Hunt, Washington (b Windham, Greene Co, 5 Aug 1811; d New York City, 2 Feb 1867). Governor and US representative.
Educated in common schools, Hunt later studied law, was admitted to the bar (1834), and established a practice at Lockport (Niagara Co). After an unsuccessful bid for US Congress (1836), he was appointed judge (1836-41) in Niagara Co. A Whig, he served three terms in US Congress (1843-49) but refused a fourth term. He subsequently served as state comptroller (1849-50) and governor (1851-52). While governor, he sought Erie Canal expansion funded by the sale of canal revenue certificates, a plan that was later deemed unconstitutional. After losing his reelection bid in 1852, Hunt retired to his Lockport farm. He served as temporary chairman of the Whig Party’s last national convention (1856) and joined the Democrats when the Whig Party disintegrated. In 1860 he declined the Democratic nomination for US vice president and later served as a Democratic National Convention delegate (1864).
Holt, Michael F. The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War (New York: Oxford Univ Press, 1999)
Peter Eisenstadt, ed., The Encyclopedia of New York State
(Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2005), [p. 750-51].
© Syracuse University Press. Reproduced with permission from the publisher.