Wilson, James Falconer

Cook, Robert J (2009) Wilson, James Falconer. In: Hudson, David, Bergman, Marvin and Horton, Loren (eds.) The Biographical Dictionary of Iowa. University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, pp. 563-565. ISBN 9781587296857

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Wilson, James Falconer – one of 19th-century Iowa's most able and influential politicians — was born in Newark, Ohio. The son of Methodist parents, he was a strong-willed and largely self-educated youth in the same mold as Abraham Lincoln. After his father's untimely death, Wilson was apprenticed to a local saddler at the age of 10. However, his innate ambition and considerable intellect eventually led him to study law in his spare time, and in 1852 he was admitted to the state bar. The following year he migrated westward with his new wife, Mary Jewett, settling in the small town of Fairfield, Iowa, where he began practicing as an attorney and taking an active role in politics. A former free-soil Whig, he was elected as a Republicandelegate to the 1857 state constitutional convention. His political expertise was evident throughout the debates in Iowa City, notably in his successful attempts to broker a compromise between antislavery Republicans and their more conservative counterparts over the controversial issue of black suffrage. His efforts more than justified the opinion of Burlington's powerful U.S. Senator James W. Grimesthat Wilson was a man for the future: "prudent, cautious, [and] sagacious."�

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > American Studies
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General) > E0300 Revolution to the Civil War, 1775/1783-1861
E History America > E151 United States (General) > E0456 Civil War period, 1861-1865
E History America > E151 United States (General) > E0660 Late nineteenth century, 1865-1900
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 25 May 2012 10:41
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 17:13
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/39427
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