Frank S. Black

32nd Governor, 1897-1898
Frank S. Black

Frank S. Black (1853–1913) entered politics following a law career in Troy, New York. He developed a solid reputation after successfully prosecuting a high-profile murder case, and was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1894. After serving one term, he was nominated to run for governor and won by a large majority. Governor Black urged the completion of the State Capitol, lobbied for election reform, endorsed the Spanish-American War, and made improvements to the Erie Canal.

Frank S. Black
About the Artist

George Hughes (1863–1932) attended St. Joseph’s Academy in Albany, before studying for seven years at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He returned to open a studio in New York, and later returned to Albany where he painted portraits.


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From the Encyclopedia of New York State

Black, Frank S(wett) (b Limington, Maine, 8 Mar 1853; d Troy, Rensselaer Co, 22 Mar 1913). Governor.

After graduating from Dartmouth in 1875, Black became editor of the Johnstown Journal (Fulton Co) but moved to Troy within a year, where he was admitted to the bar in 1879 and soon entered private practice. In 1893 he became chair of the Rensselaer Co Republican Committee, which he unified and solidified, and he also handled the receiverships of Troy Steel and Iron Co and Gilbert Car Co. In 1894 he was elected to Congress; after serving one term he was nominated for governor in 1896 and won by a large majority. As governor, he advocated a sensible civil service code and backed a bill giving appointing officers greater prerogatives. He also approved (1897) New York City charter legislation.

His party chose Theodore Roosevelt for the 1898 gubernatorial nomination, and Black returned to private life, practicing law in New York City.


Kathryn T. Sheehan


Peter Eisenstadt, ed., The Encyclopedia of New York State
(Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2005), [p. 183].
© Syracuse University Press. Reproduced with permission from the publisher.