Frank S. Black

Frank Swett Black
32nd Governor of New York
In office
January 1, 1897  December 31, 1898
Lieutenant Timothy L. Woodruff
Preceded by Levi P. Morton
Succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 19th district
In office
March 4, 1895  January 7, 1897
Preceded by Charles D. Haines
Succeeded by Aaron Van Schaick Cochrane
Personal details
Born (1853-03-08)March 8, 1853
near Limington, Maine, U.S.
Died March 22, 1913(1913-03-22) (aged 60)
Troy, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican

Frank Swett Black (March 8, 1853  March 22, 1913) was an American newspaper editor, lawyer and politician. He was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1895 to 1897, and the 32nd Governor of New York from 1897 to 1898.


Born near Limington, York County, Maine, Black was one of eleven children of Jacob, a farmer, and Charlotte B. Black. He graduated from Lebanon Academy in 1871, and then taught school for several years. With the money thus earned, he managed to enter Dartmouth College in 1875. Out of college, he moved to Johnstown, New York, and was employed as editor of the Johnstown Journal.

An ardent follower of James G. Blaine, also from Maine, Black changed the political stance of the paper while the Democratic owner was out of town, but was promptly dismissed upon the latter's return. He then moved to Troy, New York, and worked for the Troy Whig and the Troy Times. At the same time he studied law, and was admitted to the bar. Black was elected as a Republican to the 54th United States Congress as the representative of New York's 19th congressional district, and served from March 4, 1895, to January 7, 1897, when he resigned.

He was Governor of New York, elected in 1896 on the Republican ticket, and was in office from 1897–98. A major scandal on the Erie Canal commission, where one of Black's appointees had illegally spent one million dollars, put his reelection in doubt. Party leaders replaced him with war hero Theodore Roosevelt.[1]

Afterwards he resumed his law practice.


  1. Edmond Morris, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (1979) p 666


U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles D. Haines
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 19th congressional district

Succeeded by
Aaron V. S. Cochrane
Political offices
Preceded by
Levi P. Morton
Governor of New York
Succeeded by
Theodore Roosevelt
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