Francis Gillett (1807 - 1879)

‹ Back to Gillett surname

Is your surname Gillett?

Research the Gillett family

Francis Gillette, U.S. Senator's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Death: Died
Managed by: Doug Robinson
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About Francis Gillett

Francis Gillette (December 14, 1807 – September 30, 1879) was a politician from Connecticut, USA. He was the father of playwright William Gillette and politician and editor Edward H. Gillette.

Born in Old Windsor, Connecticut (today part of the town of Bloomfield), Gillette moved with his parents to Ashfield, Massachusetts as a child. He graduated from Yale College in 1829 and commenced the study of law, but his health becoming impaired he instead engaged in agricultural pursuits in Bloomfield. He was a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1832, 1836 and 1838 and was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Connecticut in 1841, losing to Chauncey F. Cleveland, and several times subsequently. Gillette served as chairman of the Connecticut Board of Education from 1849 to 1865 and moved to Hartford, Connecticut in 1852. He was elected a Free Soiler to the United States Senate in 1854 to fill a vacancy and served until the end of the term in 1855, not being a candidate for reelection. Afterwards, Gillette became a lecturer on agriculture and temperance and was a trustee of the Connecticut State Normal School, also serving as its president for many years. He aided in the formation of the Republican Party in Connecticut and for several years was a silent partner in the Evening Press, the organ of the party. He engaged in the real estate business in Hartford, Connecticut until his death there on September 30, 1879. He was interred in Riverside Cemetery in Farmington, Connecticut.

The Francis Gillette House in Bloomfield, Connecticut, his home in early years of his antislavery involvement, is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

view all

Francis Gillette, U.S. Senator's Timeline

Age 72