American Abolitionists and Antislavery Activists:
Conscience of the Nation

Updated April 4, 2021

l to r: Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips

Encyclopedia of Civil War Biography - Q


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A                    B                    C                    D                    E                    F               

                      Bab-Bee         Cab-Che         Dab-Dev                               Fai-Fle
                      Bel-Bon          Chi-Cle          Dib-Dye                                Flo-Fur
                      Boo-Bro         Cli-Cox
                      Bru-Byr          Cra-Cuy

G                    H                    I                     J                     K                    L

Gag-Gid         Hab-Har                                                                             Lad-Loc
Gih-Gra         Has-Hil                                                                               Log-Lyt
Gre-Gru         Hin-Hyd

M                    N                    O                    P                    Q                    R

McA-McW                                                   Pac-Pie                                 Rad-Riv
Mad-Mid                                                      Pik-Put                                  Roa-Rya

S                     T                    U                    V                    W                    XYZ

Sac-Sha          Tab-Tho                                                       Wad-Way
She-Smi         Thr-Tyn                                                        Wea-Whe
Sno-Sti                                                                                Whi-Wil 
Sto-Sza                                                                                Wim-Wyt



Encyclopedia of Civil War Biography - Q

QUACKENBUSH, Stephen Platt, naval officer, born in Albany, New York, 23 January, 1823. He entered the U.S. Navy as a midshipman in 1840, became lieutenant in 1855 and lieutenant-commander in 1862. During the Civil War he was in charge of the “Delaware,” the “Unadilla,” the “Pequot,” the “Patapsco,” and the “Mingo,” of the Blockading Squadron. He covered General Ambrose E. Burnside's army in falling back from Aquia creek and the landing at Roanoke Island, scattering a large body of the enemy, took part in the battles at Elizabeth City and New Berne, North Carolina, flying the divisional flag of Commodore Stephen C. Rowan, and engaged the Confederate batteries and a regiment of flying infantry at Winton, North Carolina, where 700 or 800 Union men had been reported, and a white flag displayed as a decoy for the naval vessels. He was then ordered to deliver to the people General Burnside's and Admiral Louis M. Goldsborough’s proclamation concerning the 700 or 800 men reported. When the “Delaware” was close to the shore a body of armed Confederates was reported. She opened fire, and Winton was destroyed according to orders, in consequence of the display of the white flag. He subsequently was in action at Sewell's Point Landing, Wilcox landing, and Malvern hill, on James River, where he commanded the “Pequot.” and received a shot that took off his right leg. He afterward covered the rear-guard of the army in of the steam gun-boat “Unadilla,” of the South Atlantic Squadron, in 1863, he captured the “Princess Royal," which contained machinery for shaping projectiles, engines for an iron-clad then building in Richmond, and a large quantity of quinine. When commanding the “Patapsco,” of the North Atlantic Squadron, in 1864, he was engaged in ascertaining the nature and position of the obstructions in Charleston Harbor, and, while dragging for torpedoes, his ship was struck by one and sunk in twenty seconds. He was then in charge of the steamer “Mingo,” protecting Georgetown, South Carolina, and, with a force of light-draught vessels, prevented the re-erection of a fort by the enemy. He became commander in 1866, captain in 1871, and commodore in 1880. In 1861–2 he was in charge of the U.S. Navy-yard at Pensacola, Florida, and in 1885 he was retired as rear-admiral. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, p. 146.

QUAY, Matthew Stanley, senator, born in Dillsburg, York County, Pennsylvania, 30 September, 1833. He was graduated at Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, in 1850, began his legal studies at Pittsburg, and was admitted to the bar in 1854. He was appointed prothonotary of Beaver County in 1855, in 1856 elected to the same office, and re-elected in 1859. In 1861 he resigned his office to accept a lieutenancy in the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves, and he was subsequently made assistant commissary-general of the state with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Afterward he was appointed private secretary to Governor Andrew G. Curtin, and in August, 1862, he was commissioned colonel of the 134th Pennsylvania Regiment. He was mustered out, owing to impaired health, 7 December, 1862, but participated in the assault on Marye's Heights, 13 December, as a volunteer. He was subsequently appointed state agent at Washington, but shortly afterward was recalled by the legislature to fill the office of military secretary, which was created by that body. He was elected to the legislature in October, 1864, in 1865, and 1866, and in 1869 he established and edited the Beaver “Radical.” In 1873-'8 he was secretary of the commonwealth, resigning to accept the appointment of Recorder of Philadelphia, which office he resigned in 1879. In January, 1879, he was again appointed Secretary of the Commonwealth, filling that post until October, 1882, when he resigned. In 1885 he was elected state treasurer by the largest vote ever given to a candidate for that office, and in 1887 was chosen to the U. S. Senate for the term that will end 3 March, 1893.
Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, p. 147.

QUEEN, Walter W., naval officer, born in Washington, D.C., 6 October, 1824. He entered the U.S. Navy as a midshipman in 1841, was attached during the Mexican War to the frigate “Cumberland,” and participated in the attacks on Alvarado, Tampico, Tuspan, and Vera Cruz. He was dismissed from the service in 1848 for participation as a principal in a duel, was reinstated in 1853, and became lieutenant in 1855. He was on special duty in the steam sloop “Powhatan” in 1861, re-enforced Fort Pickens, Florida, and served nineteen days on shore in charge of the boats of the fleet. He commanded the 2d Division of the mortar flotilla under David D. Porter during the bombardment of Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip, and during the attack on Vicksburg when Flag-Officer David G. Farragut assed the batteries with his fleet. He became lieutenant-commander in 1862, was on ordnance duty in 1862–3, and in charge of the steam gunboat “Wyalusing,” of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, in 1863–4. On 5 May, 1864, with that vessel, he engaged the Confederate ram “Albemarle,” with her consorts the “Bombshell” and the “Cotton-Plant.” He became commander, with special duty on the “Hartford,” in 1866, captain in 1874, commodore in 1883, and rear-admiral, 27 August, 1886, and was retired in October.
Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, p. 147.

QUINBY, Isaac Ferdinand, soldier, born near Morristown, New Jersey. 29 January, 1821. He was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1843, standing first in engineering. He was a classmate and close friend of General Grant. He was an assistant professor at West Point in 1845-'7 and took part in several skirmishes on the Rio Grande and Vera Cruz lines at the close of the Mexican War. He went to Rochester, N.Y., in September, 1851, to become professor of mathematics in the newly founded university in that city, and resigned from the army, 16 March, 1852. He hold his professorship until the Civil War, and then became colonel of the 13th New York Regiment. Under his command, it marched through Baltimore on 30 May, being the first body of National troops to pass through that city after the attack upon the 6th Massachusetts Regiment on 19 April. Colonel Quinby resigned his commission, 2 August, 1861, and resumed his chair; but he was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers, 17 March, 1862, and in the following month was assigned to the command at Columbus. Kentucky. In October, 1862, he was relieved, to take command of the 7th Division of the Army of the Tennessee. The division was sent to take part in the movement to turn the Confederate right flank at Vicksburg by Yazoo pass, the Coldwater, Tallahatchie, and Yazoo Rivers. Amid great difficulties General Quinby pushed on to Fort Pemberton, where he arrived on 23 March. Finding that there was no ground suitable for camping or moving a large body of troops, and the fire of the small gun-boats being ineffectual, he conceived the idea of going around to the east side of Fort Pemberton, crossing the Yallabusha River on a pontoon bridge, cutting the communications of the fort, and compelling its surrender; but he also constructed works for a direct attack, and sent back to Helena for heavy guns. The boat that carried them brought orders from General Grant to abandon the movement by Yazoo Pass, and General Quinby withdrew his force from before Fort Pemberton on 5 April. The fatigues and anxieties of this expedition in a malarious region brought on a severe illness, and he was ordered home on sick-leave, 1 May, 1863. But learning, a few days after reaching home, the progress of Grant's movement to the rear of Vicksburg, he hastened back, assuming command of his division on the 17th, and taking part in the assault of the 19th, and the subsequent movements. On 5 June illness again rendered him unfit for duty in the field, and he wont to the north under Grant's orders, remaining in Rochester until 1 July. He then commanded the rendezvous at Elmira till 31 December, 1863, when, convinced that he would not again be able to go to the front, he resigned his commission and resumed his duties as professor in the university. In May, 1869, he was appointed U. S. Marshal for the Northern District of New York, and he held that office during General Grant's two presidential terms, holding his professorship also till September, 1884. In May, 1885, he was appointed city surveyor of Rochester, and he now (1888) holds that office. He was a trustee of the Soldiers' Home at Bath. New York, and vice-president of the board from the foundation of the institution in 1879 till his resignation in 1880. In addition to his official duties, he is frequently employed as a consulting engineer. He has revised and rewritten several of the works in the Robinson Course of Mathematics, and the treatise on the " Differential and Integral Calculus" in that series is altogether his.
Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, p. 150.

QUINCY, Josiah, 1772-1864, statesman.  Quincy was elected as a State Senator in Massachusetts in the spring of 1804.  While in the Massachusetts State Senate, he called for the state to suggest the amending of the U.S. Constitution to eliminate the clause specifying that slaves were to be counted as three-fifths of a person.  This was called the Ely Amendment.  In the autumn of 1804, Quincy was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.  At age 83, he began publishing anti-slavery tracts opposing the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and denouncing Daniel Webster and his compromise measures on slavery.  He supported Republican anti-slavery presidential candidates John C. Frémont, in 1856, and Abraham Lincoln, in 1860. 

(Appletons’, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 151-152; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 8, Pt. 1, p. 308; Bruns, 1977, pp. 222-223; Locke, 1901, pp. 93, 132, 152; Mabee, 1970, p. 75; Mason, 2006, pp. 46, 53, 64, 66-70, 73, 85, 146, 190, 216-217, 256n65, 257n82; Annals of Congress; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 18, p. 37)

Quincy, Josiah, statesman, born in Boston, 4 February, 1772; died in Quincy, Massachusetts, 1 July, 1864. He was fitted for college at Phillips Academy, Andover, and was graduated at Harvard in 1790 at the head of his class. He studied law with William Tudor, and was admitted to the bar in 1793. His practice was not large, and he had considerable leisure to devote to study and to politics. In 1797 he married Miss Eliza Susan Morton, of New York. On 4 July, 1798, he delivered the annual oration in the Old South meeting-house, and gained such a reputation thereby that the Federalists selected him as their candidate for Congress in 1800. The Republican newspapers ridiculed the idea of a member of Congress only twenty-eight years old, and called aloud for a cradle to rock him in. Mr. Quincy was defeated. In the spring of 1804 he was elected to the state senate of Massachusetts, and in the autumn of that year he was elected to Congress. During his senatorship he was active in urging his state to suggest an amendment to the Federal constitution, eliminating the clause that permitted the slave-states to count three fifths of their slaves as part of their basis of representation. If such a measure could have had any chance of success at that moment, its effect would of course have been to break up the Union. Mr. Quincy dreaded the extension of slavery, and foresaw that the existence of that institution was likely to bring on a civil war; but it was not evident then, as it is now, that a civil war in 1861 was greatly to be preferred to civil war or peaceable secession in 1865. As member of Congress, Mr. Quincy belonged to the Party of extreme Federalists known as the “Essex junto.” The Federalists were then in a hopeless minority; even the Massachusetts delegation in Congress had ten Republicans to seven Federalists. In some ways Mr. Quincy showed a disposition to independent action, as in refusing to follow his party in dealing with Randolph's malcontent faction known as the “quids.” He fiercely opposed the embargo and the war with England. But his most famous action related to the admission of Louisiana as a state. There was at that time a strong jealousy of the new western country on the part of the New England states. There was a fear that the region west of the Alleghanies would come to be more populous than the original thirteen states, and that thus the control of the Federal government would pass into the hands of people described by New Englanders as “backwoodsmen.” Gouverneur Morris had given expression to such a fear in 1787 in the Federal Convention. In 1811, when it was proposed to admit Louisiana as a state, the high Federalists took the ground that the constitution had not conferred upon Congress the power to admit new states except such as should be formed from territory already belonging to the Union in 1787. Mr. Quincy maintained this position in a remarkable speech, 4 January, 1811, in which he used some strong language. “Why, sir, I have already heard of six states, and some say there will be at no great distance of time more. I have also heard that the mouth of the Ohio will be far to the east of the centre of the contemplated empire . . . . It is impossible such a power could be granted. It was not for these men that our fathers fought. It was not for them this constitution was adopted. You have no authority to throw the rights and liberties and property of this people into hotch-pot with the wild men on the Missouri, or with the mixed, though more respectable, race of Anglo-Hispano-Gallo-Americans, who bask on the sands in the mouth of the Mississippi. . . . I am compelled to declare it. as my deliberate opinion that, if this bill passes, the bonds of this Union are virtually dissolved; that the states which compose it are free from their moral obligations; and that, as it will be the right of all, so it will be the duty of some, to prepare definitely for a separation—amicably, if they can; violently, if they must.” This was, according to Hildreth, “the first announcement on the floor of Congress of the doctrine of secession.” Though opposed to the war with England, Mr. Quincy did not go so far as some of the Federalists in refusing support to the administration; his great speech on the navy, 25 January, 1812, won applause from all parties. In that year he declined a re-election to Congress. For the next ten years he was most of the time a member of the Massachusetts legislature, but a great part of his attention was given to his farm at Quincy. He was member of the Convention of 1820 for revising the state constitution. In the following year he was speaker of the house. From 1823 to 1828 he was mayor of Boston, and his administration was memorable for the number of valuable reforms effected by his energy and skill. Everything was overhauled—the police, the prisons, the schools, the streets, the fire department, and the great market was built near Faneuil hall. In 1829 he was chosen president of Harvard, and held that position until 1845. During his administration Dane Hall was built for the law-school and Gore Hall for the university library; and it was due mainly to his exertions that the astronomical observatory was founded and equipped with its great telescope, which is still one of the finest in the world. In 1834, in the face of violent opposition, Mr. Quincy succeeded in establishing the principle that “where flagrant outrages were committed against persons or property by members of the university, within its limits, they should be proceeded against, in the last resort, like any other citizens, before the courts of the commonwealth.” The effect of this measure was most wholesome in checking the peculiar kinds of ruffianism which the community has often been inclined to tolerate in college students. Mr. Quincy also introduced the system of marking, which continued to be used for more than forty years at Harvard. By this system the merit of every college exercise was valued according to a scale of numbers, from one to eight, by the professor or tutor, at the time of its performance. Examinations were rated in various multiples of eight, and all these marks were set down to the credit of the individual student. Delinquencies of various degrees of importance were also estimated in multiples of eight, and charged on the debit side of the account. At the end of the year the balance to the student's credit was compared with the sum-total that an unbroken series of perfect marks, unaffected by deductions, would have yielded, and the resulting percentage determined the rank of the student. President Quincy was also strongly in favor of the elective system of studies, in so far as it was compatible with the general state of advancement of the students in his time, and with the means of instruction at the disposal of the university. The elective experiment was tried more thoroughly, and on a broader scale, under his administration than under any other down to the time of President Eliot. From 1845 to 1864 Mr. Quincy led a quiet and pleasant life, devoted to literary and social pursuits. He continued till the last to take a warm interest in politics, and was an enthusiastic admirer of President Lincoln. His principal writings are “History of Harvard University” (2 vols., Boston, 1840); “History of the Boston Athenaeum” (Boston, 1851); “Municipal History of Boston” (Boston, 1852); “Memoir of J. Q. Adams” (Boston, 1858); and “Speeches delivered in Congress” (edited by his son, Edmund, Boston, 1874). His biography, by his son, Edmund (Boston, 1867), is an admirable work. See also J. R. Lowell's “My Study Window,” pp. 83-114. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 151-152.

QUINCY, Samuel Miller, born in Boston in 1833, was graduated at Harvard in 1852, was admitted to the Boston bar, and for several years edited the " Monthly Law Reporter." He entered the array as captain in the 2d Massachusetts Regiment. 24 May, 1861, became lieutenant-colonel of the 72d U.S. Colored Regiment, 20 October, 1863, and its colonel, 24 May, 1864, and on 13 March, 1865, was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers. He has edited the "Reports of Cases" of his great-grandfather, Josiah (1865). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, p. 153.

QUINCY, Edmund, 1808-1877, Dedham, Massachusetts, author, anti-slavery writer, abolitionist leader.  Member, U.S. House of Representatives.  Mayor of Boston.  After the murder of abolitionist newspaper editor Elijah P. Lovejoy, he became a Garrisonian abolitionist.  Member, 1838, Vice President, 1853, 1856-1859, of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).  Served as a Manager, 1838-1840, 1840-1842, member of the Executive Committee, 1843-1864, Vice President, 1848-1864, and Corresponding Secretary, 1853-1856, of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (AFASS).  Vice President, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, 1849-1860.  Quincy was also active as a member of the Non-Resistance Society, which was founded in 1839.  This organization was devoted to non-violent actions.  It supported a break between the North and the South.  Quincy was active with both William Lloyd Garrison and Maria Weston Chapman in conducting the organization’s newsletter, the Non-Resistant, from 1839-1842.  He was appointed editor of the Abolitionist, the newspaper of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, in 1839.  Between 1839 and 1856, he was a major contributor of articles to the Liberty Bell.  Quincy became editor of the Anti-Slavery Standard, the newspaper of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  He was also in charge of the Liberator when Garrison was on leave.  He also contributed anti-slavery articles to Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune.  (Mabee, 1970, pp. 70, 72, 73, 75, 77, 80, 200, 224, 248, 250, 255, 256, 257, 260, 262, 297, 313; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, p. 153; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 8, Pt. 1, p. 306)

QUINCY, Edmund, author, born in Boston, 1 February
, 1808; died in Dedham, 17 May, 1877, was graduated at Harvard in 1827. He deserves especial mention for the excellent biography of his father, above mentioned. His novel “Wensley” (Boston, 1854) was said by Whittier to be the best book of the kind since the “Blithedale Romance.” His contributions to the anti-slavery press for many years were able and valuable. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V, pp. 153.

QUITMAN, John Anthony, soldier, born in Rhinebeck, New York,