WILLIAM SLADE was born in Cornwall, Vermont. After graduating from Middlebury College, he studied law and was admitted to the Bar in 1810. In addition to practicing law in Middlebury, Slade became editor of the Columbia Patriot and maintained a book store and printing office. He also compiled Vermont State Papers, Statutes of Vermont, and Vermont Reports. In 1812 he was a Presidential Elector on the Democratic-Republican ticket of Madison and Gerry. He served as Vermont Secretary of State, Judge of the Addison County Court, and State’s Attorney. He was also a clerk in the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC. In 1831 he was elected to fill a vacancy in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Whig candidate and was reelected to five additional terms. An adamant opponent of slavery, he was also a supporter of protective tariffs. After leaving Congress, he was a Reporter of Decisions of the Vermont Supreme Court and in 1844 became his party’s choice for governor. When neither he nor his Democratic opponent succeeded in securing a majority of the popular vote, the state legislature chose Slade. His gubernatorial legacy included a successful reorganization of the public schools. After leaving office, Slade became corresponding secretary of the Board of National Popular Education, whose aim was to provide the West with female teachers from the East. He died and was buried in Middlebury.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 8. New York: James T. White & Company.