D. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) Hurd.

History of Plymouth County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Volume 2) online

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cursion to the trout-brooks in the woods, with Seth
Peterson as his companion aud driver, on descending
the hill near Smelt Brook, in that part of Kingston
called Rocky Nook, the linchpin of his carriage
broke, and he was thrown to the ground. He was
carried into the house of Capt. Melzar Whitten, near
by, and in the course of the day conveyed to his
home. The fall proved his death blow. Though he
partially recovered, his elasticity and spirit had de-
parted, and gradually failing health brought him by
successive steps to his death-bed on the 24th of Oc-
tober. The last scene of his life was impressive and
solemn. He had often during his sickness spoken of
a future existence as a continuation of this, and he
was impressed with the possibility that on its thresh-
old the departing spirit, while within the confines of
earth, might look into the regions of the other world.
As death came nearer to him, and he watched its ap-
proach, in a moment of apparent doubt whether he
had or had not reached the dividing liue between time
and eternity, and anxious to learn its precise indica-
tion, be opened his eyes and said. " I still live — tell
me the point." Dr. Jeffries, standing by his bed, not
understanding the remark, repeated the words of the
psalm, " Yea, though I walk through the shadow of
death I will not fear." "No, doctor," said Mr. Web-
ster, in a voice still strong and clear, " tell me the
point — tell me the point." These were the last words
he uttered. On that beautiful Indian summer day
he died, and on another as beautiful his body, dressed
in his favorite blue and buff, lay in its coffin under
the noble elm which had so often sheltered him in
life, and loving neighbors and distant friends bore
him to his final rest.

John Albion Andrew. 1 — Hingham has the

1 By Hon. John D. Long.



36



HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH COUNTY.



proud distinction of having been the home of John
Albion Andrew, Governor of Massachusetts during
the entire period of the Rebellion, and of now, in
accordance with the wish he once expressed before
the citizens of Hingham, tenderly cherishing in her
soil bis sacred ashes.

It is unnecessary, in the scope of the present work,
to give more than the barest biographical outline of
one whose life and services are already a part of the
national literature, imprinted on its brightest pages.
He was born, of worthy New England stock, at South
Windham, in the State of Maine, May 31, 1818.
The comfortable circumstauces of his father procured
him a good academical education and a. collegiate
course at Brunswick. He was a glad, wholesome,
noble boy, with open face and curly head, and a brave,
geuerous, aud buoyant heart, fond of history, reading
widely, with a taste for poetry and elegant literature,
with no exalted rauk as a plodding scholar, but with
always a tendency towards broad views and humane
sentiments. Even in those days the anti-slavery
cause bad touched his heart, aud the faint whisper of
the approaching storm was awakening his pulses to
that love of freedom and respect for human rights
which so signally found expression in his later life.

In 1837, Andrew entered the law-office of Henry
H. Fuller, Esq., of Boston. He there pursued for
twenty years the ordinary course of his profession,
making now and then a stump-speech or a literary
oration, and constantly rising in practice and reputa-
tion. In December, 1848, he married Eliza Jones
Hersey, of Hinghani, whom he had met at an anti-
slavery fair in Boston, and from that period, for a
great part of the time, he made Hingham his home.
Here children were born unto him, here he walked
to church, and sang the familiar hymns and taught
the Sunday-school. Here his rare and sweet social
qualities surrounded him with friends who loved and
admired him ; and here his generous nature, his fond-
ness for natural scenery, his love of children, and his
strong social attachments, brought him some of the
happiest hours of his life.

While residing in Hingham, Andrew was nomi-
nated for State senator, but defeated. He had as yet
had no entrance into political service. Nevertheless,
he was daily becoming better known as an intelligent
advocate of progress, and for his strong anti-slavery
sentiments. In 1854 he bravely defended the parties
arrested for the rescue of Anthony Burns, and in
1857 was chosen to the General Court as representa-
tive of the Sixth Ward of Boston. In this arena he
rose at once to distinction. Brought into couflict
with Caleb Cusbiug, one of the astutest aud most



powerful debaters and thinkers of the whole country,
he carried off the victory in the bitter struggle over
the removal of Judge Loring. In 1859 he unflinch-
ingly presided at the stormy meeting in Tremont
Temple for the relief of John Brown's suffering fam-
ily, declaring that, whether Brown's enterprise at
Harper's Ferry was right or wrong, " John Brown
himself is right." In 18C0 he was a delegate to the
Chicago Presidential Convention, aud contributed all
his influence to the nomination of Abraham Lincoln ;
and in 1861, having been elected by a suit of spon-
taneous impulse of the heart of the commonwealth,
as the one fit man for its magistracy, took his seat as
Governor of the State. In April, the Rebellion already
at its outburst, came the call for arms ; and, as if
Providence had raised him up for the place, Andrew
responded to it with that electric promptness, that
magnetic fervor, that soulful devotiou, which, from
that day forward till the end of the war, animated
him under all circumstances, and imparted to the
people at large the enthusiasm of his own ardent
nature. His great heart breathed in that now historic
telegram to the mayor of Baltimore, " I pray you to
let the bodies of our Massachusetts soldiers, dead in
Baltimore, be laid out, preserved in ice, and tenderly
sent forward by express to me."

Unsuspected powers at once put forth in him ; his
public addresses thrilled with loftier notes ; his execu-
tive energies expanded to the widest limit of his
countless duties and labors ; the quiet citizen and
plodding lawyer budded in a day into the grandest
measure of the statesman and leader; aud it seemed
almost a dream that our good-humored neighbor was
indeed the foremost Governor in the Union, the most
chivalrous, if not the greatest, civilian of the war.
At the assembling of loyal Governors at Altoona, Pa.,
Sept. 24, 1862, his was the leading spirit that urged
new vigor in the prosecution of the campaign. When
negro regiments began to be formed, he was among
the first to orgauize them, prescient of their efficiency
and gallantry in the field. In all that could stimulate
the soul of the nation, in all that could wake its patri-
otic fire, yet none the less in the most watchful care
of the home interests of the State, of its institutions
of charity and correction, he was always foremost ;
and the activity of his life and labors was almost
superhuman. Says the Rev. Dr. Clarke, " He worked
like the great engine in the heart of a steamship."

With the war, his term of office as Governor ex-
piring, he resumed the practice of the law. In 1866
he was chosen president of the New England His-
toric-Genealogical Society. In 1867, with the same
bravery and heroism that had marked him thitherto,



THE COURTS AND BAR.



37



though against the judgment of many of his friends,
he began his strenuous and able assaults upon the
prohibitory law of the State. All this time his broad
national reputation, his great popularity, his souud
judgment, his conciliatory and liberal sentiments,
were marking him as the coming man in the national
councils. It seemed as if years of new usefulness lay
before him. But he had finished his work.

On the 30th of October, 1867, he died at his resi-
dence in Boston. His remains were afterwards brought
to Hingham ; and on the 30th of October, 18b'9, after
solemn services in the New North Church, at which
he had formerly been an attendant, his Boston pastor,
James Freeman Clarke, pronouncing the address, he
was buried in our cemetery, near its crest, and not
far from the Soldiers' Monument. At his feet are
the village he loved, the branches under which he
sauntered, and the picturesque stretch of the bay over
which he had so many times gone to and from his
home. He rests at scarce the distance of the souud
of the voice from the threshold on which he stood,
when, on the 3d of September, 1860, he addressed
his fellow-citizens of Hingham, who had come to con-
gratulate him on his nomination as Governor, aud in
the course of his remarks spoke these hearty words :

" I confess to you, ray old neighbors, associates, and
kinspeople of Hingham, that I could more fitly speak
by tears than by words to-night. From the bottom
of my heart for this unsought, enthusiastic, and cor-
dial welcome, I thank you. I understand — and this
thought lends both sweetness and pathos to the emo-
tions of the hour — I am here to-night among neigh-
bors, who for the moment are all agreed to differ and
all consenting to agree.

" How dear to my heart are these fields, these
spreading trees, this verdant grass, this sounding shore,
when now for fourteen years, through summer heat
and sometimes through winter storms, I have trod
your streets, rambled through your woods, sauntered
by your shores, sat by your firesides, and felt the
warm pressure of your hands, sometimes teaching
your children in the Sunday-school, sometimes speak-
ing to my fellow-citizens, always with the cordial
friendship of those who differ from me oftentimes in
what they thought the radicalism of my opinions.
Here — here I have found most truly a home for the
soul free from the cares and turmoil and responsibili-
ties of a careful and anxious profession. Away from
the busier haunts of men it has been given to me here
to find a calm and sweet retreat. Here, too, dear
friends, I have found the home of my heart. It was
into one of your families that I entered and joined
myself in holy bonds of domestic love to one of the



daughters of your town. Here, too, I have first
known a parent's joys and a pareut's sorrows.
Whether you say aye or no to my selection, John A.
Andrew is ever your friend."

Governor Andrew, when in Hingham, lived on the
east side of Main Street, in the first house northerly
from Water Street, in the Hinckley house on the same,
and in the Thaxter house on the opposite side of Maiu
Street, in the old Hersey house on Summer Street,
overlooking the blue water and sweet with the fra-
grance of clover-fields, and also in the Bates house on
South Street. His habits, like his nature, were simple.
He loved to drive and walk ; he enjoyed the breezy
trips and neighborly chat of the steamer ; his heart
went out to children and won them ; be was especially
fond of conversation, full of anecdote and story, aud
not averse to controversial discussion. His humor
and cheer were always abundant. He sang old psalms,
he recited noble poems that dwelt in his memory, he
was running over with the quaiut history of old times
and odd characters, and to the last there never faded
in his breast the warm, glad enthusiasm of boyhood.
His sympathies were touched as quickly as a girl's.
Each year he went to Maine to stand beside the grave
of his mother ; each day some sad woman or poor boy
thanked him for his humanity, for in him the unfor-
tunate always had a helper aud a friend. No heart
less generous could have uttered those memorable
words that expressed his great and genuine hu-
manity: "I know not what record of sin may await
me in another world, but this I do know : I never was
mean enough to despise a man because he was poor,
because he was ignorant, or because he was black."
Add to all this his incorruptibility aud honesty, his
fiery patriotism, his unswerving sense of right and
wrong, his pure glow in act and word, and we may
trust that, as his monument rises over his grave, it
will point to the example of purposes so lofty, of a
soul so magnanimous, and a mind so sound that it
will be like a beacon-light to guide the way of future
generations to the like achievement of the fullness of
a Doble life.

John D. Lono. 1 — One of the foremost men in
Massachusetts to-day, and one who may fairly be
classed among the " growing" men of the country, is
ex-Governor Long, of Hingham. Though he has
risen to prominence rather as a politician than us a
lawyer, he has yet given sufficient of his time and of
his energies to his profession to render this chapter a
most appropriate place wherein to tell, in a brief
fashion, something of what he is and what he has done.

1 By A. E. Sproul.



38



HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH COUNTY.



JoIid Davis Long was born in Buckfield, Me., Oct.
27, 1S3S. He came of Massachusetts stock, his kins-
folk on his mother's side belongiug in Worcester
County, and on the paternal side in Plymouth. On
the former he is of kin to John Davis, who was Gov-
ernor forty years before ; aud on the latter he is a direct
defendant from Thomas Clark, one of the Pilgrims.
His father was a man of local prominence in Maine,
having been a candidate for Congress ou the Whig
ticket in the same year that the subject of the present
sketch first saw the light. He, however, though re-
ceiving a plurality of the votes cast in the district)
failed of an election upon a second trial. As a boy,
the future Governor of Massachusetts was of a stu-
dious, thoughtful bent, aud, after having possessed
himself of such a common-school education as his
native town could give him, he was sent to an academy
in the neighboring town of Hebron, whose principal
was Mark H. Duuuell, afterwards a congressman from
Minnesota. After making an exceptionally good
record at the academy, the young student entered
Harvard College, in 1853, at the age of fourteen.
Here, ;is previously, he worked away manfully at his
books, standing fourth in a large class for the whole
course, and second for the senior year. He composed
tlie class ode for his commencement-day iu 1857, and,
with a " good-bye" to his Alma Mater, turned his face
hopefully and courageously towards the future. It
may be said that he has never yet looked back. The
same firm will which held him to his desk as a student,
and determined him to achieve a mastery of his books,
has in later years enabled him to improve to the utter-
most the opportunities which have come in his way
for honorable self-advancement ; while the broadening
and cultivating influences of his more studious years
may easily be observed, ripened and strengthened by
the passage of time, in the graceful sentences of his
public addresses, as well as in the bearing of kindly
courtesy which marks the man in his intercourse with
his fellows outside the bounds of official life.

Like so many young men of liberal education, Mr.
Long found the atmosphere of a school-house so nat-
ural to him, aud one in which be felt so thoroughly
at home, that, having finished his tasks at the benches,
he stepped forward, almost as a matter of course, to
the teacher's desk upon the platform. The desk
which it fell to his lot to occupy was that of princi-
pal of the ancient academy in Westford, Mass., one
of the retired towns of Middlesex County. Here he
remained for two years, achieving marked success ;
but he had determined to leave the ranks of the peda-
gogues and become a lawyer. To a young, ambitious,
well-educated man the law seemed to hold out oppor-



tunities for preferment far in advance of any success
which he might reasonably hope to achieve as a
schoolmaster. This was a most important step for
the young man, and that it was well taken later eveuts
seem to abundantly prove. After passing a year at
the Harvard Law School, he studied in the law-office
of Sidney Bartlett, in Boston, and was admitted to
the bar in 1861. Returning to his boyhood home,
he opened a law-office there ; but the meagre practice
which came to him by no means corresponded in
amount with what he had good reason to feci were
his capabilities, and after a year or two's endeavor to
build up a business in Buckfield, he came to Boston
in the fall of 1862. For a while in the office of Peleg
W. Chandler, and afterwards of Woodbury & An-
dros, he entered the office of Stillman B. Allen in
1863. Here, in a broader field, and with more fav-
orable surroundings, he quickly obtained a lucrative
and increasing practice. He continued iu the firm
(which was afterwards increased by the addition of
Thomas Savage, under the style of Allen, Long &
Savage) until he was elected Governor, when he
withdrew because of the pressing duties of official
life, although his name still appears in the Boston
directory among the long list of lawyers there printed.

Iu 1869 he made his home in Hingham, — a quaint
and beautiful old town on the picturesque " South
Shore" of Massachusetts Bay, — and in 1870 he mar-
ried there Miss Mary W. Glover. She bore him two
children, both daughters, but her own health became
undermined, and after a prolonged illness she died in
February, 1882.

Mr. Long came of age about the time of Mr. Lin-
coln's election, and in that campaign made his maiden
stump-speech in his native town for the Republican
candidates. His first vote was for Israel Washburn
as Governor of Maine, and he was a delegate to the
Maine Republican State Convention of 1861, at
which James G. Blaine, then a young man, was an
advocate of the resolutions then adopted. Mr. Long
was nominated that year at a Republican caucus in
his native town for representative to the Legislature,
but was defeated by a split in the party. Coming
the next year to Boston, he took no active part in
politics until after his residence in Hingham. There,
in 1871 and 1872, he followed Charles Sumner iu his
opposition to Grant, and into the Greeley movement.
In each of those last-named years he rau on the Inde-
pendent ticket for the Legislature, but was defeated.
In 1874, returning to the Republican fold, he was
nominated by the Republicans for representative, and
elected to the session of 1875 from the then Second
Plymouth District (consisting of the towns of Hing-



THE COURTS AND BAR.



39



ham and Hull). He was now fairly launched upon his
public career. Hon. John E. Sanford, of Taunton, was
then Speaker of the House, and Mr. Loug, who had
been appointed chairman of the Committee on Bills
in the Third Readiug, was by him frequently called to
the chair. While thus engaged, Mr. Long added, by
his parliamentary skill, his unfailing good humor,
and, more tban all, by the exercise of that wonderful
tact which is one of the most marked, as it is one of
the most precious, of his iuboru characteristics, to
the popularity which he had already begun to achieve
upon the floor of the House. When, therefore,
Speaker Sanford permanently laid down the gavel, it
was one of the natural consequences that Mr. Long,
who had been returned by his constituents to the
House of 1876, should be elected Speaker. The ex-
pectations which had been raised by his success as a
presiding officer in the brief opportunities which had
been previously afforded him were more than re-
alized. He made one of the very best Speakers that
ever graced the chair of the House, and he was unani-
mously re-elected in 1877, and iu 1878 he received
all but six votes for the same position. During these
years his popularity had been broadening throughout
the State, and in the Republican State Convention of
1877 his name was brought forward as a candidate
for Governor. Having received two hundred and
seventeen votes, he withdrew his name. In the con-
vention of 1878 he received two hundred and sixty-
six votes for Governor, but was finally uoniiuated for
Lieutenant-Governor, Hon. Thomas Talbot being
placed at the head of the ticket, which was hand-
somely elected at the polls in the following November.
The fall of 1879 was an eventful oue in Massachu-
setts politics. Governor Talbot had declined a renoni-
ination for Governor, and the field, on the Republican
side, was open. The two leading candidates during
the few weeks preceding the State convention were
Hon. Henry L. Pierce aud Lieutenant-Governor Long.
Mr. Pierce was a man of influence, of large means,
aud a favorite with the so-called " older heads" aud
more conservative of the Republican party managers.
The young Lieutenant-Governor, however, with his
clean, successful record and his wide personal popu-
larity, was earnestly pushed forward by the younger
and more progressive elements of the dominant party.
Still, until within two weeks of convention day, Mr.
Pierce was the foremost candidate. The most influ-
ential newspapers of Boston and several other impor-
tant centres favored his nomination, and he had, at
the time named, an unquestioned lead, though possi-
bly not a great oue. Early in September, however,
occurred an event which materially altered the politi-



cal situation, and helped in an important, if not in a
decisive, manner to foreshadow the successful nomi-
nee. This event was the holding, in Wesleyan Hall
in Boston, by Mr. Henry H. Faxon, of a convention
(really a sort of select mass-meeting) of the friends
of temperance throughout the State. Mr. Pierce was
avowedly a "license" man, and as such was obnoxious
to the prohibitory wing of the Republican party.
The Lieutenant-Governor was " sound," however,
upon this question, and was therefore certain of the
temperance vote, which, could it be consolidated by
an awakened interest, would almost certainly hold the
balance of power. It was to awakeu just this inter-
est, therefore, that Mr. Faxon, a wealthy resident of
Quincy, sent out invitations to frieuds of the temper-
ance cause throughout the State to attend the con-
vention at Wesleyan Hall. The response was gener-
ous, the enthusiasm great, and the impression produced
a powerful oue. The Lieutenant-Governor was cor-
dially indorsed, and he awoke the next morning to
find himself the leading contestant in an honorable
canvass for a great office. At the convention he re-
ceived six hundred and sixty-nine votes on the informal
ballot for a candidate for Governor, against five hun-
dred and five for Mr. Pierce, and his nomination
followed without opposition. The race was not yet
run, however, for Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, a mau
who held, and still holds, a high place in the affections
of what are sometimes improperly termed the u com-
mon people" of the State, determined to contest for
the prize of the Governorship, and secured a noiuiua-
tion at the hauds of the larger portion of the Democ-
racy, though a conservative minority of that party
put Mr. John Quiucy Adams iu the field. There
was, too, an extreme wing of the prohibitionists of
the State who preferred not to adopt Mr. Faxon's
idea of furthering temperance principles within the
Republican party, and who therefore nominated their
own candidate, the Rev. D. C. Eddy. It was well
understood that neither Adams nor Eddy could be
elected, and that the contest really lay between Lieu-
tenant-Governor Long and General Butler. It was
the young, newly-fledged politician against the old
and battle-scarred campaigner. The campaign was as
lively as only a canvass with Gen. Butler as au ac-
tive participant can be, but the result showed a hand-
some plurality — even a satisfactory majority — in favor
of the Republican nominee. As a matter of record
the following detailed statement of the vote is of
interest :

Long 122,751

Butler U)0,U9

Adams »,!»8'J



40



HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH COUNTY.



Eddy 1,645

Scattering 108

Long's plurality 13,802

Long's majority 1,860

[A plurality elects in Massachusetts.]

In 1S80, Governor Long was uuaniniously renom-
inated, and also in 1SS1, being elected both times, his
Democratic opponent iu each year being Hon. Charles
P. Thompson, of Gloucester, a gentleman possessed of
many friends outside of his own party, and who had
previously defeated Gen. Butler at the pulls iu a con-
gressional contest. The comparative vote of Governor
Long and Mr. Thompson in 1S80 and 1881 is below
given :

1880. 1881. Plurality.

Long 164,926 111,410 53,516

Thompson 96,609 54,586 42,023

Governor Long, one of the youngest Governors
that the State has had, made a reputation, while fill-
ing the exalted office of chief magistrate of Massachu-
setts, which will endure. He wrote his name high
up in the list of those whom the Old Bay State has
delighted to honor, and who, iu honoring themselves,
have honored her. The three years of his adminis-



Online LibraryD. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) HurdHistory of Plymouth County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Volume 2) → online text (page 9 of 118)