Denver, James William, 1817-1892

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Horatio King (1811-1897) was a federal government official and attorney. He served as Assistant Postmaster General from 1854 to 1861, and then briefly as Postmaster General in 1861.

From the guide to the Horatio King letter, 18 December 1855, (L. Tom Perry Special Collections)

Lawyer, army officer, U.S. representative from California, U.S. commissioner of Indian affairs, and governor of Kansas. City of Denver, Colo., named in his honor.

From the description of James William Denver papers, 1868-1884. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70981139

James W. Denver was Governor of the Kansas Territory from May to October of 1858. He originally went to the Territory in 1857 as Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Mr. Denver was next acting Territorial Governor from December 1857 through May 1858. Denver resigned as Territorial Governor in October of 1858 such that he could return to private practice in Washington, D.C. In 1861 President Abraham Lincoln appointed him Brigadier General. He was placed in charge of Kansas troops. Denver was relieved of his command in 1862 and ordered to report to Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia).

From the description of James William Denver papers collection, 1850-1890. (Kansas State Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 49499283

Denver was elected to Congress from California in 1855, and was appointed Secretary of the Territory of Kansas in 1857 to restore order to the turmoil caused by the free-state and pro-slavery factions. He was made governor of the Territory the next year.

From the description of James William Denver letters, 1857-1858. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702137928

Amer. Govt. Official.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Washington, D.C., to President Johnson, 1868 Jan. 18. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270531064

Denver, after whom the Colorado city was named, was serving here a s Brigadier General of Volunteers.

From the description of ALS, 1861 September 24 : Washington City, D.C., to Editor, Sacramento Union. (Copley Press, J S Copley Library). WorldCat record id: 16744235

American public official, soldier, and lawyer. He served as a commissioner of Indian affairs and as governor of Kansas.

From the description of Letter, 1857. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 145435386

From the guide to the James William Denver letter, 1857, (L. Tom Perry Special Collections)

Denver grew up in Ohio and lived in Missouri before the Mexican War, when he raised a company for the 12th U.S. Volunteer Infantry and fought with General Scott.

From the description of Letter: Camp Carrollton near New Orleans, to Arthur Denver, 1847 Jun 13. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702137825

Born in Va., Denver moved with his parents to Oh. and later practiced law in Oh. and Mo. During the Mexican War, he served as captain in the 12th U.S. Volunteer Infantry. In 1850, he moved to Cal. where he became a state senator, secretary of state for Cal. and then a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. After one term he was appointed Commissioner of Indian Affairs and then governor of the Territory of Kan. In 1859, he moved back to Cal. and then back to Oh. During the first part of the Civil War, he commanded a brigade in the Army of Tenn. In 1863 he returned to practicing law, remaining active in politics both in Oh. and Wash. D.C.

From the description of Letter, 1874. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 39208666

James William Denver was secretary and governor of Kansas in 1857 and 1858 respectively. From 1858 to 1859 he was United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

From the description of James William Denver letters, 1857. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 313858226

Ohio lawyer, newspaperman, and Mexican War captain, Denver emigrated to California in 1850 and there served as state senator, sect. of state, and US congressman. His ongoing political and military career involved various federal appointments, serving as Brigadier General in the Union Army, and political activity in Ohio, where he and his wife Louise Rombach Denver raised their family.

From the description of James William Denver papers, 1832-1925, (bulk 1832-1892) (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 40479204

U.S. lawyer, soldier, politician. B. Oct. 23, 1817 Winchester, Va. U.S. Infantry Captain in the war with Mexico; Congressman from California, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Governor of Kansas Territory; Bridadier General in Union Army. D. August 9, 1892 Washington, D.C. Denver, Colo. (then in Kansas Ter.) named after him.

From the description of Papers, 1847-1888, 1950. (Denver Public Library). WorldCat record id: 13307278

Military officer, statesman, lawyer, and U.S. Indian Commissioner (1857-1859); died in Washington, D.C. in 1892. Married to Louisa Rombach Denver; her cousins were August V. Kautz, a military officer who served in the Civil War and later in the Far West until retirement in 1892, and Albert Kautz, a naval officer who served in the Civil War and achieved the rank of Rear Admiral before retirement in 1903. August V. Kautz served as commanding general of the Dept. of Arizona from 1875 to 1878.

From the description of Denver correspondence, 1848-1893. (Arizona Historical Society, Southern Arizona Division). WorldCat record id: 37905849

Lawyer. Soldier. In the spring of 1850, attracted by the gold discoveries in California, he traveled to Sacramento by way of Salt Lake and engaged in trading. He was elected state senator and served during 1852-53. In 1852 Gov. Bigler placed him in command of the supply trains which had been provided for the assistance of overland immigrants who were pouring over the mountains and meeting great hardships. Bitter criticism of the project by Edward Gilbert, editor in Chief of the DAILY ALTA CALIFORNIA, resulted in a duel between Gilbert and Denver, Aug. 2, 1852, in which.

Gilbert was killed. Early in 1853 he became Secretary of State for California and was latter elected as a Democrat to the 34th Congress. The City of Denver was named in his honor.

From the description of James William Denver Letters, 1851-1863. (California State Library). WorldCat record id: 58855235

General James William Denver, born in Virginia in 1817, was an important figure in Democratic Party and national politics throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, until his death in 1892. While practicing law in Xenia, Ohio in the early 1840s, he bought and edited a newspaper. Denver served as an infantry captain in the Mexican War. He emigrated to California in 1850, where he served as State Senator from 1851-1853, and as Secretary of State from 1853-1855. Denver became U.S. Congressman from northern California in 1855, and served one term, through March 3, 1857.

After his term in Congress expired, Denver accepted federal appointments as Commissioner of Indian Affairs on April 17, 1857; then, as Governor of the Kansas Territory in June of that year; and finally, as Commissioner of Indian Affairs again from November 8, 1858 through March 31, 1859. He was commissioned Brigadier General in the Union Army on August 14, 1861, and served in the west during the Civil War until his resignation on March 5, 1863, when he left the army to practice law in Washington, D.C. That would remain his principle occupation for the balance of his life.

Denver was twice mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate for the presidency (1876 and 1884), and ran, in 1870 and 1886, unsuccessfully for Congress from his readopted home state of Ohio. During his service as Governor of the Kansas Territory, the city of Denver, Colorado was named for him.

From the description of James William Denver letters received, 1849-1891. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 51542145

Denver fought in the Mexican War and was elected to Congress from California in 1855, and was made Secretary of the Territory of Kansas in 1857 to keep peace there. He was made governor of the Territory the next year, at which time the city of Denver was named for him. He returned to Washington as Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and in 1859 ran unsuccessfully for Congress from California, lost, and moved home to Ohio. He fought in Kansas during the Civil War, ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1870, and in 1873 and 1884 was mentioned as a Democratic nominee for President.

Louisa C. Rombach Denver grew up in Ohio and married James William Denver in 1856. Her cousins were August Valentine Kautz and Alfred Kautz. August Kautz served in the Army in Oregon and Washington Territories until the Civil War, which he fought in Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia. After the war he commanded a regiment in New Mexico. Alfred Kautz fought in the Civil War, was captured in 1861 and released. He fought at New Orleans and at Vicksburg with distinction and eventually rose to the rank of Admiral.

From the description of James William Denver family collection, 1855-1883. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702137926

Biographical Note

  • 1817, Oct. 23: Born, Winchester, Va.
  • 1830: Moved to Ohio
  • 1841: Moved to Missouri in search of surveying work Taught school
  • 1844: Graduated from Cincinnati Law School, Cincinnati, Ohio Practiced law, Xenia, Ohio Published The Thomas Jefferson, Xenia, Ohio
  • 1845: Moved to Platte City, Mo., to practice law
  • 1847: Captain, Twelfth Regiment, United States Infantry, during war with Mexico
  • 1848: Resumed law practice in Platte City, Mo. Purchased and edited Platte Argus
  • 1850: Moved to Sacramento, Calif.
  • 1852: Appointed secretary of state for California Dueled and killed Edward Gilbert, editor, Daily Alta California
  • 1852 - 1853 : Served in California state senate
  • 1855 - 1857 : United States representative from California
  • 1857: United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs Appointed secretary of the Territory of Kansas
  • 1858: Appointed governor of the Territory of Kansas
  • 1858: Reappointed United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs
  • 1859: Returned to California Unsuccessful candidate for United States Senate
  • 1861 - 1863 : General, United States Army
  • 1876: Delegate and presidential nominee, Democratic National Convention
  • 1880: Delegate, Democratic National Convention
  • 1884: Delegate and presidential nominee, Democratic National Convention
  • 1892, Aug. 9: Died, Washington, D.C.

From the guide to the James William Denver Papers, 1868-1884, (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

Biography

General James William Denver, born in Virginia in 1817, was an important figure in Democratic Party and national politics throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, until his death in 1892. After his family moved to Ohio in 1830, Denver adopted the series of professions available to young men on the frontier--he taught school in Missouri, and then moved back to Ohio to finish his education at Cincinnati College, where he took a law degree and joined the Bar. While practicing law in Xenia, Ohio in the early 1840s, he bought and edited a newspaper. When the Mexican War broke out, Denver joined the army and served as a captain in the Twelfth Regiment, United States Infantry. He immigrated to California in 1850, where he rose to prominence in politics, serving as State Senator from Trinity and Klamath Counties from 1851-1853, and as Secretary of State from 1853-1855. In August 1852, he killed Edward Gilbert, newspaper editor, in a duel which was the result of a political quarrel. Denver became U.S. Congressman from northern California in 1855, and served one term, through March 3, 1857.

Despite Denver's extensive travels, he courted and, in 1856 married Louise Rombach, a local girl from a prominent family near his home in Clinton County, Ohio. Denver's legal residence and political ambitions would remain focused in Ohio for the rest of his life.

After his term in Congress expired, Denver accepted federal appointments as Commissioner of Indian Affairs on April 17, 1857; then, as Governor of the Kansas Territory in June of that year; and finally, as Commissioner of Indian Affairs again from November 8, 1858 through March 31, 1859. He was commissioned Brigadier General in the Union Army on August 14, 1861, and served in the west during the Civil War until his resignation on March 5, 1863, when he left the army to practice law in Washington, D.C. That would remain his principle occupation for the balance of his life.

Denver was twice mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate for the presidency (1876 and 1884), and ran, in 1870 and 1886, unsuccessfully for Congress from his readopted home state of Ohio. During his service as Governor of the Kansas Territory, the city of Denver, Colorado was named for him after he "provided the machinery for the civil organization of Arapahoe County, at the time when the town site was laid out" [DAB]..

[ Biographical Dictionary of the American Congress, 1774-1961]

From the guide to the James William Denver Papers, 1832-1925, (bulk 1832-1892), (The Bancroft Library)

Biography

James William Denver was a lawyer and a soldier. In the spring of 1850, attracted by the gold discoveries in California, he traveled to Sacramento by way of Salt Lake and engaged in trading. He was elected state senator and served during 1852-53. In 1852 Gov. Bigler placed him in command of the supply trains which had been provided for the assistance of overland immigrants who were pouring over the mountains and meeting with great hardships. Bitter criticism of the project by Edward Gilbert, editor in chief of the Daily Alta California, resulted in a duel between Gilbert and Denver on Aug. 2, 1852, in which Gilbert was killed.

Early in 1853 Denver became Secretary of State for California and was later elected as a Democrat to the 34th Congress.

The city of Denver was named in his honor.

From the guide to the James William Denver Letters, 1851-1863, (California State Library)

James William Denver was born on October 23, 1817 at Winchester, Virginia. In 1830, he moved to Ohio with his parents, who settled near Wilmington. Denver studied civil engineering, briefly taught school in Missouri, and then studied the law, graduating from the Cincinnati Law School in 1844. In 1845, he returned to Missouri, where he practiced the law at Platte City. In March 1847, he organized Company H of Missouri's Twelfth Infantry Regiment, serving as captain until the close of the Mexican War in July 1848. He then returned to Platte City, and in 1850 moved to California, where he was elected to the State Senate in 1851, appointed secretary of state in 1852, and elected to the U.S. Congress in 1854.

At the end of his Congressional term, Denver was named Commissioner of Indian Affairs, resigning from this office to become Governor of the Territory of Kansas on June 17, 1857. During his administration, the capital of Colorado (then in Kansas Territory) was founded and named Denver in his honor. From November 1858 to March 1859, he served again as Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and in August 1861 was commissioned brigadier general in the Union Army. Denver resigned from the Army in March 1863 and resumed the practice of law. He died on August 9, 1892 at Washington, D.C.

From the guide to the James William Denver letters, 1846-1865, (University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library Kansas Collection)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Hillyer, William Silliman, 1831-1874. Papers of William Silliman Hillyer, 1822 (1861-1874) 1931, [manuscript]. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Gwin, William McKendree, 1805-1885. William M. Gwin letter : San Francisco, California, to Hon. J. W. Denver, Washington, 1856 November 20. San Francisco Public Library, Main Library
referencedIn Denver, Frank. Letter : to James William Denver / by Frank Denver, 1859 Jan 19. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Horatio King letter, 18 December 1855 L. Tom Perry Special Collections20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. James William Denver Letters, 1851-1863. California State Library
referencedIn Denver, William James, 1817-1892. Letter to M. Rombach, not after 1889. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf James William Denver Papers, 1832-1925, (bulk 1832-1892) Bancroft Library
creatorOf Burson, Lewis M. ALS, 1855 January 20 : Eureka, to Hon. James W. Denver, Washington. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf Denver, Frank. ALS, 1859 January 4 : Sacramento, to Hon. James W. Denver, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
referencedIn Gatling, Richard Jordan, 1818-1903. Collection, 1865-1896. Indiana Historical Society Library
creatorOf Hoburg, M. H. ALS, 1857 June 18 : Fort Yuma, Colorado River, to Genl. James W. Denver, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. James William Denver letters, 1857-1858. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Barns, George C. James William Denver : [collection] : 1849-1988 ;. History Colorado
creatorOf James William Denver letters, 1846-1865 University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library Kansas Collection.
referencedIn Wilkinson, E. S., fl. 1867. Letter: to Hon. J. W. Denver /by E. S. Wilkinson, 1867 Feb 26. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Johnson, Reverdy, 1796-1876. ALS, 1860 September 26 : San Francisco, to General J.W. Denver, Sacramento. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf Bigler, John, 1805-1871. California bond for Indian expedition expenses, 1854. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Browne, J. Ross (John Ross), 1821-1875. J. Ross Browne letters, 1849-1859. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Philip Case Lockwood memorial collection of Civil War portraits and autographs, 1862-ca. 1886. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Papers relating to George Chorpenning, 1867-1880. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Wood, William H. R.,. William H.R. Wood letter : Sacramento, Calif., to General [James William Denver], 1856 June 19. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Photographic Portrait File The Huntington Library
creatorOf Messec, J. G. ALS, 1857 July 10 : Weaverville, Trinity County, California, to General James W. Denver, Washington, D.C. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. Autograph letter signed : Washington, D.C., to President Johnson, 1868 Jan. 18. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Denver, C. Arthur. ALS, 1859 February 17 : Sacramento, to Hon. J.W. Denver, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington City, D.C. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
referencedIn Rombach, Eliza. Eliza [Rombach] letter : Coloma, Calif., to [Louise Rombach Denver], Sacramento [City], Calif. : ALS, 1861 June 1. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Denver, C. Arthur. ALS, 1865 July 2 : Coloma (California), to James W. Denver. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
referencedIn James W. Denver letters [collection] : 1858. Wichita State University, Ablah Library
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. James William Denver letters received, 1849-1891. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. James William Denver papers collection, 1850-1890. Kansas State Historical Society
creatorOf Bloss, Roy S. Biography of William McKendree Gwin and supporting documents : typescript,ALS,TLS,etc., 1856-1973. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Davis, Jefferson, 1808-1889. Jefferson Davis Letter, 1856. University of the Pacific, William Knox Holt Memorial Library
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. ALS, 1887 January 25 : Washington, D.C., to his wife [Louisa Rombach Denver]. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf Jones, George Wallace, 1804-1896. Letter signed : Washington, D. C., to President Buchanan, 1859 Mar. 9. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. James William Denver family collection, 1855-1883. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Couts, Cave Johnson, 1821-1874. ALS, 1857 December 5 : San Diego, to General J.W. Denver, Washington City. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. [James William Denver letters] University of Kansas Archives / MSS / Rare Books, Kenneth Spencer Research Library
referencedIn United States Office of Indian Affairs papers relating to charges against Jacob Forney, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Utah Territory, 1858-1860 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. James William Denver papers, 1868-1884. Library of Congress
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. Papers, (1876?). Ohio History Connection, Ohio Historical Society
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. James William Denver letters, 1857. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. James William Denver papers, 1832-1925, (bulk 1832-1892) UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Frémont, John Charles, 1813-1890. Letter, 1864. American Primers
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. Letter: Camp Carrollton near New Orleans, to Arthur Denver, 1847 Jun 13. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Denver, C. Arthur. ALS, 1847 June 26 : Platte City, Mo., to Captain J.W. Denver, 12th Infantry, Vera Cruz, Mexico. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf James William Denver Letters, 1851-1863 California State Library
referencedIn Early days in California : Australia, ms., after 1852. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Hughes, Denver & Peck. Papers, 1833-1888. Indiana University
referencedIn Denver, Mary C. Letter : to J. W. Denver / by Mary C. Denver, 1847 Oct 6. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. Letter, 1874. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Private correspondence between Gov. Denver and Jno. S. Dougherty : in reference to secret political societies, [Feb.-May] 1858. Kansas State Historical Society
creatorOf James William Denver Papers, 1868-1884 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn United States. Office of Indian Affairs. United States Office of Indian Affairs papers relating to charges against Jacob Forney, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Utah Territory, 1858-1860. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Denver, Louise C. Mexican War Pension, Act of Jan. 29, 1887, declaration of the Widow for pension, [not before 1892]. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. Letter to Mrs L. C. Denver. Washington, DC. 1865 June 18. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Sutter, John Augustus, 1803-1880. Letters, 1854. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. Papers, 1847-1888, 1950. Denver Public Library, Central Library
creatorOf James William Denver letter, 1857 L. Tom Perry Special Collections19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. Letter to Mrs L. C. Denver. Washington, DC. 1865 July 9. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn General James W. Denver, 1871-1892 [art original]. Denver Public Library, Central Library
referencedIn Elections Division. California Secretary of State Records California State Archives
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. Letter, 1857. American Primers
referencedIn Chaput, Donald. Papers, 1979. Denver Public Library, Central Library
creatorOf James W. Denver diary, 1847-1850 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. Denver correspondence, 1848-1893. Arizona Historical Society, Southern Arizona Division
creatorOf Gregory, Joseph W. ALS, 1856 July 26 : New York, to Hon. J.W. Denver, Washington, D.C. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. Letter to Mrs L. C. Denver. Washington, DC. 1865 July 2. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Denver, James William, 1817-1892. ALS, 1861 September 24 : Washington City, D.C., to Editor, Sacramento Union. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf Downey, John Gately, 1826-1894. ALS, 1858 December 24 : Los Angeles, to Hon. J.W. Denver, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Horatio King letter, 1855 December 18. Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
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correspondedWith Wood, William H. R., person
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Birth 1817-10-23

Death 1892-08-09

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