Kurt's Historic Sites

John Albion Andrew

John Albion Andrew

Interment LocationVisited 
Hingham, MAAugust 17, 2021 

Photographed August 17, 2021.

While I explored Hingham Cemetery in pursuit of presidential cabinet secretary John Davis Long, I was drawn to this statue. Its heroically-posed figure represents politician John Albion Andrew. Like Long, who is buried nearby, Andrew served as governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Andrew’s time in office came during the crucial years of 1861 to 1866. The “Great War Governor” was effective at raising forces to fight rebels from the seceded Confederate states. An abolitionist, Andrew was instrumental in the formation of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment in 1863. He overcame opposition and successfully lobbied Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton to allow for the recruitment of African American men to fight as Union troops in the Civil War. The 54th Massachusetts was the best-remembered unit of Black soldiers of the war, and the second formed, being preceded by only the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry Regiment.

This image shows the proximity of Governor Andrew’s statue to his headstone, which appears at the far left. Andrew was initially interred at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, and in 1869 he was exhumed and consigned to the earth for a final time in his adopted hometown of Hingham. The statue was placed in 1875 after Hingham residents petitioned for its creation. John Davis Long’s grave — a boulder with a plaque affixed to it — can be seen to the right of the sculpture. Another of Andrew’s neighbors at Hingham Cemetery is Benjamin Lincoln, a major general in the American Revolution.

Photographed August 17, 2021.
Photographed August 17, 2021.

Andrew was elected to five one-year terms as governor, and he died of apoplexy not too long into his retirement from that post. Essayist Edwin Percy Whipple was commended for the eulogy he delivered at the Boston Music Hall the month after Andrew’s unexpected death. Whipple proclaimed, in part, “If Massachusetts ever produced a man who was thoroughly incorruptible, who was insensible to bribes presented to vanity, prejudice and ambition as well as to interest, and whom all the powers of the world could not push or persuade into a dishonest action, that man was John A. Andrew. This integrity he prized beyond all earthly goods and all earthly blessings. It was the rock on which his character was built, and it could not be unfixed without bringing down the whole fabric of his being into cureless ruin. To doubt its genuineness were not only infamous but ridiculous. It remains with us, though he has left us, and as an inspiring and monitory moral force it still pleads, warns, animates, commands, crying to every man, in high or humble station, ‘Though all things else fail, hold fast to your integrity[.]'”

Fast Facts

Born: May 31, 1818 in Windham, Massachusetts

Spouse: Eliza Jones Hersey Andrew (m. 1848-1867)

Primary Political Affiliation: Republican Party

Gubernatorial Term: 1861-1866

Died: October 30, 1867 in Boston, Massachusetts

Cause of Death: Apoplexy

Age: 49

Interment: Hingham Cemetery, Hingham, Massachusetts

"I tell you, that although I believe in the principles of the Republican party as the only sound political faith of to-day, although I believe that the Republican organization is the only one adapted to meet the exigencies of the time....I believe in the religious and political education of our people more than I believe in anything else. I believe in the fitness of my fellow-citizens to accept the responsibilities of whatever power it may please Providence to bestow upon them, and that, whosoever may have possession of a majority of votes, in Massachusetts, at least, we shall always find a faithful, loyal, independent and patriotic people.”
- John Albion Andrew
September 3, 1860, in a speech delivered in Hingham, Massachusetts, during his campaign for governor

Sources Consulted and Further Reading

Hingham Public Library. “John A. Andrew.” Accessed January 28, 2023. https://hinghampubliclibrary.omeka.net/exhibits/show/legendary-locals/political-figures/john-andrew.

National Park Service. “John Albion Andrew.” Accessed January 28, 2023. https://www.nps.gov/people/john-albion-andrew.htm.

Whipple, Edwin Percy. Eulogy on John Albion Andrew, Delivered by Edwin P. Whipple, with an Appendix, Containing the Proceedings of the City Council, and an Account of the Services in Music Hall. Boston: Alfred Mudge and Son, 1867. From University of Michigan, Making of America Books. Accessed January 28, 2023. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/moa/ABJ6975.0001.001?rgn=main;view=fulltext;q1=Andrew%2C+John+Albion%2C+–+1818-1867.

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