Aaron Ogden was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on December 3, 1756. His education was attained at Princeton University, where he graduated in 1773. He went on to study law, was admitted to the bar in 1784, and then established his legal career in his hometown of Elizabeth. During the Revolutionary War, he served in the 1st New Jersey Regiment; rising to the rank of brigade major, and leading troops in several key battles. Ogden first entered politics as a presidential elector, a position he held in 1796. He also served as clerk of Essex County from 1785 to 1803; was a member of the U.S. Senate from 1801 to 1803; and served as a Princeton University trustee from 1803 to 1839. Ogden next won election to the governorship in 1812. During his tenure, funds were secured for the military’s use in the war against Britain. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Ogden retired from political life. He stayed active in his legal career, as well as becoming involved in the steamboat business. Governor Aaron Ogden passed away on April 19, 1839, and was buried in the First Presbyterian Church Burial Ground in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
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.