Born in 1820, a native of Cambridge, Indiana, Dawson married Amanda Thornton and was a lawyer, farmer, and newspaper editor before entering politics as a KnowNothing. He later was a Democrat, and finally a Republican. Abraham Lincoln named him governor in 1861. Antagonistic toward the Mormons and despised by them, Dawson left for the East after less than a month in Utah, and was attacked and beaten as he traveled through Parley’s Canyon. Three men allegedly involved in the assault were later killed by law officers. Dawson died in 1877 in Indiana.