Samuel Fenton Cary

Samuel Fenton Cary (February 18, 1814 – September 29, 1900) was a congressman from Ohio and significant temperance movement leader in the 19th century. Cary became well known nationally as a prohibitionist author and lecturer. Cary represented Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives (1867–69) and many of the elections he participated in involved future president Rutherford B. Hayes multiple times from filling his seat, to the lieutenant governorship and the presidency.

Samuel Cary
Samuel Fenton Cary.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 2nd district
In office
November 21, 1867 – March 3, 1869
Preceded byRutherford B. Hayes
Succeeded byJob E. Stevenson
Personal details
Samuel Fenton Cary

(1814-02-18)February 18, 1814
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
DiedSeptember 29, 1900(1900-09-29) (aged 86)
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Resting placeSpring Grove Cemetery
Political partyRepublican (Before 1868)
Democratic (1868–1876)
Greenback (1876–1889)
Spouse(s)Maria Allen
Lida Stillwell
EducationMiami University, Oxford (BA)
University of Cincinnati (LLB)


Cary was born on February 18, 1814, in Cincinnati, Ohio.[1] He graduated from Miami University in 1835 and from the Cincinnati Law School in 1837 being admitted to the bar the same year, practicing law out of his in office in Cincinnati. He was elected a judge in the Ohio State Supreme Court, but decided to pass the job up. Instead, he got the post of Paymaster General for the state of Ohio during the terms of Governors Mordecai Bartley and William Bebb.

He stopped working in law in 1845 to become a farmer and also to devote himself to temperance and anti-slavery groups. He gave lectures and wrote books on prohibition and slavery matters. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1864 supporting Abraham Lincoln for a second term who initially had won. Cary then became Collector of Internal Revenue for Ohio's first district in 1865.

In 1867, Cary was elected to the 40th United States Congress as an Independent Republican to represent Ohio's second district, taking seat November 21, 1867. This was caused by the resignation of future United States President Rutherford B. Hayes who had just been elected Governor of Ohio. There, he became the chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor. Cary had also been the only Republican to vote against the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. He lost the election to the Forty-first Congress in 1868 to Job E. Stevenson.

In 1875, Cary ran for Lieutenant Governor of Ohio. At the time, Rutherford B. Hayes was running for a third term as Governor which he won. However, Cary lost his race to Thomas L. Young who would succeed to the governorship after Hayes resigned to become President of the United States.

Cary joined the Greenback Party and was the nominee for Vice President of the United States in the 1876 election after Newton Booth declined to run. He ran with Peter Cooper who was running for the presidency against Rutherford B. Hayes. Hayes won the presidency along with his running mate, William A. Wheeler. Cooper and Cary also came behind the Democratic Party candidates Samuel J. Tilden and Thomas A. Hendricks.

Cary lived out the rest of his days writing literature and supporting fellow prohibitionists. He was twice married, first to Maria Louisa Allen, October 18, 1836; she died of consumption, September 25, 1847. They had three children: Martha Louisa (b. 1837), Ella Woodnutt (b. 1841) and Lou Allen (b. 1847). In 1849, he married Lida Stillwell.[1] They had three children: Olive (b. 1851), Samuel Fenton Jr. (b. 1857), and Jessie (b. 1858). He died at the Cary Homestead in College Hill, Cincinnati, Ohio on September 29, 1900.[1][2] He is interred with his family in Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. The Town of Cary, North Carolina, was named in his honor.


  1. ^ a b c The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Vol. XI. James T. White & Company. 1909. p. 480. Retrieved January 13, 2021 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Samuel F. Cary Dies". Akron Beacon Journal. Cincinnati. October 1, 1900. p. 2. Retrieved January 13, 2021 – via

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member from Ohio's 2nd congressional district
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the House Education Committee
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Newton Booth
Greenback nominee for Vice President of the United States
Succeeded by