Isaac Tichenor

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Isaac Tichenor
Isaac Tichenor.jpg
United States Senator
from Vermont
In office
March 4, 1815 – March 3, 1821
Preceded byJonathan Robinson
Succeeded byHoratio Seymour
In office
October 18, 1796 – October 17, 1797
Preceded byMoses Robinson
Succeeded byNathaniel Chipman
3rd and 5th Governor of Vermont
In office
October 14, 1808 – October 14, 1809
LieutenantPaul Brigham
Preceded byIsrael Smith
Succeeded byJonas Galusha
In office
October 16, 1797 – October 9, 1807
LieutenantPaul Brigham
Preceded byPaul Brigham
Succeeded byIsrael Smith
7th Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives
In office
Preceded byIncrease Moseley
Succeeded byNathaniel Niles
Personal details
Born(1754-02-08)February 8, 1754
Newark, Province of New Jersey, British America
DiedDecember 11, 1838(1838-12-11) (aged 84)
Bennington, Vermont, U.S.
Political partyFederalist

Isaac Tichenor (February 8, 1754 – December 11, 1838) was an American lawyer and politician. He served as the third and fifth Governor of Vermont and United States Senator from Vermont.


Tichenor was born in Newark in the Province of New Jersey. He graduated from Princeton University in 1775[1] and moved for a short while to Schenectady, New York where he studied law. He is a descendant of Martin Tichenor (1625–1681), an early colonist and original settler of Newark, New Jersey.


In 1777, Tichenor moved to Bennington, Vermont and served as an Assistant Commissary General during the American Revolution. He was elected captain and commander of a Bennington militia company, which was activated for service several times in Vermont and upstate New York.[2] He was also appointed a justice of the peace.[3]

He was a member of the Vermont House of Representatives from 1781 to 1784[4] and served as Speaker of the House in 1783.[5] He was an agent from the Vermont Republic to the Continental Congress, and presented Vermont's request for admission to the Union from 1782 to 1789.[6]

After Vermont's admission to the Union in 1791, Tichenor ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the United States House of Representatives against Matthew Lyon and Israel Smith, receiving 29% of the vote in the first round. He was an associate justice of the Vermont Supreme Court from 1791 to 1794, and Chief Justice in 1795 and 1796.[7]

Tichenor was also active in the Vermont militia, and attained the rank of major general as commander of its 2nd Division.[8][9][10]

In 1796 he was elected to fill the unexpired term of Moses Robinson in the United States Senate beginning on October 18, 1796. He was re-elected to a full six-year term to begin on March 4, 1797, but he resigned on October 17, 1797, when he was elected Governor of Vermont.[6]

Tichenor was a member of the Federalist Party; when that party dominated the federal government in the 1790s many leading politicians in Vermont joined the Democratic-Republican Party and opposed a strong federal government at the national level. Despite dominating the Governor's office for a decade, Tichenor's elections reflected the decline of the Federalist Party as a whole, as he won by increasingly narrow margins. After his last consecutive victory in 1806, he lost in 1807, won narrowly won 1808, and lost in 1809, 1810, and 1817 by increasing margins.

In 1815, Tichenor returned to the United States Senate, where he served until 1821. By the end of his term the Federalist Party had ceased to exist.[1]


After completing his Senate term, Tichenor lived in retirement in Bennington. He died in Bennington on December 11, 1838, and is interred at Bennington Village Cemetery, Bennington, Bennington County, Vermont.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Isaac Tichenor". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  2. ^ Goodrich, John E. (1904). State of Vermont: Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary War, 1775 to 1783. Rutland, VT: The Tuttle Company. p. 424.
  3. ^ Goodrich, p. 462
  4. ^ "Sen. Isaac Tichenor". Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  5. ^ "SPEAKERS OF THE HOUSE". State of Vermont. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c "Isaac Tichenor". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  7. ^ "Men of Vermont – Isaac Tichenor". Vermont History and Genealogy. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  8. ^ Post, Hoyt (1908). American Lineage of Hoyt Post of Detroit, Michigan. Charleston, SC: BiblioBazaar (2009 reprint). p. 10. ISBN 978-1-113-25411-5.
  9. ^ Ullery, Jacob G. (1894). Men of Vermont Illustrated. Brattleboro, VT: Transcript Publishing Company. p. 71.
  10. ^ Walton, E. P. (1876). Records of the Governor and Council of the State of Vermont. IV. Montpelier, VT: J. and J. M. Poland. p. 483.

Further reading[edit]

  • Crockett, Walter H., "Isaac Tichenor", Vermonters: A Book of Biographies, Brattleboro: Stephen Daye Press, 1931, pp. 220–223.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Brigham
Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
Israel Smith
Preceded by
Israel Smith
Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
Jonas Galusha
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Moses Robinson
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Vermont
October 18, 1796 – October 17, 1797
Served alongside: Elijah Paine
Succeeded by
Nathaniel Chipman
Preceded by
Jonathan Robinson
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Vermont
March 4, 1815 – March 3, 1821
Served alongside: Dudley Chase, James Fisk, William A. Palmer
Succeeded by
Horatio Seymour