William A. Dart

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William Allen Dart (October 25, 1814 in West Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York – March 8, 1890 in Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co., NY) was an American lawyer and politician from New York.


He was the son of Simeon Dart (1770–1859) and Phebe (Allen) Dart (1778–1873). He worked on his father's farm, attended St. Lawrence Academy and taught school. In 1834, he became a clerk in the law office of John Leslie Russell in Canton, New York, and the next year began to study law with Judge Horace Allen in Potsdam. Dart was admitted to the bar in 1840, and practiced in Potsdam. In September 1841, he married Judge Allen's daughter Harriet S. Allen (b. 1822), and they had two daughters.

He was appointed Postmaster of Potsdam in 1845, and was District Attorney of St. Lawrence County from 1845 to 1847. He joined the Free Soil Party in 1848.

He was a member of the New York State Senate (15th D.) in 1850 and 1851. He was among the 12 state senators who resigned on April 17, 1851, to prevent a quorum in the Senate; and was re-elected at the special election on May 27.

Upon its foundation in 1855, he joined the Republican Party. In April 1861, he was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln as United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York, and remained in office until 1866 when he was removed by President Andrew Johnson.

In 1869, he was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant as U.S. Consul-General at Montreal, Canada, and remained in office until 1878 when he resumed his law practice at Potsdam, in partnership with his son-in-law George Z. Erwin (1840–1894).


  • The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (pages 136, 140 and 380; Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858)
  • Dart genealogy transcribed from Genealogical and Family History of Northern New York by William Richard Cutter (1910), at RootsWeb
New York State Senate
Preceded by
John Fine
New York State Senate
15th District

Succeeded by
Henry B. Smith
Legal offices
Preceded by
James Clark Spencer
U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York
Succeeded by
William Dorsheimer