Henry M. Hoyt

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Henry Martyn Hoyt, Sr.
Henry M. Hoyt - Brady-Handy.jpg
18th Governor of Pennsylvania
In office
January 21, 1879 – January 16, 1883
LieutenantCharles W. Stone
Preceded byJohn F. Hartranft
Succeeded byRobert E. Pattison
Personal details
BornJune 8, 1830
Kingston, Pennsylvania
DiedDecember 1, 1892(1892-12-01) (aged 62)
Political partyRepublican
ChildrenHelen Hoyt
Henry Martyn Hoyt, Jr.
Military service
AllegianceUnited States of America
Branch/serviceUnion Army
Years of service1861–1865
RankUnion Army colonel rank insignia.png Colonel
Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Bvt. Brigadier General
Commands52nd Pennsylvania Infantry
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

Henry Martyn Hoyt, Sr. (June 8, 1830 – December 1, 1892) was the 18th Governor of Pennsylvania from 1879 to 1883, as well as an officer in the Union army during the American Civil War.

Early life[edit]

Henry M. Hoyt was born in Kingston, Pennsylvania, the son of Ziba Hoyt (b. September 1788, Connecticut – d. December 1853, Luzerne County, PA) and Nancy (née Herbert) Hoyt, who had moved to Luzerne County after the Revolutionary War. Henry M. Hoyt was grandson of Daniel and Ann (Gunn) Hoyt, and nephew of Levi Hoyt. They were descended from Walter Hoyt (1616–1698), who was born in West Hatch, Somerset, England and settled in the Connecticut Colony.[1]

He attended lower education at Wyoming Seminary. He started higher-level classes at Lafayette College, where he studied from 1845 until 1848. He transferred to Williams College, graduating in 1849 with Phi Beta Kappa honors, as a member of The Kappa Alpha Society.


After graduating from Williams College, he returned to Pennsylvania, where from 1851 to 1853 he taught Mathematics at Wyoming Seminary. Hoyt first held elected office as a district attorney. A member of the Whig Party, Hoyt participated in John Fremont's 1856 presidential campaign.

Military career[edit]

As a soldier in the Civil War, Hoyt was initially commissioned as Lieutenant Colonel, then as colonel of the 52nd Pennsylvania Infantry. He led it during the Peninsula Campaign and subsequent actions of the Army of the Potomac until January 1863, when the regiment was ordered to Charleston, South Carolina.

He participated in the siege of Morris Island under Brig. Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore. Hoyt led troops in a rare night attack on Fort Johnson, stealthily arriving in the darkness via boats. He initially captured the fort, but was unable to hold it for lack of reinforcements. He and many of his men were captured in a Confederate counterattack. After being confined in a prisoner-of-war camp in Macon, Georgia, Hoyt was taken back to Charleston. He escaped briefly before being recaptured.

Upon his eventual exchange, he rejoined his regiment. He served with them until the close of the war, when he was mustered out with the rank of brevet brigadier general.

Law career[edit]

After the war, Hoyt returned to his law practice. After briefly serving as a judge, he rose in influence with the Republican party and chaired the state Republican party from 1875 to 1876.

In 1878, he won the governor's seat, the third consecutive Civil War general to hold the office. During his term, the debt of the state was reduced to $10,000,000, and refunded at the rate of three per cent.

Hoyt wrote two books: Controversy between Connecticut and Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1879), about their competing colonial claims settled after the Revolutionary War; and Protection vs. Free Trade (New York, 1885).

Personal life[edit]

On September 25, 1855, Hoyt married Mary Elizabeth Loveland (b. April 1833 – d. October 1890 in Luzerne County), the daughter of Elijah and Mary (née Buckingham) Loveland. They had three children together:

Hoyt died on December 1, 1892. He is buried next to his wife in the Forty Fort Cemetery in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.


Hoyt was also the grandfather of the poet Elinor Wylie, the daughter of Henry Martyn Hoyt, Jr.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Walter Hoyt". Geni. Retrieved September 19, 2015.


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John F. Hartranft
Governor of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Robert E. Pattison