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William P. Kellogg

 

William P. Kellogg

William Pitt Kellogg
United States Senator
from Louisiana
In office
July 9, 1868 – November 1, 1872
Preceded by John Slidell
Succeeded by James B. Eustis
In office
March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1883
Preceded by Joseph R. West
Succeeded by Randall L. Gibson
26th Governor of Louisiana
In office
January 13, 1873 – January 8, 1877
Lieutenant C.C. Antoine
Preceded by John McEnery
Succeeded by Stephen B. Packard
Personal details
Born (1830-12-08)December 8, 1830
Orwell, Vermont
Died August 10, 1918(1918-08-10) (aged 87)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Republican

William Pitt Kellogg (December 8, 1830 – August 10, 1918) was an American politician and a governor of Louisiana from 1873–1877 during Reconstruction. He was one of the most important politicians in Louisiana during and immediately after Reconstruction. He was notable for being reelected after most other Republican officials had been defeated when white Democrats regained control of state politics. Kellogg is also notable as one of few senators to be elected to the House of Representatives immediately after leaving the Senate. He was the state's last Republican governor until David C. Treen in 1980.

Early life and education

Kellogg was born in Orwell in Addison County in western Vermont near the New York boundary, where he spent his childhood. After completing his education in the common schools, he moved to Peoria, Illinois, at the age of eighteen and taught school for several years.

Career

Kellogg became a lawyer, likely "reading the law" and studying with practicing lawyers, as was typical for many then. He moved to Canton, Illinois and started a practice. There he joined the Republican Party and eventually came to know Abraham Lincoln, a fellow lawyer. When Lincoln became President in 1861, he appointed Kellogg as chief justice of the Supreme Court of the Nebraska Territory. Kellogg moved to Nebraska and started in the position.

With the outbreak of the American Civil War, he soon resigned, returned to Illinois and joined the Seventh Illinois Cavalry. By 1862, he had risen to the rank of colonel and played an important role at a small battle near Sikeston, Missouri. Later in the war, Kellogg resigned because of ill health.

In 1865, at the end of the civil war, days before his assassination, Lincoln appointed Kellogg as the federal collector of customs of the port of New Orleans. This launched Kellogg's notable 20-year political career in Louisiana. He remained collector of New Orleans until 1868, when he was appointed to the United States Senate. That year "reconstructed" Louisiana was readmitted to the federal Union.

In 1872 Kellogg ran on the Republican ticket and was elected governor. He resigned from the Senate to take office. In the election of 1872 John McEnery, a Democrat, ran against Kellogg. The sitting Governor Henry Clay Warmoth, although a Republican, opposed the Republican Party faction that was loyal to President Ulysses S. Grant, who was supporting Kellogg. Warmoth supported McEnery.

Former Confederate Assistant Secretary of War John A. Campbell was involved in the controversy surrounding Kellogg. He was a member of the “Committee of One Hundred” that went to Washington to persuade President Grant to end his support of what they called the “Kellogg usurpation”. Grant initially refused to meet them but later relented. Campbell stated the case before Grant but was refused.[1]

The results of the election were disputed by the Democrats. The politics of the state was in turmoil for months, as both candidates held inauguration celebrations, certified their local candidate slates and tried to gather political power. Political tensions broke out in violence, including the Colfax Massacre in April 1873. As Governor, Warmoth controlled the State Returning Board, the institution which administered elections. With the election challenged, Warmoth's board named McEnery the winner. A rival board claimed Kellogg to be the victor.

Warmoth was impeached for allegedly stealing the election. A black Republican, P. B. S. Pinchback, became Governor for 35 days until Grant seated Kellogg as Governor with Federal protection. McEnery's faction established a "rump legislature" in New Orleans to oppose Kellogg's actions. McEnery urged his supporters to take up arms against Kellogg's fraudulent government. In 1874 the anti-Republican White League sent 5,000 paramilitary men into New Orleans, where in the Battle of Liberty Place, they defeated the 3500-man Metropolitan Police and state militia. They took over the state government offices for a few days but retreated before the arrival of federal troops sent as reinforcements. President Grant had finally sent US troops in response to Kellogg's request for help.[2]

Kellogg's lieutenant governor was Caesar Carpetier Antoine, an African-American native of New Orleans. He had been a state senator from Shreveport before running as lieutenant governor. Despite the intense backlash against the Republican Party among white Democrats in the South, Kellogg was elected to the United States Senate in 1876. He served in the Senate until 1883. He did not seek reelection, for his party was too weak in the South to be competitive. He was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Railroads from 1881 to 1883.

Kellogg was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1882 and served one term from 1883 to 1885. He continued to live in Washington, D.C., but retired from political life. He died in Washington and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Kellogg was one of the most important politicians in Louisiana during and immediately after Reconstruction. He was able to maintain power for much longer than most Republican elected officials who had come to the area from the North. He is also notable as one of few senators to be elected to the House of Representatives immediately after leaving the Senate.

The late Claude Pepper, a 20th-century Florida Democrat, was similarly elected to the House after having served in the Senate. But, he did not begin his long House tenure until 12 years after the end of his Senate service.

References

External links

  •  – Google Books full online browsing copy
  • State of Louisiana - Biography
  • Cemetery Memorial by La-Cemeteries
Preceded by
vacant1
United States Senator (Class 3) from Louisiana
1868–1872
Served alongside: John S. Harris, Joseph R. West
Succeeded by
vacant2
Preceded by
Joseph R. West
United States Senator (Class 2) from Louisiana
1877–1883
Served alongside: James B. Eustis, Benjamin F. Jonas
Succeeded by
Randall L. Gibson
Political offices
Preceded by
P. B. S. Pinchback
Governor of Louisiana
1873–1877
Succeeded by
Stephen B. Packard
Francis T. Nicholls
Preceded by
Chester Bidwell Darrall
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 3rd congressional district

1883–1885
Succeeded by
Edward James Gay
Notes and references
1. Because Louisiana seceded from the Union in 1861, seat was vacant from 1861-1868 when John Slidell withdrew from the Senate.
2. Seat contested until 1876 when James B. Eustis was elected.

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