Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MARTIN, John Alexander, governor of Kansas, born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania. 10 March, 1839. He learned the printer's trade in the office of the Brownsville "Clipper," and became foreman of the composing-room, and subsequently local editor. Removing in 1857 to Atchison, Kansas, he purchased the "Squatter Sovereign" in February, 1858. and changing its name to the "Champion," exercised through its columns a powerful influence on the political development of the state. In July, 1859, he was secretary of the Wyandotte convention, at which the state constitution was framed, in Otto-bet of that year was a delegate to the Republican convention, and in December was elected a state senator. He was a member of the National Republican convention in 18(10, and after the admission of Kansas to the Union in 1861 was postmaster at Atchison. He served during one session in the state senate, on 27 October joined the National army as lieutenant-colonel of the 8th Kansas infantry, and was for some time provost-marshal of Leavenworth. On 1 November, 1862, he was promoted colonel of the regiment, and a month later appointed provost-marshal at Nashville, Tennessee, in which capacity he served six months, he took part in the principal engagements of the Army of the Camberland, commanding a brigade at Chickamauga, and also for several months before he was mustered out, 17 November. 1864. He was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers for services during the war. Returning to Atchison, he resumed the management of his newspaper, which he converted into a daily, and in 1865 was elected mayor. He was a delegate to the Republican National conventions of 1868, 1872, and 1880, a member of the National committee of the party from 1868 till 1884, also of the United States centennial commission in 1876, and since 1878 has been a manager of the National soldiers' home. He was elected governor of Kansas in 1884, and in 1886 was re-elected.
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