Samuel E. Hoffman
Constitutional Delegate. Born: 1834, Pennsylvania.
Born in Pennsylvania (ca. 1834), Samuel Hoffman graduated from Albany Law School and decided to establish a practice in the West. He moved to Kansas from Iowa in 1858, settling in Neosho Falls, and a year later the young, unmarried attorney joined Allen Crocker as one of two delegates representing Coffey and Woodson counties at the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention in July 1859. The citizens of his county decide they should elect a lawyer to represent them at the convention, reported the Kansas City Journal years later; "Hoffman was the only lawyer in the community, and that fact and his natural talents and popularity quickly caused the settlers to decide that he was the logical man for the place." Nevertheless, although appointed to the apportionment, ordinance and public debt, and finance and taxation committees Hoffman seems not to have played a major role at the convention, speaking only rarely from the floor; but he was engaged and did help craft the final wording for a few provisions, such as Section 17 of the Bill of Rights pertaining to "property rights of citizens and aliens." In December 1859 Hoffman won election to a seat in the first state senate (two-year term), which convened in April 1861. During the 1862 session Senator Hoffman served on a joint committee (two representatives and one senator), which was "to examine the general laws of the State, and ascertain what laws are in force at this time, and what laws have become obsolete or repealed by implication." The final result was the Compiled Laws of 1862. This was a tough and important task that the committee reportedly did quite well, but apparently Hoffman chose not to seek reelection in 1862. Subsequently, he moved to Leavenworth where he "engaged in the overland freighting business, out of which he made a great deal of money." Hoffman then moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and entered into banking with the Merchants' Laclede National Bank. After B. F. Simpson died on August 10, 1916, Hoffman became the sole surviving member of the 1859 convention.
Entry: Hoffman, Samuel E.
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: June 2011
Date Modified: June 2011
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