Geary, John White

Geary, John White

(gēr`ē), 1819–73, American politician and Union general in the Civil War, b. Mt. Pleasant, Pa. In San Francisco from 1849 to 1852, Geary was the first U.S. postmaster, the last alcalde, and the first mayor. President Franklin Pierce appointed him governor of "bleeding" KansasKansas
, midwestern state occupying the center of the coterminous United States. It is bordered by Missouri (E), Oklahoma (S), Colorado (W), and Nebraska (N). Facts and Figures

Area, 82,264 sq mi (213,064 sq km). Pop. (2010) 2,853,118, a 6.
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 in July, 1856. His energy and firmness brought peace to the territory for the first time in many months, but the meeting of the determined proslavery legislature (Jan., 1857) and the discovery that little antislavery support could be expected from the incoming President James Buchanan led Geary to resign (March). In the Civil War, Geary was made a brigadier general of volunteers in Apr., 1862. He was wounded at Cedar Mt. (1862), commanded a division of the Army of the Potomac at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg (1863), distinguished himself under Joseph Hooker in the Chattanooga campaign (1864), and fought in W. T. Sherman's campaigns (1864–65). He was made major general of volunteers in Jan., 1865. Geary was elected governor of Pennsylvania in 1866 and held that office until shortly before his death.

Bibliography

See biography by H. M. Tinkcom (1940); J. H. Gihon, Geary and Kansas (1971).

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Geary, John White

(1819–73) soldier, mayor, governor; born in Westmoreland County, Pa. A Mexican War veteran, he was the first mayor of San Francisco (1850) and he pacified "Bloody Kansas" as territorial governor there in 1856–57. He commanded a Union division at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg (1863), during the Chattanooga campaign (1863), and in Sherman's March to the Sea. He was Republican governor of Pennsylvania from 1867–73.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.