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Gideon Granger (1801–1809) - Postmaster General

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Gideon Granger was born in Suffield, Connecticut, on July 19, 1767, and graduated from Yale University. He began his professional life as a lawyer in 1789, working in private practice until 1792. Granger soon involved himself in politics, however, serving in the Connecticut state legislature for ten years from 1792 to 1801. Relatively unknown on the national level, Granger nevertheless gained a position in President Thomas Jefferson's cabinet as postmaster general in 1801, most likely because of his sympathies with Jefferson's political views. Granger remained postmaster general until his resignation in 1814, serving under Presidents Jefferson and James Madison, and successfully managing the expansion of his office following Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Upon leaving Madison's cabinet, Granger moved to New York, where he would return to his law practice, take up land speculation, and serve one term as a state senator (1820-1821). Granger died in Canandaiuga, New York, on December 31, 1822.

Citation Information

Consulting Editor

Peter Onuf

Professor Onuf is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor of History at the University of Virginia. His writings include:

Jefferson’s Empire: The Language of American Nationhood (University Press of Virginia, 2001)

Statehood and Union: A History of the Northwest Ordinance (Indiana University Press, 1987)

Origins of the Federal Republic: Jurisdictional Controversies in the United States, 1775–1787 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983)