Grosvenor P. Lowery

Grosvenor P. Lowery (1831-1893) was born in North Egremont, Massachusetts, graduated from Lafayette College and was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1854. His mentor at the bar, Andrew Reeder, was appointed Territorial Governor for Kansas in 1855 and Lowery followed Reeder to the territory as his personal secretary. [New York Times, April 22, 1893] After Reeder's dismissal as governor, Lowery stayed on as Executive Clerk of the Territory until a new governor could be appointed. [Reeder, Executive Minutes, 278] In May 1856, Lowery helped Reeder escape from Kansas, at one point drawing Reeder's pursuers off to chase him instead. [Reeder, Escape, 210]

Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)

Edison was wise enough to surround himself with men like Grosvenor Lowery who protected his legal title to his inventions. [Worcester Polytechnic Institute]

Lowery became an free-state man after the close of the Bogus Legislature. He attended the Big Springs meeting and was one of the "Committee of Ten" appointed to defend Lawrence during the "Wakarusa War" in November 1855. He was sent as an emissary from the town to Governor Shannon to ask for dispersal of the Missourians. [Robinson, Wakarusa War, 460]

At the Topeka Convention in October 1855, Lowery came close to fighting a duel with James H. Lane. Lane had been accused of seducing a woman in Lawrence and ran for chair of the convention to "indorse him and put a quietus to the scandal." Lane accused Lowery of repeating the Lawrence scandal at the convention and declared he would put an end to it. A duel was scheduled for 8:00 AM, but was delayed by the opening session of the convention. Lane, who was chairing the meeting, prepared to leave the session at 11:00 AM, but a resolution was introduced to expel all members who participated in a duel and Lane withdrew his challenge to Lowery. [Robinson, Topeka and Her Constitution, 296]

Soon after the Topeka Convention, Lowery returned to the East, practicing law in New York City and working for the election of John C. Fremont. He frequently represented the Federal Government in Customs cases and Secretary of the Treasury Chase employed him to codify the Custom Regulations early in the Lincoln Administration. During the Civil War, he wrote pamphlets justifying Lincoln's extraordinary use of executive power in wartime and citing England for violations of international law in its trade with the Confederacy. His highly successful legal practice included many important commercial cases, especially representation of Thomas Alva Edison in his claims for invention of the quadruplex telegraph and the incandescent electric light. [Dyer and Martin, Edison, Ch.28] He represented the Federal Government in litigation for rights to the telephone and was for fifteen years General Counsel of the Western Union Company. He was legal adviser in many of the great railroad and utility mergers in the 1880's and represented the leading banks and many of the prominent citizens of New York. [New York Times, April 22, 1893]

Charles Clark