Silas H. Jennison

Silas Hemenway Jennison (May 17, 1791 – September 30, 1849) was an American Anti-Masonic and Whig politician who served as Vermont's lieutenant governor and governor – the first born in the state.

Silas Hemenway Jennison
Silas Hemenway Jenison.jpg
Silas Hemenway Jenison (or Jennison), circa 1837
14th Governor of Vermont
In office
November 2, 1835 – October 15, 1841
LieutenantDavid M. Camp (1836 on)
Preceded byWilliam A. Palmer
Succeeded byCharles Paine
11th Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
In office
Preceded byLebbeus Egerton
Succeeded byDavid M. Camp
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Silas Hemenway Jensen

(1791-05-17)May 17, 1791
Shoreham, Vermont, U.S.
DiedSeptember 30, 1849(1849-09-30) (aged 58)
Shoreham, Vermont, U.S.
Resting placeJenison Cemetery
Shoreham, Vermont, U.S.
Political partyWhig
Spouse(s)Marilla Hanks Bush


Jennison (Sometimes spelled Jenison) was born in Shoreham, Vermont to Levi Jennison and Ruth Hemenway. He helped his mother run the farm which his father had cleared and attended the local schools sporadically and had some private tutoring. He learned surveying which he pursued throughout his political career.[1] He married Marilla Hanks Bush on May 3, 1814 and they had five children; Lurana Sandford, Levi, Ruth, Sara Cary and Laura Louisa.[2]


Jennison was a member of the Vermont House of Representatives from 1829 to 1835. He was an Addison County Court Judge from and a member of the State Executive Council from 1829 to 1835. He was elected the Lieutenant Governor of Vermont in 1835. In the 1835 governor's race, no candidate received the majority required by the Vermont Constitution, so the choice fell to the Vermont General Assembly. After 63 ballots, the legislators were unable to decide upon a winner, and opted to allow Lieutenant Governor Jennison to act as governor until the next election.[citation needed] He was elected to a one-year term as governor in his own right in 1836, and was reelected annually until 1840, so he served as governor from 1835 to 1841. Jennison was Vermont's first native-born Governor.

In 1837, the incumbent Vermont State Treasurer, Augustine Clarke, failed to receive the majority of votes required by the Vermont Constitution. In such cases, the Vermont General Assembly is empowered to elect a candidate. The legislature was split between Anti-Masons, Whigs and Democrats, failed to choose a winner. Jennison, an Anti-Mason who had run with Whig support, then appointed Allen Wardner, an Anti-Mason. Wardner served until 1838.

Jennison declined reelection in 1841. He was appointed Addison County probate Judge, and he served until 1847.[citation needed]

Jennison was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1843. The Addison County Agricultural Society was organized on January 22, 1844, and Jennison was the first president.[3]


Following a long illness, Jennison died in Shoreham on September 30, 1849. He is interred at Jenison Cemetery, located within the town.[4]


  1. ^ "Silas H. Jennison". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 31, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Silas H. Jennison". The Descendants of John Heywood. Retrieved October 31, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Silas H. Jennison". Retrieved October 31, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Silas H. Jennison". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved October 31, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

Further readingEdit

  • Vermont Historical Magazine, No. XI, October 1867, p 101

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
Horatio Seymour
Whig nominee for Governor of Vermont
1836, 1837, 1838, 1839, 1840
Succeeded by
Charles Paine
Political offices
Preceded by
Lebbeus Egerton
Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
David M. Camp
Preceded by
William A. Palmer
Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
Charles Paine