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Governor Nathaniel Springer Berry

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Office Dates:  Jun 06, 1861 - Jun 03, 1863

Born:  Sep 01, 1796

Passed:  Apr 27, 1894

Birth State:  Maine

Family:  Married twice—Ruth Smith, Mrs. Louise Farley; two children


NATHANIEL S. BERRY, the thirty-sixth governor of New Hampshire, was born in Bath, Maine on September 1, 1796. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of his native state. As a young boy, he went to work as a tanner’s apprentice. He eventually moved to New Hampshire, where he continued to work in the tanning trade. Berry first entered politics as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, a position he held in 1828, 1833 to 1834, 1837 and 1854. He also served in the New Hampshire State Senate from 1835 to 1836; was a delegate to the 1840 Democratic National Convention; and served on the Grafton County common pleas court bench from 1841 to 1850. From 1856 to 1861 he was a probate judge for Grafton County; and for twenty-three years served as justice of the peace. After running unsuccessfully as a Free-Soil nominee for governor, Berry switched political parties. He then secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in 1861. He was reelected to a second term in 1862. During his tenure, war issues were dealt with. Also, Berry presided over the 1861 Altoona Conference, in which he presented the address in support of the war. After completing his term, Berry retired from political office. Governor Nathaniel S. Berry passed away in Bristol, New Hampshire on April 27, 1894.

Sources:

New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources

The Political Graveyard

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.