John Brooks
Painting: by Jacob Wagner, 1892

Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 1816-1823

Before entering public life, John Brooks had established careers in medicine and as a military leader during the American Revolution. Having already trained as a doctor in his hometown of Medford, he began his medical practice in Reading where he became the Captain of the Reading Minutemen. He led them in the Battle of Concord and at Bunker Hill. He accepted a commission as Captain in the Continental Army and took part in battles in While Planes, Valley Forge, and Long Island.

He returned to take over the practice of his mentor Dr. Simon Tufts in 1783, and two years later was elected to the General Court. He was appointed Major General of the Middlesex Militia in 1786, which he led in suppressing Shay's Rebellion. He was appointed Adjutant General (1812-1816) and won the governorship with the Federalist Party in 1816.

It was during Brooks' tenure that Massachusetts' territory of Maine was recognized as an independent state. Having served seven terms, Brooks declined to run for an eighth term and retired to private life.