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Benjamin Franklin Prescott
36th Governor of New Hampshire
In office
June 7, 1877 – June 5, 1879
Preceded byPerson Colby Cheney
Succeeded byNathaniel Head
Secretary of State of New Hampshire
In office
1875 – 1876
1872 – 1873
Personal details
BornFebruary 26, 1833
Epping, New Hampshire
DiedFebruary 21, 1895(1895-02-21) (aged 61)
Epping, New Hampshire
Political partyRepublican

Benjamin Franklin Prescott (February 26, 1833 – February 21, 1895) was an American lawyer, newspaper editor, and politician from Epping, New Hampshire, who served as the 36th governor of New Hampshire.

Early life and education

Benjamin F. Prescott was born in Epping, New Hampshire, on February 26, 1833. He attended Pembroke Academy and Phillips Exeter Academy before graduating from Dartmouth College in 1856.[1]


Prescott studied law and was admitted to the New Hampshire Bar Association. He then established a private legal practice in Concord, New Hampshire and became active in the Republican Party. He served as secretary of the Republican State Committee from 1859 to 1874. He was also secretary of New Hampshire's Electoral College members every four years from 1860 to 1880.

In 1859, Prescott became editor of the Independent Democrat, a Republican newspaper that opposed slavery and endorsed the Abraham Lincoln administration.

Prescott was a New England special agent for the United States Department of the Treasury from 1865 to 1869, responsible to audit and report on the activities of customs collectors at border crossing and ports. He was New Hampshire Secretary of State from 1872 to 1873 and 1875 to 1876.

In 1877, Prescott was elected to a one-year term as governor. He was reelected in 1878, and served from June 7, 1877, to June 5, 1879. During his term, the state constitution as revised and construction began on a new state prison in Concord.

Prescott remained active in politics after leaving office, serving as chairman of the 1880 state Republican convention and a Delegate to the 1880 Republican National Convention. From 1887 to 1893, Prescott served on the state New Hampshire Board of Railroad Commissioners.

In addition to his political activities, Prescott was an author and was involved with several historical organizations. He was vice president of the New Hampshire Historical Society, President of the Bennington Battle Monument Commission, and a Fellow of Great Britain's Royal Historical Society. He was also a trustee of the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts and Dartmouth College.

Personal life

Prescott died in Epping on February 21, 1895. He was buried at Blossom Hill Cemetery in Concord. The Benjamin Franklin Prescott House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


  1. ^ "Benjamin F. Prescott". A Guide to Likenesses of New Hampshire Officials and Governors on Public Display at the Legislative Office Building and the State House Concord, New Hampshire, to 1998. Archived from the original on 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2007-08-20.
Party political offices Preceded byPerson Colby Cheney Republican nominee for Governor of New Hampshire 1877, March 1878 Succeeded byNathaniel Head Political offices Preceded byPerson C. Cheney Governor of New Hampshire 1877–1879 Succeeded byNathaniel Head