Seabury Ford

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Seabury Ford
20th Governor of Ohio
In office
January 22, 1849 – December 12, 1850
Preceded byWilliam Bebb
Succeeded byReuben Wood
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the Geauga County district
In office
December 7, 1835 – December 5, 1841
Serving with four others
Preceded byLewis Dille
Lester Taylor
Succeeded byJohn P. Converse
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the Cuyahoga & Geauga counties district
In office
December 6, 1841 – December 3, 1843
Preceded byRichard Lord
Succeeded byMoses Kelley
In office
December 1, 1845 – December 5, 1847
Preceded byMoses Kelley
Succeeded byFranklin T. Backus
Personal details
Born(1801-10-15)October 15, 1801
Cheshire, Connecticut
DiedMay 8, 1855(1855-05-08) (aged 53)
Burton, Ohio
Political partyWhig
SpouseHarriet E. Cook
Alma materYale University

Seabury Ford (October 15, 1801 – May 8, 1855) was a Whig politician from Ohio. He served as the 20th governor of Ohio and was the last Whig to serve as governor.

Early life[edit]

Ford was born in Cheshire, Connecticut and moved to Burton, Ohio with his parents in 1804. He studied at Burton Academy, and then graduated from Yale University.[1] While at Yale, he was elected by his classmates as class "bully", a term of honor for the physically strongest man in the class.[2]


Ford graduated from Yale in 1825, returned to Ohio, and read law under the direction of his uncle, Judge Peter Hitchcock. He commenced the practice of law in 1827.[3][4] While practicing law, Ford became involved in the state militia and was promoted to the rank of major general.[5] Ford married Harriet E. Cook of Burton in 1828.[3]

In 1835, Ford was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives from Geauga County. He held this position three times, and served as speaker for one term.[5] From 1841 to 1848, he served in the Ohio State Senate.[4]

After serving in the General Assembly, Ford was elected to the governorship in late 1848, by a margin of 311 votes out of nearly 300,000 cast. Ford served only a single term before returning home. His term was marred by fighting in a highly partisan Assembly that was divided over issues related to slavery and the Mexican–American War, as well as by a cholera epidemic that swept through Columbus.


On the first Sunday after his retirement, Ford suffered a stroke and was stricken by paralysis, from which he never recovered.[3] He died at his home in Burton in 1855 when he was 53 years old.[3][4] Ford is interred at Welton Cemetery in Burton, Ohio.[5]


  1. ^ "Seabury Ford". The Ohio Historical Society. Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
  2. ^ Upton, Harriet Taylor (1910). Cutler, Harry Gardner (ed.). History of the Western Reserve. Vol. 1. New York: The Lewis Publishing Company. p. 313.
  3. ^ a b c d The History of Champaign county, Ohio: ... Chicago: W H Beers. 1881. p. 167.
  4. ^ a b c Ryan, Daniel J (1888). A History of Ohio with Biographical Sketches of her Governors and the Ordinance of 1787. Columbus, Ohio: A H Smythe. pp. 181–182.
  5. ^ a b c "Ohio Governor Seabury Ford". National Governors Association. Retrieved July 13, 2012.

External links[edit]