David Henshaw

David Henshaw

Birth
Leicester, Worcester County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 11 Nov 1852 (aged 61)
Leicester, Worcester County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Leicester, Worcester County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 31432965 · View Source
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Presidential Cabinet Secretary. He became a druggist's apprentice when he was 16 and went into the wholesale drug business at age 21. Henshaw became wealthy as a result of this venture, and expanded his interests to include banking, railroads, and insurance. He was also a leader of the state Democratic party, serving in the Massachusetts House and Senate, as a member of the state Board of Internal Improvements, and as US Customs Collector for the Port of Boston. In 1843 he was named US Secretary of the Navy, and served from July, 1843 to February, 1844. His term was noteworthy for his successful effort to save the USS Constitution from being decommissioned and scrapped. Denied confirmation by the Senate, as were many of President Tyler's nominees, Henshaw returned to his Massachusetts business interests at the expiration of his recess appointment. Unwilling to oppose slavery on the grounds of states' rights, he maintained his leadership of the state Democratic party until the early 1850s, when the abolitionist movement became ascendant in Massachusetts politics and his health began to fail. A noted orator, he was often a speaker at Independence Day celebrations and other events, and many of his speeches were reproduced in pamphlet form.

Bio by: Bill McKern


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bill McKern
  • Added: 15 Nov 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 31432965
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for David Henshaw (2 Apr 1791–11 Nov 1852), Find a Grave Memorial no. 31432965, citing Pine Grove Cemetery, Leicester, Worcester County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .