Joseph Palmer.

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

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fession of law, he pursued his preparatory studies in the office
of Oliver Crosby, Esq., of Dover, N.H. (H.C. 1795). On


his admission to the bar, he opened an office in Dover, where he
practised for a short time ; but, in 1807, he removed to Milford,
where he resided during the remainder of his life, pursuing the
practice of the profession until he attained the age of 70 years,
when he relinquished it, although he continued to transact busi
ness relating to the settlement of estates for his neighbors until
near the end of his life. He was held in high estimation by the
citizens of the town where he passed so large a portion of his life,
w r ho all regarded him as an honest man, and a sincere, devoted
Christian, whom no temptation, no motives of self-interest, could
turn from the straightforward path of duty. In the whole
course of his long life, not a stain dimmed the pure lustre of his
character for integrity. Having no ambition for political office or
power, his extensive attainments did not achieve so wide a reputa
tion as they might have won. Except when the merited confi
dence of his townsmen selected him to represent them in the state
legislature, he uniformly declined to become a candidate for office ;
and yet no man was more strongly sensible of the grave duties
of an American citizen than he. He was a devoted student of
the Bible ; and its pure precepts seemed to have stamped their
own beauty upon his life, his thoughts, and his conduct. Far
more anxious to promote the good of others than his own interest,
he always endeavored to bring to an amicable adjustment the
controversies among his neighbors. No one had a more generous
heart or a more open home than he ; and neither his benevolence
nor his public spirit was ever appealed to in vain. His death
was in harmony with his life. In the calm, still beauty of a
bright summer s Sunday, in the quiet of his home, with its famil
iar and beloved objects and associations, the hymn of divine
praise scarcely cold upon his aged lips, his life gently ebbed
away, and his soul went forth to meet its Maker.

He married, 6 July, 1810, Abigail Adkins, youngest daugh
ter of Nathaniel Jarvis, of Cambridge. She survived him.
The offspring of this union were four sons and four daughters ;
of whom two the eldest son and daughter died early, two
the next oldest son and youngest daughter died after
attaining maturity, and four survived their father.

1858-59.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 225

1802. Rev. ICHABOD NICHOLS died in Cambridge, Mass.,
2 January, 1859, aged 74. He was the fourth son of Capt.
Ichabod and Lydia (Ropes) Nichols, of Salem, Mass., and was
born in Portsmouth, N.H., during the temporary residence of
the family at that place, 5 July, 1784 ; but removed with his
parents to Salem when he was but five or six years old. He
was fitted for college at the Salem High School ; and graduated,
at the age of eighteen, with the highest honors of his class, a
class remarkable for eminent talent. Immediately after leaving
college, he began the study of theology with his pastor, Rev.
Thomas Barnard, D.D. (H.C. 1766). In 1805, he was ap
pointed tutor in mathematics in Harvard College ; a position he
held until 1809, pursuing in the mean time his theological stud
ies. Here his opportunities for a higher cultivation were greatly
enlarged ; and his strong and acute intellectual powers could not
fail to be richly improved in the society of Rev. Henry Ware,
John Quincy Adams, Levi Frisbie, John Farrar, and Ashur
Ware, who were all associated with him in the instruction of
the college. In January, 1809, he preached his first sermon to
the First Congregational Church and Society in Portland, Me. ;
and continued to preach for the three following Sundays. On
the 27th of February, the parish concurred unanimously with the
church in giving him a call, and voting him a salary of twelve
hundred dollars ; which was much larger than any minister re
ceived in the town or state (then a district) , and which was not
changed during his whole ministry. The venerable Deacon Free
man, then the leading man in the parish and the town, speaking
of the occasion, exultingly said, "The meeting of the parish
was full and respectable ; and it is a pleasing circumstance, that
there was not a hand raised nor a w r ord spoken against the sub
ject of either vote." The invitation he accepted 20 March, and
he was ordained as colleague with the Rev. Samuel Deane,
D.D. (H.C. 1760), 7 January, 1809, the third pastor of that
ancient church, organized in 1727, the first in the state east of
Kennebunk. The Rev. Thomas Smith (H.C. 1720), the first
pastor, was born in Boston, 10 March, 1702; was ordained,
and the church formed, 8 March, 1727 ; and he continued in the



pastoral office until his death, 23 May, 1795, at the age of 93,
and in the sixty-ninth year of his pastorate. Rev. Samuel
Deane, born in Dedham, Mass., 30 August, 1733, was ordained
as his colleague, 17 October, 1764 ; and this was the only reli
gious society in Portland until 1788, when the Second Parish was
established. Dr. Dearie s pastorate continued fifty years ; and
was closed only by his death, 12 November, 1814, at the age of
81 years. With him Dr. Nichols was associated five years and
five months ; and his connection with the society, which was ter
minated by his death, extended to more than forty-nine years.
He was sole pastor from the decease of Dr. Deane, diligently
and faithfully doing his Master s work, until 31 January, 1855 ;
when the present pastor, Rev. Horatio Stebbins (H.C. 1848),
was settled as his colleague. Dr. Nichols was then desirous of
withdrawing entirely from his official station, on account of the
infirm state of his health : he wished entire repose from the
cares of office. But the parish was unwilling to dissolve a con
nection which had existed so long and so harmoniously ; and he
consented to retain his official relation, relieved from all duty
and responsibility connected with it. On his retirement, a few
members of his society tendered to him an annuity of five hun
dred and fifty dollars for the remainder of his life ; but this
tribute to his services and worth, so justly deserved and so
freely offered, he declined, from that innate sense of delicacy
which governed all his conduct. At the time he relinquished
his duties he removed from Portland to Cambridge, which was
subsequently his place of residence. This brief review of the
history of the First Parish in Portland exhibits the striking fact,
of an uninterrupted ministration in the parochial office for a
period of more than a hundred and thirty-one years, not an
hour without a pastor ; that its three deceased ministers entered
young upon their ministry, and died in office ; and that each has
labored with a colleague. Such a history, in connection with
the protracted pastorates, the three averaging fifty-six years each,
cannot, we think, be paralleled in the annals of the church.

"Dr. Nichols," says an eminent writer who knew him long
and intimately, " not only discharged the duties peculiar to his

1858-59.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 227

station with fidelity, and in which, with advancing years, he
grew more earnest and spiritual, both in his discourses and
devotional exercises, but he took an active part in the philan
thropic and reformatory movements of the day. He was one
of the earliest and most devoted friends of the temperance
cause, of the Bible society, the Sunday school, and of benevo
lent institutions. He did not permit his mind to grow rusty
amidst the various and e very-day duties of parochial life, but
devoted all his leisure hours to study. He published, in 1830,
a work on natural theology, which is considered as classical
authority in the theological schools. He kept up not only with
the theological progress of the age, but also with the wonderful
advance in scientific attainment, which, in the last half-century,
has almost created a new world. Nothing in the way of dis
covery escaped his vigilant observation, from the theories
broached by visionary enthusiasts to the profound problems of
La Place, Cuvier, Bowditch, and Peirce. In his latter days,
after leaving his parochial duties, he had the highest gratifica
tion in a free intercourse with Agassiz upon his wonderful
developments in the animal kingdom. From this new source of
knowledge, his mind received a fresh impulse; and he was able to
add to his great work (now in press, and to be published in a
few weeks, entitled "Hours with the Evangelists," on the con
nection of the old and new dispensations) new proofs and illus
trations of the being and attributes of God. He was equally
familiar with the writings of German and English scholars, and
penetrated with a clear discrimination and an unswerving love
of truth into the prevailing fallacies of the philosophies of the
day ; and was able rightly to divine the word of truth. It is
impossible that a mind naturally keen and comprehensive, and
which was so thoroughly furnished by education and reflection,
should not be full and instructive on all the topics which come
under discussion among scholars and in the social circle. This
copiousness of general knowledge gave him great power and
interest in conversation, which few have surpassed. No one
could be in his society, for even a brief time, without being
deeply impressed with the largeness and variety of his knowl-


edge, and his ease and felicity in the communication of it. Yet,
with these rare powers, he was perfectly simple, unaffected, and
unpretending. No man was farther from conceit and unpretend
ing display. He loved to talk, not for the sake of talking, but
to communicate instruction ; to impart from his accumulated
stores to the pleasure and benefit of others. These qualities
made his society to be sought, and, wherever he was known, to
be valued as a ripe and good scholar, an able and sound theo
logian, and a most instructive companion. We may apply to
him, with great appropriateness, a truth happily expressed by
Lord Coke, who said, When a great and learned man dyeth,
much learning dyeth with him. Though he has left a valuable
legacy in his last great work, which he fondly called the round-
ing-off of his life, and is the complement of his learning and
best thought, yet there was that in his mind and heart, as in
every wise man, which cannot be stamped on the printed page :
it dies with the possessor. The beautiful expression, the mild
and gentle demeanor, the sensitive appreciation and communi
cation of the good and true, the noble example of a virtuous
and devoted life, these all pass on, and leave but their subtle
fragrance in the memory of surviving friends."

Dr. Nichols was early elected a member of the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences, of which he held the office of
vice-president. In 1821, he received from Bowdoin College
the honorary degree of doctor of divinity, and the same from
Harvard in 1831. It is worthy of note, that the year 1821 was
the beginning of the academical honors at Bowdoin ; and a wise
as well as liberal beginning it was. The clerical distinction was
given (and to them confined) to the two distinguished lights of
the Portland pulpit, Ichabod Nichols and Edward Pay son ;
regarded, no doubt, throughout the state as the representative
heads of the two opposing sections of its congregational body.

Dr. Nichols married first, probably in the spring of 1811,
Dorothea F. Oilman, daughter of Gov. John Taylor Gilman,
of Portsmouth, N.H. They had four children, all sons, of
whom two survived him; viz., 1. John Taylor Gilman, who
died within about a year of his birth. 2. George Henry, born

1858-59.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 229

26 August, 1814 (H.C. 1833) ; a physician in Standish,
Me. 3. John Taylor Gilman, born 24 April, 1817 (H.C.
1836) ; settled as a clergyman in Saco, Me. 4. Charles,
born 12 April, 1819, and died the same year. Dr. Nichols s
wife died 17 April, 1831 ; and he married for his second wife,
3 May, 1832, Martha Salisbury Higginson, daughter of Stephen
Higginson, Esq., of Cambridge. She survived him.

1803. WILLIAM DRAPER, of Pontiac, Mich., died at the
Island of Mackinaw, 9 August, 1858, aged 78. He was son of
James and Lois (Battle) Draper, and was born in that part
of Dedham which is now within the limits of Dover, Mass.,
12 February, 1780. He was fitted for college partly by Kev.
Nathaniel Emmons, D.D. (Y.C. 1767), of Franklin, Mass.,
and partly by Kev. Thomas Thacher (H.C. 1775), of Dedham.
On leaving college, he went to Concord, Mass., and entered as
a student-at-law in the office of John Leighton Tuttle (H.C.
1796). Having completed his legal studies and been admitted
to the bar, he opened an office in Maryborough, Mass., where he
acquired an extensive practice, and was quite successful as a
lawyer. For ten years he was president of the Middlesex bar.
In 1832, he removed to Nashua, N.H., where he remained until
the spring of 1833 ; when he went to Michigan, established
himself in Pontiac, and was a citizen of that place during the
remainder of his life. He occupied a prominent and distinguished
position in the legal profession ; but was no politician, and held
but very few offices during his life. At the time Congress passed
the enabling act for the admission of Michigan into the Union,
a convention was called under that tict, that the people might de
termine whether they would accede to the proposition of Con
gress or not. Mr. Draper was the president of the convention.
This was the first one, which rejected the dishonorable proposi
tion of a democratic congress ; and Mr. Draper always looked
with great satifaction on the part he took in that body of men.
That was an honorable post, and right honorable was the de

Mr. Draper was president of the bar of Oakland county,
Mich., for twenty years, and held the office at the time of his


decease. While few of the high earthly honors were bestowed
upon him, he had, what was far better, the deserved esteem and
respect of every one who knew him. He was a Christian gen
tleman, scrupulously upright, and for twenty-five years was an
exemplary member of the Congregational church in Pontiac.
He retained his mental faculties to an extraordinary degree.
About two years before his death, there was a case pending in the
Circuit Court of Michigan, in which he had a personal interest.
He wrote out, and read to the court, a brief and an argument of
marked power and great research ; and was successful at last.

Mr. Draper was famed for his love of field sports ; and it was
his delight, in the last years of his life, to hunt and fish in and
around the beautiful lakes that are so numerous in the vicinity
of his late residence ; and the principal reason of his visit
to Mackinac, where he died, was his desire to gratify his taste
in this respect. He went with several acquaintances ; and had
been there only a few days, when he was taken sick ; and, before
any of his family could reach there after hearing of his illness,
his spirit had departed to another and better world.

A writer in Porter s "New- York Spirit of the Times," in
announcing the death of Mr. Draper, says, "He was ever
active and assiduous through his early life, and until he had
acquired a competence in the practice of his arduous profession ;
but was never so thoroughly absorbed in it, nor in the acqui
sition of wealth, as to neglect his gun and his rod. To these
he gave a liberal share of his time, with a keenness of relish
which evinced that the love of sport was natural and inborn.
He was not an indiscriminate sportsman ; for he cared but little
for the rifle or the hound, and looked upon the deer-chase with
no favorable eye. His first loves were the fowling-piece and the
well-trained pointer and spaniel ; his chosen sphere of enjoyment
the rich summer corn-field, or the brown hill-side covers of
autumn. Scolopax was the bird of his choice ; and, more than
half a century ago, the echoes of his gun, and the cheerful call
to his well-trained dogs, were wont to ring through the valleys of
the old Bay State. The love of sport was a marked feature
in the life of the deceased, from which his highest earthly enjoy-

1858-59.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 231

ments were derived ; so marked and influential indeed, that
when, after a time, mercenary pot-hunters had depopulated the
region about his house, that circumstance influenced him in no
slight degree in making choice of a home where the woodcock,
snipe, plover, partridge, quail, and prairie-hen were more abun
dant, and less sought after for gain. How fresh in the mind of
the writer of this notice, now in middle life, is the recollection,
when a mere boy, of the exploits of the deceased over the backs of
poor old Sport and Sancho, and the almost boundless admiration
with which we saw him bring down thirty-eight woodcocks in
succession on the Southborough meadow, without missing a bird ;
killing more than once with both barrels ! In his earlier days,
while he yet made Massachusetts his home, his associates, drawn
to him by similar tastes, w T ere to be found among the liberal and
prominent men throughout that state. Of such were Hon. S. P.
P. Fay, some years deceased, and long judge of probate for the
county of Middlesex ; his son, Hon. Richard S. Fay; Hon.
Franklin Dexter, late of Boston ; and very many others, whose
names, once familiar, have now escaped the writer. Having
changed his residence to Michigan, Mr. Draper continued the
same keen and indefatigable sportsman, with little change;
except that, game being more plenty and in greater variety, his
days in the field were more frequent. He found fewer wood
cocks, which, at the time of his arrival, had just begun to fre
quent the bottom-lands of the rivers, and the old French farms of
Wayne and Macomb ; but in their places he found the prairie-
hen, the wild-turkey, the partridge and snipe, more abundant.
He brought with him his small but excellent and well-chosen
armament of guns, his choice stock of ammunition,, and his
favorite and reliable old dogs, which, in a short time, made
themselves at home in their new sphere. The rod divided the
sway with the gun in the sport-life of the deceased, and he was
alike skilful and successful in both. If the day was bad for
shooting, it was pretty sure to be good for fishing ; or, if the
companions who offered happened not to be devotees of old
Izaak, the game-bag and the long tramp were all the same to
him. Sport-love with the deceased did not arise from a mere


spirit of adventure, combined with the exuberance of wealth and
of animal spirits : it was a principle of .his being, which grew,
rather than failed, with advancing age ; and yielded to no in
firmity of body short of absolute sickness. Indeed, he may be
said to have almost died in harness ; for his last trip was under
taken by him that he might enjoy the choice sport of trout-fish
ing around the picturesque and beautiful Island of Mackinaw, at
a time when declining years and failing strength had long since
warned him that the hours upon the earth for him were short and
few. Thus, with the life of a thorough sportsman, ended that
of an honorable, useful man, and a sincere and exemplary

Mr. Draper married, in 1810, Harriet Eliza Payne, a
daughter of Major Phineas Payne, of Concord, Mass., of revo
lutionary memory. They had six children, four sons and two
daughters ; namely, William, Charles, Albert F., James,
Eliza C., and Ann M. : all survived their father except James,
who was the youngest child. Charles graduated at Harvard
College in 1833, and became a lawyer in Pontiac.

1805. Eev. EBENEZER HUBBARD died near Nashville,
Tenn., 2 September, 1858, aged 74. He was son of Rev.
Ebenezer (H.C. 1777) and Abigail (Glover) Hubbard, and
was born in Marblehead, Mass., 12 November, 1783. His
father was born in Concord, Mass., 22 May, 1758; was or
dained at Marblehead, 1 January, 1783 ; and died 15 December,
1800, aged 42. His mother was daughter of Col. Jonathan
Glover, of Marblehead. Mr. Hubbard was fitted for college at
the public classical school or academy in Marblehead. After
leaving college, he studied divinity with Rev. Timothy Flint,
of Lunenburg, Mass. (H.C. 1800), who married his sister
Abigail. He was ordained pastor of the Second Church in
Newbury, Mass., 11 May, 1809. This pastoral relation was
dissolved 16 October, 1810; and he was installed over the
church in Middleton, Mass., 27 November, 1816 ; resigned his
charge, 29 April, 1828 ; was installed at Lunenburg, 10 De
cember, 1828. He was always a Trinitarian, as he declared,
and, as he called himself, a moderate Calvinist ; but was very

1858-59.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 233

liberal in his feelings towards Unitarians, and would not in
frequently exchange with clergymen of that denomination. In
consequence of this, a most unrighteous attempt was made, by
some of the more rigid Orthodox, to prevent his settlement at
Lunenburg, by circulating reports injurious to his moral charac
ter. They did not, however, succeed in their plot. The fol
lowing extract from an article in the " Christian Examiner " for
March, 1831, gives a history of this affair :

w Rev. Mr. Hubbard, a minister of acknowledged Orthodox
sentiments, and late pastor of the church in Middleton, was
invited to a re-settlement in Lunenburg. It was generally
known to his ministerial brethren, that he was in the practice of
exchanging with Unitarians. This circumstance alone induced
some Orthodox preachers in the vicinity of Lunenburg to
make great exertions to prevent his installation. They went
to Andover, and earnestly solicited from the Orthodox min
isters in the neighborhood of Middleton some information
derogatory to the character of Mr. Hubbard. False and slan
derous reports were invented by an individual in Middleton,
and communicated to an Orthodox minister in Danvers, and
conveyed by him to the principal agent in this unrighteous
work. Rev. Mr. Payson, of Leominster, having obtained the
desired misrepresentations, went into Lunenburg, communicated
them to an influential family, and requested them to put them
in circulation, and conceal the name of the informer. He
affirmed that Mr. Hubbard was a bad man, brought up his
children to swear, and would prove a curse to the society if
they retained him as their pastor. Such reports threw the
parish into consternation, and reached the ears of the pastor
elect. He proceeded immediately to the source of the evil, and
eventually dragged to light the individuals concerned. By the
terrors of the civil law, he compelled them to confess their
wickedness, and agency in the base understanding."

Mr. Hubbard continued pastor of the church in Lunenburg
until 20 November, 1833, when his connection with the society
was dissolved. He studied medicine, but never practised regu
larly, except, perhaps, in Boxford, or rather in Lunenburg,



while he was a pastor there. In June, 1838, he removed
to the West, and taught school for awhile in Trenton, Tenn. ;
and afterwards in Paris, Tenn. In 1843 or 1844, he re
moved to Fulton county, Ky., and settled on a farm in
Rickman, which a son, dying, left him, and which he called
" Clergyman s Retreat." For some years he pursued the form
ing business, overseeing it, and attending to his garden : while
in his leisure hours he read books and wrote sermons ; preach
ing sometimes, but having no charge. He liked the investiga
tion of literary and scientific subjects. He gradually, for three
or four years before his death, became irritable and maniacal
under a disease of the brain (probably softening), until, in the
spring of 1858, his mind was completely gone, so that he did
not know his own wife and children ; and, becoming very furi
ous, his sons took him, in June, 1858, to the state asylum for
the insane, six miles out of Nashville, Tenn., a fine in
stitution ; where he died, not having had, during his stay there,
one lucid moment.

Mr. Hubbard married, 10 June, 1808, Charlotte, daughter
of Major Joseph Swazey, of Ipswich, Mass. They had nine
children, six sons and three daughters, of whom three sons and
two daughters are living. His wife died 30 October, 1858, in
the seventy-fifth year of her age, having survived her husband
not quite two months. The remains of Mr. Hubbard were
conveyed to Hickman, and deposited in the family cemetery
with his wife s, at "Clergyman s Retreat," owned by his son

Online LibraryJoseph PalmerNecrology of alumni of Harvard college, 1851-52 to 1862-63 → online text (page 21 of 49)