Myron H. Clark

The one Prohibition governor of New York State, Myron Halley Clark, was born in Naples, New York, October 23, 1806.  He received his education in the common schools of his native town, and began business life as a merchant’s clerk in Canandaigua, New York.  In 1850 he was elected president of the village of Canandaigua, and in 1852, State senator.  While in the Senate he was chairman of the committee that reported the “Bill for the Suppression of Intemperance,” a strict prohibitory measure, which passed both houses of the legislature, but was vetoed by Governor Seymour.  Senator Clark was the leader of the debates on the subject.  He had served one half of his second term in the Senate when he was elected governor of New York State, in 1854, by a combination of Prohibitionists and Anti-Slavery men, upon a strong Prohibition platform.  The leading issue in the campaign was the question of the re-enactment of the State prohibitory law, which had been vetoed by Gov. Seymour.  It was a long and hard-fought battle:  Most of the leading journals of the State, including The Tribune, under Horace Greeley’s editorship, The Times, edited by Henry J. Raymond, and The Herald, by the elder James Gordon Bennett, of New York City, were strong supporters of the proposed law and the Prohibition candidates. The election was a very close one.  It was several weeks before the final result was known, and then the vote stood:  Clark, Fusion and Prohibition, 154,804; Seymour, Anti-Prohibition, 154,406; Ullman, “Know Nothing,” 122,232; and Bronson, “Hardshell” Democrat, 33,350.
     During his term as governor, Mr. Clark secured the passage of another State prohibitory law which was afterward declared unconstitutional by the Court of Appeals on a technicality.  In 1874, ex-Governor Clark was again the nominee of the Prohibition Party for governor of New York.
     Mr. Clark lived at Canandaigua, New York, nearly all his life.  He occupied several official governmental positions, notably a United States collectorship of internal revenue, in 1862.  He died at Canandaigua, August 23, 1892.
                                                              An Album of Representative Prohibitionists (1895)

 


  
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