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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YATES, Richard, governor of Illinois, born in Warsaw, Kentucky, 18 January, 1818; died in St. Louis, Missouri, 27 November, 1873. At thirteen years of age he went with his father's family to reside in Springfield, Illinois He was graduated at Illinois college, Jacksonville, in 1838, studied law, and practised his profession in Springfield. From 1842 till 1849 he was a member of the legislature, and in 1850 he was elected to congress. He was the youngest member of the 32d congress, and was re-elected in 1852. In 1860 he was elected governor, and he was chosen again in 1862. Governor Yates had been an outspoken opponent of slavery, and at the opening of the civil war was very active in raising volunteers. He convened the legislature in extra session on 12 April, 1861, the day after the attack on Fort Sumter, and took (military possession of Cairo, garrisoning it with regular troops. In Governor Yates's office General Ulysses S. Grant received his first distinct recognition as a soldier in the civil war, being appointed by him mustering officer for the state, and afterward colonel of the 21st Illinois regiment. At the expiration of his term of office as governor he was elected to the United States senate, where he served from 1865 till 1871. His death occurred while he was returning from a visit, to Arkansas, where he had been examining a railroad as United States commissioner.
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