to Oregon in the autumn of 
1853, and remained there about a year, and then resigned and 
returned home. 

" In 1856 I was again elected to the Legislature by the most 
flattering vote I ever received from the good people of Sullivan 
county, among whom I have resided for more than thirty-five 
years. 

" In 1858 I was appointed by the Secretary of War a visitor 
to West Point Military Academy, and while there I was elected 
president of the board of visitors." 

Here Dr. Davis's autobiography ends. 

The reader will not forget that Dr. Davis speaks of his resig- 
nation of the speakership in 1852, on account of what he con- 
sidered bad treatment. It will be remembered that the session 
of the Legislature of 185 1-2 was the longest and most important 
one ever held in the State. During that session the whole sys- 



JOHN WESLEY DAVIS. 237 

tern of the law was revised so as to make it conform to the new 
constitution which had just been adopted. Dr. Davis and Hon. 
WilHam H. Enghsh, then just entering upon his legishitive 
career, were candidates before the Democratic caucus for nomi- 
nation for Speaker, Dr. Davis receiving thirty-one votes and 
Mr. EngHsh twenty-two. Dr. Davis, being the nominee, was 
elected Speaker by the House on its organization, but early in 
March he resigned the position, as stated in his autobiography, 
on account of a disagreement between him and the House. 

On Frida3% March 5, 1852, both houses adopted a resolution 
for a temporary adjournment from the loth of March to the 20th 
of April, and for the appointment on the part of the Senate of 
two members, and on the part of the House of four, to remain 
as a committee of revision during the recess. In the Senate 
Messrs. Eddy and Hester were elected by a viva voce vote. In 
the House a difference of opinion existed as to the power to 
appoint, some contending that the Speaker, under the rule, " He 
shall have the right to name any members to bear messages to 
the Senate, and to appoint all committees, subject to additional 
members to be added on motion," had such power, and others 
that the election should be by the House. The Speaker was of 
the former opinion. To settle the matter, however, on motion 
of Mr. English, the House adopted a resolution directing the 
Speaker to make the appointment, and he thereupon appointed 
Messrs. Gibson and English, Democrats, and Messrs. Br3^ant 
and Lindsav, Whigs, as such committee. 

On Saturday, March 6, Mr. Mudget moved to reconsider the 
vote by which the House gave the power to appoint the com- 
mittee to the Speaker. A lengthy and exciting debate ensued, 
and the motion to reconsider prevailed — yeas 52, nays 21. The 
question then recurred on the resolution authorizing the Speaker 
to appoint the committee. 

Mr. English moved to amend the resolution by striking out 
all after the enacting clause and inserting "That the House 
will, the Senate concurring, rescind the resolution for a tempo- 
rary adjournment." 

Mr. Mudget moved to lay the resolution on the table, which 
was carried. 

Mr. Mudget then moved to amend the original resolution by 



238 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Striking out all after the enacting clause, and inserting the fol- 
lowing : 

" Resolved^ That this House now proceed, by viva voce vote, 
to elect the joint committee on the revision." Carried — yeas 
59, nays 16. 

The question then recurred on the adoption of the resolution 
as amended — yeas 50, nays 27. 

The Speaker decided that it took two-thirds to pass the reso- 
lution, and hence it was lost. 

Mr. McDonald appealed from the decision of the chair. 

The question being taken whether the decision of the chair 
should be taken as the judgment of the House, it was decided 
in the negative — yeas 15, nays 31. 

Dr. Davis at once wrote his resignation as Speaker, and call- 
ing Mr. English to the chair, handed it to him and then de- 
scended to the floor. Mr. English then laid before the House 
the following communication : 

" Hall of Representatives, March 6, 1852. 
" Sn<. — You will please lav this, my resignation of the place 
of Speaker of the House, before the body over which you are 
temporarily presiding, and oblige yours, respectfully. 

-Jxo. W. Davis." 
-To Wm. H. English, Esq." 

Dr. Davis remarked, after the resignation had been read, that 
he should be wanting in every element of self-respect if he 
had continued for a moment longer to occupy the chair. The 
rescinding of the resolution authorizing him to appoint the com- 
mittee was a vote of censure, either for ignorance in the dis- 
charge of that trust by appointing incompetent or unworthy 
men, or else for maliciously violating the will and wishes of the 
House. He had on former occasions presided in this House 
and in the National Congress, and never before had his char- 
acter for impartiality been impeached. It was the severest stab 
ever aimed at him. 

Messrs. McDonald and Owen, for themselves and the House, 
disclaimed all intentions of the kind, renewed their expressions 
of friendship for the Speaker, and solemnly declared that they 



JOHN WESLEY DAVIS. 239 

were governed only by a regard for the best interests of the 
State, and a desire to protect the rights of the House. 

During the day there was much excitement. In the after- 
noon a caucus of the Democratic members was held, in which 
Dr. Davis was urged to resume the chair, but which lie per- 
emptorily refused to do. The meeting then nominated Mr, 
English for Speaker, and Messrs. Owen, Stover and Gibson for 
the revising committee, and, on Monday, March 8, 1852, these 
<jentlemen were severallv elected. 

In speaking of Dr. Davis, Oliver H. Smith, in his " Early 
Indiana Trials and Sketches," says : "Few men in this or any 
other State have held so many prominent positions, or dis- 
charged their duties with greater ability." All who knew him 
bear similar testimon}^ 

A writer in the JX'^ew Albany Press — supposed to be Colonel 
Horace HeftVen — in sketching the members of the Legislature 
of 1856-7, thus speaks of Mr. Davis : 

"John W. Davis was from Sullivan. Of him I need not write, 
as all are, or ought to be, familiar with his history. He was an 
old-time gentleman, and had been in the Legislature, Speaker 
in Congress, Minister to China, and Speaker of the Indiana 
House of Representatives. He was a man of talent, of a high 
sense of honor, and very sensitive." 

Dr. Davis was a solid rather than a showy man. His imag- 
ination was small, but his perceptive faculties were large. He 
thoroughly understood parliamentary law, and was one of the 
best presiding officers in the countr}-. While his mind w^as not 
so active as that of Willard, it moved fast enough for him to 
readilv reach his conclusions. These were seldom wrong, nor 
were they often questioned. 

Throughout Dr. Davis's long career no one ever doubted his 
honestv. He kept his hands clean. With t)pportunities for 
monev-making possessed by few, he contented himself \\ith his 
legitimate earnings, and died a poor man. 

Dr. Davis had tine social qualities. While he was at the 
capital, in attendance upon his public duties, it was his custom 
often to spend his evenings in the families of his friends. He 



240 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

was fond of music, was a good vocalist, and delighted in the 
singing of popular songs. 

Dr. Davis did not rank high as a public speaker. He had 
none of the arts of the public orator, but nevertheless he was an 
entertaining talker. He was a good canvasser, could express 
himself intelligently and well, and if not an eloquent man, he 
was a sensible one. He knew how to reach the average voter, 
'and how to get his vote. 

Phvsically, Dr. Davis was a tine specimen of manhood. He 
was six feet two inches high, with a well proportioned body. 
He had light hair, blue eyes, and a florid complexion. As a 
presiding officer he ranked with the best, and as a safe and pru- 
dent legislator he was the equal of any man in the State in his 
day. He died in Carlisle, August 22, 1859, ^^^ ^^'^^ buried in 
the cemeterv there. 



GEORGE G. DUNN. 



George G. Dunn, lawyer and statesman, was born in Wash- 
ington count}'. Kentucky, in December, 1812. He came to 
Indiana when a boy, and settled in Monroe county, a county 
that has given the State several of her most eminent sons. 
Having acquired sufficient education to enter college, he became 
a student of the State University at Bloomington, and continued 
one until after he entered the junior class. While a member of 
this class he had trouble with the President, Dr. Wylie, which 
ended in his leaving college. Dr. W^die said something Mr. 
Dunn did not relish, and he made a cutting retort. The Doctor 
then said to him. ''Young man, do you see this cane?" shaking 
one he held in his hand. "Yes, sir," replied the young stu- 
dent, "but I don't feel it." He at once gathered his books 
and left the college, never to return as a student. He was then 
a bov, but was a brave and self-reliant one. He determined to 
strike out for himself, and at once went to Switzerland county 
and commenced teaching school. When he had saved one 
hundred dollars out of his earnings he gave up his school and 
started back to his old home. On the way he lost his money, 
and when he reached home he was as poor as when he left, 
save in the knowledge he had gained of the world. 

In 1833, when he was twenty-one years old, Mr. Dunn went 
to Bedford and taught school awhile, and occupied his spare 
hours in reading; law. In due time he was admitted to the bar, 
and soon afterward formed a partnership with Colonel Richard 
W. Thompson, late Secretary of the Navy. 

In 1843 he ran for Congress against Dr. John W. Davis, and 
was defeated. After this he was made prosecuting attorney of 
16 



242 BIOGRAl'HICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

his circuit, and was a terror to the evil-doers of that section of 
the State. He prosecuted law-breakers as he did ever3^thing^ 
else, with the vim and energy of a great mind. 

Traveling over the circuit, he became acquainted with its 
leading men, and in 1847 his party friends again determined to 
make him their candidate for Congress. His district tw^o years 
before had given Dr. John W. Davis, Democrat, 2,930 majority, 
but this fact did not deter Mr. Dunn from making the race. 
He was then thirtv-live vears old, was in good health and capa- 
ble of great physical and mental labor. He made a searching 
canvass of the district, speaking in all the townships, and de- 
feated his competitor. Dr. John M. Dobson, twent3'-two votes. 
This race and its result astonished everybody save the young 
Whig standard-bearer, who, from its beginning, believed he 
would win. He served his term in Congress with credit, and 
at its close intended to return to private life, but'he was not per- 
mitted to do so, for his party friends nominated and elected 
him to the State Senate the year his term expired. 

In the spring of 1852 he resigned his seat in the Senate while 
the Legislature was in session and went home to attend to his 
legal business. He continued in active practice until the sum- 
mer of 1854, when he again entered the political field. During 
that ^■ear the Know-nothing party sprang 'into life. It was 
composed of former Whigs, sore-headed Democrats and Aboli- 
tionists. Captain John A. Hendricks, who, until then, had 
been a Democrat, was nominated for Congress by a convention 
of political mongrels, most of whom had been Democrats. He 
at once took the held and commenced his canvass. Soon, how- 
ever, he learned that Mr. Dunn was also a candidate. The 
candidacy of the latter, so far as the world knew, was solely of 
his own volition. He had been nominated by no convention, 
but it was soon discovered that the mass of the new party was 
rallying to his support. Captain Hendricks was in a quandary 
what to do. He had long been an aspirant for congressional 
honors, and now when the cup of fruition was at his lips another 
snatched it from him. He saw his friends deserting him, and, 
knowing his race to be hopeless, he left the held. 

Mr. Dunn entered the contest in 1854 somewhat as he had 
done that of 1847. Two \'ears before the district had given 



GEORGE G. DUNN. 2^^^ 

Cyrus Iv. Dunham 931 majority over Joseph G. Marshall. ]3ut 
this had no terror for Mr. Dunn. He believed in his star, and 
went into the tight feeling confident of success. He visited all 
the townships in the district, sometimes speaking three times a 
day. He w^as in bad health, but his great will and determina- 
tion kept him up until the canvass closed. He was elected, 
beating Mr. Dunham 1,660 votes, but his success was a poor 
compensation for his broken health. The labor of this contest 
was so severe that it undermined his constitution and he was 
never afterward a strong man. 

In Congress Mr. Dunn occupied a somewhat anomalous po- 
sition. He was mainly elected by the Know-nothings, but the 
Whigs of the district who refused to assume the new^ party affil- 
iations voted for him. It will be remembered that the Know- 
nothing party had but an ephemeral existence. Out of its ruins 
sprang the Republican part}^ a party with which Mr. Dunn did 
not identify himself. In Congress he occupied an independent 
position, but generally voted with the opposition to the Democ- 
racy. He had made his canvass mainly in insisting that tlie 
Missouri restriction, which had been repealed, should be re- 
stored, and he remained faithful to that position. The anti-Ne- 
braska party in Congress nominated Mr. Banks for Speaker, 
but Mr. Dunn persistently opposed his election. Congress con- 
vened on the 3d day of December, 1855, and did not organize 
until the 2d day of February following. During this interval 
great excitement prevailed throughout the country-. One hun- 
dred and twent^^-nine ballots had been taken for Speaker, when' 
Mr. Smith, of Tennessee, offered a resolution that the House 
proceed to vote three times, and if no one had a majority for 
Speaker, then " the roll shall again be called, and the member 
who shall then receive the largest number of votes, provided it 
shall be a majority of a quorum, shall be declared duh' elected 
Speaker of the House of the Thirty-fourth Congress. The 
resolution passed, Mr. Dunn voting against it. 

The final ballot w^as as follows : 

For N. P. Banks, 103 ; William Aiken, 100 ; Henry M. Ful- 
ler, 6; Lewis D. Campbell, 4: Daniel Wills, i. 

On this ballot Mr. Dunn voted for Campbell. During the 
contest he voted tor Mr. Etheridge, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Pen- 



-'244 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

nington and Mr. Eddie, but never for Mr. Banks. His course 
during the organization of the House, no doubt, cost him the 
chairmanship of a leading committee, a place he was well quali- 
fied to fill. His position in this Congress could not have been 
a pleasant one, for he was not in accord with those in control of 
the House, and it must have been with a feeling of relief that he 
left Washington for his home at the end of his term. His health 
was now so bad that he could do little else than remain at home 
wath his famil3^ He gradually grew worse until September of 
that 3'ear (1857), when he died. 

As an advocate, Mr. Dunn was always ready. He took no 
Tiotes of the testimony in his cases, relying entirely upon his 
memory for his facts. He made the cause of his client his own, 
and in conducting his cases he was aggressive and bold. If 
such a course involved him in trouble with opposing counsel he 
let the trouble come. He had a difficulty with the late Judge 
Hughes, which grew out of a trial in court, and came near end- 
ing in a duel. He called Judge Hughes a pettifogger, and, re- 
fusing to retract, was challenged by that gentleman. He ac- 
cepted the hostile invitation, but before going upon the field 
friends interfered and the trouble was settled. 

Mr. Dunn made more reputation in the State Senate than in 
Congress. In the Senate he stood head and shoulders above 
his fellow members, with the single exception of Joseph G. Mar- 
shall, and in some respects he excelled that distinguished man. 
He was a better scholar and a greater master of ridicule and in- 
vective than the Senator from Jefferson, but he fell below him in 
breadth of comprehension and ability to move the passions of 
the people. The one was scholarly, argumentative and witty, 
the other impassioned, profound and convincing. 

In an admirable portraiture of this subject by Miss Laura 
Ream, in 1875, that graphic writer, speaking of his oratory, 
says : " His voice was clear and resonant as a silver bell. His 
style of speaking was ver^' impressive, enforced, as it was, by 
a personal magnetism which can scarcely be imagined in this 
age of tame leadership. His will was invincible, and he in- 
spired others with such confidence in his strength that an}' law 
case he undertook was considered decided in his favor before- 
hand." 



(iEORGE G. DUNN. 245 

While in the Senate Mr. Dunn had a memorable debate with 
Colonel James H. Lane, then Lieutenant-Governor of Indiana, 
and afterwards a United States Senator from Kansas. David P. 
Hollow^ay, a Senator from the county of Wayne, offered a reso- 
hition to present certain trophies of the Mexican w^ar, then in 
the State Librarv, to a Catholic church in Indianapolis. In 
speaking" on his resolution he animadverted on the Mexican war, 
and when he had concluded Colonel Lane took the floor and 
made a speech, in which he coarsely abused the Senator from 
Wayne. When he had taken his seat Mr, Dunn replied in a 
speech that will never be forgotten by those who heard it. He 
flayed the Lieutenant-Governor, taking off his hide, strip by 
strip ; that is, if words can be made to do such a thing. Before 
taking his seat he said he wore no shad-bellied coat like the 
Senator from Wayne (Mr. Hollo way was a Quaker), and that 
he w^as personally responsible for what he had said. It was sup- 
posed at the time that Colonel Lane, who recognized the 
" code," w^ould call Mr. Dunn to account for this speech, but 
he did not — letting it pass without notice. 

The greatest speech Mr. Dunn ever delivered w^as at the 
Whig State Convention of 1852. A few days before the con- 
vention was held he resigned his seat in the Senate, and in this 
speech he gave his reasons for the act. The main one was the 
fact that his party being in a minority in the Senate, he was 
without influence and unable to shape legislation. He was not 
the man to have influence with his political opponents ; he was 
too bitter and choleric for that. He denounced the course of 
the Democratic Senators, and said, with a single exception he 
parted from them with the greatest pleasure. That exception 
he declared to be the Senator from Clark, Dr. Athon, for whom 
he said he had the warmest feeling. Dr. Athon, who was pres- 
ent, arose and said he highly appreciated the kind expressions 
of the speaker. He severely criticised the action of Governor 
Wright in appointing Messrs. March, Barbour and Carr com- 
missioners to revise and simplify the Code. " When these men 
were appointed," said Mr. Dunn, " I w^as at a loss to know 
what place 'Squire Carr would fill in the commission. A little 
reflection, howe\er, convinced me he had his place. March is 
to furnish the law, Barbour to read the version, and if Carr can. 



246 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

understand, it will be within the comprehension of all." He 
took up the Democratic nominees for State offices one b}' 
•one and thoroughl}^ dissected them. He was particularl}- se- 
vere upon Governor Wright. Seeing the Governor in the hall. 
Mr. Dunn said: "I am glad 3^ou are here, Governor. Don't 
leave until I am done. I propose going through you with a 
lighted candle that all ma}- see what a mass of putrefaction and 
political rottenness you are." When he came to speak of Judge 
Davidson, he said: " Mv objection to Davidson is that his 
eyes are too close together. When you farmers bu}' a horse 
you don't choose one whose eyes are in the middle of his head. 
You know that such a horse would run against the first fence- 
corner he comes to. You should exercise as much care in vot- 
ing for a Supreme Judge as you would in buying a horse," But 
rspace forbids me further following Mr. Dunn in his criticisms 
■of the Democratic candidates. When he was done with them 
he proceeded to speak of the Whig nominees. Mr. McCart}-, 
who had just been nominated for Governor, was sitting but a 
few feet from the speaker. Mr. Dunn drew a dark picture of 
the condition of the Whig party until Mr. McCart}- consented 
to be a candidate, and then, rising on tip-toe, and bending his 
body forward and pointing his finger at the nominee, he ex- 
claimed with the power of a Booth : 

"Now is the winter of our discontent 
Made glorious summer by the sun of York ; 
And all the clouds that lowered ujjon our house, 
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried." 

It is a great pity that this speech was not taken down at the 
time and preserved. It embodied the wit and drollery of Cor- 
win, the invective and sarcasm of Randolph, and the eloquence 
of Clay, in one S3^mmetrical whole. It lives onl}^ in the' recol- 
lection of those who heard it, and, happily for the author, he 
was one. These men will be gone after awhile, and then this 
great forensic effort will be forgotten, or remembered onl}^ as it 
is handed down from father to son. 

During the first State fair held in Indiana, just after the Oc- 
tober election, 1852, the Democracv had a jollification meeting 
at the State capital. The Whigs, believing the time and occa- 
sion inopportune, and smarting under their recent defeat, ere- 



GEOKCJE G. 4)l"XX. 247 

ated so much "noise and contusion" that tlie speakers could 
not be heard. The speaking took phice on Washington street, 
opposite the Wright House, where a large number of leading 
Whigs were staving. Joseph E. McDonald and iVshbel P. 
Willard, who had just been elected Lieutenant-Governor, at- 
tempted to speak, but their voices were drowned by the noise 
of the tumultuous crowd. During Willard's attempt to speak. 
Mr. Dunn, who was on the balcony of the Wright House, over- 
looking the crowd, appealed to those about him to stop their 
noise and let Mr. Willard speak. Some of those who saw him 
.standing and gesticulating thought he was urging on the mob. 
The Democrats, after awhile, countermarched down Washing- 
ton street, and stopped at the State-house square, where the 
speaking was resumed without further interruption. Both Col- 
onel Gorman and Governor Willard charged Mr. Dunn with 
having incited the disturbance, and criticised him severel}^ for 
it. The Sentinel., next morning, had an account of the meeting 
and reported what the speakers had said. Mr. Dunn sought 
Messrs. Gorman and Willard and told them they were mistaken 
in attributing to him sympath}" with the mob, that he had done 
all he could to quell it. Governor Willard expressed himself 
as entirelv satisfied with Mr. Dunn's statements, and published 
a manlv letter withdrawing his offensive language. Colonel 
Gorman also promised to retract the charge, and the next day 
he published a card in the Sentineh which, after giving an ac- 
count of what he had said, closed as follows : '' In a personal 
conversation this morning with Mr. Dunn, he assures me that 
my information was incorrect, and that he tried to suppress the 
confusion and noise. I publish this to allow him the full benefit 
of his denial, and to place myself in the right." This card did 
not satisfy Mr. Dunn, but, on the contrary-, incensed him the 
more. He addressed Colonel Gorman a letter, in which he 
asked to be informed if he was the author of the card signed 
with his name. Colonel Gorman replied in a somewhat lengthy 
letter acknowledging the genuineness of his card, and, after 
answering other questions propounded, he closed as follows : 
•' If this is not satisfactory, it is out of my power to make it so 
on paper." That it was not satisfactory is evidenced by the 
followincf letter : 



248 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

"Bedford, Ind., Novembers, 1852. 

•' Hon. W. a. Gorman: Sir — Yours of the 5th inst. is just 
received, and is, I regret to say, objectionable in several re- 
spects. It is my purpose now to take the advice of some expe- 
rienced friend in regard to the whole matter, and adopt such 
steps as may be due to my obligations to societv. 

" Being called to Louisville, Ky., the last of this week, I shall 
be happy to find you at the Gait House, in that city, at 10 o'clock 
A. M., on Saturday next. Respectfully yours, 

" George G. Dunn." 

To which letter Colonel Gorman made the following reply : 

" Bloomington, Ind., November 9, 1852. 
" Hon. George G. Dunn : Sir — Yours of this date is before 
me. I will be at the Gait House, in Louisville, agreeably to 
your written request, on Saturday next, at 10 o'clock a. m., 
where my friend will receive any communication you may be 
pleased to make. Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

"W. A. Gorman." 

Messrs. Dunn and Gorman met at Louisville, as agreed upon, 
and referred their difficulty to Professor John H. Harney and 
Mr. George A. Caldwell, who, after examining the correspond- 
ence, published a card announcing a settlement on the follow- 
ing terms : 

*' We are of opinion that the note of Colonel Gorman to Mr. 
Dunn amply exonerates that gentleman from all participation in 
the disturbance of the meeting referred to, and sufficiently ex- 
plains the purpose of the card published in the Sentinel^ and 
that nothing remains to disturb the peaceful relations of the par- 
ties except the language in which the notes are couched and 
their general tone. 

"Mr. Dunn objects to the concluding sentence of Colonel 
Gorman's note of the 3d instant, and to the language in other 
passages, as offensive. 

" Colonel Gorman objects to the general tone of Mr. Dunn's 
previous note of the 30th ult., and especiallv to the call upon 
him to retract. 



GEORGE G. DUNN. 249 

" Mr. Dunn cheerfully withdraws the word ' retract/ and sub- 
stitutes the word ' correct,' or any other word not deemed offen- 
sive, and disavows any purpose of giving offense by his note of 
the 30th, his only object being to obtain a respectful vindication 
of himself from whatever was injurious in the matters referred 
to in the note. Whereupon, Colonel Gorman prompth^ with- 
draws anything offensive in his note of the 3d. 

"Therefore, the whole difficulty, we are happy to announce, 
is amicably and honorably settled. 

"John H. Harney, 

" George A. Caldwell." 

And thus the matter ended. 

Mr. Dunn was fond of fine stock and did much to improve 
the strain of horses and sheep in his section of the State. He 
was one of a compan}^ which imported the first Norman Perche- 
ron horse brought to Indiana. He purchased in Ohio a flock of 
Cotswold and Southdown sheep at $27 a head, an enormous 
price for that day. He took good care of his stock, giving it 
his personal attention and spending much of his time in looking 
after its comfort. 

One of Mr. Dunn's chief characteristics was his contempt for 
shams and a love of independent thought. On the leaf of an old 
Latin dictionary used by him while at college, he wrote, " I des- 
pise your opinion." One da}- his oldest son, then a boy, put on 
his father's watch. Looking at the lad the father said : "If 
you go on the streets with that watch people will ask, as Citsar 
did of a small lieutenant, 'Who tied you to a sword?' — or 
watch." 

Again quoting Miss Ream, I give her description of his home, 
and also his death scene, as follows : 

"Towards the latter part of his life he built a house in the 
country, in the center of a magnificent tract of land. The large 
domain abounded in rich and diversified scenery', especially on 
the line defined by a range of clifls nearly two hundred feet in 
height and realh' picturesque, if not grand, in appearance. But 
Mr. Dunn built his house in the heart of a grove of roval growth, 
a bit of pasture land to the north, an orchard and the door ^ard 



250 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

the onl}' clearing-. The house that he built was a story and a 
half in height, but there its modest pretensions ended. There 
was a great hall as wide as an ordinar}' house, and the rooms 
opening out of it were fit for the audience chamber of a king. 
The ceilings were loft}^ and elegantly frescoed, the furniture of 
these rooms was in keeping, and the out-door complement, 
which the great windows added to their state, were views of the 
forest, meadow and sk}^ It was a home for a prince, for a poet ; 
it proved the last earthly abiding place of a kinglv soul. When 
it was noised abroad that George G. Dunn was dying the peo- 
ple from all the covmtry round came to see him. The lane lead- 
ing to the house was lined with the horses and wagons belonging 
to the friends who had come to bid him good b3'e. Among the 
number was one Robert Rout, a man yet living, but weather 
tanned and wa-inkled ; why, you could not lay a pin-point any- 
where on his face that would not touch a wrinkle. Well, when 
Robert Rout heard that Mr. Dunn could not live long, he came 
and took up his abode near. He said little or nothing, and his 
presence w^as onl}^ noticed when his readv hand or step an- 
swered to the sick man's need. The ver}' last da}^ of Mr. 
Dunn's life he observed Rout hovering about the room, and 
said : ' Rout, take that glass pitcher and go to the well and 
bring me a drink. Draw it from the north side of the well. Rout : 
I want it cold and fresh.' The fond and faithful friend did 
his bidding, and w^ien he came back into the room, the glass 
pitcher filled to the brim and running over with the drops of 
water sparkling like diamonds in the sunlight, the dying man 
looked at him for a moment with grateful, tender eyes, and said : 
*Rout, 'tis w^ell, 'tis very well. Rout, you shall be cup-bearer when 
I am king.' The voice which uttered these words had lost none 
of its melod}^ but the strength to swallow was gone, and the 
water was put down from his parched, feeble lips untasted. The 
act which followed was not less in character — as brave as it was 
human. He turned his face to the wall — himself shutting out 
and bidding farew^ell to the world, the day, sunlight and friend- 
ship." 

Mr. Dunn's literary librarv was large. It was composed of 
standard classical historical works and English political pamph- 



GEOR(iE (i. DUNN. 25 1 

lets and essius. and books treating on American history and 
politics. 

Mr. Dunn left no manuscript copies of any of his speeches, 
nor, indeed, an\- manuscript ^yhateyer. He tiled his letters care- 
fully, leaying some fiye or six books of correspondence. He 
was a great loyer of Shakespeare, and often quoted him in his 
speeches. He was also familiar with the Bible, and, in address- 
ing juries, was in the habit of drawing largely from its pages. 

In person, Mr. Dunn was tall and commanding. He had fair 
complexion, blue eyes and light hair. His talents were great 
and varied, and he is entitled to stand in the front rank of Indi- 
ana lawyers and statesmen. 



WILLIAM W. WICK. 



But few men of early Indiana were better known than Wil- 
liam Watson Wick, He came to the State in 1820, being the 
tirst lawyer to locate in Connersville, and from that time until 
1857 he was almost continuously in public life. He was a man 
of marked peculiarities. He had a sunny disposition, was of a 
genial nature, thoroughly understanding human nature, and 
knowing just what to do to maintain his hold upon the people. 
I can not give a better summary of his life, up to 1848, than the 
following letter written to a Texas gentleman named Payne. 
Payne had read one of Judge Wick's congressional speeches, 
and was so impressed with its quaint humor and ready wit that 
he wrote to Hon. D. S. Kauffman, then in Congress, asking 
about Judge Wick, and saying he would like "to know all 
about him." Mr..Kauftman gave Judge Wick the letter, and 
under date of June 12, 1848, the Judge sent Payne the follow- 
ing autobiography : 

" William W. Wick is a full-blooded Yankee, though born in 
Cannonsburg, Washington county, Pennsylvania, February 23, 
1796. In 1800 W.'s father, a Presbyterian preacher, settled in 
the woods in the poorest township in the Western Reserve of 
Ohio, adjoining the Pennsylvania State line. Here W. lived, 
going to school, toiling at ordinary labor, and indulging in dav- 
dreams till the time of his father's death in 1814. He then re- 
nounced all interest in his father's estate (which was only some 
.t3,ooo), and took himself off. Till spring, 1816, he essayed to 
'teach the young idea how to shoot' in Washington county, 
Pennsylvania, when he descended the Monongahela and Ohio 
in a ' broad-horn ' to Cincinnati. He taught school and studied. 



WILLIAM W. WICK. 253 

first medicine and then law, till December, 1849 ' ^'^ad chemis- 
try principally by the light of log-heaps in a clearing, and law 
of nights and Sundays (wrong so far as Sunday is concerned). 
December, 1819, settled in Connersville, Indiana, as a lawyer, 
and made and sent his mother a deed for his interest in his 
father's real and personal estate. December, 1820, was chosen 
clerk of the House of Representatives of Indiana, and served 
till January, 1822, when he was chosen judge of a new circuit, 
just formed, and removed to Indianapolis, where he has ever 
since resided. In three years he resigned the judgeship, be- 
cause it was starving him, and was chosen Secretar}^ of State, 
served four years, then chosen circuit prosecuting attorney, 
then judge again. He has also figured as quartermaster-gen- 
eral, and is a now a brigadier. He has committed much folly 
in holding offices, and only escapes the condemnation of his 
own judgment in consideration of the fact that he was never 
green enough to accept a seat in the State Legislature. In 
1835 ^- changed his politics ; his party did not leave him — he 
left it. [In this he differs from most great men.] In 1839 he 
was chosen an M. C. as a Democrat, and as successor to Col. 
Kinnard, who died from the blowing up of a steamboat when 
on his wa}' to Washington. [Colonel K. had been in Congress 
tor some years.] In 1843 and 1847 W. was nominated and 
elected to Congress. He was a candidate for Congress in 183 1, 
and got beat. Right. He was once a Clay candidate for elec- 
tor, and got beat. Right. In 1844 was a Democratic candi- 
date for elector — successful. Right. 

'' In the intervals of the above engagements he practiced law ; 
never made much at that ; did not know how to scare and skin 
a client. In 1821 he married a wife, who died in 1832. He 
has a son and daughter married, and five grandchildren living. 
His youngest bov (a third child and all), went last year 'to 
see the elephant' as a private in the Illinois volunteer regiment — 
then he was near seventeen years of age. He went without 
leave, but (good bo\') he wrote for and got leave after he was 
gone. He has acquired Spanish enough to write a good Span- 
ish letter, and unassisted by W.'s name, has w^orked his way. 
He is now clerk to the depot quartermaster at the city of 
Mexico. Savs the climate in Mexico is better than in Indiana, 



254 inOGRAI'HICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHp:S. 

and that the boys killed themselves drinking spirits, eating 
Mexican fruits, and ' cavorting.' 

" Wick has committed much folly in his time — the principal of 
which has been holding offices, writing rhymes, playing cards 
for money, and paying other people's debts — all which he 
abandoned about the time he became a Democrat. 

"'At this present writing W. is fifty-two years of age ; fair, a 
little fat, having increased since 1833 from 146 to 214 pounds — 
six feet and one inch high, good complexion, portly — has been 
called the best looking man about town — but that was ten years 
ago — not to be sneezed at now — a little gray — has had chills 
and fever, bilious attacks, and dyspepsia enough to kill a dozen 
common men, and has passed through misfortunes sufficient to 
humble a score of ordinary specimens of human nature. His 
system being sluggish, he takes a sarsaparilla bitter, or some 
No. 6, in the morning, and takes a glass or two of wine (if good) 
at dinner when he can get it. He has acquired a good deal of 
miscellaneous knowledge, loves fun, looks serious, rises early, 
works much, and has a decided penchant for light diet, humor, 
reading, business, the drama, music, a fine horse, his gun, and 
the woods. W. owes nothing, and were he to die to-day his 
estate would inventory eight or nine hundred dollars. He saves 
nothing of his per diem and mileage, and yet has no vices to 
run away with money. He ' takes no thought for to-morrow,' 
but relies upon the same good Providence to which he is debtor 
for all. 

''W. would advise young men to fear and trust God, to 
cheat rogues, and deceive intriguers by being perfectly honest 
(this mode misleads such cattle effectually), to touch the glass 
lightly, to eschew security and debt, tobacco, betting, hypocrisy 
and federalism, to rather believe, or fall in with new philosoph- 
ical and moral humbugs, and to love woman too well to injure 
her. They will thus be happy now, and will secure serenit}' at 
fifty-two years of age, and thence onward." 

This paper exhibits Judge Wick as he was — warm-hearted, 
humorous and improvident. He truly said he took no thought 
tor the morrow. 

In 1853 }*resident Pierce appointed Judge Wick postmaster 



WILLIAM W. WICK. 255 

at Indianapolis. He served a full term of four years, and in 
1857 was superseded b}^ John M. Talbott. He was an appli- 
cant for reappointment, and he took his defeat sorely to heart. 
In a letter to a friend, under date of May 8, 1858, he thus speaks 
of his retirement from office : 

" I suppose my seltish interests in politics are closed, and 
closed forever. My health, activitv and ph^'sical energies are 
much impaired bv the wear and tear of the last few months. It 
is the tirst time in m}- life that I have been constrained to feel 
a consciousness of exceeding wrong, neglect and injustice, ac- 
companied by fraud and dishonor. It came upon me unex- 
pectedly, and it hurt badly. But no measure of age, ill-health 
or disgust could make me careless of the fate of the Democratic 

party." 

• 

After leaving the postoffice Judge Wick resumed the practice 
of the law. Like most men who forsake the law for public 
office, he found it hard to get back his legal business. Others 
had taken his clients, and now when he sought to regain them 
they would not come. But if the law was measurably closed 
to him, the political held was open, and as he had always loved 
politics he did not particularly grieve at the want of clients, but 
entered activeh^ into political work. 

The Thirty-fifth Congress was the most exciting one that had 
ever convened up to that time. The Kansas and Nebraska bill 
had passed, and the bill to admit Kansas under the Lecompton 
constitution w^hich was before the House, aroused the fiercest pas- 
sions of the people. The Democratic partv, then in control of the 
government, was divided upon the bill, and the two wings fought 
each other with intense fury. There were in that Congress six 
Democrats from Indiana, and the six were equally divided in sen- 
timent upon the bill. Messrs. Niblack, Hughes and Gregg favored 
the measure, and Messrs. English, Folev and Da\'is opposed it. 
JudgeWick was bitterly hostile to the bill, and bv speech and bv 
letter did what he could to defeat it. In a letter to Hon. W. H. 
English, then in Congress, dated Februarv 8, 1858, he savs : 
■' I am opposed to Kansas's admission on the Lecompton con- 
stitution solely on the point of honor." He proceeds at some 



256 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

length to show that the honor of the Democratic party demands 
the submission of the constitution to the people, and closes bv 
saving : " The most foolish thing a politician can do is to grow 
desperate and risk his all on a single question.'" He begs of 
Mr. English not to "risk his all" by voting for a bill whose 
passage would bring dishonor upon his partv. Writing to Mr. 
English under date of February 21, 1858, he savs : 

"'The wise man forseeth the evil and hideth himself; the 
fool passes on and is punished.' I would not expect you to be 
a fool, but on the contrary would expect your wariness, clear- 
si orhtedness and hio-h sense of honor to save vou from minister- 
ing to the ambitious plans of others, by surrendering yourself 
to be led blindfold into the pit, and I see it is likel}^ that I shall 
not be deceived. I congratulate you." 

Further on he thus refers to the bill introduced by Mr. Eng- 
lish for the settlement of the Kansas question : 

" Had I been at your elbow, I would have whispered these 
things to ^'Ou, and said : ' Now mind your compromise. It will 
do no public good, and may be to the Jews (anti-Lecompton 
men) a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks (Lecompton men) 
foolishness, and so bring 3-ou little honor or profit.' " 

When the campaign of i860 opened, Judge Wick took the 
stump as an advocate of the election of Douglas. He made 
speeches in several places in Central Indiana, and with much 
eftect, for he was a very popular stumper. He was not particu- 
larly logical as a speaker, but his humor, his wit and pleasant- 
ries supplied the place of argument with many and made him 
a great favorite upon the hustings. Had Judge Douglas been 
elected Judge Wick would undoubtedly have been rewarded 
for his devotion to the fortunes of that remarkable man, but as 
he was defeated all hopes of Judge Wick for political prefer- 
ment disappeared. In a short time after the campaign closed 
he lett Indianapolis, which for so long had been his home, and 
took up his abode at Franklin, with his daughter, Mrs. William 
H. Overstreet. He died at her house, May 19, 1868, and was 
buried in the Franklin cemetery. 



WILLIAM W. WICK. 257 

William and Henry Wick, Judge Wick's father and uncle, 
settled at Youngstown, Ohio, in 1801. As previously stated, 
William was a Presbyterian preacher. He came to the then 
far West as a missionary, and labored zealously in his calling. 
In speaking of the location of his father and uncle at Youngs 
town, Judge Wick once said : " One chose piety and poverty, 
the other merchandizing and mone^'-getting, and they both suc- 
ceeded." One laid up treasures in heaven, the other on earth, 
and verily they both had their reward. 

Judge Wick's father intended him for a Presbyterian minis- 
ter, but the bov grew up doubting the truth of Calvinism and 
refused to become an organ for its propagation. He studied 
medicine, as stated in his autobiography, but soon abandoned 
it, giving as a reason that he did not like to be always contem- 
plating the miseries of mankind. Law and politics were more 
congenial to his nature, hence he embraced them and became a 
good lawyer and a very astute politician. 

Judge Wick, like Yorick, was " a fellow of infinite jest, of 
most excellent fanc}^" His exuberant humor often " set the 
table in a roar," making him one of the best and most jolly of 
companions. Fun and hilarit}^ abounded wherever he was, not 
even leaving him when on the bench. The law3'ers joked with 
him and played cards with him, often for money. He was once 
indicted by the grand jury of Bartholomew county for gam- 
bling, was tried before his associate judges, found guilty and 
fined. A few days after this one Job Gardner, who had been 
indicted for gambling with the Judge, was brought to trial, and, 
on being asked if he was guilt}^, replied: "Guilty, as Your 
Honor well knows." " You are fined .$5 and costs," responded 
Judge Wick, whereupon Gardner cried out, " Have mercy. 
Judge, have mercv." "You will have to appeal to a higher 
court for mercy," said the Judge, with a twinkle in his eye, as 
he proceeded to call the next case upon the docket. 

Judge Wick, like most of the public men of early Indiana, 
loved a social glass. Oliver H. Smith, in his " Early Indiana 
Trials. and Sketches," tells this story: 

"We started in fine spirits from Greensburg after breakfast. 
The day was cloudv, dark and drizzling. There was no road 

17 



258 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

cut out between Greensburg and Shelbyville ; there were neigh- 
borhood paths only in the direction between them. Judge Wick 
rode a spirited animal, and at once took the lead. Away we 
went at a rapid traveling gait. All at once the Judge stopped 
at a little log cabin at the forks of the paths, upon the gate-post 
of which hung a rough board with the word ' whisk}^ ' marked 
upon it with chalk. The Judge hallooed at the top of his voice, 
the door opened, and out came the woman of the cabin. The 
Judge : • Have you got anv whisky? ' ' Yes, plenty ; but we 
have no license to sell, and we will be prosecuted if we sell by 
the small. You can have a gallon.' 'A gallon I I don't want 
a gallon. A tin-cupful, with some sugar, will do.' 'You can't 
have it.' ' Fetch it out. I am the president judge of the Cir- 
cuit Court, and this is Mr. Smith. He can quash any indict- 
ment these woods prosecuting attorneys can find against }■ ou. 
Fetch it out ; there is no danger of prosecution.' Thus assured, 
the old woman returned, brought out the whisk v and sugar, the 
Judge took the lion's part, and awa}^ he went on his journey." 

Judge Wick was kind and affectionate to his familv. His 
youngest daughter was accidentally burned when a child, and 
when the wound healed it left a bad scar upon her face. While 
she was from home, at the house of a friend of the famih^ a 
thoughtless companion twitted her with the cicatrix. In her 
mortification and grief she wrote her father, asking to be brought 
home. In replv, he sent her the following touching and beau- 
tiful letter : 

"Indianapolis, November i, 1862. 

" Dear Ally — I am delighted to hear from you. I was not 
uneasy about you, but I did want to see my little one — m}^ be- 
loved child. But, now I know you are well, all is well. I am 
trul}' glad that you are learning not to be afraid of the dark- 
ness, which is one of the foolishest things in the world. 

"Nobody has slighted you because of your scars, I know, 
who was worth minding. I hope my little girl \\ill remember 
that as she will never be very pretty there is so much more 
reason for her to be good. A prettv face may recommend one 
to light-hearted and foolish people, but it is goodness and talent 
and education which recommend one to the better sort of peo- 



AVILLIAM \V. WICK. 



259^ 



pie, whose good opinion is valuable. Be ever good and inno- 
cent and sincere, as 3-011 are now, and voii will find enough peo- 
ple to love you, in spite of the burns. Perhaps the}- may, like 
your old father, love you all the more for the scars. I long to 
see mv baby, but do not wish to say a word about your coming 
home, but leave that to fix itself. Be good and obedient and 
obliging, and your pa will not be ashamed of you. Dear All}^, 
good bye. W. W. Wick." 

This child, now an intelligent and thoughtful woman, in a 
note to the author of this sketch, thus speaks of her lather : 

"After my father's first stroke of paral3-sis, when it was with 
great difficulty that he walked, we had in our household a ca- 
nine called ' Daint}',' for which I had a great fanc}^ but the rest 
of the family a ver}- decided dislike. I fear ' Dainty ' must 
have been a serious trouble to my father, owing to his unfortu- 
nate faculty for always being in the way. But my dear father 
bore very patiently with the dog and his many pranks, for his 
• baby's ' sake, and one day crowned all by an act which was 
much to me then, but more to me now, that I can better appre- 
ciate the loving thoughtfulness that prompted it. I was away 
from home, and ' Daint}- ,' taking advantage of m}- absence, 
took to the street for a frolic. But, alas I with his usual readi- 
ness, he got in the wa}^ of a heavy wagon, and thus ended his 
somewhat active career. My father, hearing of the accident, 
and knowing what a sad catastrophe it would be to me, went 
out into the street, and bringing in the poor little bodv, laid it 
down in a shady part of our 3'ard, and then waiting mv return, 
told me that poor little ' Daint^ ' was no more, but that there 
was a happy hunting-ground where all good dogs were sup- 
posed to go. 

"And so it was always ; his children's troubles were alwa3S his 
troubles, too. They were never so small but he could and did un- 
derstand them, and relieve them, too, when relief \^'as possible. 
Manv a time has he stroked my head, saying: ' Never mind, 
babv, it will all come right.' And so it did, or was forgotten, 
which was about the same thinii" to m\- mind in those da\-s."" 



26o BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

A son of Judge Wick, now living at Springfield, Ohio, gives 
this incident in his father's career : 

" I remember when a lad, during one of his canvasses for 
Congress, going to the old Court-house where he was making 
a speech. My boy eyes were wide open taking in the scene. 
The room w^as literally packed, and I noticed that by his elo- 
quence his audience were affected to tears, and then by his wit 
and humor were convulsed whh laughter. At the close of the 
speech two stalwart Clay Whigs gathered him upon their 
shoulders, and w^ent out of the Court-house yard and down 
Washington street, hurrahing for Bill}^ Wick." 

Judge Wick's first wit'e was Laura Finch, a sister of Hon. 
Fabius M. Finch, of Indianapolis. As stated in the Judge's 
autobiograph}^, Mrs. Wick died in 1832, and in 1839 ^^^ married 
Isabella Barbee. The issue of this marriage was two daughters, 
the youngest of whom is living, and is connected with the In- 
dianapolis Public Librar}^ The second Mrs. Wick survived 
her husband. 

Judge Wick wrote well and correctly. His manuscript was 
a pattern of neatness and grammatical accuracy. It could be 
printed as written, something that can not be done with the 
compositions of most of our public men. 

Judge Wick's grave is without even a headstone to mark it. 
It is seveKal inches lower than the cemetery's level, otherwise 
there would be nothing to show that the ground where his ashes 
lie was ever disturbed. A foot or so from the head of the grave 
stands a monument erected to one who, though one of the best 
•of men,* was unknown outside his neighborhood, and at its foot 
runs a roadway. On either side are monuments commemorat- 
ing the virtues of those who exercised but little influence upon 
their kind, and whom the State's historv will never mention. 
Amid such surroundings is the final resting-place of the genial 
■pioneer, with nothing to mark it save an indentation in the 
ground. Some members of the Franklin bar have talked of 
putting a stone at the head of the grave, but nothing further has 

*The author's father. 



WILLIAM \V. WICK. 26 1 

been done, and unless some one moves in the matter before 
long the last resting place of the first judge of the " New Pur- 
chase " will be unknown. Standing by it a thoughtful man 
must realize the instability of worldly honor and human great- 
ness. Alas, how transient and fleeting they are ! 



TILGHMAN A. HOWARD. 



The term "Christian statesman" is so often applied to men 
who prostitute public office for private gain as almost to become 
a synonym of hj^pocrite ; but that it may be applied to Tilghman 
A. Howard in its literal sense, those who read this sketch will 
see. 

Tilghman Ashurst Howard was born on the Saluda river, 
near Pickensville, South Carolina, November 14, 1797. His 
father was a Revolutionary soldier, and afterward a Baptist 
preacher ; so the son inherited patriotism and religion as a 
birthright. When a child Tilghman's mother died, and he 
went into the family of John McElroy, his half-brother. Soon 
alterward this familj^ removed to North Carolina, and settled in 
the county of Buncombe. Here the subject of this sketch re- 
mained until he was nineteen years old, and then he started 
out in the world for himself. He traveled to East Tennessee, 
and liking the country, made it his home. He had gone to 
school in North Carolina altogether about a year, and soon 
after he settled in Tennessee he commenced to utilize his learn- 
ing by teaching school. After awhile he quit teaching and be- 
came a merchant's clerk, and continued in that vocation until 
he entered, as a student, the office of Hugh Lawson White, one 
of the most eminent lawyers and statesmen of that day. When 
twenty-one years old he passed his examination, and was ad- 
mitted to the bar. He practiced his profession with success, 
but having an aptitude and a love for public life, he entered it 
six j'^ears afteward as a Senator from his district. This was 
when he was twenty-seven years old ; but, young as he was, he 
took high rank as a debater, and became one of the most influ- 



TILGHMAX A. HOWARD. 263 

ential members of the body in which he sat. He participated 
in all the leading debates, and his advocacy of, or opposition 
to, a measure did much to determine its fate. While he was 
in the Senate of Tennessee he became intimate with General 
Sam Houston, then Governor of the State. The intimacy was 
renewed j^ears afterward, when he went as a representative of 
his country to the republic of Texas, whose executive head was 
his friend, the old-time Governor of Tennessee. Governor 
Houston appointed him to a place on his militar}^ staff, and in 
other ways testified his high appreciation of his talents and 
patriotism. 

In 1828 General Howard was put upon the electoral ticket 
for his district as the friend of Andrew Jackson. He canvassed 
the State, and, being elected, cast his vote in the electoral col- 
lege for his friend, both personal and political, the hero of New 
Orleans. Two years afterward he left Tennessee and came to 
Indiana. He settled at Bloomington, and at once opened nn 
office for the practice of his protession. In a short time he 
formed a partnership with James Whitcomb, afterward Gover- 
nor of Indiana, and it is questionable if there ever was a stronger 
le"-al firm in the State than this. He remained at Bloomington 
some three vears, and removed to Rockville, Parke county, 
which was his home until he died. He continued his business 
relation with Mr. Whitcomb until 1836, when he dissolved it 
and entered into partnership with Judge William P. Bryant. 
This connection continued three years, when Judge^ Br3^ant 
withdrew from it. His place was taken by Joseph A. Wright, 
afterward Governor of the State, who continued to be General 
Howard's partner until the latter's death. 

In 1835 ^t became necessar}- for the administration of General 
Jackson to appoint a commissioner to adjust and settle a num- 
ber of claims against the government growing out of treaties 
with the Indians. The place was an important one, requiring 
capacity and integrity of a very high order, and there being 
much difference of opinion among General Jackson's cabinet 
as to the proper man, the matter was referred to the President. 

" Gentlemen,'* said General Jackson, " I will tell you whom 
to appoint. Appoint General Howard, of Indiana : he is an 



264 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

honest man. I have known him long." He was selected, and 
filled the place, as he did all his trusts, honestly and well. 

In 1832 General Howard was appointed District Attorney for 
Indiana, and held the office for seven years. In August, 1839, 
he was elected a member of the Twenty-sixth Congress, his 
district comprising nineteen counties in the western and north- 
ern parts of the State. The next year, 1840, he was nominated 
by the Democracy for Governor. He reluctantly accepted, and 
made the race. Like the waters of a mighty river, the great 
popularity of General Harrison, who was a candidate that year 
for President, carried everything before it. General Howard 
went dow^n with the tide, being beaten by Samuel Bigger 8,637 
votes. How he bore himself under his defeat the following let- 
ter, written to a friend, will tell : 

"RocKviLLE, Ind., 8th August, 1840. 
" Dear Sir — I have seen enough to convince me that In- 
diana has gone the entire Whig ticket — Governor, Lieutenant- 
Governor, Congressmen, and a majority in both houses of the 
Assembly. The close of the canvass found me worn down by 
fatigue and disease, and only sustained by the tremendous ex- 
citement of the occasion. I am still very feeble, and part of my 
time confined. Repose, however, and proper attention, I trust, 
will restore me, and leave me to return to my profession, to 
mend up my private affairs, and to forget as soon as I can w*hat 
I was and be content wdth what I am. My kind regards to our 
friends. Very truly yours, T. x\. Howard." 

General Howard had made an able canvass, but Hercules 
could not have withstood the Harrison tornado of that year. It 
is pleasant to see with what philosophy the General took his de- 
feat, and how easily he adjusted himself to the situation. As 
bearing upon his nomination for Governor and his canvass for 
the ofltice, the following letters will be read with interest : 

"Washington City, 30th Dec, 1839. 
"My Dear Sir — Who will be Governor? We shall know 
after the election. Will not Palmer run? You must have 
liarmony, imion, prudence and patriotism — everything for the 



TILGHMAN A. HOWARD. 265 

principles of liberty, equality and sound State policy ; no pri- 
vate bickering, no heartburnings. My whole soul is with you, 
and success and wisdom attend all your deliberations. Our 
committees have been announced, and the new Speaker has 
given the Democrats the Committees of Wa^^s and Means, For- 
eign Relations (of which I have the honor to be a member)^ 
etc. We had a little Abolition breeze to-day, but it died away^ 
and this evening all is tranquil, cool and peaceable. 

"Your friend, T. A. Howard." 



" Washington City, May 14, 1840. 
"Dear Sir — I received your letter from New York. Am 
happy to hear that you will soon be in the Hoosier State. You 
should encourage in every way you can the formation of Demo- 
cratic associations. Let it be done everywhere. You can, for 
example, write to Fisher, Law, Stuart, etc., etc. ; never writing 
to any but men of discretion. Palmer ought to do the same. 
It is better to take this course, because it will bring our people 
together, and they will, unmolested, talk over their principles 
and compare their reflections. It is calculated to do good by 
diffusing political knowledge. Action and concert are neces- 
sary, but with these we can carry the State. I will be there the 
greater part of July. Truly yours, T. A. Howard." 



"Washington City, May 30, 1840. 
" Dear Sir — When I saw you something was said about the 
general assemblage of the Democracy at Indianapolis, with a 
view to a public dinner, etc. I have considered the matter. It 
is not Democratic, and would be to a certain extent, imitating 
the folly of our antagonists. Freemen ought to meet together 
to reason on public interests, when thev assemble for political 
effect, and allow me to say to you that the mass of our people 
will not be any the more zealous bv anv public demonstration. 
They will turn out to hear debate. 1 shall have as many as I 
deserve to have to hear me, and my wish is to have no demon- 
stration, no procession, no flags, no drums, nor any other exhi- 
bition unworthy of a free, thinking, orderly community. I shall 
leave here at the verv earliest dav. and hurrv home, and vou 



266 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

may rely on it, I will be at several points yet in Indiana before 
the election. Allow m}^ suggestion to prevail. Let us be what 
Democracy should be, too independent to be deceived by shows 
or led away by them ; possessing too much respect for our fel- 
low-men to attempt to mislead them on those great subjects that 
concern the general happiness. Your friend, 

"T. A. Howard." 

The Legislature chosen in 1842 having a United States Sen- 
ator to elect, the canvass of that year was made mainly upon 
that issue. The Whigs supported Oliver H. Smith, and the 
Democrats General Howard. No other man was spoken of in 
connection with the office until after the Legislature met. The 
two candidates met just before the Legislature convened and 
had a talk about the senatorship. General Howard said to Mr. 
Smith that he knew one of them would be elected if the will of 
the people was carried out: "but,"' said he, "the vote will be 
so close that a man or two ma}'^ be found, who, like Judas, would 
sell his party for a few pieces of silver. There is nothing 
certain." That General Howard was correct events proved. 
On the first ballot he received 74 votes, Mr. Smith 72 votes, 
Edward A. Hannegan 3 votes, and Joseph G. Marshall i vote. 
It will be seen that Howard lacked two votes of election. It 
was said at the time these votes were offered him if he would 
promise office to the givers, but he scorned the proffer. On the 
sixth ballot Mr. Hannegan was elected. General Howard hav- 
ing withdrawn from the contest. The following letters from 
General Howard in reference to the election are not without 
interest : 

-^ RocKViLLE, Ind., 5th Jan., 1843. 

" My Friend — I have received your two letters and agree 
with you and others, and have remained at home. 

" I am very anxious respecting the nomination on one point. 
and that is the question of harmony. Never was a party in 
better condition for a contest, and if we ' pull all together,' suc- 
cess is certain. Then I hope there wiU be union and a hearty 
co-operation. 

"" Let me hear from you as soon as the nominations and busi- 
ness of the convention are over, and believe me to be most truh' 
your obliged friend, T. A. Howard." 



til<;hman a, HOWARD. 267 

" Roc'kvillk:, Ind., Jan. 16, 1843. 

" My Dear Sir — I have received your letter, and two or three 
others, urging me to come to Indianapolis b}' the last of the pres- 
ent week, under the hope that the United States Senator would 
about that time be elected. 

" Since my return from Indianapolis I have enjoyed poor 
health, and now it would be ver^y painful to me, owing to the 
rheumatism with which I am afflicted, to travel there. Other 
things pressing upon me, connected with my private affairs and 
professional business, render it next to impossible that I should 
now leave home. 

" I should be happy to be there, but I am satisfied that, so far 
as results are concerned, they will be the same whether I am 
present or absent. I have, therefore, concluded to trust my 
interests entirely to m}^ friends. If any man ma}' do this, I 
surely may, after the evidences which were afforded me during 
m}'^ four or five weeks' stay at Indianapolis this winter. 

" I understand that counter-instructions have been gotten up 
in Monroe county in favor of a man who will vote tor a bank 
and a high protective tarift\ I am not acquainted with the par- 
ticulars, and have no right to censure or complain. If the peo- 
ple of these counties (Monroe and Brown) are for a United 
States bank and a high protective tariff', they surely have the 
right to say so, but I am not the man to aid in carrying out 
their measures. I would rather remain in the ranks with the 
real anti-bank party, and aid in still further laboring to prove 
to the mind of our whole people the impracticability, as well as 
the inconsistencv of such an institution with the fundamental 
principles of our government, until there shall be no party re- 
maining in its favor, than to aid under any sanction or any cn*- 
cumstances to entail such a corporation upon the country. 

" I will thank you to show this letter to Henl}', Harris, Ma- 
jors, Bright, and others of the Legislature who may feel any 
interest in knowing why I am not there. I shall be happy to 
hear from vou. Your friend, 

"T. A. Howard." 

The two following letters exhibit General Howard as a father 
and a Christian : 



268 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

"Washington City, February 22, 1844. 
"My Dear Sir — Before I left home, during the sickness of 
my favorite, who is now in her grave (a dear little daughter 
eighteen months old) I received your last letter. I started to 
this city the day after her death, and am now here, where I 
shall probably remain some time. I am engaged in promoting, 
as far as I may be able, the interest of our canal. I have writ- 
ten some of the citizens of your place on the subject. I expect 
to be at home in due time, and, unless my health should fail, 
visit the several parts of the State. I have not been here long 
enough to know what is going on ; but I shall be an attentive 
observer of men and things while I stay, and will likely trouble 
you with an occasional line. 

" I remain, as ever, faithfully yours, 

"T. A. Howard." 



"Washington City, March 12, 1844. 

" Dear Sir — I received j^our letter yesterday. I thank you 
tor your kind and sympathetic expressions respecting my dear 
little girl whom I buried before I left home. I got a letter from 
my wife, a few days since, in which she seems perfectlv resigned. 
It is a good thing to have the Christian's hope — it withdraws a 
veil when sorrow swells the bosom, and shows a vision so bright, 
so calm, so real, that the soul feels all its sorrows to be nothing- 
compared with this overwhelming consolation. 

"One word to you — I may be allowed to surmise and con- 
jecture. Stand erect, conscious of your rights in society and 
among ^^our friends, and do not let anv future event, or thing 
that man can do, disturb you. Your friend, Howard." 

In 1844 the question of the annexation of Texas to the United 
States greatly agitated the public mind. Mr. Van Buren and 
Mr. Clay, both candidates for the presidencv, wrote letters in 
which the}' argued against the policy of annexation. The fol- 
lowing letter of General Howard gives his views upon this 
subject : 

"Washington, April 29, 1844. 

" Dear Sir — You will see Van Buren's and Clay's letters on 
Texas. I do not agree with either of them, as I regard the ac- 



TILGHMAN A. HOWARD. 269 

quisition of Texas of great moment to the United States. Mr. 
V. B.'s letter has given great dissatisfaction to the Southern 
members here, and there is much confusion and misgiving in 
the party. A third man is talked of, and Cass often mentioned. 
I think Democrats should not be too prompt in taking ground 
against Texas, as it will react, and the country will go for it, or 
I am mistaken. I will write you again in a few days. 

"Yours truly, T. A. Howard." 

■ General Howard was correct. The country did go for Texas, 
the joint resolution for its annexation being approved by the 
President on the 2d of March, 1845. All the letters contained 
in this sketch, except the one which follows, were written to a 
personal and political friend in Indianapolis, and are now pub- 
lished for the first time. Their chirography is beautiful, their 
punctuation faultless and their style admirable, as the reader 
will see. They are an important contribution to the history of 
that time, and the author congratulates himself on being able to 
give them to the public. 

In the summer of 1844 General Howard was appointed by 
President Tyler Charge D'affaires to the Republic of Texas. 
He left home on the 4th of Jul}^ and reached Washington, the 
capital of Texas, August i, 1844. In a few days he was taken 
sick with fever, and, in fifteen da3^s from the time of his arrival, 
he died. He breathed his last at the house of John Farquher, 
a few miles from Washington. He was buried in Texas, and 
for three years his remains rested in that far-off country. 

In the spring of 1844 there was a great revival of religion at 
Rockville, General Howard's home. A gentleman of the town 
wrote Hon. Joseph A. Wright, then a member of Congress, 
asking his opinion of the revival. Mr. Wright showed General 
Howard the letter, and he at once wrote the inquirer as follows : 

" My Dear Friend — I saw in your letter to friend Wright 
this line, ' Is this enthusiasm or is it realit}'?' This prompts 
me to drop 3-ou a line. I have asked myself in years past the 
same question ; and I believe that God has answered it to my 
moral nature. It is reality. My dear sir, I know of no man 
who more needs the soothing consolation of religion than you. 
It would bind up your wounded spirit, and shall I say how it is 



270 HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 

to be obtained? I answer, be assured of one thing: God ex- 
ists. Go to him in the silent hour, when he alone sees and 
knows your purpose ; falter not, but ask him, as the fountain of 
eternal truth, to solve the question, to open your heart and moral 
vision that you ma}- see and feel whether these things be so. 
Read the words of Christ to Nicodemus, his Sermon on the 
Mount, his prayer for his disciples while in the garden of Geth- 
semane, and his whole mission, and continue to read and pray,, 
and you will find pardon, consolation and jo}' in believing." 

General Howard was a member of the Presbyterian church,, 
but he was not a sectarian. He believed there were many 
branches of the same vine, many paths leading to the strait 
gate. He was too great to be a bigot, too good to have no. 
charity. 

General Howard was alwa3's dignified in public. He seldom 
indulged in levity ; but notwithstanding this, he had the faculty 
of drawing all classes of men to him. The sober and the gay. 
the lettered and the unlettered, alike followed his fortunes. 

Although General Howard never attended an academ}- or a 
college, he was a very learned man. He was acquainted with 
the civil law, with theology, history, politics, geology, miner- 
alogy, botany, philosophy, and the occult sciences. His mind 
was a vast storehouse of knowledge, it being questionable if 
there was another man in the State of such information as he. 

During the canvass of 1840 a newspaper published at Green- 
castle sought to make political capital against General Howard 
by commenting upon his well-known opinions on temperance. 
When he spoke in that town he read the article and told the 
editor to get out another edition of his paper and throw it broad- 
cast over the State. " I want every voter to know my opinions 
on this question," said Howard. " I am willing to stand by 
them, and, if need be, fall b}^ them." 

On another occasion, when speaking, he read aloud a news- 
paper article charging him with a disreputable act,- When 
done reading he threw the paper from him and proceeded with 
his speech. He could afford to thus treat the charge with silent 
contempt ; he stood too high to be alfected by it. 

In a debate with a gentleman who evaded the issues and went 



TIL(iHMAN A. HOWARD. 2/1 

out after side ones, General Howard told the tbllowing story, and 
applied it to his opponent : " Once," said he, " a representati\"e 
trom Buncombe county made a speech in the North Carolina 
Legislature, in which he talked of many things entirely foreign 
to the matter before the House, and on being called to order by 
the Speaker, and told to confine himself to the question at issue, 
replied : ' Mv speech is not for the Legislature ; it is all for 
Buncombe.' 'AH for Buncombe' became a common saying, 
and has remained such to the present day." 

As has already been stated. General Howard died and was 
buried in Texas. But the people of Indiana were not willing 
that his dust should commingle with foreign soil. The Legisla- 
ture of 1847 passed an act directing the Governor and General 
Joseph Lane " to have the remains of Tilghman A. Howard re- 
moved from their place of burial in Texas, and reinterred at 
such place in Indiana as his family might desire." The act was 
approved bv his friend and former partner, James Whitcomb, 
then Governor of the State. The will of the Legislature was 
carried out, and the remains of Howard disinterred and brought 
to Indiana. They remained awhile at Indianapolis, receivings 
hijjh honors. From thence thev were taken to Greencastle, 
where like honors awaited them. Thev were then removed to 
Rockville, his old home, and interred in his orchard. Previous 
to placing the coffin in the ground. Professor William C. Lar- 
rabee, afterward Indiana's first Superintendent of Public In- 
struction, delivered a eulogy upon the dead statesman, replete 
with beautiful thoughts. It closed as follows : 

"Take him and bur}- him among you. Bur^• him where the 
primrose and the violet bloom in vernal beautv, where the rose 
of summer sheds its fragrance, and where the leaves of autumn 
fall, to protect the spot from the cheerless blast of the wintrv 
winds. Bury him in that rural bower on the hillside, within 
sight of his quiet cottage home. Burv him bv the side of the 
pretty child he loved so well — the beauteous little girl, who. 
years ago. died suddenly, when the father was awav from 
home. Bury him now by her, that child and father may sleep 
side by side. Ye need erect no costly monument, with labored 
inscription, over his grave. On a plain stone inscribe the name 
of Howard, of Indiana's Howard, and it shall be enough." 



272 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

General Howard stood among the people of Indiana as did 
Saul, the son of Kish, among the people of Palestine. Al- 
though so very tall, his form was symmetrical. His hair and 
eyes were coal black, and his complexion corresponded with 
them. His nose and mouth were large and expressive; his 
forehead broad and high, and the whole contour of his face de- 
noted energ}^ and intellect of the highest order. In private 
life his deportment was simple, his conversation dehghtful, and 
he enjoyed the pastimes of the social circle with the zest of 
youth to such an extent that he sometimes half reproached him- 
self with the remark that he "was afraid he should never be 
anything but a boy." Howard was a great man and a good 
one, and made a deep impression on the State of his adoption. 



JAMES H. CRAVENS. 



James Harrison Cravens, one of the ablest of the men who 
changed public sentiment in Indiana on the slavery question, 
was born at Harrisonburg, Rockingham county, Virginia, Au- 
gust 12, 1802. When a boy he was self-willed and self-reliant ; 
was independent, plucky and thought for himself. His father de- 
signed him for the law, but in order to tame and take the wire 
edge off him, put him with a gunsmith, intending it only as a 
temporary expedient, but when the father wanted him to quit 
work and go to school, he obstinately remained throughout his 
whole apprenticeship and learned the trade. Afterward he 
went into the law office of Judge Kinney and studied law. He 
was admitted to the bar in 1823, and soon after removed to 
Franklin, Pa., and commenced the practice of his profession. 
He met with reasonable success, but the reports which reached 
him from the West made him dissatisfied with his location and 
prospects. He had confidence in his ability to successfully 
compete with the young men who were leaving the older States 
for Western homes, and his subsequent career proved that he 
did not overestimate his parts. He left Pennsylvania in 1829, 
and came to Indiana, locating in Jefferson count}'. 

An incident of the journey, which illustrates some very inter- 
esting phases of character, is furnished by a member of the 
family now living at Franklin, Indiana. Before removing he 
had bought the black woman, ''Aunt Mary," at the sale of 
eflects of his wife's mother. Soon thereafter, having decided 
to come to Indiana, he determined to take the slave woman 
along. Mary had a husband, or a " man," who belonged to 
another master. Not wishing to part them Mr. Cravens bought 

18 



274 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

the man, Tom, for $600. He provided a " carr\'-all " and 
horse and started the two blacks for Madison, Indiana. As 
robbers frequently halted the stages in those days crossing the 
mountains, and as Mr. Cravens had about a thousand dollars 
more than enough to defray the expenses of himself and wife 
and the blacks to Indiana, he had such confidence in the hon- 
esty of the old woman " Mary," that he gave her the $1,000 in 
gold to secrete upon her person, telling her not to let " Tom "' 
know she had any money about her, other than a few dollars to 
defray expenses. Well, they all left Virginia the same day. 
Cravens and wife, by stage, arrived about two weeks before the 
negroes. The former's friends at Madison learning what he 
had done with his money laughed at his " foolishness,'' and said 
he would never see his money nor negroes again. In due time, 
however, the blacks arrived at Madison, and the old woman 
"Mary" handed over the package of money saying, ^^ Here, 
Mars yim, is yo motley^ The money proved to be all there as 
when given in charge of the old black wDman. The two ne- 
groes would have sold for more money than all Cravens was 
worth besides. But his anti-slaver^^ notions were such that he 
would never sell into slavery any human being. 

At that time Madison, the capital of Jefferson county, was 
the leading town of the State, and contained a number of men 
who were, even then, noted for their abilit}'. Marshall and 
Sullivan, the two Brights, Robinson and others resided there, 
and it would seem that the new comer's chances for success at 
the bar were meager indeed. He had settled on a farm some 
twelve miles from Madison, and had a law office in town, and 
between the two his whole time was employed. He was an 
ardent Whig, and took a deep interest in public affairs. Two 
years after he located in Jefferson county, in 1831, he was elected 
to the Legislature, defeating David Hillis, afterward Lieuten- 
ant-Governor of the State. The next year he was a candidate 
for re-election, defeating James H. Wallace, an able and popu- 
lar man. He was now on the high road to political fortune. 
He was farming and practicing law, but his hand had not for- 
gotten its cunning, and he could make a gun, and for that mat- 
ter, could shoot it, too, as well, or better than an}- other man in 
the county. These accomplishments added to his popularity. 



JAMES H. CRAVENS. 275 

and particularly endeared him to the men who lived in the val- 
leys of Indian Kentuck. 

Mr. Cravens had an ambition to reach a leading place in his 
profession, and realizing the fact that the Madison bar was the 
ablest in the State, he determined to leave Jefferson county, and 
go where competition was not so strong. Therefore, in 1833, 
he removed to Ripley county, and remained a citizen of it while 
he lived. He opened an office at Versailles, and soon had a 
large and lucrative practice. Like most lawyers of that da}^ 
he took an active interest in politics, and although not an office 
seeker, he was alwa3'^s ready to speak for his party. In 1839 
the Whigs of Ripley elected him to the State Senate, and the 
count}' never had an abler or more faithful representative. His 
reputation as a speaker was such that he was placed on the 
Harrison electoral ticket in 1840, a position of honor, and one 
to which the leading Whigs of the State aspired. Indiana never 
had so able an electoral ticket as the one upon which he was 
placed. Jonathan McCarty and Joseph G. Marshall were the 
electors for the State at large, and among the district electors 
were Joseph L. White, Richard W. Thompson, Caleb B. Smith 
and James H. Cravens. These men made the hills and valle}'s 
of Indiana resound with praises of "Tippecanoe and Tyler, 
too," and when the election was held and the votes counted it 
was found that Indiana had voted b}^ a large majorit}^ to make 
her first territorial Governor the chief executive of the national 
government; It was in this campaign that Mr, Cravens became 
known throughout the State as one of the ablest debaters in it. 
During the canvass he and Robert Dale Owen had a joint dis- 
cussion at Bloomington, which is still remembered, and will be 
while those who heard it live. As is known, Mr. Owen was 
the most learned and cultured of all the public men of Indiana 
of his time, but, as a debater, Mr. Cravens proved his equal. 
When the debate between them ended. Dr. Wvlie, then presi- 
dent of the State University, publicly complimented Mr. Cra- 
vens on the ability he had displayed, and at the same time spoke 
in high terms of Mr. Owen's talents and learning. 

The spring after General Harrison's election Mr. Cravens 
was nominated for Congress, and elected over his competitor. 
Colonel Thomas Smith, by over one thousand majoritv. He 



276 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

took his seat at the called session which convened soon after 
President Harrison died and Mr. T3der, the Vice-President, 
had become the acting President. Mr. Tyler soon broke with 
bis party, and failing to establish a party of his own, he natu- 
rally drifted to the Democracy. Mr. Cravens had often sounded 
his praises upon the stump, and had voted for him in the elec- 
toral college, but when he separated from the party that elected 
him, Mr. Cravens denounced him from his seat in Congress as 
well as from the stump at home. In his family Bible he made 
this record : 

" For the Tyler vote I have sorely repented, and hope my 
country will forgive me. J- H. Cravens." 

In Congress Mr. Cravens stood by and supported John Quincy 
Adams in his fight for the right of petition, and in many other 
ways testified to his belief in the rights and equality of all men 
before the law. He hated oppression in all its forms, and he 
hated that which was known as human slavery with an intensity 
akin to madness. In it he saw nothing good ; for it he had no 
charity whatever. But his party was thoroughly permeated 
with its virus, and when he went before a convention and asked 
a nomination for re-election he was put aside, and one with dif- 
ferent views upon the question of slavery selected. He knew 
he had been badly treated, but he accepted the situation with- 
out complaint. In 1846 a Whig convention nominated him for 
the State Legislature, but a large portion of his party rebelled 
against the nomination. The objection to him was on account 
of his pronounced anti-slavery principles, and so hostile were 
many Whigs to him for that reason that the}' demanded his 
withdrawal from the ticket. That there might be no mistake 
as to his views upon the slavery question, he published an ad- 
dress, from which I make the following extract : 

" I understand that a portion of the Whigs of our country- 
charge me with being what they call an 'Abolitionist.' If I 
knew in what sense they used the term abolitionist, as applied 
to me, I would give a simple answer, 'Yes,' or 'No;' but, 
inasmuch as I do not know what meaning they attach to it, in 
reference to me, I deem it proper, in justice to them as well as 



JAMES H. CRAVENS. 277 

to myself, to give my views of slavery as -it exists in the United 
States : 

"I. I consider slavery a great moral and polit'cal evil. 

"2. I am opposed to the extension of slave territory. 

"3. I am opposed to the admission of any more slave States 
into the Union. 

"•4. I believe the admission of slave States into the Union 
out of territory acquired since the adoption of the Federal con- 
stitution to be a violation of the spirit of that instrument. 

"5. 1 believe that whilst we are expending $1,000,000 annu- 
ally for the suppression of the 'African slave trade,' we ought 
not to spend millions for the promotion and extension of the 
* domestic ' or American slave trade. 

"6. I believe that Congress has the power to regulate the 
inter-state slave trade, and ought to exercise it. 

"7. I believe that Congress has the power of abolishing 
slavery in the District of Columbia (the seat of the national 
government), and ought to exercise it whenever a majority of 
the citizens of the District desire it to be done, and that the 
' slave mart ' there ought to be abolished immediately. 

"'8. I believe that whenever a proposition is made to the na- 
tion to extend the peculiar institution, either directly or indi- 
rectly, that it then becomes, so far, i-pso facto, a national ques- 
tion ; and that the non-slaveholding States, and their citizens 
individually, ought, in self-defense, both in a moral and political, 
point of view, to make use of every constitutional means within 
their power to prevent so great an injustice. 

"9. I am utterly opposed to the abolition of the liberty of 
speech, and of the press, and of the rights of petition. 

"10. I believe the slave States and slave owners have con- 
stitutional rights in reference to their slave property, with which 
the free States can not and ought not to interfere, nor ought 
their citizens, individually, to meddle with them, such as per- 
suading a slave to escape from his owner, concealing them after 
they have escaped, and running them from the place clandes- 
tinely or otherwise, with a view of aiding them in finally making 
their escape. 

•'II. I would not arrest and return to his owner, nor harbor^ 
nor conceal a fugitive slave. 



278 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

"12. I should be more than gratified to see the slave States 
adopt some system of gradual emancipation by which we, as a 
people, should be entirely rid of slavery in some twenty-five or 
thirty years. 

"13. I do not believe the Whigs have, nor am I prepared to 
b)elieve they will, incorporate a pro-slavery article in their po- 
litical creed. Should they do so they will drive many good 
-and true men from their ranks in grief and sorrow." 

At that time there was quite a number of abolitionists in Rip- 
ley county, the leader of whom was Stephen S. Harding. 
They met and resolved to support Mr. Cravens for the Legisla- 
ture, whereupon several leading pro-slavery Whigs determined 
he should be driven from the ticket. Their antagonism caused 
him to ask for the reassembling of the convention which had nom- 
inated him, and when it met he placed his declination before it. 
It, however, unanimously indorsed him, and he continued a can- 
didate. He was elected, and in the Legislature made a strong 
fight against the Butler bill ; but it passed, notwithstanding his 
opposition. As will be remembered, it was a bill to compro- 
mise the debt of the State upon the basis of the surrender of 
the Wabash and Erie canal to the bondholders for one-half the 
•debt, and the issuance of new bonds for the remainder. 

Mr. Cravens opposed the Mexican war because he believed 
it was waged in the interests of slavery. In 1848 the Whig 
convention of his congressional district passed a resolution jus- 
tifying the war, and offered him the nomination for Congress 
upon the condition that he would indorse the platform. He 
replied at once, " No, gentlemen, I will not do it. If it was in 
your power to give me a seat in Congress for life I would not 
do it." Where is the man now in politics who would not indorse 
his party's creed, when by so doing he could go to Congress? 

Mr. Cravens saw that his party was wedded to slavery, and 
when it nominated General Taylor, a slaveholder, for the pres- 
idency, he determined to leave it. No one who has not passed 
the ordeal knows how hard it is for one to cut loose from his 
party. Personal friends desert him and the associations of 
years are broken up and destroyed. But Mr. Cravens saw his 
<duty in a line different from that pursued by his party, and he 



JAMES H. CRAVENS. 279 

determined to follow it. He went to the Buffalo Freesoil con- 
v^ention as a delegate, and actively participated in its proceed- 
ings. He supported its nominees — Van Buren and Adams — 
stumping the State in their behalf. They were defeated, and 
for awhile afterward Mr. Cravens affiliated with the Democracy. 
He was one of its nominees in 1850 for delegate to the consti- 
tutional convention, but was defeated at the polls. The Demo- 
cratic party, like the Whig, had too man}- pro-slavery men in 
its ranks for a man of such pronounced anti-slavery principles 
as Mr. Cravens to be popular with it. As stated above, he was 
beaten, and the people of Indiana were debarred from having 
his valuable services in the formation of the constitution under 
which we live. 

In 1852 both the Whig and Democratic parties declared in 
their national platforms that the question of slavery was settled. 
They also resolved that the further agitation of the question was 
imwise and unpatriotic. There really was no vital issue be- 
tween the parties, their contest being merely to determine which 
should have the patronage and the spoils. In the canvass of 
that year Mr. Cravens supported Hale and Julian, the Freesoil 
candidates for President and Vice President, and was himself 
the candidate of that party for Governor of the State. Of 
course he was beaten, for although pro-slavery politics was then 
becoming weakened, it was strong enough to bind wath its hate- 
ful cords the masses of the people. 

When the Republican party was formed Mr. Cravens entered 
its ranks. Indeed, he was one of the men who made the party. 
Its opposition to the extension of slavery endeared him to it, 
and made him active in its behalf. At the Republican State 
convention of 1856 he was nominated for Attorney-General of 
the State, and he entered the canvass with all his old-time zeal 
and eloquence. He was defeated, but this canvass added 
largely to his already well-established reputation as a strong 
debater. 

On the breaking out of the civil war, in 1861, Mr. Cravens 
took an active part in securing recruits, and in other ways fur- 
thering the cause of the government. He was, for a time, lieu- 
tenant-colonel of a regiment of infantry-, but he was too old and 
feeble for active service, and soon resigned his commission. 



28o BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

When John Morgan made his raid through Indiana, Colonel 
Cravens ralHed his neighbors, and tried to stop the invader's 
progress, but he and his soldiers were taken captive and paroled 
by the guerrilla chieftain. After this Colonel Cravens did not 
aspire to public employment, but remained at his home in Os- 
good until the 4th of December, 1876, when death called him 
hence. His remains were taken to Versailles and deposited in 
the cemetery there. 

Colonel Cravens was one of those men, rarely met in life, 
who prefer principles to success. Elected to Congress before 
he had reached middle life, he could have continued in the pub- 
lic service had he not been truer to his convictions than to his 
ambition. But he preferred private station with self-respect to 
public office with self-abasement. 

In earl3^1ife Colonel Cravens was small of physique, but as he 
grew older he fleshened. His height was five feet six and one- 
half inches, and his weight about one hundred and sixty pounds. 
His complexion was light, his eyes blue and his hair inclined to 
be sandy. He was a brave, conscientious and able man, and 
well deserving a place in the history of the State. 



ANDREW KENNEDY. 



One of the best examples of the possibilities of the American 
boy may be seen in the life and career of Andrew Kennedy. 
Born poor, and growing to manhood illiterate, he became a 
lawyer of large practice, a statesman of enviable reputation, 
and died before he was thirty-eight years old, one of the best 
known and most honored men in the State. 

Andrew Kennedy was born near Dayton, Ohio, July 24, 1810. 
When a child his father removed to Indiana and settled in the 
wilderness near where the city of Lafayette now stands. Here 
young Kennedy lived and worked until farm life became irk- 
some and distasteful, and he determined to leave it. This 
was when he was about midway between boyhood and man- 
hood. He left his home and went to Connersville, where he 
had an aunt living, and soon after arriving there he apprenticed 
himself to a blacksmith, to learn the trade of a smidiy. In due 
time he became a master workman, and would, most probably, 
have continued at the anvil and bellows for life had not an ac- 
cident happened to him, which, instead of being a misfortune, 
proved a blessing. 

The late Samuel W. Parker then lived at Connersville, and 
was not only a brilliant lawyer, but was also a dear lover of the 
horse. He owned an animal which was so spirited and vicious 
that it was difficult to get him shod, but Kennedy undertook the 
task, and was badly injured by a kick from the horse. Being 
unable to work, he commenced to study, and, although he could 
scarcely read and could not write his name, with the help of 
Mr. Parker, who took great interest in him, he soon became 
able to read and understand what he read. Books were a reve- 



282 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

lation to him. They opened to him a new hfe. He soon came 
to the conchision that the hammer and the anvil were not the 
proper instruments for him to light with ; that he was capable 
of wielding intellectual weapons as well as those only used by the 
hand. He therefore determined to abandon his trade and stud}^ 
law. In this he was encouraged by Mr. Parker, who placed at 
his command his library, and the young blacksmith laid aside 
his apron, washed the soot from his face and hands, and en- 
tered Mr. Parker's ofRce as a student. He studied hard, and 
in a short time was licensed to practice. At that time admission 
to the bar was much more difficult than now. Good moral 
character was not the only thing necessar}^ to enable one to be 
a lawyer. Before being admitted to the bar the applicant had 
to pass a rigid and critical examination, and he was only 
licensed when he passed this ordeal to the satisfaction of two 
judges of a court of record, so it is apparent that young Ken- 
nedy made good use of his time and opportunities, for otherwise 
he would not have been able to gain the admission he sought. 

Soon after obtaining his license he removed to Muncie, and 
opened an office for the practice of his profession. At that time 
( 1830) Muncie contained but few inhabitants, and these few lived 
in log cabins. The Court-house was a cabin, and in it the 
young lawyer's voice rang out in behalf of those who employed 
him. While not so good a law3'er as some who practiced at 
the Muncie bar, he excelled them all in the defense of those 
charged with crime. His fine presence, his magnetism and his 
fervid eloquence made him exceedingly effective before a jur}'^, 
and fortunate indeed was the offender who secured him as an 
advocate. His fiery eloquence captivated the people, and he 
soon became noted as one of the most popular speakers as well 
as one of the most successful lawyers in the eastern part of 
the State. He had engaging manners, and, in 1836, when 
hardly eligible on account of his age, he was elected to the 
State Senate to fill a vacanc\-. The next year he was chosen a 
Senator for a full term, and while in the Senate he was noted 
for his attention to business and for his fidelit}^ to the interests 
of those whom he represented. In 1840 he was placed on the 
Democratic electoral ticket, and made a thorough canvass of 
his district. The people flocked to hear him wherever he went, 



ANDREW KENNEDY. 283 

and at the close ot" the canvass, the "young blacksmith" was 
one of the best-known men in the State. In 1841 he was nom- 
inated for Congress and elected. He was re-elected in 1843 
and in 1845, and in 1847 was again offered a nomination, but 
declined it. During his six years in Congress he attended 
strictly to his public duties and established a reputation for elo- 
quence and effective services equaled b}^ few. 

Before the close of his congressional term Mr. Kennedy de- 
termined to be a candidate for the United States Senate. He 
aspired to a seat in the highest legislative body in the country, 
and had he lived would, most probably, have succeeded in ob- 
taining it. He came to Indianapolis in December. 1847, to 
commence his canvass for the Senate, but he had been here 
only a few days when he was taken sick with a disease which 
proved to be small-pox. The Legislature was in session, and 
many of the members had called on him at his room in the 
Palmer House, and when it became known that the disease with 
which he was afflicted was small-pox the utmost consternation 
prevailed. Resolutions adjourning the Legislature imtil the 
second Monday in Januar^^, 1848, were introduced and passed 
on the 13th of the preceding month, and the members at once 
left for their homes. There was no case of small-pox in the 
city except the one, and why this one should so badly scare the 
assembled wisdom of the State seems to us of the present time 
exceedingly strange. Mr. Kennedy continued sick and confined 
to his room until the evening of the last day of 1847, when he 
died. His bod}^ was taken at the dead of night, wrapped in 
the clothes of the bed on which he died, to the cemetery, at- 
tended only by the hack-driver and sexton, and consigned to 
mother earth. The hackman and the sexton who performed the 
sad task of laying him away in his tomb contracted the fell dis- 
ease which took him off', and in less than two weeks thereafter 
were laid by his side. A sad ending was this of a career which 
promised so much. 

The death of Mr. Kennedy caused gloom throughout the 
State. In commenting upon his demise, the Indiaua^oJis Sen- 
tinel said : 

" In the death of Mr. Kennedv the State loses, in the prime 



284 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

of his life and usefulness, one of her most honored and distin- 
guished sons." 

On the I St day of January, 1848, the same paper thus spoke 
of Mr. Kennedy : 

"The decease of this distinguished man will excite feelings 
of the profoundest regret, not only among the people of this 
State, but among all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. 
He was emphatically one of ' nature's noblemen,' and, though 
born of poor parents, and in his early youth deprived of even 
common advantages for the cultivation of his mind, he was so 
richly endowed in mental qualities that he was able to overcome 
all obstacles, and ultimately to attain an elevated position among 
the most distinguished men of the State. He was socially, as 
well as politically, a Democrat. Possessing the most exalted 
mental attributes, he felt that no man could rightfully claim 
mastery over him ; and, having himself drunk of the bitter cup 
of poverty, he knew how to S3^mpathize with and encourage the 
poor in the assertion of their rights." 

When the Legislature convened in January following Mr. 
Kennedy's death, appropriate resolutions were introduced and 
several eloquent speeches were made. In speaking on the reso- 
lutions, Hon. A. J. Harlan, of Grant county, said: 

" I hope and believe that I shall not be deemed by any one 
who hears me at all exaggerating when I assert that the la- 
mented Kennedy, whilst connected with his public services, 
either in the Legislature of his adopted State, or in the Con- 
gress of the nation, gave constant and continued proof of his 
sound, practical and statesmanlike intellect, unyielding honesty 
of purpose, and a generosity of soul and will that ever qualified 
him for the performance of all generous, hospitable and noble 
deeds, and which at all times saved him from the charge of any 
act that was ignoble, sordid or illiberal. 

" In his private life he was remarkably bland, courteous and 
interesting ; and his death has thrown a sorrow and disappoint- 
ment to many a kind and innocent bosom which his living mo- 
ments never failed to fill with the liveliest hopes of future good- 
ness and prosper] tv." 



ANDREW KENNEDY. 285 

Mr. OiT, a representative from Delaware county, the county 
in which Mr. Kennedy had Hved, said : 

"Mr. Speaker — I arise to announce to you and the House 
the pleasing intelligence that that dreadful and loathsome dis- 
ease, the smallpox, is measurably arrested. We had some 
thirty-odd cases at our county-seat, and but three deaths out of 
the number. Out of ten or fifteen cases in the county there 
was but one death, and for a week or ten days previous to m}^ 
leaving home there was but one new case. Now, sir, although 
this was calculated to produce joy in our midst, yet we are cast 
into gloom and sadness at the news of the death of our highly 
honored and much esteemed fellow citizen, the Hon. Andrew 
Kennedy. Death, it is true, is not a respecter of persons, and 
in this case its victim was a shining and conspicuous mark ; his 
social virtues were most appreciated by those who knew him 
best. As an instance of this, sir, I will tell you that in his own 
county, which always casts upwards of two hundred Whig ma- 
jorit}-, he reduced this majority to twenty-five. He was an 
ardent admirer and lover of our institutions, and well he might 
be, for it was owing to their benign influence that he rose to 
that conspicuous and enviable position he occupied in society. 
When talking on these subjects he seemed to soar, as it were, 
above himself, and to forget every other thing around him. As 
an instance of this, I will tell you a circumstance that trans- 
pired as he and I came down at the opening of the Legislature. 
Talking of our glorious institutions, which to me was always 
pleasing, he became quite eloquent ; his eyes beamed with lus- 
ter peculiar to the man ; he sprang to his feet (unconsciously 
dropping the check-lines, though approaching a critical place 
in the road), and burst forth into one of his most grand and 
eloquent strains, just as though he had an audience of five hun- 
dred persons. He poured forth to my delighted ears, in the 
most glowing language, the glory of our country as it now is, 
and as I hope it will be a thousand years hence ; during which 
time we had passed over considerable road. After sitting down 
he asked me how or \vhen I took -the check-lines from him. I 
told him the circumstances ; he replied that he hoped the tree 
of liberty would ultimately become so large that all nations and 



286 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

kindreds might repose underneath its shade, and that its branches 
might extend to the nethermost parts of the earth, and that he 
beheved repnbhcan principles would become so prevalent that 
they could peremptorily give the command, ' Tyrants, about 
face I ' But he needs no eulog}' from me ; the histor}^ of this 
commonwealth is his history. Of this, the future impartial his- 
torians in writing it out will devote a page to the history of the 
Hon. Andrew Kennedy. Permit me. sir, in conclusion, to pre- 
sent the following resolutions : 

'•^Resolved, unanimously, That we have heard with profound 
regret of the death of our distinguished fellow-citizen, the Hon. 
Andrew Kennedy, who departed this life on the 31st day of De- 
cember, 1847. 

^'■Resolved., unanimously, That in the death of Andrew Ken- 
nedy society has lost one of its brightest ornaments, and the 
State one of its faithful servants. 

'■^Resolved, una)iimously, That we deeply condole with his 
afflicted family in the loss they have sustained, and that we 
hereby tender to his bereaved widow our mutual sympath}'. 

"■ Resolved, unamniously. That His Excellency, the Governor, 
be requested to forward to the widow of the deceast-d a copy 
of the foregoing resolutions. 

^^ Resolved, tmanimously, That as an evidence of the high es- 
teem entertained for the deceased this House do now adjourn." 

Mr. Kennedy's widow still lives at the old homestead in Mun- 
cie, and a short time ago the author of this sketch heard from 
her lips the sorrowful account of her husband's death. She 
said she begged to be taken to Indianapolis that she might be 
with her husband in his illness, but the boon was denied her, 
The life of her husband went out when she was far away. His 
fevered brow and parched lips were cooled by stranger hands 
while the wife of his youth was praying that she might be per- 
mitted to perform those loving offices herself. But she prayed 
in vain. 

The small-pox scare of 1(^47 caused a good deal of amuse- 
ment among the people of that day. That the great Sanhedrim 
of the State should dissolve and its members 20 home on ac- 



ANDREW KENNEDY. 287 

count of a solitary case of small-pox seems incredible, but it 
was so. Many were the jokes that went the rounds of the news- 
papers of that time. Among them were the following: 

" Why is the present Indiana Legislature like General Wil- 
kinson? 

"■Answer — Because they ran away from Kennedy (Canada). 

*' Why is the Indiana Legislature like a young lawyer? 

"Answer — Because it is highly excited over a solitary case. 

"Why is the Indiana Legislature unlike Santa Anna? 

"Answer — Because they ran when there w'as no danger ; he 
ran when there was danger." 

A local poet thus poured out his soul in blank verse in an ode 
to " Small-pox and the Legislature : " 

" Thou hast 
Alarmed the heels e'en from their boots, and 
Given their tattered coat-tails to the wind ; 
And, with the vast velocity of fear, they 
Have outstripped the speed of railroad cars, 
And frost and mud have been like cobweb 
Barriers to their brave retreat. Avaunt ! 
Fell devil, from our peaceful town, and 
Let the Legislature all come back." 

This body of lawmakers was known at the time as the Leg-is- 
lature. 

Mr. Kennedy, while in Congress, made a speech on the Ore- 
gon bill, in favor of " fifty-four forty or fight." At the conclu- 
sion of his speech he fainted from exhaustion. However, he 
revived in a moment and received many congratulations from 
his friends. Among those who took him by the hand on that 
occasion was John Quincy Adams, a bitter opponent of the bill, 
but a great lover of oratory. He said: " Kenned}-, let me 
take by the hand the greatest natural orator in America." 

In a speech, delivered in the Senate of the United States, by 
Judge Douglas, of Illinois, the following reference is made to 
Mr. Kennedy. (See Congressional Globe, part 3, Thirty-fifth 
Congress.) 

"I am reminded of the case of Hon. Andrew Kennedy, a 
Democratic member of Congress from Indiana, who, some years 



288 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

ago, was elected from a district which had about four thousand 
Whig majority. One day he got up to make a speech in the 
House, when one of his colleagues asked him how he got there. 
He replied : ' I come from the strongest Whig district in the 
State of Indiana, a district that gave General Harrison a bigger 
majority than any other in the United States of America. I beat 
three of the ablest Whigs there were in the district, and I could 
have beaten three more if they had dared to run against me." 



ROBERT DALE OWEN. 



Judge Banta, in his veracious history of "The Voyage of 
the Oscar Wilde," makes the observation: "Writing history 
is like making a bouquet in a garden of rare and beautiful flow- 
ers;— there is such an array of material, so much to choose from, 
so little that can be chosen, and so much to be left untouched." 
In preparing this sketch I was forced to reject more material 
than I used ; to cast aside more flowers than mv bouquet con- 
tains. If I have had the judgment to select those which give 
forth the sweetest fragrance, those whose colors best blend in 
unison, I have been fortunate, indeed. 

Robert Dale Owen, litterateur, reformer and statesman, was 
born at Glasgow, Scotland, November 7, 1801. His father was 
Robert Owen, the noted philanthropist, and his mother a daugh- 
ter of David Dale, a rich cotton-spinner, renowned for his be- 
nevolence. When Robert was a child his father removed to 
New Lanark, a village near Glasgow, where he operated an 
extensive cotton mill. He had a delightful home, known as 
Braxfield House, where he lived in elegance, and at which he 
entertained many of the most distinguished men of his da}-, 
among them the Grand Duke Nicholas, afterwards Emperor of 
Russia. Here young Robert remained until he was sixteen 
years old, receiving all the advantages which wealth and cul- 
tured surroundings could bestow. At that age he left home, 
and with his brother William went to Switzerland, and for 
three j^ears attended the school at Hofw}^, near Berne, con- 
ducted by M. Fellenberg, a noted Swiss scholar and statesman. 
On leaving Hofwyl he returned to New Lanark, and for sev- 



290 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

eral years assisted his father in conducting his business, a por- 
tion of the time it being under his entire control. 

In 1824 Robert Owen bought of George Rapp a large tract 
of land on the Wabash river, where the town of New Harmony 
now stands. The next year Robert Dale left Scotland for 
America, that he might assist his father in the management of 
the New Harmony estate. On arriving at New York he at 
once went to the Prothonotary's office and declared his inten- 
tion of becoming a citizen of the United States. In due time 
he arrived at New Harmony and zealously entered into his 
father's plans to build up a community where competitive labor 
should be unknown, where the work of each should be for the 
benefit of all. The experiment proved a failure, and was soon 
abandoned. 

In 1828 Mr. Owen went to New York, and for three years 
conducted in that cit}^ in connection with Frances Wright, a 
radical journal known as the Free Enquirer, a paper devoted 
to socialistic reform. In 1832 he married Mary Jane Robinson, 
a woman of great strength of mind, who entered heartily into 
her husband's efforts to change the social system. After a bri- 
dal trip to Europe, Mr. Owen and his wife returned to America, 
and in a short time located at New Harmony, where the greater 
portion of their lives was spent. 

Mr. Owen was active in furthering the moral and material in- 
terests of the community where he lived. There was no town 
in the West, if in the whole country, where the standard of 
morality and intelligence was higher than at New Harmony. 
Philosophers, scientists — men of world-wide reputation — sought 
the little town on the Wabash for societ}^ and for homes. Among 
these men Mr. Owen was a central figure. His education, his 
intelligence, and his popularity among his neighbors combined 
to make him the most influential man in his section of the 
State. 

It would have been almost impossible for a man of Mr. Owen's 
position at that time to keep out of politics, and in 1836 he be- 
came a candidate for the Legislature. He was elected, and 
during this, his first year of public life, we find him an influ- 
ential member of the body in which he served. During the ses- 
sion he was mainly instrumental in setting aside, for the purpose 



ROBERT DALE OWEN. 29I 

of education, two-thirds of the surphis revenue given Indiana 
by the general government. He introduced a bill securing to 
married women the right to own and control propert}^ a meas- 
ure with which his name is inseparably connected. But the 
people were not prepared for such a radical change in the laws 
of property, and the proposition was defeated. 

Mr. Owen was returned to the Legislature the two following; 
years, and at the session of 1838-9, he prepared and offered a 
bill known as the " Modification Bill," which passed, and ar- 
rested the gigantic operations which were loading Indiana with 
debt. 

In 1839 Mr. Owen was a candidate for Congress, his oppo- 
nent being the gifted George H. Profiit. During the canvass 
Mr. Owen was grossly attacked, being charged with infidelity, 
licentiousness and other crimes against religion and morality. 
Two days before the election, three clergymen of Posey county — 
Mr. Owen's home — published a contradiction of the calumnies, 
and bore testimony to the purity of his life, but the defense came 
too late. He was beaten b}^ Mr. Proffit 839 votes. 

In an article published in Scribner's Monthly in 1877, Mr^ 
Owen gave this incident of his campaign with Proffit : 

" I may mention here, as illustrative of the st3'le of thought and 
of idiomatic expression among the simple people with whom I had 
made m}^ home, an incident of a later date, when I was in the 
field of Congress against George Proffit. It was in a rustic por- 
tion of the district, and after I had spoken I had been invited, 
as usual, to spend the night at a neighboring farmer's. Hap- 
pening to sit, during the evening, on my host's front porch, I 
overheard, from just 'round the corner of the cabin, the conver- 
sation of two men who did not suppose I was within ear-shot. 
Their talk was, as usual, of the candidates : 

" ' Did you hear Owen speak?' askpd one. 

•' ' Yes,' said the other, ' I hearn him.' 
' ' Now, ain't he a boss? ' was the next question. 

" ' Well, yes ; they're both blooded nags : they make a very 
pretty race.' " 

Seldom, indeed, were better blooded animals than Proffit and 
Owen entered for congressional sweepstakes. 



292 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

In 1840 Mr. Owen was placed on the Democratic ticket as an 
•elector for his district. He made a general canvass of the State, 
and established a first-class reputation as a public speaker. His 
standing as a writer was already established. 

In 1 84 1 Mr. Owen was again a candidate for Congress, and 
this time was elected, defeating John W. Payne 602 votes. 
During the canvass he published an address to the electors of 
the district, in which he said : 

" Many conscientious and excellent men were misled by the 
outcry raised against me in 1839. ^ appeal from their votes 
then to their second sober thought now. I claim for myself, as 
the good and noble Roger Williams did of yore, that right of 
private judgment and free speech, which is our countrj^'s proud- 
est boast, that every American citizen, be he citizen by birth or 
citizen b}^ selection and preference, may demand at the hands 
of his fellow-citizens. To the greatest it has not been refused ; 
to the humblest it may not justly be denied. Jefferson claimed 
it when he asked your fathers' votes for the office of Chief Mag- 
istrate of the republic. I am equall}^ entitled to its sacred shield, 
though I stand before you but one among the vmdistinguished 
hundreds who now aspire to a seat in the councils of the nation." 

In Congress Mr. Owen became prominent at once. His 
speeches on the Oregon question, on the annexation of Texas, 
and upon the tariff, were among the ablest delivered upon these 
subjects. That upon the tariff was adopted by the Democratic 
congressional committee as their tract upon this subject. It 
was this speech that first attracted the author's attention to Mr. 
Owen. I was then a boy, and lived on the peninsula between 
Chesapeake and Delaware bays, where political tracts did not 
often come. But I got hold of this speech of Owen, and well I 
remember the impression it made upon me. John Weathered, 
who then represented the Third Mar3dand district in Congress, 
was a manufacturer of cotton and woolen goods. In a speech 
upon the tariff he attacked Mr. Owen and twitted him for hav- 
ing been born in a foreign land. He declared that if Mr. Owen 
should go back to his native land he would be commanded to 
appear before the British Queen to receive an order of Knight- 
hood for his services in her behalf in the American Congress. 



ROBERT DALE OWEN. 293 

I have not Mr. Owen's speech in my possession, nor have I 
seen it tor nearly torty years, but I well remember much that 
he said. He commenced by saying that on looking around the 
hall he saw but two pictures, those of Washington and Lafay- 
ette. Continuing, he said: ''While the gentleman from 
Mar3'land was speaking, the picture of Lafayette seemed im- 
bued with Hfe, and I expected to see its quivering lips cr}- out: 
* Take me hence ! This is no place for one born in a foreigiL 
land.'" He closed his speech in almost these very words: 
" Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Maryland is an American 
by chance ; I am one by choice. I had no control over the 
place of my birth ; could I have chosen the spot, it would have 
been in the Pocket of Indiana." Twice I asked Mr. Owen for 
a copy of this speech, and twice he promised me I should have- 
it. x\s I never received it, I presume he had no copy at his; 
command. 

In 1845 Mr. Owen was re-elected to Congress, his majority 
over Wilson, his competitor, being 1,015. ^^ this Congress he 
introduced a bill creating the Smithsonian Institute, and for 
many years afterwards he was one of its regents. 

Mr. Owen's congressional career terminated in March, 1847, 
and from that time until 1850, he remained at home, devoting 
most of his time to study and literar}^ work. In August, 1850^ 
he was elected a delegate from Posey county to a convention 
called to make a new constitution for Indiana. At the organi- 
zation of the convention in October following he appeared and 
took his seat as a member. He was made chairman of the 
committee " on the rights and privileges of the inhabitants of 
the State ; " also, on the " committee on revision, arrangement 
and phraseology " — a most wise selection, for he was, by odds, 
the best writer of English in the convention. 

Earl}- in the session Mr. Owen proposed a section " prohibit- 
ing negroes and mulattoes from coming into the State ; and 
prohibiting any negro or mulatto from purchasing or otherwise 
acquiring real estate hereafter." He was naturally the friend 
of the downtrodden and helpless, but he lived in Southern In- 
diana, which was then as thoroughly pro-slavery in sentiment 
as the State of Kentucky. In a speech made in favor of this 
section he said : 



294 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

"They can never obtain political rights here. They can 
never obtain social rights here. And for these reasons I think 
we ought not to have them amongst us. We ought not to have 
in our midst a race, daily increasing, who must, of necessity, 
remain disfranchised ; a class of people to be taxed without 
being represented, on whom burdens are imposed, and who 
have no voice in deciding what these burdens shall be." 

Mr. Owen lived to see the negro have political rights in In- 
diana, and he did much to secure them to him. When making 
this speech he did not see with the eye of a seer. 

A few days after the convention was organized, Mr. Owen 
•offered the following resolution : 

'■^Resolved, That the committee on rights and privileges of 
the inhabitants of the State inquire into the expediency of in- 
corporating in the bill of rights the following section : Women 
hereafter married in this State shall have the right to acquire 
and possess property- to their sole use and disposal ; and laws 
5hall be passed securing to them, under equitable conditions, 
all propert}^ real and personal, whether owned by them before 
marriage or acquired afterward by purchase, gift, devise or 
descent ; and also providing for the registration of the wife's 
separate property." 

The proposition was fiercely antagonized by nearly everj- 
lawyer in the convention. They declared that such a law would 
-overturn organized society and break up the family relation. 
Mr. Owen combatted these assertions with power and earnest- 
.ness. In one of his speeches he said : 

" It will be thirteen years next winter since I (then a member 
-of the Legislature and of its committee to revise the laws) re- 
ported, from a seat just over the way, a change in the then ex- 
isting law of descent. At that time the widow of an intestate 
dying without children was entitled, under ordinary circum- 
..stances, to dower in her husband's real estate and one-third of 
,his personal property. The change proposed was to give her 
-one-third of the real estate of her husband absolutely, and two- 
•thirds of his personal propert}^ far too little, indeed ; but yet as 



ROBERT DALE OWEN. 295 

great an innovation as Mr. Marshall, of Jetierson, and myself 
(we were the sub-committee to whom the law had been referred) 
thought it probable we could carr^'." 

It will thus be seen that Mr. Owen"s public life commenced 
with an et^brt to confer upon married women the right to own 
and control their separate property, and it may be said that his 
legislative life ended with it. In the last Legislature in which 
he sat this was the subject that engrossed his mind, and this 
the object for which he worked. Throughout the published 
proceedings of the convention of 1850 are scattered many gems 
of oratory b}' Mr. Owen in advocacy of his favorite measure. 
On one occasion he eloquenth' said : 

" I appeal to the successful settler, who has raised his cabin 
first in the wild woods, has gradually opened a flourishing farm, 
and at last has seen flow in upon him comfort and plenty, 
whether he, alone and unaided, built up his fortune and made 
comfortable his home? I ask him whether there was not one 
who saved while he accumulated ; whether, when his arm was 
bus}' without, her hand was idle within? I ask him whether 
his heart does not revolt at the idea that when he is carried to 
his long home his widow shall see snatched from her, by an in- 
human law, the very property her watchful care had mainly 
contributed to increase and keep together? " 

In the convention Mr. Owen advocated the section in the 
constitution prohibiting the State from contracting debt, except 
for the purposes therein specified. He also favored a provision 
securing a homestead for all heads of families. His efforts were 
generally directed to protect the weak against the strong. Dur- 
ing the debate on the question of securing to married women 
the right to own and control property, Mr. Owen's views upon 
moral and religious questions were savagely attacked by Mr. 
Badger, a delegate from the countv of Putnam. In his reply, 
Mr. Owen quoted Leigh Hunt's poem of "Abou Ben Adhem 
and the Angel." x^bou Ben says: 

"I pray thee, then. 
Write me as one who loves his fellow-men." 



296 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

"When there is a question in regard to my religious opin- 
ions," said Mr. Owen, " be my reply this : that I adopt and in- 
dorse the sentiment of Leigh Hunt's beautiful parable." 

The convention refused, by a close vote, to engraft into the 
constitution Mr. Owen's section to secure property rights to 
women. Defeated but not vanquished, he afterward sought an 
election to the Legislature that he might secure by legislative 
enactment what he failed to do by constitutional provision. He 
was successful, and the women of Indiana are more indebted 
to him than to any other man — living or dead — for some of the 
most valuable of their legal rights. There were a few women 
in those days who appreciated Mr. Owen's labors in behalf of 
their sex, and among them was Sarah T, Bolton, a lady of great 
worth and talents, who still lives to grace her sex and honor the 
State. Knowing she was active in sustaining Mr. Owen in his 
contest for the rights of women, I addressed her a note asking 
for her recollection of the events connected with the presenta- 
tion of a silver pitcher to him by the women of Indiana. A few 
days afterward I received the following reph^ : 

"Laurel, September 16,1882. 
" William Wesley Woollen, Esq. : 

" Dear Friend — Your favor of the nth inst. is before me, 
Mr, Owen's efforts in the constitutional convention to which you 
allude were to get recognition in the organic law of women's 
rights of personal propert}^ ; their rights of real estate were 
already secured. This measure excited a great deal of unprof- 
itable discussion. It hung on for weeks — months, I think — was 
laid on the table, taken up and discussed -pro and con, and laid 
on the table again. Men did not scruple to stand up and say: 
' If women had the rights proposed by this measure under con- 
sideration, they would go out into the market to buy and sell, 
instead of darning the stockings, sewing on the buttons, cook- 
ing dinner and washing the children's faces. In short, the pro- 
posed law would throw a firebrand into a thousand happy 
homes.' 

"In the meantime I was writing articles setting forth the 
grievances resulting from women's status, as under the common 



ROBERT DALE OWEN. 297 

law, and the necessity of reform, and scattering these articles 
through the newspapers over the State to make public opinion. 

"At length the measure passed, but was reconsidered and 
voted down. Then we rallied the few women who were in 
favor of it, and went to the convention in a bod}^ to electioneer 
with the members. The measure was brought up and passed 
again, reconsidered the next da}- and again voted down. This, 
to the best of mv recollection, was repeated five or six times be- 
fore it was finally lost. 

"Then I wrote a circular setting forth Mr, Owen's efforts, 
and asking the women of the State to contribute one dollar 
each for the purpose of presenting to Mr. Owen a testimonial 
to show our appreciation of his endeavor on our behalf. Can- 
vassing the city of Indianapolis to get lady signers to this cir- 
cular, we got, I think, but four names — Mrs. Drake's and mine 
making six, and we obtained five more in different parts of the 
State, The women of Indiana, in answer to this circular, sent 
over one hundred dollars for the testimonial. With this money 
we procured one of the most elegant antique silver pitchers I 
have ever seen in any land, and had it engraved with a suita- 
ble inscription. 

" Having obtained leave to use the hall of the House of Rep- 
resentatives on the occasion of the presentation, we decorated 
it with green garlands and fragrant flowers till it seemed a 
bowser of beaut}', and on the evening of the 28th of May, 185 1, 
it was crowded and crammed with the elite of the citv to see 
what had never occurred in Indianapolis before. Professor 
Larrabee, who had accepted our invitation to make the pre- 
sentation, acquitted himself admirabl}^ in a beautiful and grace- 
ful address. Mr. Owen's reply on receiving the pitcher was a 
grand, logical, exhaustive argument in favor of woman's rights. 

" I am not a • woman's rights woman,' in the common accept- 
ation of the phrase. I have taken no part in the present cru- 
sade, but am proud of my action in that long-ago battle for the 
property rights of mv sisters. 

" Mr. Owen, as 30U doubtless know, returned to the Legis- 
lature for the sole purpose of securing bv statute the law he had 
tried to have incorporated in the new constitution, where it 



290 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

would not be subject to the action of every demagogue who 
chanced to have a little, brief legislative authority. 

"• Although the people of our State paid but little attention to 
the matter at that time it was taken up by the English news- 
papers. Mr. Owen's action in the convention, the spirit and 
bearing of the law equalizing the property rights of men and 
women, the testimonial in recognition of Mr. Owen's efforts, 
were all set forth and discussed in the London Times and the 
Evening Star, with the gracious comment: 'From this, we 
should judge that Indiana has attained the highest civilization 
of any State in the Union.' 

"I have written this hastily, having no data with me, here 
among the hills. Very respectfully, 

" Sarah T. Bolton," 

An Indianapolis paper of the 30th of May, 185 1, gives the 
following account of the presentation of the pitcher to Mr. 
Owen : 

"THE OWEN 'JESTIMONIAL. 

"This interesting ceremon}^ came off in the Representatives' 
Hall on Wednesday evening. The hall was thronged with la- 
dies, the}^ occupying the bar exclusively long before 8 o'clock, 
the hour at which the presentation was to take place. The gen- 
tlemen were then admitted, filling up, almost to suffocation, the 
lobbies and galleries. Never before was there so large a crowd 
in that hall, and upwards of five hundred left, unable to get in. 

" Hon. T, L. Smith was called upon to preside, and on taking 
the chair delivered a short and appropriate address. After mu- 
sic by Downie's Sax-horn Band, the silver pitcher was handed 
to Professor W. C. Larrabee, on behalf of the ladies, by Mrs. 
C. J. Allison. It is the finest specimen of silver plate we have 
ever seen, weighing forty-four ounces, and carved in the most 
beautiful manner. 

" On presenting the testimonial. Professor Larrabee thus ad- 
dressed Mr. Owen : 

"'The women of Indiana, sir, deepl}' impressed with the 
evident injustice of the laws now in force regarding the prop- 
ert}^ of married women and of widows, and ardently desiring 
that those laws ma}^ be so changed as to afford protection to the 



ROBERT DALE OWEN. 299 

unfortunate of their sex, have delegated me to tender 3'ou their 
heartfelt gratitude for your efforts in their behalf in the late con- 
stitutional convention, and as a slight token of their high appre- 
ciation of the nobleness of soul, the integrit}' of character and 
the singleness of purpose that impelled you to advocate, un- 
selfishl}^ and perseveringly, those invaluable and necessary 
rights, which custom, prejudice and inconsiderate legislation 
have hitherto withheld from them in regard to their power to 
possess property, and to be protected by the law of their country 
from the vicissitudes of life and the casualties of misfortune, 
they have commissioned me to present to you this piece of plate, 
on which I find the following inscription : 

" ' Presented to the Hon. Robert Dale Owen b}^ the women 
of Indiana, in acknowledgment of his true and noble advocacy 
of their independent rights to property, in the constitutional 
convention of the State of Indiana, convened at Indianapolis, 
1850.'" 

Mr. Owen's speech on this occasion was unusually eloquent, 
even for him. He closed it as follows : 

" In after days it ma}- need some such memorial as the rich 
and graceful gift that now stands before me to remind a more 
enligfhtened o-eneration that time was when the law took from 
wives their property, and from parents the right to conve}^ what 
they would to a child. That exertions of mine may have con- 
tributed, in manner how humble soever, to remedy injustice 
thus flagrant, will be to me a pleasant thought in that hour, the 
last of earth's pilgrimage, when all things, good or evil, put on 
their true garb, and when the deeds of a past life standing forth, 
as before God's throne, they might, unmasked, unveiled, receive 
judgment from a heart soon to be stirred no more forever by the 
fears or the promptings of censure or of praise. " 

Robert Dale Owen did much for Indiana, but nothing of more 
importance than in equalizing the property rights of men and 
women. For this the women of the State owe him a monu- 
ment, and thev should cause his remains to be brought to the 
Capital, and erect over them a shaft to commemorate his labors 
in their behalf. Will no one commence the work? 

In an article like this it is impossible to narrate all tliat is 



300 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

worth remembering of a man so prominent as was Mr. Owen. 
At best, I can but skim the subject ; albeit, I will try to get the 
cream. 

On the 24th of Ma}^ 1853, President Pierce appointed Mr. 
Owen Charge d'Affaires to Naples, and on the 29th of the next 
June he was commissioned Minister Resident to the same country. 
He remained at Naples in the diplomatic service until Septem- 
ber 20, 1858, when he took leave and returned home. He re- 
mained in private life, engaged most of the time in literary 
work, until the breaking out of our civil war, when he was ap- 
pointed by Governor Morton an agent to purchase arms for the 
State. He performed this service with great intelligence and 
honest}^ Subsequently, a committee of the Indiana legislature 
investigated his dealings in this matter, and found them all cor- 
rect. For this work he received no compensation and asked for 
none, being content with the satisfaction he enjoyed for doing 
that which he believed to be his duty. 

Mr. Owen's facile pen was busy during the war writing tracts 
and newspaper articles in defense of the war and of President 
Lincoln and his administration. His writings did much to unif}^ 
the people and to cause them to stand b}- the government in its 
war with the Confederacy. 

Early in the war Mr. Owen advocated the emancipation of 
the slaves by presidential proclamation. On the 17th of Sep- 
tember, 1862, he addressed a letter to the President upon this 
subject, and, in acknowledging its receipt, Mr. Lincoln thus 
spoke of its effect upon him: "Its perusal stirred me like a 
trumpet call." Mr. Chase, then Secretar^^ of the Treasur}-, 
w^rote thus to Mr. Owen : "It will be a satisfaction to you to 
know that your letter to the President had more influence on 
him than any other document which reached him on the sub- 
ject ; I think I might say than all others put together. I speak 
of that which I know from personal conference with him." Mr. 
Owen considered this letter to President Lincoln the most use- 
ful service he ever rendered his country. 

Mr. Lincoln had great confidence in Mr. Owen, and highly 
prized his services. He appointed him to revise the contracts 
tor militar\^ supplies which were outstanding when Simon Cam- 
eron left the War Oflice. 



ROBERT DALP: OWEN. 3OI 

Mr. Owen served as chairman of the commission known as 
the " Freedman's Inquiry Commission," an organization created 
after the slaves were freed. 

When the war was over and reconstruction had taken place, 
Mr. Owen went back to his study and his books. He wrote 
much in favor of spiritualism, which doctrine he had embraced 
inan}^ years before, when he was minister to the court of Naples. 
He also wrote his autobiograph}^ a most charming book, which 
he called "Threading My Wa3^" At this time he seems to 
have been greatly engrossed in the study of spiritualism, and 
his writings upon it are very voluminous. He gave a pretended 
spiritualistic medium — one Katie King — his fullest indorsement, 
going so far as to write a magazine article in her praise, but 
investigation proved her a fraud, and her manifestations shams. 
This cut Mr. Owen to the quick, for he was an honest man, 
hating frauds and shams with a healthy hatred. About this 
time his mind gave way, and it was believed that this sad afflic- 
tion came upon him on account of grief caused b}- his connec- 
tion with the Katie King swindle. But this was a mistake. 
His mental troubles were caused by disease and overwork. His 
son, Ernest Dale Ow^en, in a letter to Dr. Taylor, of New York, 
dated July 13, 1875, says: 

" You may remember that m}^ father, for some time, has been 
residing at Dansville, New York. While there he was verv 
ill with a nervous fever, the most severe sickness he has suffered 
for years. When he was recovering from his attack, and while 
he was still so weak that he w^as unable even to sit up, he in- 
sisted, against the advice of ph3'sicians and friends, on com- 
mencing a book, which he had for some time had in contempla- 
tion, by dictating for others to write. As soon as he was at all 
able to sit up, he employed much of his time at this labor. The 
book — a treatise on theology — dealing as it did in some of the 
most abstruse propositions, required the intensest mental appli- 
cation. This, under the circumstances, proved more than the 
brain could bear, and so its powers broke down. This is the 
real cause of his malady." 

His daughter, Rosamond Dale Owen, in a letter to the New 
JTirk Post, thus speaks of the cause of her father's illness : 



302 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

" The cause of the calamity which has befallen us is simply 
an overworked brain. My father believed his strong Scotch 
constitution could, even in his old age, endure all things ; but 
richly endowed though he was with physical and mental vigor, 
he could not break God's laws of health with impunity, and we, 
his children, can not, with our love and care, shield him from 
the effects of his error." 

Mr. Owen was received into the Indiana Hospital for the In- 
sane July lo, 1875, and left it restored to health October 14, of 
the same year. A few days before he left the institution he ad- 
dressed Dr. Everts, then its superintendent, a letter, from which 
I make the following extract : 

" If a man wishes to be well spoken of by those who had 
hitherto slighted or reproved him, he had better either die or 
suffer a temporary civic death by confinement in a lunatic asy- 
lum. De morhu's nil nisi -bonum — we speak with tender favor 
of the dead. This has been amply illustrated by the many 
newspaper notices of myself which have fallen under my ob- 
servation since an inmate of this institution. I trust that on en- 
tering the world again I shall give no cause for retraction of 
these good opinions of the press, so kindly volunteered while 
temporarily secluded." 

Soon after leaving the Insane Hospital Mr. Owen took up 
his residence at a cottage on the banks of Lake George, and 
resumed his literary work. He was engaged to write a series 
of articles for Scribncr's ATonthly on his recollections of matters 
in the West, but soon after finishing the first one, he sickened 
and died. The end came on the morning of the 24th of June, 
1877, at his cottage home. His funeral services were conducted 
by a Mr. Huntington, a Presbyterian minister, in the presence 
of the family and neighbors of the dead philanthropist. After 
the services were over a procession was formed, which marched 
around the lake shore to the cemeter}' near the village of Cald- 
well. Here the remains of Mr. Owen were deposited in the 
earth. One who was present at the burial thus describes the 
scene : 



ROBERT DALE OWEN. 3O3 

" It was a scene for an artist. As the casket was being low- 
ered into the grave we looked up to take in a glimpse of the 
surroundings. In the compan}' were persons representing va- 
rious conditions of life. Here was a believer, there an infidel, 
yonder several Christian neighbors, and beyond these a group 
of Indians, watching with wonder every movement.® The beau- 
tiful lake stretched out before us in full view ; upon its bosom 
was the new steamer, coming rapidly toward us ; the sun gilded 
the tops of the distant mountains, and its light reflected from a 
thousand wavelets. From the grave you can see his former 
home ; from his home you can behold some of the most pleasing 
aspects of nature ; from nature as she is here revealed you 
ma}^, if pure in heart, see God ! " 

Mr. Owen was twice married. His first wife's maiden name 
was Mary Jane Robinson. He married her in New York, April 
12, 1832. The marriage was performed by a notary public, in 
the presence of the bride's famil}^ and a few of her neighbors. 
Previous to the marriage, Mr. Owen drew up and signed a pa- 
per, from which I make this extract : 

"Of the unjust rights which, in virtue of this ceremony, an 
iniquitous law tacitly gives me over the person and property of 
another, I can not legally, but I can morally, divest myself. 
And I hereby distinctly and emphatically declare that I con- 
sider myself, and earnestly desire to be considered by others, 
as utterl}^ divested, now and during the rest of my life, of any 
such rights, the barbarous relics of a feudal and despotic sys- 
tem, now destined in the onw^ard course of improvement to be 
wholly swept away, and the existence of which is a tacit insult 
to the good sense and good feeling of the present comparatively 
civilized age." 

Mr. Owen lived to see the "iniquitous law swept away" in 
Indiana, and had the pleasure of knowing that it was mainly 
by his eflbrts that it was done. 

Mrs. Owen lived to a ripe old age, and until her husband had 
become one of the noted men of his day. When she died, Mrs. 
Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote a hymn, which was sung at her 
burial, and her husband delivered a eulogy upon her life and 



304 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

character, as he stood by her open grave. In this eulogy he 
thus declared his faith in a hereafter : 

" I do not believe — and here I speak also of her whose de- 
parture from us we mourn to-day — I do not believe more firmly 
in these trees that spread their shade over us, in this hill on 
which we stand, in these sepulchral monuments which we see 
around us here, than I do that human life, once granted, never 
perishes more. She believed, as I believe, that the one life 
succeeds the other without interval, save a brief transition 
slumber, it may be for a few hours only. * * * Again, I 
believe, as she did, in the meeting and recognition of friends in 
heaven. While we mourn here below, there are joyful reunions 
above." 

Mr. Owen's second wife's maiden name was Lottie Walton 
Kellogg. He married her about a year before he died. His 
autobiographv, which was mainly written at her house, was 
dedicated to her. 

Mr. Owen was a devoted Odd Fellow, and was appointed b}?- 
the Grand Lodge of Indiana to purchase ground, and upon it 
erect a Grand Lodge hall. The building in Indianapolis known 
as Odd Fellows' Hall was the result of this appointment. 

Mr. Owen, having been one of the earl}^ settlers of Indiana, 
knew what it was to travel over bad and mudd\^ roads. In 185 1 
and '52, he warmly advocated, by pen and tongue, the con- 
struction of plank roads, and did much to create the plank road 
fever of that time. These roads, like the block pavements of 
to-day, were smooth and delightful to travel upon when new, 
and like them, also, were exceedingly rough and difficult to get 
over when old and worn. They lasted but a few years, and 
gave place to the gravel and macadamized roads now so gener- 
ally used. 

In 1843 or 1844 Mr. Owen was invited by the Union Literar}^ 
Societ}^ of Hanover College to deliver an address before it. So 
soon as it was known that the invitation had been given and 
accepted the faculty of the college and some of its trustees de- 
termined he should not speak. Rev. E. D. McMasters was the 
president of the college, and to him, more than an}^ one else. 



ROBERT DALE OWEN. 305 

was due the insult that was heaped upon Mr. Owen in this mat- 
ter. 

Knowing that Hon. James Y. AlHson, of Madison, was then 
a resident of Hanover, I addressed him a note, asking for his 
recollection of the event. In Judge Allison's reply he said: 

" I remember the circumstances well, as I was one of the 
committee of the Union Literary Society to confer with Dr. 
^NIcMasters on the subject. Mr. Owen had been invited as the 
anniversary speaker for the society, and Dr. McMasters said, 
' He, being an infidel, can not sp^eak,' and we had to cancel the 
engagement." 

The illiberalit}' and dogmatism that prompted such a decision 
would have put upon Mr. Owen the iron boot and driven in the 
wedge, had the laws of the land allowed it. Thank God for 
the law that prevents bigots from putting men to the torture for 
a difference of opinion ! 

Mr. Owen's mother was a Presbyterian, and his father a deist. 
He adhered to the doctrines of his father until middle life, but 
the teachings of his mother had not been entirely lost upon him. 
In man}' of his speeches, and often in his writings, he spoke of 
Jesus, and always with reverence. In his latter days he be- 
came, as we have seen, a spiritualist, and he enriched the liter- 
ature of his time with publications in favor of that doctrine. It 
has been charged that he recanted spiritualism before his death, 
but this is a mistake. He died in the faith he had so ably ad- 
vocated and defended. 

Mr. Owen was a radical of the most pronounced type. He 
tried to make the world better by uprooting and destroying that 
which he believed to be bad. He never advocated a measure 
because it was old ; in fact, age was a reason for attacking it. 
He believed in progression. He thought the world should 
oTow better as it grew older, and he labored hard to make it so. 
That in some respects he succeeded must be the verdict of 
mankind. 

Mr. Owen was unusually prompt in meeting his engagements. 
If he made an appointment he kept it to the minute. He was 

20 



306 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

always on hand when the train started, never being left nor 
having to run to reach it. 

Mr. Owen was five feet eight and a half inches high, and 
weighed about 150 pounds. He had a large head (he wore a 
7^-inch hat) and a long face. His nose and mouth were large, 
his forehead broad and high. His eyes were a blue-gray, over 
which the lids drooped when he was absorbed in thought. The 
expression of his face was frank and mild. He had great earn- 
estness in all his undertakings, from the most trivial to the most 
important. He would throw all his energies into an attempt to 
stop a street car rather than wait for the next one. To succeed 
in what he undertook, and to give pleasure to others, gave him 
the greatest happiness. 

He was ver}^ fond of making presents. Indeed, this was al- 
most a mania with him. In order to make an offering that 
would be a surprise, so as to give the greater satisfaction, he 
would take trouble out of all proportion to the result. He 
was impatient when forced to attend to business, particularly 
that relating to mone}^ matters. He had a contempt for money 
for its own sake, and spent it freely. He occupied but a small 
part of his time in mone3'-getting, 3"et he made a good deal of 
it. His freedom, however, in spending money and giving it 
away prevented him from accumulating anything like a fortune.. 
No traits of his character were more prominent than his buoy- 
ancy and hopefulness. In the severest reverses he saw some- 
thing good. He lived in the faith that mortal affairs were pre- 
sided over by a beneficent being and influenced by his spirit. 
In a trustfulness childlike in its simplicit}', he believed that, in 
some way or other, ever3'thing that transpires, no matter what 
its immediate appearance may be, works out for good. 

In politics, Mr. Owen was a Democrat. On the breaking out 
of the civil war he separated from his part3% and during the 
great struggle affiliated with the friends of Mr. Lincoln's ad- 
ministration, but on those questions which usually divide par- 
ties he was essentially a Democrat. 

I can not better conclude this sketch than by adopting the 
language of another, one who knew Mr. Owen, intimately and 
well, Mr. B. R. Sulgrove : 



ROBERT DALE OWEN. 3O7 

" His manner was courteous, unaffected and conciliating. He 
never let his feelings displace his reason and force him to harsh 
language or ungenerous allusions. Even in the heat of a presi- 
dential campaign he never dealt in personal aspersions or im- 
putations of bad motives. Severit}^ irritation, invective, were 
no parts of his rhetoric. He abused neither individuals nor 
parties, and was as little of a "rabble rouser " as a quiet man 
could be, though one of the most powerful and altogether the 
most winning of all speakers the Democrac}- ever had in this 
State. He relied on facts, and rational applications of them, 
and he never made a stump speech that did not contain more 
substance in a sentence than most stumpers could get into a 
wind gust continued, like a Chinese play or a Ledger story, for 
six months. He was what a party orator never was then and 
rarely is now — a scholar. He knew something besides ' ante- 
cedents,' and ' records,' and ' platforms,' and the stale drippings 
of ten thousand waterv effusions. If he had any animating 
principle to which all others were subordinated it was his hu- 
manity. In all his lectures and legislation and fugitive publi- 
cations his theme was social or individual improvement, effa- 
cing mean prejudices, diffusing wholesome correction, elevating 
human nature. He inherited it from his father, and made it at 
least as effective by good sense and practical statesmanship as 
his father did by wealth and energetic preaching. 

"In scholarship, general attainments, varied achievements, 
as author, statesman, politician and leader of a new religious^ 
faith, he was unquestionably the most prominent man Indiana 
ever owned. Others ma}^ fill now, or may have heretofore filled, 
a larger space in public curiosity or interest for a time, but no 
other Hoosier was ever so widely known, or so likely to do the 
State credit b}- being known, and no other has ever before held 
so prominent a place so long with a history so unspotted with 
selfishness, duplicit}' or injustice. He was a pure man, and in 
two generations of politicians with whom he lived and labored 
there can not enough more of the same kind be named to ha\e 
filled the bond of Sodom's safetv. It is noteworthy that, though 
he began his public life an infidel, he ended it a believer in the 
most irrational of superstitions, if it be not the most inaccessi- 
ble of sciences ; his father did, too. Mr. Owen, though, as 



3o8 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

might have been expected from his tolerant and genial nature, 
was never bigoted or disposed to maintain that he must be 
right and ever3^body else damned for doubting, in the fashion 
of Wendell Phillips. He did a great deal for the State in his 
life, and always set a good example in industry, system and 
punctuality, and preached by acts many virtues that usually are 
most loudly inculcated in the pulpit." 



THOMAS SMITH. 



Thomas Smith, known in the days of his political activity as 
'* Tom, the Tanner," was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, 
in 1799. He was of Scotch-Irish descent, and inherited many 
of the characteristics of that hard}^ and contentious race. Pluck, 
endurance, tenacity of purpose and uncompromising devotion 
to principles were his by birthright. When a boy of eighteen 
he left his native State and sought a home in the West. He 
located at Rising Sun in 1818, and commenced to learn the 
trade of a tanner. He labored assiduously, and in due time be- 
came a master workman. 

In 182 1 he married Frances, daughter of Hon. John Watts, 
and soon afterward removed to Versailles. He at once estab- 
lished a tanyard and went to work at his trade. His business 
brought him in contact with nearly all the people who traded at 
Versailles, for in those days it was the custom for a man who 
killed a sheep or a bullock to take its hide to the tanner's and 
have it made into leather. The affability of the young tanner, 
his accommodating manner and his intelligence all combined to 
^give him influence and make him a power in the county in 
which he lived. At that time much attention was paid to mil- 
itary affairs, the annual muster and drill being looked forward 
to with as much anxiety as is now the county fair. The village 
tanner became the militia colonel, and seldom was colonel more 
popular with his soldiers than he. He thus laid the foundation 
for a popularity that never deserted him. 

Colonel Smith subsequently^ represented Ripley county in 
both branches of the Legislature. While in the Legislature he 
opposed the wild schemes of internal improvement which bank- 
rupted the State and brought financial dishonor upon her name. 



3IO BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

His course upon this subject added to his popularity at home, 
and was the immediate cause of his subsequent poHtical ad- 
vancement. 

In 1839 Colonel Smith was nominated for Congress, and 
made a successful race against the Hon. George H. Dunn, the 
Whig candidate, his majority being 999. Mr. Dunn was an 
able man, and when Colonel Smith was nominated his friends 
were fearful that he would not be able to meet Mr. Dunn on the 
stump, but after the first encounter of the candidates these fears 
were dispelled. He developed unexpected powers.as a debater, 
and proved himself a full match upon the stump for his com- 
petitor. 

In 1841 Colonel Smith was a candidate for re-election, but 
was defeated by James H. Cravens 1,030 votes. This was the 
year after the ever-to-be-remembered Harrison campaign. Two 
years after this he was again a candidate, his opponent being 
John A. Matson, whom he defeated by a majority of 255. In 
1845 he was a successful candidate for re-election, defeating 
Joseph Eggleston, Esq., an able and popular man, by a major- 
ity of 540 votes. He did not seek a re-election, but at the ex- 
piration of his term, in 1847, retired to private life. His con- 
gressional career was honorable both to himself and his State, 
He proved himself a ready and fluent speaker, and took rank 
timong the best debaters in the House. 

In 1850 the Democracy of Ripley county nominated Colonel 
Smith and Hon. James H. Cravens for delegates to the consti- 
tutional convention. They were unquestionably the ablest men 
in the county, and were peculiarly fitted for the place. Mr. 
Cravens had two years before broken with the Whig party and 
supported Van Buren for the presidency, and after the election 
was over had affiliated with the Democracy, but there he was 
not at home. He was an anti-slavery man of decided convic- 
tions, and was never loth to express them. His position upon 
the slavery question cost him man}' votes and caused his defeat. 
Colonel Smith was elected, although he, too, was an anti- 
slavery man, but he was not so radical in his views as Mr. Cra- 
vens, nor so open in expressing them. 

In the convention Colonel Smith was made chairman of the 
committee "on county and township organization, powers and 



THOMAS SMITH. 31 I 

offices," and was also a member of the committee '' on revision, 
arrangement and phraseolog3\" He participated actively in 
the proceedings of the convention, and during its sittings made 
several speeches of great merit. 

Colonel Richard M. Johnson, once Vice President of the 
United States, died while the convention was in session, and 
resolutions were introduced expressive of the sense of its mem- 
bers. During Colonel Smith's congressional service he had 
for three months been a member of Colonel Johnson's house- 
hold, and for a part of the time was very ill with fever. His 
host had cared for and nursed him, and in other ways had en- 
deared himself to his guest. Therefore, it is no wonder that 
Colonel Smith paid this beautiful tribute to his memor}^, in his 
speech seconding the resolutions : 

" Sir, in war Colonel Johnson was as brave as Jackson ; of 
death or danger he was fearless as Worth, or Scott, or Taylor. 
But as a man, in his affections he was tender as a child. The 
tale of sorrow never entered his ear and failed to draw a tear 
from his eye. 

" If goodness of heart, kindness of soul and acts of charity 
form claims on heaven, then may w^e not sa}'^ his spirit is 
blessed ? Mr. President, I second the motion for the adoption 
of the resolutions." 

Colonel Smith offered a resolution in the convention in favor 
of a provision to make all banks organized in Indiana respon- 
sible for the issues of each other ; also, that the banks so organ- 
ized should issue no notes of a less denomination than ten dol- 
lars. The convention, however, voted it down. He made a 
speech against the re-eligibilit}^ of State and county officers, and 
the constitutional provisions upon these subjects are the work 
of his hands. Upon the question of erecting b}- the State a 
monument to those who fell at Tippecanoe, he said : 

" Sir — It requires no monument of marble to perpetuate the 
memory of those who fought at Tippecanoe. Their monument 
exists in the hearts of their countrymen. To the soldiers who 
fell upon the battle fields of Mexico you need rear no huge col- 
umn of granite or marble. Such things perish : but the memory 



312 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

of brave deeds never perishes. Go to the city of Washington 
and look at the monument that has been there erected to the 
memory of those who fell at Tripoli. See the mouldering con- 
dition in which it now is, whilst the memory of their deeds is 
fresh in the minds of Americans. Who is there that would fail 
to be convinced that they need no monument erected b}' human 
hands? Their deeds have erected for them a monument more 
durable than brass. Erexerunt monnnienhi'rn cere -perennms.'" 
Upon the question of prohibiting negroes from coming into 
the State Colonel Smith made a lengthy speech, from which I 
make the following extract : 

" Whenever }'ou make a law that we shall not feed these un- 
fortunate people, under the penalty of presentment or indict- 
ment, or line ; and whenever a man shall be brought into court 
under a presentment or indictment of this kind, and shall stand 
up and plead his cause and say : ' This man came to my house ; 
he was starving ! he begged of me bread ; I gave it to him, 
and he did eat ' — how, under such circumstances, could you 
enforce a penalty of this kind upon any man? You can not do 
it. I tell you, sir, I would feed the starving man, if black as 
Pluto. The dog does not live that I would not feed, if I knew 
he were starving. Your penalties would never quench these 
irresistible sympathies of the people of Indiana. I have too 
much confidence in their humanit}^ to believe they would suffer 
even a black man to die at their door for want of food." 

Seldom do we find better examples of true eloquence than 
these extracts afford. The tanner boy had become an orator 
of power and skill, and, springing as he did from the people, 
he delighted in pleading the cause of the poor and oppressed. 
He was " to all the world akin." 

When the convention had completed its work. Colonel Smith 
went back to his home at Versailles, and never afterward held 
public office. He did not, however, cease to take an interest 
in public affairs. When Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska 
act he left the Democratic party and went into the Fusion or 
People's party. On the formation of the Republican party he 
became a member of it, and remained in its ranks while he 



THOMAS SMITH. 313 

lived. He was a Democrat by education and from conviction, 
but he did not hesitate to sever his connection with his party 
when he beHeved the public interests required it. He was an 
opponent of banks, of a protective tariff', and of monopolies of 
all kinds, but he held these questions in abeyance while the war 
lasted and the Union was in danger of dissolution. He did 
not allow party to stand between him and what he believed to 
be public dut}'. He left the party with which he had trained 
so long, and which had honored him so highly, because he be- 
lieved that, upon the issues then before the country, his part}^ 
was wrong. In so doing he alienated many warm and devoted 
friends, but this he counted as naught. He never hesitated to 
go where he believed public duty called him. 

As a politician Colonel Smith was decided in his views and 
frank in expressing them. He had no compromises to make 
with what he believed to be wrong. He opposed rings, cliques, 
and corruptionists in every form. In short, he was a man of 
the people ; he sprang from their ranks, and was true to their 
interests. 

Colonel Smith died at Versailles, April 12, 1876, and was 
buried there. His widow still lives, and shares, in a large de- 
gree, the affection the people bore her husband. It must be a 
comfort for her to know that her husband is not forgotten by 
the people of the State whose constitution he helped to make, 
and whom he served so long and so well, both in the councils 
of the State and of the Union. 

Oliver H. Smith, in his " Early Indiana Trials and Sketches," 
thus speaks of Colonel Smith : 

" In the winter of 1818 one evening I went to a little school- 
house in Rising Sun to a debating society. I met there a num- 
ber of young men of the place, among them the subject of this 
sketch ; a young tanner in his apprenticeship ; his face smooth, 
e3'es and hair dark, forehead high, face narrow, countenance 
smiling and pleasant, below the common height, spare person. 
I heard him that night, and then said : * That young man will 
yet be known in the State.' Time rolled on, Thomas Smith 
married a daughter of Judge John Watts, settled in Versailles, 
Ripley county, was soon after a member of the Senate of the 



314 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

State, among the most able of that body. Soon after he was 
elected to Congress, and again re-elected, and served his con- 
stituents with decided ability in that body of distinguished men. 
His manner as a debater was plain, straightforward, emphatic, 
impressive. He was heard with attention whenever he spoke. 
He was a strong Democrat and a prominent leader of that party 
until the Missouri compromise line was effaced by the Nebraska 
and Kansas bill, when he took sides with the Republicans, and 
presided at their convention at Indianapolis. He maintained 
the integrity of the compromise acts, and placed himself firmly 
upon the principles of non-extension of slavery over territory 
that was ever free." 



JOHN L. ROBINSON. 



Kentucky has furnished Indiana many men of mark, and 
among them John J>. Robinson. In his day he was a power in 
Indiana, and when he died one of the brightest intellects in the 
State went out. What manner of man he was, and what he did 
worthy of remembrance, I will try to tell. 

John L. Robinson was a native of Mason county, Kentucky, 
and was born May 3, 1814. When eighteen years old he came 
to Indiana and settled in the count}^ of Rush. He went into a 
country store, and for some time weighed coffee and sugar and 
measured calico for a living. After awhile he commenced 
business for himself, but, like Patrick Henry, he was not a suc- 
cess as a merchant, his experience as a storekeeper being more 
utilized in the study of character and in learning the difl^erent 
sides of human nature than in piling up a balance on the right 
side of the ledger. He paid more attention to the variations of 
the political compass than to the fluctuation of the markets, and 
was a better judge of men than of dry goods. He soon earned 
a reputation at home for political tact and sagacit}', and in 1840, 
when but 26 3^ears old, was placed upon the Democratic electo- 
ral ticket for his district. Until then he was but little known 
outside of his count}-, but when the*canvass closed he was ac- 
knowledfjed to be one of the strongest debaters in Eastern Indi- 
ana. The campaign of 1840 was a memorable one, and termi- 
nated in the defeat and utter rout of the party to which Mr. 
Robinson belonged, but it served to bring out his great powers 
as a political debater. 

During the canvass of that year the Whig leaders at Rush- 
ville, at the head of whom was the late General Pleasant A. 
Hackleman. proposed a debate between Mr. Robinson and 



3l6 HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 

Caleb B. Smith. As is known, Mr. Smith was among the ablest 
men of his party, and at that time had a reputation as a political 
orator beyond the boundaries of the State, but this did not deter 
the young Democratic chieftain from accepting the challenge. 
He believed in the principles of his part}^ and had confidence 
in his ability to advocate them in a convincing manner ; so ho 
entered the lists without hesitation, and valiantly strove for the 
master3^ When the lists were opened and the contestants en- 
tered, great was the wonderment of the people that one so 
young and inexperienced should have the temerit}^ to encounter 
the Whig Goliah. But when the bugles sounded the charge and 
the battle commenced, the wonderment ceased. Like the disin- 
herited knight's assault upon Brian de Bois-Gilbert, that of the 
young David was for victory or utter discomfiture. And al- 
though it can not be said he won the right to crown the Queen 
of Love and Beaut}', he showed his ability to handle his weapon 
deftl}' and to measure spears with the best. The debate lasted 
three days, and Mr. Robinson came out of it with a reputation 
as one of the very strongest political disputants in the State. 

In August, 1842, Mr. Robinson was elected Clerk of the Cir- 
cuit Court of his count3s and in 1847, before his othcial term 
had expired, he was nominated and elected to Congress. He 
was re-elected the two succeeding terms, and on the accession 
to office of President Pierce in March, 1853, he was appointed 
United States Marshal of Indiana. President Buchanan con- 
tinued him in this office, so he held it from the time of his ap- 
pointment until his death. 

In 1856 Mr. Robinson became a candidate for the Democratic 
nomination for Governor. His opponent was Ashbel P. Wil- 
lard, one of the most eloquent and dashing young men of that 
day. Each of the candidates had warm and devoted friends, 
and the contest between them was so even that it took the closest 
calculation to determine which was the stronger. Senator Bright 
was understood to favor the nomination of Mr. Robinson, and 
on being written to by Mr. Willard upon the subject, replied 
that he would take no part in the contest, but that he loved Mr. 
Robinson "as a ver}' brother." The candidates came to In- 
dianapolis several days in advance of the meeting of the con- 
vention, and log-rolling and combinations were the order of the 



JOHN L. ROBINSON. 317 

day. John C. Walker and Robert Lowry were candidates for 
the nomination for Lieutenant-Governor. The friends of Walker 
combining with those of Willard, and the friends of Lowry with 
those of Robinson, made it almost certain that one or the other 
of the combinations would be the ticket. Mr. Robinson counted 
his friends, and tindino- he would be beaten unless he could 
draw upon Walker for support, went to him and proposed that 
if the delegations from Laporte, Porter and Stark would favor 
his nomination he would insure the withdrawal of Judge Lowry 
and the nomination of Colonel Walker for Lieutenant-Governor 
b}- acclamation. The offer was a tempting one, for to be nomi- 
nated for the second office in the State government without op- 
position was no common honor ; but as Colonel Walker was an 
avowed friend of Willard, he declined the proposition and took 
the chances. Mr. Robinson had so thoroughly canvassed the 
matter and so well understood the situation that he knew he 
would be defeated without the votes of these counties, and fail- 
ing to secure them, he withdrew from the contest and left an 
open field for Willard. Willard and Walker were nominated, 
but the rebuff Mr. Robinson had received from the latter rank- 
led in his bosom, and he determined to get even with the man 
who gave it. Suspecting that Colonel Walker was not old 
enough to legally hold the office of Governor, he went to Shel- 
byville, where the Colonel was born, and sought for information 
among the records there. He tound his suspicions well founded, 
and that the nominee for Lieutenant-Governor was under the 
constitutional age. He thereupon went before the Democratic 
State Central Committee and demanded that Colonel Walker 
be taken off the ticket. The situation was an embarrassing one, 
but Colonel Walker, who had not before thought of his dis- 
qualification, relieved the committee by withdrawing from the 
ticket. The committee published an address at the time notify- 
ing the public of Colonel Walker's withdrawal and of the sub- 
stitution of Judge Hammond, and saying that the action of the 
former had been such as to endear him more than ever to the 
Democratic party. It will be remembered that Governor Wil- 
lard died before his term expired, and was succeeded by Judge 
Hammond, the Lieutenant-Governor. Had Colonel Walker re- 
mained upon' the ticket, and received, as he would have done. 



3l8 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

a majority of the votes, it is almost certain that the Republican 
candidate for Lieutenant-Governor would have been declared 
elected, for the votes cast for an unconstitutional candidate 
would not have been counted. Thus it will be seen that Mr. 
Robinson's action in this matter — whatever may have been his 
motive — secured the succession of a Democrat to the governor- 
ship. 

Mr. Robinson was the administration leader in the Demo- 
cratic State convention of i860. At that time the Democratic 
party was divided on the Lecompton question, and its different 
wings fought each other with great violence. Indeed, the ad- 
ministration men. and the adherents of Douglas were more bit- 
ter and hostile to each other than to the Republican part}. 
When the State convention met the two wings came together, 
but they did not fuse and become one body. The light on the 
organization was bitter, but on the first ballot it was apparent 
that the friends of Douglas were in the majority. Mr. Robin- 
son and Governor Willard fought gallantly, and contested the 
ground inch by inch, but the numbers were against them and 
they had to succumb. They retired with honor, having secured 
the nomination of several administration men on the State 
ticket, and they swallowed the instructions for Douglas with 
apparent gusto. But the pill was a bitter one, and the seeming 
complacency with which thev took it served to prove them the 
consummate politicians they were. 

The Legislature of 1855 passed a very stringent liquor law, 
known as the Maine law. It made impossible the buying ot 
spirituous liquors, except from regular authorized agents, and 
then only on the certificates of practicing physicians. Mr. 
Robinson was accustomed to having liquors about his house, 
and not being able to procure them in the State, he sent to 
Louisville for a keg of the best Bourbon and ordered it shipped 
to him as lard oil. The keg reached Rushville in safety, but 
before it was taken to Mr. Robinson's house the true character 
of its contents was discovered. This incident was widely pub- 
lished at the time, and. afterwards, while Mr. Robinson lived. 
he was often called " Lard Oil John L." 

During one of the sessions of the Legislature, while Mr. 
Robinson was marshal, Silas Col grove, a member from Ran- 



JOHN L. ROBINSON. 3I9 

dolph county, and afterwards a general in the Federal arm3% 
attacked Mr. Robinson in a speech delivered in the House. 
He charged him with having prostituted his office to political 
purposes. The speech was offensive to Mr. Robinson, and on 
the evening after it was delivered he met Mr. Colgrove in the 
office of the Palmer House, and called him to account for it. 
Angr}^ words passed between them, and these were followed by 
a blow from Mr. Robinson. He was a small man, physically, 
and having his overcoat on at the time, the blow had little ef- 
fect, save to excite Mr. Colgrove to anger. The latter was 
large and strong, and he struck his assailant a powerful blow, 
which felled him to the floor. Mr. Robinson was taken up 
limp and helpless b}" his friends and conducted to his room. 
After he had washed and dressed himself, one of his friends 
asked him what he proposed to do about the difficulty. He 
answered, "Nothing." "Why, 3'ou don't intend to let the 
matter rest where it is, do you?" inquired his friend. "Why 
not?" said Mr. Robinson : " I am satisfied, and I am sure Col- 
grove ought to be. A man can't always whip, but he can al- 
ways fight. When he fights he satisfies his honor, and mine is 
satisfied." One of the ge'ntlemen present went down stairs 
and told Mr. Colgrove what Mr. Robinson had said. In a mo- 
ment that gentleman was knocking at Mr. Robinson's door. 
On its being opened, the two late antagonists met face to face. 
" I have come to your room," said Mr. Colgrove, " at the risk 
of being kicked down stairs, to offer 3^ou m}^ hand. I ha\e 
heard what you said about our difficulty, and it touched m\' 
heart. If 3"ou will take my hand, 3^ou may count on me as a 
friend while you live." Mr. Robinson took his hand and in- 
vited him to a seat. He ordered a bowl of punch, and the two 
drowned their difficulties in the exhilarating fluid. The seal of 
the punch-bowl was never broken. 

One who knew^ Mr. Robinson intimatelv in all the relations 
of life thus sums up his character : 

" Of all the public men I ever knew he was farthest removed 
from the time-server and the demagogue. He despised politi- 
cal intrigue, chicaner}', dissimulation, tergiversation, untruth 
and injustice, and held with Jefferson that ' an honest heart is 
the first blessing, a knowing head is the second.' 



320 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

••What his ambition compassed highly it compassed holily. 
In the assured conhdence of an honest purpose for the achieve- 
ment of the pubHc weal he was bold, fearless and audacious, 
and yet alwa3^s unerring in the precision of his aim. 

'• His was no spirit that palls in irresolution and doubts its 
own quivocation, nor did he consort with those juggling politi- 
cal fiends ' that palter with us in a double sense ; that keep the 
word of promise to the ear, and break it to the hope.' 

" But what he was in pledge he ever fortified in performance. 
He knew nothing of that oily art, to speak and purpose not. 
No one was ever at a loss to know his convictions in regard to 
either measures or men. He was unreserved and candid in the 
avowal of his opinion as to both. 

"■ His marked decision of character, his clear judgment, his 
unselfish devotion to the popular cause, his unfaltering faith in 
the masses of his own party, his pre-eminent abilities as the ad- 
vocate and defender of popular rights, combined to make him, 
as acknowledged!}^ he was, the heart and head leader of the De- 
mocracv of Indiana." 

Mr. Robinson died at his home in Rushville, March 21, i860. 
Over twenty-one years have passed since he departed from 
among us, but he is still remembered by man}^ who admired 
him living and mourn him dead. 

Mr. Robinson was five feet nine or ten inches high, was 
sparely built, and weighed from 135 to 140 pounds. His mouth 
and nose were large and prominent, his forehead broad and 
high, his eyes coal-black and wonderfully expressive, and his 
hair was as the raven's wing. Such was John L. Robinson, 
one of the great men of Indiana twenty-five ^^ears ago. 



CYRUS L. DUNHAM. 



Cyrus Livingston Dunham was born at Dryden, Tompkins 
county, New York, January i6, 1817. His family was poor, 
and he worked in the spring, summer and fall for money to pay 
his schooling in the winter. In this way he grew to manhood, 
save that he once took service in a fishing-smack and made a 
trip to Newfoundland. By his labor he obtained sufiicient 
means to pay his way in a seminary for awhile, and when he 
had obtained the requisite education he commenced teaching 
school and studying law. Soon after his admission to the bar 
he emigrated to Indiana and located at Salem, in Washington 
count3^ This was in 1841. He at once commenced the prac- 
tice of law, and, considering the competition he had, succeeded 
remarkably well. But it was not until 1844 that he obtained 
much reputation as a speaker, and that was gained, not at the 
bar, but upon the hustings. In that year Dr. Elijah Newland 
was the candidate tor elector upon the Democratic ticket in his 
district. He associated Mr. Dunham with him in the canvass, 
'and the latter became noted throughout the district tor his elo- 
quence and ability as a speaker. The next vear he was elected 
prosecuting attorney for his circuit, and soon became eminent 
as a criminal lawyer. In 1846 he was elected to the State Leg- 
islature from Washington county, and the next year was re- 
elected. He was active in the support of a bill authorizing the 
calling of a convention to make a new constitution for the State. 
In 1848 he was on the electoral ticket for his district, and cast 
his vote in the electoral college for Cass and Butler. The next 
year — 1849 — ^^^ '^^'^'^ nominated by his party for Congress, and 
defeated William McKee Dunn for the place, his mai'oritv over 

21 t 



322 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Mr. Dunn being 485. In 185 1 he was re-elected, his competitor 
being Roger Martin, whom he beat 963 votes. The next vear 
he defeated Joseph G. Marshall, one of the grandest men In- 
diana ever had, his majority over Mr. Marshall being 931. 
Two vears after this, in 1854 — ^^^^ year of the Know-nothing av- 
alanche — he was beaten by George G. Dunn 1,660 votes, which 
ended his congressional career. On the resignation of Daniel 
McClure, in 1859, Governor Willard appointed Mr. Dunham 
Secretarv of State. He held this office until the election and 
qualification of his successor, Mr. Peelle, in the fall of i860. 

Soon after the breaking out of the civil war Mr. Dunham 
raised the Fiftieth regiment Indiana Volunteers and took it to 
the field. After serving about a year ill health compelled him 
to resign his commission and retire from the service. He set- 
tled at New Alban}' and opened a law office there. The next 
year, in 1864, he was elected to the Legislature and took a lead- 
ing part in the proceedings of that body. In 187 1 he was elected 
judge of the Floyd and Clark Criminal Circuit Court. While 
holding this office he removed to Jefferson ville, and remained a 
resident of that city while he lived. 

James K. Marsh, Esq., had read law with Colonel Dunham 
in New Albany, and in 1867 or '68 the two lawyers formed a 
partnership, Mr. Marsh opening an office in Charlestown and 
Colonel Dunham remaining in New Albany. This relation 
contmued until the election of Dunham as criminal judge. After 
his term expired he resumed his practice, and continued in it 
until November 21, 1877, when he died. 

Colonel Dunham's death was deeply lamented by the people 
of Southern Indiana, to whom he was as well known as anv 
man in the State. A meeting of the Jeffersonville bar was held 
to take action on his death, at which Hon. J. C. Howard acted 
as chairman. At this meeting invitations were extended to the 
lawyers of New Albany- and Charlestown to participate in the 
funeral ceremonies, and necessar}^ arrangements were made 
for the burial of his remains. The following resolution was 
adopted : 



'■'■Resolved., That in the death of Colonel Dunham our profes- 
sion has lost a member possessed of eminent personal worth 
and rare legal attainments. Guided alwa^'s bv a strong sense 



CYRUS L. DUNHAM, 323 

of justice and right, his firmness, his fearlessness and indepen- 
dence in maintaining- his convictions, won the confidence and 
respect of all who met him, either in professional, public or 
private life." 

The day after the meeting of the bar, the remains of Colonel 
Dunham were followed to Walnut Ridge cemetery, near Jeffer- 
sonville, by a large concourse of people, and there interred. 
"When the earth covered them, all that was mortal of a creat 
man was hid from view. 

Colonel Dunham was a very brave man. He proved his cour- 
age in many combats, both private and general. No one ever 
.saw him quail at the sight of danger. His nerve and endurance 
were wonderful. Once his abdomen was so cut that his bowels 
protruded : he put them back with his own hand and walked 
•some distance, unaided, to the office of a surgeon. In his con- 
test for Congress, in 185 1, with Roger Martin, he and that 
plucky Irishman had a set-to and knock-down. 

One of the most striking illustrations of his genuine courage 
is an incident given while he was on the bench in Clark countv. 
A family named Park, living near Henryville, had been mur- 
dered in their beds, and three negroes had been arrested on sus- 
picion and lodged in jail. A mob of about fiftv men entered 
Charlestown about midnight and overpowered the sheriff' and 
broke the jail and took the men out and hung them. Court was 
in session at the time, and Colonel Dunham was loud the next 
morning in the denunciation of the mob. Business was entirely 
suspended in the town, and intense excitement had taken pos- 
session of ever}^ one. The streets were full of threats, that 
should any of the officers attempt to find out who were in the 
mob they would share the same fate of the negroes. When 
court assembled the room was crowded, and it was generally 
supposed that a majority of the mob were in the crowd. Judge 
Dunham had the grand jury brought in and delivered to them a 
special charge upon the mob, taking occasion to denounce it 
in the most vehement and bitter terms. It was a regular stump 
speech against mobs in general and that one in particular. In 
this Judge Dvmham displayed more bravery than in anv of his 
personal encounters. 



324 BIOGRAPHIC.Vr. AND IIISTOlilCAL SKETCHES. 

While in the Legislature of 1865 he had, in open session of the- 
House, a difficulty with Alfred Kilgore, a representative from 
Delaware county, and hit that gentleman with an inkstand. A 
few days afterward he got into a quarrel with the Speaker, John 
U. Pettit, and was ordered to take his seat. He refused to obey 
the order, whereupon the Speaker directed W. W. Browning,, 
the doorkeeper, to enforce the command. Mr. Browning ap- 
proached Colonel Dunham, and, laying his hand upon his shoul- 
der, ordered him to be seated. Colonel Dunham at once drew 
back and struck the doorkeeper in the face. For this offense 
Judge Horatio C. Newcomb, then a representative from Marion 
county, offered a resolution to expel Mr, Dunham from the 
House, but the resolution never reached a vote. When these 
difficulties occurred, both Mr. Kilgore and Mr. Browning were 
Republicans. Soon afterward they became Democrats, where- 
upon a wag remarked that Dunham struck proseh'ting licks., 
that whomsoever he hit he converted. 

Colonel Dunham's military career, though brief, was honor- 
able. He fought Forrest at Parker's Cross Road, Tennessee, 
and behaved with great gallantry. He was in several skir- 
mishes, and he always acted bravely and well. Colonel B. C. 
Shaw, in a letter to the author, thus speaks of Colonel Dun- 
ham's bearing at Mumfordsville : 

" Your favor of the 14th instant, asking me to relate incidents- 
in the military career of Colonel C. L. Dunham, is received. 
My only direct connection in service with that in man}^ respects- 
remarkable man, was at Mumfordsville, Kentuck}^ when the- 
so-called fort at the crossing of Green river by the Louisville- 
and Nashville railroad and turnpike was besieged by the Con- 
federate forces of General Bragg, in their advance north on 
Louisville, in the fall of 1862. The position was held by about 
three thousand Indiana troops, all new regiments, or recruits, 
that there stopped off on their road south to join the commands 
for which they had been recruited. Among others thus de- 
tained with their detachments was Colonel Dunham, Colonel 
John T. Wilder, and others. Colonel Dunham, being the sen- 
ior ofKcer present, was placed in command of the post on the 
approach of l)ragg's army. After the attack on the fort was- 



CYRUS L. DUNHAM, 325 

made b}' Bragg's advance, General Dumont sent Colonel R. 
Owen, Sixtieth Indiana, and Colonel E. A. King, Sixty-eighth 
Indiana, as reinforcements. The writer was the lieutenant- 
colonel of the Sixt3'-eighth Indiana. When about to depart 
from Lebanon Junction on this mission, the General approached 
me with a warm grasp of the hand, remarking : ' Good-bye, 
Colonel. I never expect to see you again, unless after you 
have been a prisoner in the rebel arm\' ; ' saying, ' I know it 
will not change your action nor dampen your ardor when I tell 
you that the forces at Mumfordsville will either all be killed or 
taken prisoners inside of forty-eight hours.' This was the tirst 
intimation to the writer of the truly perilous expedition upon 
which the two regiments were embarking. Arriving at Mum- 
fordsville, we found the devoted band, under command of Col. 
Dunham, had repulsed several direct attempts to carr}^ the 
works h\ assault, but the whole tbrce of Bragg was now fast 
surrounding the fort. During the last day the odds seemed so 
great against the Federals that the boys, being nearly all fresh 
troops, began to show some signs of discouragement. Several 
new guns had opened on us. The sharp twang of the Parrot 
shells and the whistling bullets of the muskets required men 
and officers to stick close to the ditches, as ' heads up ' longer 
than necessary to take aim and tire was nearh' certain death. 

" During the heavy tiring Colonel Dunham mounted his horse 
and leisurely rode along the lines of the fort, starting along the 
left flank, encouraging the men, not onh- by his daring, but 
with words of cheer, and at the same time attracting the fire of 
the enem\' on all sides. Arriving about the middle of the left 
face of the fort, where Colonel E. A. King was in command, 
that officer immediately jumped out of the ditch and approached 
Colonel Dunham. I was in command of the right face of the 
fort, and seeing the extraordinarv scene, I supposed some new 
phase of the light was to take place at once. My curiosity 
tempted me also out of the ditch, to run over at great risk to 
receive the orders at once, that Colonel Dunham might not ex- 
pose himself unnecessarily. Running up to them I eagerly in- 
quired, ' Have you anything new for us. Colonel? ' The group 
thus fully exposed was receiving the compliments of the enemy 
in terrible, close and frequent calls. Colonel King at once 



326 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

said : ' I was just saying to Colonel Dunham that he had no- 
more right to unnecessaril}^ expose himself than I had, and it 
he was going to make a d — d fool of himself I would, also : 
adding, in a jocular way, that the Colonel was an old bachelor, 
and if he did get killed there would be no one to mourn his 
loss. ' But,' said Colonel King, ' if by imitating his example 
I should get killed, what would become of my poor wife?' In- 
stantly straightening himself up more erect, if possible, than 
usual, Colonel Dunham retorted : ' By G — d, sir, I'll marry 
her.' Both laughed heartily at the rejoinder. The writer re- 
marked : ' If that's all, I'll scoot to my ditch.' Colonel Dun- 
ham rode a few steps further, and, turning his horse, rode 
leisureh' back to headquarters, in the rear. He had revived 
the spirits of all — officers and men — by his 'daring. An hour 
afterward he was relieved of command by a telegraphic order 
from General Boyle, at Louisville, and Colonel John T. Wilder 
was placed in command." 

In regard to his war record a correspondent of the Indiana- 
polis Journal^ who speaks from personal knowledge, relates 
the following incidents to show how earnestly Colonel Dunham 
was devoted to the Union, and how zealously he defended it 
during the war : 

" His command was on duty at Nashville, Tennessee, during 
most of the summer of 1862. More than once I heard him com- 
plain because he could not get out to the front where the big* 
tighting was being done, notwithstanding his position, while he 
was fighting small detachments of Rebel cavalry and keeping 
them from approaching Nashville along the Nashville and 
Louisville railroad, was attended with much danger, and he 
did not know at what moment he would have to contend with 
greatly superior forces, for that country was at that time full of 
bushwhackers and wandering squads of rebel cavalry and in- 
fantry, ever ready to attack an}- unfortified position. He had, 
therefore, to keep men on guard and scout duty all the time. 

"John Morgan slipped in one day in broad daylight and rode 
with fifty men behind an embankment thrown up for a railroad 
track, and actually reached the bridge across the Cumberland 



CYRUS L. DUNHAM. 327 

river, and would in ten minutes more, had he not been discov- 
ered, had the bridge on fire. He had just commenced appl} ing 
turpentine when the alarm was given. No troops were for one 
hour safe from the risk of an attack by some of these dashing, 
daring men. Morgan had sent word by some prisoners who 
reached our lines from him, or, rather, he had said in their 
presence that he would come down to Nashville on the Fourth of. 
July and learn the Yankees how he celebrated that da3^ When 
the word reached Colonel Dunham he said, ' I will send him 
an invitation to come, and I will teach him some new lessons 
of devotion to the old flag.' Colonel Dunham was too familiar 
with the reckless bravery of Morgan not to indulge some appre- 
hensions that he might undertake to carry out his threat. 

"A few days before the Fourth the Colonel announced that he 
was going to have the glorious old day of independence cele- 
brated in camp, and everything was made to conform to his 
purpose. A large stand was erected, and a reader of the Dec- 
laration was appointed. Colonel Dunham was to be the princi- 
pal orator of the day. Everything was put in readiness, not 
only for the celebration, but to defend the camp against the 
threatened attack of John Morgan. 

"The day was a beautiful one. The men were dressed up 
in their best, and all that could be spared from duty were 
called around the stand. The Rev. Mr. Jackson, the chaplain, 
opened the exercises with prayer ; the Declaration was read, 
and Colonel Dunham made one of the best speeches he ever 
made in his life, much of which was addressed to the citizens, 
who had gathered in to witness the ceremony. Qriite a num- 
ber were present, among them some of the best citizens ot 
Nashville. 

" I shall only give one or two of the impressive utterances ot 
the Colonel on that occasion. In referring to General Jackson, 
whose tomb was almost in sight, he quoted his memorable ut- 
terance with reference to the preservation of the Union, that, 
' By the Eternal, it must and shall be preserved.' He referred 
to the attempt made by the Confederates to stop the navigation 
of the Mississippi river, and said : 

'• ' We are standing upon the banks of the Cumberland river, 
and this stream bears off the products of your farms. It is the 



;^2S BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

channel along which pass the trade and much of the travel that 
support and maintain the prosperity of vour capital. Were we 
of the North to attempt to blockade this outlet, which the God 
of heaven has prepared for your use and for the expansion of 
your enterprise, 3^011 would be cowards if you did not fight till 
that wrong was redressed. I live up in Indiana. The farm 
that raises m}- bread gathers a part of the waters that flow down 
the channel of the Mississippi. It is the outlet that nature has 
provided for the products of the land. You men of the South 
now attempt to blockade that river, and tell me and my neigh- 
bors in Indiana that we must seek other channels of trade. I 
tell you, men of Old Tennessee, here to-day, on this anniver- 
sary of our national independence, under that flag, that you 
underestimate our manhood, and misapprehend the temper of 
the citizens of Indiana, if j'ou for one moment suppose we will 
not fight till this blockade is raised. We will float our traflic 
down this stream if we have to do it on our hearts' blood. The 
spirit of the Revolutionar}^ fathers will marshal the hosts of 
heaven to defend us in a cause so just as that in whicli we are 
struggling.' 

" These remarks were made in a highly' impassioned manner, 
and in that magnificent dash of oratorv for which the Colonel 
was noted when he was warmed up b}' the magnitude of his 
utterances. The boj^s in blue cheered lustih', and the effect of 
this speech was wondertul. For fully one minute you could 
have heard a pin fall, so absorbed was every mind in contem- 
plating the ideas so logically and eloquently presented. 

'* Other speeches were made, but I will not even name them 
at this time. The da}-, however, passed off" pleasantly. The 
boys had a good dinner, and all seemed to enter into the spirit 
of the occasion. This was the only time I saw the Fourth cel- 
ebrated in sight of and under the threats of the rebels. Dun- 
ham was the man, however, who had the pluck to do so. 
Though but little has been said of his war record I have seen 
him tried, and know that no braver man ever commanded a 
regiment or a brigade than Colonel Cyrus L. Dunham." 

Colonel Horace HeftVen, who was the lieutenant-colonel of 
Dunham's regiment, in a late note to the author, speaks of his 



CYRUS I.. DUNHAM. 329 

chief with great affection. He also says: " Dunham was the 
idol of his men. No man ever took better care of his soldiers 
than he." When he left the army his soldiers parted from him 
with warm tokens of affection. They loved him as a friend. 

In earl}' life Colonel Dunham dressed very poorly; so much 
so that manv believed he did it purposely to catch the rabble 
vote. I became acquainted with him in 1849, when he was 
making his race for Congress against William McKee Dunn, 
and I well remember his appearance and dress at that time. 
He was then in the strength of early manhood. In person he 
was tall and wir}-, with not a surplus pound of flesh upon his 
bodv. He seemed an athlete trained for the ring. His clothes 
were scantv and of the commonest kind ; a pair of nankeen 
bjreeches and a long, swinging linen coat, a hat made of wheat 
straw, with a rim a 3'ard in circumference, and a pair of coarse 
shoes, constituted the sum total of his visible apparel. But if he 
didn't dress well, he spoke well. Indeed, he was eloquent. 
He captivated his audien<"e. being one of the best speakers on 
the hustings in the State. The meeting was at Diipont, in Jef- 
ferson count\' : and after it was over I rode with him in his 
ramshackle buggy to Madison. It had no top. One of its 
shafts was broken and mended by a pole lashed to it with hick- 
orv withes. His horse would have made Sancho Panza's eves 
glisten with delight. He would have much preterred him to 
his mule. Such was Dunham's mode of conveyance over his 
district. He was elected, but it could not have been his " turn- 
out"' that did the work, for the people of the district were or- 
dinarilv intelligent, being too smart to be influenced by clap- 
trap and demagoguery. The majorit^' were of his political wa\- 
of thinking, and those who heard him speak knew he was a 
man of a ver\' hio'h order of intellect. 

In 1859, ^^'^len Daniel McClure resigned the oflice of Secre- 
tarv of State, Governor Willard telegraphed Mr. Dunham to 
come to Indianapolis. At that time he lived in Jackson county, 
and was engaged in farming. The dispatch was taken to him 
in the held. He had barely time to reach the railroad station 
before the train for Indianapolis would arrive, so he left without 
changing his clothes. On his arrival in the city he went at 
once to the Governor's office and asked what was wanted. 



330 BIOGRAPHICAL AXD HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Cockle burs and Spanish needles were clinging to his panta- 
loons and socks, and his dress otherwise was untitted for any- 
one pretending gentility. Willard told him to go to a clothing 
store and dress himself as became an ex-member of Congress, 
and he would tell him. Dunham left, and soon returned prop- 
erly dressed, when Governor Willard handed him a commission 
as Secretary of State, 

In i860 Mr. Dunham was a candidate for the Democratic 
nomination for Governor. The intelligent reader will remem- 
ber that at that time the Democratic party was divided upon the 
Kansas and Nebraska question, one wing of it being known as 
the administration wing and the other as the Douglas wing. 
Mr, Dunham identihed himself with the former, and was sup- 
ported by it for the gubernatorial nomination. When the State 
convention met it was found that the administration men were 
in a minority, and that Mr. Dunham had but a small chance 
lor the nomination. After the convention was organized and 
the time had come for the nomination to be made, Mr. Dun- 
ham arose, and in a most eloquent speech withdrew from the 
contest, and moved that the Hon. Thomas A. Hendricks be 
nominated by acclamation, which was done. During his speech 
Mr, Dunham was several times interrupted by Colonel Allen 
May, in a manner which was ver^^ offensive to the speaker. 
Soon after the convention adjourned for dinner these gentle- 
men met in the street opposite the Bates House, when a per- 
sonal altercation took place between them. Mr. Dunham got 
the best of the difficulty, putting his antagonist Iwrs dii combat. 
The convention put him and the late Dr. John C. Walker at 
the head of the electoral ticket, by way of a compromise, 
Dunham being an administration man and Walker an adherent 
of Douglas. Dunham made a thorough canvass of the State, 
and added much to his laurels as an eloquent political speaker. 
His old-time friend Senator Bright, who stumped the State tor 
Breckenridge, tried hard to get him to withdraw from the regu- 
lar Democratic ticket and take a position on that of the bolters, 
but his eftbrts were in vain. Dunham was too good a party 
man to falter when he carried the colors, and too good a soldi.er 
to turn his back to the enem\', or engage in a diversion in his 



CYRUS L. DUNHAM. 33 L 

favor, even when so commanded by a general whom hitherto 
he had delighted to tbllovv. 

Mr. Dunham was not a great lawyer. His protesssonal repu- 
tation mainly rested upon his ability as an advocate. Before a 
jury he was always effective, often eloquent. His speech in 
defense of Dr. Benjamin Newland, tried tor the killing of J. 
Madison Evans, was one of the finest forensic efforts ever made 
at the bar of Southern Indiana. Public sentiment justified Dr. 
Newland in taking Evans's life, and the speech of Mr. Dunham 
in his behalf struck a chord in the popular heart that vibrated 
throughout the State. Dr. Newland was acquitted, and the 
ladies of New Albany — where the trial was held — vied with each 
other in testifying their delight at the verdict. They showered 
bouquets upon Dr. Newland, upon Mr. Dunham and upon the 
jurors, making one of the most affecting and dramatic scenes 
ever witnessed in a court of justice. 

In his later years Colonel Dunham abandoned the slovenh' 
mode of dress he affected when younger, and clothed himself 
as became one of his character and standing. He was always 
courteous and polite, particularl}' to ladies, and whatever might 
be his garb, his manners were unexceptionable. 

Colonel Dunham was over six feet high, was raw-boned, had 
black hair and eyes, and a pleasant countenance. He had his 
weaknesses and his faults, but they were not venal ones, but of 
the kind that often afflict the- most eminent men of the world. 
'• He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone." 



JOHN LAW. 



One of the prominent men of Indiana in early days was John 
Law, the historian of Vincennes. He was born in New London, 
Conn., in 1796, and, when 18 years old, graduated at Yale Col- 
lege, New Hayen. He studied law, and, in 1817, was admitted 
to the bar of the Supreme Court of Connecticut. The same year 
he left his natiye State and came to Indiana, settling at Vin- 
cennes. He opened an office there and commenced the practice 
of his profession. In a short time he was elected prosecuting 
attorne}' of his circuit, a circuit which embraced nearly one-half 
the settled portion of the State. In 1823 he was elected to the 
Legislature from Knox count}', and was an active member of 
that body. His tastes, however, running in the line of his pro- 
fession, he did not seek a re-election. In 1830 the Legislature 
elected him Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit. In 1838 
President Van Buren appointed him receiver of public moneys 
for the Vincennes district, which office he held for four 3'ears. 
In 185 1 Judge Law removed to Evansville, and, with James B. 
McGall, Lucius H. Scott and his brother, William H. Law, pur- 
chased 700 acres of land adjoining Evansville, and laid it out in 
lots, giving it the name of Lamasco. In 1855 President Pierce 
appointed him Judge of the Court of Land Claims for Indiana 
and Illinois, the court to be held at Vincennes. This was a po- 
sition of great importance, and he filled it with signal ability. 
His mind was cast in a judicial mould, and he had both the pa- 
tience and the industry to critically examine the cases brought 
before him. His conclusions were reached after much research 
and thought, and were seldom called in question. 

In i860 Judge Law was elected to Congress from the First 
District, and served on the Library Committee and on the Com- 



JOHN LAW. ^^T^^ 

mittee on Revolutionary Pensions. It was as chaimian of the 
latter committee that he drew and reported to the House a bill 
to pay the twelve remaining soldiers of the Revolutionary war 
each a pension of -troo a ^ear. This bill was unanimoush' 
passed by the House, and the old soldiers made glad as they 
tottered to the grave. Where is the John Law who will get 
throutrh a similar bill for the beneht of the soldiers of the Mexi- 
can war, a war that added a golden empire to the country? 
Judge Law was re-elected to Congress in 1862, and thus served 
in the national councils during the most perilous period of our 
country's history. His congressional career, though not bril- 
liant, was eminently useful, and he left Congress with the re- 
spect of his fellow members and the regret of his constituents. 
He died at Evansville, October 7, 1873, and, according to his de- 
sires, his remains were taken to V'incennes and buried. A plain 
monument, one simpl}^ bearing his name, the date of his birth 
and the time of his death was erected at his grave. It was made 
plain and simple, in accordance with his oft-repeated requests. 

During Judge Law's legal practice he had charge of the cel- 
ebrated case of Vigo against the United States. This claim 
grew out of the fact that Colonel Vigo furnished General George 
Rogers Clark provisions and war material in 1779, ^^'^^n Gen- 
eral Clark captured Vincennes from the British. Some fort\' 
years after the goods were furnished. Congress agreed to pay 
the principal of the draft drawn by General Clark, amounting' 
to nearly eight thousand dollars, but he refused to accept it un- 
less the interest was also paid. In 1877 the claim was paid, 
both principal and interest, but too late to be of any benefit to 
either Colonel Vigo or Judge Law, as previous thereto both of 
them had been gathered to their fathers. 

Although of different politics, a warm friendship existed be- 
tween Judge Law and the late Thaddeus Stevens, They fre- 
quently corresponded, and they kept up their friendly intercourse 
until Mr. Stevens's death. Judge Law was also a personal 
friend and correspondent of the late President Lincoln. He 
gave Mr. Lincoln his first case in the Illinois Supreme Court, 
and was a great admirer of the personal qualities of that re- 
markable man. When struck down by an assassin no one 
grieved for him more sincerely than Judge Law. 



^34 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

I have no recollection of any famil}- in the country, except 
the Adamses, the Ba3^ards and the Harrisons, that equals the 
Laws in length and distinction of public service. Judge Law's 
great-grandfather, Jonathan Law, was Chief Justice of Connec- 
ticut for man}^ years, and Governor of the colony from May. 
1 741, until his death, in 1750. His grandfather, Richard Law. 
and his father. Lyman Law, both served in the national Con- 
gress, and as he was for four 3^ears a member of that body, it 
will be seen that for three generations the Laws sat in Congress 
as representatives of the people. His maternal grandfather, 
Amasa Learned, was a member of the first Congress under the 
constitution, and was cotemporary with, and an intimate friend 
of, those great men who formed our government and put its 
machinery in motion. Surely the children of Judge Law have 
reason to be proud of their ancestry. 

Judge Law was not only a good lawyer, but also as a historian 
and an antiquarian he ranks among the first in the West. For 
some time he was President of the Indiana Historical Soci- 
ety, and took great interest in its transactions. On the 22d day 
of February, 1839, he delivered an address before the Vincennes 
Historical and Antiquarian Societ}^ which is standard author- 
ity on the matters of which it treats. Tv\^o thousand copies of 
the address were published at the time, but they were soon 
taken by an appreciative public. In 1858 he published a new 
edition, with additional notes and illustrations, and this, too. 
was soon exhausted, and it is now extremely difficult to get a 
copy of it. It exhausts the subject of the "Colonial History 
of Vincennes," and no one need look elsewhere to learn its his- 
tor}^ from its first settlement to the formation of the Territorial 
government of Indiana. 

In person Judge Law was large and commanding. He 
weighed about two hundred and twenty-fi^'e pounds, and his 
general appearance was that of an intellectual, dignified man. 
His literary work will live, and he will be remembered when 
most of those who were cotemporar\' with him shall have been 
forgotten. 




qJUacIi (I (//-p. C'^KeU-2 



MICHAEL CRAWFORD KERR. 



Michael Crawford Kerr, Speaker of the Fol■t^■-tbllrth 
Congress, was born near Titus ville, Pennsylvania, March 15. 
1S27. His father was a man of moderate means, and the son 
was mainly self-educated. At the age of eighteen he gradu- 
ated at the Erie Academ}', and soon after married her who was 
his wife while he lived. He then emigrated to Kentucky, and 
for awhile taught school at Bloomtield, in that State. While 
teaching at Bloomfield " he laid the foundation of his subse- 
quent career of usefulness and honor. There, in the intervals 
of his ardvious duties as a teacher, which others would have de- 
voted to idleness and pleasure, he mastered the fundamental 
principles of jurisprudence and political philosophy, with which, 
in after life, both as a lawyer and a statesman, he showed him- 
self so remarkably familiar." After this he attended the Lou- 
isville University, where he received the degree of Bachelor of 
Laws. In 1852 he removed to New Albanv, Indiana, and com- 
menced the practice of the law. Soon afterward he was 
elected City Attorney of New Albany, and the next 3'ear was 
chosen Prosecuting Attorney of Floyd county. In 1856 he was 
sent to the State Legislature, where he served with distinction, 
and in 1862 was chosen Reporter of the Supreme Court of the 
State. In 1864 he was nominated for Congress by the Democ- 
racy of his district, his opponent being Rev. W. W. Curry, 
whom he defeated by a majority of 1,793. In 1866 he was re- 
elected, beating his opponent. General Walter Q^ Gresham, 
1.743 votes. In 1868 he again ran against General Gresiiam. 
and defeated him by 6,436 majority. In 1870 he was again 
elected to Congress from his district, beating his opponent. 
Carr, 5,834 votes. In 1872 Indiana having, b}' the last census, 



^T,6 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

gained two members of Congress, and the State not having 
been redistricted, Mr. Kerr was nominated bv the Democracy 
for Congressman for the State at large, and beaten bv Godlove 
S. Orth, 162 votes. In 1874 ^^^ ^''^^ against General James x\. 
Cravens for Congress, in his district, and beat him 1,209 votes. 

The labor of the campaign of 1874 was so severe that Mr. 
Kerr's health gave way under it. He spent most of the next 
year in the t'ar West, hoping to recruit his shattered constitution. 
He was benefited by the change of climate, and returned to In- 
diana in the fall of 1875, with his health measurably restored. 

While Mr. Kerr was jn Colorado inhaling the pure air of the 
mountains, the press of the countr3- was discussing his qualifi- 
cations for Speaker of Congress. His long congressional ex- 
perience and knowledge of parliamentary law peculiarly fitted 
him for the place, and this the people readily saw. His views 
upon the currency question were in consonance \\'ith those en- 
tertained by his part}' friends in the East, and, besides, he was 
known to be honest and brave, qualities valuable in all public 
men, and particularl}- valuable in those charged to preside over 
the Congress of the United States. 

The Forty-fourth Congress met on the 6th of December, 1875, 
and, after the roll-call, Mr. Lamar, of Mississippi, placed Mr. 
Kerr in nomination for Speaker, and Mr. Wheeler, of New 
York, Mr. Blaine. On the call of the roll, Mr. Kerr received 
173 votes and Mr. Blaine 106. The clerk announced that Mr. 
Kerr, having received a majority of all the \'otes given, was 
duly elected Speaker, whereupon he took the Speaker's chair 
and thus addressed the House : 

" I am heartily grateful for the honor you have conterred 
upon me in calling me to this exalted station. I profoundly ap- 
preciate the importance and delicacy of its duties. I shall, 
doubtless, many times need ^'our patient indulgence. I pray 
that you wall grant it; and, with nothing but kindly teeling^s 
toward every member of the House, I promise that in all my 
ofticial acts I will divest m^^self, to the utmost of my ability, of 
all personal bias, and observe complete fairness and impartiality 
toward all the great and diversified interests of our country rep- 
resented in this House." 



MICIIAKL CRAWFORD KERR. 



337 



Mr. Kerr was never well a day after he was elected Speaker. 
He presided during the sessions of the House while suffering 
intense pain. Disease was at his vitals, and it was apparent to 
all who saw him that he must soon succumb to its demands. 
At a time when he was barel}- able to be about, and was dis- 
charging the duties of his high office only on account of his in- 
domitable will, a cruel charge was made against him which 
well nigh killed him outright. One Lawrence Harney, a Wash- 
ington lobbyist, charged that, several years before, he had paid 
Mr. Kerr $450 lor securing one Augustus P. Greene a position 
in the regular army. A committee was appointed to investi- 
gate the charge, and, on the 12th of June, 1876, the committee 
reported to the House that there was no evidence to sustain the 
•charge. The report closes as follows : 

"Your committee have found no difficulty in reaching the 
<:onclusion that the charge, as made by Harney, as to the pay- 
ment of the amount of. money stated, or any other sum, to Mr. 
Kerr for the object and purpose named, is unqualifiedl}^ false ; 
that Mr. Kerr stands fully exonerated trom all implication in 
anywise affecting his personal honor or official integrity. Your 
committee find nothing throughout the whole progress of this 
investigation to impair or detract from the well-established rep- 
utation that he enjoys for unquestioned personal integrity and 
unsullied purity of official record." 

Messrs. Clymer and Uanford made speeches in favor of adopt- 
ing the report, after which the following proceedings were had 
by the House : 

"Mr. Chmer — I ask the previous question on the adoption 
of this report. 

"The previous question was seconded and the main question 
ordered. 

" Mr. Garfield — I ask that tlie question on the adoption of 
the report be taken b}- a rising vote. 

" Mr. Clymer — 1 hope that will be done. 

" Mr. Blackburn — 1 trust the suggestion of the gentleman 
from Ohio (Mr. Gartleld) will be adopted. 



338 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

" The affirmative vote being called for, all the members pres- 
ent rose. • 

" Mr. Banks — Let there be a count ; it makes a record. 

" Mr. Garfield — I ask unanimous consent that it be entered 
on the record that the report was unanimously adopted. 

" Mr. Milliken — Bv a rising vote. 

" The Speaker (pro tempore) — Unless there be objection the 
record suggested by the gentleman from Ohio will be entered. 

" Mr. Banks — There should be a count of the votes ; it makes 
a record. 

"The negative vote being called lor and no member rising, 
the result was announced — yeas, 210 ; nays, none. 

"The Speaker (pro tempore) — The report is adopted by a 
vinanimous vote. 

"Mr. Garfield — I renew m}- request that it be recorded that 
the report was adopted unanimousl}' by a rising vote. 

"The Speaker (pro tempore) — It will be so recorded. 

"Mr. Leavenworth — It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that it 
would be highly proper that this House should furnish to Mr. 
Kerr, in the most formal manner, a certified copy of our pro- 
ceedings on this occasion. I move that such copy be furnished 
to him by the Clerk of this House. 

"The Speaker (pro tempore) — The chair hears no objection 
and the order is made." 

Never was a man more completely vindicated than was Mr, 
Kerr. Few men so long in public life have escaped charges 
affecting their public reputation, and fewer still have been so 
grandly upheld. The charge, instead of being a blot upon his 
memory, but adds to his glory. In the language of Mr. Hurl- 
burt, of Illinois, when speaking of the report of the committee: 
" The long record of an honorable life outweighs all charges of 
those loose defamers whom these base times encourage to de- 
traction and scandal." He also declared that Mr. Kerr's blame- 
less life was a shield to " protect him from the envenomed shafts 
of malice." 

Mr. Kerr was now too sick to preside in the House, and, 
hoping that rest and mountain air would benefit him, he left 
Washington shortly alter the warm weather set in, and went to- 



MICHAP:L CRAWFORD KERR. :^^g 

Rockbridge Alum Springs, in West Virginia. At first the water 
and the air helped him, but, in a short time, they lost their 
power for good. The base charge of Harney had done its work. 
The magnificent vindication of Congress came too late for him 
to rally. He continued to grow worse, and was conscious that 
his end was near. On the afternoon of the 15th of August, 
1876, he telegraphed his friend, S. S. Cox, of New York, " My 
condition is very critical ; no change since morning." The 
dispatch was read in the House, and created great feeling. Mr. 
Banks, of Massachusetts, took the floor, and, after delivering a 
feeling speech, offered the following resolution : 

^'' Resolved^ That the House of Representatives, at the moment 
of closing the present session, tenders to Hon. Michael C. Kerr, 
its beloved and honored presiding officer, the unanimous expres- 
sion of the heartfelt sympathy of its members in his affliction, 
and they hope that the recovery of his health may soon restore 
to his associates in the public service the wisdom of his counsel 
and the beneficent influence of his example." 

The resolution was unanimously adopted, and the Speaker 
was requested to communicate the same to Mr. Kerr by tele- 
graph. 

The message came none too quickh', if it was to reach the 
Speaker alive, for four days afterward, on the 19th of August, 
1876, he breathed his last. 

A few- days after the death of Mr. Kerr his remains were 
started on their w^ay to the West, escorted by Senator Ferrv, 
President pro tempore of the Senate, Mr. Adams, clerk of the 
House, Mr. Morrison, chairman of the Committee of Ways and 
Means, all under charge of John G. Thompson, door-keeper 
of the House. The widow and only son of the dead states- 
man were with the cortege. A special train, containing a large 
number of prominent citizens, left Indianapolis on the 23d of 
August, and met the remains at Knightstown, where they 
boarded the train containing the corpse. The party reached 
New^ Albany at 12 o'clock that night, and were met at the depot 
by an immense concourse of people, and the remains were 
taken to the Court-house. The casket was placed in the ro- 



340 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

tunda, where it lay in state until 8 o'clock the next evening, 
and was then taken to the home of the late Speaker. 

New Albany put on the habiliments of woe. All her public 
buildings and many private ones were draped in mourning. 
The next day Dr. Conn preached an eloquent funeral discourse 
over the honored dead, after which the body was taken to the 
cemeter}- at New Albany and buried. 

When Congress met, in December, action was taken on the 
death of the late Speaker, several eloquent eulogies being pro- 
nounced. In his address, Senator McDonald said : 

*' He filled every station to which he was called, public and 
private, with honor. He honored the city in which he lived, 
and his name is there cherished as a household word. He 
honored the district which had conferred upon him its highest 
favor, and his memory will be long held in reverence by his 
people. He honored the State of his adoption, and it will pre- 
serve his name upon the roll of its most illustrious citizens. He 
honored the high place to which he was called by the represen- 
tatives of the whole people, and for that we this day place his 
name ' in memoriam ' upon the records of the Congress of the 
nation, there to remain for all time." 

Senator Morton, in a very eulogistic speech, said of the dead 
Speaker : 

" His name will be' remembered with pride and with affection 
in Indiana. He was one of her most highly favored and gifted 
sons, and it gives me satisfaction to bear testimony to his patri- 
otism. I believe he was a devout lover of his country, and 
w^ent for that which he believed was for the best. I have always 
given him credit for his integrity, for his patriotism, and for love 
of his countr}', and the strongest testimony which I can bear to 
the character of Mr. Kerr is to sa}^ that he was regarded by 
men of all parties in Indiana as an honest man, an able man, a 
patriotic man, and that his death w^as mourned b}- all his neigh- 
bors, and bv all who knew him, without distinction of party." 

Those who know how chary Senator Morton was of compli- 
ments to political opponents will properly appreciate this eulogy 



MICHAEL CRAWFORD KERR. 34I 

upon the life of Mr. Kerr. It is a just tribute of one great man 
to the memor}^ of another. 

Mr. Kerr was a patriot. In 1864 he was a candidate for the 
Democratic nomination for Congress, the late Colonel Cyrus L. 
Dunham being his principal competitor. The nominating con- 
vention met at Jeffersonville, in the old Methodist church, on 
Wall street. Politics was at fever heat, and the contest between 
Mr. Kerr and Colonel Dunham was very close. An hour or so 
before the convention was to meet Mr. Kerr called a caucus of 
his friends in a room over the store of General Sparks. There 
were present at the caucus several of Mr. Kerr's friends from 
New Albam' ; General Sparks and Mr. J. P. Applegate, from 
Clark count}^ ; Hon. William H. English, then a resident of 
Scott county ; General James A. Cravens, of Washington coun- 
ty, and a few other gentlemen from different parts of the district. 
The gentlemen thus called together supposed the purpose of the 
meeting was to make arrangements for the management of the 
convention. When all were seated, Mr. Kerr arose, drew him- 
self up to his full height of six feet or more, and, with sup- 
pressed excitement but with perfect self-control, said he must 
withdraw from the race for Congress ; that he was in possession 
of the knowledge that a conspiracy existed against the gov^ern- 
ment of the State : that the conspirators were Democrats ; that 
he felt it his dut}^ to go to Indianapolis and lay the facts before 
Governor Morton ; that such a course would embitter certain 
Democrats and jeopardize his election should he be a candidate. 
Mr. English and others made remarks after Mr. Kerr had taken 
his seat, the purport of which was that he was right in his pur- 
pose to make known and denounce the conspiracy, but wrong 
in determining to withdraw from the contest ; that only a few 
hot-heads had gone wrong ; that the great body of the party was 
loyal to the government. Mr. Kerr persisted in his purpose to 
decline, and it was formally announced that he was no longer a 
candidate. Afterward, however, several gentlemen were sent 
to him by the various count}^ delegations, who urged him to 
stand. He finally consented to do so, and w^as nominated. He 
came at once to Indianapolis to expose the conspiracy, and w hat 
he did can be best told by giving the testimony of one of the 



342 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

witnesses in the trials of Bowles, Milligan and others. Says 
this witness : 

"As I walked down Washington street I saw a gentleman 
coming up rapidl}^ and I stopped him: "Hello! Kerr, what 
has brought you here? ' said I. He seemed very much excited. 
' Do you know anything? ' he said ; and I said, ' Do you know 
anything? ' ' Yes,' he replied. ' What is it? ' said I. He then 
said, ' The devil's to pay in our section of the State ; the people 
of Washington, Harrison and Floyd counties, and that neigh- 
borhood, have got the idea that a revolution was impending ; 
the farmers were frightened and were selling their hay in the 
fields and their wheat in the stacks, and all the property that 
could be was being converted into greenbacks.' " 

Mr. Kerr was so deeplv impressed with the danger of the 
situation that he and the witness from whom I have quoted 
went to the residence of Hon. Joseph E. McDonald in the 
night, awakened that gentleman, and told him what they knew 
about the conspiracy. It was agreed that a meeting of prominent 
Democrats should be called next morning at Mr. McDonald's 
othce, to consider the situation. The meeting was held, and 
during its sitting Mr. Kerr made a speech. I again quote from 
this witness : 

" He spoke about this excitement, this revolutionar}- scheme, 
and said that he came up on purpose to put a stop to the thing. 
I think he said it was our duty to stop it, and if it could not be 
stopped in anv other way it was our duty to inform the author- 
ities." 

Mr. Kerr was sustained in his position b}^ Mr. McDonald and 
other prominent Democrats, but there is no gainsaying the fact 
that he was the leading man of his party in the effort to destroy 
the conspiracy, which, had it been inaugurated, would have 
deluged Indiana with blood. 

The action of Mr. Kerr in proposing to decline the race tor 
Congress in his district was in keeping with his character. 
Young, and ambitious for political preferment, he was yet wil- 



-MICHAEL CRAWFORD KERR. 343 

ling to stand iiside for others when he beHe\'ed duty called him 
to make the sacrifice. 

Mr. Kerr was very resohite and persistent in any course he 
adopted. He fought three-fourtlis of tlie Democrats of his county 
on the question of a tariff, and he fought nearly all the promi- 
nent men of his party in the State on the currenc}' question. 
On these questions he didn't consider policy. He bravely ad- 
vocated what he believed to be right, regardless of policy. 

Without being a professor of religion, Mr. Kerr was strictly 
n^ioral. He had no vices, either great or small, being as pure a 
man as ever lived. 

Mr. Kerr lived and died a poor man. With opportunities to 
make mone}- possessed b}' few he chose to do that which was 
right, preferring a good name to great riches. When on his 
•dying bed he said to his son and onlv child : "I have nothing 
to leave you, my son, except my good name. Guard it and 
your mother's honor, and live as I have lived. Pay all m}'^ 
•debts, if my estate will warrant it without leaving your mother 
penniless. Otherwise pay what you can, and then go to my 
creditors and tell them the truth, and pledge your honor to wipe 
out the indebtedness." Such a father could trust his son to do 
his commands. 

In 1862, when Mr. Kerr went into politics he had a tine law 
practice, which his entrance into public life measurably de- 
stroyed. At a bar which contained an Otto, a Crawford, a 
Smith, a Browne, a Howk, a Stotsenburg, and other leading 
men, he ranked with the best. 

Mr. Kerr was not a pleasant speaker. He was too honest 
and conscientious to stand before an audience and troll off some- 
thing he thought every intelligent man knew as well as himself. 
Although possessed of ambition, he was exceedingly modest, 
and a modest man rarely becomes an attractive extemporaneous 
speaker. 

Such is a brief outline of the life and some of the leading char- 
acteristics of Michael C. Kerr, a man who reached the third 
office in the government of the country, and one whom Indiana 
delighted to honor. 



ISAAC BLACKFORD. 



Isaac Blackford, for thirty-tive years a Judge of the Su- 
preme Court of Indiana, was born at Bound Brook, Somerset 
count}-, New Jerse}', November 6, 1786. When sixteen years 
old he entered Princeton College, from which, four ^-ears after- 
ward, he graduated with honor. He then commenced the study 
of the law in the office of Colonel George McDonald, where 
he remained a year, and then entered that of Gabriel Ford, 
where he continued his legal studies. In 1810 he received his 
license, and two years afterward left New Jersey and came to 
Dayton, Ohio. He remained there but a short time, and then 
came to Indiana. He stopped at Brookville awhile, and then 
went to Salem and located. On the organization of Washing- 
ton county, in 181 3, he was chosen its first Clerk and Recorder, 
In after years he used to say that his principal duty while fill- 
ing these ofiices was the recording of marks. x\t that time 
there were few inclosures for stock, and, as it ran at large, it 
was important that it be so marked that it might be identified 
by the owner ; hence the marks. The next vear Mr. Black- 
ford was elected Clerk of the Territorial Legislature, which 
office he resigned on being appointed Judge of the first judicial 
circuit. He then removed to Vincennes, and in the fall of 1815 
resigned the judgeship and opened a law office. The next year,^ 
1816, he was elected a representative from the county of Knox 
to the first Legislature under the State government. There 
were many men in that body who afterward became distin- 
guished in the history of Indiana, among them James Noble, 
Amos Lane, John Dumont, Williamson Dunn, Davis Floyd^ 
Samuel Milroy and Ratlift' Boon ; but even at that early day 
Judge Blackford's reputation for judicial fairness was so well 



ISAAC BLACKFORD. 345 

established that he was chosen Speaker without a contest. The 
next year Governor Jennings appointed him a Judge of the 
Supreme Court, a position he graced and honored for the next 
thirty-five years. 

In 1853, his term as Supreme Judge having expired, he 
opened an office at Indianapolis for the practice of the law. He 
had been so long on the bench that he was ill at ease when he 
went into court with a case. His effort to get into practice was 
not successful, and in a short time he measurabl}' abandoned 
it. General Terrell narrates this amusing incident in Judge 
Blackford's career at that time : 

" One of his first cases was tried before a jury in the Marion 
Court of Common Pleas, Judge David Wallace presiding. The 
testimony on both sides had been submitted, and as the da}' 
was far spent court adjourned until next morning, when the 
attorneys were to make their arguments. Judge Blackford was 
on hand bright and early, apparently eager to proceed with the 
case. It was the first time in thirty-five years that he had ap- 
peared as an advocate before a jury. When the time came for 
him to make his argument he arose with some trepidation, and 
thrusting his hand into his coat pocket for the manuscript of his 
speech, discovered, to his astonishment, that he had left it in 
his office. Without the document he was entirely helpless, and 
he was compelled to beg the indulgence of the court and jur}- 
until he could go out and get it, which he did as quickly as pos- 
sible ; but he was evidently much embarrassed and humiliated 
by the unfortunate circumstance. He read his remarks .in a 
stumbling, monotonous way, that probably made little impres- 
sion on the minds of the ' twelve good and lawful ' jurors, inas- 
much as they brought in a verdict against him. It is not un- 
likelv that this mishap and adverse verdict had some influence 
in his retirement from practice in the courts." 

Judge Blackford was not at home at the bar, and he longed 
to be again upon the bench. The opportunit}- soon came. In 
1855, on the organization of the Court of Claims at Washington, 
President Pierce appointed him one of its judges. He held 
this office until his death, December 31, 1859. He discharged 
its duties in a wav that added luster to a name alread^' illus- 



346 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES, 

trious, and died the best known and most eminent jurist Indiana 
has ever produced. 

When Judge Bhxckford's death became known at Washing- 
ton a meeting of the Indiana congressional delegation was held 
to take action upon it. Albert G. Porter, then the representa- 
tive from the Indianapolis district, in a speech delivered on that 
occasion, said : 

"It is hardl}^ possible, sir, for persons who reside in an old^ 
community to appreciate the extent to which, in a new country, 
the character of a public man mav be impressed upon the pub- 
lic mind. There is not a communitv in Indiana, not a single 
one, in which the name of Judge Blackford is not a household 
word. He has been identified with our State from the beginning. 
He mav almost be said to be a part of our institutions. Judicial 
ability, judicial purity, approaching nearly to the idea of the 
divine, private worth, singularly blending the simplicity of 
childhood with the sober gravit}' of age — these were represented, 
not simply in the mind of the profession, but in the universal 
popular mind of Indiana, in the person of Isaac Blackford.'' 

At the same meeting General William McKee Dunn, then the 
representative from the Madison district, said: "For more 
than a quarter of a century Judge Blackford occupied a seat on 
the Supreme Bench of our State. He has done more than any 
other man to build up our jurisprudence on the broad foundation 
of the common law. His reports are not only an honor to him, 
but to the State of Indiana also. It has been well said here that 
he was an 'upright judge,' and not only was he so in fact, but 
so careful was he of his judicial character, and so regardful of 
all the proprieties of his position, that he was universally rec- 
ognized and esteemed as ' an upright judge.' 

" Indiana is proud of her great jurist, but to-day she mourns 
the loss of one of her most eminent citizens, and now by her 
united delegation in Congress claims that all that is mortal of 
Is&ac Blackford may be entrusted to her care and have sepul- 
ture in her bosom. Let his body be borne back to the State 
with whose judicial history his name is inseparably connected, 
and there at its capital let him be buried, where those from all 



ISAAC BLACKFORD. 347 

parts of the State who have so long known, revered and loved 
him may visit his tomb and pay affectionate tribute to his 
memorv. ' 

On Thursday, January 13, i860, while the Democratic State 
convention was in session. Governor Willard announced to the 
convention that the remains of Judge Blackford had reached 
Indianapolis and were then lying in state at the Senate cham- 
ber. He also said the Judge's funeral would take place that 
afternoon, and invited the delegates to view the remains and 
attend the funeral. On the same da}- the Indianapolis bar held 
a meeting in reference to his death, at which Judge Morrison 
presided and John H. Rea acted as secretarv. John L. Ketch- 
am. chairman of the Committee on Resolutions, reported a series, 
including the following, which were unanimously adopted : 

'■'■J^eso/vcd, That while we receive, in the profoundest sorrow, 
the announcement of the decease of the late Hon. Isaac Black- 
ford, we cherish for his memory the highest regard, acknowl- 
edging that he has contributed more than an}^ other man in 
Indiana to the high character of her judicial reputation ; that 
such judges are a blessing to any State, and deserve to be held 
in great respect by all the people. 

'■'■Resolved, That as we recognize in this removal the hand of 
God, we also acknowledge His goodness to the State in sparing 
so long one who presided over her highest judicial tribunal with 
.such marked ability and spotless integrity." 

Judge Blacktbrd's remains have been interred in Crown Hill 
Cemetery, and at his grave stands a monument upon which is 
engraven the leading events of his life, the inscription closing 
as follows : 

" The honors thus conferred were the just rewards of an in- 
dustry that ne^•er wearied, of an integrit\' that was never ques- 
tioned." 

A year or so ago Mr. D. S. Alexander, now Fifth Auditor of 
the Treasury at Washington, contributed a valuable paper on 
the life and character of Judge Blackford to the Southern Laze/ 



348 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Review. Mr. Alexander, however, does not do justice either 
to the natural talents or legal attainments of the distinguished 
jurist. He says that ''at no time in his long career was he 
(Judge Blackford) esteemed a great law3'er or a profound ju- 
rist." Again : " He was in no sense a great man, and candor 
compels the admission that in some respects he was a very or- 
dinary man." I must take issue with Mr. Alexander on this 
subject. His verdict is not the verdict of the world. A man's 
ability can be determined by what he accomplishes in life. By 
this standard Judge Blackford was a great man, for he accom- 
plished much. When he entered upon his public life there was 
no scarcity of able men about him. The pioneers of Indiana 
who reached distinction were all able, and most of them highly 
educated. It would have been impossible for one " not a great 
lawyer" to have reached Judge Blackford's eminence in judi- 
cature, and it would have been equally impossible for " a very 
ordinary man " so early in life to have attained his distinction 
in the politics of the State. While his talents were not of the 
highest order, the}" were good, and his great industry enabled 
him to accomplish more than many possessing greater natural 
parts. 

In 1825 Judge Blackford was a candidate for Governor of 
Indiana, but was defeated by James Brown Ray by a majority 
of 2,622 votes. Subsequent!}^ he was a candidate for United 
States Senator, and was beaten by William Hendricks by a 
single vote. 

Judge Blackford was very careful in his expenditure of money. 
He seldom parted with it without an equivalent. 

In March, 1851, when Jenny Lind sang in the Madison pork- 
house, he went to Madison to hear her. There was much ex- 
citement the evening she sang over the sale of tickets, but he 
stood at the box office and patiently bided his time. When the 
bidding became slack, and the price of tickets dropped to five 
dollars he made his purchase. He was not a benevolent man, 
but he seldom refused a contribution, when called on, for a 
charitable purpose. 

Judge Blackford had an only son, George, whose mother 
died in giving him birth. The father was wrapped up in his 
boy. He was not only an only child, but he was the only hope 



ISAAC HI.ACKPORI). 



349 



of perpetuating the Blackford name. This bov, this child and 
companion of the cloisteral jurist, sickened and died while at 
Lexington, Kentucky, under medical treatment of Dr. Dudley. 
The father went to Lexington, and after seeing his boy laid 
away in his tomb, returned to his home. It was in the summer 
time, and he reached Indianapolis in the middle of the night. 
Instead of going to his room in the Circle, he went to the resi- 
dence of Henry P. Coburn, and, without knocking, opened the 
door and entered the house, a house in which he was ever wel- 
come. Soon afterward one of Mr. Coburn's sons was awakened 
by the stifled sobs of the mourner. He arose from his bed, and 
lighting a candle, beheld Judge Blackford, walking the floor 
and sobbing as though his heart would break. Not a word was 
said. The young man knew the cause of the great grief of his 
father's friend, and having no wish to intrude upon its sanctit}-, 
left the room. Judge Blackford remained at Mr. Coburn's for 
several days, and during the time held no conversation with 
any one. He took his meals in silence, and when they were 
over returned to his room. When narrating this incident. 
General John Coburn said to the author: " I have seen grief 
in all its forms ; have seen the mother mourning for her son ; 
have seen the wife at the grave of her husband, and heard her 
sobs, but I never saw such appalling agony as Judge Blackford 
exhibited that night at my father's house." 

Judge Blackford had a room in the old building which used 
to stand in the Governor's Circle, in which he lived for many 
years. It was plainl}^ furnished, but it contained everything 
necessary for his comfort. There were three tables in it, and 
these were always loaded with books. William Franklin, a 
colored man still living, used to sweep the Judge's room, make 
the fires and do other necessary things about the house. He 
was with Judge Blackford twelve years, and says that, during 
that time, he never saw him in a passion, nor heard him utter 
an angry word. He nursed the Judge when he was sick, and 
attended to his little wants when he was well, and had the best 
of opportunities of knowing him as he really was. 

Judge Blacktbrd was prudish in the manner of writing his 
opinions. The orthography must be perfect and the punctua- 
tion faultless betore the matter left his hands. One wlio knew 



350 i;io(;raphical and historical sketches. 

him well says he paid as much attention to a comma as to a 
thought. He has been known to stop the press to correct the 
most trivial error, one that few would notice. The late Samuel 
Judah, desiring to have a decision delayed, once asked him the 
correct spelling of a word he knew would be in the opinion. 
The Judge answered, giving the usual orthography. Mr. Judah 
took issue with him and argued that the spelling was not cor- 
rect. The Judge at once commenced an examination of the 
word, dug out its roots and carefully weighed all the authorities 
he could find. He spent two da3's at this work, and before he 
got through the court had adiourned and the case went over to 
the next term. 

In politics Judge Blackford was originally a Whig, but in 
1836 he supported Van Buren for the presidenc}^, and afterward 
acted with the Democracy. He hated slavery, and during his 
whole life his influence was against it. Although the ordinance 
ceding the Northwestern Territory to the United States pro- 
vided that slaver}^ should never exist in the Territory or the 
States formed from it, it was covertl}' introduced into the Ter- 
ritory. Laws were passed authorizing the bringing of negroes 
into the Territor}', and providing for apprenticing males until 
they were thirty-five 3'ears old, and females until they were 
thirty-two. Children of colored persons born in the Territory 
might be apprenticed until the males were thirty and the females 
twenty-eight years old. It was also provided that slaves found 
ten miles from home without permission of their masters might 
be taken up and whipped with twenty-five lashes. Congress 
was petitioned to suspend the sixth article of the ordinance of 
1787 prohibiting slaverv in the Territory, but happily without 
effect. General Harrison was Governor of the Territor}-, and 
approved of all these measures. He had about him, and en- 
joying his confidence. Waller Taylor, Thomas Randolph, and 
other immigrants from Virginia, who were pro-slavery men of 
the most decided cast. Judge Blackford hated slavery in all 
its forms, and early allied himself with the free State party led 
by Jonathan Jennings. He held General Harrison responsible 
for the eftbrt to make Indiana a slave Territor}-, and when the 
General became a candidate for President, in 1836, Judge 
Blackford refused to support him. His action in this matter put 



ISAAC HLACKFORl). 35 1 

him outside the Whig party and into the Democratic — a position 
he maintained while he Hved. 

Judge Blackford regarded Vincennes as his home tor man}^ 
years after he came to Indianapolis to live, and even- year he 
spent a part of his time in that place. On one of his trips to 
Vincennes on horseback he came very near losing his life. 
Mounted on a stout horse, with overcoat, leggings, and saddle- 
bag full of law books, he undertook to ford White river, near 
Martinsville, while the river was much swollen by a freshet. He 
and his horse were swept down the stream a great distance, but 
eventuall}' the}'^ landed on an island. The Judge was wet and 
cold, and it was several hours before he reached the mainland, 
being rescued by a farmer who had heard his outcries. He spent 
a couple of days in drying his law books and clothing, and in 
waiting for the waters to tall low enough for him to cross the 
river with safety, and then proceeded on his journey. 

Judge Blackford was about five feet nine inches high, very 
erect, with a neat, trim, lithe figure; he was quick and active 
in motion and graceful in bearing. His face was long, though 
well proportioned and marked with intelligence, sensibility and 
refinement. His head was small but shapely. He was upright 
and scrupulousl}^ honest in his dealings ; was a model of integ- 
rity and purity of character. He had great reverence for the 
Sabbath, and nothing could swerve him from his purpose to do 
no work on Sundav. 

He lived the greater part of his life alone, having the habits 
of a student and the tastes of a scholar. 

His legal opinions were prepared with the greatest care and 
precision. They were written and rewritten until thev were 
brought to his critical standard. So, too, with his reports of 
the decisions of the Supreme Court, eight volumes of which he 
published. Each syllabus was wrought out as a sculptor chisels 
his marble. He did not report all the decisions of the court, 
many were omitted. Those only were published which he re- 
garded as sound and just on the general principles of the law. 
The result of this was his reports are authority wherever the 
courts recognize the common law as their rule of action. Since 
they were published a law has been passed compelling a report 
of all the opinions of the court. There have been so manycon- 



352 BIOGRAPHICAL AXD HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

tradictoiy opinions given since then that the authorit}- of our 
highest court is not, relativeh% as high as it was when its de- 
cisions were only known through Blackford's Reports. Judge 
Blackford's reports were short and sententious, his style being 
clear and faultless. He did not write essays or treatises in his 
opinions, but treated of the essence of the case, and of nothing 
more. 

Judge Blackford was not a member of any church, and he 
attended religious meetings wherever his taste or inclination 
led him. He was a believer in the Christian religion. He was, 
in short, a conscientious, rnodest, firm and incorruptible man. 
He was economical in habit, plain in dress, and unostentatious 
in manner. He was shy in deportment, avoided discussions, 
and made no enemies by his manner or treatment of men. He 
was a constant reader, and had an extensive miscellaneous as 
well as an excellent law library. He took the leading Ameri- 
can and foreign magazines and carefully read them. He was 
great as a judge. He was not great as an advocate, or states- 
man, or scholar, or orator, or writer, but as a judge he stands 
in advance of any man our State has produced. 

He^was not a rapid thinker or powerful reasoner, but his 
sense of justice and fair dealing, his ability to weigh legal ar- 
guments, his untiring perseverence in the investigation of cases, 
put him in the front rank of Indiana judges, and there he will 
stand. 

Without favor, fear or affection he held up the scales of jus- 
tice before the world. His spotless rectitude and unswerving 
justice made his name a household word in Indiana, a State 
whose judicature he found in swaddling clothes and left clad in 
beautiful raiment. 



STEPHEN C. STEVENS. 



One of the leading lawyers of early Indiana was Stephen C. 
Stevens. He ran a political career at an early stage of his his- 
tory in the State, which may be briefly summed up as follows : 

In 1817 he was elected to the Legislature from Franklin 
county (he then lived at Brookville). He was made chairman 
of the Commission on Revision of the Laws. Soon after this 
he removed to Vevay, in Switzerland county, and in 1824 was 
sent to the Legislature from Switzerland county, and was 
elected Speaker of the House. The next year he was re- 
elected to the Legislature from Switzerland, and was appointed 
chairman of the Judiciary Committee. 

In 1826 he was elected to the State Senate from Switzerland 
and Riplev counties, and in 1828 was re-elected to the Senate 
from said counties. He was alwa3^s a prominent figure in the 
Legislatures in which he served. 

He was an oflicer in the Vevay branch of the Bank of Vin- 
cennes, an institution chartered by the Territorial Legislature 
in 1814. Subsequently he removed to Madison, and remained 
a resident of that citv while he lived. On the 28th of January, 
1831, Governor Rav appointed him a Judge of the Supreme 
Court, a position he held until May, T836, when he resigned 
and returned to the practice of the law. 

Judge Stevens was not a great lawyer. However, he was a 
painstaking one, and his industry and care made him a success- 
ful practitioner. For years he had the largest collection busi- 
ness of anv member of the Madison bar. He was a fair jury 
lawver, and excelled most of his compeers in the preparation 

23 



354 HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 

of legal papers and in the collection of claims. In these re- 
spects he was fully abreast of any member of the ablest bar in 

the State. 

li 

Judge Stevens was diffuse and prolix in his writings. He 
alwa3^s told the whole stor^^ I remember writing up the com- 
plete record of the case of Warfield vs. Warfield, a chancery 
case disposed of in the J.efterson Circuit Court in 1847. Judge 
Stevens was the plaintiff's attorney, and had prepared most of 
the papers. There were several depositions taken and pub- 
lished, the questions and answers of which were written by the 
Judge. Each deposition commenced as follows : 

" The deposition of John Smith, a man of sound mind and 
discretion, taken before Hiram Harris, Esq., a justice of the 
peace in and for the township of Shelby, in the county of Jeffer- 
son and State of Indiana, duly elected, commissioned and 
qualitied, at his office in the town of Canaan, in the township,, 
county and State aforesaid," etc. 

While I was making up the record Judge Stevens came into 
the Clerk's office, and I asked him wh}^ he prefaced the depo- 
sitions so minutely and particularly. He answered, that when 
a school-boy the master once called him up and interrogated him 
about a difficulty he had had with one of the scholars, and ended 
with administering to him a pretty severe flagellation : that 
subsequently, on learning all the circumstances connected with 
the difficulty, the teacher said that if he had told the whole story 
he would have escaped punishment. " This was a lesson," 
said the Judge, " I have never forgotten. Since then I have 
made it a rule to tell the whole stor}-." 

Judge Stevens was an old-time z\bolitionist. He was an anti- 
slaver}" man at a time when it required great courage to be one. 
It is impossible for those whose memory does not go back twenty 
years to realize the prejudice, and even bitterness, that then ex- 
isted against the Abolitionists. They were not only considered 
" outside of any healthy political organization," but they were 
socially tabooed and ostracised. And particularl}^ was this the 
case in Southern Indiana, where Judge Stevens lived. But op- 
position to slaver^• was with him a principle. 



STEPHEN c. stp:vf:ns. 355 

In 1845 the Libert}- party nominated Judge Stevens for Gov- 
ernor of the State. From a speech he made during the can- 
vass I make the following extracts, illustrative of his extreme 
views on the question of slaver)- and his bold st^de of presenta- 
tion : 

" Sir, let us know but two classes of men in church and state — 
the friends of slavery and its enemies. 

"We are asked how slavery is to be abolished? Sir, I will 
tell you. We must reach the abolition of slavery over the dead 
bodies of both the old political parties ; not slain by violence, 
but destroyed by the overthrow of their principles, the onl}- 
thing which holds them together and gives them party existence. 
As long as those parties exist so long will slaver}'' find a shelter 
under their folds. In the second place, we must reach the abo- 
lition of slavery through the doors of twenty thousand churches. 
I do not mean that we must destroy them, so that they will cease to 
be churches, but that we must bring them on the side of Jesus 
Christ instead of that of slavery. All this we must do bv teach- 
ing the truth and correcting the errors of the people. 

" But we are told that our plan is seditious and factious ; that 
we are agitators, yes, agitators. Well, Christ was an agitator. 
What makes agitation wrong is that it is error and not truth 
which agitates. The only question whether our agitation, like 
that of Christ and his apostles, is justifiable and necessary, is 
whether what we teach is the truth ; and it is the truth, God 
knows ! 

" 'But we shall divide the church !' Sir, division implies separa- 
tion ; and what shall we separate? Why, the sin of slaveholding 
from Christianity. God send that division soon. We are told, 
too, that we shall divide the Union ; that we are disunionists. 
Now, sir, I am for the Union ; but I say if the only Union we 
can have with the South, in church and state, is to be and must 
be cemented by the blood of three millions of my brethren, I 
say, in God's name, let it go down. I am for no union the bond 
of which is open crime. No church can or will be recognized 
for Christ in the great day which is cemented together by blood. 
The doom of Sodom and Gomorrah will be more tolerable in 
that dav than tlieirs. 



356 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

•' But we are told to remedy all our evils at home before touch- 
ing slaver3^ Doctor, cure yourself. 

" Sir. if we must wait till no injustice exists among men be- 
fore we touch slavery we shall never touch it. Is that what 
they want? 

" But our black laws in the free States, which they ask us to 
repeal before touching slaver3% are a mere sequent — a tail — a fol- 
lowing thing to slavery itself. When slavery is destroyed these 
laws, which are a mere consequence of slavery, will fall with 
it. Destroy the tree and you kill the branches." 

He believed slavery wrong, and he lifted up his voice against 
it at all times, in season and out of season. In 185 1 or 1852 a 
negro committed a rape on a white woman some thirty miles 
from Madison, and was lynched by an infuriated mob. The 
author, who was born and reared in a slave State, and taught 
to believe in the divinity of slavery, was talking with Judge 
Stevens about this case, when the latter remarked that, although 
rape was a great crime, and its perpetrators should be severely 
punished, yet there were mitigating circumstances in this case 
which should have shielded the negro from extreme punish- 
ment. Shocked at his words, I asked him what he meant. He 
answered that the commission of a criminal assault b}^ a negro 
upon a white woman was not so great an offense as the com- 
mission of a similar assault by a white man. This was so con- 
trary to my own feelings that I told him I was surprised at such 
an avowal ; that I had not supposed there was a man in the 
State who entertained such sentiments. He replied that the 
white man had the school-room, the church and the Bible to en- 
lighten and christianize him, while the negro was denied them 
all. Said he : "A man must answer according to his oppor- 
tunities ; when the educated white man makes a beast of him- 
self he is more culpable in the sight of God, and should be in the 
sight of man, than the ignorant negro who does a similar thing." 
However contrary to m}- education and feelings this position of 
Judge Stevens was, I could not but admit its force. 

Judge Stevens was a Presbyterian, and for some time was a 
member of the New School Presbyterian Church at Madison. 
As is known, the New School branch was formed on account 



STEPHEN C. STEVENS, 357 

of the conservatism of the Presbyterian church on the subject 
of slaver}'. The New School Presbyterians were anti-slavery, 
but they were not sufficiently so to suit the views of Judge Ste- 
vens. He refused to affiliate with an}^ one in the church who 
upheld slaver}', and therefore severed his connection with the 
church at Madison, and joined one located in the Abolition set- 
tlement some twelve or fourteen miles away. He remained a 
member of this church while he lived. 

In his 3'ounger days Judge Stevens was an active member 
of the Masonic fraternity. He was one of the eleven men who 
met at Corvdon, December 3, 181 7, and laid the foundation for 
the Grand Lodcre of Indiana. In his latter davs he did not 
affiliate with the order, having left it at the time of the Morgan 
excitement, but he never ceased to have a high respect and re- 
gard for it while he lived. 

Judge Stevens accumulated a competence b}' his profession, 
and lived in good but not extravagant style. In 185 1 or 1852 
he invested all his means in a contemplated railroad. Although 
he had seen much of the world, and was a close observer of 
men and things, he ignored the fact that those who build rail- 
roads seldom operate them. He put all the mone}' he had, and 
even his home, into the road and lost it all. He soon found 
himself without a dollar of money or a home. The shock was too 
great for him to bear, and it impaired his mind. He imagined 
himself immensely rich, and traveled over the State in search of 
investments for his surplus mone}-. Wherever he went he bar- 
gained for farms, for houses and lots, and for anything that 
struck his fancy. The author saw him at Franklin in 1861 or 
1862, and remembers that he contracted for the finest residence 
propertv in that citv. Having known him in the days of his in- 
tellectual strength and worldly prosperity, I was deeply pained 
to see what a wreck he had become. He was but a shadow — 
and a faint one, too — of his former self. Time did not improve 
his mental condition, and on the 29th of June, 1869, he was ad- 
mitted into the Indiana Hospital for the Insane as a patient. 
He remained in that institution, with but little apparent benetit, 
until November 7. 1870, when death came to his relict". His 
remains were taken to Madison and buried in the cenieterv 



358 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

there, and all that was mortal of Stephen C. Stevens rests near 
the homestead where he lived so long. 

Judge Stevens was a large, raw-boned man. He was slightly 
stoop-shouldered, and in person was somewhat ungainly. He 
had an active mind and strong body, but the tirst gave way to 
misfortune and the latter to age. He was an old man when he 
died, but had not adversity overtaken him he would most prob- 
ably be living now. Bodily disease is not the only thing that 
kills ; reverse of fortune often causes disease of mind, and when 
the mind dies it is a blessing for the body to follow. 

Oliver H. Smith, in his Earl}- Indiana Trials and Sketches, 
thus speaks of Judge Stevens : 

" He stood high at the bar, and was one of the strongest advo- 
cates in the State, but the diftuseness of his opinions supplied 
to man}^ obiter dicta for other cases, in the opinion of many 
sound members of the bar. He was one of the most laborious 
judges upon the bench, and furnished Blackford's Reports with 
many valuable opinions." 

For the following additional incidents of interest the author 
is indebteded to the venerable Judge Test, yet living, who knew 
the subject personallv and well : 

"Judge Stevens came to Brookville with his mother about 
1 81 2. It was during the war, and the Indians w^ere troubling us 
a great deal. Stevens reported one day that he had shot at an 
Indian that was coming up to his house, and that he had wound- 
ed him. Some were rather doubtful about the matter, and fol- 
lowed the trail of blood down to the river, but finding nothing, 
they accused him of having killed a chicken and passed it oft' 
as an Indian. This got him down a good deal. He was a mer- 
chant then on his own account. Before the close of the war he 
went to New Orleans and joined Jackson's army. He was one 
of the few men wounded in the battle of New Orleans, being 
wounded on the top of his head. This restored his reputation 
at home, and the people thought his Indian story might not be 
altogether untrue. He had studied law while operating as a 
merchant, and when he returned to Brookville he commenced 
the practice of law, building a little oflice in the south part of 



STP:PHEN C. STEVENS. 359 

town. After this he moved to Vevay, Hving there with his 
mother. He was very devoted to his mother, taking good care 
of her and Hving for her. He was president of the Vevay bank, 
and after the bank broke he practiced law with some success. ' 
I became better acquainted with him at this time and came into 
collision with him in one case. He was a ver\^ diffuse man and 
covered a good deal of paper to express a small idea. The last 
time I saw him he was in the Insane Asylum. The superin- 
tendent asked me if I had known Judge Stevens. I told him I 
had known him very well, having lived in the same town. The 
superintendent informed me he was there and I found him lying 
on the bed in his drawers, while an old fellow named Mussel- 
man, from Logansport, was mending his breeches. He looked 
at me intently, as if trying to gather up his thoughts, and then 
said : ' I don't know you,' then added, ' Yes, of course I know 
you ; but ever since the top of my head was cut off my memory 
is not as good as it used to be.' After leaving the asylum I 
went to the Governor's office and told him the circumstances, 
and how poor the old man was. Governor Baker pulled out a 
ten dollar bill, and going around to others, raised some fifty or 
sixty dollars within an hour, which was sent up to the superin- 
tendent with instructions to buy Stevens a suit of clothes. His 
measure was taken and w^hen the suit was' made, it was pre- 
sented with the compliments of the bar. Stevens made quite a 
speech to the effect that he was glad to be remembered by the 
bar. In a few da\'s after this he died and was buried in his 
new^ suit." 



CHARLES DEWEY 



No name is more venerated b}' the bar ot' Indiana than that 
of Charles Dewey. Although not so learned in the books as 
his great compeer, Isaac Blackford, nor so elegant in his dic- 
tion as his other companion on the bench, Jeremiah Sullivan, 
yet, in strength of intellect and ability to grasp legal questions, 
Judge Dewey was superior to either of them. Such is the judg- 
ment of those best qualified to know. 

Charles Dewey was born in Sheffield, Massachusetts, March 
6, 1784. He was well educated, having graduated at Williams 
College with the honors of his class. After completing his 
course at college he studied law, and in 1816 came to Indiana 
and located at Paoli, in Orange county. He opened an office 
and commenced the practice of the law, and soon had a large 
business, not onl}- in the county where he lived, but in other 
counties on his circuit. In these days a lawyer did not confine 
his practice to a single county, but traveled over a large extent 
of territory, and took cases wherever they were offered him. 

Mr. Dewey, like most lawyers of his time, and indeed of this 
also, took an interest in politics, and in 182 1 was elected to the 
Legislature from his count3% He served with such distinction 
as to attract the attention of the people throughout his section 
of the State, and the next year they demanded that he should 
run for Congress. His district comprised one-third of the State, 
and it was very thoroughly canvassed both by him and his com- 
petitor, General William Prince. General Prince had been 
with Aaron Burr in his Southwestern expedition, and it was 
charged that Mr. Dewe}^ had favored the Hartford convention ; 
therefore, the honors were even so far as charges went. But the 
pioneers of Indiana were more antagonistic to the Harttbrd con- 



CHARLES UEWEV. 361 

vention than to Burr's Hlibustering expedition, and, although 
Mr. Dewev had not been a member of the Harttbrd convention, 
the charge was " a good enough Morgan "" to defeat him. 

In 1824, two years after Mr, Dewe}' made his unsuccessful 
race for Congress, he removed to Charlestown, in Clark count}'^,, 
and lived there until his death. He devoted himself assiduoush'^ 
to the practice of the law, and reached a high place in the pro- 
fession. While taking an interest in politics he was not a can- 
didate for office until 1832, when he ran for Congress against 
General John Carr, and was beaten. This was the last race he 
made for office before the people. 

In 1836 Governor Noble appointed Mr. Dewey Judge of the 
Supreme Court, to fill the place of Stephen C. Stevens, who had 
resigned. Oliver H. Smith, in his " Early Indiana Trials and 
wSketches," speaks thus of this appointment: ''The Judge 
brought with him a matured mind, and a large experience as a 
practitioner. Many doubted, at the time, whether he could sus- 
tain on the bench his high reputation at the bar. But as his 
judicial powers were developed he rose as a judge, and fully 
sustained himself in the opinion of the bar, who are good judges 
and safe depositories of the judicial reputations of the judges." 

Judge Dewey sat on the Supreme bench eleven years, and 
honored it as few have done. He came fully up to the mark, 
the public having, by common consent, placed him in the very 
front rank of Indiana judges. 

Under the first constitution of Indiana, Supreme Judges were 
appointed by the Governor, bv and with the consent of the Sen- 
ate. In politics Judge Dewey was a Whig. In 1843 James 
Whitcomb, a Democrat, was elected Governor, and re-elected 
in 1846. When the Governor came into office one of the Su- 
preme Judges — Isaac Blackford — was a Democrat, and the 
other two — Dewey and Sullivan — were Whigs. When the 
terms of the judges expired, the Governor sent to the Senate 
the name of Judge Blackford to succeed himself, and those of 
Samuel E. Perkins and Thomas L. Smith to succeed Judges 
Dewey and Sullivan. The Senate confirmed Judge Blackford, 
but refused its consent to the appointment of Messrs. Perkins 
and Smith. A long and acrimonious contest took place between 
the Governor and the Senate over these appointments. 



362 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

The Governor sent the names of several other gentlemen to 
the Senate, but they were promptly rejected. After the Legis- 
lature adjourned Governor Whitcomb gave Judges Dewey and 
Sullivan temporary appointments to last until the meeting of 
the next Legislature. When that bod}^ convened, the Senate, 
like that of the previous session, refused to confirm the Gov- 
ernor's nominees. A few days after it had adjourned the Gov- 
ernor sent Judge Dewey another temporary appointment. Be- 
fore accepting it he had an interview with the Governor, and 
told him he should decline the appointment unless he had as- 
surances that he would be regularly nominated to the next Sen- 
ate. Governor Whitcomb told him that he should, as a com- 
promise measure, nominate him and Judge Perkins to the next 
Senate, "unless he should be diverted from his purpose in re- 
spect to him — Judge Dewey — by the course the Whigs might 
take in the coming canvass for Governor." It was, undoubt- 
edly, Governor Whitcomb's intention, at the time to re-appoint 
Judge Dewey, but he was diverted from the purpose, mainly 
through the influence of Ashbel P. Willard, afterward Gov- 
ernor of the State. Willard was then just rising to influence 
and power in the politics of Indiana, and Judge Dewey, being 
a Whig, was fiercelv antagonized bv the rising young politician. 
He succeeded in preventing the nomination of Judge Dewey, 
and in securing that of his friend and townsman, Thomas L. 
Smith, but, as many thought at the time, at the expense of the 
Governor's good faith. 

In February, 1847, Judge Dewey published a letter in the ///- 
iiianapolis 'Journal, in which ■ he recounted at length his com- 
plaints against Governor Whitcomb. After reciting the several 
interviews he had had with the Governor, and naming the 
pledges which he asserted had been given him, he closed as 
follows: "• I have only to add that the Governor's word has 
not been kept : his pledge is unredeemed." 

On leaving the Supreme bench Judge Dewey resumed the 
practice of the law. He took into partnership George \'. Howk, 
now of our Supreme Court, and for many years they practiced 
together. The firm had a large practice in Southern Indiana as 
well as in the Supreme Court of the State, the reputation of the 
senior partner bringing it business, far and near. 



CHARLES DEWEY. 363 

In x\pnl, 1849, Judge Dewe}-, while riding in his carriage, 
was thrown out, and suffered the fracture of a leg. He never 
recovered from the hurt, being compelled during the remainder 
of his life to walk with crutches, but he continued the practice 
of his profession while he lived. He died at his home in Charles- 
town, April 25, 1862, and was buried in the cemetery there. 
Judge Dewe}' was cotemporaneous with the men who made In- 
diana a State. He was the friend and neighbor of Jonathan 
Jennings, and was his legal adviser in the trouble between him 
and Christopher Harrison about the governorship. He practiced 
at a bar which contained many able members, but none of them 
outranked him. He and Benjamin Parke, the first United 
States District Judge of Indiana, were friends, and usually came 
to Indianapolis together, when business called them there, al- 
though they lived man}" miles apart. Judge Dewey was a great 
reader of novels, and tried to have Judge Parke read them also, 
but the latter could not get interested in the fictitious creations 
of genius, and continued to prefer Coke and Blackstone to 
Fielding and Smollet. After Judge Parke's death Judge Dewey, 
at the request of the bar of the State, delivered a eulogy upon 
his departed friend worthy of the distinguished subject. The 
address was printed, and a few copies of it only are in existence. 
I have been unable to find anv literary efibrt of Judge Dewey 
save this address and his published opinions, but these prove 
him to have been a writer of remarkable ability. The clean-cut 
sentences of his eulog}- upon Judge Parke remind one of the 
writings of Burke. There is no superfluity of words. His 
meaning is never obscure. Judge Dewey was not blessed with 
the graces of orator}^ He could, however, talk with ease and 
fluency, and was verv eflective when presenting his views to a 
court. 

Judge Dewey was fond of anecdotes. Having been person- 
ally acquainted with most of the leading men of early Indiana, 
he was full of reminiscences and stories, which he was in the 
habit of recounting to attentive listeners. When on the bench 
he was dignified and somewhat austere, but when ofl' it he was 
always ready to tell a story. 

Throughout Judge I)ewe}"s long life he was a supporter of 
the Christian church. A short time before he died he made a 



364 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

profession of the Christian rehgion, and joined the Presbyterian 
church, in whose communion he died. 

I am indebted to Professor Campbell, of Cravvfordsville. for 
the following characteristic anecdotes of Judge Dewey : 

" On a certain occasion there were assembled a pleasant 
party in the parlor of the Washington House, Indianapolis, who 
were enjoying especially the joke of Dewe3''s menagerie, as 
they facetiousl}' termed the traveling concern which happened 
at the time. to be exhibiting at Indianapolis, and was located on 
some vacant lots on Washington street belonging to Judge 
Dew^ey, when a young man of somewhat diminutive stature and 
pompous manner approached the Judge wath a 'Well, Judge, I 
think I shall patronize your menagerie to-night.' ' Glad to hear 
it,' replied Dewey ; ' glad to hear it. Our pony has just arrived, 
and our monkey is sick ; we shall need you.' Gifted as he was 
in this quickness of repartee, he enjoj-ed equally well a sally of 
wit, even though he himself were the subject. On another oc- 

sion, at the same hotel, in a company of lawyers, John L , 

of Madison, with a little unw^arranted liberty, remarked, in 
reference to the long nose and chin of Judge Dewey, that they 
would probably meet soon. The Judge replied, somewhat bit- 
terly, that they never had met yet ; whereupon Henry S. Lane, 
with ready wdt, added : ' Yet a good many hard words have 
passed between them ! ' The merry twinkle with w^hich this 
was received established a cordiality and friendship between 
them that lasted while they lived. 

"On one occasion, in the argument on a demurrer, the law 
was plainly against him, and he was prepared to yield grace- 
fully to the decision of the court against him in accordance with 
the presentation of the other side by Col. Wilson. Unfortu- 
nately, however. Judge John Thompson, instead of confining' 
himself to the points made by the opposing attorney, was pro- 
ceeding to make the ruling for other reasons, whereupon Mr. 
Dewey boldly spoke out, 'The law may be against me, Judge, 
but you are giving a poor reason for it.' 

" ' Sit down, Mr. Dewey, sit down I ' thundered the Judge in 
excited tones. With stern dignity and folded arms, Dewey re- 
plied, ' I am too much of a freeman, sir, to be directed by you, 



CHARLES DEWEV, 365 

or any one, as to the attitude I must assume.' ' Be quiet, sir.* 
again spoke Judge T. ' That Your Honor has the right in this 
court to command," responded Mr. D., and this passage at 
arms ended." 

In person Judge Dewev was large and commanding. He was 
six feet high, and weighed about 200 pounds. His hair was 
black, his complexion dark, his forehead broad and high, and 
his mouth very expressive. His features were not regular, his 
nose and chin being too long to be symmetrical, but this defect 
was more than overbalanced by the look of intelligence and 
dignity that always pervaded his face. 

Judge Dewey's widow is living in Indianapolis at the advanced 
age of eighty years. Her health is good, her mind unimpaired 
and her body exceedingly vigorous for one of her years. She 
gave the author many of the incidents mentioned in this sketch, 
and, when speaking of her distinguished husband, her eye 
plainly told of the love she bore him. 



JEREMIAH SULLIVAN. 



Among the men who impressed themselves upon the morals 
of the people and the institutions of the State in early days was 
Jeremiah Sullivan. He had much to do in la3'ing the founda- 
tions of the State government and in giving character to its ju- 
diciary, and he well deserves a place in the list of distinguished 
men. 

Mr. Sullivan was of Irish descent. He was born in a small 
Virginia town eighty-seven years ago, and was designed by his 
father, who was a Roman Catholic, for the priesthood. He was 
educated at William and Mary's College, graduating from that 
institution with honor. He chose the law for a profession, but 
before being admitted to the bar he enlisted in the army and 
soon earned a captain's commission. This was during the last 
war with Great Britain, and when hostilities ceased the voung 
soldier laid aside his military trappings and resumed his books. 
He was admitted to the Virginia bar, but his chances for rising 
in his profession there being but meager, he determined to seek 
a more inviting field. So he bade his friends farewell and started 
West on horseback in search of a location. His destination 
was Louisville, Kentucky, but on arriving at Cincinnati he heard 
there was a good opening for a lawyer at Madison, Indiana, so 
he changed his mind and went to that town. It was in the fall 
of 1817 when he reached there, and he settled and lived there 
until he died. 

At Madison Captain Sullivan practiced his profession with 
success, and it was ver}- seldom that he left it for any other busi- 
ness. In 1820, three 3'^ears after he came to the State, he was 
elected a member of the Legislature iVom his county. He 
proved to be an industrious and painstaking one, and was as 



JEREMIAH SULLIVAN. 367 

influential in shaping legislation as an}^ member of the House. 
It was he who gave Indianapolis its name, as will be seen by the 
following letter to ex-Governor Baker, when that gentleman 
was Governor of the State : 

" I have a very distinct recollection of the great diversity of 
opinion that prevailed as to the name the new town should re- 
ceive. The bill was reported b}' Judge Polk, and was, in the 
main, ver^^ acceptable. A blank, of course, was left for the 
name of the town that was to become the seat of government, 
and during the two or three days we spent in endeavoring to 
fill that blank there were some sharpness and much amusement. 
General Marston G. Clark, of Washington county, proposed 
' Tecumseh ' as the name, and very earnestly insisted on its 
adoption. When that failed he suggested other Indian names 
which I have forgotten. They also were rejected. Somebody 
suggested ' Suwarro,' which met with no favor. Judge Polk 
desired the blank to be tilled with ' Concord ;" that also failed. 
Other names were proposed, but they were all voted down, and 
the House, without coming to any agreement, adjourned until 
the next day. There were man}- amusing things said during 
the day, but my remembrance of them is not sufficiently dis- 
tinct to state them with accuracy. I had gone to Cory don with 
the intention of proposing ' Indianapolis ' as the name of the 
town ; and on the evening of the adjournment above mentioned, 
I suggested to Mr. Samuel Merrill, the representative from 
Switzerland county, the name I preferred. He at once adopted 
it, and agreed to support it. We together called on Governor 
Jennings, who had been a witness to the amusing scenes of the 
day previous, and told him to what conclusion we had come. 
He gave us to understand that he favored the name we had 
agreed upon, and that he would not hesitate to so express him- 
self. When the House met and went into committee on the 
bill I moved to fill the blank with ' Indianapolis.' The name 
created a shout of laughter. Mr. Merrill, however, seconded 
the motion. We discussed the proposition freeh- and fully, the 
members conversed with each other informally, and the name 
gradually commended itself to the committee, and was accepted. 
The principal reason given tor its adoption, to wit: that its 



368 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Greek termination would indicate the importance of the town, 
was, I am sure, the reason that overcame opposition to the 
name. The town was finally named Indianapolis. 

"Jer. Sullivan." 

In early life Jvidge Sullivan had a taste for politics, but it left 
him as he grew older. He once made an unsuccessful race for 
Congress against William Hendricks, and this defeat seemed 
to have cured him of politics and caused him to adhere more 
closely than ever to his profession. I believe he never was a 
candidate for office before the people after this until the year he 
died. He was appointed by the Governor of the State a com- 
missioner to adjust the land question between the States^of Ohio 
and Indiana, growing out of the construction of the Wabash and 
Erie canal. After this he was appointed a Judge of the Supreme 
Court of Indiana, and he sat upon the bench of that court from 
1837 to 1846. It was while a judge of this court that he earned 
his fame, and it is as a Supreme judge that he will be best re- 
membered. During the nine years he sat upon the Supreme 
bench he graced and honored the place. His associates were 
Judges Blackford and Dewey, and it is only saying what is 
well known that at no time since the organization of the court 
has it stood so high as when Blackford, Dewey and Sullivan 
were its judges. These men were different in their mental 
make-up, but they were all able. Sullivan was the ablest writer 
of the three, as mav be seen by reading the reports of the court 
of that era. His opinions, as recorded by Blackford, are 
models of legal composition. There are a grace and perspicuitv 
in his style but seldom found, and had he chosen to be a writer 
of legal books, he would, unquestionably, have won a reputa- 
tion even exceeding that which he earned upon the bench. 

In 1869 a criminal court for Jefferson county was created, 
and Judge Sullivan was appointed its judge. At the first elec- 
tion afterwards he was chosen judge for a full term, but on the 
very day he would have taken his oath of office he died. He 
had been in bad health for some time, but notwithstandinjx this 
his death was unexpected, and it greatlv shocked the com- 
munity where he lived. He had resided so long at Madison, 
and had been so closely connected with jiublic affairs, that 



JEREMIAH SULLIVAN. 369 

.vhen the end came his old friends and neighbors keenly felt 
:he loss. 

In his early life Judge Sullivan was an active Freemason. In 
January, 1818, representatives for the different Masonic lodges 
in the State met at Madison and formed the Grand Lodge of 
Indiana. Judge Sullivan was a member of this body, and was 
elected p'rand orator of the lodtje. He continued his connection 
with Masonrv for manv years, but about the time of the Morgan 
excitement he withdrew his membership from the order, and 
never afterwards renewed it. 

Judge Sullivan was a member of the Presbyterian church, 
and in his daih' walk and example was a Christian man. On 
the division of that church he allied himself to the New School 
branch. He was an active member of the church and a regular 
attendant upon the services. He was a ruling elder, and ever 
demeaned himself as should one who occupies that high posi- 
tion. 

There were two places which Judge Sullivan always entered 
with reverence, the church and the temple of justice. I re- 
member an incident which occurred many years ago that will 
serve to illustrate his respect and reverence for the latter. A 
store-house and stock of goods, belonging to William Brazleton, 
were burned b}' incendiaries. Suspicion fell upon a couple of 
men in the neighborhood, and, on following it up, sufficient 
evidence was obtained to secure their indictment. The}' were 
in due time put upon their trial, and Mr. Brazleton appeared 
as a witness against them. While the trial was going on, and 
the Court-house was filled with people, a pistol in Brazleton's 
coat-pocket exploded. It was loaded with buckshot, but for- 
tunately no one was hurt. Brazleton's coat-tail was badly 
shattered and the chair in which he was sitting was filled with 
shot, but no other damage was done. The unfortunate witness, 
who was frightened almost to death, drew the pistol from his 
pocket, but no sooner had he done this than Judge Sullivan 
snatched it from him, and, seizing- him bv the arm, demanded 
of the court that he be sent to prison. " He comes into court," 
said the Judge, " a walking arsenal, and must be punished. I 
ask Your Honor to maintain the dignitv of 3'our office and pro- 
24 



370 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

tect the lives of those whose duty it is to be here." Judge 
Downey, or Judge Chapman, I have forgotten which, was upon 
the bench, and no doubt would have complied with Judge Sul- 
livan's demand had not one of the lawyers present asked to be 
heard in Mr. Brazleton's behalf. He read a letter to Brazleton. 
without signature, threatening him with death if he appeared as 
a witness in the case. The judge considered this a sutficient 
reason for the witness's arming himself, and therefore excused 
him. Judge Sullivan acquiesced in this decision, but said the 
witness should have left his pistol outside the court-room. He 
declared the court-room to be a place where controversies were 
decided b}^ the law, and not by violence, and that its precincts 
should never be profaned by the presence of a deadly weapon. 

Judge Sullivan seldom took an active part in politics. He 
was a Whig while that party existed, and afterwards a Repub- 
lican, but he usually contented himself with voting his party 
ticket. The only exception to this which I remember was in 
1850, when the Whig candidates for the constitutional conven- 
tion were nominated. He was very anxious that delegates 
should be sent to the convention from Jefferson county who 
would not be under the control of corporations. He declared 
that the people were in danger from corporations, and if the3Mvere 
not controlled by constitutional provisions the time would come 
when they would dictate the legislation of the country. He op- 
posed the nomination of William McKee Dunn, a personal 
friend, because he was a son-in-law of Mr. Lanier, a gentleman 
who had large interests in banks and in railroads. His oppo- 
sition to Mr. Dunn was unavailing, that gentleman being nomi- 
nated and elected. 

Judge Sullivan was a humorist of the first water. His humor 
seldom showed itself, but when it did it sparkled like a gem. 
Just before the breaking out of the Mexican war Thomas J. 
Henley, then a representative in Congress, and Senator Bright 
made speeches at Madison, in which the}' ridiculed the idea of 
war, and said if it came they would undertake to clean out 
Mexico with a regiment of women armed with broomsticks. 
When the war came, and blood commenced to flow, Judge Sul- 
livan wrote a series of articles for the Madison Banner^ over 
the signature of " Colonel Pluck," that were the perfection of 



JEREMIAH SULLIVAN. 37 1 

humor and ridicule. In them he called on Messrs. Bright and 
Henley to make good their promises at once, or he would take 
the field with his " Invincibles " and mop up Mexico before the 
women with their broomsticks could get into the field. He and 
Senator Bright were personal friends, and fearing, if the author- 
ship of the letters was known, the Senator would be offended, 
he had the papers copied before they went to the printer. 

Soon after the adoption of the constitution of 1850 he wrote 
some papers ridiculing the provision prohibiting the immigration 
of negroes and their emplovment in the State. In one of these 
papers he gave his reflections as he sat in a barber's chair get- 
ting shaved. These papers were inimitable, and no one who 
read them will question that they were written by a master hand. 
I do not think Judge Sullivan ever had a superior in this State 
as a humorous and satirical writer, and I question if he ever had 
an equal. He wrote so little, and so few knew what he did 
write, that I doubt not this statement will be questioned by many 
who knew him well, but nevertheless it is true. 

While Judge Sullivan was upon the Supreme bench he was 
particularly intimate with Judge Dewey, one of his associates. 
Judge Dewey used to come to Madison and sta}- with Judge 
Sullivan for days. It was understood that they met for confer- 
ence and consultation, but I suspect that friendship and con- 
genialit}^ of tastes had more to do with bringing them together 
than the law. 

In 1852, when General Scott was making his Western tour, 
he was invited to Madison and given a grand reception. Judge 
Sullivan made the welcoming address, and it was a model one 
of the kind. 

In 1861, on the breaking out of the rebellion. Judge Sulli\an 
entered actively into furthering the interests of the government. 
His oldest son had been an officer in the war with Mexico, and 
his youngest son, Jere, raised a company and entered the ser- 
vice in the war for the Union. He was afterwards promoted to 
a colonelcy, and subsequently to a brigadiership, and he served 
in all these positions with bravery and distinction. Anotiier 
son, Algernon S., an eminent lawyer of New York, was ar- 
rested early in the war and imprisoned at Fort Lafaj-ette. It 
will be remembered that the administration of Mr. Lincoln at 



372 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

tii'st determined to treat Confederate privateers as pirates. It 
denied them counsel and notified lawyers not to undertake their 
defense. But notwithstanding- this order, Mr. A. S. Sullivan 
accepted employment as counsel for the captured privateers, 
and commenced to prepare for their defense. He sent to Rich- 
mond for copies of the commissions under which they acted, 
but his messenger was arrested before he crossed the lines. 
For doing this Mr. Sullivan was arrested and sent to Fort La- 
fa^'ette. and for some time confined as a prisoner of state. 
Judge Sullivan was an ardent patriot, and, like Abraham of 
old, would have ofl:ered his son as a sacrifice had it been neces- 
sarv. but he was also a law3^er, and had decided notions as to 
the duties of lawyers to their clients. He believed his son's 
employment legitimate and his arrest an outrage. These things 
he did not hesitate to say, and in a short time, through his influ- 
ence and that of his friends, his son was released from impris- 
onment and restored to his famil3^ 

In person Judge Sullivan was tall and commanding. His 
height was over six feet, and his body was well proportioned. 
He had a good head and a good face. His e3'es were dark 
brown, his hair light and thin, and usually long, and his com- 
plexion was ruddy. His carriage was good and his manners 
dignified. He was always polite — was always a gentleman. 
He was not an aggressive man, and did not have the influence 
of Marshall or of Bright, but he was a good citizen and an up- 
right I'udge, and had the respect of all who knew him. 



A HISTORICAL TRIO. 



Poi^iTics ran as high in Indiana seventN-tive years ago as it 
does to-day. WilHam Henry Harrison was appointed Governor 
of Indiana Territor}- July 4, 1800, and early in 1801 he entered 
upon the duties of his office. On the 6th of February, 1801, he 
appointed Wilham Mcintosh Territorial Treasurer, and about 
the same time he commissioned John Rice Jones Attorney- 
General of the Territor}-. These men occupied very close rela- 
tions with the Governor, and for some time had his confidence. 
They, however, became jealous of Benjamin Parke, a warm 
friend of the Governor, and one of the purest men Indiana has 
ever had. Seeing, that Mr. Parke was supplanting them in the 
Governor's favor, they determined to break him down, and at 
the same time destrov the Governor. Their quarrel with the 
latter was ostensibly on account of his position on the question 
of the Territor3^'s entering the second grade of government, but 
in reality it was because others enjoved a greater share of his 
favor than themselves. 

The contest was a bitter one. Mr. Parke abh' defended Go\- 
ernor Harrison with his pen, and challenged Mcintosh to mortal 
combat for traducing him. Mcintosh refused, but, with Jones 
and Elijah Bachus, a newspaper writer, continued to abuse the 
Governor. That the reader mav know something of the viru- 
lence of the fight between Governor Harrison and his enemies, 
I copv the following from the Western World, a paper published 
at Frankfort, Ky. It was written at Vincennes, and appeared 
in the World in its issue of March 3, 1808. 

John Rice Jones. 

"The pieces which appeared in vour paper of the 31st ult. 
and 7th inst. over the signature of Philo-Tristram. and Tristram 



374 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

are the productions of William Mcintosh, John Rice Jones and 
Elijah Bachus, of this Territory, a triumvirate worth}- of each 
■other and the vile cause of slander and detraction in which 
they are engaged. I feel, most sensibly feel, the humiliation 
of entering into a controversy- with men who have no char- 
acter to lose, and who have long since (if they ever possessed 
them) bid adieu to those sentiments of honor which characterize 
the gentleman. Convinced that from a victory over such oppo- 
nents I could derive neither triumph nor consolation, I shall 
•confine myself to the relation of some circumstances and the 
exhibition of a few documents to show the credit which ought 
to be attached to this respectable fraternity. The existence of a 
combination to write Governor Harrison out of office was com- 
municated to me by a gentleman of veracity, who had it from 
Jones himself. To the industry and ingenuity of Jones was as- 
.signed the task of hunting up the charges ; these were to be 
reduced to form by the classical pen of Bachus, and the Scotch- 
man (Mcintosh) undertook to usher them to the world. From 
a conversation which Jones had with a gentleman of this place, 
it appears that his exertions in finding a proper subject to com- 
mence the attack were for a long time unsuccessful. After in- 
dulging himself in some violent and indecent abuse of the 
President of the United States, he declared in general terms his 
dissatisfaction with the conduct of Mr. Harrison as Governor, 
and his determination to commence a decided opposition to all 
his measures. The gentleman expressed a favorable opinion of 
Mr. Harrison's character and conduct, and requested him to 
mention an instance of maladministration on his part. After 
frequent evasions, he asserted that his treatment of a Mr. Jen- 
nings was most cruel and tyrannical. Mr. Jennings was re- 
ferred to. who expressed the utmost astonishment, and declared, 
from his first acquaintance with Governor Harrison he had only 
received from that gentleman friendship and politeness. From 
this anecdote we ma}- with certaint}' conclude that the worthy 
associates will never be in want of materials for their slanders. 
" The following queries, published upward of two years ago 
in the Farmer'' s Library, contain a few anecdotes of Jones's life. 
The name of the author (one of our most respectable citizens) 
was left with the printer, but no attention has been paid to it bv 



A HISTORICAL TRIO. 375 

Jones. It is hinted that a new edition, with additions, is shortly 
to be ffiven to the world bv the same author : 

*• To yo/ui Rice yoiics, one of the Leo-islative Cowicil of Indiaua 
Tcrriiorv : 

•' By answering the following queries you will not only satisfy 
an inquiring public, but relieve 3'ourself from the load of infamy 
which your conduct through life has heaped upon ^^ou : 

•' Did you come with General Clark's expedition to Vincennes 
in the fall of the year 1786? Was Bazadonne not robbed of 
merchandise to the amount of $6,626? 

" Did you not receive the merchandise so taken from Baza- 
donne, and did you ever account to Bazadonne, to General 
Clark, or to an^■ other person else for them? 

•'When Bazadonne was about to commence suit for the re- 
co\'ery of damages for the merchandise thus fraudulently taken 
from him, did you not, in order to secure to yourself that safet}- 
which 3^ou knew your guilt would not entitle you to, tell Baza- 
donne General Clark was the only person against whom he 
could maintain an action ; that vour testimony was all he wanted 
to reinstate him in evervthing he had lost, and until he gave 
vou a release General Clark might, and would, contend that 
vou were an improper witness, being the person who seized the 
goods (though bv his order), therefore, interested, and deprive 
him of your testimony? 

"And did vou not, through vour intrigue, swindle Bazadonne 
out of a release ? 

•■' Did General Clark ever receive one cent of the merchan- 
dise taken from Bazadonne, but vourself the only person bene- 
rited by them? 

''Was not your general character so infamous in the govern- 
ment of Spain as to induce an officer of that government to for- 
bid you putting foot on his Catholic Majest3''s dominions? 

"Did vou not. during the period in which you acted as At- 
torney-General for the Indiana Territory, receive testimony of 
acknowledgments from I. B. Laplante and I. Barron, against 
whom there were public prosecutions, to enter a nolle prosequi 
to these indictments, and thereb}' tilch the country out of its 
rexenue ? 



376 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES . 

" Did you not, to answer your own sinister views, prevail 
upon Mr. Clark to have the Judge's library appraised and sold 
at private sale for their appraisement? Did not ^'0ur intrigues 
procure you the appointment of appraiser, and did you not value 
such of his library as you wanted 300 per cent, less than thev 
could be purchased in the cit}- of Philadelphia? Did any per- 
son know the manner your vile imagination had suggested for 
the disposal of the Judge's books until you were seen loading 
them off? Were you not met by a gentleman who offered you 
$18 for ' Coke on Littleton,' which vou had valued and taken at 
$6, and you refused to take it? For shame I Will vou, clothed 
with the garb of friendship, deprive the widow and fatherless 
of their property ? 

'' Were 3'ou not frequently at the loo-table, in a circle of your 
neighbors, discovered hiding cards, and, inconsequence of thai 
vile disposition, were 3'ou afterward admitted to the loo-table? 

" Did you not cheat James Sullivan and Lee Decker out of 
£50? 

" Have you ever settled your account with the administrator 
of Judge Clark? Don't you dispute payment because vou kno\\ 
it can not be proved? Peter, Paul and Pompev." 

John Rice Jones was a Welchman, and was born in 1750. 
He emigrated to America soon after the Revolutionary war, 
and came to the Northwestern Territory in 1786. He was the 
first lawyer in Illinois, and one of the ablest she ever had. He 
was a classical scholar and an accomplished linguist. His prac- 
tice extended from Kaskaskia to Vincennes, and even to Clarks- 
ville. He was not, like most pioneers, a hunter, but devoted 
his whole time to the practice of his profession and to politics. 
He was a brilliant speaker, a pertect master of satire and in- 
vective. He removed to Vincennes previous to the Territorial 
organization, and in 1805 was appointed by President Jefferson 
a member of the Legislative Council of Indiana Territorv, hav- 
ing, in the meantime, served as Attorney-General of the Terri- 
tory. In 1809 he and John Johnson revised the laws of the 
Territory, most of the work being done by him. 

Soon after the organization of Indiana Territory there was 
born to John Rice Jones a son who became eminent in the poli- 



A IIISTORICAI. TRIO. 377 

tics of the country, and who still lives in the city of Dubuque, 
Iowa. He was called George Wallace, after a son-in-law of 
General Gibson, then Secretary of the Territory. He was bred 
to the law, but never practiced it. He was Clerk of the United 
States District Court of Missouri in 1826, and was aid-de-camp 
to General Dodge (who was also born at Vincennes) in the 
Black Hawk war ; was subsequently a colonel, and then a ma- 
jor general of militia, and then a judge of a count}- court. In 
1835 General Jones was elected a delegate to Congress from the 
Territory of Michigan, and subsequently was elected to Con- 
gress from the Territory of Wisconsin. Afterwards, he served 
as Surveyor-General of the Northwest, and in 1848 he was 
elected to the United States Senate from Iowa, and in 1852 was 
re-elected. Mr. Buchanan appointed him Minister Resident 
at Bogota, which othce he held until 1861, when he was recalled 
by President Lincoln. Soon after his return home he was ar- 
rested, and for sixty-four days he was a prisoner of state at Fort 
Lafayette. No reason was ever given General Jones for his 
arrest, but it is supposed that it was made on account of one of 
his sons going South and entering the Confederate service. 

On the I St day of June, 1883, there was a meeting of the pi- 
oneers of Iowa, at Burlington, which was largely attended. 
General A. C. Dodge presided, and on introducing General 
Jones to the people said : 

•• In early dajs the pioneers always estimated a workman by 
his chips. Here, ladies and gentleman, is the hand (grasping 
the hand of General Jones) that chipped Wisconsin out of Mich- 
igan : that chipped Iowa out of Wisconsin : that chipped for us 
640 acres of land covering this original town at a mere nominal 
price, and to him. more than to any other man or representative, 
we are indebted for our railroad grants." 

The evening after the celebration the pioneers had a dance, 
and in a description of it the Burlington Gazette says : 

•'The venerable statesman. General Jones, took part in tlie 
dances, and was quite as frisky as the youngest participant."" 

Another son of John Rice Jones, his eldest, I tliink, was killed 



378 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

at Kaskaskia, Illinois, in a street rencounter, before Illinois be- 
came a State. He was a ver}^ brilliant man, and his death 
caused great sorrow at the time. Thus it will be seen that the 
talents of the hrst Attorney-General of Indiana Territory de- 
scended to his children. 

In 1786 news came to the West that Congress had, by a secret 
treaty with Spain, agreed to relinquish the free navigation of the 
Mississippi river. This greatly incensed the people, and they 
determined to resist it. At Vincennes General George Rogers 
Clark enlisted a body of men known as the Wabash regiment, 
and by his orders all the Spanish traders at Vincennes and in 
Illinois were despoiled of their property, in retaliation for simi- 
lar offenses alleged to have been committed b}- the Spaniards 
at Natchez, Miss. In these despoliations John Rice Jones took 
a leading part. He was the commissary-general of the maraud- 
ers, and sold such goods as the regiment could not use. This 
raid of General Clark came near embroiling the country in a 
war with Spain, but being disowned b}- the government, it es- 
caped it. Some time after this Mr. Jones removed to Missouri, 
where he became a leading man. He was a member of the con- 
vention that made the first constitution of Missouri, was after- 
ward a candidate for United States Senator against Colonel 
Benton and defeated. He was one of the first Judges of the 
Supreme Court of Missouri, and held the oftice until his death, 
which occurred in 1824. Like Ratlift' Boon, he was a pioneer 
of both Indiana and Missouri, and prominent in both. 

William McIntosh. 

In the same issue of the WcstcDi J for M is an article on Wil- 
liam Mcintosh, one of the three leaders of the organization to 
destro}^ Governor Harrison's influence. The reader will note 
its extreme bitterness. Seldom, indeed, do we find in the press 
of the present day an article so personal and so denunciatory. 
It is from the pen of the same writer that so mercilessly criti- 
cised John Rice Jones in the extract previously copied. The 
writer says : 

''William Mcintosh is by birth a Scotchman. In the Rev- 
olutionarv war he held a subaltern's commission in one of the 



A HISTORICAL TRIO. 379 

temporar}' regiments that were raised for the protection of the 
King against his external and internal foes. He made his first 
appearance at Vincennes as a trader, but, not succeeding in 
this business, he took the sure road to the acquirement of a for- 
tune, by undertaking to act as agent for many of the French citi- 
zens whose claims to land were to be decided by the Governor. 
B\' magnifying the difficulty of obtaining confirmations, and other 
\ ile deceptions upon those illiterate and credulous people, he suc- 
ceeded frequently in obtaining two hundred out of four hundred 
acres for barel}" presenting the claim. In the year 1804 his 
portrait was given to the world by Mr. Parke, and crimes of the 
blackest hue charged upon him. The Scotchman retorted upon 
him some abusive language, which produced from Mr. Parke a 
challenge : the acceptance of this was, however, declined by 
Mcintosh until he could clear his character of the charges that 
liad been made against it, and which he declared would take 
but a short time. To this day, however, upwards of three years 
have elapsed and no attempt of the kind has been made (I can 
safely aver), nor ever will, for two powerful reasons : The first 
is that his character is of too deep a dye to require even a cen- 
tury to cleanse it of its stains ; the other, his unutterable aver- 
sion to the smell of gunpowder. He surely is the veriest 
coward that ever bit the dust. It is not my intention to give a 
history of that man's iniquities, but shall content myself with 
the exhibition of the following documents, taken from the office 
of the land companies of this district." [Here follow several 
affidavits showin^j that Mcintosh had obtained land from the 
makers b\' dupHcitv and fraud.] 

Mcintosh was not only involved in a personal difficulty with 
Benjamin Parke on account of his opposition to Governor Har- 
rison, but he had an altercation with Thomas Randolph, a warm 
personal and political friend of the Governor, growing out of 
ilie same matter, in which the latter came near losing his life. 
Mcintosh cut Randolph ^vith a knife, and he la\- tor weeks in a 
most dangerous condition. 

The personal friends of the Governor were enemies of Mc- 
intosh, and did wluit thev could to dri\'e him out of the Terri- 
*or>', but \\ith()ut success. His intelligence and wealth gave him 



380 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

an inHuence that could not be entirely destroyed. When Gov- 
ernor Harrison left Vincennes to take command of the North- 
western arm}^ he turned over the executive atl'airs of the Ter- 
ritory to John Gibson, its Secretary. During General Gibson "^■ 
term as Acting Governor Mcintosh was a large contractor tor 
supplying the army wath rations. General W. H. H. Terrell. 
of Indianapolis, has in his possession a manuscript letter of 
Mcintosh, which I have been permitted to cop v. It is as fol- 
lows : 

"Sir — At Vincennes the contractor has not any quantity of 
flour in store, and tor several days I have been entirely supplied 
from the country. Measures have been taken by him to import 
from the State of Kentucky a quantity sufficient to meet the 
several requisitions which have been made, but I am as yet 
wdthout information of the time in which any part of it may ar- 
, rive here. Of meat, whisky and the other component parts there 
is a sufficiency at m}^ disposal to comply with the requisitions. 

" I have the honor to be. sir, your most obedient servant, 
" Will McIntosh. for the Confracfor. 

" Vincennes^ September 2j, 18 12, 

" Genf;ral Gibson." 

The letter has never before been published, and is \-aluable in 
showing the condition of the commissariat, and the kind of 
articles then believed to be necessary to support an army in the 
ffeld. 

On the 4th of Jul}', 1883, I had a very interesting interview 
with Mrs. Adeline D. Wolverton, of Vincennes, and obtained 
from her much valuable information. Mrs. Wolverton is a 
daughter of Dr. Elias McNamee, and is the widow of Dr. Wol- 
verton, both of whom were prominent in earl}- Indiana history. 
She remembers William Mcintosh well, and says he was a rich 
Scotch merchant, of elegant manners and good social position, 
notwithstanding the fact that he had a negro mistress, b}' whom 
he had a family of children. Mcintosh Avas an infidel, and he 
and Beaubien, Currie, Flowers and Burbeck — all European 
Free-Thinkers — purchased a large body of land on the Illinois 
side of the Wabash river, upon which they located a city and 



A HISTORICAL TRIO. 381 

called it " Mount Carmel." Mcintosh removed to Mount Car- 
niel and lived there until he died. Rev. Aaron Wood, in a re- 
cent publication, thus speaks of Mcintosh and his death : 

•' It is well known that the infidel, W. Mcintosh, of the Grand 
Rapids of the Wabash, was the father of illegitimate mulatto 
children bv old Lydia, his black housekeeper. I saw him car- 
ried to his grave, and Lydia, her two daughters and one son 
were left poor, and others got his land. His son became a dis- 
tinguished preacher in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, 
ibr it is due to Colonel Mcintosh to say that he gave him a good 
r^ducation in the English and Latin languages and mathematics, 
so that he was, in his time, among the few educated men of his 
■church."' 

The education given the mulatto boy did much to atone for 
the lax morals of the infidel, as it enabled the former to assist 
in elevating the race to which his mother's blood allied him. 

William Mcintosh was nearly related to Sir James Mcintosh, 
a distinguished English philosopher and statesman, and had he 
not become involved in a quarrel with Governor Harrison must 
have risen to the front rank in power and influence in the new 
Territory. His antagonism to the Governor put him under the 
ban of those who controlled the affairs of the Territory, and 
prevented him from reaching the position his education and 
talents entitled him to. He and Jones, and Bachus, charged 
the Governor with having cheated the Indians out of their lands, 
and the Governor determined to sue Mcintosh in a court of law 
lor slander, believing that would be the best wav to vindicate 
himself and show the correctness of his conduct. Dawson, in 
his life of General Harrison, goes into this matter with partic- 
ularity, and asserts that in instituting the suit the General was 
governed solely by a desire to protect his reputation from slan- 
derous assaults. Dawson says that Mcintosh had been for 
many 3'ears hostile to the Governor, and was not believed to be 
ver}' partial to the government of the United States. 

It appears by a deposition made in 1811 by Colonel John 
Small, that prior to the year 1805, Mcintosh had been upon the 
best terms with Governor Harrison, but that, in that year, the 
Governor gave him great offense by his advocating and pro- 



382 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

moting the measure of the Territory going into the second grade 
of government ; from which circumstance Mr. Small believed, 
and asserted on his oath, that Mcintosh bore the greatest en- 
mit}^ towards Governor Harrison. 

It thus appears that the Governor's exertions to improve the 
condition of the Territory by giving it a representative govern- 
ment had drawn down upon him the enmity of Mcintosh, who 
strictl}^ adhered to the declaration he had made to do the Go\'- 
ernor all the injur}^ in his power. 

Suit was brought against Mcintosh in the Supreme Court of 
the Territory, and was, from its character, well calculated to 
draw the attention and excite a strong interest in the minds of 
the people of the Territory. Of the three judges, one was a 
personal friend of the Governor, and another of Mcintosh. 
Both these gentlemen, when the suit was called, left the bench, 
and the Hon. Waller Taylor, then recently arrived in the Terri- 
tory, was left to preside alone in the suit. To insure an impartial 
jury the court named two elisors, who chose forty-eight citizens 
as a panel from which the jury was to be taken. From this 
forty-eight the plaintiff and defendant each struck twelve, and 
from the remaining twenty-four the jury was drawn by lot. 

" Before a crowded audience the trial was continued from 10 
A. M. till I o'clock at night. Every person concerned in the 
Indian Department, or who could know anything of the circum- 
stances of the late treaty at Fort Wayne, was examined, and 
every latitude that was asked for or attempted by the defendant 
in the examination permitted. Finding that the testimony of all 
the witnesses went to prove the justice and integrit}- of the Gov- 
ernor's conduct, the defendant began to ask questions relating to 
some points of the Governor's civil administration. To this the 
jury, as well as the court, objected, the latter observing that it was 
necessar}^ that the examination should be confined to the matter 
at issue. But, at the earnest request of the Governor, the de- 
fendant was permitted to pursue his own course, and examine 
the witnesses upon every point which he might think proper. 
The defendant's counsel, abandoning all idea of justification, 
pleaded only for mitigation of damages. After a retirement of 
one hour the jury returned a verdict of $4,000 damages. To 
pay this sum a large amount of Mcintosh's lands were exposed 



A HISTORICAL TRIO. 383 

to sale, and, in the Governor's absence in command of the army, 
was bought in by his agent. Two-thirds of this property he 
afterward returned to Mcintosh, and the remaining part he 
gave to some of the orphan children of several distinguished 
citizens who fell in the war of 1812." 

The writer in the Wes/ern World, from whom I have alread\' 
quoted, closes his article with this scathing notice of 

Elijah Backus. 

" From the specimen which Mr. Bachus has exhibited of his 
principles in the short time he has resided in the Territory, there 
is every reason to believe that, if the histor}^ of his previous life 
was as well known, that it would be found to contain as many 
acts of perfidy as that of his worthy coadjutors. To sa}^ noth- 
ing of his official conduct, which has been severel}- arraigned, 
he has been convicted, by a gentleman of respectability, of the 
most egregious falsehoods and as vile a swindling trick as ever 
was committed by a man who professed to be a gentleman. 

" The sole intention of this publication, Mr. Editor, is to show 
the world the real characters of those who, to gratify their ma- 
lignant dispositions, have attempted, under the mask of patriot- 
ism, to undermine the character of Governor Harrison by the 
foulest aspersions." 

The fight against Governor Harrison, as the reader must know, 
resulted disastrously to his assailants. It served to draw his 
friends the closer to him, as it always will when one is unjustly 
attacked. He was afterward elected President of the United 
States, the highest office in the world, and the history of his 
country makes honorable mention of him as soldier and states- 
man. But few there are who know anything about John Rice 
Jones, William Mcintosh, or Elijah Bachus. In assailing the 
Governor they made it impossible for them to reach a high posi- 
tion among a people who loved and revered him, and the onlv 
one of the three who ever held office afterward was Jones, and 
to attain it he had to leave Indiana and go west of the Missis- 
sipjDi river. 



BENJAMIN PARKE. 



In Drake s Dictionary of American Biography is this notice 
of Benjamin Parke : " Parke, Benjamin, jurist ; born in New 
Jerse}' in 1777 ; died at Salem, Ind., July 12, 1835. A Western 
pioneer. He settled in Indiana about 1800; was a delegate to 
Congress in 1805-8 ; was soon after appointed by Mr. Jefferson 
a Judge of the District Court, and held the office until his death. 
President Indiana Historical Societ}'." 

Reader, isn't this the first time you ever heard of Benjamin 
Parke? And vet he was a leading man in Indiana under both 
the Territorial and State governments, and a county on the 
Wabash bears his name. If Benjamin Parke is so soon forgot- 
ten, what hope for earthly immortality have 3'ou or I? I have 
not been able to learn anything about Benjamin Parke's 
boyhood, further than that he obtained a good common school 
education. When twenty years old he emigrated to Kentucky 
and settled at Lexington. He soon afterward entered the law 
office of James Brown, once Minister to France, and in due 
time was admitted to the bar. Between him and his preceptor 
a friendship was formed which lasted while the}^ lived. 

In 1801 Judge Parke and his young wife came to Indiana, 
and took up their abode in the town of Vincennes, then the cap- 
ital of the Territor}'. He opened a law office, and was soon 
appointed Attorne3^-General of the Territory — the second one 
appointed. He was a member of the first Territorial Legislature, 
which met in Vincennes Jul}'" 20, 1805. The Legislative Coun- 
cil and House of Representatives elected him a delegate to 
Congress, and he served in that capacit}^ from that time until 
1808, when he was appointed by President Jefferson a Terri- 
torial Judge. He remained in this office until Indiana became 



BENJAMIN PARKE. 385 

a State. He was a member of the convention that met at Cory- 
don on the loth day of June, 1816, to form a State constitution, 
and took a leading part in its deliberations. On the admission 
of Indiana into the Union President Madison appointed him 
United States District Judge, with circuit court powers, a posi- 
tion he held until his death. 

But it was not onl}^ as a legislator and magistrate that Judge 
Parke endeared himself to the people of Indiana. When the 
savage warrior, with tomahawk and scalping-knife, marched 
against the defenseless settlers of the frontier, Judge Parke 
raised a company of dragoons and went to their relief. He was 
in the bloody battle of Tippecanoe, and greatly distinguished 
himself for braver}-. When the gallant Major Daviess fell Cap- 
tain Parke was promoted to the majority and became com- 
mander of the cavalry. General Harrison thus speaks of him 
as a military officer: " He was in every respect equal to any 
cavalry officer of his rank that I have ever seen. As in every- 
thing else which he undertook, he made himself acquainted 
with the tactics of that arm, and succeeded in bringing his 
troops, both as regards field maneuvering and the use of the 
saber, to as great perfection as I have ever known." 

During the Territorial government, for several years Judge 
Parke acted as Indian agent, and acquired great influence over 
the savage men of the forest. He was peculiarly fitted for the 
duties of this position, by reason of his knowledge of the Indian 
character, and his patience, fortitude and braver}-. 

The late Hon. John I. Morrison many years ago conducted, 
at Salem, a seminary of a very high grade. Judge Parke took 
great interest in this school, as he did in everything that was 
calculated to make men wiser and better. Mr. Morrison fur- 
nished the author the following beautiful and touching tribute to 
the memory of his early friend and benefactor : 

" Knightstgwx, Txd., Jan. 23, 1882. 
•' William Wesley Woollen, Esq.: 

" Dear Sir — In the spring of 1827 I became acquainted with 
Hon. Benjamin Parke. Sarah B. and Wm. Barton, his onlv 
children, both of whom he survived, were pupils of my first 

25 



386 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

school in Salem, Washington county, Indiana. In person the 
Judge was tall, nearly six feet, but spare in habit, and of a 
rather delicate frame. His dignified appearance impressed me 
with awe and reverence. He looked so much like a philosopher 
— like my ideals, Socrates and Plato — I fancied I might admire 
him as I was wont to admire them, but concluded I could never 
love him. What a mistake I I soon felt that I had found a 
second father, one whom I could not help but love and vener- 
ate. In all matters pertaining to my school he manifested the 
liveliest interest. If I had been his own son he could have done 
nothing more. He never failed to invite his distinguished 
guests from abroad, who frequently shared his hospitality, to 
visit the school. Among the number I remember well Governor 
William Hendricks, Governor Jonathan Jennings and General 
William Henry Harrison. On such occasions the Judge showed 
a singular partiality for the class in Colburn's mental arithme- 
tic, and seemed unwilling to withdraw before his friends had 
an opportunity to witness the drill of his favorite class. I 
wondered many a time what there could be in operations so 
simple and practical to interest the mind of a jurist so learned 
and profound. 

"At home and abroad he spared no pains to present the 
claims of the seminary to the public, and to his active efforts 
and potent influence justly belongs a large share of the success 
achieved in former days by that institution. 

" He was ever on the lookout for opportunities to do good, 
especially to the young, the poor, and the wayward. What 
made other people happy seemed to increase his own happiness, 
and if ever there was a man who performed works of disin- 
terested benevolence he surely was the man. 

"The training and education of his own children claimed 
much time and attention. The result was, they were regarded 
by all as model pupils in deportment and scholarship. 

" He never permitted his son to leave school without first ob- 
taining leave of absence, even when failing health required his 
presence and watchful care while court was in session at Ind- 
ianapolis. 

"Judge Parke could not endure anything like arrogance and 
pride. He was very careful to guard his son on this point. He 



BENJAMIN PARKE. 387 

encouraged him to ring the seminary bell, and associate, at 
stated times, with the children of a very poor neighbor, who 
came from the countr}^ to enjoy the advantages of the seminary. 
Thus did he strive to crush out any false notions of superiority 
which might be entertained on account of his father being a 
Judge of the United States Court. 

"Judge Parke was a hard student. He had a large librar}' 
of very select books, not wholly confined to the law, but well 
supplied with standard works of history, philosophy, and clas- 
sical literature. The Judge was scrupulously exact in all his 
dealings and engagements. 

" He never failed to attend the regular sessions of this court, 
so long as he was able to make the journey to Indianapolis on 
horseback. 

" He was not long confined to his bed. His last hours were 
calm and peaceful, and as I stood by his bedside and watched 
his last pulse, and closed his e3'es when he ceased to breathe, 
my heart bled for the loss of my dearest friend and constant 
benefactor. Yours truly, John I. Morrison." 

Honorable Barnabas C. Hobbs was for many years an inmate 
of Judge Parke's family. He has great reverence for the dead 
jurist's memory, and in a note to the author gives this graphic 
description of the Judge and his family: 

" His wife's maiden name was Eliza Barton. They were 
married at Lexington. Parke was an intimate of Henry Cla}-. 
He took his wife to Vincennes when he entered upon service, 
that being then the chief town in the State and the residence 
of Governor Harrison. While there a great intimacy existed 
between his family and the Governor's. He was on the Gov^ 
ernor's staff in his treaty with Tecumseh and in the battle of 
Tippecanoe, and could relate some very interesting events in 
connection with this service. He traveled on horseback during 
all his judicial service. His last saddle-horse was a magnificent 
'fellow, presented to him by his son-in-law, Abram Hite, a mer- 
chant of Louisville, Kentuck3\ He reached Wayne County 
Court by a circuitous journey along the Ohio river to Law- 
renceburg, and then up the Whitewater valley. His first case 



388 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

in Wayne county was a criminal case. He sat on a log, the 
court being held in the forest. The case was a theft. A young 
man had stolen a twenty-five cent pocket-knife from John 
Smith's store. Judge Parke rode all the way from Vincennes 
to try this case, the only one on the docket. 

"Judge Parke was honest and generous to the core. He 
scorned all subterfuge, dishonesty and hypocris3^ While at 
Vincennes he was induced to unite his fortunes with two other 
men in the organization and management of a bank. He, of 
course, was busy with professional duties, and left the manage- 
ment of the bank and his own fortune to the other partners. 
They found a desirable time and way to let the bank break and 
to hide its resources, leaving Judge Parke to attend to its liabili- 
ties. These reverses made him bankrupt for life, or nearly so. 
All who knew him knew his honesty and integrity, and admired 
his patience and resignation to his fate. After Governor Har- 
rison left Vincennes Judge Parke moved to Salem, in Washing- 
ton county, a place at that time more central. He took an inex- 
pensive house, and year b}^ year used all his savings to cancel 
his bank indebtedness. He closed it all out a short time before 
he died. He was for ^^ears afflicted with tubercular consump- 
tion, and must have struggled with much infirmity while steadily 
and faithfully performing his judicial duties. He suffered also 
from paralysis of his right side, so that he could not use his 
right hand in writing. He overcame this disadvantage by learn- 
ing to write with his left hand, which he used with elegance and 
dispatch. 

" He had two children, a daughter and a son. He took his 
daughter with him to New Albany — being a delicate and beau- 
tiful maiden of fifteen — to join in his country's welcome of La- 
fayette, in his visit to America, in 1825, when Abram Hite, an 
accomplished young merchant of Louisville, became fascinated 
and afterward married her. She died young, leaving a little 
son, whom the grandmother claimed and took to her Salem 
home. 

" Barton was the son's name. He was a delicate but talented 
boy, and accompanied his father very often in his rides into the 
country. He was a student in the county seminar}^ and was 
making good progress in a preparation for college when, in 



BENJAMIN PARKE. 389 

1833, the town of Salem lost one-twentieth of its citizens by 
cholera. Barton and his sister's little boy were both taken, and 
Benjamin and Eliza Parke were left childless. 

'" Not long after this, in his loneliness he invited me to board 
with him while I was attending school at the seminary, and to 
have a care of the familv garden and stable, w^hile he was away 
at court in Indianapolis. 

'' On one occasion we were agreeably surprised to have a call 
from General Harrison, w^ho was making a visit by saddle from 
North Bend to Vincennes, and dined with us. I was much in- 
terested in witnessing the old-time friendship of these pioneer 
officials. After dinner I brought out the General's horse and 
helped him to his stirrup, and they parted to meet on earth no 
more. During the summer of 1835 ^^^ destroyer finished his 
work. I was by him in his last hours, saw him expire, and, 
assisted by David Campbell, Professor Campbell's father, of 
Crawfordsville, prepared him for his narrow- resting-place on 
the hill west of Salem. 

"Benjamin Parke was a Christian in the true acceptation of 
the term, though he identified himself with no religious denomi- 
nation. He attached much value to the spiritual acceptation 
and experience of Christian life. To him it must be a true life 
in the soul. He could not be satisfied wdth appearances without 
a practical exhibition of its genuineness. He very often rode 
out three miles into the countrv to sit in silence with the Friends 
at their midweek meetings, as well as on the Sabbath, and was 
as appreciative of their spiritual communion as themselves. He 
read and enjoyed their books, and kept them in his library, 
which was perhaps the best, at that time, in the State. When 
death was near he w^as very conscious and calm, and smiled at 
all my little attentions ; and when the last suffocating cough was 
over he seemed quite readv, with Kirke White, who sank under 
like circumstances, 

" Henceforth, O world, uo more of thy desires. 
No more of hope, of auxious, vagrant hope. 
I abjure all. Now other cares engross me. 
And my tired soul, with emulative haste, 
Looks to its God and plumes its wings for Heaven." 

While a resident of Vincennes Judge Parke was mainly in- 



;390 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

strumental in the formation of a public library. Under his care 
it grew until it contained over 1,500 choice books, embracing 
standard works in many branches of science and departments 
of literature. He was a member of the first Board of Trustees 
of Vincennes University, and helped to organize and start that 
institution of learning. He was the father of the movement 
that established at Indianapolis a law library which has grown 
to be one of the best of the kind in the country. It was largelv 
by his influence and activity that the Indiana Historical Society 
was formed, once an institution of much promise, but now 
scarcely known. Would that we had another Benjamin Parke 
to put life into this corpse, in order that the rich treasures of 
Indiana history now going to waste might be preserved. If 
the spirits of the departed are permitted to know what tran- 
spires on earth, that of Benjamin Parke must view with horror 
the wreck of the edifice he helped to build. 

A warm friendship existed between Judge Parke and the late 
Judge Dewe3^ In going to court at Indianapolis it was the 
custom of Judge Dewey, who lived at Charlestown, to come by 
way of Salem, that he might have Judge Parke's company to 
the capital. Mrs. Parke used to say that her husband's ej^es 
shone at the sight of Dewey as they did at the sight of no other 
man. When Judge Parke died the bar of Indiana selected 
Judge Dewe}' to deliver an address commemorative of his 
virtues. This address was a magnificent tribute of one great 
lawyer to the memorj^ of another. It closes as follows : " His 
venerable form is in the tomb, but his example is with us in 
that his spirit lives and still kindly admonishes us to consecrate 
the remainder of our lives to life's great purposes, to dutv and 
to usefulness." 



THOMAS RANDOLPH. 



Thomas Randolph, third Attorney-General of Indiana Ter- 
ritory^, was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1771. He belonged 
to the celebrated family of that name, and was a second cousin of 
John Randolph of Roanoke. He graduated with high honor 
at William and Mar3^'s College, and subsequently studied law. 
He served one term in the Virginia Legislature, a position at 
that time of much honor and influence. He married, when a 
voung man, a daughter of Sir John Skipwith, who bore him one 
child, a daughter, and shortly afterwards died. He was an ap- 
plicant for a position in the regular army, and in May, 1808, was 
appointed to a lieutenancy, but having previousl}' emigrated to 
Indiana Territory, where he had man}^ influential friends, he 
declined the commission. Soon after coming to Indiana Gov- 
ernor Harrison appointed him Attorney-General of the Terri- 
tor}^ a position of honor, but one which brought him but little 
mone}'. 

In June, i8ro, he married Catherine Lawrence, a step- daugh- 
ter of General James Dill, and a grand-daughter of General 
Arthur Saint Clair. By her he had one daughter — Mrs, William 
Sheets, of Indianapolis — a lady of culture and high breeding, 
and to whom the author is indebted for much of the material 
used in the preparation of this sketch. 

Mr. Randolph was one of a coterie of young \'irginians who 
came to Indiana in earl}^ times, and whose influence upon the 
manners, customs and politics of the Territory was widespread 
and deep. Their chief was William Henry Harrison, then Gov- 
ernor of the Territor}', to whose fortunes they clung with great 
steadfastness and fldelity. 

Chaperoned as Mr. Randolph was by Governor Harrison, he 



392 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

at once took rank among the leading men of the Terntor3% At 
that time there was an effort being made to nullify the provis- 
ions of the ordinance of 1781, forbidding slaver}- in the North- 
western Territory. At the head of this movement was Gov- 
ernor Harrison, and he had as aids the Virginians about him, 
among them Mr. Randolph. The leader of the Free State 
party, or the party opposed to any change in the compact be- 
tween Virginia and the United States in relation to the territorv 
northwest of the Ohio river, was Jonathan Jennings, afterwards 
Governor of the State. In 1809 Jennings became a candidate 
for delegate to Congress, The Virginia, or pro-slavery partv. 
chose Randolph to make the race against him, and the contest 
which ensued was active, bitter and exciting. When the votes 
were counted it was found that Jennings's majority was thirtv- 
nine, but Mr. Randolph and his friends contended that this 
majority was made up by votes illegally counted. A contest 
was determined upon, and money raised to prosecute it. Mr. 
Randolph went to Washington, having previously given Mr. 
Jennings notice of contest, and appeared before the Committee 
on Elections. He commenced a speech before the committee, 
but was interrupted bv Mr. Jennings, who moved that he be 
required to reduce his objections to writing. The committee 
ordered this to be done, and Mr. Randolph complied with the 
order. A sharp and acrimonious debate took place before the 
committee between the contestant and the contestee, during 
which Mr. Randolph said : 

" Mr. Chairman — I have but a few observations to make in 
reply, for I certainly am not disposed to controvert arguments 
and positions perfectly in accord with my ideas on this subject, 
and which I have contended for before this and the committee 
to whom was referred the memorial from the Territorv. I most 
sincerely wish that the arguments of the gentleman may con- 
vince you of the legality of the election, as I myself believe it 
to have been. Much rather had I that this should be your de- 
cision than the seat of the delegate should be vacated, unless on 
the other points before you, because this has been seized on by 
a pettifogging faction (who, like drowning men, catch at 
straws), to prove the arbitrary conduct of the Governor. Such 



THOMAS RANDOLPH. 393 

are their contemptible artitices to render unpopular a virtuous 
and great man, by representing that he had trampled upon the 
rights and privileges of the people. I am not a little astonished, 
sir, to see the change in sentiment which has taken place in that 
gentleman. I did not expect a change of situation would have 
so metamorphosed him. He has chimed in with this faction in 
the clamor against this man in the vain hope of rendering him 
unpopular. Such a change should not be produced in me by 
personal considerations." [Here Mr. Randolph was called to 
order. He apologized by declaring that his surprfse had pro- 
duced these observations, but added, he stated nothing but the 
truth.] 

The committee came to the conclusion that the election tor 
delegate was without authority of law, and, therefore, that Mr. 
Jennings was not entitled to his seat. They closed their report 
b}^ submitting the following resolution : 

"' Resolved^ That the election held for a delegate to Congress 
for the Indiana Territory, on the 22d of May, 1809, being with- 
out authorit}^ of law, is void, and, consequently, the seat of 
Jonathan Jennings as a delegate for that Territory is herebv de- 
clared to be vacant." 

The report of the election committee was considered in com- 
mittee of the whole and adopted, but on coming before the 
House for final action that bodv refused to concur in it, but 
confirmed Mr. Jennings in his seat. 

This contest between Mr. Jennings and Mr. Randolph begat 
much bad blood. They both resorted to the hand-bill — a 
weapon much used by the politicians of that da v. Randolph 
hand-billed Jennings, and Jennings hand-billed Randolph. Each 
was severe on the other, but Randolph's invective and sarcasm 
were the more cutting and biting of the two. He closes one of 
his letters to the public as follows : 

'' If at any time I ha^•e been led into indiscretion in m\- de- 
fense it has proceeded from the injustice and \iolence of m}- 
opponents. Truth may sometimes, with propriety, be sup- 
pressed — it will alwa3'^s have most force when mildly expressed — 



394 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

but though uttered in the warmest language, with the keenest 
satire, it ma}- often be excused. The feelings of the man too 
frequently gain the master}^ of sober judgment. I confess 
my natural sanguine disposition, impatient at injustice, often 
forces me to express myself in terms which might be softened. 
In whatever garb, however, it may be decked, truth will at 
length prevail." 

The feud between Randolph and Jennings extended to their 
friends, and many bitter things were said by the latter of each 
-other. Waller Taylor, then a Territorial judge, and afterwards 
a Senator in Congress, thus writes to Mr. Randolph : 

" Jeffersonville, June 3, 1809. 
" Dear Sir — There has no circumstance transpired to throw 
further light on the result of the Dearborn election since I saw 
you. Jennings's conduct is a little m^^sterious, but he still says 
he is elected. He states that he got 143 votes, that you got 67, 
and Jones an inconsiderable number ; one township he had not 
heard from when he left there, but he apprehends no injur}^ from 
that, as it was in a part of the county the least populous. I ex- 
pected the fellow would have been so much elated with his suc- 
cess that he would have been insolent and overbearing, but he 
says ver^i^ little on the subject, and is silently preparing to go on 
to the city. Our meeting was not cordial on m}- part ; I refused 
to speak to him until he threw himself in m}^ way and made the 
first overtures, and then I would not shake hands with him. He 
has heard, I am told, of ever3fthing I said against him, which, 
by the by, was rather on the abusive order, but he revenges him- 
self on me by saying that he never did anything to injure me, 
and professes esteem. He is a pitiful coward, and certainly not 
of consequence enough to excite resentment nor any other sen- 
timent than contempt. He ma}' rest in peace for me. I will no 
longer continue to bother myself about him. I expect, before 
you receive this, you will have passed through the list of your 
enemies in asking them over the Wabash to partake of yovn- 
company and the amusement you wish to aflbrd them. I make 
no doubt they will decline your invitation, although it may be 
couched in the most polite and ceremonious style ; if they do. 



THOMAS RANDOLPH. 395 

^ou will have acquitted yourself agreeable to the rules of mod- 
ern etiquette, and can be then at liberty to act afterward to them 
in whatever way may best suit your humor. I hope the junta 
will be put down like Lucifer, ' never to rise again.' I have no 
news to communicate. I shall expect you on shortly. In the 
meantime, believe me to be respectfull}^ yours, 

" Waller Taylor." 

William Mcintosh, who had been Territorial Treasurer, be- 
came inimical to Governor Harrison, and headed a movement 
intended to destro}' his character and influence. He made slan- 
derous statements about the Governor, which, coming to the 
latter's knowledge, highly incensed him. He brought a suit 
against Mcintosh for slander, and employed Randolph to pros- 
ecute it. The latter called to his aid General W. Johnston and 
Ellis Glover, two eminent lawyers of that day, and the three 
successfully prosecuted the suit, obtaining judgment in favor of 
the Governor against Mcintosh for $4,000. Mcintosh was a 
Scotchman of large fortune, who, for many years, had been 
hostile to Governor Harrison, and who was not believed to be 
ver}' partial to the government of the United States. Governor 
Harrison had a sufficient amount of Mcintosh's property exe- 
cuted and sold to pa}^ the judgment, but to show that his suit 
was not instituted for money, but to maintain his good name, he 
after^^ards returned to Mcintosh two-thirds of this property, 
and gave the remaining third to some of the orphan children 
of persons who fell in the last war with Great Britain. 

A bitter feud between Mcintosh and Randolph grew out of 
this suit, which culminated in a personal altercation between 
them, Mcintosh stabbed Randolph in the back with a dirk, 
and Randolph cut Mcintosh in the face with a small pocket- 
knife, the only weapon he had about him. Mcintosh was but 
slightly hurt, but Randolph was so badl}- injured that for weeks 
it was supposed he would die. In a letter of General James 
Dill to Mr. Randolph, dated October 19, 1809, that gentleman 
says : 

" I am glad to hear you are out of danger, and am really as- 
tonished you came off so well, considering the precipitate and 
inconsiderate manner vou engaged. I hope, however, it will 



396 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

have the effect of stopping the slanderous and hbelous pubHca- 
tions of that wretch, Mcintosh, and if it does this 3011 will not 
have risked your life for nothing." 

Under date of October 15, 1809, Jonathan Taylor thus writes 
him : 

" I had been much distressed for 30ur recovery until I re- 
.ceived your letter by Mr. Tanahill, having before heard of the 
affray between you and Mcintosh. I have with great pleasure, 
I assure you, heard, to-day, b}^ Mr. Jones, that you were en- 
tirely over the wounds." 

Under date of October 13, 1809, Waller Taylor, in a letter to 
Mr. Randolph, says : 

"I am happy to hear that you are so nearly recovered from 
the wound given you by Sawney. I wish 3^ou could batter his 
Scotch carcass well for it." 

During the summer of 1809 several articles appeared in the 
Vincennes Sun severely denunciator^• of Mr. Randolph. They 
had fictitious signatures, but Mr. Randolph suspected they were 
either written by Mr. Jennings or were instigated bv him. On 
the 3d of June, 1809, he addressed a letter to Mr. Stout, the ed- 
itor of the Sim, demanding the name of the author or author.s 
of these objectionable communications. Mr. Stout replied, giv- 
ing the name of Dr. Elias McNamee. The next day Mr. Ran- 
dolph sent Dr. McNamee a letter by the hands of Major Jona- 
than Taylor, demanding redress for the injur}- done him. Dr. 
McNamee replied, saying, " I must leave you to seek that re- 
dress you may think most proper."* The same day Mr. Ran- 
dolph wrote him, saying: "I hope a polite invitation to meet 
me on the other side of the river Wabash, in the Illinois Ter- 
ritory', will be accepted." Instead of accepting the •' polite in- 
vitation," Dr. McNamee went before Judge Vanderburg and 
swore " that Thomas Randolph, of the county of Knox, Esquire, 
hath challenged him to fight a duel, and that he hath good 
reason to believe, and doth verily believe, that the said Thomas 



THOMAS RANDOLPH. 397 

Randolph will take his life or do him some bodily harm." • Mr. 
Randolph was arrested and put under bonds to keep the peace. 

Dr. McNamee was born and bred a Quaker, and conse- 
quently was opposed, on conscientious grounds, to accepting 
Randolph's challenge. If Randolph knew this when he chal- 
lenged him his action was not in accordance with the code. 

In the next number of the Sun he published a long commu- 
nication, reciting the correspondence between him and Dr. 
McNamee, and closing as follows : 

•' In taking leave of you. Dr. McNamee, as a scoundrel no 
longer worth}- of my notice, I pronounce you a base slanderer, 
an infamous liar and a contemptible coward." 

Such was the *' modern etiquette " to which Waller Taylor, 
in the letter copied above, referred. 

Mr. Randolph was of such a fiery nature that he often got 
into trouble. In a letter written by him to Captain Samuel C. 
Vance, of Lawrenceburg, he thus speaks of his relations with 
John Johnson, afterwards a judge of the Supreme Court : 

"J. Johnson's address to me as the author of 'Alpheus,' I 
suppose, has reached you before this. It excited m}^ risibility 
without creating in the slightest degree sentiments either of irri- 
tation or mortification ; and believing it unworthy of notice I 
have passed it over in silence. On his appearance in this place 
he prepared and walked wath a large hickor}^ stick for some 
days. Informed bv m}- friends that they had good reason to 
believe it was intended for me, and earnestly urged by them to 
place myself in a situation for defense, I thoughtlessly followed 
their advice, and carried also a stick for one evening and then 
threw it away, censuring myself for the folly of suspecting his 
intentions. A day or two afterwards, however, the truth was 
discovered that his was a \yeapon of defense and not oftense, 
for he apprehended an assault on him by me, for which I had 
no cause save his hostile appearance. Warlike appearances 
have vanished, and we treat each other politely in court, and 
touch hats as we pass on the streets." 

In a letter to Captain Vance, dated January ro, 1811, Mr. 
Randolph says : 



398 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

" I have nothing to expect from Mr. Jennings more than all 
the injury he can do me. His unremitted exertion to identifv 
me in all things with the Governor proceeds from his inimical 
disposition toward me. If he means, in this side way, to pro- 
duce on the minds of his hearers that I am the echo of the Gov- 
ernor, he is a fool and a liar." 

My purpose in drawing so copiously on the letters at my dis- 
posal is to show the reader the temper of the men who were 
prominent in the politics of Indiana in Territorial days. In no 
other way could I convey to him so forcibly their principles and 
manner of action. 

When General Harrison inaugurated the Wabash campaign 
of 181 1 it was his intention to give Mr. Randolph a com- 
mand, but circumstances made this impossible. Mr. Randolph, 
however, accompanied him as a volunteer aid, and fell at the 
battle of Tippecanoe, pierced by an Indian bullet. The gallant 
Jo Daviess also fell, and Waller Taylor, a major in the arm}-, 
and a bosom friend of Randolph, caused them to be buried 
side by side on the sanguinar^^ field. Before committing their 
bodies to the grave he took a pin from Randolph's bosom, cut 
oft' a lock of his hair, and on his return home gave them to 
Randolph's widow. He also cut the initials of the names of the 
dead soldiers on the tree under which they were buried, and 
years afterward Mrs. Sheets, Randolph's daughter, visited Tip- 
pecanoe and found the spot where her distinguished father was 
laid at rest. 

General James Dill, the husband of Mrs. Randolph's mother, 
thus broke the sad news of Randolph's death to his famil3\ His 
letter was written at Vincennes and dated November 12, 1811 : 

" My Dear Bess — It appears as if misfortune were to attend 
us in all situations and circumstances. News has at length ar- 
rived from the army. They have had a severe conflict, but a 
signal victory. The worst of it is that many brave men have 
been killed, more especially amongst those who were immedi- 
ately around the Governor. I wrote to you that Randolph had 
joined the army. I wish it had not been so, but it is now too 
late to wish. You will no doubt endeavor to support the trials 



THOMAS RANDOLPH. 399 

heaven has thought proper to inflict. I wish I were with you, 
but that is impossible. The man who filled the place to which 
I was appointed (a Colonel Owens), was shot through the heart 
by the side of the Governor. Many have been killed and more 
wounded, but there is one consolation for the friends of those 
slain — they died gloriously and in the arms of victory. I hope 
you are all well. May God protect 3'ou. Yours, as ever, 

"James Dill." 

Mrs. Sheets has an oil portrait of her distinguished father, 
which was painted in Richmond in 1806. It is that of a man in 
the prime of life, with high, broad forehead, over which the 
hair falls in ringlets, a long and delicate nose, dark hazel e3'es 
and a large mouth. The lower part of the face is too small for 
the face to be symmetrical. A long queue hangs down the back, 
and the whole appearance is that of a high-bred, intellectual 
man. Had the original of this picture lived to the alloted age 
of mankind he must have risen to great eminence in the historv 
of the State, for he had unquestionable talents, a classical edu- 
cation, a fine person and a host of friends. 



WILLIAMSON DUNN. 



Would that I had the pen of Dickens that I might draw Wil- 
Hamson Dunn as he was. I design no panegyric of the old 
pioneer, and if what I say appears extravagant, I beg to assure 
the reader that Judge Dunn was one of the grandest men I 
ever knew. I knew him well ; he was my friend when I needed 
friends ; he was my counselor when I needed counsel, and if I 
can do aught to honor his memor}-, I shall only be paymg a 
debt I owe. 

Williamson Dunn was born December 25, 1781, near Crow's 
station, within a few miles of Danville, Kentucky. He was the 
third son of Samuel Dunn, a native of Ireland, who at the age 
of thirteen emigrated from the north of Ireland to America, and 
settled in Rockingham county, Virginia. The family were 
Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, and transmitted to their descend- 
ants the characteristics of that tenacious and combative race. 
Samuel Dunn was in the blood}^ battle fought with the Indians 
at the mouth of the Big Kanawha, October 10, 1774, and after- 
wards served with distinction as a soldier in the Revolutionary 
war. He afterward removed to Kentucky, where Williamson, 
the subject of this sketch, was born and reared to manhood. 
The son inherited his father's braver}^ and patriotism, and these 
qualities descended to his children. As evidence of this fact 
there has never been a call to defend the countr^^'s flag since 
Williamson Dunn had issue, without his children and his grand- 
children answering, "We are here." 

In September, 1806, Williamson Dunn was married to Miriam 
Wilson, in Garrard county, Kentucky, and three 3^ears after- 
ward, with his wife and two children, he emigrated to Indiana 
Territory and settled in the woods where Hanover now is. This 



WILLIAMSON DUNN. 4OI 

continued his home until his death, except while he was regis- 
ter of the land office at Crawfordsville. 

When Mr. Dunn came to Indiana he brought with him three 
negro slaves. They were a part of his inheritance from his 
father's estate, and constituted a large part of it. But he hated 
slavery, and brought his slaves to Indiana that the^y might be 
free. 

In 181 1 General Harrison, then Governor of Indiana Terri- 
tory, gave Mr. Dunn two commissions — one as a Justice of the 
Peace, the other as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of 
Jefferson county. He held these offices for some time, and hon- 
estly discharged their duties. 

In 181 2 President Madison commissioned Judge Dunn a cap- 
tain of rangers. He soon raised a company, among the mem- 
bers being two of his brothers and two of his brothers-in-law. 
On the 13th of April, 1813, the company was mustered into the 
service of the United States, at Madison, and at once entered 
upon active service. For some time it was employed in erect- 
ing block-houses in the counties of Switzerland, Jefferson and 
Scott, for the protection of the settlers. 

In June, 1813, Captain Dunn and his compan}- made a raid 
upon the Delaware towns on the west fork of White river, and 
next month, wath three other companies, all under the command 
of Colonel Russell, marched against the Indian towns on the 
Wabash river, at the mouth of the Mississiniwa. During this 
expedition Captain Dunn's compan}- encamped one night on 
the spot which is now known as Circle Park, Indianapolis. In 
September, 1813, Captain Dunn's rangers marched to Fort 
Harrison, near Terre Haute, to relieve Captain Zachary Ta}'- 
lor's compan}^ of United States regulars. Dr. David H. Max- 
well, a brother-in-law of Captain Dunn, and a member of his 
company, in a petition to Congress asking compensation for 
medicine and medical services rendered the members of his 
company, gives this graphic description of the situation at Fort 
Harrison when Captain Dunn arrived : 

''After this campaign (the Mississiniwa), and without a res- 
pite, Captain Dunn's company of rangers was ordered to Fort 

26 



402 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Harrison to relieve a company of United States infantry which 
had charge of that garrison. 

" No language which your petitioner can command can ad- 
equately describe the situation of this infantry company when 
the Rangers took charge of the fort. Of the whole company 
four only were able to perform duty. The physician who was 
stationed at the fort had been sick and confined to his bed for 
weeks. At his request your petitioner attended upon the sick 
of his company until those who recovered (for some died) were 
able to leave the fort. Within the short space of three months 
after Captain Dunn's company of rangers was stationed at Fort 
Harrison there were eighty-five men out of one hundred and six 
who were sick and confined. Such was the rapid increase of 
disease that your petitioner was wholly unable to attend per- 
sonally upon the sick, and he was obliged to apply to the offi- 
cers to obtain the aid of three or four intelligent individuals to 
assist him in preparing and administering medicines, and to 
attend on the sick during their operation. Nearly all the sick 
were affected with remitting and intermitting fever, some few 
from dysentery or bloody flux. The rangers were continued 
at Fort Harrison for four months, and during that time, and, in 
fact, until the company was discharged, in March, 1814, the 
sick were often requiring additional medicines. Of the whole 
number of rangers at the fort, only one died during the service ; 
but more than twenty never perfectly recovered, and died within 
eighteen months afterward." 

Such were some of the hardships the pioneers of Indiana en- 
dured that this fair land might be opened to settlement and its 
inhabitants made secure in their persons and propert}^ 

On Captain Dunn's return to his home he put aside the sword 
and put his hand to the plow. Soon afterward he joined the 
Presbyterian church at Charlestown, twenty-five miles from his 
home, and continued a member of it until the establishment of 
a Presbyterian church at Madison, to which he removed his 
membership. In February, 1820, a church was organized at 
Hanover, of which Judge Dunn became a ruling elder, and he 
continued to occupy this high office until he died. 

In 18 14 Governor Posey commissioned Judge Dunn an Asso- 



WILLIAMSON DUNN. 4O3 

ciate Judge of the Circuit Court of Jefferson county. He held 
this office until 1816, when he was elected to the tirst Legisla- 
ture under the State constitution. He was re-elected to the 
second, third and fourth Legislatures, and during the sessions of 
the third and fourth was Speaker of the House. While a mem- 
ber of the Legislature he was virtually offered a seat in the Uni- 
ted States Senate, but he declined the honor because it would 
have taken him away from his famil3^ 

In May, 1820, Judge Dunn was commissioned, by President 
Monroe, Register of the Land Office for the Terre Haute dis- 
trict. Three 3^ears afterward the land office was removed to 
Crawfordsville. Judge Dunn and Major Whitlock, the Receiver 
of the Land Office, entered the land where Crawfordsville stands, 
and laid out the town. Judge Dunn was re-appointed Register 
in 1827 and held the office until 1829, when he was superseded 
by General Milroy. A short time after leaving the Land Office 
he returned to Hanover and remained a citizen of that town 
while he lived. 

Judge Dunn donated fifty acres of land to establish Hanover 
College, and also donated the ground upon which Wabash Col- 
lege, at Crawfordsville, was erected. Thus it will be seen that 
these colleges are mainly indebted to him for their establish- 
ment. 

In 1832 Judge Dunn was a candidate for the State Senate, but 
on account of his views upon temperance and the Sunday mail, 
was defeated by David Hillis. At the end of his term Mr. Hil- 
lis was re-elected, and in 1837, having been elected Lieutenant- 
Governor of the State, resigned his seat in the Senate, and Judge 
Dunn was chosen to fill the vacancy. 

In 1843 Judge Dunn was nominated for the Senate by the 
Whigs of Jefferson county. Shadrach Wilber, also a Whig, 
became an independent candidate, and the Hon. Jesse D. Bright, 
a Democrat, received a pluralit}' of the votes cast and was 
elected. This was the real beginning of his long political ca- 
reer. 

In 1846 Judge Dunn was elected Probate Judge of Jefferson 
county over George S. Sheets, a very brilliant young lawyer of 
Madison. He was re-elected at the end of his term and held 
the office when the court was abolished. 



404 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

In September, 1854, while overlooking some improvements 
of a plank road of which he was president, Judge Dunn was 
sunstruck, and taken to his home in a helpless condition. He 
remained an invalid until November 11, 1854, when he died. 
When his life went out one of the best men of Indiana was no 
more. 

The children and grandchildren of Judge Dunn inherited his 
bravery and love of arms. His sons, David and Thomas, served 
in the Mexican war, the first as a lieutenant and the latter as a 
private soldier. In the war of the rebellion they again enlisted 
in the service of their countr}-. David became lieutenant-colonel 
of the Ninth Indiana regiment of volunteers, and Thomas the 
captain of a company. He was atterward appointed to a cap- 
taincy in the regular army, and is now a major in that service. 
Judge Dunn's son James was also lieutenant-colonel in the vol- 
unteer service, and his son Williamson served as a surgeon 
throughout the war. Another son, William McKee, who was 
a member of Congress when the war broke out, was offered a 
colonelcy by Governor Morton, and a brigadiership b}- Presi- 
dent Lincoln, but declined them both, that he might fill out the 
term for which he was elected. When it expired he was ap- 
pointed Judge Advocate of the department of Missouri, and 
served for some time in that capacity. Subsequently he was 
appointed Assistant Judge Advocate-General, and on the retire- 
ment of Judge Advocate-General Holt he was selected to fill the 
vacancy. 

All of Judge Dunn's grandsons, except two, who were boys, 
served in the war of the rebellion. One of them, William Mc- 
Kee Dunn, Jr., who is now a major in the regular army, was a 
member of General Grant's staff, and was distinguished for his 
coolness and bravery. General Grant once said of him : " He 
is as brave as Julius Cajsar. Had I ordered him to a place 
where it was certain death to go I do not believe he would have 
hesitated a moment to obey the order." He is a true descend- 
ant of Williamson Dunn. His grandfather never hesitated to 
go where duty called him. If there ever was in this State a 
family that equaled the Dunns in bravery and soldierly qualities 
I hope some one will point it out. I have no knowledge of such 
an one. 



WILLIAMSON DUNN. 4O5 

Judge Dunn took great interest in public affairs. He started 
the movement which culminated in the election of Zachar}' Tay- 
lor President of the United States. A meeting was held at 
Madison in 1848, which formally put forward General Taylor 
for the presidency. Judge Dunn was the moving spirit of that 
meeting. He introduced the resolutions favoring General Tay- 
lor's nomination, and supported them in an earnest speech. In 
February, 1849, when on his way to Washington to assume the 
presidency. General Taylor stopped off at Madison and was 
given a public dinner. Judge Dunn presided at this dinner, 
and, on arising to propose the health of the guest, read an or- 
der he had received from him at Fort Harrison in 181 3. He 
then paid a high tribute to the soldierly qualities and strong- 
common sense of General Ta3'lor, and ended by proposing his 
health. The toast was drunk with water, a cold-water banquet 
being the only kind at which Judge Dunn ever presided. 

Judge Dunn had moral bravery as well as phj^sical braver}-. 
He did what he believed to be right, and would have suffered 
burning at the stake rather that do an act he knew to be wrong. 
He was of the stuff of which martyrs are made. 

In 1848 or '49 a temperance wave swept over Southern Indi- 
ana, and at Madison petitions were numerously signed praying 
the repeal of the license law and the enactment of a law to make 
the selling of liquor a felony, punishable with fine and impris- 
onment. A year or so afterward, when the temperance move- 
ment had waned, the liquor men procured copies of these peti- 
tions and had them published in the Madison papers. This 
played havoc with the aspirations of several men who were am- 
bitious to serve the public in an official capacit}-. A candidate 
for the mayoralty of Madison on being confronted with one of 
these petitions with his name to it sought to evade responsi- 
bilitv by claiming that he did not know its contents when he 
signed it. A day or two after his card to this purport had ap- 
peared in the Madison Courier I was at Hanover, and seeing 
Judge Dunn in his porch, approached him and took a seat by 
his side. We conversed awhile upon politics, and the canvass 
for the mayoralty of Madison being mentioned. Judge Dunn said : 

'' I see by the Courier that is trying to crawfish out 



406 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

of having signed the temperance petition. I have a contempt 
for a man w^ho, having done a proper thing, turns his back upon 
it to please the public. I, too, signed that petition. I did it 
with my eyes open, and I stand by the act. It was right, and 
I. will do it again if the opportunity offers." 

It was his unyielding devotion to conviction that twice cost 
him a seat in the Senate of the State. 

In appearance General William McKee Dunn is the coun- 
terpart of his father. At the late meeting of the Arm}- of the 
Tennessee in Indianapolis, while sitting on the platform at the 
Park Theater, I saw General Dunn in the parquette, and, had I 
not known his father was dead, I would have thought he was 
before me. I never knew a son more like his father. 

Judge Dunn was five feet ten and one-half inches high, and 
was very strong and muscular. He had a fair complexion and 
bright blue eyes. In his latter years his head was entirely bald, 
save a fringe of hair behind his ears. His sons were all good 
and patriotic men, but none of them was so good and patriotic 
as he. He was a model citizen, and a Christian without re- 
proach. 

Rev. Jonathan Edwards, once president of Hanover College, 
in an address at the dedication of the Presbyterian Theological 
Seminary of the Northwest, at Chicago, thus speaks of Judge 
Dunn : 

*' Early and intimately associated with Dr. Crowe in the 
founding and fostering of this institution (Hanover College) was 
his neighbor, Williamson Dunn, once Register of the Land 
Office at Crawfordsville, but for the last thirty years of his life 
a resident of Hanover. He had been a judge, but was best 
known as a farmer and an elder of the church. Comparatively 
hidden as was his light, Judge Dunn was yet widely known 
and highly appreciated. His general intelligence, his practical 
sense, his prudence, his great firmness, his rare integrity of 
character, are still embalmed in the traditions of his State, and 
he lives in the recollection of those who knew him as one of the 
best specimens of the American citizen." 



ABEL C. PEPPER. 



Abel C. Pepper was born in Kentuck}-, and emigrated to 
Indiana Territory' in 1815. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, 
having been a private in Captain WilHam Garrard's troop of 
volunteer light dragoons. He was mustered out of the service 
by Lieutenant-Colonel James V. Bell, at Lower Seneca, Au- 
gust 10, 181 3, and received from his captain the following cer- 
tificate : 

" Franklintox, August 18, 181 3. 

" B\' virtue of the within order, Abel C. Pepper, a private in 
mv troop of volunteer light dragoons, who has served under my 
command twelve months, is hereb}' honorably discharged from 
the service, and is entitled to the privileges and emoluments 
provided by the acts of Congress upon such discharge. 

' ' Will Gar r ard , Jr., 
'■^Captain of ]'olunteer Light Dragoons y 

When he came to Indiana he settled in Dearborn county, and 
80on afterward became one of her leading citizens. He had a 
taste for military affairs, and had been in the Territory but a 
short time until he became a militia captain. He was advanced 
to the office of colonel, and subsequently to that of brigadier- 
general, although he was generally called by the title of Colonel. 
He served as County Commissioner of Dearborn county, as 
her Sheriff, and for several terms represented her people in 
the Legislature of the State. In 1828 he was a candidate for 
Lieutenant-Governor, but was defeated b}' Milton Stapp a few 
hundred votes. In 1830 General Stapp was a candidate for 
Governor, and during the canvass made a speech at Rising Sun, 
in which he said the people of Dearborn county ought to sup- 



408 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

port him, for they did but little for him when lie ran tor Lieu- 
tenant-Governor. Continuing, he said : 

" When the returns came in trom every portion of the State, 
except old Dearborn, I felt rejoiced at the result. But when 
the votes of Dearborn were counted, it was ' Pepper,' ' Pepper." 
' Pepper,' and I assure you it came near peppering me." 

In 1829 Colonel Pepper was appointed sub-Indian agent at 
Fort Wayne by General Jackson. He was afterward promoted 
to the office of Indian agent, and then superintendent for the 
renioval of the Indians in Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wis- 
consin. In 1839 ^^^ resigned this office. Subsequently he was 
elected a Sinking Fund Commissioner, and in 1845 was ap- 
pointed b}' President Polk United States Marshal for Indiana. 
He held this office until 1849, when he was superseded by John 
L. Robinson. In 1850 he represented Ohio and Switzerland 
counties in the constitutional convention, and took a very ac- 
tive part in its proceedings. He served on the committees of 
elective franchises, apportionment and representation, bank^ 
and banking, arrangement and phraseology, and of the militia, 
being chairman of the last. 

In the convention Colonel Pepper took a decided stand against 
a State bank. Earlv in the session he offered a resolution. 
"That from and after the expiration of the charter of the State 
Bank of Indiana all connection between the State and banks 
shall cease." He made a speech in favor of the resolution, in 
which he declared himself in favor of free banks and opposed 
to a State bank. 

During the session of the convention Colonel Pepper offered 
a resolution of inquiry in relation to the unsold lots and land 
included in the donation bv the national government to the 
State. In speaking on this resolution, he said : 

" My object in offering the resolution is to secure the preser- 
vation of these lots for the use and pleasure of the people of the 
State as well as the citizens of Indianapolis, as public grounds. 
In all the large cities of our country it became an object of great 
interest to secure squares and open plats of ground in their 
midst, to be ornamented with trees and shrubbery, and to serve 



ABEL C. PEPPER. 4O9 

the double purpose of public use and private gratitication. 
While it is yet possible to secure such lots here I wish to see 
it done." 

Colonel Pepper died at his home in Rising Sun, March 20,. 
i860, and was buried in the cemeter}- there. His death caused 
much grief among his neighbors, and he was also mourned 
throughout the State, for he was well known to the people as 
a good and patriotic man. 

Colonel Pepper was a devoted member of the Masonic fra- 
ternity. He was made a Mason in 1816, and afterward received 
the highest honors of the craft, serving both as Grand Master 
and Grand High Priest of the order in the State. He was one 
of the brightest and most zealous Masons ever within the ju-' 
risdiction of the Grand Lodge of Indiana. 

When Colonel Pepper was a voung man he determined to 
study and practice medicine. Accordingly he entered the office 
of a phvsician as a student, and soon afterward a man came to 
get medicine for a sick person while the doctor was away. The 
student thought he would act the doctor for the nonce, and put 
up what he thought was a dose of salts, gave it to the messen- 
ger, and sent him awa}-. The doctor soon returned, and, on 
being told bv Mr. Pepper what he had done, ordered him to 
mount a horse at once and overtake the messenger, as what he 
had given him was the rankest poison. The student did as 
directed, and succeeded in reachin^r the house of the sick man 
just in time to prevent him tVom taking the poison. This nar- 
row escape from causing the death of a human being induced 
Colonel Pepper to quit the stud}- of medicine, and hence he did 
not become a phj-sician. 

After this Colonel Pepper concluded to study law. He pur- 
chased some law books, and for a time diligently studied them. 
Soon after commencinij these studies a farmer came to him and 
narrated a difficulty he had liad with a neighbor, and urged 
the Colonel to take the case. He had no license, but knowing* 
the suit could be brought before a justice of the peace, he ac- 
cepted the emplovment. The case was tried, decided against 
his client, and then appealed to the Circuit Court, which con- 
firmed the judgment of the justice. Tlie costs were so heavy 



4IO BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

that the farmer had great difficulty in saving his farm from being 
sold to pay them. This ended the Colonel's aspirations to be- 
come a lawyer. 

After this Colonel Pepper engaged in merchandising, and 
continued at it most of the time he was not in public life. 

Mr. Shadrach Hathaway, eighty-eight years old, and now 
living at Rising Sun, in 1883, says that he and Colonel Pepper 
once walked from Rising Sun to Cincinnati, some thirty miles 
or more. Their route was through Kentucky. When they 
were near Covington they encountered a hill, and the Colonel, 
being much fatigued, said he would give "a quarter" if he 
were at its top. Mr. Hathaway took him upon his back and 
:safely carried him to the top of the hill. The " quarter" was 
paid. 

A gentleman of this cit}^, who was a lad of thirteen when he 
looked upon the face of the Colonel at his funeral in March, 
i860, has very pleasant recollections of the last years of the 
Colonel's life. During a series of lectures at Rising Sun by 
home talent — doctors, law3^ers, clergymen and "statesmen" — 
the Colonel lectured upon his experience among the Indians, oc- 
cupying the old fashioned high pulpit in the Universalist church. 
As he proceeded with his description he gave forcible illustra- 
tions b}^ means of his Indian relics. With the aid of the county 
sheriff dressed up with a buffalo's head, tinkling bells, and other 
instruments of terror to eye and ear, he presented to the audi- 
ence the " medicine man " as he appeared in his native forests. 
The boys were impressed and the adults amused by the spec- 
tacle and the vivid description, punctuated by tosses of the head 
and jangling of the bells. The fright of the young folks was 
tempered by a suspicion that the}- knew the man in costume. 

In the winter of i860 a committee of boys from a literary so- 
ciety called upon Colonel Pepper one evening and solicited his 
patronage to the societv, and asked him to address it. They 
found him tired with a hard day's work in killing hogs, but 
were received with kindness, and with a dignitv that reminded 
them of the Father of his Country'. 

Colonel Pepper presided at the ceremonies of laying the cor- 
ner-stone of the Court-house of Ohio county, at Rising Sun. 
The stone-mason, who supplemented speculative masonry with 



ABEL C. PEPPER. 4II 

limestone and mortar, had trouble in convincing the Colonel 
which corner should be honored, as the building did not front 
due east and west, the street upon which it stands running 36° 
north of west b}- ^6° south of east. 

For a time after the election at which Colonel Pepper was a 
candidate for Lieutenant-Governor it was supposed that he had 
been elected, and preparations were being made to do him 
honor, when unexpected returns from distant parts crushed the 
hopes of his friends, and left him a defeated candidate for the 
second office in the State. 

Colonel Pepper was slightly above medium height, spare and 
sinewy, of easy and pleasing address. He was urbane and 
dignified in his intercourse with his fellow men, and was par- 
ticularl}^ polite to ladies. He was a useful and patriotic citizen, 
and his memor}^ should be perpetuated in the history of the 
State. 



JOSEPH LANE. 



The Lanes have been prominent actors in the poHtics and 
history of Indiana. Amos Lane was a leading lawyer in early 
times, and served in Congress from 1832 to 1836. His son, 
James H., was a colonel in the Mexican war, was Lieutenant- 
Governor of Indiana from 1849 to 1852, and a member of Con- 
gress from 1853 to 1855. Subsequentlv he removed to Kansas, 
and from March, 1861, until 1866, when he died by his own 
hand, he was a Senator of the United States trom Kansas. 
Henr}^ S. Lane was a gallant soldier, an eloquent speaker, and 
a conscientious man, and, alter receiving the highest honors his 
State could conter upon him, died in 1882. But the Lane who 
was best known to the country, and who served Indiana longer 
than any of his name, was Joseph Lane, a pioneer of the States 
and a distinguished soldier of the Mexican war. 

Joseph Lane was born in Buncombe county, North Carolina, 
December 14, 1801. In 1814 his lather's famil}' emigrated to 
Kentuck}^ and two years afterward the future general, then a 
boy of fifteen, crossed the river and came to Darlington, then 
the county seat of Warrick count}^ Indiana. He worked al- 
ternateh' in the office of the County Clerk and in a dry goods 
store until 182 1, when he married and settled on a farm in \^an- 
derburgh county, just across the Warrick line. The next year, 
before he was twentv-one years old, he was elected to the State 
Legislature from the counties of Vanderburgh and Warrick, 
and had to wait until he reached the legal age before he could 
take his seat. From that time until 1846 he was almost contin- 
uously a member of one branch or the other of the State Legis- 
lature. 

The breaking out of the Mexican war found him a member 



JOSEPH LANE. 413 

of the Senate, but he laid aside his official robes and joined 
Captain Walker's company of infantr^^ as a private soldier. 
When the volunteers were organized at New Albany he was 
elected colonel of the Second regiment, and on the ist day of 
July. 1846, he was appointed a brigadier-general and given 
command of the Indiana troops. He started at once for Mexico, 
and when he reached the seat of war his brigade was assigned 
to the First division, under command of Major-General Butler. 
A thrilling episode in the shape of a personal difficulty just 
prior to the battle of Buena Vista is described b}' the JVetv Al- 
bany Ledger of February, 1876. It was between General Jo 
Lane and Colonel James H. Lane : 

•'While General Taylor's arm}- was encamped at Agua 
Xueva, fourteen miles south of Buena Vista, the quarrel was 
brought about by a trivial occurrence. It commenced in Gen- 
eral Lane's tent, and in the presence of Colonel B. C. Kent, 
of this city, Lieutenant A. L. Robinson, aid to the General, and 
several other officers. They were engaged in the discussion of 
the relative merits of two companies of the brigade (incidental 
to a discussion with reference to the organization of another 
regiment at the close of the service of the regiments then in the 
service), General Lane championing Captain Sanderson's com- 
pan}^ of the second regiment, of this city, while Colonel Lane 
was equally enthusiastic in regard to the qualities of the com- 
pany of Captain Ford, of the third regiment, of Madison, this 
State. Both of these companies were excellent, and it was the 
utmost difficulty to decide which was reallv the better of the 
two. During the discussion the Lanes became very much ex- 
cited, and something aroused the General to such a pitch that 
he deemed it necessary to fight it out then and there, and, reach- 
ing to his camp chest, produced a pair of very excellent dueling 
pistols, and handing them toward Colonel Lane, asked him to 
take his choice. The latter endeavored to secure one of the 
pistols, but the parties were separated by Lieutenant Robinson 
and others, when Colonel Lane withdrew from the tent. 

•' Both of these officers were highly exasperated, and were 
with difficulty prevented from laj'ing violent hands on each 
other. This occurred in the afternoon, near the time for the 



414 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

usual dress parade, of the several regiments. When the third 
regiment was assembled on the parade ground, read}- for the ex- 
ercise, Colonel Lane being present, General Lane came down 
the line of tents with an old-fashioned rifle on his shoulder, 
and called upon the Colonel to arm himself, for he had come to 
demand satisfaction for the insult offered him in the tent. Colo- 
nel Lane promptly directed one of the color guards to load his 
gun with ball cartridge, which was done at once. In the mean- 
time intelligence had been conveyed to Major J. A. Cravens, of 
the second Indiana regiment, who was officer of the da}^ and 
he at once repaired to the parade ground and arrested the two 
officers just as thev were about to take their places for an ex- 
change of shots. Their swords were surrendered and sent by 
Major Cravens to General Wool's headquarters. 

" It was very fortunate that Major Cravens was so prompt in 
action, for there is no doubt but that one or both of these officers 
would have been killed, both being men of courage and at the 
time exasperated to the highest degree. Nor would the feud 
have ended there, for the members of the second regiment were 
devoted to General Lane, and looked upon him with the rever- 
ence usually bestowed upon a father and confidence as a com- 
mander. During the excitement in the camp previous to the 
arrest many of the members of the second regiment seized their 
arms, loaded them, and were prepared to take a hand in de- 
fense of the General, and, no doubt, if he had fallen, would have 
sought revenge in an attempt to take the lite of Colonel Lane. 
The devotion of the second regiment to the General was no 
greater than the love and admiration of the third for their chiv- 
alrous Colonel, and they would have sought the life of General 
Lane had their commander been killed. These were the feel- 
ings that pervaded the camp in these two regiments at the time. 

"These events occurred in the early part of Februar}-, and 
the two officers made no effort to reconcile their differences, nor 
would they permit their friends to interfere. They both re- 
mained under arrest until the evening of the 21st of February, 
when General Wool sent their swords to them by the then Cap- 
tain McDowell, since promoted to major-general, with the in- 
formation that he presumed they would have an opportunity 
within a few days of drawing them on, a common enemy, it then 



JOSEPH LANE. 415 

being known to General Wool that Santa Anna was advancing 
on his position from the San Louis road, and that a conflict 
would occur within forty-eight hours, which was realized in the 
famous battle of Buena Vista, where less than five thousand 
American volunteers put to flight a trained army of twenty-two 
thousand Mexicans. Shortly after the battle, and while the 
army was encamped at the ranche of Buena Vista, the former 
friendly relations of these two officers were re-established, and 
continued until the second and third regiments returned to their 
homes. They were frequent visitors to their several quarters, 
and those then best acquainted with them would never have 
dreamed that the former bitter feud existed." 

At the battle of Buena Vista General Lane commanded the left 
wing of the division, and during the day was badly wounded in 
the arm. He behaved with distinguished bravery, and was 
warmly commended by General Taylor for his action in that 
sanguinary conflict. The next June he brought his brigade to 
New Orleans, where it was disbanded. But, although the men 
he had led at Buena Vista returned to their homes when their 
term of enlistment expired, he went back to Mexico, was given 
command of 3,000 men at Vera Cruz, and at once started for 
the Mexican capital. He defeated Santa Anna at Huamantla, 
attacked and routed a large body of guerrillas at Atlixco, scat- 
tered other bands of these partisan soldiers at Flascala, then 
took Matamoras and captured a large quantity of military stores, 
and soon after reached the headquarters of General Scott, the 
commander-in-chief of the army. Early in 1848 he- was sent out 
by the commanding general to break up and destroy the many 
bands of guerrillas roaming over the countr3\ He came so near 
Santa Anna at Tehuacan that he captured his carriage contain- 
ing his private papers and wooden leg. He moved with such 
rapidity, and was so successful in beating the enemy, that he 
was called "The Marion of the Mexican War," a name that 
clung to him while he lived. He did the last fighting in Mex- 
ico, and his services brought him a brevet major-general's com- 
mission, an honor he fairly won. 

A writer in Cisfs Advertiser gives the following item of history : 

" It may not be amiss to state how he obtained his military ap- 



41 6 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

pointment, taken, as he was, from the farm, to lead armies to 
victory. 

'' When it became the duty of the President to make the ap- 
pointment of brigadier-general it was felt by every Western 
member of Congress to be a prize for his constituents. Proba- 
bl}' some fifty names had been handed in to the President, 
accordingly. Robert Dale Owen, in whose district Lane resided, 
entertaining no such local pride, would probably not have fur- 
nished any name, but for a suggestion to that efi^ect from one of 
the Indiana Senators, 'Whom do 3'ou intend recommending?' 
*■ Why,' said Mr. Owen, ' I had no thought of offering a name. 
There are no applications to me from m}- own district, but if 
you think it due to it to offer a name I shall hand in that of Jo 
Lane.' 

" The Senator approved of the choice, and it was accordingly 
suggested. The President, as usual, said he would give it his 
favorable consideration. A few days afterwards Mr. Owen was 
transacting some private business at the White House. After 
it was through — ' B3' the b}', Mr. Owen,' observed the Presi- 
dent, ' I shall have to appoint ^^our friend Lane to the brigadier- 
generalship. I hope you have well considered your recom- 
mendation, for the office is a very responsible one.' ' I know 
nothing,' replied Mr. Owen, ' of Lane's militar}- talents, but 
there are about him those elements of character which in all 
times of difficulty prompt every one to rally instinctively, around 
him as a leader. This has been the case in early days when 
lawless men infested the ri\'er border. Whether on shore or 
among boatmen on the river. Lane was the man relied on to 
keep such men in order, and he was always found equal to every 
emergency. I would select him for the office before an}^ other 
man I know, if I had the appointment to make.' 

" Lane was appointed. The sequel is history, and justified 
the penetrative judgment of Mr. Owen. Lane developed quali- 
ties which place him in the front rank of military service. 

" When the news of the battle of Buena Vista reached Wash- 
ington Mr. Owen called on President Polk. 

"■ Well, sir," ex'claimed he, " what do you think of our Hoo- 
sier general? " 



JOSEPH LAXE. 415^ 

"Ah I" said the President, with a quiet smile, "Mr. Owen, 
vou are safe out of that scrape I " 

When the war had ended General Lane came back to In- 
diana, but his residence here w^as of short duration. In August, 
1848, he was appointed by President Polk Governor of the Ter- 
ritory^ of Oregon, and in March he reached its capital. He 
organized the Territorial government and remained at its head 
until August, 1850, wdien he w^as removed by President Taylor, 
a Whig, he being a Democrat. The next year he was elected 
a delegate to Congress, and continued as such until Oregon be- 
came a State, w^hen he was chosen to represent her in the 
United States Senate. In i860, while he was in the Senate, he 
was nominated for Vice-President on the ticket with John C. 
Breckenridge. and received sevent3^-two electoral votes. Gen- 
eral Lane left the Senate on the 4th of March, 1861, and re- 
turned to Oregon. He remained in private life until April 20, 
1 881, when he died at Rosenberg, w^hich for many years had 
been his home. 

General Lane's long service in the public councils, and his 
brilliant career as a soldier, made him very popular in Indiana. 
A large convention of the Democrac}- declared in his favor for 
the presidency, and several of its shrewdest leaders at once 
went to work to pave the w^a}- for his nomination. Robert Dale 
Owen, a leading Democrat and a master of the English lan- 
guage, wrote a pamphlet in which General Lane's claims and 
qualifications for the presidency w'ere elaborately set forth. 
John L. Robinson, than whom there w^as no more effective 
political worker in the State, took charge of the movement and 
threw into it all the energy and ability he possessed. In order 
that the reader may have an inside glimpse of the political 
workings of that day, and know something of the extent of the 
effort to nominate General Lane for the presidenc}^ the follow- 
ing letters from Mr. Robinson and from General Lane to a 
gentleman of Indianapolis, are now published for the first time : 

"Washington, January 23, 1852. 
" Dear Sir — Some of my letters from Indianapolis indicate 
i^ome discouragement on the part of General Lane's friends. I 

27 



4l8 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

see no sufficient reason for this ; on the contrary, there is much 
to encourage them. It is the opinion of all the General's friends 
here with whom I have conversed, and I have given it my un- 
ceasing attention, that things are working as well for him as 
could be reasonably expected. It is true, not much is said 
about him in the papers ; in fact, at present he is not in the fight 
that is so actively going on between the other aspirants and 
their friends, and this very fact is most favorable to him. While 
Cass's, Buchanan's, Douglas's and Butler's friends are active 
and noisy, exciting prejudices against each other. Lane and his 
friends, here, at least, are quietly awaiting the issue and strik- 
ing occasionally when we find something is to be made. We 
desire to keep him in the position he now occupies ; that is, 
friendly with all, hostile to none, so that he may eventually get 
votes from all, for we do not believe that any of the others can 
possibly reach a two-thirds vote, so as to be nominated. Lane 
has kept very still since he has been here, but has nevertheless 
made some strong friends and a most favorable impression with 
every one with whom he has come in contact. I have never 
known a man so uniformly and certainly successful in making 
all whom he meets friends, and keeping them so, as General 
Lane. I hear that there is a possibility that our convention on 
the 24th of February will name a second choice. No friend 
of General Lane ought to listen for a moment to such a propo- 
sition ; it would be fatal to him. If you appoint his reliable 
friends as delegates there is no need of absolute instructions at 
all, but pass strong resolutions in his favor like Kentucky did 
for Butler. But if you instruct, begin and end with Lane, and 
nobody else. 

" The Douglas bubble has exploded. Conventions have been 
held in New York, Ohio and Kentucky, and delegates ap- 
pointed. He expected much from each and all of them, and 
has signally failed. Lane is, in m}^ opinion, stronger than 
Douglas in all these States. At present Douglas can't rely 
upon any State but Illinois. The contest at first in the national 
convention will be between Cass and Buchana'n. Douglas will 
be put in as a rival of both, and hence not likel}^ to get their 
friends after they abandon them. 

" Ultimately the race will be between Lane, Marcy and But- 



JOSEPH LANE. 419 

ler. I think there can be no doubt of this. I write thus freely 
to you just what I think. I intend to devote every energy to 
the service of Lane, and I really have sanguine hopes of suc- 
cess. Much, however, very much, depends upon the action of 
your convention on the 24th, and the sort of men you name as 
delegates. Very truly yours, 

"JoHX L. Robinson." 



"Washington, March 28, 1852. 

"Dear Sir — I have been prevented by indisposition from 
writing you for some time, but being now well, I propose to 
give you a few of my thoughts and views about things con- 
nected with the interests of our friend Lane. I will begin by 
saying that his prospects for the nomination are, in my opinion, 
getting better daily. This is owing to the fact that he keeps 
very quiet, pursuing the even tenor of his way, and by his un- 
obtrusive but frank and generous bearing winning the affec- 
tions of all who make his acquaintance. His conduct and that 
of his friends is in such wide and favorable contrast with that 
of other candidates and their friends, particularly Douglas and 
his, that it is having a happy effect. You have noticed that 
some sharp shooting has occurred in the House between Doug- 
las's friends and Butler's ; it has resulted much to the injury of 
Douglas, as it ought. I never knew such an organization as 
exists around Douglas, and it reaches into most of the States, 
too, but it embraces but few but trading politicians who expect 
to live oft' of speculation and spoils. Their game is brag. 
They will impudently assert that every man and every State 
is for Douglas, wherever it will serve a purpose. In our dele- 
gation Gorman, Davis and Mace, I think, play a little at the 
game. Speaker Boyd told me that he was in Gorman's com- 
pany last night, and that Gorman said Indiana would go foi 
Douglas, the second ballot certain, and the first if necessary ; 
that this was an ascertained fact. Still these gentlemen say 
they are for Lane, but that ' he has no chance.' In short, their 
conversations are calculated to aid Douglas only ; I mean Gor- 
man and Davis particularly. Fitch, Lockhart and myself, and 
Bright, when he is here, are doing what we can for Lane. 



420 



BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 



Cass is proving much stronger than was expected, and may be 
nominated, but I think not ; to let Douglas beat him, however, 
would be a shame. Buchanan may now be considered out of 
the ring; his failure, so considered, in Virginia kills him. 
Douglas's friends will now claim Virginia, but I am assured he 
can not get it. Many Southern Democrats have recently indi- 
cated a strong leaning towards Lane ; it is generally of that 
class who do not like to go for Cass. It will require but little 
management to get many of the Southern States to go in con- 
vention for Lane in the event, which, I think, is almost certain 
to occur, to wit : a repeated and protracted balloting. But if 
we have delegates who come up to Baltimore ostensibly for 
Lane, but really for Douglas, determined to vote for Douglas 
as soon as possible, a candidate from whose friends Lane has 
nothing to expect — I mean who has no intrinsic strength to 
transfer if he fails — wh}^, I would rather have no delegates from 
Indiana at all. It is therefore all important that Lane's friends 
come up. You may rest assured Douglas's will, for they will be 
paid for coming, if necessar}-. 

" In haste, trul}^ 3'ours, John L. Robinson." 



"Washington City, January 31, 1852. 

' ' Dear Sir — While I was on the Pacific side of the Rocky 
Mountains the people of Indiana, at a great mass-meeting held 
in Indianapolis, in which every portion of the State was repre- 
sented, unanimously presented my name for the presidency, 
subject to the decision of the national convention. It was their 
voluntary act, without my knowledge or wish (as you well know 
I had no agency in the matter). It was, however, gratifying to 
me, and fairly placed my name before the country as the choice 
of that State for the highest office in the world. Knowing the 
people as I do, having in them the utmost confidence, and feel- 
ing under great obligations for the high honor conferred, I re- 
turned to the State of m}^ adoption, in which so large a portion 
of my life has been spent, with a heart full of gratitude. I 
love my countr}^, her honor and integrity. The perpetuation 
and progress of our glorious institutions have been the aim and 
desire of the Democratic party from the beginning of our gov- 



JOSEPH LANE. ^21 

ernment ; with that party I have acted from manhood to the 
present time, and shall continue so to do till the day of my death. 
I have never deceived a friend or acted hypocritically toward 
any one. I have alwa3's considered the Democratic party as 
a band of brothers, bound by the strongest ties, with one great 
object in views namely, the promotion and perpetuation of the 
institutions of our common country. 

" Indiana occupies a high political position. She has within 
her borders many natural advantages and artificial advantages 
over any State in the Union of her age, with a generous, intel- 
ligent, industrious and patriotic population. I love her honor 
and reputation as I love life, and I feel confident that she 
never will do a dishonorable thing ; therefore I have no fears 
about her course toward me, notwithstanding it is rumored here 
that an efibrt is now being made to give me the go by, bv in- 
structing the delegation to vote for a second choice as soon as. 
your humble servant can be disposed of. 

" It is not my wish to embarrass the Democracy of Indiana. 
So far from it, I stand ready to support the election of an}' man 
who may receive the nomination of the State or national Demo- 
cratic convention. With this view of the case, I hope that In- 
diana will send to the national convention delegates, each and 
every one of them good personal friends, who would rather see 
me nominated than any other man, without instructions, to act 
as circumstances may require. 

" Now, my friend, let me beg you to say to my friends that I 
hope good delegates may be appointed without instructions as 
to first or second choice. 

•'With great respect, I am, sir, your obedient servant, 

"Joseph Lane."^ 

The Democratic State convention of 1852 convened at Ind- 
ianapolis Februar}^ 24, and was presided over by Judge Thomas 
L. Smith. The committee on resolutions, of which Robert 
Dale Owen was chairman, was a very strong one, being com- 
posed of the leading Democrats of the State, among them Oli- 
ver P. Morton, afterward the great War Governor of Indiana. 
Two of the resolutions reported by the committee, and unani- 
mously adopted by the convention, were as follows : 



422 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

'■'■ Resolved, That Joseph Lane, the State legislator, the gal- 
lant general, the Territorial Governor, tried in the executive 
chair and never found wanting, is, of the people of Indiana, 
their first choice for the presidency. While we repose entire 
confidence alike in his administrative capacity, in his firmness, 
in his honesty of purpose and in his unswerving devotion to 
Democratic principles, at the same time, desiring, above all 
things, union and harmony in the support of the nominee of the 
national convention, we will support him, let the choice of the 
majority fall as it will ; and, fully trusting the judgment and de- 
votion to principles of our delegates to that convention, we leave 
them free to exercise their judgment. 

'''•Resolved, That, if General Lane should be the Democratic 
nominee for President, we pledge him the vote of Indiana, of 
that State the honor of whose sons he has so nobly vindicated, 
by a majority, as we confidently hope and truly believe, of 
twenty-five thousand votes." 

It will be observed that the views of General Lane, as ex- 
pressed in his letter, were adopted and carried out by the con- 
vention. 

The Democratic national convention met at Baltimore the 
next June, and for thirt}^ ballots the solid vote of Indiana was 
cast for General Lane. On that ballot Judge Douglas devel- 
oped unexpected strength, and the delegates from Indiana be- 
ing particularly hostile to his nomination, on the next ballot 
cast their thirteen votes for General Cass, his strongest compet- 
itor. As is known to the intelligent reader the convention 
eventually nominated Franklin Pierce, of New Hampshire, who 
was elected President over General Scott, the Whig candidate. 

General Lane had great influence with the Indians of Ore- 
gon. He learned to speak their language, and often hunted 
with them. One da}- while in the woods with a part}^ of In- 
dians he was assaulted by one of them, a powerful man, who 
struck at the General, but the latter dodged the blow. Seizing 
a club, he struck his assailant and knocked him down. For a 
a time he lay limp and almost lifeless, and when he recovered 
sufficiently to arise upon his feet he expressed himself satisfied, 
and he desired no further contest with the General, It took a 



JOSEPH LANE. 423 

brave man to maintain himself, single and alone, with a drunken 
Indian, flanked b}^ a number of his red-skin friends. 

During Mr. Pierce's administration General Lane, being in 
Washington attending to his official duties, was requested by 
the President to return to Oregon and take command of the 
troops then employed in suppressing an insurrection of the In- 
dians. He did so, and entered the field at the head of the 
army, determined to bring the war to a speedy close. He 
found the Indians, several hundred strong, intrenched and well 
protected bv fallen trees and brushwood, awaiting his coming. 
Stopping his command near their lines, he advanced alone, 
waving a handkerchief, and when near enough to be heard he 
asked for a parley. He was fired upon as he approached, and 
shot through the shoulder, but this did not cause him to turn 
back or abandon his effort to have a conference with the Indian 
chieftains. When the}^ saw who it was several of the leaders 
came out from their cover and approached him. He asked that 
the men in their camp who had murdered the settlers and 
burned their houses be delivered up that they might be pun- 
ished. He told them they had better surrender these men, for 
if they did not he would take them, and if they did, and 
would agree to prevent such murders in the future, he would 
retire with the arm^^ and not further molest them. The Indians 
delivered up the criminals, who were hung, and peace between 
the red men and the settlers was restored. 

While General Lane lived in Oregon he was a great hunter, 
and once, on his return from a trip in the woods, a pistol in his 
coat pocket went oft^ as he was alighting from his horse. The 
ball entered his back and came out in front, near the hip joint, 
without striking a vital part. In speaking of this wound he 
was wont to say that he would never die by powder and ball, 
and that he felt entirel}- confident that he would die a natural 
death. His faith was well founded, for, although he was wound- 
ed by a Mexican bullet at Buena Vista, bv an Indian bullet in 
the wilds of Oregon, and b}^ the accidental discharge of his own 
pistol, he survived all these wounds and died in a natural way. 
When he died the life of a brave man went out. A pioneer of 
Indiana, a gallant soldier of the Union, and lie who fasiiioned 
Oregon into a State, was no more. But his memory lives. No 



424 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

history of Indiana, none of the Union, and none of Oregon, can 
be truthfully written without honorable mention of his name. 
His memory will live while there is a man to read of the deeds 
of those gallant soldiers who added to the country its richest 
jewels. 

In an eloquent sketch from the San Francisco Chronicle, hy 
Joaquin Miller, that nervous writer says : 

"On the day he was sixt3'-five he and his son, since a mem- 
ber of Congress, went out shooting, and I saw the old Senator 
bring in a seven-pronged buck on his shoulders. 

"Ten years later, on my return from Europe, I sought him 
out. ' He lives three miles east and four miles perpendicular 
now%' said one of his sons, pointing up the mountains. Poverty 
had driven him from his ranch in the valley. 

" I found this old man, now approaching eighty years, felling' 
a tree in front of his little log cabin. He came forward, ax in 
hand, to meet me, his aged wife shading her eyes with a lifted 
hand as she looked from the cabin door, wondering what stran- 
ger could possiblv have climbed this mountain to their humble 
hermitage. 

"And what a talk we had ; how he wanted to know all about 
Europe, a world he had never seen, but which he knew so well. 
How interested he was in my work, patting me on the head and 
calling me his own boy, believing in me entirely, bidding me to 
go with God's blessing : to be good, to be great if I could, but 
be good always. 

"And here, on the mountain top, with the companion of his 
bosom for more than titty years, the sun of this old Roman 
senator's life went down. Nothing was said of him at his death, 
for no one knew him in his life. I lay this handful of leaves 
on my dear dead. It is all I have to give ; I, a robin, bring 
leaves tor one who was lost in the woods, one who lay down 
alone and unknown and died in the wilderness of this life. He 
lived frugally and died poor, while others lived extravagantly 
and grew rich. Not a dollar of this nation's money ever found 
its way into this simple and sincere man's pocket. He died not 
in want, for his children were well-to-do, but poor ; very poor 
and very pure, as he had lived. 



JOSEPH LANE. 425 

" I may almost say literally this man taught me to read. He 
certainly taught me to read a dozen well-thumbed old masters, 
which he knew so well that if I misread a single word as we 
lay under the oaks — I reading, he lying on his back looking up 
at the birds — he would correct me. I know^ there is a vague 
impression that General Lane was an ignorant man. Well, L 
am not learned enough to be good authority, but I have mixed 
with many educated men since, and I am bound to say, so far 
as I can judge, he was the best read man I have ever yet met 
with. His letters are the most perfect in all respects I have 
ever received. He wrote in the old-fashioned, full, round style ,^ 
every letter like print, not even a comma missing in letters ot" 
the greatest length. Using the simplest Saxon, he always said 
much in little — a duty of every writer of ever3^thing." 

General Lane was about five feet nine inches high ; his com- 
plexion was ruddy, his eyes hazel, and his hair dark and in- 
clined to curl. In person he was strong and muscular ; in dis- 
position brave and chivalrous. He was a pioneer of Indiana, 
the founder of Oregon, and the people of these States will re- 
member him wath affection and gratitude. 



JAMES GREGORY. 



James Gregory, an Indiana pioneer, was born in Buncombe 
■county, North Carolina, in the year 1783. When twenty-two 
years old he married Elizabeth Lee, and five years afterward 
left his native State and removed to Kentucky. He remained 
there three years, and in 1813 came to Indiana Territory. He 
located in Washington count}-, where he built a cabin in the 
woods, and in it placed his earthl}^ goods, which were few, even 
for a Western pioneer. A large number of those who settled in 
Washington county were North Carolinians, so the young pio- 
neer had countrymen for neighbors. I say countrymen, for at 
that time, and indeed at the present day, people from the 
Southern States consider those who were born in the same State 
as themselves friends and countrymen. The young settler was 
strong and courageous, and in his neighborhood was a man of 
influence and a leader whom the people delighted to follow. 
The frontier was then menaced by Indians, and the pioneers 
were wont to carr}- their rifles in their hands, as they visited 
from cabin to cabin. Such were the surroundings of the sub- 
ject of this sketch tor many years after he made his home in the 
Territory north of the Ohio river. 

Three years after Mr. Gregory settled in Washington county 
he w^as an unsuccessful candidate for delegate to the convention 
that made our first State constitution. Two years after this, in 
1 8 18, he removed to Lawrence county, then just organized. 

He was elected State Senator from the counties of Washing- 
ton, Orange, Jackson, Lawrence and Monroe, and took his seat 
November 27, 1820. 

In 1818 Lewis Cass, Jonathan Jennings and Benjamin 
Parke, as commissioners on behalf of the United States, pur 



JAMES GRECiORV. 427 

chased of the Indians all the central part of the State, and, with 
the exception of some small reservations, all the Indian lands 
south of the Wabash river. This large territory was known as 
the New Purchase, and among the first to locate upon it was 
James Gregor}^ the subject of this sketch. He bought a tract 
of land in Shelby count}', about four miles west of where Shel- 
b^wille now stands, and again built a cabin and opened up a 
farm in the wilderness. He at once became a leading man of 
his county, was made a colonel of militia, and in 1822 was 
elected to the State Senate from his district. The district then 
comprised eight counties, including Marion, a county which 
now sends two men to the Senate upon a basis much larger 
than that upon which Mr. Gregory was elected from the eight. 
The other seven counties of the district were Hamilton, Madi- 
son, Johnson, Decatur, Shelby, Rush and Henry. 

The constitution of 1816 required that " Corydon, in Harri- 
son county, shall be the seat of government until 1825, and until 
removed by law.'' The Legislature met on the first Monday 
of December in each j^ear, and, therefore, that of 1824-25 must 
have met at Corydon, unless the time for its meeting was 
changed. Soon after Colonel Gregory took his seat in the 
Senate he went to work to get a law passed changing the time 
of the meeting of the Legislature to the first Monday in January 
in each year. He was assisted in his work by John Paxton, 
the representative from Marion countv, by James Rariden, of 
Wayne, Milton Stapp, of Jefferson, and others. At the head 
of those opposed to it was Dennis Pennington, Senator from 
Harrison, a man of much influence, and Ratlifl' Boon, then 
Lieutenant-Governor of the State. These gentlemen succeeded 
in uniting the members from the southwestern part of the State 
against the measure, but there were not enough of them to de- 
feat it. It went through both houses and was approved by the 
Governor. The constitutional restriction being thus removed, 
Colonel Gregory succeeded in getting a law passed changing 
the capital to Indianapolis. The act was passed on the 28th of 
January, 1824, and provided that the offices and archives should 
be removed to the new capital by the loth of the January fol- 
lowing, one year earlier than it could have been done had it 
not been for Colonel Gregory's bill. 



428 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

The hostilit}^ of the people of Corydon toward Colonel Greg- 
ory for his course in relation to the removal of the capital, wa>^ 
intense. Caricatures of him were posted on the walls of the 
State-house and in other places about the town. Indignities 
were offered him in public and threats were made to lynch him. 
The reasons which caused the people of Corydon to insult and 
abuse Colonel Gregory, endeared him the more to his constitu- 
ents of Marion county. James Blake, Calvin Fletcher, Samuel 
Henderson, Colonel Paxton and James M. Ray inaugurated a 
movement to give him a public dinner in recognition of his ser- 
vices. The dinner came off at Washington Hall, and was at- 
tended by most of the leading citizens of the town. Calvin 
Fletcher, Harvey Gregg, Colonel Paxton, John Hawkins, 
Nicholas McCarty and others made speeches. The late James 
M. Ray, in a letter to Judge Gregory, of Lafayette, thus speaks 
of the dinner : 

"The speeches, and your father's happy and gracetul reply, 
were cheered in the highest pitch. Sismond Basve (afterward- 
of Lafayette) was present: also, B. J. Blythe, Hervey Bates, 
Alfred Harrison, O. Foote, Douglas Maguire, Nat Bolton, 
George Smith, Dr. Coe, D. Mitchell and others. It was a jolly 
good time, and a heartv proof of the high estimate of your 
father's prominence and popularity in our part of the ' New 
Purchase.' In decisive force of character, for executive ability 
and magnetic influence over his associates. Colonel Gregorv had 
much of the force and stamp of Governor Morton." 

Colonel Gregory continued in the Senate until 1831, when h*r 
lett Shelby county and removed to Warren. Betbre he left hi< 
home his neighbors and friends met at Shelb}'ville in mass con- 
vention to bid him good-b3'e. Judge Gregorv, of Lafayette, 
was at this meeting, and, in a letter to the author, says: " T 
thought the speech of my father to his old friends and neighbors 
very touching and eloquent." He left them to again found a 
home in the wilderness. 

Very soon after Colonel Gregor\' remo\ed to Warren counts 
he was sent to the Legislature. Wherever he went the people 
had use for him in a public capacit}., In 1833 he ran tor Con- 
gress against the eloquent Edward A. Hannegan, and was de- 



JAMES GREGORY. 429 

leated. In 1837 ^^^ was a candidate for Lieutenant-Governor 
'){ the State, and was defeated by David Hillis. Colonel 
Gregorv, while in the Legislature, opposed the vast schemes of 
internal improvement, then so popular in Indiana, and it was 
upon that issue he made his race for Lieutenant-Governor. 

In the winter of 1842 Colonel Gregory went to New Orleans 
on a trading expedition. The next May he chartered a vessel 
in that citv, loaded it wdth pork and flour, and sailed for Yucatan, ■ 
in Central America. Soon after his arrival there he took the 
black vomit and died. A young man named Johnson was with 
him, and at his death took charge of his affairs, but nothing is 
definitely known about his sickness or the circumstances of his 
death. It is known, however, that he breathed his last at a 
r>mall town on the coast, and was buried there. But no stone 
marks his resting place, and none of his family know the place 
where he sleeps. The ashes of the old pioneer mingle with 
foreign soil, but his memory will be preserved by the people 
of the State he helped to found. 

When Colonel Gregory settled in Warren count}^ the supplies 
of the settlers were brought from Chicago. The farmers would 
take their grain to Chicago in wagons, and return with them 
loaded with salt, leather and such other things as they needed. 
Colonel Gregory w^as a large trader in cattle, sheep and hogs. 
He once took a drove of cattle to Chicago and sold them to an 
ancestor of the Chicago sharper of to-day. Soon after getting 
possession of the cattle the purchaser sold them, put the money 
in his pocket and ran awav without paying Colonel Gregorv 
a dollar. As soon as the latter found out that he had been 
s«windled, he got a rifle and a fast horse and put out after the 
swindler. He caught him, made him disgorge, and then, with 
a healthy malediction, let him go. 

During Colonel Gregorv's service in the Legislature his son 
J^enjamin opened an oflice at Newport and commenced the 
jiractice of the law. His father wrote him a letter from Indian- 
apolis, which is still preserved in the famil}', and contains sen- 
timents worthy of a philosopher. He was not an educated man, 
anxl reached his enviable standing bv reason of his strong com- 
mon sense and correct dealinofs : but if he had not studied the 



430 HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 

philosophers, he was not a stranger to their teachings. The 
letter is as follows : 

" Dear Son — I received your letter from Newport. You have 
now settled down as a lawyer ; you are young in experience and 
amongst strangers. On your course now as a young man of 
your profession much of ^^our future standing in society de- 
pends. You must be steady. Meddle not with an3^thing that 
you are not called on to take part in, sa3dng nothing in 3-our 
speeches in any tryal you may be engaged that is qualifyed to 
injure the feeling of any person ; be faithful to your client and 
honest in all your dealings ; take exercise for j^our health ; walk 
where you can ; avoid drinking strong drink, you can do well 
without. I have not and I think I shall not taste one drop of 
anything that tends in the least to stimulate, and I have just as 
good health as any member here that uses it. One other injunc- 
tion, and in this and from this vou must in nowise deviate : 
Never, never, in no case, do you gamble — not the most inno- 
cent games. Never put your hands on a card — they have a be- 
witching qualit}^ about them. Go to meeting and other moral 
society s, so that you can always be numbered with those that 
respect the morals of the countr}^ Dabble as little in politics 
as possible. You must have always before your eye that your 
brothers are moral men — so I want all m}- children to be when 
they leave me. I will send your books to 3'ou so soon as they 
come to hand. Your Father and Friend, 

"James Gregory. 

" Mr. Benjamin F. Gregory, Newport, Indiana." 

The orthography of the letter may be faulty, but no one will 
find fault with its sentiments. 

Colonel Gregory was not only a pioneer of Indiana, but was 
one of four counties. He didn't like to be crowded, and when 
population came about him he sold out and moved awa}^ lie 
was never better satisfied than when building cabins and clear- 
ing up land. He was essentially a pioneer. 

Colonel Gregor}^ was a strong man, both in mind and in 
bod}^ He weighed 244 pounds, had fair complexion, black hair 
and eyes. He was of commanding presence, would have been a 



JAMES GREGORY. 43 1 

man of mark in any company. He was one of those who 
opened up Indiana to civilization, and the people owe him 
much. He left a family which has honored his name. Three 
of his sons and a grandson have sat in the Legislature of the 
State, and one of them, Hon. Robert C. Gregory, of Lafayette, 
served a term as Supreme Judge. Right worthily they bear 
their father's name. 



JOSEPH GLASS MARSHALL. 



" He was a man, take him for all in all, 
I shall uot look upon his like again." 

Scotch-Irish and cavalier blood mingled in the veins of 
Joseph G. Marshall. Like the North of Ireland man, he got 
all the contention out of a thing there was in it ; and like the 
cavalier, he was warm-hearted, impulsive, and brave. When 
contending for a principle he believed to be right you would 
imagine him a born son of Carrickfergus ; when at the fire- 
side, or around the social board, he would impress you as one 
born on the banks of the York or the James. His father was a 
Scotch-Irishman and his mother a Virginian, so his leading 
characteristics were his by inheritance. 

Joseph Glass Marshall was born in Fayette county, Ken- 
tucky, January i8, 1800. His father was a Presbyterian minis- 
ter, and he thoroughly indoctrinated the son in the principles 
of the Scottish Church. He was fitted for college at home, en- 
tering Transylvania University as a junior, and graduating from 
that institution in 1823. In 1828 he came to Indiana and set- 
tled at Madison, where he resided until he died. He had studied 
law in Kentucky, and although a young man in a town noted 
for the strength of its bar, he soon obtained a lucrative practice. 
Two years after coming to Indiana he was elected Probate 
Judge of his county, and discharged the duties of the office with 
signal abilit3^ When he left the judgeship he returned to the 
bar. In 1836, 1840, and 1844, ^^^ was on the Whig electoral 
ticket, and each time made an active canvass of the State. In 
1846 he was nominated for Governor and was beaten by James 
Whitcomb 3,958 votes. In 1849 President Ta^^lor appointed 




W,5i,.n Bmql. Pub. Cn 



/^ ^^^-yC^ p. ^/.^^^^--^ 



JOSEPH GLASS MARSHALL. ^^;^ 

him Governor of Oregon, but he refused the phice. Before de- 
clining, however, he went to Washington and personallv thanked 
the President for the tender of the office. In 1850 he was elected 
Senator from his county, and served the legal terrn. In 1852, 
much against his wishes, he was nominated for Cono'ress in his 
district, and was beaten by Cyrus L. Dunham 931 votes. This 
was the last race he made before the people. In addition to the 
offices named, he represented his county several times in the 
lower branch of the State Legislature. 

Mr. Marshall had an ambition to go to the United States Sen- 
ate, but his ambition was never gratified. In the Legislature 
of 1844 the Whigs had ten majority on joint ballot. The}- nom- 
inated him for the Senate, but the Democrats refused to so into 
an election. Each pirty had twenty-five members in the Sen- 
ate, and Jesse D. Bright, then Lieutenant-Governor, gave the 
casting vote against going into the election. In 1845 the Dem- 
ocrats carried the Legislature, and elected Mr. Bright to the 
Senate, his vote being eight}', and Mr. Marshall's sixt3'-six. 
His defeat the year before incensed him against Mr. Bright, 
and ever afterward he hated him. 

In the Legislature of 1854 ^^^ People's, or anti-Nebraska 
party, had a majority of fourteen on joint ballot, but the Demo- 
crats, having two majority in the Senate, prevented the election 
of a Senator. Mr. Marshall was the nominee of the dominant 
party, and had an election been held he would have been 
chosen. Thus it will bs seen that he was twice kept from go- 
ing to the Senate by the refusal of the Democrats to perform a 
legal dut}'. 

Mr. Marshall was at Indianapolis most of the time during the 
session of the Legislature of 185 f-5, and while there contracted 
a deep cold. The cold sstded on his lungs, and soon bscame 
alarming. Early in the spring of 1855 he started on a Southern 
trip, in hopes of regaining his health. When he reached Louis- 
ville, being too sick to proceed further, he took to his bed, and. 
on the 8th of April, 1855, died. His remains were brought to 
Madison and there interred. When the sad news reached In- 
dianapolis a meeting of the bar was held to take action upon 
his death. Governor Wright presided at the meeting, and James 

28 



434 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Rariden was the secretaiy. A committee consisting of Oliver 
H. Smith, Samuel C. Wilson and Simon Yandes was appointed 
to prepare suitable resolutions, and reported the following : 

"The members of the bar have recently heard with deep re- 
gret that their professional brother, Joseph G. Marshall, is no 
more. 

"The profession has been deprived of one of its brightest or- 
naments, and our State and country of a distinguished citizen. 
We who have witnessed the pure example of the deceased can 
not permit an event so solemn and affecting to pass unnoticed. 
Few men of his age in any countr}^ have left behind stronger 
proofs of eminent professional abilities, or higher claims to pri- 
vate and public confidence. While we feel a just pride in the 
professional attainments and distinguished character of the de- 
ceased we will long cherish a recollection of his social qualities 
and amiable deportment in private life which endeared him to 
his friends and acquaintances. 

"Therefore, in order to testily our regard for the memory of 
the deceased, 

'^ Resolved, That we hold in the highest estimation the pure 
and exalted private and professional character of Joseph G. 
Marshall, and deeply lament the loss which the profession and 
the country have sustained by the death of one so eminently 
qualified for the high position which he occupied. * * * " 

The meeting appointed Oliver II. Smith to present the pre- 
amble and resolutions to the United States Circuit Court, then 
in session. The next day Mr. Smith performed the duty, and 
Judge McLean ordered them recorded. Before making the 
order he said : 

" The court sympathizes with the bar in the loss of one of its 
distinguished members. Our social and professional relations- 
teach us how uncertain is the tenure of our earthly existence. 
Among all the members of the bar there was no one who, from' 
his apparent strength of constitution and healthful vigor, ap- 
peared to have a stronger hold on life than the friend whose 
death we now deplore. 

"Mr. Marshall was a man of vigorous intellect and of strong: 



JOSEPH GLASS MARSHALL. 435 

reasoning powers. His mind had a basis of common sense, 
without which learning and experience are of little value. In 
the Strength of his views he more than compensated for anv 
want of polish in his manner. He was always sensible, often 
convincing. x\t au}^ bar in the Union his ability would have 
been marked, and he would have been considered as an antago- 
nist worth}^ of the highest efforts. His professional bearing was 
elevated and honorable. The loss of such a man can not but 
be deepl}" felt and deplored by the public, and especially bv the 
bench and the bar, to whom he was best known. 
• ''The court directs the proceedings presented to be placed 
upon the records." 

Indiana never had the equal of Mr. Marshall in breadth and 
strength of intellect. Neither did she ever have his equal in 
ability to stir the passions and sway the feelings of the people. 
She has had men of greater culture and of more general infor- 
mation, but in those qualities which enable the orator to melt the 
hearts and fire the passions of his auditors he was without a 
peer. He was called the "Sleeping Lion," and, when fullv 
aroused, he was a lion indeed. 

On such occasions his oratory was like the hurricane that 
sweeps everything before it. Ordinarily, he did not show his 
power, but when engaged in a case that enlisted his feelings and 
his conscience his words were like hot shot from the cannon's 
mouth. I will name but two examples of his power to swav the 
people. One was his speech in defense of John Freeman, 
charged with being a fugitive slave. Of this effort Miss Laura 
Ream gives the following account : 

"The trial of the case excited unusual interest from the fact 
that Freeman had long resided in that place, and, with his tamil}^ 
was held in personal esteem. He alleged, under oath, and his 
counsel brought testimony to prove, that he was a free man, but 
the presiding judge did not care to brave the popular sentiment 
in favor of the fugitive slave law, and at the close of the argu- 
ment asked if there was no other reason why the prisoner should 
not be returned to his master? On the instant, a man on the 
outskirts of the bar, in the old Court-house, was seen to rise to 
his feet. He did it slowly, grasping the table before him with 



436 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

both hands as if to steady his quivering nerves ; and towering to 
his full height, with breast heaving and eyes aflame, in trumpet 
tones began : ' Your Honor, though not of counsel for this un- 
■ fortunate man, I think I can answer the question why he should 
not be remanded to slavery. I will answer that question. The 
law presumes every man to be free. It is a fundamental ques- 
tion going back to the flrst principles of free government. It is 
essential to State sovereignty. For it we went to war with 
Great Britain in 1812 ; shall we surrender it now? The writ of 
habeas cor-ptis was not suspended by the fugitive slave law. It 
is the inalienable right of every citizen, whether black or white, 
whether bond or free. The State is not required to deliver up 
a person held to service in another State before she knows 
whether that person is a slave or not. In this case the fact of 
slavery is denied, and there is no power in the world that has 
the right to determine the point but the sovereign State of In- 
diana, to whom this man belongs.' The above is but the im- 
perfect summary of a speech which electrified the audience, 
which did not need to be told that the speaker was 'Jo Marshall,' 
as he was familiarly called. In a moment the court-room, 
every window, was crowded with people, eager, breathless, in 
tears, and ready to protect the prisoner with their lives. The 
incident has been related to me by different men who were pres- 
ent, but none could define the secret of Mr. Marshall's elo- 
quence. ' He was like one inspired,' said one gentleman. ' He 
was the incarnate majesty of right. I could no more define the 
quality of his eloquence than I could explain the wonders of the 
deep.' " 

The other case was his defense of Delia A. Webster, charged 
with running oft' slaves from Kentucky. Miss Webster lived 
on the Kentucky side of the Ohio river, opposite the city of 
Madison. Previous to her residence there she had served a 
term in the Kentucky State prison for assisting slaves to escape. 
While residing opposite Madison she was an object of suspicion 
on the part of her Kentucky neighbors. Several slaves in the 
neighborhood escaped, and investigation showed that she 
prompted their leaving. For this she was indicted in the 
Trimble Circuit Court, but before being caught she crossed the 



JOSEPH GLASS MARSHALL. 437 

river to Madison. She was arrested on a requisition from the 
Governor, but before the officers could get her away Mr. Mar- 
shall had her brought before a judge on a writ oi habeas corf us. 
In his speech at the trial he so maddened the people that they 
drove the Kentucky officers from the Court-house and from the 
State. Indeed, they had to run for their lives, so frenzied were 
the people. 

In some respects Mr. Marshall's oratory was faulty, but it was 
none the less effective. He seemed to speak from his throat, 
and not from his chest. When excited he enunciated so rapidh' 
and sent his words after each other so swiftly that the}^ ran to- 
gether. His voice was not musical, like that of Hannegan, but 
his matter was so strong that one hardly noticed his defects. In 
his day the Madison bar was a strong one, but he was its king. 
Michael G. Bright, Judge Sullivan, Judge Stevens, William 
McKee Dunn and Abram W. Hendricks, all lawyers of emi- 
nence, practiced at it, but none of them approached Mr. Mar- 
shall in ability to convince courts and sway juries. The litigant 
who had him for an advocate was fortunate, indeed. In fact, 
it was almost impossible to get a verdict against him when he 
was thoroughly aroused and " shook his mane." 

A man with Mr. Marshall's power to arouse passion in others 
must have passion himself. He had plenty of it, and, although 
like his eloquence, it was usually dormant, yet when it was 
stirred it was hot and burning. The late John Dumont once de- 
murred to a complaint drawn b}' Marshall, and made his points 
so well, and argued them so strongl}-, that it seemed almost cer- 
tain he would be sustained. At that time a demurrer was a 
more serious matter than it now is, for, if maintained, it drove 
the plaintiff out of court ; therefore, Marshall fought Mr. Du- 
mont with all his might. When it became evident that the 
court would decide against him he asked for a suspension of 
judgment until he could bring a certain authority into court. 
The favor being granted he thrust his hat upon his head and 
started for his office almost on the run. At that time Judge 
Woollen, now of Franklin, had a sleeping-room adjoining Mr. 
Marshall's office, and was in it when Mr. Marshall reached his 
door. He tried to open it, and, finding it locked, cried out 
fiercelv : "Woollen, have vou the kev to this door?" "No, 



438 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

sir," replied Mr. Woollen; " I do not carry your key, Mr. 
Marshall." The hall leading to his office was some six feet 
wide, and Marshall, backing up against the wall, and drawing 
his lips between his teeth, shouted, " d — n the door," and with 
a bound and a kick he went through it like a flash. Mr. Wool- 
len went down the stairs, but, being desirous of seeing the re- 
sult of the storm, stopped in the doorway. In a few minutes 
Mr, Marshall came down the stairway, and observing Mr. 
Woollen, he said, with a smile, " Woollen, I had the key in my 
pocket. My passion has cost me a door." 

Mr. Marshall and Judge Otto were once opposing counsel in 
a case at Charlestown, and during the trial had a personal diffi- 
culty. Mr. Marshall, becoming incensed at something Judge 
Otto said, retorted very severely. During the wrangle Judge 
Otto called him a liar, whereupon Mr. Marshall knocked him 
down. Judge Otto arose, and, coming at Mr. Marshall in a 
belligerent manner, was knocked down again. He then got 
up and went out of the house to arm himself preparatory to re- 
newing the flght. While he was gone some one told Mr. Mar- 
shall that he was to blame for the commencement of the diffi- 
culty, whereupon he sat down and wrote Judge Otto a letter in 
which he apologized for his conduct and asked his pardon. He 
was too great and brave to refuse justice when justice was due. 

Mr. Marshall and the late George G. Dunn loved each other 
like brothers. They roomed together during the session of the 
Legislature of 185 1, both being members of the Senate. In the 
latter part of the session they had a difficulty, and a gentleman 
who witnessed their reconciliation thus describes it : 

" Marshall and Dunn roomed together in 185 1-2, when the}' 
were in the Senate. Thev had a difficult}^ in debate, and though 
the}^ continued to occupy the same room to receive their friends, 
were known not to speak to each other for weeks. The Senate 
adjourned. Marshall was in one corner packing an old carpet- 
bag and crowding into it his soiled clothing. Dunn was in an- 
other corner crowding things into an old trunk. Neither of 
them spoke. Finall}^ Marshall walked up to Dunn, held out his 
hand and said : ' Well, good-bye, George.' Dunn took it, and 
thev both cried like children." 



JOSEPH GLASS MARSHALL. 439 

This was Marshall to the life. He belonged to that fiery class 
of men who are all ablaze in their affections and their hates. 

In 185 1 the contest for the Legislature in Jefferson county was 
made upon the question of the State selling her interest in the 
Madison and Indianapolis Railroad. Joseph W. Chapman, a 
law partner of Senator Bright, was in the Legislature the year 
before, and opposed a bill authorizing the sale. Mr. Marshall 
canvassed the county in 185 1 in support of candidates favoring 
the sale, and Senator Bright in support of those opposing it. 
In a speech at Ritchey's Mills, Mr. Marshall said he was sur- 
prised at Senator Bright's course in the canvass, as he had told 
him before it commenced that if he had said to him, Mr. Bright, 
that he, Mr. Marshall, desired Mr. Chapman's support the win- 
ter before, he would have seen that he got it. Mr. Bright, who 
was present, cried out in a loud voice: "Judge Marshall, I 
deny that statement." Marshall stopped a moment, and look- 
ing Bright straight in the eye, said, with an emphasis I shall 
never forget: "And I, sir, reiterate it." "We will see about 
it hereafter," said Mr. Bright. "As you please," replied Mr. 
Marshall, who then proceeded with his speech. This trouble re- 
sulted in a challenge and almost a duel, as will be seen further 
along. 

In 1852 the author conducted a newspaper at Madison which 
supported Mr. Marshall for Congress. During the canvass he 
received a letter from some half dozen Qiiakers of Jackson 
count}' asking him to give the particulars of the ditlicultv be- 
tween Mr. Marshall and Senator Bright. The}^ said that while 
anxious to vote for Mr. Marshall the}^ could not conscientious!}' 
do so if he had ever sought the blood of a fellow man. The 
day I received this letter I sent Mr. Marshall a note asking him 
to call at my office. When he came I handed him the letter. He 
read it carefully, and, handing it back to me, said: "I fear 
we must get along without the support of our Qiiaker friends. 
You were present when the trouble between l^right and myself 
culminated, but it had been brewing a long time. Bright has 
■ever been in mv pathway. I never go out of a door without 
seeing his shadow. He prevented me from going to the Senate 
in 1844, and the next year beat me for the place. The day 
after the trouble at Ritchey's Mills, while at my home, Jonathan 



440 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

Fitch was announced. He came into my libraiy and handed 
me a note from Bright. It was not a challenge, but was in- 
tended to provoke one. Its contents were so insulting that I 
became enraged, and resolved to kick Fitch out of my house. 
But in a moment I changed my mind. He was in my house^ 
and, being a respectable man, I could not treat him thus. I 
told him Mr. Bright would either see or hear from me soon, and 
then he left. I studied over the matter that afternoon and even- 
ing, and concluded that the world w^as not big enough for me 
and Bright — that one of us must die. Next morning I came to 
the city, went to the hardw^are store of H. K. Wells & Co., and 
bought a bowie-knife. I put it in m}^ pocket, and, knowing 
that it was Bright's custom to go lor his mail at lo o'clock, I 
walked up and down Second street, between the post-office and 
West street, from lo to 10:30, waiting for him, but he did not 
appear. Had he come I should have attacked him and killed 
him, if I could. I knew he was always armed, so I would not 
be taking him at a disadvantage. I then went to my office, and 
wrote him a note, asking him to meet me at Louisville, on 
a day I named, to settle our difficulty. The day before we were 
to meet I told McKee Dunn what I had done, and asked him to 
accompany me to Louisville. He agreed to go down that even- 
ing on the mail-boat. I left him, and at noon took the Louis- 
ville packet, got off at Charlestown landing, and walked out to 
Charlestown. I called on Dr. Athon, told him I had chal- 
lenged Bright, and asked him to go on the field as m}' surgeon. 
He consented, and he and I then hunted up Captain Gibson, 
who agreed to serve as my second. That evening Athon, 
Gibson and myself went to Louisville, and next morning found 
Dunn at the hotel. Bright was also in the city, and negotiations 
for a meeting began. Before they were completed friends in- 
terfered and the matter was settled." '' How was it settled, 
Mr. Marshall?" I asked. "The particulars are not for the 
public. All it will ever know is contained in the card published 
by our friends. It was satisfactory to us, and the difficulty is 
ended." This is the substance of what he said, and very nearlv 
the words he used. 

Knowing that General William McKee Dunn, of Washing- 
on, was very near Mr. Marshall in his difficultv with Senator 



JOSEPH GLASS MARSHALL. 44I 

Bright, I wrote him a short time ago asking him to give me his 
recollection of it. I suggested that, as the principals and every 
one connected with the trouble but himself were dead, there 
could be no impropriety in giving the facts to the public. The 
following is a copy of General Dunn's reply : 

" Washington, January 5, 1882. 
"• IV. W. Woollen, JSsq., India napolis, Jnd.: 

" Dear Sir — I have been so occupied and distracted by vari, 
ous causes that I have too long delayed to answer your letter ask- 
ing for information about the ditficulty between Senator Bright 
and Joe Marshall, which caused them a trip to Louisville, with 
a prospect of a duel. I do not think I can add much, if any- 
thing of consequence, to the information you alread}' have. I 
can not give you dates. 

" You remember when the two law offices of Marshall & Wal- 
ker and Dunn & Hendricks were adjoining in the Sering House. 
One hot day in August, I think, Mr. Marshall called me out of 
my office to the street. He was equipped, as he usually was 
when he would start out on the circuit, /. c, with an old carpet- 
sack, with very little in it, stuck under his arm, and his hat full 
of papers down over his eyes. He told me he was on his way 
to Louisville to meet Senator Bright, with a view of challenging 
him to fight a duel, unless he (Bright) qualified or retracted 
some statement he had made. He said he wished me to meet 
him the next morning at the Louisville Hotel. I told him I 
knew nothing about the code, did not believe in dueling, and 
could be of no service to him. He explained that he was going- 
down by the Louisville and Madison packet, that he would stop 
at the Charlestown landing, walk out to Charlestown, and get 
Captain Gibson to act as his second, and all that he wanted of 
me was to act as an outside friend. I told him, with that under- 
standing I would go, as requested, hoping to be of some use in 
bringing about an adjustment. He immediately started on his 
way, and I shall never forget the appearance of that great big- 
headed, big-hearted man, as he walked down the street on his 
way, with the evident purpose of having matters brought to a 
satisfactory conclusion. The friends and neighbors whom he 
passed on the street little suspected the errand on which he was 



442 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

going. He had requested me, of course, to say nothing of the 
matter. I went down to Louisville that night on the mail-boat, 
without having informed an}^ one of the object of my trip. On 
the boat I met Senator Bright, his brother Michael, Jonathan 
Fitch, I think, and Charley Shrewsbury, who were of Senator 
Bright's party. The next morning, at the Louisville Hotel, I 
met Mr. Marshall and Captain Thomas W. Gibson. Senator 
Bright's party were at the Gait House. 

"I do not remember the particulars of the correspondence 
that ensued between the parties belligerent. 1 remember that 
Hon. James Guthrie, afterward United States Senator and Sec- 
retary of the United States Treasury, seemed to be Mr. Bright's 
principal adviser. Judge Huntington, of the United States 
District Court for Indiana, happening to be in Louisville at the 
time, became one of Mr. Marshall's advisers. No conclusion was 
reached the first day, and by night rumors of a hostile meeting- 
expected between the parties were in the air. In consequence 
of these rumors I went to the Gait House and took Captain 
Shrewsbury's room, Shrewsbury took Marshall's and Marshall 
took mine at the Louisville Hotel. My recollection is that a 
police officer visited Marshall's room that night, where he found 
Captain Shrewsbury, who threw him entirely oft' his trail. The 
next day we were amazed by the arrival of Rev. Samuel V. 
Marshall, a brother of Joe, and I had great ditliculty in pre- 
venting him from procuring the arrest of the parties by the po- 
lice. You remember how Joe deceived a police officer who did 
not know him by pointing out his brother Sam as the Joe Mar- 
shall to be arrested. 

"The correspondence was brought to what was accepted as 
a satisfactory conclusion that afternoon. It was part of the ar- 
rangement that the parties should return to Madison on the 
little packet. The}' shook hands when thev met on the packet, 
but I do not think they ever spoke to each other afterward. On 
the arrival at Madison we landed at the depot wharf. Several 
of Mr. Bright's friends met him, apparentlv with great rejoic- 
ing. No one met Mr. Marshall. He walked up with me as far 
as my house, and then, with his old carpet-sack under his arm, 
he broke tor his home on the hill. How grand and vet liow 
simple he was in his tastes and ways. Yours trulv, 

-W. M.'Dunn." 



JOSEPH GLASS MARSHALL. 443 

The mornino- after Messrs. Marshall and Brio^ht had settled 
their difficult^■ the following card appeared in the Louisville 
papers : 

"The difficulty between Joseph G. Marshall, Esq., and Hon. 
Jesse D. Bright having been referred to us by mutual (not offi- 
cial ) friends, we are happy to say has been honorably adjusted, 
and to the mutual satisfaction of the parties. 

" Henry Pirtle. 
"James Guthrie. 
"Alfred Thurston. 
" W. O. Butler. 
" Gait House, August 2g, iSji.'" 

Mr. Marshall always traveled on foot or horseback. For 
several years the author saw him almost every day, and never 
knew him to ride in a carriage. He kept one for family use, but 
did not use it himself. He lived on the hill just north of Madi- 
son, and in going to and from his home to his office he mxa- 
riably walked. When he started out on the circuit he threw a 
pair of saddle-bags, containing a few articles of clothing, over 
his saddle and mounted his horse. He made his canvass for 
Governor in 1846 on horseback. The author is informed by 
Judge Julian that during Mr. Marshall's canvass for Governor 
in 1846 he came to the Judge's house and remained with him 
over night. He was to speak next day at a town some ten miles 
distant, and Judge Julian proposed taking him to the place in 
his carriage. He said he preferred riding his horse, and it 
took a good deal of persuasion to get him to take a seat in the 
Judge's carriage. 

]Mr. Marshall loved the horse and was a most excellent judge 
of that animal. He always rode a good one and treated it most 
affectionately. 

Although a leading politician Mr. Marshall seldom did more 
on election day than deposit his ballot. I remember only two 
occasions when he was a worker at the polls. One of them was 
when General Stapp ran for the Legislature, and the other when 
Captain Meek was a candidate for County Treasurer. When 
a candidate himself he kept away from the voting place. He 



444 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

was too big and too proud a man to work for himself. He left 
to others the responsibility of his election or defeat. 

Mr. Marshall was particularly fond of pictures. He has been 
known to buy a book for its pictures, and, when he had exam- 
ined them, to give the book away. He loved the beautiful and 
the true. 

Mr. Marshall was a consummate actor. He knew how to 
" suit the action to the word, and the word to the action." In 
his arguments to a jury his force w^as not in the comparisons he 
made, but in the deductions he drew from his premises. In 
other words, he argued not by comparison, but from cause to 
effect. His ability to present his facts in the strongest possible 
manner was excelled by no man. He wasted no time in dally- 
ing with the graces of oratory, but at once hurled the javelins 
of his logic at the weakest points in his adversary's armor. He 
had the element of pathos. At times he would have a jury he 
was addressing in tears, and in a minute thereafter convulsed 
with laughter. He knew when to do this, and never made the 
mistake of provoking mirth when sadness would better serve 
the interests of his client. 

Mr. Marshall was kind to young lawj^ers, but held those that 
aspired to be his peers to the strictest accountabilit}-. After de- 
murring a young attorney out of court he would graciously 
permit him to amend his pleadings and go on with his case. 
But if he got a fair advantage of Judge Sullivan, Mr. M. G. 
Bright, or attorneys of their standing, he would not relax his 
hold upon them one iota. He held them rigidly to the " bond," 
even though it took the " pound of flesh." 

Mr. Marshall had the reputation of being an indolent man. 
and the reputation was a correct one. He had a habit of put- 
ting off labor to " a more convenient season," but in justice to 
him it must be said that he could do more work with less labor 
than any of his competitors at the bar. Indeed, he could do 
better work with little preparation than the}' could do with much 
study. His mind was so great that it could grasp a difficult 
problem in law at once, while his less able compeers could ac- 
complish this only by much study and labor. 

Mr. Marshall was a wit as well as an orator. He often said 
things that were worthy of Dean Swift. They came from him. 



JOSEPH GLASS MARSHALL. 445 

not as studied efforts, but as naturall}'' as the water runs tVom 
the spring. One da}^ as the attorneys were gathering in 
the Madison Court-house previous to the opening of court, a 
bright bov — son of the deputy sheriff — came within the bar, 
when a Democratic law3'er addressed him thus : "Jeff., what's 
your politics?'" " I'm a Democrat, sir," answ^ered the hopeful 
three-year-old. " There, gentlemen," said the lawyer, " 30U 
see that little children that know no sin are Democrats by na- 
ture." "Yes," said Mr. Marshall, "the Good Book tells us 
that we are all brought forth in sin, but through grace we are 
saved. We may be Democrats by nature, but through grace 
we become Whigs." 

Again, the venerable John H. Thompson, who died in Indian- 
apolis a few years ago, was at one time Judge of the judicial 
circuit that embraced the county of Scott. Mr. Marshall had a 
case in this court, and introduced a witness that "surprised" 
him, and, desiring to destroy the force of his testimony, sought 
to impeach him. This was objected to by the opposing coun- 
sel, and Judge Thompson sustained the objection. The same 
day a law student applied to the Judge for license to practice, 
and was referred to Mr. Marshall for examination. Marshall 
took the young man outside the bar and spoke a few words to 
him, when the student left the court-room and Mr. Marshall re- 
sumed the seat he had just vacated. The Judge asked him if 
he had examined the applicant and was prepared to report. 
*' Yes, your honor," replied the lawj^er. "Your examination 
was a very brief one," remarked the Judge. "I only asked 
him a single question, your honor." " What was the question, 
sir?" " I asked him if a part}- could, under an}^ circumstances, 
impeach his own witness. He said no ; and I told him to retin^n 
to his books, as a man that knew no more of law than that was 
not tit to practice before a justice of the peace." 

Sometimes Mr. Marshall was very domineering in his man- 
ner. He even carried this into court, and neither judge nor 
counsel was spared when the humor was on him. A young 
man was indicted in the Jefferson Circuit Court for larceny, and 
Mr. Marshall volunteered to defend him. The prisoner was 
charged with stealing a watch that was found in a room occu- 
pied bv him in a Madison hotel. It came out in the evidence 



446 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

that the person indicted was decoyed out of the citv bv the 
Sheriff and City Marshal, and threatened with flagellation it' 
he did not produce the watch. He confessed the stealing, and 
told them where the watch could be found. To this testimony 
Mr. Marshall objected because the confession was made under 
duress. Judge Courtland Gushing was on the bench, and ruled 
that although the confession of the prisoner could not go to the 
jury, yet, if they found that the watch was discovered in the 
prisoner's room, in the place named by him, they might infer 
that it was placed there by him, and would be justified in bring- 
ing in a verdict of guilty. To this ruling Mr. Marshall ex- 
cepted with much warmth. After the evidence was closed he 
addressed the jury in one of the ablest efforts he ever made. 
The adverse decision of the judge had angered him, and the 
"Sleeping Lion," as he was called, was aroused. He com- 
menced his speech by saying that the libert}^ of the humblest 
citizen in the land was as dear to him as though he was " clothed 
in purple and fine linen" and sat among the rulers of the land. 
Continuing in an excited manner, he said : "' The prisoner at 
the bar stands charged with crime without a particle of evi- 
dence to sustain it. The court, in its infinite wisdom, has per- 
mitted testimony to go to you which should have been excluded." 
At this point Judge Gushing interrupted him, and said that he 
must be more respectful to the court. With forced calmness, 
for he was seething with excitement, he said : "I must contess 
my inability, your honor, to be more respectful than I am." 
" The court will teach you, then," replied the Judge in a testv 
manner. Folding his arms and bowing his head, he said : 
" Will the court commence its lessons now? " The Judge gave 
way to the lawyer, who remained for some time as immovable 
as a statue, and only relaxed his features and resumed his argu- 
ment when he saw that he had cowed the court. Had it been 
any other member of the Madison bar he would have been fined, 
if not imprisoned, for contempt of court. But Judge Gushing 
could not assert the authority necessarv to maintain the dignit\- 
of his office when the transgressor was Joseph G. Marshall. 

In social circles he was facetious and witty, but in public he 
seldom indulged in pleasantry. When he did so it was to illus- 
trate a point or ridicule the position of his adversary. 



JOSEPH GLASS MARSHALL. 447 

No man ever questioned Mr. Marshall's integrity. He was 
as honest in politics as in private dealings. He was conscien- 
tiously opposed to the use of money in elections. In 1852, 
when a candidate tor Congress, the chairman of the Whig 
State Central Committee wrote him that the National Commit- 
tee had sent him money to be used in Mr. Marshall's district^ 
and asking what should be done with it. Mr. Marshall replied : 
" Return it to Washington. The use of money in elections is 
both corrupt and corrupting. I shall have nothing to do with 
it." 

In his sketches of Indiana men, Oliver H. Smith says of Mr. 
Marshall: "As a lawyer Mr. Marshall stood among the very 
first in the State. His great forte as an advocate was in the 
power with which he handled the facts before the jury. He 
seemed to forget himself in his subject, and at times I have 
thought him unsurpassed by any man I ever heard in im- 
passioned eloquence." It should be remembered that Mr, 
Smith had sat in the Senate of the United States, and had 
heard speeches from Cla}^ Webster and Calhoun. Colonel 
Abram W. Hendricks, in a recent address, thus speaks of Mr. 
Marshall : " He was one of the most transcendently powerful 
advocates that have figured at the Indiana bar. His intellect 
was colossal. He seemed to know the law by intuition. His 
logic was surrounded by a glowing atmosphere of passion. He 
could sweep through his subject like a tempest or crush through 
it like an avalanche." Colonel Hendricks had practiced at the_ 
bar with him for ^^ears, and knew whereof he spoke. 

John D. Defrees, in a letter published in the Madison Courier^ 
says that Mr. Marshall was "the Webster of Indiana." 

John Lyle King, of Chicago, in a recent letter, said that Mr, 
Marshall "was, by odds, the greatest man Indiana ever pro- 
duced." 

Making all due allowance for the partialit}^ of his friends the 
reader must conclude that Joseph G. Marshall was a great man 
— the peer of anv man living in Indiana in his da}-. 

Mr. Marshall was very careless of his dress. He didn't care 
whether his coat fitted him or not, or whether the bow on his 
neck-stock was under his ear or his chin. He usually wore low 
shoes, and there was often quite a distance between his shoe-tops 



448 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

and the bottom of his pantaloons. He carried his papers in his 
hat instead of his pockets, and wore his hat pulled low down up- 
on his head. He had a great big head, thickly covered with 
sandy hair. His forehead, mouth and nose were large and prom- 
inent. His eyes were a light blue, and were the least expressive 
of his features. He stood over six feet high. His body was not 
symmetrical, being from his shoulders to his hips almost the 
same in size. It was his head and face that told you the manner 
of man he was. These were magnificent, and his uncouth form 
and careless dress served to show them to the best advantage. 
Had he gone to the Senate, as he should have done, he would 
have made a reputation equal to any one in the land. He had 
the ability to shine anywhere and would not ha\-e suffered by 
4:omparison with the ablest men in that body. 



MICHAEL GRAHAM BRIGHT. 



Michael Graham Bright, lawyer and financier, was born 
at Plattsburg, X. Y., January i6, 1803. He was a son of David 
J. Bright, who came with his famil}' to Indiana in 1820, and 
settled at Madison, where he conducted a hat manufactor}^ for 
many years. Mr. David J. Bright was a man of commanding- 
presence and great force of character. He lived to see his sons 
Michael and Jesse leading and influential men, and died sud- 
denl}^ at Madison, man}- 3'ears ago. His son Michael studied 
law with the late Judge Sullivan, and became one of the first 
lawyers of the State. He was the last of the legal coterie which, 
thirt^'-five years ago, made the Madison bar so famous. Mar- 
shall and Sullivan and Stevens passed away 3"ears ago. William 
McKee Dunn and x\bram W. Hendricks were then 3'oung men, 
and can hardly be considered as cotemporaneous with the legal 
giants we have named, but they followed close after, and did 
much to maintain the high character of the Madison bar. As 
a lawyer Mr. Bright was astute and full of expedients. He 
had not the logical mind of Marshall, nor was he as elegant 
and polished as Sullivan, nor as painstaking as Stevens, but in 
resources he was as fertile as an}^ of them. His watchful eye 
took in the situation at a glance, and his ingenuity enabled him 
to make the most of it. 

The count}' of Jefferson was, in the da3'.s of Mr. Bright's 
activity, Whig, as it is now Republican. Notwithstanding this 
fact, Mr. Bright, a Democrat, was chosen to represent it in the 
State Legislature. He was in no sense an office seeker. The 
offices he held came to him unsought. The}- were the free-will 
offerings of his neighbors and friends. 
29 



45© BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

For a time he edited a newspaper at Madison, but then, as 
for many years afterward, his main business was the law. In 
1832 he was elected to the State Legislature, and served with 
distinction, but he was satisfied with one term, and did not seek 
a re-election. In 1844 he was elected Agent of State, and dis- 
charged the duties of the office with very great ability. When 
he entered upon his official duties he found the office in great 
confusion, but he soon restored it to order. At that time the 
State had a large suspended debt, but Mr. Bright collected a 
large part of it, and paid the mone}^ to the State's creditors. In- 
deed, his administration of the office was such as to receive the 
commendation of the public, and was in striking contrast with 
that of his predecessor. When his term expired he went back 
to the bar, but he was indifferent about obtaining business, and 
did not give his profession that care and attention he had pre- 
viously done. 

In 1850 Mr. Bright was elected a member of the constitutional 
convention from the county of Jefferson, defeating Moody Park, 
a Whig, for the office. He was chosen chairman of the Com- 
mittee on the Legislative Department, was second on the Com- 
mittee of Revision, Arrangement and Phraseology, and was also 
a member of the Committee on Salaries, Compensation and 
Tenure of Office. He was not a speaking member, but he some- 
times addressed the convention, and when he did he was list- 
ened to with the greatest interest. He took much concern in 
the provision authorizing the taking of private property for pub- 
lic use, and addressed the convention several times upon it. 
He opposed that part of section 21 of the bill of rights which 
forbids the taking of private property for public use without first 
tendering the money for the damages assessed. In discussing 
the question, he said : " Every member of the community holds 
his property, whether real or personal, subject to the rights and 
requirements of the State. It is a duty which the State owes 
to itself and to all the members who compose it to maintain its 
sovereignty and its authority inviolate. It is a right inherent in 
sovereignty to take private property for public use without com- 
pensation being first made. The State is amenable to no one, 
save to a sense of right." 

During the debate on this question, Mr. Walpole, a delegate 



MICHAEL GRAHAM BRIGHT. 45 I 

from the count}' of Hancock, charged Mr. Bright with being 
the representative of the Madison and Indianapolis Raih'oad 
upon the floor of the convention. Mr. Bright replied to the ac- 
cusation in the following dignitied words : 

" Mr. President — I have no interests to represent upon 
this floor which will conflict with the rights and interests of the 
State at large. I do not consider myself as holding a seat in 
this convention for the purpose of exclusivel}^ representing Jef- 
ferson county. I am here to represent and support the interests 
of the whole people of Indiana — not the interests of a section as 
opposed to the general welfare. I am not the representative of 
a local or personal interest ; I came up here to aid in the forma- 
tion of a constitution which shall be, as I trust, the beneficent 
organic law for this generation of the people of the State, and 
for the generation to come, as well as for myself and my child- 
ren. I am a constituent part of the people — an unit in the great 
aggregate' — and I can not, if I would, separate my interests or 
the interests of my immediate constituents from the interests of 
the people of the State. We are all interested together and 
alike in the formation of a good constitution ; we shall all be 
benefited by its wise provisions or injured by its bad ones." 

Mr. Bright was the author of several sections in our State 
constitution, and had much to do in moulding into shape many 
others. The day the convention adjourned it thanked the Com- 
mittee on Revision, of which he was a leading member, for the 
able manner in which it had discharged its duties. 

Mr. Bright never held public office after the constitutional 
convention adjourned. He had large farming interests, and 
devoted much time to railroad matters. He projected several 
railroads, some of which were built and others not. He did not 
do much at the law, nor did he care to, his office being in his 
yard, away from the business quarter. He had accumulated a 
handsome estate, and did not wish to be bothered with cases in 
court. He seldom accepted employment as an attorney, and 
never did unless it was to oblige a friend. 

Among his last cases in court was that of Stephen Lanciscus, 
indicted for the killing of Ebenezer Hollis. Lanciscus being 
the son of an old personal and political friend, Mr. Bright en- 



452 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

tered upon his defense with great earnestness and conducted it 
with all his old-time ability and energy. Lanciscus, however, 
was convicted and sentenced to the State prison for life, but 
through the influence of Mr. Bright and others he was after- 
ward pardoned. 

Mr. Bright owned a railroad running from Columbus to 
Knightstown, and it being unprofitable he put it on the mar- 
ket for sale. It was purchased by the Jeftersonville Company, 
and thereby Mr. Bright became a large stockholder in that 
corporation. Previous to this sale John Brough, then president 
of the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad Company, and after- 
ward Governor of Ohio, asked the Legislature to pass a certain 
law in the interest of his road, but Mr. Bright antagonized the 
measure and it was defeated. Mr. Brough publicly charged 
that Mr. B/ight offered to champion the measure if the Madi- 
son Company would buy his road, and that his opposition to the 
legislation sought was caused by the company's refusal to do 
so. Mr. Bright denied the charge and asked Mr. Brough to 
retract it, and upon his refusal to do so challenged him to fight 
a duel. Mr. Brough published the cartel and his answer in a 
newspaper, and, Mr. Bright declining to tight on such a held, 
the matter ended. Early in Februar}-, 1865, Mr. Bright w^as 
stricken with paral3^sis at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York, 
and never afterward was able to walk. He left Madison in 1868 
and removed to Indianapolis, where he remained until he died. 

On the 24th of April, 1878, Mr. Bright celebrated his golden 
wedding, and it w^as as beautiful as it was touching to see him 
on that eventful da}^ As he sat in his chair with a bouquet 
pinned to the lapel of his coat, the wife of fifty years by his side, 
'and all his children and grandchildren around him, he seemed 
like the patriarch of old, ready to sa}^ : "Lord, now^ lettest 
Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Th}^ w^ord, for 
mine eyes have seen Thy salvation." 

On the 19th of January, 1881, when seventy-eight years and 
three days old, Mr. Bright departed this life. His remains were 
taken to Crown Hill Cemetery and there interred. 

Mr. Bright was a member of the Episcopal Church, and in his 
younger days was an active Freemason. His affliction in his 



MICHAEL GRAIIAIM BRIGirr, 453 

latter years debarred him from the privilege of the lodge room, 
but he often attended church after he became an invalid. 

Mr. Bright was an able and ingenious lawyer. He ^^■as well 
read in the books, and in practice was as good as the best. He 
was ever on the alert, and if an opponent had a weak place in 
his lines he pierced it. In speaking he sometimes hesitated or 
stammered, and frequently repeated his words ; but if he was 
not an eloquent man he was a sensible and a plausible one. He 
ranked high at the bar as a business lavvs'er, standing at the 
very head of his profession in the State. He made a studv of 
finance, and once prepared a lecture upon it, which, however, 
lie never delivered. He loved social games, and was an adept 
in playing them. He was public-spirited, and liberal with his 
means in assisting such enterprises as were for the public good. 

Mr. Bright was an ardent Democrat, and the best party ma- 
nipulator in his section of the State. He was not ambitious for 
office, and was never a candidate from choice. He lived in a 
Whig county, but, when a candidate, he was alwavs elected. 
His party opponents knew his abilitv. and his power to serve 
them, and, therefore, man}^ of them voted tor him. 

Mr. Bright was a born diplomatist. No one kno\\s how 
much his brother Jesse was indebted to him for his successful 
political career. He was his brother's mentor and counselor. 
All his movements on the political chess-board were to check 
the king of his brother's antagonist. The following letters, 
written by him to a friend, and hitherto not published, will show 
his interest in his brother's fortune : 

" Brookelaxd, Nov. 21. 1852. 
" Dear Sir — I received your late tavor and mark its con- 
tents. I hope things will all come out right. I do not tear, if 
prudence and discretion mark our management. Jesse will not 
go into the Cabinet — at least I think so. In the first place, a 
position there will not be offered him : in the second place, I 
think that it would be inexpedient, under all circumstances, to 
accept it if it were offered. He can be of as much service to 
his friends and more to himself bv remaining where he is. 
Judge Borden wants to be Recorder of the Land Office in place 
of Tenney, who was appointed from our State not long ago. 



454 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

How would he do? My notion is, it would be a very proper 
appointment. 

"As to United States Senator we in the South must follow 
the lead of our Northern friends. If they want Pettit, then 
Pettit is the man ; if they prefer Dr. Fitch, then Fitch must be 
our candidate. We shall leave it to them to say whom they will 
have. If they can not agree among themselves (which will be 
most likely), and it devolves upon us in the South to make the 
selection, I say to you in confidence, I should not hesitate one 
moment about the choice. Pettit, with all his goodness, is too 
much identified with the Douglas faction to receive my cordial 
support. On the other hand, Fitch is a real gentleman — known 
to be right, and as true as steel. I hope to be out next week 
or the week after, and shall be pleased to see you. 

" Ever your friend, M. G. Bright." 



" Madison, Jan. 31, 1853. 

"Dear Sir — I acted on your suggestion and visited Wash- 
ington. I returned last Frida}^ and one day this week I shall 
pay you a visit, for I have much that I wish to say to you. 

" Who are to compose the Cabinet of General Pierce no one 
can tell. On this subject you know as much as I, and I 
knew as much before I left home as I learned by my trip. All 
is in the dark. Pierce, if indeed he has made up his own mind 
upon the subject, which it is believed he has not, keeps it en- 
tirely to himself. Cass and Hunter, and all those men, are as 
profoundlv ignorant on the subject as we are ; at least the}' say 
so, and I do not doubt it. Fears are entertained by many of 
our friends that extreme men will be taken into the Cabinet 
whose appointment will create distrust, and produce dissatisfac- 
tion to the National Democracy. I fear such a thing, though I 
hope for the best. 

•' On the whole, I am gratified that I went. I found things 
much better than I feared they would be, and I am entirely 
easy in reference to the eftect which any effort of Jo. W. and 
Bill B. can have upon my brother. He can laugh them to 
scorn. I shall try to be out this week ; if not early next. 

" Truly 3'our friend, M. G. Bright." 



MICHAEL GRAHAM BRIGHT. 455 

It will be seen by these letters that the interests of his brother 
Jesse were ever uppermost in his thoughts. He says nothing 
about his own affairs ; it is of those of his brother that he speaks. 
These two distinguished men were the most affectionate of 
brothers. When you struck one you hit the other. In many 
respects they were unlike. Michael was insinuating, diplo- 
matic, and conciliator}' ; Jesse, magnetic, frank, and outspoken. 
The}^ were both proud of their famih*, and both loved their 
father's children. 

John Pettit and Graham N. Fitch were candidates for United 
States Senator before the Legislature of 1853. As will be seen 
from Mr. Bright's letter printed above, he favored the election 
of Dr. Fitch. He came to Indianapolis at the beginning of the 
session, and worked hard for his favorite. Mr. Pettit, how^ever, 
was elected, and this result greatly chagrined Mr. Bright, for 
he felt it was a blow at his brother Jesse. The evening after 
the election he and Mr. Pettit met at the Palmer House, and 
warm words passed between them. Pettit told him that, hav- 
ing" been elected to the Senate, he would have influence with 
the appointing power, and that he intended that he (Mr. Bright) 
should be sent as Minister Plenipotentiary to the Guano Islands. 
After this, Mr. Bright and Judge Pettit became friends and re- 
mained such while thev lived. It will be remembered that 
Judge Pettit was nominated for Supreme Judge in 1870 by the 
Democratic State Convention. The e^'ening after the conven- 
vention adjourned he called upon Mr. Bright at his home. 
They had a long conversation on old times, and when Judge 
Pettit arose to leave, Mr. Bright ordered his carriage for the 
purpose of having the Judge taken to his hotel. Judge Pettit 
declined the offer, saying he was too hea\v and clumsy to get 
in and out of the carriage. He then walked up to Mr. Bright, 
and taking his hand, said : *' Michael, God bless you. I am 
glad to see you looking so well, and I hope a'ou will be dancing 
with the girls before spring. Good-bv." 

On the 24th of April, 1828, Mr. Bright married Betsy Brooke 
Steele, who survives him. Twelve children were born to them. 
six of whom are living. Among the dead is the lamented Mi- 
chael Steele Bright, who lost his life bv trying to save the lives 
of others in the memorable conflap'ration of the steamers Uni- 



456 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

ted States and America, which burned on the Ohio river in De- 
cember, 1868. The children hving are, Richard J. Bright, Ser- 
geant-at-Arms of the United States Senate : Mrs. Rachel Hal- 
deman, Mrs. Martha Grifhn, Mrs. Hannah Nichol. Mrs. Mary 
Korbly and William L. Bright. 

Mr. Bright's eldest daughter married Dr. J. R. Haldeman. 
who, during the war, was a Confederate surgeon. Mrs. Hal- 
deman was taken sick while her husband was in the army, and 
was kindly nursed and cared for by the Sisters of Charity in 
Vicksburg. When she convalesced she passed the lines and 
came to her father's home. After the war had ended Mr. Bright 
made a trip to New Orleans, and finding the steamer upon 
which he traveled would stop awhile at Vicksburg resolved 
to personall}' thank the Sisters for their attention to his daugh- 
ter. When the boat landed at the Vicksburg wharf he was 
taken ashore in his chair and conducted to the Sisters' hospita]. 
Reaching the hospital he called for the Superior, and on her 
appearance said: " My name is Bright. I am the father of 
Mrs. Haldeman, whom you so kindly treated during her sick- 
ness, and I could not pass your city without calling in person 
and thanking you for your goodness to my child." He was 
then taken to the steamer and proceeded on his way. 

In person Mr. Bright was large and portly. He was quick 
in speech and in action. When animated his face and eyes 
were peculiarly expressive. His hair was a dark brown, hi< 
eyes hazel, his features good, and his whole appearance that of 
a well-bred gentleman. He w^as a good lawyer, an adept in 
finance, and a diplomatist of very decided ability. 



NICHOLAS McCARTY. 



Indiana has had many men of more learning and greater 
natural talents than Nicholas McCarty, but she has had few who 
exercised a more healthful influence, and whose life-work re- 
dounded more to the public good. He was a pioneer of the 
State, and impressed himself deeply upon its morals and poli- 
tics. 

Nicholas McCartv was a native Virginian, being born in that 
part of the Old Dominion now included in the boundaries of 
West Virginia. When but a child his father died, and he was 
thrown upon his own resources tor a living. Not onl}- this, but 
he had a mother to care and pro\ide for, and he discharged 
this sacred duty with the same tidelity with which he ever exe- 
cuted his trusts. When a bov in his teens he left Pittsburgh » 
where he had gone soon after his father's death, and emigrated 
to Newark, Ohio. He soon obtained employment in a dry goods 
store, and such was his faithfulness and aptitude for business 
that in a short time his emplover placed him at the head of a 
branch house in a neighboring to\^'n. This increased responsi- 
bilit}' was met by increased industry and more strict attention 
to his duties, and the fidelity with which he served his employer 
laid the foundation for a triendship which lasted while they 
lived. Soon after this he went into business lor himself, and 
met with reasonable success, but becoming infected with the 
emigration fever then pervading the country he sold his store and 
started towards the setting sun. When in the vicinity of In- 
dianapolis he became impressed with the fertilitv of the soil, and 
on reaching that town he stopped and pitched his tent. From 
that time (1823) until he died he was an inhabitant of Indiana's 
capital. 



458 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

The pathways of some men are easily traced. By the fur- 
rows they cut others follow them as readily as huntsmen follow 
the trail. Nicholas McCarty was such a man. From the time 
he settled in Indianapolis until he died he was a leader in 
everything that went to build up the city and conduce to the 
public weal. He was the first man to establish a large mercan- 
tile house in the town, and his manner of dealing was such as 
to draw to it a large and lucrative trade. After awhile he in- 
stituted branch houses in several towns throughout the State, 
and unquestionably he did more to create a correct code of 
mercantile ethics than any other man in Indiana. Although he 
had his vicissitudes, his ups and downs in trade, no one ever 
questioned his integrity or doubted his fair dealing. If he did 
not alwa3^s do just as he agreed, he ever had a reason for the 
failure, and the one he«gave was accepted without question. 

Mr. McCarty was of a sanguine temperament, and engaged 
in several enterprises which were not successful, but the faith 
he had in the future of the cit}- where he lived never forsook 
him. He bought large tracts of land in its immediate vicinity 
which have become exceedingly valuable, and his descendants 
are now reaping the benefit of his judgment and foresight. 

As commissioner of the canal fund Mr. McCarty effected the 
first loan ever made to Indiana. His action in this matter was 
such as to commend him to those in authority, as well as to the 
people at large, and no man ever acquitted himself in a fidu- 
cial capacity with more conscientiousness and fidelity than he. 

Mr. McCarty had a taste for politics, and it is a wonder he 
did not cultivate it more than he did. He was emphatically a 
man of the people, and had the faculty of endearing himself 
to all classes, but he preferred a private business to public em- 
ployment, and was seldom a candidate for office. He was a 
Whig and a leader of the party, and could have had almost an}- 
oftice in its gift for the asking. In 1847 he was the Whig can- 
didate for Congress in his district, and was beaten 298 votes by 
the late Judge Wick. Judge Wick's majority over his com- 
petitor two years before was 1,676, and William J. Brown's 
majority over his opponent in the same district two years after- 
wards was 1,497. Thus it will be seen that Mr. McCarty was 
over 1,200 votes stronger in the district tlian his party. 



NICHOLAS M CARTY. 459 

In 1850 Mr. jMcCarty was nominated and elected to the State 
Senate. He was made chairman of the Senate's Committee on 
Corporations, and jealoush' guarded the interests of the people. 
The author remembers an incident which illustrates this fact. 
During Mr. McCarty's service in the Senate some gentlemen 
at Madison sent William McKee Dunn and Captain David 
White to Indianapolis to secure from the Legislature a charter 
for an insurance compan}'. They wanted the charter to run 
ninety-nine years, and to be secure against legislative interfer- 
ence. But Mr. McCarty, while favoring a charter, insisted 
:hat the Legislature should reserve the right to alter or repeal 
it at will. Messrs. Dunn and White reported this fact to their 
clients, and were directed to get the charter through the Senate 
when Mr. McCarty was absent. This was done, and the char- 
ter secured without an}- provision for its alteration or repeal. 

In 1852 the Whig State convention nominated Mr. McCarty 
for Governor. He did not desire the nomination, and strenu- 
ously opposed its being made. Marshall and Dunn and Thomp- 
son were spoken of, but none of them wanted the race. And, 
besides, it was believed that Mr, McCartv, on account of his bus- 
iness connections and large agricultural interests, was stronger 
than any other man. When the convention met it was apparent 
that he would be nominated if he would accept, but it was so 
generally understood that he would not stand that the conven- 
tion hesitated to make the nomination. Therefore, after ap- 
pointing a committee to see him and solicit his consent, it ad- 
journed until the following dav. That evening the committee 
met Mr. McCartv tor conference, and found him lirml}' fixed in 
his determination not to make the race.- It labored with him 
long and earnestly, but he continued obdurate. At last George 
G. Dunn, one of the most gifted Indianians of that or any other 
day, arose and, in the name of the Whigs of Indiana, demanded 
that Mr. McCarty cast behind him his personal wishes and ac- 
cept the standard his party wished to place in his hands. This 
touched him deeply, and asking until the next morning for con- 
sideration, he left the room. It was felt at once that Mr. Dunn's 
shot had hit the mark. "Tis said, if a woman hesitates she is 
lost, and it may with equal truth be said that the man who hes- 
itated when George G. Dunn urged him in another direction 



460 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

was also lost. So next morning the committee notitied the 
convention that Mr. McCarty wonld make the race, and he was 
nominated by acclamation. 

After this the con^'ention was addressed by several distin- 
guished speakers, among them James T. Suitt and George G. 
Dunn, who were particularlv severe upon Governor Wright. 
At last the nominee for Governor appeared and took the stand. 
He looked troubled and careworn, and seemed as one offering 
himself as a sacrifice. He thanked the convention for the honc)r 
it had conferred upon him ; said that, being a candidate, he 
wished to be elected, and would do all he honorably could to 
succeed ; that his competitor was able and honorable and had 
made a good Governor, and he hoped his friends would not be- 
little his opponent nor traduce his character. The convention 
had been wrought to a high state of excitement b}' the previous 
speakers, and these words, for the moment, fell on stony ground. 
But the appearance and manner of the speaker, his frankness, 
his earnestness and his simplicitv, soon touched the hearts of his 
auditors, and they cheered him to the echo. They saw they had 
nominated a good and an honest man, and one whom it would 
be an honor to follow. That the sentiments he avowed were 
from his heart, his subsequent actions abundantly proved. He 
and Governor Wright made the canvass witli the utmost good 
feeling. They went from place to place together, often riding in 
the same carriage, and nearlv alwavs stopping at the same 
hotel. They had no pettv bickerings nor angr\' words, their 
intercourse being more like that of members of the same family 
than of leaders of hostile parties. On the stump there was great 
difference between them. Governor Wright was educated : ■Vlr. 
McCarty was not. Governor Wright was a good talker and a 
good reasoner : Mr. McCart\' was also a good talker, but not a 
good reasoner. He dealt in repartee and in anecdotes, and was 
peculiarly happy in his application of the latter. x-\t their meet- 
ing at Madison, Governor Wright led off* in a long speech, in 
which he claimed credit for de\'eloping the agricultural resour- 
ces of Indiana and for the State's impro\-ed financial condition. 
When he had concluded Mr. McCarty took the stand, and ad- 
dressing himself to the audience, said : "If my triend Go\ernor 
Wright's foresights were as good as his hindsights, what a won- 



NICHOLAS m'carty. 461 

derful man he'd be/" The crowd laughed and cheered him, 
and although he was no match for the Governor as a debater, 
he excelled him in wit and anecdote, and made a deeper impres- 
sion on his hearers. 

Eighteen hundred and tifty-two was a bad }'ear for Whig can- 
didates, and Mr. McCarty went down with the tide, being 
beaten 20,031 votes. Having resigned his seat in the Senate 
when he accepted the gubernatorial nomination, he was now a 
private citizen, and he remained one while he lived. 

Mr. McCartv was a good stor3'-teller, and w^as fond of jokes. 
His was a sunnv disposition, and when he visited friends of 
evenings the voung folks ahvaj's remained at home. There 
are men with grav beards now living who are wont to tell of 
the manv funn}- things said and done by the old pioneer in the 
long, long ago. The sunshine he brought to the homes of his 
friends still lingers on the door-steps, and lights the way of 
those who traverse the halls of their fathers. 

Mr. McCart}' loved practical jokes, and often indulged in 
them. He was a believer in the integrity of men and a disbe- 
liever in the doctrine that everv man had his price. In the 
early historv of the State he sometimes went South to purchase 
tobacco and other Southern products. On one of these occa- 
sions he took with him a large amount of the bills of the bank 
of the State of Indiana. The bills were brand new, never hav- 
ing been used. On his passage up the Cumberland river on a 
steamer he made the acquaintance of a Kentuck}^ farmer who 
was also on his wa}^ to Tennessee. Mr. McCarty found out that 
the Kentuckian was a Baptist, and being a half-w^ay one himself, 
the two soon became intimate and treated each other as old 
Iriends. He had often heard the assertion that everv one had 
his price, and he thought he had a good opportunity of testing 
the truth of the saying. So one da}' he whispered to his friend 
in a mvsterious way that he wished to see him privately, and led 
the wav to his state-room. Entering it with his companion, he 
drew the curtain over the window, bolted the door, and opened 
his carpet-bag. Taking from it a large roll of bank bills, and 
looking under the berths to see that no one was present, he 
spread the money on his bed and said : " There, Mr. Smith, is 
as good monev as though it had been issued by a bank. It will 



462 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

pass anywhere, and I can let you have it on such terms as will 
enable you to make a handsome thing out of it." Seeing that 
Mr. Smith was surprised and astonished, he proceeded : " Don't 
be afraid of the money, Mr. Smith ; it is as good as the bank 
and will go anywhere. I can let you have it at twenty-five 
cents on the dollar, and you can pa}^ it out for tobacco dollar 
for dollar." By this time the Kentuckian had recovered from 
his surprise and replied : "I had rather not, Mr. McCarty ; I 
believe I had rather not." Mr, McCarty used to tell this story 
with great zest, and declare that he had found one man in his 
life who had not " his price." 

But he was also an accommodating man, and took delight in 
serving others. He would go out of his way to do one a tavor, 
and was always glad to make others happy. He had a keen 
sense of the ridiculous, and enjoyed a joke as well as the best 
of them. Years ago, when postage was high, a letter written 
on two pieces of paper was subjected to double postage, which 
could be prepaid or not, at the option of the wrif&r, x\n ac- 
quaintance from a distance wrote him upon a subject in which 
he had no manner of concern, and failed to prepay the post- 
age. Mr. McCarty attended to the business, and in his reply 
to his correspondent said: "Your postmaster is dishonest. 
He did not mark your letter prepaid. Of course you intended 
to prepay it, as no one writes to another on his own business 
without doing so. That you may have the evidence of his dis- 
honesty I return your letter herewith." This act mulcted his 
correspondent in double postage. 

Mr. McCarty wrote rapidly. His chirography was poor, but 
his writing was generally correct, although he knew but little 
or nothing of grammar. Realizing his deficiency as a scholar 
he did what he could, in private life and public station, to se- 
cure to others what had been denied himself. When a candi- 
date for the State Senate he visited a neighborhood where oppo- 
sition to public schools was active and strong, but he boldly said 
that, if elected, he would vote money to make tuition free. His 
courage and frankness won him friends, and many who went to 
hear him speak, opposed to free schools, went home their advo- 
cates. When Mr. McCarty was nominated for Governor so 
well was his reputation for frankness established that the In- 



NICHOLAS m'cARTY. 463. 

diana^olis Sentinel had this to say of him : " Like Heniy Clay, 
everybody who knows Nicholas McCarty knows his politics. 
The same yesterday, to-day and forever." 

Mr. McCarty was live feet eight inches high, and weighed 
about 160 pounds. His complexion was fair, his hair light, and 
his eyes of a hazel color. His head and face indicated shrewd- 
ness rather than profundity. In movement he was quick and 
active. He was not a great man, but he was an intelligent and 
influential one, and his influence was always for the good. Al- 
though not a church member he had a great reverence for Deity, 
and his daily walk and example were without reproach. 

At Crown Hill, that beautiful city of the dead, there stands 
a granite shaft with this inscription : 

Nicholas M'Carty, 

Born September 26, 1795 ; 

Died May 17, 1854. 

And there, beneath the now green sod, and beside that shaft 
pointing heavenward, lie the earthly remains of Nicholas Mc- 
Carty. 



CALVIN FLETCHER. 



There stands at Crown Hill a massive granite shaft — the 
largest in the cemeter}^ — bearing the name of Fletcher. On its 
north face are engraven these words : 

Calvin Fletcher, 

Born in Ludlow, Yt., February 4, 1798 ; 

Emigrated to Indianapolis October 1, 1821 ; 

Died May 26, 1866. 

The monument is litly chosen. It is plain, as was the man 
w^hose name it bears ; it is solid and enduring, as is his fame. 

The following extract from a letter dated March 25, 1861, 
written by Mr. Fletcher to the Secretary of the New England 
Historical Society, gives the main incidents in his active and 
remarkable career : 

"At that period (1815), I had only had the advantage of two 
months each year at the school in the district where mv father 
lived. For two years I labored for others at wages, a portion 
of the time, and the residue I spent at the academies of Ran- 
dolph and Royalton in my native State. In 181 7 I determined 
on a seaman's life, and in April of the same year went to Bos- 
ton, a total stranger, and tried my best to obtain a berth on board 
an East Indiaman, but failed. I then turned m}' face toward 
the country west of the Alleghenies. In two months I worked 
my way, mostly on foot, to the western part of Ohio, and stop- 
ped at Urbana, then the frontier settlement of the northwestern 
part of that State. I knew not an individual in the State — had 
no letter of introduction. I obtained labor as a hired hand for 
a short time, and then a school. In the fall of 1817 I obtained 



CALVIN FLETCHER. 465 

a situation in the law office of the Hon. James Cooley, a gen- 
tleman of talent and line education — one of a large class which 
graduated at Yale under Dr. Dwight. He was sent to Peru 
under John Qiiinc}' Adams's administration and died there. In 
the fall of 182 1 I was admitted to the bar and became the law 
partner of my worthy friend and patron, Mr. Cooley. In the 
summer of 1821 the Delaware Indians left the central part of 
Indiana, then a total wilderness, and the new State selected and 
laid off Indianapolis as its future capital, but did not make it 
such for four or five years thereafter. I had married, and, on 
my request, my worthy partner permitted me to leave him to 
take up my residence at the place designated as the seat of gov- 
ernment of Indiana. In September of that year (1821) I left 
Urbana with a wagon, entered the wilderness, and after travel- 
ing fourteen days, and camping out the same number of nights, 
reached Indianapolis, where there were a few newly erected cab- 
ins. No counties had been laid off in the newly acquired terri- 
tory ; but in a few years civil divisions were made. I com- 
menced the practice of law, and for about twenty-two years 
traveled over, twice annually, nearly one-third of the northwest- 
ern part of the State, at first without roads, bridges or ferries. 
In 1825 I was appointed State Attorney for the Fifth Judicial Cir- 
cuit, embracing some twelve or fifteen counties. This office I 
held about one year, when I was elected to the State Senate ; 
served seven years, resigned, and gave up official positions, as 
I then supposed, for life. But in 1834 ^ ^^^^ appointed by the 
Legislature one of four to organize a State bank, and to act as 
Sinking Fund Commissioner. I held that place also seven years. 
From 1843 to 1859 ^ acted as president of the branch of the State 
Bank at Indianapolis, until the charter expired. During the forty 
years I have resided in Indiana I have devoted much of my time 
to agriculture and societies for its promotion, and served seven 
years as trustee of our city schools. I have been favored with 
a large family — nine sons and two daughters. Three of the 
former have taken a regular course, and graduated at Brown 
University, Providence, R. I., and two a partial course at the 
same institution. I have written no books, but have assisted in 



30 



466 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

compiling a law book. I have kept a journal of daily events^ 
confined mainly to my own routine of business." 

Mr. Fletcher's death, which occurred May 26, 1866, caused 
much public sorrow. His acquaintance was large, and extended 
to all classes. He had long been a banker, and had made for 
himself an honorable record as such. The day after he died 
the bankers of Indianapolis met to take action in relation to his 
death, and among other resolutions passed the Ibllowing : 

"That w^e do not believe mere success in worldly aims was 
the controlling inspiration of his career. His devotion to every 
patriotic impulse ; his vigilant and generous attention to every 
call of benevolence ; his patient care of all wholesome means 
of public improvements ; his interest in the imperial claims of 
religion, morals and education, and his admirable success in 
securing the happiness and promoting the culture of a large 
famil}'^, show conclusively that whatever importance he attached 
to the acquisition of wealth he never lost sight of his responsi- 
bility to that Great Being who smiled so graciousl}' on his life, 
and whose approbation made his closing hours serene and 
hopeful." 

The funeral of Mr. Fletcher was largely attended. Among 
those present were a large number of colored people. He had 
long been a friend to this down-trodden race. He had aided 
the negro with advice and money, and in return received his 
love and veneration. 

He was an anti-slaver3^ man from principle ; was one when 
it cost something to be one. No person who was not living 
thirty or forty years ago can realize the bitter prejudice that 
then existed against the old-time abolitionist ; he was considered 
an enemy of his country, and was subjected to both social and 
political ostracism. But this did not deter Mr. Fletcher, nor 
cause him to alter his course. He once said to one of his sons : 
" When I am in the Court-house, engaged in an important case, 
if the Governor of the State should send in word that he wished 
to speak to me I would reply that I could not go ; but if a 
Qiiaker should touch me on the shoulder and say, 'A colored 
man is out here in distress and fear,' I would leave the Court- 



CALVIN FLETCHER. 467 

house in a minute to see the man, for I feel that I would have 
to account at that last day when He shall ask me if I have vis- 
ited the sick in prison or bondage and fed the poor. The great 
of this world can take care of themselves, but God has made us 
stewards for the down-trodden, and we must account to Him." 

Mr. Fletcher's funeral discourse was preached by Rev. A. S. 
Kinnan, after which his remains, followed by a large concourse 
of people, were taken to Crown Hill and there interred. 

Mr. Fletcher had large farming and banking interests, as well 
as a large law practice, and he was successful in them all. Few 
men were capable of doing so much work, and fewer still of 
doing it so well. As a law3^er he was remarkably fortunate in 
obtaining satisfactor}^ results for his clients. He discharged his 
professional duties as he did all his work — faithfully and well. 
The author is indebted to one of Mr. Fletcher's law students for 
many of the incidents that follow. They will give the reader 
an insight into the life of this remarkable man, and must be of 
interest to all who read this sketch. The}' testify of his fidelity 
to duty, of his devotion to the interests of those who intrusted 
their business to him. In practicing his profession, he investi- 
gated the cases of his clients to the bottom, and for this purpose 
was in the habit of cross-examining them and making note of 
the facts both pro and con. He was, on one of these occasions, 
much amused by a remark made by a brother of the client, who 
had been brought along to help state the case and assist in un- 
derstanding and remembering the instructions. The client sta- 
ted in detail all he could prove, and b}^ whom. He could prove 
much, but at the end of the conference the brother spoke out 
and said: "Yes, lawyer, and the}^ can prove a power on the 
other side." 

Mr. Fletcher viewed his cases dramatical!}-. He realized 
them in actual life, then the points and authorities were exam- 
ined and the questions arising were settled after cautious and 
labored deliberation. On the trial he was not oratorical, but he 
had a fine, clear voice, and was a shrewd and effective speaker. 
His most prominent talent was an insight into the motives of 
parties and witnesses, and he was especially strong in cross- 
examining witnesses. In one case, a witness who was com- 
pelled by him, on cross-examination, to disclose facts which con- 



468 HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 

tradicted his evidence in chief, fainted, and his evidence was 
disregarded by the jury. 

Mr. Fletcher's earliest practice was very miscellaneous, rang- 
ing from justice of the peace to the Supreme Court, including 
both law and chancery cases, civil and criminal, with, however, 
an undue proportion of criminal and tort cases, among the last 
slander suits being quite common. In early times there was 
less appeal to authority and more to the feelings of the jur}- 
than now. In new counties the court -rooms were alwa3's 
crowded, and often by citizens who had no business at court, 
but only came to see and hear. The lawyers were much 
tempted to make speeches for the lobby, and it was quite an 
object to entertain and amuse the audience, and even those who 
were indisposed to encourage this abuse occasionally gave it 
countenance. 

Mr. Smith, in his "Reminiscences," gives several instances 
of Mr. Fletcher's fondness for quizzing and practical jokes. A 
few specimens may be added. In early times lawyer Forsee, 
who was not distinguished for his law or logic, but was fond of 
display, made the quotation " Otium aim dignitate,''' for the pur- 
pose of making a grand impression on the 'squire. In reply 
Mr. Fletcher pretended he said, " Oh, come and dig my taters," 
which, he argued, was not applicable to the case, for the rea- 
son that there was not a word of evidence about digging taters. 
However trivial the fun, it plagued Forsee, who wanted to ex- 
plain that it was Latin, etc., all of which amused the crowd the 
more. 

There was formerly a lawyer of distinction at the Indiana- 
polis bar who was a fine speaker and a wit, but a little too fond 
of metaphysical distinctions. Hugh O'Neal, when Prosecuting 
Attorney, to break the force of this kind of argument, some- 
times in closing the case, would tell the jury this story : That 
this law) er, so successful in his fine-spun distinctions, had been 
employed to defend old man Van Blaricum for shooting a neigh- 
bor's dog ; that the proof was clear that the defendant said he 
would shoot the dog ; that he brought out the gun in open da}- 
and loaded it ; that he took deliberate aim at the dog, and that 
at the crack. of the rifle the dog fell dead with a bullet hole 
through him ; that thereupon this ingenious lawyer was stimu- 



CALVIN FLETCHER. 469 

lated by the difficulties in his case to unusual ingenuity, and 
contended that this was a case of circumstantial evidence 
merely, and that in such cases it was well settled that if a sin- 
gle link in the chain of evidence was wanting the whole evi- 
dence was worthless ; and although there was proof of the 
threat, the loading of the gun, the firing, and that the dog was 
killed, "Yet," said he "what witness has testified that he saw 
the bullet hit the dog? " O'Neal told the story so well that he was 
sure to bring down the house, and that brought his opponent to 
his feet to explain that that was one of the stories invented b}' 
Fletcher. 

Mr. Fletcher and William Quarles were employed by an old 
Quaker farmer unused to courts, but as full as other people of 
human nature. The case was before Judge Wick, in chancery, 
and the question was whether he would grant an injunction in 
favor of the Quaker. Mr. Fletcher's argument exhausted the 
points and authorities, so that, when Qiiarles closed the argu- 
ment, his remarks were principally directed to reviving some 
pungent scandals against the Qiiaker's adversary, to all which 
the Quaker gave earnest attention. Judge Wick sustained the 
injunction, but criticised, with some seventy, the personalities 
which had crept into the case. The Quaker sat just outside the 
bar, and Mr. Fletcher, thinking he might not have understood 
the purport of the decision, said to him: "The court has de- 
cided in our favor." " Yes," was the answer, "but did thee 
hear Quarles? " 

Occasionally, however, the fun was on the other side. On 
one occasion, when the mails only went once a week to Mar- 
tinsville, Mr. Fletcher desired to forward a letter to that town 
in advance of the mail, and so informed Mr. Gregg, a waggish 
pioneer lawyer. Mr. Gregg found a Methodist preacher who 
was on his way to Martinsville, and who was much in the habit 
of holding up before sinners the terrors of future punishment. 
Mr. Gre<rg hurried into the court-room and found Mr. Fletcher 
busy. He told him, however, with a sober face, that he had 
found a "brimstone peddler," who was on his way to Martins- 
ville, and would be in soon for the letter. Mr. Fletcher was 
writing the letter as fast as possible when the minister came in, 
and Mr. Gregg introduced him as the gentleman he had spoken 



470 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

of. The letter being hurriedly completed, and the minister 
about to leave, Mr. Fletcher, without reflecting, inquired how- 
he succeeded in peddling brimstone. The minister was, of 
course, surprised, and Mr. Gregg, with a smile, explained that 
the peddler was a different man. Such are the specimens of 
the humors of the bar, which, though interesting at the moment, 
effervesce and disappear. But, perhaps, the less the incident 
the greater the comic talent required to make the fun effective. 
It will not be supposed that these casual diversions indicated 
any want of earnest purpose. 

One of Mr. Fletcher's peculiarities was his ingenious mode 
of criticising and stimulating his students. He would think of 
something praiseworthy in the student, which he would eulo- 
gize, and thus please and gratify him ; then he would, with 
touches of humor, state the faults to be corrected. By this 
course he avoided all offense. 

During the process of making up his decision upon a question 
of law or policy he preserved entire impartiality. He was 
ready at an}- moment to abandon an untenable position. He 
was not satisfied until all sides had been examined, and he had 
the art of appropriating from those about him all that could be 
known. In consequence of this his decisions were not rapid, 
but they were sound and well considered. 

One of his most serviceable powers was his remarkable mem- 
ory, which seemed to hold all that was committed to it. In his 
law office it was he who kept in mind all the business and who 
watched all the points of danger. 

He held himself bound to give satisfaction to his client, and 
if there was dissatisfaction he was willing to consider it his 
fault. He explained, especially to non-residents, the services 
performed and difficulties encountered, and thus demonstrated 
the reasonableness of the charges made. This he considered 
both his duty and his interest. 

He had, when young, felt the pressure of poverty, and had 
learned life from actual contact with its difficulties ; and while 
this gave additional force and edge to his good sense, and ac- 
quainted him with the details of humble life, it also aroused his 
disposition to take the part of the poor, the helpless and the op- 
pressed. To them his services were often rendered gratuitously. 



CALVIN FLETCHER. 47 J 

or for meager compensation. His sympathies were always ac- 
tive, and he had the facuhy of conferring great benefits, not so 
much by direct aid as by teaching others how to help them- 
selves. His power of stimulating others to exertions was one 
of his leading traits, and was more valuable than mere gifts of 
money. 

Notwithstanding his fees were moderate, his business was so 
extensive, and his industrj' and effectiveness achieved so much, 
that his income was large. His judicious investments, and his 
plain and unostentatious mode of living, led to the rapid accu- 
mulation of wealth. 

This success did not enervate him ; he was essentially the 
same, whether poor or rich. He was opposed to litigation when 
it could be avoided, and had great success in adjusting cases by 
agreement. 

In forming his judgment of men he paid more attention to 
character than to talent, and he had the faculty of inferring 
character from circumstances generally overlooked. 

When introduced to a stranger he would, for some minutes, 
give him his exclusive attention. He would notice every re- 
mark and movement, every expression of feature, and even the 
minutiae of dress, yet he did all this without giving offense. He 
seemed to be ever under some controlling influence which led 
him to study character. In earl}^ times the bar, judge and peo- 
ple were thrown much together, and social and conversational 
talents were of great advantage to the lawyer. Here^Mr. 
Fletcher was remarkably well endowed. Attachment to his 
triends was one of his prominent qualities, and he often had 
them at his house enjoying his hospitality. Toward those in his 
office he was most attractive and amiable. He gave them his 
confidence and directed them to open and read the letters which 
came in his absence. 

Among his other good qualities he was an example of tem- 
perance. He avoided the use of liquor and even of tobacco in 
all their forms. He never played cards, although card-playing 
was a common pastime among the lawyers in his day. 

It is noticeable that he contrived to find his amusements along 
the beaten path of everv-day duties. Mr. Fletcher held the 
office of Prosecuting Attorney at an earlv dav, and afterwards 



472 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

served some time as a State Senator. His services for tlie pub- 
lic were always his best. 

No one guarded the interest of the public more scrupulously 
than he. As Senator he gave great offense to some of his con- 
stituents by opposing the first charter proposed for the organiza- 
tion of a State bank. He resigned the Senatorship, and the 
next year another charter was prepared which obviated his 
objections. This charter passed the Legislature, and on the 
organization of the bank he became a director on the part of 
the State, and thenceforth gave banking and finance a large 
portion of his time and attention. 

At one time Mr. Fletcher was, for a few days, a candidate 
against William Herod for the Whig nomination for Congress. 
He had every prospect of success, but he withdrew from the 
race because he thought it bad policy to leave his family and his 
business. At another time Governor Noble tendered him the 
nomination for Supreme Judge, but he refused to accept it. 

For a short time Mr. Fletcher was president of the Bellefon- 
taine railroad, and for ten years he was superintendent of Rob- 
erts Chapel Sunday-school. It was his custom to have family 
worship every morning, and all his household, including his 
servants, were required to be present. 

Mr. Fletcher kept a diary in which he recorded evervthing 
of importance that took place under his notice. This diary is a 
compendium of the history of Indianapolis during Mr. Fletch- 
er's residence here, and it is understood that one of his sons is 
now preparing a biograph}^ of his father, and that this diary 
will be largely drawn upon in the preparation of the work, 

John B. Dillon, the historian of Indiana, in a paper not hith- 
erto published, thus sums up Mr. Fletcher's leading traits of 
character : 

" I do not doubt that those peculiar traits of character which 
made Mr. Fletcher a remarkable man as a private citizen were 
influential forces in regulating and controlling his conduct as a 
member of the legal profession. As a private citizen he was a 
man of great industry, of unquestionable integrity, with a 
healthy, robust body, a mind naturally strong, fairly educated, 
cautious, and inquisitive about men and things. He was a good 



CALVIN FLETCHER. 47 J 

judge of men, and active supporter of the interests of practical 
Christianity, popular education, temperance and charitable in- 
stitutions. In the expenditure of money his habits were pru- 
dent and economical, but not parsimonious. He was firm, 
courageous and persevering in what he regarded as the line of 
dut3^ He was fond of children, and sometimes he would stop 
in his rapid walk on the street, to arouse into activity and am- 
bition the dull sluggishness of 

"'The whining schoolboy, with his satchel 
And shining morning face, creeping like a snail 
Unwillingly to school.' 

"Mr. Fletcher was often ver}^ much amused with laughable 
stories, especially when such stories illustrated cases in which 
dandies, fops or other vainglorious persons were made the sub- 
ject of comical practical jokes. 

" Holding his place in the first rank among the law3'ers of 
Indiana while he was an active member of the bar, the duties 
of Mr. Fletcher in prosecuting and defending suits in the courts 
were numerous, important and often burdensome. As a speaker 
his language was forcible. His reasonings were generally brief 
and pointed, and were alwa3's understood by those to whom 
the}^ were addressed. He belonged to the class of 'business 
speakers,' and he seemed to care ver}-^ little for the arts of rhet- 
oric and logic. He could, on proper occasions, use the power 
of sarcasm with great skill. 

"As a prosecuting attorney in the pioneer time of the Fifth 
Judicial Circuit in Indiana, he was diligent and faithful in the 
discharge of his professional duties, but, if well authenticated 
tradition be true, he sometimes, in very extraordinary cases, 
availed himself of the use of novel and irregular powers in or- 
der to prevent the defeat of the ends of justice by the ignorance 
and stubborness of foolish men." 

A gentleman who knew Mr. Fletcher well and intimately, 
gives this estimate of his character : 

" He was, as he appeared to me, a man of remarkable phvsi- 
cal constitution ; of abounding animal spirits, vet without vicious 
indulgence ; with great industry, energv and endurance : of ac- 



474 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

tive, sj^mpathetic, moral and Christian character and public 
spirit; of shrewd, clear and vigorous intellect, well stored with 
a vast fund of knowledge, all resulting in a very high order of 
practical wisdom, and as a natural consequence he achieved 
marked success in his professional and other pursuits in life." 

Oliver H. Smith, in his " Early Indiana Trials and Sketches,"' 
speaks thus of Mr. Fletcher : 

" He was a remarkable man. He combined all the elements 
of an effective pioneer in a new country — an iron constitution, 
clear and vigorous common sense mind, an energy that never 
slumbered, integrity never questioned, a high conception of 
morality and religion, social qualities of the first order, a devo- 
ted friend to the cause of education, a good lawyer and a forci- 
ble speaker." 

While the Whig party existed Mr. Fletcher was a member 
•of it, and when it dissolved he became a Republican. Had he 
sought office it would have been given him, but he preferred a 
private business to public employment, hence his official life was 
short. 

Mr. Fletcher was one of the men who made Indianapolis what 
it is. No one impressed himself more deeply upon the people 
than he, and no one dying left behind him more friends and a 
better name. His influence was always for the good. Educa- 
tion and religion had in him a friend and an exemplar. 

Mr. Fletcher was about five feet eight inches high, and was 
strongly and compactly built. He had dark brown hair and 
gray eyes, the latter being unusually penetrating and expressive. 
His features were S3'mmetrical, and his complexion unusuall}' 
white, although of a healthy hue. He was a good and honest 
man, and his memor}^ is revered by all who knew him. 



WILLIAM H. MORRISON. 



The winter of i88o-'8i will long be remembered b}^ the peo- 
ple of Indianapolis, not only on account of its extreme cold, 
but tor the further reason that during it several of the cit3-'s 
most prominent citizens were called away. First, Governor 
Williams died, and although he was not properly a citizen of 
the capital, his almost four years of official residence seemed to 
make him so. Then Michael G. Bright, in his prime one of 
the foremost men of the State, departed this life ; and soon 
after him General John Love, a respected and well-known citi- 
zen, went to "the undiscovered country, from whose bourne no 
traveler returns." Following quick after him — almost in his 
shadow — James M. Ray, one of the oldest and best beloved of 
our pioneers, departed from among us. Then Mr. Morrison 
was called away. 

Mr. Morrison was born in New York, in July, 1806, and when 
fourteen years old came to Indiana and settled in the count}^ of 
Clark. Nine years afterward he came to Indianapolis and en- 
tered the office of his brother, the late Judge James Morrison, 
as deputy Secretary of State. At the expiration of his brother's 
official term he engaged in mercantile pursuits, and continued 
in active business until he died. On the first dav of March, 
1870, he became a member of the Indiana Banking Company, 
and was president of that institution until 1878, when he left it 
to take the presidency of the First National Bank of Indiana- 
polis. He remained at the head of the First National until 
March 18, 1881, when he died. 

To properly estimate the character of a man other things 
besides his business career ought to be considered. Mr. Mor- 
rison was a good business man, but he was something more. 



476 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES. 

His influence was for good. He was active in most things that 
favored correct morals and the building up of Christianity. He 
was free from all the smaller vices, as well as the larger ones. 
His daily walk was above reproach, and his activit}- in the 
building of churches and in supporting the ministry was pro- 
verbial. He was instrumental in the building of Christ Church, 
Indianapolis, and to him more than to an}- other man must be 
ascribed the erection of St. Paul's Cathedral, in the same city. 
It was in this church that he worshiped during his latter days, 
and for years before his death no stranger entered there 
without noting an elegant and dignified man in a pew near the 
chancel. That man was Mr. Morrison. 

Mr. Morrison, like all mortals, had his failings. They were 
not in the line of laxity of morals, or a want of religious activ- 
ity, for in these respects he was above reproach ; but his nature 
was so positive and his will so strong that at times he seemed 
obstinate and illiberal. This trait in his character was so 
marked that some thought him hard-hearted and unkind, but, 
in fact, he was neither. In his intercourse with friends and in 
the transaction of his business he was ever courteous and oblig- 
ing. It was only when he felt himself wronged that his com- 
bativeness arose, and at such times he was unyielding. 

Mr. Morrison was both by nature and practice a gentleman. 
He never so forgot himself as to give way to passion or to act 
in an angry manner, but when he differed from a man it was in 
a courteous way. He never acted the bully nor played the role 
of a blackguard. 

Mr. Morrison belonfjed to a distinfjuished family. His 
brother, the late Judge Morrison, was an eminent lawyer, and 
filled many places of honor and profit with great ability. He 
was Secretary of State when a young man, and he was Indiana's 
first Attorney-General. For many 3^ears he was president of the 
old State Bank of Indiana, and he performed the duties of that 
responsible place honestly and well. Another brother — Alex- 
ander H. — was prominent in politics in his day, and he left his 
impress upon the city in which he lived in more ways than one. 
The youngest brother, the subject of this sketch, never asked for 
public office, but contented himself with commercial affairs. Had 
he sought public employment it would have been given him. 



WILLIAM H. MORRISON, 



477 



and the record of his business Hfe is an earnest of what he would 
have done had he chosen to be a pubHc man. 

Mr. Morrison was an active business man until the sickness 
overtook him from which he died. Although he had passed the 
age allotted to man, three-score years and ten, he stood up- 
right and walked with grace and ease so long as he was able to 
get about. His was not the tottering gait of old age, but the 
steady one of vigorous manhood. He was often seen upon the 
streets of Indianapolis taking his regular walks, with a son of 
his old age beside him ; and the elegant old gentleman and the 
bright boy side by side, engaged in thoughtful converse, brought 
to mind those great creations of Dickens — Dombey and Son. 
Had the great novelist known Mr. Morrison and his boy many 
would have thought that they were the originals of his picture. 

The funeral of Mr. Morrison took place in St. Paul's Cathe- 
dral, on Saturday, March 19, after which his remains were 
taken to Crown Hill and buried. The Indianapolis Clearing 
House Association' and the directors of the First National Bank 
of Indianapolis met and passed resolutions extolling his virtues. 
But in no other place, outside his family, was Mr. Morrison so 
missed as in his church. In church influence he was first 
among the laity, and his advice was sought and his counsel 
heeded by the clergy. He was Senior Warden of St. Paul's 
Cathedral when he died. 



JAMES S. ATHON. 



Dr. James S. Athon was born in Louden count}^ Virginia, 
April I, 1811. Soon after his birth his parents removed to Mur- 
freesboro, Tennessee, and after remaining there awhile emigra- 
ted to Kentucky. The}^ lived there but a 3^ear or two and then 
came to Indiana Territory and located upon Clark's grant, on 
the southern border of the State. 

The father of Dr. Athon was an unpretentious farmer of firm 
integrity, and stood high in the community where he lived. 
For many years he was a member of the Methodist church, and 
living near the town of Charlestown his famil}^ had the benefit 
of church privileges. The church in town and the log school- 
house m the country afforded all the facilities young x\thon had 
in his boyhood to obtain an education. He worked on his fath- 
er's farm until he reached manhood, and then he commenced 
the study of medicine. He afterwards graduated at the Medi- 
cal College at Louisville, Ky., after which he removed to Lex- 
ington, in Scott county, and opened an office for the practice 
of his profession. He remained at Lexington but a short time 
and then went to Charlestown, where he afterwards became 
eminent in his profession, ranking among the first practitioners 
of the State. 

On the breaking out of the Mexican war Dr. Athon was ap- 
pointed surgeon of the Third Indiana regiment and remained 
with it until it was mustered out of service. Subsequently the 
Fifth Indiana regiment was formed and Dr. Athon went to 
Mexico as its surgeon, and continued with it until the end of the 
war. Being then vigorous and in his prime he was active in 
the discharge of his army duties, and manj' a brave man owed 
his life to the skillful and attentive surgeon. 



JAMES S. ATHON. 47^ 

On the return of Dr. Athon from Mexico he was elected to 
the State Senate from his county, and served as Senator one 
term. While in the Senate, although a Democrat, he had many 
personal friends on the Whig side of the chamber, among them 
being Joseph G. Marshall, of Jefferson, and George G. Dunn, 
of Lawrence county. He accompanied Mr. Marshall to Louis- 
ville as his surgeon when that gentleman challenged Senator 
Bright to mortal combat, and he and Mr. Dunn were very warm 
personal friends while the latter lived. 

In 1852 the Democratic State convention of Indiana placed 
Dr. Athon on the ticket as a presidential elector for his district. 
He was elected, and cast his vote in the electoral college for 
Pierce and King. The next year the Legislature elected him 
Superintendent of the Indiana Hospital for the Insane. He 
filled the place with distinguished ability, earning for himself 
a fame that will go down to later generations. 

In 1862 Dr. Athon was elected Secretary of State, and held 
the office for a full term of two years. When his term expired 
he resumed his medical practice, and was actively engaged in 
it until attacked by the disease from which he died. 

On the 28th of September, 1875, Dr. Athon was stricken by 
paral3'sis. He lingered until the 25th of the next month when 
death came to his relief. 

Dr. Athon was a man of great physical and moral courage. 
What he believed to be his duty he did at once. Alwaj^s 
prompt and energetic, he nearly always succeeded in his un- 
dertakings. He did not wait for others to act before determin- 
ing his course, he determined it himself. 

Dr. Athon left g, widow and three children when he died, one 
of the latter being the gifted Hettie Athon Morrison, well-known 
throughout the West as a song and sketch writer of very great 
abilit}^ Another daughter is the widow of the late General 
Jefferson C. Davis, the most distinguished soldier Indiana has 
ever produced. Dr. Athon's fame rests mainly upon his pro- 
fessional actions. Althouah he served the State well in the 
offices he held, he did her a greater service in healing the dis- 
eased bodies and minds of her citizens. 



MICHAEL C. GARBER. 



Michael Christian Garber was born in Augusta county, 
Virginia, April 7, 1813. His father served, for several terms, 
as sheriff of Augusta county, and for awhile was mayor of the 
city of Staunton. For many years he was engaged in conduct- 
ing a line of stage coaches, in which business he was assisted 
by his son Michael. In this way the latter became familiar 
with the transportation business, and he availed himself of this 
knowledge later in life to the great benefit of the government. 

Before Mr. Michael Garber reached his majority he left 
Staunton and went to Hollidaysburg, Pa., and engaged as a 
clerk for an uncle. After this he and his uncle became contract- 
ors on the Chesapeake and Ohio canal, then under construction. 
From 1832 until 1840 he was engaged in the forwarding busi 
ness, and for a short time afterwards was a partner of George 
McFarland in the conduct of a foundry. 

In 1843 Mr. Garber left Hollidaysburg and located at Rising 
Sun, Indiana, as a merchant. In 1849 ^^^ bought the Madison 
Courier of Samuel F. and John I. Covington, and at once re- 
moved to Madison and assumed control of the paper. It was 
as the conductor of this paper that he became known to the 
people of Indiana, and his fame is inseparably connected with it. 

When Mr. Garber took charge of the Madison Cojirier he 
was without newspaper experience. He associated with him in 
the editorial conduct of the paper Charles P. Baymiller, a bril- 
liant though erratic man, who died in Indianapolis several years 
ago. At that time the Courier was a Democratic paper of the 
strictest sect, and being published at the home of Jesse D. 
Bright, was looked upon as his personal organ. But the new 
editor was not fitted to be a personal grinder of tunes for any 



MICHAEL C. GARBER. 48 1 

man, and he soon became restive under the restraints which 
such a position imposed. The contest between Senator Bright 
and Governor Wright for the leadership of the Indiana Democ- 
racy was then pending, and the Courier gave evidence of 
weakening in the Bright cause by pubhshing complimentary 
notices of Governor Wright, copied from other papers. By 
doing this its editor incurred the mortal displeasure of the Sen- 
ator, for he was a man who allowed no divided allegiance. 
From his place in the Senate chamber at Washington he wrote 
a letter to the late Judge William M. Taylor, of Madison, in 
which he hurled his anathemas at the editor, and declared he 
would drive him out of the Democratic party. The letter did 
not reach the man for whom it was intended, but went to an- 
other Taylor, who gave it to Mr. Garber. The latter was, 
therefore, put in possession of irrefragable proofs of Senator 
Bright's hostility, and being a man not given to turning the 
other cheek when smitten on one, he placed the Courier squarely 
on the side of Governor Wright. 

When Mr. Bright came home he called a meeting of Demo- 
crats in the old Madison Court-house to consider the situation. 
All the leading Democrats of the county were there, and to 
them Mr. Bright delivered a two-hours speech, in which he de- 
nounced Mr. Garber as no Democrat, and demanded that he be 
publicly read out of the part}-. He ended by offering a series 
of resolutions to that effect, but before the question was put upon 
their adoption Mr. Garber arose and asked to be heard. He 
protested against being politically ostracised, and declared him- 
self a Democrat in whom there was no guile. He read a letter 
from Governor Wright certifving to his Democracy, but Gover- 
nor Wright was not Democratic authority in Jefferson county, 
and his certificate of the editor's political orthodoxy went for 
naught. Mr. Bright's resolutions were adopted with but three 
dissenting voices, and Mr. Garber was declared outside the 
Democratic pale. But the condemned man refused to abide the 
decree, and continued to advocate Democratic principles and 
policy. He supported Pierce for President and Wright for 
Governor, and rendered his party very efficient service the 3-ear 
they were elected. But he had no affiliation with the Demo- 

31 



482 BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES, 

cratic leaders of his county. They had started the Madisonian 
to crush the Courier and drive its editor from Madison, But 
their efforts were in vain. The Courier lived and prospered, 
while the paper which was intended to supplant it struggled a 
few months and died. The bad feelings engendered by the ef- 
forts of Mr, Brisfht and his friends to break down the Courier 
terminated in a personal difficulty, which came near costing 
Mr. Garber his life. 

The citizens of Madison held a public meeting and appointed 
a committee to receive Kossuth when he visited Madison in the 
winter of 1852. Hamilton Hibbs, a devoted friend and follower 
of Senator Bright, was on this committee, and so was Mr. Gar- 
ber, The former published a card in the Madisonian — the 
Bright organ — declining to serve, for the reason that Mr. Gar- 
ber was a member of the committee, and saying he would 
rather serve on a committee with a "buck nigger" than with 
M. C, Garber. 

Now, Mr. Garber was a Democrat, and in those days to be 
likened to a " nigger" was more than Democratic nature could 
bear, so, on meeting Hibbs the afternoon his card appeared, he 
spat in his face and struck him with a cane. Hibbs, who was a 
house-carpenter, was returning home from his work with his 
tools in his hands, and on being thus assaulted he drew a chisel 
and stabbed Garber three times in his left side, each time cut- 
ting the lunij. The wounded man was taken home faint and 
bleeding, and for many days lay halting between life and death. 
He recovered, however, from the injury in a few weeks and re- 
sumed control of his paper. Nothing was done with Hibbs for 
the stabbing. 

When the People's party was organized in 1854 ^^^*- Garber 
cut loose from the Democracy and entered the new part}'. In 
1856, when the Republican party made its first campaign in In- 
diana, he attached himself to it, and continued in its ranks until 
he died. He assisted in making the State platform of the party 
that year, and in 1858 he was chosen chairman of the State Cen- 
tral Committee. He filled the place with signal ability, and at the 
expiration of his term turned over the party machinery to his 
successor in good working condition. His paper — the Madison 
Courier — has been an active and able supporter of the Republi- 



MICHAEL C. GARBER. • 483 

can party since its birth. It is now, and for several years has 
been, mainly under the editorial control of Colonel Garber's eld- 
est son, Michael C. Garber, Jr. ; but its policy was determined, 
while he lived, by the one who, tor more than a quarter of a cen- 
tury, was its head. 

Colonel Garber made an unsuccessful race for Treasurer of 
Jefferson county in i860, the only time he was ever a candidate 
tor office before the people. 

In 1861 the late David C. Branham, then in the secret ser- 
vice of the government, suggested to the Secretary of War the 
appointment of Mr. Garber as an army quartermaster. General 
Cameron, the Secretary, had known Mr. Garber in Pennsyl- 
vania, and was well acquainted with the fact that the latter had 
great knowledge of the subject of transportation. He at once 
caused Mr. Garber to be commissioned as brigade quartermas- 
ter with the rank of captain. Mr. Garber at once entered upon 
the duties of his office, and so well and satisfactorily did he 
perform his official duties that he was twice promoted, once to 
the rank of major and then to that of colonel. He was chief 
quartermaster of the Army of the Tennessee, and was with it 
during the Atlanta campaign. 

When Sherman started on his march to the sea Colonel Gar- 
ber was ordered to Louisville, Kentucky. Subsequently he 
joined Sherman at Savannah, and was appointed chief quarter- 
master of Sherman's arm}-. He remained wath that general 
until the war ended, and was present at the grand review at 
Washington, when General Sherman refused to take the hand 
of Secretary Stanton, and publicly turned his back upon him. 
He remained in the army about one month after the war had 
ended, and then resigned his commission and went back to his 
work on the Courier. 

On the 25th of Jul}', 1865, General Sherman wrote Colonel 
Garber a ver\- complimentary letter, closing it as tbllows : ''I 
hope 3'ou will enjoy health and prosperity and live long to enjov 
the peace and security you aided to establish tor our common 
country." 

As editor of the Courier^ Colonel Garber sharply criticised 
Governor Morton's Richmond speech, and antagonized his 
views in other particulars. The Cour