Erastus Brooks (January 31, 1815 - November 25, 1886) was an American newspaper editor and politician from New York.
He was born on January 31, 1815, in Portland, then in the District of Maine, Massachusetts, the son of Capt. James Brooks who commanded the privateer Yankee during the War of 1812, and was lost at sea near the end of 1814. At age eight Erastus left home and began work as a messenger boy and shop clerk in Boston. Some time later he became a typesetter and later a printer.
He attended Brown University for two years, at the same time working as a printer to support himself and pay for tuition, but due to his financial distress did not graduate. He then taught school in Haverhill, Massachusetts, where he became editor of the Haverhill Gazette in June 1835. In 1836, his brother James Brooks (1810–1873) was one of the founders of the New York Daily Express and Erastus wrote articles and editorials for the paper.
In 1836, he went to Washington, D.C. as a special correspondent. In 1840, he returned to Portland and edited the Portland Advertiser a Whig paper campaigning for William Henry Harrison. After the election, he carried the electoral vote of Maine to Washington, D.C., where he remained again until 1843 when he traveled to Europe. He returned on the packet ship Sheffield which was wrecked off Sandy Hook and lost his literary treasures picked up in Europe.
On January 12, 1844, he married Margaret Dawes Cranch (1819–1895), daughter of Chief Judge William Cranch (1769–1855), and they had seven children.
He was a member of the New York State Assembly (Richmond Co.) in 1878, 1879, 1881, 1882 and 1883. He was the Democratic minority candidate for Speaker in 1878, 1879 and 1881; and Permanent Chairman of the Democratic state convention of 1881.
- The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (pages 137 and 139; Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858)
- The Star of the West by Anna Ella carroll (Boston, 1856; pg. 161ff, bio and portrait)
- A VETERAN EDITOR GONE; ERASTUS BROOKS DEAD AT HIS STATEN ISLAND HOME in NYT on November 26, 1886
- The Sheffield shipwreck at RootsWeb
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Edwin D. Morgan
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