87 Facts About Amos Kendall


Amos Kendall was an American lawyer, journalist and politician.


Amos Kendall rose to prominence as editor-in-chief of the Argus of Western America, an influential newspaper in Frankfort, the capital of the US state of Kentucky.


Amos Kendall used his newspaper, writing skills, and extensive political contacts to build the Democratic Party into a national political power.


Amos Kendall was one of the most influential members of Jackson's "Kitchen Cabinet", an unofficial group of Jackson's top appointees and advisors who set administration policy.


Amos Kendall invested significantly in Samuel Morse's new invention, the telegraph.


Amos Kendall became one of the most important figures in the transformation of the American news media in the 19th century.


Amos Kendall was the sixth child of Zebedee and Molly Kendall.


Two years after Amos was born, Zebedee Kendall was named a deacon of the local Congregational church.


Amos Kendall assisted in clearing rocks from the farmland, and mending stone and split-rail fences.


Amos Kendall was a sickly child, thin and prone to colds and severe headaches.


Amos Kendall attended free public elementary schools in Massachusetts and New Hampshire during two months each summer, and was a frequent user of the subscription library in Dunstable, Massachusetts.


Amos Kendall attended the New Ipswich Academy in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, for a few weeks in the fall of 1805, and a free public secondary school in New Ipswich for a month in the winter of 1806.


Amos Kendall remained there until the fall, then studied a few weeks in December 1806 at a free public school in Dunstable.


At the age of 16, Amos Kendall's education was advanced enough that his father obtained a two-month teaching position for him at a school in Reading, Massachusetts, in summer 1806 and another in the fall at a public school in Dunstable, New Hampshire.


Amos Kendall entered the Lawrence Academy at Groton in Groton, Massachusetts, in April 1807.


Amos Kendall succeeded, and was admitted to Dartmouth on September 10,1807.


Away from his father's control for an extended period of time, Amos Kendall began to play cards, dance, and occasionally drink alcohol.


Amos Kendall joined the Social Friends, a fraternal society, as well as a small, semi-secret study and debating society known as the Gymnasion Adelphon.


Amos Kendall later said that the informal education he received through reading and discussion outside the classroom was more productive than the formal classes he attended.


Amos Kendall spent the fall and winter terms of 1808 teaching in New Ipswich and began attending classes again at Dartmouth in March 1809.


Amos Kendall was bullied and nearly assaulted on several occasions, and some students attempted to injure him by dropping heavy roof timbers onto him as he exited a building.


Amos Kendall would have left Dartmouth if not for the support of the members of the Gymnasion Adelphon.


Amos Kendall later admitted that he learned a valuable lesson from the experience: Never attempt to impose his moral values on others.


Amos Kendall taught again in Ipswich from November 1809 to February 1810 to earn money for college.


Amos Kendall participated in a prank in which the cattle of the townspeople were herded into a basement room at the college.


When several students were brought up on charges, Amos Kendall defended them so ably that the charges were dropped.


Amos Kendall, like most people from Dunstable, was a member of the Democratic-Republican Party.


Amos Kendall graduated from Dartmouth at the top of his class on August 27,1811.


Shortly before graduation, Amos Kendall traveled to Groton, Massachusetts, to seek a teaching position.


Amos Kendall met with William M Richardson, a prominent local attorney and friend of his father's.


Amos Kendall became a legal apprentice in Richardson's legal practice on September 4,1811.


Since Richardson's current apprentice would not leave until March 1812, Amos Kendall resolved to live in Groton.


All able-bodied men were required to join the local militia, and Amos Kendall did so eagerly since his father had been a militiaman.


Amos Kendall suffered a bout of "lung fever" in June 1813 that left him bedridden for three weeks.


Amos Kendall decided that, with an economic depression afflicting New England and his only patron leaving, it was time to leave Massachusetts.


Amos Kendall resolved to relocate to Washington, DC, and arrived in the city on March 2,1814.


Amos Kendall angrily resolved to have nothing to do with Bledsoe.


Amos Kendall met John Watkins, the younger half-brother of Henry Clay, the powerful Speaker of the House of Representatives.


Amos Kendall asked Major William Barry to introduce him to the judges, but Barry did not appear.


Amos Kendall asked Frankfort lawyer, Robert Wickliffe, to introduce him, but Wickliffe could not be found.


Amos Kendall introduced himself to the judges, and spent about an hour that night under examination.


Amos Kendall made so many errors that he feared he would not obtain the law license.


Amos Kendall swore the legal oath on March 21,1815.


Amos Kendall quit his employment with the Clays on April 29,1814.


Amos Kendall explored the towns of Richmond, Nicholasville, Georgetown, and Versailles, and took up residence in Georgetown on May 10,1815.


Johnson was deeply impressed with Amos Kendall's writing, and offered to sell him the local Democratic-Republican newspaper, Georgetown Minerva.


Amos Kendall declined to buy the paper, but agreed to become its editor-in-chief.


Amos Kendall did not actively participate in social gatherings until he moved to Groton, Massachusetts, in 1811.


Amos Kendall refused his attentions, and Kendall wooed her older sister, Mary.


On January 5,1826, Amos Kendall married 17-year-old Jane Kyle of Georgetown, Kentucky.


In September 1815, Amos Kendall agreed to purchase a half-interest in the Georgetown Minerva.


Amos Kendall agreed to buy the position of US postmaster of the town from its current office-holder for $720 over four years.


Amos Kendall briefly committed to teaching and investing in land speculation before backing out of both proposals.


Amos Kendall quickly learned that Johnson had mortgaged his half of the business to a brother-in-law, Robert Ward, and sold $800 of Kendall's promissory note to his brother, James Johnson.


Amos Kendall became part owner and editor-in-chief of the Argus of Western America.


In 1829, Amos Kendall was appointed Fourth Auditor of the United States Department of the Treasury and moved to Washington, DC.


Amos Kendall soon discovered evidence of embezzlement by his predecessor, Tobias Watkins, which led to a high-profile trial at Andrew Jackson's behest.


Amos Kendall had arguably more influence over Jackson than any other Cabinet official or Kitchen Cabinet member.


Amos Kendall took many of Jackson's ideas about government and national policy and refashioned them into highly polished, erudite official government statements and newspaper articles.


Amos Kendall drafted most of Jackson's five annual messages to Congress, and his statement vetoing the renewal of the charter of the Second Bank of the United States in 1832.


Amos Kendall manipulated operations of the Post Office Department so that western newspapers were delivered faster and received better service than eastern ones.


Amos Kendall eventually settled on Kendall, who accepted the task.


Back in private life, Amos Kendall started two newspapers in Washington, DC, but both ceased operations shortly after opening.


Amos Kendall had refused to honor a contract for mail delivery signed by his predecessor, even though Congress had enacted legislation requiring him to do so.


Amos Kendall said the legislation was an unconstitutional infringement on the executive branch.


Amos Kendall purchased a 102-acre farm in northeast Washington for $9,000 in 1841 to generate income, and named it Kendall Green.


In 1838, Amos Kendall had rented a 10-room mansion named Jackson Hill located at the site of what is the National Zoo.


Amos Kendall was forced to give up Jackson Hill in October 1841 and move his family into an unfinished, 26-square-foot home at Kendall Green.


Amos Kendall reluctantly returned to the practice of law in 1843, representing individuals and groups that had financial claims against the US government.


Amos Kendall helped to prove the independence of the Western Cherokee from the Old Nation, which gave them control over their lands and a portion of a $5 million settlement.


Amos Kendall agreed, and received a 10 percent commission on all patent licenses he was able to obtain.


Two months later, Amos Kendall incorporated the Magnetic Telegraph Company to own and operate a telegraph line between Washington, DC, and New York City.


In 1857, Amos Kendall co-founded what would eventually become Gallaudet University for the deaf.


On February 16,1857, at Amos Kendall's urging, Congress passed legislation giving the Amos Kendall School a charter as the Columbia Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind.


Three months later, Amos Kendall hired Edward Miner Gallaudet as the school's first superintendent, while Amos Kendall assumed the presidency of the institution's board of directors.


The idea took years to develop, and Amos Kendall was initially opposed, but Gallaudet persisted.


Amos Kendall was welcomed as a member of Calvary Baptist Church on March 31,1865.


The church opened its doors in June 1866, around the time Amos Kendall was made a senior deacon in the congregation.


Amos Kendall fell ill with a digestive illness and insomnia in the summer of 1869.


Three weeks later, still bedridden, Amos Kendall joined his family at the Stickney mansion.


Amos Kendall called his illness "bilious fever", but it was more likely cancer of the liver and the stomach.


The pain was so great, Amos Kendall considered suicide, and he remained bedridden until the end of his life.


Amos Kendall died at dawn at his home in the Stickney Mansion on Friday, November 12,1869.


Amos Kendall was interred in Glenwood Cemetery in Washington, DC Amos Kendall was the last surviving cabinet member of Jackson's and Van Buren's presidencies.


Amos Kendall's will provided for the purchase of land and construction of a chapel of a second branch chapel for Calvary Baptist Church as well.


Amos Kendall's will created a scholarship at what is George Washington University.


Amos Kendall later said that he converted to the Baptist faith shortly after establishing himself in Kentucky, although he did not formally join a Baptist congregation until 1865.