Acrostic for the Dead: Gov. Louis Powell Harvey

For the Daily Gazette.
Affection’s Tribute.

AN ACROSTIC.

G one from the post of duty, gone with harness on,
O ver the river, to the farther shore!
V eiled sadly from our vision, sleeping his last sleep,
E nded his earthly task, his labors o’er!
R evering freedom, justice, to the latest hour,
N o thought had he save for his country’s good!
O n mercy’s holy mission — to relieve distress —
R an he his race, and sank beneath the flood!

H e, being dead, speaketh to our aching hearts.
A h! how we loved him for the deeds he wrought!
R adiant with patriotic lights his kindly soul,
V alient for freedom, truth his highest thought!
E ternal One! who ruleth over all,
Y ield us support, while good men round us fall!

Janesville, April 22d. 1862.

— W —

__________

MRS. HARVEY. — The Madison Journal relates the circumstances under which Mrs. Harvey obtained the sad tidings of the death of her husband. She was at capitol when the dispatch was received by Adjutant-General Gaylord, obtaining subscriptions to aid a destitute family in the city. An attempt was made to get her to her boarding place before the contents of the dispatch were made known. She at once saw by the countenances of those whom she met that some bad tidings had been received.

Adjutant-General Gaylord and Mr. Sawyer, her brother-in-law, attempted to accompany her home, and told her that a rumor had been received that gave him some anxiety in regard to the Governor. As Gen. Gaylord was attempting to conceal the full extent of the calmnity, she stopped while they were walking through the Park and said: “Tell me if he is dead!” While he evaded a direct reply, she read the fatal news in the expression of his face and dropped senseless upon the walk. She was soon revived sufficiently to be conveyed home, but remained in a state nearly approaching distraction.

Attorney General Howe left on the morning train for Cairo, for the purpose of obtaining and bringing back the body if it can be found. He was accompanied as far as Chicago by Mrs. Harvey and her sister, Mrs. Sawyer.

Janesville Daily Gazette (Janesville, Wisconsin) Apr 22, 1862

Particulars of the Death of Governor Harvey.

We are indebted to Dr. R.B. Treat, of this city, for the following particulars connected with the loss of Gov. Harvey:

Gov. Harvey returned from Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon on the ferry boat, having previously made an arrangement with the captain of the steamer Minnehaha to call in the evening at Savannah for him and his party. The governor had been exceedingly busy for several days reorganizing the 16th and 18th regiments, and attending to such other duties that the welfare of Wisconsin troops seemed to require. He had labored assiduously day and night and had accomplished the object of his mission except as to the details which he intended to do at his leisure while returning.

He seemed more restless and thoughtful than usual, but appeared to be in the best of spirits, as if conscious of having fully discharged many and onerous duties of his humane mission. We concluded to remain on the Dunleith and await the steamer from the landing. All of our party except the governor and myself, had retired, exhausted with their labors, and were soon asleep. The governor was extremely communicative and spoke hopefully of the complete restoration of the 16th and 18th to their full number and efficiency; also, of the success of our arms in the coming contest at Corinth, which he deemed could not long be delayed.

It was near 10 o’clock when we also concluded to get some rest, when stepping out upon the deck of the Dunleith, we saw the Minnehaha coming down, hailed her as she rounded too, when the captain inquired if Gov. Harvey was aboard the Dunleith. Upon being answered in the affirmative, he came along side and attached the bows of the Minnehaha to the Dunleith. Governor Harvey then went above and woke up his friends and came down very soon after and met Drs. Wilson and Clark, who had come down upon the Minnehaha. They shook hands and the governor passed back toward the stern of the Dunleith, along a narrow way which had no guards. It was lighted by torch, but the deck being wet and slippery, and the probabilities are that he stepped too near the edge when his foot slipped, causing him to fall into the river between the boats. Drs. Wilson and Clark immediately gave the alarm and rushed to his assistance. Dr. Wilson reached him his cane which Gov. Harvey grasped firmly as he came up the first time, but Dr. Wilson found it impossible to hold on to it without being himself precipitated into the river, was compelled to let go, Dr. Clark then sprung overboard and had nearly reached him when he went down again, the current carrying him underneath the barges lying below the Dunleith. Boats and lights were immediately procured and strict watch observed for some time, hoping that he might be carried down stream by the rapid current and yet saved. We finaly gave over the fruitless search and in consultation, concluded to leave a sufficient number to look for the body in the morning. Gen. Brodhead and Dr. Wolcott were selected with three others of the party, while the remainder were to return, bearing the sad intelligence to his family and friends. Drs. Clark and Wilson are deserving of much credit, having periled their own lives to save that of Gov. Harvey.More particularly would I speak of Dr. Clark, who undoubtedly would have met a watery grave had he came in contact with Gov. Harvey.

Janesville Daily Gazette (Janesville, Wisconsin) Apr 23, 1862

Gov. Harvey.

After noticing the sudden death of Gov. Harvey, the Chicago Tribune thus sketches the leading events of his life:

“Gov. Harvey was born at East Haddam, Ct., July 23d, 1820. His parents emigrated to Ohio and located at Shawmsville in 1828. He was educated at Western Reserve College, Hudson, and removed to Kenosha, Wis., in 1840. His first labors in the new state of his adoption were as a teacher in the academy of Kenosha, and later he edited with credit and honor to himself, the Whig organ published in that city. In the same place he was married in ’48, to the esteemed lady who survives him. In 1850 Gov. Harvey moved to Shopiere, Rock county, where he engaged in the manufacturing business, and has since resided there. He was a member of the first constitutional convention, and represented Rock county in the state senate two terms, from 1853 to 1857. He was then elected secretary of state, a place he held until last fall, when he was elected governor. A man of incorruptible integrity, an earnest patriot, Wisconsin was fortunate that the result of her last memorable campaign in state politics placed him at the head of her affairs. He has been earnest and zealous in calling her sons to the field, and in securing fidelity and thoroughness in every detail of their equipment. And when there came from the battle field a call for humanity, in behalf of our wounded, Gov. Harvey was the first to answer to the appeal, and it was the closing act of his useful and honored life.

“Wisconsin had no nobler or truer man than Louis P. Harvey, nor had she ever a more upright, patriotic or incorruptible executive. His untimely decease will fill the breasts of her people with sorrow, and the whole west will sympathize with their grief.”

Janesville Daily Gazette – Apr 23, 1862

From the Madison Journal
Incidents in the Early Life of Governor Harvey.

In our brief and hasty sketch of Gov. Harvey the other day, some mistakes occurred as to dates, and there were some omissions relative to his early life, which we propose briefly to remedy, from the best information we have been able to obtain.

LOUIS POWELL HARVEY was born in East Haddam, Connecticut, July 22, 1820. In 1828, his father removed to Strongville, Ohio. His parents not being wealthy, it was necessary that Louis should be the artificer of his own fortune. In 1837 he entered the freshman class in the Western Reserve College at Hudson, Ohio.

Concerning his collegiate course, a class-mate, Rev. Mr. Brown, at a meeting in La Crosse, thus speaks:

As class-mates and members of the same literary society, and boarders in the same family, our acquaintance was of the most intimate kind. I can bear testimony to his early character, that it was without a stain. He was a noble youth. With brilliant talents, good scholarship, and pleasing manners, he became a favorite among his fellow students. Impulsive in temperament, of unbounded wit and humor, yet chastened by Christian principle. He possessed that rare quality of true nobility, a promptness to retract an error, or confess a wrong. When a sharp word or sally of wit had wounded the feelings of a fellow student, I have seen him repair to this room, and with a warm grasp of his hand, and a tear in his eye, say:

“Brother, forgive me if I have hurt your feelings!”

Being straitened in means, he worked a portion of his leisure hours at book-binding. In the junior year he was compelled to leave to seek employment to enable him to seek employment, to enable him to pursue his studies.

We understand that ill health was the cause of his leaving college previous to graduating.

He sent a short time as a teacher in Nicholsonville, Ky., after which he obtained a situation as tutor in Woodward College, Cincinnati, and after remaining in this position some two years, he turned his steps in a westerly direction, and located at Southport (now Kenosha) in this state, in the fall of 1841.

The Kenosha Telegraph speaks of his career in that place as follows:

He came a stranger, without influential friends to aid him, and without capital, except a good character and a well cultivated mind, which are, after all, better foundations for a young man to build upon than money.

The first business in which he was engaged here was teaching. He found a building which had been erected for the purpose of an academy, but which had never yet been occupied for educational purposes. He immediately hired the building, put out advertisements, inviting students, and opened his school on the 25th of December, 1841. His patronage was not large but all that could reasonably be expected, in view of the newness of the town. In the summer of 1843, he took the editorial charge of the Southport American, a whig paper which had been established in the fall of 1841. He, however did not relinquish the business of teaching, but continued his school. Although this was his first attempt at editing a newspaper, he displayed tack and ability in this new vocation. The American while under his charge was a lively and spirited paper. He was an ardent politician, but never indulged in personal invective, and was generally courteous in the discussion of political differences.

He was generous, genial, possessing an unusual flow of humor; and it was, perhaps, these qualities, combined with others of more intrinsic worth, which rendered him popular among all classes. As an evidence of the strong hold he had on the favor of the people, during his early political career, it may be mentioned that after the expiration of his first years’ residence here, he was put forward annually by his political friends, for some ward or town office. The contest at the polls for these offices was unusually spirited and conducted on party grounds. It is a noticeable fact, seen by reference to our town election returns of those years, that Mr. Harvey invariably run ahead of his ticket, and usually succeeded to an election, even when his party was clearly a minority one.

“Mr. Harvey in early life, exhibited more than ordinary talent as a public speaker, and possessed the elements of a popular orator in a good degree. While engaged in the business of teaching, he was zealous in his endeavors to organize the young men of the town into lyceums, for public discussions on the important topics of the day. Doubtless this early practice of public speaking, was the means of giving him prominence in after times, as a good debater in the state senate, and as an effective platform orator. His example in this respect, is well worthy the imitation of all young men who aspire to positions of influence and usefulness among the people.”

For a short time in 1844, he held the office of postmaster, under the administration of Mr. Tyler. The Telegraph remarks:

As a friend of education, and the interests of our public schools, Mr. Harvey was always ready to aid and give encouragement. In short, in all enterprises — educational, philanthropic or benevolent, he could always be counted upon to give his influence and to speak a good word.

Although Mr. Harvey, while a young man, was the object of popular favor and applause, yet he preserved a gentlemanly equinimity, and did not allow himself to become inflated with pride and conceit; nor did he give way to the temptations which surround young men who are the subject of flattering regard. He was a temperance man from principle — abstaining from all intoxicating liquors. He was moreover a religious man, and a church communicant (Congregational.) There is much in the life of Gov. Harvey while a young man, that is instructive and worthy of example by the young men of the state. To a large extent it may be truly said, he was a self-made man. Before the age of 19 years he was thrown upon his own resources; by untiring industry and perseverance, he achieved a reputation that will live in history, and command the respect and admiration of men in after ages.

In 1847, Mr. Harvey was married to Miss Cordelia Perrine, and removed to Clinton, in Rock county, where he commenced trade. In the fall of that year he was elected to the second constitutional convention, where he distinguished himself as an able debater, and was one of the most influential members of that body.

Afterwards he removed to Shopiere, in Rock county, where he has ever since resided. Of his labors here, his friend Rev. Mr. Brown thus speaks:

“He purchased the water power, tore down the distillery, that had cursed the village, and in its place built a flouring mill and established a retail store, and exerted a great influence in reforming the morals of the place. A neat stone edifice was built, mainly by his munificence, for the Congregational church, of which he was a member, and his uncle, Rev. O.S. Powell, settled as its pastor. It is a coincidence worthy of remark, that Mr. Powell came to his death also by drowning at Fort Atkinson, July 2, 1855.

Of the subsequent career of Gov. Harvey — as state senator, secretary of state and governor, and as a leading citizen of the state, it is unnecessary to refer to them in this connection.

Janesville Daily Gazette – Apr 30, 1862

As an aside for people interested in San Diego, California history, Charles P. Francisco was a nephew of A.E. Horton. In 1872, Mr. Francisco married Miss Mary Evelyn Harvey, the niece of Gov. Harvey. Mr. Francisco arrived in San Diego in 1869. He passed away in 1913, at the age of sixty-eight.

You can read more about him in the following book:

Title:  San Diego and Imperial Counties, California: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement,  Volume 2
Page 434
Author   : William Ellsworth Smythe
Editor   : Samuel T. Black
Publisher   : The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913

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