Henry Baldwin – An Essay
Baldwin uses this essay to detail his relationship with his father, whom was an authoritarian figure who regularly punished them and their siblings and had no tolerance for white people.
Baldwin continues his search for identity in this piece, while living abroad in France. While living there he discovers certain expectations still apply for African Americans across borders.
Early Life and Education
Henry Baldwin was born into an esteemed family that boasted an illustrious legacy both old and new worlds alike. His father was an esteemed microscopist while Anna Lydia, his aunt, was famous for traveling farther north than any woman during that era.
After graduating Yale, Baldwin relocated to Philadelphia where he practiced law. Additionally, he acquired joint ownership of newspapers and various businesses ventures.
Baldwin was elected to Congress in 1816 and chaired the House Committee on Domestic Manufactures until his health forced him out in 1822.
Baldwin made great strides in improving Georgia’s education system during his term in the House. He played an essential role in founding Franklin College which eventually became the University of Georgia. Furthermore, he was a vocal opponent to slavery while still remaining strong supporter of Andrew Jackson.
Henry Furlong Baldwin was an American banker who held various board memberships, such as Johns Hopkins Hospital and CSX Corporation. Additionally, he belonged to both the National Association of Securities Dealers and Board of Governors for United States Marine Corps.
Baldwin was an active participant and advocate of tariff protection during his time in the House of Representatives, supporting Andrew Jackson while seeking appointment as secretary of the treasury – although John Calhoun eventually blocked this nomination based on Baldwin’s pro-tariff beliefs.
Baldwin was nominated to the Supreme Court following the death of Bushrod Washington and confirmed with only two dissenting votes from southern senators. While on the bench, Baldwin often found himself at odds with other justices over their interpretation of the constitution and wrote outspoken dissents frequently.
Achievement and Honors
Baldwin was well known for his generous charitable work on Maui, contributing both time and funds to numerous organizations like Kula Sanatorium and Makawao Union Church.
As a Congress member, Baldwin became active in trade issues and an advocate of tariff protection. After serving until 1822 due to health reasons, he resigned his seat due to health reasons. President Jackson appointed Baldwin to the Supreme Court, where his appointment was confirmed 41 to 2 despite opposition from Calhoun.
He was a popular justice, known for his wit and good humor. An easygoing individual who could make friends easily, he made lasting bonds with all he met. Additionally, his family were well known for their achievements in science – his father being an internationally acclaimed microscopist while Anna Lydia traveled further than any American woman up to that date.
Baldwin enjoyed an outstanding career but experienced great difficulty in his personal life. Following financial losses due to failed speculative businesses, he was forced to sell off his famed law library as a means of raising funds.
Baldwin served on the Supreme Court as an associate justice, hearing cases relating to slavery and other sensitive subjects. However, he often found himself clashing with Justice Joseph Story over their prevailing practice of traveling around to hear cases which undermined their independence as justices of the court.
Baldwin advocated a more moderate interpretation of the Constitution, rejecting both Story’s expansive view of national power and Chief Justice John Marshall’s extreme position of state sovereignty. When Baldwin died in 1844 he left behind an extensive estate as well as being remembered for his generosity by giving to Kula Sanatorium and Makawao Union Church among other local charities.
Baldwin amassed his fortune as an investment banker. He served on various corporate boards of directors – such as those for Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, CSX Corporation, Offitbank GRC International and Wills Group – as well as being an owner of real estate assets and other investments.
Baldwin is estimated to have amassed an estimated net worth of approximately $3 Million as of 2020, encompassing his equity in various companies owned by him. Furthermore, he served as trustee at Johns Hopkins University as well as investing in private equity.
Baldwin was often unpopular on the court due to his disaffection for fellow justices and clashing frequently with them over matters. Yet despite being wealthy, his influence grew as he worked to curb its power; nonetheless he often drew criticism due to his aggressive style and personal life choices.