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John Bigler


Picture of John Bigler
Date Party Office Votes Result
12-18-1849 Nonpartisan Controller 1 Loss
12-18-1849 Nonpartisan AD-Sacramento 0 Win
10-07-1850 Democratic AD-12 0 Win
09-03-1851 Democratic Governor 22613 Win
10-08-1853 Democratic Governor 38090 Win
09-05-1855 Democratic Governor 45937 Loss
09-02-1863 Independent CD-AL 43520 Loss

Candidate Biography:

Born: January 8, 1805 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Married: Elizabeth Graham
Child: Virginia
Family: Brother of Governor William Bigler of Pennsylvania
Died: November 29, 1871 in Sacramento, CA

1850-1851: Speaker, California State Assembly
1857: U.S. Minister to Chile
1866: Nominated for Federal Assessor of Internal Revenue for the Sacramento District (US Senate didn't confirm nomination)
1867: Railroad Commissioner, Central Pacific Railroad 

  • Bigler was the only Governor to serve two terms in the 19th Century [Source: Gold Rush Politics by Mary Jo Ignoffo]
  • PLACENAME: From 1853 until the late 1870s, Californias largest lake was named Lake Bigler for Governor Bigler. It was renamed Lake Tahoe in 1945.
  • QUOTABLE: "Stability and simplicity in our laws are greatly to be desired, and my energies shall be exerted for the attainment of this object. Under a sure and stable system of laws States will grow and flourish, while under an ever-changing policy, though the principles of that policy be even as correct and just, retrogression and decay must ensue. We should, also, sedulously guard against innovations and untried experiments in our system of law and government as an evil greatly to be deprecated."
  • QUOTABLE: "It will be our own fault, then, if California does not grow to be one of the most prosperous and flourishing States of the Union. Providence seems to have designed her for no ordinary destiny, for, nowhere are combined so many of the elements of greatness."

Source: History of Political Conventions in California, 1849-1892 by Winfield J. Davis (1893)
Source: Gold Rush Politics by Mary Jo Ignoffo
Source: "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present" (U.S. Library of Congress) []