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Biographical Sketch of Josiah Miller

Posted By Dennis Partridge On In Kansas,New York,South Carolina | No Comments

Josiah Miller, a pioneer newspaper man of Lawrence and Kansas, an ardent free-soiler and public official in the formative periods of the territory and the state, was born in Chester District, South Carolina, November 12, 1828. He gradnated from the Indiana University in 1851, and from the law school at Poughkeepsie, New York, and in August, 1854, came to Kansas. As his father had been waylaid and mobbed because of his anti-slavery views, it was but natural that Josiah should be an ardent opponent of slavery, and on January 5, 1855, he began the publication of the Kansas Free State at Lawrence. A pro-slavery jury found an indictment against him for maintaining a nuisance in its publication, and on May 21, 1856, his printing office was destroyed by the territorial anthorities. In that year he made speeches in several states for John C. Fremont, the republican candidate for president, and in 1857 was elected probate judge of Douglas County. In 1861 he was a member of the first State Senate, but resigned his seat in that body to become postmaster at Lawrence. In 1863 he was appointed a paymaster in the army, with the rank of major, and in 1866 was elected a member of the Legislature. His death occurred at Lawrence on July 7, 1870, after having a leg amputated. The inscription on the monument erected to his memory in Oak Hill Cemetery credits him with being the author of the motto, “Ad astra per aspera,” on the Kansas seal of state.


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