Ohio History Journal

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As Kagi in his letters to the press severely criticized Gov-

ernor Geary it is but fair to state here that the Governor went

to Kansas Territory, as he afterwards freely admitted, with er-

roneous opinions as to conditions there. He was sincerely de-

sirous to do justice to the contending parties but his precon-

ceived prejudices were in favor of the pro-slavery party. This led

to severe criticism on the part of the free state men. It was

not long, however, until the governor began to change his views.

He learned later that the Buchanan administration expected him

to see to it that Kansas was admitted as a slave state. There

were extremes to which he would not go in the interest of such

a movement and he soon found himself out of harmony with

the President who had appointed him. Nicolay and Hay in

Abraham Lincoln, A History, have this to say in regard to the

conclusion, of Governor Geary's administration of Kansas af-


In less than six months after he went to the territory, clothed

with the executive authority, speaking the President's voice and

representing the unlimited military power of the Republic, he, the

third Democratic governor of Kansas, was, like his predecessors,

in secret flight from the province he had so trustfully gone to

rule, execrated by his party associates, and abandoned by the ad-

ministration which had appointed him.


Governor Geary was born at Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland

County, Pennsylvania, December 30. 1819. He was a lawyer

and lived for a time in Pittsburgh, studied engineering and

served with honor in the Mexican War. He was the first mili-

tary commander of the city of Mexico, first postmaster of San

Francisco, California, and mayor of that city. He returned to

Pennsylvania where he remained until he was appointed gov-

ernor of Kansas Territory. When the Civil War broke out he