Alexander Bullock

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Alexander Hamilton Bullock
Alexander H. Bullock.png
26th Governor of Massachusetts
In office
January 4, 1866 – January 7, 1869
Lieutenant William Claflin
Preceded by John A. Andrew
Succeeded by William Claflin
9th Mayor of Worcester, Massachusetts
In office
January 3, 1859 – January 2, 1860
Preceded by Isaac Davis
Succeeded by William W. Rice
Personal details
Born (1816-03-02)March 2, 1816
Royalston, Massachusetts
Died January 17, 1882(1882-01-17) (aged 65)
Worcester, Massachusetts
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Elvira Hazard
Profession Lawyer

Alexander Hamilton Bullock (March 2, 1816 – January 17, 1882) was the 26th Governor of Massachusetts from 1866 to 1869 and helped create the New England Emigrant Aid Society in 1855.

Early years[edit]

Alexander Hamilton Bullock was born in Royalston, Massachusetts on March 2, 1816, to Rufus and Sarah (Davis) Bullock. His father was a merchant and farmer who also owned a small mill and was active in local politics. He attended the local schools before going to Leicester Academy.[1] Bullock graduated from Amherst College in 1836 and from Harvard Law School in 1840. He was then admitted to the Massachusetts Bar and joined the law practice of Emory Washburn in Worcester.[2] However, he drifted away from the law, becoming involved in the insurance business as an agent.[3] He eventually joined the State Mutual Life Assurance Company, which had John Davis as its first president.[4]

In 1842 Bullock became active in political and public service. He served as a military assistant to John Davis, who was governor that year, after which he was frequently referred to as "Colonel Bullock".[3] In that year he also became editor of the National Aegis, a Whig newspaper with which he would remain associated for many years.[5]

In 1844 Bullock married Elvira Hazard, daughter of Augustus George Hazard of Enfield, Connecticut; they had three children,[6] including explorer Fanny Bullock Workman.[7] Elvira's father was owner of a major munitions factory, and upon his death in 1868 the Bullocks inherited a significant fortune, becoming one of the wealthiest families in the state.[8]

Massachusetts legislature[edit]

Bullock was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1845, serving until 1848. Bullock was elected to the Massachusetts Senate in 1849.[5] In 1854 Bullock became a principal in the New England Emigrant Aid Company, established by Eli Thayer to send anti-slavery settlers to the Kansas Territory after the Kansas-Nebraska Act specified that slavery in the territory was to be determined by popular sovereignty.[9]

Worcester politics[edit]

When Worcester was chartered as a city, Bullock was elected to serve on its inaugural Common Council.[10] He first ran for mayor of Worcester in 1853, but lost.[11] In 1859 he was elected mayor of Worcester, narrowly defeating Republican William W. Rice. During his one year term he donated his $1,000 salary for the awarding of medals to recognized students in the city's schools.[12] The city authorized the establishment of a public library, and acquired the land for its construction. He did not stand for reelection in 1860.[13]


In 1861 Bullock was again elected to the state legislature,[14] serving until 1866. He served as Speaker of the House in January 1862, and was re-elected Speaker in 1863-1865.[15]

Governor of Massachusetts[edit]

Bullock received the Republican Party nomination for governor in 1865 after John A. Andrew decided not to stand for reelection. Bullock defeated Civil War General Darius Couch, and served three consecutive terms before retiring to private life in 1869.

Later years[edit]

Bullock returned to the insurance business, in which he remained until the end of his life. He refused repeated offers to stand for the United States Congress, and in 1879 turned down an offer by President Rutherford B. Hayes of the ambassadorship to the United Kingdom.[16] In early January 1882 he was elected president of the State Mutual Life Assurance Company,[17] but died quite suddenly in Worcester on January 17, 1882.[6] He was buried in Worcester's Rural Cemetery.[18]


  1. ^ Crane, pp. 19–20
  2. ^ Crane, p. 20
  3. ^ a b Devens, p. 6
  4. ^ Rice, p. 380
  5. ^ a b Devens, p. 7
  6. ^ a b Nutt, p. 17
  7. ^ James, p. 672
  8. ^ Pauly, p. 33
  9. ^ Devens, p. 9
  10. ^ Rice, p. 19
  11. ^ Rice, p. 25
  12. ^ Rice, p. 31
  13. ^ Rice, p. 33
  14. ^ Devens, p. 11
  15. ^ The Massachusetts Historical Society (June 1887). Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume III 2nd. Series. Boston, Ma.: The Massachusetts Historical Society. p. 331. 
  16. ^ Nutt, p. 16
  17. ^ Rice, p. 383
  18. ^ Spencer, p. 342


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John A. Goodwin
Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
1862 – 1865
Succeeded by
James M. Stone
Preceded by
John A. Andrew
Governor of Massachusetts
January 4, 1866 – January 7, 1869
Succeeded by
William Claflin