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Levi Woodbury
New Hampshire

Gov. Levi Woodbury

  • June 5, 1823 - June 2, 1824
  • Democratic-Republican
  • December 22, 1789
  • September 4, 1851
  • New Hampshire
  • Dartmouth College, Litchfield Law School
  • Married Elizabeth Williams Clapp; five children
  • Senator, Supreme Court


LEVI WOODBURY, the fifteenth governor of New Hampshire, was born in Francestown, New Hampshire on December 22, 1789. His education was attained at the Atkinson Academy, and at Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 1809. He went on to study law at the Litchfield Law School, and then established his legal career. Woodbury first entered politics in 1816, serving as clerk of the New Hampshire State Senate. He also served on the New Hampshire superior court bench from 1816 to 1823. Woodbury next secured the Democratic-Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in 1823. He was sworn into office on June 5, 1823. During his tenure, the state’s road and railway systems were advanced; and the judicial system was improved. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Woodbury left office on June 2, 1824. He continued to stay politically active, serving as a member and speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 1825. He also served in the U.S. Senate from 1825 to 1831 and 1841 to 1845; was secretary of the navy from 1831 to 1834; and served as secretary of the treasury from 1834 to 1841. In 1844, Woodbury actively supported Polk in the presidential election, and was rewarded after Polk was elected, with an appointment to the U.S. supreme court. He served in this capacity from 1845 until his death in 1851. Governor Levi Woodbury was buried in the Harmony Grove Cemetery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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