JOHN MATTOCKS was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He studied and practiced law in Vermont and in 1806 became a director of the Vermont State Bank. His political career began the following year and continued nearly uninterrupted but for his service as a Brigadier General during the War of 1812. In addition to being elected to the State House of Representatives, he served a number of terms in Congress and was a State Supreme Court judge from 1833 to 1834. In the gubernatorial race of 1843, neither Mattocks as the Whig candidate nor his Democratic opponent received a majority of the popular vote. Consequently, the decision was left up to the state legislature, which selected Mattocks governor. As governor, he took a strong stand against slavery. Grief-stricken by the death of one of his sons, he declined renomination by his party after one term and retired from public life. He died thirteen years later in Peacham, Vermont.