RYLAND FLETCHER was born in Cavendish, Vermont. In addition to working on his father's farm, he taught in the district school during the winter months. At age eighteen, he joined the state militia, attaining the rank of Brigadier-General. In 1854 he was elected Lieutenant Governor as the nominee of the Whig, Free Soil, and Liberty Parties, and in 1855 he was reelected-this time on the Republican ticket with Governor Stephen Royce. In 1856, he undertook a successful campaign for governor as the Republican nominee, and he was reelected in 1857. Fletcher strongly favored biennial rather than annual gubernatorial elections and was a tireless worker in the anti-slavery and temperance causes. After leaving office, he served in the Vermont legislature and was a member of the State Constitutional Convention in 1870. He died and was buried in Proctorsville, Vermont.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 8. New York: James T. White & Company.