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Hamilton Rowan Gamble

Gov. Hamilton Rowan Gamble

  • June 30, 1861 - January 31, 1864
  • Union
  • November 29, 1798
  • January 31, 1864
  • Virginia
  • Hampden-Sydney College
  • Married Caroline J. Coalter; three children
  • Succeeded, Died in office


HAMILTON R. GAMBLE was born in Winchester, Virginia on November 29, 1798. His education was attained at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and then established his legal career in Missouri. He served as the deputy clerk of the Circuit Court of St. Louis, as well as circuit attorney of Howard County, Missouri. Gamble entered politics as the secretary of state, a position he held from 1824 to 1826. He also was elected to a term in the Missouri legislature in 1846, and served as the presiding judge on the Missouri State Supreme Court from 1851 to 1854. On June 30, 1861 Governor Claiborne F. Jackson was removed from office for supporting the Confederacy. The Missouri legislature then named Gamble as the provisional governor of Missouri. During his tenure, problems resulting from the Civil War were dealt with; the state remained loyal to the Union; and an ordinance of emancipation was sanctioned. While in office, Gamble became ill with an infection in his arm, which led to his death on January 31, 1864. Governor Hamilton R. Gamble was buried in the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.


Messages and Proclamations of the Governors of the State of Missouri (Produced by the Missouri Historical Society)

Missouri State Archives (Jefferson City, MO)

The Political Graveyard

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Western Historical Manuscripts Collection (Columbia, MO)

Recent Missouri Governors