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Samuel Johnson Crawford

Gov. Samuel Johnson Crawford

  • January 9, 1865 - November 4, 1868
  • Republican
  • April 10, 1835
  • October 21, 1913
  • Indiana
  • Cincinnati College
  • Married Isabel Marshall Chase; two children
  • Resigned
  • National Guard


SAMUEL JOHNSON CRAWFORD, the third governor of Kansas, was born near Bedford, Indiana on April 10, 1835. His early education was attained in the common schools of Bedford. In 1858, he graduated from Cincinnati College, earning a law degree. He moved to Garnett, Kansas and established a legal practice. Crawford entered politics in 1859, serving as a delegate to the first Republican Convention. He also was elected and served in the Kansas House of Representatives, a position he held from March 26, 1861 to May 10, 1861, when he resigned to organize a troop of soldiers for service in the Civil War. Crawford served as captain of the 2nd Kansas Volunteer Infantry; he fought in numerous battles, was appointed colonel of the 83rd U.S. Color Infantry, and attained the rank of brigadier general for his admirable service. Crawford won the 1864 Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor on November 8, 1864. He was reelected to a second term on September 5, 1866. During his tenure, thirty-six new counties were founded, forestation was endorsed, bonds were secured to fund railroads, a state survey was authorized, and financial support was sanctioned for the establishment of new state buildings. Also, the state’s population rose significantly, bloody Indian massacres against Kansas’s settlers were dealt with, and the endorsement of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution were recommended. On November 4, 1868, Crawford resigned from office, taking command of the 19th Kansas Volunteer Regiment, which had been organized to fight a campaign against the Indians. After his military service ended on March 2, 1869, Crawford returned to his law practice. He later served as president of the 1872 State Liberal Republican Convention, and was the Kansas state agent for fourteen years. Governor Samuel J. Crawford, who published “Kansas in the Sixties,” passed away on October 21, 1913, and was buried at the Topeka Cemetery, Topeka, Kansas.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Blue Skyways - Kansas State Library

Blue Skyways - Kansas State Library

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