Francis R. Shunk
|Francis R. Shunk|
|10th Governor of Pennsylvania|
January 21, 1845 – July 9, 1848
|Preceded by||David R. Porter|
|Succeeded by||William F. Johnston|
|Born||Francis Rawn Shunk
August 7, 1788
|Died||July 20, 1848
|Spouse(s)||Jane Findlay (married 1820–1848; his death)|
Shunk was born on August 7, 1788, in Trappe, Pennsylvania, to a poor farming family of German descent. His great-grandfather Caspar Schunck was born in the Rhineland and settled in the Province of Pennsylvania. Francis R. Shunk began working on his father's farm at age 10. He continued to attend school, and by age 16 had received his qualification as a teacher and started working in the school schools.
Originally a Democratic-Republican in politics, and later a Democrat, in 1812 Shunk was appointed Clerk to state Surveyor General Andrew Porter, the father of Governor David R. Porter. Shunk served in the Pennsylvania militia during the War of 1812, and took part in the 1814 defense of Baltimore.
After the war Shunk was appointed Principal Clerk of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. In 1820 he married Jane Findlay, daughter of Pennsylvania Governor and Senator, William Findlay, and Pennsylvania First Lady Nancy Irwin Findlay.
From 1829 to 1839 Shunk served as Secretary of the state Canal Commission, a critical position in the government during a period when major canal, railroad and other public works projects were planned and constructed.
In 1839 Shunk was appointed Secretary of the Commonwealth, and he served until 1842.
Governor of Pennsylvania
When Democratic gubernatorial candidate Henry A. P. Muhlenberg unexpectedly died in August 1844, Shunk was selected as the party's replacement nominee. He narrowly defeated Whig candidate Joseph Markle. Shunk was reelected in 1847 but ill health caused by tuberculosis compelled him to retire before his second term was complete. He resigned on July 9, 1848, and died in Harrisburg on July 20, 1848, just eleven days after resigning. Shunk was buried at Augustus Lutheran Church Cemetery in Trappe.
The village of Shunk in Fox Township, Sullivan County is also named for him.
- Francis R. Shunk at Find a Grave
- Francis R. Shunk at Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission
- Francis Rawn Shunk at National Governors Association
- Francis R. Shunk at Political Graveyard
Thomas Henry Burrowes
|Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Anson V. Parsons
David R. Porter
|Governor of Pennsylvania
William F. Johnston
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