NEWTON BOOTH was born in Salem, Indiana, on December 30, 1825. He graduated from Asbury College (now DePauw University) in 1846, and then studied law. Migrating to California in 1850, Booth became a successful merchant and wholesale grocer. He entered politics in 1863, serving in the California Senate for one year. On September 6, 1871, he was elected Governor of California, and on December 8, 1871, he was sworn into office. During his term, the construction of the state’s capitol was completed, the state debt was decreased, and the statute law was successfully amended. Booth’s administration advocated sufficient protection for the Chinese already living in California, but stressed restrictions on further Chinese immigration. Booth helped to organize a new political party, the “Dolly Vardens,” and with their support he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He resigned from the governorship on February 27, 1875, and served in the U.S. Senate from March 4, 1875, to March 3, 1881. Governor Newton Booth, who was considered to be a great public speaker, died from cancer of the tongue on July 14, 1892. He is buried at the City Cemetery, Sacramento, California.
Official Records: California State Archives
Personal Papers: California State Library-California History Section
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.