The Info List - David B. Hill

David Bennett Hill (August 29, 1843 – October 20, 1910) was an American politician from New York who was the 29th Governor of New York from 1885 to 1891. He also represented New York in the United States Senate from 1892 to 1897. Life[edit]

Gubernatorial portrait of David B. Hill.

David B. Hill
David B. Hill
was born on August 29, 1843 in Havana, New York. He was educated locally, studied law, and began a practice in Elmira in 1864. In 1864 was he was named Elmira's City Attorney. He was a Democratic member of the New York State Assembly
New York State Assembly
(Chemung County) in 1871 and 1872. Hill was elected an alderman of Elmira in 1880, served as Mayor of Elmira in 1882, and was President of the New York State Bar Association from 1886 to 1887. Hill served as Lieutenant Governor from 1883 to 1885, elected in 1882 on the ticket with Governor Grover Cleveland. He became governor in 1885, when Cleveland took office as President of the United States. Hill won election to the office of governor in his own right in 1885 and 1888. While Cleveland had publicly advocated for civil service reform, Hill embraced the role of patronage in politics and built up a strong following. During Hill's tenure as governor, the Democratic Party organization in New York polarized between those loyal to Hill and those who favored Cleveland.[1] As governor, Hill opposed attempts to enact civil service reform and impose taxes on liquor. He supported tenement house regulation and labor reforms, such as maximum work hours.[2] On May 15, 1885, Hill signed "a bill establishing a ' Forest
Preserve' of 715,000 acres that was to remain permanently 'as wild forest lands.'"[3] This tract soon became the Adirondack Park. During his tenure as governor, William Kemmler
William Kemmler
was executed in the electric chair, the first inmate in the country ever to be put to death in this manner. On April 23, 1889, Hill vetoed a bill from the state legislature that would block the street construction at the Polo Grounds. He also vetoed two times (1888 and 1889) a ballot reform bill by the Republican legislature to stop the rife election fraud in New York.[4] After the 1888 elections, which saw the defeat of Cleveland and the re-election of Hill, Hill established effective control over the state Democratic Party. Democratic gains in the 1890 elections gave the Democratic Party a majority in the legislature and the ability, and Hill had the legislature elect him to the United States Senate. The legislature elected Hill to the Senate in January 1891, but Hill did not take the seat until January 1892.[1] Hill sought the Democratic nomination in the 1892 presidential election, running as a supporter of bimetallism. Strongly opposed to the prospect of Hill winning the party's nomination, Cleveland decided to seek a second term. At the 1892 Democratic National Convention, Cleveland defeated Hill and Governor Horace Boies
Horace Boies
on the first presidential ballot. Cleveland went on to defeat President Benjamin Harrison in the general election.[5] Hill was defeated by Republican Levi P. Morton
Levi P. Morton
when, as a sitting U.S senator, he ran again for governor in November 1894. While Senator in 1893 and 1894 he blocked President Cleveland's two appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court: William B. Hornblower
William B. Hornblower
and Wheeler H. Peckham who had opposed Hill's political machine. He was defeated by Republican Thomas C. Platt
Thomas C. Platt
in the 1897 Senate election. Hill opposed the nomination of William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan
in the 1896 presidential election, but supported Bryan in the general election against the Gold Democrats. Hill received significant support for the vice presidency at the 1900 Democratic National Convention, but the party nominated Adlai Stevenson I. Hill served as the campaign manager of Democratic presidential nominee Alton Parker in the 1904 presidential election.[2] Hill died at Wolfert's Roost, his country home near Albany on October 20, 1910 from the effects of Bright's Disease
Bright's Disease
and heart disease. He was buried in Montour Cemetery in Mountour Falls. References[edit]

^ a b Bass, Herbert (July 1960). "JOURNAL ARTICLE DAVID B. HILL AND THE "STEAL OF THE SENATE," 1891". New York History. 41 (3): 299–311.  ^ a b Kennedy, Robert C. (2001). "On This Day". New York Times. Retrieved 22 October 2017.  ^ Nash, Roderick F. 2001. Wilderness and the American Mind, 4th ed. New Haven: Yale University Press, p.119. ^ William M. Ivins: On the Electoral System of the State of New York. A paper presented at the twenty-ninth annual meeting of the New York State Bar Association. New York 1906. ^ "The Democratic Nomination". Harper's Weekly. Retrieved 22 October 2017. 

External links[edit]

Biography portal

Wikimedia Commons has media related to David B. Hill.

A Jeffersonian Governor: David Bennett Hill

United States Congress. " David B. Hill
David B. Hill
(id: H000590)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. 

New York Assembly

Preceded by Edward L. Patrick New York State Assembly Chemung County 1871–1872 Succeeded by Seymour Dexter

Political offices

Preceded by George Gilbert Hoskins Lieutenant Governor of New York 1883–1885 Succeeded by Dennis McCarthy Acting

Preceded by Grover Cleveland Governor of New York 1885–1891 Succeeded by Roswell P. Flower

U.S. Senate

Preceded by William M. Evarts U.S. Senator (Class 3) from New York 1892–1897 Served alongside: Frank Hiscock, Edward Murphy, Jr. Succeeded by Thomas C. Platt

v t e

Governors and Lieutenant Governors of New York


G. Clinton Jay G. Clinton Lewis Tompkins Tayler D. Clinton Yates D. Clinton Pitcher Van Buren Throop Marcy Seward Bouck Wright Young Fish Hunt Seymour Clark King Morgan Seymour Fenton Hoffman J. Adams Dix Tilden Robinson Cornell Cleveland Hill Flower Morton Black T. Roosevelt Odell Higgins Hughes White J. Alden Dix Sulzer Glynn Whitman Smith Miller Smith F. Roosevelt Lehman Poletti Dewey Harriman Rockefeller Wilson Carey M. Cuomo Pataki Spitzer Paterson A. Cuomo

Lieutenant Governors

Van Cortlandt S. Van Rensselaer J. Van Rensselaer Broome Tayler Clinton Tayler Swift Tayler Root Tallmadge Pitcher P. Livingston Dayan Throop Stebbins Oliver E. Livingston Tracy Bradish Dickinson Gardiner Lester Fish Patterson Church Raymond Selden Campbell Floyd-Jones Alvord Woodford Beach Robinson Dorsheimer Hoskins Hill McCarthy Jones Sheehan Saxton Woodruff Higgins Bruce Raines Chanler White Cobb Conway Glynn Wagner Schoeneck Walker Wood Lusk Lunn Lowman Corning Lehman Bray Poletti Hanley Wallace Hanley Moore Wicks Mahoney DeLuca Wilson Anderson Krupsak Cuomo DelBello Anderson Lundine McCaughey Donohue Paterson Bruno Skelos Smith Espada Ravitch Duffy Hochul

Italics indicate acting officeholders

v t e

United States Senators from New York

Class 1

Schuyler Burr Schuyler Hobart North Watson Morris Bailey Armstrong Mitchill German Sanford Van Buren Dudley Tallmadge Dickinson Fish P. King Morgan Fenton Kernan Platt Miller Hiscock Murphy Depew O'Gorman Calder Copeland Mead Ives Keating Kennedy Goodell Buckley Moynihan H. Clinton Gillibrand

Class 3

R. King Laurance Armstrong D. Clinton Armstrong Smith R. King Sanford Marcy Wright Foster Dix Seward Harris Conkling Lapham Evarts Hill Platt Root Wadsworth Wagner Dulles Lehman Javits D'Amato Schumer

v t e

(1888 ←) United States presidential election, 1892
United States presidential election, 1892
(1896 →)

Republican Party Convention


Benjamin Harrison

VP nominee

Whitelaw Reid


James G. Blaine William McKinley John Sherman

Democratic Party Convention


Grover Cleveland

VP nominee

Adlai Stevenson I


David B. Hill Horace Boies

Third party and independent candidates

Populist Party


James B. Weaver

VP nominee

James G. Field


James H. Kyle Leonidas L. Polk Walter Q. Gresham

Prohibition Party


John Bidwell

VP nominee

James Cranfill


Gideon T. Stewart William Jennings Demorest

Socialist Labor Party


Simon Wing

VP nominee

Charles H. Matchett

Other 1892 elections: House Senate

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 60726484 LCCN: n91085648 US Congress: H000590 SN