Miller, Nathan L(ewis) (b Solon, Cortland Co, 10 Oct 1868; d New York City, 26 June 1953). Governor.
Miller’s first public office was as a school commissioner in Cortland Co (1894–1900). He served as county Republican chairman until he was appointed state comptroller from 1901 until 1903, when he was appointed to a vacancy in the state supreme court, where he served until 1913. He later served in the Court of Appeals for New York State (1913–15). After resigning from the court he practiced law in Syracuse, becoming general counsel to Solvay Process Co. He ran for governor in 1920 and gave Alfred E. Smith his first political defeat. Miller was a staunch conservative, leading some, including Eleanor Roosevelt, to refer to him as a reactionary.
While in office he strengthened the laws against suspected radicals, was suspicious of the political power of newly enfranchised women, and was skeptical of the progressive reforms of Al Smith. In 1922 Smith defeated Miller in the governor’s race, and Miller retired from active politics.
At the time of his death, Miller was general counsel for US Steel Corp. Colleagues regarded him as a fiscal conservative in politics and a “lawyer’s lawyer” in the courtroom.
Branche, Lewis. Governors of New York (Watertown: Watertown Daily Times, 1958)
Peter Eisenstadt, ed., The Encyclopedia of New York State
(Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2005), [p. 985-86].
© Syracuse University Press. Reproduced with permission from the publisher.