William L. Dayton


William L. Dayton

Infobox Senator
name=William Lewis Dayton



jr/sr=United States Senator
state=New Jersey
party=Whig, Republican
term=July 2, 1842 – March 3, 1851
preceded=Samuel L. Southard
succeeded=Robert F. Stockton
date of birth=birth date|1807|2|17|mf=y
place of birth=Basking Ridge, New Jersey, U.S.
date of death=death date and age|1864|12|01|1807|02|17
place of death=Paris, France
spouse=Margaret E. Dayton
profession=Politician, Lawyer
religion=

William Lewis Dayton (February 17, 1807 – December 1, 1864) was an American politician.

A distant relation of U.S. House Speaker and U.S. Constitution signatory Jonathan Dayton, he was born in Basking Ridge, New Jersey to farmer Joel Dayton and his wife. He graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1825 and worked as a lawyer in Freehold Borough.

In 1837, he was elected to the New Jersey Senate, then became an associate judge of the New Jersey Supreme Court the following year. Following the death of U.S. Senator Samuel L. Southard he was appointed to the United States Senate starting July 2, 1842 and was re-elected by the New Jersey Legislature as a Whig in 1845, but lost in 1851, ending his service on March 3.

In 1856, he was selected by the nascent Republican Party as their first nominee for Vice President of the United States over Abraham Lincoln at the Philadelphia Convention. He and his running mate, John C. Fremont, lost to the Democratic ticket of James Buchanan and John C. Breckinridge. Afterwards, he served as New Jersey Attorney General until 1861, when President Lincoln appointed him Minister to France, serving in that role from 1861-1864 throughout most of the American Civil War. There, Dayton successfully lobbied the government of Napoleon III not to recognize the independence of the Confederacy or allow it the use of French ports. Dayton died in Paris in 1864 while serving in that capacity. He was buried in Riverview Cemetery, Trenton, New Jersey.James, George. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9501EEDB1131F933A15751C0A9669C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=3 "IN PERSON; He's Looked at Life From Both Sides Now"] , "The New York Times", February 20, 2000. Accessed December 29, 2007.]

His son, William Lewis Dayton, Jr. (1839–1897), graduated from Princeton in 1858 and served as President Chester A. Arthur's Minister to the Netherlands from 1882–1885.

References

ources

* "Republican Campaign Edition for the Million. Containing the Republican Platform, the Lives of Fremont and Dayton, with Beautiful Steel Portraits of Each", 1856 (Boston: John P. Jewett), via Illinois Historical Digitization Projects of the Northern Illinois University Libraries

External links

* [http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=D000166 Biographical Dictionary of the U.S. Congress]
* [http://www.picturehistory.com/find/p/5527/mcms.html Photograph of William Lewis Dayton] at PictureHistory.com
* [http://libweb.princeton.edu/libraries/firestone/rbsc/aids/dayton.html William L. Dayton Papers] at the Princeton University Library


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