Joseph Palmer.

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

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Dr. Micajah (H.C. 1756) and Sybil (Farnham) Sawyer, and

1858-59.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 213

was born in Newburyport, Mass., 1 February, 1771. His
father, who was an eminent physician, was born in Newbury,
15 July, 1737 ; and died 29 September, 1815, at the age of 78
years. His mother was daughter of Daniel Farnham, Esq.
(H.C. 1739), a highly respectable lawyer in Newburyport, who
was a native of York, Me., and died May, 1776, aged 56. Dr.
Sawyer was 1 fitted for college at Dummer Academy, in Newbury.
After graduating, he studied medicine .with his father, and
practised for a few years ; but, finding the profession not suited
to his taste, he relinquished it ; and near the close of the last
century he removed to Boston, where he engaged in mercantile
business, having formed a copartnership with the late Thomas
Wigglesworth {H.C. 1793), under the firm of Sawyer and
Wigglesworth, at No. 69, Long Wharf. This partnership was
dissolved about six years afterwards. Dr. Sawyer continued in
business by himself at the same place a short time, and then
went to Europe, where he resided several years. He returned
to Boston about 1817, and resumed business. He was very
successful, and acquired an ample fortune. He retired from
active business about twenty-five years before his death, and
passed the last years of his life almost constantly in reading :
and the kind of reading that occupied him was really surprising ;
that is to say, it was hard reading, for an invalid. He espe
cially delighted in works on astronomy ; and he talked more on
that than on almost any other subject. Newton s Life, Sir John
Herschel s and Prof. Nicol s Works, were on his table ; and
Hume s too, which he was reading through. But, in alluding
to Hume s, he said, "When I came to the part on miracles, !
passed it over, thinking I had no more faith than I wanted." A
friend carried to him Evelyn s Diary, as an amusing book for
an invalid. The next time this friend saw him, he said, "Is it
not remarkable that Evelyn should not have said a word about
Sir Isaac Newton, living at the same time?" And then he
talked at length of Xewton, and ended with saying, what he
often said, "He was the greatest man that has ever lived since
Jesus Christ." Dr. Sawyer was a man of great modesty, of a
sensitive delicacy of nature, and, from these causes, very re-



served. But his tenderness and disinterestedness in more inti
mate relations were well known to those nearest him. Yet he
shrank from any praise or expressions of gratitude which were
offered to him ; saying, "Let that matter rest." He was never

1794. Rev. ISAAC BRAMAN died in Georgetown, Mass.,
26 December, 1858, aged 88. He was son of Sylvanus and
Experience (Blanchard) Braman, and was born in Norton,
Mass., 5 July, 1770. He was fitted for college by Dr. Samuel
Morey, of Norton (Y. C. 1777), and Mr. Stephen Palmer
(H.C. 1789), afterwards minister of Needham, Mass. He
graduated with high honors ; and, for several years before his
death, he was the only survivor of his class. After leaving col
lege, he studied for the ministry with Eev. Jason Haven, of
Dedham, Mass. (H.C. 1754), and Eev. Pitt Clark, of Norton
(H.C. 1790). He was ordained, 7 June, 1797, pastor of the
Second Parish in Rowley, then called New Rowley, and since
incorporated into a town by the name of Georgetown. He was
successor of Rev. James Chandler (H.C. 1728), who died 19
April, 1789, at the age of 83 years, and in the 58th year of his
ministry. The parish was without a settled minister for nine
years, and Mr. Braman was the last of sixty-four candidates
who preached there on probation. He continued pastor of this
society until his death, a period of more than sixty-one years,
discharging the duties of his profession with great fidelity, and
to the entire acceptance of his people, until 1842 ; when, on
account of the infirmities of age, it was deemed necessary that
he should be relieved from a portion of his labors ; and, in De
cember of that year, the Rev. Enoch Pond (Bowd. C. 1838)
was ordained as colleague-pastor with him. Mr. Pond died in
1846 ; and in February, 1847, Rev. John Moore Prince (Bowd.
C. 1841) was ordained as his successor, and continued until No
vember, 1857, when he resigned. His last colleague and suc
cessor is Rev. Charles Beecher (Bowd. C. 1834).

Mr. Braman was a man of great originality of mind, and his
sermons evinced deep thought and profound reflection. He
married, August, 1797, Hannah Palmer (born 12 June, 1773),

1858-59.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 215

youngest daughter of Rev. Joseph Palmer, of Norton (H.C.
1747). They had five children: viz., 1. Harriet, born 17
July, 1798; married Rev. John Boardman (D.C. 1817), min
ister in Douglass, Mass. 2. Milton Palmer, born 6 August,
1799 (H.C. 1819) ; now minister of the First Church in Dan-
vers, Mass. 3. James Chandler, born 29 September, 1801 ;
died at sea (on his passage from Calcutta for Salem, seventy-five
days out), 5 December, 1820. 4. Adeline, born 10 July,
1805 ; died 10 September, 1830. 5. Isaac Gordon, born
12 March, 1813 ; is a physician in Brighton, Mass. Mr. Bra-
man s wife died 14 August, 1835, aged 62 ; and he married for
his second wife, in 1837, Sarah Balch, daughter of John Balch,
Esq., of Newburyport. She survived him.

1795. FRANCIS JOHONNOT OLIVER died in Middletown,
Conn., 21 August, 1858, aged 80 years. He was son of
Ebenezer and Susannah (Johonnot) Oliver, and was born in
Boston, 10 October, 1777. His father was a merchant in Bos
ton, was for many years a selectman, and was warden of King s
Chapel. He died 14 December, 1826, aged 74. His mother
died 24 August, 1839, aged 84. Mr. Oliver was fitted for
college at the public Latin School in Boston. After leaving col
lege, he entered as an apprentice the counting-room of Joseph
Coolidge, Esq., for the purpose of qualifying himself for the
mercantile profession. In 1798, when a wa^ was threatened
between this country and France, he was among the young men
of Boston who addressed the elder Adams, offering their services.
He read the president s response in Faneuil Hall, and was the
first to follow the injunctions of the president : "To arms, then,
my young friends ; to arms I " About the same time, the Boston
Light-Infantry Company was organized, in which he took a
prominent part, and was elected the first ensign. He began
business in Boston as a merchant in 1805, and established him
self at No. 45, Long Wharf. In 1813, he entered into copart
nership with Cornelius Coolidge (H.C. 1798), under the style of
Cornelius Coolidge and Co. This partnership was dissolved four
years afterwards. On the 13th of June, 1818, the American
Insurance Company, in Boston, was incorporated, and Mr.


Oliver was elected its first president. This office he continued
to hold until the autumn of 1835, when he resigned it, and was
elected president of the City Bank, where he continued by suc
cessive re-elections until 1840 ; when he removed to Middletown,
and there passed the remainder of his life. He was elected a
representative to the legislature in 1822 and 1823 ; and was
a member of the Boston common-council in 1823, 1824, 1825,
and 1828, and was its president in 1824 and 1825. In all these
stations, he discharged their various duties with the strictest
fidelity and integrity. In his political principles, he was an
ardent federalist ; and being a gentleman of fine personal ap
pearance, great suavity of manner, and fluency of speech, he
was often called upon to preside at public meetings and political

He married (first) Mary Caroline, daughter of Richard Alsop,
of Middletown ; and had issue : Mary Caroline, who died in in
fancy ; Francis Eben, who entered Harvard College, but left
in his senior year on account of his health, and died in London,
May, 1850, in his 37th year ; Mary Alsop, who married Joseph
W. Alsop, merchant of New York ; Richard Alsop, who died in
infancy ; and Susan Heard. His wife died 29 August, 1819,
aged 28 ; and he married (second) Mary Charlotte, daughter of
Ebenezer Jackson, of Middletown (formerly of Newton, Mass.) ,
by whom he had Caroline Alsop and George Stuart Johonnot :
the latter graduated at Harvard College in 1851.

Mr. Oliver was a gentleman of unblemished moral character,
and was for many years a warden of King s Chapel in Boston.

1796. Rev. JAMES KENDALL died in Plymouth, Mass.,
17 March, 1859, aged 89. He was the youngest son of Major
James and Elizabeth (Mason) Kendall, and was born in Ster
ling, Mass., 3 November, 1769. His mother was a native of
Lexington, Mass. In some reminiscences of his own life, writ
ten at the age of 84, he describes her as " a sensible and pious
woman, of a strong mind, and a kind and generous heart ;
discreet and faithful in the discharge of all the relative duties of
life : " and adds, that " her children were greatly indebted to
her for their youthful training, and their early religious impres-

1858-59.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 217

sions." He pursued his preparatory studies under the instruc
tion of Rev. Reuben Holcomb (Y.C. 1774), of Sterling; and
was nearly fitted to enter college at the age of 14 : but an
affection of his eyes, caused by a too close application to the
study of Greek in the evening, obliged him, for several years,
to give up the hope of obtaining a liberal education. From
that time until the age of 21, he worked upon his father s farm
in the summer; and, when old enough, taught school in the
winter. During that period, in which he was accumulating a
capital of physical health to secure a life of such remarkable
vigor, even to his ninetieth year, his eyes recovered their
strength ; and, gladly returning to his studies, he was prepared
to enter college in 1792. In his collegiate course, he defrayed
a large portion of his expenses by his own exertions, by teach
ing school in vacation, and by other services in term-time. In
his reminiscences, he says, "It is some satisfaction to me, in
looking back to this period of my life as an undergraduate, to
remember that I had no mark for delinquency in college exer
cises, unnecessary absences, or any misdemeanor." He held a
high rank as a scholar, and graduated with the second honors
of his class ; the late Dr. Leonard Woods, of Andover, having
the first. Immediately after leaving college, he was appointed
assistant teacher in Phillips Academy at Andover, of which
Mr. Mark Newman (D. C. 1793) was then the principal.
Here he passed two years ; at the same time pursuing his theo
logical studies under the direction of Rev. David Tappan,
D.D. (H. C. 1771), then Professor of Divinity in Harvard
College, and Rev. Jonathan French (H.C. 1771), minister of
the Second Church in Andover. He was approbated to preach
by the Andover Association in 1798. In that year, he was
appointed tutor in Greek in the college, and removed to Cam
bridge, where he still continued his theological studies with the
advice and aid of Dr. Tappan. He resigned his tutorship in
1799. During his residence in Andover, he had occasionally
preached there and in the vicinity. While he lived in Cam
bridge, he preached more frequently ; and for a short time
supplied the pulpit of the First Church in Boston, and the First



Church in Quincy. He first preached at Plymouth on the
second Sunday in October, 1799 ; and, having preached for
four Sundays, on the 4th of November, 1799, he was invited to
become the minister of that ancient parish. His answer of
acceptance was given on Thanksgiving-Day of that year ; and
he was ordained 1 January, 1800. He was the sole pastor of
the society for thirty-eight years. On the 3d of January,
1838, the infirmities of age having begun to come upon him,
the Rev. George Ware Briggs (B.U. 1825) was ordained as
his colleague; where he continued until 15 December, 1852.
Rev. Henry Lewis Myrick was his colleague from 21 Septem
ber, 1853, to 21 September, 1854; and Rev. George S. Ball
from 8 April, 1855, to 8 April, 1857. On the 5th of Jan
uary, 1859, Rev. Edward Henry Hall (H.C. 1851) was or
dained as his colleague, and is now sole pastor of the society.
After the settlement of a colleague, Dr. Kendall preached fre
quently, for a number of years, in his own pupit ; in the pulpits
of those with whom he was accustomed to exchange ; and in
comparatively distant places, during several journeys into vari
ous parts of the country. He preached his semi-centennial ser
mon, 3 January, 1850. He never took a formal leave of the
pulpit, and never wished to bid it farewell. He preached for
the last time on Thanksgiving-Day, November, 1857. One of
his last public services was at the ordination of his associate
minister on the 5th of January, 1859. He stood in his pulpit
again to offer a fervent prayer at the close of the first services
of the same pastor on Sunday, 9 January ; and yet once more
to take the same part at the close of service, Sunday, 17 Janu
ary ; and then his public ministry was ended. He was con
nected with his parish nearly twenty years longer than any of
his predecessors. He was a man of peace, order, integrity,
faith, and devotion. It is one of the strongest proofs of his
true piety, that during a period of more than fifty years, when
children have been born around him to grow up to mature age,
and in their turn to be surrounded by children and grandchil
dren, amongst them all, no one was known to have breathed a
word derogatory to him as a Christian or a man. Genial and

1858-59.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 219

cheerful, he enjoyed every bright hour : humble and trustful
toward his God, he met submissively the discipline of sorrows.
His experiences were the varied ones of the lot of humanity ;
and he accepted and used them with the conscientious purpose
to be obedient to the truth, and loyal to duty. Many have
seen him in his hospitable home ; many have seen him in the
street, moving with the steady step of a true man ; many have
seen him at their firesides, as the visitor, the adviser, and con
soler ; many have seen him in the church, and listened to his
honest discourse, and his prayers of singular richness and
fervor : and, of all these, many will hold him in remembrance
as one they trusted, and affectionately revered. In 1825, the
honorary degree of doctor of divinity was conferred upon him
by Harvard College. He married, first, June, 1800, Sarah
Poor, daughter of Deacon Daniel Poor, of Andover, by whom
he had six children ; of whom one died at birth, another at the
age of thirteen days, and another at three years of age : the
remaining three survived him. She died 13 February, 1809,
in the thirty-third year of her age. He married, second,
17 June, 1810, Sally Kendall, daughter of Deacon Paul, Ken
dall, of Templeton, Mass., who also was the mother of six
children, five of whom survived him : the other died at Madi
son, AVis., 9 March, 1853, in the thirty-fifth year of his
age. She died 5 February, 1845, at the age of 65. She was
a very intelligent person, of great strength and loveliness of
character. In his reminiscences, Dr. Kendall says, "I have
been singularly favored in my domestic relationships. Although
not exempt from the trials and changes to which every man of
my age, and at the head of a large family, is destined in an
earthly life, I cannot be sufficiently thankful to the Father of
an infinite mercy for the comfort, satisfaction, and consolation
I have enjoyed during the whole period of my connection with
a family." His first wife he describes as " a person of an amia
ble disposition, faithful and affectionate as a wife, and tender
and devoted as a mother." Of his last wife he says, " She was
a person of great discretion, sound judgment, and of a pure
and pious mind. Like her Divine Master, she was made perfect


through suffering." The fbllowmg is a list of Dr. Kendall s

O o O

publications, with the dates of their delivery : 1. Discourse upon
the Character of Washington, delivered at the request of the
Town of Plymouth, 22 February, 1800. 2. Sermon on the
Death of Mrs. Jane Robbins, 21 September, 1800. 3. Sermon
on the Death of Col. George Watson, 14 December, 1800.
4. Sermon on the Death of Rev. David Tappan, D.D., 4 Sep
tember, 1803.. 5. Sermon at the Ordination of Rev. Caleb
Holmes, at Dennis, 2 January, 1805. 6. Sermon before the
Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, 2 June, 1806.
7. Sermon before the Society for propagating the Gospel among
the Indians, 7 November, 1811. 8. Sermon before the Hu
mane Society, 8 June, 1813. 9. Sermon at the Ordination
of Rev. Oliver Hay wood at Barnstable, 8 November, 1815.
10. Sermon in the "Liberal Preacher" for March, 1828, on
Man s Accountableness to his Creator, and a Future Retribu
tion. 11. Sermon at the Ordination of Rev. Hersey B. Good
win, at Concord, Mass., 17 February, 1830. 12. Sermon at
the Ordination of his Son, Rev. James A. Kendall, at Med-
field,^lass., 10 November, 1.830. 13. Charge at the Ordina
tion of Rev. Chandler Robbins as Minister of the Second
Church, Boston, 4 December, 1833. 14. Sermon on the
Wreck of the Brig "Regulator," 14 February, 1836. 15. Semi
centennial Sermon, 1 January, 1850.

1799. PAP^KER CLEAVELAND died in Brunswick, Me.,
15 October, 1858, aged 78. He was son of Dr. Parker and
Elizabeth (Jackman) Cleaveland, and was born in Rowley
(Byfield Parish), Mass., 15 January, 1780. His father was
son of Rev. John Cleaveland, and was born in Chebacco, parish
of Ipswich, which is now the town of Essex, Mass. Rev. John
Cleaveland entered Yale College ; and, when in his senior year,
he was, with another, expelled for embracing the doctrine of the
" New Lights." Prof. Cleaveland s father was fitted for col
lege ; but the war broke out, and he relinquished his intention
of obtaining a collegiate education, studied medicine, became a
surgeon in the revolutionary army, and was stationed at Cam
bridge. Prof. Cleaveland was fitted for college at Dummer

1858-59.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 221

Academy, in Newbury, Mass., under Rev. Isaac Smith (H.C.
1767). lie taught school in Boxford, Mass., in his sophomore
year, and in Burlington or Wilmington, Mass., in his junior
year. Immediately after his graduation, he entered, as a law
student, the office of Ichabod Tucker, of Haverhill, Mass. (H.C.
1791), where he remained one year. In the middle of the
year 1800, he began teaching a school at York, Me. ; and, at
the same time, was clerk in the office of Daniel Sewall, Esq.,
the clerk of the Supreme Court ; was with him at the
courts, and continued the study of law. Here he remained
until the autumn of 1803 ; when he was appointed tutor in
mathematics at Harvard College, which office he held until Com
mencement in 1805, when he resigned it in consequence of
having received an invitation to fill a professorship in Bowdoin
College, which he accepted ; and he was installed, 23 October,
1805, as professor of mathematics and natural philosophy; the
college then having been in operation but a single year. The
duties of this professorship, together with those of lecturer on
chemistry and mineralogy, he discharged with distinguished
ability until 1828, when it was deemed expedient to separate
the departments of mathematics and natural philosophy, and
establish a distinct professorship of chemistry and mineralogy.
Mr. William Smyth, the distinguished professor of mathematics,
was raised to that department, and Mr. Cleaveland was installed
in the new professorship of chemistry, mineralogy, and natural
philosophy. This position he occupied until his death, having
acquired a world-wide reputation, and a success seldom attained
by a scientific instructor. He was thus connected with the col
lege for a period of fifty-three years, during which he devoted
the whole powers of his mind and the energy of hV ^ody to the
advancement of his favorite studies ; and no man in the country
has done more to inspire a passion and create an interest and
knowledge of the details of the sciences. which he taught. He
spent six hours a day in his laboratory, recitation and lecture
room, and was frequently engaged for sixteen of the twenty-four
hours. The college never bought any minerals. James Bow
doin gave about five hundred specimens : the rest have been


collected either by Prof. Cleaveland s personal labor, or by the
exchange of specimens which he obtained, and they now amount
to upwards of seven thousand. He became widely known in
the United States, in Great Britain, and on the continent of
Europe, by his great work on mineralogy and geology, which
he published in 1816, in one volume, and in 1822, a second
edition, in two volumes. He had contemplated publishing a
third edition ; but his eyesight, which had failed by incessant
application, deprived him of the honor, and the world of the ben
efit, of his increased learning and experience from the proposed
work. His high reputation as a lecturer is spread all over the
country by a succession of graduates of the college, who will
transmit the praise of his learning and eloquence, and will rise
up with one accord, and bless his name and memory.

On the 9th of August, 1809, Mr. Cleaveland was elected a
member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences ; on
the 9th of September, 1814, a corresponding member of the
Academy of National Sciences at Philadelphia; on the 17th of
April, 1818, a member of the American Philosophical Society
at Philadelphia ; on the 10th of November, the same year, an
honorary member of the Literary and Philosophical Society of
Newcastle-upon-Tyne ; on the 30th of January, 1819, an hono-
ary member of the Mineralogical Society at Jena ; on the 4th
of October, the same year, an honorary member of the Miner
alogical Society of Dresden ; on the 26th of April, 1823, a
member of the Society of Natural Science at Halle, in Ger
many ; on the 16th of December of the same year, a member
of the Mineralogical Society of St. Petersburg; on the llth
of June, 1834, an honorary member of the Literary and
Historical Society at Quebec. He was also a fellow of the
Wernerian Society at Edinburgh, and the Geological Society of
London ; and was for many years the corresponding secretary
of the Maine Historical Society. In 1824, the honorary degree
of doctor of laws was conferred upon him by Bowdoin Col

Mr. Cleaveland married, 9 September, 1806, Martha,
daughter of Levi and Martha (Ball) Bush, of Boston, she

1858-59.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 223

being then but nineteen years old ; and they had issue : First,
Moses Parker, born 6 July, 1807 (Bowd. C. 1827) ; married,
21 October, 1834, Martha Richardson, of Duxbury, Mass.,
and settled as a physician in Natick, Mass., where he died
7 October, 1840. Second, James Bowdoin, born 17 January,
1809 (Bowd. C. 1828) ; settled as a lawyer at Passadumkeag,
Me. ; married, 13 March, 1834, Lucinda P. McKinney, of
Gray, Me. ; and died in 1854. Third, George, born 22 Sep
tember, 1810; and died 11 May, 1811. Fourth, Martha Ann
Bush, born 16 July, 1812 ; married, 30 November, 1837,
Hon. Peleg Whitman Chandler, of Boston (Bowd. C. 1834).
Fifth, Elizabeth Abigail, born 4 September, 1814; married,
16 November, 1847, George W. Woodhouse, of Dover, N.H.
Sixth, Mary Ackley, born 27 September, 1816. Seventh,
John Appleton, born 29 March, 1819 (Bowd. C. 1840) ;
married, 31 December, 1844, Catharine Alexander, of Bruns
wick. Eighth, Nathan Smith (Bowd. C. 1840), is a druggist
in Brunswick.

In private life, Professor Cleaveland was universally respected
for his unblemished moral character, his genial and affable dis
position as a husband, a father, and a friend, and as a public-
spirited and generous citizen. His wife died about 1852.

1802. SOLOMON KIDDER LIVERMORE died in Milford,
N.H., 10 July, 1859, aged 80. He was the youngest son of
Rev. Jonathan (H.C. 1760) and Elizabeth (Kidder) Livermore,
and was born in Wilton, N.H., 2 March, 1779. His father
was born in Northborough, Mass., 7 December, 1739 ; was or
dained at Wilton, 14 December, 1768; resigned his pastoral
relation, February, 1777 ; and died in Wilton, 20 July, 1809,
aged 69. His mother was a native of Billerica, Mass. Mr.
Livermore was fitted for college at Mr. Pemberton s academy in
Billerica, and entered the sophomore class in 1799. He grad
uated with a high reputation for scholarship in a class famed for
eminent talent. After leaving college, he taught the grammar-
school in Cambridge for one season. Having chosen the pro

Online LibraryJoseph PalmerNecrology of alumni of Harvard college, 1851-52 to 1862-63 → online text (page 20 of 49)