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08/03/2021 05:49 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate

Daniel Lee Sherwood



Session Position District Party
1843 N/A Democrat
1845 Speaker N/A Democrat
 Counties   Bradford, Tioga


1809 - 1886

The Honorable Daniel Lee Sherwood was born at Marathon, New York on December 5, 1809, the son of New York State legislator Daniel and Anna Stevens Sherwood. The senior Sherwood descended from a prominent English family from Sherwood, Nottinghamshire.  The family moved to Lamb’s Creek, Tioga County in 1830, erecting a sawmill that operated until 1839. Daniel Senior founded the Mansfield Baptist Church, a congregation in which his brother Abijah became minister – and the senator, a devout worshipper. In 1832, Daniel married Caroline Sharpe of Chumung, New York. A founder and first president of the Tioga County Agricultural Society, Daniel was a skilled farmer and a moving force behind the Commonwealth’s advances in agricultural technology. In other quarters, he helped establish the Mansfield Classical Seminary, preceding its evolution from a State Normal School to the Mansfield State Teachers College. The popular Sherwood became a state representative in 1842-43 and received the Tioga-Potter District’s nod for the state Senate in 1844. He served a three-year term in the upper house, defeating Philadelphia Whig Charles Gibbons for the 1846 Speaker’s podium. The key resolution of Sherwood’s session was Senate Bill No. 39: “A Resolution relative to the 1846 Walker Tariff.” Speaker Sherwood, with Bigler, represented Senate Democrats’ interest in supporting the proposed tariff, opposing prohibitive (high-tariff) duties on imports. Sherwood also backed another bill advocating the granting of right-of-way to the B&O Railroad, as long as the company observed Pennsylvania incorporation laws, paid a substantial tax on freight tonnage and passengers, and permitted Pennsylvania’s construction of feeder lines that connected Commonwealth track to B&O beds along the Potomac River. On February 24, 1846, Sherwood backed legislation incorporating the Pennsylvania Central Railroad, providing the new company’s public stock offering. After legislative service, Sherwood returned to Tioga County in 1854 as a Richmond Township justice of the peace, dedicating the remainder of his life to local political, agricultural, and mercantile pursuits. Hometown political interests, however, eventually spelled trouble for the senator. During the 1860 election, Daniel supported Stephen A. Douglass – a matter of concern to the majority of pro-Lincoln Congregationalists in the Mansfield Baptist community. As the small town split into two distinct factions, a mob of majority Republicans prepared to run Senator Sherwood out of the town that he co-found. In his typically “low” and “earnest conversational tone,” Daniel advised the throng’s leader to inform his antagonists to “be sure you bring coffins with you. You will need them.” The split in Mansfield irreparable, the senator left Tioga in 1867 for Northumberland. Engaging in the lumber business at Northumberland, the Democratic caucus interrupted Daniel’s civilian respite for another call to Harrisburg. In 1877, the life-long Democrat returned to the state House of Representatives, serving through 1879, but losing a bid for Speaker of the House, 111-78, to Allegheny County Republican Henry Long. The event marked his last hurrah in the Pennsylvania Legislature.  Daniel was described as “a hale, vigorous man; standing six feet – one inch, robust with an athletic frame.” He was a quiet, “amiable” man but one with total conviction and unswerving principle.  Mansfield Pastor Joseph Smith remarked of the senator, “No nobler man ever lived than Daniel L. Sherwood.” The Honorable Daniel Lee Sherwood passed away on October 7, 1886 in Northumberland.