Preston King (politician)

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Preston King
Hon. Preston King, N.Y - NARA - 528387.jpg
United States Senator
from New York
In office
March 4, 1857 – March 3, 1863
Preceded byHamilton Fish
Succeeded byEdwin D. Morgan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 18th district
In office
March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1847
Preceded byThomas C. Chittenden
Succeeded byWilliam Collins
In office
March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1853
Preceded byWilliam Collins
Succeeded byPeter Rowe
Personal details
Born(1806-10-14)October 14, 1806
Ogdensburg, New York
DiedNovember 12, 1865(1865-11-12) (aged 59)
New York Harbor, New York City, New York
Political partyDemocrat, Free Soil, Republican

Preston King (October 14, 1806 – November 12, 1865) was a United States Representative and Senator from New York.


Born in Ogdensburg, New York, he pursued classical studies and graduated from Union College in 1827, where he was an early member of The Kappa Alpha Society. He studied law and was admitted to the bar. He established the St. Lawrence Republican in 1830 and was Postmaster of Ogdensburg from 1831 to 1834. He was a Democratic member of the New York State Assembly (St. Lawrence Co.) from 1835 to 1838, sitting in the 58th, 59th, 60th and 61st New York State Legislatures.

Preston King

King was elected as a Democrat to the 28th and 29th United States Congresses, holding office from March 4, 1843, to March 3, 1847. He was Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Invalid Pensions (29th Congress).

He was elected as a Free Soiler to the 31st and 32nd United States Congresses, holding office from March 4, 1849, to March 3, 1853.

He was elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate in February 1857, and served from March 4, 1857, to March 4, 1863. He was Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Revolutionary Claims (37th Congress).

Afterwards he resumed the practice of law, was considered for the Republican vice-presidential nomination in 1860 and was a presidential elector on the Abraham Lincoln ticket in 1864. After the death of President Lincoln, he served as effective White House Chief of Staff during the early days of the Johnson Administration

On August 14, 1865, King was appointed by President Andrew Johnson Collector of the Port of New York, in an effort to eliminate corruption in the Port of New York and to heal divisions within the Republican Party. Despairing of success, King committed suicide by tying a bag of bullets around his neck and leaping from a ferryboat in New York Harbor on November 13, 1865, and was buried at the City Cemetery in Ogdensburg.


  • United States Congress. "Preston King (id: K000211)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Mr. Lincoln and New York: Preston King
  • The Collectorship of New-York in NYT on August 15, 1865
  • The Late Preston King. in NYT on November 18, 1865

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Thomas C. Chittenden
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 18th congressional district

Succeeded by
William Collins
Preceded by
William Collins
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 18th congressional district

Succeeded by
Peter Rowe
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Hamilton Fish
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from New York
Served alongside: William H. Seward and Ira Harris
Succeeded by
Edwin D. Morgan
Government offices
Preceded by
Simeon Draper
Collector of the Port of New York
Succeeded by
Charles P. Clinch