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THIS BOOK IS PRESENT
IN OUR LIBRARY
ST. MICHAEL'S ALUMNI
TO THE VARSITY
CONTAINING A RECORD OF
THOSE PRINCELY ACTS OF BENEVOLENCE
"WHICH ENTITLE HIM TO
THE ESTEEM AND GRATITUDE OF ALL FRIENDS OF EDUCATION
AND THE DESTITUTE, BOTH IN AMERICA, THE LAND OF HIS
BIRTH, AND IN ENGLAND, THE PLACE OF HIS DEATH.
BY PHEBE A. HANAFORD,
MEMBER OF THE ESSEX INSTITUTE, AND AUTHOR OF " THE LIFE OF LINCOLN," ETC.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION
BY DR. JOSEPH H. HANAFORD.
lobetfj a djccrful gtfoer,"
PUBLISHED BY B. B. KUSSELL, 55 COENHILL.
CINCINNATI : WHITE, CORBIN, BOUVE, & CO.
PHILADELPHIA: JOHN DAINTY.
SAN FRANCISCO: H. H. BANCROFT & CO.
ST. LOUIS : KEITH & WOODS.
TORONTO, ONT.: A. H. HOVEY.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by
PHEBE A. HANAFORD,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
STEREOTYPED AND PRINTED BY RAND, AVERY, & FKYE.
ALL TRUE FRIENDS OF HUMANITY,
IN ENGLAND AND AMERICA,
WHOSE BENEVOLENCE IS WORTHY OF WORLD-WIDE IMITATION,
AMERICA has been rich in great men whose
intellectual superiority or moral excellence
bade them tower above the masses, or whose vast
possessions, wisely used, as in the case of the sub-
ject of this Memoir, entitled them to high place in
the regard of a grateful and appreciative people.
And it is now conceded, that
" Among the few, the Immortal names
That were not born to die,"
is to be read in glowing characters the name of
GEORGE PEABODY. A wide interest attaches to the
events of his life and the record of his noble deeds,
because he showed so truly that he valued wealth
on account of the power it gave him to do good,
and benefit others than himself and his immediate
family or nearest relatives. His life is an example,
in some grand respects; and is therefore worth
reporting to future generations.
We do not present him as a perfect man, nor
yet as one who professed to be perfect. He was
remarkably unassuming ; and by his deeds, more
than by his words, must he be judged. If we had
a larger store of materials, in the shape of letters
and private memoranda, the volume might be
"larger; but the gist of the whole matter the
points of his character most desirable to be known
in order to awaken the emulation of others can
be presented in the compass of this smaller vol-
ume. Besides, a large volume would probably be
commensurate with the artistic skill of those em-
ployed to prepare it, and therefore be too expen-
sive for the million. To obviate this difficulty, this
book is prepared, and also because we hope to do
good by helping to spread abroad the record of a
life that was in some respects unique, but noble,
and a benevolence worthy of world-wide imitation.
As a member of the Essex Institute (whose
headquarters are in Salem, Mass., near the birth-
place of Mr. Peabody), the writer takes the pen
with an emotion of gratitude to one who mani-
fested so great an interest in the objects of our
association, and whose munificence, as will be
shown in the following pages, so enhanced our
means of prosecuting historical and scientific re-
search, as to make his name illustrious, and his
memory fragrant, among us forever.
READING, MASS. P. A. H.
The Boy foreshadowing the Man. Ancestry. Birthplace. Childhood.
The Young Store-Keeper. Newburyport 31
OUT IN TIfE WORLD.
The Commercial Assistant. Business-Habits. Love-Htory. Going South . 45
The Citizen Soldier. The First Partnership. The Travelling Member of
the Firm. Life in Baltimore 4 .... 56
Removal to London. Disinterestedness. Kindness to Americans. Saving
the Credit of his Country at the Crystal Palace 68
GREAT AND GOOD GIFTS.
Help to find Sir John Franklin. Donation to Danvers. The Peabody Insti-
tute in Peabody. The Public Reception of the Benefactor .... 80
GOOD GIFTS CONTINUED.
The Donation to Thetford, Vt. Grandfather Dodge. The Wood-sawing
Peahody Institute at Baltimore. Letter of Mr. Peabody. Proceedings in
Regard to the Donation. Mr. Peabody's Remarks 115
Amelioration of the Condition of the Poor in London. Magnificent Bequest
of Mr. Peabody. Description of the Buildings * 124
Secoad Visit to his Native Land. The Freedom of the City of London. The
Queen's Letter. The Queen's Portrait. The Peabody Statue . . .142
MR. PEABODY IN AMERICA.
The Flood of Letters. The Gift for Education in the South. Mr. Peabody 's
Letter. T- What the Money is doing . . 154
MORE GIFTS FOR SCIENCE.
Money for Museums at Yale and Harvard. Correspondence in Reference to
these Donations. The Value of the Gift 165
STILL HELPING EDUCATORS.
Peabody Academy of Science in Salem. Essex Institute. Mr. Peabody'a
Letter. His Love for his native County of Essex .... 183
YET GIVING CHEERFULLY.
Massachusetts Historical Society. Kenyon College, and Mr. Peabody's Dona-
tion to it. Documents in Regard to the Acceptable Gifts .... 201
Memorial Church at Georgetown. Mr. Peabody's Love for his Mother.
Hymn for the Dedication, by John G. Whittier. Gifts to his Family and
RETURN TO ENGLAND.
Mr. Peabody's Speech at the National Peace Jubilee. Illness of Mr. Pea-
body. Return to England. Sir Curtis Lampson 217
DEATH OF MR. PEABODY.
The Lightning News. The Comments of the Press. Respect shown to Mr.
Peabody's Memory. Portraits of Mr. Peabody 223
FUNERAL IN ENGLAND.
Westmir ster Abbey. Transportation of the Remains to America. Descrip-
tion of the Ship "Monarch." Poem suggested by the Funeral Procession
on the Ocean 233
FUNERAL IN AMERICA.
Reception of the Remains in America. Prince Arthur of England. Mr.
Winthrop's Eulogy. The Funeral in Harmony Grove 245
Newman Hall on George Peabody. Tributes from Various Sources. Poetic
Tribute from "The London Evening Standard." The Pulpit's Voice in
Praise of his Beneficence. List of his Donations 260
The Lessons of George Peabody's Life. Money is Power. A Consecrated
Purse is that of Fortunatus ; 280
Portrait of Mr. Peabody Frontispiece.
Birthplace of George Peabody 35.
Peabody and Danvers Institutes . . . . . . . . . . 85
Peabody Square, Islington, London . 129
Peabody Statue, London; and Peabody Institute, Baltimore . r 14
OF the myriads of human beings who flit across the
stage of life, but few, comparatively, ever become
really eminent ; but few ever thrust themselves, so to speak,
unwittingly, it may be, upon the popular observation, or
organize and achieve a marked success. But few are will-
ing to burst the shackles of sensuous thraldom, and gird on
the whole panoply of a true and elevated manhood, and
enter the arena of life's conflict, yielding to the nobler im-
pulses of the higher nature, the intellectual and moral,
necessitating the complete subserviency of the lower and
mere animal nature. But few raise high the standard of
attainment, basing the purposes of life upon clear and vivid
ideas and potent aspirations, and then concentrate the
developed and expanding energies of the soul with perti-
nacious and indomitable courage. These few stand out in
bold relief, like the majestic oak on the hill-top, or like
some " bright, particular star," suddenly emerging from
the horizon, moving upward in majesty, full-orbed and
radiant, increasing in size and brilliancy, and sending its
beams of light to the remotest regions. Some of these
remind us of the meteor as it dashes across the heavens,
blazing with its own native fires; sometimes seemingly
erratic in its course, yet true to its nature, and controlled
by fixed and immutable laws, startling and awing the ob-
server, -or challenging respect and admiration. Such
organize and decree success and distinction in obedience to
the laws of mind, not only by unremitting effort and toil
even, but by a wise adjustment of means to ends, having
regard to principles as definite and undeviating in their
applications as those which guide the chemist in the labora-
tory, the physician at the bedside, and the surgeon in the
operating-hall. Their success is not the result of accident,
44 luck," unusual mental endowments, aid of friends, but
rather the legitimate and necessary sequence of industry,
perseverance, energy, clearness of perception, oneness of
purpose, fixedness of effort, and strength of will. If the
circumstances and surroundings are not favorable, no ener-
gies are squandered in useless hesitancy or unmanly mur-
murings, but are modified, and, if possible, made subservient
to the great purposes of life, or may be utterly ignored ;
while the aspiring candidate for distinction and an enviable
pre-eminence determines never for a moment to entertain
the idea of a "cessation of hostilities," never admits
into his vocabulary the word fail.
Mr. Peabody was a marked man, a representative man,
towering in giant proportions among the prominent and
successful business-men of the age, a model financier.
He courted no special favors, no exclusive privileges, but
was ready to enter business - life "single-handed," and
become the architect of his own fortune, or personally
share the fate due to those who ignobly fail.
His success as a financier is attributable rather to his
.inherent qualities of mind, and, to a certain extent, of
body, personal appearance, than to any specially
favoring circumstances. If there were any apparently
favoring circumstances, we may claim that he either pro-
duced these, or adroitly availed himself of them ; appropri-
ating whatever might be conducive to his advantage.
Though not in abject poverty, as often stated, it is certain
that he rose from the humbler walks of life, and, of course,
is estimated more fairly by the progress made than by the
simple fact that he rose to a high position in society,
socially and financially, winning unequalled laurels on both
hemispheres. No wealthy friend or relative ever furnished
funds to aid him in commencing a business-life, or exerted
in his behalf any specially favorable influence as a means
of giving him advantages at the commencement of his busi-
ness career, when counsel and material aid are ordinarily
of great service. Commencing active business-life while
still in his minority, his education was necessarily limited,
far more so than that of most young men of the same age at
the present time, with the educational advantages now pos-
sessed. His was only a " common-school " training, that
afforded, about a half-century since, only a partial course,
but a fraction of the meagre facilities for a preparation
for a commercial life presented to the youth of an age. far
less auspicious than the present. Yet, like all other obsta-
cles, this was fairly and fearlessly met ; self-culture compen-
sating, at least measurably, for these manifest disadvantages :
affording a fine illustration of the fact, that native good
sense, industry, and will are sufficient to insure victory
under almost any circumstances. Those who were famil-
iar with him, who understood his conversational powers,
his general intelligence, would ordinarily have accorded to
him the advantages of a good, if not of a liberal education.
Indeed, his correspondence was remarkable for its compre-
hensiveness, its terseness of style, elegance of diction, and
chasteness of expression.
These most assuredly indicated culture and refinement,
by no means usual in business-circles, in those more famil-
iar with bonds, coupons, notes of hand, &c., than with sci-
ence and literature. It is, indeed, a matter of surprise that
one so devoted to his business-pursuits ; one who personally
attended to even the details of his financial transactions,
such duties often demanding nearly twice the number
of hours of toil now required of the mechanic and artisan
in this country ; so methodically exacting in every thing
relating to these duties ; so remarkably devoted to his busi-
ness, it is surprising that such a man should have availed
himself of the fragments of leisure moments, devoting them
to self-culture, or that he should have had any taste for
mental pursuits and literary recreations. This anomaly is
only explained by the fact, that Mr. Peabody was emphati-
cally a man of energy, decision of character, remarkably
industrious, intellectually inclined ; a man of method and
system, scrupulously dividing his time as existing circum-
stances might demand.
Gentlemanly in his bearing, honorable in his transac-
tions, genial in his intercourse with men, with honorable
men, though his frown was sufficiently scathing toward
the mean, fraudulent, conniving, and false, his indigna-
tion sufficiently marked, and his words of denunciation
sufficiently pointed and personal, towards those unworthy
of confidence, scrupulously honest as a business-man, he
could not but command the respect of those engaged in
similar pursuits, and enjoy the confidence of those familiar
with him in the ordinary walks of social life. Prompt and
methodical, he avoided many of the vexations and disas-
ters experienced by men of the opposite business-habits.
With him the appointments of business were sacred, the
day and the hour to be observed with the most undeviating
certainty on his part ; while those who failed in these re-
spects, if unable to offer a satisfactory excuse for such delin-
quency, would not ordinarily escape a decided reprimand,
or more frequently forfeit confidence and business-relations.
Financial obligations were promptly met at the appointed
time, in strict accordance with the literal structure of the
contract, when he was the obligor ; while it was at least
injudicious for others to be less scrupulous towards him. If
there was sometimes seeming severity, such must be attrib-
uted to his marked methodical habits, and to an idea of
commercial obligation and justice.
, Mr. Peabody was a man of good natural abilities ; had a
large volume of brain, as the most casual observer may no-
tice ; his noble bearing well calculated to command respect,
not less than confidence. His were clear perceptions,
those of a careful and discriminating observer of men and
things. His brain was neither beclouded by the narcotic
influences of the " vile weed," as he was not accustomed
to the use of tobacco in any of its forms; nor inflamed, set
on fire, by the use of alcoholic stimulants. Such indul-
gences, indeed, would have been inconsistent with his large
success, and incompatible with the performance of his mani-
fold duties, his almost crushing labors, which would have
exhausted the energies of almost any man less scrupulous
and less consistent in his personal habits. Nor did he stul-
tify himself with the indulgences of the gourmand, a
slave of appetite: far from it. He gave and attended
banquets ; yet, of all present, he was the most simple in his
habits, the most abstemious, often partaking of but a single
dish, and that of the simplest quality, though the table
might groan under the weight of the luxuries of all climes.
There was neither wasting of his energies in sensual indul-
gences, the gratification of the lower nature, nor a dissi-
pation, a scattering, a frittering-away of his powers in
unmanly amusements and senseless frivolity. He was no
mere pleasure-seeker; though it is reasonable to suppose
that he was not' averse to a consistent "unbending," after
exhaust-ing and overburdening the mind by excessive effort.
It is certain that he was conscientious in regard to the
more usual amusements ; not partial to theatricals, since,
in the finish of the " Memorial Church," he gave special
directions to avoid certain decorations calculated to " re-
mind one of the theatre ; " though that church was finished
in elegance, taste, and beauty, without regard to expense,
to u last one hundred years without a stroke of repairs,"
in the language of the donor.
The key to his marked success is seen in these promi-
nent characteristics. Inheriting a firm physical constitu-
tion, a vigorous and discriminating mind, the energies of
the one were husbanded by a remarkable abstemiousness
and temperance, the normal vital forces not only retained,
but increased in their powers of endurance by correct hab-
its ; while the other was called into harmonious activity,
developed by effort, expanded by observation, and refined
by self-culture, his personal habits being favorable to such
physical and mental development.
As a business-man, Mr. Peabody had a single idea, a
oneness of purpose, success in financial pursuits. He
was not only industrious, almost without a parallel in busi-
ness-circles, but his energies were centred, concentrated
with a marked persistency and vitalizing energy, upon this
one object, this one life-pursuit. Finance was his study,
if the expression is allowable, and success, eminence in
his avocation, his great object ; though an avaricious spirit,
a mere love of money as such, were not fairly attributed to
him. He was neither diverted from his chosen pursuits by
the enticements of pleasure-seeking, nor by the allure-
ments of fashion, nor yet by the blandishments of the
court and the applause and attentions of the sovereign of
his adopted land. It is a remarkable fact, that the kind
regards of the Queen, the honors bestowed upon him, the
many, many temptations to accept, not court, the favors and
distinctions almost thrust upon him by those occupying the
highest position in the realm, were not sufficient to capti-
vate him. It was not until after he retired from business
that he could be induced to specially notice these proffered
distinctions and regards ; never having been presented to
the royal family until after his retirement from the harass-
ing cares and labors of business-life.
Nor is it to be supposed that he never encountered diffi-
culties or experienced disasters in his financial pursuits, since
these are the necessary concomitants of a life of business.
He is a wise man, worthy of success, who encounters diffi-
culties without misgivings, irresoluteness, or murmurings,
and boldly and resolutely attempts the removal of all obsta-
cles ; throwing himself into the van^ in the conflicts of life,
expecting to become the victor. After Mr. Peabody had
passed the meridian of a business-career, misfortunes came,
for a time jeopardizing his financial prospects. After the
age of fifty years, at which time his wealth was compar-
atively small, far less than that of many of our successful
tusiness-men of perhaps half that age, most of his vast
accumulations were acquired ; the last few years of busi-
ness being, probably, by far the most remunerative. His
earlier life seemed to have been preparatory, prefatory ; a
time for the deposit of the seed afterwards to germinate, and
yield its fruits ; a time in which to lay the foundation on
which prosperity was to be reared near the close of life,
and the creation and adjustment of plans and instrumen-
talities by which success was afterwards made almost or
But the "crowning glory," the brightest halo that
encircles the brow of Mr. Peabody, is that connected with
his munificent donations ; those of a general character, but
especially those intended for the lowly, the poor of Eng-
land and of this country. This benevolence was but the
outgrowth of his compassionate nature, and was early
developed ; though but little was known of him, in this
respect, beyond a certain circle, publicity not being sought.
He was commcndably devoted to his mother and many
other relatives and personal friends ; and on these he early
bestowed favors, though, of course, not as lavishly as in
after-life, when his means would justify generous bequests.
With a son's devotion, an affectionate brother's solicitude
and tenderness, he cared for those more nearly connected
by family ties ; while others were educated, that in busi-
ness relations, professional duties, &c., they might encoun-
ter less of the disadvantages than himself in the avocations
of active life.
While cherishing these kindly impulses in early man-
hood, nurturing them by judicious bestowments, we may
reasonably infer that the idea of these larger and royal do-
\iations, royal in magnitude and design, were contem-
plated long before their public recognition ; reposing in his
capacious and far-seeing mind, an embryotic existence,
to be developed and assume vast proportions in due time.
Cherishing a tender regard, an affectionate solicitude, for
the lowly of both hemispheres, the unfortunate from the
force of circumstances, the peculiarities of government,
&c., in the one, and the terrible degradation of slavery in
the other, may we not infer that this was the cherished
benevolent impulse of his life ; and that, with his far-seeing
intellect, as he foresaw the magnitude of the results of such
a gift in the elevation and the humanizing of the down-
trodden, this was the one great aspiration of his life,
long reposing in the bosom of the future, as the helpless
infant calmly sleeps on its mother's breast, and nourished
there for future activities ? This was indeed a munificent
gift, worthy of the man who bestowed it. Yet its mere
financial proportions do not constitute its most important
significance. The design of reaching the lower stratum
of society, educating those who must have remained in
relative ignorance and degradation, aside from such gifts
giving life, energy, and courage to the despairing, furnish-
ing the means of self-elevation, self-improvement, these
features overshadow all others ; these aspects determine
the magnitude and the true benevolence of these vast chari-
ties. Having no children of his own, he conceived the
grand idea of adopting the unfortunate of his native and
his adopted countries ; wisely bequeathing to them, with an
affectionate regard, the means more wisely granted than by
personal bestowments, squandered or exhausted in a brief
period as it might have been under some circumstances,
by which future generations would be blessed, remember-
ing the name of the donor 2fs a father indeed, who had
more regard for future benefits, real prosperity, and con-
tinuous fruitage, than for brief and temporary gratifications.
Such a monument will outlive marble and granite ; such a
record is indeed indelible.
To the young men of tins country, the noble example
of Mr. Peabody as a business-man, a man achieving and
deserving success ; his remarkable prosperity ; his brilliant
career ; his large-heartedness, as seen in the outcropping
in his vast charities, almost prodigally scattered, all sug-
gesting the idea of magnitude, vastness, to such his
whole life has a peculiar significance. In a country like
ours and a government like ours, based on morality and
universal intelligence, with the schoolhouse and the
church-edifice as the " front-guard and the rearward," the
\foundations cemented with as pure blood as ever flowed
in patriot veins, " large expectations " are peculiarly ap-
propriate. While the invitation, " Go up and possess the
land," seems imprinted in bold relief on our public institu-
tions, or is rung out in the pealing notes of the bells that
call the young to the halls of learning, the humbler
ones, the " people's colleges," not less than the higher in-
stitutions, the youth of our favored country may well be
emulous, raise high the standard of attainments, and aspire
to enviable positions. Still in its infancy, by no means
having reached the vigor, strength, and self-sustaining
force of maturity, but even now joyous, exuberant, viva-
cious, and active, as if in the springtime of life, with a vast
domain unexplored, and still more but partially developed,
with mineral resources unfathomed, natural advantages un-
paralleled and unappropriated, our country is peculiarly
the nursery of enterprise and industry, and the foster-
mother of generous and noble aspirations. Here the ave-
nues to wealth, social eminence, enviable distinction in
science, literature, oratory, the professions, to a wide field of
research, all are thrown wide open to the lowly as well
as to those occupying higher social positions, as our records
in the past amply demonstrate ; the meed of praise and
the badge of honor having been bestowed upon the off-
spring of some of the most lowly of our citizens. A good
education, one far superior to that acquired by the young
Peabody, is attainable by every young man in New Eng-
land, at least, if blessed with even medium capabilities and
a,. will; attainable, indeed, with but a slight expenditure of
funds, since the State has adopted the fundamental and
ennobling idea, that it costs less to educate the masses than
to punish crime. With such an education, not only wisely
and mercifully proffered, but almost thrust upon the recipi-
ent, success is attainable if merited.
It is important for the young men of this country to
remember that Mr. Peabody was not merely a man of
finances, not merely a business-man, and that wealth was
not obtained simply for its possession. As soon as relief
from his crushing cares and labors would admit, and proba-
bly far sooner, in some degree, at least, he, cast about him-
self to decide what judicious disposition should be made of
such vast accumulations ; in what manner he might bless
society, that the far-reaching results might more than com-
pensate for the toils, anxieties, and unceasing efforts de-
manded for its accumulation. The mere accumulation,
the mere possession, with no high and noble impulses, no
characteristic philanthropic emotions, would dwarf the in-
tellect, congeal the generous outgushings, make man a
miser, the despised among men, instead of the philan-
thropist, the friend of the lowly, held in grateful remem-
brance in at least two of the most powerful nations of the
Again : the avenues to distinction are open to the young,
aside from those leading simply to wealth. There are
higher honors than those usually merited by the financier
(Mr. Peabody modified and added to his by his judiciously-
bestowed charities), those sought in paths of learning, in
the labors of the philanthropist, &c. ; though financial suc-
cess seems the basis of other enterprises, furnishing the
means of producing great results.
An age may produce but one identical philanthropist-
financier like Mr. Peabody ; yet the major part of the
young of this age, if ready to throw themselves into the
arena of life's struggles and labors, if willing to make a
sacrifice of personal ease, if they will study the principles
of success, concentrate effort, taking Mr. Peabody as a
model, may make their mark, be remembered in succeed-
ing ages for their noble deeds and their meritorious attain-
ments. To succeed as he succeeded demands the same
instrumentalities, the same temperance, the same favorable
personal habits, the same industry, and the same business
I cannot better close this chapter than by transcribing
the beautiful poem of Longfellow, so full of inspiration and
encouragement to the young :
" Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream ;
For tbe soul is dead that slumbers.
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real, life is earnest,
And the grave is not its goal :
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle ;
Be a hero in the strife.
Trust no future, howe'er pleasant ;
Let the dead Past bury its dead :
Act, act in the living Present,
Heart within, and God o'erhcad.
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time,
Footprints that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er Life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate ;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait."
J. H. H.
THE LIFE OF GEOBGE PEABODY,
Ancestry. Birthplace. Childhood. The Young Store-Keeper.
" A flower, though offered in the bud,
Is no vain sacrifice." WATTS.
" They that seek me early shall find me." PROV. viii. 17.
T is often said that " the child is father of the
man ; " and in no small degree this can be af-
firmed of every prominent statesman or phi-
lanthropist. The traits evident in childhood
are often prophecies of distinction in certain paths then
indicated, when the years shall have given gray hairs to
the brow, and maturity to all the mental powers.
This was eminently true of George Peabody, the finan-
cier and the benevolent giver of great gifts. His child-
hood foreshadowed the glory of his later years. And yet
Lis childhood was not marked by incident, or memorable
32 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
for peculiarities. Whatever the little eccentricities of after-
years, his childhood was not in any sense that of an odd-
ity. Men and women thought of him as the good boy,
the faithful son, the dutiful child, the industrious student,
the honest youth; and, if they sometimes called him a
" mother-boy," it was not because he was shy and effemi-
nate, and wanting in boyish energy and daring, but be-
cause he loved his mother ; and it was the joy of his young
life to add any thing to her happiness.
That he was brave and honest, upright and conscien-
tious, is not at all strange when we consider his ancestry.
However any may sneer at heraldic emblems, it is yet
true, that, as the Scriptures declare, " the glory of children
are their fathers ; " and none may therefore rightfully de-
spise a pure and noble ancestry. The genealogy of the
Peabody family has been compiled by the late C. M. En-
dicott of Salem, and revised by William S. Peabody of
Boston, with a partial record of the Rhode-Island branch
by B. Frank Pabodie, in the spirit of those who adopted
the language of Job : " For inquire, I pray thee, of the
former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their
In the same spirit, Nehemiah Cleveland, Esq., in his
address at the Topsfield Bi-Centennial Celebration, thus
spoke of the origin of the Peabody family in America :
" From a very early period in the history of this town,
the Peabody name has been identified with it. Thanks to
the spirit of family pride or of antiquarian curiosity, great
EAKLY DAYS. 33
pains have been recently taken to dig out the roots and
follow out the branches of the old Peabody tree. Old it
may well be called, since it has already attained to a
growth of nearly two thousand years. Boadie, it seems,
was the primeval name. He was a gallant British chief-
tain, who, in the year A.D. 61, came to the rescue of his
noble and chivalrous Queen Boadicea, when ' bleeding
from the Roman rods.' From the disastrous battle in
which she lost her crown and life, he fled to the Cambrian
mountains. There his posterity lived, and became the
terror of the Lowlands. Thus it was that the name ' Pea,'
which means ' mountain,' was prefixed to ' Boadie,' which
means ' man.' There was a Peabody, it seems, among the
knights of the Round Table ; for the name was first regis-
tered with due heraldic honors by command of King Arthur
himself. At the period when the business transactions of
this town begin to appear on record, Lieut. Francis Pa-
body (this was the orthography of the name at that period)
was evidently the first man in the place for capacity and
influence. He had emigrated from St. Alban's, in Hert-
fordshire, England, about seventeen miles from London, in
1635, and settled at Topsfield in 1667, where he remained
until his death in 1698. His wife was a daughter of Re-
ginald Foster, honorably mentioned by Sir Walter Scott
in ' Marmion ' and* ' The Lay.' Of this large family,
three sons settled in Boxford, and two remained in Tops-
field. From these five patriarchs have come, it is said, .all
the Peabodys in this country. Among those of this name
34 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
who nave devoted themselves to the sacred office, the Rev.
Oliver Peabody, who died in Natick almost a hundred
years ago, is honorably distinguished. - Those twin Pea-
bodys (now, alas ! no more)j William Bourne Oliver and
Oliver William Bourne, twins not in age only, but in
genius and virtue, learning and piety, will long be remem-
bered with admiration and respect. The Rev. David Pea-
body of this town, who died while a professor in Dart-
mouth College, deserves honorable mention. A kinsman
of his, also of Topsfield, is at this moment laboring, a de-
voted missionary, in the ancient land of Cyrus. The Rev.
Andrew P. Peabody of Portsmouth, and the Rev. Ephraim
Peabody of Boston, are too well and favorably known to
require that I should more than allude to them. Prof.
Silliman of Yale College is descended from a Peabody.
" The Peabody name has abounded in brave and patriotic
spirits. Many of them served in the French and the Rev-
olutionary Wars. One of them fell with Wolfe and Mont-
calm on the Plains of Abraham. Another assisted at the
capture of Ticonderoga and of Louisburg, and in the siege
of Boston. Another was among the most gallant combatants
on Bunker Hill. Another commanded a company in the
Continental army, and sent his sons to the army as fast as
they became able. One more, Nathaniel Peabody of At-
kinson, N.H., commanded a regiment in the Revolutionary
War, and subsequently represented his State in the Conti-
nental Congress. In medicine and law, the reputation of
the name rests more, perhaps, on the quality than the
EAKLY DAYS. 35
number of practitioners. In commerce, too, this family
may boast at least one eminent example, -"an architect of
a princely fortune. I need not name him."
"With such an ancestry, how could any thing but honor
and honesty be expected from George Peabody? A
" mountain man " was he, indeed, from his very boyhood :
brave and noble in thought and action, lofty in purpose,
and prompt whenever the call of duty came. Well said
the editor of the published account of the " Danvers Cen-
tennial Celebration," " Might we invade the sanctuary of
his early home, and the circle of his immediate connec-
tions, we could light around the youthful possessor of a few
hundred dollars the avails of the most severe and untir-
ing efforts a brighter halo than his elegant hospitalities,
his munificent donations, or his liberal public acts, now
shed over the rich London banker."
That rich banker was born a poor boy, in the town
of Danvers, Mass., on the eighteenth day of February,
1795 ; not at all in abject poverty, but in circumstances
which afforded him but little opportunity for education,
save for the first decade of his life in the common schools.
Hon. Alfred A. Abbott, at the laying of the corner-stone
of the Peabody Institute in Danvers, remarked concerning
this Danvers boy, " The character and history of Mr. Pea-
body have, by the natural course of things, become so
familiar to us within the last year, that, like his name, they
have almost come to be household property. How, nearly
threescore years ago, in a very humble house in this then
36 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
quiet village, he was born, the son- of respectable parents,
but in humble circumstances ; how from the common
schools of the parish, such as they were from 1803 to 1807,
to use his own simple words, he obtained the limited edu-
cation his parents' means could afford, but, to the principles
then inculcated, owing much of the foundation for such
success as Heaven has been pleased to grant him during a
long business-life," all this Mr. Abbott thought familiar
to the Danvers people ; and so it was and is. In his native
place, as much as anywhere, George Peabody's memory is
precious ; and, however it may be with prophets, with this
successful and beneficent merchant it is not true that he
is " not without honor save in his own country and among
his own people." In fact, the town where he was born is
now called by his - name. First it was a part of Salem ;
then, for a century, it was known as Danvers ; for a season
it was called South Danvers ; and it is now known as Pea-
body, in honor of him whose brief and necessarily imperfect
memoir is here presented.
On the occasion of his visit to Danvers in 1856, Hon. A.
A. Abbott said to his fellow-citizens, " Here was Mr. Pea-
body's home ; here slumbered the honored dust of his
fathers ; here, 4 native and to .the manor born,' he passed his
youth and the pleasant days of his early life ; here were
many of those who had been his schoolfellows and play-
mates : and when young ambition, and devotion to those
whom misfortune had made his dependants, and the first
stirrings of that great energy already indicating the future
EARLY DAYS. 37
triumph, led him forth to other and broader fields of labor,
the eyes of his townsmen, like their prayers and best
wishes, followed him ; and, from that day to this, the events
of his life and his whole career have been a part of the
public and most treasured property of the town. And, all
along, what returns have there been ! and how warmly has
this regard been reciprocated ! There has been no time
when we have not been in George Peabody's debt. Sepa-
rated from us by the wide ocean, living amid the whirl
and roar of the world's metropolis, engrossed with the
weightiest concerns, flattered and caressed by the titled
and the great, that ' heart untravelled ' has yet clung stead-
fast to its early love. While, wherever his lot has been
cast, every worthy object of charity and every beneficent
enterprise has received his ready aid, in an especial man-
ner has he remembered and endowed us. When fire
desolated our village, and swept away the sacred house
where in childhood he listened to those truths which have
been the guide and solace of maturer years, he helped to
rebuild the rafters and point again the spire to heaven.
When a pious local pride would rear an enduring monu-
ment to the memory of our fathers who fell in the first
fight of the Revolution, it was his bounty, although he
lived beneath the very shadow of the crown from which
that Revolution snatched its brightest jewel, that assisted in
rearing the granite pile, and transmitting to future ages
the names and heroic deeds of our venerated martyrs. So,
when, advancing a new step in the cause of public educa-
38 THE LIFE OF GEOEGE PEABODY.
tion, this town established two high schools for the better
culture of its youth, it was his untiring generosity that
awoke new life, and kindled fresh desire for knowledge, by
ordaining a system of prize-medals, carefully discriminating
and judicious, and which will embalm his name in the
affections of unborn generations of youthful scholars.
And, lastly, when, four years ago, the town of Danvers
celebrated the centenary of its municipal life, it was the
same constant, faithful friend that sent to our festival that
noble sentiment, 'Education, a debt due from present
to future generations ; ' and, in payment of his share of
that debt, gave to the inhabitants of the town a munificent
sum for the promotion of knowledge and morality among
them. Since that day, his bounty has not spared, but has
flowed forth unceasingly, until the original endowment has
been more than doubled, and until here, upon this spot, is
founded an institution of vast immediate good, and whose
benefits and blessings for future years, and upon the gen-
erations yet to come, no man can measure. Such are some
of the reasons why the news of Mr. Peabody's contem-
plated visit to this country was received with peculiar
emotions here ; why every heart was warmed ; why ail the
people, with one accord, desired to see his face and hear
his voice ; and why the towns of Danvers and South Dan-
vers, in their corporate capacities, and in obedience to
the popular will, extended to him, on his arrival upon our
shores, an invitation to visit their borders."
Hon. Robert S. Daniels also spoke of the early home of
EAELY DAYS. 39
the subject of this record, and of him, in fitting words, as
"It is now more than forty years since Mr. Peabody
was a resident of this town ; and many and great are the
changes which have taken place during that period. Many
of them are of a pleasing' character : some of them, how-
ever, which are the result of the universal law of Nature,
will he remembered with sorrow. And I would ask with
reference to these changes, in the language of Scripture,
4 The fathers where are they ? ' They are all gone.
Their seats in our halls and in our churches are all vacant.
The active business-men of that day have all passed from
time to eternity.
" The population of Danvers, at that period, was about
three thousand : now more than ten thousand. We then
had but two churches : we now have nine. The salaries
paid the ministers were about a thousand dollars, and now
estimated at ten thousand dollars. We then had but two
or three public schoolhouses : now some fifteen, and a num-
ber of them large and costly buildings, and thronged with
hundreds of happy children. We then appropriated about
two thousand dollars for their support : now about ten thou-
sand dollars ; and are trying to pay the debt due from pres-
ent to future generations. Our old public avenues are
filled with dwellings and stores. Many new streets have
been located, and built upon. The power of steam was
then almost unknown. Railroads are now laid in all di-
rections through our town, and almost thirty trains per
40 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
day pass through this village. We then had no banks, and
no post-offices : we now have three banks and four post-
offices. And I feel warranted in stating that the business
of the town would show a greater increase than any thing
" Mr. Peabody left this place with no capital but a good
character and his inherent energy and firm resolve. He
now returns to us under circumstances known to you all :
his unparalleled success has not blotted from his memory
his old home and his old friends."
It was Mr. Peabody's privilege, and he always felt it to
be such, to minister to the comfort of his widowed mother :
and the minds of his surviving relatives, who knew him
in childhood and youth, are stored with precious memo-
ries of his noble deeds. It has been said tliat "Mr.
Peabody did not bestow many gifts to relieve individual
poverty or distress : he "thought that much of the money
thus contributed only tended to increase the evil it sought
to alleviate." But it is certain that his immediate friends
and relatives were never at a loss to know the character
of his feelings toward them. He manifested his good will
by word and deed, as freely, in proportion to his means,
when he had but a few hundred dollars, as when he pos-
sessed millions. c
From a child, George Peabody had to rely on his own
exertions. At the early age of eleven, he was apprenticed
to a Mr. Sylvester Proctor, who kept a " country store "
of groceries, drugs, &c., in Danvers. Here, for four years,
EARLY DAYS. 41
he was a faithful laborer, giving great satisfaction by his
honesty, . promptness, and fidelity. But, at the age of
fifteen, he began to be discontented. He longed for a
change, and for a larger field of action. He wanted to
engage in business on a larger scale. Accordingly, after
he had spent a year with his maternal grandfather in
Vermont (of which year mention will be made in another
chapter), he joined his elder brother, David Peabody, in
a dry-goods or " draper's " shop, in Newburyport. This
was in 1811. Here he was the same faithful young man,
exact and prompt in business, and winning the respect of
all who knew him. It is said that " the first money Mr.
Peabody earned outside of the small pittance he received
as a clerk was for writing ballots for the Federal party in
Newburyport. This was before the day of printed votes."
His penmanship was superior in beauty. His letters were
usually brief, and very much to the point ; but they were
easily read, and specially enjoyable, because of his clea"r
and nice chirography.
Among the incidents concerning Mr. Peabody 's early
life, " The Boston Transcript " is responsible for the fol-
" Two gentlemen are living, who were friends of Mr.
Peabody in boyhood, and who willingly paid his share of
the cost of sailing and fishing parties, tenpins, &c., during
the war of 1812-14 ; his excellent company being con-
sidered more than an offset to his lack of funds.
" The late Rev. Daniel Dana, D.D., of Newburyport,
42 THE LIFE OF GEOUGE PEABODY.
was the clergyman whose preaching first attracted Mr.
Peabody's attention when a lad. Dr. Dana was uncle to
Mr. Samuel T. Dana of this city, who has been Mr.
Poabody's agent of late years."
During young Peabody's stay in Newburyport occurred
a great fire, which destroyed a large amount of property,
and, by the burning of his brother's store, was the means
of causing him to leave that town. Mr. Peabody, in
after-life, claimed to be the first to give the alarm. He
was putting up the shutters at his brother's store, when
he discovered the enemy. Shortly after, he went away.
The years of his boyhood were fully past. He was a
young man, and a promising merchant. He departed to
new scenes and to new triumphs. But he never forgot
that town ; and afterwards shoVed, by a munificent gift,
his interest in it. " The Herald " of that place says,
" The cause of Mr. George Peabody's interest in New-
Buryport was not alone that he had lived here for a brief
period, or that his relatives had lived here ; but rather it
was the warm friendship that had been shown him, which
was, in fact, the basis of his subsequent prosperity. He
left here in 1811, and returned here in 1857. The forty-
six intervening years had borne to the grave most of the
persons with whom he had formed acquaintance. Among
those he recognized were several who were in business, or
clerks, on State Street in 1811, Messrs. John Porter,
Moses KimbalL, Prescott Spaulding, and a few others,
Mr. Spaulding was fourteen years older than Mr. Pea-
EARLY DAYS. 43
body, and in business when the latter was a clerk with his
uncle, Col. John Peabody. Mr. Peabody was here in
1857, on the day of the Agricultural Fair, and was walk-
ing in the procession with the late Mayor Davenport,
when he saw Mr. Spaulding on the sidewalk, and at once
left the procession to greet him.
" Mr. Spaulding had rendered him the greatest of ser-
vices. When Mr. Peabody left Newburyport, he was
under age, and not worth a dollar. Mr. Spaulding gave
him letters of credit in Boston, through which he obtained
two thousand dollars' worth of merchandise of Mr. James
Reed ; and Mr. Reed was so favorably impressed with his
appearance, that he subsequently gave him credit for a
larger amount. This was his start in life, as he afterwards
acknowledged ; for at a public entertainment in Boston,
when nis credit was good for any amount, and in any part
of the world, Mr. Peabody laid his hand on Mr. Reed's
shoulder, and said to those present, ' My friends, here is
my first patron ; and he is the man who sold me my first
bill of goods.' After he was established in Georgetown,
D.C., the first consignment made to him was by the late
Francis Todd of Newburyport. It was from these $tcts
that Newburyport was always pleasant in his memory ;
and the donation he made to the Public Library was on
his own suggestion, that he desired to do something of a
public nature for our town."
The fact was, George Peabody loved to give, and was
a grateful, appreciative man ; and this chapter concerning
44 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
his early days cannot be better closed than by quoting one
of the best things said by him, spoken at the late re-
union in his native town :
"It is sometimes hard for one, who has devoted the
best part of his life to the accumulation of money, to spend
it for others; but practise it, and keep on practising it,
and I assure you it comes to be a pleasure."
OUT IN THE WORLD.
The Commercial Assistant. Going South. Business-Habits. Love
" A wit's a feather, and a chief a rod :
An honest man's the noblest work of God." POPE.
" Provide things honest in the eight of all men." ROM. xii. 17.
HE burning of his brother's store in Newbury-
port left George Peabody without employment.
But he was not one to eat the bread of idleness.
He sought for employment ; and his uncle, John
Peabody, who had settled in Georgetown, adjoining the
Federal capital, invited young George to become his com-
mercial assistant. To the South, for the first time, he
went ; and there he tarried two years, managing with pe-
culiar ability a large part of the business, though still in
his teens. His honesty was unquestionable, his tact un-
usual. Of course, he succeeded in winning friends and
No wonder that he always felt an interest in the South.
Thither he had gone when the avenue to business-success
46 THE LIFE OP GEOEGE PEABODY.
seemed closed to him at the North by the misfortune of
that great Newburyport fire ; and, with his well-known
gratitude, it is not strange, that, in after-years, to him the
South was remembered more as the refuge of the young
seeker after profitable employment than as the antipodes
of the North. In those days, there was no North or South
mentioned in contrast : but to him the vicinity of the Fed-
eral capital was as much a part of his native land as any-
other portion ; and he loved it all. So the South became as
a home to him ; and he always looked back to Georgetown
and its vicinity as a child looks back to the shelter and
comfort of a father's roof.
Here the young merchant made many friends by his af-
fability and consistent politeness. According to testimony
gathered from those who knew him personally, Dr. Hana-
ford states, that,
" Unlike most persons in similar circumstances, and,
indeed, those possessing far less wealth and enjoying far
less reputation, he never seemed to assume unusual im-
portance, or demanded special favors. He was bland, so-
cial, and genial ; indicating by his general manner a willing-
ness to converse with those with whom he accidentally
came in contact, yet never arrogating to himself the right
to monopolize conversation. It seemed to be his wish to
travel like other men, mingle with his fellows as an equal ;
manifesting a commendable retiring and modest spirit. At
the station, if he wished attention, his baggage disposed of,
he was willing to await his turn ; manifesting no impatience,
OUT IN THE WORLD. 47
and then saying that he had c baggage to put in the room,
when you are at liberty,' &c. ; never manifesting by his
manner that he claimed any special attention or favors :
whilp he never failed to express his gratitude and acknowl-
edgments for favors and attentions extended to him.
Politeness seemed a special and remarkably prominent
characteristic, manifested on what would be ordinarily re-
garded as unimportant occasions ; yet he seemed to regard
all occasions, while mingling with his fellows, as of suffi-
cient importance to justify respectful consideration, and the
manifestation of a refined politeness commanding the re-
spect of all who knew him. It is probable that his success
in business was attributable, in part at least, to his respect-
ful bearing, his affability, and his general correctness of
" In this connection, it is proper to say that Mr. Peabody
was a remarkable man in his intercourse with his fellows.
It was the remark of a station-agent, one intimately ac-
quainted with him, that he was a c comfortable man to
have around ; ' that he would be a ' popular man if he was
not worth a dollar.' Though a man of large wealth,
one who was the object of general admiration, not for his
money only, but for his own sake, on whom many and
distinguished honors were bestowed with a lavish hand,
he was apparently unconscious of remarkable merit.
" Mr. Peabody was scrupulously exact and punctual in
the discharge of his obligations ; not only those relating to his
financial transactions, but personal obligations, those con-
48 THE LIFE OP GEORGE PEABODT.
nected with his intercourse with his fellows in the ordinary
walks of life. The following incidents will well illustrate
his characteristics in these relations. While spending a
short time with his sister, Mrs. Daniels, at Georgetown,
in 1857, he said to Mr. P., the conductor, 'Mr. P., I
am considerably isolated, and do not see the papers as I
would wish. Please bring me some of the Boston dailies.' '
When asked what ones he would prefer, he decided to see
' The Advertiser ' as a commercial paper, and c The
Post,' that he might read both sides in politics. These
were promptly delivered by the gentlemanly and accommo-
dating conductor, who was very willing to indicate his re-
spect for such a man by an act of kindness ; never think-
ing that he should merit or receive any special notice from
" Some weeks after, while riding in the cars, as he fre-
quently did, between Georgetown, Boston, Salem, &c.,
Mr. Peabody asked his indebtedness to the conductor for
the papers, &c. He was assured that he was very wel-
come, and that he esteemed it a privilege to confer such
favors upon one who was doing so much for humanity ; and
that it was a very trifling affair on his part. . But little was
said on the subject, and they parted at the station.
" Some months afterward, the conductor received by ex-
press a beautiful morocco case, which, when opened, was
found to contain several photographs of Mr. Peabody,
taken in different postures, &c., executed in different parts
of Europe ; an embossed silver vase, about eight inches in
OUT IN THE WORLD. 49
height, of exquisite workmanship, with the conductor's name
engraved on it, and the name of the distinguished donor.
It also contained an autograph-letter, in which he was re-
quested to ' transmit these articles to his children as a
memorial-gift,' indicating the esteem of the donor for the
recipient. It is probable that the conductor's gentlemanly
bearing toward the distinguished traveller, his politeness,
and general accommodating spirit, may have ^uggested the
honor conferred, since he had been heard to say that he
always felt at home in his train ; as other travellers will
" The Boston Post," shortly after the departure of Mr.
Peabody, contained an article concerning his personal and
business habits, from which the following extracts are
" Mr. Peabody, say his old friends and neighbors at Sa-
lem, was eminently a peculiar man. Possessing a strong
will and firm determination in the carrying-out of his pur-
poses, he obtained at once the respect and admiration of
those with whom he came in contact. Although, like a
genuine Yankee, Mr. Peabody was fond of a good bar-
gain, his every action was beyond the breath of a suspi-
cion of meanness. His desire was only to be treated as
other men were. Several years ago, there lived in Salem
a hackman named Davis, who was more remarkable for his
independence and plain-speaking than, for the quality of his
accommodations. His prices, also, were below those of
his competitors. Mr. Peabody rode with this hackman
50 , THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
one day, and, on arriving at liis destination, tendered the
usual fee of fifty cents.
" ' Here's your change, sir,' said Davis, returning at the
same time fifteen cents.
" 4 Change ! ' exclaimed Mr. Peabody : ' why, I'm not
entitled to any.'
" 4 Yes, you are : I don't tax but thirty-five cents for a
'ride in my hack.'
" l How do you live, then ? '
" ' By fair-dealing, sir. I don't believe in making a man
pay more than a thing is worth just because I've got an
" Mr. Peabody was so pleased with this reply, that he
ever after sought Davis out, and gave him the bulk of his
patronage. This, however, was not very remunerative.
Mr. Peabody cherished an inveterate dislike to parade, and
carried this feeling sometimes to a ridiculous length. When
at the zenith of his fortune, he has been known to stand
out-doors for some minutes in a drenching storm because
he preferred a horse-car to a hackney-coach. This feeling
extended even to his dress. His plain and substantial garb
exhibited no token of the wealth of its wearer, and was
shaped in the plainest and most substantial manner. He
very seldom wore an article of jewelry. His watch was
attached to a plain, black-silk guard ; and pearl buttons only
were visible in his shirt-bosom. Until his last visit to this
country, Mr. Peabody refused, notwithstanding the repeat-
ed solicitations of his friends, to employ a valet ; preferring
OUT IN THE WORLD. 51
to discharge the duties of his own toilet. These duties,
however, became irksome with declining years ; and he
finally consented to lay them off his shoulders. He there-
fore took with him to England a favorite and trusty ser-
vant who had been in the family of a relative for many
years, and whose position was rather that of a confidential
friend than a menial. This man was with Mr. Peabody
from the time of his departure, last August, up to the hour
of his death, and will accompany the remains to this coun-
Newspaper reports are often unreliable, but yet full of
interest ; and when, among the questions asked concerning
Mr. Peabody, came this, " Why was he never married? "
" The Boston Transcript " made a partial attempt to solve
it. in these words :
" About a quarter of a century ago, Mr. Peabody was
so much pleased with an American lady visiting London,
that he offered her his hand and fortune, which were ac-
cepted. Learning, a short time afterwards, that she was
already engaged, a fact of which she had kept him in
ignorance, he rebuked her lack of sincerity, and broke
off the engagement."
Another newspaper created a sensation with an article
headed, " A Romantic Episode in the Life of George Pea-
body," and went on to state as follows :
" The reason why George Peabody, the great philan-
thropist, remained a bachelor all his life, may be explained,
perhaps, by the following chapter in his history :
52 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABOBY.
" When Mr. Peabody was just entering upon his career
of success as a business-man, in Baltimore, he met by
chance a poor girl, who was but a child, but whose face
and gentle manner attracted his notice. Questioning her
in regard to parentage and surroundings, he found her in
every way worthy his regard, and a fit subject for his bene-
faction. He at once adopted her as his ward, and gave
her an education. As she advanced in age, her charms of
person, as well as brightness of intellect, won the affections
of her benefactor. Through this relationship, he had an
ample opportunity of watching her progress ; and day by
day her hold upon his affections grew stronger.
" At length, as the ward bloomed into womanhood,
though much her senior in years, Mr. Peabody offered hei'
tus hand and fortune. Greatly appreciating his generosity,
and acknowledging her attachment for him as a father, she,
with great feeling, confessed that honor compelled her in
decline the acceptance of this his greatest act of generos-
ity ; informing her suitor that her affections had been given
to another, a clerk in the employ of her benefactor.
" Though disappointed and grievously shocked, the phi-
lanthropist sent for his clerk ; and, learning from him that
the engagement had been of long duration, Mr. Peabody at
once established his successful rival in business, and soon
after gave his benediction upon the marriage of his ward.
This, it is said, was the first blow his heart received ; and it
is possible that from this episode came the inspiration that
made the future of Mr. Peabody so universally distin-
OUT IN THE WORLD. 53
guished, and has rendered his name famous as a remark-
able public benefactor."
But " The Providence Journal " claims to be best in-
formed of any, and publishes from an anonymous corre-
spondent the following :
" A story has been going the rounds of the newspapers,
giving as a reason why Mr. Peabody was never married,
that he adopted a young girl, whom, after she grew up, he
wished to make his wife ; but, finding that she preferred a
clerk in his establishment to the chief of the house, he
4 never told his love,' but calmly gave her up, and saw
her married to a younger rival. Of the truth of that story
I know nothing ; but I can vouch for this that I am now
going to relate :
" More than thirty years ago, in the far-famed school of
.that prince of teachers, John Kingsbury, was one of the
fairest of all the fair daughters of Providence, celebrated
far and near though that city has ever been for its lovely
girls. Her school-education finished, she went with friends
to Europe ; not, however, before having given her youth-
ful affections to a young man whom she had met in a sister-
city. But, before marriage had consummated their happi-
ness, adversity came upon him, and he found himself in no
situation to marry. He was not willing she should waste
her youth and glorious beauty in waiting through long
years for the day to come when he could call her "his own :
so he released her from her vows, and they parted ; she
going, as I said before, to Europe.
54 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
" There she met George Peabody, then, comparatively
speaking, a young man, but one who was already making
his mark, and whose wealth was beginning to pour in on
" He saw her, and was struck (as who that ever saw her
was not struck?) with her grace, her winning ways, her
exceeding loveliness; and, after a while, he 'proposed.'
Her heart still clung to her loved one across the wide At-
lantic ; but, after some time, she yielded perhaps to the
wishes of her friends, perhaps to the promptings of worldly
ambition : who can tell ? Who can fathom the heart of a
young and beautiful maiden ? She became the affianced
wife of Mr. Peabody. After a little interval, she came
back to this country, and, soon after her arrival, met her
first love, and, after-events justify me in saying, her
'only love.' At sight of him, all her former affection
came back, if, indeed, it had ever left her, and Mr.
Peabody, with his wealth and brilliant prospects, faded
away ; and she clung with fond affection to her American
lover, and was willing to share a moderate income with the
chosen of her heart. All was told to Mr. Peabody ; and
he, with that manliness that characterized his every action,
gave her up, and in due time she was married, and settled
in a city not more than three hundred miles from Provi-
dence. What she suffered in coming to a final conclusion
was known to but few. Her fair cheeks lost their round'
ness, and grew wan and pale ; her lovely eyes had a
mournful wistfulness that touched every heart. Some
OUT IN THE WOULD. 55
blamed her : others praised her. Those who were am-
bitious of worldly honors pronounced her ' mad,' ' foolish,'
to throw over a man like George Peahody, whose ever-in-
creasing Wealth would bestow every luxury upon her, and
place her in a position in London that would make her lot
an envied one, to marry a man who might never have more
than a limited income to live upon. Others and shall I
say the nobler part ? justified her in thinking that love,
true love, was more to be desired than wealth or earthly
" The painful conflict was at length ended. Her true
womanhood vindicated itself, and she wavered no more.
" I well remember, when in London, twenty-eight years
ago, hearing all this talked over in a chosen circle of Ameri-
can friends ; and also, at a brilliant dinner-party given by
Gen. Cass in Versailles, it was thoroughly discussed in all
its length and breadth. Whether, in his visit to this coun-
try, Mr. Peabody ever met his once-affianced bride, I can-
not say ; neither do I know whether, when she heard of
his more than princely wealth, her heart ever gave a sigh
at the thought, ' All this might have been mine.'
" After several years of wedded bliss, death took her
husband from her side, when the glorious loveliness of
her youth had ripened into the full luxuriance of perfect
The Citizen-Soldier. The First Partnership. The Travelling Member
of the Firm. Life in Baltimore.
" Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
' This is my own, my native land ' ? " SCOTT.
" Every man to his own country." 1 KINGS xxii. 36.
jMONG the peculiar characteristics which Amer-
icans have exhibited, or at least among the
virtues they have made prominent in their
national career, is love of country. Patriot-
ism, from the hour when this land was declared free from
all other jurisdiction, has always been found in the Ameri-
can heart ; and the dear old flag has ever had its faithful
followers. Some of George Peabody's ancestors were
among the Revolutionary heroes ; and so it was not strange,
that in the war of 1812, which occurred when he was a
young man, and during the early part of the Georgetown,
period of his life, he exhibited qualities which proved that
he was not unworthy of them. The war with the raother-
country, long threatened, appeared inevitable ; for the
British fleet had ascended the Potomac, and were menacing
the capital. This roused the patriotism of the young mer-
chant ; and, though lie had not yet reached the age when
military service could be required of him, he joined a vol-
unteer company of artillery, and soon found himself on
duty at Fort Warburton, which commanded the river-
approach to Washington. " Appleton.s' Journal " states,
that " for this service, together with a previous short ser^
vice at Newburyport, Mr. Peabody lately received one of
the grants of one hundred acres of land, bestowed under
certain conditions, by act of Congress, upon the defenders
of the Republic at this perilous time ; " and, to use the
words of an American writer, " if he gained here no mili-
tary honors, at least he showed that he had within him the
soul of a patriot and the nerve of a soldier."
After spending two years in the employment of his
uncle, he entered into partnership in a wholesale drapery
business with Mr. Elisha Riggs ; Mr. Riggs furnishing the
capital for the concern, and young Peabody agreeing to
transact the business. It is said, that, " when Mr. Riggs
invited Mr. Peabody to be a partner, the latter said there
was one insuperable objection, as he was only nineteen
years of age. This was no objection in the mind of the
shrewd merchant, who wanted a young and active assist-
ant." His unfaltering perseverance and indomitable
energy had full scope ; and they who may be supposed to
know of the matter, say, that, to aM concerned, the part-
58 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
nership of Riggs & Peabody proved a most successful
and satisfactory arrangement. In 1815, the house was re-
moved to Baltimore ; and, seven years later, its extended
operations were such as to justify the establishing and
opening of branches at Philadelphia and New York : and
about the year 1830, by the retirement of Mr. Riggs,
George Peabody found himself the senior partner and the
virtual director of one of the largest of mercantile firms.
, In one of the large, illustrated English papers,
" The London News," a fair portrait of Mr. Peabody is
given, and a brief sketch of his career, in which the
writer, from his stand-point, thus describes the Baltimore
partnership of which mention has been already made :
" The short war being over, his proved skill and diligence
in trade brought him the offer of a partnership in a new
concern. It was that of Mr. Elisha Riggs, who was about
to commence the sale of ' dry goods ' all sorts of
clothing - stuffs, as distinguished from ' groceries '
throughout the Middle States of the Union. . . . Peabody
acted as bagman, and often, travelled alone on horseback
through the western wilds of New York and Pennsylva-
nia, or the plantations of Maryland and Virginia, if not
farther ; lodging with farmers or gentlemen slave-owners,
and so becoming acquainted with every class of people
and every way of living. . . . Mr. Peabody' s character
as a man of superior integrity, discretion, and public spirit,
already distinguished him from others. He coveted
no political office ; he courted the votes of no party ; he
waited upon no ' caucus ; ' put his foot down upon no
' platform ; ' went for no ' ticket ; ' but held aloof from the
hateful strife of rival American factions. He chose rather
to bestow on his native Commonwealth the most perfect
example of justice, honor, and liberality in social life,
with the quiet self-culture of individual manhood. A
republic composed of such persons would have small need
of political cunning. The honest man was so much
greater than the state or nation, that, while he sat at 1
home, they came to him for aid and counsel. His private
morality and prudence were invoked to redeem the disas-
ters of public finance. So it has often happened in the
history of such affairs : the worth of one good citizen, as
it saved Maryland from bankruptcy, would save a whole
empire 1 in many a similar case."
The allusions of the English writer will be more easily
comprehended by reading the subjoined extract from the
address of Gov. Swann of Maryland, when, on the
1st of November, 1866, Mr. Peabody was welcomed to
the State by the Trustees of the Peabody Institute, which
his liberality had established, and of which further men-
tion will be made.
The governor said, "In the financial crisis of 1837,
which spread over this whole Union, affecting more or
less, almost every State within our limits, when we re-
quired countenance and support abroad, you, sir, stood the
fast friend of the State of Maryland [applause] ; and by
your efforts, by the weight of your great name, pointed
60 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
us to that career of prosperity and success in the manage-
ment of our financial affairs which has placed us to-day,
I will not say in advance^iE^t by the side, of the most
prosperous of our sister States. For this, Mr. Peabody,
the State of Maryland owes you a debt of gratitude.
[Applause.] And I consider myself fortunate that this
opportunity is afforded me, in the presence of this vast
audience here assembled, to make this acknowledgment,
due to the important services rendered to our State. . . .
Your career has been one of uninterrupted prosperity. In
all the business of life, you have adorned by your honesty
and straight-forwardness every position in which you have
been placed. And no man, Mr. Peabody, whether living
or dead, in this country or any country, has attracted a
larger share of the public attention by works of disinter-
ested- charity and benevolence. [Applause.] You have"
not lived for yourself alone. Two hemispheres attest your
princely liberality. Returning to your native country
after so many years' absence, crowned with all the honors
that human applause can bestow upon a private citizen,
not excepting the applause of royalty itself, I feel proud,
standing within the walls of this noble institution, the -work
of your own hands, for which we are indebted' to your
unaided liberality, to say, sir, that I speak here to-day, not
only the sentiments of the vast crowd before me, but of
the whole State of Maryland, when I assure you, that, in
honoring George Peabody, we honor ourselves." [Ap-
Mr. Peabody's response to these words of Gov. Swann
have such reference to his life in Baltimore, that it is here
"YouR EXCELLENCY, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I
thank you most kindly for the honor which the Governor
of Maryland has done me in the sentiment which he has
expressed ; and I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for
the enthusiasm which you have been so kind as. to mani-
fest at the mention of my name. [Enthusiastic applause.]
The Governor of Maryland has referred to the assistance
which he gives me the credit of performing thirty years
ago, or more, for the resuscitation, in some measure, of the
credit of the State of Maryland. The same compliment
was yesterday paid me by the Mayor and Council in ref-
erence to the same subject. I will, therefore, only say to
you, that what I did at that time, any pledge that I ever
made at that time, has been fully sustained by the State
of Maryland throughout the duration of that time.
"It is upward of half a -century since I came from
Georgetown, in the District of Columbia, where I had for
some time been in business, to reside in this city. I was
then but twenty years of age, and commenced business in
company with Mr. Elisha Riggs of Georgetown, at 215|-
Markct Street, then called ' Old Congress Hall ; ' and
there it was that I gained the first five thousand dollars
of the fortune with which Providence has crowned my
exertions. From that period, for twenty years of my life,
62 THE LIFE OF GEOEGE PEABODY.
though a New-England man, and though strong prejudices
existed, even at that time, between the Northern and
Southern States, I never experienced from the citizens of
Baltimore any thing but kindness, hospitality, and confi-
" It would, then, be strange indeed if I were not deeply
attached to Baltimore ; and from the time of which I have
spoken, to the present moment, I have ever cherished the
warmest and most grateful feelings towards the inhabitants
of this beautiful city, where I entered upon a business-
career which has been so prosperous.
" And although I have lived abroad for more than thirty
years,- under the government of a queen who is beloved
not only in her own realm, but throughout all civilized
countries, and who has bestowed upon me very high
honor, yet my appreciation (warm though it is) of kind-
ness and honor bestowed upon me in England has never
effaced the grateful remembrance and warm interest which
I must ever connect with the home of my early business
and the scene of my youthful exertions.
"'I am, therefore, glad to meet you here; to stand
again where I can look upon the scenes which recall so
many memories of my younger days ; and still more glad
to receive from you this warm greeting, the token that my
course of life has met with your approbation.
" But yet I come to you now, in some degree, with a
saddened heart, at finding that nearly all my early ac-
quaintances in Baltimore have left the stage of life, and I
am left so nearly alone among them all ; and, in lately
looking over a list of the principal importing merchants of
Baltimore (headed by Alexander Brown & Son, and
George & John Hoffman), attached to a circular ad-
dressed to our shipping-merchants in Europe, dated fifty-
one years ago, and containing ninety-three firms, composed
of one hundred and forty-five names, I can now trace out,
as living, but seven persons, of whom I am one. And,
having but once before visited my native land in thirty
years, I feel now as if addressing a community to whom I
am personally almost wholly unknown ; and as if I were
standing here a relic of past years, and addressing a gen-
eration to which I do not myself belong.
" But my interest both in the present and in future
generations is, I trust, not less than in that which has
passed or is passing away. The fathers of many of you
who hear my voice were among my intimate friends ; and,
thus situated, I hope I may not be presuming in what I
shall have to say.
" Since my last visit, nearly ten years ago, many and
great changes have taken place. I then had the pleasure
of expressing my regard for this city, and my desire for
the good of its future citizens, by the establishment of the
institution in which I am now addressing you. I could
then hardly expect to address you here at this time ,- but
God has been pleased to prolong my years beyond the
threescore years and ten allotted to man, and to enable
me to carry out at this time the views I then entertained
G4 THE LIFE OF GEOBGE PEABODY.
with regard to the operations and benefits of this institu
" With the details of the scheme and organization of
the Institute I do not propose to interfere. I am fully
confident that I leave them in the hands of those who are
devoted -earnestly, and even enthusiastically, to devising
and carrying out such plans as will, for all coming time,
work for l;he 1 ighest good and culture of those for whom
its benefits were intended. But I am sure you will par-
don me, my fellow-citizens, if, on one point to which Gov.
Swann has eloquently alluded, - the .spirit of harmony in
which all should be carried out, I speak a few words,
coming as they do from the very depths of my heart, and ap-
pealing to you, you, the people of Baltimore, with whom
rests the success or failure of this Institute. For as years
advance, and what were forebodings for the future have
become merged in the past, the earnest desire for unity
and brotherly feelings which I cherished and expressed
ten years ago, in the terms referred to by the Governor
of Maryland, has become deeper and more intense. It is
my hope and prayer that this Institute may not only have
and fulfil a mission in the fields of science,. of art, and of
knowledge, but also one to the hearts of men, teaching
always lessons of peace and good-will ; and, especially,
that now it may, in some humble degree, be instrumental
in healing the wounds of our beloved and common country,
and establishing again a happy and harmonious Union,
the only Union that can be preserved for coming ages, and
the only one that is worth preserving. And here I may
well refer to a subject, which, though of a personal nature,
has its bearings on what I have said. I have been told
several times that I have been accused of want of devo-
tion to the Union s and I take this occasion to place my-
self right ; for I have not a word of apology, not a word
of retraction, to utter.
. " Fellow-citizens, the Union of the States of America
was one of the earliest objects of my childhood's rever-
*ence. For the independence of our country, my father
bore arms in some of the darkest days of the Revolution ;
and from him, and from his example, I learned to love
and honor that Union. Later in life, I learned more fully
its inestimable worth ; perhaps more fully than most have
done : for, born and educated at the North, then living
nearly twenty years at the South, and thus learning, in
the best school, the character and life of her people ;
finally, in the course of a long residence abroad, being
thrown in intimate contact with individuals of every sec-
tion of our glorious land, I came, as do most Americans
who live long in foreign lands, to love our country as a
whole ; to know and take pride in all her sons, as equally
countrymen ; to know no North, no South, no East, no
West. And so I wish publicly to avow, that, during the
terrible contest through which the nation has passed, my
sympathies were still and always will be with the Union ;
that my uniform course tended to assist, but never to in-
jure, the credit of the government of the Union ; and, at
G6 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
the close of the war, three-fourths of all the property I
possessed had been invested in United-States Government
and State securities, and remain so at this time.
" But none the less could I fail to feel charity for the
South ; to remember that political opinion is far more a
matter of birth and education than of calm and unbiassed
reason and sober thought. Even you and I, my friends,
had we been born in the South, born to the feelings,
beliefs, and perhaps prejudices of Southern men, might
have taken the same course which was adopted by the
South, and have cast in our lot with those who fought, as
all must admit, so bravely for what they believed to be
their rights. Never, therefore, during the war or since,
have I permitted the contest, or any passions engendered
by it, to interfere with the social relations and warm
friendships which I had formed for a very large number
of the people of the South. I blamed, and shall always
blame, the instigators of the strife, and sowers of dissen-
sion, both at the North and at the South. I believed, and
do still believe, that bloodshed might have been avoided
by mutual conciliation. But^ after the great struggle had
actually commenced, I could see no hope for the glorious
future of America, save in the success of the armies of
the Union ; and, in reviewing my whole course, there is
nothing which I could change if I would, nor which I
would change if I could. And now, after the lapse of
these eventful years, I am more deeply, more earnestly,
more painfully convinced than ever of our need of mutual
forbearance and conciliation, of Christian charity and for-
giveness, of united effort to bind up the fresh and broken
wounds of the nation.
" To you, therefore, citizens of Baltimore and of Mary-
land, I make my appeal ; probably the last I shall ever
make to you. May not this Institute be a common
ground where all may meet, burying former differences
and animosities, forgetting past separations and estrange-
ments, weaving the bands of new attachments to the
'city, to the state, and to the nation ? May not Baltimore,
her name already honored in history as the birthplace of
religious toleration in America, now crown her past fame
by becoming the daystar of political tolerance and charity ?
And will not Maryland, in place of a battle-ground for
opposing parties, become the field where milder counsels
and calm deliberations may prevail ; where' good men of
all sections may meet to devise and execute the wisest
plans for repairing the ravages of war, and for making the
future of our country alike common, prosperous, and glo-
rious, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from our north-
ern to our southern boundary ? "
Removal to London, Disinterestedness. Kindness to Americans.
Saving the Credit of his Country at the Crystal Palace.
" A smile for one of mean degree,
A courteous bow for one of high ;
So modulated both, that each
Saw friendship in his eye." HIRST.
" Be ye kind one to another." ROM. xii. 10.
characteristic manner, " The London
News " adds to the statement before given,
" But the time arrived, happily for this coun-
try, and well, perhaps, for the English race
on both sides of the Atlantic, when Mr. Peabody came to
London. His first visit to us was in 1827, while he was
still chief partner of the Baltimore firm. From this he at
length withdrew, and fixed himself here as merchant and
money-broker, with others, by the style of ' George
Peabody & Co. of Warnford Court, City.' He held depos-
its for customers, discounted bills, negotiated loans, and
bought or sold stocks. As one of three commissioners
LONDON LIFE. 69
appointed by the State of Maryland to obtain means for
restoring its credit, he refused to be paid for his services.
He received a special vote of thanks from the Legislatui e
of that State. Americans in Europe were always glad to
know Mr. Peabody, from whom they gained, if they
deserved it, the most useful assistance, as well as the
kindest welcome. His private hospitality not less deli-
cately than freely offered, though he was a bachelor, simply
and cheaply living in chambers was exerted without stint*
of cost for the pleasure of those who called on him with a
letter of personal introduction. He used to give them
pleasant little dinners at his club, or at Richmond, or
Hampton Court, places dear to the American visitor.
The anniversary of American Independence the 4th
of July he used to celebrate with a semi-public dinner
at the Crystal Palace. Mr. Peabody, indeed, was, of all
men, least like a hermit or ascetic ; but his taste was, to
be social in the enjoyment of all good things. He would
spend little for himself: his only solitary gratification, we
believe, was the peaceful sport of the angler, in which,
like Mr. Bright, he was quite an adept. These little per-
sonal habits of a man so much beloved' are not unworthy
A writer on this side the water says of Mr. Peabody,
that, " without being in the slightest degree a gourmand,
he prided himself very highly uprni his table, and took
especial pleasure in the selection of the viands. Mr,
Peabody generally possessed a hearty appetite. His taste,
70 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
however, was more for wholesome, well-cooked food than
for luxuries. He seldom indulged in pastry or cake, but
was passionately fond of fruit, which he kept upon his
table at all seasons of the year.'' And yet it is declared
that " Mr. Peabody's personal expenses never exceeded
three thousand dollars during the last ten years of his
life." Evidently Mr. Peabody thought of the tastes,
comfort, and needs of others, more than of himself ; and
in this disinterestedness lies one of the chief glories of
his character. He was just as well as generous. " The
Boston Transcript " says, " Mr. Peabody was strongly
opposed to fraud in little matters. The conductor on an
English railway once overcharged him a shilling for fare.
He made complaint to the directors, and had the man
discharged. ' Not,' said he, ' that I could not afford to
pay the shilling ; but the man was cheating many travellers
to whom the swindle would be oppressive.' '
It is said to have been " one of the peculiarities of Mr.
Peabody, that he never would have a house of his own.
He cared little foi himself in all things. It was his habit,
for instance, to dine off a mutton-chop at the grand din-
ners he used to give, where every luxury was spread
upon the table. He used to live in London in the most
retired manner ; and his name did not appear in any
directory or ' Court Guide.' '
He was a Banker only in the American sense of tlie
term ; for while, like the Rothschilds and the Barings, he
loaned money, changed drafts, bought stocks, and held
LONDON LIFE. 71
deposits for customers, yet lie did not pay out money, as
English bankers do, and therefore was not deemed a
banker in England. " The magnitude of his transactions
in that capacity, perhaps, fell short of one or two great
houses of the same class ; but in honor, faith, punctuality,
and public confidence, the firm of George Peabody &
Co. of Warnford Court stood second to none." As
already shown, Mr. Peabody had not been long across the
waters, when those unfortunate failures occurred which
shook American credit abroad, and brought so much
reproach in certain business-circles upon the American
name. " The default of some of the States, and the
temporary inability of others to meet their obligations,
and the failure of several of our moneyed institutions,
threw doubt and distrust on all American securities.
That great sympathetic nerve of the commercial world,
credit, as far as the United States was concerned,
was for the time paralyzed. At that moment, and it was
a trying one, Mr. Peabody not only stood firm himself,
but he was the cause of firmness in others. His judg-
ment commanded respect ; his integrity won back the
reliance which men had been accustomed to place upon
American securities." And a late writer has truly said,
that " it is because Mr. Peabody at that trying time rose
far above the mere financier, coming to the rescue with
his true American heart, as well as with his English purse
and English credit, that he rose at once into the rank
of public benefactors."
72 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
" The Boston Advertiser " is responsible for the follow-
ing anecdote, which illustrates the quick wit of the London
banker, and, to the candid' mind, does not compromise his
" The fame of Mr. George Peabody rests so exclusively
upon the immense gifts of the last years of his life, that
some peculiar incidents of his earlier career as an Ameri-
can merchant in London, illustrating other traits of char-
acter than splendid liberality, are apt to be overlooked.
Mr. Peabody was never a commonplace man ; and, in
many situations of life, he did things which brought him
strong friends and made him bitter enemies, and caused
controversies which would be now remembered, but for
the great torrent of giving which has swept them out of the
memories of most people. At the time of the Great Exhi-
bition of 1851, Mr. Peabody earned the gratitude of Amer-
icans in London and at home, and became more widely
known than his wealtn, already great, had made him, by
advancing a large sum, for which no provision had been
made, to enable the products of American industry to be
displayed in the Crystal Palace. In the same year, he gave
his first great Fourth- of- July feast, at Willis's Rooms, to
American citizens and the best society of London, headed
by the Duke of Wellington. It was ' the affair of the sea-
son.' Mr. Peabody, after this, extended his hospitality to
a larger extent than ever before ; established the unprece-
dented practice of inviting to dinner every person who
brought a letter of credit on his house ; and celebrated
LONDON LIFE. 73
every Independence Day by a special dinner to the Amer-
icans in London, inviting some distinguished English
friends to meet them.
" At these banquets, it was the invariable custom of the
host to have the first toast in honor of the Queen. After
her, the President's health might be drunk. It was Mr.
Peabody's own preference, and nobody had a right to
object. But, in 1854, a number of Americans, led by
Mr. Daniel E. Sickles, who was then secretary of legation
at London, proposed a special subscription-dinner on the
4th of July, as a more- purely national affair. During the
preparations, Mr. Peabody expressed an acquiescence in
the project, but asked to be allowed to provide the dinner,
which might be managed, as to the matter of invitations
and toasts, by a committee of arrangements. His proposal
was gladly accepted ; and, as it was supposed that the
great merchant had desired to imply a willingness to con-
form to the general preference in the matter of the senti-
ments, all was .left in his hands, and no committee of
arrangements was appointed. After the material portion
of a luxurious repast was over, Mr. Peabody arose, and
said, in deference to her sex, if not to her position, he
would propose as the leading toast, ' The health of her
Majesty, Queen Victoria.' The astonishment and wrath
of some of the guests were very great. Not a few, headed
by Mr. Sickles, left the room in ostentatious anger.
Others, among whom was Mr. Buchanan, the American
minister, refused to rise. There was an uproarious min-
74 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
gling of hisses with the cheers which followed the toast.
The affair seems at this distance of time a small one, and
undoubtedly the result of a misunderstanding; but it
caused great bitterness of feeling in 1854, and gave rise
to enmities which only the death of Mr. Peabody has
The testimony of the late President Felton of Harvard
College, given at the Danvers reception, is so much in
point, that it is here inserted :
" I am one of that famous tribe of ' wandering Arabs '
who have crossed the ocean, and have shared in the hospi-
talities of your distinguished guest ; "and I am indebted to
him, it is not egotism that prompts me to say it, but a
desire to add rny tribute to the chaplet of honor with
which you have crowned him to-clay, I am indebted to
him, I say, for much of my enjoyment in the Old World.
I reached London a stranger to him, having no letter of in-
troduction to him, not even a letter of credit. [Laughter.]
He sought me out, and invited me to one of those almost
regal entertainments ; and the hours that I spent in the
society gathered by him on that delightful occasion are
among the most pleasant reminiscences of my foreign tour.
I well remember the society brought together on that
occasion. The noble sons and lovely daughters of Eng-
land came, honoring by their presence your fellow-citizen,
who had honored them by his invitation ; and they felt it
so : and there I listened to words of friendship towards
the American nation which would make every heart in
LONDON LIFE. 75
this Assembly throb with delight if they could hear them,
as I heard them, spoken by the most eloquent lips of
" I think, Mr. President, if there is any Englishman
here present, he must have felt that the sentiment of
friendship for that great and illustrious nation the
foremost nation in modern civilization, the great bulwark
of liberty, whose language, as has been well and truly
said by one of their great writers, is the only language
upon the face of the earth in which the accents of freedom
can be uttered is congenial to the American heart ; he
must have felt that the words of good will so often uttered
on those festive occasions of which Mr. Peabody was the
originator have found a ready response from the people
of this country, as proved by this multitudinous assembly.
And I must confess, republican as I am, ultra republican
as I am [cheers], that my heart beat quicker when the
mention of the royal lady of England was received with
three hearty cheers from this republican assembly ; for
that sovereign lady illustrates, in her high position, all
those domestic and household virtues, which, while they
give dignity to the lowliest position, are the ornament and
the pride of the most exalted. It is true, we owe her no
political allegiance ; but the virtues of the Queen of
England, while they secure to her the love and loyalty of
her subjects, entitle her to the willing fealty of every hon-
orable man in republican America." [Loud cheers.]
" The Advertiser " also remarks that " it was in the
76 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
banking-business that the bulk of the huge fortune was
made. Mr. Peabody had a strong faith in American
securities. He dealt in them largely and confidently.
That keen business-instinct, indescribable, unacquirable,
inborn as much as the power of poetry or of art, secured
for him the happy result of a wise selection among invest-
ments which certainly were not universally perfect. The
result was, that his wealth, not previously remarkable,
began to roll up rapidly and enormously. He remained a
shrewd business-man to the end of his long life. Munifi-
cently as he gave away, he never, in the strict matter of
making money, grew lax or unbusinesslike. Very prop-
erly, he kept the two functions entirely distinct, and did
not confound liberal generosity with merchant-like deaU
ing. In private life, his habits were little changed by the
acquisition of riches. Frugal from necessity in early life,
frugal he remained, so far as the gratification of his own
tastes was concerned, to the end. But his hospitality was
exceptionally wide-spread and sumptuous, and such as is
always considered to be needful and becoming in the
complete picture of the ideal l merchant-prince.' Men
who spent lavishly for luxuries and show often pointed
with something like a sneer at his modest bachelor quar-
ters. But while he ,was sheltering the poor of a great
kingdom, and educating the ignorant in a mighty republic,
he could afford to let the cavillers have their say. He
was content to find his chief and quiet pleasure at his
favorite game of whist, in congenial company. . . .
LONDON LIFE. 77
" Though the temptations of business, and perhaps of
taste, induced Mr. Peabody to expatriate himself for so
many years, it is needless to say that he never ceased to
l>e at heart an. American citizen. Unlike most men who
b. long to two countries, he slighted neither for the other,
but distributed his affections and his money between them
in a manner which left room for nothing but gratitude on
the part of each. Americans will long remember and
long miss his hearty friendship in a foreign land."
According to " The Boston Transcript," " When Mr.
Peabody first resided in London, he lived very frugally ;
taking breakfast at his lodgings, and dining at a club-house.
His personal expenses forjten years did not average six
hundred pounds per annum.
" He had a very retentive memory, particularly in
regard to names and places. He would give the most
minute particulars of events that occurred between fifty
and sixty years ago.
" He first appeared in print as the champion of Ameri-
can credit in England at the time our State securities
were depressed on account of the non-payment of interest
" He was very fond of singing ; Scottish songs being his
" He was a good talker : at the table, few men were his
equals. His idea of a pleasant dinner-party was where
there was a great deal of talk, and he could take the lead
78 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
" The favorite games of Mr. Peabody were backgam-
mon after dinner, and whist in the evening. He was as
fond of the latter, and as rigorous a player, as Charles
Lamb's friend, Sarah Battle, who neither gave nor took
At the time of the Great Exhibition of 1851, in Eng-
land, Mr. Peabody redeemed the good name of his coun-
trymen by promptly supplying a sum of fifteen thousand
dollars, which was greatly needed, in order to place in
suitable array the contributions to the World's Fair from
America, and to save his native country from appearing
unworthy of its public and private enterprise. On the
occasion of Mr. Peabody's public reception by his native
town, in 1856, Hon. Edward Everett thus eloquently al-
luded to this generous deed of the London banker ; saying,
" We are bound as Americans, on this occasion particularly,
to remember the very important services rendered by your
guest to his countrymen who werit to England in 1851
with specimens of the products and arts of this country
to be exhibited at the Crystal Palace. In most, perhaps in
all other countries, this exhibition had been a government
affair. Commissioners were appointed by authority to
protect the interests of the exhibiters ; and, what was more
important, appropriations of money were made to defray
their expenses. No appropriations were made by Con-
gress. Our exhibiters arrived friendless, some of them
penniless, in the great commercial Babel of the world.
They found the portion of the Crystal Palace assigned to
LONDON LIFE. 79
our country unprepared for the specimens of art and
industry which they had brought with them ; naked
and unadorned by the side of the neighboring arcades and
galleries fitted up with elegance and splendor by the rich-
est governments in Europe. The English press began to
launch its too ready sarcasms at the sorry appearance
which Brother Jonathan seemed likely to make ; and
all the exhibiters from this country, and all who felt an
interest in their success, were disheartened. At this
critical moment, our friend stepped forward. He did
what Congress should have done. By liberal advances on
his part, the American department was fitted up ; and
day after day, as some new product of American ingenuity
and taste was added to the list, McCormick's reaper,
Colt's revolver, Powers's Greek slave, Hobbs's unpickable
lock, Hoe's wonderful printing-presses, and. Bond's more
wonderful spring governor, it , began to be suspected
that Brother Jonathan was not quite so much of a sim-
pleton as had been thought. He had contributed his full
share, if not to the splendor, at least to the utilities, of
the exhibition. In fact, the leading journal at London,
with a magnanimity which did it honor, admitted that
England had derived more real benefit from the con-
tributions of the United States than from those of any
GREAT AND GOOD GIFTS.
Help to find Sir John Franklin. Donation to Dunvers. The Peabi>dy
Institute in Peabody. The Public Reception of the Benefactor.
" For his bounty,
There was no winter in't : an autumn 'twas,
That grew the more by reaping."
SHAKSPEARE : Antony and Cleopatra.
" He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity." ROM. xii. 8.
|N 1852, Mr. Peabody again showed himself a
generous giver to good and noble objects.
That friend of humanity in America, Henry
jGrinnell, had generously offered a vessel owned
by himself, " The Advance," for a second expedition,
under the brave and dauntless Dr. Kane, to the Arctic
seas, in search of poor lost Sir John Franklin. Sympa-
thizing with the pluck and energy and perseverance of the
American explorer, and also with the deep sorrow of the
devoted Lady Franklin and other English friends, who
mourned the unexplained delay of the intrepid adventurer,
Mr. Peabody felt it to be his privilege to aid in the matter*
GREAT AND GOOD GIFTS. 81
According to " The Boston Transcript," " a private indi-
vidual offered a vessel for the purpose, on condition that
Congress should make a grant of money in aid of the ex-
pedition ; and when time ran on, and Congress seemed
inclined to do nothing in the matter, Mr. Peabody pro-
vided the means of equipping ' The Advance.' By this
timely aid, Dr. Kane was enabled to carry out 'his. enter-
prise ; and the name of ' Peabody Land ' will be found
marked upon part of the northern shores which that gal-
lant discoverer then visited."
In the month of June, 1852, the town of Danvers held
its centennial celebration, and Mr. Peabody was invited to
" Although Mr. Peabody had long been absent, yet the
lany proofs by which he had, in previous instances,
-inced his regard for the place of his birth, gave him
jculiar claims to be included among the invited guests.
Lccordingly, an invitation was early forwarded to him, by
le committee of the town, to be present at that festival,
rith a request, that, if unable to attend, he would signify
)y letter his interest in the occasion. In his reply, after
tating that his engagements would allow him to comply
ily with the latter part of the request, he said, c I enclose
sentiment, which I ask may remain sealed till this letter
read on the day of* celebration, according to the direc-
m on the envelope.'
82 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
" The indorsement on the envelope of the sealed packet
was as follows :
" ' The seal of this is not to be broken till the toasts are
being proposed by the chairman, at the dinner, 16th June,
at Danvers, in commemoration of the one 'hundredth year
since its severance from Salem. It ^contains a sentiment
for the occasion from George Peabody of London.'
"In obedience to the above direction, at the proper mo-
ment the reading of the communication was called for ;
and the following was received by the delighted audience
with loud acclamations :
" ' BY GEORGE PEABODY of London :
" ' EDUCATION, A debt due from present to future gen-
" ' In acknowledgment of the payment of that debt by
the generation which preceded me in my native town of
Danvers, and to aid in its prompt future discharge, I give
to the inhabitants of that town the sum of TWENTY THOU-
SAND DOLLARS for the promotion of knowledge and moral-
ity among them.
" ' I beg to remark, that the subject of making a gift to
my native town has for some years occupied my mind ;
and I avail myself of your present interesting festival to
make the communication, in the hope that it will add to
the pleasures of the day.
" ' I annex to the gift such conditions only as I deem
necessary for its preservation, and the accomplishment of
GREAT AND GOOD GIFTS. 83
the purposes before named. The conditions are, that the
legal voters of the town, at a meeting to be held at a con-
venient time after the 16th June, shall accept the gift, and
shall elect a committee of not less than twelve persons, to
receive and have charge of the same, for the purpose of
establishing a lyceum for the delivery of lectures upon
such subjects as may be designated by a committee of the
town, free to all the inhabitants, under such rules as said
committee may from time to time enact ; and that a
library shall be obtained, which shall also be free to the
inhabitants, under the direction of the committee.
" ' That a suitable building for the use of the lyceum
shall be erected, at a cost, including the land, fixtures, fur-
niture, &c., not exceeding seven thousand dollars ; and
shall be located within one-third of a mile of the Presby-
terian Meeting-House, occupying the spot of that formerly
under the pastoral care of the Rev. Mr. Walker, in the
south parish of Danvers.
"'That ten thousand dollars of this gift shall be in-
vested by the town's committee in undoubted securities,
as a permanent fund ; the interest arising therefrom to be
expended in support of the lyceum.
" ' In all other respects, I leave the disposition of the
affairs of the lyceum to the inhabitants of Danvers,
merely suggesting that it might be advisable for them, by
their own act, to exclude sectarian theology and political
discussions forever from the walls of the institution.
'"I will make one request of the committee ; which is,
84 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
if they see no objection, and my venerable friend, Capt.
Sylvester Proctor, should be living, that he be selected to
lay the corner-stone of the lyceum building.
" ' Respectfully yours,
" ' GEORGTE PEABODY.' "
The citizens of Danvers accepted the trust, in a proper
manner expressing their gratitude for the gift.
" Mr. Peabody afterwards added TEN THOUSAND DOL-
LARS to his first donation ; the whole to be so expended,
that seventeen thousand dollars should be appropriated for
the land and building, three thousand to the purchase of
books as the foundation of a library, and ten thousand to
remain as a permanent fund. Further donations have
since been received, swelling the aggregate of Mr. Pea-
body's gifts to the Institute to an amount exceeding FIFTY
This was the amount in 1856, when the memorial vol-
ume was written. Since then, the gifts to Danvers have
increased, till now, it is said, the Peabody Institute has
received nearly two hundred thousand dollars from its
The memorial volume, printed to commemorate Mr.
Peabody's reception in his native place, thus speaks of the
edifice which bears the honored name of " Peabody Insti-
tute : "
" The difficulty of procuring a suitable lot of land
within the prescribed distance from the meeting-house
GREAT AND GOOD GIFTS. 85
caused some delay in the erection of the building.. But*
at length a site was selected on Main Street; and the cor-
ner-stone of the new structure was laid, with appropriate
ceremonies, on the 20th of August, 1853 ; Hon. Abbott
Lawrence, an intimate friend of Mr. Peabody, performing
the part assigned to Capt. Sylvester Proctor, who had
deceased. The building was finished in the course of the
following year, and dedicated to its future uses on the 29th
of September, 1854. Hon. Rufus Choate delivered an
eloquent address on that occasion.
" It is a stately edifice, eighty-two feet in length by
fifty in breadth, built of brick, and ornamented with brown
Connecticut freestone. On its front, a slab of freestone
bears the words, PEABODY INSTITUTE, in relief. The
lecture -hall, occupying the whole of the upper story,
is, finished with neatness and simplicity, and is furnished
with seats for about seven hundred and fifty persons.
Over the rostrum hangs a full-length portrait of Mr. Pea-
body by Healy, which has been pronounced by connois-
seurs to be a chef d'ceuvre of that artist. It was sat for
by him at the request of the citizens of the town ; but, at
its completion, was presented to them. The library-
room, in the lower story, is commodiously arranged for
the delivery of books. The shelves for books are placed
around the walls of the room ; but, by the addition of al-
coves, its capacity can be greatly increased.
" Courses of lectures have been delivered in the lyceum-
hall to large and attentive audiences. The situation of
86 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
"Danvers within an hour's ride, by railroad, of the me-
tropolis is highly favorable for availing herself of the
best talent in this field of literary labor."
" In December, 1854, a donation of books was unex-
pectedly received from Mr. Peabody; affording a new
proof of his generosity and his continuing interest in the
institution that bears his name. These books, in all about
two thousand five hundred volumes, were selected by his
order, in London, by Mr. Henry Stevens, agent of the
Smithsonian Institute. They comprise many valuable and
even rare works ; among which may be mentioned ' The
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society,' and a
complete set of ' The Gentleman's Magazine.' '
At the laying of the corner-stone of this noble edifice,
which has since been enlarged and made more elegant in
appearance, Hon. Alfred A. Abbott reminded the hearers,
" how, at the early age of eleven years, in the humble
capacity of a grocer's boy, in a shop hard by where we
now stand, he commenced his life of earnest but successful
toil; how, four years after, having sought promotion in
another sphere, he found himself, by his father's death and
his brother's misfortunes, an orphan, without means, with-
out employment, without friends, and all in the most
gloomy times; but how, buoyed up by firm resolve and
a high endeavor, he turned his back upon the endeared
but now desolate scenes of his boyhood, and sought under
a southern sun those smiles of fortune denied him by the
frowning skies of his northern home ; how, there in George-
GREAT AND GOOD GIFTS. 87
town, in the District of Columbia, lie became, while not yet
nineteen years old, such was his capacity and fidelity,-
partner in a respectable firm, which afterwards removed to
Baltimore, and had branches established in two or three of
our principal cities ; and how, at length become the head
of his house, and having crossed and recrossed the ocean
many times in the transaction of his foreign business, he
at last, in 1847, established himself permanently in Lon-
don, having now created an immense business, and amassed
a princely fortune ; how, through all this career from pov-
erty to opulence, that simple heart and kindly nature,
which in youth divided with his orphan brothers and sis-
ters the scanty earnings of his toil, and in later and more
prosperous days expanded in social amenities and timely
charities to his countrymen in a strange land, how this
true nature remained ever the same, untainted by that
proud success which too often corrupts, mellowed only by
those growing years which seldom fail to blunt our finer
sensibilities ; and, lastly, how, while with a private life
above reproach, and a professional character distinguished
even among the merchant-princes of England, he had
come to be pointed out, both at home and abroad, as the
model of a man and a merchant ; how, all this time, his
heart fondly turned to his native country ; and how, true
to her interests and her honor, in the darkest hour of her
adversity, he stood up manfully in her defence, and,
throwing patriotism, energy, and capital into the breach,
sustained her credit, vindicated her good name, and won
88 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
the gratitude and received the thanks of sovereign
The Hon. Abbott Lawrence laid the corner-stone, pre-
viously saying, " I came here as the representative of Mr.
George Peabody ; and upon that it may generally be asked
how Mr. Peabody achieved so much good for his country.
I know him well. I have known him for many years. I
have seen him clay by day, month after month, and year
after year ; and, for the benefit of the younger portions of
this audience, I will tell you how he has achieved all that
has been so eloquently portrayed by the honorable gentle-
man who preceded me. In the first place, Nature gave
him a good constitution and a sound mind ; secondly, he
is a man of indomitable moral courage ; thirdly, he has
patience, perseverance, industry, and, above all, the strict-
"Ladies and gentlemen, I know him well: and I can
say here, in the face of this summer's sun and this audi-
ence, that I deem Mr. Ueorge Peabody the very soul of
honor ; and that is the foundation of his success. Those
traits of character I - have mentioned this integrity of
'purpose and determination have given him all the suc-
cess he has achieved."
When the beautiful edifice was dedicated, the eloquent
Rufus Choate, himself an Essex-County boy, delivered the
address. After saying that the community was happy in
such educational provisions, he went on to say,
" Happy, almost above all, the noble giver whose heart
GKEAT AND GOOD GIFTS. 89
is large enough to pay of the abundance which crowns his
life to pay out of his single means the whole debt this
generation owes the future. I honor and love him : not
merely that his energy, sense, and integrity have raised
him from a poor boy, waiting in that shop yonder, to
be a guest, as Curran gracefully expressed ,it, at the table
of princes, to spread a table for the entertainment of
princes ; not merely because the brilliant professional career
which has given him a position so commanding in the mer-
cantile and social circles of the commercial capital of the
world has left him as completely American, the heart as
wholly untravelled, as when he first stepped on the shore
of England to seek his fortune, sighing to think that the
ocean rolled between him and home ; jealous of our
honor ; wakeful to our interests ; helping his country, not
by swagger and vulgarity, but by recommending her
credit ; vindicating her title to be trusted on the exchange
of nations ; squandering himself in hospitalities to her citi-
zens ; a man of deeds, not of words, not for these merely
I love and honor him ; but because his nature is affection-
ate and unspphisticated still ; because his memory comes
over so lovingly to this sweet Argos ; to the schoolroom
of his childhood ; to the old shop and kind master, and the
graves of his father and mother ; and because he has had
the sagacity and the character to indulge these unextin-
guished affections in a gift, not of vanity and ostentation,
but of supreme and durable utility. With how true and
rational a satisfaction might he permit one part of the
90 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
charitable* rich man's epitaph to be written on his grave-
stone : ' "What I spent, I had ; what I kept, I lost ;
what I gave away remains with me ' ! "
On the ninth day of October, 1856, Mr. Peabody was
publicly received in his native town. It was a grand ova-
tion. Willing hearts, heads, and hands planned and exe-
cuted the various details. It was no forced greeting in
solemn mockery of the real public sentiment, but a genu-
ine expression of gratitude and respect. There was a
grand procession, in which the schools formed a prominent
part ; an address of welcome in behalf of the citizens, by
Hon. Alfred A. Abbott; a public dinner and an evening
levee, for the purpose of affording opportunity to many of
a personal introduction to the man whom Danvers de-
lighted to honor. The day was lovely, the route filled
with interested spectators, the houses and streets finely
decorated, and the welcome entire.
Mr. Peabody had been offered public honors by the citi-
zens of other places, but would accept, none save that invi-
tation which came from his native town. His admirable
reply to the New- York deputation is here inserted, that
his own pen may tell with what spirit he came back to the
land of his birth :
"NEWPORT, Monday, Sept. 22, 1856.
" GENTLEMEN, Your letter of the 16th inst. is before
me. Allow me to say, without affectation, that no one
can be more surprised than myself at the cordial welcome
which you extend to me. Had my commercial and social
GREAT AND GOOD GIFTS. 91
life in London produced even half the results with which
your kindness endows it, I should esteem myself more than
repaid for all labors there by such a letter, subscribed as it
is by many old and dear friends, by gentlemen whose names
in letters are co-extensive with the knowledge of our own
language, and by merchants whose enterprise has carried
the flag of our country into every sea that commerce
" If, during my long residence in London, the commer-
cial character and honor of our countrymen have stood
upon an elevated position, it has not been the result of my
humble efforts. In common with many of you, I have
tried to do my part in accomplishing these ends. That
the American name now stands where it does in the com-
mercial world, is mainly owing to her merchants at home,
who have extended her commerce till its tonnage equals
.that o any other nation ; who have drawn to her shores
the wealth of other lands ; under whose directions the fer-
tile fields of the interior have been made accessible and
peopled ; and whose fidelity to their engagements has be-
come proverbial throughout the world.
" It has been my pleasure, during a. long residence in
London, to renew many old friendships, and to form many
new acquaintances, among my countrymen and country-
women ; and it has been my good fortune to be permitted
to cultivate these in social life, where T have endeavored
as much as possible to bring my British and American
friends together. I believed, that, by so doing, I should, in
92 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
my humble way, assist to remove any prejudices, to softer
political asperities, and to promote feelings of good will and
fraternity between the two countries. It gives me great
pleasure to be assured that my countrymen at home have
sympathized in these objects, and have believed that they are
partially accomplished. The recent temporary estrange
ment between the two governments served to demonstrate
how deep and cordial is the alliance between the interests
and the sympathies of the two peoples. By aiding to
make individuals of the two nations known to each other,
I supposed that I was contributing my mite towards tho
most solid and sure foundation of peqce and good will
between them ; and, while the power remains to me, I shall
continue in a course which you approve.
" In returning to my native land, after an absence of
twenty years, I had several objects in view. I wished
once more to see the land of my birth and early youth, ,
and the surviving members of my family ; once more to
greet my friends in every part of the country ; and to see
and know the new generations that have come up since I
left, and who are to be their successors. I also desired to
visit every section of the Union, and to witness with my
own eyes the evidences at home of the prosperity of which
I have seen abundant proofs abroad. The twenty years
that have elapsed since my last visit are the most impor-
tant twenty years in the commercial history of America.
Like Rip Van Winkle, I am almost appalled at the won-
derful changes that already meet my eyes. Although, as
GREAT AND GOOD GIFTS. 93
you well know, I have not slumbered meanwhile in a Sleepy
Hollow, I stand amazed at the energy and activity which
characterize your city. It is my wish and purpose to re-
main in the country long enough to understand these
changes and their causes.
" On mature reflection, gentlemen, I , think, that, if I
accept the hospitalities which have been tendered to me
by yourselves and by friends in Baltimore, Philadelphia,
Boston, and other cities, I shall very seriously interfere
with the objects of my visit. I have, therefore, been
obliged to come to the conclusion to refuse all invitations
to dinner, with the single exception of my native town of
Danvers in Massachusetts. I assure you most sincerely
that I regret very much that my plans thus compel me to
decline the high honor which you propose to confer upon
me, and to deny myself the pleasure of meeting so many
" With great esteem and respect,
" I am, gentlemen, your faithful servant,
" GEORGE PEABODY.
" Messrs. Nathaniel L. & George Griswold ; Brown Brothers & Co ;
Duncan, Sherman, & Co. ; Grinnell, Minturn, & Co. ; Goodhue
& Co. ; Wctmore, Cryder, & Co. ; Spofford, Tileston, & Co. ; A.
& A. Lawrence & Co. ; Washington Irving ; William B. Astor ;
Daniel Lord ; George Newbold ; John J. Palmer ; William J.
Wetmore ; Charles Augustus Davis ; E. Cunard ; and others.
To the eloquent address of welcome Mr. Peabody made
the following response :
94 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
" MR. ABBOTT AND FELLOW-TOWNSMEN, I have lis-
tened to your eloquent words of welcome with the most
intense emotions, and return you for them my warmest
acknowledgments. My heart tells me that this is no
common occasion. This vast gathering, comprising many
old associates, their children and their grandchildren, to
welcome me to the home of my childhood, almost unmans
me. Though Providence has granted me an unvaried
and unusual success in the pursuit of fortune in other
lands, I am still in heart the humble boy who left yonder
unpretending dwelling many, very many years ago.
" I have felt it necessary to decline many proffered hospi-
talities : but I could not resist the impulse which prompted
me to accept yours, and to revisit the scenes once se famil-
iar ; to take you again by the hand, and to tell you how it
rejoices my heart to see you.
" You can scarcely imagine how the changes to which
you have referred impress me. You have yourselves
grown up with them, and have gradually become familiar-
ized with all ; but to me, who have been so long away,
the effect is almost astounding. It is gratifying to find,
however, that these transformations have gone hand in
hand with your prosperity and improvement.
" The solitary fields which were the scenes of my boyish
sports now resound with the hum of busy labor ; and the
spirit of improvement, not content with triumph on land,
has even converted Foster's mill-pond into solid ground,
and made it the scene of active enterprise.
GREAT AND GOOD GIFTS. 95
"But time has also wrought changes of a painful nature.
Of those I left, the old are all gone. A few of the
middle-aged remain, but old and infirm ; while the active
population consists almost entirely of a new generation.
" I now revert to a more pleasing theme, and call your
attention to the brightest portion of the picture of the
44 One of the most pleasing and touching incidents of this
morning is the large number of scholars who have come
forth to bid me welcome, and who now surround me. In
addressing a few words to you, my dear young friends, I
would bid you remember that but a few years will elapse
before you will occupy the same position towards your
own children which your parents now hold towards your-
selves. The training you are now receiving is a precious
talent, for the use or abuse of which each will, on a future
day, be called upon to give a severe account. May you
then be ready to render up that talent with 4 usury ' !
There is not a youth within the sound of my voice whose
early opportunities and advantages are not very much
greater than were my own ; and I have since achieved
nothing that is impossible to the most humble boy among
you. I hope many a great and good man may arise from
among the ranks of Danvers boys assembled here to-day.
Bear in mind, however, that, to be truly great, it is not
necessary that you should gain wealth and importance.
Every boy may become a great man in whatever sphere
Providence may call him to move.
96 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
" Steadfast and undeviating truth, fearless and straight-
forward integrity, and an honor ever unsullied by an
unworthy word or action, make their possessor greater
than worldly success or prosperity. These qualities con-
stitute greatness : without them you will never enjoy the
good opinion of others, or the approbation of a good
" To my young female friends I would say, Remember
that there have been and are great women as well as
great men, great in their domestic graces, as daugh-
ters, as wives, and as mothers ; and I trust that future
times may record many a name so distinguished, whose
seeds of good were sown within this town. And al-
low me to hope that my eye now rests upon some of
" May the advice I have given you be impressed upon
your young hearts ! It is given with great sincerity by
one who has had much experience in the world; and,
although Providence has smiled upon all his labors, he has
never ceased to feel and lament the want of that earLy
education which is now so freely offered to each one of
you. This is the first time we have met ; it may prove
the last : but, while I live, I shall ever feel a warm interest
in your welfare. God bless you all ! "
At the dinner, there were also addresses ; among them,
one by Henry J. Gardner, then Governor of Massachusetts.
GKEAT AND GOOD GIFTS. 97
" In response to a sentiment complimentary to Massa-
chusetts, I am always proud to raise my voice ; and,
responsive to this allusion in honor of her institutions, I
think to-day, in this presence, an answer may be pecu-
liarly fitting. I have never before participated in an
occasion of this kind. Where was there one ? A young
man, with no other capital, as you well said, but his hands
and his integrity, going abroad across the waters unher-
alded and unknown ; by his own industry and integrity
distinguishing himself among his fellows, and, in the good
gifts of Providence showered upon him every hour of
every year, seeking how he might benefit his countrymen
at home [cheers] ; rendering his name illustrious, also, for
his princely hospitality, and his commercial house, to
which you refer, a proverb upon the marts and commer-
cial highways of nations, to see such a one return, so
honored and so beloved, to the scene of his birth, is indeed
a new and interesting event.
"But I cannot, I will not, detain you. I cannot, how-
ever, but refer to one circumstance in the career of your
distinguished guest, which makes me peculiarly proud,
and feel deeply honored now to address him. He is a
merchant : he belongs to that fraternity to which my own
humble life and services have been devoted. It has not
the glittering attraction of the warrior, whose fame can be
carved out by his sword upon the battle-field ; it has not,
ladies and gentlemen, that attraction which he who
spreads abroad the glad tidings to all nations finds in his
98 THE LIFE OF GEOEGE PEABODY.
profession ; it has not the attraction of legal or of politi-
cal excitement ; it has not, necessarily, though there
are many exceptions, it has not, I say, necessarily, that
connection with the cultivation of the intellect, the
improvement of the mind, which the learned professions,
so called, always require : but, sir, you and I know it
has its pride and its value. There must be patient atten-
tion to petty details, to exacting, minute transactions ;
there must be great and careful and prudent attention
paid to them all, hour after hour, and day after day : but,
when the successful result is reached, there is a compen-
sation in that very success itself, and high honor in the
means by which it has been attained;
" And, sir, in your career there is much that the young
merchants of Massachusetts can profit by. -In the first
place, they can take a lesson from that integrity of pur-
pose of which we all to-day have read upon banner, upon
house, upon staff, and upon the faces and in the words of
our citizens. We can see, too, in your career, where
the siren Hope in early days beckoned you where deeper
waters ran, and pointed to the furled sail at the mast-
head, how you stood resolutely on in your own path of
duty, and defied the siren-song. There is in that a lesson
for the young merchants of Massachusetts to remember.
" But further, -beyond and above all this, when Provi-
dence in his mercy has filled your treasury to overflowing,
when you have reached the goal of all your anticipations,
GREAT AND GOOD GIFTS. 99
all you ever could have hoped or desired, ay, there is
a lesson, my friends, for the young and the old merchants
all to bear in mind as to the manner in which those
rich rewards have been distributed." [Loud cheers.]
The Hon-. Edward Everett also spoke eloquently, and,
among other true words, said,
" MR. PRESIDENT, I suppose you have called upon
me to respond to this interesting toast chiefly because I
filled, a few years ago, a place abroad which made me in
some degree the associate of your distinguished guest in
the kindly office of promoting good will between the two
great branches of the Anglo-Saxon or Anglo-Norman
race (for I do not think it matters' much by which name
you call it) 'the fair mother and the fairer daughter '
to which the toast alludes. At all events, I had much
opportunity, during my residence in England, to witness
the honorable position of Mr. Peabody in the commercial
and social circles of London ; his efforts to make the
citizens of the two countries favorably known tc each
other; and, generally, that course of life and conduct
which has contributed to procure him the well-deserved
honors of this day, and which shows that he fully enters
into the spirit of the sentiment just propounded from the
" Your quiet village, my friends, has not gone forth- in
eager throngs to meet the successful financier ; the youth-
100 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
ful voices to which we listened with such pleasure in the
morning have not been attuned to sing the praises of ^the
prosperous banker. No : it is the fellow-citizen, who, from
the arcades of the London exchange, laid up treasure in
the hearts of his countrymen ; the true patriot, who,
amidst the splendors of the Old World's capital, said in his
heart, ' If I forget thee, O Jerusalem 1 ! let my right hand
forget her cunning ; if I do not remember thee^ let rny
tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.' It is the dutiful
and grateful child and benefactor of old Danvers whom
you welcome back to his home.
" Yes, sir ; and the property you have invested in yon-
der simple edifice, and in providing the means of innocent
occupation for hours of leisure, of instructing the minds
and forming the intellectual character, not merely of the
generation now rising, but of that which shall take their
places when the heads of those dear children who so
lately passed in happy review before you shall be as gray
as mine, and of others, still more distant, who shall plant
kind flowers on our graves, it is the property you have
laid up in this investment which will embalm your name
in the blessings of posterity, when granite and marble
shall crumble to dust. Moth and rust shall not corrupt
it : they might as easily corrupt the pure white portals of
the heavenly city, where ' every several gate is of one
pearl.' Thieves shall not break through and steal it : they
might as easily break through the vaulted sky, and steal
the brightest star in the firmament."
GEEAT AND GOOD GIFTS. 101
Mr. Everett concluded by playfully referring to the sen-
timent sent by Mr. Peabody to the centennial assembly, in
these words : " Now, we all know, that, on an occasion
of this kind, a loose slip of paper, such as a sentiment is
apt to be written on, is in danger of being lost : a puff of
air is enough to blow it away. Accordingly, just by way
of paper-weight, just to keep the toast safe on the table,
and also to illustrate his view of this new way of paying
old debts, Mr. Peabody laid down twenty thousand dol-
lars on the top of his sentiment ; and, for the sake of still
greater security, has since added about as much more.
Hence it has come to pass that this excellent sentiment
has sunk deep into the minds of our Danvers friends, and
has, I suspect, mainly contributed to the honors and pleas-
ures of this day.
" But I have occupied, Mr. President, much more than
my share of your time ; and, on taking my seat, I will
only congratulate you on this joyful occasion, as I con-
gratulate our friend and guest at having had it in his
power to surround himself with so many smiling faces and
Other excellent speeches and many good letters also
marked this pleasant occasion ; but space forbids further
reference to them. Are they not all chronicled finely in
the memorial volume published by order of the committee
of arrangements ?
GOOD GIFTS CONTINUED.
The Donation to Thetford, Vt. Grandfather Dodge. The Wood-
* What you desire of him, he partly begs
To be desired to give. It much would please him,
That of his fortunes you would make a staff
To lean upon." SHAKSPEARE : Antony and Cleopatra.
" Give, and it shall be given." LUKE vi. 38.
O a communication addressed to the trustees of
the Peabody Library at Thetford, Vt., the
Rev. A. T. Deming, Chairman of the Board,
very kindly responded as follows :
" We have, as yet, no printed account of Mr. Peabody's
gift ; though we hope to have one soon in connection with
the printed catalogue.
" The following embraces, I think, the material facts
which you desire.
" During the fall of 1866, Mr. Peabody, while visiting
friends here, expressed his desire to do something in be-
GOOD GIFTS CONTINUED. 103
half of the place. The citizens assembled Aug. 6, 1866,
and passed the following resolutions :
" 'Resolved, That we most gratefully appreciate the
benevolence of Mr. George Peabody, and do extend to
him our hearty thanks for the very generous and munifi-
cent gift which he proposes to make us for the purpose of
a village library ; and will most cheerfully carry out the
plan he presents in establishing it ; and, in accordance
therewith, have elected Dr. H. H. Niles and Isaiah Co-
burn as trustees, to act with those already chosen by him.
" < Resolved, That the library shall take the name of its
munificent founder, and be called " The Peabody Library."
" '-Resolved, That Rev. Charles Scott be appointed a
committee to present the above resolutions to the donor,
and request him to make such conditions and regulations
respecting said fund as he may deem proper.'
" The resolutions were accordingly forwarded, and the
following response from Mr. Peabody received :
" * GEORGETOWN, September, 1866.
a< To Rev. C. SCOTT, Chairman of Peabody-Library Committee,
Post Mills, Vt.
'* l Dear Sir, I have to acknowledge the receipt from
you of the resolutions, of the citizens of Post Mills in
regard to my proposed gift of a library to that village ;
and, in accordance with the desire therein expressed, I beg
to state my wishes in regard to the management of the
104 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
" 4 Of the $5,000 which I proposed giving for the pur-
pose mentioned, I have placed $1,500 in the hands of
Samuel T. Dana, Esq., of the firm of Dana & Co., South
Market Street, Boston, subject to your order when money
shall from time to time be required for building-purposes
or for the purchase of books ; he allowing you interest at
the rate of five per cent per annum in account.
" 4 For $1,500 of the remainder, I have employed Mr.
H. G. Somerby of London (a friend who has bought
krgely for me for . other libraries) to purchase standard
and useful books as the foundation of your library ; and I
am sure they will prove cheaper and better than we could
get them in this country. I think they will be here by
the first of January next. You can, therefore, go 011 with
your building accordingly.
" ' With the remaining $2,000 I have purchased two
gold-bearing coupon-bonds of the United States, of the
denomination of $1,000, numbers 33,194 and 60,182,
popularly called five-forties. These I bought for you on
my return, and they are now worth nearly seventy dollars
over cost ; the two bonds being in the hands of S. T.
Dana, who holds them for your account.
" ' It is my wish, and a condition of my gift, that this
sum of $2,000 shall always remain and be kept perma-
nently invested by the trustees or library committee in
United-States bonds or other safe securities as a library-
fund, the income of which shall be applied to the purchase
of books or other wants of the library, as their discretion
GOOD GIFTS CONTINUED. 105
" * It is my wish that the privileges of the library shall
be enjoyed (under such restrictions, as to suitable age or
character, as may from time to time be made by the trus-
tees, or committee having it in charge) by the inhabitants
of the two school-districts in the town of Thetford, which
are comprised in the village of Post Mills ; and I would
suggest that these privileges may be extended in particular
cases, at the discretion of the library-officers, to others, who,
though not within the above limits, may reside near them,
and may be in the habit of doing business at the village
of Post Mills.
" ' And wishing, as I have ever done, to encourage and
cherish a spirit of harmony and good will among all, it is
my desire that at no time shall any preference or distinc-
tion be made in the selection of books, or in any matter
connected with the library, on account of any political
party or religious sect ; and it is my wish, that, whenever
a minister or ministers of the gospel are or may be settled
in Post Mills Village, he or they may be upon the library
" 4 The motive which has most strongly impelled me to
make this gift is my sense of gratitude for kindness shown
me in my early life by my late revered uncle, Eliphalet
Dodge, and his excellent wife, who still lives in your vil-
lage. It is therefore my desire that there shall always be
three of their descendants, and bearing their name (so long
as there shall remain so many of them inhabitants of Post
Mills Village), among the trustees of the library, sanc-
tioned by yourself and others.
106 . THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
" 4 I have selected as a site for the library-building a lot
of land which has been given for the purpose by Harvey
Dodge, Esq., and which appears to me to be central, and
eminently suitable for the location.
" ' I will send you Mr. Dana's letter of acknowledgment
for the two bonds, and the money, in a few days.
"'I am, with great respect,
44 4 Your obedient servant,
" ' GEORGE PEABODY.'
" Sept. 15, a meeting of the inhabitants of the village
was held, the above letter of Mr., Peabody read, and a
series of resolutions passed unanimously.
44 The resolutions provided for the appointment of offi-
cers, and otherwise carrying out the wishes expressed in
the preceding letter.
44 March 1, 1887, Mr. Peabody penned the following :
" ' 91 LAFAYETTE STREET, SALEM, MASS., March 1, 1867.
" 4 Dear Sir, Understanding from your letter to me,
received to-day, that your library-building will require, to
complete it, $500 in addition to the sum allowed for that
purpose from the $5,000 already given, I enclose a check
on New York for the same, payable to your order.
44 4 Very respectfully yours,
44 4 GEORGE PEABODY.
"Mr. WM. DODGE/
44 Aug. IT, 1869, a full-sized portrait of Mr. Pea-
GOOD GIFTS CONTINUED. 107
body was received at the library. A series of resolutions
passed by the trustees upon its reception was published in
4 The Vermont Chronicle.' Possibly you have seen them.
" On receiving intelligence of Mr. Peabody's death, the
trustees and friends of the library passed the following tes-
timonial of respect to his memory :
" ' God, in his providence, having removed by death
Mr. George Peabody, the founder of this library ; and it
being eminently fitting that some record should be made
of our appreciation of his excellences, and our grateful
sense of his benefactions : therefore
" 'Resolved, That we bow in humble submission to the
all-wise providence of God in the removal of this our
friend and benefactor ; remembering that to this same all-
.wise and gracious providence Mr. Peabody was accus-
tomed to attribute all the honor of what he was enabled
to become and to accomplish.
" 'Resolved, That "we record, with thankfulness to the
Father of all mercies, our high appreciation of the charac-
ter and life of Mr. Peabody, our high estimate of his pre-
eminent financial abilities, of his sterling integrity, and of
his republican simplicity, unshaken by the applause of the
multitude or the attentions of the great.
" 'Resolved, That, with a still deeper gratitude, we re-
cord our high sense of the value of his work as a philan-
thropist, in ministering with princely munificence to the
education of the ignorant, and to the comfort and eleva-
108 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
tion of the poor ; and this both in the land of his adoption
and in his native land, elsewhere and in this community.
u ^Resolved, That, with equal gratitude, we record his
earnest efforts to heal the wounds of war and spread the
arts of peace in the two leading nations of the earth ; and
express'the hope that his name, now received as a heritage
by England and America, may form another strand in the
cord binding these great powers together in amity.
" ^Resolved, That, as trustees and friends of this library,
we pledge ourselves anew to carry out the wishes of the
benevolent donor, and to hold up for imitation before us,
and before the minds of the people of this community, his
commendable traits of character and of life.' '
A writer in "The Boston Traveller " says, concerning
the donation to Thetford, " All the newspaper biogra-
phies of the great philanthropist state, that, at the age of
fifteen, he spent a year with his grandfather at Post Mills
Village, Thetford, Vt. ; and all lists" of his benefactions
mention his gift of some thousands of dollars for a library
in that village. This gift was made while on a visit to his
relatives there, during his last visit but one to his native
country. Perhaps some things which I happen to know
about the grandfather and family and residence may in-
terest some of your readers.
" Post Mills is a little village in the north-west corner of
Thetford, containing, at the time of George's visit, a grist-
mill and saw-mill, a schoolhouse, one or two variety-stores,
GOOD GIFTS CONTINUED. 109
a blacksmith's shop, a tavern, and probably a yonng phy-
sician ; though Dr. Niles may have settled there a year or
two later. The rest of the people were farmers of mod-
erate means : some of whom, however, occasionally made
shoes or put up barns for their neighbors. The nearest
house of worship was five miles south, on Thetford Hill,
where lived the Rev. Asa Burton, D.D., well known
throughout New England as a teacher in theology, and as
the great promulgator and defender of the ' Taste Scheme.'
Jeremiah Dodge, George's .grandfather, lived in a small,
neat, white, two-story house, a little out of the village,
on the north side of the road leading east to the Connec-
ticut River, and Oxford, N.H. His son Eliphalet lived
a few rods farther east, on the south side of the road, in a
one-story farmhouse, unpainted, unless it had once been
slightly tinged with Spanish brown. Their farm was
almost wholly on the south side of the road. I do not
know its exact size ; probably one hundred acres or more :
much of it, around the houses, beautifully level, and rea-
sonably fertile. He had a large family of boys and girls,
by whose help the labor of the farm was done.
" Another son, Daniel, was a 4 master mariner,' and
lived with his father when at home. He commanded a
ship which sailed from New York for Canton, with orders
to trade between Canton and Acheen in Sumatra three
years, and then load at Canton and return. Before the
three years had quite expired, he inferred from the news-
papers that war was imminent between the United States
110 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
and England, the war of 1812. He therefore loaded
and returned to New York as quickly as possible ; arriving
just in season to escape capture by the first British squad-
ron sent to blockade the coast. As his trips to Acheen
had been successful, and as the price of China goods had
risen, and continued to rise, on account of the war, the
voyage proved very profitable to the owners.
" Jeremiah Dodge, when I first knew him, some ten
years afterwards, was a white-headed old man, too feeble,
from age, for the severe labor of the farm, but still erect
in his posture, and commonly busy about such light work
as he needed to keep him from the tedium of idleness.
He was a very quiet man ; never obtrusive, but always
affable ; never excited, never talkative ; but showing, when
occasion called for it, which was not often, a keen,
quiet wit, which raised a smile among the hearers, and
commonly closed an argument to which he had been
listening. His wife was several years younger, more ac-
tive, and, though not a talkative woman, was more ready
to engage in conversation than her husband. They were
both members of the church in Thetford : but, about the
time last mentioned, a house of worship was erected at
Post Mills ; and they, with the other Congregationalists at
that place, transferred their membership to the church in
West Fairlee, worshipping there and at Post Mills on
alternate sabbaths. As church-members, they were too
old to be very active ; but nobody ever accused them of
any thing, either in the way of omission or commission,
inconsistent with their profession.
GOOD GIFTS CONTINUED. Ill
" With such grandparents and such surroundings,
George Peabody's year at Post Mills must have been a
year of intense quiet, with good examples always before
him, and good advice whenever occasion called for it ; for
Mr. Dodge and his wife were both too shrewd to bore him
with it needlessly. It was on his return from this visit
that he spent a night at a tavern in Concord, N.H., and
paid for his entertainment by sawing wood the next morn-
ing. That, however, must have been a piece of George's
own voluntary economy: for Jeremiah Dodge would never
have sent his grandson home to Danvers without the
means of procuring the necessaries of life on the way; and
still less, if possible, would Mrs. Dodge. Perhaps he told
them that he did not need any help, relying on his own
ability to make his way home, without burdening them
with the expense ; but, more probably, he just saw a
chance for an hour or two of profitable labor, and took
advantage of it to save money for other uses.
" The interest with which Mr. Peabody remembered
this visit to Post Mills is shown by his second visit so late
in life, and his gift of a library, as large a library as
that place needs. Of its influence on his character and
subsequent career, of course, there is no record. Perhaps
it was not much. But, at least, it gave him a good chance
for quiet thinking, at an age when he needed it ; and the
labors of the farm may have been useful both to mind and
" It has been reported that he wished his relatives at
112 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
Post Mills to give a lot for the library-building ; but they
declined. It may be that he mentioned such a thing ; but
I cannot believe that he urged it. The people of that vil-
lage are better able to buy a suitable building-lot than they
are to give it ; and the building is placed in a better loca-
tion than could be found for it anywhere on their farm.
From the well-known character of the family, it may be
fairly presumed that they contributed their just proportion
for the purchase of the lot."
Dr. Hanaford furnishes the following explanation for
this chapter :
" In this connection," he says, " it is proper to refer to
at least one of the many erroneous statements that have
appeared in the public prints, and, of course, gained some
credence, in reference to the early history of Mr. Peabody.
I refer to the statement, that, in his poverty, he was obliged
to walk from Georgetown to Thetford, and that he sawed
wood for his lodging while spending the night at Concord,
N.H. Perhaps there was more foundation for this report
than for some others ; though his father was in humble cir-
cumstances, yet not so much so as to demand such fatigues
and privations of the lad. The foundation for some of the
items of the report were the following : While Mr. Pea-
body, in the latter part of his life, was spending a short
time in that place, on one occasion, while in the company
of Judge Upham and others, one of the company asked
him if he had ever visited Concord before. He replied
that he had in his early life, and that he sawed wood for
GOOD GIFTS CONTINUED. 113
his lodging at the hotel. At that moment something
occurred to divert his attention, and he failed to explain
the circumstances. In his boyhood, when about to visit
friends at Thetford, a marketman who had been to the
city, and was on his return, stopped at his father's house,
and a passage for the lad was engaged. In accordance
with the custom of the times, the food was probably taken
(sometimes, in winter, 4 bean-porridge,' frozen, with a
cord in it, and hung upon the load), demanding only lodg-
ing for the driver, &c. The night was spent at Concord.
The marketman arrived before night : but, as there was
no convenient place to stop north of Concord, where the
night would overtake him if he drove on, he decided to
spend the night there ; which gave the young Peabody
some little time to look about. He soon made the ac-
quaintance of a boy of about his own age ; and, being pas-
sionately fond of fishing, he asked his new friend to go
with him. But the boy, who was connected with the
hotel, informed him that he had a stint, or ' stent ' as it
was generally pronounced, and that he could not go until
his task was performed. Accordingly, the two finished
the labor, and then enjoyed their recreation.
" When the man called for his bill the next morning,
he declined to ' take any thing for that boy, as he helped
my boy saw wood.' These circumstances, probably, gave
rise to the whole statement ; the principal foundation being
that he did pay for his lodging in that manner, though the
sawing of the wood was not intended for that purpose.
114 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
It is highly probable, however, that he would not have
declined any honest employment if necessary, even in
after-life, if the circumstances had demanded such service ;
since he was a man who would prefer menial service to a
dishonorable act, while he was remarkable fo? * is industry,
and strict and methodical at 1 ntion to busine, c "
Peabody Institute at Baltimore. Letter of Mr. Peabody. Proceedings
in Regard to the Donation. Mr. Peabody 's Remarks.
" The classic days, those mothers of romance,
That roused a nation for a woman's glance;
The age of mystery, with its hoarded power,
That girt the tyrant in his storied tower,
Have passed and faded like a dream of youth ;
And riper eras ask for history's truth." BRYANT : The Ages.
" Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him
power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor, this is the
gift of God." ECCLES. v. 19.
IMONG the gifts of the man whom God greatly-
prospered after he removed to England was
one of great value to the city of his early busi-
ness success. After an absence of twenty
years from his native land, Mr. Peabody fulfilled his inten-
tion, long before formed, of founding in the city of Balti-
more an Institute comprising a large free library, the
periodical delivery of lectures by eminent literary and sci-
entific men, an academy of music, a gallery of art, and
116 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
A trustee of that Institute says, " The annals of Bal-
timore, ever since Baltimore could boast the honors of
a city, exhibit no act of private munificence, no act of asso-
ciated philanthropy, nor, perhaps, even of public official
benefaction, which, in the scope of its design of usefulness
to the community, or in the prodigal generosity of the
means contributed to its accomplishment, may claim the
admiration and gratitude of our citizens by a merit so clear
and unquestionable as the Institute which George Peabody
this day offers to the city. An endowment amounting to
a million of dollars has been appropriated to the establish-
ment and completion of a broad and permanent structure
of public education, which, when brought to its full devel-
opment, is destined to become the well-spring of perennial
and profuse bounty to many generations of the people of
Baltimore and Maryland."
These words of the trustee were spoken on the day
when tliQ Institute was inaugurated in 1866 ; and he fur-
" The stately edifice in which we are now assembled is
but the first flower of this noble design. A great part of
the work is not yet even begun. When the whole is fin-
ished, the Institute will stand in this apex of the city, the
fairest of the buildings that adorn its triple hills. Here,
in the centre of the most beautiful city-landscapes, its ma-
jestic figure reposing at the foot of the matchless column
which symbolizes the immortality of the Father of our
Union, it will be the second object to challenge the admi-
STILL GIVING. 117
ration of the passing stranger ; whilst it will ever attract
the veneration and gratitude of our own people, and the
thousands of their descendants, who, through the lapse of
years, shall be privileged to frequent its halls, and draw
from its wells of living water exhaustless draughts of wis-
dom and virtuo. Still more distinctly will it stand a cher-
ished monument to perpetuate in the affection of our
posterity the enviable memory of a patriot who served his
country with imperial munificence. Let us add, it will
stand for ages as the memorial of a good man whom Prov-
idence had blessed with a prosperity almost as lavish as
his virtue, with a renown almost as rare as his wise appre-
ciation of the true use of riches."
In his first letter, referring to his benefaction, dated
Feb. 12, 1857, Mr. Peabody, after expressing his wishes
in reference to the scope and character of the Institute,
closed with the following excellent suggestions :
" I must not omit to impress upon you a suggestion for
the government of the Institute, which I deem to be of the
highest moment, and which I desire shall be ever present
to the view of the board of trustees. My earnest wish to
promote at all times a spirit of harmony and good will in
society, my aversion to . intolerance, bigotry, and party
rancor, and my enduring respect and love for the happy
institutions of our prosperous republic, impel me to express
the wish that the Institute I have proposed to you shall
always be strictly guarded against the possibility of being
made a theatre for the dissemination or discussion of secta-
118 THE LIFE OF GEO11GE PEABODY.
rian theology or party politics ; that it shall never minister,
in any manner whatever, to political dissension, to infidel-
ity, to visionary theories of a pretended philosophy, which
may be aimed at the subversion of the approved morals of
society ; that it shall never lend its aid or influence to the
propagation of opinions tending to create or encourage
sectional jealousies in our happy country, or which may
lead to the alienation of the people of one State or section
of the Union from those of another : but that it shall be
so conducted, throughout its whole career, as to teach
political and religious charity, toleration, and beneficence,
and prove itself to be, in all contingencies and conditions,
the true friend of our inestimable Union, of the salutary
institutions of free government, and of liberty regulated
by law. I enjoin these precepts upon the board of trus-
tees, and their successors forever, for their invariable
observance and enforcement in the administration of the
duties I have confided to them.
" And now, in conclusion, I have only to express my
wish, that, in providing for the building you are to erect,
you will allow space for future additions, in case they may
be found necessary ; and that, in it an, style of architec-
ture, and adaptation to its various uses, it may be worthv
of the purpose to which it is dedicate * and may serve to
embellish a city whose prosperity, I trust, will ever be dis-
tinguished by an equal growth in knowledge and virtue.
" I am, with great respect,
" Your friend,
" GEORGE PEABODY."
STILL GIVING. 119
The munificent donation of Mr. Peabody was partially
expended in the erection of a white-marble edifice, which
was completed in 1861. The sad years of civil war for-
bade its formal dedication till Oct. 25, 1866, when Mr.
Peabody was able to be present. Rev. Dr. Backus, pas-
tor of the First Presbyterian Church, offered prayer, in
which he said, " We thank Thee that Thou hast put
it into the mind and heart of Thy servant, whom Thou
hast so highly blessed and prospered, to employ so large a
portion of the talents intrusted to him in securing the
well-being and happiness of this community ; that, allured
from grosser pleasu - es and inferior pursuits, they may seek
that intellectual and moral improvement which may tend
to their true elevation, refinement, usefulness, and pleas-
ure, binding them together in social harmony and unity;
making this city a centre of increasing light and purity,
and exerting a happy influence throughout the land.
" May he be spared to see the ripe fruits of his noblo
and generous benefactions, experience the satisfaction of
having been in Thy hands the instrument of lasting good
to his race, and receive not only the gratitude of those
who shall enjoy the benefits of this Institute through com-
ing ages, but also be replenished with the richest blessings
of Thy providence and grace, so that his declining years
may be full of peace and hope and joy ! and, when ho
has accomplished his work on earth, may he be gathered
to his fathers, full of honors, enjoying the respect of man-
kind, peace of conscience, and an abundant entrance into
120 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
the kingdom of oar Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ! and
may numbers rise up, not only to call him blessed, but also
to imitate his example!"
After this, the Governor of Maryland addressed Mr.
Peabody in language appropriate to the occasion ; and Mr.
Peabody responded. A portion of the governor's speech,
and the whole of Mr. Peabody 's reply, are already given
in a previous chapter.
On the Friday after the dedication of the Institute, the
school-children, some twenty thousand in number, greeted
Mr. Peabody ; and from the steps of the Institute he ad-
dressed them in the following excellent words :
" When I arrived in Baltimore on Wednesday, my dear
young friends, I did not expect to meet you thus ; but
finding, by a visit from your School-Commissioners' Board,
that such was your desire, I concluded to meet you, even
should it be necessary to postpone my departure from Bal-
timore beyond the time originally fixed. And I take to
myself no credit for doing so : for I assure you that my
desire to see you is as strong as yours can possibly be to
see me ; and never have I seen a more beautiful sight than
this vast collection of interesting children. The review of
the finest army, with soldiers clothed in brilliant uni-
forms, and attended by the most delightful strains of mar-
tial music, could never give me half the pleasure that it
does to look upon you here with your bright and happy
faces. For the sight of such an army as I have spoken of
STILL GIVING-. 121
would be associated with thoughts of bloodshed and human
suffering, of strife and violence : but I may well compare
you, on the other hand, to an army of peace ; and your
mission on earth is not to destroy your fellow-creatures,
but to be a blessing to them ; and your path, when you go
out from these public schools, is to be marked, not by rav-
ages and desolation, but, I trust, by kindly , words and
actions, and by good will to all you meet.
" With such an assemblage as this, therefore, I am glad
to have my name associated, as I see that it is by the
badges worn by many of you: and I shall feel it to be a
very great honor if the medals thus bearing my name shall
continue, as I am informed they have heretofore done, to
prove incentives to application, diligence, and good con-
duct; and I shall ever take a sincere interest in those to
whom they are awarded.
" There is another relation in which I look upon you ;
and that is, the future guardians of the Institute from which
I speak to you. For, in a few short years, you will have
left the places you now occupy, and, taking the positions of
those now in active life, will have the care and enjoy the
privileges of this institution. And I hope most earnestly
that it may be the means of all the good to you that was
contemplated in its foundation ; and that you, on your part,
may see that it is carried on always with kind feeling and
harmony. And so I trust, my dear young friends, that in
passing by this edifice, young though you are now, you
will feel, in looking upon it, not that it is one for grown-up
122 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
men and women, and with which you have no concern,
but that it is yours also ; that you will at no distant day have
a right in it as your heritage ; and so will even now, in
your tender years, take an interest in it and all things con-
nected with it.
" 1 have now hut little advice to give you; for I am sure
that your parents and teachers have bestowed, and always
will bestow, upon you the kindest and most earnest coun-
sel : but I would say, Attend closely to your studies, and
remember that your close attention to them is a thousand
times more important to you than to your teachers. Bear
in mind, that the time of your studies, though it may now
appear long to you, is, in reality, very brief; and at a future
day, when it is, perhaps, too late, you yourselves will feel
that it is so. Do not be ashamed to ask advice and take
counsel from those older than yourselves : the time will
come when you, in your turn, may advise those younger
than you, and who. will follow in your footsteps. Strive
always to imitate the good example of others. I am glad
that your assemblage is in this most interesting place : for
I hope that your future recollections of this occasion may
be connected with the thought of him whose statue crowns
yonder beautiful monument, the illustrious father of
his country, and that you may be induced to take him
more and more for your model ; for he, pre-eminently
great among men, was also great and good in his boyhood
and youth. As time has passed, it has rendered eulogy of
him as superfluous as if it were to praise the sun for its
STILL GIVING. 123
brightness ; and it is as the most perfect example for imita-
tion the world has ever seen that we must look upon the
character of Washington. Remember, then, his youthful
life ; the instances, too familiar to need repeating by me,
of his truthfulness, his self-denial, his integrity, his perse-
verance, his reverence for age, his affection for his parents,
and his fear of God. Finally, strive always to act as if
the eye of your heavenly Father were upon you ; and, if
you do this, his countenance will always smile upon you.
" I fear, my young friends, this is the last time I shall
ever speak to you. I therefore bid you farewell. God
bless you all 1"
From the report of the treasurer, it may be seen, that, in
all, George Peabody gave to the Peabody Institute in Bal-
timore the sum of one million dollars. A princely benefac-
tion for a desirable end I
Amelioration of the Condition of the Podr in London. Magnificent Be-
quest of Mr. Peabody. Description of the Buildings.
" O ye who bask in Fortune's sun,
And Hope's bright garlands wear I
Your blessings from the God of love
Let his poor children share." MRS. HALE.
" He that hath pity upon the poor, lendeth to the Lord ; and that which he hath
given will he pay him again." PKOV. xix. 17.
[HEN, in 1859, Mr. Peabody returned to Eng-
land from a visit to his native land, he set
about giving effect to his long-cherished inten-
tions of doing something for the laboring poor
of London. For this purpose, he donated $1,750,000 be-
tween March 1, 1862, and Dec. 5, 1868. It is said that
Mr. Peabody did not bestow many gifts to relieve individ-
ual poverty or distress. He thought that much of the
money thus contributed only tended to increase the evil
it sought to alleviate. " The Philadelphia Press " con-
trasts the wisdom of George Peabody, who was the execu-
tor of his own liberal schemes, with the folly of Dr. Rush
GREATER BENEFACTIONS. 125
of that city, who left a million-dollars' bequest in such a
shape that no one is satisfied.
Col. J. W. Forney, in his interesting "Letters from
Europe," speaks of the magnificent bequest of Mr. Pea-
body, and describes his visit to Peabody Square ; previ-
ously mentioning Mr. Peabody as he saw him on board
" The Scotia " when he was returning to England. His
glowing sentences are cheerfully inserted here. Says the
colonel, " A more congenial company never sailed from
the New "World to the Old ; and, when we separate, the
regret at parting will be increased by the recollection that
our intercourse might have been profitably prolonged.
Of course, George Peabody is the central figure of our
circle. As I studied the venerable philanthropist, yester-
day, as he lay dozing on onQ of the sofas in the * forward
saloon, I confessed I had never seen a nobler or more
imposing figure. Never has human face spoken more
humane emotions. The good man's soul seems to shine
out of every feature and lineament. His fine head, rival-
ling the best of the old aristocracy, and blending the ideals
of benevolence and integrity, his tranquil and pleasing
countenance, and his silver hair, crown a lofty form of un-
usual dignity and grace. The work of this one plain
American citizen silences hypercriticism, and challenges
gratitude. He has completed it without leaving an excuse
for ridicule or censure. He has given millions to deserv-
ing charity, without pretence or partiality. The wealth
gathered by more than a generation of honest enterprise
126 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
and business sagacity he distributes among the poor of the
two nations in which he accumulated it, first liberally pro-
viding for his own blood and kindred. If this is not an
honorable close of a well-spent life, what is? That the
example of George Peabody will awaken imitation in
England, I do not know. Unhappily for the British
aristocracy, they do not respond to the call of a genial
philanthropy ; and it may be claimed that none but an
American can truly feel for the sufferings of the un-
friended poor. Therefore I am not surprised, that, before
Mr. Peabody left the United States, he was satisfied that
what he has done for London will be surpassed by two of
his opulent friends for the city of New York. . . . Mr.
Peabody leaves ' The Scotia ' at Queenstown, Ireland,
where he will stay for some time to enjoy the salmon-fishing,
in company with his old friend, Sir Curtis Lampson, an
American, recently made a baronet for his services in con-
nection with the Atlantic Telegraph. As showing the
difference between the great landholders of Great Britain
and the sturdy farmers of the United States, it deserves to
be recorded, that, for the privilege of catching trout and
salmon for six months, Mr. Peabody pays the neat sum of
$2,500 in gold to the nobleman who owns the stream in
which he intends to angle. These preserves of game and
fish are, therefore, not only a source of pleasure, but of
large profit, to their titled proprietors. Mr. Peabody has
offered me letters to his agents in London, which I will
not fail to use, for the purpose of personally inspecting the
GREATER BENEFACTIONS. 127
commencement of the great work in that city, which will
associate 'his name with all that is noble and generous, as
long as the genius of Shakspeare and Milton is remem-
bered and cherished among the sons of men."
A few days later, Col. Forney wrote,
"LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, May 13, 1867.
" Mr. Peabody and over sixty of the passengers of ' The
Scotia ' took leave of us about midnight of Friday in an
open tug and in the midst of a smart shower, which, be-
fore they reached the shore, increased to a heavy storm of
rain. . . . On the day he bade us farewell, a character-
istic incident took place between Mr. Peabody and the
committee appointed by the Americans on board, when
they tendered him their resolutions of grateful respect for
his many friendly acts of benevolence. One of the reso-
lutions referred to the fact, that, whereas Smithson and
Girard had bequeathed their benefactions to the care of
posterity, Mr. Peabody had enhanced the value of his ex-
ample by courageously becoming his own executor, 'and by
giving his personal care to the execution of his splendid
trust. When this resolution was read to him, he asked
ihat it might be read a second time ; after which, with a
winning courtesy I shall not soon forget, he said that he
would be greatly obliged if the whole passage could be
stricken out of the proceedings. ' Whatever may be said
of me,' he added, ' and however just your abstract view
may be, yet even the shadow of a contrast that might be
128 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
construed into a criticism upon these two illustrious men
should be carefully avoided. They did their best, and
they did nobly, and, if they had thought of it, would
probably have taken exactly my course/ The suggestion
was instantly complied with."
"MAY 25, 1867.
" This morning, in company with Sir Curtis M. Lampson,
one of the trustees of the Peabody Fund for the benefit of
the poor of London, and Mr. Somerby, the secretary of
the board (both born in the United States),! made my
promised visit to Peabody Square, Islington, one of the
five structures already in use, or soon to be devoted to the
noble objects of the generous founder. -Mr. Lampson, a
native of New England, was, in October, 1866, created a
baronet by Queen Victoria, in token of his numerous pub-
lic services, but particularly for his connection with the
successful enterprise, the Atlantic Telegraph Cable. I
found him, like Mr. Somerby, nevertheless, a devoted ad-
mirer of America and her institutions, and a genuine-
sympathizer in her progress and her principles. The
management of the trust has been properly confided to
gentlemen of known American proclivities. Lord Stanley
is president, assisted by Sir Curtis Lampson, Sir Emerson
Tennett, Mr. J. L. Morgan the eminent banker, and Mr.
Scmerby as secretary ; and the manner in which they
have so far discharged their duty is proved by the singu-
lar success that has crowned their labors. With the
GREATER BENEFACTIONS. 129
exception of the secretary, they all serve without remu-
neration. The first difficulty they met was how to define
the phrase ' the poor,' and decide in what shape (after
that problem was solved) the money should be distributed.
After careful reflection, they resolved to confine their
attention, in the first instance, to that section of the labo-
rious poor who occupy a position above the pauper ; and
to assist these by furnishing to them comfortable tenements
at reasonable rates, in healthy locations. It will be seen
at a glance that more good can be effected by this course
than by attempting to alleviate the condition of those who
are thrown upon the public charge, and are necessarily
objects for the care of merely charitable institutions, such
as almshouses, hospitals, dispensaries, &c. The working-
classes of London, more than the working-classes of any
other city in the w,orld, need exactly such benefactors as
Mr. Peabody; and the plan thus agreed upon benefits them
directly, wfthout impairing their self-respect. The honest
laborer always shrinks from becoming an object of charity,
and thousands prefer the pangs of want to the pangs of
dependence ; and the effort of the trustees to prevent
the tenements from becoming merely establishments for
the abject poor is obvious in all their arrangements. The
impossibility of obtaining good tenements at a reasonable
rent, in this swarm of humanity, has thrown the laboring-
rlasses into the vilest haunts of vice, disease, and filth ; and
the sure effect has been to pollute their children in mind
and body. The Peabody benevolence meets at least one
130 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
part of this demand ; with the double advantage of provid-
ing good tenements for the industrious poor, and of adding
the small rents they pay to the general fund, so as to per-
petuate the good work, and to increase the number of
tenements with increasing years. Sir .Curtis Lampson
estimates, that, if the money thus accumulated is honestly
administered for two hundred years, it will have accumu-
lated enough to provide for three-fourths of all the indus-
trious poor of London. That this is not an extravagant
expectation can be shown by a simple calculation of the
annual interest of the nearly million of dollars donated,
with the regular accretions from the moderate funds.
There are many interesting incidents on record of the
growth of small bequests, in the course of time, into enor-
"The premises at Islington consist of four blocks of
buildings; comprising, in all, one hundred and fifty-five
tenements, accommodating six hundred and fifty persons, or
nearly two hundred families. The whole cost of these
buildings, exclusive of the sum paid for the land, amounted
to 31,690. The principle and organization in each of
these extensive structures are the same. Drainage and
ventilation have been insured with the utmost possible
care ; the instant removal of dust and refuse is effected by
means of shafts, which descend from every corridor to cel-
lars in the basement, where it is carted away; the passages
are all kept clean, and lighted with gas, without any cost
to the tenants ; water, from cisterns in the roof, is distrib-
GREATER BENEFACTIONS. 131
uted by pipes into every tenement ; and there are baths
free for all who desire to use them. Laundries, with
wringing-machines and drying-lofts, are at the service of
all the inmates, who are thus relieved from the inconve-
nience of damp vapors in their apartments, andrthe conse-
quent damage to their furniture and bedding.
" Every living-room, or kitchen, is abundantly provided
with cupboards, shelving, jand other conveniences ; and
each fireplace includes a boiler and an oven. But what
gratify the tenants, perhaps, more than any other part of
the arrangements, are the ample and airy spaces which
serve as playgrounds for their children, where they are
always under their mothers' eyes, and safe from the risk
of passing carriages and laden carts.
"In fixing the rent for all this accommodation, the
trustees were influenced by two considerations. In the
first place, they felt it incumbent on them, conformably
with the intention of rendering the Peabody Fund repro-
ductive, to charge for each room such a moderate percent-
age on the actual cost of the houses as would bring in a
reasonable actual income to the general fund. In the sec-
ond place, they were desirous, without coming into undue
competition with the owners of house-property less favora-
bly circumstanced, to demonstrate to their proprietors the
practicability of rendering the dwellings of the laboring
poor healthful, cheerful, and attractive ; and, at- the same
time, securing to the landlords a fair return. for their in-
132 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
" At the present moment, owing to the vast changes in
the metropolis, by which the houses of the laboring poor
have been demolished to so great an extent, the cost of
accommodation for them has been greatly increased. It,
of course, varies in different localities ; but, on an average,
the weekly charge for a single room of a very poor descrip-
tion is from two shillings and sixpence to three shillings,
about seventy-five cents American money ; for two rooms,
five shillings, or five shillings and sixpence ; and for three,
from six shillings and sixpence to seven shillings. But the
mere test of rent affords no adequate standard by which
to contrast the squalor and discomfort of one of these tene-
ments with the light and airy and agreeable apartments in
the Peabody buildings : and, for one room there, the charge
per week is two shillings and sixpence ; for two rooms,
four shillings ; and for three rooms, five shillings.
" As Mr. Peabody had directed by his letter that the
sole qualification to be required in a tenant was to be in
' an ascertained condition of life such as brings the indi-
vidual within the description of the poor of London, com-
bined with moral character and good conduct as a mem-
ber of society,' it became the duty of the trustees to
ascertain by actual inquiry, - first, that the circumstances
of the person proposing himself as a tenant were such as
to entitle him to admission ; and secondly, that, in the
opinion of his employers, there was nothing in his conduct
or moral character to disqualify him from partaking in the
benefits of the fund.
GREATER BENEFACTIONS. 133
" These two conditions once established, the tenant, on
taking possession of his new residence, finds himself as
free in action, and as exempt from intrusive restraint or
officious interference, as if he occupied a house in one of
the adjacent streets. His sense of independence is pre-
served by the consciousness that he pays for what lie
enjoys ; and by this payment he provides himself with a
.dwelling so much superior to that which he had formerly
been accustomed to, that the approach to his home is no
longer accompanied by a feeling of humiliation. As the
result of the above inquiries, several applications for admis-
sion were declined, on the grounds either of a condition in
life too easy to entitle the individual to be classed with the
laboring poor, or of a moral character -which could not
bear investigation, because of habitual drunkenness, or
conviction before a legal tribunal. In some instances, too,
the families of persons desirous to become tenants were
found to be too numerous for the accommodation availa-
ble ; and these, to avoid unwholesome crowding, were
unavoidably excluded. *
" The number of persons who took possession of their
new homes in Spitalfields was upwards of two hundred ;
including such classes as char-women, monthly nurses,
basket-makers, butchers, carpenters, firemen, laborers,
porters, omnibus-drivers, seamstresses, shoemakers, tailors,
" In the buildings at Islington, which were opened in
September, 1865, 'the inmates are of the same class, with
134 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
the addition of persons employed in other trades, watch-
finishers, turners, stay-makers, smiths, printers, painters,
laundresses, letter-carriers, artificial-flower makers, dress-
makers, and others. The entire community there now
consists of* six hundred and seventy-four individuals; of
whom nineteen are widows, the rest married persons and
" In evidence of the improved salubrity of the buildings,
the superintendents report that ill health is rare ; and that
the number of deaths since the first buildings were opened,
nearly three years ago, have been one man -aged thirty,
who died of a chronic complaint, and four children, one
of whom was under five, and two under two years old.
The social contentment of the tenants is freely expressed.
No complaints have been made of any of the arrangements
provided for their comfort ; and they all speak approvingly
of the unaccustomed advantages they enjoy. Amongst
these, they particularize the security of their furniture and
effects, which are no longer liable, as they formerly were,
to be taken in distress, should the landlord become a de-
" As regards the moral conduct of the tenantry, the
superintendent reports that habitual drunkenness is un-
known, and intoxication infrequent ; and where the latter
does occur, to the annoyance of others, it is judiciously
dealt with by giving notice to the offender, that, in the
event of its recurrence, he must prepare to leave. There
has been but one person removed for quarrelling and dis-
GREATER BENEFACTIONS. 135
turbing the peace, and one expelled for non-payment of
rent. These exceptions, out of a community of eight
hundred and eighty persons, speak strongly for the self-
respect and moral principles by which they are influenced.
" There are four other squares, two of which have
already received occupants ; and the others will soon be
completed. The main buildings are of stone, five stories
high ; four being occupied by the families, and the last, or
upper range, Used for the purpose of a laundry for drying
clothes, where fine baths are provided for general use. I
conversed with many of the inmates : they were all clean,
healthy, and happy. The men were off at work, and the
women seemed to be industrious and tidy. The contrast
between their condition and that of the poor in the misera-
ble houses around us was painful in the extreme. In some
of the rooms of the letter, as many as seven people were
crowded. In other sections, the difference was even more
saddening. The airy and comfortable quarters qf Mr.
Peabody's tenants, with the neat kitchens and comfortable
bedrooms, and the fine playground for the children, the
garden for common cultivation and use, and the work-
shops for such of the men as might prefer working on the
premises, proved that the architect had given a conscien-
tious study to his work.
" Mr. Peabody's example will be followed, now that its
complete success is established, in both hemispheres. Mr.
A. T. Stewart of New York has already procured copies
of the plans, and photographs of the buildings, I have
136 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
attempted to describe. Parliament lias repeatedly noticed
the work itself; and the owners of the colossal fortunes
the Plutocracy of England cannot resist the eloquent
invocation to their consciences and pockets. They cannot
afford the reproach that they have been indifferent while
England's honest poor have been relieved by an Ameri-
can. Indeed, the trustees have already received a bequest
of thirty thousand pounds sterling from a worthy gentle-
man. The romantic stories founded upon wills and lega-
cies in this country, taken, in most cases, from the facts,
may well lead to the hope that other rich men, to prevent
their falling to the crown, will throw their estates into this
noble fund. There is hardly a great city in America in
which Mr. Peabody's liberality should not be followed up ;
and there is. not one in which infinite good cannot be
wrought. ' The poor ye have always ; ' and as I saw
these happy children enjoying their spacious playground
this morning, and talked with their gratified parents, and
heard the report of the superintendent, I felt proud that
the author of all this splendid benevolence was an Ameri-
can, and predicted that his royal generosity would find
many imitators in his own and other countries."
A recent writer in " The Boston Journal " thus tells of
a visit to Peabody Square :
" I must tell you of my visit to Mr. Peabody's model
buildings near Islington ; or, rather, the buildings which
the trustees of his fund built according to their own ideas.
GREATER BENEFACTIONS. 137
Told that Peabody Square was the most favorable speci-
men of these groups of workmen's homes, I drove down
there on a recent Sunday and a foggy one. My route
lay through Islington; and, long before coming there, we
drove through one of those interminable streets called
roads in London, where one sees only immense museums
of trade and horrible poverty. . . . But the neighborhood
was more respectable towards Peabody Square. The fog,
however, was of the consistency of cream, and seemed to
strike us in the face as we cut through it. At last, cabby
showed me up a narrow and dark alley, which finally
opened on a square, around which were ranged four fine
five-story stone blocks, each exactly like the other. Here
were no quarrelling or fighting children, no drunken women,
no discouraged-looking men. There were flowers in the
windows, and bright, happy faces looked out from among
them ; but the blocks had a prison-like appearance, never-
theless. There was not a blade of grass, or a twig, to be
seen in the stone-paved yard ; and the fog settled down into
the area worse than outside. The outer doors were open ;
and I soon made the acquaintance of a brawny English-
woman in the porter's lodge of one of the blocks. How
many families were there in each building ?
" c Forty-two ; and p'raps six in a family, sir.'
" So I began to question her on the internal arrange-
ments of this London Sybaris ; because you often hear it
said that Mr. Peabody's money has been misused, and
that the workmen pay too highly for their tenements.
138 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
" ' Me'n my husban' has been porter (szc) here for
more'n two year; an' my man was here from the beginning
sir. We likes it ever so much. We pays four shillin' a
week for these two rooms ; and most o' them generally
pays the same. 'Tisn't dear, oh, no I but it's about all
most o' them can pay. Still '
" We looked into some of the rooms. It depended
on the taste, more than the resources, of the individual
tenant, how comfortable he made himself. There were
neatly tiled floors, whitewashed walls. The rooms were
small, but planned as economically, as to space, as a trav-
elling-jacket.' I noticed, especially, that each room was
well lighted and ventilated. Some families had three
rooms, so planned as to avoid any of the lamentable lack
of decency which large families crowded into small tene-
ments sometimes exhibit in London and New York and
Boston. Each floor is divided into lettered sections, which
are traversed by spacious corridors. Each tenement, or
suite of rooms, has one door, numbered, opening on these
corridors. There are iron traps in the halls in each story,
into which the dirt and rubbish from each tenement is
swept ; so that there is no chance for an accumulation of
filth. In the upper story of each building is a co-opera-
tive laundry, which the women also consider as their ex-
change, and where they get acquainted over their work.
" 4 Most all on us knows every other one on us here,'
said the portress. Pity Mr. Peabody didn't specify that
all the tenants under his fund should be taught grammar I
GREATER BENEFACTIONS. 139
There was gas in many of the rooms ; but that was paid
for as an extra. ' Are these workmen, living here, of what
you would call the better class ? ' I asked.
" ' I rather thinE not, sir,' was the answer. ' Most o'
them does common sort o' work ; 'n sometimes they hasn't
ajiy in the dull season : but they manages to stick by the
square, in any case. Me'n my man does all the hirin'
rooms ; and we never has any disputes. All pays, allers.'
" Which rather proves that the workmen find it cheap
and advantageous to live there ; because collecting rents
elsewhere, in the dens which are made to serve the poor
as houses, is sometimes even dangerous. But you have
only to put a man in a den to make him a beast.
" So, in this square, here are one hundred and sixty-
eight families, averaging six members each, renting com-
fortable rooms, in a clean, airy, and respectable quarter of
the city, for about five dollars per month, per tenement.
Their condition is much improved by the arrangements
made for them ; and any drunkenness or fighting in the
building is never known. I saw, in many of the rooms,
the men at home, evidently enjoying the society of their
families, instead of swilling beer at the public-house. I
should give my testimony in favor of the success of Mr.
Peabody's money as a most practical beneficence."
" The London Illustrated News " thus refers to the
benefaction of Mr Peabody :
" On March 12, 1862, Mr. Peabody addressed a letter
140 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
to Mr. C. F. Adams, American minister, the Right Hon.
Lord Stanley, Sir J. E. Tennet, Mr. (now Sir), Curtis
M. Lampson, Bart., and Mr. J. S. Morgan, his own
partner in business, informing therii that a sum of
X 150. 000 stood in the books of Messrs. George Peabody
and Co., to be applied by them for the amelioration of the
condition of the poor of London.
" The gentlemen above named duly entered on their
trust, which has been applied in the mode indicated by
the donor ; namely, in the erection of model dwellings for
working-men. In January, 1866, Mr. Peabody added
another 100,000 to the fund; and, on Dec. 5 last,
he made a further donation of about fifteen acres of
land at Brixton, 5,642 shares in the Hudson's Bay Com-
pany, and 5,405 in cash, making a total of 100,000;
thus raising the amount of his gift to London to 350,000.
This gift is held by the trustees under two deeds, the first
having reference to the 150,000 first given, and the
second including the remaining 200,000 ; which latter
was not to be put in operation until July, 1869, and has,
therefore, but now begun to be dealt with. It appears, by
the statement of the trustees for the year 1868, that they
now hold property under the first deed valued at 173,-
313; the increase being the produce of rents on the build-
ings, added to the interest on unexpended capital. Four
ranges of buildings have been already erected, which
house a population of 1,971 individuals, composed of the
families of working-men earning wages, on the average,
under twenty-one shillings a week. The trustees have
acquired other sites, on which they are about to complete
further blocks of houses for similar purposes.
" By the last will and testament of Mr. Peabody, opened
on the day of his funeral, his executors, Sir Curtis Lamp-
son, and Mr. Charles Reed, M.P., are directed to apply a
further sum of X 150, 000 to the Peabody Fund in London.
This makes half a million sterling bestowed by Mr. Pea-
body for that single object."
. CHAPTER IX.
Visit to his Native Land. The Freedom of the City of London. The
Queen's Letter. The Queen's Portrait. The Peabody Statue.
1 ' Praise is but virtue's shadow ."
" Honor to whom honor." ROM. xiii. 7.
HE munificence of the man who remembered
the poor of London was appreciated by the
people of England. The merchants and capi-
talists of London showed their appreciation of
the noble deed by .causing a costly statue of Mr. Peabody
to be placed in one of the squares of that city ; and,
shortly before he left England for a visit to his native
land, he received other tokens of appreciation from the
people of his adopted home, and from the sovereign lady
of the realm. But his characteristic modesty made it
difficult for a grateful and admiring people to express their
appreciation in a tangible form. The same feelings that
led Mr. Peabody to decline the public acknowledgments
of the cities of his native land in 1857 prevented him
from accepting the honors which Englishmen were ready
to shower upon him. The freedom of the city was
bestowed upon him by the corporation of London, and
acknowledgments from many other public bodies were
freely offered. Arrangements were also entered into for
the erection of his statue. The only occasion on which
he appeared in public was at the close of the Working-
Classes' Exhibition in the Guildhall in 1866, when he
received an enthusiastic welcome which even royalty itself
A short time before his sailing for America in 1866,
a proposal was made to confer on Mr. Peabody either a
baronetcy or the Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath ;
bat he declined them both. When asked what gift, if any,
he would accept, he replied, " A letter from the Queen of
England, which I may carry across the Atlantic, and
deposit as a memorial of one of her most faithful sons.*'
To this modest request a ready response was given by the
following letter :
" WINDSOR CASTLE, March 28, 1866.
" The Queen hears that Mr. Peabody intends shortly to
return to America; and she would be sorry that he should
leave England without being assured by herself how
deeply she appreciates the noble act, of more than princely
munificence, by which he has sought to relieve the wants
of her poorer subjects residing in London. It is an act,
as the Queen believes, wholly without parallel ; and which
will carry its best reward in the consciousness of having
144 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
contributed so largely to the assistance of those who can
little help themselves.
" The Queen would not, however, have been satisfied
without giving Mr. Peabody some public mark of her
sense of his munificence ; and she would gladly have con-
ferred upon him either a baronetcy or the Grand Cross of
the Order of the Bath, but that she understands Mr.
Peabody to feel himself debarred from accepting such dis-
" It only remains, therefore, for the Queen to give Mr.
Peabody this assurance of her personal feelings ; which she
would further wish to mark by asking him to accept a
miniature portrait of herself, which she will desire to have
painted for him, and which, when finished, can either be
sent to him in America, or given to him on the return
which she rejoices to hear he meditates to the country
that owes him so much."
To this letter Mr. Peabody replied :
"THE PALACE HOTEL, BUCKINGHAM GATE,
LONDON, April 3, 1866.
" MADAM, I feel sensibly my inability to express in
adequate terms the gratification with which I have read
the letter which your Majesty has done me the high honor
of transmitting by the hands of Earl Russell.
" On the occasion which has attracted your Majesty's
attention, of setting apart a portion of my property to
ameliorate the condition and augment the comforts of the
poor of London, I have been actuated by a deep sense of
gratitude to God, who has blessed me with prosperity, and
of attachment to this great country, where, under your
Majesty's benign rule, I have received so much personal
kindness, and enjoyed so many years of happiness. Next
to the approval of my own conscience, I shall always prize
the assurance which your Majesty's letter conveys to me
of the approbation of the Queen of England, whose whole
life has attested that her exalted station has in no degree
diminished her sympathy with the humblest of her sub-
jects. The portrait which your Majesty is graciously
pleased to bestow on me I shall value as the most gra-
cious heirloom that I can leave in the land of my birth ;
where, together with the letter which your Majesty has
addressed to me, it will ever be regarded as an evidence
of the kindly feeling of the Queen of the United King-
dom toward a citizen of the United States.
" I have the honor to be
" Your Majesty's most obedient servant,
A writer in a Boston paper states, that,
" After- the completion of the Institute at Peabody in
1.854, its founder made it the depository of all those
ippreciative personal testimonials which are commonly
ic heirlooms of families, and which, in America, consti-
ite the only substitutes for the decorations, arms, and
signia of rank. % It is well known that the intimation
146 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
that Mr. Peabody would decline a baronetcy, or any other
title or decoration with which England usually recognizes
and rewards merit, induced the queen to offer her minia-
ture as a substitute for the honors he declined, and a
testimonial of her appreciation of his benevolence to the
poor of London. On the occasion of Mr. Peabody's visit
to this country in 1866, he informed the trustees of the
Institute that the miniature would be confided to their
4 personal charge and custody ; ' and a share of the large
additional sum which he then gave fdr the enlargement
of the Institute building, and the increase of its funds, was
expended in the construction of a vault in which to pre-
serve the valuable gifts which he had received as an
acknowledgment of his various charities.
" Among the gifts deposited in the vault are the gold
box containing the freedom of the city of London ; a gold
box from the Fishmongers' Association of London; a book
of autographs which Mr. Peabody collected himself, and
which he highly prized, as a memorial of his wide ac-
quaintance, and of a more general appreciation of his
character than gifts alone could supply ; a presentation-
copy of the Queen's first published book, with her auto-
graph in the usual form ; a cane which belonged to Ben-
jamin Franklin, and which, given to one of Franklin's
London friends in the last century, can be traced from one
donee to another, until it became the property of Mr.
Peabody; the Congressional medal which was presented
in token of that magnificent educational gift to the South,
which, in its all-embracing charity, makes no distinctions
of race or color ; and the miniature of the Queen, and her
autograph-letter in which the gift is suggested. The
great pecuniary value of the portrait, .the unusual and
generous character of the gift, and its inestimable value as
an international courtesy, rendered it desirable, that, as
far as human means permitted, it should be placed beyond
the reach of accident.
" This picture is mounted in an elaborate and massive
chased frame of gold. On the frame, above the miniature,
is the royal crown. The miniature is a half-length, four-
teen inches long, and ten wide. When the Queen sat for
the picture, she was attired in such demi-robes of state as
she has worn on a few public occasions since the decease
of Prince Albert. Her dress was of black silk, with a
dark-velvet train, both of which were trimmed with
ermine. Her head-dress was the favorite Mary-Stuart
cap, surmountecj, with a demi-crown. The Koh-i-noor
and a jewelled cross were her principal ornaments. The
portrait is in enamel, by Tilb, a London artist. It is the
largest miniature of the kind ever attempted in England ;
and a furnace was specially built for the execution of the
work. Its cost has been estimated at from thirty thousand
to fifty thousand dollars in gold ; but it is not known that
any one in this country has information of the exact sum.
The likeness, though a good deal idealized, like the
beautiful but too flattering portrait on porcelain, is said to
be remarkably good ; and a near inspection of the work
148 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
shows that the artist has not been so supple a courtier as
to neglect the impress which time and care, motherhood
and widowhood, have left on that once handsome and
joyous face. Such is the situation of the vault, the
arrangement of the light, and the facilities for moving the
picture, that it is conveniently and advantageously exhib-
ited without removal.
"The library contains about thirteen thousand volumes;
among which are many rare books and rarer serial publi-
cations, either collected by Mr. Peabody, or purchased
and presented by him, from time to time, for the use and
endowment of the Institute. The collection is particu-
larly rich in reviews and magazines, and includes one of
the very few sets in the country of ' The London Times.'
The library-room also contains busts of Shakspeare, Mil-
ton, Webster, Hawthorne, and the founder of the Insti-
" The splendid full-length portrait .. of Peabody by
Healy ordered by the citizens of Danvers soon after
the announcement of the original gift, and placed over the
rostrum in the lecture-hall a few days before the dedica-
tory-exercises in 1854 represents Mr. Peabody as many
will recall him, and as he appeared on the occasion of his
visit in 1856, full of life, vigor, and health, his manly
form unshrunken by age and disease, and his fine face
retaining a larger share of the cheerfulness of youth than
usually survives the vexations and cares of sixty years.
A fine picture of Rufus Choate, who began his wonderful
professional career in Danvers, and who always recalled
those early associations with pleasure, also adorns the hall.
The portrait of Edward Everett, a warm friend and
admirer of Mr. Peabody, and the most eloquent of his
eulogists, as those who recall his speech at the Peabody
banquet in 1856 will readily admit, is also in the place of
honor over the rostrum. Both of these pictures are by
Ames, the American artist."
" The Christian Leader " thus refers to the inaugura-
tion of the Peabody statue :
" George Peabody gave the poor of England a princely
sum ; so gave it, that it will prove a stream of beneficence
so long as London shall have the poor with it. The good
Queen honors him, and presents him with her portrait,
paying therefor the sum of seventy thousand dollars. The
people of London honor him, and, by subscription, raise a
fund to procure his statue, to be placed conspicuously in a
city square. Mr. Story, the American sculptor, had the
honor of executing the work. The Prince of Wales pre-
sided at the ceremony of ' unveiling.' It was not looked
forward to as a 'sensation.' The depth of London's love for
the philanthropist was not at all comprehended. Where
hundreds were expected, the people came by thousands.
' The popular excitement,' says 4 The Tribune's ' corre-
spondent, ' surpassed expectation, and made the matter
loom larger than the proceedings would have done without
the huge crowd as a background. Mr. Peabody .has, of
152 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
and with evidently genuine feeling. Mr. Motley's reply
is as durable a monument to Mr. Peabody's memory as
the marble itself. He said,
" May it please your Royal Highness, my Lord Mayor,
ladies and gentlemen : I thank you sincerely for the very
cordial reception you have given me, and his Royal High-
ness for the kind and courteous words he has spoken. I
should be glad, as an American citizen, to pronounce a fit
eulogy on our great philanthropist ; but the brief and
rapidly-fleeting moments allotted on this occasion will
not permit such eulogy. Nor is it necessary. His name
alone is eulogy enough. Most fortunate and most gener-
ous of men, he has discovered a secret for which misers
might sigh in vain, the art of keeping a great fortune
to himself so long as time shall be. In this connection, I
have often thought of a famous epitaph inscribed on the
monument of an old Earl of Devon, one who was com-
monly called ' the good Earl of Devon.' No doubt, the
inscription is familiar to many who now hear me : ' What
I spent, that I had ; what I saved, that I lost ; that
which I gave away remains with me.' And what a mag-
nificent treasure, according to these noble and touching
words, has our friend and the poor man's friend pre-
served for himself till time and he shall be no more I
' And tongues to be his bounty shall rehearse
When all the breathers of this world are dead/
" Of all men in the world, he least needs a monument ;
but, as it was to be erected, I am glad that the task has
been committed to the great American sculptor whom I
have had the honor and happiness of calling my intimate
friend for many years. And, during a recent residence in
Rome, I had the good fortune of seeing this statue, which
has just been unveiled in this busy heart of England's
great metropolis by the royal hand of England's Prince.
I saw it grow, day by day, beneath the plastic fingers of
the artist ; and it was my privilege oh one occasion a
privilege I shall never forget of seeing Mr. Peabody
and his statue seated side by side, and of debating within
myself, without coming to a satisfactory conclusion,
whether, on the w r hole, if I may be allowed so confused an
expression, whether the statue was more like Mr. Pea-
body, or Mr. Peabody more like the statue. It is a
delightful, it always will be a delightful thought, that the
thousands and tens of thousands who daily throng this
crowded mart will see him almost as accurately as in the
flesh. And the future generations generations after
generations, the long, yet unborn, but, I fear, never-ending
procession of London's poor will be almost as familiar
with the form and tl^e features of their great benefactor as
are those of us who have the privilege and the happiness
of knowing him in the flesh. Your Royal Highness and
my Lord Mayor, I beg to thank you for your courtesy."
MR. PEABODY IN AMERICA.
The Flood of Letters. The Gift for Education in the South. Mr.
Peabody's Letter. His Gift seconded by Publishers.
" 'Tis education forms the common mind :
Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined." POPE.
"To do good and to communicate, forget not; for with such sacrifices God Is well
pleased." HEB. xiii. 16.
IT is said that Mr. Peabodj " was of course very
much annoyed, during his last visits, by appeals
to his purse, as well as by impertinent, intru-
sions upon his privacy. To individual appeals
for assistance he never listened. All his letters were opened
and read by his sister ; and she exercised her judgment
about letting him see them, or throwing them into the
fire. Begging-letters of any sort he never wished to
read. Even deserving charitable institutions got nothing
from him if they asked for it. He gave only as the mood
took him ; and it may be safely said, that all his benefac-
tions were the spontaneous outgrowth of his own ideas of
what the world needed, and what could be most easily
and efficiently put into practical operation. He was, in
MR. PEABODY IN AMERICA. 155
short, a philanthropist without sentiment ; a man of ten-
der heart and generous impulses, who believed that the
highest duty of the rich was, not to dole out small sums
for the relief of the improvident, but to put the common-
wealth in the way of diminishing improvidence by general
education, and helping the poor to live in decency and
virtue. There was no imaginable reason why he should
not rigorously carry out his principle, that, while the public
had claims upon him, individuals had none. It will be a
part of his panegyric, in time to come, that he took this
plain, sensible view of his duties ; that he saw so clearly
how he could make his money go farthest."
A perfect flood of letters poured upon him when last
in America ; they were to be numbered by hundreds,
every day, it is said: but he rarely read one of them.
The sound of his munificence had gone abroad ; and, very
naturally, there were needy ones who desired to share his
bounty, and felt at liberty to ask it. He felt at liberty to
refuse, so long as he gave so liberally in other directions.
His crowning donation was that of nearly two million
dollars to build up the cause of education in the South.
This last fund was placed in the hands of trustees of the
highest character for integrity and zealous interest in the
cause of education ; and was to be applied to assist schools,
and to promote the education of the people, without dis-
tinction of race or color, in the Southern States.
An appropriate acknowledgment of this last generous
gift was made by the Government of the United States.
MR. PEABODY IN AMERICA.
The Flood of Letters. The Gift for Education in the South. Mr.
Peabody's Letter. His Gift seconded by Publishers.
" 'Tis education forms the common mind :
Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined." POPE.
"To do good and to communicate, forget not; for with such sacrifices God Is well
pleased." HEB. xiii. 16.
JT is said that Mr. Peabody " was of course very
much annoyed, during his last visits, by appeals
to his purse, as well as by impertinent, intru-
sions upon his privacy. To individual appeals
for assistance he never listened. All his letters were opened
and read by his sister; and she exercised her judgment
about letting him see them, or throwing them into the
fire. Begging-letters of any sort he never wished to
read. Even deserving charitable institutions got nothing
from him if they asked for it. He gave only as the mood
took him ; and it may be safely said, that all his benefac-
tions were the spontaneous outgrowth of his own ideas of
what the world needed, and what could be most easily
and efficiently put into practical operation. He was, in
MR. PEABODY IN AMERICA. 155
short, a philanthropist without sentiment ; a man of ten-
der heart and generous impulses, who believed that the
highest duty of the rich was, not to dole out small sums
for the relief of the improvident, but to put the common-
wealth in the way of diminishing improvidence by general
education, and helping the poor to live in decency and
virtue. There was no imaginable reason why he should
not rigorously carry out his principle, that, while the public
had claims upon him, individuals had none. It will be a
part of his panegyric, in time to come, that he took this
plain, sensible view of his duties ; that he saw so clearly
how he could make his money go farthest."
A perfect flood of letters poured upon him when last
in America ; they were to be numbered by hundreds,
every day, it is said: but he rarely read one of them.
The sound of his munificence had gone abroad ; and, very
naturally, there were needy ones who desired to share his
bounty, and felt at liberty to ask it. He felt at liberty to
refuse, so long as he gave so liberally in other directions.
His crowning donation was that of nearly two million
dollars to build up the cause of education in the South.
This last fund was placed in the hands of trustees of the
highest character for integrity and zealous interest in the
cause of education ; and was to be applied to assist schools,
and to promote the education of the people, without dis-
tinction of race or color, in the Southern States.
An appropriate acknowledgment of this last generous
gift was made by the Government of the United States.
156 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
A costly and elegant gold medal was presented to him
in pursuance of an act of Congress, bearing on one side
a fine profile portrait of the recipient, and on the other
the inscription, " The people of the United States to
George Peabody, in acknowledgment of his beneficent
promotion of universal education."
The following is a copy of the letter of Mr. Peabody
to the trustees of the Southern Educational Fund :
" To Hon. Robert C. Winthrop of Massachusetts ; Hon. Hamilton Fish
. <3f New York ; Eight Rev. Charles P. Mcllvaine of Ohio ; Gen.
U. S. Grant of the United-States Army; Hon. William C. Rives
of Virginia; Hon. John H. Clifford of Massachusetts; Hon.
William Aiken of South Carolina ; William M. Evarts, Esq., of
New York ; Hon. William A. Graham of North Carolina ; Charles
McAllister of Pennsylvania ; George N. Riggs, Esq., of Washing-
ton ; Samuel Wetmore, Esq., of New York ; Edward A. Bradford,
Esq., of Louisiana ; George N. Eaton, Esq., of Maryland ; and
George Peabody Russell, Esq., of Massachusetts.
" Gentlemen, I beg to address you on a subject
which occupied my mind long before I left England; and
in regard to which, one at least of you (the Hon. Mr.
Winthrop, the distinguished and valued friend to whom I
am so much indebted for cordial sympathy, careful consid-
eration, and wise counsel in this matter) will remember
that I consulted him immediately upon my arrival in May
" I refer to the educational needs of those portions of
our beloved and common country which have suffered
MR. PEABODY IN AMERICA. 157
from the destructive ravages and the not less disastrous
consequences of civil war.
" With my advancing years, my attachment to my native
land has but become more devoted. My hope and faith in
its successful and glorious future have grown brighter and
stronger ; and now, looking forward beyond my stay on
earth, as may be permitted to one who has passed the
limit of threescore and ten years, I see our country, united
and prosperous, emerging from the clouds which still sur-
round her, taking a higher rank among the nations, arid
becoming richer and more powerful than ever before.
" But, to make her prosperity more than superficial,
her moral and intellectual development should keep pace
with her material growth ; and, in those portions of our
nation to which I have referred, the urgent and pressing
physical needs of an almost impoverished people must, for
some years, preclude them from making, by unaided effort,
such advances in education, and such progress in the diffu-
sion of knowledge among all classes, as every lover of his
country must earnestly desire.
" I feel most deeply, therefore, that it is the duty and
privilege of the more favored and wealthy portions of our
nation to assist those who are less fortunate ; and with
the wish to discharge, so far as I may be able, my own
responsibility in this matter, as well as to gratify my desire
to aid those to whom I am bound by so many ties of
attachment and regard, I give to you, gentlemen, most of
whom have been my personal and especial friends, the
158 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
sum of one million dollars, to be by you and your suc-
cessors held in trust, and the income thereof used and
applied in your discretion for the promotion and encour-
agement of intellectual, moral, or industrial -education
among the young of the more destitute portions -of the
Southern and South-Western States of the Union ; my
purpose being, that the benefits intended shall be distrib-
uted among the entire population, without other distinc-
tion than their needs and the opportunities of usefulness
" Besides the income thus derived, I give to you per-
mission to use from the principal sum, within the next two
years, an amount not exceeding forty per cent.
" In addition to this gift, I place in your hands bonds
of the State of Mississippi, issued to the Planters' Bank,
and commonly known as Planters' Bank Bonds, amounting,
with interest, to about eleven hundred thousand ; the
amount realized by you from which is to be added to and
used for the purposes of this trust.
" These bonds were originally issued* in payment for
stock in that bank held by the State, and amounted, in all,
to only two million dollars. For many years, the State paid
the interest, without interruption, till 1340 ; since which
no interest has been paid, except a payment of about a
hundred thousand dollars, which was found in the treasury
applicable to the payment of the coupons, and paid by a
mandamus of the Supreme Court. The validity of these
bonds has never been questioned ; and they must not be
MB. PEABODY IN AMERICA. 159
confounded with another issue of bonds made by the State
to the Union Bank, the recognition of which has been a
subject of controversy with a portion of the population of
" Various acts of the Legislature, viz. of Feb. 28, 1842,
Feb. 23, 1844, Feb. 16, 1846, Feb. 28, 1846, March 4,
1848, and the highest judicial tribunal of the State, have
confirmed their validity ; and I have no doubt, that, at an
early day, such legislation will be had as to make these
bonds available in increasing the usefulness of the present
" Mississippi, though now depressed, is rich in agricul-
tural resources, and cannot long disregard the moral
obligation resting upon her to make provision for their
payment. In confirmation of what I have said in regard
to the legislative and "judicial action concerning the State
bonds issued to the Planters' Bank, I herewith place in
your hands the documents marked i A.'
" The details and organization of the trust I leave with
you ; only requesting that Mr. Winthrop may be chairman,
and Gov. Fish and Bishop Mcllvaine vice-chairmen, of
your body : and I give to you power to make all necessary
by-laws and regulations ; to obtain an act of incorporation,
if any shall be found expedient ; to provide for the expenses
of the trustees, and of any agents appointed by them ; and,
generally, to do all such acts as may be necessary for carry-
ing out the provisions of this trust.
" All vacancies occurring in your number by death, res-
160 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
ignation, or otherwise, shall be filled by your election, as
soon as conveniently may be, and having in view an
equality of representation so far as regards the Northern
and Southern States.
"I furthermore give to you the power, in case two-
thirds of the trustees shall, at any time after the lapse of
thirty years, deem it expedient to close this trust, and of
the funds which at that time shall be in the hands of your-
selves and your successors, to distribute not less than two-
thirds among such educational or literary institutions, or for
such educational purposes, as they may determine, in the
States for whose benefit the income is now appointed to be
used. The remainder may be distributed by the trustees
for educational or literary purposes, wherever they may
deem it expedient.
" In making this gift, I am aware that the fund derived
from it can but aid the States which I wish to benefit in
their own exertions to diffuse the blessings of education
and morality ; but if this endowment should encourage
those now anxious for the light of knowledge, and stimu-
late to new efforts the many good and noble men who
cherish the high purpose of placing our great country fore-
most, not only in power, but in the intelligence and virtue
of her citizens, it will have accomplished all that I can
" With reverent recognition of the need of the blessing
of Almighty God upon this gift, and with the fervent prayer,
that, under his guidance, your counsels may be directed
MR. PEABODY IN AMERICA. 161
for the highest good of present and' future generations in
our beloved country, I am, gentlemen, with great respect,
" Your humble servant,
" GEORGE PEABODY."
" The Boston Journal " states, that at the annual meet-
ing of the trustees of this fund, held in Washington on the
loth of February, 1870, Hon. Robert C. Winthrop opened
the meeting by an address, in which he made appropriate
mention of the great loss they had sustained by the death
of the founder of the fund. He also paid a high compli-
ment, to Dr. Sears, the general agent of the board, and
stated that the work which Dr. Sears had performed met
with the cordial approbation of Mr. Peabody. Mr. Win-
throp made the following interesting remarks :
u You all remember, that, on the first day of July last,
our board held a special meeting at Newport, R.I., at the
immediate request of Mr. Peabody. He had informed me
confidentially, before I took leave of him in London in the
previous summer, that he intended to visit his native coun-
try again, God willing, during the present year ; and that
he should then make a considerable addition to our fund.
He was then strong and hopeful, and had great confidence
that he might live at least ten years longer. But his
health soon afterwards began to decline ; and, as the next
spring opened, he was led to entertain serious apprehen-
sions that he might not live even until another year. Af-
ter a careful consultation with his medical advisers, he
162 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
suddenly resolved to come over at once and complete his
" On the very day of his arrival in Boston, he informed
Dr. Sears, Gov. Clifford, and myself, who had met him at
the station, and accompanied him to the hospitable home
of his friend Mr. Dana, that the first desire of his heart,
and that which he had crossed the Atlantic especially to
gratify, was to meet our board once more, and to increase
our means for carrying on the great work in which we
were engaged. He met us, accordingly, at Newport, and
added a second million of dollars to our cash capital, be-
sides adding largely to the deferred securities which he
had included in the original donation ; all of which he had
the fullest faith would, at no very* distant day, become
" In the letter addressed to us, communicating this sec-
ond princely gift, he used the following language r
" ' I have constantly watched, with great interest and
careful attention, the proceedings of your board; and it is
most gratifying to me now to be able to express my warm-
est thanks for the interest and zeal you have manifested in
maturing and carrying out the designs of my letter of
trust, and to assure you of my cordial concurrence in all
the steps you have taken.
" 4 At the same time, I must not omit to congratulate
you, and all who have at heart the best interests of this
educational enterprise, upon your obtaining the highly
valuable services of Dr. Sears as your general agent,
Mil. PEABODY IN AMERICA. 163
services valuable, not merely in the organization of schools
and of a system of public education, but in the good effect
which his conciliatory and sympathizing course has had,
wherever he has met or become associated with the com-
munities of the South in social or business relations.
" ' And I beg to take this opportunity of thanking, with
all my heart, the people of the South themselves, for the
cordial spirit witli which they have received the trust, and
for the energetic efforts which they have made, in co-oper-
ation with yourselves and Dr. Sears, for carrying out the
plans which have been proposed and matured for the diffu-
sion of the blessings of education in their respective
" This letter of Mr. Peabody concluded as follows :
" ' I do this with the earnest hope, and in the sincere
trust, that with God's blessing upon the gift, and upon the
deliberations and future action of yourselves and your gen-
eral agent, it may enlarge the sphere of usefulness already
entered upon, and prove a permanent and lasting boon,
not only to the Southern States, but to the whole of our
dear country, which I have ever loved so well, but never
so much as now in my declining years, and at this time
(probably the last occasion I shall ever have to address
you), as I look back over the changes and the progress of
nearly three-quarters of a century ; and I pray that Al-
mighty God will grant to it a future as happy and noble,
in the intelligence and virtues of its citizens, as it will be
glorious in unexampled power and prosperity.' This sec-
164 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
ond letter has, indeed, proved to be, as he himself antici-
pated, his last letter to this board."
The publishing-houses of D. Appleton & Co. and of
A. S. Barnes & Co. evinced their appreciation of Mr.
Peabody's gift to the South, the former by a donation
of a hundred thousand volumes of school-books, and the
latter by a gift of five thousand volumes of " The Teach-
ers' Library " and twenty-five thousand school-books.
The Rev. Dr. Barnas Sears, late President of Brown
University, has accepted the post of general agent ; and
the generous gift of Mr. Peabody, under his judicious
administration, will doubtless prove a great benefit to the
MORE GIFTS FOR SCIENCE.
Money for Museums at Yale and Harvard. Correspondence in Eeferencc
to these Donations. The Value of the Gift.
Boldly and wisely in that light thou hast :
There ia a Hand above will help thee on." BAILEY'S Festust.
" The lips of knowledge are a precious jewel." PROV. xx. 15.
[HILE Mr. Peabody founded institutions bear-
ing his name in his native town and in the
B cities of his adoption, he was not unwilling to
add to the influence of institutions already es-
tablished in the land of his birth. Gratitude and courtesy
sometimes led those ancient institutions to compliment the
donor by calling some branch of their organization after
his name. In that way Yale College honored him, and
showed its gratitude by giving his name to a museum.
The second annual report of tha^Sheffield Scientific
School of that college, in 1866-67, contains the following
statements in regard to the generous gift :
" It is already well known that George Peabody, Esq.,
1G6 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
of London, in October last, made the generous donation of
a hundred and fifty thousand dollars, to found, ' in con-
nection with Yale College,' a" museum of natural history.
Although this munificent gift is designed to benefit all de-
partments of the university, it will obviously and necessa-
rily be of more immediate advantage to the students of
natural science connected with this school ; and hence the
donor's letter to his trustees, and the accompanying instru-
ment of gift, may be fitly given here.
MR. PEABODY'S LETTER.
"'NEW YORK, Oct. 22, 18G6.
< To Prof. James D. Dana, Hon. James Dixon, Hon. Robert C. Win-
tbrop, Prof. Benjamin Silliman, Prof. George J. Brush, Prof. Oth-
niel C. Marsh, and George Peabody Wetmore, Esq.
" ' Gentlemen, With Jthis letter I enclose an instru-
ment giving to you one hundred and fifty thousand dollars
($ 150,000), in trust, for the foundation and maintenance
of a museum of natural history, especially of the depart-
ments of zoology, geology, and mineralogy, in connection
with Yale College.
" ' I some years ago expressed my intention of making
a donation to this distinguished institution ; and convinced
as I am of the ima^rtance of the natural sciences, and of
the increasing in^Pest taken in their study, it now affords
me great pleasure to aid in advancing these departments
" c The rapid advance which natural science is now
MORE GIFTS FOR SCIENCE. 167
making renders it necessary to provide for the future
requirements of such a museum, as well as its present
wants ; and I trust that the portion of the fund designed
for this purpose -will be found sufficient.
" ' On learning of your acceptance of this trust, and of
the assent of the President and Fellows of Yale College
to its conditions, I shall be prepared to pay over to you
the sum I have named ; and I may then have some addi-
tional suggestions to make in regard to the general
management of the trust. Confident that under your
direction this trust will be failhfully and successfully
" ' I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
" c GEORGE PEABODY.' "
THE INSTRUMENT OF GIFT.
" 'I hereby give to James D wight Dana of New Ha-
ven, Conn., James Dixon of Hartford, Conn., Robert C.
Winthrop of Boston, Mass., Benjamin Silliman of New
Haven, Conn., George Jarvis Brush of New Haven,
Conn., Othniel Charles Marsh of New Haven, Conn.,
and George Peabody Wetmore of Newport, R.I., on his
attaining his majority, the sum of one hundred and fifty ^
thousand dollars, ty> be by them or ibjuc successors held
in trust, to found and maintain a miiscinto of natural his-
tory, especially of the departments of zoology, geology,
and mineralogy, in connection with Yale College, in the
city of New Haven, State of Connecticut.
168 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
" ' Of this sum, I direct that my said trustees devote a
part not to exceed one hundred thousand dollars to the
erection, upon land to be given for that purpose, free of
cost or rental, by the President and Fellows of Yale Col-
lege, in New Haven, of a fire-proof museum-building,
adapted to the present requirements of these three depart-
ments of science, but planned with especial reference to its
subsequent enlargement ; the building, when completed,
to become the property of said college for the uses of this
trust, and none other.
" ' I further direct that the sum of twenty thousand dol-
lars be invested, and accumulate as a building-fund, until
it shall amount to at least one hundred thousand dollars,
when it may be employed by my said trustees, or their
successors, in the erection of one or more additions to the
museum-building, or in its final completion ; the land for
the same also to be provided, free of cost or rental, by the
President and Fellows of Yale College, in New Haven ;
and the entire structure, when completed, to be the property
of Yale College, for the uses of this trust, and none other.
" ' I further direct that thirty thousand dollars, the
remaining .portion of this donation, be invested, and the
income from it be expended by my said trustees, or their
successors, for tl^Lcare of the museum^ increase of its col-
lections, and general interests of the departments of sci-
ence already named ; the part of the income remaining,
after providing for the general care of the museum, to be
apportioned in the following manner, three-sevenths to
MORE GIFTS FOE SCIENCE. 169
zoology, three-sevenths to geology, and one-seventh to
mineralogy ; the said collections, as well as the museum-
building, to be exclusively for the benefit of the various
departments of said college.
" ' The board of trustees I have thus constituted shall
always be composed of seven persons, of whom not more
than four shall at any one time be members of the Faculty
of Yale College. They shall have the general manage-
ment of the museum, keep a record of their doings, and
annually prepare a report setting forth the condition of the
trust and funds, and the amount of income received and
paid out by them during the previous year. This report,
signed by the trustees, shall be presented to the President
and Fellows of Yale College, in New Haven, at their an-
nual summer session, and be by them filed in the archives
of said college.
" 4 In the event of the death or resignation of either of
my said trustees, I direct that his successor be the Gov-
ernor of Connecticut, who, ex officio, shall forever after-
ward be a member of the board. Any other vacancy that
may occur in the board of trustees, either by resignation
or by death, shall be filled by the remaining trustees within
a reasonable time after such vacancy shall have occurred.
" ' I give to my said trustees and their successors the
liberty to appoint a treasurer, and to en tec into any agree-
ments with the President and Fellows of Yale College,
not inconsistent with the terms of this trust, which may in
their opinion be expedient. " 4 GEORGE PEABODY.
" ' NEW YORK, Oct. 22, 1866.'
170 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
" This generous donation provides for one great and
pressing want of the university, a fire-proof museum-
building for preserving the extensive and valuable col-
lections which have been accumulating during the last
half-century, and are now rapidly increasing. It is under-
stood to be the intention of the trustees to commence the
erection of the first wing of the museum at an early day.
When completed, this part will, it is thought, be amply
sufficient for the requirements of the immediate future, or
until the reserved building-fund shall have increased suffi-
ciently to provide for the erection of the main or central
building ; and this, in turn 3 will serve until the completion
of the whole structure.
" Students of natural history in all departments of Yale
College, and in all time to come, will be grateful to Mr.
Peabody for thus rendering secure the collection and pres-
ervation of such a museum as the institution has long been
in need of."
In October, 1866, Mr. Peabody testified his regard for
the oldest college in his native land by giving Harvard a
sum of money for a museum, which is now known by his
name. His letter and instrument of gift are as follows : -
" GEORGETOWN, Oct. 8, 1866.
" To the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, His Excellency Charles Francis
Adams, Francis Peabody, Stephen Salisbury, Asa Gray, Jeffries
Wyman, and George Peabody Russell, Esquires.
" Gentlemen, Accompanying this letter, I enclose an
MORE GIFTS FOR SCIENCE. 171
instrument giving to you one hundred and fifty thousand
dollars ($150,000), in trust, for the foundation and
maintenance of a museum and professorship of American
archeology and ethnology in connection with Harvard
" I have for some years had the purpose of contributing,
as I might find opportunity, to extend the usefulness of
the honored and ancient university of our Commonwealth;
and I trust, that in view of the importance and national
character of the proposed department, and its interesting
relations to kindred investigations in other countries, the
means I have chosen may prove acceptable.
" On learning of your acceptance of the trust, and of
the assent of the President and Fellows of Harvard Col-
lege to its terms, I shall be prepared to pay over to you
the sum I have named.
" Aside from the provisions of the instrument of gift, I
leave in your hands the details and management of the
trust ; only suggesting, that, in view of the gradual oblit-
eration or destruction of the works and remains of the
ancient races of this continent, the labor of exploration
and collection be commenced at as early a day as practi-
' cable ; and also, that, in the event of the discovery in
America of human remains or implements of an earlier
geological period than the present, especial attention be
given to their study, and their comparison with those found
in other countries.
" With the hope that the museum, as thus established
172 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
and maintained, may be instrumental in promoting and
extending its department of science, and with fullest confi-
dence, that, under your care, the best means will be adopted
to secure the end desired,
" I am, with great respect, your humble servant,
" GEORGE PEABODY."
" I do hereby give to Robert C. Winthrop of Boston,
Charles Francis Adams of Quincy, Francis Peabody of
Salem, Stephen Salisbury of Worcester, Asa Gray of
Cambridge, Jeffries Wyman of Cambridge, and George
Peabody Russell of Salem, all of Massachusetts, the sum
of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, to be by them and
their successors held in trust, to found and maintain a mu-
seum of American archaeology and ethnology in connec-
tion with Harvard University, in the city of Cambridge,
and Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
" Of this sum I direct that my said trustees shall invest
forty-five thousand dollars as a fund, the income of which
shall be applied to forming and preserving collections of
antiquities, and objects relating to the early races of the
American continent, or such (including such books and
works as may form a good working library for the depart-
ments of science indicated) as shall be requisite for the
investigation and illustration of archeology and ethnology
in general, in main and special reference, however, to the
aboriginal American races.
" I direct that the income of the further sum of forty-
MORE GIFTS FOR SCIENCE. 173
five thousand dollars shall be applied by my said trustees
to the establishment and maintenance of a professorship of
American archaeology and ethnology in Harvard Univer-
sity. The professor shall be appointed by the President
and Fellows of Harvard College, with the concurrence of
the overseers, in the same manner as other professors are
appointed, but upon the nomination of the founder. or the
board of trustees. He shall have charge of the above-
mentioned collections, and shall deliver one or more courses
of lectures annually, under the direction of the govern-
ment of the university, on subjects connected with said
departments of science.
" Until this professorship is filled, or during the time it
may be vacant, the income from the fund appropriated to
it shall be devoted to the care and increase of the collec-
" I further direct that the remaining sum of sixty
thousand dollars be invested and accumulated as a build-
ing-fund until it shall amount to at least one hundred
thousand dollars, when it may be employed in the erection
of a suitable fire-proof' museum-building, upon land to be
given for that purpose, free of cost or rental, by the Presi-
dent and Fellows of Harvard College ; the building, when
completed, to become the property of the college, for the
uses of this trust, and none other.
" The board of trustees I have thus constituted shall
always be composed of seven persons : and it is my wish
that the office of chairman be filled by Mr. Winthrop ; in
174 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
the event of his death or resignation, by Mr. Adams ; and
so successively in the order I have named above. The
trustees shall keep a record of their doings, and shall an-
nually prepare a report, setting forth the condition of the
trust and funds, and the amount of income received and
paid out by them during the previous year. This report,
signed by the trustees, shall be presented to the President
and Fellows of the college.
" In the event of the death or resignation of Mr. Win-
throp, I direct that the vacancy in the number of the board
be filled by the President of the Massachusetts Historical
Society, who, ex officio, shall forever after be a member of
the board. In the Qvent of the death or resignation of
Mr. Peabody, the vacancy to be filled by the President
of the scientific body now established in the city of Salem,
under the name of the Essex Institute ; of Mr. Salisbury,
by the President of the American Antiquarian Society ;
of Prof. Gray, by the President of the American Academy
of Arts and Sciences ; and of Prof. Wyman, by the Presi-
dent of the Boston Society of Natural History, all of
whom shall forever after be, ex officio, members of the
" Should the president of either of the societies I have
named decline to act as a trustee, such vacancy, and all
other vacancies that may occur in the number of the trus-
tees, shall be filled by the remaining trustees, who shall,
within a reasonable time, make the appointment or appoint-
MORE GIFTS FOR SCIENCE. 175
" I give to my said trustees the liberty to obtain from
the Legislature an act of incorporation, if they deem it
desirable ; to make all necessary by-laws ; to appoint a
treasurer ; and to enter into any arrangements and agree-
ments with the government of Harvard College, not in-
consistent with the terms of this trust, which may, in their
opinion, be expedient.
(Signed) " GEORGE PEABODY.
" GEORGETOWN, Oct. 8, 1866."
Rev. Dr. Walker, in referring to this munificence of
Mr. Peabody, and the fact that officers of Harvard Col-
lege and officers of the Massachusetts Historical Society
were to be also trustees of the Peabody Museum, said,
" Mr. Peabody, as it seems to me, has shown great wis-
dom by connecting his new institution, to some extent,
with two of the oldest of these societies; so that, hereafter,
we may have the benefit of both agencies, acting with
more effect because more likely to act in harmony and
together for a common object."
Rev. E. E. Hale then remarked,
" I should not venture to add any thing, Mr. President,
to what has been so fitly said, but that you have asked me
to say something in acknowledgment of so great a gift to
science, because, in some sort, I represent here the gov-
ernment of the American Antiquarian Society. In the
establishment of the proposed museum, and of the
176 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
professorship connected with it, under Mr. Peabody's
munificent endowment, the Antiquarian Society saw the
fulfilment of a cherished wish which it had entertained
for half a century ; and its government is confident, that,
in the . administration of this endowment, the studies of
the American antiquary would be redeemed from any
unfair suspicion which has considered them petty, or
unworthy of profound scientific attention.
" Have we not been somewhat disposed to think that
these arrow-points .and pestles and stone axe-heads, such as
I have brought down stairs from our own collection, were
hardly worth a place in our museum ? Or, if any
explorer southward or westward brought us his contribu-
tions of the work of our own native tribes, have we not
been apt to think that they were mere curiosities, with
little value for science ? Now, in the recent study of the
antiquity of the human race, these very illustrations of
what has been called the Stone Age are claiming a place
of the very first importance in the study of the real
primeval history of the world.
" And, Mr. President, so far as I am aware, Mr. Pea-
body, in his letter of gift, is the first person who has
publicly called attention to the invaluable illustration
which the antiquarian study of this country will thus
give to this new science, which seeks to set in order
the social progress of the world, its moral paleon-
tology, if I may hazard the expression, of which we
here can illustrate some of the steps far better than
MORE GIFTS FOR SCIENCE. 17?
they can be illustrated in Europe. The little specimens
which I have placed on the table some of them the
work of Nature, and some, to appearance much less care-
fully wrought, the undoubted work of man will show
how difficult it is for an untrained observer to say with
certainty, in a given instance, whether a relic from another
age is or is not a memorial of human art. In point of
fact, the tools from the alluvium of the Somme, figured
by M. Boucher de Perthes in his * Antiquites Celtiques,'
were so rudely shaped, that many persons supposed they
were stones which owed their peculiar forms to accidental
fracture in a river's bed. In such ways the whole series
of questions connected with the memorials of the stone
age discovered in Europe have been embarrassed, from
the fact that the scientific men of Europe, in studying
that age, with them so distant, have been obliged to con-
struct their theories simply from the handful of specimens
preserved through so many intervening ages, materials
which were themselves the material under discussion.
We here, however, have the stone age at hand : we can
match these arrow-points and axe-heads from our own
collections of thousands of such articles, the work of a
race not yet passed away. If we wish, we can question
the men who have used them; nay, can see them as
they make them. And here is one more instance to be
added to so many which are successively forced upon
us, which show that our antiquarian studies are, in fact,
not .the baby-talk of the infants of a new world, but are
1<8 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
studies relating to tlie very oldest world, and, indeed, to
the very foundation of social order.
" You remember, Mr. President, how often Mr. Agas-
siz dwells upon the fact, that, when it pleased God to
divide the land from the water, when ' fields grew
green,' where for thousands of years ' oceans only had
gathered,' the first beach which rose above the icy
waves was the strip of land which Mr. Agassiz calls ' the
Laurentian Hills.' It is the strip which we have all
heard described so many times and in the language of
geology also as 4 the highlands dividing the waters of
the St. Lawrence from the waters of the Atlantic.' That
was the phrase used by Adams and Franklin in our first
treaty with England ; and the commissioners chose that
oldest ridge of land to be the eternal division between the
two countries which were just then parted. ' All of us
have noticed the curious revelation of recent science,
which has pointed out the fact, that this region, made so
familiar to us in the struggles of diplomacy, should prove
to be really a landmark so ancient. Now, with every
fresh revelation of science, sir, we are seeing more dis-
tinctly that the studies of this older continent are in every
way essential to the studies of our younger sister continent
on the other side of the ocean.
" It seems to me a very striking illustration of the
comprehensive views of Mr. Peabody, that, while he was
engaged in that work for the world to which a great mer-
chant is called, he should have perceived the intimacy of
MORE GIFTS FOR SCIENCE. 179
the connection between the antiquarian study of this
country and what I have a right to*call the newly-created
antiquarian science of Europe. These views of the
antiquity of man, in which Professor Lyell has excited
such wide popular interest, are but just now announced
to the European world. Mr. Peabody has instantly seized
on the fact, that, in this older world, we have peculiar
advantages for illustrating them. Deeply interested him-
self in the new studies by which the geologists of Europe
are illustrating the antiquity of the race, he has seen that
we have here peculiar opportunity for contributing to
those studies facts of great interest, and observations
impossible excepting where the forms of the oldest social
order may be studied while still alive. Observing this,
with the most liberal endowment he creates the new
institution which is to preserve the memorials and give
persistency to the studies which are necessary in the
" I hold in my hand, and should gladly read here if I
had not occupied so much of the society's time, a letter
from Mr. Abbott Lawrence, written when he was our
minister in England, acknowledging in the most cordial
way the important services which Mr. Peabody again and
again rendered in preserving a kindly feeling- between
America and England. He seems to have consecrated
the immense influence which he has so worthily acquired
to those friendly offices which best unite two lands that
should be parted only by the ocean. The last great ser-
180 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
vice we acknowledge to-day, in which Mr. Peabody shows
us how the antiquarian science of each continent may
contribute to that of the other ; how essential, indeed, for
the deepest research of each continent, is the kindred
research, which, at the same moment, presses its inquiries
in the other, this last great service fitly illustrates that
work of mediation and good feeling to which this distin-
guished man has so successfully devoted the efforts of his
The value of Mr. Peabody's gift will be best appre-
ciated by those interested in the objects of the museum ;
and, that these may be better understood, the circular
stating their wants and wishes is here given :
" PEABODY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY AND
" Through the munificence of Mr. George Peabody
of London, a museum of American archaeology and eth-
nology has been established in connection with Harvard
College. In carrying out the wishes of the founder, it is
intended to bring together all objects illustrative of or
bearing upon the origin, early history, manners and cus-
toms, and progress towards civilization, of the aboriginal
races of North and South America. In furthering the
objects of the above foundation, the undersigned, the
executive committee, in behalf of the board of trustees,
are desirous of obtaining any of the following articles :
MORE GIFTS FOE SCIENCE. 181
" 1. Implements of stone, such as axes, gouges, chisels,
clubs, pestles, sinkers, tomahawks, mortars, arrow-heads,
" 2. Articles of earthenware, such as vases, pots, pipes,
bowls, oi&images of any kind.
" 3. Bows, arrows, quivers, spears, rattles, drums,
shields, snow-shoes, knives, lodges, medicine-bags, tobacco-
poaches, cooking-utensils, articles of dress, either of purely-
aboriginal make, or such as show the gradual contact of
the savage and European races.
" 4. Mummies, skeletons, or parts of skeletons, of any
of the North or South American races. Of the parts of
skeletons, the skulls are always of great importance ; and
the long bones of the limbs, and the hip-bones, are of
" 5. Antiquities, in the form of images or other scjilp-
tures, or the casts of them, from Peru, Mexico, Chili, or
" 6. Any articles made by or relating to the Esqui-
maux, and the Fuegians, or the Patagonians.
" It is within the plan of the founder to make collec-
tions relating to the archaeology and ethnology of other
aboriginal races, especially of such articles as have a bear-
ing upon, or help to illustrate the history of, the American
races. The trustees are, therefore, desirous of obtaining
crania, skeletons or parts of skeletons, weapons and
implements of all kinds, pottery, or any other articles of
aboriginal make, from any portion of the world ; .also
182 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
drawings or casts of them whicli may serve to show the
differences or resemblances between the various human
races in their earliest stages of existence.
"ROBERT C. WINTHROP,I
ASA GRAY, \ Executive
T ' [ Committee."
STILL HELPING EDUCATORS.
Peabody Academy of Science in Salem. Essex Institute. Mr. Pea-
body's Letter. His Love for his native County of Essex.
" Some there are
By their good deeds exalted, lofty minds,
And meditative authors of delight
And happiness, which, to the end of time,
Will live and spread and flourish." WORDSWORTH.
" Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
For wisdom is better than rubies ; and all the things that may be desired are not to
be compared to it." PROY. viii. 10, 11.
[S intimated, in the Preface, George Peabody
was not forgetful of the Essex Institute in
Salem. With his usual liberality, he bestowed
a large sum upon those banded together in
Essex County for historical and scientific purposes, and
founded, in connection with the Essex Institute, whose
library, museum, and officers were in Salem, an Acad-
emy of Science, so called, to be known henceforth by his
name. The following characteristic letter accompanied
his gift :
184 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
SALEM, MASS., Feb. 26, 1867.
" To Francis Peabody, Esq., Prof. Asa Gray, William C. EncTicott,
Esq., George Peabody Russell, Esq., Prof. Otlmiel C. Margh,
Dr. Henry Wheatland, Abner C. Goodell, jun., Esq., Dr. James
E,. Nichols, and Dr. Henry C. Perkins.
"Gentlemen, As you will perceive by the enclosed
instrument of trust, I wish to place in the hands of your-
selves and your successors the sum of one hundred and
forty thousand dollars for the promotion of science and
useful knowledge in the county of Essex.
" Of this, my native county, I have always been justly
proud, in common with all her sons ; remembering her
ancient reputation, her many illustrious statesmen, jurists,
and men of> science, her distinguished record from the
earliest days of our country's history, and the distinction
so long retained by her, as eminent in the education and
morality of her citizens.
" I arn desirous of assisting to perpetuate her good
name through future generations, and of aiding, through
her means, in the diffusion of science and knowledge ;
and after consultation with some of her most eminent
and worthy citizens, and encouraged by the success which
has already attended the efforts and researches of the
distinguished scientific association of which your chair-
man is president, and with which most of you are con-
nected, I am led to hope that this gift may be instrumental
in attaining the desired end.
"I therefore transmit to you the enclosed instrument,
STILL HELPING EDUCATORS. 185
and a check for the amount therein named ($140,000),
with the hope that this trust, as administered by you and
your successors, may tend to advancement in intelligence
and virtue, not only in our good old county of Essex, lut
in our commonwealth and in our common country.
" I am, with great respect,
" Your humble servant,
" GEORGE PEABODY."
During the session of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science, which was held in Salem, Mass.,
in the summer of 1869, the dedicatory services of the
Peabody Academy of Science were held in the Taberna-
cle Church; the building owned by the academy being too
small for the audience.
According to " The Salem Observer " of Aug. 14,
1869, " The exercises were opened at three o'clock
with prayer by the Rev. C. R. Palmer, pastor of the
church; which was followed by the singing of a hymn
written for the occasion by Rev. Jones Very, and which
was well rendered by a select choir from the Salem Orato-
rio Class. The dedicatory address was then delivered by
Mr. Endicott ; and it was universally regarded as a very
appropriate, excellent, and eloquent discourse. Remarks
were afterwards made by Ex-Gov. Clifford, Mayor Coggs-
well, B. H. Silsbee, Esq., of the Marine Society, Dr.
Wheatland, and Pres. Foster. Benediction by Rev. Mr.
186 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
The address of the mayor, Gen. William Coggswell, as
reported in the same excellent newspaper, was as fol-
. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN, I know that I
.speak the sentiments of the people of this city when I
congratulate you, sir, and your associate trustees, upon
the successful establishment in our midst of the Academy
of Science, under the wise and beneficent trust of that
world-wide benefactor whose name stands at the head of
" Though your labors were at the outset clouded and
increased by the great loss which we all felt here in the
death of the first president of your board, yet the citizens
of this place, which has been honored by the location of
this Academy, though its purposes are to be devoted to
the broader field of the whole county of Essex, have
witnessed with pleasure the great and rapid progress
which has been made in the discharge of the duties of
your important trust. They are aware of the vast
amount of labor, under the careful and able supervision
of yourself and associates, which has wrought out all this.
They are sensible of the good results which must inevita-
bly flow therefrom ; and therefore it is, that, with honor
and with pride, they feel they can join you this day in the
dedication of the Peabody Academy of Science, and bid
it, as they do now bid it, All hail, welcome, and God
STILL HELPING EDUCATORS. 187
" Dedicated to the cause of science, that cause to
which all look for truth, instruction, and the explanation
of the hidden mysteries of life ;. through which we learn to
understand the ways of Nature, and to make useful all the
powers which God has given ; from which we learn to
read aright the lessons of experience, and to make more
perfect the labors of mankind ; science, which leads, not
from, but to, a better, higher, nobler appreciation of God
and his infinity, dedicated to this great study, and in this
presence of the eminent scholars of science of our land,
who shall attempt to set forth its useful results, its perfect
work, its future, or its effect upon the important study to
which it is now dedicated and set apart? Who will follow
out its influences, unbounded and without a limit as 'they
will be, as from .father to son, from generation to genera-
tion, it shall send forth the influence and energy of de-
veloped truth into the great struggle of life and into the
current of the great river of knowledge ?
" When we reflect upon the immense scope of its study,
touching every interest and inquiry of life ; sifting and
exposing error ; underlying the superstructure of govern-
ment, of life, of health, of knowledge, and of wisdom ;
opening to us the secrets of Nature ; bringing us all,
whether we will or not, up to a higher, broader, better
plane of existence ; leading us to discard error and preju-
dice, and to adopt the truth ; training the lightning to do
its bidding ; exchanging, as it does this day exchange, the
thoughts and wishes of continents, and publishing the
188 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
edicts of Nature in "the twinkling of an eye;" when
we call to mind that all things yield up their secrets to
the all-searching, never-tiring eye of the man of science ;
when we consider more particularly its relation to the
body politic, that upon it government must depend
alike for its implements of war and its arts of peace,
railroads, canals, surveys, harbor - improvements, the
census, the levying of tax, finance, the waging of war,
the commerce of the seas, the products of the soil ; that
' the end of the institution, maintenance, and administra-
tion of government is to secure the existence of the body
politic, to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who
compose it with the power of enjoying in safety and tran-
quillity their natural rights and the blessings of life ; ' -
when we consider all this, and that government, in all its
branches and departments, in all the intricate machinery
of administration, must follow the laws of science, or follow
not at all, who but will welcome every aid in its behalf?
who but will give thanks and praise at the founding of
each and every academy devoted to its great and enno-
bling labors ? and who but will love and revere the man
whose never-failing spring of love to his fellow-man has
builded in our midst this temple in its honor ? And most
especially does it become the municipality which has been
made the favored recipient of such a trust to take a deep
and abiding interest in all that appertains to its welfare
" I feel, gentlemen, the difficulty under which I labor
STILL HELPING EDUCATORS. 180
in speaking to the cause of science in this presence ; for I
am as a stranger in its fields : but I can bear my willing
testimony to the vast amount of good it has already
accomplished. I feel that to it all things are possible ;
and I know that I reflect the feelings of the citizens of
Salem when I greet this as the dawning of better and
more glorious days in the history of this our city, so full
now of its proud memories which we all delight to honor,
and in whose welfare we all take a loving and an earnest
" I shall fail, however, in my duty here, if I omit to
pay my tribute of respect to the genius, the skill, the
industry, and the devotion of those gentlemen, who, if life
is spared to them, and they are spared to you, are destined
to make your trust a perfect and a famed success. I refer
to the present professors of your Academy. It is a deli-
cate matter to speak of them in their presence ; yet I can-
not help saying, what everybody knows, that fortunate
indeed is the institution which can claim them as its own.
u But, sir, I shall turn a\tay from any attempt to speak
the feelings of those I have the honor to represent, or of
myself, the feelings of admiration and gratitude and
respect towards him whose bounty, reaching from conti-
nent to continent, has fallen upon our heads ; for I feel
that all words of praise would be commonplace, that all
expressions of gratitude would be trite, and that all words
of compliment would be empty, when brought by me and
laid at the feet of so great a doer of good.
190 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
u And now allow me to say, that with the Essex Insti-
tute, so favorably known, under its wise and active man-
agement ; with our Peabody Academy of Science, so
recently inaugurated ; with the far-famed East-India Mu-
seum, brought now to a more public use ; and with the
eminent men connected with them, fortunate and happy
indeed must be the city which holds them all within its
limits ; and I feel that I can pledge you at all times the
hearty and unbounded support and co-operation of the
citizens of Salem."
The Essex Institute of Salem, which was the institution
from which the Peabody Academy of Science* is but an
outgrowth, is greatly indebted to one man especially for
its success. His untiring zeal, energy, and perseverance,
and his acknowledged ability as secretary and librarian
and manager-in-general of the affairs of the Essex Insti-
tute, have, in a large measure, been the source of its suc-
cess. That man is Dr. Henry Wheatland of Salem, whose
silver hairs are a crown of glory, and whose afternoon of
life is so radiant, that it seems as if his sun stood still, as
in the days of Gideon, while he battles on the fields of
historic and scientific research.
He said, on the occasion of the dedication of the Pea-
body Academy of Science, and in response to a deserved
tribute paid the Essex Institute,
" I thank you, Mr. President, in behalf of the Essex
Institute, for your kind notice on this occasion.
STILL HELPING EDUCATORS. 191
" The Institute has only to say, that it has been humbly
following out the plan handed down by past generations
for the promotion of education and general culture, modi-
fied in some degree to meet the wants of the community
and the requirements of the age. What little success may
have attended its efforts is mainly due to the examples
and precepts of those who have preceded. These early
pioneers in the cause of science have b'orne the heat and
burden of the day, and have prepared the way, thus leav-
ing it comparatively easy to follow.
" We have an honorable record. Each successive period
in our history, from the landing of Conant, of Endicott,
and Higginson, from the time of Roger Williams and
Hugh Peters, to the present, has enrolled many names
illustrious for professional attainments, mechanical indus-
tries, and commercial enterprises.
" These materials did not crystallize into any permanent
form until about the middle of the last century, when it
assumed that of a social club, composed of the leading
spirits of the day, and holding weekly meetings, where the
principal topics of the day were discussed, especially those
of a literary and scientific character. One was the sug-
gestion for the formation of a library similar in its char-
acter to that which Franklin had established in Philadel-
phia some twenty-five or thirty years previous, and that
at Newport by Redwood a few years afterwards. This
movement resulted in the formation of the Social Library
in 1761. These meetings were held at Pratt's Tavern,
192 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
located on the north-east corner of Essex and Washington
Streets. At that time, the tavern was the great place of
resort for the people ; and meetings of the various cluhs,
committees, &c., were always held there.
" Some twenty years roll away, and we behold the
privateer ship 4 Pilgrim,' Hugh Hill, commander, owned
by the Messrs. Cabot, bringing into the neighboring- port
of Beverly a collection of books, being a part of the
library of the celebrated Irish chemist, Dr. Richard Kir-
wan, which was taken from a schooner captured during
the early part of the year 1781 in the English Channel.
These books, comprising the ' Philosophical Transactions
of the Royal Society of London,' ' Memoires de 1'Acade*-
mie Royale des Sciences, 7 Paris, 'Miscellanea Beroli-
nensa,' Boyle's ' Works,' * Bernouilli Opera,' ' Wolfii
Elementa Matheseos,' and others, were purchased by a
company of gentlemen ; and thus was constituted the
Philosophical Library. This addition gave a new impulse
to scientific investigation, and aided many in their re-
searches. The late Dr. Nathaniel Bowditch, when a
young man, had access to these works, and thus was en-
abled to develop more fully that genius which enabled him
to be the expounder of La Place, and to take a leading
position among the mathematicians of his age. In his will,
Dr. Bowditch makes honorable mention of his indebtedness
to this library in his early studies. Among the proprietors
of this library may be mentioned Rev. Joseph Willard,
afterwards President of Harvard College ; Rev. Dr.
STILL HELPING EDUCATORS. 193
Manasseli Cutler of the Hamlet in Ipswich, one of our
earliest botanists, and the originator and conductor of a
company who emigrated from this county in 1786 to the
West, and thus founded the settlement at Marietta, on the
banks of the Ohio ; Drs. E. A. Holyoke and Orne of
Salem ; and others.
" Another score of years pass, and we behold in a small
room, in the third story of a brick building erected on the
site of the old tavern previously mentioned, and now
occupied as a part of the printing-office of ' The Salem
Observer,' the nucleus of a museum originated by several
of our citizens engaged in the East-India trade, then the
leading business in Salem, and around which, by gradual
accretions, has grown the famous East-India Museum, the
re-arrangement of which with the scientific collections of
the Essex Institute the trustees of the Peabody Academy
of Science this day dedicate to the public.
" It is perhaps needless, to trace further in detail the
growth of our institutions : the principal facts in their
history have appeared in the printed publications of the
Institute. Suffice it to mention that the Salem Athe-
naeum was incorporated in 1810 : the Essex Historical
Society, organized in 1821, and the Essex-County Natural
History Society in 1833, were united and incorporated in
1848 under the name of the Essex Institute.
" The building of Plummer Hall in 1856, from funds
bequeathed by the late Miss Caroline Plummer of Salem,
and in which are deposited the principal libraries, consti-
194 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
tute an important era in our history. It is a singular
coincidence, that this building is erected on the site of the
house in which Prescott the historian first saw the light
" The donation of Mr. Peabody in 1867, and the con-
sequent formation of the Trustees of the Peabody Acad-
emy of Science, a full account of which has been so ably
and so eloquently presented by you, Mr. President, on
this occasion, has relieved the Institute of a portion of its
duties, some of which have already been transferred to the
Academy, the care and maintenance of its museum,
and the publication of scientific papers, especially those
that illustrate the natural history of the county.- This
forms another very important epoch in our history.
" This donation of Mr. Peabody came very opportunely,
at a time when the materials were at hand to. organize an
institution on a good basis, with large and valuable muse-
ums and a corps of able workers. The Museum of the
East-India Marine Society had been accumulating for
many years, and had acquired a well-merited reputation.
The Essex Institute had, within the past few years, gath-
ered together a corps of active young naturalists and of
historical students, and had awakened a deep interest in
scientific studies and historic research by its field and
other meetings, its lectures and publications ; at the same
time, added largely to its library and its various collections;
awaiting, as it were, for some such endowment as that of
Mr. Peabody to galvanize them into a more actiye sphere
STILL HELPING EDUCATORS. 195
" The Institute has cause for great congratulation that
one of its cherished departments is so well cared for ; and
that, under the auspices of the Academy, an accurate
survey of the natural resources of the county will be
made, that the same may be developed to the fullest
extent ; and that a knowledge of the sciences, especially
their application to the arts, be diffused among the people,
so that, by. the aid of skilled labor, the greatest practical
results can be obtained with the least expenditure of time
u The Essex Institute in its organization recognizes
three departments, those of natural history, history, and
" The first, as has been before mentioned, is in good
hands. It is immaterial who does the work, or who has
the credit for doing the same, provided that it is well done.
The second and third have received no special endow-
ment ; and what little provision they obtain must come
from the ordinary income, or from future acts of munifi-
" The horticultural department has taken, in years past,
a prominent position in the doings of the society. The
exhibitions of fruits and flowers have been considered as
ranking favorably with those of similar institutions. This
city and the vicinity have always had a goodly array of
enthusiastic and successful cultivators of the choicest pro-
ductions of Flora and Pomona. Among those of the past,
the name of Robert Manning the elder stands prominent
196 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
as a pioneer in the cultivation of fruit, especially of the
" The garden of J. F. Allen exhibited for several sea-
sons a fine display of that gorgeous lily, the Victoria
Regia; and his excellent treatise on this flower, with
superb illustrations, finds a place in every public library.
Yet later, Allen's Hybrids and Rogers's Hybrid Seedling
Grapes are attracting the attention of all the cultivators
of this choice and delicious fruit.
" Essex County is one of the oldest in New England.
Her records date back to an early period. Its children
have been and are now among the prominent in all the
greatest enterprises of their respective periods, and have
received their merited reward. Let us cherish their
memories with strict fidelity, and transmit the same, unim-
paired, to the latest posterity.
" To this end it is necessary to preserve with the great-
est care all papers, loose manuscript-leaves, interleaved
almanacs with inserted notes, old records, diaries, &c.,
that are scattered through our county. They are found
in the archives of our towns, in the various parishes, and
in almost every hamlet.
" The county commissioners have, with a wise fore-
thought, done a good work in having the papers belonging
to the old quarterly courts properly arranged and placed
into volumes, the whole carefully indexed under the
superintendence of W. P. Upham, one of our most care-
ful and zealous antiquarian scholars. Thanks to the com-
STILL HELPING EDUCATORS. 197
missioners for what has thus far been done. May they be
induced to extend the same protecting care to all the
other records that are deposited in the various county
" It is very desirable that the Essex Institute should be
placed in a condition to collect and arrange in a similar
manner all the scattered materials that will elucidate our
history. If the originals cannot be obtained, exact copies
of the same should be carefully made. Many of these
papers will undoubtedly be found worthy of being
printed ; and, if no provision should be made that the
same be .done, an opportunity is here offered for some
liberal-minded son or sons of Essex to contribute to this
worthy object. In no better and more enduring way can
one be remembered in the future than by cherishing a
due regard for the memory of those who have contributed
so much for the comfort and happiness of the present
The whole of the above address is given, because it con-
cerns the county which was nearest Mr. Peabody's heart,
because it was his native county. It will be seen by
the address that the Peabody Academy of Science does
not take the place of the Essex Institute, nor is it over-
shadowed by the latter. They work together. Accord-
ing to the reliable statements of Dr. Wheatland,
" The real status of the Essex Institute is nearly this :
An institution with several hundred members resident*
198 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
in all the towns of Essex County, its headquarters in Sa-
lem, its rooms in Plummer Hall, where is deposited its
library of some twenty-five thousand volumes, and a large
collection of historical matter. It owns a fine collection
of specimens of natural history, deposited with the Pea-
body Academy. It holds, in the summer-season, some
half-dozen assemblies in fit localities, occupying a whole
day at each : the forenoon is spent in explorations and re-
search, and the afternoon given to discussions and reports.
These occasions, called 4 field-meetings,' are open to every
one, and are always highly diversified and agreeable, com-
bining the ease of the picnic with the profit of the lecture-
room. In the winter-season, evening meetings are held
on the first and third Mondays of each month ; and, occa-
sionally, coulees of historical and scientific lectures are
given. The publications consist of a volume of historical
collections annually, of some three hundred pages, and the
' Bulletin,' a record of meetings, short communications
on subjects of which the Institute takes cognizance, dona-
tions, correspondence, &c. Papers of a strictly scientific
character, requiring illustrations, may probably be printed
by the Peabody Academy, or arrangements to that effect
will probably be made ; otherwise by the Institute, under
the appellation of 4 Memoirs.'
" Thus we have in Salem two institutions, working in
a common cause, having organizations entirely different in
character, the Academy, a close corporation of nine
members, holding funds for specific purposes, and employ-
STILL HELPING EDUCATORS. 199
ing agents to perform duties not inconsistent with the
instrument of trust ; the other a popular institution of
some hundreds of members, including a large portion of
those citizens of the county who are interested in the
promotion of general culture and refinement. The one
supplements the other ; and there is no reason why the
two may not. continue, as now, to co-operate harmoniously
in the performance of the important duties committed to
their, care, and thus build up an institution, or a series of
institutions, which will shed a brilliant lustre for a long
term of years thoughout our land, and be a beacon-light to
the investigation in history, science, art, and literature.
" In conclusion, it may be mentioned that Mr. Peabody,
in his instrument of trust, empowers his trustees to make
.such arrangements and agreements with the Essex Institute
as may be necessary or expedient for carrying into effect
the provisions of his instrument ; also that all the trustees,
the director, the curators, and assistants, are members of the
Institute ; and those who reside within the limits of the
county hold either an office or a place on some important
standing-committee, as president, vice-president, superin-
tendent, corresponding secretary, and curators.
" Though entirely distinct in their organization, these
two institutions may, in part, be considered as one ; many
of the offices in both being held by the same persons.
Thus linked together in a common bond of union, no diver-
sity of interest can exist ; each having its respective field
of operations, and line of duty."
200 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
After a membership of nearly ten. years, commencing
while a resident of Essex County, and never relinquished,
because so highly valued, the writer of this memorial vol-
ume can only add to Dr. Wheatland's remarks an em-
phatic " Amen."
YET GIVING CHEERFULLY.
Massachusetts Historical Society. Kenyon College, and Mr. Peabody's
Donation to it. Documents in Kegard to the Acceptable Gifts.
" And while Lord, Lord ! ' the pious tyrants cried,
Who in the poor their Master crucified,
His daily prayer, far better understood
In acts than words, was simply DOING GOOD." WHITTIER.
"Through wisdom is a house builded; and by understanding it is established;
and by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant
riches." PROV. xxiv. 3, 4.
the excellent institutions of Massachu-
setts is its Historical Society, which elected
Mr. Peabody an honorary member on the
12th of July, 1866 ; and, at the society-meeting
in September following, the corresponding secretary read
a letter from Mr. Peabody, stating his acceptance of the
honor. At the November meeting of the same year, the
president of the society (Hon. R. C. Winthrop) laid be-
fore the society a copy of the letter and trust-instrument,
whereby Mr. Peabody established a museum and profess-
orship of American archaeology, and ethnology in connec-
tion with Harvard University, in which he named the
202 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
President of the Massachusetts Historical Society, ex officio,
forever one of the trustees : whereupon the following reso-
lution was submitted :
" Resolved, That Mr. Peabody's letter, and instrument
of trust, be entered in full on the records of this society ;
and that the president be instructed to communicate to
Mr. Peabody the deep and grateful sense which is enter-
tained by us all of the interest and importance of the insti-
tution which he has thus founded, and of the munificence
and wisdom with which he has provided for its' manage-
ment and support."
The remarks which followed the reading of this resolu-
tion are already mentioned in a previous chapter.
In January of the following year, the Massachusetts
Historical Society was called on to be grateful in its own
behalf particularly. At the meeting in January, the presi-
dent said that he had received a communication from our
distinguished honorary member, Mr. George Peabody,
which he was sure would be listened to with high gratifi-
cation and with deep gratitude by every member present.
He then proceeded to read the following letter :
" BOSTON, Jan. 1, 1867.
" To the Hon. ROBERT C. WINTHROP, President of the Massachu-
setts Historical Society.
"My dear Sir, I have for some time desired to grat-
ify a wish which I once expressed to you, and while I
YET GIVING CHEERFULLY. 203
should, at the same time, mark my strong personal esteem
and regard for, yourself, and my appreciation of the past
labors and researches of the venerable and distinguished
society of which you are president, to contribute, in some
degree, to extend its future usefulness, and preserve its
" With these objects in view, therefore, I beg to present,
through you, to the Massachusetts Historical Society, the
s.um of twenty thousand dollars in the five-per-cent ten-
forty coupon-bonds of the United States, bearing accrued
interest from the 1st of September last ; which bonds, or
their proceeds, shall be held by them as a permanent trust-
fund, of which the income shajl be appropriated to the
publication and illustration of their proceedings and me-
moirs, and to the preservation of their historical portraits.
" I will thank you to do me the favor to communicate
this to the society at their next meeting, to be held on the
" I am, with great respect, your humble servant,
Dr. Ellis then offered the following resolutions :
" Resolved, That the members of the Massachusetts His-
torical Society have listened with profound gratification to
the reading, by their president, of the letter of Mr. George
Peabody, accompanying his gift to the society of twenty
thousand dollars ; and that it is with the sincerest gratitude
to the munificent donor that we thus find ourselves
204 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
sharers in the comprehensive generosity which has heen
exercised in England and in the United , States with such
varied, discriminating, and admirable adaptation to so many
noble interests of humanity, science, and liberal culture.
" Resolved^ That we recognize this noble gift as espe-
cially opportune in time and occasion, and as peculiarly
adapted, in the purposes which its donor assigns for it, to
what have recently been felt to be the most pressing wants
of the society. We, therefore, hereby pledge ourselves,
and would bind our successors, to a faithful keeping and
improvement of the fund, to be called henceforward
4 The Peabody Fund,' of which we are thus put in posses-
sion ; having regard alike to the conditions so intelligently
set forth by Mr. Peabody, and to the importance of the
special objects he has aimed to serve.
" Resolved^ That our best appreciation of this gift, and
the most fitting return which we can make to its donor,
will be in our finding in it, individually and as a society,
a new and continued incentive to industry, earnestness,
and fidelity in pursuing the investigations and labors for
which we are here associated.
" Resolved^ That the president be requested to commu-
nicate to Mr. Peabody a copy of these resolutions, and to
assure him that his gift is gratefully received, and shall be
Dr. Ellis then spoke as follows :
" While we are content to repeat much the same famil-
YET GIVING CHEERFULLY. 205
iar words and forms of speech in asking for favors, we
often wish that we had new and fresh terms for acknowl-
edging them. We should be glad to have a more ample
range, and a fuller variety of expressions of recognition
and gratitude. We feel that we might then adapt our
acknowledgments of obligation for a favor received to the
special occasion, to the opportuneness, and to the present
and prospective value, of the benefit conferred, and thus
avoid the generalities and commonplaces of thankful ac-
" So, at least, I felt, Mr. President, when, at your
request, I set myself to draw up the formal resolutions of
gratitude to our new benefactor, that should, at the same
time, convey a personal tribute which we might hope
would be acceptable to him, and express our high estimate
of the opportuneness and value of his gift. There is
something about the personality and the individuality of
that honored and munificent man ; something in the nature
and method of his wide liberality ; something in the con-
cise forms and in the dignified simplicity of the writings
which accompany his trust-funds, defining their conditions
and uses ; there is something in the style in which he
thus confers great favors, which would naturally prompt
the recipients of them to make a careful choice of their
words of thankfulness and appreciation. For if, of any
one benefactor of his own and of coming generations, a
wide notoriety for the multiplicity and variety and amount
of his gifts might prompt a reiteration of the same epithets
206 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
and praises, it will be difficult for writers in newspapers,
and drawers-up of resolutions, to vary their eulogiums of
him who now stands before the world as the example of a
more than princely munificence, distributed in his native
and in his adopted country to the most wisely-chosen and
the best-discriminated objects. We can well imagine that
all fulsome and extravagant terms would fail to find in
him the weak spot of vanity or susceptibility ; while still
his modesty is conjoined with so true a discernment, and
so practical a good sense, that he will not be indifferent to
the fitness of the responses made to him by those whom
he favors. He will expect to be assured of their purposes
of fidelity in holding and using the trust-funds which he
commits to them. Indeed, it has seemed to me that the
more ambitious of our rising young business-men, who are
ea<rer for great acquisitions, may find Mr. Peabody betray-
ing to them, in some sort, the secret of the method of his
vast gathering of wealth, in the method of his distribution
of it. Those accumulations of his, we know, with what-
ever felicities of good fortune he had to help him, must
have engaged the patient, steady, and persistent exercise
of an inquisitive and discreet mind given to practical deal-
ing with the complicated affairs of business. He devotes
much careful thought and scrutiny to informing himself
about the enterprises and institutions to be benefited by
his generosity. Putting himself into relations of confi-
dence with their official representatives, he learns their
actual purposes and wants. The impulse or the aid which
YET GIVING CHEEHFULLY. 207
he gives to any object that commends itself to him is ac-
companied, in its announcement or direction, by some
sagacious counsel, readily inferred, if not distinctly ex-
pressed. I suppose, Mr. President, though you have been
silent on the point, that we are at liberty to imagine some
friendly offices of your own in behalf of the society, through
your confidential relations with Mr. Peabody. He has cer-
tainly become well acquainted with our wants, and has met
them when and where we have most sensibly felt them."
Remarks were also made, in grateful acknowledgment
of Mr. Peabody's benefaction, by Col. Aspinwall, Judge
Savage, and Leverett Saltonstall, Esq. On motion of
Hon. Stephen Salisbury, it was voted to place a bust or
portrait of Mr. Peabody in one of the rooms of the soci-
ety. It was afterwards voted to allow Prof. Wyman to
select aboriginal relics from the collection belonging to the
Massachusetts Historical Society, and remove them to the
Peabody Museum at Cambridge, with the idea, that, by
connecting them with a large collection of other archaeo-
logical objects, they will be made better to accomplish the
purpose of the original donors.
Mr. Peabody also donated the sum of twenty-five thou-
sand dollars to Kenyon College, Gambier, O., of which his
friend, Bishop Mcllvaine, was then president. Want of
space forbids the insertion of the documents, which indi-
cated the purpose of the donor, and the gratitude of those
who were benefited by his gift.
Memorial Church at Georgetown. Mr. Peabody's Love for his Mother.
Hymn for the Dedication, by John G. Whittier. Gifts to his Family
" My mother 1 at that holy name,
"Within my bosom there's a gush
Of feeling which ho time can tame;
A feeling, which for years of fame
I would not, could not, crush." GEO. P. MORRIS.
" Forsake not the law of thy mother." PKOV. i. 8.
?N 1839, the town which was the birthplace of
George Peabody's mother, and is now the
residence of his sister, Mrs. Daniels, had its
name changed from New Rowley to George-
town, in honor of Mr. Peabody. The special corre-
spondent of " The Washington Chronicle " says that " it
has always been one of his favorite retreats when in this
country. The people respected his wish for retirement ;
and this tact on their part was fully appreciated by Mr.
Peabody, who said, when he was making arrangements in
regard to a farewell reception, previous to his departure
for England in . 1867, that he ' should like to take each
FILIAL DEVOTION. 209
resident by the hand ; for he had never, in any visit in
Georgetown, been annoyed by calls or letters, and that not
qne of the citizens had ever in any way solicited help from
him.' This fact he considered very remarkable, and with
reason ; for among the begging-letters which he constantly
received, and which were never answered, but quietly
turned over to his sister, was one from Georgia containing
forty closely-written pages.
" Here Mr. Peabody erected a church to the memory of
his mother, to whom, in death as in life, he was devoted ;
giving her the first dollar he earned in boyhood, and
bestowing the last thoughts of his honored old age upon a
memorial of her Christian character. . . . Mr. Peabody's
devotion to his mother and family was as thoughtful as
that of a woman ; and, after he became very wealthy,
the old townspeople used to revive reminiscences in that
direction concerning him. I recollect hearing my mother
say, that, as soon as he was established in Baltimore, ho
wrote to his mother that ' he should be able, for the future,
to supply the family with flour ; ' and IVfrs. Peabody
remarked, as she mentioned the circumstance to a friend,
that ' it was a great comfort to have George prosperous
enough to bear the expenses.' And, from that day to her
last, George never allowed his mother to want any thing
that filial love could bestow.
" Mr. Peabody, as everybody knows, was a great lover
of peace and concord. Nothing would disturb him more
than the thought that any act of his might create strife.
210 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
This tendency was strikingly manifested at his farewell
reception in Georgetown, when, referring to the Memorial
Church, he distinctly stated that it was created solely as a
tribute to his mother, and was given to her denomination,
Orthodox Congregational, from reverence for her
memory; and that it would have been given with . equal
satisfaction had she belonged to any other persuasion :
thus showing his intention to deprive the gift of any
sectarian bias which might cause bitterness.
" I used, as a child, to study the portrait of Mr. Pea-
body which hung in his sister's parlor. It represented a
singularly handsome middle-aged man. I was always
greatly impressed by the -tone of mingled pride and affec-
tion with which his sister spoke of him ; and I remember
hearing a gentleman, in some discussion with this lady,
ask her if she ever saw a person who had never told a
lie : to which she promptly replied, 4 Yes : I am sure that
my brother George never told a lie.' I used to connect
this statement, as children will, with the kind blue eyes
and bright brown hair of the portrait ; and occasionally,
as I saw ' G. P.' in our Sunday-school books, indicating
that Mr. Peabody had given them to us, I thought of him
as the man who had never told a lie. I do not remember,
however, that I ever saw him till 1866 ; when I was glad
to recognize in the aged but still majestic man a striking
O O v O
likeness to the picture which had won my childish admira-
tion. During this visit in 1866, he gave the town a
public library, a gift by which all the inhabitants could
FILIAL DEVOTION. 211
be benefited ; and here, on the afternoon of his farewell
reception, he reviewed the children of the public schools,
standing with uncovered head on the steps of his sister's
house as they filed past, bearing tiny flags of our national
red, white, and blue. It was a pleasant sight ; and many
a teacher preached a sermon to her little flock from the
text, 4 Seest thou a man diligent in business ? he shall
stand before kings ; he shall not stand before mean men,'
with the courtly yet genial man, who had smiled and
spoken so kindly to them, as a living illustration. . . .
" Here, during his last visit, he added a lecture-room
to his previous gift of a library, and made arrangements
for free lectures, and a fund for the support of the library.
And, having completed every thing to his mind, he said
smilingly to Mr. R. S. Tenney, the gentleman with, whom
he and his sister made their home, ' Well, I believe I
have paid all my debts to this town : I believe I do not
owe it any thing.' To which Mr. Tenney very happily
replied, ' We cannot say the same of you, Mr. Peabody :
we shall always owe you.' And Mr. Peabody responded
with great feeling, ' If it has been as pleasant to you to
receive as it has been to me to bestow, you have enjoyed
a great deal.' '
The above paragraphs from the letter of Mrs. A. W.
H. Howard to a Washington paper are of special 'interest.
The story of the long letter from Georgia suggests addi-
tion of the statement of some paper, that " Mr. Peabody
212 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
received one letter of thirty-six foolscap pages from a
decayed English gentleman, who solicited a loan of a few
thousand pounds to establish the claims of his family to an
estate. Mr. Peabody wrote in reply substantially this :
4 That you should have written such a letter would sur-
prise your friends: that I should have read it would
indeed surprise mine.' '
But it is of the Georgetown church mention should
here be made. According to " The Newburyport Her-
ald " of Jan. 10, 1868, " The church is a substantial and
elegant brick structure, in the English style, one hundred
and twelve feet long, sixty-eight feet wide, and one hun-
dred and twelve feet high to the top of the tower. It is
finished in chestnut, with black-walnut mouldings ; the
interior harmonizing in all its details with the general
architectural plan. It contains one hundred pews, capable
of seating seven hundred persons. It is lighted bv gas ;
the chandelier and sidelights numbering forty double burn-
ers. The bell, which is of twenty-eight hundred pounds
weight, and the clock, a fine piece of mechanism, were
sent by Mr. Peabody from London. The organ is one of
Hook's best instruments, built at a cost of four thousand
dollars. ... At the end of the church, opposite the
entrance, are three marble tablets with dedicatory inscrip-
tions. Over the pulpit the legend is, 4 Dedicated to the
service of Almighty God. Holiness becometh thine
house, O Lord! forever.' The one on the right of
the pulpit has the following : ' This house, erected in
FILIAL DEVOTION. 213
1866-7 for the use of the Orthodox Congregational
Church and Society, is affectionately consecrated by her
children, George and Judith, to the memory of Mrs.
'Judith Peabody, who was born in this parish July 25,
1770, and who died June 22, 1830.'
" The surroundings of the church are in* perfect keeping
with the edifice. . . . There is a massive iron fence in
front, a commodious range of sheds in the rear ; while the
vacant space between the church and the library-building
is being graded and laid out, preparatory to the planting
of trees and flowers. . . . The cost of the house is esti-
mated at one hundred thousand dollars. It has been
about a year and a half in building ; and the result is the
finest place of worship in this section, a grand monument
of Mr. Peabody's liberality, and an honor to all concerned
in its erection."
At the dedication, a letter was read from Mr. Peabody.
The sermon was preached by Rev. Dr. M. P. Braman
of Danvers, and the consecration-prayer offered by Rev.
John Pike of Rowley. The following touching memorial-
hymn by John G. Wliittier was sung :
Thou dwellest not, Lord of all !
In temples which thy children raise :
Our work to thine is mean and small,
And brief to thy eternal days.
Forgive the weakness and the pride,
If marred thereby our gift may be;
For love, at least, has sanctified
The altar which we rear to thee.
214 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
The heart, and not the hand, has wrought,
From sunken base to tower above,
The image of a tender thought,
The memory of a deathless love.
Though here should never sound of speech
Or. organ -an them rise or fall,
Its stones would pious lessons teach,
Its shade in benedictions fall.
Here should the dove of peace be found,
And blessings free as dew-fall given ;
Nor strife profane, nor hatred, wound
The mingled loves of earth and heaven.
Thou who didst soothe with dying breath
The dear one watching by thy cross,
Forgetful of the pains of death
In sorrow for her mighty loss,
In memory of her sacred claim,
O Mary's Son ! our offering take,
And make it worthy of thy name,
And bless it for a mother's sake.
An editor says,
u We recently had the pleasure of seeing, at the house
of Mr. George J. Tenney, one of the last presents be-
stowed by Mr. Peabody before his final departure from
this country. It consists of a heavy pitcher and goblet of
solid silver (the latter lined with gold), enclosed in a hand-
some case ; and the following inscription upon the pitcher
tells the story of the gift : ' George Peabody and his
FILIAL DEVOTION. 215
sister Judith to Charles Carleton, in appreciation of his
skill and fidelity as superintendent in the erection of the
Memorial Church at Georgetown.' '
Mr. Peabody's benefactions to his family and immedi-
ate personal friends were worthy of mention ; but it is
not the purpose of this volume to record many beside his
public benefactions. To the city of Newburyport, Mr.
Peabody gave the sum of fifteen thousand dollars, in 1867,
for the enlargement of the Public Library ; saying, in his
letter, that he wished to mark his memory of that portion
of his youth that was passed in that town; and his grateful
appreciation of the kindness there shown to him. About
a year ago, he manifested a continued interest in that city
by sending the following letter, addressed to E. S.-Moseley,
" 64 QUEEN STREET, CHEAPSIDE, LONDON, E.G.,
April 3, 1869.
" Dear Sir, Some time last spring, I had an intima-
tion, as coming from you as chairman of the Peabody
Trust Fund, that a portrait from me, for their library,
would be highly appreciated.
" I therefore employed one of the best of the Queen's
portrait-painters, and gave him the last sitting a few days
ago. The portrait is pronounced excellent. I shall ship it
by an early steamer to Boston, and send you a bill of lading,
with freight and all charges paid.
" Very respectfully and truly yours,
" GEORGE PEABODY."
216 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
Besides these gifts above mentioned were those of
twenty-five thousand dollars to the Phillips Academy at
Andover, Mass., and ten thousand dollars to the Sanitary
Commission during the war. Truly the wealth God gave
into George Peabody's hands was widely, and it would
seem wisely, scattered.
RETURN TO ENGLAND.
Illness of Mr. Peabody. Keturn to England. Sir Curtis Lampson.
" Adieu, adieu 1 my native shore
Fades o'er the waters blue." CHILDE HAROLD.
" And, like some low and mournful spell,
To whisper but the word, Farewell ! "-^PARK BENJAMIN.
" Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face
no more." ACTS xx. 38.
|T is said that the last time Mr. Peabody spoke
in public was at the National Peace Jubilee in
Boston. His health was then failing ; but he
had a notion a strange one, when we con-
sider how many tons of coal-dust there are always floating
about in the London atmosphere that his life would be
prolonged by remaining in London.
" On this point I am somewhat of a Cockney," he would
say : "I believe in London air and London living. It is
my intention to revisit America ; but I shall return to
And he did return to England, leaving his family and
218 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
friends to feel that he had spoken to them his last fare-
well. He was to be seen no more in America.
" Mr. Peabody was slightly above the medium height.
His full, round face beamed with goodness. He laughed
seldom, but had a smile for everybody. There was noth-
ing ideal or poetical about his face : it was what we tritely
term ' a good face.' He never spoke hurriedly. His na-
ture was not impulsive."
But, having resolved, he carried out his purpose ; and to
England, though feeble and worn, " The Scotia " carried
him. Col. Forney has already described his appearance
on the voyage. His friends say that he always preferred
English steamers, believing them to be more safe.
" The Baltimore Sun " gives an interesting memoran-
dum of a conversation with Mr. Peabody, furnished by
Dr. J. J. Moorman, a resident physician of White Sul-
phur Springs, Va. ; whither Mr. Peabody went for his
health during his last visit to America. Dr. Moorman
says, Aug. 22, 1869,
" During my professional attendance on Mr. Peabody
for the last four weeks, I have had various short but inter-
esting conversations with him on general subjects, and
to-day a more lengthy one. I note down some of his re-
marks, for future reference.
" On my observing to him that he had great cause of
gratitude to God for having been made the instrument of
doing so much for his. fellow-men, Mr. Peabody replied, and
RETURN TO ENGLAND. 219
with much more than usual animation, ' I never fail to take
that view of it ; and always, in my prayers, thank God that
he lias enabled me to do what I have done.' He said that
the attention he receives from the world seemed strange
to him ; ' that he feels himself to be a very humble indi-
vidual, and is enabled only by the attentions and opinions
of the world in reference to his acts to regard himself as
differing from others.'
" On my -expressing the opinion that not the least of
the great benefits that would result from the liberal distri-
bution of his large wealth during his lifetime, for charita-
ble objects, would be the representative character of such
a course, inducing other men of wealth to do likewise, he
said he assented to the sentiment ; and then remarked,
4 Such may not be the case during my life, as men do not
generally like to seem to be influenced by their contempo-
raries ; ' but added, ' I hope and expect such an ultimate
" I observed to him that the fact of his not having for-
gotten his relations in the distribution of his large estate,
gave, in my opinion, a beautiful symmetry to his benevo-
lence. Pie said, ' Yes ; I should have thought I was doing
very wrong if I had done so : ' and then remarked, ' I have
made all my near relations rich. I have given them all
enough, perhaps more than enough.' He then stated
the amount he had given to each, to Mr. George Pea-
body Russell, three hundred thousand dollars ; to a sister,
three hundred thousand dollars ; to another nephew, three
220 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
hundred thousand dollars ; to another, two hundred thou-
sand dollars ; and to none less than one hundred thousand
" Mr. Peabody described the character, and what would
be the operations, of his great gift for the poor of London ;
contrasted it with other great schemes that had been in-
augurated for the benefit of that class, that contained im-
portant reservations for the benefit of the families of the
donors, while in his case he had entirely divested himself
and his heirs of any ulterior benefit that might accrue ;
and said, that, if the donation alluded to was 'judiciously
managed for two centuries, its accumulations would amount
to a sum sufficient to buy the city of London.'
" Mr. Peabody was evidently much and very properly
gratified at the great attention paid to him both in Eng-
land and in this country ; and especially with the London
statue, and its unveiling under circumstances so imposing
and so honorable to him ; and with the Queen's autograph-
letter to him, which he showed me.
" It being absolutely necessary for Mr. Peabody to
reach a warm climate before cold weather set in, that he
might have the slightest chance of lengthening his days,
and his mind being somewhat balanced between Florida
and the south of France, he formally submitted it to me,
as his physician, to decide the question. In comparing all
the advantages and disadvantages of the two places for his
winter residence, I preferred the south of France, and the
RETURN TO ENGLAND. 221
city of Nice ; and advised that lie should proceed directly
there, and with as little delay as possible after leaving the
mountains. He adopted my views promptly and entirely
upon the subject, and immediately wrote to secure a pas-
sage on a steamer to sail the 28th of September ; saying to
me, he would remain a few days only with a friend in
London to attend to some necessary business, and then
proceed directly, by a route which he pointed out, to
Nice, so as to reach there before the setting-in of cold
But it was too late. The days of " the philanthropist
of two worlds " were numbered, and his friends all felt
this; so that his last public visit to Peabody, Mass., is thus
" The last visit of a public character which Mr. Pea-
body made to his native town was in the summer of 1869,
when he invited a number of personal friends, and several
of the trustees of his various charities, to meet him at the
Peabody Institute. An elegant lunch was served in the
library, and the treasures of the Institute exhibited.
Among the distinguished public characters present on that
occasion were the Hon. Charles Sumner, Hon. Robert C.
Winthrop, Ex-Gov. Clifford, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and
others. Wealth was represented by such heavy weights
as James M. Beebe and Stephen Salisbury. The aggre-
gate wealth of the twenty or thirty gentlemen who were
entertained at that board was said to be fifty million dol-
222 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
krs. Brief remarks were made by several of the guests ;
and Mr. Holmes read a short poem, which was afterwards
published. Later in the day, the party visited the Pea-
body Institute at Danvers. It was not a day of unalloyed
pleasure. Mr. Peabody's health was rapidly declining ;
and the thought must have been suggested to all his
guests, that the occasion must be to some, and might be
to all, the last time they would partake of his elegant
hospitality, or witness his participation in the only happi-
ness which survives health and the ordinary blessings of
life, the happiness which is the reward of unselfish
devotion in the service of mankind. It was on that
occasion that he made his final gift of fifty thousand dollars
to the original Peabody Institute."
Mr. Peabody never " kept house," but usually, when in
London, dwelt in furnished lodgings, or made his home at
the elegant residence of his friend and business-associate,
Sir Curtis Lampson, an American, who, for his commen-
datory course in reference to the Atlantic cable, was
knighted by the Queen.
DEATH OF MR. PEABODY.
The Lightning News. The Comments of the Press. Respect shown to
Mr. Peabody's Memory. Portraits of Mr. Peabody.
* " So live, that, when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan that moves
To that mysterious realm where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not like the quarry-slave at night
Scourged to his dungeon; but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one that draws the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."
" And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the
heavenly." ! COR. xv. 49.
[CROSS the British cable, at the midnight
hour, there came a solemn message. " George
Peabody is dead ! " was the report. The'light-
ning news flies rapidly ; and, before many
hours, America had learned, from east to west, from
north to south,, that the man who had given away so
many millions while he lived had gone to that world
where dollars are no longer needed, but where lie would
224 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
find that the money given away judiciously is really
" London, 4th, midnight. George Peabcdy died at
half-past eleven o'clock to-night, at his residence in this
city," was the telegram. And forthwith the newspapers
of England and America vied with each other in furnish-
ing biographical sketches of the departed, with illustrations
showing his well-known lineaments or the place of his
birth. The name which Victoria wrote sounded from the
lips of the little newsboy as he besought the wayfarer to
learn the latest intelligence. The London papers were
filled with expressions of mingled regret and respect.
" The London Times " said,
" The news of Mr. Peabody's death will be received
with no common sorrow on both sides of the Atlantic.
The sentiment of regret will not be a mere passing tribute
of gratitude to a munificent benefactor. Mr. Peabody,
through a long life, accumulated manifold titles to be
lamented. He was an ardent patriot, and loved abroad as
much as at home. Ho was no courtier ; yet he was hon-
ored by sovereigns and princes. He was profuse in his
charity, which pauperized nobody. He was a philanthro-
pist, who was liked as well as honored. There was noth-
ing hard or narrow about his philanthropy. He simply
did whatever good came in his way."
"The Post," in its obituary article, said, "Mr. Peabody
was one of the few whose private virtues are followed by
public fame, and whose virtues may be cited as examples.
DEATH OF MR. PEABODY. 225
In laying the foundation of wholesome and cheerful homes
for the working-classes, \\e acted upon a high sense of
duty, and touched the mainspring of civilization. He
made his means the measure of his philanthropy.
Throughout his whole life, his conduct displayed a purity
of character that could not fail to elevate and refine the
teelings his generosity inspired."
" The Telegraph " said, " Mr. Peabody's lot was
doubly happy. The inscription on his mausoleum may
tell, with unquestioned truth, of the man who loved his
kind, and served two countries."
" The Daily News" said, "Mr. Peabody was not a man*
of impulsive, emotional benevolence, but rather of judi-
cious, widely-spread beneficence. His liberality was not
posthumous. He gave from his own substance, and did
not surrender what death wrested from him. His services
both to his native and adopted country were fittingly and
graciously recognized in royal letters and the thanks of
Congress. Merchants, in passing his statue daily, do not
need to learn from the consummate man of business how
to gain money : his career may teach them how it may
be wisely spent."
The governor of his native State did not fail to recog-
nize the claim' of Mr. Peabody to honorable mention in
his inaugural address ; and, after saying that he should do
injustice to his own feelings if he did not notice his de-
parture, Gov. Claflin went on to say,
" George Peabody has been a faithful representative of
226 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
the people of his state and nation in a foreign land. His
personal character and commercial success would command
respect anywhere ; but the nobleness of his nature, which
led him to make such munificent and princely gifts for the
benefit of his fellow-men in both hemispheres, without re-
gard to rank or color, has given him world-wide fame, and
no title could add lustre to his name. His remains are to
rest in the soil of his native State, whose people will ever
honor him as the benefactor of his race. His influence
survives him in the noble institutions which he founded ;
and generations yet unborn will bless his name and revere
The doors of the Peabody Academy of Science in Sa-
lem were draped in mourning, and the following resolu-
tions at once passed :
" Resolved, That the trustees of the Peabody Academy
of Science recognize in the death of the distinguished
founder of this academy the termination of a life actuated
by a noble ambition to benefit and instruct mankind.
" Resolved, That here in his native county, among the
many noble institutions he has founded, we are keenly sen-
sible of the greatness of his work, and the magnitude of
our loss ; yet a fame so pure and a life so good leave
nothing to be said in praise.
"Resolved, That, while the people of two continents
are paying their tributes to his memory, we tender our
sympathies to his kindred and friends in their bereave-
DEATH OF MR. PEABODY. 227
ment ; and rejoice that his life was prolonged to witness so
much good accomplished by his wise and munificent chari-
ties, and the assurance of their great future usefulness.
" Resolved, That the president be instructed, in behalf
of the trustees, to co-operate with other institutions in pay*
ing proper respect to the memory of Mr. Peabody, and in
making the necessary preparations for his funeral.
" Resolved^ That a copy of these resolutions be sent to
the immediate relatives of the deceased."
The Legislature of Massachusetts did not fail to notice
Mr. Peabody's departure, and paid due respect to his
memory by the following resolutions :
"Resolved, That the Legislature of Massachusetts re-
ceives with deep regret the intelligence of the death of
George Peabody, who, by the rare simplicity of his life,
his constant and untiring industry, his upright and honor-
able career as a merchant, his broad and "liberal charities
as a philanthropist, and his steady devotion to republican
principles; whether at home or abroad, has won for him-
self the admiration of his countrymen, and left his life and
character to future generations as a model of the true
" Resolved^ That the unusual sagacity which prompted
him to become the executor of his own estate, and, while
living, to distribute his vast means in a way to bless the
ignorant, degraded, and needy for all time to come, de-
serves especial approbation ; while the still more remarka-
228 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
ble spirit of catholicity which pervaded all his acts of
benevolence entitle him to the grateful praises of all the
" Resolved, That a joint special committee, consisting
of five on the part of the Senate, and ten on the part of
the House, be appointed to attend the funeral of the de-
ceased, as a special tribute to his memory in behalf of the
" Resolved^ That his Excellency the Governor be re-
quested to cause a certified copy of these resolutions to be
forwarded to the family of the deceased.
" Resolved, That, as an additional testimonial of its re-
spect, each House do now adjourn."
Resolutions of a similar character were passed by vari-
ous cities, towns, states, and by Congress itself. Salem
thus testified her respect :
"Whereas The death of George Peabody has been
an occasion of grief to two continents, his remains be-
ing now brought to this country under distinguished hon-
ors ; and whereas we desire to place upon record some
testimonial of our respect for this distinguished philanthro-
pist : therefore be it
" Resolved, That in the death of George Peabody the
world has lost a benefactor, the nation a citizen whose acts
of benevolence have reflected honor upon his native coun-
try, and our city one who has honored his place of resi-
dence by the foundation of a most useful Academy of
DEATH OF MR. PEABODY. 229
" Resolved, That tlie City Council will signify its appre-
ciation of the distinguished and noble services of the de-
ceased by attending his funeral in a body.
" Resolved, That these" resolutions be entered in full
upon the records of the City Council, and that a copy of
them be transmitted to the family of the deceased."
Peabody passed the following resolutions :
"At a meeting of the citizens of Peabody, held last
evening, to take action in regard to the funeral obsequies
of the late George Peabody, Lewis Allen, moderator,
Hon. Benjamin C. Perkins offered the following resolu-
tions, which were adopted :
" Resolved, That we, the citizens of the birthplace of
George Peabody, deeply sympathize in the emotions of
sorrow, veneration, and love, which, on both continents,
have been occasioned by the death of the philanthropist
of the age.
" Resolved, That our memories associated with his life
are personal as well as public. Here was his birthplace,
and the home of his childhood ; here was his first public
endowment of the Institute which bears his name, and
which will speak to generations to come of the love he
bore to his native town. To us he has confided the cus-
tody of those sacred relics which were dear to him as
tokens of the gratitude of both his native and adopted
"Resolved, That the munificent endowments of institu-
230 THE LIFE OF GEOEGE PEABODY.
tions of science and learning bear the impress of the im-
mortal maxim which prompted his first public endowment
in this town : c Education, a debt from the present to fu-
ture generations.' Moved by tile principles of this maxim,
from the accumulations of his industry he has with his
own hands spread the table to which he has invited future
generations to partake of ' the treasures of science and the
delights of learning.'
" Resolved, That, while we mourn his death, we unite
in gratitude to God that he has given the world such a
sample of practical Christianity, knowing no creed, no
sect, no party ; and, while death may hide from us the
manly form, that is left to us which cannot be hidden,
his great example of wisdom and amiability, which will
teach the world that he who seeks fame the least is most
sure to gain it.
" Resolved, That we deeply sympathize with the rela-
tives of Mr. Peabody, who were deprived of the sad pleas-
ure of performing the last kind offices.
" Resolved, That in pursuance of the last wish of Mr.
Peabody, that his funeral services should take place in his
native town, we will make the necessary arrangements for
the services upon the arrival of his remains ; and that we
choose a committee, consisting of the board of selectmen
and nine others, to co-operate with the trustees of the Pea-
body Institute, with full powers to carry into effect the
object of these resolutions.
"Resolved, That these resolutions be placed upon the
DEATH OF MK. PEABODY. 231
records of the town, and that copies be sent to the near
relatives of Mr. Peabody."
By the following, it will be seen that the Congress of the
United States also noticed suitably the departure of Mr.
" PUBLIC RESOLUTION, No. 6.
" Joint Resolution of Tribute to the Memory of George Pea-
" Whereas, In the death of George Peabody, a native
of the United States, and late a resident of England, our
country and the world have sustained an inestimable loss ;
and whereas the Queen of Great Britain, the authorities
of London, and the Emperor of France, have made ex-
traordinary provision for the transfer of his remains to his
native land : therefore
" Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representa-
tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
That the President of the United States be authorized to
make such preparation for the reception of the body of our
distinguished philanthropist as is merited by his glorious
deeds, and in a manner commensurate with the justice,
magnanimity, and dignity of a great people.
"And be it further resolved, That the expenses incurred
by such ceremonial as the President may adopt in the
premises shall be paid by any money in the treasury not
" Approved Dec. 23, 1869."
232 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
Portraits of Mr. Peabody became at once in great de-
mand; and engravings and photographs of the rare giver
soon multiplied. One published by B. B. Russell of Bos-
ton has received the commendation of Mr. Peabody's
relatives and friends, and is adorning many homes where
his name is honored.
FUNERAL IN ENGLAND.
Westminster Abbey. Transportation of the Remains to America. De
scription of the Ship " Monarch." Poem suggested by the Funeral
Procession on the Ocean.
" All flesh is grass, and all its glory fades
Like the fair flower dishevelled in the wind;
Riches have wings, and grandeur is a dream :
The man we celebrate must find a tomb." COWPER.
11 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than
silver and gold." PROV. xxii. 1.
JR. PEABODY'S remains were embalmed ; as
it was his desire that his remains should be,
conveyed to America, to be laid in the tomb
which he had built at Danvers, and in which
he had placed the body of his mother. But his executors
Sir Curtis Lampson, and Mr. C. Reed, M.P. complied
with the public wish to let a funeral-service be performed
over his coffin in Westminster Abbey before its removal.
This ceremony, which took place on Friday week, was
attended with no extraordinary pomp, saving the presence
of the lord-mayor and sheriffs in their official robes, and
the number of carriages, including those of the Queen
234 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
and Prince of Wales, that followed the hearse from Eaton
Square. But the Prime Minister and the Secretary of
State for Foreign Affairs were also present among the
mourners ; and Gen. Grey, as representative of her
Majesty. The interior of the abbey was crowded in
every part by a silent and sympathizing congregation,
most of whom wore mourning apparel. The multitude
outside, in Broad Sanctuary and Victoria Street, consisting
chiefly of workmen's wives and other poor women, seemed
equally impressed with the feeling of the occasion.
The coffin, which was covered in black velvet, and
surmounted by a wreath of immortelles, was carried by
ten men, and deposited on a stage in front of the steps
leading up to the altar. The mourners took their places
on seats reserved for them on each side of the sacra-
rium ; and inside the rails of the communion-table were
seated the lord-mayor, sheriffs, and under-sheriffs, together
jvith Mr. Gladstone and the Earl -of Clarendon, and Gen.
Grey in private dress, as the representative of her Ma-
jesty. The " Sentences," "I am the Resurrection," hav-
ing been sung, and the ninetieth Psalm, " Lord, thou hast
been our refuge," having been chanted by the choir,
Archdeacon Jennings read the Lesson from 1 Cor. xv.
The Lesson ended, the funeral procession was resumed;
and, while an anthem was sung, the coffin was carried
back, as before, into the nave, and placed by the side of
an opening three feet deep, into which it was lowered,
the service at the grave being read by the sub-dean, the
FUNEKAL IN ENGLAND. 235
Rev. Lord John Thynne. At the conclusion of the ser-
vice, the " 'Dead March in Saul " was played on the
organ ; while the mourners one after another stepped for-
ward to take a parting look at the coffin as it lay in its
shallow receptacle, near the third arch from the western
door of the nave. The coffin-lid bore the following
" GEORGE PEABODY, born at Danvers, Mass., Feb. 18, 1795. Died
in London, England, Nov. 4, 1869."
The Bishop of London preached -a funeral sermon in
the abbey on Sunday morning.
The honors to Mr. Peabody on both sides of the Atlan-
tic are as unusual and unparalleled in the case of a pri-
vate individual as are exceptional the magnificent acts of
benevolence which illustrated the life of this great philan-
thropist. It was a worthy idea, first suggested by " The
London Telegraph," to convey the remains of Mr. Pea-
body to his native country in the first war-vessel of the
United Kingdom. " The London Telegraph " says,
" The rarely, paralleled honor of sending a Queen's
ship as the ' funeral-barge ' of George Peabody will be
enhanced by the selection of perhaps the noblest vessel
at her Majesty's disposal ; and he who began life as a
grocer's boy will be borne to his transatlantic grave on as
proud a bier as any dead king could have. The people
of England will thank and applaud their sovereign and
236 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
her government for this last and crowning recognition
of the noble-hearted giver, whose inexhaustible love for
his race has revived the almost forgotten standard of per-
fect charity. The people of the United States, too,' will
solemnly welcome to their shores the stately vessel which
brings to them these sacred relics ; seeing, in her, proof
that we have regarded George Peabody as an ambassador
of peace and unity between the Anglo-Saxon nations as
well as a common benefactor, and that we restore to
America the body of such an envoy with the insignia
which become his grand commission and high moral
" It is not possible to put these feelings into more majes-
tic or more emphatic language than will be conveyed by
the spectacle of our great war-ship's arrival beyond the
ocean, bearing this honored corpse. Words are easily
written and spoken ; but acts make history, and reach the
hearts of men through their eyesight. And the eyes of
the whole world, in a sense, will be directed upon this
new employment of a first-rate ship-of-war. Humanity
will note the weighing of that stern liner's anchor, with
that novel freight of a trader's coffin ; humanity will fol-
low the passage of the .swift engine of war across the
billows upon her unaccustomed mission of peace and
sad courtesy ; and humanity will watch the reception of
the superb chief mourner in the waters of the Western
Republic. There has never really been paid, within the
memory of man, so pure a tribute to virtue and to worth,
FUNERAL IN ENGLAND. 237
apart from all those considerations which usually govern
the attribution of national homage.
" It is true that the benefactions of the generous Amer-
ican were such and so great, that, by their mere amount,
he had made two empires his debtors. But the perfect
loving-kindness, and unstained integrity afcl benevolence,
with which he gave away his gold to house and to teach
the poor, sank into the hearts of his fellow-countrymen on
both sides of the Atlantic more deeply than the weight of
the gold itself would have done. He made his magnifi-
cent gifts richer by the simplicity and sincerity of his
giving ; and, being dead, we now carry him back to rest
among his own kindred, as not only the friend, bat also
the noble examplar, of the two empires. Sailors usually
object to convey the dead on board their ships ; but there
will be no such feeling on the present occasion. If any
burden could be honorable to carry, if any freight could
hallow and protect a vessel upon the sea, it would be the
mortal remains of George Peabody, who was the brother
and the friend of every one that speaks English, and such
a man as, living or dead, it was and is good to have to do
" There will be left for us in England only the memory
of the generous gentleman, \vhen our mourning man-of-
war sets sail and steers for the lights of Portland harbor.
But they who watch for the Queen's ship upon the other
side will confess that we have done all that we could do
to make that memory green and beautiful among our chil-
238 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
dren, and to pay the princely merchant all imaginable
respect. They will have read, before the majestic vessel
approaches their' coast, how tender and solicitous the
Queen has been in regard to Mr. Peabody's health ; how
she longed to see him, and chat 4 quietly ' with him ; lio\v
she intended to call at his London home, and shake hands
with ' her friend,' but that the rapid progress of the fatal
illness made it impossible. They will know, too, that,
yesterday, we paid to his relics the last observances of the
Christian ritual ; nay, at the very time when the organ
was pealing the Dead March through the columns of the
abbey, and the funeral-bells were rocking in its tower,
strains of melodious mourning and sympathetic knells in
the cities of America were responding across the expanse
of the ocean. They will have heard how we gave him,
so far as we could give, those obsequies of reverence and
regard as an honor reserved for the greatest among our
dead ; nor would a resting-place in the ancient abbey
have been for a moment denied to his relics, if we had
had the right to lay his noble dust among that of our
worthies and our sovereigns. But the dying man desired
to sleep ' with his fathers ; ' and America has the indispu-
table claim to enrich^her soil with those precious remains :
so that it was only left to the Queen and to the people of
England to show, with ' maimed rights ' and such signs of
affection and gratitude as were possible, what was thought
of the Danvers merchant in proud and aristocratic Britain.
When they reflect in Mr. Peabody's country upon what
FUNERAL IN ENGLAND. 239
we have done, and see the great man-of-war sail into port
with ensign at half-mast and minute-guns firing, they will
not be dissatisfied with us, nor sorry that George Peabody
breathed his last among the English half of his fellow -
citizens. They will say that we have done ourselves and
them and virtue honor in thus reverencing the consum-
mate humanity which was in this king of givers ; and it
will happen, as we have said before, that the dead body of
George Peabody will complete the work done by his liv-
ing hand and heart. There will arise, out of this funeral
voyage of the Queen's new fighting-ship, a thought calcu-
lated to take the trade away from fighting-ships altogether ;
a feeling which advances civilization with a voiceless
charm of impulse. Men will be set meditating, on both
sides of the Atlantic, how much wiser, better, and higher
is the spirit of peace than the spirit of war ; how strong
must be that spirit of peace and union which can control
men even from the shroud and the cerements ; and,
above all, how shameful and strange in the eyes of civili-
zation the. spectacle would be, if the land that sent home
George Peabody's remains, and the land which received
'the noble heart that beats no more,' should ever again
bandy words of menace and hatred."
Among the tributes early paid to Mr. Peabody's mem-
ory Avere those of Louis Blanc and Victor Hugo. The
following is an extract from Victor Hugo's letter, published
in " The London Times : "
240 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
"HAUTEVILLE, Dec. 2, 1869.
" MONSIEUR, Your letter came to me Dec. 2. I
thank you. It brings me to this souvenir. I forget the
Empire, -and think of America. I was turned toward
night : I turn toward the day. You ask a word from me
on George Peabody. In your sympathetic illusion, you
believe me to be what I am not, a voice from France.
I am, I have said before, but a voice from exile. No
matter, monsieur : a noble appeal like yours can be heard.
Little as I am, I ought to respond, and do so.
" Yes, America has reason to be proud of this great
citizen of the world and great brother of all men,
George Peabody. Peabody has been a happy man who
would suffer in all sufferings, a rich man who would feel
the cold, the hunger, and thirst of the poor. Having a
place near Rothschild, he found means to change it for
one near Vincent de Paul. Like Jesus Christ, he had a
wound in the side : this wound was the misery of others.
It was not blood flowed from this wound : it was gold
which now came from a heart.
" On this earth there are men of hate and men of
love : Peabody was one of the latter. It is on the face
of these men that we can see the smile of God. What
law do they practise ? One alone, the law of frater-
nity, divine law, humane law ; which varies the relief
according to the distress; which here gives precepts, and
there gives millions ; and traces through the centuries in
our darkness a train of light, and extends from Jesus poor
to Peabody wealthy.
FUNERAL IN ENGLAND. 241
" May Peabody return to you, blessed by us ! Our
world envies yours. His fatherland will guard his ashes,
and our hearts his memory. May the moving immensity
of the seas bear him to you ! The free American flag
can never display enough stars above his coffin."
" The Times " also published the following :
"LoNDOX, Dec. 9, J8G9.
" SIR, The death of so good a man as George Pea-
body proved himself to be is a public calamity, in which
the whole civilized world ought to share. I feel, there-
fore, in duty bound to express, in answer to your appeal,
how deeply I mourn, as a Frenchman and as a man, for
the illustrious American whose life was of such value to
the most needy of his fellow-men.
" It was but natural, that in a country like this, where
so much is thought of long lineage, and station in' life,
George Peabody should receive, as the only fit token of.
public gratitude, the same kind of respect which is paid to
kings, princes, and men of noble birth, as well as men of
noble deeds ; and that his mortal remains should be com-
mitted to a temporary resting-place beneath the nave of
Westminster Abbey, to be sent afterward in a ship-of-war
to his native land, the land of freedom. Nor is there
any thing to complain of in this national mode of testifying
to the high estimation in which the British nation held
the eminent philanthropist. Yet I cannot help lamenting
that there should be for men of th stamp no particular
242 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
sort of homage better calculated to show how little, com-
pared to -them, are most of kings, princes, noblemen,
renowaed diplomatists, world-famed conquerors.
" It was not the kind-hearted republican trader who
was honored bv the fact of being consigned to rest in
/ O O
Westminster Abbey, but rather those who were consid-
ered to be worthy of sleeping there their last sleep, on
account of their rank, not of their virtue.
" The number of mourners assembled within the pre-
cincts of the sacred edifice, their silent sorrow, the tears
shed by so many, and, in several parts of London, the
readiness of the shopkeepers to give expression to their
grief by closing their shops and lowering their blinds,
these were the homages really in keeping with the affec-
tionate admiration due to one whose title in history will
be this (the highest a rich man can aspire to), the
friend of the poor.
I am, sir, obediently yours,
" Louis BLANC.
" Col. BERTON, Chairman American Committee."
For want of space, a full description of the war-ship
" Monarch," in which Mr. Peabody's remains were for-
warded to America, cannot be given. Suffice it to say, that
it was one of the largest iron-plated ships in the English
navy, with an armament of nine guns. The guns in " The
Monarch's " turrets are said to have no peers on land or
sea. The room in w Jch the coffin of Mr. Peabody was
FUNERAL IN ENGLAND. 243
placed was appropriately draped, and candles were kept
burning throughout the voyage. " The Monarch " was
convoyed by an American and a French vessel detailed
for that service, to add to the honor old England was
conferring on the man who gave millions away.
" The Hearth and Home " published the following
THE FUNERAL FLEET.
All in the winter silence,
Rapt with a sense of awe,
A vision half, and half a dream,
This was the sight I saw :
A vision of the sea,
And consort-vessels two :
The red cross on the flag of one ;
And the other, red, white, and blue.
No ripple at the prows,
No wake of shimmering spray :
Like cloudlets white in the pale moonlight
They glided on their way.
Sentinels paced the deck
With solemn tread and still :
" Peace " was the watchword that they gave ;
The answering word, " Good will."
An angel at the helm
Stood, all in garments white ;
And angels hovered o'er thejfcpel,
And guided through the inght.
244 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
They bring no crowned king ;
Theirs is a holier trust :
They bear a treasure from afar,
A good man's sacred dust,
Mourned by the rich he taught,
Mourned by the poor he fed,
Mourned by a race with whom he broke
A nobler food than bread.
To the soil that gave him birth
They bring him for his rest :
Blue shall his native violets be
Above his honored breast.
A vision of the sea,
And consort-vessels two :
The red cross on the flag of one ;
And the other, red, white, and blue.
All in the winter silence,
Kapt with a sense of awe,
A vision half, and half a dream,
This was the sight I saw.
FUNERAL IN AMERICA.
Reception of the Remains in America. The Funeral in Harmony Grove-
Mr. Winthrop's Eulogy. Prince Arthur of England.
" Unrivalled as thy merit be thy fame." TICKELL.
" Glory, honor, and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and
also to the Gentile." ROM. ii. 10.
[REAT preparations were made in America for
the reception of Mr. Peabody's remains. Legis-
latures adjourned to attend in a body. Pub-
lic dignitaries paid due respect to his memory
by their presence ; and private individuals thronged the
wharves of Portland when " The Monarch " arrived, and
attended every motion of the body towards its final resting-
place. The following poem by Howard Glyndon may be
taken as an exponent of the sentiment of Americans who
appreciated the noble deeds of the distinguished dead : it
is entitled " The Coming of the Silent Guest : "
"Lo ! England sends him back to us,
With sealed eyes and folded palms :
He drifts across the wintry sea,
"Which chants to him its j^ousawd psalms.
246 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
"We proudly name and claim him ours ;
We take him, England, from thy breast ;
We open wide our doors to him
Who cometh home a silent guest.
We lent him theje to teach thy sons
The lesson of the Open Hand, ,
Lest famished lips should bless them less
Than him, the stranger in their land.
We lent him, living, unto thee,
To be a solace to thy pain ;
But now we want his noble dust,
To consecrate it ours again.
England, we take him from thine arms ;
We thank thee for thy reverent care :
If thou and we were ever friends,
We should be so beside his bier.
His memory should be a spell
To banish spleen and bitterness.
Have kindlier thoughts of us, for he
Was tender unto thy distress,
As we have kindlier thoughts of thee
Because of honor done to him ;
For, while we weep, we turn to see
That English eyes with tears are dim."
Space forbids that much should be said concerning the
reception of the honored remains. They were removed
to the City Hall in Portland, and lay in state there, and
afterwards in the town of Peabody, visited by thousands,
who could see only, however, the catafalque and its sur-
roundings. Sentinels were on guard, and every possible
FUNERAL IN AMERICA. 247
honor paid by all to the memory of the departed. Cars
were fitted by the Eastern-Railroad Company with special
reference to the funeral ; and bells rang while minute-guns
pealed at his funeral in Danvers (or.Peabody, as it is now
called). According to " Zion's Herald,'' "The church
exercises were impressive, if not solemn. Draped walls;
lamps dimly burning; high pulpit, looking higher in its
new robes of death ; the body lifted high up before it,
the fifth of its prominent resting-places on its way -to the
grave ; wreaths, crosses, and crowns of flowers, whose
funeral 'fragrance sweetens and sickens the air, these
were the lifeless accessories of the event. The living
ones were, first, the brother and sister of the deceased,
with a score or two of relatives ; next behind them sat the
Prince and his suite, he in black, they in gold and the
red uniforms of the army." The Governor of Massachu-
setts and his suite were near, and " dignitaries of all sorts
and origins followed these heads of rival States ; and the
old-fashioned church was speedily filled with a more solid
mass of rank and fame than was probably ever gathered
before in a New-England Congregational meeting-house."
Music appropriate to the occasion formed a part of the
funeral-exercises. Rev. Daniel Marsh of Georgetown
read the Scriptures ; and Hon. Robert C. Winthrop deliv-
ered the following funeral-oration :
" While I have t>een unwilling, my friends, wholly to
decline the request of your committee of arrangements, or
248 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
to seem wanting to any service which might perchance
have gratified him, whom, in common with you all, I have
so honored and loved, IJiaVe still felt deeply, and I cannot
help feeling at this moment more deeply than ever before,
that any words of mine might well have been spared on
" The solemn tones of the organ, the plaintive notes of
the funeral-chant, the condoling lessons of the Sacred Scrip-
tures, the fervent utterances of prayer and praise, these
would seem to me the only appropriate, I had almost
said the only endurable, interruptions of the silent sorrow
which befits a scene like this.
" Even were it possible for me to add any thing worth
adding to the tributes, on both sides of the ocean, which
already have well-nigh exhausted the language of eulogy,
the formal phrases of a detailed memoir or of a protracted
and studied panegyric would congeal upon my lips, and
fall frozen upon the ears and hearts of all whom I address,
in presence of the lifeless form of one who has so long
been the support, the ornament, the dear delight, of this
village of his nativity.
" We cannot, indeed, any of us, gather around these
cherished remains, and prepare to commit them tenderly
and affectionately to their mother-earth, without a keen
sense of personal affliction and bereavement. He was too
devoted and loving a brother, he was too kind and
thoughtful a kinsman, he was too genial and steadfast a
friend, not to be missed and mourned by those around me
FUNERAL IN AMERICA. 249
as few others have ever been missed and mourned here
before. I am not insensible to my own full share .of the
private and public grief which pervades this community.
" And yet, my friends, it is by no means sorrow alone
which may well be indulged by us all at such an hour as
this. Other emotions I hazard nothing in saying, far
other emotions besides those of grief are even now rising
and swelling in all our hearts, emotions of pride, emo-
tions of joy, emotions of triumph.
" Am I not right ? How could it be otherwise ? What
a career has that been, of which the final scene is now, at
length, before us ! Who can contemplate its rise and
progres^s, from the lowly cradle in this South Parish of old
Danvers henceforth to be known of all men by his
name to the temporary repose in Westminster Abbey,
followed by that august procession across the Atlantic,
whose wake upon the waters will glow and sparkle to the
end of time, growing more and more luminous with the
lapse of years, who, I say, can contemplate that career,
from its humble commencement to its magnificent com-
pletion, without an irrepressible thrill of admiration, and
almost of rapture ?
" Who, certainly, can contemplate the immediate close
of this extraordinary life, without rejoicing, not only that
it was so painless, so peaceful, so happy in itself; not only
that it was so providentially postponed until he had- been
enabled once more to revisit his native land to complete
his great American benefactions, to hold personal inter-
250 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
course with those friends at the South for whose welfare
the largest and most cherished of these benefactions was
designed, and to take solemn leave of those to whom he
was bound by so many ties of affection or of blood, but
that it occurred at a time and under circumstances so
peculiarly fortunate for attracting the largest attention,
and for giving the widest impression and influence, to his
great and inspiring example ?
" For this, precisely this, as I believe, would have been
the most gratifying consideration to our lamented friend
himself, could he have distinctly foreseen all that has hap-
pened since he left you a few months since. Could it
have been foretold him, as he embarked with feeble
strength and faltering steps on board his favorite ' Sco-
tia' at New York on the 23d of September last, not
merely that he was leaving kinsfolk and friends and native
land for the last time, but that hardly four weeks would
have elapsed after his arrival at Liverpool before he
should be the subject of funeral honors by command of
the Queen of England, and should lie down for a time
beneath the consecrated arches of that far-famed minster,
among the kino;s and counsellors of the earth ; could it
O O '
have been foretold him that his acts would be the theme
of eloquent tributes from high prelates of the Church, and
from the highest minister of the Crown, and that Great
Britain and the United States not always, nor often,
alas! in perfect accord should vie with each other
in furnishing their proudest national ships to escort his
FUNERAL IN AMERICA. 251
remains over the ocean, exhibiting such a funeral-fleet as
the world in all its history had never witnessed before,
could all this have been whispered in his ear as it was
catching those last farewells of relatives and friends, he
must indeed have been more than mortal not to have
experienced some unwonted emotions of personal gratifica-
tion and pride.
" But I do believe, from all I have ever seen or known
of him, and few others, at home or abroad, have of late
enjoyed more of his confidence, that far, far above any
feelings of this sort, his great heart would have throbbed
as it never throbbed before with gratitude to God and
man, that the example which he had given to the world
by employing the wealth which he had accumulated dur-
ing a long life of industry and integrity in relieving the
wants of his fellow-men wherever they were most appar-
ent to him ; in providing lodgings for the poor of London ;
in providing education for the children of our own deso-
lated South; in building a memorial-church for the palish
in which h.'s mother had worshipped ; in founding or en-
dowing imputes and libraries, and academies of science, in
the town in which he was born, in the city in which he
had longest resided, and in so many other places with
which, for a longer or a shorter time, he had been con-
nected, that this grand and glorious example of munifi-
cence and beneficence would thus be so signally held up
to the contemplation of mankind in a way not only to
commend it to their remembrance and regard, but to com-
252 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
mand for it their respect and imitation. This, I feel as-
sured, he would have felt to be the accomplishment of the
warmest wish of his heart, the consummation of the most
cherished object of his life.
" Our lamented friend was not, indeed, without ambi-
tion. He not only liked to do grand things, but he liked
to do them in a grand way. We all remember those
sumptuous and princely banquets with which he some-
times diversified the habitual simplicity and frugality of
his daily life. He was not without a decided taste for
occasional display, call it even ostentation, if you will.
We certainly may not ascribe to him a pre-eminent meas-
ure of that sort of charity which shuns publicity, which
shrinks from observation, and which, according to one of
our Saviour's well-remembered injunctions, ' doeth its
alms in secret.' He may or he may not have exercised
as much of this kind of beneficence as any of those in
similar condition around him : I fully believe that he did.
We all understand, however, that
' Of that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love,'
there can be no record except on high, or in the grateful
hearts of those who have been aided and relieved. That
record shall be revealed hereafter. The world can know
little or nothing of it now.
" But any one must perceive at a glance that the sort
FUNERAL IN AMERICA. 253
of charity which our lamented friend illustrated and
exercised was wholly incompatible with concealment or
reserve. The great trusts which he established, the great
institutions which he founded, the capacious and costly
edifices which he erected, were things that could not be
hid, which could not be done in a corner. They were, in
theii own intrinsic and essential nature, patent to the
world's eye. He could not have performed these noble
acts in his lifetime, as it was his peculiar choice to do, and
as it will be his peculiar distinction and glory to have done,
without suffering himself ' to be seen or men ; ' without
being known and recognized and celebrated as their author.
He must have postponed them all, as others have done,
for posthumous execution, he must have refrained from
parting with his millions until death should have wrested
them from a reluctant grasp, had he shrunk from the
notoriety and celebrity which inevitably attend upon such
" He did not fail to remember, however, for he was
no stranger to the Bible, that there were at least two
modes of doing good commended in Holy Writ. He did
not forget that the same glorious gospel, nay, that the
same incomparable Sermon on the Mount, wlrch said,
' Letjiot thy left hand know what thy right liar J doeth,'
said also, ' Let your light so shine before men, that they
may see your good works, and glorify your Father which
is in heaven.' This, this, might almost be regarded as the
chosen motto of his later life, and might not inappropri-
ately be inscribed as such on his tombstone.
254 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABOPY.
" Certainly, my friends, his light has shone before men.
Certainly they have seen his good works. And who shall
doubt that they have glorified his Father which is in
heaven? Yes, glory to God, glory to God in the highest,
has, I am persuaded, swollen up from the hearts of mil-
lions in both hemispheres with a new fervor as they have
folhwed him in his grand circumnavigation of benevo-
lo nee, and as they have witnessed, one after another, his
multifold and magnificent endowments. And his own
heart, I repeat, would have throbbed and thrilled as it
never thrilled or throbbed- before with gratitude to God
and man, could he have foreseen that the matchless
example of munificence which it had been the cherished
aim of his later years to exhibit would be rendered, as it
has now been rendered, so signal, so inspiring, so endur-
ing, so immortal, by the homage which has been paid to
his memory by the princes and potentates, as well as by
the poor, of the Old World, and by the government and
the whole people of his own beloved country.
"I have spoken of the exhibition of this example as
having been the cherished aim of his later years ; but I
am not without authority for saying that it was among the
fondest wishes of his whole mature life. I cannot -forget,
that in one of those confidential consultations with which
he honored me some years since, after unfolding his plans,
and telling me substantially all that he designed to do,
for almost every thing he did was of his own original
designing, and when I was filled with admiration and
FUNERAL IN AMERICA. 255
amazement at the magnitude and sublimity of his pur-
poses, he said to me, with that guileless simplicity which
characterized so much of his social intercourse and conver-
sation, ' Why, Mr. Winthrop, this is no new idea to me.
From the earliest years of my manhood, I have contem-
plated some such disposition of my property*; and I havo
prayed my heavenly Father, day by day, that I might be
enabled, before I died, to show my gratitude for the
blessings which he has bestowed upon me by doing some
great good to my fellow-men.'
" Well has the living laureate of England sung, in one
of his latest published poems,
' More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of.'
That prayer has been heard and answered ; that no-
ble aspiration .has been more than fulfilled. The judg-
ment of the future will confirm the opinion of the hour ;
and History, instead of contenting herself with merely
enrolling his name in chronological or alphabetical order
as one among the many benefactors of mankind, will
assign him, unless I greatly mistake her verdict, a place
by himself, far above all competition or comparison, first
without a second, as having done the greatest good for
the greatest number of his fellow-men so far, at least,
as pecuniary means could accomplish such a result of
which there has thus far been any authentic record in
merely human annals.
256 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
" It would afford a most inadequate measure of his
munificence were I to sum up the dollars or the pounds
he has distributed, or the number' of persons whom his
perennial provisions for dwellings or for schools will have
included, in years to come, on one side of the Atlantic or
the other. Tried even by this narrow test, his benefi-
cence has neither precedent nor parallel. But it is as
having attracted and compelled the attention of mankind
to the beauty, the nobleness, the true glory, of living and
doing for others ; it is as having raised the standard of
munificence to a degree which has almost made it a new
thing in the world ; it is as having exhibited a wisdom
and a discrimination in selecting the objects and in arran-
ging the machinery of his bounty, which almost entitle him
to the credit of an inventor ; it is as having, in the words
of the brilliant Gladstone, ' taught us how a man may be
the master of his fortune, and not its slave ; ' it is as hav-
ing discarded all considerations of caste, creed, condition,
nationality, in his world-wide philanthropy, regarding
nothing human as alien to him ; it is as having deliber-
ately stripped himself in his lifetime of the property he
had so laboriously acquired, delighting as much in devis-
ing modes of bestowing his wealth as he had ever done
in contriving plans for its increase and accumulation,
literally throwing his bags like some adventurous aeronaut
who would mount hio-her and hio-her to the skies, and
O O '
^really exulting as he calculated, from time to time, how
little of all his laborious earnings he had at last left for
FUNERAL IN AMERICA. 257
himself; it is as having furnished this new and livino- and
magnetic example, which, can never be lost to history,
never be lost to the interests of humanity, never fail to
attract, inspire, and stimulate the lovers of their fellow-
men, as long as human wants and human wealth shall
co-exist upon the earth, it is in this way that our
lamented friend has attained a pre-eminence among the
benefactors of his age and race, like that of Washington
umong patriots, or that of Shakspeare or Milton among
" I do not altogether forget those Maecenases of old
whom philosophers and poets have so delighted to extol.
I do not forget the passing tribute of the great Roman
orator to one of. the publicans of his own period, as having
displayed an incredible benignity in amassing a vast for-
tune, not ' as the prey of avarice, but as the instrument
of doing good.' I do not forget the founders of the Royal
Exchange in London, and of the noble hospital in Edin-
burgh, the princely merchant of Queen Elizabeth's day,
or the 4 Jingling Geordie ' of England's first King Jaines.
I do not forget how strikingly Edmund Burke foreshad-
owed our lamented friend, when he said of one of his own
contemporaries, ' His fortune is among the largest, a
fortune, which, wholly unencumbered as it is, without one
single change from luxury, vanity, or excess, sinks under
the benevolence of its dispenser : this private benevo-
lence, expanding itself into patriotism, renders his whole
being the estate of the public, in which he has not
258 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
reserved a peculmm for himself of profit, diversion, or
relaxation.' I do not forget the Baron de Monthyon of
France, whose noble benefactions are annually distributed
by the Imperial Academy, and whose portrait has been
combined with that of our own Franklin on a medal com-
memorative of their kindred beneficence. I recall, too,
the refrain of an ode to a late munificent English duke on
the erection of his statue at Belvoir Castle, which might
well have been sung again when Story's statue of our
friend was recently unveiled by the Prince of Wales :
' O my brethren ! what a glory
To the world is one good man ! '
Nor do I fail to remember the long roll of benefactors,
dead and living, of whom our own age and our own
country and our mother-country New England and
Old England may so justly boast. But no one imagines
that either Gains Curius, or Sir Thomas Gresham, or
George Heriot, or Sir George Savile, or any Duke of
Rutland, or Monthyon, or Franklin, or any of the later
and larger benefactors of our own time or land, can ever
vie in historic celebrity, as a practical philanthropist, with
him whom we bury here to-day.
" Think me not unmindful, my friends, that, for the
manifestation of a true spirit of benevolence, two mites
will suffice as well as untold millions ; a cup of cold water
as well as a treasure-house of silver and gold. Think me
not unmindful, either, of the grand and glorious results
FUNERAL IN AMERICA. 259
for the welfare of mankind which have been accomplished
by purely moral or religious influences ; by personal toil
and trust ; by the force of Christian character and exam-
ple ; by the exercise of some great gifts of intellect or elo-
quence ; by simple self-devotion and self-sacrifice, without
any employment whatever of pecuniary means ; by mis-
sionaries in the cause of Christ ; by reformers of prisons,
and organizers of hospitals ; by Sisters of Charity; by visit-
ors of the poor ; by champions of the oppressed ; by such
women as Elizabeth Fry and Florence Nightingale, and
such men as John Howard and William Wilberforce ;
or, to go farther back in history, by men like our own
John Eliot, the early apostle to the Indians ; or like the
sainted Vincent de Paul, whose memory has been so
justly honored in France for mo1*e than two centuries.
But philanthropy of this sort, I need not say, stands on a
somewhat different plane, and cannot fairly enter into this
" It is enough to say of our lamented friend, as we have
seen and known him of late, that in him were united as
rarely if ever before the largest desire and the largest
ability to do good; that his will was, at least, commensurate
with his_wealth ; and that nothing but the limited extent
of even the most considerable earthly estate prevented his
enjoying the very antepast of celestial bliss :
' For, when the power of imparting good
Is equal to the will, the human soul
Requires no other heaven.'
260 THE LIFE OF GEOUGE PEABODY.
" And now, my friends, what wonder is it that all that
was mortal of such a man has come back to us to-day
with such a convoy and with such accompanying honors
as well might have befitted some mighty conqueror or
some princely hero ? Was he not indeed a conqueror ?
Was he not indeed a hero ? Oh ! it is not on the battle-
field or on the blood-stained ocean alone that conquests
are achieved and victories won. There are battles to be
fought, there is a life-long warfare to be waged, by each
one of us, in our- own breasts, and against our own selfish
natures. And what conflict is harder than that which
awaits the accumulator of great wealth? Who can ever
forget, or remember without a shudder, the emphatic tes-
timony to the character of that conflict which was borne
by our blessed Saviour who knew what was in man
better than any man knows it for himself when he said,
' How hardly shall they that havo riches enter into the
kingdom of God ! ' and when he bade that rich young
man sell all that he had, and distribute to the poor, and
then -come and follow him ?
" It would be doing grievous injustice to our lamented
friend, were we to deny or conceal that there were ele-
ments in his character which made his own warfare in
this respect a stern one. He was no stranger to the love
of accumulation. He was no stranger to the passion for
gaining and saving and hoarding. There were in his
nature the germs, and more than the germs, of economy,
and even of parsimony ; and sometimes they would sprout
FUNERAL IN AMERICA. 261
and spring up in spite of himself. Nothing less strong
than his own will, nothing less indomitable than his own
courage, could have enabled him, by the gnce of God, to
strive successfully against that greedy, grudging, avari-
cious spirit which so often besets the talent for acquisition.
In a thousand little ways, you might perceive to the last
how much within him he had overcome and vanquished.
All the more glorious and signal was the victory. All
the more deserved and appropriate are these trappings of
triumph with which his remains have been restored to us.
You rob him of his richest laurel, you refuse him his
brightest crown, when you attempt to cover up or disguise
any of those innate tendencies, any of those acquired
.habits, any of those besetting temptations, against which
he struggled so bravely and so triumphantly. Recount, if
you please, every penurious or mercenary act of his
earlier or his later life which friends have ever witnessed
(if they have ever witnessed any), or which malice has
ever whispered or hinted at (and malice, we know, has
not spared him in more ways than one), and you have
only added to his titles to be received and remembered
as a hero and a conqueror.
"As such a conqueror, then, you have received him
from that majestic turreted iron-clad which the gracious
monarch of our mother-land has deputed as her own mes-
senger to bear him back to his home. As such a con-
queror, you have canopied his funeral-car with the flag of
his country ; ay, with the flags of both his countries, be-
262 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
tween whom I pray God that his memory may ever be a
pledge of mutual forbearance and affectionate regard ! As
such a conqueror, you mark the day and the hour of his
burial by minute-guns, and fire a farewell shot, it may be,
as the clods of his native soil are heaped upon his breast.
" We do not forget, however, amidst all this martial
pomp, how eminently he was a man of peace ; or how
earnestly he desired, or how much he has done, to incul-
cate a spirit of peace, national and international. I may
not attempt to enter here, to-day, into any consideration
of the influence of his specific endowments, at home or
abroad, American or English ; but I may say, in a single
word, that I think history will be searched in vain for the
record of any merely human acts, recent or remote, which
have been more in harmony with that angelic chorus,
which, just as the fleet with this sad freight had entered
on its funeral-voyage across the Atlantic, the whole Chris-
tian world was uniting to ring back again to the skies
from which it first was heard; any merely human acts,
which, while, as I have said, they have waked a fresh and
more fervent echo of ' Glory to God in the highest,' have
done more to promote ' peace on earth, and good will
" Here, then, my friends, in this home of his infancy,
where, seventy years ago, he attended the common village
school, and served his first apprenticeship as a humble
shop-boy; here, where, seventeen years ago, his first large
public donation was made, accompanied by that memora-
FUNERAL IN AMERICA. 2G3
ble sentiment, ' Education, a debt due from present to
future generations ; ' here, where the monuments and me-
morials of his affection and his munificence surround us on
every side, and where he had chosen to deposit that unique
enamelled portrait of the Queen, that exquisite gold medal
the gift of his country, that charming little autograph-note
from the Empress of France, that imperial photograph of
the Pope inscribed by his own hand, and Avhatever other
tributes had been most precious to him in life ; here,
where he has desired that his own remains should finally
repose, near to the graves of his father and mother, enfor-
cing that 'desire by those touching words, almost the last
which he uttered, ' Danvers, Danvers ! don't forget ! '
here let us thank God for his transcendent example* ; and
here let us resolve that it shall neither fail to be treasured
up in our hearts, and sacredly transmitted to our children
and our children's children, nor be wholly without an in-
fluence upon our own immediate lives. Let it never be
said that the tomb and the trophies are remembered and
cherished, but the example forgotten or neglected.
u I may not longer detain you, my friends, from the sad
ceremonies which remain to be performed by us ; yet I
cannot quite release you until I have alluded, in the sim-
plest and briefest manner, to an incident of the last days
and almost the last hours of this noble. life which has come
to me from a source which cannot be questioned. While
he was lying, seemingly unconscious, on his deathbed in
London, at the house of his kind friend, Sir Curtis Lamp
264 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
son, and when all direct communication with him had been
for a time suspended, it was mentioned aloud in his pres-
ence, in a manner and with a purpose to test his con-
sciousness, that a highly-valued acquaintance had called to
see him; but he took no notice of the remark. Not long
afterwards, it was stated, in a tone loud enough for him to
hear, that the Queen herself had sent a special telegram
of inquiry and sympathy ; but even that failed to arouse
him. Once more, at no long interval, it was remarked
that a faithful minister of the gospel, with whom he had
once made a voyage to America, was at the door ; and bis
attention was instantly attracted. That ' good man,' as
he called him with his latest breath, was received by him,
and prayed with him more than once. ' It is a great mys-
tery,' he feebly observed ; ' but I shall know all soon : '
while his repeated ' amens ' gave audible and abundant
evidence that those prayers were not lost upon his ear or
upon his heart. The friendships of earth could no longer
soothe him ; the highest honors of the world, the kind
attentions of a sovereign whom he knew how to respect,
admire, and love, could no longer satisfy him : the "ambas-
sador of Christ was the only visitor for that hour.
" Thus, we may humbly hope, was at last explained and
fulfilled for him that mysterious saying of one of the an-
cient prophets of Israel, which he had heard many years
before as the text of a sermon by one whom he knew
and valued, which bad long lingered in his memory, and
which, by some force of association or reflection, had again
FUNERAL IN AMERICA. 265
and again been recalled to his mind, and more than once,
in my own hearing, been made the subject of his remark :
'And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light
shall not be clear nor dark ; but it shall be one day which
shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but
it shall come to pass, that at evening-time it shall be light.'
" At evenino- time it was indeed light for him. And
who shall doubt, that, when another morning sliall break
upon his brow, it shall be a morning without clouds, all
light and love and joy ? ' for the glory of God shall lighten
it, and the Lamb shall be the light thereof.'
" And so I bid farewell to thee, brave, honest, noble-
hearted friend! The village of thy birth weeps to-day
for one who never caused her pain before. The ' flower
of Essex ' is gathered at thy grave. Massachusetts mourns
thee as a son who has given new lustre to her historic
page ; and Maine, not unmindful of her joint inheritance
in the earlier glories of the parent State, has opened her
noblest htfrbor, and draped her municipal halls with rich-
est, saddest robes, to do honor to thy remains. New Eng-
land, from mountain-top to farthest cape, is in sympathy
with the scene, and feels the fitness that the hallowed
memories of ' Leyden ' and ' Plymouth ' the refuge and
the rock of her Pilgrim Fathers should be associated
with thy obsequies. This great and glorious nation, in all
1 its restored and vindicated union, partakes the pride of thy
life and the sorrow of thy loss. In hundreds of schools of
the desolated South, the children even now are chanting
266 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
thy requiem, and weaving chaplets around thy name. In
hundreds of comfortable homes provided by thy bounty,
the poor of the grandest city of the world even now are
breathing blessings on thy memory. The proudest shrine
of Old England has unlocked its consecrated vaults for
thy repose. The bravest ship of a navy 4 whose march is
on the mountain-wave, whose home is on the deep,' has
borne thee as a conqueror to thy chosen rest ; and as it
passed from isle to isle, and from sea to sea, in a circum-
no,v r igation almost as wide as thy own charity, has given
new significance to the memorable saying of the great
funeral orator of antiquity : ' Of illustrious men, the whole
earth is the sepulchre ; and not only does the inscription
upon columns in their own land point it out, but in that,
also, which is not their own, there dwells with every one
an unwritten memorial of the heart.' And now around
thee are assembled not only surviving schoolmates and
old companions of thy youth, and neighbors and friends of
thy maturer years, but votaries of science, ornaments of
literature, heads of universities and academies, foremost
men of commerce and the arts, ministers of the gospel,
delegates from distant States, and rulers of thy own State,
all eager to unite in paying such homage to a career of
grand but simple beneficence as neither rank nor fortune
nor learning nor genius could ever have commanded.
Chiefs of the Republic, representatives and more than
representatives of royalty, are not absent from thy bier.
Nothing is wanting to give emphasis to thy example ;
FUNERAL IN AMERICA. 267
nothing is wanting to fill up the measure of thy fame.
But what earthly honor, what accumulation of earthly
honors, shall compare for a moment with the supreme
hope and trust which we all humbly and devoutly cherish
at this hour, that when the struggles and the victories, the
pangs and pageants, of time shall be ended, and the great
awards of eternity shall be made up, thou mayst be. found
amongst those who are ' more than conquerors through
Him who loved us ' ?
"And so we bid thee farewell, brave, honest, noble-
hearted friend of mankind ! "
After Mr. Winthrop had concluded his remarks, the
" Their sun shall no more go down,"
was sung by the choir, and the -Rev. Mr. Marsh offered a
solemn prayer. The services were closed with Watts's
" Unveil thy bosom, faithful tomb ; "
and the benediction was then pronounced by Rev. Mr.
The congregation were most devout throughout the ser-
vice. The greatest attention was paid by Prince Arthur
to the eulogy, and at some portions of it he was observed
to be deeply affected.
It was a touching tribute of respect to the royal mother
268 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
of Prince Arthur that he should be found among the
mourners at the funeral of London's benefactor, in his far-
off native land ; and his princely hearing while on his late
visit to the United States has won the esteem of the na-
tion, and reflected credit upon the mother whom England
and America delight to honor.
Newman Hall on George Peabody. Tributes from Various Sources.
The Pulpit's Voice in Praise of his Beneficence. List of his Donations.
" Nor let thy noble spirit grieve
Its life of glorious fame to leave :
A life of honor and of worth
Has no eternity on earth." LONGFELLOW.
" Render therefore, to all, their dues." ROM. xiii. 7.
HE mortal remains of the great benefactor now
repose in Harmony Grove, the spot select-
ed by himself. This is a beautifully wooded
rising ground near Salem, and bordering upon
that part of Danvers now known as Peabody. " Upon
the principal street of the latter, the visitor still sees the
house, with its small shop-front, in which, as the boy of
the village-store, many of the youthful days of the great
philanthropist were spent. The little window of its nar-
row attic is that of his bedroom." -From it, doubtless, he
often looked out on the green spot where his budy rests.
He has gone to the grave with the highest honors two
270 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
great nations could pay. England and America buried
him, and France looked on with sympathy at the funeral.
Eulogies fell from eloquent lips on both sides of the sea.
Rev. Newman Hall preached a sermon in reference to
his departure, from which the following extracts are
" The old arches of Westminster Abbey never looked
down on a spectacle more solemnly impressive, more
touchingly eloquent, more sublime in its simplicity, than
when, two days ago, the remains of George Peabody
were deposited beneath its sacred pavement. What a
sermon did that ancient cathedral preach to the assembled
thousands, as they waited in sorrowful silence the arrival
of all that was mortal of the deceased philanthropist ! . . .
All the centuries of England's grand old history were
looking down upon us. Spirits of Saxons and Normans,
of steel-clad kings and feudal chiefs, of sturdy barons and
mitred prelates, of mailed crusaders and shaven monks,
of Cavaliers and Roundheads, of statesmen and jurists, of
poets and orators, of philosophers and philanthropists,
seemed to gather round, intent to watch the accession
which this day would bring to those venerated vaults. . . .
" Many a scene of pomp and splendor has that abbey
witnessed ; but far more in harmony with its solemn
architecture, impressive antiquity, and monuments of
death, was such a scene as last Friday witnessed. The
spacious building was crowded in every part by a multi-
DESERVED TRIBUTES. 271
tilde clad in mourning attire, and bearing in their features
and demeanor the expression of a reverential sorrow. If
any spoke, while waiting till the appointed hour, it was
with bated breath, so as not to disturb the expressive
silence which was broken only by the solemn knell from
the old tower pealing ever and anon through the arches
so long familiar with the sound. . . .
" The funeral now solemnized was of a private citizen,
who had sought no distinction of rank or title, but who,
by industry and sagacity, accumulated vast treasures,
which it was his delight to employ for the benefit of the
poor. His was a warfare against want, in waging which
he built many homes, and desolated none. His was a
statesmanship which simply looked at suffering, and at
once mitigated it by a generosity which could give no
occasion to party difference, by a law of love which none
would ever wish to repeal. An American citizen, his
business and home were for many years in London.
Here he beheld the miseries of the teeming multitudes of
the poor, often crowded together in unhealthy abodes,
forbidding comfort, cleanliness, and decency. Blessed by
Divine Providence with great prosperity in business, he
felt it his pleasure to distribute of his treasures to the poor,
rather than to go on augmenting the heap, so as to have
the questionable credit of dying richer than most of his
compeers. Besides large benefactions in his own country,
successive donations have reached the sum of half a mil-
lion sterling, invested in trustees, to be employed for the
272 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
benefit of the poor of the metropolis throughout future
generations. Noble was his gift, and just has been the
nation's appreciation. The Queen, some time since, sent
him a special mark of her personal honor and regard, and
earnestly desired to see him ; inviting him to Windsor to
meet her quietly for personal intercourse, and then pro-
posing to visit him at his own residence. But, alas ! ill-
ness and death frustrated the monarch's graceful and char-
acteristic purpose. And now, though his body was finally
to rest in the land of his birth, all that could be done in
honor of him dead was done, a funeral in Westminster
'* And now the solemn procession is entering from the
cloisters ; and from afar we hear the wailing notes of the
choristers, as in long array they slowly move up the nave
between the multitudes of sympathizing spectators. Very
slowly they pass along; their plaintive voices now most
sad, now swelling forth in tones of hope mingling with
the notes of the great organ. The coffin is borne along,
followed by mourners of both nations, into the choir,
where every seat had long been occupied by representa-
tives of all parties in the State, waiting thus to do homage
to the memory of the poor man's friend. The chanted
psalm is now heard ringing in the vaulted roof, and the
sublime words which tell of victory over death through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Again the solemn procession is
seen emerging from the choir, and traversing the cathedral,
till it reaches the grave, where the concluding prayers are
DESERVED TRIBUTES. 273
offered up, and the final anthem sung, 4 His body.'
Then the principal mourners stood for a while gazing into
the grave. The Premier of England, as representing the
government and the nation, stood there, thoughtful and
devout, rendering the willing homage of his great and
sympathizing nature. And the Secretary for Foreign Af-
fairs was there, as representing the empire in its relations
with all other lands, and especially with the great nation
to which the deceased belonged. And beside him was the
Queen's chamberlain, as representing her own personal
admiration, and paying her own personal tribute to the
deceased benefactor of her people. And the lord-mayor
and magistrates of London were there, to testify their
obligations to so princely a benefactor to their city.
And amongst these, and others of varying celebrity, was
the American ambassador, his keen eye taking in every
feature of the scene, his high intelligence marking well its
significance. And what did it mean ? It meant some-
thing more potent than his diplomacy, or that of any states-
man of either country, anxious as they may be to remove
all misunderstanding, and consolidate a lasting peace.
M re than conferences, protocols, treaties, explanations,
compensations, far more is done by such deeds as those of
Peabody, and such appreciation as was witnessed that day,
to cement together our two nations. George Peabody,
the American, amassing a princely fortune to bequeath to
the poor of Great Britain ; George Peabody, the Ameri-
can, buried with a nation's lamentation among her princes
274 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
and statesmen in Westminster Abbey ; George Peabody,
his body, after the highest honors Great Britain could pay
it, carried across the ocean in a British ship-of-war, there
to be interred for its final resting-place in his own land,
George Peabody is a link of peace and love between the
two nations, which must never be broken. And as
American and British statesmen stood around that open
grave ; as American and British citizens blended their
voices in the prayer to ' our Father in heaven ' to forgive
us our trespasses as we forgive each other ; as, at the same
hour when this solemn service was performing in West-
minster Abbey, the cradle of both nations, similar ser-
vices were being conducted in America, while flags were
lowered and bells were tolled, I felt, that, whether diplo-
macy has yet finally and formally completed its business
or not, there never again can be a question about the
maintenance of friendship. All thoughts of the possibility
of quarrel must forever pass away ; and in the grave of
Peabody, both at Westminster and at Danvers, must
every-remaining suspicion and memory of evil be buried ;
both nations resolving that no deeds or words of menace
or ill will shall again be exchanged, and that not mere
rigid justice, but generous love, shall settle all metiers still
in debate. The interests of. civilization, the cause of lib-
erty, the claims of religion, the welfare of the world,
demand, that as we are essentially one nation, so we shall
ever be bound together in the closest ties of brotherhood,
each seeking the honor and welfare of the other, and both
DESERVED TRIBUTES. 275
co-operating to lead the van in the triumphant march of
universal civilization, freedom, and peace. Other thoughts
then crowded on my mind. The first was this : How
wise, yet how rare, the course which Mr. Peabody pur-
sued ! Having attended to personal claims, he had vast
wealth remaining, far beyond what he needed for him-
self. He did not care to squander it in idle ostentation. It
was impossible to exhaust it on his own wants or luxuries,
had he been so disposed. Where would be the advantage
of leaving behind him, to be disposed of by others, so vast
a sum, when he might have the happiness of being his
own almoner ? How petty the ambition of dying worth a
fabulous sum of money ! As we can take nothing with
us, we cannot die worth any thing. Rich and poor alike
came naked into the world, and naked they must leave it.
It is certain we can carry nothing out.' Why not, then,
use it while we may, and enjoy the luxury of making
others happy ? How awful it is to die rich, when such
riches have been accumulated by neglecting the claims of
religion and chanty! With a thousand claimants for
help ; with philanthropic machinery of all kinds standing
still, or working inefficiently, for want of the fuel we
possess and cannot use ourselves ; with the hungry crying
for food, and the ignorant claiming instruction, and sinners
needing the gospel, 'perishing for lack of knowledge,'
it Is a fearful responsibility to possess great wealth, an aw-
ful crime to die rich, after a life of ' covetousness which is
idolatry.' All honor to Mr. Peabody, that, in his lifetime,
276 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
lie recognized the responsibility, as well as enjoyed the
privileges, of wealth ; and that he derived greater satisfac-
tion in scattering his possessions amongst the poor than in
indefinitely augmenting his store ! "
" The London Evening Standard " contained the fol-
lowing poetical tribute while the remains of Mr. Peabody
were taking their solemn way across the deep :
REQUIESCAT IN PACE.
"We send him home.
England sends home her son, her son (for he
Is yours, and ye our first-born) ; sends him horns
As nations send the men they honor most,
In pride and state and pomp of splendid death.
We send him home.
The land he loved to his own loving land,
The loan to the lender ; and we add thereto
A royal usury, a people's tears.
We send him home,
The good, kind heart, the simple gentleman,
And, sending, say, " This body spans the gulf.
We stretch across as with a fleshly arm,
And our own flesh (oh, never doubt !) will clasp
The hand of brotherhood with strong right band.
Wipe out the past, all but the old kind years
Before an oft-regretted harshness snapt
The filial link ; the years when England still . ,
Was ' home ' to far-off hearths, and saw with pride
Her Titan offspring towering into strength. . . .
DESERVED TRIBUTES. 277
Wipe out the past, the wrongs, the unnatural strife,
And the red blood that English hands have poured
From English veins. "War is a curse ; but war
Betwixt one race, one kindred, doubly cursed."
What gain in war ? No gain ; but loss of much
Of life, of treasure. Gain of honor, then ?
The weaker falls : what honor to the strong ?
O war ! what honor hast thou ? Honor none.
But war treads down the blossoming rose of peace ;
With iron heel stamps out the smouldering sparks
Of spiritual fire, and the smugglings faint
Of poor, blind, dumb humanity for light.
We send him home
Who showed a better way. With good, not ill,
He nobly conquered, and, where darkness reigns
Amidst the abodes of night, made day, himself
Illumined by the brightness that he gave.
He taught us love ; and let us learn the theme,
Prelude alike and close of all that is.
And whilst with stooping flag and muffled march
The great ship bears the lowly to his rest ;
Whilst twice ten thousand brazen lips ring woe,
And thousand thousand hearts re-echo it ;
Yea, whilst the funeral-peal is thundering forth
Even from the black cannon-mouths agape for war,
Join we our hands above the gracious dead,
And, mingling tears in one long sorrow, swear
To write this epitaph above him, PEACE. H. c. P.
The pulpit on both sides of the Atlantic gave its voice
in favor of his beneficence, and made the name of GEORGE
PEABODY a household word.
278 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
The following is a list of his donations, in a convenient
form for reference ; and it embraces all the more important
public gifts of Mr. Peabody to various institutions and
charities during his lifetime, including the bequests con-
tained in his last will and testament :
To the State of Maryland, for negotiating the loan of $8,000,000, $60,000
To the Peabody Institute, Baltimore, Md., including accrued in-
To the Southern Education Fund 3,000,000
To Yale College 150,000
To Harvard College 150,000
To Peabody Academy, Massachusetts 140,000
To Phillips Academy, Massachusetts 25,000
To Peabody Institute, &c., at Peabody, Mass 250,000
To Kenyon College, Ohio 25,000
To Memorial Church in Georgetown, Mass 100,000
To Homes for the Poor in London 3,000,000
To Libraries in Georgetown, Mass., and Thetford, Vt 10,000
To Kane's Arctic Expedition 10,000
To different Sanitary Fair* 10,000
To tfnpaid moneys advanced to uphold the credit of States 40,000
In addition to the above, Mr. Peabody made a large
number of donations for various public purposes, ranging
in sums from two hundred and fifty to one thousand dol-
lars, and extending back as far as the year 1835.
The amount of property left by him at his death is
estimated at about four million dollars in value. With the
exception of a few bequests in the will, this amount is
DESERVED TRIBUTES. 279
directed to be distributed among his relatives, including
one brother, one sister, and about fourteen nephews and
nieces. On his last visit to this country, he divided among
them one million five hundred thousand dollars ; and the
property left at his death is to be distributed in the same
proportions to each as were awarded by him in that gift.
The Lessons of George Peabody's Life. Money is Power. A Conse-
crated Purse is that of Fortunatus.
" We tell thy doom without a sigh ;
For thou art Freedom's now, and Fame's,
One of the few, the immortal names
That were not born to die." HALLECK.
" Be not overcome of evil; hut overcome evil with good." ROM. xii. 21.
[RACE GREENWOOD paid a beautiful trib-
ute to Mr. Peabody in an article entitled
" The Good Giver." We have only space for
a part of her true words. She said,
" The honors paid to the memory of the late George
Peabody are a cheering sign of the state of moral senti-
ment in England. The English people, from the Queen
to her humblest subject, reverenced this good giver as
no other American citizen was ever reverenced in the
mother-country. It shows that deeds of benevolence are
getting to be more esteemed than deeds of valor, even in
that land of military heroes. . . .
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED. 281
" When this man died, as he had lived, a simple Ameri-
can citizen, the honors paid him by the great of his
adopted country were personal rather than national trib-
utes, altogether voluntary and loving ; while his sincerest
mourners were among the humblest of the poor. 6 The
blessing of those ready to perish ' canopied his hearse.
We may almost think of angels as walking in his funeral-
procession. . . .
" Would that our rich capitalists might take home the
lesson of George Peabody's wise and generous benefac-
tions, and allow themselves the almost divine luxury of
distributing their own charities of giving, not willing !
" Who can doubt that the rich banker found a sweeter
happiness, if not a keener pleasure, in scattering abroad,
than he had ever found in amassing his splendid fortune ?
He cast his bread on the waters with a liberal hand ; and
though he had here no return in kind, and needed none,
amid the pleasant pastures of the better land, on the
green banks of the river of life, it will all come back
The following poetical tribute appeared in " The New-
"ork Independent : "
"Nations have vied to do him honor, him
Whose royal heart went out to all his kind ;
Whose hand e'er proved the princely almoner
To do its generous bidding. Now in death
Each throbbing pulse is stilled. Fold the white hands
Upon the quiet breast : their work is done !
282 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
Give him brief place 'mongst England's titled dead,
Where kings and warriors, borne with regal pomp
And rites imposing, lie in gilded state,
While o'er them banners wave, and music swells ;
Where, wreathed with fadeless laurel, poets sleep.
Vain are these empty pageants ! Better far
The widow's blessing and the orphan's tear,
In grateful memory of such kindly acts
As graced his life, and crowned it at its close.
Blow gently, gales ! and waft o'er summer seas
The gallant convoy with its precious freight.
In his far childhood's home, 'mid rural scenes,
In sweet seclusion from the world's turmoil,
There let the good man rest !
No costly pile,
Graven with the shining record of his deeds,
Shall tell the world that here a conqueror lies :
His cenotaph is reared in every clime; #
On every shore where sweeps the ocean-surge
Lingers the echo of- his nobler fame."
The lessons of his life are before the people of England
and America. They are indicated on every page of this
volume. Introduction and Memoir teach the same great
lessonr, ; and, while his eulogist at the final funeral allowed
that he had faults, the hearts of all who remember his
benefaction will gladly echo the words of large-souled
Gilbert Haven : " The great snow monument piled up
by the hands of Heaven over his grave on the very night
of his burial is a felicitous symbol of the whiteness of his
fame. Cleaned of all spots by the washing of death and
grace and time, it shall stand forth in the future, pure as
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED. 283
the driven snow, an incentive to all men of wealth so to
use their acquisitions, that when they fail, as fail they must,
these shall receive them into everlasting habitations. . . .
Will not such an example aid the man of wealth in con-
quering this demon, and making it his slave, and not his
master? Begin young^ O man of business! as he began,
to devise liberal things. Let not your money insnare you,
or ruin yours. Give to your brother, the church, the
poor, the ignorant ; and ye shall have treasure in heaven."
Money is power, for good or for evil. George Peabody
made it an instrument for good. He made "friends of
the mammon of unrighteousness " by using his great
gains for the benefit of humanity. The following is a
copy of the main provisions of his will, as taken from the
books of Doctors' Commons, London :
"I, George Peabody, gentleman, do make this my last
will and testament :
" Firstly, I direct that my remains shall be sent to my
native town of Danvers, now incorporated by the name of
Peabody, in the County of 'Essex, and Commonwealth
of Massachusetts, in that part of the United States of
America called New England, and be deposited in the
ground appropriated to that purpose in the cemetery of
Harmony Grove in Salem, in said county, near the Pea-
body town-line, under the direction of my executors herein-
" Secondly, I give and bequeath to Henry West, of 22,
284 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
Old Broad Street, London, .2,200; arid, in the event
of his decease, to his wife, Louisa West; and, in the
event of her decease, to his surviving children.
44 Thirdly, I give and bequeath to Thomas Perman, of 22,
Old Broad Street, London, the sum of 1,000; and, in
the event of his decease, to his 'wife, Annette Emma
Perman ; and, in the event of her decease, to his surviv-
ing children. And I empower my executors to pay the
above-named legacies within six months after my decease,
and free from any tax, duty, or charges, whatever.
" Fourthly, I give and bequeath to the Right Hon. Lord
Stanley, the American minister at the court of St. James
for the time being, the Right Hon. Stafford Northcote,
Bart., Sir Curtis Miranda Lampson, Bart., and Junius
Spencer Morgan, Esq., trustees of the Peabody Donation
Fund, and their successors, trustees of the said fund, the
sum of ,150,000, upon trust, for the building of lodging-
houses for the laboring poor of London, as defined in my
late letters to said trustees ; and I direct that this legacy
be considered a part of the second trust, and disposed of
in accordance with the said trust. And I direct that my
London executors shall, of the said sum of .150,000, pay
to said trustees of the Peabody Donation Fund .100,000
on the first Monday of October, 1873 ; and the sum of
50,000 at any time during said year of 1873. As this
work progresses, the labor and responsibility increase ;
and I therefore deem it essential that another trustee be
added, who will have the necessary time, and possess the
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED. 285
requisite knowledge of all that may be needed for the
successful prosecution of the trust. Without assuming
to dictate to the trustees, I would mention the name of
Charles Reed, Esq., M.P., who is well known to me for
his high and most honorable character, as a most suitable
person to fill that office.
" Fifthly, I nominate, constitute, and appoint Sir Curtis
Miranda Lampson, of 80, Eaton Square, Pimlico, Middle-
sex, and of Rowfant, in the parish of Worth, Sussex,
Bart., Charles Reed of Erhnead House, Hackney, Middle-
sex, Esq., M.P., George Peabody Russell,. Esq., of Salem>
Essex County, State of Massachusetts, U.S., R. Singleton
Peabody of Rutland, in the State of Vermont, counsellor,
and Charles W. Chandler of Zanesville, in the State of
Ohio, counsellor, executors of this my last will and testa-
ment ; fully authorizing the said Sir Curtis Miranda
Lampson and said Charles Reed, called my London
executors, to act independently of said George Peabody
Russell, said R. Singleton Peabody, and said Charles W.
Chandler, called my American executors. And I also
authorize my American executors to act independently of
my said London executors: that is to say, my London
executors to have full management and control of my per-
sonal estate in England ; and my American executors to
have full management and control of my real and personal
estate in America. But it is my wish and hope that all my
executors, both London and American, may act together
with the utmost harmony for the best interests of the
286 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
" Sixthly, I direct that all and each of my executors
aforesaid be exempt and excused from giving bonds to any
court or magistrate, or otherwise, for the performance of
their duties or offices as my executors.
" Seventhly, I give and bequeath to the said Sir Curtis
Miranda Lampson and said Charles Reed <5,000 each for
" Eighthly, I give and bequeath to the said George Pea-
body Russell, R. Singleton Peabody, and Charles W.
Chandler, my American executors, ,5,000 each.
" Ninthly, I give and bequeath to the said George Pea-
body Russell, R. Singleton Peabody, and Charles W.
Chandler, all the rest, residue, and remainder of the
property, both real and personal, of which I shall be pos-
sessed at my decease, or which may afterwards come or
fall into my estate, upon trust to sell, exchange, or retain,
and the interest accruing on the same to divide semi-
annually (re-investing the same in the case of minor chil-
dren) among the parties named as beneficiaries in the
family-trust, of which Messrs. J. M. Beebe, S. T. Dana,
and S. Endicott Peabody, are trustees, according to the
proportions of the sums allotted to each in said trust, or
such other proportions as I may hereafter prescribe to
them, my said American executors.
" In witness whereof, I, the said George Peabody, de-
claring this to be my last will and testament, written on
seven pages of paper, have hereto set my hand and seal,
this ninth day of September, 1869.
" GEORGE PEABODY."
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED. 287
By this will, it is seen that Mr. Peabody sought to exert
his power as a man of wealth to induce harmonious
action between Americans and Englishmen. This desire
to promote peace between the two nations was very evi-
dent in Mr. Peabody's life and character ; and the wealth
used for such a purpose may certainly be deemed con-
secrated. A writer declares that " the munificent
charities that have made the name of PEABODY a house-
hold word in two hemispheres were not the promptings
of temporary vanity, or a sudden freak of old age to win
the applause of mankind : on the contrary, they were
but the fulfilment of a long-cherished design formed in his
own mind, as a matter of duty, more than a quarter of a
century ago, and which had constituted his chief incen-
tive to the acquisition of wealth. While in this city, last
summer, he said to his old partner in business, who had
known him intimately for thirty-five years, 4 Mr. J ,
it has been my constant prayer to God for upwards of
twenty years, that I might be enabled to accumulate a
large sum of money to bestow in charity to the poor.' It
will scarcely surprise those who believe in the efficacy of
prayer to be told, that, during all those years, there was
not a single business enterprise which he undertook that
did not prove successful, and hardly a thing which he
torched that did not turn to gold in his hands."
It was this effort to spend his money for the good of
others that secured him the applause of the public. Not
the wealthy merchant, but the benevolent man, did his
288 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
fellow-citizens and townsmen delight to honor. It may
not be amiss to place on record a report rather more ex-
tensive of the honors paid to the remains of Mr. Peafyody
in his native town. "The Boston Post" thus describes
the scene :
" The arrival of the train was the signal for the tolling
of the bells and the firing of minute-guns. The citizens
of the surrounding towns seemed to have come to witness
the ceremonies, and the vicinity of the de*p8t was packed
with people. The body was first taken from the train,
and placed upon the funeral-car. This was a structure
about eleven feet in length, seven feet in width, and ten
feet high, covered with black velvet appropriately fes-
tooned, and trimmed with silver lace and fringe studded
with stars. On the top rested the casket containing the
remains. Underneath the casket were winged cherubs in
silver ; on each corner an elaborate bronze vase, two
feet and a half high ; on the front and back ends the
coat of arms of the deceased, and on one side the Eng-
lish, and on the opposite the American coat of arms, in
gold ; on each corner the monogram of the deceased, in
silver, enclosed with laurel- wreaths. The car was drawn
by six horses covered with black housings trimmed with
silver. The four companies of United-States Artillery
which accompanied the remains then disembarked, and
escorted the procession ; the Sutton Guard acting as a
guard of honor, and the different committees who came
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED. 289
on the train following, in double files. A direct route was
taken for the Institute, which was reached about sunset.
The artillery drew up in line, and the civic portion of the
procession passed . into the hall, which was appropriately
draped as below described. Soon after all bad entered,
the body was brought in and placed in its proper position,
and a guard posted ; and the procession passed around the
head of the catafalque, and out of the hall.
" The funeral decorations in the Institute building at
Peabody were arranged with taste and beauty. On enter-
ing the library-room, the emblems of mourning were seen
at once ; the windows and railing having been keavily
draped with black, with a white border on either edge,
and tastefully trimmed with rosettes of black and white.
At the end of the room, seen through the catafalque, is"
the picture of her Majesty, and above it the royal flag
of England and the American flag, both artistically
draped with crape. At the other end of the room, the
bust of the deceased, that occupies the space above the
door, is also draped with the sombre hues of mourning.
Above, in the lecture-room, the portrait of the deceased is
draped in black and white, with the cross of St. George
and the stars and stripes on either side, covered with
crape ; and above them an elegant original fresco rep-
resenting Britannia and Columbia by female figures
reclining over an urn containing the ashes of the dead,
and guarded by the British lion and American eagle on
290 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
" The catafalque is a raised dais, ten feet in length and
six feet in width, covered with black velvet. From each
corner rises a standard, supporting a framework of the
same size as the base, and about six inches in width.
Pendent from this are heavy black-velvet hangings,
artistically cut, and trimmed with a wreath of silvery
stars enclosing a large star on each of the four
sides, and heavy silver-bullion fringe, with wide silver
braid above it, and massive silver tassels appropriately
placed. Above the hangings, a neat silver moulding on
a black-velvet groundwork meets the eye. Above this is
a row -of silver stars, and another moulding that rises to a
peak on each of the four sides, containing emblems of
mourning, in silver. The one on the front end has two
reversed torches crossed ; on the rear, the hour-glass,
with the wings of Time, are to be seen ; and on either
side a large silver star, encircled by its emblem of
eternity, an endless snake. On each corner arises an
elegant arabesque ornament in silver, surmounted with
handsome funeral-plumes. In front, on the base, is the
monogram of the deceased, in silver letters, on a black-
velvet groundwork, enclosed in a laurel-wreath in silver,
pendent from a leaning pole, surmounted by a knot and
rosette of silver. On each corner of the base are
cherubs' heads with angels' wings in silver; the whole
being arranged in the ancient Grecian style, that is at
once elegant and artistic."
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED. 291
We have already referred to the funeral-services, and
need add no more here in regard to those unrivalled
obsequies. Further services in honor of Mr. Peabody
took place a few evenings afterward at the Peabody
Institute in Danvers, which was appropriately decorated
for the occasion by Mrs. E. G. Berry. The exercises
began at seven o'clock with the singing of the anthem,
" Blessed is he that considereth the poor," by the united
choirs of the town, -under direction of Mr. John S.
Learoyd. Prayer was then offered by Rev. George J.
Sanger. It was followed by another anthem, reading of
the Scriptures by Rev. S. I. Evans, and a choral song by
the choir. Rev. James Fletcher then delivered an ele-
gant eulogy on the deceased. He -began by a reference
to the traits of character developed by Mr. Peabody in
early life, when entering upon his business-career, amid
circumstances of great discouragement and trial. During
that period of several years, he displayed the tough fibres
of his nature, his hardihood, perseverance, unbending
integrity, high sense of honor, and commanding traits as
a business-man. These qualities shone all through his
mercantile career. He was undismayed by danger, and
preserved his integrity and manliness of character in the
severest of trials. His great services in upholding Ameri-
can credit abroad were referred to, and then his deport-
ment in the time of prosperity depicted. He felt that
God had bestowed his great wealth upon him that he
might do good with it ; and, with that feeling and purpose,
292 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
he distributed his riches with more than princely munifi*
cence for the benefit of his fellow-men. He believed
that God raised him up to accomplish some grand benefit
for his race. Unlike many others, when his wealth came
to him, he had the elevation of spirit and the affluence of
soul to give it away, instead of adding to it. He gave' in
the full tide of a prosperous life, and for purposes which
displayed benevolence of the highest order.
The simplicity and modesty of Mr. Peabody's charac-
ter were next touched upon. He never boasted of his
success, or sought the applause of men. His devotion to
his mother and sisters, and his love to his birthplace, were
alluded to in feeling terms ; and the reverend gentleman
concluded with a fine tribute to the breadth of Mr. Pea-
body's character, the benignity of his life, and the bless-
ings he had conferred on his fellow-men on both sides of
The services closed with an ode by Rev. James Brand,
and the benediction.
Among the tributes already mentioned was that of Rev.
Newman Hall ; and a further quotation from it will show
that the London preacher rightly apprehended the value
of that power which accompanies money. He said,
" There is danger, lest, in admiration of Mr. Peabody's
princely gifts, some may suppose thai such liberality, of
itself, is religion. Even the teachers and preachers of
Christianity may unintentionally mislead the public by too
unqualified and indiscriminating admiration. I yield to
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED. 293
none in appreciation and honor of Mr. Peabody's noble
gifts and life of benevolence. Nor have I any reason to
doubt that such generosity sprang from the very highest
motives. But it is the duty, at such a time, of Christian
teachers to brave the possibility of being misunderstood,
and to testify, in the midst of all this well-deserved
applause, that we are not saved by our benefactions either
to relieve the poor or to promote religion. We are rebels
against God, and can only be saved by being reconciled
to him through Jesus Christ. We must preach repent-
ance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, as
the only way of salvation. He taught us, that, if we should
do all our duty, we should still be c unprofitable servants,'
only just doing what is required. But, as none of us
do this, how plain it is that ' by grace we are saved,
through faith ' I ' If I give all my goods to feed the poor,
and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.'
" Then came the other thought, that, with faith in
Christ, and reconciliation to God, as the foundation, there
must be, and will always* be, the superstructure of good
works. . . . Certainly, of the two, it would be better to
have good works of charity, however defective their
motive, and without true Christian faith, than to have only
the pretence of possessing faith and no good works. The
former case has something to show, which, at least, may
benefit our fellow-men : the latter case has absolutely
nothing ; for * faith, if it have not works, is dead, being
294 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
" Then came this thought, that the privilege of per-
forming good works and serving Christ is not confined to
the wealthy. A large gift strikes our imagination because
its obvious benefit is large. Thus man judges of benefi-
cence. But God looks to the motive, measures the means,
sees the amount of self-sacrifice, and approves and re-
wards accordingly. He who has only a shilling in the
world, and gives away sixpence, thereby depriving himself
of half a meal, may be as acceptable in the "eye of God as
he who gives half a million, But has half a million left.
Jesus said that the poor widow who threw into the treas-
ury her two mites had actually given more than the rich
who cast in liberally, but did it out of their abundance.
This is not to disparage great and liberal benefactors ; but
it is to encourage all, however poor, even so that they
can give merely a cup of cold water, that they shall not
be unrewarded ; and that if the smallest sum is given in a
right spirit, and in proportion to our ability, and with self-
sacrifice, as he that receiveth a prophet in the name of a
prophet shall receive a prophet's reward, so he that gives
away a penny in the spirit of a benevolent millionnaire shall
receive a benevolent million naire's reward.
" And then a concluding thought was this : Two
nations yea, the civilized world are admiring the
gift's of the rich man, who was still rich in spite of his
benefactions. How should we esteem Him, who, though
he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we by
his poverty might be made rich " !
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED. 295
A correspondent of " The New- York Tribune " tells the
following anecdote concerning Mr. Peabody 's use of that
money which gave him power, and of the way in which
he liked to have others use money :
"When Mr. Peabody was in the United States last
year, he visited the Institute at South Danvers which
bears his name, and inquired particularly into its opera-
tions ; going over the accounts, and discussing with the
trustees the cost of its maintenance and the annual income
from the fund. I suppose I am telling no secret, and
hurting nobody's feelings, when I say that even so good
and benevolent a man as George Peabody was not exempt
from the misfortunes of age and bodily infirmity, and that
he consequently allowed himself at times to criticise pretty
freely not to say unjustly the policy of the custodians
of his benefactions. On this occasion, he is said to have
fretted a great deal. From various causes, not necessary
to mention, and certainly not easy to avoid, the revenue
from the endowments had not kept pace with the in-
creased expenses which followed the general rise of prices
during the war ; and the benevolent founder felt more
keenly how far the Institute fell short of his ' expectations
than how much it really had accomplished. ' You spend
too much money,' he complained ; ' you spend too much
money. You pay your lecturers too much. You must
get them cheaper.' And so he went on for a while, until
the momentary irritation passed away. His face soon
296 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
brightened, and a soft expression began to play about his
mouth. ' Well, well,' said he, drawing something from his
pocket, ' I must give you fifty thousand dollars more, and
get you out of trouble. And I must say,' he continued,
4 that none of my foundations have been so admirably
administered and given me so much satisfaction as this one
at my native place.' So the good old man continued for a
long time praising eve^ry thing connected with the Insti-
tute, and assuring his delighted friends that they had ful-
filled his wishes in the smallest particulars. It is well
known that the South-Danvers foundation was his favorite
" The Boston Journal " expressed its idea of the public
feeling in regard to the Peabody obsequies, saying that
those who regarded his life as useful and noble were
expressing sincere respect for his memory, and adding,
" George Peabody was a representative man of his era
and of his country. We would not adopt the curious idea
of Victor Hugo, that John Brown and George Peabody
are America's characteristic contributions to the historic
figures of this age. It is true, however, that the tine did
not more truly embody the Puritanic conscientiousness
and dauntlessness of our country than the other exem-
plified its thrift, animated by pure motives, and ending in
boundless but well-directed philanthropy. The latter
showed the world that the phrase,* ' the almighty dollar,'
supposed to carry with it an American stigma, really
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED. 297
included a full share of those attributes of beneficence as
well as of power which belonged to the epithet. Set
down amid an aristocracy whose accumulated wealth
dated from the middle ages, George Peabody set them a
lesson in the act of true benevolence. The poor of
London to-day know his name better than they do the
names of those who have in their veins ' all the blood of
all the Howards.' Like a true American, also, he remem-
bered most fondly his own countrymen ; and his benefac-
tions, completely unexampled in amount and extent of
application, will send their enriching influences down to
future generations. Let all honor, then, be paid to the
memory of one who founded his fame on the great good
he has done to his fellow-men."
" The New-York Albion " speaks in highly eulogistic
terms of Mr. Peabody, saying without reserve,
" George Peabody was, in a wider sense than is often
applicable, a new type of manhood. In him were com-
bined in finely, almost perfectly, balanced proportions,
three qualities seldom found in close association, the
shrewd intuitive perception necessary to the acquisition of
great riches, the moral impulses which prompt to a benefi-
cent distribution of them, and the masculine judgment
which exercises such a mastery over both as to prevent
their running into mischievous excess. A life which
exhibits to us these characteristics on a colossal scale
furnishes scope fer highly profitable study ; but, in order
298 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
to this, we need to see it in its internal development
rather than in its external incidents; or, rather, we should
be more correct in saying that any knowledge we may
obtain of the latter will be valuable only as it may help to
disclose the former. Whence originated this felicitous
opposition of qualities so rarely to be seen in conjunction ?
To what extent were they due to natural constitution or
to ancestral history ? How much of their strength did
they derive from early training ? and of what sort was that
training ? In what respects were they owing to circum-
stances ? and what were the circumstances, if any, which
account for the extraordinary bias of this * man's will?
We want to observe his character in its first manifesta-
tions, in its growth, and in the influences which fused
into unity tendencies so commonly antagonistic to each
other. Of course, we cannot expect to find what we want
in the bare compilations which appear in the columns of
a newspaper. The biography of the late George Pea-
body, to be written as it well deserves to be, would de-
mand a high order of intellectual and sympathetic skill
and an indefatigable spirit of research, and would un-
doubtedly present to the world one of those contributions
to psychological study which give a new direction and a
powerful stimulus to human motive and effort.
" Of Mr. Peabody's business aptitudes, his commercial
success is the best proof. It is not by any means impos-
sible to find his parallels as to this feature of his character.
Modern times have been peculiarly favorable to the pro-
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED. 299
duction of millionnaires. The sudden expansion of the
means of locomotion, the marvellous facilities provided
for quick and frequent intercourse, and the stupendous
works which the application of science to industrial pur-
suits had made not merely feasible, but almost indispen-
sable, have opened the way to many men endowed with
competent abilities to acquire* for themselves fortunes
which in any previous age would have been deemed
fabulous. In regard to this matter, Mr. Peabody had a
considerable number of compeers. But it is worthy of
note, that the grand moral traits of his character stood
out in high relief before the world, in connection with his
pursuit of wealth, long before they were publicly dis-
played in the distribution of it. That he was rapidly
amassing riches in the country of his adoption was not
more widely surmised, perhaps, than it was known, that, in
all the methods of acquisition employed by his house, the
soul of mercantile integrity and honor was eminently
conspicuous. His rectitude, like the granite of his native
State, was immovable. It invited trust, and never gave
way under any weight of responsibility resting upon it.
It armed him with a reputation which enabled him to
negotiate loans for public bodies, even when their credit
had been tainted. His own name amply sufficed as a
guaranty for the fulfilment of engagements entered into,
not merely on his own behalf, but on behalf of defaulting
legislatures. Wherever he saw fit to pledge it, men built
their speculations upon it with a sense of security. To be
true was one of the necessities of his being.
300 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
" To his remarkable talent for acquiring wealth was
conjoined a noble purpose in the daily pursuit of it. He
cared little for the selfish and garish pleasures for which
affluent means are commonly desired. His tastes were
simple. They had been formed, probably, upon the tradi-
tions of his Puritanic forefathers, and by that atmosphere
of opinion which surrounded him in his younger days.
His personal wants were few and inexpensive. He hated
the very semblance of ostentation. As he had not been
born into a system which 'made extravagant expenditure
a duty owing to his station, so he aspired not to be
identified with it. He preferred to occupy the position
of a tenant in trust. His gains were sought and obtained,
not as an end, but as means to an end ; not with a view
to himself, but with a view to others. He held himself to
be a debtor to his kind ; and his accumulations were used
in the faithful discharge of that debt. This moral con-
viction was evidently deeply rooted in his heart. It with-
stood all the influences which would otherwise have
destroyed it. When vast wealth is only in prospect, it is
not at all uncommon, because not at all difficult, to enter-
tain the most generous intentions as to wliat shall be done
with it, and to lose sight of them in proportion to the
extent to which that prospect is realized. Mr. Peabody,
on the contrary, instead of allowing the inflowing tide of
his riches to submerge his sense of responsibility, thought
and purposed and lived so as to keep it evermore upper-
most ; and, as his means increased, his anxiety to make
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED. 301
them subservient, to the well-being of others increased
also. Great prosperity, instead of closing his hand,
opened it the wider; and, in reverse of the usual order
of things, ,age enlarged rather than contracted the scope
of his liberality.
" But impulsive benevolence, oftentimes the offspring of
weakness and indolence, seems to have had no power to
guide the career of this truly remarkable man. No one
knew better than he how to say ' No ' to applications for
aid which did not commend the approbation of his reason.
He spared fio pains to ascertain how he could direct his
beneficence into the most- serviceable channels. He laid
out his immense wealth with as conscientious a careful-
ness as he might have done if he had expected to be
called upon to account for and justify every shilling of his
expenditure. Rarely has the life of a plutocrat exhibited
so perfect an illustration of the idea of stewardship as
did George Peabody's. Few intelligent men of this
generation will forget the letter in which he sketched,
for the intended trustees of his bounty to the poor of
London, his own views of the object to which it might be
usefully devoted. Pauperism had no attractions for him :
industrious and struggling poverty chiefly engrossed his
sympathies. Indeed, it was a marked "feature of his
beneficence, that it almost invariably had respect to some-
thing beyond and better and more enduring than the
immediate benefit it might confer. Sometimes patriotism,
sometimes international amity, gave direction to his liber-
302 THE LIFE OF GEOKGE PEABODY.
ality. He set the highest store upon education ; and, in
applying his resources for the advantage of his own coun-
trymen, he selected precisely those modes of assisting
them which were most peculiarly adapted to. their posi-
tion and wants. The Peahody Institute at Danvers,
the Literary and Scientific Institute at Baltimore, and
his munificent contribution to the Southern Educational
Fund, bear testimony to his quick appreciation of the
special needs of the times. The means of intellectual
refinement, where they could become available, and of
elementary instruction where they were most lacking arid
most urgently required, drew forth his readiest and largest
bounty. London presented a different claim upon his
purse. Even education could do but little for the indus-
trious poor of the English metropolis until they were
better housed. His penetrating glance fastened at once
upon the special need of the capital ; and, in supplying the
remedy, his head and heart united in doing the very best
that could be done.
" Mr. Peabody's life was an impressive homily from
beginning to end. It was full of the most timely lessons,
enforced upon society not by words, but by deeds. He
has rebuked the narrow sectarianism of the day by his
display of 4 good will to men,' quite irrespectively of their
religious differences. He has illustrated in his own
history how it is possible to combine with ardent patriotism
a breadth of sympathy extending, beyond merely national
limits. He has set an example of wise philanthropy,
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED. 308
capable of being initiated on the largest scale without
undermining the self-reliant spirit of the poor. Above all,
he has taught us the true uses of wealth, on what con-
ditions it should be held by its proprietors, in what ways it
may be fruitfully employed, and what durable honor and
happiness it may be made to achieve for the comparative
few to whom it is given. Rich and poor alike may con-
template his career with practical advantage. London,
especially, will keep alive his memory with grateful admi-
ration ; and, let us trust, his name, emblazoned by his
works, will exercise a talismanic influence in persuading
the prosperous to recognize their responsibilities, and to do
what good their hands can find to do whilst they yet live
to superintend and rejoice in the effects of their benefi-
While these pages were passing through the press, a
writer in " The New-York Tribune " furnished an account
of the Peabody homestead and the birthplace of the great
giver, which is so graphic, and in many respects so inter-
esting, that, although it did not appear in season for the
early chapters of this memoir, it may, perhaps, be allowed
to appear at the close :
" The town of South Danvers, in which George Pea-
body was born, in which he served his apprenticeship to
a country shopkeeper, in which he founded one of the
noble institutes of popular education that bear his name,
and in which, after this magnificent funeral-procession of
304 THE LIFE OF. GEOKGE PEABODY.
a whole month's duration, his remains will at last repose,
is, to all intents and purposes, a part .of Salem, and in
some of its features not unlike that ancient and ghost-
haunted seaport. I speak of it as South Danvers ; for it
has come so lately into its new name of Peabody, adopt-
ing, after a fashion not uncommon with legatees, the
family appellation which belongs with the property, that the
change has not yet renewed the faces of the sign-boards,
and is only half recognized in the talk -of the inhabitants.
The main street of Salem runs out along the crest of a
hill, with a general determination toward the north-west,
but with erratic impulses now and then to the right and
left. It never gets into the country ; and its broad,
quaint, comfortable old houses are scarcely far enough
apart to have even a suburban look, before up the elm-
shaded street comes a persistent smell of leather. The
road pitches down into a little valley full of tanneries ;
then up another hill whose slopes are mostly hung with
hides, and upon whose crest stands the brick-and-granite
building of the Peabody Institute ; down once more into
a second hollow, likewise given up to leather ; and there
you are in the heart of South Danvers. A single-track
horse-railway, with infrequent turnouts and still more
infrequent cars, stretches from here through Salem. You "
may come that way if you are in no particular hurry ; but,
if pressed for time, you had better walk.
" It is not natural to look for beauty in a village which
devotes itself to tanning hides and spreading tan -bark
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED. 305
around its door-yards, only varying these useful pursuits
by the cognate industry of manufacturing glue ; but Pea-
body, in spite of unsavory smells, is a pretty place, and the
pilgrims who visit it during the approaching ceremonies
will find the Massachusetts Mecca not unworthy of its
shrine. A Massachusetts village especially an old Massa-
chusetts village, in which the shade-trees have had years
enough to develop their beautiful proportions, and spread
their arms across the wide roadway, and whose best
houses were built before the day f staring white clap-
boards and prim green blinds (you know the kind of
house I mean, front-door close to the street, holly-
hocks, phlox, and prince's-feather under the parlor win-
dows) is always a pleasant sight ; and even in this
gloomy season, with bare trees and muddy roads, Peabody
has a clean, thrifty, substantial, and, withal, tasteful appear-
ance. It is pretty well stricken in years for an American
village. The old houses are many enough and prominent
enough to give it an antique aspect, in spite of the factories ;
and flavors of the half-forgotten past, such as hung around
Hawthorne's custom-house down at the port, are wafted
along its quiet road. Off to the right, at the foot of the
ridge, there is a pond or inlet of brackish water : a steam-
railway runs along there, and there most of the factories
are built. But in the main street on the hill there is little
to break the stillness. Just by the side of the road there
is an old graveyard. Right opposite, on the other side of
the water, lies Harmony Grove, a newer and more fash-
306 THE LIFE OP GEORGE PEABODY.
ionable place of sepulture, where the upper classes may be
interred with all the modern improvements, including a
patent burial-case and a granite monument. Mr. Pea-
body's remains will be placed in this grove ; but the precise
spot for their permanent resting-place has not yet been
THE HOUSE IN WHICH MR. PEABODY WAS BORN.
"In company with Mr. Poole, the courteous librarian
of the Institute, I want to see the house in which Mr.
Peabody was born. It is on the outskirts of the village,
and, eighty years ago, was probably quite in the country.
What it was eighty years ago it is not now in any
respect, save that most of the old building remains and
can be identified. A long L has been added ; a small
kitchen, which was anciently attached to the rear like an
excrescence, has been moved away ; and improvements,
enlargements, and alterations have been made to such an
extent, that the old place has all the external appearance
of a modern Yankee-village house. A few rods in the
rear is a tannery : a few rods away, at one side, is a glue-
factory ; and the owner of the factory, Mr. Upton, is also
the owner, though not the occupier, of the house. We
met the lady of the house near the door ; and she very
kindly gave us permission to enter, and showed us all that
remains of the old house where Thomas Peabody lived,
and his son George was born. It was a two-story house,
with a short hall and narrow stairway in the middle, and
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED. 307
on each floor a single small room on each side of the hall,
four rooms in all. These, with the kitchen-outhouse,
now removed, comprised the whole. The front -door
opens close to the ground, and only a foot or two from
the street railing. There is no porch ; and the front of
the house is almost as bare as if it had been shaved off
with a plane. Bare and ugly enough the place must
have been when the old Peabody family held it ; though
now, with its enlarged proportions, bright paint, and neat
appearance, it is so far improved, that a sensitive man
might, perhaps, live in it without absolute unhappiness.
The original rooms have not been altered. On the first
floor, they are only a little over six feet high ; and across
the middle of the ceiling runs a beam, which tall visitors
must stoop to pass. The heavy timbers of the framework
are also conspicuous at the corners. But for these, with
the fresh wall-paper, bright carpets, and modern furniture,
there would be nothing in the appearance of the rooms to
remind you of their age. ' I have tried everywhere,' said
Mrs. , ' to get some furniture which belonged to the
old place ; but not a bit can be found. I would like, above
all things, to make at least one of these rooms look as it
did when the Peabodys Jiad it.'
" ' You must be very much annoyed with visitors/ said
I ; ' and I am ashamed of my own intrusion upon your
" ' Oh, not at all ! I know that strangers like to see the
house, and I am very happy to show it.' But, before the
308 THE LIFE OF GEORGE PEABODY.
funeral is over, I fear the kind lady's good nature will be
taxed to its uttermost limits."
" America gratefully receives back the ashes of her dis-
tinguished son and citizen, and commits them to the
earth. They are to mingle with the soil on which he was
born, and for which he had such an affection. There is
not a citizen of this country whose ear is not open to
catch every syllable of the funeral-words. There is not
a heart in the land that is not present at his open grave.
He comes home to be enshrined. If we of this time
would henceforth undertake a new pilgrimage, let it be to
the burial-place of the man who has taught the world
anew, as never man taught it before, how much more
blessed it is to give than to receive. The name of Pea-
body is to stand, for the future, synonymous with Philan--
thropy. This single word shall be his lasting monu-
In all parts of the United States
TO SELL MY
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I HAVE DT PRESS
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B, B. EUSSELL, Publisher,
B. B. RUSSELL'S
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In Childhood's hour, with careless joy
Upon the stream we glide;
With Youth's bright hopes, we gayly speed
To reach the other side.
Manhood looks forth with careful glance;
Time steady plies the oar,
While Old Age calmly waits to hear
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" American Methodism," the only historical picture published to commemo-
rate American Methodism. It contains pictures of all the Bishops, with noted his-
torical scenes. Suited to frame 18x20|. Price $2.00.
Either of the above sent, postpaid, on receipt of the price. Address
B. B. RUSSELL, Publisher,
55 Cornhill, Boston, Mass.
LIFE OF NAPOLEON III,
EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH.
Embracing a Record of nearly all the Important National Events which have
occurred in Europe during the last half of a century.
JOHN S. C. ABBOTT,
Author of "History of Napoleon I," "French Revolution," "Civil War In
America," " Lives of the Presidents," &c., &c.
" This work well becomes, In its size and mechanical execution, the subjects of
which it treats. France of all countries, the French of all nations, and Louia
Napoleon of all rulers, furnish the most interesting materials for a readable book.
Those who know with what romance Mr. Abbott's pen invests every subject of
which it treats may well expect, in this royal octavo, interest as well as information.
Nor will they be disappointed. The author has had access to all the facilities needed
for the full development of his subject. From the first Napoleon, the annals of
France have been full of thrilling interest. The present emperor has become in six-
teen years the leading spirit in modern history, and is a marvel in himself. Mr.
Abbott has been careful to give documentary proof for his statements; and those
that find fault with his details must blame history, and not the historian." Port'
land (Me.} Christian Mirror.
The book is a royal octavo of about 700 pages ; finely illustrated by nine pure
Ikie steel engravings, executed in Paris expressly for the work; and sold only by
For terms, address
B. B. RUSSELL, Publisher,
55 Cornhill, Boston, Mass.
A Book for every Household in America,
LIVES OF THE PRESIDENTS
OP THE UNITED STATES,
ITrom. "Washington to the 3?resent Time.
ILLUSTRATED, AND COMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME.
JOHN S. C. ABBOTT,
Author of the "Civil War in America," "Life of Napole6n, "History of the
French Revolution," " Mother at Home," &c., &c.
"It is hardly necessary to speak well of a hook written to carry out a practical
idea, and by one of the most practical writers in America. There is not a politician,
a newspaper editor, or intelligent citizen, who will not find this work of vast im-
portance to him, saving much labor, and therefore time. It is not only a resume, of
the leading events in the characters of those who have presided over the Govern-
ment, but is accompanied by philosophical reflections, and by what we are pleased
to notice, the frank objections of the biographer to such errors as may have been
committed by these Chief Magistrates. It is a wonder that the idea of such a book
has not before been carried out; and we are glad that it has fallen into the hands of
a gentleman whose experience, discrimination, and intelligence qualify him to give
us a complete and standard work of reference." Washington Chronicle.
The work is an octavo volume of 520 pages, handsomely illustrated by eight steel-
plate illustrations, and thirty-six engravings on wood; and sold exclusively by can-
For terms, address
B, B. RUSSELL, Publisher,
55 Cornhill, Boston, Mass.
The Life of George Peabody,