William Bernard Conway (1802–1839) was an American politician and newspaperman who was the first secretary and first acting governor of Iowa Territory.
Conway was born in New Castle County, Delaware. In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1830, he started publishing The American Manufacturer, a newspaper supportive of the Democratic Party. In 1833, he was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar and opened a law practice, which he relocated from Pittsburgh to Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1835. While in Johnstown he founded a newspaper called the Mountaineer in early 1836; later in the same year he moved its publication to Ebensburg, Pennsylvania.
In 1838, he was appointed Secretary of the Iowa Territory by President Martin Van Buren. Conway had never before held a political office; his appointment was said to have been in reward for his journalistic support of Van Buren and his predecessor Andrew Jackson. Conway served briefly as acting governor of the territory until the arrival of the official governor Robert Lucas. Lucas saw Conway's assumption of this role as illegitimate, and upon arrival reversed Conway's gubernatorial actions except for the judicial districting of the territory. Conway is credited with designing the Iowa territorial seal, which served as the model for the seal of the University of Iowa.
He was the writer of a poem, "Bribed Legislator", and a novel, The Cottage on the Cliff: A Tale of the Revolution.
- Glasco, Laurence A. (2004). The WPA History of the Negro in Pittsburgh. University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 157. ISBN 0-8229-4232-1.
- The Twentieth Century Bench and Bar of Pennsylvania. 2. Chicago: H.C. Cooper, Jr., Bro. & Co. 1903. p. 834.
- "William B. Conway, Attorney at Law". The Daily Pittsburgh Gazette. 5 December 1833. p. 3.
- Storey, Henry Wilson (1907). History of Cambria County, Pennsylvania. 1. New York: Lewis Publishing Company. p. 377.
- Van Ek, Jacob (April 1924). "The Pen Knife Quarrel". The Palimpsest. 5 (4): 139.
- "The Quarrel Between Governor Lucas and Secretary Conway". The Annals of Iowa. 2 (2): 221–224. 1895. doi:10.17077/0003-4827.2037. Retrieved June 20, 2019 – via State Historical Society of Iowa.
- Van Ek, Jacob (October 1924). "Great Seals of Iowa". The Palimpsest. 5 (10): 379–380.
- The History of Polk County, Iowa. Des Moines, Iowa: Union Historical Company, Birdsall, Williams & Co. 1880. p. 157.
- Storey, Henry Wilson (1907). History of Cambria County, Pennsylvania. 2. New York: Lewis Publishing Company. pp. 434–435.