32 Facts About William Claflin


William Claflin was an American politician, industrialist and philanthropist from Massachusetts.

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William Claflin served as the 27th Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1869 to 1872 and as a member of the United States Congress from 1877 to 1881.

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William Claflin served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1868 to 1872, serving as a moderating force between the Radical and moderate wings of the Republican Party.

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William Claflin's name is given to Claflin University in South Carolina, a historically black college founded with funding from him and his father.

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William Claflin was educated at Brown University, and worked in his father's shoe manufacturing business before becoming a partner in it.

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William Claflin supported a number of social reforms, including increased property and voting rights for women, and was the state's first governor to actively support full women's suffrage.

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William Claflin supported many charitable causes, and promoted the development of the village Newtonville, where his country estate was located.

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Lee William Claflin was a self-made proprietor of a tannery and shoe factory in Milford, and a politically active abolitionist.

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William Claflin was educated first in the local schools and then at Milford Academy, before he enrolled in Brown University in 1833.

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William Claflin's mother died in 1834 and his health was poor, so he left school and entered his father's business.

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William Claflin then returned to Massachusetts after his health improved, where he rejoined the family business and settled in Hopkinton.

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Claflin's father had begun his shoe manufacturing in partnership with Nathan Parker Coburn, and William joined their partnership, forming a business that lasted into the 1890s.

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William Claflin assets, including plants in Framingham, Hopkinton, and Milford, were then taken over by younger partners.

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William Claflin followed his father in both politics and his methodist religion, opposing the expansion of slavery and promoting other social reforms.

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William Claflin was a member of the "Bird Club", a political organization formed by businessman Francis W Bird, whose members dominated much of the politics of the state between the 1850s and 1870s.

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In 1848 William Claflin helped found the Free Soil Party in Massachusetts, under whose banner he won election to the Massachusetts House of Representatives that year.

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William Claflin served from 1849 to 1853, when the Know Nothings swept away the old parties.

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William Claflin became active in 1854 and 1855 in the founding of the state Republican Party, and served as its state chairman for a number of years.

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William Claflin was elected to the state senate in 1859 as a Republican, and became Senate President in 1861.

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In 1865 William Claflin was elected Lieutenant Governor under Governor Alexander Hamilton Bullock, winning reelection on the same ticket two times.

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William Claflin was elected governor in 1868, and served three terms in that office, defeating John Quincy Adams II each time.

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William Claflin was the first governor to actively support and promote full women's suffrage.

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William Claflin successfully extended to women greater rights under the law, especially in the areas of divorce and contract law.

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William Claflin advocated prison reform, creating a Board of Prison Commissioners, and established the state's first board of public health.

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William Claflin opposed state funding support for the Boston, Hartford and Erie Railroad, vetoing a loan for that railroad, while the state was otherwise lending financial support to the construction of the Hoosac Tunnel.

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William Claflin reluctantly promoted Grant for president in the 1872 election, unhappy that Grant had given patronage power in Massachusetts to the controversial ex-general Benjamin Butler.

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William Claflin was a significant supporter of higher education for women, signing charters for Wellesley College and Mount Holyoke College, both women's colleges, while governor.

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William Claflin sat on the boards of trustees at some point for many of these schools, as well as Wesleyan University and Harvard University, both of which gave him honorary degrees.

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William Claflin returned to business and supported philanthropic activities after leaving Congress.

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William Claflin was a major force in the development of the village of Newtonville in Newton, Massachusetts.

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William Claflin moved Hull's mansion to one side of the property and built a new one on the old foundation.

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William Claflin subdivided portions of the estate for development, and was responsible for the construction of the Claflin Block in Newtonville.

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