A. C. (Asahel Clark) Kendrick.

Martin B. Anderson, LL. D.; a biography online

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Online LibraryA. C. (Asahel Clark) KendrickMartin B. Anderson, LL. D.; a biography → online text (page 1 of 17)
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I2H1O, 295 pp.




Edited by Professor William C. Morey

2 vols. i2mo.



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Copyright 1895 by the


"THERE may be two reasons for writing a man's biog-
raphy. His public service may have been of so valuable
a kind as to create a public demand for the details of his
history. Or, his private character may have been of so rare
an order as to add the materials of inspiration to the public
ideals." So writes Elizabeth Stuart Phelps in the opening
sentences of her father's memoir.

The words seem very fitting ones with which to preface
the life of President Anderson. Both reasons given apply
to him. His public service was of a supreme order. For the
cause of education, for his country in her hour of peril, for
the generation of men among whom he lived, for the young
men whose very souls he dominated, he rendered a service
which words can hint, but whose story they can never
tell. And his private character was just as conspicuous.
Indomitable in will, inflexible in integrity, self-forgetful in
purpose, broad in sympathies, kingly in intellect, docile in
spirit, unsullied in life, in himself as well as in his service
he is more than worthy of such remembrance as a work like
this can give.

There is another reason. As is repeatedly said in these
pages, Dr. Anderson's students were his sons. For them
he had many a parental pang, and they in their turn carry
him in their hearts. They admired, they revered, they
loved him. They looked upon him as

A chief of men
Who ever was himself his noblest sermon.


They would have all possible means employed to keep
his memory alive. From the nature of the case others come
in and fill the place where one has wrought. Tradition
grows shadowy, and even remembrance becomes faint some-
times, unless now arid then revived. And so these sons of the
dead president would have some brief memorial by which
they themselves may vivify the past and make more dis-
tinct the form of him who towered so regally above them.
For the one of them who in some measure has been the
means of securing this memoir, and who writes these words,
the work has been a labor of love. And he dedicates it so
far as he may to his brother alumni, knowing there is no
one of them all who will not be glad thereof.

The publishers are especially gratified that they have been
able to secure the honored Dr. Kendrick to write this
memoir of President Anderson. The older "boys ' ' will be
glad to have them thus together "Prex' and " Kai
Gar," equally loved of them, fraternally associated in the
work of their lives, fittingly linked together in its permanent
record. The publishers are gratified too, that they have
been able to secure the co-operation of the gentlemen whose
names appear in connection with the ' ' Personal Portraiture,
alumni all of them but one, and who from the experience
of their student life and after years have been able to add
to the completeness of the work. And so they send forth
this Life of Dr. Anderson with the hope, that while

The winged years that winnow praise and blame,
Blow many names out,

it may help to keep his fresh and undimmed.

p. L. j.



* ' PAGE









1850-1853, 89


AT ROCHESTER- -I 8 5 3-1 S/O, 121

AT ROCHESTER - TO 1 882, l6l







The Man, 207

Lemuel Moss, D. D., LL. D.

As a Scholar, 218

Prof W. C. Morey, A. M.

His Personal Relations with Young Men, . 235
Pres. Merrill E. Gates, LL. D.

As a Factor of Inspiration, 249

Robert S. MacArthur, D. D.

As a Denominational Force, 265

Cephas B. Crane, D. D.

As a Public Man, 276

Hon. Albion W. Tourgee.

A Characterization, 293

George Dana Boardman, D. D , LL D.



What curious tales has life in store,
With all its must-be' s and its may-be' s ;

The sage of eighty years and more,

Once crept a nursling on the floor

Kings, conquerors, judges all were babies.

Oliver Wendell Holmes.


in Brunswick, Maine, February 12, 1815.
To an inquiring visitor in that vicinity recently, two
"oldest inhabitants " expressed the opinion that his
birthplace was the neighboring town of Freeport,
and a third, older than the two oldest, said that
"his father's farm was so near to the 'Freeport
line ' that it was almost on it, and might be over it,
he was not certain." The names "Anderson" and
" Brewer' were said to be more commonly met
with in Freeport than in Brunswick, and to the in-
quirer it became doubtful whether Dr. Anderson
was not to be the object of a not only disputed,
but perhaps undetermined birthplace a preroga-
tive of distinction, not of obscurity. Upon further
investigation, a manuscript was found in his own
handwriting which settled the question.

Brunswick, a town with a history of its own, and
the seat of Bowdoin College, needs no introduction.
In this year of our Lord, 1894, village and college
are alive with the festivities attending the one hun-
dredth anniversary of the founding of the latter.
A broad main street, with shadowy cross streets,



the busy falls of the Androscoggin, an old hotel,
very proud of its age, several modern public build-
ings, conscious of being at an unwonted disadvan-
tage in this centennial year, the old post-road to
Freeport and to Bath, the pretty college campus
bordered with stately buildings, a shrieking loco-
motive, which rushes past the college so near
that it mingles its vague hints of " whence and
whither' with those of metaphysics; these are a
few of the features that strike a stranger entering
the village to-day. In 1815 some of these were
lacking ; but the past and present are linked together
by the trees of the " forest primeval," which stand
with old-time strength, but droop with fresh grace
and greenness, making a hundred years ago seem a
part of the present.

If Bowdoin had graduated no other sons than
Longfellow and Hawthorne their Alma Mater would
have a name. But there are among her alumni
many distinguished men, and the little village is
half revealed and half concealed by the lustre of its
scholastic reputation. Although Bowdoin did not
graduate Martin B. Anderson, the presence of a col-
lege in his native village brought inspiration to the
boy. The respect for learning that is inwrought
by familiarity with scholars, and the names of their
pursuits, counts for much in its influence on the
culture and career of the young. Doubtless this
institution of learning had a share in shaping the
life of this impressionable and ambitious youth.


The ancestry of the younger Martin was honor-
able and somewhat distinguished in the "inhumani-
ities ' of war, however, rather than in those that
mark the pursuits of the scholar. The warlike
spirit lived even in the last generation, and to
a degree scarcely less marked. The descendant
who said, in one of his " chapel talks," " Make it
a rule to stay where you are. If you leave, do not
let any one dislodge you. Fight, fight, fight ! '
and " I shall never feel right till I have thrashed
a plumber," had not allowed the blood of the
Indian fighter and of the Revolutionary soldier to
turn to water in his veins.

The following sketch was written by Dr. Ander-
son for the " History of Brunswick."

It is true that I am a native of Brunswick, as
was my father before me. My father, Martin
Anderson, removed to Freeport when I was about
three years old. But my grandfather, Jacob Ander-
son, lived in Brunswick till his death, and my grand-
mother, nee Jameson, also continued in Brunswick
until her death.

When young I was constantly in Brunswick, and
hence feel a natural interest in all that pertains to
the town. My ancestors on my father's side were
North-of-Ireland Scotchmen. They migrated from
the town of Dangamnon, in Tyrone County, Ireland.
The date of their arrival I do not know. It must
have been somewhere about 1710. They settled
for a while near Old Orchard, but soon scattered.
My great-grandfather migrated to what is now



known as Flying Point. Here he built a block-
house and became a farmer and a somewhat noted
Indian fighter during the French war. On this
farm my grandfather, also named Jacob Anderson,
was born and reared. From this place he left for
Washington's army at Cambridge the morning after
the news of the battle of Lexington reached Maine.
Jacob Anderson removed to Brunswick and cleared
a farm lying between the Woodside and Ross farms
on the main road from Brunswick to Freeport.
The farm has been sold out of the family, and I do
not know who owns it. On this farm my father
was born and reared. He also bore arms in the
war of 1812. His name was Martin Anderson.
He died at my house in this city (Rochester, N. Y.),
December 7, 1875, at the age of eighty-six. . .

An old story occurs to me of the Revolutionary
times in Brunswick. The Woodside family de-
scended from a Church of England clergyman.
Anthony Woodside, his son, was naturally a Tory.
He was a boisterous-talking man, and annoyed the
patriots very much. At a town meeting, held at
the old town meeting-house, on the plain east of
the village about a mile, he was a serious obstruc-
tion to the measures which they wished to carry.
Finally the patriots dug a hole in the sand and
buried him to the chin. My grandfather interceded
wdth Brigadier Thompson for permission to dig his
neighbor from the sand. The old patriot general
stammered. His reply was, " L-l-let him st-st-stay
there till the re-re-resurrection." I am sorry that I
cannot give you more facts. My life has been a
laborious one, and I have had no time for genea-
logical inquiries. My ancesters were all plain


farmers and mechanics ; but they were honest peo-
ple and patriotic to the core. I believe all my
grandfather's brothers, as well as himself, served in
the Revolutionary army. They were old-school
Federalists and loved the Union.

Dr. Anderson's mother was of English descent.
Her maiden name was Jane Brewer, and she was
born in Freeport. Thus the son had mingled in his
veins the blood of Scot and Celt and Briton ; in form,
face, temperament, and character, he showed plainly
the influence of these neighboring but differing races.

O lady and lover, how faint and far
Your images hover and here we are
Solid and stirring in flesh and bone-
Edward's and Dorothy's, all your own.

"Solid and stirring' well describe the traits of
character and of person inherited by the boy
Martin from his parents. His mother was a woman
of unusual force. The Briton's strong will and
love of independence were her dowry to her son.
She had a deeply religious nature, and was an ardent
advocate of temperance.

Dr. Joseph Ricker, of Augusta, Maine, in a re-
cent book describes vividly the customs as to the
general use of liquor that prevailed, especially in
country districts, in the early part of this century.
He says : " At the dawn of the nineteenth century
and for many years thereafter, we were fast becom-
ing a nation of drunkards. . . Its (the rum-bottle's)


aid was invoked alike to assuage grief and to aug-
ment joy. At the ' raising ' of buildings, the har-
vesting of hay, the husking of corn, with the music
of wedding-bells, or the sad notes of the funeral dirge,
at the dedication of churches, the ordination of min-
isters, the voting precincts of citizens, the muster-
ing of soldiers for drill and duty its presence was
anticipated as a matter of course, and its absence
regretted if inevitable, and resented, if intentional."
In addition to this : " Figuratively speaking, cider
flowed in rivers throughout the land. . . It may be
said that it was always on the table at meal-time ;
always dispensed to callers, come when or whence
they might ; always conveniently near to quench
the thirst of toilers in field or shop, and always
within call during the cozy evening hours."

This condition, existing in the same region as
that in which the family of Mr. Anderson lived,
throws into bold relief the position assumed by
Mrs. Anderson on this subject. There were some
already thundering against such a state of things.
But the work of the Hon. Neal Dow was not only
riot done, but was unbegun ; a work which made,
later, of Maine, a typical temperance community.
Mrs. Anderson took extreme temperance ground,
a position remarkable at that time in that com-

She was an undemonstrative woman, as must be
inferred from her son's statement that he never re-
membered receiving a kiss from her. She loved her


boy, however, as well as more demonstrative mothers
do, and he regarded her with great reverence as well
as warm affection. In one of his latest addresses,
he referred with breaking voice to her early train-
ing, and described how she led him, a little lad, by
the hand to the Baptist church. She was a woman
of considerable education. In a letter to his sister
from college, he writes : " Observe and imitate
mother ; you can have no better guide in correct
speaking than she." She died in Waterville, Maine,
in 1848.

Mr. Anderson was a man of great personal merit
and of unusual intelligence. He was a ship-carpen-
ter by trade, but his alert mind was not confined in a
ship-yard. The correspondence carried on between
father and son during their separations was remark-
able. Page after page is often filled with keen
observations on politics, religion, education, and
business. An accident in the ship-yard disabled the
father from carrying on his trade while Martin was
still a boy of sixteen. From that time the elder
does what he is able to do, but the younger is the
responsible bread-winner and family adviser. From
his father, Dr. Anderson inherited quick intuitions,
a power of ready and forcible speech, and an
emotional nature, manifesting itself in quick tears,
a quick temper, and a certain rather broad, but tell-
ing, kind of humor. The tenderest affection al-
ways existed between father and son.

Few facts are attainable relating to the early life


in Brunswick and Freeport. The home was hum-
ble, and offered little opportunity to young ambition.
It was a home of poverty-

But of comforts, and riches, and blessings,
Which silver and gold cannot buy

The things that make royal the forehead,
And set a delight in the eye,

Of these, the deep spiritual graces,
That give unto life its divine,

that first home, like the last, had ample store ; it
was a home where religion ruled and education was

It is always difficult to realize that any sort of
giant begins like smaller folk. It is almost amus-
ing to think of the huge form, which obeys the sum-
mons of memory at the mention of Dr. Anderson's
name, as ever minute enough to be confined within
the limits of an ordinary baby's cradle. It must be
supposed that the infant Martin kicked off the
blankets and insisted "on his legs being free' with
rather extraordinary demonstrations of determina-
tion. It causes a smile to imagine him in " dresses '
-a humiliation to which earth's mightiest are for a
time subjected. There is no account of the begin-
nings of his mental processes. He was precocious,
for he could read at the age of three years, a record
not beaten by the intellectual feats of the infant
Macaulay. If his later passion for asking ques-
tions was developed as early as his ability to


read was acquired, he must have led his parents
a proud but perplexed existence, impeded by the
worn-out remains of encyclopaedias and diction-

The germ of the fifty-year old philosopher is in
the five-year old, and is more actively troublesome.
The questions of the average child are adapted to
furrow the brow and blanch the hair of the con-
scientious parent. "Papa!' said one dear little
New-England boy, as a wild nor'easter bowed the
trees and rocked the house, " Papa ! how can such
thin \vmdfttis/t so ? ' In absence of records it must
be assumed that the young Martin was an eager,
active child in mind and body, that his strong na-
ture , must have caused apprehension as well as
pride, in his youth, to his parents, and that they
never gave more profoundly heart-felt and grateful
acknowledgments to God than when their son took
upon himself the vows of the Christian church.
Not until he was on the threshold of manhood
did this event occur. But, in the meantime, no
sowings of wild oats sullied his reputation. Old
residents of Brunswick and of Bath speak with
pride of his "correct youth" and of his interest in
everything worthy and manly.

He went to school in the winter and in the sum-
mer he worked in the ship-yard. The habits of
accuracy as well as of industry, that marked his
maturity, were largely the result of the careful
work required of him in the ship-yard. The sea is


not to be trifled with, and the young shipwright
learned to drive his nails straight. That the nails
went deep no one who has seen his powerful arms
in motion can doubt. He breasted wind and tide,
and he learned, unconsciously, lessons of struggle
with adverse elements, and of their conquest, which
strengthened "his moral and mental as well as his
physical being. In one of his late public addresses,
in speaking of the fundamental nature of discipline
in the formation of character, he says : "When I was
a boy I never wished to chop wood ; I never wished
to take care of a cow ; but I was obliged to do it.
My mother said ' Go,' and I went ; I am thankful
now for the discipline." This reference to the
homely duties of a boy's life in a country village,
gives a glimpse into the nature of the influences at
work upon him.

Mrs. Plunkett brilliantly opens her " Life of Dr.
Holland' by quoting the famous recipe for great-
ness : " Give a boy Parts and Poverty." In remote
Brunswick these conditions were fulfilled. The
recipe held good. It might be added that the
"parts" must have in them a controlling element
of sound moral fibre, and that the "poverty" must
be free from its possible degradations. Certainly
it is a glorious endowment to have in the veins the
blood of strong, pure spirits, and to be born into a
morally and physically invigorating atmosphere.

Such was the inheritance in blood, and such the
native air of Martin B. Anderson.



I would fain grow old learning many things.




THE residents of Brunswick, and of Bath, who
are familiar with the history of the Anderson
family speak with emphasis of Martin's early matur-
ity, of his determination to obtain a liberal educa-
tion, of his lack of money for that object, except as
he provided it for himself, and they say, significantly,
" every one knew that he would amount to some-
thing." He is still described as " Martin Anderson
who was so intent on getting an education."

A certain bishop is reported to have said, " Give
me the training of a boy till he is ten, and you may
then do what you will with him." The twig is cer-
tainly bent before that age, and in this case the
coming man was easily divined from the ambitious
boy. It took native pluck, and a liberal supply,
for him to determine upon and to carry through a
scheme of education. The modern youth who, at
his father's expense, goes to college as a matter
of course, who graduates and post-graduates at
home, and then re-graduates and post-post-graduates
abroad, belongs to a different species from the
young man of a New England village, three-quar-
ters of a century ago.



When Martin was sixteen years old, his father
removed his family from Freeport to the neighbor-
ing town of Bath. Bath is an old town, having
celebrated its centennial in eighteen hundred and
eighty. It was, when Mr. Anderson removed
thither, as it is now, a place of importance as a
ship-building center. With the change of residence
came a change of occupation. Mr. Anderson
turned to school-teaching, his physical strength
being unequal to the pursuit of his former occupa-
tion. He had always been respected for his intelli-
gence, but his new employment brought him into
closer relation with so much of intellectual life as
the town afforded.

For the boy of to-day, even the boy of the farm
and the village, it is difficult to conceive the meagre-
ness of the intellectual resources of the best
equipped home and school at that time, and in that
place and similar places.

In another town, in a neighboring New England
State, in a pastor's home, the hungry minds of
eight eager children were fed on two or three of
Shakespeare's plays, all incomplete, the " Children
of the Abbey," and " The Pastor's Fireside," as
the supply of general literature. There was in
addition one marvelous book, " Lewis and Clark's
Travels to the Head-Waters of the Mississippi."
This book recounted the explorations of two daring
adventurers as far northward as the present site of
St. Paul, Minnesota. The heart of Africa, or the



rivers of Middle China do not seem so remote, so
strange, so unknowable to-day to the youngest
reader, as seemed that far north point on that
American river to a well-grown boy on the eastern
edge of this continent, in the first quarter of the
century. Add to the list of books named a few
religious " works," besides the u Pilgrim's Progress '
and the " Saints' Rest," and there is a nearly com-
plete list of a " large library' in those times for a
private house to possess. The majority of the vil-
lage householders were guiltless of the extravagance
of owning a book. The " Library " had become a
feature among the public institutions of some of
the more ambitious towns. But the public library
is, even to-day, a plant of slow growth outside of
the large cities, and at that time had scarcely taken

Bath, however, had its literary aspirations.
There was a debating club, of which young Ander-
son showed himself a valuable member. He is said
not to have been a " Beau Brummel ' in appearance
at that time, but neither was he a " Beau Brum-
mel' in brains. He was keen and alert in thought
and speech, and gave promise of his later platform
success. To his practice in this club he attributed
the facility in "thinking on his feet," for which he
was remarkable throughout his life, and for his ease
and dignity of manner on the public platform. He
began at this time the process of systematic self-
education which he never relaxed. In later life the



duty that one owes to one's self in regard to educa-
tion, and of assisting others in their efforts toward
this end, was one of his favorite topics in public ex-
hortation, or in private admonition. In an earnest
address before the convention of Baptist Social
Unions, he laments that so little is said publicly,
and especially from the pulpit, on the duty of cre-
ating an educated laity, and makes a powerful plea
for a "higher education" that shall be universal.

The life at Bath was marked by a spiritual, as
well as an intellectual awakening. During a re-
vival of religion he became interested, and at the
age of eighteen he experienced that inward trans-
formation which is truly a "conversion." He often
said, " men are savages, tamed if tamed at all, by
their wives and the grace of God." Just when
the savage in him was at its strongest the taming
process was powerfully begun. From this time
every faculty of his moral and spiritual nature

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Online LibraryA. C. (Asahel Clark) KendrickMartin B. Anderson, LL. D.; a biography → online text (page 1 of 17)