Danvers (Mass.).

Centennial celebration at Danvers, Mass., June 16, 1852 online

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From thraldom broke away ;
To celebrate it, now engage —

Our Indk.pendfnt Dav.
Though independent, we have cared

With tender, filial heart,
That our old mother ever shared

Of all we had, a part.

Old Mother Salem, &c.

The blessed good things of the land

To furnish her we've siriv'n —
Most always bow'd to her command.

Though sMice we've sometimes given.
We've furnished her with meat and fruit,

With water and with fuel ; —
Her whims have always tried to suit —

Brought meal to make her gruel.
Old Mother Salem, &c.

We've made her leather stout and tough.
Much more than she could use ;

And sure to always do enough,
Have made it into shoes.

When conflagrations threaten'd her,

We've run and quenched her fires ;
In all her wants have been astir.
And watched her least desires.
Old Mother Salem, &c.

When she would " calculate right deep,"

We furnished her with head ;
When faint at heart and prone to weep,

With pluck her spirits fed.
Have brought her oft — delicious treat !—

(Now, Mother, " don't you cry,")
The onion bulb, so sav'ry sweet,

To roast, or boil, or fry.
Old Mother Salem, &c.

Our boys have gone to man her ships,

And peril, oft, their lives ;
Her bo3's, bewiich'd for cherrj' lips.

Have stole our gals for wives.
But time would fail to tell of half

We've done from year to year —
Some deeds that might provoke a laug

And some might draw a tear.
Old Mother Salem, &o.

With " China Ware" — pots, pitchers, pans.

Her closet shelves have filled, —
And brought her milk in shining cans.

And burnt her bricks to buil'J.
Now, though five scores of years ago.

We just " cut loose" and free,
A filial care we've tried to show, —
Now, Mother, hav'nt we?

Old Mother Salem, no time our lore

impairs ; —
A child most dutiful we've been, and:
honor your grey hairs.

Thou who our sires hast led
Over old Ocean's bed,

Thy guardian hand
Did shield each exiled form
In famine, plague, and storm,
Andrgive a shelter warn

In this fair land.



Tone — America.

We bless Thy sacred name
That e'en when War's red flame

Did light the sky.
They scorned to humbly yield,
But won the tented field.
And loud their clarions pealed
For Liberty !


For all ihey nobly wroug-lii,
Freedom ot' life and thought,

No power could tame —
For Schools, the Pilgrims' pride,
And Cliurches far and wide.
And all their hands supplied,

We bless Thy name !

And while our lives receive
The rich gifts they did leave,

Aided by 'I'l)ee
May we their virtues win.
Their scorn of wrong and sin,
And seek without — within.

Truth — Liberty.

God of Eternity !
Tho' every Century

To thee appears
A moment's transient gleam, —
'I'o our brief lives doth seem
How wide and deep the stream

Of rolling years.

On this Centennial Daj'

We come, our prayers to pay,

Great God, lo Thee !
May we Thy holy name
Adore — exalt — proclaim —
'J'hen shall our Country's fame

Immortal be.



Air — " A Song for our Banner.''^

Their mem'ry

A Song for our Fathers

In our bosoms a thrilling emotion ;
Each pulse of the heart of their virtue par-
When we think of their steadfast devo-
tion ;
From the Truth of their God, from the Love
of their Land,
The iron of their souls never yielded ; —
They were pure in the heart, they were strong
in the hand
When the pray'r or the sword-blade they

A Song for our Fathers ! Though green are
our fields,
Where the rough and cold soil they first
parted, —

Though pleasures and Inx'ries the land lo us

'Tis the fruit of the stout and true-hearted.
Whatever adorns, whatever gives ease

Or comfort, their industry planted;
O then, by their children, "mid the blessings
of these.
Be their praises with gratitude chanted.

A Song for our Fathers ! They sleep their
long rest.

While we on the Past now are dwelling ;
Its pages their virtues ever newly attest, —

VVith birih-pride our bosoms are swelling.
May that union of faith, of patriot love,

Of enduring, unshrinking endeavor
Which upheld them below, and which point-
ed above,

Rule the hearts of their children forever.


The arrangements for the Public Schools were made and carried out
under the direction of the following gentlemen : —

Thomas Hinkley,
Aaron C. Proctor,
Henry Fowler.

Wm. H. Little,

Amos Merrill,

E. B. Hinkley,

Wm. L. Weston,
The procession of schools, constituting a most beautiful spectacle,
proceeded to the Crowningshield estate, near Buxton's Hill. Here a
spacious " tent" had been erected for their special accotnmodation, and
tables, bountifully loaded, afforded a pleasing reception to the fatigued
and exhausted pupils. The sight within the tent, after the procession
had entered, was truly imposing and gratifying. The assembly of
about 1500 of the youth of Danvers, all neatly and appropriately attired,
was in itself a very attractive sight, and it was most pleasing to the
spectators, and highly creditable to the pupils and teachers that the

189 •

deportment of all was truly exemplary and commendable. No rude-
ness and no impropriety were observable, but order and decorum pre-
vailed tbroughout the tent.

WM. R. PUTNAM, Esq., a member of the School Committee,
presided within the tent, and after the physical wants of the pupils had
become supplied, the intellectual received attention. After a few ap-
propriate remarks, Mr. Putnam introduced CHARLES NORTHEND,
Esq., the newly appointed Town Superintendent of Schools, and J. D.
PHILBRICK, Esq., Principal of the Quincy School, Boston, who made
very eloquent and interesting addresses to the pupils. They spoke at
some length, and were listened to with earnest attention and interest.
It is a. source of regret that a copy of their excellent remarks cannot
be obtained for insertion here, as we are confident they would be per-
used with much interest.

The following sentiments were offered and read by Mr. AUGUSTUS
MUDGE, a member of the School Committee.

May we never be late when the first performance or the last is served up.

The Female Teachers of Danvers — No separatists, yet fearful agitators to
the minds of men, and swift incendiaries to their hearts.

The President of this School Festival — Like' his fearless namesake, invin-
ciblein every enterprise.

Salem and Danvers — Mother and daughter ; mutually proud of their relation-

The Prudential Committees of Danvers — Fathers of all the liitle ones, may
they not themselves be little in their office, but may they be large of heart and
libera] of hand in dispensing blessings to the flocks under them.

Our High Schools — Their true position, as to-day, in the front ranks.

The Church and the School — The former prepared our ancestors for estab-
lishing civil and religious liberties ; may the latter lead our children to per-
petuate them.

The day we celebrate — May its history form a bright page in the celebra-
tion of June 16th, 1952.

To the third sentiment, WM. R. PUTNAM, Esq., briefly and appro-
priately replied as follows : —

Children of the Public Schools of Danvers : Our lesson to-day is
history, — not the general history of the world, but the particular history
of our own town. Whether we contemplate the character of its earli-
est settlers, the active part which its inhabitants took in achieving our
national independence, or its continued prosperity, we find much that
is worthy of our attention and admiration.

The scenes and representations which we have this day witnessed
seem to give to past times and events a presence and reality as though
they were in fact our own.

This is your historical schoolhouse, — not indeed furnished, like your
common school rooms, with blackboards, upon which to write the les-
sons of the day. But we would engrave the events of this celebration,
in ineffaceable lines, upon the inmost tablets of your memories, so that
in your future years you may not only recall them with pleasure, but
also transmit them to other generations. May you be laudably stimu-
lated, by what you have to-day witnessed, so to act the part you may
take in the events of the coming century that it shall contribute to the
attractive points of the next centennial.


And now, in behalf of my associates, the members of the School
Committee, I would tender sincere thanks to the instructors of our
schools for the noble efforts they have made to contribute to the inter-
est of this occasion, and to the pupils of the several schools for the
commendable cheerfulness and propriety with which they have this
day performed their parts. May each and' all return to your respective
spheres of labor with new zeal, bright hopes, strong determination, —
and though you may not be present at the recurrence of this festival in
1952, may you be nobly and honorably represented by the works
which will live after you have passed away.

Owing to the oppressive heat of the day, the tediousness of the
marching, and the crowded state of the tent, it was thought prudent to
abridge the exercises of the schools ; otherwise we should be able to
report many other interesting addresses.







Agreeably to the vote adopted at the table, on the day of the Ceri'
tennial Celebration, the Committee of Arrangements called a meeting
of the citizens of the town, by legal notice, to act upon the Communi-
cation of Mr. Peabody,* the proceedings of which meeting, certified by
the Clerk of the town, are here pr,esented.

At a legal meeting of the inhabitants of the Town of Danvers, quali-
fied to vote in town affairs, holden at Union Hall, in the South Par-
ish in said town, on Monday, the twenty-eighth day of June, in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two.

On motion made by John W. Proctor, it was

Voted, That the Centennial Committee be authorized and instructed
to cause such a publication of the papers and transactions connected
with the Centennial Celebration, as, in their judgment, the interest and
credit of the town demands, and a copy thereof to be furnished to each
family in town.

The original communication from George Peabody, Esq., was read
by the Moderator ; and afterwards. Dr. Andrew Nichols read the reso-
lutions which had been prepared, and submitted the same to the town.
On motion made, it was

Voted unanimously, That the whole of said resolves, which have
been submitted by Dr. Nichols, and separately acted upon, be adopted
by the town.

Resolves, as submitted by Dr. Andrew Nichols, and adopted by the


Resolved, That we, the legal voters of the town of Danvers, in legal
meeting assembled, accept, with deep emotions of gratitude, the mu-
nificent gift of George Peabody, Esq., of London, of Twenty
Thousand Dollars, for the promotion of knowledge and morality
among us ; and we, with due sense of its importance, to ourselves and
to those who are to succeed us, accept the offered trust, and bind onr-
selves to faithfully, ardently and constantly endeavor to fulfil the wishes

• See page 141.


and accomplish the noble purpose of the generous donor, and to enjoin
on our successors a like performance of the same sacred dutJ^

ResG/vcd, That we now proceed to the choice of a committee of
twelve persons to receive and have in charge the said donation, for the
purpose of establishing a Lyceum for the delivery of Lectures, upon
such subjects, exclusive of sectarian theology and parly politics, as may
be designated by a committee of the town, free to all the inhabitants,
under such rules as said committee may, from time to time, enact ;
and to establish a Library, which shall also be free to the inhabhants,
under the direction of the committee.

Resolved, That the members of said committee shall exercise all the
authority and perform all the duties contemplated by the donor ; and
shall hold office by the following tenure, viz. : — Two of the twelve
shall hold the office until the annual meeting in 1858 ; two until 1857 ;
two until 1856 ; two until 1855 ; two until 1854 ; two until 1853 ; or,
in all cases, until others be chosen and accept the trust in their stead.
And it shall be the duty of said committee, as soon as may be after
their organization, to determine, either by agreement or by lot, who of
this number shall hold the office for the several times named, and com-
municate the same to the clerk of the town, whose duty it shall be to
enter the same on the records. And it shall be the duty of the select-
men to order, in every warrant for the annual town meeting hereafter,
the inhabitants to choose or give in their votes for two persons, to be-
come members of said committee, for the term of six years, in the
place of those whose term of office at that time expires ; and to fill all
vacancies caused by death, resignation, or removal from the town.

Resolved, That the aforesaid Committee of Trustees appoint annu-
ally, from the citizens of the town at large, another committee, who
shall select books for the library — designate the subjects for lectures —
procure lecturers — enact rules and regulations, both in regard to the
lectures and the library, and perform all such other duties as the com-
mittee shall assign to them ; and they shall make a full report of their
doings to the Trustees, semiannually, viz., on or before the second
Mondays in February and August.

Resolved, That the Committee of Trustees be also required to make
a full report of their own doings, and the doings of the committee by
them appointed, at the annual town meeting previous to the choice of
members of said committee, above provided for.

Resolved, That it shall be the duty of said committee to correspond
with the benevolent donor while he lives, and, in all their doings, pay'
all due regard to his expressed wishes.

On motion made by A. A. Abbott, Esq., it was

Voted, That the Institution, established by this donation, be called
and known as the PEABODY INSTITUTE, and that this name be
inscribed, in legible characters, upon the front of the building to be
erected, that, in future years, our children may be reminded of their
fathers' benefactor, and that strangers may read the name of him, of
whom Danvers will always be proud to claim as her son.

On motion of Mr. Fitch Poole, it was

Voted, That our venerable and respected fellow-citizen, Capt. Syl-
vester Proctor, be invited in behalf of the town, and in accordance


with the special request of his early and constant fi-iend, Mr. Peabody,
to assist in laying the corner stone of the proposed edifice.

On motion made by the same gentleman, it was

Voted unanimously, That the Board of Trustees, chosen this day,
forward a certified copy of the proceedings of this meeting to Mr. Pea-

On motion made by William H. Little, it was

Voted unanimously. That all the communications received from
George Peabody, Esq., of London, be recorded.

The following gentlemen were elected Trustees by ballot : —

L R. S. Daniels,

2. E. W. Upton,

3. S. P. Fowler,

4. Joseph Osgood,
.*>. Miles Osborn,
6. Eben King,

7. Fkancis Baker,

8. Eben Sutton,

9. W. L. Weston,
10. Joseph Poor,
IL A. F. Clark,
12. Joseph S. Black.

True Extracts from the Town Records. Attest,

Joseph Shed, Town Clerk.


In closing their account of the very interesting Centennial FestivaU
of June last, the Committee feel that they cannot perform a more
pleasing duty, and, at the same time, confer more gratificatiofi upon
their fellow-citizens, than by presenting some particulars in the history
of their townsman, whose timely and munificent donation, thus grace-
fully bestowed, added so much to " the pleasure of the occasion."

In the performance of this duty, they are aware of its extreme del-
icacy, and, that in the endeavor to gratify an intense and laudable
curiosity on the part of their fellow-citizens, and to hold up to our
youth, an example of nobleness and worth for their imitation, they may,
unwittingly, trespass on private feelings. On the other hand, our gen-
erous benefactor has arrived at such an eminence in the commercial
world, and his name is so widely known in both hemispheres-, that his
history has become, in a measure, public property. The Committee
can only say, that they will use their best discretion in the use of their
materials, and present such facts only as are known to be authentic.

Our fellow-citizen, George Peabody, now a resident of London, was
born in the South Parish, in Danvers, February 18th, 1795.* At the

* Nehemiah Cleaveland, Esq., in his excellent Address at the Topsfield Bi-
centennial Celebration, derivinor his information mainly from C. M. Endicott,
Esq., of Salem, thus speaks of the origin of the Peabody family in America :

"For a very early period in the history of this town, the Peabody name has^
been identified with it. Thanks to the spirit of family pride or of antiquarian'
curiosity, great pains have recently been taken to dig out the roots and follow
out the branches of the old Peabody tree. Old, it may well be called, since it
has already attained to a growth of nearly two thousand. years.. Boadie, it
85 y


early age of eleven years, (May 4tl), 1807,) lie was placed in the gro-
cery store of Capt. Sylvester Proctor, where he remained about four
years, receiving from Mr. Proctor and his excellent lady, (a sister
of Rev. Daniel Poor, D. D., the devoted Missionary to Ceylon,) pa-
rental kindness, and such instructions and precepts, as, " by endeavor-
ing to practise which, in after-life," he remarks, " 1 attribute much of
my success."

In 1810, in the hope of a better situation, he left Capt. Proctor,
but the embargo and expected war with England rendered the time
most unpropitious for obtaining employment in any mercantile pursuit.
That year, therefore, was principally spent in Thetford, Vt., with his
maternal grand-parents. This was his only time of comparative leisure
since his eleventh year.

seems, was the primeval name. He Avas a gallant British chieftain, who came
to the rescue of his queen, Boadicea, when ' bleeding from the Roman rods.'
From the disastrous battle in which she lost her crown and life, he fled to the
Cambrian mountains. There his posterity lived and became the terror of the
lowlands. Thus it was that the term Pea, which means ' mountain,' was pre-
fixed to BoADiE, which means ' man.' There was a Peabody, it seems, among
the Knights of the Round Table, for the name was first registered, with due
heraldic honors, by command of King Arthur himself.

" At the period when the business transactions of this town begin to appear
on record, Lieut. Francis Pabody (this was the orthography of the name at that
period) was evidently the first man in the place for capacity and influence.
He had emigrated from St. Albans, in Hertfordshire, England, about seventeen
miles from London, in 1635, and settled at Topsfield, in 1657, where he re-
mained until his death in 1698. His wife was a daughter of Reginald Foster,
whose family, Mr. Endicott informs us, in his genealogy bf the Peabodys, is
honorably mentioned by Sir Walter Scott, in Marmion and the Lay.

" Of this large family, three sons settled in Boxford, and two remained in
Topsfield. From these five patriarchs have come, it is said, all the Peabodys
in this country. Among those of this name who have devoted themselves to
the sacred office, the Rev. Oliver Peabody, who died at Natick, almost a hun-
dred years ago, is honorably distinguished. Those twin Peabodys, (now, alas !
no more,) William Bourne Oliver and Oliver William Bourne, twins not in age
only but in genius and virtue, learning and piety, will long be remembered
with admiration and regret. The Rev. David Peabody, of this town, who died
while a Professor in Dartmouth College, deserves honorable mention. A kins-
man of his, also of Topsfield, is at this moment laboring, a devoted missionary,
in the ancient land of Cyrus. Rev. Andrew T. Peabody, of Portsmouth, and
Rev. Ephraim Peabody, of Boston, are too well and favorably known to require
that 1 should more tiian allude to them. Professor Silliman, of Yale College,
is descended from a Peabody.

" The Peabody name has abounded in brave and patriotic spirits. Many of
them served in the French and the Revolutionary wars. One of them fell
with Wolfe and Montcalm, on the plains of Abraham. Another assisted at the
capture of Ticonderoga and of Louisberg, and in the siege of Boston. Another
was among the most gallant of the combatants on Bunker Hill. Another com-
manded a company in the Continental army, and sent his sons to the army as
fast as they became able. One more, Nathaniel Peabody, of Atkinson, N. H.,
commanded a regiment in the Revolutionary war, and subsequently represented
his state in the Continental Congress.

" In Medicine and Law, the reputation of the name rests more, perhaps, on
the quality than the number of practitioners. In Commerce, too, this family
may boast of at least one eminent example — an architect of a princely fortune.
i need not name him."


In April, 1811, he was received as a clerk in the dry-goods store of
his eldest brother, David Peabody, of Ncwburyport, who had himself
but just attained his majority, and was yet hardly established in busi-
ness, A few weeks subsequently, his father was very suddenly re-
moved by death ; and soon after, the great fire in Newburyport took
place, by which his brother was a sufferer and failed in business, thus
throwing the younger brother again out of employment. He now
found hirhself, at the age of sixteen, suddenly and unexpectedly an
orphan, without funds, without a situation, and without influential
friends ; and the prospects of the times as gloomy as can well be im-

On the 4th of May, 1812, not finding employment, he left New
England with his uncle. Gen. John Peabody, who had been unfortunate
in business, and who was, at this time, in the most discouraging cir-
cumstances. They sailed from Newburyport in the brig Fame, Capt.
Davis, for Georgetown, D. C.

John Peabody established himself in Georgetown, D, C, but owing
to his pecuniary position, the business was conducted in the name of
his nephew, and the management of it chiefly devolved on him. Here
he remained about two years, faithfully and industriously performing
those duties and services, for which he could have the prospect of little,
if any, remuneration.

About this time, it having occurred to him, that his name being used
in the transaction of the business, he might be responsible for its lia-
bilities when he should become of age, he freed himself from his en-
gagements to his uncle, to whom his services were necessary ; but with
many painful feelings, that his duty to himself compelled him to this

Soon after this, and before he was nineteen years old, a wealthy
merchant (Mr. Elisha Riggs, now of New York) proposed receiving
him as a partner in the dry-goods trade ; Mr. Riggs finding capital,
and Mr. Peabody taking the entire management of the business.

He was, at this time, (as will be recollected by those of us who saw
him on his brief visits to his native town,) quite six feet in height, of
manly form and proportions, and premature care and anxiety had given
to his countenance the expression of maturer years. His partner, there-
fore, after the writings of copartnership were drawn, was surprised to
learn, that his contract had been made with a hoy. He was, however,
kind enough to forgive the yawZ/, which had been so honestly confessed,
and which Time would so quickly amend, and the connection proved a
most fortunate one for both parties.

The house of Riggs & Peabody was removed to Baltimore in 1815,
and other houses were established in Philadelphia and New York in
1822, the partnership continuing in terms of five years each, for fifteen
years ; several other individuals occupying, successively, subordinate
situations in the firm.

In 1829, Mr. Elisha Riggs retired from the firm, and his nephew.
Mr. Samuel Riggs, was admitted, by which Mr. Peabody became sen-
ior partner, and the house became Peabody, Riggs & Co.

During the preceding fifteen years, Mr. Peabody's labors were ex-
cessive. His annual collecting excursions, occupying usually six or


seven weeks, were performed on horseback, through the wildest regions

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Online LibraryDanvers (Mass.)Centennial celebration at Danvers, Mass., June 16, 1852 → online text (page 20 of 22)