Reference Entry

Wilson, Henry

Richard H. Abbott

in American National Biography Online

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780195082098
Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697 | DOI:
Wilson, Henry

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Wilson, Henry (16 February 1812–22 November 1875), U.S. senator and vice president, was born in Farmington, New Hampshire, and christened Jeremiah Jones Colbath, the son of Winthrop Colbath, Jr., a laborer, and Abigail Witham. When he was ten his father arranged with a local farmer to take him as an apprentice for the next eleven years, an experience that left the young Jeremiah with a lifelong appreciation for the tribulations of working men. On his twenty-first birthday Colbath, apparently hoping to repudiate his poverty-stricken past, changed his name to Henry Wilson and left his home for Natick, Massachusetts, where he became a shoemaker. In New Hampshire he had had little time for school; in Massachusetts he was able to save enough money from shoemaking to attend local academies for about a year....

Reference Entry.  2006 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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