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John Mattocks (March 4, 1777 – August 14, 1847) was an American Whig politician, a brigadier general in the War of 1812, U.S. Congressman, and sixteenth Governor of Vermont.

John Mattocks
John Mattocks.jpg
16th Governor of Vermont
In office
October 13, 1843 – October 11, 1844
LieutenantHorace Eaton
Preceded byCharles Paine
Succeeded byWilliam Slade
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Vermont's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1841 – March 3, 1843
Preceded byIsaac Fletcher
Succeeded byDistrict eliminated
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Vermont's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1825 – March 3, 1827
Preceded bySamuel C. Crafts
Succeeded byDaniel Azro Ashley Buck
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Vermont's 6th district
In office
March 4, 1821 – March 3, 1823
Preceded byNone
Succeeded byNone
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1777-03-04)March 4, 1777
Hartford, Connecticut
DiedAugust 14, 1847(1847-08-14) (aged 70)
Peacham, Vermont
Political partyWhig
Spouse(s)Esther Newell


Mattocks was born in Hartford, Connecticut on March 4, 1777, and moved with his parents to Tinmouth, Vermont in 1778.[1] His father, Samuel Mattocks, was a veteran of the American Revolution and served as Vermont State Treasurer from 1784 to 1800.[1] John Mattocks pursued an academic course, studied law in Middlebury, Vermont and Fairfield, Connecticut, and was admitted to the bar in 1797.[2] He married Esther Newell and they had five children; three sons, George, John, and William; and two daughters named Esther who died in their first years.


Mattocks commenced practice in Danville; moved to Peacham, Vermont.[3] He was a member of the Vermont House of Representatives in 1807, 1815, 1816, 1823, and 1824.[3] During the War of 1812, he served as a brigadier general of militia.[4]

Mattocks was elected to the Seventeenth Congress (March 4, 1821 – March 3, 1823).[2] He was elected to the Nineteenth Congress (March 4, 1825 – March 3, 1827); and served as chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Expenditures in the Department of War (Nineteenth Congress).[2] He was a judge of the Vermont Supreme Court in 1833 and 1834, and declined to be a candidate for renomination.[2] Mattocks was a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1836[2] He was elected as a Whig to the Twenty-seventh Congress (March 4, 1841 – March 3, 1843).[3]

In 1843, the major candidates for Governor of Vermont were Mattocks (Whig), Daniel Kellogg (Democrat), and Charles K. Williams (Liberty).[5] In the general election, they received 24,465 votes (48.7%), 21,982 (43.8%), and 3,766 (7.5%).[5] Because no candidate had the majority required by the Vermont Constitution, the Vermont General Assembly made the selection, and chose Mattocks.[5] During his term, his son, George, committed suicide and, grief-stricken, Mattocks declined to run for another term.[4]

Death and legacyEdit

Mattocks died in Peacham, Vermont, August 14, 1847;[3] is interred at Peacham Village Cemetery, Caledonia County, Vermont.[6] His house, built in 1805 and purchased in 1807, stands in the center of town and is a local landmark.[7] His son John was a minister, and his son, William became a lawyer and served as Caledonia County's state's attorney.




  • Wiley, Edgar J. (1917). Catalogue of Officers and Students of Middlebury College. Middlebury, VT: Middlebury College.
  • Redfield, Isaac (1886). Baldwin, Frederick W. (ed.). Biography of the Bar of Orleans County, Vermont: John Mattocks. Montpelier, VT: Vermont Watchman and State Journal Press.
  • Spencer, Thomas E. (1998). Where They're Buried. Baltimore, MD: Clearfield Company. ISBN 978-0-8063-4823-0.



External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Vermont's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Samuel C. Crafts
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Vermont's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Daniel Azro Ashley Buck
Preceded by
Isaac Fletcher
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Vermont's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
District eliminated
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Paine
Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
William Slade