James S. Emery was one of the stalwart pioneers of the free-state cause, who bravely and ably assisted the struggling territory and commonwealth to firmly lay their foundations. A son of the Pine Tree State, he was born in Franklin County, July 3, 1826; graduated from Waterville College in 1851; was admitted to the bar in New York City in January, 1854, and in the following September came to Lawrence with the second party of free-state immigrants to make the venture into the danger zone. He was a member of the Big Springs convention and in September, 1855, made a telling speech at the stone capitol in Pawnee, in support of the Topeka constitution and against alavery. A member of the Topeka constitutional convention, he was also with John Brown in the Wakarusa war, and in January, 1856, was one of the delegation sent East to plead for the free-state cause in Kansas. With Abraham Lincoln, he addressed the famous Bloomington convention of May, 1856, and stumped the State of Indiana for Fremont in the same year. He was a member of the Leavenworth constitutional convention and served in the State Legislature of 1862 and 1863. In 1864 President Lincoln appointed him United States district attorney, and he was twice a regent of the State University. Mr. Emery was president of the State Historical Society in 1891, and died at Lawrence, June 8, 1899.
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