3 1833 01329 3789
ViLLiAM N. Sherman
BY HJS NEPHEW
REV. HARRIS R. GREENE
Press ot J.J. Little & Co.
Astor Place, New York.
Born Feb. ig, 1809.
Died March 2, 1882.
:h Ia\\l)M Cife.
E thou Faithful unto Death, and I
will give thee a Crown of Life."
IFFERENT nations have different stan-
dards of human excellence. In the view
of the ancients, and, at the present time, in
the view of uncivilized races, the man to be honored
is the man of physical strength and power. lie who
has the broadest shoulders ; he who stands the tall-
est, and can with the greatest vio^or draw the bow —
lie is the man to be esteemed ; he is the hero.
Indeed, this criterion of excellence has prevailed
more or less among civilized nations.
We are told that " Saul was a choice young man
and a goodly ; and there was not among the chil-
dren of Israel a goodlier person than he ; from his
shoulders and tipzvard he zuas higher than any of the
It was no small recommendation to Saul in the
view of his countrymen with reference to the posi-
tion of power he was to occupy that he was Jiead
and shoulders taller than any other man.
Among nations representing a higher type of civ-
ilization and refinement, the standard of excellence
becomes one of mental power, intellecttial genius.
Such, in the main, is the standard in all civilized and
enlightened countries to-day. The great man in
Europe to-day is the man who is great in the mili-
tary, the scientific, the literary, or the aesthetic world.
The great general, the great scientific discoverer, the
great poet or historian, the great painter, sculptor,
or actor, he is now, throughout Christendom, the man
of fame, the man who is honored and worshipped,
the man whose biography is sought and read — these
are the kinds of men who are immortalized ; these
the men whose ashes are permitted a place in West-
But the time is certainly coming when there will
prevail still another standard of excellence. The
time is coming, and is not far distant, when not
physical stature and physical prowess, when not in-
tellectual power and intellectual demonstration in
whatever form, but when spiritual power and spirit-
ual development and demonstration shall constitute
and characterize the man who shall be called great
The truly great man is the man who is great in con-
formity with the principles of the New Testament,
the man who is developed and complete in the
realm of the spiritual as well as in the realm of the
mental ; and this kind of greatness will, by and by,
when the world becomes better, find full recognition,
even as now it finds partial recognition in Christian
The life which we are about to notice briefly was,
like many other lives of merit and value, quiet and
unobtrusive. It made no figure in the command
of armies ; it was not conspicuous in the fields
of science, of art, or of literature ; it was not great
as men count greatness ; but, notwithstanding all
this, it had in it elements of mental vigor, and espe-
cially elements of moral and spiritual power and
beauty, which makes it, in these respects at least, a
life well worthy to contemplate.
The life whose memoirs are here sketched ex-
hibited, in some measure at least, in the lines above
indicated, noble and worthy qualities of heart and
soul. To bring these more freshly to the memory
of friends and acquaintances is the object of these
BIRTH AND FAMILY.
ILLIAM NORTHUP SHERMAN was
born in North Kingston, R. I., February
19, 1809. His father was Nathaniel Sher-
man, also of North Kingston. He was a member
of that family of Shermans now represented so
conspicuously by Gen. W. T. Sherman, who in the
War of the Rebellion was second in rank only to
Gen. U. S. Grant ; by Senator Sherman of Ohio, one
of the ablest men we have now in Congress ; by
Senator Hoar of Massachusetts, probably the most
influential man to-day in the United States Senate ;
by William M. Evarts of New York, probably the
strongest advocate at the bar in the metropolis,
and at present a man of power in Congress ; and
by Hon. Chauncey M. Depew, President of the
New York Central and Hudson River Railroad.
Sherman Coat of Arms. — Complicated but very
Arms. — Sherman (London and Devonshire, de-
scended from the Shermans of Yaxley, County Suf-
folk). When displayed or painted, the whole
groundwork of the shield is gold color, with a lion
rampant in the centre. The lion is black (an un-
usual color for a lion), and is surrounded by three
green oak leaves. On its shoulder rests a ring.
Crest. — A sea lion sejant (or sitting) on a shield
of two colors divided by a perpendicular line ; one
side is gold color, the other silver color. This sea
lion has black spots upon it, and has fins of gold ;
the shoulder is a crescent moon. Motto : Conquer
death by virtue.
The name of Sherman is by no means a common
one in England, though it is an ancient, highly re-
spected, and honored one. Sir Henry Sherman
was one of the executors of the will of Lord Stan-
ley, Earl of Derby, County of Lancaster, dated May
23, 152 1. William Sherman, Esq., purchased
Knightston in the time of Henry VIII. A monu-
ment to William Sherman is in Ottery, St. Mary,
erected in 1542.
The pedigree of the Sherman family is obtained
from Davy's manuscript collection relating to the
County of Suftblk ( England), deposited in the British
Mr. Sherman's mother was Elizabeth Northup, the
sister of Rev. William Northup, for half a century one
of the most celebrated preachers in Southern Rhode
Island. He was the founder of the First Baptist
Church in North Kingston, and was its esteemed and
honored pastor for a period of fifty- nine years. Few
men, in any country, in any denomination, at any
period, have held a pastorate so long. He was a man
of large and commanding presence, as he was a man
* For these facts I am indebted to William Cothren, Esq., of Woodbury,
Conn., who has written a history of the Sherman family in England and
of capacious and powerful mind. He was truly a
moral and spiritual patriarch among the prophets of
Israel. The church under his grand gospel min-
istry grew in strength and numbers through all
these long years of his pastorate, enjoying in the
course of them, in addition to their ordinary ac-
cessions constantly occurring, six revivals of great
Mr. Northup preached not science, not phi-
losophy, and not literature, but the simple Gospel of
our Lord Jesus Christ, and " the people heard him
gladly." He was a truly converted \VL2i.x\, and he spoke
" as the Holy Spirit gave him utterance." It is an
interesting fact in his history that his first religious
impressions were received from a slave in his father's
family. Religion is the same wonderful thing in the
hearts of all men, of whatever color, rank, or con-
dition. Mr. Northup received through and from a
poor black domestic that glorious spiritual energy
and life which transformed his entire nature, and
made him that great apostle of God he afterwards
After this wonderfully long and successful pastor-
ate, he was gathered to his fathers at the ripe old age
of seventy-nine, full of Christian graces, and full of
honors, and meet for the Heavenly Kingdom. He
commenced his ministry at twenty, and founded the
church above referred to only two years later.
We have made this somewhat detailed reference
to this celebrated man, for two or three special
reasons : first, because he was the ever revered and
enerated namesake of Mr. Sherman ; second, be-
cause he exerted ever a very decided influence over
Mr. Sherman, not only during the boyhood and
youth of the latter, but, as the writer believes,
throughout his life ; and third, because of one or two
facts to be noted hereafter, which will be better
understood and appreciated by this reference.
It will be seen, then, that Mr. Sherman was
descended from an ancestry which represented some
of the best blood in New England.
Education. — Nathaniel Sherman, the father of
William N. Sherman, was a well-to-do New England
farmer. The country schools in his time — seventy
years ago — were not what they are now. Three
months in the winter, and that usually under an in-
different teacher, was all the "schooling" the best
privileged youth of those days ever received at
home. These limited educational privileges did not
satisfy the aspiring mind of young William. At an
early age, therefore, he was sent to the Kingston
Hill Academy, where the best of instruction was
given, in the higher as well as the common English
branches. Subsequently he was sent to another
In these schools he evidently made the most of
his now ample privileges, turning to good account
every help to education that came in his way.
The writer has examined with great pleasure and in-
terest some of his school work of this time in the
form of a complete transcript of the arithmetic he
then used, together with a full and complete solution
of all the problems given therein. The beauty of
the penmanship, the order and neatness of the work,
the absolute excellence of the whole, from beginning
to end, was very greatly to the credit of the pupil.
Little things indicate character as truly as great
things. The work of the child forecasts the work of
the man. Here at once was an earnest of that or-
der, system, care, neatness, and accuracy which
characterized the journalist in his grander work in
after years, and which, indeed, was so conspicuous
in all that he undertook in whatever department of
effort — physical, mental, or religious — in later life.
Educational institutions as such have no power, in
themselves, to make the youths who are privileged
to attend them good and noble men. Like many
other things, thoroughly good in themselves consid-
ered, they may become a saver of life unto life, or ot
death unto death. The academy, like the college,
either helps or harms, according as the student
makes it a field for appropriating the good — literary,
social, moral, and religious — that it yields ; or, on the
other hand, makes it a place where, by associating
with the low and the base, he absorbs only the
vilest and basest moral and spiritual influences, and
thus actually learning little or nothing of good, con-
tracts life-long habits of laziness, license, and vice.
So everything, in fact, in nature, in society, and in
life becomes a blessing or a bane, according as men's
native bent and affinities lead them to appropriate
the good or to imbibe the evil.
Evidently Mr, Sherman found in the educational
and literary privileges of the Kingston Academy and
the other private school following the same, the
means of developing and unfolding his mental, moral
and religious powers. Evidently his high-toned
nature became here a grand absorbent of all that
was useful, noble, and good, while it was utterly irre-
sponsive to temptations and influences unhallowed
A Teacher. — After leaving the Academy, Mr.
Sherman for some years taught in the district schools
in different parts of Washington County. We may
be sure, from what we know of him in later life,
that he had a model school for those days. As is
the man, so is the school. Indeed, the man is the
school. A man fond of order and system will have
an orderly and systematic school. Such was he.
So a man of refinement, of sensitive conscience, of a
keen sense of justice, will impress all these beautiful
sentiments more or less upon his pupils. Such a
man was he. In his school, therefore, there must
have been daily evidence of the influence upon his
pupils of these noble principles. Above all, a man
of Christian character will unconsciously induce in
all around him, and especially the young, feelings
and sentiments of reverence and devotion. Such a
man was he, and his school, therefore, must have felt
his power in this direction. Add to all this careful,
correct, and thorough and methodical instruction,
and you have the elements of all excellence in a
Learns Business Life. — But the vocation of the
teacher, especially in a sphere so circumscribed,
promised litde, eidier of money or of emolument,
sixty years ago. Mr. Sherman, therefore, decided
upon some other calling in life. Like the great ma-
jority of men, he did not yet know for what busi-
ness or profession he was best fitted. This he must
learn by slow experience, under the revealing power
of the changing circumstances of life. For a time,
with reference to a future business life, he became a
clerk in a store in Newport, R. I. Afterwards he
removed to Southbridge, Mass., and re-engaged in
the same kind of business. Here it was that his
mind began to assert itself, and to whisper to him
that he could do better work than to pore over ac-
count books and handle the yardstick. He began
to contribute occasional articles to the columns of
newspapers published in that vicinity. Becoming
encouraged by the reception which these maiden
productions received, he began to plan for a larger
and better field in this line of effort.
The " Ladies' Mirror." — Li connection with Mr.
George W. H. Fiske, he commenced the publication
of the Ladies Mirror, a literary paper issued every
other Saturday. The circulation soon attained to the
figure of about one thousand copies — a most flat-
tering success, considering the comparative sparse-
ness of the population in that part of the country.
This enterprise he followed up most successfully for
about four years, when he thought he could see
something still better ahead.
Removal to Woonsocket. — The city of Woon-
socket was even then a most flourishing town. Mr.
Sherman beHeved that this thriving manufactur-
'ing village promised success in the line of jour-
nalism in the near future. Accordingly in the
year 1833 he bought, at an assignee's sale, the print-
ing press on which the Ladies' Mirror had been
previously printed. Loading the same with its
complement of type and forms on a large team
wagon, he started in person for Woonsocket. Ar-
rived there, he immediately secured a room for an
office, and on the 5th of October, 1833, published
the first number of his new paper.
The " Woonsocket Patriot." — It required some
business courage to start a weekly paper in the little
town of Woonsocket, as it was more than fifty years
ago. But Mr. Sherman had that virtue which
always and everywhere is essential to success, viz. :
faith in himself. He felt that he coiild make this
new enterprise a success. He had already proved to
himself, in his brief experience at journalism in South-
bridge, that he could serve up, once a week at least,
to the people of Woonsocket and vicinity, the news
of the day, and also that kind of intellectual repast
which they would appreciate and enjoy. In this
he was not deceived. His paper soon became very
popular ; the subscription list became at once promis-
ing, and constantly increased. The Woonsocket Pa-
triot soon became an organ of influence and of power,
and that not only in the village itself, but far out into
the adjoining counties, country, and State. For
more than fifty years, and down to the present time,
this paper has been one of the leading journals of
the State of Rhode Island, and has exerted an in-
fluence upon morals, politics, and religion of untold
value. Starting as a six-column, four-page paper,
it soon grew into an eight-page paper, and circulated
more or less throughout the State, and to some ex-
tent in adjoining States.
Mr. Noah I. Arnold, an old resident of Rhode
Island, in an article in t\\Q Patriot, copied from a
Providence paper on " Woonsocket R.eminiscences,"
says : " Returning my thoughts again to those days
of forty years ago, I am not forgetful of the fact that
the Woonsocket Patriot was then published, and at
that time enjoyed the proud distinction that it does
now, and, I trust, will for many years to come, of being
one of the ablest of New England newspapers.''
Principle vs. Profit. — It is almost needless to
say that this paper, while under the control of Mr.
Sherman, was conducted upon the highest principles
of justice, morality, and Christianity. As editor and
proprietor, Mr. Sherman never permitted apparent
immediate pecuniary interest to interfere with the
claims of progress, reform, and religion.
" From one learn all." In its early days the
course of the editor, in advocating the cause of
temperance, became to quite a number of his sub-
scribers a ground of offence. Accordingly, several at
once sent in their names, and demanded that their
paper be stopped forthwith. Quite probably these
supporters of the rum traffic supposed, as small men
are very apt to believe, that their influence thus ex- .
erted would be potent in crippling, if it did not re-
sult in utterly destroying, this daring sheet.
It is a matter of infinite satisfaction to every true
and good man in this world that amid all the
wickedness, corruption, and iniquity of men there is
always a large and powerful leavening of noble,
moral, and even religious sentiment left. Mr. Sher-
man, not knowing how great the defection might be
in the future, should he still continue his course of
hostility towards the rum power, nevertheless still
pursued his way fearlessly, and regardless of con-
sequences. The unexpected result was that more
than two hundred new subscribers were soon added
to his list.
All men have a conscience ; all men love the
right, the true and the good, and hate the iniquitous,
the false and the bad ; and as a rule, all men, when
vice is ViOX. profitable to themselves, throw the weight
of their influence on the side of virtue and goodness.
By its course of unflinching and steadfast advocacy of
everything good and noble in reform, the Patriot
strengthened constantly its hold upon the hearts of
the community. It thus soon became known and
recognized as a paper of high and noble aims and
Mr. Sherman continued to publish this paper for
some nine or ten years, with ever-widening influence
and ever-increasing circulation.
Job Printing. — As this was the only printing
office in an enterprising and growing community,
it soon became largely patronized for job work.
The proprietor had never served an apprentice-
ship at the business of job printing. But where there
is a will there is always a way. He immediately set to
work setting type, locking up forms, and working off
his sheets by the power of a strong hand and a mus-
cular arm. In a short time he made himself familiar
with all the departments of work needful in this line,
and was thus enabled to superintend and control
the whole business, from the preparation of the
manuscript to the carefully-printed page.
It was in this office that his nephew, the late
Col. A. Crawford Greene, of Providence ; John S.
Sibley, of Pawtucket, and S. S. Foss, of Woonsocket,
all of whom afterwards made their mark in the busi-
ness world, were initiated into the "mystic" art.
The first of the above. Col. A. C. Greene, was for
more than thirty years a leading newspaper publisher,
and probably the largest job printer in the State. Mr.
Sibley was for many years, in company with another,
the publisher of The Gazette and Chro7iicle in Paw-
tucket, and Mr. Foss succeeded Mr. Sherman in the
proprietorship of The Patriot, which he continued
to publish with marked ability for about forty years.
Marriage. — As before stated, Mr. Sherman lo-
cated in Woonsocket in the year 1833. In 1834 he
married Miss Mary M. Bliss, of Brimiield, Mass.. in
whom he found an educated, cultivated, and accom-
plished lady, in every way worthy to become his
Miss Bliss was the daughter of Ichabod and Re-
becca Holbrook Bliss. The Bliss family represented
an ancestry of honor and repute. The ancestral
coat of arms consisted of a' crest, representing an arm
upHfted, with the hand grasping a bundle of arrows.
(This device was commemorative of an act of prow-
ess in the early history of the family).
Upon the shield beneath was a bend vaire (he
beareth sable) between two fleur-de-lis. The motto
of this heraldic or escutcheon emblem was " Semper
Sursum" — "Ever Upward."
Miss Bliss's mother's name was Rebecca Choate
Holbrook, the name Choate representing thus one
branch of her family on her mother's side. Mrs. Sher-
man has to this day in her possession a large pewter
platter (the silver of colonial days) upon which is
engraven the " Coat of Arms " of the Choate family
(an exact counterpart of this heraldic device can be
seen under the head of " Crest " in Webster's Dic-
tionary) used more than a century ago, perhaps
two centuries, for this platter belonged to her grand-
mother, and her mother would have been one hun-
dred and eleven years old if she had lived until the
present time. She was a sister of Judge Holbrook
of Connecticut, and a cousin of Rufus Choate, the
eminent lawyer of Boston. Her grandmother, Re-
becca Choate, of Roxbury, Mass., was married De-
cember 13, 1758, to John Holbrook of Pomfret,
Conn., afterward Deacon Holbrook of the Congre-
gational Church there. This platter bears the in-
itials of her maiden name, " R " being engraved
at the left of the crest, and "C" at the right.
The motto is " Fortune De Guerre." It must have
become her property at the time she was a bride, or
it belonged to some ancestor of the same name,
and has been handed down as a family heirloom.
What romantic associations do we fancy belonging
to an article so ancient, whose historical life may ex-
tend to aees more remote than we even dream, but
whose unknown antiquity is only an added charm to
its value !
The Holbrook name appears frequendy in history
in connection with various public services. That
they were an ancient family we find from a pe-
rusal of various records. I quote from one writer :
" A beautiful triangular farm bordering on the Mash-
amoquet was purchased by John Holbrook, Sr.,
whose son, Ebenezer (Deacon John Holbrook's
father), took possession of it in 1719. Holbrook's
four hundred acres cost him as many pounds. One
other farm purchased at that time cost more per acre,
the others less, showing that the land and location
were considered desirable. The old homestead
(tradition says it was the first two-story house in
town) is still standing, but modernized in appearance
somewhat. The elm under which the first military
company in Pomfret halted and had a lunch given
them by the Holbrook family is now a venerable
tree. The company was on the its way to Boston,
'the seat of war ' during the Revolution."
The sequel, embracing a period of more than half a
century, showed that Mr. Sherman had not made an
unwise choice. Mrs. Sherman became at once a true
helpmate in all his affairs, and, what was most impor-
tant ot all, she at once fell into sympathy with him ;
not in a mechanical or indifferent way, but con-
scientiously and enthusiastically, and this in all
his religious and charitable aims and purposes,
throughout the remainder of his life.
Failing Health. — The village of Woonsocket is a
manufacturing town. The power employed was for-
merly almost entirely water-power. This involved
the flooding of hundreds of acres of land. So large
an expanse of fresh water produced an atmosphere not
favorable to many constitutions. After about nine
years of close application to business, Mr. Sherman
found his health gradually but decidedly failing.
This he attributed, in no small degree, to the damp-
ness of the air, caused by the immense amount of
evaporation from the extended fresh water overflows
mentioned above. Whether it was this, or whether it
was his close and unremitting application to his con-
stantly-growing business, or whether it was both, it
may not be easy to decide. He felt, at any rate, that
his health, if not his life, depended upon his making a
change. He was moreover strongly advised by his
physicians to leave his business, to leave the village,
and seek recreation and a complete change of life
in all directions.
Accordingly he felt it imperative to give up his lu-
crative business, and find, if possible, some quiet re-
treat by the sea-side, where a change of air and a
change of life might restore him again to health.
Removal to WiCKFORD.^He had friends and ac-
quaintances in the little quiet town of Wickford, in
the southern part of the State; thither, in 1843, he
removed. By throwing off all care, by devoting
himself to out-door recreations, his health began to
return to him. As soon as it was measurably re-es-
tablished, he accepted several offers of trust and re-
sponsibility, which were tendered him— duties which
occupied his time, diverted his mind, and thus aided
largely in building up again his worn and weakened
He held at different times, thus, the offices of
notary public, counsellor at law, and sheriff, amus-
ing himself in the intervals of active service in gar-
de'ning and fishing, of both which he was very fond.
Fond of Fishing. — The writer has a vivid recol-
lection of his extreme fondness for the piscatory art.
However dignified in deportment on all proper
occasions, the moment a fishing excursion was afoot
he was as full of fun and frolic as a boy. And in
this pastime he showed great skill and expertness.
Full of life and enthusiasm himself, he seemed to
have a kind of ''zvitching" power over all the com-
pany who chanced to be with him.
It was ever a great pleasure to accompany him on
these fishing excursions. There was usually at the
start an undertone of apparent discouragement as
to the result,— the weather was unfavorable, the
wind was the wrong way, it was too cold or too
hot, the bait was not of the right kind, the fishing
ground had not been well chosen, the boat was too
small or too large, the hooks too large or bad in
form, and nothing would be accomplished. But
all this we knew to be only a kind of internal self-
preparation against a possible failure, and at the
first indications of success, as soon as a single fish
was brought into the boat, instantly he became
electrified himself, and infused the same spirit of ex-
hilaration into all the company.
TiLT-up-iNG. — There was one kind of fishinor which
he enjoyed remarkably. It was called from the nature
of the process tilt-up-ing. It was a winter sport-
Some good fish-pond was selected, holes were cut
through the ice, and baited hooks, attached by lines
to short poles, were dropped down. The pole was
so arranged, partly over the hole and partly lying
outside on the ice, that when the fish bit, the long
end would tilt-itp and thus the angler would be made
aware of the fact.
Conceive thus thirty or forty holes cut in a pond
where fish are plenty, and where, it being winter, the
fish are hungry ; conceive your sportsman on skates
and ready to glide at any moment to any portion of
the pond covering several acres ; conceive of bright,
warm fires burning on the pond in a half-dozen differ-
ent places ; conceive now of hungry fish biting at
these lines, and the poles bobbing up all over the
pond, ready for you to make your haul, at a half-
dozen different places at once, and, if you are at all
fond of sport, you can understand how tilt-up-ing was
a rare amusement.
Such it really was, as the writer can testify from
personal experience, he having accompanied Mr.
Sherman once or twice on these excursions. For
weeks and months, deprived of his favorite pastime
in the usual method, he found rare and grand sport
in this form of winter anghng.
Dividing his time thus between business and
amusement, neither of which taxed his strength,
Mr. Sherman finally regained his health completely.
He now feh like turning again to his favorite voca-
tion of journalism. His old paper, The Woonsocket
Patriot, however, he had sold to one of his former
apprentices, Mr. S. S. Foss. This, therefore, even
if so disposed, he could not now recover.
Removal to East Greenwich — " The Pendu-
lum." — A paper called The Kent County Atlas\\2.A
been established at Phenix, R. I.,- during the years
1850-1851 by Mr. I. H. Lincoln. It met with in-
sufficient encouragement to warrant its continued
publication in that town. Accordingly in 1852 it
was removed to East Greenwich, R. I. There it
was published for a year and a half with scarcely bet-
ter success. The paper was now placed in the
hands of some interested citizens, who were greatly
desirous of its success, and who became bound finan-
cially for its further publication.
These gendemen, knowing the rare fitness and
ability of Mr. Sherman to manage such an enter-
prise, urgendy solicited him to purchase the office,
press, materials, etc., and start a newspaper of his
own, making the best use he could of the subscrip-
tion hst of The Atlas. After a delay of some months
Mr. Sherman finally decided to engage in this enter-
prise, and in May, 1854. he issued the first number
of his new paper, The RJiode I slaiid Pendulum. Its
imprint bore the names of Wickford and Greenwich
as places of pubhcation, while it was actually pririted,
first in Woonsocket, and afterwards in Providence, in
the office of A. Crawford Greene, to whom allusion
has been made above.
There was significance in the name of this paper,
Mr. Sherman being accustomed to say, that his new
paper was to " i-zc//;^^" between the two places of
publication above named, and also "■ to swing for all."
The muscle-power press which the proprietor had
purchased, and on which the old Atlas had been
published, was all well enough in Atlas s day, since
he had an arm and shoulder which, as we are told
in classic annals, lifted and supported the world it
self. But now it was no longer brawn but brain
that must lift the world, and so Mr. Sherman, calling
into service the power of steam to take the place of
brute force in operating the complex machinery of
printing, chose to make his paper an Atlas in moral
and mental vigor, and thus to move and lift the
Mr. Sherman's name, appearing now as editor and
proprietor, became at once the earnest of success. .
The number of subscribers immediately began to
increase. It soon took a decided and influential
stand among the journals of the State. Combin-
ing literature and story with local news, intelli-
gent, fresh, and racy, it became, almost from the
first issue, a favorite in the office, the shop, and es-
pecially in the family, where its influence was always
wholesome, high-toned, and elevating. Exceptional
tact and taste was ever shown in its literary depart-
ment, especially in the selection of its stories, one al-
ways appearing in every issue.
This paper he continued to publish for upwards of
twenty-three years, or until October, 1877.
Retires from Business. — At this time, having
come well-nigh up to the appointed term of human
life, the three-score years and ten ; having accumu-
lated a sufficiently ample competence for a man of his
moderate desires and economical habits ; and feeling
that now he had reached the quiet Sabbath of what had
been an industrious and active life, he decided to cut
loose from all business connections and devote what
remained of life to literary and social diversions
and delights, and to the accomplishment of what he
could do for the cause of education, of morals, of re-
ligion, and the Church of Christ.
He accordingly sold out his paper, transferring it
into the hands of a gentleman who has continued
its publication down to the present time.
The publication of The Pendulum had, for more
than a score of years, been by no means an irksome
enterprise to Mr. Sherman. It had furnished him
congenial employment, one more than any other in
harmony with his natural inclinations. It had afford-
ed him a channel for the free expression of his own
personal convictions, on all questions of morals and
reform ; and thus had become to him a source of
pleasure and satisfaction rather than a business care
Feeling that he could trust to no one the final
arrangement and disposition of the various articles,
and matter generally, to be published, and the
" making up " of the completed forms, he himself
was accustomed to go to the city of Providence
every week, and give his personal attention to this
business. He thus made himself acquainted with all
the employees of the establishment, and by his pleas-
ant social bearing and his never-failing good cheer,
he soon became a general favorite with all. His
periodical advent was thus always anticipated and
welcomed, and soon, from the highest in position to
the lowest — not in an unbecoming and graceless
familiarity, but in real good-fellowship and kindly
feeling — he was known and addressed as "Uncle
William." Of course this method of address was
first caught from the lips of the proprietor of the es-
tablishment, his nephew, who would naturally address
him in this way.
Rose Cottage. — Up to this time Mr. Sherman
had lived and entertained his friends in " his own
hired house," not intending to purchase and thus
fetter himself, until health, fully restored, should en-
able him to fix upon a permanent locality for resi-
dence. Feeling that he had now reached that point,
in 1858 he purchased the beautiful cottage in Elm
Street, opposite the Greenwich Academy, one of the
finest residences and localities in the village.
We have often visited him at this place, and have
always enjoyed exceedingly the external as well as
the internal cheer and beauty of his home. The
house occupies a very elevated position, and com-
mands a most delightful view of the adjacent bay,
with its circling coves and its larger outer ex-
panse, its wooded banks and fresh green islands.
Marriage of his Daughter. — Mr. Sherman had
only one child, a daughter, Mary M. Sherman. She
was educated mainly at East Greenwich Academy,
where she passed through the prescribed curriculum,
and graduated at the close of the course with valedic-
tory honors. Subsequently, for the purpose of per-
fecting herself in special departments, she spent
about a year at the Oread Collegiate Institute,
Worcester, Mass., at that time one of the most pop-
ular and influential ladies' seminaries in New En-
In the y,ear 1872 she was married to John A.
Mead, M. D., a successful physician, and a solid
citizen of Rutland, Vermont. This marriage took
from "Rose Cottage" one of the chief attractions of
their home, and after selling out business in Green-
wich, Mr. and Mrs. Sherman spent much of their
time at the residence of their daughter.
Mr. Sherman's Death. — It was here, while on a
visit, that Mr. Sherman died, March 2, 1882, aged
seventy-three years. For some months he had been
far from well. For a number of weeks his malady,
which was a complication of disorders, constantly in-
creased. He found himself unable to go back to his
home, and after a severe and most painful illness died
thus, not in his own home, yet in the midst of his
small, but loving and devoted family.
His sickness, protracted and painful, was endured
throughout with Christian fortitude. He was, in
truth, a patient sufferer, as he drew near the end
of hfe, of which he was entirely conscious. He
arose, not indeed, to any grand and ecstatic contem-
plations and visions of the future glories of the world
which he was about to enter, but, what was perhaps
better, he settled down into a calm, firm trust in the
Lord Jesus Christ, as his only and all-sufficient Sav-
iour, and in this holy, restful trust he never faltered
or wavered to the moment of his departure.
He was remarkably thoughtful of everything per-
taining to his funeral, and expressed freely his wishes
and preferences in regard to all the arrangements for
the same. Among other things, he made a special
request that there should be no contributions of
flowers, saying that the kind and affectionate feelings
of his friends, shown in so pronounced a way during
his protracted illness, were better far than the rich-
est and rarest flowers that could be heaped about
his senseless body in whatever wealth or profusion.
Funeral Services. — Accompanied by his imme-
diate family, his remains were taken to his home in
East Greenwich, where kind friends had made ready
the house for their reception, and were waiting to
receive them. They reached there Saturday after-
noon, and on Monday following the funeral services
were held at his late residence. The house was
filled with relatives and mournino^ friends. A larg^e
number of citizens, embracing many of the promi-
nent professional and business men of the village
and vicinity, were present, desirous of paying the
last tribute of respect to one whom they had so long
and so pleasantly known. In conformity with the
request of Mr. Sherman, there were no elaborate
floral decorations, except a handsome wreath of
calla leaves and wheat, a sickle of wheat and myrtle,
and a few other flowers that had been affection-
ately laid at the head of the casket. The Rev. Mr.
Goodwin, Rector of St. Luke's Church, read por-
tions of the Episcopal burial service. The hymn,
" Asleep in Jesus," was then sweetly rendered by a
quartet of voices, the music being by Prof. O.
L. Carter, who presided at the organ. Prayer was
now ofl'ered by Rev. W. J. Yates. Appropriate re-
marks were made by the Rev. F. J. Blakeslee, Prin-
cipal of the Academy, whose attendance on this
occasion had previously been requested by Mr.
Professor Blakeslee spoke briefly. " Death," he
said, "was that dread and mysterious experience to
which no reach of Christian fortitude could ever
reconcile us. A hope in Christ and the consola-
tions of divine grace did in some measure solace us in
the midst of bereavement. They gave promise of a
bright and better life hereafter. Death, although a
necessity to secure what was obtained by it, was
yet by no means an unmixed evil. Its shadow was
cold and chilling, but was cast across a golden portal
which opened to the realms of endless joy."
Reference was made to the moral and religious
life of the departed ; to the influence which, through
the press and in numerous other ways, he had ex-
erted ; to his having erected and supported a chapel
for divine worship, and to his ever salutary example
for good among his fellows. He spoke also of the
sweet, peaceful, and trustful composure with which
he approached the end, and finally lay down to his
A few remarks were made by Mrs. Lydia Ma-
comber, of the Society of Friends, after which was
sung the sadly joyous hymn, " I Come to Thee."
Mr. Yates, assisted by Professor Blakeslee, read the
closing service, and then pronounced the benediction.
His appearance after death was most life-like.
Looking upon his calm and peaceful face, one could
easily feel that "he is not dead, but sleepeth." So
placid and natural did he seem that one who had
heard him often in religious meetino-s said : "It
seems as if he could speak."
The remains, accompanied by immediate friends,
were borne to Elm Grove Cemetery, near Wick-
ford, and, in conformity with the wishes of Mr. Sher-
man, expressed before death, were deposited in the
receiving tomb, to remain there for a few weeks
before burial. At the tomb Mr. I. Capron, Chaplain
of Harmony Lodge, of which he was a member, read
the beautiful burial service of that organization.
Burial. — Subsequently (in the following May),
in the presence of friends, his body was taken from
the receiving tomb and placed in a receptacle of
masonry which had been prepared with great care
and excellence by his friend E. W. L., of Green-
wich. The Rev. J. F. Jones, Pastor of the Allenton
Baptist Church, offered prayer at this, his last rest-
ing place. There his sacred ashes shall doubtless
sleep until comes the resurrection dawn, when, as he
firmly believed, he will be "clothed upon" withabody
not of corruption, but of incorruption ; with a body
sown indeed in dishonor, but to be raised in glory ;
a body sown in weakness, but to be raised in power ;
a body sown a natural body, but to be raised an im-
mortal and spiritual body. It shall be an eternal
temple for the indwelling soul, of grand and beauti-
ful mould, of divine workmanship, of eternal duration,
and fitted for an everlasting life in the world of
light ; " a temple not made with hands, eternal in
Brother, thou art gone to rest,
We will not weep for thee,
For thou art now where oft on earth
Thy spirit longed to be.
Brother, thou art gone to rest,
Thy toils and cares are o'er,
And sorrow, pain, and suffering now
Shall ne'er distress thee more.
Brother, thou art gone to rest,
And this shall be our prayer,
That when we reach our journey's end
Thy glory we may share.
Mr. Sherman's Character.
/^q^illET us turn away now from the tearful sur-
^ft^^- roundings and associations of this freshly
jM^ai/;:! occupied grave, and contemplate for a few
moments the character of him whose history we
have briefly sketched.
Literary Turn of Mind. — In the first place, Mr.
Sherman was a man of decided literary taste and
bent of mind. This became evident in his boyhood
and youth. He was not satisfied, as we have seen,
with the acquisition of the common English branches,
as taught in his day in the district school. He
sought the academy, and subsequently another pri-
vate school, in order to supplement what he had al-
ready learned by the acquisition of the higher and
nobler truths of literary and scientific knowledge.
For a time engaged in business, as a clerk, his
natural proclivities again asserted themselves, and
we find him at the age of twenty-three the editor of
The Ladies Mirror, at Southbridge. We also
find him here, on occasion, trying his hand at poetry,
and thus furnishing the programme for Fourth of
July celebrations of the town with odes and hymns.
Later, several other poetic effusions fell from his pen.
Subsequently he devoted more than thirty years
of his life, and that the very strength of his manhood,
to jaurnalistic enterprise, his time being divided
between the Woonsockei Patriot, about nine years,
and The Peiidtdttm, some twenty-three years. For
a short time, also, he had charge of a campaign
paper, RepubUcan in poHtics, called the Daily Na-
tional Union, and published in Providence.
As AN Editor and Journalist.— Mr. Sherman was
always decided and pronounced in his views and
utterances. He thoroughly believed what he said,
and fearlessly said what he believed. No man could
possibly mistake his position. He was ever a strong
and unswerving adherent and advocate of whatever
is worthy and noble in morals ; whatever is healthful
and desirable in reform ; whatever is high-toned and
true in politics and in religion. He might lose sub-
scribers, as he did at Woonsocket, by denouncing
the rum traffic and upholding the cause of temper-
ance, but it mattered not to him when the weal of
humanity was at stake. As a young publisher, he
needed every subscriber, but he felt that his greatest
and most imperative need was a clean conscience,
and a mind that would act without fear or favor for
the right, the true, and the good.
Hence we find him throughout his long career
in journalism ever and fearlessly, regardless of
pecuniary gains or losses, promulgating what he
honestly believed to be just, right, and true. His
pen was ever and in the highest sense loyal to
every reform, and to every movement which con-
templated the uplifting and ennobling of men,
whether in the realms of mind, morals, or religion.
A contemporary, speaking of The Penduhim, and
Mr. Sherman's connection with the same, uses the
following language :
" It is not many years since that the only newspaper
taken by many families in our town was The Rhode
Island Pendiihim, ' swinging for all,' giving the
local news each week, as well as the pith of the gen-
eral news of the day. It was greeted on Friday
evening as a dear old household friend. This was
during its thriving days, under the care and editorship
of its founder, the late William N. Sherman, who
took great pride in the " swings" of Tlie Pendidtim,
and labored to make it an honor to the profession.
Under his guidance it contained the news, and not
such portions as might tickle the fancy of some pet
subscriber. When William N. Sherman published an
article of news, no one could say to him as was said
to one in ancient times, ' Why hath Satan filled thine
heart to lie, and to keep back part ? ' "
Mr. Sherman was never a 7nec hanual wnt&r. His
compositions were always full of feeling and sentiment,
and usually seasoned with enough of sensible humor
and pleasantry to elicit and hold the attention of the
reader, and to please as well as to instruct. He was
himself exceedingly fond of both music and poetry,
and these marked tastes of his usually left their im-
press, to a greater or less extent, in the way of vi-
vacity and sentiment, on his productions.
One thing is especially worthy of note in connec-
tion with his newspaper life — nothing was ever
permitted to appear in the columns of his paper,
whether in the Hne of advertisement or of reading
matter, that was not perfectly unexceptionable on the
score of propriety and purity. There was never an
issue from his press that could not be read entire,
advertisements and all, by all the members of the
most high-toned, pure and virtuous family, without
the least hesitancy or unpleasant feeling. In this
regard, he furnished an example in journalism which
some of even our religious papers would do well to
Literary Associations. — We have said that Mr.
Sherman was of a decided literary turn of mind.
This, as we have seen, naturally led him into jour
nalism. But this was not the only evidence of this
strong bent in his intellectual composition. Fond
of books, he had gathered together a large library.
He was especially fond of history, biography, and
above all of Biblical literature. With the latter, and
with the Bible itself, he made himself most familiarly
He was one of the original movers in the action
which secured to the town of Greenwich a public
library, and one of the contributors to the original
He was an honorary member of the Rhode Island
Press Association. This association was not formed
until after he had retired from active journalism, and
hence he was precluded from being a regular mem-
ber. At the annual meeting succeeding his decease
a committee was appointed to draft a suitable memo-
rial in recognition of the same, which was forwarded
to his family and placed upon the records of the so-
During his residence at Wickford the " Wickford
Literary Association" was formed in 1853. Mr. Sher-
man was elected the first president, and held the of-
fice until he commenced business in East Greenwich,
when he resigned. This society was composed of
ladies and gentlemen from the different churches
and societies, together with the clergymen of the
villag^e. It reo^istered more than one hundred
He had been previously the president of a gentle-
men and ladies' Literary Association in Woonsocket.
He was elected an honorary member of the Phlog-
nothian Society, a flourishing literary organization,
in the East Greenwich Academy. He was also
made an honorary member of the Rhode Island
Press Association, in connection with Governor An-
thony and other leading journalists of the State.
A Good Business Man. — Mr. Sherman had, in
many ways, very superior business qualifications.
He was very careful about expenditures ; kept all
his affairs snug and well in hand ; was active, ener-
getic, prompt and orderly. He was slow to make a
new move, but when he had decided to make it, he
threw himself into the enterprise with all his might,
determined, at all hazards, to make it a success. He
made few promises, but kept to the letter and to the
time those that he did make. Men always knew
where to find him.
A Providence eentleman, on reading several
newspaper notices after his death, remarked :
"What! not one word about his business quaHfica-
tions ? Why, I think his executive ability as a busi-
ness man very great. He was ever prompt, ener-
getic and methodical."
Public-spirited. — Mr. Sherman took a lively in-
terest in whatever pertained to the public good.
Any movement contemplating the intellectual, moral
or spiritual elevation of the community was sure to
engage his immediate attention and sympathy. He
not only advocated all movements looking to prog-
ress and reform with his most willing pen, but he
also took hold of the acttml wo7^k himself. Thus he
was one of the constituent members in the formation
of the Free Public Library of East Greenwich, and
himself donated one hundred bound volumes to the
In politics he was always on the side of law and
order, temperance and freedom, justice and human-
ity, education, morals, and progress.
When the civil or Dorr war broke out in Rhode
Island in 1842, contemplating the forcible overthrow
of the legally constituted government, and of social
and civil institutions as old and as venerable as the
organization of the State, Mr. Sherman was quick to
decide what was right, and what was his duty in the
matter. Being himself incapacitated by ill-health to
take his place in the law-and-order army, he volun-
tarily (no one was drafted) hired a man to take his
place, paying him the regular day's wages he had
before been receiving-, and at the close of the rebel-
Hon turning over to him the bounty granted by the
State to all volunteers. He was never the man to
preach to others and to do nothing himself.
" If to do were as easy as to know what were good
to be done, chapels had been churches and poor
men's cottages princes' palaces. It is a good divine
that folloivs his own instructions y — Shakespeare.
Soon after the close of the State rebellion just
mentioned, the ladies of Wickford, wishing to ten-
der to the Independent Company of Wickford Vol-
unteers some testimonial of their respect and appre-
ciation, purchased an elegant flag, and invited Mr.
Sherman to make the presentation at the following
Fourth of July celebration, in their behalf. This he
consented to do, and in a few choice and pertinent
remarks made the presentation. Capt. Thomas of
the Pioneers, in fitting terms, pleasantly responded.
He was ever decided and outspoken upon the
great questions of the day. During the war of the
slave-holders' rebellion, his age precluded him from
becoming a member of the army, but his sympathies
were strong, and his language unequivocal, bold, and
outspoken in favor of the Union cause. No man
could possibly misunderstand his position.
When President Grant visited General Burnside at
Bristol, on the occasion of his visit to Rhode Island,
Mr. Sherman received a special invitation to join
the party and dine with them. This is mentioned
simply to show that he was recognized as a man
who had taken a deep interest in the affairs of the
nation ; for he was invited, not simply as a compli-
ment to the Rhode Island Pcjidiihini, but in recog-
nition of his pubHc spirit, and extensive influence in
the world of poHtics and reform.
When President Hayes visited Rhode Island, in
1880, Mr. Sherman was invited to join the Presi-
dential party, who were to have a grand dinner and
speeches on the shore of Providence River. On
introducing him, General Burnside, who was present,
remarked, " This is one of our most substantial cit-
izens." On such an occasion, and from the lips of
such a man, this was no unmeaning tribute.
On all important public occasions, when anything
important was to be done in his own town, Mr. Sher-
man was always thought of and assigned to some
important place or duty. Thus in Fourth of July cele-
brations, on several occasions, he was represented
on the programme in some honorable capacity.
On the Fourth of July, 1876, the Centennial of
the Nation's Independence was celebrated at East
Greenwich with unusual demonstration. Mr. Sher-
man w^as chosen as the presiding officer of the day,
and likewise contributed an original hymn for the
He was never ambitious of political distinction.
A year or two before his death, the Republican Com-
mittee of the town urged him to accept the nomina-
tion for Chairman of the Town Council. He de-
clined, and proposed the name of the man who was
He served at different times as Public Notary,
Justice of the Peace of the town of North Kingston,
Legal Counsellor and Sheriff. On legal questions
he was often consulted, and his advice and counsel
were always given gratuitously. He was also made
Trial Justice, or Judge, in the town of East Green-
wich, on his removal to that place, as we find by
the following record, found among his papers :
"x-^t a town council, holden in and for the town
of East Greenwich, on Saturday, the 2d day of
July, A.D. 1 88 1, voted and declared that William
N. Sherman be and he is hereby elected Trial Jus-
tice in and for said town.
" Edward Stanhope,
" Council Clerk r
An Odd Fellow. — Mr. Sherman had an especial
admiration for the principles of Odd Fellowship,
holding them in the highest regard. He therefore
united with Harmony Lodge, No. 5, I. O. O. F., of
East Greenwich. Of this organization he was chap-
lain for many years.
In December, 1881, while in Greenwich, feeling
that he was drawing near to the end of life, he sent
for a member of the lodge, to whom he gave direc-
tions with reference to the arrangement of his grave.
He also named to him whom he would prefer as his
bearers, viz. : Hon. R. P. Alexander, No. 6 Office
Scarlet Number ; S. A. Slocum, Past Grand ; L.
Aylesworth, Past Grand ; E. M. Lowell, Past Grand.
J. Capron, chaplain at the time of his funeral, read
the beautiful burial service of this order at the tomb.
The following memorial resolutions were passed
by a sister lodge in Rutland, Vermont, where he died :
" Memorial Resolutions.
" At a regular meeting of Killington Lodge, No.
29, of Odd Fellows, the following resolutions were
" Whereas, The death in our midst of Brother
William N. Sherman, a member of Harmony Lodge,
No. 5, in the jurisdiction of Rhode Island, makes it
appropriate for us in our fraternal relations to ex-
tend our condolence to those who were so long as-
sociated with him and knew him in the bonds of
friendship, love and truth, and to manifest our esteem
for his useful and benevolent life ; therefore be it
" Resolved, That in the death of Brother William
N. Sherman the fraternity of Independent Order of
Odd Fellows has lost a member whose religious and
benevolent impulses led to the elevation and im-
provement of his fellow-men. A lover of his race,
he provided instruction for the people ; a Christian,
he remembered the needs of the poor and those
seeking for a higher and better life ; a philanthropist
and benefactor, he sought to relieve the downtrod-
den and distressed in the spirit of Odd Fellowship.
" Resolved, That Killington Lodge, No. 29, tender
their sympathy and condolence with Harmony Lodge
of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, on the decease of
a brother who honored them by his membership,
and they have reason to take great pride in his use-
ful life and benevolent deeds, so expressive of the
principles which are the groundwork of their order.
" Resolved, That the members of this lodge, appre-
ciating the kindly life and useful public services of
their brother, and feeling a deep sense of the sor-
rowful affliction that has come to their household,
extend to the devoted wife and to the family of John
A. Mead, M. D., our fraternal sympathy in their
''Resolved, That these resolutions be entered upon
the records of this lodge, and a copy thereof be sent
to the Harmony Lodge, and to the family of the de-
" Resolved, That these resolutions be published in
the village newspapers, and in the Guide, of Albany,
After Mr. Sherman's decease, Mrs. Sherman pre-
sented the lodge with his picture. The following,
will further explain :
East Greenwich, R. I., Dec. 14, 1883.
Mrs. W. N. Skej'-man.
Dear Madam : Complying with your request of
the loth inst., I last evening called at Miss Law-
ton's and received the picture of your respected
husband and our late Brother Sherman. At a
proper moment, during the lodge session, I advanced
to the position usually occupied on such occasions,
and after some appropriate remarks presented the
lodge in your behalf with the portrait, etc. The
same was unanimously received, and a vote of thanks
tendered the donor, of which last I hereby inform
you at the request of the secretary, who duly made
record accordingly. A committee was appointed to
hang the picture in some suitable position in the
lodge rooms. Informing Mr. Kenyon of the occur-
rence, he has requested me to write a few lines for
publication in The Pendtiluin, which I have just
I have the honor to remain,
Very respectfully yours,
M. M. Reynolds.
A Temperance Man. — As was indicated on a pre"
vious page, Mr. Sherman was ever a strong and de-
termined advocate of temperance. Publicly and
privately he threw all the weight of his pen and of
his influence on the side of strict temperance. But
he had contracted a habit in his younger days which,
though not generally regarded as in any degree in-
compatible with strict temperance principles, became
to himy the more he dwelt upon it, a matter of an-
noyance and of self-irritation, as an injury to himself.
Was the use of tobacco, strictly and in the highest
sense, right, for a thorough temperance man and
a Christian ? Were smoking and chewing habits
proper and fitting in one who was of necessity a con-
stant example to the young ? Was it not true that
these habits not unfrequently led to the positive
vices of drinking and dissipation ? At any rate, did
any good ever come out of them } Were they not,
to say the least, more evil than good ?
Questions like these arose in the mind of Mr.
Sherman, after he had indulged in the use of to-
bacco for many years. But questions like these,
once seriously entertained and considered, were with
him raised to be settled right. He declared that this
practice must cease. But a habit of years is not so
easily dislodged. His first attempt failed. He tried
ao^ain and ao^ain ; the old and well intrenched indul-
gence conquered. He finally said to himself that
here was a thing that ought to be done, and that
now it should be done. He would be henceforth
his own master. He now conquered, and for thirty
years before his death he was untrammelled and
free. " He that governeth his own spirit is greater
than he that taketh a city," and he that "keeps his
body under" is as great as he "that governeth his
Fond of Children. — Scarcely any one thing re-
veals more of one's character than the disposition one
manifests towards children and youth. Mr. Sherman
was very fond of children. This explains in no small
degree his great interest and enthusiasm during all
his life in the Sabbath-school. This love for little
people he showed very decidedly on all occasions.
When, in the autumn of 1876, he visited Mount
Vernon, Va., he gathered from the ground a quan-
tity of acorns. These he dispensed among the
children of his mission Sabbath-school, giving every
member of it at least one, and some many more ; at
the same time he most thoughtfully took advantage
of so fitting an occasion to talk to the children about
the good and great Washington, who lay entombed
in the place whence these nuts were brought. It is
not necessary to say that lessons thus taught and
thus enforced could not soon die out of the hearts of
the little listeners.
Love begets love. Children have keen instincts.
They are quick to see who love them, and as quick
to return the tender feeling. Children soon learned
to love him. Says one who knew him intimately and
well: "Little children were greatly attached to Mr.
Sherman. During his sickness, several came to in-
quire about him, bringing him bouquets of flowers.
This always touched and greatly delighted him."
On one occasion a company of children were tell-
ing one another what they were going to be when
grown up. One, the son of Rev. Mr. Rouse, a for-
mer Rector of the Episcopal Church in Wickford,
said : " Well, when I am a man I am going to be
He was exceedingly attached to his little grand-
daughter, " Daisy." When he " fell asleep "and she
was told that he would never waken again in this
world, she ran for a book and laid it in his hands,
that he might, as she said, pass his time pleasantly
in reading while on his journey.
She was then only a little over three years old,
but she often now recalls their warm mutual affec-
tion. It was to him a moment of supreme delight
when first her baby lips called him " Bampa."
Fond of Music. — It is easy to understand how a
person who is fond of children should also be fond
of music, and of art, and indeed of nature, and of all
things beautiful. All alike address the sensibilities,
the tenderer, richer, sweeter faculties of the soul.
Children, music, painting, statuary, flowers — they
all alike belong to the same blessed category of ob-
jects which elicit the best emotions of the human
soul ! He who said, " Suffer litde children to come
unto me and forbid them not," was also fond o( son£-,
and was accustomed in company with his disciples
to sm£- the sweet psalms of David. "When they
had sung a hymn they went out."
It was he also, who, in his sweet admiration of
Nature and Nature's works, on one occasion cried
out, " Behold the lilies of the field, they toil not,
neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that
Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of
There is a natural congruity between a fondness
for music and a soft and kindly heart and disposi-
tion. " The man that hath not music in himself, nor
is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for
treason, stratagem, and spoils. Let no such man
Mr. Sherman was not only excessively fond of
music, but he was accustomed himself not unfre-
quently to engage in the delightful exercise of sing-
ing, whether as pastime or as devotion. He was a
good singer, and when he sang he seemed to be en-
gaged to the very centre and core of his being.
Singing, as an element of public worship, in the
honor of God, was to him ever a peculiar and su-
preme delight. Singing the sweet songs of Israel,
in the conference room, was also always a great
solace and a joy.
One Sunday morning, during his sickness in
Rutland, he remarked that he should like to hear
the chapelites sing, referring to his mission church
at home. He was told that the doors should be
opened to the parlor, that the piano should be
opened, and that they would sing. This being done,
he said to the nurse : "This is heavenly. It lifts me
up." The next morning he remarked to Mrs.
Sherman that he should be very glad if she and
Mr. Reed (the nurse, who was a very fine singer,)
would go to the parlor and sing again. Again he
was thrilled with the delightful melody of sacred
song. His spirit was borne aloft as on wings of
holy triumph, and he expressed the thought that
if another opportunity was ever offered him, he
could dilate, from joyous experience, and as never
before, on the grandeur and glory of the Christian's
faith and the Christian's hope — the blessed inheri-
tance of the saints of God.
Mr. Sherman was fond of instrumental as well as
of vocal music. He keenly enjoyed the piano, and
not unfrequently called for some piece of music at
the skilful touch of his music-loving wife.
He was himself no indifferent player on the violin
and the flute ; and when the labor of the day was
over, and he was at liberty to sit down at home in
the quiet of the evening hour, he would accompany
Mrs. Sherman on the piano with one of the above-
mentioned instruments, entering into the perform-
ance with great zeal and enthusiasm.
Fond of Home. — Judge Sherman, of Providence,
once remarked to a gentleman who was inquiring for
Mr. Sherman : " If you wish to see William Sher-
man, you must look for him at his home. You will
never find him lounging in stores, and at street cor-
ners, inquiring the news, and holding forth on poHti-
A gentleman, on reading the newspaper notices of
him after his death, remarked : " And nothing about
his happy family relations, which were so delightful!"
Having once learned that Mr. Sherman was a
lover of art, music, and children, one can easily un-
derstand that he would be also a lover of home. Such
he was, and as such he made it a point to make home
pleasant and attractive. Everything in and about
his home was neat, cleanly, and in good order. The
grounds were ever nicely kept, the trees and shrub-
bery always well trimmed and cared for, and every-
where there was an air of order, nicety, and comfort.
Within were papers and periodicals of all descrip-
tions, and a large and well-filled library. Here, also,
and sympathizing with him in all his labors — indeed,
rather, may we say, an efficient co-laborer with him
in all his benevolent, charitable, and religious enter-
prises — was the one spirit in whom of all earthly be-
ings his soul most delighted. Here was his only child,
who, educated and cultured, had in early life given
herself to his own faith, his own church, and his own
Lord and Saviour. Here, at evening and ready for
his use, were his flute, and his violin, and his piano,
with skilful fingei-s for its touch. Having made for
himself such a home, it is not hard to understand
that he should richly enjoy it.
This fondness for and appreciation of home ex-
plains the following remark of his companionable
wife, who, speaking of his confinement to the house
by sickness, said : " The quiet companionship en-
joyed during the weeks and months after he was con-
fined to his room in Rutland will ever be cherished
as sacred memories."
Mrs. Sherman had the entire care of him until
about a month before his death. When he became too
feeble to help himself, a nurse was called in to assist,
Mrs. Sherman never leaving him for a single night.
A Vein of Humor. — There was a decided vein
of humor in Mr. Sherman's character. It manifested
itself constantly in his conversation and in his written
productions, and added zest and sparkle to both.
The popularity of his articles as a journalist was due
in no small degree to this " Attic salt," which sea-
soned so largely all that he wrote.
Properly tempered by other mental forces, wit and
humor are most valuable constituents of mind. Their
presence has a constant leavening influence upon the
dull routine of daily life, and infuses into the most dull
and prosy features of it a certain positive relief and
exhilaration. They add not a little to the pleasures
of home and the fireside, and become thus most val-
uable constituents of character. These elements of
soul were present in pleasant proportion in the
make-up of Mr. Sherman.
A Christian Man.— Mr. Sherman was, througn
and through, a Christian man. He was converted at
the early age of eleven. He was at this time attend-
ing the Fh-st Baptist Church of North Kingston,
un'der the pastoral charge of his uncle, William
Northup, to whom allusion has already been made.
He did not immediately unite with the church, think-
ing, perhaps, as so many persons do, that he was too
young to commit himself to responsibihties so grave.
He may also have felt it best to wait until some
experience in life should convince him that he was
truly a regenerated soul. He desired to be con-
vinced of his true discipleship before he ventured to
assert himself a member of Christ's visible body.
However this may be, he evidently did not lose his
youthful faith by waiting. As the years went on, his
religion became to him a more profound and a more
precious conviction. The germ of spiritual life im-
planted so early in his soul took root deeper and
deeper, and its growth was constant and decided.
Accordingly, in 1838, at the age of twenty-nine, he
united with the First Baptist Church in Woonsocket.
From this time to the day of his death he kept up
his church connections with fervor and zeal wherever
he happened to live.
Mr, Sherman's religion was not an. empty profes-
sion. It was not a form. It was not a Sunday garb.
It did not consist in going to church and listening to
a sermon. It did not occupy and exhaust itself in
discussing theological knots and Biblical difficulties.
It was not an outside show to win confidence and
respectability. Mr. Sherman's faith was a life. It
was a life that had rooted itself deep in his soul. It
dwelt there. It absorbed the strength of his soul.
When he took possession of it, it took possession of
him, and ever held that possession firm and strong.
By its vigorous life and growth it gradually stran-
gled the native vices of a sinful nature, while it itself
gradually put out the buds and blossoms of the
Christian graces and charities.
He was not bigoted, but tolerant of the religious
views of others. He believed that there was true
piety represented in all faiths. He loved indeed his
own denomination, because he was a man of strong
convictions, and he believed that the Baptist confes-
sion of faith most nearly represented the teachings of
the New Testament. But while he loved especially
his own particular form of faith, he fellovvshipped and
loved any and every soul in whom he could discern
the spiritual lineaments of the Lord Jesus Christ.
To him piety was better than profession, love than
creed, and charity than church, and he who truly
possessed these, in whatever fold of the Shepherd,
won his esteem and his affection.
A religion that is a lifc'x's, never inactive. It ever
finds something to do. In a world of iniquity it
finds the bad to reclaim ; in a world of intemperance
it finds inebriates to reform ; in a world of igno-
rance it finds people to educate ; in a world of pov-
erty it finds misery to relieve ; in a world of lost
sinners it finds souls to save. Along all these lines,
a true religion finds always and everywhere some-
thing to do. Seeing everywhere these pitiable
scenes among men, the true Christian can never look
on, an idle beholder. He must put forth a helping
hand. Such did Mr. Sherman in all these direc-
" Pure religion and undefiled before God and the
Father is this, to visit the fatherless and the widow in
their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from
It will be seen, further on, what claims Mr. Sher-
man had to be regarded, under the above rule, as
one who possessed "pure religion and undefiled be-
fore God and the Father."
Bible Reading. — Mr. Sherman was a close student
of the Bible. To him, from boyhood, the Bible was
indeed the Book of Books. Naturally of a strong
religious bent, he had, In early life, been deeply im-
pressed by the preaching of his Uncle Northup, to
whom reference has been made.
While at Wickford, and waiting for returning
health, he read four entire volumes of the " Com-
preJicnsive Cominentary of the Bible y The volumes
contain about one thousand pages each, and all the
reading matter except the text itself is printed in
small type. Conversant and familiar with the Scrip-
tures himself, he greatly enjoyed conversation and
discussion on sacred themes. He therefore sought
the society of clergymen and religious teachers and
thinkers. His house was often opened for the en-
tertainment of ministers. Indeed, as one acquainted
with the fact has said, " His house, from the time he
commenced housekeeping until the day of his death,
might well be called a minister's hotel, so frequently
were clergymen entertained over night and at other
times." One clergyman, an agent of the Bible So-
ciety, spent Sabbath day with him once each year,
for twelve consecutive years. This man, as being
the representative of religious service, was always-
welcome, and more than welcome, and would have
been if the twelve had continued to twelve times
These visits from men of God made red-letter
days for him, because of his fondness for religious,,
theological, and Biblical discussions. He used to say
that ministers always paid their way in the delight-
ful conferences and conversations of which they
were thus the occasion. Young clergymen, students
from the colleges and theological seminaries, stopping
with him over Sunday to preach at Marlboro' Chapel,
often expressed themselves as pleased with an op-
portunity of conversing with one so thoroughly versed
in a knowledore of the sacred writincrs. Some of
the students, on leaving the neighboring academy,
expressed their gratitude and obligation to him for
the encouragement and assistance he had rendered
As the chapel was without a pastor, Mr. Sherman
usually conducted the regular Wednesday evening
prayer-meeting. For this service he made special
preparation for the opening introductory remarks.
These are said, by those who listened, to have been
always of a most interesting and practical character.
On one occasion, at the close of an evening meet-
ing, Deacon P., who was present, remarked that
" Mr. Sherman's appeal that evening was one of the
strongest he ever heard."
Mr. Sherman was asked to be ordained as a
deacon, but he declined to accede to this request..
Many people, however, seem to have been accus-
tomed to think of him as a clergyman. A young
man came to his house one day and inquired it
Elder Sherman lived there. On being told that
Mr. Sherman resided there, he seemed greatly sur-
prised and perplexed, saying : " Why, isn't he a
minister? Doesn't he preach sometimes ? He con-
ducts religious services occasionally, does he not ? "
And then, looking up, with eyes full of curiosity and
mingled anxiety, he said: "Well, now, to whom
shall I go ? I desire to be married."
Kind to the Poor and the Suffering. — The
suffering, the poor, and the needy found in him a
ready and sympathizing friend. He often extended
the hand of help and charity to the unfortunate.
He frequently aided by material means those who
were wishing but were unable to establish themselves
Long will he be missed in the streets of East
Greenwich, which so many years he made his home,
and which in so many ways he benefited alike by
private charities to its poor, and by public benefac-
tions to its educational and religious institutions,
contributing ever to its needs, and endeavoring to
elevate its citizenship, alike with his pen and his
purse, and in constant personal effort in scores of
Pleasant and inspiring memories are these of a
noble and unselfish life ; of a soul instinct with the
needs and wants of humanity, and a disposition and
a wall ready ever to lend a helping hand. He evi-
dently felt the force of Edward Everett Hale's beau-
tiful motto in Ten Times Ten :
" Look up and not down,
Look forward and not backward,
And lend a helping hand."
His charities were not of the kind which occur only
on great occasions and then " blow a trumpet be-
fore them." But springing from a Christian life and
Christian principle, from that fountain whence only
and ever they spring in purity and in moral beauty,
they found their way, quietly and without demon-
stration, flowing into those channels where it seemed
to him they could accomplish the most of good.
Feeling, as the true Christian alone can feel, that
he himself had been the subject of infinite charity,
love, and grace in Christ's great redemption work for
him ; feeling that all he most prized on earth, and all
that he most hoped for in the life beyond, was to him
a pure gift of divine love and grace, his heart had
been deeply and profoundly touched, and he desired
to make some small return for all those infinite lov-
ing favors and blessings.
The Communion Service. — In this view we can
easily understand how it was that the Communion
service, that sacred ordinance which, more than any
other known to the Church, commemorates the love,
condescension, the self-denial, and the self-sacrifice
of our Lord, was to him an occasion of inexpressible
solemnity and sacredness, and of the most tender and
profound devotional experiences. He ever seemed
to feel on these occasions that the Saviour was espe-
cially near to him. With him it was ever true dur-
ing this memorial service, " As oft as ye do it, do it
in remembrance of me!'
It was that remembrance deepened and inten-
sified that gathered out of the streets children for
the Sabbath-school, that instituted the " Shore meet-
ings," that established the colored school at his own
house, that built Marlboro' Chapel, that extended so
■often to the needy the hand of charity. " As oft as
ye do it unto them, ye do it unto me."
The Sabbath Day. — The subject of these me-
moirs believed fully in the old New England Sab-
bath. He felt that the command of the old Mosaic
Decalogue was still binding, and accordingly he
felt it his duty to observe in all its fulness of mean-
ing the command, " Remember the Sabbath day to
keep it holy." He was not superstitious. His good
common sense could distinguish between faith and
credulity, between religion and superstition. But
the reading of the Bible to him was clear and explicit,
that Sunday is "the Sabbath of the Lord," and that
it was to be divided, severed completely in character
and observance, from the other days of the week.
All unnecessary work, all business, all recreation and
.amusement was now to be put aside. The day must
be devoted to quiet, to religious or instructive secu-
lar reading, and to worship.
As an illustration of his regard for the Sabbath,
the following incident is full of significance : When
living in Wickford, a creditor of his, who owed him
a sum of money, came a journey of several miles on
the Sabbath to make settlement. Mr. Sherman re-
fused to accept the money, saying that there were
other days in the week in which to settle accounts.
The Sabbath-school was a field of Christian la-
bor in which Mr. Sherman took very great delight.
Among the very first things he did on his removal
to Woonsocket was to gather up out of the streets
and the lanes of the village, " out of the highways
and the hedges," the idle, outcast, Sabbath-breakinor
children roaming the streets listlessly, or in search
of mischief, ragged wretches for whom, in their deg-
radation and poverty, no one seemed to have any
pity or sympathy. He looked upon these little vag-
abonds, unattractive, sometimes uncleanly, and some-
times even repulsive in their exterior, and looking
deeper than upon the mere outside, he saw in them
minds and souls made of the same material as his
own — saw within their rough exteriors the germs of
eternal being, germs of infinite worth, and capacities
for infinite development — souls immortal ; however
buried now in external unsightliness and squalor,
yet. after all, souls immortal, all the same, for whom
Missionary Work. — He at once secured the use
of a neio-hborinof school-house, and so far as he was
able he gathered therein and formed into a Sabbath-
school these little neglected waifs, heretofore un-
known and uncared for by the Church of Christ.
The school thus formed, he did not leave to the
care of others, considering now his duty done. On
the contrary, calling in the aid and co-operation of
his excellent mission-loving Christian wife, he care-
fully tended and nursed his charge until it grew into
a strong organization of some three hundred mem-
bers, embod} ing now all kinds and conditions of
children and youth. This organization thus com-
menced was afterwards received under the protec-
tion, care and guardianship of the Baptist Church of
Woonsocket, and continues to exist to-day, the
flourishing Sabbath-school of that society.
This strong interest in the religious education of
children, and especially of the neglected classes, con-
tinued to manifest itself most conspicuously in his
character wherever he made his home. In Wick-
ford, and afterwards at Greenwich, he showed the
same intense interest in these directions.
Shore Meetings. — On one occasion, while in
Greenwich, happening to go of a Sunday down to
the wharves along the shore, and seeing there a list-
less company of men and boys smoking, playing,
and in various ways desecrating the Sabbath, his
sympathies were at once stirred within him as in
Woonsocket before, and he began to cast about to
see what could be done. He saw at once that many
of them, being grown men, could not be induced
to go within the circle of any Sabbath-school. He
therefore decided that, inasmuch as he could not
get them to come to him within the inclosure of the
walls of church or chapel, he must go to them if he
would do them any good. He accordingly insti-
tuted what were afterwards known as " The Shore
Meetings." To these outdoor gatherings large
numbers of these low, rough people, old and young
alike, came, and were thus brought for the first time
in their life under Christian influences, and under
the sound of direct Gospel preaching. Good was
accomplished in these shore meetings. The good
seed was scattered, and some, there and then, were
induced to lead a nobler and better life ; but the full
result, the complete harvest, can be known only when
in the last day the " reapers shall be the angels."
Here, as elsewhere, Mr. Sherman not only worked
himself, but he also secured the help of others,
whose sympathies he was enabled to enlist in the
He was himself very effective in his method of
reaching people, and in the presentation of religious
truth. He was familiar with the Scriptures ; he be-
lieved them with all his heart ; he knew human na-
ture, also, and how to bring the former to bear upon
the latter. Of this fact the following little incident
will serve as an illustration :
The Rev. Mr. Richardson, who was pastor of the
Baptist Church in Rutland, and with whom he en-
joyed a pleasant acquaintance, was accustomed to
visit him. His first visit, which was during Mr.
Sherman's sickness, was on Thursday afternoon, be-
fore the regular prayer-meeting of his church. He
said to Mr. Sherman's daughter, " I took your
father's remarks in the evening meeting and made
them the topic for our evening service, and we had
the best meeting that I ever attended. Even old
Deacon M., who has passed through many revivals,
was melted to tears."
Colored Mission School. — Of his constant
Christian sympathy for and interest in the poor and
the neglected, there are abundant illustrations. In all'
this it should be noted that he ever found in Mrs,
Sherman a most willing and enthusiastic helper. As
they were united Christian copartners in faith, sO'
also were they united and active copartners in every
form of Christian and missionary work and labor.
The writer remembers well the little gathering
which used to occupy regularly, Sunday evenings,
one or two rooms in the basement of Rose Cottage,
for religious converse and instruction. It was com-
posed entirely of colored people. It was most
delightful to note their interest and enthusiasm in
these religious exercises, — to hear them talk and
testify, and then to hear them sing so grandly and
feelingly, " making melody in their heart unto the
Lord." These colored gatherings were productive
of great good, and are, among these people, most
gratefully remembered unto this day.
The following letter, read at the Baptist S. S. Con-
vention, will further indicate the character, growth,
and religious value of these colored Sabbath-school
and conference gatherings.
To the Rhode Island Baptist Sabbath-school Convention,
the Little Mission School and Bible Class of East
Greenwich send greeting :
Christians : This little school was formed Feb-
ruary I, 1866, and has increased from 3 little col-
ored girls to 8i scholars. It is, and always has been,
held in our own dwelling- house, and was fathered in
by and received only the care and instructions of
Mrs. Sherman. She has labored in the cause with
great zeal, and has had the real pleasure of seeing
the Lord's work prosper among these humble ones
under her untiring efforts.
In December, 1868, the writer, in connection with
the school, in the same rooms, gathered a Bible class
from the "highways and hedges" of our vicinity, a
number of the class being contrabands. On this
class book we have enrolled the names of i5^ indi-
viduals — 65 being the largest number present on any
one Sabbath. From our 2 classes 9 of our number
have united with different churches since the com-
mencement of the present year — 7 by baptism and
2 by experience. Others have desired the prayers
of the class, and profess a love for the cause, and
have their faces heavenward. We have men and
women of talent in our class — persons of deep-toned
piety — and this piety has often been beautifully ex-
hibited at the close of our lessons by a transforma-
tion from a Bible class into a prayer-meeting. Many
of these persons are contrabands, and they exert a
good mfluence over their colored friends and others.
Once a month the lesson is omitted and the time is
spent in prayer and conference. We have also a
service of praise for a half hour or more at the close
of every evening's exercises. The singing is often-
times heavenly. The notes of Canaan from the lips
of these deeply devoted ones have the true spirit of
melody. The sacred old songs of the sunny South
are often sung with a soul-stirring and happy effect.
Had we time to write, and the Convention time
to listen, we could mve scores of interesting and
even thrilling facts connected with our classes, but
as we are yet strangers to the State Sabbath School
Convention, we will not claim an undue portion of
its valuable time.
Perhaps, however, we ought to say that we circu-
late Sabbath-school and temperance papers freely.
We feel that God is doing a good work through us.
To Him and Him alone be all the glory.
In behalf of the Mission,
W. N. Sherman.
Marlboro' Chapel. — But what Mr. Sherman was
accomplishing in these limited quarters, less system-
atically and successfully and permanently than from
the nature of the case was his wish, he was now
preparing- to accomplish in another place much more
to his satisfaction.
At his own expense, and at a cost of about
$5,000, in a religiously neglected part of the town
he now built a chapel, for the free worship of all,
black or white, high or low, rich or poor, who might
choose to come in. There, as soon as completed, he
now instituted a Sabbath-school, with full equipment
of teachers, library, etc. To this also was now trans-
ferred the Mission Sabbath-school of colored people,
which for seven years had been accustomed to as-
semble at his own house. Here, mainly at his own
private expense, he instituted and sustained the
regular preaching of the Gospel, from this time until
the day of his death, a period of many years.
The chapel, capable of seating about three hun-
dred persons, was well attended. Scores of souls
were converted, and a church was formed. The
character of the work and how it was blessed may
be gathered from one or two simple incidents in
connection with the same. A poor widow who had
not been to church for over forty years was in-
duced to attend these chapel meetings. She be-
came interested, became anxious about herself,
was converted, and developed into a consecrated
and active Christian. Again, a man and his wife
who had been intemperate, and had not been to
church for twenty-four years, came to the chapel,
and were converted. This new church is men-
tioned in the recently published history of the town.
It was known as a Mission Church. There was no
regular pastorate, but supplies were regularly se-
cured from other churches, and from academies
and colleges, of students preparing for the ministry.
It was indeed, as its name indicates, a free church —
as free in form of faith, if that faith was orthodox, as
it was free in sittings ; consequently ministers of all
evangelical denominations were welcomed to its pul-
pit. This freedom of religous belief was not per-
mitted, however, to degenerate into license. Its
membership was composed, as was right, of only
those who believed and testified that they had ex-
perienced the iiezv birth, and found full and com-
plete forgiveness of sins in the grace and mercy of
our Lord Jesus Christ.
It fell to the lot of the writer of these memoirs
to conduct the pulpit exercises here on several occa-
sions. It was to him always a most delightful task.
The people were always orderly and attentive, and
showed by look and manner that they had come to
church for the purpose of true worship, and of
receiving religious instruction.
Meetings have been sustained here for the greater
part of the time since the decease of Mr. Sherman.
During one year, under the preaching of a student
from the academy, some twenty conversions were
The following extract from a report to the Baptist
Convention will indicate more fully what this church,
an enterprise of Marboro Chapel, was and had been
" The tenth anniversary of our school was held
Saturday evening, February 5, 1870. It was re-
ported that over fifty families connected with the
school since its commencement had removed from
the town. Total number of baptisms in the school
since its commencement, forty-two. Two of the
members gathered in had not attended church for
more than twenty years, and one for nearly forty
years. Our oldest scholar is seventy-five years old.
A beloved teacher, Mrs. Gracie D. Fish, died in
March, in full hope of an abundant entrance into
rest. Our last two concerts were held on Saturday
evenings with large congregations, and we like it
better than on Sunday evenings, as it does not en-
croach upon our regular Sabbath worship. We
have learned ' to labor and to wait.'" The largest
number of scholars at one time at the mission school
at the chapel was one hundred and eleven.
Daughter's Conversion. — He that giveth re-
ceiveth full measure, pressed down and running over.
" It is more blessed to give than to receive." Was
it an illustration of this ever-beautiful and ever-true
teaching of the Gospel of Christ, so faithfully preached
in this newly erected chapel, now consecrated to the
worship of God, that when doing for others, we are
always most effectually doing for ourselves ? Was
it a most pleasant fulfilment of this Bible promise,
that the only daughter of the founder of this reli-
gious charity was the very first to find and make
her own in this very chapel that Christ whom her
father had worshipped for so many years, and whom
he now, with a yet more consecrated faith, was
tr)'ing to honor and serve within these walls, which
he had erected as a loving benefaction alike to the
lowly poor and to his God ? At any rate such a
blessed fulfilment there was, and as the happy father
now looked upon his only child and saw her in the
freshness and fervor of youth consecrating her life
to the same church, to the same faith, and to the
same glorious cause for which he had been laboring
for well-nigh fifty years, we may well believe that- he
felt that he had found a reward sufficient, yes, am-
ple beyond the power of language to express, for all
he had done and all he had expended in the past.
" He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father,
and I will love \\\vc\,2.v\d. will manifest myself unto
The Truest Happiness. — True it is beyond ques-
tion that the highest and truest happiness comes
from doing good. Not when we work for ourselves,
but when we labor for others, are we most truly
blessed. On the occasion of the opening of the
chapel for public worship, Rev. Mr. Aldrich, who
was present and took part in the services, re-
marked : " How heavenly Mr. Sherman has looked
all day." Many others noted the same thing, while
one Christian friend remarked to Mr. Sherman :
" Well, brother, this is your coronation day, isn't it? "
Yes, and that crown, a crown of unfading amaranth
and gold he now wears, where now he lives, and
loves, and serves as king and high priest in the eter-
nal temple of his Father and his God.
Newspaper Notices. — The following notices of
Marlboro Chapel from the local papers will be of in-
terest, in this connection :
[From the Providence Journal.^
Opening of Marlboro Street Chapel. — This
new and beautiful edifice, built solely by the liber-
ality of W. N. Sherman, of The Pendulum, was
opened on last Sunday afternoon as a free church.
The introductory prayer was offered by Rev. G. M.
Alvord, of the Methodist Church, and the introduc-
tory sermon was preached by Rev. Justus Aldrich.
The chapel was crowded with attentive hearers, and
also in the evening the house was packed. The
whole congregation sang some of those good old
tunes, and blessed words such as our fathers and
mothers used to sing, accompanied by the sweet
notes, of a fine organ, the fruits of Mr. Sherman's
liberality. The chapel is a very fine building, and
under the control of its proprietor it will be not only
an ornament, but a blessing to the town. The poor
here have the Gospel preached to them.
[From the Providence Golden Rule, under date of August i6,
The Free Church at Greenwich.
Last Sabbath we were at Greenwich, R. I., and
there we found a Free Church. At an expense
of some $5,000, Mr. Sherman, of The Pendulum,
about a year ago purchased a site and built upon
it a church. Not far from it is his residence, and
for nine months now by himself, together with Mrs.
Sherman, his wife, has all the cares and responsi-
bilities of even the menial labor of the same been
looked after and met. They ring their own bell for
services and pay all the bills of expense for them,
whatever they may be.
In speaking of it they say it is 1^ Mission Church ;
and the undertaking in the first place, as now, has
been for the purpose of saving, if possible, those who
are not much in the habit of attending the house of
Divine worship, anywhere or at any time.
In lookinorover their town they found that there
were many who would be glad to avail themselves
of the opportunity of hearing the word of God on
Sunday, but, for reasons which they would not care
to give to the world perhaps, they could not do so.
And so these noble-heartecl Christians have taken
the work in hand and prosecuted, with a zeal worthy
of their high calling in Christ Jesus, the venture at
a sacrifice and a cost.
Concerning the fruits of their labor, so far they
are well satisfied that it has not been in vain. Many
have at their little church found peace in believing.
Previous to starting the inissioii, however, they
had made it a practice to gather in on Sabbath, intO'
their own house and home, all such as would come
to read and hear read the word of God. Here, too,
they were constantly encouraged by new accessions
into the fold of the Master's Kingdom.
In the evening we had the pleasure of telling in
our own way the story of the Cross to a full house,
and on Monday morning we came away deeply im-
pressed with the value of such Christian souls, and
such free churches for the people.
A Sabbath-school Superintendent. — Besides
these private mission labors, Mr. Sherman was usu-
ally connected, generally in an official capacity, with
the Sabbath -school of the church he was accustomed
to attend. Thus he was superintendent of Sabbath-
schools in three different towns in which he lived,
serving thus in the aggregate for a period of about
fifty years. His method of work was quiet and un-
obtrusive, but not the less effective and salutary.
He took great pains with his Sabbath-school con-
certs, to make them pleasing and profitable to the
children, sometimes writing an original hymn or
poem to be sung on these occasions. A gentleman
from one of the village churches, on a certain occa-
sion was present at one of his concerts, and ex-
pressed himself as greatly surprised and delighted
at what he saw and heard. The secret- of it all was
easy to explain. A man who loved Sabbath-schools,
and who loved children, and who loved the Lord
Jesus, and who loved the Church of Christ, and who
saw in the Sabbath-school the nursery of the Church
— a man inspired by all these kindred loves, and will-
ing to expend time, money, and labor to secure the
end desired, could not fail to produce something
beautiful and unusual in this line.
The following report, made by the minister of
Marlboro Chapel to the Rhode Island Baptist Sab-
bath-school Convention, will enable the reader to
get a still better conception of the nature and value
of Mr. Sherman's Sabbath-school services.
" In making the annual report to the Convention,
it is with deeply saddened hearts, for two reasons :
First, because of the death of brother William N.
Sherman, who was our highly esteemed and greatly
beloved superintendent for more than seventeen
years, and whose loss to the school is almost irrep-
arable. Secondly, because his protracted illness
and consequent absence from the school have caused
a o-reat decline in numbers and interest. Mr. Sher-
man was present in the school but once after the
1st of July, 1 88 1. Some three or four different
persons have assumed the position of superintend-
ent, but, failing to sustain an interest, have become
discouraged, and to-day we are without a regular
superintendent. Brother Sherman, by his benevo-
lent spirit, earnest Christian zeal and warm-hearted
activities for the good of others, was an example
worthy of imitation. He was an indefatigable
superintendent and worker in the Sunday-school for
more than fifty years. The Woonsocket Baptist
School was founded by him in 1833.
"A. R. Bradbury,
" Minister of tJie Church^
After the reading of the above report the Presi-
dent of the Convention made remarks expressive of
the long and valuable services of Mr. Sherman in
the Sabbath-school field. In a previous Sunday-
school Convention before his death, it was remarked
that he had been a Sabbath school superintendent
more years than any other man in the Convention.
His Real Life Work — And now, dear reader,
what does this all mean ? What is the significance
of a life like that of him of whom we write, spent so
largely in gathering together, and in instructing in
the principles of morals and religion, the children
and youth around him ? Who shall estimate the
amount of good he thus accomplished ? Who shall
tell how many of these youth, of all classes and
conditions, white and colored, he may have re-
claimed from ways of wickedness and vice, from
Sabbath breaking, profanity, and iniquity, and by
bringing them into the Sabbath-school, and into
the house of God, have brought them thus also,
through the agency of these hallowed influences,
into the straight and narrow way of eternal life ?
His long services as a public journalist were more
conspicuous in the public eye ; they won to him
more of reputation and social power ; they added
largely to his pecuniary resources ; in the view of
men, they constituted what he had of success in
life. But there are realms of power and of influ-
ence other than those of matter, men and money.
There is a field where labor tells, not for the brief
span of a life, not for the fleeting period of the quick-
gone threescore and ten, but for the eternities of
God ! That realm is the field of immortal mind !
That field, the field of the never-dying spirit! And
in that field Mr. Sherman wrought grandly, long
In this field he worked when in Woonsocket he
gathered the poor, the ragged, and the uncared-for
children of the village into the Sabbath-school, and
taught them things grander, nobler, and better than
they had ever conceived or thought of before. In
this field he worked, when in Greenwich he insti-
tuted the wharf meetings, and taught the uncouth
and unsightly frequenters of those haunts of vice —
of all colors, and characters, and ages — taught these
people about goodness, God, and heaven, and en-
treated them to enter upon new and better lives.
In this field he worked, when, in his own home, he
opened a Sabbath-school for colored people ex-
pressly ; when going- out into the highways and
hedges he compelled them to come in ; when thus,
with a beginning of three little colored girls, he and
his worthy and sympathizing wife found themselves
instructing a dark assembly of not less than eighty-
one sons and daughters of ignorance and immorality
In this field he worked, when he built and sup-
ported at his own expense Marlboro Chapel, where
on a large scale, and with ample accommodations,
the poor of all classes, of all faiths, or of no faith,
could worship without money and without price.
This, dear reader, was the real life-work of Mr.
Sherman. Inconspicuous indeed, little regarded of
men, but in truth, and as he now contemplates it in
the realms of light, where all things are estimated at
their real value, this was his substantial and endur-
ing life labor. " For the things that are seen are tem-
poral, but the things that are not seen are eternal."
Beautifully and truly writes Philip James Bailey :
"We live in deeds, not years ; in tlioughts, not breaths ;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial ;
We should count time by heart throbs.
He lives longest who feels the noblest, acts the best."
And Longfellow sings grandly when he says :
" It is the heart and not the brain,
That to the highest doth attain,
And he who foUoweth love's behest
Far excelleth all the rest."
" He llveth long who liveth well ;
All else is life but thrown away.
He liveth longest who can tell
Of true things truly done each day."
Last Sickness. — As has been noted on a previous
page, Mr. Sherman's last sickness was painful and
protracted. At times his suffering was exceed-
ingly severe. All was endured, however, with
Christian composure and without complaint.
He gave his wife explicit directions to express,
personally, his gratitude to those who had been
especially kind and thoughtful during his sickness,
in Greenwich and in Rutland. So numerous were
these material expressions of thoughtful remem-
brance that he said it almost paid for being sick to
find so many friends who were willing and ready
to assist, and to contribute so many nice things for
his comfort — delicacies to tempt his appetite, rare
and luscious fruit, flowers rich and beautiful. He
remarked further, that he surely had been greatly
favored in these regards, both in Greenwich and
in Rutland. He was constantly manifesting his
gratitude for the care and favors he received, and
said on one occasion : " No one ever had better care,
or even such good care."
About a week before his death he gave directions
that a small gift be sent to a niece, who had been
before overlooked when remembering others.
It is a matter of comparatively little importance,
in itself considered, and yet, as showing the kindly
relations he sustained to his ministerial brethren, it
is a matter, perhaps, worth noting, that during his
last sickness he was called on by no less than fifteen
different clergymen of different denominations. He
was always exceedingly averse to all forms of ex-
ternal show and demonstration. In conformity with
this disposition of his, he gave especial directions
that his funeral and burial should be quietly con-
ducted, without display of any kind. Aside from the
mere physical aspects of death, in the form of sick-
ness, suffering, and separation, he was accustomed
to look upon it with composure and in conformity
with the teachings of his faith. It was to him, not
an "eternal sleep — nor indeed even a "temporary
sleep," but a passage, as through a darkened cham-
ber, to a realm of infinite beauty and glory.
To him, " there was no night there, and they need
no candle, neither light of the sun, for the Lord God
giveth them light, and they shall reign for ever and
To him it was a place where " God shall wipe
away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no
more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall
there be any more pain, for the former things are
In his views the words of the Lord Jesus were
true, as true as the event of death itself was certain,
and upon them his soul reposed in a sweet and
" Let not your heart be troubled : ye believe in
God, believe also in me."
"In my Father's house are many mansions ; if* it
were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare
a place for you."
" And if I go and prepare a place for you, / zvill
come again, and receive yon nnto myself; that where
I am, there ye may be ahoy
It was in conformity with these uplifting Christian
views, hopes, and feelings that he made the request
that, when Professor Blakeslee should conduct his
funeral services, if it was thought desirable to have
any, he should speak to the living of lifes great
blessings — speak of the deep, the unspeakable sig-
nificance of this life, rather than to make any refer-
ence to himself, or to dwell upon the sad and mel-
ancholy associations of bereavement and death.
Funeral Directions. — His life-long instincts^
ever manifesting themselves in all things pertaining
to the decencies and proprieties of life, continued
with him to the last, and he gave explicit directions,
in writing, as to the disposition of his remains after
his decease. Just before he died he made mention
of some business matters ; then said : " I believe I
have done all that is necessary." Thus all affairs
relating to this life were cared for and completed.
Remembers his Friends. — To a large number
of friends he sent gifts and messages — to "Father
Mitchell," the blind centenarian, with whom he had
enjoyed many hours of religious conference, and to
Near the close of his life, as the 17th chapter of
St. John was being read to him, when the 24th verse
was reached — " Father, I will that they also whom
thou hast given me be with me where I am ; that
they may behold my glory, which thou hast given
me " — he said, " There is where 1 am to be." Then
seeming to fear that he had spoken with too much
assurance, he added, "There is where I hope to
And, feeling evidently that the end was near, he
remarked, " Ma, I have reached Beulah Land."
Services at Rutland. — No public service was
held at Dr. Mead's. The Rev. J. R. Richardson,
pastor of the Baptist Church, offered prayer at five
o'clock P.M., on Friday, preparatory to the removal
of the remains next morning. There were a num-
ber present, being those who had especially kindly
feelings toward Mr. Sherman, and were particularly
thoughtful of him. This service seemed more like
a family gathering for evening devotions than
His Favorite Hymn. — After the prayer, his fa-
vorite hymn was sung by two ladies, and most beau-
tifully rendered :
I come to thee, I come to thee !
Thou precious Lamb who died for me ;
I rest confiding in thy word,
And "cast my burden on the Lord."
I come to thee with all my grief,
Dear Saviour, help my unbelief;
Thy blessed name, my only plea,
With this, O Lord, I come to thee !
I come to thee, whose sovereign power
Can cheer me in the darkest hour ;
I come to thee thro' storm and shade,
For thou hast said, " Be not afraid."
I come to thee with all my tears,
My pain and sorrow, doubt and fears ;
Thou precious Lamb, who died for me,
I come to thee, I come to thee !
To thee my trembling spirit flies.
When faith grows weak and comfort dies,
I bow adoring at thy feet.
And hold with thee communion sweet.
wondrous love ! O joy divine !
To feel thee near and call thee mine !
Thou precious Lamb, who died for me,
1 come to thee, I come to thee !
As was fittinor, on the morninor when his remains-
were taken from his home in Greenwich, the bells
of Marlboro Chapel tolled the number of his earth-
life years. These solemn strokes told of the cessa-
tion of a life as complete in years ("Jt,^ as it had
been in virtues.
Elm Grove Cemetery. — The place where he
was laid is pleasandy laid out and ornamented, and
owes its existence as a cemetery to him, he having
initiated the movement which secured the lot in the
years of his Wickford life.
He afterward became desirous that the corpora-
tion having charge of the cemetery should establish
a perpetual fund, the interest of which should be
used to keep the lots in good repair, and the whole
in proper condition. This he proposed to the di-
rectors of the corporation, but though it was well
approved, it was not accomplished. He mentioned
the matter again a short time before his death, re-
gretting extremely that it had not been done. He
was told that it should not be forgotten. In 1886,
four years after his decease, the directors succeeded
in securing a charter which empowered them to es-
tablish a fund for the object above named ; and now
a sum of money, thus raised, is regularly expended
in conformity with the expressed wishes of Mr.
Sherman, the projector of this wise and excellent
plan for keeping the cemetery in proper condition.
A Present to the old Church of his Boy-
hood. — Allusion was made above to the Allenton
Baptist Church. This was the Old First Baptist
Church of North Kingston, to which reference has
already been made, and which was for so many years
under the pastoral charge of Rev. William Northup,
the uncle of Mr. Sherman. It was here that, in boy-
hood, he was accustomed to attend church in com-
pany with his parents, and it was here that he
commenced the Christian life at the early age of
eleven years, though he did not at this time unite
himself with the church.
A short time before the close of his life he re-
quested that the fine oil portrait of his uncle, whom
he had ever most highly respected and revered,
should be presented to this church, and hung upon
the walls of the audience-room, should the church
be pleased so to do. Accordingly this was done,
and most fittingly the presentation was made by Mrs.
Sherman, on the occasion of the centennial celebra-
tion of the church, November 12, 1882.
It was, altogether, a most interesting occasion.
The following outline of the exercises, abbreviated
from one of the local papers, will be of interest to
the many friends of this church, as well as to the
sorrowing members of the Sherman family :
"The First Baptist Church in North Kingston,
established one hundred years ago, celebrated its
centennial on Sunday. The service opened with an
anthem song by a chorus choir — * Praise the Lord.'
The sermon was preached by Rev. F. J. Jones, re-
cently pastor of the church. His discourse was a
sketch of the church since its organization, its history
being the history of its founder and father, Rev.
William Northup, who was a native of the vicinity,
born in 1760. He served for a time in the War of
the Revolution as drum-major, but when converted
he went at once into the preaching of the Gospel.
For fifty-nine years he was pastor of this church.
Six revivals of much power were enjoyed in his min-
istry, bringing 400 persons into the church. He died
in 1839 at the age of 79. The church was organized
November 12, 1782. It began with 12 brethren and
20 sisters, converts of Mr. Northup. A short time
afterwards, on the same day, a public recognition ot
the church, with the ordination of Mr. Northup,
took place. The next Sunday Mr. Northup bap-
"The first meeting-house was built in 1786.
Another was built in 1846. In 1848 the present
meeting-house was built. In 1870, the church being
without a pastor, a great revival was enjoyed under
the labors of the Revs. J. Aldrich and Wheeler,
neighboring- pastors. In 1880 the Rev. F. J. Jones
was ordained, under whose labors a revival was en-
joyed and some forty members added. The church
was constituted with 32 members. Its present mem-
bership is 184.
" When the discourse was finished, the portrait of
Elder Northup, a remarkably fine one painted many
years ago by Lincoln, was brought in and suspended
in the rear of the pulpit. The venerable features
were recognized by many of the older people in the
audience. The portrait was then presented to the
church by Mrs. W. N. Sherman, of East Greenwich,
whose husband, William Northup Sherman, was the
nephew of Elder Northup. The presentation was
accompanied with a written note signifying that the
gift was made in accordance with one of the last re-
quests of her late husband, and in harmony with her
own desire. Deacon J. Eldred responded in behalf
of the church, in a brief and appropriate address.
Mrs. Sherman appeared before the audience in deep
mourning for her husband, and, with the assistance
of Rev. J. Aldrich, exhibited several ancient books
with quaint titles, which had been owned by Elder
Northup, with other interesting relics, among them
a manuscript sermon of the old preacher, faded and
smoky, on the text, Jeremiah, xxxviii. 20 : ' Obey, I
beseech thee, the voice of the Lord, which I speak
unto thee ; so it shall be well unto thee, and thy
soul shall live.' The volumes had a very old and
smoky look. A hymn was sung, of which the two
last stanzas were "lined off," in the fashion of the
first half century of the church. The hymn was,
' How did my heart rejoice to hear,' sung to Mear.
The sinorino- was as old-fashioned as the words and
the tune. At this point a member was received into
the church by the hand of fellowship. The service
was closed with the doxology, and the benediction
by the Rev. Dr. Smith. The administration of the
Lord's Supper followed, the Revs. J. Aldrich and
Dr. Smith assisting in the service.
" The choir sang another anthem, ' Crown Him
Lord of All,' and the benediction closed the service.'
MEMORIAL CLOCK.— After the death
of her husband, Mrs. Sherman, stricken
down, as only those who have had a similar
experience can tell, had the feeling that she would
like to leave in East Greenwich, where for so many
years Mr. Sherman had been so well known and so
much esteemed, some appropriate reminder and
memorial of his honored name. She accordingly
decided to present the town with a memorial clock.
Nothing else, certainly, could have been more ap-
propriate and fitting. Nothing else could be so con-
stant and so perfect a reminder to the citizens of the
village of him who had for so many years mingled
with them in business, and had taken so deep an in-
terest in all their affairs, — educational, beneficiary,
reformatory, and religious.
Mrs. Sherman accordingly addressed a letter to
the Town Clerk of East Greenwich, offering to pre-
sent a clock, to be placed in some dome tower as a
memorial of her late husband and to be known as
the "Sherman Memorial Clock."
At the same meeting of the town council in 1883
this proposition was accepted, a vote of thanks
passed, and a committee appointed to have the mat-
ter in charge. Of this committee Professor F. D.
Blakeslee was chairman.
The following is the preamble and vote as passed by the council :
" Whereas, Mrs. Mary M. Sherman, of Rutland,
in the State of Vermont, has at her own expense
placed in the tower of the town hall of this town a
very beautiful and valuable town clock to be known
as 'the Sherman Memorial Clock, in memory of her
late husband, William N. Sherman, for many years
an honored citizen of East Greenwich, now de-
" It is therefore voted by the taxpayers in town
meeting assembled that Mrs. Sherman is entitled to
the gratitude and thanks of all the people of this
town for her generous, costly, and valuable gift.
" And it is further voted that the town clerk be
and he is hereby directed to transmit a copy of this
preamble and vote to Mrs. Sherman.
" Edward Stanhope.''
In due time, June, 1886, the clock was finished
and placed in the dome of the new town hall just
The following from a Providence paper will be ot interest in this
" The Sherman memorial (town) clock is in its
place in complete running order. It certainly is a
thing of beauty, and appears to be perfect in mech-
anism. The clock itself is placed in a room built on
purpose for it in the new town hall, some twenty feet
below the bell and dial plates. By an ingenious yet
simple construction of gearing, the hands of all four
dial plates are connected with the clock by one
shaft. On front of the clock, as one enters the
door, is seen the solid silver plate, bearing the fol-
lowing inscription :
Placed in position and presented to the town
of East Greenwich, R. I., June, 1886,
Mary M. Sherman,
In memory of her husband,
William Northup Sherman,
Who died March 2, 1882.
" The clock has two small dial plates, one with the
minute and hour hands, the other with the second
hand, and by an ingenious piece of mechanism the
four dial plates in the tower above are set to a second
by turning a small key which sets the two small dial
plates upon the clock. The weight of the pendulum
is about 125 pounds, the running weight about 100
pounds and the striking weight about 1,000 pounds.
The latter raises the 40-pound hammer 8 inches.
There is 100 feet of cord on the time weight, 200
on the striking weight. It has the Graham dead-
beat escapement. It is an eight-day clock, will run
two weeks without windinof, thouQfh it is intended to
be wound once a week. The running weight winds
about 50 feet. The time weight is about 126. The
town is to be congratulated, and Mrs. Sherman is
entitled to a unanimous vote of thanks for the
This clock has been heard to strike at Pine Hills,
a distance of ten miles far away across the bay.
Conclusion. — Thus we have briefly narrated some
few of the more salient points in the earth life of
this good man. Early in life he " commenced doing
good," and so, as the apostle Paul says, sent on his
works before to meet him, when by and by he
should pass on to the heavenly land. But now he
has made the eternal passage, and the full harvest
of his Christian labor is his, "and his works do follow
HE following letters,— one to himself, and
others letters of condolence, some to his
., wife, and some to his daughter, — make
many interesting references to his life and charac-
(From Rev. Mr. Robbins to himself.)
Cape Neddick, Nov. 4, 1879.
Dear Brother Sherman:
I take the liberty of sending to you a picture of a
man who feels greatly indebted to you for the many
expressions of kindness and good will which he has
received from you. I need not enumerate these
acts of kindness, but they have made an indelible
impression on my heart and I want, in some way,
to let you know it. The interest you took in my
case during the days of darkness and sorrow which
followed the resignation of my pastorate at Green-
wich, and the soothing, comforting words which your
wife addressed to me just before I entered the cars
when I left for Boston, will never be forgotten by
me. And the delightful meetings I enjoyed in your
chapel I often remember with great pleasure, and
with a feeling of regret that I cannot enjoy them
again. I have no such meetings here. I have a
good congregation to preach to on the Sabbath, and
our prayer and praise meetings in the evenings are
well attended ; but I have to do most of the talk-
ing. The church being small, the number of workers
is small. We have not such a hive of busy bees as
you have at the chapel. The Lord bless you,
Brother S., and your chapel work. We shall be
happy to see you at any time, and also to hear from
you by letter.
(From the Rev. J. Aldrich to Mrs. Sherman.)
Mrs. Wm. N. Sherman.
Dear Sister : As I was confined to my house,
on the funeral occasion of your dear husband, and
denied the privilege of mingling my tears of sym-
pathy for you in common with your many friends,
you will allow me to address to you a few words
with my pen. I rejoice, that while you are passing
through a very heavy sorrow, which nothing less
than God's grace can reconcile you to bear pa-
tiently, you are not left to mourn as those who
have no hope ; for your husband has not only died
in the hope of a better resurrection, but has also left
behind him, for your comfort, the record of a useful
life. It is not my special office to eulogize the de-
ceased ; and to you, who know so much better than
I the various offices of honor which he has filled
with all the details of his useful life, there is no
need that I should rehearse his praise. His record
is not only in Heaven, but it has been eloquently
chronicled by others on earth. But it is so pleas-
ant to recall the deeds of our departed friends, that
I cannot well forbear an allusion to a Sabbath
which it was my privilege to spend at your house
ten years ago last November, That beautiful day
was made especially memorable to me by the Sun-
day-school service, held at mid-day, in a convenient
apartment of your own house. I had seen your
husband happy on other occasions, but never so
happy as that day, when the poor and neglected
people of the place flocked in, and gathered around
him for Bible instruction. He seemed to feel that
it was his special mission to provide for that class,
and to be perfectly satisfied, as to compensation
for his labor and expense, with the affectionate
gratitude which they manifested on that occasion.
The pleasing scenes of that Sunday-school session
come to me to-day with almost as much freshness
as if they had occurred but yesterday. My first
surprise was that so large a number of that class
which is so hard to interest in religious instruction
had been drawn together in a private house, and
that they all seemed so cheerful, and so much at
home in the exercises of the school. The poor and
illiterate of our larger towns are made to feel so
keenly the contrast between their social condition
and that of the ordinary congregation that gathers
in our larger churches on the Sabbath, that when
the few conscientious Christians do try, now and
then, to bring them into the house of God, they suc-
ceed only in a very few cases. The instinctive de-
sire of the poor and wretched to receive sympathy or
kindly attentions from their superiors — which is one
of the hopeful features of fallen humanity — was hap-
pily realized that day in your cheerful and commo-
dious home. I remember how I thanked God in my
heart that He had provided at least one family
and one home in East Greenwich to succor and ele-
vate the poor and unfortunate. I cannot forget the
grateful and satisfied expression which beamed with
a beautiful radiance upon all their faces, as they par-
ticipated in the exercises of that day. I had never
before ^'o fully appreciated the blessedness ot minis-
tering to God's li'^^/e ones. I then and there felt
somewhat, at least, the grave import of Christ's
words, " Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of
the least of these, my disciples, ye have done it unto
me." I remember how I was impressed that evening,
in conducting the introductory services of Marlbor-
ough Street Chapel, to speak of that beautiful inci-
dent in the life of our Saviour which is recorded in
Matt. xi. 4-6, making, in my discourse, a special
point of the fact that in answering John the Baptist's
inquiry, " Art thou he that should come, or do we
look for another?" Jesus said to John's disciples:
" Go, tell him the blind receive their sight, the lame
walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead
are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached
to them ; and blessed is he whosoever shall not be
offended in me." As I then said, " The Marlbor-
ough Street Mission must prove to the churches of
East Greenwich its divine commission, to undertake
an independent work for the salvation of sinners, by
saving\\\^m.y so now I believe It has done this to the
satisfaction of some of the best members of each of
the churches. That many doubted the expediency of
the mission, and others sincerely regretted its inau-
guration, shows nothing, now that it has proved the
birth-place of souls ; but it is clearly evident that my
departed brother was divinely directed to erect this
chapel to God's service ; and I sincerely pray that
God will provide wise and faithful men to carry on
successfully in the future what your dear husband
so well commenced. I am sure that he who conse-
crated his money so liberally, and gave his services
with so much self-denial to this enterprise, while on
earth, can but feel a deeper interest in its present
and future success in saving souls, now that he
knows their worth and the glorious rewards of
Heaven. Regretting that I have extended these
lines which I had designed to limit to a brief note to
so long an epistle, praying that you may be di-
vinely comforted and sustained in this hour of your
great sorrow, I hasten to subscribe myself.
(From Mrs. Clement to Mrs. Mead.)
Hartford, March 8, 1882.
My dear Mrs. Mead :
I have just heard of your sad bereavement, and
desire to assure you of my sincere sympathy. I
have thought so much of you and your poor
mother in your great loneliness which must follow
the loss of one to whom you were so constantly and
devotedly attached. And your dear little daughter
must miss so much the grandpa whose fondness for
her was so remarkable.
But your faith in the promises of our blessed
Saviour will surely bring comfort to your stricken
hearts, and the memory of such a useful life is some-
thing to be thankful for.
Mrs. Parker unites with me in expressions ot
(From J. W. Miller to Mrs. Sherman.)
Bellefonte, Pa., March i6, 1882.
Dear Mrs. Sherman :
As I read in the Philadelphia Record of a week
ago last Saturday a despatch announcing the death
of Mr. Sherman, both his own and your many kind
words and acts came before me with increased
force, and I felt a desire to express in some way my
sympathy for you. And yet, I feel your grief is so
sacred that I dare not break in upon it with my
words. The music of nature may seem discordant
and jarring to friends, and earth may be sorrowful ;
but only to that little immediate circle from which is
taken the loved one does the broken chord appear
and the voices of earth seem indeed to be harsh.
At such times, grief shuts out our grosser selves, and
conforms us insensibly to our God-natures. How
we should cherish those feelings of love which are
immortal ! The sorrows of separation will multiply
the joys of reunion, and we shall in the hereafter
bless the Father who permitted us to have affliction
in time, only that we may more fully appreciate
Heaven's pleasures in eternity.
Clara wrote me fuller with regard to your be-
reavement, and, since together we shared your
kindness, we likewise may unite in asking our
Heavenly Feather to reveal unto you the deeper
things of His love, and give you constant trust in
the ultimate joyful meeting with your loved one in
the land of Beulah. J. W. Miller.
(From Miss Blakeslee to Mrs. Sherman.)
Cortland, N. Y., March 20, 1882.
Mrs. Sherman :
Our Dear Friend : I can add but little, for words
at such a time are useless, but I wanted you to know
that I was not unmindful of your great sorrow.
You do not sorrow without hope, I am sure, and
Heaven grows very near us when it holds a dear
one taken from our family.
If such notes as these pain you at present, wait
and read them with more care later, and you may
possibly be glad to know that they were prompted
by sympathetic hearts. We shall all miss your
" We wept — 'twas Nature wept, but faith
Can pierce beyond the gloom of death,
And in yon world, so fair and bright,
Behold thee in refulgent light !
We miss thee here, yet Faith would rather
Know thou art with thy Heavenly Father.
Nature sees the body dead —
Faith beholds the spirit fled ;
Nature stops at Jordan's tide —
Faith beholds the other side ;
That but hears farewell, and sighs,
This, thy welcome in the skies I
Please accept my love and sympathy.
(From Miss C. S. Weeks to Mrs. Mead.)
New York, March 19, 1882.
My dea7^ Mary :
I have just heard of the great sorrow which has
recently come to you, and I cannot help writing a
line to express my sympathy for your loss, though
we have been so long separated as to be now almost
The years have doubtless brought many changes
to us both, but none which seems to me sadder than
that which robs you of your good father, whose
kindly and genial nature I remember well. I count
among the pleasantest memories of my girlhood the
days which I spent in your household, which he as
well as your dear mother and yourself did so much
to render home-like to a nomeless child.
I read of your father's death with so sincere a
feeling of regret and so tender an appreciation of
the sorrow that it must be to you, that I cannot re-
frain from giving expression to it, that you may be
assured that whatever comfort may be derived from
the cordial sympathy of your friends is at least
Give my warmest love to your mother.
I remain with much affection and many kind re-
C. S. Weeks.
(From S. M. Sherman to Mrs. Mead.)
Jamaica Plain, March 29, 1882.
My dear Mrs. Mead:
I was very sorry to learn ot your father's death.
As a boy I was with him a good deal. He used to
take me to ride with him very often. Some of my
pleasantest recollections as a boy are associated with
him. You have my deepest sympathy in your great
Give my most affectionate regards to your mother.
She was my Sunday-school teacher when I was a
boy in Wickford. I have always cherished her
memory as the first teacher who im[)arted to me
when a boy my first knowledge of that Being whom
now, as a man, I acknowledge with love and rever-
ence and humility as my Master and Saviour.
Very sincerely yours,
S. M. Sherman.
(From Rev. Mr. Stetson to Mrs. Sherman.)
Providence, R. I., April — , 1882.
No. 32 Gilmore Street.
Sister Shermayi :
I hasten to do what I have been intending to do
ever since the death of your dear and much respected
husband. I know you feel sad and lonely since his
departure to the blessed spirit land. But the sweet
recollections of the past, the life he lived, the earnest
catholic spirit of loyalty to truth, the fervent spirit
of love to Christ, the self-denial for the good of hu-
manity, the constant, fervent spirit of prayer, the
noble reaching forth after higher attainments, the
manliness he maintained on every side, the sweet
fragrance of love he threw around his earth home,
and earth life, still remain. They are not dead.
They still cheer and speak to you. Not only to you
but to us all who were permitted to share his ever
Many have been the pleasant hours I have spent
at your Rose Cottage with your husband and your-
self. Pleasing recollections they indeed are to me.
How pleased I would be to repeat them, but that
cannot be. I cannot mourn for Brother Sherman,
for he has gone to that rest we used to talk about
and pray for. Pleased would I be to meet him again
as I used to and see his smiling face, but I must wait
in that future hope through the mercy of Christ and
the Father, God, of finding him in that happy land
where disease and pain and sorrow and all tears are
removed. I was surprised when I heard of his
death, and I should have been present at his funeral
had it been that circumstances favored. I thought I
would write you and try to speak some word of com-
fort to you, and then I thought that I would wait till
the first hours of sorrow had passed and the more
lonely hour of secret sorrow had dropped its shad-
owing cloud over your spirit. But I trust as the
bright hope of the future world with all its happy
reunions is pictured on your spirit, the light from
glory is so strong that the shadows are quickly re-
moved, and you are led to trust all to Him "who
doeth all things." " Blessed are the dead that die
in the Lord."
I have heard nothing of your future arrangements,
but presume you will be with your daughter.
What did he do with the chapel ? Is it to be con-
tinued as a place of worship ? I have enjoyed many
a pleasant hour of worship in that place.
I hope you are enjoying a good degree of health
and very much of the consolations of the Gospel of
From your brother in Christ, with Christian love.
(From Miss Mary Crane, daughter of Rev. S. A. Crane, D.D., who
was rector of St. Luke's Church, Greenwich, for more
than thirty years, to Mrs. Sherman.)
Rome, Italy, May ii, 1882.
My dear Mrs. Sherman :
I know that letters and words can only comfort
those in sorrow as proofs that friends are sympathiz-
ing with them, and, therefore, though perfectly con-
scious that I cannot take one sorrow from your
heart, I am going to send a few lines to tell you that
though so far away I do not forget you and Mary in
the bereavement to which you have been called in
the loss of husband and father. I know, too, that
you know in whom you trust, and that He Is wilHng
and able to bring you comfort in this hour of trial,
and that He only can. It is a sad break in the home
when the head is taken, and you know how sadly
we were called to feel this. I well remember your
kindly sympathy when my dear father was taken
from me. and afterward when my mother followed
him, your kindness to me. In both these afflictions
you were very kind, and I have many times said I
wanted to write to you now and tell you you and
Mary were not forgotten, though so far away. May
God bless and comfort you both. For Mary it is
less hard, as she has her own family about her, and
no doubt you will go and be with her most of the
time, but wherever you are the great blank in your
future must ever follow you. But in your daughter's
home and in her family you will find much to occupy
and interest you, and in time, God's good angel of
comfort which must soften our grief however great,
you will find yourself looking more on the time of
meeting and less back to earth and its sadness. In
fact it will be but a short time before we shall all
meet in that home where partings cannot come.
Indeed, dear Mrs. Sherman, were it not for the
blessed hope in that world to come where the
Saviour will be' our light and our peace, what
should we do in these hours ? Oh, let us thank
Him for the inestimable blessing of His love and all
that He has done for us and our hopes for the
future. May He bless and comfort you and yours
in your hour of trial. Will you remember me most
kindly to Mary and accept for both my sincere sym-
pathy in your bereavement.
Your very truly sympathizing friend,
(From Miss R, H. Smiley to Mrs. Sherman, a preacher in the Society
Lake Mohonk, March 31, 1882.
Dear Mrs. Sherman :
My thoughts often turn to thee with loving sym-
pathy as I remember thee in thy loneliness, and I
do pray that the " God of all comfort " may be very
consciously near thee each moment.
He alone can fill the void that death has made
and lift thy thoughts to that blessed home where the
dear one gone before is "forever with the Lord."
That life seems more and more to me the r^^^/life,
and I love to dwell upon it and think of the joy of
those who have entered in. Only " a little while "
and we, too, shall join with them in their songs of
joy and triumph. As dear friends one by one are
taken, I can but rejoice for them that the trials of
earth are ended and they rest with Jesus.
I know there is the sorrow for those remaining —
the daily missing the dear ones, but He knows all
this and sympathizes with those who sorrow. I trust
thou dost so enter into the joy of thy dear husband
that thy own heart is uplifted with a blessed foretaste
of the joy beyond.
Thy dear one is with Jesus now seeing Him face
to face. Oh, what joy ! satisfied forever ! He has
seen it best to leave thee here a httle longer to live
for Him — to manifest forth the life of the Lord Jesus,
and I do pray that thou mayest realize day by day
that the Lord Jesus is a blessed reality, and that
thou mayest be a living witness of His love and sup-
porting grace, and be anew set apart for Him.
" Set apart for Jesus,
Is not this enough ?
Though the desert prospect
Opens wild and rough ?
Set apart for His delight,
Chosen for His holy pleasure,
Sealed to be His specialtreasure !
Could we choose a noble joy.
And would we if we might?"
And then the blessedness of being *set apart to
sej've Him. May we delight to do His will, giving
Him a joyful service with praise.
May the Lord bless and comfort thee.
Lovingly thy friend,
R. H. Smiley.
(Extracts from Mrs. C. W. Ray, D.D., to Mrs. Mead.)
3214 Haverford St.,
My dear Mary :
In your family there have been sad ravages.
Death has been there — rather the dear departed has
been promoted to a nobler immortal career, his mor-
tal life was well rounded — everything finished.
Blessed rest in paradise, after so much labor.
Give much love to your dear mother and say to
her that in my heart of hearts I have sympathized
with her in her great loss — with yourself too, but
you have your husband and child, while she is quite
Several friends sent me papers containing sketches
concerning the life and labors of your father, which
have been of much interest to me. It seems to me
that his was a finished life. He was able to accom-
plish so much good in the Master's cause, and had
such a long life in which to labor. Grateful is the
memory of such.
Mrs. C. W. Ray.
(Extracts from Rev. Gilbert Robbins to Mrs. Sherman. Mr. R.
remarked to Mr|^ Sherman as he left E. Greenwich for another
field, " You have done for me more than any other one here unless
it be Mrs. V." He lived in Mrs. V.'s house.)
Cape Neddich, March.
Dear Mrs. Sherman :
Most sincerely do I sympathize with you in your
bereavement. May you find the grace of God suf-
ficient to sustain you under it. 1 feel that in the
death of your husband I have lost a friend ; for dur-
ing my ten years' residence in Greenwich I always
regarded him in that light. One of the pleasantest
trips of my life I owe to him. I refer to the trip I
made with him to Washington, several years ago,
when our missionary anniversaries were held there.
He generously furnished me with the means of going
and returning, and, indeed, of defraying all the ex-
penses of the journey. And I remember with
pleasure how I went with him down the Potomac to
Mt. Vernon and visited the tomb of the immortal
Washington. Oh, what thrilling emotions we had as
we stood together gazing upon that sacred tomb ! It
was an event to be remembered for a life-time. And
I never think of it without feeling grateful to the man
who gave me the opportunity of doing it. I should
not have enjoyed that privilege had it not been for
the kindness of Brother Sherman. And that is not
the only occasion on which I was the recipient of his
benefactions. I think, with pleasure, of the kind
attentions I received from him during the trials
through which I passed in some of the last months
I lived in Greenwich. And I remember the words
of sympathy uttered by you, dear sister, just as I
left the village in the cars for Boston.
The good Lord reward you for your good wishes
and words, and may you be supported by his
precious promises now that you are left alone. Many
will lament the departure of your husband as well
as yourself. The worshippers in the chapel will
sadly miss the man to whose Christian liberality they
are indebted for that pleasant place of worship. But
you must remember, and so must they, that the
builder and owner of that chapel has entered that
" house not made with hands eternal in the heavens."
He has gone where, often on earth, his spirit longed
to be, and we shall all soon follow him. Mrs. R.
sends her love and kindest sympathy.
(Extracts from Mrs. Asenath C. Green, for more than twenty years
a missionary in the Sandwich Islands, to Mrs. Sherman.)
Makawas, S. L, Jan. 24, '84.
Very dear Mrs. Shermaii :
I take a note sheet this morning to fully assure
you that a well-covered letter was mailed for Green-
wich long, long ago, taking my love and sympathy
to a cherished friend ; perhaps had I directed to
Mrs. Wm. N., instead of M. B., you would have re-
Your dear daughter Mary is located in the
" Green Mountain State," making a home for her-
self. I think of it as the place of her devoted father's
last weariness and pain,y"r6';;^ which his spirit took
flieht to an abode of rest and unending bliss. How
truly it may be said of him, he lived not for self
but others ! My delightful visits at your pleasant
Wickford home are oases in my memory.
With much love to yourself and friends, I am
Mrs. Asenath C. Green.
HE Sabbath succeeding his burial, March 19,
1882, a memorial service was arranged
and conducted by the Rev. Mr. Bradbury,
of Providence, in Marlboro Chapel, East Greenwich.
The following selections from this sermon will be
read with interest :
Text, Ps. cxii. 6 : " The righteous shall be in
everlasting remembrance." The last clause.
The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, separates
the human race into two large divisions. It names
them the righteous and the wicked ; the saint and
the sinner ; the believer and the unbeliever.
It represents them as serving two masters, the
righteous serving God the Father, Christ Jesus, the
Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Great Comforter ;
the wicked serving Satan, who, for sixty centuries,
has been trying to rob God of his glory, and men of
The Bible also represents them as walking differ-
ent ways — the righteous walking in a straight, nar-
row, sun-lit, star-paved way ; the wicked in a broad,
easy, sliding-along way.
They meet with opposite deaths. The righteous
often triumph in death, shouting, " O, death, where
is thy sting ? " The wicked are driven away in their
wickedness, without hope and without God.
The Bible eoes still further. St. Matthew, in the
25th chapter, from the 31st verse to the close of the
chapter in his gospel, gives a graphic, glowing de-
scription of the august scenes of the General Judg-
ment, when, for the first and last time, the whole
human race were ever together, or ever will be.
My theme is the character and destiny of the
righteous. We remark in describing their char-
1. You may know the righteous, for they are right
in their thoughts, meditations, plans, purposes, and
motives. Their chief motives are to glorify God and
do good. They can well remember when their
motives were not good. But now they are. How
true this was of our dear departed Brother Sherman.
His aims and motives, from a little boy, were to
glorify God and build up his cause.
2. You may know the righteous, for they are right
at heart, right in their affections. They love God
supremely, and try to love their neighbors as them-
selves. How true this was of our dear brother!
3. You may know the righteous, for they are right
in the words which drop from their lips. They are
like honey and the honeycomb. Oh, what sweet,
heavenly words have dropped from our beloved
brother's lips in this chapel, ever since it was built!
Oh, how fresh in our memory are the heavenly ex-
hortations in praise, prayer, and conference meet-
ings, when his whole soul was drawn out in agonies
for the conversion of sinners. They even now seem
to ring in our ears. While memory remains, they
4- You may know the righteous, for they are right
in their doings. The deeds of their hands are like
their words — useful, beneficial. Like their Master,
they go about doing good. How true this was of
Brother Sherman. See the work of his hands in
this beautiful house of worship.
5. You may know the righteous, for they are right
in their views of the atonement ; of the plan of salva-
tion ; of the redemptive scheme of mercy through
the Crucified. You remember, my hearers, how
clear our dear brother's views were of the way of
life and salvation. Very seldom do we find even
ministers who can grasp these weighty truths better
than Brother Sherman did, or who could expound
and explain better than he could !
6. You may know the righteous, for they are right
on the great benevolent institutions of the day,
such as missions, temperance, Sabbath-schools, and
anti-slavery. On these institutions, without an ex-
ception, our esteemed and dearly beloved brother,
from a boy, took a right stand. He embraced them,
brought them home to his bosom, and worked for
them with an undying zeal. For all of them his
ardor never waned. When the State had the pro-
hibitory law, he thought we now had a panacea for
the horrible ills of intemperance. We could now
demolish the gigantic crime of crimes, and destroy
the sum of all villainies. And oh, how grieved he
was when the prohibitory law was abolished. His
heart seemed to sink within him.
And he was an earnest friend and zealous worker
in Sabbath-schools. When he lived in Woon-
socket, and was proprietor and editor of The Woon-
socket Patriot, he found time to go out into the lanes
and byways and collect together the ragged, dirty,
filthy, vicious children in the school-house, taught
them the way of life and salvation, and led them to
"■ the lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the
And how he rejoiced when the chains fell off
from the millions of slaves in our otherwise happy
land ! And when the contrabands came to East
Greenwich, he took some twelve or fifteen of them
into his house, taught them to love and serve God,
and, that they might feel more at home, purchased
the lot on which this beautiful chapel stands, built the
chapel, put in a large organ for the public services,
a small one for social meetings and the Sabbath-
school, at the cost of several thousand dollars. And
for some eight or ten years he has seen the salvation
of God in the conversion of sinners.
II. It remains to speak of the destiny of the right-
eous. For they shall be in everlasting remembrance.
We observe, then :
I. To be in everlasting remembrance is to be
eternally in the mind of God Almighty. As He is
omnipresent and omniscient, it follows that He will
hold the righteous eternally in His memory. It is
impossible that they should, for one moment, be for-
gotten. " Can a woman forget her sucking child ?
Yea, she may forget, yet will I not forget." The
righteous will be graven upon the palms of His hands.
2. To be In everlasting remembrance is to be
eternally in God's great heart of affections. On the
righteous He pours a flood of His love. Never, no,
never, can He cease to love them. Nothing can
withdraw His affections from them. " For I am per-
suaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor
things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any
other creature, shall be able to separate them from
the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our
3. To be in everlasting remembrance is to be
eternally in God's presence. What particular part
of the universe He will furnish for a home we are not
informed. The locality of heaven, the paradise of
God, the mansions of rest, is not given us in the
sacred Scriptures. They tell us there are such
places, and for whom they are prepared, viz., saints
and ano^els, and that the rio^hteous shall dwell in
them for ever and ever.
4. To be in everlasting remembrance is to be
eternally supported by him. The sacred books
of the Bible only hint at what may be needed for
their support. John, the Revelator, says : "And he
showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as
crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God, and of
the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on
either side of the river, was there the tree of life,
which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her
fruit every month." And in another chapter he
writes : " And white robes were given unto every
one of them." This is figurative language, but fig-
ures have a deep and impressive meaning.
5. To be in everlasting remembrance is to be
eternally protected by God. Just what protection is
needed for the righteous does not readily appear.
It cannot, for a moment, be supposed that in the
future world dangers beset our paths, or that any
evils will overtake the righteous. They are safe,
protected by His Almighty power. His omnipotent
hand will hold them up.
6. To be in everlasting remembrance is to be,
perhaps, nearer Christ's throne eternally than any or
all the holy angels of heaven. These angels never
sinned, never needed the pardoning mercy of a
crucified Redeemer. St. Paul writes in his first epis-
tle to the Corinthians : " Know ye not that we shall
judge angels," which seems to imply we shall in
some sense be superior to the holy angels of heaven.
Hence the poet sings :
" Earth has a joy unknown in heaven —
The newborn peace of sin forgiven !
Tears of such pure and sweet delight,
Ye angels ! never dimmed your sight."
7. To be in everlasting remembrance is to be
eternally in the best society of the universe of God.
The archangel Michael, Gabriel, all the holy angels,
the cherubim and the seraphim, together with all the
redeemed, from Abel down the long stream of time,
and all the ransomed who now live, or ever will
live, will compose that happy, holy, glorified society.
There, oh, there will be the righteous. There, oh,
there is our dearly beloved Brother Sherman. Could
the curtain be removed, and we look in, what raptur-
ous delight would thrill our souls ! What overpow-
ering joy would fill our minds ! For aught I know,
we should like to hasten our flight to join that holy,
happy throng. Well, my dear hearers, we may, if
righteous, be nearer that glorious society than we
are aware. There may be but a step between us
and death. The angel may already be summoned to
cut the brittle thread of life. Oh, may we see to it
that we are ready, all ready, for the summons.
8. Finally, to be in everlasting remembrance is to
be eternally in happiness, in bliss. Blissfulness will
thrill every faculty of the mind, the intellect, the sen-
sibilities, and the will. The glorified body, after the
morning of the resurrection, will also be full of hap-
piness. Such joy, such delight, is unknown on earth.
Our earthly bodies are often full of death, sorrow,
misery, pain. These, in the new body, will never be
known. But unspeakable felicity will take posses-
sion of our entire being. In this life it is difficult
for our minds to grasp the blessedness of heaven.
But as it is written : " Eye hath not seen, nor ear
heard, neither have entered into the heart of man
the things which God hath prepared for them that
In review, what lessons do we learn ?
1. We may know if we are righteous. Have we
their character? Are we doing their works?
2. We may know if we are not righteous. We
shall not have their character, nor do their works.
3. We see, although faintly, the glorious, un-
speakable destiny of the righteous. Pen cannot
describe it, nor pencil throw it on the canvas. With
our lively imagination we can see Brother Sherman
in the Holy City, walking its streets with a crown
of glory on his head studded with dazzling gems,
sparkling like the sun's brilliant rays, clothed with
the celestial robe of righteousness, more glorious
than language can picture, chanting to his infinite
Redeemer heavenly paeans, loud hallelujahs, sweet
doxologies, with saints and angels making the arches
of heaven ring. Oh! how soon, how soon, if righte-
ous, we shall join him, and then !
Xotide,^ of tl\e ftQ^
EFORE and after Mr. Sherman died, many
references to him appeared in the New
England papers. As indicating the im-
pression which he made upon those outside of his
own immediate circle of relatives and friends, we
make below a few selections.
[From T/ie Advertiser, Providence, R. I., after his retirement from
It is with very melancholy emotions of heart
that we sit down to write a paragraph or two record-
ing the retirement of William N. Sherman, Esq.,
from the proprietorship and management of The
Rhode Island Penduhim, published at East Green-
wich for so long a period, and so well known as a
very ably conducted and most respectable and excel-
lent family newspaper. The Penduhtm was originally
started by Mr. Sherman about twenty-three years
ago, and has been owned and steadily conducted by
him ever since, with very good success. The Woo?t-
socket Pah'iot was also originally started by Mr.
Sherman, who conducted it for about nine years,
when he was afflicted with a long period of sickness
and disposed of that paper to its present publisher.
His subsequent residence in East Greenwich proved
every way healthful to him, and he has long been
held in the highest estimation there as a man of ex-
cellent general intelligence, fine business capacity,
irreproachable character and large-hearted Christian
Mr. Sherman's first enterprise as an editor and
proprietor was the publication of The Ladies Mir-
ror, which he started at Southbridge, Mass., about
the year 1831 ; and we are happy to be able to state
that such has ever been his prudence, judicious man-
agement, persevering industry and honorable con-
duct, that he now retires from business not only
" with all his blushing honors thick upon him," but
also with a very handsome amount of "real-«.d per-
sonal." If we had his note at six per cent, for fifty,
seventy-five or a hundred thousand dollars, we should
feel that we were "very well fixed."
We have said that it made us feel sad to record
the retirement of Mr. Sherman from The Pendulum,
and the reason is that we have been in the habit, for
a long time, of meeting him often, every week, in
the office of TJie General Advertiser, and have
learned to " like his ways," as the saying is. He has
always proved to be a most affable gentleman as well
as a most diligent and methodical business man.
(From The Advertise}- and Gazette of Providence, after his death.)
A good man — a thoroughly upright, intelligent,
respected, successful business man, and a consistent
Christian man — has departed, and Rhode Island has
lost another of her excellent citizens. William N.
Sherman, one of the old master-printers of the State,
the original proprietor of The Woonsockct Patriot,
and subsequently of TJie East Grcenzviah Pendulum,
died on the 2d instant, in Rutland, Vt., at the ripe
age of seventy-three.
In this office — the old office of A. Crawford Greene
& Son— Mr. Sherman was familiarly known as " Un-
cle William,'' he being the uncle of the late lamented
senior partner. But so much was he liked by all
the old employees, who had been here for so m^ny
years, that they all claimed him as uncle. His
last paper, The Rhode Island Pendulnm, he had
printed in this office up to the time when he sold it
to its present proprietor ; and as we were accus-
tomed to seeing him more or less every week for a
long period, we learned to esteem him very highly.
He w^as always very pleasant and sociable and often
quite jocular ; and although we had not, of late,
seen much of him, since he retired from business,
we still find it hard to realize that he has gone for all
He was a well-informed, sagacious man, who had
been about our country considerably, and always
had much to say that was interesting and instruc-
tive. He was a man of high and firm moral and re-
ligious principles, and no one was ever more honor-
able in the fulfillment of all obligations. Being a
practical and good printer, he liked to work over his
paper, and did more or less, every week, in the w^ay
of what is technically called " making-up." Rather
unexpectedly to us, however, he finally sold out TJie
Rhode Island Pendulum and retired — as, indeed,
he might well have done long before, for he had
accumulated a decidedly handsome property.
Although Mr. Sherman was entirely successful
with The Patriot at Woonsocket, he told us once that
he never was well there. Something about the climate
of the place did not seem to agree with him ; and
after a severe fit of sickness he decided to go to
East Greenwich. Here, for many years, he enjoyed
good health, and here, we may say, he was greatly
esteemed and respected. He was a worthy mem-
ber of the Baptist Church there, and built, at his own
cost, what is known as the Marlboro Chapel.
Whether this was given by him, in his lifetime, or
whether it has been willed, to any society, we are
unable to say. Mr. Sherman leaves a widow and a
married daughter, an only child ; and, as we learn,
he possessed real and personal estate to a very con-
(From The Boston Globe.')
He was a journalist of conservative views and was
ever the advocate of all that tended to the improve-
ment of those around him and the furtherance of the
principles of justice, humanity and benevolence. A
man of benevolent and religious impulses, he sought
the good of his fellow man in acts of useful benev-
olence. He was one of the founders of the Free
Library in 1867, and, associated with Governor
Green, was one of its liberal benefactors, and con-
tributed to the fund for the erection of a handsome
library building. Among his last public acts was a
contribution of one hundred vdlumes to its already
large collection. Honoring religion in all its forms,
he had his own peculiar ideas upon creeds and
tenets, — tending to liberality of religious opinion.
In accordance with his views and the promptings of
a benevolent nature the Marlboro Street Chapel of
East Greenwich was erected in 1872 at the sole ex-
pense of Mr. Sherman at a cost of $5, 000. In 1874
an Independent Baptist Church was organized ot
open communion. The pulpit has been regularly
supplied by various ministers of evangelical denom-
ination, and the Sunday-school and library have
been supported almost entirely by Mr. Sherman.
The sittings are free, and at this chapel all can wor-
ship whenever they choose free of expense, in all
accordance with the invitation given at its dedica-
tion : "Whosoever will may come."
He was a member of Harmony Lodge of Odd
Fellows, and for several years a prominent member
of the order in Rhode Island. Thus closes a useful
life full of good deeds, and an industry that brought
to him comfort and ease in the sunset of life, and
left to the generations that shall follow a wholesome
(From The Rhode Island Pendulum.)
Mr. Sherman was a man of strong prejudices,
but possessed sterling traits of character. He was
a man of marked individuality, condemning what
he conceived to be wrong. He became united with
the Baptist Church at Woonsocket in 1838, but
previously had induced a goodly number of children
of the village who seemed to need moral and relig-
ious instruction to assemble in the old Red School-
house, where he conducted a Sunday-school that
was afterward transferred to the Baptist Church.
After his removal to East Greenwich, with a true
missionary spirit he incorporated those benevolent
impulses which prompted him, about the year 1872,
to buy a notorious rookery at the corner of Long
and Marlboro Streets and erect on the spot a chapel
where there has been preaching since, with free
seats, a flourishing Sunday school being connected
with it, while the whole has been mainly sustained
by the bounty of the subject of this sketch.
(From The Providence Press.)
He was the liberal patron of every good work
in East Greenwich, and his effort to lift up the lower
classes of society in that place deserve the most un-
qualified commendation. That these might have a
place of worship where they would feel entirely at
home, he erected the Marlboro Street Chapel at his
own cost, and sustained the greater part of the ex-
pense of supplying the pulpit for many years. He
was kindly, great-hearted, and the friend of every-
body who deserved friendship.
(From The Providence Journal?)
William N. Sherman, of East Greenwich, died
Thursday, in Rutland, Vt., aged seventy-three years
Mr. Sherman was the founder of The Wooiisockct Pa-
triot, and subsequently started The Rhode Island
Penduhun which he conducted for many years. Mr.
Sherman was a plain, upright, conscientious man,
whose daily life was devoid of reproach, and whose
labors were modestly, but earnestly and intelligently,
devoted to the elevation and improvement of his
(From The Vermont Baptist.)
An indefatigable worker for God, his country,
and his fellow men.
He was greatly esteemed and respected. He
was a worthy member of the Baptist Church, and
built, at his own cost, what is known as the Marl-
boro Chapel. Mr. Sherman leaves a widow and a
married daughter, an only child ; and, as we learn,
he possessed real and personal estate to a very con-
IDES, ffOEMS AND ^YMNS.
WRITTEN BY WILLIAM N. SHERMAN, ON DIFFERENT
Prepared for a Fourth of July Celebration in Southbridge,
All hail to the day whose triumph was bright !
And hail to fair freedom, emerging to light,
Reflecting the brilliant escutcheons of fame,
From darkness, which shrouded America's name.
Its lustre has circled the brow of the brave,
And deck'd with green laurels the patriot's grave,
Has braided its garland of vict'ry and peace,
And lightened the footsteps of time in its pace.
With songs and with honors let us now entwine
A wreath of thanksgiving for gifts so divine ;
Let hearts bright with gladness and glory rebound,
Generations to come shall echo the sound.
Proclaim to the world our fifty-sixth morn,
Since the birth of our freedom — our new world was born ;
We're joyful, we're free, Independence still claim,
And proud of our country we boast of our name.
"United we stand, divided we fall,"
*' E Pluribus Ununi" America's all —
United in bonds of affection and peace.
May wisdom, and science, and virtue increase.
Oh, thus be it ever, and triumph long wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave
Preserve us, defend us, oh. Power Supreme,
All glory and honor we give to thy name.
Written for the Same Occasion.
Hail, Freedom ! long with us abide —
For thee our fathers lived and died —
Thou art our boasted song and pride —
Thou art our glowing fame.
Years have fled since bold hearts high
Beat to the sound, " Our Country ;"
Swore that they'd live free, or die,
And crush the oppressor's name.
That proud oath, where war-smoke curled,
They redeemed, and then unfurled
Their banner to the western world —
" Union and Liberty."
Banner of the sainted dead,
Wave in triumph o'er their bed
Whom thy folds to vict'r? led,
Loud, long applaud each hero's name.
And sing their deeds of deathless fame,
Their struggle with oppression's flame.
Their many a pain and toil !
For us in war-pomp, proud arrayed,
They boldly fought, they bravely bled —
Their sons to freedom they have led.
Upon the war-ground's soil.
Then let Columbia's sons rejoice,
Let music burst from every voice,
And sound the glory of our choice,
Our blest America.
Let poor old England cry '• Reform,"
We care not for the impending storm.
We'll fortify in every form
For Liberty's array.
Written for The Monthly Harvester, 1841.
Ye Stars! Ye Stars!
Ye stars, ye stars, ye burning stars —
Ye heavenly hosts of light —
Set round in glorious diadems
For heaven and earth's delight.
Say, are ye the tapers round the throne
That shone oil Bethlehem's plain
When the only Son of God was born,
And angels sang, "Amen ! "
Yes ; there ye shine, and there have shone,
E'en since creation's birth ;
And there forever still may shine,
'Till a new heaven and earth ;
And when old things are passed away,
And truth and error sever.
When by the throne of your own God,
The saints shall shine forever.
O blessed stars ! — since time began,
Your glory beamed as bright ;
The patriarchs and prophets found
In ye much sweet delight.
The same our fathers looked upon —
Our father's fathers praised —
Are the very stars that still shine on,
Above our fathers' graves.
And so 'twill be when we are gone —
Ye'll twinkle still as bright ;
And morning stars together sing,
As at creation's light.
When earth and heaven dissolve and fly,
And ye shall " fall " away,
The stars of God's eternity
Shall make eternal dav.
Written for The Monthly Harvester, 1841.
"That Fadeth Not Away."
Oh ! who would always live on earth
Where sorrows ever rise ?
Where cloud on cloud of anguish comes
Across our brightest skies }
Where gnawing cares are ever fresh,
And pain oft fills the breast?
Oh, know ye not, ye earthly ones,
This is no place of rest ?
Oh, who would barter gems of bliss.
And joys that never tire.
For earth's best glories, mutable,
Which bloom but to expire }
Oh, who would brave life's scathing storms,
Without a hope in heaven .?
There fadeth not away that hope,
If sinners are foro:iven.
Then seek not wealth and pleasure here,
Beneath a changeful sky,
Where love grows cold, and friendships ebb,
And bosom friends must die ;
But treasure deep within the heart,
A mansion bright and fair.
For there immutable, unfading bliss
Is — there, and only there.
Prepared for the Fourth of July Celebration at Wick ford,
'Tis Freedom's natal day —
A nation's jubilee ; —
And here our festival we pay,
Sweet Liberty, to thee !
Let tuneful shouts arise.
From every heart and voice ;
Let paeans reach the upper skies,
And echo back, " Rejoice."
Nor king's nor tyrant's power.
Nor monarch's haughty sway,
Can dim the glory of the hour
We consecrate to-day.
The king upon his throne,
Rules with oppression's rod ;
But we no king or sovereign own,
Save the Eternal God.
Let tuneful shouts arise.
From every heart and voice ;
Let paeans reach the upper skies.
And echo back, "Rejoice."
Written for the Same Occasion.
Eternal God ! to thee we bend,
Our fathers' God, our fathers' friend ;
To thee our grateful voices raise,
In humble hope and solemn praise.
Thy hand sustained each bleeding breast
When by a tyrant's power oppress'd.
And when upon the batde-field.
Thou wert their strength, and thou their shield.
Thy mighty arm was bared to save
Our fathers from oppression's grave ;
And we, their sons, are pledged to be
Heirs of their immortality.
Departed sires ! we sing thy fame !
Thy valor and thy deathless name,
Thy banner waves yet, sainted dead I
In triumph o'er your silent bed !
Forever wave that banner high
Through every arch of Freedom's sky ;
And ever may our banner be
Inscribed "To God and Liberty ! "
Prepared for the Centennial Celebration at Greemvich,
Fourth of July, 1876.
Eternal God ! to Thee we raise.
In humble thanks and solemn praise,
Our heart and voice before Thy throne,
For blessings of a centurv gone.
When our young nation was oppressed,
Thine arm sustained in our distress,
And when upon the battle-field
Thou wert our strength, and Thou our shield.
A hundred years have passed away,
And on this hundredth natal day
The banner of our sainted dead
Floats in rich folds above our head.
Forever wave that banner high,
Through every arch of Freedom's sky,
And North and South, and East and West,
In Union be forever blest.
Then God's right hand shall shade our fears
And bless the coming hundred years ;
And Freedom from her mountain height
Proclaim aloud that right is inight.
A century hence ! We shall be gone I
But generations yet unborn
May float the flag — may voices raise,
And sing again Centennial praise.
Written for a Sabbath-school Concert,
What did Jesus Say?
Jesus in the temple with the doctors wise.
Asking wondrous questions, giving wise replies ;
When His parents found him, seeking night and day
Jesus in the temple, what did Jesus say ?
Luke, ii. 49.
Jesus at the Jordan, coming unto John,
That He might baptize him, the beloved son ;
When John from His purpose sought to turn away,
Jesus at the Jordan, what did Jesus say ?
Matt. Hi. 15.
At the well of Jacob, resting by its brink,
Bidding the Samaritan give to Him to drink,
When she asked of Jesus where men ought to pray,
At the well of Jacob, what did Jesus say?
John, iv. 2\, 23.
On the sea of Galilee, when the storm was high,
"Save us. Lord, we perish ! " His disciples cry,
While they marvel greatly as the winds obey,
■On the sea of Galilee, what did Jesus say?
att. via. 26.
Coming into Bethan)^, meeting full of gloom
Martha mourning Lazarus lying in the tomb ;
Of the resurrection and the last great day.
Coming into Bethany, what did Jesus say ?
John, xi. 25, 26.
Weeping o'er Jerusalem, city of the king,
Whom He would have gathered 'neath his loving wing,
Mourning for her children, going all astray.
Weeping o'er Jerusalem, what did Jesus say ?
IMatt. xxiii. 7,'j.
At the Lord's last supper, ere He went to die,
In that upper chamber, as the end drew nigh.
When He gently told them He must go away,
At the sacramental supper, what did Jesus say ?
yoh7t, xiv. 2.
In the dark Gethsemane His disciples slept.
While, exceeding sorrowful, Jesus prayed and wept,
When He found them sleeping who should watch and pray,
In the dark Gethsemane, what did Jesus say ?
Luke, xxii. 45, 46.
From the INIount of Calvary, on the cross of woe.
Seeing the three Marys, they who loved Him so,
To the dear disciples ere he went away,
On the Mount of Calvary, what did Jesus say?
John, xix, 26, 27,
From the cross of sorrow, ere His soul went up,
As He drank the fullness of the bitter cup,
Looking on His enemies, in their dark array,
On the cross of sorrow, what did Jesus say ?
Luke, xxiii. 34.
At His home in Heaven, in the world above,
Where the little children learn His wondrous love,
And their sins forgiven on that blessed day.
At His home in Heaven, what will Jesus say ?
Matt. x.xv. 34.
Written for a Sabbath-school Concert.
There'll be no night in Heaven ;
In that blest world above
Work never can bring wearines'^,
For Heaven's work is love.
There is no grief in Heaven,
For life is one glad day.
And tears belong to former things
Which long have passed away.
There'll be no want in Heaven,
Hunger and thirst no more
Shall reach the followers of the Lamb
On that celestial shore.
There'll be no sin in Heaven ;
Behold that blessed throng
All holy in their spotless robes !
And holy is their song.
There'll be no death in Heaven,
For they who gain that shore
Have put on immortality
And thev will die no more.
[The following lines were suggested by a thrilling
scene which recently transpired in our vicinity. A
man was run over by a train of cars and had both
legs cut off, and in a dying state was taken to his
home. His little daughter, who, though very young,
had been taught in the Sunday-school that without
repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ there
could be no admission into heaven, realized the situ-
ation of her dear father, and bursting into tears en-
treated him to pray. It was too late for audible
prayer, but it is hoped that he found peace and
Pray ! Papa, Pray !
Pray, papa, pray I oh, quickly pray !
Heed, heed thy little daughter's cry ;
Thine end is near — pray, papa, pray !
This day, dear papa, tiiou must die.
Pray, papa, pray ! 'tis not too late ;
Oh, haste to have thy sins forgiven ;
Jesus is ready to receive,
And save thy soul this day in Heaven.
Oh, Jesus ! love my papa dear,
And gently wash his sins away ;
Oh, fit him for a heavenly home
Where we may meet — pray, papa, pray !
A moment more — the spirit fled,
And bitter silence reigned that day ;
The child still lingered near the dead,
And asked in vain — Did papa pray ?