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Biographies C-D

Cole, Asahel N.

The following article was taken from the Andover News Paper dated 1889.

This man was one of the founders of the Republican Party.

Submitted by William A. Greene  2006

 

The Hon. A. N. Cole died at his “Home on the Hillside,” in Wellsville, Sunday evening, July 14, 1889, after a long struggle which several times threatened to end his life.

He was well known throughout the state as an editor and a politician, being a keen, shrewd, energetic man who knew no such word as fail, and who always made himself felt.

Early in life Mr. Cole interested himself in politics, became an ardent free-soiler, and, having patrons in the persons of Gerrit Smith and James S. Wadsworth, both large landowners in the timbered sections of Allegany County, his acquaintance and agreement with them politically brought not only the gentlemen above-named, but many other, leaders of the free soil movement, to the side of a man from ten to twenty years younger than themselves.

When the revolutionary period of 1848 was reached, and Mr. Cole was but twenty-seven years of age, he was better known by, and more closely linked with, Joshua R. Giddings, Gerrit Smith, James S. Wadsworth, William H. Seward, Charles Sumner, Salmon P. Chase, John P. Hale, John Van Buren, and others of like political affinities, than any man of his age in the United States.  What made him especially a most important factor in politics of the period was his close attachment to and alliance with Horace Greeley, whose acquaintance he formed as early as 1843.  Mr. Cole became the trusted personal and confidential correspondent of this great journalist, and thus remained to the close of Mr. Greeley’s life in 1872.

In the meantime Mr. Cole, had, as early as 1852, assisted by General James S. Wadsworth, established the Genesee Valley Free Press at his home in Allegany County.  In the columns of this, the pioneer Republican newspaper of the country appeared the first call for a convention to organize the Republican Party.  This convention met at Friendship, N. Y., in May 1854, and dates the birth of the Republican Party, though the town of Angelica has succeeded in establishing her birthright by showing that the first convention called for nominating candidates convened at that place about the middle of October 1854.  The celebration of the birth of the party took place at Angelica just before the fall election in 1884.  A. N. Cole presided, having been for years acknowledged and recognized as the father of the Republican Party.

Mr. Cole was in his 68th year, having been born in Freedom, Cattaraugus County, October 15th, 1821.  A wife and four children, all grown to manhood and womanhood, besides hosts of friends and acquaintances in all parts of the country, are left to mourn his loss.

The funeral obsequies will be observed this (Wednesday) afternoon at the M. E. Church in Wellsville.

 

 

 

 

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