Group Title: John A. Logan
Title: John A. Logan:
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Title: John A. Logan: politician and soldier
Physical Description: v, 549 leaves. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Jones, James Pickett
Publication Date: 1960
Copyright Date: 1960
Subject: History thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- History -- UF   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 533-548.
General Note: Manuscript copy.
General Note: Vita.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00098231
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000559396
oclc - 13484506
notis - ACY4852


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January, 1960


One of the most interesting political and military

figures of the Civil War was General John A. Logan of

Illinois. "Black Jack" Logan, a Democratic congressman

before the war, left that party after Appomattox and from

1866 until his death twenty years later was a leading

Republican. This study traces Logan's change of party and

its effect on his native state.

"John A. Logan, Politician and Soldier," also deals

with Logan as a military commander. Unlike most Union

political soldiers, Logan was a success on the battlefield.

Ulysses S. Grant, James G. Blaine, and Rutherford B. Hayes

called him the ablest non-professional soldier the war

produced, an opinion shared by many.

Biographical material on this colorful and signi-

ficant figure is almost non-existent. The last life of

Logan, written by a close friend, was published in 1887

and leaves a distorted picture of Logan's place in the

events of those critical years. All other biographies,

especially the one by his wife, are equally misleading.

This study was undertaken to present what I hope

will be a clearer view of Logan's career during the Civil

War era. Since he was so much a product of his section of

Illinois I have devoted two chapters to Logan's early life

and his state and local political career. This material

serves as a prologue to Logan's appearance on the national

scene. The bulk of this study traces "Black Jack's" life

from 1859 to 1867 and its place in the events which filled

those crowded years. It is hoped that this narrative will

fill an important Civil War biographical gap.

No writer can hope to "ckn led -e all those who

assisted in the preparation of a manuscript. He can simply

recognize those who have been most helpful. I would like to

acknowledge my particular indebtedness to Dr. William E.

Baringer, my doctoral chairman, for actions far beyond the

call of duty. He has been a constant source of help in a

multitude of '.ays. I should also liko to thank the other

members of my doctoral committee for their assistance.

There are several institutions I must recognize for

their invaluable contributions to this study. The staff of

the Manuscriots Division of the Library of Congress was

especially helpful in making available the extensive Logan

collections. The staff of the Illinois Scate Historical

Library also of great aid in supplying materials. I

would like especially to acknowledge the kind assistance of

Miss .3r- res Flint and Mr. -. 4. Vetherbee of that insti-

tution. Lastly I would like to thank the staff of The

Florida State University's inter-library loan division under

Miss -ic Bird. Tueir indef '.i -ble assistance made the

libraries of the world my research library.

In conclusion I would like to thank my wife Berlin

for her assistance and her inexhaustible patience.



PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . ii


I. THE YOUNG EGYPTIAN. . . . . . 1

II. SPRINGFIELD AND MARY. . . . . ... 31

III. DIRTY WORK IN ;A Hl'r.Tf.. . . . ... 72


V. RALLY 'ROUND THE FLAGC . . . . . 176


TENIIESSEE . . . . . . . . 255

VIII. HE.Il4G THEIR WAY. . . . . . . 286

IX. FORTY ROUND . . . . . . ... 336

X. F-AiKING THE DEVI,. . . . . .. 366

XI. THE YEAR OF JUBILO . . . . ... 427

XII. I VILL i.EVER AFrlLIATE. . . . . 487

BIB.IOGGRAPHY. . . . . . . . . .. 533

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE . . . . . . . . 549



Illinois is shaped like a giant flint arrowhead.

Its point thrusts deep into the South between the Mississippi

and Ohio Rivers. At its tip, the muddy Mississippi and the

slightly less tumid Ohio, merge in a great confluence.

Here North and South meet, and in the triangle of land at

the arrowhead's point, called "Egypt," the customs and

ideas of North and South were intricately interwoven.

John A. Logan was a product of this sectional intermingling.

Egypt runs from Alton and Vandalia on the north to

Cairo, standing with "one foot in the Mississippi and the

other in the Ohio" one hundred and thirty miles to the
South. The origin of the name "Egypt" is a matter of

debate. The delta-like nature of the area perhaps led

to comparisons with the Nile delta. Here were towns like

Karnak, Thebes and Cairo. There are other theories. One

holds that the region was named "Egypt" by its detractors,
because of its supposed intellectual backwardness. A

more widely accepted theory places the origin of the name

Baker Brownell, The Other Illinois, 3.
R. H. Thornton, An American Glossary, 283.

in the northern Illinois corn famine of 1830-1831. This

famine, caused by the "winter of theedeep snow," created a

food shortage in the northern counties and led countless

settlers South in a search for food, to the counties less

affected by the freeze. The biblical parallel with the

Genesis story of Joseph and his brothers came to mind, and

it became common to say, "'I am going down to Egypt.'" Some

authors discount all of the stories, holding that the actual

origin of the name is lost in the misty past.2

Whatever the origin, the name seems to have been in

common usage long before it entered written records, appar-

ently in the early 1850's.3 During the 1850's and 1860's,

the use of the name became so common that southern Illinois

was almost always referred to as "Egypt" in both the Illinois

and the national press. The name became so widely accepted

that the quotation marks disappeared in print.

Egypt has a long and colorful history. Its first

residents were Indians of the Illinois Confederation. The

first whites were the French who established forts and

missions along the rivers in the seventeenth and eighteenth

History of Morgan County, Illinois, W. F. Short
(ed.), 287; Egyptian Key, II, No. 6 (March, 1947), 31.
Brownell, on. cit., 5.

3Dictionary of American History, J. T. Adams (ed.),
II, 190.

centuries. They in turn were succeeded by the English after

the French and Indian War. Settlement was sparse, however,

until the American Revolution when Egypt's boom began.

American soldiers came first to expel the English and later

as settlers, lured westward by land bounties and the gentle

beauty of the terrain. Fur trappers and pioneers of all

kinds soon pushed into the region between the great rivers.

From the Northern states this human tide flowed down the

Ohio, to be joined by Southerners moving northward from

Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee, or later, across the

river from Missouri, always looking for the prosperity the

region seemed to offer. The first four decades of inde-

pendence were years of steady growth in Southern Illinois.

The future of the section seemed limitless; its destiny as

the great exchange point between North and South was evident

to all.

In 1824 Dr. John Logan crossed the Mississippi into

this burgeoning land. A native of Ireland, he was brought to

the United States in the first decade of the nineteenth

century by his father, who sought to avoid the troubles of

In 1860 the Illinois Census revealed that the eleven
states that seceded in 1861 had contributed 94,475 natives
to the Illinois population. The three border slave states
of Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri had contributed 83,063.
Many, perhaps a majority of the immigrants settled in Egypt.
Eighth Census of the United States, 1860, 104-105.

his homeland. The family first settled at Ellicott Mills,

Maryland, but John soon joined the westward rush into the

Mississippi Valley, settling in .erry County, Misaouri.

John Logan studied medicine with his father. Although he

en-.r .d in various agricultural, business and political

ventures in the ;est, he never abandoned medical practice.

'hartly after his arrival in Missouri, the young

doctor ua-ried Miss Mary Barcune, the daughter of a prominent

French family of Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. r.hen this

union ended tragically in his wifet's early demise, Dr. Logan

left Missouri, and in 1P24 established his residence on the

Bit; Euddy River at Brownsville, a tiny hamlet serving as the

county seat of Jackson County, Illinois. At Brownsville,

Logan mtt Mi.s Elizabeth Jenkins, daughter of one of the

county's most influential families. Miss Jenkins was born

in North Carolina, and had moved with her family to Fouth

Carolina and Tennessee. Then, following the path of so

many residents of the slave states, her family crossed the

Ohio into Egypt. Her brother, Alexander, later Illinois

llieutenant-governor, was one of !gypt's most prominent

lawyers. Her father, a Jackson County farmer, later held
a colonel's commission in the Black Hawk W'ar.

Anoleton's Cyclonedia, 1086, 504; George W. Emrth,
A History of fonthern Illinois, III, 1148.
George Smith, Southern I inois, III, 1149.

After a brief courtship, Dr. Logan and Miss Jenkins

were married. Soon after the marriage, the doctor took his

bride to a new home a few miles up the Big Muddy from Browns-

ville. Here they settled on a 160 acre farm near the site

of the present town of Murphysboro.1 It was here that their

first child, John Alexander Logan, was born on February 9,


Jack Logan's childhood was not typical of frontier

Illinois. He grew up in the comfortable two story frame

house in which he was born. This relative comfort was made

possible by his father's medical abilities, which gave Dr.

Logan a large practice in Jackson County. This income

was supplemented by that of the Logan farm, one of the

area's finest, in which the doctor took great interest.

He raised corn, fruit, horses, and cattle. One neighbor

later remembered: "The Logan homestead became a very

pleasant place to visit especially in apple and peach time....

The old gentleman [Dr. Logan] was a great lover of horse-

flesh and usually had some good stock."

George F. Dawson, The Life of John A. Logan, 2;
Byron Andrews, A Biography of General John A. Logan, 362;
Frederic L. Paxson, "John Alexander Logan," Dictionary
of American Biography, XI, 363-364.
3James Buel, The Standard Bearers, 304.

Daniel H. Brush, Growing Up in Southern Illinois, 62.

This kind, religious man also took an active part

in local politics as an ardent Democrat and follower of

Andrew Jackson. Young Jack found his home a center for all

the excitement of politics, and the Logan farm was a haven

for Methodist circuit riders invited by the devout doctor.

These dedicated men always stopped and preached at the Logan

house when chasing the devil in the county.

The Logan family enlarged. When Jack was two, a

boy named Thomas was born, to be followed by nine other

children. Jack roamed the quiet forests and streams of

the county. He saw spring made beautiful by the blooms on

his father's fruit trees, and sometimes disrupted by the

rising of the Big Muddy. In the fall he tramped the crimson

forests with his brothers, and accompanied his father when

he hunted the abundant geese and quail of the area.

The boy's life centered on the farm and revolved

around his father and his gracious but firm mother. There

was time, however, for an occasional excursion into Browns-

ville. This town of about 300 souls, with its tan yard,

salt works, and court house, was the metropolis of Jack
Logan's early life. Here he saw the yearly militia

muster, with its heavy drinking and inevitable fights.3

Dawson, op. cit., 3.
George Smith, Southern Illinois, I, 483.

History of Jackson County, Illinois, 22.

Here were held political demonstrations, at one of which

he heard his father speak in his first race for the state

assembly. At the conclusion of the campaign in 1834, the

eight year old grieved to hear that his father had lost to

James Harreld in the contest to succeed Alexander Jenkins

who was running for lieutenant-governor.1 Uncle Alexander's

victory partially compensated for his father's failure, and

the boy thrilled to hear that his uncle would go to Vandalia

to help run the state.

Brownsville also provided Jack's first schooling

away from the farm. His parents taught him as much as they

could. At seven he was sent to town, where classes were

held in the courthouse which served as court, school, and
church. Despite his father's desire that Jack be educated,

work on the farm took its share of the boy's time. This

was especially true after Dr. Logan's successful second

race for the assembly. In 1836 he won and in December

took his seat in Vandalia. This was his second protracted

absence from the farm. In 1832 he had enlisted as a surgeon

in Alexander Jenkins' company in the Black Hawk War, and

spent some time touring the countryside in search of the

Ibid., 17.
George Smith, Southern Illinois, I, 483.

Indians. Jack was then six; by 1836 he was ten and as

the eldest his father's absence gave him increased duties.

Jack began early to assume responsibility, for frequent

absences were not uncommon in a frontier doctor's family.

From Vandalia Dr. Logan wrote Jack and Tom telling them to

take good care of the colts, calves and sheep, and reminding

them to help their mother and help with their sisters.

Despite these duties, Jack Logan had time to sail

his homemade flatboat on the nearby Big Muddy. He learned

to play the fiddle, and became one of the best riders of

the neighborhood. Dan Brush recalled: "John in his early

life became an expert rider and was ever ready to ride a

race. I have witnessed races at the Logan tracks many

times when John, as a boy, was a rider of one of the

horses, and never saw him excelled."3 And there was the

business of the farm. He plowed, felled trees, and when

ordered by his father to run squirrels out of the corn, he

posted a notice on a tree: "'I give notice to all squirrels

to keep out of the cornfield. If they don't keep out they

Illinois Adjutant-General's Office. Record of
the Services of Illinois Soldiers in the Black Hawk War,
1831-32, and in the Mexican War, 1846-8, 36. Hereafter
cited as Illinois Adjutant-General's Report.
Dr. John Logan to John and Tom Logan, December
8, 1836, Dr. John Logan Mos., Illinois State Historical
Library, Springfield.

3Brush, op. cit., 62.

will be shot.'"' When the notice had no effect, Jack

returned with a gun to enforce the edict. Dr. Logan won

reelection in 1838 and 1840 and during the assembly sessions

became one of Egypt's most vocal spokesmen.2

While the doctor, like his contemporaries, felt that

children should work hard on the farm, his interest in their

education did not abate. An educated man himself, he hoped

to provide the best education the region offered. For some

time the best seemed to be that supplied by the string of

teachers in the Brownsville school Jack had attended since

he was seven. This was supplemented by reading and frequent

discussions of political and religious topics at home. At

a young age the boy espoused his father's political ideas,

as is normal, becoming an ardent Jacksonian Democrat.

Dawson, op. cit., 5.
In 1839 Dr. Logan was a member of the general
assembly when a new county was created out of Sangamon
County. The new county was: "Logan County...named by
Abraham Lincoln in honor of his friend, Dr. John Logan,
father of the famous soldier and statesman Gen. John A.
Logan....He was a member of the General Assembly which
passed the bill creating Logan County.... In the Tenth
General Assembly despite the fact that Dr. Logan was a Demo-
crat...he and Abraham Lincoln became close friends. When
Logan County was carved out of Sangamon no name having been
suggested by the settlers inhabiting the new county Mr.
Lincoln suggested the name of his friend Logan. As con-
vincing proof of the origin of the name the following item
appeared in the Sangamo Journal of Springfield, Ill. in its
issue of Feb. 16, 1839, the next day after the passage of
the bill creating Logan County: 'Logan County is named in
honor of Dr. John Logan, the present representative from
Jackson County.'" Lawrence B. Stringer, History of Logan
County, Illinois, I, 149-150.

The time arrived when a more advanced school was

required. In 1842, at sixteen, Jack together with his

brother Tom, was sent to Shiloh Academy at Shiloh Hill in

nearby Randolph County.1 The boys remained there for three

years, studying old subjects such as spelling, grammar and

arithmetic, and receiving their first instruction in Latin.

There was much time for diversion at the Academy,

and Jack seems; to have demonstrated his ability at public

speaking. He was among the best orators in the school,

speaking on such subjects as drunkenness, which he called

a "loathsome leprosy."2

Jack's diligence as a student is a matter of some

debate. Most of his biographers state that he excelled at

his studies and was among the best students in the school.3

One student of Logan's early life, however, states that "it

is doubtful if he [Logan] was a hard student."4 In later

life, Logan frequently referred to his rougish youth. In

a speech at Southern Illinois College in 1869 he said:

iDawson, on00. cit., 6-7; Andrews, op. cit., 367.

Ms. of a speech by John A. Logan, undated, Dr.
John Logan Mss.
Dawson, op. cit., 3; Andrews, ou. cit., 367;
Buel, op. cit., 310.

Joseph Wallace, A ;iography of John A. Logan, 4.
This is an unpublished biography of General Logan in the
Illinois State Historical Society Library, Springfield.

"I well remember in my boyhood days when the same number

of men and boys at my college in this country would have

been a terror to all hen coops, melon patches, apple and

peach orchards...without a picket fence, shot gun, and bull


For three years this combined learning and fun con-

tinued. In 1845 Dr. Logan decided to bring the boys home

to be educated with the rest of his expanding family. To

provide instruction, a private tutor, a frontier rarity,

was hired to teach the Logan children. The return of the

boys also put them back to work on the farm, home-grown

hired help made necessary by their father's expanding medical

practice. 2

These years, when the boys were at Shiloh, were

eventful ones for Jackson County. They returned from school

in 1843 to view the burned ruins of the Brownsville court-

house and see the twenty acre tract of land their father

donated to the county for its new courthouse.3 The transfer

of the county seat aroused considerable opposition. Dan

Brush, the most vocal Jackson County Whig, fought the move,

Ms. of a speech given by John A. Logan at Southern
Illinois College, June 25, 1869, J. A. Logan Mss., Library
of Congress.
Dawson, op. cit., 3.

3History of Jackson County, 17.

and called Dr. Logan a "bigoted incompetent."l On election

day, voters listened to speakers from both sides and voted

to accept Dr. Logan's offer and move the county seat. For

a time the new town was called Shieldsboro, but it was soon

changed to Murphysboro after a local politician." The new

courthouse quickly became the center of a cluster of buildings

which replaced Brownsville as the center of the county. One

of the new structures was a hotel built by Dr. Logan, who

seems to have profited by the change of county seat.3

Misfortune struck in 1844. One of the greatest

inundations in this land of annual floods hissed and swirled

up the Big Muddy partially covering the Logan farm.4 Further

disappointment was caused by Dr. Logan's defeat in his

attempt to regain the seat in the assembly he had given up

in 1842. The incumbent, R. A. Bradley, defeated him in a

close race.

The boys began to take a more active part in the

family's business while continuing their education. In

Brush, op. cit., 132.
History of Jackson County, 17.

3Apoleton's Cyclopedia, 1886, 504; Brush, op. cit.,
History of Jackson County, 19.
5T. C. Pease (ed.), Illinois Election Returns,
1818-1848, 536.

1846, Jack, twenty, was entrusted with family business in

St. Louis, paying a $120 debt his father owed in that city.

But 1846 was a war year, and Jack thrilled to its

exciting events. The Mexican crisis which smoldered through

early 1846 burst into flame in May and war was declared.

The Democrats of the Mississippi Valley vigorously supported

President Polk's war policy, and young Egyptian., were urged

to enlist to vindicate "the honor and rights of your country,

and to repel from your soil a foreign foe."2

There were also thrilling events of a family nature.

The county election of 1846 swept Dr. Logan, a zealous war

Democrat, back into office and he returned to the assembly

as one of his section's leading spokesmen.

Jack, who now preferred to be called John, wanted

to join the rush to Mexico. His parents persuaded him to

remain at home until the doctor's campaign was over.

After his father's victory, John had to postpone his enlist-

ment until Dr. Logan returned from Springfield. Finally,

in the spring of 1847, John heard that a Jackson County

company was being formed. The slight but wiry John Logan,

who was so slender that he appeared consumptive to some,

1Dr. Logan to Mrs. Elizabeth Logan, December 10,
1846, Dr. Logan Mss.
Alton Telegraph and Democratic Review, May 30,

enlisted. James Hampton was elected Captain of the

company, and Logan and James Provost, a Jonesboro merchant,

were the candidates for lieutenant. Logan coveted the rank

and challenged his rival to a foot race, card game or fist

fight for the lieutenancy. The struggle was settled when

Provost was elected First Lieutenant and Logan, Second


In May the company was ordered to march to the

rendezvous point at Alton to meet other companies of the

new regiment. Drums rolled, flags waved, tears and cheers

mingled with patriotic oratory as the recruits marched out

of Murphysboro. John was given stern orders by his father

to bear himself well, guard his health, and deport himself

like a God-fearing Christian. While his mother grieved,

his brothers and sisters proudly pointed to their officer

brother and boasted of what he would do to the Mexicans.

At Alton, Logan became a soldier. His enlistment

dated from May 9, when the Jackson County men, henceforth

Company H, were mustered into service. Ten days later,

on June 8, the entire regiment was mustered in and became

Buel, op. cit., 310.
2May Strong Hawkins, "The Early Political Career
of John A. Logan," 7, unpublished master's thesis, Univer-
sity of Chicago. This story was told to Miss Hawkins in
1934 by A. S. Tibbetts, editor of the Jonesboro Gazette;
Illinois Adjutant-General's Report. 222.

the First Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, commanded by
Colonel Edward W. B. Newby.

The men settled down to army life with its drills,

routine, and occasional illnesses caused by oppressive June
heat and change of food and water. As a second lieutenant,

John, who drew $65 a month, had his first command experience

at Alton and aided in preparing the 68 men of the company

for the trials ahead.3

Here he met young officers of other companies,

many of them from Egypt. There was First Lieutenant Isham

N. Haynie of Company C, and jovial Captain John M. Cun-

ningham, former sheriff of Williamson County, who led

Company B. Captain Cunningham found in Logan a kindred

spirit, full of fun, genial and adventurous. A cordial

relationship sprang up between Logan and the older man,

Illinois Adjutant-General's Report, 224. "The
Fifth Regiment which is officially known as the First
Regiment, Illinois Volunteers 'during the war' (the other
regiments having enlisted for twelve months), was called
out, under the requisition made by the Secretary of War
April 19, 1847, for six thousand more volunteers to serve
'during the war,' to take the place of those whose term
of enlistment was to expire. Of this call, but one regi-
ment was assigned to the State of Illinois, which was
organized June 8, 1847, at Alton, Illinois, by the election
of Colonel E. W. B. Newby as Colonel, Illinois Adjutant-
General's Report, xxx.
Alton Telegraph and Democratic Review, July 18,


4Illinois Adjutant-General's Reoort, 208.

a friendship that grew during their war service. Of

course, there were always old friends like Lindorf Ozburn

and William Hampton, sergeant and corporal respectively in

Logan's Company H.

On June 14, the anxiously awaited marching orders

arrived, and the regiment boarded steamers for Fort Leaven-

worth. They sailed up the Missouri to the fort, where they

disembarked to prepare for their march across the Great

Plains to New Mexico. At Leavenworth the novelty of the

Missouri River voyage ended and the old routine of camp

life caught them again. The monotony was too much for

some, and Private Tilman Sipe deserted. Six other members

of the Company ended their brief army service at Leaven-

worth. Three died and three were discharged and returned

to Illinois, to the envy of many of their comrades.

Logan's friend "Doff" Ozburn indicated some of the

difficulty when, in the silence of a summer night, he told

his wife:

the Captain takes but little responsibility upon
himself which makes the other boys from the different
counties so hopeless in trying to do anything or make
any kind of a show, but I hope the day is not far
distant when John will be Captain of the company for

Mary 3. C. Logan, Reminiscences of a Soldier's Wife,
27. Hereafter cited as Reminiscences.
Illinois Adjutant-General's Reoort, 224.

he justly deserves the station. If John Logan was
out of the company I would pray to be at home but he
is the same John here that he is at home, he has
nothing but if I kneed [sic] it I get a share and
that without a murmer [sic].1

The prospect of a movement brightened spirits,

and the order to move out on July 7 was greeted with a

cheer. The regiment had been ordered to Santa Fe to occupy

that northernmost Mexican outpost, and to stand ready to

march South if needed as reinforcements. Their route lay

across the desolate expanse of the southern Great Plains.

For a time the line of march ran through beautiful prairie.

But after the Kansas River was left behind on July 10, the

country became a desolate, burned wasteland. John did what

he could to maintain order and keep spirits high, but the

monotonous scenery and the extreme summer heat brought

grumbling from men longing for the cool banks of the Ohio

and Mississippi. To some the novelty of this new land

wore off quickly. The prairie "for the first few days

had a most grand appearance, but the only one scene for

27 days gave me a disgust to a Prairie Country."2

There were variations, however, and John marveled

at the large herds of buffalo and ate buffalo meat and the

Lindorf Ozburn to Diza Ozburn, July 4, 1847,
Ozburn Mss., Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield.
Lindorf Ozburn to Diza Osburn, July 10, 1847,
Ozburn Mss.

wild plums he found along the banks of the Arkansas. There

was always a rush for any creek or spring along the line

of march and a majestic prairie thunderstorm was exciting

to the dusty marchers. In the midst of one of these storms,

the camp was startled to hear the sentinels' challenge

mingle with the storm's roar. John rose with the others

to discover a party of mounted men, led by Kit Carson,

bound for California, approaching their camp.

By August, John sweltered in the heat as the column

crossed the Cimarron and approached the edge of the Staked

Plains. They kept close watch for hostile Pawnees and

Comanches, whose territory they had entered, and on August

3, an excited trooper reported approaching Indians. The

regiment prepared for action, but the Indians proved to be

a large herd of antelope.2 On August 8, the column met

some teamsters returning from Santa Fe, who reported that

all .'as quiet in that city.

August was a trying month for the volunteers. Water

was scarce as many streams proved to be alkali beds. There

were also food shortages and constant fear of Indian attack.

But the heat was their greatest enemy. The sun rose early,

baked them all day, and set late, followed by chilling nights.3

Benjamin Wiley Diary, July 25, 1847, Wiley Diary
Mss., Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield.
Ibid., Aug. 3, 1847.
Ilary Logan, Reminiscences, 28.

As the men neared Santa Fe their situation improved.

In early September the extreme heat lessened and the hard

plains gave way to the streams and valleys of northern New

Mexico. At last on September 7, the regiment sighted Las

Vegas, the first town of any size they had seen in more than

a month, and they wearily marched into the mud hut village.1

Santa Fe was merely a resumption of the drudgery

of Alton and Leavenworth. For men who had struggled through

the hardships of the long march, a return to camp routine

with no prospect of action seemed dull indeed. Sergeant

Ozburn voiced the general feeling. "I am in hopes we will

not walk so far as we did, come home and say we have done

nothing...."2 Despite their wishes, Santa Fe seemed far

from the clash of arms they had expected. "All was quiet...

[There was] not a whisper of insurrection or the slightest

promise of a brush. That portion of Mexico seems to have

resigned itself to the rule of los Americanos."3

In October, reinforcements were needed to the south,

and Colonel Newby, leaving Lieutenant Colonel H. P. Boyakins

in command at Santa Fe, took half his force and began the

march to El Paso. Company H was one of the five companies

iWiley Diary, Sept. 7, 1847.
Lindorf Ozburn to Diza Ozburn, Oct. 20, 1847.

3Illinois State Register (Springfield), March 7,

left in Santa Fe, and John said good-bye to his friend

Captain Cunningham. John and the captain had complained

of their failure to come to grips with the Mexicans, and

at the older man's departure, John, though disappointed at

not being able to accompany him, congratulated Cunningham

and wished him the opportunity that had eluded them.1

After their comrades' departure, the rest settled

down to garrison duty with the bleak prospect of boredom and

disease until a peace treaty was signed. John had increased

duties to dull routine. He was named adjutant of the

post at Santa Fe at an extra ten dollars a month. The extra

duty came as recognition of the young lieutenant's popu-

larity and ability.2

John also busied himself by studying Spanish, a

language which seems to have lingered with him for the rest

of his life. In late October he was given a chance to

return to Illinois as recruiting officer to enlist enough

men to supply the Santa Fe garrison with replacements for

men lost to disease. John refused, much to "Doff" Ozburn's

dismay, since the sergeant hoped to accompany his friend

Mary Logan, Reminiscences, 28.
Ms. muster roll for Company 1H, Oct., 1847, Ozburn
Dawson, op. cit., 3.

back to Egypt. Ozburn did not know the reason for Logan's

refusal but stated, "I suppose he wished to win laurels

on the field of battle."' John's letters of this period

indicate that the sergeant was correct. On November 5

John wrote his father that the prospect for a fight was

disappointingly remote. He told his father of the sickness

sweeping the troops in Santa Fe, but assured Dr. Logan
that he was healthy.

This condition was short-lived, and John Logan's

major battle of the Mexican dar was fought against disease.

During the winter of 1847-1848, the garrison suffered heavily

from measles and resulting complications. John contracted

the illness, which killed nine of his comrades in Company H.4

Because of distance and slow communication, John's family

knew little of his serious condition. It was not until

spring that Dr. Logan received a clear picture of John's

illness and recovery.5 When the doctor discovered how

Lindorf Ozburn to Diza Ozburn, Oct. 20, 1847,
Ozburn Mss.
John A. Logan (Hereafter cited as JAL) to Dr. Logan,
Nov. 5, 1847, Logan Mss., Library of Congress.
Illinois State Register, Jan. 21, 1848.

Illinois Adjutant-General's Report, 222.

5Joel Manning to Dr. Logan, Aug. 15, 1848, Dr.
Logan Mss.

serious his son's illness had been, he wrote Lindorf Ozburn,

"You will pleas [sic] accept my hearty and devout thanks

for your kind care and attention on my son John in his

illness as I am sure from the tenor of his letter that he

must have died had he not had the best kind of attention."I

Spring brought recovery to John, and increased hopes

for an end to the war. In February, 1848, Nicholas Trist

completed negotiations with the Mexicans and the Illinois

soldiers in Santa Fe rejoiced at the thought of going home.

Murphysboro friends and relatives sent a stream of letters

to John on the prospect of his return. A friend supplied

news of local political affairs, and John's sister Dorothy

urged him to hurry home for her wedding.2 Dr. Logan, his

most prolific correspondent, gave John a complete account

of the Trist negotiations, adding that Senate ratification

of the Treaty would be immediate.3

With the expected ratification of the Treaty of

Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Illinois troops began to prepare

for the march home. Their return was delayed until the

United States could provide adequate administrative

Dr. Logan to Lindorf Ozburn, March 26, 1848,
Ozburn Mss.
B. Keith to JAL, April 22, 1848; Dorothy Logan
to JAL, May 3, 1848, Logan Mss.
Dr. Logan to JAL, March 7, 1848, Logan Mss.

replacement. In July the Santa Fe occupation force

mustered in the city for the last time. The order to march

moved down the line and the gaping villagers watched the

Illinois Americanos terminate their nine months occupation

of the ancient city.

The men again faced a summer march. Dr. Logan,

speaking as a veteran of the Black Hawk War, sent John

advice on the return trip. The doctor cautioned him to

stay with the others all the way to Alton and warned:

"there will be great danger in travelling throo [sic] the

Indian country as the Indians are always [sic] more hostile

on the close of a war between us and any other Nation than

they are at any other timee.1

The return march was less eventful than the one to

New Mexico. Heat, thirst, and Indian danger were still

present, but the prospect of the triumphant homecoming in

Illinois made their steps lighter and the discomforts less


John Logan had mixed feelings on his return. His

happiness at seeing friends and family was obvious, but

his failure to win glory in battle was disappointing. In

September, the men reached Fort Leavenworth where they

Dr. Logan to JAL, April 16, 184, Logan Mss.

boarded transports, and in early October they arrived at

Alton. Here they were greeted as heroes who had given

"evidences of heroism and patience." From October 15 to

October 18 they were mustered out of the service. There

was another tumultuous reception at Murphysboro where the

bronzed veteran was proudly welcomed by his family.

John returned from Mexico 22 years old and undecided

as to his future. His father wanted him to study medicine,

but John was more interested in his father's avocation,
politics. With the support of father and uncle, both

influential in Jackson County politics, John had a good

chance for minor elective office. In 1849, the year after

his return, after a brief period reading law in his uncle's

office, John entered his first political contest and was

easily elected clerk of Jackson County. This office, how-

ever, was temporary, for John felt that a successful career

in politics demanded further knowledge of law. Law could

provide him with a living between sessions of the assembly

or between defeats. His service as clerk, therefore, was

a method of obtaining money to finance a law degree. By

Illinois State Register, Oct. 20, 1848.
Mary Logan, Reminiscences, 98.

3Thomas V. Knox, The Lives of James G. Blaine
and John A. Logan, 269.

1850 he had accumulated sufficient money of his own, with

some aid from his father, to make it possible for him to

resign and enter law school.

Among frontier law schools, Louisville University's

was one of the best, and John crossed the Ohio in 1850 to

be-in his studies. Instruction at Louisville was adequate

for a frontier barrister. There were recitation exami-

nations and oral lectures, and a moot court twice a week

to give the students practice in courtroom procedure.1

Board and lodging in Louisville were reasonable, but John

was forced to call on his father from time to time for

financial aid. In thanking the doctor for five dollars,

John predicted that the favor would, "receive a ten fold

benefit" when he graduated.2 John studied hard and became

an able student, especially at courtroom oratory. In

February, 1851 he received his diploma and started home,

telling his father, "You can tell all who are anxious for

my attendance at our court that I am certain to be there

if life lasts and money holds out."3

John returned in time for the spring elections

and offered himself as candidate for prosecuting attorney

Illinois State Register, Aug. 25, 1848.
JAL to Dr. Logan, Jan. 6, 1851, Logan Mss.


of the Third Judicial District. Prominent in the press

were statements by friendly journalists proclaiming Logan's

graduation from law school and assuring their readers that

the young man would be an "ornament" to his profession.1

His race was successful and in the summer, at 26, he began

his legal career. In order to function more successfully

as prosecutor, John temporarily moved to Benton in Franklin
County. This spring was made even happier for John when

his old friend "Doff" Ozburn named his second child John

Logan Ozburn.3

Logan's term as prosecuting attorney was brief.

After a few months he resigned to run as representative

in the Eighteenth General Assembly from Jackson and Franklin

Counties, a position his father had held four times.

This campaign was John's first real test in his

chosen profession. His political ambitions were boundless.

He told his father, "Politics is a trade and if my few

fast friends in Jackson will stand by me, the day is not

far distant when I can help myself and them to pay ten


Cairo Sun, May 29, 1851.
Thomas M. Eddy, The Patriotism of Illinois, 483.

3George Smith, Southern Illinois, II, 611.
JAL to Dr. Logan, Aug. 31, 1852, Logan Mss.

On the stump in 1852, John Logan, known personally

to many of the voters in the two counties, gave evidence

of the qualities necessary for success in Egyptian politics.

He was a vigorous man, about medium height, weighing about

140 pounds. John's appearance led to countless romantic

stories. He had bright eyes, swarthy complexion and straight

hair, features that led many to claim for him Indian ances-

try. This assertion was unfounded, but it persisted through-
out his career.

John was popular among the younger voters because

of his fun-loving nature. He joined in the horse-play of

militia day and playfully wrestled with town children.

Daniel Gill remembered that as a twelve year old he was

playing marbles with John's little brother William when

Logan strolled by and kicked the marbles out of the ring.

"Immediately the players jumped up and knocked the hat from

the head of John A. Logan. A regular sham-battle ensued

between John A. and the players." Some of the more strait-

laced members of the community opposed this behavior, but

H. E. Kimmel, "Sixty-sixth Wedding Anniversary of
Daniel Gill and Lucinda Pyle Gill, Du Quoin, Illinois,"
Journal, Illinois State Historical Society, XVII, No. 3
(Sept., 1924), 442.
Andrews, op. cit., 369; Mary Logan, Reminiscences,

Kimmel, op. cit., 441.

Egypt was a boisterous section and John's reputation as

a rollicking spirit aided in public life.

Without abilities in other directions, however,

John's career might have been short-lived. He was an able

speaker. Beginning with the days at Shiloh Academy, John

had many opportunities to develop an oratorical style.

His voice was sonorous and audible even to the last ranks

of a large crowd, so powerful, in fact, that he was able to

shout down hecklers, a quality necessary in the rough-and-

tumble of Egyptian politics.1

He was also blessed with a ready made organization

built by his Uncle Alexander and Dr. Logan. However, his

father's health was poor and John had to do much of the

organizing. He formed political meetings in his own behalf

and for W. A. Denning, candidate for the Democratic nomi-

nation to Congress.2 Denning, a veteran campaigner, supported

John, and John and his father backed Denning. Denning

wrote the doctor:

If Allen [Willis Allen, Denning's opponent] is
nominated his friends have already threatened
political death to me and my friends and among
others your own son....I hope, and pray Doct. that
you will try and get the leading Democrats together...
and send up some man who can be relied on in any
and every emergency.3

Kary Logan, Reminiscences, 98.
JAL to Dr. Logan, Aug. 31, 1852, Logan Mss.
". A. Denning to Dr. Logan, Sept. 1, 1852, Logan

John, who was still on the circuit as prosecuting attorney,

also urged his father to send a delegate to the district

convention, who "will do as we want him to.... I can't be

a delegate, my position will not allow it."l

Denning failed to get the nomination, but this did

not materially affect John's campaign. He ran as a "Jack-

sonian Democrat," adopting positions popular in southern

Illinois. He was bitterly anti-Negro, and promised to

fight for a bill excluding free negroes from Illinois.

He also spoke in favor of rigid enforcement of the Fugitive

Slave Act. But like his idol Jackson, Logan and the Egypt-

ian Democrats who supported him were supporters of the

union and not devoted to the extremes of Southern states

rights doctrines. Furthermore, he took the usual Egyptian

position on the railroad issue, opposing "State policy"

in favor of a railroad policy that would benefit St. Louis,

the city toward which most of the southern Illinois tri-

angle looked.2

Logan indicated his support of the Compromise of

1850, if the Fugitive Slave Act was enforced, and spoke

for Stephen A. Douglas, an old friend of Dr. Logan's and

the new hero of Illinois Democrats who was running for the

JAL to Dr. Logan, Aug. 31, 1852, Logan Mss.
Andrews, op. cit., 369.

Senate. John promised to vote for the "Little Giant" if

he was elected to the Assembly. Logan's platform was popu-

lar; he was popular; and his organization was effective.

On election day the Democratic voters of Jackson and Frank-

lin gave him a large majority.1

Thus at 26 John A. Logan's political career took

a giant step forward. Soon his fame would spread beyond

the boundaries of Egypt and the "ten fold" benefits he had

promised his father would come to pass.

George Smith, Southern Illinois, III, ll9.



Springfield in the winter of 1853 presented a

dreary appearance to those arriving in the town that had

been the capital of Illinois since 1839. The town was

famous for wretched streets made almost impassable by

heavy rain and snow, and for its primitive accommodations.

Despite its appearance, Springfield was charged with an

air of expectancy. Every other year brought a session of

the Illinois general assembly, and legislators had begun

arriving from far and near. They came from Chicago, the

growing metropolis of the state, from the abolitionist

counties along the Wisconsin border, from the expanding

central section, from the German towns opposite St. Louis,

and from the Egyptian counties of the southern Illinois


The 18th general assembly convened January 3 when

the legislators were sworn in by Associate Justice Lyman

Trumbull. The major business of the opening day was

election of a speaker. The Whigs had been shattered in

the election of 1852, and this assembly was heavily Demo-

cratic. There were 59 Democrats, 16 Whigs and one Free

Arthur C. Cole, Era of the Civil War, 6.

Soiler. This made organization simple. John Reynolds,

St. Clair County Democrat, and former governor, was elected

by acclamation, many feeling that the office was due him

because of his long service to the party.

Two days later the assembly met in joint session

to elect a senator. There was never any doubt as to the

outcome of the contest. Stephen A. Douglas, who had won

control of Illinois Democrats, had been in the Senate since

1846, and expected no difficulty in his fight for re-

election. The Democrats caucused, and nominated the

Little Giant by acclamation.

Logan was an enthusiastic Douglas supporter as his

father had been before him. He voted for Douglas as the

senator won 75-19 over Joseph Gillespie. When committee

assignments were made Logan drew two important seats,

judiciary committee, and committee on banks and corporations.

The latter was a coveted assignment since many incorpora-

tion bills, including the important railroad acts, were

handled by this group. Logan's record in the House was

closely watched in Egypt, and John's law partner, W. K.

Parish, wrote: "I am glad to see that you are on the

1Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, Historical Ency-
clopedia of Illinois, II, 189.
W. A. Denning to JAL, Jan. 16, 1853, Logan Mss.

George Fort Milton, The Eve of Conflict; Stephen A.
Douglas and the Needless War. 95.

judiciary committee. That will give you additional standing

and particularly as a lawyer."l

The House got down to work January 6. Logan intro-

duced the bill that became the center of the most acri-

monious debate of the session. As a fellow Democrat stated:

"He had scarcely warmed his seat when he opened upon some

of the exciting topics of the day."2 Logan's proposal was

to instruct the judiciary committee to report a bill to

prevent the immigration of free negroes into Illinois

"under the article of the Constitution requiring the legis-

lature to pass such a law."3

The anti-slave forces from northern Illinois imme-

diately called for a vote to table the bill, and lost 54

to 14. The bill went to committee, where Logan would have

a hand in its construction. The opposition to the measure

had little hope of pushing the bill aside, but the vote

on the sixth served as a forecast of what might happen

when the bill reached the floor in final form.

The stir caused by Logan's exclusion bill quickly

subsided and both sides prepared for the final battle.

W. K. Parish to JAL, Jan. 16, 1853, Logan Mss.
Usher F. Linder, Reminiscences of the Early Bench
and Bar of Illinois, 343.
Journal Illinois House of Renresentatives, Eight-
eenth General Assembly, 1853, 3. Hereafter cited as House
Journal, 1853.

Meanwhile the business of the body continued with a multi-

tude of private bills filling the agenda. John introduced

a bill for the relief of John Elmore, former sheriff of

Jackson County, which passed on January 18. On January 11,

Logan proposed an act for the relief of John M. Cunningham

which passed by a unanimous vote three days later. This

measure provided for a one hundred dollar payment to Logan's

old friend as reimbursement for his services as marshal of

the district court of Massac County. It afforded the young

legislator great pleasure to be able to help his old com-

rade who had come upon hard times.

There was more important business before the House,

however, and Logan was active in deliberations concerning

much of it. There were proposals in favor of adopting a

statewide prohibition act modeled on the famous "Maine

Law," the pioneer "dry" statute of that state. Logan, and

most of the members from Egypt where "the use of intoxicating

drinks seems more natural than the use of water," opposed

the proposal, and in the debates on the law he introduced

several petitions from citizens urging the legislature to
vote against the bill. Because of his great interest in

Illinois Private Laws, 1853, 494; House Journal,
1853, 177.
House Journal, 1853, 278, 323; Cairo Times and
Delta, Feb. 3, 1858.

this measure, Logan was named to a special committee to
investigate the law as it had been applied in Maine.

Opposition to prohibition and its supporters was so strong

that a proposal to permit a temperance convention to use

the hall of the House was voted down, Logan voting with the


All attempts to push through a law of this kind

failed when opposition forces, led by the Egyptian members,

tabled every "dry" motion. The last victory for the anti-

prohibition men came on January 29 when Logan and 33 others

voted successfully to table a proposed statewide "dry" law.

Logan's position on the "Maine Law" was in line with public

opinion in his constituency. W. A. Denning, one of his

constant sources of information, wrote John that all Egypt

was interested in the debates and generally opposed the
"Maine Law."2

Much of the business of the House concerned in-

corporation of railroad and plank road companies. John

voted to incorporate eight plank roads and personally intro-

duced bills chartering plank roads into Murphysboro and

Benton. Railroads were more important, however, and John

House Journal, 1853, 21.
.1. A. Denning to JAL, Jan. 16, 1853, Logan Mss.
House Journal, 1853, 87, 144, 346.

voted in the affirmative 15 times on laws chartering new

roads. Most of these bills passed unanimously, but the bill

to charter a Terre Haute and Vandalia Railroad Company

brought a bitter debate, with Logan and the other repre-

sentatives from Lower Egypt in opposition.

This fight was a renewal of the struggle between

"State policy" and the more liberal railroad plan advocated

in Lower Egypt. The "State policy" forces wanted a cross-

state road in southern Illinois, but they opposed building

a road that would benefit any out of state terminus; con-

sequently they favored constructing a road with Alton as

western terminus. The Terre Haute and Vandalia was to be

a link in that system.

The opposition to "State policy" centered in the

section of the State that looked to St. Louis as an eco-

nomic center. These representatives had been fighting a

losing battle against the "State" forces through the 1840's,

and though their strength seemed to have increased by 1853,

they were unable to charter a road with St. Louis as termi-

nus, or to vote down the Terre Haute and Vandalia bill.1

Logan voted with the losing bloc.

During the session Logan was pleased to discover

that his activities were not being overlooked and that

Cole, op. cLt., 33, 43; House Journal, 1853, 307.

they seemed to be generally popular in his home district.

Denning and W. K. Parish kept him in touch with reactions

in Jackson and Franklin Counties, and Parish told him, "I

have no fears but what we will be able to exert an influence

in the political arena in Egypt sufficient for all practical

purposes." He further endorsed John's decision to remain in

Benton after his return. "Benton will be a town of con-

siderable size in Egypt which will render it a pleasant

residing place," he wrote. "It is central in the political


The Benton newspaper took notice of Logan's record

in the House, calling him "our worthy and talented young

representative...who has demonstrated to the North by his

talent and eloquence...that we, in the South have interests

to foster, guide and protect, and that we have men who are

willing and able to do it."2 Even in neighboring Missouri

Logan came in for praise, and the Springfield correspondent

for a St. Louis paper wrote, "Among all the members of this

House, John A. Logan of Jackson County and W. H. Snyder of

St. Clair have no superiors, and they are the youngest men

in that body....Their speeches are not mere declamations,


W. K. Parish to JAL, Jan. 16, 1853, Logan Mss.
Benton Standard, quoted in Quincy Herald, March 24,

but they abound with bold and lofty thought and profound

arguments." 1 These "profound arguments" of course favored

railroad policy that would benefit St. Louis.

The law of greatest interest to southern Illinois

in 1853 was the negro exclusion bill which emerged as the

session's last major business. Egyptians greeted Logan's

action with a show of solid support. They viewed the

spectre of wholesale negro immigration into Egypt as a

great calamity, and to be avoided at all costs. Parish

wrote Logan, "The relation to the immigration of

free negroes into the state is one that will reflect credit

and distinction in Egypt especially."2

In taking the lead in transferring this feeling,

almost unanimous in Egypt, into legislative action, Logan

became for the first time recognized throughout the state

as the spokesman of Egypt. His statements in debate came to

be regarded as those of the entire section. The negro bill

first skyrocketed Logan into state-wide prominence, won

him immense popularity in his home section, but brought

condemnation from many quarters.

Anti-negro feeling had grown in Illinois in the

140's. The Constitution of 1848 denied negroes the vote,

St. Louis Republic, Feb. 21, 1853.

Dwight N. Harris, The Negro in Illinois, 234;
W. K. Parish to JAL, Jan. 16, 1853, Logan Mss.

and the right to serve in the militia. Furthermore, there

was a provision instructing the legislature to pass laws

prohibiting the entrance of negroes into the state. This

provision was separately submitted to Illinois voters for

ratification and passed by 50,261 to 21,297. Until 1853

the provision was ignored. But in 1353 Logan took advantage

of the invitation contained in the 1848 law and moved to

end negro immigration.

There were few negroes in the state, the 1850

Census listed only 5,436, but of this number 3,124 lived
in counties included in the Egyptian triangle. These un-

fortunates existed in pitiful conditions, on suffrance of

the people of the state with no legal status whatsoever.

In the 1850's northern Illinois abolitionists began to

demand increased rights for these negroes. Egyptians

reacted to abolitionist pressure by demanding a counter-

attack that would make a negro deluge on their section

impossible. Logan's bill was a response to this clamor

from his constituents.3

Once Logan's bill was introduced and sent to com-

mittee on January 6, the negro problem remained beneath

Cole, op. cit., 225.
Cole, op. cit., 225; Eighth Census of the U.S.,
1850, 702.

Harris, op. cit., 227.

the surface until the final bill emerged, except for an

incident of January 20. On that date A. H. Nixon of McHenry

County introduced an act aimed at permitting negroes to

testify in court. Once again the anti-negro forces were

triumphant as the bill was tabled 44 to 16.1

By late January, all interest in Springfield

centered on the negro bill. On Saturday, January 29, Logan

reported the bill out of committee. The stage was set and

the debate was scheduled for the middle of the following

week. On February 2 the speaker announced the bill as the

next order of business and heated debate began.

Opposition to Logan's bill came from the repre-

sentatives from the counties along the northern border, com-

bined with a scattering of support from the legislators

from north central Illinois. On the first day of debate,

the northern men introduced an amendment that would have

repealed all of Illinois' "Black Codes." This proposal

was beaten 58 to 7.2 During debate on the amendment, Logan

attacked its backers as "abolitionists," and charged that

repeal would lead to intermarriage and social and political


House Journal, 1853, 145.
Ibid., 363.

3Ms. of speech delivered in the Illinois legis-
lature in 1853, Logan Mss.

Following this exchange, Logan's bill reached the

floor for adoption. This controversial law made the intro-

duction of a negro into the state a crime punishable by a

$100 fine. Furthermore it made any negro entering the state

liable within ten days to arrest and fine, and if unable to

pay the fine, he was forced to work out the fine and trial

The measure was attacked vigorously by its opponents

and Logan was forced to speak out in its defense. Summoning

all the arguments Egyptians had been advancing for a decade,

Logan began by attacking his adversaries as supporters of

racial equality. He stated that history illustrated that

negroes are "not suited to be placed upon a level with the
white men." Reaching the heart of his argument, he stated

that Egypt, surrounded by slave states, would be the only

area of the state harmed by mass migration of negroes. He

proclaimed the fear held by his constituents that negroes

would migrate into Egypt, become paupers, and ruin the

morals of the section. In conclusion Logan lashed out

at the pro-negro legislators:

Nor can I understand how it is that men
can become so fanatical in their notions as to

Harris, op. cit., 236.
Ms. of speech delivered in the Illinois legis-
lature in 1853, Logan Mss.

forget that they are white. Forget the sympathy
over the white man and have his bosom heaving with
it for those persons of color. It has almost become
an offense to be a white man. Unfortunate were these
gentlemen in their birth that they could not have been
usher d into existence with black skin and a wooly

Logan's final roar was a threat. "Unless this bill shall

pass you will hear it again next session and again until

something shall be done to protect those people [in Egypt]

from the innundation from the colored population."2

Soon after Logan's ringing defense died away, roll

call began. It was evident that the bill's opponents had

gained some strength over their showing on the earlier test

votes. Logan's speech had alarmed some members of his own

party from northern Illinois who felt that the bill was too

harsh. This group wras not large enough to create a coalition

capable of defeating the measure, and when the vote was

tallied the bill passed 45 to 23. Voting "aye" was a solid

bloc of representatives from the counties south of ring-

field. Even the St. Clair representatives, whose German

constituents were an island of liberal thought in the sea

of Egyptian racism, voted for the measure.3 Just before

adjournment on the 5th, Nixon condemned the act and

House Journal, 1853, 442-443.

cynically proposed that the title of the bill be changed

to, "An act to create an additional number of abolitionists

in this state." The proposal was voted down, the House

adjourned, and Logan received congratulations on his first

major legislative victory.1 Six days later the Senate

passed the bill by a four vote majority.

Though the victory was popular in Egypt, others in

the state said that the law was brutal, too stringent,

and passed by the Democrats merely to satisfy southern

Illinois and to placate their fellow Democrats from the

slave states. Several mass meetings were held in the
North to protest the act's passage. The attack came from

many quarters, some Democrats joined the Whigs and Free

Soilers in opposition. John M. Palmer, writing years

later, summed up their feeling: "All the provisions of the

act are an example of the barbarity which can only be

excused by the prejudices of that part, the Southern, of

the State of Illinois."3

One student of the negro in Illinois maintains

that the bill was probably favored by a majority of the

Ibid., 444.
Logan's law did receive staunch support from the
Illinois State Register (Springfield), but some Democratic
organs in northern Illinois were hesitant in giving the
measure their unqualified backing.
John M. Palmer, Personal Recollections, 59.

state's population, and that though many opposed the rigid

provisions for enforcement, most Illinoisans favored the

exclusion of free negroes in principle.1 The same writer

challenges those who believe that the law was never enforced,

citing at least three cases of arrest under the "Logan negro

law."2 Gustavus Koerner, a leading German politician, also

gives evidence of the law's enforcement. Koerner, an

opponent of the bill, tells of freeing a negro about to be

arrested under the measure.3 The law remained in effect

until 1863, when it was repealed.

On February 14, the 18th Assembly came to an anti-

climactic end. Logan collected his per diem and mileage,

$145, and said good-by to the many new friends he had made

and returned to Egypt over muddy February roads. The ses-

sion had given Logan a chance to move up the political

ladder. His name was known throughout Illinois, and he

had made a record that gave him increased stature in

Egypt. The 26 year old returned as a conquering hero

who had advanced his section's legislative banner, met the

enemy, and emerged victorious. His fellow Egyptians were

already speaking of the great things the future held for him.

Harris, op. cit., 237.

3Gustavus Koerner, Memoirs, II, 31.

On his return, Logan and Parish settled down to

their expanding practice in Benton. Shortly thereafter

John was summoned to Murphysboro by the news that his father

was dying. Dr. Logan had been in poor health for some ticie

and John arrived to find him barely alive. Within the

week, despite the best attention available, Dr. Logan
died from an abscessed liver. Phe young legislator's

triumphant return *;aa shattered. The deep affection

between father and son is obvious from their correspond-

ence. The doctor had been proud of his son's success;

his influence on John's youth and early political career was

considerable. ,ith the doctor'u death Tom, 25, took over

the management of the family farm and John returned to

his practice.

Back in Benton, Logan found that increased popu-

larity materially aided him. Logan and Parish took all

kinds of cases. They defended murderers, took divorce

cases, and spent most of their time in actions involving

s.-iall claims.2 Logan's most Zanous case during this brief

period as an attorney was his defense of a prominent citizen

of Union County on trial for murder. Hostility toward

George Smith, Southern Illinois, III, 1149.
Ms. of legal notebooks, 1851-58, Logan Mss.

his client led Logan to ask for a change of venue, and the

trial was moved to Golconda. John's plea was self-defense

as the death had taken place during an altercation. The

courthouse stood in a field of grazing sheep. As John

arose to deliver his sunrm;tion to the jury, a dog chased

a lamb into the courtroom. Sensing his opportunity, John

seized the larb and, holdin- it in his aris, likened the

defendant to the sacrificial lamb of the Old Testament.

The plea wias effective and the jury found the defendant

not "uilty.1

But John was not long to -ppear as an attorney for

the defense. In 153 the election for prosecuting attorney

of the Third Judicial Fistrict was to be held. A victory

in this election would give hin an excellent chance of

improving himself p litically, as iell as ganiing prestige

in the legal profession The Third DiUtrict included the

lo,.-er 16 counti-s of the state and included most of the

counties of the Ninth Congressional District. \ term as

prosecutor would give John a chance to spread hi- influence

over the entire area and stand him in good rtead for any
future attempt at h -- r elective office. He announced
Dawson, op. cit., 9.

Hawkins, op. cit., 26.

for the office he had held briefly in 1852 and was easily

In the spring of 1854 Logan began his new official

duties. He retained his partnership with Parish in name

until 1855, when Parish became circuit court judge and the

partnership was dissolved. As prosecutor, John visited

the counties of his district for the regular court sessions.

Travel over rough roads on horseback was tiring and occa-

sional rheumatism, contracted during the march to Santa Fe,
was painful.

Court was pure delight to John. There was ample

opportunity for hearty conviviality, story telling, and

discussion of politics. Though his judicial duties occu-

pied a great deal of time, the young attorney was active

in Egyptian politics. His leadership in the legislature,

his record as prosecutor and his willingness to speak out

in defense of the section at every occasion made him a

growing force in Egypt. The editor of the Cairo City Times

reported on June 7, 1845 his attendance at court, where

he met, "Our old friend John A. Logan, performing

with universal acceptability the duties of State's Attorney."2

Mary Logan, Reminiscences, 8.
Cairo City Times, June 7, 1854.

1854 was an election year and Logan maintained

close interest in the Democratic nomination for the House.

It went to Scott Marshall, who was chosen to succeed Uillis

Allen, leaving the House after two terms. Logan had met

Marshall on the circuit, and they had become close friends.

During his campaign, Marshall prominently displayed a list

of "intimate acquaintances" who endorsed his candidacy.

Logan's name headed the list.1

The same year brought the renewal of the debate

over slavery in the territories which many felt had been

solved in 1850. Most of the Illinois Democrats, Logan

included, backed Douglas and popular sovereignty as a

solution to the problem and endorsed the Kansas-Nebraska

Act. When the Little Giant returned to Springficld, plans

were made for a great meeting to greet him. Logan journeyed

to the capital to see the senator, and as Douglas spoke to

the crowd, John stood among the state's party leaders behind

him. He enthusiastically applauded Douglas' statement,

"I tell you the time has not yet come when a handful of

traitors in our camp can turn the great State of Illinois...

into a Negro worshiping, Negro equality community."2

Ibid., Nov. 1, 1854. Among other names on the
list was Marion County Democrat Silas Bryan, father of
William Jennings Bryan.
Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years,
II, 10.

Logan returned to Egypt and in January, 1855 he

watched the bitter assembly battle in the election of a U.S.

Senator. The leading candidates were incumbent Democrat

James Shields and the Democratic Governor Joel Matteson.

Also in the race were former Congressman Abraham Lincoln

and anti-Nebraska Democrat Lyman Trumbull, who was opposed

by the Douglas men for what they felt amounted to desertion.

Shields and Lincoln were the leading contenders at the out-

set, but neither seemed able to muster a majority. On the

sixth ballot, with the body deadlocked, three Democrats

voted for Logan, "a particularly violent and very young

Democrat who was outspoken in his pro-slavery and Southern

sympathies."4 Logan's three votes went to Matteson on the

next ballot and the governor battled Trumbull, with the

latter winning the seat.

Logan's three votes were obviously a temporary

marking time by the three men, especially since John, at

28, was constitutionally unable to serve. Nevertheless

the mention of Logan's name, even in so casual a manner,

illustrates that he was a rising figure.

The new year was a fortunate one for the young

lawyer-politician. In the spring John began a legal

Albert Beveridge, Abraham Lincoln, II, 285. The
three legislators voting for Logan were Hopkins, Gray,
and Thomas Sams. Sams represented Logan's old district.

association with W. J. "Josh" Allen. John's new partner

was the son of ex-Congressman Willis Allen and the partner-

ship brought to an end Logan'd estrangement from this

influential Egyptian political family. Relations had been

improving slowly since the 1852 elections, and Logan and

"Josh" Allen remained close friends down to the Civil War,

though their partnership was terminated in 1859.1

Most of John's business in early 1855 concerned a

murder trial at Jonesboro, but he had time to devote to

politics. In the prohibition election of that year, he

spoke against the "drys" as the southern counties voted

solidly against the law. He lost no occasion to speak

approval of popular sovereignty and to acclaim Douglas a

future president. Logan also spoke several times against

the Know-Nothings, charging them with intolerance and with

attempting to deny constitutional rights to many Americans.

One of these speeches, at Metropolis, led the Cairo City

Times to exclaim, "John is one of the right sort; a pure

patriot and unflinching Democrat."2

Perhaps the most important political event of the

year in Egypt was Douglas' autumn visit. The Little Giant

History of Jackson County, 66; Cairo City Times,
April 4, 1855.
Cairo City Times, May 2, 1855.

was pleased with the Democratic organization in southern

Illinois and promised to speak there in September and

October.1 He made several stops and Logan joined the senator

in striking out at opposition to "Nebraska policy." The 29

year old prosecutor had become Douglas' close friend and

supporter, and the older man was happy to be associated

with the son of his old friend of the 10th General Assem-
Despite John's political interests, law was still

his primary concern, and as a prosecutor he toured the

circuit. These court sessions were pleasant. With the

exception of Murphysboro, none gave him greater pleasure

than his stops in Shawneetown, county seat of Gallatin

County, a lively village overlooking the Ohio. It had been

one of Egypt's earliest ports, and many of the section's

pioneers, who drifted down the Ohio, debarked there. In

1855 it was the sight of a thriving land office serving

much of southern Illinois.3
Registrar of the Shawneetown land office was

John's old friend John M. Cunringham, and John was always

Stephen A. Douglas to Charles Lanphier, July 7,
1855, Lanphier Mss., Illinois State Historical Library,
Cairo City Times, Sept. 26, 1855; Frank E.
Stevens, The Life of Stenhen A. Douglas, 673.
3Brownell, op. cit., 96.

welcome at the captain's home. Cunningham had crossed the

continent to California after the Mexican War, had been

unsuccessful in his quest for gold, and returned to Illinois

to serve as Massac County marshal. Then in 1853 the captain

was appointed registrar of the land office.1

In 1854 Logan's circuit took him to Shawneetown

and the old friends met and re-lived the march to Santa Fe.

Logan reminded the captain that during the war he had

promised to give him his daughter Mary in marriage. The

promise had been made in jest since she was only eight at

the time, but Logan asked about her and was told she was

in school at St. Vincent's Academy, near Morganfield,

Kentucky.2 During the next year Logan returned frequently

and in June, 1855 Mary came home and her father invited

Logan to meet her. The girl was 17, vivacious and friendly,

with a large circle of young friends.

John seems to have fallen in love with Mary almost

from their first meeting, but Mary, fresh from school,

showed signs of uncertainty. Her return from St. Vincent's

brought a round of parties with old friends, but Logan

persisted, and traveled long distances to spend weekends

with her. In the early summer John was able to spend

Shawneetown Illinoisan, AprJl 1, 1853; Mary Logan,
Reminiscences, 28.
Mary Logan, Reminiscences, 27, 29.
Ibid., 38-39.

some time in Shawneetown as prosecutor in a local murder

case and Mary's hesitancy began to fade with his constant


By August John was ready to propose and on the

sixth he wrote her of his love, concluding with, "be

assured of my sincerity and after mature reflection, say

that you will be mine."2 Mary's answer was not complete

acceptance. She still had reservations, and later wrote:

"To this day I marvel that a young man of Logan's rare

ability, ambition, and mature years...should hazard his

career by marrying a girl of seventeen."3 Logan's reply

to her letter was a panic stricken missive asking if there

was a rival for her affections. His fears were quickly

allayed, however, and one day later, in Benton, he received

her acceptance. November 27 was the wedding date.4

From August to November, Logan rode to Shawneetown

whenever possible and the two corresponded steadily. Their

letters indicate that Mary's shyness had passed; the letters

are those of two people in love. John wrote, "I would

Shawneeto-.n Illinoisan, March 2, 1855.
JAL to Mary Cunningham, Aug. 6, 1855, Logan Mss.
Mary Logan, Reminiscences, 38-39.
JAL to Mary Cunningham, Aug. 15, 16, 1855, Logan

rather dwell in a tent with one faithful heart, than lord

it in palaces with an ungrateful one." She answered, "I

make no pretensions and give you myself heart and hand."l

They exchanged miniatures, and in October, when Mary spent

a week in Kentucky at her old school, John journeyed to

Murphysboro, assuring Mary, "I shall have a nice time

telling my good old Mother all about My Mary and having her

advice to me."2

On the eve of the wedding some unpleasantness arose

when Captain Cunningham was accused by the Shawneetown

Illinoisan of fraud, but the charges were not proved.

Defense came from many quarters, and by nuptial day the

cloud had passed. The wedding was simple. Logan's family

lived too far to attend and the couple was married by John's

old partner, Judge Parish, in the presence of a few friends.4

Accompanied by several traveling companions, the

wedding pair left for Benton. Until a cottage was ready,

they lived with Parish and his wife. John soon took his

bride to Murphysboro to meet his family, returning with a

JAL to Mary Cunningham, Aug. 20, 1855, Logan Mss.
JAL to Mary Cunningham, Oct. 5, 1855, Logan Mss.
Cairo City Times, Oct. 31, 1855.

Mary Logan, Reminiscences, 39.

colored maid donated by Mrs. Logar.. Mary's first months

in Benton were a constant strain, 3ince she had to act as

hostess to large groups of her husband's friends in Benton

for court session. "Remembering that Logan's wife must be

equal to everything," she later wrote, "I put aside my

Mary accompanied Logan on the circuit. She endured

jolting buggy rides from town to town and was entranced with

the excitement of court days. These events were the only

contact many had with the outside, and Mary took pride in

John's activity in discussions. Through such attentions,

Logan was rapidly becoming Egypt's most popular political

leader.2 Mary became more than a mere traveling companion

as she began to read law reports to her husband and write

blanks for the indictments used by the prosecutor.3
Soon Mary's delightful, arduous, trips had to cease.

In early 1856 John learned that he was going to become a

father. The cottage in Benton became a lonely place for

the young wife and she told John she would never get used

to his absences.4 His letters were filled with legal news

and regrets at separation. Occasionally Logan's fellow

Ibid., 41.
Ibid., 52-53.
3Ibid., 50.
Mary Logan to JAL, Jan. 31, 1856, Logan Mas.

lawyers wrote Mary to assure her of John's health.

At every possible occasion John came to Benton, but

1856 was an important political year and visits became

fewer. He kept in close touch with local, state, and

national affairs. From Washington a Douglas supporter

suggested Logan begin organizing support for the Little

Ciant for president, "so as to show abroad that he stands

fair in his own state."2 Other politicians wrote asking

his advice and support, indicating that his influence was

being courted by office-seekers throughout southern


In the summer, Lcgan joined Illinois Democrats

at Springfield to nominate their candidates for state office.

a. c de lord the fact that Buchanan had won the presi-

dential nomination over Douglas, but they endorsed "Buck

and Dreck" against the "Black :e .blic- Fremont. Logan

.;as named an elector on the Democratic ticket from the

1linth Congressional District, and he was one of the

orators chosen to address the mass meeting held after the

conientron. .illiam A. Richardson was nominated for

',. Crenshaw to Mary Logan, Aug. 13, 1856,
Logan MTss.
John Hacker to JAL, Feb. 22, 1856, Logan lHs.

Green B. Ra m to JIL, Aug. 7, 1856; WJilliam H.
Snyder to JAL, March 13, 1856, Logan Mss.
Cairo Times and Delta, May 7, 1856.

governor against William Bissell, a former Democrat who

had broken with the party on the Kansas issue. The "Nebraska"

test of loyalty to Douglas' leadership was applied every-

where by the Democrats, and in Egypt, with the exception

of the German counties along the Mississippi, the Little

Giant received solid support. The lows of the German

Democrats was partially compensated for by the accession

to the Democrats of old Whigs whose party had disinte-

In Egypt, the Democratic Convention in the Ninth

District re-nominated Scott Marshall for the House, a

nomination tantamount to election. Logan again stumped

southern Illinois for Marshall and the party ticket. In

the fall he decided to resign as state's attorney and run

for the legislature from his old district. His powerful

voice was heard throughout the section as he denounced

"Black Republicans" and Know-Nothings with equal fervor.2

When Douglas spoke in Carbondale in October, Logan joined

Marshall and loillis Allen in echoing the statements of the

senior senator.3 At Belleville the Democrats invaded the

German counties in force and Logan joined John A. McClernand,

James Robinson, both congressmen, Don Morrison and Bob

Cole, op. cit., 126.

2Cairo Times and Delta, July 16, 1856.

3Ibid., Oct. 15, 1856.

Ingersoll, in speaking for the party's candidates. Gus-
tavus Koerner remembered Logan as "one of the most vitu-

perative speakers [who] abused Colonel Bissell so as to

disgust even his party friends."I

Logan's own contest was never in doubt, and on
election day he rolled up a greater majority than four years

earlier. For a time, however, the fate of Buchanan and
Richardson in Illinois was in doubt. Despite huge Demo-

cratic majorities in Egypt, the Republicans carried the

state house and Buchanan barely won the state's electoral

votes.2 whilee Logan felt that the state was "disgraced"
for having voted for Bissell Republicans gloried in their

gains and stated that only the solid vote of backward Egypt,
the "land of darkness," had kept Illinois out of the Repub-

lican column.3

The elation of election victory was followed by
the excitement of the birth of his first child, John Cun-
ningham Loran. December was the happiest period of the

Gustavus Koerner, Memoirs, II, 29.
Cairo Tirm-i and Delta, Nov. 26, 1856; D. ... Lusk,
.'litics and Politicians of Illinois, 35. In Logan's
district composed of Franklin and Jackson Counties, Buchanan
and Richardson ran far ahead of the Republicans. Buchanan
carried Franklin by 1051 to 5 and Jackson by 1144 to 2.
Richardson carried Franklin by 1076 to 34 and Jackson by
1096 to 46. The vote in Illinois for president was:
Buchanan 105,528; Fremont 96,27; Fi Imore, 37,531.
3Illinois rtate Journal (Springfield), Nov. 19,
1856; JAL to Mary, Nov. 9, 1356, Logan Mss.

young couple's life. Baby and mother prospered, and the

proud new father boasted of his son and looked forward to

the session of the legislature. The separation in January

was an agonizing one. The Logans decided that mother and

child should stay in Benton rather than undertake the trip

to Springfield. John's brother William, who aspired to

a legal career, had been studying with his older brother

in Benton, and he promised to stay with Mary and the baby.

The 20th General Assembly met in Springfield on

January 5, 1857. This time Logan was no longer the obscure

son of a former legislator, but a figure of considerable

influence. Despite Bissell's victory, the Democrats had

captured both houses of the Assembly, and the governor

was faced by a hostile legislature. On the Democratic

side of the House, outstanding leaders were Logan, John

Dougherty, Ebon C. Ingersoll, Bob's brother, W. R. Morrison,

and S. W. Moulton. Leaders of the Republicans were C. B.

Denio and Isaac Arnold. There was also a small group of

six Know-Nothin7s, led by Shelby M. Cullom of Springfield.2

First business was election of a speaker, and Demo-

crat Samuel Holmes' victory over Isaac Arnold presaged

Mary Logan, Reminiscences, 57.
Journal Illinois House of Representatives, Twentieth
General Assembly, 1857, 3-5. Hereafter cited as House
Journal, 1857.

Democratic domination. The House completed its routine

business, and Logan, Moulton and Cullom were named to con-

duct Governor Matteson to the chair for his message. The

address was a review of his administration, and Logan made

the routine motion to print 20,000 copies of the speech,

which passed.1

The following day committee assignments were made.

Logan was appointed to Judiciary, Finance, Penitentiary,

Banks and Corporations, and was named chairman of the

Committee on Elections. On January 13, the serenity of

the chamber was shattered and party feelings were inflamed

almost to the point of violence. Logan's speech caused the

explosion, for which many had been waiting.

Governor Bissell was a victim of a "rheumatic...

affliction of the lower extremities which prevents me

from much -l]':In-, without assistance." The partial

paralysis was a result of Mexican War injuries, and Bissell

decided in 1855, to give up politics. In 1856 he changed

his mind when he discovered "an extraordinary and persistent

effort being made to wheel Illinois into the ranks of
slavery supporting...states."

Ibid., 28.
'. H. Bissell to E. Peck, Jan. 21, 1856, Joseph
Gillespie Mss., Illinois State Historical Library, Spring-

Bissell had been a Democrat, but renounced Douglas'

leadership following the Kansas-Nebraska Act. His change

to the Republican Party cost him little support and in

1856 he was elected governor in an immense show of popu-

larity. This was treason, and Democrats were looking for

a chance to attack the traitor. Their opportunity came

when they discovered that Bissell had once been challenged

to a duel by Senator Jefferson Davis of Mississippi in a

feud involving their actions in the Mexican War. Since the

1848 Constitution prevented a man from taking office as

chief executive under these conditions, the stage was set.2

Strangely enough, the Democrats did not press the

accusation in the campaign, but Logan and the other Demo-

crats had been preparing their case since the election,

and seeking "an orator to execute the unfeeling task

selected with skillful penetration." Logan was chosen.3

This plan of attack was not unknown to the general public

since newspapers, mostly Democratic, had been editorializing

lCole, on) cit., 152.
;.helby M. Cullom, Fifty Years of Public Service:
Personal Recollections, 180; Bateman and Selby, op. cit.,
I, 48; Cole, op. cit., 151-152.
Alexander Davidson and Bernard Stuve, History of
Illinois, 661; JAL to William R. Morrison, Jan. 13, 1857;
William R. Morrison to JAL, Jan. 13, 1857; JAL to Philip B.
Fouke, Jan. 6, 1857, Logan Mss.; Robert D. Holt, "The
Political Career of William A. Richardson," Journal
Illinois State Hist. Soc., XXVI, No. 3 (Oct., 1933), 242.

on Bissell's disqualification for some time.

Then the Assembly convened, the state waited for

the Democratic challenge. D e to Bicsell's infirmity, the

governor's message was read by I. R. Diller. It was a

moderate speech, but left no doubt but that Bissell was
opposed to extension of slavery in the territories.

following the reading, Arnold moved to print 20,000 copies.

Loaan rose, moved to amend the number to 10,000 and began

his tirade against Bissell. He condemned Bissell's position

on slavery as an abject surrender to the abolitionist prin-

ciples of the Republicans, and assaulted the governor as a

perjurer, branding him as unfit to hold his high office.

"achinr. an emotional crescendo, Logan concluded:

This sir, is my home. Beneath the green and
hallowed sod of this beautiful prarie state lie the
bones of my aged and venerable father. Snall I
stand quietly by, as one of the people's reore-
sentatives, and see her public morals corrupted,
her constitution violated, her honor tarnished, and
give ro sound of alarm?3

His final words were lost in a roar of applause from the

Democrats and a storm of boos from the Republicans. Arnold

and Denio rose to Bissell's defense, and Koerner condemned

Cqiro Times and Delta Nov. 19, 1856.
Cullom, o1. cit., 25.
3Ms. of a speech delivered January 13, 1857, in
the Illinois State Legislature, Logan Liss.

the speech as the "coarsest billingsgate."l A Republican

paper called Logan's effort a "long and frothy

which he has disgusted his own party."2 Even the Know-

Nothings backed Bissell and Cullom called the speech "cruel

and a virulent attack" and recalled, "I became very much
prejudiced against him."

Democrats jumped to Logan's defense. The speech

was published, in pamphlet form, with an appendix of letters

from Davis to Bissell, for distribution throughout Illinois.

Support came from many quarters, and Judpe I. N. Haynie

told Logan that his speech had been well received in

Egypt.5 Some Democrats, however, were upset by the lack

of consideration shown the sickly governor.

Bissell was a sensitive man, and the attack "deeply

wounded him." He became his own best defender. Instead

of resorting to vituperation, he countered the charges with

calm, reasoned argument. Bissell simply maintained, as he

had during the election, that the constitution did not

Koerner, op. cit., II, 39.
Quincy Weekly Whig, Feb. 7, 1857.

Cullom, op. cit., 25, 180.

Davidson and Stuve, op. cit., 661.
I. N. Haynie to JAL, Jan. 17, 1857, Logan Mss.
Davidson and Stuve, op. cit., 661.

apply in his case. His defense was that the technical

challenge had not been given or accepted and that no duel

had been fought. Furthermore he claimed that since the

entire affair had taken place outside the state and not

within Illinois' jurisdiction, he was in no way a perjurer

and could take his oath of office.1

The turmoil gradually subsided, but the animosities

the speech created remained beneath the surface. The
"Bissell speech" was Logan's major achievement of the

session, and while it strengthened him at home, its very

nature tended to verify Republican claims that Logan was

little better than a bigoted, cruel rowdy from backward

Egypt who merely served as a henchman for Douglas.2

For the rest of the session, Logan's activity was

steady and unsensational. He introduced a number of private

incorporation bills which easily passed. He led the fight

against repeal of part of his "Negro exclusion bill" of

1853, and the motion to repeal was tabled 46 to 28.3
Another move popular in Egypt was his active participation

in the fight to fend off reapportionment. One proposal,

which would have cut the number of representatives in

Koerner, op. cit., II, 39; Cullom, op. cit., 180.
Cameron Rogers, Colonel Bob Ingersoll, 89.

3House Journal, 1857, 91.

Lower Egypt from five to four, was tabled 38 to 32.

Among the most constructive legislation of the session were

acts establishing free schools, and the law building a new

penitentiary. These were passed with little fanfare, and

when the solons dispersed February 19, the Logan speech

remained the most talked about event of the session.

Mary anxiously awaited the end of the business in

Springfield. She wrote a stream of letters chronicling

the progress of the baby and complaining of the dull life

in Benton. Bob Ingersoll, who stopped to see her, told

her in February that the session would probably run longer

than usual.2 Sooner than she expected, John came home to

spend what they both hoped would be a long sojourn.

However, fate seemed against them having much time

together. Logan had to make a living, and he soon set off

on circuit, with his partner "Josh" Allen. He found no

dearth of business, and the young barrister who had bearded

the Republicans in the capital had as much work as he could

handle. He was gradually becoming one of the most sought

after lawyers in the southern half of the state. In the

summer of 1857, Logan was retained by the prosecution in

iIbid., 895.
Mary Logan to JAL, Jan. 18, Feb. 11, 1857,
Logan Mss.
3JAL to Mary Logan, May 13, 1857, Logan Mss.

the case for which he is best remembered.

Shawneetovm was a town of violent Democratic

factionalism. The local paper, the Illinoisan, actively

participated in these feuds and served as a mouthpiece for

Colonel James C. Sloo, a quarrelsome Democrat who differed

with most Egyptians on slavery. Sloo had been at odds with

the majority of his party for years, once calling Scott
Marshall a "foul mouthed puppy." Leader of the colonel's

opponents was John E. Hall, clerk of the county and circuit

courts. Hall was a close friend of Captain Cunningham and

Bob Ingersoll, his deputy. These three constantly came

under attack from the Illinoisan and Sloo.2

The Hall faction frequently used nearby newspapers

to defend themselves. In October, 1856, the Marion Intel-

ligencer ran an article signed "Vindex," which delivered

a scurrilous attack on Colonel Sloo. When Ingersoll

asked his superior if he was "Vindex," he received an

enigmatic reply. Hall's manner convinced Ingersoll that

Shawneetown Illinoisan, Sept. 8, 1854.
Ms. of Ingersoll Brothers legal day book, 1856-57,
Robert G. and Ebon C. Ingersoll Mss., Illinois State
Historical Library, Springfield; Rogers, op. cit., 86;
Herman Kittredge, Robert G. Ingersoll; a Biographical
Anpreciation, 36; Shawneetown Illinoisan as quoted in the
Cairo City Times, Oct. 31, 1855.
3Marion Intelligencer, Oct. 10, 1856.

he had delivered the blast.1

In November, Colonel Sloo's son Robert returned

from West Point and began gunning for "Vindex." As Inger-

soll was taking dictation from Hall, one day Bob Sloo

appeared in the doorway. Before either man could move,

Sloo fired, and Hall lay dead in Ingersoll's arms. The

young assassin made no attempt to escape and was quickly

apprehended, but the trial did not begin until spring of


In southern Illinois, the excitement of the Dred

Scott decision pailed into insignificance beside the Sloo

trial. As the time approached, Shawneetown was deluged by

visitors. The prosecution hired Logan and Allen, and the

defense vas led by John Dougherty, a leading Democrat and
old friend of Colonel Sloo. Logan took the case hesi-

tantly since Mary was slightly ill when he left Benton.

Empaneling a jury took some time, so heated were

local passions, and it was late M-'ay before the trial began.

The defense produced an immediate sensation when it indi-

cated that Sloo's defense would be temporary insanity,

a plea Logan considered "a most infamous lie...but will

Rogers, op. cit., 87; Kittredge, op. cit., 39.
Cairo Times and Delta, June 3, 1857.

not avail him in my judgement." The trial dragged on

through the summer until tempers were frayed and passions

almost at the breaking point. To make matters more uncom-

fortable for Logan, Mary's illness had not abated and the

baby was sick. By August he was ready to go home:

You can not imagine the distress and uneasiness
of mind I am in since reading your letter. Has the
Lord determined to destroy our happiness on this
earth" I am almost tempted to start home tonight,
but...I suppose I will have to remain in suspense
till I hear again. We are nearly through this week
and God knows I will not leave you again.2

He also advised her that he was confident that Sloo could

not be acquitted and that a hung jury was the accused's

only hope of escape.

In early August, Logan wrote that Sloo's defense
"have got four abolition doctors here from the North who

are going to swear that he is crazy as a bedbug and God

knows what effect it will have on the case."3 The effect

was disastrous, and Sloo was eventually acquitted on the

grounds of insanity. This was a pioneer case in the state

since it was one of the first acquittals based on insanity.

Logan had served the prosecution ably and was disappointed

JAL to Mary Logan, May 28, 1857, Logan Mss.
Ibid., Aug. 3, 4, 1857, Logan Mss.

3 Ibid., July 28, 1357, Logan Mss.

at the verdict, but he was at last free to return to

He returned to find Mary recovered but his son's

condition had worsened. It was soon evident that the baby

might never recover, and the autumn was filled with despair

which descended to the depths when the baby died in late

The period following this tragic event were months

of crisis for the family. Mary, lonely at home, had borne

the brunt of the tragedy, and was desolated. She pleaded

with John not to leave her again, and when he returned to

the circuit and the political wars in 1858, her letters

ring with supplications. "Politics if you will allow can

destroy our happiness together. It will robb [sic] you of

all domestic feelings and make you miserable except when in

the society of men engaged in the discussion of political

subjects." The rest of this letter reveals the core of

their personal relationship during these bleak days:

I know my dear will forgive me when he remembers
what a different life I have had. I was married with
nothing but pleasure and happiness in view. I was
just from the scenes of happy school days. I was
young and knew nothing of life and did not anticipate
its realities so full of sorrow. I have been sick
almost all the time, and you have been forced to be

Rogers, on. cit., 89.
Mary Logan, Reminiscences, 58.

away from home so much of your time. Death has
visited us and taken our little Treasure. Indeed
we have had life in all its realities. You were
older and have mingled with the world and did not
picture life as one smooth scene of pleasure, and
I have always leaned upon you as my only sup ort
in undergoing all these changes. I have ever looked
up to you as a Father more than a companion and have
expected you to listen to my complaints and troubles
and to talk with me and show me my errors when I do
wrong.... In the future lets hope for a brighter life
and although circumstances may yet bring forth trials
that attend mankind we may be happy together.1

These letters are a far cry from the blissful

picture Mrs. Logan painted of their marriage years later.

"Our marriage was a real partnership," she wrote, "I shared

his thoughts and plans no less when he was a Senator than

when he was a prosecuting attorney in Southern Illinois."2

Logan countered with arguments he used over and

over. He told Mary that law and politics were his only

trade. He regretted the separations, but they were neces-

sary for him to make a living. whetherr due to his arguments,

or because Mary realized that John was what he was, her

letters are punctuated with glimpses of life, as when she

wrote, "It will sound rather strange to you to see me so

much interested about your being 3 candidate,...but I am

satisfied you will not be contented to lead a quiet domestic

life for a few years at least." One reason for this interest

Mary Logan to JAL, Iarch 8, 1858, Logan Mss.
Mary Logan, Reminiscences, vii.

was that the candidacy Mary alluded to was for congressman.

She hoped that a victory would keep them together more

effectively than Logan's earlier posts.1

In the spring of 1858, rumors spread through Egypt

that Marshall would step aside and that Logan would be his

successor. Logan's apprenticeship in state politics was

coming to a close. As he had moved from local politics

to the state level in 1853, so he was prepared to move to

the national scene in 1858. While the nation watched

Illinois, all Egypt kept an eye on Logan, waiting for con-

firmation of rumor. In Benton, Mary Logan listened and

hoped for the best.



Egypt had always been a Democratic stronghold.

Whigs received little support from small farmers who loudly

and proudly proclaimed their loyalty to Jacksonian Demo-

cracy. In 1856 Republicans showed little power in Egypt.

Know-Nothings generally ran ahead of Republicans, there

but their total vote was insignificant compared to the

immense vote for Buchanan and Richardson. For years,

Democrats running for state positions had counted on

Egyptian landslides to push them into office. Douglas

was no exception, and in 1846 and 1852 the section marched

solidly behind him. Then came the renewal of the question

of slavery in the territories, which brought a change to

the Democratic party of Egypt, Illinois, and the nation.

In 1857 Buchanan demanded that the Lecompton Con-

stitution be accepted as the formula for solution of the

Kansas muddle. When support of this mockery of popular

sovereignty became a test of party loyalty, the Democratic

party became hopelessly divided. In December, Douglas,

who would not accept the pro-slave constitution, arrived

in Washington to talk to the President. The two men could

not agree, and Buchanan warned the Illinois senator of

the price of party insurgency.

The Douglas-Buchanan split had immediate reper-

cussions in Egypt. Most southern Illinois Democrats fell

in behind Douglas, but there were administration supporters,

and a Buchanan organ threw down the gauntlet:
It has been boasted that Mr. Douglas holds Illinois
in his breeches pocket, and can lead it away with him
in support of whatever vagaries his self-willed head
may l1ad him into. This is a most tremendous mis-

Logan never hesitated in his support of the Little

Giant, agreeing with the Douglas press which proclaimed,

"The people are with him for he is right."3 As the Douglas-

ites organized for the battle, there was speculation as to

the Douglas candidate for the House in the Ninth District.

In April, Scott Marshall declined to run for re-election,

announcing that he had a friend willing to take up the

cry against Lecompton. To most Egyptians the "friend"

was obviously Logan, and in a perceptive view of Egyptian

politics the administration press asked:

Philip G. Auchampaugh, "The Buchanan-Douglas
Feud," Journal, Illinois State Hist. Soc., XXV, No. 1
(April, 1932), 12; Milton, The Eve of Conflict, 273.
Cairo Times and Delta, Feb. 24, 1858.
Salem Advocate, Jan. 1, 1858.
Wlilliam Hacker to JAL, April 11, 1858, Logan Mss.

How have our Congressional candidates been nomi-
nated and elected? Beginning with Willis Allen they
have been elected by the fiat of a few. Samuel S.
Marshall was a man of influence and belonged to this
clique; John A. Logan is a man of influence and
belongs to this clique; W. J. Allen is a man of
influence and belongs to this clique; all were
aspirants for congressional honors; therefore it
was arranged between them that Mr. Marshall should
first go to Congress, Mr. Logan next, each one
turning his own influence and that of his friends
in favor of the one whose turn it might be to go
to Congress.

There had been such an agreement between F-::t's Demo-

cratic leaders, and Marshall, having stepped aside, looked

forward to Logan's "glorious victory over the Black Republi-

cans and the Chicago Postmaster traitors combined."2

Most Illinois Democratic leaders remained loyal

to Douglas and denounced the "Danites" or "Buccaneers,"

as the administration men were called. Logan took the

stump early in the campaign in defense of his leader.

After a speech in Cairo on April 13, even the hostile local

.ress called his effort "calm and argumentative and fre-

quently interrupted by cheering." Many leading Democrats

wrote Logan in the spring assuring him of an easy triumph

in the Ninth District. Congressman James C. Robinson

Cairo Tires and Delta, April 21, 1858.
S. S. Marshall to JAL, May 2, 1859, Logan Mss.
The "Postmaster traitors" are the "Danites."
Cairo Times and Delta, April 1i, 1958.

advised him that even the doubtful counties of the district

were free of both Republicans and Lecomptonites.1

The Republicans saw in the Democratic schism a

chance for victory in the Senate race as well as a possi-

bility of picking up several House seats. The "Danites"

were making such extravagant claims in Egypt that some

Republican leaders envisioned possible gains in the Demo-

cratic stronghold. These optimists were warned by D. L.

Phillips, a Democrat turned Republican, that these claims

were false and that Egypt was still pro-Douglas. He added

in a letter to Senator Trumnbull, "The Democracy here are

led by the Allens, Marshall, Lo-an. .and others, and these

are all for Douglas. John Logan is bitter against Bucha-

nan."2 Another Egyptian Republican wrote Trumbull that

Logan preferred Seward to Buchanan.3

If the "Danites" had little strength in Egypt,

they were weaker in northern Illinois where their extreme

"doughfacism" was in disfavor. In many counties only the

federally appointed postmasters were Buchanan men, and

Republicans began to realize that division in their

James C. Robinson to JAL, April 21, 1858, Logan
D. L. Phillips to Lyman Trumbull, March 2, 1858,
Lyman Trumbull Mss.

3Ben L. Wiley to Lyman Trumbull, March 2, 1858,
Trumbull Mss.

opponents' ranks might do them little good.1

With Logan's nomination a foregone conclusion, he

became a target for attacks by both "Danite" and Republican

papers. The State Journal called him "an arrant trickster

of the blackguard order." The Republican organ at Chicago

agreed and added: "He is a Douglasite...and evinces determi-

nation to follow that gentleman unto the end." Among

Democratic papers of the state, however, administration

forces fared badly. Sixty-nine papers u.u ort d Douglas

with only five backing the "Danites."3

Organized campaigning began April 21 when Demo-

crats assembled at Springfield. Douglas' candidacy was

endorsed and candidates nominated for two state offices.

After Douglas' nomination, the convention split, the

"Danites" calling a meeting for June 9 to name their state

ticket. In June the Republicans gathered to name their

party's slate. They endorsed Abraham Lincoln as Douglas'

op onent and jibed at the divided Democrats. The Republi-

cans called their own convention a "brilliant triumph."

Cole, op. cit., 158.
Illinois State Journal, April 22, 1858; Chicago
Press and Tribune, quoted in Cairo Times and Delta, April 28,

3James W. Sheahan, The Life of Stephen A. Douglas,
l4ton Courier, June 24, 1858.

Shortly after the Democratic convention at Spring-

field adjourned, Logan and his fellow Egyptians held their

district convention at Thebes. Logan was nominated for

the House by acclamation, and despite the absence of oppo-

sition, he began stumping the district.

This speaking tour was interrupted in June when

Logan and his wife journeyed to Chicago to meet Senator

Douglas. On the ninth, amid wild enthusiasm, the Little

Giant entered the city. There he made his first speech of

the canvass and conferred with his supporters from all over

the state. Logan optimistically reported on conditions in

the Ninth District and applauded Douglas' speech in which

the senator attacked both Buchanan and the Republicans.1

The Douglas caravan moved on to Springfield for the sena-

tor's second major address. The Logans rode the triumphal

train to the capital and again listened to the Little Giant

excoriate their opponents.

After the Springfield mass meeting, Logan and Mary

returned to Benton to begin the congressional campaign. For

the first time since their marriage, Mary was able to

accompany him on extended tours, and she was thrilled with

the excitement of the campaign and impressed with Douglas,

Mary Logan, Reminiscences, 58.

whom she met in Chicago. Logan had promised her that she

might accompany him through the remainder of the canvass

and she took increased interest in her husband's affairs.

Opponents irore slow in appearing against Logan.

As early as April, rumors started that John Dougherty, well-

known Jonesboro Democrat, would be the "Danite" candidate,

but this was denied.2 Dougherty had a large following in

Lower Egypt, and Scott Marshall advised Logan to get him to

renounce Buchanan. This effort failed, and in June Dougherty

was nominated for state treasurer by the "Danites."3 The

Republican candidate in the Ninth District was Ben L. 7'iley,

who did little campaigning. Deploring this inactivity of

the opposition, M1arshall wrote Logan praying for a more

active fight, promising "to travel over the district and

help skin them." He added, "we won't have much fun in

Egypt unless you ca' got up --thlin of this kind."4

The first real opponent in the field was Logan's

former partner, '.. F. Farish, the "Danite" man, whom the

Cairo Times and Delta predicted would win the seat by a

Ibid., 58, 61.
Cairo Tines and Delta, April 28, 1858.

S. S. Marshall to JAL, .ay 2, 185,, Logan MILs.

"whooping majority." It v'as obvious to most observers

that the "Buccaneers" strength in Egypt was largely imagi-

nary. Logan's partner "Josh" Allen confidently told John

"we shall beat them."2

Logan discovered unexpected help. Lincoln challenged

Douglas to a series of joirt debates, and the list included

two Egyptian towns, Jonesboro and Alton. Logan would have

a chance to appear beside the senator and benefit from the

luster Douglas would add to his cause. Douglas also stood

to gain by appearing with Logan. The senator knew that

his lieutenant wielded great power in southern Illinois and

that Logan's support would probably mean that no "Danite"

legislators would be returned from Lower Egypt.
The first two debates took place at Ottawa and

Freeport, and in September the senatorial aspirants turned

toward Egypt. Dourlas arrived first, meeting Logan at

Chester, where Logan and U. F. Linder spoke for the senator.

The group moved on to Cairo, where Logan and Marshall pro-

ceeded Douglas in addressing a crowd of Democrats.3
Next day Douglas and his companions journeyed to

1Cairo Times and Delta, Aug. 11, 1858. The
Chester Herald made the first announcement of Parish's
candidacy, quoted in Chicago Press and Tribune, July 27, 1858.
W. J. Allen to JAL, July 8, 1858, Logan Mss.

3Cairo Times and Delta, Sept. 29, 1858; Linder,
op. cit., 345.

Jon .bor, to nect Lincoln, who arrived the previous evening.

S Jn boro -stin- -i, re of the quietest of the debates.

Until abaut non there s little evidence of any unusual

act*Vit -. Ab ut midday the '-m i as carriages, accompanied

by a canon, which boomed at every opportunity, rolled into

tT;a 't afternoon, about 2,000 .) le listened to the

two -1 -It!: rsnew their .rrunt't.1 iry Logan later remem-

beaed Ia' vbili y to win support by "the magnatism

of his er ality." '"h also rec!Qled Lincoln:

1 al ays like to think of Mr. Lincoln as he was
xn the days when I saw his with the eyes of an
Sor.ent. aw kardnec has not been exaggerated,
but it gave no effect of self-corsciousnuss. ,. .c
a zoeo-rt' "r about his unrainleness and about his
hoe., face, even in a state of tall an"r n ny
en, w' ch : Iud h-ve made any one who sn .y w.ssed
him in th st eet or aoa. hira pitting on a -fotorm
remember hm.

Je n bor.) debate renewed the exchange begun at

Freeport. "' s c-'nstantly cheered by the Partisan

crowd as he ended 1 r sovereignty in the fojce of the

DVPd cott decio n. Lincoln*s penetration into Egypt

.a the sinai for the -atherir of all -ypt's Re-ublicans.

corbIne4~ with the D nites," who a plauded

r 10 "' ;& 'rr T - -4, T estimates
tie crowd at ,O-J. i 'c. "'ree rs fLu:' estimated
tae number t 1, u' .. e t to
convince voters thnt Dourlan could not even draw a crowd
in *.,t.

2 Iary Loan, Penini.scences, 61.

Lincoln out of hatred for Douglas, were able to muster con-

siderable vocal support for the gangling Republican.1

While nothing novel emerged from the Jinesboro

debate, it served as a rallying point for Egyptian Demo-

crats and Republicans. After the two debators concluded,

local battles began in earnest. Logan took advantage of

Douglas' presence, and following the match with Lincoln, the

Little Giant accompanied John to Benton. '.h re, September 16,

Douglas addressed a wildly partisan crowd in a grove north-

west of town. Mrs. Lo-an was busily occupied making a huge

flag to be used in the procession to the speaker's stand,

and she arranged the reception for Douglas. With Logan

presiding, he and the senator bla-ted the "Danites" and

called on the voters of Franklin County to follow the

Douglas banner.2 The narty next moved to the state fair at

Centralia, which provided a good opportunity for a large

crowd. Again Logan and Douglas shared the platform, the

former delivering a speech which even the Chicago Press

and Tribune admitted was effective.

With the departure of Lincoln and Douglas, politics

settled back to normal. But the Alton Courier thought that

Paul M. Angle (ed.), Created Equal? The Complete
Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858, 200, 223.
Smith, op. cit., I, 300.
3Chicago Press and Tribune, Sept. 19, 1858.

following Lincoln's appearance, "Egypt is waking up and
shaking off the political cloud in which it has so long

been enshrouded."I The Republican press showed great faith
in Lincoln's vote .-ettin7 powers by predicting that Logan's

majority might be cut to 5,000, but not even his bitterest
o )ncnts forecast a Logan defeat.2
In late September, Republicans entered an active

candidate against Logan. Wiley, whose business prevented

him from campaigning, withdrew, and .. L. Phillips took

the stump.3 The canvass in the Ninth District was typical

of northwestern politics. Rallies were accompanied by the

usual fights and drinking. Most of the district's towns

raised poles flying flags lettered with the names of their
favorites, and rowdies tried to saw down poles of the

-a iition.4 Usually there were only two poles, but there

were three in the Ninth District, and the trio of candi-

dates hurled charge and counter-charge. The "Danites"

claimed the "now-Not' inr.. were for Lofan, but voters
remembering his scourging of the nativists in 1856 were

1Alton Courier, Oct. 2, 1858.
Chicago Press and Tribune, Oct. 2, 1858.
Alton Courier, Sept. 39, 1 "5.

4Charles B. Johnson, Illinois in the Fifties,

inclined to discount the story. The campaign was to a

great extent a battle of personalities, much of the time

external personalities. The names of Buchanan, Douglas,

and Lincoln appear almost as often as those of the con-

gressional candidates. However the issue of slavery in the

territories, and the negro problem in general did occupy

the three men. Logan pointed out that the Republicans

were in league with the abolitionists and if elected would

bring the feared deluge from across the Ohio. Logan found

himself between his two opponents, and from opposite poles

Republicans and administration men joined in attacking

Logan and Douglas.

These attacks enhanced Logan's popularity. Though

he spent most of his time in his own district, in October

he entered the neighboring Eighth District, and at Salem

joined Silas Bryan and I. N. Haynie in speaking for P. B.
Fouke, Douglasite candidate for Congress. Later, after a

speech at Mound City, that town's paper gave clear insight

into Logan's political personality:

Logan is a popular speaker and seems to have
espoused, certainly so far as this district is con-
cerned, the popular cause. In addition to this, he
is personally popular--is in possession of the
desirable faculty of making himself a lion in the
social circle, as he is acknowledged to be in the
political arena. In him abolitionism finds a foe
who will be satisfied only with "war to the knife,

Cairo Times and Delta, Sept. 29, 1858.
Salem Advocate, Oct. 30, 1858.

and knife to the hilt." His hate for that creed
is bitter and no man knows how to evince a bitter
spirit more completely than John A. Logan.1

Mary accompanied Logan on many of his speaking

tours, and her letters indicate that she was becoming more

easily reconciled to occasional absences. John's letters

reveal that though he thought victory was almost certain,

he regarded the canvass a "hard fight."2

The last great meeting of the contest was the final

Lincoln-Douglas debate held at Alton October 15. Again

the Democrats gathered, but this time Fouke, the Douglas

candidate from the Alton district, was the chief bene-

ficiary of the Little Giant's presence.

Following this debate, Logan concluded his own

campaign. Throughout the canvass he had speculated on

Douglas' chances. He realized the race would be close.

A Republican governor carried the state in 1856 and Lincoln

had the added advantage of divided Democracy. In the

sunmrer, the senator's friends attempted to declare a

truce, but Buchanan refused and John Slidell, Louisiana

senator, and a close Buchanan lieutenant, entered Illinois

to help undermine Douglas. The "Buccaneers" were

Mound City Emporium, Oct. 14, 1858.
I r- Logan to JAL, Oct. 4, 1858; JAL to Mary Logan,
Oct. 3, 1858, Logan Mss.
Richard R. Stenberg, "An Unnoted Factor in the
Buchanan-Douglas Feud," Journal, Illinois State Hist. Soc.,
XXV, No. 4 (Jan., 1933), 273; Milton, op. cit., 346.

particularly active in the close legislative districts,

and it was feared that if too many of them fell, Douglas

might be beaten in the assembly.1

Republicans also brought in outside help. Salmon

P. Chase of Ohio, Frank Blair of Missouri, and Schuyler

Colfax of Indiana joined the stop-Douglas movement. There

was great activity, by all sides, in the crucial central

region. There the election would be decided. Republicans

were conceded a majority in the North and Douglas awarded

Egypt, and a strong swing in either direction in the

region around Springfield could be decisive.2

Careful observers like Logan were inclined to take

other factors into account. Reapportionment had been slow

in Illinois, and the populous north was still dominated

in the legislature by the Democratic south. In addition,

only half the Senate vas to be elected, and though it was

rumored that the "Danites" were trying to influence the

holdovers to abandon Douglas, the senator's forces were

confident of their support.3

November 2, election day, was cold and rainy.

The Republicans later claimed the rain robbed them of

Sheahan, op. cit., 431.
Cole, op. cit., 165.
Cole, op. cit., 179; Milton, op. cit., 351.

victory, but apportionment more than bad weather handed

reelection to Douglas. Though Republicans won the state

offices, and Lincoln outdrew Douglas in total vote, the

legislature was Democratic.

In Egypt almost all the Douglas men were victorious.

Douglas candidates were returned from the two legislative

districts of Lower Egypt, and with the exception of German

St. Clair County, southern Illinois was solidly Douglasite.

Logan's vote was overwhelming. He rolled up 15,878 votes

to 2,796 for Phillips, and less than 200 for Parish. Even

popular John Dougherty, running for state treasurer on the

"Danite" ticket, polled only 1,215 votes in Logan's district.

The "Danites" were crushed, the Republican gain was insig-

nificant, and Logan was swept into office by a 13,000 vote

majority.2 Logan was beaten in only one county of the

sixteen in the Ninth District. In Edwards County, northern-

most of the district, he lost by 120 votes; Bissell had

carried the county by a similar margin two years earlier.

Lo-an did succeed in winning Wabash County, which Bissell

had taken in 1856. In most counties his margin was immense.

Chicago Press and TribUne, Nov. 5, 1858.
Lusk, op. cit., 45; Chicago Press and Tribune,
Nov. 18, 1858. Despite Republican claims of increased
power in lower Egypt, Phillips garnered only 600 more votes
in the Ninth District than Bissell had in 1856, Alton
Courier, Nov. 4, 1858.

Johnson County voted for Logan 1158 to 6.

Victory did not mean an immediate trip to Washing-

ton. The 36th Congress did not convene until December,

1859. John had an entire year before him, and he returned

to the circuit to make a living. The Logans spent a happy

Christmas with John's mother and family in Murphysboro

before he returned to court.

In January Logan went to Springfield to practice.

He remained through February, writing Mary to apologize

for his absence, but advising her, "there may not be so

good an opportunity for us to get some money as now."2

In February Logan was honored by the Democratic state comit-

tee. In appreciation of his speech against Bissell, they

presented him with a gold headed cane inscribed "To John A.

Logan, from his friends for the advocacy of our rights on

the 13th of Januar", 1857."3 This was good news for Mary,

but she had news of her own for John. That winter she

joyfully announced they were going to have another child.

The year was quiet in Illinois politics. Both

parties were working for 1860. The Democrats were certain

that Douglas' victory over Lincoln would win him the presi-

dential nomination, and the Republicans, though depressed

Mary Logan, Reminiscences, 70.
JAL to Mary Logan, Jan. 30, 1859, Logan Mss.
JAL to Mary Logan, Feb. 7, 1859, Logan Mss.

at their loss in the senatorial fight, had been kept alive

by the vigor of Lincoln's campaign. It was also a quiet

political year for Logan, and his time was consumed by his

practice. He defended clients accused of perjury, resisting

arrest, and illegal sale of whiskey. He also defended his

old Mexican War commander, Captain James Hampton, accused

of assault and battery. The practice brought him a fair

living, but like many attorneys he marked many of his

accounts unpaid.2

Logan spent a great deal of time in Benton, and

was with Mary when their daughter, named Dorothy after

John's sister, was born. The summer was a pleasant one.

Even during Logan's absences, Mary's letters were happy.

When summer gave way to autumn, however, a new crisis arose.

The baby was too small to stand the trip to Washington,

and what she had hoped would be time together turned into a

long separation. Her disappointment was intense, and the

parting a painful one, but John promised to send for her

as soon as possible. In November he left Benton for

Cincinnati on the first leg of his journey.3

William E. Baringer, "Camoaign Technique in
Illinois, 1860," Transactions, Illinois State Hist. Soc.,
No. 39 (1932), 203.
Ms. legal account book, 1859, Logan Mss.
3JAL to Mary Logan, Nov. 23, 1859, Logan Mss.

In Cincinnati, Logan waited for fellow Congress-

man Phil Fouke for two days. When he failed to arrive,

Logan caught a train for Washington. The trip, Logan's

first into the East, was an interesting experience, espe-

cially a brief stop at Harperp Ferry. It had been little

more than a month since John Brown raided the town, and

bullet holes were still plainly visible. Logan, who bit-

terly condemned Brown, shuddered as he wrote to his wife

after seeing the town. "There is more danger of a rupture

in this government now than [there] has ever been before."1

Logan arrived in Washington November 26, an unknown

freshman congressman from the Northwest. lie was cheered

to hear several Southern congressmen say that Douglas was

the only man to handle the national emergency. For the

moment, however, the state of the union had to take second

place to more practical matters.2 Logan first lodged at

Brown's Hotel where he paid $25 a week. He soon moved to

a more modest rooming house near the capitol, where he

lived with Phil Fouke.3

JAL to Mary Logan, Nov. 27, 1859, Logan Mss.
Ibid. Logan was so obscure that he was listed
in the index of the Congressional Globe as, "Logan, John A.,
a Congressman from Indiana." Cong. Globe, 36th Congress,
1st Session, pt. 1, lvi.
JAL to Mary Logan, Dec. 1, 1859, Logan Mss.

On December 4 his career as a member of the House

began informally in Democratic caucus, where he met many

of his party's leaders and voted for Thomas Bocock, of

Virginia, for speaker. The five Illinois Democrats were

anti-Lecompton men, and though they initially agreed to

back Bocock, they were an unknown quantity in the 36th

Congress. Leading the Douglas ren in the House was John

McClernand, whom John knew but casually from contacts at

political gatherings in Illinois. From Illinois Logan and

McClernand were joined by James Robinson, Isaac Morris,

and Fouke. As he looked about the caucus room Logan saw

the Ohioans, Pendleton, Vallandighaw, and -. S. Cox,

William English of Indiana, and his fellow anti-Lecomp-

tonites, Haskin of New York and Hickman of Pennsylvania.

Also present were the fiery Southerners, Pryor of Virginia,

Keitt of South Carolina, Houston of Alabama, and young,

capable L.7.C. Lamar of Mississippi.

Next day, before packed galleries, the 36th

Congress began its chaotic course. An explosion came

quickly. After one inconclusive vote for speaker, John B.

Clark of Missouri introduced a resolution that any man

who favored the views toward slavery expressed in Kinton

Helper's work, The Impending Crisis, was unfit to be

Cong. Globe, 36th Cong., 1st Sess., pt. 1, 52;
New York Times, Dec. 5, 1859.

speaker. Since the leading Republican candidate, John

Sherman, had endorsed the book, the resolution was obviously

directed at him. The reaction to Clark's proposal made the

already difficult speakership election almost impossible.

Logan favored the Clark resolution. In the attempt to

table the resolution, which failed, Logan voted against

tabling. Across the aisle, Logan listened to hated Republi-

cans locked in combat with Southerners. There was Roscoe

Conkling of New York, Thad Stevens, the club-footed aboli-

tionist from Pennsylvania, and "Honest John" Covode from

the same state. From Ohio, Logan saw Sherman and John

Bingham, and from Indiana Schuyler Colfax, the same Colfax

who had entered Illinois to speak against Douglas in 1858.

He despised these men on principle. But he had more reason

to dislike the four Illinois Republicans. Logan had crossed

them on the stump, and since "no man hated an abolitionist

more than he," the four Republicans, Elihu Washburne, John

Farnsworth, William Kellogg, and Owen Lovejoy, came in for

special abuse from the young Egyptian Democrat.1

The speakership fight was made uncertain by the

close division of the House. There were 109 Republicans,

101 Democrats, and 27 Whigs and Know-Nothings, the latter

holding the balance of powor. The second ballot, shook

Linder, o). cit., 344.

the contest down to a two-way fight between Sherman and

Bocock, with the two minor parties scattering their votes

to prevent a choice. It was obvious to Logan that House

organization would be a long and tedious process, and he

devoted all his spare time to getting his own affairs

organized. He was even forced to hire a boy to help him

until he could get settled.1

On December 7 taking advantage of a lull ih the

speakership fight, Kellogg of Illinois rose to attack the

rumored deal between Horace Greeley, editor of the New

York Tribune, and Senator Douglas. The reported bargain

would have sold out Illinois Republicans in the senatorial

election of 1858. The story was old, frequently denied by

Douglas, and it brought Illinois Democrats to their feet.

Logan tried to get the floor to answer Kellogg, but failed,

and it was McClernand who finally defended the Little


Two days later, Logan got the floor for the first

time. His maiden speech was not a notable example of

parliamentary oratory, but it did not go unnoticed. The

chair recognized the young Democrat with the swarthy skin,

jet black hair, and large drooping mustache, and h s

booming voice made his auditors take notice. Logan began

JAL to Mary Logan, Dec. 6, 1859, Logan Mss.
Cong. Globe, 36th Cong., 1st Sess., pt. 1, 40.

by charging Kellogg with a complete lack of proof of

Douglas' dealings with Greeley. Choking off Kellogg's

interruption, he went on charging that the only reason for

dredging up the old story was to ruin Douglas as a presi-

dential candidate. Logan reminded the House that Kellogg's

cry was, "Republicanism! Abolitionism! Suwardism!"l

Stopping Kellogg's attempted interruption again, his voice

soared as he cried:

I tell the gentleman now, since he has refused
this morning to bring forward his proof, that from
this time forth, I shall never notice it. I scorn
to notice it any further, and the reason for it is
this. I made a charge once, in the legislature of
the State of Illinois, and I stood up and did prove
it, when called upon for proof, and did not shrink
from responsibility, and like a spaniel cower...1

Kellogg leaped up shouting, "Does the gentleman

call me a spaniel coward?" Amid the confusion and shouts

the pair rushed at each other. As Logan prepared to defend

himself, friends held the two apart while the chair gaveled

for order.2 Through the din, Logan demanded to be allowed

to continue, assuring the chair, "I am in no danger of

receiving injury." This brought a demand that provocation

Ibid., 83. The allusion to his own charges are
obviously those made in the Bissell speech.
New York Times, Dec. 10, 1859; Allan Nevins, the
Emergence of Lincoln, 118; Cong. Globe, 36th Cong., 1st
Sess., pt. 1, 83. One student claims Logan drew a pistol
during this altercation, but I have been able to find no
other contemporary or secondary accounts that mention the
pistol. This claim is in, Emerson D. Fite, The Presidential
Campaign of 1860, 43.

cease, and Logan promised to continue in "as mild a temper

as I am capable of." "hen hisses and noise continued, he

defiantly shouted, "If I am to be hissed; if I am to be

cl- *- down or if I am to be intimidated in this Hall,

allow me to say that I have as many rights, whether they

be respected or not as any man on this floor." Farnsworth

of Illinois there asked that the House not be turned into

a "bear garden," and suggested that Logan'? remarks were

out of order. 'hen a semblance of order was restored,

Loan, still on his feet, turned his attack on southern

Democrats who had received Kellogg's accusation with

"smiles and applause." He accused the- of being ungrateful

to Dougla., whose efforts had always been in their behalf.

.hen isked his position on slavery in the territories,

his defense of popular sovereignty received loud a clause

fror the Democratic benches.2
-rr .r.r- to Republican violations of federal law,

he defended the FTuitive Flave Act, and called for rigid

enforcement of that statute. Continuing on the same

subject, he von a nickname:

Every fugitive slave that has been arrested in
Illinois, or in any of the western n states, and I
call Illinois a westernn state, for I am ashamed
longer to call it a Northern state, has been made by
Democrats. In I-linois the D mocrats have all that

Cong'. Globe, 36th -or -., 1st .ess., 7t. 1, 83.
Ibid., 84.

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