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Henry Martyn Hoyt, Sr. is Born

Today in Masonic History Henry Martyn Hoyt, Sr. is born in 1830.

Henry Martyn Hoyt, Sr. was an American politician.

Hoyt was born on June 8th, 1830 in Kingston, Pennsylvania. His initial education came from the the Wyoming Seminary. He went on to first take classes at Lafayette College before transferring to Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1849.

After graduation, Hoyt returned to Pennsylvania where he taught mathematics at the Wyoming Seminary until 1953. He was elected to his first public office, district attorney, as a member of the Whig Party.

During the American Civil War Hoyt was initially commissioned as a lieutenant colonel. He was promoted to colonel in the 52nd Pennsylvania Infantry. He led the 52nd in the Peninsula Campaign, the first major offensive by the Union Army during the Civil War. He was also part of several other actions with the Army of the Potomac. In 1863 he was transferred to Charleston, South Carolina.

In Charleston, Hoyt participated in the siege of Morris Island. He also led his unit in a rare night attack on Fort Johnson. The attack was initially successful, Hoyt and his men took control of the Fort. It was short lived when reinforcements did not arrive in time. Hoyt and his men were taken prisoner and spent time in a prisoner of war camp in Macon, Georgia. While being returned to Charleston to be exchanged for Confederate prisoners of war, Hoyt briefly escaped and was recaptured. After he was exchanged he returned to his unit. He ended the war as a brevet brigadier general.

After the Hoyt returned to his law practice in Pennsylvania. He briefly served as a judge, before serving as the chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party from 1875 to 1876.

In 1878, Hoyt was elected as the 18th Governor of Pennsylvania. He was the third consecutive Civil War veteran to hold the Governor's office. During his term, he most notably lowered the state debt to $10,000,000.

Hoyt also wrote two books, Controversy between Connecticut and Pennsylvania about the colonial issues between the two states after the Revolutionary War and Protection vs. Free Trade.

Hoyt passed away on December 1st, 1892.

Hoyt was a member of Lodge No. 61 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He would go on to serve as Worshipful Master of the lodge.