About Paul Dillingham
Paul Dillingham, Jr. (August 10, 1799 – July 26, 1891) was an American lawyer and politician. He served as a U.S. Representative from Vermont, the 22nd Lieutenant Governor of Vermont from 1862 to 1865, and the 29th Governor of Vermont in 1865 and 1866.
Born in Shutesbury, Massachusetts, Dillingham moved with his father to Waterbury, Vermont, in 1805. After attending the district school in Waterbury, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in March 1823. In April, he began his practice in Waterbury as a partner with Daniel Carpenter, which continued until Carpenter became a judge. He married Sarah Partridge Carpenter, daughter of Daniel Carpenter. After Sarah's death on September 20, 1831, he married her sister, Julia. He had seven children.
Dillingham was a Justice of the Peace from 1826 to 1844, and Town Clerk of Waterbury from 1829 to 1844. He served as member of the Vermont House of Representatives from 1833 to 1835, as State's Attorney of Washington County from 1835 to 1838, and again as member of the Vermont House from 1837 to 1840. Dillingham served as a delegate to the State constitutional conventions of 1836 and 1857, in the Vermont State Senate in 1841, 1842, and 1861, and again as a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1870.
Dillingham was elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Congresses (March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1847). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1846.
When the American Civil War started, Dillingham changed his allegiance from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. As a Republican, Dillingham served as the 22nd Lieutenant Governor from 1862 to 1865, and as the 29th Governor of Vermont in 1865 and 1866. As Governor, he created Vermont's first reform school and established a state normal school for teacher training. He resumed the practice of law until he retired in 1875.
Paul Dillingham was the father of Vermont Governor and U.S. Senator William Paul Dillingham. He was also the father in law of U.S. Senator Matthew H. Carpenter. (Carpenter was married to Dillingham's daughter Caroline, nicknamed Cara).
Dillingham died at his home in Waterbury on July 26, 1891. He is interred in the Village Cemetery in Waterbury.