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Anthony Colby
New Hampshire

Gov. Anthony Colby

  • June 4, 1846 - June 3, 1847
  • Whig
  • November 13, 1792
  • July 13, 1873
  • New Hampshire
  • Married twice—Mary Everett, Mrs. Eliza (Messenger) Richardson; three children
  • National Guard


Anthony Colby, the twenty-eighth governor of New Hampshire, was born in New London, New Hampshire on November 13, 1792. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of his native state. He went on to establish a successful business career, with accomplishments that included the initiation of a stage line, construction of a gristmill, and the launching of the scythe industry. Colby also had a long career in the military. In 1814 he served as an ensign in the state militia, and by 1837 he attained the rank of major general. Colby first entered politics as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, a position he held from 1828 to 1832 and 1837 to 1839. He also ran unsuccessfully for a congressional seat in 1833 and 1835, and was defeated in his 1843, 1844 and 1845 gubernatorial campaigns. In 1846, Colby secured the Whig gubernatorial nomination, and went on to win the general election. During his tenure, issues dealing with the Mexican War were addressed. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Colby left office, but continued to stay active in politics. He served again in the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1860 to 1861; and was the state adjutant general from 1861 to 1863. He also founded and funded the Colby-Sawyer College, and for twenty years served as a trustee for Dartmouth College. Governor Anthony Colby passed away on July 13, 1873, and was buried in the Old Main Street Cemetery in New London, New Hampshire.


New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources

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.

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