Isaac Ingalls Stevens

Stevens, Isaac Ingalls, 1818–62, American army engineer, territorial governor, and Union general in the Civil War, b. North Andover (then part of Andover), Mass., grad. West Point, 1839. He won two brevets as adjutant of engineers on Scott's staff in the Mexican War and was later in the U.S. Coast Survey. In 1853 Stevens resigned from the army to become governor of the newly established Washington Territory. At the same time he was placed in charge of the survey for a northern railroad to the Pacific, which he favored. As superintendent of Indian affairs for the territory, Stevens negotiated treaties with the various tribes to secure their lands, but grossly unequal terms led to hostilities in 1855. His aggressive conduct of the war was criticized by some, including the U.S. army's Pacific Coast commander. A Democrat, he was territorial delegate in Congress from 1857 to 1861. In the Civil War he rose to be a major general of volunteers, and died in action at Chantilly, Va., in Sept., 1862.

See R. Kluger, The Bitter Waters of Medicine Creek (2011).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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