Frank S. Black

Frank Swett Black (March 8, 1853 – March 22, 1913) was an American newspaper editor, lawyer and politician. He was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1895 to 1897, and the 32nd Governor of New York from 1897 to 1898.

Frank Swett Black
Frank S Black.jpg
32nd Governor of New York
In office
January 1, 1897 – December 31, 1898
LieutenantTimothy L. Woodruff
Preceded byLevi P. Morton
Succeeded byTheodore Roosevelt
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 19th district
In office
March 4, 1895 – January 7, 1897
Preceded byCharles D. Haines
Succeeded byAaron Van Schaick Cochrane
Personal details
Born(1853-03-08)March 8, 1853
near Limington, Maine, U.S.
DiedMarch 22, 1913(1913-03-22) (aged 60)
Troy, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican


Born near Limington, York County, Maine, Black was one of eleven children of Jacob, a farmer, and Charlotte B. Black. He graduated from Lebanon Academy in 1871, and then taught school for several years. With the money thus earned, he managed to enter Dartmouth College in 1875. Out of college, he moved to Johnstown, New York, and was employed as editor of the Johnstown Journal.

An ardent follower of James G. Blaine, also from Maine, Black changed the political stance of the paper while the Democratic owner was out of town, but was promptly dismissed upon the latter's return. He then moved to Troy, New York, and worked for the Troy Whig and the Troy Times. At the same time he studied law, and was admitted to the bar. Black was elected as a Republican to the 54th United States Congress as the representative of New York's 19th congressional district, and served from March 4, 1895, to January 7, 1897, when he resigned.

He was Governor of New York, elected in 1896 on the Republican ticket, and was in office from 1897–98. A major scandal on the Erie Canal commission, where one of Black's appointees had illegally spent one million dollars, put his reelection in doubt. Party leaders replaced him with war hero Theodore Roosevelt.[1]

Afterwards he resumed his law practice.

He died from heart disease at his home in Troy on March 22, 1913.[2][3]


  1. ^ Edmond Morris, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (1979) p 666
  2. ^ "Ex-Gov Black Dies at His Troy Home", The New York Times March 22, 1913
  3. ^ "Frank S. Black Dies of Disease of Heart". Pittsburgh Daily Post. Troy, New York. Associated Press. March 22, 1913. p. 1. Retrieved March 21, 2020 – via


External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles D. Haines
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 19th congressional district

Succeeded by
Aaron V. S. Cochrane
Political offices
Preceded by
Levi P. Morton
Governor of New York
Succeeded by
Theodore Roosevelt