Brief Biographies from the Jackson/Van Buren Era (K):

Kane, Elisha Kent 1820 - 1857:

Naval surgeon and arctic explorer.

Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804):

German transcendental philosopher, who exercised a large influence, mostly through others, on American Transcendentalism.

Kean, Edmund 1787 - 1833:

The most famous english actor of his day.

Kearny, Lawrence: 1789 - 1868:

Helped negotiate 1st trade treaty with China in 1844; beginning the "Open Door policy". Cousin on Stephen Watts.

Kearny, Stephen Watts. 1794 - 1848:

Brigadier general in the Mexican war. Cousin of Lawrence.

Kelley, Abby Jan. 15, 1811 - Jan. 14, 1887:

Feminist and anti-slavery activist.

Source: Sterling, Dorothy, Ahead of Her Time.

Kelly, William 1811 - 1888:

Invented a process similar to the Bessemer process for making steel. Patented in 1857. Born in Pittsburgh.

Kemble, Fanny 1809 - 1893:

Began performing in America with her famous father, Charles Kemble, in September 1832. They were a great success, and Kemble had a long stage run in America, ended for the time being by her marriage to Pierce Butler in Spring 1834. In 1838, she moved, with her Philadelphia-bred husband, to a huge island plantation in Georgia. Her husband accepted slavery, but she detested it, which helped to wreck their marriage. The experience led to her writing Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839 "No actress that preceded her in America ever held so powerful and deep a sway over the hearts and feelings of her auditors" (Ireland, II, 41).

Kendall, Amos 1789 - 1869:


Kendall, George Wilkins 1809 - 1867:

Founded and edited New Orleans Picayune. Reported from the front in the Mexican War.

Kennedy, John Pendleton 1795 - 1870:

Wrote popular novels such as Horse-Shoe Robinson (1835). In Congress 1838-9 and 1841-5. Secy of navy 1852-3.

Kensett, John Frederick 1816- 1872:

Member of Hudson River school of landscape painting. Worked out of New York City from 1847.

Kent, James 1763 - 1847:

New York's answer to John Marshall.

Kenton, Simon 1755 - 1836:

Associate of Daniel Boone from 1775-8, he continued to be an explorer and Indian fighter.

Keokuk 1790 - 1848:

Sac Indian chief; aided the U.S. side in the Black Hawk War.

Kettell, Samuel 1800 - 1855:

(b 8/5/00 d 12/3/55) Writer of books aimed at a popular audience; sometime ghostwriter for Samuel Griswold Goodrich (who often published as Peter Parley). Of his works, the best known and most useful to the historian today is Specimens of American Poetry. The DAB says he may have been

Key, Francis Scott 1779 - 1843:

Lawyer and songwriter.

Kimball, Heber Chase 1801 - 1868:

Selected one of the "Twelve apostles" of the Mormon Church in 1837. Missionary in England from 1837-39. After more missionary work in America, he settled in Utah, becoming Lieut. Governor from 1849-68.

King, Charles 1789 - 1867:

Son of Rufus King and President of Columbia College from 1849-64.

King, Rufus 1755 - 1827:

Ran for president in 1804 and 1808. More later.

King, Rufus 1814 - 1876:

West Point class of 1833. Left army for newspaper work in 1836. Union Brigadier general 1861-3.

King, Thomas Starr 1824 - 1864:

Unitarian minister in Boston 1848-60 and in San Francisco, where he helped keep California in the Union.

Kinzie, John 1763 - 1828:

Fur trader in the Chicago area.

Kirkland, John Thornton 1770 - 1840:

Pres of Harvard from 1810-1828.

Kirtland, Jared Potter 1793 - 1877:

Zoologist, specializing in mollusks and insects.

Knowles, James Sheridan 1784 - 1862:

Irish-born British playwright whose plays, such as "The Hunchback", were performed in the United States (see 9/28/32). He was also an actor and toured the U.S., acting on the New York stage in September and October. He received a benefit in New York in April 1835. Meantime, I assume, he was acting on other stages throughout the country. (Source: Ireland, Records of the New York Stage, II, 102, 111, and Cyclopedia of Names).

Knowlton, Charles 1800 - 1850:

M.D. and advocate of birth control. Wrote Fruits of Philosophy in 1832; was imprisoned for it the same year in Cambridge.

Kohlmann, Anthony 1771 - 1836:

Alsatian born Jesuit priest and administrator of diocese of New York. Won a lawsuit which attempted to force priests to witness in court what they heard in the confessional.

Kraus, John 1815 - 1896:

German born educator and advocate of Pestalozzian views, and those of Froebel.

Krauth, Charles Phillip 1797 - 1867:

First president of Pennsylvania College; later to be known a Gettysburg College; a Lutheran school at first.

Krudener, Baron

Russian minister in Washington during part, at least, of Jackson administration. I read somewhere (try to get a good citation, along with proper name and lifespan) he was the son of the famous Baroness Barbara Juliane von Krudener, who had a great deal of influence over Czar Alexander in the matter of the "Holy Alliance".

He crops up in American history as one of two batchellor diplomats whom Secretary of State Van Buren got to throw social events to mollify Peggy Eaton while she was being socially ostracized by the women of Washington.

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