The New International Encyclopædia/Parker, Joel (politician)

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PARKER, Joel (1816-88). An American politician, born near Freehold, N. J. He graduated at Princeton in 1839 and in 1842 was admitted to the bar. In 1847 he was elected to the Legislature by the Democrats, and in 1852 was appointed prosecutor of the Pleas. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was appointed a major-general of militia, and devoted himself to the work of enlisting volunteers. The next year, 1862, he was elected Governor by an unprecedented majority; for, though a Democrat and opposed to the Abolitionists, he was a strong Union man. So energetic and successful was he in raising troops that the draft was never applied in New Jersey; and during Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania in 1863 he induced several recently returned regiments to go again to the front, thereby earning the thanks of the neighboring State. Equally successful was his financial policy, for during his administration the State bonds never sold below par, and the adoption of his plan for wiping out the war debt resulted in its being paid off without special taxation. At the end of his term as Governor, in 1866, he retired to private life, but in 1871 was reëlected. In 1875 he was appointed Attorney-General, and in 1880 and in 1887 an associate justice of the State Supreme Court.