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Reuben Fenton

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Title: Reuben Fenton  
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Collection: 1819 Births, 1885 Deaths, Democratic Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, Governors of New York, Members of the United States House of Representatives from New York, New York Democrats, New York Lawyers, New York Liberal Republicans, New York Republicans, People from Chautauqua County, New York, People of New York in the American Civil War, Republican Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, Republican Party State Governors of the United States, Republican Party United States Senators, Town Supervisors in New York, Union State Governors, United States Senators from New York
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Reuben Fenton

Reuben Eaton Fenton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 33rd district
In office
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1855
Preceded by Augustus P. Hascall
Succeeded by Francis S. Edwards
In office
March 4, 1857 – March 3, 1863
Preceded by Francis S. Edwards
Succeeded by Nelson I. Norton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 31st district
In office
March 4, 1863 – December 20, 1864
Preceded by Burt Van Horn
Succeeded by Henry Van Aernam
22nd Governor of New York
In office
January 1, 1865 – December 31, 1868
Lieutenant Thomas G. Alvord (1865–1866)
Stewart L. Woodford (1867–1868)
Preceded by Horatio Seymour
Succeeded by John T. Hoffman
United States Senator
from New York
In office
March 4, 1869 – March 3, 1875
Preceded by Edwin D. Morgan
Succeeded by Francis Kernan
Personal details
Born (1819-07-04)July 4, 1819
Carroll, New York, U.S.
Died August 25, 1885(1885-08-25) (aged 66)
Jamestown, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican

Reuben Eaton Fenton (July 4, 1819 – August 25, 1885) was an American merchant and politician from New York.


  • Life 1
  • Legacy 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Gubernatorial portrait of New York Governor Reuben E. Fenton.

The son of a farmer, Fenton was born near Frewsburg, in Chautauqua County, New York. He was elected a colonel of the New York State Militia in 1840. He became a lumber merchant, but also studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1841.[1] Fenton entered politics as a Democrat. He was Town Supervisor of Carroll from 1843 to 1850.

He was elected as a Democrat to the

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Augustus P. Hascall
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 33rd congressional district

March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1855
Succeeded by
Francis S. Edwards
Preceded by
Francis S. Edwards
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 33rd congressional district

March 4, 1857 – March 4, 1863
District eliminated
Preceded by
Burt Van Horn
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 31st congressional district

March 4, 1863 – December 20, 1864
Succeeded by
Henry Van Aernam
Political offices
Preceded by
Horatio Seymour
Governor of New York
Succeeded by
John T. Hoffman
United States Senate
Preceded by
Edwin D. Morgan
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from New York
Served alongside: Roscoe Conkling
Succeeded by
Francis Kernan
  • Mr. Lincoln and New York: Reuben E. Fenton
  • Google Book Life Sketches of State Officers, Senators, and Members of Assembly in the State of New York in 1867 by S. R. Harlow and H. H. Boone (Weed, Parsons & Co., Albany NY, 1867)

External links

  1. ^ a b "Reuben Eaton Fenton Papers, 1854-1887 (finding aid)". New York State Library web site.  
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  


Fenton Avenue in The Bronx, New York, is named for him.

His former home in Jamestown is the site of the Fenton History Center. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.[2]

After his death, a building at The State University of New York at Fredonia, Fenton Hall, was named in his honor because he had attended the previous incarnation of the school, the Fredonia Academy.


In 1878, Fenton represented the United States at the international monetary conference in Paris. He was known as "The Soldiers' Friend" for his efforts to help returning Civil War veterans. He worked to remove tuition charges for public education, helped to establish six schools for training teachers, and signed the charter for Cornell University.

Fenton (center) is among the conspiratorial Liberal Republicans in this Harper's Weekly cartoon of March 16, 1872.

He was Governor of New York from 1865 to 1868, elected in 1864 and 1866. In 1868, he was among the candidates to be Vice President but the nomination went eventually to Schuyler Colfax. In January 1869, he was elected a U.S. Senator from New York and served from 1869 to 1875. In 1872 he was among the Republicans opposed to President Ulysses S. Grant who joined the short-lived Liberal Republican Party.

, and served from 1857 to 1865. 38th United States Congresses and 37th, 36th, 35th, to the Republican and was later elected, as a [1]

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