William Wright (American politician)

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William Wright
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1843 – March 4, 1845
Preceded by John Bancker Aycrigg
William Halstead
John Patterson Bryan Maxwell
Joseph Fitz Randolph
Charles C. Stratton
Thomas J. Yorke (Elected statewide on a Whig Party general ticket)
Succeeded by Dudley S. Gregory (W)
United States Senator from New Jersey (Class 2)
In office
March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1859
Preceded by Jacob W. Miller (W)
Succeeded by John C. Ten Eyck (R)
United States Senator from New Jersey (Class 1)
In office
March 4, 1863 – November 1, 1866
Preceded by James Walter Wall (D)
Succeeded by Frederick T. Frelinghuysen (R)
Personal details
Born (1794-11-13)November 13, 1794
Clarksville, New York
Died November 1, 1866(1866-11-01) (aged 71)
Flemington, New Jersey
Political party Whig (House)
Democratic (Senate)
Profession Politician

William Wright (November 13, 1794 – November 1, 1866) was an American politician who served as Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, represented New Jersey's 5th congressional district as a Whig in the United States House of Representatives from 1843 to 1847, and represented New Jersey in the United States Senate as a Democrat from 1853 to 1859, and again from 1863 until his death.


He was born in Clarkstown, Rockland County, New York; attended the public schools and Poughkeepsie Academy; was a volunteer for the defense of Stonington, Connecticut, in the War of 1812; learned the saddler's trade and engaged in business in Bridgeport, Connecticut; moved to Newark, New Jersey in 1821 and ran a saddlery and leather business there. He served as mayor of Newark from 1840-1843.

On May 25, 1843, Wright was chosen as the second president of the Morris and Essex Railroad to succeed Lewis Condict, a post he held until his death more than twenty years later.

In October 1843, Wright was elected as an Independent Whig[1][2] to the 28th United States Congress in the new 5th Congressional District (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Passaic Counties), and was reelected as a Whig without opposition in 1844 to the 29th United States Congress (March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1847).

He was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of New Jersey in 1847, and affiliated with the Democratic Party in 1850. Wright was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1853, to March 4, 1859, but was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1858. He was the chairman, Committee on Manufactures (33rd United States Congress and 34th United States Congress), Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses (35th United States Congress), Committee on Engrossed Bills (35th Congress); again elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1863, until his death in Newark. He was interred in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Newark.


  1. ^ Martis, Kenneth C. (January 1, 1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789-1989. Macmillan Publishing Company. p. 97. ISBN 978-0029201701. 
  2. ^ Dubin, Michael J. (March 1, 1998). United States Congressional Elections, 1788-1997: The Official Results of the Elections of the 1st Through 105th Congresses. McFarland and Company. p. 134. ISBN 978-0786402830. 

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

External links[edit]

United States Senate
Preceded by
Jacob W. Miller
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from New Jersey
Served alongside: John R. Thomson
Succeeded by
John C. Ten Eyck
Preceded by
James W. Wall
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from New Jersey
Served alongside: John C. Ten Eyck, John P. Stockton, Alexander G. Cattell
Succeeded by
Frederick T. Frelinghuysen