|34th United States Secretary of War|
December 10, 1879 –March 5, 1881
|President||Rutherford B. Hayes|
|Preceded by||George W. McCrary|
|Succeeded by||Robert Lincoln|
| United States Senator |
March 4,1863 –March 3,1875
|Preceded by||Henry Rice|
|Succeeded by||Samuel J. R. McMillan|
|2nd Governor of Minnesota|
January 2,1860 –July 10,1863
|Lieutenant||Ignatius L. Donnelly|
|Preceded by||Henry Sibley|
|Succeeded by||Henry Swift|
|5th Mayor of Saint Paul,Minnesota|
|Preceded by||David Olmsted|
|Succeeded by||George Becker|
|1st Governor of Minnesota Territory|
June 1,1849 –May 15,1853
|Appointed by||Zachary Taylor|
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Willis A. Gorman|
|Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives |
from Pennsylvania's 14th district
March 4,1843 –March 3,1847
|Preceded by||James Irvin|
|Succeeded by||George Eckert|
|Died||April 22,1903 87) (aged|
|Political party|| Whig (Before 1857)|
|Education|| Lafayette College |
Dickinson School of Law
Alexander Ramsey (September 8,1815 – April 22,1903) was an American politician. He served as a Whig and Republican over a variety of offices between the 1840s and the 1880s. He was the first Minnesota Territorial Governor.
Born in Hummelstown,Pennsylvania,on September 8,1815,Alexander was the eldest of five children born to Thomas Ramsey and Elizabeth Kelker (also Kölliker or Köllker). His father was a blacksmith who committed suicide at age 42 when he went bankrupt in 1826, after signing for a note of a friend. Alexander lived with his uncle in Harrisburg,after his family split up to live with relatives. His brother was Justus Cornelius Ramsey,who served in the Minnesota Territorial Legislature.
Ramsey first studied carpentry at Lafayette College but left during his third year. He read law with Hamilton Alricks,and attended Judge John Reed's law school in Carlisle (now Penn State-Dickinson Law) in 1839. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1839.
In 1844 Ramsey married Anna Earl Jenks,daughter of Michael Hutchinson Jenks,and they had three children. Only one daughter,Marion,survived past childhood.
Alexander Ramsey was elected from Pennsylvania as a Whig to the U.S. House of Representatives and served in the 28th and 29th congresses from March 4,1843,to March 3,1847. He served as the first Territorial Governor of Minnesota from June 1,1849,to May 15,1853,as a member of the Whig Party.
Ramsey was of Scottish and German ancestry.In 1855,he became the mayor of St. Paul,Minnesota. Ramsey was elected the second Governor of Minnesota after statehood and served from January 2,1860,to July 10,1863. Ramsey is credited with being the first Union governor to commit troops during the American Civil War. He happened to be in Washington,D.C.,when fighting broke out. When he heard about the firing on Fort Sumter he went straight to the White House and offered Minnesota's services to Abraham Lincoln.
He resigned the governorship to become a U.S. Senator,having been elected to that post in 1863 as a Republican. He was re-elected in 1869 and held the office until March 3,1875,serving in the 38th,39th,40th,41st,42nd,and 43rd congresses. He supported the Radical Republicans,who called for vigorous prosecution of the Civil War,and a military reconstruction of the South. He voted for the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson.
Ramsey called for the killing or removal of the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute Dakota from the state of Minnesota during the Dakota War of 1862. After pressing the Dakota to sell their land,he and other officials diverted the Dakota's money to themselves,leaving the Dakota without their land or the treaty money.In response,some of the Dakota attacked American settlements,resulting in the death of at least 800 civilian men,women and children,and the displacement of thousands more. In a message to the state legislature on September 9,1862,Ramsey said:"The Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the State," which he justified by accusing the Indians of various outrages against the white settlers and violations of their treaties. In 1863,in response to continued raids on civilian settlers,he authorized bounty payments on Dakota scalps.
Ramsey served as Secretary of War from 1879 to 1881,under President Rutherford B. Hayes.He was one of the commissioners to govern Utah from 1882 to 1886 under the Edmunds Act. The act made it illegal for polygamists to vote or hold office. Ramsey and four others were defendants in the Supreme Court case Murphy v. Ramsey,114 U.S. 15 (1885). The Supreme Court upheld the federal law that denied polygamists the right to vote.
A number of counties,towns,parks,and schools are named after Ramsey,including:
He was the namesake of the Liberty Ship SS Alexander Ramsey launched in 1942.
Fort Snelling is a former military fortification and National Historic Landmark in the U.S. state of Minnesota on the bluffs overlooking the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. The military site was initially named Fort Saint Anthony,but it was renamed Fort Snelling once its construction was completed in 1825.
Henry Hastings Sibley was a fur trader with the American Fur Company,the first U.S. Congressional representative for Minnesota Territory,the first governor of the state of Minnesota,and a U.S. military leader in the Dakota War of 1862 and a subsequent expedition into Dakota Territory in 1863.
Stephen Miller was an American Republican politician. He was the first Civil War veteran to serve as Minnesota Governor. He was the fourth Governor of Minnesota.
Willian Rainey Marshall was an American politician. He was the fifth Governor of Minnesota from January 8,1866 to January 9,1870 and was a member of the Republican party. He served as an officer in the 7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War (1861–1865).
The history of the U.S. state of Minnesota is shaped by its original Native American residents,European exploration and settlement,and the emergence of industries made possible by the state's natural resources. Early economic growth was based on fur trading,logging,milling and farming,and later through railroads,and iron mining.
The 1st Minnesota Infantry Regiment was the very first group of volunteers the Union received in response to the South's assault of Fort Sumter at the beginning of the United States Civil War. Minnesota's Governor Alexander Ramsey offered 1000 men to Lincoln immediately upon learning of the attack on the fort. He just happened to be in Washington when the news broke. Those men volunteered for a five-year commitment (1861–64) which was much longer than other states. During combat actions,the 1st Minnesota sustained substantial casualties at the battles of First Bull Run (20%) and Antietam (28%) and a staggering 82% at the Battle of Gettysburg,where the regiment's most famous actions occurred on the second day of the battle.
The Battle of Fort Ridgely was an early battle in the Dakota War of 1862. Built between 1853–1855 in the southern part of what was then the territory of Minnesota,Fort Ridgely was the only military post between the Dakota Reservation and the settlers. As of August 18,1862,the fort was garrisoned by 76 men and two officers of Company B of the 5th Minnesota Infantry Regiment,under the command of Captain John S. Marsh,who had fought in the Civil War in the First Battle of Bull Run.
Charles Eugene Flandrau was an American lawyer who became influential in the Minnesota Territory,and later state,after moving there in 1853 from New York City. He served on the Minnesota Territorial Council,in the Minnesota Constitutional Convention,and on the Minnesota territorial and state supreme courts. He was also an associate justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Michael Hutchinson Jenks was a Whig member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.
The Treaty of Traverse des Sioux was signed on July 23,1851,at Traverse des Sioux in Minnesota Territory between the United States government and the Upper Dakota Sioux bands. In this land cession treaty,the Sisseton and Wahpeton Dakota bands sold 21 million acres of land in present-day Iowa,Minnesota and South Dakota to the U.S. for $1,665,000.
The Dakota War of 1862,also known as the Sioux Uprising,the Dakota Uprising,the Sioux Outbreak of 1862,the Dakota Conflict,the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862,or Little Crow's War,was an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of eastern Dakota also known as the Santee Sioux. It began on August 18,1862,at the Lower Sioux Agency along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota.
The Alexander Faribault House is a historic house museum in Faribault,Minnesota,United States. Built in 1853,it was the first wood-frame house constructed in Rice County,Minnesota. It was built by fur trader Alexander Faribault in the Greek Revival style. Besides serving as a house,it also served as a civic center,polling place,and a church. The local address of the house is 12 First Avenue,Faribault,MN. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
The Justus Ramsey Stone House is the oldest known house still standing in Saint Paul in the U.S. state of Minnesota. The house,located at 252 West 7th Street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The home is an example of a Saint Paul residence of a settler of some financial means.
By the Treaty of Old Crossing (1863) and the Treaty of Old Crossing (1864),the Pembina and Red Lake bands of the Ojibwe,then known as Chippewa Indians,purportedly ceded to the United States all of their rights to the Red River Valley. On the Minnesota side,the ceded territory included all lands lying west of a line running generally southwest from the Lake of the Woods to Thief Lake,about 30 miles (48 km) west of Red Lake,and then angling southeast to the headwaters of the Wild Rice River near the low-lying divide separating the watershed of the Red River of the North from the watershed of the Mississippi River. On the North Dakota side,the ceded territory included all of the Red River Valley north of the Sheyenne River. The total land area,roughly 127 miles (204 km) wide east to west and 188 miles (303 km) long north to south,consisted of nearly 11,000,000 acres (45,000 km2) of rich prairie land and forests.
The territorial era of Minnesota lasted from the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 to Minnesota's achieving statehood in 1858. The Minnesota Territory itself was formed only in 1849 but the area had a rich history well before this. Though there was a long history of European presence in the area before 19th century,it was during the 19th century that the United States began to establish a firm presence in what would become Minnesota.
The Sibley Historic Site is the site of Henry Hastings Sibley's home,who was the regional manager of the American Fur Company and Minnesota's first governor. It is one of the 26 historical sites that are operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. Located in what is now the city of Mendota,the site consists of four limestone buildings and a large lawn area. Three of the buildings are open for touring,including a fur company cold store from 1843 and the 1840 home of fur trader and hotelier Jean-Baptiste Faribault.
James Heaton Baker was a Republican politician who was Ohio Secretary of State from 1856 to 1858,Minnesota Secretary of State,1860–1862,and served in the American Civil War.
The 1862 and 1863 United States Senate elections were elections during the American Civil War in which Republicans increased their control of the United States Senate. The Republican Party gained three seats,bringing their majority to two-thirds of the body. Also caucusing with them were Unionists and Unconditional Unionists,giving them a commanding majority.
The Department of the Northwest was an U.S. Army Department created September 6,1862 to put down the Sioux uprising in Minnesota. Major General John Pope was made commander of the Department. At the end of the Civil War the Department was redesignated the Department of Dakota. Immediately upon arriving in St. Paul General Pope sent letters to the Governors of Iowa and Wisconsin for additional troops to assist the 5th Minnesota Infantry Regiment. From Iowa he got the 27th Iowa Infantry Regiment and from Wisconsin he received the 25th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. Both quickly crossed the border to assist with the uprising. The 25th Wisconsin was in Minnesota three months and the 27th Iowa was there a month before both headed south. After they departed,the Minnesota District would be garrisoned by Minnesota units:5th,6th,7th,8th,9th,10th Infantry Regiments,1st and 2nd Minnesota Cavalry Regiments plus Minnesota Independent Cavalry Battalion as well as the 3rd Minnesota Light Artillery Battery. In 1864 companies of the 30th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment would see service in the Minnesota and Dakota Districts too.
Alexander "Alex" Faribault was an American trading post operator and territorial legislator who helped to found Faribault,Minnesota and was its first postmaster.