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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BUCKINGHAM, William Alfred, governor of Connecticut, born in Lebanon, Connecticut, 28 May, 1804; died in Norwich, Connecticut, 3 February, 1875. He was educated in the public schools, and spent his boyhood on his father's farm. When twenty-one years old he removed to Norwich, and was for many years a successful merchant and manufacturer there. He was mayor of the City in 1849, 1850, 1856, and 1857, and was elected governor of the state every year from 1858 till 1866, when he refused a renomination. In 1860 the result of the election in Connecticut was awaited with interest by the whole country, and the southern leaders regarded the defeat of ex-Governor Thomas H. Seymour, the democratic candidate, by Governor Buckingham, as an indication of the general feeling at the north. During the war Governor Buckingham co-operated promptly with the president, and was untiring in his efforts to sustain the national government. He was one of the governors on whom Mr. Lincoln especially leaned. The number of troops he raised was prodigious for the population of the state, then only 461,000. Connecticut never suffered a draft, and sent into the field nearly 55,000 men--6,000 more than her quota. This was due largely to Governor Buckingham's efforts. Although known as the " war governor of Connecticut," he was by nature and training a civilian, of kindly disposition and gentle manners. He was president of the American temperance union, moderator of the first national Congregational council, and one of the corporate members of the American board of commissioners for foreign missions. After two years in private life he was elected, in 1868, to the United States senate, and died just before the expiration of his term. Governor Buckingham contributed liberally to the poor, and for religious and educational purposes; among his gifts was $25,000 to Yale theological school. A bronze statue of Governor Buckingham was unveiled in the state-house at, Hartford, Connecticut, on 18 June, 1884.
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