Joseph Palmer.

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

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field of enterprise was open before him, with flattering pros
pects of success, he was cut off, far from the land of his birth,
deeply lamented by his relatives and by his classmates, to whom
he had endeared himself by his amiable disposition, his social
habits, and his unblemished moral character.

1852. EDWARD HORATIO NEAL died at Newton Lower
Falls, Mass., 24 August, 1856, aged 23. He was son of Ben
jamin and Eunice (Daniell) Neal, and was born at Newton,
23 October, 1832. He was fitted for college at the private
school of Mr. William Hathorne Brooks, of Boston (H.C.
1827) ; going from Newton Falls, and returning daily in the
cars, from February, 1846, till he entered college, at the begin
ning of the sophomore year, in 1849. He soon became a
prominent and valued member of his class. While an under
graduate, he was not ambitious, but he was conscientious and
diligent ; and it is a remarkable fact, that, during his whole
collegiate course, he was not absent from one recitation. After
graduation, he studied law at the Law School in Cambridge,
where he received the degree of LL.B. in 1854. After leav
ing the Law School early in that year, he pursued his studies
with his brother, George Benjamin Neal, of Charlestown (H.C.
1846). He was distinguished from childhood for moral worth ;
and, while a resident in Charlestown, connected himself with the
Episcopal church in that place. In the autumn of 1854, in


consequence of ill health, he travelled in the Southern States,
visiting New Orleans, Savannah, Charleston, and other places,
and returned the following summer ; after which he resided at
Newton Lower Falls until his death.

1852. GEORGE WALTER NORRIS died in Mobile, Ala.,
21 January, 1857, aged 25. He was son of Shepherd Haynes
Norris, then of Boston, but now a resident of Milvvaukie, Wis. ;
was born in Boston, 21 November, 1831 ; pursued his studies,
preparatory to his admission into college, at the Boston Latin
School. Immediately after graduating, he went to New York,
and pursued the study of law one year in the office of John
Cleveland, an eminent attorney of that city ; another year in
the office of N. F. Waring, counsellor to the corporation of the
city of Brooklyn ; and there he began the practice of his profes
sion. Soon afterwards, however, he opened an office, with
William Henry Waring (H.C. 1852), in the city of New
York. In October, 1855, he was seized with hemorrhage of
the lungs, an hereditary disease ; and, from that time, fell away
rapidly in consumption. In the summer of 1856, he removed
to Milwaukie to reside, in hopes that a change of climate might
save him ; but his physicians soon discovered that his case was
hopeless, and, as soon as cold w^eather came, sent him to Mo
bile, where he died. He possessed a mind of quick conception,
and with talents which, had his life been spared to a more
mature age, would have enabled him to take an elevated rank
in his profession. Of a mild, amiable, and social disposition,
he was greatly beloved by his classmates and friends ; and his
premature death is deeply deplored by his relatives and the
community in which he was known.

1853. WILLIAM HENRY WHITTEMORE died in Cambridge,
Mass., 9 February, 1857, aged 23. He was son of Thomas
Jefferson and Susanna Frances (Boardman) Whittemore ; was
born in Boston, 10 October, 1833 ; and moved with his father s
family to Cambridge in July, 1837. In 1842, he entered the
Hopkins Classical School in Cambridge, under Edmund Burke
Whitman (H.C. 1838); and remained there seven years, until
he entered the freshman class in 1849. In August, 1851, he

1856-57.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 159

was on board the steamer " Governor " when she struck a rock
near Owl s Head in Maine, and the lives of the passengers were
imperilled. Part of the winter vacation of 18512 he spent in
Washington. In .his senior year, his eyesight began to fail ;
and, instead of studying a profession as he had proposed, he made
arrangements to engage in mercantile business. His sight not
improving, in the September after graduating, he sailed for Eio
Janeiro, and returned in March of the following year. In the
summer of 1854, he had an attack of hemorrhage, which was
followed by two or three others about a year afterwards. A
cough followed ; and he finally died, at the residence of his
father, greatly lamented by his class-mates, relatives, and

1855. WARREN BROOKS died in Townsend, Mass., 4
February, 1857, aged 25. He was son of Samuel and Sarah
(Campbell) Brooks, and was born in Townsend, 15 February,
1831. He worked on his father s farm until 1850; but, hav
ing always had a desire to obtain a liberal education, in May of
that year he entered the academy of New Ipswich, N.H., to
prepare for college. After staying there two terms, he left New
Ipswich in the autumn, and entered Meriden Academy in Con
necticut, where he remained six months, and then entered Yale
College. He remained at Yale two years ; when, having, as he
states in the class-book, a desire to study the modern languages,
he left New Haven, and entered the junior class at Harvard in
1853. While at Yale, he gained a prize, during the freshman
year, for Greek composition. He supported himself almost
entirely, while in college, by teaching school in the winter vaca
tions ; working on a farm and at the coopering business in the
summer. In the September following his graduation, he
entered the Theological Seminary at Andover : but his health
failing, obliged him, in 1856, to relinquish his studies ; and,
leaving the seminary, he returned to his home in Townsend.
He himself supposed that the consumption of which he died
was induced by an attack of typhoid fever in August, 1856 ;
but his physicians thought it might be traced further back. He
was even told, while studying at Cambridge, that his lungs were


diseased ; but his desire to complete his theological studies made
him disregard medical advice. His strength failed so gradually,
that he was not aware of his near approach to death until a few
hours before his departure. His whole scholastic career was
embarrassed by pecuniary troubles. While few, perhaps, of his
classmates knew much of his personal history or his pecuniary
difficulties, no one could help respecting him as an honest, inde
pendent man, who met his duties resolutely, and did his best to
be faithful to them. His whole bearing showed a man of fine
principle, and would have commanded the confidence even of a


1857-58.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 161


1786. Eev. JACOB NORTON died in Billerica, Mass.,
17 January, 1858, aged 93. He was son of Samuel Norton,
and was born in Abington, Mass., 12 February, 1764. He was
prepared for college partly at Hingham Academy, and partly by
Rev. James Briggs, of Cummington, Mass. (Y.C. 1775). He
held a high rank as a scholar in his class, and graduated with
distinction. At the time of his death, he was the oldest surviv
ing graduate of Harvard College. After passing a brief time
in the study of divinity under the instruction of Rev. Perez
Fobes, of Raynham (H.C. 1762), he was ordained over the
Congregational church in Weymouth, Mass., 10 October, 1787 ;
where he continued his pastoral labors until 4 July, 1824, when
he resigned his charge, and a few years afterwards removed to
Billerica, where he resided during the remainder of his long life.
He was much esteemed as a preacher, and was particularly
known as a polemical writer. The following are his principal
publications :

1. Sermon preached in Weymouth, and in several other places in
the vicinity, illustrating the Duty of Impenitent Sinners. 8vo. Bos
ton, 1803. 2. The Will of God respecting the Salvation of all Men;
illustrated. A Sermon at Weymouth, 18 December, 1808. 8vo.
Boston, 1809. 3. Remarks on an Address from the Berean Society
of Universalists in Boston to the Congregation of the First Church in
Weymouth, in Answer to a Sermon delivered there 18 December,
1808, &c. 8vo. Boston, 1809. 4. Sermon before the Massachu
setts Missionary Society, May 29, 1810. 8vo. Boston, 1810.
5. Discourse at Weymouth, 3 February, 1811, on the Death of his
Wife. 8vo. Boston, 1811. 6. Seasonable and Candid Thoughts on
Human Creeds, or Articles of Faith, as Religious Tests, connected
with an Humble Attempt to ascertain the true Character of Jesus



Christ, &c., by an Orthodox Clergyman of Massachusetts. 8vo.
Boston, 1813. [Published anonymously.] 7. Things set in a Proper
Light ; in Answer to a Letter from T. A. to a Friend, by an Ortho
dox Clergyman of Massachusetts. 8vo. Boston, 1814. [Published
anonymously.] 8. Things as they are ; or, Trinitarianism Devel
oped ; in Answer to a Letter of the Rev. Daniel Thomas, of Abington ;
with Strictures on the Sentiments of the late Rev. Dr. Hopkins.
8vo. Boston, 1815. 9. The same. Second Part. In Reply to a
Letter written in February, 1815, to the Rev. Jacob Norton, by
Daniel Thomas. 8vo. Boston, 1815. 10. "A Short and Easy
Method" with a late Writer, arrogating to himself the Title of " Or
thodox Clergyman," in a Letter to a young Gentleman just entered
on a Course of Theological Studies, with a View to the Christian
Ministry. By an Aged Clergyman of Massachusetts. 8vo. Bos
ton, 1815. 11. Sermon at the Interment of Hon. Cotton Tufts. 8vo.
Boston, 1816. 12. A Candid and Conciliatory Review of the late
Correspondence of the Rev. Dr. Worcester with the Rev. W. E.
Chanuing on the Subject of Unitarianism. By a Serious Inquirer.
8vo. Boston, 1817. [Published anonymously.] 13. An Humble
Attempt to ascertain the Scripture Doctrine of the Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit. In Three Discourses. To which is added " The Awa-
kener," delivered in the Months of January and February, 1819, be
fore the First Religious Society in Weymouth. 8vo. Boston, 1819.
14. Dispassionate Thoughts on the Subjects and Mode of Christian
Baptism. 8vo. Boston, 1821. 15. The Duty of Religious Tolera
tion, Mutual Sympathy, and Fellowship, among different Denomina
tions, exhibited in a Sermon delivered in the South Meeting-house in
Weymouth, 8 November, 1821, on a peculiarly interesting and im
portant Occasion. 8vo. Boston, 1822. 16. Valedictory Discourse
delivered before the First Religious Society in Weymouth, in Two
Parts, on the morning and afternoon of Lord s Day, July 4, 1824.
8vo. Boston, 1824. 17. " Dialogue between a Minister and a Par
ishioner on the Trinity," begun in the " Boston Observer" in 1835,
and continued for several months in that paper and the " Christian

Mr. Norton married, 11 February, 1789, Elizabeth Cranch,
the eldest daughter of Hon. Richard Cranch, of Braintree (now
Quincy) ; sister of the late Judge William Cranch (H.C. 1787),
of Washington, D.C. ; and niece of the wife of President John
Adams ; by whom he had five sons and three daughters. His

1857-58.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 163

wife died 25 January, 1811, aged 46. He was married again,
by Rev. Henry Cumings, D.D., 7 May, 1813, to Hannah
Bowers, daughter of Josiah Bowers, of Billerica. She died
26 March, 1842, aged 76 years. He left two daughters, eleven
grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren. He outlived
five sons and one daughter. Two of his sons, Richard Cranch
Norton and William Smith Norton, graduated at Harvard Col
lege in 1808 and 1812 respectively. He retained his mental
and physical powers to a remarkable degree until past the age
of ninety. For the last year or two of his life, he spent most
of his time during the day reading, without glasses, which he
never used, with the exception of a short time, and then laid
them aside as useless.

1791. Hon. CHARLES PORTER PHELPS died in Hadley,
Mass., 22 December, 1857, aged 85. He was son of Charles
and Elizabeth (Porter) Phelps, and was born in Hadley,
8 August, 1772. His name, originally, was Moses Porter
Phelps ; which was changed by act of the legislature, 15 Febru
ary, 1796. He was fitted for college by Rev. Joseph Lyman,
D.D., of Hatfield, Mass. (Y.C. 1767), and graduated with
high honors ; the salutatory oration in Latin having been as
signed to him at Commencement. Having selected the profes
sion of the law, he pursued his legal studies under the instruction
of Hon. Theophilus Parsons, of Xewburyport (H.C. 1769).
On his admission to the bar in 1795, he established himself
in Boston, where he resided twenty-two years, and attained a
high rank in his profession. In 1816, he was chosen a repre
sentative from Boston to the state legislature. In 1816 and
1817, he was commander of the celebrated company of cavalry,
well remembered by the elder portion of this community as
the Hussars ; being the immediate successor in command to the
Hon. Josiah Quincy. This company was probably the most
splendid one that ever existed in this state. Every member of
it was required to own the horse upon which he appeared in
parade ; and the expense of equipment to each man, including
his horse, was not less than fifteen hundred dollars. The com
pany paraded for the last time on the occasion of the visit of


President Monroe to Boston in June, 1817 ; and was soon
afterwards disbanded. In 1816, Mr. Phelps was appointed
cashier of the Massachusetts Bank in Boston. This office he
resigned the following year, when he returned to his nativ r e
place, Hadley, where he passed the remainder of his long life,
beloved and respected by the community, who manifested their
regard for him by repeatedly electing him to offices of honor
and trust. He represented the town of Hadley in the state
legislature in 1821, 1822, 1823, 1825, 1830, and 1832; and,
in 1828, he .was elected senator from the district of Hampshire.
There were two religious societies in Hadley, and it sometimes
happened that they could not agree upon a candidate for repre
sentative. When this was the case, so popular was Mr. Phelps,
that they would compromise the matter by electing him. When,
therefore, the legislature assembled, and Mr. Phelps appeared
as the representative from Hadley, it was at once said that
there had been a quarrel between the societies about the choice
of a person to represent the town. Mr. Phelps married, in
January, 1800, Sarah Davenport Parsons, daughter of Moses
Parsons, of Haverhill, Mass. (H.C. 1765). She died October,
1817 ; and he married, November, 1820, Charlotte Parsons,
daughter of Hon. Theophilus Parsons. His second wife died
in July, 1830. In 1833, he married, for his third wife, Mrs.
Elizabeth C. Judkins, who survived him. He had fourteen
children, of whom ten survived him.

1792. HENDERSON INCHES died in Boston, 9 September,
1857, aged 83. He was son of Henderson and Elizabeth
(Brimmer) Inches, and was born in Boston, 7 February, 1774.
He was fitted for college at Andover Academy. Soon after
graduating, he entered the counting-house of Hon. Thomas
Russell, of Boston, where he received his mercantile education ;
and, on the termination of his apprenticeship, he began business
in Boston, at No. 47, Long Wharf, where he remained several
years. After the death of Mr. Russell, he purchased Russell s
(now known as Russia) Wharf; whither he removed, and where
he retained an office until his decease. He married, Septem
ber, 1802, Miss Susan Brimmer, daughter of Martin Brimmer,

1857-58.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 165

Esq., of Boston. They had ten children, of whom seven are
now living*. Mrs. Inches died 21 September, 1823, aged 40
years. Mr. Inches was long and favorably known as an
honorable and upright merchant. He was, in every sense, a
gentleman : intelligent, affable, of a genial, social disposition,
he was a welcome guest wherever he went ; beloved at home
as a kind husband and affectionate father, and respected by the
community as an estimable and valued citizen.

1796. Rev. LUTHER WRIGHT died in Woburn, Mass.,
21 June, 1858, aged 88. He was son of Samuel and Rachel
Wright, and was born in Acton, Mass., 19 April, 1770. As
he was afflicted with severe lameness in 1781, which became
permanent, and rendered him incapable of manual labor, he was
designed for college by his parents, as well as by his own incli
nation. He pursued his preparatory studies partly at New Ips
wich, N.H., under the instruction of John Hubbard (D.C.
1785), the preceptor of the academy in that town, and partly
under the tuition of Rev. Moses Adams, of Acton (H.C. 1771).
After leaving college, he taught school five months in Water-
town, and three months in Cambridge, near the college, studying
divinity at the same time ; and, a few months after relinquishing
those schools, he placed himself under the instruction of Rev.
David Tappan (H.C. 1771), professor of theology in Harvard
College. He was licensed to preach by the Marlborough Asso
ciation, April, 1797. The first society to which he preached
as a candidate for settlement was at Medway, where he was
ordained 13 June, 1798 ; and over which he continued his
pastoral labors for nearly eighteen years, on a salary of eighty
pounds per annum, and the use of a wood-lot from which he
obtained his wood. By frequent and kind presents from his
people, and by taking into his family lads and youth from Bos
ton, and other towns in this and other states, to board, and fit
for college, and to study English branches, he was enabled to
supply the deficiency of his salary, and to accumulate something
for his support in the decline of life. In September, 1815, he
asked and received a dismission from his church and society.
He immediately began preaching as a candidate for re-settlement,


and received invitations to settle in Dunstable, and the upper
parish in Beverly, Mass. ; in Raymond, N.H. ; and Barrington,
R.I. At the last-named place, he accepted the call, and was
installed as their pastor, 17 January, 1817, over a feeble church
and parish, and on feeble support. As the society was small,
its means for competent support scanty, and unhappy divisions
existed in the church and society, he expected his mission would
be short ; and so it proved. After a residence of about four and
a half years, he requested a dismission. His request was granted,
5 July, 1821. In May, 1825, he was installed over the church
in Tiverton, R.I., where he continued until 24 May, 1828,
when he was dismissed ; and, his health being feeble, he felt it
Ins duty not to resettle again in the ministry. He, however,
continued to preach in different places, about six months in
Dartmouth, Mass. ; three years in Carver ; one year in Bille-
rica ; seven months in South Weymouth ; several weeks in
Plymouth, Middleborough, and Lynnfield ; besides occasionally
in a few other places for short periods. About eight years be
fore his death, he relinquished his clerical labors entirely, and
resided in Woburn. His only publications were (1) A Ser
mon, occasioned by the Death of Capt. Cyrus Bullard, preached
25 May, 1806. 8vo. Dedham, April, 1807. (2) A Sermon
delivered at Medway, 4 November, 1813, on the Close of a Cen
tury since the Incorporation of the Town. 8vo. Dedham, 1814.
He married, 23 December, 1799, Anna Bridge, second daughter
of Rev. Josiah Bridge (H.C. 1758), of East Sudbury, now
Wayland ; but had no children. His wife survived him. By
prudence and good management he accumulated considerable
property, which he bequeathed, after the death of his widow,
to the Congregational Board of Publication, the Massachusetts
Home-Missionary Society, the American Missionary Association,
and the New-England Female Medical College.

1797. Hon. JAMES RICHARDSON died in Dedham, Mass.,
7 June, 1858, aged 86. He was son of James and Hannah
(Clapp) Richardson, and was born in Medfield, Mass., 6 Octo
ber, 1771. He was fitted for college by Rev. Thomas Prentiss,
D.D., of Medfield (H.C. 1766). He held a high rank in his


class as a scholar, and graduated with distinction. He pursued
his professional studies with the Hon. Fisher Ames, of Dedham
(II. C. 1774) ; was admitted to the bar in the autumn of 1800 ;
and began the practice of the law in Dedham, where he continued
it until within a few years of his decease. He was for some
time a law-partner with Mr. Ames, and was ever a great favorite
of that eminent statesman. He attained to a hi<rh rank as a


lawyer ; and, for many years, was one of the leading members
of the bar in Norfolk county. His connection with Mr. Ames
was dissolved, by the death of the latter, the 4th of July, 1808.
He was but little in public life ; for, being in political principles
an ultra -federalist, a majority of the voters of the town, as
well as of the county, in which he resided, were of opposite
politics. These principles he retained through life, although he
acted with new parties as new times demanded. He was elected
a senator in the state legislature in 1813 ; was a member of the
convention, in 1820, for revising the state constitution ; and was
a member of the executive -council in 1834 and 1835. He
was also a master-in-chancery, and a trial-justice, in connection
with his professional practice. He was much interested in mea
sures designed for public improvement, such as the construction
of turnpikes and the establishment of manufactures. He was at
one time a considerable owner in manufactories, although he
never abandoned the practice of his profession. He was one
of the projectors of the Dedham Bank, and was president of
the Norfolk Mutual Fire-Insurance Company from 1833 until
April, 1857. He delivered a poem before the Phi Beta Kappa
Society, at Cambridge ; a Fourth-of-July oration, at Dedham,
in 1808, being the day of the death of Fisher Ames, to which
event the oration contains an allusion ; and an address before
the Norfolk bar, at their request, in 1837, upon the profession
and practice of the law. All these were printed. As a lawyer,
he had a clear and discriminating judgment, and an ample
knowledge of legal principles derived from the very fountains
of jurisprudence. He was president of the Norfolk bar, and
held that position at the time of his death. He was a man of
fine sensibilities, fond of letters, especially of the classics and


of early English poetry ; of elevated views of life and character,
especially as applicable to his own profession. He married,
December, 1813, Sarah Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel Richards,
of Dedham ; by whom he had three children, two sons and one
daughter. One son died in infancy in 1820. His other children
survive him. The son graduated at Harvard College in 1837.
His wife died October, 1820. His peculiarly tender attachment
to her prevented his ever forming a second marriage connection,
although his children were young. Indeed, for many years
after her death, the very mention of her name affected him even
to tears.

1798. Dr. ANDREW CROSWELL died in Mercer, Me.,
4 June, 1858, aged 80. He was son of Andrew and Sarah
(Palmer) Croswell, and was born in Plymouth, Mass., 9 April,
1778. When in college, he was remarked for his amiable dis
position, and, withal, for his diffidence and retired habits ; and he
seldom mingled in the pastimes of his classmates. He studied
medicine under the instruction of Dr. Zaccheus Bartlett, of Ply
mouth (H.C. 1789). On completing his professional studies,
he settled as a physician in the town of Fayette, Me. ; and
subsequently removed to Mercer, which was afterwards his per
manent residence. He acquired an extensive practice ; and, by
his skill and success, he gained the entire confidence not onlv of
the people of the town in which he resided, but of all the neigh
boring towns ; and was frequently called to go long distances for
consultation in critical cases. He was a man of the kindest
feelings ; and to the indigent he was ever prompt to render his
best services, without expectation of reward other than the
consciousness of having relieved, as far as was in his power,
the sufferings of a fellow-being. He was justly entitled to the
appellation the apostle bestowed upon St. Luke ; namely,
" the beloved physician."

He married Susan Church, of Farmington, and had six
children, four sons and two daughters. His widow, and all
his children, excepting one daughter, survived him. He was a
kind and affectionate husband and father, greatly beloved by his
family, and respected by all his acquaintances.

1857-58.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 169

1798. Dr. HENRY GARDNER died in Boston, 19 June,
1858, aged 78. He was son of Henry and Hannah (Clap)
Gardner, and was born in the old Province-House, in Boston,

Online LibraryJoseph PalmerNecrology of alumni of Harvard college, 1851-52 to 1862-63 → online text (page 15 of 49)