King, Horatio, 1811-1897

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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 description of Horatio King letter, 1855 December 18. (Brigham Young University). WorldCat record id: 152030698

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

American lawyer and politician.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Washington, to Lewis J. Cist, 1867 Nov. 19. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270491478

Horatio King was born 21 June 1811 at Paris, Me. He was a newspaper editor and owner. Served in the Post Office Department from 1839 until becoming postmaster general in the Buchanan administration in 1861. He was a lawyer and a leading citizen of Washington, D. C. Wrote Sketches of Travel (1878) and Turning on the Light (1895). He married Anne Collins in 1835. After her death in 1869, he married Isabella G. Osborne in 1878. King died 20 May 1897.

From the description of Papers, 1879 December 2-22. (College of William & Mary). WorldCat record id: 22853039

American editor, lawyer, U.S. postmaster.

From the description of Letter : Washington, to Lewis J. Cist, St. Louis, Mo., 1869 Jan. 19. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 22546041

Lawyer, postal worker, and Postmaster General of the U.S.; originally of Paris, Me.; m. (2nd) Isabella G. Osborne.

From the description of Political news, compiled by Horatio King and Isabella G. King, 1836-1840. (Maine Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 74986243

Horatio King was born in Paris, Maine, and was proprietor of the newspaper "The Jeffersonian," published in Paris until 1833. The paper moved to Portland, Maine, in 1833; King remained the owner until 1838. In 1839 he began working for the Post Office Dept. in Washington, rising through the department to become first assistant postmaster-general, 1854-1861, and briefly serving as postmaster-general in 1861.

From the description of Letters, 1855-1856. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 704273296

Editor, lawyer, and U.S. Postmaster General.

From the description of Correspondence, 1847-1897. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 19932100

Served as postmaster general late in the Buchanan administration, Feb.-Mar. 1861.

From the description of Letter: Washington, to Hon. N.K. Hall, Buffalo, 1871 Mar. 2. (Buffalo History Museum). WorldCat record id: 71242447

U.S. postmaster general, editor, and author.

From the description of Horatio King papers, 1832-1906 (bulk 1857-1891). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71131180

U.S. Postmaster-General under Presidents Buchanan and Lincoln.

From the description of Horatio King letter, 1860 Nov. 25. (Louisiana State University). WorldCat record id: 86116237

Alexander Dallas Bache (1806-1867) was an important scientific reformer during the early nineteenth century. From his position as superintendent of the United States Coast Survey, and through leadership roles in the scientific institutions of the time, Bache helped bring American science into alignment with the professional nature of its European counterpart. In addition, Bache fostered the reform of public education in America.

On July 19, 1806 Alexander Dallas Bache was born into one of Philadelphia's elite families. The son of Richard Bache and Sophia Dallas, he was Benjamin Franklin's great-grandson, nephew to George Dallas (vice president under James K. Polk), and grandson to Alexander James Dallas (secretary of the treasury under James Madison). In 1821, Bache was admitted to the United States Military Academy at the age of 15, graduating first in his class four years later. He remained at the Academy for an additional two years to teach mathematics and natural history. While serving as a lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers, working on the construction of Fort Adams in Newport, R.I., he met Nancy Clarke Fowler whom he would later marry.

Bache left the Army in 1828 to begin an academic career, accepting an appointment as professor of natural philosophy and chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. Although his scientific interests were broad, he had a particular interest in geophyscial research. While in Philadelphia, he constructed a magnetic observatory, and made extensive research into terrestrial magnetism, and during the 1830s he began to be recognized as a leading figure in the city's scientific community. Bache was an active member of the American Philosphical Society and the Franklin Institute, seeking to raise the professional standards of both institutions and urging them to place a stronger emphasis on original research. While at the Franklin Institute from 1830-1835, Bache led a Federally-funded investigation into steam-boiler explosions, the government's first use of technical experts to examine a matter involving public policy.

In 1836 Bache became interested in educational reform when he was asked to help organize the curriculum at Girard College, of which he later served as president. Bache spent two years in Europe visiting over 250 educational institutions. The result of his visit was a 600 page study, Report on Education in Europe, to the Trustees of the Girard College for Orphans published in 1839. Although Bache was unable to apply the report at Girard College because of its delayed opening, it proved useful in overhauling the curriculum of Philadelphia's Central High School, where he was superintendent from 1839-1842, and was widely influential among American educational reformers, helping to introduce the Prussian educational model to the United States.

After meeting many of the leading savants during a European tour, including Alexander von Humboldt, Francois Arago, and Karl Friedrich Gauss, Bache became convinced of the need to professionalize American science. His opportunity to make an impact came in 1843 with the death of Ferdinand Hassler, superindendent of the U.S. Coast Survey. In the years before the Civil War, the Coast Survey supported more scientists then any other institution in the country, and Bache and his colleagues saw the Survey as a means of gaining federal patronage for science. After a campaign by his friends and colleagues, Bache was named as Hassler's replacement. Over the next two decades Bache transformed the Coast Survey into one of the nation's leading scientific institutions, becoming an important patron of science himself in the process . Bache was not just an administrator, but remained personally involved in field work.

Bache also led the reform of American science through his leadership of an elite group known as the "Lazzaroni" or scientific beggars. The goal of the Lazzaroni was to ensure that the nation's leading scientists kept control of the nation's scientific institutions, and they were instrumental in reforming the American Association for the Advancement of Science (of which Bache was president of in 1850). In his remarkably busy schedule, Bache was a member of the Lighthouse Board (1844-1845), superintendent of the Office of Weights and Measures (1844), and a prominent regent for the Smithsonian Institution, where he convinced fellow Lazzaroni Joseph Henry to become its first secretary. Bache also played a leading role in the creation of the National Academy of Sciences, serving as its first president. When the Americn Civil War broke out, Bache focused the Coast Survey to support the war effort, was vice president of the Sanitary Commision, a consultant to the army and navy on battle plans, a superintended for Philadelphia's defence plans, and a member of the Permanent Commission of the navy in charge of evaluating new weapons. Bache died in Newport, R.I. on February 17, 1867.

From the guide to the A. D. Bache Collection, 1833-1873, (American Philosophical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Frederick M. Dearborn collection of military and political Americana, Part I: The Revolution and the Administration, 1669-1958. Houghton Library
referencedIn Seward, William Henry, 1801-1872. Autograph letter signed : n.p., to Horatio King, n.p., [1860?]. Texas Christian University
creatorOf King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Papers, 1879 December 2-22. William & Mary Libraries
referencedIn Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869. Papers of Robert J. Walker, 1815-1936. Library of Congress
creatorOf Littell, Eliakim, 1797-1870. E. Littell letter to Horatio King, 1863 September 23. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
referencedIn Buchanan, James, 1791-1868. Papers, 1775-1868. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
creatorOf King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Horatio King letter, 1860 Nov. 25. Louisiana State University, LSU Libraries
creatorOf Bache, A. D. (Alexander Dallas), 1806-1867. A. D. Bache Collection, 1833-1873 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Horatio King papers, 1832-1906 (bulk 1857-1891). Library of Congress
referencedIn George Jacob Abbot papers, 1811-1901 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Letter : Washington, D.C., to [Ginery] Twichell, Boston, 1864 Dec. 5. Texas Christian University
creatorOf King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Autograph letter signed : Washington, to Lewis J. Cist, 1867 Nov. 19. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Rhees, William Jones, 1830-1907. William Jones Rhees Papers, 1744-1907 The Huntington Library
referencedIn Smithsonian Institution. Office of the Secretary. Correspondence, 1865-1891 Smithsonian Institution Archives
referencedIn Joseph Holt Papers, 1817-1895, (bulk 1859-1889) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn George Jacob Abbot papers, 1811-1901 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Letter : Washington, to Lewis J. Cist, St. Louis, Mo., 1869 Jan. 19. George Washington University
referencedIn Holt, Joseph, 1807-1894. Papers of Joseph Holt, 1817-1895 (bulk 1859-1889). Library of Congress
creatorOf King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Letters, 1855-1856. Raymond H. Fogler Library
referencedIn Library Of Congress, Manuscript Division. Horatio King Papers.
creatorOf King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Letter: Washington, to Hon. N.K. Hall, Buffalo, 1871 Mar. 2. Buffalo History Museum, Research Library
creatorOf Curtis, George William, 1824-1892. Correspondence and miscellaneous items of George William Curtis [manuscript], 1851-1936. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Horatio King letter, 18 December 1855 L. Tom Perry Special Collections20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
creatorOf King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Political news, compiled by Horatio King and Isabella G. King, 1836-1840. Maine Historical Society Library
referencedIn National Archives And Records Administration. Rg 42: Public Buildings And Grounds.
referencedIn Smithsonian Archives. Ru 7058: National Institute Records.
referencedIn American Antiquarian Society. John Lord, Narrative Of A Visit To The Smithsonian.
creatorOf King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Note, 1874, Jan. 22, Washington, to H. H. Tilley. Brown University Archives, John Hay Library
referencedIn Coffin, James H. (James Henry), 1806-1873. James Henry Coffin Papers, 1848-1884 Smithsonian Institution Archives
referencedIn Morrill, Justin S. (Justin Smith), 1810-1898. Justin S. Morrill papers, 1814-1937, 1982. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Curtis, George Ticknor, 1812-1894. Papers of George Ticknor Curtis [manuscript], 1863-1892. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Horatio King letter, 1855 December 18. Harold B. Lee Library
creatorOf King, Horatio. Letter, 1885. Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Smithsonian Institution. Office of the Secretary. Correspondence, 1863-1879 Smithsonian Institution Archives
referencedIn Justin S. Morrill papers, 1814-1937, 1982. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Letter : Washington, D.C. to Henry Wager Halleck, n.p., 1862 Sept. 20. Texas Christian University
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 King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Correspondence, 1847-1897. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Century Company records, 1870-1924 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Smithsonian Archives. Ru 52: Assistant Secretary, Incoming Correspondenc.
creatorOf King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Observations on the rebellion, 1860-1864, 1881. Maine Historical Society Library
creatorOf King, Horatio, 1811-1897. Letter : Washington, D.C., to Edward Herrick, Athens, Pa., 1860 Apr. 7. Texas Christian University
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abbot, George Jacob, 1812-1879. person
correspondedWith Abert, John James person
associatedWith Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873 person
associatedWith Babbage, Charles, 1791-1871 person
associatedWith Bache, A. D., (Alexander Dallas), 1806-1867 person
associatedWith Bache, Albert Dabadie, 1832-1895 person
correspondedWith Badeau, Adam, 1831-1895 person
correspondedWith Baird, Spencer F. person
associatedWith Barnes, H. B. (Henry Broughton) person
associatedWith Barton, William Eleazar, 1861-1930, person
associatedWith Bell, Frank person
correspondedWith Black, Chauncey F. person
correspondedWith Blake, John B. person
associatedWith Bocock, Thomas S., 1815-1891. person
associatedWith Bond, W. C. (William Cranch), 1789-1859 person
associatedWith Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868 person
associatedWith Brewster, Sir David person
associatedWith Buchanan, James, 1791-1868. person
correspondedWith Capen, Nahum, 1804-1886 person
correspondedWith Century Company corporateBody
associatedWith Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871 person
associatedWith Cheney, T. Apoleon (Theseus Apoleon), 1830-1878 person
associatedWith Cist, Lewis Jacob, 1818-1885, person
correspondedWith Colfax, Schuyler, 1823-1885 person
associatedWith Combe, George, 1788-1858 person
associatedWith Cooper, Peter, 1791-1883 person
correspondedWith Corcoran, William Wilson person
associatedWith Crawford, M. J. (Martin Jenkins), 1820-1883. person
correspondedWith Curtin, Andrew Gregg, 1815-1894 person
correspondedWith Curtis, George Ticknor, 1812-1894 person
associatedWith Curtis, George William, 1824-1892. person
correspondedWith Davis, J. C. Bancroft (John Chandler Bancroft), 1822-1907 person
associatedWith Dearborn, Frederick M. (Frederick Myers), b. 1876 person
correspondedWith Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel, 1853-1935 person
associatedWith Democratic Party (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Denver, James William, 1817-1892, person
associatedWith Dickins, Asbury, 1780-1861 person
correspondedWith Dix, John A. (John Adams), 1798-1879 person
correspondedWith Evarts, William Maxwell, 1818-1901 person
associatedWith Fessenden, W. P. (William Pitt), 1806-1869 person
correspondedWith Forney, John W. (John Wien), 1817-1881 person
correspondedWith Gallaudet, Edward Miner, 1837-1917 person
associatedWith Government Hospital For The Insane (St. Eliz.) corporateBody
associatedWith Hale, Charles person
associatedWith Hale, Charles, 1831-1882 person
associatedWith Halleck, H. W. (Henry Wager), 1815-1872 person
associatedWith Hall, Nathan Kelsey, 1810-1874. person
correspondedWith Hamlin, Hannibal, 1809-1891 person
correspondedWith Harkness, William, 1837-1903 person
correspondedWith Hawley, Joseph R. (Joseph Roswell), 1826-1905 person
correspondedWith Henry, Joseph, 1797-1878 person
associatedWith Herrick, Edward, d. 1890. person
associatedWith Hilgard, Julius Erasmus, 1825-1891 person
correspondedWith Holt, Joseph, 1807-1894 person
correspondedWith Ingalls, John James, 1833-1900 person
associatedWith Jewell, Postmaster person
associatedWith Jewett, Charles Coffin person
correspondedWith Johnston, Harriet Lane, 1830-1903 person
correspondedWith Keim, De B. Randolph (De Benneville Randolph), 1841-1914 person
correspondedWith Kennan, George, 1845-1924 person
correspondedWith King, Horatio C. (Horatio Collins), 1837-1918 person
associatedWith King, Isabella G. Osborne. person
associatedWith Kneass, Dallas A. (Dallas Alexander), 1817-1891. person
associatedWith Lamb, Martha J. (Martha Joanna), 1829-1893. person
associatedWith Lee, Samuel Phillips, 1812-1897 person
correspondedWith Lincoln, Robert Todd, 1843-1926 person
associatedWith Littell, Eliakim, 1797-1870. person
correspondedWith Lord, John person
associatedWith Markley, T. W. person
correspondedWith McCulloch, Hugh, 1808-1895 person
associatedWith Meigs, Montgomery C. (Montgomery Cunningham), 1816-1892. person
associatedWith Mitchell, Maria, 1818-1889 person
correspondedWith Morrill, Justin S. (Justin Smith), 1810-1898 person
associatedWith Morrison, Arthur B. person
associatedWith Morrison, Jeannie. person
associatedWith Morrison, Jeannie, Mrs. person
correspondedWith Morton, Levi P. (Levi Parsons), 1824-1920 person
associatedWith Norton, Charles Ledyard, 1837-1909. person
associatedWith Nott, Charles C. person
correspondedWith Noyes, Crosby Stuart, 1825-1908 person
associatedWith Osborne, L. (Miss) person
associatedWith Paine, Robert Treat, 1803-1885 person
associatedWith Paine, R. T. person
associatedWith Paunceforte, Julian, Baron, 1828-1902. person
associatedWith Peirce, Benjamin person
correspondedWith Pierce, Franklin, 1804-1869 person
correspondedWith Poore, Benjamin Perley, 1820-1887 person
correspondedWith Porter, Fitz-John, 1822-1901 person
associatedWith Post Office Department corporateBody
associatedWith Potter, Alonzo, 1800-1865 person
associatedWith Quetelet, Adolphe, 1796-1874 person
associatedWith Redfield, W. C. (William C.), 1789-1857 person
correspondedWith Rhees, William J. person
associatedWith Rives, John C. (John Cook), 1795-1864. person
associatedWith Ruggles, Samuel B., (Samuel Bulkley), 1800-1881 person
associatedWith Schofield, John McAllister, 1831-1906 person
associatedWith Schumacher, Heinrich Christian, 1780-1850 person
associatedWith Seward, William Henry, 1801-1872. person
correspondedWith Sickles, Daniel Edgar, 1825-1914 person
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associatedWith Smithson, James person
associatedWith Sparkes, Jared person
associatedWith Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866 person
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correspondedWith Spofford, Ainsworth Rand, 1825-1908 person
correspondedWith Spooner, John C. (John Coit), 1843-1919 person
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associatedWith Stevenson, David person
associatedWith Stevenson, David, 1815-1886 person
associatedWith Stevenson, Robert, 1772-1850 person
associatedWith Tilghman, Tench, 1810-1874 person
associatedWith Tilley, Henry H., person
associatedWith Toucey, Isaac, 1792-1869 person
associatedWith Twichell, Ginery, 1811-1883. person
correspondedWith Tyler, Moses Coit, 1835-1900 person
associatedWith United States. Post Office Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith Upsher, Able Percey person
associatedWith Vroom, Peter Dumont, 1791-1873 person
associatedWith Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869. person
correspondedWith Wanamaker, John, 1838-1922 person
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associatedWith Wright, Harrison. person
associatedWith Wright, W. Lloyd (William Lloyd), 1876-1950, person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Washington (D.C.)
United States
Washington (D.C.)
Athens (Pa.)
United States
United States
United States
United States
United States
Patronage, Political
Postal service
Postal service
Royal Society
Saturday Club (Informal Washington Club)
Science and technology
Scientific publications
Smithsonian Endowment
Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Publications
Treasury Department
United States Coast Survey
Antebellum Politics
Cooper Union
District of columbia
Early National Politics
First assistant postmaster general
Franking privilege
Geological Survey of the State of New Jersey
Girard College
Henry, Joseph, Personality, Etc
Material Types
National Academy of Sciences
Natural history
Cabinet officers


Birth 1811-06-21

Death 1897-05-20



Ark ID: w669773p

SNAC ID: 35498410