Alexander Ramsey
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Alexander Ramsey
Alexander Ramsey
Alexander Ramsey - Brady-Handy.jpg
34th United States Secretary of War

December 10, 1879 - March 5, 1881
PresidentRutherford B. Hayes
George W. McCrary
Robert Lincoln
United States Senator
from Minnesota

March 4, 1863 - March 3, 1875
Henry Rice
Samuel J. R. McMillan
2nd Governor of Minnesota

January 2, 1860 - July 10, 1863
LieutenantIgnatius L. Donnelly
Henry Sibley
Henry Swift
5th Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota

1855-1856
David Olmsted
George Becker
1st Governor of Minnesota Territory

June 1, 1849 - May 15, 1853
Zachary Taylor
Position established
Willis A. Gorman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 14th district

March 4, 1843 - March 3, 1847
James Irvin
George Eckert
Personal details
Born(1815-09-08)September 8, 1815
Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedApril 22, 1903(1903-04-22) (aged 87)
St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Political partyWhig (Before 1857)
Republican (1857--1903)
Spouse(s)Anna Jenks
EducationLafayette College

Alexander Ramsey (September 8, 1815 – April 22, 1903) was an American politician. He served as a Whig and Republican over a variety of offices between the 1840s and the 1880s. He was the first Minnesota Territorial Governor.

Early years and family

Born in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, on September 8, 1815,[1] Alexander was the eldest of five children of Thomas Ramsey and Elizabeth Kelker (also Kölliker or Köllker).[2] His father was a blacksmith who committed suicide[3] at age 42[4] when he went bankrupt in 1826,[1] after signing for a note of a friend.[2] Alexander lived with his uncle in Harrisburg, after his family split up to live with relatives.[2] His brother was Justus Cornelius Ramsey, who served in the Minnesota Territorial Legislature.[5]

Ramsey first studied carpentry at Lafayette College but left during his third year. He read law with Hamilton Alricks, and attended Reed's law School in Carlisle (now Pennsylvania State Dickinson Law) in 1839. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1839.[2]

In 1844 Ramsey married Anna Earl Jenks, daughter of Michael Hutchinson Jenks, and they had three children. Only one daughter, Marion, survived past childhood.[2]

Biography

Alexander Ramsey was elected from Pennsylvania as a Whig to the U.S. House of Representatives and served in the 28th and 29th congresses from March 4, 1843, to March 3, 1847. He served as the first Territorial Governor of Minnesota from June 1, 1849, to May 15, 1853, as a member of the Whig Party.

Ramsey was of Scottish and German ancestry.[6] In 1855, he became the mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota. Ramsey was elected the second Governor of Minnesota after statehood and served from January 2, 1860, to July 10, 1863. Ramsey is credited with being the first Union governor to commit troops during the American Civil War. He happened to be in Washington, D.C., when fighting broke out. When he heard about the firing on Fort Sumter he went straight to the White House and offered Minnesota's services to Abraham Lincoln.

He resigned the governorship to become a U.S. Senator, having been elected to that post in 1863 as a Republican. He was re-elected in 1869 and held the office until March 3, 1875, serving in the 38th, 39th, 40th, 41st, 42nd, and 43rd congresses. He supported the Radical Republicans,[7] who called for vigorous prosecution of the Civil War, and a military reconstruction of the South.[8] He voted for the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson.[8]

Ramsey is also noted for his statements calling for the killing or removal of the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute Dakota from the state of Minnesota during the Dakota War of 1862. These statements came in response to attacks by the Dakota on American settlements, resulting in the death of not less than 800 civilian men, women and children and the displacement of thousands more.[9] Ramsey declared on September 9, 1862: "The Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state."[10] In 1863, in response to continued raids on civilian settlers, he authorized bounty payments on Dakota scalps.[11]

Ramsey served as Secretary of War from 1879 to 1881, under President Rutherford B. Hayes.[12] He was one of the commissioners to govern Utah from 1882 to 1886 under the Edmunds Act.[12] The act made it illegal for polygamists to vote or hold office. Ramsey and four others were defendants in the Supreme Court case Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U.S. 15 (1885). The Supreme Court upheld the federal law that denied polygamists the right to vote.

Legacy

A number of counties, towns, parks, and schools are named after Ramsey, including:

He was the namesake of the Liberty Ship SS Alexander Ramsey launched in 1942.

References

  • United States Congress. "Alexander Ramsey (id: R000026)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on 2009-03-22
  1. ^ a b Helen McCann White (1974). "Guide to a Microfilm Edition of: The Alexander Ramsey Papers and Records" (PDF). Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e Butler, William E. (February 2000). "Alexander Ramsey". American National Biography Online. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ Steiner, Andy (February 12, 2016). "Out of the shadows: Mental Health Resources meets $1 million fundraising goal". MinnPost. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ "Thomas Ramsey: 1784-1826". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ Minnesota Legislators Past and Present-Justus Cornelius Ramsey
  6. ^ Minnesota Historical Society collections, Volume 13 By Minnesota Historical Society, page 5
  7. ^ Thomas A. McMullin; David Allan Walker (1 January 1984). Biographical Directory of American Territorial Governors. Meckler. ISBN 978-0-930466-11-4.
  8. ^ a b Spencer C. Tucker; Paul G. Pierpaoli Jr. (24 March 2015). American Civil War: A State-by-State Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: A State-by-State Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 416-. ISBN 978-1-59884-529-7.
  9. ^ http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29503
  10. ^ http://www.unitednativeamerica.com/hanging.html
  11. ^ Wingard, Mary Lethert; Delegard, annotated by Kirsten (2010). North country : the making of Minnesota. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. cccxlviii. ISBN 978-0-8166-4868-9.
  12. ^ a b "THE MEN WHO IMPEACHED ANDREW JOHNSON". McBride's Magazine. J.B. Lippincott and Company. 1899. pp. 518-.
  13. ^ Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 436.
  14. ^ Allan H. Keith, Historical Stories: About Greenville and Bond County, IL. Consulted on August 15, 2007.
  15. ^ http://page.mpls.k12.mn.us/history
  16. ^ http://page.mpls.k12.mn.us/rename_ramsey_4

External links

Party political offices
First Republican nominee for Governor of Minnesota
1857, 1859, 1861
Succeeded by
Stephen Miller
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
James Irvin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 14th congressional district

1843-1847
Succeeded by
George Eckert
Political offices
New office Governor of Minnesota
1849-1853
Succeeded by
Willis A. Gorman
Preceded by
David Olmsted
Mayor of Saint Paul
1855-1856
Succeeded by
George Becker
Preceded by
Henry Sibley
Governor of Minnesota
1860-1863
Succeeded by
Henry Swift
Preceded by
George W. McCrary
United States Secretary of War
1879-1881
Succeeded by
Robert Lincoln
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Henry Rice
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Minnesota
1863-1875
Served alongside: Morton S. Wilkinson, Daniel Norton, Ozora P. Stearns, William Windom
Succeeded by
Samuel J. R. McMillan

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Alexander_Ramsey
 



 



 
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