Stevens, Isaac Ingalls

Stevens, Isaac Ingalls,

1818–62, American army engineer, territorial governor, and Union general in the Civil War, b. North Andover (then part of Andover), Mass., grad. West Point, 1839. He won two brevets as adjutant of engineers on ScottScott, Winfield,
1786–1866, American general, b. near Petersburg, Va. Military Career

He briefly attended the College of William and Mary, studied law at Petersburg, and joined the military.
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's staff in the Mexican War and was later in the U.S. Coast Survey. In 1853 Stevens resigned from the army to become governor of the newly established Washington Territory. At the same time he was placed in charge of the survey for a northern railroad to the Pacific, which he favored. As superintendent of Indian affairs for the territory, Stevens negotiated treaties with the various tribes to secure their lands, but grossly unequal terms led to hostilities in 1855. His aggressive conduct of the war was criticized by some, including the U.S. army's Pacific Coast commander. A Democrat, he was territorial delegate in Congress from 1857 to 1861. In the Civil War he rose to be a major general of volunteers, and died in action at Chantilly, Va., in Sept., 1862.

Bibliography

See R. Kluger, The Bitter Waters of Medicine Creek (2011).

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Stevens, Isaac Ingalls

(1818–62) soldier, public official; born in Andover, Mass. He was an army engineer in the Mexican War and was governor of the Washington Territory (1853–57). He directed the exploration for the Pacific Railroad surveys and ruthlessly suppressed an Indian rebellion within the Territory (1855). He served in the House of Representatives (Dem., Washington Territory; 1857–61) and, as a Union brigadier general, was killed in the Civil War.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.