GEORGE A. CRAWFORD

GEORGE A. CRAWFORD, the founder of Fort Scott, a well known editor and public man and several times a gubernatorial candidate, was born in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, July 27, 1827, of Scotch-Irish-German stock. After receiving an academic education and graduating from Jefferson College, he taught school in Kentucky and Mississippi, when he returned to Pennsylvania to study law. While still reading for the bar, he became editor and proprietor of the Clinton Democrat. During the early years he took an active part in politics against the Know-Nothings and in 1855 was a delegate to the Penn-sylvania Democratic State Convention. In the spring of 1857 he came to Kansas; landed at Leavenworth and accompanied Dr. Norman Eddy, United States commissioner for the sale of Indian lands, to Law-rence. Crawford, Eddy and other associates purchased 520 acres of land and organized the Fort Scott Town Company, of which Mr. Crawford was made president, a position he held for twenty years. A town was laid out and the streets were named after Mr. Crawford's friends. He was opposed to the agitation kept up by the border factions but did not change his free-state views and several attempts were made to assassinate him.

At the outbreak of the Civil war Mr. Crawford assisted in the organization of the Second Kansas Regiment and equipped many of its members. When the border was threatened he organized a committee of safety, was placed at its head and was active in recruiting several militia companies. In 1861 he was elected governor of Kansas on the democratic ticket, but the election was declared illegal. In 1864 he was again nominated by the democratic party for governor but Samuel J. Crawford, the republican candidate, was elected. Under Governor Crawford he served two years as commissioner of immigration, inaugurated the system of exhibiting Kansas products in other states and was one of the organizers of the Kansas Historical Society and its secretary for two years. In 1868 he was again a candidate for governor but was defeated. In 1869 he established the Daily Monitor and a free reading room and museum at Fort Scott. Mr. Crawford was appointed a regent of the state university in 1871 and elected one of the executive committee of the State Agricultural Society. The same year he was appointed United States commissioner by President Grant to the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia. When the Ute Reservation was thrown open to settlement he purchased the site of the Town of Grand Junction, Colorado, and was instrumental in developing it he died there on January 26, 1891.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed October, 1997.
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