King, John A(lsop) (b New York City, 3 Jan 1788; d Jamaica, Queens Co, 7 July 1867). Governor and US representative.
He was educated in Europe while his father, Rufus King, served as US minister to Great Britain. He served as a lieutenant of cavalry during the War of 1812. He relocated to Jamaica after the war and farmed before undertaking decades of political service, including six terms as assemblyman (1819–21, 1832, 1838, 1840) and one as state senator (1823); he also held diplomatic positions (1825) with his father in Great Britain. King was elected as a Whig to Congress (1849–50), where he opposed the Fugitive Slave Act. After the dissolution of the Whigs, he served as New York State’s first Republican governor (1857–58). While in office, he advocated for revision of the existing excise law, popular education initiatives, increased voting rights for Blacks, and the completion of public works projects. Declining renomination to a second term, he retired to his Jamaica farm.
Alexander, DeAlva Stanwood. A Political History of the State of New York, 4 vols (1906; repr Port Washington, NY: I. J. Friedman, 1969)
Peter Eisenstadt, ed., The Encyclopedia of New York State
(Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2005), [p. 837].
© Syracuse University Press. Reproduced with permission from the publisher.