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Governor John Adams Dix

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Office Dates:  Dec 31, 1872 - Dec 31, 1874

Born:  Jul 23, 1798

Passed:  Apr 20, 1879

Birth State:  New Hampshire

Family:  Married Catharine Morgan; one child

School(s):  College of Montreal

National Office(s) Served:  Ambassador, Cabinet secretary, Senator

Military Service:  Army

JOHN A. DIX, the twenty-seventh governor of New York, was born in Boscawen, New Hampshire on July 24, 1798. His education was attained at Phillips Exeter Academy, and at the College of Montreal in Canada. He later went on to study law, and in 1824 was admitted to the bar. During the War of 1812, he served as an ensign and participated in Canadian frontier operations. He also served during the Civil War with the rank of major general. In 1830 he was named the adjutant general of New York State. Dix first entered politics as secretary of state, a position he held from 1833 to 1839. He served as a member of the New York House of Representatives in 1842; was a member of the U.S. Senate from 1845 to 1849; and served as the assistant U.S. treasurer at New York in 1853. He also served the postmaster of New York City from 1860 to 1861; was secretary of the treasury in 1861; and served as the U.S. minister to France from 1866 to 1869. Dix next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 5, 1872. During his tenure, a mandatory education law was sanctioned; the International Bridge across the Niagara River was finished; and the Panic of 1873 was dealt with. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Dix retired from political life. Governor John A. Dix passed away on April 21, 1879, and was buried in the Trinity Cemetery in New York City.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress