Asahel Peck

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Asahel Peck
Asahel peck.jpg
35th Governor of Vermont
In office
October 8, 1874 – October 5, 1876
Lieutenant Lyman G. Hinckley
Preceded by Julius Converse
Succeeded by Horace Fairbanks
Personal details
Born (1803-02-06)February 6, 1803
Royalston, Massachusetts
Died May 18, 1879(1879-05-18) (aged 76)
Jericho, Vermont
Political party Republican
Profession judge

Asahel Peck (February 6, 1803 – May 18, 1879) was an American lawyer, a politician, and the 35th Governor of Vermont from 1874 to 1876.


Peck was born in Royalston, Massachusetts in 1803.[1] He moved to Montpelier, Vermont with his family at the age of three. He was educated at Hinesburgh Academy and Washington County Grammar School, and attended the University of Vermont. He then studied in Quebec, becoming fluent in French. Afterwards, Peck studied law in Hinesburgh with his brother Nahum and at a Montpelier law firm, gaining admission to the bar in 1832.[2]


A lifelong bachelor, Peck lived in Burlington, Montpelier, and on a farm in Jericho while practicing law.[3] He served as a Circuit Judge from 1851 until 1857, when the Circuit Court system was abolished. He was a Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court from 1860 to 1874.

Originally a Democrat, Peck switched to the Republican Party. He was elected Governor as a Republican, serving from 1874 to 1876. As Governor, he sought to improve conditions in the state's prisons and supported the establishment of workhouses for minor offenders. During his administration, the office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction was created and a joint resolution was passed favoring the formation of a waterway to connect the St. Lawrence River with the Atlantic Ocean.[4]

After leaving office he returned to his farm and law practice in Jericho, Vermont. He worked until he retired to a home in Hinesburgh, where he had moved to be near family members.[5]

Death and legacy[edit]

Peck died in Jericho on May 18, 1879 and is interred at Hinesburgh Village Cemetery, Hinesburgh, Vermont.[6] Governor Peck Road in the towns of Richmond and Jericho is named for him.

In 1872 Middlebury College awarded Peck an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, and in 1874 the University of Vermont awarded Peck an honorary Master of Arts degree.[7][8]

In 1876 the University of Vermont declared Peck a regular graduate of its undergraduate course and awarded him a Bachelor of Arts degree.[9]


  1. ^ "Asahel Peck". The Political Graveyaard. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Asahel Peck". Find A Grave. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Men of Vermont Illustrated, edited by Jacob G. Ullery, 1894, pages 100 to 101
  4. ^ "Asahel Peck". National Governors Association. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont, edited by Hiram Carleton, 1903, pages 700 to 701
  6. ^ Gazetteer and Business Directory of Chittenden County, Vermont for 1882-83, compiled by hamilton Child (Syracuse), 1882, page 211
  7. ^ Memorial Biographies of New England Historic Genealogical Society, published by the society, Volume 7, 1907, pages 327 to 328
  8. ^ Catalogue of Officers and Students of Middlebury College, published by the college, 1917, pages 488 to 489
  9. ^ University of Vermont Obituary Record, published by the University, Volume 1, 1895, pages 50 to 51.

External links[edit]