Frederick Low

Frederick Ferdinand Low (June 30, 1828 – July 21, 1894) was an American politician and diplomat who served as the 9th Governor of California and a member of the United States House of Representatives.

Frederick Ferdinand Low
United States Minister to China
In office
September 28, 1869 – July 24, 1873
PresidentUlysses S. Grant
Preceded byJohn Ross Browne
Succeeded byBenjamin Avery
9th Governor of California
In office
December 10, 1863 – December 5, 1867
LieutenantTim N. Machin
Preceded byLeland Stanford
Succeeded byHenry Huntly Haight
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's at-large district
In office
June 3, 1862 – March 3, 1863
Preceded bySeat created
Succeeded byThomas Bowles Shannon
Personal details
Born(1828-06-30)June 30, 1828
Winterport, Maine
DiedJuly 21, 1894(1894-07-21) (aged 66)
San Francisco, California
Political partyRepublican Unionist
Spouse(s)Mollie Creed
ProfessionBanker, politician

Early life and educationEdit

Born in Frankfort (now Winterport, Maine) in 1828, Low attended the Hampden Academy in Hampden, Maine.


Low moved to California, entering the shipping business in San Francisco in 1849. Low became a banker in Marysville, California from 1854 from 1861.

Low presented credentials as a Republican Member-elect to the 37th Congress but was not permitted to take his seat until a special act of Congress was passed. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from June 3, 1862 to March 3, 1863.

Low was appointed in 1863 as collector of the Port of San Francisco prior to becoming governor of California from December 10, 1863 to December 5, 1867. He was the second California governor to live in the Stanford Mansion as the official residence and office until the opening of the California State Capitol in 1869.[1] Low was California's last Civil War governor. Hallmarks of his administration were the establishment of Yosemite National Park and University of California. Low was considered the father of the University of California, though his successor, Henry H. Haight, signed the Charter of the University.[2]

Low served as United States Minister to China from 1869 to 1874.

Personal lifeEdit

He died in San Francisco on July 21, 1894. He is buried in the Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma.


  1. ^ Department of Parks & Recreation. "Stanford Mansion History". State of California. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
  2. ^ State Capitol Museum. "Frederick Low, 9th Governor (1863-1867)". State of California. Archived from the original on 2007-08-13. Retrieved 2007-05-03.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
Leland Stanford
Republican nominee for Governor of California
Succeeded by
George Congdon Gorham
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
seat created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's at-large congressional district

June 3, 1862–March 3, 1863
Succeeded by
Thomas B. Shannon
Political offices
Preceded by
Leland Stanford
Governor of California
December 10, 1863 – December 8, 1871
Succeeded by
Henry H. Haight