Philemon Dickerson, governor of New Jersey and brother of Governor Mahlon Dickerson, was born in Succasunna, New Jersey on January 11, 1788. His education was attained at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1808. He went on to study law, and was admitted to the bar in 1813. In 1834 he became sergeant-at-arms, which entitled him to practice before the New Jersey State Supreme Court. Dickerson first entered politics as a member of the New Jersey House of Representatives, a position he held from 1821 to 1822. He also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1833 to 1836. Dickerson next won election to the governorship in 1836. During his tenure, the state’s declining economy was dealt with; and the political in-fighting was addressed. After leaving office, Dickerson continued to stay politically active. He served again in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1839 to 1841; and was judge of the U.S. District Court for New Jersey, serving from 1841 to 1851. Governor Philemon Dickerson passed away on December 10, 1862 and was buried in the Cedar Lawn Cemetery in Paterson, New Jersey.
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.
New Jersey State Library (pdf)