Schouler, William

Born: 1814-12-31 Scotland, United Kingdom

Died: 1872-10-24 Massachusetts

Schouler immigrated with his father, a calico printer, to the United States in 1815. They settled in Massachusetts, where William received a common school education. After his schooling, William followed his father's trade in Taunton, Lynn, and West Cambridge. In the 1840s, he moved into newspaper publishing. From 1841 to 1847, he was the proprietor and editor of the Lowell Courier. In 1847, he moved to Boston, becoming the co-proprietor and editor of the Boston Atlas from 1847 to 1853. While living in Massachusetts, he won election to the Massachusetts House of Representatives four times and to the Massachusetts Senate one time. In 1853, he was a delegate to the Massachusetts constitutional convention. In 1853, he moved to Ohio, where he co-edited the Cincinnati Gazette from 1853 to 1856 and the Ohio State Journal from 1856 to 1858. In 1857, he served as adjutant general of Ohio. In 1858, he returned to Massachusetts, where he edited the Boston Atlas and Bee. From 1860 to 1865, he was adjutant general of Massachusetts. In 1864, he brought attention to the plight of Lydia Bixby, which ultimately led to the writing of the famous Bixby letter.

Gravestone, Forest Hills Cemetery and Crematory, Jamaica Plain, MA; “Schouler, William,” James Grant Wilson and John Fiske, Appleton’s Cyclopædia of American Biography (New York: D. Appleton, 1888), 5:427; F. Lauriston Bullard, Abraham Lincoln and the Widow Bixby (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1946), 13-28; Francis S. Drake, Dictionary of American Biography (Boston: James R. Osgood, 1872), 805.