SAMUEL C. CRAFTS was born in Woodstock, Connecticut. He graduated from Harvard and became a civil engineer in Craftsbury, Vermont-a town that his father had founded. Scientifically inclined, he made an extensive botanical survey of the Mississippi Valley. He began his political career as a Jeffersonian and became a Whig when the Jeffersonian Republican Party split. In 1793 he was at age twenty-five the youngest delegate to Vermont’s Constitutional Convention. Before becoming governor, he also served as a member of the State House of Representatives, as Register of Probate, as Assistant Judge and Chief Justice of the Orleans County Court, as a member of the State Council, and as a U.S. Representative from Vermont. As governor he advocated legislation to abolish imprisonment for debt but was unsuccessful in securing its passage. He also opposed freemasonry. After leaving office, he was appointed to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate and was subsequently elected to that office.