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Benjamin Franklin Prescott
New Hampshire

Gov. Benjamin Franklin Prescott

  • June 7, 1877 - June 5, 1879
  • Republican
  • February 26, 1833
  • February 21, 1895
  • New Hampshire
  • Dartmouth College
  • Married Mary Little Noyes; one child


BENJAMIN F. PRESCOTT, the forty-fifth governor of New Hampshire, was born in Epping, New Hampshire on February 26, 1833. His education was attained at Pembroke Academy, at Phillips Exeter Academy, and at Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 1856. After studying law, Prescott established a legal practice, however, after a few years, he switched careers. He became the editor of the Independent Democrat, a political paper that opposed slavery and endorsed the politics of Abraham Lincoln. Prescott first entered politics in 1859, serving as secretary of the Republican State Committee, a position he held fifteen years. He also served as secretary for the New Hampshire College of Electors; was the New England special agent for the U.S. Treasury Department from 1865 to 1869; and served as the New Hampshire secretary of state from 1872 to 1873 and 1875 to 1876. Prescott next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1877. He was reelected to a second term in 1878. During his tenure, eleven new amendments to the state constitution were sanctioned; a new state prison was established; and a portrait collection of the state’s most prominent citizens was initiated for display in the state house, as well as at the state historical society. After leaving the governorship, Prescott served as a delegate to the 1880 Republican National Convention. He also chaired the state delegation that nominated James A. Garfield for president; and was a member of the state board of railroad commissioners from 1887 to 1893. Governor Benjamin F. Prescott, who authored two historical volumes, passed away in Epping on February 21, 1895.


New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources

The Political Graveyard

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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