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Samuel Adams Stinson

Politician. Born: November 24, 1831, Wiscasset, Maine. Died: February 20, 1826, Wiscasset, Maine.

Born in Wiscasset, Maine, on November 24, 1831, and graduated from Bowdoin College, Stinson gained a reputation as an outstanding orator and successful lawyer. He was married and moved to Kansas from Wisconsin in 1857; and although the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for associate justice of the supreme court under the Wyandotte Constitution, during the Civil War Stinson was elected state attorney general (special election to fill vacancy, November 5, 1861), serving in that office from December 20, 1861, to January 1863. He was, according to B.F. Simpson, "the most genial, magnetic, versatile and accomplished" of Leavenworth's "galaxy of bright minds." Stinson was "tall, well formed, with a bright, fresh face . . . . He devoured books, rather than read them, his tenacious memory enabling him to call up their contents at will. His voice was clear and flute-like, with the most persuasive accents, and his wit sparkling and contagious." Stinson was elected to the board of directors of the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division on April 6, 1864, but soon after the war ended he returned to his native state and old hometown, Wiscasset, where he died on February 20, 1866.

Stinson was especially active for the Democratic minority at the convention from the outset on July 5, commencing with issues having to do with organization, and served on the judicial department, county and township organization, ordinance and public debt, finance and taxation, and federal relations committees. The Leavenworth Times described him as "remarkable for the nervous activity of his mind, his quickness of perception, ready wit, easy and admirable use of language, and power in debates. . . . He has an easy address and most gentlemanly bearing," and although he no doubt "acts on principle," it was partisan principle based on "birth and education, and not from fixed and solid conviction."

Entry: Stinson,Samuel Adams

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2011

Date Modified: January 2013

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.