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Full text of "Memoir of the late Hon. Christopher Gore, of Waltham, Mass"

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ME MO I R. 



Christopher Gore was born in Boston, Mass., 
September 21, in the year 1758. He was descended 
from respectable parents, and was the youngest of 
several children.* He received his primary educa- 
tion at the public schools in Boston, and was pre- 
pared for college chiefly, if not entirely, at the South 
Latin School, under the tuition of the justly celebrat- 
ed Mr. Lovell, who educated for the University, 
and for public life, many of the best scholars, and 
some of the most distinguished men, in the state. 
At the age of thirteen, he entered Harvard College, 
and was among the youngest in his class ; but, young 
as he was, his talents were of that high order, his taste 
for literary pursuits so decided, and his application so 
judicious, that he acquired and sustained the reputa- 
tion of a good scholar, at a period, and under cir- 
cumstances, which prevented many from deriving the 
expected benefit from a pubhc education. For in his 
Junior year, the war of our Independence commenc- 
ed, which created confusion and disorder through- 
out society, and deranged the plans, and changed 
the pursuits of many, in every grade and profession. 
The college buildings being w^anted for the army 
stationed at Cambridge, the students were dispers- 
ed for several months. When Mr. Gore returned 
home, his father was desirous that he should leave 
college altogether, and enter at once upon the study 
of medicine, with an eminent practitioner in Boston. 
But he had no taste for that profession, and was re- 
solved, if possible, to complete his collegiate course ; 
and therefore repaired to Bradford, in the county of 
Essex, and studied under the direction, and in the 

* Note A. 



4 Memoir of Christopher Gore. 

family of the Rev. Mr. Williams, afterwards profes- 
sor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in Har- 
vard College. When the College was removed to Con- 
cord, he, with most of the students, repaired thith- 
er, and resumed and continued his studies. He was 
graduated in 1776, with honor, and with a character, 
that gave promise of future eminence in the world. 

Mr. Gore was deservedly popular at college ; — 
his manners were engaging, his disposition was in- 
genuous, and his conduct fair and honorable. It is 
saying much for the integrity of his principles, that 
he passed the dangerous period of a college life, 
pure and unstained by vice. Nothing mean, dis- 
graceful, or degrading was ever attached to his youth. 
It was this amiable character, joined to his social 
disposition and literary taste, that led him to form 
an intimacy with several students, which ripened 
into the strongest friendship in after years, and con- 
tinued to grow stronger and brighter, and to yield 
purer satisfaction, to the close of life.* 

Mr. Gore left college just at the time when the 
independence of our country was declared ; and, like 
many others, who were destined for the peaceful pur- 
suits of professional life, he was animated with the 
ardent spirit of patriotism, and for a short season 
joined himself with a number, who cheerfully pre- 
pared to endure the hardships and privations of mili- 
tary service, to repel an expected invasion of the 
enemy in Rhode Island. The invasion did not take 
place, and the services of those engaged to repel it, 
of course, were not required. 

Mr. Gore soon commenced the study of his pro- 
fession, in the office and under the direction of the 
late Judge Lowell, in whose family he resided while 
a student. That eminent jurist and excellent man 
soon discerned the worth of his pupil, and repaid his 
diligence and integrity, and his respect for himself, 

* Note B. 



Memoir of Christopher Gore. 6 

by reposing in him, at all times, entire confidence, 
and manifesting for him the sincerest friendship. Mr. 
Gore was often heard to speak with the greatest re- 
gard of his instructer, and to impute no small share 
of his success in his profession, to the mutual regard 
subsisting between them. He had prosecuted his 
studies with such unremitted ardor and attention, 
that he was enabled to commence the practice of 
the law, in his native town, with an ability and confi- 
dence, that insured him the most flattering success. 
He depended upon himself alone, — he had his own 
fortune to make ; * and his strict attention to business, 
his faithful application of time and talent, that he 
might gain a thorough knowledge of his profession, 
his punctuality in the discharge of the trusts confided 
to him, and withal his powers of eloquence, his ease 
and courtesy of manners, soon secured to him, not 
only patronage, but an eminence in his profession 
rarely attained at so early an age. Mr. Gore always 
appeared to derive satisfaction from the recollection 
of his frequent sacrifices of amusements and society, 
which have so many allurements for the young, that 
he might improve all his means and advantages, to 
secure the great objects he had in view, — reputa- 
tion as a lawyer, independent support, a character 
for honor and integrity as a man, and the confidence 
and approbation of his friends. How well he ac- 
complished these objects, his life has proved. 

That Mr. Gore was highly esteemed, by his fel- 
low citizens, at this early period of his public ca- 
reer, not only for his popular talents, but especially 
as an upright man and a sound politician, who might 
be safely entrusted with the confidence and dearest 
interests of the people, no stronger proof can be given, 
than his being united with those long tried and ar- 
dent patriots, John Hancock and Samuel Adams, in 

* Note C. 



6 Memoir of Chiistopher Gore. 

the Convention of this State, which considered and 
adopted the Constitution of the Federal government. 

In the year 1789, Mr. Gore was appointed to the 
important and responsible office of United States 
Attorney for the district of Massachusetts. He was the 
first, who filled this office under the Federal govern- 
ment ; and his being selected by President Wash- 
ington, who seldom, if ever, made an injudicious ap- 
pointment, was decisive evidence of his legal repu- 
tation, and of the estimation in which he was held 
by his fellow citizens. Owing to the excitement in 
this part of the country, occasioned by sympathy 
with the people of France, then in a state of Revo- 
lution, — the duties of the office to which Mr. Gore 
was appointed were arduous and unpleasant ; but he 
performed them all with great ability. And on some 
occasions, when the public feeling was much irritat- 
ed, he manifested a degree of firmness and decision, 
which few could equal, and which, based upon his 
known integrity of character, enabled him to over- 
come difficulties, and successfully meet opposition, 
which had they been ecountered with a different 
temper and less talent, would have produced a far 
different result. 

His character being thus established for ability, 
for knowledge of commercial law, and faithfulness in 
the discharge of public duty ; Mr. Gore was appoint- 
ed, by the President, one of the Commissioners un- 
der the fourth article of Jay's Treaty, to settle the 
claims of our citizens, for spoliations upon our com- 
merce. His commission is dated April 1, 1796. 
He was associated in this commission with men of 
distinguished worth, the Hon. William Pinkney of 
Maryland, and Col. Trumbull of Connecticut ; but 
it is no derogation from their worth or ability, to as- 
sign the chief place in the commission to Mr. Gore. 
There were many difficulties to be met and over- 
come, in investigating the claims which were pre- 



Memoir of Christopher Gore. 7 

sented, which required all the experience, firmness, 
and perseverance, which few possessed in a greater 
degree than Mr. Gore, — and all the courtesy, affa- 
bility, and knowledge of mankind, which were his in 
a peculiar manner. He was alw^ays the main instru- 
ment of securing to our citizens large sums of money, 
about the validity of the claims to which, some of 
the commission had strong doubts. The argu- 
ment of Mr. Gore, in support of the claims for cap- 
tures under the rule of 1756, was most able and 
elaborate, and no doubt caused their being allowed. 

During the continuance of the coftimission, which 
was about ei2;ht vears, Mr. Gore once visited this 
country, on special business of his own, but shortly af- 
terwards returned to London. He visited the Conti- 
nent, and spent several months in Paris. While in 
Europe, Mr. Gore became acquainted with some of 
the most distinguished men in Great Britain ; carrying 
letters of introduction from Mr. Jay, he was at once 
admitted to the highest circles. But his own char- 
acter, his highly polished manners, and the uncommon 
ability, with which it was know'U that he executed 
his important commission, were the chief and suffi- 
cient recommendation to the notice and esteem of 
men, whom it is an honor to know, and who honor 
the country to which they belong. By such men 
Mr. Gore was highly esteemed, and received from 
them constant proofs of regard. 

When Mr. King, who was our minister at the 
Court of St. James, returned to this country in 1803, 
he appointed Mr. Gore charge d'affaires, ; and in 
this station he exhibited the same talent and fidelity, 
that marked all his other public proceedings. In 
1804, Mr. Gore came home, and was received by 
his fellow citizens with every demonstration of re- 
spect and affectionate regard.* 

Upon his return to this country, Mr. Gore resum- 
ed the practice of his profession, which he con- 

* Note D. 



8 Memoir of Christopher Gore. 

tinued with zeal, activity, and success until the year 
1809. He was elected t(3 the Senate of this com- 
monwealth tor the county of Suffolk, in 1806 and 
1807, and the following year he was chosen Repre- 
sentative from the town of Boston. Party politics 
ran high at this time, and Mr. Gore was a conspicu- 
ous member of the Legislature ; and, from his distin- 
guished worth and talents, he was naturally placed in 
the van of the party, whose cause he espoused and 
most ably maintained. No man was better qualified 
to take the lead in a difficult work; for, in addition 
to great political experience, sound judgment, and 
firmness of principle, he had perfect command of 
himself, and knew w^ell how to influence and per- 
suade others to an upright and honorable course. 

During the pohdcal year of 1809 and 1810, Mr. 
Gore sustained the office of chief magistrate of this 
commonwealth. For this high and responsible sta- 
tion he had no preference, — it was not of his own 
seeking. So far from this, it was only at the most 
urgent entreaties, repeatedly made, by those of his 
friends, whose opinion he felt bound to respect, and 
who thought him the most suitable to fill the chair of 
state at that difficult period, that he consented to be 
a candidate for the suffrages of the people. And in 
thus yielding to what he believed his duty, as a good 
citizen, whose talents and means of usefulness belong 
to the public, and should be devoted to the public 
service, Mr. Gore sacrificed, as he well knew he of 
necessity must, his private feelings, his professional 
pursuits, to which he was attached and which he 
deemed it necessary to continue, and his love of re- 
tirement and literary ease. But he made the sacrifice 
with a resolution, which he firmly maintained, to give 
himself wholly to the important duties of the office, 
and, while he retained it, to be the governor and 
chief magistrate of the whole state, and not of a par- 



Memoir of Christopher Gore. 9 

ty. In pursuance of this noble object, he made him- 
self familiar with every subject, that related to the 
interests and prosperity of the commonwealth, the 
honor and happiness of the people.* He visited the 
distant parts of the state while governor, mixed with 
the different classes of his constituents, as occasions 
offered, and thus became still better qualified for the 
station he held. And had it not been, that the })as- 
sions and prejudices of men were enlisted in the 
cause they espoused, and that those of opposite po- 
litical sentiments were resolved to see and act 
through a prejudiced medium ; all men to whom the 
governor had access, who saw and heard him, would 
have been won by his courtesy and condescension, 
his open, undisguised manner towards all whom he 
met ; they would have been convinced, that he was 
not the Tory, the Monarchist, of whom they had so 
often read in the public vehicles of slander. But 
since party-spirit has been allayed, the good sense 
and candor of all who had any acquaintance with 
the character of Mr. Gore, however opposed they 
were to him in public life, oblige them to confess, 
that he discharged the duties of governor, in the 
most upright and faithful manner. I have heard some 
of his former opponents assert, that he was the best 
governor who had ever presided over the common- 
wealth ; but that fidelity to their party would not 
allow them to give him their support. 

Consistency and integrity were the prominent 
features of his administration ; and never did he, on 
any occasion, sacrifice them to private views or pop- 
ular feeling. His love of country, his desire to pro- 
mote, by all the means in his power, the prosperity 
and improvement of his fellow citizens, his high 
sense of honor, his self-respect, placed him far above 
the intrigues of party; he was ever indignant at the 

* Note E. 



H 



10 Memoir of Christopher Gore. 

supposition, that he would stoop to any measure, or 
sanction any project, to secure popular favor, if, by so 
doing, he must swerve in the least from the line of 
the strictest integrity. 

At the expiration of the year for which he had 
been chosen governor, Mr. Gore returned to private 
life, and did not again resume the practice of his pro- 
fession. His permanent residence was in Waltham 
in the vicinity of Boston, where he possessed a large 
estate, which he highly cultivated and improved. 
He purchased this estate in the year 1791 and made 
it his summer residence, until ihe time before men- 
tioned, when he became a permanent inhabitant of 
the town.* He paid great attention to agriculture, 
and spared no expense in adorning his grounds, and 
in cultivating his fields, for his own and the public 
benefit. He took a lively interest in all the concerns 
of the town, faithfully discharged all the duties of 
a citizen, and secured to himself the respect and con- 
fidence of all with whom he had intercourse. 

But Mr. Gore was not permitted long to remain in 
private fife. In ISl^'^he was appointed by Governor 
Strong to the Senate of the United States, to supply 
a vacancy which had occurred during the rece-s of 
the Legislature ; which appointment was confirmed 
by the General Court, at its next session. It was 
with great reluctance that Mr. Gore consented again 
to engage in public life, and become interested in the 
jarring politics of the times. But his high regard for 
Governor Strong, and respect for his opinion, induced 
him to comply with his urgent request. There were 
certain measures to be adopted, or subjects to be 
laid before Congress, which, the Governor thought, 
demanded all the experience, firmness, and political 
wisdom of Mr. Gore, rather than any other man. In 
the Senate, Mr. Gore displayed his usual zeal and 

» Note F. 



Memoir of Christopher Gore. 1 1 

abilties for the honor and welfare of his country. His 
talents and influence were highly appreciated; per- 
haps no one ever had more influence in that body, or 
was more respected by all parties. He continued 
in the Senate three years, when, the duties of the 
station becoming too arduous for his health, which 
had been materially injured by his exertions, he re- 
signed his seat, and did not again enter public life. 

Mr. Gore belonged to most of the literary and be- 
nevolent institutions in our community. He was 
early elected a member of the American Academy, 
and was President of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society from 1806 to 1818. To each of these soci- 
eties he bequeathed a valuable legacy. In 1816 he 
was chosen President of the Evangelical Missionary 
Society in Massachusetts, but resigned the office the 
following year, on account of ill health.* He was a 
member of the Middlesex Bible Society and of the 
Massachusetts Peace Society. He was for several 
years a vigilant and highly useful Fellow of Harvard 
College, from which Institution he received the hon- 
orary degree of Doctor of Laws, in 1809. And as a 
proof of his attachment to this seminary, and his de- 
sire to aid the cause of science and learning, he 
made the Corporation of the College his residuary 
legatee. The peculiar value of this bequest is its 
being free from all conditions, — being left to the sole 
direction of the governors of the College, to appro- 
priate it as they shall deem best for the promotion of 
its truest interests ; an example which it is hoped 
others will imitate, who may be disposed to add to 
the funds and prosperity of this favored seat of learn- 
ing. 

The public character of Mr. Gore may challenge 
the strictest scrutiny, from its commencement to its 
close. Few men have been caUed to higher or more 

* Note G. 



1 2 Memoir of Christopher Gore, 

honorable stations in our country ; and by fewer 
still, if by any, has he been surpassed in the upright 
and faithful discharge of the arduous and responsible 
duties attached to those stations. As a statesman 
and politician, he was profound and discriminating ; 
the principles he adopted were formed from a deep 
and careful study of the constitution of his country; 
— they did not grow out of the state of parties, or 
change of circumstances, or local and sectional in- 
terests. Having adopted what he believed the right 
course in politics, he steadily pursued it, with a sin- 
gle eye to the welfare and honor of his country. You 
always knew where to find him, for he acted from 
principle. Political integrity was at the same time 
his polar star, of which he never lost sight, and his 
safeguard, amidst the various fluctuations and con- 
tending interests, which agitated, and often convulsed 
society. It is true, that, as a politician, he differed 
from many distinguished men, with whom he was as- 
sociated in public life, who were, perhaps, as hon- 
est and sincere in their opinions as he was ; but he 
had the unusual felicity, never to permit a difference 
of opinion to influence his feelings and conduct, or 
to view his opponents as enemies". His disposition 
was so benevolent, he was by nature so affable and 
courteous, that he maintained his opinions with- 
out asperity, and conciliated the good will, and se- 
cured the respect of many, whom he could not con- 
vince by argument. A virtue this, as rare as it is 
desirable, in a public character. 

As an advocate at the bar, and as a counsellor, Mr. 
Gore stood among the foremost of the eminent 
jurists, who have done honor to the State. The 
ease and elegance of his manners, the nobleness of 
his person, added to his powers of eloquence, ren- 
dered him a favorite and successful member of the 
bar, which was at the same time adorned with Par- 
sons, Sullivan, Ames, Dexter, and Otis. His clients 



Memoir of Christopher Gore. 13 

justly placed unlimited confidence in his opinions 
and exertions in their behalf; for they knew, that 
whatever business he undertook received the undi- 
vided efforts of his intelHgent and well-stored mind; 
they had perfect confidence in the fairness and integ- 
rity, with which he conducted the business entrusted 
to him, and were convinced that no mean or mercenary 
consideration would induce him to barter his reputa- 
tion, or raise expectations which would not be real- 
ized. He was faithful, because he was industrious, 
in his profession. He never came into court unpre- 
pared to manage the cause he had undertaken. It 
was his uniform practice, from the commencement 
of his professional labors to their close, and during 
the whole of his poUtical life, either to sit up very 
late, or to rise very early in the morning, that he 
might fully prepare himself for the business of the 
following day. The company of friends, domestic 
society, and personal indulgence, were all sacrificed 
to duty, — to the business in which he was engaged. 
Mr. Gore's mind was of the highest order of excel- 
lence. He was remarkable, I think, for decision of 
character, yet without rashness, — his judgment was 
sound and accurate, and the truths he attained after 
the most thorough investigation, he developed in a 
lucid manner. His was a highly cultivated and well 
disciphned mind. He was an accomplished belles- 
lettres and classical scholar, — was familiar with 
the literature of the day, and found much delight in 
reading the works of ancient poetry and philosophy. 
Horace was his favorite Latin author, which he read 
with a critical and discriminating taste. It is to be 
regretted that he left so few proofs, in print, of his 
extensive knowledge and sound political wisdom. 
A few political essays, which appeared in the news- 
papers, and a pamphlet, pubhshed in 1822, entitled, 
" Remarks on the Censures of the Government of 
the United States, contained in the Ninth Chapter of 

VOL. III. THIRD SERIES. .3 



1 4 Memoir of Christopher Gore. 

a Book entitled, 'Europe, by a Citizen of the United 
States,' " — are the only writings of his in print, which 
have come to my knowledge. These " Remarks " 
are an able vindication of the conduct of the admin- 
istrations of Washington and Adams, so far as that 
conduct was implicated in the censure alluded to, — 
and they seemed to be demanded from one, who was 
not only conversant with the administration of our 
public affairs at that time, but was vested by the gov- 
ernment with a high commission, to vindicate the 
honor of the nation, and assert and defend the claims 
of its injured citizens, against the pretended righis 
of Great Britain. 

Not less distinguished was Mr. Gore in his private 
character, as a man in all the relations of social and 
domestic life. In these relations it is delightful to 
recollect him, and reflect upon those many graces, 
which endeared him to his friends, which threw 
around him a charm that none could resist, and 
which imperceptibly exerted an inliuence upon all 
who sought his acquaintance. He had the happy tal- 
ent of making every one who was introduced to him, 
feel at ease, at home, although he were an entire 
stranger. To the young he was peculiarly kind and 
condescending ; this disposition, of course, attract- 
ed many within his circle, who, while delighted and 
improved by his discourse, cherished for him the 
highest respect. The kindness of his feelings and 
the benevolence of his demeanor were remarkable, 
in his attention to all classes of society ; in his familiar 
discourse with all whom he chanced to meet, in his 
daily pursuits, in his treatment of his dependents, and 
his attachment and fidelity to his friends. 

But the character of Mr. Gore is deserving of re- 
gard, and respect, and honorable mention, chiefly, for 
its moral worth, its uncommon purity and unbending 
integrity. He w^as an enemy to vice in every shape ; 
if he ever expressed indignation at the conduct of 



Memoir of Christopher Gore. 15 

any, it was for its want of moral principle. His 
standard of virtue and moral rectitude was high ; for 
it was founded on the unerring principles of truth, 
as contained in the religion of Jesus Christ. In 
Christianity he was a firm believer ; he was a Chris- 
tian in the noblest sense of the word. For while he 
did not hesitate to avow his sentiments, and in early 
life attach himself to a society, to which, in the eye 
of the bigoted many, it was almost a reproach to be- 
long, he made no boast of his profession, took no 
pains to appear better than others, never was ilhberal 
or censorious towards those who chose to pursue 
another course to heaven. While his health per- 
mitted, he was a constant attendant at church, in 
town and in the country, and paid uniform respect 
to all the institutions of religion. Mr. Gore not only 
beUeved in Christianity, but held in high estimation 
and reverence the Bible, and used to recommend the 
study of it to young men, who were just entering 
life. On this subject I speak with perfect confi- 
dence ; for I have often heard him describe the pleas- 
ure he derived from reading the works of the great 
masters of poetry and history of ancient days; — 
" But," he would add, " I find no poetry superior to 
that in the Bible, especially in the book of Job and 
the Psalms of David, or from reading which, I derive 
purer satisfaction, — no inspiration so sublime as 
that which proceeded from the pen of Isaiah, and no 
morality to be compared with the precepts of Jesus 
Christ ; " observing, that whatever books he would re- 
commend to the young, he should advise them to prize 
the Bible as the most valuable, — that whatever genius 
or talents a young man might possess, if destitute of 
moral principle, or practical regard for the eternal 
rules of virtue, he was destitute of the only certain 
foundation of honorable distinction, in a moral and 
religious community. Sentiments similar to these, 
I believe he expressed, as chairman of the commit- 
tee, at a public examination of a class in Harvard 



16 Memoir of Christopher Gore. 

College, while he was Governor, — sentiments ahke 
honorable to his head and his heart. 

The latter years of Mr. Gore's life were years of 
infirmity and sickness, and much of the time his suf- 
ferings were intense. Yet such was his fortitude 
and endurance, such the equanimity of his mind, sus- 
tained by reflection, philosophy, and religion, that, to 
a stranger, he seemed not to suffer. His noble per- 
son literally bent down with pain and infirmity, he 
would receive his friends with cheerfulness, and so 
exert himself to entertain them, that they left him 
with increased admiration of his intellectual and 
moral worth. Though unable to attend to his agri- 
cultural pursuits to which he was strongly attached, 
to mingle in society, or even to see company, except 
his intimate friends ; and though suffering hourly 
the severest pain, he passed much time in his study, 
and found alleviation from suffering by reading his 
favorite authors. It was dehghtful to perceive and 
to know, that tortured in body, his mind was still 
bright and clear, shone out in all its greatness and 
complacency, and, as it were, seemed to play in its tri- 
umph over corporal suffering. I have said that Mr. 
Gore was a Christian ; and if years of endurance of 
severe pains and infirmity, without the least expres- 
sion of murmur or complaint, — if constant exertions 
to render those about him pleased and happy, and 
the exercise of a cheerful, benevolent, and resigned 
disposition, — if these are evidences of a Christian 
temper, of true Christian fortitude and patience, then 
Mr. Gore had a strong claim to this exalted charac- 
ter; and retained it to the last hour of his hfe, 
which was closed with serenity, March 1, 1829, in 
the sixty-ninth year of his age. Well may we apply 
to his character these fines of the poet, which he 
delighted to read : 

" Justum ac tenacem propositi viruni 
Non civium ardor prava jubentium, 
Non vultiis ini^tantis tyranni, 
Monte quntit solida.'" 



NOTES. 



Christopiieu Gore's father was John Gore, a respectable me- 
chanic, in the town of Boston, who married Frances Pinckney, 
by whom he had fourteen or fifteen children. Three sons and 
six daughters lived to be married; the other children died in 
infancy. Christopher was the youngest of these sons. 



B. 

Of the many highly valued friends and associates of Mr. Gore, 
I shall particularly notice but two, whom he loved and valued 
above others, and for whom he cherished the highest regard 
through life, — the late Hon. Rufus King of New York, and the 
Rev. Dr. Freeman of Boston ; with the former, and I believe 
with both, his acquaintance commenced at college. The intima- 
cy subsisting between Mr. Gore and Mr. King, was one of the 
closest and purest kind. It seemed as if their thoughts and 
souls were one. Although in distant parts of the country, they 
maintained a constant correspondence, on all political sub- 
jects which interested them in common with their fellow citi- 
zens, as well as on their individual and domestic pursuits. They 
took no important step in public without consulting each other, 
and were generally decided by the opinion or advice given and 
received. They were together in Europe, in the public service, 
— they were together in the Senate of the United States, — nor 
were they long divided in their death. Mr. Kino- died in May 
1827. 

Of the Rev. Dr. Freeman, who still survives to cheer and de- 
light a large circle of devoted friends, and to instruct, by exam- 
ple, an attached congregation, it may not be proper to write as 
his merit deserves. But, as he was the early and warm friend of 
Mr. Gore, their names, as their virtues, should ever be mentioned 
together, with the highest respect. As the firm and consistent 
minister of the church to which he belonged, Mr. Gore always 
manifested towards him the sincerest regard ; and it was no 
small consideration with the Pastor, that he had for a counsellor 
and friend, such a parishioner, in whose talents, judgment, and 
integrity, he could place the safest confidence. But Mr. Gore 



18 Memoir of Christopher Gore. 

was attached to Dr. Freeman, not merely as his clergyman, but 
because he possessed all those traits of character, which are 
congenial to pure and enlightened minds. I have often heard 
Mr. Gore speak of his friends and of distinguished men, — but 
never of any as he used to speak of those to whom I have here 
alluded. 

C. 

Mr. Gore not only had his own fortune to make, but it devolv- 
ed on him, principally, after he left college, to attend to the 
comfort and happiness of his mother, and three unmarried sis- 
ters. This additional care became his, in consequence of the 
absence of his father, (who left Boston and repaired to Halifax, 
at the commencement of the Revolution, but who returned, and, 
in 1795, died in Boston.) By his own exertions and industry, 
Mr. Gore paid his college bills, after he entered on his profession, 
and was enabled to fulfill all the responsible duties devolving 
upon him, with honor to himself. In the year 1783, Mr. Gore 
married Rebecca, daughter of Deacon Edward Payne, of Boston. 

D. 

On his return to his native town, a public dinner was given 
to Mr. Gore, by his fellow citizens, in testimony of their high 
respect for his character, and of their entire confidence in the 
ability and faithfulness with which he had executed the impor- 
tant commission on which he was sent to London. 

E. 

In the year 1809, a successful experiment was made in Mil- 
ton, Massachusets, of the efficacy of Vaccination, as a preventive 
of that dreadful scourge of the human race, the Small Pox. Mr. 
Gore was much interested in the success of the experiment, and, 
as Governor of the State, gave his aid to all measures for effect- 
ing the desirable object. In testimony of their respect for the 
Governor, and of their gratitude for the interest and influence 
he had felt and exerted in the cause, the committee on vacci- 
nation in Milton, sent him the following card, 

"He is slain." 

" 31iUon, 25th October, 1809. 
" The twelve individuals, whose names are written on the back 
of this card, were vaccinated at the town inoculation in July 
last. They were tested by small-pox inoculation on the 10th 
inst., and discharged this day from the hospital, after oflfering 
to the world, in the presence of the most respectable witnesses. 



Memoir of Christopher Gore. 1 9 

who honored Milton with their attendance on that occasion, 
an additional evidence of the never-failing power of that mild 
preventive, the cow-pock, against small-pox infection ; a blessing 
great, as it is singular in its kind ; whereby the hearts of man 
ought to be elevated in praise to the Almiuhty Giver. 

"AMOS HOLBROOK, Fhysirlan. 
OLIVER HOUGHTON, Chairman 

of the Committee on Vaccination.'^ 

On the reverse, were written these names, viz. — Samuel 
Alden, Joshua Briggs, Thomas Street Briggs, Benjamin Church 
Briggs, Martin Brigcrs, George Briggs, Charles Briggs, Catherine 
Bent, Susanna Bent, Mary Ann Belcher, Ruth Porter Horton, 
John Smith. These twelve were the only individuals qualified 
by the town vote, who expressed a desire of being tested, out of 
337 vaccinated at the town inoculation, July, 1809. 



Mr. Gore did not gain inhabitancy in Waltham, merely by a 
residence for a time jjrescribed, or by paying taxes a certain 
number of years, as the law may then have been ; but, in a 
public town meeting, soon after he purchased his estate in 
Waltham, he requested to be considered and accepted as an in- 
habitant. By a unanimous vote of the meeting, he was then 
made an inhabitant, and ever after freely gave his advice and 
lent his aid to advance the interests and honor of the town. He 
attended town meeting, when important business was to be 
transacted, and frequently came from Boston, to put his vote into 
the ballot-box, on days of election, &c. 

G. 

On resigning the office of President of the Evangelical Mis- 
sionary Society, Mr. Gore sent to the Secretary the following 
letter. 

" Waltham, September 26, 1817. 
" My dear Sir, 

" The last year, on receiving your notification of the honor 
conferred on me by the Society, I was induced to accept the 
trust, in the hope and expectation, that returning health would 
enable me to perform its duties. 

" In this hope I have been altogether disappointed ; and howev- 
er painful the reflection, I have only to remedy the evil, so far as 
is now in ray power, by praying the Society to accept, with my 
grateful acknowledgments for their kindness, my resignation of 
the office of President, — assuring them, that nothing would have 
tempted me to ask their indulgence, but a conviction, that I am 



20 Memoir of Christopher Gore. 

and shall be incapable of executing the duties of this high and 
respectable station. I should be quite unmindful of the obliga- 
tions of the trust, were I to persist in attempting to retain the 
honors of a place, when ill health renders me incompetent to 
the discharge of its calls. 

" Convinced, as I am, of the efficacy of religious and moral 
education in training youth to happiness and usefulness, and in 
confirming in persons of more advanced life, habits of virtue, 
order, and industry ; and knowing, as I do, the disinterested and 
benevolent conduct of the Society in promoting these views ; I 
pray the members to be assured of my earnest disposition to do 
all within my feeble powers to encourage and advance the pur- 
poses of their benevolent institution. 

" With unfeigned respect, &c. 

C. GORE." 

*• To the Secretary of ErangeUcal ^ 
Missionary Society.'' 3 

Extract from a discourse preached to the First Congregation- 
al Society in Waltham, March 11, 1829, on the death of the 
subject of the preceding Memoir. 

" My hearers, it has been your and my happiness to i\now one, 
who lived with and among us for many years, whose enlarged 
and powerful mind, whose various and highly cultivated talents 
rendered him eminently useful in the most important stations 
in society ; — whose amiable and benevolent disposition made 
him beloved by all, of every class, who were admitted to his ac- 
quaintance; — whose truly honorable and upright character 
gained him the respect and confidence of all ; — whose virtues 
will long be cherished in remembrance, and in the light of 
whose example we may perceive the path of true honor and 
greatness. You have, no doubt, already anticipated the appli- 
cation of these remarks, to our late eminent fellow citizen and 
townsman, the Hon. Mr. Gore, whose recent decease has made 
a void in society, and in the relations of private life, which can- 
not easily be filled. 

" I deem no apology necessary for deviating from my usual 
practice, and taking this public notice of the death of Mr. Gore 
— making his life and character the subject of the present dis- 
course. For, as he was a man to be honored and esteemed while 
in life, so was he a man, in all respects, to be remembered after 
his death. He did not 'live to himself alone, neither will he 
die to himself Sure I am, that many of our fathers and 
friends, the contemporaries of Mr. Gore, who worshipped with 
him at this altar, and who, with him, are now worshippers of 
God in a purer, holier temple, — could their spirits mingle in 
the transactions of earth, would accuse me of injustice and 
want of respect for eminent worth, and ingratitude for repeated 



Memoir of Christopher Gore. 17 

proofs of personal friendship and unreserved confidence, were I 
to withhold this feeble tribute to his memory. To those of his 
contemporaries, who have yet a little farther to proceed on the 
journey of life, it cannot be unwelcome, to be reminded of the 
services and worth of one, whose life was so full of instruction, 
and incitement to every laudable work. To the younger part of 
the society, who knew Mr. Gore only by report, and are strangers 
to his early history, it must be interesting, to attend to a brief 
sketch of the life, character, and services of a man, who served 
his country with fidelity, his friends with the sincerest ardor, 
and his God with the most unbending integrity." 








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