Forney, John Wien

Life Span
Full name
John Wien Forney
Place of Birth
Birth Date Certainty
Death Date Certainty
Sectional choice
Free State
No. of Spouses
No. of Children
Relation to Slavery
White non-slaveholder
Political Parties

John Wien Forney (American National Biography)

Politics particularly interested Forney, both as a journalist and as a participant. He was a man of strong but shifting loyalties, beginning and ending his career as a Democrat, with a twenty-year interruption as a devout Republican. He was first allied to the fortunes of Democrat James Buchanan, who became secretary of state in 1845 and arranged Forney's appointment as deputy surveyor of the port of Philadelphia. In the same year, he sold his Lancaster newspaper and became editor of the Pennsylvanian, a Democratic newspaper in Philadelphia. He held that position for seven years, even after being elected clerk of the House of Representatives in 1851 at the age of thirty-one and moving to Washington, D.C. He left the Pennsylvanian on his reelection to the clerkship in 1853 and joined the Washington Daily Union, the national Democratic organ. The following year he became a partner in the Union with A. O. P. Nicholson, and the two men prospered from House of Representatives printing contracts they arranged for the newspaper.
Daniel W. Pfaff, "Forney, John Wien," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
Date Title
(Natchez) Mississippi Free Trader, “Forney on Wilmot,” March 27, 1850
New York Herald, "Kansas," January 4, 1858
Charleston (SC) Mercury, "The Lecompton Constitution Rejected," August 9, 1858
New York Times, “Mr. Buchanan’s Troubles,” October 1, 1858
New York Herald, “The Struggle Among the Virginia Democracy,” December 5, 1858
New York Times, “Arrival of Senator Douglas in Philadelphia,” January 4, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “For the Lambs of the Flock,” January 12, 1859
New York Herald, “Forney on a Short Allowance,” January 23, 1859
New York Herald, “The Black Republicans and Mr. Douglas,” February 22, 1859
James Buchanan to Charles E. Wentz, April 22, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Forney and Douglas,” July 7, 1859
New York Herald,“Mr. Douglas and His Forthcoming Manifesto,” July 31, 1859
New York Herald, “The Chevalier Forney Slackening Fire,” October 2, 1859
Lowell (MA) Citizen & News, “The Speakership,” October 12, 1859
New York Times, “Buchanan vs. Forney,” October 14, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "A Recoil of the Gun," November 18, 1859
Lyman Trumbull to Abraham Lincoln, November 28, 1859
Cleveland (OH) Herald, “Election of Mr. Forney,” February 4, 1860
New York Herald, “Trouble among the Republican President Makers,” February 28, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Pennsylvania,” March 5, 1860
New York Herald, “Commencement of Republican Cabinet Making,” June 12, 1860
Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, “Untitled,” July 24, 1860
New York Herald, “'Honest Old Abe' and His Cabinet,” August 14, 1860
New York Herald, “Who are the Cooks in Pennsylvania?,” November 8, 1860
Newark (OH) Advocate, "Lincoln's Administration," November 9, 1860
Joseph Medill to Charles H. Ray and John Locke Scripps, January 6, 1861
New York Herald, “Greeley for Senator, Why Not?,” February 3, 1861
Andrew Johnson, Speech before Washington's Birthday Meeting, Washington, D.C., February 22, 1866
An Act to protect all Persons in the United States in their Civil Rights, and to furnish the means for their Vindication, April 9, 1866
Chicago Style Entry Link
Auchampaugh, Philip G. “John W. Forney, Robert Tyler and James Buchanan.” Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine 15 (October 1933): 71-90. view record
Forney, John W. Anecdotes of Public Men. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1873. view record
How to Cite This Page: "Forney, John Wien," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,