Joseph Henry Odell.

Henry Martyn Boies; appreciations of his life and character online

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Henry Martyn Boies

Appreciations of His Life and Character


Honorable Luther Laflin Mills, Chicago, Illinois ; Reverend
Joseph H. Twitchell, Hartford, Connecticut ; Honorable
Alfred Hand, Scranton, Pennsylvania ; Colonel F. L.
Hitchcock, Scranton, Pennsylvania; James H. Torrey,
Esq., Scranton, Pennsylvania ; Eugene Smith, Esq., New
York City ; Edward B. Sturges, Esq., Scranton, Pennsyl-
vania ; Charles H. Welles, Esq., Scranton, Pennsylvania;
Reverend James McLeod, D.D., Scranton, Pennsylvania;
Honorable James A. Beaver, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania ;
together with Minutes and Resolutions passed by various
Societies and Organizations. Reverend Joseph H. Odell,
Scranton, Pennsylvania, Editor.

The Knickerbocker Press

) '
ew York



822608 A



R 1936 L



Copyright, 1904



Ube t?ntcftccbochec press, IRevp JJorfc









Editor's Introduction ix

By Rev. Joseph H. Odell


I. Ancestry and Boyhood ..... 3
By Luther Laflin Mills

II. '59, Yale 17

By Rev. Joseph H. Twitchell

III. Business Life 33

By Alfred Hand

IV. Military Services 59

By F. L. Hitchcock

V. Christian Citizenship 89

By James H. Torrey

VI. The Science of Penology . . . .113

By Eugene Smith

VII. O'er Land and Sea 141

By Edward B. Sturges

VIII. Christian Life and Activities . . . 173

By Charles H. Welles

IX. His Personal Characteristics and Home Life 211
By James McLeod, D.D.

vi Contents.


X. Last Days 235

By James A. Beaver

Funeral and Memorial Services .... 257

Memorial Poem ........ 260

By Rev. Isaac J. Lansing

Resolutions and Appreciations .... 265

Index 291


Henry Martyn Boies Frontispiece

Photograph by Davis and Sanford, New York, 1898


Breezymont, Scranton, Pa. 33

Photograph by T. E. Dillon, Scranton, Pa.

The Armory, Thirteenth Regiment, N. G. P. . 59

Photograph by T. E. Dillon.

The Boies Palma 85

Photograph by T. E. Dillon.

The Y. M. C. A. Building, Scranton, Pa. . . 109

Photograph by T. E. Dillon.

The Library, Breezymont ..... 136

Photograph by T. E. Dillon.

Hall and Stairway, Breezymont .... 150
Photograph by T. E. Dillon.

The Hall, Breezymont ...... 168

Photograph by T. E. Dillon.

The Second Presbyterian Church, Scranton, Pa. 178

Photograph by T. E. Dillon.

Elizabeth Dickson Boies ...... 223

Photograph by Kemp, Scranton, Pa., 1904.



WHEN it was proposed that a biography of
Colonel Boies should be written it was felt
to be not only proper but eminently desirable.
While a public monument may be seen more often
and noticed by greater numbers, its value is not as
intensive or interpretative as a Memoir. To reveal
Colonel Boies in his rare and strong manhood is
the surest way of making his influence permanent.
When such a work can be accomplished without
reservation or literary artifice the immediate and
remote effects are alike inestimable. Therefore
no apology is offered in presenting this appreciation
of Henry Martyn Boies.

It is not possible for a man fully to present him-
self to every one, except by a studied egotism, and
then he is not worth knowing. The various parts
of his nature are not called out simultaneously, nor
even in such sequence as will adequately reveal his
true proportions. The full sweep of his orbit may
lie far beyond our range of observation, or the
splendor of one accomplishment or virtue, which
we are predisposed to admire, may dim other char-
acteristics no less intrinsically sublime. Perhaps
only a few of Colonel Boies' innumerable friends


x Editors Introduction.

realized his versatility. Many of his business asso-
ciates were unaware that he was a shaping force in
the evolution of the State Militia, and indirectly of
the whole National Guard ; others, who admired
him socially and surrendered themselves to the
gentle sway of his personality, were not conscious
that they were played upon by the indomitable will
of a social reformer ; vast numbers who respected
him as a polished and successful gentleman were
io-norant of the fact that in the world of thought he
was an expert in the most complex of modern
sciences ; the overwhelming majority of those who
acclaimed him a public-spirited citizen of the best
Puritan type knew nothing of his affectionate,
joyous and winsome personal life. It is to do
justice to this many-sidedness that the following
chapters are published, and this likewise determined
the form of the volume.

The book as originally conceived differed from
its present form. It was intended to present a con-
ventional biography, conformable to the accepted
standards, in which the story of Colonel Boies and
his activities should be chronicled with severe im-
partiality and the reader allowed to reach his judg-
ment without the aid of the biographer. But such
a plan was found impossible owing to the intense per-
sonal feelings of the contributors, who could not re-
strain their admiration and love, and persisted in
doing homage throughout their respective chapters
to the memory of him who had long been their friend
and fellow-worker. The tide became so strong

Editor's Introduction. xi

that the Editor soon relinquished any attempt to
stem it in fact, he found that he could not even
direct the course of its currents. The emotions
of the writers flowed through their pens, spurning
literary restraint, and compelling chronology, his-
torical sequence, and the natural order of develop-
ment to take a subordinate place while they poured
out their hearts as before a shrine. This is their
unconscious tribute to the greatness and goodness
of the man whose story they tell, and we are cal-
loused indeed by the critical habit if we do not
praise them for the issue.

To make clearer the meaning of this peculiarity,
I would hazard the prediction that every reader of
the following pages will feel that he has been
perusing the life of a saint. Such an impression,
however, will not be the result of any expressed or
implied wish of the family of Colonel Boies nor an
effect covertly planned by the Editor. Ten men
were asked each to contribute a chapter upon
a clearly defined phase of Colonel Boies' life. One
only of these chapters was to tell the history of his
religious experience and activity, and yet all of the
writers, obedient to an irresistible personal con-
straint, make his religion the dominant element in
their delineation. Are they to be blamed for that ?
Certainly not ; it was inevitable. They felt that
they could not portray Colonel Boies in any rela-
tionship of life and leave out his Christianity with-
out leaving out the real Colonel Boies ; so, if he is
a soldier, he is a Christian soldier ; a citizen, and a

xii Editor s Introduction.

Christian citizen ; a business-man, yes, but a Chris-
tian business-man ; a thinker, then a Christian
thinker ; a traveller, also a Christian traveller.
Eieht of the contributors to this Memoir are mem-
bers of the Bar in their respective States, and sev-
eral of them distinguished in the legal profession ;
all of them are men skillful in wei^hine evidence,
analyzing motives, and estimating character. Each
bends to his task unconscious of bias, each paints
in the spirit of truth, and when the work is com-
plete and the independent lines and distinct colors
are brought together it is discovered that they have
produced the picture of an eminently religious
man. Of course no one will so far misunderstand
the characterization as to think of Colonel Boies
as a mediaeval or canonical saint. He was simply
a man willing to translate the laws of Christ into
the manners, occupations, and ideals of modern life
without suppressing his own individuality. It is
highly improbable that these biographers could be
mistaken in their estimate : they had known, for
thirty years or more, the man of whom they write ;
they knew him under widely divergent circum-
stances ; they knew him intimately, for to his
friends Colonel Boies was unusually frank and

It remains only to express the obligation of
Mrs. Boies and her family to those who have con-
tributed to the making of the Memoir. With
the wealth of their personal reminiscences and the
exceptional documentary data at their disposal, the

Editor's Introduction. xiii

task of arrangement and compression has been
extremely difficult. They have succeeded in telling
the story of a noble and useful life with such clear-
ness and ardor that all who loved Colonel Boies
will gladly acknowledge a lasting indebtedness,
while those whose love was as the very breath of
life would assure them of a sense of gratitude too
profound for expression.

J. H. O.




Henry Martyn Boies.



HENRY MARTYN BOIES was born in Lee,
Berkshire County, Massachusetts, August 18,
1837 the first son of Joseph Milton and Electa
Caroline Laflin Boies. The name given to him
was that of the devoted missionary to India whose
biography by Wilberforce had just been published
and was making a deep impression on the Christian
life of this country. In that year the religious
thought of New England was peculiarly intense,
under the continuing influence of the revival ex-
periences of 1827-32 ; and among its significant
facts was the founding- of the Board of Foreign Mis-
sions of the Presbyterian Church in America. It
is apparent, therefore, why the devout young father
and mother signalized the advent of their firstborn
son by a distinct recognition of Christianity as the
world's great helper and by an expression of their
admiration for one of its finest heroes, Henry

4 Ancestry and Boyhood.

Fortunate child, indeed, was he who is the sub-
ject of the writings in this book. His birthplace
was a New England town, with its earnest, honest
life, in which manhood and womanhood were meas-
ured by their worth and the old time Puritan ways
remained, as yet unchanged by the artificialities
and insincerities of a later day ; and in which the
great institution of the community was the church,
and the religious sentiment permeated all the at-
mosphere of society the town of Lee in the heart
of the Berkshire Hills, a region rich in the beauties
of nature and the inspiration which comes from
mountain and woods and river, for high thinking
and noble living. He was born in neither wealth,
nor poverty, in a home of the olden time, a typical
home of the industrious, enterprising, patriotic,
God-fearing people of New England. It may well
be asked whether any influence has given to the
world a better development of social life than that
of such a community one more conducive to the
building of strong personal character, the culti-
vating of the spirit of philanthropy, the bringing of
true happiness to all its members. The virtues
glorified in the poet's Deserted Village were here
conspicuous ; nor have they altogether departed
before the characteristics of recent years, the in-
creasing intensity of social competitions, the grow-
ing prominence of wealth as a controlling motive
and object of individual endeavor, the tendency
toward materialism and away from faith. In the
New England town were the church, its spire rising

Ancestry and Boyhood. 5

above all else in the material and historical land-
scape, the schoolhouse white on the hillside, the
place of meeting for the citizens wherein local self-
government found its most perfect demonstration,
the small farm whereon the industrious father and
his sons earned recompense for their hard toil, the
factory wherein inventiveness and skill found their
opportunity, the country store from whose educa-
tion in the knowledge of human nature and affairs
graduated youths to become leaders in the large
commerce of the world. Its home life, to which all
circumstances paid tribute, stands in American his-
tory as a fact, than which there is none more
significant and impressive. The father, earnest in
his thinking, diligent in business, devoted to his
religious duties, public spirited ; the mother, thrifty,
affectionate, painstaking, economical, pious ; the
children, trained to obedience, respectful to their
elders, studious, industrious all were united by
the bond of affection and of common sentiments.
Here the Bible had its place and each day began
and closed with family worship. Here the Sabbath
was holy, maintained rigidly as such, and its sacred
services were faithfully observed. Thus was char-
acterized the typical home into which this boy was
born ; here were spent the beginning years of his
childhood and here he breathed the atmosphere
which strengthened those marked traits of his
character which came to him as an inheritance from
former ofenerations.

He was blessed with a remarkable lineage. His

6 Ancestry and Boyhood.

early paternal ancestors were Huguenots and from
that noble source he derived many of his qualities
of strength, fidelity, courage, devotion. These
went from France to Scotland and thence to
Ireland ; and certain of them came to America
in the early part of the seventeenth century, estab-
lishing their homes in the New England colonies.
In the official records of Blandford, for parts of
the following century, occurs frequent mention of
William, David, Reuben, Israel, Enos, and Samuel
Boies as conspicuous in the affairs of the town,
wherein they held important places, legislative and
executive, and were leaders among the people.
They also show the important relations sustained
by these Boies ancestors to the interests of the
Church and the moral and material welfare of the
community. 1

In a genealogical table of this family, which be-
gins with the closing years of the seventeenth cen-
tury, the first name recorded is that of David, who

1 Extracts from the Blandford Town Records.
1775, July 6, Wm. Boies chosen Delegate to send to Congress at Watertown.
1775, Sept. 6, Granted Wm. Boies 3. 12s. for attending Congress 12 days.

1777, May 15, Chosen Wm. Boies to represent the town at the great and

general court to be held at Boston.

1778, June 20, Chosen Dea. Wm. Boies Representative.

" " " " and Samuel a Committee to consider

the constitution that has been sent us for approbation or disap-
probation and make report to the town of their doings.

1779, Aug. 30, Chosen Dea. Wm. Boies to go to Cambridge Sept. 1, 1779, to

assist in framing a constitution or bill of rights.

1780, May 10, Chosen Dea. Wm, Boies Moderator.
1780, May 10, " " " " Major.

" Samuel Boies Captain.
" " Wm. Boies Representative at the General Court.

Ancestry and Boyhood. 7

was born in 1689 and died in 1752, and who wrote
that Covenant with God, which for nearly two
hundred years has been treasured by his descend-
ants as a precious memorial of his piety and is
a significant illustration of the religious sentiment
which has been for generations a family trait. In
all literature and life can scarcely be found a reve-
lation of the depths of the human soul in its recog-
nition of God, more pathetic and yet more lofty in
spirit. This is David Boies' Covenant (with his
ancient orthography somewhat modernized) :

' Eternal Jehovah, I desire to come unto Thee, a poor
wretched sinner, a miserable creature who am full of sin and
of iniquities, defiled in all the powers and faculties of both
soul and body by reason of original sin and actual transgres-
sion and am justly liable unto Thy wrath and displeasure not
only in this world but also in that which is to come; and no
power of mine own nor any created being, either angels or
men, can help me out of this miserable condition in which
I am. And seeing Thou hast made known to me in Thy
blessed word that there is a way provided for the relief and re-
covery of poor sinners in and through Jesus Christ, and hath
been pleased to condescend so low as to make known to me
the way how to obtain the pardon of my sins and be again

1795, Apr. 6, Chosen Reuben Boies to purchase Military parade ground.
1795, Apr. 6, Chosen Ensign David Boies, Moderator.
1797, Mch. 6, Chosen Lieut. David Boies 1st Selectman.

1797, Sept. 11,

1801, Mch. 23,

1802, Mch. 7,
1802, May 3,
1805, May 5,

" " " Moderator.

Capt. " " Surveyor of Highways.
" 1st Selectman.
" " " Moderator.

" " " Representative.

1813, Jan. 13, David Boies as Justice of the Peace married a couple.
1816, May 6, David Boies, Esq., was chosen to petition Congress to revise
the law for due observance of the Lord's day.

8 Ancestry and Boyhood.

restored unto God's favor the way is, if ever I expect salvation
in and through the blessed Redeemer Jesus Christ, I must be
denied to myself and all my own righteousness and to accept
of Him as He is freely offered in the gospel, and be for Thee
and never for another and to follow Thee through good report
and bad report and to continue forever unto my life's end.

" And now, O Lord, the eternal God, the wonderfully con-
descending and merciful Gcd, the heartsearching God who
hath been pleased of Thy boundless and infinite mercy to pro-
vide such a way of relief in and through Jesus Christ, the only
Saviour and Redeemer of poor, lost and undone sinners and
hast made proclamation in the gospel that whosoever cometh
to Thee Thou wilt in no wise cast out and hast invited the
weary and heavy-laden sinner to come unto Thee, and they
shall find rest unto their souls; and seeing, O Lord God,
Thou hast been pleased to invite such a poor, wretched sin-
ner as I am to come and enter into covenant with Thee who
deserveth rather to be cast into hell for my sins than to have
such a kind offer made unto me; yet, O Lord God, seeing
Thou art pleased of Thy infinite mercy to condescend so low
as to invite me, poor, sinful, miserable me, to come and enter
into covenant with Thee which would have indeed been un-
pardonable presumption in me to have attempted to do were
it not that Thou hadst invited me to come I do heartily em-
brace the offer, Lord God. Let it be a bargain. Lord, I be-
lieve, help my unbelief; Lord, I give myself to Thee, to be for
Thee and to serve Thee forever. Lord, let Thy grace be
sufficient for me and now, O Lord, my request and my peti-
tion is to Thee for grace to help me to perform this covenant
aright. And O Lord God, let not my failings make void this
covenant. Now, O Lord God, what I have now done on
earth let it be ratified in Heaven. Amen and Amen.

" Dated the 18th of April, 1738.

" David Boies."

From such an ancestor, and men and women like
him, came that hereditary current of religious char-

Ancestry and Boyhood.

acter which for generations has been marked in
their descendants, and was peculiarly manifest in
Henry Martyn Boies.

From his maternal ancestors came to him a
heritage of qualities which helped to constitute his
strong and earnest manhood. His mother's fore-
fathers, the Laflins, came to America in the early
part of the eighteenth century and established
themselves in New England. They were hardy,
industrious, enterprising, aggressive farmers, mer-
chants, manufacturers men who usually accom-
plished what they undertook to do ; they were men
and women of conscience, influential in their com-
munities and interested in the public welfare.

Joseph Milton Boies, Henry's father, was born
in Blandford, Hampden County, Massachusetts,
April 20, 1809, an d died in Chicago, Illinois, April
22, 1 89 1 ; his mother was born in Southwick,
Hampden County, Massachusetts, April 3, 181 1,
and died in Saugerties, Ulster County, New York,
October J, i&jj. His father's parents were David
and Elizabeth Gibbs Boies and he had two brothers,
Curtis and Albert, and three sisters, Mary, Nancy,
and Orpah ; his mother's parents were Matthew
and Lydia Rising Laflin and she had five brothers,
Matthew, Winthrop, Walter, Luther, and Roland,
and two sisters, Charlotte and Emeline. Joseph
Milton Boies was a man thoughtful, judicious, just,
generous, public-spirited, patriotic, conscientious.
He was a strong man whom obstacles never
daunted a man of positive convictions who did not

io Ancestry and Boyhood.

hesitate to express and maintain them. Through
him came to his son those forceful traits which dis-
tinguished the latter in his mature manhood ; and
also that philanthropic quality which made him a
beloved hero amonof men.

His mother was one of the rarest of women, in
person slender, delicate, fragile, beautiful of face
and with wonderful, luminous eyes. There never
was a finer human expression of tenderness, gentle-
ness, spirituality, than that manifested in the life of
this good woman. She was a glorious mother ;
and to her influence in shaping to high ideals the
career of her son the world is indebted as to no
other. In his boyhood years she was his coun-
sellor ; he was ever on her prayerful heart. In illus-
tration of her relations with her son and her gentle,
persuasive power over his life, extracts from her
letters to him may, without impropriety, be given
here. They show also her peculiarly sympathetic
and spiritual nature. While he was at Yale College
she wrote to him :

" I shall not attempt to portray to you the emotions of my
heart as I read your letter. I can only call upon my soul and
all that is within me to praise and bless the name of my
heavenly Father. For it is of His goodness alone that you
are now a child of God and heir of glory. Oh, blessed
thought, it is far more than I deserve, such has been my un-
faithfulness. Truly His mercy endureth forever. Though I
rejoice with exceedingly great joy, yet I ever fear for one who
is about to turn his back on the world and follow in the foot-
steps of the blessed Saviour, surrounded as we are on every
side by temptations without and corruption within. Still we

Ancestry and Boyhood. n

are very safe as long as we feel our weakness and trust in God
alone, and only then. To Him alone must we ever go for
strength. His promises are neither few nor small and every
one is yours. 'He will keep the feet of His saints'; 'He
knoweth them that trust in Him'; 'God's grace is sufficient
for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness'; ' All
things are yours.' ' The meek will He guide in judgment and
the meek will He tell His way.' The Scriptures are full of
such like precious promises. Therefore search them daily, yea
hourly, does time permit. Let your heart ever be lifted on
high for strength when about to perform any duty. . . .
Now my dear child, let me enjoin upon you the importance
of taking a decided stand. Do not for a moment think how
little you may do for the cause of a dying Saviour, but how
much. May the language of your heart ever be, ' Lord, what
wilt Thou have me to do.' Shrink not from duty however
crossing to your pride, for to the sincere child of God it is the
only path of happiness. The Spirit will dictate follow His
leading. Commence at once working for God. Set your
mark high; consecrate time, talent, your all to Him. Fear not
a frowning world; its friendship you must not expect. Don't
take anything short of the Bible for your guide; just in ac-
cordance with your faithfulness in discharge of duty light and
joy will burst upon your soul. Experience has taught me
this. Do not feel that your whole duty consists in prayer and
the searching of the sacred word; take up your cross daily,
exhort impenitent ones to seek God. Write to absent friends
and tell them what the Lord has done for you."

She writes to her boy when he was at school
away from home, fifteen years old :

"I hoped this letter would have greeted you with a happy
New Year, a salutation so sweet from those we love, but I sup-
pose that it will be as was yours, a day or two too late. This,
my dear son, is the first anniversary of the kind you have ever
been separated from your parents. I hope, however, the day

i2 Ancestry and Boyhood.

or some part of it at least, was spent in retrospection and in
the formation of good resolutions. With all of our land-
marks through the journey of life we shall fall very far short
of what is required of us by our heavenly parent unless we
strive daily to overcome self and our depraved natures. Do,
Henry, give heed to all the good instructions you are re-
ceiving. Your age now demands you should feel the im-

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Online LibraryJoseph Henry OdellHenry Martyn Boies; appreciations of his life and character → online text (page 1 of 18)