Henry Baldwin Harrison

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Henry Baldwin Harrison
Henry Baldwin Harrison (Connecticut Governor).jpg
52nd Governor of Connecticut
In office
January 8, 1885 – January 7, 1887
LieutenantLorrin A. Cooke
Preceded byThomas M. Waller
Succeeded byPhineas C. Lounsbury
Member of the Connecticut House of Representatives
In office
Member of the Connecticut Senate
In office
Personal details
BornSeptember 11, 1821
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedOctober 29, 1901 (aged 80)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Political partyWhig, Republican
Spouse(s)Mary Elizabeth Osborne
Alma materYale College
Professionlawyer, politician

Henry Baldwin Harrison (September 11, 1821 – October 29, 1901) was a Republican politician and the 52nd Governor of Connecticut.


Harrison was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He graduated from Yale College as valedictorian in 1846,[1] where he was a member of Skull and Bones,[2] and studied at Yale Law School.[3] He was a member of Connecticut Sons of the American Revolution. He married Mary Elizabeth Osborne (the daughter of Yale Law School professor and U.S. Representative Thomas Burr Osborne and Ann Sherwood.)


Harrison ran for office as a Whig, and in 1854, he won a seat in the Connecticut Senate (4th District). Active in the Whig Party, and author of the Personal Liberty Bill, he was instrumental in bringing about the nullification of the Fugitive Slave Law. During the years from 1855 to 1856, he was one of the men who organized the Republican Party in Connecticut.[1] He lost a bid for Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut in 1857, and in 1874, but he returned to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1865, 1873, and 1883; during his last term, he was Speaker of the House.[4]

From 1885-1887, Harrison served as Governor of Connecticut. His contributions included initiatives on prohibition and abolition of slavery. Issues of great concern to him were education and workers' rights. He served in the Legislature at the time of the Industrial Revolution and witnessed the growing problems caused by industrialization. As Governor, he created the state Bureau of Labor Statistics, and he pushed for compulsory education to the age of 16 for Connecticut's children.[4]

Death and legacy[edit]

Harrison died in New Haven on October 29, 1901 and is interred at Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven. Harrison gave a moving eulogy at the funeral of his cousin, also a Governor of the State of Connecticut, Roger Sherman Baldwin. Harrison said, "It has been well said that Governor Baldwin was a great lawyer. He was an upright, a just, a conscientious and honorable man. Governor Baldwin was a true son of Connecticut. His memory deserves all honors from Connecticut, and from every one of her children."


  1. ^ a b Henry Baldwin Harrison. The governors of Connecticut: biographies of the chief executives. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  2. ^ Millegan, Kris (2003). "The Skeleton Crew". Fleshing Out Skull and Bones: Investigations into America's Most Powerful Secret Society. Walterville, OR: Trine Day. pp. 597–690. ISBN 0-9720207-2-1. "This list is compiled from material from the Order of Skull and Bones membership books at Sterling Library, Yale University and other public records. The latest books available are the 1971 Living members and the 1973 Deceased Members books. The last year the members were published in the Yale Banner is 1969."
  3. ^ "Henry Baldwin Harrison." Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1936. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 13 Apr. 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Henry Baldwin Harrison". National Governors Association. Retrieved 7 December 2012.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas M. Waller
Governor of Connecticut
Succeeded by
Phineas C. Lounsbury