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Wilson Shannon
2nd Territorial Governor of Kansas
In office
September 7, 1855 – August 18, 1856
Preceded by Andrew Reeder
Succeeded by John W. Geary
14th and 16th Governor of Ohio
In office
December 13, 1838 – December 16, 1840
Preceded by Joseph Vance
Succeeded by Thomas Corwin
In office
December 14, 1842 – April 15, 1844
Preceded by Thomas Corwin
Succeeded by Thomas W. Bartley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 17th district
In office
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1855
Preceded by Joseph Cable
Succeeded by Charles J. Albright
Personal details
Born (1802-02-24)February 24, 1802
Belmont County, Northwest Territory
Died August 30, 1877(1877-08-30) (aged 75)
Lawrence, Kansas
Resting place Oak Hill Cemetery
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Ellis, Sarah Osbun
Alma mater Ohio University
Transylvania University
Profession attorney, politician

Wilson Shannon (February 24, 1802 – August 30, 1877) was a Democratic politician from Ohio and Kansas. He served as the 14th and 16th Governor of Ohio. He and was the first governor of Ohio born in the state. Shannon was the second governor of the Kansas Territory.


Shannon was born in Belmont County, Ohio on February 24, 1802. His father, George Shannon, fought in the Revolutionary War.


Shannon was a student at Ohio University and Translyvania University. He studied law. He became a lawyer in 1830. He was the prosecuting attorney for Belmont County from 1833 to 1835.

Kansas Territory

On August 10, 1855, President Franklin Pierce asked Shannon to become the governor of Kansas. He was governor from September 7, 1855 until August 18, 1856. Shannon sent the federal military to Kansas many times. He did this to stop violence.

In May 1856, a big pro-slavery army came to Lawrence, and they attacked the city. This was known as the "Sacking of Lawrence." Shannon did not try to stop them, and he did not guard the people of Lawrence or their property. Shannon lost control of Kansas, and he went to St. Louis, Missouri on June 23, 1856. He quit on August 18, 1856.

Later Life and Death

Shannon came back to Kansas after quitting. He was a lawyer in Lawrence, Lecompton, and Topeka, Kansas. He died on August 30, 1877. He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence.

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