Joseph Palmer.

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

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during a period of severe suffering, is not excelled as a chaste
and comprehensive biography. His acquirements in history
were equalled by few men. He was a close student of medical
science. Few clergymen of eminence were so well versed in
theology, while his acquaintance with English polite literature
was exhaustive. His conversation, for terseness, variety, and
finish, was most eminent. The range of his thoughts was wide,
his mind catholic and genial, his manners full of courtesy
and grace. He left the impression of one, who, through excess
of sensibility or fastidiousness of taste, has never marshalled
his powers to any enterprise fully worthy of them. The w T on-

1860-61.] OP HARVARD COLLEGE. 357

der was, that a man of such a stamp and presence, so evidently
made up of every creature s best, was not a great poet,
philosopher, or saint ; for he looked fully capable of being

Mr. Holley belonged to a family which has largely contrib
uted to enlighten our American superstition. Two of his
brothers, Horace and Myron, were eminent propagandists of
Liberal Christianity, but neither was superior to him in intelli
gence, zeal, and devotion to the work of emancipating the people
from spiritual despotism. It was one of the chief desires of his
later years to establish a strong liberal church in the capital city
of New York. He gave himself freely to the work of organ
izing such a movement. His efforts, more than any thing,
secured the re-establishment of the drooping church in Albany.
For several years, he was clerk of the society, superintendent
of the sunday-school, often conducted public worship, and, it
is said, paid yearly one-eighth of his entire income into its

Mr. Holley was never married ; and, during his later years,
lived what would be called a lonely life ; but it was the best for
the peculiar cast of mind in his condition of health.

1815. Hon. EZRA HUNT, of Bowling Green, Mo., died
in Troy, Lincoln county, in that State, 19 September, 1860,
aged 70 years. He was in attendance upon the Circuit Court,,
in session there, in his usual health. Having spoken on a case
in his charge in the afternoon, and having eaten his supper
after the adjournment of the court, he said he was not very
well, went to a fire in a retired room at his lodgings, was con
versing with a lady with apparent cheerfulness, when he sud
denly appeared to be falling from his chair. He was caught,
and physicians were called, who found that the vital spark had
fled, and he ceased to live. He was the ninth and youngest son
of Daniel and Mary (Phillips) Hunt, and was born in Milford,
Mass., 7 April, 1790. He was a descendant of the sixth gene
ration from William Hunt, one of the original settlers of Con
cord, Mass. He was fitted for college at Leicester Academy;
of which Luther Willson (W.C. 1807), afterwards minister


of Petersham, Mass., was preceptor. He was distinguished
for his knowledge of mathematics and the exact sciences ; and
at Commencement, when he graduated, the subject assigned to
him was " The Study of the Mathematics." Immediately after
leaving college, he was appointed preceptor of Leicester Acad
emy ; where he remained until the autumn of 1817, when he
went to Cambridge for the purpose of studying divinity. He
remained there, with the exception of four months devoted to
keeping school in Lincoln, Mass., until May, 1818; when he
went to Pulaski, West Tenn., and took charge of an academy
on a salary of seven hundred dollars per annum. He was
invited to remain another year, with a salary of twelve hun
dred dollars, but declined. While in charge of the academy
in Pulaski, he pursued the study of the law, under the direc
tion of the late Judge William C. Carr; and, at the end of one
year, obtained a license to practise in the states of Missouri
and Illinois. He practised three years in the town of Louisi
ana, in Missouri. From this place, he removed to St. Charles
in the same state.

In 1831, he removed to Bowling Green, Pike county, Mo.
He was the first lawyer that ever settled in that county ; and it
is stated that he attended every term of the Criminal Court in
the county, either as lawyer or judge, from the territorial
days of 1819 until his death. He was appointed, 6 January,
1836, judge of the Circuit Court for that judicial district,
with a salary of a thousand dollars per annum ; and discharged
the duties of the office with ability and impartiality, to the general
satisfaction of the people of the circuit. He decided questions
of law, but never addressed juries. When he made any com
munication to the jury, it was in writing. In the convention
called to revise the constitution of the state of Missouri, in 1845,
he was a member for Pike and Rails counties, composing a dis
trict ; and acted as chairman of the judiciary committee in that
body. By a change in the constitution of Missouri, in 1849,
the term of offices of the judges was limited to eight years ; and,
simultaneously with the limitation, new judges were appointed
all over the state. Judge Hunt, who had held the office many

1860-61.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 359

years, was superseded by a man, who, if he had no other claim,
could allege most vigorous party services. Judge Hunt was a
diligent student all his life ; and, having accumulated one of the
largest and best private libraries in the state of Missouri, had
with its use, aided by a discriminating, logical mind, made
himself a learned and sound lawyer, as well as a ripe scholar in
general literature; and in all the relations of his life, both public
and private, he was faithful, just, and true.

In 1830, he visited Massachusetts ; and, on the 18th of May
in that year, he married, in Connecticut, Maria E. Pettibone,
then sixteen years old, daughter of the late Rufus Pettibone
(W.C. 1805), judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri. Judge
Pettibone married a New- York lady, and his daughter Maria
was born in ^sew York. The issue of this marriage was seven
children ; of whom four, with their mother, survived him.

1815. Hon. GAYTOX PICKMAX OSGOOD died in North
Andover, Mass., 26 June, 1861, aged 64 years, lacking eight
days. He was son of Isaac and Sally (Pickman) Osgood, and
was born in Salem, Mass., 4 July, 1797 ; but removed with his
parents in his infancy to North Andover, which was ever after
wards his place of abode. His father was for some time clerk
of the courts for the county of Essex. His mother was daughter
of Col. Benjamin Pickman (H.C. 1759), and sister of Col. Ben
jamin Pickman (H.C. 1784), of Salem. He was well fitted
for college at the Franklin Academy in North Andover. He
attained a high rank of scholarship in his class while in college.
After graduating, he studied law with Benjamin Merrill, of Salem
(H.C. 1804). He began the practice of law in Salem, but in
1819 removed to North Andover, and left the profession. Pos
sessed of ample property, he lived a retired life. He enjoyed
his library, a very valuable one, especially in classical literature,
which continued to hold a primary place in his studies to the
close of his life. He was formerly known as a prominent politi
cian of the democratic school. He was the leading opponent of
Caleb Gushing in his early competition for the office of repre
sentative to Congress, a contest long to be remembered, and
was elected for one term, 1833-35. In 1844, he was a candi-


date for elector-at-large in Massachusetts of President of the
United States ; but was not elected, having been nominated by
the democratic party. He was several times elected a represen
tative to the legislature : the last time, however, he refused to
take his seat, which, jn consequence, remained vacant for the
entire session. He sought the pleasures of home, and it was
only at the earnest solicitation of friends that he allowed the use
of his name as a candidate for office. His range of study and
reading was very extensive ; and his political and miscellaneous
lectures evince much thought and great research, and abound
with apt illustrations and eloquent appeals.

" From his cradle
He was a scholar, and a ripe and good one."

He was benevolent, sensible, and intelligent ; and united mod
esty with merit to a degree as unusual as it is amiable.

He married, 24 March, 1859, Mary Farnham, of North
Andover, but had no children. His wife survives him.

line, Mass., 16 April, 1861, aged 56 years. He was the eldest
son of Nathaniel and Mary (Ingersoll) Bowditch, and was
born in Salem, Mass., 17 January, 1805. His father, the
eminent mathematician of world-wide fame, was born in Salem,
26 March, 1773 ; and died in Boston, 16 March, 1838, aged 65
years. The subject of this notice was fitted for college in Salem
by Abiel Chandler (H.C. 1806). He graduated with high
honors, although the youngest in his class. He studied law
under the instruction of Hon. William Prescott (H.C. 1783)
and Hon. Franklin Dexter (H.C. 1812), and was admitted to
the Suffolk bar in 1825. A few years afterwards, he relin
quished the practice of law, and devoted himself to business
as a conveyancer and examiner of titles of real estate ; in which
he enjoyed a large and lucrative employment, and won the
esteem of all with whom he had intercourse, by the suavity
of his manners, and his noble and generous character. He
married, 23 April, 1835, Elizabeth B., eldest daughter of
Ebenezer Francis, well known as the wealthiest gentleman of

1860-61.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 361

Boston. For some years Mr. Bowditch was in the enjoyment
of a very large income, which he distributed in a thousand
nameless rills of beneficence for the relief of suffering humanity.
Mr. Francis died 21 September, 1858 ; and, soon after that
event, Mr. Bowditch retired from business, and took up his
residence in Brookline. Soon afterwards, he was attacked by
a terrible and incurable disease, a cancerous affection in one
of his thigh-bones ; and for eighteen months he was wasting
away under this painful disorder, unable to move, except slightly
to raise his head in the bed. But gently, patiently, nobly, was
the discipline borne. To go into his sick-chamber was like
going into a chapel ; and such dews fell upon the heart there
as fall upon the lilies of heaven. You saw the sufferer upon his
couch, propped up by pillows, pale and worn ; but his smile
was sweet, his greeting was cordial, his interest in life was un
abated. Books, the society of his family, intercourse with his
friends, filled up his days. Slowly and gradually the last hour
came, and now "Goodness and he fill up one monument."

His wife survives him, with four children, one son and
three daughters.

1822. Rev. NATHANIEL GAGE died in Cambridge, Mass.,
7 May, 1861, aged sixty years. He was son of Nathaniel and
Betsey (Kimball) Gage, and was born in North Andover, on
the line between North Andover and Boxford, Mass., 16 July,
1800. His father was a farmer ; and Nathaniel worked on the
farm while a boy, attending public schools until he was about
sixteen years of age. His father determined that one of his
sons should go to college. The younger son, Daniel, declined,
and chance fell to Nathaniel ; although his father regretted it, as
he was so apt at farming. He began to fit for college at Brad
ford Academy, under Benjamin Greenleaf (D.C. 1813); and
finished his preparatory studies under the instruction of Rev.
Peter Eaton (H.C. 1787), of Boxford, whose meeting the
family attended. Before he entered college, he taught school
in Boxford, pursuing at the same time his studies with great
perseverance. He entered, at the age of seventeen, without



conditions. While in college, he taught school every winter,
successively in Newton, Goffstown, N.H. , Wayland, and Bol-
ton. In summer vacations, he worked on the farm at home.
He ranked very high in scholarship while in college. He had
the oration on class-day, the salutatory oration at Commence
ment, and the valedictory oration when he took his second
degree. After graduating, he pursued his theological studies at
the Divinity School in Cambridge ; during a part of the time,
teaching school in Cambridgeport. In 1825, he was appointed
tutor in mathematics in college, and held the office one year.
He was ordained pastor of the Unitarian church in Nashua,
N.H., 27 June, 1827, where he remained seven years. He
was dismissed in 1834 ; and immediately went to Haverhill,
Mass., where he was installed 2 July of the same year. There
he remained seven years. Thence he went to Petersham, where
he was installed 6 October, 1841, and remained there four
years. From Petersham he went to Lancaster, where, for
about one year, he supplied the pulpit of Rev. Edmund Hamil
ton Sears (U.C. 1834), who was in ill health. Then he had a
call at Westborough, where he went in the spring of 1851, and
remained six years without being installed. In April, 1857,
he removed to Cambridge ; and in the summer of that year he
began to preach in Ashby, where he continued his ministrations
as long as he lived, going there on Saturdays, spending two
Sundays and the intervening week, then returning to his home
in Cambridge. On the 18th of April, 1861, while on his way
from Cambridge for Boston on foot, he was attacked with apo
plexy. He was carried home, where he lingered until the 7th
of May, when he died.

Mr. Gage was a man of a most genial and kindly spirit, a
true and devoted friend, a conscientious and self-sacrificing
Christian. Many have wondered that he had not risen to
fiigher eminence in the church. It is surprising that he should
have escaped reverses, and maintained so respectable and uni
form a standing, with his guiltless nature and sensitive heart.

" Of manners gentle, and affections mild,
In wit a man, simplicity a child."


His heart was warm and sympathetic, joyous in prosperity,
but in seasons of adversity overflowing with the tenderest sensi
bility. In private life, he was most interesting and genial.
Possessing no small share of wit, always cheerful and buoyant,
he was the life of the social circle ; tender and loving, he was
the idol of his home.

He published a Sermon, delivered at the installation of Rev.
A. Dumont Jones over the Congregational Church in Wilton,
N.H., January 1, 1834; 8vo ; Nashua, N.H., 1834; pp. 32.
An Address before the Essex Agricultural Society at Topsfield,
September 27, 1837, at the Annual Cattle Show; 8vo ; Sa
lem, 1838 ; pp. 27. A Discourse delivered in Windham,
N.H., 5 November, 1834, at the Interment of Rev. Jacob
Abbot and Capt. John Dinsmore, who were drowned 2 Novem
ber ; Nashua, N.H., 1835; 8vo, pp. 24. An Address on
Intemperance, pronounced at Nashua Village, N.H., April

4, 1829; published by request; 8vo. Dunstable, N.H., pp.
21. Sons and Daughters of the Times; a Sermon deliv
ered in Haverhill, Mass., on Fast Day, April 5, 1838.
Haverhill; pp. 28.

He married, 1 August, 1827, Abby Richardson, daughter
of Hon. Stephen Partridge and Achsah (Moore) Gardner, of
Bolton. She was the fourth of eight daughters, four of whom
became widows within four years. Their children were,
1. Ellen Gardner, born 9 July, 1828, at Nashua; married, 5
October, 1854, Rev. Charles Henry Wheeler (Bowd. C. 1847),
of South Danvers. 2. Abby, born February, 1831 ; died 1832,
aged 17 months. 3. Louisa Charlotte, born 18 October, 1833,
at Nashua; married, 20 September, 1855, Franklin, son of
Augustus and Harriet (Child) Perrin, born 9 August, 1830,
in Boston. 4. Nathaniel, born 1835 ; died November, 1839.

5. Minot Gardner, born 11 September, 1841 ; graduated at
Harvard College in 1861.

1822. Hon. FRANCIS OSBORN WATTS died in Roxbury,
Mass., 28 September, 1860, aged 57 years. He was son of
Francis and Mehitable (Lord) Watts, and was born in Kenne-
bunk, Me., 9 August, 1803. He was great-grandson of Judge


Samuel Watts, of Chelsea, Mass., and grandson of Dr. Edward
Watts, of Portland, Me. His father was a merchant in Kennc-
bunk ; and, on his removal to Boston, he engaged in business,
as a wholesale grocer, on Long Wharf, which he continued
about twelve years. In 1832, he was elected president of the
Atlantic Insurance Company; which office he held until 1844,
when he resigned it on account of ill health. He died 6 April,
1846. His mother was a devout Christian woman, who died
when he was little more than nine years old. In 1815, at the
age of twelve years, he entered Thornton Academy in Saco,
Me., where, under the instruction of Mr. Ezra Haskell (Y.C.
1811), he pursued his preparatory studies until 1818, when he
removed, with his father, to Boston, and completed his studies
at Mr. Gideon French Thayer s school, in Chauncy Place.
Immediately after leaving college, he began the study of law in
the office of Mr. Augustus Peabody, in Boston (D.C. 1803) ;
where, with the exception of a single intervening term at the
law school in Northampton, under Judge Samuel Howe (W.C.
1804) , he completed his legal studies ; and was admitted
to the Suffolk bar in October, 1825, at a little more than
twenty-two years of age. But, though so young, his abilities
and attainments and general character were such, that he was
immediately received as a law-partner by Mr. Peabody, with
whom he continued six years. A year later, he formed a part
nership with Mr. William Joseph Hubbard (Y.C. 1820) ; and,
many years afterwards, he records of both his partners, "I be
lieve I may say I have never had an unpleasant word with either
of them." Some few years before his death, he practised in
connection with Owen Glendour Peabody (D.C. 1842), the
son of his former partner. From 1826 until near the close
of 1840, he was a worshipper, and, for most of that time, a
communicant, in the Unitarian church : but in the spring of
1841, having changed his religious views, he joined the Protes
tant Episcopal church ; to which religious faith he ever after
wards adhered. He was esteemed by his acquaintances as a
singularly faultless man ; commanding respect and confidence
by the strength of his mind, the respectability of his attain-

1860-61.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 365

merits, the soundness of his judgment, the modesty of his self-
estimation, the uprightness of his dealings, the sweetness of his
temper, and the amenity of his manners. As a lawyer, he held
a highly respectable rank, and was greatly esteemed by his pro
fessional associates. In 1846, he was elected a senator from
the Suffolk district to the state legislature ; where he distin
guished himself as an able debater, and a most valuable mem
ber of the senatorial board.

He married, 1 May, 1826, Caroline Goddard, born 25
February, 1804, daughter of Thacher and Lucy Goddard, of
Boston, by whom he had seven children, three sons and four
daughters ; of whom two daughters only survive. His wife
died 25 July, 1850, aged 44 years and 5 months. He married
for his second wife, 21 January, 1854, Caroline Keith Brad
bury, daughter of Charles Bradbury, of Boston, who survives
him ; but has had no children.

1823. EDWARD VERNON CHILDE died in Paris, France,
23 January, 1861, aged 56 years. He was son of David Weld
and Abigail (Dorr) Child, and was born in Boston, 13 March,
1804. His name was originally Ebenezer Dorr Child, and
was changed, by an act of the legislature, 8 February, 1823.
His father w r as a very respectable merchant, and died in Bos
ton, 3 February, 1830, aged 58 years. The subject of this
notice was fitted for college at the Boston public Latin School.
After leaving college, he studied law in the office of Hon.
Daniel Webster (D.C. 1801). He did not, however, pursue
the profession. On the death of his father, he inherited an
ample fortune, which was subsequently very much increased by
his inheriting also the estate of a deceased brother. In 1828,
he went to Europe, where he remained about two years ; w r hen
he returned. About the year 1834, he again went to Europe ;
resided several years in Italy and Germany. He then became a
permanent resident in Paris, and devoted himself to literature.
He was a regular correspondent of the " London Times " for
nearly eleven years. His first letter to the " Times " was dated
Paris, 3 November, 1845 ; and the last, 7 June, 1856. He
was also correspondent of the " New-York Courier and En-


quirer" from 17 October, 1846, to 4 December, 1856. Both
these series of letters he had printed in 1857, in a duodecimo
volume making 259 pages, for private circulation.

He married, in 1831, Mildred Lee, daughter of Gen. Henry
Lee, of Virginia. He left three children, one son and
two daughters: viz., Edward Lee Childe, residing in Paris;
Florence, the elder daughter, married to Count Henry Soltyk,
of Cracow, Austrian Poland ; Mary, the younger, married
Robert Gilmor Hoffman, of Baltimore, Md. His wife died in
Paris, 24 June, 1856.

1823. JOSEPH HENRY FARLEY died in Pittsfield, Mass.,
4 January, 1861, aged 55 years. He was the fourth son of
Eben and Lydia (Coolidge) Farley, and was born in Boston,
7 September, 1805. His father was born in Ipswich, Mass., 24
March, 1775 ; was a merchant in Boston, of the firm of Swett
and Farley; and died 27 September, 1826, aged 51 years.
His mother was born in Watertown, Mass., 18 March, 1776 ;
and died 14 November, 1813, aged 37 years. The subject of
this notice was fitted for college at Phillips Academy in Exeter,
N.H. After graduating, he engaged in mercantile business,
and settled in New-York city ; having become a member of the
firm of Felix M. Walton and Co., importers of dry goods.
The house became insolvent ; and Mr. Farley subsequently en
tered into partnership with Calvin Angier, of New York, in the
sale of boots and shoes. Here he was again unfortunate. He
left New York, and went to Lenox, Mass., where he resided
with a younger brother ; but he fell into a morbid and depressed
state of mind, which the kindness of his friends could not re
store, but resulted in mental alienation, during which he termi
nated his life by his own hand. He was never married.

1823. Rev. JAMES TRASK WOODBURY died in Milford,
Mass., 16 January, 1861, aged 57 years. He was son of Hon.
Peter and Mary (Woodbury) Woodbury, and was born in
Francestown, N.H., 9 May, 1803. His father was born in
Beverly, Mass., in 1767, and removed to New Hampshire,
where he engaged in mercantile and agricultural pursuits ; was
fifteen years a representative, and two years a senator, in the

1860-61.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 367

state legislature. He died in 1834. His mother was daughter
of James Woodbury, who was born in Beverly, but removed
to Mount Yernon, N.H., in 1782. He was a subaltern in
Col. Robert Rogers s regiment of rangers ; and was near
Wolfe when he fell at the storming of Quebec. The subject
of this notice was a brother of the late Hon. Levi Woodbury
(D.C. 1809), who was governor of New Hampshire, senator
in congress, secretary of the navy, and afterwards secretary of
the treasury under President Jackson, and associate-justice of
the Supreme Court of the United States. He began to fit
for college at the academy in Francestown, N.H., and com
pleted his preparatory studies at Phillips Academy, Andover,
Mass. After leaving college, he studied law with his dis
tinguished brother Levi, in Portsmouth, N.H. He was ad
mitted to the bar of his native state in 1826, and at once opened
an office for the practice of law in Bath, N.H. Having a
thorough education, possessing talents of a high order, with an
unblemished character, strong physical and intellectual powers,
he had every prospect of becoming eminent in his profession.

But, in the midst of his bright prospects of future eminence,
his ambition was suddenly checked, and his whole course of life
changed. Under the preaching of Rev. David Sutherland, of
Bath, where he resided, he became a sincere convert to the
Christian faith, to the advocacy of which he devoted the rest of
his life. After a long struggle with himself, and contrary to
the advice of many friends, he relinquished his profession as a
lawyer, and placed himself under the instruction of Rev. Lyman
Beecher, D.D. (Y.C. 1797), of Boston, as a student of divin
ity. After completing his course of study, he soon had an invi
tation to settle as pastor of the church in Acton, Mass., and was
ordained 29 August, 1829, where he continued pastor for
twenty-two years. In the spring of 1852, at his own request,
he was dismissed from the church ; and, on the loth of July the

Online LibraryJoseph PalmerNecrology of alumni of Harvard college, 1851-52 to 1862-63 → online text (page 33 of 49)