John A. King

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John Alsop King
John Alsop King.jpg
20th Governor of New York
In office
January 1, 1857 – December 31, 1858
Lieutenant Henry R. Selden
Preceded by Myron H. Clark
Succeeded by Edwin D. Morgan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1851
Preceded by Frederick W. Lord
Succeeded by John G. Floyd
Personal details
Born (1788-01-03)January 3, 1788
New York City
Died July 7, 1867(1867-07-07) (aged 79)
Queens County, New York
Political party Republican

John Alsop King (January 3, 1788 – July 7, 1867) was an American politician who was Governor of New York from 1857 to 1858.


He was born in the area now encompassed by New York City on 3 January 1788, the son of U.S. Senator Rufus King (1755–1827) and Mary (Alsop) King. He had four brothers, among them Congressman James G. King (1791–1853), and Charles King who was President of Columbia University.

When his father was appointed the U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, the family moved to Britain, and King was educated at Harrow School. Upon graduating from Harrow, King returned to New York City to study law. He was admitted to the bar and practiced in New York City.

John King's law career was interrupted by a stint in the military; he served as a cavalry lieutenant in the War of 1812. After the war, however, he returned to his law practice and then ventured into politics. King was a member of the New York State Assembly (Queens Co.) in 1819, 1820 and 1820–21; of the New York State Senate (First D.) in 1823; and again of the State Assembly in 1832, 1838 and 1840.

King was elected as a Whig to the 31st United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1849, to March 3, 1851. His term as Governor of New York from 1857 to 1858 was noted for improvements to the State's education system and the enlargement of the Erie Canal.

King died on July 7, 1867, in Queens County, New York.

State Senator John A. King (1817–1900) was his son; Congressman Henry Bell Van Rensselaer (1810–1864) was his son-in-law.


Further reading[edit]

 Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "King, Rufus". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

New York State Senate
Preceded by
new district
New York State Senate
First District (Class 1)

Succeeded by
David Gardiner
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Frederick W. Lord
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
John G. Floyd
Political offices
Preceded by
Myron H. Clark
Governor of New York
Succeeded by
Edwin D. Morgan