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Joseph Roswell Hawley

Gov. Joseph Roswell Hawley

  • May 2, 1866 - May 1, 1867
  • Republican
  • October 31, 1826
  • March 18, 1905
  • North Carolina
  • Hamiton College
  • Married twice--Harriet Ward Foote, Edith Ann Horner; three children
  • Representative, Senator
  • Army


JOSEPH ROSWELL HAWLEY, Connecticut’s 25th governor was born in Stewartsville, North Carolina, on October 31, 1826. In 1847 he graduated from Hamilton College, then studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1850. Hawley was editor and part owner of the Hartford Evening Press, which merged with the Hartford Courant in 1867. He served in 13 battles during the Civil War, and was the military governor of Wilmington, North Carolina. Hawley rose to the rank of major general by the time he was discharged in 1866. Hawley first entered politics in 1866, when he was elected Governor of Connecticut. During his tenure, a confrontation erupted between the shipping and railroad industries in the state, and an offer was denied to permit railroads to bridge the Connecticut River at its mouth. Hawley lost his reelection bid, and returned to his editorial interests. He was appointed to fill a vacancy in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1872, and served again in Congress in 1879. Hawley also served in the U.S. Senate from 1881 to 1905, and served as chairman on the Civil Service Commission. Governor Joseph R. Hawley died in Washington, D.C., on March 17, 1905, and is buried in Hartford’s Cedar Hill Cemetery.


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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