WELLES. wilt. Gideon, American states man. b Glastonbury, Conn., 1 July 1802, d. Hart ford. Conn, II Feb. 1878. He studied at Nor ersity. Vermont, but did not complete the course there, and for a time turned his attention to the study of law. In 1826, how net, he entered journalism as editor of the Hart lord Tones, which under his management became one of the leading Democratic papers of the State. He was one of the first publicly to advocate Andrew Jackson's election to the l'residencv, and always warmly supported him. In 1627-3.5 be was a member of the Connecticut legislature. and both as legislator and editor advocated the abolition of imprisonment for debt, opposed the practice of special legisla non and succeeded in obtaining the passage of general laws for the incorporation of business corporations. In 18.36 be resigned the editor ship of the Times, but continued to write for that paper. In 1835, 1842 and 1843 he was cbo*en State comptroller; in 1836-41 he was postmaster of Hartford; and in 1846 was ap p uted chief of the bureau of provisions and clothing in the Nay Department, which office he held till 1649. He had always been opposed
to the extension of slave territory, and on the organization of the Republican party in 1855 became identified with it. and was Republican candidate for governor of Connecticut in 1856; and a member of the national committee. In Ittil he was appointed Secretary of the Navy, and conducted the affairs of his department with marked executive ability throughout the Civil ar; he continued in office under President Johnson till 1869. He was later affiliated with the Liberal Republicans, and in 1876 was a supporter of Tilden. He wrote 'Lincoln and Simard' (1874). Consult 'Diary of Gideon %%elks' (New York 1911).