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Silas Wright
New York

Gov. Silas Wright

  • January 1, 1845 - January 1, 1847
  • Democratic
  • May 24, 1795
  • August 27, 1847
  • Massachusetts
  • Middlebury College
  • Married Clarissa Moody
  • Representative, Senator


SILAS WRIGHT, the sixteenth governor of New York, was born in Amherst, Massachusetts on May 24, 1795. His education was attained at Middlebury College in Vermont, where he graduated in 1815. He went on to study law, and then established his legal career in Canton, New York. Wright first entered politics in 1821, serving as the St. Lawrence County surrogate, a position he held three years. From 1824 to 1827 he served as a member of the New York State Senate; and from 1827 to 1829 he served in the U.S. House of Representatives. He also was the comptroller of New York from 1829 to 1833; and served as a member of the U.S. Senate from 1833 to 1844. Wright next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 4, 1844. During his tenure, the University of Buffalo was established; a new state constitution was formed and approved; and the state’s school system was restructured. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Wright retired from political life. Governor Silas Wright passed away on August 27, 1847, and was buried in the Silas Wright Cemetery in Canton, 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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