January 5 – Happy Birthday Marvin Bovee


$_35Here’s a few excerpts from my story about this Amsterdam-born anti-capital punishment crusader which appears in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order a copy, click here.

Marvin Bovee was born on January 5, 1827 into one of Amsterdam, New York’s earliest and most politically prominent families. His father was Matthias Bovee who had been elected to Congress as Amsterdam’s representative in 1834. His Uncle Benedict Arnold (no not that Benedict Arnold) had held the same Congressional seat eight years earlier. When Bovee turned sixteen, his father decided to move the family westward to Wisconsin …

…Marvin Bovee, who was a devout Christian, led the successful fight in the state Senate to outlaw capital punishment. The bill then cleared the state House and was signed into law by the governor. Bovee then became obsessed with getting the death penalty universally abolished. He wrote a book condemning the practice and began a lifelong crusade devoted to eradicating its use.  …

…He made over 100 such speeches throughout Indiana, Ohio, New York and New Jersey on behalf of Grover Cleveland during his first campaign for the White House…


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