- July 4
) was the governor of the state of New
from 1859 to 1861.
was born at North
Berwick, Maine and educated in South Berwick. He became a merchant in Portsmouth, New
Hampshire working in the counting
house of Samuel Lord, becoming master and part owner of several
ships, and eventually the owner of two railroads, two banks, and a
In 1827 he married Sarah Parker Rice.
Goodwin was elected a State Representative, running as a Whig
, in 1838, 1843, 1844, 1850,
1854, and 1856. In 1856 he ran, and lost, as the last Whig
candidate for Governor of New Hampshire.
He switched parties, becoming a Republican
, and won his bid
for governor in 1859, and again in 1860. He was a delegate at large
from New Hampshire to the national conventions at which Henry Clay
, and Winfield Scott
nominated by the Whigs for the presidency, serving as
vice-president of the first two bodies.
During his tenure, the New Hampshire legislature did away with the
Courts of Common Pleas, transferring their duties to the State
Supreme Court. Goodwin supported a legislative resolution opposing
the extension of slavery, and an anti-immigrant act aimed at the
defining of police courts' powers to suppress "intemperance." He
also supported efforts to regulate railroads.
In May 1861, as the Civil War
began, Goodwin responded to the first calls for soldiers by
borrowing funds against his own name to equip two regiments. The
legislature affirmed the Governor's action when they came into
session the following month.
He died in Portsmouth; his house, the Goodwin Mansion, was
relocated in order to preserve it, and stands today as a