So far in the National Statuary Hall, from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, and Arkansas, there have been two journalist/politicians (Bob Bartlett & Ernest Gruening); two military hero/politicians (Joseph Wheeler/Barry Goldwater); a Jesuit missionary (Father Eusebio Kino); one lawyer/politician (James Paul Clarke); one lawyer (Uriah M. Rose); and one disability rights advocate/socialist (Helen Keller).
From California, Colorado, Connecticult and Arkansas, there was an actor/politician (Ronald Reagan); astronaut/politician (Jack Swigert); two Founding Father/Lawyer/politicians – Robert Sherman and Caesar Rodney; a merchant/politician – Jonathan Trumbull; a lawyer/politician (John M Clayton); a Woman Scientist/Public Health Doctor (Florence R. Sabin); and a Franciscan Missionary (St. Junipero Serra).
From Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, and Idaho, there were two physicians – John Gorrie and Crawford Long; two military leaders during the Civil War, Edmund Kirby Smith, who commanded the Trans-Mississippi Theater, and George L. Shoup, a Cavalry leader in Colorado, who later became Governor of Idaho and a U. S. Senator; a lawyer and politician who became Vice-President of the Confederacy, Congressman, and later Governor of the State of Georgia, Alexander H. Stephens; a lawyer and politician who had a 33-year-career in the U. S. Senate, William E. Borah; the founder and ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii, King Kamehameha I; and a Belgian Catholic priest and missionary, who attained Sainthood for his work with the lepers of Hawaii, Father Damien.
So far the count of U. S. politicians in the National Statuary Hall is at 13-out-of-24 statues, once again over half of them, with seven of them being lawyers.
James Shields and Frances Willard represent the State of Illinois in the National Statuary Hall.
James Shields is one of the statues representing the State of Illinois.
He was an Irish-American Democratic politician and U. S. Army officer, and the only person in U. S. history to serve as Senator for three different states, and one of only two to represent more than one state.
He represented Illinois from 1849 to 1855; Minnesota from 1858 to 1859; and Missouri in 1879.
Born in Ireland in 1806, and raised there, Shields came first to North America in 1826, starting out as a purser on a merchant ship, first landing in Florida during the Second Seminole War, and then in Quebec, before going on to settle in Kaskaskia, Illinois in the early 1830s.
The village of Kaskaskia where he settled was named for the indigenous Kaskaskia people who lived here, part of the Illinois Confederation of the Great Lakes Region, and it was the location of the “Grand Village of the Illinois,” now a state historic site known as the Zimmerman site.
The French explorers Luke Joliet, a fur trader, and Father Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit Missionary, came across Kaskaskia in 1673, on their expedition to chart the Mississippi River.
What is known today as “Starved Rock State Park” is located across the Illinois River from the village of Kaskaskia.
Starved Rock was the location of what was called the Fort St. Louis du Rocher, and said to have been built on the butte by trusted men of the Sieur de la Salle during the winter of 1682 and 1683.
The fort was the center of what was called “LaSalle’s Colony,” a place LaSalle’s agents traded with the estimated 20,000 Native Americans who lived in the Starved Rock Region.
No surface remains of the fort are found at the site of the fort today.
The French were said to have built Fort Crevecoeur in 1680, near modern-day Peoria, also said to have been destroyed by members of LaSalle’s expedition, who feared it was going to be destroyed in the on-going French and Indian Wars, which took place between 1609 and 1701.
Subsequently, the French were said to have built Fort St. Louis du Pimiteoui, also known as Old Fort Peoria, in the same area.
Apparently…there were A LOT of historical forts in this region.
Were they built by who we are told, or were they star forts built by the indigenous people?
Back to James Shields.
While still in Ireland, he was educated at St. Patrick’s Pontifical University in Maynooth, Ireland, where he studied military science, French, and fencing.
Pontifical Universities were established or approved directly by the Holy See in Rome.
After Shields arrived in Kaskaskia, Illinois, he studied law and began to practice in 1832, and by 1836, he was serving as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, and he was elected State Auditor in 1839.
Abraham Lincoln denounced Shields as State Auditor in an inflammatory letter that was published in a local newspaper, that came to a head on September 22nd of 1842, when the two men almost fought in a duel.
There were reported interventions by others at the duel site, and the two men were said to part on good terms and subsequently become good friends.
Shields was appointed as an Illinois Supreme Court Justice in February of 1845 to take the place of Stephen Douglas.
He resigned to become Commissioner of the U. S. General Land Office, during which time he surveyed land in Iowa he wanted to become a colony for Irish immigrants.
He resigned from that position in order to become a Brigadier-General following the outbreak of the Mexican-American War in 1846.
He commanded the 3rd Brigade during the Battles of Vera Cruz and Cerro Gordo, where he was severely wounded and spent nine-weeks recovering, and returned to fight for one-day, in both the Battles of Contreras and Churrobusco, and then once-again wounded in the Battle of Chapultepec, where he was again wounded resulting in a fractured arm, and he was forced to remain recovering through the end of the war.
After the Mexican-American War ended in 1848, Shields was promoted to the rank of Major-General, and received two honorary swords from South Carolina and Illinois.
He returned to his law practice in Illinois, though soon tapped by President James Polk, and confirmed by the Senate, to be the Governor of the Oregon Territory on August 14th of 1848, which was created on the same day.
He declined the offer in order to run for the Senate in the State of Illinois.
Shields won the election in 1848, but the resulted was voided because he had not been a naturalized citizen for the nine-years required by the U. S. Constitution.
He won a special election held by the Illinois Governor after the 9-years had passed, with his first term starting in October of 1849.
After being defeated for his Senate seat in Illinois in 1855 by Lyman Trumbull, Shields moved to Minnesota, where he had been awarded lands in return for his military service.
He arranged for Irish immigrants to move from the East Coast to Rice and LeSueur counties.
He founded Shieldsville in Rice County and was involved in the early settlement of Faribault in Rice County as well.
When Minnesota became a state in 1858, Shields became a compromise candidate for the U. S. Senate along with Henry Mower Rice, and the two drew straws to determine who would serve the longer and shorter terms.
Shields drew the short straw, and only served as Minnesota’s U. S. Senator from May 11th of 1858 to March 3rd of 1859.
During the American Civil War, Shields was appointed as Brigadier General of Volunteers for California, which was where he was living at the time having moved there from Minnesota.
He subsequently commanded the 2nd Division of the V Corps, Army of the Potomac, during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862.
The Shenandoah Valley Campaign was chalked up as a victory for Confederate forces under the leadership of Major General Stonewall Jackson, whose troops prevented three Union Armies from reinforcing the Union offensive against Richmond between March and May of 1862.
Though Shields was wounded as a result of the battle, his troops inflicted Stonewall Jackson’s only tactical defeat of the campaign at the Battle of Kernstown on March 22nd of 1862, for which he was promoted to Major General.
His promotion was subsequently withdrawn and rejected, however, and Shields resigned from the Army.
James Shields moved to San Francisco in 1863, and served as the State Railroad Commissioner until 1866.
In 1866, Shields settled in Carrollton, Missouri, where he lived for the rest of his life.
He lost his election to Congress for the State of Missouri in 1868, but in 1879, he was elected to the fill a vacant Senate seat, where he served only three-months before resigning on March 3rd of 1879. This made him the only person to have served as senator from three different states.
He died unexpectedly only three-months later, on June 1st of 1879, in Ottumwa, Iowa, while on a lecture tour, at which time he complained of chest pains before his death.
James Shields was buried in an unmarked grave in Carrollton for 30-years in St. Mary’s Cemetery, until the local government and Congress funded a granite and bronze monument in his honor.
Frances Willard is the other historical figure representing Illinois.
Frances Willard was an American educator, temperance reformer, and women’s suffragist.
She was born in 1839 in Churchville, New York, near Rochester, to Josiah Flint Willard, a farmer, naturalist and legislator, and businessman, and Mary Willard.
The family moved to Oberlin, Ohio, in 1841, where her parents took classes at Oberlin College.
Oberlin College was established in 1833, and is the oldest coeducational liberal arts college in the United States, and the second-oldest in the world.
Then in 1846, the family moved to Janesville, Wisconsin, for the given reason of her father Josiah’s health.
There, Frances and her sister Mary were said to have attended the Milwaukee Normal School, where their mother’s sister taught.
The Willard Family moved to Evanston, Illinois, in 1858, where Josiah Willard became a banker.
Frances and her sister Mary attended the North Western Female College there.
Their brother Oliver attended seminary at the Garrett Biblical Institute in Evanston.
After Frances Willard graduated from the North Western Female College, she worked at the Pittsburgh Female College…
…and also at the Genessee Wesleyan Seminary in New York, which later became Syracuse University.
Then in 1871, she was appointed as President of the newly-founded Evanston College for Ladies, and in 1873, she was named as the first Dean of Women when the same school became the Woman’s College of Northwestern University.
This position didn’t last long for her over confrontations in 1874 with the University’ President, Charles Henry Fowler, who had been her fiance.
After this happened, she focused her career energies into the Women’s Temperance Movement, and she was involved in the founding of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), also in 1874, and was elected the first Corresponding Secretary.
The WCTU was among the first organizations of women devoted to social reform, playing an influential role in the Temperance Movement, supporting the 18th Amendment to the Constitution that established Prohibition, and influential in other social reform issues of the Progressive Era.
She was elected President of the National WCTU in 1879, and held this post until her death in 1898.
Frances Willard was also editor of the organization’s weekly newspaper, “The Union Signal” from 1892 to 1898.
Willard argued for the right for women to vote, based on “Home Protection,” as President of the WCTU, as a part of which she argued that having the right to vote gave women a means of protection in and outside of the home against violent acts caused by intoxicated men.
Frances Willard founded the World WCTU in 1888 and became its first President in 1893.
After 1893, Willard became a committed Christian Socialist, having been influenced by the Fabian Society in Great Britain.
The Fabian Society was a British Socialist organization whose purpose was to advance the principles of Democratic Socialism rather than by revolutionary overthrow.
Christian Socialism was established as a religious and social philosophy that blended Christianity and socialism, advocating for left-wing politics and socialist economics from a Biblical perspective.
Frances Willard died in her sleep from influenza on February 17th of 1898 where she was staying at the Empire Hotel in New York City just prior to leaving for a European tour…
…and was buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.
She bequeathed her home in Evanston to the WCTU, and it became her museum and the headquarters for the organization in 1900.
The State of Indiana is represented by Oliver P. Morton and Lew Wallace in the National Statuary Hall.
Oliver Hazard Perry Throck Morton, better known as Oliver P. Morton, was a Republican Party politician from Indiana.
He was the 14th-Governor of Indiana during the American Civil War, making significant contributions to the war effort, and he was a close ally of President Abraham Lincoln’s.
He also served as a senator from Indiana for a period of time during the Reconstruction Era after the Civil War.
Oliver P. Morton was born in Wayne County Indiana, on the border with Ohio, in August of 1823 to James Throck and Sarah Morton.
His mother died when he was three-years-old, and he went to live with his mother’s parents in Ohio.
As a young man, he rejoined his family in Centerville, Indiana, where he was apprenticed to a hatmaker for four years.
He quit the hat-making business to enroll in Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he studied law for two-years.
After briefly attending Cincinnati College, Morton returned to Centerville in 1845, and was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1846.
Morton campaigned and was elected to serve as a Circuit Court Judge in 1852, but resigned after a year because he preferred to practice law.
By 1854, however, Morton was active in Indiana politics.
That same year, the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed, which allowed settlers of Kansas and Nebraska to decide whether or not slavery would be allowed within.
It also produced a violent uprising known as “Bleeding Kansas” when pro-slavery and anti-slavery activists flooded into the new territories seeking to sway the vote.
Master Mason John Brown…
…was very involved in what happened in “Bleeding Kansas.”
Ultimately the cause of eleven states to secede from the Union in 1860 was said to have been in support of states’ rights in the context of slavery to support the South’s agricultural economy, and the federal government not overturning abolitionist policies in the North and in new territories.
In 1856, Morton became a member of the Resolutions Committee of the Republican Party on the national level of the preliminary national convention for the new political party in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…
…and was a delegate to the 1856 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.
Morton lost his first election as a Republican for Governor in 1856 to Democrat Ashbel Willard (apparently no relation to Frances), a popular state senator.
In 1858, the name of “Republican” had been officially adopted by the “People’s Party” and in 1860, Indiana Republicans nominated Morton, known as a Radical Republican for his anti-slavery position, for the office of Lieutenant Governor, with the more Conservative choice Henry Lane for the party’s candidate as Governor.
Lane and Morton won the state’s general election and Republicans gained control of the state legislature.
The day after the election, the General Assembly chose Lane to fill a U. S. Senate seat. He resigned, and Morton became the 14th Governor of the State of Indiana on January 18th of 1861.
Morton, who was Governor of Indiana form 1861 to 1867, was a strong supporter of the Union, during the Civil War, advocating for the use of force to preserve it as opposed to compromise, and staunchly supported President Abraham Lincoln’s conduct during the war.
As Governor, Morton went to great lengths to make sure that Indiana contributed as much as possible to the war effort.
Morton attended the “Loyal War Governors” conference in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1862, which gave Lincoln the needed support for the “Emancipation Proclamation.”
Once Emancipation became an issue in 1862, Indiana Republicans suffered defeats in the mid-term elections, and Democrats gained the majority in the State Legislature, leading to many conflicts between the State Legislature and Governor Morton over the next few years.
Even though the Democrats fiercely opposed Morton, he still managed to win reelection in 1864, and the Republicans managed to retake control of both houses of the General Assembly.
Morton was partially crippled by a stroke in October of 1865, and during the time he was recovering, his Lt. Governor, Conrad Baker, served as Acting Governor.
Morton returned to the governorship in March of 1866, though needing assistance to walk.
In 1867, Morton was elected by the General Assembly to serve as a U. S. Senator, and he resigned as Governor. He s was elected to a second-term, but died before the end of it.
In his first term, he quickly became a leader in the Senate, becoming a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and chair of the Committee of Privileges and Elections.
This was during the time of Reconstruction and Morton supported the Radical Republican program for re-making the former Confederate states, supporting such things as legislation to void the southern states’ constitutions, and to require elections for representatives to state constitutional conventions that would be charged with writing new ones.
Morton died on November 1st of 1877, after having a second stroke on August 6th of 1877.
His remains laid in-state at the Indiana State Capitol building and his funeral held at the Roberts Park Methodist Church in Indianapolis, after which he was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery.
The other statue for Indiana is represented by Lew Wallace.
Lew Wallace was a lawyer; Union General during the Civil War; Governor of the New Mexico Territory; politician from Indiana; and author, best known to the general public for writing “Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ” in 1880.
Lew Wallace was born in April of 1827 in Brookville, Indiana.
Wallace’s father David was a graduate of West Point, and after he left the military in 1822, he moved to Brookville where he became a lawyer and entered politics, serving in the Indiana General Assembly, later becoming the State’s Lieutenant Governor, Governor and a member of Congress.
After moving to Covington, Indiana in 1832, Lew’s mother Esther died from tuberculosis in 1834.
His father remarried in 1836, to Zerelda Gray Sanders Wallace, who later became a prominent suffragist and temperance advocate.
In 1837, when he was 10, the family moved to Indianapolis when his father became Governo
By 1846, at the start of the Mexican-American War, Lew Wallace was studying law at his father’s law office, but he left there in order to become a 2nd Lieutenant for the Marion Volunteers on June 19th of 1846, a local militia group that he was already a part of, until he departed that service in the military, after not seeing combat, on June 15th of 1847, and returned to Indiana to pursue law.
Wallace was admitted to the Bar in February of 1849, and he established a law practice in Covington, Indiana.
In 1851, he was elected the prosecuting attorney of Indiana’s 1st Congressional District.
From 1849 to 1853, his law office was in the Fountain County Clerk’s Building, said to have been built in 1842, and known today as the Lew Wallace Law Office.
He resigned from that position in 1853 to move to Crawfordsville, Indiana, where he continued to practice law and was elected to a two-year term in the Indiana Senate in 1856.
The General Lew Wallace Study & Museum in Crawfordsville, a National Historic Landmark, contains his personal mementoes and houses the Ben Hur Museum as well.
Wallace organized an independent Militia called the Crawfordsville Guards, later called the Montgomery Guards, which would later form the core of the 11th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, his first military command during the Civil War.
Wallace adopted the Zouave uniform and training style of the elite units of the French Army in Algeria for the unit.
Wallace began his full-time military career shortly after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, which took place on April 12th of 1861, considered the beginning of the Civil War.
His 11th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment was mustered into the Union Army two-weeks later, on April 25th of 1861, and he received a commission as a Colonel the next day.
On June 5th of 1861, his regiment won a minor battle at Romney, West Virginia, near Cumberland, Maryland, leading to the Confederate evacuation of Harper’s Ferry on June 18th.
Wallace was promoted to Brigadier General in September of 1861, and given command of a brigade.
On February 4th and 5th of 1862, Union troops made their way towards the Confederate Fort Henry on the Tennessee River in western Tennessee.
Wallace’s brigade was ordered to occupy Fort Heiman, called an uncompleted Confederate fort across the river from Fort Henry.
They watched from Fort Heiman as Union troops attacked Fort Henry on February 6th, resulting in a Union Victory and the Confederate surrender of Fort Henry.
Wallace was left in command of Fort Henry as another general moved troops overland towards Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River.
Then on February 13th, Wallace received the order to move out towards the Cumberland River, and his brigades took positions in the center of the Union Line, facing Fort Donelson.
Wallace’s decisions in the battlefield led to checking the Confederate assault and stabilizing the Union defensive line.
He was promoted to Major General, and became the youngest Major General in the Union Army.
Wallace was the 3rd Division Commander under General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Shiloh, which took place on April 6th of 1862.
There was controversy surrounding Wallace’s actions in the field concerning whether or not he followed General Grant’s orders that led to a significant setback in his military career, even though overall Shiloh was considered a Union victory because Confederate forces ended up retreating, and ending their hopes of blocking the Union advance into northern Mississippi.
Wallace’s most notable service during the Civil War was said to have been the Battle of Monocacy, which took place on July 9th of 1864 near Frederick, Maryland, in which even though they were defeated by Confederate troops, Wallace’s men were able to delay a Confederate march towards Washington, DC, for a day giving the city time to organize its defenses and force the Confederates to retreat to Virginia.
Among other duties after the Civil War ended, Wallace was appointed to the military commission that investigated the Lincoln assassination conspirators that began in May of 1865, and ended on June 30th of 1865 after finding all eight conspirators guilty.
In 1867, Wallace returned to Indiana to practice law, but it no longer appealed to him, so he turned to politics.
He lost two Congressional elections, in 1868 and 1870, but as a reward for supporting the candidacy of President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Wallace was appointed Governor of the New Mexico Territory, a position in which he served from August of 1878 to March of 1881.
From May 19th of 1881 to March 4th of 1885, Wallace served as the U. S. Minister to the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey) in Constantinople (now Istanbul).
As an author, Lew Wallace was best known for writing “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ” in 1880…
…which was turned into an award-winning movie in 1959 starring Charlton Heston as the wealthy Jewish Prince, Ben-Hur.
Wallace returned to Crawfordsville, Indiana, from the Ottoman Empire.
Among other pursuits, he was given the credit for building the Blacheme in 1895, a 7-story apartment building in Indianapolis.
He lived in Crawfordsville until his death in February of 1905, where he was buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery there.
Norman Borlaug and Samuel J. Kirkwood represent the State of Iowa in the National Statuary Hall.
Norman Borlaug was an American Agriculturalist who led initiatives around the world that lead to significant increases in agricultural production, known as “The Green Revolution.”
Norman Borlaug was born in March of 1914 on his Norwegian great-grandparents’ farm in the Norwegian-American community of Saude, Iowa, in Chickasaw County.
Borlaug worked on the family farm west of Protivin, Iowa, from the ages of 7 to 19, raising things like corn, oats and livestock.
He attended the one-room New Oregon #8 rural school in Howard County, Iowa, through the 8th-grade, a building that is owned by the Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation as part of his legacy.
For the remainder of his secondary-education he attended Cresco High School, excelling in athletics.
He received his higher education at the University of Minnesota, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry in 1937, a Master of Science degree in 1940, and a Ph.D in plant pathology and genetics in 1942.
Borlaug was employed as a microbiologist by DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware, between 1942 and 1944, where it was planned he would lead research in agricultural bacteriocides, fungicides and preservatives.
With the entry of the U. S. into World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th of 1941, his lab instead was converted to conduct research for the U. S. Military, like the development of glue that resisted corrosion in the warm salt water of the Pacific; camouflage; canteen disinfectants; DDT to control Malaria; and insulation for small electronics.
The Mexican President Avila Camacho, elected in 1940, wanted to augment Mexico’s industrialization and economic growth, and the U. S. Vice-President Henry Wallace, who saw this as beneficial to the interests of the United States, persuaded the Rockefeller Foundation to work with the Mexican government in agricultural development.
They in turn contacted leading agronomists who proposed the Office of Special Studies within the Mexican Government to be directed by the Rockefeller Foundation, and staffed by Mexican and American scientists focusing on soil development; maize and wheat production and plant pathology.
Borlaug was tapped to be the head of the newly established Cooperative Wheat Research and Production Program in Mexico, a position which he took over as a geneticist and plant pathologist after he finished his wartime service with DuPont in 1944.
In 1964, he was made the Director of the International Wheat Improvement Program at El Batan on the outskirts of Mexico City, as part of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research’s International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (or CIMMYT), the funding for which was provided by the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, and the Mexican Government.
Interesting to note that Borlaug felt that pesticides, like DDT, had more benefits than drawbacks, and advocated for their continued use.
Borlaug retired as Director of the CIMMYT in 1979, though stayed on as a Senior Consultant and continued to be involved in research in plant research.
He started teaching and doing research at Texas A & M University in 1984, and was the holder of the Eugene Butler Endowed Chair in Agricultural Biotechnology, for which he advocated the use of as he had for the use of pesticides, in spite of heavy criticism.
Norman Borlaug died at the age of 95 in September of 2009 in Dallas.
There is a memorial to him outside of the city of Obregon, at CIMMYT’s Experiment Station in Mexico’s Sonora State, where there are miles and miles of cultivated land, where tractors plow the land, airplanes spray pesticides on the crops; mechanical harvesters reap the wheat; trucks carry the crops to town from where they are shipped around the world.
Among other awards in recognition for his achievements, Borlaug received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970; the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977; and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2006.
It is interesting to note that the old Des Moines Public Library Building has been the Norman E. Borlaug/World Food Prize Hall of Laureates for the World Food Prize since 1973, an international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world.
The old Des Moines Public Library Building was said to have been constructed in 1903, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
The World Food Prize is awarded here in October of every year and the World Food Prize Foundation is endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation.
It is also interesting to note that in Norman Borlaug’s home state of Iowa, Power Pollen is located in Ankeny.
Power Pollen’s mission statement is to preserve and enhance crop productivity by enabling superior pollination systems.
Well, that sounds great, but when I was looking for information on Power Pollen, I encountered the information that in 2021, Power Pollen announced a commercial license agreement with Bayer Pharmaceuticals designed to help corn seed production.
And what’s wrong with that picture?
Monsanto was acquired by the German multinational Bayer Pharmaceutics and Life Sciences Company after gaining United States and EU regulatory approvals on June 7th of 2018 for $66-billion in cash, and Monsanto’s name is no longer used.
Samuel J. Kirkwood, Iowa’s other statue, was Iowa’s Civil War Governor, and he also served as a U. S. Senator and as the U. S. Secretary of the Interior.
Samuel J. Kirkwood was born in 1813 in Harford County, Maryland, which is located in the middle between, the cities of Washington, DC; Baltimore, Maryland; and Wilmington, Delaware and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In 1835, Kirkwood moved to Ohio with his father, where he practiced law and was involved in politics.
Kirkwood moved to Iowa in 1855, near Iowa City, and got involved in the milling business with the Clark family, who he married into as well.
Kirkwood took an interest in the newly-founded Republican Party, and he delivered a speech at the founding meeting of the Iowa Republican Party in February of 1856.
Kirkwood was elected in 1856 to the Iowa Senate as a Republican, where he served until 1859.
Kirkwood was nominated for Governor in 1859, and defeated Augustus C. Dodge, who like Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, participated in a series of debates, during which slavery was the main issue.
Kirkwood spoke in opposition to slavery, and Dodge was in favor of popular sovereignty, where the people in the territories decided.
Kirkwood was elected as Governor, and during his first year in office, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry in West Virginia took place on October 16th of 1859, and further polarized the nation over slavery.
There was a federal arsenal located there, and while the plan was to raid the arsenal and instigate a major slave rebellion in the South, he had no rations or escape route.
In 36-hours, troops under the command of then Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee had arrested him and his cohorts, who had withdrawn to the engine house after they had been surrounded by local citizens and militia.
John Brown was hung on December 2nd of 1859, less than two months after the onset of the Harper’s Ferry Raid.
Kirkwood was on the side of the militant abolitionists, and when Barclay Coppock, a young man from Iowa who was part of Brown’s raid, fled home, Kirkwood refused to accept extradition papers from Virginia and allowed Coppock to escape.
Like Governor Oliver P. Morton back in Indiana, Samuel Kirkwood was a strong supporter of President Abraham Lincoln, and was active in raising troops and supplies from Iowa for the Union Army, and as well attended the Loyal War Governors’ Conference in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1862, which gave support for Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
In 1864, he left the office of governor to practice law in Iowa City.
Then between 1865 and 1867, he finished out someone else’s term in the U. S. Senate, and then he served again between 1877 and 1881.
In between that time, he was Governor of Iowa again between 1876 and 1877, and in March of 1881, Kirkwood resigned from the Senate to become President James A. Garfield’s Secretary of the Interior, which he was until April of 1882.
Kirkwood died in September of 1894 in Iowa City, where he was buried in Oakland Cemetery.
The two statues representing the State of Kansas are Dwight D. Eisenhower and John J. Ingalls.
Dwight David Eisenhower during World War II achieved the rank of 5-star general and was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe; the first Supreme Commander of NATO from 1951 to 1952; and the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas, in October of 1890.
His Eisenhauer ancestors immigrated to America from Karlsbrunn, Germany, and settled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1741, considered part of the what are called the Pennsylvania Dutch.
The Eisenhower family moved to Abilene, Kansas, in 1892, and Dwight graduated from high school there in 1909.
In 1911, Eisenhower accepted an appointment to the U. S. Army military academy at West Point in New York, and graduated in the middle of the class of 1915.
His 1915 class at West Point became known as the “Class the Stars Fell on” because 59 out of 164 graduates that year became general officers, besides Eisenhower, including the 5-Star World War II General Omar Bradley.
During the years of World War I, between 1914 and 1918, Eisenhower served in infantry and logistics at bases in Texas, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, like Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio…
…Fort Oglethorpe in northern Georgia…
…Fort Leavenworth in Kansas…
…Camp Meade in Maryland…
…and Camp Colt in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
By the time he received orders to go to France, the war was over.
After the war, Eisenhower was promoted to Major, a rank he held for 16-years.
His assignments included being assigned to a convoy that drove the 3,000-mile, or 4,800-kilometer, length of the Lincoln Highway, from Washington, DC to California, to test vehicles and show the need for improved roads to the nation, and said to have inspired the National Highway System…
…and commanding a battalion of tanks at Camp Meade.
He was the Executive Officer under Major General Fox Conner in the Panama Canal Zone from about 1922 to 1924, under whom he studied military history and theory…
…and on General Conner’s recommendation, he attended the U. S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, between 1925 and 1926.
From there, he was a Battalion Commander at Fort Benning in Georgia until 1927.
Then he was assigned to the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and graduated from there in 1928.
While Eisenhower was the Executive Officer to the Assistant Secretary of War George Mosely from 1929 to 1933, he attended the Army Industrial College at Fort McNair in Washington, DC, where he graduated from in 1933.
The Army Industrial College today is known as the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy.
Eisenhower was posted as the Chief MIlitary Aide to General Douglas MacArthur, and accompanied him to the Philippines in 1935, where he was assistant military advisor to the Philippines government in developing their army.
In December of 1939, Eisenhower returned to the United States and became the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion of the 15th Infantry Regiment at Fort Lewis, Washington, later becoming the Regimental Executive Officer.
He was promoted to Colonel in March of 1941, and assigned as Chief of Staff to the newly activated IX Corps under Major General Kenyon Joyce.
Then in June of 1941, he was appointed Chief of Staff for General Walter Krueger, Commander of the 3rd Army at Fort Sam Houston.
Eisenhower participated in the Louisiana Maneuvers, a series of major U. S. Army exercises held in northern and west central Louisiana from August to September of 1941…
…and he was promoted to Brigadier General on September 29th of 1941.
Eisenhower was assigned to the General Staff in Washington, DC, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, where he served until June 1942, with the responsibility to create war plans to defeat Japan and Germany.
After going to London in May of 1942 with the Commanding General of the Army Air Forces, Lt. General Henry Arnold, to assess the effectiveness of the Theater Command in Europe, he returned to London in June of 1942 as the Commanding General of the European Theater of Operations, and was promoted to Lt. General on July 7th of 1942.
Then in November of 1942, Eisenhower was appointed the Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force of the North African Theater of Operations through the new Allied Expeditionary Force Headquarters.
Under the command of Lt. General Eisenhower, Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of French North Africa took place from the 8th through the 16th of November of 1942, and was planned in the underground headquarters at the Rock of Gibraltar.
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula.
By December of 1943, President Roosevelt had chosen Eisenhower, by this time a four-star general, to be the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.
He was tasked with planning and carrying out Operation Overlord, the Allied assault on the coast of Normandy, starting with the D-Day landings on June 6th of 1944.
Eisenhower was promoted to the highest officer rank in the Army of 5-star General, known as “General of the Army,” on December 20th of 1944.
By the end of the War in Europe on May 8th of 1945, Eisenhower commanded all Allied Forces.
After World War II ended, Eisenhower was appointed Military Governor of the American Occupation Zone, located primarily in southern Germany, and headquartered at the IG Farben building in Frankfurt, the world’s largest office building in Europe until the 1950s.
Besides documenting evidence of the atrocities of Nazi concentration camps for the Nuremburg Trials, he arranged for the distribution of American food and medical equipment in response to the post-war devastation in Germany.
Eisenhower went back to Washington, DC, in November of 1945 to replace General George C. Marshall as Chief of Staff of the Army.
Eisenhower became President of Columbia University in 1948, and one of his accomplishments there was establishing the Institute of War and Peace Studies.
Eisenhower became the Supreme Commander of NATO in December of 1952, and was given operational command of NATO forces in Europe.
He retired from the Army on June 3rd of 1952, and was also elected President of the United States in November of 1952.
He held the office of President of the United States from 1953 – 1961.
Eisenhower gave his final televised address as President on January 17th of 1961, one in which he raised the issues of the Cold War, the role of the U. S. Armed Forces, and raising the alarm about the need to guard against the unwarranted influence of the Military-Industrial complex.
Eisenhower died on March 28th of 1969 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, from Congestive Heart Failure.
After numerous viewings of his body around Washington, he was returned to Abilene, Kansas via a special funeral train, and laid to rest inside the Place of Meditation on the grounds of the Eisenhower Presidential Center.
John James Ingalls is the other statue representing the State of Kansas.
He was one of the Republican Senators from Kansas, serving between March 4th of 1873 and March 3rd of 1891.
He was credited with the suggestion of the state motto, Ad Astra Per Aspera (“to the stars”) and the designing of the state seal.
Ingalls was born in Middleton, Massachusetts, in December of 1833.
He graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1855.
He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1857.
In 1860, Ingalls moved to the Kansas Territory, which was created in 1854, and settled in Atchison.
Joining the anti-slavery forces to make Kansas a free state, Ingalls was a member of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention in 1859, which ultimately created the constitution for the State of Kansas.
For several years, Kansas had two governments, in two different cities – Lecompton and Lawrence – with two constitutions, one of which was pro-slavery, and the other anti-slavery, and each one claiming to be the legitimate government of the Kansas Territory.
By the time of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention held between July 5th and July 29th of 1859, there were three other constitutions for Kansas citizens to vote on – the Topeka Constitution, the Leavenworth Constitution, and the Lecompton Constitution, which was drafted by pro-slavery advocates.
Initially, the Lecompton Constitution won the popular vote, but there was a climate of intimidation and violence around the voting, and it was overruled.
The Wyandotte Constitution, which admitted Kansas to the Union as a Free State, won the second round of popular voting, and was the Constitution which was approved for the admission of the State of Kansas in the U. S. Congress, which took place on January 29th of 1861.
Ingalls became a State Senator in 1862, and served as the Secretary of the first State Senate.
He was also a Judge Advocate in the Kansas Militia during the Civil War.
Judge Advocates functioned as legal advisors within the military.
In 1873, he was elected to the U. S. Senate, and served Kansas as a Senator there for the next 18-years.
During the time he was in the U. S. Senate, he was a supporter of the 1883 Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, which mandated that most positions within the federal government be awarded on the basis of merit and not for political patronage…
…and the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, which regulated the railroad industry.
John J. Ingalls died in August of 1900, and was buried in Atchison’s Mount Vernon Cemetery.
John Ingalls was a second-cousin to Charles Ingalls, the father of Laura Ingalls Wilder who wrote the “Little House on the Prairie” books.
Henry Clay and Ephraim McDowell represent the State of Kentucky in the National Statuary Hall.
Henry Clay was an attorney and statesman, who served in both houses of Congress; as the ninth U. S. Secretary of State; ran for U. S. President three times; and helped establish both the Whig Party and the Republican Party.
Henry Clay was born in April of 1777 at the Clay Homestead in Hanover County, Virginia, the 7th of 9 children born to the Baptist minister John Clay and his wife Elizabeth.
His father died in 1781, and his mother subsequently remarried, to Captain Henry Watkins, a successful planter.
When Watkins moved the family to Kentucky in 1791, Henry Clay remained in Virginia.
He ended up becoming a clerk at the Virginia Court of Chancery, where he got the attention of George Wythe, a professor at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, signer of the Declaration of Independence, mentor of Thomas Jefferson, and judge on Virginia’s High Court of Chancery.
Wythe chose Clay to be his secretary, a position he held for four years.
During this time, Wythe influenced Clay’s view that the United States could help spread freedom around the world.
Clay finished his legal studies with Virginia Attorney General Robert Brooke; was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 1797; and moved to Lexington, Kentucky, where he set up his law practice.
Henry Clay married Lucretia Hart in April of 1799, the daughter of Colonel Thomas Hart, a prominent businessman and early settler of Kentucky, and they lived at first in downtown Lexington.
We are told the Clays started building Ashland, a plantation outside of Lexington, in 1804.
Ashland encompassed over 500 acres (or 200 hectares), on which Henry Clay’s slaves planted crops of corn, wheat, rye, and hemp, the chief crop of Kentucky’s Bluegrass region.
He also imported Arabian horses, Maltese Donkeys, and Hereford Cattle as livestock.
The Maltese donkeys were one of the large breeds of donkeys bred by Henry Clay, and George Washington among others, to produce the American Mammoth Jackstock to be used as work animals.
Shortly after arriving in Kentucky, Henry Clay entered politics, and was a member of the what was called the “Democratic-Republican Party,” also known as the “Jeffersonian Republican Party,” that championed republicanism, agrarianism, political equality, and expansionism.
He clashed with state “Democratic-Republican Party” leaders over a state constitutional convention.
Clay was an advocate for direct election of public officials and the gradual emancipation of slavery in Kentucky.
The 1799 Kentucky Constitution included direct election of public officials, but not Clay’s plan for gradual emancipation, and instead retained the pro-slavery provisions of the original Kentucky Constitution of 1792, under which Kentucky was accepted as the 15th State admitted to the Union by the U. S. Congress.
Clay won election to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1803, where he was quite active, among other things initiating the partisan gerrymander of Kentucky’s electoral college districts, which insured that Kentucky’s electors voted for Thomas Jefferson in the 1804 presidential election.
Clay’s influence in Kentucky politics was such that the Kentucky Legislature elected him to the U. S. Senate in 1806, which he served in for two-months before returning to Kentucky, at which time he was elected as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives.
In 1810, Henry Clay was selected by the Kentucky Legislature to fill the U. S. Senate seat left vacant by the resignation of Buckner Thruston to become a federal judge.
Clay quickly became a “War Hawk,” favoring expansionist policies.
He was a fierce critic of British attacks on American shipping and supported going to war against Great Britain…
…and advocated for the annexation of Spanish West Florida.
Henry Clay was elected as Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives for the 12th Congress, held between March 4th of 1811 and March 4th of 1813.
Both Houses of Congress had a Democratic-Republican Majority in the 12th Congress.
Historical events that took place during the 12th Congress included:
The Battle of Tippecanoe fought on November 7th of 1811 in Battle Ground, Indiana, where William Henry Harrison defeated Tecumseh’s forces of a confederacy of tribes opposed to European-American settlement of the American Frontier…
…the New Madrid Earthquake on December 16th of 1811…
…Louisiana was admitted to the Union as the 18th state on April 30th of 1812…
…the War of 1812 began when the United States declared war on Great Britain on June 18th of 1812…
…Detroit surrendered to the British on August 16th of 1812…
…and the Battle of Queenston Heights in Upper Canada took place on October 13th of 1812, the first major battle in the War of 1812, resulting in a British victory.
Altogether, Henry Clay was elected to seven terms in the House of Representatives, and was elected Speaker of the House six times.
Henry Clay’s first run for the Presidency of the United States was in the 1824 election.
There were five candidates representing the Democratic-Republican Party, including Clay, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Jackson.
Clay fell behind in state electoral votes, effectively knocking him out of the race, and he threw his support behind John Quincy Adams, who was elected President by the House of Representatives, and Henry Clay became Adams’ Secretary of State.
Followers of John Quincy Adams became known as National Republicans, and followers of Andrew Jackson became known as Democrats, and Andrew Jackson won the 1928 Presidential election.
It was during the Jackson Administration that the U. S. Congress authorized, and the President signed into law, the Indian Removal Act of 1831, which authorized the administration to relocate Native Americans to land west of the Mississippi River, something which Henry Clay was opposed to.
Henry Clay returned to Federal office in 1831, when he won election in the Kentucky Legislature to the U. S. Senate, and with Adams’ defeat in the 1928, Clay became the leader of the National Republicans, who nominated Clay for President in the 1832 election.
Jackson, a popular sitting President, won re-election.
Several of the things that happened during the second Jackson Administration revolved around banking and financial matters.
One of the policies pursued by President Jackson and has Secretary of the Treasury, Roger Taney, involved removing all federal deposits from the national bank and placing them in state-chartered banks, a policy seen as illegal by many since federal law required the president to deposit federal revenue in the national bank so long as it was stable.
This policy of removing deposits united Jackson’s opponents into one political party, which became known as the Whig Party, which had been the name of an earlier British political party opposed to absolute monarchy.
The American Whig Party base consisted of wealthy businessmen, professionals, and large planters.
Clay chose not to run in the 1836 election because of the death of one of his daughters, and the Whigs were not organized enough to nominate a single candidate.
Despite the presence of multiple Whig candidates, Martin Van Buren, a Democrat, won the 1836 presidential election.
Van Buren’s Presidency was negatively impacted by the Panic of 1837, a financial crisis that touched off a depression until the mid-1840s.
Clay and other Whigs argued that Jackson’s policies had encouraged speculation and caused the panic.
As the 1840 Presidential election came closer, many thought the Whigs would gain the presidency because of the economic crisis.
Though Henry Clay ran in this election, he faced a number of issues facing his electability, and the Whig party member William Henry Harrison was elected that year.
Harrison had the shortest presidency in U. S. history, dying from pneumonia 31-days after his inauguration in 1841.
Harrison was succeeded by his Vice-President, John Tyler, another Whig.
Tyler disappointed his fellow Whigs by not signing a bill to reestablish the National Bank, an important part of the Whig Party platform, and they ended up voting to expel him from the party.
Clay won the Whig presidential nomination in 1844, and faced Democrat candidate James Polk, who won the election that year.
Henry Clay returned to his career as an attorney after the election of 1844.
The Mexican-American War started in 1846 over the disputed border region between Mexico and Texas.
Clay gave a speech in November of 1847 in which he was highly critical of the war and attacked President Polk for fomenting the conflict with Mexico.
Also, by 1847 General Zachary Taylor, who commanded American forces during the war, emerged as one of the Whig candidates for the Presidency.
Henry Clay announced his candidacy for the nomination in April of 1848.
Taylor ended up winning the Whig nomination at the 1848 Whig National Convention, and the ultimately the Presidency that year, with Millard Fillmore as his running mate.
Interesting to note that Zachary Taylor died in July of 1850, allegedly after consuming copious amounts of raw fruit and iced milk at a July 4th fundraising event at the Washington Monument, became severely ill with a digestive ailment, dying several days later, and Millard Fillmore became president.
Henry Clay accepted re-election to the U. S. Senate in 1849, and was directly involved in formulating the Compromise of 1850, a package of bills that defused a political confrontation between slave and free states on the status of U. S. territories gained as a result of the Mexican-American War.
Henry Clay died from tuberculosis in June of 1852 in his room at the National Hotel in Washington, DC.
The National Hotel building was demolished in 1942.
Henry Clay was the first person to lie in-state in the U. S. Capitol Rotunda.
The remains of Henry Clay and his wife Lucretia are encased in marble in the mausoleum in the center of the Lexington Cemetery, with the 120-foot, or the 37-meter, -high Henry Clay Memorial towering above the mausoleum.
Some interesting points of information I found in researching Henry Clay.
One was that he was a Master Mason.
Another was that Henry Clay’s cousin was another influential 19th-Century Kentucky politician Cassius Marcellus Clay…
…the namesake of Cassius Marcellus Clay, better known to history as the famous 20th-century boxer Muhammed Ali, who was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky.
No indication there was a direct connection, just that the more recent Cassius Marcellus Clay was named after the famous 19th-century Kentuckian, but definitely find this to be interesting nonetheless.
The other statue representing the State of Kentucky in the National Statuary Hall is that of Ephraim McDowell.
Ephraim McDowell was a physician and pioneer surgeon, described as Founding Father of both the ovariotomy and abdominal surgery.
McDowell was born in Rockbridge County Virginia in November of 1771.
His father, Samuel McDowell moved the family to Danville, Kentucky, in 1784 after being appointed Land Commissioner, and presided over the ten conventions the resulted in the drafting of the Kentucky Constitution.
After receiving his early education at classical seminary of Worley and James, McDowell studied under the Irish-American Dr. Alexander Humphries in Staunton, Virginia, who was a 1782 graduate of the University of Edinburgh and had emigrated to America in 1783.
McDowell himself attended lectures in medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 1793 and 1794…
…and studied privately in Edinburgh with the Scottish anatomist and surgeon John Bell.
Ephraim McDowell started his practice as a surgeon back home in Danville, Kentucky, after his return from Scotland.
He is credited with the perfection of lithotomy as a modern surgical technique, which is the removal of stones obstructing the bladder…
…and the first successful ovariotomy and abdominal surgery with the removal of a rather large ovarian tumor from a patient.
McDowell had married Sarah Shelby in 1802, the daughter of war hero and Kentucky’s first governor, Isaac Shelby.
He was a founder of Danville’s Centre College, which was established in 1819 and completed in 1820.
Old Centre at Centre College is the oldest continuously operated academic building west of the Allegheny Mountains.
McDowell had been a Presbyterian but became an Episcopalian.
Sometime around 1829, he and his wife became members of a committee formed to establish Danville’s Trinity Episcopal Church, one of the first churches organized in the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky, the oldest in-use church structure in Danville, and the oldest continually used Episcopal Church building in the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington.
The building of the church was said to have been completed sometime in late 1830 or 1831.
This caught my attention because I came across the Trinity Episcopal Church not too long ago in Apalachicola, Florida, of which Dr. John B. Gorrie was a founder, one of Florida’s two statues in the Statuary Hall, and best-known for being the “Founder of Mechanical Refrigeration.”
Gorrie had received his medical training at the Fairfield Academy, also known as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Western District of New York, in Fairfield.
The Trustees of the Fairfield Academy had petitioned the Trinity Episcopal Church in Fairfield in 1812 for a funding grant with which to establish a college of liberal culture under Episcopalian auspices, but the petition was denied.
According to what we are told, the Trinity Episcopal Church in Fairfield was built in 1808.
The following year, a different petition to the Corporation of Trinity Church granted the funding for the theological seminary at the Fairfield Academy, until the Theological School was transferred to Geneva, New York, in 1821, at what later became the Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
It is interesting to note that Trinity Church is even today one of the largest landowners in New York City, now under the name of Trinity Real Estate.
In 1894, the Trinity Corporation was exposed by a New York Times reporter to have substandard living conditions on their Charlton Street properties.
Interesting connections between Dr. McDowell of Kentucky and Dr. Gorrie of Florida, and interesting to think about what the roles of the Trinity Corporation and Trinity Episcopal Churches might have been during this time.
Ephraim McDowell was believed to have died from acute appendicitis in June of 1830, and his wife died 18-years later.
They were originally buried in the Traveller’s Rest cemetery on the homestead of Isaac Shelby…
…but were reinterred in near a monument dedicated to Ephraim McDowell near Danville in 1879.
I am going to end this post here, and in the next post will be looking at who is representing the states of Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Michigan in the National Statuary Hall at the U. S. Capitol building.