Richard Skinner (American politician)

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Richard Skinner
Richard Skinner.jpg
9th Governor of Vermont
In office
October 23, 1820 – October 10, 1823
LieutenantWilliam Cahoon
Aaron Leland
Preceded byJonas Galusha
Succeeded byCornelius P. Van Ness
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Vermont's At-large district
In office
March 4, 1813 – March 3, 1815
Preceded bySeat added
Succeeded byCharles Marsh
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1778-05-30)May 30, 1778
Litchfield, Connecticut
DiedMay 23, 1833(1833-05-23) (aged 54)
Manchester, Vermont
Resting placeDellwood Cemetery, Manchester, Vermont
Political partyDemocratic Republican
Spouse(s)Fanny Pierpont
RelationsRoger Skinner (brother)
Children4 (including Mark Skinner)
EducationLitchfield Law School
ProfessionLawyer / judge / politician

Richard Skinner (May 30, 1778 – May 23, 1833) was an American politician, attorney, and jurist who served as the ninth Governor of Vermont.


Skinner was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, the son of Timothy Skinner and Susanna Marsh Skinner. Judge Roger Skinner was his brother. Richard Skinner completed preparatory studies and graduated from Litchfield Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1800, and began a practice in Manchester, Vermont. He married Fanny Pierpont and they had four children, including prominent Illinois politician Mark Skinner.[1] Among the prospective attorneys who learned the law in Skinner's office was Pierpoint Isham, who served as a Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court from 1851 to 1856.[2]


In 1801, Skinner became the state's attorney for Bennington County, a position he held until 1813. From 1805 to 1813, Skinner was probate judge for the Manchester district.

In the 1812 elections, Skinner was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives for Vermont's new created 5th District. He served a single two-year term (the 13th Congress) from March 4, 1813, to March 3, 1815.[3] Skinner lost in the 1814 election to the 14th Congress and returned to Vermont to resume the practice of law.

Skinner became a Judge on the Vermont Supreme Court in 1815 and 1816; he succeeded Asa Aldis as Chief Justice in 1816,[4] but declined reappointment to the post in 1817. He was a member of the Vermont House of Representatives in 1815 and 1818, serving as Speaker in the latter year.[5]

In 1819, Skinner briefly returned to his former position of Bennington County state's attorney. The same year, he was elected Governor of Vermont, and served from 1820 until 1823, when he became the Chief Justice on the Vermont Supreme Court. Skinner held this position until 1828, when he retired from public life.

Skinner was interested in public education and served as president of the northeastern branch of the American Educational Society and a trustee of Middlebury College.


Skinner died in Manchester and is interred at Dellwood Cemetery, Manchester, Bennington County, Vermont.[6]


  1. ^ "Richard Skinner". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
  2. ^ Aldrich, Lewis Cass (1889). History of Bennington County, Vt. Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co. pp. 539–541.
  3. ^ "Richard Skinner". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
  4. ^ Watson, Winslow Cossoul (1863). The Life and Character of the Hon. Richard Skinner. Albany, NY: J. Munsell. p. 19.
  5. ^ "Richard Skinner". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
  6. ^ "Richard Skinner". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved October 29, 2012.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
New office
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Vermont's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1813 – March 3, 1815
Succeeded by
Charles Marsh
Political offices
Preceded by
William A. Griswold
Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives
Succeeded by
William A. Griswold
Preceded by
Jonas Galusha
Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
Cornelius P. Van Ness