Gardner Stow

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From the April 6, 1867 issue of Harper's Weekly

Gardner Stow (August 1789 – June 25, 1866) was an American lawyer and politician who served as New York State Attorney General.

Early life[edit]

He was in Orange, Franklin County, Massachusetts, the son of Timothy Stow and Mary (Kendall) Stow.[1] The family removed first to Warrensburg, and in 1802 to Bolton.[2] In 1806, he moved to Sandy Hill, New York to study law with Roswell Weston, and made the acquaintance of fellow students Silas Wright, Zebulon R. Shipherd, and Esek Cowen, who were studying with Roger Skinner.[2][3] When Cowen was admitted to the bar and commenced practice, Stow continued his studies at the office of Gansevoort and Cowen in Gansevoort's Mills, Saratoga County, New York.[2] He was admitted to the bar in 1811, and practiced with Cowen in Northumberland,[4] before later relocating to Elizabethtown.[2]

Military service[edit]

Stow served in the War of 1812 as a member of two different units of the New York Militia, a company commanded by John Calkins of Elizabethtown, and a regiment commanded by Ransom Noble of Essex.[5] He was a corporal in the company, and a sergeant major in the regiment.[6]

Stow remained in the militia after the war, and in 1819 he was appointed Judge Advocate of the 40th Brigade; later in 1819 he was appointed adjutant of the 37th Regiment.[7]

Early career[edit]

Stow was active in politics and government, first as a Federalist,[8] then as a Democratic-Republican,[9] and later as a Democrat. He served as a justice of the peace beginning in 1813,[10] was Elizabethtown's Postmaster,[11] and also served terms as Essex County Treasurer.[12]

Temperance advocate[edit]

In 1808, Stow was one of the founders of the Moreau and Northumberland Temperance Society, the first such society organized in New York State.[13] In 1834, in an address delivered before a Temperance Society in Keeseville, he was "the first man to advocate legislation to prohibit all traffic in intoxicating liquor, as a beverage."[14] Newspaper articles in 1858 indicated that four members of the temperance society organized in Moreau and Northumberland were still alive, including Stow, and that he had advocated for temperance throughout his career.[15]

Later career[edit]

Stow later moved to Keeseville, New York, and was District Attorney of Essex County from 1838 to 1844.[16] In 1840, he was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the New York State Senate.[17] In the 1840s, he also carried out court-related assignments as commissioner in bankruptcy,[18] master in chancery,[19] and examiner in chancery.[20]

In 1845, Stow moved to Troy, New York, where he continued to practice law.[21] After the resignation of Levi S. Chatfield, he was appointed New York State Attorney General by Governor Horatio Seymour on December 8, 1853, to fill the vacancy until the end of the year.[22]


He died in Troy on June 25, 1866.[23][24]


Stow's first wife, Charlotte, died young. In 1831, Stow married Sophia Patrick of Windsor, Vermont.[25]

His daughter Evelina Charlotte Stow (1812–1839) married Sewall Sylvester Cutting (1813–1882) in 1836, and their only son was Gardner Stow Cutting (1838–1883).


  1. ^ Deyoe, Peter A. (1855). A History of Temperance in Saratoga County, N.Y. Saratoga Springs, NY: G. M. Davison. p. 24.
  2. ^ a b c d A History of Temperance in Saratoga County, N.Y., p. 24.
  3. ^ Mann, Enos R. (1876). The Bench and Bar of Saratoga County. Ballston, NY: Waterbury & Inman. p. 268.
  4. ^ Stone, William L. (1875). Reminiscences of Saratoga and Ballston. New York, NY: Virtue & Yortson. p. 360.
  5. ^ "War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815 entry for Gardner Stow". Provo, UT:, LLC. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  6. ^ "War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index".
  7. ^ Hastings, Hugh (1901). Military Minutes of the Council of Appointment of the State of New York, 1783—1821 (PDF). Albany, NY: James B. Lyon. pp. 1977, 2016.
  8. ^ "Meeting of Federal Republican Delegates". Northern Post. Salem, NY. April 18, 1816. p. 3.
  9. ^ "Essex County: Convention of Democratic Republican delegates". Albany Argus. Albany, NY. September 12, 1834. p. 1.
  10. ^ "Appointments by the Council". Albany Gazette. Albany, NY. April 29, 1813. p. 3.
  11. ^ Skinner, Roger Sherman (1830). The New-York State Register. New York, NY: Clayton & Van Norden. p. 78.
  12. ^ The New-York State Register, p. 169.
  13. ^ "Items: Or Crumbs for All Kinds of Chickens; Gardner Stow". Plattsburgh Republican. Plattsburgh, NY. February 27, 1858. p. 2 – via
  14. ^ A History of Temperance in Saratoga County, N.Y., p. 27.
  15. ^ "Items: Or Crumbs for All Kinds of Chickens; Gardner Stow", p. 2.
  16. ^ Williams, Edwin (1836). The New York Annual Register. New York, NY: James Van Norden. p. 401.
  17. ^ "Democratic Republican Nominations". The Evening Post. New York, NY. November 4, 1840. p. 2.
  18. ^ "H. R. Ross, P. R. Halstead and Gardner Stow, esqs., have been appointed Commissioners in Bankruptcy for Essex County. R. H. Peabody, esq., of Keesville, assignee". Albany Argus. Albany, NY. June 28, 1842. p. 2.
  19. ^ "Appointments and Removals". Albany Argus. Albany, NY. January 31, 1840. p. 3.
  20. ^ "Appointments by Governor and Senate". The Spectator. New York, NY. March 4, 1843. p. 2.
  21. ^ "Appointments by the Governor: Wednesday, February 5". New-York Tribune. New York, NY. February 8, 1845. p. 3.
  22. ^ "Appointment: The Albany Evening Atlas of yesterday, announces the appointment by Governor Seymour of Gardner Stow, Esq., of Troy, as Attorney General, in place of Levi S. Chatfield, who has left the State". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. December 9, 1853. p. 2.
  23. ^ "All Sorts: Gardner Stow". Hartford Courant. Hartford, CT. June 30, 1866. p. 2. Gardner Stow, long a prominent lawyer in Troy, New York, died a few days ago, aged 78. He was once attorney general of New York.
  24. ^ Weise, A. J. (1876). History of the City of Troy. Troy, NY: William H. Young. p. 361.
  25. ^ "Vermont, Vital Records 1720-1908, entry for Gardenier Stow and Sophia Patrick"., LLC. Provo, UT. June 7, 1831.


Legal offices
Preceded by
Levi S. Chatfield
New York State Attorney General
Succeeded by
Ogden Hoffman