His Ancestors and His Descendants
HIS ANCESTORS AND HIS DESCENDANTS
COMPILED AND EDITED
ERSKINE NORMAN WHITE
PRINTED FOR PRIVATE DISTRIBUTION
) > 1
Prefatory Note 5
Ancestors of Norman White 7
Norman Whiti: 21
I Birthplace and Early Home 23
II Leaving Home 32
III Removal to New York 33
IV Marriage 35
V Early Married Life 41
VI Middle Life. 45
VII Avocations 48
VIII As a Citizen 55
IX Family Life 59
X Death of Mrs. White 69
XI Benevolent Activities 7j
XII Removal to Thirty-sixth Street 79
XIII Second Marriage 82
XIV Later Years 84
XV Personal Characteristics 88
XVI Death and Funeral Services 92
XVII Resolutions, Tributes and Letters 100
Descendants of Norman White 107
The following records are prepared simply for distribution
among the descendants of Norman White. This will explain the
introduction of many details that would be of little interest to a wider
circle, and of incidents which might appear trivial to critical readers.
In the third part, in order that the record may have additional
interest and perhaps a permanent value to descendants bearing names
other than White, brief records, so far as could be obtained, are given
of the ancestral lines of those who have intermarried with Mr. White's
children and grandchildren.
The "Memorials of Elder John White and of His Descendants,"
a volume published in i860 by Allyii Stanley Kellogg, a descendant,
has supplied much of the matter in regard to ancestry. The editor
desires also to acknowledge his indebtedness to those members of
the family who have furnished information concerning collateral lines
of descent, and especially to Miss Frances Barnard Hawley and Mr.
Frederick Morgan Johnson, for the use of their genealogical charts.
In the hope that this account of their ancestors may. as years
pass away, become increasingly valuable, especially to the younger
members of the ever-widening family circle, the little volume is
submitted to his kinsfolk, with the affectionate regards of the editor.
E. N. W.
New York, September, J905.
'Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in the dust."
Ancestors of Norman White.
I. Elder John White.
Norman White's first ancestor in this country was John
White, Avho was a passenger in the ship Lyon, which sailed
from England about the twenty-second of June, 1632, and
arrived at Boston, Massachusetts, on Sunday, the sixteenth
of September following. Since the "Memorials of Elder John
White and of His Descendants:"' from which the statements
in regard to Norman White's ancestry are. for the most part,
taken, was published, it has been ascertained beyond any
reasonable doubt, and largely through the investigations of
Charles A. White, Esq., of New Haven, that Elder John White
came from Shalford or Messing, in Essex County, England,
and was the son of Robert White, who married, June 24th.
,1585, Bridget Algar. and removed from Shalford to Messing
a few years before his death, in 161 7. Three of Robert
White's daughters came with their husbands to New England ;
namely: Mary, wife of Joseph Loomis, of Braintree; Elizabeth,
wife of William Goodwin, of Bocking: and Anna, wife of
John Porter, of Felsted.
Mr. Charles A. White, in a paper published in the New
England Historical and Genealogical Register for January, 1901,
"It is very plausibly supposed that John White, who
came over in the Lion in 1632, and settled first in Newtown,
now Cambridge, in Massachusetts, and then came with the
* Edited by Allyn S. Kellogg, and published in i860.
Elder John White.
Rev. Thomas Hooker and his church to Hartford. Connecticut,
in T636, was the son of Robert White of Messing. The record
of his baptism has not been found. He was not of age in 161 7,
when his father made his will, in which it was provided that if
he should marry without the approbation and consent of his
mother, and of Joseph Loomis of Braintree, and William
Goodwin of Bocking, his legacy of two hundred pounds should
be reduced to one hundred pounds. In the list of thirty-three
passengers of the Lion, his name follows next after the name
of William Goodwin."
The name of the wife of John, son of Robert, was Mary,
and her family name was probably Levit; but the Parish
Register of Messing, which records his marriage, December
26th. 1622. is defaced, so that the name cannot be clearly
The above facts, together with the further coincidences
that the name of Elder John Whitens wife was Mary, that the
names of two of his sons repeat the names of the brothers of
John, son of Robert, and that John Porter, who married Anna,
daughter of Robert, appointed as "supervisors" of his will "Mr.
William Goodwin of Hartford, and Goodman White (Elder
John) of Hartford," the former certainly and the latter
presumably being his brother-in-law, complete the proof that
John White of Hartford and John White, son of Robert
White of Messing, were one and the same.
Robert White, as is manifest from his will, was a man
of wealth for his day, occupying a position of substantial
influence. Of his ancestry nothing has as yet been certainly
As a m.atter of curious interest, if nothing more, it may
be noted, that there is extant in the family of one of John
White's descendants an old coat-of-arms, engraved some time
Coat of Arms
Used as a bookplate in the eighteenth century by a descendant of Elder
John White. The motto, ■•Maximum-prncli-impctum-ct-snstinerc"
was not upon the original plate, but has been added from
another coat of arms of somewhat similar design,
also in possession of a descendant. ^
Elder John White.
in the eighteenth century, and used as a book plate, which
is practically identical with the coat-of-arms of a John White
who was a Mayor of London in 1563. This same coat-of-arms
is also in possession of the descendants of William White, who
settled in Haverhill, Massachusetts, in 1642. This John White
of London had a son Robert, but as yet, beyond the above
coincidences, there is no proof connecting his family with that
of Robert White of Messing.
Elder John White, the patriarch in this country of the
family, was one of the first settlers of Cambridge, Massa-
chusetts; of Hartford, Connecticut, and of Hatfield, Massa-
chusetts. He was undoubtedly one of the main body of the
company that, under the lead of the Reverend Thomas
Hooker, their pastor, made the long journey in June, 1636,
through the wilderness from Cambridge to the banks of the
Connecticut, to found the City of Hartford.
A vivid idea of what he and his companions experienced
in this migration is best obtained from the graphic but simple
narrative of the historian Trumbull: '"About the beginning
of June, Mr. Hooker, Mr. Stone, and about a hundred men,
women and children, took their departure from Cambridge,
and travelled more than a hundred miles through a hideous
and trackless wilderness to Hartford. They had no guide
but their compass; made their way over mountains, through
swamps, thickets and rivers which were not passable but with
great difficulty. They had no cover but the heavens, nor
any lodging but those which simple nature afforded them.
They drove with them a hundred and sixty head of cattle,
and by the way subsisted on the milk of their cows. Mrs.
Hooker was borne through the wilderness upon a litter. The
people generally carried their packs, arms and some utensils.
They were nearly a fortnight on their journey. The adventure
12 Elder John White.
was the more remarkable as many of this company were
persons of figure, who had Hved in England in honor,
affluence and delicacy, and were entire strangers to fatigue
In the records of Hartford, John White appears as one
of the original proprietors. His allotments of farm land were
among the largest assigned to any settler. His home lot was
on the east side of what is now called "Governor Street."
"The famous Charter Oak, already past its maturity, and
beginning in its decay to construct the hollow which
preserved the Charter of Connecticut from the grasp of its
enemies, stood on the neighboring lot of Governor Wyllys;
and its lengthening shadows, as the evening sun went down,
rested on John White's dwelling."
"In each of the important towns in which he lived, his
aid was required in the management of its prudential affairs.
The capacity to discharge the duties of a townsman, as well
as those of a representative to the colonial Legislature, was
in that day an indispensable pre-requisite to the appointment.
"The offlce of ruling elder in the church, which he held
during the last ten or twelve years of his life, was one of great
influence and importance. There was usually but one ruling
elder in each church. His ofifice was designed to relieve the
teaching elder or pastor of a considerable part of the labor,
responsibility and anxiety attending the government and
discipline of the church. It required a grave, discreet and
reliable man, one who had earned a good report of those
without and those within the church. Such a one, in all
respects furnished for his work, was our John White."*
He died either in December, 1682, or early in January,
1683, at about the age of eighty. His children were six in
* Memorials of Elder John White.
Lieutenant Daniel White. 13
number: four sons, Nathaniel, John, Daniel and Jacob; and
two daughters, Marv' and Sarah.
2. Lieutenant Daniel White.
Daniel White, through whom the line of descent is
traced, was probably born in Hartford as early as 1639. He
removed to Hatfield, Massachusetts, about 1662. The records
show that he was a farmer, and that he was frequently called
into the service of the town. The earlier records are lost, but
during the twenty years subsequent to 1678. he was eight
times chosen as one of the Selectmen of the town. He
occasionally held other offices, and was often appointed on
committees, which called for the exercise of discretion and
sound judgment. His name appears upon the records with
the title "Lieutenant." He married. November ist. 1661.
Sarah Crow, a granddaughter of Elder William Goodwin of
Hartford, and of Elizabeth White, daughter of Robert White
of Messing, and therefore her husband's second cousin. She
was born March ist, 1647, and was but fourteen years and
eight months old at the time of her marriage. She was one
of seven sisters, who married into some of the best families
in the valley of the Connecticut. A high authority in such
matters has said: "Those Crow girls made smart women."
Lieutenant Daniel White died July 27th, 171 3.
3. Captain Daniel White.
Daniel White, only surviving son of Lieutenant Daniel,
was born in Hatfield, Massachusetts, July 4th, 1671. He first
settled in Hatfield, but in 1704 or 1765 removed to Windsor,
Connecticut, where he was engaged in trade. His home was
on the "north side of the rivulet" — Farmington River. He
14 Captain Joel White.
was School Commissioner in 17 12- 13, and was on a number
of important committees. He was the fourth captain (Conn.
Rec, p. 553) in May, 1716, of the First Connecticut Troop,
the oldest Company in the United States, succeeding in that
office Simon Wolcott. His wife's grandfather, Major John
Mason, the famous Indian fighter, had been its first captain
when, in 1657, it was organized by the General Court. He
was married three times, and had eleven children. His second
wife, through whom the line descends, was Ann Bissell,
daughter of John Bissell, Jr.. and Isabel Mason, a daughter
of the Major John Mason above mentioned.
4. Captain Joel White.
Joel White, the third son of Captain Daniel, and the
child of his second wife, Ann Bissell. was born in Windsor,
Connecticut, April 6th, 1705. He settled in Bolton, Connec-
ticut, as early as 1725, on lands which were soon after
bequeathed to him by his father. He was a merchant, engaged
in an extensive business, and was a large landholder. At the
time of his death he owned over five hundred acres of land,
although he had a few years previously given a farm to each
of his four surviving sons. He held many town offices, and
represented the town of Bolton in the Legislature at twenty-six
Though advanced in life at the time when the colonies
were struggling for independence, he was an ardent and
self-denying patriot. In 1777, he was twice chosen a member
of the "Committee of Correspondence, Inspection and Safety,"
and was once its chairman. From his will and the inventory
of his estate, it appears that in the early part of the war he
loaned over £3,000 to the State of Connecticut and to the
United States. The nominal value of the "Public Securities"
•«ll I II
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Captain Daniel White.
held by him at his death, with the interest thereon, was about
£5,000, or nearly equal to the appraised value of the remainder
of his estate. His inventory amounted to more than £10,000.
He hved for more than forty years in a large house
"fronting near the Meeting House," and it is said that the large
elms still standing there were planted by his hands. He died
June 28th. 1789, aged eighty-four. He married four times,
and had twelve children, of whom five sons and four daughters
lived to maturity and married.
The social position of his family may be inferred from
the fact that all of his children married into prominent families,
the husbands of four of his daughters being college graduates,
one of Harvard, two of Yale, and one of the College of New
Jersey (Princeton). His second wife, through whom is the
line of descent, was Ruth Dart, daughter of Daniel Dart and
Elizabeth Douglas, granddaughter of the Honorable William
Douglas, and great-granddaughter of the Honorable Hugh
Caulkins, men prominent in the earlv historv of New Eneland
5. Captain Daniel White.
Daniel, youngest son of Joel and his second wife, Ruth
Dart, was born in Bolton, Connecticut. December 7th, 1749.
He settled in Coventry, Andover Society, upon a farm given
him by his father, and adjoining one occupied by his half-
brother, Joel. He was well educated, intelligent and highly
esteemed. He frequently held town offices; was five times
chosen a Selectman of Coventry, and was a representative from
that town at seven sessions of the Legislature. From the
record of "Connecticut Men in the Revolution," we learn that
he was on the "Lexington Alarm List," for the relief of Boston
in May, 1775 (p. 8); Clerk in the First Company, Eleventh
Regiment, at New York in 1776 (p. 461); and in Captain Hill's
1 6 Captain Daniel White.
Company for the campaign at Fishkill in 1776 (p. 577). His
commissions, from ''Jonathan Trumbull, Esquire, Captain-
General and Commander-in-Chief of the State of Connecticut"
first as "Ensign of the Seventh Company or Trainband in the
Twelfth Regiment of the State," dated "the 25th day of
December Anno Domini 1776;" and second as Lieutenant in
the same Company, dated May 9th, 1777, are still in the
possession of his descendants; as also similar commissions,
first as Ensign and then as Captain, to his son, Daniel
He married, January ist, 1772, Sarah Hale, of Glasten-
bury, Connecticut, born August 19th, 1749- She was the
daughter of Captain Jonathan Hale, who died in the army at
Jamaica Plains. Massachusetts, during the siege of Boston by
the army of Washington. Her mother was Elizabeth Welles,
a daughter of Colonel Thomas Welles, a prominent member
of the "General Court," and its speaker for five years.
This Daniel White built the large house which still
stands upon the ancestral farm, about twenty miles east of
Hartford, upon the post road to Providence. This house was
afterwards occupied by his son, Daniel, and his grandson,
Stanley, and is well remembered by some of his great grand-
children. Another older house, in which he first resided, stood
somewhat to the east of this house, and was the home of his
son, Daniel, during the earlier years of his married life. The
present writer has always understood that it was in the older
house that the younger Daniel's children were born, and that
it remained standing until, after the death of his father,
he succeeded to the occupancy of the larger mansion.
Captain Daniel White died September ist, 1816, aged
sixty-three. His wife had died four years previously,
December 30th, 181 2.
Daniel White, Esquire. ij
Their children were seven in number, three sons and
four daughters, Daniel, Sarah, Samuel, Jerusha, Fanny, Electa
6. Daniel White, Esquire.
Daniel White, eldest son of the preceding and father
of Norman White, was born in Andover, Connecticut, July
14th, 1773. He lived upon the ancestral farm and upon his
father's death succeeded, as probably the fourth in possession,
to the ownership. He held the military rank of Captain, and
was also a Justice of the Peace, his ordinary title being
"Squire." He frequently held town offices, and several times
represented the town of Coventry in the Legislature. "Being
highly esteemed for his integrity and sound judgment, he was
much employed in the settlement of estates, and was very
frequently .selected as an arbitrator to whom private dififerences
were referred." His wife, the mother of Norman White, was
Eunice Stanley, daughter of Moses Stanley and Eunice Strong.
She was born April 25th, 1773, and was a descendant in the
* For a full account of this Daniel White's descendants until
i86c, see "Memorials of Elder John White," in loco; but a reference
to two or three lines of converging descent may be of interest. His
second son, Samuel, born February 23d, 1777, was a physician and
surgeon of great eminence in Hudson, N. Y. ; Professor of Surgery
in Berkshire Medical College, and several times Mayor of the city.
His wife was Wealthy Pomeroy, of North Coventry, Connecticut. Dr.
Samuel White's eldest son, Samuel Pomeroy, was also a prominent
physician, practicing in New York City. A daughter of this second
Dr. White, Frances Chester, married Marcellus Hartley, of New York,
and her daughter married Norman White Dodge, son of William E.
Dodge and nephew of Mrs. Norman White.
Emehne, the eldest daughter of Dr. Samuel White, of Hudson,
married Frederick J. Barnard, of Albany, N. Y., and was the mother
of Anna Hale, who became the second wife of Norman White.
Frances, an older daughter of Mr. Barnard, married Henry Q.
Hawley, and was the mother of Frances Barnard and /\nna Barnard
Hawley, in after years closely associated with the family of Norman
1 8 Darnel White, Esquire.
sixth generation of Timothy Stanley, who was born in England
about 1603. arrived in New England in 1634, settled first in
Cambridge, and removed to Hartford in 1636. He was
doubtless a companion in the journey thither through the
wilderness of Elder John White, both of them being members
of the colony which, under Parson Hooker, founded Hartford,
and whose migration has been previously described.
The mother of Eunice Stanley was Eunice Strong, an
older daughter of whom married Deacon Richard Hale, and
was the mother of Nathan Hale, the patriot spy, whose
monument now stands in the City Hall Park in New York.
He was, therefore, a first cousin of Eunice Stanley, the mother
of Norman White.
Daniel White and Eunice Stanley were married Febru-
ary 19th, 1800, and lived in the family home until 1844, when
they removed to Rockville, Connecticut, where they both died
within a few months of each other in 1847.
The present writer well remembers these grandparents,
having visited them more than once in his childhood. The
grandfather was a man above the medium height, and even in
old age erect and stately, with a strongly marked, but
benignant countenance, framed by silvery and somewhat long
and flowing hair: the grandmother rather short and stout in
figure, with a cheerful, smiling face, and always busy about
her household duties.
In closing" this record of the ancestors of Norman
White, it may be said that it is interesting to note how the
family lines of the early settlers of New England are so inter-
laced that at the present time their descendants, in tracing back
their pedigrees, will find that in almost every case they are in
some measure related to each other through common
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Ancestors of Norman White. 19
ancestors. For example, in the veins of the descendants of
Norman White runs the blood of at least twenty-eight of the
pilgrims who early in the seventeenth century emigrated from
England and as "founders" moulded what John Fiske happily
terms "The Beginnings of New England'' and also of as many
more who were prominent in later colonial history.
Among the former may be mentioned William Pynchon,
first Treasurer of Massachusetts colony, founder of Springfield,
and author of the famous book: "The Meritorious Price of
Our Redemption;" Thomas Welles, first Governor of Connec-
ticut; Elisitr Holyoke, for whom the Massachusetts mountain
and afterwards the famous wSeminary were named ; John Bissell,
of an ancient Huguenot family, a founder of Windsor, Connec-
ticut; John Talcott, one of the "Standing Council for Indian
Affairs ;" Captain John Mason, the hero of the Pequot war, who
in 1637 practically wiped out of existence, men, women and
children, the tribe which had so terribly harried the first settlers
of Rhode Island and Connecticut; Samuel Hale, a leader in the
same Pequot war; William Douglas, a leading soldier in the
King Philip war; William Pitkin, first Attorney-General of the
King; and Richard Dart, one of the original patentees of New
Of the worthies of later colonial days, may be mentioned
several sons and grandsons of those above named, such as
Samuel Welles, and his son, Colonel Thomas Welles, for five
years Speaker of the General Court of Connecticut; the second
William Pitkin. Chief Justice of Connecticut; and Captain John
Bissell, of the Revolutionary Army.
It is a lineage which may well call forth the respect of
the present generation of descendants, and inspire them to
worthv deeds and honorable lives.
"The best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, itnremembered acts
Of kindness and of love."
BIRTHPLACE AND EARLY HOME.
Descended from such ancestry, Norman White was born
in the home of his forefathers, Andover, Connecticut, August
8th, 1805. He was the third in age of his father's four children,
the others being Eliza, born June loth, 1801; Stanley, born
September i8th, 1802; and Fanny, born April 3d, 1810.
Eliza, the elder daughter, married, January 9th, 1822,
Allyn Kellogg, of Vernon, Connecticut, and was the mother
of Allyn Stanley Kellogg and Martin Kellogg, the latter in
after life the President of the University of California.*
Stanley, elder son of Daniel and Eunice Stanley White,
was twice married, first to Rosanna Reed, and after her death
to Mrs. Anna R. Rose. He left no children. He removed in
* Allyn Stanley Kellogg was born October 15th, 1824;
graduated at Williams College in 1846, and at Yale Theological
Seminary in 1850. He was the author of the "Memoirs of Elder John
White," from which these records of ancestry are largely taken. He
married Maria L. Avery, daughter of the Rev. Charles Avery, and
died April 3d, 1893. He left one son, Charles Allyn, who is married
and has children.
Martin Kellogg was born March 15th, 1828; graduated as
valedictorian at Yale College in 1850, and at Union Theological
Seminary in 1854. He married, September 3d, 1863, Louise W.
Brockway, daughter of the Hon. John H. Brockway of Ellington,
Connecticut. They had two children, Grace Hall and Norman Brock-
way, both of whom died in infancy. Dr. Kellogg was a pastor at Grasb
Valley and Shasta, California. When the College of California was
organized, in i860, he became Professor of Latin and Greek; in 1869
the College was merged in the University of California, and he
continued in the same professorship. He was President of the Uni-
versity from 1890 to 1899. In 1893 he received the degree of LL.D.
from Yale College. In 1899, with Mrs. Kellogg, he journeyed around
the world. He died August 23d. 1903.
24 Birthplace and Early Home.
1844 to Rockville, Connecticut, and engaged in mercantile
pursuits. He died August 25th, 1865.
Fanny, the younger daughter, remained unmarried,
lived with her brother Stanley, and died October 17th, 1862.
The farm upon which these children were born was a
large one, near the village of Andover, upon the post road
from Hartford to Providence, R. I., and about twenty miles
east of the former city.
A grandson of the head of the family, the Martin
Kellogg above named, many years afterwards, when a resident
of California, wrote a description of this New England farm
as a contribution to the Overland Monthly, a widely circulated
magazine. This description of Norman White's boyhood
home gives so vivid a picture of New England life in the early
days of the last century that it will be read with interest by the
descendants of one born and nurtured under its intiuences.
MY grandfather's FARM.
In a quiet country town of New England is a farm which
used to be my earthly paradise. My own father's place was very
pleasant in its way, but it called for a little too much work from the
time when a boy could ride a horse to plow out corn or follow the
hay cart with a rake. My grandfather's farm, on the contrary, was a
place for infinite leisure and sport. The standing invitation he gave
me was to "Come down and do up the mischief."
Then, too, there was the novelty of hidden nooks in homes
and barns, of unexplored meadows and pastures. Far up the hillside,
the woodland lost itself in an unbroken forest, where the small boy
could easily imagine beasts of prey; and under the scattering trees that
fringed it, foxes had their holes by the sheltering rocks. Great was
my admiration for the larger boy who could entrap them. Back of
the farm buildings was a famous echo rock, from which, as I stood
and shouted, my shrill tones were returned with startling distinctness.
A log aqueduct brought down from the mountain the most
delicious water, which poured with constant music into the great
tub in the kitchen porch. Wide spreading buttonwoods shaded the
Birthplace and Early Home. 25
house in front, and offered pleasant loiteriiig to the travellers on the
The farm extended across the road down to and beyond the
river. Below the street were a garden and a barn, and in the high
stone wall a wide gateway, which gave entrance to the upper and the
lower meadows. In the lower meadows, the patient swathman swung
his scythe, knowing nothing of the modern mowing machine. Thither
the boys carried the forenoon and the afternoon lunch, to be washed
down with copious draughts of cold coffee or molasses and water.
If the mowing was beyond the river, there was a "pole" to cross, long,
swaying, and seemingly perilous, with flattened top, but with no hand
rail. If the boy could not fare safely over, he must take his ducking
in the shallow summer stream.
The farm buildings were ample and well appointed. Three
large barns were filled to the roof with hay and grain, allowing stable
room for horses and cattle. The sheep found shelter in additional
sheds. An extra cow shed, and a cider mill, helped, with the two
upper barns, to form a hollow square and keep off the north-east
storms. The poultry had the range of the upper premises, but were
forbidden to cross the street. The squealing pigs had a distant house
of their own, with a huge kettle for boiling potatoes and apples. Near
this building was a ribbed corn-crib. Farther on in the row, and
nearest the house, was a capacious woodshed, replenished from long
piles of logs brought on sleds from the upper woodland; and behind
it a big tool room, which was also a carpenter's shop. Here were
fashioned ox-bows and yokes, ladders and gate-posts, bee-hives and
barn door buttons. Few things were needed on the farm which could
not be made or repaired in that shop. The cider mill challenged the
boys' attention in the' autumn, when apples were brought by the cart
load and dumped in huge piles on the ground, then carried in large
baskets to the hopper, to be converted into pomace. The steady old
horse turned the creaking mill. When the pomace was put into form
and pressed, the sweet juice ran into tubs, which invited sampling.
Cups and glasses were a barbarism; the only proper instrument for
tasting and testing were the long bright straws. No sherry cobbler
was ever so delicious as that new cider. It was good sport to hunt
hens' eggs in obscure manger corners, on high haymows, or in the
late outstanding grass; to see the swarming bees settle on a limb of
the near peach tree, and watch the process of hiving them; to ride on
the high loads of fragrant hay; to trap the shy woodchuck. and see
his grit as a prisoner: to follow the harvester afield and stack the clean
26 Birthplace and Early Home.
oat-sheaves in "shocks," and to see the same oats fly from under the
About the best of all were the huskin gs on the great barn floor.
Here were at once activity and repose, individual excellence and social
enjoyment. Every man had his stories to tell. The gray-haired
grandfather recounted his early exploits, and told how his nimble feet
used to trip those of heavier and stronger wrestlers. "Stand up a
minute," he would say to his best hired man; and taking him by the
collar and elbow, he would illustrate his youthful '"science," and send
his man tottering across the floor. Hardly less was the sport of
shearing time, when the boys were allowed to hold the shears and trim
the sheep's fleecy legs. The shearing was preceded by a general
sheep-washing at the bridge in the nearest cross road. It was "high-
jinks" for the boys to stand waist deep in the water, pass along the
swimming sheep, and give the larger lambs a useless bath by them-
selves. I need not speak of the search for the delicious wild straw-
berries, or the more profitable quest upon the stony hillsides for the
genuine New England huckleberries.
Peaches grew well in those past decades in the fertile back
yard, and in many fields there were tempting crops of apples. In
the corn fields grew fair broad pumpkins, pleasant to handle and a
treat for the milch cows and fattening oxen. What sleek looking cows
and oxen those were! All well cared for and carded down, with brass
buttons to blunt and embellish their horns. My grandfather had some
of the best oxen in the neighborhood. With his elder son to manage
them, his "Bright" and "Buck" would well nigh outdraw a span of
Norman horses. When two or three yokes were put together, all
but the stoutest chains would snap.
I have not spoken of the house. It was a large farmhouse,
even for that region of houses. It was once a country inn, a cool
resort for the tired summer traveller, a gathering place for rural
recreations, a rendezvous for the militia men on training day. The
owners of the house were successively "Captains." The great memory
of the place was the sojourn of Rochambeau and his French troops
in the Revolutionary war; how they acted the fine gentlemen, were
as merry as became their nation, danced gaily with the ladies and
made soft eyes at the eldest daughter of the house. She remained
single through life, and in her later years was a helpless cripple; but
her unbending dignity was graced and heightened by these youthful
reminiscences. Her room, "Aunt Sarah's." was the pleasantest of the
two great front rooms of the house. The other was the parlor, and
'^'^*^-^^' f ■
Lv.v iii'i, 'til II
Birthplace and Early Home. 27
between them was a wide, old-fashioned hall and stair-case. There
were but two rooms also in the rear of the main part, a dining room
of great length and a large bed room.
The dining room had two fire places, and a stately, solemn
clock, full of mysteries. The long table was always populous, espe-
cially at Thanksgiving time. No cooking was like that of my grand-
mother's kitchen. The kitchen was large, of course; large enough
lor a wide fire place, with its long, swinging crane, its pot-hooks and
huge andirons, and its high jamb, whereunder a pretty large boy could
stand to see how much he had grown in the last twelve months. Big
logs were laid on the fire, which, like the temple fires of old, never
expired. Lucifer matches were unknown in those days; the coaJs of
hard wood were carefully covered with ashes for the night. When we
returned home, after a two-days' Thanksgiving visit, we repaired to
the neighbors' to relight our household altar. My grandfather had
a saw about the kinds of wood to burn that ran as follows:
Chestnut wood is not so good
As walnut wood or oak,
But it will burn and serve its turn,
And make a dreadful smoke.
At the kitchen table, early and late, sat the harvesters, including
the men of the family. It was my great treat to sit there, too, and
eat a bowl of fresh milk and the matchless rye and Indian bread. It
was no easy matter to provide for that little farming community in the
busy summer months. The early breakfast of the men, then the more
leisurely one of the family; the lunches to prepare and send to the
field, forenoon and afternoon; the double dinner for out-door workers
and in-door; the tea in the dining room, and the men's supper in the
kitchen; all this was enough to task the strongest and most ingenious
housekeeper. There never was quite such another housekeeper as
my stout, laughing, unwearied grandmother. None fared ill in her
house; but children had dainty delights of their own: luscious bread
and butter, doughnuts just out of their savory bath, incomparable
turnovers, draughts of fresh and creamy milk — these were but a tithe
of the things by which she knew how to reach the childish heart.
The home of these was the long roomy buttery, where dwelt essences
■a.nd odors as from Araby the blest. A second pantry held rows of
mince pies and jelly tumblers and cheeses, not from Araby to my
perverse taste. But I liked to watch the curds pressed into thin round
boxes, and to see the rims hardened and laid away in bright yellow
28 Birthplace and Early Home.
rows. Pleasanter to see were the rolls of delicious golden butter,
quickly and deftly shaped. Out on the kitchen ''stoop" dropped the
ever running pipe of water from the hills; in this cool nook the curds
were cut, and the butter worked over.
The second story of the house was rich in bed rooms: three
had been made out of the long dancing hall of the former inn, the
partitions originally made to swing from hinges in the ceiling, so
that the rooms could be thrown together when occasion demanded.
In one of these I was put to rest: and in the winter the cold sheets
were made tropical by the long-handled warming pan — sweetest of
dreams were those which visited that childish pillow. In the summer
morning I looked out on the sunrise, the dewy clover, and the ripen-
ing grain, heard the larks at their matins, and drank in the pure fresh
Of course, there was a garret in this large house, not a mere
incident to it, but to my boyish notion its chief and crowning glory.
Untold treasures were stored there; heirlooms from the past, and
disused inventions of the present. There was the old-fashioned
spinning wheel, which could still whirl merrily around. There were
the stately "fire-dogs" of a former generation. Great chests and boxes
lined the sides of the room, and happy were the hours devoted to
ransacking them. The garret was a boon inestimable for the children's
But there was a garret above the garret, a sort of third heaven,
to which admittance was rare. It was reached by a steep ladder, and
had a floor of loose boards, and its own little windows in the apex of
the roof. There were stored the most secret possessions of the house:
walnuts and butternuts, bunche's of seed, sweet corn, thyme and savory,
and all "simples that have virtue" in domestic medicine.
The cellar formed a fit foundation for so manifold activities.
In it were the finer vegetables for the table. At the foot of the stair-
way were rows of swinging shelves for the red and golden apples.
Here were to be seen the base of the great stone chimneys, which
were strong enough to anchor a leaning tower. These immense
chimneys took up no small part of the interior of the old-time houses.
Enough as to the farm and the farmhouse. They were but
the setting for the precious jewels, the human hearts and lives that
found there a home. The head of the house was born on the spot
and was a genuine son of the soil. Modest, yet self-reliant, kind to
all, but a sturdy supporter of justice, well-balanced, full of uncommon
common-sense, of strictest integrity, respected and loved by his
The Andover House. Friim Photographs i\ 1905.
Birthplace and Early Home. 29
neighbors, often an arbiter in personal differences, called not infre-
quently to places of public trust; this plain New England gentleman
was the type of a class that grows ever smaller in New England. It
was from the best blood of the Puritans, and had the Puritan stead-
fastness and energy, blended with the old English heartiness and the
new English devotion to the welfare of others.
Of my grandmother it is enough to say that she was a help-
meet for such a husband: self- forgetting, generous, lovable, sensible,
beneficent. Her descendants rise up and call her blessed.
In my humble opinion, it is hard to find a finer type of
character than that of the farmer and the farmer's wife. But on the
New England hills it is passing away. This very farm has been
abandoned to another style of occupant. One of the sons, after some
mercantile ventures and roamings, settled down at home and toiled
hard to relieve the hard-working sire. The younger daughter wrought
with equal energy to lighten the indoor care. But in time the burden
grew too great for them all, and they removed to a distant village
home. Another son, to the grief of his father, who had thought his
farm "large enough for both his boys," early broke from the trammels
of so narrow a life and found his vocation in our great metropolitan
city, there to spend his life in active business and wide-reaching
I lately passed the old spot on the new railway skirting the
hills. The house does not look so large as it used to; the trees are
thinned and a little dwarfed; the whole valley is somewhat neglected
and degenerate. So passes away the glory of the home of the oldest
families. But though these may have been displaced, their influence
is not spent. In other villages and hamlets of other States, in thriving
country seats and bustling young cities, in the great centres of life
and trade, the New England blood is vital still, and quicker than of
old in its movement, responsive to the new demands of an age more
alert, but hardly more happy than that of the old New England farms.
In such a home Norman White was born, and amid
such surroundings he passed his childhood and his early youth.
His companions in the household were his brother, Stanley,
three years his senior, and his orphan cousin. Flavel White
Bingham, the son of his father's sister, Fanny, who, as also her
husband, died when their only son was but a few months old.
Tliis cousin was less than two vears older than Norman.
30 Birthplace and Early Home.
That boyish sports in that day were much the same
as now is evident from the fact that Norman bore through
Hfe upon his forehead a small scar caused by the blow of a
hatchet unintentionally dealt him by this cousin, who was
storming a rock fortress defended by the recipient of the
accidental blow. This playmate and kinsman became in after
years, in Cleveland, Ohio, a prominent citizen, a well known
lawyer, and an honored judge, and was twice elected Mayor
of that thriving and beautiful city.
Norman was doubtless early initiated in the routine of
the farm work that falls to the lot of boys — taking his turn in
such duties as his nephew, Martin Kellogg, described in the
sketch of the home: riding a horse to plow out corn, following
the hay cart with the rake, driving the cows to and from
pasture, and helping in winter to care for the stock. That he
was a trustworthy boy may be inferred from the fact that his
children remember hearing him speak of the pride that he felt
at being sent, when only about fourteen years old, with a pair
of oxen and a load of farm produce to the market in Hartford,
a journey of nearly twenty miles.
His early schooling was doubtless at the district school
house, a little red building, which some of his children
remember nearly thirty years later as standing by the side of
the road near the bridge crossing the river, about half a mile
east of his father's house. In the possession of his family are
two mementos of these early school days. One is a broad
sheet of paper, now gray with age, covered with beautifully
written letters in both script and German text, expressing the
homely but pungent maxims of the day, and ornamented by
perfectly drawn circles and segments of circles in colors, red,
green and yellow, once bright, but now faded, while in each
upper corner is a gorgeous "bird of paradise." This triumph
Birthplace and Early Home. 31
of penmanship by the hand of a boy corresponded to the
elaborate and beautiful samplers toilfully embroidered by the
girl of that period. It is signed at the bottom, "Norman
White, Andover, Age 9."
The other relic is a number of pages from a large copy
book, covered with arithmetical problems and their solutions.
As these range from "Tare and Trett" to "Geometrical
Progression," and are in a handwriting as fine and clear as
copper plate engraving, they indicate an age somewhat more
advanced, and probably the advantages of some academy of
higher character than the little country school house.
Born of Christian parents, and trained under such
family influences, he early acknowledged his religious respon-
sibilities and became in his boyhood a member of the local
church. It was a day in which it was assumed that a certain
distinct phase of religious awakening must be experienced,
indicating a conscious and almost instantaneous revolution in
the spiritual nature, before one could be assured of having
entered upon the Christian life; and it was not strange that,
under such conviction, such experience was almost universal,
even with children of the covenant, thoughtful and God-fearing
froiu their earliest conscious years. In after life, Mr. White
occasionally referred to a certain season of special interest,
such as is termed a revival, as seeming to him to mark the
turning point in his religious experience, saying, indeed, that
he could remember just the hour when, as he supposed, he
entered upon a truly Christian life.
2f2 Leaving Honw.
Happy as was his honie in that secluded farm hfe, he
early felt dissatisfied with its limitations, and determined to
seek a wider field of action.
He was in his eighteenth year when, with the consent,
if not the approbation of his parents, he left home to seek his
own support and a knowledge of business and of the world.
Hartford was the nearest city of any importance, and
was familiar to him from frequent visits, either to dispose of
the surplus products of his father's farm, or to obtain needed
supplies. There he found a position as a clerk, but in what
business or in whose employ, if ever known by his children,
is not now remembered. There are recalled, however, refer-
ences which he made to his employing his leisure evenings
with a view to perfect his education, in a regular course of
reading, and to his connection for a short period at least with
a class for the study of French, which attempt was brought
to an untimely end by the discovery of various small
peculations of their Gallic teacher.
From Hartford he soon removed to Providence, R. I.,
where he found a place in a retail book store ; and not long
after, and before he was of age, he was from time to time left
in entire control of the business.
Removal to New York. 33
REMOVAL TO NEW YORK.
In 1827, when he was twenty-two years of age, he was
invited by a cousin of his father's, Elihii White, to come to
New York and assist him in his business. Mr. Elihu White
was of the same age as Norman's father, and as he was born
in Bolton, only a few miles from Andover, the cousins were
doubtless intimate friends, which naturally resulted in his
watching with interest the entrance of his young kinsman upon
a business life, and in soon recognizing his ability and trust-
worthiness. At this time, Mr. Elihu White had been settled
in New York for about seventeen years. He was a man of
marked ability and of inventive genius. He made valuable
improvements in the art of type making, and in 1810 estab-
lished a type foundry in New York, which, under different
names, is still, after nearly a century, in existence. Later he
engaged also in the book and publishing business, and it was
to aid him in this latter undertaking that he invited his cousin's
son to become his associate. It is interesting to note that
these two branches of the family were, many years later, again
united by the marriage of a grandson of the elder partner with
a daughter of the younger.
The place of business was No. 7 Wall Street, and the
newcomer found a boarding place a few blocks away, at No. 4
Dey Street. The firm name was, at first, "White, Gallagher
& White," but after the senior partner's elder son, John
Trumbull White, became of age and entered the business, his
father and Mr. Gallagher apparently withdrew from active
participation, the firm continuing under the name of N. & J.
Removal to New York.
White, and the business being- removed to io8 Pearl Street,
where it was carried on successfully until, in 1837, the firm
In those days, when New York was a comparatively
small and somewhat homogeneous community, it was far
easier than now for a young man coming to the city to form
acquaintances, and, if his character and bearing commanded
respect, to secure a circle of friends. This was the more
certainly the case if, as in the present instance, the newcomer
took an interest in social, philanthropic and religious matters,
and became identified with one of the churches.
Norman White appears very soon to have become a
member of the Cedar Street Presbyterian Church, which in
after years removing uptown, is now known as the Fifth
Avenue Church. It is evident from his early identification
with the Young Men's Bible Society that he soon became well
known in connection with the religious activities of the day,
especially those under the direction of the Presbyterian
David Low Dodge.
Mrs. White's Ancestry.
It was doubtless through the interests above mentioned,
as well as in connection with his business, that he made the
acquaintance of the family of our grandfather. David Low
As through his wife the descendants of Norman White
are also the descendants of Mr. Dodge, a few words as to his
ancestry may properly enter into this record.
We find in the "Memorials" of the late William E.
Dodge, Senior, the brother of Mrs. Norman White, the
following account of the family of their father:
"David Low Dodge was descended from a Congregational
minister, a man of some learning and wealth. His great-grandfather,
David Dodge, received a Hberal education, apparently in England, and
IS described as a man of large size, fine form and unusual strength.
He married Anna Low, a lady of piety and accomplishments. They
settled in Beverly, Massachusetts; but extravagant living exhausted
an ample estate, and a commission in the army had to be obtained.
Before leaving to take part in the old French war, when the British
and American armies invaded Canada, the father apprenticed one of
his two sons, then fifteen years of age, and the third David Dodge,
to a respectable landholder, who was also a carpenter by trade. Later
in life, this son, by the advice of his friend, old General Israel Putnam,
became a manufacturer of army wagons in the Revolutionary War.
He was paid in State and Continental paper-money, which afterwards
depreciated and finally lost all value. He then devoted himself to
farming. This was the grandfather of William E. Dodge.* His
grandmother, when a girl, was known as Mary Stuart, her father being
a refugee from Scotland. Ho is represented as 'a tall man, with light
* And of Mary Abiah Dodge.
complexion, sandy hair and black eyes, of gentlemanly manners and
remarkable for the richness of his dress. He spoke French more
fluently than English. Before his marriage he declared to the clergy-
man that he was connected with the royal family of Stuarts, and that
he and his friends were associated with those who claimed the crown.'
No further information in this direction has been handed down. It
is known, however, that about this time Cavaliers attached to the
interests of the Stuarts visited the colonies, and that some settled here.
During a happj' married life of several years, this gentleman visited
France once or twice. From his last voyage he did not return, and
his wife died from grief.* Their only child, Mary Stuart, married as
her second husband in 1768 David Dodge, and became the mother of
David Low Dodge."
Mr. Dodge, at the time that Nomian White made the
acquaintance of his family, was a merchant in New York, with
a store in Maiden Lane. He was an elder in the Laight Street
Presbyterian Church, of which the well known Dr. Samuel
Hanson Cox was the pastor.
He was a man of unusual force of character, and of a
high order of intelligence. Although engaged constantly in
active business, either as a manufacturer or a merchant, he
was the author of several books, which at the time attracted
much attention. One of these, entitled, ''War Inconsistent
with the Religion of Jesus Christ," was the earliest publication
on that topic issued in this country, excepting such as may
have come from the Society of Friends. His wife, Sarah
* 'Of this marriage, there was only one child. She was born
in the homestead in Killingly. Her father named her 'Mary,' after
Mary, Queen of Scotland, as being her descendant. The fact was
well known that she was named for Mary of Scotland, whose descend-
ants were the legitimate heirs of the throne. Stuart was tall and stout,
of light complexion and a commanding countenance; the sandy trait
in your grandmother's family was doubtless derived from him. For
myself, one-half of the evidence would command belief that the person
was of a prominent branch of that .Scottish family, heirs of the British
throne. Mary was a beautiful child and a great favorite." — From a
letter written in 1832 by Rev. Joshua Spalding, a grandson of Mary Stuart's
ci.Vi lt.li '
t. , idch. Dodge
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John. rar/>/-a^. "i^ rtvi.-s
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Cleveland, was the daughter of Aaron Cleveland, and the
granddaughter of the Rev. Aaron Cleveland, an Episcopal
clergyman of distinguished ability and notable for the brilliancy
of his wit, an intimate friend of Benjamin Franklin, at whose
house in Philadelphia he died.
The acquaintance of Mr. White with Mr. Dodge's
family, beginning probably through his association with
William E. Dodge, the second son, soon ripened into an
intimacy which resulted in his marriage, upon October 15th,
1828, by the Rev. Dr. Cox, to Mary Abiah, the third daughter.
The bride had just completed her twentieth year, having
been born in Hartford, Connecticut, September ist, 1808. In
a "Memorial" written many years afterwards by her eldest
daughter, we find the following references to her childhood
and youth: "Those who knew her during this period bear one
testimony to her personal attractiveness, her loveliness and
moral worth. The graces which were so finely developed in
her mature womanhood invested her earlier life with their
peculiar charms — the same simplicity and sincerity, the same
industry and energ}% the same amiableness and decision, the
same forgetfulness of self, and mindfulness of others."
Upon leaving the paternal home, after her marriage, she
left upon her mother's table for her parents the following note :
"Let me request a continuance of your advice, admonitions
and prayers. I need all these, dear parents, perhaps more than ever,
and am thankful that I am not to be situated beyond the reach of
parental instruction. . . . This step I can truly say has not been taken
without much earnest prayer for Divine direction. I cannot but
believe that God has been pleased to answer my request, and make
known to me His will. My ardent desire is that God, in His mercy,
will accompany us and grant us the many blessings promised to the
children of pious parents."
From the following letter it appears that the wedding
journey extended to Washington, and the reference to the
rapidity of their movements casts a picturesque light upon the
modes of travelling in the days antedating railroads :
Washington, D. C, October 22d, 1828.
I have postponed writing you, my beloved parents, until now,
feeling some little desire to date a letter from the capital of the United
States, it being probably the last, as it is the first time of my ever
writing it. However, I am this evening so extremely fatigued with
the amusements of the day that you may be assured I am not much in
the disposition of writing.
I do not intend attempting any description of either our
journey to the cities we have visited, or the places of interest we have
seen, while remaining, as we have, only a day or two in one place,
but defer all this until we meet.
We left Philadelphia at five o'clock in the morning of Saturday,
and had a pkasant journey by stage and steamboat down to Baltimore.
The sail on the Chesapeake I think to be by far the most delightful
one I ever took; the description, however, of that, as well as everything
else we have enjoyed, shall be deferred until we meet our dear friends
in New York, when I think we shall have subjects for conversation
at least for a few days. Cousin Richard's * company we found to be
quite agreeable, and we were happy to have thus apparently accident-
ally fallen into his society. He waited upon us to Mr. Nevin's church
the next morning, when we enjoyed an excellent sermon; in the after-
noon were not so well pleased with the minister of St. Paul's, whose
church we attended. Cousin Richard brought his intended to see us,
with whom we were much pleased. Mr. Allent and Cousin Charles
were quite attentive, and the latter gave us a letter of introduction to
a friend of his here, who has been very polite to us as far as we needed
any attention. We remained in Baltimore but one day besides Sunday,
and as that was a very rainy one, of course, we were confined to the
house. However, we visited Cousin C.'st school (which, by the way.
is no mean one), and the Catholic cathedral, of which you shall hear
* The Rev. Richard Cleveland, father of President Grover
t Probably Levns F. Allen, afterwards of Buffalo, N. Y.
I Charles Dexter Cleveland.
more when I return. It is the most splendid church I ever beheld,
and the paintings almost too elegant.
We had extremely pleasant company in the stage yesterday
from Baltimore, and arrived at this place sufficiently early to see the
city as we passed through. To-day we have seen all in it worth
looking at, viz., the Capitol, which I hardly dare mention, lest I
should be tempted to describe something of its magnificence, which
would so much detract from its splendor that I am convinced I had
better not attempt, until I can do it in a whisper; the President's
house;* the four houses of the departments of State, Treasury, Army
and Navy; the famous bridge over the Potomac, more than a mile
in length; the Post Office general; the City Hall at a distance, and
all that is worth seeing at the Navy Yard.
Although they have no pavements in the streets, which, in fact,
is the only objection I have to it, yet I am much fatigued with riding,
as we have the greater part of the day, and as my dear husband will
add a few lines to this, I must be excused from adding much more;
will only sum up all that I could say with regard to this — in prospect,
great; though in reality at present, but small — city,t by adding that
I am very much delighted with its general appearance and completely
lost in the magnificence of its public buildings.
We could spend two or three weeks liere agreeably, I presume,
but time and anxiety to see home forbid, and we have decided to leave
here for Baltimore on our return home, shall probably remain a day
or two there and in Philadelphia, and shall hope to see our friends in
New York by the middle of next week.
My dear husband is perfectly well, as also myself: he has
been too kind in his endeavor to make me happy, and I fear I have
been too happy for my good At any rate, I have everything to be
Were it consistent, could write longer, but am obliged to say
farewell. Love to our dear friends, especially brothers and sisters.
In haste, your absent, though I trust not forgotten, daughter.
As Mary requests ine to say something, I will add a lino to
inform our friends that they must not suspect that, from the rapid
progress we have made in travelling from home, we are riding
"express" or carrying "government despatches." We concluded to
* John Quincy Adams was President.
t Population about 35.000.
proceed without much delay to this place, and spend a day or two in
the different places when we return. I shall enter into no particulars
concerning our journey, but leave it to an abler hand and more critical
observer, who, I think, will do it justice when we return.
I will only add that our journey thus far has been as pleasant
as could be wished, and that my dear wife has quite astonished me
in being able to bear so much fatigue without any apparent over-
exertion, and that to her I am indebted for the pleasantest journey I
We shall leave here for Baltimore to-morrow, and expect to
spend the Sabbath in Philadelphia. Shall we not be favored with a
letter at the latter place?
Accept this from your
The above letter is postmarked "Wash. City," and the
postage (no stamps in that day) marked "i8f cents."
Early Married Life. 41
EARLY MARRIED LIFE.
Upon their return from their wedding- journey, the
young couple, aged respectively twenty-three and twenty,
commenced housekeeping in a very modest way in Spring
Street, where their oldest child, a daughter, was born, August
31st, 1829. The next year (1830) they moved further uptown,
to Bleecker Street. Their home, still standing, was No. 24,
on the south side, between Mott and Elizabeth Streets, a two-
storied brick house, with gable windows in its steep roof.
Mrs. White's brother, William E. Dodge, who was married a
few months earlier (Norman White acting as groomsman),
occupied the house next door, No. 22. The writer has heard
his father say that he and his brother-in-law, in consultation,
had fixed the limit of the rent which either felt willing to pay
at $300, but finding these houses exactly suited to their minds,
they finally, after careful consideration, yielded a point and
consented to the rent demanded, viz., $350. The location was
then so far uptown that friends admonished the young people,
remarking: "If you are really determined to go so far out of
town, you must not expect any one to call upon you."
Soon after moving to Bleecker Street, Mr. and Mrs.
White (December 7th, 1830) united with the Bleecker Street
(now the Fourth Avenue) Presbyterian Church, of which the
Rev. Erskine Mason, a son of the distinguished Dr. John M.
Mason, was then the pastor.
They identified themselves immediately with the active
work of the church, and the records show that on August 4th,
1833, Norman White was ordained a deacon of the church.
42 Early Married Life.
He was also, for a time at least, the superintendent of the
As indicating the interest that Mr. White thus early in
life manifested in religious and benevolent undertakings, and
also the respect in which he was held by those with whom he
was associated, it is to be noted that, in 1833, at the age of
twenty-eight, he was elected President of the "Young Men's
Bible Society" (afterwards called "The New York Bible
Society"), and served in that capacity for three years. Upon
remitting this oflfice, he was presented with a large family Bible,
which his older children remember as containing, as was the
custom in that day, upon blank pages boimd between the Old
and the New Testaments, the records of family births, mar-
riages and deaths.
In 1832, during the first and most severe cholera
visitation of New York, Mr. White's young family sought
refuge in the paternal home among the Andover hills of
Connecticut. It became necessary, however, for business
reasons, for Mr. White to return to the city, and the writer has
heard him describe the lonely journey by stage coach from
Hartford to New York. Business men in the former city,
learning that this young man was going through to New York,
requested him to take charge of money, drafts and other
valuables which they desired to transmit to the stricken city.
He consented to the request so far as allowing them to place
the envelopes and packages in his trunk, but declined under
the circumstances to be responsible for their safe keeping.
He related that he reached New York upon the very day of
the greatest mortality, and found business practically at a
In the Bleecker Street home were born a second
daughter and a son, the latter of whom received as his, the
NOS. 22 AND 2.\ BlEECKF.R StREET.
Present appearance (1Q05) of the homes in which WilHam E. Dodge
and Norman White commenced housekeeping in 1830.
In No. 24, the honse at the right, were born
Frances Stanley and Erskine Norman.
Early Married Life. 43
Christian name of their pastor, although his parents never
considered that in any strict sense he was the namesake of the
During these years, Mr. White was evidently prospering
in business, for in 1834 he purchased a house on Eighth Street,
in the part afterwards known as Clinton Place. It was No.
14, upon the south side, one door west of the corner of Mercer
Street. It is still standing, although transformed into a busi-
Soon after this removal, he took part in the organization
of a new Presbyterian Church, known as the "Mercer Street
Church," and which, during the next thirty years and until
united in 1872 with the University Place Church, occupied a
leading position among the churches of its denomination in
the city. He was immediately elected an elder, and continued
in this office so long as connected with the church, a period
of twenty-seven years. As an officer of the church, he had
a deep sense of his responsibility, and was unremitting in
rendering whatever service properly fell to him as counsellor
and assistant of the pastor.
In those days, also, it was the custom to hold two week-
day services each week, one on Tuesday evening, at which the
pastor presided and delivered what was termed a "lecture,"
and the other, more distinctively a "prayer meeting," on Friday
evening, which was led by one of the "elders," each taking
his place in turn. It was a rare thing for Mr. White to be
absent from this social meeting, and he was always ready to
bear his part in making it interesting and helpful, even,
although by no means a trained musician, leading in the
singing when others whom he considered more competent to
render the service were absent. He also for many years
conducted the Bible class for young women.
44 Early Married Life.
His relation to this church of his early attachment
cannot be better described than in the following words of his
eldest daughter, written many years later, a few days after
"I felt very much the absence in the addresses on Friday of
allusion to our father's long connection and ardent work in old Mercer
Street Church. To that church was given the prime of his manhood:
for that parish he lived next to his family. He was Dr. Skinner's
right hand man; truly an assistant pastor. He was as prompt to
visit the sick and dying, to seek out every possible case of religious
interest among the congregation, as any pastor could be; indeed, the
pastors relied upon him to keep them mindful of the homes where
they were most needed. For years he taught the large Bible class
of young women. He was clerk of the Session; always in his place;
in fact, the one man who could always be relied upon; and from
twenty-five to forty years ago, when Mercer Street Church was in its
prime, it was a power in the city that no one church could be now in
the great metropolis, for New York was then by comparison but an
Middle Life. 45
In 1837, the firm of N. & J. White was dissolved, and
Mr. White formed a co-partnership with Mr. Joseph B.
Sheffield, in the paper business, and in the importing of articles
used in its m.anufacture. At a later period the firm became
also paper manufacturers, and had large mills at Saugerties,
upon the Hudson River. The first place of business of the new
firm was at 73 William Street; then from 1839 to 1850 at 29
Liberty Street; from 1851 to 1863, 11 r Fulton Street, and
finally, until the close of the partnership, in 1871. at 53
A few years after the removal of the family to Clinton
Place, Mr. White purchased (1838) land at New Rochelle.
upon Long Island Sound, about twenty miles from the city,
and established a sunmier country home. He opened a new
road, planted many trees upon an extensive lawn, and built
a modest but comfortable house, from the broad piazzas of
which a wide view of the beautiful inland sea was obtained.
In that day there was no railroad, and during the first year of
occupancy, Mr. White was in the habit of driving to town in
his own carriage, usually arranging to spend every other night
in the country. A little later the Harlem Railroad was opened
to Fordham, and then to Williams Bridge, and the drive was
shortened, so that the trip could be made every day. About
that time, too, a little steamboat, "The American Eagle,"
commenced to ply between Glen Cove, upon Long Island,
and New York, touching in its passage at New Rochelle.
This country house was occupied in the summers for about
46 Middle Life.
five years, but was sold in 1843 or 1844. There one child —
the fourth son — died; and there one — the fifth daughter — was
Upon the beautiful grounds which Mr. White laid out
and planted with shade trees, still standing and grown to stately
proportions, there was afterwards built an ornate, castle-like
mansion, many years later the headquarters of a country club,
and finally occupied as a convent and seminary for girls.
During the last year of the residence of the family in
Clinton Place, the home was saddened by the death of the
second daughter, a lovely child, twelve years of age.
In 1844, Mr. White, who had previously bought land
upon the west end of the newly laid-out Gramercy Park,
between Twentieth and Twenty-first Streets, built two houses
in the centre of the block, into one of which — No. 4 — his family
In 1849, he completed the block of houses upon
Gramercy Park, and himself occupied the one upon the corner
of Twenty-first Street — No. i — which continued to be the
home of his family for the next ten years.
The entrance upon this new home was signalized by the
marriage of the eldest daughter, November 14th, of the same
year. In 1852, Mr. and Mrs. White visited England and the
Continent, a journey of much more note in those days than
now, crossing the ocean in the ship Arctic, of the short-lived
Collins American Line, a ship which a few years later
foundered in consequence of a collision in midocean.
A year or two later Mr. White enlarged his business
activities by purchasing the type foundry established forty
years earlier by his kinsman and former partner, Mr. Elihu
White, and continued until that time by Mr. John Trumbull
White. The paper firm, with which Mr. White was still
Middle Life. 47
interested, occupied the lower floor of tiie foundry, upon the
corner of Beekman and Gold Streets, where both concerns
remained until Mr. White's retiracy from active business in
Mr. White throughout his active Hfe interested himself
in a number of enterprises outside of his own regular business.
The Erie Railroad.
He was for several years a director in the New York"
and Erie Railroad, taking an active part in its management in
its early days. The men who projected and organized this
road were of the highest character, and should not be asso-
ciated in thought with those who, in later years, under the
direction of Jay Gould and the notorious James Fiske, took
possession of it, to the great injury of the road in the public
estimation. So important was this work considered that, upon
its completion, the Common Council of New York passed
the following resolutions:
'"Resolved, That we hail the completion of this gigantic
and stupendous work as emphatically the work of the age.
"Resolved, That the thanks of the city are due, and are
hereby tendered, to [here follow the names of the directors,
among zvhom are included William E. Dodge and Norman White] .
the present Directors of the New York and Erie Railroad
Company, for the zeal, energy and devotion to this enterprise,
so successfully brought to a termination after it had been so
hopelessly abandoned by their predecessors."
The writer well remembers accompanying, when a boy,
his father and a large company of distinguished visitors, upon
an excursion celebrating the opening of the young road from
Piemiont, on the Hudson River, to Port Jervis, a distance of
sixty or seventy miles. Upon that occasion, after partaking of
a htncheon prepared for the guests in a neighboring hotel, Mr.
White, among others, was called upon for remarks. Nothing
of his speech lingers in the mind of the writer, excepting a
humorous play upon the name of the well known President
of the Road, Mr. Benjamin Loder. Referring to the statement
just made of the engineering difficulties and the immense
amount of gunpowder used in blasting. Mr. White closed with
the remark that no one need be surprised at the excellent
results, in view of such a great consumption of gunpowder
under the direction of such an excellent and proficient "Loder,"
a pun which, however reprehensible in itself, evoked an
appreciative and noisy applause. Another remark of his,
while a director in- this company, is recalled. When, at a
meeting of the Board, ways and means of enhancing the value
in the market of the stock were under discussion, he tersely
remarked: "Gentlemen, if we take proper care of the road, the
stock will take care of itself— a statement which se'ems
suggestive in regard to many other affairs in Hfe.
He strongly disapproved of the proposition in later
years to open the road to Sunday travel, and both he and his
brother-in-law, Mr. William E. Dodge, retired from the
management, probably on account of their opposition to that
change in its policy. He was, however, a man of too broad
a mind to look upon the after difficulties of the road as directly
connected with any one particular evasion of what he con-
sidered a Divme law.
During the discussion of this question, he wrote a letter
(December loth, 1851) to a friend, a prominent fellow-director
CMr. James Boorman), giving his views at some length upon
this subject. In this letter, after giving the general argument
for the sanctity of the Sabbath, he presents his conclusions as
"Whether it is or is not consistent with God's commands and
the example and precepts of our Saviour, to allow our railroads to be
used on the Sabbath has become a question of grave importance, a
practical question that must be met. Our duty to God and our fellow-
men demand that it receive the most careful consideration. This
question has been for months much on my mind, and I have felt
appalled by the responsibility which rests upon those whose voice
and influence are to determine it. The efforts of the friends of the
Sabbath in New England to suppress railroad travelling on that day
have been attended with complete success, and our course is watched
with much solicitude. If the roads in this State, connecting New
England with the great West, do not observe the Sabbath, there is
reason to fear that there will be another struggle upon this question
in New England, and with doubtful results.
"Public safety and our own interests require the employment
of men of vigilance, integrity and high moral character on our trains.
Will such men readily make engagements which not only require
them to work on the Sabbath, but also deprive them of all opportunity
of religious improvement? Could we look with satisfaction to such
employment for our own cherished friends? Neither can we overlook
the evil which is brought upon the towns and villages through which
our trains pass. The noise, the bustle, the gatherings around the
stations: can anything be better calculated to break down a reverence
for the Lord's Day?
"I do not believe the pecuniary interests of any road will be
promoted by Sabbath trains. From the nature of the case, the ques-
tion of gain cannot with certainty be demonstrated by actual experi-
ment in a particular instance, but experience and observation furnish
an overwhelming amount of evidence in favor of suspending work on
the Sabbath; in fact, the evidence is all on that side. Could any man
with correct views of God's requirements expect His blessing to attend
Sabbath labors? Corporations, as well as individuals, are dependent
upon His blessing. We cannot safely take the ground that a particular
transgression will, of course, be followed by disaster so palpable as to
indicate beyond a doubt God's displeasure, but we have no right to
expect His blessing when we disregard His commands. The doctrine
of retribution as laid down in the Bible is, that individual transgression
may be punished either in this life or in that which is to come, or
both; but the transgressions of communities or associations of men
as such, must meet with retributive justice in this world if at all, while
the individuals who represent and manage the affairs of such associa-
tions will have to answer for their voluntary acts before the Searcher
"Was the Sabbath given to men as a priceless boon? Then
who can be willing to impair or destroy this priceless blessing? The
principle of benevolence and love to our fellow-men requires us to
uphold the Sabbath day. But more than all and above all, God's
commands stand in full force. We deem it right to require a rigid
observance of our rules by our engineers and conductors: this is
absolutely necessary, otherwise confusion and disaster may be expected
and we deem it just and proper that punishment should be inflicted
upon the transgressor. May not the Ruler of the universe reasonably
demand a compliance with His laws, and justly inflict chastisement for
"But I have said much more than I contemplated when I
began, and more, I fear, than you will have patience to read, and will
only add that the result of my reflections is a firm conviction that we
ought not to allow our trains to run on the Sabbath. We must not
be misled by what may appear to be public opinion. The voice of
the people' is not 'the voice of God' on this any more than on many
other questions. We must strive by judicious efforts to correct public
opinion. God's laws must not be tampered with or made to bend to
suit the changes introduced by man into the business of the world.
Let us do all in our power to arrest this threatened evil before it is too
"You will permit me to add, in conclusion, that the high and
honorable position which you have gained in the estimation of this
community gives no ordinary importance to the course you may adopt
on this question."
Mr. White had a natural taste for planning and con-
structing-. Reference ha.s been already made to his purchase
of propert}- at New Rochelle, laying out extensive grounds,
and building a country house for summer occupancy. He
afterwards, as has been already mentioned, built six houses
upon the west end of Gramcrcy Park, two of which he succes-
sively occupied, and a little later planned and erected eight
houses upon the west side of Fourth Avenue, between Nine-
teenth and Tw^entieth Streets.
As a director of the American Bible Society, he took a
prominent part in selecting as the new site of the Bible House
its commanding location upon Astor Place, and he was an
active member of the Building Committee in the erection of
the new structure.
There is still in the possession of his children a large
and beautiful pulpit Bible, with the following inscription upon
Presented by the
American Bible Society,
May 1 2th, 1853,
For Services Rendered
New Bible House,
The firm of White, Gallagher & White, with which Mr.
White was first connected, were the publishers of some of the
smaller editions of Webster's Dictionary, and Mr. White, after
he retired from the publishing business, for many years main-
tained an interest in the copyright of this standard work. This
interest brought him into intimate association with Prof.
Chauncey Goodrich, of Yale College, the son-in-law of Noah
Webster, and the responsible editor of the successive editions
of the dictionary.
Prof. Goodrich was frequently a guest in Mr. White's
home, and their business relations involving frequent corre-
spondence, ripened into a very sincere personal friendship,
which both alike afifectionately cherished, and which was
beautifully reflected in a tender letter* of condolence written
by this life-long friend soon after the death of Mrs. White.
How highly Mr. White esteemed this friend is manifested in
the following letter to Mrs. Goodrich, in reference to the loss
of her husband:
March 6th, i860.
To AIrs. Chauncey A. Goodrich.
My Dear Madam: — I was present and united with the great
congregation on Tuesday last in paying the last mournful tribute of
respect and affection to our dear departed friend, but I had no oppor-
tunity to tell you how deeply I sympathized with you in your great
A man of rare excellence has fallen. I never knew a man
who was more entitled to the regard and confidence of the community
than our lamented friend. I feel that I have sustained a great loss,
for I not only looked upon him as a dear friend, but I had the rever-
ence and affection for him of a son to a father.
I shall never forget the impression made upon me when our
first business relations commenced, nearly or quite thirty years ago.
We were in a small room opening into the counting room, and as
soon as our arrangements for future business were agreed upon, he
proposed that the door should be closed and that we should kneel
down and unite in prayer, asking for the blessing of God upon our
future business relations.
In all our important business transactions for more than a
quarter of a century, all his acts have been in perfect harmony with
the entire dependence upon Divine Providence which was then mani-
His visits in our family always gave us the greatest pleasure.
We were interested and, I trust, benefited by his words of wisdom
and the fervent expressions of his warm Christian spirit. My children
were greatly attached to him, and unite with me in this express on
* See page 70.
of condolence and sympathy. My lamented wife, during her many
years of invalid life, was always cheered by his kind, sympathizing-
expressions of comfort and trust.
I hope you received a paper which I sent to you last week,
containing a brief report of the proceedings of the American Bible
Society on Thursday last in reference to the death of our lamented
brother. The newspaper report gives but a very imperfect account
of the spontaneous expressions of respect and sorrow which were then
uttered The resolutions which were adopted have doubtless been
conimunicated to you by Dr. Brigham.
With the earnest hope that you may be comforted and
supported in this great affliction by the presence of our heavenly
Father, I am, my dear madam, with the most sincere respect and
Very truly yours,
As a Citizen . 55
AS A CITIZEN.
While Mr. White took but little public part in the
political movements of his day, he was keenly interested in
everything that concerned the well-being of the nation, and
especially of the city which was his life-long home.
In his early years, his political affiliations were with the
old Whig Party, and he was an ardent admirer of such states-
men as Henry Clay and Daniel Webster.
He accepted the moderate tariff views of the former,
believing that a certain amount of protection was necessary
to the fostering of the "infant industries" of what was then a
Interested himself both in manufacturing and in
importing, he was able to look upon this question upon both
sides, and more than once he was a member of committees
of New York merchants called to confer with Congressional
Committees in reference to the readjustment of the scale of
duties upon imports.
The writer recalls that, many years later, when meeting
in another city a former prominent member of Congress, this
gentleman, upon learning that he was conversing with a son
of Norman White of New York, paid a spontaneous tribute
to the wisdom and skill with which Mr. White before a certain
committee of Congress had presented his views upon the
subject in question.
He was, however, especially interested in the matter of
good government in the city in which he lived, and was ever
ready, by his vote, his personal influence and his means, to
support measures looking to that end.
56 As a Citi.'scn.
In his connection with the work of the Sabbath Com-
mittee, of which more will be said later, he had special occasion
to become conversant with the management and morale of the
police force of the city. The following letter, addressed to
General Pillsbury, Chief of the Police Department, and written
at his request, not only indicates the thought that Mr. White
had given to the subject in question, but also shows that the
difficulties experienced were much the same fifty years ago
New York, July 29th, 1859.
My Dear Sir: — In compliance with your request, I will make
a few remarks, suggested by the intercourse I have had with the Police
Department during the past year.
First, permit me to say that the course you have adopted since
you became the head of the police meets the approbation of all good
citizens, and you will be sustained in your efforts to reform and
improve a department so important to the peace and welfare of the
city. You will find nothing new in the following suggestions, still
I cannot forbear bringing them out, as their importance cannot be
You have much to do in training the police force, captains and
privates, into a proper understanding of their duties. The present
condition of the Department shows that there is great need of a radical
change. As a general rule, there is a total want of that high moral
tone, correct deportment and dignified bearing which is demanded of
such a body of men. The loose and undefined notion of what is the
duty of a policeman which now so largely prevails must be eradicated,
root and branch, before you will be able to work your Department
either with satisfaction to yourself or so as to meet the public
Do not make too many rules, but when rules are promulgated,
let the men understand that they must be promptly and implicitly
obeyed. This is the more important from the fact that you now have
many men on the force utterly unfit for the place they occupy, and
under the existing laws you have no other way to winnow out the
chaff than by raising the standard of duty and cutting ofif those who
will not toe the mark.
Not one city can be found in these United States where there
is a thoroughly drilled police force. Now is a good time and this city
As a Citizen. 57
is a good place to make a beginning. But I will not enlarge upon
this point: your own observation has been sufficient to satisfy you
of the glaring defects which now exist.
In regard to the Sunday liquor and lager beer traffic, theatrical
amusements, etc., you have a herculean work on your hands, and you
will encounter difficulties which will try every bone and fibre of your
physical, mental and moral being — difficulties which will bring into
requisition your wliole capital of wisdom, patience, energy and cour-
age; but the fact that this evil has become such a formidable giant
shows the absolute necessitj' of meeting it in a manly way, fair and
square. We have had tampering, temporizing and compromising
long enough; now we must stand up to the work; the battle must be
fought which will decide the question whether rum and rowdyism are
to defy the law, and turn our Sabbaths into a carnival, or whether good
laws shall be regarded. And the man who will take the lead and
vindicate the laws will be the greatest benefactor our city has ever
known. We must have reform, or revolution. We must not, indeed,
go too fast in this work of Sabbath reform. We should make issue
only upon questions of no doubtful character, such glaring forms of
Sabbath desecration as the public welfare demands to have abated;
but when an issue is fairly made, we must not fail, whatever it may
cost. The police should be taught at once that to be continually
reiterating that "nothing can be done under existing laws and with
our present police magistrates," is most injurious and disastrous.
Such talk will ruin any effort. Let the police distinctly understand
that there is law enough and that the public will demand a faithful
execution of the laws. It is very convenient for a lazy policeman,
who wishes to shirk duty, who likes ease better than work, who finds
it very disagreeable to arrest the liquor dealer with whom he has
been associating and drinking for years — it is very convenient, I say,
for him to excuse himself from doing his duty by the common remark:
"It .is of no use to arrest a man; the magistrate will discharge him."
Let the liquor dealers who defy the law be arrested, and if the magis-
trates discharge them, let them be arrested again and again. Let every
case of such discharge be reported to you; put it down in a book,
every particular, and the magistrate will hear of it in a way that will
make his ears burn. Let them understand that it is not in their power
to defeat you in your efforts to suppress this great evil.
But, my dear sir, I must stop. Excuse this long talk, and
Your sincere friend,
58 As a Citizen.
It need hardly be said that, during the great conflict
of the Civil War, from i860 to 1865, his sympathies were
ardently engaged upon the side of the Union. His countenance
and aid were always given in connection with any measures
to secure the end for which the contest upon the side of the
North was waged. Upon more than one occasion, when
regiments of the National Guard were, in emergencies, called
to the front, members of his family were enrolled in the active
Something of his devout and patriotic feeling is reflected
in the following letter, addressed to his pastor, the Rev. Dr.
Gardiner Spring, minister of the Brick Church:
New York, April 26th, 1864.
My Much Respected and Venerable Pastor: — At our
recent interview, you kindly invited me to write a note to you in
reference to one of the topics of our conversation.
Contrary to my first impressions as to the expediency of doing
so, I will venture to make a few suggestions.
Our country is now engaged in a fearful conflict to save the
Union. We believe that those who have taken up arms against the
government are guilty of great wickedness. Our relatives and friends
have gone forth by tens of thousands to put down treason and preserve
the life of the nation. Multitudes of families at the North are in
mourning for relatives slain in the contest; and in thousands of other
families there is at this time the deepest anxiety for relatives and
friends whose lives will be imperilled in the battles which are
impending. Under these circumstances, is it unreasonable to ask that
the man who conducts the devotional exercises of the sanctuary should
earnestly entreat God to give success to our arms and throw His shield
of protection over those whose lives are in such imminent peril? and
that the wrong doing of those in rebellion should be recognized and
God entreated to defeat their efforts and bring them to see their error,
that they may repent and become good citizens?
I know you will excuse these few hasty suggestions from one
who loves his country and his Church.
With the highest regard, I am, my dear pastor,
Yours very truly,
Family Life. 59
As during these years his surviving children, seven in
number, were growing to maturity, a reference to his family
life may be here appropriately made.
All of these children, the present writer is confident,
would have acknowledged that to their father's wise counsel
and their mother's saintly influence, more than to all other
circumstances combined, they were indebted for the moulding
of their characters and for whatever measure of happiness and
success they attained in their after lives.
Their father, coming of New England and Puritan
ancestry, was not emotional or demonstrative in manner, and
was somewhat reticent in expressions of affection, but he never
left them in doubt of his deep and abiding interest in all that
concerned their welfare. From time to time in their early
childhood he would converse with them upon their religious
interests, and urge upon them the prime necessity of a spiritual
life, consecrated to the service of the Divine Master. Their
love for him was transfused with such complete acknowledg-
ment of his paternal authority that government in the strict
sense of the term was manifested rarely, if, indeed, ever, in
distinct commands. It was maintained by a personal influence
which was so impressive that it probably never occurred to
them that it was possible to disregard his expressed wishes.
He was always liberal in providing for their needs, and
especially in the matter of their education, but at the same time,
at least in the case of his sons, careful to impress upon their
minds the wisdom of economy and accuracy in expenditures,
6o Family Life.
and the necessity of being prepared to make their own way
in life. His evident desire was to have them carefully trained
in preparation for future usefulness, and he manifested a deep
and loving interest in all their plans looking to either business
or professional life. Most of all, did he desire that they should
be Christian men and women, and his influence in this regard,
while not frequently expressed in exhortations, was always
pervasive and potent.
Another characteristic of his home life may be here
emphasized. He never brought his business cares or anxieties
to his family, nor, as there is reason to believe, even to his wife.
Away from his office, his time and thought were largely
given to matters other than business; and in his home, his
evenings were occupied with reading or in social intercourse
with his family and friends.
Thus even during periods of commercial depression or
panics, through several of which he successfully passed, there
was no reference in the home circle to his anxieties, and
outwardly his bearing was as calm and serene as in days of
He was not a prolific correspondent, his letters to his
children in their absence from home being usually brief and
in regard to practical matters; but from time to time, as occa-
sion arose, calling for special guidance, he wrote more freely.
Not many of these letters have been preserved. A few,
however, addressed to his daughter, Julia, in her early years,
and several written to his elder son during student days, are
happily available, and may illustrate his loving attitude towards
his children and his methods of advice.
In the following letters to this daughter, with their
allusions to other members of the family circle, the softer traits
of his character are plainly revealed, as also his deep affection
Family Life. 6i
for his children. The first was written to her upon the eve
of her thirteenth birthday, when at school with her older sister
at Farmington, Connecticut; the others at later periods, and
the last at a time when her father's approaching second
marriage would soon lighten her care in the home, over which
she had presided since the marriage of her older sisters.
New York, May 20th, 1851.
My Dear Daughter Julia: — I address you particularly at this
time as your "birthday" occurs on the 22d, and I wish just to let you
know that you are not forgotten. Indeed, 1 think of my absent
daughters very often, and sometimes wish them home again, but my
better judgment tells me that the absence is for your good. I can
hardly realize how rapidly years are passing away, and how dihgent
you must both be with your studies to obtain a satisfactory education.
I am sure your own good sense shows to you the importance of
making thorough work of study while you have such privileges. The
little trials of life are calculated to prepare us for usefulness if rightly
I hope, my dear daughter, that you will persevere with good
resolution and find your time pass pleasantly during the year on which
you are about to enter; especially may it be a year of joy and peace
in your Redeemer. I send two little music books for you and Emma,
both sacred music and songs. I hope you will practice every day.
You no doubt will find other young ladies to join with you. I wish
you would write and tell me what studies you have, what hours, etc.
etc., all the little particulars.
With much love to both of you, my dear daughters, and with
the sincere wish that the new year on which Julia is about to enter
may be prosperous and happy, I am..
Your most affectionate
New Y'ork. April 29th. 1856.
In enclosing a letter to you, I embrace the opportunity to
say that I am very glad to hear that you are enjoying yourself so
much. It cannot be otherwise in such a pleasant family.* When you
are ready to return, we will try and make some arrangements for an
* Probably that of her schoolmate. Miss Lapsley.
62 Family Life.
escort from Philadelphia. As the "family letter" gives you all the
news, there is nothing left for me to say. Emma appears better this
morning. Nell presides at the breakfast table with great dignity; in
fact, she makes a first rate housekeeper in the absence of her sisters
from, that post. We have so few at the table that we are quite lost;
the change is so great; only four this morning.
With very kind regards to all the family and a large share of
love for yourself, I am, my dear daughter,
Most affectionately yours.
New York, December 17th, 1857.
As the package from No. i was about going off, I thought I
would put in some little love token for you, but really I was so
completely at a loss to know what to send that I enclose ten dollars,
not doubting that you will select something much more acceptable
than anything I can send.
We are very quiet at No. i, and we miss your pleasant face
and chatter very much. I am glad that you have been with Mary
while there has been so much lo do to nurse the invalids, and I know
that you are an excellent nurse. Cousin Stanley will spend a few
days with us, and enliven the circle. His health is much better, but
he is still quite an invalid.
With my best love and a most happy Christmas and New Year,
I am, my dear daughter, most affectionately your
January 19th, 1858.
I am always glad to hear from my absent children, even when
I am unable to make any suitable response, and I lose no time in
taking a moment to say that I have received your very welcome and
kind letter of the i8th. I am glad to hear that you are enjoying
yourself so much, although I have sometimes been so selfish as almost
to wish you would be "homesick " We do really want to see you
again. You fill a place that cannot be filled by any substitute, and
while I am rejoiced that you can add to the happiness of the Brookline
loved ones, I do not know that I should have consented to let you go
if I had supposed that you would have stayed so long.
We are very quiet. Stanley is yet with us, at work upon the
Grandfathers* Emma appears to be pretty \yell most of the time;
* His nephew, Stanley Kellogg, was preparing the "John
Family Life. 63
I think, however, that your presence would be good medicine for her. . .
Tell Mary that I received her kind note, and hoped to be
able to answer it: also the splendid letter from Norman* Tell him
that he must wait with patience; that I dare not venture to enter upon
the work of answering a gentleman of such literary accomplishments
until I have had time to brush up my Greek and Latin; but tell him
not to wait for me, but to write again when he can find time.
June 29th, 1859.
I have received your affectionate letter.
I need not assure you that I love to write to my absent
children, and I love to hear from them very often. I am sometimes
inclined to fear that my heart is too much bound up in my dear
children. Their happiness is my happiness. I am glad to hear that
you are spending your time so pleasantly; indeed, I do not well see
how it could be otherwise while visiting among such kind friends.
My particular object in writing to-day is to let you know
something about Charley's plans. He expects to leave here for
Auburn on Friday: on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week to start,
with Georgie, Henry and Agnes Starin, for Albany, where they will
meet Nell and Grace; from thence the party will proceed to Boston,
perhaps stopping a day or two on the way. They will spend a few
days in and about Boston, and then go to Nantucket or some other
place or places in that direction. Charley wishes me to say that he
wants you to join the party and they will see you safely at Newport
on the way home. I expect to go up to Saugerties on Saturday with
Nell and Grace, spend the Sabbath there, and then see the girls to
Albany and return to the city the latter part of the week. I shall stay
here until Charley returns, and the latter part of the month intend to
make a visit to our friends in Rockville and Vernon, where I hope
to meet you. I spent last Sabbath with your Dutch brother and his
little "Vrau" — a very happy little Dutch family, I assure you, and
most pleasantly situated in their little parsonage. Statia t went down
on Friday to stay until to-day, when their girl was to come. Every-
thing went on in perfect order like old housekeeping. They begin
their married and pastoral life under very pleasant auspices. It is
my earnest prayer that they may be able to do much good in the field
where Providence has placed them.
* Aet. seven.
t An old family servant, who was a mcml)cr of his household
for twenty years.
64 Family Life.
"The Misses White'' had a large basket of beautiful flowers
sent to them yesterday from Astoria, with a polite note from Mr. C.
W. W . I ought to have left this bit of news alone for your sisters
to communicate; so consider that I have not said anything about it.
July 20th, 1859.
I was glad to learn, by your letter of the 15th, that you had
at last reached that charming place you describe in such rapturous
terms. I think your poetic friend, Eliza, must have been at your elbow
when you wrote.
Emma's budget of letters from Newport received yesterday
from you and others were read to the whole family, greatly to the
delight of every one. By the way, I believe the doctor was profes-
sionally occupied and was not at the first reading, but all the rest were
present and most attentive and delighted hearers.
When you gave that glowing description of the "Walker
Cottage," etc., I have no doubt you intended it all in kindness, but
just imagine how you would feel shut up in a hot and wicked city —
for liquor is still sold on Sunday slyly, and will be, I fear, until Mr.
Walker returns to aid us. I say, would it not make you feel just as
though it was best to be off and take a look at the ocean from that
cottage? It would give me great pleasure, my dear daughter, to spend
a day or two at Newport, and then escort you on your journey. By
the way, Mr. Sheffield is expecting a visit from you before you resume
the cares of your family at No. i, and then Erskine and Lilly wish to
show you their little Dutch parsonage — "a little house well filled, a
little wife well willed." I expect to spend next Sabbath with Mary.
As soon as I can see my way a little more clearly, I will tell you
whether I can go to Newport or not.
July 9th, i860.
My Dear Julia: — I thank you for your kind, affectionate
note. You have given such evidence of your love, my dear daughter,
all your life, that I need no new assurance of your readiness to make
any sacrifice to promote my happiness. I am sure you will believe
me when I say that the proposed change in our family has arisen more
from a desire to relieve you than from any other cause. You have
filled the responsible position in which you have been placed most
admirably; not only to my entire satisfaction, but so as to leave
nothing wanting. In fact, it has been the most serious objection which
dear Anna has made to coming into the family that, after your admir-
Family Life. 65
able management, her efforts would be a failure. I wish you could
have heard the kind words in which she so often spoke of you. And
here I will say that she will lean very much upon you, especially at
first; I assure her that it will give you the greatest pleasure to do all
in your power to aid her.
I have, my dear daughter, a most comforting hope that the
proposed arrangement will tend to make a happy family still happier.
I long to see you a little more free from care. My happiness is so
identified with the happiness of my children that there can be no
separation. Mutual, confiding love is absolutely essential to our
happiness. I am free to say that I have been guided in my choice in
a good degree by the belief that there are few persons who could be
found who would be so likely to love and be loved by my dear children
as our well known, gentle Anna. The manner in which she has
considered this question has greatly endeared her to me.
The following- extracts from letters to his elder son
are also characteristic and interesting. The first was written
while the son was in preparation for college ; the others at later
periods, while he was pursuing his studies at Yale College, and
afterwards in Halle, Germany.
July 31st, 1850.
The recent conversations which I have had with you in refer-
ence to future plans have led me to think much upon the subject. You
cannot wonder that I feel a deep interest in your welfare and much
solicitude that you be prepared for usefulness.
For the last two years you have appeared to wish to have a
collegiate education. I have looked with favor upon your plans, and
have endeavored to encourage you to pursue your studies with such
spirit and assiduity as would place you upon a favorable starting point
with your class. I have so fully expressed myself upon this subject
that I do not deem it important to say much at this time, except upon
In one of our conversations, you appeared to hesitate some-
what about going on as you have heretofore contemplated, to get a
thorough education. Upon this subject I wish to say a word.
Nothing can be more undesirable, nothing more fatal to success, than
indecision or vacillation. You may not be able at this time to decide
as to a profession for life. Neither do I deem it important that you
66 Family Life.
should feel a strong predilection for any particular occupation. But
I do feel it to be vitally important that there should be no doubt or
indecision about your studies. Upon this point you must have a fixed
purpose, a manly determination to pursue your studies with diligence
and earnestness. You can never be prepared for the stern duties of
life in any sphere without training — that kind of training which is
attended with hard drilling, perseverance, sometimes when nature
seems to shrink from the labor. If you pursue your studies with this
spirit, you will be in a measure better prepared for a merchant,
mechanic or manufacturer. On the other hand, if you are contented
to go through your college course with just as little work as may be
absolutely requisite, you will not only not be fitted for a literary or
professional life, but you will be absolutely unfitted for anything else.
Unless you accustom j^ourself while you are young to hard work, you
will almost to a certaintj'^ be unsuccessful in life, no matter what may
be your calling. ... A college course may not be lost even should
you not conclude to study a profession, but it will be lost unless your
aims are high while in college. . . .
You are now of an age which demands decision and reflec-
tion. The energies of your faculties must be aroused. Any symptoms
of indolence or indecision must be resisted at once. Your Maker has
given you talents, and you are required to improve them. In obedience
to His commands, which are consistent with the highest degree of
happiness in this life to which a mortal can attain, put on your armor,
be faithful to yourself, be faithful to your Master, and your reward is
certain. May I ask, my dear son, your attentive consideration to these
suggestions, which spring spontaneously from the bosom of your most
January 29th, 1853.
The three "learned professions,"' as they are generally termed
— Theology, Law and Medicine — are all honorable, and have their
respective attractions. I have placed them in the order in which they
stand in my own estimation.
No pursuit of life can be more honorable or important than
the first named, but no one should ever enter upon it without the most
serious deliberation. While all the various occupations of life have
their peculiar responsibilities, there is a sacredness about this above
all others. In choosing this profession, there is an open, a public
avowal that the great work of the salvation of our fellow-men appears
to us so important that we dedicate ourselves to it for life. This and
Family Life. 67
this only should be the motive. As an occupation, it is most honor-
able, but it should never be chosen either on this account or simply as
a means of acquiring a livelihood. If, however, we have reason to
believe that we can enter upon this work with our whole heart, and
that we are adapted to it by the talents and gifts which God has
bestowed upon us, then the way is clear. There must be satisfactory
evidence that we can undertake the solemn duty of a minister of the
Gospel with an honest and cordial purpose to devote ourselves to the
service of our Master. You know full well that nothing could give
your parents more pleasure than to have the way seem clear for you
to choose this profession. But we wish by no means to have you
make this choice unless you have reason to feel that you are guided
in that direction by the hand of Providence.
The profession of the Law is honorable, and the members
of this profession fill most of the public offices of the land, but the
day is past, at least for the present, when public life, which depends
upon popular favor, is entitled to a favorable consideration. True
merit and real qualifications are but slightly regarded and stand but
little chance in our popular elections. As a means of livelihood, the
legal profession is attended with many ditliculties. Without more than
ordmary talents or extraneous advantages, the toil must be long and
arduous before a high stand can be attained, and while there are many
lawyers who are bright examples ainong Christians, yet I do not
consider that the pursuits connected with this profession are favorable
for the cultivation of simple, unaffected piety.
The Medical profession is honorable, and we find in it many
noble, high-minded men, yet it is most toilsome and self-denying, and
it presents by no means great attractions in a pecuniary point of view.
Tt is overcrowded, especially in our large cities, and the struggle is
long and often for many years doubtful before any considerable success
can be attained.
Exclusive of these professions, there are a great variety of
occupations, many of them honorable, as well as attractive, and giving
fair promise of pecuniary gain, but any remarks upon their compara-
tive advantages are not called for at present. . . .
Now, my son, I have hastily thrown out these few thoughts for
your own reflection. I wish you to feel that you must cultivate high
and noble purposes; not those which look to great distinction in the
eye of the world, but those that aim at honorable employment and a
high degree of usefulness. The claims which your heavenly Father
has upon your best energies and talents cannot be disregarded. They
must be promptly and cheerfully met.
68 Family Life.
Feel the utmost freedom in opening your whole heart to your
parents. You may be assured that we shall be ready to advise with
you. Persevere most faithfully in present duty and study the leadings
of Providence. Seek evidence from God and you may confidently
hope that the path of duty will be made plain to you.
June I2th, 1858.
I thank you for the frank expression of your feelings and
views in regard to future plans. I do not wonder that you are anxious
to get to work, especially in a profession where good and true men are
so much needed.
I did not intend, in my former letter, to urge you to stay
another year, but only to bring the question fairly before you. The
full statement of the progress you are making and what you hope to
accomplish by next fall leads m.e to think that you take a proper view
of your duty.
The profession which you have chosen is a glorious one. You
already know the exalted views which I entertain in regard to it, and
my sole desire is that you may continue the work of preparation so
long only as will be likely to fit you for the most usefulness in your
Your education in the broad and general sense will never be
completed. It is one of our privileges in life to work and learn at the
same time. High attainments will not alone make a successful or a
highly useful man. Unless the heart is enlisted, very little can be
done. Some of our most learned men are the least successful. A full
appreciation of the importance of the work, a love for it, combined
with prudence, perseverance and earnestness, will lead to success.
Of his tender love for the mother of his children, and
of his untiring devotion to her during the long years of her
invalidism, it is not necessary here to enlarge. His attitude
in these regards is sufficiently revealed in the course of the
Death of Mrs. White. 69
DEATH OF MRS. WHITE.
For many years, Mrs. White's health had been frail,
and soon after taking possession of the second Gramercy Park
home, it became evident that her malady had assumed a
different and threatening form. Although rallying from time
to time, her gradual decline in strength and vitality was plainly
The long struggle with weakness and suffering, which
was sustained with indescribable patience and courage, ended
January 5th, 1857.
The memory of this mother is very precious to her
children, and, indeed, it may be added, to all who knew her.
Her life was as pure and unselfish in its devotion to the interests
of others as it is possible for a human Hfe to be.
In a letter written after her death by her brother,* who
stood nearest to her in age, and which is quoted in the beautiful
"Memorial" compiled by her eldest daughter, the following
true description of her character is given:
"In leflccting upon the past, I have been greatly comforted
in the review of a hfe so continuously devoted to the Master's business,
exemplified in never-failing efYort in behalf of all with whom she had
to do; praying and laboring for their best interests, both for time and
eternity — fixed and constant in her affection for her parents, brothers
and sisters — faithful and kind to all whose privilege it was to serve her
in any capacity — to the poor, a friend and benefactress, whom they
will not cease to mourn as they look in vain for a substitute — in a
word, possessed of more disinterested benevolence than almost any
other with whom I was ever acquainted. She derived her happiness
* William E. Dodge.
70 Death of Mrs. White.
from the consciousness of the happiness of others, herself as destitute
of selfishness as it were possible for a human being to be. Such have
been her characteristics from my earliest recollection."
The introductory preface to the "Memorial" above
mentioned closes with these words by her husband, referring
to the "privilege of ministering to her wants and of sharing
her joys and sorrows," which had been accorded him: "Most
tmmindful must he have been of the precious boon of such a
companion had he not esteemed it his greatest privilege to
soothe and alleviate the sufiferings of one whose whole life was
so unselfish, and who, in affiiction, was so imcomplaining as
to call forth the wonder and admiration of all who knew her."
In closing the "Memorial," her daughter writes:
"Our mother appeared to be endowed with a peculiar power
of winning the love and confidence of the young. The almost filial
affection which many seemed to entertain for her, and the readiness
and frequency with which her counsel was sought and plans were
confided to her ear, was a subject of playful remark in her own family.
Especially for orphan children were her sympathies called out. There
are among these some who never forget her words of counsel and
love, written and spoken. . . . None who knew her could be brought
into circum.stances of trial without discovering where at least one
true friend could be found. If prevented by bodily infirmity from
administering comfort personally, her pen testified her thoughtfulness
and brought consolation from the Holy Word. As well could she
enter into the joys of others. Her face was radiant with pleasure when
she witnessed the new-found happiness of one or heard that light had
been brought out of darkness for another. One writes: T have always
considered her sympathy the most perfect human sympathy I ever
In a letter from Dr. Chauncey Goodrich, of Yale
College, to whose friendship previous reference has been made,
occur the following passages:
"T am now doubly glad that I had the privilege of an hour
of sweet converse with her during my last visit to New York. It was
Death of Mrs. White. 71
beautiful to witness her serene quiet, and to hear her tell of that gush
of light and joy which came in upon her soul not long before, when
she had been for a time overtaken with darkness and fear. It was then
only joy and peace, and my heart felt strengthened when she spoke
of days and nights made cheerful and happy by the presence of our
"Call her blessed! Let her children endeavor to be like her —
like her in those beautiful traits of character which so endeared her
to all her friends, her cheerful piety, her elevated traits, her sweet,
childlike submission to the will of God."
A year or two later, upon the occasion of the celebration
of the eightieth birthday of his mother-in-law, Mrs. Sarah
Cleveland Dodge, Mr. White, being called upon to say a few
words of greeting, spoke as follows:
"I had not expected to make any remarks upon this occasion;
but I need no urging, for my heart is full. This gathering is one of
intense interest. Here we see a venerable lady surrounded by her
descendants, and although I am not a descendant, yet she has been
to me a very dear mother, and none present, I am sure, feel a deeper
or warmer love for her.
"She is the mother of another mother with whom I lived for
more than a quarter of a century in the greatest happiness; and to
whom I am indebted more than to any other human being; for, from
her wise counsels and holy life, I derived daily instruction. Her
lovely, unselfish character endeared her to all her friends. She is not
here. Her work is done and she has gone to her rest. But here are
her children; and I am most happy to embrace this occasion to say
that to their beloved mother's teachings and gentle influence they
are largely indebted for a measure of happiness which has rarely been
exceeded. The instructions received from her parents in the morning
of life were imparted to her own children, who, by their filial respect
and love, as well as by their rectitude of conduct, have -done much
to promote my own happiness, and also the happiness of their
"When I look around upon this numerous group of descend-
ants, and know that each one loves and venerates her who this evening
occupies the seat of honor, and know, also, that there is not one among
them all whose life or conduct is such as to give our aged mother
72 Death of Mrs. White.
undue anxiety, I am led to ask — who can doubt that here we see the
fruit of the seed sown by pious, exemplary parents, who most faithfully
inculcated those great principles of piety and uprightness which lie
at the foundation of human happiness and usefulness?
"My dear mother, we owe you a debt of gratitude which no
words can adequately express. Although your life has been quiet, and
without public observation, yet your pious and gentle influence will
be felt by a numerous posterity for many generations. More to be
coveted is the place you occupy than the seat of princes or of the
honorable of the earth.
"As the scenes of life gradually recede, may you have a
brighter, clearer view of that heavenly rest which is prepared for you;
and when your work on earth is done, may you hear the sweet, tender
accents of your Saviour saying, 'Well done, good and faithful servant:
enter thou into the joy of the Lord.' "
Benevolent Activities. 73
During these years, and thereafter until the close of his
active career, Mr. White was deeply interested in many
philanthropic and public afifairs.
The American Bible Society.
In 1840, he was elected a member of. the Board of
Managers of the American Bible Society, and took an active
part in its development and work during the rest of his life.
From 1865 until his death, he was one of its Vice-Presidents.
When the Society removed from its old building in Nassau
vStreet, he was, as we have seen, one of the Building Committee.
His interest in the work of this Society was deep and
unflagging, and many hours of his time were given to confer-
ences with the Secretaries in regard to its projects and welfare.
In the annual report of 1883, in connection with the record
of his death, it is added: "He was a man of rare sagacity, ready
in counsel and genial in bearing. He found comfort and
strength in the study of the Holy Scriptures, and deemed it
his highest honor to be actively identified with the great work
of placing them in the hands of his fellow-men."
The Board of Church Erection.
In 1854, the General Assembly of the branch of the
Presbyterian Church then known as the "New School,"
determined to establish a fund for the purpose of aiding feeble
churches, and especially those upon home missionary fields,
in the erection of houses of worship.
74 Benevolent Aciivitics.
To this end, it created a Board to be known as "The
Board of the Church Erection Fund," and elected directors to
secure the fund and to obtain a charter of incorporation. Of
this Board, Mr. White was an original member, and with his
associates, secured, March 31st, 1855, a charter from the
Legislature of the State of New York.
In a short time, a fund of $100,000, afterwards increased
to $150,000, was raised by subscription, and thereafter this fund
was distributed in small loans to needy churches.
Mr. White was a member of the Finance Committee,
and took a very active part in the management of this fund
and in determining its use. He continued in this position
until 1862, when, having removed far uptown, he transferred
his membership to a church connected with the other branch
of the Presbyterian Church, and, in consequence, resigned
from the Board which he had aided to establish.
The work in the origin of which he had taken so much
interest and borne so large a part, continued to grow in scope
and in importance, until, at the union, in 1870. of the two
wings of the Presbyterian Church, the Board was united with
the similar Board of the "Old School" branch. The united
Board, acting under the charter secured by Mr. White and his
associates, still continues its beneficent work, and has in the
half century of its existence aided thousands of young churches
and distributed nearly three millions of dollars.
Mr. White's elder son has been, since 1886, Corre-
sponding Secretary of this Board.
Union Theological Seminary.
Another institution in which Mr. White was deeply
interested was the Union Theological Seminary. When it was
founded, in 1836, although a young man, he was one of the
Benevolent Activities. 75
subscribers to its funds, and in 1857 he became a director. In
association with his fellow-directors, most of whom were also
his intimate personal friends, he took an active part in every
scheme for enlarging its influence and usefulness. In 1870, he
was elected Vice-President of the Board of Directors, and held
this position until 1882, when failing health compelled his
resignation. The respect and esteem in which he was held
by his associates upon the Board are feelingly expressed in
the minute placed upon the records of the Board at the time
of his death, which will be given later.*
New York Sabbath Committee.
The work, however, which perhaps engaged for many
years a larger share of his time and means than any other,
was in connection with the New York Sabbath Committee.
The history of the work and of his relation to it was given at
some length in the address at his funeral by the Rev. Wallace
W. Atterbury, for many years Secretary of the Conmiittee, and
we cannot do better than repeat his words, as follows:
The chief work of Mr. White's life was in connection with the
New York Sabbath Committee. As in this service he bore a larger
proportionate share than in the others to which I have referred, I
may speak of it a little more fully. He brought with him from his
early New England home a deep reverence for the Lord's Day, and
a profound conviction of the value of its observance to every interest
of man and of society. However it may have been with others who
have come forth from New England homes, the Sabbath witii him
was no day of gloom, from the restraints of which he was glad to
be emancipated as soon as he became of age to act for himself. On
the contrary, he loved the day of the Lord. It was a glad day, yet
a holy day, and he sought to honor it in his family and wherever he
went for business and pleasure.
At length there came a time when he felt called upon to put
* Sec page loi.
yd Benevolent Activities.
forth more public efiforts and to secure some organized co-operation
in its behalf. It was in 1857, ^ time when evil influences were rife in
the community. Political power was largely in the hands of men who
were using it recklessly for their own selfish ends; a large tide of
foreign immigration' was pouring in upon us, the dregs of which settled
in the city; public Sunday desecration was growing more and more
serious; liquor shops flaunted their traffic in defiance of the law; a
score of Sunday theatres and similar entertainments of the lowest
kind enticed the young of both sexes; newsboys noisily cried their
papers on Sunday, from one end of the city to the other; noisy
processions, with bands of music, continually disturbed the quiet of
families and congregations; drunkenness, disorder and violent crimes
on Sunday were increasing, while not a few of the better class of
citizens, disheartened by the failure of previous efforts at reform,
shrank from any attempt to secure a better state of things.
This state of facts pressed heavily upon the mind of Mr. White,
as upon other thoughtful men. Walking one morning to church,
with the din of the newsboys' cries and other noises of the street in
his ear, he met a prominent lawyer of this city, Mr. Horace Holden,
and as they walked along together, he asked, "Cannot something be
done to arrest this evil.'' Is it not time that something was done to
give to New York quiet and good order on Sunday?" His friend
replied in the affirmative, and it was agreed that they would speak to
others, and secure, if possible, a conference of leading citizens with
reference to the matter. A call for such a conference, signed by
thirty-eight gentlemen of the city, resulted" in a largely-attended
meeting in the spring of 1857, in the lecture room of Dr. Alexander's
church on Fifth Avenue, at which a committee of twenty laymen,
belonging to eight different religious denominations, was appointed
to take the matter in charge. Mr. White was made the Chairman of
this Committee — a position which he held until his death, though the
state of his health for the last few years prevented his active service.
A noble band of men was associated with him; not to mention the
honored names among the living, there were such gentlemen as Horace
Holden, James W. Beekman, Frederick G. Foster, David Hoadley,
James M. Morrison, Nathan Bishop, Jonathan Sturges; while the
Committee was supported by a constituency which embraced a very
large number of our leading citizens in all the walks of business, and
representing all the religious interests of the city.
Thenceforward Mr. White gave himself to this cause with a
zeal and courage, a patience and hopefulness, that never flagged.
Benevolent Activities. 77
Time would fail me to recount, even were this a proper place, what
he and those associated with him have accomplished in these subse-
quent years for the maintenance of law, for the quiet and good order
of our city on the Lord's Day, for the securing to all classes their
right to enjoy the weekly rest, for the formation of a sound public
sentiment, for the diffusion, not only in this community, but through-
out the country, of just views as to the grounds and limitations of civil
intervention in behalf of the sacred rights of rest and worship. In
this, as in other matters of morals, Mr. White was no narrow bigot,
no impracticable fanatic. He took broad and just views of things.
As illustrating his methods of influence, we give the
following letter to the Rev. A. D. L. Jewett, as one of many
written by Mr. White in reply to enquiries addressed to him
from different parts of the country by those who sought counsel
in connection with the matter of Sabbath observance:
New York, July 13th, 1858.
"I am much gratified that you are grappling with the great
nuisance at your place, and I am much surprised at the facts which
you present. Our committee would most cheerfully aid you in any
measure within their power, but we have a work on our hands here
which is most formidable. Sabbath desecration in this city has so
long been unchecked that our attempt to arrest the evil has raised a
terrific storm, as you may have seen in the public prints. A request
to have tlie nuisance of news- crying on Sunday abated has brought
out the whole Sunday and infidel press upon us. But we have reason
to feel encouraged.
"In reference to the evil at your place, you must take hold of
it with the determination to abate it if possible. Your legal rights
may have been invaded by the course which the railroad has pursued.
If so, it would be well to know it. But your main reliance is upon
getting up a better public opinion. That is a work of time. Send
a circular, an appeal, to every minister and prominent layman on the
line of the road, and ask them to co-operate with you. Write a letter
stating the facts, and address a copy to each member of the Board
of Directors. There are some men upon the Board who would take
sides with you. Send a statement of the present condition of things
on Sunday in your place to the religious papers. Keep the subject
before the public, and keep it before tiie Managers. I cannot doubt
y8 Benevolent Activities.
that perseverance and prudence will do much to relieve you. I return
the resolutions, as the papers would be more likely to publish them
upon your request than if presented by us, as we have crowded them
already with communications, quite as much as is expedient. If they
do not insert the resolutions, they will doubtless give a brief statement
"We shall be at all times glad to aid you if we can do so, and
shall hope that your efforts in this great work may be crowned with
For a number of years, Mr. White was intimately-
associated with the Rev. Dr. Philip Schaff, first in connection
with the work of the Sabbath Committee, of which Dr. Schaff
was from 1866 to 1870 Secretary, and afterwards in their
common interest, the one as a director and the other as a
professor, in the Union Theolog^ical Seminary. The following
letter, written at the time of Dr. Schaff's retiracy from the
Sabbath Committee, indicates their mutual esteem and
"New York, June 30th, 1870.
"As Chairman of the Sabbath Committee, I enclose a reply to
your letter communicating your resignation as Secretary.
"But what can I say in response to your kind private note?
I need no assurance of the sincerity of your expressions of affection.
Permit me to say that, while you have greatly overrated my services
in the Sabbath cause, you cannot overestimate my esteem and affection
for yourself. Any expression of my kindness has fallen short of the
impulses of my heart.
"My association with you in defence of the Christian Sabbath
has been one of the brightest periods of my life, and I shall esteem it
a great privilege to continue associated with you in this or any other
cause that will honor our Divine Master."
Removal to Thirty-sixth Street. 79
REMOVAL TO THIRTY-SIXTH STREET.
In the spring of 1859, Mr. White sold his house upon
Gramercy Park, and bought a new home upon the south-west
corner of Fifth Avenue and Thirty-sixth Street, where he
resided until 1870. He soon after transferred his membership
from the Mercer Street Church, of which he had been an elder
for twenty-five years, to the Brick Church, then lately removed
from far downtown to the corner of Fifth Avenue and Twenty-
Although urged to accept the ofifice of elder in this new
connection, he declined to do so, taking, however, an active
part in the support of the church, and coming into intimate
association with the venerable pastor, the Rev. Dr. Gardiner
Spring, who frequently turned to him for sympathy and
In t86o, just before the election of Abraham Lincoln
as President, Mr. White, in company with a daughter and a
son, and with the husband of the former and the wife of the
latter, made a trip through Baltimore and Washington and to
Richmond, Virginia. The niutterings of discontent which
soon after culminated in the great Civil War were already
frequent and ominous, and Mr. White took great interest in
observing the temper of the people and the political agitations
preceding the fast coming trouble.
In Richmond, the party were present at an auction and
witnessed the selling of Negroes upon the block, a scene which
the events of the next few years rendered thereafter forever
impossible of repetition.
8o Removal to Thirty-sixth Street.
At about this date, a letter was written by him to a lady,
whom, as it appears, he had not met since the time when, in
his early youth, he lived in Providence. As in it, in answer
to a request of his correspondent, he gives some account of
his life, it is interesting as the only approach to autobiography
which has been found. It is as follows:
New York. April 30th, i860.
The receipt of your most welcome and kind letter of the 23d
inst. has given me great pleasure.
That brief acquaintance of our early years to which you so
kindly allude, T have always considered one of the brightest periods
of my life; but I have often feared that I was not only quite lost to
your view, but also entirely forgotten. It was not until I met your
brother, a few years since, at an anniversary of the American Bible
Society, that I learned anything definite in regard to you, except that
I had heard that you were pleasantly settled in married life.
About two years since, while on a visit to Boston, I drove out
to Cambridge, and called upon your brother, with the hope that I
might possibly meet you there. He gave me your address, and.
although I have occasionally sent you Sabbath documents, I have not
been certain until the receipt of your letter that they reached you.
I will now answer your kind inquiries in regard to my life
and family since we closed that brief but delightful acquaintance
thirty-five years ago, when we "said good-bye in Providence."
Soon after I left Providence, I came to this city and joined
a relative in a wholesale book and paper store, which was continued
with success for about ten years. In 1836, the bookselling branch was
discontinued, and since that time I have been in more general
mercantile business, partly connected with paper manufacturers, and
largely engaged in the importing business. I am still in business,
although I do not confine myself closely to it. Through the blessing
of a kind Providence, I am enabled to devote a good deal of time
to works of benevolence, connected with our religious and charitable
In regard to my family, a little book which I sent by mail
yesterday contains a brief but imperfect tribute to a dear departed wife,
with whom I lived in the greatest happiness for more than twenty-eight
years. She was the mother of ten children. Of these, two died in
infancy, and one at the age of twelve years, a child already born into
Removal to Thirty-sixth Street. 8i
the kingdom of Christ before her death. Seven, surviving their
lamented mother, are all now living, and the enclosed leaf from a book
recently printed for our branch of the White family will give you their
names and ages.
As you will notice, I have a son and a son-in-law in the min-
istry, both pleasantly settled and earnestly engaged in their delightful
Dr. Lee, the husband of Emma, is the son of Bishop Lee, of
Delaware. He is a practicing physician in this city.
My home family consists of Emma and her husband, and my
younger three daughters. All my children and my sons and daughters-
in-law are professors of religion, and each and every one of them, by
their dutiful and exemplary daily life, do all in their power to promote
my happiness. As you will see, I have three grandchildren.
I have read your account of your own family with much
interest, and am glad to know that you also have so much happiness
in your children.
And now, dear madam, I most cordially reciprocate the wish
you so kindly express that "we may be permitted to meet again and
talk over former days face to face." When you next visit your friends
in Massachusetts, come by the way of this city, and I will assure you
as cordial a welcome to my home as you could desire. My residence
is on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Thirty-sixth Street, and my
place of business, 63 Beekman Street.
With my kindest regards to your husband and children, I am,
my dear madam,
Very sincerely yours,
82. Second Marriage.
Upon December 6th, i860, Mr. White married as his
second wife, Anna Hale Barnard, the youngest daughter of
Frederick J. and EmeHne White Barnard, of Albany, New
York. She was born in that city. May nth, 1826. Mrs.
White was a granddaughter of Dr. Samuel White, of Hudson,
New York, a brother of Daniel White, of Andover, and thus
a second cousin of her husband. Upon her father's side she
was descended from Joseph Barnard, one of the original
settlers of Hudson, coming thither from the island of Nan-
tucket. Through him, she also numbered among her ancestors
Thomas Gardner, the first "overseer of the plantation of the
Cape Ann Colony," and Thomas Macey, the hero of Whittier's
poem of "The Exiles," and claimed as ancestress the noted
Quakeress-preacher, Mary Coffin Starbuck.
Mrs. White, as a relative, had been a valued friend of
her husband's family for several years preceding her marriage.
No second marriage could have been more appropriate
or happier in its results, either for the husband or for his family.
Mrs. White, who was of a singularly cheerful and serene
disposition, became immediately the loved companion of the
older children, several of whom were already married, and
was as a mother to the younger. She was a woman of more
than usual literary and artistic tastes, and her presence was
welcomed always with delight in the homes of her husband's
married sons and daughters, by whom she was afifectionately
called "Mama Anna." As the children of the next gen-
eration grew up, she was to them always "grandmama;"
Mrs. Anna B.arnard Wittte.
Second Marriage. 83
indeed, the only one that they knew in that relation, for but
one of them was old enough to have even the least remem-
brance of her who really stood in that sacred relationship.
Although never in robust health, Mrs. White entered
eagerly and affectionately into all the interests of the family
circle of which she and her husband were the beloved centre.
As one after another of the daughters married and withdrew
from the paternal home, her companionship became increas-
ingly necessary to her husband's comfort and happiness, and
her gracious presence doubled the joy of the successive annual
family gatherings. She sympathized heartily with her husband
in his many official and philanthropic activities, accompanied
him in his journeyings; and in the feebleness of his declining
years became his most devoted and tender comforter and
She was the mother of one child, a son of extraordinary
promise, from whom she was called to part within three years
after the death of her husband.
These repeated bereavements, which, in the frail
condition of her health, her family feared would end her own
life, she bore with a Christian resignation and faith unfaltering
and indescribably beautiful, never permitting her own abiding
sorrow to cast any shadow over the younger lives who claimed
her as mother and grandmother.
After the death of her son, and during the remainder
of her life, her loneliness was relieved and her home brightened
by the presence of her nieces, the Misses Frances Barnard and
Anna Barnard Hawley, daughters of a sister no longer living.
She survived her husband nearly twenty years, and died
in New York, April 20th, 1903.
84 Later Years.
During the ten years succeeding his second marriage,
Mr. White, while still continuing in active business, being
directly connected with the paper house of White and Sheffield,
the type foundry of White & Company, of which there was a
branch in Chicago, and with the paper mills at Saugerties of
J. B. Sheffield & Company, gave a larger share of time to the
various philanthropic interests which have been already
mentioned. During these years, his three younger daughters
were married, and leaving home, established homes of their
own, thus widening the family circle of which he was the centre.
In 1870, he retired from active business, although still
retaining an interest in the type foundry and also in a firm of
Vv^hich his second son was the head, engaged in the manufacture
In a sketch of his life, given at about this time in one
of the New York journals, a reference is made to the disso-
lution of the firm of White & .Sheffield, after a career of thirty-
two years, and it is added: "It may be mentioned as a singular
fact that so systematically and prudently was this concern
conducted during the whole of its extended history, that in six
months after the dissolution of the firm the books were finally
closed with everything settled."
In the spring of 1871, Mr. and Mrs. White, accompanied
by their son, a lad of eight years, visited England and the
Continent, and remained abroad nearly two years. Much of
this time was spent upon the Continent, journeying leisurely
Later Years. 85
through France, Italy and Switzerland, and remaining several
months in Dresden.
During this visit, while in London, he addressed, at the
request of friends, a large meeting upon the subject of Sabbath
After their return, in the autumn of 1872, the home
upon Fifth Avenue having been sold, Mr. and Mrs. White
occupied for a while apartments upon Madison Avenue; later
a rented house upon Thirty-eighth Street; and finally, in
connection with Mr. White's son, Charles, a house upon
Lexington Avenue, near Thirty- fifth Street.
Soon after this return from Europe, Mr. White was
most unexpectedly again forced into business life. The
Mercantile National Bank, with which he had been long
connected as a director, had become, through mismanagement,
so deeply involved in financial difficulties that it was doubtful
whether it could be extricated. Mr. White believed that its
credit could be restored, and, under strong pressure from his
fellow-directors, accepted the Presidency of the bank, to which
they had unanimously elected him. Although in his sixty-
ninth year, he was in vigorous health, and seemingly as young
as ever, and with characteristic courage and energy he
undertook to restore the bank to its previously high position
in business circles. As if he were a young man, he was daily
in the office from the opening to the close of bank hours. He
was entirely successful, and in a few months, largely through
his cautious and wise guidance, the institution was on a firmer
basis than ever before.
Although making repeated efforts to withdraw from
this arduous and laborious position, his resignation was, at
the earnest request of the directors, again and again postponed,
until a somewhat serious illness in the summer of 1876 warned
86 Later Years.
him that he was continuing this sendee at too great a risk to
his heahh and strength. He finally retired in June, 1877, from
the office which, entirely contrary to his intention and expec-
tation when he accepted it. he had filled for three years and
After his resignation had been accepted, the directors of
the bank, by formal resolutions, expressed their judgment of
the services he had rendered the institution, and presented
him with a framed copy, elaborately and beautifully engrossed.
This testimonial is as follows:
Mercantile Xatioxal Bank.
Extract from ^Minutes of Meeting of Board of Directors,
Held June 19th, 1877.
Whereas, During the crisis of 1873, when this Board
was environed with anxiety, one of the oldest and wisest of its
Hlorman Mbttc, lEsq.
accepted, at the earnest solicitation of the Board, the Presi-
dency of the Bank, and by his able, honest, courteous and firm
management through years of perplexity, has maintained it
in its present high standing; and
Whereas, Air. Xorman White has presented to the
Board his resignation, with the request that the same be
Resolved, That our retiring President is eminently
entitled to the thanks of this Board for his wise administration
of the affairs of his office, and that we desire to place upon the
minutes our high esteem for the valuable services rendered by
him during a period of unusual difficulties, and for his practical
good sense, sound judgment and untiring industry, which have
Later Years. 87
so largely contributed to the successful preservation of this
Bank upon a solid basis.
Resolved, That we shall hope to retain on our Board of
Directors the same wise counsels and warm sympathies which
have characterized Eis long connection with this Institution.
C. P. BURDETT,
Nezv York, June i8th, 18/7.
With the close of this official relation to the Mercantile
Bank. Mr. White's active business life practically ended.
Having never heretofore felt the weight of advancing
years, he cheerfully and without any apprehension had under-
taken to save the Bank in which he had been so long interested.
How well he accomplished his purpose is indicated in the
resolutions given above, but the result was disastrous to
him.self. The severe strain upon his bodily and mental
energies at an age when he had every reason to claim an
exemption from undue anxiety and long hours of arduous
labor, resulted in the serious impairment of his health and
From that period commenced a decline which, though
slow, was constantly progressive.
Before many months, he was obliged also to relinquish
the responsibilities he had so long sustained in the various
boards of management of philanthropic and benevolent
interests. During these years of invalidism, he was invariably
patient and resigned, and although sometimes disturbed by
his enforced retirement, his manner retained to the last the
courtesy and quiet dignity which had been its life-long
88 Personal Characteristics.
Here perhaps may be appropriately said a few words in
regard to Mr. White's personality and the qualities that
appeared most noticeable in his character and life.
In person, he was of middle stature, strongly but not
heavily built. His hair was brown until silvered by advancing
years; his eyes, blue, large and undimmed even in old age.
A newspaper portrait, drawn in his later years, describes his
appearance in the following words: "Mr. White is a hale and
active man for his years, and of about the medium height. His
head is large, with regular features. He has a firm intellectual
brow, and the whole expression of his face is particularly
amiable and benevolent."
In connection with this description, it may be of interest
to give an estimate of his character formed from his appearance,
by an entire stranger. Upon one occasion, at the playful
urgency of members of his family, he permitted an advocate
of the so-called science of phrenology to judge of his character-
by examining the shape of his head. Considering the fact that
this pseudo-scientist had no knowledge whom he was exam-
ining, the description which he wrote out is, in the judgment
of Mr. White's family, remarkably accurate. Doubtless this
was a case where the face as well as the head was strongly
indicative of character. The chart reads as follows:
"You have a comparatively well balanced body and brain; in
other words, a harmonious development. Your brain is rather large
and the different vital organs are so harmoniously developed that you
are generall}"- able to manufacture sufficient vitality and nourishment
to support the brain. You might at times need rest.
Personal Characteristics. 89
"You have a talent for teaching, for extemporary speaking,
for gathering knowledge, classifying it and expressing it.
"Your power lies in three departments of your organization:
self-reliance, independence and governing power. You are adapted
to govern others, and, if you are a parent, governing is one of your
peculiarities; if you are a teacher, the same is true; if a clergyman,
you control the people and lead them; if a lawyer, you are a master
of the jury; wherever you are, you exert a controlling influence.
"People ask your advice and accept it, not always because it
is wisest, but because you rely on your own judgment and are willing
to risk your money, time and raw material on your own judgment,
and that begets faith in other people.
"You are not pugnacious, are not inclined to quarrel and
disagree; yet much inclined to criticize, and you have the power of
criticizing sharply without oflfending. If you were an editor or
lawyer, you would criticize your opponent without losing your own
good nature. You can hit the argument without hitting the man.
"You have a narrow, high head: you are not sordid, com-
bative, cruel, sly, deceitful nor grasping in pecuniary affairs. You
would use money as a locomotive does the rail, as a means, not an end.
You might be an intellectual merchant, but would never go into mak-
ing money with peculiar relish. You are uncommonly firm, and not
being endowed with corabativeness or destructiveness, your firmness
does not assume a hard, grinding power, but is a staunch, steady,
calm manifestation. Self-esteem gives you confidence in yourself.
You do not need to be chained to an oak tree for support. You have
never felt the need of a protector since you were in your 'teens,' but
are well qualified to launch out for yourself, make your own path and
acquire an education or a busine.^s. You would fight ofif poverty
better if you had more combativeness, but perhaps you make up that
lack by staunch unvieldingness and confidence, and in that penetrating
far-seeing practical judgment which enables you to find the way out
without forcing a passage. Your conscientiousness is very strong.
Y'ou make a child or a pupil feel that the penalty is deserved, so that
he accepts it without rancor or sullenness.
"You have a reverence for superiority rather strongly marked,
but your politeness and reverence are not strong enough to destroy
your own individuality, and though you may bow in the presence of
dignitaries, your head comes back to its erect position. You have a
talent for judging character. You never indulge in speculations.
You are firmly attached to home and friends."
90 Personal Characteristics.
The above may be termed a very happy guess at
character as suggested to a stranger by personal appearance.
More satisfactory is the summing up of his character
by one who knew him and esteemed him many years, and who
was associated with him in Christian work — an estimate
expressed after his death by the Rev. W. Wallace Atterbury.
It is as follows:
"Some of the prominent traits of Mr. White's character seem
to me to have been such as these:
"i. That mixture of discretion, caution, moderation to which
we apply the familiar term good sense. He was as far as possible from
being a man of extreme views. He looked fairly on both sides of a
subject. He avoided impracticable issues. Calm and cool in tem-
perament, he looked well ahead before he acted, and so men learned
to trust and follow him as a safe guide.
"2. He was a man of pertinacity (in the better sense of that
term), of a quiet hopeful courage, which led him to persevere in any
purpose which he thought right and wise. He was never disturbed
by temporary defeat, but if compelled to abandon for a time a measure
which seemed right, he would patiently wait until in the good provi-
dence of God, in which he had unbounded faith, the way should be
open for renewed efforts.
"3. He had rare tact in dealing with men. He gave due weight
to the opinions of others, and respectfully listened to what the least
in any circle of counsellors might have to offer. He had a rare insight
into character, detecting men's faults and weaknesses; but he made
the most and best of every man. He waj of unfailing courtesy; he
had that instinctive delicacy of feeling which is not inconsiderate even
of trifles in intercourse with others. In other words, he was a
"As a result of these qualities, he was pre-eminent as a
paciUcator. He harmonized diversities of temper and opinion, allayed
irritations, induced mutual concessions, persuaded men to look on the
things of others as well as on their own. I could, had I time, give
some very striking instances of the good thus accomplished. Every
one who has been at all closely associated with him, will recognize
this feature in his character and influence.
"And further, as a result of these qualities, he had the faculty
of setting others to work, of getting work out of others. How often,
Personal Characteristics. 91
in meetings of committee or board, has he as chairman designated one
and another to this or that work, which surely had been decHned had
another than he made the suggestion. And yet at his hand the
appointment would be accepted and the duty performed, and, when
done, due credit was sure to be given.
"In proof of all this, witness the loyal attachment with which
some of the best men of this city for a quarter of a century co-operated
with him in a cause by no means popular, and which sometimes
brought more reproaches than praises on those who upheld it."
The characteristics of his religious Hfe have been
already sufficiently indicated. In the addresses delivered at his
funeral they ^^'ill be found clearly portrayed.
92 Death and Funeral Services.
DEATH AND FUNERAL SERVICES.
Mr. White's life was prolonged until June 13th, 1883.
when, at New Rochelle, New York, where, with his family, he
was spending the summer, he quietly passed away, having
nearly completed his seventy-eighth year.
Funeral services were held June 15th, in the Church
of the Covenant, upon the corner of Park Avenue and Thirty-
fifth Street, the Brick Presbyterian Church, of which he was
a member, being closed for repairs.
The Rev. Drs. Henry van Dyke and Marvin R. Vincent
conducted the services, and addresses were made by the Rev.
Drs. W. G. T. Shedd. James O. Murray and W. Wallace
Atterbury, the two former having been in previous years Mr.
White's pastors, and the latter long associated with him upon
the Sabbath Committee.
Upon the next day, the mortal remains were interred
in the family vault at Greenwood, from which, however, they
were afterwards removed to a plot in vVoodlawn, where,
surrounded by the dust of many members of his family, they
The Rev. Dr. W. G. T. Shedd, of Union Theological
My first acquaintance with our departed friend was made when
T came to this city to be the colleague of the late Dr. Spring, with
whose congregation he was connected.
It became necessary to fill up the Session of the Brick Church,
and Mr. White was elected to one of the vacancies. I informed him
Death and Funeral Services. 93
of his election, and expressed the hope of all concerned that he would
accept it. He declined, and gave as the reason that the office of elder
demanded a faithful and laborious service, and at his time of life, with
his existing duties in other directions, he could not perform such a
This was the key to his character. Whatever he undertook
to do, he did with thoroughness, and what he could not do in this
style he declined to do at all.
It was for this reason that Mr. White was one of the most
useful citizens which this city has ever seen. Entering the Christian
Church in early manhood, he began the work of beneficence at the
very first. Not only did he discharge the more common and private
duties of a church member, but he formed plans for improving his
fellow-men. For many years he was the life and soul of the Sabbath
cause. The good order of a large town is greatly dependent upon
the right observance of the fourth commandment. That union of
boldness and prudence which marked Mr. White's management of this
difficult subject contributed greatly to the peace and prosperity of
New York for many years. No one has risen to make his place good
in this respect, and his decease will be greatly felt in the days to come
by all of his co-laborers in this cause.
Mr. White was a leading mind in the management of the Bible
Society, and in devising measures for extending its means of supplying
the Scriptures to the whole world. Foreign and home missions found
in him a firm and steady supporter. The education of a ministry for
the Church lay near to his heart. For twenty-six years he was a
director in Union Theological Seminary, and for twelve years the
Vice-President of its Board. That institution is greatly indebted for its
present prosperity and influence to the wisdom and fidelity of Mr.
As I have said, the secret of our friend's usefulness was in his
thoroughness. What he did, he did with his might. Yet since his
energy was always guided by sagacity, no good cause ever suffered
from an undue or an unwise zeal. No man's counsel was more
trusted in difficult emergencies. If the Roman proverb. "Nullum
nunicn ahest si sit prudcntia." be true, then all the divinities were
present when Norman White was a counsellor.
The religious character of Mr. White was a marked one. He
was a "man of God." This phrase, which signifies uncommon spirit-
uality in a Christian, was truly applicable to our departed friend.
He walked wilh God. "Thou God seest me," was in his mind
DeatJi and Funeral Sa'Z'ices.
perpetually. Though he was an able and successful man of business,
and during all his life the manager of large pecuniary interests, yet
during all his life the next world and the judgment seat of God were
never lost sight of, but were subjects of sober, calm reflection. This
produced great evenness and tranquility of spirit, great consistency
and uniformity of Christian walk and conversation. He cultivated
this godliness and spirituality by much study of the Scriptures and
unceasing prayer. He did not allow the multitude of books which
has deluged the Church to divert him from the fountain of true
religious knowledge. To the very last, the Bible and the preaching
of the Sabbath and the sanctuary were the principal subjects upon
which he expended the best of his mental power.
As the years passed, and old age came on, these characteristics
grew stronger, clearer and purer. No one who saw him, and
conversed with him, had any doubt that he was a man of God — that
he "desired a country, even a heavenly," as did the Old Testament
saints. And no one that knew him here upon earth doubts that he is
now holy and blessed with his God and Saviour for evermore.
The Rev. Dr. James O. Murray, of Princeton University.
In view of the repeated losses which the Church of Christ
in this city has lately suffered, it is the instinctive outcry of poor
humanity: "Help, Lord, for the godly ceaseth, for the faithful fail
from among the children of men." So doubtless the early Church
prayed on the graves of apostles, and the later Church on the ashes
of martyrs and confessors. But we should not forget that every true
Christian life reproduces itself in various forms and spheres: sometimes
in children, sometimes in other Christian lives moulded by its example,
and again in the growing life of the Church as the Body of Christ.
So for nearly sixty years the Christian life of our departed
brother has been diffusing its power — in his home, in his church, in
this city of his labors, and his life. He came to the city long years
since, a Christian young man. As did many young men of that day
from New England, he found his way first to the old Brick Church
on Beekman Street, under the care of Dr. Spring, for whose ministry
he had always the utmost veneration. And though he found a perma-
nent church connection elsewhere, yet in his later years he returned
to the Brick Church and died in its communion.
On coming to this city as associate pastor with Dr. Spring, in
1865, I found Mr. Norman White among its members. He gave me
Death and funeral Serz'ices. 95
the heartiest of welcomes, and no pastor ever had a more faithful and
I shall attempt nothing like an elaborate analysis of Mr.
White's character as a Christian man; but there are one or two striking
traits on which at this time emphasis may be laid.
That character was largely formed under the influence of the
revivals which then stirred so deeply many of our churches. What-
ever is to be said of revivalism as a sound method of church growth,
this must in truth be said, that it meant to set Christian people at work.
The influence of it on Mr. White was of this type. He was the
working Christian from first to last in his long career. What drew
my attention to him at once was his very high ground, taken as to the
relative responsibility of pastor and people. He repudiated utterly
the modern notion that it is the preacher's sole responsibility to fill
the pews. He held that the people have much work to do in the matter
of securing and holding a congregation. Every pastor who has ever
had him for a parishioner knows how earnestly he labored to propa-
gate this view, and to secure for the pastor a vvorking church.
There was an element in his Christian life which always struck
me for its worth and beauty. It was the simplicity of his faith in
Christ. His Christian life was all crystallized about the life of Christ;
not around any system of doctrine, nor any church forms. His
prayers, his addresses at evening social worship, all brought this out.
It gave tenderness to his tones and warmth to his emotions. There
seemed to be ever the living fruit of a personal communion between
him and his Redeemer, and those church services always profited and
pleased him most which were in accord with his feeling and thought
about a present and living Saviour.
Though a man of some reading, especially in religious litera-
ture, I never heard from him anything like a statement of any peculiar
theological belief; but I have often in a prayer meeting heard him
speak of Jesus as if He were a daily companion and intimate friend.
As to Mr. White's success in the wider fields of the Bible
Society and the Sabbath Committee, there are others to speak. The
secret of that success was threefold. His great patience never discour-
aged because fruits were not immediate. Beyond most men I have
known, he had learned "to labor and to wait."
Then his great wisdom, that sagacity which saw so clearly and
so quickly the right means to the best ends. He was among the best
of counsellors by reason of this trait. And as crowning the rest, his
calm courage. He was never hurried into rashness. He was never
96 Death and Funeral Services.
frightened by opposition. The whole make-up of his Christian activity
shows the presence of these three fine elements: patience, sagacity and
Of his home, where for so long he was the happy and beloved
husband and father, it is not for me in this hour to speak. It is a
sacred privacy I would not unveil; but those who, in the days when his
intellect had no cloud upon it, shared his hospitality, will delight to
recall his genial manner, his hearty enjoyment of bright sayings, and
his generous bearing towards all the inmates of his home.
The Rev. Dr. W. Wall.\ce Atterbury, Secretary of the
[The portion of Dr. Atterbury' s address relati)ig to Mr. White's
connection ivitlt the Sabbath Committee lias been quoted upon, a previous
Fifty-seven years ago, Norman White, then a young man oi
twenty-one, came from Connecticut to this city, as many another has
done, to seek, rather than to make, his fortune. The future was all
before him, but any one who knew the man, as he then was, could
have had little dif^";culty in forecasting that future, for even then his
character was fixed. He had made up his mind as to the principles
that were to govern him. He had laid the lines along which his future
life, with the blessing of God, was to run.
One of these principles was to do what he could, as he went
along, for the good of his fellow-men. Some men (and good men,
too, after a certain sort) have said, on thus setting out in life: "My
first business is to make money. By-and-by, when this is accomplished,
will be the time to think about others, and to set myself to some serious
efTort in their behalf." Mr. White jvidged differently. He was
diligent, methodical in business. He meant to succeed as a business
man; but he meant to do and to be more than this. He brought his
religion with hmi. Five years before he had professed his faith in
Christ, and had devoted himself to Christ's cause. And so, while
"not slothful in business," it was his purpose at the same time to "serve
And now, in looking back over this life of more than half
a century in this busy city amid all its ambitions, competitions and
distractions, it is wonderful to see how this purpose was carried out,
and how much, while successfully pursuing his business and achieving
Death and Funeral Services. 97
an honored place among the business men of this city, he was able
to do in the way of personal work for Christ and his fellow-men.
Let me briefly refer to two of the departments of Christian
service with which Mr. White was prommently connected.
Soon after coming to the city, he connected himself with the
Young Men's Bible Society (now the New York Bible Society), and
when twentj'^-eight years of age — just fifty years ago — was made its
President, having for his immediate predecessors and successors in
this ofiftce such men as O. E. Cobb, Alfred Edwards, F. S. Winston,
John Slosson, A. R. Walsh, etc., then young business men like himself.
On reaching the limit of age prescribed by the constitution of the
Young Men's Society, he was elected in 1840 a manager of the
American Bible Society, and in 1865 one of its Vice-Presidents. His
deep interest in the work of the Society, his fidelity and practical
sagacity, placed him at once among the most useful and influential
in the administration of its affairs. On the determination of the
Society to remove from its old quarters in Nassau Street, Mr. White
was one of a committee to whom was entrusted the responsible duty
of selecting a new site, and it may be said that to him, as much as to
any other, is due the selection of the locality now occupied by the
Society. The wisdom of his counsel, the kindliness of his manner,
his sincere and ready sympathy, made his frequent visits to the Bible
House especially welcome to all the officers.
[Here -followed the reference lo the Sabbath Coiiniiitfce.]
Of Mr. White's religious character I leave it to others to
speak. May I bear only this testimony. He had the natural New
England reserve with reference to personal religious experience. He
was not at all effusive on religious themes. There was an utter
absence of cant in his conversations on religious topics. Yet no one
could know him at all intimately without being impressed with the
high moral tone of the man. He was a thorough Puritan in his
habitual unflinching adherence to duty, and yet there was no painful
or uncomfortable or even self-complacent consciousness of self-
sacrifice therein. He had as free and cheerful spirit in his religion
as I have known in any man. Pie had a profound trust in God, and
an abiding devotion to the cause of Christ. And withal, after some
years of acquaintance growing more and more intimate, there appeared
an underflow of tender religious feeling which at first surprised me.
but of which I saw more and more thenceforward to the end.
q8 Death and Funeral Services.
I have spoken longer than I had intended. I will not venture
to obtrude on your attention the memories of my own relations with
this dear man of God. For all the years of my close connection with
him, I cannot recall a word or act which lowered my respect for
him as a man, or impaired my attachment to him as a friend. How
strange the Providence which laid him aside from his work at a time
when such men as he are sorely needed! How much we have missed
him during these months of failing health! How much we shall miss
him now that his name must be taken from the roll, and we must turn
to others for that counsel and sympathy which for so long a time have
been given by him! But this is but the earthward side of this Provi-
dence. What an awakening must that have been when that intellectual
vision, which during these months past has been closing to the things
of earth, two days ago was opened to the light of heaven!
Doubtless in all our thoughts this afternoon there is associated
the memory of that other dear and honored servant* of God whose
funeral we attended a few months since (it seems but a few days) in
this place. Brothers by the strongest of bonds, their lives ran along
through all these years in parallel and often in converging lines.
How often has each spoken to me of the other, and told of their early
associations and attachments, of their homes for many years side by
side, of the loving appreciation with which each regarded what the
other was permitted to do for his Lord. So as they have both now
gone from us, with but a little interval between, may we not comfort
our hearts with what one has told us, who, next to St. John at Patmos,
has seen most clearly what our eyes long to see? "Now I saw in my
dream that these two men went in at the gate; and, lo! as they entered
they were transfigured, and they had raiment put on that shone like
gold. There were also that met them with harps and crowns, and
gave them to them — the harps to praise withal, and the crowns in
the token of honor. Then I heard in my dream that all the bells in
the city rang again for joy, and that it was said unto them, 'Enter ye
into the joy of your Lord.' I also heard the men themselves that they
sang with a loud voice, saying, 'Blessing and honor and glory and
power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb,
* William E. Dodge, a brother-in-law of Mr. White. These
brothers-in-law were through life as intimate as if brothers by birth.
It presents a singular series of coincidences that they were born in
the same year, married in the same year, their children were in num-
ber the same, they died in the same year, and their widows, surviving
their husbands twenty years, also died in the same year.
Death and Funeral Services. 99
for ever and ever.' Now just as the gates were opened to let in the
men, [ looked in .ifter them, and behold the city shone like the sun,
the streets also were paved with gold; and in them walked many men
with crowns on their heads, paln;s in their hands, and golden harps
to -'^ing praises withal. There were also of them that had wings, and
they answered one another without intermission, saying, 'Holy, holy,
holy is the Lord.' And after that they shut up the gates. Which
when I had seen, I wished myself among them."
100 Resolutions, Tributes and Letters.
RESOLUTIONS, TRIBUTES AND LETTERS.
From the Records of the New York Sabbath Committee.
Death of Mr. Norman White.
Just at the close of this period of its history, the Committee
has been called to part with one who more than any other was
instrumental in its organization, and who, during all these years, was
its presiding oiTicer. Mr. White, while active in many spheres of
Christian and benevolent effort, was especially identified with the work
of the Committee. For such service, he possessed rare qualifications.
He was a man of strong and intelligent convictions, of hopeful
courage, of excellent judgment, and of conciliatory manners. To his
fidelity and sagacity the success of the Committee in the past is largely
due. The following action was taken on occasion of his decease:
"The members of the New York Sabbath Committee record
with profound sorrow their sense of loss in the death of their loved
and honored Chairman, Mr. Norman White. Chief among the
founders of the Committee, and from the beginning until laid aside
by sickness its presiding officer, with rare wisdom he guided its
counsels, and with unwearied zeal gave to its work his time, his care,
his means. We would bow submissively to the Divine Providence
whose ways are always wise and good, while we rejoice in the assur-
ance that our friend and brother has entered into the Sabbath-rest
which remaineth for the people of God.' "
American Bible Society.
We record, with submission to the Divine will, the death, on
the 13th of June last, of our honored and beloved associate, Mr.
Norman White. He was elected in 1840 a Manager of the American
Bible Society, cmd in 1865 one of its Vice-Presidents. During the
more than forty years of his official connection with the Society, he
bore a prominent and responsible part in its administration. He was
one of the committee to whom, on the determination of the Society
to remove from its former quarters, the selection of a new site and
the erection of a new building were entrusted; and to him, as much
Resolutions, Tributes and Letters. loi
as to any other, is due the successful completion of an enterprise
fraught with results of far-reaching value to the interests of the
Society. He served also on other important committees, and in later
years was often called on to preside over the meetings of the Board.
He discharged every duty with eminent fidelity. He was a man of
rare sagacity, wise and ready in counsel, courteous in manner. He
took broad and intelligent views, and devised liberal things. He
made the Word of God the man of his daily counsel, and deemed it
his higliest honor to bear a part in putting God's Word into the hands
of his fellow-men.
The Managers of tlie Society extend their hearty sympathy to
the family of Mr. White, and unite with them in praising God for what
His grace enabled His servant to be and to do for the honor of His
Ordered, That a copy of this Minute be sent to the family
of Mr. White, and that it be printed in the Record.
Union Theological Seminary.
Whereas, God, in His wise and holy providence, has removed
fIDr. IRonnan Mbite,
a member of this Board, the Directors would place upon their records
an expression of their high respect for his character and services, and
of their deep sense of loss at his decease.
Mr. White was for twenty-six years a Director of Union
Seminary, and for twelve years the Vice-President of the Board.
During this long period, which covers more than half of the existence
of the Institution up to this date, and includes some of the most
important measures in its management, he was distinguished for
devotion to its interests. He spared neither time, nor labor, nor
self-sacrifice, in promoting its usefulness. While energetic in action,
he was eminently sagacious in council. In dif^ficult emergencies, his
advice was always sought and had great weight. The professors of
the Seminary ever found in him a faithful friend, and his interest in
the students was truly paternal, and often expressed in deeds of
Of Air. White's labors and influence in other connections, this
is not the time to speak at length. But it may be said with perfect
truth that both in the Church and in society he was characterized by
102 Resolutions, I'rihutcs and Letters.
the same union of boldness and wisdom. He was prompt in every
good cause, and during his long Christian life was one of the most
useful and influential Christian laymen which this city has produced.
While giving this expression to their own sorrow, this Board
of Directors remembers the great affliction that has befallen the family
of their deceased fellow-director, and tenders to them their sincere
sympathy and condolence.
E. M. KiNGSLEY, President.
From the New York Observer.
In the late Norman White, Esq., whose death occurred June
13th, in the seventy-eighth year of his age, the Church and the
community lose one of the purest and most useful members. During
the last few years his health has been so feeble that he has been largely
withdrawn from, those fields oi Christian activity where he has accom-
plished so much for God and his fellow-men. But in his day of health
and strength he was a man of singular wisdom, discretion, quiet
devotion to duty, and efficient usefulness. In the Church he was one
of the most able and consistent and active Christians. He was one
of the original members and first elders of the Mercer Street church,
and for twenty-five years was there unceasingly active in Christian
work. His conception of the duty of an elder was very high, and he
was as prompt to visit the sick and dying, to seek out cases of religious
interest in the congregation, and to second every plan of the pastor,
as if he had been his assistant.
In i860 he united with the Brick Church, where, although
declining the position of ruling elder, he continued his Christian
acitvity, until laid aside by enfeebled health. He was for more than
twenty years a director of the Union Theological Seminary, and for
several years preceding his retirement Vice-President of the Board.
As a Manager and Vice-President of the American Bible Society, he
devised and promoted most important measures for the spread of the
Holy Scriptures in our own and in foreign lands. He was Chairman
and the wise leader of the Sabbath Committee, and to his prudence and
fidelity is largely due the success of that important organization. So
great was the confidence reposed in his sagacity, judgment and
integrity, that he was burdened with trusts, all of which he discharged
with ability and without reproach.
Resolutions^ Tributes and Letters. 103
From the New York Evangelist.
The death of Norman White last week removed another
gracious face and courtly figure from the front rank of men widely-
known and beloved in our city for their abundant philanthropy and
life-long good works.
In all departments of Christian work, Mr. White took the
deepest interest, giving time and efi'ort without stint. He was his
pastor's right hand man, visiting the sick, conversing with enquirers,
conducting a ladies' Bible class, and punctual at all meetings of the
church and Session.
The Rev. Dr. Roswell D. Hitchcock, President of
Union Theological Seminary.
Your letter painfully surprises me. My remembrance of your
honored father will always be very precious. He was so uniformly
true and gracious. You have every possible comfort in this bereave-
ment; and yet it is bereavement. He will not return to you. Years
hence from time to time vou will feel it more and more.
Frederick G. Burnham, Esq.
I heard of the death of your honored father yesterday, through
the public prints. The passing away of one and another of the friends,
of my childhood admonishes me that I, too, have crossed the line that
marks middle life.
Now that your father has left you, you will have a rich legacy
of precious remembrance of his fruitful life. I mourn with you all,
for I looked upon your father as one of my old friends.
The Rev. Dr. Charles S. Harrower.
Let me only say to you how truly I have honored your noble
father, and how rich I think you in the treasures of his worth and
work. What a world where such men live on at their best forever!
That thought makes earth look almost poor, rich as it is in good
men. God bless you.
I04 Resolutions, Tributes and Letters.
The Rev. Dr. T. R.\lston Smith.
It was with no ordinary depth of feeling that I learned of the
death of your beloved father and my revered friend.
Had I known only his beautiful reputation, that would have
commanded my admiration and respect. But as you well remember,
I enjoyed peculiar advantages for a more intimate acquaintance with
those qualities both of head and heart which won him the place he
filled so honorably among the ranks of our best men.
He used often to come into my office in the Bible House, and
talk to me as he might talk to a son; and it is no wonder that I came
to regard him with an afifection which has continued unbroken and
fresh to the last.
If I njight name three things which, in my estimation,
distinctly marked him, they would be these: a piety without ostenta-
tion, a courtly dignity combined with a real gentleness, and a wise
deliberation in counsel and service. The removal of such a man is
an immense loss to society and the Church. The institution he loved
so dearly, the Bible Society, is especially bereaved in the loss of one
of its truest representatives and most efficient managers.
May the lustre of his example long shine and the power of
his beneficent influence long continue to be felt!
To you and to all the members of his afflicted family I desire
to express n\y tenderest .sympathy. May precious memories solace
you, and God's rich and effectual consolations abound to you! My
message and prayer are from my inmost heart.
The Rev. Dr. W. G. T. Shedd.
You could not wish him back from that pure and blessed
world and the gracious Redeemer to whom he has gone. Few are
better prepared for the endless state of existence than he. His citi-
zenship has been in heaven during a long and consistent Christian life
here on earth. The blessed Comforter will undoubtedly be with you
all in your hour of bereavement.
The Rev. Dr. Philip Schaff.*
During the four years of my connection with this noble
Committee [the New York Sabb^ith Committee], which is composed
* From "Biographical Sketches," appended to the History of
Union Theological Seminary, by Rev. George L. Prentiss, D. D., 1889.
Resolutions, Tributes aiul Letters. 105
of Christian laymen of various denominations, I saw him almost every
day at the office in the Bible House. He was no mere figure-head,
but the most active member of the Committee, and did more for the
cause of Sabbath observance than any other man in this country. He
was constantly devising schemes for extending the usefulness of the
Committee. The best reform measures which it carried out were
chiefly due to his indomitable energy and practical wisdom. Such
are: the prohibition of news crying, noisy processions, theatrical
performances, and the liquor traffic on Sundays. He watched over the
execution of Sunday laws. He was in frequent communication with
the Police Department, with the editors of the leading city papers, and
with the Legislature at Albany, to secure their co-operation in the
interest of public order and quiet on the day of civil and religious
rest. He had an eye on the German population, arranged, with the
aid of the leading ministers, several effective German mass meetings
in Cooper Institute for the promotion of Sunday observance, and
made me preach in nearly every German pulpit in New York and
Brooklyn on the Sabbath question.
If funds for special expenses were needed, he himself collected
the greater part from a few of his friends. He did all this in a quiet,
modest way. He never put his name in front if he could help it.
Everybody had unbounded confidence in his integrity, distin-
terestedness and sound judgment. His judiciousness was almost
proverbial. He was a perfect Christian gentleman, a liberal philan-
thropist, and one of the most useful laymen of his day. He was
wholly devoted to the Church, the Bible and the Sabbath, which he
justly regarded as the three chief pillars of American Christianity and
With these tributes we may close the record. Upon
his monument in the family burial plot at Woodlawn, inscribed
in the granite, is the text:
AFTER HE HAD SERVED HIS OWN GENERATION P.V THE WILL OF
GOD, HE FELL ON SLEEP.
And these words may well sum up the meaning and
outcome of a life which, while never ambitiotis to attract the
public eye, was from yotith to old age singularly faithful, useful
Father, who left me long ago,
My soul is kin unto your own;
The dreams and strivings of my days,
Those you have known.
My very turn and trick of phrase
Is borne unknowing in my blood;
My tiny boats ride down some deep
There was a man who loved the right.
And fought God's battle with a sword;
What merit mine if in the strife,
I serve my Lord?
My soul plants footsteps in their own.
And they were brave of heart and high!
Father, is aught of worthiness?
It is not I!
— Mrs. Grace Duffield Goodwin.
Frances Stanley White.
From a miniature on ivory painted after her death.
Descendants of Norman White.
The children of Norman White were eleven in number,
ten by his first wife, Mary Abiah Dodge, and one by his second
wife, Anna Hale Barnard. In the order of their ages, they
were as follows: Mary Stuart, Frances Stanley, Erskine
Norman, Charles Trumbull, Emma Hale, Julia Cleveland,
Norman, William Stuart, Helen Clement, Grace Stanley and
Two died in infancy, and one in early childhood, namely,
Norman, the seventh child and third son, was born
February 26th, 1840, and died May 15th, 1840.
William Stuart, the eighth child and fourth son, was
born March 8th, 1841, and died June 26th, 1842.
Frances Stanley, the second daughter, was born May
23d, 183 1, and died in her thirteenth year, February 29th, 1844.
She was a singularly lovely and winning child, with
hazel eyes and golden hair. In consequence of an accident,
by which she was seriously injured, she was for a year or two
preceding her death in delicate health, and at times a great
sufferer, but she bore this trial with a patience marked and
After her death, her mother writes of her as follows:
"Dear Fanny was given to God in her infancj-, and we have
never had one desire to recall the gift. Upon the day previous to her
death, she told me that she was engaged in thinking upon many
precious passages of Scripture, as 'The Lord is my Shepherd,' etc.
About one year since, she expressed a hope that she had given her
heart to her Saviour, and from that time her life has been as consistent
as that of any mature Christian. Her patience and submission during
her illness have been remarkable."
no Mary Stuart White.
Of the children who reached maturity, the following is
the record. The names are given in the order of age, and in
each case in the same connection is continued the family
history, with the names of grand-children and great-grand-
children. Unmarried descendants are generally named only
in connection with their parents, but heads of families and
adult male descendants appear in separate paragraphs.
I. MARY STUART WHITE.
Mary Stuart, eldest child of Norman and Mary Abiah
(Dodge) White, was born in New York, August 31st, 1829.
She married, November 14th, 1849, the Rev. Matson Meier-
Smith. He was the son of Dr. Albert Smith, of New Rochelle,
N. Y., and was born in New York, April 4th, 1826.
His first paternal ancestor of whom there is record was
Richard Smith, who settled in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1652.
Joseph, the fifth in succession, married Mary Matson, of
Lyme, and his son. Dr. Matson Smith, removed to New
Rochelle, New York, about the year 1788, and became a
distinguished physician, practicing in that place until his death,
March 17th, 1845. He married Sarah Mather, and was the
father of Dr. Albert Smith, also prominent as a physician in
New York City.
Dr. Meier-Smith, through his great-grandmother, Mary
Matson, whose name he bore, was descended from the well
known Matson family of Connecticut, and through his grand-
mother, Sarah Mather, from the Rev. Richard Mather, the
founder of the "Mather Dynasty" of New England, and father
of Increase Mather and grandfather of Cotton Mather.
Dr. Meier-Smith's maternal ancestry was purely
German. His niother was Emily Maria, daughter of Caspar
Mary Stuart White. iii
Meier, who was born in Bremen, and coming to New York
in 1800, founded the mercantile house now known as Oelrichs
From his mother was thus derived Dr. Meier-Smith's
second Christian name, used in all his later years as a prefix
to his surname.
Through his mother he was descended from Rev. John
Christopher Kunze, D. D., her grandfather; Rev. Henry
Melchior Muhlenberg, D. D., her great-grandfather, and
Conrad Weiser, her great-great-grandfather.
Dr. Kunze was a German Lutheran clergyman, who was
sent from Germany to Philadelphia in 1770, and who became
the pastor of two Lutheran churches in that city. He was also
a professor in the University of Pennsylvania. He was called,
in 1784, to New York, to take charge of the German churches
in that city. He also became the professor of German and
Oriental Languages in King's College (now Columbia
University), and one of its trustees. He was one of the
founders of the University of the State of New York, of which
he became a regent. In 1789 he was appointed German
Interpreter of the Congress of the United States. He was one
of the most learned men of his time, and the leading Oriental
scholar in America.
Rev. Dr. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg came to this
country from Germany in 1742, and became the patriarch of
the Lutheran churches in America. He was a man of great
learning and ability. He was the father of Major-General
Muhlenberg, a distinguished officer in the Revolution, and of
Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, the Speaker of the First,
Second and Third Congresses. Both of these sons were also
Lutheran ministers. Dr. Muhlenberg married the daughter
of Conrad Weiser.
112 Mary Stuart White.
Conrad Wciscr was a well known Indian Agent and
Interpreter in colonial days, whose services of mediation
between the government and the Indians were of great value
to the country.
Dr. Meier-Smith graduated at Columbia College in
1843, si^d ^t Union Theological Seminary in 1847, and was
ordained as a Presbyterian minister on the 23d of October,
1849, by the Presbytery of Geneva, and installed pastor of the
Presbyterian Church in Ovid, New York. A month later he
The severe climate of Central New York affecting the
health of botli Mr. and Mrs. Meier-Smith, they returned the
next autumn to New York.
After supplying for several months the pulpit of the
Sixth Street Presbyterian Church, in New York, Dr. Meier-
Smith in 185 1 accepted the pastorate of the Harvard Congre-
gational Church, in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he
remained for the next seven years.
In January, 1859, he was installed as pastor of the First
Congregational Church, in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
In 1863, he received the degree of Doctor of Sacred
Theology (S. T. D.) from his Alma Mater.
Three years later, his convictions led him to enter the
Protestant Episcopal Church, and he was ordained first as
deacon and then as presbyter, on March 6th and April 20th,
1866, respectively. Almost immediately he was invited to the
rectorship of Trinity Church, Newark, New Jersey, where he
remained in active service for the next five years.
In the summer of 1871, accompanied by his family, he
visited Europe. Upon his return, and after a temporary
charge in Philadelphia, he became rector of St. John's Church,
in Hartford, Connecticut, and there remained until the close
Mary Stuart IJliitc. 113
of 1875, when he was elected to the Chair of Honiiletics and
Pastoral Care in the Divinity School of the Protestant
Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. Here he remained in active
service until his death, upon March 26th, 1887.
His character, which endeared him to all who knew
him, is well described by the Right Rev. William Bacon
Stevens, D. D., Bishop at that time of Pennsylvania, in his
address at the Diocesan Convention, May 3d, 1887.
"Dr. Mtier-Smith was a man of much loveliness of personal
character, genial, sympathetic, tender, yet always manly and upright.
His scholarly abilities were large and well cultivated. His pastoral
work was ever regarded as very acceptable to all classes in his several
congregations; his sermons were carefully prepared, and were often
of marked power; his home life wa.s beautifully tender and sunshiny,
and his Christian bearing as a man, as a clergyman, and as a professor
very distinctive and true. He might almost be said to have died in
the harness, for the Sunday before his death he preached in the Church
of the Incarnation; and that very night he was taken ill, and before
the next Lord's day dawned he was called to be forever with the Lord.
It seemed almost something more than a coincidence, and more like
one of those unconscious prophetic utterances, spoken under impulses
which we cannot describe, and pointing to a future still behind the
veil, that the last words of his last sermon in the last week he lived
should be these:
" 'To-day the zvarfare of the cross! To-morrow the crown!
Righteousness, peace and joy for evermore!' "
After her husband's death. Mrs. Meier-Smith removed
to Rye, New York, where she built a home and resided for
several years. In 1896, she came, with her family, to New
York, where she died. February 27th, 1899.
She was a woman of niore than usual intellectual vigor
and culture, of independent and decided views, fond of study
and reading. She was thus specially fitted to enter with the
deepest interest into the cares and joys of her husband's
professional life. She was his sympathetic confidante and his
114 Mary Stuart llliitc.
wise adviser, and in every way a true helpmate to him in his
Soon after her mother's death, in 1857, she prepared a
memorial, which presented most accurately and beautifully the
life and character of that beloved parent. This little volume
is cherished by all the descendants of Mrs. Norman White, as
a just and fitting expression of the love and honor in which
she was held by all her children, in whose behalf the eldest
daughter rendered this sacred service.
After the death of her husband, Mrs. Meier-Smith wrote
and printed for his family and friends a book, entitled, "Matson
Meier-Smith: Memories of His Life and Work'' which is a model
of what such a biography of a near relative should be.
Although an invalid during the later years of her life,
she maintained a deep and affectionate interest in all that
concerned her brothers and sisters and their respective families,
and to this interest she gave constant expression in kindly
words and remembrances, which endeared her continuously
to the constantly widening circle of her kindred.
Children of Matson and Mary Stuart Meier-Smitit.
1. Norman White, son of Matson and Mary Stuart
Meier-Smith, was born in New York City, October 29th, 1850.
Owing to ill health, caused by overwork while preparing for
college, he has not entered professional or business life. He
resided with his mother during her life time, and at present is
living in New York City.
2. Emily Stuart, daughter of A'latson and Mary Stuart
Meier-Smith, vv^as born in Brookline, Massachusetts, December
9th, 1852. She married, May i6th, 1878, the Rev. Henry
Ogden Du Bois, a clergyman of the Episcopal Church.
Mary Stuart JJlulc. 115
Mr. DuBois is a son of the Rev. George W. DuBois,
D. D., whose first ancestor in this country was the Huguenot,
Jacques DuBois, who settled in Kingston, New York (then
"Wiltwyck"), in 1675, coming over from Leyden. He is
assumed to have been the brother of Louis, called the Wal-
loon, one of the "Twelve Patentees" of the Esopus country,
in Ulster County. The names of Louis and (Jacques?) were
partially obliterated from the Roman Catholic baptismal register
of Wicres, in old Artois, France, now the Department of Pas
du Calais, apparently in consequence of their having become
Huguenots. Their father was Chretien. On his mother's
side, Mr. DuBois is a grandson of the late Bishop Mcllvaine,
of Ohio, in whose mother's line (Reed) was the somewhat
famous Colonel Caleb Heathcote (died 1721), one of the
"Great Nine Partners," whose territory extended from the
North River to the Connecticut line, and embraced 260 square
miles. He was the moving spirit in the introduction of
Episcopacy into Westchester County, and one of the founders
of old Trinity Church.
After several years of service in the Episcopal Church,
Mr. DuBois became interested in the Catholic Apostolic
Church, and connecting himself with it, has been for many
years active and prominent in its ministry.
Mr. and Mrs. DuBois have one child, a daughter, Mary
Constance, born in Philadelphia, March 28th, 1879, who
has inherited the literary tastes and facility of her mother and
grandmother. She has published a charming tale of the days
of Roundhead and Cavalier, entitled, "Elinor Arden, Royalist."
Erskine Norman White. 1 17
boro, now Lakeville, where he married Hope Higgins (or
Huggins), whose wedding veil and white sHppers, with high
heels, are still in the possession of a descendant. Mrs. Hope
Nelson was a woman of marked character. There is a tradi-
tion that, in her early married days, she had a hand-to-hand
conflict with an Indian, whom she caught pilfering in the cellar
of her house. She lived to the age of one hundred and five.
This Mr. Nelson and his wife were the first in their part
of the country to adopt the views of the Baptists, and for
several years they travelled every Sunday to a distant village
to attend services with others of like faith, and later they built
a house at the place, in which, upon such occasions, they could
spend Sundays. Their son (4), Lieutenant Thomas (1716-
T768), married Judith Pierce. Following him was (5) Thomas
(1739-1819). The son of this Thomas was (6) the Rev.
Stephen S. Nelson, the grandfather of Mrs. White. He was
born October 5th, 1772, and died December 8th, 1853. He
married Emilia Robins, and as a Baptist minister was settled
in Hartford, Connecticut; Sing Sing, New York, and Attle-
boro, Massachusetts. In Sprague's "Annals of the American
Pulpit," it is recorded that he was the first liberally educated
minister of his denomination m New England. His son (7),
John Gill Nelson (1802- 1874), was throughout his life a
merchant in New York City, and for many years an elder in
the Mercer Street Presbyterian Church.
Mrs. White's mother was Eunice Ripley, a daughter of
John Ripley and Susanna Greenleaf. She was born in 1810,
and died September 27th, 1882. Her parents having both
died in her infancy, she was brought up in the family of an
older married sister, Mrs. Eliza Tracy, the wife of Frederick
Tracy, a merchant living in New York, and for this older sister
her daughter was named.
ii8 Erskine Norman White.
Mr. White became, upon his ordination, pastor of the
Reformed Dutch Church at Richmond, Staten Island, New
York, and remained there until November, 1862.
During the summer of that year, he accompanied the
Twenty-second Regiment of New York to Harper's Ferry,
Virginia, where it was encamped upon guard duty for three
months. He served as acting chaplain, his brother, Charles
T. White, and his brother-in-law, Dr. Benjamin Lee, being
respectively quarter-master and surgeon of the same regiment.
He was pastor of the Presbyterian Church at New
Rochelle, New York, from November, 1862, to August, 1868;
of Westminster Presbyterian Church, in Buffalo, New York,
from October, 1868, to November, 1874; and of the West
Twenty-third Street Presbyterian Church in New York City,
from the latter date until June, 1886, when he became the
Corresponding Secretary of the Board of Church Erection of
the Presbyterian Church, which position he still (1905) holds.
In 1874, he received from the University of New York
the honorary degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology (S. T. D.).
In addition to a number of articles in reviews and
several "occasional" sermons, he has published a History of
the West Twenty-third Street Church, and an essay upon
baptism, entitled, ''Why Infants are Baptised.'"
Mrs. White, after an illness of more than a year, died
March 31st, 1894. She was peculiarly fitted for the position
she held as a pastor's wife; his associate, to whom he turned
for counsel in all his professional work, and the centre of the
social life of the parish. She was an accomplished musician,
endowed by nature with a singularly sweet and flexible voice,
which had been so carefully cultivated that her singing,
whether of secular or sacred music, was a delight to her family
Erskine Norma 11 White. 119
and her friends. x\s was said at her fvnieral service by one who
knew her well:
"Four times, in four widely separated, widely diverse parishes,
she held her place, not as the mere wife of the pastor, but as a force
and moulding influence herself in each parish."
Another friend of many years, who as a young girl
had been a parishioner, writes:
"One's first impression of Mi-s. White was of her beauty,
freshness, vitality. Her gracious presence and charm of manner, with
her rarely beautiful voice, at once made you welcome and surrounded
you with an atmosphere of happiness. These graces were, however,
but the outward expression of her inner life. At the root was a force
which made her charm real and lasting, and these inward qualities
are the ones that come first to my mind when I think of her. The
deep nature, strength of character, good judgment; the loving heart
which made her so valuable as well as beloved in the noblest, sweetest
concerns of life — these will perhaps indicate in a measure what manner
of woman she was."
Children of Erskine Norman and Eliza Tracy (Nelson)
1. Nelson Ripley, born at Richmond, New York,
December 12th, i860.
2. Stanley, born at Richmond, New York, May 2d,
3. Edith Norman, born at New Rochelle, New York,
May 9th, 1864.
4. Helen Wellesley, born at New Rochelle, New York,
February 28th, 1867.
5. Qeveland, born at Buffalo, New York, August 15th,
6. Howard Erskine, born at Buffalo, New York,
.September 27th, 1874.
120 Erskine Norman White.
Of these, Nelson Ripley, a young man of bright
promise, died September 19th, 1880, in his twentieth year,
while a member of the Sophomore Class at Princeton College;
and Cleveland, the third son, died in infancy, September 25th,
2. Stanley, second son of Erskine Norman and Eliza
Tracy (Nelson) White, graduated at Princeton College in 1884,
and at Union Theological Seminary in 1887.
He was licensed as a candidate for the ministry by the
Presbytery of New York, and ordained as a Presbyterian
minister, January nth, 188S, by the Presbytery of Morris and
Orange, and installed as pastor of the Hillside Presbyterian
Cliurch, Orange, New Jersey, which position he still holds
(1905). He has been for a number of years Stated Clerk of
his Presbytery, a Trustee of the Synod of New Jersey, and
Secretary of the Board. He is a Director of the ('range
Valley Social Settlement, and of the Orange Bureau of Asso-
ciated Charities, and a member of the American Academy of
Political and Social Science.
He married, May 20th, 1891, Henrietta Logan, daughrer
of Strickland and Margaretta Sybilla Kneass, of Philadelphia.
Mrs. White, upon her father's side, was of Dutch
lineage. Her great-grandfather was Christopher Kneass, who
married Anna Justina Feltman, a daughter of John Kilgan
Feltman, born in Arnheim, Germany, 1751. Her grandfather,
William Kneass, as an engraver of considerable eminence, was
employed in that capacity in the United States Mint. His wife
was Mary Jane Honeyman.
Mrs. White's father, Strickland Kneass, was born in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 29th, 182 1, and died in
Philadelphia, January 14th, 1884. He graduated as civil
Erskine Norman White. 121
engineer at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, New
York; was assistant engineer and topographer of the State of
Pennsylvania; was in 1869 one of the commissioners to deter-
mine the boundary lines of that State; as an engineer of the
Pennsylvania Railroad, he laid out the famous "Horseshoe
Curve" at Altoona, and was chief engineer and surveyor of the
city of Philadelphia. In 1872, he became assistant of the
President of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which position he held
until his death.
Through her mother, Mrs. White is a descendant of
the Honorable George Bryan, who was born in Ireland in
1730; came to this country in early manhood, and died in 1792.
He was a man of political distinction; drafted the State's
emancipation law, was president of the Committee of Safety,
and a judge of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
His son, the father of Mrs. Strickland Kneass, and
grandfather of Mrs. White, was the second George Bryan
(1766- 1 838). He was clerk of the Pennsylvania State Senate,
auditor-general from 1809 to 1821, and prominent in the
politics of the Democratic Party. He married, November
19th, 1 80 1, Anna Maria Steinman.
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley White have had five children:
(i) Eleanor Stanley, born March 26th, 1892.
(2) Margaretta Kneass, born March loth, 1895.
(3) Erskine Norman, born May 3d, 1899.
(4) John Strickland, born December 24th, 1903.
(5) Elizabeth Howard, born December 24th, 1903;
died July 13th, 1904.
6. Ho7vard Erskine, sixth child and fourth son of
Erskine Norman and Eliza Tracy (Nelson) White, graduated
at Princeton College in 1895. He studied in the office of
Messrs. Ritch and Woodford, classmates of his father's, and
122 Er ski lie Norman White.
in the New York Law School, and was admitted to the bar
in 1897. He is a practicing attorney and counsellor-at-law in
New York City, and resides (1905) in Rye, New York.
He married, at Ogontz, Pennsylvania, October 14th,
1899, Virginia Thomas, daughter of Thomas Earp and Lillie
(Thomas) Shoemaker. She was born November 12th. 1876.
Her first ancestor of whom there is record upon her
father's side was (i) George Schumacher, of Germany, Europe.
His son, (2) George, was born in Heidelburg about 1662, and
died in 1685. He had adopted the views of the "Friends" or
"Quakers," and in January, 1686, his widow, Sarah, came to
this country, and settled in Cheltenham Township, Pennsyl-
vania, in the neighborhood of Philadelphia. She acquired two
hundred acres of land, which received the name of Shoemaker-
town, the family name having been Anglicized. The name of
the town was changed a few years ago to Ogontz, and is still
the residence of Mrs. White's father, a lineal descendant in
sixth generation. The line of descent is through (3) Abraham ;
(4) Benjamin, born 1727; (5) Robert, born 1754; (6) Richard
M., born 1783; (7) Robert, born 1817; (8) Thomas Earp, born
1852, the father of Mrs. White.
Upon her mother's side, Mrs. White is of Welsh
ancestry, being descended from Plenry Thomas, of Swansea,
Wales, born in 1776, and married to Jane Thomas in 1800.
His son, John Thomas, was born in 1801. His grandson,
Henry Thomas, born July 9th, 1830, came to this country in
1852, and in 1854 married Virginia Girard. Their daughter,
Lillie, born October loth, 1855, married, November 4th, 1875,
Thomas Earp Shoemaker.
Mr. and Mrs. Howard Erskine White have two children :
(i) Thomas Shoemaker, born November loth, 1901.
(2) Stanley Cleveland, born January 22d, 1903.
Charles TrumbuU White . 123
III. CHARLES TRUMBULL WHITE.
Charles Trumbull, fourth child and second son of
Norman and Mary Abiah (Dodge) White, was born at No.
14 CHnton Place, New York City, January 20th, 1835.
He was educated at private schools, principally in New
York, and at about the age of sixteen entered upon a business
career in the office of his father's firm, White & Sheffield,
importers and dealers in paper and paper materials. A year
or two later he accompanied his parents in a trip abroad, and
after their return remained for a year in Paris, connecting
himself with the office of the Messrs. Bossange & Co., business
correspondents of his father's firm, thus acquiring a knowledge
of foreign business methods and perfecting himself in the
In 1857, he became a member of the firm of White &
Sheffield, and remained connected with it until its dissolution,
In 1863, with his father, he became interested in the
type foundry which had been established by his grandfather's
cousin, Elihu White, early in the century, and which was
continued under the firm name of White & Company until
1870, when it was sold to the younger partners of the concern,
by whom and their successors the business has continued until
the present time (1905).
Upon the dissolution of the above partnerships, and
the retiracy of his father from active business, Mr. White
entered upon the manufacture of drugs and chemicals, and so
continued until 1885. Failing health, in 1887, brought his
active business life to a close.
Mr. White married, September 30th. 1857, Georgiana,
daughter of Josiah Nelson Starin, of Auburn, New York.
The wedding was at Auburn, and the marriage service was by
124 Charles Trumbull White.
the Rev. Matson Meier-Smith, the husband of Mr. White's
Mrs. White was born m Auburn, September 25th, 1837,
and was an older sister of Henry Gaylord Starin, who a few
years later married her husband's youngest sister, Grace
Stanley White. As the details of the ancestry of the Starin
family are given later, in connection with the descendants of
that name, they are here omitted.*
Throughout their married life, the home of Mr. and
Mrs. White was in New York City.
Although of somewhat slight and delicate physique, Mr.
White was in his youth particularly fond of out-door exercise.
He was a good horseman, and in his vacations sought recrea-
tion in riding, fishing and shooting. It was as an indirect
consequence of his taste for athletic exercise that he bore a
part in organizing the Twenty-second Regiment of the
National Guard of New York, with which he was for several
years connected. This regiment, originally known as the
"Union Grays," was formed in 1861, at a critical period in the
Civil War, by the union of several unattached companies not
previously part of the regular National Guard. The following
account of the addition of two such bodies is given in the
history of the regiment written by General George W. Win-
gate and published in 1896:
"Among these were the City Cadets, which joined as Com-
panies G and H. This had its origin m 'The White Ball Club,' which
was formed in 1858, and was named after Charles Trumbull White.
On April 22d, 1861, the Club held a meeting at the house of Mr. White,
381 Fifth Avenue, and decided to form themselves into a drill club,
'for the purpose of defending the lives and property of the citizens,
and the harbor of New York, in the absence of the regular militia,
who had gone to the war.' The company took the name of the City
* See page 147.
Charles Trumbull White. 125
Cadet?. On May 8th, 1861, it had increased to such numbers that it
was divided into two companies, and these were present at the meeting
at which the Union Grays was organized, and joined it in a body as
Company G and Company H."
The Twenty-second Regiment was called into active
service in the summer of 1862, and was in camp at Harper's
Ferry, Virginia, for three months, Mr. White holding the
position of quarter-master.
Again in 1863, when the army of General Lee invaded
Pennsylvania, the brigade to which the regiment was attached
was called to the front, Mr. White during this campaign
holding the position of adjutant of the brigade. It was at this
time that the fierce draft riots occurred in New York City,
and the brigade, after a service of several weeks, was hastily
recalled, to take its part in quelling the insurrection at home.
This military service was, however, but a passing
incident in Mr. White's life at a time when the dangers
threatening the very life of the nation summoned to its defence
all who were truly loyal to their country.
Mr. White was fond of music, and in his earlier years
sang with skill and expression. He had also literary tastes,
to which he occasionally gave expression in writing. Becom-
ing interested at one time, in connection with his Bible class,
in the story of the Magi, he published a little volume, entitled,
"The Three Wise Men," which embodied all that is known or
is reported by tradition of their visit to Bethlehem and their
after career. The book was illustrated with copies of a number
of well known pictures.
Throughout his life his deepest interests were in
religious work. In his boyhood, he was a member of the old
Mercer Street Church, of which his father was for so many
years an elder, and in later days, when the Church of the
126 Charles Trumbull White.
Covenant, upon Park Avenue, was organized, he took an active
part in its support, being elected an elder and serving in that
office until his death. For many years, and until his failing
health forbade, he personally conducted a religious service
every Sunday afternoon at "The Nursery and Child's Hos-
pital," on Lexington Avenue, and practically acted as pastor
of its inmates, visiting them in the wards, advising them and
interesting himself constantlv in their welfare.
In 1885, his health, undermined by undue application
to a business which was causing him serious anxiety, began
to fail, and a decline in strength commenced, continuing until
his death, which occurred at Rye, New York, February 9th,
The words spoken at his funeral by his pastor, the Rev.
Dr. Marvin R. Vincent, truly portray his character:
"Some men are naturally better than others. Some take more
readily the mould of Christian influence and training, and are more
susceptible to the powers of the world to come. Such was our friend.
He had a natural affinity for what was good and pure. If there were
things lovely and of good report, if there were any virtue or any praise,
the bent of his nature was to think on those things: it was alike atifec-
tionate and sensitive, pervaded with a love for the beautiful in nature
and art. His tastes inclined to study, to books and literature, and he
was constitutionally but ill adapted to the hard and sharp contacts
"As his personality comes before us, certain prominent traits
appeal to our grateful and loving memory:
"i. His conscientiousness. This extended to everything. I
do not think he liked the routine of business, and I used to wonder
how he ever drifted into it: but accepting it as the sphere into which
God's providence had thrown him, he carried into it the most punc-
tilious fidelity, and it needs not to be said, the most scrupulous
"2. His unselfishness. I speak to-day as an intimate friend.
If ever I knew a man through i\n<\ through to his inmost heart, it
was Charles White. And I sav without hesitation he was the most
Charles Trumbull IV kite. 127
unselfish man I ever knew. He always had some one's interests or
burdens on his heart, and his mind was constantly occupied with plans
to make some one happy or to relieve some one of care and sorrow.
He never spared himself I doubt if he ever thought of himself when
others were concerned. He threw himself into their interests and
pleasures, and laid a helping hand to their burdens as if he had the
strength and endurance of a giant.
"3. His Christian activity. He was a man who never sought
prominence. He preferred to work in the shadow of others, and
never assumed leadership unless it was forced upon him; but his life
was full to overflowing with Christian ministries. In private inter-
course, he was on the watch for opportunities of directing attention
• to the claims of God and of duty. His unobtrusiveness, tact, delicacy
and transparent sincerity not only disarmed every suspicion, but
invited confidence and commanded respect. People honored the man
who with so much dignity and winning sweetness asserted the honor
and claim of his Master and Lord. Some of you, perhaps, know
something of his work in one of our public institutions devoted to the
care of unfortunate women of the poorer class — too often more sinned
against than sinning. For a number of years, often against the
remonstrances of friends on the score of his health, he maintained on
each Sunday afternoon a general service of worship and instruction
for the inmates of the hospital, which was followed by a visit to the
different wards, where he dispensed to the sick and helpless the
promises of the Gospel, blended with wise and tender counsel and
cheerful encouragement. No one knows, no one can know, no one
ever will know till the day when the results of faithful ministry shall
be reckoned up before God's judgment seat, the fruits of that quiet
work. God only knows how many of those poor creatures he has
saved from despair and encouraged to begin a new life. During two
or three months he would gather a class of those whom he found
susceptible of religious influences, would instruct them in the rudiments
of the faith, and encourage and develop their trust in their Saviour,
and then he would apply to his pastor to spend some week day
afternoon in conversation with them, and on the following Sabbath
to conduct a communion service in the hospital chapel, and to receive
their confession of faith. I know not how many I have thus received
into Christian fellowship as the fruit of his labors. And through all
the last weary years, and even up to a short time before his death, he
kept his hand on that work and saw to it that it was maintained.
"So he has passed away in the ripeness of his manhood, a
living testimony to the power of Christ to inform character; another
128 Charles Tnimbull White.
added to the honor roll of this church, so rich in names ot good men
and women who have fought the good fight and have won the crown;
another grain fallen into the ground, and dying, only to bring forth
fruit that shall appear unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing
of Jesus Christ."
Mrs. White outlived lier husband fourteen years, making
her home, first with her sons in Brooklyn, and, after the
marriage of her daughter, with her at Hanover, New Hamp-
shire, where she died, February 17th, 1904.
Mrs. White was a woman of unusual attractiveness and
personal charm. Her sympathy with those with whom she
was associated was quick and warm, and she bore a willing
part in the benevolent and philanthropic agencies of the
Church of which she was a member during all her married
She was especially fond of little children, and interested
herself in plans for their early training and development. It
was this marked trait in her character that prompted her to
collect poems and songs relating to infancy and childhood,
and from these she at one time, for her own children and their
baby friends, compiled a unique and dainty little book,
containing the words and appropriate music of the most
attractive of her collection. This was published in 1870, under
the title, "Lii'laby: Heart Sojigs for Baby and Mamma" and
dedicated: "To the Hallowed Circle of Little Ones, with a
At a later period, she was for a number of years a
member of the "Women's Board of Foreign Missions of the
Presbyterian Church," and took a deep interest in its work,
an interest continued without interruption even after her
removal to Hanover precluded personal activity in its
Charles Trumbnll White. 129
Children of Charles Trumbull and Georgiana (Starin)
Their second child and eldest daughter, Georgiana, died
in infancy. The others are:
1. Norman, eldest son of Charles Trumbull and
Georgiana (Starin) White, was born July loth, 1858.
After leaving school, he entered upon a commercial life,
taking a place in his father's ofhce, in connection with the
business of the manufacture of chemicals. Since the relin-
quishment of that undertaking, he has been engaged in New
York in general commercial business.
He married, June loth, 1885, Margaret Bonnett,
daughter of William Lathrop and Hannah Maria Cowdrey, of
New Rochelle, New York.
Their children are:
(i) Margaret Cowdrey, born April 5th, 1886; died
August 29th, 1887.
(2) Winifred Earle, born June loth, 1888.
(3) Louise Lathrop, born July ist, 1892.
(4) Norman, born March i8th, 1896.
(5) Henry Gaylord Starin, born March 14th, 1898.
(6) Constance Waldron, born March 3d, 1903; died
August 5th, 1905.
2. Gaylord Starin, second son of Charles Trumbull
and Georgiana (Starin) White, was born March 3d, 1864. He
graduated at Princeton College in 1886, and at the Union
Theological Seminary in the city of New York in 1890. He
studied abroad at Berlin and Oxford from 1890 to 1892, and
entered the ministry of the Presbyterian Church, being
ordained by the Presbytery of New York, May 15th, 1892.
He was assistant pastor of the Rutgers Riverside Church in
the city of New York from May, 1892, to September, 1893,
and pastor of the City Park Branch of the First Presbyterian
130 Charles Trumbull White.
Church of Brooklyn, New York, from September, 1893, to
May, 1 90 1. Since that date he has been headworker of the
Union Settlement in East One Hundred and Fourth Street
in New York, and Director of Student Christian Work at the
Union Theological Seminary.
He married, June 6th, 1892, Sophie Douglass, daughter
of James Hyde and Sophie (Douglass) Young. She was born
May 29th, 1866. One of her forefathers, James Hyde, was
also an ancestor of her husband.
Their children are:
(i) Sophie Douglass, born April 3d, 1893.
(2) Charles Trumbull, born October 6th, 1896.
(3) Cleveland Stuart, born July 28th, 1900.
(4) Katharine Gaylord, born April 9th, 1903.
3. Anna Barnard, fourth child and second daughter
of Charles Trumbull and Georgiana (Starin) White, was born
August Sth, 187 1.
She was married. January 4th, 1897, to Frank Gardner
Moore. He is a son of the late Rev. Dr. William Eves and
Harriet Francina (Foot) Moore, of Columbus, Ohio.
His first ancestor in this country was James (or Jacob)
Moore, who came from Londonderry, Ireland, to New Castle,
Delaware, about 1718. The family was of Scotch ancestry
and Saxon stock, but attached to the Clan Argyle. The line
of descent comes down through (2) William, son of the above,
who was born in Londonderry in 1688 (or 1689), and came to
America with his father; (3) Jacob, born at New Castle about
1730; (4) William, born December 28th, 1770, who settled at
Mill Creek Hundred, Delaware, and was a captain of cavalry
in the war of 1812; (5) Dr. Jacob, born April 29th, 1797. who
graduated in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in
18 1 7, and died at Glasgow, Delaware, May 5th, 1829; (6) Wil-
Charles Tritmbull White. 131
Ham Eves, the father of Frank Gardner, born April ist, 1823,
and who graduated at Yale College in 1847. Dr. William
Eves Moore held a very prominent place in the ministry of
the Presbyterian Church, being for many years the pastor of
the First Church of Columbus, Ohio, and for twenty years
the permanent clerk of the General Assembly of the Church.
He was the leading authority upon ecclesiastical law and usage,
and the compiler of successive editions of the "Digest" of the
General Assembly. He died at Columbus, C)hio, in June,
Frank Gardner Moore, the seventh in descent and
husband of Anna Barnard White, was born September 25th,
1865. His mother, Harriet Francina Foot, was the daughter
of the Rev. George Foot and Anna Fisk, who was the great-
great-granddaughter of Ebenezer Bliss of Springfield, Massa-
chusetts, and his wife, Mary Gaylord, daughter of John Gay-
lord of Windsor, Connecticut, and Mary Clark. As John
Gaylord's mother was Anna Porter, daughter of John Porter
and Anna White, daughter of Robert White of Messing, the
latter was the common ancestor of Frank Gardner Moore and
Anna Barnard White.
Frank Gardner Moore graduated at Yale University in
1886, and four years later received from his Alma Mater the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy. In 1893, ^e was appointed
Assistant Professor of Latin at Dartmouth College, Hanover,
New Hampshire, and in 1900 became Associate Professor in
the same chair, and also Professor of Roman Archaeology,
which position he still (1905) holds.
Professor and Mrs. Moore have three children :
(i) Lawrence, born November 25th, 1897.
(2) Roger Cleveland, born July i8th, 1900.
(3) Janet Gaylord, born June 2d, 1905.
132 Emma Hale White.
IV. EMMA HALE WHITE.
Emma Hale, fifth child and third daughter of Norman
and Mary Abiah (Dodge) White, was born in New York City.
August 19th, 1836.
She married, April 5th, 1S59. ^r. Benjamin Lee. Dr.
Lee was born in Norwich, Connecticut, September 26th. 1833.
and is a son of the late Right Rev. Alfred Lee. Bishop of the
Diocese of Delaware, and for many years the Presiding Bishop
of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, Dr.
Lee's great-grandmother on his father's side was Mary Pitt,
a favorite niece of the Earl of Chatham. America's staunch
friend in the trying period of the Revolutionary War. His
mother was Julia White, daughter of Elihu White and Sarah
Trumbull, Mr. White having been a cousin of Daniel White,
Jr., of Andover, and at one time a partner of Norman White.
Mrs. Sarah Trumbull White was a granddaughter of Judge
John Trumbull of Connecticut, a well known patriot and the
author of "McFingal'* and other political and patriotic poems.
Also among his forbears upon his mother's side were three
of the colonial governors of New England, namely, John
Haynes, George Wyllis and John Leverett. Of these it may
be briefly noted that John Haynes was the most conspicuous
layman of the Thomas Hooker Company, whose eventful
journey through the wilderness to found Hartford has been
described in the account of Elder John White.* He left an
ancestral estate of considerable extent in England to throw in
his fortunes with those who esteemed the right to worship
God according to the dictates of their consciences above all
else. He was Governor of Massachusetts and the recognized
civil leader; also first Governor of the Colonv of Connecticut.
* See page 11.
Emma Hale White. 133
George Wyllis, a Governor of Connecticut, was the
proprietor of Wyllis Hall, to which the famous charter of the
Colony was removed for safe keeping before it was finally
secreted in the heart of the Charter Oak.
Major-General John Leveret, commander of the
fortifications in Boston Harbor, was Governor of Massachu-
setts in 1769, and was one of the early members of the Ancient
and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston.
Dr. Lee graduated at the University of Pennsylvania
in T852, and at the Xew York Medical College in 1856.
After serving as resident physician in two of the New York
hospitals, and pursuing his medical studies for a year and a
half abroad, in Paris and Vienna, he entered upon the practice
of his profession in New York City. During the Civil War,
he was surgeon in the Twenty-second Regiment, New York
National Guard, and in 1862 and 1863, with his regiment, was
for some months in active service at the front. In 1865, he
removed to Philadelphia, and devoted his attention more
especially to orthopedic surgery.
He is a member of numerous medical societies, both
in this country and abroad; in 1884 was President of the
American Academy of Medicine; in 1892 of the American
Orthopedic Association; and in 1898 of the Conference of
State and Provincial Boards of Health of North America.
From 1885 to 1905, he was Secretary of the State
Board of Health of Pennsylvania, and upon its reorganization
in the latter year, was appointed "Assistant to the Commissioner
of Health r
In 1889, he supervised the sanitary and medical
service in and about Johnstown, after the destruction caused
by the great flood, and in 1891 was a member of the State
Quarantine Commission, to select a site for a new station
134 Emma Hale IV kite.
on the Delaware Bay. In 1898-99, he was the Health Officer
of Philadelphia. He is a specialist in the departments of
orthopedic surgery, nervous afifections and mechanical
therapeutics, and introduced the method of self-suspension in
the treatment of spinal afifections. He has published several
works upon subjects connected with his specialty, and has
been a frequent contributor to the medical and surgical
journals. In a sketch of his life, published in the volume,
entitled, "Physicians and Surgeons of America," there are given
the titles of fifty-seven such papers by Dr. Lee.
For several years. Dr. and Mrs. Lee, with their family,
have resided in Germantown, Pennsylvania.
Children of Benjamin and Emma Hale (White) Lee.
1. Mary, born in 1861.
2. Julia White, born in 1862.
3. Elizabeth Leighton, born in 1864.
4. Anna Barnard, born in 1865: died in infancy.
5. Leighton, born in 1866.
6. Charles Trumbull, born in 187 1.
7. Faith Cleveland, born in 1878.
2. Julia White, second daughter of Dr. Benjamin and
Emma Hale (White) Lee, married, October 20, 1885, George
A. Dunning, of Philadelphia. Mr. Dunning is the son of the
late Robert D. Dunning. He graduated at Princeton
University in 1879. -^o^ '^ time he was engaged in mercantile
pursuits, but has for a number of years interested himself in
Mrs. Dunning died February 2d, 1896. She was a
woman of rare refinement and culture, an artist in painting
and designing, and of a loveliness of character that endeared
her to all who knew her.
Emma Hale White. 135
In the preface to a beautiful record of ''Memories,"
written by her mother and printed for private distribution, are
the following tender words:
"These memories of my dear daughter, Julia, I have
been prompted to commit to paper by the feeling that her
children, as they grew older, would naturally long to know
something of the life-story and characteristic traits of the
devoted mother who was taken from them while they were
so young. I have been conscious, however, that, while many
incidents of her childhood would interest them now, there is
much of her maturer life which they can better appreciate
when they are older. It is my hope that they will then
recognize in this little record of the events of her life, the full
beauty of her character, her Christian faith, and her conscien-
tious devotion to her religious duties. Her ready sympathy
and her self-forgetfulness endeared her to all who knew her,
and the tender love and sweetness which she bestowed upon
those who were nearest and dearest to her, are to her mother
among the most precious of these 'Memories' "
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Dunning are three in
number: Leighton, Frances and Norman White.
In 1898 (March 3d), Mr. Dunning married Martha
(iray Binney, of New York.
5. Leighton, elder son of Dr. Benjamin and Emma
Hale (White) Lee, was born in Philadelphia, October 5th,
1866, and graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in
1887. He chose the profession of mechanical engineering,
pursuing his studies in connection with the graduate depart-
ments of his Alma Mater. He obtained practical experience
in the drafting department of the shipyards of the Messrs.
Cramp & Co., in Philadelphia, and of the Pusey-Jones Co.,
136 Emma Hale White.
in Wilmington, Delaware; crossing the ocean twice in the
engine rooms of a transatlantic steamer to familiarize himself
with the working of marine machinery.
At a later period, he established himself in the practice
of his profession in Philadelphia.
He married, June nth, 1890, Mary, daughter of
William Wert Justice, of Germantown, a retired merchant,
and a highly respected and public-spirited citizen.
Mr. Lee died November 15th, 1898, in Chicago, Illinois,
in consequence of injuries received by falling from a train
upon the elevated railroad in that city.
He was a man thoroughly versed in his profession and
of great promise. His work had already attracted attention,
and a wide career of usefulness apparently opening before him
was cut short by his early death. The following minute was
adopted by the members of his class of the University of
"Whereas, Through the inscrutable wisdom of the Divine
Providence, our friend and classmate, Leighton Lee, has been taken
from amongst us into a higher life, we, the Class of 'Eighty-seven.
University of Pennsylvania, desire that our minutes shall testify to
the respect and affection his character inspired and to the deep sorrow
with which he mourn his loss.
"As the faithful student and congenial comrade of class-room
and campus; as the loyal friend whose presence gladdened our annual
reunion, and whose hand grasped ours with such hearty sincerity; and
finally, as the patient sufferer bearing the shock and cruel pain of
his accident with such splendid courage — so has he always stood before
us, in all and through all, a manly Christian gentleman."
The children of Leighton and Mary (Justice) Lee are
three in number: William Justice, Benjamin and Philip
Leighton, the latter born after his father's death. Another
child, a son, also named Leighton, died in infancy.
Julia Cleveland White. 137
In 1904 (May 24th), Mrs. Lee married Joshua Coffin
Chase, of St. Louis, Missouri.
6. Charles Trimibull, younger son of Dr. Benjamin and
Emma Hale (White) Lee. was born in Philadelphia, January
7th. 1 87 1.
He graduated at the I'niversity of Pennsylvania in
1892, and entered at once upon a business career. After
several years experience in Philadelphia, he established himself
upon a ranch in Wyoming, as a wool-grower, where he owns
an extensive tract of land and very large flocks of sheep.
V. JULIA CLEVELAND WHITE.
Julia Cleveland, sixth child and fourth daughter of
Norman and Mary Abiah (Dodge) White, was born at No.
14 Clinton Place, New York, May 22d, 1838.
She was married, November 4th, 1863, at her father's
house, No. 2 West Thirty-sixth Street, to Charles Coit
Charles Coit Johnson was the son of Charles and
Hannah (Coit) Johnson, of Norwich, Connecticut. His first
ancestor in this country was Captain Edward Johnson, of
Heme Hill, Kent Co., England, who was born in 1599, and in
1630 came to this country, and, with a few who looked upon
him as their leader, founded Woburn, Massachusetts. He was
prominent in early colonial history, and was the author of
the first history of New England, published in London in
1654, and entitled, "Wonder IVorking Frovidoice of Sion's
Saviour." But five copies of this rare and valuable work are
known to exist, one of which is now owned by Frederick
Morgan Johnson, son of Charles Coit and Julia Cleveland
138 Julia Cleveland JVhitc.
The fifth son of Captain Edward Johnson was John
Johnson, and the Une was continued through a son, grandson
and great-grandson, named sviccessively Obadiah.
The third of that name was Colonel Obadiah Johnson,
of Canterbury, Connecticut, who at the battle of Bunker Hill
was Major in the regiment commanded by his friend and
neighbor, Israel Putnam.
His son, John Johnson, was the father of Charles
Johnson, of Norwich, and the grandfather of Charles Coit
Johnson, the husband of Julia Cleveland White.
Charles Coit Johnson was born at Jewett City,
Connecticut, March 21st, 1831, and through his great-great-
grandmother, Lydia Cleveland, the wife of the second C Jbadiah,
was descended from Moses Cleveland, who was also an
ancestor of his wife through her grandmother, Sarah
He was educated at the famous old Academy at Wood-
stock, Connecticut, and in his youth and early manhood, being
in delicate health and unable to enter business or professional
life, he spent several years in travelling. Later he came to
New York, and held various positions in railroad and banking
offices. In 1862, he was appointed by President Lincoln,
"Allotment Commissioner," for the Connecticut troops, and
his duties under this appointment brought him, through
successive trips to the South, into intimate association with
the regiments of his State in active service.
After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson remained
in New York until 1865, when they removed to Norwich,
Connecticut, to be near to Mr. Johnson's father, who had
no other children, and who had just lost his third wife.
In Norwich, Mr. Johnson became the treasurer of the
Norwich and New York Steamboat Line, holding the position
Julia Cleveland White. 139
for several years, until he resigned to accept the treasurership
of the Norwich Gas Company. With this company, which
afterwards absorbed the Norwich Electric Light Company, he
remained connected in various executive positions, being for
five years its president, until two years before his death, failing
health required him to relinquish the cares of business. Before
retiring, he arranged in a very satisfactory manner the sale of
the company to a newly organized corporation.
In addition to the interests above mentioned, Mr.
Johnson for many years gave much of his time to the Jewett
City National Bank, in which his father had been long
interested, and also to the Norwich National Bank, succeeding
his father as president of both institutions.
Mrs. Johnson, whose health had been for several years
somewhat impaired, died May 27th, 1893.
Mrs. Johnson was a woman in whose character strength
and sweetness were remarkably combined. As the head of
her father's household, after the death of her mother and the
marriage of her older sister, she presided with a dignity and
grace that brightened the years of his loneliness and increas-
ingly endeared her to her brothers and sisters. In a letter
previously given, her father expresses his appreciation of her
attitude at this time. While endowed with unusual practical
ability, admirably fitting her for executive duties, she was of
a serene and sunny temper, which irradiated every circle into
which she entered, and was an inestimable comfort and support
to her husband in his later years of invalidism. Her religious
life was clear and pronounced, and her influence, although
quiet and unobtrusive, was recognized and feit by ail with
whom she associated.
Mr. Johnson survived his wife three years, and died
November 17th, 1896.
140 Jtdia Cleveland White.
He was a man of marked ability and filled with success
every position he occupied. Notwithstanding his ill health,
he was a charming companion, eagerly welcomed in every
social circle he entered. His conversation was bright and
original, and enlivened by a play of wit and humor at times
irresistible. In his later years of weakness and suffering, this
would sometimes flash out between paroxysms of pain in a
manner to astonish those who knew how greatly he suffered.
He was never a robust man, and for twenty years was rarely
free from pain.
After his wife's death, he soon gave up his business life,
as he was able to spend but a few hours a week at his desk.
The last two years of his life, incapacitated for work and
suffering much pain, were long and sad ones to him, brightened
only by the calls of friends and the watchful care of his
Children of Charles Coit and Julia Cleveland (White)
1. Charles Morgan, born February 4th, 1865; died
May loth, 1865.
2. Herbert Stanley, born October 2d, 1866; died
August 17th, 1872.
3. Frederick Morgan, born September 21st, 1868.
4. Charles Stuart, born November 23d. 187 1; died
August 7th, 1872.
5. Elsie Cleveland, born December nth, 1874.
3. Frederick Morgan, third son of Charles Coit and
Julia Cleveland (White) Johnson, was born in Norwich,
Julia Cleveland White. 141
He prepared for college at the Norwich Free Academy,
and graduated at Yale University in 1891. He entered busi-
ness in New York, and after spending two years in a banking
house, became connected with the New York Life Insurance
Company, where he holds the position of Premium Cashier.
He married, June 17th, 1903, Janet Posey Smith, of
Louisville, Kentucky, daughter of Adam Thomas and Mary
Jane (Scott) Smith, and the granddaughter of Dr. Matthew
Smith, of Rushville, Indiana, w^ho, after completing his
education at the University of Dublin and the Medical College
of Glasgow, Scotland, came to this country in 1826, to enter
upon the practice of medicine.
5. Elsie Cleveland, fifth child, and only daughter of
Charles Coit and Julia Cleveland (White) Johnson, was born
at Norwich, Connecticut.
She married, December 15th, 1902, John Marbury
Reynolds, born in Washington, D. C, March 19th, 1877.
He is the son of Henry Lee Reynolds and Mary Wilson
(Hill) Reynolds, a daughter of the Rev. Stephen P. Hill, of
Washington, D. (?., and a niece of the late W. W. Corcoran.
Mr. Reynolds' first ancestor in this country was John Rey-
nolds, who settled in Norwich, Connecticut, in 1659. His
house, built m that same year, is standing, and has always
remained in possession of the family. Mr. Reynolds was
educated at the Preparatory Academy in Norwich, and studied
law for two years, but afterward entered upon a business life,
in which he still continues.
Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds have one child, a daughter,
Julia Cleveland, born December 6th, 1903.
iz|2 Helen Clement White.
VI. HELEN CLEMENT WHITE.
Helen Clement, ninth child and fifth daughter .of Norman
and Mary Abiah (Dodge) White, was born in New Rochelle,
New York, her father's country residence, July 26th, 1843.
She was married, April 4th, 1866, at the Brick Presby-
terian Church, New York City, by her brother, the Rev.
Erskine N. White, to Arthur Wellesley Parsons, son of
Edward Lambe and Matilda (Clarke) Parsons.
Mr. Parsons' first ancestor of whom there is record was
(i) Johannes Parsons, of Cubbington, Warwickshire, England.
He was a farmer of standing in Warwickshire, and died
November 24th, 16 15. Following him, the family line
descends through (2) Thomas, whose wife's name was Philippa;
(3) Thomas, born September 2d, 1638, wife's name Elizabeth;
(4) Edward (1675-1722) and Susanna; (5) William (1712-1745),
fourth child and eldest son, who married Anne Lambe (1707-
1757); (6) John (1742-1797), fifth child and third son, who
married Mary Fell (1746-1792); (7) John, born 1774, second
child and eldest son, who married Elizabeth Hewitt; (8)
Edward Lambe, who was the father of Arthur Wellesley
Parsons. John Parsons, the grandfather of Arthur, removed
from Warwickshire to Manchester, and engaged in manufac-
turing, being almost the first to use power looms in cotton
spinning, and the firm of which he was the head, "Par-
sons & Houldsworth," still continues as "Houldsworth & Co."
He established agencies in this country, and it was to visit .
the one in New York that his son, Edward Lambe, first came
to America. The visit resulted in his settling here, and
soon after marrying, in 1828, Matilda, daughter of Ebenezer
Clark, of Rye, New York. In 1838, upon a voyage to
England, his vessel was wrecked at the mouth of the Mersey,
and he was among the lost. The name of his firm stood so
Helen Clement White. 143
high that when the Coates sought the American trade, they
by agreement introduced their cotton under its name.
Arthur Wellesley, son of Edward Lambe and Matilda
(Clark) Parsons, was born in New York City, January 20th,
He was a merchant, engaged (with his brother, William
H. Parsons) in the manufacture and sale of paper. He
bought property at Rye, near the home of his maternal
grandfather, and established there his summer residence. He
was for many years a member of the Brick Presbyterian
Church in New York, and active in its religious and benevolent
work, so long as his health permitted.
He died in New York City, May 22d, 1884. The
respect and esteem in which he was universally held are well
described in the following notice, which appeared in the Neiv
"The announcement of the death, upon the 226. ult., of Mr.
Arthur W. Parsons, brings sadness to a large circle of relatives and
friends. He was for many years conspicuously active in the benevo-
lent enterprises of this city, as well as in its business circles. A
member of the Brick Presbyterian Church and one of its othcers, he
was for a number of years the very efficient superintendent of its
Sabbath school, and the faithful friend and fellow-helper of the pastor
in all that concerned the interests of the church. He was a man of
great practical wisdom, energetic and successful in business, benevo-
lent and genial in his social relations, and, above all, fervent and
devoted in his religious life. The funeral services were held at Rye,
in the beautiful church, in the erection of which Mr. Parsons had
taken peculiar interest, and he was buried in the family vault in the
In the same journal, the Rev. Dr. James O. Murray,
of Princeton College, and at one time his pastor, pays the
following tribute to his memory:
144 Helen Clement White
"The notice of the death of Arthur W. Parsons will call up
sacred and lender memories in many hearts: for the life which has
ended its earthly stage combined attractive natural qualities. Its
gentleness was blended with force of character. It inspired confidence
by a transparent sincerity and quiet earnestness. It drew to itself
with magnetic force the love and esteem of ' all who ever knew him
as a companion or friend. To these natural qualities his Christian
faith imparted its own peculiar strength and beauty. He was a
Christian singularly bright and hopeful in tone, firm and fearless
in his convictions, devoted and consistent in Christian work. In the
Brick Church in New York City, of which he was a member, he has
left a blessed memory — for his labors of love as well as for his pure
example. The writer of this notice was for years his pastor, and
recalls with a mournful satisfaction the unostentatious yet unsparing
fidelity to his church relations and duties; recalls, too, that charming
afifectionateness which threw such grace over his home life and which
brings now such a throng of happy memories to that broken circle.
It pleased God in His mysterious Providence during the last few years
to place him under shadows — shadows caused by serious and
distressing illness. But as we gazed upon him lying so peacefully
asleep on that serene eventide of his burial, all our hearts were
comforted as we remembered that for him 'death was swallowed up
in victory.' "
Since her husband's death, Mrs. Parsons has resided
at Rye, in the house there built by Mr. Parsons.
Children of Arthur Wellesley and Helen Clement
I. Edward Lambe, born Mav i8th. 1868.
Grace Stanley, born November 6th, 1869.
Maud Wellesley, born October 30th, 1872.
Anna Marselus, born October 22d, 1876.
Mary Hewitt, born October 9th, 1878.
Clement, born May 22d, 1880; died August 8th,
Edward Lambe, eldest child of Arthur Wellesley and
Helen Clement (White) Parsons, was born May i8th, 1868.
Helen Clement White. 145
He prepared for college in New York, and graduated
at Yale University in 1889, and at Union Theological Seminary
in 1892. After spending two years in study abroad, principally
in Germany, he entered the Protestant Episcopal Church, and
December 23d, 1894, was ordained deacon by Bishop Law-
rence of Massachusetts; and June 9th, 1895, presbyter, by
Bishop Potter of New York. He served as assistant minister
at Grace Church in New York in 1894 and 1895; was rector
of Trinity Church, Menlo Park, California, 1896 to 1900; of
the Church of St. Matthew, San Mateo, California, 1900 to
1904; and since 1904, of St. Mark's Church, Berkeley, Cali-
fornia. He was a teacher in the New York Training School
for Nurses in 1894 and 1895; instructor in Philosophy at
Stanford University, 1897 to 1902; and lecturer in the Phil-
osophy of Religion in the Church Divinity School of the
Pacific, 1902 to 1904.
He married, May i8th, 1897, Bertha De Forest (born
March 17th, 1872), daughter of George Jarvis Brush (Professor
of Mineralogy and Director of the Shellfield Scientific School
oy Yale University), and Harriet Trumbull.
Mrs. Parsons' ancestors upon her father's side settled
early in the seventeenth century upon Long Island. Her
mother's ancestors at about the same period settled in Massa-
chusetts, but later removed to Connecticut, and her great-
great-grandfather in this line was the well known Jonathan
Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut during the Revolution,
the intimate friend and counsellor of George Washington, and
as playfully denominated by him, "Brother Jonathan," so
traditionally the prototype of that personification of the
Mr. and Mrs. Parsons have two children:
(i) Arthur Wellesley, born September 27th, 1900.
(2) Harriet Trumbull, born October 26th, 1901.
146 Helen Clement White.
2. Grace Stanley, second child and eldest daughter of
Arthur Wellesley and Helen Clement (White) Parsons, was
born November 6th, 1869.
She was married, at Rye, New York, October loth,
1895, to Henry Brooks Davis, son of Daniel Hamilton Brooks
and Jeanette E. (Peck) Davis.
His first ancestor in this country was (i) George Davis,
who was born in Wales in 1703, emigrated to this country,
and died in Bound Brook, New Jersey, in 1774; (2) Isaac, son
of George, was born in Somersett County, New Jersey, May
24th, 1743, and died September 23d, 1819; (3) John Davis, son
of Isaac, and grandfather of Henry Brooks Davis, was born
in Bound Brook, New Jersey, November 4th, 1801, was a
physician in New York for many years, and died March 7th,
Through his mother, Henry Brooks Davis was
descended from (i) William Peck, who came to this country
from London in the ship Hector, in company with Governor
Eaton and the Rev. John Davenport, arriving in Boston, June
26th, 1637. He was one of the founders of the New Haven
Colony, and a signer of its "Agreement," or Constitution,
dated June 4th, 1639. His son (2), Jeremiah, who came to
America with his father, was a man of education, and became
headmaster of the Collegiate School in New Haven, afterwards
w^ell known as the "Hopkins Grammar School." He after-
wards was in charge of several churches in New Jersey and
Connecticut, and is remembered as a teacher and preacher of
great usefulness in the frontier settlements of his day. From
him, the fanuly line continues through (3) Samuel, born
January i8th, 1659, in Guilford, Connecticut, died in Green-
wich, Connecticut, April 28th, 1746; (4) Theophilus, born in
Greenwich, Connecticut, March, 1702, died at Round Hill,
Grace Stanley White. 147
Connecticut, November 7th, 1783; (5) Samuel, born in Green-
wich, Connecticut, January 22(1, 1739, died there Alarch 21st,
1798; (6) Jared, born February 27th, 1773, died May, 1842:
(7) James Hervey, born February 20th, 1800, died at Port
Chester, New York, April 22d, 1872, who was the father of
Mrs. Jeanette E. (Peck) Davis, and grandfather of Henr>'
Henry Brooks Davis is the head of the firm of Davis &
Robinson, Real Estate Brokers, of New York City.
Mr. and Mrs. Davis have three children:
(i) Helen Arthur, born August 19th, 1896.
(2) Daniel Hamilton Brooks (second), born January
(3) Wellesley Parsons (a daughter), born June 22d,
VH. GRACE STANLEY WHITE.
Grace Stanley, tenth child and sixth daughter of Norman
and Mary Abiah (Dodge) White, was born at No. 4 Gramercy
Park, New York, April 4th, 1845.
She married, October 17th, 1866, Henry Gaylord
Starin, of Auburn, New York.
Henry Gaylord Starin was born in Auburn, July 8th,
1844, and is of Dutch descent. His father, Josiah Nelson
Starin, was the son of Henry Wemple and Chloe (Gaylord)
Starin, and was the fifth in line from Nicholas Ster, who came
from the Province of Guelderland, Holland, in Y6g6, and settled
in the Mohawk A'alley. where he bought a large tract of land.
Henry Wemple Starin's maternal grandfather, Hendrick
Wemple, also from Holland, was one of the twelve original
proprietors of the Alanor of Schenectady. Josiah Nelson
148 Grace Stanley White.
Starin's mother, Chloe Gaylord, belonged to the old New
England family of that name, who were among the first settlers
of Dorchester and Windsor, Connecticut.
Through Anna Porter, who in 1643 o^ 1644 married
William Gaylord, an ancestor, Chloe Gaylord was descended
from John Porter of Windsor, who married Anna, daughter
of Robert White of Messing. England, and doubly descended
through William and Chloe's son, William, who married Ruth
Crow, daughter of John Crow and Elizabeth Goodwin, who
was a great-granddaughter of the same Robert White. In this
way, Henry Gaylord Starin and Grace Stanley White had in
Robert White of Messing a common ancestor. Chloe Gay-
lord also numbered among her progenitors the Rev. John
Davenport, one of the original colonists of New Haven,
Connecticut, and one of the founders of Yale College, whose
granddaughter, Elizabeth Davenport, married the fifth William
Gaylord, Ruth Crow's grandson and Chloe's great-grandfather.
Henry Gaylord Starin's mother was Andalucia Henry,
for whose family he was named. She was the daughter of
Nicholas and Esther (Candee) Henry, and belonged to a
branch of the same family as Patrick Henry, of Revolutionary
fame. Her mother, Esther Candee, claimed descent from Jean
de Conde, a friend and follower of Admiral Coligny, with
whom he was associated at the time of the St. Bartholomew
massacre. Escaping to England, and being provided for by
Queen Elizabeth, his grandson, John Candee, came to New
England in 1639, and settling in Boston, became the founder
of the American family.
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Gaylord Starin, after their mar-
riage, lived for five years in Auburn, in the home of Mr.
Starin's parents, he being connected with a bank in that city.
In December, 1871, they came to New York, where Mr. Starin
Grace Stanley White. 149
became associated in business with his brother-in-law, Charles
Trumbull White. Later, this firm was dissolved, and in 1883
he entered into business relations with John Wyeth & Brother,
Manufacturing Chemists, in Philadelphia, with which firm he
is still connected as Secretary of the company.
For a number of years, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Starin
has been in Germantown, a suburb of Philadelphia.
Children of Henry Gaylord and Grace Stanley
1. Helen Clement, born September 6th, 1867.
2. Georgiana Gaylord, born October ist, 1872.
3. Arthur Nelson, born September 29th, 1875.
4. Mary Beatrice, born July 5th, 1883.*
2. Georgiana Gaylord, second daughter of Henry
Gaylord and Grace Stanley (White) Starin, married, June 19th,
1894, Dr. Robert Lucas Pitfield.
Dr. Pitfield was born in Germantown, Pa., February
28th, 1870, and is the son of Benjamin Henry and Francis
(Pleasants) Pitfield, both of whom were birthright members
of the Society of Orthodox Friends, Benjamin's mother,
Elizabeth, being a well known preacher in the old Twelfth
Street Meeting of Philadelphia.
The following romantic incident is related in the family
"A pretty story is told of Benjamin's grandparents, Benjamin
Pitfield and Grace Lucas. Benjamin was an officer in His Majesty
George the Third's army during the Revolutionary War, and while
stationed in the suburbs of Philadelphia, he used to see Grace ride
in from the country on a pillion behmd her father. The gay young
* The engagement of Mary Beatrice Starin to Thomas Wistar,
son of Edward Morris Wistar, of Philadelphia, has been (1905)
150 Grace Stanley White.
officer lost his heart to the demure Httle Quaker maiden, but his suit
was frowned upon by the stern old father, who did not wish so worldly
a son-in-law. Whereupon an elopement was planned and carried out,
with the aid of a rope ladder from Grace's window and a fleet steed,
the runaway couple securing the aid of a dominie before they were
caught by father Lucas, who then had nothing to do but to give them
his blessing, which he did, adding tlie household silver, which is still
in the family. It is said that, of the sons, all followed in their mother's
footsteps, and became strict Friends, while the daughters preferred
the Church of England, to which their father belonged."
Robert Lvicas Pitfield graduated from the Friends
School at Westover, Pennsylvania, and from the Medical
Department of the University of Pennsylvania, taking his
degree of M. D. in May, 1892. He served a year as "Intern"
in the German Hospital in Philadelphia, and in May, 1893,
entered upon the practice of medicine in Germantown, Penn-
sylvania, where, with his family, he still resides.
Dr. and Mrs. Pitfield have had five children:
(i) An infant son, born April 25th, 1895; died April
(2) Georgiana Gaylord, born April 21st, 1896.
(3) Dorothy Peniberton, born September 9th, 1897;
died January 6th, 1898.
(4) Helen Clement, born October 15th, 1899.
(5) Robert Lucas, Jr., born June 9th, 1902.
Although their father has never resigned his member-
ship in the Society of }^>iends, the children have all been
baptized in the Presbyterian Church.
3. Arthur Nelsoji, third child and only son of Henry
Gaylord and Grace Stanley (White) Starin, entered Princeton
University in 1893, but, owing to temporary ill health, with-
drew the following spring. In October, 1894, he entered the
Penn National Bank of Philadelphia, where he remained until
FRF.nERicK Barnard White.
Frederick Barnard White. 151
April, 1899, when he became connected with the Philadelphia
National Bank. He remained there until March, 1904, when
he accepted a position in the treasurer's office of "The Lehigh
Coal and Navigation Company," which he still (1905) holds.
He married, June 2d, 1900, Laura Corse Pitfield, a
sister of his brother-in-law, Dr. Pitfield. Mrs. Starin was born
November 30th, 1873, in Germantown, Pennsylvania. She
was brought up in the Society of Friends, but after her
marriasre united with the Presbyterian Church. Her mother,
Frances Pleasants Pitfield, was the daughter of Caleb and
Martha (Reeve) Pleasants, both of whose ancestors had been
Friends for many generations.
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur N. Starin have one son :
Henry Gaylord, Jr., born November nth, 1902.
VHL FREDERICK BARNARD WHITE.
Frederick Barnard, fifth son and eleventh child of
Norman White and only child of Anna Hale (Barnard) White,
was born at No. 2 West Thirty-sixth Street, New York,
February nth, 1862.
He prepared for college in New York and graduated
at Princeton University in 1883.
Early in his college course, he became interested in the
study of architecture, and spent all of his spare hours in reading
upon the subject. Having, as it proved, great natural ability
in the direction of this branch of art, coupled with a practical
and forceful character, he commenced, while still an under-
graduate, to practice in what soon proved to be his chosen
Sundry small commissions in connection with altera-
tions and improvements of buildings at Princeton came to his
152 Frederick Barnard White.
hand, and by the knowledge he had acquired, not only from
books, but practically from all sorts of manufacturers and
artizans, he was able to carry these out satisfactorily, and to
open a way to larger work. In his junior year he received
his first actual commission, involving the enlargement of a
hotel, and the building of a cottage.
Upon graduating, he became a pupil of Professor Ware
of Columbia College, and also entered the office of Potter,
Robertson & Lord, to perfect himself in the routine of his
He soon opened an office of his own, and almost
immediately obtained commissions which fully occupied all of
In October, 1884, he was elected a member of the
American Institute of Architects, probably the youngest
candidate ever admitted.
During the following year, commissions were constant,
and work pressed heavily upon him. His strength and vital
energy were too heavily taxed, but, like many another
ambitious and conscientious youth, he did not recognize the
fact that his health was being surely and rapidly undermined.
In December, 1885, he was prostrated with an attack
of pneumonia, and from that date he rapidly failed, until May
22d, 1886, when he passed away, at the early age of twenty-
Few young men have made such rapid progress in
professional work as was permitted to him. Not only had he
designed and built a large number of cottages and several
more pretentious buildings, but his work from its artistic
merit had attracted the attention of men prominent in his
His drawings were exhibited at the Salmagundi, the
Frederick Barnard IVliite. 153
Academy and the Architectural League exhibitions, and the
winter before his death the Boston Art Ckib had requested
the loan of his Academy pictures for the spring exhibition,
when they were noticed with commendation. The following
record upon the minutes of the Architectural League indicates
the esteem in which he was held:
"The Architectural League of New York is, with sorrow, called
upon to record the loss of a gifted and promising member, Frederick
B. White, whose high ideals and singularly bright and attractive nature
had earned for him the respect and atYection of those who knew him.
While yet a student at Princeton College, and without any special
architectural training, he gave indications of unusual fitness for the
profession he chose, and into the independent practice of which
circumstances forced him at an earlier age than he would himself,
perhaps, ha\e chosen. At the age of twenty-five, and only three years
after he had bid adieu to his Alma Mater, he had already designed
and executed, besides many smaller buildings, a number of important
works, the excellent qualities of which seemed to promise a brilliant
future. In his death the profession loses a practitioner who took a
serious and lofty view of his art, and the League a brilliant member."
In another notice of his death, the following words are
"To the manual dexterity of the draughtsman and the inven-
tiveness of the designer, he added the judgment of the man of culture
and the organizing ability of the man of afYairs, and so seemed to
possess most of the qualities which the true architect should have.
His professional enthusiasms were justly balanced, and the standard
by which he measured his own work a high one.
"flis remarkable success in the practice of his profession was
due partly to his amiability and winning manners, which won for him
a host of friends and clients, and also to his indefatigable industry,
natural taste and special aptitude for construction.
"So far as he had gone, he was master of his profession, and
the self-confidence that this gave, united with a naturally decisive
temper, nispired in his clients the great personal confidence and respect
which lay at the bottom of his success. This was enhanced by the
154 Descendants of Norman White.
orderly way he conducted his affairs and the carefully elaborated
system upon which his office was carried on.
"His ability and force, and the capacity for enjoyment that
made it delightful to have to do with him in any of the relations of
life, admirable as they were, are hardly to be held up for imitation,
for these things are gifts of nature. But in his modesty, high-
mindedness, perfect truthfulness and sincerity, and in the generous
pursuit of every means of self-improvement, he was a model and
Reviewing this account of the descendants of Norman
White, we find that to the present time (1905) they have
ntimbered eiglity- three, viz., eleven children, thirty-two grand-
children, and forty great-grandchildren. If to this number
we add the names of those who have married descendants —
viz., twenty-one — the total is one hundred and four.
As illustrative of the interweaving of the ancestral lines
of New England families, to which reference has been
previously made, it is interesting to notice that in at least
seven different instances of marriages above recorded, the
husband and wife find themselves descended from a common
1. Norman White's fir.st wife, Mary Abiah Dodge,
through her mother was the great-great-granddaughter of the
Rev. Aaron Porter, who was directly descended from John
Porter of Windsor, Connecticut, whose wife was Anna White,
daughter of Robert White of Messing, England.
2. Benjamin Lee and Emma Hale White were both,
through different lines, great-great-grandchildren of Joel
White, of Bolton, Connecticut.
3. Charles Coit Johnson, through his great-great-
grandmother, Lydia Cleveland, was descended from Moses
Cleveland, who was an ancestor in the same degree of Julia
Cleveland White, his wife.
Descendants of A'orman JJliitc. 155
4. Georgiana Starin, wife of Charles Trumbull White,
through her grandmother, Chloe Gaylord, was descended,
through both William Gaylord and John Crow, from Robert
White, both of them having married granddaughters of his.
5. Henry Gaylord Starin, who married Grace Stanley
White, held to her the same relationship.
6. In the next generation, Sophie Douglass Young,
who married Gaylord S. White, was, through her father,
descended from James Hyde, who was also, as a great-grand-
father of Mary Abiah Dodge, an ancester of Gaylord's.
7. Frank Gardner Moore, who married Anna Barnard
White, was, through his mother, descended from William
Gaylord, who married Anna Porter, a daughter of John Porter,
who married Anna, daughter of Robert White.
In closing this record of ancestral lines, the Editor may
be permitted to express the hope, which he is confident wall be
echoed by all of his kinsmen and kinswomen, that it may not
be without value as an encouragement and incentive in the
lives of those who now are, or who may be hereafter, numbered
among the descendants of