Philemon Dickerson, Governor

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Philemon Dickerson

Birthdate: (74)
Death: 1862 (74)
Immediate Family:

Son of Jonathan Dickerson and Sarah Dickerson
Husband of Sydney Maria Dickerson
Father of Edward Nicholl Dickerson
Brother of Mahlon Dickerson, Governor, U.S. Senator and Secretary of the Navy

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About Philemon Dickerson, Governor

Philemon Dickerson (January 11, 1788 – December 10, 1862) was a United States congressman representing New Jersey, and was later a United States federal judge. He was the brother of Governor, then United States Senator, Mahlon Dickerson of New Jersey. Philemon Dickerson was the father of famous patent attorney Edward Nicholl Dickerson who had defended Samuel Colt and Charles Goodyear in their patent-infringement suits.

Born in Succasunna, Morris County, New Jersey, Dickerson received an A.B. from University of Pennsylvania in 1808 and read law to be admitted to the bar in 1813. He practiced law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania until 1816, and then in Paterson, New Jersey until 1821. He served in the New Jersey General Assembly (1821–1822). In 1832, Dickerson was elected to the House of Representatives on the Democratic-Republican Party ticket. He served in Congress until he resigned during his second term to accept an appointment from the legislature to be Governor of New Jersey.

Dickerson won an election to Congress again in 1838, this time as a Democrat. Having lost his reelection bid in 1840, on February 22, 1841, Dickerson was nominated by President Martin Van Buren to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey which had been vacated by his brother Mahlon Dickerson. Mahlon had been appointed as a placeholder, so that his brother could finish his term in the closely divided Congress before taking the bench. Dickerson was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 27, 1841, and received his commission on March 2, 1841. He served in that office until his death, in 1862, in Paterson. Dickerson is buried at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in Paterson.

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