GEARY, gS'rI or gerT, .Tours WHITE (1819 73). An American soldier and politician. He was born of Scotch-Irish parentage in 'Westmore land County, Pa., was educated at Jefferson Col lege. but left before graduating, and entered upon a commercial career at Pittsburg. at the same time studying both civil engineering and law.
He then engaged for some time in civil engineer ing in Kentucky, and on the outbreak of the Mexican War was chief engineer and superin tendent of the Allegheny Portage Railway. This position he resigned, and helped recruit the Sec ond Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment, in which he became lieutenant-colonel, and served through out the war. After the capture of to City of Mexico he was promoted to the rank of colonel, and was placed in command of the city. After peace was declared he settled in San Francisco, where, in 1849, he was appointed the first Ameri can postmaster, and was given authority to organize post-offices and mail routes on the coast. In the same year he became the first American alcalde of San Francisco, and in 1850, upon the adoption of an American system of municipal government for the city, was chosen its first Mayor. He was active in the movement that re sulted in giving California a new constitution, was a prominent member of the convention which drew it up, and took a leading part in securing the admission of California into the Union as a free State. After serving a year as the head of the Democratic State Committee he returned to Pennsylvania, where he remained in retirement until 1856, when he was appointed by President Pierce Territorial Governor of Kansas, succeeding Shannon, whose vacillation had aroused the hos tility of both the Free-State and Pro-Slavery fac tions. Geary's rule in Kansas was impartial and
firm, and in a few months he restored order, and was able to report to Washington a most satisfac tory condition of affairs. Had the Pierce Admin istration supported him satisfactorily, or had the incoming Buchanan Administration shown any intention of doing so, there might have been an end of bloodshed in Kansas. But the pre dominance of pro-slavery men in the councils of both Pierce and Buchanan appeared to Geary to render all that he had accomplished of only temporary effect, and, disgusted with the conduct of affairs, he resigned soon after Buchanan's inauguration. At the beginning of the Civil War Geary raised the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, of which he became colonel, served with distinction in the Army of the Potomac, and was promoted briga dier-general in April, 1862. He was wounded at the battle of Cedar Mountain in the following August, and commanded the Second Division of the Twelfth Army Corps at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Transferred to the Army of the Cumberland, he distinguished himself at the battles of Wauhatchie and Lookout Mountain, and later commanded a division on Sherman's march to the sea, serving as military governor of Savannah after its capture. In 1865 he received the brevet rank of major-general. He was elected Governor of Pennsylvania as a Republican in 1866, and was reelected in 1869, serving until within eighteen days of his death.