Continuing our time travel into the Civil War record of these statesmen, today we look at John Steward Barry:
"Governor of Michigan from 1842-1844 and 1849-1850. A Jeffersonian Democrat from New England, Barry moved to Michigan in 1834 and built his home in Constantine shortly afterward. While maintaining his mercantile and gubernatorial interests, Barry won election as a state senator in 1837 and served until his candidacy." (Source: Michigan Historic Sites Online).
According to the 1892 Portrait and Biographical Album of Ingham & Livingston Counties, “He was twice Presidential Elector, and his last public service was that of a delegate to the National Democratic Convention held in Chicago in 1864. … His political connections were always with the Democratic party, and his opinions were usually extreme. Mr. Barry retired to private life after the beginning of the ascendancy of the Republican party, and carried on his mercantile business at Constantine.”
This is a bit of a contrast to Hershock's The Paradox of Progress, which says that his 1854 candidacy for governor was on a platform that included the principle of Congressional non-interference in the domestic legislation of the States and Territories (p. 134). He was a victim of a "political revolution in Michigan" (p. 135) when the Republican candidate, Kinsley Bingham, took 53% to Barry's 47%. Yet he himself was opposed to the extension of slavery (p. 9). When he ran in 1860, he lost to Austin Blair 57-43 (p. 269).
But what did he do during the war, especially in that first year, like Douglas?
The Bentley is apparently not of much help; his papers consist of "Land patents, 1850-1851. 2 oversize items and one photograph."
Wikipedia says this, but without sources: "Throughout his career, he was a supporter of the Wilmot Proviso, intended to stop the spread of slavery, but he remained a member of the Democratic Party, becoming sympathetic with the 'ultra' wing during the Civil War."
Concluding this little series, one is left with the idea that the Democratic ex-governors did not take the Douglas tack. Rather than support the war effort as the Little Giant did, it appears they stayed on the sidelines.