Portrait of Edson Olds

On August 12, 1862, federal officials arrested Edson Olds for disloyalty and imprisoned him in Fort Lafayette, New York. Although he was never formally charged with a crime or tried in a court of law, Olds was imprisoned for four months — twenty-two days of which he spent in solitary confinement. [Wikimedia Commons]

Edson Baldwin Olds - Facts

June 3, 1802 - January 24, 1869

Key facts about Edson B. Olds, a Copperhead leader and three-term U.S. Congressman who federal officials arrested and imprisoned for disloyalty during the Civil War.

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Full Name:

  • Edson Baldwin Olds

Birth Date:

  • June 3, 1802

Birth Location:

  • Marlboro, Vermont

Parents:

  • Joseph and Sally (Whitney) Olds

Education:

  • University of Pennsylvania (1824)

Occupation:

  • Physician, politician

Career Summary:

  • U.S. Congressman

Spouse:

  • Anna Maria Carolus (1824)

Place of Death:

  • Lancaster, Ohio

Date of Death:

  • January 24, 1869

Place of Burial:

  • Forest Cemetery at Circleville, Ohio

Significance:

  • Edson Olds moved to Ohio about 1820 and taught school.
  • Edson Olds graduated from the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1824 and began practicing of medicine in Kingston, Ohio.
  • On June 18, 1824, Edson Olds married Anna Maria Carolus. The couple had eight children, six of whom survived infancy.
  • Edson Olds moved to Circleville, Ohio, in 1828.
  • Edson Olds practiced medicine in Circleville, Ohio until 1837, when he engaged in the general produce business and mercantile pursuits.
  • Edson Olds served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives in 1842, 1843, 1845, and 1846.
  • Edson Olds served in the Ohio Senate 1846-1848 and was its presiding officer in 1846 and 1847.
  • Edson Olds was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-first, Thirty-second, and Thirty-third Congresses (March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1855).
  • During the Thirty-second and Thirty-third Congresses, Edson Olds served as chairman of the Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads.
  • Edson Olds was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1854 to the Thirty-fourth Congress.
  • Edson Olds moved to Lancaster, Ohio, in 1857.
  • Edson Olds was an outspoken opponent of the Civil War and the Lincoln administration.
  • On August 12, 1862, federal officials arrested Edson Olds for disloyalty and imprisoned him in Fort Lafayette, New York.
  • Although he was never formally charged with a crime or tried in a court of law, Edson Olds was imprisoned at Fort Lafayette, in New York, for four months—twenty-two days of which he spent in solitary confinement.
  • Edson Olds was released from imprisonment at Fort Lafayette, in New York on December 12, 1862.
  • While in prison, Fairfield and Hocking County voters elected Edson Olds to the Ohio House of Representatives.
  • After his release from prison, Edson Olds served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1862 to 1866.
  • In June 1863, Olds and swore out a warrant for Governor Tod’s arrest and filed a lawsuit against him for kidnapping, but he dropped his complaint several months later.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Edson Baldwin Olds - Facts
  • Coverage June 3, 1802 - January 24, 1869
  • Author
  • Keywords Edson Baldwin Olds
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 27, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021
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