Elias Nelson Conway
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|5th Governor of Arkansas|
November 15, 1852 – November 16, 1860
|Preceded by||John S. Roane|
|Succeeded by||Henry M. Rector|
May 17, 1812|
Greene County, Tennessee
|Died||February 28, 1892
Little Rock, Arkansas
Conway was born in Greenville, Tennessee. Born into a political family, Elias Nelson Conway was the younger brother of Henry Wharton Conway, who served as territorial delegate to several Congresses, and James Sevier Conway, who became the first governor of Arkansas when it was admitted as a state in 1836.
When he was a boy, his family moved from Tennessee to Missouri. Conway attended Bonne Femme Academy in Boone County, Missouri. His older brother Henry died in 1827 as a result of a duel with a former friend, Robert Crittenden.
In 1833, Conway moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, where his older brothers had settled. He studied surveying. In 1835, he was appointed as the state auditor, and served until 1849.
In 1844, Elias Conway was offered, and declined, the Democratic nomination for Governor. When offered the nomination again in 1852, he accepted. With a successful campaign, he was elected as Governor of Arkansas. He was reelected to a second term in 1856.
His administration focused on physical improvements to the state: roads and other infrastructure to encourage development. He formed the Chancery Courts and eased the state's financial problems. When Conway left office in 1860, the state treasury held a surplus.
Conway ordered David Dale Owen to survey the territory west of Little Rock. He commissioned a report on the area. The Natural Steps, were first written about and drawn by David Dale Owen (Principal Geologist)in his Second Report of a Geological Reconnaissance of the Middle and Southern Counties of Arkansas (1859).
- Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia, Inc.
- Elias Nelson Conway Family
- The Rector-Fishback-Conway-Sevier-Johnson Family
- Elias Nelson Conway at Find a Grave
- Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture entry: Elias Nelson Conway
John S. Roane
|Governor of Arkansas
Henry M. Rector