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Charles Smith Olden
New Jersey

Gov. Charles Smith Olden

  • January 17, 1860 - January 20, 1863
  • Republican
  • February 19, 1799
  • April 7, 1876
  • New Jersey
  • Married Phoebe Ann Smith; one adopted daughter


Charles S. Olden was born in Princeton, New Jersey on February 19, 1799. His education was attained in the public schools of his native state. He established a successful career in the mercantile business, which took him to Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and back to New Jersey. Olden first entered politics as a member of the New Jersey State Senate, a position he held from 1845 to 1851. He next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 8, 1859. His tenure was consumed with the Civil War issues. As requested by the federal government, troops, arms, and provisions were all raised for the war effort. After leaving the governorship, Olden secured an appointment to serve on the bench of the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals, a position he held from 1868 to 1873. He served as a member of the Riparian Commission from 1869 to 1875, as well as serving on the State Sinking Fund Commission. He also presided over the New Jersey electors in the 1872 presidential election; and served as treasurer and later trustee for Princeton University. Governor Charles S. Olden passed away on April 7, 1876, and was buried in the Stony Brook Quaker Meeting House Cemetery in Princeton, 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.

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