Francis Granger

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Francis Granger
Francis Granger.jpg
10th United States Postmaster General
In office
March 6, 1841 – September 18, 1841
President William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Preceded by John Milton Niles
Succeeded by Charles A. Wickliffe
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 26th district
In office
March 4, 1835 – March 3, 1837
Preceded by John Dickson
Succeeded by Mark H. Sibley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 26th district
In office
March 4, 1839 – March 3, 1841
Preceded by Mark H. Sibley
Succeeded by John Greig
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 26th district
In office
November 27, 1841 – March 3, 1843
Preceded by Mark H. Sibley
Succeeded by Amasa Dana
Personal details
Born (1792-12-01)December 1, 1792[1]
Suffield, Connecticut, U.S.[1]
Died August 31, 1868(1868-08-31) (aged 75)[1]
Canandaigua, New York, U.S.[1]
Political party National Republican, Whig, Anti-Masonic
Spouse(s) Cornelia Rutson van Rensselaer Granger
Alma mater Yale College[1]
Profession Politician, Lawyer[1]

Francis Granger (December 1, 1792 – August 31, 1868) was a Representative from New York and United States Postmaster General. He was a Whig Party nominee for Vice-President in 1836 and is the only person to ever lose a contingent election for Vice-President.

His father Gideon Granger was also Postmaster General, the longest serving one in United States history.

Biography[edit]

Granger was born in Suffield, Connecticut, and pursued classical studies at and graduated from Yale College in 1811.[1] He then moved with his father to Canandaigua, New York in 1814, where he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1816 and commenced practice. He married Cornelia Rutson Van Rensselaer and together they had a daughter, Adele Granger, born in 1820, one son, Gideon Granger II, born in 1821, and an unnamed daughter whom died with her mother in childbirth in 1823. His home at Canandaigua from 1817 to 1827, now known as the Francis Granger House, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.[2] Granger was from a political family, with his father Gideon Granger serving in the Connecticut House of Representatives before being appointed Postmaster General by Thomas Jefferson and his first cousin Amos P. Granger serving two terms in the United States House.

Granger started his own political career as a member of the State Assembly from 1826 to 1828 and from 1830 to 1832.[1] He ran unsuccessful campaigns for Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1828, and for Governor of New York in both 1830 and 1832 with the National Republican Party. He was then elected as an Anti-Jacksonian to the 24th Congress (March 4, 1835 to March 3, 1837).

In 1836, the Whig Party was unable to settle on one set of candidates for its Presidential ticket. Granger was the Vice-Presidential nominee for the northern and border states on the same ticket as William Henry Harrison, though in Massachusetts he was on the Whig ticket headed by Daniel Webster. Though Martin Van Buren easily secured enough votes in the Electoral College to win the presidency, Virginia's 23 electors refused to vote for his running mate Richard M. Johnson. As a result, votes were split among Johnson, Granger, John Tyler and William Smith with none getting the majority. This triggered a contingent election, the only contingent vice presidential election by the Senate in history, under the Twelfth Amendment with the U.S. Senate deciding between the top two vote-getters Johnson and Granger.[1] Johnson won that 33-16.

In the same election, Granger was also running as a Whig candidate for election to the 25th Congress, but failed in that bid as well.

He was re-elected to Congress as a Whig to the 26th and 27th Congresses (March 4, 1839 to March 5, 1841) and then in 1841, Granger was appointed Postmaster General in the Cabinet of President William Henry Harrison and served from March 6 to September 18, 1841,[1] after which he was again elected to the Congress in a special election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Greig. He served from November 27, 1841 to March 3, 1843 and was not a candidate for reelection in 1842.[1]

A supporter of the Compromise of 1850, Granger led the pro-Fillmore group which became known as the Silver Gray Whigs after Granger's own silver hair. This faction would remain in conflict with the anti-Compromise Sewardites until the collapse of the Whig Party in the state in 1855.

Chairman of the Whig National Executive Committee from 1856 to 1860, Granger joined in the call for the convention of the Constitutional Union Party that was held in May 1860. He was then a member of the peace convention of 1861 held in Washington, D.C. in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war. He died in Canandaigua and was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery.

Today, he is the namesake of Francis Granger Middle School, a junior high school in Aurora, Illinois.

He was also famous for his saying "When the sun does shine, white's your wine."

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Freehling, William. "Francis Granger (1841): Postmaster General". American President: An Online Reference Resource. University of Virginia. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  2. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John M. Niles
United States Postmaster General
Served under: William Henry Harrison, John Tyler

March 6, 1841 – September 18, 1841
Succeeded by
Charles A. Wickliffe
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Dickson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 26th congressional district

1835-03-04 – 1837-03-03
Succeeded by
Mark H. Sibley
Preceded by
Mark H. Sibley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 26th congressional district

1839-03-04 – 1841-03-05
Succeeded by
John Greig
Preceded by
John Greig
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 26th congressional district

1841-11-27 – 1843-03-03
Succeeded by
Amasa Dana
Party political offices
New political party Whig nominee for
Vice President of the United States

1836
with John Tyler¹
Succeeded by
John Tyler
Notes and references
1. The Whig Party ran regional candidates in 1836; John Tyler ran in the Southern states, and Granger ran in the Northern states.