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Samuel Jones Tilden
New York

Gov. Samuel Jones Tilden

  • January 1, 1875 - January 1, 1877
  • Democratic
  • February 9, 1814
  • August 6, 1886
  • New York
  • Yale University, New York University


SAMUEL J. TILDEN, the twenty-eighth governor of New York, was born in New Lebanon, New York on February 9, 1814. His education was attained at Yale University, and at New York University, where he earned a law degree in 1841. He established a successful legal practice that specialized in corporate law. Tilden first entered politics as a member of the New York House of Representatives, a position he held in 1846 and 1872. He served as a member of the 1846 and 1867 State Constitutional Conventions; and was chairman of the New York Democratic Committee from 1866 to 1874. He also played a key role in eliminating the reign of the “Tweed Ring” in New York City. Tilden next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 3, 1874. During his tenure, spending was restricted; state taxes were cut; and the corrupt “canal ring” was abolished. Also, Tilden won the presidential nomination in 1876, but lost the highly contested general election to Rutherford B. Hayes. He finished his gubernatorial term on January 1, 1877, and then retired from political life. Tilden passed away on August 6, 1886, and in his will, he provided for the establishment of a public library in New York City. Governor Samuel J. Tilden was buried in the Cemetery of the Evergreen in New Lebanon, New York.


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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