Home > Uncategorized > John Mattocks: Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States

John Mattocks: Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States

Source: Robert Sobel and John Raimo, editors, Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States
, Volume 2 (Westport, Connecticut: Meckler Books, 1978), page 1572.

Mattocks, John, 1843-1844

Born on March 4, 1777, in Hartford, Connecticut, son of Captain Samuel Mattocks, a captain in the Revolution, a member of the legislature, a judge, and Ira Allen’s successor as state treasurer. Samuel Mattocks died when his son John was one year old. The young Mattocks, a Congregationalist, was brother of Rebekah Mattocks Miller and three brothers. Married to Esther Newell of Peacham, Vermont on September 4, 1810; father of John, Edward, William, George and Catharine. Studied law in Middlebury and Fairfield, Vermont, and was admitted to the bar in 1797; practiced law in Danville and Peacham, Vermont. In 1806 he was one of the thirteen directors of the Vermont State Bank. He was a Brigadier General of militia in the War of 1812. He began his political career as a member of the State House of Representatives in 1807, and served again in 1815-1816 and 1823-1824. He served in the 17th and 19th Congresses; was Judge of the State Supreme Court from 1833 to 1834; was a delegate in 1836 to the State Constitutional Convention; and in 1841 was again sent to Congress. At the annual state party convention of the Whigs in 1843, Mattocks received the party’s nomination for Governor. The vote was 24,405 for Mattocks, 21,982 for Democrat Daniel Kellogg, and 3,766 for Charles K. Williams. Since Mattocks did not receive a majority, the election went to the legislature, which elected him governor. As governor, Mattocks continued his strong stand against slavery, a position he had always held in Congress. Near the end of his term, one of Mattocks’ sons died, an event which apparently affected him so profoundly that he declined further nomination and retired completely from public life. John Mattocks died in Peacham, Vermont on August 14, 1857, and was buried in Peacham Cemetery. Bibliography: Mary A. (Newell) Hall, Thomas Newell and His Descendants (Southington, Connecticut, 1878); “Manuscripts, Briefs, and a Biographical Sketch,” by Isaac F. Redfield, are on deposit in the Archives of the Vermont Historical Society Library, Montpelier, Vermont.

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