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James Whitcomb

Gov. James Whitcomb

  • December 6, 1843 - December 26, 1848
  • Democrat
  • December 1, 1795
  • October 4, 1852
  • Vermont
  • Transylvania University
  • Married Ann Renick Hurst; one child
  • Resigned
  • Senator


JAMES WHITCOMB, Indiana’s eighth governor, was born in Windsor, Vermont, on December 1, 1795. After graduating from Transylvania University, Whitcomb studied law, and then established a successful legal career in Bloomington, Indiana. He entered politics in 1830, serving as a member to the Indiana State Senate, a position he won reelection to in 1833. He also secured an appointment as commissioner of the general land office, where he served from 1836 to 1841. Whitcomb won the 1842 Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was elected to the Indiana governorship on August 7, 1843. He was reelected to a second term in 1846. During his tenure, the Indiana Asylum for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb was created, as well as, the Indiana Hospital for the Insane and the Indiana Institute for the Education of the Blind. Also, five regiments of infantry were raised for service in the Mexican War, the state’s debt was eliminated, and the state’s credit was re-established. Upon his election to the U.S. Senate, Whitcomb resigned from the governor’s office on December 27, 1848. He served in the senate until his death in 1852. Governor James Whitcomb passed away on October 4, 1852, and was buried at the Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.


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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