Ezra Butler

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Ezra Butler
Ezra Butler (Vermont Governor).jpg
11th Governor of Vermont
In office
October 13, 1826 – October 10, 1828
LieutenantAaron Leland
Henry Olin
Preceded byCornelius P. Van Ness
Succeeded bySamuel C. Crafts
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Vermont's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1813 – March 3, 1815
Preceded bySeat added
Succeeded byJohn Noyes
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1763-09-24)September 24, 1763
Lancaster, Province of Massachusetts Bay, British America
DiedJuly 12, 1838(1838-07-12) (aged 74)
Waterbury, Vermont, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
National Republican
Spouse(s)Tryphena Diggins
ProfessionLawyer, judge, politician

Ezra Butler (September 24, 1763 – July 12, 1838) was an American clergyman, politician, lawyer, judge, the 11th Governor of Vermont, and a United States Representative from Vermont.


Butler was born in Lancaster in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. In 1770 he moved with his parents to West Windsor, Vermont. His mother died while he was still a boy, and, after living with his elder brother for several years, he engaged in agricultural pursuits in Claremont, New Hampshire, until he was an adult. He served in the Continental Army for six months in 1779 during the American Revolution.[1][2]


In 1775 Butler staked a claim, as the second settler in Waterbury, Vermont.[3] He returned in 1776 with his wife, Tryphena Diggins, with whom he eventually had eleven children.[4]

In 1785, Butler studied law in Waterbury, Vermont, and after he passed the bar, in 1786, he practiced law, and served as Town Clerk in 1790. In 1790, he began to think seriously on religious subjects, became a Baptist in 1791, and in 1800 began to preach at Bolton, Vermont. A Baptist church was organized in Waterbury in 1800, and he was its pastor for more than thirty years. He did not allow his ordination to the ministry to interfere with his public career.[2]

Butler was one of the first three selectmen of Waterbury. He was elected member of the Vermont House of Representatives, an office he held from 1794 to 1797; from 1799 to 1804; in 1807; and in 1808.[5] He was the first judge of the Chittenden County Court from 1803 to 1806; Chief Justice in Chittenden County from 1806 to 1811; and Chief Justice of Jefferson County from 1812 to 1825 (excepting periods of congressional service). He was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Thirteenth Congress and a member of the State Constitutional Convention in 1822.

Butler was elected as a National Republican Governor of Vermont from 1826 to 1828. During his tenure, lotteries were abolished, and legislation was passed to require the examination of teachers.[4]

In the 1832 election for President, Vermont was carried by Anti-Masonic Party candidate William Wirt. Butler was one of Vermont's electors, and cast his vote for Wirt.[6]


Butler died in Waterbury on July 12, 1838, and is interred at Waterbury Cemetery.


  1. ^ "Ezra Butler". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Wikisource-logo.svg Wilson, J. G.; Fiske, J., eds. (1900). "Butler, Ezra" . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
  3. ^ "Ezra Butler". Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Ezra Butler". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
  5. ^ "Ezra Butler". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
  6. ^ Vermont Secretary of State, Legislative Directory, 1888, page 77

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
District created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Vermont's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
John Noyes
Political offices
Preceded by
Cornelius P. Van Ness
Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
Samuel C. Crafts