WILLIAM BADGER, the twenty-third governor of New Hampshire, was born in Gilmanton, New Hampshire on January 13, 1779. His education was attained in an academy in Gilmanton. Before embarking into politics, Badger established a successful business career. He was instrumental in building several mills, as well as a factory in his hometown. Badger first entered politics as trustee of Gilmanton Academy, a position he was elected to in 1804, and from which he later served as chairman of the board. From 1805 to 1812 he was an aide to Governor John Langdon; and from 1810 to 1812 he served as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Badger served as a member of the New Hampshire State Senate from 1814 to 1817; was senate president from 1816 to 1817; and served on the common pleas court bench from 1816 to 1820. He also served as the Strafford County high sheriff from 1820 to 1830; and was a presidential elector in 1824, 1836 and 1844. Badger next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in 1834. He was reelected to a second term in 1835. During his tenure, legislation was sanctioned that facilitated smallpox prevention; improvements to the state militia were lobbied for; and penal reforms were endorsed. After completing his term, Badger retired from political life. Governor William Badger passed away in Gilmanton on September 21, 1852.
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.