Kirkwood, Samuel Jordan

Cook, Robert J (2009) Kirkwood, Samuel Jordan. In: Hudson, David, Bergman, Marvin and Horton, Loren (eds.) The Biographical Dictionary of Iowa. University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, pp. 286-288. ISBN 9781587296857

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Kirkwood, Samuel Jordan – one of 19th-century Iowa's leading Republican politicians — was born in northern Maryland. He hailed from a Scotch-Irish family of modest standing, his father, Jabez, being a blacksmith and elder in the local Presbyterian church. After receiving a rudimentary education in country schools until the age of 10, he was enrolled in a private academy in Washington, D.C., where he studied classics, rhetoric, and literature. Although his youthful desire for self-improvement was evident in his efforts to form a debating society, Kirkwood's prospects for social advancement appeared to be poor. As a teenager, he worked as a clerk in his brother's drugstore and for a time taught school in Pennsylvania. Initially, the family's move to rural Ohio had little impact on his fortunes–indeed, his humble status rendered him sympathetic to the working-class radicalism of the English Chartists and the Jacksoniandemocrats. In March 1841, however, the plain, homespun Kirkwood began studying law in the town of Mansfield. Two years later he was admitted to the Ohio bar and soon became a prominent local Democrat. In 1853 he traveled west to visit his brother-in-law, a miller in Johnson County, Iowa. Impressed with what he saw, he became a partner in the family business and moved to Iowa in the spring of 1855.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > American Studies
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General) > E0300 Revolution to the Civil War, 1775/1783-1861
E History America > E151 United States (General) > E0456 Civil War period, 1861-1865
E History America > E151 United States (General) > E0660 Late nineteenth century, 1865-1900
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 25 May 2012 09:59
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 17:13
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