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Encyclopedia of Massachusetts, biographical--genealogical; (Volume 2) online

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Bttyrlnpeta of Massachusetts

Biographical Genealogical

Compiled with Assistance of the Following



Former Librarian of Woburn Public Library;
Historian of New England Historic-Genea-
logical Society; Author of "History of Arling-
ton," "Bibliography of Woburn," "History of
the Cutter Family," etc.


Member of American Institute of Architecture,
etc.; Author of "Homes and How to Make
Them," and other popular works; Lecturer,
and frequent contributor to leading magazines
and newspapers.


Librarian of Berkshire Athenaeum and Mu-
seum; Secretary of Berkshire Historical Soci-
ety: Author of "-Three Kingdoms;" "World of
Matter;" "Translation into English, Hexameters
of Virgil's Aeneid;" Joint Author "American
Plant Book;" "Barnes 1 Readers;" "One Thou-
sand Blunders in English."


Member of Connecticut Valley Historical Soci-
ety, and Western Hampden Historical Society;
Author of "History of the Town of Westfleld,


Charter Member, ex-President and for fifteen
years Librarian of Worcester Society of Antiq-
uity, and Editor of its Proceedings; Author of
"Rawson Family Memorial," "The Crane Fam-
ily," in two volumes, "History of 15th Regi-
ment in the Revolution," and Compiler of a
Number of Genealogies of the Prominent Fam-
ilies of Massachusetts. Member of the New
England Historic-Genealogical and other His-
torical Societies.


Clerk and Treasurer of Bostonian Society;
Director of Brookline Historical Society; Sec-
ond Vice-President of Mass. Soc. S. A. R.;
Chairman Membership Com. Mass. Soc. Colo-
nial Wars; Member Board of Managers, Mass.
Soc., War of 1812; Treasurer of Read Soc. for
Genealogical Research.


Ex-President of Essex Institute; Member of
Massachusetts Historical Society; ex-Repre-
pentative and ex-Mayor of Salem.


President of Old Bridgewater Historical Soci-
ety; President of Dyer Family Association.

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an honorable remembrance Thucydides

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Former Governor.

John Quincy Adams Brackett, former
Governor of Massachusetts, was born at
Bradford, New Hampshire, June 8, 1842,
son of Ambrose S. and Nancy (Brown)
Brackett. He began his education in the
common schools of his native village,
graduated from Colby (New Hampshire)
Academy in 1861, entered Harvard Col-
lege, and graduated with the class of
1865, with highest honors, and as class
orator. He subsequently graduated from
Harvard Law School, was admitted to
the bar, and entered upon practice in 1868.

He early attracted attention as a virile
speaker before Republican assemblages,
and became a leader in the young men's
movement of the party, presiding at the
initial meeting in Faneuil Hall in 1877.
He also took a lively interest in the Mer-
cantile Library Association of Boston,
and was its president in 1871 and again in
1882. In 1884 he was made judge advo-
cate upon the staff of General I. S. Bur-
rell, commanding the First Brigade of the
State militia, and served as such until
the militia was reorganized in 1876. From
1873 to ^76 he was a member of the
common council of Boston, of which he
was made president by unanimous vote
in the latter year, when he was elected to
the Massachusetts House of Representa-
tives, in which he served continuously
until 1881, and again from 1884 to 1886.
At various times he was chairman of
some of the most important committees
on taxation, labor, retrenchment, probate
and chancery, public lands and harbors,
judiciary, and of the special committee
on the revision of the statutes. Perhaps

his most beneficial work was his procure-
ment of the law for the establishment of
cooperative banks, an important and far-
reaching enactment. In 1885, as the
unanimous choice of the Republican cau-
cus, he was elected speaker of the house,
and he was reflected the following year.
In this position he acquitted himself
most creditably during a very trying
four-day period of filibustering on the
metropolitan police bill. In 1886 he was
elected Lieutenant-Governor, and was re-
elected with increased majorities in the
two following years. In 1889 ne was
elected Governor to succeed Oliver Ames,
and advocated various salutary reforms,
many of which were enacted into law,
among them being the abolition of the
contract system of labor in prisons, and
certain accompanying benefits to the
prisoners; the relief of the industrial and
business elements from undue taxation,
through the medium of taxation of leg-
acies ; the free text book system for
schools; the rigid enforcement of the
liquor laws ; legislation for the protection
of both employers and employed ; and for
the protection of railroad brakemen from
certain dangers. The national encamp-
ment of the Grand Army of the Republic
being held in Boston during his guberna-
torial term, he procured a legislative ap-
propriation of $50,000 to aid in a proper
recognition of the event, occurring, as it
did, upon the quarter-century anniversary
of the surrender of General Lee at Appo-
mattox, and providing for the participa-
tion of the Governor and Council and a
special committee of the Legislature. In
1892 Governor Brackett was a delegate-
at-large to the Republican National Con-
vention, and a member of its committee


on resolutions ; was chairman of the Mas- of his leisure to the study of chemistry.

sachusetts electoral college in 1896; and While in Vienna, in 1865, he received

in 1896 and 1900 was a presidential elec- from the Massachusetts Institute of Tech-

tor-at-large. nology, then in course of organization

Governor Brackett is a member of the under the direction of Professor W. B.

Boston Art Club, the Arlington Boat Rogers, the offer of the chair of analyti-

Club, the Unitarian Club of Arlington, cal chemistry, which he accepted. After

and the Middlesex Club, of which he was holding the chair until 1868, he again

president from 1893 to 1901. He married visited Europe, studying in France dur-

Angie M. Peck, of Arlington, Massachu- ing most of his vacation of fourteen

setts. months. Upon his return to America he

_ was elected president of Harvard Univer-

ELIOT Charles W sity, to succeed President Hill, who had

resigned in 1868, and was duly inducted

Educator, Litterateur. ,.,. . . , TT .

to the office in the spring of 1869. His

Charles William Eliot, twenty-second administration during the years that have

president of Harvard College, was born passed has been one of extraordinary

in Boston, Massachusetts, March 20, 1834, brilliancy and the university has enjoyed

only son of Samuel Atkins Eliot, mayor a prosperity heretofore unknown. The

of Boston, Massachusetts, representative fame of the institution has become thor-

in the United States Congress, 1850-51, oughly national, and the name of its illus-

and treasurer of Harvard College from trious president is known and honored

1842 to 1853. Through his mother's throughout the civilized world. "The

family he is allied to the Lyman family, light first kindled by the munificence of

which has held a distinguished position Harvard has spread onward to our own

in New England history. time, illuminating the course of our

Charles W. Eliot was prepared for col- fathers, and concentrating a brighter ra-

lege at the Boston Public Latin School, diance on the paths of the children."

entered Harvard in the class of 1853, and Mr. Eliot's accession marked an epoch

was graduated with high honors. In in the history of the Harvard University.

1854 he was appointed tutor in mathe- The chief aim of the faculty and govern-

matics, and while filling the position he ing boards had been to perfect it as a

continued the study of chemistry in the college of the normal New England type ;

laboratory of Professor Cooke. In 1857 the elective system had been introduced

he delivered a course of lectures in chem- reluctantly for the latter half of the aca-

istry at the Medical School in Boston, demic course ; and the established cur-

In 1858 he was made Assistant Professor riculum had admitted only side-paths

of Mathematics and Chemistry, the grade closely parallel with the main track. Mr.

of assistant professor being then first Eliot's determination from the first was

created. In 1861 he was placed in charge to build upon the ancient foundation a

of the chemical department of the Law- veritable university, open to real learners

rence Scientific School. In 1863 he spent of every sort, and of every grade above

two years in visiting the public institu- that of schoolboys. The system which

tions of France, Germany, and England, may be called his is at once strict and

making himself acquainted with their broad, imperative in its requirements, yet

organization, plans of study, and govern- beyond all precedent liberal in the exten-

ment, and at the same time devoted much sion of its privileges. No student can re-



ceive a degree in the academical depart-
ment without having passed a thorough
examination in a prescribed number of
carefully planned courses ; but the candi-
date for an academic degree has an un-
restricted range of choice among courses,
comprising every department that can be
regarded as belonging to a liberal educa-
tion. At the same time, special courses
may be pursued apart from the regular
classes by all persons who are able to
avail themselves of them. A more health-
ful system of discipline has been intro-
duced, petty details of conduct are no
longer subjected to rigid rule, and while
there is less tolerance than ever before
for disorder and immorality, large classes
of college offenses have ceased to exist
because no longer prohibited. These
changes have so far met the demands of
the outside public that from the time that
Mr. Eliot commenced his work of refor-
mation, while the number of undergradu-
ates has been much more than doubled,
there has been a perpetual inflow of funds
from private benefactions into the col-
lege treasury, so that more new buildings
have been erected than were built in the
whole of the previous century, many old
foundations have been increased, and
several new endowments created.

As a writer, Mr. Eliot has been known
chiefly by educational reports, essays and
addresses, which have the merit of con-
cise and vigorous statement, of reasoning
based whenever possible on admitted
facts, of directness of aim, and of close
adaptation to the specific end in view.
On other occasions and subjects he shows
himself master of a style pure, clear and
strong, of easy and graceful flow, and
indicative of conversance with the best
models of classical English, a style dis-
tinctively his own, but enriched and col-
ored by large and generous culture. As
a speaker he has none of the arts but a
rare wealth of the best gifts of the prac-

ticed orator, always commanding close
attention, and impressing not himself,
but his thoughts, arguments, and feel-
ings, forcibly upon his hearers. In pri-
vate and social life he has the entire re-
spect and confidence of all who know
him, and the affectionate regard of all
who enjoy his friendship and intimacy.

Dr. Eliot has been president emeritus
of Harvard since 1909. He has received
the LL. D. degree from Williams, Prince-
ton, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Tulane Uni-
versity, the University of Missouri, Dart-
mouth, Harvard ; and that of Ph. D. from
Breslau University, Germany ; and has re-
ceived the following foreign decorations :
Officier Legion d' Honneur (France), Im-
perial Order of the Rising Sun, first class
(Japan), Royal Prussian Order of the
Crown, and Grand Officer of the Crown
of Italy. He is a corresponding member
of the Academy of Moral and Political
Sciences of the Institute de France ; fellow
of the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences ; member of the Massachusetts
Historical Society, the American Philo-
sophical Society, and of the General Edu-
cation Board ; and honorary president of
the National Conservation Association.
In addition to his monographs on scien-
tific and educational topics, he has writ-
ten several brochures : "The Happy Life,"
"Four American Leaders," and ''The
Durable Satisfactions of Life." He mar-
ried (first) Ellen Derby Peabody, of Bos-
ton, who died in 1869; and (second)
Grace Mellen Hopkinson, of Cambridge,

OLNEY, Richard,

Lawyer, Cabinet Official.

Richard Olney was born in Oxford
Worcester county, Massachusetts, Sep-
tember 15, 1835, son of Wilson and Eliza
(Butler) Olney. His original American
ancestor was Thomas Olney, who emi-


grated from St. Albans, Hertfordshire, as the basis of a compromise, by oppos-
England, in 1635, an< ^ settled at Salem, ing counsel, who recognize the futility of
Massachusetts. From thence in 1637 he appearing in court with a certainty of
accompanied Roger Williams in his exile defeat. Moreover, his indefatigable in-
to Rhode Island, and in course of time dustry in the preparation of a case is
his descendants formed one of the most always evidenced in an accumulation of
important families in the State. One of facts, and a careful marshaling of evi-
his descendants was Richard Olney( 1 770- dence, which enable him to keep the
1841), who removed to Worcester county, whole case within easy reach. In recent
Massachusetts, in 1811, and became years, Mr. Olney has carried on exten-
prominent as a merchant and cotton sive practice as counsel for the Chicago',
manufacturer. His eldest son was Wil- Burlington & Quincy, the Boston &
Ham Olney (1802-74), a successful mer- Maine, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe,
chant and banker, who married Eliza L. and other large railroads, and other cor-
Butler, of Oxford, daughter of Peter But- porations, and he is one of the best
ler and granddaughter of James Butler, known authorities on all points of corpo-
James Butler's wife was Mary Sigourney, ration law. He has repeatedly been so-
great-granddaughter of Andrew Sigour- licited to accept a judgeship in the Su-
ney, a Huguenot, who fled from France preme Court of Massachusetts, and has
on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, as invariably declined, preferring practice
and settled in Oxford in 1687. at the bar. In 1874 he was a member of
Richard Olney received his preliminary the Massachusetts House of Representa-
education at Leicester (Massachusetts) tives. In 1893 ne was offered the port-
Academy, and graduated with high honors folio of Attorney-General in the cabinet
from Brown University in 18^6. He be- of President Cleveland, and after much
gan legal studies at the Harvard Law serious deliberation accepted it. In this
School, where he was recognized as a exalted position he amply justified his
student of unusual acumen and industry, brilliant record as a practicing attorney,
and was graduated in 1858. Admitted to and in the various important issues which
the bar of Suffolk county, he entered the arose during his tenure of office he made
office of Judge Benjamin F. Thomas, with many important restatements of points in
whom for twenty years the relations were dispute in Federal jurisprudence. He
exceedingly close, owing to their sympa- counselled the action of President Cleve-
thy and congeniality of mind, and which land in calling out the Federal troops in
produced striking results in the prepara- July, 1894, to resist the riotous demon-
tion and presentation of their joint cases, strations at Chicago of the American
Mr. Olney adopted as specialties the law Railway Union in its attempted boycott
of wills and estates and the law of corpo- of the Pullman Car Company, on the
rations ; and, possessed of clearness of ground that, under the provisions of the
perception and soundness of judgment, interestate commerce and other laws, the
coupled with a profound knowledge of national government must protect the
legal principles, he was soon recognized mails and must prevent interference with
as one of the best equipped lawyers at the general railroad transportation of the
the bar of Boston. His grasp of all the country. In March, 1895, he successfully
aspects of a case was so exhaustive that defended that action in an argument be-
his ultimatum has repeatedly been taken fore the Supreme Court in the habeas



corpus proceedings brought in behalf of
Eugene Debs, who had been convicted of
inciting the strikers to disorderly acts. In
November, 1894, he made a notable argu-
ment upon the legality and propriety of
labor organizations in a case before the
Circuit Court of the United States, Dis-
trict of Pennsylvania, which he presented
as "suggestions as ainicus curiae by ex-
press leave of the court," and in which
he took the ground that labor organiza-
tions are of the utmost value to both
capital and labor in the adjustment of
their disputes. Upon the death of Walter
Q. Gresham, Mr. Olney succeeded him
as Secretary of State, appointed by Presi-
dent Cleveland, and took the oath of
office June 10, 1895. Mr. Olney's admin-
istration of this important office was char-
acterized by a wise moderation in all
important moves, although by a vigorous
policy of activity when the right time had
arrived, as was brilliantly exemplified
in the Venezuelan imbroglio. He was
tendered the ambassadorship to Great
Britain by President Wilson, but declined.
Mr. Olney is an extensive reader, and
possesses the happy faculty of digesting
and turning all things read to practical
account. He is possessed of a vigorous
constitution, which permits a high ten-
sion of activity and produces the best
results. He is a fellow of Brown Uni-
versity, a member of the Massachusetts
Historical Society and of the American
Philosophical Society, and a regent of
the Smithsonian Institution. He received
the honorary degree of LL. D. from Har-
vard University in 1893, from Brown Uni-
versity in 1894, and from Yale University
in 1901.

He was married, in 1861. to Agnes
Park, daughter of Judge Benjamin F.
Thomas, of Boston. They have two
daughter, both married.

MILES, Nelson A.,

Distinguished Soldier.

Lieutenant-General Nelson Appleton
Miles was born at Westminster, Massa-
chusetts, August 8, 1839, son of Daniel
and Mary (Curtis) Miles. His earliest
American ancestor was Rev. John Miles,
a Baptist minister and educator, who emi-
grated from Wales in 1662 and settled at
Swansea, Massachusetts; he served in
King Philip's War.

Nelson A. Miles was reared on his
father's farm, and received a district
school and academic education. At the
age of seventeen he went to Boston, and
took a position in a crockery store. He
had studied military science at the school
of Colonel Salignac, a French officer, and
at the outbreak of the Civil War he
recruited a company and volunteered for
service. In September, 1861, he was ap-
pointed a captain in the Twenty-second
Massachusetts Regiment, but was con-
sidered too young for such responsibility,
and he accepted a lieutenant's commis-
sion. On May 31, 1862, he was com-
missioned by Governor Morgan lieuten-
ant-colonel of the Sixty-first New York
Regiment ; was promoted to colonel, Sep-
tember 30, 1862; was made a brigadier-
general, May 12, 1864, an d major-general,
October 21, 1865, in the volunteer estab-
lishment. He became colonel of the
Fortieth LTnited States Infantry, July 28,
1866; was transferred to the Fifth In-
fantry, March 15, 1869; promoted to
brigadier-general in the regular army,
December 15, 1880, and to major-general,
April 5, 1890. He saw severe active serv-
ice during the seven days' fighting on the
Virginia Peninsula and before Richmond
in the summer of 1862, and was severely
wounded at Fair Oaks. During the period
between the battle of Fair Oaks and the
change of base to Harrison's Landing,


Miles acted as adjutant-general to the
First Brigade, First Division, Second
Corps; but at Fredericksburg he led his
regiment, the Sixty-first New York. In
the battle of Chancellorsville he was so
severely wounded that he was not ex-
pected to recover, and was brevetted
brigadier-general "for gallant and meri-
torious services" in that engagement; and
August 25, 1864, was brevetted major-
general "for highly meritorious and dis-
tinguished conduct throughout the cam-
paign, and particularly for gallantry and
valuable services in the battle of Ream's
Station, Virginia." He fought in all the
battles of the Army of the Potomac, with
one exception, up to the surrender of Lee
at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

After the war General Miles, in com-
mand of his regiment, was engaged
against the Indians, and defeated the
Cheyennes and Comanches on the Staked
Plains in 1875, an d in 1876 broke up the
hostile Sioux and other tribes in Mon-
tana. His successes on the plains were so
conspicuous that General Miles became
known as the "Indian fighter." He drove
the celebrated chief Sitting Bull across
the Canadian frontiers, and dispersed ex-
tensive bands led by Crazy Horse, Lame
Deer, Spotted Eagle, Broad Trail, and
other chiefs well-known in the far west.
In June, 1876, General Custer's party was
defeated and massacred on Little Big
Horn river, an event which was followed
by the prompt and decisive campaigns of
General Miles. In September, 1877, an
outbreak of the Nez Perces Indians under
Chief Joseph was met by Miles and
speedily overcome, and in 1878 he cap-
tured a party of Bannocks near Yellow-
stone Park. His most difficult campaign
was that against the fierce Apache chief
Geronimo, head of the most bloodthirsty
and cruel tribe of Indians in North Amer-
ica. After various Indian depredations
and raids, General Sheridan sent out an

expedition under General George Crook,
in 1886, but it was unsuccessful, and Gen-
eral Crook asked to be relieved, when
General Miles succeeded him with the
result that after one of the longest and
most exhausting campaigns known to
Indian warfare, the Apaches were forced
to yield, Miles and his troopers giving
them not an hour of rest. The entire
band was captured, and Geronimo and
his principal followers were sent to Fort
Pickens, Florida. Following these suc-
cesses, General Miles received the thanks
of the legislatures of Kansas, Montana.
New Mexico and Arizona, and on No-
vember 8, 1887, the citizens of Arizona
presented him, at Tucson, with a sword
of honor. In 1890-91 General Miles sup-
pressed a fresh outbreak of Sioux and
Cheyennes. In 1894, under orders from
President Cleveland, he commanded the
United States troops sent to Chicago to
suppress the rioting incident to the rail-
road strike, which difficult duty he ac-
complished with the celerity and com-
pleteness which always characterized his
conduct. General Miles commanded the
Department of the Columbia, 1880-85 >
from July, 1885, to April, 1886, the De-
partment of the Missouri; in April, 1886,
was assigned to the command of the De-
partment of Arizona, and in 1888 he was
given command of the Division of the
Pacific. General Miles represented the
United States at the jubilee celebration
of Queen Victoria in London, and also
visited the seat of war between Turkey
and Greece. On his return he published
a volume on "Military Europe," having
previously given to the public a volume
of "Personal Recollections" (1897).

On the retirement of General Schofield,
in 1895, General Miles became corn-
man der-in-chief of the United States
army. On April 9, 1898, war with Spain
being imminent, he recommended the
equipment of fifty thousand volunteers,



and on April I5th recommended that an
additional force of forty thousand be
provided for the protection of coasts and
as a reserve. In a letter to the Secretary
of War, April i8th, he asserted his belief
that the surrender of the Spanish army
in Cuba could be secured "without any
great sacrifice of life," but deprecated the
sending of troops thither in the sickly
season to cope with an acclimated army.

Online LibraryAmerican Historical SocietyEncyclopedia of Massachusetts, biographical--genealogical; (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 62)