William Wright (United States politician)

William Wright (November 13, 1794 – November 1, 1866) was an American politician who served as Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, represented New Jersey's 5th congressional district as a Whig in the United States House of Representatives from 1843 to 1847, and represented New Jersey in the United States Senate as a Democrat from 1853 to 1859, and again from 1863 until his death.

William Wright
William Wright (1794-1866).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1847
Preceded byJohn Bancker Aycrigg
William Halstead
John Patterson Bryan Maxwell
Joseph Fitz Randolph
Charles C. Stratton
Thomas J. Yorke (Elected statewide on a Whig Party general ticket)
Succeeded byDudley S. Gregory
United States Senator
from New Jersey
In office
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1859
Preceded byJacob W. Miller
Succeeded byJohn C. Ten Eyck
United States Senator
from New Jersey
In office
March 4, 1863 – November 1, 1866
Preceded byJames Walter Wall
Succeeded byFrederick T. Frelinghuysen
Personal details
Born(1794-11-13)November 13, 1794
Clarksville, New York
DiedNovember 1, 1866(1866-11-01) (aged 71)
Flemington, New Jersey
Political partyWhig (House)
Democratic (Senate)


He was born in Clarkstown, Rockland County, New York; attended the public schools and Poughkeepsie Academy; was a volunteer for the defense of Stonington, Connecticut, in the War of 1812; learned the saddler's trade and engaged in business in Bridgeport, Connecticut; moved to Newark, New Jersey in 1821 and ran a saddlery and leather business there. He served as mayor of Newark from 1840 to 1843.

On May 25, 1843, Wright was chosen as the second president of the Morris and Essex Railroad to succeed Lewis Condict, a post he held until his death more than twenty years later.

In October 1843, Wright was elected as an Independent Whig[1][2] to the 28th United States Congress in the new 5th Congressional District (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Passaic Counties), and was reelected as a Whig without opposition in 1844 to the 29th United States Congress (March 4, 1845 – March 3, 1847).

He was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of New Jersey in 1847, and affiliated with the Democratic Party in 1850. Wright was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1853 to March 3, 1859, but was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1858. He was the chairman, Committee on Manufactures (33rd United States Congress and 34th United States Congress), Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses (35th United States Congress), Committee on Engrossed Bills (35th Congress); again elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1863 until his death in Newark. He was interred in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Newark.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Martis, Kenneth C. (January 1, 1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789-1989. Macmillan Publishing Company. p. 97. ISBN 978-0029201701.
  2. ^ Dubin, Michael J. (March 1, 1998). United States Congressional Elections, 1788-1997: The Official Results of the Elections of the 1st Through 105th Congresses. McFarland and Company. p. 134. ISBN 978-0786402830.

External linksEdit

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
District re-established
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 5th congressional district

March 4, 1843-March 3, 1847
Succeeded by
Dudley S. Gregory
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Jacob W. Miller
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from New Jersey
Served alongside: John R. Thomson
Succeeded by
John C. Ten Eyck
Preceded by
James W. Wall
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from New Jersey
Served alongside: John C. Ten Eyck, John P. Stockton, Alexander G. Cattell
Succeeded by
Frederick T. Frelinghuysen