Biography and History

William A. Newell, a member of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Class of 1839, was a physican and politician. Newell was a member of the United States House of Representatives (1847-1851, 1865-1867) and, during his first term, was responsible for the Newell Act, which established the United States Life-Saving Service. Following his first two terms in Congress, Newell served as the 18th governor of New Jersey (1857-1860). In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Newell superintendent of the Life-Saving Service of New Jersey. Following his third term in Congress, Newell practiced privately as a physican until he was appointed governor of the Washington Territory by President Rutherford B. Hayes, a position which he held during the years 1880-1884.

Source: From the finding aid for C0518