Elias Nelson Conway Information

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Elias Nelson Conway
Elias Nelson Conway.jpg
5th Governor of Arkansas
In office
November 15, 1852 – November 16, 1860
Preceded by John S. Roane
Succeeded by Henry M. Rector
Auditor of Arkansas
In office
October 1, 1836 – May 16, 1841
Appointed by Arkansas General Assembly
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded byA. Boileau ( acting)
In office
July 6, 1841 – January 3, 1849
Governor Archibald Yell
Samuel Adams
Thomas Stevenson Drew
Preceded byA. Boileau (acting)
Succeeded byChristopher C. Danley
Personal details
Born(1812-05-17)May 17, 1812
Greene County, Tennessee
DiedFebruary 28, 1892(1892-02-28) (aged 79)
Little Rock, Arkansas
Resting place Mount Holly Cemetery,
Little Rock, Arkansas
34°44′15.3″N 92°16′42.5″W / 34.737583°N 92.278472°W / 34.737583; -92.278472
Political party Democratic
  • Thomas Conway
  • Ann Rector
Profession Lawyer

Elias Nelson Conway (May 17, 1812 – February 28, 1892) was an American politician who served as the 5th Governor of Arkansas from 1852 to 1860.

Early life

Conway was born in Greeneville, Tennessee. Born into a political family, Elias Nelson Conway was the younger brother of Henry Wharton Conway, who served as territorial delegate to several Congresses, and James Sevier Conway, who became the first governor of Arkansas when it was admitted as a state in 1836.

When he was a boy, his family moved from Tennessee to Missouri. Conway attended Bonne Femme Academy in Boone County, Missouri. His older brother Henry died in 1827 as a result of a duel with a former friend, Robert Crittenden.

In 1833, Conway moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, where his older brothers had settled. He studied surveying. In 1835, he was appointed as the state auditor, and served until 1849.

Natural Steps by David Dale Owen

Political career

In 1844, Elias Conway was offered, and declined, the Democratic nomination for governor. When offered the nomination again in 1852, he accepted. With a successful campaign, he was elected as Governor of Arkansas. He was reelected to a second term in 1856.

His administration focused on physical improvements to the state: roads and other infrastructure to encourage development. He formed the Chancery Courts and eased the state's financial problems. When Conway left office in 1860, the state treasury held a surplus. [1]

Conway formed the Geological Survey of Arkansas, commissioning Principal Geologist David Dale Owen, to survey the territory west of Little Rock and provide a report on the area. The ' Natural Steps' were first written about and drawn by Owen, in his Second Report of a Geological Reconnaissance of the Middle and Southern Counties of Arkansas (1859).

Personal life

Conway was first cousin to Senator Ambrose Hundley Sevier and Governor Henry M. Rector.


After Conway retired from public life, he became somewhat of a recluse. Conway is buried at the historic Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas.

See also


  1. ^ "Arkansas Governor Elias Nelson Conway". National Governors Association. Retrieved August 10, 2012.

External links