FREDERICK HOLBROOK was born in East Windsor, Connecticut. At the age of eighteen, he was Captain of a state militia company. He settled in Brattleboro, Vermont, where he farmed, wrote articles for agricultural journals, and sought ways to improve farm machinery. He went on to serve in the Vermont State Senate in 1849 and 1850, and as a member of the agriculture committee urged the U.S. Congress to establish a National Agricultural Bureau. During his service as governor, he initiated legislation to repay one-half of the state’s Civil War expenses by direct taxation and the other half in state bonds to be paid by future generations. Under his administration, Vermont became the first state to provide hospitals for its soldiers, which served as a model for other northern states. In addition, President Lincoln followed his suggestion to issue a call for Civil War volunteers. Holbrook died at age ninety-six and was buried in Brattleboro.
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. 8. New York: James T. White & Company.