PETER T. WASHBURN was born in Lynn, Massachusetts. After graduating from Dartmouth College, he began the practice of law in Ludlow, Vermont but later moved to Woodstock. He served as Reporter of Decisions of the Vermont Supreme Court from 1844 to 1852, and in 1853 was elected to the state legislature. In 1860 he chaired the Vermont delegation to the Republican National Convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln. During the Civil War, he rose to the rank of Brigadier-General in the 1st Vermont Regiment and was subsequently elected Adjutant- and Inspector-General of Vermont. During his single term as governor, he sought the development of Vermont's natural resources. In addition, a law was passed providing for biennial rather than annual elections for governor. Washburn died while in office.
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.