John Albion Andrew

John Albion Andrew

Infobox Governor
name= John Albion Andrew

office= Governor of Massachusetts
term_start= January 3, 1861
term_end= January 4, 1866
lieutenant= John Z. Goodrich (1861)
John Nesmith (1862)
Joel Hayden (1863-1866)
predecessor= Nathaniel P. Banks
successor= Alexander H. Bullock
birth_date= birth date|1818|5|31|mf=y
birth_place= Windham, Maine
death_date= death date and age|1867|10|30|1818|5|31|mf=y
death_place= Boston, Massachusetts
spouse= Eliza Jane Hersey
profession= Lawyer
party= Republican

John Albion Andrew (May 31, 1818ndash October 30, 1867) was a U.S. political figure. He served as the Governor of Massachusetts between 1861 and 1866 during the tumultuous American Civil War. He was a guiding force behind the creation of some of the first U.S. Army units of black men—including the famed 54th Massachusetts Infantry.

Early life and career

John A. Andrew was born in Windham, Maine. His father, Jonathan Andrew was a descendent from an early settler of Boxford, Massachusetts and a small but prosperous trader in Windham. His mother, Nancy Green Pierce, was a teacher at Fryeburg Academy. John Albion was the eldest son. His mother died in 1832.

Andrew entered Bowdoin College in 1833. Although he was studious and popular with other students, he did not shine academically and was ranked near the lowest in his class. After his graduation in 1837, he moved to Boston to study law under Henry H. Fuller, with whom he became close friends.

Andrew married Eliza Jane Hersey of Hingham on Christmas evening, 1848. They had four children: John Forrester, born Nov. 26, 1850; Elizabeth Loring, born July 29, 1852; Edith, born April 5, 1854; Henry Hersey, born April 28, 1858.

After his admission to the bar, Andrew joined the Whig party and began to support the anti-slavery movement. In 1848, he helped organize the Free Soil Party, which opposed the expansion of slavery. Following the failure of the Free Soil Party, Andrew joined the Republican party in the mid-1850's.

He was elected to as a Representative in the General Court in 1857. Following John Brown's 1859 raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia, Andrew participated in organizing legal aid for Brown, generating favorable responses amongst the people of Massachusetts. In 1860, he was elected governor of Massachusetts by a huge margin.

Governor of Massachusetts

in 1862 and early 1863.

Andrew's strong feelings about emancipation are clearly expressed in the following quote from an 1862 speech:

Andrew was receptive to the concept of using black men as uniformed soldiers in the Union army. Working closely with the Federal government and with Frederick Douglass, he authorized the formation of two regiments of black infantry, the 54th and 55th Massachusetts, composed of blacks from the state, as well as Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and other states. Shortly after the Battle of Antietam, Andrew became one of the leading state executives at the Loyal War Governors' Conference in Altoona, Pennsylvania, which ultimately backed Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the war effort.

In 1864, Andrew wrote a letter to President Abraham Lincoln describing a woman named Lydia Bixby who lost five sons in battle and asking Lincoln to express his condolences. Lincoln then sent the famous Letter to Mrs. Bixby to Bixby, who turned out to not only dislike Lincoln, but was also a Confederate sympathizer.

He left the office of governor in 1866 and again took up the practice of law, although he intended to remain active in politics. Having associated with the Radical Republicans during the war, Andrew took a more conciliatory tone towards Reconstruction, and did not favor some of the Radical Republicans' more extreme measures.

He died in 1867 of apoplexy after having tea at his home in Boston. He is buried in the Hingham (Old Ship) Cemetery in Hingham, Massachusetts.

Honors and memorials

In 2007, governor Deval Patrick hung Andrew's portrait over the fireplace in his office, calling him an inspiration.

John A. Andrew St., in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston, is named in his honor, and his name is one of four on the Soldier's Memorial in the same community.

John Andrew Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama is named for him. [cite book |last=Watson |first=Wilbur H. |authorlink= |coauthors= |editor= |others= |title=Against the Odds: Blacks in the Profession of Medicine in the United States |origdate= |origyear= |origmonth= |url=,M1 |format= |accessdate=2008-02-20 |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |date= |year=1999 |month= |publisher=Transaction Publishers |location=New Brunswick, NJ |language= |isbn=9780585324166 |oclc=45843812 |doi= |id= |pages=p 68 |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote=]


* [ Official Commonwealth of Massachusetts Governor Biography]

External links

* [ Jamaica Plain Historical Society]

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