Henry H. Childs

Henry Halsey Childs (June 7, 1783 – March 22, 1868) was an American politician and physician from Massachusetts, who served as the 16th Lieutenant Governor for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1843. He was a native of Pittsfield, Massachusetts and graduated from Williams College in 1802.[1][2]

Henry H. Childs
16th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
In office
January 17, 1843 – January 9, 1844
GovernorMarcus Morton
Preceded byGeorge Hull
Succeeded byJohn Reed Jr.
Personal details
Born(1783-06-07)June 7, 1783
Pittsfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedMarch 22, 1868(1868-03-22) (aged 84)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materWilliams College


Henry Childs was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts to Timothy and Rachel (Wells Easton) Childs. His father was a prominent local physician and a political and militia leader during the American Revolution. Childs trained with his father, eventually joining and then taking over his practice. He was responsible for the introduction of smallpox vaccination to the area, against significant local opposition. He entered Williams College at fifteen, and graduated with distinction in 1802. One of his first major political activities was lobbying the state for a charter to establish a medical school in Pittsfield, which was granted in 1823. The school, initially organized under the Williams College umbrella, became Berkshire Medical College. He was active in its early organizational years, and served as its president from 1837, the year of its separation from Williams, until 1863.[3]

Childs, who was politically a Democratic-Republican and then Democratic, was elected to single terms of the state legislature in 1816 and 1827, and served as a representative to the state's 1820-21 constitutional convention. At the convention he was vocal advocate of the separation of church and state. In 1837 he was elected to a single term in the state senate, and in 1834 he was elected lieutenant governor, serving under Democrat Marcus Morton.[3]

Childs married Sarah Clapp; the couple had four children, one of whom died as an infant.[4]

Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
1843 – 1844
Succeeded by


  1. ^ "When Williams Had a Medical School, Part I : EphBlog". ephblog.com.
  2. ^ "Appletons' Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important Events: Embracing Political, Military, and Ecclesiastical Affairs; Public Documents; Biography, Statistics, Commerce, Finance, Literature, Science, Agriculture, and Mechanical Industry". D. Appleton. 2 March 1873 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b "Medical Communications". 1874.
  4. ^ "The "Old Northwest" Genealogical Quarterly". 1905.