Henry Leach

 

Henry Leach was a self-taught ornamental woodcarver with a shop in Boston and later in Woburn, Massachusetts. Born in New Milford, Pennsylvania, he served in thePennsylvania militia, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel before traveling east to Boston, about 1847, where he operated a series of retail outlets on the waterfront,selling maps, books, clothing, and pens. From 1849 to 1872, he lived in Boston’s Southend, where he operated an ornamental carving shop between 1865 and 1872.Leach and his family then relocated to the Boston suburb of Woburn, where he practiced his craft until 1884. Leach was hired by Leonard W.Cushing (d. 1907) tocarve weathervane wood patterns. Based on Cushing’s journal and surviving Leach cartes de visite, he carved the Morgan horse Black Hawk, now part of theSmithsonian Institution’s collection in Washington, D.C.; a Goddess of Liberty, now at Vermont’s Shelburne Museum; a larger Liberty, today in the MysticConnecticut Seaport Museum collection; as well as a setter dog, an eagle, a rooster, and a peacock. His other commissions ranged from allegorical and mythologicalfigures to furniture and carved likenesses of prized farm animals, household pets, deer, elk, and African exotics. Leach returned to Pennsylvania, and died in Montrose.