Bradley Barlow

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Bradley Barlow
Bradley Barlow.jpg
Member of the
United States House of Representatives
from Vermont's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1879 – March 3, 1881
Preceded by George Whitman Hendee
Succeeded by William W. Grout
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born (1814-05-12)May 12, 1814
Fairfield, Vermont, United States
Died November 6, 1889(1889-11-06) (aged 75)
Denver, Colorado, United States
Citizenship American
Political party Greenbacker
Spouse(s) Caroline Farnsworth
Children Deborah Barlow, Helen K. Barlow, Joanna F. Barlow, Laura Barlow, Charlotte Barlow and Anna Barlow
Profession Politician, Banker

Bradley Barlow (May 12, 1814 – November 6, 1889) was a nineteenth-century banker and politician from Vermont. He served as a U.S. Representative from Vermont.

Early life and career[edit]

Barlow was born in Fairfield, Vermont, son of Colonel Bradley and Deborah (Sherman) Barlow. Barlow attended the common schools and then engaged in mercantile pursuits in Philadelphia with his father until 1858, when he moved to St. Albans, Vermont.[1] Barlow began his banking career in St. Albans as a cashier.[2]

Originally a Democrat, and later a Republican, Barlow was a delegate to the Vermont State constitutional conventions in 1843, 1850, and 1857,[3] and was acting assistant secretary in 1843.[4] He was a member of the Vermont House of Representatives in 1845, 1850 to 1852, 1864, and 1865.[5] He engaged in banking and in the railroad business from 1860 to 1883. He was chairman of the school committee in St. Albans and president of the village corporation and treasurer of Franklin County from 1860 to 1867. Barlow served in the Vermont Senate from 1866 to 1868. In 1878 he was a candidate for the Republican nomination for Congress at a time when Vermont elected only Republicans to statewide and national office, and lost to William W. Grout. Barlow then ran as a "National Republican" with Democratic and Greenbacker support and won the general election, serving in the Forty-sixth United States Congress, March 4, 1879 to March 3, 1881.[6] He was not a candidate for renomination in 1880, and began to suffer business setbacks, largely engineered by Republicans including former Governor J. Gregory Smith, who were part of Vermont's business and banking community and resented Barlow's insurgency against the dominant Republican hierarchy.[7]


Barlow was implicated [8][9][10] in the star routes mail scandal of 1876 in which he was identified as one of the most successful mail contractors in the country.[11]

He was called to testify before Congress several times regarding the scandal. One of his first was in 1876, where he was accused of bribing Congress in 1872 with $40,000 to stop the initial investigation of the forty-second congress.[12]

Later Years[edit]

Barlow was President of the Vermont National Bank in St Albans when it failed in 1883 as a result of an unsuccessful attempt to sell his South Eastern Railway of Canada and an economic downturn. He declared bankruptcy, assigned all of his personal property to the bank and reported that he was penniless. The bank failure had severe repercussions for the town.[13] He was also accused of refusing to pay Vermont state taxes that year.[14]

In 1885, a Judge in Montreal, Canada rendered a judgement against Barlow and others for $1,550,929 for unrecovered promissory notes relating to the South Eastern Railway.[15]

His house, known as Villa Barlow, was taken over by the Congregation of Notre Dame based in Montreal, which had established a convent and school in St. Albans in 1869.[16] In 1903 the American-born Eliza Healy was appointed mother superior at the convent and school, both of which she managed for 15 years.

Barlow later lived in Denver, Colorado with one of his daughters. He died in Denver on November 6, 1889, and was interred in Greenwood Cemetery in St. Albans, Vermont.[17]

Personal life[edit]

In 1837 he married Caroline Farnsworth. They had six children: Deborah Barlow, Helen K. Barlow, Joanna F. Barlow, Laura Barlow, Charlotte Barlow and Anna Barlow.[18]


  1. ^ Dodge, Prentiss Cutler (1912). Encyclopedia, Vermont Biography: A Series of Authentic Biographical Sketches of the Representative Men of Vermont and Sons of Vermont in Other States. 1912. Ullery Publishing Company,. p. 76. 
  2. ^ Haynes, L. Louise and Charlotte Pedersen (2010). St. Albans. Arcadia Publishing,. p. 109. 
  3. ^ "Barlow, Bradley (1814-1889)". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved December 26, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Honorable Bradley Barlow". Barlow Genealogy. Retrieved December 26, 2012. 
  5. ^ "BARLOW, Bradley, (1814 - 1889)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Rep. Bradley Barlow". Retrieved December 26, 2012. 
  7. ^ Samuel B. Hand, The Star That Set: The Vermont Republican Party, 1854-1974, 2003, page 43
  8. ^ The Congressional Record of the 3rd Session of the 45th Congress, 1878-1879, The Government Printing Office 1879
  9. ^ The New York Times, March 20th, 1876
  10. ^ The New York Times, May 9th, 1881
  11. ^ Barlow Genealogy
  12. ^ The New York Times, March 20th, 1876
  13. ^ The New York Times, August 7th, 1883
  14. ^ The New York Times, January 22nd, 1883
  15. ^ The New York Times, January 21st, 1885
  16. ^ "Villa Barlow Convent". Barlow Genealogy. Retrieved December 26, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Bradley Barlow". Find A Grave. Retrieved December 26, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Bradley Barlow". Find A Grave. Retrieved December 26, 2012. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
George W. Hendee
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Vermont's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
William W. Grout