|Acting Territorial Governor of Kansas|
April 17, 1855 – June 23, 1855
August 16, 1855 – September 9, 1855
June 24, 1856 – July 7, 1856
August 18, 1856 – September 9, 1856
March 12, 1857 – April 16, 1857
May 24, 1824]|
Albemarle County, Virginia
October 5, 1894 (aged 70)|
Claremore, Indian Territory
|Spouse(s)||America Fuqua Christian Palmer|
|Profession||printer, newspaper editor, politician, land agent|
Woodson was born on a farm in Albemarle County, Virginia and orphaned at age 7. He was apprenticed as a printer and became quite skilled at the trade. For eight years Woodson served as coeditor and publisher of the Democratic newspaper Lynchburg Republican. In 1851, he became editor of the Richmond Republican-Advocate, another Democratic newspaper.
Woodson was appointed secretary of the Kansas Territory by President Franklin Pierce on June 29, 1854 and took the oath of office in Washington, DC on September 28, drawing an annual salary of $2,000. Because he was fully sympathetic to those who wanted to make Kansas a slave state, he agreed with the wishes of the proslavery forces in the territory.
While Governor Andrew Reeder was away from the territory, Woodson became acting governor, signing the first laws passed by the territorial legislature. Even though this first territorial legislature was accepted by the federal government, free staters called the laws "bogus laws".
Woodson spent his last years in Parker, Kansas where he was actively helping to establish a town which its residents believed would be located along a railroad line. When the railroad bypassed Parker, most of the citizens – including Woodson – relocated to Coffeyville, Kansas. Woodson operated a variety of newspapers, including the Coffeyville Journal. He was visiting Claremore, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) when he died in 1894.