War Governors' Conference

War Governors' Conference

Discussion
Ask a question about 'War Governors' Conference'
Start a new discussion about 'War Governors' Conference'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Loyal War Governors' Conference was an important political event of the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. It was held at the Logan House Hotel in Altoona, Pennsylvania
Altoona, Pennsylvania
-History:A major railroad town, Altoona was founded by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1849 as the site for a shop complex. Altoona was incorporated as a borough on February 6, 1854, and as a city under legislation approved on April 3, 1867, and February 8, 1868...

 on September 24 and 25, 1862. Thirteen governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

s of Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 states
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 came together to discuss the war effort, state troop quotas, and the ultimate support of President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 and his Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...

. The leaders also suggested the removal of General George B. McClellan
George B. McClellan
George Brinton McClellan was a major general during the American Civil War. He organized the famous Army of the Potomac and served briefly as the general-in-chief of the Union Army. Early in the war, McClellan played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army for the Union...

 as commander
Commanding officer
The commanding officer is the officer in command of a military unit. Typically, the commanding officer has ultimate authority over the unit, and is usually given wide latitude to run the unit as he sees fit, within the bounds of military law...

 of the Army of the Potomac
Army of the Potomac
The Army of the Potomac was the major Union Army in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War.-History:The Army of the Potomac was created in 1861, but was then only the size of a corps . Its nucleus was called the Army of Northeastern Virginia, under Brig. Gen...

. The meeting was established and hosted by Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin
Andrew Gregg Curtin
Andrew Gregg Curtin was a U.S. lawyer and politician. He served as the Governor of Pennsylvania during the Civil War.-Biography:...

, who was a staunch defender of the war effort and Lincoln Administration policies. Ultimately, the event provided Lincoln much-needed support from the Northern
Northern United States
Northern United States, also sometimes the North, may refer to:* A particular grouping of states or regions of the United States of America. The United States Census Bureau divides some of the northernmost United States into the Midwest Region and the Northeast Region...

 states.

History of the meeting


In the autumn of 1862, the war effort was going poorly for the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

. The commander-in-chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

 wished to release a proclamation that would free the slaves in the southern states, but was afraid to do so for fear that the Union's border states still practicing slavery would secede. If he issued the proclamation prematurely, it would appear as a last cry for help to both the country and the world. Lincoln needed a military victory so that could announce the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.


Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 sent out a telegram invitation on September 6 to all Union governors to "meet at a point in the border states" to discuss the states' involvement in the war effort. Governor Andrew of Massachusetts, another radical and sometime opponent of Lincoln, supported the meeting in order to promote more radical measures such as emancipation that he thought were the only path to victory, writing that he hoped "to save the Prest. from the infamy of ruining his country" (Neely, ed., Lincoln Encyclopedia, p. 5). Altoona, Pennsylvania would be that "point" of location for the meeting.

The Battle of Antietam
Battle of Antietam
The Battle of Antietam , fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek, as part of the Maryland Campaign, was the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Northern soil. It was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with about 23,000...

 on September 17, 1862 allowed Lincoln to claim the victory he so desperately needed. This key event would be a main topic among the governors. The state executives began to arrive at the Logan House Hotel in Altoona on September 23. The city was the ideal location for the meeting: it was near both the Midwest
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

 states as well as New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

, and it also provided excellent transportation and luxury due to the massive Pennsylvania Railroad
Pennsylvania Railroad
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the "Pennsy", the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

 center that was based in Altoona. In fact, during the Gettysburg Campaign
Gettysburg Campaign
The Gettysburg Campaign was a series of battles fought in June and July 1863, during the American Civil War. After his victory in the Battle of Chancellorsville, Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia moved north for offensive operations in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The...

, the city was strongly considered by Confederate General Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

 as a potential target should his forces have gotten that far.

As more governors and delegates arrived, crowds of local onlookers and politicians began to gather on the train platform beside the hotel to get a better look at the dignified guests. Even General John Alexander McClernand
John Alexander McClernand
John Alexander McClernand was an American lawyer and politician, and a Union general in the American Civil War. He was a classic case of the politician-in-uniform coming into conflict with career Army officers, graduates of the United States Military Academy. He was a prominent Democratic...

 and staff, who were passing through Altoona, decided to observe the spectacle. Also in attendance was a reporter from the New York Herald
New York Herald
The New York Herald was a large distribution newspaper based in New York City that existed between May 6, 1835, and 1924.-History:The first issue of the paper was published by James Gordon Bennett, Sr., on May 6, 1835. By 1845 it was the most popular and profitable daily newspaper in the UnitedStates...

. (The article about the conference appeared on the front page of this periodical on September 29, 1862.) The day before the meeting was to begin, the governors who had arrived so far took a sight-seeing trip to the famous Horseshoe Curve
Horseshoe Curve (Pennsylvania)
Horseshoe Curve is a famous railroad horseshoe curve in central Pennsylvania, near Altoona in the United States. Called an "engineering marvel", it was completed in 1854 by the Pennsylvania Railroad...

, compliments of John Edgar Thomson
John Edgar Thomson
John Edgar Thomson was an American civil engineer and industrialist. Thomson was an entrepreneur best known for his leadership of the Pennsylvania Railroad from 1852 until his death 1874, making it the largest business enterprise in the world and a world-class model for technological and...

 and the Pennsylvania Railroad
Pennsylvania Railroad
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the "Pennsy", the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

.

The meeting began the next morning. At that point, eleven governors, one representative, and a number of aides were in attendance. After an initial welcome by Governor Curtin, the group went right to business, debating a number of topics. These included ways they could support the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation and how their individual states could aid the war effort.

One of the main topics of discussion concerned General George B. McClellan
George B. McClellan
George Brinton McClellan was a major general during the American Civil War. He organized the famous Army of the Potomac and served briefly as the general-in-chief of the Union Army. Early in the war, McClellan played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army for the Union...

, commander of the Army of the Potomac
Army of the Potomac
The Army of the Potomac was the major Union Army in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War.-History:The Army of the Potomac was created in 1861, but was then only the size of a corps . Its nucleus was called the Army of Northeastern Virginia, under Brig. Gen...

. Governor John Andrew
John Albion Andrew
John Albion Andrew was a U.S. political figure. He served as the 25th Governor of Massachusetts between 1861 and 1866 during the American Civil War. He was a guiding force behind the creation of some of the first U.S. Army units of black men—including the famed 54th Massachusetts Infantry.-Early...

 of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 took to the floor and openly began to criticize General McClellan's ability as a leader. Governor William Sprague of Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

 agreed, claiming that the Battle of Antietam
Battle of Antietam
The Battle of Antietam , fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek, as part of the Maryland Campaign, was the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Northern soil. It was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with about 23,000...

 fought less than a week earlier had been "a rebel victory," and that the Confederates had not withdrawn "because they were defeated, but exhibited great military strategy in doing so." Governor David Tod
David Tod
David Tod was a politician and industrialist from the U.S. state of Ohio. As the 25th Governor of Ohio, Tod gained recognition for his forceful and energetic leadership during the American Civil War....

 of Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 stated that he could not understand why some would want to remove McClellan and that he would block any attempt to do so. The debate continued until 12:30 a.m. until the topic was exhausted.

Despite the many heated debates that took place during the meeting, all governors except Augustus Bradford
Augustus Bradford
Augustus Williamson Bradford , a Democrat, was the 32nd Governor of Maryland in the United States from 1862 to 1866. He served as governor during the Civil War and paid a heavy price for his devotion to the Union.-Biography:...

 of Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 consented to the final address. Bradford's disapproval is most likely a result of Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 still being a slave state
Slave state
In the United States of America prior to the American Civil War, a slave state was a U.S. state in which slavery was legal, whereas a free state was one in which slavery was either prohibited from its entry into the Union or eliminated over time...

. In the morning, Governor Austin Blair
Austin Blair
Austin Blair , also known as the Civil War Governor, was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan...

 of Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 arrived late but joined the fellow delegates in going to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 the same day. With Blair's name, a total of twelve signatures were included on the address to be presented to the president. No official minutes of the meeting were kept for security reasons. Perhaps because of this, the event is often overlooked by historians.


Once the delegation reached the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 on September 26, they read the document proclaiming the "rightful authority" of the president and "the constitutional powers of Congress" depend on "the rights and liberties of the people." The governors agreed "to continue in the most vigorous exercise of all our lawful powers, contending against treason, rebellion, and the public enemies until final victory and unconditional submission." The address went on to promote "the military education of the people." Lincoln took their welcomed suggestions on internal management of the war effort,including recruiting, transport of troops, etc. However, the meeting became contentions when Governor Kirkwood of Iowa suggested that General McClellan was unfit for command. Lincoln refused to argue either way on the issue, and promptly concluded the meeting. Nevertheless, McClellan was relieved of command less than two months later and the Emancipation Proclamation came into effect on January 1, 1863.

The address was sent to other Union governors that were unable to attend the meeting. Of them, the executives of Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

, Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

, Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

, and Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

 all gave their approval of the document. It was declined by those of New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, Delaware
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

, Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

, and Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

,the latter three of which were still slave states.

Results of the meeting


The Loyal War Governors' Conference is often overlooked in the history of the American Civil War. However, it can be argued that it played an important role in the policies of Abraham Lincoln. The President now had the re-affirmed support of the northern states to finish the war. In observance of the 50th anniversary of the event, the Altoona Mirror stated, "It was this conference...which more than any other thing strengthened Lincoln's hands in the darkest hour of the war period."

The Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...

 legally freed slaves in the seceded states and parts of states that were not under Union control. It did not affect slavery in the border states, or in those areas of Virginia, Tennessee, and Louisiana that were already occupied by Union forces. The Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...

 influenced countries such as Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 against recognizing the Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

. Public sentiment in those countries was largely opposed to supporting states that maintained the institution of slavery. Coincidentally, Lincoln suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus in the United States the very same day that the governors met in Altoona. It is not known whether these two events are connected in any way. However, because of the meeting in Altoona, Lincoln was able to issue such a document with a new sense of authority and commitment that was delivered by the northern governors and the victory at Antietam.

Governors in Attendance
Governor State Approval of Declaration
John A. Andrew Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

Yes
Nathaniel S. Berry
Nathaniel S. Berry
Nathaniel Springer Berry was an American tanner from Hebron, New Hampshire. He served New Hampshire in both houses of the state legislature and as Governor for two terms. He was born in 1796 in Bath, Maine. During the American Civil War, he played a vital role in state recruitment levels...

New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

Yes
Austin Blair
Austin Blair
Austin Blair , also known as the Civil War Governor, was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan...

Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

Yes
Augustus Bradford
Augustus Bradford
Augustus Williamson Bradford , a Democrat, was the 32nd Governor of Maryland in the United States from 1862 to 1866. He served as governor during the Civil War and paid a heavy price for his devotion to the Union.-Biography:...

Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

No
Andrew G. Curtin Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

Yes
Samuel Kirkwood Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

Yes
Oliver P. Morton
(rep. by D.G. Rose)
Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

Yes
Francis H. Pierpont Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 (Loyal)
Yes
Edward Salomon
Edward Salomon
Edward Salomon was the eighth Governor of Wisconsin during the Civil War after the accidental drowning of his predecessor, Louis P. Harvey.Salomon was born in Ströbeck, Prussian Saxony...

Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

Yes
William Sprague Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

Yes
David Tod
David Tod
David Tod was a politician and industrialist from the U.S. state of Ohio. As the 25th Governor of Ohio, Tod gained recognition for his forceful and energetic leadership during the American Civil War....

Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

Yes
Israel Washburn
Israel Washburn
Israel Washburn, Sr. was a Massachusetts politician and brother of Reuel Washburn. He married Martha Benjamin "Patty" Washburn and had eleven children with her, including seven sons . Several went on to pursue politics as well: Israel Washburn, Jr., Elihu B. Washburne, Cadwallader C. Washburn,...

Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

Yes
Richard Yates Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

Yes

The Logan House and anniversary ceremonies


The Logan House Hotel, where the conference was held, was built in 1854 by the Pennsylvania Railroad
Pennsylvania Railroad
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the "Pennsy", the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

. Dubbed "Mansion in the Wilderness," it was considered one of the grandest hotels in the country at the time. With 106 rooms, gas lighting, and hot running water, it was believed to be one of the most modern hotels of its age. One visitor stated that the hotel was "about the size of Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

." Famous visitors to the hotel included presidents Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

, Rutherford B. Hayes
Rutherford B. Hayes
Rutherford Birchard Hayes was the 19th President of the United States . As president, he oversaw the end of Reconstruction and the United States' entry into the Second Industrial Revolution...

, and William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

. Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Ann Lincoln was the wife of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and was First Lady of the United States from 1861 to 1865.-Life before the White House:...

 and her children spent a few summer days at the Hotel to escape the heat and congestion of Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

  Just a year after the Governors' Conference, David Wills of Gettysburg
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg is a borough that is the county seat, part of the Gettysburg Battlefield, and the eponym for the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. The town hosts visitors to the Gettysburg National Military Park and has 3 institutions of higher learning: Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg College, and...

 held a meeting there to begin plans for the establishment of the Gettysburg National Cemetery
Gettysburg National Cemetery
The Gettysburg National Cemetery is located on Cemetery Hill in the Gettysburg Battlefield near the borough of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and adjacent to Evergreen Cemetery to the south...

 where Lincoln would deliver his immortal Gettysburg Address
Gettysburg Address
The Gettysburg Address is a speech by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and is one of the most well-known speeches in United States history. It was delivered by Lincoln during the American Civil War, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery...

. Sadly, the hotel was closed in 1927 and the building was demolished in 1931. It is now the site of the Altoona Post Office.

In 1912, a massive ceremony was held in Altoona to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the conference. All the northern governors of the respective states at that time attended. Even President Taft came to Altoona to take part in the festivities and give an address to the large crowds.

According to personal accounts and old photographs, bunting, decorations, and special events were everywhere. A massive parade was held on 11th Avenue downtown. This parade included old veteran
Veteran
A veteran is a person who has had long service or experience in a particular occupation or field; " A veteran of ..."...

s of the Civil War and a massive float with a model of the USS Monitor
USS Monitor
USS Monitor was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy during the American Civil War. She is most famous for her participation in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862, the first-ever battle fought between two ironclads...

 including a revolving turret. Dozens of other large floats were entered as well by local groups. At the Cricket Field sports arena (now the site of a commercial retail plaza in front of the Altoona Hospital), a large festival with vendors, food, and souvenirs helped in commemorating the event. Planning is underway for an event such as this to be coordinated for the 150th anniversary as well.

It is in the hopes and plans of many in the Altoona area that a museum is to be dedicated in honor of this historic event for the 150th anniversary in 2012. The museum would include exhibits on the conference, the area's rich Civil War History, and the Logan House in an educational and interactive setting for people of all ages.

See also

  • Altoona, Pennsylvania
    Altoona, Pennsylvania
    -History:A major railroad town, Altoona was founded by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1849 as the site for a shop complex. Altoona was incorporated as a borough on February 6, 1854, and as a city under legislation approved on April 3, 1867, and February 8, 1868...

  • List of United States governors
  • Act Prohibiting the Return of Slaves
    Act Prohibiting the Return of Slaves
    The Act Prohibiting the Return of Slaves was a law passed by the United States Congress during the American Civil War forbidding the military to return escaped slaves to their owners. As Union armies entered Southern territory during the early years of the War, emboldened slaves began fleeing...

  • Emancipation Proclamation
    Emancipation Proclamation
    The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...


External links