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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DENNISON, William, war governor of Ohio, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, 23 November 1815; died in Columbus, 15 June 1882. His father was a prosperous businessman, and had him prepared for College in the best schools of Cincinnati. He was graduated at Niami in 1835, studied law in Cincinnati, under the direction of Nat haniel Pendleton and Stephen Fales, and practiced in Columbus until 1848, in which year he was chosen to the state legislature. About this period mr. Dennison became interested in banking and in railroad affairs, and was president of the Exchange bank and president of the Columbus and Xenia railroad company. In 1856 he was a delegate to the first National convention of the Republican Party. He was chosen governor of Ohio in 1860 by the Republicans, and delivered his first message to the general assembly in 1861. At his suggestion the legislature voted $3,000,000 to protect the state "from invasion and insurrection," and conferred power upon the executive to raise troops. Governor Dennison was an antislavery man and an ardent admirer of President Lincoln. In response to his call for 11,000 troops, he offered 30,000, sending agents to Washington to urge their acceptance. He took possession of the telegraph lines and railroads in the name of the state, and seized money in transit from Washington to Ohio, which he gave to the quartermaster general to clothe and equip soldiers. Governor Dennison was a delegate to the Republican national convention in 1864, and was elected chairman. He was appointed by President Lincoln postmaster general in 1864, and continued in that office, under President Johnson, until his resignation in 1866. Governor Dennison was a member of the National Republican convention at Chicago in 1880, and was leader of the friends of Senator John Sherman during the struggle for the nomination. He was also a candidate for senator in that year. He contributed largely to Dennison College, Granville, Ohio.
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