Hopedale History
January 15, 2011
No. 172
Governor Draper

Hopedale in January   

New slide shows on YouTube –
Hopedale 2010          Hopedale Pond 2010   

The Green Store – An interesting account of a very old country store that eventually became the Community Bible Chapel.

Recent deaths   

It’s a bit early for the mid-month story, but I thought many of you in this area would be stuck in the house today and would
have some time for reading. For those of you reading this in warmer climates, I’ll put a picture or two from Hopedale later
today on the Hopedale in January page so you can see what you’re missing.

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 Governor Eben Sumner Draper

There was a lot more to Eben Sumner Draper’s life than his political career, but you have a life too, so I’ve cut a longer
biography down to just a few paragraphs on his public activities. Like any other governor, Eben had his critics, but you
won’t find any of their views in this piece.

Governor Draper has been interested in politics from his early youth. He has been associated with the political interests
of his father and General Draper, and active in support of the Republican policies, especially of protection to American
industries, for the past twenty-five years. He served as member of the Republican state committee and was chairman in
1892. He was chairman of the Massachusetts delegation to the Republican national convention in 1896, and gave
efficient help in securing the adoption of the gold standard plank in the platform upon which McKinley was elected. He
was chairman of the Massachusetts delegation to the Nashville (Tennessee) Exposition of 1897. He has been an active
and influential member and officer of the Home Market Club of Boston, and was president of the Republican Club of
Massachusetts for two years.

Draper was elected lieutenant-governor of the Commonwealth in November, 1905, after one of the closest and most
memorable campaigns of recent years. Everything that money could do was done by a strong and seasoned opponent
to defeat him. The issue of tariff revision was made prominent. As a well-known political journal expressed it: "In the face
of time-servers, in the face of temporizers, Mr. Draper had the courage to stand up and declare his own opinions with
perfect candor on the matters of Canadian reciprocity and tariff adjustment. It was the most courageous thing of a warm
campaign and it promises to remain a standard for some time. The family history and fortunes of the Drapers have been
founded on the protective principle, and thousands of employees whom they have gathered about them in Hopedale,
which has been styled the prettiest manufacturing town in the state, have grown to have the same general view of the
economic situation.

He spoke on tariff adjustment, but while declaring himself a protectionist from the bottom of his heart, he said that he
was not one who held that tariff schedules were sacred and he was perfectly willing to trust the whole matter to
Congress." General Draper on the floor of the convention made his position clear. He opposed any change of the tariff,
believing in letting well enough alone. If the lieutenant-governor repeats his success at the polls he will be, under the
time-honored custom of Massachusetts, the next governor.

Although Governor Draper was too young to be in the civil war, his services during the Spanish War should be
mentioned here. He was one of those who appreciated that the government needed the prompt and liberal assistance of
all citizens in preparing for the war that found the country so unprepared for it. He was the leading spirit and president of
the Massachusetts Volunteer Aid Association and not the least of his tasks in that position was raising $200,000 for the
hospital ship "'Bay State." The other good works accomplished by that organization have been often commended by the
soldiers in the field.

A writer who knows Governor Draper well recently expressed his estimate of his character thus: "Eben S. Draper has
always had money in his family, but to his credit it can be said that he has helped to make it. If today, by any sudden
stroke of fate, it should come about that all his family possesses should be swept away, he has the training so that he
could go into the world and make a new fortune for himself.

He is regarded as the best type of New England manufacturer, polished by education, travel and excursions in the fields
of politics — a man to do honor to the state in every
capacity."

Eben S. Draper married, November 21, 1883, Nannie Bristow, daughter of General Bristow, of Kentucky. He (Bristow)
served in President Grant's cabinet as secretary of the treasury. By his (Draper) marriage the following children were
born: Benjamin H. Bristow, born February 28, 1885 ; Dorothy, born November 22, 1890; Eben S., Jr., born August 30,
1893.
Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County,
Massachusetts, with a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity.

More about the governor.   (Including evidence that his name was Eben, not Ebenezer as the state biography of him has
it.)

It seems that most people connected to the Draper family led fascinating lives. The governor’s father-in-law, Benjamin
Helm Bristow, was no exception.
Click here to read the Wikipedia account of his life. (Benjamin Helm Bristow was the
grandfather of B.H. Bristow Draper.)

                                                 
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