About Daniel Stevens Dickinson
Daniel Stevens Dickinson (September 11, 1800 – April 12, 1866) was a New York politician, most notable as a United States Senator from 1844 to 1851.
Born in Goshen, Connecticut, he moved with his parents to Guilford, Chenango County, New York, in 1806. He attended the common schools, was apprenticed to a clothier, and taught school at Wheatland, New York from 1821 on. In 1822, he married Lydia Knapp. He also engaged in land surveying, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1828. He commenced practice in Guilford, and served as Postmaster of Guilford from 1827 to 1832. He moved to Binghamton, New York and served as the first President of the City of Binghamton in 1834.
He was a member of the New York State Senate from 1837 to 1840. He was Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1843 to 1844. In 1844, he was a presidential elector and cast his vote for James K. Polk and George M. Dallas.
In 1844 he was appointed as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Nathaniel P. Tallmadge, and was subsequently elected to a full term, serving from November 30, 1844, to March 4, 1851. He was defeated when seeking reelection. While in the Senate, he was chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Finance (1849–1850), a member of the Committee on Manufactures (Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth United States Congresses), and a member of the Committee on Private Land Claims (Thirty-first United States Congress). As a senator and after, Dickinson was the leader of the conservative Hunker faction of the New York Democratic Party, and would eventually become leader of the "Hards" who opposed reconciliation with the more radical Barnburner faction which had left the party in 1848 to join the Free Soilers. Dickinson resumed the practice of law in 1851. He was delegate to the 1852 Democratic National Convention. In 1853, President Franklin Pierce appointed him Collector of the Port of New York, but he declined the position. In 1860, he supported John C. Breckinridge for President.
He was elected New York State Attorney General in 1861 on a ticket nominated by the Independent People's State Convention (War Democrats), and endorsed by the Republicans. He was appointed United States Commissioner for the final settlement of the Hudson Bay and Puget Sound agricultural claims in 1864. He was considered as a possible vice-presidential candidate when Abraham Lincoln was running for reelection. Eventually, Dickinson was passed over in favor of Andrew Johnson. Had he been nominated for vice president, Dickinson would have become president upon Lincoln's death. However, he would have only been able to serve until 1866 and Lafayette S. Foster would have replaced him as president. Dickinson was, however, appointed by President Lincoln United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York in 1865 which position he held until his death in office the next year.
He died in New York City, and was buried at the Spring Forest Cemetery in Binghamton.