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At a meeting of the Essex Institute, Nov. 2, 1867, 
the honorable duty was assigned to me of preparing a 
Eulogy on Francis Peabody, then recently deceased. The 
Body before whom it is to be read, and the topics to 
be presented, will give to what I am no^r to offer the 
form of a Memoir. The details embraced in the life and 
character of our late President will be found to be the 
highest Eulogy. 

In order that we may do justice to an occasion, in 
which a distinguished society, like this, renders its tribute 
to such an example as his, it becomes necessary, in the 
first place, to detect and bring to view the influences that 
made them and him what they have been, and brought 
him into the relation he sustained, as their chosen leader 
and head. The institution, and the individual, alike are 
phenomena that demand explanation ; and you will permit 
me, by way of introduction, to illustrate, at some length, 
the causes that have led to the formation and development 
of the Essex Institute, and, as a consequence, of such a 
character as we have met to commemorate. 

It may safely be said that an uncommon degree of 
intellectual activity is noticeable in the people of this 
place, and of the section of country constituting the 
county of Essex, from the very beginning. In the review. 

now to be presented, the limits upon the occasion confine 
attention mainly to the immediate locality. 

The natural effect of the presence of persons of marked 
impressiveness of mental traits among the first settlers 
and their associates, is, of course, the primal and general 
cause to which results, of this sort, are to be traced. The 
influence of every individual upon those around him, and 
upon those coming after him, is an absolute force, greater 
than is itnagined or suspected. It cannot be measured, 
traced, or estimated. Its invisible, unlimited, perpetual 
momentum constitutes the dread responsibility of human 
life— the incalculable contribution we are all always 
making to the aggregate of good or ill, m the condition 
and progress of the race. This power was brought to 
bear, in stimulating the intelligence of the community 
established here, in a remarkable manner, at its earliest 


Roger Williams and Hugh Peters, more, perhaps, than 
any others that can be named, were of the kind to set 
men thinkiug, to start speculations and enquiries that 
would call forth the exercise of mental faculties, and of a 
nature to retain their hold upon the general interest, and 
be transmitted as a permanent social element. There is 
evidence that several others of the first settlers here were 
persons of uncommonly inquisitive minds, addicted to 
experiments and enterprises, in mining operations, and 
various forms of mechanical ingenuity. In proof of the 
prevalence of this feature in the character of the people, 
after the lapse of several generations, the following cir- 
cumstance particularly arrests our attention : 

About the middle of the laat century, a social evening 
club, designed to promote literature and philosophy, was 
in existence in Salem, composed of its most eminent, 

sasion confine 

ns of marked 
first settlers 
I and general 
traced. The 
und him, and 
force, greater 
be measured, 
cd, perpetual 
iity of human 
e all always 
the condition 
IS brought to 
le community 
at its earliest 

perhaps, than 
e kind to set 
inquiries that 
Ities, and of a 
I interest, and 
snt. There is 
lers here were 
I, addicted to 
perations, and 
a proof of the 
of the people, 
following cir- 

I : 

social evening 
hilosophy, was 
most eminent, 

cultivated and intellectual citizens. The following are 
understood to have been among its members : Benjamin 
Lynde and Nathaniel Ropes, both of the Bench of the 
Supreme Court of the Province, the former, as his father 
had been, its Chief Justice ; William Browne, Judge of 
the Superior Court ; Andrew Oliver, Judge of the Court 
of Common Pleas ; the Rev. William McGilchrist, of the 
Episcopal Church; the Rev. Thomas Barnard, of the 
First Church ; and Edward Augustus Holyoke, then a 
young physician. When it is considered that the entire 
population of the whole territory of Salem could hardly 
have amounted, at that time, to more than 4,000, it must 
be conceded to be proved by these names, to have 
embraced an extraordinary proportion of persons of 
eminent position and culture. 

The result of conversations and discussions, in that 
club, is seen to-day in operations within these walls, and 
in the formation of such characters as that of him to 
whose memory we are to devote the hour. A taste for 
literature and knowledge, a zeal in the prosecution of 
scientific studies, was imparted to the community, of 
which we can distinctly trace the imprints and monu- 
ments through all our subsequent history. The first 
organized movement towards establishing permanent 
institutions, to this effect, was as follows : On the even- 
ing of Monday, March 31st, 1760, a meeting was held 
at the Tavern House of Mrs. Pratt, for the purpose, as 
stated in the notice calling it, of "founding, in the town 
of Salem, a handsome Library of valuable books, appre- 
hending the same may be of very considerable use and 
benefit, under proper regulations." The poster calling the 
meeting was signed by the following persons, all, it is 
believed, members of the club: Benjamin Pickman, 

Ichabod Plai8ted, Thomas Barnard, Samuel Cnrwen, 
Nathaniel Rope., Timothy Orne, Ebenezer Putimm, 
Stephen Higginson, William Pynchon, Edward A. Hol- 
yoke, and William Walter. A subscription was started, 
headed by Benjamin Pickman, of 20 guineas, Timothy 
Orne, Samuel Curwen and William Walter, of 10 gumeas > 
each, and Stephen Higginson, Ebenczer Putnam, Joseph 
Bowditch, Samuel Barnard, Nathaniel Ropes, E. A. Hol- 
yoke, William Pynchon, William Vans, John Nutting, 
jr., Samuel Barton, jr., William Browne, Joseph Blaney, 
Richard Derby, Daniel King, Samuel Gardner, Samuel 
Gardner, jr., Thomas Barnard, Benjamm Pickman, jr., 
Francis Cabot, Joseph Cabot, William Epes, Andrew 
Oliver, jr., and Joseph Jeffrey for William Jeffrey, of 5 
guineas each. The Rev. Jeremiah Condy, described by 
Dr. Andrew Eliot as a person "of great candor, learmng 
and int^enuity," a Baptist minister in Boston, being about 
to visit England, was employed to purchase the books. 
On their arrival, a meeting of the subscribers was held, 
May 20th, 1761, of which Benjamin Pickman was mod- 
erator, and Natlian Goodell, clerk. The " Social Library- 
was thus put in operation. The books imported, with 
those -iven by members or otherwise procured, amounted 
to 415 volumes. The Society was incorporated m 1797. 
It may be regarded as the foundation of all the institu- 
tions and agencies, established in this place, for the 
promotion of a high intellectual culture. 

The locality where the Social Library was formed is a 
matter of curious interest. In a letter addressed to me, 
Jan. nth, 1840, the late George Cleveland thus speaks 
of it : "John Pratt kept what was called, in his day, the 
' Great Tavern.' After his decease it was continued to be 
kept by his widow and daughters, until the death of the 

uel Cnrwen, 
zer Putnam, 
vard A. Hol- 
i was started, 
leas, Timothy 

of 10 guineas 
itnam, Joseph 
(8, E. A. Hol- 
lohn Nutting, 
oseph Blaney, 
rdner, Samuel 

Pickman, jr., 
Epes, Andrew 
a Jeffrey, of 5 
', described by 
indor, learning 
)n, being about 
ase the books, 
ibers was held, 
:man was mod- 
Social Library " 
imported, with 
ured, amounted 
orated in 1797. 
' all the institu- 

place, for the 

v&s formed is a 
iddressed to me, 
and thus speaks 
, in hiB day, the 
I continued to be 
the death of the 

last, Abigail, which must have taken place towards the 
latter part of 1765. The Tavern House stood on the 
corner of Essex and Court streets, where the brick store 
now stands. 1 can very well remember its appearance. 
It was an old wooden building, with many peaks ; and 
stood out on Essex street as far as the curb stone does 
now. The estate came finally into the possession of my 
grandmother Jeffrey, who sold it at auction, in 1791, to 
Col. Pickman, and Stearns and Waldo ; and they imme- 
diately covered the premises with the large brick store 
that now stands there." The estate still renjaius in pos- 
session of the family of one of the purchasers in 1791 ; 
and the "large brick store" is know;i as the Stearns 
Block. Our venerable fellow citizen. Hardy Phippen, 
was thirteen years of age when the "Great Tavern" was 
demolished, and a few days since, pointed out to me the 
position it occupied, with its dimensions on Essex and 
Washington streets, and described its appearance. His 
recollections fully correspond with those of Mr. Cleve- 

The history of the building, thus remembered by Mr. 
Cleveland and Mr. Phippen, previous to its occupancy by 
the Pratts, is not without striking and suggestive signifi- 
cance in connection with our subject. John Pratt bought 
it in September, 1727, of the heirs of Walter Price. 
Price bought it, Dec. 1st, 1659, of John Orne, of Salem, 
carpenter, and Frances, his wife, for 150 pounds in cash 
"already paid," and the deed was recorded, April 25th, 
1660. John Orne bought of Charles Gott. The follow- 
ing is a copy of the deed of this purchase. 

"29th of December 1652. 
Charles Gott of Salem Attornie to m' Hugh Peters for 
and in consideration of forty shillings in hand paid hath 


8„ld unto John Horno of Sftlem aforosnid one piece of 
ground contaynin« about one .luarter ot an acr« more oi 
lc«se nero the meeting how.e in Salem one the Nortli Bide 
hereof, running along by the high way the land of 
'Hugh Peters af.>res«id. Provided if m'" Peters shall 
retorn? to New England in person and repay the said 
John all his charges of building or otherwayes H'«towed 
npon the said land that then the said m' f "iH h duv ot 
the said land againe as by a writing dated the 28th day ot 
this instant December 1652 apeareth. 

It appears by the deed to Price of 1059, that, at that 
time, there was a dwelling-house on the lot. The lan- 
.ruage of the deed, just quoted, reserving to Peters the 
ri«rht of reclaiming the property, in the event of \m ever 
re'turning to America, upon making good to Orne for all 
his charges of building, or otherwise bestowed upon the 
said land," does not necessarily, in itself, prove that there 
was a house upon it, when Orne purchased, but the 
<reneral aspect of the transaction leads, I think, to the 
conclusion that there was. It can hardly be supposed 
that Mr. Peters would have authorized his attorney to 
bind him, on the contingency mentioned, in order to 
recover the property, to pay whatever Orne might spend 
in erecting buildings, whether they suited him or not. 
This consideration makes it probable that there was a 
house on the lot in 1652, and that Peters and his attorney 
knew what sort of a house it was. The same general 
reasoning, probably, authorizes the conclusion that the 
house was built under the direction, if not the personal 
oversight, of Peters himself. Merely having care of the 
lot, in the temporary absence of the owner, Gott would 
not have taken the responsibility of erecting a house upon 
it without specific directions, and it is most likely that, 
if not built before he left the country, Peters would have 

1 one piece of 
n acre more or 
the North eido 
ii»g the land of 
n'" Peters shall 
repay the said 
vayes bestowed 
eters shall have 
the 28th day ot 

59, that, at that 
lot. The lan- 
g to Peters the 
^ent of his ever 
to Orne for "all 
towed upon the 
prove that there 
chased, but the 
I think, to the 
ily be supposed 
his attorney to 
ed, in order to 
irne might spend 
ted him or not. 
that there was a 
I and his attorney 
'he same general 
tclusion that the 
not the personal 
aving care of the 
ivner, Gott would 
ting a house upon 
I most likely that, 
'eters would have 

deferred it until his return. The balance of probabilities 
seems, therefore, to be against the supposition that the 
house was erected either during the period when Orne 
conditionally owned it, or Gott had charge of it. Its 
size, as particularly described to me by Mr. Phippen, 
which led to its being called "The Great Tavern," and its 
architectnre of "many peaks," prove that it was of a more 
commanding, pretentious, and artistic style, than would 
have been thought of by either of the good deacons, Gott 
or Orne. Its position also indicates that it was built, at 
a very early day, before the line of Essex street had 
been adjusted. 

It is well known that Mr. Peters lived, at one time, at 
the diagonal corner of the crossing of Washington and 
Essex streets. His house and lot there were sold by his 
attorney some years after he had gone to England. I 
think there is evidence that he had also built a house near 
the corner of Washington and Norman streets. He was 
a man of indefatigable activity, was always making 
improvements, and starting enterprises, and it is not 
strange that he built houses and changed his residence 
from time to time. It is quite likely that before bis 
mission to the mother country had been suggested, he 
employed Orne to prepare a residence, more fitted to 
accommodate him permanently, on his lot where the 
Stearns Building now is. It may have been finished, and 
possibly occupied by him, but, not paid for, in conse- 
quence of the suddenness of his call to the service of the 
colony, as one of its agents to look after its interests at 
London. A settlement of accounts may have been de- 
ferred until he returned, which all supposed would be in 
a short time, an expectation cherished by him to the last. 
The battle of Worcester, however, which occurred Sept. 




3d, 1651, put such a face upon the affairs of the mother 
country, that it seemed probable Mr. Peters's services 
would be permanently needed there. Gott was accord- 
ingly authorized to settle with O rne, conveying to him, 
for the small sum of two pouuds, the whole property, 
reserving, however, to Peters the right of repurchasing 
it, if, notwithstanding the then existing appearances, he 
should, at any time, come back and claim it. The death 
of Cromwell in 1658, and the events that quickly fol- 
lowed, showed that the days of the Commonwealth were 
numbered and finished. As the next year drew to 
a close it became apparent that the restoration of the 
monarchy was inevitable, and closely impending. The 
return of Peters became impossible; arrest, attainder, 
death and conliscation, were hanging over him and his co- 
patriots. Orne, perhaps, felt that the conditional clause 
in his deed, rendered the estate liable, and he was glad, 
before it was too late, to get rid of it by the sale to Price. 
Such are the facts so far as known, and the conjectures 
which they seem to justify, in reference to "the Great 
Tavern with many peaks." It is interesting to find that 
certainly on that spot and within those walls, the first 
institution for a higher intellectual culture, and the diffu- 
sion through this community of a taste for literature and 
science, was organized in 1760 ; a spot owned by Hugh 
Peters, and the structure probably erected, and perhaps 
occupied, by him. He was as highly educated a person 
as any among the early emigrants, and a zealous promoter 
of popular intelligence. He took an active part in 
bringing our college into operation, and made great, 
although unavailing, exertions to have it established in 
Salem. One of the objects of his mission to England 
was to obtain aid for the interests of education here. In 


tmt frrfiBrfrrrrf ffil 

rs of the mother 
Peters's services 
Jott was accord- 
nveying to him, 
whole property, 
of repurchasing 
appearances, he 
a it. The death 
that quickly fol- 
imonwealth were 
t year drew to 
storation of the 
impending. The 
arrest, attainder, 
r him and his co- 
}onditional clause 
and he was glad, 
the sale to Price, 
d the conjectures 
36 to "the Great 
isting to find that 
e walls, the first 
re, and the diff'u- 
ibr literature and 
; owned by Hugh 
ted, and perhaps 
iucated a person 
zealous promoter 
I active part in 
ind made great, 
it established in 
ssion to England 
ication here. In 

iHWm'tfifTi 1 


the course of the trial that resulted in his condemnation 
and execution, addressing the court he said: "I have 
looked after three things ; one was that there might be 
sound religion. The second was that learning and laws 
might be maintained. The third, that the poor might be 
cared for. And I must confess that I have spent most of 
my time in these things, to this end and purpose." 
When, in tine, the great activity of Mr. Peters, during 
his short residence here, in stimulating the energies and 
faculties of the colonists, and by innumerable methods 
starting society in the path of improvement and progress — 
so as to draw from Winthrop the encomium of "laboring, 
both publicly and privately, to raise up men to a public 
frame of spirit" — is taken into view, we appreciate the 
singular appropriateness of the circumstance that the first 
organized eftbit to create "a public frame of spirit," in 
favor of the collection and diffusion of the means of 
intellectual and scientific culture directly among the 
people, took place on his ground, and in what was, not 
improbably, his house. 

It is quite evident that, at the time of the formation of 
the Social Library, interest in philosophical enquiries was 
a characteristic of the people here, the effect of pre- 
existing causes, as well as the efficient cause of subse- 
quent developments. The following instance seems to 
indicate such a prevalent turn of mind only five years 

In 1766, a lad of thirteen years of age, born and 
brought up on a farm in Woburn, with only such advan- 
tages of education as a country school district then 
attbrded, was apprenticed to John Appleton, grandfather 
of Dr. John Appleton, the present Assistant Librarian 
of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Mr. Appleton's'ii:Mi^3r^^i& 

m^^sm^^^^m ^ kkMis^^ ^^ 



residence and place of business was on the south side of 
Essex street, the lot being occupied, at this time, by Dr. 
George Choate. He carried on a retail variety store, in 
the style of that day, and was engaged in commercial 
pursuits in connection with a general traffic. The young 
apprentice, from early childhood, in his hmnble rural 
home, had manifested a taste for mechanical and philo- 
sophical amusements, and had delighted in constructing 
miniature machines, and in rude attempts at drawing and 
modelling. Here he found an atmosphere so congenial 
to his original passion that he was stimulated to exercise 
and exhibit his genius. His curious and various experi- 
ments attracted favorable notice, and won for him an 
established reputation, in an appreciating community. 
When the repeal of the Stamp-Act, by the British Parlia- 
ment, had raised an enthusiastic gratification throughout 
the colonies, the people of Salem were determined to 
celebrate it in a style of extraordinary and unparalleled 
brilliancy and impressiveness. It M'as voted to have a 
grand display of fireworks. There were no professional 
pyrotechnists here, and perhaps never had been in the 
whole country. All, however, knew the mechanical and 
chemical propensities and attainments of Mr. Appleton's 
apprentice boy, and he was appointed to conduct the 
preparations and superintend the exhibition. Some care- 
lessness, not to be wondered at, considering the inex- 
perience of all concerned, led to a premature explosion, 
and he was so seriously injured, that his life was for a 
time despaired of, and his health so much affected, as 
finally to render his removal to his home in Woburn 
necessary. But the bent of his mind had, in the few 
years he had listed in Salem, become so fixed that, upon 
his recovery, he instantly sought and obtained permission 


south side of 
time, by Dr. 
iety store, in 
I commercial 
The young 
nmible rural 
al and philo- 
drawing and 
so congenial 
3 to exercise 
rious experi- 
1 for him an 
Iritish Parlia- 
m throughout 
etermined to 
[ unparalleled 
ed to have a 
} professional 
. been in the 
Bchauical and 
r. Appleton's 
conduct the 
Some care- 
ing the inex- 
Te explosion, 
ife was for a 
h affected, as 
B in Woburn 
1, in the few 
ed th^t, upon 
ed permission 

to attend a course of philosophical lectures, delivered in 
Harvard College. He walked regularly to and from 
Cambridge, a distance of nine miles to enjoy the privilege. 
He was then seventeen years of age. He taught country 
district schools at Bradford and Wilmington, in Massa- 
chusetts, and Concord, New Hampshire. All the while 
he continued his philosophical pursuits, and attracted 
increased attention, by novel and successful operations, in 
mechanics and chemistry. By a 'singular succession of 
circumstances, he was drawn to a military career in the 
service of the mother country. He combined quali- 
ties that soon gave him great distinction in that line. 
His scientific attainments and philosophical enquiries, 
always directed to practical ends, were found of inestima- 
ble importance, in fortification, engineering, armament, 
equipment, subsistence and all sanitary and economical 
modes of military administration. Gunpowder, . as an 
explosive agent, had ever been a special and favorite 
subject of experiment and research, not at all checked by 
the disaster of his boyhood at Salem. His methodical 
and observing habits of mind, and disposition to classify 
all details, gave him facilities in mastering military tactics. 
And, besides, his personal aspect and address were pre- 
cisely adapted to command preeminence, in the pomp and 
pageantry, the parades, evolutions, and blazonry of tented 
fields and marshalled camps. He united with all that 
was showy and dazzling the sterner wisdom, itself based 
upon philosophical principles, that made him famous as a 
disciplinarian. In the whole range of biography, there 
is nothing more wonderful than such a product as he 
presents — raised in rustic life, on a New England farm, 
and in a Salem retail shop — a most finished and polished 
gentleman, with a commanding presence, and easy eour- 


tesy, seldom approached by those upon whom knightly 
or courtly influences have been shed for indefinite gener- 
ations. His lofty form, noble bearing, sweet and winning 
manners, gave to his early manhood a wondeiful attrac- 
tiveness. One of his biographers says : "His grace and 
personal advantages were early developed. His stature 
of nearly six feet, his erect figure, his finely formed 
limbs, his bright blue eyes, his features chiselled in the 
Roman mould, and his dark auburn hair, rendered him a 
model of manly beauty." We may well believe that he 
shone the cynosure of all eyes, at the head of his regi- 
ment of dragoons, and that ho made a sensation in all 
circles in London. In 1779 he was elected into the Royal 
Society, and in 1784, received the honors of Knighthood 
from the King of Great Britain. Having "introduced a 
revision of the military exercise, and eifected several 
reformations of acknowledged consequence," in that 
country, he went to the continent, with a view of offering 
his services to Austria, then at war with Turkey. Dr. 
Jacob Bigelow, who wrote the memoir of this remarkable 
man, read before the American Academy of Arts and 
Sciences, from which I have already quoted, says that 
"in more than one instance of his life it happened that 
his fine manly figure and captivating manners were instru- 
mental in deciding his reception among strangers." On 
his way to Vienna, he was present at a review of Bavarian 
troops. He appeared, as a spectator, on the ground, 
mounted and unifoiTaed, according to his rank, as Sir 
Benjamin Thompson, a colonel of the British cavalry. 
The commander of the troops was a Duke, and soon after, 
the King of Bavaria. Attracted by the splendid bearing 
and aspect of the stranger he sought his acquaintance, 
and impressed with a deep admiration of his qualities and 


lom knightly 
Blinite gener- 
and winning 
leiful attrac- 
[is grace and 

His stature 
inely formed 
iselled in the 
tdered him a 
lieve that he 
i of his regi- 
isation in all 
tito the Royal 
F Knighthood 
'introduced a 
ected several 
ce," in that 
Bw of offering 
Curkey. Dr. 
is remarkable 

of Arts and 
ed, says that 
happened that 
'8 were instru- 
angers." On 
w of Bavarian 
I the ground, 

rank, as Sir 
itish cavalry, 
md soon after, 
Lendid bearing 

s qualities and 

attainments, made him his aid-de-camp, chamberlain, 
member of his council of State, and Lieutenant-general 
of his armies, and afterwards raised him to the dignity of 
a Count of the Holy Roman empire. It must commend 
Sir Benjamin Thompson to the good feeling of every tnie 
and high-minded man, that while covered with all these 
honors at the Court of Munich, he did not forget or fail 
to avow his attachment to, and pride in, his early humble 
condition and home in New England. In selecting the 
distinguishing element of his title as a nobleman, he 
chose the name that had formerly been given, prior to its 
change to Concord, to the village in New Hampshire, 
where, when nineteen years of age, he had taught school 
and been married — Rumford. He led the armies of 
Bavaria with distinguished success in an important 
campaign, and reformed the entire military organization 
and civil administration of that country. The extraor- 
dinary results he secured by the application of philosoph- 
ical principles, in raising the condition of the whole 
people, in reducing the burdens of government, and 
particularly in solving the great problem of statesmanship 
— abolishing pauperism by bringing it into remedial rela- 
tions with labor — made his name renowned throughout 
Europe. Monarchs sought his services, and learned 
societies and scientific academies in all the great cities 
conferred upon him their honors. He was commissioned 
ambassador to Great Britain, but was prevented from 
acting in that capacity. The old feudal doctrine of 
perpetual allegiance, not much longer to. be tolerated 
among nations professing to recognize the rights of man, 
was found — he having been born a British subject — to 
obstruct his reception, in the official capacity of Bavarian 
Envoy, by the Court at London. But so warm was the 




welcome extended to him imofficially, by the government 
and all classes of the people, especially men of science 
and learning, that he was induced to remain some years 
in England, during which time he secured the establish- 
ment of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, whose 
charter expresses the great object and end of his labors, 
through his entire career, from his boyish experiments in 
Woburn and Salem, to his last productions. 

The absohite identity of his language with that em- 
ployed to express one of the designs of the Essex Insti- 
tute, and the main object of the Peabody Academy, will 
not fail to be noticed, "for diffusing the knowledge, and 
facilitating the general introduction of useful mechanical 
inventions and improvements ; and for teaching by philo- 
sophical lectures and experiments the application of science 
to the common purposes of life." His last years were 
spent at a beautiful seat owned by him within a few miles 

of Paris. 

Count Rumford enlarged, in many important particu- 
lars, the scientific knowledge of his day, and published a 
great number of valuable works. He died, August 21st, 
1814, in the sixty-second year of his age, and his Eulogy, 
before the Institute of France, was pronounced by Cuvier. 
Some years before his death he gave to the Royal Society 
of Great Britain one thousand povnds, the interest on 
which was to be distributed, from time to time, as 
premiums to the authors of the most useful discoveries in 
light and heat, and at the same time he transmitted the 
sum of five thousand dollars, to the American Academy 
of Arts and Sciences, the interest to be devoted, in like 
manner, to the same ends. In grateful remembrance of 
the institution which had opened its lecture-room to him 
when a poor country boy, he bequeathed one thousand 


J ffovernment 
en of science 
in some years 
the establish- 
iritain, whose 
of his labors, 
speriments in 

ivith that em- 
e Essex Insti- 
Icademy, will 
lowledge, and 
ful mechanical 
hing by philo- 
ition of science 
st years were 
in a few miles 

)rtant particu- 
id published a 
, August 21st, 
nd his Eulogy, 
ced by Cuvier. 
Royal Society 
;he interest on 
e to time, as 
1 discoveries in 
transmitted the 
rican Academy 
levoted, in like 
emembrance of 
e-room to him 
I one thousand 

dollars annually, with the final reversion of his whole 
estate, to the University of Cambridge, in the State of 
Massachusetts, as the foundation of a professorship, "to 
teach, by regular courses of academical and public 
lectures, accompanied with proper experiments, the utility 
of the physical and mathematical sciences, for the 
improvement of the useful arts, and for the extension of 
the industry, prosperity, happiness and well being of 
society." Here, again, I cannot but remark that it would 
have been impossible to frame language into a more 
perfect expression of the ends pursued by the Essex 
Institute and Peabody Academy, and to which the life of 
our late President was devoted. 

It will be conceded, I think, that in respect to such a 
mind as that of Count Rumford, the period of his resi- 
dence here was most important. It was the age in which 
the deepest and most durable impressions are made. His 
faculties were then in their forming stage, and the direc- 
tion in which they were afterwards to work decisively 
detei-mined. It was, indeed, fortunate that his awakening 
and kindling genius was placed under the influences that 
here surrounded it. His subsequent course, surpassing 
as it does, in many points of view, all that is found in 
history or fiction, may be largely ascribed to the intellec- 
tual energies put in operation by the men who established 
the old Salem Social Library. 

Richard Kirwan, LL. D., of Dublin, was one of the 
most distinguished philosophers of his period, and is 
ranked among eminent writers in chemistry, mineralogy, 
geology, and kindred sciences. In 1781, a vessel, having 
on board a valuable library belonging to him, was cap- 
tured by an American private armed ship, and brought 
into Beverly, to be disposed of as a prize. The collection 


of books was there sold, as a whole, to an assocuition 
of .rentlemeu of this town and neighborhood aniong 
whom wore the Rev. Manasseh Cutler, LL. D., A. A. fe., 
S. P. A., then the minister of the congregation at Ham- 
ilton, afterwards a Representative from tins State m 
Congress, and founder of the State of Oluo, who m the 
course of his distinguished life adorned eaeh o te three 
learned professions; the Rev. Joseph Willard LL.D., 
S V. A.; of Beverly, afterwards President of Plarvard 
College, and first President of the American Academy of 
Arts and Sciences; the Rev. Thomas B.u-nard, P. D.. 
A. A. S., of the North Church in Salem ; Joshua iisher, 
M.D., i.A.S., of Beverly, the first P-sident of the 
Massa husetts Medical Society ; the Rev. John Piujce, of 
the First Church, in Salem; and EdSvard A. Holyoke 
M D., of Salem. They made it the foundation of the 
Philosophical Library. Justice to the '"e'"^ <^* J*'^ 
Tnl ghtened merchants, who owned the vessel, Andrew 
and John Cabot brothers, requires it to be recorded as 
a part of the transaction, that they relinquished the.r 
shLe of prize money for the books, and made such 
Irmn^ements with the other parties in interest, that the 
wiok library came to the association of scholars just 
Imed, at a mere nominal price; and the satisfaction 
wTh which the afl-air will ever be regarded, is rendered 
rolret by the additional fact, that remuneration was 
slequently tendered to Dr. Kirwan, but he declined to 
acccp? it, expres-"g gratification that the books had fallen 
into such hands, and were put to so good a use 

The Social Library and the Philosophical Library were 
after some time, consolidated into the "Salem, 
and incorporated, as such, in March, 1810. 

The "Essex Historical Society," was mcorporated m 


an association 
jvliood, aijiong 
J. D., A. A. S., 
ffation at Ham- 

this State in 
iliio, who in tho 
ich of tlie tlireo 
illaid, LL.D., 
3nt of Harvard 
can Academy of 
Jarnard, D. D., 

Joslnia Fislicr, 
'resident of the 

John Prince, of 
rd A. Holyoke, 
)undation of the 

memory of the 

vessel, Andrew 

be recorded, as 
jlinqnished their 

and made such 
interest, that the 

of scholars just 

the satisfaction, 
rded, is rendered 
■emuneration was 
ut he declined to 
e books had fallen 
d a use. 

ical Library were, 
lalem Athenaium," 


IS incorporated in 

1821, and put in operation on tiio 27th of Juno of that 

Such is the history of movements, in an organized form, 
to give ett'ect to ctlbrts to prontote the intlucni^o of liter- 
ature, science, piulosopliy and history, in this place from 
17()0 to 1821. It is quite remarkable, that in each stage ot 
the progress a leading part was taken by one man — Dr. 
Holyoke ; he signed the call for the meeting at the house 
of Mrs. Pratt, and was an original subscriber to the funds 
then raised to estiiblish the Social Library ; he was one of 
the purchasers of Dr. Kirwan's books, thus cooperating 
in founding tho Philosophical Librai'y ; he was the tirst 
President of the Salem Athenteum, and also the first 
President of the Essex 1 listorical Society. Tho eft'ects 
of such institutions, and methods of combined action of 
such men, upon the character of the population in general, 
may be estimated, in some degree, by considering them in 
view of the ordinary laws of social influence ; but they 
can only be adequately and fully appreciated by illustra- 
tions in detail. 

In the earlier portion of this century, when our popu- 
hition was scarcely half of what it now is, and we had 
barely reached the required constitutional dimensions, but 
not yet aspired to the dignity, of a city, there were on 
the list of our inhabitants the names of an extraordinary 
number of persons, eminent and conspicuous for attain- 
ments in science and literature. It is proper to bring 
them severally before our minds, as we shall thus best 
appreciate the influences under which the subject of this 
memoir grew up to manhood. 

Edward Augustus Holyoke, LL.D., was President of 
the Massachusetts Medical Society, and of the American 
Academy of Arts and Sciences. He added to the learning 


^mtS--;si^^h^- ■■~X.;S!?SiSiS^!?SSI^SSI^SP^5j3S'^SrS?S 


and skill that made him, for half a century, The Teacher 
of his profession, acquisitions of knowledge in various 
other fields, particularly of Natural Science. lie kept 
up with his times in the several departments of intellec- 
tual progress, retaining the effects of an early classical 
training, and enjoying to the last a relish for the produc- 
tions of elegant literature. A professional practice ot 
unrivalled diiration, accompanied by careful observation 
and an admirable judgment, made him the great oracle 
among physicians, large numbers of whom, from all 
quarters, gathered round him, as the guide of their early 
studies. Among his pupils were some of the most dis- 
tinguished medical names of the country ; one of them 
was the late James Jackson, long the revered head of 
his profession, whose eulogist informs us that he took 
"his old master, as he always loved to call him, as his 
model."* Dr. Jackson had explored the whole ground ol 
medical science and practice, at home and abroad, and no 
man ever more universally enjoyed or deserved the confi- 
dence and respect of the community, for discriminating 
fairness, and sound judgment; and it is stated by the 
highest authority that he expressed himself thils, con- 
cerning Dr. Holyoke : "I can only say of his practice, 
the longer I have lived, I have thought better and better 
of it." The "Ethical Essay," a posthumous publication of 
Dr. Holyoke, commenced in his eighty-sixth, but mostly 
composed after he had passed his ninetieth year, is a 
lasting monument of his christian wisdom, and shows that 
he was entitled, preeminently, to the character of a 
philosopher, as well as patriarch. 

♦An Introductory Lecture dellvereil before the medical class of 
Harvard University, "Nov. 6th, 1867, by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Park- 
man Professor of Anatomy and Physiology. 


Tho Tcnclu'i- 
JO in vnrious 
!0. lie kept 
ts of iiitcllec- 
!arly classical 
• the produc- 
il practice ot 

I observation 
great oracle 

:>m, from all 
of their early 
ihe most dis- 
one of them 
ared head of 
that ho took 

II him, as his 
ole ground ol 
:)road, and no 
ved the confi- 
tated by the 
If thus, con- 

his practice, 
er and better 
publication of 
h, but mostly 
ith year, is a 
nd shows that 
laracter of a 

nedical class of 
II Holmes, Park- 

Timothy Pickering, LL. I)., S. P. A., adorned tho 
great 8|)here8 in which ho had moved in our pul)lic and 
national military and civil service, Avith schoiurly tastes, 
and a purity, exactness, vigor and impressiveness ot 
style that jjlacod him among our host writers. James 
Madison pronounced tho highest encomium upon his State 
Papers, while at tho head of the department at Wash- 
ington intrusted with the foreign relations of the country, 
at a critical period of our diplomatic history. 

Tho Rev. John Prince, LL. 1)., A. A. S., S. P. A., had 
a world-wide reputation as a scientific mechanician and 
discoverer, enlarging the domain of Pneumatics and 
Astronomy with ingenious constructions, the work of his 
own hands. His divei'sitied attainments in natural philoso- 
phy, and general as well as professional literature, were 
called into the service of learned institutions, and private 
students throughout the country, and his judgment, skill 
and taste employed to aid in the selection and importa- 
tion of standard books, and the most approved philosoph- 
ical apparatus. Colleges, academies, and libraries, in all 
parts of the Union, have now in their lecture-rooms and 
alcoves, the fruits of their correspondence with him ; and 
machines contrived or improved by him, and constructed 
in his own laboratory, are still regarded as invaluable, 
in displaying the wonders of the creation, in the laws 
and growths of nature, or the starry firmament on high. 
His homo was at once a lecture-room and school of 
philosophy, over open to contribute to the delight and 
instruction of neighbors or strangers, in tho diversified 
methods by which the lucernal microscope, magic lantern, 
telescope, air-pump, electric jar, or other philosophical 
machines are put to their uses by a skilful hand. It is 
impossible to estimate the value or the extent of the 




sorvino ho thus rondonul with ghul enthusiasm, aiul uii- 
vvoariiid constancy, all his life Ion*,', to ever welcome 
jynests. Many ii yonnjif mind was thus opened to discern 
the value, and inspired to pursue the attainments, of 
science and phiU)sophy. The iiterest so deeply taken in 
such subjects, in his early youth, by him whoso character 
wo have met to consider, was gratefully attributed, in a 
large measure, to the happy hours he sjjont in Dr. Prince's 
laboratory and library. 

Benjamin Lynde Oliver, M. D., A. A. S., was also 
a philosophical mechanician, illustrating his favorite 
branches of science by machinery of his own construc- 
tion, operating upon brass or glass. Ho was a scientific 
musician, astronomer and optician ; had an ex<iuisito 
classical and artistic taste, and was an elegant bellen- 
leltres scholar and writer. 

The Rev. William Bentley, D. D., S. P. A., was emi- 
nent as a person of very various attainments in philosophy 
and literature, of large acquaintanco with books beyond 
the range of ordinary reading, extending his researches 
to foreign libraries, particularly to oriental sources. He 
was deeply interested in geographical studies, and always 
zealously engaged in exploring local antiquities ; his 
multifarious attainments in that line, are illustrated in his 
"Description and History of Salem," occasional published 
discourses, and especially in the colunms of the local 
press to which he was a constant contributor. His rare 
attainments, great benevolence of life, ardent patriotism, 
originality and independence of character, mental activity, 
and social spirit, made hiih altogether a most marked and 
interesting personage, gave an impulse to the thoughts of 
men, and left a stamp upon the general intelligence of 
the community not soon to be effaced or forgotten. 


iMin, and iiii- 
vcr wolcoino 
Btl to (liscorn 
iiiiitneiitM, of 
nply ttikiin in 
1)80 clmructor 
tributod, in a 
I Dr. Prince's 

S., was also 
his fuvorito 
wn constrnc- 
as a scientific 
an nx(]nisite 
legaut belt&i- 

A., was emi- 
in philosophy 
tooks beyond 
lis researches 
sources. He 
8, and always 
equities ; his 
istrated in his 
nal published 
of the local 
or. His rare 
it patriotism, 
ental activity, 
it marked and 
le thoughts of 
ntelligence of 

John Dexter Troadwell, M. D., .v. A. S., was a man of 
strong indiviiliiality and inipreH.sivenesH of clmracter, of 
extensive learning outside of, as well as in, iiis profeHnion, 
particularly in the h^xicography and interpretation of the 
Greek and Hebrew Scriptures. His frank and forcil)lo 
expri'ssions as ho moved about among the people in his 
ext«Misivo practice, were suggestive and stimulating to 
the mental ac^tivitios of the community. 

Nathani(d Bowditeh, LL. D., S. P. A.,Ava8 President 
of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and n 
Fellow of the Koyal Society of London. Similar bodies, 
ill the great centres of science in foreign countries, 
honored themselves by inscribing his great name on their 
rolls. He was a writer of recognized authority in 
astronomy and kindred departments. His translation of 
the "Mecaniciue Celeste," with the commentary that accom- 
panies and gives completeness to it, places his name 
where none other stands, by the side of LaPlace. His 
" Practical Navigator," cannot be displaced as a standard 
work, and will forever guide the sailor over the trackless 
deep. As a mathematician ho holds the front rank, and 
will through all coming time. Dr. Bowditeh was not, as 
one would suppose from the amount of hard mental work 
he performed, a recluse, wholly absorbed by calculation 
and the solution of profound problems requiring the 
utmost concentration of mind ; ho was a social, cheerful, 
lively man, mixing with the people, more active in prac- 
tical every day affairs than most persons, with faculties 
ever free and fresh, in all neighborly, friendly, and 
domestic relations and circles. The influence of such a 
character, upon the prevalent ideas of the community in 
which he lived cannot be overrated. 

To show how fully I am sustained in the reasoning 



which these instances are cited to support, the following 
passage from Dr. Bowditch's will is presented : 

"Item. Ifc is well known, that, the valuable scientific 
library of the celebrated Dr. Richard Kirwan Avas, during 
the revolutionary war, captured in the British channel, 
on its way to Ireland, by a Beverly privateer ; and that, 
by the liberal and enlightened views of the owners of the 
vessel, the library thus captured was sold at a very low 
rate ; and in this manner was laid the foundation, upon 
Avhich has since been successively established, the Philo- 
sophical Library, so-called, and the present Salem Athe- 
UiBum. Thus, in early life, I found near me a better 
collection of philosophical and scientific works than could 
be found in any other part of the United States nearer 
than Philadelphia. And by the kindness of its propri- 
etors I was permitted freely to take books from that 
library, and to consult and study them at pleasure. This 
inestimable advantage has made me deeply a debtor to 
the Salem Athenteum : and I do therefore give to that 
Institution the sum of one thousand dollars, the income 
thereof to be forever applied to the promotion of its 
objects, and the extension of its usefulness." 

When we consider that he gave legacies, of the same 
amount each, to the Salem Marine Society and the East 
India Marine Society, both which institutions. had be- 
friended him or his relations, and which, in their respec- 
tive spheres, have done so much to raise the character and 
improve the coudition of our maritime population, and 
take into the account the means and circumstances of the 
donor, they cannot but be regarded as noble benefactions, 
and demonstrative of the depth of his gratitude. 

If Richard Kirwan could have foreseen the testimony 
that has just been read, he would have felt his loss more 
than remunerated, and, in the magnanimous spirit with 
which he refused pecuniary compensation, given thanks 


)rt, the following 
iented : 

valuable scientific 
rwan Avas, during 

British channel, 
rateer; and that, 
the owners of the 
Ad at a very low 

foundation, upon 
lished, the Philo- 
3ent Salem Athe- 
near me a better 
works than could 
ited States nearer 
ess of its propri- 

books from that 
it pleasure. This 
eeply a debtor to 
(fore give to that 
ollars, the income 
promotion of its 

acies, of the same 
ciety and the East 
stitutions.had be- 
1, in their respec- 
e the character and 
e population, and 
'cumstances of the 
loble benefactions, 
seen the testimony 
felt his loss more 
limous spirit with 
tion, given thanks 

that his books did not reach their destiuation, but were 
diverted to this place. If the institutions, whose influence 
I am sketching, had done no more than open the path 
through which the mind of Bowditch advanced to its 
achievements, they would have amply repaid the public- 
spirited efforts of their founders. But they raised up and 
stimulated the intellects of many others, as I proceed to 
show by continuing the list of those who, at the same 
time, adorned and illuminated this community. 

John Pickering, LL. D., S. P. A., was President of 
the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As a 
Greek scholar, and lexicographer ho had no superior, 
and his attainments were great in universal Philology, 
embracing the languages of continental Europe, and 
extending to Oriental nations. He had made wide re- 
searches also in the aboriginal tongues of America. 
Foreign scholars recognized his name, and welcomed his 
labors. He was an honorary member of the Academy of 
Science and Literature of Palermo, and a corresponding 
member of the Archaeological Society of Athens. He 
was conversant with general literature, a master of the 
culture derived from all the fields of classic lore, and, at 
the same time, a learned and active lawyer. Residence 
in earlier life in diplomatic circles, at European courts, 
had added to the natural dignity of his presence, and 
given a polished refinement to the courtesy and gentleness 
of his manners. An unobtrusive modesty and simplicity 
of demeanor, an easy recognition of all pleasant and 
playful phases of conversation, an affectionate geniality, 
and a pervading kindness of expression towards all de- 
scriptions of persons, made him as fine a specimen of 
what constitutes the real gentleman as can anywhere be 



-: 'M&*&m^mm^^ss^tm^mmmk 


Daniel Appleton White, LL. D., A. A. S., was a man 
of strong intellectual faculties, highly educated, and of 
extensive attainments beyond the range of his profession. 
No one among us has been a more earnest or efficient 
patron of literary and scientific institutions, and traces 
are here to be found, as monuments exist in a sister city 
of our county, of his zeal and munificence in the cause 
of popular education, and the diffusion of the means of 
knowledge. Scholars, philosophers, and distinguished 
persons of all sorts, visiting our city, were welcomed to 
his generous hospitality, while many an humble, but 
aspiring, student felt the cheering and sustaining influ- 
ence of his liberal sympathy and substantial aid. 

Joseph Story, LL. D., A. A. S., S. P. A., trained the 
classes in the Law School of our University in all the 
learning of his profession, and from the Supreme Bench 
of the Union announced, with acknowledged authority, 
the interpretation of the Constitution, and the force and 
limitation of the Statutes of Nation and State. His 
published works exhaust the topics of judicial lore, and 
are standard text books in courts at home and abroad. 
Besides all this he was a public orator, and shone in 
general literary accomplishments. His eloquence and 
energy were always at hand to advance the intellectual 
condition of the people. 

Either of these ten men, all living here together, 
would have been recognized as an intellectual leader and 
head, in any of our great cities. Combined they were a 
constellation rarely equalled, anywhere, in any age. 
They were none of them mere bookish men, standing 
aloof from the community, but severally among the 
people, and of the people ; to be seen daily, as much as 
any class of persons, in the streets, social circles, and 

i .n.W B BUIWTg. -pi 


, was a man 

iated, and of 

is profession. 

t or efficient 

3, and traces 

a sister city 

in the cause 

the means of 


welcomed to 

humble, but 

taining inilu- 


., trained the 
ity in all the 
ipreme Bench 
ed authority, 
the force and 
. State. His 
cial lore, and 
! and abroad, 
and shone in 
loqueuce and 
le intellectual 

lere together, 
al leader and 
i they were a 
in any age. 
nen, standing 
y among the 
ly, as much as 
1 circles, and 

places of public resort. They took as active and efficient 
a part in local affairs as others. They were always in 
lively contact with their fellow citizens, without reserve, 
hauteur, or pretension. It is obvious that their influence 
upon the condition and current of popular thought could 
not but have been most potent and far I'eaching. 

There were many others, younger men, of marked 
eminence, adding to the mental stimulus of the place. 

Leverett Saltonstall, LL. D., A. A. S., did not forget, 
while in extensive professional practice, to keep a deep 
interest in the general culture and higher welfare of the 
community. Education, fine faculties, fluent speech, a 
generous and magnanimous nature made him a persuasive 
and impressive speaker at the bar, and in popular assem- 
blies. Literary tastes, the warmth of his heart, sympathy 
with all amiable human affections, a manly ease and free- 
dom of address gave him a just influence in private 
circles, and all associated forms of action. He was an 
enthusiast in whatever relates to colonial or local history, 
and the memorv of the Fathers. One of the founders 
of the Essex Historical Society, and always an active 
member, he was selected to deliver the Addi'ess, on the 
197th anniversary of the landing of Endicott. The occa- 
sion was observed, Sept. 6th, 1825, with much public 
interest, in the meeting-house of the First Church. A 
large audience appreciated the ability and eloquence 
of the discourse, which gave an early and efficient im- 
pulse to the commemorative spirit now happily pervading 
the land. 

Benjamin Merrill, LL. D., was a learned lawyer and 
scholar, the influence of whose pleasant humor, polished 
and pregnant wit, and acuteness and force of thought 
enlivened conversation and gave eflect to the productions 


of his pen in racy articles, long continuing to add attrac- 
tiveness to the local press, particularly to the Salem 

David Cummings, a man of strong powers, and promi- 
nent at the bar, is well remembered for his ardent natural 
eloquence at public meetings and in addresses to juries. 
His pure and noble spirit, and transparent character, 
secured the respect and confidence of all, while his 
genial ingenuousness, freshness of thought and expres- 
sion, acuteness of perception, keen but playful and 
beniffnant satire, and an enthusiasm all his own, de- 
lighted every circle in which he moved. 

Joseph E. Sprague, was early drawn from legal prac- 
tice into political life, in which few ever bore a more 
active or efficient part. His facile, rapid, and felicitous 
pen was always ready to meet the demands of the hour, 
not merely for party purposes, but to give expression to 
worthy sentiments on the topics and occurrences that 
arrested notice from time to time. Like his classmate 
Men-ill, he fully discharged his obligations to the public 
by using the columns of the Eegister to promote the 
intelligence, and guide the thoughts of the people. Sal- 
tonstall and Merrill, on one side, and Cummini^s and 
Sprague, on the other, were leading actors. in political 
operations, at a time when party passions were exasper- 
ated beyond the experience of our day, but so liberal 
and enlightened were their spirits that the bonds of per- 
sonal friendship were never severed between them, and 
they acted cordially together in giving their sympathy 
and influence to the general welfare and progress of 

John Glen King, a learned lawyer, had rare classical 
attainments, and was widely known as one of the choicest 

- felWM.ttf'iHt'Mail l UJW 

add attrac- 
the Salem 

i, and promi- 
rdent natural 
jses to juries. 
Qt character, 
1, while his 
; and expi-es- 
playful and 
his own, de- 

m legal prac- 
bore a more 
and felicitous 
i of the hour, 
expression to 
urrences that 
his classmate 
to the public 
promote the 
people. Sal- 
umminj^s and 
•s-in political 
ivere exasper- 
)ut so liberal 
bonds of per- 
jen them,* and 
leir sympathy 
i progress of 

rare classical 
of the choicest 


scholars of his period. He studied the writings of the 
early fathers of the Christian Church to an extent which 
but few clergymen have equalled. 

Keuben Dimond Mussey, M. D,, LL. D., A. A. S., 
was a leading practitioner here, and established a national 
reputation that ultimately drew him to the West, where 
he was welcomed as one of the heads of his profession. 
While in Salem, in 1812 and 1813, he gave courses of 
lectures on chemistry, imparting such an interest, in this 
community, to that subject that the thoughts of enter- 
prising business men were particularly turned to it ; and 
as is generally supposed, the Laboratory, incorporated in 
1819, which has been in successful operation ever since, 
manufacturing, on a large scale, aquafortis, muriatic acid, 
oil of vitriol, blue vitriol and alum, was the result. For 
many years he had in charge the medical department of 
Dartmouth College, lecturing on the Theory and Practice 
of Medicine, Materia Medica, Surgery, and Medical 

Daniel Oliver M. D., LL. D., A. A. S., was associated 
with Dr. Mussey in practice, and cooperated in con- 
ducting the lectures on chemistry. In 1820, he was 
elected Professor in the Medical School of Dartmouth 
College, and also filled the chair of Intellectual and Moral 
Philosophy there, continuing in the discharge of his 
duties with high reputation until 1837. Subsequently he 
was called to a professorship in the college of Ohio. 
After a brief, but distinguished service in that new and 
wider field, he was compelled to relinquish his labors by 
a disease which proved fatal in 1842. He was a learned, 
able, and accomplished scholar, outside of his profession, 
of rare attainments in classical, French and German 
literature. His tastes, manners, and character were 

" J|llMJ«tfCT»)l l l-UI»U»M I M i " W— ^T-HMj ^Jife^,; 


eminently refined, delicate and retiring ; but there was, 
notwithstanding, a universal recognition of his merits. 
His work entitled "First Lines of Physiology," is a 
standard authority. The leading collegiate institutions 
of his own country conferred upon him their diplomas, 
and he was an honorary member of the Academy of 
Science and Literature at Palermo. 

Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn, A. A. S., after 
completing his professional preparation in the office of 
Judge Story, entered upon the practice of law here, and 
was early brought into particular notice by addresses on 
public occasions, and articles in leading journals and 
magazines. His attention was given to Agriculture as a 
science and art, especially to Horticulture. No one did 
more to inspire a taste and interest in such subjects, and 
in recognition of this fact, the municipal authorities, in 
laying out a street bordered by proprietors engaged in 
rearing nurseries of trees and flowers, called it by hj^ 
name. General Dearborn was the first President of the 
Massachusetts Horticultural Society . The traces of his 
hand are to be seen at Mount Auburn, and the Forest 
Hills Cemetery in Roxbury, the place of his residence 
during much of the latter portion of his life. He was 
long in the public service in local, state, and national 
offices. He was the author of valuable works relating to 
commerce and internal improvements, as well as Agri- 
culture ; and in the department of biography, naval and 
military. He wrote, not so much from ambition in 
authorship, as from the love of literary occupation, and 
for the gratification of his sense of the beautiful in art, 
leaving behind him elaborate, exquisitely finished and 
embellished manuscript volumes, designed as memorials 
for his friends and family, on Architecture and Flowers ; 

' -■■■ taM T WSH ' .g.'/ ' i.JWW lf HWMMM 

■■■ "T^T^-Ts^-'^-.^-yj'' 


it there was, 
his merits, 
ology," is a 
) institutions 
sir diplomas, 
Academy of 

.. A. S., after 
the office of 
[aw here, and 
addresses on 
journals and 
riculture as a 

No one did 
subjects, and 
luthorities, in 
s engaged in 
led it by hj^ 
isident of the 

traces of his 
id the Forest 
his residence 
life. He was 

and national 
ks relating to 
well as Agri- 
liy, naval and 

ambition in 
icupation, and 
iautiful in art, 

finished and 

as memorials 

and Flowers; 

and also a Life of Christ, in which all the passages of 
scripture relating to it, are collected and harmonized into 
a continuous narrative. 

Joseph Emerson Worcester, LL. D., A. A. S., passed 
some years here as a teacher, engaged, at the same time 
in preparing his Geographical Dictionary or Universal 
Gazetteer. Publications of this class secured him the 
honor of election as a corresponding member of the 
Boyal Geographical Society of London. In the Athe- 
naeum and private libraries, and the society of our culti- 
vated men and accurate scholars, he was preparing his 
mind for the great work of his life — that monument of 
patience, perseverence, judgment, taste and learning — 
The Dictionary of the English Language. 

Thomas Cole, A. A. 8., was a thoroughly trained 
scholar and teacher, conversant with the various depart- 
ments of science and philosophy, particularly astronomy 
and meteorology, and occupying the first rank of micro- 
scopists, pursuing researches to the minutest recesses of 
the fields of natural science. 

William Gibbs, shrinking from observation with the 
most sensitive modesty and humility, could not es- 
cape being recognized as an antiquarian explorer, as 
exact, thorough and successful as any we have ever had 
among us. 

Malthus Augustus Ward, M. D., also a person of un- 
obtrusive deportment, in addition to the learning of his 
profession, pursued the science of natural history with a 
quiet enthusiasm that conducted him to wide attainments 
in that department, especially in botany. He removed to 
Athens, in Georgia, and during the residue of his life 
was connected with the University there, as Professor in 
his favorite branch. In that service he exerted an ex- 


■1 ■ "tSSasK 

, '■-'.i~j;::smm: !^^Ski-^i& i ims i^: s^ ^MZi>mm-^Mmm:': 


tensive influence in behalf of science and learning, con- 
ferring lasting benefit upon the young men then passing 
through the academic course. Among his pupils was 
Alexander H. Stephens, who has expressed to me in the 
strongest terms the value he and all others attached to 
Dr. Ward's instructions, gratefully ascribing to him the 
credit of directing the studies, guiding the tastes, and 
stimulating the minds of those frequenting his lecture- 
rooms and participating in explorations and observations 
of the surrounding region, over which he was wont to 
lead them, disclosing the beauties and wonders of nature. 
Near the close of the period, to which I am referring, 
in 1820 and 1821, the corps of our enlightened citizens 
and highly educated men was reinforced by the settlement 
here of two distinguished clergymen, John Brazer, D. D., 
A. A. S., Professor of Latin in Harvard University, a 
ripe classical scholar, of extensive attainments in general, 
especially in critical, learning, and a writer of unsurpassed 
clearness, accuracy, and purity of style; and James 
Flint, D. D., whose mind was also stored with the treas- 
ures of classical, as well as sacred literature. Familiar 
with the best productions in prose and verse of English 
authors, bearing in his memory all their finest passages, 
a rich imagination, and free and fervid expression, gave 
to his private conversation and public discourses, and to 
occasional poetic pieces that will never be forgotten, the 
power of eloquence and the stamp of genius. 

All these were either early trained in academic disci- 
pline, or mainly devoted to studious pursuits. But there 
were others, self-educated, and engaged in ordinary occu- 
pations of active life, foreign from literature or science, 
who, like the subject of this memoir, found time, not- 
withstanding, to gratify a love of knowledge by pros- 


larning, con- 
then passing 
pupils was 
to me in the 
attached to 
: to him the 
tastes, and 
his lecture- 
(vas wont to 
PS of nature, 
im referring, 
med citizens 
le settlement 
razer, D. D., 
Jniversity, a 
ts in general, 
and James 
th the treas- 
•e. Familiar 
le of English 
est passages, 
ressiou, gave 
arses, and to 
brgotten, the 

idomic disci- 
i. But there 
rdinary occu- 
•e or science, 
id time, not- 
Ige by pros- 

ecuting, as a recreation and for thoir private enjoyment, 
researches in intellectiiiil and philosophical spheres, and 
whoso habits and attainments were Avell known, and 
operated as an incentive to others. 

Jonathan Webb, an apothecary, attentive to his busi- 
ness and an active and efficient citizen, was an electrician 
without a superior, retreating, in his leisure hours, to 
apartments provided for the purpose within his own 
premises, and filled with apparatus upon which he prac- 
ticed and experimented, developing the wondrous prop- 
erties of the element of nature, in whose study ho was 
an enthusiast. 

Thomas Spencer, an English emigrant, in the hum- 
blest condition, a tallow chandler by trade, and for some 
time without any means but what were supplied by indus- 
trious toil, as a day laborer, after a while became known 
as a philosophic lover of nature, and a refined and beau- 
tiful writer. His lectures, on the forest trees of this 
neighborhood and on the phenomena of light and the 
laws of vision, were performances of exquisite finish. 
Although his condition was originally lowly and obscure, 
having been bom with a pure and gifted genius, and, 
through all disadvantages, cultivated his mind from child- 
hood, lie here soon found friends, and a public that ap- 
preciated him. He is still living, his venerable ago 
illuminated by mental and moral accomplishments, an 
opulent and extensive landholder in one of the richest 
agricultural counties of England. His history is, indeed, 
invested with a truly romantic interest. Messages of 
love, received from time to time, show that he remem- 
bers, with affectionate and grateful feelings, the friend- 
ship and sympathy he here enjoyed. 

There was a young man, employed as a clerk in the 

SI iilSJvHJ^ttX-- < 

counting-rooms of one of our grent mei'chants, afterwavtls 
cnn-ying on, for a while, u retail store, whoso exuberant 
spirits Piado him the life of all companies, in scenes of 
innocent social gnyety, but who early caught the inspira- 
tion of the place, and seized every available moment to 
enrich his mind by the study of the befct English works. 
Upon reaching an adult age he, at once, made himself 
felt as a devoted supporter of all movements in favor of 
the difi'usion of knowledge ; and to his inspiring activity 
and contagious enthusiasm, the Essex Historical Society 
largely owes its origin. After an aI)8enco of forty years, 
during which he was deeply engaged in business, con- 
nected with the transaction of extensive commercial 
affairs, in New York, Europe, and California, he returned 
with unabated zeal to give, in the last year of his life, an 
impulse to the Essex Institute it will feel forever. Al- 
though always immersed in occupations aside from litera- 
ture that would have wholly absorbed, if not exhausted, 
other men, George Atkinson Ward continued thti prepara- 
tion, he hero began, to take his place permanently among 
men of letters. From time to time the productions of 
his pen gave vivacity to the columns of periodicals ; and 
he lived to complete the fourth edition of his "Journal 
and Letters of Samuel Curwen." The wiitings of Judge 
Curwen were the products and the evidence of the taste 
and culture that prevailed here duriug the last century, 
and the volume in which Mr. Ward presented them to 
the public, with the value added by his editorial labors, 
is secure, I am confident, of holding its place, in all 
coming time, as a standard work, containing much that 
illustrates the opening of the revolutionary struggle, and 
ffivins: the best view that ever has been presented, or can 
ever be obtained, of the interior social condition of the 
mother country at that period. 

, afterwanla 
) exuborant 

n 8C'0IK'8 of 

tlio iiispiru- 

inoment to 
flish works, 
lado himself 

in favor of 
•ing activity 
ical Society 

forty years, 
isiness, con- 


he returned 
f his life, an 
ji'ever. Al- 

froni litera- 
it exhausted, 

tiui prepara- 
ently among 
•oductions of 
odicals ; and 
liis "Journal 
igs of Judge 
! of the taste 
last century, 
ited them to 
;orial labors, 
place, in all 
g much that 
struggle, and 
ented, or can 
idition of the 

Behind the counter of a retail store, on Essex street, 
at the period now un<ler review, was to \w found a per- 
son i)ursuing the daily routine of a most unpretentious 
life, apparently thinking of nothing else than the accom- 
modation of customers, in the exhibition of his stock, 
and measuring out, by the yard, linen, cotton, ribbons 
and tape. Ho was, apparently, beyond middle life,»of a 
mild and courteous demeanor, quiet, and of few words. 
TIku'c was, it is true, in his mein and manners, a com- 
bined gentleness and dignity, that marked him as differ- 
ing from the common run of men, but nothing to indi- 
cate the tenor of his peculiar mental occupations. The 
leisure hoiu's of that man were employed in patient, 
minute, comprehensive and far reaching researches in 
books, quarterly journals, magazines, and political docu- 
ments, guided by a cultivated taste, keen discrimination, 
familiarity with the best models of style and thought, 
and intimate acquaintance with the biographical details of 
all the prominent public characters of England, and their 
personal, family, and party relations to each other, that 
enabled him to grapple with a subject, that was engross- 
ing and defying the ingenuity of them all, and thereby 
to place himself as a peer among the literati of his day. 
The most critical and distinguished minds, on both sides 
of the Atlantic, at that time and for a great length of 
years, were engaged in elaborate and indefatigable efforts 
to solve a problem, which more and longer, perhaps, 
than any similar inquisition, has arrested the curiosity 
and scrutiny of mankind. 

A series of letters, from January, 1769, to January, 
1772, appeared in a London paper, the "Public Adver- 
tiser," over the signature of "Junius," discussing the 
conduct of the ministers of government, measures of ad- 



niiiuMtriition, ami tlio t-hnriu'torH of living HtntcHiiu'ii, in a 
Btyin of (!U'ji;antc, Hcvority, force and t'll'cctivcness, never 
BinpaHsed, if ever equalled. They were felt and ae- 
knowledged then, as they are now, to ho masterpieces, in 
grace of diction and power of thought. In the most 
wonderful manner their authorHhip was kept concealed 
against a pressure that exhausted every form of vigilance 
and espionage that could ho brought to hear. As, week 
after week, they shook the mind of England and the age 
to its centre, and flashed before all eyes, as from a gal- 
vanic battery, living pictures of the great men of that 
period, of course they became the subject of universal 
and most exciting interest, growing deeper and stronger 
from day to day. Who is the author of these letters? 
was the question on all lips. To give an idea of the 
kind of sensation created by them, I present a few speci- 
mens of the manner in which their "great unknown" 
author is spoken of. The Avriter of the article on the 
subject in the "Encyclopujdia Americana," thus charac- 
terizes him. "His style is severe, concise, epigrammatic 
and polished ; his reasoning powerful ; his invective un- 
sparing and terrible." Again: "lie was evidently ac- 
quainted, not only with the court, but Avith the city; 
with the history, private intrigues, and secret characters 
of the great ; with the management of the public oflSces ; 
with the proceedings of Parliament ( not then, as since, 
public); and also with the official underlings, through 
whom he sometimes condescends to laeh their superiors. 
With this extensive information, he united a boldness, 
vehemence, and rancor, which, while ho spared no one, 
stopped at nothing, and rendered him an object of terror 
to those whom he attacked. To use his own language, 
'he gathers like a tempest, and all the fury of the elo- 


oHiiu'ii, ill a 
'iif'88, never 
bit and au- 
torpieces, in 
[n the must 
)t concealed 
of vigilance 
. As, week 
and the age 
from ft gal- 
men of that 
of universal 
md stronger 
1C80 letters? 
idea of the 
a few speci- 
t unknown" 
■tide on the 
thus charac- 
nvective un- 
vidently ac- 
th the city; 
et characters 
ublic offices ; 
en, as since, 
ngs, through 
ir superiors. 
. a boldness, 
ired no one, 
ject of terror 
vn language, 
•y of the ele- 

ments hursts upon tli« m at once.'" At Hrst the gonornl 
su8pi(;i(in was fixed U{uin Hurke, who alone was thought 
capal)le of such wonderful compoMitions, hut ho publicly 
denied being their author, and in a speech in the House 
of Commons, expressed his opinion of him, "in rancor 
and venom, the North Uriton is as much inferior to him, 
as in strength, wit, and judgment. King, Lords, and 
Commons are but the sport of his fury." 

Besides Burke, conjecture fell at different times, upon 
a gi'cat variety of persons, among them the Grenvilles, 
Wilkes, Dunning, Charles Lloyd, John Ilorne Tooko, 
Charles Leo, Sir Philip Francis, Hugh Macauley Boyd, 
Gibbon, Grattan, Sir William Jones, Horace Walpole, 
Lords Sackville, Camden, Chatham and Chestertield. 

Among the great minds engaged in discussing this 
question, and seeking to solve the problem, were Burke, 
Lord Eldon, the celebrated Dr. Samuel Parr, Sir William 
Draper, Butler the learned English lawyer, and a host of 
others. Any number of books were published in Eng- 
land and in America on the subject, and all the literary 
and political journals lent their column?, to elaborate arti- 
cles pressing theories, based upon prying research and 
industrious investigations. But all attempts to penetrate 
the veil, and disperse the shadow the writer had thrown 
over his name, failed ; but still the search continued with 
unabated earnestness. 

It is indeed marvellous that a Salem retail shop-keeper, 
without any known aid, but from local libraries and the 
society of persons here eminently conversant with the 
materials that could shed light upon such a subject, was 
enabled to enter into this crowd of great contestants for 
the discovery of the world-engrossing secret, and bear off 
the palm of victory in such a race. But this, in the 



!ikiMi^it^dmmi i iimimiii>>&'sMi!JSfJ>jtS9Ss.': 

, V 


judgment of many most competent to give an opinion, 
Isaac Newhall did. Tiie writer of the article in the En- 
cyclopadia just quoted, sums up a review of t'le whole 
"•round by citing the "ingenious" vohime, as lie pronoun- 
ces it, published by Mr. Newhall, entitled "Letters on 
Junius," in which the opinion is maintained that the 
famous documents were from the pen of Lord Temple, 
brother of George Grenvillc ; and upon critically exam- 
ining the evidence presented by Mr. Newhall, decilares 
his hypothesis "probable," saying in conclusion — "if it 
is not the true one, it is certainly embarrassed with fewer 
difficulties, than any which have come to our knowledge." 
The influence of the examples I have enumerated, 
heightening the preexisting tendency of the general in- 
tellect and of the then counnercial character of the place, 
which diflTused through the whole body of the people 
knowledge derived from conversance with all nations in 
all parts of the globe, reached the inmost recesses of 
society, and was felt in every condition of life. The in- 
spiration was caught by the young, and a bias towards 
intellectual occupations, and a taste for the pleasures of 
literature and science, early imparted to many minds. 
In the opening decades of this century, the eye of a 
prophet would have detected, in primary and preparatory 
schools, and among the boys at play in our streets, 
names now enrolled in the very foremost rank, in the 
various fields of letters and science. In history — William 
Hickling Prescott; the higher mathematics — Benjamin 
Peirce; elegant literature in its most attractive depart- 
ments — Nathaniel Hawthorne; botany and its kindred 
branches — John Lewis Russell; magnetism, electricity 
and chemistry — Charles Grafton Page; and podtry in 
one of its purest forms — Jones Very. 

■- aMtM!flUWiilii(a.iittetb»B Wt tr •— 

'ive an opinion, 
tide in the Kn- 
ew of t'le whole 
!, as he pronoun- 
led "Letters on 
itained that the 
>f Lord Temple, 
critically exani- 
fewhall, dec'laros 
nclusion — "if it 
assed with fewer 
our knowledge." 
ave enumerated, 
f the general in- 
jter of the place, 
y of the people 
th all nations in 
most recesses of 
of life. The iii- 
i a bias towards 
the pleasures of 
to many minds. 
•y, the eye of a 
• and preparatory 

in our streets, 
lost rank, in the 
listory — William 
latics — Benjamin 
attractive depart- 

aud its kindred 
etism, electricity 
; and poetry in 

'Ss^i^)i:.r> %i,i^xM >.s amjt ' iUwima m tbw" 

The sketch now given, has been confined to Salem, 
The theme is equally fruitful, if the field of view is 
extended over the whole surface of this part of the com- 
monwealth. I leave to others more competent to do it 
justice, the grateful task of enumerating the strong 
minds and characters, adorning the early annals of Ips- 
wich in its original dimensions when the great court 
town, Andover, Haverhill, the other towns on the Mer- 
rimack, especially Newburyport in every stage of its 
history, Lynn, Marblehead, and all over the county. It 
can thus be shown that the elements of intellectual culture 
were sown broadcast throughout the region, and that 
■ such characters as have now been enumerated, and as we 
are preparing particularly to consider, are the sponta- 
neous product of our soil. 

The "Essex County Natural History Society" was in- 
corporated in 1836. A young man, a native of our city, 
engaged in business here as a bookseller, Benjamin Hale 
Ives, inspired with enthusiasm as a naturalist, awakened 
especial attention to the subject by articles in the news- 
papers from his pen, continued from time to time until 
the movement was effectually started. His early death, in 
1837, was a great loss to science, and to the community 
in all its interests. The first President of the Society 
was Andrew Nichols, M. D., of Danvers, now Peabody. 
He was born in 1785 and died in 1853. Learned in his 
profession, and honored for his worth in all respects, hcf 
had tastes and faculties that found their gratification in 
philosophic pursuits — a dear lover of nature — of an 
imaginative and poetic temperament, — flowers and trees 
and the fields and forests they adorn, were to him, as he 
wandered among them, things not only of beauty, but of 
life. No one ever explored them with more delight or 

*WESSS^^c^lS>^":3S?5w*.iai!3s«<il ■; 


studied them more thoroughly. In 1816, Dr. Nichols 
gave a course of Botanical Lectures in Salem, and al- 
ways delighted to communicate information, and awaken 
interest in that department of knowledge. Zoology was 
also one of his favorite subjects of observation and re- 
search. He was naturally the chosen leader of those 
engaged in these fascinating departments of science. 

The "Essex County Historical Society" and the "Essex 
County Natural History Society" were consolidated, un- 
der the name of the "Essex Institute," in 1848. Judge 
Daniel A. White was the first President. 

The Essex Institute is the mature growth of the seed 
planted here more than a century ago, on ground ready 
to receive it, which came into full flower, in the cluster of 
great minds adorning this community half a century 
since, and whose ripened fruit will perennially and for- 
ever, we trust, be gathered by all who reach forth their 
hands to pluck it. Under the care and guidance of 
devoted scholars and students, whose labors and lives 
have been given to it, the Institute has become what it is. 
Their services are appreciated and honored here and else- 
where. While they, and he, so long their Secret: ry and 
now their President, around whom they are encircled, 
who toils for it by day and watches over it by night, 
whose learning, science, resources and affections are all 
merged in it, are here to listen, I must not name them. 
The eulogist and historian, at a future— may it be a long 
distant — day will have their memories in charge, and 
then express the gratitude we now can only feel. 

By the published volumes of its "Historical Collec- 
tions" and "Proceedings," and the "American Naturalist" ; 
its field meetings, and meetings for discussions, written 
and oral, of matters of science, history and literature ; 


■:^7- iA^i - i;^&. ^s^irT ^'tM^imsm. '# " 

Dr. Nichols 
era, and al- 
and awaken 
Zoology was 
tion and re- 
ier of those 
i the "Essex 
olidated, un- 
848. Judge 

li of the seed 
[round ready 
the cluster of 
f a century 
illy and for- 
h forth their 

guidance of 
rs and lives 
ne what it is. 
ere and else- 
lecretiry and 
,re encircled, 

it b} night, 
jtions are all 
t name them, 
r it be a long 

charge, and 

)rical Collec- 
i Naturalist"; 
lions, written 
id literature ; 

its horticultural and other exhibitions ; ita already exten- 
sive library of books, pamphlets and manuscripts, and its 
invalual^le museum, the Institute has made an achieve- 
ment, beginning to be universally recognized. In no 
locality, in the country, has so much been accomplished 
in exhuming and working the treasures of municipal, 
civil, and personal history, and in bringing to light antiq- 
uities and natural productions, as in this county. For 
all this we are mainly indebted to the Essex Institute. 
No writer can trace the origin and history of any of 
our towns, or portray a passage of our annals, without 
depending upon resources it has provided, while its explo- 
rations are covering every department of natural objects 
and phenomena. 

I have endeavored to explain how the institution and 
influence of an association, so efficient in its action, 
and already attracting so wide a notice, can be accounted 
for, as having been established and wrought to such vigor 
in this comparatively small and suburban city. The per- 
sonal memoir, I am now prepared to present, will exhibit, 
in a particular instance, a striking result of the same 
operative causes. 

Lieutenant Francis Peabody emigrated to this country, 
at about twenty-one years of age, from St. Albans, Hert- 
fordshire, England, in 1635. He is stated to have first 
settled in Ipswich, which then included, indefinitely, the 
territory outside of the present limits of that town to and 
beyond the Merrimack river. His name is found, as of 
the grand jury, and on trial juries, from Hampton. As 
that place was finally decided to be within the limits of 
New Hampshire, and as he also desired to be "nearer 
Boston," he sold his estate in Hampton in 1650, and 
bought land in what is now Topsfield, on its southern 


— **s5a^;sssr"':«P5?'^.5^ 



line, near Governor Eudicott's Ipswich River fai-m, where 
he spent the remainder of his days. By his wife Mary, 
daughter of Reginald Foster, he had fourteen children, 
and died in February, 1698, at the age of eighty- 

His fourth son, Isaac, was born in 1648. The home- 
stead was assigned to him. He died in 1726. 

His eldest son, Francis, was born, December 1st, 1694, 
bore the military title of Cornet, and lived in Middle- 
ton, where he died April 23d, 1769. 

His eldest son Francis, born September 21st, 1715, 
was Deacon of the church in Middleton, and died there, 
December 7th, 1797. 

His sixth son, Joseph, was born December 12th, 1757, 
and died January 5th, 1844. He was one of the most 
eminent merchants of his day, carrying on a conunerce 
that encircled the globe, and making this port the point 
of arrival and departure of his richly laden fleet. His 
eldest son, Joseph Augustus, born in 1796, was gradu- 
ated at Hai-vard College in 1816, but commerce was the 
profession of his choice. His position -aade him familiar 
with the business, and he had the qualities enabling him 
to t<XM the place of his father. The prospects of this 
town, as connected with foreign trade and its maritime 
welfare, were considered by the people as identified with 
him. His y)ure and amiable character was recognized 
and appreciated by all ; and deep was the sense of a great 
public misfortune, when he was taken away, in 1828. 
The day of his funeral, as I well remember, Avas one 
of general mourning. The second son of Joseph Pea- 
body, Charles, born December 8th, 1797, was drowned 
August 10th, 1805. The third named Francis, born 
July 14th, 1799, died in infancy. The fourth, also 

farai, where 

i wife Mary, 

len children, 

of eighty- 

The home- 

er Ist, 1694, 
i in Middle- 

21st, 1715, 
I died there, 

r 12th, 1757, 
of the most 
a commerce 
port the point 
u fleet. His 
, was gradii- 
lerce was the 
! him familiar 
enabling him 
ipects of this 
its maritime 
ientified with 
18 recognized 
use of a great 
ray, in 1828. 
iber, Avas one 
Joseph Pea- 
was drowned 
Francis, born 
fourth, also 

43 ' 

named Francis, was born December 7th, 1801, and is the 
subject of the present memoir ; ho was of the fifth de- 
scent from the founder of the family in America, and 
bore his name. His mother was Elizabeth, daughter of 
the Rev. Elias Smith of Middleton. 

At ten years of age he was placed in Dummer Acad- 
emy, at Byfield, under the care of the Rev. Abiel Abbott, 
D. I)., a graduate of Harvard College in the class of 
1787, originally pastor of a church in Coventry, Con- 
necticut, subsequently at Peterboro', N. H., and whose 
last years were passed at West Cambridge, where he died 
in 1859, at the age of ninety-four — one of the best of 
scholars and of men, loved and revered by his pupils, 
and honored by all in the varied scenes of his active ser- 
vice. At about twelve years of age, young Peabody 
was removed to Brighton, where he passed about four 
years in a select private school, kept by Jacob Newman 
Knapp, of the Harvard class of 1802 ; a man of eminent 
reputation as a scholar and instructor, and especially 
remembered, as such, by our elderly people. He opened 
a school here more than sixty-five years ago, Jan. 1, 
1803, which continued until 1811. Through his long 
protracted life, there has been no failure of vigor or 
activity, his physical and mental powers remaining wholly 

Through his school days, and indeed from early child- 
hood, Francis Peabody gave indications of the tendency 
of mind that so strikingly marked his maturer years. He 
was ever exercising his constructive faculties, making 
miniature machines, trying experiments upon the ob- 
jects and forces of nature within his reach, and occupy- 

* Mr. Knapp died July 27th, 1868, at Walpole, N. H., aged ninety- 
four years and eight months. 


ing all the hours, when free from regular and appointed 
tasks, in contrivances, manipulations, and drawings. 

His regular academic education terminated with his 
residence at Brighton, and he returned to his home in 
Salem. The prevalent direction of his thoughts, as just 
indicated, disinclined him to the general exercises of 
collegiate establishments. Their purpose is to take the 
mind before it has received a controlling bias to any 
particular branch of knowledge, and lead it through the 
whole circle ; make it try all, survey the entire field, 
and then select for its life-pursuit what it thus finds in 
most affinity with its own special tastes and faculties. 
He had found, by tendencies that could not be oven'uled, 
and convictions that could not be called into question, 
even in his earliest boyhood, in what path his mind was 
designed to travel, and he entered upon it, at once. 
More than this, his extraordinary activity and mobility of 
temperament, made the thought of the slow routine and 
measured pace of collegiate life quite repulsive ; and it 
was wisely concluded not to enforce upon him the com- 
pletion of his education, by residence in the ordinary 
way, and for the usual time, at the university. He was 
allowed, and enabled, to gratify his predilection for 
scientific and mechanical operations at home ; and entered 
at once, in his own way, upon chemical processes, and the 
ingenious use of machinery and methods of operation ; 
which, however, before long, were interrupted by a vio- 
lent sickness in the form of typhus fever, that, for some 
time, threatened his life, and from which he slowly recov- 

For the purpose of fully reestablishing his health, a 
sea voyage was deemed expedient, and he made his first 
trip across the Atlantic. Early in the summer of 1820, 


d appointed 
;d with his 
us home in 
»hts, as just 
exercises of 
to take the 
bias to any 
through the 
entire field, 
hus finds in 
nd faculties, 
e oven'uled, 
ito question, 
is mind was 
it, at once. 
1 mobility of 

routine and 
sive ; and it 
im the com- 
tlie ordinary 
ty. He was 
iilection for 

and entered 
isses, and the 
f operation ; 
ed by a vio- 
bat, for some 
slowly recov- 

bis health, a 
lade his first 
mer of 1820, 

when eighteen years of age, he took passage in one of his 
fatlier's ships, the Augustus, to Bussia. She was com- 
manded by John Endicott Giddings of Beverly; Jona- 
than Flint was first mate, Oliver Thayer, second mate, 
and Samuel Endicott, Jr., supercargo. The crew, as 
was then almost always the case, was com])osed of young 
men belonging to the place and neighborhood. Of 
course all care was taken to provide everything that 
would be agreeable or beneficial to a young person not 
yet entirely relieved of the character of an invalid. 
Among other things a goat was placed on board for his 
special comfort and nourishment. The vessel, as usual, 
made the northern passage, touching at a solitary rocky 
islet, about half-way between the Orkney and Shetland 
groups. The nearest land is Samburg Ness, the southern 
extremity of the Shetlands, from which point its lofty 
crags are visible. From the island itself nothing is in 
sight, all around, but the dreary desert ocean. For what 
reason I know not, nor can imagine, the place is called 
Fair Island, and, as such, is put done on the maps. It is 
four miles in length, and two and a half in breadth ; and 
has but one harbor. Its inhabitants are excluded from 
all cognizance of the rest of the world, except when, as 
in this case, a passing vessel comes to, in their port. 
This small desolate spot, alone and a-far-ofi*, in so high a 
latitude, in the midst of a comparatively unfrequented 
sea, whose wild storms almost throw their spray over 
the whole island from shore to shore, has, of course, 
but a small population, necessarily destitute of many 
of the comforts of life. "Whenever the rare oppor- 
tunity occiu*s, they gather upon the deck of the transient 
visitor, and seek to get what they can ; and as they 
have nothing to give in exchange, have naturally be- 



come inveterate beggars. The young passenger, com- 
miserating their destitute condition, and moved by their 
forlorn entreaties, parted with whatever he could possibly 
spare of his stores and wardrobe ; and to one old man 
who told a pitiful tale of the infirmities of his sick, 
famishing, and aged wife, he relinquished his goat. This 
circumstance, for which I am indebted to our esteemed 
fellow citizen. Captain Oliver Thayer, is mentioned be- 
cause it illustrates a trait of character, that may be fit- 
tingly noticed in this connection, which Francis Peabody 
exhibited through life. A more kind and obliging dispo- 
sition never existed, as all, who have had occasion to be 
its objects, gratefully remember. 

When the vessel was lying at Cronstadt, Mr. Peabody, 
accompanied by a son of the American Minister at 
St. Petersburg, made an extensive tour into the interior 
of Russia, visiting Moscow and other chief points of 

Coming home, on her return trip, in the same vessel, 
he devoted himself, with renewed health and zeal, to his 
laboratory. The next winter he attended a course of 
scientific lectures, at Boston, passing regularly over the 
Turnpike, in all weathers. The next he spent, for the 
same purpose, in Philadelphia, frequenting its scientific 
rooms, especially that of Dr. Hare, with whom he formed 
an acquaintance that soon assumed, and ever after re- 
tained, the character of an intimate and mutual personal 

On the 7th of July, 1823, he was married to Martha 
Endicott, of the seventh descent from the original Gov- 
ernor of the Plantation. Her father, Samuel Endicott, 
was born, as all his intermediate ancestors had been, on 
the Orchard Farm. 

jnger, corn- 
ed by their 
uld possibly 
ine old man 
)f his sick, 
goat. This 
ur esteemed 
antioned be- 
may be fit- 
cis Peabody 
liging dispo- 
casiou to be 

[r. Peabody, 

Minister at 

) the interior 

sf points of 

same vessel, 
d zeal, to his 
a course of 
irly over the 
Dent, for the 
its scientific 
tm he formed 
ver after re- 
tual personal 

)d to Martha 
)riginal Gov- 
lel Endicott, 
lod been, on 


At every period of his life, while muinly occupied in 
his favorite studies and pursuits, he was led by the extia- 
ordinary activity of his nature, to participate with his 
whole soul, in whatever was going on around him, in 
social movements and local interests, that commended 
themselves to his favorable judgment. About this time 
his attention was given, with great enthusiasm, to mili- 
tary matters, inheriting the true spirit of a New £ng- 
lander, transmitted through his ancestors, who had borne 
titles of honor in rural trainbands. He commanded a 
battalion of Artillery, and was soon promoted to a 
Lieutenant-Colonelcy, in that arm. In 1825, he was 
transferred to the Infantry, as Colonel of the 1st Reg., 
Ist Brig., 2d Div., Massachusetts militia. It was proba- 
bly much owing to his energy and zeal in the service, 
that the famous muster, and sham fight, well remembered 
by our older citizens, took place near Tapley's Brook, in 
what was then Danvers, on the 6th of October, 1826, in 
which five regiments of Infantry, one regiment and a 
battalion of artillery, and a battalion of cavalry took 
part. Ten light companies were included in the force 
brought into array on the occasion. The broad plains on 
both sides of the old road to Lynn, at that point, afforded 
favorable ground for evolutions, manceuvrings, display, 
skirmishes, and battle. It was the last great affair of the 
kind, under the old militia system, when the whole male 
population, with limited exceptions, within the military 
age, was enrolled and mustered. There was an entire 
regiment from Marblehead and another from Beverly. 
Of the scene exhibited that day I can speak, for I bore 
part in it, as chaplain of Colonel Peabody's regiment. 
He had provided me with sword, belt, sash, and the 
chapeau bras then worn by commissioned, especiah'y 






field and staff, officers, and sent a horse to my door. In 
company with Charles Gideon Putnam, Assistant Surgeon 
of the Regiment, now President of the Massachusetts 
Medical Society, I sought a position on a neighboring 
height. As we wore non-combatants and our services 
would not be needed until casualties occurred, we thought 
it best to be out of the reach of stray ramrods. The 
whole ground was spread out to our view, and under a 
bright, but tempered sun, it was worth beholding. An 
uncounted multitude darkened the distant acclivities and 
the level area all around outside of the lines. The roar 
of artillery, the incessant rattling of infantry fire, the 
clouds of smoke, the dashing onsets of trampling cavalry, 
and the final desperate charge by bayonet and sabre of 
the contending forces simultaneously along the whole 
line, made the mimic battle complete. 

Having exhausted the activities of a military life, it 
had no charm left for Francis Peabody, and he forthwith 
gave himself back to his predominating tastes, and to the 
inexhaustible satisfactions they afforded him. Yielding 
again, and now once for all, to the spirit of the place, he 
renewed his philosophical and inventive operations, and 
engaged in branches of business, manufacturing and com- 
mercial, to which they led him; remaining always on 
hand, however, to bear his jmrt in movements for the 
general welfare. 

I shall sketch his progress somewhat in the order of 
time, but not undertaking to enter into details; that 
would require many extended scientific treatises, and 
explanations and illustrations altogether beyond allowed 
limits on this occasion. 

In 1826 he was mainly occupied in experiments, 
studies, and calculations connected with the establish- 

y door. In 
ant Surgeon 
our services 
, we thought 
arods. The 
and under a 
olding. An 
iclivities and 
. The roar 
try fire, the 
ling cavalry, 
ind sabre of 
; the whole 

itary life, it 
lie forthwith 
9, and to the 
1. Yielding 
bhe place, he 
orations, and 
ng and com- 
; always on 
ents for the 

the order of 
letails ; that 
eatises, and 
ond allowed 

iie establish- 

49 • 

ment of a business ho long carried on, upon a large 
scale, which has passed into the hands and is now con- 
ducted by tlie "Forest River Lead Company." 

Colonel Peabody was among the first to introduce the 
system of miscellaneous courses of public lectures on 
scientific and literary subjects, which has since been 
developed into one of the most efficient agents in advanc- 
ing the intelligence and general civilization of the people 
of this country. On the 6th of November, 1827, the 
Essex Lodge o. Freemasons in Salem voted to have a 
series of literary and scientific lectures, which commenced 
in January, 1828, and continued to May. Among the 
lecturers were Thomas Cole, George Choate, Francis 
Peabody, Jonathan Webb, Malthus A. Ward, and Ben- 
jamin F. Browne. 

About the same time the Salem Charitable Mechanic 
Association appointed a committee to provide lectures 
for the members and their families. On the 24th of 
January, 1828, the introductory lecture was delivered by 
Dr. George Choate, who was followed by Caleb Foote, 
N. J. Lord, John Codman, J. T. Buckingham of Boston, 
and others. 

During the same season Colonel Peabody gave a free 
course of public lectures in Franklin Hall, on the history 
and uses of the Steam Engine ; and the next season he 
gave a similar course, in cooperation with Jonathan 
Webb, on Electricity, in Concert Hall. The display of 
apparatus, in the course on Electricity, was extensive and 
complete. The exhibition of machinery in connection 
with the Steam Engine, provided at the cost of Colonel 
Peabody, was finer and larger probably than any ever 
presented in this country. People of all conditions were 
attracted to the halls, and great interest awakened in 




such subjects. Young men, espociftlly those in mechani- 
cal employments, appreciated the opportunity, and all 
were instructed. Among them, it may bo mentioned, 
was Increase Sumner Hill, who is now, and long has 
been, one of the most distinguished mechanical engineers 
in America, and recognized as such by the government in 
the commission he has held for many years, as "United 
States Inspector of Steam Engines and Boilers." 

These numerous lectures awakened, in the whole com- 
munity, a sense of the value of knowledge and of the 
importance of its diffusion, which, the very next year 
took form in the establishment of Lyceums— that is, 
permanent institutions, for the diffusion of knowledge, 
by miscellaneous lectures— here and elsewhere through 
the country. A full history of the proceedings, that led 
to this result, is a subject that deserves, and will undoubt- 
edly receive, a distinct treatment. I can only touch a 
few points, such as particularly belong to, or are sug- 
gested by, my subject. 

Near the close of the year 1829, a notice appeared m 
the newspapers calling a general meeting to be held at 
Topsfield, for the purpose of establishing a County Lyce- 
um. What the precise object or plan of those concerned 
in the call was, could not be gathered from ifs terms. It 
was understood, however, that it was designed to provide 
for lectures to be delivered in that, or some other central 
place, upon which the people of the county were expected 
to attend. But it was obvious that an institution of the 
kind could hardly be made to operate efficiently over so 
wide an area; and much discussion arose touching the 
proper manner of bringing the process of lecturing to 
bear upon the people. The consequence was that a large 
concourse of gentlemen of influence attended the meet- 


e in mechani- 
inity, and all 
)o mentioned, 
and long has 
tical engineers 
government in 
PS, as "United 

lie whole com- 
ge and of the 
ery next year 
ums — that is, 
of knowledge, 
where through 
sdings, that led 
d will undoubt- 
1 only touch a 
», or are sug- 

ce appeared in 
^ to be held at 
a County Lyce- 
those concerned 
m if 9 terms. It 
gned to provide 
ae other central 
y were expected 
istitutiou of the 
iciently over so 
se touching the 
of lecturing to 
was that a large 
mded the meet- 

ing, which was held in the A« ademy Hall, at Topsfield, 
on Wednesday, the 30th of December, 1829. I do not 
rcinombor ever to have witnessed a more interesting and 
enlightened assembly. Very animated, earnest and pro- 
tracted debates took place, and it was finally decided by 
a full, but close vote, that a County Lyceum, if formed 
at all, ought to consist of delegates chosen in local 
Lyceums to be previously established in the several 
towns and villages. A committee was raised to prepare a 
circular, u duty assigned to me, to be distributed widely 
throughout the county, ft tting forth the advantages that 
would arise from the organization of such institutions, at 
all points where an adequate population existed ; and a 
day was fixed for delegates, appointed as aforesaid, to 
meet and form a County Lyceum. Among those acting 
a prominent part, at the meeting in Topsfield, were 
Bobert Rantoul, Sr. of Beverly, Rev. Gardner B. Perry 
of Bradford, Rev. Leonard Withington of Newbury, 
Rev. Henry C. "Wright of West Newbury, Dr. Jeremiah 
Spofford of East Bradford, now Groveland, Isaac I'. 
How of Haverhill, Rev. Charles C. Sewall of. Danveri, 
and Ichabod Tucker, the Rev. James Flint, D. D., David, 
Cummins, Elisha Mack, George Choate, George Wheat- 
land, Francis Peabody, David Roberts, and Robert Ran- 
toul, Jr., of Salem. A Lyceum had previously been 
established in Beverly. The gentlemen who had at- 
tended the meeting from other places, on returning to 
their respective towns, immediately applied themselves 
to carry out its resolves, and the result was the formation 
of such institutions, in every large town, and populous 
neighborhood in the county. 

Such an entire change has come over the spirit of 
society, since these institutions have been put into opera- 


• ' jm'MiimwMimmiiaMUMitvM. ' imm'm 



tion, owing, I doubt not, very much to their influence, 
that it is impossible for the present generation to estimate 
or account for the excitement attending, or the resistance 
made to their introduction. Great activity and energy 
were required to bring the public mind to appreciate the 
movement. In this place the end was accomplished by 
the earnest enthusiasm of particular persons, among the 
most zealous of whom was the subject of this memoir. 
The comparatively early death of Robert Rantoul, Jr., 
authorizes me specially to refer to him with the gratitude 
due to his services on this occasion. He gave to the 
cause the whole force of those faculties which subse- 
quently commanded eminent distinction, among the pub- 
lic men of the commonwealth and country, not only as 
a politician and legislator, but in the higher fields of phil- 
anthrophy and education. 

On Monday evening, January 4th, 1830, a meeting 
was held at the house of Colonel Peabody, at which the 
following persons, of this place, were present: Daniel 

A. White, Ichabod Tucker, A. L. Peirson, Malthus A. 
Ward, Elisha Mack, David Roberts, N. J. Lord, S. P. 
Webb, R. Rantoul, Jr., Eben Shillaber, G. Wheatland, 

B. Tucker, Warwick Palfray, John Walsh, Benjamin 
Crowninshield, Stephen C. Phillips, Jonathan Webb, W. 
P. Endicott and Caleb Foote. After full and free con- 
sultation, it was voted, on motion of Dr. Peirson, " that it 
is expedient to establish an institution in Salem, for the 
purpose of mutual instruction and rational entertainment, 
by means of lectures, debates," &c. On the 11th of 
January, a public meeting was held in the Town Hall to 
promote the same object ; and on the 18th, at a meeting 
in Pickering Hall, the Lyceum was formed, uud a Presi- 
dent, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Correspond- 

) their influence, 

ration to estimate 

or the resistance 

ivity and energy 

to appreciate the 

accomplished by 

>rsons, among the 

; of this memoir. 

ert Rantoul, Jr., 

(rith the gratitude 

He gave to the 

ies which subse- 

i, among the pub- 

ntry, not only as 

;her fields of phil- 

1830, a meeting 
lody, at which the 

present : Daniel 
rson, Malthus A. 
!^. J. Lord, S. P. 
r, G. Wheatland, 
Walsh, Benjamin 
aathan Webb, W. 
full and free con- 
. Peirson, " that it 
L in Salem, for the 
tial entertainment, 

On the 11th of 
the Town Hall to 
18th, at a meeting 
ned, und a Presi- 
tary, Correspond- 


ing Secretary, and Treasurer, were chosen. At an 
adjourned meeting, at the same place, on the 20th, a 
Board of Directors was elected. These meetinsrs were 
numerously attended, great interest was manifested, and 
the elections, by ballot, were accompanied by a lively con- 
test between the supporters of different tickets.* 

Great difficulty was experienced in procuring a suitable 
place for the public meetings of the society, and the 
delivery of the lectures. Attempts were first made to 
obtain permission to use the Town Hall. Two or three 
regularly warned, and quite fully attended town meetings, 
were held on the subject, and much discussion had, but 
the application failed. The first lecture, by the Presi- 
dent, Judge White, a very able perfonnance, the publi- 
cation of which was immediately c".lled for, was delivered 
in the Methodist Church, in Sewall street. A gentleman 
from Andover, Samuel Merrill, Esq., who came all the 
way to hear it, expressed the universal sentiment of those 
who listened to, or have read it, in a well turned and 
indefinitely self-multiplying compliment, when he thanked 
the Judge at its close, and said in the fulness of his 
cordial admiration, that he could not tell which had ex- 
ceeded, his expectations, or the realization. 

The society at once became so large that it was neces- 
sary to find some other place of meeting, and the sub- 
sequent lectures of the course were delivered in the 
Universalist chur^^h. During the next summer a site was 

♦The officers elected, at the meetings of January 18th and 20th, 
were as follows : — President, Daniel A. White; Vice President, 
Stephen C. Phillips ; Recording Secretary, Stephen P. Webb ; Corres- 
ponding Secretary, Charles W. Upham ; Treasurer, Francis Peabody. 

Directors: — Leverett Saltonstall, George Choate, William Wil- 
liams, Ruftis Babcock, Malthus A. Ward, Abel L. Peirson, Jonathan 
Webb, Rufus Choate, Caleb Foote, John Moriarty. 



purchased and the Lyceum Building erected. Judge 
White advanced the requisite funds and Colonel Peabody 
was chairman of the building committee. In many re- 
spects the structure was an improvement upon any before, 
or elsewhere, erected for such purposes, and maintains 
its reputation and usefulness to this day. The limited 
dimensions of the site made it too small to accommodate 
the whole body of members, who had to be divided into 
two classes ; and the lecture, each week, was repeated on 
the succeeding evening. For several years no compensa- 
tion was asked by the lecturers, and the proceeds of the 
sale of tickets soon cleared the property. No imder- 
taking of the kind, or of any kind of associated enter- 
prise, in this place, has been more successful, and the 
value of the services of the first President, Daniel A 
White, first Vice President, Stephen C. Phillips, and 
first Treasurer, Francis Peabody, cannot be overstated. 
There had been a few similar institutions elsewhere 
before. That in Beverly has been mentioned. Bernard 
Whitman, whose memory is deir to all who knew him, 
and must be cherished forever by the friends of truth and 
progress, had, in 1826, established what he called a Rum- 
ford Institute, in Waltham, and there were one or two 
others, in portions of Worcester and Middlesex counties. 
But it may safely be said that the proceedings at Tops- 
field and here, originated the institution as a difiusive 
energy over the country at large. The very next winter 
there was a legislative public meeting in the hall of the 
House of Representatives, in the State House, at which 
the Governor, Levi Lincoln, presided, for the express 
purpose of promoting the formation of Lyceums through- 
out the State, in its several cities, towns and villages. 
They have now been in operation, all over the country, 

ted. Judge 
nel Peabody 
[n many re- 
1 any before, 
id maintains 
The limited 
divided into 
I repeated on 
10 compensa- 
)ceeds of the 
No imder- 
ciated enter- 
)ful, and the 
it, Daniel A 
Phillips, and 
e overstated, 
ns elsewhere 
ed. Bernard 

knew him, 

1 of truth and 
called a Rum- 
B one or two 
9sex counties, 
lings at Tops- 
as a diffusive 
J next winter 
he hall of the 
use, at which 
r the express 
jums through- 

and villages. 
• the country. 

■,&sm^mm»>fmmmm w^ 

V.:.,;.-,.. M 

for well nigh forty years ; and it is for the philosophical 
historian, to consider and estimate their bearings upon 
the intellectual, social and moral condition of the whole 
people. It cannot be questioned that they are a potent 
engine to accelerate the civilization, and raise the level of 

The first two courses of lectures were as follows. No. 
6 of the second course was delivered in the Lyceum 
Hall, at its opening, and was especially prepared for the 

FmsT Course. 
1880, by D. A. White.— The Advantages of Knowledge. 

" JohnBrazer. — Authenticity of Ancient Manu- 

" Francis Peabody. — Steam Engine. 

" A. L. Peirson. — Physiology. 

- •' George Choate. — Geology. 
■ Thomas Spencer. — Optics. 

Charles G. Putnam. — Nervous System. 
• - *• Thomas Cole. — Astronomy. 

" [d lecture by E. Everett, on a Workingmen's 

Party, was read by Stephen C. Phillips]. 

" Stephen C. Phillips.— Public Education, with 

a sketch of the origin of public schools in 

" Henry Colman. — Human Mind. 

" Joshua B. Flint, Boston. — Respiration. 

» " " " -Circulation of Blood. 

" " " " —Digestion. 

Second Coubse. 

1880, by RufUs Babcock.— Power of Mind. 

" A. H. Everett, Boston.— Review of the con- 
tinual progress of the iiiy>rovement of Man- 

" AlonzoPotter, Boston.— Moral Philosophy. 

" Malthus A. Ward. — Gardening. 

1881, " Leonard Withington, Newbury.— Historical 


Feb. 24, 


March 3, 


" 10, 


" 17, 


" 24, 


" 31, 


April 6, 


" 13, 


" 20, 
































y: .*::-. V -- 56 

6. Jan. 20, 1831, by Stephen C. Phillips.— The Influence of the 

country and the age on tlie condition of 

'* Henry K. Oliver. — Pneumatics. 

"A. L. Peirson. — Biography of Dr. Jenner, 

and History of Vaccination. 

" Henry K. Oliver. — Solar Eclipse of 1831. 

•' George Choate. — Climate and Its influence 

on organic life. 

" Charles W. Upham. — Salem Witchcraft. 

(I (I i» " " 

" Jonathan Webb.— Electricity. 

« « «« «« 

<« A. H. Everett, Boston.- French Revolution. 

11 II II " " " 

" Thomas Spencer. — Optical Instruments. 

" Malthus A. Ward.— Natural History. 

II It II " 

" Francis Peabody. — Heat. 

" StephenP. Webb.— Russian History. 

" Edward Everett, Charlestown. — Political 

Prospects of Europe. 

■ " Benjamin F. Browne. — Zoology. 

■ " Ruftis Choate.— History of Poland. 





" 25-26, 
Feb. 1-2, 

" 8-9, 
" 15-16, 

" 22-23, 

Mch. 1-2, 

" 8-9, 

" 15-16, 

'« 22-23, 

" 29-30, 

April 5-6, 

" 12-13, 

" 19-20, 

" 26-27, 

May 3-4, 

" 10-11, 

" 17-18, 
" 24-26, 

Before leaving this subject I desire to call attention to 
the fact, that of the twenty-three gentlemen who took 
part, as lecturers, in the first two courses, all but five 
were our own townsmen. This was in accordance with 
the original design of the institution, which" was to 
develop materials existing among us, encourage home 
talent, and, here especially, to keep in vigorous action 
the transmitted love of knowledge. The rapid spread of 
the system of public lectures, on a permanent footing, 
very soon led to the formation of a new professional class 
seeking employment at large. For some years past per- 
sons of this description have almost exclusively been 
called from abroad to lecture in our halls. I would not 
discourage this ;;ractice by other associations, but respect- 


luence of the 
I condition of 

r Dr. Jenner, 

!e of 1831. 
i its influence 


:h Revolution. 



m. — Political 


attention to 
n who took 

all but five 
)rtlance with 
lich was to 
urage home 
orous action 
\\d spread of 
lent footing, 
issional class 
rs past per- 
isively been 
I would not 

but respect- 

fully suggest whether it would not be well for the Salem 
Lyceum to return to the original plan. If the Directors 
should seasonably seek out young men, belonging to our 
own community, and induce them to select subjects, with 
the whole inteiTening period between the courses for re- 
search and preparation , I am confident that elements enough 
could be found in our midst to provide lectures from year 
to year, that would renew the original interest of the 
whole people, and, for all reasons, prove widely attrac- 
tive. Let the experiment be tried. It would, I am quite 
sure, lead to results in which all would be gratified, carry 
still higher, from year to year, the standard of general 
intelligence, and perpetuate the scientific and literary 
reputation and preeminence of our city. 

About the year 1833, Colonel Pcabody built the Paper 
Mills in Middleton. Afterwards he commenced, on a 
large scale, the business of refining Sperm and Right 
Whale Oil, and the manufacture of candles. He also 
erected Linseed Oil Mills at Middleton. In initiating 
these various branches of business he carried out the re- 
sults of experiments made in his private laboratory. Much 
of the machinery, and many of the methods of operation, 
in all of them, were derived from scientific works in his 
library, and from the application of his inventive and 
contriving faculties, under philosophical principles, to the 
minutest as well as the most complicated details. 

Early in 1837, he took a leading part in the prelim- 
inary consultations that led to the establishment of the 
Harmony Grove Cemetery. He presided at the first 
public meeting, held in Lyceum Hr^U, February 24th, 
1837, to promote the object. Proceedings were inter- 
rupted for a time. At a public meeting, September 6th, 
1839, he was made chairman of a committee to purchase 

"awgijwawaiaa 'mm mmtrntmiimiami 



mmmutui Mimm i tMwMtmw 


the jjroiinds. On the 4th of October, 1839, a committee, 
of which he was also chairman, was entrusted with the 
superintendency of the work, and under its direction the 
ground was laid out, with avenues and paths. He pre- 
pared the model of the keeper's house ; and the rustic 
arch and gate- way, at the eastern entrance, was planned 
by him, and constructed under his immediate inspection, 
combining all the solidity and simplicity that stone can 
give, with a vestment of living verdure, ever thickening, 
as the tendrils spread and clasp it, from year to year. He 
is the first named in the Act of Incorporation, passed 
February 19, 1840 ; and his taste, judgment, and active 
service were appreciated by his associates throughout. 

With the subject of architecture, in its character as a 
science, he had made himself specially and thoroughly 
acquainted by the study of authorities, and careful obser- 
vations in his frequent and extensive foreign travels. In 
what is called Decorative Architecture he had no superior. 
The construction of his buildings, and the conveniences 
and adornments of them, were all his own. The arrange- 
ments, in detail, of his town house, display his unsur- 
passed taste, skill, and genius, in this department. His 
elegant seat at Kemwood, and the configuration and style 
of the grounds, with all their embellishments, and all 
their utilities, were from plans prepared by him. Some 
articles of furniture were selected and purchased abroad, 
but a large proportion of them, in each of his residences, 
were from models devised, or drawings executed by his 
direction, in his workshop, under his own eye, and to a 
considerable extent, by his own hands. In many partic- 
ulars of beauty, richness and convenience, they have 
rarely been equalled. The ornamentation of the interior 
of the North Church in this city — so much and justly 


a committee, 
ted with the 
direction the 
hs. He pre- 
ad the rustic 

was planned 
;e inspection, 
lat stone can 
r thickening, 
■ to year. He 
ation, passed 
it, and active 
Iiaracter as a 
d thoroughly 
lareful obser- 

travels. In 
1 no superior, 
The arrange- 
ly his unsur- 
rtment. His 
tioD and style 
ents, and all 

him. Some 
lased abroad, 
is residences, 
ecuted by his 
jye, and to a 

many partic- 
e, they have 
f the hiterior 
ch and justly 


admired — walls, ceiling, orchestra, organ frame, gallery 
and lights — was wholly designed by him, and executed 
under his sole direction. 

His Wind-mill, a skilfully planned and very ingenious 
machine, upon novel principles, is much used in some of 
the Western States. The entire structure revolves to 
meet the direction of the "'re ' air. The fans, of 
boards or plank, adjust tUeiA^selvt o the force of the 
wind, and, in fact, the entire machinery works more 
smoothly, steadily and equably, the stronger it blows. 
One of them, on the estate at Kernwood, draws from a 
well, at some distance, and a depth of sixty feet, all the 
water used in that establishment. Another, a flour mill, 
constructed on similar principles, but of much larger 
dimensions, stands on the same premises. 

The application of science to practical and useful arts 
was not only the unwearied labor, but the happy enter- 
tainment of his life. For only a few of his innumerable 
improvements in this department did he procure patent 
rights, and only in some of them prosecute the results of 
his contrivances, in actual business operations for the 
sake of emolument. From time to time many ingenious 
cooperatives were employed by him, and have derived 
benefits to themselves, in subsequent periods of their 
lives, and in other spheres of action, from processes 
wrought out in his laboratory and workshop, by his and 
their joint labors, but at his expense. His habit was, 
when a new subject of research, or the possibility of 
effecting any particular improvement in the use of me- 
chanical or chemical forces, occurred to him, to learn, in 
the first instance, all that had been wi'itten or accom- 
plished by others in the matter. He would send abroad 
for the best and latest publications relating to it, and 

:-■ T.'«c»a»!^isMP<lliMtMMiCMM 


procure, at any cost, all drawings, descriptions, or instru- 
ments that Avould illustrate it. In this way be collected 
a library and apparatus of tbe eboicest and most valuable 
sort, and of tbe greatest variety and extent. After 
studying the wbole subject, in the use of these means, he 
would betake himself to his laboratory, and never weary 
in experiments and operations until he had accomplished 
the desired result, or become convinced that it was beyond 
attainment. As soon, in any case, as the requisite condi- 
tions were secured and the designed machine completed, 
or the attempt found impracticable, he would turn to 
some other project. The consequence is that he has left, 
to be used by others, the fruits of his toils. His musical 
instruments, for instance, constructed upon the most 
ingenious principles, have never been put to use, or 
brought before the public ; and the- melodeons and organs 
constructed by him in the most finished, compact, simple, 
economical and beautiful forms, adapted either to pipes 
or reeds, in which the use of the fingers of the per- 
former, or the hands of a blower, may be dispensed with, 
are to be seen only in his own private manufactory. 
They were the results of the studies, contrivances and 
labors of his last years, and had just been completed. 

He had no ambition to acquire celebrity as a man of 
science, but only aimed to gratify his own miaJ in the 
pursuit of knowledge, and to turn his experiments and 
researches to practical and useful purposes. His active 
devotion to philosophical enquiries and operations, did 
not, however, escape observation. His zealous labors 
were appreciated by all engaged in similar investigations, 
and interested in scientific culture and advancement. A 
quarter of a century ago he was elected a member of the 
American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

US, or instru- 
y he collected 
most valuable 
xteut. After 
3se means, be 
I never weary 
it was beyond 
quisite condi- 
le completed, 
Duld turn to 
it he has left, 
His musical 
ion the most 
[t to use, or 
Qs and organs 
ipact, simple, 
ither to pipes 
J of the per- 
spensed with, 
trivances and 
' as a man of 
miaJ in the 
eriments and 
. His active 
derations, did 
ealous labors 
.ncement. A 
lember of the 



In the course of his life, he made, I believe, no less 
than eight visits to Europe, some of them quite pro- 
tracted. In most cases his family accompanied him. 
They were not made to escape from the tediousness of 
life at home, or to conform with the fashion of people in 
like circumstances with himself, but for purposes of 
health, in the gratification of his active nature, and to 
gather materials for the better development of his zeal 
for scientific improvement. While abroad he was always 
on the watch to find and explore whatever illustrated the 
application of philosophical principles to useful arts, and 
to keep up with the progress of mechanism. He was 
recognized, as a familiar acquaintance, in the workshops 
of ingenious artisans in all the great cities, and wherever 
the processes of skill and ingenuity, in the analysis of 
the elements of nature and the application of its capaci- 
ties and forces, were carried to the highest exemplifica- 
tion ; and he would come back to his own laboratory with 
renewed enthusiasm, wider views, more enlarged knowl- 
edge, and more earnest desires to turn to practical account 
the discoveries of the age. 

His attention, on one of these occasions, for instance, 
while in Paris, was drawn to aluminium, and the proper- 
ties it possesses. He procured a quantity of the metal 
upon which to experiment on his return. Some time 
after reaching home he carried a parcel of it to our 
respected fellow citizen. Dr. J. E. Fisk, and gave it to 
him, saying that it was susceptible of a use that would 
revolutionize the art of dentistry. Dr. Fisk carried out 
his suggestions, and aluminium is now generally used 
everywhere, superseding silver, and from it lightness 
preferable to gold. I mention this, not merely because 
it shows how Colonel Peabody occupied his thoughts, and 

Mt iHilliihiiliitlli'aWiii 


exercised his observation while abroad, and the free and 
liberal use he made of the new ideas there obtained, but 
also because it presents a singular instance of several 
minds, placed beyond possible intercommunication, being 
simultaneously led to the same discovery. When Colonel 
Peabody made his communication to Dr. Fisk, he sup- 
posed that the suggestion was peculiar to himself, and 
they both took the matter in hand, of the application of 
aluminium to the particular purpose conjectured, with all 
the interest and earnestness attending an original experi- 
ment. The Doctor found the result perfectly successful, 
and introduced the great improvement into his practice. 
But the next "Dental News Letter," the periodical journal 
of that branch of the Medical Profession, contained an 
article which showed that Dr. Van Denburgh, of Oswego, 
New York, at the very time when Dr. Fisk was making 
out of the lump Colonel Peabody had brought to him for 
the purpose dental plates of pure aluminium, was doing 
the same thing without any suspicion that the thought 
had occurred to another person ; and it turned out that, 
four years before, a patent had been granted in England 
to a dentist there, for the same object, but that no 
general publicity, at least out of England, had been given 
to the improvement. We have hero, therefore, a case, 
in which three minds, entirely separate from fct»ch other, 
travelling over diflferent paths, came together at the same 
point, in an application of scientific research, to a dis- 
covery of gr'^s't practical importance. 

At this point it may be most proper, as the review of 
Colonel Peabody 's operations, in the search of scientific 
truth, and in effectual applications of it in manufacturing 
and commercial pursuits, is drawing U) a close, to insert 
the following letters, addrfsssed to me, from persons 



the free and 
btained, but 
I of several 
iation, being 
hen Colonel 
isk, he siJip- 
limself, and 
pptication of 
•ed, >vith all 
final experi- 
Y successful, 
his practice, 
dical journal 
iontained an 
of Oswego, 
was making 
t to him for 
I, was doing 
the thought 
led out that, 
I in England 
but that no 
d been given 
fore, a case, 
I bbch other, 
at the same 
sh, to a dis- 

he review of 
of scientific 
)se, to insert 
rom persons 

whose recollections specially enable them to speak upon 
the sul)jcct : 

"East, Boston, Mass., March 16, 1868. 

Your note of the 14th Inst., In reference to my recollections of the 
Bcicntlflc lectures of our late esteemed fViend, Francis Peabody, during 
the years 1828 and 1829, is before me. 

In reply, I can only state, that iit the time named, I was about 
twenty -one years of age, and was be|Q;inning to be interested In the 
Steam Engine, and in Natural Philosophy generally. A few years 
previous to these dates, I became acquainted with Joseph Dixon (now 
of Jersey City, X. J.), and witli him generally attended Mr. Peabody'a 
lectures In Salem. At that time, being somewhat acquainted with 
practical mcclianics, I was firequently employed by Mr. Peabody In 
repairing or constructing some of bis apparatus, wliich embraced all 
that Yias then known of the Steam Engine, Electricity, Pneumatics, 
Hydraulics, Chemistry, etc., but Mr. Dixon was his right hand man, and 
had the general management and manipulation of all Mr. Peabody's 
apparatus during the progress of the lectures, thereby relieving Mr. 
Peabody from making the experiments himself before the audience, 
and giving Mr. Dixon the opportunity of manipulating, at which he 
was an expert and entirely at home. 

From my long acquaintance and unbroken Intimacy with Colonel 
Peabody, I formed the opinion that he possessed a vast taad of theo- 
retical knowledge upon all the subjects before named, and as a prac- 
tical Chemist, he occupied the ffont rank. In his later years he 
fi-equently ultlmated this knowledge In various kinds of manufactures, 
which seemingly was the love of his life. He was ever of a genial and 
happy disposition, and nothing gave him greater satisfaction than to 
be able to answer any questions relating to these interesting subjects. 
I am. Sir, most respectfully, 

Yours, etc., 


U. 8 Inspector of Steam Vessels. 

In a letter recently received in this city, from Mr. 
Dixon, the gentleman referred to by Mr. Hill, he says of 
Colonel Peabody, that he "had great love for chemical 
and mechanical knowledge, and a high appreciation of 
whatever seemed a step forward, in the practical appli- 
cation of science to the arts." 


The following is from James Kimball, Esq., President 
of the Salem Charitable Mechanic Associution : 

" Salkm, March, 25th, 18A8. 

Undcrntanding that you have accepted the Invitation of the Ennox 
Inxtltuto to prepare a Men;olr of the late Colonel FrnuclH Peabody, 
it has been suggested to me, that I give you my recollections of his 
connection with the Introduction of popular lectures as a means of 
liHtructlon, In the various departments of SclcntlHc Investigation. 

In December, 1827, the Mechanic Association of Salem, appointed a 
Committee to consider the expediency of inntltutlng a course of 
lectures; at this time I was the acting librarian of the Mechanic 
Library, and had t^ie opportunity of knowing the views of those most 
interested in their establishment, and their report, favorable to the 
proposed object, was baned upon the encouragement and cooperation 
tendered to them by Colonel Peabody, who entered with all the enthu- 
siasm of his nature into the work, and commenced the preparation of 
a series of lectures on Steam, and Its application to the Mechaulc Arts. 

The flrst series of lecttircs delivered by him was In the Franklin 
Hall. They were practlc; , as well as experimental, and were Illus- 
trated by his valuable and extensive working models. Some of his 
Steam Engines were of sufficient power to run a common lathe. 

I remember well that. In his Illustrations of the application of steam 
as a motive power, he exhibited all the improvements, of any note, 
that had been made up to that period, with working models of the 
various Inventions fVom the earliest and simplest application of xteam 
as a motive power, up to the later discoveries and inventions of Watt 
and others. 

It was understood, at that time, that no public Institution could 
exhibit so varied and valuable a collection of working models as Mr. 
Peabody possessed and used in the illustration of these lectures. 

The next season he prepared a Course of Lectures on Chemistry, 
Electricity, and Pneumatics, in which he was assisted by Dr. Jonathan 
Webb, a practical chemist and apothecary of that day. These were 
delivered in Concert Uall, on Central street, and were illustrated by 
the apparatus of Mr. Peabody. In his lectures on Electricity ho used 
a new machine constructed for himself, which was said to have been 
the largest in the country; the glass plate wheel of which he had 
imported flrom Germany, at great cost. I think It was stated to be 

Colonel Peabody was admitted a member of the Mechanic Associa- 
tion In 1833, and styled himself a manufacturer. 

., President 
t : 

, 26th, 18fi8. 

n of the Essex 
mcls Peabody, 
lections of his 
ns a means of 
m, appointed a 
{ a course of 
tho Mechanic 
of those nioNt 
v-orable to the 
id cooperation 
1 all tho enthu- 
preparatlon of 
Mechanic Arts. 
D the Franklin 
nd were lllua- 
Some of his 
>n lathe. 
:atlon of steam 
9, of any note, 
models of tho 
atlon of steam 
ntlons of Watt 

stltution could 
models as Mr. 
on Chemistry, 
y Dr. Jonathan 
. These were 

illustrated by 
tricity ho used 
I to have been 

which he had 
IS stated to be 

;haiiic Associa- 



1 feel very confident that the intlaence of these lf>cture«, on the 
young nit'chaulcs of thot doy, was productive of K^euter good than all 
other sources of investigation and study which hud ever before been 
opened to them, awnlcening and stimulating the mind by their ft-eshncss, 
and by the practical application of principles which were new to them, 
and but for the interest of tho lecturer In tho investigation of theories 
as well as principles, and his desire to Impart to others whatever 
interested himself, would have lost a part of their usefulness by being 
hid from those who were most likely to be bcnelited. 

I have fk-e(|uently, since that time, met those who attended these 
early lectures, who have referred to them as being their Incentives to 
flirther study and investigation ; and many of those who have distin- 
guished themselves as master mechanics and Inventors, have attribu- 
ted much of their success to the opportunities afforded, and the 
inspiration given them, by the Interest taken In their instruction by 
one who was desirous of imparting to others whatever his means and 
advantages had enabled him to accomplish. 

I hove thus presented to you my recollections of this period, and 
feel very confident that I have not overstated, but have rather come 
short of the fiicts. If they will aid you, In the learfC*'.X?^ are at your 

Our associate, Henry M. Brooks, clerk of the Forest 
River Lead Company, lias kindly communicated the 
following minutes : 

" Colonel Peabody commenced the White Lead business somewhere 
about 1826, in South Salem, where LaGrangc street now Is. In 1880, he 
bought Wyman's Mills, now known as the Forest River Mills, which 
were sold to the Forest River Lead Company, in 1843. Mr. Peabody 
carried on the lead business until the latter date, and manufactured, 
very extensively White Lead, Sheet Lead, and Lead Pipe. About 
1833 he built the Paper Mills at Middletou, and made book and print- 
ing paper of the very best quality, until he disposed of that property 
In 1848. From 1883 to 1887 be sold largely to Gales and Seaton, the 
celebrated printers and publishers In Washington. When Mr. Pret. 
cott was about commencing the publication of his "History of 
Ferdinand and Isabella," the first edition of which wm to be brought 
out simultaneously in this country and in England, he sent for Mr. 
Peabody and showed him his samples of English paper, and wae very 
desirous to have the American copies equal, if not sup'Tk r, io the 
English, and for that purpose contracted with Mr. Peabody to fbrnish 
him with the paper. The quality of the paper, which Mr. Peabody 


manufactured expressly for this work, was very satisfactory to Mr. 
Prescott, and was considered a very superior article, and probably 
the best paper which could then have been made In the country. 
Peabody's paper for blank books was well know!i among stationers 
as the best in the market. 

About 1836, Mr. Peabody commenced. In South Salem, the business 
of refining Sperm and Whale Oil, and the manufacture of Sperm 
Candles. In one year he purchased $100,000 worth of Sperm Oil, and 
$50,000 worth of Whale Oil. His candles had a great reputation both 
at home and abroad. He Imported the first braldliig machine and 
made the first candles with the braided wick, then considered a great 
improvement over the common wick. About 1837, Mr. Peabody built 
Linseed Oil Mills at Middleton, and went largely Into the business of 
making Linseed Oil, importing his flax seed from Europe and from 
Calcutta. In order to procure larger supplies of seed he chartered, In 
1841, the ship General Harrison, and the same year purchased the ship 
Isaac Hicks, and the next year, the ship New Jersey. These vessels 
he sent to Calcutta, and they returned to Salem with cargoes of Cal- 
cutta goods, and great quantities of Linseed. When the New Jersey 
arrived in Salem in 1843, it was said that she was the largest mer- 
chantman that had ever discharged a cargo here. She registered 
between 600 and 700 tons, and was a great carrier. The Linseed Oil, 
like all the other articles manufactured by Mr. Peabody, was of the 
best quality. At that time there was only one other Linseed Mill in 
this part of the country, namely, that belonging to Mr. Stearns, at 

Mr. Peabody also shipped to London large quantities of Linseed Cake, 
used extensively In England for feeding cattle. From this statement 
It will be seen that Mr. Peabody at one time carried on the following 
branches of business, namely. White Lead, Sheet Lead, Lead Pipe, 
Linseed Oil, Sperm and Whale Oil, Sperm Candles and Paper, employ- 
ing directly and Indirectly a great number of men. There were at one 
time commission houses In New York and Boston employed almost 
exclusively with his business. The well known firm of Chandler and 
Howard, In Boston, may be mentioned as an Instance. To do the 
same amount of business Mr. Peabody did when he was manufacturing 
largely, would now probably involve a capital of over a million of 

Colonel Peabody's manufacturing and commercial oper- 
ations in Linseed, described by Mr. Brooks, led him to 
pay particular attention to flax, especially a valuable 

ry satisfactory to Mr. 
article, and probably 
made in the country. 
)wn among stationers 

ith Salem, the business 
nanufacture of Sperm 
arth of Sperm Oil, and 
I great reputation both 
braiding machine and 
ten considered a great 
1837, Mr. Peabody built 
ely into the business of 
from Europe and from 
if seed he chartered, in 
rear purchased the ship 
Jersey. These vessels 
im with cargoes of Cal- 
When the New Jersey 
e was the largest mer- 
here. She registered 
Tier. The Linseed Oil, 
r. Peabody, was of the 
I other Linseed Mill in 
Ing to Mr. Stearns, at 

intities of Linseed Cake, 
, From this statement 
:arried on the following 
heet Lead, Lead Pipe, 
Jles and Paper, employ- 
len. There were at one 
oston employed almost 
7a firm of Chandler and 
a iiistance. To do the 
m he was manufacturing 
U of over a million of 

id commercial oper- 
Brooks, led him to 
pecially a valuable 

!:i.-5^SS»i*-((i*<i.~.- ', 



species of it, grown in Bengal. The plant there reaches 
a considerable height, and its bark yields the finest and 
longest strands. The lower part, or but-end, is quite 
thick, the bark rough, containing irregular threads, of a 
very short staple. Regarded by the natives as a refuse 
portion of the shrub, it can be obtained of them at a very 
low price. He procured some of these but-ends, and 
went to work upon them in a building erected for the 
purpose at Kernwood, until he had matured the requisite 
machinery to disengage and straighten out the fibres, and 
twist and weld them into continuous threads ; and finally 
succeeded in producing, out of them, cotton bagging of a 
superior quality. His factory for this purpose, and the 
first of the kind ever contrived, recently established here 
on a large scale, gives employment to a great number of 
persons. The article wrought in it is called Jute, from 
the name of the district in Bengal (Chotee) from which 
the raw material is obtained. 

His enterprise and liberality, stimulated by the lively 
interest he felt in our local annals and antiquities, and 
his reverence for the memory of the first settlers of this 
place, took effect in one great service, never to be forgot- 
ten, in the historical department of the Essex Institute. 
It is a matter of record that, in 1670, the Meeting- 
house of the First Church was superseded by a new one, 
and that the old building, consisting of two parts, one 
erected in 1634, the other an enlargement made in 1639, 
was thereafter used for various purposes, and ultimately 
removed from its original site. Tradition, supported by 
a strong array of certificates from certain individuals 
who had enjoyed favorable opportunities of receiving 
information on the subject, and which had long been cur- 
rent, pointed to a building owned by Mr. David Nichols, 





standing on his premises, in the rear of the tanneries, 
under the brow of Witch Hill, as the original part of the 
primitive Meeting-house— that erected in 1634. It was 
precisely of the same length, br >adth, and height, consist- 
ing of a single room, with plastered walls and ceiling, and 
a garret. It had been used for some time as a lumber- 
room, but was in a state of decay that would not long 
have allowed of its being serviceable even in that way. 
The story was, that at an early period it had been occu- 
pied as a wayfarer's inn, a stopping place on the original 
road from Salem to Lynn; also the only one then 
travelled between the interior and Marblehead. If it was 
the veritable Meeting-house, it had, as we know, been 
used, still earlier in its intermediate history, as a school 
house. The subject was investigated by the Essex Insti- 
tute. Mr. Nichols presented the building, and the Salem 
Athenroum gave a site for it, where it now stands, in the 
rear of Plummer Hall. Colonel Peabody, who, with the 
late George A. Ward, had taken a leading icterest in the 
matter, offered to assume the entire expense of the opera- 
tion of removal and reconstruction. He proceeded, with 
careful workmen, to direct and Duperiutend the process of 
taking it to pieces. It was certain from expressions in 
the record, that, when used as a Meeting-house, there was 
a gallery at one end, of which, however, at this time, 
there was no appearance, in the aspect of the room. 
This cu-cumstance had introduced some perplexity and 
thrown doubt over the whole subject. There were, how- 
ever, two upright posts, of great size, equal to that of the 
corner or mam posts, standing opposite to each other, 
about one third f the distance from one end of the build- 
ing, and an equally large transverse beam resting on their 
tops. Why these posts, and the beam above the ceiling 

the tanneries, 
lal part of the 
1634. It was 
leight, consist- 
ad ceiling, and 

as a lumber- 
ould not long 
n in that way. 
ad been occu- 
on the original 
)nly one then 
ead. If it was 
ire know, been 
y, as a school 
he Essex Insti- 

and the Salem 
IT stands, in the 
, who, with the 

interest in the 
36 of the opera- 
)roceeded, with 
i the process of 

expressions in 
louse, there was 
r, at this time, 
, of the room. 

perplexity and 
lere were, how- 
al to that of the 
1 to each other, 
nd of the build- 
resting on their 
lOve the ceiling 


connecting them, were placed at one-third instead of one- 
half the distance in the length of the building, was the 
question. At first it was thought to favor the supposi- 
tion that there had been a gallery, which would have con- 
firmed the tradition; for no other use than that of a 
Meeting-house would have required, or allowed of, a 
gallery. But there was not height enough, under the 
rafters, and above the transverse beam, resting as it did 
on the top of the upright posts and the plate of the 
frame ; and this seemed to negative the idea that the 
transverse beam was designed to support a gallery. The 
upright posts had been coated over with some sort of 
moi-tar and whitewashed. Upon breaking and picking 
it off, the original mortices were revealed a few feet be- 
low the ceiling, exactly of the size to receive the tenons 
of the transverse beam, with a shoulder in the upright 
post at the same point, so that the bearing should be not 
only upon the tenons, but upon the body of the posts and 
beam. In knocking away the plaster from the plate, or 
transverse beam, at the nearest end of the building, 
grooves were found fitted to receive the upper ends of 
the joists upon which the floor of the gallery was laid. 
It seems that when the building was converted to the use 
of a school room, or when used for any other purpose, 
the gallery, being found an obstruction and incumbrance, 
w.'is put out of the way, by raising the front beam on 
which it fested up to the top of the posts, and a clear 
ceiling spread under it. No discovery in astronomy, 
electricity, or other field of science, or search of antiqua- 
rian, was ever received with more enthusiastic gratifica- 
tion, than filled the minds of all engaged in the work 
when these mortices and grooves were brought to light. 
So much as was undecayed of the timbers and rafters, 


was put up, on the new site, with new material to supply 
what had mouldered away, and the building stands com- 
plete again. 

The manner in which the whole thing was done, the 
carefulness and good judgment with which the half-per- 
ished old structure was taken down and removed, and 
the thoroughness and exactness with which it has been 
restored, attest the skill, energy, liberality, public epirit, 
and reverence for the First Fathers of our country, which 
marked the character of our late President. The vener- 
able building, thus rescued from farther decay, standing 
on ground contiguous to his own garden, and near the 
scene of his scientific explorations and experiments, may 
well be regarded as his monument. As a relic of our 
American antiquity it is unique and precious, endeared 
by sacred associations to the hearts of Patriots and 
Christiap'?. In former ages, tens and himdreds of thou- 
sands of pilgrims flocked, year after year, from the whole 
catholic, which was then the whole European, world, to 
pay devout homage to what was believed by them to be 
the house in which the mother of the Saviour dwelt. Here 
is our Loretto, and this the Santa Casa, to be visited by 
all, in coming ages, and from foreign lauds, who share in 
the enlightened interest, ever deepening and spreading 
as civilization advances, that consecrates the memory of 
the founders of the free institutions of the New World. 

Daniel A. White, the first President of the Essex In- 
stitute, continued in office until his death in 1861. Asahel 
Huntington, who succeeded him, retired in 1865; and 
Francis Peabody was, in the same year, elected to the 
office. Soon after he visited England and the continent. 
At this time he undoubtedly communicated to his kins- 
man, George Peabody of London, a full account of the 





rial to supply 
g stands cum- 

v&a done, the 

the half-per- 
removed, and 
h it has been 

public epirit, 

lountry, which 

The vener- 

ecay, standing 

and near the 
eriments, may 
1 relic of our 
ous, endeared 

Patriots and 
dreds of thou- 
rom the whole 
san, world, to 
3y them to be 
r dwelt. Here 
) be visited by 
, who share in 
md spreading 
he memory of 
New World, 
the Essex In- 

1861. Asahel 
in 1865 ; and 
elected to the 
the continent, 
ed to his kins- 
account of the 

history, condition, and usefulness of the Institute. A 
warm friendship had long been cherished between him 
and the Great Philanthropist, who reposed entire con- 
fidence in his character and judgment, and was therefore 
disposed to enter heartily into his views ; and our society 
was included within the scope of that noble scheme of 
munificence which has showered such unparalleled bene- 
factions upon Europe and America.* The endowment of 
the Peabody Academy has placed the scientific part of the 
Essex Institute on a foundation that secures its permanent 
preeminence as a School of Philosophy and the Arts. 
The historical department, at the same time, has been 
relieved of a large portion of its burden, and indirectly 
benefited in various ways. It has, thus far, been sus- 
tained by the devoted zeal of uncompensated laborers, and 
the friendly influence of an appreciating community. It 
will continue its great work in the same spirit and with 
the same support. Its claims will meet the response of a 
grateful public; generous hearts will warm towards it, 
and benefactors be raised up to carry it onward ; so that 
we may now feel sure that ultimately the hopes and 
prayers of the first colonists here will be realized. We 
shall not, indeed, have a college, but we shall have an 
institution that, in its proper sphere, will bear the charac- 
ter of a University. The application of philosophy to 
life, and the elucidation of our early history, will reach 
a point not elsewhere surpassed. The Peabody Academy 
of Science, and the Essex Institute, working side by 

* George Peabody, of London, is a descendant of John, who was 
bori; in 1642, the eldest son of the founder of the family in America, 
the flrst f rancis. John's third son, David, was born in 1678. EUs 
third son, David, was born in 1784. His second son, Thomas, was 
bom in 1762. His fourth son, Georqe, was born February 18th, 1795. 





side, or consolidated into a grand scheme of knowledge, 
combining the highest classic titles over given to seats of 
learning, the "Peabody Academy of Science and the 
Essex Institute of Natural and Civil History," will make 
this another Athens. The fact that one man, our lamented 
President, was, at the head of both the Academy and the 
Institute, foreshadows this happy consummation. 

Colonel Peabody had strong family and domestic affec- 
tions. The death of a beloved daughter, on the 12th of 
December, 1866, produced a shock from which he never 
recovered. She was worthy of the love and admiration 
with which all who knew regarded her, and was endeared 
to her father by earnest and active sympathy in his 
favorite pursuits, and by embellishments given to his 
works by her refined taste, and delicate pencil. She died 
away from home ; and the intelligence came unexpectedly 
upon him. Although he bore it with manly firmaess, and 
the devout submission of a christian, it could not fail to 
be noticed that his spirit never fully rose again to its 
accustomed buoyancy. The blow reached the vital centre 
of his being, and the effect on his general health soon 
became quite manifest. It was followed, on the 20th of 
January, 1867, with a slight apoplectic attack, which was 
repeated on the 2d of September. 

After the death of his daughter I had a long conversa- 
tion with him, in which he laid bare before me the senti- 
ment of his soul under the bereavement ; and I can truly 
say that I have never witnessed a stronger manifestation 
of the resignation and faith, that are the highest and last 
attainments of a follower of the Saviour. His spirit 
bowed in humble but elevated recognition of the Provi- 
dence that orders and numbers our days, and ^as sus- 
tained by the consolations and reflections that will come. 



)f knowledge, 
en to seats of 
ence and the 
ry," will make 
, our lamented 
idemy and the 

lomestic affec- 
on the 12th of 
hich he never 
,nd admiration 
I was endeared 
mpathy in his 
1 given to his 
icil. She died 
3 unexpectedly 
y fii'mness, and 
uld not fail to 
je again to its 
the vital centre 
al health soon 
on the 20th of 
ack, which was 

long conversa- 
) me the senti- 
and I can truly 
L* manifestation 
ighest and last 
ur. His spirit 
1 of the Provi- 
, and "was sus- 
;hat will come, 


under such an afflicll. a, bringing pen^e to a believing 
and thoughtful mind. 

About the time of the announcement of the donation 
by hia friend and kinsman for the advancement of science 
among us, in developing some of his views as to its 
proper application, he expressed to me the expectation 
that he should not live long, and might at any moment be 
taken away. He spoke on the subject with perfect calm- 
ness, and in a manner to convince me that his thoughts 
and views had been brought to a state of perparation for 
the summons whenever it should come. He entered 
particularly upon the consideration of such an event in 
connection with his plans as charged with the trust of 
organizing the Academy in accordance with the purposes, 
and fulfilment of the wishes, of its illustrious founder. 
This led to general remarks on the subject of death, 
especially if it should suddenly come, and he expressed 
the idea, that he felt no anxiety, and allowed himself to 
indulge no preferences, as to the time or mode of its 
occurrence, but experienced entire relief in leaving all to 
a Providence that was infinitely wise and benignant. I 
was much impressed with the seriousness, sincerity, per- 
fect acquiescence of spirit, and devout submission to the 
Divine will, he manifested throughout. His instincts 
were religious, and had ever been cherished by reflec- 
tion, and strengthened by habit. The sentiments he 
expressed were evidently such as he had long entertained, 
of the willingness and readiness, with which every child of 
God ought to commit life and events to the disposal of 
The Father. 

During the month of October he continued to fail. On 
the afternoon of the 29th, when standing at the window 
of his chamber, looking out upon the cold and blustering 


rt'S'^f^^^^^^'A ' At^'y* 

u^^ ^T 


autumnal air, and following the foliage, falling from the 
branches that had sustained its life, blown hither and 
thither, and strown on the ground, he said, "we do all 
fade as a leaf," and immediately turned to his bed. He 
fell, at once, into a quiet and gentle sleep from which he 
never awoke in the body. Not a pang, nor a struggle, 
nor a movement, told when his spirit passed away. His 
death, only indicated by his ceasing to breathe, was in the 
evening of the Slst of October, 1867. 

In looking over the memoir that has now been pre- 
sented, justice requires me again to state, that it is but 
a cursory and quite imperfect enumeration of the scien- 
tific and mechanical operations in which the life of Francis 
'Peabody was employed. Fully described, they would 
require a minute technical analysis such as only persons 
particularly conversant with such subjects could present ; 
and ranging, as they do, over so many distinct depart- 
ments, demand separate treatises. In the course of the 
narrative many traits of his character have incidentally 
been given. Some general views of it may properly be 
offered in conclusion. 

Colonel Peabody was a business man of marked energy, 
exactitude and capacity. As a manufacturer and mer- 
chant his transactions showed sagacity, prudence, and 
intelligence. Like all his other engagements, they were 
suggested and guided by his predominating taste for 
scientific pursuits, and the knowledge thus acquired. 
His business operations were illustrations, on a large 
scale, of the application of philosophy to practical ob- 
jects. His experiments and studies were, in one sense, 
kept in subordination to his business, and never allowed 
to occupy his time or engross his thoughts, to the dis- 
advantage of any important interests in which he was 


illing from the 
wn hither and 
id, "we do all 
) his bed. He 
from which he 
nor a struggle, 
jed away. His 
ithe, was in the 

now been pre- 
, that it is but 
n of the scien- 
B life of Francis 
ad, they would 
as only persons 
could present; 
distinct depart- 
B course of the 
ive incidentally 
nay properly be 

marked energy, 
iturer and mer- 

prudence, and 
lents, they we)"e 
lating taste for 

thus acquired, 
ns, on a large 
to practical ob- 
!, in one sense, 
d never allowed 
hts, to the dis- 
1 which he was 

« oncerned. Although all but profuse iii the e.xpenditure 
of money in the prosecution of investigations, he was 
never wasteful, inconsiderate, or careless ih its use. He 
exercised his own judgment in the application of his 
means, made his outlays in such directions as he saw iit, 
and could not easily be drawn upon by inducements, ad- 
dressed to the love of applause or popularity. His own 
idea of the methods in which he could best promote the 
public welfare ruled his conduct. In concluding a bar- 
gain or a purchase of any kind, he was not to be imposed 
upon, and, in no degree, did his enthusiasm in favorite 
pursuits detract from his vigilance or caution as a busi- 
ness man. He was as thorough, skilful and extensive a 
merchant, as if commerce had been his only employment. 
For some years before his death he managed a trade, and 
owned a tonnage, equal to that of his father, when the 
ships of that great merchant frequented every port of the 
Altantic shore of Europe from the Baltic to Gibralter, 
around the Mediterranean, and in both the Indies. And 
what was most extraordinary, with all his ships, cargoes, 
manufactures, building houses, embellishing estates, ex- 
periments in the laboratory, operrtions in the workshop, 
and the study of authorities from the shelves and cases of 
his library, he was, as much as any man among us, on 
hand to participate in local interests or social movements, 
ready to attend to any call for consultation or coopera- 
tion, and apparently at leisure to enjoy intercourse, or 
engage in conversation, with any one at any time. Al- 
ways busy, but never in such a hurry that he could not 
stop to converse with friends or townsmen, as met by the 
way — with time to spare for all the demands of family, 
neighborhood, or society. The activity and elasticity of 
his faculties never failed. His inexhaustible spirits sup- 



piicd both mind and body with inexhixiistible strcngtli. 
He was novcr known to be tired, and did not seem to 
need reat. His business and his amuscnients wore so 
organized that they never interfered with each other. His 
multifarious engagements were so methodized that he 
could, wiienever he chose, fly aAvay from them; but pres- 
ent or absent, his business went on, his vessels kept under 
sail, and the wheels of his mills continued to revolve. 
Few men have done more work, and few have found more 
gratitication outside of what is ordinarily called work. 
In this respect he was remarkably successful in solving 
the problem of life. He experienced an equal exhilara- 
tion, in meeting its obligations and enjoying its pleasures. 
He turned its labors into pleasures, and kept the heart in 
sunshine however dark the cloud over head. " 

He must be allowed to have been one of the most use- 
ful persons we have ever had among us. The period of 
his activity in the affairs of society embraced nearly half 
a century, and, from first to last, he spread activity 
around him. The various industrial enterprises he 
started, the iustitutious of usefulness he helped to estab- 
lish, and the numbers he brought into employment in 
several departments of business and labor, constitute an 
aggrc ^ate scarcely to be estimated, and not often to be 
traced to one originating mind. At the time of his death, 
and for many years before, it is probable that, at least 
three hundred persons were profitably occupied in carry- 
ing on his business by sea and by land, in trades, arts, 
labors, and handicraft of all sorts. And it is observable 
that the employments he thus opened will continue to 
dill'use their benefits and privileges to countless numbers 
indefinitely ; for experience has shown that his enterprises 
were the result of good judgment and stand the test of 

ibie strength. 
I not seem to 
KMits wore 80 
ch other. His 
;lized that he 
em ; but pres- 
els kept under 
id to revolve, 
ve found more 
called work, 
iful in solving 
iqual exhilara- 
f its pleasures. 
3t the heart in 

the most use- 
The period of 
3ed nearly half 
pread activity 
snterprises he 
Iped to estab- 
mployment in 
, constitute an 
ot often to be 
le of his death, 
that, at least 
iipicd in carry- 
in trades, arts, 
, is observable 
ill continue to 
itless numbers 
his enterprises 
nd the test of 


time. The machines ho improved and constructed, the 
processes ho introduced, the manufactures he set in 
motion, lead works, paper oil and jute mills, some of 
them passed into other hands, are still, and probably 
always will be, in vigorous and prosperous action. The 
buildings he erected or embellished, the lecture-room he 
designed, like his stone arch at Harmony Grove, have 
durability impressed on them, survive their constructor, 
and bid fair to survive the lapse of generations. 

He was a good citizen in all respects, regarding with 
interest the advancement of society, and retaining to the 
end a disposition to aid in all eiitcrprisos that commended 
themselves to his judgment. While always ready to act 
with others, he was tjften in u minority upon local as 
well as national questions, but he loved the people and 
rejoiced in their prosperity and happiness. He was a 
true patriot. Nothing could wean him from attachment 
and devotion to his country. No extent of what he 
might have thought mal-administration : no defeat of the 
parties to which he may have belonged, whether based 
upon questions of policy affecting the general govern- 
ment of the Union, or on state or municipal affairs ; no 
amount of supposed error or wrong in the temporary 
phases of society ; none of the trappings of foreign courts 
or seductions of foreign travel ; neither the pomp nor 
pageantry elsewhere seen, nor the glitter which wealth, 
like his, in other forms of society enables its possessor to 
command, could estrange him from che land of his birth 
or the home of his fathers. While abroad he gloried in 
and yearned for his. country, and came back, each time, 
with a conviction that there was no country like his own, 
and no spot, in that country, better than this to live in, 
and die in. His conviction that our institutions are 


loundcd ill truth aiitl rif?ht, uiid his t'tilth in their perpe- 
tuity, were never shaken, and lii» vision of the future 
glories of America never grew dim. 

Few men liave been more free from pride or pretension, 
in spirit or manners. The riches he liad inherited and 
actiumulated, did not lift him out of the community, or 
estrange him from the sentiments, ways, or company of 
the common people. He talked and acted with them as 
an equal. To this admirable trait of his character a 
cloud of witnesses could be raised from every position in 
society, and in every stage of his life. Such a man was 
a true republican, to whatever party he belonged. 

His private character, from the beginning to the end of 
life, waa irreproachable. No taint ever sullied the purity 
of his sentiments. Neither fashion nor folly undermined 
the integrity of his principles. He was a temperate, 
exemplary, ingenuous, and honest man. The utterances 
of his lips, as well as the habits of his life, were always 
under the restraints of propriety. He respected all that 
was excellent, and reverenced all that is sacred in 
humanity. His thoughts were innocent, his aflections 
kind, and his faith in man and in God immovable. He 
appreciated the value of religious institutions, and re- 
posed, with steadfast fidelity, on his religious convictions. 
He allowed no vain speculations or casual annoyances, to 
cast a shadow on the path that leads the christian heart to 
the service and worship of God. 

The example, that has now been contemplated, presents 
a moral, which I would leave pai-ticularly impressed on 
every mind. 

"The vanity of human wishes" is not the morbid com- 
plaint of a melancholy temperament. It is a solemn 
verity. Failure to realize mere worldly happiness is the 

'4^^jmi»ti*i,M^t<Si:SSxi:ii. - 

I their perpcv 
)f the futuio 

or pretension, 
inliorited uud 
ominunity, or 
r company of 
with them as 
8 character a 
ry position in 
ich a man was 

' to the end of 
led the purity 
y undermined 

a temperate, 
['he utterances 
, were always 
pected all that 

is sacred iu 
his atlections 
movable. He 
tions, and re- 
18 convictions, 
innoyauces, to 
■istiau heart to 

lated, presents 
impressed on 

! morbid com- 
t is a solemn 
ppiness is the 


IcHHon taught by universal oxporionco. The fact that this 
lesson 18 never received, ia the mystery and enigma of 
life. Wo toil and struggle with ever unabated eagerness 
for what, upon clutching it, always proves an illusion. 
We find it to he a shadow but pursue it still. To an eye, 
looking down upon the sublunary scone, what a strange 
spectacle is presented in the whole race of man absorbed 
in this always baffled effort, this never ceasing, ever fruit- 
less chase. Wealth, it is thought certain, will place in 
our hands the embellishments and blessings of life, and 
secure perpetual contentment. We gain it ; but elegant 
mansions and overflowing incomes, leave the soul poorer 
than before. Existence, desire accomplished, becomes a 
burden ; and we sink into dreary duiness, or fly to other 
al)odes, which in turn soon grow wearisome ; again we 
shift the scene, and wander without rest and without a 
home. Ambition contends for the prizes of public station. 
They may all be won, and the successful aspirant left the 
most dissatisfied citizen of the state. The young king 
of Macedon sighed for universal dominion ; and entered 
upon a career to attain it, crowded Avith more success 
than ever reached before or since ; but at its close, when 
the whole world, subjected to his victorious arms, was at 
his feet, wept for other worlds to conquer. The Hebrew 
monarch surveyed his riches and splendors and luxuries 
and glories, and revealed to himself the utter emptiness 
of them all — "vanity of vanities — all is vanity." The 
history of the ages confirms the teachings of our own 
observation and experience, and stamps disappointment 
upon the fulfilment of earthly hopes. 

When Francis Peabody had reached the age of man- 
hood and become the head of a household, he was in 
possession of all the happiness that can bo desired or 



imagined, and it lasted through life. Why this exemp- 
tion Irotn the lot of humanity? Because his faculties and 
aspirations had early opened and entered upon a field, 
outside of, and above, the sphere in which enjoyment is 
• ordinarily sought. In the pursuit of knowledge, in forms 
that included the ever exhilarating activities of the intel- 
lect, he f'^uP'^. tue elixir whose infusion in his cup kept it 
from palling on his lips. 

Let every young man, especially let those in the posses- 
sion or the acquisition of fortune, secure a like refuge, by 
choosing some department of science, philosophy, literal- 
ture, or art, and make it a recreation amidst the toils of 
business, and a refreshment when other objects lose their 
zest. He who adopts this course, will have, ever after, 
no void in his heart, no weariness in his hours. His 
labors will all be lightened, his joys will retain their 
relish, contentment and cheerfulness will crown his days. 
The elasticity of his spirits, and the enthusiasm of his 
youth, will continue unimpaired to the end. 

The foregoing Memoir was read at a meeting of the Essex Insti- 
tute, July 18, 1868, the President, Dr. Henry Wheatland, in the cliair. 
At its conclusion, Hon. Asahel Huntington, Ex-President of the 
Society, after spealfing in strong terms of praise of the reader's 
treatment of his theme, oflfered the following vote, which, being 
seconded by Abner C. Goodell, Jr., Esq., Vice-President, was unani- 
mously passed : 

"That the thanks of the Institute be presented to Mr. Upham for 
his address, and that the same be referred to the appropriate Com- 
mittee for publication." 




Why this exemp- 
3e his faculties and 
jred upon a field, 
hich enjoyment is 
nowledge, in forms 
vities of the intel- 
. in his cup kept it 

those in the posses- 
re a like refuge, by 
philosophy, litera^ 
imidst the toils of 
r objects lose their 
1 have, ever after, 
n his hours. His 
i will retain their 
ill crown his days, 
enthusiasm of his 

ing of the Essex Insti- 
heatland, in the cliair. 
Ex-President of the 
praise of the reader's 
ig vote, which, being 
i-President, was unani- 

ited to Mr. Upham for 
) the appropriate Com-