EDWIN SYDNEY STUART was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended Philadelphia public schools until he was fourteen, when he began clerking in a bookstore. Rising quickly in authority, he eventually bought out the business. In his twenties, he became president of the Young Republicans of Philadelphia. He also helped to organize the State League of Republican Clubs in 1884 and became the group’s first President. In 1891 he won election as Mayor of Philadelphia and then to membership on the Select Council of Philadelphia. Following his election as governor, he faced scandal when the Pennsylvania State Treasurer discovered that key officials had inflated costs for construction of the new State Capitol and in turned billed the state for unjustified charges. Stuart helped investigate and prosecute guilty parties in the case, but the state’s political reputation suffered. At the same time, Stuart was a strong supporter of Pennsylvania’s common school system and played a critical role in the state’s campaign to combat tuberculosis. After leaving office, he returned to his business interests.
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. 14. New York: James T. White & Company.
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission