James Wright Gordon

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James Wright Gordon
J Wright Gordon.JPG
3rd Governor of Michigan
In office
February 23, 1841 – January 3, 1842
LieutenantThomas J. Drake
Preceded byWilliam Woodbridge
Succeeded byJohn S. Barry
2nd Lieutenant Governor of Michigan
In office
January 7, 1840 – February 23, 1841
GovernorWilliam Woodbridge
Preceded byEdward Mundy
Succeeded byThomas J. Drake
Member of the Michigan Senate
In office
Succeeded byHenry P. Bridge
Personal details
Plainfield, Connecticut
DiedDecember 1853 (aged 43–44)
Pernambuco, Brazil
Political partyWhig

James Wright Gordon (1809 – December 1853), usually referred to as J. Wright Gordon, was a Whig politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.

Life and politics in Michigan[edit]

Gordon was born in Plainfield, Connecticut and studied law at Harvard University.[1] He was a descendant of Edmond Gordon the immigrant, who arrived from England in 1635 as part of the Puritan migration to New England.

He later moved to Michigan, establishing a practice in Marshall, and also lived for a time in Battle Creek. He was a member of the Michigan State Senate (6th district) in 1839 and served as the second Lieutenant Governor from 1840 to 1841.

Gordon became the third Governor of Michigan ex officio, when William Woodbridge resigned on February 23, 1841, to become a U.S. Senator. He completed the remainder of Woodbridge's term, until January 3, 1842.

He ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Representative from Michigan's 2nd congressional district in 1846 and 1847, being defeated by John Smith Chipman.

Death in Brazil[edit]

Gordon was at the U.S. Consul in Pernambuco, Brazil from 1850 to 1853 and died at the age of 44, while in office, when he accidentally fell to his death from a second-story balcony. He is buried in Brazil.


  1. ^ "James Wright Gordon".

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of Michigan
Succeeded by
Preceded by Governor of Michigan
Succeeded by