David B. Hill

David B. Hill
United States Senator
from New York
In office
January 7, 1892  March 3, 1897
Preceded by William M. Evarts
Succeeded by Thomas C. Platt
29th Governor of New York
In office
January 6, 1885  December 31, 1891
Lieutenant Dennis McCarthy (acting) (1885)
Edward F. Jones (18861891)
Preceded by Grover Cleveland
Succeeded by Roswell P. Flower
Lieutenant Governor of New York
In office
January 1, 1883  January 6, 1885
Governor Grover Cleveland
Preceded by George Gilbert Hoskins
Succeeded by Dennis McCarthy (acting)
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the Chemung County district
In office
January 1, 1871  December 31, 1872
Preceded by Edward L. Patrick
Succeeded by Seymour Dexter
Personal details
Born David Bennett Hill
(1843-08-29)August 29, 1843
Havana, New York
Died October 20, 1910(1910-10-20) (aged 67)
Albany, New York
Political party Democratic
Profession Lawyer

David Bennett Hill (August 29, 1843  October 20, 1910) was an American politician from New York who was the 29th Governor of New York from 1885 to 1891.


Gubernatorial portrait of David B. Hill.

David B. Hill was born on August 29, 1843 in Havana, New York. He was educated locally, studied law, and began a practice in Elmira in 1864. In 1864 was he was named Elmira's City Attorney. He was a Democratic member of the New York State Assembly (Chemung County) in 1871 and 1872. Hill was elected an alderman of Elmira in 1880, served as Mayor of Elmira in 1882, and was President of the New York State Bar Association from 1886 to 1887. Hill was Lieutenant Governor from 1883 to 1885, elected in 1882 on the ticket with Governor Grover Cleveland. He was Governor from 1885 to 1891, succeeding to the office upon Cleveland's resignation and re-elected in 1885 and 1888.

On May 15, 1885, Hill signed "a bill establishing a 'Forest Preserve' of 715,000 acres that was to remain permanently 'as wild forest lands.'"[1] This tract soon became the Adirondack Park.

During his tenure as governor, William Kemmler was executed in the electric chair, the first inmate in the country ever to be put to death in this manner. On April 23, 1889, Hill vetoed a bill from the state legislature that would block the street construction at the Polo Grounds. He also vetoed two times (1888 and 1889) a ballot reform bill by the Republican legislature to stop the rife election fraud in New York.[2]

He was a U.S. Senator from New York from 1892 to 1897. He was elected in February 1891, but took his seat only after the end of his term as governor in January 1892. He was also a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in 1892, but lost to Grover Cleveland, who later won the presidential election. He was defeated by Republican Levi P. Morton when, as a sitting U.S senator, he ran again for governor in November 1894. While Senator in 1893 and 1894 he blocked President Cleveland's two appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court: William B. Hornblower and Wheeler H. Peckham who had opposed Hill's political machine.

Hill died at Wolfert's Roost, his country home near Albany on October 20, 1910 from the effects of Bright's Disease and heart disease. He was buried in Montour Cemetery in Mountour Falls.


  1. Nash, Roderick F. 2001. Wilderness and the American Mind, 4th ed. New Haven: Yale University Press, p.119.
  2. William M. Ivins: On the Electoral System of the State of New York. A paper presented at the twenty-ninth annual meeting of the New York State Bar Association. New York 1906.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to David B. Hill.
New York Assembly
Preceded by
Edward L. Patrick
New York State Assembly
Chemung County

Succeeded by
Seymour Dexter
Political offices
Preceded by
George Gilbert Hoskins
Lieutenant Governor of New York
Succeeded by
Dennis McCarthy
Preceded by
Grover Cleveland
Governor of New York
Succeeded by
Roswell P. Flower
United States Senate
Preceded by
William M. Evarts
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from New York
Served alongside: Frank Hiscock, Edward Murphy, Jr.
Succeeded by
Thomas C. Platt
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