Charles J. Folger

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Charles J. Folger
Charles j folger cropped 2.jpg
34th United States Secretary of the Treasury
In office
November 14, 1881 – September 4, 1884
President Chester A. Arthur
Preceded by William Windom
Succeeded by Walter Q. Gresham
Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
In office
May 20, 1880 – November 14, 1881
Preceded by Sanford E. Church
Succeeded by Charles Andrews
Personal details
Born April 16, 1818
Nantucket, Massachusetts
Died September 4, 1884(1884-09-04) (aged 66)
Geneva, New York
Spouse(s) Susan Rebecca Worth

Charles James Folger (April 16, 1818 – September 4, 1884) was an American lawyer and politician. He was U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 1881 until his death.

Early life[edit]

Folger was born on the island of Nantucket in 1818. When he was 12 years old, his family moved to Geneva, New York. He attended Hobart College and graduated with honors in 1836. After his graduation, he studied law with Mark H. Sibley and Alvah Worden in Canandaigua, N.Y. and was admitted to the bar three years later in 1839. He began his practice in Lyons, N.Y., but returned to Geneva in 1840, where he remained for the rest of his life. On June 18, 1844, he married Susan Rebecca Worth.

Public Life[edit]

Bureau of Engraving and Printing portrait of Folger as Secretary of the Treasury.

In 1844, Folger was appointed to the bench of the Ontario County Court of Common Pleas, serving for about a year.

As a Republican, he was a member of the New York State Senate (26th D.) from 1862 to 1869, sitting in the 85th, 86th, 87th, 88th, 89th, 90th, 91st and 92nd New York State Legislatures. During his term he served as President pro tempore for four years and as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Folger served as a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1867–68, and as a delegate to the 1868 Republican National Convention.

In 1869, he resigned from the State Senate when he was appointed Assistant United States Treasurer in New York City by President Ulysses S. Grant.

A year later, in 1870, he was elected one of the first judges of the re-organized New York Court of Appeals. Following the death of Sanford E. Church, Folger was appointed Chief Judge by Governor Alonzo B. Cornell on May 20, 1880, to fill the vacancy temporarily. In November he was elected to a full 14-year term as Chief Judge.

In 1881, President James Garfield offered him the position of Attorney General, which he declined. Later that year, however, he resigned from the bench to accept an appointment by President Chester Arthur to serve as Secretary of the Treasury. In 1883 he appointed Mifflin E. Bell to the Office of the Supervising Architect.

Gubernatorial Race[edit]

As a sitting U.S. Secretary, he ran in 1882 for Governor of New York, but was defeated by Democrat Grover Cleveland.

Death[edit]

Folger died in office on September 4, 1884 at his home on Main Street in Geneva, NY. He was buried at Glenwood Cemetery, Geneva, at the side of his wife who had died seven years earlier.

The C.J. Folger Hook & Ladder Co. #1 of the Geneva Fire Department is named in his honor.

Sources[edit]

New York State Senate
Preceded by
Thomas Hillhouse
New York State Senate
26th District

1862–1869
Succeeded by
Abraham V. Harpending
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sanford E. Church
Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
1880–1881
Succeeded by
Charles Andrews
Political offices
Preceded by
William Windom
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
Served under: Chester A. Arthur

1881–1884
Succeeded by
Walter Q. Gresham