The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Public Service Legacy Project

Dartmouth College Public Service Legacy: Samuel Everett Pingree, Class of 1857

This article is part of a series recognizing Dartmouth Alumni who have served in public office and demonstrated their commitment to the ideals of public service, leadership, and civic engagement.

Samuel Everett Pingree, Dartmouth class of 1857, was known in all areas of his life for his dedication: he was awarded the Medal of the Legion of Honor for his service in the civil war, he held the record for the longest service rendered to his community of Hartford, Vermont, and he was heavily involved with the alumni of the college, leading the procession of alumni at graduation for many years because he was always the oldest alumni present. As governor of Vermont, he earned the title of Vermont’s “grand old man,” a fitting summation of all that he did for the northeast.

Dartmouth College Public Service Legacy: Rufus Choate, Class of 1819

This article is part of a series recognizing Dartmouth Alumni who have served in public office and demonstrated their commitment to the ideals of public service, leadership, and civic engagement.


Rufus Choate, Dartmouth Class of 1819, was a lawyer, orator, and politician who devoted himself to whatever task was before him. Best known for his career as a lawyer, he is said to have never lost a case, always performing the most eloquent speeches in defense of his clients. As a politician, his career was marked by the multitude of passionate speeches he gave, his dedication to his constituents, and the morals he stood for. He also lived his life as a continual scholar, never abandoning the learning that marked his time at Dartmouth. One of his biographers, Reverend Adams, noted that he was defined by “one of his prominent characteristics, the seizing upon every means to fit himself for every task with which he consented to grapple. It was in the genius, the nature of the man, to master every subject appertaining to his calling.”

Dartmouth College Public Service Legacy: Salmon P. Chase, Class of 1826

This article is part of a series recognizing Dartmouth Alumni who have served in public office and demonstrated their commitment to the ideals of public service, leadership, and civic engagement.

A graduate of the Class of 1826, Salmon P. Chase is one of just three people to have served as a state governor and in all three branches of the United States government. After practicing law in Cincinnati, Chase entered public service: he served as U.S. Senator from Ohio, Governor of Ohio, U.S. Secretary of Treasury, and Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Chase is perhaps best remembered for his contributions to the Union during the Civil War, during which he served as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. His efforts in this office are remembered to this day: Chase Bank, founded in 1877 and still in operation today, was named in honor of Chase and his help in financing the Union.

Dartmouth College Public Service Legacy: Levi Woodbury, Class of 1809

This article is part of a series recognizing Dartmouth Alumni who have served in public office and demonstrated their commitment to public service, leadership, and civic engagement.

Born in Francestown, New Hampshire in 1789, Levi Woodbury arrived Dartmouth College at the age of sixteen in 1806. Little is known about Woodbury during his time at Dartmouth. There is record like many of his contemporaries, that he helped pay for his tuition by teaching school in the neighboring towns around Hanover. Having graduated with honors in 1809, he traveled to Connecticut to study law at Tapping Reeve, America’s first law school. He didn’t stay long in Litchfield; before the year was over Woodbury returned home to hang out his shingle. At just twenty-two, he was admitted to the New Hampshire Bar, which allowed him to establish a small law office.

Dartmouth College Public Service Legacy: George Higgins Moses, Class of 1890

This article is part of a series recognizing Dartmouth Alumni who have served in public office and demonstrated their commitment to the ideals of public service, leadership, and civic engagement.

Few senators are entrusted with the range of leadership positions George Higgins “Mose” Moses (R-NH) attained during his fifteen years in public office. Born in Maine but an adopted son of New Hampshire, Moses gained a reputation in the Granite State through devotion to local journalism and unwavering support for the state’s Republican Party. Fluent in French and Greek with a skillful command of text-book Latin, even his detractors characterized him as the most gifted classical scholar to graduate from Dartmouth by 1890.

Dartmouth College Public Service Legacy: Thaddeus Stevens, Class of 1814

This article is part of a series of articles honoring Dartmouth Alumni who have served in public office and demonstrated their commitment to the ideals of public service, leadership, and civic engagement.

A man of single-minded purpose, Thaddeus Stevens, Dartmouth class of 1814, spent his life vehemently fighting for racial and social equality in America. Historian Hans Trefousse noted in a biography on Stevens that he "was one of the most influential representatives ever to serve in Congress.” According to Trefousse, Stevens “dominated the House with his wit, knowledge of parliamentary law, and sheer willpower….” However, Trefousse also concludes that Stevens’ influence was often limited by his extremism.

Dartmouth College Public Service Legacy: Perkins Bass, Class of 1934

This article is part of a series of articles honoring Dartmouth Alumni who have served in public office and demonstrated their commitment to the ideals of public service, leadership, and civic engagement.

The first time I encountered the Perkins Bass name was in the library, on a poster advertising an event featuring Kelly Ayotte, a former Senator and attorney general for New Hampshire. I didn’t think much of it until I started doing research for the Public Service Legacy Project a few months later, when the pieces of the Bass story of public service began to click together.

Dartmouth College Public Service Legacy: Fred H. Brown, Class of 1903

This article is part of a series honoring Dartmouth Alumni who have served in public office and demonstrated their commitment to the ideals of public service, leadership, and civic engagement.

It is not often that a college dropout becomes a U.S. Attorney, governor, and United States Senator from the state where he or she grew up. Fred. H. Brown ’03, spent just one academic year at Dartmouth College, but would eventually receive an honorary degree from the College upon his election to the governorship of New Hampshire in 1923 and appointment as an Ex-Officio Trustee.

During his single year at Dartmouth, Brown played on the varsity baseball team. According to sources at the time, Brown was “one of the best catchers that ever donned a Dartmouth uniform.” One of Brown’s fondest memories at Dartmouth consisted of a rematch game against Williams College. Bolstered by support and enthusiasm from a surprise showing of over 200 Dartmouth students who drove all the way from White River Junction in support their team, Dartmouth defeated Williams 11-2.

Dartmouth College Public Service Legacy: Edwin Dooley, Class of 1927

This article is part of a series honoring Dartmouth Alumni who have served in public office and demonstrated their commitment to the ideals of public service, leadership, and civic engagement.

As Eddie Dooley graduated from Dartmouth in 1927, he was known better as a football star than a potential civil servant. At a time when the sport of football was rapidly gaining popularity, Dooley was ahead of the curve in both his performance and his study of the game. He was an All-American quarterback, nicknamed “Death Dooley” for his killer instinct on the field. However, his real lasting legacy on the game of football is the advent of specialist coaches observing the game from high above the field. Dooley was an early pioneer in football strategy whose advancements are vital to the playing of the game today. Contemporary greats like Tom Brady have Eddie Dooley to thank for changing the way that the game is observed, analyzed, and played. 

Dartmouth College Public Service Legacy: John Wentworth, Class of 1836

This article is part of a series honoring Dartmouth Alumni who have served in public office and demonstrated their commitment to the ideals of public service, leadership, and civic engagement.

For a contemporary of Lincoln, it was impressive to be known for one’s height. Towering at six feet and six inches, John “Long John” Wentworth, Class of 1836, cast a long shadow over American politics as the nation headed west for new prosperity. 

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