Abraham Logan



Abraham Logan (b. 31 August 1816, Hattan Hall, Berwickshire, Scotland‒d. 20 December 1873, Penang, Straits Settlements) was a leading lawyer in Singapore, as well as the one-time owner and editor of The Singapore Free Press newspaper.1 He was involved in the historic transfer of the Straits Settlements to the Colonial Office on 1 April 1867.2

Significant contributions
Public service

Besides his job as a lawyer, Logan was also deeply involved in public life. He was played a key role in the transfer of the Straits Settlements from the India Office to the Colonial Office on 1 April 1867.3 He had been a committee member for the appeal to the British Parliament between 1857 and 1862, and wrote the critical financial and administrative reports in 1864 for the Commissioner’s review of the transfer.4 In 1855, The Straits Times newspaper implored the establishment of a Reform League to advocate sweeping changes to the colonial administration.5 Despite the rejection of the motion to break away from Indian rule, Logan, William H. Read, Robin Woods and Joaquim d’Almeida remained dedicated to the cause. With the help of contacts in London, the group held negotiations with the British government and secured the transfer successfully.6

Logan was also secretary to the Singapore Chamber of Commerce for 21 years until his retirement in 1869.7 He advocated constitutional and judicial reforms to the Straits Settlements administration, particularly during the 1850s and 1860s. He was part of several committees where he was involved in petitioning to the British government on economic concerns of the colony, such as currency matters, the sending of convicts to Singapore, income tax and the opposition of the implementation of the Stamp Act.8

Community involvement
The Singapore Library was established in 1844, with Logan and his brother, James Richardson Logan, among its first shareholders.9 Logan was part of the committee managing the library, along with others such as William Napier and H. C. Caldwell. The Logan brothers were involved in the committee that drew up rules and regulations for the museum section of the library, which was established in 1849. Logan also donated books to the library.10


In addition to the library, Logan was involved in journalism and the press. In 1843, he became the editor of The Singapore Free Press and remained in this post with the paper until early 1865.11 Logan officially became the proprietor of the Free Press on 1 November 1848 by purchasing it from W. R. George. The paper’s office was relocated from High Street to No. 1 Malacca Street shortly after the change in ownership.12 As the proprietor and editor of the Free Press, Logan has been credited for establishing high journalistic standards in the colony and for voicing the need for change in legislative and administrative matters.13

Logan was also in a committee set up in 1846 to form a local Presbyterian congregation, and was appointed a minister.14

Death
Logan lived at Mount Pleasant on Thomson Road. He died in Penang on 20 December 1873.15


Family
Brother: James Richardson Logan16




Authors

Joshua Chia Yeong Jia & Bonny Tan




References
1. Turnbull, C. M. (2009). A history of modern Singapore,1819–2005. Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 85. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TUR-[HIS]); Makepeace, W., Brooke, G. E., & Braddell, R. S. J. (Eds.). (1991). One hundred years of Singapore (Vol. 1). Singapore: Oxford University Press, pp. 195, 198. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 ONE-[HIS])
2. Turnbull, C. M. (2009). A history of modern Singapore,1819–2005. Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 89. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TUR-[HIS])
3. Turnbull, C. M. (2009). A history of modern Singapore,1819–2005. Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 85. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TUR-[HIS]); Buckley, C. B. (1984). An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore 1819–1867. Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 755. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 BUC-[HIS])
4. Makepeace, W., Brooke, G. E., & Braddell, R. S. J. (Eds.). (1991). One hundred years of Singapore (Vol. 1). Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 198. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 ONE-[HIS]); Buckley, C. B. (1984). An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore 1819–1867. Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 773. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 BUC-[HIS])
5. Untitled. (1855, July 3). The Straits Times, p. 7; Straits Settlements charges. (1855, August 7). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Turnbull, C. M. (2009). A history of modern Singapore,1819–2005. Singapore: Oxford University Press, pp. 85–86, 89. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TUR-[HIS]); Buckley, C. B. (1984). An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore 1819–1867. Singapore: Oxford University Press, pp. 755, 771. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 BUC-[HIS])
7. Untitled. (1869, December 21). Straits Times Overland Journal, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Makepeace, W., Brooke, G. E., & Braddell, R. S. J. (Eds.). (1991). One hundred years of Singapore (Vol. 1). Singapore: Oxford University Press, pp. 197–198. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 ONE-[HIS]); Buckley, C. B. (1984). An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore 1819–1867. Singapore: Oxford University Press, pp. 597, 668, 680, 694‒695. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 BUC-[HIS])
9. Buckley, C. B. (1984). An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore 1819–1867. Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 419. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 BUC-[HIS]); Makepeace, W., Brooke, G. E., & Braddell, R. S. J. (Eds.). (1991). One hundred years of Singapore (Vol. 1). Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 198. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 ONE-[HIS])
10. Makepeace, W., Brooke, G. E., & Braddell, R. S. J. (Eds.). (1991). One hundred years of Singapore (Vol. 1). Singapore: Oxford University Press, pp. 519, 524, 528, 533. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 ONE-[HIS])
11. Mr Logan. (1865, January 7). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Page 2 Advertisements column 3. (1848, December 21). The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1835–1869), p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
13. Buckley, C. B. (1984). An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore 1819–1867. Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 499. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 BUC-[HIS]); Mr Logan. (1865, January 7). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
14. Makepeace, W., Brooke, G. E., & Braddell, R. S. J. (Eds.). (1991). One hundred years of Singapore (Vol. 1). Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 197. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 ONE-[HIS]); Buckley, C. B. (1984). An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore 1819–1867. Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 453. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 BUC-[HIS])
15. Makepeace, W., Brooke, G. E., & Braddell, R. S. J. (Eds.). (1991). One hundred years of Singapore. (Vol. 1). Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 196. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 ONE-[HIS])
16. Makepeace, W., Brooke, G. E., & Braddell, R. S. J. (Eds.). (1991). One hundred years of Singapore. (Vol. 1). Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 195. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 ONE-[HIS])



The information in this article is valid as at 2009 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the library for further reading materials on the topic. 

Subject
Personalities
Law and government
Personalities>>Biographies
Logan, Abraham, 1816-1873
Lawyers--Singapore--Biography