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FEBRUARY 20, 1875. 









Mr. SPEAKER : I arise to pay a last tribute of respect to the mem- 
ory of my late colleague, Hon. JOHN B. RICE. He died at the house 
of his daughter, in Norfolk, Va., on the i7th day of December, 1874. 
He left at the close of the last session with his health somewhat 
impaired. During the recess of Congress he sought rest at resorts, 
and at times he improved so that he and his friends hoped and 
believed he would soon be fully restored. But this was not to be so, 
and he did not take his seat at the commencement of the present 
session, and gradually failing, died as I have stated. 

But recently he whom we now mourn was among us in robust 
health, giving promise of many years of usefulness. His great heart 
has ceased to beat, and he sleeps the sleep that knows no waking. 

We stand above his honored grave and recall the graces and 
grand qualities of his life. 

A good man has gone to rest and the world is poorer for his loss, 
though richer and better because he once lived. 

To those who knew him as he was known here, no word of mine 



can add anything to the incense which envelops his memory or 
increase the respect which in life his high character challenged from 
all who came in contact with him. 

Without pretension, he was industrious, earnest, and able ; with- 
out obstinacy, he was firm ; without self-righteousness, he was scru- 
pulously honest and conscientious in all things; faithful to his friends, 
yet just to his opponents ; true to his convictions, yet ever ready to 
receive suggestions and advice. Scorning deceit, he diligently sought 
for truth ; fearless in action and in the expression of his own opinions, 
yet attentive and respectful to those with whom he differed; public- 
spirited as a citizen, charitable to the needy, sympathetic with the 
suffering. A gentle, loving, and indulgent father, genial as an asso- 
ciate, he was a man to be honored and loved as he was in life, and 
sincerely mourned as he is in death. 

His early life was not spent under the most auspicious circum- 
stances, and his eminence in his profession, in the social world, and 
in politics was achieved by his own strong will and sturdy efforts. 

JOHN BLAKE RICE was born in the village of Easton, Talbot 
County, Md., in 1809. His father was a shoemaker, and he 
learned that trade. It is not known how long he worked at this 
humble calling, nor is it certain that he might not have continued at 
it many years longer and the whole current of his life have run in a 
different channel but for an accidental circumstance something in 
this wise : The manager of a Baltimore theater, while strolling along 
one of the streets of the Maryland metropolis one day, overheard a 
rich musical voice trolling out a song inside a shop. He stopped and 
listened for a moment and then passed on, but the voice impressed 
him as unusually fine, and he made it convenient soon after to drop 
in at that shop and find out the possessor of the fine baritone. 
After a brief negotiation, the young mechanic was engaged as a 
chorister in Clemens's Theater, and it was there the stage life of 
JOHN B. RICE began. This was in 1836. The following year found 



him a member of the company of the Walnut Street Theater, Phila- 
delphia, where he was engaged for " singing parts," and occasionally 
was on for a song between acts. While in Philadelphia he married 
Miss Mary Ann Warren, daughter of the old manager and actor, 
William Warren, long since deceased. Miss Warren was then play- 
ing soubrette parts at the Walnut Street Theater. Mr. RICE subse- 
quently went to Albany, N. Y., where he opened the National 
Amphitheater. That undertaking, however, proved a failure, and he 
became associated with the proprietor of the Albany Museum. He 
remained there four or five years as manager, and thence went to 
Buffalo, where he joined the company of the Eagle Street Theater. 
He became manager. It was at the Eagle Street Theater in Buffalo, 
and under Mr. RICE'S management, that Dan Marble made his first 
great hit as a comedian ; and it was also here that Charlotte Cush- 
man, then a young lady of twenty-one or twenty-two, played one of 
her very first star engagements. The Eagle-street enterprise suc- 
ceeded but moderately in a financial way, and the manager con- 
cluded to give it up and go west. 

Early in 1847 he went to Milwaukee and there managed a theater 
for a time. He ascertained that a canal convention that was an 
age of canals was to be held at Chicago in July of that year, 1847. 
It occurred to Manager RICE to seize the occasion and turn it to 
account, and with such capital and credit as he could command he 
went to Chicago and put up a wooden theater on Randolph street 
between Dearborn and State streets. He had calculated rightly; the 
canal convention brought a large number of strangers to the city, 
and the theater made money rapidly until it burned down. 

The first "star" introduced to the Chicago public under his man- 
agement was Edwin Forrest, who appeared as Jack Cade, June 15, 

Two months after the destruction of the wooden theater on Ran- 
dolph street, Mr. RICE purchased a lot on Dearborn street, the 


present site of Rice's Block, and in the month following (September 
1 6) the foundation for a new theater was laid. It was opened Feb- 
ruary 3, 1851. This theater was prosperous, and in the subsequent 
years " stars " of the first magnitude played within its walls. Char- 
lotte Cushman was the most prominent. 

In February, 1857, Mr. RICE, having accumulated considerable 
wealth, decided to retire from the business. His management prac- 
tically ended November 27, 1857, when the season closed. He 
determined to utilize his property by turning it into business places. 
This was done, and was occupied as stores and offices until 1871, 
when it was destroyed in the great fire. A substantial structure was 
erected on the site the following year, and is known as "Rice's 
Block," a monument of his enterprise and faith in the future of his 
loved city. 

After abandoning the theater Mr. RICE devoted himself to the 
improvement of his real estate, of which he had acquired consider- 
able. During all the time he managed a stage there was never 
allowed anything which would tinge the cheek of the most refined 
with a blush. 

Although a prominent and active citizen almost from the day of 
his arrival in Chicago, and a warm republican from the day of the 
organization of that party, Mr. RICE took no great part in political 
life until 1865, when he was nominated as the candidate of the 
" Union party" for mayor, and elected by a large majority. In 1867 
he was renominated by acclamation, and again elected by a large 
majority. When his term of office expired in the fall of 1869, he 
refused to be a candidate for re-election. His two administrations 
were singularly fortunate. There were no jobs in the council and no 
complaints of indifference on the part of the mayor. As presiding 
officer of the council he was in all respects the best that body has 
ever had. He took an active part in every detail of the city affairs, 
and was thoroughly conversant with all its necessities. 


From 1869 to 1872 he took no active part in politics; but in the 
fall of the latter year, when the republicans of the new first congres- 
sional district wanted a candidate, he was unanimously selected as 
the representative of his party. He was chosen by an immense 
majority, swollen by his own personal strength, and went to Washing- 
ton to discharge his new duties, bearing with him the same conscien- 
tious determination to fulfill the high functions of his office that he 
had displayed in other and less important positions. His record in 
Congress is well known. A new member, busied in learning details, 
he had few opportunities of displaying the real ability which was in 
him; but when he spoke and acted it was always wisely and well. 
By his associates he was loved and respected. 

By his death, which occurred in almost the prime of his life, the 
first congressional district has lost its first Representative, the city 
and county one of its best citizens, and his family a kind and affec- 
tionate father. 

Mr. RICE'S family consisted of one son and five daughters. His 
son enlisted early in the war, and was killed at Chickamauga, Tenn., 
September 19, 1863, while in command of Company A of the Eighty- 
ninth Illinois Volunteers. His daughters all are living ; and they, 
and his wife, who also survives him, mourn him as only such can 
mourn for such a husband and father. 

In the city where he lived, and over which he had so long, so 
acceptably, and so justly ruled, and where he was so well and widely 
known, he was most appreciated and loved. The announcement of 
his death carried sorrow to every household there; few men ever 
had or ever will win as he had won the hearts of all the high and 
low, the rich and poor alike of that city. And we shall be fortunate 
indeed if, when our work is done, it has been as good and our lives 
as pure as that of him of whom we take the last good-by to -day. 

I submit the following resolutions : 

Resolved, That this House has heard with deep regret of the death 



of Hon. JOHN B. RICE, a member of this House from the State of 

Resolved, That, as a testimony of respect to his memory the officers 
and members of this House will wear the usual badge of mourning 
for the space of thirty days. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by the 
Clerk to the family of the deceased. 


Mr. SPEAKER: After listening to the eloquent remarks of my col- 
league [Mr. WARD] I do not rise to pronounce a formal eulogy upon 
the late JOHN B. RICE, but simply to add my tribute of respect to 
the memory of one who was my esteemed friend. 

Although I had on one or two occasions prior to the assembling 
of this Congress met Hon. JOHN B. RICE, my acquaintance with 
him only commenced when we met in this Hall in December, 1873. 
In the selection of seats at the commencement of this Congress it so 
happened that we were placed at adjoining desks, and continued to 
occupy contiguous seats during the long, protracted session of seven 
months. Sitting side by side and representing districts almost 
adjoining in the same State very naturally led to frequent conversa- 
tions and an interchange of opinions upon the various questions that 
came before the House. As our acquaintance improved this inter- 
change of thought and opinion became more and more frank and 
unreserved until, long before the close of the session, our conversa- 
tions were characterized by the fullest confidence and all the freedom 
of warm friendship. It was in this unreserved intercourse, in the 
expression of his matured opinions as well as in his impromptu sug- 
gestions, I had the amplest opportunities to discover the more 
striking characteristics of the deceased, and learned to respect his 
many noble qualities both of mind and heart. 


As we have been informed by the gentleman who preceded me, 
Mr. RICE, with but limited advantages for the acquisition of an edu- 
cation and contending with the embarrassments of poverty, com- 
menced the stern battle of life, but with his vigorous intellect, his 
strong will, his unswerving honesty and integrity and his generous 
heart, he fought the battle bravely and successfully. And while he 
secured a competency as to fortune, he also secured that which was 
of far more value, the esteem and confidence of all with whom he 
was brought in contact; and on many occasions he received the 
strongest evidence of the high estimation in which he was held by 
his fellow-citizens, by being intrusted by their suffrages with high 
and important public duties. 

As a man, Mr. RICE was distinguished for a strong, comprehen- 
sive, and vigorous intellect, quickened and trained by a long and 
active participation in the stirring scenes of active business, in which 
he acquired a large fund of practical and varied information. In 
manners he was affable, social, courteous, and dignified; in conver- 
sation, entertaining and instructive; and in all the relations of life, 
generous and magnanimous. 

As a Representative in this Hall, where you all knew him, I need 
say but little of my late colleague. In the discharge of his public 
duties, the first and paramount question with him was, what is right ? 
and when he had settled that question, he firmly adhered to his con- 
victions, permitting no considerations of policy or expediency to 
swerve him from the right. He was unremitting in his attention to 
the business and wants of his constituents, prompt in his attendance 
upon and indefatigable in the performance of his duties in commit- 
tee, regular and constant in his attendance upon the sessions of the 
House, and ever devoted himself industriously and conscientiously 
to the discharge of his whole duty to his constituents and to the 
country. He did discharge his duties nobly, faithfully, and well, 
and filled to the full the Jeffersonian standard of qualifications for 


public service. He was immovably honest, he was thoroughly capa- 
ble, and he was diligently faithful. In a word, I repeat, Mr. Speaker, 
what I have said, that in his private as well as in his public life he 
was eminently distinguished for his immovable, unyielding, unflinch- 
ing honesty and integrity. He earned and was justly entitled to 
that highest reward of the faithful public officer, " Well done, good 
and faithful servant." " Peace to his ashes." 


Mr. SPEAKER : It was painful duty on a former occasion to announce 
to this House that death had been among the delegation from Illi- 
nois and had stricken down Hon. JOHN B. RICE, Representative 
from the first district ; and it is with tender sadness that I break 
silence here to-day to record my humble tribute of respect to the 
memory of my departed colleague. 

I had known him before, but had formed no intimate acquaint- 
ance with him until our service began here together at the opening 
of this Congress. Our acquaintance soon became very agreeable to 
me. I soon discovered in him noble qualities and boundless gener- 
osity ; I soon found that he was not only approachable but genial. 
It seemed to me that his manner and his bearing were not merely 
acquired, but that they sprang from native politeness and were 
founded upon broad benevolence and good-will toward all mankind. 
About him I never discovered anything low or vulgar ; but to me 
his conversation always appeared elevating and his purposes honor- 
able. To him I was indebted for information to me valuable, and 
which I still cherish with his memory. 

The influence of his society was refining, and his companionship 
profitable. He desired that all mankind should be free and happy. 
He would always rather please than affront. Nature as well as cul- 


ture had endowed and formed and fitted him to entertain his fellows. 
His service here was not all his public life. With other theaters he 
was more familiar, where he merited and received the popular favor. 
He was a loved and cherished companion, and a dear and indul- 
gent father. He blessed his home and his fireside. The blow that 
removed him thence crushed and stunned the family circle. 

When first we met here he seemed the most robust of all the dele- 
gation from our State. His sturdy and rugged form appeared able 
to wrestle with the labors and exposures of life for many years to 
come, and little did we think that he would be the first of us from 
Illinois to fall. 

In his service here he worked hard and incessantly, and it is more 
than probable that his close application to his public duties during 
the long session, and his deep anxiety that all matters with which 
his country was concerned should go well, so wore upon him and 
sapped away his strength as to cause his premature end. 

He loved his country more than he loved himself. He was true to 
the party with which he acted. All his political action was governed 
by principle, born of sincere conviction of what to him seemed right. 
For his political adversary he had no words of abuse. To his oppo- 
nents he accorded the same freedom of opinion he claimed for him- 
self, and to them he was always temperate and respectful. Like his 
great political leader, of whom he was a devoted follower, he had 
" charity for all and malice toward none." 

But, Mr. Speaker, it is with no vain hope that I could fitly pro- 
nounce his eulogy that I do speak. I can at best but recognize the 
solemnity of the hour. 

Death has been busy with us here on this floor. To his dread call 
no dilatory motions avail. There is no postponement to another day. 
The hammer falls and the victim is down forever. One after another 
our fellows fall around us and we inquire one of another, who will be 
the next ? But this no one can tell. One by one our comrades are 


called ; and they depart at once for that other country, and we seem 
to hear their spirits say, " Be ye also ready." 

It is fitting, Mr. Speaker, that we should thus pause and hush the 
hum of our busy sessions and recognize the presence of death, that 
stalks unseen among us and treads unheard upon this floor. Unbid- 
den and unwelcome have been its visits. 

We shall never see the portly, manly form of my colleague stride 
up and down these aisles again ; we shall hear the silvery tones of 
his commanding voice no more. When he fell some of us were 
appointed to attend his remains to the tomb. We followed them to 
his home in Chicago, of which city he had long been a resident and 
had been its chief magistrate. There the citizens both prominent and 
humble, and there his friends and neighbors gathered sorrowfully 
around his bier to pay their last tribute there to gaze for the last 
time upon that form once so full of life and action ; but it was cold 
and motionless. His once familiar voice, which had so often swayed 
and moved them to applause, was silenced forever; his eye that had 
so often beamed upon them was rayless and closed. And as they 
gazed there started many a tear from eyes unused to weep. Sadly 
we bore his remains to the grave in Rose Hill Cemetery, near his 
resident city, and silently and softly we laid them down to sleep 
until the morning of the resurrection, and peace be to his ashes was 
our prayer. 

Our colleague has gone, gone on to that other city over on that 
beautiful shore. 

Hail, brother ; hail and farewell. 

The resolutions offered by Mr. WARD, of Illinois, were then adopted 




I ask for the reading of the House resolutions announcing the 
death of Hon. JOHN B. RICE, which I believe are on the table, 
having been received from the House a few minutes ago. 

The Secretary read as follows : 


February 20, 1875. 

Resolved, That this House has heard with deep regret of the death 
of Hon. JOHN B. RICE, late a member of this House from the State 
of Illinois. 

Resolved, That as a testimony of respect to his memory the officers 
and members of this House will wear the usual badge of mourning 
for the space of thirty days. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by the 
Clerk to the family of the deceased. 

Mr. PRESIDENT : The solemn duty of announcing in this body the 
death of our honorable colleague of the other House would have 
fallen naturally and more appropriately upon my colleague, the 
senior Senator from Illinois. A short time ago, however, he advised 
me that he would have to forego his purpose of addressing the Sen- 
ate upon this occasion in consequence of severe and painful sickness. 
I regret that my colleague is deprived of the sad privilege of per- 
forming the solemn duty of addressing the Senate at this hour. He 
was more familiarly acquainted with the dead member. I, however, 
knew him long enough and well enough to honor and love him. 
There was something more in his death than a loss to his fam- 


ily. There was a loss in some sense to the whole country. He had 
acted upon two stages in life upon that common stage to which we 
were all dedicated and upon that other one which has done so much 
to enlighten and elevate mankind. He was fond of the drama. He 
had studied all the great dramatists of ancient and modern times. 
He was fond of works of fiction, and loved to study the human 
character as portrayed by the best authors who had written upon it. 

He was born in the midst of slavery, at some little village in the 
State of Maryland, in 1809, and learned the trade of his father, that 
of a shoemaker. For years, I think, he followed this obscure but 
honorable calling. A strange circumstance changed his career. 
Possessed of an unusually sweet voice, that gave expression to the ten- 
der feelings of a sweet soul, he arrested the common ear as day by 
day he was toiling at his quiet seat. Upon one such occasion an artist 
in music, passing by the door of his shop, stopped to listen. He at 
once called upon the stranger, and from that hour Mr. RICE'S occu- 
pation in life was changed. For the future he was dedicated to the 
theater. He went through the whole course of theatrical education, 
and became a manager of large establishments successively in Phila- 
delphia, in Buffalo, in Milwaukee, and finally in Chicago. He was the 
companion of such men as Forrest, the elder Booth, and that incom- 
parably superior American genius, Charlotte Cushman. Some of 
her earliest performances were star engagements under the manage- 
ment of Mr. JOHN B. RICE in Buffalo and in Chicago. 

I will not stop to follow his career in detail. In many respects it 
is the career of all men. He had his troubles, his misfortunes, his 
delays, in marching forward through the race of life; but it is enough 
to say that he became distinguished in his profession. He was abso- 
lutely honored and more than respected; he was loved by all admir- 
ers of that art. Finally he abandoned it in 1857 and retired, as he 
supposed, to private life, upon an entire competency. 

Mr. RICE had one son and five daughters. The only son he had 


he gave to his country; a brilliant and promising young man, the 
pride of a fond mother and proud father. Under the solicitation 
and encouragement of that father, the son enlisted as a private in the 
late war, soon became a captain, and on the igth day of September, 
1863, fell in leading his company forward into the battle of Chicka- 

Mr. RICE was an intense patriot. Born, it is true, in Maryland, 
and in his youth habituated to the southern cast and shade of poli- 
itics, he had, strange as it may seem from his peculiar associations, 
separated a long way from the masses of the people, from the com- 
mon thoughts of that locality, and imbibed the spirit of anti-slavery. 
He became an active worker in the republican party at its very 
origin, and though mingling most of the time with associates not of 
his mode of thinking politically, he yet adhered steadfastly to his 
political faith up to the very hour of his death. 

In 1865 the people of Chicago, who had great respect for him, 
insisted upon his running for mayor of that city. He consented, and 
was elected by a very large majority as the union republican candi- 
date, and served two years. The people of that city insisted that he 
should again serve them in that capacity. He consented, and the sec- 
ond time was elected over a very strong opponent by a decided majority. 
At the end of his second term, which was again two years, he was 
for the third time urged by the people of that city to run once more 
for the office of mayor ; but he declined and insisted upon retiring to 
private life. He did substantially retire to private life; but in 1872 
the republican party in the city of Chicago, in the district where my 
colleague resides, insisted upon honoring him with their nomination 
for Congress. He had not sought it; he did not desire it. He had 
but little taste for politics ; his tastes were almost exclusively literary. 
He consented, and over a very formidable antagonist was elected by an 
overwhelming majority. He entered the other House of Congress a 
stranger to most of the people of his own State, intimately acquainted 

3 E 



with but very few of the members; a modest and retiring man, with 
great personal courage, great purity of purpose, great kindness of 
heart, great fidelity to what he believed to be right. He took his 
stand upon the republican side, and said : 

I will support my party and its principles when it and its princi- 
ples are right; but if I shall ever come conscientiously to doubt that 
its policies are correct, I will not follow them. I come to the halls 
of legislation to represent my people, and my chiefest object and my 
great purpose shall be that right and only right shall prevail in 

He took no active or leading part. He was very industrious and 
and very faithful to his constituents, discharged all the ordinary 
duties that fall upon members of either House of Congress cheerfully 
and faithfully; occasionally spoke, and when he did speak in that 
House was listened to. He was a gentleman of fine presence, of 
captivating and alluring voice, fine taste in the use of language, and 
eloquent in all respects as a public speaker. 

He was no scholar, Mr. President, in the proper and high sense of 
that term. He was a scholar in perhaps the too common American 
sense. His education was based upon experience ; it was the result 
of a long line of observation, purely and almost entirely practical. 
He knew nothing of the greater and deeper sciences; he had not 
gone down to the very bottom of education; he had not fathomed 
the deepest and purest sources of thought. He was not, in that 
sense, either a philosopher or a student; but he was a man of emi- 
nent practical learning, practical wisdom, and had happily blended in 
him those qualities that arrested the attention of the learned and the 
rich, the lowly and the poor. All classes met upon his plateau. He was 
happily adapted by nature to all the various phases and changes of 
society one of those few men who are ever at home with the high- 
est and purest, ever at home with the lowest and poorest. Such a 
character, Mr. President, is an enviable one. 


Mr. RICE did not live long enough to leave a reputation behind 
him as a representative of the people. He began to fail in health, 
and in the hope of being restored traveled largely last summer. 
Finally he went to Norfolk, Virginia, and, although past the merid- 
ian of life, was apparently in the midst of his usefulness ; still vigor- 
ous, and, but for the sudden attack which seized him, had the prom- 
ise of many years. He fell, however, and has gone down to the 
earth. He has passed away from life. But there was enough in 
that life to arrest deliberation in this great body, to arrest delibera- 
tion in that other great body at the other end of the Capitol. A 
nation stops for an hour to pass a brief, poor eulogy upon his char- 
acter. How many there are who pass away unthought of, unre- 
membered, and unnoticed! It was his happy lot to have earned the 
love, the respect, and confidence of all women and men who knew 
him, and to have arrested public attention in the halls of national 

Farewell to the memory of JOHN B. RICE ! Farewell to all the 
good acts and graces of his life ! I join with my associates here in 
dropping a tear to his worthy name. 

I ask, Mr. President, the adoption of the resolutions which I send 
to the desk. 

The Secretary read the resolutions, as follows : 

Resolved, That the Senate has received with profound sensibility 
the announcement of the death of Hon. JOHN B. RICE, late a mem- 
ber of the House of Representatives from the State of Illinois. 

Resolved, That the members of the Senate, from a sincere desire 
of showing every mark of respect to the memory of Mr. RICE, will 
wear the usual badge of mourning for the space of thirty days. 

Resolved, That the sympathies of the members of the Senate be 
tendered to the family of Mr. RICE in their bereavement, and that 
the Secretary of the Senate transmit to them a copy of these resolu- 



I rise merely to say that I sincerely regret that the condition of 
my health is such as to prevent me, as the senior Senator from Illi- 
nois, paying a proper tribute of respect to the memory of my de- 
ceased 'colleague in the other House. Mr. RICE was my friend and 
neighbor, and it would have been a source of sad satisfaction to me 
to have done him the honor that his life and character deserve. 

Mr. President, I second the resolutions offered by my colleague. 

The resolutions were adopted unanimously. 








FEBRUARY 20, 1875. 








Mr. SPEAKER : I desire to interrupt the ordinary current of business 
in this House that the attention of its members may be directed for 
a few moments to an event full of admonition, and one which awaits 
us all. It becomes my painful duty -to announce to the House the 
death of one of its members, Hon. ALVAH CROCKER, a Representa- 
tive from the tenth congressional district of Massachusetts, who died 
at his home in Fitchburgh, in that State, after a brief illness, on Sat- 
urday, the 26th day of December last. He separated from his col- 
leagues and associates here at the commencement of the holiday 
recess in unusual health and spirits, speaking frequently of a vigor 
and freedom from illness not enjoyed for many years. His journey 
northward to his home in the rigor of December brought upon him 
a severe cold and afterward congestion of the lungs, which confined 
him to his house on Friday and terminated fatally on Saturday 
evening. He sank rapidly in the last few hours of his illness, and 
passed quietly away at eleven o'clock in the hope of a glorious 

Mr. CROCKER was born in Leominster, in our State, on the i4th 


day of October, 1801, and had therefore at the time of his death 
just entered the seventy-fourth year of his age. His parents were 
poor, and without the means of rendering him any assistance in 
preparation for after life, and hardly more than a maintenance from 
his earliest years, and he became a factory operative when only 
eight years of age. The first and almost the only fifty dollars ex- 
pended on his education was earned by him in night-work in the 
factory at four cents an hour, and while it lasted he was a pupil at 
Groton Academy. Whatever he could earn in this way was de- 
voted by him to fitting himself for a broad and practical usefulness 
in after life. In fact, almost his entire education was acquired in 
that broader field of practical life where necessity is the teacher and 
experience the guide. 

In his early manhood he entered as a partner with others into a 
responsible business connection as a manufacturer of paper, in 
which pursuit he continued with marked and unbroken success till 
his death. Though largely and devotedly engaged in this the spe- 
cial calling of his life, he found time to undertake and carry out to 
successful results other enterprises, some of them of vast public con- 
cern, and all of them of great usefulness and influence in promoting 
the healthy and permanent growth of the community in which he 
lived, bringing to himself at the same time large returns and ulti- 
mately great wealth. 

Embarking with characteristic zeal and energy in the earliest rail- 
road enterprise in Northern Massachusetts, if not himself its pro- 
jector, at a time when railroads were as yet an untested experiment, 
he lived to see that line traverse the entire State and connect its 
tide-waters with the Hudson and the western lakes by one of the 
most marvelous works of internal improvements in modern times, 
and all pushed to completion by an energy and forecast inspired by 
him more than by any other. Under the same influences his own 
town has grown from an unimportant village of a few hundred in- 


habitants to a flourishing and prosperous city of large and increas- 
ing wealth and importance in the Commonwealth. It to-day 
mourns the loss of a citizen constantly contributing by a ceaseless 
activity singularly well directed to its improvement and prosperity, 
to the comfort and character and growth of its people. 

Nor were these characteristics of Mr. CROCKER'S life confined in 
their results to the city of his residence, but were felt in stimulating 
the development of a great variety of industrial interests and the 
consequent increase of prosperity and wealth in other parts of the 
State. A beautiful manufacturing town has sprung,up within a few 
years on the banks of the Connecticut, increasing rapidly in popula- 
tion and wealth, and destined soon to rank among our cities, which 
owes its very existence to the indomitable energy and tireless efforts 
of Mr. CROCKER. 

The implicit confidence of his fellow-citizens in his spotless integ- 
rity as well as sound judgment and unusual forecast, called him 
most frequently to positions of very delicate trust and of great respon- 
sibility, which he held from his earliest manhood to the day of his death. 
His decease has made vacant positions in the board of direction 
of institutions and associations for purposes of business and public 
and private trusts as well as for objects of benevolent and religious 
work greater in number and importance than would be caused by 
the death of almost any other citizen of the Commonwealth. 

Mr. CROCKER was three times a member of the house and twice a 
senator in the Massachusetts Legislature. On the zd day of Janu- 
ary, 1872, he was elected to the Forty-second Congress to fill a 
vacancy caused by the resignation of Governor Washburn. His 
election took place while he was absent from the country with Mrs. 
Crocker, whose failing health had taken him abroad many months 
previous to the existence of the vacancy. He had no knowledge of 
either nomination or election till his return after both had occurred. 
Mrs. Crocker's protracted sickness and death detained him for some 


time from his seat. He was re-elected to the Forty-third Congress 
by a large majority, but declined a re-election to the Forty-fourth. 

Mr. CROCKER was in politics a whig, and after that party a repub- 
lican. Bringing to the discharge of every political duty growing out 
of those relations the same enthusiastic zeal which characterized his 
every undertaking, he was nevertheless no partisan, and always fol- 
lowed his convictions rather than his party. He came into Congress 
late in life, and was not permitted to remain long enough in his work 
here to leave that personal and permanent impression upon the 
administrative policy or legislation of the country which experience 
often brings to the share of others. But he was not idle here. 
Indeed, he could not be idle anywhere. In the committee-room, as 
well as upon the floor of the House, and always in consultation, his 
practical knowledge and wise counsel were invaluable, while his 
genial disposition and flow of conversation made him a general 
favorite. It was truthfully said of him that " he went directly at a 
thing in Congress as he would in his own business affairs, and in an 
earnest, homely way they were little accustomed to witness." 

Mr. CROCKER was a remarkable man in all the variety of pursuits 
in life into which his tireless spirit and iron will led him to embark. 
A larger measure of success and a more wide-spread influence and 
abiding impression were attendant upon his career in life than mark 
the path of most of his contemporaries. The tendency of his whole 
life-work was for good. He was a generous giver, and especially 
delighted in aiding young men of limited means. The needy never 
turned empty from his door. No portion of that vast concourse of 
people who crowded the funeral procession testified their bereave- 
ment more sincerely than the humble and dependent who had been 
recipients of his bounty. He was a religious man, and died in the 
faith of the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which he was an officer 
at the time of his death. 

Mr. CROCKER had been married three times, and left two children 


and a widow stricken by this bereavement, yet sustained by that 
faith which assures them that their loss is his gain. 

Mr. Speaker, the shafts are falling thick and fast among us. 
Massachusetts is called upon by this dispensation, for the third time 
during this Congress, to mourn the loss of one from the number of 
those she has commissioned for the public service in these Halls. 
And even now, before these ceremonies are concluded, a fourth is 
added to the list of her dead. The funeral procession has but just 
borne another of her delegation from the scenes of his labor here. 
Our Commonwealth is most sensible of how great is that loss. She 
bows her head in submission and testifies her grief at the tomb of 
her faithful public servants. 

I offer the following resolutions : 

Resolved, That this House has heard with deep regret the death of 
Hon. ALVAH CROCKER, late a member of this House from the State 
of Massachusetts. 

Resolved, That as a testimony of respect to the memory of the 
deceased the officers and members of this House will wear the 
usual badge of mourning for the space of thirty days. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by the 
Clerk to the family of the deceased. 


Mr. SPEAKER: The most gracious boon conferred by a merciful 
Providence upon any man is that he may not know the hour or 
manner of his death. When it comes to him in the full vigor of 
activity, especially after long, long years of a well-spent life, as a 
relief from all sorrow and care, with a humble Christian hope of a 
future and better life to come, such a departure calls neither for tears 
nor mourning in his behalf whose life has been so blessed by its end- 


ing. Yet it is Well to pause amid the contests of life, its -struggles 
and business, to give thought to the conduct and example of the 
departed, to contemplate all that is beautiful and good in his charac- 
ter, and to pay some tribute to his virtues, and thus aid to keep green 
his memory. 

By the death of ALVAH CROCKER, a member from Massachusetts 
in this House of Representatives, our Commonwealth has been called 
a second time to mourn for one of her chosen men ; and while he 
had not, from long services in the councils of the nation, high attri- 
butes of eloquence and learning, attained that exalted place in the 
affection and reverence of his countrymen that was held by the great 
statesman of our State whose death has within a twelvemonth called 
for our deepest sorrow, yet in another and perhaps no less useful 
sphere Mr. CROCKER has so well performed his part in life, and has 
left for the contemplation and imitation of the youth of the country 
a career no less honorable, and in its results to mankind quite as 
practical and beneficent. 

From humble life, without the advantages of that early training 
and cultivation which the universities may give, brought up by the 
rugged hand of poverty, he early distinguished himself as a thorough 
man of affairs, whose foresight in planning, whose skill and energy 
in executing many most important undertakings for the welfare of 
his fellow-citizens and the prosperity of his State, early gave him an 
enviable reputation in a community where all the faculties of mind 
were taxed to the utmost in the most active and complicated duties 
of life. 

Mr. CROCKER'S character and success in life were indeed the very 
outgrowth of the industrial pursuits of the people of Massachusetts. 
At an almost infantile age an operative in a manufacturing establish- 
ment, thence steadily rising step by step, overseer, superintendent, 
owner, acquitting himself so well in all that each step was but the 
round of the ladder by which he climbed from honorable penury to 


competence and the like honorable wealth. Among the very first of 
the far-seeing men of his State, with business sagacity that never 
faltered, he foresaw the effect which the then young system of rail- 
roading must have upon the prosperity of his native State, and allied 
himself very early in one of the most considerable railroad enter- 
prises by which Boston was ultimately to be connected with the 
western part of New England, the provinces, the Canadas, and the 
great lakes. His sagacity and business qualities were at once recog- 
nized by his associates in the enterprise, so that he was early made 
president of the Fitchburgh Railroad, planned in the beginning to 
connect his native town and the town of his adoption with Boston, 
but afterward to be extended so as to become a portion of the rail- 
road system that connects the tide-waters of Boston Harbor with the 
great lakes and the granaries of the West. 

Mr. CROCKER early saw, almost as by intuition, what came to others 
only by slow teachings of experience, the impossibility of profitably 
and effectively carrying on very extensive mercantile traffic over 
railroads encumbered by curves and heavy gradients, and therefore 
nearly a quarter of a century ago became the ardent advocate and 
untiring promoter of the most splendid engineering achievement of 
the age, the opening of a railroad track through Hoosac Mountain 
by a tunnel sufficient for a double-track road of quite five miles in 
extent, of which work the State gave him charge as its commissioner, 
and which he lived only long enough to see completed. 

While possessing qualities of the most positive character, yet his 
nature was so kindly, his disposition so courteous, his mind so fair, 
and his conscience so just, that he had fewer collisions in the many 
and diverse kinds of business in which he took most active part than 
fall to the lot of the most favored few. With such attributes, sus- 
tained by the most sturdy and vigorous physical health, which ena- 
bled him to carry forward with the greatest vigor all that he under- 
took, it was not singular that he early commanded the attention of 


his fellow-citizens as one well fitted for public service, and was by 
them chosen to represent their interests hi public affairs; so that 
nearly forty years ago he was elected the representative of what is 
now the city of Fitchburgh to the legislature of Massachusetts, which 
he filled during several terms, and was afterward later in life elected 
to the senate of the State for two successive periods; in all which 
service he gained an enviable distinction and influence, never failing 
to command the suffrages of his fellow-citizens where he was offered 
as a candidate for their votes; so that he was elected twice to his 
seat in this House in the Forty-second and Forty-third Congresses, in 
which last we now turn aside from public affairs to mourn his loss as 
a fellow-member but yesterday acting with us in the business of the 

An ardent, patriotic friend of the Union, on the breaking out of 
the war Mr. CROCKER took the most active and intense interest in all 
measures for the suppression of the rebellion. Too far advanced in 
years to take part in arms, he exerted himself to send forward troops, 
and while the war was waging he made a voyage to Eygland, and 
spent very considerable time in impressing upon the manufacturers 
of England the condition of our country and the necessity that there 
should be a community of interest and thought and mutual fellow- 
ship between those classes in both countries that represent the indus- 
tries of the people. When the war was over, not unmindful of those 
who had gone forth at his solicitation to battle for the country and 
laid down their lives in its service on the battle-field, he exerted 
himself with his accustomed power and vigor, contributing thereto 
largely of his own means to provide that the fallen heroes of his city 
should have one of the most elaborate and costly of the many mon- 
uments erected to the memory of those who fell in battle in that war, 
and fortunately lived long enough to see it completed, having made 
the address at its dedication but a few months before his decease. 

ALVAH CROCKER died at the age of upward of seventy-three years, 


but was possessed of such a strong and powerful frame and constitu- 
tion of body, that it seemed probable but for the accidental contract- 

ing of the disease from which he died, he might have seen many 

more years of useful service to his country and his kind. 

Such is the faint outline of the record of a life not so brilliant in- 
deed as some that flash their light across the age in which they live, 
but so useful, so practical, so devoted to everything that could aid, 
prosper, and foster all the best interests of the community in which 
he lived, that it is more than doubted whether any better model of a 
life well spent and duty well done can be held up for the closest imi- 
tation of those who may come after him. 

The resolutions submitted by Mr. DAWES were then unanimously 




I rise to ask for the reading of the resolutions from the House of 
Representatives in regard to my late colleague, Hon. ALVAH 
CROCKER, which I believe are on the table. 

The VICE-PRESIDENT. The resolutions will be read. 

The Secretary read as follows : 


February 20, 1875. 

Resolved, That this House has heard with deep regret of the death 
of Hon. ALVAH CROCKER, late a member of this House from the 
State of Massachusetts. 

Resolved, That as a testimony of respect to the memory of the 
deceased, the officers and members of this House will wear the 
usual badge of mourning for the space of thirty days. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by the 
Clerk to the family of the deceased. 

I have presented the resolutions which have been read with 
feelings of peculiar sadness. Never before has our State, never 
before has any State since the formation of the Government been 
called to mourn the loss of so large a percentage of its delegation 
during a given Congress. Four during the term, three in the past 
year, nearly one-third of our delegation have fallen in the ranks. 
Death came so sudden and unexpected upon each one that their 
most intimate friends hardly realized that they had withdrawn from 
their daily official labors. Surely the reaper has thrust his sickle 
into our ranks with no sparing hand. 


During the last session Mr. CROCKER being confined to his room 
for a long time by severe sickness, none of us would have been 
surprised at the news of his death at any moment. But soon after 
his return home in the summer he began to improve and recovered 
his usual strength and vigor, so that when he returned to his official 
duties at the commencement of the present session he had the 
appearance of a strong, healthy man. A few days previous to our 
late recess he left for home to spend the holidays with the members 
of his family and near relatives of his own house. When he reached 
home he had a slight cold, but not sufficient to cause the least alarm. 
He applied himself from day to day to the inspection of his business 
affairs till Christmas, when he found himself too unwell to participate 
in the festivities of the day. It was not, however, until Saturday 
evening that he felt the necessity of medical attendance. His family 
physician was summoned, and upon examination pronounced the 
disease to be congestion of the lungs, not of such a nature, however, 
as to cause alarm. But he gradually failed during the day, and, 
finally, at eleven o'clock in the evening, died while sitting in his 
chair. Thus he passed over the river before many beyond his own 
family circle knew of his sickness. 

Mr. CROCKER was born in Leominster, Mass., October 14, 1801, 
and consequently was seventy-three years of age at the time of his 
death. His father, a hard-working, energetic man, was a paper 
manufacturer. He placed his son Alvah in the mill to learn the 
trade when but eight years of age. The boy was anxious to secure 
for himself better educational advantages than cpuld be obtained at 
that time in our public schools. By practicing the most rigid econ- 
omy he was enabled to acquire an academical education. 

When twenty-two years of age he moved to the neighboring town 
of Fitchburgh, and commenced the manufacture of paper for him- 
self. Beginning with nothing but an inheritance of poverty and 
toil, he struggled along against untold difficulties and with varied 



success. With means so very limited he was obliged to commence 
in a small way, but gradually extended his business as he was able 
until he became the important proprietor of six or eight large estab- 
lishments, and one of the most extensive and most successful paper 
manufacturers in the country. 

But his time and energies were by no means confined to the pros- 
ecution of his own business. He was a man of liberal views and 
large public spirit; he took special interest in the prosperity and 
growth of the town in which he lived. He did more than any other 
inhabitant to develop its resources ; he devoted not only his time but 
most liberally his means to this end. From a small town of some 
two thousand inhabitants when he commenced business it has grown 
to be one of the most beautiful, thrifty cities in the State, with a pop- 
ulation of over fifteen thousand. The variety of its industries, the 
busy hum of its machinery, its railroad facilities quickening into 
renewed intensity the exchanges of business and the intercourse of 
men, all combine to make it one of the most attractive municipalities 
in the State. Mr. CROCKER desired to develop and utilize every 
waterfall in the town. To this end he secured new and unexpected 
means of transportation to, and communication with, every section 
of the State. Not that his vision was narrowed and circumscribed 
within the limits of his own town. 

When the system of railroads had hardly been commenced, when 
but few miles had been built in the country, when most business men 
refused to risk their capital in such visionary enterprises, Mr. CROCKER 
conceived the idea of constructing a railroad from his town to Bos- 
ton, in order that the northern part of the State might have free and 
easy access to the seaboard. He labored long and earnestly to 
secure a charter for this road. He met with considerable opposition 
uot only from many of the most influential men in the eastern part 
of the State, but also from those who resided along the line of the 
route. It was thought that the scheme would end in utter failure. 


But Mr. CROCKER knew no defeat, but when rejected by one legis- 
lature, applied to another until he obtained his charter. Then, with 
unexampled energy and faith, he pushed forward the enterprise to a 
most speedy completion. In March, 1845, he rode in triumph into 
Fitchburgh upon the first locomotive that ever entered the town. 

But this was but the commencement of the great work he had in 
mind. His plan embraced a complete and extended railway system 
for the northern part of the State. Hence he proceeded at once to 
secure a charter for the Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad which 
would extend the line from Fitchburgh to the western part of the 
State, thence into the State of Vermont. He was more largely instru- 
mental in the construction of this road also than any other person. 
But he well knew that these roads would be of little benefit to any 
except to those who resided in their immediate vicinity unless a con- 
nection could be made with the West. Hence his next step was to 
secure a charter for a road from the Vermont and Massachusetts road 
through the Hoosac Mountain. This was no ordinary task. The 
road would be very expensive and most difficult to construct. It 
required the construction of a tunnel through the mountains five 
miles in length. Such were the difficulties to be overcome, so great 
the expenditures to be made, that few men had faith to believe that 
the undertaking would ever be successful. But from first to last Mr. 
CROCKER never hesitated or doubted. He lived to see his predic- 
tions for twenty-five years verified, and the tunnel, the object of his 
dreams by night and of his toil by day, completed. 

Some ten years ago his attention was called to the most extensive 
water-power in the State, at Turner's Falls, on the Connecticut River, 
which had never been improved. He concluded to devote his ener- 
gies and means to its dvelopment. A company was organized, of 
which he was the president and the leading spirit. The power and 
the territory adjacent were purchased, a dam and canal constructed, 
machine-shops, paper-mills, and extensive factories erected, and the 


region which yesterday was a desolate, barren waste has to-day 
become a beautiful, flourishing town with its thousands of inhabit- 
ants. The beautiful churches, school-houses, and public and private 
structures of every variety attract the attention and call forth the 
admiration of the beholder. A national bank of discount and a 
savings institution each bear his name, and he was the president of 
each. Turner's Falls stands to-day with its wonderful improvements 
as a monument to the energy and foresight of Mr. CROCKER. 

Mr. CROCKER served three terms in the lower and two in the up- 
per house of the Massachusetts legislature with credit to himself 
and honor to his constituents. In 1871 he visited Europe on ac- 
count of the sickness of his wife, and during his absence was elected 
to the Forty-second Congress, to fill the vacancy caused by my res- 
ignation. He was re-elected to the Forty-third Congress by 14,919 
votes against 4,588 for the democratic candidate. He declined to 
be a candidate at the last election. When he entered upon his du- 
ties here he was over seventy years of age, and much of the time his 
health was so impaired that it was with difficulty that he attended to 
his official duties. In public as in private life he was strictly honest. 
He discharged all his duties in a most conscientious manner. No 
jobbery or corruption was ever traced to his door; but his entire rec- 
ord stands above suspicion. 

Of his private life, of his genial and liberal hospitality, of the 
strength and warmth of his friendship, there is no time or need of 
reference on this occasion. Beyond the immediate circle of his 
friends, he will be specially mourned by the large company of his 
business associates among whom the greater part of his daily life has 
been passed, by the thousands of employes who were more or less 
dependent on him for their daily sustenance, and by that untold 
number who have been the recipients for many long years of his 

Mr. CROCKER was not without his faults. Like most men he 


made his mistakes and had his weaknesses. But on such an occa- 
sion as this we may well forget these. If we estimate his worth by 
what he has accomplished for the community in which he lived, for 
the section of the State in which he resided, few men will bear com- 
parison with him. May it be ours to gather up and cherish the 
memory of his many virtues. 

Mr. President, I send to the desk resolutions which I offer for the 
consideration of the Senate. 

The VICE-PRESIDENT. The resolutions will be read. 

The Secretary read as follows : 

Resolved, That the Senate has received with deep sensibility the 
announcement of the death of Hon. ALVAH CROCKER, late a mem- 
ber of the House of Representatives from the State of Massachu- 

Resolved, That as a mark of respect for the memory of Mr. 
CROCKER, the members of the Senate will wear the usual badge of 
mourning for thirty days. 

. Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by the 
Secretary of the Senate to the family of the deceased. 


Mr. PRESIDENT: A residence of some years near the home of 
ALVAH CROCKER and a knowledge of his reputation there lead me 
to pay a brief tribute to his memory. 

His reputation was not won in political warfare nor in public life. 
Five years in the Massachusetts legislature and two in the national 
House of Representatives after the age of three-score and ten were 
not sufficient for that. Yet he always manifested good sense, sin- 
cerity, praiseworthy fidelity to the interests of his constituents, and 
enlarged patriotism. 


But his reputation was won in the course of a long and successful 
business career. Beginning life in obscurity and poverty, at the 
early age of eight years he was a factory operative. But his energy 
and ability conquered adverse circumstances. He secured an edu- 
cation which furnished a foundation for business success, and 
achieved a large fortune. That fortune was not used mainly for his 
personal advantage; it was used to forward and complete enter- 
prises which have largely contributed to the growth and prosperity 
of Northern Massachusetts. The people whose welfare he had pro- 
moted manifested their respect for him by sending him to represent 
them in Congress when at the advanced age of seventy-one years by 
an overwhelming majority. 

What can be said of him in these Halls will do comparatively 
little to perpetuate his memory. He has a nobler and more 
enduring monument than speech can rear. In Worcester County, 
upon the rocky banks of a flashing river hurrying swiftly to the 
sea, stands one of the most beautiful and thriving cities of New 
England, which within a few years has been created and which 
owes very of much what it is to the business ability and public spirit 
of ALVAH CROCKER. Till that city perishes will his memory be 
preserved as one of its founders. 

The resolutions were adopted unanimously. 






FEBRUARY 20, 1875. 







Mr. SPEAKER : We are but five in all in this House from the State of 
Maine when all are present, and one of our number has been taken 
away by death. Hon. SAMUEL FREEMAN HERSEY, who represented 
the fourth district of Maine in this Congress, died at his home in 
Bangor on the 3d day of this month. The fatal disease that at last 
ended in death fastened upon him many months ago and broke 
down the physical strength which had been marked in his previous 
life. It interfered seriously with his duties in the last session of this 
Congress, driving him from the Capitol in the late winter months 
after he had resolutely fought its approaches, turned his home during 
the summer and fall into a house of sickness, and inexorably forbade 
any attempt to share in the labors and duties of the present session. 
The resolute will of my late colleague and friend was so noticeable 
a feature in his character that I shall be well borne out by those 
who knew him best in saying that nothing less than the painful 
disease under which he suffered could have kept him away from the 
post to which a trusting people had called him. As I remember him 

6 R 


and recall an acquaintance of many years, there arises before me no 
instance when he shrank from a duty laid upon him. 

General HERSEY was born in Sumner, in the county of Oxford, 
and State of Maine, on the 226. of April, 1812. He came from 
revolutionary stock, his maternal grandfather having been an officer 
in the war for Independence ; and he was reared in that best school 
for early boyhood which the New England fireside, hillside, and 
school-house furnish. When at the age of twenty-one he entered 
upon mercantile business for himself, he had secured the good 
education that the district school and the county academy afforded, 
and was well fitted to enter into the conflict of active life. In busi- 
ness he almost always prospered, increasing his ventures and his 
gains from year to year, and, latterly, extending his operations into 
Minnesota, Wisconsin, and other Northwestern States. He was 
prompt and energetic in affairs; honest and conscientious in his 
dealings ; and as his fortune increased gave liberally of his store. 

He was always trusted by the people among whom he lived, 
representing the town of Milford in the lower house of the Maine 
legislature in 1842; the city of Bangor, to which he afterward 
removed, in one branch or the other of the State legislature in 1857, 
1865, 1867, and 1869; besides serving for some years as a member 
of the executive council. After filling other important State offices, 
he was first elected to this House in September, 1872, and was 
re-elected in 1874. From participation in what promised to be the 
stirring scenes of the Forty-fourth Congress, he has been cut off. 
Had he lived, his position must always have been clearly defined. 
His was never a halting or doubtful course. His religious and 
political beliefs were a part of his life ; and he accepted the conse- 
quences of those beliefs boldly. 

This positiveness of character led him not to fear antagonism; but 
his kindness of heart raised up friends and prevented life-long 


Mr. Speaker, our deceased colleague will be greatly missedan our 
own State, where he has been for years a prominent citizen ; to his 
neighbors and friends the loss will come nearer ; to his family it can 
never be repaired. On this floor those who knew him during the 
brief weeks that he was in attendance know that this House has lost 
an honest, useful member. 

But awful as is the coming of death, and sobering as must be its 
contemplation, the way along which a human life is sometimes led to 
it is so beset with suffering and agony that to our limited vision the 
final summons must then seem more like a relief than a doom. 

General HERSEY'S disease was severe and protracted. It never 
broke down his mind or his spirit, but it wasted his body and racked 
him with pain such as few men fortunately are ever called to endure. 
It was incurable; and at last he sank under it. But he died in his 
own house, with his wife and children about him, and loving hands 
smoothed his winter shroud. Thinking of how vexed had been his 
last days and how peaceful was his death, who will not ask with 

Is not short pain well borne that brings long ease , 

And lays the soul to rest in quiet grave ? 
Sleep after toil, port after stormy seas, 
Peace after war, death after life doth sometimes greatly please. 

Mr. Speaker, I move the following resolutions : 

Resolved, That this House has heard with deep regret the death of 
Hon. SAMUEL F. HERSEY, a member of this House from the State 
of Maine. 

Resolved, That as a testimonial of respect to the memory of the 
deceased, the officers and members of this House will wear the usual 
badge of mourning for the space of thirty days. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by the 
Clerk to the family of the deceased. 



The ordinary labors of this legislative hall are suspended, its con- 
fusion hushed, and a new spirit holds supremacy here now. A 
remarkable event induces silence and solemnity, admonishing us 


Art is long and time is fleeting, 

And our hearts, though stout and brave, 
Still like muffled drums are beating 

Funeral marches to the grave 

admonishes us that life is uncertain and death is certain ; admonishes 
us that what we have to do we ought to do quickly and well. 

Sir, death is making a terrible havoc in our ranks Within less 
than one year six members of the New England delegation in Con- 
gress have died, each one of whom in his chosen business or walk 
in life was a pre-eminently successful man. Statesmanship, law, 
commerce, and manufactures have made monumental contributions 
to the city of the dead. To-day the death of three of them has 
been announced on this floor; two, men full of years and full of 
honors, each of whom had reached nearly if not quite that allotment 
^o man's life of three score years and ten ; each of them like a ripe 
shock of corn gathered to his fathers, leaving a legacy behind him 
of a well-rounded and perfect life. 

Our colleague, General HERSEY, was cut down in the very prime 
and vigor of life. To the casual observer his work, though well 
done, was only half done ; his life a partial failure, his battle not 
fought out, and the broken shaft would be a fitting monument to his 
memory, the emblem of life incomplete. But to us who knew him 
well and for years have known him well he had finished his fight 
and won the victory ; he had run the race and reached the goal. 
Were we to build his monument, its base would be broad, strong, 
deep laid, where no frost could heave and no tempest move ; and 
its shaft should be beautiful, white, perfect. 


To his business career General HERSEY brought earnestness of 
purpose, strict integrity, economy, habits of industry, and an indom- 
itable will. His hope was so bright and buoyant that no defeat ever 
made him despondent ; his courage was so strong and sure that no 
lion in his path ever turned him aside ; his integrity so strict and 
steadfast that no shadow of suspicion ever darkened his fair name. 
I remember, when he with others was surety on a defaulting State 
treasurer's bonds, he interposed no legal technicality, not even an 
equitable defense, but promptly paid every dollar not only that the 
law could demand, but all a quickened and sensitive conscience 
could suggest. Such was his sagacity that his plans never mis- 

The city he lived in and his State poured wealth into his coffers ; 
and, as my colleague has well said, the States of the great West, too, 
were compelled to contribute, until when he died he was one of the 
wealthiest, if not the wealthiest, man in Maine. Then, sir, as a busi- 
ness man stainless, owing no man, neither defrauding nor dealing 
hardly with any man ; indulging in no rash and reckless speculations; 
prosperous, successful in every endeavor; rich beyond his most 
ardent hopes do I not say well, his life was complete ? 

But, sir, could I say nothing more than this it would seem to 
me but the cold praise exacted by strict justice. My heart would 
give no response ; my affection pay no tribute. A man's life lived 
for self alone is a failure. General HERSEY lived another, a higher, 
a purer, a nobler life than this of amassing wealth. The stream 
which turns the wheel of the mill and drives the spindle and the 
loom does its duty ; but never this alone. All along its course, from 
its source to its mouth, it continually makes green the grass, waters 
the flowers, gives life to the tree. So General HERSEY all through 
his long, active, business career never for one moment when over- 
taking and passing by his less fortunate fellow-man forgot him, but 
stretched out to him a helping hand, gave him words of good cheer. 


And I know of many a man to-day in my own State and some here, 
living now in comfort, who owe all that they have to his kind words 

and liberal deeds. 

For his bounty 

There was no winter in't ; an autumn 't was, 
That grew the more by reaping. 

In social life General HERSEY was the gayest among the gay, his 
presence always joyfully received, and his absence always felt with 
grief. To the poor, the feeble, and the dependent his face always 
brought with it healing, strength, and hope. His hearty, cheerful 
manner was like the sunbeam breaking through the prison-bars, 
making for the whiles the gloom of the cell brightness. 

The cause of education lost one of its best and most beneficent 
friends when he died. Institutions of learning in my own State and 
in others to-day mourn for the loss of a liberal, bountiful benefactor. 
In politics he was always welcome to the party whose policy he 
espoused, for he was one of the most zealous, earnest men I ever saw, 
giving new strength and courage to his party. 

His people loved him ; and there never was an office in their gift 
he could not command ; yet his modesty led him to accept but few. 
The devotion of his constituents was well illustrated in the fact, as 
my colleague has stated, that here in this House for this term of 
Congress he has been nearly the whole time unable to perform any 
of the ordinary duties of a member, yet before the last election, 
though most understood, or feared at least, that he was upon his dying 
bed, he was renominated by acclamation and re-elected by an 
increased majority. 

It may be and it may seem to many gentlemen a little thing, but I 
cannot help mentioning it in filling out this life of my colleague, 
that if you walked with him through the streets of his native city 
you would see little children greeting him and he them all along 
your way. 

Sir, I tell you the man who loves children and whom children love 



is not and cannot be a bad man. The children of his Sunday-school, 
to whom he had again and again given words of wisdom and coun- 
sel, met the other day in his native city and passed resolutions 
indicative of sorrows at their irreparable loss. 

The church mourns General HERSEY as one of its pillars broken. 
His memory will be fresh' and green always. He was no sectarian; 
he was no bigot ; but he loved with his whole heart the church of 
his choice. I remember Webster once said " religion is a necessary 
and indispensable element in any great human character." My late 
colleague was a religious man. His religion can be summed up in 
two commandments, "To love God and to love one's neighbor." 
We who knew him knew that he could pray ; for 

He prayeth best who loveth best 

All things both great and small ; 
For the dear God who loveth us, 

He made and loveth all. 

Sir, did I not say well, then, that his life was well rounded, and 
perfect, too ? 

Our sympathies, sir, go out to his bereaved family. They have 
suffered a loss for which now they can see no compensation whatever. 
To the widow and to the fatherless children we can only say, "Death 
is the crown of such a life." 


Mr. SPEAKER: In the winter of 1854, at Augusta, the capital of 
Maine, I formed the acquaintance of the late SAMUEL F. HERSEY. 
He was at that time in the full strength of middle life, and was 
among the foremost of the leading business men of Eastern Maine. 


That rank he held till continued ill-health, commencing soon after 
his election to this Congress, compelled his retirement. 

Mr. HERSEY had his birth at Sumner, in the county of Oxford, in 
1812. At his majority, or soon after, he sought his home and theater 
of labor in the city of Bangor, the then central point of the large 
lumbering interests of Maine. At this period in the history of the 
State, his adopted home was especially noted for the enterprise and 
ability of its professional and business men. Its prosperity and prom- 
ise had drawn to it from the neighboring counties, and indeed from 
the neighboring States, not a few men who have since then honored 
the State in every department of life. This comparatively new city 
at that time welcomed every bold comer. Mr. HERSEY, at the very 
start of his business life, was as bold in purpose as in form were the 
hills of his native county. He entered the race to reach the goal. 
Success in honorable business was the end he sought. That end he 
attained by wise foresight, just means, unflagging endeavor, and 
unimpeachable character. 

His large acquisitions, the manner, time, and place of his invest- 
ments, attest a superior order of judgment. The steady increase in the 
rewards to his industry indicates the possession of a mind which could 
and did grasp all the conditions of success. His eminent prosperity 
was not a result of chance. He had it because he deserved it ; because 
his plans and courses of action by an inevitable law gave it to him. 

As time passed arid his means increased, his operations were largely 
diversified. He was a merchant, banker, and lumberman. He 
invested in timber-lands, both East and West, in mining, insurance, 
banking, and railroads. Maine has not alone witnessed his achieve- 
ments. In 1854 he commenced the purchase of timber-lands in 
Minnesota and Wisconsin, and with others erected a mill for the 
manufacture of lumber at Stillwater, in the State of Minnesota. 
Since that time he has had large interests at that point and elsewhere 
in the State. His money has aided in the construction of at least two 


of the railroads in our State. He owned at the time of his death not 
less than seventy -five thousand acres of timber-lands in Minnesota and 
Wisconsin, and no inconsiderable amount in Michigan and Maine. 

Minnesota, therefore, Mr. Speaker, unites with Maine in expres- 
sions of profound sorrow at the death of a citizen so eminently 
deserving the honors conferred upon him in his native State and the 
respect paid him wherever known. As sincere mourners dwell on 
the banks of the Saint Croix and of the Mississippi as of the Penob- 
scot. So large were his investments in the State and so early did he 
participate in her development that we almost deemed him an addi- 
tion to our own delegation to this House. While he had his home 
in the East, he was deeply in love with the West. He appreciated 
the extent and character of her needs and her capacities. He fully 
realized her immense possibilities, and was ready to favor measures 
which, to the more conservative, seemed little less than visionary. 

Mr. HERSEY was thrice married. Four sons were the fruit of the 
second marriage. Two of these sons are residents of Maine and two 
of Minnesota. 

Prior to 1854 the deceased was a member of the democratic party. 
Up to that year he followed the fortunes of this party with the same 
enthusiasm and devotion with which he afterward, and till his death, 
sustained those of the republican. He was five times a member of 
the Maine house of representatives and twice a member of the exec- 
utive council. In, addition toother honors, he was elected to this 
and the Forty-fourth Congress. In politics, he was sincere and 
earnest. His convictions found expression in bold and straight-for- 
ward action. His position on pending questions was never left to 
conjecture. He was sufficiently radical to be secure against the temp- 
tations of a timid and therefore dangerous conservatism. His patriot- 
ism was too ardent to lend its ear to the voice of mere policy. He 
was a most valuable member of the republican party, for he was in 
it from conviction and was unswerving and unceasing in labor and 

7 R 


counsel to keep alive that aggressive spirit which leads to party 
achievement. He did not falter, though others fell behind. 

Among innumerable false, unmoved, 

Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified, 

His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal; 

Nor number, or example with him wrought, 

To swerve from truth or change his constant mind, 

Though single. 

Mr. HERSEY was not well known to the members of this House. 
He came here a sick man and therefore was not himself. His sick- 
ness affected his mind and spirit as well as body. When in health 
his mind was intensely active and his spirits always buoyant. He 
was happy in every place and amid all labors; he was free and 
genial; his manners made him friends, and his open kindness gave 
him influence. 

His donations to institutions of learning and to churches were very 
considerable. Many a locality will long cherish his memory. His 
accumulations of wealth did not make him deaf to the calls of the 
poor or forgetful of the teachings of religion. Our friend died at 
home. Death approached him in slow, yet certain steps. He saw 
the enemy at a distance and watched his advance. He had months 
in which to review life's work and bring to his lips, "Thy will be 
done." His faith in the world's Redeemer took away every fear 
of the grave. He had wrought life's work with a fervent heart; his 
duties had been well performed and his days well spent. 

O, what a glory doth this world put on 
For him who, with fervent heart, goes forth 
Under the bright and glorious sky, and looks 
On duties well performed, and days well spent ! 
For him the wind, ay, and the yellow leaves, 
Shall have a voice and give him eloquent teachings. 
He shall so hear the solemn hymn, that Death 
Has lifted up for all, that he shall go 
To his long resting-place without a tear. 

The question was taken on the resolutions, and they were unani- 
mously agreed to. 



A message from the House of Representatives, by Mr. McPherson, 
its Clerk, communicated to the Senate intelligence of the death of 
Hon. SAMUEL F. HERSEY, late a member of the House of Repre- 
sentatives from the State of Maine, and transmitted the resolutions 
of the House thereon. 


I rise for the purpose of asking the Senate to consider the resolu- 
tions just communicated from the House of Representatives. 

The VICE-PRESIDENT. The resolutions will be read. 

The Secretary read the resolutions of the House of Representa- 
tives, as follows : 

Resolved, That this House has heard with deep regret of the 
death of Hon. SAMUEL F. HERSEY, late a member of this House 
from the State of Maine. 

Resolved, That as a testimony of respect for the memory of the 
deceased, the officers and members of this House will wear the usual 
badge of mourning for the space of thirty days. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by the 
Clerk to the family of the deceased. 

Mr. PRESIDENT: The resolutions which have just been read, 
informing the Senate of the decease of my colleague in the House, 


furnish another admonition to us all of the frailty of human 
existence. Another seat has been made vacant in the Halls of 
Congress. Its warning may, as it should, subserve a useful purpose. 
The event, though not unexpected, brings to myself a sorrow that I 
cannot express. The deceased was my friend. In all the relations 
and vicissitudes of life, in all its changing scenes, from youth to 
manhood, from manhood to mature age, and for more than half the 
period of life allotted to man, we were knit together in an unceasing 
and unbroken friendship. He was a friend who could "bear a 
friend's infirmities." How impressively am I reminded, as it 
becomes my sad duty to pay an earnest and truthful tribute to his 
memory and his worth, that under the decrees of an inscrutable 
Providence he might well have been spared to perform a like service 
to mine. 

General HERSEY came to this city at the commencement of the 
present Congress to discharge the duties which had been imposed 
upon him by a generous and confiding constituency. He was then 
in feeble health; but having been possessed of great physical power, 
it was the hope and belief of himself and friends that a more genial 
climate than his home afforded would restore him to health. In 
that hope all have been disappointed. Failing health, however, 
compelled him, much against his will, to withdraw from active 
participation in his official duties, and to seek the best medical 
advice that could be afforded in a neighboring city. From thence 
he repaired to his own home in an apparently improved and 
improving condition, giving to his friends a renewed hope of his 
permanent recovery. This hope was strengthened by his own faith, 
which impressed itself upon all around him, giving assurance even to 
the despondent. Indeed, his own belief in his final and full recovery 
was marvelous, and he held it with unsubdued courage to the last. 
He endured his sufferings and sickness with remarkable fortitude and 
cheerfulness. From their commencement to their close he murmured 


not. When absent from home, all that kindness and attention could 
do to alleviate his condition was done. But to me, and I may say 
to all my colleagues, it is a matter of consolation to know that 
friends, and home, and wife, and children all contributed to cheer 
and mitigate his pain and sufferings in the last days and hours of his 
life. There is no place to those who suffer like home ; no hand to 
minister, no voice to cheer, like that of an affectionate wife. Stricken 
with a disease which baffled all medical skill and defied the 
affectionate care of wife and friends, on the 3d of the present month, 
without a struggle, his spirit took its flight to " the better land ; " 
and all of him that was mortal reposes to-day in the soil of his 

native State. 

Virtue alone has majesty in death. 

General HERSEY was a native of the State of Maine, to the manor 
born. He was born in the town of Sumner, county of Oxford, in 
the month of April, 1812. At his decease he was nearly sixty-three 
years of age. His early years, like those of most young men of that 
time, were devoted to agricultural pursuits upon his father's farm, 
where those habits of industry were established which marked his 
future life and to which he was indebted for his great success. He 
was studious in his habits, and availed himself of the common school 
and academy, in which he acquired a good, substantial English edu- 
cation. Ambitious for a broader field than the farm afforded, and 
at a time near his majority, he entered the counting-room to prepare 
and fit himself for mercantile and business pursuits, in which he sub- 
sequently became distinguished. Several years of his life were 
devoted to merchandising; and afterward extending his business to the 
manufacture and sale of lumber in his own and some of the North- 
western States, he became one of the most extensive and successful 
lumbermen of the country. 

He was a republican in principle, understanding fully the wants of 
the country and the duties of the hour. He was no bigot, but con- 


ceded to others the rights of opinion which he so firmly maintained 
for himself. From the formation of the republican party until the 
time of his death he gave to its support a mature judgment and an 
energy of purpose and personal efforts which made him a power in 
that organization. He loved his whole country, and through all the 
dark and trying hours of the war, when it trembled in the balance, 
he contributed to it his earnest and efficient support, and his eldest 
son did gallant service in the Army. 

He has been prominent in the administration of the affairs of the 
State ; and was an honor to his State, as his State had honored him. 
. In the years 1842, 1857, and 1865 he was a member of the house 
of representatives of the State; and in the years 1867 and 1869 he 
served in the State senate. In 1852 and 1853 he was a member of 
the executive council. In 1870 he was induced by his friends to be 
a candidate for the republican nomination for governor, and came 
witin a very few votes of receiving the nomination. In 1872 he was 
nominated for Congress in the fourth district, and elected by over 
five thousand majority ; and was re-elected to the Forty-fourth Con- 
gress at the annual election in September last. Besides these he held 
other important political and public trusts. The duties devolved 
upon him in all these varied positions were discharged with ability, 
fidelity, and integrity. That speaks his own best eulogy. 

General HERSEY was an honest man " God's noblest work." He 
was a man of unsullied and spotless integrity ; peerless in his purity. 
In the counting-room or on the public mart his word was the equiv- 
alent of his bond. He was a man of public enterprise, and entered 
with zeal into every measure which would elevate the character of 
his State or city or promote the welfare of the people, however 
humble. He was benevolent and charitable, as the poor who were 
the recipients of his bounty can attest. While his contributions to 
all of our charitable institutions were of a generous character, many 
were the charities he bestowed unseen and unknown by the public. 


He was an earnest friend of the cause of education ; has contributed 
liberally to institutions of learning, and has left large bequests for 
its future aid and support. He was an earnest worker in the church 
of which he was a member. How much he contributed, how inval- 
uable were his services, how constant he was in the discharge of all 
his varied duties, the church itself can best know. But that his serv- 
ices were invaluable, that his duties were well performed, and that 
his contributions were of the most liberal character, even those not 
closely associated with him are well informed. How he will be 
missed and mourned within that circle! 

He was a Christian gentleman, and his daily life adorned his pro- 
fession. He was best loved by those who knew him best. His loss 
will be sincerely felt and mourned by all classes of the community 
in which he lived, from the highest to the most humble. I mourn 
the loss of a sincere friend. The State is bereft of one of her dis- 
tinguished sons ; his constituents are deprived of the valuable and 
efficient services of an able Representative. In the home circle, as 
husband and father, he was genial, kind, and affectionate. He strove 
to make and did make home what it should be the most endearing 
spot on earth. A widowed wife and children weep in a home made 
desolate for the irreparable loss of a kind husband and an affection- 
ate father ; but into that mourning circle it is not my province to 
enter. Time, " with healing in its wings," will assauge their grief, 
and their reliance must be on " Him who doeth all things well." 

The House has paid a tribute to his worth and have manifested 
their appreciation of the man in their resolutions which have been 
communicated to the Senate. I ask the Senate to join with the 
House in an expression of respect for the deceased and of sympathy 
for the surviving relatives by adopting the resolutions which I now 
send to the Chair. 

The Secretary read the resolutions, as follows : 

Resolved, That the Senate receives with sincere regret the announce- 


ment of the death of Hon. SAMUEL F. HERSEY, late a member of 
the House of Representatives from the State of Maine, and tenders 
to the relatives of the deceased the assurance of their sympathy with 
them under the bereavement they have been called to sustain. 

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate be directed to transmit 
to the family of Mr. HERSEY a certified copy of the foregoing reso- 


Mr. PRESIDENT : The bereavement which arrests the proceedings 
of the Senate touches so many hearts with tenderest sorrow in the 
State that honors me with its confidence, and withal sunders ties of 
friendly and official relations, that I trust to be indulged in adding 
a few words to what has already been so feelingly and appropriately 

The claims of Mr. HERSEY upon our respect spring from an unsul- 
lied character, from his personal virtues and public services. By the 
inherent energies and fidelity of his nature, unaided by adventitious 
supports, he had acquired affluence in private affairs, had often been 
associated in the councils of his State, and had at length entered 
those of the nation, alas ! unhappily, soon to fall under the heavy 
hand of disease, which ere long was to remove him hence. 

His was an active and useful life in the departments of practical 
duty and endeavor, whereby society is advanced through a commu- 
nity of interests, the general welfare, the highest good of the great- 
est number. 

He was ever the sagacious, upright, eminently successful man of 
business, of generous impulses, of a truly catholic spirit, charitable, 
liberal, and humane, whose daily life was withoufcreproach, and was 
an example to all. He has sprung from among the people in the 
common walks of life, was by the simplicity of his tastes, the habits 
formed in pursuits intimately connected with their interests, and by 


his truly democratic intentions always in deepest sympathy with 
them, and was therefore fitly and not infrequently their trusted Rep- 

The memory of Mr. HERSEY will be cherished by the people of 
Maine as among the public men who had rendered valuable public 
service in its councils, who in private life was faithful to every duty, 
to the obligations of friendship, and the claims of good neighbor- 

Mr. President, I second the resolutions offered by my colleague. 

The resolutions were adopted unanimously. 

8 B 









FEBRUARY 20, 1875. 







In the death of SAMUEL HOOPER, the last of our associates who 
has been summoned from the scenes of his earthly labors, we have 
been called to part with a member of this body one of the oldest of 
our number, one of the longest in continuous service, and one of the 
most generally esteemed and respected. 

He was born in Marblehead, on the 3d of February, 1808. His 
father and grandfather were merchants, and he came of that sturdy 
race of men who for two centuries have peopled the shores of Mas- 
sachusetts Bay, making it the nursery of seamen, the home of ship- 
masters, and the birthplace of so large a proportion of those whose 
enterprise and sagacity have whitened every sea with the sails of 
American commerce; the men of courage, endurance, clear heads, 
and large hearts, who have gathered wealth in every field of com- 
mercial adventure to pour it out freely 4n response to any call of 
patriotism, of public spirit, of religion, education, learning, or public 
or private charity. 

His father was the president of .the old Marblehead Bank, one of 


the solid moneyed institutions of an elder generation. He was thus 
by birth and training fitted for the employment to which most of his 
life was devoted, that of a merchant and financier, in which he 
achieved such eminent distinction and success. In his early life he 
went as supercargo in his father's vessels to Cuba and Russia and 
Spain. He married a daughter of William Sturgis, and thereupon 
became a partner in the house of Bryant & Sturgis, and engaged in 
the trade with China and the northwest coast. On the dissolution 
of that firm he became a partner of William Appleton, his predeces- 
sor in Congress, continuing the large and varied business of the 
house, after the death of Mr. Appleton, under the name of Samuel 
Hooper & Co. By inheritance and marriage he had a considerable 
property, which he increased to the dimensions of a large fortune. 
His wife, two daughters, and several grandchildren survive him, but 
he had borne the heavy sorrow of the loss of his only son. 

His public life consisted of three years' service in the Massachusetts 
house of representatives, a single term in the State senate, and the 
fourteen years in which he has represented one of the Boston dis- 
tricts in Congress. 

Mr. HOOPER first attracted notice in connection with public affairs 
by the vigor with which, when a member of the whig party, he 
addressed himself to the defense of the doctrine of hard money and 
the stringent regulation of whatever substitute therefor might be 
devised, which brought him for a time somewhat in affiliation with 
the democrats. He became early a member of the republican party, 
and during his whole term of service in Congress represented that 
party upon this floor. 

To most of those of us who are members of Congress for the first 
time Mr. HOOPER'S position and strength in this House are very much 
matters of tradition. But with his large experience, with his native 
shrewdness, with his clearness of mind and uprightness of purpose, 
he brought to the public service here when he first entered upon it 


qualities of conspicuous value. As a member of the Committee on 
Ways and Means and as a member and chairman of the Committee 
on Banking and Currency he has exerted a most important influence 
upon tfie legislation of the country. 

He was the trusted adviser and friend of Chase and Fessenden and 
Boutwell. He was a friend and confidant of Stan ton and Sumner 
and Lincoln. And, Mr. Speaker, I may say that his friendships and 
his valuable influence extended far beyond the region of his party 
associations. He was a friendly man ; he was a thoughtful and con- 
siderate man. 

He could clearly perceive and could clearly express what he 
thought. He had none of the graces of oratory, but in the time of 
his strength he was combative, forcible, energetic in the maintenance 
of the views which he believed sound. 

But, Mr. Speaker, it is as we remember him so recently among us, 
rather than as the man of business or the politician, that I desire to 
speak of him to-day. His modest and simple nature would have 
shrunk from anything like public eulogy, but his affectionate heart 
would have rejoiced in everything that spoke of kind and friendly 
remembrance. I think that we all of us have felt as we have looked 
upon that silvered head that whoever else might bear the title by 
courtesy, Mr. HOOPER after all must be considered as the father of 
this House. 

Possessed of large wealth which enabled him to gratify his friendly 
tastes, he was the most hospitable of men ; hospitable not only in the 
sense in which many who are men of wealth may exhibit that qual- 
ity, by costly and frequent entertainments, but by a hospitality and 
flowing courtesy toward all men. He attracted to his house and to 
his society men among the ablest and the best which our country 
furnishes, and with them men of less note and even sometimes men 
whom it would require a large charity to reckon of that number. 

He had firm convictions] he adhered to his own opinions. But he 


had no animosity, and his willingness to receive and treat with fair- 
ness the differing opinions of others had nothing in it of the conde- 
scension of toleration. He recognized human differences and he had 
a large catholic spirit which could embrace relations with men of all 
classes of opinion. Men of fame, men distinguished in science and 
in letters, have been his friends and associates. And he extended 
to the poor and the lowly a free and generous liberality which should 
bring a benediction upon his memory. 

When the ear heard him, then it blessed him; and when the eye 
saw him, it gave witness to him because he delivered the poor that 
cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. 

His private charities were limited only by his knowledge of the 
wants of those about him. And in addition to those which he 
bestowed, and so quietly that except by comparison of the knowl- 
edge accidentally obtained, one person with another, few could 
have any idea of their extent, he employed an almoner to seek out 
cases of want, whose distribution to the poor of this city has reached 
to thousands of dollars. He was liberal to public objects, and 
founded a school of mines in Harvard College with an ample 

I think, Mr. Speaker, he has left in this House no enemies; all of 
us who knew him were his friends. He has gone from us; and we 

turn to our public duties more sadly because we miss him from 

among us. 

It has been touching to note during the present session what a 
change gradually came over him, with his failing strength and 
increasing years. Formerly taking his full part in social intercourse, 
exhibiting a ready and genial humor, a promptness to argue any 
proposition, I noticed that during this session he became gradually 
more silent, his conversation partaking more and more of reminis- 
cences, and that he became what in the clamor for a hearing so often 
prevailing in this assembly we have all learned to value a good 


listener. He will be long affectionately remembered by those of us 
who have known him; and he deserves" to be honorably remembered 
for his great public service. His family wife, children, grandchild- 
ren were all in a foreign land at the time of his death. But there 
were affectionate and tender friends and relatives about his dying 
bed ; and those who followed him to the grave felt that their pres- 
ence recognized not only a public loss, but a deep and general 
private sorrow. 

Mr. Speaker, I submit the following resolutions : 

Resolved, That this House has heard with deep regret the announce- 
ment of the death of SAMUEL HOOPER, late a member of this House 
from the State of Massachusetts. 

Resolved, That as a testimony of respect for the memory of the 
deceased, the members and officers of the House wear the usual 
badge of mourning for thirty days. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by the 
Clerk to the family of the deceased. 

Resolved, As a further mark of respect, that the House do now 


Mr. SPEAKER : I rise to second the resolutions which have just been 
offered, and to add a few words to what has been said so well by my 
distinguished colleague [Mr. E. R. HOAR] who preceded me. 

Representing in part upon this floor the city of Boston, I regard it 
to be my duty, as it is my desire, to give expression to the sense of 
the loss which she has sustained by the death of Mr. HOOPER, who 
for fourteen years was her faithful and trusted Representative. A 
son of Massachusetts, Boston had been his home for nearly fifty 

9 R 


years, and he was thoroughly identified with her people and her 
interests. He contributed his full share toward the development of 
her resources and the promotion of her prosperity and growth. As 
her Representative in Congress, he sought and succeeded in winning 
for her the good opinion of his associates from other parts of the 
country, and did much, I think, to dissipate the prejudices which 
unhappily too often prevail among our people and color their action. 

Few men in public life can point to a longer or more honorable 
service than fell to the lot of Mr. HOOPER. 

In the State legislature he was distinguished for his independence 
and for the progressive measures he espoused, which were much in 
advance of the sentiment of the party to which he belonged. His 
seven terms in Congress covered the most eventful period of our his- 
tory as a nation. During that time a social and political revolution 
was accomplished, all the powers conferred upon Congress by the 
Constitution were brought into exercise, and measures affecting the 
most precious rights of individuals and States were daily pressed for 
action. In the determination of these questions Mr. HOOPER acted 
worthily and ably. The possession of wealth enabled him to extend 
to others a generous hospitality, and he could count among his friends 
the most distinguished citizens of our own and foreign countries. 
From this wide and liberal association he derived a store of varied 
knowledge of affairs that became of inestimable value in the dis- 
charge of his duties in this House, upon which his associates could 
always depend and from which they freely drew. His judgment had 
been strengthened and enlightened by long attention to important 
questions affecting the State and free intercourse with those who 
made them a study. We can all join, sir, in recalling his familiarity 
with questions of finance and commerce, and the readiness with 
which he imparted information concerning them. 

Mr. HOOPER closed his career as a legislator in the ripeness of age. 
Declining to engage anew in the cares and labors of congressional 


life, he passed away when those cares and labors were for him shad- 
ing unto their end. The records of this House attest his usefulness, 
but by none but those who personally knew him can his generosity 
and kindness be properly appreciated. 


Mr. SPEAKER : There is no time when it is so difficult to find language 
to express the real emotions of the heart as on an occasion like this. 
This is due in part doubtless to the confused and stricken condition 
of the mind which naturally follows the death of one whom we have 
been accustomed to honor and esteem. The sad reflections which 
overshadow us are not relieved by the utterance of any words, how- 
ever fitly chosen. Reverential silence seems to be more appropriate. 

I cannot speak of Mr. HOOPER as those who have preceded me ; 
it was not my fortune to know him so long and so intimately as they 
knew him. My acquaintance with him commenced with the assem- 
bling^ of the Thirty-ninth Congress, in December, 1865. Before I 
had the honor of meeting him here I had learned to regard him as 
one of the most esteemed and trusted members of this House, who 
had entered Congress during the eventful period of the war, and 
whose opinions had deservedly great weight with those who were 
charged with the administration .of the Government. A brief 
acquaintance with him served to confirm those very favorable 
impressions which I had already received as to his great worth as a 
man and his fidelity as a public officer. 

Two years later, on the organization of this House in the Fortieth 
Congress, I became a member of the Committee on Ways and Means, 
of which Mr. HOOPER was then, as he had previously been, one of 


the leading members. That brought me into more intimate relation- 
ship with him than I had previously enjoyed. My two years' service 
with him on that committee gave me many opportunities to witness 
something of his daily life and to judge of the ability and fidelity 
which he brought with him to the discharge of his public duties. 

It was not to be expected that I would always agree with him in 
measures of public policy. We approached questions here very fre- 
quently from different stand-points, and represented constituencies 
often not in accord in their theories of government. I trust, how- 
ever, I am none the less able on this account to do ample justice to 
his character. 

While faithful to what he considered the peculiar interests of those 
he represented, I never found him apparently governed by any nar- 
row or sectional views. Impressing me from the first as a just, dis- 
creet, and fair-minded man of broad and liberal sentiments, I came 
soon to regard him as a model representative of that class of solid 
and progressive men to which he pre-eminently belonged. So I 
have continued to regard him. 

Kind, genial, benevolent, faithful, industrious, and vigilant, he pur- 
sued the right as it was given him to see it with unfaltering steps and 
unruffled temper. The petty storms which occasionally sweep over 
this House burst harmless over his head without disturbing that 
quiet dignity of deportment which always attended him as a member 
of this body. 

While true to his friendships and earnest in his convictions, he car- 
ried with him that conciliatory disposition which disarmed all per- 
sonal antagonism, and if he had a personal enemy among all the 
members of this House I am quite unaware of it. 

It was my good fortune, Mr. Speaker, to have received at the 
hands of Mr. HOOPER many attentions and courtesies, which have 
made a lasting impression upon me and which I shall always kindly 
remember. Indeed, such were the kindly personal relations existing 


between us for several years past, that I have been accustomed to 
regard myself as one of his personal friends, and as such I have 
reason to believe he regarded me. I unite, therefore, with affection- 
ate earnestness in doing every suitable honor to his memory. 


Mr. SPEAKER: All that the usage or custom of the House of Repre- 
sentatives requires upon such a solemn occasion as this has been 
done, and well done; and perhaps it were best that here these 
funeral ceremonies should close. But to me this occasion is not one 
of mere ceremony. Almost a quarter of a century ago I was drawn 
into the closest relations with Mr. HOOPER in the representative assem- 
bly of our Commonwealth; and from that hour he has been to me 
a friend so faithful, so just, so wise, and so true that I cannot let 
this last hour of mournful farewell pass without bearing testimony 
to those great, noble, and generous qualities of mind and heart which 
distinguished him quite beyond any man I ever knew. I need not 
indeed, I cannot add a word of eulogium. It is not my purpose to 
eulogize my deceased friend and fellow-member, with whom I have 
served here for eight years in closest harmony and closest friendship. 
I pray your pardon, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, in thus pos- 
sibly contrary to usage giving my heartfelt testimony to the kindest 
heart and the noblest mind in all the relations of life, that filled with 
all the best attributes of social intercourse, and which overflowed 
with charity to all men and the truest loyalty to friendship. 

The resolutions submitted by Mr. E. R. HOAR were then adopted 
unanimously; and in accordance therewith (at five o'clock p. m.) 
the House adjourned. 



A message from the House of Representatives, by Mr. McPherson, 
its Clerk, announced that the House had passed resolutions as a 
mark of respect for the memory of Hon. SAMUEL HOOPER, late a 
member of the House of Representatives from the State of Massa- 

The resolutions were read, as follows : 


February 20, 1875. 

Resolved, That this House has heard with deep regret the announce- 
ment of the death of SAMUEL HOOPER, late a member of this House 
from the State of Massachusetts. 

Resolved, That as a testimony of respect for the memory of the 
deceased the members and officers of the House wear the usual 
badge of mourning for thirty days. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by the 
Clerk to the family of the deceased. 

Resolved, As a further mark of respect that the House do now 


Mr. PRESIDENT : The death and the circumstances of the death of 
Mr. HOOPER are fresh in the memories of Senators. Mr. HOOPER 


had three claims of a high character to the consideration of his fel- 
low-men while living, and there remain three special grounds for 
eulogy now that he has passed away. 

In the relations of life that may be called personal he bore him- 
self not only without reproach, but in a manner to command the 
respect of all who enjoyed his friendship or acquaintance. 

He was charitable to the poor in the largest sense of that term ; 
helpful to those who needed assistance either by advice or the use of 
capital for business purposes; considerate of the wishes, wants, 
and trials of the humble, and to his friends and associates he ten- 
dered an unostentatious hospitality, which literally was without 

As a merchant, he was trained, careful, enterprising, and success- 
ful. He was one of the oldest and one of the best of the business 
men- of Boston. As an importer, dealing with countries most remote 
from his own country, he based h'is undertakings upon a knowledge 
of the products and the demand for the products of those distant 
lands. He had knowledge of the systems of finance and currency 
of other nations, and he was thoroughly instructed in the financial 
systems of the United States ; and this knowledge contributed alike 
to his success in business and to his success as a representative of 
business men. 

His honorable career as a member of the House of Representatives 
for nearly fourteen years is known to the Senate and to the country. 
For many years he was a member of the Committee on Ways and 
Means, and at different times he was chairman of the Committee on 
Coinage, Weights, and Measures, and of the Committee on Banking 
and Currency. 

In thes% various places he brought to the service of the country an 
amount of knowledge, historical, practical, and theoretical, not sur- 
passed by that of any of his associates. His powers for debate 
were limited, but his judgment was so highly respected that his 


influence with the House was but slightly impaired by this circum- 

As a man, a merchant, and a Representative he should be remem- 
bered with affection by his associates in life, and with gratitude by 
the people of the State that he so long and faithfully served. 

I submit for the consideration of the Senate the resolutions which 
I send to the desk of the Secretary. 

The Secretary read the resolutions, as follows : 

Resolved, That as a mark of respect for the memory of Hon. 
SAMUEL HOOPER, late a member of the House of Representatives 
from the State of Massachusetts, the members and officers of the 
Senate will wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days. 

Resolved, That the sympathies of the members of the Senate be 
tendered to the family of Mr. HOOPER in this bereavement, and that 
the Secretary of the Senate transmit to them a copy of these resolu- 


Mr. PRESIDENT: My acquaintance with Mr. HOOPER began in 
1862, when he succeeded Mr. Appleton, of Boston, on the Com- 
mittee on Ways and Means in the House of Representatives. Mr. 
Appleton had been a thoroughly trained, high-toned merchant, with 
considerable experience in public affairs, and his counsel upon finan- 
cial subjects at the called session of 1861, although he was then in 
very feeble health, had great weight with the committee as well as 
with the public; but he did not live to aid the measures of the next 
regular session of Congress. 

Mr. HOOPER, taking the place thus made vacant, brought similar 
qualifications to those of his predecessor for his new field^bf duties, 
and brought in addition health and that robust frame which enabled 
him then to bear the heavy strain of continuous labor upon a com- 
mittee most heavily charged with the business of the House. At 



home his known sagacity for the conduct of important business 
affairs had secured to him from a large corporation a salary quite 
equal to that then allowed to the office of the President of the 
United States. His knowledge of trade, especially that known as 
the East India and China trade, was extensive and accurate. With 
the subjects of banking, coinage, and currency he was practically 
familiar, and all measures in relation thereto commanded his careful 
study. In the workshop of the committee the crucible which daily 
tests the merits of every legislator Mr. HOOPER was ranked as a 
man of high value. If he did not shine greatly as an advocate or 
debater of measures, there were few who had more good sense in 
their proper preparation, few who could more clearly put propositions 
in writing, and he was ever listened to with respectful attention. 

Close association with Mr. HOOPER month after month, year after 
year, every morning bringing news of some battle lost or won, and 
most generally in accord with him as to particular measures, it was 
natural that he should have won a large share of my confidence and 

The city of Boston has often bestowed upon her eminent merchants 
the honor of choosing them as Representatives in Congress, and no 
one longer retained the confidence of his constituents than Mr. 
HOOPER, and no one could have been more diligent in looking after 
their interests, whether public or local. 

At the Treasury Department his advice was fully appreciated and 
frequently sought after. Everywhere he bore the character of a cool, 
deliberate, and wise man. 

In the field of charity he was liberal and constant, but never sought 
to be conspicuous. With abundant means, to him it seemed a pleas- 
ure to do good without proclaiming it upon the house-tops. He will 
be missed and mourned not only by a large circle among the cul- 
tured and wealthy, but by the humble poor and by colored people 
who needed his liberal-handed assistance. He was their friend. 

10 B 


The elegant but modest hospitality of his home in Washington, 
where visitors to the city and distinguished men were often invited, 
has been so long enjoyed here that it might almost be called one of 
the attractions of Washington society. Here learned men, states- 
men, jurists, and diplomats were from time to time brought together, 
and bore their parts in conversations often brilliant and never devoid 
of some peculiar interest. All guests were at their ease, none had to 
be thawed out, and the host, far from monopolizing too much time, 
set the example of a good listener. 

He was not an extreme partisan, though a consistent republican, 
and as devotedly attached to all the doctrines touching human free- 
dom as he was to his personal friends. 

So lately in our daily sight, his death strikes us with awe by com- 
ing so swiftly ; but now that his career is ended, if he is not crowned 
by the splendor of any work of one great day, his memory should be 
more precious because he made himself useful to the world and faith- 
fully discharged the duty of an honorable man all the days of his life. 

The resolutions were unanimously agreed to. 

Mr. HAMLIN. Mr. President, now, as a further mark of respect to 
the deceased, I move that the Senate adjourn. 

The motion was unanimously agreed to, and (at five o'clock and 
twenty minutes p. m.) the Senate adjourned. 


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