Brief Biographies from the Jackson/Van Buren Era (O):
O'Connell, Daniel 1775 - 1847:
Irish nationalist leader called "The Liberator". Known in America partly
for his harsh criticism of slavery, and unsuccessful calls for Irish-Americans
to support the cause of the slaves. The Irish-Americans, anxious to be
assimilated and to carve out for themselves a separate place from that
of the blacks with whom they were at first often thrown together, actually
became one of the most racist elements in the U.S. in the antebellum period.
He led the movement to repeal the Act of Union of 1800, which
merged British and Irish parliaments.
the Irish Became White.
Offut, Denton ? - ?:
Hired Abraham Lincoln in Spring
1831 to build a flatboat, (with others, including John D. Johnston) and
pilot it, with a load of goods, down to New
Orleans; later, bragging to all who would listen about Lincoln, he
set him up to work his store, and the mill he later acquired. A boastful
dreamer and entrepreneur, he disappeared around the end of 1831. (Source:
vol. 1, p105-114)
A chief of western Cherokees, whose
people were on Hiwasee Island in eastern Tennessee. He welcomed Sam
Houston when he ran away at age 16 and adopted him, in effect, if not
actually. By 1829 his people had moved to the west, beyond the confluence
of the Illinois River (of modern day Oklahoma) and the Arkansas River.
In that year, Houston again went to live with Ooleteka and his people,
and became a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and ambassador from the Cherokees
to Washington. He was very prosperous and, according to Return
J. Meigs (not certain which Return J. Meigs),
in Tennessee, kept one of the "best houses in the South" (Source: Da
Bruhl, Sword of San Jacinto, p109).
Otis, Harrison Gray 1765
Served in both houses of Congress; H. of R. from 1797-1801, and Senate
from 1817-22; Delegate to the "infamous" Hartford
Convention, Mayor of Boston 1829-32.
Nephew of James Otis.
Otis, James 1725 - 1783:
Revolutionary leader; lawyer from about 1750, in Boston. In MA legislature
from 1761; published The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and
Proved, in 1765. Helped lead the MA legislature from 1766-1769. Went
to seed after the revolution. Died being struck by lightning while standing
in a doorway.
Uncle of Harrison Gray Otis.
Representative from Maine; born in Leeds, Maine, August 3, 1801; attended
the common schools, and was graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick,
Maine, in 1823; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice
in Hallowell, Maine, in 1826; member of the State house of representatives
in 1841; appointed a member of the Northeastern Boundary Commission in
1842; served in the State senate in 1842; again a member of the State house
of representatives in 1846 and 1847; elected as a Whig to the Thirty-first
Congress (March 4, 1849-March 3, 1851); died in Hallowell, Kennebec County,
Maine, October 17, 1856; interment in Hallowell Cemetery.
Otis, John 1801-1856:
Dir. of Congress.
adds: studied under Peleg Sprague; became a respectable lawyer, though
not as an advocate. Went early into politics, was a leader among
the Whigs when Whigs were in fashion. Sent to Congress in 1848 and
represented his district with credit... in last years he went into speculation
and was unfortunate. "eminently kind and charitable" died in
Hallowell in 1856. First wife was daughter of Wm. O. Vaughan. 2nd
wife was d. of Samuel C. Grant, both of Hallowell.
Owen, Robert 1771 - 1858 :
Industrialist, anti-religion crusader, and promoter of communistic communities
in Britain and the U.S. Born in Newtown, Wales. He quickly amassed a fortune,
and bought the New Lanark mills at Manchester, converting it (with later
partnership of the Quaker William Allen and the philosopher-activist
Bentham) into a showplace of liberal caring for workers. Took extreme
environmentalist position in A New View of Society (1813). Founded
several cooperative communities in Britain and one called New
Harmony in the U.S. After 1834, he confined his efforts to writing
Wright, incl. picture on p125)
Owen, Robert Dale 1801 - 1877
Accompanied his father, Robert Owen,
to the U.S. in 1825. In New Harmony,
edited the New Harmony Gazette.
Wright, incl. picture on p125)