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Governor John Andrew Shulze

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Office Dates:  Dec 16, 1823 - Dec 15, 1829

Born:  Jul 19, 1774

Passed:  Nov 18, 1852

Birth State:  Pennsylvania

Party:  Democratic-Republican (Jeffersonian Democrat)

Family:  Married Susan Kimmell; five children

School(s):  Franklin College


Born in Stouchsberg, Pennsylvania, JOHN ANDREW SHULZE trained for the ministry at Franklin College in Lancaster and was ordained a Lutheran minister in 1796. Illness forced an end to his service, however, and after recuperating, he opened a successful store in Myerstown. He was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly for three terms and later accepted the post of prothonotary (i.e., chief clerk), recorder, register, and clerk of the courts of newly-established Lebanon County, a post that he held from 1813 until 1821, when he was elected once again to the Pennsylvania Assembly and then the state Senate. A Jeffersonian, Shulze was encouraged to run for governor by a Democratic faction that favored John C. Calhoun for President. He won the race and was easily reelected three years later. As governor, he presided over the start of “State Works of Pennsylvania,” a railway and canal network connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and linking them in turn to New York and Baltimore. Although he failed in his efforts to promote a public school program, the interest that resulted enabled his gubernatorial successor to establish public education at the elementary level. After leaving office, Shulze moved to Lycoming County, where he bought and farmed a five-hundred acre parcel of land. He was a delegate to the Whig National Convention of December, 1839 at Harrisburg and was president of the 1840 Electoral College that named William Henry Harrison President. He later moved to Lancaster, where he died at the age of seventy-seven.

SOURCES:

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. 2. New York: James T. White & Company.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission