Henry M. Hoyt

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Henry Martyn Hoyt, Sr.
Henry M. Hoyt - Brady-Handy.jpg
18th Governor of Pennsylvania
In office
January 21, 1879 – January 16, 1883
Preceded by John F. Hartranft
Succeeded by Robert E. Pattison
Personal details
Born June 8, 1830
Kingston, Pennsylvania
Died December 1, 1892(1892-12-01) (aged 62)
Political party Republican
Children Helen Hoyt
Henry Martyn Hoyt, Jr.

Henry Martyn Hoyt, Sr. (June 8, 1830 – December 1, 1892) was the 18th Governor of Pennsylvania from 1879 to 1883, as well as a general in the Union army during the American Civil War.

Early life and career[edit]

Hoyt was born in Kingston, Pennsylvania and attended Wyoming Seminary. He initially attended Lafayette College before moving on to Williams College where he graduated in 1849, with Phi Beta Kappa honors, as a member of The Kappa Alpha Society. From 1851 to 1853 he taught Mathematics at Wyoming Seminary and then studied law. Hoyt first held elected office as a district attorney. He was married to Mary Loveland and had three children, one of them the minor poet Helen Hoyt, and Henry Martyn Hoyt, Jr. (December 1856 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania – 1910) and Maud Buckingham Hoyt (July 12, 1859 in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. – ?). He was also the grandfather of the poet Elinor Wylie. A member of the Whig Party, Hoyt participated in John Fremont's 1856 presidential campaign.

Henry M.Hoyt was the son of Ziba and Nancy (Herbert) Hoyt. Ziba Hoyt was born in Connecticut on September 1788 died in December 1853 Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Henry M. Hoyt was grandson of Daniel and Ann (Gunn) Hoyt, nephew of Levi Hoyt. The Hoyts settled in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Henry M. Hoyt married Mary Elizabeth Loveland daughter of Elijah and Mary (Buckingham) Loveland. Henry and Mary Elizabeth (Loveland) Hoyt were married On September 25, 1855. Mary Elizabeth (Loveland) Hoyt was born April 1833 and died October 1890 Luzerne County,Pennsylvania.

Military career[edit]

As a soldier in the Civil War, Hoyt was initially commissioned as Lieutenant Colonel, then as colonel of the 52nd Pennsylvania Infantry, leading it during the Peninsula Campaign and subsequent actions of the Army of the Potomac until January 1863, the regiment was ordered to Charleston, South Carolina.

He participated in the siege of Morris Island under Brig. Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore. Hoyt led troops in a rare night attack on Fort Johnson, steathily arriving in the darkness via boats. He initially captured the fort, but was unable to hold it for lack of reinforcements and he and many of his men were captured in a Confederate counterattack. After being confined in Macon, Georgia, Hoyt was taken back to Charleston, and escaped briefly before being recaptured.

Upon his eventual exchange, he rejoined his regiment, with which he remained till the close of the war, when he was mustered out with the rank of brevet brigadier general.

Law career[edit]

After the war, Hoyt returned to his law practice. After briefly serving as a judge, he rose in influence with the Republican party and chaired the state Republican party from 1875 to 1876. He won the governor's seat in 1878, the third consecutive Civil War general to hold the office. During his term, the debt of the state was reduced to $10,000,000, and refunded at the rate of three per cent.

In 1881 he received the degree of LL. D. from the University of Pennsylvania and also from Lafayette College. He authored two books—"Controversy between Connecticut and Pennsylvania" (Philadelphia, 1879) and "Protection vs. Free Trade" (New York, 1885).

In memoriam[edit]

Hoyt has a residence hall in the South Halls section of the University Park campus of the Pennsylvania State University named after him. He is buried next to his wife in the Forty Fort Cemetery in Luzerne County, Pa.

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Political offices
Preceded by
John F. Hartranft
Governor of Pennsylvania
1879–1883
Succeeded by
Robert E. Pattison