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Aaron Ogden

In office
October 29, 1812 – October 29, 1813
Preceded by Joseph Bloomfield
Succeeded by William Sanford Pennington

In office
February 28, 1801 – March 3, 1803
Preceded by James Schureman
Succeeded by John Condit

Born December 3, 1756(1756-12-03)
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Died April 19, 1839
Jersey City, New Jersey
Political party Federalist
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Chetwood
Religion Presbyterian

Aaron Ogden (December 3, 1756 – April 19, 1839) was a United States Senator and the 5th Governor of New Jersey.


Early life

Ogden was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey (formerly Elizabethtown). He graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1773, and served as a grammar school tutor from 1773 to 1775.

In the American Revolutionary War, Ogden was appointed a lieutenant in the 1st New Jersey Regiment; his older brother Matthias Ogden was the lieutenant colonel. Aaron Ogden served in various roles through the war, seeing action and rising to the rank of brigade major. He was wounded at the siege of Yorktown in 1781.

Political career

After the war, Ogden studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1784. He commenced practice in Elizabeth. He served as a presidential elector in the 1796 electoral college that elected John Adams. He was clerk of Essex County from 1785–1803, and was elected as a Federalist to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James Schureman and served from February 28, 1801, to March 3, 1803. He lost his bid for reelection to the Senate in 1802. In 1803, Ogden was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly, where he served until 1812. Ogden was elected trustee of the College of New Jersey (later to become Princeton University) in 1803, a post in which he served until his death. Ogden was elected as Governor of New Jersey in 1812.

Ogden was nominated by President James Madison as major general of the Army in 1813, but declined the appointment. He became engaged in steamboat navigation in 1813, and was defendant in the historic Gibbons v. Ogden case that denied New York State's attempted monopoly on steamboat operation between New York and New Jersey. Ogden moved to Jersey City in 1829 and resumed the practice of law. In 1830, he was appointed as collector of customs and served until his death in Jersey City. Ogden's body is interred at the First Presbyterian Church Burial Ground in Elizabeth.


Ogden's nephew Daniel Haines later also served as Governor of New Jersey.

See also


  • Dictionary of American Biography; Baxter, Maurice G.
  • The Steamboat Monopoly: Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972;
  • Ogden, Aaron. Autobiography of Col. Aaron Ogden, of Elizabethtown. Paterson, NJ: Press Printing & Publishing Co., 1893.
  • Purcell, L. Edward. Who Was Who in the American Revolution. New York: Facts on File, 1993. ISBN 0-8160-2107-4.

External links

United States Senate
Preceded by
James Schureman
United States Senator (Class 1) from New Jersey
February 28, 1801–March 3, 1803
Served alongside: Jonathan Dayton
Succeeded by
John Condit
Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Bloomfield
Governor of New Jersey
October 29, 1812-October 29, 1813
Succeeded by
William Sanford Pennington


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