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The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 4   By:

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[Illustration: John D. Long]


A Massachusetts Magazine.



Hon. John D. Long, the thirty second governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, under the Constitution, and whose wise, prudent administration reflected great credit upon himself, was born in Buckfield, Maine, October 27, 1838.

His father was a man of some prominence in the Pine Tree State, and in the year in which his more distinguished son first saw the light, he ran for Congress on the Whig ticket, and although receiving a plurality of the votes cast, he was defeated.

The son was a studious lad, more fond of his books than of play, and thought more of obtaining a solid education than of developing his muscles as an athlete. At the proper age he entered the academy at Hebron, the principal of which was at that time Mark H. Dunnell, subsequently a member of Congress from Minnesota.

At the age of fourteen, young Long entered the Freshman class at Harvard College. He at once took high rank, stood fourth in his class for the course, and second at the end of the Senior year. He was the author of the class ode, sung on Commencement day.

After leaving College, Mr. Long was engaged as principal of the Westford Academy, an old institution incorporated in 1793. He remained at Westford two years, highly esteemed by his pupils and beloved of the whole people. As a teacher, he won marked success, and many of his contemporaries regret that he did not always remain in the profession. But he cherished another, if not a higher ambition. From Westford he passed to the Harvard Law School, and to the offices of Sidney Bartlett and Peleg W. Chandler, in Boston. In 1861, he was admitted to the bar, and then he opened an office in his native town, to practise his new profession.

He soon found, however, that Buckfield was not the place for him. People there were far too honest and peace loving, and minded their own business too well to assist in building up a lawyer's reputation. After a two years' stay, therefore, he removed to Boston, and entered the office of Stillman B. Allen, where he rapidly gained an extensive practice. The firm, which consisted of Mr. Allen, Mr. Long, Thomas Savage and Alfred Hemenway, had their offices on Court Street, in an old building now on the site of the new Young's Hotel. Mr. Long remained in the firm until his election, in November, 1879, to the governorship of Massachusetts.

In 1870, he was married to Miss Mary W. Glover of Hingham, Massachusetts, to which town he had previously removed his residence. During his executive administration, he had the great misfortune to undergo bereavement by the loss of this most estimable lady, whose wise counsel often lent him encouragement in the perplexed days of his official life.

In 1875, Mr. Long was chosen to represent the Republicans of the second Plymouth District in the legislature. He at once took a prominent position, and gained great popularity with his fellow members. In 1876, he was re elected to the House, and soon after he was chosen speaker. This position he filled with dignity, grace, and with an ease surpassed by no speaker before him or since. He showed himself thoroughly versed in parliamentary practice, and his tact was indeed something remarkable. So great was his popularity that, in 1877, he had every vote which was cast for speaker, and in the following year every vote but six.

In the fall of 1877, the Republican State Convention assembled at Worcester, and it at once became apparent that many of the delegates were desirous to vote for Mr. Speaker Long for the highest office in the Commonwealth. At the convention he received, however, only 217 votes for candidate; and his name was then withdrawn. At the convention of 1878, he again found numerous supporters, and received 266 votes for Governor... Continue reading book >>

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