Joseph Palmer.

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

. (page 10 of 49)
Online LibraryJoseph PalmerNecrology of alumni of Harvard college, 1851-52 to 1862-63 → online text (page 10 of 49)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

gistic character were passed, in which a tribute was paid to his
courteous demeanor, and manly, elevated principles, which had
won the good-will of all ; to his industry, energy, and marked
ability, which had given sure promise of a successful and distin
guished career in his profession. A committee was appointed
" to make suitable arrangements for forwarding his remains to
his friends in Massachusetts, and to invite a clergyman to deliver
a funeral discourse before the members of the bar." His remains
were interred at Saugus, 9 April, 1856. When in college, he
attained an excellent rank as a scholar ; and, throughout his short
life, he bore a high character for honor and integrity. He was
of an open, frank temperament, a firm friend, and of a most
generous, self-sacrificing disposition. He always evinced the
greatest interest in old college associations ; and the favorable
effects of the collegiate course upon his hopes, desires, and prin
ciples, he has himself recorded.

1850. BENJAMIN PAYSON WILLIAMS died in West Eox-
bury, Mass., 17 May, 1856, aged 29. He was son of Major
Benjamin Payson and Margaret (Childs) Williams, and was
born in Roxbury (now West Roxbury), 6 February, 1827.
After going through a course of legal studies, he was. admitted
to the Suffolk bar ; opened an office in Boston, and had already
attained a highly respectable rank in his profession. He took
an active part in politics, his opinions being those of the old-
line democracy. He was endeared to all his associates by his
open and generous disposition, his rare social qualities, and
his genial and affectionate nature. Of an unusually strong and
powerful frame, he was foremost in athletic sports, into which
he entered with great zest. In the various literary and social
clubs which make so prominent a feature in college-life, he was
particularly conspicuous ; his ready wit, his overflowing humor,
and his lively and poetic fancy, making him one of the most
valued members.

1851. PETER SMITH BYERS died in Andover, Mass., 19
March, 1856, aged 27. He was son of James and Mary
(Smith) Byers, and was born at Brechin, in Forfar shire, Scot-

1855-56.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 103

land, 12 September, 1828. He emigrated with his father s
family to Andover, Mass., in 1836. His father was sent for
to take charge of the shoe-thread manufactory of Smith, Dove,
and Co., the first establishment of the kind in the United States,
in which the subject of this notice worked two years. In
1844, he entered Phillips Academy for the purpose of being
fitted for college. In the winter of 1846-7 , he taught school
in Andover, and entered the freshman class of Harvard Col
lege in 1847. In his sophomore year, he taught school in Hollis-
ton ; in his junior, in Andover; and, in his senior, in Boxford.
He graduated with high honor, being the third scholar in a class
of sixty-three members. In the following autumn, he was
en ^acred as an assistant teacher in the Greek and Latin school

o o

where he had prepared for college. There he continued for two
years, discharging the duties of the station with great credit to
himself, and acknowledged usefulness to the pupils. During
most of this time, he was a devoted teacher in the Sunday
school of the Episcopal Church in Andover ; and frequently, in
the desk, assisted the rector in reading the service, an accept
able duty, which was congenial with his tastes, and in accord
ance with the ultimate object of his pursuits. In the spring of
1853, he was elected principal of the Abbot Female Seminary
in Andover ; a position, however, which he did not long occupy,
as he was appointed to the like office in the High School of
Providence, K.I. There he continued but a single term, since
his declining health induced him to listen to overtures tendered


by the trustees of the Punchard Free School in Andover,
w^ho, in choosing him its first principal, showed the exalted esti
mation in which they held him and his attainments by offering
him a salary till their building should be erected, that he might,
by relieving himself of all anxiety, have the opportunity of
regaining his strength. But his health continued to fail, and

o o o

he fell a martyr to nine years of ceaseless application and
unyielding toil in the pursuit of knowledge.

1851. EDMOXD FKAXKLIX RAYMOND died in Cambridge,
Mass., 12 October, 1855, aged 24. He was the eldest son of
Hon. Zebina L. and Rhoda Clark (Hildreth) Raymond, and


was born in Shutesbury, Mass., 31 July, 1831. When about
two years old, he removed with his parents to Boston, where,
and in the vicinity, they have since lived. He was fitted for
college at the Hopkins Classical School in Cambridge, under
the charge of Mr. Edmund Burke Whitman (H.C. 1838) . In
October of the sophomore year, in consequence of ill health, he
was obliged to go to Havana, where he spent the winter. In
his junior year, he taught school in Sherborn ; and, in his
senior year, he taught at Taunton, but his health compelled him
to leave at the end of seven weeks. He studied law, and began
the practice of his profession in Greenfield, Mass., with flatter
ing prospects of distinction ; but his health failed, and he
returned to his father s house, in Cambridge, about a week
before his death. His early decease is deeply lamented by his
family circle, and the many friends to whom his amiable dispo
sition had endeared him.

1853. JOHN DAVES died in Beaufort, Cartaret County,
N.C., 1 October, 1855, aged 23. He was the eldest son of
John Pugh and Elizabeth (Graham) Daves, and was born in
Newbern, N.C., 24 December, 1831. His father was son of
John Daves, a major in the Revolutionary war, and grandson
of John Daves, who came from Wales. His mother was a third
wife, and was the daughter of Edward Graham, a lawyer, born
at Newbern, whose father came from Scotland. Mr. Daves
studied at the academy at Newbern, N.C., until about fifteen
years of age, when he went to Scuppernong, N.C., where he
spent a year in the family of his cousin, Josiah Collins, Esq.,
under the charge of a private tutor. In 1848, he entered the
freshman class at St. James s College, Md., where he remained
one year. In 1849, he entered the freshman class at Harvard
College. At the end of the first term of the junior year, he
left college on account of his health, and returned at the end of
the junior year, and passed the examinations with his class
mates, but was unable to join the class afterwards. He was,
however, able to return for his degree, which was granted to
him, notwithstanding his absence, and to join his class in their
parting ceremonies. After receiving his degree, he studied law,

1855-56.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 105

privately, one year at Scuppernong, when his failing health
compelled him to abandon it. Possessed of a manly, upright,
and frank nature, and endowed with brilliant conversational
powers, the natural fruit of a gifted and cultivated mind,
he was greatly beloved by his classmates and his numerous



1856 - 57.

1786. Rev. HENRY LINCOLN died in Nantucket, Mass.,
28 May, 1857, aged 91. He was son of William and Mary
(Otis) Lincoln, and was born in Hingham, Mass., 3 Novem
ber, 1765. His mother was daughter of Dr. Ephraim Otis,
who was born in Scituate, Mass., in 1708, and was a physician
in that town. Mr. Lincoln was fitted for college, partly at the
grammar school in Hingham, under the instruction of Eleazer
James (H.C. 1778), and partly by Dr. Joshua Barker (H.C.
1772), of Hingham. After leaving college, he studied divinity
with Eev. William Shaw (H.C. 1762), of Marshfield, Mass.
He was ordained pastor of the Congregational church in Fal-
mouth, Mass., 3 February, 1790 ; and continued his labors with
great fidelity, and to the entire acceptance of his people, until
26 November, 1823, when, at his own request, his pastoral
connection was dissolved, and he removed to Nantucket, where
he resided, during the remainder of his life, in the family of his
son-in-law, Dr. Elisha P. Fearing (B.U. 1807). He married,
26 April, 1790, Susannah Crocker, daughter of Timothy Crock
er, of Falmouth, and had, by her, seven children, four sons and
three daughters, of whom six survive him. One son was
drowned in 1798, at the age of five years and seven months.
His wife died 29 July, 1819, aged 51. He was, at the time
of his death, with one exception, the oldest clergyman in
this state ; his classmate, Rev. Jacob Norton, of Billerica,
afterwards the oldest surviving graduate of Harvard Col
lege) , being his senior by nearly two years. Mr. Lincoln
was a gentleman of the old school, of fine personal appear
ance, always remarkably neat in his dress, of an affable and
social disposition, and, above all, a sincere Christian. For
a few years before his death, his eyes were dimmed, so that he

1856-57.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 107

was unable to read ; but his mental faculties were unclouded to
the last. He was a highly popular preacher, a fine speaker ;
and his sermons were characterized by sound, practical, good
sense. Having finished the work which was given him to do,
with a serenity of mind seldom witnessed, he calmly waited his
summons, and gently passed away, like the twilight of a long
summer s day, into that solemn darkness which mortal eye
cannot pierce, but which, to him, doubtless is lighted up by
the radiance of a never-ending noon.

1786. Dr. JOSEPH LORING died in Lisbon, Portugal,
about 1 March, 1857, aged 88. He was son of Caleb and
Sarah (Bradford) Loring, and was born in Boston, 11 August,
1768. After leaving college, he studied medicine under the
instruction of Dr. Samuel Danforth (H.C. 1758), of Boston.
Having completed his medical education, he was employed as sur
geon on board the ship " Massachusetts," on a voyage to Batavia
and Canton. This ship was built in 1789 for Messrs. Shaw
and Randall, and was the largest merchant-ship in the United
States. Her commander was Capt. Job Prince, brother of
James Prince, formerly United-States marshal for Massachusetts,
The ship sailed from Boston, 28 March, 1790 ; and, after a brief
stay at Batavia, arrived at Macao 30 September following.
Soon after her arrival, she was sold to the Danish Company for
$65,000, and Dr. Loring returned to Boston. He then went
to France, and settled as a physician in Paris. After remain
ing there a few years, he. relinquished the practice of his pro
fession, and went to Lisbon, where he established himself as a
merchant, and where he resided during the remainder of his life,
never having afterwards revisited the United States. He mar
ried a Portuguese lady of great personal beauty, and possessing
a large fortune. His mercantile transactions proved, after a
time, unsuccessful, and the property fell a sacrifice to unfortu
nate speculations. He left several children.

1792. JACOB WYETH died in Cambridge, Mass., 14 Janu
ary, 1857, aged 92. He was son of Ebenezer Wyeth, and was
born in Cambridge, Mass., 29 April, 1764. He worked at
brick-making, which was his father s occupation, until he was


twenty-three or twenty-four years old, when he concluded to
obtain a liberal education ; and after six months only, devoted to
the preparatory studies, he was admitted to the freshman class.
Although so imperfectly prepared, he maintained a respectable
rank as a scholar, and graduated with distinction. Soon after
leaving college, he went to Hamburg to transact some business
for Andrew Craigie, Esq., either in Hamburg or England.
On his return, he brought home some European goods, which
he had purchased on his own account. These goods he disposed
of at a large profit, and soon afterwards married Betsey Jarvis,
daughter of Nathaniel Jarvis, of Cambridge. He then entered
into partnership with Phineas Stone (who married his wife s
sister) ; and they established themselves in Littleton, Mass., as
country traders. In this business they were unsuccessful, be
came insolvent, and Mr. Wyeth was left without a dollar. He
returned to Cambridge, and his father gave him a deed of the
land on which the Fresh-Pond Hotel now stands. He made a
contract with Walter and Moore, and they erected for him the
hotel entirely on credit ; he giving them a mortgage on the prop
erty as security. In eighteen months after he opened the
house, he paid the contractors every dollar he owed them ;
having made it all in this brief period in keeping the public
house. He continued in the hotel business until he accumu
lated a handsome fortune, when he retired, but resided in the
house until death closed his long life.

1795. SAMUEL JACKSON PRESCOTT died in Brookline,
Mass., 7 February, 1857, aged 83. He was son of Dr. Oliver
(H.C. 1750) and Lydia (Baldwin) Prescott, and was born in
Groton, Mass., 15 March, 1773. He was fitted for college at
Phillips Academy in Andover. After graduating, he studied
law in the office of Hon. William Prescott (H.C. 1783), and
was admitted to the bar ; but soon left the piofession on account
of being affected with deafness, and engaged in mercantile busi
ness ; having formed a copartnership with Aaron P. Cleveland,
under the style of Prescott and Cleveland. In this pursuit he
was unsuccessful, owing to the embargo of 1807, the non-
intercourse, and the war with Great Britain which ensued. He

1856-57.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 109

then became a magistrate, and for more than twenty years was
a notary-public for Suffolk county. He married Margaret
Hiller, daughter of Joseph Hiller, Esq. , by whom he had five
children, two sons and three daughters ; of whom the sons
only survive him. He was a man of strong powers of mind,
and held a high rank in his class as a scholar. He had a
taste for genealogical and statistical investigations : he com
piled the index for the triennial catalogue of Harvard College,
which was first published in the triennial in 1830. Later
in life, to his physical infirmity of deafness was added that
of blindness. His intellectual faculties, too, became clouded ;
and he passed his closing years at the residence of one of his
sons in Brookline, where he was kindly cared for with all the
attention which filial affection could bestow.

1797. Hon. NATHANIEL PAINE DENNY died in Barre,
Mass., 23 August, 1856, aged 85. He was son of Col.
Samuel Denny, of Leicester, Mass., a distinguished patriot of
the Revolution, whose father was one of the four original pro
prietors of that town, where the subject of this notice w^is
born 22 July, 1771. His academical education was acquired
at Leicester Academy. After graduating, he studied law with
Hon. Nathaniel Paine, of Worcester (H.C. 1775) ; and, about
the beginning of the present century, he opened an office in
Leicester, where he practised law for a period of nearly forty
years. His name, originally, was Thomas Denny, which he
changed to Nathaniel Paine Denny, on account of there being
another Thomas Denny in the town. He became widely known
as a thoroughly-read lawyer. He was a man of strong mind ;
and, as a citizen and lawyer, he was distinguished for his
sound judgment, and a strict and impartial adherence to justice.
He enjoyed in an eminent degree the confidence and esteem of
his fellow-citizens ; having represented the town of Leicester in
the state legislature successively from 1804 to 1809, in 1812,
1826, 1829, 1834, and 1841. He was elected senator for
Worcester District in 1824 and 1825 ; was a county-commis
sioner ; and, for several years, president of the Leicester Bank.
In all these stations, he discharged his duties in such a manner


as to win the respect and confidence of his fellow-citizens. His
modesty forbade his seeking public distinctions ; and the honors
conferred upon him were voluntary on the part of his friends,
and the result of the unwavering confidence which they placed
in his integrity. In private life he was social and hospitable,
and his numerous acquaintances will long remember his house
on Mount Pleasant as the home of hospitality. In October,
1798, he married Sally Swan, a native of Leicester, who was
equally distinguished for her humble piety, intellectual refine
ment, and personal charms. He had ten children, of whom five
are now living. His wife died at Leicester in 1843, aged 71
years. In 1845, he married Mary, daughter of the late Daniel
Denny, of Worcester; and removed to Norwich, Conn., where
he resided about eleven years. In June, 1856, he returned
to his native state to pass the few remaining days of his life
with his eldest son, Hon. Edward Denny, of Barre : and they
proved to be few indeed ; for in two months he passed peacefully
from this to the other world. With the exception of the last
few years of his life, he was in constant and active intercourse
with his fellow-citizens in their various pursuits ; and whatever
relation he sustained towards them, or in whatever position
placed, his motto was always, "Be just, and fear not."

1797. JOSEPH KURD died in Maiden, Mass., 19 March,
1857, aged 78. He was the eldest son of Joseph Hurd, late of
Portsmouth, N.H., formerly an eminent merchant in Charles-
town and Boston ; and was born in Concord or Lincoln (during
the temporary removal of the family from their home in Charles-
town at the time of the Revolutionary war), 27 July, 1778.
While in college, he was remarkable for his habitual courtesy
and kindness, and for his upright and exemplary conduct. He
held a distinguished rank in his class, and graduated with high
honor. On leaving college, he adopted the mercantile profession,
and was known and respected for his intelligence and commercial
knowledge in his own country, and also in England, where he
formed important connections in business, and where he passed
several years of his mercantile life. An eminent member of the
Essex bar a classmate of Mr. Hurd gives the following

18,56-57.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. Ill

sketch of his subsequent life : " Soon after the disastrous war of
1812 broke out, he retired from the troubled affairs of commerce,
and purchased a farm in Stoneham, beautifully situated on the
borders of Spot Pond. Here he derived the chief enjoyment of
his subsequent life from the indulgence of his rural taste and
his philosophical ingenuity. Science and taste happily co-ope
rated in the various improvements which he introduced upon his
extensive grounds ; but he soon became deeply interested in
various scientific experiments in regard to heat, and the best mode
of constructing stoves, the results of which have inured to the
public benefit through others employed in his service, and who
availed themselves of his discoveries. He had little thought of
profit to himself beyond the gratification he found in thus endeav
oring to promote the general good. He also turned his atten
tion to the manufacture of maple and beet sugar ; and also,
with more important success, to the refining of sugar, for which
he obtained a patent, as well as much celebrity. The following
brief sentence in a letter from France, found among his papers,
asking for a description of his patent, and highly compliment
ing him upon it, gives the best idea of the discovery that we
can at this moment present: You took, in 1844, a patent,
in your country, for a new system to purify and cleanse
sugar by means of the centrifuge force. This patent, with
out his seeking, inured largely to his profit, and immensely
to the profit of those who were so fortunate as to purchase
it. In his will, he bequeathed the sum of five thousand dollars
to each of the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont,
and Massachusetts, the income to be applied yearly in giving
prizes to promote and encourage the manufacture and refining
of sugar."

In the early period of Mr. Kurd s residence at his beautiful
retreat in Stoneham, his friends were often attracted to visit him,
and were always received with the kindest hospitality. Ladies
were cordially welcomed among his visitors. Happy would it
have been had he chosen some one to share his fortunes, and bless
him in his retirement. Left to his own solitary resources, he
became so absorbed in his studies and experiments as to impair


his health, and finally to obscure his intellect. During his later
years, he divided his time between Stoneham and Maiden ;
boarding at the latter place in a worthy family, where he found
every accommodation suited to his simple habits. He retained,
through life, the simplicity of childhood, with the firmness of
the philosopher. He was as independent in his own opinions as
he was deferential to others. In respect to his deeper feelings,
he had great reserve. An unspotted life was his only religious
profession. Throughout his lingering illness he manifested the
resignation of a " Christian ; and in peace and serenity his spirit
ascended to God, who gave it."

1798. Kev. JONATHAN FRENCH died in North Hampton,
N.H., 13 December, 1856, aged 78. He was son of Eev.
Jonathan French (H.C. 1771), and was born in Andover,
Mass., 16 August, 1768. He was ordained at North Hampton,
18 November, 1801 ; formally resigned the active duties of his
pastorate, 18 November, 1851 ; and actually resigned them at
the ordination of his colleague, Rev. John Dinsmore, 18 No
vember, 1852. He was for many years one of the most active,
influential, and highly esteemed clergymen in the Piscataqua
Association of Congregational Ministers. He was known and
had preached in all their congregations, had been called to
advise in their churches, and had many friends in all their
parishes. He was one of the finest specimens of ministerial
character. Evangelical, sincere, earnest, devoted, he was the
good preacher, the wise counsellor, the sympathizing pastor, the
obliging ministerial brother, the ready helper of all good enter
prises. He was a diligent student until he reached the age of
threescore years and ten. He was a reliable historian, and left
behind him manuscripts of great value. Above all, he was a
good husband, loving and beloved ; a good father, honored, and
worthy of honor ; a good neighbor and friend, welcoming every
worthy guest to his board, and in turn welcomed by wor
thy households everywhere. In 1851, the honorary degree of
Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon him by Dartmouth Col
lege. He delivered a half-century discourse four years before
his death, from the text, " Behold, I die ; but God shall be

1856-57.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 113

with you." He "came to his grave in a full age," after a useful
and honored life.

1798. Hon. SIDNEY WILLARD died in Cambridge, Mass.,
G December, 1856, aged 76. He was son of Rev. Joseph
Willard (H.C. 1765), formerly minister in Beverly, Mass., and
subsequently, for nearly a quarter of a century, president of
Harvard College; and was born in Beverly, 19 September, 1780.
Immediately after leaving college, he began the study of theology
under the instruction of the Hollis Professor of Divinity. In
April, 1800, the office of librarian became vacant by the death
of Samuel Shapleigh (H.C. 1789), and Mr. Willard was
elected as his successor. This office he held five years. In the
mean time, having completed his theological studies, he was
licensed as a preacher. He preached in various places in this
state, as well as in Maine and Vermont ; and was invited to set
tle as a minister in Wiscasset, Me., and in Burlington, Vt. ; but
he declined both invitations. In December, 1806, he was
chosen Hancock Professor of Hebrew and other Oriental
Languages in Harvard College, and was inaugurated in Febru
ary of the following year. This office he held until 1831, dis
charging its duties with great fidelity and ability. While
connected with the college, he was interested in several literary
publications, and contributed valuable articles to the "Monthly
Anthology " and " Christian Examiner." He was a member,
with many other distinguished men, of the Anthology Society,
to which the Boston Athenaeum is so deeply indebted. He
contributed many valuable articles for the " North- American
Review;" and, about two years before his death, he published his
"Memories of Youth and Manhood," in many points a valuable
work. His learning was varied and extensive, his style of writing
clear and plain, his views sound and practical. Accustomed
to the best society for moral worth, social position, and intellect
ual power, he appreciated and enjoyed the advantages he pos
sessed. In his manners he was easy, polite, and urbane. He
was firm in his principles, and amiable in disposition. His feel

Online LibraryJoseph PalmerNecrology of alumni of Harvard college, 1851-52 to 1862-63 → online text (page 10 of 49)