Forney, John W. (John Wien), 1817-1881

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Editor, publisher, clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, and secretary of the U.S. Senate.

From the description of John W. Forney papers, 1841-1881. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 164810989

Philadelphia journalist.

From the description of Letter signed : Washington, to William Pitt Fessenden, 1863 Nov. 10. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270482790

From the description of Letter signed, with nine lines in autograph : Washington, D.C., to William Pitt Fessenden, 1863 Jun. 2. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270482859

From the description of Papers of John W. Forney [manuscript], 1865-1867. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647812886

The American editor and publisher John Wien Forney was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, September 30, 1817, the son of Peter Forney and Margaret Wien. He died in Philadelphia, December 9, 1881. Forney also pursued a minor political career, serving as both Clerk of the House of Representatives and Secretary of the Senate.

Forney left school at thirteen to work as an apprentice for the Lancaster Journal . By age sixteen he was writing editorials for the Journal, and at age nineteen Forney became joint owner and editor of a new publication, the Lancaster Intelligencer . Two years later Forney purchased the Journal and created the Intelligencer and Journal .

Politics also interested Forney and he actively supported U.S. Senator (later President) James Buchanan (D - Penn.), who also hailed from Lancaster. In 1845, with Buchanan’s support, Forney was appointed deputy surveyor of the port of Philadelphia. In the same year Forney sold his Lancaster paper and moved to Philadelphia to become the editor of the Pennsylvanian, a position he held for seven years. Forney pursued his interest in politics and in 1851 he was elected to his first term as Clerk of the House of Representatives, where he served until 1857. Beginning in 1853 Forney also worked as an editor for the Washington Daily Union, the national Democratic organ.

After unsuccessful attempts to advance his political career as a cabinet member under President James Buchanan (1857-1861), and a failed bid for one of Pennsylvania’s senatorial seats, Forney returned to Philadelphia in 1857 to establish a new newspaper, the Philadelphia Press . Forney’s disappointment with the Buchanan administration also prompted him to shift his support to the Republican Party, and in 1860 he was again elected Clerk of the House of Representatives; this time as a Republican. Forney actively supported President Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865), whose influence helped to elect Forney Secretary of the Senate (1861-1868), making him the only Secretary to have previously served as Clerk of the House. During this active political period Forney’s journalistic pursuits also thrived. He found time to start yet another new paper, the Washington Chronicle, as well as maintain his editorship of the Philadelphia Press . The Press published Forney’s “Letter from Occasional” column, which offered editorials on political issues of the day.

In 1880 Forney returned to the Democratic Party after starting Progress, a weekly journal of political discussion, in 1878. Forney was also the author of several books, including Letters From Europe (1867), Anecdotes of Public Men (1873, 1881), and The Life and Military Career of Winfield Scott Hancock (1880).

Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1958-1964. Vol. 4. United States Senate. Senate Historical Office Web site Retrieved August 2001 from http://www.senate.gov/learning/stat_4e.html.

From the guide to the John W. Forney The Letters of, Occasional, 1857–1861, (University of Delaware Library - Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Adams, Walter Dickson, 1872-1961. Adams, Walter Dickson, papers 1880-1961. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Adams (Walter Dickson) Papers AR 62-75., 1880-1961 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
referencedIn Buckalew, Charles Rollin, 1821-1899. Papers of Charles Rollin Buckalew, 1839-1890. Library of Congress
referencedIn Appleton, Nathan, 1843-1906. Nathan Appleton papers, 1850-1904 (bulk 1876-1902). Library of Congress
referencedIn Charles Sumner correspondence, 1829-1874. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Forney, John W. (John Wien), 1817-1881. Correspondence, 1871, n.d. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Corcoran, W. W. (William Wilson), 1798-1888. W.W. Corcoran papers, 1791-1896 (bulk 1849-1888). Library of Congress
referencedIn W. W. Corcoran Papers, 1791-1896, (bulk 1849-1888) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Buchanan, James, 1791-1868. James Buchanan letters [manuscript], 1842-1845. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf Bocock, Thomas S., 1815-1891. Papers of Bocock and of the Bocock, Thornhill Christian, Stephens, Flood, Patteson, and Diuguid families of Buckingham and Appomattox counties, 1760-1897. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Forney, John W. (John Wien), 1817-1881. Letter to Robert Tyler. Philadelphia, PA. 1850 Mar. 7. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn B. F. Wade Papers, 1832-1886, (bulk 1852-1869) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Forney, John W. (John Wien), 1817-1881. Autograph letter signed : n.p., to [Stephen A.] Douglas, n.p., [ca. 1858?] June 16. Texas Christian University
referencedIn Charles Sumner correspondence, 1829-1874. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Young, John Russell, 1840-1899. John Russell Young papers, circa 1840-1959 (bulk 1858-1898). Library of Congress
referencedIn Wade, B. F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1800-1878. B.F. Wade papers, 1832-1886 (bulk 1852-1869). Library of Congress
creatorOf Pasko, W. W. (Wesley Washington), 1840-1897. Letters received by W.W. Pasko in reply to invitations extended to attend the unveiling of a bust of Horace Greeley, 1876. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Duke University Libraries, Rare Book, Ms., & Spec. Coll. Lib. Joseph Henry Papers.
referencedIn Autograph File, F, 1447-1994. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States Commandery of the State of Massachusetts Civil War collection, 1724-1933 (inclusive);, 1861-1912 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Horatio King Papers, 1832-1906, (bulk 1857-1891) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Wise family papers, 1836-1928 (bulk 1850s). Library of Congress
creatorOf Forney, John W. (John Wien), 1817-1881. Letter signed, with nine lines in autograph : Washington, D.C., to William Pitt Fessenden, 1863 Jun. 2. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Library Of Congress, Manuscript Division. John W. Forney Papers.
creatorOf Forney, John W. (John Wien), 1817-1881. Letter signed : Washington, to William Pitt Fessenden, 1863 Nov. 10. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Smithsonian Archives. Ru 26: Office Of The Secretary, Incoming Corres..
creatorOf Forney, John W. (John Wien), 1817-1881. Collection, 1836-1877. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Forney, John W. (John Wien), 1817-1881. Letter : [Philadelphia?], to Daniel [Macy], n.p., 1865 June 30. Texas Christian University
referencedIn Johnson, Reverdy, 1796-1876. Letter : Washington, D.C., to [John Wien?] Forney, Philadelphia, [18]62 Apr. 3. Texas Christian University
referencedIn Buchanan, James, 1791-1868. Papers, 1775-1868. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
referencedIn Swank, James Moore, 1836-1914. Papers, 1785-1898 (inclusive), 1785, 1871-1898 (bulk). Historical Society of Pennsylvania
referencedIn Correspondence and other papers, 1831-1891. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Buchanan, James, 1791-1868. James Buchanan correspondence, 1837-1849. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Chase, Salmon P. (Salmon Portland), 1808-1873. Collection, 1824-1881. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
referencedIn Smithsonian Archives. Ru 33: Office Of The Secretary, Outgoing Corres..
referencedIn Cook, Lyndon W. Lyndon W. Cook research collection on Thomas L. Kane, 1845-1979. Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Nathan Appleton Papers, 1850-1904, (bulk 1876-1902) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Gilpin family. Papers, 1727-1872. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
creatorOf Hay, John, 1838-1905. ALS : Washington, D.C., to John Wien Forney, 1864 Apr. 25. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Horatio King papers, 1832-1906 (bulk 1857-1891). Library of Congress
referencedIn George Nicholas Sanders Family Papers, 1833-1973, (bulk 1833-1900) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Forney, John W. (John Wien), 1817-1881. Letter to Henry A. Wise [manuscript], 1858 February 19. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn John Russell Young Papers, circa 1840-1959, (bulk 1858-1898) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Forney, John W. (John Wien), 1817-1881. John W. Forney papers, 1841-1881. Library of Congress
creatorOf John W. Forney The Letters of, Occasional, 1857–1861 University of Delaware Library - Special Collections
referencedIn National Archives And Records Administration. Rg 27: Weather Bureau.
creatorOf Stevens, John Austin, 1795-1874. Papers, 1811-1885. Churchill County Museum
creatorOf Forney, John W. (John Wien), 1817-1881. Papers of John W. Forney [manuscript], 1865-1867. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Burke, Edmund, 1809-1882. Edmund Burke papers, 1821-1881. Library of Congress
creatorOf Hay, John, 1838-1905. Correspondence, 1854-1914, "Fiske" to "Gilder." Brown University, John Hay Library
creatorOf Adams, Charles Francis, 1807-1886. Letters of prominent American political and military figures, circa 1826-1884. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Forney, John W. (John Wien), 1817-1881,. Autograph letter signed from J.W. Forney, Philadelphia, to William Winter [manuscript], 1879 August 23. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn George W. Childs Letters, 1862-1892 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
creatorOf Appleton, Nathan, 1843-1906. Letters received, ca. 1870-1883. Boston Athenaeum
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Walter Dickson, 1871-1961 person
associatedWith Adams, Walter Dickson, 1872-1961. person
correspondedWith Appleton, Nathan, 1843-1906. person
associatedWith Barton, William Eleazar, 1861-1930, person
associatedWith Bates, Edward, 1793-1869. person
associatedWith Blair, Montgomery, 1813-1883. person
associatedWith Bocock, Thomas S., 1815-1891. person
associatedWith Browning, Orville Hickman, 1806-1881. person
correspondedWith Buchanan, James, 1791-1868. person
associatedWith Buckalew, Charles Rollin, 1821-1899. person
correspondedWith Burke, Edmund, 1809-1882. person
associatedWith Cameron, Simon, 1799-1889. person
associatedWith Chase, Salmon P. (Salmon Portland), 1808-1873. person
associatedWith Childs, George W. (George William), 1829-1894 person
associatedWith Cook, Lyndon W. person
correspondedWith Corcoran, W. W. (William Wilson), 1798-1888. person
associatedWith Douglas, Stephen A. (Stephen Arnold), 1813-1861. person
associatedWith Etheridge, Emerson, 1819-1902. person
associatedWith Fessenden, William Pitt, 1806-1869, person
correspondedWith Foreman, Edward (Dr.) person
associatedWith Gilpin family. family
associatedWith Green, Francis V. person
associatedWith Hay, John, 1838-1905. person
associatedWith Henry, Joseph, 1797-1878. person
associatedWith Johnson, Reverdy, 1796-1876. person
correspondedWith King, Horatio, 1811-1897. person
correspondedWith King, Horatio C. (Horatio Collins), 1837-1918 person
associatedWith Mackenzie, R. Shelton (Robert Shelton), 1809-1880. person
associatedWith Macy, Daniel, fl. 1865. person
associatedWith McMichael, Morton, 1807-1879. person
associatedWith Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Commandery of the State of Massachusetts, collector. corporateBody
associatedWith Owen, Robert Dale, 1801-1877. person
correspondedWith Parton, James, 1822-1891 person
associatedWith Pasko, W. W. (Wesley Washington), 1840-1897. person
associatedWith Phillips, Wendell, 1811-1884. person
correspondedWith Sanders, George N. (George Nicholas), 1848-1890 person
associatedWith Seward, William Henry, 1801-1872 person
correspondedWith Smithsonian Institution corporateBody
associatedWith Stevens, John Austin, 1795-1874. person
correspondedWith Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874 person
associatedWith Swank, James Moore, 1836-1914. person
associatedWith Trumbull, Lyman, 1813-1896. person
associatedWith Tyler, Robert, 1816-1877, person
associatedWith United States. Congress. House. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Congress. Senate. corporateBody
correspondedWith Wade, B. F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1800-1878. person
associatedWith Weed, Thurlow, 1797-1882. person
associatedWith William E. Barton Collection of Lincolniana (University of Chicago) corporateBody
correspondedWith Winter, William, 1836-1917 person
associatedWith Wise, Henry A. (Henry Alexander), 1806-1876 person
correspondedWith Young, John Russell, 1840-1899. person
associatedWith Young, Robert, 1927-2008, person
Place Name Admin Code Country
England
Kansas
Subject
Recommendations For Positions
Meteorology
Scientific publications
Taverns (Inns)
Smithsonian Publications
Occupation
Clerks, U.S. House of Representatives
Editors
Publisher
Secretaries, U.S. Senate
Function

Person

Birth 1817-09-30

Death 1881-12-09

Information

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