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JOHN S. BARRY

BY H. H. RILEY

Once, I remember, he was thoroughly aroused. A political opponent frequently interrupted him, and plied him with questions, and the governor finally warmed up and grew eloquent and poured hot shot into the gentleman for half an hour, and silenced him, showing what he could do when wrought upon by the occasion.
We can l^arn very much about a man by looking into his home life, by finding out how he is estimated among his friends and neighbors. I have already said that Gov. Barry was not justly criticised, nor his character fairly understood by those persons who only knew him in public life. At home his whole nature came out. He was under no artificial restraint, and every one of his neighbors knew just what he was. He was a merchant, did a large business for a country store, bought and sold wheat and flour in large quantities, and ran his flour down the river in arks, built for the purpose, and from thence shipped it to Buffalo or New York. He was very methodical, and he was governed by time as closely as a clock. A time to rise in the morning, a time to reach his store, to eat his meals, and a time to retire at night. He occupied his evenings in his library. He was a good French and Spanish scholar, and somewhat versed in Latin. He was always at work investigating some question, and he loved to talk about the subject with persons who had a like interest. When he met his friends under his own roof he was very full of conversation, but never said very much on minor matters, dwelling upon leading subjects that were occupying public attention. He had, as I have said, a grim kind of humor, and he could tell a good story, and liked to hear one. He had no patience with many of the "isms" of his day, and usually cut off any debate about them, with two or three sledge-hammer retorts, every word of which seemed to weigh a ton.

Michigan


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