Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BROOKS, Joseph, clergyman, born in Butler County, Ohio, 1 November, 1821; died in Little Rock, Arkansas, 30 April, 1877. He was graduated at Indiana Asbury University, and in 1840 entered the Methodist ministry. He removed to Iowa in 1846, and in 1856 became editor of the St. Louis "Central Christian Advocate," the only anti-slavery paper published on slave soil west of the Mississippi. When the civil war began, he became chaplain of the 1st Missouri artillery, Col. Frank P. Blair's regiment. He afterward aided in raising the 11th and 33d Missouri regiments, and was transferred to the latter as chaplain. Early in the war Mr. Brooks urged the enlistment of colored troops, and, when it was decided to employ them, he was offered a major general's commission if he would raise a division, but he declined. He afterward became chaplain of the 3d Arkansas colored infantry. After the war Mr. Brooks became a planter in Arkansas, and was a leader in the State constitutional convention of 1868. During the presidential canvass of that year an attempt was made to assassinate Mr. Brooks and Congressman C. C. Hines, which resulted in the death of the latter and the wounding of Mr. Brooks. He removed to Little Rock in the autumn of 1868, and was elected state senator in 1870. In 1872 he was a candidate for governor, and, when his opponent was declared to be elected by the legislature, he claimed that the election was fraudulent, and, relying on the decision of a state court in his favor, took forcible possession of the state-house, 13 April, 1874, and held it till dispossessed by proclamation of President Grant, 23 May, 1874. (See Baxter, Elisha.) Mr. Brooks was appointed postmaster at Little Rock in March, 1875, and held the office till his death, he was a man of great will-power and a strong speaker.
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