Back to top

Wilson, Charles Lush

No image yet available for this man
Charles L. Wilson was an influential Chicago newspaper publisher who famously nominated Abraham Lincoln in 1858 as the "first, last, and only choice" of the Illinois Republican Party to run for the Senate seat then held by Stephen Douglas. He was born in Fairfield, Connecticut in 1818 the son of a prominent New York City lawyer and Connecticut judge. He arrived in Chicago in 1835 and he and his two brothers entered the newspaper business. By 1848 Charles was the editor and owner of the Evening Journal, which became the leading voice of the Whig Party in Illinois. He attended the first Republican State Convention in 1854 and in 1858 was deeply involved in Lincoln's effort against Douglas, perhaps even being the one to first propose what were to become the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Although he took the post of Secretary of Legation in London between 1861 and 1864, he always preferred Chicago and his newspaper, which was run as a tight and efficient family business for more than forty years. He married late in life Caroline F. Farrar, the sister of one of his business partners, and the couple had two children. Cheerful and a good companion, he was addicted to hunting and fishing, and accompanied General Sherman on his famous hunting expeditions in the West. His health broke down, however, and he died, not yet sixty years old, in San Antonio, Texas in March 1878. He left the Evening Journal to his wife and infant daughter. (By J. Osborne)
Life span: 
10/10/1818 to 03/09/1878


How to Cite This Page: "Wilson, Charles Lush," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,