William Sterrett Ramsey (1810-1840)

William S. Ramsey was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania on June 12, 1810. He and his brother Albert C. Ramsey were the sons of William Ramsey (1779-1831) who was the Jacksonian representative during the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd United States Congresses and he died in office. Both brothers entered the local Dickinson College with the class of 1830 but did not graduate. Both were, however, elected to the Union Philosophical Society at the College, Albert in the class of 1829 and William with the class of 1830.

Ramsey studied the classical subjects he had begun at Dickinson in Europe and served as an attache with the American Legation in London. He was elected to the Twenty-sixth Congress in 1838 and was reelected in late 1840. Ramsey was suffering from a liver complaint, most probably from the effects of alcoholism. He had left his home in Carlisle on election day without telling anyone, though his brother had travelled from his own home in York to care for him. Shortly after his reelection, William Sterrett Ramsey shot himself through the right eye in a room at Barnum's Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland on October 18, 1840. He was thirty years old.

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Dickinson College Archives
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