Kurt's Historic Sites

Henry Wilson

Henry Wilson

Interment LocationVisitedSequence in Graves I Have Visited
Natick, MASeptember 14, 200917th Vice President visited

Photographed September 14, 2009.

The career of the Natick Cobbler, Henry Wilson, began in a small New England shoe shop. It ended in the U.S. Capitol as vice president. The fourth VP to die in office, Wilson lay in state in the Capitol rotunda before he was brought to rest in his adoptive state of Massachusetts. The detailed memorial at left belongs to Wilson’s son of the same name, an army lieutenant who died at age 20 of a ruptured appendix. The VP rests beneath the more diminutive stone in the center, which is also decorated with an American flag.

In the 18 years preceding his vice presidential inauguration, Wilson served as a U.S. senator alongside fellow Bay Stater Charles Sumner. Both men were anti-slavery Radical Republicans, and Sumner was the last person to lie in state at the Capitol before Wilson. They died in consecutive years: 1874 and 1875. Although ill health hampered Wilson during his vice presidency even before his fatal stroke, he was able to attend his former colleague’s services. Sumner is interred 18 miles away from Wilson in Cambridge’s acclaimed Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Photographed September 14, 2009.
Photographed June 11, 2016.

This plaque honoring Wilson’s feats was added to his family’s burial plot in 2011, two years after my initial visit.


Fast Facts

Born: February 16, 1812 in Farmington, New Hampshire

Spouse: Harriet Malvina Howe Wilson (m. 1840-1870)

Highest Military Rank: Brigadier General — Massachusetts Militia; Colonel — U.S. Army

Primary Political Affiliation: Republican Party

Senate Tenure: 1855-1873

Vice Presidential Tenure: 1873-1875 under Ulysses S. Grant

Died: November 22, 1875 in Washington, D.C.

Cause of Death: Stroke

Age: 63

Interment: Dell Park Cemetery, Natick, Massachusetts

"I have sought no controversy, and I seek none, but I shall go where duty requires, uninfluenced by threats of any kind."
- Henry Wilson

spring 1856 to members of the press regarding threats from Representative Preston Brooks, who recently caned Senator Charles Sumner

Sources Consulted and Further Reading

Under Construction

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