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Caleb Strong

In office
May 30, 1800 – May 29, 1807
June 1812 – May 30, 1816
Lieutenant Samuel Phillips, Jr. (1801-1802)
Edward H. Robbins (1802-1806)
William Phillips, Jr. (1812-1816)
Preceded by Governor's Council (1800)
Elbridge Gerry (1812)
Succeeded by James Sullivan (1807)
John Brooks (1816)

In office
March 4, 1789 – June 1, 1796
Preceded by Office Created
Succeeded by Theodore Sedgwick

Born January 9, 1745(1745-01-09)
Northampton, Massachusetts
Died November 7, 1819 (aged 74)
Northampton, Massachusetts
Political party Federalist/Pro-Administration
Alma mater Harvard University

Caleb Strong (January 9, 1745 - November 7, 1819) was Massachusetts lawyer and politician who served as the governor of Massachusetts between 1800 and 1807, and again from 1812 until 1816.

He was born in Northampton, Massachusetts. During the American Revolution he served on the Northampton Committee of Safety. He was a delegate to the 1779 Massachusetts Constitutional Convention and helped write the 1780 state constitution. He was elected as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1780 but did not serve. He sat on the first Massachusetts Governor's Council, and was a state senator from 1780 to 1789.[1]

Strong was elected as a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention that drafted the U.S. Constitution. Illness of his wife forced him to return to Massachusetts before the work was completed, so he did not sign the document. However, he supported its adoption by the state's ratifying convention.

Governor Strong opposed the War of 1812 to the point of refusing to call out the state militia to support the war. A strong Federalist, he nonetheless adhered to the states' rights view that only the governor had the power to call out the state militia, not the U.S. President. Near the end of the war, during the Hartford Convention, Strong entered secret negotiations with the British which would have ceded them northern Maine in return for agreeing to a separate peace with Massachusetts. However the Treaty of Ghent ended the war before terms could be finalized.[2]

Strong died in Northampton, Massachusetts, and is buried at the Bridge Street Cemetery in Northampton, Massachusetts.

In World War II the United States liberty ship SS Caleb Strong was named in his honor.

The town of Strong, Maine is named after Governor Strong.[3] Windham, Ohio was also originally named in Strong's honor; the original name of this village was Strongsburg.


  1. ^ Source for this paragraph: David L. Sterling. "Strong, Caleb"; American National Biography Online, Feb. 2000.
  2. ^ Samuel Eliot Morison, Harrison Gray Otis, 1765-1848: The Urbane Federalist (1913); revised edition (1969), pp. 362-70.
  3. ^ "STRONG COMMUNITY PROFILE". Retrieved 2007-04-21.  

External links

United States Senate
Preceded by
Office Created
United States Senator (Class 2) from Massachusetts
March 4, 1789 – June 1, 1796
Served alongside: Tristram Dalton, George Cabot
Succeeded by
Theodore Sedgwick
Political offices
Preceded by
Governor's Council
(as Acting Governor)
Governor of Massachusetts
May 30, 1800 – May 29, 1807
Succeeded by
James Sullivan
Preceded by
Elbridge Gerry
Governor of Massachusetts
June, 1812–May 30, 1816
Succeeded by
John Brooks


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