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Biographical Sketch of Gershom Powers

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GERSHOM POWERS, son of the late John Powers, was born June 11, 1789. His early advantages were quite limited – denied even the advantages of a common school. His parents being too poor to furnish other means, his books were read and pondered by the uncertain light of the “fore-stick.” A lameness in his right arm induced him to leave the farm and turn his attention to law, the study of which he commenced at Sempronius in 1810. After completing big course, he opened an office at Auburn, and was popular and successful in his practice. He was appointed Assistant Justice of the Cayuga County Court, and after three years service in that capacity was elevated to the position of County Judge. Jan. 30, 1826, he was appointed to the control of the Prison at Auburn, and under his management the 00 Auburn System of Prison Discipline” became famous throughout the United States and Europe, as second to none on the globe. In 1829, he was chosen Representative to Congress, and declined a re-election on account of feeble health. He died Jan. 25, 1831. He was kind to his indigent relatives, beloved by all, and died a Christian.

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