Foster M. Voorhees, the thirty-seventh and thirty-ninth governor to serve New Jersey, was born in Clinton, New Jersey on November 5, 1856. His education was attained at Rutgers University, where he graduated in 1876. He went on to study law, and then established his legal career in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Voorhees first entered politics as a member of the New Jersey House of Representatives, a position he held from 1888 to 1891. He also was a member of the New Jersey State Senate from 1894 to 1898, and served as senate president in 1898. On January 31, 1898 Governor John W. Griggs resigned from office, and Voorhees, who was senate president at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. He served until October 18, 1898, after which David O. Watkins succeeded him. Voorhees was elected to his own gubernatorial term on November 8, 1898, and was sworn into office on January 17, 1899. During his tenure, the state’s highway system was advanced; a new armory in Trenton was established; a state board of children’s guardians was organized; and an anti-spring election bill was enacted. After leaving the governorship, Voorhees retired from political life. Governor Foster M. Voorhees passed away on June 4, 1927, and was buried in the Clinton Presbyterian Churchyard in Clinton, 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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