Sketches of Students of First
HON. AUSTIN BLAIR. Governor Blair, like many others who have attained to eminence, did not inherit it as an heir-loom in the family. He was not born to wealth or titles; he rose from obscurity; his birthplace was a log-house on his father's farm, in Caroline, Tompkins County, New York; he was born February 8, 1818. The county was then a wilderness. He helped clear up the farm. When he was about sixteen years of age his father was visited by one of the agents of Cazenovia Seminary, and through him was induced to subscribe for one of the scholarships. He entered the Seminary and prepared for Union College, from which he graduated in 1839. On his removing to Michigan he commenced the practice of law; was county clerk of Eaton County, and prosecuting attorney of Jackson County; was a member of the Legislature of the State of Michigan; was governor of Michigan from 1861 to 1865, the most stormy period of our national history since the Revolution; but he commended himself in this responsible office by his loyalty, ability, and efficiency. He was elected to the Fortieth and Forty-first Congresses, and was re-elected to the Forty-second Congress as a Republican. He delivered an able address at the semi-centennial of the Seminary. He is now quietly reposing upon his well-earned honors, and enjoying, though in poor health, the fruit of his industry.
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