Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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GILLETTE, Francis, senator, born in Windsor, now Bloomfield, Hartford County, Connecticut, 14 December 1807" died in Hartford, Connecticut, 30 September, 1879. He was graduated at Yale in 1829 with the valedictory, and then studied law with Governor William W. Ellsworth. Failing health compelled him to relinquish this pursuit, and he settled in Bloomfield as a farmer. In 1832 and again in 1836 he was sent to the legislature, where he gained notice in 1838 by his anti-slavery speech advocating the striking out of the word "white" from the state constitution. In 1841 he was nominated against his own will for the office of governor by the Liberty party, and during the twelve following years frequently received a similar nomination from the Liberty and Free-soil parties. He was elected by a coalition between the Whigs, temperance men, and Free-soilers, in 1854, to fill the vacancy in the United States senate caused by the resignation of Truman Smith, and served from 25 May, 1854, till 3 March, 1855. Mr. Gillette was active in the formation of the Republican party, and was for several years a silent partner in the "Evening Press," the first distinctive organ of that party. He was active in the cause of education throughout his life, was a coadjutor of Dr. Henry Barnard from 1838 till 1842, one of the first trustees of the State normal school, and for many years its president. Mr. Gillette took interest in agricultural matters, was an advocate of total abstinence, and delivered lectures and addresses on both subjects. He moved to Hartford in 1852, and passed the latter part of his life in that City.--His son, Edward Hooker, congressman, born in Bloomfield. Connecticut, 1 October, 1840, was educated at the Hartford high-school, and the New York state agricultural College at Ovid. In 1863 he removed to Iowa and settled in Des Moines, where he has since been occupied in farming, in manufacturing, and in editing the "Iowa Tribune." He has held the office of chairman of the National committee of the National greenback party for several years, and was a delegate to the conventions that nominated Peter Cooper, James B. Weaver, and Benjamin F. Butler for the presidency. In 1879 he was elected to congress as a National greenbacker from Iowa, and served from 4 March, 1879, till 3 March, 1881.--Another son, William Hooker, actor, born in Hartford, Connecticut, 24 July, 1853, was graduated at the Hartford high-school in 1873, and studied at the University of the City of New York during 1875-'6. He obtained an appointment in one of the New York theatres, and his evenings were spent on the stage. During 1876-'7 he studied at the Boston University, and also attended the lectures of Professor Lewis B. Monroe, still acting during the evenings. Subsequently he devoted himself entirely, to the stage, and played in various roles in the principal cities of the United States. His greatest success was in the character of the Private Secretary, in the play of that name. He has also acted leading parts in plays written by him. These include "The Professor," first produced at the Madison square theatre, New York, in June, 1881; with Mrs. Frances H. Burnett, "Esmerahta," introduced at the same theatre in October, 1881, and "Held by the Enemy," originally played at the Madison square in February, 1886, and in London in April, 1887. r
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