- Francis Kernan
jr/sr=United States Senator
March 4, 1875– March 3, 1881
preceded=Reuben E. Fenton
Thomas C. Platt
date of birth=birth date|1816|1|14|mf=y
place of birth=
Wayne, New York, U.S.
date of death=death date and age|1892|9|7|1816|1|14|mf=y
place of death=
Utica, New York, U.S.
spouse=Hannah A. Devereux
Francis Kernan (
January 14, 1816– September 7, 1892) was a U.S. Representativefrom [New York] during the latter half of the American Civil Warand the early part of Reconstruction.
Kernan was born in Wayne,
Steuben County, New York, 14 January, 1816, son of General William Kernan, who came to America from County Cavan, Ireland, in 1800, and of Rose Anna Stubbs, his wife. He graduated from Georgetown Universityin Washington, D.C., in 1836, studied law, and moved to Utica, New Yorkin 1839, where he was admitted to the bar in July 1840 in the office of Joshua A. Spencer, and later became his partner. In 1843 he married Hannah A. Devereux, daughter of Nicholas Devereux, of Utica, with whom he had ten children.
Kernan's political services covered a wide range. He was school commissioner of Utica, manager of the New York State Hospital, official reporter of the Court of Appeals from 1854 to 1857 (his "Reports" were published in four volumes), member of NY Assembly from 1860 to 1862, and regent of the
State University of New Yorkfrom 1870 to his death.
He was elected from the Oneida district to U.S.
Congress of the United Statesin 1862 over Roscoe Conkling, the Republican candidate, and served from 1863 till 1865. In 1864 he was a candidate for re-election, but was defeated by Conkling. He was the Democratic candidate for governor in 1872, but was defeated by General John Adams Dix. During this time period, he, along with Roscoe Conkling and Horatio Seymour, served as the heads of NY state politics, known as the "Utica trio".
Kernan was elected U.S. senator from New York in January 1875, the first Catholic senator from the state, and its first Democratic senator in 24 years. He served from
4 March, 1875, to 4 March, 1881. In July 1876, at the St. Louis convention, Senator Kernan nominated Samuel J. Tildenfor the presidency.
He died at Utica, New York,
7 September, 1892.
He numbered among his friends
Abraham Lincoln, Horatio Seymour, Samuel J. Tilden, Thomas F. Bayard, and Grover Cleveland. Both as a member of the New York Assembly and as a U.S. Congressman, he was a "War Democrat".
* [http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=6620 Francis Kernan - Catholic Encyclopedia]
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