The Poor Boy and the Governor

The following from the Providence Journal will be read with interest in this State. In all that relates to energetic self-help and the highest type of true manly character, there is no better mode for the youth of our country than the present Governor of Michigan.


A few days since I saw an account in the Journal of a Rhode Island boy holding the office of Judge in one of the courts in a sister State - Vermont. With your permission, Mr. Editor, I would like to give you a brief history of another son of Rhode Island. Nearly 40 years ago I made the acquaintance, in one of our factory villages (Woonsocket), of a young man who had opened a shoe store.

He soon built up a good run of custom, and became quite popular. Free from all the bad habits of the young men of that day, he neither used intoxicating drinks nor tobacco in any form, but applied himself strictly to his business and to the Church (Episcopal,) of which he was a member.

He succeeded well in his business for a number of years, and then concluded to strike out into deeper waters, and accordingly removed to Detroit, Michigan, where he commenced his business again, and became very rich. I understand he has built an elegant church and rectory, and presented them to that diocese, besides making other large contributions to various charitable and religious purposes.

He is now Governor of Michigan, and his name is Henry P. Baldwin. He was born in Coventry, and removed to Pawtucket with his parents when he was but four years old, where, at the age of thirteen years, he was put into the store of David Lefavor, Esq. His parent were poor, and Mr. Baldwin did not have a collegiate education, nor hardly the benefits of the common schools (such as they were at that time,) but was compelled to rely on his own efforts and carve out his own fortune.

We have more boys of the same stamp left, if they would emulate his energy, integrity, and strict application to business, forsaking the dissipation and extravagance that in various forms prevail too extensively among youth. 

Date: Tuesday, February 16, 1869 Paper: Jackson Citizen (Jackson, Michigan) Page: 2

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