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Accession Number 1900.001
Catalog Number 1900.001.031
Object Name Painting
Title Portrait of Edward Noyes
Description Portrait of Edward Noyes, 30th governor of Ohio from 1872 to 1874. He is seated in a wood and upholstered chair. He wears a dark suit with a white shirt. He has dark hair and a long dark beard. Both of his hands rest in his lap.
Date ca. 1874
Artist Unknown
Notes Edward Follansbee Noyes was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, in 1832. His parents died when he was three years old, and he was taken to New Hampshire to live with his grandfather. When Noyes was thirteen, he became an apprentice in the newspaper office of the Morning Star, a religious newspaper published in Dover, New Hampshire. He remained an apprentice for more than four years. Noyes wanted to get an education and chose to leave his apprenticeship to attend an academy in Kingston, New Hampshire.

In 1853, he became a student at Dartmouth College. It was while he was in college that Noyes became interested in politics. He became a member of the newly formed Republican Party and gained a reputation as a public speaker. Noyes graduated from Dartmouth in 1857 and placed fourth in a class of fifty-seven students. After graduation, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he attended the Cincinnati Law School. He graduated from law school in 1858 and began to practice law in Cincinnati.

When the American Civil War began, Noyes left his law practice to join the Union army. He helped to organize the Thirty-Ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment and was commissioned as a major on July 27, 1861. Noyes served in the regiment for three years and ultimately was promoted to colonel. Noyes was wounded in battle on July 4, 1864, near Ruff's Mills, Georgia. As a result of the injury, an army surgeon amputated Noyes' left leg. Only three months later, Major General Joseph Hooker assigned Noyes to command Camp Dennison in Ohio. Noyes was offered the opportunity to become the city solicitor of Cincinnati in April 1865 and chose to resign his commission in the army.

Noyes remained involved in politics after the war was over. In October 1866, he ran successfully for probate judge of Hamilton County. Noyes ran for governor in 1871 against Democrat George W. McCook. Noyes won by a margin of more than twenty thousand votes and became Ohio’s thirtieth governor. His term as governor was from 1872 to 1874. Noyes' administration promoted minor election reforms, as well as coal mine inspection and fish conservation laws. The state was reorganized into twenty congressional districts during his term in office. Noyes had a relatively quiet and uncontroversial term as governor. But his reelection campaign suffered as a result of the economic problems that the nation was facing at the time and the poor reputation of President Ulysses S. Grant's administration. Across the state, Republicans were blamed for the state's problems. Democratic candidate William Allen defeated Noyes by only 817 votes. Noyes then campaigned unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1874. The state legislature chose Democrat Allen G. Thurman instead.

Noyes remained active within the national Republican Party during this era. The Ohio delegation to the Republican national convention in 1876 chose Noyes to nominate Rutherford B. Hayes as the party's candidate for the presidency. Noyes actively campaigned for Hayes and contributed to his election success. At one point, Noyes was accused of illegally manipulating election results in Florida to benefit the Republican Party. An investigation later cleared him of any illegal activity.

Because of his support in the Election of 1876, President Hayes nominated Noyes as the United States minister to France in 1877. Noyes served as ambassador to France for four years. In 1881, Noyes returned to Cincinnati. He continued to be involved in Republican Party politics in Ohio throughout the 1880s while working at his law practice. In 1889, Noyes once again returned to elected office as a justice of the superior court of Cincinnati. He died suddenly on September 4, 1890.
People Noyes, Edward F. (Edward Follansbee), 1832-1890
Signed Name Unsigned
Image size 40" x 34"
Frame size 46" x 40"
Frame desc Twentieth century molded gilt frame
Material Oil Paint/Canvas/Wood
Provenance In 1867, the Ohio General Assembly passed a joint resolution relative to the governors of Ohio. The legislators resolved that "the secretary of state, on the first Monday of January next, whether the portraits of the governors of Ohio, state and territorial, can be procured, and if so, whether original portraits or copies, and the probable expense of procuring such portraits for the governor's office."

There is no information about when this portrait arrived at the Statehouse. There is a weak attribution to J.H. Witt as the artist, but there is no concrete proof.

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board took over the care of the Statehouse and its collections in 1988.
Search Terms Ohio Governor
Ohio Governor's Portraits
Subjects Governors
Portrait paintings
Collection Statehouse Artwork Collection/Governors' Portraits