Joseph Palmer.

Necrology of alumni of Harvard college, 1851-52 to 1862-63 online

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1851-52 TO 1862-63.









Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by


In the Clerk s Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.


THE advantage of having in a compact and accessi
ble form the obituary notices contained in this volume
is so obvious, that no apology for their republication is
needed. It has been often suggested, but was brought
about directly by a communication from a member of the
class of 1811, written in Europe, to a friend in Boston,
a little more than a year ago, urging that it should be
undertaken at once, sketching a plan of operations, and
promising a handsome subscription. This communica
tion resulted in a meeting of friends of the undertaking,
and in the choice of a committee of publication, who
issued the following circular, drawn up, at their request,
by Hon. Edward Everett :


It is well known to the Alumni that an annual necrology of
those who have died in the course of the year has, for the last
thirteen years, regularly appeared in the Boston Daily Advertiser
on the morning of Commencement-Day. This necrology has,
from the first, been prepared by DR. JOSEPH PALMER of the
class of 1820. Originally consisting of a very brief notice, it
has gradually swelled to ample dimensions, embracing all the
known facts of any public interest in the life and career of the



individuals commemorated. This work has been executed by
Dr. Palmer with great diligence, fidelity, and good judgment.
From his connection with a daily newspaper, he has derived
early notice of the deaths as they have occurred ; and he has
then resorted to the most authentic sources, and especially to the
class-books, since those records began to be kept, for all further
accessible information. It may be said without exaggeration, so
successfully has Dr. Palmer s work been performed, that no
paper in the course of the year is read with greater interest, by
every graduate of Harvard, than the Boston. Daily Advertiser
which appears on Commencement-Day. Nor is the interest of
these articles likely to be confined to the present time. As they
will unquestionably be the means of preserving from oblivion
many facts which would otherwise perish, they will, for the
classes to which they pertain, form the basis of any future
Athena Cantab rigienses. The favor with which Dr. Palmer s
necrologies have been received is not confined to the alumni of


Harvard. They are scarcely less valuable to all who study
American biography, and have served as a model for similar
necrologies in the other New-England colleges.

These articles, including that of the present year, fill above
one hundred columns of the Daily Advertiser, and would make
an octavo volume of about four hundred pages. They are far
too valuable not to be collected in a permanent form, and it is
manifestly a question of time alone when that shall be done.

Thus far the preparation of them has been, on the part of
Dr. Palmer, purely a labor of love. It has involved the em
ployment of much time ; the consultation of many journals,
tracts, and larger volumes ; continual reference to surviving
friends ; and a voluminous correspondence. All this has been
gratuitous, and that on the part of an individual whose stated
occupation might seem sufficient to fill a busy day. It is mani
festly neither just nor honorable to the body of the Alumni,
that this great amount of labor should continue without compen
sation. With this impression it has been proposed by some
personal friends of Dr. Palmer, to take charge of the publica
tion of his necrologies in a handsome volume for his benefit.


To secure him from the possibility of loss, it has been deemed
expedient, with Dr. Palmer s permission, that the copyright of
the work should be held by a committee by whom the net pro
ceeds shall be applied for his benefit. ... As the volume will
be of common interest to all the sons of Harvard, it is confidently
expected that it will be so generally subscribed for as to yield a
handsome compensation for the labor and care bestowed upon
the work by its worthy compiler.

Messrs. WILLIAM BRIGHAM of the class of 1829, NATHANIEL
B. SHURTLEFF of the class of 1831, and HENRY G. DENNY of
the class of 1852, will act as a committee of publication; and
communications on the subject and subscriptions may be ad
dressed to them at Boston.






CAMBRIDGE, July 15th, 1863.

The enormous labor required by such a compilation as
this must be evident to all ; while few but those who
have been engaged in similar works can appreciate the
impossibility of perfect, or even approximate, accuracy of
detail in items so various, and coming, in many cases,
from such remote and uncertain sources. Many errors
and omissions, resulting in part from the circumstances
under which the necrology has from time to time
appeared, have been corrected by the compiler ; but
it is much to be regretted that but few, comparatively,
of the friends of deceased alumni, have taken the op
portunity offered them by the public notice given a
year ago, and lately repeated, to correct or add to the


The Committee have given much time to the arrange
ments for the publication of this work, in order that all
sums received from its sale, after paying the actual cost
of paper, printing, and binding, may go for the benefit
of its compiler; and they trust that the considerations
set forth in their circular are such as will secure a speedy
sale of the limited edition that has been issued.

For the Committee of Publication,

BOSTON, July 20th, 1864.


THE suggestion of preparing a necrology of alumni
of Harvard College was made by Hon. Edward Everett
to the compiler of these notices in the year 1851. He
began the work the next succeeding year, and has since,
at the request of the Executive Committee of the Asso
ciation of the Alumni, published it annually in the
"Boston Daily Advertiser" on Commencement -Day.
He acknowledges his obligations to Mr. John Langdon
Sibley, the accomplished librarian of Harvard College,
for the use he has been permitted to make of the notes
and memoranda of the alumni, collected by him during
his long connection with the college. The compiler
intended to rewrite the earlier notices, as they were
meagre and imperfect ; but he was unable to do it, by
reason of having partially lost his eyesight. They are
therefore republished nearly as they appeared in the
" Advertiser." It is to be regretted that the necrology
was not begun a century earlier ; for then much valuable
information would have been preserved which is now
irrecoverably lost. The compiler hopes, that, when he
shall have passed away (which, in the course of nature,
will occur at no distant period), the necrology will be
continued by more able hands.



1785. Dr. SAMUEL EMERSON died in Kennebimk, Me.,
7 August, 1851, aged 86 years and 11 months. He was born in
Hollis, N.H., 6 September, 1765. He served in the war of the
Revolution, in the regiment of Col. Prescott, and was quartered
at Cambridge at the time of the battle of Bunker Hill.

1785. THEODORE LINCOLN died at Dennysville, Me.,
15 June, 1852, aged 89. He was a son of Gen. Benjamin Lin
coln, of Hingham, where he was born 30 December, 1763 ;
was one of the earliest settlers of the town of Dennysville, and
was Judge of the Court of Common Pleas and Sessions for the
County of Washington.

1788. HENRY PHELPS died at Gloucester, 18 February,
1852, aged 86. He was bom in Salem, 10 November, 1765.
His father was a shipmaster sailing from that town, from which,
about the commencement of the Revolutionary War, he removed
to Beverly. He was lost at sea on his homeward passage from
France in 1786. He was spoken by a vessel when sixty days
out, being short of provisions and water, with his vessel dis
abled and leaky. On board of the ship that spoke him, he sent
a letter for his wife, in a sealed bottle attached to a line, written
in a strain of complete despondency as to his chance of reaching
home. From the contents of this letter, it is supposed that the
vessel must have foundered not long after it was written. His



son Henry was then in college. He had to contend with the
congenital difficulties of a club foot and an imperfectly developed
right arm and hand ; but, not allowing them to discourage him,
soon after leaving college he commenced the study of medicine
with Dr. Joshua Plummer, of Salem, quite a distinguished
physician, formerly of Gloucester, who established him in busi
ness as an apothecary and physician in Gloucester, in 1790.
He acquired some practice as a physician, but soon abandoned
that branch of his business. Being a man of lively tempera
ment and companionable qualities, his shop was the resort of the
most respectable and influential men of the town. He was for
some time postmaster in Gloucester, and also for many years
the principal acting magistrate in the town.

1790. Dr. WILLIAM INGALLS died in Wrentham, 9 Sep
tember, 1851, aged 82. He was born in Newburyport, 3 May,
1769, and was for many years an eminent physician in Boston.

1792. NATHANIEL CHANDLER, of Lancaster, died at the
Insane Hospital in Worcester, 4 June, 1852, aged 78. He was
born in Petersham, 6 October, 1773.

1792. Rev. JOHN SNELLING POPKIN died in Cambridge,
2 March, 1852, aged 80. He was born in Boston, 19 June,
1771. Ordained pastor of the Federal-street Church in Boston,
10 July, 1799. Dismissed 28 November, 1802. Installed
pastor of the First Church in Newbury, 19 September, 1804.
Dismissed 5 October, 1815, having accepted the appointment of
professor of the Greek language in Harvard College. This
office he held till 1826, when he was appointed Eliot Professor
of Greek literature. He resigned his professorship in 1833,
but continued to reside in Cambridge during the remainder of
his life. He was a member of the Massachusetts Historical
Society, and of the American Academy.

1793. JOSEPH STOWERS died at North Chelsea, 31 August,
1851, aged 77 years and 10 months. He was born in Chelsea,
10 November, 1773. He was justice of the peace, town-
clerk, town-treasurer, selectman, representative; and, in fact,
made himself " generally useful " to the people of his native


1794. WILLIAM CROSBY died at Belfast, Me., 31 March,
1852, aged 81. He was born in Billerica, Mass., 3 June,
1770. Soon after he left college, he entered as a student-at-law
in the office of "\Villiam Gordon, Esq., of Amherst, N.H., and
in due time finished his legal studies with Judge Dana, of
Groton, Mass. In January, 1802, he went to Belfast, and
settled as a practising lawyer. He was one of the pioneer band
of professional adventurers, who, at that early day, dared to
penetrate this new region, and locate themselves east of the
Kennebec River ; a tract of country then, as now, comprising
much the largest portion of the now State of Maine. There
were at that period less than a dozen framed houses in the vil
lage, with a few log cabins; some Indian-built wigwams, and
not more than three hundred inhabitants in the whole town.
Thus by his enterprise he became an early citizen of that unde
fined space called " Down East," and was the associate and the
first legal adviser of the founders of that beautiful town.

1795. OLIVER CROSBY died at Atkinson, Me., 29 July,

1851, aged 82. He was born in Billerica, Mass., 17 March,
1769 ; and settled as a lawyer in Dover, N.H., in 1798. He
subsequently removed to Maine. For several years before his
death, he had discontinued the practice of his profession.

1795. JOSIAH STURGES died in New York, 22 February,

1852, aged 78. He was son of Jonathan Sturges, of Fail-field,
Conn., Judge of the Supreme Court of Connecticut, and was
born 10 September, 1773. He was a merchant in New York,
and was at one time wealthy, but lost his property during the
war of 1812.

1796. Rev. NATHAN TILTOX died at Scarborough, Me.,
4 October, 1851, aged 79. He was born in East Kingston,
N.H., 2 July, 1772; was ordained pastor of the church in
Scarborough, 10 December, 1800 ; and resigned his pastoral
charge, 12 December, 1827.

1798. THOMAS COLE died at Salem, 24 June, 1852, aged
72. He was born in Marlborough, Mass., 29 December, 1779.
He was preceptor of the Aurean Academy, at Amherst, N.H.,
afterwards teacher of the Ladies High School at Salem ; a Fel
low of the American Academy.


1798. Rev. ABRAHAM RANDALL died at Stow, 3 March,
1852, aged 80. He was born in Stow, 25 October, 1771 ; was
fitted for college at Westford Academy, under the tuition of the
late Levi Hedge, LL.D. During a part of his collegiate
course, he was room-mate with the late Judge Story. He was
ordained at Manchester, 2 September, 1802 ; dismissed Septem
ber, 1808, and returned to Stow.

1798. Dr. ROBERT THAXTER died in Dorchester, 10 Feb
ruary, 1852, aged 75. He was son of Dr. Thomas Thaxter, of
Hingham; and was born in that town, 21 October, 1776. He
commenced his professional practice in Hingham in 1802. In
1809 he established himself in Dorchester, and for more than
thirty years w T as not kept from his professional business a single
day by illness.

1799. Rev. WILLIAM FROTHINGHAM died at Belfast,
Me., 24 June, 1852, aged 77. He was born in Cambridge,
14 March, 1777. Ordained pastor of the Third Church in
Lynn, 26 September, 1804; dismissed 7 May, 1817; installed
at Belfast, 21 July, 1819.

1800. BENJAMIN MARSTON WATSON died at Newton, 31
August, 1851, aged 71. He was born in Marblehead, 11 Janu
ary, 1780. He studied law with the late Chief Justice Parsons ;
but soon left the profession, and went into mercantile business in
Boston. He was also president of the Mercantile Marine Insur
ance Company.

1801. SAMUEL MATHER CROCKER died at Milford,
9 March, 1852, aged 69. He was a lawyer by profession, and
practised successively in the towns of Douglass, Uxbridge, Fitch-
burg, and Milford.

1804. JOSEPH E. SPRAGUE died at Salem, 22 February,
1852, aged 69. He was the eldest son of Dr. William Stearns,
and was born in Salem, 9 September, 1782. Soon after he
graduated, he took the name of Sprague, to which family his
mother belonged. He was a member of the Essex bar, and for
many years was an active politician of the Jefferson school.
Under the administration of Jefferson, he was for a time one
of the United-States marshals. In October, 1811, he was ap-


pointed clerk of the courts for Essex County, and continued in
the office about nine months. In 1815, under the presidency
of Madison, he was appointed postmaster of Salem, and re
tained the office until the accession of Gen. Jackson to the
presidency in 1829. Previous to this time he had served several
years as representative from Salem in the General Court, as a
senator from Essex, and as an executive councillor. In Sep
tember, 1830, he was appointed high sheriff of the county,
succeeding his father-in-law, Bailey Bartlett, \vhose resignation
of the office in the month preceding had been accepted, to take
effect on the 14th of September. On the loth, Mr. Sprague s
nomination was unanimously confirmed by the Council ; and he
remained in the office until his commission expired, about nine
months before his death, when another person was appointed in
his place. Mr. Sprague died of apoplexy ; and it may be men
tioned as a singular coincidence, that his grandfather, whose
name he assumed, died in the same way, in the same room, at
nearly the same age, in the same month, February, 1808.

1804. Dr. JOHN STAKE died at Northwood, N.H., 8 Sep
tember, 1851, aged 67. He was son of Dr. Ebenezer Starr, of
Dunstable, N.H., where he was born 3 December, 1783;
studied medicine with Dr. Matthias Spalding, of Amherst, N.H.,
and commenced practice in Peterborough, N.H., where he re
mained three years, excepting a brief absence, during the war of
1812, as a surgeon of the Second Regiment of the New-Hamp
shire Detached Militia, commanded by Col. John Steele, of
Peterborough. From Peterborough, Dr. Starr removed to
Northwood, where he continued in practice thirty-eight years.
He was a gentleman of the old school. His political principles
were of the Federal stamp. He was constant at town-meeting,
casting his vote for none but just men, whether upon regular
tickets or not.

1805. WARD CHIPMAN died at St. John, N.B., 26 No
vember, 1851, aged 65. He was son of Hon, Ward Chipman,
(H.C. 1770), and was born in St. John, N.B., 10 July, 1787.
He was appointed one of the justices of the Supreme Court
of Judicature, 17 March, 1825 ; and was elected to the office of


chief justice of the same tribunal, 29 September, 1834. He
resigned January, 1851.

1805. Rev. JOHN WHITE died at Dedham, 1 February,
1852, aged 64. He was son of Deacon John White, of Con
cord ; and was born in that town, 2 December, 1787. He was
ordained pastor of the Third Parish in Dedham, 20 April, 1814.

1806. THOMAS PRINCE BEAL died at Kingston, 16 July,
1852, aged 66 years and 5 months. He was a native of
Kingston, and was born 12 February, 1786. He was formerly
a member of the Senate of Massachusetts, and an eminent

1808. BENJAMIN RAND died in Boston, 26 April, 1852,
aged 67. He was born in Weston, 18 April, 1785, and was
one of the most distinguished members of the Suffolk bar.

1810. Rev. JOSEPH HAVEN died at Amherst, Mass.,
15 October, 1851, aged 65. He was son of Noah Haven, and
was born at Holden, 19 June, 1786 ; ordained at Dennis,
27 July, 1814 ; dismissed 12 May, 1826, on account of his
health, and removed to Amherst to superintend the collegiate
education of his son. On the 8th of June, 1836, his health
having been partially restored, he w^as installed pastor of the
Orthodox Church in Billerica, and continued in this service five
years ; at the close of which period, on account of returning and
increasing bodily infirmities, he felt constrained to relinquish the
labors of a settled minister for ever.

1810. Dr. JOHN MANNING died at Rockport, 7 February,
1852, aged 62 years and 6 months. He was born in Gloucester,
Mass., 12 October, 1789 ; and was son of the late Dr. Manning
of that town.

1811. WALTER BAKER, of Dorchester, died in Boston,
7 May, 1852, aged 59. He was son of Dr. James Baker,
(H.C. 1760) , and was born in Dorchester, 28 June, 1792. He
was well known as an extensive chocolate manufacturer, in which
business he acquired an ample fortune.

1813. Dr. JOHN BROWN died at Lancaster, Erie County,
N.Y., 27 February, 1852, aged 60. He was son of Samuel
Brown of Concord, Mass., where he was born 10 January,


1792. He studied medicine, but relinquished the profession,
and settled as a merchant in the vicinity of Buffalo, N.Y.

1814. EPHRAIM MAY CUNNINGHAM died in Washington
City, 26 May, 1852, aged GO. He was son of William Cun
ningham, of Boston, and was born in Fitchburg, Mass., 4 Feb
ruary, 1792. He was a lawyer by profession, and practised
successively in Ashburnham, Lunenburg, and Sterling. He
was afterwards an officer in the Boston Custom House, and
finally was employed as a clerk at Washington. He ob
tained considerable notoriety by publishing, in the year 1823,
what is known in political circles as the " Cunningham Corre

1814. AARON PRESCOTT died at Randolph, 24 November,
1851, aged 64. He was son of Deacon John Prescott, and
was born in Westford, Mass., 19 November, 1787; was pre
ceptor of Framingham Academy, one year after he graduated ;
then studied law, and settled in Randolph, where he practised his
profession with success during the remainder of his life. He
represented that town once or twice in the Legislature.

1816. Rev. WILLIAM WARE died at Cambridge, 19 Feb
ruary, 1852, aged 54. He was son of Rev. Henry Ware, D.D.
(H.C. 1785), and was born at Hingham, 3 August, 1797.
He was ordained pastor of the Unitarian Church in New York,
18 December, 1821 ; dismissed 19 September, 1836. Installed
at West Cambridge, December, 1843 ; dismissed 1845.

1819. WALTER ROGERS JOHNSON died in Washington
City, 26 April, 1852, aged 57. His death was occasioned by
inhaling noxious gas while performing some chemical experi
ments in the laboratory of the Smithsonian Institute. Pie was
born in Leominster, Mass., 21 June, 1794 ; was for many years
preceptor of an academy in Germantown, Penn. ; afterwards
Professor of Chemistry in the Medical College at Philadelphia,
and subsequently of the Smithsonian Institute at Washington.
He was one of the persons employed by the city of Boston, pre
vious to the construction of the water-works, to examine Long
and Spot Ponds, and ascertain which was the best source for
obtaining a supply of water for the city.


1822. JOSEPH GREEN COLE died at Paris, Me., 12 No
vember, 1851, aged 52. He was son of Capt. Abraham Cole,
of Lincoln, Mass., and was born in that town in 1799. After
studying law with Hon. Levi Lincoln, of Worcester, he settled
in Paris. He successively held the offices of clerk of the House
of Representatives, representative to the Legislature, register of
probate, clerk of the courts, and judge of the Western District

1825. Dr. AUGUSTUS SIDNEY DOANE died at the quar
antine station, Staten Island, New- York Harbor, 27 January,
1852, aged 44. He was son of the late Samuel B. Doane, of
Boston ; was born 2 April, 1808 ; settled in New York as a
medical practitioner, and for several years had been employed as
the quarantine physician of that port.

1827. Rev. WILLIAM MATTICKS ROGERS died at Dorches
ter, 11 August, 1851, aged 45. He was born on the Island of
Alderney, England, 10 September, 1806 ; was ordained at
Townsend, 16 February, 1831 ; dismissed 2 July, 1835. In
stalled pastor of the Winter-street Church, Boston, 6 August,
1835. His original name was Samuel Matticks Ellen Kittle.

1828. WILLIAM SAWYER was instantly killed on the
Fitchburg Railroad in West Cambridge, near the Waverly
Depot, 24 May, 1852. He was 45 years of age. He had
been a practising lawyer in Charlestown ; but, a short time pre
vious to his death, had removed to Waltham.

1830. FRANKLIN SAWYER died at Cambridgeport, 18 No
vember, 1851, aged 51. He was born in Cambridge, 18 June,
1810. He was a lawyer by profession, but for several years was
connected with the newspaper press. He was for a time edi
tor of the "Crescent" in New Orleans ; and, for about two years
previous to his death, was one of the editors of the "Watchman
and Reflector," in Boston. He was representative of Cam
bridge to the Legislature in 1851 ; and, at the time of his decease,
was a member of the Common Council of the city of Cam

1834. WILLIAM SMITH CRUFT died in Paris, France,
16 July, 1851, aged 36. He was son of Edward Cruft, of


Boston ; was born 17 February, 1815 ; and was a merchant in
New York, of the firm of Newbold and Cruft.

1845. GEORGE WASHINGTON BROWN died at Charles-
town, 7 December, 1851, aged 29. He was a native of
Charlestown ; born 12 May, 1822, and had established himself
as a lawyer in Boston.

1845. Dr. PAUL LEWIS NICHOLS died at Kingston,
28 April, 1852, aged 29. He was a native of Kingston; was
born 24 May, 1823, and had settled as a physician in Roxbury.

1846. JOHN ADAMS HASTINGS died at Erie, Penn., 16
October, 1851, aged 27. He was son of Jonathan Hastings, of
Brighton ; and was born in that town, 16 July, 1824. He was
preceptor of an academy in Erie at the time of his death.

1847. GEORGE EDWARD WATERS died at Henrietta, N.Y.,
23 July, 1851, aged 23 ; born in Boston, 17 September, 1828.
His death was occasioned by his being thrown from a carriage.
He was son of the late Isaac Waters, of Boston.

1851. ARNOLD WELLES BROWN was killed on the Boston

Online LibraryJoseph PalmerNecrology of alumni of Harvard college, 1851-52 to 1862-63 → online text (page 1 of 49)