Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BERRY, Nathaniel Springer, governor of New Hampshire, born in Bath, Maine, 1 September 1796. His father was Abner Berry, a ship-builder; his grandfather, John Berry, captain el' infantry in the revolutionary war. His mother was Betsy, daughter of Nathaniel Springer, a captain of artillery in the same war, killed in battle. When he was six years old his father died, and the condition of the family was such that his lot was cast among strangers, and his educational advantages were limited, He became an apprentice as a tanner and currier at Bath, New Hampshire, at sixteen, and served until twenty-one. In April 1818, he moved to Bristol, New Hampshire, and in 1820 engaged in the manufacture of leather, which business he followed about thirty-five years. He was colonel of the 34th regiment of New Hampshire militia for two years, was a judge of the court of common pleas from June 1841, till June 1850, and judge of probate for the five years ending" 5 June 1861. In 1828, 1833, 1834, and 1837 he represented Bristol in the state legislature, in 1854 represented the town of Hebron, and in 1835 and in 1836 was a state senator for the 11th district. Politically he acted with the Democratic Party for twenty-two years, and was a delegate to its national convention at Baltimore in 1840; but the action of this convention on the subject of slavery caused him to break his party ties, and he became one of the organizers of the free-soil party in New Hampshire. At its first state convention. in 1845, he was nominated for governor, and received votes enough to prevent an election by the people. He was re-nominated at the four succeeding conventions. In March 1861, he was elected governor by the republican party, inaugurated in June following, and re-elected in March 1862, serving until June 1863. He was indefatigable in his efforts to aid the general government in the suppression of the rebellion; and enlisted, armed, equipped, and forwarded to the seat of war more than 16,000 men. He signed, with the other northern war-governors, the letter of 28 June 1862, to President Lincoln, upon which he made the call of 1 July 1862, for 300,000 volunteers. In 1823 Mr. Berry became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in 1872 was a delegate to the general conference. He lost his wife in 1857, and in 1886 was residing with his son in Bristol.
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