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This article is about the U.S. Senator from New Hampshire. For his grandfather, the New Hampshire state senator and major general (1734-1799), see Joseph Cilley (state senator).
Joseph Cilley

In office
June 13, 1846 – March 3, 1847
Preceded by Benning W. Jenness
Succeeded by John P. Hale

Born January 4, 1791
Nottingham, New Hampshire, USA
Died September 16, 1887 (aged 96)
Nottingham, New Hampshire, USA
Political party Democrat, Liberty
Profession Politician, Farmer

Joseph Cilley (January 4, 1791 – September 16, 1887) was a United States Senator from New Hampshire.

Cilley was born in Nottingham, New Hampshire, the son of Greenleaf Cilley and his wife Jane Nealy. He was also the grandson of Revolutionary War officer Joseph Cilley after whom he was named. He was the nephew of Bradbury Cilley and brother of Jonathan Cilley. Cilley was educated at Atkinson Academy and joined the army to fight in the War of 1812 as an officer in the 21st Infantry Regiment seeing action at the Battle of Sackett's Harbor and Battle of Chrysler's Farm. Joseph Cilley was severely wounded at the Battle of Lundy's Lane, he was shot through the leg by a musket ball causing a compound fracture. He attained the brevetted rank of captain, was the quartermaster of the New Hampshire Militia in 1817, and the division inspector in 1821.

After his military service Joseph Cilley became an aide-de-camp to Governor Benjamin Pierce in 1827. He was then elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Levi Woodbury and served from June 13, 1846 to March 3, 1847. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1846, after which he retired to his farm in Nottingham. He was interred in the general Joseph Cilley Burying Ground in Nottingham Square.


  • Joseph Cilley (senator) at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Scales, John. Life of General Joseph Cilley. New Hampshire: Standard Book Co., 1921.
  • Memoirs and Services of Three Generations: General Joseph Cilley, First New hampshire Line. War of the Revolution; Johnathan Longfellow, Father of sarah, wife of General Joseph Cilley; Colonel Joseph Cilley, U.S. Senator and Officer in the War of 1812; Honorable Johnathan Cilley, Member of Congress form Maine; Commander Greenleaf Cilley, War with Mexico and War of 1861; General Johnathan P. Cilley, First Main Cavalry, War of the Rebellion Reprint from the Courier-gazette, Rockland Maine, 1909

External links

United States Senate
Preceded by
Benning W. Jenness
United States Senator (Class 2) from New Hampshire
June 13, 1846 – March 3, 1847
Served alongside: Charles G. Atherton
Succeeded by
John P. Hale
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Daniel Sturgeon
Oldest living U.S. Senator
July 3, 1878 – September 16, 1887
Succeeded by
Simon Cameron


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