WASHINGTON HUNT, the nineteenth governor of New York, was born in Windham, New York on August 5, 1811. His early education was limited and attained in the common schools of his native state. He went on to study law, and in 1834 was admitted to the bar. Hunt first entered politics in 1836, serving as the first judge of the Niagara County Common Pleas Court, a position he held five years. He also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1843 to 1849; and was the state comptroller from 1849 to 1850. Hunt next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 5, 1850. During his tenure, roads were advanced; the state’s enormous influx of immigrants was dealt with; and the development of canals continued to progress. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Hunt retired briefly from politics. He later served as temporary chairman of the 1856 Whig National Convention, as well as serving as a delegate to the 1864 Democratic National Convention. Governor Washington Hunt, who turned down an offer to run for the 1860 Democratic vice presidential nomination, passed away on February 2, 1867. He was buried in the Glenwood Cemetery in Lockport, 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.