JOHN T. GILMAN, the seventh and twelfth governor to serve New Hampshire, was born in Exeter, New Hampshire on December 19, 1753. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of his native state. Gilman first went to work with his father in the shipbuilding business, but eventually left, following his father to the state treasurers office, where he was a clerk during his father’s tenure as state treasurer. Gilman favored independence from England and served with a troop of volunteers during the Revolutionary War. He first entered politics as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, a position he held from 1779 to 1781, and 1810 to 1811. He served as a member to the 1780 convention of states, and was a member of the Continental Congress in 1782 and 1783. He also served as the state treasurer of New Hampshire from 1783 to 1788 and 1791 to 1794, and was a member of the 1788 state convention. Gilman next won election to the governorship in 1794, and was sworn into office on June 5, 1794. He went on to win reelection annually until 1804. He lost his reelection bids in 1805, 1806, 1808 and 1812, but was successful in his 1813, 1814, and 1815 campaigns. During his two tenures, Fort William and Mary was restored; the state’s economy flourished; the state court system was reorganized; a medical school was initiated to Dartmouth College; and issues dealing with the War of 1812 were addressed. After completing his final term on June 6, 1816, Gilman retired from political life. For several years he served as a trustee for Dartmouth College, as well as for the Phillips Exeter Academy. Governor John T. Gilman passed away on August 31, 1828, and was buried in the Exeter Cemetery in Exeter, New Hampshire.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Book, 1978. 4 vols.