1878: Family Matters 2.0

D.R. Anthony had a good relationship with his immediate family. This included his sister as well as his parents and other siblings. The same cannot be said however about his relationship with cousin George Tobey Anthony.

George T. Anthony was similar to Daniel R. Anthony in many respects. Both were born to quaker families, G.T. Anthony near Mayfield in Fulton County NY. Both were newspaper editors, though George Anthony came to Leavenworth considerably later than Daniel Anthony (1865). Both served in the Civil War, George Anthony as a captain in an artillery regiment from NY and D.R. Anthony as a Lt. Col. in the 7th Kansas Vol. Cavalry. Both were strong Republicans. They were even born the same year – 1824 – with George being 74 days older than his cousin (June 9th as opposed to August 22nd). In the case of these two men however, family ties can only carry so far.

George Anthony served as governor of Kansas from 1876-1879, right at the peak of his cousin’s powers as an editor. It was those powers that D.R. used to deny his cousin a second term in office. According to a 1944 article from the Kansas Historical Quarterly, Daniel had supported George Anthony’s first run for office, but turned against him during the spring and summer of 1878.

In Spring of 1878, there were riots at a railroad company in Emporia Kansas, and Governor Anthony sent militia units to disperse the riot. The militiamen managed to kill a reverend while they were there, a sin for which Daniel never forgave his cousin. In a blisteringly sarcastic article from April 18, 1878, he lambasted him as a glory-seeking “war governor” who wanted a chance to rule with an iron fist.

Relations did not improve from there. On August 8, 1878, Anthony ran several front page stories criticizing the Governor for everything from preventing Kansas from holding a state fair, not having an exhibit at the World Exposition in Paris, and attempting to bring down other members of the government through trickery and printing false documents. He also alleges that the governors son was installed as bookkeeper of the state penitentiary, only to escape the duties of his job by having a convict do it for him, while still drawing his salary.

The final lines of a damning article, also from August 8, 1878, on the damage George Anthony had done to the state of Kansas’ attractiveness for immigrants summarize the Times’s opinion of the Governor.

“the lesson of all which is that Kansas cannot afford to repose on her laurels. Nor can she trust her future…to the obstinate do-nothing policy of George T. Anthony…Kansas must build anew but she must not be any longer in the blind guidance of a governor who kept us from reaping a harvest at the Paris exposition, who prevents us from gathering where we sowed at the centennial, and whose obstenancy [sic], if he had been permitted to have his way, would have prevented us from making that great display which won so much honor at Philadelphia.”

D.R. Anthony used his voice and power through his paper to help ruin his cousins bid for a second term, though Gov. Anthony may have undone himself as well through his some of his botched policies. Gov. Anthony did hold lesser offices later in life, but never again approached the power he had as Governor. Above all else, it is clear that Daniel Read Anthony would not follow blindly when a man in a position of power misused and abused that power. Even if that man was blood.


Connelley, William Elsey. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago: Lewis, 1918. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, 2000 http://skyways.lib.ks.us/genweb/archives/1918ks/v2/ch52p1.html

Newspaper articles courtesy of Chronicling America (http://www.chroniclingamerica.com/)

Image of George Tobey Anthony from Wikipedia



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One Response to 1878: Family Matters 2.0

  1. Pingback: 1888 Kansas Republican Gubernatorial Convention | Daniel Anthony of Kansas

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