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Francis Kernan

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Title: Francis Kernan  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: United States Senate election in New York, 1875, United States Senate election in New York, 1881, Thomas C. Platt, Reuben Fenton, United States congressional delegations from New York
Collection: 1816 Births, 1892 Deaths, American People of Irish Descent, American Roman Catholics, Democratic Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, Democratic Party United States Senators, Georgetown University Alumni, Members of the New York State Assembly, Members of the United States House of Representatives from New York, New York Democrats, People from Steuben County, New York, People from Utica, New York, People of New York in the American Civil War, United States Senators from New York
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Francis Kernan

Francis Kernan
United States Senator
from New York
In office
March 4, 1875 – March 4, 1881
Preceded by Reuben E. Fenton
Succeeded by Thomas C. Platt
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 21st district
In office
March 4, 1863 – March 3, 1865
Preceded by R. Holland Duell
Succeeded by Roscoe Conkling
Personal details
Born (1816-01-14)January 14, 1816
Wayne, New York
Died September 7, 1892(1892-09-07) (aged 76)
Utica, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Hannah A. Devereux
Profession Politician, Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic

Francis Kernan (January 14, 1816 – September 7, 1892) was an American lawyer and politician from New York. He was a U.S. Senator (D-NY) from 1875 to 1881.


Kernan was the son of Gen. William Kernan, who came to America from Utica, New York in 1839. He was admitted to the bar in July 1840, and then practiced law with Joshua A. Spencer.

Kernan was school commissioner of Utica, manager of the New York State Hospital, Reporter of the New York Court of Appeals from 1854 to 1857, a member of the New York State Assembly (Oneida Co., 1st D.) in 1861, and a regent of the University of the State of New York from 1870 until his death.

He was elected as a Democrat to the 38th United States Congress, defeating the Republican boss Roscoe Conkling, and served from March 4, 1863, to March 4, 1865. In 1864, he was defeated for re-election by Conkling.

In 1872, he was the Democratic/Liberal-Republican candidate for Governor of New York, but was defeated by Republican John Adams Dix. During these times, Kernan, Roscoe Conkling and Horatio Seymour were the heads of New York state politics, known as the "Utica trio".

In January 1875, Kernan was elected a U.S. Senator from New York, the first Catholic senator from the state, and its first Democratic senator in 24 years. He served from March 4, 1875, to March 4, 1881, alongside the Republican boss Conkling. At the 1876 Democratic National Convention in St. Louis, U.S. Senator Kernan nominated Samuel J. Tilden for U.S. President. In January 1881, Kernan was defeated for re-election by Republican Thomas C. Platt. After Platt's resignation in May 1881, Kernan ran again for

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