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William A. Gilbert

William Augustus Gilbert (January 25, 1815 – May 25, 1875) was a U.S. Representative from New York.

William A. Gilbert
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 23rd district
In office
March 4, 1855 – February 27, 1857
Preceded byCaleb Lyon
Succeeded byCharles B. Hoard
Personal details
William Augustus Gilbert

(1815-01-25)January 25, 1815
Gilead, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedMay 25, 1875(1875-05-25) (aged 60)
Adams, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Other political


Born in Gilead, Connecticut, Gilbert moved with his parents to Champion, New York.

He attended the public schools. He studied law. He was admitted to the New York bar in 1843 and commenced the practice of law in Adams, New York.

Active in the Whig Party, he was a member of the New York State Assembly (Jefferson Co., 1st D.) in 1851 and 1852.

Gilbert was elected as an Opposition Party candidate to the Thirty-fourth Congress and served from March 4, 1855, until his resignation February 27, 1857. While in the House Gilbert was accused of corruption, along with members William W. Welch, Francis S. Edwards, and Orsamus B. Matteson. They were accused of accepting money, land and stock in exchange for procuring the passage of a bill granting land for the construction of a railroad in Iowa. Gilbert was also accused of agreeing to procure passage of a bill authorizing publication of a book containing details on federal military pension and land bounty laws in exchange for the author dividing the proceeds with him. Gilbert protested the proceedings, and then resigned with four days left in his term rather than face an expulsion vote.[1][2][3]

Gilbert later became a Republican. He served as president of Adams village in 1859 and 1860.

He engaged in the banking business and was also active in other ventures, including railroads.

He died in Adams, New York on May 25, 1875. He was interred in the Rural Cemetery.[4]


  1. ^ Mark Grossman, Political Corruption in America: An Encyclopedia of Scandals, Power, and Greed, 2003, pages 142-143
  2. ^ United States House of Representatives, Reports of Committees of the House of Representatives, 1857, pages 3-9
  3. ^ Kenneth M. Stampp, America in 1857: A Nation on the Brink: A Nation on the Brink, 1990, page 27
  4. ^ Elijah J. Clark, Reminiscences of Adams, May 10, 1887, republished on Adams, NY History and Genealogy

External linksEdit

  • United States Congress. "William A. Gilbert (id: G000179)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • William A. Gilbert at Find a Grave
  • Hon. William A. Gilbert's Defense. 1870. U.S. Government Printing Office.
New York Assembly
Preceded by
John Winslow
New York State Assembly
Jefferson County, 1st District

Succeeded by
James Gifford
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Caleb Lyon
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 23rd congressional district

March 4, 1855 – February 27, 1857
Succeeded by
Charles B. Hoard

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website