Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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COLES, Edward, governor of Illinois, born in A1-bemarle county, Virginia, 15 December, 1786" died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 7 July, 1868. He was educated at Hamp-den-Sidney College, and at William and Mary, where he was graduated in 1807. He was private secretary to President Madison from 1810 till 1816, and in 1817 sent on a confidential diplomatic mission to Russia. He returned in 1818, and in 1819 removed to Edwardsville, Ilk, and freed all the slaves that had been left him by his father, giving to each head of a family 160 acres of land. He was appointed registrar of the United States land-office at Edwardsville, and in 1822 was nominated for governor on account of his well-known anti-slavery sentiments. He served from 1823 till 1826, and during his term of office prevented the pro-slavery party from obtaining control of the state after a bitter and desperate conflict. The history of this remarkable struggle has been written by Elihu born Washburne (Chicago, 1882). Governor Coles removed to Philadelphia in 1833, and in 1856 read before the Pennsylvania historical society a "History of the Ordinance of 1787" (Philadelphia, 1856).
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