EDWARD SALOMON was born in Stroebeck, near Halberstadt, Prussia. He graduated with a degree in natural history and philosophy from the University of Berlin in 1849. That same year, he followed his brother (who fled after participating in the revolution) to America, settling in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. After teaching school and serving as Manitowoc County Surveyor and Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court, he went on to study law and opened a law practice. In 1857, he was appointed by Governor Coles Bashford to the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin. Salomon had been a Democrat, but he supported Lincoln and the Republicans in 1860. In 1861, he ran on the Republican ticket as the nominee for Lieutenant Governor, winning the election. After the drowning death of Governor Louis Harvey, Salomon took over the position of chief state executive—the first foreign-born governor of Wisconsin. During his brief tenure as governor, he contended with bitterness and violence over a military draft that struck the poorer, immigrants communities of the State, as well as fears that Confederate agents were fomenting uprisings among Indian tribes in the Midwest. At the same time, he is credited with originating the legislation passed by special session to give Wisconsin soldiers in the field the right to vote. Salomon was not renominated by the Republican Party in the gubernatorial election of 1863. After an unsuccessful campaign for a U.S. Senate seat, he moved to New York City and opened a law practice. He was also counselor for the German Consulate-General at New York City, where he opened a law practice. His wife’s poor health prompted their return to Germany, where Salomon died.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 12. New York: James T. White & Company.