Governor from 1861-1864. Republican from New York, who moved to Jackson to practice law. Michigan's "Civil War Governor", he opposed slavery and secession. In 1842, while temporarily residing in Eaton Rapids, he was elected Clerk of Eaton County.
A founder of the Republican Party, he championed human rights and led the successful 1846 effort to ban capitol punishment in Michigan. He strongly supported Lincoln, encouraging men to volunteer for the war and raised money to equip them.
He served in the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives, as well as the U.S. House of Representatives. He remained a popular state hero, revered for successfully guiding Michigan through the Civil War. Interment: Mount Evergreen Cemetery, Jackson, MI.