|5th Governor of Pennsylvania|
December 19, 1820 – December 16, 1823
|Preceded by||William Findlay|
|Succeeded by||John Andrew Shulze|
|Member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 3rd, 5th and 7th districts|
1797 – 1803 (5th)
|Preceded by||George Ege (1797)|
Joseph Hemphill (1803)
Daniel Udree (1815)
|Succeeded by||Andrew Gregg|
Isaac Anderson, John Whitehill and Christian Lower
|Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives|
|Member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 17th district|
|Preceded by||district created|
|Succeeded by||Presley Carr Lane|
|Born||November 18, 1752|
Bern Township, Province of Pennsylvania, British America
|Died||June 10, 1832 (aged 79)|
Reading, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Political party||Democratic-Republican Party|
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Whitman Hiester (?–1825; her death)|
Joseph Hiester (November 18, 1752 – June 10, 1832) was an American politician from Pennsylvania who served as the Democratic-Republican fifth Governor of Pennsylvania from 1820 to 1823. He was a member of the Hiester family political dynasty.
Hiester was the son of John Hiester and Maria Barbara Epler. He received a common-school education when he was not working on the farm, and became a clerk in a store in Reading run by Adam Whitman. He became a partner in the store in 1771 when he married Elizabeth, Whitman's daughter.
At the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, he raised and equipped in that town a company with which he took part in the battles of Long Island and Germantown. He was promoted to colonel. He was captured and briefly confined in the prison ship "Jersey," where he did much to alleviate the sufferings of his fellow prisoners. Later he was transferred to New York City where he was exchanged.
He was a member of the convention of 1776 that drafted the Articles of Confederation, of the Pennsylvania state constitutional convention which ratified the United States Constitution, and of the state constitutional convention of 1790. He served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1787 to 1790 and the Pennsylvania Senate for the 17th district from 1790–1794. In 1807, he was appointed one of the two major generals to command the quota of Pennsylvania militia that was called for by the president. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1797 until 1805, and again from 1815 until 1820, 14 years altogether. In 1817, he ran for governor, and was defeated by William Findlay. Hiester faced Findlay again in 1820 and narrowly won a single term in office. Refusing on principle to stand for reelection in 1823, he served until 1824 when he retired from public life. During his term, he presided over the dedication of the first state capitol building in the new capital of Harrisburg. He surprised partisans and opponents by making appointments strictly on merit rather than party affiliation.
A residence hall on the Penn State University Park campus was named after him.
- Jürgen Heideking (1999). "Hiester, Joseph". American National Biography. 10 (online ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 749–750. doi:10.1093/anb/9780198606697.article.0200172. (subscription required)
- "Pennsylvania State Senate - Joseph Hiester Biography". www.legis.state.pa.us. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
- "Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission". www.phmc.state.pa.us. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
- Youker, Darrin. "Were City Graves Relocated to Charles Evans Cemtery?", in "You Ask Youker". Reading, Pennsylvania: Reading Eagle, June 10, 2010.
- United States Congress. "Joseph Hiester (id: H000574)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Wilson, J. G.; Fiske, J., eds. (1892). . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
- The Political Graveyard