Born in Catharine, New York, Diven attended the common schools and the academies in Penn Yan and Ovid, New York, and then studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1831 and commenced practice in Elmira. He served as member of the New York State Senate in 1858.
Diven was elected as a Republican to the Thirty-seventh Congress (March 4, 1861-March 3, 1863). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1862.
Diven entered the Army on August 13, 1862, as lieutenant colonel of the One Hundred and Seventh Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry. He was promoted to colonel on October 21, 1862. He was granted leave of absence from the Army for ninety days to take his seat in Congress. He was honorably discharged as colonel May 11, 1863, and later brevetted brigadier general of Volunteers April 30, 1864. He engaged in railroad building and operation 1865-1875, and was prominently identified with the Erie Railroad.
Diven died in Elmira, New York, June 11, 1896. He was interred in Woodlawn Cemetery.
- Alexander S. Diven at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved on 2008-09-27
- Alexander S. Diven at Find a Grave Retrieved on 2008-09-27