Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Shannon, Wilson

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SHANNON, Wilson, governor of Ohio and of Kansas, b. in Belmont county, Ohio, 24 Feb., 1802; d. in Lawrence, Kan., 31 Aug., 1877. He was graduated at Athens college, Ohio, and at Transylvania university, Ky., and became a lawyer. He began practicing at St. Clairsville, Ohio, and in 1835 was prosecuting attorney for the state. He was governor of Ohio in 1838-'40 and again in 1842-'4, and in 1844 he went as U.S. minister to Mexico. He was a representative in congress in 1853-'5, and territorial governor of Kansas in 1855-'6. During Gov. Shannon's administration in Kansas the troubles between the free-state and pro-slavery parties began to assume a threatening aspect. The governor favored the latter, though he tried to be cautious. He succeeded in peacefully terminating the “Wakarusha war” in 1855, but hostilities were resumed in the following year, ending in the burning of the town of Lawrence by a band of “border ruffians” that had been gathered as a U.S. Marshal's posse. Shannon was finally removed, and succeeded by John W. Geary. He subsequently practised law in Lawrence.