Joseph Palmer.

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

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ment at Cambridge exceedingly. These seasons of re-union

1859-60.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 301

with his beloved classmates and very many literary friends gave
him heartfelt pleasure ; although, as he expressed himself not
long before his death, " it was sad to miss so many who have
gone to their graves, with whom I have trodden the paths of
literature in company."

1803. Rev. SAMUEL WILLARD died in Deerfield, Mass.,
8 October, 1859, aged 83. He was son of William and Cathe
rine (Wilder) Willard, and was born in Petersham, Mass., 18
April, 1776. He was fitted for college principally by Rev.
Nathaniel Thayer, D.D., of Lancaster, Mass. (H.C. 1789).
At the close of his collegiate studies, he determined upon the
gospel-ministry as his future vocation ; but, immediately after
graduating, he went to Exeter as assistant-preceptor in the
academy at that place, where he continued until August, 1804,
and employed most of his leisure time in the studies of his
chosen profession, under Rev. Jesse Appleton, D.D., of Hamp
ton, N.H. (D.C. 1792), afterwards president of Bowdoin
College. His continuance with Mr. Appleton was of short
duration ; for early in October, the same year, he was ap
pointed tutor in Bowdoin College ; which appointment he
accepted. There, too, he employed his leisure time in prepara
tions for the ministry, under the instruction of Rev. Joseph
McKeen, D.D. (D.C. 1774), president of the college. In
September, 1805, he returned to Cambridge to finish the course
of theological study he had begun under Dr. Appleton, and
continued under Dr. McKeen. After a few weeks, he was
licensed by the Cambridge Association to preach. He preached
his first sermon in Deerfield, 15 March, 1807. In June, he
received an invitation to settle there, and accepted it. The 12th
of August was the day first appointed for his ordination ; and
the council assembled, composed principally of the Calvinistic
persuasion. It was about this time that the first indications
were made apparent that this denomination were preparing to
separate themselves from the Arminian and liberal churches.
The council, after a two-days session and a rigid examination
of the candidate, refused to ordain him ; not deeming the prin
ciples he avowed to come up to their standard of faith. Another


council was called, and he was ordained 23 September, 1807.
From that time, he became a pioneer in the cause of liberal
Christianity. He labored faithfully and acceptably among the
people who had called him to be their spiritual guide. He early
took a deep interest in public schools, and wrote a series of
schoolbooks, which were long and successfully used. He was
a scientific musician ; and was the author of the " Deerfield Col
lection of Sacred Music," which deservedly held a high rank.
" It aimed to secure, by the simplest and most practicable means,
an invariable coincidence between the poetic and the musical
emphases, and thus to combine the- two powers for the high pur
pose of religious impression." Many of the hymns in his col
lection were of his own composition ; and, after its publication,
he committed to memory every hymn in the volume. In 1819,
his sight became so dim that he could neither read nor write ;
and then his devoted and affectionate wife cheerfully supplied all
his needs, as far as human help could do it, aided by their chil
dren and friends. In September, 1829, he resigned his pastoral
charge, but continued to officiate to his people occasionally
until near the close of his life. His loss of sight induced him
to make attempts to strengthen his memory, which he did to a
wonderful degree ; and he accordingly accustomed himself to
commit to memory daily something of value. His wife would
read passages over and over, until he attained them ; and, in
his hours of solitude, he would keep repeating them. The
amount thus committed became prodigious. Many books of
the New Testament, and the Psalms and Prophets of the Old,
he could repeat with an accuracy which was unerring. The
severe affliction of blindness he submitted to with meek submis
sion to the will of the Sovereign Disposer. For forty years, he
was not able to look upon the beauties of the earth, or the glo
ries of heaven. He had not seen the face of his beloved wife,
of his virtuous children, or his troops of friends ; yet not a
word of complaint, not a whisper of uneasiness, nor a tear of
sorrow. He was a modest but large benefactor to society, and
his parish loved and respected him without cessation. If there
was a truly Christian household in the state, that family circle

1859-60.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 303

was his ; and many loved to sit, and sun themselves in the light
that was ever pouring from his rich and healthy mind. He was
a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences ;
and, in 1826, the honorary degree of doctor of divinity was
conferred upon him by Harvard College.

He married, 30 May, 1808, Susan Barker, daughter of Dr.
Joshua Barker, of Hingham, Mass. (H.C. 1772). They had
three children, two daughters and one son, who survive
him. The son inherited his father s sad infirmity of blindness.
His wife died 24 August, 1857, aged 74 years.

1804. Dr. JOHN MAITLAND BREWER died in Beverly,
N.J., 5 November, 1859, aged 78. He was son of David and
Comfort (Wheeler) Brewer, and was born in Framingham,
Mass., 10 April, 1781. His name, originally, was John Brew
er, but many years since he took the intermediate name of
Maitland. He was fitted for college at Framingham Academy.
He entered Brown University in 1800, where he remained two
years ; when he left, and entered the junior class at Harvard
College, 14 October, 1802. Immediately after graduating, he
was appointed perceptor of the same academy in which he had
pursued his preparatory studies for college, where he continued
two years. He then studied divinity with his pastor, Eev.
David Kellogg, D.D. (D.C. 1775), of Framingham. After
preaching a short time to good acceptance, he received a call to
take the pastoral charge of the church in Dover, Mass., but de
clined the invitation on account of the inadequacy of the salary
offered. He soon afterwards relinquished preaching, and took
charge of an academy in New Bedford, Mass., where he re
mained several years. He then removed to Germantown, Penn,,
where he continued the occupation of teaching with much suc
cess as an instructor, and with pecuniary profit to himself. He
afterwards went to Philadelphia, where he studied medicine.
In 1837, he received the degree of M.D. from the University of
Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, and practised medicine in that
city until 1850 ; when, having become wealthy, he removed to
Beverly, N.J., where he owned real estate to a considerable
amount, and where he built several houses, one of which he


occupied himself, and there passed the remainder of his days. He
was an expert financier, and the latter years of his life were de
voted almost exclusively to " increasing his store," in which he
took great satisfaction, and was highly successful. He was
never married.

1808. CHARLES FLANDERS died in Plainfield, N.H., 15
April, 1860, aged 72. He was son of Nehemiah and Sarah
(French) Flanders, and was born in Newburyport, Mass., 11
February, 1788. He was fitted for college by Michael Walsh,
of Newburyport. After leaving college, having chosen law for
a profession, he pursued his studies partly under the instruc
tion of Samuel Lorenzo Knapp (D.C. 1804), and partly with
Little and Banister, of Newburyport (D.C. 1797). Having
been admitted to the bar, he established himself in the practice
of his profession in Plainfield. Possessing a clear, discerning,
and logical mind, by untiring industry and devoted attention to
the interests of his clients, he soon rose to distinction, and
acquired an extensive and lucrative practice. For nearly fifty
years, he was distinguished as an honored member of the New-
Hampshire bar, an able lawyer, a safe counsellor, and an honest
man. Nor were his talents and usefulness without appreciation
by the people among whom he so long resided. He several
times represented Plainfield in the New-Hampshire legislature :
not so often as he would have done, had his political views been
different. He was of the old Federal National-Republican
school, to which he adhered consistently and strenuously. He
was, at one time, solicitor for Sullivan county. In 1847, the
honorary degree of master of arts was conferred upon him by
Dartmouth College. About the year 1848, he removed to
Manchester, N.H., where he resided several years; but re
turned to Plainfield some four or five years before his death.
He was a kind husband and father, a worthy and respected
citizen ; fulfilling all the relations of life with conscientious and
scrupulous integrity and fidelity.

He married, 20 August, 1815, Lucretia Kingsbury, of Keene,
,N.H. The issue of this marriage was four sons and one daugh
ter, Charles, George M., William M., Henry, and Ellen.

1859-60.] OP HARVARD COLLEGE. 305

Charles was a merchant in New York, and died a few years
since. George M., a lawyer, and William M., a merchant,
both resided in Boston. Henry became a distinguished lawyer
and writer in Philadelphia. He is the author of " Lives and Times
of the Chief- Justices of the United States," in two parts :
the first containing the lives of John Jay and John Rutledge,
published in 1855 ; and the other those of William Gushing
Gliver, Gliver Ellsworth, and John Marshall, in 1858. The
work is written in a beautiful style, the biographies being inter
spersed with many stirring incidents of the times, rendering it
an exceedingly fascinating book. He has also written two other
works, which are esteemed high authority by the legal profession,
-"A Treatise on Maritime Law," published in 1853 ; and "A
Treatise on the Law of Shipping," published in 1858. Ellen
became the wife of Dr. Norman Curtis Stevens, a much-esteemed
physician in Boston.

1808. Eev. RALPH SANGER died in Cambridge, Mass.,
6 May, 1860, aged 73. He was the fourth son of Rev. Zede-
kiah (H.C. 1771) and Irene (Freeman) Sanger, and was born
in Duxbury, Mass., 22 June, 1786. His father, who was son
of Richard and Deborah (Rider) Sanger, was born in Sherborn,
Mass., 4 October, 1748; was ordained at Duxbury, Mass.,
3 July, 1776; dismissed, at his own request, 10 April, 1786;
was installed at Bridgewater as colleague with Rev. John
Shaw (H.C. 1729), 17 December, 1788. Mr. Shaw died 29
April, 1791, aged 84; and, fr<5m that time, Mr. Sanger dis
charged the laborious duties of pastor alone until his death,
which took place 17 November, 1820, at the age of 72. In
addition to his pastoral duties, he instructed a classical school.
He was highly esteemed for genius and learning, reverenced as
a minister, and sought for as a counsellor. He was a member
of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences ; and, in 1807,
the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon
him by Brown University. The subject of this notice was fitted
for college by his father, and graduated with the highest honors
of his class. After leaving college, he studied divinity with his
father. In 1811, he was appointed tutor at Cambridge, where



he remained one year. He was ordained pastor of the church
in Dover, Mass., 16 September, 1812, as successor of Rev.
Benjamin Caryl (H.C. 1761), who died 13 November, 1811, at
the age of 79 years. Here he labored with great fidelity, and
in perfect harmony with the people of his charge, until his death,
a period of forty-seven years and seven months. He was sole
pastor until about a year before his decease, when the Rev.
Edward Gr. Barker was ordained as colleague with him. Mr.
Caryl was ordained 10 November, 1762 ; and it is worthy of
note that the pastorates of these two clergymen comprised, with
an interval of only ten months, a period of ninety-seven years
and six months. About four years before his death, his house
was set on fire by an incendiary, and destroyed. He soon after
wards removed to Cambridge, to the house of his son-in-law,
Mr. William W. Gannett, where he resided during the remain
der of his life, although he continued his pastoral labors over
his society in Dover, as before. He was elected a representative
in the state legislature from Dover in 1837, 1845, 1847, 1851,
and 1854. In 1858, the honorary degree of doctor of divinity
was conferred upon him by Harvard College.

Dr. Sanger was extensively known, and universally respected
for his mild, amiable disposition, and spotless integrity. As a
Christian minister, his wisdom, prudence, fidelity, and useful
ness won for him a name that will be sacredly cherished in the
church, and in many homes where his influence was felt and his
labors were known. For the promotion of agriculture, of tem
perance, and of social elevation and improvement in every way,
his labors were modestly yet earnestly employed. He was a
man of scholarly and liberal attainments, of a frank and cheerful
temperament, distinguished for his sterling virtues and his mod
est worth. In his death, a worthy man and a sincere Christian
has gone to his rest.

He married, in July, 1817, Charlotte Kingman, of East
Bridgewater, who was born 5 July, 1792. The issue of this
marriage was six children, four sons and two daughters.

1808. Hon. SAMUEL EMERSON SMITH died in Wiscasset,
Me., 3 March, I860, aged 71. His death was very sudden. He

1859-60.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 307

retired, about eleven o clock, in his usual health, having just
completed the solution of a difficult mathematical problem upon
which he had been engaged during the evening, and soon after
wards breathed his last. He was the seventh child and third
son of Manasseh (H.C. 1773) and Hannah (Emerson) Smith,
and was born in Hollis, N.H., 12 March, 1788. His parents
removed to Wiscasset the year of his birth. His father, who
was the son of Abijah Smith, was born in Leominster, Mass.,
25 December, 1749. He was a lawyer in Leominster, in Hollis-
ton, and in Wiscasset; and was clerk of the Supreme Court. He
died 21 May, 1823, aged 73. The subject of this notice was
fitted for college, partly at Wiscasset, and partly at Groton
(Mass.) Academy. He attained to a distinguished rank in his
class, and graduated with high honors. After leaving college,
he studied law, for a time, with Hon. Samuel Dana, of Groton ;
afterwards with his brothers Manasseh Smith (H.C. 1800), of
Warren, Me., and Joseph Emerson Smith (H.C. 1804) , of Bos
ton. He was admited to the bar in Boston, 25 February, 1812,
and established himself in the practice of his profession in Wis
casset. In 1819, he was elected to represent Wiscasset in the
general court in Boston, and was elected to the legislature of
Maine in 1820, after the separation of that state from Masssachu-
setts. He was appointed chief-justice of the Court of Common
Pleas in 1821, and a justice of the state Court of Common Pleas
in 1822 ; which situation he retained until 1830, when he was
elected governor of Maine. He was re-elected governor for the
political years 1831-32 and 1832-33, and was re-appointed
justice of the Court of Common Pleas early in 1835 ; which office
he resigned in 1837. In October, 1837, he was appointed one
of the commissioners to revise the public laws of Maine. On
his election to the gubernatorial chair, he removed to Augusta,
where he resided until July, 1836, when he returned to Wis
casset. He was unostentatious in his intercourse with his fellow-
citizens, honest in all his dealings, exemplary in his habits of
life, beloved and respected by all who knew him.

He married, 12 September, 1832, Louisa Sophia, daughter
of Hon. Henry Weld Fuller (D.C. 1801), of Augusta; and


had five children, all sons. His wife and children survived

1810. Dr. JOSEPH EATON died at Fort Hamilton, N.Y.,
17 March, 1860, aged 75. He was son of Edmund and Sally
(Brown) Eaton, and was born in Reading, Mass., 24 July,
1784. His mother was a descendant of Nicholas Brown, one of
the first settlers of Reading. She was also a relation of Gen.
Benjamin Brown, of Reading, who was a colonel in the Revolu
tion, and a general in the militia. The subject of this notice was
fitted for college at Phillips Academy, in Andover, Mass. He
was much assisted, in acquiring his education, by his relative,
Rev. Oliver Brown (H.C. 1804), of Charlestown, Mass., then
chaplain of the state-prison. After leaving college, he chose the
medical profession ; and, having pursued his studies for some
time, he entered the army of the United States, 14 April, 1812,
as surgeon s-mate. This position he resigned, 12 December,
1813. He was appointed hospital-surgeon s mate, 15 April,
1814 ; and, having completed his medical studies, he received
his degree of M.D. that year. He was commissioned as assist
ant-surgeon with the rank of captain, 1 June, 1821, which post
he retained during the remainder of his life ; and, at his death, he
was the senior surgeon in the service. He was an intelligent
gentleman, and a faithful public servant. He married Sally
Smith, of Salem, Mass. The issue of this marriage was six
children, one son and five daughters. The son, whose name
is Joseph, entered the army ; and, during the Mexican war,
was aide to Gen. Taylor. He had the reputation of being a brave
officer. The daughters have resided in the vicinity of Fort
Hamilton. Their mother died about nineteen years since.

1810. ISAAC REDINGTON HOWE died in Haverhill, Mass.,
15 January, 1860, aged 67. He was son of David and Eliza
beth (Redington) Howe, and was born in Haverhill, 13 March,
1791. He was prepared for college at Phillips Academy, An
dover. After graduating, he began the study of law, under the
instruction of Hon. George Bliss, of Springfield, Mass. (Y.C.
1784) ; and completed his studies with Hon. William Prescott,
of Boston (H.C. 1783). After his admission to the bar, he

1859-60.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 309

opened an office in his native town, where he resided during the
remainder of his life. He was, for many years, active in his
profession, in which he acquired a highly respectable rank ; but
he gave up his business some sixteen years before his death,
alleging, as it is said, that he did not regard it as an honest pro
fession. In this, probably, his peace principles, which were well
known, actuated him. He wrote much for the press, and was
at one time associated in conducting the " Haverhill Gazette."
He was a great advocate of all that related to mechanics and the
arts ; and, in these matters, his mind was far in advance of
the age. He was never selfish or partisan in his character. He
aimed at truth and independence, and never committed his con
duct or opinions to the dictation of party. He was a gentleman
of great kindness and gentleness of disposition. For several
years before his death, he was in ill health, and was but little
known away from his own fireside, being but seldom abroad.
Possessed of unusual amiability, he had no enemies. He was
particularly upright and honorable in all his business transactions,
and left a character above reproach.

Mr. Howe married, 16 June, 1816, Sarah; daughter of Dr.
Nathaniel Saltonstall, of Haverhill (H.C. 1766), and sister
of Hon. Leverett Saltonstall, of Salem (H.C. 1802). They
had eight children, four sons and four daughters, of whom
three sons and one daughter, with their mother, survived their
father. The children are as follows: 1. Nathaniel Salton
stall, born 24 April, 1817 (Y.C. 1835) ; lawyer in Haver
hill, and judge of probate ; has been member of the state
senate. 2. Mary Cooke, born 25 March, 1819 ; married, 30
September, 1851, James H. Carleton, a merchant in Haverhill.
3. Caroline Matilda, born 27 September, 1821 ; died 9 August,
1844. 4. Ann Elizabeth, born 14 November, 1823; died
7 July, 1845. 5. William Garland, born 28 June; died 26
August, 1826. 6. Frances Garland, born 8 October, 1827 ;
died 5 September, 1828. 7. William Garland, born 1 August,
1829 ; broker in Boston. 8. Francis Saltonstall, born 8 No
vember, 1831 (H.C. 1852) ; lawyer in Chicago.

1810. Rev. CYRUS PEIRCE died in West Newton, Mass.,


5 April, 1860, aged 69. He was the youngest of twelve chil
dren five sons and seven daughters of Isaac and Hannah
(Mason) Peirce ; and was born in Waltham, Mass., 15 August,
1790. He began his preparatory studies for college at Fra-
mingham Academy, and completed them under the instruction of
Eev. Charles Stearns, D.D. (H.C. 1773), of Lincoln, Mass.
While in college, he maintained the reputation of a pure, up
right young man ; a faithful and indefatigable student ; an accu
rate, though not a brilliant, scholar. During his sophomore
year, in the winter of 1807-8, he began his labors as a school
teacher in the village of West Newton, in the same town, and
not far from the very spot, where he closed his life, upwards of
fifty-three years afterwards. Immediately after leaving college,
he accepted an invitation to take charge of a private school in
Nan tucket. Here he taught, two years, with great fidelity and
success. During that time, he determined to study for the min
istry ; and, in 1812, he returned to Cambridge to pursue his
theological studies. After three years spent there, he was per
suaded to return to Nantucket, and resume his work as a teacher,
where he remained three years. In 1818, he left, and began
preaching. He was ordained pastor of a church in North Read
ing, Mass., 18 May, 1819. Here he remained a most faithful
and discreet preacher of the gospel for eight years ; but, having
come to the conclusion that he was not called to preach so much
as to teach, he resigned his pastoral charge, 19 May, 1827, and
returned to school-keeping, as that which should thenceforth be
the business of his life. In company with a relative, Mr.
Simeon Putnam (H.C. 1811), he took charge of a school in
North Andover, Mass. Here he remained four years ; when
at the earnest solicitation of his former friends, in 1831, he re
turned to Nantucket. His return was most cordially welcomed ;
and he immediately found himself at the head of a large and
lucrative school. This school he continued to teach six years,
during which time he was occasionally blessed with able assist
ants ; and among them was Miss Maria Mitchell, who had been
his pupil, and who has since obtained a world-wide fame as an
astronomer. In 1837, he relinquished his private school, and

1859-60.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 311

became the principal of Nantucket High School. This school
he kept two years. In 1839, when the first normal-school on
this continent was established at Lexington, Mass., he was, at
the earnest solicitation of the late Horace Mann, induced to take
charge of it; and entered upon his labors, 3 July, 1839. He
began with only three scholars. The contrast between the full
and flourishing establishment he had just left at Nantucket, and
the " beggarly account of empty boxes " which was daily before
him for the first three months, was very disheartening. How
ever, he had put his hand to the plough, and of course the fur
row must be driven through, ay, and the whole field be turned
over, before he would relinquish his effort. He set about his
work as one determined to " do with his might what his hand
found to do." He soon made his three pupils conscious that
there was more to be known about even the primary branches of
education than they had dreamed ; and better methods of teach
ing reading, spelling, grammar, and geography, than were
practised in the schools. Their reports of the searching thor
oughness and other excellent peculiarities of the normal-teacher
attracted others to him. The number of his pupils steadily
increased from term to term, until, at the expiration of his
first three years service, there were forty-two ; at which time
he was obliged to resign in consequence of failing health, and he
returned to Nantucket : but, at the end of two years, he was so
far recruited as to be able to resume the charge of the school, to
which he was unanimously elected in 1844 ; it having been re
moved to West Newton. He continued in charge of the school
until 1849, when he was again compelled to resign on account
of his health. He retired with the highest recommendation of
the Board of Education and others for his fidelity and success.

A purse containing five hundred dollars was contributed by
his pupils and other friends, and was presented to him, to enable

Online LibraryJoseph PalmerNecrology of alumni of Harvard college, 1851-52 to 1862-63 → online text (page 28 of 49)