Kansas MemoryKansas Memory

Kansas Historical SocietyKansas Historical Society

Lorenzo Dow Lewelling - Page

To order images and/or obtain permission to use them commercially, please contact the KSHS Reference Desk at reference@kshs.org or 785-272-8681, ext. 117.

For more information see the Copyright and Permission FAQ.

Lorenzo Dow Lewelling was born to Quaker parents in Salem, Iowa, on December 21, 1846. Both of his parents died when he was a child, and he was raised by his older sister. Although Quakers were ardent pacifists, Lewelling served for a time in an Iowa regiment during the Civil War until he was discharged because of his young age and at the requests of his family. After the war, he worked in a variety of jobs, including as a teacher, carpenter, and bridge builder. After receiving his college degree and serving as a school superintendent, Lewelling moved to Wichita, Kansas, in 1887, along with his second wife and his children from a first marriage. As a founding member of the Farmers' Alliance, he ran for governor under the Populist ticket in the election of 1892, winning the election and serving as governor during the "Populist War" of 1893. Lewelling is also known for his clash with outspoken activist Mary Elizabeth Lease over the fusion of the Populists and Democrats, and for his attempt to remove her from her post as president of the Kansas Board of Charities. After he failed to win reelection as governor in 1894, Lewelling was elected to the Kansas state Senate, and served there until his death on September 3, 1900.

Date: Between 1893 and 1895

Bookbag Share Print

This image can be grouped with sources dealing with the Populist (or Legislative) War, including images of the statehouse, the executive orders that Lewelling issued during the standoff, the statement of the Republican House, Floyd Bull's reminiscence, E. Spencer's travel pass, and the copy of the agreement between the two groups. Furthermore, his strained relationship with Mary E. Lease can be used as an example of how the fusion of Populists and Democrats alienated Lease and eventually led to the demise of the Populist Party.

KS:7th:4.2:Populism (2005)

Item Number: 11679
Call Number: B Lewelling, Lorenzo D *1
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 11679

Copyright © 2007-2018 - Kansas Historical Society - Contact Us
This website was developed in part with funding provided by the Information Network of Kansas.