George Folsom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
George Folsom, New York author and politician

George Folsom (May 23, 1802 – March 27, 1869) was an American lawyer, historian, librarian, diplomat and politician from New York.


He was born on May 23, 1802, in Kennebunk, York County, District of Maine, the son of Thomas Folsom (1769–1844), a jeweller and tavern-keeper, and Edna (Ela) Folsom (1775–1851). The family removed to Portland, Maine in 1809. George graduated from Harvard College in 1822. Then he studied law with U.S. Attorney Ether Shepley in Saco, Maine, was admitted to the bar, and practiced in Worcester, Massachusetts. While studying law he prepared the History of Saco and Biddeford (on-line copy; 331 pages) which was published in 1830. In 1831 he was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society,[1] and was a member of its publishing committee from 1834 to 1837.[2]

About 1837, he removed to New York City, and practiced law there. He married Margaret Cornelia Winthrop (1801–1863), and their children were Margaret Winthrop Folsom (1842–1925), Helen Stuyvesant Folsom (b. 1843) and George Winthrop Folsom (1846–1915). He also became a member of the New York Historical Society, and was chosen the society's librarian, and one of the secretaries. In 1843, he translated and published The Despatches of Hernando Cortes (on-line copy; 431 pages).

He was an American Republican member of the New York State Senate (1st D.) from 1845 to 1847, sitting in the 68th, 69th and 70th New York State Legislatures. At the New York state election, 1846, he ran on the American ticket for Lieutenant Governor of New York. He was U.S. Chargé d'affaires to the Netherlands from 1850 to 1853.

In 1860, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of law from the University of Vermont.

He died on March 27, 1869, in Rome, Italy. He was buried at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery.


  1. ^ American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
  2. ^ [1] Proceedings of the American antiquarian society, 1812-1849 Worcester, MA. 1912


New York State Senate
Preceded by
John B. Scott
New York State Senate
First District (Class 2)

Succeeded by
district abolished
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Auguste Davezac
U.S. Chargé d'affaires to the Netherlands
Succeeded by
August Belmont