Parrott, Marcus Junius

Life Span
Dickinson Connection
Class of 1849, BLS
    Full name
    Marcus Junius Parrott
    Place of Birth
    Birth Date Certainty
    Death Date Certainty
    Sectional choice
    Slave State
    Dickinson (Carlisle College)
    Other Education
    Dayton Academy, Ohio Wesleyan University, Cambridge Law School
    Attorney or Judge
    Farmer or Planter
    Relation to Slavery
    White non-slaveholder
    Church or Religious Denomination
    Quakers (Society of Friends)
    Political Parties
    US House of Representatives

    Marcus Junius Parrott (Dickinson Chronicles)

    Marcus Junius Parrott was born on October 29, 1828 in Hamburg, South Carolina, the son of a wealthy Quaker family. His parents left the South when he was a young boy and he grew up in Dayton, Ohio. He was prepared at the Dayton Academy, and went on to study at Ohio Wesleyan University. In December, 1847, Parrott was expelled from Ohio Wesleyan over a clash with his Greek instructor and his refusal to sign a pledge to respect that faculty member. He went on to spend his junior and senior years at Dickinson College in Carlsile, Pennsylvania where he was an active member in the Belles Lettres Society and was co-editor -- with Moncure Conway and John J. Jacob, the future governor of West Virginia -- of the pioneering student publication, the Collegian. Parrott graduated with his class in May, 1849 and moved to Boston, Massachusetts to attend the Cambridge Law School for two years. During his law school career Parrott attended many lectures at Faneuil Hall given by noted abolitionists such as Charles Sumner, George Thompson, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Theodore Parker, and Frederick Douglas.

    After law school, Parrott moved back to Dayton and practiced law for several years before serving as a Democrat in the Ohio Legislature from 1853 to 1854. Parrott's interest in the free-state and abolitionist cause prompted him to move to Leavenworth, Kansas in 1855, where he became a Kansas Supreme Court reporter and a representative to the Topeka Consitutional Convention that October. By this time an enthusiastic member of the Free-State Party and optimistic for the realization of a slave-free Kansas, Parrott served as a delegate to Congress for the Kansas Territory from 1857-1861. He was in Washington when Kansas was finally granted statehood in January 1861 as a free state and it was he who telegraphed the news to waiting Kansans. Parrott ran as one of the new U.S. Senators for the state but achieved only a narrow third. He failed similarly to win a House of Representatives seat as an Independent in 1862 and as a Democrat in 1874.

    In the late 1860's Parrott retired to a farm outside Leavenworth with his wife and three children. His failing health prompted him to make a trip back to Ohio in 1877 to visit his relatives. After suffering from several strokes and paralysis, Parrott died there on October 4, 1879 at the age of fifty. He was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Dayton.
    John Osborne and James W. Gerencser, eds., “Marcus Junius Parrott,” Dickinson Chronicles,

    Marcus Junius Parrott (Congressional Biographical Directory)

    PARROTT, Marcus Junius, a Delegate from Kansas; born in Hamburg, Aiken County, S.C., October 27, 1828; attended the common schools, and was graduated from Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., in 1849; studied law at Cambridge University; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Dayton, Ohio; member of the State house of representatives in 1853 and 1854; moved to Leavenworth, Kans., in 1855; court reporter of the first session of the Territorial supreme court in 1855; elected as a Republican to the Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Congresses and served from March 4, 1857, to January 29, 1861, when the Territory of Kansas was admitted as a State into the Union; unsuccessful candidate for election on the Independent ticket to the Thirty-eighth Congress and on the Democratic ticket to the Forty-third Congress; engaged in agricultural pursuits near Leavenworth, Kans.; died in Dayton, Ohio, October 4, 1879; interment in Woodland Cemetery.
    “Parrott, Marcus Junius,” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774 to Present,

    Marcus Junius Parrott (Blackmar, 1912)

    Parrott, Marcus J., member of Congress, was born at Hamburg, S. C., Oct. 27, 1828, but his parents removed to Dayton, Ohio, when he was a small boy. His father was of Quaker, anti-slavery ancestry, who moved into Ohio to escape the influences of that institution. Marcus received his education at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., where he graduated in 1849. After completing his collegiate course he studied law and began practice in Ohio. He entered actively into politics there and was elected representative to the state legislature in 1853. In 1855 he came to Kansas and settled in Leavenworth, where he soon became a prominent figure in the political life of the territory. In 1856 he succeeded John W. Whitfield as delegate in Congress, being the first Free State delegate from this territory, and was reflected in 1858. Mr. Parrott failed to distinguish himself, as his friends confidently expected, and at the first election of senators he was a candidate, but was defeated by Samuel C. Pomeroy. In 1862 and again in 1864 he was a candidate for Congress on the "Union ticket" and was both times defeated. In 1872 he joined the ''Liberals'' but was again defeated. After this defeat he became a Democrat. About 1878 Mr. Parrott was found to be suffering from softening of the brain. He died at the home of his sister at Dayton, Ohio, in Nov., 1879.
    Frank W. Blackmar, ed., “Parrot, Marcus J.,” Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc (Chicago: Standard Publishing Company, 1912), 2: 444-445.

    Marcus Junius Parrott (Warren, 1908)

    PARROTT, MARCUS JUNIUS, A. B. DICKINSON, 1849; moved to Kansas 1854; practiced for a time; first free-state delegate from Kansas Ту. in congress; health failed and engaged in agriculture in Kansas; died Oct. 4. 1879, at Dayton, O.
    Charles Warren, "Parrott, Marcus Julius," History of the Harvard Law School and of Early Legal Conditions in America (New York: Lewis Publishing Company, 1908), 3: 55.
    Chicago Style Entry Link
    Meerse, David E. "The 1857 Kansas Territorial Delegate Election Contest." Kansas History 4, no. 2 (1981): 96-113. view record
    How to Cite This Page: "Parrott, Marcus Junius," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,