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JOHN S. BARRY

BY H. H. RILEY

Script was everywhere, and much depreciated, and credit was refused for iron to lay the road from Jackson to Marshall, until the governor gave his personal guarantee of the bonds issued for its payment.
While his mind was Websterian, and while he loved to study and handle wide and sweeping questions, especially those growing out of constitutional law, he had a capacity for detail, and was very patient in such examination. These two elements are seldom found in the same man. They seem to be hostile to each other. But I know how exacting he was in small matters, and how much pains he was often at to satisfy his mind. I have known him to sit down with the statutes and re-tax costs in justice's court, to be sure they were right. We know he sold the hay in the capitol yard and put the proceeds in the treasury, and he did it from principle, too. It was just like him, to claim for the state what he would claim for himself.
He believed in doing just what was right. While a director of the Michigan Southern Railroad Company, a claim was settled by another director for killing a horse on the track. I was sent down to get at the facts and found it settled, although the company was in no way in fault, and I so reported. "Why was it settled, sir?" said he. "From policy, " I replied, "to keep on good terms with the man who lost his horse. " "Policy, sir, policy, " he exclaimed, "what has that to do with it?" "Did you ever do anything from policy, governor?" I asked. He warmed up with, "Will you be kind enough to inform me why any man should?"
Governor Barry was always at work at some public question. He followed from day to day all the great measures before congress. No man in the state was better posted in history and progress. No man was more decided and outspoken in regard to them.

Michigan


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