Calvin Blythe

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Calvin Blythe
Calvin Blythe, silhouette.jpg
Silhouette by Auguste Edouart, 1843
Pennsylvania Secretary of State
In office
November 28,1827 – December 16, 1829
Preceded by Isaac D. Barnard
Succeeded by Samuel McKean
Pennsylvania Attorney General
In office
February 5,1828 – May 6, 1828
Preceded by Frederick Smith
Succeeded by Amos Ellmaker
Personal details
Born 1790[1]
Hamiltonban Township, Adams County. Pennsylvania[1]
Died June 20, 1849[1]
Hamiltonban Township, Adams County. Pennsylvania[1]
Spouse(s) Patience Elliott
Children Dr. Calvin Blythe and others

Calvin Blythe (1790–June 20, 1849) was a Pennsylvania lawyer and judge. He served as state Secretary of State and briefly as Attorney General.

Biography and career[edit]

Blythe's father was David Blythe, who came from Scotland, and fought in the Revolutionary War fighting at Trenton and Princeton. His mother was originally Elizabeth Finley, a niece of Samuel Finley.[1]

Blythe graduated from Dickinson College, and then studied law. He interrupted his studies and fought in the War of 1812, serving with his brother Samuel. He saw action at Chippewa, Lundy's Lane, Buffalo, and Fort Erie, and was noted for his bravery.[1] After the war, he completed his legal education and then started practicing in Juniata County.

In 1827 he was appointed state Secretary of State, to fulfill the vacancy formed when the incumbent became Senator. During this term, he was appointed state Attorney General, to fulfill the vacancy formed when the incumbent accepted a judgeship, but he served only three months.

In 1828, he married Patience Elliot, the daughter of a judge.[1] Their children included Calvin Blythe, Jr., later a doctor.[2]

From 1830 until 1839, and again from 1842 until 1843, he was President Judge of Pennsylvania's Twelfth Judicial District. From 1843 until 1845, he was Collector of Customs for the port of Philadelphia. From 1845 until his death, he was in private practice in Philadelphia.[3]

In 1832, the newly founded Pennsylvania College of Gettysburg appointed Blythe to their Board of Trustees, which he served on until 1844. He was the first (1832–5) and third (1838–43) president of the board.[4] He spoke at the College's opening ceremonies.


Blythe Township, Schuylkill County, formed in 1846, was named after him.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g William Henry Egle (1884). Historical Register: Notes and Queries, Biographical and Genealogical. Volume 2. pp. 43–4. 
  2. ^ "Woodbine, Iowa History". 
  3. ^ Frank Marshall Eastman (1922). Courts and lawyers of Pennsylvania: a history, 1623-1923. Volume 3. The American Historical Society. p. 672. 
  4. ^ E. S. Breidenbaugh, ed. (1882). The Pennsylvania College Book, 1832–1882. Lutheran Publication Society. pp. 189–192. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Isaac D. Barnard
Pennsylvania Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Samuel McKean
Legal offices
Preceded by
Frederick Smith
Pennsylvania Attorney General
Succeeded by
Amos Ellmaker