Curtin, Andrew Gregg

Andrew Gregg Curtin, detail

Andrew Gregg Curtin of Pennsylvania was the best known of the "War Governors." He was born in Bellefonte on April 22, 1817, the son of a Scots Irish immigrant iron manufacturer and a daughter of a prominent Pennsylvania political family. He studied law at Dickinson College under Judge John Reed and was admitted to the bar in 1839. A lifelong Presbyterian, he married Catherine Irvine Wilson in May 1844. While in private practice in Bellefonte, he became active in politics and campaigned for an array of Whig presidential candidates. By 1854, he was offered the Whig nomination for governor but declined in favor of his friend James Pollock. He did run in the pivotal election of 1860 as a Republican and a strong supporter of Lincoln who he had helped nominate at the national convention. During the Civil War his leadership at the meeting of the “Loyal War Governors of the North,” at Altoona in September 1862 was pivotal, and the Pennsylvania regiments he helped raise and supply were vital to the northern war effort. He was easily re-elected as governor in 1863. Following the war, he was briefly considered as running mate to Grant in 1868 and then appointed minister to Russia. He supported Horace Greeley as the Liberal Republican candidate for president in 1872 against Grant, however, and then moved in the direction of the Democratic Party. He was later elected for three terms to Congress as a Democrat in the 1880s. He retired in 1887 and lived in quiet retirement till his death on October 27, 1894. (By John Osborne)

Life span
Dickinson Connection:
Law class of 1837

Life Summary

Full name
  Andrew Gregg Curtin
Place of Birth
Birth Date Certainty
Death Date Certainty
Sectional choice
  Free State
No. of Spouses
No. of Children
Roland Curtin (father), Jean Gregg Curtin (mother), Catherine Irvine Wilson (wife)
  Dickinson (Carlisle College)
  Attorney or Judge
Relation to Slavery
  White non-slaveholder
Political Parties
  Grant Administration (1869-77)
  US House of Representatives
  Other state government

Census Snapshot

Household Size in 1860
Children in 1860
Occupation in 1860
  Attorney at Law
Residence in 1860
Wealth in 1860
Marital status in 1860

Note Cards



Date Title
05/29/1851 Alexander Kelly McClure to Eli Slifer, May 29, 1852
11/20/1854 Alexander Kelly McClure to Eli Slifer, November 20, 1854
03/01/1860 Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Andrew J. Curtin,” March 1, 1860
04/14/1860 Alexander Kelly McClure to Eli Slifer, April 14, 1860
06/12/1860 New York Herald, “Commencement of Republican Cabinet Making,” June 12, 1860
10/03/1860 Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, "The Coming Contest in Pennsylvania," October 3, 1860
10/15/1860 New York Times, “Very Suspicious,” October 15, 1860
10/19/1860 John Hays to Charles Francis Himes, October 19, 1860
11/12/1860 John P. Sanderson to David Davis, November 12, 1860
01/15/1861 Alexander K. McClure to Abraham Lincoln, January 15, 1861
01/18/1861 Newark (OH) Advocate, “Obtaining Votes Under False Pretences,” January 18, 1861
02/22/1861 Abraham Lincoln's Reply to Andrew Curtin at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, February 22, 1861
04/14/1861 New York Herald, “Apprehensions of an Attack on Washington,” April 14, 1861
07/01/1861 Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “More Stealing in Pennsylvania,” July 1, 1861
07/08/1861 Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “Secretary Cameron,” July 8, 1861
11/10/1862 Abraham Lincoln to Carl Schurz, November 10, 1862
06/17/1863 New York Times, “Pennsylvania and Her Governor,” June 17, 1863
07/15/1863 Carlisle (PA) American, “What Invasion Has Taught Pennsylvania,” July 15, 1863
11/02/1863 David Wills to Abraham Lincoln, November 2, 1863
11/13/1863 Chicago (IL) Tribune, “From Gettysburg,” November 13, 1863
04/19/1865 George Alfred Townsend, "The Obsequies in Washington," April 19, 1865