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James Hanway

James HanwayConstitutional Delegate. Born: September 4, 1809, London, England. Died: May 9, 1882, Lane Kansas.

A friend and neighbor of the abolitionist John Brown, James Hanway was born in London, England, on September 4, 1809, but eventually moved to Ohio where he married and started a family. He was politically active in the Buckeye State as "a prominent member of the Old Liberty Party," according to Leavenworth's Daily Times, and was "a delegate to the Pittsburgh Free-Soil Convention in '52." The Hanways, James and Rebecca and their three sons, moved in March 1856 from Ohio to Kansas, where he was actively engaged in the free-state movement, serving in John Brown, Jr.'s militia company, among other things. Nevertheless, soon after five of his proslavery neighbors were murdered on Pottawatomie Creek in May 1856, Hanway wrote: "All men of real good sense, condemned these midnight assassinations." Elected as a representative from Franklin County in November 1860 to what would be the last territorial legislature, Hanway served in the 1865 and 1870 state legislatures and was the first president of the Osawatomie State Hospital board of trustees, 1866-1873. He remained active in local affairs, while writing and speaking often on "early day" Kansas, until his death at Lane, Kansas, on May 9, 1882.

Nearing the end of the 1859 convention, the Daily Times described Hanway as "an elderly gentleman, quietly observant of the proceedings, never speaking, but at the right moment making the right suggestions to those who do."

Entry: Hanway, James

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2011

Date Modified: January 2013

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.