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Full text of "Hon. Jonathan Jackson, His Wife, and Many Members of His Family"

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Hon. Jonathan Jackson, his Wife, and many Members of 

his Family. 



NOTES AND REMINISCENCES, 



PRINTED FOR HIS DESCENDANTS. 



Not Published, nor designed for Publication in any manner. 



WRITTEN BY HIS SON, 



JAMES JACKSON, M. D. 177;/ 



JANUARY, 1866. 



BOSTON: 

ALFRED MUDGE & SON, PRINTERS, 34 SCHOOL STREET. 

1866. 



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HARVARD 

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GENERAL REMARKS. 



It is my design in the following pages to give 
some reminiscences of my late father, the Hon. 
Jonathan Jackson. These pages are not designed 
for publication. They are printed with a hope that 
they will afford some gratification to the descendants 
and friends of my father. 

As I shall have occasion to state in what fol- 
lows, my father passed what might be considered 
as the most important years of his life in the 
beautiful town, now the city, of Newburyport, 
although he was born and died in Boston. It is 
nearly sixty years since his decease. What follows 
might as well have been prepared at any time 
since that event, as now. If it had been done 
previously to the departure of my elder brother 
Charles, or my younger brother Patrick, the fol- 
lowing memoir would no doubt have been in every 
way more perfect and, to me, more satisfactory. A 
few words will explain why my mind has been 
especially engaged of late, on a subject always 
interesting to me. 



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Some years since a library was established in 
Newburyport for the benefit of its inhabitants. It 
has, as I understand, been a growing institution, 
and a very valuable collection of books has already 
been made there. Within a year past, an old and ample 
and valuable house has been purchased for this 
library, and in this the people of Newburyport 
have desired to place testimonials in honor of their 
predecessors. 

One of the oldest of the sons of this city now 
living, and who took an important part in estab- 
lishing the library, though no longer residing among 
those sons, continues to the present day to feel a warm 
interest in the affairs of his native town, and to 
prompt all who are in any way connected with 
Newburyport to supply materials, however humble, 
for the purpose described. The photographs, and 
other pictures of the better known inhabitants of 
that city, such as could conveniently be procured, 
and likewise copies of the published works of those 
connected with the same city, have already been 
furnished to an amount of some value. Prompted 
by my friend, Colonel Swett, the public-spirited 
gentleman above referred to, I began a few months 
since to furnish for the library some photographs, 
and on the back of each of them some brief 
memoranda in respect to them. 



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At a later period I procured photographs of my 
father and of my mother. When I had done this 
I designed to "send copies to the library similar to 
those which I had supplied in other cases. 

I then began to prepare similar notes for the 
photographs of my parents, but here I found it 
impossible to place them within the limits afforded 
on the back of my father's photograph.* 

My own descendants are not few at this moment, 
and I feel that I have not much time now remain- 
ing to leave some account of one whom I venerated 



* The portrait I have mentioned is a photograph taken by J. A. Whipple 
of Boston, in this month, — November, 1865, — from a painting by the distin- 
guished Copley, in London, in the year 1784. To the very great accu- 
racy of this likeness, I, who am now the only surviving child of Jonathan 
Jackson, can bear testimony. It was in May, 1785, that this picture was 
brought home from London, and I well remember that I very often sat so 
as to see and examine my father's face and figure, the expression of his 
countenance, and the dress which he continued to wear for some years after 
the portrait was finished. This was a coat of a deep blue color, with gilt 
buttons, the waistcoat being to my boyish eyes very handsome, with broad 
stripes. His whole dress was such as became the fashion of the times, a 
point as to which he was never negligent. He regarded Boston as his 
home, and lived there until he left college, but spoke to me often of long 
visits, during his boyhood and afterwards, to the residence of his uncle 
Josiah Quincy, Esq., at Braintree. He looked to this uncle' as his best friend 
and counsellor, and from him he always sought and obtained sound advice. 
To the hospitable house of this uncle, that building now standing in the 
town of Quincy, and still most honorably known in every respect, my father 
always looked back with the strongest associations of love and gratitude. 



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most highly, and whose memory all of his descend- 
ants of sufficient age have been constantly learning 
to love and cherish. 

Let me now proceed more formally to the details 
of my father's life, which were in fact already 
prepared before these prefatory remarks were written. 



JONATHAN JACKSON 

was born in Boston in June, 1743. His father 
was named Edward, and was a merchant. His 
tiiother was Dorothy Quincy, of Braintree, in the 
part of the town now called Quincy. Jonathan 
derived his name from his grandfather, who was 
from the Jacksons of Newton, Middlesex County. 

Edward Jackson left only one son and one 
daughter ; they survived their parents by many 
years. Their son entered the College at Cambridge 
when about fifteen years of age, and passed through 
his four years, as I believe, without reproach, though 
without special honors. He certainly did not make 
any pretensions to great learning, but was fond 
of reading. He had a valuable library, and I 
have reason to believe that he was much inter- 
ested in history and in works of taste. 

He was graduated in- 1761. 



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When he left college, he engaged in preparing 
himself for a mercantile life, and for this purpose 
took up his residence in Newburyport, where he 
entered the store of Patrick Tracy, Esq., of whom 
I shall soon have something more to say. Mr. 
Jackson was probably influenced in his choice of 
this pleasant town, by a very close friendship 
which began in college, and bore a character which 
seems to have been almost romantic. It was cer- 
tainly very strong, and continued to be so, as long 
as they lived. The friend to whom I have referred 
was Mr. John Lowell, son of the Rev. John Lowell, 
a congregational clergyman in Newburyport. 

I once saw a few letters which had passed 
between them, written under fancy names, when 
they were very young, full of tender, warm and 
romantic feelings. They were not tame certainly 
in their style of conversation. They discussed all 
points in strong and decided language. " The 
differences among men are not very great," — Lowell 
would say, — "men are influenced and moulded by 
external, or accidental circumstances." 

" No," Jackson would maintain, " the peculiarity 
in each case is the result of an original bent or 
native tendency." 

They often differed thus in opinion without any 
breach in love and good wilL Mr* Lowell was 



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the stronger in intellectual powers, in the powers 
of imagination and in gifts of expression, which 
were shown in his eloquence at the bar, and in the 
social circle. He has scarcely left a descendant 
in either sex, not distinguished, as he was, for this 
talent. 

Mr. Jackson cultivated good taste and good sense, 
and held to his convictions in spite of the logic 
of his more learned friend. 

The two were not of the same class in college ; 
Mr. Lowell preceded Mr. Jackson by one year. 

These two young men lived together, independ- 
ently, as bachelors. Mr. Lowell engaged in the 
practice of law, while his friend engaged in com- 
merce and mercantile business. In the arrangement 
which they made, they both believed that they 
should continue bachelors permanently. I will not 
say that this was a boyish decision, but it was an 
unwise one. It may be added here, that they were 
both married early in life ; and that, ultimately, Mr. 
Jackson was married twice and Mr. Lowell three 
times. Both, I believe, were made happy by each 
alliance. 

Mr. J.'s first matrimonial connection was with 
Miss Barnard, daughter of the Kev. Mr. Barnard, 
of Salem. Her life was very short, and probably 
terminated by pulmonary consumption. After a 



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9 

period, not very long, he contracted a second marriage. 
This was with Miss Hannah Tracy, the only daughter 
of Capt. Patrick Tracy, already mentioned, under 
whose guidance Mr. J. had pursued his mercantile 
education. Their marriage took place in the spring 
of 1772. She had then very lately arrived at the 
age of eighteen, and he had nearly reached that of 
twenty-nine years. It may be added here that Miss 
Gookin of Hampton, New Hampshire, was Capt. 
Tracy's second wife, and became the mother of all 
his children. 

About the time of Mr. Jackson's second marriage 
he built a house in Newburyport, where he then 
hoped to spend his life. His friend, Mr. Lowell, 
erected next to it a house very similar to Mr. 
Jackson's. These were both wooden houses, large 
in size, and handsome for their day. These friends 
both supposed at that time that they should pass 
their lives in close proximity. 

They had now arrived at the epoch when the 
American Revolution had in reality begun, though 
not yet in its formal shape. It was not far from 
the close of this Revolution that Mr. Lowell changed 
his residence to Boston. This was evidently a wise 
step on his part. He had arrived at a very high 
standing in his profession, and was a leading practi- 
tioner at the bar in Massachusetts. The change 



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was, no doubt, a painful one to the two friends. 
At that time the distance between Boston and New- 
buryport appeared very much greater than it now 
does. Then the journey from one town to the 
other usually occupied a whole day, whereas now it 
is ordinarily accomplished in two hours. The friends 
had passed through the great Revolution together, 
and had, I believe, agreed as to the principles 
which led to it. Of the two, Mr. Jackson was the 
more ardent and sanguine Later in life he was ac- 
customed to say that, if it was so, it only showed 
that his "brother" was the more learned and wise, 
not more slack in promoting the great and glorious 
cause.* 

Mr. Jackson was much engaged in mercantile 
business during the Revolution, but I believe that 
his thoughts were more occupied in the political 
concerns of the country than in matters of trade. 
Meanwhile his fortunes were various ; when the 
war came to an end he had gathered around him 
nine children, the oldest born in March, 1773, the 
youngest in October, 1783. He had begun life with 
property derived from his father, not less than 

• The family, who are descended from Mr. Lowell, have shown to their 
neighbors, in different parts of Massachusetts, talents so distinguished and 
virtues of so high a character that one is authorized to hope that their 
merits of every kind must always be known in New England. 



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20,000 guineas. This property was very much di- 
minished in consequence of the war. Hitherto his 
prosperity had been comparatively very great. Now 
he felt that he was called upon for labor and indus- 
try and frugality. At this time he formed a part- 
nership with Stephen Higginson, Esq., one of his 
most respected contemporaries. Jackson & Higgin- 
son engaged in commission business in Boston. To 
establish this new business Mr. J. left home in De- 
cember, 1783, and visited Great Britain and Ireland, 
and afterwards France. In those countries he so- 
licited consignments. At that time our whole coun- 
try realized the want of foreign goods, but the 
supplies from the old countries were at very high 
. prices, and in our exhausted state we were unable 
to pay for them. On his return home Mr. Jackson 
must have found the same embarrassments which 
existed in every part of the United States. 

In May, 1785, Mr. J. removed his young family 
to Boston, that he might devote himself to his com- 
mercial occupations. In his new position his mind 
was filled with anxieties such as he held in common 
with all true patriots. Everywhere there was poverty 
and derangement of business, and the deepest anxi- 
ety, everywhere, regarding the establishment of law 
and order. We were ready to make laws, but the 
fear was whether those laws would be maintained and 



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enforced. In 1786, when the insurrection occurred 
in Massachusetts-, Mr. J. felt that it was his duty to 
take an active part for the maintenance of good 
government. He was one of the military corps who 
armed themselves as volunteers and went out to 
support public order. Shortly afterwards, when the 
gallant General Lincoln led a military force against 
the rebels, Mr. J. induced the General to receive 
him, as a volunteer, into his military family, there 
to render any service, for which he should be called 
upon, without looking for remuneration. The course 
adopted by General Lincoln very shortly met with 
success. At this period the General did his friend 
the honor to request him to take the despatches to 
Governor Bowdoin at Boston. 

It was only in these temporary exposures that 
Mr. Jackson took any share in military transactions. 
In civil councils he was called out by his fellow- 
citizens or appointed by the Executive officers of 
the Government, and under these circumstances it 
does not appear that he ever failed to perform the 
duties which devolved upon him. Many years ago 
a story reached me from the Rev. Mr. Murray, a 
highly respected Presbyterian clergyman of Newbury- 
port, to the effect that Mr. J. was engaged as a 
member of the Provincial Convention assembled at 
Watertown, where the members were occupied in 



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warm debate. Their various suggestions having 
been offered as to the steps to be taken for the 
resistance to the British troops, it was said that 
Mr. J. then arose and proposed that they should 
at once dissolve their meeting, that each one should 
return to his own home and should carry to the 
army as many men as could be collected for the 
public defence. As there were no reports of public 
debates in those days, I have never been able to 
find evidence in support of this statement, nor has 
it ever appeared that Mr. J. made any attempt to 
lead his fellows in arms, but the writer feels as- 
sured that his father was never deficient in courage, 
and that it accorded with his character to engage 
in action rather than lose time in discussion. I 
presume, however, that nothing followed his pro- 
posal or led to any active steps. 

In civil life, Mr. J., as has before been intimated, 
was not unfrequently occupied. How often this 
occurred I am unable to say. I will state only 
such services as I casually heard of and have kept 
in mind. During the hostilities between Great Brit- 
ain and her Colonies the cities and towns became 
engaged, each for itself, in looking after its welfare 
and taking such temporary steps as from time to 
time were called for. In New England * certain 
bodies of men were established as committees of pub- 



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lie safety. In this mode, though without any formal 
methods for organization, important questions were 
discussed, and measures adopted by which the public 
welfare was promoted and the public spirit advan- 
tageously maintained. In such committees it is very 
certain that Mr. J. frequently took a part in New- 
buryport. The Provincial Congress of Massachusetts 
was a body very analogous to these committees, 
although probably with more formality. In this, as 
well as in one or the other of the Houses of our 
General Court during the contest, or after that con- 
test had ceased, he was at times engaged as a 
member ; and near the close of the war, in the years 
1781, and 1782, he was a member from his own State 
in the Congress of the United States. In the public 
engagements thus referred to, and as a private cit- 
izen, he always took part with those ♦ among the 
actors on the side of his country, who adopted the 
most liberal views, and among those also who were 
always ready to maintain good order. I will not 
omit to add that he always maintained the rights 
of those, whose political views differed from his own. 
He spoke with detestation of, personal ill-usage of 
his fellow-citizens who were deprived of their civil 
rights, or subjected to the seizure of their property, 
whether from injuries inflicted by the violence of a 



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mob, or by formal steps such as were considered 
as legal or rightful. 

Perhaps, in the foregoing notes, which were de- 
signed to be very brief, too much has been stated 
in detail. The writer, now near the end of a long 
life, was born during the great Revolution, so often 
referred to, and began to hear of that Revolution 
and of the measures to be adopted for the main- 
tenance of government in the United States, before 
he could well understand the language in daily use 
on such subjects. What he has written depends 
upon the recollection of what he heard in his boy- 
hood from time to time, from men he thought 
honest and well informed as to the current events 
of the period. Enough has been said in support 
of Mr. JVs claims to patriotism and the love of 
good goverftment. These notes are designed to 
accompany the portrait of the citizen, whose good 
name has never, I believe, been lost in the town 
where he spent the larger part of his active life, 
and where his children always felt proud to have 
been born. On his side, they have found his 
ancestors to have maintained the characters of 
honest men ; and, let it not be omitted, that on 
their mother's side, they can trace their descent to 
an honest son of Ireland, who came from that 
country to the town of Newburyport. Entering its 



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beautiful river as a young sailor, he there took 
up his abode for life. He sailed from there as 
a common seaman, and afterwards as a shipmaster. 
Lastly, he engaged in trade. In this occupation 
he was very successful, and maintained the charac- 
ter of an honorable merchant as long as his life 
continued. 

In putting these notes on paper, the writer will 
take the liberty, in the name of his father's family, 
to express the great attachment they have main- 
tained to their native town, and also to thank 
God for all the prosperity that has attended it, 
and for the high character it has always sup- 
ported. 

It should not be omitted, that within the last 
period of his life, during more than 20 years, Mr. 
J. performed various public services, "not without 
much labor and great industry, from which he 
derived a support for his family. His labors, 
thus referred to, almost all consisted in in-door 
work for clerical purposes. 

For many long days and many long evenings, 
with subordinate clerks about him, he was happy to 
obtain a support in his old age, and it was highly 
gratifying to him to find that the fidelity and correct- 
ness of his official services did not escape the satis- 
factory notice of the high officers in the Treasury 



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Department of the United States, under Washington, 
Adams, and Jefferson. A reference to the leading 
offices above referred to may now be added. The 
first of these was that of United States Marshal in 
the District of Massachusetts, then including Maine. 
The duties of this office were in general similar to 
those appertaining to that of the Sheriff's in our 
Commonwealth. Besides these there were two other 
services performed by him, which it will not be 
regarded as improper to put on record. 

1 A few months after my father's appointment as 
Marshal, General Washington made a tour through 
the Eastern State's. He began this tour from the 
city of New York, soon after the termination of 
the first session in Congress held under the new 
Constitution of the United States. This tour, which 
under a monarchical government might, perhaps, be 
called " a progress," was extended to the principal 
towns of New England. It was not, however, at- 
tended with such pomp and ceremony as I presume 
would have attended that of a royal personage. In 
the first part of this journey he was unattended by 
any official person. His private secretary attended 
him as such. As President Washington approached 
this Commonwealth, it appeared to the Marshal, or 
was suggested to him by some friend, that he should 



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go out to meet the President and escort him while 
in this District as his constant attendant. 

Washington accepted the proffered services very 
courteously, and assigned to Mr. J, a temporary place 
in his family. This honorable place he resigned on 
arriving at the borders of New Hampshire.* 

There was another duty assigned to his office as 
Marshal by the Government of the United States, 
and one of much more importance, viz : that of 
taking the Census of the District of Massachusetts. 
This was the first census taken under the new 
Constitution of these States. The duty is required 



* In preparing -this article for the new Library, in Newburyport, I cannot 
omit to state, that in Newburyport as in other places, the town officers 
proyided for the President a place for rest, &c. The house selected for this 
purpose was the very one in which the Public library has recently been 
placed. On the occasion above referred to, it happened that Mr. J.'s family 
occupied, under a temporary arrangement, one-half of this building. In the 
other half, much of Mr. N. Tracy's furniture remained standing, and this was 
selected for the reception of the President. The introduction here took place 
in the evening, and Mr. Jackson then requested the honor of the President's 
company at tea. It had been well settled that the President would not make 
any private visits during this tour; and when Mr. Jackson offered to conduct 
him across the passage, Washington expressed some surprise, and seemed to 
feel as if he had been led into a private house by some undue influence. 
But the case was easily explained, and he crossed the passage with the same 
regard to etiquette which he always showed in small as well as in great 
things. The family well understood that this was not intended as an honor 
to them, but it was indeed a very high gratification to us children at least 
that they passed the night under the same roof with the •• Father of his Country." 



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by that Constitution, and is a very important one ; 
it is, as is well known, performed every tenth year. 
The first census was ordered in the year 1790, and 
called for great accuracy and fidelity, 

Among the columns, under which were arranged 
the various descriptions of persons in respect to sex, 
. age, or whatever else was thought proper, the last 
column was designed for the enumeration of slaves, 
as in the corresponding columns for each of the 
other of the thirteen States in our Union, and in 
the census of each of the other districts some slaves 
were reported. In Mr. Jackson's report of the Cen- 
sus of Massachusetts in 1790, he laid down* the 
sheet on which it was written out, and I can never 
forget • that on more than one occasion I saw him 
open the long roll, and on some occasions exhibit it 
to persons present, when he pointed out at the foot 
of the last column, the written word, " none." The 
four letters making up this word were, each of them, 
written in a round character, much more marked 
than in his common writing. 

Before the Revolution, black slaves had been more 
or less frequent throughout the State, but as is well 
known, the maintenance of slavery had ceased about 
ten years previously. I may say that in Massachu- 
setts the abolition had grown out of the high princi- 
ples which belonged to our Commonwealth, without 



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giving rise to any contest or to any ill feelings 
among our citizens. 

With the exception of the official duties belonging 
to this new office, and those appertaining to the 
courts of law, the duties called for were, I believe, 
very few in the first two or three years after its 
establishment The fees arising from this office were 
very small in amount, and to this fact Mr. Jackson 
probably drew the attention of the Government. He 
had not been seeking an appointment for the sake 
of the honorable distinctions to be derived from it, 
but for the emoluments of office, to which compen- 
sation it was thought that the sacrifices of time and 
money on his part during the Revolutionary War 
entitled him from the public. He now sought for 
some appointment which would be more lucrative, 
and this he obtained about the year 1791 or '92. 

Among the duties called for in bringing the 
details of the new laws into operation, were those 
of collecting the Internal Revenue of the United 
States. The officers appointed in each district were 
Collectors, Inspectors, and a Supervisor. 

It belonged to the Collectors to take the amount 
of the taxes due within certain limits appointed to 
their offices respectively. The Collectors thus ap- 
pointed were required to collect and pay over the 
taxes to the Inspectors within whose limits they 



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were placed. The same amounts when collected 
by the Inspectors were to be paid over to the 
Supervisor' of each district, and appropriate reports 
to be made at slated periods. Finally, the reports 
of the Supervisor, and the duties collected by him, 
were to be made to an officer in the United States 
Treasury Department, called, if I remember rightly, 
the Comptroller of the United States Internal 
Revenue. Some other duties were attached to the 
'office of Supervisor ; but, in the District of Massa- 
chusetts at least, these were not of great importance. 

In the District of Massachusetts there were three 
Inspectorships, — the first occupied the Counties of 
Suffolk and Middlesex, and perhaps all the other 
Counties on the South of Massachusetts proper The 
second Inspectorship, as I believe, occupied all the 
Counties in Massachusetts proper not above referred 
to, viz. : Essex, Worcester, Hampshire, Berkshire, &c. 

The third Inspectorship occupied the whole of 
Maine. It was of the Second District that Mr. 
Jackson was appointed the Inspector. 

The head officer in the District of Massachusetts 
was the Supervisor of the Internal Revenue. When 
this branch of the United States Revenue was first 
established, the Hon. Nathaniel Gorham was appointed 
Supervisor in the District of Massachusetts. In the 
summer of the year 1796, Mr. Gorham died, and his 



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office was left vacant. On this event, Mr. Jackson 
was appointed as Mr. Gorham's successor. Mr. J. 
accepted this office, and for that purpose he thought 
it essential that he should leave Newburyport, in 
order to have his residence in or near Boston. 
Finding himself obliged to take this step, he looked 
for a house in Boston, but not finding one there, he 
took one in Charlestown Square. There he remained 
from about the first of August. His children, from 
various causes, were dispersed about the world, and 
he thought it more expedient to go with my mother 
to some house in Boston where they should live 
temporarily as lodgers in some respectable family. 

I was the only child at home with my parents. 
In the winter I had given up other business, and 
accepted a clerkship in my father's office for a year, 
residing in his family. Under these circumstances, 
he and my mother, in April, 1797, took lodgings in 
a private family at the South End, accompanied by 
a faithful domestic and friend, while I found a lodg- 
ing near the office. The furniture we wanted was 
packed for removal, and everything in confusion, 
when, during the night of the 28th of April, my 
mother died suddenly of apoplexy. The change con- 
templated by her must have been not without some 
effect on her feelings, though none of us had been 
aware of it; she may have felt much in con tempi at- 



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23 

ing the change in her mode of living, although she 
maintained perfect composure in her appearance. Of 
course we were perfectly astonished and deranged by 
this event. We collected at once all the family 
within our reach. These were Charles, who had, 
the summer preceding, opened his office as a lawyer 
in Newburyport, and Patrick, who was then living 
as an apprentice with Wm, Bartlett, Esq., a mer- 
chant of the same town. My two older sisters were 
at lodgings in some pleasant residence in the coun- 
try, and could not be easily called home: they were 
Hannah and Sally. The two younger of my sisters 
were at a boarding school at Hingham, so near to 
us that I drove down there and brought them home 
to attend the obsequies. On the third day from the 
period of her decease, my mother's remains were 
deposited in my father's family tomb, which now 
belongs to the estate of my brother Charles, in the 
Cemetery next to the Tremont Hotel, in the street 
now called Tremont Street. 

About the last days of April, or the first days 
of May, 1797, my father entered on his new lodg- 
ings in Boston, and took me as ' his companion. 
Our landlord was an unfortunate young merchant 
who had just undergone his failure. He lived in 
a plain wooden house opposite to the grounds on 
which the Female Asylum now stands. The in- 



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creasing misfortunes of our landlord soon caused 
him to break up his establishment, and we found 
new lodgings with a family in Federal Street. 
From early life my father had lived in large and 
convenient dwelling houses, and had for a long 
time been in the midst of a large family. It was 
impossible that he should not have felt this change 
from the life to which he had been accustomed, 
and the great loss of my mother could not fail to 
have a powerful effect on his feelings. With the 
firmness which belonged to his character he re- 
tained perfect composure. We lived at a distance 
from most of our friends in Boston, and he and I 
passed almost every leisure evening by ourselves. 
He was in his fifty-third year, I in my twentieth. 
Our conversation was without reserve. Without any 
formality in regard to it, he related to me from 
time to time the most minute as well as the most 
important and interesting events of his life. We 
became intimate friends, and, incidentally at least, 
he gave me many anecdotes of his acquaintances 
and friends at different stages of his life. Those 
of his statements committed to these pages were 
derived from these conversations, accompanied with 
very interesting details. 

My father had then, and more or less through 
his whole previous life, many agreeable and valued 



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friends of all ages. Among these he sometimes 
passed his evenings, and they not unfrequently 
accepted his invitations to dine. Thus his time did 
not lie heavily upon his hands. 

A few months later, about the first of December 
of this year, 1797, I left my father, whose society 
had been so grateful to me, and began my studies 
under the direction of Doctor Holyoke, of Salem. 
My father remained in his lodgings in Federal 
Street, with his faithful guardian, Molly Knapp. 
His business was transacted in an office in a build- 
ing still known, I believe, as Scollay's Buildings, 
in a large, comfortable room, having windows open- 
ing down Court Street and also on both the north 
and south sides of that building. From this time 
my own mind was devoted to the study of medi- 
cine, for the first two years in Salem. My third 
year was occupied by my passages to and from 
London, and my residence in that city. In this 
time my father's situation had altered much. His 
oldest daughter, Hannah, had been married to Fran- 
cis C. Lowell, Esq., son of Judge Lowell, in the 
autumn of 1778, and his second daughter, Sarah, 
was married to John S. Gardner, Esq., a gentle- 
man several years older than herself, who had 
never, I believe, been employed in any business for 
emolument, — an old bachelor physician had made 



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him his heir, and Mr. G.'s mind had been engaged 
in liberal studies. He was supposed at the time 
to be rich, — and no doubt he thought himself so, 
but he had not learned how to employ his riches, 
and after two or three years he found, — what he 
had heard before, probably, but did not realize, — 
that riches were apt to take to themselves- wings. 
He did not, so far as I know, incur any loss of 
property or financial embarrassments, nor did he 
appear to incur wasteful expenditures. He was 
naturally bright and lively in his deportment, and 
it was only by those who saw him familiarly that 
the waste of his means became evident. I who 
returned from my visit to London at the end of 
September, 1800, without any property, looked for- 
ward with sufficient confidence to gaining a support 
from professional labors, after having passed the 
usual period in preparation. I found that my 
father's emoluments from official labors were a com- 
fortable maintenance for himself and his daughters. 
My other brothers were in prosperous circumstances, 
and were earning their own support, though no 
one of them could regard himself as rich. At that 
time it was manifest that my father was more bright 
in his feelings than when I left him. He was con- 
tented with the prospects before him, and that his 
ability to perform his official duties was not abating, 



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27 

.but increasing. He had sustained a high and hon- 
orable character in periods of prosperity. He was 
retained in the office of Supervisor, more lucrative 
than that of Inspector, though he differed openly 
in his politics from Mr. Jefferson, while many of 
his friends in office were displaced. My father did 
not permit any apprehension of the loss of his office 
on account of his politics. 

The sources of emolument to the Government of 
the United States were mostly those derived from the 
introduction of foreign goods. The taxes laid upon 
domestic products were small in amount. At that 
time the country could do well without these taxes. 
There was, however, an approval of the maintenance 
of these internal taxes. We were, of course, liable to 
unlooked-for expenses growing out of treatment of a 
hostile character from foreign nations. Within the 
few years through which we had passed since our 
new Government had been established, we had been 
brought into a state of hostility with Great Britain. 
Very shortly after the difficulties which then occurred 
had been removed, Great Britain was readily con- 
vinced that our Government neither designed, nor 
would permit, any departure from a due respect to 
her rights. She was at once convinced of the firm- 
ness of Washington in paying respect to her and to 
all other foreign nations, and perfect peace was 



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28 

established between us. On the other hand, the 
French Government seemed disposed to think that 
we were not willing to take up arms in her favor, 
and to become enemies to her opponents, and, ere 
long, they, as the English had done previously, seized 
upon our property on the high seas, and conducted 
towards us with even more violence than her neigh- 
bors had done. This experience, which I have stated 
very briefly, showed that our- intercourse with other 
nations across the seas might at any time interrupt 
very greatly, if not entirely, the importation of for- 
eign goods, and thus the collection of the revenue 
by duties on such goods might at any time be cut off. 
It was easy to foresee, as it was foreseen by the 
most prudent arid well-informed among our citizens, 
that instead of collecting an income from external 
sources alone, we ought to be familiarizing ourselves 
with the collection of internal taxes, and the sight 
of officers whose names were odious to us : I speak 
of tax-gatherers spread over the whole country, and 
requiring at every door the contributions requisite 
for the maintenance of our own government in peace 
or in war, and in the latter predicament, much 
larger supplies for the support of our armies and 
navies. Set aside these considerations, it is of no 
small consequence that the duties collected from for- 
eign goods are not paid in each instance by the 



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29 

consumer. The articles furnished for sale are paid 
for by the merchants engaged in foreign trade. The 
tax is paid by the consumer as part of the price 
of the article imported. Although we all understand 
this, it does not seem wise to bring before the con- 
sumers at every moment the amount of taxes which 
is demanded. 

The foregoing explanation may seem uncalled for, 
but I have made it because many of my readers may 
be those to whom the subject is not familiar. Let 
me explain then, that the financial business put into 
my father's hands by the Government did not fail 
him from any supposed deficiency on his part, but 
from the views of the Government, then lately estab- 
lished in power. 

If I remember rightly, the change in the laws 
respecting the collection of taxes took place in 1802, 
or thereabout. Thus the labors in which my father 
had been engaged were brought to an end. Though 
his property had been increased a little in the last 
few years, he still found it necessary to seek for 
some profitable occupation. He was getting advanced 
in life, but his courage did not fail him, and he was 
happy to engage in such duties as he could perform 
with benefit to the community as well as to himself. 
Though not brought very much before the public, he 
had shown his ability as well as his readiness to 



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30 

undertake new offices, and he was not without some 
success. He was elected Treasurer of the Common- 
wealth of Massachusetts, and by successive re-elec- 
tions he was retained as such through five years, 
this being the extreme limit to which the office 
could be continued. 

During this period he also held for some years 
the office of Treasurer of Harvard College, and as 
such was a member of that corporation. Still later 
he was elected the first president of the Boston Bank ; 
both the last-mentioned offices he held until the 
period of his decease in March, 1810. 

So far as I knew, the performance of his duties 
in the various public offices in which he was engaged 
received the approval of those who were conversant 
with them, and in all* cases were brought to a close 
in a manner honorable to him. 

Let me now sum up some remarks upon my 
father's general appearance, and whatever I can 
recall which may help those who come after me 
in forming a just opinion of him. He was not a 
man who took a lead among those about him ; at 
least not the first lead. He was not, however, one 
who could be passed over without observation in 
society. Most especially he felt and showed the 
greatest regard for the rights and feelings of others. 
Accordingly he was then just and kind. He not 



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31 

only paid his dues, if possible, but his heart always 
bore in mind the gratitude which did not rely on 
words alone. Kindness from others he could never 
forget. 

He was given to hospitality. It was not only 
when he abounded, that he invited his acquaintances; 
but, when his feasts had become less sumptuous, he 
gave a welcome to his guests, trusting that a modest 
meal might bring with it a grateful relish. He 
made his services acceptable to his friends in whatever 
shape they were offered, and was distinguished by 
polished refinement of manners toward persons of all 
ages and classes. 

It is necessary for me to bring these notes to an 
end. When I began, it was not without some risk 
that I might extend them too much, but I hope the 
subject will interest the reader. 

It is now more than half a century since I lost 
my father. It would not be a singular thing if I 
exaggerated his virtues. From an early period of 
my life I not only estimated his character very 
highly, but I also loved him most deeply and most 
strongly. His justice and kindness to all men im- 
pressed me when I first became capable of reflection 
on moral excellence. I now recall vividly his love 
of truth, his fidelity toward his friends, and his 
reverence toward the Supreme Being, which led me 



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to place him among the highest of the children of 

God, as one who sought to conform to the Divine 

laws, and to fulfil the duties ordained by the Great 

Teacher. Such were my convictions in regard to 

him, that, although I do not mean to represent him 

as faultless, I feel assured that his moral excellence 

has seldom been surpassed. By all who knew him 

he was regarded as an honest man and upright in 

all things, as well as kind and courteous in his 
manners.* 

* Testimonials conforming to the eulogies stated in these pages, have come 
to me from various high sources, during his life, and since its termination* 



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US 13597.5 

Hon. Jonathan Jackson, 

Widener Llbrar 



h*s wife, an 

005432038