Henry Wilson

Henry Wilson

Farmington, Strafford County, New Hampshire, USA
Death 22 Nov 1875 (aged 63)
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Burial Natick, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 2900 · View Source
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US Senator and Vice President. An abolitionist and member of the Republican Party, he served as the 18th US Vice President under President Ulysses S. Grant's 2nd term from March 1873 until his death. Born Jeremiah Jones Colbath, he moved to Natick, Massachusetts in 1833, where he taught school and engaged in the shoemaking business, and had his name legally changed. From 1841 to 1852 he served in the Massachusetts state legislature and was owner and editor of the Boston Republican newspaper from 1848 to 1851. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress in 1852 and an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Massachusetts the following year. In 1855 he was elected to the US Senate by a coalition of Free-Soilers, Know-Nothings (also known as the Native American Party, and Democrats to the vacancy caused by the resignation of the Whig Senator Edward Everett. He was reelected as a Republican in 1859, 1865 and 1871, and served from January 1855 to March 1873, when he resigned to become Vice President. During his time in the US Senate, he was Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia and the Committee on Military Affairs, working closely with President Abraham Lincoln on legislation affecting the Army and Navy. In 1861 he raised and briefly commanded the 22nd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry from September to October. He was also an advocate for equal pay for African-American soldiers. After the war he became an early member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the US. In 1872 he was elected Vice President of the US on the Republican ticket with President Ulysses S. Grant to replace the controversial Schuyler Colfax. His election was marred by the report that he was involved in the Crédit Mobilier of America scandal, as he was one of several major Republican (and Democratic) Representatives and Senators who were offered bribes (and possibly took them) of shares in Crédit Mobilier. He was later cleared by a Senate inquiry, but his reputation was tarnished. In 1873 he suffered a serious stroke and although partly paralyzed, he fought to actively perform his duties as presiding officer over the US Senate. On November 10, 1875 he suffered what was believed to be a minor attack and was taken to the Vice President's Room in the US Capitol Building to recover. Over the next several days, his health appeared to improve but on November 22 he died from a second stroke at the age of 63 while working in the US Capitol. His published works include "History of the Anti-Slavery Measures of the Thirty-seventh and Thirty-eighth Congresses, 1861-64" (1864), "History of the Reconstruction Measures of the Thirty-ninth and Fortieth Congresses, 1865-68" (1868), and "History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America" (three volumes, 1872 to 1877).

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 6 May 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial 2900
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Henry Wilson (16 Feb 1812–22 Nov 1875), Find a Grave Memorial no. 2900, citing Dell Park Cemetery, Natick, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .