John H. Clifford Photo

John H. Clifford

Born: Jan 16, 1809

Death: Jan 2, 1876

Birthplace: Providence

Nationality: United States

John H. Clifford

Date of Birth : Jan 16, 1809
Date of Death : Jan 2, 1876
Birth Place : Providence

John Henry Clifford was an American lawyer and politician from New Bedford, Massachusetts. He served as the state's attorney general for much of the 1850s, retaining the office during administrations dominated by three different political parties. A Whig, he was elected the state's 21st governor, serving a single term from 1853 to 1854. He was the first governor of Massachusetts not born in the state. As attorney general Clifford gained fame by leading the prosecution in one of the most sensational trials of the 19th century, the Parkman–Webster murder case. The case, where both victim and assailant were from the upper crust of Boston society, featured the first use of forensic dentistry to secure a conviction. During the American Civil War Clifford supported the Union cause, and was involved in unsuccessful maneuvers to prosecute Confederate President Jefferson Davis after the war. In his later years he served as president of the Boston and Providence Railroad.

Also known as


  • John Clifford
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