Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HENSHAW, William, soldier, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 20 September, 1735; died in Leicester, Massachusetts, 21 February, 1820. He was one of the original settlers of Leicester, whither he removed in 1748. He was a lieutenant of provincial troops under Amherst in 1759, was lieutenant-colonel of Little's regiment at the siege of Boston, and took part subsequently in the battles of Long Island, White Plains, Trenton, and Princeton. He left the service early in 1777. --His nephew, David, secretary of the navy, born in Leicester, Massachusetts, 2 April, 1791; died there, 11 November, 1852, was apprenticed to a druggist in Boston at the age of sixteen, and carried on business on his own account from 1814 till 1829. He devoted his leisure to study, acquired note as a political writer, published pamphlets and review articles in advocacy of free-trade, and zealously supported the principles of the Democratic party. He was elected to the state senate in 1826 and to the house of representatives in 1839, after holding the post of collector of customs at Boston since 1830. He was active in promoting the earlier railroad enterprises in Massachusetts, and was interested in the construction of the Boston and Worcester, the Boston and Albany, and the Boston and Providence railroads. On 24 July, 1843, he was appointed by President Tyler secretary of the navy, but. after holding the office several months, was rejected by the senate, and succeeded by Thomas W. Gilmer, of Virginia, on 15 February, 1844. Among his publications were "Letters on the Internal Improvement and Commerce of the West" (Boston, 1839). -William's grandson, Daniel, lawyer and journalist, born in Leicester, Massachusetts, 9 May, 1782; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 9 July, 1863, was graduated at Harvard in 1806, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1809, and practised in Winchendon, Massachusetts, till 1830, then for a number of years at Worcester, and afterward at Lynn. He gave up his professional business in order to undertake the editorship of the Lynn "Record," which he conducted till its discontinuance, a period of fourteen years, after which he resided in Boston. He read many papers before the New England Historic-genealogical society.
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