George Brinton Mcclellan

Gov. George Brinton Mcclellan

New Jersey

January 15, 1878 - January 18, 1881

December 3, 1826

October 29, 1885


University of Pennsylvania, U.S. Military Academy at West Point

Birth State

Military Service:

Married Ellen Mary Marcy; two children


George B. McClellan, the thirtieth governor of New Jersey, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 3, 1826. His education was attained at the University of Pennsylvania, and at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated in 1846. His military career started during the Mexican War. He rose to the rank of captain, and earned distinction for his courageous service in several key battles. He also served in the Civil War, commanding the Ohio militia, and later serving as a general in the Union Army. After leaving the military, McClellan established a career in the railroad industry. He started working as an engineer, and eventually became the chief engineer of the Illinois Central Railroad, as well as serving as division president of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad. He first entered politics in 1864, as an unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate, losing to Abraham Lincoln. McClellan next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 9, 1877. During his tenure, the state militia was restructured; schools that focused on industrial training were founded; and a special tax commission was organized. After completing his term, McClellan retired from political life. Governor George McClellan, who wrote about his military life in McClellan’s Own Story, passed away on October 29, 1885. He was buried in the Riverview Cemetery in Trenton, 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.

The American Civil War Overview