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Peter T. Washburn

Died when: 55 years 153 days
Star Sign: Virgo

 

Peter T. Washburn Peter Thacher Washburn (September 7, 1814 – February 7, 1870) was a Vermont lawyer, politician and soldier. A veteran of the American Civil War, he was elected Governor of Vermont as a Republican in 1869, and was the first Vermont Governor to die in office. Washburn was a native of Lynn, Massachusetts, and was raised in Ludlow, Vermont. he graduated from Dartmouth College in 1835, and taught school while studying law. He was admitted to the bar in 1838, and practiced law, first in Ludlow and then in Woodstock, while also becoming active in politics as a Whig. In addition to campaigning for Whigs including William Henry Harrison, Washburn held elected and appointed offices, including Reporter of Decisions for the Vermont Supreme Court and member of the Vermont House of Representatives. In addition to pursuing a political career, Washburn was active in the Vermont Militia; he was commander of a regiment with the rank of colonel in the late 1830s and early 1840s, and organized a company in anticipation of the American Civil War, which he commanded as a captain. Washburn's company was federalized in 1861 as part of the 1st Vermont Infantry; he was commissioned as the regiment's lieutenant colonel and second-in-command. He became the de facto commander after John W. Phelps was promoted to command of a brigade, and he led the regiment during its participation in the Battle of Big Bethel. Washburn was elected adjutant general of the state militia in late 1861, and led it for the rest of the war, including the state's response to the St. Albans Raid. In 1869, Washburn was the successful Republican nominee for governor. He served from October 15 until his death on February 7, 1870. His death in Woodstock was attributed to nervous exhaustion caused by overwork, and he was buried at River Street Cemetery in Woodstock.
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