Bouck, William C. (b Fultonham, Schoharie Co, 7 Jan 1786; d Schoharie Co, 19 Apr 1859).Governor.
With little formal education, Bouck entered public life at an early age.After serving as county sheriff (1812), he became a state assemblyman (1814–16, 1818), state senator (1820–21), and canal commissioner (1821–40). Though Bouck was defeated in the 1840 governor’s race, the debate over canal expansion and state debt relief motivated the Democrats to nominate him again in 1842. Without incumbent governor William H. Seward in the race, Bouck, who favored canal expansion and had the support of both the conservative and radical factions of the Democratic Party, won convincingly. His governorship was marked by calling out the militia in response to the developing antirent movement.
Perceived as a weak candidate for reelection during a presidential election year, he was not renominated and instead served on the Board of Regents (1846–49) and as a constitutional convention delegate (1846). After serving as assistant US treasurer in New York City (1846–49), he retired to his farm in Fulton (Schoharie Co).
Alexander, De Alva Stanwood. A Political History of the
State of New York, 4 vols (1906; repr Port Washington,
NY: I. J. Friedman, 1969)
Peter Eisenstadt, ed., The Encyclopedia of New York State
(Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2005), [p. 201].
© Syracuse University Press. Reproduced with permission from the publisher.