Charles Hudson (November 14, 1795 – May 4, 1881) was a United States minister, writer, historian and politician. Hudson served in both houses of the Massachusetts General Court, on the Massachusetts Governor's Council, and as United States Representative from Massachusetts.
Hudson was born in Marlborough on November 14, 1795. Hudson was the son of Stephen Hudson, who served during the American Revolutionary War, having been captured and confined by the British in Philadelphia.
Hudson attended the common schools and later an academy, taught school, served in the War of 1812 and studied theology. Hudson was ordained as a Universalist minister in 1819 and located in Westminster, where he served as pastor for 20 years.
Hudson was elected a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he represented the town of Westminster, Massachusetts from 1828 to 1833. From 1833 to 1839 Hudson represented Worcester County in the State Senate. In 1839 he became a member of the Executive Council, and served until 1841. He was a member of the Massachusetts State Board of Education.
Hudson was elected as a Whig to the Twenty-seventh Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Levi Lincoln, Jr. Hudson was reelected to the Twenty-eighth, Twenty-ninth, and Thirtieth Congresses and served from May 3, 1841, to March 3, 1849.
Hudson was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1848 to the Thirty-first Congress, and moved to Lexington. Hudson lived in a large house on the town Common ("Battle Green"), about where the driveway of the Hancock Church is today. The house was moved to Belfry Terrace in the early 1900s. Hudson served as a selectman of Lexington from 1868 to 1875, and wrote a comprehensive history of the town, first published 1868. Hudson presided at the centennial celebration of the battle of Lexington in 1875, and delivered an address.
From 1849 to 1853 Hudson served as a naval officer of the port of Boston Custom House, edited the Boston Daily Atlas for many years. Hudson was the assessor of Internal Revenue for the Sixth Collection District, 1864-1868. Hudson was reportedly a close friend of President Abraham Lincoln. Hudson was an author of religious textbooks.
Death and burial
Hudson died in Lexington on May 4, 1881. Interment was in Munroe Cemetery, on Massachusetts Avenue in that town.
The town of Hudson, Massachusetts is named after Charles Hudson. Though many mistakenly believe that the naming of the town was the result of his gift toward the construction of a public library, in fact, the naming honor was granted prior to his offer. The town was established on March 31, 1866, and after being notified that the town had been named in his honor, Charles Hudson responded in 1867 with an offer to contribute $500 in matching funds toward the establishment of a new library.
- Letters to Rev. Hosea Ballou (1827)
- Reply to Walter Balfour (1829)
- History of Westminster (Boston, 1832)
- Doubts Concerning the Battle of Bunker Hill (1857)
- Historical Address at the Centennial at Westminster (1859)
- History of Marlborough (1862)
- History of Lexington, with Genealogical Register of Lexington Families (1868)
Hudson prepared congressional reports on the “Protective Policy,” legislative reports on “Capital Punishment,” “The Northeastern Boundary,” and “The Incompetency of Witnesses on Account of Religious Belief,” besides articles for periodicals and newspapers.
- Hudson, Charles (1913), History of the Town of Lexington Middlesex County, Massachusetts, from Its First Settlement to 1868, Revised and Continued to 1912 by the Lexington Historical Society Vol. II - Genealogies, Lexington, Massachusetts: Lexington Historical Society, p. 313.
- Massachusetts Historical Society (1889), Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol IV - Second Series. 1887-1889, Boston, MA: Massachusetts Historical Society, p. 29.
- Massachusetts Historical Society (1889), Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol IV - Second Series. 1887-1889, Boston, MA: Massachusetts Historical Society, p. 28.
- American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
- Drake, Samuel Adams (1879). History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts: Containing Carefully Prepared Histories of Every City and Town in the County, Volume 1. https://books.google.com/books?id=0sQTAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA500#v=snippet&q=%22charles%20hudson%22&f=false: Estes and Lauriat. pp. 500, col. 2.CS1 maint: location (link)
- United States Congress. "Charles Hudson (id: H000907)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Wilson, J. G.; Fiske, J., eds. (1892). . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
Levi Lincoln, Jr.
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 5th congressional district
May 3, 1841 – March 3, 1849