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Henry Porter Baldwin

Gov. Henry Porter Baldwin


HENRY P. BALDWIN, the fifteenth governor of Michigan, was born in Coventry, Rhode Island on February 22, 1814. His early education was attained in the common schools of his native state. Baldwin was orphaned at the age of twelve, and consequently went to work as a clerk in a mercantile store. He later moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he established a successful shoe wholesale business. Baldwin entered politics in 1861, serving as a member of the Michigan State Senate, a position he held until 1862. He next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and went on to win election to the governorship in 1868. He was reelected to a second term in 1870.  During his tenure, a state public school for dependent children was established; construction for a new state capitol was authorized; relief aid for the victims of the 1871 forest fires was secured; and a series of improvements were slated for the state’s penal, reformatory and charitable institutions. After completing his term, Baldwin left office on January 1, 1873. From 1879 to 1881 he served as a member of the U.S. Senate. Governor Henry P. Baldwin passed away on December 31, 1892, and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan.