Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
WRIGHT, Silas, was born at Amherst, Mass., May 24, 1795, and died at Canton, N. Y., Aug. 27, 1847. He was graduated at Middlebury college in 1815, was admitted to the bar in 1819, and almost immediately entered politics as a democrat. He served as surrogate of Rockland county 1821-4, as state senator 1824-7, as congressman 1827-9, as state comptroller 1829-33, as United States senator 1833-44, and governor 1844-6. About 1824 his ability had made him a leading member of the "Albany regency" (see that title), which controlled the state democratic party; and he held his place in it until his death. Van Buren's failure to receive the democratic nomination for the presidency in 1844 placed the regency in an attitude of armed neutrality toward the incoming administration of Polk; and, when this state of things had developed into open war in 1846. Wright was defeated for re-election as governor by the refusal of administration democrats to vote. His death soon afterward added to the bitterness of feeling between his followers and their opponents, and the state party in 1848 made the conflict national. (See
—See Hammond's Life and Times of Wright; Jenkins' Life of Wright; Jenkins' Governors of New York, 722; 12 Democratic Review, 198, and 19 ib., 849 (with portraits); Gillet's Democracy in the United States, 176; 2 Benton's Thirty Years' View, 700.
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