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Frederick Holbrook

Frederick Holbrook in 1901

In office
Lieutenant Levi Underwood /Paul Dillingham
Preceded by Erastus Fairbanks
Succeeded by J. Gregory Smith

Born February 15, 1814(1814-02-15)
East Windsor, Connecticut
Died April 27, 1909 (aged 95)
Brattleboro, Vermont
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Harriet Goodhue
Profession agriculturist / politician

Frederick Holbrook (February 15, 1814 - April 27, 1909) was an agriculturist, politician, and the 27th Governor of Vermont.


Early life

Holbrook was born in East Windsor, Connecticut, son of John and Sara (Knowlton) Holbrook. He attended Berkshire Gymnasium, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, for two years, then visited Europe in 1833. When he returned, he settled in Brattleboro, Vermont, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits.

Political career

He was elected register of probate for the district of Marlboro in 1847, and represented Windham County in the Vermont Senate in 1849 and 1850, where, as chairman of a special committee on agriculture, he proposed to Congress the establishment of a national bureau of agriculture. He was a founder of the Vermont State Agricultural Association in 1850, and served as its president for eight years.

He ran as a Republican candidate for governor in 1861, and was elected by a large majority, 33,152 votes compared to 5,722 for his nearest competitor, Andrew Tracy. He was reelected in 1862, receiving 29,543 votes; his nearest competitor, B. H. Smalley, only received 3,772 votes.In his second inaugural address, Governor Holbrook said "It is gratifying to realize that at each and every call of our country, in her hour of peril, thousands of the young men of our State have willingly and eagerly seized arms and have gone or are going forth to battle for the Union."[1]

Civil War

Governor Holbrook served as governor during what many consider the darkest days of the American Civil War. His administration saw the recruitment of 10 infantry regiments, 2 light artillery batteries, and 3 sharpshooter companies. Under his administration, as well, Vermont built three military hospitals in the state which were "soon credited by the United States medical inspector with perfecting a larger percentage of cures than any United States military hospital record elsewhere could show."[2]


After his two terms as governor, he refused all further offers of public office, although he was diligently sought for a variety of positions. He died in his adopted hometown, Brattleboro.

See also

Vermont in the Civil War


  • Crockett, Walter Hill, Vermont The Green Mountain State, New York: The Century History Company, Inc., 1921, iii:522, 547-548
  • Dodge, Prentiss C., compiler. Encyclopedia Vermont Biography, Burlington, VT: Ullery Publishing Company, 1912, p. 40.
  • Ullery, Jacob G., Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont, Brattleboro, VT: Transcript Publishing Company, 1894, Part II, pp. 198–200.


  1. ^ Crockett, Walter Hill, Vermont The Green Mountain State, New York: The Century History Company, Inc., 1921, iii:522, 547-548
  2. ^ Nancy E. Boone and Michael Sherman, "Designed to Cure: Civil War Hospitals in Vermont," Vermont History, Winter 2001, 69:174


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