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Francis Granger (December 1, 1792 – August 31, 1868)[1] was a Representative from New York and United States Postmaster General. He was a Whig Party vice presidential nominee in 1836 and is the only person to ever lose a contingent election in the U.S. Senate for Vice President.[2]

Francis Granger
Francis Granger.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 26th district
In office
November 27, 1841 – March 3, 1843
Preceded byJohn Greig
Succeeded byAmasa Dana
In office
March 4, 1839 – March 5, 1841
Preceded byMark H. Sibley
Succeeded byJohn Greig
In office
March 4, 1835 – March 3, 1837
Preceded byJohn Dickson
Succeeded byMark H. Sibley
10th United States Postmaster General
In office
March 6, 1841 – September 18, 1841
PresidentWilliam Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Preceded byJohn Milton Niles
Succeeded byCharles A. Wickliffe
Personal details
Born(1792-12-01)December 1, 1792
Suffield, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedAugust 31, 1868(1868-08-31) (aged 75)
Canandaigua, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican (Before 1828)
National Republican (1828–1834)
Whig (1834–1854)
Spouse(s)Cornelia Rutsen Van Rensselaer
Children2
RelativesGideon Granger (Father)
Amos Granger (Cousin)
Robert Charles Winthrop (son-in-law)
ResidenceFrancis Granger House
EducationYale University (BA)

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Granger was born in Suffield, Connecticut on December 1, 1792. Granger was born into a prominent political family, with his father, Gideon Granger, serving in the Connecticut House of Representatives before being appointed by Thomas Jefferson as the longest serving Postmaster General in United States history. His mother was Mindwell (née Pease) Granger (1770–1860) and his first cousin, Amos Phelps Granger, also served two terms in the United States House of Representatives.[3]

Granger pursued classical studies at and graduated from Yale College in 1811.[1] He then moved with his father to Canandaigua, New York in 1814, where he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1816 and commenced practice.[1]

CareerEdit

Granger started his own political career as a member of the New York State Assembly from 1826 to 1828 and from 1830 to 1832.[1] He ran unsuccessful campaigns for Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1828, and for Governor of New York in both 1830 and 1832 with the National Republican Party.[2]

National politicsEdit

He was then elected as an Anti-Jacksonian to the 24th Congress serving from March 4, 1835 to March 3, 1837.[2]

In 1836, the Whig Party was unable to settle on one set of candidates for its Presidential ticket. Granger was the Vice-Presidential nominee for the northern and border states on the same ticket as William Henry Harrison, though in Massachusetts he was on the Whig ticket headed by Daniel Webster. Though Martin Van Buren easily secured enough votes in the Electoral College to win the presidency, Virginia's 23 electors refused to vote for his running mate Richard M. Johnson. As a result, votes were split among Johnson, Granger, John Tyler and William Smith with none getting the majority. This triggered a contingent election, the only contingent vice presidential election by the Senate in history, under the Twelfth Amendment with the U.S. Senate deciding between the top two vote-getters Johnson and Granger.[1] Granger was defeated and Johnson won that 33-16.

In the same election, Granger was also running as a Whig candidate for election to the 25th Congress, but failed in that bid as well.[2]

He was re-elected to Congress as a Whig to the 26th and 27th Congresses serving from March 4, 1839 to March 5, 1841.[2]

In 1841, Granger was appointed Postmaster General in the Cabinet of President William Henry Harrison and served from March 6 to September 18, 1841,[1] after which he was again elected to the Congress in a special election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Representative John Greig. He served from November 27, 1841 to March 3, 1843 and was not a candidate for reelection in 1842.[1]

Later careerEdit

A supporter of the Compromise of 1850, Granger led the pro-Fillmore group which became known as the Silver Gray Whigs after Granger's own silver hair. This faction would remain in conflict with the anti-Compromise Sewardites until the collapse of the Whig Party in the state in 1855.

Chairman of the Whig National Executive Committee from 1856 to 1860, Granger joined in the call for the convention of the Constitutional Union Party that was held in May 1860. He was then a member of the peace convention of 1861 held in Washington, D.C. in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war.

Personal lifeEdit

He married Cornelia Rutsen Van Rensselaer (1798–1823), the daughter of Jeremiah Van Rensselaer and Sybella Adeline (née Kane) Van Rensselaer.[3] She was also the granddaughter of Brigadier General Robert Van Rensselaer,[4][3][5] who was a member of the New York Provincial Congress from 1775 to 1777 and later a member of the New York State Assembly in the 1st, 2nd and 4th New York State Legislatures.[6][a] The Grangers home at Canandaigua from 1817 to 1827, now known as the Francis Granger House, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.[7] Together, they had a daughter, son, and an unnamed second daughter who died with her mother in childbirth in 1823.[8]

Granger died in Canandaigua on August 31, 1868.[3] He was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery.[2]

ReferencesEdit

Notes
  1. ^ Robert Van Rensselaer was the son of Johannes Van Rensselaer, the proprietor and lord of the lower manor of Rensselaerwyck known as Fort Crailo. Robert was also the younger brother of both Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, the 3rd Lieutenant Governor of New York and Catherine Van Rensselaer, who married General Philip Schuyler.[3]
Sources
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Freehling, William. "Francis Granger (1841): Postmaster General". American President: An Online Reference Resource. University of Virginia. Archived from the original on 17 December 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "GRANGER, Francis - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Reynolds, Cuyler (1914). Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 1151. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  4. ^ Spooner, pp. 197
  5. ^ Americana: (American Historical Magazine). American Historical Company, Incorporated. 1920. p. 294. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  6. ^ Hough, M.D., Franklin (1858). The New York Civil List: containing the names and origin of the civil divisions, and the names and dates of election or appointment of the principal state and county officers from the Revolution to the present time. Weed, Parsons and Co. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  7. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  8. ^ Archives, Episcopal Church General Convention Commission on; Hobart, J. H. (1804). Archives of the General Convention. Privately printed. p. 243. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  9. ^ "DEATH OF R.C. WINTHROP; In Literature and Politics One of Boston's Great Men. DESCENDANT OF A NOTED FAMILY Representative in Congress for Many Years and Later a Senator -- A Famous Whig -- Noted as a Lecturer". The New York Times. 17 November 1894. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  10. ^ "THE ONLY FOUR HUNDRED; WARD M'ALLISTER GIVES OUT THE OFFICIAL LIST. HERE ARE THE NAMES, DON'T YOU KNOW, ON THE AUTHORITY OF THEIR GREAT LEADER, YOU UNDER- STAND, AND THEREFORE GENUINE, YOU SEE". The New York Times. 16 February 1892. Retrieved 22 June 2017.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
Smith Thompson
National Republican nominee for Governor of New York
1830, 1832
Succeeded by
William H. Seward
Whig
New political party Whig nominee for Vice President of the United States
1836
Served alongside: John Tyler¹
Succeeded by
John Tyler
Preceded by
Amos Ellmaker
Anti-Masonic nominee for Vice President of the United States
Endorsed

1836
Succeeded by
Daniel Webster
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Dickson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 26th congressional district

1835–1837
Succeeded by
Mark H. Sibley
Preceded by
Mark H. Sibley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 26th congressional district

1839–1841
Succeeded by
John Greig
Preceded by
John Greig
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 26th congressional district

1841–1843
Succeeded by
Amasa Dana
Political offices
Preceded by
John Milton Niles
United States Postmaster General
1841
Succeeded by
Charles A. Wickliffe
Notes and references
1. The Whig Party ran regional candidates in 1836; Tyler ran in Southern states and Granger ran in Northern states.