Skip to main content

Full text of "A discourse on the life and character of Dea. Joseph Otis, delivered in the Second Congregational church, Norwich, Conn., March 19, 1854"

See other formats









3 1833 01430 8016 

Digitized by tine Internet Arcliive 

in 2009 witli funding from 

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center 

, SL^ 

A D I S C U E S E 

l^ifc a Hi) 6Ijar;ulcr 



f |e ittonii (Loiigregatioiral 'viinirrli, 

^'ORWICH, COXX., iriRCR 19, li^i. 



A L V A N BOND, D . D 

?^'zt'.\-'ru: Id i^-frzczU 

N R W I C n : 

A N D U E W a T A E K , I' R I N T E a . 

^f - (5^'5r^ 






Hebrews, 11 : 4. " Br if he beikg dead yet 


There has ever been in the bosom of 
man a deep seated desire to be remem- 
bered, after the activities of life have 
ceased. The grave as viewed by many, 
derives its gloomiest aspects from the cir- 
cumstance, that it is the dark, sepulchral 
realm of oblivious silence. Who does nut 
shrink from the forlorn idea of being com- 
mitted " to dumb f(jrgotfulness a prey.'" — 
This living sentiment has often awakem^d 
in the mind an earnest purpose to attempt 
something: to arrest the wave that is con- 

! J- ■ ' ' 

.] ^M ^T 


stantly bearing the living to the receptacle 
of the forgotten dead. Attempts have been 
made by many to leave on the world such 
a mark, to erect such a monument, mate- 
rial or historic, as will proudly carry their 
name down to future generations. But few 
however have been successful in these ef- 
forts. Even the monument itself, though per- 
ishable, may survive the memory of the 
man who built it. 

The text refers to an undesigned but 
etfectual method, by which may be secured 
that immortality so earnestly coveted. It 
notices the first death which occurred as the 
sad execution of that awful sentence, — 
'•Dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt re- 
turn." The gloom of that first instance of 
mortality was doubtless relieved by the as- 
suninf-e, '-that Abel was righteous, God tes- 
tifying of his gifts." lie had oliered to liis 
Creator a service, that evinced the powi r 
of his faith ; a sacrifice that was accept* "1, 
'• and by it he being dead yet speakeih." — 

A x^ii't" ,^';»«.;i(-'> 

■• t-.i fJu /• 


In that work of faith he yet speakcth, and 
has done so from the early morning of 
primeval society to the present day. He 
accomplished a work, that has perpetuated 
his name during a long series of interven- 
ing centuries. The idea, which this passage 
suggests, may be expressed as follows : — 
The man of christian faith may and shonid 
so live as to exert on the loorld an infa- 
ence for good after he is dead. 

The exalted purpose, expressed in this pro- 
position, must commend itself to every mind, 
that sympathizes with the spirit of Christian- 
ity or with the sentiments of true benevolence. 
And yet few comparatively are governed 
by this noble principle. Strong as the de- 
sire is to be remembered, after the scenes 
of life are past, not many seek that envia- 
ble immortality, which is connected with a 
life of devution to the cau^e of CLri-t. and 
the intere.-ts of humanity. 

There are some, who covet the distinc- 
tion of historic notoriety. Human history 


ii . 

;i IS a complex and prorracied aramri. in. v.Micli 

j, the warrior or statesman is iLe promin-eiit 

jj actor. The historic muse has thrown around 

[' these illustrious master spirits a halo of 

j! false glonr, the disasterous tendency of 

j which has been to deveiope in thousands 

Ij of misguided admirers the latent element of 

j a fatal ambition to achieve a like notorierv. 

! A thousand eloquent changes are nm^: on 

I the names of men whom tli^^ world has de- 

1 lighted to honor, noc for their virtues, but 

i for heroic daring, martial prowess, matchless 

j statesmanship, or signal achievements in 

j other departments of human enterprise. A 

I conspicuous niche in the historic temple h:ts 
ever been earnestly coveted bv men. whose 

■ ruling passion was pride. And it is so new. 

i| How many labor for such posthumous dis- 
tinction, nut realizing, that 

"1 ~^zz(.- i~ t;.e sLu'Jc of immon^iirv, 
Ai.d ill iiicif a shadow. Sc-jn as c-iui-hr, 
Conil-mn-rd. it -ink? to rorbin:: '.z :i= ~.i5p. 

M-r )v :-|-. 

.7on.,..i ■-: ..-..: 

«f. [:.':•;:'<■'• ii.' 


■ill Mw .ii s-r.';i ( i.^V:', 

cf|i.V,;, J'- a 



Many there nre, who. loosing >\'z'iiL of tlie :' 

only true idea of what constitutes an euvi- '■[ 

able immortality, have concentrated their Ij 

thoughts, purpo-es and eSbrts, in winning tlie ;_ 

consideration that is awarded to extensive . 

earthly possessions. Their monument is a ji 

worldly fortune, and the delusive idea -is, • 

that if their names may be enshrined in urns i 

of gold, they will live in the grateful mem- ;; 

ory of those, who may inherit their splen- ,. 

did estal.ilishments and princely weahli. — ; 
But how long is the successful architect of 

a secular fortune remembered, if he has • 
lived only to himself, if he has labored 

only to amass and absorb, without having • 

entertained any far reacliing purpose of be- ;' 

nevolent disbursement .? ■» 

The fact is a.s melanclioly as it is sig- 
nificant, that men of renown, mighty men 

of valor, how much soever honored, fcurci], .'. 

;j or courted wliile livinL'. are very soon for- | 

jl gotten, after their mortal bodies are con- ,; 

1 signed to the trust of the silent grave. — ' 



1' \.^ v-K. 

:>i viao ii 


The tiJes of worldline^s and excitement 
sweep on, and men are borne onward by 
the current, and all thouglits of the departed, 
however distinguished in their day, are soon 
obliterated from the mind, unless they so 
live, that the good works which follow them, 
shall continue to speak and testify to their 

There are high and noble purposes, which, 
if a man adopts and carries into execution, 
will give him a name, that shall live in the 
influence he will exert after he is dead. 
j Like the martyr-patriarch of the text, he 
,j may oflfer the sacrifice that God will accept, 
I such as shall be an imperishable memorial, 
i| that will perpetuate his name through com- 
ij ing generations. The monuments erected 
!{ by faith and love, are constructtjd of mute- 
I rials which defy the ravages of time, and 
j! stand immovable, conspicuous, and attrac- 
;' tive, while centuries shall revolve over their 
:: sun-lit summits. There is a grandeur in 

l' that immortality, which is secured by the 


ii~- ^ . 

'!'.•,., ,0' 

4")^ -" :■ iii'^ 

■^ ,' 


self-denying, clieerful, continued labors of 
the wide-souled charity, wliich. •• jceketh no: 
her own,'" — a charity that is '• rich in good 
works, ready to distribute, willing to com- 
municate." The precious seed tliat has been 
planted by the labors of chri?tian benevo- 
lence, will in future times yield successive 
harvests of blessings, which will not fail to 
revive the honored name of the generous 
sower with grateful recollections. 

It is not so much the splendor of the 
sacrifice made, as the motive by which it 
is prompted, that invests it with the cloud 
of acceptable incense, and secures for it 
Heaven's recognition, and the world's re- 
membrance. That woman, whose heart was 
drawn forth in undissembled love tov.ards 
her Redeemer, was cheerful in the lai'or per- 
formed, when she poured over his hf-ad 
the " very precious ointment." True, her 
coiidu'jt v.-as rebuked by the c;il<ju!a:i;jg 
spirit of worldly disciples ; but it wa.^ a de- 
monstration, with which Jesus was phjaM-d. 


ifj.i- .:, if ■ 

■v.:- •■ ..!.f 

:i 11.-../ 


. i! 

. ,| 

And he exi)resse(l his comnienJution of the -j 

hunihle Jeod : — •"She hath wrought a gooil ^i 

work. "Wlierever tliis g-ospel shall be i 

preached in the whole world, there shall .; 

also this tliat this woman hath done, be told '',\ 

for a memorial of her." Bj such a deed ;\ 
of love this woman though dead, vet ?p*'ak- 

eth, and will continue to speak hy an ex- •[ 

ample of earnest devotion to her Savior, so ;j 

long as the gospel shall be preached. ,i 

ii . ■* 

|; Tiie circumstances in which we are placed, :■ 

j: and our relations to the future are such, ■', 

\\ ij 

jj that we mat/ and should so live, as to exert ;j 

': an influence in favor of religion and human- :i 

u ity, after we shall have rested from our la- ■' 

i; burs. There is nothing impracticable in this. 

In all ages it has been done. How many 

r are speaking to-day, who long since died. \\ 

\\ They speak in thtdr ever livins: examples ■[ 

h of rectitude, of us'-t\dness, of virtuous con- '} 

sistcn.;y. " Tiieir wcjrks do follow tueia." 

;! Baxter yet speaketh in that little book, — "A .; 

;] call to the unconverted," — and unborn gen- ;' 

" ' r 




erations shall hear that call, and many will 
respond to it with a penitent heart. Ban- 
yan is dead, — but he yet speaketh in those 
graphic scenes, depicted in '-The Pil^im's 
Progress." How many have been instructed, 
encouraged, and delighted, as they have read 
or listened to the narrative of his wonder- 
ful dream. And in all times to come peo- 
ple of other languages and other climes 
shall hear that voice, as it sounds forth 
from Bedford Jail, through the pages of an 
immortal work. Watts and Cowper, long 
since dead, yet speak in those sweet, match- 
less, soul-stirring stanzas, which have em- 
balmed their precious memories for immor- 
tality. How constantly do we hear the 
voices of the dead, — especially those who 
have died in the Lord. 

In the same class, and entitled to like 
honor may be included tho>e, who, in other 
depurtm<.-nts of the Lord's vineyard, hav-; 
been faithful servants. The humble minis- 
ter of the Gospel, who ha.s been inst rumen- 

•■: ..• ;.vrf I' 

. .y. 

ri. t. 


till of converting sinners from the error of 

I their way, will live and spoak in tlio-e, 
whom he has guided to the Saviour. The 

'! christian patriot, who, true to the lofty prin- 

j; ciples of his holy religion, maintains his 

J! fearless position in the high-places of power, 

I and resists schemes of wickedness, amidst 

I storms of reproach and insult, shall speak 

j^ after he is dead ; and his name shall travel 

|: down to posterity as one, who faithful stood 

I among the faithless. 

i The liberal soul, that has with open hand 

j scattered abroad his charities, long at^er 

his earthly work is finished, shall live in the 

!' memory of the future, and .-peak in tho-^e 

i; deeds of love and philanthropy which have 

! characterized his life. The rills of his char- 

' ity, flowing silently, constantly, spontaneous- 

j ly, while in some instances their mission is 

') th*? rrlif.'f of the poor, and the encouraze- 

,■ II!- lit <'f the d''pre.-sed, in othi;*r.- art- iin[)or- 

jl tant tributaries to those larger streams, on. 

j, who,-e placid boiom are borne the blessings 

'- ''■} 

.4^1 -:i'' - 

U •! iilrlj 

;; 'i:-! ■ ■■ ■■ l 

-■■{.•■ n- •■>■,?■■■«- ■ ' 


of knowledge and salvation to a dying world. 
Perhaps be founds a College like Harvard, 
and it becomes a rich fountain of knowl- 
edge for a State. He establishes a profess- 
orship in a Theological School, like Bart- 
lett or Abbott, and his voice is heard in 
lessons of wisdom, addressed to successive 
classes of young men, preparing for the 
work of the ministrv'. Her lays the foun- 
dation for some philanthropic or literary in- 
stitute, and chisels his name on a monument 
of usefulness, that shall with honor transmit 
his memory to other generations, as a far- 
sigh ed, large-thearted benefactor. Those of 
his own generation may be forgotten ; but 
he will live, and his name will be enshrined 
with gratitude and reverence in the hearts 
of those who will appreciate and share in 
his goodness. 

SucL are some of the numerous wnys in 
whirh a 'Lipn miy so live, so occupy his 
talents, so appropriate his substance, as a 
steward of the Lord, that he will not only 

•i/':*'!- . Iv-^i'lD-'^drf 

• . -rt sir! 'i 



diffuie around him, wliile he live?, tlie pre- 
cious :=tream5 of a perennial benevolence, 
but after he is dead, continue to spt-ak in 
example, and in the kindly intluences. which 
flow onward to bless in due time <renera- 
tions yet unborn. So to live is to answer 
one of life's great ends. So to live is a 
leading characteristic of the upright man. 
So to live is godlike. 

A life thus spent, — the work of foith and 
labor of love thus performed, — will not only 
be rewarded by fruits in old age, but be 
followed with peace in the end. When the 
winter of our being comes on with its trials 
and storms, what will tend to diffuse over 
the closing scene so sweet a light, or in- 
spire so precious a hope, as the conscious- 
ness of having lived for Christ and his 
kingdom. '• ilark the perfect man. and be- 
hold the upright ; for the end of that man 

The foregoing train of remark has been 
suggested by the death of a venerable, and 




universally respected fellow citizen, one of 
the fathers of our community. Tlie decease 
of such a man may well be regarded as no 
ordinary bereavement. For though advanc- 
ed in years, he retained in vigorous ac- 
tivity his mental and social faculties, and 
abounding in good works, he to the last 
manifested undiminished interest in everj- 
object which in his mature and honest judg- 
ment tended to the improvement of society. 
I am aware, that from the modesty and 
simplicity, which marked his cliaracter, he 
would discourage any overwrought eulogy 
on his name, or any ostentatious exhibition 
of the principles, developed in his life, or 
the deeds of charity, which make up so 
much of his personal history. lie never 
sought notoriety ; and in the distribution of 
of his alms he sounded no trumpet to call 
attention to what he was doing. He needs 
not any tribute of human praise to rendt-r 
his memory precious to those who knew 
him. It is not for his sake that I propose 
to speak of him on this occa-ion. 

Xaa TO ^ ;:.;ii ^^u -v- 

>i iv-;^i;-3, 

^^^^ - 


But in this house, fur the accommodations J 

of which we are so hargcly indebted to his I 

munificent contributions, and where he loved ■/■ 

to worship ; and on this occa-ion wlien so ; 

! nuinj hearts are in sympathy with tlie sub- 

j ject, I shouLl not do justice to my own j 

jj feelings, or answer your expectations, were ! 

]j I not to notice with some speciality the j 

ij life of one, who ''being dead yet speaketh," 

|i -^-one whose works, thougli lie rests from \ 

ij his labors, will follow him, and tell to other ; 

:! Generations the story of jroodness. I 

i Jo^KrH Otis was born in thi- town in 

(! _ , ' 

!' July, 1708, and was far advanced in the ■ 

,1 8Gth year of his age.* His early youth '■ 

' ! . . . 1 

'; was di^tinsrui.-hed for those amiable qualities ; 

,l "- ' , 

of character, — which not only in~pir<d the !i 

atfection ami confidence of friends, but gave I 

' hui)et'ul intimation of success and usefulness i 

;; in subsequent life. His early opportunities i 

• for edu''a(ion were such onlv. as were furn- 

1 i.-ht,'d by the primary school. But his mind ;! 
i' / 

Jl Wii5 ot such a siamp as favored self-culture, j 

|l '■ I 

•i * See Note A. j 


vr-.^ -lii 

\V,-a .^^ 



and he acquired by his own efforts and dis- 
criminating observation, an amount of prac- 
tical knowledge, and a facility and precision 
in its application, that litted him to appear 
unembarressed and at home in the highly 
intelligent circles, with which during his 
life, he was associated. From his youth he 
was trained to commercial pursuits. The 
scene of these pursuits, with the exception 
of a few years, was the city of New York. 
His position, integrity, enterprise, and suc- 
cess, secured for him the respect and con- 
fidence of the highest class of merchants, 
who at that time controlled the commercial 
affairs of the metropolis. He has often told 
me, that for many years there was scarcely 
a merchant of distinction in the city, with 
whom he was not personally acquainted. 

It was in the midst of successful pursuits 
as a man of business in the noon-tide of 
life, that in common with many others of 
his profe--ion, his affuirs were involved in 
embarni.<smeni by tlie embargo of 1807, 
and the subsecjuent ditficulties growing out 




of their existing relations of hostility be- 
tween this country and Great Britain. He 
met those storms, by which tlie commerce 
of the country was for several years inter- 
rupted and crippled, with that firmness and 
christian sentiment, which prevented him 
from sinking under the adversities of such 
trvinnj times, or abandonin"; the idea of ulli- 
mate recovery and success. During those 
years of conflict with unpropitious events, 
his mind was disciplined, and his resolutions 
strengthened for a vigorous and successful 
prosecution of business, after the cessation 
of national hostilities, and the active revival 
of commercial enterprise under new and 
more favorable treaty stipulations. 

To do justice to a life so long and so 
u-eful, — and to a character luminous with 
so many excellencies, must exceed what 
can be accomplished within the limits of a 
common di'^course. A brief reference to a 
f'-w [i./mts i- all that will be attempted on 
thii occasion. 


ig — ^ =^. 

" ll 


- II 

As a man, ]Mr. Otis was possessed of '' 

intellectual qualities and social virtues, which j; 

under the rigid discipline, to which they were Ij 

subjected, imparted to his character those ij 

elements of moral power, that commanded :' 

. !' 

respect. He was endowed in no ordinary jj 
degree with a sagacious common sense, that Ij 

contributed not a little to the direct and I' 


successful course, which, from the begining : 

he pursued. "With this native gift, stored as ,i 

his mind was with the treasures of acute ■,[ 


observation and mature experience, — he was '' 


well qualified to act as a counsellor, in ,; 

whose judgement great reliance could be ;. 

placed. He apprehended the main points of I 

a case, submitted to his attention with such ,, 

quickness and accuracy, and he expressed ij 

his opinions with such decision, frankness, li 

and modesty, that his services as an adviser ,, 

in matters of business were sought and [■ 
valued even dnwn to the late winter of lit''. 

I His intercourse with his fellow men in '' 

\\ the exciting affairs and amidst the tempta- ' 

S == ^ — — =..^'^ 


; :.Afr ...ST- 

r- .fir 


tlons of business was characterized by un- 
LenJin^T integrity, exactness, and punctuality. 
The morality he carried ^Yith him, when he 
weat forth to the abcorbing activities of the 
commercial arena, was not diluted by the 
specious doctrines of expediency, which an 
honest man can never justify at the bar of 
conscience. The law of rectitude was as 
sacred and authoritative with him in secular 
transactions, as it was in the social and do- 
mestic circle. He eschewed the inconsis- 
tency, not unfrequently betrayed, of being 
a Cornelius with alms and prayers at home, 
— and a Shylock in the counting room. He 
put on integrity as a robe, and it covered 

In the relations he sustained, he honestly 
aimed to be actuated by such maxims and 
principles, as would endure the test of a 
rigid scrutiny by the light of conscience, 
and by the laws of chri-tianity. Accus- 
tomed to ioi.k at things from a po-ition, in- 
vested with the luminous atmosphere of 
* See Note B. 

>.>:'.' :, ,. i»vi;- 

i ; !■■ 


truth and virtue, liii vitws were clear, com- 
prehensive, and consistent. He uuderstoo'l 
the ethics of sterling common sense in their 
apjilication to the intercourse and relations 
of social and domestic life. At^'able, court- 
eous, sincere, and obligimr, he won the es- 
teem of those, who made his acquaintance, 
and secured their confidence. Tliey wlio 
enjoyed his friendship, were assured, that 
it was something 'more than the >mooth 
words and atfected smiles of unmeaninjr pro- 
fession. Possessing and cherishing benevo- 
lent sympathies in the happiness of his fel- 
low men, he was ever devising some way. 
in which he might show his friends sub- 
stantial demonstrations of interest in their 
comfort and welfare. He never waiied to 
be solicited to perform a service, which he 
had in his power to render for the reli'--f 
of such friends, as might in a given exi- 
gei: -y :' 1 th'.- n..—l of aid and ».-:i';'jia';i.:'.- 
meiic. Mtiny a ht/art can te.-tity to the re- 
lief e.x.peri(tnced, when the sunshine of his 

( ., 

if:}'"- t.'^-i 



warm friendship has lifted the cloud from 
a depressed spirit. In his proffers of kind- 
ness there was a delicacy that indicated 
the refinement of his social nature. As was 
said not long since of a departed friend, 
whose acquaintance I enjoyed, he was '•emi- 
nently genial in his social feelings, court- 
eous in manner, gentlemanly in his feelings 
and in their manifestation, he could not en 
dure that boisterous mode of speech and 
act, which too often makes repulsive what 
would otherwise be attractive. His were 
kind thoughts, kindly expressed — friendly 
emotions, delicately shown — benevolent feel- 
ings, benevolently manifested." 

Having spent many years of his life 
amidst the stirring scenes of a great city, 
wliere he accumulated property sufficient to 
ni.'ot his temporal wants, and to enable him 
to respond generou~ly to the calls of charity; 
h<- n-rui-ned to thi- Ids native town, ab"Ul 
tit'r.M'ii years since, where he has passed t!ie 
evening of liis days, and closed his long and 


•.^-■"'' -. ;) 

U.'V •. 


'ij useful life. Thou'rh severe sickness had 

'i . . . 

'i impau'ed his health, and subjecred him to 

1 1 some painful intirniities. he did not rt-iire 

:' into selfish seclusion, but identified himself 

1 1 with the most imttortunt intei-ests of sociefv, 
ij . ' 

; and showed a readiness to bear a liberal 


I share of the burdens created by public ini- 

■ j proveraents, and to render such personal 

ji services, as were compatible with his strength. 

Ij As a citizen he entrenched himself in pu!)- 

I lie confidence and esteem. The sense of 


ji bereavement that has been so publicly man- 

ii ifested, testifies to the hitrh estimation in 

'; which he has been held. 

i The munificent appropriations made I)y 

I him for the establishment and support of a 
' public Library, have erected to his name a 

'i monument, that will transmit to coming 

il , . . ' 

IJ generations the evidence of his appreciation 

!! of intellectual culture, as an essential ele- 

:! ment of social refinement and substant iiil 

I I prosperity. His comprehensive foreca.~te 
!l coasulted for the future, as well as tlie pres- 

•■1 -.T 

'■, ; 

.!>';.!. -.'u 

■i\ THf'd .■•-; 

i ^>.\ 


m;: I,:--::- 

;■ r;T 


■> 1>< V *j !•» ri ) ;• i -rv. ■ J I " -i ; ! ;«5; 



I j 


ent. Hence his plans were concerted with ii 

reference to permanency in respect to this ^j 

^ . . ii 

important Institution. jl 

'i In view of the precarious condition of 

I such an institution, if left dependent on the 

1 1 voluntary contrihutions of the public, he 

i; made ample provision for its enlargement 


>l and permanency. For a considerable time 

■\ he had revolved in his mind the question, — 

•; what kind of an investment within the range 

ij of his means he could make, that would best 

! subserve the important purpose of mental 

j culture and social improvement in this city. 

Y He decided to establish a public Library 

on such a foundation, as would enable all 

;i classes, however moderate their resources, 

I; to avail themselves, at small expense, of its 

.; privileges. 

.j He lived to witness the successful opera- 

'.: tions of tliis in.-titution. and f'dt that the 

e\ id'-nce of it- present benefits and its pros- 

1; pective usefulness, was a rich renumerution 

j' for what he had done. The basis on which 


■■ J'mi\ 

5; V !.-M. 

'..■y^ ,'■ If:: i'<^. l:- ... "■■ '' 

./'i;:: iri'ir •/:■»'• f^- •;?-■()*> -if *» 




it rests is such, as promises a perpetual in- 
crease in value during future generations. 
If its affairs shall be judiciously managed 
it will remain a perennial fountain of such 
influences as shall promote in this commu- 
nity the diffusion of knowledge and the 
cultivation of a taste for the rational pleas- 
ures of mental refinement. I am acquainted 
with no other institution of the kind, ex- 
cept some connected with colleges, that is 
so liberally endowed, or that combines so 
many advantages available at so small ex- 

It is not only as a man of unbending in- 
tegrity, and a fellow citizen of generous and 
comprehensive views, that we claim an in- 
terest in the character of 'Mr. Otis ; but, as 
a chri-tian he merits the tribute of a special 
notice. t In the year 1S09 he vras received 
by professi n to Cedar Street Cliureh. in 
New York, then under the pastoral care of 
i! Dr. John B. Ronievn. At tliat time tliis 
'i was one of the prominent Pre-byterian 
i; * Sjc Noto C. t See Note D. 




Churches in that citv, and its pastor ranked 
among the most eminent of his prot'ession. 
As a member of that church lie was active, 
judicious, and large-hearted, — one who was 
foremost, as he ever has been, in deviling 
liberal things for sustaining the work of the 
ministry, and the institutions of religion. 
The estimate in which he was held in that 
influential church was evinced by their ac- 
tion in calling him to the responsible ofhce 
of an elder, for which he proved himself 
eminently qualified. 

From the commencement of his christian 
life till its late and serene evening, he ful- 
filled the expectations usually awakened 
when such a man takes his stand openly 
on the Lord's side. He wjis one of those 
laymen, to whom pastors look for aid and 
co-operation in the work of faith and the 
labor of love. He was in the vigor of his 
nuuiliood fuui ripe in experience when tln-e 
noble institutions of christian benevolence 
were founded, the center of whose opera- 


W : '..\ -v:,;^'' 

: u V ■' I 

■ fry ';.*'! 

i- -t ;fr:i.:,:. 

!.) .(' 


tions is the Citj of Xew York. In their 
establishment he had an important agencv, 
and to their support h-^, as a cheerful giver, 
made generous contributions, several of which 
he has remembered in his ■will.* 

Since he became united to this church, 
which was in the year 1839, we have been 
witnesses to his steadfast interest in everj 
good work, and to the consistency which 
has marked his life. Unassuming, and yet 
firm, he sought not honor from men ; nor 
would he ever consent to compromise the 
claims of duty, as he interpreted them, or 
surrender his opinions, when deliberately 
formed, for the sake of conciliating those who 
might differ from hhn. What he claimed 
for himself, he cheerfully conceded to others. 
His was truly a catholic spirit. Neither 
his sympathies nor charities were confined 
to his own church, nor to his own denomi- 
nation, iiiat spirit of benevolence, whii'li 
with uridimini^hed warmth glowed in ins 
bosom to the la-t, was truly comprehensive. 
* See Note E. 



lo .. 

- r 

rri- .^l 



To ills fellowship he welcomed all who loved 
the Lord Jesus, without irnjuiring whe:hcr 
their creed, in all particulars, coiucided with 
his own. lie had his own religious views, 
which he adopted as the result of careful 
and independent examination of the word of 
God. The Bible, which he profoundly rev- 
erenced and diligently read, was his only 
rule of faith, and by its spirit he aimed to 

As a member of this church and ecclesi- 
astical society he has been too well known 
and appreciated, to require on my part more 
than a bare illusion to the relation he sus- 
tained to us. The deep interest he took in 
the erection of this house of prayer; — that 
organ, which was a tribute of his benefi- 
cence to the choral department of the sanc- 
tuary ; — the cheerful and generous contribu- 
tions he has ever b'.en ready to make to 
su.-t;uu ili.j: iuiiii-tr\-, ilie .-ubijath scliool, and 
other objects of a local character, — testify 
to hi'* love of tlic churcli, and that he was 

^ — 


ready to every good work involving its 
prosperity. Among the objects, the impor- 
tance of which he was quick to appreliend, 
was the establishment of a pastoral library. 
In this matter he anticipated a pastor's ne- 
cessities ; and the example has already sug- 
gested to the friends of the ministry in 
several other places a similar provision for 
the benefit of pastors, whose own limited 
means will not admit of other than stinted 
appropriations for books. 

In connection with the late Jabez Hunt- 
ington, he was chosen a deacon in the year 
1842, in which office he continued till his 
death, fulfilling its duties with dignity and 
deep seriousness. To see these venerable 
fathers in Israel, at the advanced age of four- 
score years, on sacramental occasions passing 
the hallowed symbols to the members of the 
Savior's household, and to mark the devout 
and serious aspect, with which they perform- 
ed the service was impressive and affective. 
Venerable men, — ye were faithful servants. 

:: ii^* .:^ ■ i. 

. .";'y<i loa '.!v,r •■;■;■_ iqri j 

' ' ■ s. ■■ 

:] ,/:.';; i' 

-!"' ;r<rv- !:^vf.;^ • $f 



'\. Having entered into the joy of your Lord, 

i^ ye are nou^ united in holier, happier services 

!' ia your Father's house. 


;■ "There Ii;;!it or shade no more succeed bv turns, 

; There rei-ns tlie eternal sun with an unclouded ray, 

il Thero all is calm as ni-'ht, vet all immortal dav, 

ii . ' „ 

il And truth furcvcr shines, and love forever rciLrns. 

ij Since tliis house was built, he habitually 

;i occupied the same seat ; and when by rea- 

jl son of his late infirmities he was compelled 

; to for. g.j the privilege, which he so higidy 

i prized, he usually requested the peru.-al of 

i one of the di-courses delivered from Sab- 


', bath to Sabbath, as a substitute for the priv- 


' ilege of a personal attendance. 
'j For several months he felt the pressure 

I of increasing infirmities, — and under the 

'^ conviction, that his time was short, he put 

." his house in order, and waited aniidit suf- 

' fering-:, patiently endured, for the coming 

; of th".- Soil !!m crisis. With a hurnble esti- 

i mate of his own religious attainments, and 

; ap[)urently forgetful of all he had done to 


"■•■-""• ^■- !i 

■": ..i -U.. ;;;'{>•'■;■•, 


promote the cause of hi? Savior, and the 
^velfare of his felluNv, — with a childhke, 
trustful spirit, he phiced his entire reliance 
for acceptance with God on the atoning 
merits of that Redeemer, whom having not 
seen he loved.* 

That the venerable friend, to whom the 
foregoing tribute is rendered, was faultless, 
is not claimed bv those who esteemed him 
most. Perfection is not an element of hu- 
manity. As declining vears subjected him ',\ 
to its inevitable infirmities, he was conscious ij 
of more excitabilitjr of temperament, which j 
at times would be developed in the express- ji 
ion of impatience. "When his mind w;is • | 
disturbed bj some irritating influence, he •' 
found that he had in some measure lost the Ij 
power of self control he once possessed. Ij 
This certainly is no strange thing in one ii 
who has pn-sed the period of four-corn year-. -j 
Such il't'.-cts charirv v.'ill overlcu.k. They ;) 

are but spots on the disc of the ;^ettiIlL' ^un, ij 

which riCither chili his genial waruiili, nor i 

* S^-e Xote F. ' ii 

']*/■ 'ju.: 



i! ' ] ~~ 

Ij obscure his mellow radiance, as he sinks 

.! below the horizon. 


ij When such a father passes away, how 

;! many there are to mourn, not for him ; but 

i on their own account, that they will see his 


Ij friendly face no more. The bereaved fam- 

;j ily, whom he loved, and whose privilege it 

~ was to minister to the comfort of his de- 

' clininp^ years, will mourn the absence from 

• j their domestic group of the venerable fa- 

' ther, who has shared so long in their filial 

; devotion and warm affection. Other kin- 

^1 dred and friends, by whom he was venerated 


'.' and esteemed, will mourn, that they shall 

;: meet him no more in the place of business, 

II or in the retirement of his pleasant home. 

They who in circumstances of trial have 

,; shared in his paternal sjinpathv and prof- 

■j fered assistance, will mourn, that they can 

ij no more assure him of their grateful apnre- 

<;:.>:i..-i (..:' his friendship. As a christian 

I cominunity, we mourn, that a pillar has 

,. fallen, — the like to which we may not see 

■■., \U'- -'-^ 



again.* Bat we mourn not as those who 
have no Iiope. lie has left the most satis- 
factory evidence, that his spirit, chastened 
by personal sufferings, and sanctified by 
grace, was tally ripe for that inheritance 
reserved for him in the heavenly Jerusalem. 
In that realm of light and peace, v.-hitlier 
he has gone, — gone to join the general as- 
sembly and church of the tirst born, — he 
will meet with loved ones who years since 
went before him, and who will welcome him 
■with the ardor of a heavenly affection to 
their fellowship and pleasures. what 
blessed recognitions will there be, as he shall 
be introduced to the sainted ones, who pre- 
ceded him to that city not made with hands. 
'• The fathers, — where are they ?" IIow 
few remain of that generation, to which our 
venerable friend belonged. — Soon and the 
last one will have lini-iied his course. ^^ e 
are all borne rapidly along the stream, tluu 
spec Is its way to the shoreless ocean of an 
eternal futurity. Amidst the exciting scenes, 
* See Note G. 




.•I:i1 v 

.■ I.J 



;V, hi,..' 

•■• i, 

■) L',: 


;>. , I i 




|i which meet us in tlie battle field of life, 

:[ we are in dancrer of losin"^ sijiht of the one 

(i great interest, which claims and should have 


;' our earnest attention. ^\ hile we cherish the 

,' memory of departed saints, who through faith 

Ji and patience inherit the promises, let us 

ji study their example, imitate their virtues, 

j! and like them so live, that it will be gain 

'I to die. 


:! "So live, that when thy summons comes to join 

]■. The innumerable caravan, that moves 


:[ To tliat mysterious realm, where each shall take 

!) His chamber in the silent halls of death, 

:i Thou go not like the quarry slave at nij^ht, 

;i Scoupj^ed to his dunj^con; but sustained and soothed 

ij By an unfaultering trust, approach thy grave 

II Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch 

|! A')Out him, and lies down to pleasant dreams." 

ji The time is at hand when we ourselves 

,: shall be summoned to the stern, deci- 

jj sive conflict. Then to find, that we have 

' o:ir nrnuir on r-adv for tlie crisis, will coin- 

ij penmate a thousand fold all the lal)ors we 

i| may have performed, and all the sacrifices 



'[• '•■ 

■.,.\^iiit IT ', .■'^u ^<^; 

'■■■ "■■ -:■■'' i 



we may have maJe in the blaster's service. 
So to live, that our example and works 
shall perpetuate an influence for good, long 
after these mortal bodies shall have dissolved 
in kindred dust, should be our earnest un- 
dying purpose. 

Then as death, the king of terrors, shall 
come, he will come not with his crushing 
iron foot-tread, but liarmless and crownless, 
a commissioner of peace, to announce our 
warfare accomplished, — our victories won. 
The work assigned us, having been done, — 
faithfully done, — Jesus, as he promised, will 
come and rec'eive us to himself, to be where 
he is, and to behold his glory. O how will 
it nerve the spirit for its tuscension to catch 
a view of the golden harvest, which springs 
up fresh and fruitful from the seed that 
was sown in tears during the working days 
of probation. " Where/ore vi>j beloved hretlt- 
ren, be steadfast, unmoveable, aliccnjs ahound- 
ing ill the work of the Lord."* 

.Sec No. H. 15SS813 

■J. J 


'■■U.''- \\ 

W-.Ki'Aa X-. f-\i •>■'' 


•■ '■-..'■ .'' oj l!>:;'i ,J{i.;&a i| 


* *■■ 




loscpfj (Biis jfamili). 

The foUo^'ing facts are derived from a Historical. 
Memoir of the family, prepared bj Horatio N. Otis, 
of New York. 

The first of the name who settled in New Eng- 
land, was John Otis. His father was Richard 
Otis of Glastenbury, Countj of Somer^otihire, in 
the south-west part of England. In his Will is found 
the nnme of his son, John, who came v.ith his family 
to Hingham, Massachusetts, as early as the year 
1635. He came in company with the Rcv. Petor 
Holort and tweiitv-nine associates, v.ho settled in 
the same town. H^ was a substantial yooman, and 
left his native country, .a.s ha,: been supposed, with 

l,t T' I'SIfV'"*'! •"'''•^' 

:i.'uJ\ :■;■' r 


a view to accomp:ui_r his pastor, who was a staunch 
non-conforminLT cler^'vman He was idoiititied with 
the Puritans, and shared in the hih.^rs and sufti-r- 
iugj, to which the ancestors of Xew England were 
subjected in tlie establishment of the first colonial 
settlements. Subsequently he removed to "VN'ev- 
mouth, where he died, May 31, 1657, aged seventv- 
slx years. 

The oldest son of John Otis was named Jonx, 
bom in England in 1620, and he accompanied his 
f;ither to this countrv-. In the year 1661, he re- 
moved to Scituate, where he received a grant of 
of land. He died there in the year 16S3, aged 
sixty-three years. The fourth son of John Oris, Jr. 
was Joseph, bom in Scituate, in rhe year 166.5. 
He held the office of Judge of the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas for the County of Pl^-mouth, from the 
year 1703 to 1714. Important offices in the town 
were entrusted to him, and he was twice elected a 
representative to "The Great and General Court.'' 
In or about the year 17'21, he emigrated to New 
London, in this State, where he died in rhe year 
17.54. The estimate in which he wa.s tJiere held is 
rccord>:d in the fol!owin<: obituary no'i e. "Jud^-e 
Otis was a christian upon principle, a public spirited 
and useful man, distiniruished bv talents of the 

■1 :r-.^1,' 

.7: T' 

;i:T- > r-v C-: V ■:• ';<.>i 


solid, judicious, and u=ofnl, rather than of the 
brilliant and showy kind. * ♦ * * As a private 
individual he had the union of simple dignity with 
benevolent courtesy, which mark the gentleman, and 
he died at the advanced a;:e of eigluy-niue years, 
universally lamented." He married a daughter of 
Nathaniel Thomas of ilarshneld, who owned and 
resided on the estate, occupied by the late Hon. 
Daniel Webster. j 

The third son of Judge Joseph Otis, bom in the 
year 1712, was named Joseph. He settled in that 
part of New London, afterwards incorporated into 
the town of Montville. He died in the year 17f>3, 
aged eighty-one years. His oldest "^on, also named 
Joseph, was boi-n in the year 17-39, in what is now 
Montville. He was a deacon in the congregational 
church in that place. He married, ["for his first wife 
Lucy Honon, of New London, and for his scros.d 
wife a widow lady by the name of Carew, of Nor- 
wich, to wliich town he removed. At a fiuli-eijuont 
period he went to Suffield, where he died in the 
year lS-23, aged ei^rhty-fuar years. His children 
were a daughter, ^Irs. Benjamin Snow, still living 
at Proviiic'iice, R. I. ; Joseph, bom in Norwich, in 
the year 170S, — the -u'ject of this notice; James, 
bum in the vear 177iJ, who died in hi- mjuiIi ; <.'liver, 
born in the year 177-3, w!io resided in the S^ate of 



New York; and Shabael, bora in the year 1776, 
stiU living in Hinsdale, Ma^s. 

In the Centennial Discourse, pronounced at Hing- 
ham bj Hon. Solomon Lincoln, the following tribute 
is rendered to the memory of this ancient family. 
"We recognize with pride, borne upon our annals, 
the name Otis. ♦ * * * Is it not possible that 
something of that ardent love of freedom and strong 
aversion to despotic power, which have distin- 
guished the descendants, may have been derived 
from an intelligent ani independent ancestry. — 
The historian of S'-ituate, where at an early period 
several of the family lived, remarks : — "Though 
they cannot exhibit a line of illustrious names, yet 
they are =uch as panook in the perils of founding 
and defending this country in times, when courage, 
constancy and patience were indeed common vir- 

Several names of hi'^toric celebrity may 1j€ men- 
tioned as having decended from this family. Among 
them is John Otis of Bamst^ible, Mass., who died 
in the year 1727. During twenty-one years he was 
a member of the '"Board of his M.ijesty's Council," 
in the State. Col James Otis, who d'".-\ in the 
vc-ar 177"^, was an active compeer with Adams, 
Qiiiucy, and Hau>-o"-k, in tiieir labors to achieve 
the independence of their country. Samuel Aliync 


r,r. .:>.. . ^ {:. 

j; APPENDIX. 41 



j' S)t\s, who graduated at Harvard Colleire, vr'nh the 

'■ clais of 1759, was the father of rlie late Harri-on 

J Grey Otis, of Boston. Durint; the Revolutionary : 

war he was a meniber of the "Board of War." — 

;! In the year 17S8 he was elected a member of Con- 

1: gress, and after the ailoption of the Federal Con- 

l! stitiition he was chosen Secretary of the United 

i: States Senate, which otBce he held from the Sth of 

I: April, 17S9, rill the 18th of April, ISU, a period 

i| of twenty-tive years. \'< 

:, Another of the family, distinguished ia .VnuTiean 

jj Historj', is James Otis, "The Patriot," Kom iu 

j; Barnstable, in the year 1724. He was one of the 

', earliest and most fearless assertors and defenders of 

!l the principles which led to our national existence. 

}■ He was intimately associated with Dr. Franklin, 

Ij and immediately prior to the revolution was e([ually ; 

!' well known to the Colonies. The occasion ou 

'■] which he si'^nalized himself was in his masterly 

i' plea ajrainst the so-called "Writs of Assistance, ' — 

|! or warrant- on the anthority of which ca'-tom-hoii-'s 

ji officers could search, when ami where they ]j'ica-cd, , 

i for smus^srled poods, and call in the aid of others 

j! to a.^sL-it ih';:n in the oilioiis sorviei\ Th'- m^ r- 

'' chants of B .-r.m made a strenuous or/t<ositi"n to 

il " - , 

I this mea.«ure of the exacting jroverurnent ot ttie 

fi crown, and thev retained James Otis as the advo<ate 

I- " 

42 APPEyDix. 

of their cause in rorl^tin:: the action of these writs. 
This was in the year 1761. The elder President 
Adams expressed rlie tbllowin;,' testimony lo the 
spirit and power of the th'.>n yonng advo':ate. "Tttis 
was a flame of tire ; — wich a promptitude of clas- 
sical allusio!is, a depth of research, a rapid nummary 
of historical events and dates, a profusion of legal 
authorities, a prophetic glance of his eye into' futu- 
rity, and a rapid toiTent of impetuous eloquence, 
he hurried away all Leforc him. American Inde- 
pendence wa.s then and there born. * * * 
Every man of an immense crowded audience ap- 
peared to go away, as I did, ready to take arms 
against " Writs of A.^-i-tance." Tlien and there 
•was the first scene of the first act of opposinon to 
the arbitrary claims of Great Britain. 


^s a lllaii of fnisiiicss. 


ifr. Otis at the a':re of twelve years entered the 
mercantile service of Mr. Mc Curdy, a prominent 
citizen in Nonvich, with whom he continued about 
tea years. His inteirrity, economy and faithful at- 
tention to the business with which he was entrusted 
secured the contidence of his em'ployer, and laid 
the foundation for his subsequent success. 

"With very small resources he commenced busi- 
ness for himself' at the age of twenty-one, in the 
vicinity of Charleston, S. C. Not being sati-tied 
with his prospects he returned to Xi/w York, where 
in the year 1756, he became established in mercan- 
tile pursuits. 

In the year 1797 he married Miss Nancy Hun- 
tington, of Norwich, Ct., with whom he lived forty- 
seven year-, ^^r-~. Otis w:\s a lady of many amia- 
ble qualities, — and a consistenr, active, beloved 
christian. Slio united with the Cedar Street Pres- 
byterian Churth, by profession, at the time of its 


■■: ii^n',^ 

■fiir; ' -.'iV liiiT? 

:i .' 


orfranization. This Church was organized in Not. 
1 803, and consisted only of tweutv-tight members, 
of which ilrs. Otis was one. She remained in 
connection with the same, till her husband removed 
to Norwich. She died in the faith and peace of 
the christian, Au;r. 27th, 1844, aged seventy-two. 

In the year 1810,'he went into partnership with 
Asa Otis, Esq., now of New London, with whom 
he continued several years, one of the parties resi- 
dini^ in Richmond, Va. He pro'^ecuted business 
witli enterprise and eneriry, su-tainins: an enviable 
reputation, and a credit that enabled him to take 
rank among- the best class of commercial men in 
the city. His career was again arrested by the war, 
which commenced in 1812, and by which the com- 
merce of the country was for a time pro-trated. He 
retired during this period to the town of Stratford, 
in this State, till the peace of 1815. About this 
time he returned to the city, and resumed business 
as a comrai>sion menliant, in company with Asa 
Otis, Esq., already named. This partnership was 
continued till 1833, after its dissolution he pursued 
business in other relations till the year 183S, when, 
in consequence of ill health, he removed to Norwich, 
his natise place, -.vhcrc he passed the remainder of 
his life among kindred ami friends, to whom he 
endeared himself by ministrations of unwearied kind- 
ness, esteemed and venerated by all cla^^es. 


"- From coTiver-ations with gentlemon who kne-.v 
him well in the liavs of hi? aetisity ami strencrth, 
abundant testimony is <riveni, with sinLrnlnr coinci- 
dence, to the excellencies that won for him no or- 
dinary share of the confidence and good isill of 
his fellow men. A irentleman who for many- 
years intimately associated with him in the walks 
of active business, remarked to rhc- writer that he 
never knew him lose liis- self-control or betray iiTi- 
tation of temper, so as to speak unadvisedly. He 
was scrupulous in avoiding ungenerous strictures 
O[)oa the character of others, — reLiarding the nile, — 
"Speak evil of no man," — as one of the imperative 
lawi of social life and good neighborhood. 

They who have known him under various cir- 
cumstances, and for a loner time, speak of him as 
ha\ing been a general favorite in the relationships 
with which he was connected, — one wlio-e society 
was sought. Full of the milk of human kindnes«, 
which had not been absorbed by the earnest exeiie- 
ment of business, he was ever ready for deeds of 
charity. Having, when a voiing man, had to -tru.'u'le 
with hard-hips ami occasional ernbarra-'^ments as 
the archit'.'-r of his fortune, he knew ho'v ro -yinr.a- 
thize wi:'i v,r:!!u' M'.-n, and delighted in the o}.p>jrfa- 
nitv, v,li(.-n iu his pu\*. er, to render tliem material aid. 

In the Li.^hly respeclcl cirele in which he moved, 


! ii^■=^ 

T.< {.;•-■ 


46 • ^PPEXDIX. 

in prosecuting the walks of a long commyrriai life 
in tbe <;reat metropolis of our country, he secured 
and retained the enviable reputation of a man who-e 
credit was ahove suspicion, and whose word was 
never questioned. Sy-^tem, promptness, exnctness, 
and integrity, were the elements~which marked his 
conduct in tiie relations of business. His associates 
could rely on finding him punctual as to time, and 
ready to assume all the responsibility that legiti- 
mately devolved upon him. Such is the character ac- 
corded to him by the venerable sur^'ivors of the 
generation to which he belonged, and with whom 
he was associated. 

The New York Commercial Advertiser, in an- 
nouncing his death, remarks, — .Josefh Otis, Esq., 
for many years was an esteemed merchant of this 
city. He was one of the original subscribers to the 
Commercial Advertiser, and continued to take it 
up to the time of his death, a period of fifty-seven 

4; — = 





^foiiuiicr of Otis 'fibuiiii. 


Mr. Otis did not at first contemplate the execu- 
tion of Ills plan to found a libran.- wliile he lived. 
He procured a suitable lot for the building, and 
made out a trust-deed of the same, specityicg tlic 
purpose to which it should be appropriated. 

As he was surveying; the site of the future Li- 
brary one day with the friend to whom his plans 
had been made known, it was sufrgested to him 
that if his means would warrant the outlay, it mio^ht 
contribute somewhat to the pleasure he ever touk 
in doing good, to go so far at least as to erect the 
building, that he mi^dit have a more definite id'a 
of the aspect of the monument he designed to leave 
behind him The sug^'-^stion was favorablv enter- 
tained ; but he added, — "I am too old to a^.-umc 
the care and labor of arraiigin.' for and superin- 
tending' the crc' rion of suuh an edifice sui would 
be suit'.d to the purpose proposed. But if you v. ill 
assume the responsibility I will furnish the rei^ui^ite 

lj , I r-' ...{'•» 

,i:- - -uT-:rrr.- 

1 1 43 APPEXDIX. 


jj funds, the amount not to exceed five thousand dol- 

|i lars, and you may commence the work sa soon as 

'j arrangements can be made.'' The proposal was 

Ij acceded to on condition, that the assistance of 

I another gentle tiian, who was named, could be se- 
cured. Such assistance on learning the facts, was 

I cheerfully proffered by that individual, and the work 

11 wa.s soon commenced. 


I llr. Otis was full and explicit in the wishes he 

j expressed, that such a building should be erected 

J! as would be durable, tasteful, attractive, and so 

li furnished, as to combine the conveniences of a com- 

( fortable reading room, as well as a circulating Li- 

ji brary. The architect, the late Joshua V,'. Shepard, 

I! submitted a plan of a building, forty feet in length 

! by t\vonty-€ight in width, and two stories in height, 

I the lower story being thirteen feet from .floor to 

!i ceiling, the whole to be enclosed br a substantial 

I iron fence. 

jj In accordance with the plan, as given by !Mr. 

/ Shepard, the work was put under contract, and was 

jl sati-fartorily done. Formal possession was taken 

jl of the biiilding in Januan.-, 1850, by the Tru-tees, 

I I who had been designated by Mr. Otis, and invr-f-d 
with full powers to mana^^e and supt:rinii:'nd the 

li affairs uf the Institution, and to till such vacancies 

I in their board, as might from time to time oicur. 


!;•> ; -7(1 '/>i'.-l:>J: 

JiiJ ,1 

01 ei'ot^'' 2/1-' .^:^i\4n30 (I 



-A constitution was adopted, and by-laws framed, 
and a Librarian, 'Mr. H. B. Buckin^'ham, was ap- 
pointed. A charter was subsequently procured from 
the Le^^islature of the State, constituting seven 
gentlemen, designated by ilr. Otis, a body corporate 
and politic by the name of the "Otis Library," and 
by that name to have perpetual succession. The 
following gentlemen were constituted the original 
Board of Trustees, viz : Hev. Alvan Bond, D. D., 
Worthingtoa Hooker, M. D., J. G. W. Trumbull, 
George Perkins, William A. Buckingham, Bobert 
Johnson, and Charles Johnson. 

Wlien the building was completed, he advanced 
t^vo thotisand dollars for the purchase of books to 
commence a library ; which sum being expended, 
arrangements were ma/le for the delivery of books 
in July, 1850. A very general interest wa^ taken 
in the Institution, and a large number of readers 
applied for tickets of admission to its privi',i^t_'C«, 
which were furnished for the sum of one dollar a 
year, the price being graduated so as to meet ths 
current expenses. Other resources were subsetiiient- 
ly provided by the generous found'.r to procure 
additi'j!!.ii L-fjok^. Tlii:uu_'h his liberality con.-tjni 
ad'litions have been niLuIe of such v.-orks as wjrc 
approved by the Trustees, on whom is uevolvcd 
the duty of examining and approvin_' cve.'-y w(;rK 
that is placed on the shelves of the Lilirur%-. 

1.L.JC.JV.. <;>ijX" 


50 APPE>-DIX. 

The sum total appropriated by ^ilr. Oti- for the 
establishment of the Institution, up to the time of 
his death, is a.s follows : For the lot, ei'jht hundred 
and fifty dollars; For the building-, five thoosand 
dollars ; For fences, furniture, and fixtures, six 
hundred and thii-ty-six dollars, amountini^ to six 
thousand, four hundred and eighty-six dollars. The 
amount appropriated for the purchase of books up 
to the time of his decease, is four thousand dollars. 
The number of j volumes on the catalogue at the 
present time is four thousand and eighty-eight. — 
This includes some of the books which have been 
presented to the library by friends and patrons. 
The entire investment made by Mr. Otis, while 
living, was ten thousand, four hundred and eighty- 
six dollars. In his last will he left the sum of 
seven thousand dollars to be appropriated, as in the 
judgment of the Trustees shall be most advan- 
tageous to the growth and permanent prosperity of 
the Institution. 

To render the advantages of this Institution 
available as is practicable to the purposes of men- 
tal and moral culture, arrangements have been made 
for having it op€n daily, Sundays excepted. Since 
it was opened to the public there have been be- 
tween thirteen and fourteen hundred different read- 
ers. The average number of persons holding tickets 





-/,'. ■'. 

.■,•,- K. 'nti 

' .; '.■ '."*il'!>- '■ '. ' .1 -XUV'i , . '..'tl 

!■. ■'■■ ■'• 5-1 ' 


g - — 




I has thus far exceeded six hundred annually. The 
ij annual circulation of books exceeds twelve thou- 
li sand. The income of the Library from the sale of 
|] tickets to January 1st, 1S54, has been two thou- 
[j sand, one hundred and sixty -one dollars and ninety- 
eight cents, and the current expenses, exclusive of 
what ha.s been appropriated to the purcliase of books, 
has been two thousand^ one hundred and elLchtLt-n 
dollars and lift}--eight cents. These are some of 
the facts showing the practical working of the In- 
stitution, and ito important relation to the intelli- 
gence and general culture of the community. 

...)., ;! 



|iS lljc g^ctibe (LljristiaiL 


The cliristiaa life of Jlr. Otis was marked by 
singular unLformity, coniistency, and charity, as 
will be evident from a few of the many facts, which 
his history, if fully written, would reveal. He was 
one of the origiual founders of the Cedar Street 
Ecclesiastical Congregation, and bore his share in 
the burdens, incident to a new enterprise of this 
kind. The subscription for a church was opened 
in 1807, and the building was completed during the 
following year. He united with some sixty others, 
few of whom are now among the living, in extend- 
ing an invitation to Dr. J. B. Romevn, then of 
Albany, to become their minister, who accepted the 
invitation. Of the original projectors and patror:3 
of this important enterprise the following are the 
only sunuvc^, so far as the writer has b-en able to 
a,>tcr-a:n, — Guopl:'; (jri.->wold, Najah Taylor, Jo?>-['h 
Strong, ."itephen W'liitney, John Ripley, N^tliariiel 
Richards, A. S. Norwood, William HjU, and John 
Coit, most of whoiri still reside in New York. 

,l•u:p^•;.v^ ' 

■ 'ji'-.'. C'l ;.■' 

■O.IL- -v. 

'if: ,-: .Jt!^ . ■.It'll • ;j 

;: T- .I'U;^ il 



A Presbyterian Churcli consisting of twenty-eight 
members was constituted about the same time of 
which, in connection with the newly gathered con- 
gregation, Dr. Eomeyn tooii the pastoral charge. 
Mr. Otis onited with this church in the following 
year. This new movement awakened much interest 
at the time, and was eminently successful. In its 
prosperity he was deeply interested, and was es- 
teemed as one of its pillars. In consequence of the 
emigration of the people towards what was then 
considered the upper part of the city, a removal 
was decided on as necessary to the prosperity of the 
Society. A location was accordingly procured in 
Duane Street, and a new and expensive Church 
was there erected in 1835- Six years previous to 
this remove he had been elected one of the elilers 
of the church, to the duties of which ofSce he de- 
voted himself with ability and judgment. He was 
active in the important movement which placed 
this church, which a.s.suraed the name of the -'Duane 
Street Presbyterian Church," among the first ec- 
clesiastical organizations of the city. Of the male 
members living, when Mr. <Jtis joined it in 1809, 
there survive only Ilu/h Auchiiiclaus, Pelatiah 
Perrit, Ilor^re Ilin.-d.ilo, and William Hall. 

The deeply religious spirit of Mr. Otis was 
evinced not only in puljlic duties, to the regular 

"!"■ -■': 

■*■* ;■•■'.: ^t "'• .'■■•■ 

;j'--. i-', >■ H.'.:Si<i1l 





pei-fonnance of which he w^s devoted, but ia the 
private walks of life, and in his relations as a man 
of bu-iness. Some extracts from letters of business 
indicate the habitual state of his mind, and show 
that religion was at all times with him the para- 
moant interest. 

Alluding to the establishment of the firm of 

Messrs. , young men of his acquaintance, 

he adds, — "Mav He who alone orders and directs 
the affairs of nations and kingdoms, bless and pros- 
per them in all their lawful endeavors to gala 
wealth, to do good and communicate, to tako a 
high stand in the commercial world, an honorable 
stand in society, and to secure lasting happiness to 
themselves." In a message of sympathy for an 
afflicted friend he thus expresses his feelings, — " I 
hope his painful sufferings may be sanctitied to him. 
I also hope it may lead him to look unto Him 
who has power to heal all his diseases, and grant 
to him the comforts ami the consolations which the 
Gospel alone can impart." 

The eminently social feelings of Mr. Otis remlcred 
him in a high degree susceptible of pleasure from 
die kiiid attention of hi- frimds. In an a ik;i:r.vl- 

cdgcmeut of a vi-it from :Mr. A , and dau_-Lter 

in the summer of 18')2,— having in vcrj" strong lan- 
guage expressed his gratilif-ation, he remarks, — 

.:k*« ^::.y. , <>; 

iB.-;v I 

H ■:■■:.'■ v! . 

.^": '.']:■ .H 


''Trobablv in a g-reat measure it was owinci: to my i] 

advanced ag-e, debiliry, feebleness, loneliness, feelin;^ ;; 

that mv old tried friends are far awav from me." |i 

As if conscious of tlie presence of a repininir spirit, M 

or of undue reliance on eanlilv friendships, he adds, 'i 

"This is wronjr, — mv contidence should be in God, j! 


mv Sa\-ior; He is able, and He will grant all i| 

needed comforts, and all needed blessinirs to everr !; 


one that shall put his trust in Him." ji 

On learning of a severe bereavement in the family ■ 

of an endeared friend, he writes, — "Xothing short '.■ 

of deep sympathy and giicf could have prevailed ", 
on me to use my pen this day ; but this cup ot 

affliction which has been called to drink, has !1 

touched a very tender place in my heprt. Indeed, ,; 

I cannot find language to express my feelings. The jl 

object of his first love and affection has been sud- r 

denly removed from his sieht by death. The ind !i 

ha<i ripened — the b/os.iom was full of promise, and 1 

your beloved son is left to mourn the depannre of ■■ 

his nearest and dearest earthly friend. I beer you || 

to give to him my most affectionate love ; al-o, to \. 

Mrs. , and the children. I sincerely condole ' 

with y<..u all in thi-; n imfiil bcn>;ivcment, I'.rid pr.iy 

that t!i; _'ru'-e of (Jvd may be fuuu'l ^utnciv-nt to .; 

carry you all in safety through every trial." In i; 

this e.\tract we h.ue a specimen of the tender sym- j. 

.'•^., '>r f:L 'flfi, 

.1 \v J-^'ijf. 


. .-.'nl 


pathy he experienced in the afflictions of his friends. 
In the time of their trouble he was among the very 
first in the proffer of assistance, and in the expres- 
sion of sympathies, which, it was evident, were 
spontaneous, sincere, pure, — flowing from a tender 
spirit, that communed with Heaven. 

The following extracts from one of his letters also 
manifest the depth of his interest in those who were 
afflicted. "I am pained to hear of the deep afflic- 
tion, to which our mutual friend, Mr. H., has been 
called. Few, if any, more worthy, more estimable 
men live in the present age. I feel very much for 
our personal friend, Mr. R., and hope he may soon 
find permanent relief. I most sincerely regret to 
hear of L 's affliction, and hope my next infor- 
mation may be altogether more pleasant. I find it 
laborioos to write, and must stop with saying but 
a word." 

The friendly outflow of his feelings in his confi- 
dential correspondence appears in the following pas- 
sage, — "I am truly desirous to send you a letter, 
to let you know how grateful I feel that I am not 
forgotten by my friends ; — particularly by those, 
un.ler Gel, in whom I place the fullest con:idenro, 
and on whom, without hesitation, I can call for 
needed favors. I cannot doubt that all these free 
will offerings are pure and sincere ; — not mere idle 

■s\ •.: 

:.,.■; L 


APPE^rDlX. 0( 

words, such as yoa and I often meet with. It is 
painfal that we fiad ?o little friendship while on 
oar pilgrimage. Yet, notwithstanding the absence 
of what is so desirable, I have great reason to be 
thankful that there are some real and valuable friends 
who remain to my great comfort." In one of the 
last letters he ever wrote, acknowledging the receipt 
of a package containing documents of interest, he 
says, — "ily dear friend, my heart is too full to ex- 
press the gratitude which I owe to yon and yours. 
I am truly feeble and helpless. I am truly thank- 
ful to hear of any improvement in the health of 

Mrs. C , and hope she may soon be restored. I 

pray you to remember me most affectionately to 

Mrs. A , to all the children at home or abroad, 

to Mr. J , Mr. H , Mr R , and to our 

mutual friend ilr. C . I wish I could add a 

few more lines, but you must accept the will for 
the deed." 

These brief extracta from short letters, mostly 
relating to matters of business, develope one of the 
delightful features of his character, a sanctified 
friendship, — a feature, the development of which in 
his social intercourse and his corre5pond^'n''e at- 
tached to himself with peculiar strengtii tliose whom 
he loved. He could respond the lines : 


I 58 APPENDIX. !' 

I j " Friendship is power and riclies aLl to me ; 

Friendship's another element of life ; 

Water and tire not of more general use, 

To the support and comfort of the world, 

Than friendship to the being of my jov: 

I would do every thing to serre a Friend. 


— .» 

'D E A . OTIS 

%s a |3ciirfacton 


As a christian of large-hearted benevolence, the 
life of Mr. Otis furnishes a model well worthy the 
consideration of the disciples of Christ. Were 
Christians in general, and those especially whom 
God has blessed with wealth, actuated by a spirit 
as catholic and as generous, the church would never 
more lack means to carry forward her enterprises 
of benevolence on a scale as ample as the spiritual 
wants of the world would require. The treasury 
of the Lord would overflow. 

Daring the forty-five years in which he was an 
active member of the church, he was solicited fre- 
quently to lend his personal labors and his pecun- 
iary means to the promotion of various objects of 
christian benevolence and charity. His connection 
with the church was prior to t!ie organization of 
thoiC Institutions of christian benevolence, which 
from feeble beginings have acquired a strength of 
position and facilities for tueiulnesi, that give them 

ili> H 


Iv '•-•'^ '«i«t 

i.^--^;;* .;-..>;-• ;.'/i, ; .:.-' t.^ :■• '-"l 



a strong hold upon the confidence, svmpiithips, and 
patronage of the chrisiian community. He parti- 
cipated in the deLiterations connected with the or- 
ganization of such of these Institutions as had their 
centres of operation in New York city. And from 
the beginning he was a cheerful and generous con- 
tributor to their support. He attended the primary 
meetings composed of the few friends of christian 
benevolence, whose counsels, prayers, efforts, and 
contributions gave rise to some of the noble enter- 
prises which are the glory and the hope of our 
country and of the age. 

"With the few original movers of the Sabbath 
School enterprise in New York city, ilr. Otis was 
associated. About the year 1807 or 8, a meeting 
of sev(,n gentlemen was incited to the house ef Mr. 
Richard Varick for mutual consultation on this sub- 
ject, then entirely new to our churches. This meet- 
ing was composed of Divie Bethune, William Col- 
gate, Ebenezer Cauldwell, George P. Shipman, Jo- 
seph Otis, and one other gentleman who, with Mr. 
Varick, constituted the first meeting in that city, if 
not the first in this country, the object of which 
was to devise and adopt measures for gi".in2: Sunday 
SchfX)l Instruf^tion. Aftt-r a second meeting of the 
same parties at the same place, it was decided to 
call a public meeting in ilie Lecture Room of Wall 


.^i -^.H-ii "ij 




Street Church. This meeting, of ^vhich public no- 
^ tice was given, was fully attended, and resulted in 
the adoption of measures for the establishment of 
Sundav Schools in the churches of various denomi- 
nations in the city. The influence of this movement 
soon extended into the country, and the results are 
witnessed in the establishment of those Institutions 
whose hopeful field of agency embraces the millions 
of children and youth in our countrv-. That little 
- meeting of seven has become a thousand, and thou- 
sands of thousands are experiencing its benignant 
influences. From that day of small things, Mr. 
Otis felt an unabated interest in Sunday School 

His co-operation was most hearty and efl^ective in 
the establishment of the Seamen's Friend Society, 
and other Institutions created for the social eleva- ' 
tion and religious improvement of this long neg- 
lected ckss of oar fellow citizens. All thole So- 
cieties, whose object is the propagation of the Gospd 
throughout the world, found in him a cheerful 
and constant supporter. With peculiar interest he 
watched their growth, and it was a cheerinr^ reflec- 
tion in his old age, that it had been his pnvilLge 
m the vi_-or of his christian manhood to panioipate 
in the primar)- labors and sacrifices whence these 
noble charities originated. 



1,. ..:■.:,. 
;,■ ..' ■■'A. id 

^, ..,, ,-.. '■."; ftl}t.» 

^.». , A^'-l-ltOfll W»W'C'. 

, hiU- ■'^'^ 

-^pfH'^t ,.■,-«''•<' 



Awake to the importance of an edurated ministry, 
and to the neceisity of furnishing facilities that 
would tend to encourage and aid joun'j: men of 
piety in their preparation for the work of preaching 
the Gospel, he readily engaged with kindred spirits 
in the great work of establishing the Union The- 
ological Seminary. According to his ability he 
contributed to its pecuaiary wants, and in his last 
will testified his love fdr it by a generous legacy. 

Mr. Otis' views of the Christian's obligations, in 
relation to the cause of benevolence, w^re well di- 
gested, practical, and comprehensive. He sur^-eyed 
the whole field, and gave to his charities a wide 
range of distribution. Every appeal, that commend- 
ed itself to his judgement as worthy of patronage, 
met a cordial response, whether it issued from the 
home or the foreign tield. His heart was warm and 
capacious, and having early formed the habit of 
systematic charity, he brought forth rich fruit in 
old age. And in the generous bequests he has made 
to the leading In-titutions of Christian benevolence, 
he, though dead, yet speaketh. 

The foUomng is a statement of the- legacies he 
bequeathed for the purpose of chriiiian 'benevolence 
and educational institutions : 

To Otis Librdry, 57.000 

To Yale College, 4.000 


■di 2* 

i6; ;,-K •■-, 


To Union Theological Seminarv, X. Y., 5.000 

To American Board of Foreign ilissions, 3.250 

To American Home Missionary Society, . . . .3.250 

To American Tract Society, 3 250 

To American Bible Society, 2.000 

To American Seamen's Friend Society, 2.500 

To Beloit College, Wisconsin, 2.000 

To Female Assistant Society, N. Y., 1 .250 

To Female Seminary, Cleveland, <Jhio, 1.000 

To Second Cong. Church, in Norwich, 2.000 

In addition to these legacies he subscribed during 
the last year of his life somewhat over the sum of 
thirty-five hundred dollars to the fund, which has 
been raised for the establishment of the Norwich 
Free Academy, now in the process of construction. 
This was among the last deeds of his capacious 
generosity, and was an additional proof of his pro- 
found interest in whatever promised higher educa- 
tional facilities for the youth in his native town. 

.,;-,y, •, c'T 



AS A. 

^Iciuljcr of tlje (Lljurcl). 

t ^ t • 

If a steadfast and cordial interest in the sanctuary 
and its ministrations is an evidence of pietv, no one 
who knew Mr. Otis will question the reality and 
sincerity of his religion. He was indeed a pillar 
in the church, a tinn and reliable supporter of the 
ecclesiastical society with which he was connected. 
Spontaneously as well as liberally was his pecuniary 
support proffered in maictaining the iustitutions of 
the Gospel. 

When the question of erecting a new Church was 
agitated by the Second Ecclesiastical Society in Nor- 
wich, he entered most heartily into the contemplated 
measure, and to his influence tlie church and sof'iety 
are greatly indebted for the ample and commodious 
afcommodations which they enjoy for mainr;'.:::;;:^' 
tlic public wor_.hip of God. In addition to a Ki.cral 
subscription to the fund raised for building the 
church, he generoasly proposed to present to the 


' -^^-Hl^ 

.•:,^Z X^Mu .V-'V/^: ■■■'■'-' 


society, as soon a5 the church edifice should be com- 
" pleted, a new and beautiful organ of the largest 
class, the cost of which was nearly three thousand 

He was one who appreciated not only the temporal 
wants of the pastor, who yery often received sub- 
stantial and most grateful testimonials of his kind 
remembrance, but his professional necessities. When 
, he made provision for a public library, he also pro- 
vided to have a pastors study on the second floor 
of the same building, to be held in trust for the use 
of the pastor of the church of- which he died a 
member. Some five years since he appropriated the 
sura of one thou^=and dollars for the establishment 
of a pastoral library, as a permanent fixture of the 

He had been in the habit of inquiring into the 
condition of the poor of the church, to whose wants 
he was a free and generous contributor. As a testi- 
monial of his interest in their welfare he bequeathed 
to the officers of the church, in trust, the sum of two 
thousand dollars, the income of which is to be dis- 
tributed to mjet their necessities. Those christians 
who were d';sritutc or sick were sure to find in him 
a friendly helper. He was truly a Pather in Israel 
who loved to do good. 


ri": -^.-SiG^k. .;.''<{ «. Wi ,\i--J!.!? 

*>,-,■ Vf^cr 


IG )J.iu..!iJ( 

66 ArPEXDix. 

No man ever sjuipatliized more sincerely, than he 
did in the embarressments of tho>e ministers who 
■were straitened in their means of support, — or who 
had been subjected to heavy expenses by sickness 
in their families. He occa.sionally inquired of his 
pastor respecting the temporal circumstances of cer- 
tain ministers with whom he had some acquaintance, 
with a view to extend to them unsolicited aid. — 
Many a time has he fons'arded his check to order 
for twenty-five, fifty, or a hundred dollars, to some 
clergyman at a distance, whose necessities came to 
his knowledge. On one occasion when his o^m 
pastor in a time of afliiction was subjected to heavy 
expenses by the sickness of a child in a distant 
southern city, he proSered his aid with a father's 
kindness, authorizing him to draw on him for any 
balance of expenses which his ov,ii limited income 
would not enable him to meet. At another time 
when the health of his pastor seemed to require 
relaxation and rest, he j'roposed to meet his expenses 
if he would take a voyage to Europe. And when 
his last Will was opened, it was found that smaii 
suras, of from two hun.Jrcd to two hundred and ;::':y 
dollars, were direi.tcd to be p^tid to several of hi.s 
clerical acquaintani-e. 

By his works he demonstrated his love for die 
niinistry, — his love to the sanctuary-, his love to the 



church in which he stood as a pillar, and an orna- 
ment from earlv manhood till he had passed beyond 
his fourscore years. Daring the months of his last 
illness he often lamented the deprivation of the 
privileges of the house of God as one of his sorest 
trials. Relinquishing the hope that he should there 
occupy his seat again, at his request on the first 
Sabbath in March, the sacramental ordinance was 
administered privately in his chamber with a few 
friends. Before another sabbath he finished his 


^slinuitcti ill iljc (LomnuiuitD. 


The following tributes of respect have been spoa- 
taneously awarded by his fellow citizens, and placed 
upon official records. 

"In Court of Common Council, 
City of Norwich, April \Mh, 1854. 

This Board having been notified of the decease 
of the late Joseph Otis, Esq., of this city, the fol- 
lowing resolutions were unanimously adopted. 

Resolved, — That this Board have heard vith pro- 
found sorrow of the decease of their late fellow citi- 
zen, Joseph Otis, Esq^ — the munificent founder of 
the public Institution in this city, known as the 
"Otis Library." 

Resolved, — That the said deceased, from his many 
public and private virtues, and his large hberalicy 
for the public goud, deserves to be held in laiiiii^ 
and grateful remembrance by the people of thLs 




;t'.'-- ■!'• 


69 i 

Resoh-e.1, -That as a mark of respect for the said 
deceased, this Board will attend his fuaeral. 

i?ei.j/Kc/,— That the Clerk cause to be delivered 
to the famllr of tlie deceased, and to the Trustees 
of the Otis Lil.rarj-, copies of the^e resolutions. 

Resolved,— That the above proceedinjrs be put>- 
lished in the several newspapers of the city." 
A true copy of Record. 
- Attest, LEVI II. GODDARD, Ci-f.kk. 

At a meeting of the Trustees of the Otis Library, 
held in the Library room, April 21st, lS.-)4. the 
following resolutions were unanimou^y adopted. 

" Whereas, it has pleased Almighty God in his 
wise providence to remove by death Joskpii Otis, 
the venerable Founder of this Institution, and as 
some expression of the views, entertained by said 
Tru.stces in respect to this event, may with special 
propriety be given, therefore 

/if€so/-vJ,— Tliat in their corporate capacity, they 
devoutly recognise tlie hand of God in raiding up 
for this community so sincere and liberal a bene- 
factor, and that they record their .heerful tc.tin.ony 
to the enlightened benevolence, the unwavering in- 
tegrity, the courteous deportment, and exemplary 
virtues, whi'h marked his character. 



.U ::■ Jiaj? 

• jtV.' i .»«<( 



i?eWrf(/,— That in the cstabli.-hment of a Pulilic 
Library, with ample provision for its growth and 
permanency, they eonsiJer him as having rendered 
an important benetit to the educational interests ot 
this community, as it respects the present and fature 

Resolcid,— That they sympathize in tlie sentiments 
of bereavement, so nniversally manifested oa occ;\s- 
ion of the decease of a fellow citizen, deservedly 
entitled to public e-teem and grateful remembrance. 
^Vs the friends of the late Joseph Otis have re- 
quested that the Discourse preaclied on occasion 
of his death be publidied, with such an appendix 
as may embody some of the more important facts 
in hi3 history, 

Resol red, —Thoit tliis Board unite in said request, 
and that they will co-operate with others in the 
measure for rendering such a tribute of respect to 
his memory. 

Etsolced.— That the foregoing expression of views 
and feelings being entertained by this Board, the 
same bo entered on their records." 

C<n-v rnoM tiii: BecoPvU'^, 

GEOUGE PEllKINS, .bVr',/. 



it 'iO -Hi:,! .'t'.-ijxt 

T: fl.ill ..tK 

y;i>-v.;i>0-; ;i7yr' t :': -> " Hn' 


Bhl (Otis from m\\\t. 

H H. 

j Mr. Otis was a Christian who failed not to carry 

ji his principles and his relij^ion with him, whenever 

I he jonmeyed, and wherever he sojourned. As an 
\[ - illustra'ion, the followinfr incident may be related. 

;i In a letter received from one of his friends since 

I his disease, the writer says, — "I met with an Irish 

]'■ Roman Catholic gentlemen in Italv, with whom I 


jj conversed freely on the two religions, Romish and 

I' Protestant. He confessed that he had been much 

won towards the latter by his acquaintance with a 

ji Protestant gentlemen at the Virginia Springs. That 

:l gentleman and his wife, he said, were accustomed to 

: have family prayers in their room morning and 

ji evening, inviting a few of their neighbors, and him 

1 1 among the rest, his room being near them. Uj-ou 

{; inquiring, I found that Mr. and Mr'^. Otis were the 

i persons referred to. The catholic gentlemen e.x- 

l; pressed very great est-.i'ni for them both, and an 

jj nnhp-itating faith in fhe g<.iiuinene-is of their n- 

|| the ohiirns of the Koinish what they might. 

ii lie often referred to them, and wished that he might 


■;.^n 'jfji 

^,i^i ■■ !■ 



,2 APPEyDlX. 

have similar views and feelinjrs to theirs. He bor- 
rowed a New Testament of a fellow traveler, which 
I often found him reading. He did not renounce 
(nor ever has to my knowledge) his Catholic faith, 
or his Catholic connection at least ; but he expressed 
his misgivings about it, and could not conceal his 
disgust at suck mummeries and morals as he found 
with it in Rome itself. I will go home, said he, and 
tell my Bishop that if he wishes to keep us catholics 
he must not suffer as to come here." In this inci- 
dent we have an illustration of the power of con- 
sistent christian example, when exJiibited amidst 
the excitements and gaieties of a watering place. — 
TNTierever he went, he manifested the meekness, the 
benevolence, the courtesy, and the consistency of a 
christian, and thus diffused around him the health- 
ful savor of godliness. 

His house was the hospitable home of the minis- 
ters of the Gospel, with whom he had a very exten- 
sive acquaintance. Their testimony from personal 
acquaintance is uniform in respect to the amiahle- 
ness, the piety, and kindness, which characterized 
his conduct while they shared in his hospitalities, 
and in the privileges of social intercoLir«<.' with him. 
To sh.jw the estimate in which he was held, the 
following letter from the Rev. Thomas H. Skinner, 
T>. D., of New York, is with permission intro<]uced. 
It is dated April 24th, 1834. 

-.0 .. I! 

:4 '' 



" My acqiiaintance witii the late Mr. Ji:^>rpli Oti>, 
bej^n soon after I came to this city to take the pas- 
toral charge ut' the ^tvreer Street Chureh, ami I 
continued to enjo}' his society and friend-hip until 
he removed to XorAvich. For one or two summers 
we were companions in travel, and residents together 
in the same quiet and beautiful retreat in the moun- 
tains of Virginia. Our intercourse with each otliei 
was intimate and confidential, and it has left on me 
a ven.- distinct and very agreeable impression of Ids 
indiriduality as a man and a christian. We often 
talked of matters relating to ourselves, but my mem- 
ory as to detaib in his history, does not enable me 
to give any recital of them, or to verify by reference 
to them, the estimate which I formed of him, from 
frequent conversations with him ; and especially from 
our very pleasant sojourn together during the months 
of one or two summers. 

This most worthy and amiable man outlived his 
generation. There arc few among the living of 
those, who knew him be^t in the days of his strength 
and activity. lie \\a3 fur several year:- a member 
of the same church witii t!ie holy and amiable Elder 
Jlarkoe. between \v!ii,i;u and himself there ■was a 
special friend-hip, ar.d, in some of the prominent 
traits of their religious character a degree of resem- 
Marice. Thev v, ere both men of a kind and irentle 


•!' riii;;: « :Vf 

'f 'r;i;::) 

^ =^-^_ - ^ 

74 .VrPENDIX. !l 

; ^ \\ 

spirit, of courto?y of ruaIlu•.*r^, of siii_'ular ?incerir_v 
aad paritv. The piety of both was at the same time 
deeply jpiritual and serious, and yet reiaarkal>iy 
free from evet^' fofm of moroseness and aii--terity. 
They hotli aJorntd reli_aon by a strict and lovely 
I walk before the church and the world. It was al- 
ii ways refreshing to look on the face of Mr. Otis : It 
; had a beni;rn, friendlv, alTectionate aspect, even , 
when his heart was sorrowtul, and vrhen his sorrow j, 
expressed itself in tears. And his natural and i' 
,\ gracious amiability was not a weakness, nor was 1 

weakness its a.~sociate. lie was a man of a pene- ■; 

trating and sound judgement; of sharp di-^criminc- |i 

'i tion between true and false, good and evil, whether '.\ 
in things or persons ; a trier of spirits tliough to ! 

;, men of sacred place and office. His charity cov- ;! 

I: ered a multitude of sins, but it did not cover hypiic- 
racy or false professions. He was unscctarian, — a 
catholic indeed ; — yet he discerned between essentials 
and unessentials, and had no fellow-hip with the 
preachers of "another Go-pel." ' 

Witli ilie passive virtues, — patience, resignation^ 
meekness, gentleness, — he combined an a_'L'rc-sive v 
and encr'_'etic zeal, and took an active part in the 
management and laliors uf c!iri-t;an benevolence. '" 
:' At the Salt-sulphur Springs in Virginia he was tlie ;, 


fri;s V» ^'li;-; ■:'':•■■.. «. : .>'"» .1 

fv.I'-'; . ■; l--:r.ii/ 




means of erecting a eliapel, in which ic was niy 
privile.^e to preach the opening sermon. His libe- 
rality was witliout pretention, but it was generou^, 
judicious, considerate, and eti'ective. He was a 
sincere friend, a lover of good men, a lover of hos- 
pitality, a christian gentlemen. It is a comfort to 
me to recall the image of this lamented man. I 
anticipate much pleasure in reading the discourse 
concerning him, which is to l->e given to tlie public." 

•;■'.. C'l 9. a 

>i -I iy'X: