Henry Clay Bascom was born at Crown Point Center, New York, in 1844, attended the public schools, personally organized a literary society. and while yet in his teens became locally conspicuous as a writer and lyceum debater. While still a youth he commenced public speaking in a spontaneous outburst at variance with the temporizing remarks of a clergyman at a public meeting. The extemporaneous faculties there manifested were the presage of convictions that kept Mr. Bascom constantly before the public as a temperance speaker and writer for thirty years.
Converted at the age of fourteen, he has been prominently connected with Methodism, serving as class-leader, Sunday-School superintendent, and, in emergencies, as lay-preacher. His education was completed in his father's law office and at Fort Edward Collegiate Institute, where for some timer he served as tutor. Commencing with no money, in 1868 he became accountant and correspondent in the Troy Pattern Works, to which business he succeeded as proprietor in 1879. It is the largest stove pattern manufactory in America. Twice married, his first union, brief, but happy, was with the accomplished daughter of Judge Saxe, of Vermont. She early expired of consumption. The present Mrs. Bascom was Miss Ellen L. Forbes, of Greenfield, Massachusetts.
Originally Republican in politics, in the early seventies Mr. Bascom was nominated for school commissioner and became thus acquainted with the inner workings of the Republican machine. Flatly refusing to contribute to corruption funds or participate in bribery methods, he there and then had a falling out with his party. Regarding Democracy as not less corrupt, Mr. Bascom acted independently until his connection with the Prohibition Party in 1880 or 1881, since which time he has been a delegate to every national convention and each annual New York State convention of the Prohibition Party. For many years he has been a member of the State executive committee, and since 1888, associated with William T. Wardwell, has represented New York on the national Prohibition committee.
In 1885 he was the Prohibition candidate for governor of New York, making sixty addresses in fifty days, the vote he received being an increases of 5,300 over the preceding Presidential vote. He was candidate for Presidential elector in 1892, and a candidate for the Constitution Convention of 1894.
[Bascom died in December of 1896.]
-- Data from An Album of Representative Prohibitionists (1895).