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History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Edward Russell

EDWARD RUSSELL, one of the noted editors of Iowa, was born in London, England, October 6, 1830. He received an education at Hill House Academy. In 1845 his father came to America, stopping in New York, where he lost most of his property and Edward became a carpenter. At one time he traveled as a peddler. In September, 1848, the family removed to Iowa, locating on a farm near Le Claire in Scott County. Here the son worked at farming and carpentering for several years. He began to write for the press on slavery and other topics and became a regular correspondent for the National Era of Washington, a radical antislavery paper. He was also a contributor to the Davenport Gazette. In 1858 he became editor of the Le Claire Express and in 1862 began his career as editor of the Davenport Gazette. Here he found a congenial field and soon attained a position among the able political writers of the State. In the Republican State Convention of 1865, Mr. Russell introduced a resolution declaring for negro suffrage in Iowa. It was smothered by the committee on resolutions but Mr. Russell made a vigorous fight for it before the convention and carried it by a decisive majority. In 1864 Mr. Russell was appointed postmaster of Davenport, serving for nearly sixteen years. In 1871 he retired from the Gazette but four years later again became its editor, serving seven years. He was one of the ablest political writers in the State but was not in harmony with the Republican party on a protective tariff. He was a vigorous advocate of a tariff for revenue, standing bravely by his convictions to the close of his life. He was one of the earliest advocates of the construction of the Hennepin canal for uniting the waters of Lake Michigan with the Mississippi for purposes of navigation. In the later years of his life Mr. Russell lost control of the Davenport Gazette and removed to Minneapolis where he died December 18, 1891.