Ross, Edmond Gibson, 1826-1907

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Ross was born in Ashland, Ohio, on December 7, 1826, the third of fourteen children born to Sylvester Ross Sr. and Cynthia (Rice) Ross. He was educated locally and at age 11 was apprenticed as a printer at the Huron, Ohio, Commercial Advertiser. In 1841 he moved to Sandusky, Ohio, to join the staff of the Sandusky Mirror, which was owned by his brother Sylvester. For several years in the late 1840s and early 1850s, Ross was employed as a journeyman printer and typesetter, traveling throughout Ohio and to several nearby states to accept temporary work whenever it was available. A Democrat who opposed slavery, in 1852, he moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he worked on first the Milwaukee Free Democrat and then the Milwaukee Daily Sentinel. In 1854, Ross was one of several Milwaukee residents who came to the aid of Joshua Glover, an escaped slave who had been recaptured and was being held at the local jail. The group stormed the jail, freed Glover, and enabled his escape to Canada. At the founding of the Republican Party, Ross' anti-slavery leanings caused him to join the new organization.

An opponent of slavery, during the 1850s dispute over whether to admit Kansas to the union as a free state or a slave state, Ross moved to Topeka, Kansas, as did several of his family members, who were also opponents of slavery. The dispute sometimes resulted in violence, and Ross joined the antislavery side's militia. He became a leader of the free state movement as publisher of the Topeka Tribune from 1856 to 1858 and founder of the Kansas State Record in 1859. He joined the board of directors of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway and was one of its chief promoters. In 1859, Ross was elected a delegate to the Kansas constitutional convention of 1859 to 1861.

A supporter of the Union during the Civil War, Ross joined the Union Army as a private in 1862. He was commissioned as a captain in command of Company E, 11th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. The regiment took part in several battles in the southwestern and western United States, including Second Battle of Lexington, Battle of Little Blue River, Second Battle of Independence, Battle of Byram's Ford, Battle of Westport, Battle of Mine Creek, and Battle of Platte Bridge Station/Battle of Red Buttes. He was promoted to major during the war and was mustered out after the surrender of the Confederacy in 1865.

After the war, Ross returned to Kansas to continue his newspaper career and was editor of the Kansas Tribune from 1865 to 1866. In 1866, the governor of Kansas appointed Ross to the U.S. Senate as a Republican, filling the vacancy caused by the death of James H. Lane. The state legislature subsequently elected him to complete Lane's term, and he served from July 19, 1866, to March 3, 1871. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the term which began on March 4, 1871. During his Senate service, Ross served as chairman of the Committee on Enrolled Bills (Fortieth Congress) and the Committee on Engrossed Bills (Forty-first Congress).

Ross is best known for casting the decisive vote which acquitted Andrew Johnson during his 1868 Presidential Impeachment trial. Some people have claimed that Ross voted against the conviction due to concerns about his colleague Samuel C. Pomeroy receiving patronage from Benjamin Wade, and as a means to receive patronage favors from Johnson. Others claim Ross cast his vote because he genuinely believed that Johnson had the right to replace Edwin M. Stanton, since he had been appointed during the Lincoln Administration. Still others give voice to the opinion that, though the Kansas Senator did believe Johnson guilty of breaking the Tenure of Office Act, he did not believe that offense worthy of impeachment. Kansas newspapers thought clearly that Ross voted against his radical leanings in supporting Johnson because of the influence of his old Civil War colonel, Thomas Ewing Jr., an ardent Johnson supporter at the time. Later in life, Ewing wrote Ross that he felt Ross was “preeminent for courage” among men—not only for his physical courage in battle but also for opposing Johnson’s impeachment. “In making [that] decision, you knew perfectly well that it could consign you to private life and the vehement denunciation of almost all your party friends.” However, there is significant evidence that suggests Ross was bribed, although a subsequent House of Representatives investigation found no proof.

Edmund G. Ross is one of eight U.S. Senators featured in Profiles in Courage, the 1956 Pulitzer Prize-winning history co-written by then-Senator John F. Kennedy and Theodore Sorensen in commemoration of past acts of political courage in Congress.

Upon retirement from the Senate, Ross went back into the newspaper business briefly, launching a publication in Coffeyville, Kansas. He left the Republican Party after 1872 and was affiliated with the Democrats. In 1880, he ran unsuccessfully for governor of Kansas. A trip to New Mexico in 1882 had a positive effect on his health and he moved there permanently. He studied law and passed the bar, afterwards practicing in Albuquerque and beginning work on a history of the Johnson impeachment.

From 1885 to 1889, Ross served as governor of New Mexico Territory, appointed by President Grover Cleveland. He served as secretary of the New Mexico Bureau of Immigration from 1894 to 1896. In 1896, he published his book History of the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson. Time caused Kansans to look on Ross more favorably with respect to his role in the Johnson impeachment. In 1907, General Hugh Cameron of Lawrence visited Ross in New Mexico and brought testimonials from many citizens of Kansas.

Ross died in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on May 8, 1907. He was interred at Fairview Memorial Park Cemetery in Albuquerque.

In 1848, Ross married Fannie Lathrop (1827-1899) in Sandusky, Ohio. Their children included Lillian, Arthur, Pitt, Flynt, Edmundie, Kay and Fannie.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Erdman, Loula Grace. Many a voyage :, ca. 1960. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
creatorOf Crawford, S. J. (Samuel Johnson), 1835-1913. S.J. Crawford copies of letters sent and essay, 1868-1905. Kansas State Historical Society
creatorOf Edmund G. Ross Papers, 1865-1907 University of New Mexico. Center for Southwest Research
referencedIn PROFILES IN COURAGE: SENATOR EDMUND G. ROSS AND THE IMPEACHMENT OF ANDREW JOHNSON United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Pitt Ross and Edmund Ross family papers, 1832-1954, bulk 1880-1940 University of New Mexico. Center for Southwest Research
creatorOf Ross, Edmund G. (Edmund Gibson), 1826-1907. Papers, 1865-1907. University of New Mexico-Main Campus
referencedIn Ross, Edmund G. - New Mexico - Governor United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf Letter from Governor Edmond Ross of New Mexico to President Grover Cleveland Supporting Apache Removal to Eastern Reservations United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Papers of Arthur B. Havens, 1844-1911 University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library Kansas Collection.
referencedIn Ross, Pitt. Pitt Ross and Edmund Ross family papers 1832-1954, (bulk 1880-1940) University of New Mexico-Main Campus
referencedIn Wilson, Rufus Rockwell, 1865-1949. Rufus Rockwell Wilson lettersh[manuscript], 1895. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Keleher, William Aloysius, 1886-1972. William A. Keleher papers 1714-1999 (bulk 1915-1972) University of New Mexico-Main Campus
referencedIn Governor Edmund Ross Papers, 1885-1889 New Mexico State Records Center and Archives
referencedIn Chase, D. B. (Dana B.). Ross, Edmund (Collection) [picture]. University of New Mexico-Main Campus
referencedIn William A. Keleher Pictorial Collection, 1840-1970, 1880-1950 University of New Mexico. Center for Southwest Research
referencedIn Ream, Vinnie, 1847-1914. Vinnie Ream and Richard Leveridge Hoxie papers, 1853-1937 (bulk 1853-1914). Library of Congress
referencedIn [Kansas] Ross, Edmund G - 11th Cavalry, Company E United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Compiled Military Service Record of Major Edmund G. Ross, Company E, 11st Kansas Cavalry Regiment United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Carrie Arnold Collection, 1987-1997 Museum of New Mexico. Fray Angélico Chávez History Library.
creatorOf Havens, Arthur B. (Arthur Bostwick), 1836-1921. [Papers, 1844-1911]. University of Kansas Archives / MSS / Rare Books, Kenneth Spencer Research Library
referencedIn Papers, 1867-1910 University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library Kansas Collection.
creatorOf Ross, Edmund G. (Edmund Gibson), 1826-1907. Papers ; Hugh Cameron letters (1907), 1856-1933. Kansas State Historical Society
referencedIn William A. Keleher Papers, 1714-1999, 1915-1972 University of New Mexico. Center for Southwest Research
referencedIn Schuckers, J. W. (Jacob William), 1831-1901. Papers of Jacob William Schuckers, 1862-1899. Library of Congress
referencedIn Keleher, William Aloysius, 1886-1972. William A. Keleher Pictorial Collection, 1840-1970 (bulk 1880-1950) [picture] University of New Mexico-Main Campus
creatorOf Approved Pension File for Major Edmund G. Ross, Company E, 11th Kansas Cavalry Regiment (SC-975153) United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf Ross, Edmund G. (Edmund Gibson), 1826-1907. Edmund G. Ross papers, 1862-1902. Library of Congress
referencedIn Valencia County (N.M.). Grand Jury. Grand jury indictment and extradition request, 1887. Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Vinnie Ream and R. L. Hoxie Papers, 1853-1937, (bulk 1853-1914) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Ross, Edmund G. - New Mexico - Surveyor General United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf 1869 - Ross, Edmund G - File No. K105 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Arnold, Carrie. Carrie Arnold Collection, 1987-1997. Museum of New Mexico Library
referencedIn Mills, Ross, and Mackay Company. Account book, 1848-1849. American Antiquarian Society
creatorOf Ross, Edmund G. (Edmund Gilbert), 1826-1907. Letter: to H. C. Whitney /by Edmund Ross, 1869 Jul 5. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Grand jury indictment and extradition request, 1887 L. Tom Perry Special Collections19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
creatorOf Ross, Edmund G. (Edmund Gibson), 1826-1907. Records of the territorial governors : Edmund G. Ross, 1885-1889. Kansas State Historical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Anthony, D. R. (Daniel Read), 1824-1904 person
associatedWith Arnold, Carrie. person
associatedWith Arnold, Carrie, 1944-1988 person
leaderOf Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company corporateBody
associatedWith Cameron, Hugh, 1826-1908 person
associatedWith Crawford, S. J. (Samuel Johnson), 1835-1913. person
associatedWith Educational law and legislation corporateBody
associatedWith Erdman, Loula Grace. person
associatedWith Ewing, Thomas, 1829-1896, person
associatedWith Havens, Arthur B. (Arthur Bostwick), 1836-1921. person
correspondedWith Hoxie, R. L. (Richard Leveridge), 1844-1930 person
associatedWith Johnson, Andrew, 1808-1875 person
associatedWith Kansas. Constitutional Convention (1859) corporateBody
associatedWith Kansas U.S. Senators' Papers. corporateBody
associatedWith Keleher, William Aloysius, 1886-1972 person
associatedWith Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866. person
associatedWith Miles, Nelson Appleton, 1839-1925, person
associatedWith Mills, Ross, and Mackay Company. corporateBody
associatedWith New Mexico. Bureau of Immigration corporateBody
leaderOf New Mexico. Governor. corporateBody
associatedWith New Mexico. Governor (1885-1889 : Ross) corporateBody
associatedWith New Mexico. Governor (1885-1889 : Ross) corporateBody
associatedWith Plumb, Preston B., 1837-1891, person
associatedWith Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891, person
correspondedWith Ream, Vinnie, 1847-1914 person
associatedWith Ross, Edmund, 1887-1965 family
associatedWith Ross family family
associatedWith Ross, Pitt. person
associatedWith Schuckers, J. W. (Jacob William), 1831-1901. person
memberOf United States. Army. Kansas Cavalry Regiment, 11th (1862-1865) corporateBody
leaderOf United States. Army. Kansas Cavalry Regiment, 11th (1862-1865). Company E. corporateBody
memberOf United States. Congress. Senate. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Court of Private Land Claims. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. President (1865-1869 : Johnson) corporateBody
associatedWith Valencia County (N.M.) corporateBody
associatedWith Valencia County (N.M.). Grand Jury. corporateBody
associatedWith Whitney, H. C. person
associatedWith Wilson, Rufus Rockwell, 1865-1949. person
associatedWith Woodson, Daniel, person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Topeka KS US
Missouri MO US
Ashland County OH US
Sandusky OH US
Coffeyville KS US
Milwaukee WI US
Huron OH US
Santa Fe NM US
Albuquerque NM US
District of Columbia DC US
Subject
Irrigation
American newspapers
Prairie Grove, Battle of, Ark., 1862
Abolitionists
Impeachments
Civil war--Cavalry operations
American letters--History--19th century
Republican Party
Cane Hill, Battle of, Cane Hill, Ark., 1862
Platte Bridge, Battle of, Wyo., 1865
Administrative agencies
Pueblo Indians--Taxation
Patronage, Political
Educational law and legislation
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)
Politicians' spouses
Reconstruction--1865-1877
Extradition
Civil War, 1861-1865
Apache Indians
Mine Creek, Battle of, Kan., 1864
Democratic Party
American letters--History--20th century
Westport, Battle of, Kansas City, Mo., 1864
Agriculture
Pardon
Public lands
Occupation
Executives
Printer (print. & pub.)
Newspaper publishing--United States
Editors
Authors
Legislators--Kansas
Lawyers
Soldiers--19 century.--United States
Newspapermen
Ranching--New Mexico--Rio Arriba County
Politicians
Legislators--United States
Governors--New Mexico
Senators, U.S. Congress--Kansas
Function

Person

Birth 1826-12-07

Death 1907-05-08

Male

Americans

English

Information

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