WILLIAM T. HAMILTON was born in Boonsboro, Washington County, Maryland on September 8, 1820. His education was attained at Hagerstown Academy, and at Jefferson College (now Washington and Jefferson College) in Pennsylvania. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1843, and then established his legal career in Hagerstown, Maryland. Hamilton entered politics in 1846, serving as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates. He also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1849 to 1855, and was a member of the U.S. Senate from 1869 to 1875. Hamilton secured the 1879 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and went on to win election to the Maryland governorship on November 4, 1879. He was sworn into office on January 14, 1880. During his tenure he advocated economic reform as well as the elimination of several state offices. However, the legislature failed to pass any of his initiatives due to party conflict. After completing his term, Hamilton left office on January 9, 1884 and retired from political life. Governor William T. Hamilton passed away on October 26, 1888, and was buried at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Hagerstown, Maryland.
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