Louis P. Harvey

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Louis P. Harvey
Louis P. Harvey.jpg
7th Governor of Wisconsin
In office
January 6, 1862 – April 19, 1862
LieutenantEdward Salomon
Preceded byAlexander W. Randall
Succeeded byEdward Salomon
6th Secretary of State of Wisconsin
In office
January 2, 1860 – January 6, 1862
GovernorAlexander W. Randall
Preceded byDavid W. Jones
Succeeded byJames T. Lewis
President pro tempore of the Wisconsin Senate
In office
January 9, 1856 – January 14, 1857
Preceded byEleazer Wakeley
Succeeded byVacant (1857)
Hiram H. Giles (1858)
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 18th district
In office
January 11, 1854 – January 13, 1858
Preceded byJohn R. Briggs, Jr.
Succeeded byAlden I. Bennett
Personal details
Louis Powell Harvey

(1820-07-22)July 22, 1820
East Haddam, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedApril 19, 1862(1862-04-19) (aged 41)
Savannah, Tennessee, U.S.
Resting placeForest Hill Cemetery
Madison, Wisconsin
Political partyRepublican
Whig (before 1854)
Spouse(s)Cordelia A. Perrine Harvey
Professionteacher, editor, politician

Louis Powell Harvey (July 22, 1820 – April 19, 1862) was an American politician and the seventh Governor of Wisconsin. He was the first Wisconsin Governor to die in office.

Early life[edit]

Harvey was born in East Haddam, Connecticut, and moved with his family to Ohio in 1828.[1] He attended Western Reserve College and Preparatory School. He worked as a teacher for a time, and eventually moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin, then named Southport, where he founded an academy. In Southport he associated with the Whig Party and edited a Whig newspaper, the Southport American (1843–1846). Lewis entered into correspondence with a local society called the "Boannergians," in the Summer of 1841 at Western Reserve College in Hudson, Ohio and it became a chapter of Beta Theta Pi on August 9, 1841.


In 1847, Harvey married Cordelia Perrine and they moved to Clinton in Rock County, Wisconsin, then to the nearby hamlet of Shopiere. He helped organize the Republican Party and was a Republican member of the Wisconsin State Senate from 1854 to 1858, Wisconsin Secretary of State from 1860 to 1862, and finally Wisconsin's governor in 1862.

In April 1862, having served only a few months as governor, Harvey organized an expedition to bring medical supplies to Wisconsin troops, wounded in the Battle of Shiloh, who were being cared for in hospital boats on the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers. Harvey visited and cheered troops at Cairo, Illinois, Mound City, Illinois and Paducah, Kentucky.


Cordelia A. P. Harvey, wife of Louis P. Harvey and First Lady of Wisconsin

On April 19, 1862, close to Shiloh, Harvey stopped overnight near Savannah, Tennessee. Late that evening, while trying to step from a tethered boat to a moving steamboat headed back north (a common but dangerous practice), Harvey fell into the Tennessee River and drowned, despite the strenuous rescue efforts of members of his party.

His body was found 14 days later, 65 miles downstream; his remains lay in state in the Wisconsin State Capitol, and he was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, in Madison. His wife Cordelia became a leading war nurse, honored with the rank of colonel by Abraham Lincoln.[2][3] She subsequently established veterans hospitals in Wisconsin, away from the war front, and a soldiers' orphans home.[4] He is interred at Forest Hill Cemetery, Madison, Wisconsin.

Lieutenant Governor Edward Salomon succeeded Harvey.

Electoral history[edit]

Wisconsin Gubernatorial Election, 1861[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
General Election, November 5, 1861
Republican Louis P. Harvey 53,777 54.18% +0.97%
Democratic Benjamin Ferguson 45,456 45.80% -0.80%
Scattering 25 0.03%
Total votes 99,258 100.0% -11.97%
Republican hold


  1. ^ Appletons' annual cyclopaedia and register of important events of the year: 1862. New York: D. Appleton & Company. 1863. p. 665.
  2. ^ WER: Mrs. Cordelia A. P. Harvey
  3. ^ Highlights at the Wisconsin Historical Society
  4. ^ Gravesite of Cordelia Harvey
  5. ^ Toepel, M. G.; Theobald, H. Rupert, eds. (1962). "Wisconsin elections". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1962 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 802. Retrieved November 2, 2019.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Alexander W. Randall
Republican nominee for Governor of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
James T. Lewis
Political offices
Preceded by
David W. Jones
Secretary of State of Wisconsin
1860 – 1862
Succeeded by
James T. Lewis
Preceded by
Alexander W. Randall
Governor of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
Edward Salomon