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Robert Lucas

Gov. Robert Lucas

  • December 7, 1832 - December 12, 1836
  • Democratic
  • April 1, 1781
  • February 7, 1853
  • West Virginia
  • Married twice—Elizabeth Brown, Friendly Ashley Summer; seven children
  • Ohio Militia


ROBERT LUCAS, the twelfth governor of Ohio, was born in Shepherdstown, West Virginia on April 1, 1781. His education was attained through private tutors that focused on mathematics and surveying. After moving to Ohio, he was appointed surveyor of Scioto County in 1803. Lucas first entered politics as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, a position he held from 1808 to 1809 and 1831 to 1832. He also served in the Ohio State Senate from 1814 to 1822 and 1824 to 1830; was a presidential elector in 1820 and 1828; and served as chairman of the 1832 Democratic National Convention. Lucas next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1832 general election. He went on to win reelection to a second term in 1834. During his tenure, revision of the state’s militia laws was lobbied for; and a boundary dispute with Michigan was dealt with. After leaving the governorship, Lucas ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the U.S. Senate. In his last position, he served as governor and superintendent of Indian affairs for the new Territory of Iowa, a position he held from 1838 to 1841. Lucas also had a career in the military. He became an officer with the state militia, and rose to the rank of brigadier general during the War of 1812. He also kept a war journal, which was later published in 1906. Governor Robert Lucas passed away on February 7, 1853, and was buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City, Iowa.


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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