Transcribed from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.


Calhoun, John, the first surveyor-general of Kansas, was born Oct. 14, 1806. In Nov., 1833, he founded the Chicago Weekly Democrat, the first newspaper in that town. The same year he became surveyor of Sangamon county, Ill., and took an active part in the political life of that period. In 1838 he made many speeches during the campaign and was elected a member of the Illinois house of representatives. In 1844 he was defeated for Congress and in 1846 was the candidate for governor of Illinois on the Democratic ticket but was again defeated. In 1852 he was the Democratic nominee for Congress but the Republican candidate was elected. He became interested in Abraham Lincoln and soon after they became acquainted he gave Lincoln a book on surveying. This was the beginning of a friendship that lasted through life, On Aug. 4, 1854, Mr. Calhoun was commissioned surveyor-general of the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, and made ex-officio register of the land offices, soon to be opened. He opened an office at Wyandotte, and the first report of his survey was made on Oct. 26, 1856. He was a pro-slavery man; entered actively into the political life of the territory; was president of the Lecompton constitutional convention; and it was largely due to his efforts that the constitution was submitted to the people only in a modified way.

Gen. Thomas Ewing, Jr., who was one of the committee appointed by the territorial legislature in 1858 to investigate election frauds, in a letter to his father dated Jan. 18, 1858, said: "Calhoun left for Washington today—fled. He would have been brought up for forging election returns, of which there is evidence enough, I believe, to warrant a presentment. He is the instigator of all the frauds, I have not a shadow of a doubt."

The Kansas Historical Society has a manuscript entitled "A Vindication of John Calhoun," written by his brother, A. H. Calhoun, in which it is claimed that Mr. Calhoun opposed the clause in the Lecompton constitution establishing slavery and favored the submission of the instrument to popular vote, but these statements are not corroborated by the records of the convention. Mr. Calhoun died at St. Joseph, Mo., Oct. 13, 1859, from the effects of an overdose of strychnine.

Pages 270-271 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.

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VOLUME I

TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
INTRODUCTION

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I

VOLUME II

TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

J | K | L | Mc | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

VOLUME III

BIOGRAPHICAL INDEXES


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