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Henry Huntly Haight

Gov. Henry Huntly Haight

  • December 5, 1867 - December 8, 1871
  • Republican, Democrat
  • May 20, 1825
  • September 2, 1878
  • New York
  • Yale University
  • Married Anna Bissell; five children


HENRY HUNTLY HAIGHT was born in Rochester, New York, on May 20, 1825. He graduated from Yale University in 1844, studied law, and then joined his father in a law practice in St. Louis, Missouri. Eventually he moved to San Francisco, where he prospered and earned a reputation of his own. In 1859, Haight became chairman of the California State Republican Committee, however he later returned to the Democratic Party. On September 4, 1867, he was elected governor, and on December 5, 1867, he was sworn into office. During his term, the transcontinental railroad was completed and the Golden Gate Park was designed. The state debt was reduced under Haight’s administration, and the State Board of Health and the University of California were established, both of which had only been in the planning stages prior to Haight’s term. Haight ran unsuccessfully for reelection in 1871, and left office on December 8, 1871. He returned to his law practice, and served as a member of the board of trustees of the University of California. Haight was elected to the 1878 state constitutional convention, but died before taking his seat. Governor Henry Haight, who had a street named for him in San Francisco, died on September 2, 1878, and is buried at the Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California.


Official Records: California State Archives

Personal Papers: Huntington Library

Image source: California State Library: Governors' Gallery

Governors of California 1849-2002

The Political Graveyard

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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