FENTON, REUBEN E.
Serving intermittently as a U.S. Congressman 1853-64, Fenton attracted national attention by conducting his 1864 New York gubernatorial campaign as a referendum on the Lincoln administration, and by being elected with a greater vote than Lincoln captured in the state. He served as governor until 1869, during which time he was closely identified with numerous educational reforms, including the establishment of Cornell University. He served one term in the U.S. Senate, 1869-75. During his career, Fenton built up one of the most powerful political machines in New York history, and was considered the most able political organizer since Van Buren.