William Richard Cutter.

Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of the state of Massachusetts; (Volume 3) online

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for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In
1871 Mr. Forbes married Alice Frances, daugh-
ter of Nathaniel I. and Elizabeth (Brown)
Bowditch, and by whom he had three children :
Allan. Mary Bowditcjh and Dorothy Forbes.

(V) Allan, son of James Murray and Alice
Francis (Bowditch) Forbes, was born in Bos-
ton, November 20, 1874. He attended Noble's
school, a private institution of considerable
note, and after the completion of his course
there tutored abroad for one year in England,
Scotland, France and Italy : and on returning
to this country he matriculated at Harvard,
in r894, and was graduated artiumbaccalaureus
in 1897. His business career was begun as
clerk in the employ of Bloget, Merritt &
Company, with whom he remained for one
year and then became assistant treasurer of
State Street Trust Company, Boston. After
four years in that capacity he was made treas-
urer, and two years later vice-president and
actuary, which latter position he still holds,
besides being one of the directors of the com-
pany. Mr. Forbes is recognized as a man of
superior business ability and the strictest
integrity, with a capacity to successfully direct
large business and financial operations ; and in
one capacity and another he is identified in
some prominent way with several of the best
financial, industrial and philanthropic institu-
tions of the city. He is a trustee of the Frank-
lin Savings Bank, president of the board of
trustees of the Bankers' Electric Protective
Association, secretary, treasurer of the
Bankers' Electric Protective Association of
New England, a director of Cape Breton
Electric Company (limited), member of the



finance committee of the Boston Merchants'
Association, director of Blue Hill Street Rail-
way Company and of the Hotel Somerset
Company, trustee of the Dana Lands and of
the Boston Floating Hospital, director of the
Boston Water Power Company, director and
treasurer of the Dallas Light & Power Com-
pany, vice-president and director of Dallas Ice
Factory, director and treasurer of the River-
bank improvement Company, and treasurer
and member of the executive committee of
the .Marine Historical Museum. He is a mem-
ber of the Somerset Tennis and Racquet Club,
Dedham Polo Club, Unitarian in his religious
preference, and a Republican in politics.

(Ill) John Murray, son of Ralph Bennet
and Margaret (Perkins) Forbes, was born in
Bordeaux, France, February 23, 1813, and
spent the greater part of his life in Milton,
Massachusetts, the home of his ancestors and
the birthplace of his own children. His home
was in a splendid mansion house built for him
by his brother. He was a man of superior
mental attainments, for many years one of the
most influential Republicans in the region, a
member of the peace congress of 1861, dele-
gate at large from Massachusetts to the
National Republican convention at Cincinnati,
Ohio, that nominated General Hayes for the
presidency, and also delegate to the National
convention of 1884, although subsequently he
became a warm admirer and staunch supporter
of Mr. Cleveland. In 1887 one of the leading
New York papers printed the following tribute
to the qualities and character of Mr. Forbes :
"We believe there is no man in Massachusetts
who stands higher in public regard and con-
fidence than John Murray Forbes. During the
last thirty years nobody has been readier to
serve with purse and person all good causes.
To no one man in Massachusetts, except Gov-
ernor Andrew, was the government more
indebted during the trying days of the war.
From nobody has the Republican party in the
state and nation receiving more and loyal ser-
vice in money and counsel. There is no way
in which he has not proved his devotion to it
except by holding salaried offices. Moreover,
there is probably no wiser or shrewder busi-
ness head than his. He is a man of great
wealth, but nobody would suspect it if it were
not for the number and amount. of his con-
tributions to public interests, to charity, to art,
to literature, and to science, and what is of
more importance, he stands in Massachusetts
as the very type and embodiment of commercial
integrity." His firm of J. M. Forbes & Com-

pany, still in existence, stood among the fore-
most commission houses of New England. Mr.
Forbes married Susan Swain Hathaway, of
New Bedford, and by her had six children: 1.
Ellen Randolph, twin, born 1838. 2. Alice
Hathaway, twin, 1838. 3. William Hathaway,
November 1, 1840. 4. Mary Hathaway, 1842.
5. John Malcolm, 1847. 6. Sarah, July 3,


(IV) William Hathaway, son of John
Murray and Susan Swain (Hathaway) Forbes,
was born in Milton, Massachusetts, November

I, 1840, and died at Naushon Island, October

II. 1897. He was educated in the public schools
of Milton and in the city of Boston, and gradu-
ated from Harvard College in 1857. He began
his business career as a clerk in the office of
the Chicago, Burlington & Ouincy Railroad
Company, but resigned his position there in
1861 to accept the commission of lieutenant in
the First Massachusetts Cavalry for service
during the civil war. He was in the field with
his regiment until after the battle of Antietam,
in which he took part. Late in 1862, when
Colonel Lowell undertook to raise the Second
Massachusetts Cavalry, he asked Lieutenant
Forbes to join his command with the rank of
captain. This offer he accepted and' soon after-
ward was placed in command of a battalion
and served with his regiment in Virginia,
checking the activity of Mosby's guerillas in
the vicinity of Washington. At Aldie, in July,
1864, he was attacked by a superior force under
Mosby, and was captured. At that time his
command consisted largely of recruits and
untrained men from other regiments, and many
of them failed to stand up to their work under
the ordeal of a fierce engagement and were
easily routed, but Captain Forbes and a few
of his men charged the enemy with desperate
courage and only surrendered after a hand-to-
hand encounter in which he was pinned to the
ground under his fallen horse, shot by Jack
Mosby himself, it is said. For a time he was
confined in the prison at Charleston, South
Carolina, and afterward was sent to Columbia.
He once escaped, but was recaptured, and the
hardships of prison life permanently weakened
his constitution. He was released on his parole
in 1865, but was exchanged in time to rejoin
his regiment with the rank and commission of
lieutenant colonel, and to take part in the clos-
ing scenes of the war at Appomattox. At that
time he was with the advance cavalry force
which met the flag of truce sent by General
Lee, and was among the first of the Union
troops to learn that the war was at an end:



yet in the very last hour of battle he narrowly
escaped being struck with a cannon ball.

Before going to the front Colonel Forbes
evinced unusual ability as a soldier in his
excellent drilling of troops at Readville, and
afterward, in the field, in camp and in the
prison pen, his courage, his patience and forti-
tude, and his solicitude for others won for him
the regard of all men and soldiers alike. He
was not only a close friend of Colonel Lowell,
but one of his most efficient officers and one
on whom that gallant commander frequently
leaned for advice. After the war he became a
junior member of the firm of J. M. Forbes &
Company, of which his father was the head.
About 1876 he became interested in the tele-
phone as a commercial possibility, which then
had been very recently perfected and brought
to the attention of the public by Alexander
Graham Bell, the inventor. Colonel Forbes
at once recognized the great possibilities of the
instrument for commercial uses, and from that
time until his death devoted his best energies
to the work of building up the great system
of communication which has done so much to
facilitate intercourse among men and to revo-
lutionize daily life and methods of work.

In Moorfield Storey's memorial of Colonel
Forbes we find this estimate of the life and
character of that soldier and enterprising busi-
ness man: "In this great enterprise which he
managed with conspicuous success, he showed
the highest abilities, courage, energy, sagacity,
foresight and above all and always directness
of method and an unbending integrity which
have not always attended the development of
great financial' undertakings in this country.
The American Bell Telephone Company,
which he founded, enjoys an honorable pre-
eminence among great corporations, for no
step in its career has been marred by any taint
of scandal. But great as were the demands
made upon his life by his great responsibilities
and his large family connections, he never
failed to discharge his full duty as a citizen.
He was early prominent in the movement to
save the country from financial dishonor when
the greenback craze for a time threatened to
carry away the Republican party. To the
political doctrines and methods of -General
Butler he was inevitable hostile and he never
failed to oppose his constant attempts to con-
trol the state. He was an early advocate of
civil service reform and was among the first to
lead the revolt when Blaine was nominated in
1884. During the whole campaign his service
on the national committee of independents

was constant and ungrudging, and from that
time until his death no movement for reform
lacked earnest support from him. Following
the fine example of his father, he had no
political ambition, sought and expected no
reward for what he did. His service was as
silent as it was constant and effective. He
acted wholly from a patriotic sense of duty
and was willing after the war to give his time
and his strength to the service of his country
as during that struggle to venture his life in
her defense. Brought up on the hills of Mil-
ton and on the island of Xaushon, he was a
lover of out-door sport and at home alike on
the back of a horse or the deck of a yacht. He
rowed in two victorious crews, with Abbot,
Crowninshield, Russell and others, soon like
him to be serving their country at the front.
He was interested in rearing good horses and
to this devoted a share of his business life, but
he found time also to build and sail yachts
and was never happier than when he was
ploughing the waves which he had learned to
love as a boy. It was characteristic of him
that he sailed the 'Merlin' himself even in the
races, as a sailor should, and not leave to
others the responsibility while he reposed
below. Yet. while he found leisure for sports
and made them the means of affording his
friends great pleasure, they never became to
him a serious end of life. Those of his fellow
citizens who. deaf to the call of public duty,
devote their lives to acquiring and spending
money, can find no countenance in his example.
The purpose of his life was serious and high
and he never allowed his love of sport to make
him neglect any public or private obligation.
Such is the bare outline of a wonderfully full
and useful life. To the world he was a vigor-
ous and commanding personality, but his more
intimate friends saw another side of his char-
acter. The blood of Murray. Cameron and
Forbes which flowed in his veins perhaps gave
the strain of romance and imagination which
belongs to the Highland clans. He had a
singular refinement, a keen appreciation of
all that is best in literature, especially in poetry,
a deep sense of natural beauty, which made
association with him delightful. From the
Quaker ancestry of his mother's side may have
come the simplicity of faith and the direct-
ness of his acts. Beneath the surface lay a
rare tenderness that showed itself in acts of
delicate kindness to those who needed help or
sympathy, which seemed to be only the natural
outcome of a generous nature. Only those
who knew him in all the relations of life could



recognize how many-sided his character was
and in how many ways he touched his fellow
men. Sprung from a singularly vigorous race,
fortunate in his birth and in the circumstances
of life, of strikingly noble and handsome pres-
ence, he inherited unusual strength of body
and mind, and that far more precious legacy —
character. He was essentially manly and
lacked no quality which belongs to the highest
type of manliness. Brave, true, pure, a soldier
without fear and without reproach, he showed
in every action of his life the high nature
which his face revealed. He was equal to
every position which he was called to fill.
Nothing mean or low could live in the atmos-
phere which he carried with him, and he had
the quality of a great nature — simplicity. Such
men as he, by merely living, inspire all whom
they meet, themselves unconscious of the good
they do, and make an enduring impression
upon their times, which does not end with
their lives."

He was president of the American Bell
Telephone Company until 1887, and member
of the executive committee until the early part
of 1897, and he also was a member of the
board of trustees of Milton Academy, at one
time president of the board, and at all times
active in promoting the interests and efficiency
of the institution itself. Mr. Forbes married,
October 3. 1865, Edith Emerson, second daugh-
ter of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the poet and
philosopher. Of this marriage eight children
were born: 1. Ralph Emerson, July 10, 1866
(see post). 2. Edith, October 28, 1867, mar-
ried Kenneth G. T. Webster, of Cambridge.
3. William Cameron, May 21, 1870, graduated
from Harvard College, 1892 ; now vice-gov-
ernor in the Philippines under appointment of
President Roosevelt. 4. John Murray, August
27, 1 87 1, died August 26, 1888. 5. Edward
Waldo. July 16, 1873, graduated from Har-
vard College, B. A., 1895 ; married, January
29, 1907, Margaret Laughton ; lives in Milton.
6. Waldo Emerson, February 28, 1879, lives
in Milton. 7. Ellen Randolph, October 28,
1880, died April 30, 1881. 8. Alexander, May
14, 1882, lives in Milton.

(V) Ralph Emerson Forbes, son of Will-
iam Hathaway and Edith (Emerson) Forbes,
was born in Milton, Massachusetts, July 10,
1866, and gained his earlier education in
Nichols' school and also in Hopkinson's school,
both in Boston, then entered Harvard College
for the class of '89, and remained there until
the end of his junior year. He was educated
for the profession of law at Harvard Law

School, graduating LL. B. in 1892, and in the
same year was admitted to practice in the
courts of this state. Mr. Forbes is a lawyer in
active general practice in Boston, but lives in
Milton. He married, January 16, 1901, Elsie
Cabot, born Paris, France, April 19, 1869,
daughter of Walter C. and Elizabeth (Mason)
Cabot. Mr. and Mrs. Forbes have four chil-
dren, all born in Milton: 1. William H., Febru-
ary 21, 1902. 2. Ruth, October 4, 1903. 3.
Margaret, May 19, 1905. 4. David Cabot,
October 29, 1908.

(The Bowditch Line).

William Bowditch lived in Salem, Massa-
chusetts, as early as 1639, and is said to have
come from Dorchester, England. The bap-
tismal name of his wife was Sarah, and she
united with the church in Salem, May 10,
1640. She bore her husband two children : 1.
William (see post). 2. Nathaniel, baptized
in Salem 12 12th month, 1642-43.

(II) William (2), son of William (1) and
Sarah Bowditch, was born in Salem in 1640
and died there before November 12, 1681. He
was a merchant and collector of customs at
Salem, and a man of considerable consequence

in the plantation. His wife was Sarah ,

who joined the church in Salem, March 28,
1702-03. They had only one son, William,
born 1663.

(III) Captain William (3), son of William
( 2 ) and Sarah Bowditch, was born in Salem
in August, 1663, and died there May 28, 1728.
He was a master mariner and merchant, the
original treasurer of the Union Wharf pro-
prietors, and devised his homestead to his son
Joseph. He fulfilled various important public
offices and was selectman and representative
to the general court, a man of large influence
and goodly estate, the latter of which inven-
toried at more than four thousand four hun-
dred and fifty-two pounds. He married,
August 30, 1688, Mary, daughter of Lieuten-
ant Thomas and Mary (Porter) Gardner, and
granddaughter of Thomas Gardner who was
overseer of the planting at Cape Ann in
1624-25. Captain William and Mary (Gard-
ner) Bowditch had eleven children, all born in
Salem: 1. Mary, August 2, 1689, died Octo-
ber 2, 1689. 2. William, October 31, 1690,
died October 12, 1706. 3. Mary, December
18, 1693, died February, 1723-24; married
(first) James Butler, of Boston, (second)
Captain Samuel Barton, of Salem. 4. Sarah,
January 10, 1695-96. married Joseph Hathorne,
of Salem. ( Nathaniel Hawthorne, the famous



novelist, was his descendant). 5. Thomas,
Tune 5, 1698, died November 30, 1702. 6.
Joseph, August 21, 1700, died October 6, 1780;
was a captain and was called esquire ; clerk
of courts for many years, and a man of great
humor ; married Elizabeth Hunt. 7. Ebenezer,
April 26, 1702 (see post). 8. Eunice, June 8,
1705, died July 2, 1705. 9. Eunice, March 22,
1707, married William Hunt, of Salem. 10.
Daniel, June 19, 1709, died about 1730; mari-
ner and lived in Salem. 11. William, January
18, 1712-13, died November 1, 171 5.

(IV) Captain Ebenezer, son of Captain
William (3) and Mary (Gardner) Bowditch.
was born in Salem, April 26, 1702, and died
there February 2, 1768. He was a master
mariner and merchant and lived in Essex
street in Salem. His estate inventoried at six
hundred and sixteen pounds fifteen shillings.
He married, August 15, 1728, Mary Turner,
of Salem, who survived him. They had six
children, all born in Salem: 1. Captain Ebe-
nezer, September 28, 1729, died August 3,
1771 ; married Elizabeth Gilman, of Ipswich.
2. Captain John, April 3, 1732, died before
Xuvember 14. 1793; master mariner; married,
July 12, 1759, Alary Carlton, of Salem. 3.
Captain Thomas, about 1733. died July 29,
1808; master mariner: married Sarah Ban-
croft, of Lynn. 4. William. 1735, died Decem-
ber 29, 1752. 5. Habakkuk, baptized March 5,
1737-38 (see post).. 6. Mary, baptized 1741,
died 1757.

(V) Captain Habakkuk, son of Captain
Ebenezer and Mary (Turner) Bowditch, was
born in Salem and baptized there March 5,
1 737-38. He lived in Salem and was a master
mariner; died July 28, 1798. He married,
July 2T„ 1765, Mary Ingersoll, daughter of
Nathaniel and Bethia (Gardner) Ingersoll, of
Salem, and a descendant of the sixth genera-
tion of Richard Ingersoll, one of the prominent
characters in early Salem history. Captain
Habakkuk and Mary ( Ingersoll ) Bowditch
had seven children, all born in Salem : 1. Mary,
baptized March 30. 1766, married probably
David Martin, of Salem. 2. Habakkuk, bap-
tized May 15, 1768. 3. Elizabeth, baptized
May 19, 1 77 1. 4. Nathaniel, born March 26,
1773 ( see post). 5. Samuel Ingersoll, baptized
September 12, 1779. 6. William, baptized
September 12, 1779. 7. Lois, baptized April 1,

(VI) Nathaniel Bowditch, LL. D., F. R. S.,
son of Captain Habakkuk and Mary (Inger-
soll) Bowditch. was born in Salem, Massachu-
setts, March 26, 1773, died in Boston, March

16, 1838. At the age of ten years he left
school to work for his father, who was a
cooper by trade, but soon afterward became
clerk in the store of a ship chandler. He early
began to manifest those remarkable faculties
which afterward distinguished him above
every other man of his profession, and
although he had been compelled to forego
school privileges when quite young, yet he
seems only to have begun to learn. He
acquired the Latin and French languages for
the purpose of translating Newton's "Prin-
cipia" and LaPlace's "Mecanique Celeste,"
and soon attained a height of mathematical
greatness far above all of his contemporaries.
His work on practical navigation was the very
best ever published up to that time and after-
ward sustained its high standard for many
years, being used almost universally among
sailors and mariners both in this country and
in Europe. Difficult problems and the abstruse
windings of mathematics were his pastime
and those calculations which were inscrutable
to others were as play to him. But while
particularly devoted to mathematics he did not
neglect other subjects and was a constant
student of the Bible, of Shakespeare, and
became proficient in Spanish, Italian and Ger-
man, as well as in Latin and French ; and
although a constant student he always made it
a rule never to permit his studies to interfere
with his business occupations. In 1795 he
sailed from Salem as clerk for Captain Prince
in the ship "Henry'' and before 1804 he had
made five long voyages to the East Indies,
Portugal ami also to various Mediterranean
ports, serving first as supercargo and after-
ward as master of a vessel. It is related of
him that while out on his third voyage the
ship was chased by a French privateer, and
when young Bowditch had been directed to
assist in passing amunition up to the deck he
was seen quietly sitting on a powder keg work-
ing out some problem with slate and pencil.
■So proficient was he in navigation that on his
last voyage he distinguished himself by bring-
ing his ship into Salem harbor during a heavy
blinding snow storm with no other guide than
his own reckoning and a single glimpse of
Fakir's island light. In attempting to make
corrections to a certain standard work on navi-
gation he encountered so many errors from
the beginning that he determined to publish a
work of his own on that subject, and in 1802
brought out his "New American Practical
Navigator." After quitting the sea he became
president of the Essex Fire and Marine Insur-



ance Company, of Salem. He declined several
offers of professorships in Harvard in 1808, the
University of Virginia in 1 818, and a like
tempting offer of a desirable position in the
United States Military Academy at West
Point in 1820. While at Salem he made an
excellent chart of the harbor there and also
of the harbors at Beverly, Marblehead and
Manchester. He contributed twenty-three
papers, chiefly on astronomy, to transactions
of the American Academy of Sciences and also
wrote many articles for the American edition
of Rhees' "Cyclopedia." He undertook the
translation of LaPlace's "Mecanique Celeste"
in 1814 and finished the greater part of that
arduous task in 1817. In 1823 he was appointed
actuary of the Massachusetts Hospital Life
Insurance Company, with a liberal salary,
which provided him with the means to publish
his very valuable work of the translation to
which allusion has been made. The first
volume appeared in 1829, the second in 1832,
the third in 1834, and the fourth volume soon
after his death; the fifth volume was added
many years after he had passed from life's
stage. During the later years of his life Dr.
Bowditch was a member of the board of
trustees of Boston Athenaeum, member and
at one time president of the American Acad-
emy of Arts and Sciences, and also member of
tiie corporation of Harvard College, whose
honorary degree of Doctor of Laws he had
received in 1816. At the time of his death and
for several years previously he was a member
of the Royal Society of London, the Royal
Academy of Palermo, the Royal Academy of
Berlin, the Royal Irish Society, the Royal
Astronomical Society of London and of the
British Association.

He married twice, his second wife, whom he
married October 28. 1800. being his cousin,
Mary Ingersoll, daughter of Jonathan and
Mary (Hodges) Ingersoll, of Salem, and a
descendant of the seventh generation of Rich-
ard Ingersoll. of Salem. Among Dr. Bow-
ditch's children were sons Nathaniel Inger-
soll, author, of whom mention is made in the
succeeding paragraph ; Henry Ingersoll, M. D.,
born Salem, August 9, 1808, graduated from
Harvard College in 1828, Harvard Medical
School in 1832, and afterward became pro-
fessor of clinical medicine in his alma mater;
and Jonathan Ingersoll, LL. D., capitalist,
trustee of large estates and patron of the

(VII ) Nathaniel Ingersoll, son of Nathaniel
and Mary ( Ingersoll ) Bowditch, was born in

Salem, Massachusetts, January 17, 1805, and
died in Brookline, Massachusetts, April 16,
1861. He graduated from Harvard College
in 1822, studied law and was admitted to prac-
tice in 1825, but soon afterward left the pro-
fession and devoted his principal to business
as a conveyancer. "He became noted for his

Online LibraryWilliam Richard CutterGenealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of the state of Massachusetts; (Volume 3) → online text (page 23 of 145)