Benjamin Goodhue

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Benjamin Goodhue
United States Senator
from Massachusetts
In office
June 11, 1796 – November 8, 1800
Preceded byGeorge Cabot
Succeeded byJonathan Mason
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts
In office
March 4, 1789 – June 11, 1796
Preceded by2nd District created in 1789
Fisher Ames (1st)
10th District created in 1795
Succeeded byDwight Foster (2nd-GT)
Theodore Sedgwick (2nd-GT)
Artemas Ward (2nd-GT)
William Lyman (2nd-GT)
Theodore Sedgwick (1st)
Samuel Sewall (10th)
Constituency2nd district (1789–93)
1st district (1793–95)
10th district (1795–96)
Personal details
Born(1748-09-20)September 20, 1748
Salem, Massachusetts
DiedJuly 28, 1814(1814-07-28) (aged 65)
Salem, Massachusetts
Political partyFederalist
Alma materHarvard College

Benjamin Goodhue (September 20, 1748 – July 28, 1814) was a Representative and a Senator from Massachusetts. He supported the Patriot during the American Revolution, and was a strong member of the Federalist Party. He was described by contemporaries as a leading member of the so-called Essex Junto, a group of Massachusetts Federalists, most of whom were from Essex County.


Benjamin Goodhue was born in Salem, Massachusetts to Benjamin and Martha (Hardy) Goodue. His father was a blacksmith by trade, but later became a successful merchant. The younger Benjamin graduated from Harvard College in 1766 and joined his father in the merchant business. He remained active as a merchant during the American Revolutionary War, and was a member of the state constitutional conventions of 1779 and 1780, the latter one producing the present Constitution of Massachusetts. He then won election as a state representative to the inaugural Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1780, and was later elected to the state senate, serving in 1783 and 1786-1788. After adoption of the United States Constitution, Goodhue was elected to the First and to the three succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1789, until his resignation in June 1796.[citation needed]

Goodhue was a supporter of the strong central government, and joined the Federalist Party when it was organized. He was one of a number of prominent Federalists from Essex County that were described by John Hancock as the "Essex Junto". He was one of two Congressmen who drafted the nation's first revenue code. He served as chairman of the Committee on Commerce and Manufactures in the Fourth United States Congress. He was elected in 1796 to the United States Senate, filling a vacancy caused by the resignation of George Cabot. He was reelected and served from June 11, 1796, to November 8, 1800, when he resigned and retired from public service. He died in Salem on July 28, 1814.[1]


Goodhue is buried in Salem's Broad Street Cemetery. A World War II Liberty ship was named in his honor.[citation needed]


  1. ^ [1]

External links[edit]

  • United States Congress. "Benjamin Goodhue (id: G000286)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
None; first in line
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 2nd congressional district

March 4, 1789 – March 3, 1793
Succeeded by
Dwight Foster, William Lyman, Theodore Sedgwick, Artemas Ward
Preceded by
Fisher Ames
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1st congressional district

March 4, 1793 – March 3, 1795
alongside: Fisher Ames, Samuel Dexter, and Samuel Holten on a General ticket
Succeeded by
Theodore Sedgwick
Preceded by
None; first in line
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 10th congressional district

March 4, 1795 – June 1796
Succeeded by
Samuel Sewall
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
George Cabot
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Massachusetts
Served alongside: Theodore Sedgwick, Samuel Dexter, Dwight Foster
Succeeded by
Jonathan Mason