About Wilson Shannon
Wilson Shannon (February 24, 1802 - August 30, 1877) was a Democratic politician from Ohio and Kansas. He served as the 14th and 16th Governor of Ohio, and was the first governor of Ohio born in the state. Shannon was the second governor of the Kansas Territory.
Shannon was born in Belmont County, Ohio, the son of an Irish immigrant, George Shannon, who fought in the Revolutionary War. Wilson Shannon's elder brother, Thomas Shannon, served a partial term in the United States House of Representatives from 1826-1827. His oldest brother, George Shannon, was the youngest member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
After attending Ohio University, Franklin College and Transylvania University, Shannon was admitted to the bar and began practicing law in 1830. He was prosecuting attorney for Belmont County from 1833 to 1835.
Shannon ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1832, losing by only 37 votes. Shannon then served as a prosecutor in Belmont County before winning election to the governorship in 1838. He lost a re-election bid to the Whig candidate, Thomas Corwin in 1840, but defeated Corwin for a second term two years later. Shannon resigned on April 15, 1844 to take up an appointment from President John Tyler as Minister to Mexico.
Shannon spent a year in the post before being recalled. Shannon went to California in the 1849 gold rush but returned and later won election to the House of Representatives in 1852. He served a single term before taking up an appointment from President Franklin Pierce as Governor of the Kansas Territory in 1855.