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Crowbar Governor
The Life and Times of Morgan Gardner Bulkeley
Kevin Murphy

The Driftless Connecticut Series
Garnet Books
2011 • 300 pp. 19 illus. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4"
Biography / Politics

$35.00 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7074-1

$27.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7075-8

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

Crowbar Governor offers readers a privileged glimpse into Connecticut politics during the Gilded Age, when Bulkeley served as mayor of Harford, governor of Connecticut, and first president of the National Baseball League.”—Connecticut Explored

First biography of one of Connecticut’s most colorful and notorious statesmen

While president of Aetna Life from 1879 to 1922, Morgan Bulkeley served four terms as mayor of Hartford, two terms as Connecticut’s governor, and one term as a United States senator. His friends and business and political acquaintances were a who’s who of the Gilded Age: Samuel Clemens, J. P. Morgan, Samuel and Elizabeth Colt, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, Albert Spalding, General Sherman, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Katherine Hepburn, as well as every president from Ulysses Grant to Warren Harding. In 1874 Bulkeley formed the Hartford Dark Blues who soon joined the unruly National Association, antecedent of the National League. He served as the league’s first president for a year, and was later elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. It was during Bulkeley’s controversial “holdover” term as governor that he earned the nickname “Crowbar Governor.” He used a crowbar to remove a lock that had been placed on his office door after refusing to vacate the governor’s chambers on a technicality. Written in classic storyteller fashion, and augmented by copious research, Crowbar Governor offers readers a privileged glimpse into life and politics in Connecticut during the Gilded Age.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“With its wealth of information and anecdotes, Crowbar Governor fills a long-standing need for a biography of Morgan G. Bulkeley, a pivotal figure in early twentieth century Connecticut politics. A great read for the historian and general reader alike.”—David J. Corrigan, museum curator, Museum of Connecticut History

“With a flair for telling a good story, Kevin Murphy connects the reader with Bulkeley’s life and the Connecticut in which he grew up and came to power.”—Matthew Warshauer, professor of history, Central Connecticut State University

KEVIN MURPHY is an independent historian who lives in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. He is the author of Water for Hartford: The Story of the Hartford Water Works and the Metropolitan District Commission.

A Driftless Connecticut Series Book
This book is a 2011 selection in The Driftless Connecticut Series,
for an outstanding book in any field on a Connecticut topic
or written by a Connecticut author.
The Driftless Connecticut Series is funded by the
Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund
at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
For more information and a complete list of books in The Driftless Connecticut Series,
please visit us online at

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 11:35:21 -0500