Y I r- 1
rj 1 recon l
Essex Bar Association
BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES OF SOME
OF THE DISTINGUISHED MEMBERS
OF THE ESSEX BAR PRIOR TO
THE FORMATION OF THE
Newcomb & Gauss, Printers.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association, held February
6, 1900, it was voted : That William D. Northend and
Edward B. George be requested and authorized to have
printed in a volume the memorials that have been present-
ed to the Court by this Association, with such notices of
members of the Bar before the organization of this Asso-
ciation as they shall deem best.
The first Essex Bar Association was formed in 1806. From
a copy of the rules and regulations, printed in 1808, it ap-
pears that there were then twenty-seven members of the Bar
in this county, as follows : —
Salem — Elisha Mack, Benjamin R. Nichols, William Pres-
cott, Samuel Putnam, John Prince, jr., John Pickering,
jr., Joseph Story, Samuel Swett, Leverett Saltonstall,
Joseph Sprague, jr.
Newburyport — William B. Banister, Joseph Dana, Samuel
L. Knapp, Edward St. Loe Livermore, Edward Little,
Ebenezer Mosely, Moody Noyes, Daniel A. White.
Haverhill — Stephen Minot, John Varnum.
Gloucester — Lonson Nash, Nathan Bruce.
Marblehead — Ralph H. French.
Ipswich — Asa Andrews.
Beverly — Nathan Dane.
Andover — Samuel Farrar.
Lynn — John Stuart.
We find records of the proceedings of this Association in
1812. How much longer it was in existence we have been
unable to ascertain.
In September, 1831, a new Bar Association was formed.
It appears from a printed copy of its rules that there were
then fifty-two members of the Bar in the county. The
officers for that year were : Leverett Saltonstall, president ;
Ebenezer Shillaber, secretary ; Ebenezer Mosely, Jacob Ger-
rish, John G. King, Rufus Choate and Stephen Minot,
standing committee. This association existed but a few
The present Essex Bar Association was formed in 1856,
and has been continued without intermission to the present
time. It has proved beneficial to the Bar.
The occasional meetings for business, and the annual
gathering and festival provided for in the earliest by-laws,
have brought the members into kindly intercourse with each
other, and have tended to allay any asperities which may
have been engendered.
The Association has also been very useful in the exercise
of its disciplinary powers, which has proved so efficient that
for many years past but little enforcement has been required.
It has also performed an important service in the prepara-
tion of memorials of meritorious members of the Bar, upon
their decease, to be presented for record to the Courts ; and
the duty has been faithfully performed, not only as a perma-
nent memorial of the deceased, but as showing in the pro-
gress of time the advance made in the administration of the
law. This duty was fully appreciated by the fathers of the
Association, and the memorials prepared or approved by
Messrs. Huntington, Abbott, Hazen, Endicott, Choate,
Thompson and Ives, who have passed away, evidence the
value in which they held the service, and should impress
upon the Bar the solemn duty of continuing the custom. So
important has it appeared to the Association that it has voted
to gather up the different memorials and publish them in a
volume, with brief mention of some of the more distin-
guished members of the Bar prior to the formation of the
Association. This duty has been performed, and this volume
is dedicated to the memory of the deceased members of the
Abbott, Alfred A.
Brickett, Benjamin F.
BuRLEY, ELBRIDGE G.
Choate, George F.
Duncan, Jameb H.
Farnham, Daniel .
Harmon, Nathan W.
Hazen, Nathan W.
Ives, Stephen B.
Jones, Jeremiah P.
King, John G.
Lord, Nathaniel J. .
Lord, Otis P.
Lorino, Ellis Gray .
Newhall, Thomas B.
Oliver, Benjamin Lynde
Osborne, Theodore M.
Parsons, Theophilus 245
Perkins, Jonathan C. 38
Perry, Jairus W 43
Phillips, Stephen H. 189
Pickering, John 249
Pickering, Octavius 252
Pickering, Timothy 244
Prescott, William 247
Putnam, Samuel 247
Pynchon, William 242
Rantoul, Robert 253
Saltonstall, Leverett 250
Sargent, Nathaniel P 243
Sewall, Charles 164
Sewall, Samuel 245
Stickney, Jeremiah C. ...... 26
Stimpson, Thomas M. 200
Stone, Eben F 167
Story, Joseph . . . 249
Thompson, Charles P 130
Tyng, Dudley A. 247
Ward, Joshua H 253
Wheatland, George 252
White, Daniel A. 2
JOHN G. KING.
Resolutions on the death of John G. King, adopted by the
Essex Bar Association and ordered by the Court of Com-
mon Pleas to be entered upon record at September term,
" Resolved, that the Essex Bar Association have heard
with deep regret of the decease of the Honorable John Glen
King, one of the oldest members of their society, who has
been identified with the profession of the law in Essex Coun-
ty for the last half century ; that they avail themselves of this
melancholy occasion to express their high regard for his in-
tegrity, his fidelity and his eminent professional merit, and
that although most of those now engaged in the practice are
by a long interval his juniors, yet young as well as old will
unite in paying a sincere tribute of respect to the memory of
one of the last representatives of that Essex Bar, which was
so long and so widely known and honored.
R"8olved, That the Bar are proud to feel that it is not
merely in the path of the profession that their departed
brother has been distinguished, but that in all the relations
of public and private life the consent of his fellow citizens
has awarded to his character the merit to which it was en-
titled, and that the numerous and responsible stations, which,
through a long life, he has been called upon to occupy, all in-
dicate the unlimited and unabated confidence which was re-
posed in him.
Resolved, That the president of the association be re-
quested to present these resolutions to the Court at its next
session and request that they be entered of record."
These resolutions were presented to the Superior Court,
and it was Ordered that said resolutions be entered on the
records of the Court.
DANIEL A. WHITE. STEPHEN MINOT.
Resolutions on the death of Daniel A. White and of Ste-
phen Minot, adopted by the Essex Bar Association, and
ordered by the Superior Court to be entered upon record
April 16, 1861.
Resolved, That the Bar of the County of Essex, receive
with feelings of unaffected sadness, the intelligence of the de-
cease of the Honorable Daniel Appleton White, the oldest
member of this association and who discharged for nearly for-
ty years, with unequalled dignity and fidelity, the responsible
duties of judge of probate for this county.
Resolved, That while we mourn over this sad intelligence,
we yet render our devout thanks to the Almighty Disposer of
events that our departed brother has been spared so much be-
yond the ordinary space of human life, in the full possession
of his noble and brilliant faculties, to adorn the profession of
his choice, and to shed the lustre of his intellect and character
upon all the institutions and associations of his native county,
and most especially for that serene old age, which, with all its
refreshing and improving influences, has so fitly terminated
a life well spent.
Resolved, That we gratefully record our appreciation of the
fine intellectual and moral traits of our deceased brother, of
that elegant and varied scholarship, and that thorough and
exact learning of which a brilliant University career gave
promise, and which the experience of so long a life did not
disappoint, of his fidelity to his professional and judicial duties,
of the services which he has rendered to the probate law, by
his faithful administration and his published treatise, of the
pure and simple course of his daily life, of the unswerving in-
tegrity, the exquisite religious sensibility, the large philan-
thropy and the unbounded and generous sympathy for all
DANIEL A. WHITE. STEPHEN MINOT. 3
around him, which ennobled his life, even to its extremest
close ; and that although we cannot repine or murmur that
such a life, so long and so useful, has been terminated in the
fulness of time, we will cherish his memory with affectionate
pride and strive to profit by the beneficent influence of his
Resolved, That the chairman of the committee be requested
to present these resolutions to the Superior Court now in ses-
sion, and also to the Supreme Judicial Court at its next term,
and move that they be entered upon the records of said Courts,
and that a copy of the same be transmitted to the family of
Resolved, That in the death of the Honorable Stephen
Minot of Haverhill, in the eighty-fifth year of his age, which
occurred on the sixth inst., just one week following the depar-
ture from earth of the eminent man and magistrate, briefly
commemorated in the foregoing resolutions, we have to lament
the loss, while we desire to render all fitting honor to the
memory of another respected magistrate, a useful and honored
fellow citizen, and the oldest member of the Essex Bar. He
was an Associate Justice of the Circuit Court of Common
Pleas for the Middle circuit, from December term, 1811, to
June term, 1821, inclusive, being the entire legal life of that
Court. He was attorney for the Commonwealth for this
county from 1824 to 1830, and he discharged the duties of
both these offices with honor to himself and usefulness to the
Commonwealth. He was thoroughly versed in the principles
and practice of the common law, and this was fully illustrated
both on the bench and at the bar. He was a man of genial
humor, and in the latter and more leisure period of bis life
was much addicted to liberal studies. For thirty years past
he has been almost wholly retired from the active duties of
the profession, and has been but seldom seen in attendance on
the courts. But his name and his praise have been known
among us by tradition or by the recollections of a few of the
elders of the bar. Enough is known of him and more than
4 DANIEL A. WHITE. — STEPHEN MINOT.
enough, to make us desire to preserve on the records of the
Court a brief tribute to the memory of this departed magis-
trate and brother, and to express our sympathies with the
family of the deceased.
Resolved, That the chairman of the committee having in
charge the resolutions hereto adopted, be requested to present
this resolution, and to ask that the same may be entered of
record, and a copy thereof transmitted to the family of the de-
April 16, 1861. The foregoing resolutions were presented
to the Court by the Chairman of the committee of the Bar
Association, and were responded to in a most fitting manner
by the Court. The Court ordered the same to be entered at
length on its records, that attested copies thereof be trans-
mitted to the respective families of the deceased, and that be-
fore entering on the business of the term, in honor of the
memory of the deceased, the Court will now adjourn to the
18th inst. (Thursday) at 9.30 A. M. and the Court was ad-
Resolves on the death of Lonson Nash, adopted by the
Essex Bar Association and ordered by the Superior Court
to be entered of record, February, 1863.
At a special meeting of the Essex Bar Association held at
the Court House in Salem, on Tuesday the tenth day of Feb-
ruary, 1863, on occasion of the death of Lonson Nash, a mem-
ber of this body, which occurred at Great Barrington on the
first instant, the President in the chair, Dan Weed, in the
absence of the clerk, was chosen secretary. The object of
the meeting being stated by the chair, the following Resolu-
tions, reported for the purpose, were unanimously adopted.
Resolved, That we have heard with deep sorrow of the
death of the Honorable Lonson Nash, in the 83d year of his
age, in a remote part of the Commonwealth, to which he re-
tired a few years ago on leaving the practice of the law in
the courts of this county, which he had followed for more
than half a century with an interruption of some eight years.
He came to this bar in 1807 and established himself in Glou-
cester and retired finally from the practice in 1860. He was
an honorable, faithful and upright counsellor in the law, a
gentleman of the old school in his manners, life and princi-
ples, an ornament to his profession in the integrity and purity
of his character, modest and unassuming in all his deport-
ment, universally respected in all public and private relations,
honored as a citizen and man, and always an example of all
that was excellent and of good report. He was early called
into the service of the State and was elected to the Senate
as early as 1812, as a member of the old Federal party, to
which he was strongly attached while that party existed. He
was elected a member of the House of Representatives from
Gloucester in 1809. Contemporary in his professional life
with Dane, Putnam, Prescott, Story, White, Andrews, Pick-
6 LONSON NASH.
ering, Cummins, Saltonstall, Merrill, King, Mosely, Varnum,
Minot, Clark and French, we of the present generation re-
garded him with peculiar respect and veneration as a true
representative of the former times, as a genuine type of the
old schools, and as the companion and friend of the now an-
cient worthies of this Bar, men of excellent report in their
day and fit to be commemorated and honored at all times.
We parted from him in all affectionate respect, when he
finally retired from among us, after this long life of honored
and useful professional services, to spend his few remaining
years in the scenes of his childhood and the home of his
fathers, in the assured Christian hope of a better life.
We desire by these proceedings to manifest all proper re-
spect for his memory and character, and to this end we request
the District Attorney to present them to the Court and ask
that they may be entered of record in perpetual remembrance
of our respect and regard for the person, life and character
of our deceased friend and brother.
Voted, That these proceedings be entered at length in our
JAMES H. DUNCAN.
Resolutions on the death of James Henry Duncan,
adopted by the Essex Bar Association and ordered by the
Superior Court to be entered of record at March term, 1869.
Resolved, That we desire to express, and put on record, our
respect for the memory and character of the Honorable James
H. Duncan, whose recent death was so sincerely and deeply
lamented in the particular community where he was born and
lived, as well as by the public at large. Mr. Duncan entered
on the practice of the law in the Courts of this county more
than fifty years ago, after a thorough preparation, according
to the usages of that day, partly in the office of the late Lev-
erett Saltonstall, so distinguished in his generation, and his
kinsman and friend. He pursued his profession here for
many years with marked fidelity and success, always trusted
and respected by his brethren, until, having served his state
honorably and usefully in both branches of the Legislature,
he was called by the general voice of his fellow-citizens into
the public councils of the country, now more than twenty
years ago, since which time he has withdrawn himself wholly
from the practice of the profession, and his attendance on the
Courts. Of late years he has been known as a lawyer to
much the largest portion now in the practice at this bar, only
by the traditions of the elders, among whom, as well as in the
Courts, he had obtained, and always held a good report.
Resolved, That these resolutions be entered at length on our
own records, and that the President be requested to present
to the Court an attested copy, and to ask that it be entered
of record therein, in perpetual remembrance, and that in to-
ken of our sympathy with the family of the deceased, the
clerk be directed to transmit them copies of these proceedings.
The foregoing resolutions were adopted by the Essex Bar
Association, and presented to the Court, and it was Ordered
that said resolutions be entered on the records of the Court.
Rufus C ho ate was born in Essex, in this county, Octo-
ber 1st, 1799. He was graduated from Dartmouth College
in 1820 ; and studied at the Harvard Law School, and with
William Wirt, United States Attorney General, and was ad-
mitted to the Bar in this county in 1823. He commenced
the practice of his profession in the part of Danvers which is
now Peabody, where he remained some five years ; whilst
there he represented the town of Danvers in the House of
Representatives two years, and the county in the Senate one
In 1828 he removed to Salem, where he practised in his
profession until 1838, when he removed to Boston, where he
practised until his death.
Whilst in Salem he was twice elected to the United States
House of Representatives. In 1841 he was elected as suc-
cessor to Daniel Webster in the United States Senate.
In June, 1859, he, being in poor health, embarked for
England, hoping the change of climate and scene would be
of benefit to him, but he became so ill that he was obliged to
leave the steamer at Halifax, where he remained until his
death, July 13, 1859. Upon his death the Bar of Boston
held a meeting in memoriam, which was addressed by Messrs.
Benjamin R. Curtis, Charles G. Loring, Richard H. Dana,
and other distinguished members of the Suffolk Bar. No
public proceedings were had in this county upon his death.
It has seemed to us to be eminently fitting that, in this
volume, a tribute should be rendered to this remarkable man,
who was born in this county, which was his home for the
first thirty years of his life, and who was a member of the
Essex Bar for ten years ; and we give the remarks of Mr.
Dana at the meeting in Boston, as follows: —
" Mr. Chairman: — By your courtesy, and the courtesy of
this Bar, which never fails, I occupy an earlier moment than
RT7FUS CHOATE. 9
I should otherwise be entitled to ; for the reason that in a
few hours I shall be called upon to take a long leave of the
Bar and of my home. I cannot do that, sir — I cannot do
that, without rising to say one word of what 1 know and feel
upon this sad loss.
"The pressure which has been upon me in the last few
days of my remaining here has prevented my making that
kind of preparation which the example of him whom we
commemorate requires of every man about to address a fit
audience upon a great subject. I can only speak right on
what I do feel and know.
"'The wine of life is drawn.' The 'golden bowl is
broken.' The age of miracles has passed. The day of in-
spiration is over. The Great Conqueror, unseen and irresis-
tible, has broken into our temple and has carried off the ves-
sels of gold, the vessels of silver, the precious stones, the
jewels, and the ivory ; and, like the priests of the Temple of
Jerusalem, after the invasion from Babylon, we must content
ourselves, as we can, with vessels of wood and of stone and
" With such broken phrases as these, Mr. Chairman, per-
haps not altogether just to the living, we endeavor to express
the emotions natural to this hour of our bereavement. Tal-
ent, industry, eloquence and learning there are still, and
always will be, at the bar of Boston. But if I say that the
age of miracles has passed, that the day of inspiration is
over, — if I cannot realize that in this place where we now
are the cloth of gold was spread, and a banquet set fit for
the gods, — I know, sir, you will excuse it. Any one who has
lived with him and now survives him will excuse it, — any
one who, like the youth in Wordsworth's ode,
" by the vision splendid,
Is on his way attended,
At length . . . perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day."
" Sir, I speak for myself, — I have no right to speak for
others, — but I can truly say, without any exaggeration, tak-
ing for the moment a simile from that element which he
10 RUFUS CHOATE.
loved as much as I love it, though it rose against his life at
last, — that in his presence I felt like the master of a small
coasting vessel, that hugs the shore, that has run up under
the lee to speak a great homeward-bound Indiaman, freighted
with silks and precious stones, spices and costly fabrics, with
sky-sails and studding sails spread to the breeze, with the
nation's flag at her masthead, navigated by the mysterious
science of the fixed stars, and not unprepared with weapons
of defence, her decks peopled with men in strange costumes,
speaking of strange climes and distant lands.
" All loved him, especially the young. He never asserted
himself, or claimed precedence, to the injury of any man's
feelings. Who ever knew him to lose temper ? Who ever
heard from him an unkind word ? And this is all the more
strange from the fact of his great sensitiveness of tempera-
" His splendid talents as an orator need no commendation
here. The world knows so much. The world knows per-
fectly well that juries after juries have returned their ver-
dicts for Mr. Choate's clients, and the Court has entered
them upon the issues. The world knows how he electrified
vast audiences in his more popular addresses ; but, sir, the
world has not known, though it knows better now than it
did, — and the testimony of those better competent than I am
will teach it, — that his power here rested not merely nor
chiefly upon his eloquence, but rested principally upon his
philosophic and dialectic power. He was the greatest master
of logic we had amongst us. No man detected a fallacy so
quickly, or exposed it so felicitously as he, whether in scien-
tific terms to the bench, or popularly to the jury ; and who
could play with a fallacy as he could ? Ask those venerated
men who compose our highest tribunal, with whom all mere
rhetoric is worse than wasted when their minds are bent to
the single purpose of arriving at the true results of their
science, — ask them wherein lay the greatest power of Rufus
Choate, and they will tell you it lay in his philosophy, his
logic, and his learning.
KUFUS CHOATE. 11
" He was, Sir, in two words, a unique creation. He was a
strange product of New England. Benjamin Franklin, John
Adams, Samuel Dexter, Daniel Webster, and Jeremiah Ma-
son seem to be the natural products of the soil ; but to me
this great man always seemed as not having an origin here
in New England ; but as if, by the side of our wooden build-
ings, or by the side of our time enduring granite, there had
risen, like an exhalation, some oriental structure, with the
domes and glittering minarets of the Eastern world. Yet
this beautiful fabric, so aerial, was founded upon a rock.
We know he digged his foundation deep, and laid it strong
" I wished to say a word as to his wit, but time would fail
me to speak of everything. Yet without reference to that,
all I may say would be too incomplete. His wit did not
raise an uproarious laugh, but created an inward and home-
felt delight, and took up its abode in your memory. The
casual word, the unexpected answer at the corner of the
street, the remark whispered over the back of his chair while
the docket was calling, you repeated to the next man you
met, and he to the next, and in a few days it became the
anecdote of the town. When as lawyers we met together, in
tedious hours, and sought to entertain ourselves, we found
we did better with anecdotes of Mr. Choate than on our
own original resources.
" Besides his eloquence, his logic power, and his wit, he pos-
sessed deep and varied learning. His learning was accurate,
too. He could put his hand on any Massachusetts case as
quick as the judge who decided it.
" But if I were asked to name that which I regard as his
characteristic, — that in which he differed from other learned,
logical and eloquent men of great eminence, — I should say
it was his aesthetic nature.
" Even under the excitement of this moment, I should not
compare his mind in the point of mere force of understanding
(and, indeed, he would not have tolerated such a comparison)
with Daniel Webster ; and yet I think we have a right to say
12 RUFUS CHOATB.
that, in his aesthetic nature, he possessed something to which
the minds of Franklin, Adams, Dexter, Mason, and Webster,
" But I ask pardon of the bar. I am not desirous of mak-
ing these comparisons.
" I need not say, Sir, Rufus Choate was a great lawyer, a
great jurist, a great publicist, but more than all that — and I
speak of that which I know — his nature partook strongly of
the poetic element. It was not something which he could
put on or off, but it was born with him — I will not say died
with him, but it translated with him.
" Shakspeare was his great author. I would have defied
even the Shakspeare scholar to refer to any passage of Shaks-
peare that Mr. Choate would not have recognized instantly.
Next to Shakspeare, I think I have a right to say he
thought that he owed more to Wordsworth than to any other
poet. He studied him before it was the fashion, and before
his high position had been vindicated.
"Then he was, of course, a great student of Milton, and
after that, I think that those poets who gained the affections
of his youth, and wrote when he was young, — Byron, Scott,
Coleridge, Southey, — had his affections chiefly ; though of
course, he read and valued and studied Spenser and Dryden,
and, as a satirist and a maker of epigrams, Pope. This love of
poetry with him was genuine and true. He read and studied
always, not with a view to make ornaments for his speeches,
but because his nature drew him to it. We all know he was
a fine Greek and Latin scholar ; was accurate ; he never made
a false quantity. Who ever detected him in a misquotation ?
He once told me he never allowed a day to go by that he did
not write out a translation from some Greek or Latin author.
This was one of the means by which he gained his affluence
of language. Of Cicero he was a frequent student, particu-
larly of his ethical and philosophical writings. But Greek
was his favorite tongue.
" One word more, Sir. It is not so generally known, I
suppose, of Mr. Choate, that, certainly during the last ten
KUFUS CHOATE. 13
years of his life, he gave much of his thoughts to those noble
and elevating problems which relate to the nature and destiny
of man, to the nature of God, to the great hereafter ; recog-
nizing Sir, that great truth — so beautifully expressed in his
favorite tongue — in sacred writ, . . . things not seen are
eternal. He studied not mere psychology ; he knew well the
great schools of philosophy; he knew well their characteristics,
and read their leading men. I suspect he was the first man
in this community who read Sir William Hamilton, and Man-
sel's work on " The Limits of Religious Thought ;" and I
doubt if the chairs of Harvard and Yale were more familiar
with the English and German minds, and their views on these
great problems, than Mr. Choate.
" He carried his study even into technical theology. He
knew its genius and spirit better than many divines. He
knew in detail the great dogmas of St. Augustine ; and he
studied and knew John Calvin and Luther. He knew the
great principals which lie at the foundation of Catholic
theology and institutions, and the theology of the Evangeli-
cal school ; and he knew and studied the rationalistic writings
of the Germans, and was familiar with their theories and
" With all those persons whom he met and who he felt,
with reasonable confidence, had sufficent elevation to value
these subjects, he conversed upon them freely. But beyond
this — as to his opinions, his results — I have no right to speak.
I only wished to allude to a few of the more prominent of
his characteristics ; and it is peculiarly gratifying to remember,
at this moment, that he had the elevation of mind so to lay
hold upon the greatest of all subjects.
"I meant to have spoken of his studies of the English
prose writers, among whom Bacon and Burke had his pref-
erence. But he read them all, and loved to read them all ;
from the scholastic stateliness of Milton, warring for the right
of expressing thoughts for all ages, to the simplicity of Cow-
" But all this has gone from us. We are never to see him
14 RTTFUS CHOATE.
again in the places that knew him. To think that he, of all
men, who loved his home so, should have died among
strangers. That he, of all men, should have died under a
foreign flag. I can go no further. I can only call upon all
to bear witness now, and to the next generation, that he
stood before us an example of eminence in science, in erudi-
tion, in genius, in taste, in honor, in generosity, in humanity,
— in every liberal sentiment and every liberal accomplish-
NATHANIEL J. LORD.
In the Superior Court, in session at Salem, Chief Justice
Brigham presiding, on Friday, July 2, 1869, the trial of
causes was suspended, at the request of the Committee of
the Essex Bar Association, that the action of the Associa-
tion on the death of Mr. Nathaniel J. Lord might be
presented to the court. There was a full attendance of
the Bar, and of the friends of Mr. Lord.
Hon. Alfred A. Abbott, in behalf of the committee, pre-
sented and read the following Memorial, as directed by the
vote of the Association : —
May it please your Honor: — Nathaniel J. Lord, Es-
quire, one of the oldest members of this Bar, and for many
years its most distinguished ornament, departed this life on
the eighteenth day of June last.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association, held on the 21st
ultimo, to take appropriate action on this sad event, a Com-
mittee was appointed to prepare and report some suitable ex-
pression of the sentiments of the Bar, to be made matter of
enduring record. That Committee, in attending to the duty
assigned them, concluded, instead of reporting a series of
resolutions, to submit a brief and simple sketch of their de-
ceased brother, as a more fitting form of memorial, — and
this humble and sincere tribute of appreciation and regard,
having been, at an adjourned meeting of the Association,
accepted and approved, is now, by its order, and at the
earliest proper opportunity, respectfully presented to the
Mr. Lord was born at Ipswich, a former shire-town of this
county, on the 28th day of October, 1805. He was the oldest
son of Nathaniel Lord, Esquire, for thirty-six years the Reg-
ister of Probate for Essex County, — a public officer of sin-
gular capacity and fidelity, and a man whose sterling traits
16 NATHANIEL J. LORD.
of character, intellectual and moral, won the fullest confidence
of the community, and were a choice and dearly prized leg-
acy to his children.
Mr. Lord was fitted for college at Phillips Academy, An-
dover, entered Harvard College in 1821, and was graduated
in course in 1825. He began his professional studies at the
Northampton Law School, under the tuition of Judge Howe,
now best known to lawyers by his Book of Practice, and of
Prof. Ashmun, and completed his preparatory course in the
office of the Hon. Leverett Saltonstall of Salem. He was
admitted to practice as an Attorney in the Court of Common
Pleas in September, 1828, as an Attorney in the Supreme
Judicial Court at the November Term, in 1830, and after-
wards as a counsellor, in 1832. Upon coming to the Bar Mr.
Lord opened an office in Salem, but after a few months he
formed a business connection with Mr. Saltonstall, with whom
he continued as a partner until 1835. Although by this as-
sociation he was for a time kept comparatively in the back-
ground, as in all cases he properly acted as Mr. Saltonstall's
junior, yet it could not have been but of the highest advan-
tage. A generation has grown up since Mr. Saltonstall led
the Essex Bar. But many yet survive who recall, not with-
out a thrill of admiring recollection, the manly form, the
benignant face, the graceful manners, the persuasive acceuts,
the forcible logic, the high culture, the moral power, the
winning yet commanding qualities of heart and head, which
combined to make Leverett Saltonstall at once the trusted
counsellor and the consummate advocate, as well as the en-
deared friend, the favorite citizen, and the accomplished
In 1835, upon the dissolution of his partnership with Mr.
Saltonstall, Mr. Lord commenced business on his own ac-
count, and, at once, from comparative obscurity, he sprung
into full practice and established reputation, and from this
time on he stood in the very front rank of the profession,
and soon, and so long as he continued in active duty, was
the acknowledged leader of our Bar. He had, at the start,
NATHANIEL J. LORD. 17
to cope not only with Mr. Choate and Mr. Saltonstall — the
former of whom, always and everywhere facileprineeps,h&d not
yet removed to Boston, and the latter of whom still occasion-
ally argued causes and swayed and led captive juries by his
genial eloquence — but with Mr. Merrill and Mr. King, distin-
guished for their scholarship and abstruse learning ; with the
late Judge Ward, so acute, skilful, ingenious and versatile ;
and with Mr. Caleb Cushing, Mr. Robert Rantoul, Jr., Mr.
Moseley, Mr. Huntington, Mr. Stickney, and others yet
active at the Bar and on the Bench, whom propriety forbids
us to name, but all of deserved eminence and great ability.
But he stood his ground manfully, and fairly vindicated
his claim to the first honors and highest emoluments of the
profession, and, until he abandoned practice, he was retained
as leading counsel, upon one side or the other, in every
case of considerable importance tried in our courts. Indeed,
the repute of his learning and ability led to his being fre-
quently called to aid in the conduct of cases before other
and remote tribunals, but he almost invariably refused such
engagements where the interests of his home clients were not
at stake, preferring to spend his strength and win his laurels
in his own native county.
Mr. Lord was endowed by nature with a vigorous intellect,
quick perceptive faculties, large powers of observation, a re-
markably retentive memory, great patience for labor, a ready
wit, an even temper, and with all, a robust good sense which
balanced all his powers and insured success to all his efforts.
Thus naturally gifted, he sharpened every native endowment
by careful, systematic, and constant study and labor. He was
thoroughly grounded in the principles of the law, and of its
practice. He studied at a time when a man had to study to
be a lawyer, when the practice of the law, as well as its
principles, was a science which must be learned. Several
large manuscript volumes of common-place books yet re-
maining in his library attest the system and severity of that
early application and discipline which, in after years, bore
such rich fruits.
18 NATHANIEL J. LORD.
To exact and comprehensive legal acquirements Mr. Lord
brought the aid and ornament of an enlarged and generous
culture. He was well versed in polite letters and science,
had ever at command resources and displayed the advantages
of a careful training in the classics, and was familiar with,
and never ceased to take delight in, the masterpieces of
Mr. Lord's manners and bearing, and mode of conducting
business at the Bar, were of the best school, and unexcep-
tionable. Uniformly respectful to the court, and courteous
in his demeanor, not only to the Bench, but to his brethren
of every degree ; graceful and dignified in person and address ;
clear, concise and impressive in argument and appeal ; in his
treatment of witnesses civil and urbane, never overbearing
or harsh, and yet with consummate art, exposing prejudice,
unmasking falsehood, and establishing truth, with a keen
sense of professional honor and integrity, and ever alive to
the obligations of the law and its ministers, as well as to the
interest of his clients, he may well be held up as a model for
the guidance and imitation of those who succeed him.
Should it be asked what characteristics of Mr. Lord, as a
practising lawyer, most attracted the attention of his contem-
poraries, the question may be answered by particularizing
two respects, one intellectual and the other moral, in which he
was marked. As to the first, it may be said that all his profes-
sional efforts were singularly neat, finished, elegant and com-
plete. He was in the habit of making copious minutes of evi-
dence, made very full briefs, went through the most careful
preparation, and though polished and ornate, was yet concise,
compact, and comparatively brief, — but whether arguing a
grave question before the full Bench of the Supreme Court,
or addressing a Jury in a case of the largest moment, or try-
ing a trivial cause in the office of a country Justice, he always
evinced the same marks of anxious care, of study, of elabor-
ation, was always teres atque rotundus, — and when his work
was ended, it was felt that there had been congruity, propor-
tion, completion, and that nothing was left to be said or done.
NATHANIEL J. LORD. 19
The second prominent feature was one already glanced at,
his urbane deportment, his high sense of prof essional propriety,
his liberality in pratice, and above all his kind consideration
for, and generous treatment of, his juniors and inferiors at the
Bar. His eminent position and acknowledged superiority
gave added grace to this amiable trait, which now pecu-
liarly endears him in many memories.
Like most lawyers who have had the greatest success in ac-
tive forensic practice, Mr. Lord has left behind him no work
to illustrate his talents and learning, nothing to perpetuate
his name and fame. He was never in what is called public
life, and never held public office. He had decided views upon
political questions, and to the last adhered tenaciously to the
principles which he espoused in early manhood, — but he did
not belong to the popular and prevailing side, and so was de-
barred the opportunity of adorning any post of civic honor
and trust, — and it may well be doubted if he would willingly
have assumed any such position had it been in his way. His
whole heart was in his profession, here was his pride and am-
bition, here his love and joy, here his aspirations and triumphs.
There is, perhaps, one enduring work with which his name
will be associated, but whether he would have regarded
it as an appropriate memorial may justly be questioned. With
Judge Curtis and Chief Justice Chapman, he was of the Com-
mission appointed by the Executive of the Commonwealth to
prepare the present Practice Art. Although in the main the
result of their labors has met the approval of the profession,
and now has the sanction of usage and time, yet, as has been
well known to his friends, under the construction given to it
by the courts, this act has failed fairly to realize Mr. Lord's
intentions, as well as those of at least one of his associates.
Conservative, while progressive, it was his purpose that the
act should prevent double pleading, as much as did the old
system of special pleading, — that there was to be " yes " or
" no " to every allegation, and not a denial of an allegation,
and, in case of that allegation being proved, an alternative
answer. So that this only surviving professional work, by
20 NATHANIEL J. LORD.
which he will hereafter be known, can hardly be regarded as a
faithful embodiment of his ideas of a true system of legal
practice, or as a truthful monument to his name. Hereafter,
like so many of our ablest and best who have gone before
him, he must survive in the hearts of his friends who loved
him so fondly and whom he loved so well, in the cherished
traditions of the Bar, in the respectful memory of the com-
munity in which he lived and labored, and in the record of a
useful, honorable, and upright life.
In the autumn of 1853, in the midst of his work, and while
apparently in the full vigor of health, Mr. Lord was suddenly
prostrated by disease. Under medical advice he went abroad,
in the hope that change of air and scene, and rest from labor,
would restore his drooping energies. He returned, much im-
proved, but still unfit for active duty. The bow could not
again be bent. Wisely, though reluctantly, he withdrew from
the field, and sought in retirement the repose he had so
dearly earned. From that time to the day of his death, al-
though suffering from a complication of ills which would
have borne down one of less fortitude and patience, he re-
tained through all full possession of his mental faculties, pre-
served an even temper and a cheerful spirit, enjoyed life and
the companionship of kindred and friends, kept informed
and was an attentive observer of current events, and, espec-
ially in all that related to the courts and his old associates
and successors at the Bar, evinced the liveliest interest and
the deepest concern. And so, as the last hours drew on, calm
and resigned, he awaited the end in full religious faith and
hope, and in his death, as in his life, left to his brethren a
bright example and a precious memory.
And now, may it please your Honor, in behalf of the Com-
mittee, and in behalf of the Bar Association, whose organ
they are, I respectfully move your Honor that this humble
tribute of respect and affection to our deseased brother be
placed upon the records of the court.
The motion of Mr. Abbott was seconded by Wm. C. Endi-
cott, Esq., as follows : —
NATHANIEL J. LORD. 21
May it please your Honor : — I have already in this place
on another occasion, endeavored to express my appreciation
of the character, abilities and acquirements of Mr. Lord, and
to pay a heartfelt tribute of respect to his memory. I do not
desire to say more now. Certainly I can add nothing to the
touching and truthful memorial prepared by Mr. Abbott and
here presented to the Court. It gives us a recital of his life
and labors, an analysis of his intellectual powers and various
talents, a portrait of the man himself, which we can all dwell
upon with pleasure, and which will inform those who come
after us what manner of man he was. It meets with the full
approval of the Bar; and, in behalf of the Bar, I second the
motion made by Mr. Abbott.
Hon. Asahel Huntington then spoke as follows : —
May it please the Court : — I desire to express my full
and most cordial concurrence in these proceedings. The brief
and truly appreciative sketch of the life, the personal and pro-
fessional character and standing of our brother Lord, which
our Association here presents to the court, and desires to have
entered on its records in perpetual remembrance, as our will-
ing tribute, and deliberate judgment, will not be held or re-
garded as exaggerated or overdrawn, in any quarter where he
was known and justly estimated. He is presented here as
he was known to the courts and the Bar, to his near and in-
timate friends, and to the public at large. All his active busi-
ness life was mainly in the courts, and in the faithful and
laborious discharge of the duties of his profession. His aims
and ambitions were strictly professional, and he relied upon
himself for success and advancement. The places and persons
which knew him best and most, outside of the circle of kin-
dred and personal friends, were courts and clients, juries and
witnesses, and his associates at the Bar.
I have known Mr. Lord from his first entrance on profes-
sional life, and through all his subsequent and distinguished
career. 1 recollect well the impression he made at the very
commencement. He showed at first, and in the start, those
22 NATHANIEL J. LORD.
traits, qualities, and signs, which clearly indicate to all ob-
servers what his course was to be, and what rank he would
be likely to occupy in his profession. I remember an early
cause in which he was retained, and which came on for trial
in the old Court of Common Pleas at Ipswich. It must have
been within a year or two after his admission to the Bar. It
was a cause of some public interest, and the court-room was
crowded. He was there in his native town, surrounded by
his friends and kindred. He was junior counsel and had the
opening, but whether for plaintiff or defendant, it has now
escaped me ; but this I know and remember, that he showed a
thorough mastery of his case, as he proceeded from one point
to another, in clear and logical order, and in that terse and
strong style of expression, for which he was afterwards so
much distinguished ; and showing also, what has often been
remarked, that sometimes the right and skilful opening of a
cause may be as important as the close and summing up, and
furnish quite as much scope for discrimination, judgment and
real ability. At any rate, such was the force, strength, and
completeness of this particular performance, that I well re-
member a brother lawyer, a few years the senior of Mr. Lord,
and even then the acknowledged head of the Bar, in the gen-
eral estimate of the profession and of the public, and a
native also of the old town of Ipswich, who had been a care-
ful listener, broke out at the conclusion with some hearty
expression of approval, in his own peculiar and inimitable
manner. I refer to this particular case only to show what
sort of impression our friend and brother made, when he first
entered on the contests of the profession. His whole life after-
wards was full of just such exhibitions of intellectual power,
only of wider scope and breadth, as he matured in strength
and experience, in his full manhood. And this is known and
read of all men who have been conversant with our courts.
Mr. Lord has had long experience of sickness and disease.
How he bore himself in this great and severe trial — how un-
complaining and unrepining always ; how cheerful and inter-
ested in passing events, or in whatever concerned the welfare
NATHANIEL J. LORD. 23
of his friends ; in what a cordial manner he always received
his friends, and how warmly he sought to keep up the com-
munion of his friendships — who that has visited him in that
chamber of sickness, during those many and long years, has
not seen and admired ? It happened to me to visit him, not
many days before his death, and to report to him, as the al-
moner of his bounty, how gratefully it had been received, and
how it touched the heart and feelings of an old and esteemed
friend. He referred, in the kindest manner, to the early scenes
which gave rise to this friendship, and to his happiness in
being able thus to manifest his sympathy and regard.
Mr. Lord's death, though he had evidently been declining
for some weeks, was at the last sudden. He had invited,
several weeks ago, a venerable and beloved relative to dine
with him today ; and this day that relative enters on his
ninetieth year (the special occasion of the invitation), and is
here present, to witness these proceedings in honor of the
memory of his nephew. In this coincidence, alike striking
and affecting, and in these events, we see how the Divine
Will shapes our ends and determines our bounds.
In addition to the motion already made, and as an amend-
ment thereto, I move that an attested copy of these proceed-
ings, in token of our sympathy, be sent to the family of Mr.
Lord, under the order of the court.
Chief Justice Brigham then addressed the Bar as follows : —
Gentlemen of the Bar : — The memorial tribute of the Es-
sex Bar, in honor of their deceased brother, Nathaniel J.
Lord, will be placed among the records of this court, as a
part of the history of the administration of justice in this
county, and an attested copy of these proceedings will be
sent to his family in accordance with the motion just made.
Mr. Lord, although in the full ripeness of his faculties as
a lawyer, ten years ago — when this court was organized —
was so disabled, by extreme physical infirmity, that he could
not appear before its justices, and thus they have lost the op-
portunity of recognizing, in person, the various professional
accomplishments which he was reputed to possess in an emi-
24 NATHANIEL J. LORD.
nent degree. Throughout the Commonwealth he was known
as the leading counsel of this county, and as such, worthily
qualified, by learning, tact and skill in the trial of causes,
eloquence, and " fidelity as well to the courts as to his clients,"
to succeed those lawyers, of a preceding generation, who had
left the leadership of the Essex, to become the leaders of the
The professional lives of lawyers, although constantly in-
fluential in the events which constitute the most important
material of history, rarely receive from analists an ade-
quate acknowledgment of their significance. A lawyer, in
conducting matters of litigation, is often the first to suggest
questions of legal principle, so original in their nature as to
fairly deserve the title of discoveries ; he may debate such
questions with so abundant learning, and so large ability,
that through him principally, if not solely, may be main-
tained and established great principles of law, which will
fundamentally affect the most valued municipal, political,
and religious institutions ; and the only record of his impres-
sive labor will be found in a complimentary phrase in a news-
paper, a line in the books of "Reports of Cases," or the law
pleadings to which he has affixed his name. After his pro-
fessional career is finished, perhaps the lawyers of his own,
and of the next following generation, will recite one to an-
other anecdotes of his professional and personal eccentrici-
ties, the pleasantries by which he enlivened the rigors, or the
audacity by which he encountered the exigences of a law-
suit; but the character thus preserved and transmitted by
tradition will usually be more scandalous than just as to the
man and his vocation, and demean the nobler attributes of
both. Lawyers who, during the years ordinarily allotted to
man for effective work, have manfully accepted the vicissi-
tudes, and uprightly won the distinctions of their profession ;
sparing themselves none of its toils, and contenting themselves
with its honors, although conscious that they will be undeser-
vedly ephemeral ; who in every function of that profession
have been altogether faithful and excellent, are left to rely
NATHANIEL J. LORD. 25
upon their brethren, who have been familiar with their lives
and survive them, to declare and perpetuate their testimony
of the scope, influence, worth and elevation of those lives.
Considerations such as these make it a grateful service for
a Judge to join his brethren at the Bar in a fraternal effort
to save to their profession and to the State fitting memorials
of a lawyer, who, during twenty-five years' exercise of his
office, as an attorney and counsellor in all the courts, has
justified the felicitous and discriminating sketch of his pro-
fessional career, which introduced these proceedings.
The court then adjourned.
JEREMIAH C. STICKNEY.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association held September
7, 1869, Messrs. Thomas B. Newhall, Alfred Kittredge,
Asahel Huntington, Daniel Saunders Jr. and George Wheat-
land were chosen a committee to prepare a memorial on the
death of Jeremiah C. Stickney, to be presented to the
In the Superior Court at Sepember term, 1869, Mr. Hunt-
ington presented the following memorial, which was
ordered to be entered of record.
The Essex Bar Association desires to present to the Court
here some memorial to be entered on its records, of the life
and character of the late Jeremiah Chaplin Stickney, one of
the oldest and most respected members of this Bar. He was
born in Salem on the sixth day of January, 1805, was gradu-
ated at Harvard College in the class of 1824, and afterwards
studied law for the full term of three years, in the office and
under the tuition of the late Judge Cummins, one of the most
distinguished and learned practitioners of this Bar at that
period. He was admitted an attorney of the Court of Com-
mon Pleas, at the September term, 1827, an attorney of the
Supreme Judicial Court, at the November term, 1829, and a
Counsellor at the November term, 1831. He commenced the
practice of his profession in the town of Lynn, and prosecuted
it there, with great honor, integrity and success for more than
forty years. He has been withdrawn of late from his atten-
dance on the Courts, on account of the condition of his health
but he has been for most of the time, with occasional inter-
ruptions a diligent and laborious worker, in his office, at home ;
and has conducted a large professional business. His clients
JEREMIAH C. 8TICKNEY. 27
were always well served, and they adhered to him with great
constancy, in sickness and in health. He was a thoroughly
trained lawyer was well furnished and grounded in the prin-
ciples of the common law, and was familiar with the practice
and precedents of the Courts. Such has been his career in
his profession, such his life long integrity of character, and
such his marked ability in the discharge of all trusts com-
mitted to him, whether in or out of his profession, that he al-
ways commanded and enjoyed, in very large measure, the confi-
dence and respect of the Courts, of the profession, and of the
public at large.
He was possessed of the most genial and kindly feelings,
greatly endeared to his more intimate friends, and was an ex-
ample of all that was civil, courteous, considerate, and of good
report, in the various relations of life. We may well regard
Mr. Stickney as one of our number, who, in the course of an
unusually long professional life, has brought no discredit on
this Bar, but by his high character and ability, his urbane
manners and deportment, has done very much to give it that
consideration it enjoys in this community. In the dispen-
sation of a wise Providence the time had come for him to
leave these scenes of earth, and the places which knew him
here, are to know him no more. He died peacefully in his
own home, surrounded by his family and friends, after a short
sickness, on the third day of August last. Thus has passed
away from our sight, one of our elder brethren, long and
honorably known to the Courts, whose struggles and ambi-
tions here are now ended. One who has labored faithfully
and truly in his day and generation, and of good report always
as a lawyer, a citizen and a man. We will cherish his mem-
ory and desire that this simple tribute be entered of record in
this Court, in perpetual remembrance of our departed friend
Resolved, That a copy of these proceedings be presented to
the Court by the president of the association, with the re-
28 JEREMIAH C. STICKNEY.
quest that the same be entered of record therein, and in ex-
pression of our sympathy, that a copy thereof be sent to the
family of Mr. Stickney, by direction of the Court.
The foregoing proceedings were presented to the Court,
and it was ordered that the same be entered of record, and a
copy sent to the family of Mr. Stickney.
On Monday, Sept. 19th, 1870, in the Superior Court, then
in session in Salem, Judge Putnam presiding, at three P.M.,
the cause on trial was suspended that the proceedings of the
Bar might be presented to the Court. Notice had been prev-
iously given, and there was a large attendance of the Bar,
and many citizens and friends of Mr. Huntington were present.
Mr. Alfred A. Abbott then read the following
May it please your Honor : — The Hon. Asahel Hunt-
ington, one of the oldest members of the Essex Bar, and, at
the time of his decease, its senior member in active professional
labor, departed this life on Monday, the 5th instant, at the
age of three score and twelve years.
On the day following, the 6th instant, at the coming in of
the Court for the present term, at Newburyport, a meeting of
the Essex Bar Association was held, and a committee ap-
pointed to embody in suitable form the sentiments of the
members of the Bar, upon the death of their distinguished
brother and friend ; and the action of that committee having
been approved and adopted by the Association, is now, by
its order, respectfully presented to the Court, that the same
may be entered upon its records, there to testify to those who
shall come after them, the respect, veneration and love, with
which his brethren cherished the memory of the lamented
Mr. Huntington was born at Topsfield in this county, July
23d, 1798. He was the son of the Rev. Asahel Huntington,
the congregational minister of that town, a man of the old
New England type, the influence of whose sterling traits and
wise counsels did much to mould the character and shape the
life of his distinguished son. He was fitted for College at
Phillips Academy, Andover, graduated in course at Yale, in
30 ASA.HEL HUNTINGTON.
1819, and pursued the study of the law in the offices of Mr.
Scott, of Newburyport, and Judge Cummins, of Salem. He
was admitted to practice in the Court of Common Pleas, at
the March Term, 1824 (having spent a portion of his time
after leaving college, in teaching), was made an Attorney of
the Supreme Judicial Court, at the November Term, 1826,
and two years thereafter became a Counsellor. Upon his
first coming to the Bar, he commenced business in Salem
(where he remained through his whole life), and at once en-
tered upon a professional career, busy, eventful, useful and
honored, from the first to last.
In 1830, Mr. Huntington had so established his position
and vindicated his claims to preferment, that he was appointed
County Attorney, subsequently District Attorney (his field
embracing Essex and a part of Middlesex), and afterwards
Attorney for the Eastern District, and this post of prosecut-
ing officer he filled for nearly twenty years. To many
of the present generation of lawyers his discharge of these
official duties is matter of tradition. But they have heard
from his earlier cotemporaries, of the zeal, the energy, the
perseverance, the fearlessness and fidelity, the marked ability
and the moral force with which he vindicated the majesty of
the law and pursued and punished crime. It was in this po-
sition that Mr. Huntington won a reputation which was not
confined to his native county, but gained a name and fame
throughout the Commonwealth. He had to meet and con-
tend with strong opponents, and was engaged in not a few
cases which have become historic, but he shunned no en-
counter, and proved himself equal to every emergency. Mr.
Choate, who came to the Bar in the same year with Mr.
Huntington, and between whom and Mr. Huntington there
existed an ardent friendship which was of lifelong duration,
Mr. Saltonstall, Mr. Cushing, Mr. Rantoul, Mr. Nathaniel J.
Lord, Mr. Ward, with many others of eminent ability and
skill, some of whom have passed away, and others of whom
yet survive to dignify the Bench or adorn the Bar, were the
men whom our deceased friend encountered in forensic strife,
ASAHEL HUNTINGTON. 31
and always with credit and honor. In the noted Wyman
trial he had to cope with Daniel Webster, and although the
greatest lawyer of his age then exerted to the utmost his gi-
gantic powers in defence of his client, the Government found
in its Attorney an undaunted and worthy representative, who
fairly divided the honors of the famous struggle.
Mr. Huntington's labors were by no means limited to the
criminal side of the Court. He had an extensive general
practice, and was retained in many of the more important
civil causes of his day. He had always great and acknowl-
edged strength with an Essex county jury. In the first place,
he was emphatically an Essex county man. A native, proud
of the old Shire, familiar with her historic days and names,
knowing all her local traditions, and conversant with her men
and business, heartily sustaining every movement and sup-
porting every institution which promised to advance her
prosperity and welfare, from youth to old age he was an em-
bodiment of the average sentiment of Essex county, in morals,
politics and religion, and peculiarly one of her representative
men. Then, as a lawyer, he entered with his whole soul into
whatever cause he espoused. Sanguine, impassioned, vehe-
ment, not so much versed in the knowledge of cases and the
nice learning of the law, as well grounded in its general and
fundamental principles and familiar with and skilled in its
practice, with a homely but strong logic, a manly good sense
and sound judgment, a large acquaintance with men and af-
fairs, and a perseverance and tenacity of purpose which
sometimes even verged on obstinacy, with a flow of good humor
and at the same time a caustic wit and power of satire which
could be made terribly severe, with a sort of sledge-ham-
mor style of enforcing his points, and beating them into con-
victions in the minds of others, and all this set off by a bluff,
cordial, and hearty manner, and aided by the moral effect of
a private character above reproach, it is not strange that Mr.
Huntington had the confidence alike of clients and juries,
that he was an eminently successful practitioner and advo-
cate, and that he always kept in the front rank of the very
ablest of his cotemporaries.
32 ASAHEL HUNTINGTON.
In 1851, Mr. Huntington, waiving the pursuit of higher
honors to which he might well have aspired, accepted the ap-
pointment of Clerk of the Courts for the County, and in that
office remained to the day of his death. It was in this posi-
tion that he was best known to, and will be more particular-
ly remembered bj-, a majority of the present members of the
Bar. There is no professional place more responsible than
this, none the incumbent of which can do more for the con-
venience and comfort of his brethren, or for the orderly, re-
putable, and correct administration of justice. And, accord-
ingly, the proper qualifications for it are exceptional and rare.
To a sufficient degree of clerical accomplishments should be
added an experimental knowledge of wide and varied prac-
tice, a full familiarity with the routine of business in the dif-
ferent courts, aptness, facility, promptness and method, criti-
cal accuracy and generous culture, patience and good temper,
with decision and firmness, and, crowning all, that integrity
of life, that affability of manners and dignity of presence and
demeanor which can aid so much in securing respect for our
judicial tribunals. To say that Mr. Huntington reached in
full perfection this ideal standard, would be to attribute to
him attainments and graces which were rarely if ever united
in one man. But that he combined these qualifications to a
remarkable extent, will be readily agreed. In no county of
the Commonwealth have the proceedings in Court been con-
ducted with more propriety, decorum and success than in
Essex during his incumbency, and, upon the concurrent tes-
timony of judges and lawyers, there is no county in which
the Clerk has done more to systematize the practice, elevate
the tone of manners and morals, and lend dignity and grace
to the public administration of the law. Bench and Bar will
deeply feel the irreparable loss occasioned by his death, but
by his brethren of Essex will it be the most keenly appre-
ciated. To the old he has been a trusted adviser; to the
young a wise and faithful mentor ; to all a counsellor and
friend. He has held up and inculcated the highest standards
of professional duty and honor. He has in his own example
ASAHEL HUNTINGTON. 33
furnished a striking model of professional conduct and cour-
tesy. He has ever taken the liveliest interest in whatever con-
cerned the good name or welfare of his associates. He has
kept fresh the memories of the great lawyers of other days, and
encouraged and inspired us by the recital of their achieve-
ments and successes. In an especial manner has he labored
to preserve the decent observance of those mortuary tributes
and rites which our fraternal relations so fully justify and
demand. No worthy brother has passed away, whether from
the obscure retirement of old age and infirmity, or from the
arena of active duties, but that Mr. Huntington has been the
first to recall and rehearse in charitable and affectionate
words his merits, and to pay to his memory the last tokens of
regard. And now that he too has gone, what less can we do
than pause for a moment in our busy course, drop a loving
tear upon his new-made grave, and while we recall with ad-
miring recollection the strong mind, the resolute will, the
kind heart, the eloquent speech, the genial presence, thank
God for the blessing of his upright and useful life, testify to
all men our appreciation of his worth, and here, within these
walls where the echoes of his voice and the light of his coun-
tenance seem yet to linger, piously resolve to imitate his vir-
tues and profit by his noble example.
Although what Mr. Huntington was, and what he did as
a lawyer, is of more particular interest to his brethren, yet
any sketch of him would be imcomplete which failed to make
some mention of his life and labors outside of his profession.
From early manhood he always took a prominent part in
public affairs. His fellow citizens commanded his services
in the State Legislature, in the Constitutional Convention
of 1853, as Mayor of the city of his residence, as the head of
various institutions and corporations — and there was no good
cause or deserving enterprise of his day in which he did not
warmly enlist and support with all his characteristic zeal and
ability. Probably no man personally knew or was personally
known to so many of the people of Essex county, especially
of the older class, and by all he was held in respect, by mul-
34 ASAHEL HUNTINGTON.
titudes with strong personal regard. He was an active, earn-
est and loyal citizen, a kind and hospitable neighbor, a true
and steadfast friend, an honest Christian gentleman. From
the community of which he was thus the ornament and pride,
from the fraternity who were bound to him by strong and
tender ties, from the domestic circle upon whose sacred sor-
rows no stranger may intrude, he has been suddenly taken
away, but yet fortunate in the opportunity of his death as of
his life. Although he had passed the allotted years of man,
no lingering disease had wasted his powers, no infirmities of
mind or body indicated the ravages of age. His eye was not
dim nor his natural force abated. His countenance still wore
the freshness of youth, his step was elastic and firm, his
whole bearing manly and vigorous, his spirits as generous
and free, and his heart seemingly as young as in the prime
of life. And so, leaving this bright image stamped inefface-
ably upon the memories of all, his work on earth fully
done, he passed from among us, and with faith in God and
trust in a Redeemer, went to his eternal rest.
May it please your Honor, I now move, in behalf of the
members of the Essex Bar Association, that this memorial of
their departed friend and brother may be placed upon the
records of the Court.
Wm. C. Endicott, Esq., president of the Essex Bar, then
addressed the Court, and concluded by seconding, on behalf
of the Bar, the motion of Mr. Abbott. Addresses were also
made by the District Attorney Edgar J. Sherman, Esq., of
Lawrence, Hon. J. C. Perkins, of Salem, Hon. Thomas B.
Newhall, of Lynn, Henry Carter, Esq., of Haverhill, Hon.
Wm. D. Northend, of Salem, Hon. Eben F. Stone, of New-
buryport and Stephen B. Ives, Jr., Esq., of Salem.
It is seldom, on occasions like this, that so many desire to
bear public testimony to the worth and virtues of the dead.
The tributes, thus paid, were full of feeling, and bore wit-
ness, not only to the respect with which Mr. Huntington
was regarded, but to the warm affections he inspired.
Judge Putnam then addressed the Bar as follows :
ASAHBL HUNTINGTON. 35
Gentlemen of the Bar of Essex : — The death of one who
occupied so prominent a position as our late friend and brother
in this community — one so much beloved and esteemed by
us all, and one so worthy of all the love and respect which
were heaped upon him — is an event which may well call for
more than a mere passing notice ; and it is eminently proper
that we should pause for a moment at least, in the midst of
our professional pursuits, for the purpose of paying a fitting
tribute to his memory.
I have listened, with feelings of the deepest sensibility to
the words of affectionate remembrance and eulogy which have
fallen from the lips of those of you who knew him and appre-
ciated him so well. And while in behalf of the Superior
Court, which I have the honor to represent, I tender to you
my sincerest sympathy in the loss which you have sustained,
I feel how inadequate will be any suggestions of my own to
add to the impression which your own eloquent and touching
words have left in the hearts of all whom I see around me.
I deem it a privilege, however, to be permitted to add very
briefly my own heartfelt tribute to the memory of the de-
Of Mr. Huntington as a lawyer, it does not become me to
speak in this presence. You who were his associates at the Bar
have just told us of the professional success and honor which
crowned him, and it is enough for me to say that he has left
behind him, as a lawyer, a reputation which any of us might
envy. Nor do I propose to add one word to what has been so
fitly said in your memorial, of the almost faultless manner in
which he discharged his official duties as District Attorney
and Clerk of the Courts. I propose only to allude, very briefly
to some traits of his personal character, which seem to me
worthy of notice.
My acquaintance with Mr. Huntington began when I first
came to this county to discharge the duties of this Court, soon
after its organization, in 1860. I can never forget the strong
impression he at once made upon me, and how soon I came
to esteem and love him. I was often with him during the
36 ASAHBL HUNTINGTON.
intermissions of the Court. His conversation at those times
showed me how much he retained his love for his profession,
and his interest in its welfare. He always closely watched
the trial of cases of importance, and his remarks from time
to time as to the management of them, indicated how keenly
he still relished the conflicts of the Bar, and how jealous he
still was for the professional honor and success of his former
associates. He had an innate sense of justice which never
suffered him to be silent when he saw that a wrong was in-
tended to be done. He denounced with a special aversion
and contempt, all meanness and hypocrisy of every kind.
He saw, at once, through all shams and pretences, but in his
criticisms there was nothing rancorous or malignant. His in-
stincts were all kindly and genial. In simplicity and truth-
fulness of character he was almost childlike, and yet in firm-
ness, courage and inflexibility of purpose, he was almost heroic.
He was active and prominent in all the moral and benevolent
enterprises of the day. He was a Christian without any
bigotry, for he esteemed personal character as deeper than
In his social and private life he endeared himself to every
one. His personal recollections of men and events of former
days, particularly of those connected with this immediate vi-
cinity, were abundant and always interesting. As a friend,
he was ever true and faithful. His warm, genial, and sympa-
thizing heart had a place for all and a kindly greeting for all.
His tastes were all pure, simple and healthful.
He was always cheerful and hopeful. The great philo-
sophic poet of England seems to me not inaptly to have
characterized our friend in these words :
" A man he seemed of cheerful yesterdays,
And confident to-morrows ; with a face
Not worldly minded, for it bore too much
Of Nature's impress — gayety and health,
Freedom and hope; but keen withal and shrewd;
His gestures, note, — and hark! his tones of voice
Are all vivacious as his mien and looks."
And now, while the glory of the summer is waning, and all
ASAHEL HUNTINGTON. 37
nature is rendering up to us her rich and golden harvests, we
have returned our friend, in the ripeness and maturity of his
years, to the bosom of his mother earth. It is difficult to
realize that he has actually passed away from us. We shall
miss him from his accustomed seat. We shall behold no
longer before us that benignant countenance, that noble
presence — itself a perpetual benediction. We shall continue
to press on in our hot pursuit of the shadows of life, while he
has already grasped the realities. But we shall never forget
his many virtues, for we have enshrined them in our hearts
Your memorial, gentlemen, seems to be but a fitting tribute
to the character of our deceased friend, and I shall order it
to be entered at length on the records of this Court.
JONATHAN COGSWELL PERKINS.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association, held December
19, 1877, Messrs. Northend, Abbott, Carter, Wheatland,
Stone and Ives were chosen a committee to prepare a me-
morial of Mr. Jonathan C. Perkins, to be presented to the
In the Superior Court at Salem, December 28, 1877, Chief
Justice Brigham presiding, Mr. William D. Northend
for the Essex Bar Association presented the following
May it please your Honor : — It is made my duty to
report to the court the proceedings of the Essex Bar Asso-
ciation upon the decease of Jonathan Cogswell Perkins,
LL. D., one of the oldest and most distinguished members of
the Essex Bar, who, after a very brief illness, departed this
life on Wednesday morning, the 12th inst., at his residence
on Lynde street, in this city, at the age of sixty-eight years.
A meeting of the Association was held on Tuesday, the
19th inst., and a committee was appointed to prepare a fitting
tribute to the memory of our deceased brother. That com-
mittee reported, at an adjourned meeting, the following me-
morial, which was accepted with the direction that it should
at an early day be presented to the court.
Judge Perkins was born November 21, 1809, in what is
now the town of Essex, then a part of the town of Ipswich.
He received the rudiments of his education at the public
schools of the town, and was fitted for college at Phillips
Academy, Andover. He entered Amherst College in 1828
and was graduated in 1832. He taught a district school at
the Falls Village in Essex, in the winter of his Sophomore
year. He was classmate, and for nearly the whole period of
his college life, room-mate of Mr. Justice Lord of the Su-
JONATHAN COGSWELL PERKINS. 39
preme Judicial Court. Among his classmates were also Hon.
Henry Morris, LL. D., Prof. Samuel M. Hopkins, D. D., Hon.
Lyman Gibbons, and others distinguished in the different
walks of life.
In college he was the most laborious in his studies and
punctual in the performance of all his duties. He devoted
from thirteen to fifteen hours of each day to study and the
recitation room, and by his industry well earned his appoint-
ment to deliver the Salutatory upon his graduation.
After completing his college course he commenced the study
of the law with his fellow townsman, Hon. Rufus Choate,
who was then in the practice of his profession in Salem. He
remained in Mr. Choate's office about two years, and finished
his course of study at the Dane Law School. He was ad-
mitted to practice as an attorney in the Court of Common
Pleas at the September term of that Court in Newburyport
in 1835, and in 1836, a change in the law having been made,
he was admitted to practice as attorney and counsellor in all
the courts of the Commonwealth. Immediately upon his
admission to the Bar, he commenced his professional career
in Salem, and from that time to the time of his appointment
as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, in 1848, he led a
very busy life. Beside the practice of his profession he an-
notated several law books, the first of which, Chitty on Crim-
inal Law, was published in 1836, one year after his admis-
sion to the Bar. He also took an interest in politics and in
the affairs of the city. He was a member of the Common
Council of Salem seven years during this period, and in 1845
and 1846 was a member of the House of Representatives, and
in 1847 and 1848 a member of the Senate of the Common-
wealth. But in the meantime his professional business had
been well cared for and increased, so that at the time of his
appointment as Judge he had a large and successful practice
in the courts. He made careful and elaborate preparation
in his cases, and was very judicious in their management.
In his arguments to the jury, which were effective, he aimed
at plainness and directness, with but little attempt at oratory.
40 JONATHAN COGSWELL PERKINS.
He was a justice of the Court of Common Pleas from 1848
to 1859, when that court was abolished and the Superior
Court established in its place. He brought to the discharge
of the difficult and oftentimes perplexing duties of this
office, ability, a large knowledge of the law, and the same
careful industry he had shown in the practice of his profes-
Upon leaving the Bench, in 1859, he resumed the practice
of the law, which he continued to the time of his decease,
although for the last few years he declined, except in a few
cases, to engage in trials in the courts. He was also city so-
licitor of the city of Salem for several years after he left the
Bench. But his principal occupation, and the one upon
which his fame specially rests, was the editing and annotating
of the works of the Masters of the Law. For forty years
he has been known not only to the Bar of this State, but to
the Bar of every State in the Union, through the valuable
contributions he has thus made to the standard works of the
profession. Few lawyers in the United States have performed
so much or such valuable labor for the profession as Judge
Perkins. Among the works he edited and annotated were
"Pickering's Reports," " Vesey's Reports," in which work he
was associated with Hon. Charles Sumner; one volume of
the "United States Digest," with Judge Metcalf; "Abbott
on Shipping," "Angell onWatercourses," " Jarman on Wills,"
" Chitty on Contracts, on Bills, on Criminal Law, and on
Pleading." To this last named work he added, in the last
edition, very valuable American Forms ; " Daniell's Chan-
cery Practice with American Forms," "Sugden on Vendors,"
" Arnold on Insurance," "Benjamin on Sales," and " Williams
on Executors and Administrators." He edited and annotated
several successive editions of most of the above entitled
works. In reference to one of these works Mr. Sumner said,
" The notes and references by Mr. Perkins place their author
among American annotators by the side of Story and Met-
Judge Perkins was elected to the Board of Trustees of
JONATHAN COGSWELL PERKINS. 41
Amherst College by the Legislature in 1850, which position
he held to the time of his decease, and in 1867 the college
conferred upon him its highest honor, the degree of LL. D.
He always took a deep interest in the success of his Alma
Mater, and was constant in his attendance at Commencement
during the whole period of his official connection with the
In the decease of Judge Perkins his brethren of this Bar
have met with a great and irreparable loss. For many years
his office has been open to his associates at the Bar, who
were always cordially welcomed, to consult the volumes of
his extensive library and to obtain from him information of
the law and precedents. All of us remember with gratitude
his uniform kindness and the cheerfulness with which he im-
parted the desired information. In the discussion of any
question of law, however intricate, he could at once put his
hand upon the books in which the decisions applicable to the
subject were reported. It seemed as if he remembered the
names of all the cases he had examined, and the facility with
which he referred to them was indeed wonderful. The mem-
ory of his many kindnesses, of his pleasant greetings, of his
time so largely and so freely given, his associates at the Bar,
old and young, will always delight to cherish with feelings
of the deepest gratitude and affection.
May it please your Honor : — I now move, in behalf of the
Essex Bar Association, that this memorial of our deceased
brother be placed upon the records of the Court.
At the close of Mr. Northend's address, Stephen B. Ives,
Jr., made a brief and appropriate address, in which he averred
that he had long regarded these ceremonies as the most
important of professional duties. They are calculated not
only to perpetuate the memory of good and useful men, but
to soften the asperities of life, and to forgetting the bad and
remembering the good in men's lives. The speaker had every
reason to cherish the memory of the deceased. He had known
him longer than any member of the Essex Bar, although not
42 JONATHAN COGSWELL PERKINS.
professionally. Mr. Ives also spoke of his personal relations
with Judge Perkins in professional life. He closed by re-
marking that in many respects the place of the deceased will
remain vacant so long as any present members of the Essex
Bar live. It was with the most cordial feelings of assent
that he seconded the motion of Mr. Northend.
Chas. P. Thompson, Esq., endorsed the expressions of
the address prepared by Mr. Northend, and in suitable lan-
guage conveyed to the Court his high appreciation of the
subject of the memorial. All the members of the profession
had lost more than a personal friend. Few in the profession
die who leave so much that is good and so little that is ill.
If all left the good behind, he said, the aggregate would be
immense. Mr. Thompson spoke of Judge Perkins not as a
great master of law, but as a safe and reliable guide, who was
always able to show what point had been reached, what had
been accomplished in any investigation. Such a man must
District Attorney Sherman followed Mr. Thompson.
Judge Brigham, in acquiescing in the request of the
memorialist, said that none who are intellectually the equals
of lawyers are less likely to be remembered in such a man-
ner as this, and it was therefore wise for the Essex Bar As-
sociation to put upon record expressions of the worth of its
deceased members. He spoke of the learning, kindness and
celebrity of the deceased, the latter fact being attested to by
the frequent inquiries concerning him and his work by law-
yers in every part of the State. The clerk was ordered to
enter the memorial upon the records of the Court.
JAIRUS WARE PERRY.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association held September
13, 1877, Messrs. Hazen, Choate, Saunders, Abbott and
North end, were chosen a committee to prepare a memorial of
Mr. Jairus W. Perry for presentation to the Supreme
In the Supreme Judicial Court held at Salem, November 8,
1877, Chief Justice Gray on the bench, Mr. George
F. Choate for the Essex Bar Association, presented the
May it please your Honor. Jairus Ware Perry,
LL. D., one of our most valued members, departed this life on
Monday, the twenty-seventh day of August last, at the age
of fifty-five years and eight months. He was born at Raymond,
in the State of Maine, December 18th, A. D. 1821, but when
quite young he removed to the town of Sweden. His
father cultivated a small farm, but his scanty means and
large family compelled him to resort to other occupations for
support. At one time he operated a fulling-mill, and subse-
quently engaged in the manufacture of potash. It was in
these employments that our friend's boyhood and youth was
chiefly spent. His opportunities for education were limited:
such as could be afforded in the remote region, and in the
time hardly spared from his duties in contributing toward
the common support. He found his recreation in the change
from the hard work of the farm to the heavier work of the fac-
tory, rejoicing in the latter employment because of the much
prized intervals of time it afforded for pursuing his studies ;
and there he thumbed his book with hands seared and
bronzed by his work, and learned the lesson of the value of
time which he never forgot. He fitted for college princi-
pally by private study, assisted by such teachers as he could
44 JAIRUS WARE PERRY.
find in the vicinity, at times walking many miles daily
through the severe winter season to secure the needed in-
struction. Entering Bowdoin College a year in advance, he
graduated with honor in 1846. He pursued the study of law
in the office of N. W. Hazen at Audover, in this state, was
admitted to practise in the Court of Common Pleas at the
May term, 1849, and soon after commenced business in Salem.
During all this time he was self-dependent; indeed from his
boyhood he may be said to have earned his support as he
went along, the small temporary accommodations he received
being speedily repaid. His studious habits and untiring dili-
gence in affairs at once attracted attention, and though with-
out social or business connections in the community, he was
early employed as junior counsel in causes by the favor of his
seniors at the bar, and in a short time secured a remunerative
practice. Subsequently he formed a co-partnership with Mr.
Justice Endicott, then a young man, which continued until
Mr. Endicott's appointment to a seat upon the bench of this
Court. For years the firm was retained in the most im-
portant causes, in the preparation and management of
which he performed his full share. Notwithstanding his
busy life he found time to make valuable contributions to
the literature and science of the law. Early in his profes-
sional life he projected and made some progress in the prepa-
ration of a work on probate law, which, however, was aban-
doned from press of professional business and other causes.
More recently by his annotations to the treatise of Mr. Jus-
tice Story on promissory notes and equity jurisprudence, he
has increased the value of the original works of a master of
the law, and in his own original treatise on trusts (the first
American book on that subject) he has shown himself the
peer of the ablest writers and expositors of the law in this
or other countries. So recently and so suddenly has he been
removed from our midst, that there is perhaps no occasion
for us to enlarge upon his character or recount his virtues,
here on the scene of his labors and his triumphs. It is, how-
ever, right that we should do so. The fact that we are here,
JAIRUS WARE PERRY. 45
and that we are permitted in this presence to present our
tribute of regard, attests our appreciation of him, and the
general estimation in which he was held. His character,
ability and learning were known and respected by all, but to
his more intimate companions he showed a cordial, kindly
heart and a sterling honesty of character, which made him a
loved and valued friend. Inclination, prompted perhaps, by
an accurate knowledge of his own capabilities, led him to de-
vote himself more particularly to the study of books and of
the principles of the law, though he was not without his for-
ensic triumphs, and he never failed to acquit himself with
credit and honor in whatever cause, or whoever might be his
antagonist. He early devoted himself to the study of equity,
thoroughly mastered its principles, and became an acknowl-
edged authority with the younger members of the bar in this
branch of practice. Notwithstanding his devotion to his
profession, he found time to pursue his study of the classics
and of the best English authors ; his Cicero and Burke were
always at hand, and the apt quotation from either was sel-
dom wanting, where the topic of conversation admitted. In
social life he was a most companionable man, kind and sym-
pathizing, having a fund of anecdote, a mine of learning,
common and uncommon, at command. Holding decided
opinions upon political questions which he was always ready
to make known and defend, when occasion called, he never
offensively obtruded them, nor sought political place or
power ; he recognized that the law is an exacting mistress,
and he was not to be allured from his chosen path. He was
laborious and painstaking to an extraordinary degree, regard-
less of himself so long as there was opportunity for effort
towards the accomplishment of the object at which he aimed.
This trait showed itself in a marked degree when, a few
years since, he detected the approach of the malady which
finally ended his life. While waging unequal war with his
disease he could not be persuaded to relax his labors, but
continued to work on with increased assiduity, until at last,
clearly warned that he must relieve his overtaxed brain, he
46 JAIRUS WARE PERRY.
planned a voyage in pursuit of that rest abroad, which his
temperament would not permit at home, but would take his
departure only after the last proof-sheet had passed his final
revision, and, as it proved, the last finishing touch had been
given to the closing professional work of his life. This
formal recital of his early struggles and professional achieve-
ments seems insufficient as a tribute to our departed friend,
without a recurrence to his virtues as a man. There was
nothing in the surroundings of his youth to prompt him to
the efforts he made, unaided, save by the encouraging sympa-
thy of a dearly loved mother. In spite of adversities he won
for himself an education and rose to position and fame. The
trials of his early days brought no bitterness to his after
years; with prosperity came no disposition to forget the
favors or friendships of other times ; his memories were of
kindness, and the recollection of favors received was ever
present with him. Especially did his heart go out towards
his early friends who were advanced in life, to his instructors
and the counsellors of his youth ; for them he sought in va-
rious ways to cheer and smooth the path of declining years.
The memory of his own experiences aroused his sympathy
for others in like circumstances, and as he came to enjoy the
fruits of his own labors, and his means increased, he found
substantial ways of attesting it. In his private life he was
exemplary ; he was exact in business relations ; a good citi-
zen, a hospitable neighbor, a self-sacrificing parent, prizing
the welfare and happiness of those of his own household
above all considerations of his own convenience or comfort,
and deeming no effort too great to be expended in their be-
half. Contented at home, he keenly enjoyed the society of
his friends there and elsewhere. In his social relations he
was peculiarly happy; ever solicitous for enjoyment of his
associates, considerate, courteous and careful of offence, his
loss is most deeply deplored by those who knew him best.
Early in the present year he went abroad in the hope that
change of scene and rest from labor would restore the health
and vigor which were not again to be his. He returned
JAIRUS WARE PERRY. 47
stricken and prostrate in body, but still enjoying the society
of kindred and friends. For a few weeks with cheerful res-
ignation he awaited the end, and with a ^benediction for his
college, a kind farewell for his friends and professional breth-
ren, and a prayer for his children, he passed to his rest,
leaving us to mourn his too early removal from his labors and
On behalf of the Essex Bar Association, I respectfully re-
quest that this memorial be entered on the records of this
Mr. Stephen B. Ives followed with remarks and seconded
the request that the memorial be entered on the records of
the Court. Mr. Eben F. Stone also addressed the Court.
These were responded to by Chief Justice Gray, who
ordered that the foregoing memorial be entered upon the rec-
ords of the Court.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association held January
7, 1879, Messrs. Hazen, Stone, Newhall, Northend, Thomp-
son and Ives, were chosen a committee to prepare a memorial
of Honorable Caleb Cushing to be presented to the Su-
preme Judicial Court.
In the Supreme Judicial Court, at Salem, April 15, 1879,
Mr. Justice Morton on the bench, Mr. Nathan W.
Hazen, for the Essex Bar Association, presented the fol-
lowing memorial :
" To the many eminent names before borne on the roll of
deceased members of the Bar of Essex County, the name of
Caleb Cushing has been added.
It belongs to us in commemorating him to trace his career,
and to depict his character, as a lawyer, to such extent as a
brevity proper to the occasion will permit. He was a de-
scendant in the seventh generation from Matthew Cushing,
who emigrated to this country in 1635, from Hingham in the
county of Norfolk, England ; and in the fifth, from Rev.
Caleb Cushing of Salisbury, who gave proof of his truly
Christian character by being one of thirty-nine ministers,
who signed a letter -to Gov. Dudley in 1707, approving the
election of Leverett, a layman, to be President of Harvard
The subject of this memorial was born at Salisbury, in this
county, January 7, 1800. He was educated for college at New-
buryport, to which place his father had removed, mainly, it
is said, at the private school of Michael Walsh, author of a
once famous Arithmetic. Entering college with an imper-
fect preparation, he made such progress in his studies, that
he was awarded the salutatory oration, and graduated before
he was seventeen years old. It is remembered of him, that
CALEB CUSHING. 49
in college he was reserved in his intercourse ; that he sought
no aid from others, and nothing was known of the thorough-
ness of his studies until its fruit was developed. After being
tutor in the college one year, he studied law in the office of
Hon. Ebenezer Mosely at Newburyport, and was admitted
to the Common Pleas Bar, December Term, 1821, and to
practice at this Bar in 1826, at Suffolk. His studies at this
time were various, and he acquired a wide fame for general
knowledge. In his profession he seems to have been content
to hold an equal rank with the very respectable gentlemen
who then composed the Bar of Newburyport. His first re-
ported case is at November Term, 1826. Rufus Choate was
admitted September Term, 1823. It might be expected that
cotemporary, so long as they were, in the same county, that
they would often be retained as opposing counsel in the same
suit. There is a single case reported in which this occurred.
No doubt there were other encounters between them. In
1832 there was filed a bill in equity praying for an injunc-
tion, Choate for plaintiffs, Cushing for defendants. On the
hearing before Shaw, Ch. J., he remarked, in granting the
prayer of the bill, that so far as he knew, it was the first in-
junction issued in the Commonwealth.
In an indictment against the proprietors of Newburyport
Bridge, on the trial before a jury, Mr. Cushing for the de-
fense, the Commonwealth obtained a verdict. Mr. Choate
was then retained, and it was discovered that the indictment
did not expressly allege that a bridge had ever been built.
The proceeding was therefore quashed.
In 1827, Mr. Cushing met Mr. Webster, then in the matur-
ity of his power and fame. The arguments are reported
at unusual length. As reported, they do not seem to have
aided the Court, whose decision is put on grounds not argued
by either of the counsel.
Mr. Cushing was elected to Congress in 1835. He soon
became a distinguished member of the House of Representa-
tives, and was placed upon the Committee on Foreign Rela-
tions. In this capacity he made some highly valuable re-
50 CALEB CUSHING.
ports, evert then developing unsettled questions between this
country and Great Britain. During his service in Congress
he seems nearly to have ceased his practice at the bar.
In 1843, he accepted the Mission to China. His instruc-
tions were prepared by Mr. Webster, whose son accompanied
him, as Secretary of Legation. He was eminently successful
in negotiating a Treaty, which, while it remained the rule
between the nations, served every purpose of peace and com-
To this succeeded his military service in Mexico, which
closed in 1848. He then opened an office in Boston and re-
sided at Newburyport. For the succeeding years there is no
marked trace of him in his profession. From what has since
appeared, these years were probably spent by him in the study
of the law by the same habits which he had observed when
in college. A statute was passed April 20, 1852, giving an
additional Judge to this Court. Mr. Cushing received the
appointment, and took his seat on the bench at Suffolk in
July following. A nisi prius term of this Court was then by
law held on the second Tuesday of September in Berkshire,
one week before the law term in the same county. This was
the first term held for jury trials after his appointment ; it
was assigned to him. While his reputation for general abil-
ity was familiar to them, yet the long period which had in-
tervened since the limited practice of the law which he ever
attained, had wholly ceased, without notice of any later
study, or of even an appearance in the profession known to
them, made his advent into their county to preside at their
term of its highest Court, and was looked to with an uncom-
mon interest by the learned Bar of Berkshire. There was a
single jury trial ; it was in a real action, and involved some
questions upon subjects not of frequent occurrence; Judge
Cushing reported the case. Abandoning the usual imperson-
ality, he reports, " I was of opinion;" "I admitted the evi-
dence ; " "I instructed the jury." The rulings and instruc-
tions were embraced in five points to which exceptions were
taken. Mr. Justice Dewey, giving the opinion in the case,
CALEB CUSHING. 51
closed it with these words : " The result is all the exceptions
are overruled." Upon the trial of the cause before the jury,
he seized at once the point raised, and was clear and prompt
in his rulings. Through the term he was patient and courte-
ous, and exceedingly gracious to counsel. During the week
he found leisure to be present at a trial before a justice of
the peace. After it was concluded he gave the magistrate
some advice as to some points of policy to be observed, and
of the duties of his office generally, which was much valued
by the recipient. While the opinions of this Court have an
equal value, each partakes the idiosyncrasies of its author.
Those of Judge Cushing exhibit the great extent of his read-
ing, the thoroughness of his studies, and the keenness and
vigor of his intellect. His criticisms of reported cases are
often highly instructive. In the second case in which the
opinion was given by him, he corrects a misconception of the
law in reference to trustees summoned, which, from the cases
cited, seems to have become general. In the same term, he
criticises an English case, which he calls the anomalous case
of Austin v. Drew, and comments upon it as given by four
different reporters, each report differing from all the others.
His opinion in the case is remarkable for the mastery which
he exhibits over the whole series of reports, and for the clear
rule of law which his ratiocination deduces from the whole.
His opinion in the affirmative, that larceny may be committed
of property of one who has unlawfully acquired it, is so
drawn as to reconcile in the case, law, morals and public pol-
icy. It would not be safe to assert that all his opinions may
be held up as models ; it may, however, be suggested that
each will tend to persuade the reader of its just right to au-
It was after this period of his life that Mr. Cushing ad-
dressed an audience of 3000 persons, when every syllable of
his speech reached every one in the vast hall capable of con-
taining such numbers. For ten consecutive days, the Sab-
bath only intervening, he presided over a meeting of more
than 250 members, holding for the most part two daily ses-
52 CALEB CUSHING.
sions ; the assembly all the time engaged in excited debates,
and in the end unable to come to any agreement. The ca-
pacity for labor and of endurance shown by him on this oc-
casion display the resources, mental and physical, which sus-
tained him in the intense and protracted efforts to which he
was subjected in the course of his later professional life.
He was perfectly formed, of medium size ; his features reg-
ular and handsome ; his face was highly expressive ; in early
youth it betrayed all his emotions. On one of his first en-
trances into the Court house at Salem he attracted the atten-
tion of Mr. Oliver, the learned author of " Forms and Declar-
ations", and of "The Conveyancer", who inquired with
much earnestness who he was. " For," said he, " he is the
most ambitious person I ever saw, since he has got here, his
face has flushed and paled half a dozen times." The life of
the subject of the augury has verified its truth.
Iu March, 1853, Mr. Gushing accepted the office of attorney
general in the administration of President Pierce. The
printed opinions of these officers, to the present time, fill
thirteen volumes, of which those of Mr. Cushing are comprised
in three volumes. These give vivid and clear views of
American liberty and modes of government ; they show how
smoothly and how safely to the citizen they operate when
guided by the law and controlled by the constitution. No
where better than here can the citizen relumine the light and
heat of patriotism, or the student better learn to appreciate
the value of the political institutions which protect him, and
which he in return is bound to support and cherish. They
measure too the crime of whomever would substitute for
them violence and arms, or who would pursue a course
of conduct calculated to stimulate others to such resorts.
Nobly on several occasions did the attorney general defend
and vindicate the honor and interests of his country. The
necessities of Great Britain for the supply of soldiers to its
armies in the war then pending with Russia, led to attempts
to enlist men in this country. The British Ambassador then
here, and some of the consuls of that nation shared in these
CALEB CUSHING. 53
attempts. These violations of the most sacred rights of a
nation were reproved by Mr. Cushing in a manner likely to
prevent their repetition in all future time.
Application was made to the government for indemnity
for the alleged use of Jackson and Morton's patent for
anaesthesia in surgical operations, which was referred to the
attorney general. After a full hearing he decided against
the claim on the ground of the invalidity of the patent. Af-
ter discussing various points of law, he closes his opinion in
this scientific manner. " I think that in the matter out of
which came this patent a signal service was performed, hon-
orable to the parties and to their country. It was not the
discovery of the anodyne effect of the inhalation of ether or
other anaesthetic agents. It was not the invention of the
performance of surgical operations on the human body which
is reduced to temporary insensibility by anaesthesia. These
were ideas familiar for ages to men of science, and the dis-
covery of which no more belongs to any individual as prop-
erty, than electricity, the fusibility of metals, the specific ef-
fects of opium, cinchona, mercury, the capacity of sleep, which
Cervantes speaks of, as a valuable invention, or any other
of the ascertained qualities of matter, functions of animal life,
or laws of inanimate matter. Neither of these things consti-
tutes the honorable service performed in the present instance.
That service consisted in the suggestion and execution of a
series of experiments, which resulted in demonstrating the
safety and utility of employing more frequently than had
been done heretofore, the known agents of anaesthesia, by
known methods in order to the known end of facilitating
surgical operations. That was a great good and worthy due
honor. There could be no question of patent in the succes-
sive steps of discovery and demonstration, which, beginning
with Copernicus, continued by Kepler and Gallileo and con-
summated by Newton, unfolded the mysteries of the law of
gravitation, and the composition of the solar and planetary
systems of the universe. So there can be no patent for the
expansibility of heated aqueous vapor, nor for its application
54 CALEB CUSHING.
to use, as a mechanical force ; but there may be for specific
instruments or methods of such application. In like manner
electro magnetism cannot be patented, nor even its use as a
means of communication, but particular means of its employ-
ment may be patented."
Since this opinion was given the public have not heard of
claims made under this patent. Mr. Choate was retained
and went once at least to Washington in reference to it. If
it was the part of Mr. Choate to inform Mr. Cushing, that
so far as the indictment went, on which his clients had been
found guilty in building a bridge, the bridge itself might be
a myth, it was now the part of Mr. Cushing to apprise Mr.
Choate that the letters patent of his clients were a figment.
These distinguished brethren held each other in high esteem.
They became, with Robert Rantoul Jr., joint purchasers of a
large tract of Western lands ; the whole speculation was
finally assumed by Mr. Cushing. It subjected him to the
vicissitudes of a frontier litigation with an antagonist who
proved to have equal determination. A long and undecided
contest between them was closed by a voluntary partition of
the estate. The steadiness and intelligence with which the
attorney general held to the rule of law, his love and rev-
erence for the constitution, his complete knowledge of the
history of his country, must have been highly promotive of
the success of any administration. That of President Pierce
has accordingly been said to have been one of the most suc-
cessful. Perhaps the affluence of learning, the skill of interpre-
tation and the power of analysis, displayed in the three
volumes of opinions by Mr. Cushing, are not excelled in these
characteristics by the work of any lawyer in the English lan-
guage. The reader of these opinions will observe and admire
with what care their author has derived our political institu-
tions, liberty^and rules of judicial decision from the common
law, and has drawn their origin from its fountains, from the
Year Books, from Coke, Plowden, Viner, and all the ancient
sages of this jurisprudence, and has traced the recognition of
its precepts and privileges through the whole series of modern
CALEB CUSHING. 55
reports, and even in the latest text writers. These researches
were his own work seldom aided by counsel on either side of
the question presented. In this office, as well as in Congress,
the grounds of controversy existing between this country
and Great Britain excited his attention, and he considered
them as they occurred to him.
After his retirement from office he was retained in many
highly important suits. One of the most remarkable was
that of the Gaines claim to land in the city of New Orleans.
The case in which he was engaged for the plaintiff and
claimant, was the sixth suit in the Supreme Court of the
United States. Each of the five former actions had been de-
cided in favor of the defendant, who, however, was not the
same person in all the suits. The record of the case in ques-
tion consisted of one thousand printed pages. Among the
subjects of investigation, one was into the criminal jurisdic-
tion of the Spanish Inquisition. Judge Wayne inclosing his
opinion for the claimant, said : " When hereafter some dis-
tinguished American lawyer shall retire from practice to
write the history of his country's jurisprudence, this case will
be registered by him as the most remarkable in the annals
of its Courts."
The Trent affair was an early incident of the late civil war.
The capture of the Confederate citizens was the subject of
general gratulation. Mr. Cushing decided at once that they
could not be held, but must be surrendered upon the British
demand. His judgment prevailed, and was carried into ef-
fect by a dispatch, to the writing of which he contributed,
but its entire authorship is not to be ascribed to him. He
saw in this event a sufficient cause for waking into life all
the elements of discord subsisting between the two nations,
and our entrance into war with the wrong on our side.
Through the civil war Mr. Cushing was constantly consulted
by Mr. Seward. So frequent were the calls for this purpose,
that Mr. Cushing was induced to remove to Washington.
About this period, he was on a learned commission to revise
the Acts of Congress. Those, who have had occasion to ex-
56 . CALEB CUSHING.
plore the vast and intricate mazes of the United States stat-
utes at large, will best comprehend the labor and care neces-
sary to the performance of this duty, as it would be performed
by him. When the war had ceased the American govern-
ment claimed from that of Great Britain reparation for dam-
ages inflicted by it upon this country during the conflict, and
by reason of its existence. Mr. Cushing has stated more
forcibly, than has been done by any other person, the charges
to which the British government had thus subjected itself.
The negotiation of the Clarendea Johnson Treaty followed,
which was rejected by the Senate. The alternatives were
then war or fresh negotiation. The studies of Mr. Cushing
had qualified him for an active agency at this crisis. He had
an enumeration of the affairs and interests unsettled between
the governments. He found there were five different subjects
involving forty-three articles to be provided for in any Treaty
which should be a perfect settlement between them. To ne-
gotiate such a Treaty successfully must be the work of great
knowledge and sagacity, of vast labor, and of much delicacy.
When it had been agreed to negotiate, five commissioners
were appointed on the part of the United States, three of
whom spoke only when officially called upon, leaving the
negotiation where it belonged in the hands of the government,
which for this purpose consisted of Mr. Fish here and Mr.
Schenck in London. It is not pretended that the Secretary
or the Ambassador had more than a general knowledge of the
subjects of negotiation. Mr. Cushing had analyzed and
classified them. They were fully in his mind, and could be
dealt with by the ability he was so well known to possess.
Whatever in the intercourse between the governments could
be as well done by Mr. Cushing, as it could by the Secretary
or Ambassador, though- done in the name of one of them,
was really done by him. The result of the negotiation was
the Treaty of Washington, which does provide for a perfect
settlement between the two nations, embracing specifically
the five subjects, and forty-three articles enumerated by Mr.
Cushing. It referred the Alabama claims to an arbitration
CALEB CUSHING. 57
before which the United States and Great Britain were to
appear, as parties to a suit at law. Mr. Cushing was counsel
and agent for the United States. The American case, as
filed with the arbitrators, consists of eight octavo volumes
comprising five thousand two hundred and forty-four pages.
The Britain case is contained in three volumes, and covers
two thousand eight hundred and twenty-three pages. The
British counter case is in four volumes folio ; this is equiva-
lent to the plea and answer ; the American is in three vol-
The United States claimed for consequential damages ; for
damage to the nation in its sovereign capacity, as well as for
damage to the individual citizen. Much heated discussion
through the press followed upon the disclosure of the Ameri-
can case stating this claim. While the discussion went on,
Mr. Cushing made his headquarters at Paris, as the great cen-
ter of international communication, and was busily engaged in
preparing the American counter case, and in watching the
current of discussion and the state of public opinion. When
therefore the arbitration assembled at Geneva he was well in-
formed of all the influences to which any had been subjected
who were concerned in it. The arbitrators took cognizance
of the claim for consequential damages, the injury done to the
sovereignty of the nation. It was hence that the sum
awarded so much more than covered the claims for individual
losses. The award was a triumph for our country. The
honor of its achievement belongs to Mr. Cushing. To him
also belongs the higher glory of being author of the Treaty of
Thus at Geneva on the same plains of Europe where Wa-
terloo and so many other bloody battles have been fought in
every age in the settlement of national quarrels, our country
without shedding one drop of blood or adding one pang to the
sum of human misery, vindicated herself, gained justice and
a victory full of glory over the most powerful of nations. In
all this Mr. Cushing was as much the leader, as he would
have been if the commander of a conquering army. Equal
58 CALEB CUSHING.
honor at least is due to his memory, as if he had won the
triumph by force of arms. These services were rendered by
him to his country, as a lawyer. It was his learning, and skill
as a lawyer, which enabled him to render them. After ren-
dering these benefits to the nation, he was nominated to be
Chief Justice of the United States. The nomination was
withdrawn. Enquiry into even the alleged causes and pre-
texts will not change the obvious character of the transaction.
Through life Mr. Cushing was self reliant. He had the in-
dustry of Cicero, but he had no Atticus. Like Cicero, he was
never a thorough partisan. He declared his purpose to
maintain his individuality. He would never suffer himself
to be absorbed in partj r . Hence he never secured to himself
perfect political allegiance. The offices he held were given
to his merits, and for the sake of his service in them. It
happened to him, as we have seen in this brief recital, to en-
ter office under circumstances calculated to provoke criticism
on any failure or deficiency on his part. When he laid down
office his discharge of duty in it had been such as to leave
room only for praise and admiration.
His attainments in learning were such as a thirst for knowl-
edge, a love of labor, an unrivalled facility of acquisition and
a most retentive memory supplied. His use of them was
regulated by a severe and well disciplined taste, by habits of
order and method, by a perfect control over his attention, by
a keen perception, by extraordinary powers of analysis, and
of concentration, and by a high respect for truth. He feared
no task, he shrunk from no toil, no undertaking within the
compass of human labor was too vast, or too tedious for the
encounter of his courage. The work he performed has not
yet been measured ; much of it is yet locked in the archives
of state, or lost for the time in the legion of documents. His
name and memory, though for very different reasons, like
those of the great English lawyer, must be " bequeathed to
his countrymen after some time be passed over." When pos-
terity reckons the names of the heroes whose deeds and lives
have honored and adorned humanity, it will count among
CALEB CUSHING. 59
them the name of Caleb Cushing. We seek to perform what
belongs to us to do ; to claim for our profession the honor his
name confers upon it ; to illustrate his example ; and to bear
our testimony, as witnesses, to his character and career."
Mr. Eben F. Stone moved that the memorial be placed up-
on the records of the court, and made a brief eulogy. The
motion was seconded by Mr. William D. Northend, who
said, a great man, a great lawyer, a great statesman, had
passed away. It was right and fitting that the bar should
recognize his merits.
Judge Morton in response said : —
This is not the place nor the occasion to attempt to deline-
ate the intellectual and personal character of a citizen who
has filled so large a place in the public eye as the late Caleb
But we may briefly allude to the qualities which were the
foundation of his fame, and in which he is most worthy of
remembrance and emulation.
For sixty years of a most active life he maintained the high
reputation with which he left college. In talents versatile,
in reading omnivorous, in study and mental labor indefati-
gable ; of him it could be said with more truth than of almost
any man of his time, labor ipse voluptas. No stage of his
long and varied career affords a better or more characteristic
portrait of him than his brief term of service upon this bench.
For some years previously he had been so engrossed in
other fields of labor that some entertained doubts of the fit-
ness of the appointment.
But those who doubted did not know the man.
He immediately concentrated his remarkable faculties up-
on his new duties, and was said in the space of six weeks to
have read through the entire series of the Massachusetts Re-
ports : he surprised the whole bar by the ease and ability
with which he presided at nisi prius ; and I have been told by
his colleagues, not one of whom survives, that he took a lead-
60 CALEB CUSHING.
ing part in the consultations of the full court, especially up-
on questions of constitutional and public law.
After a service of but ten months he resigned to accept the
office of Attorney General of the United States. Since that
time his valuable public services are familiar to all, and have
been fittingly referred to in the memorial of the Bar ; his
learning and his counsel have been a support to successive
administrations of the national government ; and his studies
in jurisprudence, politics, history and literature were con-
tinued without interruption to the end of his long life.
Concurring in the sentiments of the memorial presented
by the Bar, I shall order that out of respect to the memory of
Mr. Cushing, the memorial be recorded, and the court be
OTIS P. LORD.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association, held March
14, 1884, Messrs. Northend, Choate, Abbott, Saunders and
Thompson were appointed a committee to prepare a memo-
rial of Mr. Otis P. Lord, to be presented to the Supreme
In the Supreme Judicial Court in Salem, on Thursday, April
24, 1884, Chief Justice Morton presiding, Mr. Alfred
A. Abbott, in behalf of the committee, presented the fol-
lowing memorial :
May it Please Your Honor : — The Committee of the
Bar Association have had another duty delegated to them,
upon the discharge of which they enter with unaffected diffi-
The death of Judge Lord has already been formally an-
nounced to your Honor's Court, and before the full Court
for the Commonwealth, eloquent tongues have narrated the
events of his life and vividly portrayed the striking traits of
his character as a man and a jurist.
But it seemed to us that here in this county, where he was
born, and dwelt, and died, where his earliest triumphs were
won, with whose social, political, and judicial history he was
so long and so closely identified, in this court room which he
dedicated, the Association which he organized, and of which
he was the first President, would fail alike in respect to the
memory of the dead and in due regard to the sensibilities of
the living, if it did not offer for record some tribute of its
own, though it be but an humble repetition of a tale that
has been told.
The main incidents of the life of Judge Lord, how, on
July 11, 1812, he was born at Ipswich, then a shire-town of
Essex, the son of the old Register of Probate, Nathaniel
62 OTIS P. LORD.
Lord, who, for more than one generation, shared with Judge
Daniel A. White the love and veneration of the people of
Essex, — how he was fitted for college at Bradford and at
Dummer Academy, and entered Amherst College at the age
of sixteen, graduating in the class of 1832, — how he pursued
the study of the law in the office of Judge Morris of Spring-
field and in the Dane Law School at Cambridge, — how, ad-
mitted to the bar in 1835, he began and continued practice
in his native town, until, in 1844, he removed to Salem, there
taking the office and succeeding to the business of Joshua
H. Ward, then recently appointed to the Bench of the Court
of Common Pleas, all this time his reputation as a lawyer
and the number of his clients steadily increasing, as he
ripened in learning and developed the varied powers of his
great intellect, and became one of the acknowledged leaders
of the Essex Bar, — how, drawn into political life, he repre-
sented the city of his residence and the county in the State
Legislature, serving in the House in 1847 and 1848, in the
Senate in 1849, and in the House again in 1852 and 1853, in
the latter year being also a member of the Constitutional
Convention, and there, by his constitutional learning, strength
of reasoning, bold leadership, and forensic eloquence, winning
such deserved recognition throughout the Commonwealth,
that on his return to the Legislature, in 1854, he was elected
Speaker of the House, gaining, by his firm, impartial, and
dignified conduct in the Chair, by his thorough acquaintance
with the principles and details of procedure, and by his sin-
gular tact and unsurpassed judgment in administration, a
name and fame as a parliamentarian such as few men in
Massachusetts have ever won, —how, bearing all these bur-
dens and faithfully discharging all these public trusts, he
still clung to his profession, leading in all the important
causes in his own and in many in other counties, and having
a clientage not exceeded in number and consequence by that
of any lawyer of his day, — how, on the constitution of the
Superior Court, in 1859, he was appointed one of its Justices,
in which capacity he served until, in 1875, he was made an
OTIS P. LORD. 63
Associate Justice of this Court, and here aided in upholding
the high reputation of this august tribunal for sound learn-
ing, judicial wisdom and incorruptible integrity, until, having
filled up the measure of days allotted by the Psalmist, he
sought retirement and rest, and soon went down to an hon-
ored grave, with the general benediction, " Well done, good
and faithful servant," — with all these leading incidents of
this eventful life we have become recently familiar, as they
have been set forth in the courts and rehearsed in the public
press — and it is a noble record — and yet to those of us who
knew Otis P. Lord from his early manhood and through his
long career, this recital is as inadequate to convey a correct
impression of the real man as would be the lines upon the
map of a country to disclose the shining ores beneath its
surface, the fruitage of its soil, or the grandeur and beauty
of its landscape.
Judge Lord was cast in a large and heroic mould. All the
powers of his nature were upon a broad scale. Even his
prejudices, emotions and passions were after the strong type
of his intellectual faculties. And he had his nurture in a
grand school. Beginning his practice in a neighborhood
then somewhat famous for its litigation, and the nature of
which required a delving among the very roots of the com-
mon law, and gradually working his way into causes which
involved the larger issues and more liberal principles of the
Law Merchant, he soon came to measure his strength with a
band of lawyers, competition with whom could not fail ta
arouse all his latent energies, and who, as we look back upon
them now, loom up in the past in almost colossal proportions.
Mr. Leverett Saltonstall yet lingered in the courts, with his
ample culture, his ripe experience, and his courtly bearing,
charming juries by his manly eloquence, and winning all
hearts by the radiant honesty and beauty of his character.
Mr. Nathaniel J. Lord, the older brother of Otis, ripe and
accurate in his learning, skilful in dialectics, acute, adroit, of
unruffled courtesy and exquisite finish, yet striking blows as
hard as could the mailed hand of a knight ; Joshua H. Ward,.
64 OTIS P. LORD.
with his flashing eye, beaming smile, silver tongue, and per-
ceptions quick as intuitions, whose brief but brilliant career
gave the fair promise of a great fame, only to be blighted by
his early death; Asahel Huntington, known to most of the
present members of our bar only in his retired and modest
position of Clerk, but who for a quarter of a century, not
only on the criminal side, where he prosecuted with such
vigor and success, but in civil causes, by his strong good
sense, his unrivalled skill in dealing with a case of circum-
stancial evidence, his powers of sarcasm, his broad humor,
his indomitable will, and his earnestness and energy born of
deep moral convictions, had such control over an Essex
County jury as few men have ever held, — and then, not to
name others, towering above all, the peerless and incompara-
ble Rufus Choate, not so long removed from Essex but that
his old clients still kept bim in our courts, and where to his
last days he yet delighted to come and renew the triumphs
of his youth, with whom Mr. Lord was often associated, and
who was known to have said of his frequent junior that there
was no lawyer whose aid he more eagerly welcomed, and no
one whom he would not quite as willingly see upon the
other side. These were the teachers of Judge Lord, in
daily conflict with whom he had his professional training,
and under the inspiration of whose example, every faculty
of his nature found its full development.
But Judge Lord was no imitator, copied after no man,
was emphatically sui generis, and had from the first an indi-
viduality, a freedom of thought and an independence of action
which stood by him to the last.
Perhaps of all those who in times past have been foremost
at the Essex Bar, and whose fame rests upon their laurels
won here, Judge Lord by general consent, stands primus
inter pares, whether we consider the extent and variety of
his practice, his ample learning, his union of tact and skill
with energy and force, his marvelous ability to deal with and
solve the most complicated questions of law and fact, his
control over the minds of men, by the might of pure reason,
OTIS P. LORD. 65
enforced by a vehement and fervid eloquence, or by the sig-
nal success which crowned his work. If one were asked to
single out the intellectual traits which most distinguished
him, it might be said that they consisted in the rare union in
one person, of exceptional powers of analysis, 'the faculty of
microscopic insight into details, a Scotch acumen and keen-
ness of perception, and at the same time a capacity for the
broad view, the wide comprehension, and the firm grasp of
the largest outlines of a subject. Perhaps his strength lay
in the well-balanced combination and rigid discipline of all
his mental gifts. But whatever may have been the intellec-
tual secrets of his success, they gained added effect from the
moral qualities of the man. His moral honesty was organic
and it was transparent. As his intellectual integrity was so
constitutional and controlling that he could not make a sim-
ple narration of facts otherwise than in exact conformity
with the truth, so that his statement of an opponent's case
which he proposed to demolish was the strongest argument
to be made in its favor, so his moral integrity was equally
and conspicuously a part of his nature, and fortified and made
more effective his mental abilities. He could not use artifice
or cunning devices with a jury, indirection or sophistry with
the Court, or sharp or questionable practices with a brother
attorney. In all his professional conduct and dealing he was
exemplary. Perhaps no better illustration of his ruling sense
of right and wrong can be given than the fact, so well known
to all his contemporaries at the bar, that though when fairly
launched in a trial, he pursued it with impassioned zeal and
fervor, no one ever more enjoying the delights of the conflict,
the gaudia certaminis, yet there was no man with whom it
was easier to settle a controversy, and when it once became
evident that a fair adjustment was possible, he was always
ready to advance at least half way in a compromise, and in
the spirit of a just arbitrator rather than a partisan attorney,
pay regard to and secure the fair rights of both parties. His
whole life and conduct as a lawyer were a complete refuta-
tion of the shallow dogma, that the practice of the law, deal-
66 OTIS P. LORD.
ing in technicalities and hedged about by precedents, while
it sharpens certain faculties and intensifies some of the powers
of the mind, yet narrows its breadth and dwarfs its full and
healthy growth, and even blunts the finer sensibilities and
higher moral sense. He illustrated that its generous pur-
suit, involving the largest trusts and the most sacred confi-
dences, can find in the protection of private rights and the
conservation of principles, which are the foundations of pub-
lic order and safety, the amplest field for the development of
the noblest virtues and the exercise of the supremest facul-
ties of a full and perfect manhood.
Of the nearly half century of Judge Lord's professional
life, a full moiety was spent upon the bench. His brilliant
career at the bar had given him a great reputation through-
out the Commonwealth, and there were the largest expecta-
tions of his success as a Judge. To say that these anticipa-
tions were fairly realized is to stamp with unqualified appro-
bation his judicial labors. He brought to the Bench not
only vast experience, profound and varied learning, the
power of acute discrimination and an irresistible logic, and
a robust common sense which instantly grasped the true
bearing and value of facts and recognized the relations of
cause and effect, but an earnest, emphatic and impressive
manner, and a command of language, lucid, terse, incisive,
vigorous and bold, — so that, as was once said by a layman
after listening to one of his characteristic charges to a jury,
"that trumpet gives no uncertain sound." The ablest lawyer
admired the precision, clearness, fullness and force with
which the legal principles governing a case were stated,
while the dullest juryman could not fail to see their applica-
tion to the facts, which were so marshalled, weighed and
presented to his understanding, that the path to the verdict
seemed straight and plain.
When Judge Lord was appointed to the bench of this
Court, some of his friends felt an apprehension that the
promotion had come to him too late in life to admit of a
ready adaptation to its peculiar duties, or of his making so
OTIS P. LORD. 67
striking a figure in this position, as under more favorable
circumstances his splendid abilities would certainly have
enabled him to do. But surely the result proved that in this
step there was no cause for regret, either for him, the profes-
sion, or the public. What he was in consultation is best
known to your Honor and his other associates, — though it is
not to be conceived how his large acquirements and rare
powers of mind, his sagacity and wisdom, his wide practical
knowledge and subtle skill in solving the most intricate
problems, could have failed to be of invaluable aid to the
Court in upholding the settled landmarks of the law, or in
defining those nice distinctions and creating those new canons
which the demands of modern society and novel modes of
life and business have made necessary. But in the recorded
opinions of the Court which have come from his pen, so
copious in their learning, sound in their reasoning, safe in
their conclusions, and epigrammatic in the point and nerve
of the language in which they are clothed, and in the dis-
charge of those functions of his great office which brought him
into public view as a nisi prius judge, no words of praise can be
too extravagant to portray his excellence. It has been some-
times said that he was brusque and austere in his manner,
and at times harsh and severe in his treatment of counsel.
That he was impatient of incompetency and ignorance, in-
dignant at pettifogging and chicanery, and quick to denounce
double-dealing or fraud, may be true enough, but every
honest man's case and every righteous cause were safe in his
hands, and every honorable lawyer, however inexperienced
and timid, felt that he had a friend in the judge upon the
bench, who, inspired by the eternal light of justice, would
aid him in vindicating the truth and the right. And how he
would warm to his work, how he would strip a case of all
irrelevant matter, brush away the web of fiction and sophis-
try, and bring out clear as the day the simple and real issues.
And how he would rise to great emergencies, and when im-
portant interests were at stake, and character and personal
liberty involved, or life and death hung trembling in the bal-
68 OTIS P. LORD.
ance, how he would become the very embodiment of inflexi-
ble justice, and with righteous indignation and matchless
fervor and eloquence, vindicate the majesty of the law. If
there were spots on the sun, they did not chill its warmth or
dim its effulgence.
There have been those amongst the warmest admirers of
Judge Lord, and perhaps they were those who knew him
best and measured him most accurately, who have thought
that he would have found the fittest field for the display of
his great powers in the interpretation of constitutional juris-
prudence or in the higher walks of statesmanship. Had his
lot in life been cast elsewhere or in another day, perhaps this
might have been so. Certainly his modes of thought and the
dignity of his conceptions were fashioned after the pattern of
those who have moulded the organic law of States, while the
unerring logic, massive judgment, and eloquent oratory with
which he enforced his convictions, remind us of those who
seemed born " th' applause of list'ning senates to command."
There is no page in his eventful history brighter than that
which records the part he took in the Debates of the Conven-
tion of 1853 ; and his masterl}' exposition of the issues in-
volved in the propositions submitted to the people, accom-
plished more than any other one instrumentality in bringing
about the final result. If it was well said of Lord Mansfield,
" how sweet an Ovid was in Murray lost," as truly may it be
said of Judge Lord, that our gain in him as a lawyer and a
jurist was the loss to the nation of a publicist and a states-
In private life Judge Lord was one of the most interest-
ing and agreeable of men, dignified but cordial in his man-
ners, piquant and racy in conversation, botli just and gener-
ous, a staunch friend, a kind neighbor, an upright and liberal
citizen, and in his home, genial, hospitable, gracious, and
until domestic bereavement and the infirmities of age cast
their shadows, overflowing with high spirits and abounding
in good cheer. Although after he retired from active duty,
his mind, brooding over doubts and dangers, might have
OTIS P. LORD. 69
grown morbid in what some of his friends regarded as preju-
dices, and his utterances have become more emphatic and
severe, yet those friends recognized in this the mental and
moral type and training which clung to " the logic of law
as against the logic of events," and an unswerving loyalty to
the dictates of reason and of conscience. His intellectual vis-
ion was undimmed to the last. He knew that his days were
numbered, and he awaited the final summons with the calm-
ness of a philosopher and the faith of a Christian.
The portrait of Judge Lord hangs upon the wall before
us. We are pleased to think that the genius of the artist has
faithfully delineated the striking features of our departed
friend. It will be a treasure fondly prized by the members
of the Bar, for whom he ever cherished so warm a regard,
and which he manifested in the generous provision of his last
will and testament. But it will be long before those eyes, as
they bend down from the canvas upon the busy scenes of this
court room will rest upon one who shall unite in himself all
those attributes as a man, a lawyer and a jurist, which have
so distinguished and will ever keep bright in our memories
the name of Otis Phillips Lord.
May it please your Honor, it is the request of the Essex
Bar Association that this memorial, feeble and inadequate,
but truthful and sincere, may be placed upon the records of
Mr. William D. Northend then said : —
May it please your Honor : — The memorial which
has just now been read, so fully and happily describes
the abilities, characteristics, and services, of our deceased
brother, that we perhaps ought to be content with a simple
expression of our hearty concurrence. But he, in the
performance of his professional duties, was so distinguished
and exemplary, and his loss to the profession and the
community was so great, that the members of the Bar
desire to express personally, the love and regard they enter-
tained for him, and their appreciation of the great and irre-
70 OTIS P. LORD.
parable loss we have sustained. Our deceased brother was
born, and during the entire period of his professional life,
resided in this county. The older members of the Bar will
remember Judge Lord as the great nisi prius lawyer of the
county. Thoroughly grounded in the principles of the com-
mon law, with a logical mind which could seize upon and
apply with wonderful power the legal principles to the facts
in a case, and with a keenness and power in cross-examina-
tion unsurpassed, he was a most formidable opponent in the
trial of a case. He was a natural advocate. He revelled in
his immense ability to exhaust all the arguments in behalf
of his client. Later, upon the Bench of both our higher
courts, he exhibited the learning and power which made him
so conspicuous at the Bar. It has been said that the qualifi-
cations for success as an advocate are to a certain extent in-
compatible with the exercise of that strict impartiality which
should characterize the Bench. But Judge Lord had in an
eminent degree, honesty of head and of heart, and few men,
with his temperament and constitution of mind, ever better
met the expectations of their friends upon the Bench. His
friendships were strong, and to those who were permitted to
enjoy personal intimacy with him, he was one of the kindest
and most genial of men. He finished a well rounded life and
has been gathered to his fathers, full of years and of honors.
In behalf of the Essex Bar Association I cordially second
the motion of Brother Abbott, that the memorial be entered
upon the records of this Court.
Me. Daniel Saunders then spoke as follows : —
The reputation of Judge Lord as a lawyer of unusual
ability, was established very early after his admission to the
His first cases in court were presented with a clearness and
conciseness of statement of law and fact, which gave him a
standing at once with both the Bar and the Court. The im-
portance of a clear and comprehensive opening of a case to a
jury has never been over-estimated by lawyers of much prac-
OTIS P. LORD. 71
tice. In cases of great importance, senior counsel often in-
struct their juniors in this part of their duty with great care,
or perform the work themselves. When, however, in his
early practice, leading members of the Bar had Mr. Lord as
their junior, they soon learned to give themselves no anxiety
as to the opening statements of their cases. His openings
were so clear and distinct that when he had finished, both
the court and jury had a full understanding of the questions
at issue ; matters were so simplified that the least intelligent
upon the panel had a correct idea of the questions upon
which his verdict was to be rendered.
A few years of practice, brought him a full docket and
retainers in the most important cases. When I came to this
Bar a few years after his admission, the question, who
was its leader, was an open one. Many gave the position to
him, others assigned it to his distinguished elder brother,
Nathaniel J. Lord, then in full tide of successful practice.
His brother had a gravity of manner combined with a keen
intellect and a thorough knowledge of law, which led both
court and jury. Judge Lord had an equal keenness, with
as thorough a knowledge of law, and an impulsive force and
vigor not always under rigid restraint, but always logical,
which compelled both court and jury to sustain his conclusions
of law and fact. When ill health compelled his brother to
retire, there were none left to divide with him the honors of
What most surprised the younger members of the bar when
they had occasion to engage his services as their senior, was
the ease with which he grasped the whole merits of their
cases. I know from personal experience, that in cases to
which I had given days and weeks of careful labor in their
preparation and had looked through every digest to find
authorities to sustain my law, a brief consultation was all
that was needed to give him a full insight into all the merits
of the case upon the facts ; and the application of a few well-
known principles settled all questions of law. Thus hastily
equipped, he was ready to fight successfully the hardest
72 OTIS P. LORD.
battles in legal warfare. In the examination of witnesses he
had a marvelous power of calling out every fact bearing upon
the case. A single fact elicited, gave him a clue to the whole
chain of evidence. No matter how stupid, forgetful or dis-
honest a witness might be, he seldom left the stand with any-
material fact withheld or concealed. His cross-examinations
were thorough and exhaustive, though sometimes the great
quickness and clearness of his mind led him to deal harshly
with a witness, attributing to him an intent to withhold facts,
when only sluggishness or confusion of mind prevented him
from readily testifying to all matters within his knowledge.
Upon political questions Judge Lord had strong convic-
tions and the courage of his convictions. Never a politician,
in the common acceptation of that term, but always a strong
advocate of the principles and the candidates of the party whose
cause he espoused. Upon his first appearance in the Legis-
lature of the State to which he was frequently called, he was
recognized as a party leader of commanding ability ; but in
matters of legislation he was judicious and conservative,
giving the weight of his great talents only to those measures
which he believed to be for the benefit of the whole body
In social life, he enjoyed in a marked degree, the society
of his friends, with whom his unaffected affability and kind-
ness attested the sincerity and warmth of his friendship.
Called from the bar to the bench (a step upward in our
profession, but whether a step forward in the case of Judge
Lord is a mooted question among his friends), he carried
with him that quick perception of the merits of a case in all
its bearings, which so distinguished him at the bar, a per-
ception which sometimes made him impatient at the slow-
ness with which counsel travelled, and he frequently urged
them forward with more haste than they were well capable
of. His mind was so clear and active that he was not always
able to sympathize with those of slower pace. This great
quickness which made him foremost at the bar, was upon the
bench sometimes a source of impatience to himself and
0TI8 P. LORD. 73
annoyance to counsel, but it gave him great strength in his
charges to a jury. His charges were clear and strong, us-
ually brief, yet so full and explicit that the jury were never
left in doubt as to the matter to be considered by them ; the
facts to be found and the law applicable thereto.
No man at the bar or upon the bench loved justice and fair
dealing more than he did. At the bar an agreement made
by him was as binding as a judgment of the Court. Upon
the bench the least semblance of trickery or fraud in counsel
or client was sure to be exposed with scathing rebuke. In
matters of law, his rulings were explicit, and in a bill of ex-
ceptions never changed or shaded to give them a different
effect, or to deprive them of the significance which they re-
ceived during the progress of a trial.
The professional, official and social character of Judge
Lord can be summed up in a few words. He was a great
lawyer, a powerful advocate, a wise legislator, a strong,
sound judge, a firm friend and an honest man. When the
history of Essex County is written, his name will be found
in the front ranks of those peerless men who have made Essex
County the first county in the State, as the birthplace of
great lawyers, brilliant advocates, and eminent jurists.
Mr. Charles P. Thompson then said : —
May it please your Honor: I came to the bar of this
county too late to witness the exhibitions of Mr. Justice Lord's
ability as an advocate, although I remember to have heard
him cross-examine a defendant, who had offered himself as a
witness in a criminal case, where he assisted the Govern-
ment in the prosecution. That cross-examination was ter-
rific ; his sudden and powerful mental grip so checked the
witness' circulation that he fainted. In a subsequent trial
of the case, Judge Lord was a witness, and testified in
relation to what the defendant said in that examination,
and on being asked by the counsel for the defendant if
he did not examine him " somewhat harshly," he replied ;
" somewhat energetically." I think all who have seen him
74 OTIS P. LORD.
at the bar or on the bench can well understand what an
energetic cross examination by him must have been. No
man had a more enviable reputation for ability of the highest
order at the bar, than he. He stood foremost among the ablest
lawyers of the Commonwealth, and it is certain that his repu-
tation was based upon an honest and solid foundation, won-
derful mental powers, enriched by diligent study of the ele-
mentary principles of law and the application of those prin-
ciples as illustrated in the reports. He had an honest head
and an honest heart. Those who have known him as a judge,
will readily comprehend how forcible were his arguments.
But I have been a frequent witness of the manner in which
he performed the duties of a judge during all the time he
was upon the bench of the Superior Court and upon the bench
of this Court, and I am sure that no expressions of appreci-
ation as to the ability and faithfulness with which he per-
formed those important duties, can be considered as exagger-
ations. He brought to the discharge of the duties of the
bench, a mind most thoroughly trained for judicial investiga-
tions, with great familiarity with legal principles, and large
experience at the bar. For quickness and clearness of per-
ception, for strength and capacity to deal with the most in-
tricate questions, and unravel the knottiest judicial problems,
and for clear and forcible statement he was the admiration
of all who witnessed his judicial action. And all can bear
testimony to his love for honest, bold and fearless advocacy,
and his contempt for everything like disingenuousness, decep-
tion or fraud. I will not say more. My own feelings and
sentiments and those of the bar have been more fitly expressed
in the memorial presented and the remarks of those who have
preceded me, than it is possible for me to express them. But
I could not well refrain from saying a word individually in
recognition of the distinguished merits of one before whom
in his official capacity, it has been my good fortune to appear
so often, and with so much satisfaction, and from whom in
common with the other members of this bar, I have always
received so great personal kindness.
OTIS P. LORD. 75
Chief Justice Morton then said : —
Brethren of the Bar : — I have listened with deep in-
terest and feeling to the beautiful memorial of Judge Lord,
drawn on your behalf with the loving hand of a friend, but
with the discriminating judgment of a critic.
When, soon after his death, a similar memorial service was
held before the Court for the Commonwealth, I had occasion,
on behalf of the whole Court, to express the deep sadness felt
by us all on account of the sickness and death of our associate
and friend. The same sadness and sense of loss was felt by
the bar and the people of the whole Commonwealth. We
lost an able, learned, and valued assistant ; the bar and the
people lost a vigorous, fearless, upright magistrate, of great
learning and of unquestioned integrity and purity. In every
relation of his life as a private citizen, as a legislator, as an
advocate at the bar, and as a judge, he was a man of marked
individuality and strength, and everywhere made himself
felt as a power.
For the first half of his mature life he was a member of
your bar. I need not, in this presence, dwell upon the great
qualities which distinguished his career at the bar, upon his
abundant learning, his great mental vigor, his keen insight
into the motives and forces which controlled the minds of
jurors and witnesses, his power of analyzing and grouping
evidence in a case, or his vigorous, aggressive and caustic elo-
quence. These are best remembered by the older members
of your bar who have met him in the contests of the court-
room. It is the strongest assertion of his great abilities and
success, to state the fact that for many years he was the ac-
knowledged leader of the Essex Bar.
In 1859, a partial reorganization of our judicial system was
made and the Superior Court was established, with extensive
jurisdiction and large and important powers and functions.
It was universally regarded as a matter of public congrat-
ulation that Judge Lord was willing to accept a seat upon
this Court as one of its justices. From that time, until he
was stricken down by disease, a period of nearly a quarter
76 OTIS P. LORD.
of a century, he rendered most valuable services as a member
of the two highest courts of the Commonwealth.
It is not my purpose to do more than merely to refer to
his distinguished merits in these positions, which attracted
the attention of the bar and the people of the State. His
fame belongs to the Commonwealth: but there is a special
fitness that the bar of this county should take notice of his
death by some suitable memorial. He was one of your bar.
Here he laid the foundations of his great fame. He always
retained a lively interest in and love for this bar, an interest
and a love manifested by the latest act of his life, when,
speaking through his last will and testament, he made pro-
vision for the support and increase of your law library, in
which he had, as you have, a just pride.
I would adopt as my own, the sentiments expressed in
your memorial and in the eloquent and touching tributes
which have been paid by so many of your number ; and, as
you request, shall order that the memorial be entered upon
the records of the Court, as a permanent monument of our
respect and affection for our departed friend.
STEPHEN BRADSHAW IVES.
On February 9, 1884, at a meeting of the Essex Bar Asso-
ciation, Messrs. Northend, Choate, Abbott, Saunders and
Thompson were appointed a Committee to prepare for the
Court a memorial of Stephen B. Ives.
At the Supreme Judicial Court held in Salem on Thursday,
April 24, 1884, Chief Justice Morton presiding, Mr.
Alfred A. Abbott, in behalf of the Committee, presented
and read the following memorial : —
May it please your Honor : — On the 8th day of Feb-
ruary last, Mr. Stephen Bradshaw Ives, for so many
years a distinguished member of the Essex Bar, departed this
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association, held on the
following day, a committee was appointed to prepare and to
present to this Court a memorial of the deceased ; and it is in
fulfilment of the duty assigned them that that Committee, in
behalf of the Association, now craves your Honor's attention.
Mr. Ives was born in Salem, March 9, 1827. He came of
an ancestry which, on both the paternal and maternal sides,
was representative of the earlier settlers of the Massachusetts
Bay. He was the son of Mr. Stephen B. Ives, a gentleman
whose genial presence was familiar to us all ; who at more
than four-score years preserved almost the vigor and
bloom of youth, and whose decease preceded by but a few
short months the untimely death of the son in whom he had
such just and loving pride.
Mr. Ives had his early education and was prepared for col-
lege in the public schools of Salem, entered Harvard in the
year 1844, and was graduated in course with the class of 1848.
After leaving the University he was engaged for a brief period
in the occupation of school teaching, during one season at
78 STEPHEN BRADSHAW IVES.
Newbury, and afterward in his own city as principal of one of
its grammar schools; and to the elementary training and
knowledge of human nature thus had and acquired, he was
accustomed to attribute much of his success in after life.
But his mind soon became turned to the profession for
which it early became evident that he was peculiarly adapted,
and he entered and pursued the study of the law in the office
of Messrs. Northend & Choate. He was admitted to the bar
at the March Term of the Court of Common Pleas in 1851,
and for a year or two following filled the position of Clerk of
the Salem Police Court. Fortunately for him and the pro-
fession, he was soon relieved from a service which could
afford little scope for the exercise of his powers ; and in 1853
he entered upon that course of active labor at the bar which
ended only with his life.
Mr. Ives brought to his chosen work rare native and ac-
quired gifts. He was endowed with intellectual abilities of
a high order, — quick perceptive faculties, a capacity for
acute reasoning and of swiftly reaching conclusions, remark-
able powers of observation, a singularly ready and retentive
memory, and that greatest of all mental gifts, the ability to
concentrate every faculty of the mind upon a given subject
With these natural endowments, trained and expanded by
early studies, especially in the science of mathematics, of
which he was always fond ; by varied reading and generous
culture, with a sanguine temperament, eager, ardent, hopeful,
and brave ; with an admiration for his profession as warm as
that of a lover, and a belief in its high mission as profound as
that of a devotee in his religion, — he began, and for thirty
years pursued, a career which had had few parallels in the
history of the Essex Bar.
There was no branch of legal practice in which he did not
participate, and in which he did not seem equally at home.
In jury trials, both on the civil and criminal sides ; in the
argument of questions, to the full court ; in cases involving
commercial law and the law of real estate ; in equity and
STEPHEN BRADSHAW IVES. 79
probate and insolvency ; before city councils and committees
of the Legislature, — in whatever usual or novel cause could
arise in a general practice, he seemed always ready, and never
at a moment's loss as to the principles which governed, or
the line of conduct to be pursued. If he had graven "Semper
paratus " on his crest, the legend would have been no empty
During a quarter of a century there was hardly an important
suit in Essex County, — certainly not in his own part of the
county, — in which he was not retained upon the one side or the
other. His life may be said to have been spent in the court-
room : nothing there escaped his observation. He was nearly as
familiar with the dockets as were those who had them spec-
ially in charge, — knew every claim which was in litigation,
and the details of every action which was tried, — so that
when in his own practice there came a case which was appar-
ently of novel impression, and without a precedent, he could
almost always furnish an analogy, or some ruling or adjudi-
cation which threw light upon the point in dispute, and
illumined the way to his own success.
As a jury-lawyer Mr. Ives had in his day few equals. He
delighted in the work, and courted rather than shunned the
sharpest encounter. Thoroughly master of his case, he would
bring out in full relief its strongest points, while with match-
less ingenuity he would unveil and expose the weak points
of the opposing side. Equally skilful at fence, and strong
in logic ; alert, watchful, eager, intense ; in his powers as a
cross-examiner unsurpassed, and in the discussion of ques-
tions of fact, clear, sensible, cogent and convincing, — his
success with juries was as marked as it was deserved. He
did not compel verdicts by the persuasive and controlling
powers of eloquence. He had not that temperament or genius
that could rise to the highest flights of the orator, and which
by sympathetic appeals to human passions can override the
stern realities of fact, and make the worse appear the better
reason. His success was due to careful preparation of his
cases ; to searching analysis of the facts and full control of
80 STEPHEN BRADSHAW IVES.
the law applicable thereto, to keen observation of men ; to
unflinching labor in acquiring a familiar knowledge of the
science, art, or business involved in the controversy ; and to
fair, square, vigorous, and manly argument upon the real
merits of the case. Those who have observed his conduct of an
important cause, in which the issues turned upon the nicest
questions of surgery or medicine, or practical problems of me-
chanical skill, have marvelled not only at his easy familiarity
with the nomenclature of the subject, but at his apparent com-
mand of its principles and fundamental laws, which enabled
him to detect and expose empiricism, charlatanry, and
But, on the whole, his well-recognized eminence and
achievements as a lawyer were due not so much to his supe-
rior attainments or greater abilities in any one direction, or to
any superlative or phenomenal or occasional excellence, as to
the even poise and constant readiness of his powers, perhaps
never soaring above a certain mark, but that a high one, —
certainly never falling below it; — and because he was well-
armed at all points, totus, teres, atque rotundus, and did every-
thing which he had to do faithfully and well.
It has often been remarked that the fame of the most
successful lawyer is but short-lived, and rarely survives the
generation with which he is contemporaneous. But the in-
fluence of such a lawyer may live on in the lessons which
his example teaches to his associates, and the good results
may be widespread and long-enduring. There were certain
respects in which Brother Ives was a most worthy exemplar.
Though special pleading is well-nigh an obsolete science, yet
how much of success in practice is even now dependent upon
the skilfully drawn and accurate declaration and answer, and
the many interlocutory writings which the emergencies of a
case may demand. In this particular Mr. Ives will long be
a model for those who succeed him. Not only was he won-
derfully facile, prompt and ingenious, but in language as
clear and concise as his penmanship was neat and elegant, he
would put upon paper the exact statement of his case or of
STEPHEN BRADSHAW IVES. 81
the questions in dispute ; and the verdict of the jury or the
finding of the court would be the logical corollary of the
written pleadings in the cause. While his facility and ac-
complishments in this regard were unique, and may well
challenge competition in this day of loose and slovenly
pleading, his neatness, precision, accuracy and logic will
furnish precedents for better methods, and help lead to a
truer and more correct practice.
There was another respect in which Mr. Ives' conduct as
a lawyer may well serve as a pattern and an example. He
had the highest sense not only of professional courtesy, but
of professional honor and honesty. In all his dealings with
his brethren he was liberal, accommodating and kind, never
punctilious or exacting, practised no low or unworthy arts,
never resorted to a trick or subterfuge, fought hard, but al-
ways in a manly way ; and in his dealings with the Court
kept ever in mind that significant part of his oath, that in
the office of an attorney within the courts, he would conduct
himself with all good fidelity, as well to the courts as to his
clients. And thus it was that there was no concealment or
evasion, no attempt to obtain a favorable ruling by a sup-
pression of adjudicated law or known facts and never a tacit
consent to a triumph which might be secured through a mis-
apprehension or misunderstanding on the part of the judge ;
for he had that noble pride in the Bench which every true
lawyer will cherish, and felt as a personal affront any impu-
tation upon its unerring accuracy and absolute verity. And
thus it was that, after a long and heated trial, arousing every
energy, sharpening every faculty, exciting every emotion,
and ruffling even the best governed temper, he would sit
calmly down and draw up a bill of exceptions or a report of
the case, so truthfully and fairly presenting the points at is-
sue as to require little if any emendation, and secure at once
the acquiescence of opposing counsel and the approval of the
Mr. Ives prided himself upon being a lawyer, and only a
lawyer, having a profound conviction that no calling was
82 STEPHEN BRADSHAW" IVES.
more useful or honorable, no position more exalted, or hav-
ing higher responsibilities or nobler duties. And so he had
no political aspirations, and never desired or held any public
office, except as a member of the School Committee of his
native city, the duties of which he for several years dis-
charged with punctilious fidelity and in grateful payment of
what he regarded as a sacred debt. But as a citizen he was
thoughtful and earnest, having decided party affinities, yet
independent and fearless in the exercise of his own private
judgment of men and measures. In social life he was affa-
ble, sprightly and entertaining. Full of anecdote and inci-
dent, sweet-tempered and unselfish, vivacious and mirthful,
he charmed by his frank manners, and won confidence and
regard by his uniform rectitude, sturdy manliness, and un-
failing good sense.
Mr. Ives had by nature a vigorous constitution, and great
capacity for labor. For many years he knew no infirmity
and sought no rest from his work. In summer and winter,
year after year, from one court to another, from term to term,
he toiled on, now going to this jury or judge, and then to the
other, apparently without weariness or fatigue. His brethren
wondered at his untiring energy and his powers of endurance.
But the bow always bent must lose at last its elasticity.
Nature abused will have her sure revenge, and the inevitable
day came of weakness and waning strength. Too late now
the enforced rest, and foreign travel, and milder climes. Al-
luring but vain promises of convalescence, and the indomi-
table will and unequalled courage of our friend brought him
back once and again to his work. At the last September
Term of the Superior Court he labored for three weeks in
the trial of several important causes ; and though unable to
be upon his feet, and by the kind indulgence of the presiding
Justice examining witnesses and addressing court and jury
while seated, his mind never seemed more active, his percep-
tions quicker, his grasp more firm, his signal ability as a jury
lawyer more marked and conspicuous. But it was the last
of his well-fought fields. Then followed the few months dur-
STEPHEN BRADSHAw" IVES. 83
ing which he lingered, now in hope, oftener perhaps in
doubt, but never despairing, still with interest unabated in
the work he had left, eager to hear and know of all that was
transpiring in the courts, and, like the stricken soldier, listen-
ing intent for the sounds of the far-off battle, in which he
could no longer wield a weapon or strike a blow, — and then,
soothed by the kind ministrations of domestic love, and, as
we may well hope, with an unfaltering trust in the Divine
love, in which he had always humbly believed, he went to
his eternal rest.
And this, may it please your Honor, was the man and the
brother so lately in the midst of us, so full of vital energy
and force, so eager and earnest, so cheerful and brave, so in
the van of every forensic encounter, so much an integral part
of our professional life, the echoes of whose voice yet linger
within these walls ; to whom the Essex Bar, of which for a
generation he was the pride and ornament, and the Bar As-
sociation, of which for many years he was the chosen head,
tender their humble tribute, and respectfully ask that, for
his memory and example's sake, it may have a place upon
the records of the Court.
The request of the memorialist was seconded by Hon.
William D. Northend, President of the Association, in
the following words : —
May it please your Honor : — Of Mr. Ives it is hardly
necessary for me to speak in the presence of the members of
this Bar, who all knew and loved him so well. He was a man
of great ability and untiring industry. Few men in this
county ever tried more causes, or tried them better, and no
man was more honorable in the performance of every profes-
In behalf of the Bar Association I cordially second the
motion of Brother Abbott, that the memorial be entered up-
on the records of this Court.
Hon. Daniel Saunders then addressed the Court as fol-
lows : —
84 STEPHEN BRADSHAW IVES.
Of the character of our late Brother Ives as a lawyer, no
one of the Bar needs any statement of mine to confirm his
opinion. He was the prominent lawyer in all cases of impor-
tance in our county. His knowledge of the fundamental
principles of laws, his learning in its technicalities, and his
ready application of those principles in the trial of causes,
made his services of the highest importance when much was
at stake. And when parties found they could not settle
their controversies without the aid of the courts, they sought
the assistance of Mr. Ives, and very frequently one party,
however diligent he had been, found his adversary had gained
a decided advantage by a few hours' earlier retainer. His
ability at once to see the weak as well as the strong points
of a case, his power of attack, his quick perception of the
best point of defence, made him the equal of any man I ever
knew in the conduct and management of a suit at law. His
constant practice, his great ability, his success, and his ever
fair and honorable conduct are known to every member of
the Bar. His works and their results are the only eulogy he
needs as a great lawyer.
But I desire to say a word of him as a man. Since he came
to the Bar I have been most intimately acquainted with him.
I have seen upon many occasions the very recesses of his
heart, and have found there the warmest feelings of friend-
ship, and a nobleness and kindness which willjmakehis mem-
ory more cherished and enduring with me than the recollec-
tion of his great ability as a lawyer of the highest rank.
In the trial of causes he was ever persistent and aggressive.
Personal friendship with his brother lawyers never came be-
tween him and his duty to his client; but when the contest
was over, his cordial greeting showed that the sparks evolved
in the cla.sh of arms contained no personal heat, and the
friendship of the past had lost nothing of its warmth. Our
respect and confidence in him had been increased with each
successive struggle in his always fair and honorable warfare.
I saw him frequently during the last months of his life,
when he was suffering not only from physical pain, but also
STEPHEN BRADSHAW IVES. 85
with that pain of the mind which enforced confinement al-
ways brings to so active a laborer as he had been. And in
all those weary months he displayed a resignation and forti-
tude that were the legitimate outcome of that character
which was best known to his most intimate friends. His warm
heart and manly character will ever make his memory dear
to his associates ; his brilliancy, his learning, and his great
ability will add a new page to the history of the eminent
men of the Essex Bar.
He was followed by Hon. Charles P. Thompson, who
said : —
May it please your Honor: — I trust I may be par-
doned for adding a word to the very eloquent, appreciative,
and just tributes paid to the memory of our departed brother.
Mr. Ives I have known for a quarter of a century intimately,
as a lawyer and a man, and to set forth his character we must
describe a model lawyer and a model man. The facility with
which he dealt with the most intricate questions of law and
fact has been a marvel to all who have been associated with
No lawyer was ever better equipped for the successful
practice of his profession. He was most familiar with all
matters of practice, as well as of law, and had a capacity for
acquainting himself with the law and facts of a case rarely
equalled ; he had a high standard of professional conduct,
and never departed from it; he devoted his entire life to the
duties of the profession he so dearly loved, and although he
has died comparatively young, few men, however long their
lives, have performed so large an amount of labor as that
performed by him. He was a most lovable man, kind-hearted,
generous, and true, always ready with kind words and friendly
aid ; and it is seldom, indeed, that the death of any man
causes so great and so manifest a vacancy in the department
in which he has moved. No man can be more missed than
he is in the courts, his chosen and successful field of effort.
In his death we have all lost a personal friend, and the pro-
86 STEPHEN BRADSHAW IVES.
fession one of its most useful members, one of its brightest
ornaments, — and to no one can those words of divine eulogy
be more appropriately applied, " Well done, thou good and
Upon the conclusion of Mr. Thompson's remarks, Charles
A. Benjamin, Esq., said : —
May it please your Honor : — I desire to express, as I
best may, my sorrow for the death of our late associate, Mr.
Stephen B. Ives, not only as he was the head and ornament
of our Bar and a prominent and valued citizen, but one for
whom I entertained the warmest friendship. Of his profes-
sional services, so well rendered to the courts and his clients,
others have already well and fitly spoken, and I can add little
to the weight of their words. Possessed of the highest and
best attributes of the advocate, he used them with a wonderful
power, skill, and effect ; armed and equipped at all points
he battled stoutly for that side of the case that he prosecuted
or defended, and presented a remarkable example of a man
gifted with great power and talents, which he knew well how
to utilize, and over which he had full command. To the
younger members of the Bar his trials of causes were a con-
stant source of delight and admiration, and were of inesti-
mable value as a guide and inspiration to their own efforts
in that direction, while his generous and open character and
kind and unassuming manners endeared him to all.
And this example will not be lost, though the great exem-
plar has gone. One of the saddest things connected with
the death of some men is that they are forgotten ; the places
and the men that knew them once know them no more, nor
remember them. Happy then is that man who has done
those things the memory of which shall live after him ; who,
like our deceased friend, has left a record to which men shall
turn with ever increasing pride and appreciation.
It was my painful privilege to have seen Mr. Ives upon
more than one occasion during his last illness ; and I see him
today, not only as he stood at the Bar of this court-room con-
STEPHEN BRADSHAW IVES. 87
tending with living opponents, but also as he lay upon that
bed of death, fighting the last insidious foe ; and while we,
his juniors, may well desire to emulate his professional career
I hope it may be given to all here to meet that dread ordeal
with the cheerfulness, serenity, and high courage with which
he sustained it.
Mb. Leverett S. Tuckerman, spoke as follows : —
May it please the Court: — After the very full sketch
of Mr. Ives to which we have just listened, it would ill be-
come me to occupy the time of the Court at any considerable
length with further remarks on the subject.
I am prompted, however, by personal motives, and because
I know that in so doing I shall represent, in a measure, the
feelings of those members of the bar who are of about my
own age and standing, to add a few words to what has been
said, chiefly with reference to Mr. Ives' relations to his jun-
iors in the profession during the later years of his life, in the
course of active practice both in and out of the courts.
From a purely professional point of view, the fact which
perhaps strikes us most forcibly is the loss of the most famil-
iar figure and voice from our court-room during the sessions
of the courts. Probably in no county of the Commonwealth
has there been of recent years any one attorney who has been
retained, and actively engaged, in so large a proportion of
the causes on the dockets of the higher courts, as was Mr.
Ives in this county. On the opening day of a term his voice
was heard in answer to the call of almost every cause of im-
portance, and of a large proportion of those of less magni-
tude ; while, during its progress, it was rarely that one could
visit the court-room without finding him present, and prob-
ably actively engaged in the case on trial, or, if not that, oc-
cupied with discussion and preparation of that next to come
His voice, as well as his court-room manners, if I may use
the expression, which in every lawyer tend to become .mat-
ters of fixed habit, were as well known to his brethren of
88 STEPHEN BRADSHA.W IVES.
the Bar as they became impressed on all in attendance, —
judge, jurymen, and officers, — during the progress of a term.
His quick, nervous movements, his ready smile when
pleased, his almost fierce glance and frown when annoyed,
his keen questions in examination, his emphatic habits of
statement and gesture in argument, — all these are as readily
recalled as if heard today, or delineated in a portrait on
these court-room walls. As is naturally the case with every
leading practitioner, he has been taken as a model for more
or less close imitation by a large proportion of those now in
practice here; and for this reason his influence will be felt
in this county long after the causes in which he was engaged
have been forgotten.
When I first came to the Bar, nearly twelve years ago, it
was my fortune to be associated with lawyers who were the
contemporaries and the frequent antagonists of Mr. Ives,
and for that reason I often found myself in opposition to
him. It is pleasant to be able to say that, under such circum-
stances, I cannot remember ever having had occasion to com-
plain of an unkind or discourteous word or act from him,
even in the heat and excitement of a trial. He tried his
cases for all that they were worth, and he never gave away
an advantage, or spared a comment on the evidence which
he thought might fairly be taken or made in behalf of his
clients, bat he always abstained from intentionally slighting
or wounding the feelings of an opposing counsel, and espec-
ially of a junior. In his readiness to oblige, as well as in his
high sense of honor and scrupulous fidelity to all profession-
al engagements, he set an example worthy of all imitation.
Later on I happened to be more often associated with him,
and acted as his junior in several matters of some impor-
tance. Under such circumstances he was found to be inva-
riably kind, courteous, and considerate of the opinions of an
associate. While a patient listener to all material informa-
tion concerning the case in hand, his wonderfully quick
apprehension of facts, and his ready knowledge of the prin-
ciples of law involved, rendered it possible to give him the
STEPHEN BRADSHAW IVES. 89
necessary instructions in a very brief time. His retentive
memory served to carry the facts from the time of instruction
to the time of trial, without the loss of details, over long
intervals, perhaps of months, or even years ; while at the
time of trial one could not help feeling confidence in his
ability to overcome almost any possible obstacle.
Of the high degree of skill, and of the prominence which
Mr. Ives attained in all departments of his profession, it is
needless for me here to speak. Even if they cannot be
considered matters of common knowledge in this county,
and almost in this Commonwealth, what I could say of them
would add nothing to the impression conveyed by the appre-
ciative sketch which we have already heard.
For the last few years of his life, I think I can claim to
have been favored with a considerable measure of his personal
friendship, and from my familiar intercourse with him could
give testimony, if any were needed, to the very high degree
of culture and general information with which he was
armed, in matters entirely out of the line of his professional
studies. Add to that his affectionate disposition and his
kindly and genial temper, and one can in some degree imagine
what a privilege was that of being on terms of friendship
with him, and can realize what a loss has been suffered by his
friends beyond that which all his professional brethren feel.
What natural talents each may have are born within him-
self ; the use which each shall make of them, it is within his
own power to determine. Any one of us may well be proud
if, at the close of his professional career, he can, in looking
back, feel that he has made as good use of his own talents
as Mr. Ives made of the great ones which were given him.
The lessons of his life are chiefly for us, his juniors, who are
left to carry on the work ; and without unavailing regrets,
let us be thankful for and endeavor duly to profit by them.
Chief Justice Morton then addressed the Bar in the fol-
lowing words : —
Brethren of the Bar : — The death of a man so prom-
90 STEPHEN BRADSHAW IVES.
inent and useful as our Brother Ives cannot but be deeply
felt by the community in which he lived. It is a special
loss to the courts and to the Bar of this county, with which
he was identified for so many years. If we look back for the
last thirty years we find very few terms of either of the two
principal courts of the Commonwealth held for this county,
in which he was not an active participant in the business and
labors of the terms.
It is not necessary that in this presence I should speak at
length of his ability and success. He was admitted to the
Bar in 1851. His mind, of great native ability and acute-
ness, had been trained not only by a successful collegiate
course, but by a useful experience as a teacher for a few
years, and he attained an immediate success in his chosen
profession. His growing success was quickened by a sub-
stantial addition to his practice, when his teacher, associate,
and friend, the late Judge Lord, was taken from his position
as the leader of this Bar to a seat on the Bench. That dis-
tinguished jurist has often told me that when he left the
Bar such was his confidence in the ability of Mr. Ives,
though he was then a young man, that he had no hesitation
in recommending him to his numerous clients as a suitable
person to take charge of their varied and important interests.
You all know how well this confidence was justified by the
result. Mr. Ives soon conquered a place in the front rank
of the Essex Bar, a position of which any lawyer may well
be proud ; and he retained it to the day of his death. No
man could reach and retain such a position unless he was
endowed with great qualities, — with intellectual strength,
industry, eloquence, fidelity to his duties, and honesty.
It always seemed to me that one of the chief elements of
Mr. Ives' success was the intense earnestness which he threw
into all his work. He was an enthusiast in his profession.
Early and late, in season and out of season, he devoted him-
self to its work, admitting no rival in his affections, allowing
no external interests to divert his mind and strength from its
STEPHEN BRADSHAW IVES. 91
The necessary result of his marked ability, his extensive
learning, his eloquent command of language, his zeal and
earnestness, was that he was a successful advocate in the
trial of cases before a jury, surpassed by few, if any, of his
contemporaries. It must be added that, notwithstanding the
zeal and intensity which he threw into a case, he was always
fair and candid. Many of you, brethren, have often been
obliged to meet him in forensic contests ; you always knew
that in him you would meet a worthy antagonist, armed at
all points, whose attack would be vigorous and impetuous 5
but you never needed to guard against anything like trickery
and chicanery, for you knew that he scorned such means of
The same characteristics appeared in his arguments of
questions of law. He was thorough and exhaustive in his
researches, and able and acute in his analysis of cases. He
never concealed or overlooked decisions which bore against
his views, but always called them to the attention of the
Court, and dealt with them manfully as best he could. Oc-
casions frequently arise when it is convenient and necessary
for the Court to seek the advice of members of the Bar upon
questions of practice and procedure. Upon such occasions
we have always looked to Mr. Ives as one of the safest of
advisers, well knowing that he would observe all due fidelity
to the Court, as well as to the Bar and his clients. I feel
deeply that in the death of Mr. Ives the Bar has lost one of
its ablest and most useful members, and the Court has lost
one of its most competent and faithful assistants in its great
work of administering justice.
Impressed with the truthfulness of the portrait which you
have drawn of him in your memorial, — knowing that your
action is not a mere form, but is an earnest tribute of respect
and affection, — I most heartily concur in the sentiments ex-
pressed by you, and in accordance with your request shall
order that your memorial, together with a memorandum of
these proceedings, be entered upon the records of the Court.
ALFRED A. ABBOTT.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association held October
28, 1884, Messrs. William C. Endicott, William D. North-
end, Daniel Saunders and Charles P. Thompson, were
chosen a committee to prepare a memorial of Mr. Alfred
A. Abbott, to be presented to the Court.
In the Superior Court held at Salem, on Monday, Decem-
ber 8th, 1884, Cheep Justice Brigham, and Mr. Justice
Pitman who was presiding, on the Bench. Mr. Wil-
liam D. Northend, President of the Essex Bar Associa-
tion and member of its Committee, read the following
May it please your Honor : —Mr. Alfred Amos Ab-
bott, who for so many years performed in the most exemplary
manner the important duties of Clerk for this County of the
two highest Courts in the Commonwealth, departed this life,
after a brief illness, on the twenty-seventh day of October
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association, held October
28th, a committee was appointed to prepare some suitable
expression of the sentiments of the Bar, to be presented to
this Court, with the request that it be entered upon its records
as a lasting tribute to the services and virtues of our de-
ceased brother ; and the Committee respectfully presents the
Mr. Abbott was born in Andover, in this county, May 30th,
1820. He was a son of Hon. Amos Abbott, who represented
the Essex North Congressional District in the House of
Representatives of the United States from 1843 to 1849.
He received his early education at Phillips Andover Acad-
emy, and entered Yale College in 1837. At the end of his
Junior year he left Yale for Union College, from which
ALFRED A. ABBOTT. 93
institution he was graduated in 1841. Immediately upon
his graduation he commenced the study of the law in the
Dane Law School, from which, in January, 1843, he received
the degree of LL. B.
From that time until his admission to the Bar in 1844, he
studied in the office of the late Judge Joshua H. Ward.
Soon after his admission, he commenced the practice of the
law in the part of Danvers now Peabody, where he resided
until the time of his death. He represented the town of
Danvers in the Legislature of the Commonwealth in 1850
and 1852, and the County of Essex in the Senate in 1853.
In the same year he was elected a member of the Constitu-
tional Convention of the Commonwealth, and appointed Dis-
trict Attorney for the Eastern District, which comprised
Essex County. He held the office of District Attorney until
January, 1869. He was appointed Clerk of the Courts for
this county, September 27th, 1870, upon the death of Mr.
Huntington, and was the same year elected for the unexpired
portion of the term, and was afterwards twice re-elected to
the office, in which he remained until the time of his death.
He also held important offices in his adopted town, and was
an active member of several associations. In his nearly ten
years of general practice before his appointment to the office
of District Attorney, Mr. Abbott had secured a large client-
age, and had tried many important cases in the higher Courts.
In this time he had developed such ability and aptness in the
Courts, that his friends indulged in the highest hopes of his
future success and eminence in his chosen profession. But
the duties of the office of District Attorney, after his appoint-
ment, occupied a large portion of his time, which interfered
seriously with his practice in the civil Courts. But in the
time that intervened between the close of his duties as Dis-
trict Attorney and his appointment of Clerk of the Courts,
his general practice was large. Bat this was terminated on
his appointment to the clerkship. Consequently Mr. Abbott's
professional reputation was earned largely in his performance
of the duties of the two important offices connected with the
94 ALFRED A. ABBOTT.
profession which he held for such long periods of his profes-
sional life. But in the performance of these duties he af-
forded abundant evidence of his high qualities and character
as a lawyer.
No man at the Bar had formed for himself a higher ideal of
what the conduct of a lawyer should be, or cherished a greater
respect and reverence for the profession than did Mr. Abbott.
He was sensitive of its honor, and during the entire period of
his professional life no one was more scrupulous than he in
conforming his practice and conduct to the ideal he had
formed, and no one in the performance of the duties of his
profession afforded a better example to the younger members
of the Bar. He had a remarkable presence. Possessed of a
fine physique and courteous manners, he attracted to him, and
commanded the respect of all who sought his advice or who
had business to transact in connection with the offices he held.
His great aim was to do everything well ; and upon his ap-
pointment to the offices he held, he devoted himself with
scrupulous and conscientious care to a full understanding and
thorough performance of the duties they required. After his
appointment to the office of District Attorney, he studied
carefully and exhaustively the criminal law and became mas-
ter of it. His indictments were accurately drawn and his cases
fully prepared. In the trial of cases, he exhibited great
power. His cross-examinations of witnesses, though seldom
long, were very thorough and effective. His addresses to
juries were strong, logical and eloquent. He was always
ready to discuss questions of law that were raised on a trial,
and was familiar with all the decisions, to which he could
refer without delay. By the Bar, until the time of his death,
he was considered as authority on all questions of criminal
pleadings and practice. But thorough and efficient as he was
in the trial of criminal cases, he performed, as satisfactorily,
the other and not less important duties of the office. He
exercised great judgment and wise discrimination in the
commencement and prosecution of proceedings against alleged
offenders. His aim was to do nothing more and nothing less
ALFRED A. ABBOTT. 95
than the cause of justice required, and never, to seem even,
to press prosecutions for the purpose of achieving personal
triumph. Those familiar with criminal proceedings in our
courts will understand the responsibility imposed upon, and
judicious care required of a prosecuting attorney, as in many
classes of cases the grand jury cannot be expected to under-
stand fully all the niceties of the law, and must depend largely
upon the advice of the prosecuting attorney. Besides, there
are often over zealous officers and vindictive prosecutors, who
urge the finding of indictments upon doubtful or insufficient
evidence, and on the other hand, friends of the accused, who
plead for immunity or leniency. These require, in a prose-
cuting officer, courage, firmness, impartiality, and sound dis-
cretion. These qualities Mr. Abbott possessed in an eminent
degree. Of this there can be no stronger evidence than the
fact that, during the long period he performed the duties of
his office as prosecuting attorney, he had the entire confidence
of the Courts, the Bar, and the people of the county.
The manner in which he performed the duties of the office
of Clerk of the Courts is known to every member of the Bar.
He acquired a thorough and familiar knowledge of practice
in all the civil, equity, and criminal Courts, and great facili-
ty in applying this knowledge. Such was the confidence of
the Court and the Bar in Mr. Abbott's familiarity with all the
rules of practice, that very much was referred to him with-
out instruction or discussion. The arrangement of the docket
and trial lists was largely entrusted to him by the Court. He
sought information of the different cases on the docket, so
that he was able from day to day to prepare trial lists of cases,
always sufficient for the employment of the Court, yet not so
large as to require parties to be in attendance an unnecessary
length of time awaiting trial. He was faithful to the Court,
and considerate to the bar and parties to suits.
In a letter to a committee of the legislature which was con-
sidering the subject of the salaries of the Clerk of the Courts
throughout the Commonwealth, in 1879, Mr. Abbott stated
the proper qualifications for the office in the following words :
96 ALFRED A. ABBOTT.
" May I not now say to the committee that no man is fit for
the places we occupy who is not at least a respectable lawyer?
I will venture to add that no man can discharge their func-
tions according to the full measure of their usefulness who is
not something more and better than this ; who to a sufficient
degree of clerical accomplishments, an experimental knowl-
edge of wide and varied practice, and a familiarity with the
routine of business in the different courts, does not add apt-
ness, facility, promptness and method, critical accuracy and
generous culture, patience and good temper, with firmness
and decision, and withal that affability of manners, courteous-
ness of address, and dignity of presence and demeanor, which
can do so much toward securing respect for judicial proceed-
No words can better or more happily portray the qualities
and accomplishments possessed by Mr. Abbott. He was the
model Clerk of Courts of the Commonwealth. He may have
had his peer, but never his superior, in that office.
But Mr. Abbott was something more than a lawyer or
Clerk of the Courts. He was a man of broad culture and
large knowledge and experience outside his profession. He
read the best books and was a thorough student of English
literature. His occasional public addresses were models of
excellence. His style was elegant and graceful and his lan-
guage most felicitous. He had the faculty of expressing his
thoughts in the clearest and most eloquent manner, without
any seeming extravagance or redundancy. He had a very
sympathetic nature, his delivery was very forcible and im-
pressive, and as an orator he had no equal in the county since
the days of Rufus Choate. If he had sought distinction in
the general practice of his profession, there was no place at
the Bar or on the bench to which he could not have justly as-
pired ; or if he had cherished political ambition, he had the
qualities which would have insured him a high position and
reputation as a statesman. But Mr. Abbott's tastes led him
to prefer a more quiet and peaceful life. He was happy in
his occupations, and felt greater satisfaction with the results
ALFEED A. ABBOTT. 97
of his varied usefulness in the life he led, than he would have
at the applause, which the honors and positions he well knew
were within his reach, could have given.
To the interests of the town of his adoption, Mr. Abbott
gave his best thoughts and efforts. For forty years his in-
fluence was felt in all the important affairs of the place. He
took an active part in the town meetings, and his fellow citi-
zens appreciated his controlling wisdom and prudence on the
various important and difficult subjects the town was called
upon, in that time to deal with. He was actively connected
with the Peabody Institute from the time of its foundation
until his death, and for many years was President of its
board of trustees. He took a deep interest in its success and
watched its growth with sedulous care. He remembered al-
ways that it was instituted for the benefit of posterity as well
as for the present generation, and he was very conservative
in his views regarding the use of its income. To his influ-
ence the present financial standing and prosperity of the
institution are largely due.
In social life, Mr. Abbott was one of the most genial of
men. His mind was stored with information, and in the
company of his friends no one was listened to with more at-
tention or pleasure. His friendships were strong and endur-
ing. By his kindness and words of encouragement he en-
deared himself to all, and especially to the younger members
of the Bar.
There is a delicacy in invading the sanctity of home life.
It is sufficient to say that he was a dutiful son, a loving
husband, and a tender and affectionate father. It is difficult
to appreciate his loss to his family circle, of which he was
the light and the joy.
Our friend and brother, in the autumn of his years, with
the falling of the leaves and the fading of the flowers, passed
peacefully to his rest. Neither age nor disease had impaired
his faculties or dimmed his eye. We remember him only as
the strong man. It was at the last April term of the Su-
preme Judicial Court that he, in the full tide of life and
98 ALFRED A. ABBOTT.
vigor, pronounced those beautiful eulogies upon our departed
brothers, Lord and Ives. It is but a few weeks since he
sat at this desk, apparently in the enjoyment of robust health.
Indeed, " in the midst of life we are in death."
May it please your Honor, I now move in behalf of the
Essex Bar Association, that this memorial be placed upon
the records of this Court.
Mr. Daniel Saunders then spoke as follows : —
Mr. Abbott and I were born in the same town, studied
in the same schools. He was a playmate of mine in boyhood,
a companion in youth, and a warm and intimate friend dur-
ing life. My life long knowledge of his worth and ability
corroborates all that has been so justly and aptly said of him
in the memorial just read. I do not rise to add to what has
been so well said, but simply in a few words to give expres-
sion to the esteem and affection which I have always enter-
tained for him.
When a few months since, our brother Abbott rose in this
Bar, and with voice modulated by the deep feelings of his
heart, read, with so much pathos, the eloquent tribute pre-
pared by him to the memory of our departed brothers, Judge
Lord and Mr. Ives, we felt that we had still left amongst us,
one upon whose shoulders the mantle of our great departed
leaders would not hang loosely ; that we had one still left
who could uphold the prestige, the dignity and honor of our
profession, with a grace, power and eloquence, equal to that
of any of the great men whose names had been so conspicu-
ous in the past history of Essex County. None of us who
then listened to his eloquent words and looked upon his
manly form, dreamed that so soon would he leave us for the
company of those whose lives and characters he had so
faithfully and justly portrayed in the memorial, and which he
so feelingly read.
We hoped that many years of useful life were before him ;
but his work was nearly done. The finished tribute to the
memory of those from whom he had received, and to whom
ALFRED A. ABBOTT. 99
he had given so much of professional and personal love and
esteem, was a fitting end of the labors which made his life
so dear to his friends.
Mr. Abbott in his boyhood was frank and open hearted,
and a general favorite with his companions. He was fond
of the sports of boys, in which he took an active part, never,
however, neglecting the duties of study for the pleasures of
play. He was prompt at recitation and seldom unprepared.
He was noted for the correctness of his translations of Latin
and Greek, which he rendered into English in language al-
most as classical as the original. His early study to express
his idea in fitting words, laid the foundation of his future
great command of language.
When practising at the Bar, he was a safe counsellor and
a brilliant advocate. His modesty, often the companion of
great ability, led him to distrust the strength of his natural
powers, and to prefer the routine of office work, rather than
the strife and struggle of jury trial in civil cases. If there
were at the Bar those with more exact technical knowledge
in the science of law, if some more familiar in case and
authority, yet no one was more familiar than he in the
knowledge and practice of those broad principles which have
made law the hand-maiden and servant of justice. No one
surpassed him in power and eloquence before a jury, when
the case and the occasion called out the full measure of his
ability. Few men could touch the sympathies of a jury with
a more delicate hand, or hold their attention more closely
than he. When feeling strong in the justice of his cause, no
one was more impressive, and no one had greater power in
satisfying a jury with the honesty of his convictions.
He was familiar with the best authors, ancient and modern,
and had stored his mind with the thoughts of the best writ-
ers, to an extent that made him not only apt at quotation,
but an authority in literary matters. Of his social qualities
it need only be said he was best appreciated by those who
knew him most intimately. Of his services as District
Attorney of this district, of his fair mindedness, of his integ-
100 ALFRED A. ABBOTT.
rity, of his high sense of honor and responsibility in office, of
his able administration of the duties of the Clerk of the Courts
of this county, I need say nothing. They have been faith-
fully set forth in the memorial, " a fitting eulogy to worth,"
just read, and to which little can be added. Even if nothing
had been said, the ability, faithfulness and devotion to duty
which he displayed in these offices have been patent to all
who had occasion to be present or to practice in our Courts.
If he had remained at the Bar, his name would have been
identified with the most important cases which required elo-
quence and ability in the presentation of their merits to a
One of the leading traits of Mr. Abbott's character, and
one which more than any other contributed to his success,
more than his innate ability, was the honest purpose and in-
defatigable labor which he brought to bear upon any matters
he had in hand. While many supposed his brilliant produc-
tions, as shown in his addresses upon public occasions, were
the facile flow of a ready pen guided without much mental
effort, yet those who knew him most intimately, knew that
these products, so strong and finished in all their parts, were
the result of labored thought and hard conscientious work.
The talents which God had given him had been improved
with constant care, and added to from time to time by honest
and faithful use ; and who shall question that death was but
the messenger to call him to new fields of usefulness into
which he has entered with the welcome salutation of the
Supreme Judge and Ruler of all things — " Well done thou
good and faithful Servant."
In behalf of the Bar, I second the motion made by Mr.
Mr. Charles P. Thompson then addressed the Court as
follows : —
May it please your Honor : — I desire to add a word
to the expressions of appreciation and regard already pro-
nounced for the character of our deceased brother. When I
ALFRED A. ABBOTT. 101
came to this Bar in 1857, Mr. Abbott held a position of
marked and acknowledged prominence as an accomplished
lawyer and an able and efficient District Attorney, and it was
soon my fortune to witness and feel his power in a trial oc-
cupying twelve days, which he closed with an argument of
six hours, remarkable for its logic and eloquence, which
largely increased his growing reputation. He was always
found fully equal to the emergency, and the more difficult
and intricate the case, the more conspicuous were his rare
accomplishments. He had a memory which did not permit
any fact to escape, a clear perception of the true application
and just weight of the evidence, and a facility of arrange-
ment, which made every circumstance tell most forcibly to
sustain his theory, combined with a power of expression, a
manifest sincerity, and a confidence in his positions, that made
him a most formidable opponent, and a most successful prose-
His integrity of purpose, sound and discriminating judg-
ment in the performance of his duty, cannot be too highly
praised. His office of District Attorney brought him into a
favorable acquaintance with the people in all parts of the
county, and his services were frequently sought in civil cases
The duties of District Attorney occupied so much of his
attention that his civil practice was not so large as that of
some other members of the Bar, still, the number and impor-
tance of his cases were such as to make for him an honorable
and profitable civil practice. He brought to the management
of these cases the same aptness for investigation, sound judg-
ment in selecting the course to pursue, and ability in pre-
senting his case to the Court and Jury that were so conspicu-
ous in his trial of criminal cases, and he justly held a high
rank as a civil as well as a criminal lawyer.
The ability and fidelity with which he performed the deli-
cate and responsible duties of Clerk of the highest Courts of
the Commonwealth have been fully recognized by the Courts,
the Bar and the people. Towards the members of the Bar
102 ALFRED A. ABBOTT.
he ever manifested the kindest consideration and the most
accommodating spirit, and in their efforts and success he al-
ways took an active interest.
He had a high standard of professional duty, and to such
a standard he endeavored by precept and example to bring
the conduct of the Bar. He has been for more than a gen-
eration a highly honored and valuable public servant, with
the constantly increasing esteem and confidence of all, and
his memory is justly entitled to our veneration.
As a private citizen, he was no less useful and honored
than as a public officer. We all know how justly proud of
him is the town of Peabody, in which he commenced prac-
tice, and in which he resided from his entrance into public
life up to the time of his death, and how alive he was to every
matter affecting her honor or her interests.
Those who attended his burial service learned how en-
deared he was to his pastor and the members of the Society
with whom he worshipped, and how great a loss they have
sustained in the death of their distinguished patron and
friend. Mr. Abbott had a most sacred regard for the Bible,
the church and its ordinances, and no one was more pained
than he at anything like irreverence for them. He regarded
our Christian civilization as the hope of the world, and be-
lieved it to be the duty of every friend of humanity to aid in
its illustration and development.
He was a man of generous culture, and rare attainments.
When we last saw him in Court, but a few days before his
death, he was a model of manly power, health and vigor.
Who of us then for a moment dreamed that we should never
again behold his dignified, kind and friendly presence in this
temple of justice ?
Although called from earth before he had reached the
allotted age of man, yet he lived long enough to perform the
full measure of work of a true and noble man, and to dis-
charge all the duties growing out of the relations he sustained
to his fellow-men in a manner most satisfactory to all.
He earned an honored name based upon real merit, and
ALFRED A. ABBOTT. 103
possessed noble virtues which endeared him to all who knew
him. We cannot mourn for him. The promise that it shall
be well with the righteous gives us the fullest assurance that
it is well with him, that everlasting life is his.
He was followed by Mr. Henry F. Hurlburt, who
said : —
May it please your Honor : — Words are inadequate
to express my feelings for the loss of our friend and brother.
When I came to the Bar, Mr. Abbott had ceased to be Dis-
trict Attorney for this County, but the ability with which he
filled that office was so great that no one to this day can speak
of that office, without the mind associating him with it. But
I desire to speak of Mr. Abbott from the time I first knew
him, then occupying the office of Clerk of this Court.
The most important period of a young lawyer's practice is
the beginning. He is assailed with doubts and fears, lest he
may commit some mistake detrimental to the interests of his
clients ; he may know what is necessary to do, but the great
question is, how to do it. In such a case, he seeks some kind
friend, upon whom he can rely, to advise him, and he has
always found such a friend in Mr. Abbott.
His advice and assistance were always kindly given, and
always relied upon. He always took a great interest in the
young men of this Bar ; he was their friend and counsellor,
and, also, their kindest critic ; he would often, in the kindest
terms and manner, talk with them, criticising some mistakes,
and correcting some error of judgment. He seemed anxious
to aid them in arriving at perfection in their chosen profes-
sion, and perfection was his only standard. Not only was
he their kind friend and adviser, but their counsellor ; often
when cast down by defeat in some case that the young prac-
titioner had bent his hopes and energy upon, and, perhaps,
feeling that the cause of his defeat was on account of some
lack of judgment or ability on his part, then would Mr. Ab-
bott, calmly and kindly, go over the cause with him, and, with
keen mind and masterly ability, analyze the whole case, ex-
104 ALFRED A. ABBOTT.
posing to the young lawyer the defects of his cause, showing
him that the fault was not with the lawyer, but with the
cause. Often has he done this, and no young lawyer who
received the benefit of this analysis, ever left his presence
without renewed energy and hope.
He would speak in praise when praise was due, and kindly
criticise where criticism was needed. Such was Mr. Abbott
to the young lawyer ; such he was to me. His loss is to us,
a great one, and his memory will always be cherished by me
for the many acts of kindness I have received from him.
Mr. William H. Moody then said : —
May it please your Honor: — No eulogy of our friend
and brother can be complete, no estimate of his character, and
of the influence which he has exerted upon the Bar of this
County, and thereby indirectly upon the community,* can be
at all adequate, which does not mark and measure the char-
acter of his relations to his younger brethren. And I can
imagine that this occasion would be to him of lessened signifi-
cance, were an opportunity not given to that portion of the
Bar, to express their remembrance of his unfailing kindness
toward them — their sense of an enduring obligation to cherish
Your Honor will hardly realize how many members of the
profession knew Mr. Abbott only in the performance of the
duties of Clerk of the Courts, so swift is the flight of time,
and so brief the span of the lawyer's usefulness. With those
his reputation as a lawyer must rest largely upon tradition
But in the position in which he spent the last fourteen
years of his life, we all knew him. His manner of adminis-
tering the oath of our office developed and emphasized its
full meaning and beauty, and he who entered into the office
of an attorney and counsellor within the courts, under the
sanction of the oath thus administered, could not fail to
realize that he had begun the performance of grave duties,
with high and weighty responsibilities.
ALFRED A. ABBOTT. 105
Mr. Abbott loved the law in action. The cause was barren
indeed which did not excite his interest, and the advocate
ill equipped who could not secure his attention to its con-
duct. Frequently the Bar sought his advice and welcomed
his criticism, and they were freely given, not through favor
to the parties or their counsel, but impersonally, through
love of good fighting, and a desire that all controversies
should be fully and fairly tried, according to the law and
The sound advice, wholesome criticism, and measured praise
when praise was due, of one so "skilful in precedents, wary
in proceeding and understanding in the business of the
Court," helpful to all, was of inestimable value to the young
lawyer in the first years of his practice. It encouraged his
efforts, yet tempered his zeal ; it stimulated his confidence,
and, in the same degree, increased his carefulness. Upon all
questions of professional ethics, in those delicate situations
where duty to the client seemed to make against courtesy to
the Bar, or fidelity to the Court, Mr. Abbott has been for
our inexperience the invariable arbiter, and his decision the
In view of what he has been to those upon whom in turn
heavier burdens will fall, and who must soon serve as exem-
plars to the generation pressing upon us, may we not, your
Honor, indulge in the hope that the influence of the life
which has ended may in the future, as in the past, bear
precious fruit to the community in which he was born, has
lived, worked and died.
Mr. Henry Ward well then spoke as follows : —
May it please your Honor : — How admirably and
amply Mr. Abbott filled the important and honorable offices
in the Courts, which he held so long, all know. In his case,
clearly, the man dignified and magnified the office, not the
office the man. To some of us, his career as District Attor-
ney is not a matter of personal recollection. But he then
became so widely known, and the impression that he made
106 ALFRED A. ABBOTT.
on the people of this county was so deep and lasting, that
the unvarying popular judgment in regard to it must be
familiar to every one.
To all the duties of the office he brought excellent qualifi-
cations : learning, good sense, tact, industry and affability.
But before the juries he was always a power. For an advo-
cate he had admirable qualities, both of body and mind. He
had a strong and pleasant voice, a dignified and always
courteous manner, and a fine presence. He was clear and
strong in statement, and clothed his thoughts in language at
once beautiful and vigorous. He was shrewd and adroit.
He was at home in dealing with all kinds of men, and knew
how to approach them, what motives were likely to influence
them, and how best to reach their minds and sympathies. He
was noted for his politeness in the treatment of opposing
witnesses, and for great fairness in the trial and argument of
cases. As he came to the argument he had already, by the
attractiveness of his voice and presence, and by his manner
and bearing, won the good will and sympathy of the jury,
and they were often more than ready to be influenced and
convinced by his earnest and persuasive speech.
A brief period of very successful general practice at the
Bar intervened, and he entered on the office of Clerk of
Courts, attracted by the comparative quiet of the office and
its freedom from the care and anxiety concerning his cases,
from which he found it almost impossible, in practice, to re-
lieve his mind. In what manner he filled this office is fresh
in our minds. For all its duties he was more than abundantly
capable and equipped. The Courts and the public were
fortunate that he was content to serve them. By his well
established reputation and character, his dignified and im-
pressive manner, and his whole bearing and conduct in
office, he added to the dignity of the Courts and increased
the respect with which they are regarded.
In these offices, and the others to which he was chosen by
the people of his town and county, so far from being the
object of adverse criticism, he had the great good fortune to
ALFRED A. ABBOTT. 107
have it continually thought and said that there was no office
within the gift of the people that he could not worthily
and honorably fill, or that he could not have, if he were
willing to seek or accept it. In the field of national
politics, if he had chosen to enter it, his knowledge of men,
his sagacity and address in dealing with them, his fine per-
sonal presence, his learning, his literary taste and culture, and
his eloquent and persuasive speech, would have assured him
These things, as I have said, are known to all. There is
another part of the life of Mr. Abbott not so widely known,
but equally honorable. Born of excellent stock, in the town
of Andover, he there passed his youth in a good home, whose
influence powerfully affected his whole life. His religious
belief and feelings always remained firm in the faith in
which he was reared. Soon after coming of age he came to
make his home in the old town of Danvers, the part in which
he lived being afterwards South Danvers, and now Peabody.
With the affairs of these towns he was closely and very
prominently identified for about forty years. He took pride
in the honorable history of the town, and in its growth and
enterprise, and was deeply interested in whatever concerned
its good name and welfare. Until his later years he was
accustomed to take an active part in town meetings when
matters of special importance came before them. Here, as
before a jury, his presentation of a subject was clear and
forcible, and always very attractive and interesting, his
manner thoroughly earnest, but fair and conciliatory, his
management skilful and effective. Whatever measure he
gave his support to was almost certain to prevail. For some
years, however, only matters that seemed to him of the great-
est consequence had been able to draw him out to active
participation in the affairs of the town, but always with his
old time influence and success.
I recall one of these later occasions. It had been proposed
to remove the old battle monument that stands on the spot
where the minute men gathered on their way to Lexington.
108 ALFRED A. ABBOTT.
The proposition roused his indignation. For days and nights,
as he said, before the time when the subject was to come up
in the town meeting, it hardly left his thoughts, and when
the matter was brought forward it failed, with hardly an
effort in its favor, though the project had been long talked
of, and its presentation carefully prepared, chiefly, if not
solely, because it became known that Mr. Abbott was deter-
mined to defeat it.
When distinguished strangers were to be entertained, of
which there were several noteworthy occasions, he was the
one looked to, by common consent, to represent the town ;
and he always performed this duty with admirable grace and
good taste. His formal public addresses, among them in very
recent years those on the death of Garfield, and at the dedi-
cation of the town hall in Peabody, and his memorial address
here on Judge Lord and Mr. Ives, were models, in thought,
language, and delivery.
His patriotism was deep and fervid. During the rebellion
his habits of life hardly permitted an active participation in
the war, but in his town and elsewhere he was always ready
and earnest in every measure for the support of, R the govern-
ment. Even the bonds of personal friendship could not
restrain his quick resentment at any word of lukewarmness
The Peabody Institute, in whose management he was
prominent from the beginning, and at the head at the time
of his death, was the object of his special care and pride. He
labored earnestly to enlarge its usefulness, and zealously
guarded its interests, and sought to make sure its future
prosperity. No doubt to him the institution owes more
than to any other person, except its illustrious founder.
To those near to him he was very tender and affectionate.
His friendships were deep and warm. Whoever had him for
a friend was sure that his attachment was true and strong,
unselfish, active, and always to be depended on. He was
kindly and generous. He was benevolent, but without os-
tentation. Few knew of his gifts, but the many objects of
ALFRED A. ABBOTT. 109
his charity. He was pre-eminently a good citizen and neigh-
bor. When it was known that he was dangerously sick, his
townsmen anxiously watched the progress of the fatal dis-
ease, and when he died the regret and sorrow were universal.
All said that a good man was gone, whose loss to the com-
munity could hardly be made good.
Mr. George B. Ives then said : —
May it please your Honor: — Even at the risk of
wearying your Honor, and perhaps of merely repeating what
has been much more eloquently said already, I cannot refrain
from saying a few words to express how forcibly the death
of Mr. Abbott comes home to us, the younger members of
the Bar, and how very great is the feeling of a personal loss
experienced by every one of us.
Of the natural and just pride which this Bar, and, indeed,
the whole county of Essex, had in him as a private citizen,
or as District Attorney, or as Clerk of Courts, other gentle-
men, who have known and respected him in all those posi-
tions, have already spoken, and I, whose only knowledge of
him has been since he has filled the office of Clerk, could
not, if I would, add anything to what has been so fitly ex-
pressed in the memorial which has been presented.
But his never-failing courtesy and kindness in performing
the duties of the office, and his promptness and readiness to
render assistance and guidance in matters of pleading or
practice, are facts which we have all experienced, and the
regret which the whole community feels at the death of a
faithful officer, is, in my case at least, overshadowed by the
grief consequent upon the loss of a kind and indulgent friend.
Of Mr. Abbott's rare oratorical gifts, and of his moving
eloquence, we younger men knew scarcely anything, except
by tradition and report, until the last April term of the Su-
preme Court for this county, when he presented to the Court
the memorials, which have been referred to today, of the two
men who were, of all his professional brethren, perhaps the
nearest to him during the later years of his life. Those of
110 ALFRED A. ABBOTT.
his juniors who listened to him that afternoon, must have
shared my keen regret that we had never enjoyed the privi-
lege of hearing him at the Bar.
Of the eulogistic words he employed in one of those me-
morials it does not become me to speak, but the appreciation
of, and love for one so closely connected with myself, which
are so eloquently expressed therein, can, as may well be
imagined, but augment my sorrow at the loss of so dear a
Judge Pitman then spoke as follows : —
Brethren of the Essex Bar : — I little thought when
in midsummer, our departed brother at the close of the term
took me by the hand in this place and with characteristic
cordiality spoke of my return to hold this term, that I should
come here not to meet him but to mourn him. And I am
here today not merely to render a decorous accord to your
request, but to express in inadequate but heartfelt words not
only on my own behalf but on behalf of all my Associates,
our deep sense of the great personal and public loss sustained
in the removal of our long honored Clerk.
Others have spoken fitly of his skill as an advocate — of
his integrity and ability as a prosecuting officer ; and, with
loving remembraace, have called to mind some of those traits
which made him so fine an embodiment of the Christian gen-
tleman. But it is natural that I should speak of him in the
special capacity in which I have known him best ; and where
he has been to me a companion, a counsellor, and a friend.
Essex has been fortunate in her public officers, especially
in those connected with her Courts, and in none more so than
in her Clerks. It is not too much to say that Mr. Hunting-
ton, the immediate predecessor of Mr. Abbott, bringing to the
position a force of character and a forensic eminence widely
recognized beyond the county, and thereafter discharging its
duties with conspicuous ability, had made the office illustri-
ous. Of his successor your Memorial has truly said that
" there was no place at the bar or on the bench to which he
ALFRED A. ABBOTT. Ill
could not have justly aspired." But it was our felicity that
Mr. Abbott's ambition was not equal to his ability, and his
love of home stronger than his love of place.
" A soul whose master bias leaned
To home-felt pleasures and to gentle scenes,
Sweet images, which, wheresoe'er he was,
Were at his heart."
Thus he served us with quietness of spirit for fourteen
years, and earned the title you have given him of " the model
Clerk." To the office he came with a very high sense of its
duties. Of it he thus spoke in his impressive tribute to Mr.
Huntington : —
" There is no professional place more responsible than this ; none the
incumbent of which can do more for the convenience and comfort of his
brethren, or for the orderly, reputable, and correct administration of
justice. And, accordingly, the proper qualifications for it are excep-
tional and rare."
Those qualifications were Mr. Abbott's by nature, by gen-
eral culture, and by special training. What he was thus
enabled to do for " the convenience and comfort of his breth-
ren," you best know and have justly recognized. What he
did " for the orderly, reputable and correct administration of
justice," is partly known to all men who ever entered within
his time the Courts of Essex ; but to which the Justices of
the Superior Court would bear most emphatic testimony.
From the numerous terms of Essex, held at places inconven-
ient to him at times, he was never absent except in cases of
necessity. He sent no assistant to attend to the more dis-
agreeable work of the criminal sessions. On the contrary,
there, as he said to me, he felt to be his special duty. And
there his experience, his skill and aptness, his soundness of
judgment, his exactitude of method, and his singular dignity
of manner, found most ample scope. I do not believe that
the criminal law, so far at least as depends on its machinery,
was ever more impressively administered anywhere than in
this county during Mr. Abbott's clerkship.
How solemnly, and yet with a certain grave tenderness
were the sentences of the Court announced. How memorable
112 ALFRED A. ABBOTT.
the very tones of his voice upon such occasions — clear and
firm, but with a certain sorrowful considerateness. Nor was
the merest routine of duty ever slighted or performed in a
perfunctory spirit. Who can forget his impanelling of a
jury in a criminal case, even though repeated so often during
a day's trial of petty misdemeanors. Nothing to him was
small or trivial that involved a duty. He reverenced every
ceremony and every ritual which pertained to the temple of
justice. He served as a priest at her altars, and touched all
things with the dignity of his presence. How thoughtless
an act is often the administration of an oath. To Mr. Ab-
bott it was always a solemn act, and performed as such, not
with affected seriousness, but with a sincere and simple
Let us not dwell longer upon details, for the man was
greater than anything he did. In the last analysis it is char-
acter that impresses us ; and it is in the totality of his char-
acter that the true secret of his power lay, and that will best
ensure his perpetual remembrance by all who knew him.
That character had fully ripened. No frosts of winter had
touched his powers. Body and mind were in autumnal
beauty. Time had not touched him but to mellow. For us
we could have desired a still longer service. But in the
Master's eye it was a finished life. He has passed from our
sight in the fulness of his strength. We shall associate no
thought of feebleness or decay with his memory. From life
to life, for " death is another life." He fell almost at the
post of duty ; " and then," to use his own words in a late
tribute to a lamented brother, " soothed by the kind minis-
trations of domestic love, and as we may well hope with an
unfaltering trust in the Divine love, in which he had always
humbly believed, he went to his eternal rest."
No record is needed to perpetuate the memory of such a
man ; but there is a sad satisfaction in doing for him what
he has so often and well done for others ; and so let this
fraternal tribute of the bar, with a minute of these proceed-
ings, be entered upon the records of this Court.
NATHAN W. HAZEN.
At the Superior Court held at Salem on Tuesday, December
6, 1887, Justice Thompson presiding, Mr. William D.
Northend, President of the Essex Bar Association and
member of the Committee, presented to the court the fol-
May it please your Honor : — On the thirteenth day of
March last, Mr. Nathan Wood Hazen, a member of the Es-
sex Bar, departed this life. At a meeting of the Essex Bar
Association held at Salem on the fifteenth day of June last a
committee was appointed to prepare a tribute to the memory
of the deceased, to present to this Court with the request it
be entered upon its records ; and in accordance therewith the
Committee appointed respectfully present the following
Mr. Hazen was born in Bridgton, Maine, July 9th, 1800.
He was a lineal descendant from Edward Hazen, one of the
early settlers of Rowley in this County. His father, Jacob
Hazen, was a prominent citizen of Bridgton, and served his
country as a soldier in the Revolutionary war. His mother,
Hannah (Wood) Hazen, was born, and until her marriage,
lived in Boxf ord in this County. At the time of her marriage
Bridgton was a frontier town with a sparse population. Mr.
Hazen often referred to the fact that when he was three
months old his mother carried him on horseback the entire dis-
tance from Bridgton to Boxford to visit her parents. She
was a woman of superior character, and he to the last cher-
ished the warmest affection and reverence for her memory.
He was educated at the common schools and at Bridgton
Academy. He was very studious, and at school laid the
foundation for the scholarly habits which characterized his
after life. He came to Salem when about sixteen years of
114 NATHAN W. HAZEN.
age where he remained several years, when he removed to
Beaufort, South Carolina, where he taught school. After-
wards he returned to Salem and read law in the office of Mr.
Leverett Saltonstall and was admitted to the Bar of this
County in 1829, and immediately commenced the practice of
his profession in Andover where he resided to the time of his
death. He had for many years a considerable business in the
courts, and was distinguished for great carefulness in the
preparation, and confidence and courage in the trials of his
cases. He made no pretensions at rhetorical display, but dis-
cussed questions of law with great clearness and ability. He
was always ready at repartee. An anecdote is related of him
that soon after his admission to the Bar, he was engaged in
the trial of a cause in which the counsel opposed to him was a
very large man physically. Mr. Hazen was a very small man
in stature. In the course of the trial his opponent in reply to
a statement of Mr. Hazen exclaimed : " My little fellow, I
could catch you up and stow you away in my coat pocket."
Mr. Hazen immediately arose and replied : " May it please your
Honor, if my brother should put me in his coat pocket, he
would have more law in his pocket than he ever had in his
Mr. Hazen was a member of the Massachusetts Senate in
1856, and was for many years President of the Merrimack Mu-
tual Fire Insurance Company. Although he was always deep-
ly interested in the political questions of the day, he had but
little ambition or desire for public life. He was a man of
generous culture. His greatest enjoyment was in his well
filled library, and his reading was extensive and thorough up-
on a large variety of subjects. He wrote many able articles
for magazines and reviews. His letter to the Essex Bar As-
sociation upon the death of Mr. Nathaniel J. Lord, which is
printed in his memorial volume, for literary excellence, care-
ful and just analysis of character, and chaste and loving eulo-
gy, has attracted the attention of every reader of the volume.
His more recent memorial of Caleb Cushing, presented to the
Supreme Judicial Court in behalf of the Essex Bar Associa-
NATHAN W. HAZEN. 115
tion, was a very able and eloquent tribute to the memory of
that distinguished jurist and statesman. In private and social
life Mr. Hazen was an exemplary man. He was a loving and
devoted husband, and a kind and sympathizing neighbor.
With a mind well stored with information, his conversation
in the company of friends, was always listened to with pleas-
ure and instruction. His friendships were very strong and
enduring. In his last years he delighted in frequent visits
to his friends, especially of the Bar, in different parts of the
county, and he was always welcomed. His old age was
" As a lusty winter
Frosty, but kindly."
May it please your Honor, at the request of the Essex Bar
Association I ask that this brief memorial may be placed up-
on the records of the Court.
Remarks of Mr. Daniel Saunders : —
May it please your Honor : — In rising to second the
motion that the memorial just read be placed upon the files
and made a part of the records of this Court, I do so not to
add anything to that which has been so well said in this just
tribute to the memory of one of our oldest and most respected
members of the Bar, but simply to say that my long and in-
timate acquaintance with Mr. Hazen enables me to assert
with confidence and authority that the memorial does no more
than justice to the character, ability, and virtues of the man.
To a large number of our Bar Mr. Hazen was not known per-
sonally as he had retired from active practice before they
came upon the stage of professional duties. He was a cotem-
porary with Saltonstall, Merrill, King, Choate, and the Lord
Brothers — men who have made the Essex Bar the foremost in
the state. These men were his friends and intimate ac-
quaintances, beloved by them for his kind, genial, and social
qualities, and respected by them for his sterling worth, learn-
ing, and ability.
Mr. Hazen was a man well trained by thorough study in
his profession, and he brought his cases before the courts with
116 NATHAN W. HAZEN.
careful preparation and presented them with a logical clear-
ness that enabled the court and jury to understand at once
the law and facts in issue. While most of the members of
this Bar have never had an opportunity to witness this dis-
play of his talents, if they will look through our law reports
they will find that he has presented to the bench some of the
closest questions in law that the courts have been called up-
on to decide — and a careful reading of these cases will show
that Mr. Hazen had not only a clearer appreciation of the
great principles which are the foundation of law, but that he
had also a keen insight in those fine shades of distinction
which separate analogous cases. He was a true and faithful
friend, and a kind neighbor, a just and upright citizen. A
man well worthy to be remembered among his great cotem-
poraries, and his example to be followed by those who come
Justice Thompson said : —
Brethren of the Bar : — When I came to this Bar, thir-
ty years ago, Mr. Hazen was acknowledged by the Courts,
the Bar, and the public, to be a wise and learned counsellor,
an upright man possessed of marked ability and true dignity
of character, and he was so regarded by all who knew him to
the hour of his death. He entertained a high regard for his
brethren of the Bar and always gave them a hearty greeting.
He took a lively interest in everything relating to the pro-
Although for several years before his death he was not ac-
tively engaged in the practice of the law, and consequently
the younger members of the law have not had the opportu-
nity to witness his efforts or to judge from personal observa-
tion of his ability as a lawyer, but they have learned from
those who were his contemporaries that he was well grounded
in the elementary principles of the law, a diligent student,
accurate in his learning, skilful in pleading when the prin-
ciples of pleading were much more complicated than now,
when success depended largely upon one's ability to correct-
ly present the issue to be determined.
NATHAN W. HAZEN. 11T
He had a clear appreciation of the questions of law involved
in a case, and was able to discuss them with great clearness
and learning, and was a formidable opponent in a trial where
important legal questions were involved.
When he used his pen to discuss public questions he al-
ways made a valuable contribution to the subject and proved
himself to be a writer of rare merit. He was eminently a con-
servative. He looked with apprehension upon any radical
change in law, government, or society, and held in veneration
the institutions and laws established by the fathers. He
realized the fulfilment of the promise of length of days for
the righteous, and having faithfully performed the duties of
this life he fell asleep to awake to the realities of another and
higher life, leaving an honored name, and none but pleasant
Judge Thompson then ordered that the Memorial be placed
upon the records of the Court, and that the Court be ad-
GEORGE F. CHOATE.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association held September
4, 1888, Messrs. William D. Northend, Thomas B. Newhall,
Elbridge T. Burley, Eben F. Stone, and Jeremiah T. Mahoney
were appointed a committee to prepare a memorial of Hon-
orable George F. Choate, to be presented to the Supreme
In the Supreme Judicial Court held at Salem, December 6,
1888, Mr. Justice Field presiding, Mr. William D.
Northend for the Essex Bar Association presented the
following memorial : —
May it please your Honor : — It has been for many years
a custom with the Essex bar, when a member who has
achieved distinction by his conspicuous ability and learning
dies, to request the courts to place upon their records, not
simply resolutions embodying the sense of the bar upon their
bereavement, but a more full and extended tribute to show
the estimation in which he was held by his contemporaries at
the bar, and to do honor to his memory. In accordance with
this custom, a committee has been appointed by the Essex
Bar Association to prepare a memorial of the late Hon.
George Francis Choate, judge of probate and insolvency
for this county, who died at Sharon Springs, in New York,
on the eleventh day of July last, to be presented to this
court. The committee have performed this duty, and re-
spectfully present the following memorial ;
Judge Choate was born in Essex, in this county, February
9, 1822. He was descended from one of the oldest and most
respected families in this county. His father, William
Choate, was a brother of Francis Choate and Dr. George
Choate, who resided in Salem. Rufus Choate was their
cousin. Dr. George Choate was father of the Hon. Joseph
GEORGE F. CHOATE. 119
H. Choate, LL.D., and the Hon. William G. Choate of New
York city, and Dr. George S. C. Choate, formerly superin-
tendent of the hospital for the insane at Taunton, and
Charles F. Choate, Esq., president of the Old Colony Rail-
road Company. William Choate purchased from his brothers
their interest in the paternal acres at Essex and followed the
occupation of farming. He died in Essex in 1829, leaving
as his only child the subject of this memorial, then seven
years of age. The year after his father's death he was placed
under the care of Mr. Francis Vose, master of Topsfield
Academy, where he remained about one year, when he re-
turned to Essex, where he lived under the care of his mother
until he was twelve years of age. His health during most
of this period was very poor, yet he was able to attend school
a portion of the time under the instruction of the Hon. Da-
vid Choate, brother of Ruf us, who was for many years a suc-
cessful teacher in the town.
In 1834 he entered Dummer Academy, where he continued
his studies under Master Nehemiah Cleaveland, LL. D., until
1838, when he was placed under the instruction of the Rev.
Sidney Eaton at Andover, where he finished his preparation
for college. In 1839 he entered Bowdoin College and was
graduated from that institution in 1843. After finishing his
college course he taught school in his native town two years,
when he entered the office of the Hon. Jonathan C. Perkins,
LL.D., and was admitted to the bar in this county in 1847.
Immediately upon his admission to the bar, he entered into
a law partnership with your memorialist under the firm name
of Northend and Choate, which was continued until his ap-
pointment of judge of probate and insolvency for the county
of Essex, in 1858. He continued in this office until the time
of his death.
No words of mine are necessary to inform the court, the
bar, or the people of the county, of the manner in which he
performed the various and oftentimes perplexing duties of his
office during this long period. This court having appellate
jurisdiction from the probate court has been made familiar
120 GEORGE F. CHOATE.
with the ability, wisdom and prudenee with which he dis-
charged his official duties, and has often shown its apprecia-
tion of these qualities in selecting him as master to aid the
court by preliminary hearing and report in important causes.
The bar of the county have not only been made familiar with
his conduct on the bench in their frequent and varied prac-
tice in his court, and learned to appreciate his great abilities
and judgment in the discharge of the duties of the office, but
have been accorded, without stint, the benefit of his extensive
and accurate learning, in intricate cases of their own, in
every branch of jurisprudence. The bar, in his death, have
lost a wise counsellor and friend. It is to each member a
personal loss and bereavement. The people of the county,
and there are but few families which have not been repre-
sented before him, learned to confide implicitly in his wisdom
and integrity, and to appreciate the patience and kindness
which he invariably exhibited, and the assistance he, without
ostentation, rendered them in their business before his court
with which many were unfamiliar. The people of the coun-
ty lament and mourn his loss.
Judge Choate was deficient in qualities indispensable for
a successful advocate. His intellect was so constituted that
it was difficult for him to consider one side of a case without
equal regard to the merits of the other. There could be, in
his nature, no enthusiasm in searching out the strong points
of a case for the purpose of asserting those on the one side and
denouncing those on the other. He could not make the
worse appear the better reason ; he could never be a partisan.
But he possessed in an eminent degree the qualities of mind
and the temperament essential in the performance of judicial
duties. Always dispassionate and self-possessed, he tried
causes with great patience and impartiality. In the de-
cisions he arrived at in the large number of cases he tried,
however much disappoinment the losing party might feel, no
one ever, for the moment even, accused him of unfairness or
partiality. It has been often said of a class of judges that
their decisions might be respected if they did not attempt to
GEORGE F. CHOATE. 121
give their reasons for them, but it was the custom with Judge
Choate in cases submitted to him as referee or auditor, to
give fully in his findings the grounds and reasons for his de-
cision, and the clearness and consistency of his statement
with his decision were always appreciated by both parties,
and often reconciled the losing party to the result. He was
a careful and industrious student. He was well grounded
in the principles of the common law, and to the last, read
and was familiar with the decisions of the Court in all
branches of law and equity.
He annotated an edition of Angell on highways and of
Perry on trusts, and for a time intended to write a book on
probate law. His portrait by Vinton, painted at the request
of the bar, has been placed in the law library.
Judge Choate was modest and unassuming in his manners.
Although he took much interest in public affairs and held
decided opinions upon the political questions of the day, he
never sought public office. He held in utter contempt the
arts of the politician and would never take an active part in
political organizations. His ambition was satisfied with the
careful and conscientious performance of the responsible
duties which his office and his appointments by the court and
bar called for. He took a deep interest in the cause of edu-
cation and served on the school committee of Salem for four-
teen years, and he was for many years, to the time of his
death, a trustee of Dummer Academy, in which institution
he took a great interest.
I can hardly trust myself to speak of Judge Choate in
private life. My schoolmate, classmate in college, and partner
for eleven years, intimate and confidential always, to the last,
no words of mine can adequately portray that character
which is hid from the public eye. Those who knew him only
in the performance of his professional and official duties can
have but little idea of the beauty and simplicity of his char-
acter in private life. True and unswerving in his friend-
ships, interesting and instructive in conversation, gener-
ous and confiding, abounding in that charity that " thinketh
122 GEORGE P. CHOATE.
no evil," he was beloved by all who were admitted to his
friendship. He was " to those men that sought him sweet as
In behalf of the Essex Bar Association, I ask that this me-
morial and a minute of these proceedings be entered upon
the records of this court.
Upon the reading of the memorial, Me. Thomas B. New-
hall said: —
I desire, may it please your Honor, to express my entire
concurrence in the portraiture of the character of the late
Judge Choate, as drawn in the paper just read by our brother
Northend. I was called to the bar at an earlier date than
Judge Choate, and have known him through the whole of
his professional and judicial life, casually in its earlier years,
but, after he was appointed judge, more thoroughly from the
acquaintance which I made with him in his court. From his
reputation at the bar I had begun to respect him as a practi-
tioner, and from full knowledge of his traits I formed the
highest respect and some larger measure of admiration for
him. He Was conceded to be an able and learned judge, but
I think that the most striking and admirable trait of his
character was his moral and mental conscientiousness. Suit-
ors are often disappointed, and judges sometimes err, but I
think no one left his court, whatever may have been the re-
sults in his cause, whether favorable or otherwise, who did
not feel that he had a judgment untainted by passion, prej-
udice or any wrong influence. Judge Choate's mind was
discriminating, free from all influences which imperceptibly
may disturb the judgment of the most conscientious mag-
istrate. He was apparently wholly free from any bias of friend-
ship or prejudice. He carefully and thoroughly studied
and considered the questions upon which he had to pass,
and the judgment when arrived at received weight and con-
fidence from his high personal character. He was retiring
and undemonstrative,but cordial and genial in his intercourse,
attracting and making friends, not by any grace of manner
GEORGE P. CHOATE. 123
or personal accomplishments, but by the grace which a kind
and benevolent heart, and a cultured and well improved mind,
and a warmth and sincerity of affection, so conspicuous in
He was patient, impartial and firm, but ever ready to re-
ceive any information or light which suitors were able to
give him. He was pure in mind, of great integrity and can-
dor, of firm religious faith, of generous and genial impulses
with his friends and acquaintances, and a most delightful
and instructive companion. I respectfully second the motion
made by Mr. Northend that the memorial and a minute of
these proceedings be entered upon the records of the court.
Mr. Daniel Saunders then said : —
May it please your Honor: — In speaking of Judge
Choate and expressing my idea of his character I can and do
most heartily indorse all that has been said of him in the
memorial just read and in the remarks of Judge Newhall in
seconding the request that the memorial be made a matter of
record in this court. The memorial written by a loving and
life-long friend expresses in fitting words an eloquent, but
only a just and well deserved tribute to the memory of our
Mr. Choate's character has been appreciated long before
it was developed in judicial decisions. His legal attainments
had attracted the attention of the courts, and his honesty
and integrity had won the confidence and respect at the bar,
so that long before his appointment as judge of probate he
had been selected by the bar and bench to act as referee,
auditor or master in chancery in many important cases. The
legal acumen which he displayed, and the careful consider-
ation which he gave to all matters submitted to him, together
with the fairness and impartiality of his decisions, pointed
him out as preeminently a fit person to administer the deli-
cate and important duties of a probate judge. During the
long term he held this office no one questioned his fidelity to
duty, and this court had but few occasions to overrule his
124 GEORGE F. CHOATE.
However eminent or successful may have been his prede-
cessors, or however worthy may be his successors, in
the office which he filled so acceptably, no one has left, and
no one will leave it, with a higher regard of the bar, or with
the more profound respect and veneration of the people.
Fleeting as is the reputation of the most eminent lawyers,
yet will the memory of Judge Choate be held in high esteem
so long as any of his contemporaries survive him, and the
record of his judgments in official life will be an enduring
monument to his ability and integrity.
Mr. William H. Niles said : —
May it please the Court : — I deem it a privilege to en-
dorse as far as I am able all that has been said. My acquain-
tance with Judge Choate did not extend as far back as did
the acquaintance of the brethren who have preceded me, but
I did know him for nearly twenty years, and for ten years or
more I knew him well.
It has been truly said that he was a remarkable man. Every-
one who had business in his court or with him anywhere be-
came sensible of his superiority. Such learning and such
dignity are rarely seen in any man, and yet he was so mild
in his manners, so patient and so modest everywhere and at
all times, that there was peculiar pleasure as well as security
in dealing with him.
Of all that distinguished him in his court, and there was
much, there was nothing greater than his intense and conscien-
tious desire to penetrate and understand thoroughly every
matter brought before him. Young men and those not much
versed in law, or much used to practice in court, felt before
him a degree of safety not generally experienced, even before
our best judges, and out of court as well as in court, he was
always ready to assist and give advice from his learning and
experience which seemed inexhaustible.
He thoroughly disliked fraud, deceit or any indirection,
and if anything of the kind appeared he did not let it pass
until he had deeply probed it, so that the person accused
GEORGE F. CHOATE. 125
might be vindicated if it were unfounded or exposed if it
were true. His honesty and conscientiousness, as well as
his learning and patience, justified the confidence which we
all felt in going before him.
But it is needless for me to say more, and I cannot do
better than to close as I began, by expressing my earnest and
heartfelt endorsement of all that has been said.
Mr. Solomon Lincoln then said : —
May it please your Honor : — I was unaware when I
came into the court room a few moments ago that this after-
noon had been selected to pay our respectful tribute to the
memory of Judge Choate, and I could have wished that such
a part as I might take in it could have had the benefit of
more preparation. Such was my respect and regard for him
that I feel that such a duty requires careful thought ; but
though what I say is unpremeditated it is none the less sincere.
It was my good fortune to know Judge Choate in various
relations : as a neighbor and friend, as a citizen of this munici-
pality, as a lawyer, practising to some extent at the Bar, and,
as all knew him best, the judge of the probate court of this
county. When I recall these various relations I might per-
haps touch upon qualities which were conspicuous in each ;
nevertheless, such a discrimination is not especially valuable,
because the same traits of his strong personality were exhib-
ited in all his relations to all of us.
Recalling him as a neighbor and a friend, his memory comes
to all of us who had the privilege to know him thus with
feelings of deep affection. As a citizen of this community
none was wiser or more public spirited ; and there was none
whose services it might have employed with greater advan-
tage. As a lawyer he was a most sagacious counsellor ; and
although in these courts his appearance was too infrequent,
and his too great modesty always restrained him, yet he ren-
dered most valuable assistance to the bench and to all who
sought his aid.
In reference to his qualities as a magistrate in which func-
126 GEORGE F. CHOATE.
tion his most conspicuous services were rendered, I could not
hope to add anything to the very complete, discriminating, and
affectionate tribute which our brother Northend and those
who have followed him have paid. Nevertheless, it is a pleas-
ure to call to mind the associations of his court. I may say
for all whose practice brought us there, that not merely were
we impressed with the conviction that an honest judge was
endeavoring to render justice — this we can proudly say of
all our courts — but before him we experienced a sensation of
pleasure, of intellectual pleasure, in practising before a mag-
istrate whose abilities commanded extreme respect and by
whom we knew that every position well taken would be un-
derstood and supported. We felt not merely that he was a
judge anxious to render justice if he could see the way ; we
knew that he saw the way, that his court was not a place for
shallow claims. So well was this understood that in this
county he was judge not merely by authority of the execu-
tive commission, but by a voluntary selection, well nigh uni-
versal, on the part of litigants who preferred his private ar-
bitration to the scarcely more unerring justice of the courts.
It is, however, as I said, hardly profitable to attempt to dis-
criminate between the qualities which he displayed in various
walks. Over them all his modesty threw a partial veil, — a
modesty which, if I may so say, was almost a fault. At least,
the community suffered in the loss of services which he was so
well qualified to render, but which this modesty forbade him
to render unasked.
I prefer to give my last word to those feelings of regard
and affection which all entertain who enjoyed the privilege
of his delightful acquaintance. He had the experience and
shrewdness of the man of affairs, with a keen eye to discover
whatever was unsound and false : to this he added the culture
and wit of the scholar. Beneath all lay a kind and generous
nature. These qualities lent a genial charm to our inter-
course with him and keep his memory green.
Mr. Thomas M. Stimpson then said : —
I well remember the occasion of my first meeting with
GEOBGE F. CHOATE. 127
Judge Choate. He was then in practice at the Bar as a
member of the legal firm of Northend and 1 Choate. I had just
finished my college course and was about to take the first
steps to enter upon the study of the law. The reputation of
the firm drew me thither for advice as to my course. The
kindness of Mr. Choate won my regard at once, and his gen-
eral bearing made an impression upon me that will never be
As time went on, and opportunities for judgment multiplied,
I and my contemporaries at the Essex Bar came to entertain
for Mr. Choate's legal attainments a very high opinion. In
due time an opportunity came to give expression to that opin-
A vacancy had occurred in the office of judge of the court
of probate and insolvency for this county. Many of us, his
legal brethren, thought him the fittest man for the place, and
urged his appointment with success. At a period in life when
he had a long career of usefulness before him he entered up-
on the duties of that judicial post.
With what fidelity those duties were performed is known
to all here present, and no greater tribute, than to acknowl-
edge that fidelity, can be paid by us to our departed friend.
But beyond this, we take pride in the ability displayed by
Judge Choate in his many and varied duties, calling out to
the full his eminent legal attainments in the way most con-
genial to him. His stores of legal knowledge were equal to
any emergency, and he was unsparing in the patience and
good nature with which he brought them to bear, on all
proper occasions, to smooth the path of those who met with
difficulties while practising before him.
Judge Choate, in his judicial, and to some extent in his
social intercourse with others, has been called rather taciturn.
To some extent this was true, but it was so because the
frivolous and inconsequential were foreign to his very nature,
which had as little sympathy with mental weakness as with
moral turpitude. We have all seen occasions when he was
even eloquent in vindication of the right and in exposure of
128 GEORGE F. CHOATE.
what was wrong. Rarely, except at such times, did he dis-
play that warmth of nature, which gained for him so high a
place in the regard of those who enjoyed his friendship and
Mr. George Wheatland then said : —
Judge Choate was modest, retiring, unassuming, in all his
ways. He little appreciated his own legal talent and ac-
quirements ; he was one of the best lawyers it was ever my
lot to meet. When he was appointed judge of probate he en-
tered upon the duties of the office with a full sense of what
lay before him, and he performed the duties of the office for
twenty-nine years to the entire satisfaction of the Bar and
Mr. Justice FiELD^responded as follows : —
Brethren of the Bar : — Although my acquaintance
with Judge Choate was slight, I have long known what the
bar and the people of this county thought of him. You can
speak of him with an intimate knowledge, for his whole pro-
fessional life was spent here. He held the office of judge of
probate for almost a generation, and the titles to a large part
of the property in the county must have passed through the
court while he was judge. The jurisdiction of a judge of
probate under our statutes is so extensive and varied that he
can exhibit and use in his office many accomplishments and
many kinds of ability, if he have them. His duties are in a
sense administrative as well as judicial : he sits like a judge
of old time, accessible to all suitors, to give direction and ad-
vice as well as to decide controversies. Many questions come
before him in which he has not the aid of the bar, and often
good judgment and a knowledge of men and of affairs are as
necessary as professional learning. The careful and intelli-
gent manner in which Judge Choate performed all his duties
is well known to this court, before which many of his decrees
and reports as master or auditor have come for examination.
The judgment of the bar and of the public upon his ability,
character and conduct you have expressed in your memorial.
GEORGE F. CHOATE. 129
I have noticed that Judge Choate was uniformly spoken
of with a degree of affection not always felt for every
good lawyer or good judge. He seemed to have acquired
none of the irritating intellectual habits which have some-
times been attributed to lawyers. Perhaps as your memorial
suggests, his inability to exaggerate trifles or to look only at
one side of a question and a certain lack of smartness and
self-assertion, account for this. He was never arrogant or
disputatious. He appeared like a scholarly, conscientious
and well-bred gentleman, who felt that the administration of
justice to which he was devoted was but one of many ways
in which the existing civilization is maintained and the com-
mon welfare is promoted. It is becoming that such perma-
nency as a record affords should be given to the reputation
which he acquired among his contemporaries. It is therefore
ordered that the memorial, with a memorandum of these pro-
ceedings, be entered upon the records of this court.
CHARLES P. THOMPSON.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association held in the
Court House in Salem, January 22, 1894, the President and
Messrs. Northend, Moody, Moulton, Herrick, Niles and
Saunders were appointed a committee to prepare and present
to the Superior Court a suitable memorial of Charles P.
At a session of the Superior Court in Salem, June 29, 1894,
there being present Justices Sherman, Lilley and
Sheldon, Mr. William D. Northend for the committee,
appointed by the Essex Bar Association, presented the
May it please your Honors: — The Essex Bar Asso-
ciation, in accordance with a revered custom, appointed a
committee to prepare a Memorial of the late Honorable
Charles Perkins Thompson, a member of this Bar, and
a Justice of the Superior Court of this Commonwealth, who
died at Gloucester, in this County, on the nineteenth day of
January last, to be presented to this Court, and the commit-
tee respectfully report :
Judge Thompson was born in Braintree, July 30th, 1827.
His parents were Frederick M., and Susanna (Cheesman)
Thompson. He attended the public schools of the town un-
til he was nineteen years of age, when he entered the Hollis
Institute in South Braintree, where he remained two years.
After this he commenced the study of law, and in 1852 en-
tered the law office of Messrs. Hallett and Thomas in Boston,
and was admitted to the Bar in Suffolk County, October
Mr. Isaac C. Wyman, who was a student with him in Hal-
lett and Thomas' office writes, " It was in the fifties, some
forty years ago, that the late Judge Charles P. Thompson
CHARLES P. THOMPSON. 131
became a student in the office of Hallett and Thomas at the
corner of Court Street and Court Square in Boston, where
Young's Hotel now stands. They had four rooms in the
third story of the rough hewn granite structure, called Tu-
dor's Building. The architecture was ponderous, with great
beetling hoods of projecting stone over the low, broad and
deep windows, doors and eaves. The original dark color of
the granite, which age had stained with moss and smoke,
gave uniformity to its somewhat gloomy appearance. It im-
pressed one as picturesque, but repulsive. The antiquated
building had witnessed many changes in its neighborhood,
but there had been no changes in its own perpetual frown.
Three of the rooms of the office suite opened into a fourth
one on three of its sides. The occupant firm were gentlemen
and lawyers of the old school, devoted to their profession,
punctilious in the observance of professional courtesy, and
exact in the knowledge and administration of the common and
statute law. In their eyes a breach of the laws of courtesy
was no less culpable than a breach of the criminal law. Their
bearing towards students was affable, without familiarity.
The first room was used for the reception of clients and
was in charge of a student. On the left was the room of Mr.
Hallett and his son. In front was the room of Mr. Thomas
and another student, and the room on the right was for stu-
dents. Judge Thompson was the student in charge of the
reception room, and he held the position for a long time.
His native courtesy and magnetic amiability adapted him to
the duties of receiving clients and gathering the facts of
their cases. He naturally became the favorite with both
clients and witnesses. The business was transacted with
uniformity. Students were required to make the briefs with,
case authorities in support of each point, and to give the
names of the witnesses and state briefly their testimony to
the respective parts of the suit.
While Judge Thompson was clever at all parts of the
work, he excelled in adjusting and applying the principles
of law to the testimony, avoiding unnecessary details of irrel-
132 CHARLES P. THOMPSON.
evant matters. For most of the cases, the brief, with a stu-
dent in attendance, was the guide in the conduct of the trial.
In that way a very large law business was accomplished with
the least amount of labor possible.
For the noon hour the office business was suspended ; the
strictness of office rule was relaxed and the students' room
was given up to mirth and recreation. At such times it was
Thompson's wit that outshone all others. But it is unneces-
sary to say this to those who ever knew him. Yet even in its
wildest moments his merriment was always of a kindly nature,
and was never meant to wound or offend an antagonist.
After admission to the Bar he remained awhile with Mr.
Hallett in discharge of the duties of Assistant District At-
torney, conducting preliminary hearings before the United
States Commissioners and the Grand Jury while Mr. Hallett
held office. In that practice Judge Thompson became pro-
ficient in shipping and in Admiralty jurisprudence, and ac-
quired his taste for that branch of the law. It was that which
probably led him to remove to the seaport of Gloucester,
when he began his successful practice there.
But it seems he never wholly forgot the happy student
days, and when the grave mantle of the Judge rested its
weight of dignity upon his shoulders, even in the midst of
the long drawn tediousness and responsibitity of important
trials, he would often spend his noon recess in humorous sal-
lies with some old friend of student days, and at ' time up,'
put on the court harness with appearance of renewed strength
for the work.
You ask for some anecdotes remembered. The business be-
came, as you will have perceived, hard work of the routine
class ; and odd things happened every hour and strange
events so common that no one stood out in memory as more
prominent than others. As to witticisms, his whole career
sparkles with his vivid fancies ; and generations of Essex
lawyers will pass away before the relations of his bright say-
ings will cease to be heard in the solicitors' room of the Court
CHARLES P. THOMPSON. 133
Mr. Thompson came to Gloucester in May, 1857, and it
was his home from that time until his death.
It is the custom for the lawyers in the towns and small
cities of the Commonwealth to engage in a general practice
of the profession ; to do all kinds of office work and try cases
in the Police Courts, before Trial Justices, and in the Supe-
rior and Supreme Judicial Courts. Gloucester being at a
distance from a shire town, Mr. Thompson's court business
for the first few years was confined to the local Court of
Gloucester, and to the Justice Courts in neighboring towns.
He took a great delight in trying cases in the country vil-
lages, and many anecdotes are related of amusing incidents
in these trials.
In a short time he commenced the trial of cases before the
higher tribunals, and for many years before his appointment
to the Bench, he had a large practice in all the courts. He
was a successful advocate, and a leading lawyer in the county.
From the interesting account by Mr. Wyman of his student
days, it is evident he was busy in his studies and obtained
practical knowledge which was very serviceable to him in
his life work. He was well grounded in the common law
which is the great foundation for success at the Bar. In-
deed, without a thorough education in the great principles
of jurisprudence, no one can hope for eminence in the pro-
fession. A lawyer with a sound and even balanced mind,
and an accurate knowledge of these principles, is well
equipped for his work. The importance of a good education
in the principles of the law, which should be acquired in stu-
dent days, can hardly be overestimated. When engaged in
the general practice of the law, but little opportunity is af-
forded for regular study. However proficient a man may
become in the knowledge of decided cases, he will be often
compelled, especially in the more important causes, to fall
back upon his knowledge of principles.
Mr. Thompson's success was largely due to his even and
well balanced mind, and his knowledge of the principles of
the common law. There are but few cases of extraordinary
134 CHARLES P. THOMPSON.
interest in a practice like that of Mr. Thompson, yet many-
involving the niceties of the law, and requiring great ability
and skill in their presentation. Mr. Thompson was engaged
in many of the most important trials of his time, and by his
learning, skill, courage, and manners, earned the distinction
of being a successful lawyer.
The duties and efforts of the profession are not fully un-
derstood by the community at large. There exists a some-
what popular impression, that a contest in the courts consists
of a struggle between opposing counsel for personal suprem-
acy by use of any means they can employ to that end ; and
that verdicts are too often rendered on the side of the stronger
and more unscrupulous attorney. This is untrue, and tends
to the prejudice of the profession. It should be remembered,
that most every contested case has two honest sides to it ; each
side has its law and facts, and the case must be decided, under
the law, by a preponderance of evidence, to be determined by
an impartial court. In the barbarous ages, when there were
no tribunals for the trial of disputed cases, each party in a
dispute asserted his claim by force ; and the early dawn of
civilization is characterized by the establishment, by law, of
tribunals to settle peaceably, all controversies between parties.
They were at first rude and governed by no fixed rules, but
with the advance of society, courts were constituted with
rules, over which men of superior knowledge and character
were called upon to preside, who would command the respect of
litigants ; to which courts contesting parties were required
to present their claims and grievances for adjudication. But
the trouble and disorders on the trials, occasioned by the
presentation of their claims by the parties themselves, in-
flamed by partisan passion, and with but little regard for
their opponents or the court, led to the employment of men
instructed in the law to present for the parties their respec-
tive claims. This was a most important step in the cause of
justice. Any one who has had experience with a jury can
well conceive of the difficulties on a trial, if the parties,
many of them ignorant in the law, should try their own cases.
CHARLES P. THOMPSON. 135
It is of benefit to parties and to society, that men learned
in the law should manage the causes in the courts. It is the
duty of a lawyer, and it is a responsible one, to present upon
a trial in a clear and intelligent manner the facts upon his
side of the case, to detect and expose any fallacies, and win-
now any facts presented upon the other side, and to enforce
by argument the weight of the facts proved. It may be said
that if this is so, yet that the decision of a case may be in-
fluenced by the superior ability of the counsel on one side.
This is true, but does not the strong man have the advantage
in all the affairs of life. But it may also be said that all
lawyers do not perform their duty as has been stated, and
that some attempt, by artful perversions of the facts and by
digging pitfalls for the unwary, to obtain verdicts. This is
true, but such attempts are sure to fail before the keen dis-
cernment of the opposing counsel and the wisdom of the
court. I can say with truth, that in a somewhat long ex-
perience and observation in the courts, the most successful,
as they have been the most respected, members of the Bar,
have been those distinguished for their fairness and manli-
ness in the trials of causes. One who attempts to practice
by arts and chicanery, not only finds his level with the Bar,
but with the juries and judges, and is consigned to the disrep-
utable class known as " pettifoggers."
No one was more just and honorable in his practice than
Mr. Thompson. He prepared his cases with great care, and
was prudent in the examination of witnesses. His addresses
to the jury were very effective. He relieved the tediousness
of an argument upon the evidence by frequent sallies of wit
and humor. He was always respectful to the Court and
rarely, in the most exciting trials, uttered a word which
could wound the feelings of the opposing counsel. His im-
perturbable good nature was always in the ascendant.
In 1871 and 1872 Mr. Thompson was elected by his fellow
citizens of Gloucester, to the House of Representatives of the
General Court. He was appointed on important committees,
and took an active and influential part in the proceedings of
136 CHARLES P. THOMPSON.
that body. He was very popular with his associates, and
his occasional speeches were listened to with attention. At
one session a petition was presented for leave to sell the old
South Church property on the corner of Washington and
Milk streets in Boston. It was thoroughly discussed. The
property had become very valuable for business purposes.
The great value of it in the market was strongly urged by
the petitioners. The opposition regarded it almost a sacri-
lege to tear down the old South Church, with its intensely
interesting history antedating the Revolution. Mr. Thomp-
son was strongly opposed to the granting of the petition.
He denounced the scheme of the petitioners in an earnest and
eloquent speech in which he said, referring to the money
value of the property, " Mr. Speaker, I did not know before
that land had got to be so high in Boston that the Lord can-
not afford to own a corner lot." The effect of this can be
In 1874, after a severe contest, Mr. Thompson was elected
to the House of Representatives of the United States Con-
gress. He earned an excellent reputation in that body, in
which were many of the ablest men of the country. He was
appointed chairman of a committee to go to Florida and make
investigations on the spot, regarding the vote of that State in
the Presidential election. It was a most important mission.
He performed this duty with ability and impartiality. He
was also an influential member of a committee appointed to
investigate and report the facts in certain disputed elections
to the House. He performed these duties in such a manner
as commanded the respect of his political opponents.
At the close of the term for which he had been elected,
he resumed the practice of law, which he continued until his
appointment to the Bench of the Superior Court in 1885.
From that time until his death, he was engaged in the per-
formance of the duties of that office. The manner in which
he performed these duties cannot be better expressed than
in the language of an Associate upon the Bench to the Bar
of Boston on the death of Mr. Thompson. He said, " As a
CHARLES P. THOMPSON. 137
judge, his conduct for impartiality, independence and integ-
rity was above all praise. The high and the low, the rich
and the poor, the humblest and the proudest, stood upon the
same level before him : and to all alike, so far as he could
control the final decisions of the court, even-handed justice
was meted out."
Mr. Thompson was always interested in the political ques-
tions of the day, and although he held decided opinions, yet
he was very tolerant of the views of those who differed with
him. His general reading was extensive, and he was espec-
ially interested in the reading of English literature. But few
of his public addresses were ever printed. His address be-
fore the Essex County Agricultural Society, in 1883, is well
written and shows much thought on the subject he had
chosen. He was generous to a fault, and had always ready
sympathy for the unfortunate. Few men with his income
and means have left a larger legacy of valueless notes given
for money loaned at different times by Mr. Thompson in the
vain hope that he might save friends from financial disaster.
There was found in his private desk at home after his death,
a printed rule of conduct which expressed the religion of his
life. It was in the following words :
" I expect to pass through this life but once. If, therefore,
there is any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do
to any fellow-being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it
or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
But it was in social life that Mr. Thompson's qualities
shone with the greatest brilliancy. With a good degree of
culture and knowledge of affairs — a remarkable memory —
a keen, discriminating mind and most felicitous manners, he
was always listened to with the greatest pleasure and admira-
No one was truer or stronger in his personal friendships,
or more beloved for his kindness, especially to the younger
members of his profession, to whom he gave hearty words
of encouragement, and in whose welfare and success he al-
ways took a deep interest.
138 CHARLES P. THOMPSON.
He was most happy in all his family relations, and de-
lighted in the joys and peace of his home.
The last year of his life was, a continual struggle with a
malady which was gradually weakening both body and mind,
yet until the last, he indulged in the hope of resuming his
labors. But his work on earth was finished — the drama of
life closed, and his spirit, the spirit of a noble and just man,
returned to God who gave it.
In behalf of the Essex Bar Association, I respectfully re-
quest that this memorial and a minute of these proceedings
be entered upon the records of this Court.
Mr. Elbridge T. Burley, President of the Bar Associa-
tion, seconded the motion that these proceedings be
entered upon the records of the Court, in the following
words : —
May it please your Honors : — If sincerity, self-control,
energy, liberality, courage of convictions, a considerate and
just regard for the rights of others, and an enlightened, sen-
sitive and never failing conscience are the leading essential
characteristics of manhood in its highest sense, Charles P.
Thompson was one of nature's noblemen. And whatever of
success he achieved in life is due, I think, in a great meas-
ure, to those traits of his character.
It was my good fortune to know him quite intimately for
many years, and for his friendship and many virtues I trust
I shall ever cherish his memory with a most affectionate
Without intending in the least to disparage his judicial
career, I cannot but think he will be best and longest remem-
bered by this Bar, as one of its most active members, and, if
there is given something of latitude under the license of
eulogy, still it cannot be claimed that he was one of the
great and gifted lawyers of his time.
He was, however, much more than ordinary, and was al-
ways equal to his best efforts and to all the responsibilities
he assumed. Possessed of a good knowledge of men and
CHARLES P. THOMPSON. 139
the practical side of affairs, and of that sound intuitive in-
sight, misnamed common-sense, he was not easily misled or
deceived. He was prudent in counsel, a courteous, manly
and fearless antagonist, and a faithful and effective advocate,
adorning his forensic efforts with an abundant flow of wit
and humor. His influence on this Bar, while one of its
active members, was elevating ; for his professional and per-
sonal example was an inspiration ; and to the credit and
honor of this Bar, be it said, he was respected and beloved by
But he was much more than the good and respected
lawyer ; he was a most devoted husband, a loving and indul-
gent father, a warm and steadfast friend, alike in sunshine
and storm, and a most exemplary citizen.
As he was, for several years, one of the associate Justices
of this Court, it may not become me to speak in this presence
of his judicial qualities, but 1 venture only far enough to say
that the Bar of the Commonwealth did not fail to recognize
in him that sterling uprightness, without which men would
be commissioned as judges, in vain.
It is most fitting that Bench and Bar should cease from
their labors to pay tributes of respect to our worthy and hon-
ored dead, and I heartily second the motion addressed to
your Honors by our memorialist.
Mr. Daniel Saunders spoke as follows : —
May it please your Honors : — We all know how tran-
sitory is the reputation of any lawyer, however eminent he
may have been in his life time. There remains no record of
his work however great and learned he may have been, or
however brilliant his eloquence in the presentation of his
clients' causes to the Court or jury. When the generation
that knows him and his work has passed away, he is forgotten
or known only by tradition. For this reason the custom of the
Essex Bar, to present to the Court fitting memorials of de-
parted brothers who have distinguished themselves by their
capacity and integrity in their profession, and to ask that
140 CHARLES P. THOMPSON.
they may be preserved in the records of the court where
they have achieved their success, is fit and proper.
For nearly forty years Mr. Thompson has been known,
honored and beloved in Essex County, as few men of any
profession have been. I remember well his first coming
among us; his cheery brightness, his delightful and witty
conversational powers, and his gracious manners gave him
a welcome which ripened into lasting friendships. He at
once made a place for himself at the Bar, which he held
during life ; and the confidence, respect and love which was
given him on early acquaintance, grew and strengthened as
the years went by. Genial as he was by nature, generous,
by inclination, most charitably tolerent of the faults and
short comings of others, yet with himself he was stern and
inflexible in the performance of what he considered duty. I
have known him intimately since he first came among us,
and have been with him, as associate or opposing counsel in
many cases, and know how keenly sensitive he was lest any
neglect of his might prejudice the rights of those he repre-
sented. The great care and attention which he gave to busi-
ness entrusted to him, richly merited the success which he
attained, and the confidence reposed in him by his clients.
While full of wit and humor which added zest to his conver-
sation and pleasure to all his listeners, there was an undercur-
rent of reverence for things sacred, and for the virtues of
the Christian religion which he practised if not preached.
With all his joyous nature, there was beneath the surface a
serious contemplative mind, which looked upon life as given
not merely for his own happiness and pleasure, but for the
conscientious discharge of duty to others ; and when life
ceased to give him power to perform what he considered to
be his duty, it no longer had any charm for him. Knowing
him intimately as I did for more than thirty years, 1 believe
his last act, when long illness had weakened a strong mind,
and reason had given place to phantasm, was governed by
the same sense of right and duty which had controlled
his whole life.
CHARLES P. THOMPSON. 141
For more than a generation he went in and out among us ;
known of all men as generous to a fault, scrupulous in the
performance of every duty ; truthful in all his relations ;
honorable in every action ; while at the Bar trusted by the
Courts, and when upon the Bench looked up to and esteemed
by the Bar. He was loved b} r his friends ; enemies he had
none, and was honored and respected by all. No higher
praise can be spoken of him than the record of the life he left
behind him. When we go to our rest, happy will it be, if
we leave behind us a record as fair and pure as his ; a record
in which any errors of life will be forgotten in the memory
of its great and crowning virtues.
Mr. Henry P. Moulton addressed the court as follows : —
May it please your Honors : — The death of Judge
Thompson brought to all who knew him a sense of personal
loss to an unusual degree. And this is especially true, not
only of those who were his lifelong friends, but also of those
of us who entered the profession when he was in the vigor
of his manhood, and all of whose recollections of practice
down to the time of his death are associated with him. He
will be remembered as a leading lawyer of this county ; he
will be remembered as a learned and upright judge, and of
his sayings those will remain longest in memory which illus-
trate the peculiar gift of humor with which he was endowed.
But I think that any man would make a mistake, who,
listening to Judge Thompson's genial conversation and see-
ing only the face that he wore to the world, would think that
thereby he knew the man. The real man it was harder to
know, not on account of any concealment, but because of a
certain sensitiveness which I think was characteristic of him
through life. I remember hearing him say, years ago, in the
course of an argument to a jury, emphatically and impressive-
ly, " So long as I live I expect to be engaged in the perform-
ance of present duty." It seems to me that that was a guiding
principle with Judge Thompson throughout the whole of his
life. No man was more unselfish than he ; no man recog-
142 CHABLES P. THOMPSON.
nized more strongly the claims that others had upon him, or
devoted himself more thoroughly to the performance of the
duties that he felt were obligatory upon him, and when
Judge Thompson died, a great, strong, hearty and unselfish
personality went out of the world.
Of course such men are missed. We meet them too sel-
dom in the course of our own journeys through life not to
deplore their loss, and for many years the loss of Judge
Thompson will be felt at the Essex Bar.
Mr. William H. Niles spoke as follows : —
May it please your Honors : — I should not be true to
my feelings if I did not here express my sincere concurrence
in all that has been said.
Mr. Thompson came to the Bar many years before I was
admitted, but when I came I early learned, when I was in
doubt or anxious as to my duty, to go to him for instruction
and encouragement, for certain it was that no one ever went
to him without finding a safe and faithful guide and helper.
There is scarcely a young lawyer at our bar who has not
seen his great and noble heart ; who has not felt his warm
and generous spirit, and has not been to him and found an
inexhaustible reservoir of strength, of purity, of noble, lofty
character, and a fervor and sweetness of temper that never
It is needless for me to say more. You who knew him so
well feel more than any words of mine can express, and I
close with the expression of a belief that the young men at
our Bar, whether looking to the head or the heart, to a public,
professional, or private life, will wait long before finding a
purer, sweeter, or nobler example than they have in our late
lamented friend and brother.
Mr. Frank C. Richardson addressed the court as follows : —
May it please your Honors and Brethren op the
Bar : — It is with reluctance that I speak, because I am con-
scious of my inability to express myself satisfactorily, and yet
CHARLES P. THOMPSON. 143
I should reproach myself if I allowed these exercises to close
without declaring my respect and love for him in whose
memory we have met. I am glad that I am permitted pub-
licly to speak of his nobility of character. I had known
Judge Thompson for many years. My earliest recollection
of him is more than thirty years ago, when he came to my
native town to conduct a trial before the local Justice. He
was then young and brilliant, and I remember his great pop-
ularity with the people of that vicinity, which continued
throughout his life. He had the respect and confidence of
people to a remarkable degree. In a recent conversation
with the Hon. John Prince, who has resided in Washington,
D. C, for a long time, he said that Judge Thompson when
in Congress was held in high esteem by all classes and all
parties. I had known him as a public man, but my intimate
acquaintance with him began in 1879 when I entered his
office as a student, where I remained until his appointment
as a Justice of this Court in 1885. During this time I saw
him daily and I cannot recall in all that time a single unkind
word spoken. I appreciated his intellectual gifts, I admired
his sparkling wit and his ability as a lawyer and an advocate,
but that which endeared him to me above all else was his
friendliness and generosity. His sympathy knew no bounds,
and his hand was ever ready to assist the poor and unfortu-
nate. His life was crowded with noble and generous deeds.
The last conversation I had with him was on last Christmas
morning at his home. He was too weak to leave his room.
He spoke of his work as a lawyer, and said that it was a great
satisfaction to him to remember that all his relations with
members of the Bar had been pleasant, and of their courtesy
and fairness towards him. His last thoughts were of others,
and his last words generous and loving. This noble, honest,
manly man is dead. His death leaves a void that cannot be
filled. Cannot we truly say of him that which the great
dramatist makes one of his characters say of another,
" His life was gentle; and the elements
So mixed in him that nature might stand up,
And say to all the world
This was a man."
144 CHARLES P. THOMPSON.
Justice Sherman replied as follows : —
Brethren of the Bar : — When I came to this bar in
1858 I first met Mr. Thompson, who had preceded me, hav-
ing taken up his residence in Gloucester the year before.
From that time until 1868, when I was elected to the office
of District Attorney, I met him occasionally. For the next
fourteen years we met frequently in the civil and criminal
Courts, more frequently in the latter, as he had a large
docket in that Court.
After I became Attorney General, in 1883, we met often,
especially in the summer months, I, some years prior, having
taken up my residence in Gloucester during the summer.
He was appointed to the bench in 1885, and I in 1887,
after which time our relations were very intimate.
It is pleasant to remember that in the great number of
cases we tried as opposing counsel, there never was an un-
pleasant word between us.
I was once asked by a former Justice of this Court, only
slightly acquainted with Mr. Thompson, why it was that I
manifested such great respect for and confidence in him. I
answered, " Because he is such a royal good fellow and so
honorable in his practice, — if he should tell me that I made
an agreement a year ago about the disposition of a criminal
case, of which I had no recollection, I have such implicit con-
fidence in his integrity, I should carry out the agreement ac-
cording to his understanding."
As a lawyer he had a good degree of success, not in the
financial sense, but in giving to a large number of his fellow
citizens the best of advice without charge or compensation,
and in giving to a large clientage good ability and faithful
services, with moderate charges.
He will be gratefully remembered by the citizens of Cape
Ann as a lawyer who did not stir up strife, incite neighbor
against neighbor, nor encourage litigation ; he was a genuine
peace maker, and literally kept the attorney's oath, — ' He
would do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in
Court ; he did not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any
CHARLES P. THOMPSON. 145
false, groundless or unlawful suit ; he delayed no man for
lucre or malice ; but he conducted himself in the office of an
attorney within the Courts according to the best of his
knowledge and discretion, and with all good fidelity as well
to the Courts as to his client.'
Judge Thompson, as a member of the Legislature and of
Congress, established a reputation as a man of ability and
Mr. Justice Thompson was a popular Judge ; naturally
such with his genial disposition, pleasant ways, ready wit,
and love of anecdote, he could not be otherwise ; he carried
about with him wherever he went a large amount of sunshine.
The lawyers, court officers and jurors, were glad to meet him
in or out of Court.
With his associates upon the bench he was considerate and
" None knew him but to love him,
None named him but^to praise."
He possessed a sensitive conscience; he wanted to do
right, administer exact justice, and he was determined to do
it in such way, and with such care, as to leave no doubt in
the mind of any person as^to his purpose and motive.
The pleasantest and happiest years of his life were those
immediately preceding his last illness. He thoroughly en-
joyed his position and work upon the Bench ; he had a happy
home, with a dutiful, affectionate and devoted wife ; his son
had passed the anxious years of boyhood into manhood and
successful professional engagement ; and a loving daughter,
after long and anxious years of illness, had been restored to
health, and everything seemed propitious for the future, and
his friends expected he would reach the age of four score
But what seemed to us, who cannot understand the mys-
teries of life and death, a cruel fate decreed otherwise. He
was cut down in the midst of his usefulness by a fatal disease
which preyed upon both body and mind, until it so weakened
the latter that life to him seemed a great burden, too great
146 CHARLES P. THOMPSON.
finally to be: endured longer. And as we think how terribly
he suffered in those last days, of the agony of those last
hours, can we say that perhaps, after all, it was not best?
While we shall miss him and mourn his loss, we may be
comforted with the thought of how much better this part of
the world is on account of his life and example. He did
much to make the world better, to fill it with sunshine and
happiness, and he has left behind him a reputation for
honesty and integrity as firm and rugged as the rocks of the
Cape where he dwelt.
As I go to my summer home by the sea, where he so often
visited me, I shall feel constantly :
" He will come no more,
That friend of mine whose presence satisfied
The thirst and hunger of my heart. Ah me!
He has forgotten the pathway to my door.
Something has gone from Nature since he died,
And Summer is not Summer, nor can be."
In accordance with the request of the Bar Association it
is ordered that their memorial with a minute of these proceed-
ings be entered upon the records of the Court.
NATHAN W. HARMON.
At a session of the Superior Court in Salem, June 21, 1895,
Justice Charles S. Lilley presiding, the following memo-
rials were presented by Committees appointed by the Essex
Mr. William S. Knox presented the following
Nathan Williams Harmon, a member of this bar, died
at Lawrence on the 16th day of September, 1887, in the 75th
year of his age. He was born at New Ashford, in the county
of Berkshire. His ancestors came to this country as early
as 1635, and soon after settled at Suffield in the valley of
the Connecticut, from whence their descendants came to
His early education was obtained at the Lanesborough
Academy and at Stockbridge, and he entered Williams Col-
lege in the class of 1836. Leaving college after he had re-
mained there three years, he entered upon the study of
law in the office of Governor Briggs, and was admitted to
the Berkshire Bar in 1839. He subsequently practiced law
as a partner of Governor Briggs at Lanesborough. He was
afterwards at Adams, from which place he came to Lawrence
in 1845, and entered upon the practice of his profession in
partnership with Geo. P. Briggs, who was a son of the
It was at Lawrence that his real life's work began and
ended. The town had not then been founded, and the
dam had not been completed. From the birth of what is
now the city of Lawrence to the time of his death, the
name of Judge Harmon was inseparably connected with
its growth and progress.
In the planning and erection of its public buildings, the
laying out of its streets and parks, in the establishment
148 NATHAN W. HARMON.
and grading of its public schools, and in the preparation
and adoption of its charter as a city, he took a deep inter-
est, and rendered valuable practical services. He took an
especial interest in the schools, and at the first town meet-
ing: held in Lawrence he was chosen one of the school com-
mittee, and often afterwards occupied a similar position.
At different times he served as City Solicitor, and al-
ways with fidelity and success. He was a member of the
Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1857, and of
the Senate in 1872, and was influential as a legislator.
He held the office of Assistant Assessor of Internal Revenue
during a portion of the administrations of Lincoln and
Johnson, and brought to the decision of many novel ques-
tions arising under the law taxing incomes, his learning and
training as a lawyer, and his conclusions were generally
upheld by those with whom the final decision rested.
In 1880 he was appointed Judge of the Lawrence Police
Court, and this office he occupied continuously until he
resigned in 1887, the year of his death. He was an able
judge, both of the law and the fact, and his judgments in
civil cases were rarely appealed from. He presided with
excellent temper, and was courteous and genial to all who
had business in his court. A sense of humor and a vein of
merriment were in his make-up. A good story and a
hearty laugh were always welcome, and many a witty
thrust at counsel or witness characterized his presence up-
on the bench.
As a lawyer, he was by nature endowed with a legal
mind, and without much effort looked at legal questions
from the correct standpoint. He was a good logician, and
easily drew his conclusions, and applied principles to facts.
He was sound in his opinions, and careful in his advice.
He was a strong and determined fighter when stirred, and
in court had more than ordinary power with the jury. In-
deed, there were times, when he was fully aroused, when he
would address a jury with a force and eloquence seldom
excelled at the Essex Bar. He was a good student, and
NATHAN W. HARMON. 149
great general reader. He had a most high sense of honor
in dealing with the bench and his brethren at the bar.
He was fond of nature, and his days of relaxation were
spent by preference in the wilderness. He had deep relig-
ious convictions, and was an active and earnest member of
the First Congregational Church in Lawrence from its foun-
dation until his death.
In behalf of the Essex Bar Association I respectfully re-
quest that this memorial and a minute of these proceedings
be entered upon the records of this court.
Mr. William D. Northend said : —
Mr. Harmon commenced the practice of law in this
County at the same time with my admission to the Bar.
For many years until his appointment as Judge of the Law-
rence Police Court, he had a good practice and showed
marked ability in the trials of causes. His merits as a law-
yer are truthfully described in the memorial which has been
read, and I respectfully second the motion that these pro-
ceedings be entered upon the records of this Court.
THOMAS B. NEWHALL.
Mr. Dean Peabody presented the following
May it please your Honor : — On the twenty-fifth day
of September, 1893, Thomas Bancroft Newhall, one of
the oldest members of the Essex Bar, departed this life.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association, held on the
twenty-eighth day of June last, a committee was appointed
to prepare and present to this court a memorial of the de-
ceased, and in fulfilment of the duty assigned it, that com-
mittee, in behalf of the association, now respectfully asks
your Honor's attention.
Mr. Newhall was born in Lynn, October 2, 1811. He was
the son of Asa Tarbell and Judith (Little) Newhall. His
preparatory education was obtained in the schools of Lynn,
and at Phillips Academy in Andover. He entered Brown
University, and was graduated in 1832.
He studied law in the office of John W. Proctor in South
Danvers, with Sidney Bartlett in Boston, and at the Harvard
Law School. He was admitted to the Bar in March, 1837,
and commenced practice in Lynn, in the month of April fol-
In announcing to the Bar at Worcester the death of Judge
Thompson, the late Mr. Justice Aldrich is reported to have
" The Essex County Bar, from a time far beyond the mem-
ory of any of us now living, down to the present day, has
been one of the ablest in the Commonwealth — indeed, the
old Bar of Essex County contained some of the giants of the
law by whom the jurisprudence of Massachusetts was raised
to the highest position of honor and authority, not only with-
in but beyond the limits of the Commonwealth."
To any one familiar with the history and traditions of the
THOMAS B. NEWHALL. 151
Essex Bar for the first half of the present century, the names
of Leverett Saltonstall, Ruf us Choate, Caleb Cushing, Asahel
Huntington, Jeremiah C. Stickney, Nathaniel J. Lord, Joshua
H. Ward and Otis P. Lord, will at once occur among the
able, learned and brilliant lawyers of Essex County during
that period ; and when the language of Judge Aldrich is
applied to such men it will not appear extravagant.
Inspired by the presence and example of these great law-
yers, Mr. Newhall entered upon the practice of his profession
with conscientious fidelity, and continued uninterruptedly
for twelve years with very marked success.
In 1849 the Lynn Police Court was established, and Mr.
Newhall was appointed its justice. He at once entered up-
on the work of organizing the Court and putting it in prac-
tical operation. The judicial business of the town had prior
to that time been conducted by magistrates, who were not
lawyers, and who were, in some instances, entirely incompe-
tent for the work. For sixteen years Mr. Newhall performed
the work of his office with ability, and with great success.
But the faithful discharge of the duties of that office did not
compel him to abandon his practice in the higher Courts,
which increased with the growth of the town and city.
Endowed with sterling common sense, a vigorous and acute
mind and a temperament that would endure long continued
mental work, he brought to the study of the law an earnest
and untiring devotion. Blackstone, Chitty and Starkie were
his constant companions. The principles of the common law,
he acquired and held with a clear and comprehensive grasp.
Although he had great confidence in his own judgment of
what the law ought to be, when overruled, he readily yielded
to the authority of well considered judicial decisions.
With the increase of equity jurisdiction came the neces-
sity of a thorough knowledge of the principles that govern
equity proceedings, and to that work Mr. Newhall applied
himself with his accustomed zeal and fidelity. As he was
a skilled pleader under the old system of common law pro-
ceedings, so he became proficient as an equity pleader when
152 THOMAS B. NEWHALL.
the business of his profession demanded it. He studied law
as a science, and to become master of its principles. The
discussion of legal principles was always full of interest to
him. He read all the cases decided by our supreme judicial
court as they appeared, and became familiar with the law of
each case. No reading was more interesting and attractive
to him than a well-considered legal opinion. With a mind
eminently judicial, and enriched with the results of careful
and discriminating reading and study, Mr. Newhall was well
equipped for the highest order of judicial work.
A learned judge, a strong and persuasive advocate, a ju-
dicious and wise counsellor, Mr. Newhall did not allow his
views of the duties and amenities of public and social life to
be obscured by his devotion to professional work. He was
not a mere lawyer. He was ardently interested in whatever
tended to promote the growth and prosperity of the town
and city of his birth, and to him was granted the great privi-
lege of beholding a town of five thousand people become a
city of sixty thousand, and the leading industry conducted
in little shops by the wayside, develop into one of the lead-
ing industries of the country, prosecuted in large and expen-
sive manufactories. No one watched this expansion and
growth with greater pride and pleasure than he. While he
never sought office, he was always ready and willing to per-
form his part in the public service when his fellow-citizens
called him. Whatever tended to promote the interests and
advancement of the public schools received his cordial sup-
port, and for many years he served his city on its school
board. Not unlike most graduates, upon leaving college he
substantially laid aside his college books and college studies
when he found himself confronted with the labors and anxie-
ties of an exacting profession. Still he retained enough of
the knowledge acquired in college of the Latin language to
enable him to render much valuable service to the classical
department of the high school. Although naturally conser-
vative he was always ready to advocate and adopt any im-
provements in the methods of instruction in the schools,
THOMAS B. NEWHALL. 153
which the experience and wisdom of the best educators had
He was not an extensive reader of books, but his tastes
were scholarly and he read good literature with a lively ap-
preciation of its treasures. He read the current literature of
the day sufficiently to enable him to keep abreast of the times,
and to understand the drift of modern thought in politics,
science, art and religion. His reading was such as to furnish
him with a vocabulary of apt words and phrases, and to give
to his written productions a chaste and pure style.
He maintained a youthful spirit through his entire life,
and in his business relations with his brethren at the Bar he
was always considerate and accommodating. It was a source
of pleasure to him to advise and counsel young men in the
profession, and he never seemed more satisfied with himself
than when discussing some legal proposition with a young
brother who had come to him for his legal opinion. He gave
advice freely and cheerfully to such, and the only compensa-
tion which he desired for such service was the satisfaction of
seeing his perplexed brother made happy, as he removed dif-
ficulty after difficulty from his mind.
The woods and the fields and all that makes the natural
world attractive and alluring were dear to him. A ramble
in the forests or a ride through some quiet and secluded by-
way, afforded him great pleasure. His personal appearance
was that of a refined and cultivated gentleman. His pres-
ence was a benediction.
His religious faith was adopted after mature thought and
study. The doctrines preached by the elder Channing he
most cordially accepted, and for the greater part of his life
he was identified with the Unitarian denomination. While
he held these views firmly, and intelligently, he cultivated
a spirit of willing tolerance and broad charity. He tried to
put himself in the place of others so far as to understand
their points of view and to comprehend their motives and
spirit, and, in doing this, he usually learned to respect their
purposes, even if he could not endorse either their opinions or
154 THOMAS B. NEWHALL.
In that faith and with that spirit, our friend and brother,
honored and beloved, dwelt among his kindred and went in
and out before the people for eighty-two years.
May it please your Honor : I now move, in behalf of the
Essex Bar Association, that this brief memorial be placed up-
on the records of this Court.
Mr. William H. Niles spoke as follows : —
May it please your Honor: — Nearly three years before
I was born, Thomas B. Newhall, our honored friend and
brother, was admitted to the Essex County Bar, and had
entered upon the practice of law in Lynn.
He had been thirty years in active practice when I first
knew him, and yet my acquaintance with him covered more
than twenty-five years of his subsequent life. Of course my
connection with him was not as close or intimate as was that
of brother Peabody, still, during the last fifteen years of his
active life, I met him almost daily, and came to know him well
and to honor him most highly.
It was not a difficult task to know or to understand him.
He had no mysterious ways or traits. He was easily ap-
proached by the young or the old, by the rich or the poor alike.
He was frank, open and outspoken, and though he was ex-
ceptionally mild and polite in manner, he was direct and
emphatic, so that he never left one in doubt as to his mean-
ing or position.
As a lawyer and gentleman he was of the old school, able,
industrious and studious. Always candid and conscientious,
his opinion was sought and safely followed by many of our
wisest and best citizens, for his clientage was certainly one of
the largest and best ever enjoyed by any lawyer in Lynn.
With him, as has been said of another, "The practice of law
was indeed a profession," and his presence and influence was
a continual object lesson and incentive to young lawyers to
aspire to the noblest and best.
He was refined, dignified and scholarly in his personal
appearance, and his pleasant voice and light, quick step when
THOMAS B. NEWHALL. 155
nearly eighty years of age, were like those of a young man of
His conversation was at all times so pure and select that it
could not offend the most sensitive ear, and his taste was for
the plain, simple and unostentatious, — spurning all pomp and
My brother Peabody has not forgotten, and I must not
forget, that above all Mr. Newhall was a modest and a
truthful man. Nothing was more distasteful to him than
indiscriminate, fulsome, or unmerited praise. He would have
us paint him as he was, and in this brief mention of his life
and character I have said no more than would be endorsed by
all who knew him well.
We have asked the attention of the Court to the memory
of a distinguished brother who entered upon the duties of his
profession in Lynn, near the place of his birth, and who, at the
end of his long professional career, longer by far than that ever
attained by any other lawyer now living or whoever lived in
Lynn, his place of business at all times to the last being within
a few hundred feet of the place where he began his profes-
sional life, departed from us, leaving not one stain upon his
record as a citizen, as a lawyer, or as a judge.
In view of these facts I desire to second the motion which
has been made, that the address presented be placed upon the
records of this Court.
Judge Rollin E. Harmon said : —
May it please your Honor : — I desire also to second
the resolutions upon the death of Judge Newhall. This
meeting has for me a special interest. By a strange coinci-
dence, among the names of those it serves to commemorate
are the only three members of the Bar with whom I was ever
associated, either as student or partner.
Before I became associated with Judge Newhall I had read
law in the office of my dear father, and had been for a short
time in the office of brother Jones. I was there long enough
to learn to respect his solid and manly parts and to prize much
156 THOMAS B. NEWHALL.
a friendship which continued until his death. Of my father
you will not expect me, nor can I trust myself to speak, but
you will understand how this meeting comes to have for me
a grave and solemn interest which no similar occasion can
It is fitting to seek in every way to preserve the memory
of such men as Judge Newhall. For over fifty years he prac-
tised law, in his native town, and obtained the respect and
complete confidence of the community. He was a man of
good natural powers, clear in apprehension, quick and strong
in grasp of mind, and of excellent judgment of the relative
value of things, than which there is no better gift. He had
the best collegiate and professional education, was a student
of law all his life, and enjoyed no reading more. He also
had great experience in all the public and private affairs and
business of the community. He thus became the best of
counsellors, not only in all legal matters but in everything
requiring care and judgment.
The main value of his life work lies in the ability and
fidelity with which he performed these duties. It was in his
office work chiefly that I knew him. We forget, in looking
for some brilliant effort in speech, how worthy and useful a
life work is rounded out within the walls of the office of
every conscientious lawyer.
The manner and ease with which he did this work and the
success which attended it, is very remarkable. He was a great,
but not an anxious, caretaker, bearing constantly on his mind
the interests of others, and especially those of the poor and
ignorant, many of whom were his clients, and whom he cared
for as if his wards.
In his relations with all men he acted as if he expected
them to act honestly and deal fairly. If advantage was pos-
sible on a lower plane of action he deemed it no part of his
duty to discuss it with his client, or to distract and tempt him
He was also very considerate and unselfish in his dealings,
especially with his clients. I cannot but think these quali-
THOMAS B. NEWHALL. 157
ties added much to the respect and confidence he inspired in
all to a degree, which, within my observation, has never been
His work in the courts was well done, but was subordi-
nated to those of the office, by his own choice. He was an
apt speaker, keen, logical and pleasing, but more and more
the risks and excitement of uncertain causes grew distaste-
ful to him, and he withdrew from them.
It is a cheering reflection that the closing years of his life
were full of contentment and quiet enjoyment. He received
great pleasure and satisfaction from his work and loved his
office as much as any place in the world. There was to be
found in it, also, much social life and friendly intercourse of
which he was the life and centre. It was delightful to see
him straighten back in his chair, and recall memories of his
law school days under Judge Story, and of the great
lawyers of the county and state, in the first half of the cen-
tury, or of the strong and quaint characters of his native
His character was mature and fixed when I first came to
know him. He had an honorable and stainless life of the
utmost integrity and faithfulness ; yet such was his modest
manner, that he exhibited no salient features. He practised
but did not display the moral virtues. He seemed to live
wholly free from temptation, so far had age, habit and high
character clarified the sources of his action.
How thin and pale all this seems beside the picture of
the man ever in my mind, I need not say. My connection
with him was most intimate and unbroken during all my
professional life, and inexpressibly tender and grateful and
loving is my memory of this best of teachers and dearest of
JEREMIAH P. JONES.
Mr. Ira A. Abbott presented the following
May it please your Honor : — In behalf of the Bar As-
sociation of this county and in observance of a custom of
the Essex Bar, I present this memorial sketch of one of its
honored members deceased.
Jeremiah Pingree Jones was born in Wilmot, Merri-
mac County, N. H., April 23d, 1819. His parents were
Nathan Jones, a native of Sutton, N. H., and Mary Pin-
gree, his wife, born in Ipswich, in this county. His ances-
tors on both sides, for some generations back, were plain,
farming people, without any trace of scholarly or professional
blood, so far as can be learned, yet at the age of fourteen he
was already determined to have a collegiate education if
possible. His father could not afford him much aid beyond
the common schools of the town, but, with him, to determine
was to do if it lay within his power, and he somehow man-
aged to pursue the preparatory studies at the academies at
Gilmanton and Meriden which enabled him to enter Dart-
mouth College in the class of 1842, and in it he graduated
in due course. In the class with him were the Honorable
Lincoln F. Brigham so lately deceased, Gen. Harrison C.
Hobart, J. D. Philbrick, long identified with the public
schools of Boston, and others of note.
How severe was the struggle which this long climb up the
hill of learning cost him we may partly gather from the
record of his school teaching, then the principal and perhaps
still the favorite resource of students of limited means.
His first school was in the winter of 1836-7, when he was
only seventeen years old, and he taught more or less in
every succeeding year until the time of his admission to the
Soon after his graduation he came to Georgetown in this
JEREMIAH P. JONES. 159
county, where relatives of his mother resided, and began the
study of law, continuing to teach a part of the time in schools
in the vicinity. He did not attend any law school but, ac-
cording to the general custom of the time, read in the offices
of practising lawyers, mainly with Jeremiah P. Russell, Esq.,
at Georgetown, but in part with Nathaniel J. Lord, Esq., at
Salem. He was admitted to the bar at the September term,
1845, of the Court of Common Pleas, at the same time with
Hon. Wm. D. Northend of Salem, after an examination by
Judge Washburn of that court, who personally attended to a
duty, as the practice then was, of which the Judges have
since been relieved by a committee of the Bar.
Mistakenly, as it must seem to us, he decided to remain in
Georgetown, a place where there could have been but little
prospect of professional advancement. Nevertheless, in that
limited field, he soon taught the Bar of the county to respect
the courage, the perseverance and the learning which he put
into every cause, no matter how insignificant, which was
intrusted to him. It came to be understood that he was
an antagonist by no means to be lightly regarded. He had
none of the graces of oratory and was never even a ready
speaker but he thought clearly, expressed his ideas forcibly
and above all, knew his case thoroughly.
In 1863 he decided to commence practice in Haverhill,
and entered into partnership with Hon. Henry Carter, who
was already established there. This connection was not of
long duration, however, as his partner was made Justice of
the Police Court of Haverhill in 1868.
He remained without a partner from that time until his
oldest son was admitted to the bar and became associated
with him. A few years later, Mellen A. Pingree, Esq., was
admitted to the firm, which thereafter remained unchanged,
until the decease of the senior member. His reputation
continued to grow with the profession, and it was no unusual
thing for him to furnish a written opinion to some brother
lawyer who desired to have the advantage of his judgment
160 JEREMIAH P. JONES.
He was often selected to serve as auditor or referee, and
in work of that kind showed that he possessed in a high
degree the qualities which fitted him for judicial position
which he would very likely have held if his political faith
or the practice of the appointing power in taking political
affiliations into account had been different. He was for
some years a member of the committee to examine appli-
cants for admission to the Bar.
In the course of his nearly half a century of practice he
had a considerable number of students in his office, who,
without exception, came to entertain high respect for his
learning, and a warm liking for him as a man. To his cli-
ents and their interests he was so absolutely true that his
brethren at the Bar sometimes thought him too stiff and un-
yielding in his necessary dealings with them. But it was
entirely foreign to his nature to sacrifice the slightest right
of a client to professional amenities, or for the gain of an-
other client, much less for auy advantage to himself.
Although his reading was by no means confined within
professional lines he wrote but little aside from what bore
directly upon his work. This was due, however, to his in-
tensely practical nature, which led him to produce only when
a definite use for the product was in view, and not to lack
of ability. On the occasion of the visit, in 1867, of the
great philanthropist, George Peabody, to Georgetown, which
was the birthplace of his mother, Mr. Jones was selected to
deliver an address of welcome in behalf of his townspeople.
Having thus a duty laid upon him he so performed it as to
elicit warm praise from those who heard or read what he
said, and from Mr. Peabody himself the statement made
later, it is said, to a mutual acquaintance, that it was the
best address in the large number made to him during his
tour in this country. Even in that speech of welcome and
eulogy his devotion to the useful asserted itself, and he
turned aside from the illustrious guest to impress upon the
schoolboys present what he conceived to be the lesson they
should learn from the life of the man in whose honor they
JEREMIAH P. JONES. 161
were assembled. It may well have been that feature of his
address which especially commended it to Mr. Peabody, who
was himself practical in the highest degree.
As a citizen of his adopted town, in which he retained his
residence to the last, he was a model of faithfulness to civic
duty, ready to assist in whatever seemed to him right, and,
what is more rare and more essential to the makeup of the
true citizen, he was equally ready to oppose what seemed to
hirn wrong, at whatever cost. He held various positions of
honor and trust in Georgetown ; that of town clerk, member
of the school committee for many years, president of the
Georgetown Savings Bank and trustee of the Peabody
Although a Democrat in a town almost invariably giving
its vote to Whig and later to Republican candidates, he was
in 1851 elected a representative of the town in the General
Court. In that capacity he was a member of the Judiciary
Committee, and was instrumental in having the time allowed
to administrators and executors for the settlement of estates
reduced from four years to two.
A few months prior to his election to the General Court
he married Elizabeth (Spofford) Nelson, daughter of Na-
thaniel Nelson of Georgetown, and connected with the well
known Spofford family of our county. In the home thus es-
tablished, with his wife and the six children born to them,
he found, no doubt, the chief pleasure and satisfaction of life.
To strangers and mere acquaintances he seemed reserved
and even at times repellant, but this aspect was only the
barrier behind which an inborn and never eradicated diffi-
dence led him to retire for self protection.
Those who, after due inspection and delay, were admitted
within that barrier as friends, found there a man with as
warm and true a heart as ever beat. With his family the
barrier never existed ; the restraint which elsewhere often
chained his tongue was unknown in his home. There he
was social, genial and companionable in the highest degree.
Mr. Jones made no religious profession, as it is termed,
162 JEREMIAH P. JONES.
but he was reverent toward God and most broadly tolerant
and charitable toward the genuine religious beliefs of all,
while his life was singularly upright and free from reproach.
His wife and all his children survived him and he escaped
all severe domestic affliction. His later years were cheered
and gladdened by the success and honorable standing already
obtained at the bar of this county by his two sons, Boyd B.
Jones, Esq., and Nathaniel N. Jones, Esq.
In the course of nature " it is not given to man to choose
the opportunity of his death," but if it had been granted to
him to choose he would hardly have made it otherwise than
as it happened. He had passed the usual limit of life and
the "losing," which is " true dying " had already set in with
him, no more to cease but with life itself.
On the morning of Nov. 7th, 1892, he left home to attend
to business in Salem and Boston. He completed what he had
to do in the Probate Court at Salem, went to Boston and as
far as the steps of the new Court House. There at the en-
trance of our chief temple to that mistress in whose service
he had spent all his mature years, he sank down unconscious
and thus passed, almost in a moment, from the activities
which had formed his life work, to the world beyond.
Mr. William D. Northend seconded the motion that these
proceedings be entered upon the records of the Court, in
the following words : —
May it please your Honor: — I was admitted to the
Bar in the Court of Common Pleas at the same term with
Mr. Jones, and enjoyed an intimate acquaintance with him
from that time to the time of his death.
For many years he practiced law in Georgetown, where,
and in neighboring towns, I frequently met him in the Jus-
tices' Courts. In these Courts, in that period, although
with a much more limited jurisdiction than now, all lawyers
practiced. Some of the most interesting anecdotes of Rnf.ly
Choate and of the Lords, senior and junior, are of incidents
in their trials in these Courts. Mr. Jones had also a consid-
JEREMIAH P. JONES. 163
erable practice in the higher Courts. After he opened an
office in Haverhill, his business increased largely, and he
became widely known and respected as a very accurate and
reliable counsellor. He engaged largely in office business,
but in the cases he had in the courts he was always well pre-
pared, and his pleadings were carefully and admirably
drawn. He was thoroughly grounded in the common law,
and although he was a diligent reader of the decisions of the
courts, yet I think in his legal opinions he was governed
more by his knowledge of the principles of the law than by
the results of a comparison of the different decided cases.
Mr. Jones was very modest and unassuming. In brief ad-
dresses made by him on public occasions he showed much
culture and literary taste. He was respected and beloved by
his brethren of the bar, to whom his whole professional life
was a worthy example.
I most cordially second the motion that the excellent me-
morial just read, be entered upon the records of the Court.
Mr. Charles A. Sayward presented the following
May it please your Honor:— The Essex Bar Associa-
tion, in accordance with its long established custom, appointed
a committee to prepare a memorial of Charles Sewall, a
member of this Bar, who died at his home in Salem on the
fourth day of April, A. D. 1894.
The committee has performed this duty and respectfully
submits its report.
Mr. Sewall was born in Rockport, in this county, Novem-
ber 2, 1835. His parents were Levi and Mary A. Sewall.
He was a direct descendant of Henry and Jane (Dummer)
Sewall, through their son John, brother of Chief Justice
Samuel Sewall of Colonial and Provincial fame.
He commenced his education in the public schools of his
native town, and fitted for college at Thetford Academy in
Vermont. He entered Yale College in 1853, where he re-
mained two years, when he left for Brown University, from
which he was graduated in 1857.
After completing his collegiate course, he studied law in
the office of Stephen B. Ives, Jr., in Salem, and was admitted
to practice October 7, 1859. He soon after opened an office
in Salem, and by untiring industry and perseverance acquired
an extensive practice.
He was a man possessed of a high degree of honor, and
while exacting in what was due to himself and his clients,
he was careful to render all that was due from him to others.
He was honorable in all his dealings with his clients and with
his associates of the Bar. His word was as good as his bond,
and no one ever complained that he had broken his promise
or forgotten its terms.
He was a close student, thoroughly devoted to his profes-
CHARLES SEWALL. 165
sion, and worked out the law and the facts of every case
faithfully before entering upon a trial.
In the court room he maintained his position with courage
and ability, and always acquitted himself creditably with
court and jury.
He was interested in all public affairs and had strong con-
victions on all public measures. He served the city of Salem
six years on its School Committee, and was a strong and
able member of that Board. He was treasurer of the Essex
Bar Association for twenty-one years.
Mr. Sewall was devotedly attached to his home and family.
The shadow of death fell across his threshold and one child
after another passed to that bourne whence no traveller re-
turns, and when the last, a daughter, slept in death, his cour-
age was broken, and the toils and duties of his profession
became a burden. " His whole head was sick, his whole
heart was faint," and after struggling a few years, he laid
down the burdens of life and slept with his fathers.
In his death the Bar has loss an honorable member, the
Court a worthy officer.
In behalf of the Essex Bar Association, I respectfully re-
quest that this memorial and a minute of these proceedings be
entered upon the records of this Court.
Mr. Charles W. Richardson seconded the motion of the
memorialist as follows : —
It is perhaps superfluous for me to attempt to add to the
able and truthful memorial of the committee ; but there is
one thing in the professional life of Mr. Sewall that especially
attracted my attention, and that is, his great success in in-
spiring confidence in his clients.
It is found to be one thing to do faithful and successful
work, but quite another matter to have clients appreciate
Our brother was preeminently successful in this. He not
only put enthusiasm and zeal into his work, but he so
wrought, that this enthusiasm was communicated to those
166 CHARLES SEW ALL.
who employed him, and they were assured that their attorney
was doing everything that was possible to be done for them.
This was quite apparent to me during Mr. Sewell's life, as
we had neighboring offices, but I appreciated it still more
after his death, when the duty devolved upon me of settling
his office matters. I then came in contact with his numerous
clients, and they almost, if not quite universally, expressed the
utmost satisfaction with the work done for them, and sorrow
for his untimely death.
The death of Mr. Sewall is one of the saddest in the history
of our Bar Association. Of naturally strong constitution, he
was at length broken down by the weight of affliction. By
all the rules of heredity he should have completed the full
span of life. He has told me himself that originally he had
a constitution like leather ; but domestic affliction came upon
him with repeated blows and crushed him. It must be re-
membered that his domestic affections were very deep, and
to be deprived one by one of a numerous family, some of
them taken away by strange fatalities, was enough to destroy
the strongest, and his shattered strength was not able to re-
sist the power of disease when it came.
During his life his many bereavements excited the strong-
est sympathy among the members of the Bar, which sympa-
thy is now extended to those he has left.
I most cordially endorse the memorial presented and sec-
ond the motion that these proceedings be placed upon the
records of the Court.
EBEN F. STONE.
Mr. William D. Northend presented the following
There are few more impressive thoughts than those which
come to us of departed friends. They have been taken from
us in the bloom of youth, in the strength and glory of man-
hood, and in the maturity of age, nevermore to be known on
earth. In a moment the book of their earthly life has been
closed. With Christian faith, trusting in an Infinite Wisdom
far transcending the conception of mankind, we meet this —
to us — impenetrable mystery. With us who survive, all
thoughts of the departed are in the solemn past. We cherish
in memory the virtues of the deceased and the lessons of
We have been called upon to part with a brother who not
only earned distinction at the Bar, but exerted a wide and
beneficent influence in the performance of many important
Eben Francis Stone was born in Newburyport, Aug. 3,
1822, and died Jan. 22, 1895. His parents were Ebenezer and
Fanny (Coolidge) Stone. His first ancestor in this country
was Elias Stone, who settled at Charlestown, and was mar-
ried to Abigail Long in 1686. On the maternal side Mr.
Stone was descended from the Coolidges and Storers, of Bos-
ton, and from the Moodys and Titcombs, of Newbury. His
ancestors were largely engaged in commercial pursuits.
Mr. Stone's father was a man of sterling character. Caleb
Cushing, in speaking of him to a friend, said he considered
" Major Stone (he was a major in the militia) a model citizen,
and altogether the best man in the town." His mother was
a woman of estimable qualities, of great enthusiasm in good
works, and possessed of a cultured literary taste. She died
in Newburyport at the age of eighty-three. Mr. Stone's home
168 EBEN F. STONE.
in his boyhood was a very delightful one. His first teacher was
Mr. Alfred W. Pike. Afterwards he attended the school of
Mr. Charles Pigeon, and for a short time was a pupil in the
High School. At the age of fourteen he entered Franklin
Academy in North Andover, where he remained until fitted
for college. While at North Andover he lived in the family
of the Rev. Bailey Loring, the father of the late Hon. George
B. Loring. He entered Harvard University in 1839, and was
graduated in 1843. He then entered the Harvard Law
School, from which he was graduated in 1846. He was for
about one year librarian of the Law School Library. He was
admitted to the Bar in Essex County in 1846, and immedi-
ately entered upon the practice of his profession in Newbury-
port, which from that time to the time of his death was his
Mr. Stone was married to Miss Harriet Perrin, of Boston,
Oct. 20, 1848. By this marriage there were born to them
three daughters, — Harriet Child, now Mrs. Alfred Hewins,
Fannie Coolidge, and Cornelia Perrin.
Mr. Stone had little inclination for the general practice in
the courts. This may be accounted for in part by his early
interest and employment in public affairs. The routine of
the ordinary business in the courts was irksome to him. Al-
though for many years he tried cases, and tried them well,
yet he failed in that love for and enthusiasm in the trial of
causes which are necessary to the proper discipline of the
faculties for the work. For success in the trial of causes
involving facts, quick conceptions, a mind always on the
alert, and the faculty of thinking on one's feet are essential ;
and these come largely from practice.
But upon questions of great interest, in which principles
were involved, he showed very great ability. It required an
important and exciting occasion to bring out his full powers.
He was learned in the law, and possessed of a sound, discrim-
inating, and impartial judgment, which gave him great influ-
ence in the various public and private affairs in which he en-
EBEN F. STONE. 169
It is a somewhat general but mistaken view that the repu-
tation and usefulness of a lawyer are confined to his practice
in the courts. However valuable and popular his skill in the
examination of witnesses, and great the delight in his powers
of advocacy, yet a large field for reputation and usefulness is
open to him in the performance of the more unostentatious
duties of his profession.
The services of the profession are of very great value in all
of the more important positions and vocations of life. A large
proportion of the members of Congress and of the Legisla-
tures of the several States are men educated in the law. This
results, not from any claim of precedence on the part of the
profession, but from the fact that the education and disci-
pline of its members best qualify them for the most impor-
tant of the duties of legislation. The public needs their ser-
vices, for which it makes requisition.
So in the conduct of the great business affairs of the world
their knowledge and advice are a necessity.
They perform a very useful service in checking litigation.
Few outside the profession know the difficulty of preventing
parties from engaging in lawsuits. Honest-meaning men,
warmed in a controversy, not only insist on bringing suits,
which once commenced, are sure to entail protracted and un-
happy disputes, but in their zeal fail to disclose to their coun-
sel important facts favoring their opponents. It requires
wisdom and experience to deal with such parties, skill to
draw out all the facts, and patient and dispassionate reason-
ing to dissuade the beginning. Instead of encouraging law-
suits, it is one of the most difficult of a lawyer's duties to
prevent them. There is no profession more open to the wit
of the satirist than that of the law. The characterizations of
the practitioners are proverbial. Yet, as one of the best law-
yers in this county remarked, " although all men abuse law-
yers, no one abuses his own lawyer." The client, in his dis-
tress, will disclose to his counsel what he will not to a man of
any other profession, and will trustfully confide to him his
dearest and most important interests. When I speak of law-
170 EBEN F. STONE.
yers I mean lawyers, not the reptiles which infest not only
the legal, but every other profession.
Mr. Stone, in his admirable address at the dedication of the
Court House in Salem, expressed his feelings in regard to the
ordinary trials, which, in the early days of his profession, and
much more since, in accordance with the spirit of the time,
have been largely contests for pecuniary ends, in his descrip-
tion of " a clever practitioner who has sufficient knowledge
of cases and of the rules of practice in the courts to con-
duct a case skilfully from its entry on the docket, through its
ordinary stages, to judgment and execution, and sufficient
shrewdness to deal successfully with the arts and devices by
which a doubtful case is brought to a favorable conclusion.
Such men may do good and useful work, and acquire and de-
serve a respectable standing with the distinction that comes
from pecuniary success ; but he has no high aim, no adequate
conception of the true office of jurisprudence."
Mr. Stone was a member of the Senate of Massachusetts
in 1857, 1858 and 1861. The legislature of 1861 convened
at a most critical period. We were then on the eve of our
sectional war, when the whole country was in a state of the
greatest excitement. War was imminent, and measures were
adopted in anticipation of it. The " Personal Liberty Bill,"
as it was called, containing unconstitutional provisions, and
being justly considered as offensive by the people of the
South, was referred to a committee of the legislature for
examination, and, if necessary, for revision. Mr. Stone was
chairman of that committee. From his known anti-slavery
views those who did not know the fibre of the man were
apprehensive that the radical pressure against any modifica-
tion of the act might influence him.
After a full hearing and consideration of the subject, Mr.
Stone, for the committee, reported to the Senate a bill for
the repeal of the obnoxious features of the act. This was
met by a strong opposition from the radical members. The
Senate was nearly equally divided on the measure. At a
time when Mr. Stone was engaged in a committee room the
EBEN F. STONE. 171
opponents of the measure succeeded in bringing it before the
Senate. Mr. Stone received information of the fact. In a
few minutes, while the subject was under discussion, he en-
tered the Senate chamber. He thought that he had been
unfairly treated by this attempt to pass upon the report of the
committee in his absence ; and the moment an opportunity
offered he addressed the Senate in an impassioned and very
eloquent speech, denouncing the attempt that had been made
and defending the report of the committee. Upon a vote
the subject was postponed. After various and strenuous ef-
forts to defeat the measure, it was finally adopted by a small
A few weeks after the close of the session Fort Sumter
was fired upon. Governor Andrew conferred with promi-
nent members of both Houses ; and, after the preparation of
bills it was deemed necessary to pass, he called an " extra
session," which was held. Mr. Stone took an active part in
the preliminary work, and himself drew up the bill for the
support of the families of volunteers, and was very influen-
tial in the important work of the session.
In November, 1862, Mr. Stone was commissioned by
Governor Andrew, colonel of the 48th Regiment, which was
enlisted for nine months, but was in service about one year
at Baton Rouge and at Port Hudson.
Judge Edgar J. Sherman, a captain in the Regiment,
writes : —
" Colonel Stone was a conscientious and painstaking offi-
cer, looking carefully to the health and efficiency of his
command, faithful to every call and duty, and calm and cour-
ageous in the hour of danger. The officers and soldiers in
his command entertained great respect for him as an officer
and ever-increasing admiration for him as a man."
In 1865 Mr. Stone entered into a law partnership with
Caleb Cushing in Washington, with a view to removing
there, but after a practice of about one year, he became dis-
satisfied with the place, and returned to Newburyport.
Mr. Stone was a member of the House of Representatives
172 EBEN F. STONE.
of Massachusetts in 1867, 1877, 1878 and 1880, and in the fall
of 1880 he was elected a representative to the Forty-seventh
Congress, and was re-elected to the Forty-eighth and Forty-
ninth Congresses. During the time of this service Mr. Stone
was on important committees, and performed a large amount
of labor. No one can read his very able speech on the pro-
posed breakwater at Rockport without a feeling of deep re-
gret that he did not oftener address the House. That, I am
informed, was the feeling of those in the House who knew
Besides the qualities and accomplishments which have
been mentioned, Mr. Stone was a man of letters. His address
at the dedication of the new Court House in Salem is a
model of literary excellence, and his speech in Congress upon
the River and Harbor Bill, and his papers on Governor An-
drew and Tristram Dalton, read before the Essex Institute,
and printed in its Collections, are very finely written. He
was among the last of the type of lawyers of the county who
associated letters with the law. In his address at Salem he
made a quotation from a recent article in the London Spec-
tator upon the retirement from office of two eminent Scotch
judges, of which I give a part : — " In Scotland, as elsewhere,
the competition for the loaves and fishes is becoming keener
in all professions, and the lawyer finds himself hustled out
of literature by the trained public writer and man of letters."
In his comment on this Mr. Stone said, " This change is in-
evitable. As society progresses the conditions of success in
the various pursuits become more and more scientific and
exacting. And yet there was a charm in the social condition
which caused the old alliance between law and letters, which
we cannot lose without regret. Life was then more inter-
esting and picturesque. Each man's work was less sharply
defined, and the distinctions that now separate classes did not
exist. Men were selected for special service, not because of
special training, but because of supposed natural fitness. The
judge on the bench was not the learned lawyer, but the man
who was thought by his fellow-citizens to have the judicial
EBEN F. STONE. 173
faculty. Every man of natural superiority took two or three
different parts. The minister was doctor and farmer as well.
The lawyer was the squire of the village, who supplied the
demand for literary or oratorical services in default of the
scholar and the trained man of letters, — the fruit of a more
luxurious and advanced civilization."
There can be no better evidence of the respect with which
the people of his native city regarded him than his election
or appointment to so many local offices of trust and respon-
sibility affords. Besides the public offices which have been
stated, he was, at different times, mayor of the city, a member
of its Common Council and its president, city solicitor, a
member of the School Committee, and director in or trustee
of the most important financial, educational and charitable
institutions of the city.
Mr. Stone was especially distinguished for his integrity
and native nobility of character. He was modest and unas-
suming in his manners, and never made any attempt at dis-
play, or did anything for sensational effect. He had an
ambition for preferment, but never did, or could, resort to
any of the arts of the politicians. He stood simply for what
he was. He held decided opinions, which he never disguised
or compromised for political ends. He stood solely on his
merits as understood by those from whom he sought support.
He was independent, yet never defiant or censorious. He
was very tolerant of the opinions of those from whom he dif-
fered. He was never narrow in his views, and his mind was
ever open to the arguments of his opponents. He was never
a strictly party man. He believed fully in the necessity of
united action by those of the same general political beliefs,
but reserved the right of individual judgment upon all meas-
ures proposed. He never fully consented to all the policies
of his own party. All measures were subjected to the cruci-
ble of his " unclouded reason." He had great moral as well
as physical courage. He felt a personal responsibility in the
performance of his public duties, and did right as his reason
pointed out the right, without inquiring whether his course
would be popular or how it would affect his political future.
174 EBEN F. STONE.
In private life Mr. Stone was beloved and respected by all
who knew him. With a mind eminently practical, and stored
with knowledge derived from books and from his large and
varied experiences, he was most interesting and instructive
in conversation and in discussions in literary societies. He
was true and unswerving in his friendships, and most happy
in the delights of his family circle. He left to his friends
and this community a priceless legacy in the example of an
honorable and useful life .
Such a life as Mr. Stone's is a contribution to the great
tide of human advancement through influences which cannot
be weighed, or measured by time.
" Were a star quenched on high,
For ages would its light,
Still travelling downward from the sky,
Shine on our mortal sight.
So, when a good man dies,
For years beyond our ken
The light he leaves behind him lies
Upon the paths of men."
I respectfully request that this memorial be entered of
record in this court.
Mr. George W. Cate seconded the motion of Mr. Northend
in the following words : —
It is nearly thirty years since I became acquainted with
Col. Stone ; that acquaintance soon ripened into a warm,
personal friendship, which continued until his death. Dur-
ing the past twenty-five years I have been at times associated
with him, have tried cases before him as auditor and referee,
and in all these relations have been impressed with his ability,
his dignified bearing, and his never failing courtesy. He
was, in many respects, an extraordinary man. His intellec-
tual attainments were of a high order. He possessed a won-
derful versatility of intellect. As a counsellor he was wise,
cautious and reliable. He had an analytical mind, and saw
clearly the strong and weak points of his case, marshalled
his facts skilfully, and applied the law with a wise discrimi-
EBEN F. STONE. 175
nation. He preferred to deal with facts and principles rather
than isolated cases and precedents founded on technicalities.
Col. Stone was a patriot; a man of positive ideas, with the
courage of his convictions. His acts and words were the ex-
pressions of conscientious conclusions. He left his happy-
home, his large professional business, his native city, ever
dear to him, to defend the imperilled institutions of his coun-
try. He led his regiment in the field with great credit to
himself and to the entire satisfaction of his superior officers.
Almost regardless of his personal safety, he never asked a
soldier to go where he would not lead. After the war, he
was for a short time connected with the internal revenue de-
partment, but this did not suit him. Newburyport in due
time elected him as a representative to the General Court.
Previous to the war he had served as a member of the House
and Senate. Here his previous experience, his ability, and
his sterling integrity enabled him at once to take a high rank.
As a debater he was argumentative and convincing. His
influence was always for what he considered right; but how-
ever strong his convictions, he never did an unmanly act to
carry a point. He was three times elected to congress. It
was during his term of service that the French Spoliation
claims came up for adjustment, and on this Col. Stone made
one of the ablest speeches which was made during the session,
in which he dwelt largely with the principle of subrogation.
He was not a frequent debater in the House, choosing to
talk before the committee, and thus have the bills come
through the proper channel, backed by the report of a com-
mittee. As a member of congress he was faithful to, and
watchful of the interests of his district. For any dishonest
scheme he was disqualified by his mental makeup, by the
honesty of his heart, by his conscience, and every instinct of
his manhood. His general reading, his broad and catholic
views, his unquestioned integrity, endeared him to all with
whom he came in contact. As a lawyer he was true to his
clients, and the court. As a soldier he was patriotic and
brave. As a statesman he was wise and sagacious. As
176 EBEN F. STONE.
a citizen he represented the best type of New England man-
hood. I respectfully second the motion that the Memorial
presented, be entered upon the records of the Court.
Mr. Justice Lilley replied as follows : —
Gentlemen of the Bar: — It was not my fortune to
know personally any of the brethren whom you have lost,
and to whose worth you bear testimony today.
I am only privileged to claim professional kinship with
them. Yet, as I listen to these graceful and affectionate
tributes ; these brief sketches presenting, as the limited time
afforded us will only permit, the salient traits of each of
them, and what may be called the central features of his life
work, a familiar figure appears before me, which, without
the aid of personal acquaintance, commands my respect and
admiration. That of the upright lawyer, discharging with
zeal and fidelity the duties devolving upon him in the various
departments of our profession. As the incorruptible magis-
trate, dispensing justice with an even hand from the bench ;
as the counsellor seeking to establish and adjust controverted
rights and liabilities by timely advice, by friendly confer-
ence, and by reasonable concession, rather than by hasty ap-
peals to the courts ; as the advocate at the bar, striving by
fair and skilful examination and by legitimate argument to
discover and promote the truth, rather than to make the worse
appear the better cause. When the life of such a man is
closed it is indeed fitting, as has been the custom of the Es-
sex Bar for half a century, to take some formal note of the
event. In a notable address delivered some years ago, from
which you will permit me briefly to quote the sentiments to
which an occasion like this gives rise, were thus eloquently
expressed by a distinguished lawyer in a neighboring state.
" I am reminded of the infelicity which attends the repu-
tation of a lawyer. To my thinking the most vigorous brain
work of the world is done in our profession. And then our
work concerns the highest of all temporal interests, property,
reputation, the peace of families, liberty, and life even. The
EBEN P. STONE. 177
world accepts the work, but forgets the workers. The waste
hours of Lord Bacon and Sergeant Talfourd were devoted to
letters, and each is infinitely better remembered for his mere
literary diversions than for his whole long and laborious pro-
fessional life work. The caricatures of Dickens on the pro-
fession will outlive, I fear, in the popular memory, the judg-
ments of Chief Justice Marshall, for the latter were not bur-
lesques, but only masterpieces of reason and jurisprudence.
The victory gained by the counsel of the seven Bishops was
worth infinitely more to the people of England than all the
triumphs of the Crimean war. But Lord Cardigan led a
foolishly brilliant charge again a Russian battery at Balaklava
and became immortal. Who led the great charge of the seven
great Confessors of the English Church against the English
Crown at Westminister Hall? You must go to your books
to answer. They were not on horseback. They wore gowns
instead of epaulets. The truth is we are like the little insects
that in the unseen depths of the ocean lay the coral founda
tions of uprising islands. In the end comes the solid land, the
olive and the vine, the habitations of man, the arts and indus-
tries of life, the haven of sea and ships riding at anchor. But
the busy toilers which laid the beams of a continent in a
dreary waste were entombed in their work and forgotten in
their tomb. Yet the infelicity to which I have alluded is not
without its compensations. For what after all is posthu-
mous fame to him who brought nothing into this world and
may carry nothing out? The dead leave behind their repu-
tations alike with their estates. We may justly console our-
selves with the reflection that we belong to a profession
which, above all others, shapes and fashions the institutions
under which we live, and which, in the language of a great
statesman, ' is as ancient as the magistracy, as noble as virtue,
as necessary as justice,' — a profession, I venture to add,
which is generous and fraternal above all others, and in
which living merit is appreciated in its day according to its
deserts, and by none so quickly and ungrudgingly as by those
who are its professional contemporaries and its competitors
178 EBEN F. STONE.
in the same field. We have our rivalries, who else has more ?
But they seldom produce jealousies. We have our conten-
tions. Who else has so many? But they seldom produce
enmities. The old Saxons used to cover their fires on every
hearth at the sound of the evening curfew. In like manner,
but to a better purpose, we also cover at each nightfall the
embers of each day's struggle and strife. We never defer
amnesties till after death, and have less occasion, therefore,
than some others, to deal in post mortem bronzes and marbles.
So much we may say without arrogance of ourselves, so much
of our noble profession."
The several memorials will be entered upon the records of
the court, as moved, and as a mark of respect to the memorj'
of our deceased brethren this court will now adjourn.
ELBRIDGE T. BURLEY.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association held Septem-
ber 14, 1896, Messrs. Horatio G. Herrick, Charles C. Dame,
William H. Niles, Boyd B. Jones, and Henry P. Moulton
were appointed a committee to prepare a memorial of Mr.
Elbridge T. Burlby to be presented to the Supreme Judi-
In the Supreme Judicial Court held at Salem, December 15,
1896, Justice Barker presiding and Justice Hammond
of the Superior Court sitting with him, Mr. John P.
Sweeney for the Bar Association, presented the fol- #
May it please the Court : — At the request of the com-
mittee appointed at a recent meeting of the Essex Bar Asso-
ciation to arrange for appropriate action on the death of our
brother, the late Elbridge T. Burley, which occurred on
the first day of September last, I rise to present the following
Elbridge Tyler Burley was born at Newmarket, in the
state of New Hampshire, on the 10th day of January, 1842.
His father was James Burley and his paternal ancestors for
several generations had been born and bred in or near New-
market. His mother, Lucy A. Davis, was of a family long
identified with the neighboring town of Barrington. On
both sides he was descended from plain, farming people,
such as constitute the native yeomanry class of New Eng-
land, the product of the early English, Scotch and Irish im-
migration, modified and developed by the struggles of life
on the rocky soil of the granite state. From them he inher-
ited a strong constitution, a large capacity for work and
those mental and moral traits which distinguish the best
type of New England people. While he had none of the
180 ELBRIDGE T. BTJRLEY.
advantages of opportunity that spring from wealth or influ-
ential social position, his parents were able to provide him
with the ordinary educational training of the schools of his
native town supplemented by a course of study at Phillips
He began the study of law with William B. Small, Esq.,
of Newmarket, a lawyer of considerable repute in southern
New Hampshire, and completed his law course in the office
of Daniel Saunders, Esq., at Lawrence in this county. He
was admitted to the Essex Bar in the year 1865, and from
that time to the day of his death was engaged in the unin-
terrupted practice of his profession, his office and residence
being at Lawrence. From the year 1889 he had been presi-
dent of the Essex Bar Association, and since 1890, one of
the Board of Law Examiners for this county. With these
exceptions and a period of service as city solicitor of Law-
rence, he never rendered any services of even a semi-public
character. He neither sought nor held public office discon-
nected with his profession. He was a lawyer in the strictest
sense of the word, and by his work as such, won his chief
If it be true that the fame of even the greatest lawyer
is but transitory, there is some compensation in the fact
that, even during his lifetime, the estimate of the merit and
achievements of a lawyer by his associates at the bar is apt
to be discriminating and just. It is possible that laymen
may be deceived in this respect ; that showy and meretricious
qualities may for a time win outside applause ; but in the
esteem of the bar no one wins a higher place as a lawyer
than that to which his ability and industry justly entitle
him. There is no profession so free from jealousy and that
spirit of envy that would detract from the just tribute due
to superior excellence. Social attributes, however potent in
other fields, cannot supply deficiency of learning at the bar,
nor does the lack of social graces preveut the recognition of
well earned distinction. In this respect the judgment of the
bar is inflexible and impartial. The lawyer can neither
ELBRIDGE T. BURLEY. 181
deceive himself nor his associates as to his ability, and the
arena of the courts is a field of contest where merit — and
merit alone — bears away the palm.
Mr. Burley's standing at the bar of this county and of the
Commonwealth, was for many years well established and uni-
versally conceded. It was at the forefront, in the foremost
rank. He was a competitor worthy of any antagonist, well
skilled in the art of legal attack and defence. His position
was a well earned distinction, the result of strong native
ability and the unremitting devotion which the jealous mis-
tress of the law exacts from those who seek to enjoy her
favors. He was a natural lawyer, born to the profession, the
possessor of what we call a legal mind, quick to apprehend
the principles of the law and to foresee their logical develop-
ment in the solution of new questions. Joined to this natu-
ral aptitude was the capacity for continuous labor which stored
his mind with a wide and thorough knowledge of precedents.
He had a strong liking for his profession and he pursued it
with the ardor of one who regarded it not merely as a means
of livelihood, but as a science worthy of his best intellectual
effort. As a consequence, he was never lax in the perform-
ance of professional duty, but always came to the trial of a
cause with a clear understanding of the facts and a careful
preparation of the law. In all his work he aimed at absolute
accuracy and was never satisfied with anything less either in
himself or in others.
Although short in stature he had an imposing aspect.
With a shapely and well-set head, a keen eye and a clearly
cut, intellectual face he looked every inch a lawyer, and
whether before the bench or the jury his appearance was
calculated to command attention. While making no preten-
sions to oratory, he was fluent in speech without being prolix,
terse and direct in expression and always earnest in his
manner. These qualities, coupled with an intimate knowl-
edge of New England character, rendered him a strong and
convincing advocate before a jury. In cases involving ques-
tions of deceit he was particularly effective. He had a keen
182 ELBRIDGE T. BTJRLEY.
scent for fraud and would pursue it with unflagging zeal until
he laid it bare before the bench or jury. There were few
witnesses so hardened in corruption as to be able to with-
stand his searching and relentless cross-examination.
He was a successful lawyer from the beginning, the pre-
liminary period of waiting having been with him very brief, and
his services were each year in increasing demand. His prac-
tice, although a large and lucrative one, measured by the
standards of this county, might have been much larger had
he desired it. He was not ambitious for an extensive prac-
tice, however, preferring to do only such work as he could do
thoroughly. Like every true workman in any calling, he
cared more for the quality than the quantity of his work, and
when engaged in the preparation of an important case, he
would lock his office door and deny himself to all callers for
days at a time. During the last years of his life, his profes-
sional engagements led him to make a special study of the
law of wills and by his successful conduct of several contested
will cases he acquired a fame that was not limited to this
county alone, but extended throughout the commonwealth.
His demeanor towards the court was always irreproachable.
He had an exalted ideal of the judicial character, and he
cherished it with the utmost fidelity. While always firm
•and insistent for the rights of his clients, he was respectful
to the court and frank to the very extreme of candor.
In his dealings with his associates at the Bar, as with the
world at large, he was the very soul of honor. He was utterly
incapable of any artifice or deceit. He entertained what are
considered by some to be old-fashioned ideas as to the dig-
nity and proprieties of the profession, and he had a lofty scorn
for those modern methods which seemed to him calculated to
degrade the practice of the law. His love for the profession
was deep and enduring, its history and traditions were to him
sacred and venerable, and he repelled an assault upon it as
he would an attack on his personal honor. He constantly
strove by precept and example to elevate and ennoble it, and
as a member of the Board of Law Examiners he aimed to
ELBRIDGE T. BTJRLEY. 183
maintain a high standard of acquirement and character at
the Bar. If to some careless student of the law he seemed too
exacting, those who were prepared found him an appreciative
listener, and all must have been impressed by his high sense
of duty and his devotion to what he considered the interests
of the public.
He had the same lofty conception of the duties of citizen-
ship. He was intensely patriotic in the true and noble sense
of the word. Although he always remained in private station,
he exerted a powerful influence for good in the community in
which he lived, and he was ever ready to lead in any move-
ment that promised to advance the common welfare. Men-
tally and morally intrepid, he never shrank from a conflict
with the foes of public order, and his services were always in
demand and were freely given in every public emergency.
His aggressiveness^in this respect made enemies of those whose
schemes he thwarted, but won the admiration of every lover
of manly principle.
Remarkable as were the mental traits, which enabled him
him to become an eminent lawyer, his greatest endowment
was his forceful moral character. Like all men who achieve
real distinction in any walk of life he had a strong personality,
a well-marked individuality. He was not a merely negative
character influenced solely by his environment, but a positive
force from which irradiated a powerful influence upon those
with whom he came in contact. Chief among his moral traits
was his honesty or love of truth, a trait which was so strongly
implanted in him by nature that it needed no cultivation to
develop it. It was this quality which animated and gave
color to his whole life. He had an absolute devotion to the
truth and he followed unflinchingly wherever it led. So in-
tense was this loyalty to truth that he went to extremes in
her service and, as he was wont to forcibly express what he
strongly felt, he sometimes appeared harsh and uncharitable
in his judgment of men and their motives. He had not only
a contempt for such sham and hypocrisy as were hurtful, but
even the conventionalities of life sometimes fretted and dis-
184 ELBMDGE T. BURLEY.
turbed him. Yet if he was critical in his estimate of others,
he was no less rigorous with himself. He had ever before
him a high standard of duty and he compelled himself to
render the same quality of service that he exacted from others.
Life was with him a serious thing; it had not only its pleas-
ures but its responsibilities, and to be remiss in the perform-
ance of duty was with him no trivial fault. He had a sen-
sitive conscience. He was not adapted to advocate an un-
worthy cause or to defend with mere technicalities. He was
oppressed and burdened by a case of doubtful merit and he
could not conceal his feelings ; but in what he conceived to
be a just cause, no matter how desperate, he was a tower of
strength and could display a moral courage that was sublime.
In the expression of his opinions, he was absolutely fearless.
Indifferent to popular applause and undismayed by popular
enmity, he resolutely laid his course along the strict line of
While he was not a social man in the popular sense of the
word, he took a lively and kindly interest in the welfare of
his neighbors and acquaintances. He had an especial pre-
deliction for elderly people with whom he delighted to con-
verse. He had but few intimates, but to those whom he hon-
ored with his friendship he revealed traits of character that
were charming and attractive. His emotions lay very near a
surface that was somewhat austere, and were quick to re-
spond to the claims of the wretched and the unfortunate.
He could not contemplate physical distress or mental suffer-
ing of any kind unmoved, and his generosity was bountiful
but unobtrusive. Under a severe exterior, he carried a warm
and compassionate heart, full of sympathy for the afflicted,
and alive to the misery of those who trod the humble paths
of life. He was thoroughly democratic but without a trace
of demagogism. He believed in equality of rights, and his
sense of justice was strong and impartial.
He was a lover of good books and a diligent and discrim-
inating reader outside of the law. He had a strong regard for
the standard poets, especially for those whose verses com-
ELBRIDGE T. BURLEY. 185
memorate the plain and simple virtues of life, and he was
able to quote from them copiously.
The strong attachment for nature in all her moods which he
imbibed as a country boy abided with him through life. He
was a lover of the woods, the streams, the mountain and the
shore and he had an intimate knowledge of the habits of wild
birds and animals, the study of which was to him a constant
delight. It was in the woods that he found relaxation from
the cares of life and it was on one of his annual excursions
to the wilds of Maine that death claimed him while yet in the
prime of life and in the full vigor of health. The news of
his death came as a sudden shock to his friends, for his nat-
urally strong constitution and correct habits of living justi-
fied the expectation that he would enjoy a ripe old age.
In his death a notable figure has passed away ; a strong,
forceful character ; a power for good whose beneficent in-
fluence will be missed, especially at this Bar and in the com-
munity in which he lived.
As a lawyer he was eminently skillful and learned, an
honor to the profession.
As a citizen he was upright and public spirited.
As a friend he was kind, generous and true.
Looking back upon his career and viewing him in all the
relations of life, we deem him worthy of the laurel, and we
ask for him a place upon the honored roll of those departed
members of the Essex Bar who, each in his day and genera-
tion, have contributed to the public weal.
Me. Henry P. Moulton seconded the request of the me-
morialist as follows :
The announcement of Mr. Burley's death came to his friends
and associates as a shock and a surprise. So long as his
brethren at the Bar knew him, he was a man in the full pos-
session of bodily strength, with a mental power not impaired
by years, but matured and strengthened by along and varied
experience. For more than thirty years he had practised
his profession in this county, and his reputation was not con-
186 ELBRIDGE T. BTJRLEY.
fined to the limits of the county, nor even to those of the
Commonwealth. He had long been looked upon as a learned
lawyer, a safe counsellor, and a logical and convincing
advocate. That he was a man of marked individuality
was apparent upon the slightest acquaintance with him.
It may be true, as a general rule, that men think the
thoughts of others and are inclined to accept readily con-
ventional standards of life and conduct. Such suggestions
have little application to Mr. Burley. He deliberated and
attained his own results ; he acted on his own carefully
formed opinions ; he had a high standard of moral and intel-
lectual attainment ; it was a standard of his own, and by it
he measured the acts, opinions and words of himself and
others. If at times his censure was too severe, he never
spared himself. He was a man of strong feeling and opinion
and of high principle. Such men are sometimes wrong, but
never intentionally unjust. He was a man of the highest
integrity, a lover of justice, a lawyer whose talents and learn-
ing were devoted not only to the advantage of his clients,
but to the benefit of the community where his influence was
felt, a man who, by living well, has lived long, and has left
behind him the record of an honorable and useful career.
I respectfully second the request that the memorial pre-
sented by Colonel Sweeney may be placed upon the records
of the Court.
Response of Mr. Justice James M. Barker : —
I regret that it was not my privilege to have had more
acquaintance with the brother whose life and services are fitly
spoken of in this memorial, and which are the subject of your
thought at this time. It so happens that during all of the
years that I have been upon the bench, this is the first court
of my own that I have held in Salem, the first jury of Essex
county that I have seen, and that my personal acquaintance
with the work in court of Essex lawyers has been that which
has come under my observation when they have appeared
in other counties.
ELBRIDGE T. BTJRLEY. 187
I early heard of the standing, the reputation, the services
of the brother whose memory youdes ire to perpetuate. The
justices of the court upon which I first served, coming from
sittings in Essex county, were wont to speak of the men
who were prominent at the Essex Bar ; and always that talk
and conversation included the mention of Mr. Burley. I do
not know how many times the late Mr. Justice Pitman, the
late Chief Justice Brigham and other justices of the Super-
ior Court have spoken of him in my presence, and always
with appreciation of his learning, of his integrity, of his sym-
pathy with truth and of his scorn of wrong, always with ap-
preciation of the great value of his life and services. Under-
standing that this memorial was to be presented at this sit-
ting, I spoke with my present associates, and particularly
with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, with
reference to what should be said about Brother Burley, in
response to such remarks of the Bar as should be made on
this occasion. The Chief Justice said to me that I need not
hesitate in saying that in the opinion of the Court he was a
lawyer whose memory was eminently worthy of being per-
petuated by a memorial to be spread upon the records of the
Court, and that whatever was said by Mr. Burley had the
seal and stamp of the utmost truth and fidelity, both to his
clients and to the Court.
I remember years ago, when I was a young lawyer, seeing
come into my own county a figure which seemed to me one
of distinction and of strength ; and I think that all of the
members of the Essex Bar will say that when the late Otis
P. Lord appeared you saw a man from whom you expected
decisions of strength and vigor. And when first it was my
fortune to see Brother Burley, I said to myself, ** Here is a
strong resemblance to Mr. Justice Lord." I do not know
whether it has been remarked by others, but it was by me.
I never saw Mr. Burley in court but a few times, but when
I heard him argue before the full bench I was reminded of
the resemblance and impressed with what is also stated to be
the fact in these memorials — that he was a man of learning,
188 ELBRIDGE T. BURLEY.
of directness of purpose, of force, a man whose bearing and
whose statements showed that what he said was the result of
reflection and of meditation, and, in fact, a man forceful,
strong, having confidence in himself and as it seemed to me
deserving the confidence of others.
I did not know whether it would turn out to be so, but I
wondered upon first seeing him whether he was of that strong
band who come into Massachusetts from the North to render
service and attain distinction. It turns out that he was, and
also that he was in the habit of going back yearly to his
mother state, and planting his foot upon his native soil, to
renew his strength and vigor by communion with nature.
It seems to me that it was fitting and proper for the Essex
Bar to have seen to it that this memorial, carefully prepared,
appreciative and true, should be presented to the Court, and
preserved in the records of the county in which he lived.
The fact that the Bar attend in numbers at this presenta-
tion, the fact that my brother (Mr. Justice Hammond of the
Superior Court) has adjourned his Court and has come to
listen to the action of the Bar, all shows that our departed
brother was worthy of this testimonial.
The motion of the Bar is acceded to ; this memorial and
such of the remarks as have been made in seconding it, as
the Bar may desire may be spread upon the records of the
Court, and, as a further mark of appreciation of the services
of our departed brother, this Court will now stand adjourned.
STEPHEN H. PHILLIPS.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association held in the
Court House at Salem, April 26, 1897, a committee consist-
ing of Messrs. James A. Gillis, Wm. D. Northend, Daniel
Saunders, Dean Peabody and John W. Porter was appointed
to prepare a memorial of Me. Stephen H. Phillips, to be
presented to the Superior Court.
In the Superior Court held at Salem, June 17, 1897, Justice
Sheldon presiding, Mr. James A. Gillis for the Essex
Bar Association, presented the following memorial.
May it please the Court : — It is a trite observation
concerning lawyers, that however distinguished they may be,
however great their triumphs at the Bar and however wide
their fame, their work is in general such that the recollection
of it soon fades away, and in a few generations there remains
only the name in connection with their cases in the Reports,
which themselves tend to become antiquated, and less and
less referred to as new principles and new decisions take
their places. It is therefore the custom of the Essex Bar to
cause to be made a brief but permanent record of the history
and character of its members for the perusal, and possibly for
the example, of those who shall follow them in the practice
of their profession.
In accordance with this custom a memorial of Stephen
Henry Phillips, long a prominent and distinguished mem-
ber of this Bar has been prepared.
Mr. Phillips was born in Salem, August 16, 1823, and
died April 8, 1897, being nearly seventy-four years of age.
He leaves a widow and two sons, Stephen Willard and
He came of a distinguished ancestry. His father was
Stephen Clarendon Phillips, born in Salem ; in earlier life one
190 STEPHEN H. PHILLIPS.
of the few remaining merchants of commercial Salem, for sev.
eral years a member of Congress, the second Mayor, and
chief organizer of the schools of Salem, and always an influ-
ential and highly valued citizen of his native city. Going
back to remoter times we find as his ancestor, the Rev. George
Phillips, an eminent divine and a founder of Watertown, who
landed with Winthrop, in Salem, in 1630. His descendant,
Deacon Stephen Phillips settled in Marblehead, of whom it is
recorded, that he there presided as moderator of a stormy
town meeting in 1773, called to make protest against the Bos-
ton Port Bill. His grandfather, Stephen Phillips, was a lead-
ing merchant and citizen of Marblehead. From the same
ancestor, Rev. George Phillips, were descended the Andover
Phillipses, who gave the name to the Academies at Andover
and Exeter ; the Revolutionary Patriot of Boston, William
Phillips ; his son Jonathan Phillips, the first mayor of Boston ;
and at a later day, Wendell Phillips and the lamented Phil-
In 1836, at the age of thirteen, Stephen was placed in a
classical school at Washington, his father being then in Con-
gress, and he entered Harvard College in 1838, graduating
in 1842, and thereafter spent three years in the Dane Law
School at Cambridge. Among his associates there were the
late President Hayes, Chief Justice Peters of Maine, Chief
Justice Morton of Massachusetts, Chief Justice Bradford of
Rhode Island, and others who have since risen to high dis-
tinction in their profession.
After graduating at the Law School he entered the office
of the Honorable Benjamin R. Curtis of Boston, and was
admitted to the Suffolk Bar in 1846, connecting himself
in business with the Honorable George P. Sanger, after-
wards a judge of the Court of Common Pleas. For four
years, from 1847 to 1850 inclusive, he was editor of the Law
Reporter. In 1850 he removed his office to Salem where
his active practice as an advocate may be said to have com-
menced. In 1851 he was appointed by Governor Boutwell
District Attorney for the County of Essex, which office he
STEPHEN H. PHILLIPS. 191
held two years, resigning at the end of that time, when the
Honorable Alfred A. Abbott was appointed in his place.
In 1856 and 1857 he was the city solicitor of Salem, and
in the latter year, at the age of thirty-four, he was elected
Attorney General for the Commonwealth. He served in
this office three years, but declined a fourth nomination.
His able and faithful assistant in this office, mainly in the
preparation of cases for argument before the Supreme Bench,
was William G. Choate, since United States Judge for the
District of New York.
While Attorney General he was appointed by Governor
Banks Judge Advocate General of the Massachusetts
In 1866, Mr. Phillips accepted an appointment from King
Kammehamaha as Attorney General of the Hawaiian Gov-
ernment, this constituting him one of the four cabinet min-
isters. Subsequently he performed the duties of Minister
of Foreign Affairs and also acted at times as the Minister of
These islands of the Pacific though small in extent have
been for many years and for various reasons the object of
especial interest to other and more powerful nations, and
the duties which Mr. Phillips was called upon to perform in
the discharge of his different offices were in many respects
of a difficult and delicate nature. It was no easy task to
reconcile conflicting interests, foreign and domestic, to re-
strain the influences which might tend to the detriment of
the country which he represented, and still to keep in touch
with the Governments with which Hawaii maintained dip-
lomatic relations. That he was equal to his task and that
his duties were satisfactorily performed, appears from the
fact that he remained in the cabinet till it was dissolved
upon the death of the King and the accession of a new ruler.
In 1871 Mr. Phillips married Margaret, daughter of the
Honorable James H. Duncan, of Haverhill, for some years
a member of Congress for Massachusetts. In 1873, he re-
turned to this country and established himself in San Fran-
192 STEPHEN H. PHILLIPS.
cisco, practising his profession there for some years. He
was chosen President of the Harvard Club of that city. He
then returned to Salem, where, with the exception of a short
residence in Danvers, he remained until the close of his life.
Though always taking a great interest in politics, Mr.
Phillips was not a politician. He never held in this country
any office other than a professional one. At the time he
came to the Bar the anti-slavery sentiment of the North was
crystallizing in the Free Soil movement, the precursor of the
Republican Party of 1856. Into this movement and subse-
quently into the formation of the new party he entered with
characteristic energy and ardor. In 1856 he was a delegate
to the first Republican National Convention where Fremont
was nominated, and the writer well remembers the impres-
sion made by his speech at a ratification meeting at Salem,
and the eloquent and finished eulogium which he delivered
upon the services and character of the nominee. He was
also a delegate to the National convention of 1860, when
Lincoln was the Republican nominee.
From the inception of the party and throughout the war
he labored earnestly and effectually in the support of its
principles and its administration, faithfully and loyally ad-
hering to it till his departure from the country for Honolulu.
Mr. Phillips, however mindful of other duties, was above
all a lawyer. To him the practice of his profession was of
absorbing interest. At the Law School and in the office of
Judge Curtis he was a diligent and devoted student and he
had the advantage of the ablest teaching. Professor Green-
leaf, and Judge Story of the United States Supreme Court,
were both lecturers at the School in his day, and he would
often speak of them, particularly of the latter upon whose
quaint remarks and apt illustrations he would like to dwell.
He entered upon his profession thoroughly equipped, his
mind fully stored with legal principles, and success came to
In his offices of District Attorney and Attorney General
(both of which impose great responsibilities upon the incum-
STEPHEN H. PHILLIPS. 193
bent and demand of him judicial qualities as well as those
of the advocate), he showed a great legal acumen, a business
capacity of a high order, and a spirit of justice and humanity
towards all with whom his duties brought him in contact.
It is worthy of mention that while holding this latter office
it became his duty to prepare the papers under which Judge
Loring was removed from his position of Judge of Probate
in Suffolk County bj r process of address by the Legislature
to Governor Banks, an event which caused great excitement
at the time and which was wholly without precedent in
A marked instance of his tact and skill in the manage-
ment of men may be found in his dealings with the work-
men of Lynn at a period succeeding the financial crisis of
1857, when a serious and general strike was impending not
only in that city but in other parts of Essex county. Mr.
Phillips went quietly over to Lynn, addressed the workmen,
and his calm and judicious counsel was largely instrumental
in averting the threatened disaster.
In 1860, when about leaving office he was appointed, with
ex- Governor Clifford, Commissioner in the matter of the
Rhode Island boundary. They were in Washington upon
this business, and in the latter part of January, 1861, they
there addressed a confidential letter to Governor Andrew,
setting forth that they had been authorized by Mr. Stanton,
then Attorney General in Mr. Buchanan's cabinet, to say
that it was his opinion that there was imminent if not inevi-
table peril of an attack upon the city of Washington between
the 4th and 15th of February. Governor Claflin, in his
address in 1871 upon the unveiling of the statue of Governor
Andrew, attributes to this letter the advanced state of
preparation which enabled Massachusetts regiments to be
among the earliest to reach Washington, when President
Lincoln issued his first call for troops.
In his general practice, as well as when acting in his
official capacity, Mr. Phillips was careful and painstaking,
preparing his cases with diligence and trying them vigor-
194 STEPHEN H. PHILLIPS.
ously and effectively. In the regular routine of his office
practice, I think there were few lawyers who could compare
with him. No one familiar with his early career could have
failed to notice his systematic care of papers, his methodical
arrangement of business, his strict and conscientious regard
for the rights and interests of his clients, his determination
not to allow his cases to lag or fall behind their proper time
He was a fluent speaker, having great command of lan-
guage and rising easily to flights of eloquence. As an ex-
ample of graceful and impressive oratory, the writer calls to
mind his remarks before the Bar at the time of the decease
of Chief Justice Shaw.
He had much personal influence with juries. His fine and
prepossessing appearance, his fairness in presenting his case,
his freedom from anything like artifice or attempt at sophis-
tical reasoning, could not but make a favorable impression.
His arguments were some of them models of their kind, terse,
vigorous and logical, and whether before court or jury, they
were marked with one peculiarity : he seldom made much
reference to the arguments upon the other side. He did not
take them up one after the other, and endeavor to refute them,
as is sometimes done, but he presented his own views in his
own way, his mind apparently running in its own groove and
following out its own train of thought.
Another distinguishing characteristic was his courage and
his entire confidence in himself. He never shrank from any
encounter nor from any odds. Though ardent and aggres-
sive in the trial of his cases, he never overstepped the limits
of decorum nor failed in that politeness and good treatment
which he felt was due to his brethren at the Bar. But his
combative instincts were by no means wanting, and if aroused
by what he thought unjust or unfair treatment of his client
or himself, his opponent was given ample opportunity to know
that there were blows to take as well as blows to give.
Mr. Phillips never mingled largely in general society, find-
ing great comfort and pleasure in his home and with his
STEPHEN H. PHILLIPS. 195
books. His memory was most tenacious, and his stores of
accumulated knowledge were always at his command. His
information he seemed to assimilate perfectly, making it a
part of himself. In speaking of some historical occurrence
he would not refer to an author, or suggest that " such and
such a one remarks." What he knew he knew ; and however
acquired, it was not to him the product of another mind, but
became, as it were, a part of the texture of his own.
As one instance of his power to preserve a polite accom-
plishment amidst the cares of a busy life, it may be mentioned
that in Salem, a few years ago, he addressed an audience of
French Canadians upon political subjects in their own lan-
His incursions into general literature were largely in the
direction of history and biography, his mind, essentially prac-
tical, dealing with men and with the world and what he found
in it ; but he enjoyed poetry of a high order. In this field
his favorite reading was Paradise Lost, whose lofty theme
and stately movement seemed especially congenial to his
taste. He was not much given to theological or philosophic
speculation. Of these he spoke little, nor much of his relig-
ious belief ; but those who knew him best, knew that he had
a simple faith and that he held it firmly.
In this brief memorial the effort has been not to write in a
strain of unvarying eulogy, but to present to some extent a
discriminating picture of Mr. Phillips' character and life.
Time does not permit me to speak of his pleasant manner,
his genial disposition, his kindness of heart, his attention to
young men, his readiness to lend a helping hand. There are
those who will never forget their obligations to him for favors
rendered in a quiet and unostentatious way, but which in
some instances have affected the whole lives of their recipi-
When Mr. Phillips commenced his practice in Salem,
Nathaniel J. Lord, then perhaps the leader at the Bar, was
just retiring with broken health. Mr. Huntington, long the
distinguished prosecuting officer of the Essex District, had
196 STEPHEN H. PHILLIPS.
become clerk of courts ; George Wheatland was ju§t resuming
his practice at the Bar ; Judge Lord was fast rising to that
eminence which awaited him ; Judge Perkins, afterwards
practising extensively in the courts, was then upon the Bench
of the old Court of Common Pleas ; Judge Thompson was
in Benjamin F. Hallett's office in Boston ; Eben F. Stone, at
the commencement of his career, librarian in the Dane Law
School, was a young man, giving promise of his future dis
tinction ; Judge Choate had been admitted to the Bar, and
Stephen B. Ives was pursuing his studies in the office of
Messrs. Northend & Choate ; in Middlesex, a group of able
lawyers, occasionally appearing in cases in this county, were
in practice, among them General Butler, Judge Abbott, G.
A. Somerby, Theodore H. Sweetser, J. Q. A. Griffin, and
George F. Farley.
Upon the Supreme Bench was Chief Justice Shaw, with
Wilde, Dewey, Metcalf, Fletcher and Bigelow as his associ-
ates. In this Court Caleb Cushing was soon to take his seat.
John H. Clifford was the Attorney General.
Among these distinguished men, and others now living,
Mr. Phillips took a recognized place. Those whom I have
named, and he, have played their part upon the stage of
life and have passed away ; but with those who knew these
bright ornaments of the Bench and Bar, who have met or
walked with them in the paths of the law, their memory will
be always green.
In behalf of the Essex Bar Association, I respectfully re-
quest that this Memorial be entered upon the records of the
Mr. William D. Northend said :
The memorial that has been read is a truthful and just
tribute to the memory of Mr. Phillips. My acquaintance
with him commenced on the opening of his office in Salem,
we were thrown much together in our practice, and a strong
friendship grew up between us which continued to the last.
I can bear witness to his conscientious efforts to prevent de-
STEPHEN H. PHILLIPS. 197
lay in the trial of his cases which at times caused temporary-
irritation on the part of the opposing counsel who were more
lax in their practice. He prepared his cases carefully and
was ready on all points of law raised on a trial. He was pru-
dent in his examination of witnesses and argued his cases
ably and sometimes with great eloquence. He was a thorough
student of the law ; he prepared a treatise upon law which he
was prevented by illness from completing.
In private life, Mr. Phillips was one of the most estimable
of men. He had a remarkable memory, and in the society
of his friends was most interesting.
I cordially second the request that the excellent Memorial
just read be entered upon the records of the Court.
Reply of Justice Henry N. Sheldon: —
Brethren of the Bar : — Although it was never my
good fortune personally to meet the late Mr. Phillips, it is no
less a pleasure to me than to you that so just and discrimi-
nating a testimonial to his worth should be put upon record
for the instruction and example of those who are hereafter to
practice at this bar. It has been well said in your memorial
that the fame of a lawyer, however brilliant and distinguished
may have been his professional achievements and triumphs,
and however great and far-reaching the services which he has
been able to render to the community in which he lived, and
to other communities, as was the case with our deceased
brother, can be but ephemeral. In a few days he is gone ;
and the busy associates who labored in his company in his
lifetime can scarcely do more than occasionally to recall the
fragrant memories of his career ; in a few days more, they
too rest from their earthly labors, a new generation comes
upon the scene ; and his very name becomes unfamiliar in
the haunts of living men. And yet it is not well that we
should regard this as a hardship peculiar to the members of
our profession ; it is the common lot of man.
" Whatever 'scaped oblivion's subtle wrong,
Save a few clarion names or golden threads of song ? "
198 STEPHEN H. PHILLIPS.
The memory of the individual may and does fade away ;
but the result of the good work which he has done remains
as a permanent advantage to his race. The increasing pur-
pose which runs through the ages, the continued progress of
humanity, its advancement in sound intelligence and good
morals, its growth in wisdom which lies at the foundation of
all development spiritual, mental and material, — all these are
not only manifested in but result directly from the separate
lives of those individual members of the community who,
each in his own sphere, each with that degree of influence
which varying circumstances enable him to exert, do the par-
ticular duty that comes to each one of them, render, both by
direct action and by force of example, what service they can
to their fellowmen, their country and their race, and thus
contribute — each one perhaps, however brilliant his talents,
and however dazzling his successes may seem to us, only in
a slight degree, and yet surely each one in some degree and
to some extent, — to the furtherance of the divine scheme in
which it is at any rate our privilege to strive that we may be
co-workers. And it seems to me that it is one of the advan-
tages of our profession that we are sometimes able to con-
tribute more largely than if we were engaged in some other
field of labor towards the attainment of this end. I do not
need here, speaking to you the representatives of the bar of
this county, to emphasize or even to dwell upon the services
which a learned, laborious and conscientious bar render both
to individual men and to the country. It is our object to
assist in the ascertainment of truth, in the administration of
justice, to secure to all their rights, to prevent injustice and
wrong doing ; and however we may sometimes fall short of
success, however flagrant may be some of our failures, it is
yet, I think, true that in the main right conclusions are ar-
rived at in our courts of justice ; and that the theory upon
which our law is framed and administered, that in all dis-
puted matters of law or fact, justice is best attained by
affording to each litigant the ablest and keenest professional
assistance with an impartial tribunal to pass finally upon the
STEPHEN H. PHILLIPS. 199
issue, is borne out and sustained by the results. Still, as you
all know, the best work of the practising lawyer is not done
in the court-room ; it must be done in his office, as the wise
adviser of those who resort to him, looking not alone to bare
legal rights, but to the real and lasting advantage of those
who consult him, and to the general good of the community.
The integrity of the really upright lawyer is not a mere
abstraction, his good will to mankind is not a merely vague
and easy-going feeling of good nature ; his patriotism is not
content with expressing itself in platitudes about his country ;
he knows and pursues the right, not only as defined by the
law of man, but in that deeper as well as more practical ap-
plication in which the law of man does not attempt to deal
with it. He is not a stirrer up of strife ; rather, he composes
differences, both by wise avoidance and by actual reconcilia-
tion or judicious compromise. Renown may be but a builder
of tombs ; wit may be but a life estate ; the best and strong-
est of us may be but leaves, whose decay no harvest sows ;
and yet the work of such a man does represent, does consti-
tute an imperishable gain; it has been his opportunity and
his privilege to contribute more largely than most of his
fellow men to the advancement of his race, to the growth
and development of humanity.
This opportunity, as is well shown by your Memorial, was
largely enjoyed by our deceased brother. His life has not
only covered a longer period of years, but his labors have been
more diversified and have extended over a much larger por-
tion of the world, than can be the case with most men. And
he met successfully the different demands which were made
upon him. Born of a distinguished ancestry, he has not
fallen below the standard which was thus set before him. He
has earned the respect and the affection of those who were
conversant with him. It is fitting that his memory should
be honored and cherished.
In compliance with the request of the Bar, your Memorial
with a minute of these proceedings will be entered upon the
records of the Court.
THOMAS M. STIMPSON.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association held Novem-
ber 1, 1898, Messrs. Henry P. Moulton, Alden P. White,
Benjamin G. Hall and Joseph F. Hannon, were chosen a
committee to prepare a memorial of Mr. Thomas M. Stimp-
son for presentation to the Superior Court.
In the Superior Court at Salem, on Friday, February 3, 1899,
Mr. Justice Richardson, the presiding Judge and with
him Mr. Justice Hardy on the Bench, Mr. Alden P.
White for the Essex Bar Association, presented the fol-
May it please the Court: — On behalf of the Essex
Bar, I formally announce the death of Thomas Morrill
Stimpson, of Peabody, an attorney of this Court. He died
suddenly at his home, on the morning of September 30th,
1898, having rounded out the three score years and ten.
The time and attention of the Court is respectfully in-
voked while we who knew him, unite to formal spoken offer-
ing, the rare tribute of unqualified silent eulogy.
No recollections of his earlier life can here be given. He
was a generation older than the two younger men with whom
he shared offices in this city for the last fifteen years. I am
speaking only of the impressions of this period. They were
made at close range.
The few survivors of his college class, Amherst, 1850,
looking back nearly fifty years, use just such terms in regard
to his youth as we should expect : — " Exceeding quiet man-
ners," "Amiable, kindly and friendly," "Honorable, high-
minded, winning universal respect," " Without a stain, sub-
terfuge, or moral blemish." As an under-graduate he was
especially proficient in mathematics. With a tendency thus
induced to accurate thinking, when he directed his mind to
THOMAS M. STIMPSON. 201
the study of his chosen profession he mastered and absorbed
its principles. He saw the ground of their existence in
reason ; he comprehended the logic of their inter-relation in
the complex fabric of Law.
He was fortunate, too, in pursuing his studies in the office
of Nathaniel J. Lord, a leader of the Bar in his day and gen-
eration, not less able, at least, than that distinguished brother
who honored this Bar upon the Bench of our highest Court.
With the comparatively rare faculties which make up a
legal mind, Mr. Stimpson had a marvellously retentive mem-
ory. It was responsive not alone to questions of practical
importance, but to matters of abstruse and obsolete learning.
My office associate recalls how a well known scholarly anti-
quarian, having vainly puzzled over a very ancient writ,
brought it, at the suggestion of a friend, to Mr. Stimpson,
who won the lasting admiration of his visitor by straightway
identifying the instrument and denning its origin and use.
His method of preparation and study was quite his own,
and sometimes tried the patience of client or associate coun-
sel. He was inclined to ignore the axiom as to the straight
line. Little by-paths invited his exploration ; " queries "
posted along the way diverted his attention. Yet when a
real emergency came, when confronted by an issue of impor-
tance as to which there was no sound precedent, his self-re-
liance and boldness became superb. Then, trampling down
underbrush which would trouble lesser minds, he hewed for
himself a path out of difficulties, straight and clear, and
whosoever walked therein found safety and relief.
By far the greater part of his business concerned real
estate. For many years, and to his death, he was counsel for
a savings bank of high standing, represented here by its
officers, and no similar institution ever had a more compe-
tent and faithful guardian. In examining titles he exercised
the utmost care and thoroughness, but was not finical nor
hair-splitting. He brought to bear upon his conclusions
sound sense and no little of that self-reliance to which I have
referred in determining whether apparent obstacles were
202 THOMAS M. STIMPSON.
real or only colorable and harmless. In the construction of
wills and trusts, and generally in matters which lie chiefly
within the jurisdiction of the Probate Court, he was especially
ready and sound. As an instance in point, a judge of a neigh-
boring state consulted a young lawyer of this city, by mail,
in regard to a title. The lawyer gave his views as to the
doubtful construction of a certain will, but intimated that
it was necessary to go to the Supreme Court for a decision. In
response to an expressed unwillingness to incur this expense,
and to a request to recommend some one whose written opin-
ion would carry great weight, the local lawyer referred his
correspondent to Mr. Stimpson. Some time after, the judge
wrote that he had read Mr. Stimpson's brief over and over
again, each time more impressed with the wonderful legal
knowledge it contained, and he accepted his conclusions
Personally he retained the even tendencies of his youth.
Not naturally robust, he was very careful of himself. He
was a gentleman, every inch, courteous, kindly, honorable ;
in very truth without reproach.
He had many queer little individualities and ways. He
seemed to live farther from the madding crowd than most of
us. No less remarkable than his general knowledge was his
lack of that common, every day information as to men and
things which the average man absorbs by mere attrition.
He was not porous to that sort of thing. He was
almost the last man to know who was " being mentioned "
for selectman or for Congress. Sometimes he would sur-
prise us with sudden interest in a discovery he had newly
made of matter which was to others already ancient history.
But he kept well abreast and firmly in touch with the larger
questions of the day, and had his own well-defined and sub-
stantiated opinions thereon. As to affairs of real importance,
whether local or national, he was genuinely public-spirited.
And it was not safe to assume that he was less cognizant
that the Boston nine had won the champion pennant than
that the Dingley bill had become the law of the land. Hav-
THOMAS M. STIMPSON. 203
ing no small skill in the game, he followed the daily reports
of the international chess match with assiduous care.
He gave generously of his time and wise direction both to
the schools and public library of his native town. He had
high ideals of citizenship and consistently observed them.
He was an enthusiastic lover of music. Talk of violins,
and law was for the time abandoned. Not that he played
much himself ; on the one occasion when I happened to see
him handle the bow, the larger part of his effort was ex-
pended in preliminary scraping and tuning. He knew quaint
little places where quainter men performed delicate surgery
on the rare and precious work of renowned makers. To
have heard a true artist draw glorious tone from a genuine
Cremona, and then to have seen at close range and perhaps
have fondled the instrument, was to have been presented to
royalty. For many years he was an officer of the Salem Ora-
torio Society, an organization of long and honorable career.
In the words of a tribute recently spread upon its records :
" He loved music with a keen appreciation born of a rarely
fine nature, and to the study of the oratorios of the masters
he brought a mind sympathetic to the genius of the composer
and a soul attuned to divinest harmonies."
His vacations were illustrative of his habits and tastes.
Many years ago, while away at school, I heard certain wel-
come visitors at the principal's house talk lovingly of a sort
of happy valley isolated somewhere in the mountains, far from
railroads, tourists and fashion, the lodge-room of a natural
free-masonry between congenial spirits, who there, each sum-
mer, left the world behind and found pure pleasure and relax-
ation. I was the merest stranger to the proceedings, without
password and countersign, and while my youthful impression
was distinct as to the devotion, it was vague as to the location
of the shrine and the personnel of the worshippers. Years
after, it was a pleasure to be able to identify the valley
through the discovery that Mr. Stimpson was himself a
charter associate. One could not long be with him without
learning of his love for Waterville, New Hampshire. Thither,
204 THOMAS M. STIMPSON.
for thirty years, as regularly as August came, he went, greet-
ing the Mad river as it rushes out of the narrow entrance,
paying renewed homage to the encircling mountains. On
the top of the magnificent peak of Osceola, on the occasion
of his twenty-first annual ascent, he held a sort of coming-of-
age reception. To this favorite retreat came many people
from many callings, of high character and unaffected culture,
whom it was both a pleasure and a distinct gain to know.
Change and progress have made great inroads on the more
primitive conditions, but there remain those who will miss
the genial presence of him who has passed beyond the eternal
I think he hoped sometime to go abroad. I wish that he
might, at least, have wandered through the Temple and Drury
Lane, that he might, on the spot, have invested the Inns of
Court and Westminster and Parliament with those pictures
of men and events, creative episodes in the development of
English Constitution and Law, which were so indelibly im-
printed on his mind. Perhaps he exaggerated the effort
necessary to carry his purpose into execution, but I suspect
that the ties of Waterville had much to do with the indefinite
We smiled whenever he opened the parcel containing a
new report, and we knew what was coming. " I always
make a practice of collating the pages," he would say, as if
for the first time ; " I once received a volume where certain
pages were duplicated and certain others left out," and he
proceeded conscientiously to discover if such an accident
had happened again.
He had no clerk or assistant, and could ill have worked
with one. Modern methods of dictation were untried. He
tolerated the typewriting machine, but hardly took it serious-
ly ; in his heart he preferred his own careful handwriting.
His love for mathematics followed him into his early pro-
fessional studies and developed into a zeal for astronomy. In
later years he confessed that lenses were formerly sore allure-
ments from law, and that he had been too much engrossed in
THOMAS M. STIMPSON. 205
constructing a telescope for himself. It never occurred to me
before, but I now venture to refer a seemingly superfluous
exactness to the necessities of those days of zenith and paral-
lax. Precision in time is of fundamental importance to an
astronomer. If it began in this way I know not, but so long
as we knew him there was a bond of fellowship between him
and a certain expert watchmaker, and into the shop of the
latter he was wont frequently to disappear just long enough
to exchange greetings, note the variation of his excellent
watch from true time, and make a diminutive note of the plus
or minus on a little slip which he carried in his pocketbook,
ever replaced when filled, by a new one. We never discov-
ered that he did anything with the old slips, and it was im-
possible to reconcile this painstaking with certain other habits,
for, be his watch never so accurate, he was alarmingly dila-
tory as to fixed engagements. There was no indolence about
it ; he simply clung too long to the involving work before
him, and there inevitably followed the eleventh hour flurry
of hasty departure. In saying that no man bore resentment
to Mr. Stimpson,Ihopethat I need not except the conductors
in charge of the quarter of one street car, which was his
conveyance home to lunch. They seldom wholly escaped
him, but in his agility in descending the office stairs and
subsequent proceedings of interception there was a pro
tempore waiver of dignity.
Does it seem trivial, out of keeping with this occasion and
presence, to recall these mere personal traits ? Ah, they en-
tered largely into the sum total of the man, and made him
as we knew and shall remember him. They were but oddities
to smile at, not blemishes to hide. Thackeray said of Thomas
Newcomb : " But they who laughed at the Colonel laughed
very kindly ; and everybody who knew him loved him ; every-
body, that is, who loved modesty and generosity and honor."
Defining a lawyer as one versed in the law, he had no
superior at this Bar. No man among us had loftier views of
professional ethics. Though he did not withhold fair criti-
cism of the Bench, he idealized and revered the Court as the
206 THOMAS M. STIMPSON.
mouthpiece of the Law. He practised thus here, in the chief
shire-town of a leading county for fifty years, and yet, you,
sir, for example, did not know him. It is not strange. He
made no effort to be widely known. His sphere was in
chambers. He appeared but seldom in the trial of a cause,
and was apt to call in associate counsel. He had no arts of
advocacy. He could ' only speak right on '; indeed, he failed
to do quite that. In extemporaneous address that tendency
to discursiveness to which I have referred obscured the main
line of his thought, and a stranger, listening, would be likely
to underrate his logical faculty. He would have made poor
work of a side to which he could not give his whole sympa-
thy. He could not sell and deliver his talents as merchandise,
without regard to the purchaser. And so, perhaps, the sort
of clients who jar one's self-respect, and who have to be taken
with a little moral fumigation, seemed wholly to pass him
by. Into all his contentions he could and did throw the
weight of earnestness and personal conviction. Frank, clean
and honest himself, when dealing with the opposite of these
qualities he was capable of a righteous indignation which
broke in withering denunciation and made one pity the re-
cipient. He was at his best and strongest when employed
in redressing wrong and fraud.
Again, to account for so quiet a career where there was so
much ability, he seemed untouched by the commoner ambi-
tions to which most of us are prone. He did not seek renown
or office. He was utterly unconscious of the galleries. With
shelves laden with precious goods, he displayed none in the
show windows. His pride in well doing was infinite ; he was
blind to success as an abstract goal. Nihil pro magnifico.
And the corollary of all this, restful and delightful as we
look back over his closed life, is that it was not rankled by
disappointment, not embittered by failure to attain glittering
heights. He could easily detect veneered merit. He smiled
grimly when self-assurance boosted mediocrity over the heads
of such as he into the seats of the mighty ; but his cynicism
was mild and passing.
THOMAS M. STIMPSON. 207
Then, too, his home. It was more to him than professional
glory, more than all else in life. To her who was nearest and
dearest he was ever devoted, tender and chivalrous. It were
sacrilege to attempt to depict relations which were private
and holy. A single sentence from a personal letter may be
quoted without impropriety in this sympathetic presence.
"Such unfailing gentleness, helpfulness and unselfishness as
marked, on his part, every day and hour of our family life, I
would once have thought it impossible to realize in actual
How often have we, who knew him so well, marvelled at
the possibilities of the career which might have befallen him
if he had been just a little other than he was, if there had
been less of Plato and more of Alexander. Then he might
have been a leader, indeed, of this or any other Bar, and no
honor in our profession would have been beyond his reach.
Did some such thought occur to him ? He gave no indica-
tion. The saddest words of tongue or pen seemed to have
no subjective application to him.
Sitting at his own desk, in the midst of his books, I can
seem to see him enter to take up the threads of his unfinished
work. Here are the notes of preparation in an important case
involving years of litigation and untold labor ; he awaited
with confidence a final rescript of success. Here are the
door-cards in his familiar hand : "At the Registry," " At the
Probate Court," " Back soon." Back soon ? Nevermore.
" At the Supreme Court." Aye, at the Court of Last Resort.
Nil nisi bonum de mortuis! How often behind fulsome
eulogy lurks the reserve of charitable silence. With what
regard to propriety must one often confine himself to what
the deceased has done, and touch tenderly on what he has
been. There is no occasion for such reserve now, here, or
at any time and place, when his friends think of Mr. Stimp-
son. Literally he was without guile.
If, as we fondly believe, there is a place of immortal abode
where absolute standards prevail, and none shall stand on
other than true and naked worth, I think of him as entering
208 THOMAS M. STIMPSON.
Heaven that September morning as easily as he might have
opened once again his office door, and as bringing unshamed
before his God the soul which he had kept white among his
In behalf of the Essex Bar Association I respectfully request
that this memorial may be placed upon the records of the
Mr. Henry P. Moulton then spoke as follows : —
May it please your Honors : — On behalf of the Bar I
wish to second the motion to place upon the record of the
Court the appreciative memorial that has been read, and to
add a few words in memory of our late friend and brother,
Mr. Stimpson. He was a man of whom no unpleasant recol-
lections can exist. It was a pleasure to know him, and those
who know him best appreciated most his courtesy, his kind-
ness, his accomplishments and his ability. His cheerful
greeting was in part an expression of his real nature. He
always had a pleasant word. Upon any subject of conversa-
tion he was ready with some apt suggestion and with abun-
dant information. He was not merely a lawyer. He was a
scholar, a man of wide general knowledge, interested in
events long gone by and in living issues and in the arts and
scientific subjects, in the pursuit of which his interest con-
tinued unabated through life. As a lawyer he was learned,
discriminating and sound. In any part of the profession in
which he undertook to work his place was among the best.
His investigation of difficult questions was of the most
thorough and exhaustive character. His case remained with
him, at least in his business hours, and he took little account
of the labor and thought that he gave to it. I recall as an
instance of his care the last case upon which he expended
any great labor. It was a case which had been pending in
the courts for years. After it had been fully tried and orally
argued before a master, Mr. Stimpson submitted to the mas-
ter a written argument so clear and comprehensive in every
detail that it was adopted without change by counsel as the
final argument in the case before the Supreme Judicial Court.
THOMAS M. STIMPSON. 209
His application of the law to the facts before him was
practical and accurate. He knew cases, but he knew general
principles, and he assigned to a decision no more than its real
value. His conclusions were firm and clear. As stated in
the memorial in other language, if he hesitated at first there
was no hesitation at last. His final opinion was like a well-
considered and well-reasoned adjudication which seems the
last word upon the question at issue.
While he was a general practitioner and not in any sense a
specialist, if such a term can be applied to the practice of
the law, his ability was especially conspicuous in matters of
real estate and equity, departments of the law in which, as
your Honors know, excellence is attained only after years of
experience and thought ; and in these departments very few
among the lawyers of the Commonwealth could speak with
the weight and authority that he could.
But it is not my purpose to present another memorial of
Mr. Stimpson. This work has been done and well done ;
but I think there is a feeling among the Bar that no man is
more worthy than he of the present action of the court and
the Bar. In professional life no man among us saw farther
or saw more clearly. He was faithful to every duty, and is
deserving of high honor and regard in the courts in which
he practiced, among his associates, and in the community in
which he lived.
Mr. Joseph F. Hannan then said : —
May it please your Honors : — I desire also to second
the resolutions upon the death of Thomas M. Stimpson. It
is now twenty years since I became acquainted with him, an
acquaintance which ripened into a strong friendship, lasting
until his death. My experience in that respect was a com-
mon one with the people among whom he lived and practised
his profession. He was a man of deep learning, of a refined
and gentle nature, of courteous manner and pleasant speech,
with a well balanced and diciplined mind and a high appre-
ciation of the true dignity of manhood and of the profession
210 . THOMAS M. STIMPSON.
which he honored by his life. He was also a man of sturdy-
character. He was truthful and never evasive. As a citizen
he was most highly respected. Of his great services for more
than a generation in the school board of his native town,
others may speak. His love of music, his studies in astron-
omy, his pleasure in the fine arts, his fondness for the forests
and the mountains, and, above all, his honorable and stain-
less life, marked him a gentleman.
In the practice of his profession he was conscientious and
painstaking, never avoiding any labor, however exhausting,
that might benefit his client or his cause, and bringing to
his work a store of legal lore methodically and systematically
arranged, always ready at his call, which was possessed by
but few members of the Bar. His place in the profession was
a high one and a model for the younger practitioner. He
was of the old school. He enjoyed his work and he enjoyed
his life. He was in perfect control of all his faculties until
the very end, and the professional work which he finished
just before his death was a model of its kind.
In certain lines of the law, at the Essex Bar, he had few
equals and no superiors. In the lines in which he was most
often engaged, in the Probate Court and in the Registry of
Deeds, no lawyer at the Bar was ever consulted more by his
associates than he, and his long experience and valuable ad-
vice were alwaj's kindly given, in his own modest and charm-
ing way. We who were associated with him there, almost
daily, for the past twenty years, shall long miss him. His
cheerful and sunny presence has passed away with the
allotted span of human life, but his memory will remain
Mr. William H. Niles then said : —
If your Honors please : — I desire to support the motion
that my brother has made. The death of brother Stimpson
leaves a vacancy in the Essex Bar that I believe no member
of it can fill. His personality was unique. His manners,
his methods, were all peculiarly his own. He was always
THOMAS If. STIMPSON. 211
dignified, affable, fair-minded and kind. Much has been said
in his praise, here and elsewhere, and much more might be
said, and still it may all, or nearly all, be reduced to a few
words. He was a close student, a ripe scholar, a careful,
prudent, painstaking adviser. He was warm hearted. He
was a fine companion. He was high-minded, strictly honest
and correct in his professional conduct, and, above all, a man
of spotless reputation, and unquestionably honest in his pro-
fessional, as well as in his private life. In all the years that
I knew him I do not remember ever to have heard an insin-
uation against his honesty, his integrity or his fidelity. He
gave the oath which he took as an attorney-at-law, its full
meaning. He did no falsehood nor consented to any in court ;
he did not wittingly or wilfully prosecute any groundless or
unlawful suit nor give aid nor consent to the same, but he
conducted himself in the office of an attorney to the best of
his ability and with all good fidelity as well to the court as to
his client. All will agree that brother Stimpson was a most
modest man. He was pure and sincere. He never sought
to be brilliant nor to push himself to the front, but in speech
he was always intense, fervent and impressive. He thoroughly
believed in every claim he made and in every point he raised,
and no one could listen to him without being impressed by
the depth of his sincerity and the firmness of his belief in
whatever matter he presented. Instinctively he was a gen-
tleman, and he was a superior gentleman. No one except those
who knew him, will appreciate the full meaning of these
words. If his temper was ever ruffled, though as has been
said here, he was emphatic and positive and sometimes severe
in his denunciation of what he believed to be wrong, yet he
was always fair and candid, and his opponent would always
feel, thoroughly feel, that this was so. He was an attentive
and patient listener. He was always considerate and tol-
erant toward his opponent. He was refined in his language
and in his deportment. He was always refined, always gentle-
manly. He was bright and cheerful at all times whenever I
have seen him, under all circumstances, and there was an
212 THOMAS M. STIMPSON.
atmosphere that seemed to surround him which made it al-
ways pleasant to meet him, and always pleasant to think of
him when absent from him. It is easy to speak of such a man
as this, and to honor his name, and I am glad to have the
privilege of standing here and expressing as I do, my pro-
found respect for his memory.
Judge Richardson responding, said : —
Gentlemen of the Essex Bar : — The court receives your
tribute to the character and life of your late brother Thomas
M. Stimpson, with due appreciation of the feelings which
have prompted it, and of your desire to express and record
them here. I was not personally acquainted with him. His
professional work was, I think, chiefly in this county, and
during the last twenty-five years or more of his life, he was
not, as I am informed, much in court. But it clearly appears
that during this period, as before, he was actively employed
in the work and practice of his profession, probably in as use-
ful a way, contributing as much to the common welfare, and
on the whole, being as useful to his day and generation, as if
he had occupied more public or conspicuous positions.
The work of lawyers has undergone a great change since
he was admitted to the bar forty-five years ago. At that time
the one measure of a lawyer's ability and standing was his
success in getting verdicts. It is reported that Mr. Webster
defined a great lawyer, as the lawyer who won his cases. The
ability to win verdicts is still regarded as proof of great skill,
a high accomplishment, and an object of a laudable ambition ;
but other fields of useful professional labor have been opened ;
the invention and increase of corporations, trusts and syndi-
cates, the extension of the power of municipalities, the in-
crease of property held under testamentary trusts, the exten-
sion of the rights of married women, the size and complexity of
commercial transactions, and the changes which have taken
place in business methods generally, — much of it regulated
by legal enactments, — have opened to the profession new
fields for the legitimate practice of law, which is done chiefly
THOMAS M. STIMPSON. 213
in the office, — but which requires as much learning and capac-
ity, as high legal attainments, and as good judgment, as does
the successful trial of cases. And it was here, in office work
as I understand, that Mr. Stimpson labored with the marked
success which you have described. He so did it, as to gain the
respect and honor of his associates, and the confidence of the
community. I have been told within a few days by one who
knew him well, that probably in most of the difficult ques-
tions concerning titles to real estate, and trusts under wills,
which have arisen in this county during the last quarter of a
century, his opinion and advice were sought. He knew
the law on these subjects, and he gave his honest opinions.
Forty-five years in the practice of law ! What a fund of
interesting knowledge of all kinds he must have acquired !
what family confidences ! what a treasure of interesting per-
sonal reminiscences of the great men whom he met and knew
at this Bar, he must have had ! And then during that
period what feuds and contensions he has allayed, what suits
averted, what reconciliations brought about, how much use-
less litigation saved ! I cannot conceive a place or field,
where a man of the proper qualifications, and of the right
spirit and temper, and having the confidence of the commun-
ity, can render more or better service to his fellowmen than
in a field and practice like that. Some other professions and
callings occasionally bring men into close relations ; the physi-
cian has many family secrets, the minister has parish confi-
dences, but no other calling or profession brings men into so
close a touch, or so intimate and sympathetic relations, as
the profession of law. When his client's honor, or his life,
or liberty, or property, or anything which he values in life, is
assailed or threatened, to whom does he go ! to whom so un-
reservedly lay open his heart, and so fully expose his troubles
and burdens, whatever they may be, as to his lawyer ?
It is the fashion in some places, to charge the profession
with selfishness — and it may be, probably is, true — that few
lawyers make, or can make, an exhibition of charity in the
shape of testamentary bequests. Few of them leave large
214 THOMAS M. STIMPSON.
estates, and they may not care, with money laboriously earned,
to leave it to the chance of its being preverted and used
" To endow a college or a cat."
But there is much genuine charity besides bequests or gifts
of monej r . What good lawyer of ten years' practice has not
often given his time, his advice and services, to the extent of
trials in court, to poor persons from whom he had no expec-
tations of compensation ! and when the welfare of his neigh-
borhood or town is in any way in jeopardy, or when a proposed
public improvement is to be promoted, who, as much as the
lawyer of the neighborhood or town, is expected to gra-
tuitously contribute his time and talents to it ? Lawyers,
more than any other men, give direction to public affairs ; they
are an essential and conspicuous part of the machinery of
administering the law ; and the respect in which the law it-
self is held, depends much upon the character of the Bar.
The competition for prizes in the legal profession, as for
the desirable things in other callings, is sharp and severe, and
in the struggle some must fail ; but in this, as in other pur-
suits, if the condition must be this competition though severe
and hard, provided only that it is free, that labor and the
rights and privileges of it, are open equally and alike to all,
with individual freedom and a secure tenure to what may be
fairly acquired, what man would not prefer it to the
monotonous, uninteresting condition of existence, where the
individual is lost sight of in the mass, as represented in the
pictures painted by the advocates of the New Social Order ?
In the latter condition there might be less inequality and
strife, but it would be more like the peace of the desert.
"Better fifty years of Europe, than a cycle of Cathay."
Your late friend evidently was individual and lived his own
life ; quaint perhaps as you say, but probably so much the
better, at least so much the more interesting ; and living his
own life it was more likely to be a true life; true to himself,
and so, could not " be false to any man." And is not the se-
cret of our prosperity to be found in the freedom and energy
of individual life ? Must not successful schemes for improv-
THOMAS M. STIMPSON. 215
ing society begin by improving the individual ? — The Legis-
lature may make conditions favorable for this improvement,
but legislative enactments do not make men wise, virtuous
or strong, especially bj r things which diminish their individual
freedom, or their sense of responsibility and self-reliance.
And, at the best —
"How small, of all that human hearts endure,
The part, which laws or Kings can cause or cure ?
Still to ourselves in every place consigned,
Our own felicity we make or find."
During the present session of the Court, I have constantly
heard allusions to Mr. Stimpson's fine sense of honor, tributes
to his integrity, and his honesty ; no other proof of these is
needed, than that furnished by your address, bearing the
testimony of those who knew him, as you say, " at close
I have once or twice heard him referred to as rather " old
fashioned " and " conservative," — a charge not infrequently
made against members of our profession, especially against
those of us whose sun has passed its meridian, and whose
faces are turned towards its setting; but if it refers to those
who still respect the institutions of our fathers, who still
think that there may be some wisdom and lessons of value
found in the experience of the past, who are not quite
ready to abandon all old principles, faiths, usages and prac-
tices, for the new-fangled and untried theories, isms and
schemes of the hour ; if the charge includes these, they will
have, at least, the consolation of being found in much good
The failure of your deceased associate to appreciate the
value of "the axiom as to a straight line," to which you have
alluded, was probably from a practical point of view, an ob-
stacle in his way. In certain military operations, in meta-
physics and in oriental diplomacy, progress is supposed to be
best made by obscureness and indirection ; but the law — in
its administration — is a very practical science, and is best
dealt with in a direct, plain and simple manner.
216 THOMAS M. STIMPSON.
Mr. Stimpson, as you have said, was interested in things
other than those within the strict line of his profession. He
was twenty-five years a member of the Library and Lyceum
Committee of Peabody Institute ; and being a student, pro-
moted in many ways, though by his own methods, the cause
of education. He took an active, though unostentatious,
part in the events and things around him, where he felt he
could promote the interests of the community in which his
lot had been cast. He had the wit to see — and the wisdom
to act upon it — that it was better to do the things which he
could do well, than to attempt those which he might be able
to do only indifferently.
In view of his liberal education, his retentive memory
which you have mentioned, of his courtly, though agreeable
manners, and his knowledge of the law, it might have been
expected that he would seek the distinction — in his day the
distinction — of a lawyer, success in the trial of causes ; but
you say " he had no arts of advocacy." He had not learned —
" How to engage his modest tongue,
In suits of private gain, though public wrong,
Nor hunted honor, which yet hunted him."
Possibly — but this is a mere conjecture, — he may have lost
courage, as many others have done — by a wrong verdict or
judgment in his first case. But let no young lawyer be dis-
couraged, or cast done by that ; let him understand and re-
member that " the race is not always to the swift, nor the
battle to the strong, but time and chance happeneth to them
Many work on the temple of Justice, some in more con-
spicuous places than others, but he whose labor — honestly
and faithfully performed — contributes to the strength of the
foundation, though unseen and invisible, adds as much to
the usefulness and value of the edifice, as he who labors more
conspicuously on the lofty dome. The work of both is
necessary, and both are entitled to our gratitude and respect.
In accordance with your request, it is ordered that the me-
morial, with a memorandum of these proceedings, be entered
upon the records of this court.
BENJAMIN F. BRICKETT.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association held April 26,
1897, Messrs. William H. Moody, Henry F. Hurlburt, Alden
P. White, Charles A. DeCourcey and Edward B. George were
appointed a committee to prepare a memorial of Benjamin
F. Brickett to be presented to the court.
In the Superior Court at Lawrence, held on Friday, Oct. 27,
1899, Justice Charles U. Bell on the Bench, Mr.
William H. Moody read the following memorial: —
May it please your Honor: — The brethren of the Bar
ask that you cease for a time the performance of the daily
duty and join with them in commemoration of their dead.
To the dead themselves this pause in our activities and the
words with which we shall clothe our thoughts are nothing.
To us who survive they are much. The blessed healing of
death has touched them ; they are at rest forever, and little
care what we say or think of them. But to us words come
as a relief to sorrow, perhaps as an expiation for the things
which friendship left undone in life, and having spoken them
we may return to our endless strivings with softened hearts.
I am commissioned to pay the formal tribute of the Bar to
one who was of the best known and most beloved among our
number. The months which have passed, though they have
clothed his grave thick with nature's garments, have not
brought forgetfulness to us, nor healed our grief for his un-
Benjamin Franklin Brickett was born in Haverhill in
this county on April 10th, 1846, and having lived his life in
that town and city, died there on April 19th, 1897, fifty-one
years of age.
He came on both sides of honorable ancestry, for generations
active in the community in which they and he dwelt. One
218 BENJAMIN F. BRICKETT.
of his paternal ancestors, James Brickett, was a general in
the Continental army in the war of independence. His fa-
ther Franklin Brickett, for some time a prominent shoe man-
ufacturer, was a keen, farsighted man who had much to do
with the conversion of the quiet town of Haverhill into a
thriving city. His mother who survives him, Mehitable Dow
(Bradley) Brickett, was the daughter of Captain Brickett
Bradley of the West Parish of Haverhill.
The father's means easily enabled the son to obtain a lib-
eral education. After passing through the public schools in
Haverhill he finished his preparation for college at Phillips
Academy in Exeter. After a short stay at Bowdoin he en-
tered Dartmouth College and graduated there in the class
of 1867. The first year after his graduation he studied in the
office of Daniel Saunders at Lawrence. The next year he
studied at the Harvard Law School. On April 19th, 1869,
he was admitted to the Suffolk Bar. He did not at once
begin practice, but taught school at Gleudale, Ohio, for two
years, and in 1872 opened an office in Haverhill.
In those days the path of the beginner in the profession
was less thorny than it became later and is now. With his
ready wit, handsome face and figure and genial presence, he
obtained from the first a business which was profitable, and
with the necessary interruptions of official duties continued
so to the end. He was married in 1889 to Emma Jannie
Gubtill who survives him. Mr. Brickett adherred to the
Democratic party in politics, although he had nothing of
bitter partisanship in his nature. He was Chairman of the
City Committee of that party from 1882 to 1886 and 1889 to
1892 inclusive, and was a delegate to the Democratic Na-
tional Convention in 1892. He served upon the School Com-
mittee from 1876 to 1882 and was the City Solicitor of Haver-
hill three years, 1883, '84, and '85. He was elected to the Mass-
achusetts Senate for the year 1891 and served in that body
on the Committee on the Judiciary, and as Chairman of the
Committee on Probate and Chancery. In the latter capacity,
it was his fortune to draw and support with success the im-
BENJAMIN F. BRICKETT. 219
portant law which taxes collateral inheritances. He was
elected Mayor of Haverhill for the year 1896 and reelected
for the year 1897 in which he died, although at the time of
both elections the Republican voters were in a large major-
ity in the city.
In all the offices he held he conducted himself with dignity
and ability and to the acceptance of his constituency. Es-
pecially in the chief magistracy of his native city he seemed
to broaden under responsibility and bade fair to make the
remainder of his life one of largely increased usefulness.
Yet all the time his first thought was for his profession.
Mr. Brickett was a successful lawyer, so successful that he
needs no overstrained eulogy, so successful that it is worth
the while to study the reasons for it. His field was in the
court room and not in the office, except in preparation there
for the court room. He made no pretensions of great book
learning, and, when the case demanded that, associated with
himself some one who would bring to the contest qualities
which he thought he lacked. In the Court room he was for-
midable indeed as we all well know. No one of us felt sure
of winning a cause when Brickett was on the other side with
the jury to judge between us. I doubt if he ever lost a ver-
dict which he ought to have gained and he sometimes won
one that some of us thought that he ought to have lost.
There were several causes for his great success as a jury
lawyer. His presence was impressive. People seeing him
for the first time inquired who he was, and having learned
never forgot him. So he obtained a large acquaintance with
men who would be likely to be found in the jury box, and
acquaintance counted something for him, for by his easy good
nature most men who knew him at all, knew him by his first
name, an advantage not to be despised. Thus in the trial of
the cause he was more than the advocate presenting the reason
or logic of the issue, he was a personage, to be reckoned with
as much as with an important piece of evidence. He never
really lost his temper. If there was any righteous indigna-
tion with the opposing party or counsel or an adverse witness
220 BENJAMIN F. BKICKETT.
advisable, it was forthcoming in adequate quantity, but it
never clouded his vision nor disturbed his keen judgment.
He had an inexhaustible fund of humor and a broad wit
never over the head of any member of the panel. There was
rarely a case in which he was concerned where there was not
an illustration of this quality. Many instances of it were
present in my mind as in the minds of all his brethren but
I resist the temptation to relate them here. The kindness
men feel to those who amuse and interest them he aroused
in the breasts of the jury and took full advantage of it. Thus
it always happened that he made an interesting speech at
the close of a case. The jury listened to him and having gained
their attention and good will, he availed himself of it to
urge forcibly and fairly the strong aspects of his side of the
case. Here he was aided by one quality in which I think he
excelled every member of our Bar. He had an unfailing
instinct for the things which would be likely to be considered
as important by the tribunal which he was trying to convince.
He understood better than any one of us what the average
jury man would think and how he would reason. Sometimes
he might seem to us to slight the important and magnify the
trivial features of his case but he generally proved to be right
His sense of jury perspective, so to speak, was exquisite and
it was a mighty power. His sympathies were broad and deep.
To them his own heart quickly responded and by eloquent
speech he readily communicated them to his hearer. Finally,
and here I may surprise some of our brethren, who knew
him less well than I did, he had an unfailing industry. He
somewhat affected carelessness and indolence, but if any one
of us took him at his word and fancied that he came into
Court with any nook or corner of his case unexplored, we
found ample reason to regret it. It was by these qualities
which I have imperfectly portrayed, that he became the strong
man and a leader among us.
But it would not content the Bar if there were left upon
its records only the bare outlines of our brother's biography
and speculations concerning the causes of his undoubted
BENJAMTN F. BR1CKETT. 221
power as a lawyer. It is as a man and a comrade that we
shall remember him the best. He had no enemies among his
brethren. He was everybody's friend. Who can ever for-
get those annual social gatherings of the Bar at which he
reigned supreme ? The kindness, good humor, and the wit
which never left a sting, which was his, he brought to our
board in abundance. Each year we looked forward to those
events with pleasant anticipation and back to them with
pleasant memories. The youngest was made to be at ease
and the oldest to renew his youth for the night and the
judges to unbend from their dignity. To those who have
known him there, these gatherings can never be the same
again. And as it was there with him so was it everywhere
through life. There seemed to be written upon his face the
spirit of the Latin motto so often carved upon the Old Eng-
lish sun dials " Hbras non numero nisi serenas " — " I count
no hours save those of sunshine."
We who see so many younger faces about us and seem al-
most to have come to be of the seniors of the Bar have many
precious memories of those who have departed. With sorrow
we add this last to our store, and count it not the least.
I would respectfully request that this memorial be entered
in the records of the Court.
Mr. W. Scott Peters then said : —
May it please your Honor : — It seems proper to me
at this time to express my opinion of our departed friend and
brother, the late Benjamin F. Brickett, and to remind the
members of the bar of the great loss they have sustained by
his death. I had the honor and great pleasure when begin-
ning the study of law to have been a student in the office of
the firm of which he was a member and during the brief
space of time which I now feel justified in appropriating to
myself, it will be inconsiderate on my part if I do not, at
least, make an attempt to pay tribute to some of the many
good and sterling qualities of which our friend was unques-
tionably possessed. As a man he was genial and pleasant to
222 BENJAMIN P. BRICKETT.
meet and associate with, always willing to assist a friend and
most charitably inclined towards the unfortunate. He was
generous almost to a fault and naturally of a sympathetic
disposition. His good nature and great kindness was partic-
ularly manifest in his relations with the younger members
of the bar who were wanting in experience, who needed the
kindly advice which he was able and willing to give-
As an advocate he was second to none in the county in
the presenting of causes to a jury, and thoroughly understand-
ing human nature, he always tried his cases with a great deal
At the time of his death, by reason of his great experience
and wide range of knowledge coupled with his great ambi-
tion to make life worth living, he certainly gave great prom-
ise of being one of the most useful and honored citizens of
his native city.
I would respectfully second the request that the memorial
be entered upon the records of the Court.
Mr. Newton P. Frye said : —
May it please the Court : — These occasions are sad,
yet interesting. Sad because of grief for departed friends,
and interesting because eulogies wisely spoken illustrate the
lives and characteristics of these friends, and I cannot let
this occasion go by without adding my tribute to the mem-
ory of these departed brethren.
I knew my brother Brickett well for very many years. I
knew him better perhaps professionally than socially, yet it
was impossible to see much of him at any time or any where,
without knowing him both as a lawyer and as a man. What
a genial fellow he was, always and all the time. Always
good natured and always happy. My first acquaintance with
him began long ago, several years before I was admitted to
the Bar, and was happily continued up to the time of his de-
cease. It was in his early days of practice and at a criminal
term of the Superior Court held in Newburyport, with Judge
Rockwell on the bench, when he tried several cases for the
BENJAMIN F. BRICKETT. 223
defendant before the jury of which I was then a member. I
well remember how quickly he became acquainted with each
juror on the panel, — he very soon knew us all individually,
and none of us ever thought of calling him Mr. Brickett — it
was always " Ben." And he met us so generously and
heartily and in a good natured way, that we as jurors, never
felt that awe in his presence that was manifest in the presence
of some, others of the then active lawyers.
His appearance before the jury was winsome. He was
thorough in his analysis of the evidence, and clear and plain
spoken in his arguments, and although during that term he
won no acquittals, it was the fault of the cases rather than of
the advocate. But then we all remember that during the
administration of Hon. E. J. Sherman as District Attor-
ney, it was the exception for the government to lose a case,
there being only one acquittal during that sitting of the
But Bro. Brickett was a good lawyer, and in his career as
a practitioner, won many verdicts from the juries of this
County, and even in the face of able opponents and strong
facts. He was strong in many ways. Possessing a genial
nature, and generous to a fault, he walked through life pleas-
antly, and added joy to the lives of all who had occasion to
meet him, — but he did more than this, he aided others ; many
times he made suggestions to me in matters of law and
practice which I always felt grateful for, and not to me alone,
for it was his habit to be helpful to all. I deeply deplore his
untimely end. As to my friend Judge Carter.* What a
grand man he was. I knew him well and his greeting was
always cordial. But I always seemed small in his presence.
He seemed great to me. Always sensible, always wise,
always ready. He not only knew the law, but well knew
how to explain and apply it, and was strong before a jury. I
know he was content to be a Police Court Judge, but his
ability and learning was amply sufficient to place him on the
The memorial of Brickett and Carter were read the same day.
224 BENJAMIN F. BRICKETT.
bench of a higher court, and had he been so placed would
have adorned the place and position. In many ways he was
a great man, and it seems a pity that the inexorable law of
nature must bring old age to such. But if this life is but
preparatory to a higher and grander life to come, who knows
but this brother's characteristics will shine with an unwont-
ed brilliancy in that better life which knows no old age and
Such is my faith and hope, and although one of these
brethren was cut off in his prime, and the other faded away
in the infirmities of age, yet their lives were for a purpose,
and are lessons for us all.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association held June 15,
1898, Messrs. Boyd B. Jones, William H. Niles and John P.
Sweeney were appointed a committee to prepare a memorial
of Henry Carter, to be presented to the Court.
In the Superior Court held at Lawrence on Friday, October
27, 1899, Justice Bell on the bench, Mr. Boyd B. Jones
read the following memorial : —
May it please your Honor : — In 1898 there was laid in
his final resting place one who had finished the journey of
life in his eighty-fourth year, and who had so conducted him-
self that he deserved and enjoyed the respect, the admiration
and the affection of those who knew him.
The life of Judge Henry Carter had been a long and
not uneventful one. He was born in Bridgton, in the State
of Maine on the twenty-second day of September, 1814, and
died at his home in that part of Haverhill known as Bradford,
on the twenty-fourth day of January, 1898.
In an extended and varied career he had discharged many
and important responsibilities with a capacity that was al-
ways adequate and a courage that never wavered. A strik-
ing personality and talents of a high order made him a
prominent figure on any occasion and in any company. Ready
in speech, sagacious in counsel and able in action, he im-
pressed the observers as a man earnest in the performance of
his duty, capable, modest and self-reliant, while his intellec-
tual endowments were such that neither in legislative debate
nor in the more strenuous contests at the Bar, no matter who
his antagonist, was he ever overmatched.
It is a pleasing duty, may it please your Honors, for Bench
and Bar to unite in a tribute to one whose life furnishes to
each a noble inspiration.
226 HENRY CARTER.
Judge Carter was the worthy product of a generation
which antedated the Declaration of Independence, and which
successfully encountered the perils and privations of that stern
period. Mentally and physically he inherited its force and
strength. His father, John Carter, was a country trader and
was a man of affairs in the conditions which surrounded him :
he died when his son was ten years old. His mother was a
member of the distinguished Hamlin family. She died when
he was two years old.
At the age of sixteen years young Carter was fitting for
college at an academy in Bridgton when his uncle informed
him that his means were exhausted and that he could no
longer pursue his studies. Then the lad exhibited the cour-
age and self reliance which characterized him throughout his
life. Without consulting anyone he walked a distance of
forty miles to Portland and secured employment as a printer
in the office of the Advertiser. After working a year or so
in that office and on the Jeffersonian, a paper published by
his relative Hannibal Hamlin, he studied law for a year,
teaching school in the winter. He then passed two years as
a cadet at West Point. He then resigned his cadetship and,
his ability as a writer having attracted attention, he accepted
a position on the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, Me., which
he held two years, studying law evenings. The law was his
chosen profession and the object which even as a mere boy
he kept steadily in view.
In 1836, being less than twenty-two years of age, he was
admitted to the Bar at Augusta. This was at a time when
a student was not permitted to take an examination, unless
he had been in college two years and studied law three years.
He was married the year he was admitted to practice, and five
years later Governor Kent appointed him prosecuting attorney
for Cumberland County. At that time such men as the Fes-
sendens, father and son practised at that Bar and appeared
for defendants in criminal cases.
At the very outset of his official career his abilities were
tested by the trial of an indictment for arson, in which the
HENRY CARTER. 227
defendants were men of respectability and were defended by
the best legal talent. The young attorney not only tried the
case successfully but impressed the Bar and community as
being the peer of his antagonists. The criticisms to which his
youthfulness had subjected his appointment were silenced by
this proof of his qualifications.
We, who, in later years, have observed and felt his capacity,
force and perseverance, do not wonder that the penniless lad
of sixteen years, in ten years' time, fitted himself for, and
gained that responsible and honorable legal position, which
men of years and prominence were eager to secure. He held
the office as long as the Whig party remained in power.
In 1847, he gave up the successful practice of a profession
in which he delighted and at which he had achieved distinc-
tion and honor, and moving to Portland, became part owner
and editor in charge of the Portland Advertiser on which as
a lad he worked as printer. This change was but the strong
expression of the earnest, forceful character of the man.
The Wilmot proviso prohibiting slavery in any territory
that might be acquired from Mexico, had been moved in
1846. Judge Carter was an ardent, uncompromising enemy
to slavery and had become recognized as one of the leading
men in the Whig party. That party was opposed to the ex-
tension of slavery, but it included many who were opposed
to its existence and were eager to kill it. Judge Carter was
one of the latter. To these men slavery was the sin abomi-
nable and he who fought it not was a guilty participant.
And they writhed over the nation's sin as a godly man over
the depravity of his son. With them it was principle and
policy, purpose and not expediency. If their hearts were hot,
their minds were clear and their wills determined. The ex-
tinction of slavery was what they purposed and accomplished.
In the ten years following, the Portland Advertiser was
Judge Carter, and he was a power in the State of Maine.
He fought for a union of the Prohibitionists, Free Soilers
and Whigs ; he succeeded in uniting the latter two. Little
have the friends of his later years known of the important
part he took in a great national struggle.
228 HENRY CARTER.
In June, 1854, in that paper which he edited and controlled,
appeared the first suggestion that the Whig party should de-
clare for a union of liberty-loving men under the name of the
Republican party. The Whig party in Maine refused to act
upon the suggestion ; but in that year the Free Soilers of
Massachusetts and Michigan, acting upon it, organized in
each state under the name of the Republican party, and the
Legislature of Maine elected as a Republican governor, An-
son P. Morrill the Dominee of a mass convention, supported
by men who entertained the principles of the Republican
In 1855, Judge Carter formally renounced his allegiance
to the Whig party, and the Advertiser as a Republican paper
advocated the re-election of Morrill as a Republican, and the
latter, receiving a plurality but not a majority of the popular
vote, was elected by the Legislature.
In 1856, Judge Carter was a delegate at large from the
State of Maine to the First National Convention of the Re-
publican party, and served on the Committee on Resolutions ;
a striking proof of the manner in which he was regarded by
the great men of that great state.
In 1857, at the age of forty-three, having assisted in the
organization of the National Republican party, in the declar-
ation of the principles on which it appealed to the country,
and in its success in his own state, he felt at liberty to con-
sult his personal interests and to resume the practice of his
Even if his life had terminated at this early age, it could
have been truly said that his works were ample and his ca-
reer remarkable. But forty-one years of usefulness and
honor yet remained.
The commercial activity of Massachusetts opening a broader
field for legal talent, Judge Carter removed to Bradford,
Mass., in 1857, and was then admitted to the Bar of Essex
County. He at once took high rank and stood in equal fight
with such men (and there were few like them) as Stephen
B. Ives and Elbridge T. Burley. He was well versed in the
HENRY CARTER. 229
principles of the common law ; prepared his cases very thor-
oughly, and was a close observer of human nature. He had
a logical mind and a power of expression which, united with
an impressive, earnest manner, made him a very formidable
antagonist. He had a keen sense of the ridiculous and was
a master of sarcasm. While he was a very successful jury
lawyer, he was equally strong in the presentation of law in
the Court, and always received its respectful attention. In
the closing argument he was almost irresistible.
But it is as a Judge that Henry Carter endeared himself
to the members of the Haverhill Bar. We knew that he was
a very strong and able lawyer and amply competent to man-
age and conduct the most difficult cases. We knew that his
judicial qualifications were great and that he was well
equipped to occupy a seat on either bench in this state and
to decide the most important causes. And yet we felt that
as Justice of the Police Court of Haverhill, he heard and de-
cided the cases which we tried before him with as much con-
sideration and patience as if counsel and causes were the
most important in the land.
His judgments were formed quickly, but they were delib-
erate and usually correct. His decisions were rarely ap-
pealed from and still more rarely reversed. The members of
the Haverhill Bar will ever value the benefits which they de-
rived from practice in his Court.
Judge Carter was appointed Justice of the Haverhill
Police Court in 1867, and occupied that most important rela-
tion to the community until the day of his death. He
judged wisely and well and the people respected his decisions.
He was eminently judicial. While he was a great believer
in the public schools, he did not hesitate to uphold the legal-
ity of the parochial schools when, in his view, the interpreta-
tion of the Statute required it.
While he was a bitter enemy to the liquor traffic he did
not hesitate in advance of the decision of the Supreme
Judicial Court, to hold that " a sale of cider by the maker
thereof, through a servant or person hired for the purpose, is
230 HENRY CARTER.
within the exemption of the Public Statutes, chapter 100,
section 1, although the maker has the cider made at a neigh-
boring cider mill and does not himself raise all the apples
from which it was made." Other cases with which the Bar
is familiar made him known throughout the State.
His boys, as he delighted to call us, loved him well. He
was our friend ; he greeted us when we were well ; he visited
us when we were ill ; he sj'mpathized with us in our failures
and rejoiced with us in our successes.
Age dealt gently with him to the very last, the stalwart
form became a little more bowed ; the hearing was a trifle
dulled ; but the faculties were not dimmed ; the interest in
life was not abated ; and the mind was not clouded. He knew
that there was an organic trouble with his heart and that the
end was not far. A well spent life and a conviction that the
Almighty created man for a beneficent purpose sustained him.
Following the lines of the poet, it may be said —
" He sank to the grave with unperceived decay
While resignation gently shaped the way."
Never again shall we see that rugged and expressive counte-
nance, so serene in controversy, so judicial in deliberation
and so kindly in friendly intercourse, but never shall we for-
get it, and in order that others may in some degree know
and appreciate his life and character, I ask that this imper-
fect memorial may be extended on the records of the Court.
Mr. Andrew C. Stone then addressed the Court as
follows : —
May it please your Honor : — When I came to the Es-
sex Bar in 1867, Judge Carter was one of the conspicuous
members of this Bar.
There always have been, are now, and always will be lead-
ing members of every Bar, men who are conspicuous in their
leadership. Of this little coterie of which I speak, all have
passed on save Brother Northend of Salem and our own ven-
erable Brother Daniel Saunders.
Judge Carter was not that keen, quick, sharp and far-
HENRY CARTER. 231
sighted lawyer as was Mr. Ives. He did not have the pol-
ished manners of Wm. C. Endicott, nor the profound learn-
ing of Judge Perkins or Mr. Perry, yet he might well be
called a great lawyer.
He did not try a great many cases, but I think he was at
his best before a jury. I always suspected that he depended
largely for the law in his cases upon his partner, Mr. Jere-
miah P. Jones, than whom there was no better lawyer in Es-
sex County. His facts were well prepared and were always
marshalled with great tact and ability. That honest, rugged
face of his which carried in all its lines the deep impress of
truth, his humor and his pathos, both equally effective, his
extensive knowledge of human nature, his earnestness and
his fidelity, all had a great effect upon any jury before whom
I do not know how it strikes the young men of to-day, I do
not know how it struck the young men of my time when I
came to the Bar, but I always had a deep veneration for
these men who had pushed themselves forward into the front
rank of our noble profession. I looked at them through my
young and inexperienced eyes with an awe and veneration
which almost amounted to worship.
My acquaintance with Judge Carter in the years which
followed my admission was that which ordinarily occurs be-
tween an old and young lawyer, yet I remember well his kind-
ly greetings and pleasant ways. Some years after, when I
came to hold a similar position in Lawrence to the one he
was holding in Haverhill, my acquaintance ripened into a
sincere friendship. I saw him often from that time to the
date of his death, and always sat at his feet and learned of
him as he discussed the duties of his official position. I think
it would be readily acknowledged that no better magistrate
sat upon the bench of the inferior courts of the Common-
wealth than Judge Carter.
I have spoken these few words of him as a lawyer. Judge
Carter was more than a lawyer, more than a magistrate. He
was a representative citizen of the Commonwealth, in the
232 HENRY CARTER.
best sense of that word, true in all his relations with his fel-
low men, patriotic and public spirited, honest and generous,
plain spoken but not dogmatic, his advice was eagerly sought
upon all sorts of questions which daily arise in a busy com-
Types of men in our Commonwealth are not nearly as dis-
tinctive as they used to be. Our population is becoming so
heterogeneous that the lines which divided men into types are
fast becoming obliterated. Judge Carter was a member par
excellence of that distinctive type of men known as New
England yankees. I use that word not in a facetious or dis-
respectful sense but as marking a class of men whose ances-
tors were of New England birth, and who have succeeded to
all the traditions and inspirations which have come down
from the Puritan and Pilgrim.
Rugged and honest, truthful and just, possessed of a spirit
of patriotism and love of our institutions, brave but unassum-
ing, of keen intellect and ready wit ; such, in a word, is my
estimate, both as a lawyer and a citizen, of our dear friend
who has gone.
May the Bar of Essex County never fail to have among
its leading members men of the stamp of Henry Carter.
I respectfully second the request that the memorials be
entered upon the records of the Court.
Messrs. William L. Thompson and Mr. Ira A. Abbott made
brief addresses and J ustice Bell made an appropriate response
to both memorials and ordered that both be spread on the
records of the Court.
THEODORE M. OSBORNE.
At a meeting of the Essex Bar Association, held June 12,
1899, Messrs. Daniel N. Crowley, William D. Northend,
William H. Moody, Harvey N. Shepard, and Charles S.
Saunders of Lawrence, were appointed a committee to
prepare a memorial of Theodore M. Osborne, to be
presented to the Superior Court.
In the Superior Court, held at Lawrence, on Wednesday,
March 7, 1900, Mr. Justice Bishop presiding, the follow-
ing memorial prepared by Mr. Daniel N. Crowley, for
the Essex Bar Association, was read: —
Theodore Moody Osborne, a member of the Essex Bar,
died in Boston, on the sixth day of February, 1899.
Mr. Osborne was held in so high an esteem by his breth-
ren at the bar, and had gained in his profession such a cred-
itable reputation for scholarly attainments and thorough
knowledge, that it is but proper that the regular business of
the Court in this county should be for a short time suspend-
ed that some tribute might be paid to his worth.
He was born in that part of old Danvers which is now
Peabody, on the twenty-fifth day of November, 1849, the son
of George Abbott Osborne and Hannah Sawyer Moody, his
wife, and there the greater part of his life was spent. He
fitted for college in the public schools of his native town,
and graduated from Harvard in the class of '71. Leaving
Harvard, he studied engineering at the Massachusetts Insti-
tute of Technology, and after graduating there he followed
the profession of an engineer in Nebraska, assisting in lo-
cating some of the main lines of railroad through that state.
After about two years in this occupation, he returned to
Massachusetts, and was elected librarian of the Peabody
Library in Peabody, and remained in charge of the library
234 THEODORE M. OSBORNE.
from 1873 to 1880. During this time he studied law and
prepared himself by general reading and study for the pro-
fession to which he was to give so much credit.
He prepared for the bar in the office and under the direc-
tion of Hon. William D. Northend, of Salem, and was
admitted to practice at the December term of the Superior
Court for this county, in 1879, and thereupon opened an
office in Salem, and remained there in general practice until
the establishment of the equity session of this Court for the
county of Suffolk, in 1888, when, on the recommendation of
the late Chief Justice Brigham, he became clerk of this
division of the court.
Here, at least, it needs not to be said that this position called
for a knowledge of law not only peculiar and technical, but
rare among good lawyers. Yet, from the outset, Mr. Osborne
displayed such a ready knowledge of the practice, the prin-
ciples and the history of equity and the courts of equity,
that the fitness of the appointment was not only recognized,
but gratefully appreciated by both the bench and the bar.
He had a love for the study of equity and equity pleadings,
and no question was so complex as to deter him from its
careful consideration, but on the contrary, it may be said of
him that the more delicate and involved the question the more
readily and earnestly he approached it, and having under-
taken its study it was not abandoned until all its phases had
been carefully considered, and a conclusion adopted, and so
adopted that it was well fortified by precedent and principle.
In his early years as a lawyer his thoroughness of study
was recognized by so eminent a jurist as Justice Otis P.
Lord, theu a member of the Supreme Judicial Court of this
state, who complimented Mr. Osborne by availing himself of
his services in the preparation of his work. To the older
justices of this court any word of mine would be superfluous
in speaking of him as a lawyer or of his worth as a clerk in
equity. He was recognized by them all as an authority and
they were ever ready to acknowledge his faithful and valu-
able assistance in the performance of their duties.
THEODORE M. OSBORNE. 235
I hesitate, therefore, to speak of our late brother as a law-
yer and I purposely refrain from assigning to him his proper
rank in our profession. To attempt to do so would display
a conceit on my part altogether unwarranted. I confine
myself, therefore, to his reputation among the justices and the
eminent lawyers of his day, and I think I can say without
injustice to any of his brethren that the brightest of them
readily acknowledged that few lawyers of his time had a
better knowledge of the rudiments and history of the law
and none were more learned in the history and principles of
the courts of equity and of equity pleading.
Brother Osborne was in all things thorough. Whatever
he did or undertook to do was undertaken with the purpose
to apply to that work all his faculties and information and
to adhere to it until his task was done.
He was not a bookworm in the sense of constantly and
aimlessly poring over books, but he was a man whose time
was largely given to books and to study, yet, in logical, sys-
tematic and intelligent study and with economical use of
Though careful and persistent in his legal studies, Mr.
Osborne found time for other pursuits. He was a musician
of no mean knowledge of music and as a member of the Sa-
lem Oratorio Society, he did much to give that organization
its high reputation in this community.
He was in no sense a politician, yet he took a lively inter-
est in public affairs, not only national and state but munici-
pal, and here as in all other things, his desire was to attain
and secure the highest and best condition. He was, as the
saying goes, born a Republican and affiliated generally to
that party. Yet, when it seemed to him that the good of the
country or of the state or of the city could be best served
otherwise, than through the domination of that party, he
never hesitated to disclaim a fealty to party or any political
allegiance which would require him to support party contrary
to his sense of public duty.
He neither held nor sought public office, yet he knew the
236 THEODORE M. OSBORNE.
needs of the community much better than many who were
looked upon as leaders of men and moulders of public
Still it must be said of him that he did not possess those
qualities which seem essential to success in public life. His
manners were quiet, his disposition was retiring, he was pre-
eminently sincere, he was incapable of juggling with public
questions or public measures. He looked into them careful-
ly and formed his conclusions deliberately ; but once formed,
his conviction was given and adhered to without equivoca-
tion or hesitation. Such are not especially the characteristics
of our successful public men. These qualities do not attract
votes or arouse public acclaim.
My own acquaintance with Mr. Osborne dated from the
time of his admission to the bar. Having been admitted my-
self a short time previous, we opened an office together and
continued thus associated until he assumed the duties of
clerk of court already mentioned. But the acquaintance then
formed continued until his death. This association and ac-
quaintance gave me an opportunity to know him and to
judge him as a man and a friend. His character was pure
and simple. He was conscious of his learning and attain-
ments, but not vain of them. No man would more readily
acknowledge that in the performance of life's work, not only
is great ability desirable, but that men of ordinary merit were
necessary, and that they performed its greater part. If he
was ambitious his ambitions were high and honorable, and if
he failed in them he bore his disappointment with a manly
resignation, trusting that the better course had been pursued
and with naught but the kindliest feeling for those who had
checked his hope.
He was preeminently truthful. Of deceit, artifice or sub-
terfuge of any degree he was constitutionally incapable.
Wrong of all kind was obnoxious to him ; yet few men had
a broader or a more ready charity for the frailties of our na-
He was religious but in his religion there was no cant, no
THEODORE M. OSBORNE. 237
hypocrisy, no intolerance. His was the religion of the heart
rather than of the pulpit, not so much of the church as of
Such a man I found our late brother as a neighbor, as a
companion and as a friend. And as a son and brother, a
husband and father, in the bosom of the family, under the
sweet and genial sunlight of home, these goodly qualities
must, I am sure, have opened into a fuller and brighter
bloom. That the members of his family and they that come
after them and after us may know that his brethren at the
Bar appreciated his ability as a lawyer and his worth as a
man, I move that this memorial be placed on the records of
Mr. Alden P. White said : —
May it please your Honor : — It is a sad pleasure to
second the request that this beautiful and truthful memorial
be spread upon our records. In evidence of what has therein
been set forth as to the limited acquaintance of Mr. Osborne
on the part of members of this Bar except where he resided,
it happens that none of the representatives of this locality
who are here present were acquainted with him. It is a
commentary that is not pleasing to our vanity, that a life so
praiseworthy in its private and professional aspects, did not
attract more general notice and esteem. But while Theodore
Moody Osborne was not widely known, his plane of friend-
ship was exceptionally high. The quality of the praise
which he fairly won by his attainments was infinitely better
than ordinary popularity. Lawyer, scholar, Christian gentle-
man ; his character stood the test of intimate acquaintance
and always proved true.
But if Mr. Osborne was not well known at this Bar, none
of our associates had the privilege of so close and valued ac-
quaintance with the Bench of this Honorable Court as
necessarily attended his official duties in the equity sessions
concerning which the memorialist has spoken. And doubly
fortunate are we in these exercises, in that Your Honor, hav-
238 THEODORE M. OSBORNE.
ing shared with the deceased in the responsible oversight of
an educational institution of wide repute, brings to the con-
sideration of this memorial no mere formal acquiescence, but
the appreciative regard of sincere friendship, the sorrow of
There is soon to be published a volume of memorials which
we and our predecessors of the Essex Bar have upon occa-
sions like this asked the Court to have spread upon its records.
It contains the names of many men distinguished in their
day and generation, the fame of whom will not soon pass
away, and other names which are for the most part forgotten.
This memorial, will, I am informed, conclude the book.
The reader will find therein chapters of comparative fame.
Though this last chapter will be deficient in this respect, the
life here commemorated is not to be measured by standards of
so called greatness but by those final, absolute tests of true
manhood in which the sounding brass and tinkling cymbal
have no part.
Mr. William D. Northend said : —
May it please your Honor: — I cannot permit this
occasion to pass without an expression of my deep regard for
the subject of this memorial.
Mr. Osborne was distinguished for his intellectual qualities.
He had a remarkable power in grasping a subject, of concen-
trating his mind on it, winnowing the chaff from the wheat,
obtaining a clear comprehension of it, laying up in his
mind the substance without cumbering it with unnecessary
details. What he studied he mastered. As the memorialist
has well said, he was not a bookworm in the sense of con-
stantly and aimlessly poring over books. Yet he was a
thorough student. He made the most of his time, but always
intending to so work as to keep his mind fresh and vigorous.
Those who knew him in his practice at the Bar, or in the
performance of his duties as equity clerk, fully concur in
acknowledging his learning and his ability.
But I especially desire to speak of Mr. Osborne in his private
THEODORE M. OSBORNE. 239
life. I knew him from his early childhood. As a youth,
whilst entering with zest in sports with his associates, he
manifested to them a quiet, gentle dignity which won for him
the respect of all. As a man, his character was immaculate.
It seemed to me impossible for him to do or think anything
wrong. He was the delight and pride of his parents' house-
hold, and his married life was a most happy one.
Response of Mr. Justice Bishop.
Gentlemen of the Bar : — The discriminating memorial
which has been presented, and the thoughtful addresses
which have been made, are very touching.
It is just and suitable that these proceedings should take
place in the case of Mr. Osborne. He was a man of unusual
acquirements and promise in certain departments of the
law, of cultivation in all good learning ; one who followed a
very high ideal both in his profession and in his life, and a
person of the greatest sweetness and charm of disposition and
In thinking of the record of his life, one is struck by the
diversity of the subjects he made himself acquainted with.
He chose the law at last as his life work, after he had given
much of life work to other services, and he carried to the law
the culture acquired in them.
His especial department in law was Equity Jurisprudence,
and he was a skilful master in Equity Procedure. He ac-
quired proficiency in this, through an excellent power of exact
statement, gained both from natural aptitude and careful
training ; and this was cultivated by practice in equity causes
under a sense of pride in the work, and a sense of duty to fol-
low the best methods in it.
When in 1883 jurisdiction in equity was conferred upon
the Superior Court, it was of great consequence that there
should be in charge of this part of the work in Suffolk coun-
ty a clerk having the qualifications possessed by such a man
as Mr. Osborne. He was recommended for the place by the
late Chief Justice Brigham, and the service which he ren-
240 THEODORE M. OSBORNE.
dered in it for ten years, in establishing methods of practice,
and in assisting and relieving the court in the constantly in-
creasing volume of equity business which poured in upon it,
was very great. No man in the state was better fitted for
this, and but few lawyers in the Commonwealth had attain-
ments in this direction equal to his. His work is buried in
the records and files of the Clerk's office, most of it never to
come to light again ; but it is like the carving in the remote
recesses of ancient cathedrals, as genuine and true to a high
standard as if it were to be seen and read of all men.
Mr. Osborne was a man of real modesty, and of a fine
public spirit. He loved the institutions of Essex County.
The Peabody library, and the many unique organizations of
Salem were dear to his heart ; he was a useful member of the
Board of Trustees of Phillips Academy, a great school in your
midst, second in age to one other only in the country, and
that also of Essex county.
He possessed deep and healthy religious convictions, and
broad and tolerant religious views. I mark it as an indica-
tion of the increasing bold upon the community (if I may say
so) of a common religious feeling, that one whose technical
faith is so different from his, Mr. Crowley wrote so appreci-
ative a memorial of the character of his fellow student and
friend. A sobering sense of everlasting truth, however
differently apprehended, makes the whole world kin.
Essex county is the home of lawyers. From it came Chief
Justice Sewall, and the great Chief Justice Parsons ; from it,
within the memory of the nestors of your Bar, Mr. Northend
and Mr. Saunders — (still preserved to you), — what a proces-
sion has passed, — Choate, Putnam, Saltonstall, Story, Ran-
toul, Cushing, Lord, Ives, Burley, Carter, Thompson, and a
host of others, among whom are many who should rank with
In what department of human work will there be found
greater intellectual power, or finer training ? And though it
be true that a lawyer's life is like a story written upon the
water, yet let us believe that the progress of the world has
THEODORE M. OSBORNE. 241
not been without its impetus from us too. The science of
jurisprudence has advanced ; the laws and the administration
of them are better now than they were three hundred or one
hundred years ago ; and we will claim that we have a right
to call our lives useful, whether with forensic splendor, or
with unobtrusive and unknown fidelity, we travel our com-
The resolutions of the Bar, and the proceedings will be en-
tered upon the records, and the court will now adjourn.
We give the following brief biographical notices of some
of the more prominent members of the Bar prior to the
formation of the Essex Bar Association :
John Chipman was born in Marblehead, was the son of the
Reverend John Chipman, and was graduated at Harvard in
1738. He was the father of Ward Chipman of New Bruns-
wick, one of the commissioners in settling the boundary line
under the treaty of 1783. His grandson was chief justice of
that province. Mr. Chipman died of an apoplectic fit while
attending court in Portland, Maine, July, 1778. He fre-
quently attended the courts in Maine in company with Grid-
ley, Jonathan Sewall and other gentlemen of that character.
Daniel Farnham lived in Newburyport. He was graduated
from Harvard college in 1739, and died in the year 1776.
Honorable Levi Lincoln read law in his office. His practice
extended into Maine, and he was for a short time King's
attorney for the county of York. He had an extensive prac-
tice to the time of the Revolution.
William Pynchon was born in Springfield in 1725, and
was a descendant from William Pynchon who was the founder
and first magistrate of Springfield. He was graduated from
Harvard college in 1743. In 1745 he removed to Salem where
he studied law with Judge Stephen Sewall and resided there
until his death in March, 1789, at the age of 64. He was an
eminent lawyer, particularly skilful in special pleading, a
finished scholar and an accomplished gentleman.
in memortam. 243
Nathaniel Peaselee Sargent.
Nathaniel Peaselee Sargent was born in Methuen in 1731,
and was graduated at Harvard College in 1750. He practised
law in Haverhill and held a high rank in his profession,
though never a distinguished advocate. At the organization
of the Supreme Judicial Court in 1775 he was appointed judge
of that court and declined the office ; but in the following
year he was reappointed and accepted the place. In 1790 he
succeeded Judge Cushing in the office of Chief Justice and
held it until his death in October, 1791. He was 60 years of
age at his death, and left behind him the character of an able
and impartial judge.
Theophilus Bradbury was born in Newburyport in 1739,
and graduated from Harvard College in 1757. He studied
law in Boston, and commenced the practice of it in Portland,
then called Falmouth, in 1761. Whilst there Theophilus
Parsons studied law in his office. In 1775 Portland was
burned by Commodore Mowat, and in 1779 Mr. Bradbury
removed to Newburyport, his native town, where he gradu-
ally rose to distinction in his profession and in public life.
Besides many other important offices which he held, he was
elected a member of Congress under Washington's adminis-
tration. In 1797 he was appointed a justice of the Supreme
Judicial Court, in which office he continued until his death,
John Lowell was born in Newburyport in 1743, and was
graduated at Harvard College in 1760. He studied in the
office of Oxenbridge Thacher, and commenced practice in
Newburyport, but soon after removed to Boston. He there
became a leading and distinguished lawyer, and took a prom-
inent part as a member of the committee that framed the •
constitution of Massachusetts. He was elected a member
244 IN MEMORrAM.
of Congress in 1781, and in 1782 was appointed one of the
three judges of the Court of Appeals, to whom appeals lay
from the Court of Admiralty. He was appointed judge of
the District Court of the United States in 1789, which office
he held until 1801, when he was made chief justice of the
first circuit under the then newly organized United States
Court. The act creating the court was repealed in the year
1802. He was an eminent lawyer, a learned civilian, an able
judge, a distinguished patron of science, and a finished
scholar. He resided for some time previous to his death in
Roxbury, where he died May 6, 1801. He left three sons :
John Lowell, who resided in Roxbury ; Francis C. Lowell,
who gave name to the city of Lowell, having been an early
proprietor of factories established there ; and Charles Lowell,
who was an eminent clergyman in Boston. From him have
descended the many distinguished families of the name in
Timothy Pickering, born in Salem, July 17, 1745, was
graduated at Harvard college in 1763. He was admitted to
the Bar in 1768. He was appointed Register of Deeds, and
in 1775 was appointed Judge in the Court of Common Pleas
for Essex County, and sole Judge of the Maritime Court for
the Middle District. He took a great interest in public
affairs, was a colonel of militia and opposed an armed resist-
ance to the British soldiers, when on February 26, 1775, at
the drawbridge of the North river, in Salem, he prevented
their crossing to seize some military stores. He joined Wash-
ington in New Jersey in the fall of 1776 with his regiment
of 700 men ; was appointed adjutant general of the army in
May, 1777 ; was present at the battles of Brandywine and
Germantown ; was made a member of the board of war ; and
succeeded Green as quartermaster, Oct. 5, 1780. After the
war he resided in Philadelphia. In 1787 he was a delegate
to the Pennsylvania convention for considering the United
States Constitution, and earnestly favored its adoption. He
IN MEMORIAM. 245
was United States Postmaster General from November, 1791
to January, 1794 ; was appointed United States Secretary of
War in 1794, and United States Secretary of State in 1795 ;
was made Chief Justice of the Essex County Court of Com-
mon Pleas in 1802 ; was United States Senator from 1803 to
1811, and a member of the board of war during the war of
1812. He published many articles upon political subjects.
He died in Salem, January 29, 1829.
Theophilus Parsons was born in Byfield parish in New-
bury in February, 1750. He was prepared for college at
Dummer Academy under the celebrated Master Moody. He
was graduated from Harvard college in 1769, and afterwards
studied law with Honorable Theophilus Bradbury at Port-
land and, while there, taught the grammar school in that
town. But the conflagration of the town by the British in
1775 obliged him to return to his father's house in Byfield,
where the eminent Judge Trowbridge was then living, and he
received very valuable instruction from him. He soon com-
menced the practice of law in Newburyport, and rose to un-
rivalled reputation as a lawyer. In 1777 he wrote the famous
" Essex Result," and in 1779 was an active member of the
convention which framed the state constitution. In 1789 he
was a member of the convention for considering the pro-
posed Constitution of the United States, and was very largely
instrumental in procuring its adoption. In 1801 he was ap-
pointed attorney general of the United States, but declined to
accept the position. In 1800 he removed to Boston, and in
1806 he was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial
Court of Massachusetts. He died in Boston, October 13,
1813, with a reputation as a lawyer and judge unequalled
Samuel Sewall was born in Boston, Dec. 11, 1757, and
graduated from Harvard college in 1776. He was a great
246 IN MEMOEIAM.
grandson of Chief Justice Samuel Sewall of Witchcraft fame.
He practised law in Marblehead, where he soon became emi-
nent in his profession. He was a member of the state legis-
lature ; a member of the United States House of Represen-
tatives from 1797 to 1800 ; was appointed Judge of the Su-
preme Judicial Court in 1800, and Chief Justice in 1813.
He died at Wiscasset, Maine, on June 8, 1814.
Rufus King was born at Scarborough, Maine, on March
24, 1755. He received his first degree at Harvard College
in 1777 and immediately commenced the study of law in
Newburyport, in the office of Theophilus Parsons. On com-
pleting his studies, he was admitted to the Bar in Essex
County and opened an office in Newburyport. Whilst there,
he was chosen to represent the town in the General Court of
Massachusetts, and afterwards was elected a member of Con-
gress under the old confederacy. In 1788, he removed to
New York. In 1789, he was elected to the New York legis-
lature, by which body he and General Schuyler were chosen
the first senators from the state under the constitution of the
United States. From 1796 to 1804 Mr. King was minister
to England. In 1813 he was again elected to the United
States Senate by the New York legislature. In 1819, he was
re-elected to the Senate. In 1825, he was appointed minister
to England by President Adams, but returned in ill health
in 1826. He died April 29, 1827.
Nathan Dane was born in Ipswich, December 27, 1752,
and graduated from Harvard College in 1778. He practised
law in Beverly where he resided until his death. He was a
member of the Massachusetts legislature from 1782 to 1785.
He was a member of Congress from 1785 to 1788. He was
afterwards a member of the Massachusetts senate and was,
at different times, on commissions for revising the laws of
the state. He was the framer of the celebrated ordinance
IN MEMORIAM. 247
passed by Congress in 1787 for the government of the terri-
tory northwest of the Ohio. In 1814 he was a delegate to
the Hartford Convention. His professional practice was ex-
tensive. His great work entitled " A General Abridgment
and Digest of American Law " fills nine large volumes. The
Dane professorship of law at Harvard College and the law
hall were founded by his munificence. He died in Beverly
February 15, 1835.
Dudley Atkins Tyng.
Dudley Atkins Tyng, born in Newburyport, September 3,
1760, was graduated from Harvard College in 1781. He
studied law and commenced practice in Newburyport ; was
United States Collector of Newburyport and afterwards re-
porter of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court until
his death, August 1, 1829.
William Prescott was born in Pepperell, Massachusetts,
August 19, 1762. He was graduated from Harvard College
in 1783. He taught school in Beverly, studied law with
Nathan Dane and in 1787 commenced practice in Beverly.
He soon removed to Salem and was a representative and sen-
ator in the state legislature. In 1813 he was offered a seat
on the bench of the Supreme Judicial Court which he de-
clined. He removed to Boston in 1808 ; was a delegate to
the Hartford Convention in 1814. In 1818 he was appointed
Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Suffolk and in 1820
was elected a delegate to the State Constitutional Conven-
tion. He was son of Colonel William Prescott of Revolu-
tionary fame and father of William H. Prescott the historian.
He died in Boston, December 8, 1844.
Samuel Putnam was born in Danvers, April 13, 1768 ; he
was graduated from Harvard College in 1787 ; studied law
248 IN MEMORIAM.
and commenced practice in Salem in 1790 and attained a
high position at the Essex Bar. He was senator from Essex
for four years and a representative one year, and from 1814 to
1842 was a Judge of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massa-
chusetts. He presided at the trial of the Knapps at Salem
in 1830. He died in Somerville, July 3, 1853.
William Cranch was born at Weymouth, July 17, 1769.
His mother was a sister of the wife of President John Adams.
He was graduated at Harvard College in 1787, and was a
classmate of Samuel Putnam ; was admitted to the Bar in
July, 1790, and practised in Braintree and in Haverhill. In
October, 1794, he removed to Washington. President
Adams appointed him junior associate Judge of the district
court for the District of Columbia, of which he was Chief
Justice from 1805 to 1855. He published nine volumes of
reports of the United States Supreme Court and six volumes
of reports of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia.
He also prepared a code of laws for the District. In 1827 he
published a memoir of John Adams. He died in Washing-
ton, September 1, 1855.
Charles Jackson was born in Newburyport in 1775. He
was graduated at Harvard College in 1793, studied law with
Parsons and entered into practice in Newburyport. Shortly
before Parsons was raised to the bench, Jackson removed to
Boston and practised there until 1813, when, upon the death
of Judge Sedgwick, he was appointed a justice of the Supreme
Judicial Court of the state. In 1823, he resigned his office
on account of ill health and in 1824, resumed the practice of
his profession in Boston. He was a member of the State
Constitutional Convention in 1820, and in 1833 was appoint-
ed one of the commissioners to codify the state laws. He
published a treatise on practice and pleadings of real actions.
He died in Boston, December 13, 1855.
in memoriam. 249
John Pickering was born in Salem, February 17, 1777.
He was son of Colonel Timothy Pickering. He was gradu-
ated at Harvard College in 1796, and studied law in Phila-
delphia. He was two years in London as private secretary
of Rufus King, United States minister to England. In 1801,
he resumed his legal studies, commenced practice in Salem
and remained there until 1827, when he removed to Boston.
He was three times a representative from Salem, twice a sen-
ator from Essex County, and once from Suffolk. He was a
member of the Executive Council. He was a member of the
commission for revising the Statutes of Massachusetts in
1833. He contributed very valuable articles to the American
Jurist, Law Reports and the North American Review. His
principal work was a Greek and English Lexicon, which was
finished in 1826. In 1806, he was elected Hancock Professor
of Hebrew in Harvard College. He was president of the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of
many scientific and literary societies in Europe. He died in
Boston, March 5, 1846.
Joseph Story was born at Marblehead, September 18, 1779,
and graduated from Harvard College in 1798. His father
was a surgeon in the Revolutionary army. He studied law
with Judge Samuel Sewall and afterwards with Judge Samuel
Putnam ; was admitted to the Bar in July, 1801, and began
practice in Salem. In 1804, he published a volume of poems.
From 1805 to 1808, he was a member of the legislature and
a leader on the republican side ; was a member of the United
States House of Representatives in 1808 and 1809 ; was
speaker of the Massachusetts House in 1811, and from
November 18, 1811, to the time of his death was Associate
Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In the
state constitutional convention of 1820, he was a very useful
member. He was Dane professor of law in Harvard College
from 1829, until the time of his death. His judicial works
250 IN MEMORIAM.
show extraordinary learning and profound views of the science
of law. They include a commentary on the Constitution, on
Conflicts of Laws, and many other legal subjects. His opin-
ions in the Supreme Court form an important part of thirty-
four volumes. He died in Cambridge, September 10, 1845.
Ebenezer Mosely was born November 21, 1781 ; he was a
direct descendant from Governor Caleb Strong, and was by
marriage nearly connected with Chief Justice Parsons. He
was graduated from Yale College in 1802. He studied law
one year with Judge Chauncey in New Haven, one year with
Judge Clark of Wyndham, and one year with his uncle,
Judge Hinkley of Northampton. He settled in Newbury-
port, where he remained during the rest of his life. He was
a very able lawyer, and had a very large and lucrative prac-
tice. He was engaged in the famous Goodrich trial at New-
buryport. He gave the address of welcome to Lafayette
when he visited Newburyport ; was colonel of the 6th regi-
ment which participated in the celebration of the two hun-
dredth anniversary of Newburyport. He was for several
years a member of the State Senate ; was a presidential
elector in 1832 ; president of the Board of Trustees of
Dummer Academy, and president of the Essex Agricultural
Society. He died August 28, 1854.
Leverett Saltonstall was born in Haverhill, June 13, 1783,
and was a descendant from Sir Richard Saltonstall, one of
the fathers of the Bay Colony. He graduated at Har-
vard College in 1802. In 1805 he commenced practice in
Salem, where he remained until his death, May 8, 1845. He
was a State Senator in 1831; was first mayor of Salem in
1836 ; was a member of the United States House of Repre-
sentatives from 1838 to 1843. He was one of the most
eminent lawyers in Essex county.
in memobiam. 251
Benjamin Merrill was born in Conway, New Hampshire,
March 13, 1784. He was grandson of John Merrill of
Haverhill. He was graduated from Harvard College in
1804. He studied law first with William Steadman of Lan-
caster, New Hampshire ; afterwards with Francis D. Chan-
ning of Boston. He first practised in Marlborough for about
a year, thence removed to Lynn, and soon after to Salem,
where he spent the remainder of his life. He was for several
years partner with Samuel Putnam, until the latter was ap-
pointed a justice of the Supreme Judicial Court. He was
a member of the State Legislature one year. He was a very
able lawyer and highly respected throughout the county;
was a member of various learned societies, and took great
interest in the literary and other societies of Salem. He
died in Salem, July 30, 1847.
David Cummins was born in Topsfield. He graduated
from Dartmouth College in 1806 ; studied law in the office
of Judge Putnam, in Salem, and was admitted to the Bar in
1809. He was a very successful practitioner in Salem until
he was called to the bench of the Court of Common Pleas,
in 1828. He continued in that office until 1844, when he
resigned. He died March 30, 1855. At the Bar he was a
zealous and impassionate advocate ; and on the Bench he was
distinguished for his ability, learning, and impartiality.
Benjamin Lynde Oliver.
Benjamin Lynde Oliver was born in Salem in 1788. He
graduated from Harvard College in 1808, studied law with
Joseph Story and Samuel Putnam and was admitted to the
Bar in 1809. He was the author of " Forms of Practice,"
41 Practical Conveyancing," " Forms in Chancery, Admiralty
and Common Law." He died in Maiden, June 18, 1843.
252 in mbmoriam.
Octavius Pickering was born in Wyoming, Pennsylvania,
Sept. 2, 1792, during the temporary residence there of his
father, Col. Timothy Pickering ; came to Salem in 1801.
Graduated from Harvard College in 1810, and was admitted
to the Bar in Essex County in 1813. After practising here
several years he removed to Boston. He was engaged in
many literary works, his most important work of that kind
being the twenty-four volumes of Massachusetts reports
known as " Pickering's Reports." He died October 29,
Andrew Dunlap was born in Salem in 1794 ; graduated from
Harvard College in 1813. He was for several years United
States attorney for the district of Massachusetts. He was the
author of Dunlap's Admiralty Practice. He died in 1835.
George Lunt was born in Newbury port December 31,
1803 ; was graduated from Harvard College in 1824 ; was
principal of the Newburyport High School for several years ;
was admitted to the Bar in 1831, and practised law in his
native town until 1848, when he removed to Boston. In
1849 he was appointed United States attorney for the dis-
trict of Massachusetts. Several volumes of poems by him
have been published, also several addresses upon public mat-
ters. He was editor of the Boston Courier from March,
1857, until 1862. He died in Boston, May 16, 1885.
George Wheatland was born in Salem November 10, 1804.
He was graduated from Harvard college in 1824. He studied
law with Leverett Saltonstall, and was admitted to the Bar
in 1828. From that time until his death in 1893 he prac-
tised law in Salem. For the first twenty years he had a large
practice in the courts. After that his practice was mostly
IN MEMORIAM. 253
an office practice which was larger and more lucrative than
that of any of his associates. In the last years of his life,
while not abandoning his profession, he was largely engaged
in a real estate business which was very profitable. He was
a man of great individuality and of decided opinions. He
was father of Major George Wheatland.
Robert Rantoul was born in Beverly, August 13, 1805. He
was graduated from Harvard college in 1826. He studied law
with Leverett Saltonstall in Salem, and was admitted to the
Bar in 1828. He began practice in South Reading (now
Wakefield) ; removed to Gloucester in 1833, and to Boston
in 1838. He was a member of the state House of Represen-
tatives from Gloucester from 1833 to 1837 ; was collector of
the port of Boston from 1843 to 1845 ; was United States
District Attorney for the district of Massachusetts in 1845 ;
was United States Senator for a part of the unexpired term
of Mr. Webster from 1851 until his death in Washington,
August 7, 1852.
Ellis Gray Loring.
Ellis Gray Loring was born in Boston in 1800. Studied
law at the Harvard Law School and was admitted to the Bar
in Essex County in 1828. He was intimately connected
with the anti-slavery movement. He died in Boston, May
Joshua Holyoke Ward.
Joshua Holyoke Ward was born in Salem, July 8, 1808.
He was graduated from Harvard college in 1829. He studied
law with Leverett Saltonstall, and at the Harvard law school,
and commenced practice in South Danvers (now Peabody),
in 1832. He removed to Salem in 1838, and took the office of
Leverett Saltonstall, who was then in Congress. He was a
Representative from Salem in the state legislature for sever-
al years, and Justice of the Court of Common Pleas from
1844 until his death in Salem, June 5, 1848.
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