Wilson Shannon

American politician (Democrat)

Wilson Shannon (February 24, 1802 – August 30, 1877) was a Democratic politician from Ohio and Kansas. He served as the 14th and 16th Governor of Ohio. He and was the first governor of Ohio born in the state. Shannon was the second governor of the Kansas Territory.

Wilson Shannon
2nd Territorial Governor of Kansas
In office
September 7, 1855 – August 18, 1856
Preceded byAndrew Reeder
Succeeded byJohn W. Geary
14th and 16th Governor of Ohio
In office
December 13, 1838 – December 16, 1840
Preceded byJoseph Vance
Succeeded byThomas Corwin
In office
December 14, 1842 – April 15, 1844
Preceded byThomas Corwin
Succeeded byThomas W. Bartley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 17th district
In office
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1855
Preceded byJoseph Cable
Succeeded byCharles J. Albright
Personal details
Born(1802-02-24)February 24, 1802
Belmont County, Northwest Territory
DiedAugust 30, 1877(1877-08-30) (aged 75)
Lawrence, Kansas
Resting placeOak Hill Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Ellis, Sarah Osbun
Alma materOhio University
Transylvania University
Professionattorney, politician


Shannon was born in Belmont County, Ohio on February 24, 1802. His father, George Shannon, fought in the Revolutionary War.


Shannon was a student at Ohio University and Translyvania University. He studied law. He became a lawyer in 1830.[1] He was the prosecuting attorney for Belmont County from 1833 to 1835.[1]

Kansas TerritoryEdit

On August 10, 1855, President Franklin Pierce asked Shannon to become the governor of Kansas. He was governor from September 7, 1855 until August 18, 1856. Shannon sent the federal military to Kansas many times. He did this to stop violence.

In May 1856, a big pro-slavery army came to Lawrence, and they attacked the city. This was known as the "Sacking of Lawrence." Shannon did not try to stop them, and he did not guard the people of Lawrence or their property. Shannon lost control of Kansas, and he went to St. Louis, Missouri on June 23, 1856. He quit on August 18, 1856.

Later Life and DeathEdit

Shannon came back to Kansas after quitting. He was a lawyer in Lawrence, Lecompton, and Topeka, Kansas. He died on August 30, 1877. He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Wilson Shannon". Retrieved July 12, 2012.