Born in Salem, New York, in 1799, Doty married Sarah Collins and served in several government posts in Michigan before moving to Wisconsin, where he was a delegate to Congress, territorial governor (1841–44), and state legislator. Originally a Democrat, he became a Free Soiler and then a Republican. Abraham Lincoln named him superintendent of Indian affairs for Utah in 1861 and then to the vacated position of governor in 1863. Under his skillful management, federal relations with the Mormons improved. He emphasized the importance of schools and Indian treaties, and suggested using the Colorado River to transport Utah products to markets in California. Reappointed by Lincoln, he died in office in 1865 and was buried in the Fort Douglas cemetery.
Governor Doty was born in 1799.