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JOHN JUDSON BAGLEY

BY GEORGE H. HOPKINS
June 7, 1882

He blocked out what he thought ought to be the duty of the State to criminals and unfortunates. He had loudly and utterly repudiated the divine's (?) notions that day, that God collected evil together and permitted a devil to drag them down lower. On the little bridge over the river near the prison, he stopped and stamped down his foot vehemently, 'no man, ' he said, 'can grow better with only stone walls piled up by man's ingenuity, about him. Let a criminal see a sprig of grass grow daily, ' ('Picciola, ' the French story, was not then written) 'or some ants build their nests; let him watch how their instinct subverts the lesser good to the greater, that they may exist and resist enemies; let him see anything natural growing, and he will see how God governs in Michigan, how God always works good out of evil. The wrath of man shall serve God and the remainder will he restrain. He will not gather it and increase it. ' He was thoroughly awakened and in earnest. He always thought the wrath of that minister that day awoke him, though but a boy, and switched him on to a human track. His elders thought it was only the overflow of a big, kind hearted boy, but those who saw and heard him that afternoon understood why he wanted to be Governor of the State. He desired to work with the best wisdom he could comprehend. ' It was his mission to make real his ideal. He did not care to 'plow and plow but never sow. ' After he had knowledge he wanted a legitimate sphere to 'act out what he knew. ' "Such men do not come by accident. It took many generations of earnest, industrious, virtuous people before such a man could be born. Then an educated mother, with faith in the divinity of her child, with suitable training, was the means in God's hand to bring it about.

Michigan


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