Joseph Palmer.

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

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happily married, and enjoyed, in an uncommon degree, the
blessings of domestic life ; and, when the partner of his comforts
and cares was taken from him, he was not left in entire domes
tic solitude, but was cared for and solaced by dutiful and affec
tionate children. In his professional business, he was faithful
and exact, and possessed the utmost confidence of his clients.
Without seeking for political distinction, he took a reasonable
degree of interest in politics, which was demonstrated by his
pen, and by his acceptance of the office of representative of the
town. He was a member of the governor s council in 1818
and 1819, and of the Convention for revising the Constitution of
Massachusetts in 1820. On the 1st of May, 1821, he was ap
pointed judge of probate for Middlesex County ; the duties of
which office he discharged with singular fidelity and promptness
for nearly thirty-five years, until the latter part of March, 1856,
when he was compelled to resign it on account of the feeble
state of his health. He was elected a member of the Board of
Overseers of Harvard College in 1824, which office he held until
the new organization of the board in 1852. In all his civil,
social, and official relations, his uprightness and urbanity will
be among the cherished memories of a host of survivors.

1798. Hon. RALPH HILL FRENCH died in Manchester,
N.H., 31 October, 1855, aged 79. He was born in Marble-
head, Mass., 31 January, 1776. He studied law with Hon.
William Gordon, of Amherst, N.H. (H.C. 1779) ; and opened
an office in Marblehead, in which town, and in Salem, he prac
tised law more than twenty years, during which time he held
many offices of trust and importance. In 1819, he was elected
a senator in the Massachusetts legislature from Essex District.
He was chosen register of deeds for Essex County, and held the
office twenty years, until he was compelled to resign it on
account of the impaired state of his health. Three years before

1855-56.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 81

his death, he removed to Manchester, where he spent the remain
der of his days. He married a sister of Hon. Charles Hum
phrey Atherton, of Amherst, N.H. (H.C. 1794). He was
highly respected by the bar, and by the people of Essex County,
among whom he passed the greater portion of his life.

1799. Hon. EBENEZER CLAP died in Bath, Me., 28
January, 1856, aged 77. He was born in Mansfield, Mass.,
21 January, 1779. His father was a respectable farmer of that
town. When a boy, he had an unaccountable presentiment
that he was born to greater things than he saw awaited him
should he remain and labor with his father on a form : so he
betook himself to study, for the purpose of acquiring a liberal
education. Soon after graduating, he began the study of law
under Hon. Seth Padelford, of Taunton (Y.C. 1770) ; and
finished his legal studies under the instruction of Hon. Benjamin
Whitman, of Pembroke (B.U. 1788). He was admitted to
the bar at Taunton in 1803, and immediately opened an office
in Nantucket ; but removed the same year to Bath, where he
resided during the remainder of his life. During that long
period, he held many important positions among his fellow-
citizens ; at the bar, in the legistature of Massachusetts, on
the bench, as judge of the Court of Sessions, and fourteen
years judge of the Municipal Court in Bath. In 1812, he
married Sarah Winslow, of Marshfield, Mass., daughter of
Dr. Isaac Winslow, and a descendant, in a direct line, from
Gov. Winslow. They had no children. Judge Clap was an
honest lawyer. In disposition he was modest, mild, and
humane ; in integrity he was above reproach.

1800. Hon. TIMOTHY BOUTELLE died in Waterville, Me.,
12 November, 1855, aged 77. He was son of Col. Timothy
and Eachel (Lincoln) Boutelle, and was born in Leominster,
Mass., 10 November, 1778. After leaving college, he became
an assistant preceptor in Leicester Academy, where he remained
one year. He began the study of law, in his native town, with
Hon. Abijah Bigelow (D.C. 1795) ; and completed his studies
in the office of Edward Gray, Esq., of Boston (H.C. 1792).
Soon after his admission to the bar, he established himself in



Waterville, and made that place his home until the close of his
life. He soon acquired a good practice in the counties of Ken-
nebec and Somerset, to which his attention was principally
limited. For many years, he devoted himself mainly to the
regular duties of his profession, without being much allured
by the honors and emoluments of political life. With the
exception of acting as elector of President and Vice- President
in 1816, he was not much in public life until after the separation
of Maine from Massachusetts, when he subsequently served at
least a dozen years as senator and representative in the legis
lature of Maine. He was a warm friend of the cause of educa
tion, and took a deep interest in Waterville College, of which
he was, at the time of his death, one of the trustees, and from
which he received, in 1839, the honorary degree of Doctor of
Laws. During the latter years of his life, having in a great
measure withdrawn from the active duties of his profession, he
gave much of his time and labor to the promotion of railroads
and the means of internal improvement. Active, energetic, and
public-spirited, he was ever ready to engage in any enterprise,
which, in his judgment, would tend to promote the best interests
of the public ; and, in all situations of influence and trust, he
enjoyed, in a high degree, the confidence of those associated with
him. He closed a long, active, and useful life with a reputation
for sound judgment, public spirit, and kindness of heart, which
might well afford the richest consolation to those who loved and
respected him.

1802. JOHN Mico GANNETT, of Walpole, Mass., died
suddenly in Boston, 25 July, 1855, aged 71. He was son of
Caleb and Katharine (Wendell) Gannett ; and was born in
Cambridge, Mass., 15 March, 1784. His father, liev. Caleb
Gannett (H. C. 1763), was born in Bridgewater, Mass.,
22 August, 1745 ; was ordained in Hingham, Mass., 12 Octo
ber, 1767, as minister at Amherst and Cumberland, N.S. ;
where he remained until 1771, when he returned to Massa
chusetts. He was tutor in Harvard College from 1773 to 1780 ;
a member of the corporation from 1778 to 1780; and steward
from 1779 till his death, which took place 25 April, 1818.

1855-56.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 83

His mother was daughter of John Mico Wendell, whose wife
was Katharine, daughter of William Brattle. Mr. Gannett was
1 fitted for college at Pliillips Academy, Andover, Mass. Imme
diately after he graduated, he began to study law in the office of
Hon., William Stedman, of Lancaster, Mass. (H.C. 1784) ;
but soon went to Plymouth, Mass., and entered the office of
Judge Joshua Thomas (H.C. 1772), with whom he studied two
years. He was admitted to the bar, in Boston, before he was
twenty-one years old. He was married, 30 June, 1805, in Hart
ford, Conn., to Mary Woodbridge Wyllys, daughter of Gen.
Samuel Wyllys (Y.C. 1758). He opened an office in North-
field, Mass., where he remained about two years. While there,
he was chosen major-general of the militia. Early in the year
1807, he was prevailed on by his father-in-law, who was secre
tary of the state of Connecticut, and between seventy and eighty
years of age, to move to Hartford. Here he practised law,
became a prominent politician of the old federal school, was a
representative to the General Court, a senator, and a member
of the council. About 1823, his health became impaired so
much as to prevent him in a great measure from pursuing his
profession. His wife died 25 April, 1825. This produced a
a great effect on his spirits, and he spent two or three years in
Cambridge and Boston. In 1828, his health having improved,
he moved to Walpole, Mass., with the view of leading a quiet
country life. Here he declined entering extensively into the
practice of law; but, as he held a commission of justice of
the peace, he rendered various services, mostly gratuitous, to his
friends and neighbors. He was married a second time, 3 April,
1837, to Hannah, daughter of William Kingsbury, a farmer in
Walpole. She died in April, 1839. He was a member of the
school committee of Walpole during his residence there. He
devoted much of his time to literature, and published many
articles in the newspapers. " He was a fine specimen of a gen
tleman of the old school, courteous, genial, of great integrity,
of fine tastes, varied attainments, and of high culture." His
death, which was caused by disease of the heart, took place
while he was on a temporary visit to Boston.


1806. CHARLES HAYWARD died in Boston, 18 December,
1855, aged 68. He was son of Dr. Lemuel Hay ward (H.C.
1768), and was born in Boston, 18 August, 1787. His father 1
was a surgeon in the Revolutionary army ; was afterwards for
many years an eminent physician in Boston, where he died 20
March, 1821, aged 72. Mr. Hay ward, after leaving college,
engaged in mercantile business, but relinquished it ; and, for the
last thirty-five years, was well known as a notary public. He
was highly respected as a quiet, unobtrusive, upright, worthy

1808. NAHUM HOUGHTON GROCE died in Westford,
Mass., 14 March, 1856, aged 74. He was born in Sterling,
Mass., 8 December, 1781. He was, for fourteen years, pre
ceptor of Westford Academy. The subsequent part of his life
he devoted to agricultural pursuits.

1812. GEORGE PHILLIPS PARKER died in New- York City,
19 January, 1856, aged 62. He was son of John Parker, of
Boston ; where he was born 2 March, 1793. His name original
ly was George Parker ; but, some years after leaving college, he
took the intermediate name of Phillips. He entered his father s
counting-room, where he remained a short time ; after which he
went to Europe, where he travelled several years. For some
years before his death, he was actively engaged in the temper
ance cause, and contributed liberally from his ample means to
promote its objects.

1814. GORHAM BROOKS died in Medford, Mass., 11 Sep
tember, 1855, aged 60. He was son of Hon. Peter C. Brooks,
and was born in Boston, 10 February, 1795. He was prepared
for college at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. After reading
law one year in the office of Hon. Lewis Strong at Northamp
ton (H.C. 1803), he made a voyage to Calcutta, not in the
way of business, but for amusement and to see the world. In
1833, he engaged in mercantile business in Baltimore as one of
the firm of William E. Mayhew and Co. Possessing an ample
fortune, he retired after a few years, and returned to Massachu
setts, where he subsequently resided, passing the winters in Bos
ton, and the summers at his country seat in Medford ; devoting

1855-56.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 85

himself to agriculture and gardening, for which he had great taste
and fondness. He married the only daughter of Eesin D. Shep
herd, Esq., of New Orleans. Being of a modest, retiring dispo
sition, he did not seek distinction, and was never in public life,
except that he one year represented the town of Medford in the
state legislature. Distinguished by spotless integrity, he added
lustre to a family name already honored in the history of the
commonwealth for its bravery in the field, and its unsurpassed
success in active business.

1814. EZEKIEL HILDRETH died in Wheeling, Va., 15
March, 1856, aged 71. He was born in Westford, Mass.,
18 July, 1784, and was fitted for college at Westford Academy.
On leaving college, he entered upon the business of teaching. He
taught in Washington City, D.C. ; Wheeling, Va. ; Zanesville,
O. ; Louisville, Ky. ; Newmarket, Ya. ; and Decatur, Tenn. ;
in all, forty-two years. He published a grammatical work, enti
tled "Logopolis, or City of Words;" also a "Key to Knowl
edge ; " an " Essay on the Mortality of the Soul ; " and an
"Address on Education," delivered before the Educational Con
vention of Virginia, held at Clarksburg, Va., in 1836. He
also left a number of unpublished manuscripts on various sub
jects, translations from the Septuagint, &c. He married, in
June, 1818, Sally, daughter of Jonathan Zane ; had three sons
and four daughters, of whom all the sons and one daughter sur
vive him. His wife died in July, 1854. For the last eight
years of his life, particularly, his mind was in an unbalanced
state. The particular form of mental disturbance appeared to
be an alternation of melancholia and hypochondriasis. His
reasoning powers, so far from being obtunded, were, at times,
remarkably acute. Difficult mathematical problems proposed to
him he would work out. Incorrect quotations from Greek and
Latin authors, purposely made to him, he would promptly cor
rect. There was a sullen and dogged idea with him that he
could not "get along," that is, provide for his family, although
the family had not only provided for themselves, but for him.
For the last eight or nine years, the family were very comforta
bly situated, without necessity for labor of any kind. Mr. Hil-


dreth s oldest son, who is an eminent physician in Wheeling,
supplied his father s place in the family, when the latter, from
mental malady, was no longer able to preside over the household ;
and watched over him in his last hours with true filial affection.

1815. ANDREW CUNNINGHAM DAVISON, of Boston, died
in Lexington, Mass., 27 January, 1856, aged 66. He was son
of Henry and Mary Davison, and was born in Boston, 5 June,
1789. After graduating, he began the study of law in the office
of Hon. George Blake, in Boston (H.C. 1789) . From March,
1818, to November, 1828, he was assistant teacher in the
Adams School in Boston. For many years previous to his
death, his health did not permit him to engage in any active pur
suit ; and, for the last few months of his life, his mental and
physical powers were so much impaired, that his friends removed
him to Lexington, where he was tenderly watched and cared for
until death came to his and their relief.

bridge, Mass., 16 January, 1856, aged 60. He was son of
Kev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, D.D. (H.C. 1787) ; and was
born in Dorchester, Mass., 12 November, 1795. On leaving
college, he chose the medical profession ; and, after completing
his studies, he established himself for medical practice in Milton,
in connection with the eminent physician Dr. Amos Holbrook,
whose advanced years (although he lived a score of years
longer) already demanded some relief. As a physician, he
acquired a solid reputation for learning, fidelity, and skill : but
his little confidence in himself, and a growing taste for natural
sciences, led him to desire some mode of life more consistent
with its leisurely cultivation; and in 1831, on the decease of
Benjamin Pierce, the librarian of Harvard College, he was
chosen as his successor. This office he accepted, and held until
his decease, discharging its duties with great assiduity and fidel
ity. In the study of nature, he possessed those rare powers of
observation, discrimination, and analysis, which, united to a
hearty love of the pursuit, make a naturalist of the highest
order. He was a learned botanist : but the department of
natural history to which he was especially devoted was the study

1855-56.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 87

of the insect tribes ; and he was recognized, by common con
sent of European naturalists, as the first entomologist in the
world. His " Treatise on some of the Insects of New England
which are Injurious to Vegetation," first published in 1841
under a commission from the commonwealth, is a permanent
contribution to science, of the highest value. He felt a strong
interest in our New-England antiquities, and the fruits of his
occasional investigations in that sphere often enabled him
to give valuable information to more systematic inquirers.
He was a member of the Boston Society of Natural History,
the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of the
Massachusetts Historical Society. He lived a pure, useful
life, and died as a Christian dieth, leaving behind him a good

1816. JOHN JAMES DEVEREUX died in Salem, Mass.,
16 March, 1856, aged 59. He was son of Capt. James and
Sarah (Crowninshield) Devereux, and was born in Salem,
Mass., 12 June, 1796. His father was born in Waterford,
Ireland, May, 1766 ; and emigrated, when quite young, to
Salem, where he married, 12 September. 1792, Sarah, daughter
of John Crowninshield and Mary Ives, both natives of Salem.
His mother was born in 1768, and died 13 March, 1815. Mr.
Devereux, the subject of this notice, when in the eighth year of
his age, entered the private school of Robert Rogers (H.C.
1802) in Salem, where he remained about two years, when he
was transferred to the Branch School, established by an associa
tion of gentlemen, and under the direction of Benjamin Tap-
pan (H.C. 1805). Mr. Tappan was succeeded in the school
by Abiel Chandler and Samuel Adams (both H.C. 1806), by
whom young Devereux was fitted for college. He entered in
1812, and remained with his class till 1815, when he left col
lege to become a merchant. He did not receive his degree of
Bachelor of Arts until 1849, and the following year he received
his degree of Master. He pursued the mercantile profession
until 1829, when he relinquished it, and began the study of
law under the instruction of Hon. David Cummins, of Salem
(D.C. 1806). Upon his admission to the bar, he opened an


office in Boston, where he remained a few years, and then
removed to New York, and, three years afterwards, to Phila
delphia, where he practised nearly twenty years, and attained an
honorable rank among the learned members of that distinguished
bar. Being endowed with the rare combination of great versa
tility of mind, elegant manners, a facility of speech seldom
equalled, and generous impulses, he was a welcome visitor at
every social circle that was graced by his presence. Possessing
all the advantages that ample wealth could bestow, he travelled
extensively in various quarters of the globe, and circulated in
the most polished society of Europe. He visited nearly every
part of the European continent, and most of the islands of the
Eastern Archipelago ; having, at one time, actually travelled
the Island of Java from one extremity to another. He was
never married. He was polished without affectation, learned
without pedantry, and, with all his accomplishments, easily
recognizable as a gentleman and a scholar ; cheerful as to his
future destiny, sinking to rest with that serenity which results
from a heart at peace with itself, and with a world to which it
bids an everlasting adieu.

1816. GEORGE FREDERICK FARLEY died in Groton,
Mass., 8 November, 1855, aged 62. He was son of Benjamin
and Lucy (Fletcher) Farley, of Brookline, N.H. ; and was born
in Dunstable, Mass., 5 April, 1793 ; his mother, at the time of
his birth, being on a visit at her father s house. He was pre
pared for college at Westford Academy ; and, on leaving col
lege, began the study of law with his brother, Benjamin Marcus
Farley (H.C. 1804), in Brookline, N.H,; afterwards, for a
time, studied with Luther Lawrence, of Groton (H.C. 1801),
but completed his studies with his aforementioned brother.
He was admitted to the bar in New Hampshire in 1820, and
opened an office in New Ipswich, N.H., where he practised
until 1831 or 1832, when he removed to Groton, Mass., where
he resided during the remainder of his life. For the last two
or three years previous to his death, he had an office in Boston.
He was one of the most eminent and successful lawyers in
Middlesex County.

1855-56.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 89

1817. Eev. ASA CUMMIXGS died at sea, on board the
steamship " George Law," on the passage from Panama to New
York, 5 June, 185 G, aged 65. He was son of Deacon Asa
Cummings, and was born in Andover (now North Andover),
Mass., 29 September, 1790. His immediate ancestors lived
to advanced ages. His grandfather died in 1794, aged 102
years. His father was born in Topsfield, Mass., September,
1759; and died in Albany, Me., 22 February, 1845, aged 85.
The family removed to Albany in 1798, where the subject of
this notice resided until 1811 ; when he left home, and entered
Phillips Academy in Andover, where he was prepared for
college. After graduating, he taught school a few months in
Danvers, Mass. He joined the junior class in the Andover
Theological Seminary, 6 December, 1817, where he remained
about two years, when his health failed, and he feared he should
be obliged to give up his intention of entering the ministry.
Under the advice of physicians, he left the seminary, and went a
journey ; and finally became connected with Bowdoin College as
a tutor in 181920. His health improved, and he accepted a
call from the First Church and Society in North Yarmouth, Me.,
and was ordained 14 February, 1821. His pastoral life, how
ever, was brief; for, after a few years, the difficulty which occa
sioned the suspension of his studies at Andover returned, and
he was compelled to give up preaching ; but, at the desire of his
people, he retained his pastoral office until his successor s
ordination, 17 February, 1830, when he was released from his
charge, with high testimonials as to his ability and Christian
character both from the church and the ecclesiastical council.
On the 18th of August, 1826, he undertook the editorship of the
"Christian Mirror," a religious paper published in Portland ; and
on the 31st of July, 1845, he became sole proprietor of it, and
continued to edit it until the close of the year 1855, when he
transferred it into other hands. He was a man of vigorous
intellect, and devoted all his energies to the advancement of the
cause to which the "Mirror" was originally consecrated. Amidst
all the conflicts of party strife, he kept on the even tenor of his
way with a zeal and steadfastness worthy of his Christian



calling. His editorial labors, however, yielded him but a
meagre support during the long years of toil ; but unexpectedly,
a few months before his death, he became possessed of an abun
dant competence of worldly goods. From 1825 to 1848, he
was an efficient member of the Board of Trustees of the Maine
Missionary Society. He was also a member of the American
Board, and was ever a warm friend of missions at home and
abroad. He was deeply interested in the cause of education,
and rendered long and valuable services in connection with the
college at New Brunswick and the academy at North Yar
mouth. In 1847, tl^e honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity
was conferred upon him by Bowdoin College. In February,
1856, it being known that he was about to make a voyage to
Panama to visit a daughter who resides there, a large number
of the most respectable people of Portland, irrespective of politi
cal or religious opinions, united in tendering to him a testimo
nial of appreciation of his moral worth, and his editorial services
of nearly thirty years, by an entertainment at Lancaster Hall,
in Portland, on the evening of the 29th of February. This in
vitation, however, he was obliged to decline, on account of the
brief time allowed for preparation for his proposed journey. He
left New York in the steamship on the 5th of March, arrived
safely at Panama, and enjoyed the new scenes and the re-union
with his children very much ; and it was hoped he might return
with re-invigorated health. But, during his stay at Panama,
he was taken ill ; and his physicians deciding that there was no
hope of his recovery in remaining there, and that the sea air
might possibly revive him, he was conveyed on board the steam
ship which left Aspinwall on the 4th of June for New York ;
but he rapidly sank, and died on the second night out. On the
following morning, after a short funeral-service by the Rev. J.
Sessions, of Albany, N.Y., his body was committed to the deep.
He was greatly beloved and respected by the community in which
he lived : his life was one of great activity and usefulness ; and
it might be truly said of him, that he was "an Israelite indeed, in
whom there was no guile."

1817. Dr. EDWARD AUGUSTUS HOLYOKE died in Syra-

1855-56.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 91

cuse, N.Y., 17 December, 1855, aged 59. His name, origi
nally, was Edward Augustus Holyoke Turner; but, in 1820 or
1821, he assumed the name of his maternal grandfather, Dr.
Edward Augustus Holyoke, of Salem. He was son of William
and Judith (Holyoke) Turner, and was born in Boston, 12

Online LibraryJoseph PalmerNecrology of alumni of Harvard college, 1851-52 to 1862-63 → online text (page 8 of 49)