Francis Gillette (December 14, 1807 – September 30, 1879) was a politician from Connecticut, USA. He was the father of actor and playwright William Gillette and politician and editor Edward H. Gillette.

Francis Gillette
United States Senator
from Connecticut
In office
May 24, 1854 – March 3, 1855
Preceded byTruman Smith
Succeeded byLafayette S. Foster
Member of the Connecticut House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
BornDecember 14, 1807
Old Windsor, Connecticut, US
DiedSeptember 30, 1879 (aged 71)
Hartford, Connecticut, US
Political partyLiberty (1842-1848)
Free Soil (1852-1855)
SpouseElisabeth Daggett Hooker Gillette
Alma materYale College
ProfessionPolitician, Lecturer

Gillette was born in Old Windsor, Connecticut (today part of the town of Bloomfield), Gillette moved with his parents, Rev. Ashbel and Achsah Francis, to Ashfield, Massachusetts as a child. He graduated from Yale College in 1829 and commenced the study of law, but his health becoming impaired, he instead engaged in agricultural pursuits in Bloomfield.

He was a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1832, 1836 and 1838 and was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Connecticut in 1842, losing to Chauncey F. Cleveland, and nine times subsequently.

Gillette served as chairman of the Connecticut Board of Education from 1849 to 1865 and moved to Hartford, Connecticut in 1852 and later developed the neighborhood, "Nook Farm" with his brother-in-law, John Hooker.

He was elected a Free Soiler to the United States Senate in 1854 to fill a vacancy and served until the end of the term in 1855, not being a candidate for reelection. Afterwards, Gillette became a lecturer on agriculture and temperance and was a trustee of the Connecticut State Normal School, also serving as its president for many years.

He aided in the formation of the Republican Party in Connecticut and for several years was a silent partner in the Evening Press, the organ of the party.

He engaged in the real estate business in Hartford, Connecticut until his death there on September 30, 1879. He was interred in Riverside Cemetery in Farmington, Connecticut.

The Francis Gillette House in Bloomfield, Connecticut, his home in early years of his antislavery involvement, is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.



Gillette Ridge Golf Club is named after Francis Gillette.[1]


  1. ^ "Gillette Ridge Golf Club". Green Pass Golf. Archived from the original on 2021-08-07. Retrieved 2021-08-07.
Party political offices
First Liberty nominee for Governor of Connecticut
1842, 1843, 1844, 1845, 1846, 1847, 1848
Succeeded by
Preceded by Free Soil nominee for Governor of Connecticut
1852, 1853
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 3) from Connecticut
May 24, 1854 – March 3, 1855
Served alongside: Isaac Toucey
Succeeded by

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress