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Stanton, Frederick P.

Born: 1814-12-22 Alexandria, Virginia

Died: 1894-06-04 Marion County, Florida

Frederick P. Stanton was a Tennessee lawyer and U.S. congressman and secretary and acting governor of the Kansas Territory. He graduated from Columbian College in 1833 and briefly taught school while studying law. He earned admittance to the Tennessee bar and opened a practice in Memphis, Tennessee. Voters elected Stanton, as a Democrat, to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served from 1845 until 1855. In 1857, James Buchanan appointed him secretary of the Kansas Territory. Arriving in the territory in April 1857 amidst the convulsions of Bleeding Kansas, Stanton angered free state advocates by dismissing their complaints about apportionment in the election to select delegates to the constitutional convention in Lecompton, prompting them to boycott the election. In December, he became acting governor when Territorial Governor Robert J. Walker returned to Washington, DC. As acting governor, Stanton drew the ire of the pro-slavery minority when he called the newly elected legislature--which had a free state majority--into special session to deal with the escalating violence. President Buchanan removed him from office and Stanton returned to Virginia, eventually settling in Florida.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 1871; James Redpath, The Roving Editor: Or, Talks with Slaves in the Southern States (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University, 1996), 279, n16.