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NOV 151979 

C5 *€ 

The documents contained in this Pamphlet are printed in 

compliance with the desire of many friends of Mr. Peabody. It 

is expected, therefore, that the reader into whose hands they may 

fall will remember that their re-production in this form is intended 

for private circulation only. 





From the " Times;* London, March 26th, 1862. 


London, March 12, 1862. 

Gentlembbt, — ^In reference to the intention which it is the 
object of this letter to communicate, I am desirous to explain that 
from a comparatively early period of my commercial life I had re- 
solved in my own mind that, should my labours be blessed with 
success, I would devote a portion of the property thus acquired to 
promote the intellectual, moral, and physical welfare of my feUow- 
men, wherever, from circiunstances, or location, their claims upon me 
would be the strongest. 

A kind Providence has continued me in prosperity, and con- 
sequently, in furtherance of my resolution, I, in the year 1852, founded 
an Institute and Library for the benefit of the people of the place of 
my birth, in the town of Danvers, in the State of Massachusetts, the 
result of which has proved in every respect most beneficial to the 
locality, and gratifying to myself. 

After an absence of twenty years, I visited my native land in 1857, 
and founded in the city of Baltimore, in the State of Maryland, (where 
more than twenty years of my business life had been passed,) an 
Institute upon a much more extended scale, devoted to science and 
the arts, with a free library, coinciding with the character of the insti- 
tution. The comer-stone was laid in 1858, and the building is now 
completed ; but its dedication has been postponed in consequence of 
the unhappy sectional differences at present prevailing in the United 

It is now twenty-five years since I commenced my residence and 

business in London as a stranger ; but I did not long feel myself a 
stranger, or in a " strange land," for in all my commercial and social 
intercourse with my Britisb £riends during that long period, I have 
constantly received courtesy, kindness, and confidence. Under a 
sense of gratitude for these blessings of a kind Froyidence, encouraged 
by early associations, and stimulated by my views as well of duty as 
of inclination to follow the path which I had heretofore marked out 
for my guidance, I have been prompted for several years past repeat- 
edly to state to some of my confidential friends my intention at no 
distant period, if my life was spared, to make a donation for the 
benefit of the poor of London. Among those firiends are three of the 
number to whom I have now the honour to address this letter. 

To my particular Mend, C. M. Lampson, Esq., I first mentioned 
the subject five years ago. My next conversations in relation to it 
were held about three years since with my esteemed friend. Sir James 
Emerson Tennent, and with my partner, J. S. Morgan, Esq. I also 
availed myself of opportunities to consult the Right Eev. Sishop 
M'Uvaine of Ohio, and with all these gentlemen I have since freely 
conversed upon the subject in a way to confirm that original in- 

My object being to ameliorate the condition of the poor and needy 
of this great metropolis, and to promote their comfort and happiness, 
I take pleasure in apprising you that I have determined to transfer to 
you the sum of £ 150,000, which now stands available for this purpose 
on the books of Messrs. Gteorge Feabody and Co., as you will see by 
the accompanying correspondence. 

Li committing to you, in full confidence in your judgment, the 
administration of this fund, I cannot but feel grateful to you for the 
onerous duties you have so cheerfully undertaken to perform, and I 
sincerely hope and trust that the benevolent feelings that have 
prompted a devotion of so much of your valuable time will be appre- 
ciated, not only by the present, but future generations of the people 
of London. 

I have few instructions to give, or conditions to impose; but 
there are some fundamental principles, from which it is my solemn, 
injunction that those entrusted with its application shall never under 
any circumstances depart. 

First and foremost among them is the limitation of its uses abso- 
lutely and exclusively to such purposes as may be calculated directly 
to ameliorate the condition and augment the comforts of the poor, 
who, either by birth or established residence, form a recognised por- 
tion of the population of London. 

Secondly. It is 1117 intention that now, and for all time, there 
shall be a rigid exclusion &om the management of this fund of 
any influences calculated to impart to it a character either sectarian 
as regards religion, or exclusive in relation to local or party politics. 

Thirdly. In conformity with the foregoing conditions, it is my 
wish and intention that the sole qualifications for a participation in 
the benefits of this fund shall be an ascertained and continued condi- 
tion of life, such as brings the individual within the description (in 
the ordinary sense of the word) of " the poor" of London, combined 
vnth moral character and good conduct as a member of society. It 
must therefore be held to be a violation of my intentions if any duly 
qualified and deserving claimant were to be excluded either on the 
grounds of religious belief or of political bias. 

Without in the remotest degree desiring to limit your discretion 
in the selection of the most suitable means of giving effect to these 
objects, I may be permitted to throw out for your consideration, 
amongst the other projects which will necessanly occupy your atten- 
tion, whether it may not be found condusive to the conditions specified 
above for their ultimate realization, and least likely to present diffi- 
culties on the grounds I have pointed out for avoidance, to apply the 
fund, or a portion of it, in the construction of such improved dwellings 
for the poor, as may combine in the utmost possible degree the essen- 
tials of healthfulness, comfort, social enjoyment, and economy. 

Preparatory to due provision being made for the formal declara- 
tion of the trust and for its future management and appropriation, the 
sum of £ 150,000 will be at once transferred into your names and 
placed at your disposal, for which purpose I reserve to myself full 
power and authority. But as a portion of the money may probably 
not be required for some time to come, to meet the legitimate pur- 
poses contemplated, I would suggest that, as early as possible after the 
organization of the trust, one hundred thousand pounds (£ 100,000) 
should be invested for the time being in your names in Consols or 
East India Stock, thus adding to the capital by means of the accruing 
interest, and the stock so purchased can be gradually sold out as the 
money is wanted for the objects designated. Meantime, pending the 
preparation of a formal trust-deed, you shall be under no responsi- 
bility whatever in respect of the fund, or its investment or disposition. 

With these preliminary stipulations I commit the fund to your 
management, and to that of such ofcher persons as, by a majority of 
your voices, you may elect, giving you the power either to add to your 
number (which I think should not at any time exceed nine) or to 
supply casual vacancies occurring in your body. It is my further 


desire that the United States* Minister in London for the time being 
should always, in virtue of his office, be a member of the trust, unless 
in the event of his signifying his inability to act in discharge of the 
duties. — I have the honour to be, gentlemen, yours very faithfully, 

To His Excellency Charles Francis Adams, United States' Minister 
in London. 
The Eight Hon. Lord Stanley, M. P. 
Sir James Emerson Tennent, K. C. S., LL D., &c., London. 
Curtis M. Lampson, Esq., London. 
Junius S. Morgan, Esq., London. 


London, 15th March, 1862. 

Sib, — We have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 
12th inst., apprising us of your munificent appropriation of one 
hundred and fifty thousand pounds towards ameliorating the condi- 
tion of the poor of London ; and intimating your wish that we should 
act in the capacity of trustees for the application of this fund on 
principles which you have indicated for our guidance. 

"Whether we consider the purity of the motive, the magnitude of 
the gift, or the discrimination displayed in selecting the purposes to 
which it is to be applied, we cannot but feel that it is for the nation to 
appreciate, rather than for a few individuals to express, their gratitude 
for an act of beneficence which has few parallels (if any) in modem 

Eor ourselves, we are deeply consciouB of the honour implied by 
the confidence you have reposed in us as the administrators and 
guardians of your bounty ; and it only remains for us to assure you of 
the satisfaction with which we shall accept this trust, and the zeal 
with which we shall address ourselves to the discharge of its duties bo 
soon as its precise nature is sufficiently defined, and the arrangements 
for its administration sufficiently organized. — Ever faithfully yours, 





To George Peabody, Esq., London. 



From the " Times" London^ May 23rd, 1862. 

Yesterday, at 12 o'clock, a Court of Common Council was held 
at Q-uildhall for the despatch of business, the Lord Mayor presiding. 
There was a numerous attendance of members, including many of the 


Mr. Charles Eeed, pursuant to notice, proceeded to move a reso- 
lution founded on the recent munificent donation of £ 150,000, by 
Mr. Gteorge Peabody towards the relief of the deserving poor of the 
metropolis. At the present time, he said, the country rang with the 
name of a man hitherto but little known among us, who by an act of 
unparalleled munificence had laid this city and the nation at large 
under the deepest obligations. (Cheers.) If it were a mere question 
of money-giving, large as the amount undoubtedly was, he should not 
have submitted a motion such as that he was about to propose to the 
Court, because the bestowal of money did not in itself, of necessity, 
give any evidence of the charity of the donor (he-ar, hear) ; some men 
gave grudgingly and meanly, others lavishly and indiscriminately, 
while some bequeathed, by a regretful relaxing of a sordid grasp, 
hoarded treasure which it was impossible for them to retain. But 
the free-handed charity of which he spoke commanded their pro- 
foundest admiration, and it was because it bore about it the tokens 
of unaffected and overflowing benevolence that he asked them to 
confer upon the donor an honour which, if it could be purchased vdth 
money, would be utterly valueless ; but being the reward of the truly 
meritorious alone, was ever accepted as a mark of high distinction. 
(Hear.) About fifty years ago a youth entering upon the busy scenes 
of commercial life, with a patriarchal example before him, registered 
this vow : — " If Q-od spares my life and prospers me in business, then 
the property with which I may become possessed I will devote to 
TTia glory in seeking the good of my fellow men, wherever their 
claims may seem to rest most upon me." (Hear, hear.) The promise 
of the youth had been the life-long purpose of the man, and 
George Peabody had given to the world a splendid example of un- 
wavering fidelity to an early resolution. (Cheers.) Prospered beyond 


his utmost expectations, he revisited the home of his childhood in 
1852, and founded in Danvers, Massachusetts, an educational insti* 
tution for the benefit of his fellow townsmen at a cost of £ 30,000. 
"There is that scattereth and yet increaseth," and the wealthy- 
London merchant went out again in 1857 to build and endow in 
Baltimore, where he had first commenced his business career, an in- 
stitution devoted to science and morality, and embracing a free 
library, which had already cost him more than £ 100,000. (Cheers.) 
This might seem to have been enough for one man ; but, resolute to 
his purpose, Mr. Peabody considered that a residence in this metro- 
polis implied a claim upon his bounty, and he was not slow to recog- 
nise the liability. He said, — " It is now 25 years since I commenced 
my residence and business in London as a stranger ; but I did not 
long feel myself a stranger or in a strange hmd, for in all my com- 
mercial and social intercourse with my British friends during that 
long period I have constantly received courtesy, kindness, and con- 
fidence. Under a sense of gratitude for these blessings of a kind 
Providence, encouraged by early associations, and stimulated by my 
views as well of duty as of inclination to follow the path which I 
had hitherto marked out for my guidance, I have been prompted for 
several years past repeatedly to state to some of my confidential 
friends my intention at no distant period, if my life, were spared, to 
make a donation for the benefit of the poor of London." And thus 
the opulent banker, retiring from business, and with enfeebled health 
returning to his native land, ratified his word by securing at once 
and for ever the sum of £ 150,000 for the poor of this metropolis. 
(Cheers.) It was nobly done ; the gift was as graceful as it waa 
great, and one knew not which most to admire — ^the breadth of the 
liberality, or the pious simplicity of spirit which enhanced it. (Cheers.) 
Here was a man, a denizen of this city, bound to us by no ties 
but those of common humanity, at a crisis when some men delighted 
themselves in reviving the memory of ancient jealousies, talking 
fiercely of national animosities and implacable hates, who stood out 
and rebuked our unworthy suspicions by an act of kindness to our 
poor, which brought the blush of shame to our cheeks as we thought 
of merchant princes of our own, who, living, had been strangely insen- 
sible to the claims of Christian charity, and, dyiag, had lefb no trace 
behind. (Hear, hear.) This stranger might have founded an hospital 
for Americans ; endowed a church for his own people ; enriched the 
foundations of our great schools of learning, or reared to himself a 
moniunent ; but no, he had no selfish ends to serve, and in an age of 
avarice and cupidity, he- descended to the lowest grade of our social 


Bcale, and found in our poorest poor fitting objects for Ins splendid 
liberality. He' had made himself famUiar with distress that he might 
learn how best to mitigate Woe ; he had become acquainted, by per- 
sonal investigation, with the overwhelming vicissitudes of the labour- 
ing poor, that he might ameliorate their condition ; and he had given 
a practical illustration of the way to do it, which lefb busy theorists 
far behind. He had seen the natural result during a series of years 
of the expenditure, by the Corporation of London, of a million and a- 
half of money in the improvement of our thoroughfares and the 
adornment of our public buildings, in the thrusting out beyond our 
walls of our artizan population (hear, hear) ; and he desired to 
inaugurate a movement which should place within the reach of the 
working man the means of living at a moderate rent near the scene of 
his daily toil, without submitting to the degradations consequent 
upon a residence in those most unhealthy and most expensive dens of 
misery which, by a kind of cruel mockery, were called their " homes." 
(Hear, hear.) In all this we had a common interest, and he 
(Mr. Beed) need not say, that the constant solicitude of that Court 
had been to provide improved dwellings for the poor, with good air, 
pure water, and effective sewerage ; and while they had spared no 
cost to improve their city, no niggard hand had been laid upon their 
purse, from which, during the same period, the sum of £ 200,000 had 
been drawn mainly for the benefit of the poor of the metropolis. 
(Hear, hear.) Nor was it in this alone that our great benefactor was 
in sympathy with the Corporation, for he had charged upon his trus- 
tees certain conditions which were dear to them, giving it as his 
" most solemn injunction " that " from these fundamental principles 
they shall never, under any circiunstances, depart." (Hear, hear.) 
One of these required a recognition of the superior claims of the de- 
serving poor. Mr. Feabody had drawn a distinct line between the 
idle, thriftless, and mendicant, and the striving, industrious, and yet 
unfortunate poor. He had no thought of helping such as did not 
help themselves, and he proclaimed it to be his intention that none 
could claim to be the beneficiaires of his bounty but such as were of 
" good moral character and conduct." Such persons, overtaken by 
sudden calamity, deprived temporarily of the means of subsistence, 
receiving a little timely help, might, without the loss of self-respect, 
recover their position, and maintain their proper pride of independ- 
ence ; but, wanting this, thousands fell back upon the public purse, 
and, once the self-reliant principle was broken down within them, 
they settled down into an easy despairing idleness, as the confirmed 
paupers of the land; who crowded our unions and lay as a permanent 


incubus oil an industrious but overtaxed community. (Hear, hear.) 
Then again, there was another provision which added additional 
lustre to the gift. " It is my intention," said the donor, " that now, 
and for all time, there shall be a rigid exclusion from the manage- 
ment of this fond of any influences calculated to impart to it a cha- 
racter either sectarian as regards religion, or exclusive in relation to 
local or party politics." (Hear, hear.) If there was one rule of 
conduct which that corporation had laid down for its guidance, it was, 
that in the distribution of its varied benevolence no worthy applicant 
should suffer disability or loss by reason of his political views or re- 
ligious creed. By the omission of this most righteous provision 
many a noble bequest had been perverted, and by the avoidance of 
the trust the poor had been frequently and grievously wronged. 
(Hear, hear.) This great calamity could not happen in this case, for 
if any should seek to hedge round this noble monument of pious 
benevolence with the barriers of intolerance and bigotry, they must 
do it in the face of a protest, once and again repeated in the most 
solemn terms ; for Mr. Peabody said, " It must therefore be held to 
be a violation of my intentions if any duly qualified and deserving 
claimant were to be excluded either on the grounds of religious belief 
or political, bias." Thus did this large-hearted man testify his alle- 
giance to those sacred principles of religious freedom for which, if he 
(Mr. Eeed) mistook not, his ancestors suffered, chased, out from 
this their native land by the rough hand of persecution to secure 
personal liberty and a clear conscience on a foreign shore. (Hear, 
hear.) The deed spoke for itself, the gift was unprecedented, and it 
came from the hand of a stranger, who in his own life-time becomes 
his own almoner, preventing the chances of litigation, and his own 
executor, so to speak, at hand to give counsel and to be the living 
interpreter of his own intentions. He (Mr. Iteed) now asked the 
Court, standing in the relationship of the guardian of the City poor, 
to make the response which the great heart of this teeming population 
had already striven to utter for itself. He asked them to confer upon 
Mr. Peabody the greatest honour which it was in their power to give, 
and to do it in the name of the poor to the poor man's benefactor ; 
the man who in a time of national panic saved the credit of his 
country in becoming guarantee for one of her greatest States ; who, 
when a great Congress failed in fulfilling the wish of the people, charged, 
himself with the cost of that memorable Arctic expedition, which un- 
der Dr. Kane went forth to the rescue of our poor Eranklin and his 
devoted crew (hear, hear) ; who, in an assembly of his own country- 
men in this land, had the moral courage publicly to denounce a man 


— and he a high official personage — who had rendered his name con- 
spicuous as perhaps the only one so utterly destitute of the true spirit 
of chivalry as to refuse to the Queen of these realms the honour and 
respect which even the enemies of her Crown generously accorded to 
her person. (Hear, hear.) Q-eorge Peabody was one of nature's 
true nobility. He was related to the two greatest nations of the 
world — ^nations whose common interest it was to be as closely bound 
by friendship as they were allied by blood (hear, hear) ; and if he 
(Mr. Eeed) were asked for the motive which had prompted this en- 
larged liberality he found it in these emphatic words, uttered with a 
kind of prophetic prevision in 1851 : — " My object is to promote to 
the very utmost kind and brotherly feelings between Englishmen and 
Americans. There has recently been much excitement in America in 
reference to the maintenance of the union of the States. I have felt 
that, important to us as is that bond of union, there is another 
which is no less important to the whole civilised world — I refer to the 
moral and friendly union between Great Britain and the United 
States." (Hear, hear.) The Corporation of London reciprocated 
those noble sentiments ; England accepted this token of good will ; 
they earnestly desired that the blessings of peace might be restored 
to that distracted nation ; and, with it, they prayed for ^ accession 
of liberty to her people ; and he ventured to express his belief that, 
despite envy and uncharitableness, there were attachments which 
underlaid the surface, an ancient spirit of brotherhood, which would 
render it for ever impossible that the red cross of old England and 
the stars and stripes of America should become the rallying cries of 
hostile armies. (Cheers.) He moved : — " That the honorary freedom 
of this city, in a gold box of the value of 100 guineas, be presented to 
Mr. George Peabody, in grateful recognition of the princely muni- 
ficence displayed by him in devoting the sum of £ 150,000 towards 
the relief of the needy and deserving poor of this metropolis, and of 
the Christian liberality of sentiment which dictated that the fund 
thus created should be administered irrespective of the distinctions 
of nationaliiy, party, ©r religious belief." 

Alderman Phillips expressed the pleasure he felt in seconding 
the motion that had been so gracefully and eloquently proposed by 
his excellent friend, Mr. Beed had said this munificent gift was the 
result of a promise of youth faithfrilly fulfilled in manhood. That 
strongly reminded him of a saying of one of our ancient sages, that 
blessed was the youth which could contemplate old age without fear, 
and Hessed the old age which could look back on the days of youth 
without regret. (Hear, hear.) I^oble as was this gift, the condition 


that accompanied it went to the heart of every enlightened and intel- 
ligent man, (Hear, hear.) We lived in an age of so much toleration 
and liberty that it was difficult for the present generation fully to 
appreciate the value of that condition. He rejoiced to think that 
men appeared now to be struggling, not to circumscribe or exclude, 
but to throw open, far and wide, the portals of their bounty, to bless 
and make happy the human race, and to unite mankind into one 
universal brotherhood. (Cheers.) 

On a show of hands the motion, in favour of which Mr. Bowe 
also spoke, was put and carried with acclamation. 



From the " Times;' London, July Wtli, 1862. 

Yesterday afternoon, at a Court of Common Council, specially 
convened for the purpose at Quildhall, and at which the Lord Mayor 
presided, the honorary freedom of the Corporation of the City of 
London, in a gold box of the value of 100 guineas, in conformity 
with an unanimous resolution passed on the 22nd of May, was pre- 
sented to Mr. George Peabody, "in grateful recognition" — adopting 
the language of the resolution — "of the princely munificence 
displayed by him in devoting the sum of £ 150,000 towards the relief 
of the needy and deserving poor of this metropolis, and of the 
Christian liberality of sentiment which dictated that the fund thus 
created should be administered irrespective of the distinctions of 
nationality, party, or religious belief." 

The ceremony took place at three o'clock in the Council 
Cl^amber, which was especially prepared for the occasion, in the 
presence of his Excellency Mr. Adams, the American Ambassador, 
the Lady Mayoress, Lord Stanley, Sir J. Emerson Tennent, 
Mr. Lampson, Mr. Morgan, Mr. Somerby, of Boston, Mr. Thayer, 
the American Consul General for Egypt, Hon. Charles Hale, of 
Bostoi^, Francis Brooks, of Boston, Henry B. Adams, of Boston,' the 


members of the Court of Alderman, the Sheriffs of London and 
Middlesex, all the principal officers of the Corporation, and a great 
number of ladies. The Aldermen and Sheriffs wore their scarlet 
robes, and the members of the Common Council their violet gowns. 
A great number of people, unable to obtain admission, lined the 
approaches to Guildhall to witness the ciyic procession, and to catch 
a glimpse of the man whose extraordinary munificence has been a 
theme of conversation for months past. The Lord Mayor haying 
taken the chair, Mr. Peabody was introduced to the meeting by 
Mr. Charles Beed and Alderman Phillips, the mover and seconder of 
the resolution conferring the honorary freedom. As he modestly 
made his way through the crowd to the seat assigned him on the left 
of the Chief Magistrate, the hon. gentleman was received with every 
mark of respect by the whole assembly. 

The Town-derk (Mr. Woodthorpe) having read the resolution to 
which the Council was convened to give effect, and Mr. John Sewell 
(an officer of the Corporation) having reported that Mr. Peabody had 
been recently elected a £reeman and liveryman of the ancient Com- 
pany of Clothworkers,* 

Mr. Scott, the Chamberlain, (addressing Mr. Peabody, who 
remained standing), said, — Previously, Sir, to inscribing your name 
upon the roll of honorary citizenship of this ancient city, in con- 
formity with the resolution now read, it is expected that I should 
address to you a few words in the name of this Hon. Coiu*t. This 
duty, at aU times onerous and responsible, is one of peculiar delicacy 
on the present occasion ; for, however it may be permitted to sound the 
praises of the hero and the statesman who have deserved well of their 
country, it is difficult — ^not to say unusual— to speak of personal 
excellence in the presence of its possessor ; and I am conscious that 
it will be more acceptable to you, Sir, and will best become myself, 
if on this occasion my remarks are as brief as possible, and assume 
the form of congratulation only. It is a circiuustance to which you 
doubtless recur with unfeigned satisfaction, that in the early period 
of your commercial career it was put into your heart to resolve that 
" should your labours be blessed with success, you would devote a 
portion of the property so acquired to the promotion of the intellec- 
tual, moral, and physical welfare of your feUow men." It was a 
noble and unselfish resolution, recognising " that the acquisition of 
property is not 2^ mere game of hazard, but the result of the blessing 
of TTJTTi who giveth power to become rich" (cheers), and that a 
corresponding obligation exists to appropriate some portion of 

• Preparatory to receivings the Freedom of the City. See pag^e 28. 


acquired wealth to the relief and comfort of His suffering children. 
It is not, however, every good resolution which attains to accomplish- 
ment. (Hear.) Alas! for the uncertainty and fraQty of human 
affairs, some possess the will to make nohle appropriations of wealth, 
hut lack the possession of the means, while others, possessing the 
wherewithal, have not the heart to devise or practice " liheral things.*' 
(Cheers.) It is, then, a fair suhject for congratulation that, 
having acquired hy your persevering and well directed industry the 
means of carrying into effect your generous aspirations, prosperity 
did not ohHterate the recollection or frustrate the performance of 
that good, which, under other circumstances, you had purposed in 
your heart. (Cheers.) Danvers, the place of your hirth ; Baltimore, 
the scene of your early success ; and now London, in which you have 
completed a commercial career with the highest credit, alike hear 
witness that the possession of wealth does not necessarily incapacitate 
the heart for the exercise of generous emotions. It is lumecessary 
that I should dwell upbn the particulars of your muniiicent gift to 
the poor of this metropolis, for they are already the subject of 
recorded history. There are, however, one or two aspects in which 
that gift and the period of its announcement may be regarded as 
enhancing very greatly its value in the estimation of this Hon. Court. 
Porbearing to give to your intentions a testamentary character, you 
generously relinquished during life the possession and enjoyment of 
the large sum which you have preferred to appropriate as a donation 
rather than to bequeath as a legacy. (Hear, hear.) And not only 
so, but we bear in mind that it is the gift of a stranger sojourning in 
our midst. (Loud cheers.) You selected also for the announcement 
of your unprecedented liberality a period in which untoward and 
exceptional circumstances had disturbed for a time the harmonioas 
political relations of G-reat Eritain and the United States, as if to 
convince us that your benevolence rose superior to the claims and 
predilections of nationality, and could soar above the disturbing and 
irritating influences which had been unhappily evoked. (Cheers.) 
Although an American by birth and in heart, you have ever mani- 
fested kindly feelings towards Qreat Britain. (Hear, hear.) On a 
memorable occasion you publicly vindicated the honour and respect 
due to our beloved Sovereign (cheers), and you also fitted out, at 
your own cost, an expedition in search of Franklin, the illustrious 
and lamented British navigator. (Benewed cheers.) You have now 
again afforded an illustration that it is the predominent desire of 
your heart that the people of this country and those of your own — 
brethren as they are in lineage, language, and literature, with a 


common origin, faith, and historical traditions — should live as 
brethren in the cultivation of sentiments of mutual esteem. (Cheers.) 
This Hon. Corporation has ever taken a deep interest in all that 
concerns the promotion of civil and religious libertv, having waged 
unceasing war with that intolerance which in times past excluded 
deserving citizeas from municipal office on account of religious pro- 
fession, and subjected Christians and Jews alike to pains and penalties, 
such as drove your own ancestor from our shores to seek freedom of 
worship across the Atlantic. (Hear, hear.) I should not, then, 
faithfrdly reflect the sentiments of those for whom I apeak on this 
occasion if I failed to proclaim as the brightest feature of your 
munificent benefaction that it enjoins a rigid exclusion of every in- 
fluence calculated to impart to it a character sectarian as regards 
religion, or exclusive in relation to party politics. (Cheers.) And 
now, Sir, permit me to offer you the right hand of fellowship as the 
first American to whom the compliment of Honorary Citizenship has 
been accorded by this city (cheers), and to request your acceptance, 
in the name of this Hon. Court, of this humble souvenir of their 
esteem. In returning to pass the remainder of your days in the land 
of your birth, may you be the harbinger of returning peace to your 
distracted country — ^peace based upon the enduring foundation of 
liberty and equal rights to all, (Eenewed cheers.) May the eveniug 
hours of your useful life be spent in the enjoyment of health and 
tranquillity, your happiness augmented by the consciousness that, 
although far removed from us in person, your munificent gift is daily 
diffusing much good in this our city,—" The poor your clients and 
Heaven's smile your fee." (Cheers.) 

The gold box, enclosing the formal document relating to the 
freedom is handsomely chased, and, in pursuance of the terms of the 
resolution, is of the value of 100 guineas. 

Mr. Peabody was greeted with cheers. He said — ^his voice at 
times faltering with emotion — ^My Lord Mayor and gentlemen of the 
corporation, I accept at the hands of the Chamberlain, with deep 
sensibility, the very great honour bestowed upon me this day by the 
city of London. But I am conscious that I do not altogether deserve 
the generous praise you have attached to the act which has been the 
occasion of this distinction, for I am not unmindful of the fact that 
my ability to make a gift for the benefit of the poor of London is less 
due to my own merits than to the kind Providence which has so 
highly favoured me in the acquisition of property ; and I should have 
neglected an obvious duty if I had failed to employ a portion of my 
means for the advantage of others. (Cheers.) It is but just to say 



that in my effort to do good I am not a pioneer, but a follower of 
many public benefactors whose munificent charities have illustrated 
your history. I have always held the opinion that among those wlio 
had a special claim to participate in whatever good fortune I might 
enjoy were the communities in which I acquired the means of being 
useful to my fellow men (cheers) ; and I should indeed be ungrateful 
if in carrying out my long-cherished design I should forget the great 
city where I had experienced so much kindness and passed so many 
years of happiness and prosperity. (Cheers.) But, my Lord Mayor, 
I cannot deny that the fulfilment of my resolution as an American 
resident in London is peculiarly grateful to me. I remember with 
gratitude and satisfaction the kindly relation which has for such a 
length of time subsisted between my native country and this ancient 
city. From the birth of the nation to the present time America has 
seldom failed to find in this stronghold of civil and religious Hberty 
a willing response to her own emotions of fraternity and good-will 
(cheers) ; and it is likewise to me a circumstance erf unexpected 
happiness if my gift, by reason of the particular time at which it was 
made, tended in any degree to soften asperities of feeling which had 
unhappily arisen between the two great nations of the Anglo-Saxon 
family. (Cheers.) If it has reminded the people of both coimtries 
of their common origin and natural sympathy (hear, hear), I am 
fortunate indeed, I am more than repaid. I am gratified, my Lord 
Mayor, to learn that, in banishing distinctions of party or creed from 
the application of this gift for the benefit of those who are less 
favoured than myself I have met with the approval of your distin- 
guished body. Such distinctions fade away in the presence of the 
common claim of human nature (cheers), and it would be unnatural 
indeed, were I to exclude from my regard on such narrow grounds 
any portion of those with whom my early disadvantages ought to 
place me in perpetual relations of sympathy and good will. (Cheers.) 
I have never forgotten, and never can forget, the great privations of 
my early years; and, to encourage and stimulate to exertion the 
youth of this great city and country who have no reliance except on 
their own characters and exertions to raise themselves in society, 
allow me to say that there are few persons among them whose 
opportunities for a prosperous life are not better than were my own 
at their age. (Hear.) Let me, then, once more, my Lord Mayor, 
acknowledge the signal honour which you have bestowed on me — 
an honour grateful to me both as a citizen of the United States and 
as a resident in the great city by whose Corporation it is conferred. 
I reciprocate most sincerely the friendly sentiments you express with 


regard to my native land; and most heartily do I respond to the 
aspirations that their present trials may result in the permanent 
triumph of liberty and good government. (Cheers-) Most fervently 
do I pray that my country, governed in the spirit which animated 
the illustrious Washington (cheers), and yours, under the guidance 
of your good and beloved Queen (renewed cheers), may advance 
through coming years, hand in hand, promoting those great interests 
of civilization and humanity which have ever been espoused by those 
two great and kindred nations. (Cheers.) I thank you, also, for 
your good wishes for my health and happiness ; and although I could 
desire that your generous praises were better deserved, I cannot 
refuse to accept your kind words. The remembrance of them, 
together with this memento of your goodwill, will ever be treasured ^ 
by myself and those near to me, and so long as Heaven prolongs my 
life and grants me power for free action it shall be my aim to attain 
the exalted character which you have been pleased to ascribe to my 
humble name. (Loud cheers.) 

On the motion of Mr. Kelday, the Chairman of the City Lands' 
Committee, seconded by Alderman G-ibbons, it was unanimously re- 
solved that the address of the Chamberlain, and Mr. Peabody's reply 
should be entered on the Journals of the Court in perpetual remem- 
brance of the occasion ; and with that the ceremony terminated. 


The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress afterwards entertained in 
the Egyptian-haU at the Mansion-house Mr. G-eorge Peabody, whose 
recent princely gift of £ 150,000 to the poor of the metropolis has so 
largely earned for him the gratitude of its inhabitants. Among the 
guests invited to meet Mr. Peabody were the American Minister and 
Mrs. Adams, Miss and Mr. H. B. Adams, Bt. Hon. Lord Stanley, M.P., 
Sir J. and Lady Emerson Tennent, Mr. and Miss Emerson Tennent, 
Mr., Mrs., and Miss Lampson, Mr., Mrs., and Miss Morgan, Mr. and 
Miss Gooch, Sir H., Lady, and Miss Holland, Hon. Charles Hale, Mr. 
Thayer, Mr. Somerby, Mr. Everett, Mr. T. Brooking, Mr. and Mrs. 
Story, Mr. E. Baines, M. P., and Miss Baines, Mr. and Mrs. Morse, 
Hon. Mr. and Mrs. Percy Wyndham, Hon. P. Dutton, M. P., Sir W. 
Earquhar, M. P., Sir Edward Crogan, M. P., Sir Joseph, Lady, and 
the Misses OMe, Sir Cusack Roney, Dr. Lyon Playfair, C. B., and 
Mrs. Playfair, Mr. Edgar Bowring, C. B., and Mrs. Bowring, 


Mr. Charles Eeed, (mover of the freedom of the city to Mr. Peabody), 
Mrs. Eeed, Mr. Alderman Phillips (seconder) and Mrs. Phillips, 
Major-General and Mrs. Malcolm, Colonel and Mrs. Farmer, Major 
and Mrs. Qage, Mr. Pickersgill, E. A., Captain Burstal, Mr. S. C. 
Hall, Professor Doremus, Professor Quain, Dr. Blaike, Mr. Bowman, 
P. E. S., Mr. Stephens, F. E. S., Mr. Moffat, M. P., and Mrs. Moffat, 
Mr. Cobbold, M. P., Colonel Dunne, M. P., Mr. Jackson, M. P. 
Mr. Pilkington, M. P., Colonel Pinney, M. P., Mr. H. D. Seymour, 
M. P., Mr. Collins, M. P., Mr. Phillips, M. P., Mr. Kendall, M. P., 
Mr. Hume, M. P., Mr. Fenvnck, M. P., Mr. Norris, M. P., Mr. 
MiUer, M. P., Mr. Qard, M. P., Mr. Brooks, M. P., Mr. Lee, M. P. 
Mr. Eobertson, M. P., Major Parker, M. P., Mr. a. Cubitt, M. P., 
and Mrs. G, Cubitt, Mr. Greaves, M. P., Mr. and Mrs. La Steere, 
Mr. W. H. Humphery, Mr., Mrs. and Miss Cuthill, Mr. and Mrs. 
A. Cuthill, Mr. J. Humphery, Mr. J. Gassiot, Dr. Qturod, Dr. 
Evans, Dr. and Mrs. Alderson, the Misses Alderson, Miss Dickens, 
Mr. Dunning, Mr. Eobinson, Mr. Eogers, Mr. and Mrs. Somes. 
Captain Duke, Mrs. Lefevre, Mr., Mrs., and Miss Sumner, IMr. and 
Mrs. Darkin, Mr. Akroyd, Mr. and Mrs. C. Turner, Mr. Gore, 
Mr. Angell, M. de Franqueville, Professor Cloquet, Miss Ada Cubitt, 
Mr. and Mrs. Salmon, Mr. E. Humphery, Mr. Btdmer, Mr. Eaton, 
Miss Besley, Mrs. Eaton, Mr. Alderman Wilson, Mr. Alderman 
Humphery, Sir J. Musgrove, Sir F. G. Moon, Mr. Alderman 
Salomons, M. P., Sir E. Carden, the Eecorder, Mr. Alderman Hale, 
Mr. Alderman Mechi, Mr. Alderman Conder, Mr. Alderman Abbiss, 
Mr. Alderman Gibbons, Mr. Sheriff Cockerill, Mr. Sheriff Twenty- 
man, Mr. Sheriff-elect Jones, Mr. Under-Sheriff Farrer, Mr. TJnder- 
Sheriff Gbmmon, the Chamberlain of London, and Mrs Scott ; Mr. 
Secondary Potter, the Master of the Mercers' Company, the Prime 
"Warden of the Goldsmiths' Company, the Master of Merchant 
Taylors' School, Master of the Haberdashers' Company, the Master 
of the Fishmongers' Company, the Master of the Vintners', the 
Dyers', Leathersellers', Pewterers', Barbers', Cutlers', Bakers', Wax 
Chandlers', TaUow Chandlers', Armourers', and Butchers' Companies, 
the Deputy-Governor of the Hon. Irish Society, the Chairman of the 
Corporation Committee, Mr. Tandel, Dr. Letheby, Mr. J. Parrott, 
Dr. O'Leary, Mr. O 'Sullivan, Mr. and Mrs. de Loos, Mrs. and 
Misses Slee. 

On the removal of the cloth, " llie Healths of Her Majesty, the 
Prince of Wales, and the rest of the Eoyal Family" were proposed, 
and were received with enthusiasm. 

" The Healths of the Army, Navy, and Volunteers" were next 


proposed, and were responded to by Major-General Malcolm, Captain 
Burstal, and Colonel Forbes, 

The Lord Mayor then rose and said, — My Lords, ladies, and 
gentlemen, — ^I have now to propose the health of a very distinguished 
gentleman, on whom the city of London has to-day conferred the 
honour which she holds in reserve for those who, by great merit and 
extraordinary deeds, have won not only her esteem but the appro- 
bation of the world. (Cheers.) I may well be proud of the privilege of 
of entertaining a guest so eminent and well so worthy of the honour as is 
Mr. Peabody. (Cheers.) It has been from time to time the lot of succes- 
sive Lord Mayors to preside in this hall on occasions on which, the city of 
London does honour to distinguished men, but this is, I believe, the 
first time on which the chief magistrate of this ancient corporation 
has had the opportunity of assembling a large company like the pre- 
sent to recognize and acknowledge merit such as that which we are 
now met to honour. (Cheers.) Mr. Peabody has performed the 
crowning act of an honourable career. "With generous and unalloyed 
philanthropy he has at once divested himself of a portion of his well- 
acquired wealth, preferring that the objects of his broad and vast 
benevolence should immediately participate in the beneficial and 
ameliorating influence of his princely liberality to deferring it to an 
indefinite period. (Hear, hear.) I am very happy to fibad that he 
who has conferred so great a benefit on the metropolis is able to 
appear among us this evening in a state of health as good as that 
which Mr. Peabody enjoys (cheers), and I think I may say for those 
around, as I sincerely say it for myself, that we hope he may for a 
very long period have the gratification of knowing that his ample 
munificence has been productive of the good which he contemplated, 
and that he may enjoy the consciousness that the noble deed he has 
done will, from generation to generation to come, prove a liviag 
monument of his name and character. (Cheers.) 

Mr. Peabody, who in rising to respond to the toast, was loudly 
cheered, said, — ^My Lord Mayor, my lords, ladies, and gentlemen, I 
beg to express to you the most grateful feelings of my heart for the 
warm and enthusiastic welcome with which my name has been 
received (cheers), preceded as it was by the too flattering remarks 
of my right hon. friend the Lord Mayor. Persons in every situation 
in life enjoy the hope of success or tremble at real or imaginary 
calamities, and none more so than the merchant. At the same time, 
I, as a merchant, avow from a full and grateful heart, that the high 
honour this day bestowed upon me by the city of London, as well as 
the kind hospitality of your Lordship in bringing together this 


distinguished company in compliment to my humble name this 
evening, goes far to compensate me for all the labour, care, and 
anxiety of fifty years of commercial life. (Cheers.) "Within the last 
few hours I have had the honour to address your Lordship and many 
of those before me in the council chamber, and were I to say more at 
present it would be merely to repeat what I there expressed, and to 
take up the time which rightfiilly belongs to the eminent gentlemen 
who may speak after me. I shall simply, therefore, again beg to 
thank you for your kind reception, which I am proud to acknowledge 
as an evidence of your approval of my acts. (Cheers.) As I do not 
claim to be an orator, I ask you to accept on this occasion my deeds 
for my words. (Loud cheers.) 

The Lord Mayor then said, — The administration of a fond so 
large and so important as the splendid donation of Mr. Feabody 
necessarily requires that men of station, of influence, and of probity 
should be selected for the performance of that duty. I am now about 
to propose the health of five gentlemen who have kindly undertaken 
a task so full of labour. You can easily imagine that the dispensation 
of the interest of £150,000 involves no small amount of anxiety on 
the part of those on whom is imposed the burden of its due distribution, 
and I am sure you will feel proportionately grateful to those who 
have not hesitated to accept the position of becoming its adminis- 
trators. They who have done so are Lord Stanley (cheers). Sir 
E. Tennent, Mr. Lampson, Mr. Morgan, and the American Minister 
for the time being — ^the gentleman who on this occasion represents 
America being Mr. Adams. You will, perhaps, in proposing this 
toast, permit me to state that I should be happy to be able to 
announce that the greatest anxiety with which Mr. Adams has to 
contend is that which residts &om the administration of this fund. 
I, however, am not in a position to do so, and, if I allude to the 
present state of the great country which it is his privilege here to 
represent, I can assure you I do so with the greatest sorrow and 
sympathy so far as relates to the imhappy position in which she is 
placed. If that position arose from any difference between America 
and England, we might, I feel confident, safely trust to the diplomatic 
powers of Mr. Adams for its adjustment ; but, as it is, we can only 
indulge in the hope that the difficulties with which America has to 
contend may be soon ended, and that we may shortly again enjoy tbe 
benefit of that liberal and enlightened intercourse which has hitherto 
proved so beneficial to both countries. I have the honour to propose 
" the health of the Trustees of the Peabody Fund." (Cheers.) 

Mr. Adams, in responding to the toast, said, — I think it is the 


great dramatist who makes one of his characters utter the saying that 
''some men are bom great, some achieve greatness, and some have 
greatness thrust upon them." It seems to me that any chance I may 
have must come into the same category as that of Malvolio. A 
fortuitous concurrence of circumstances has had the effect of putting 
me here as the representative of my country at the minute when our 
excellent friend determined to announce his munificent benefaction, 
and to couple that representative with the first organization to carry 
it into practical effect. If reputation be held to consist in the 
the notoriety that one gets, especially among those whom we are told 
we are to have always with us, I must admit the progress of mine of 
late is astonishing. On the whole I must consider myself as in great 
luck, for the name thus acquired has clearly come without a single 
motion of my own to deserve it. I accept it as a present from my 
friend without the least embarrassment. However serious the trial 
may be to his well-known modesty to receive the homage paid to him 
to-day, I shall make no scruple to enjoy my reflected light; and, 
unlike him, I shall not blush if I should find it fame. (Cheers.) 
Fortunate is the man who is hoisted to such a height simply by his 
accidental association with one of the most magnificent projects of 
private benevolence recorded in the annals of mankind. But this 
may be thought rather trifling for a grave occasion. Let me, them 
turn for a moment, to consider the grander characteristics of this 
extraordinary event. The city of London does honour to Mr. Peabody 
to-day. Why? The reason is that Mr. Peabody has done honour to 
human nature. (Loud cheers.) I, on my part, honour Mr. Peabody, 
because he has done honour to the country that bore him. He stands 
in a position peculiar to himself as a benefactor to portions of his race 
on the two continents. (Cheers.) He is eminently the friend of 
both. Bom and bred in America, he goes out into the world, 
as most of his countrymen do, the artificer of his own fortune. 
Successful in his own land, after a time be careers over the Atlantic 
on a wider field. His native sagacity has traced the rapid growth of 
commercial enterprise between the two shores : and he comes in the 
hope of finding a place for his sickle at harvest-time. His judgment 
proves sound, and in the lapse of twenty years he finds himself the 
gleaner of stores enough to gratify his utmost ambition. (Cheers.) 
How has this happened? The answer is simple. It was by making 
an honest use of the friendly relations existing between the two 
countries. Mr. Peabody has drawn a legitimate benefit from the 
expanding trade of the eastern and the western world. His prosperity 
is, then, the type of the reciprocal benefit which the respective nations 


bare gained &om mutual intercourse. (Cheers.) The moral which 
his career teaches is the advantage of exchanging good wOl. In 
practising habits only of kindness and court-esy equally to the people 
of both nations he inaugurates a policy which promotes their useful 
ends at the same time that it advances his own. That policy is 
essentially one of peace. Its vital principle is harmony. It eschews 
malevolence as a spirit of evil, and regards the breeders of strife on 
either side as downright enemies of the common good. (Cheers.) In 
quietly facilitating a class of operations augmenting in their pecuniary 
importance with the rapid development of an immense trade, Mr. 
Peabody, though silent becomes a most eloquent apostle of permanent 
peace. By his success, we may form a faint idea of the unity as well 
as the magnitude of the respective interests which that peace protects. 
And now that the day has come when our friend feels that he must 
rest from his labours, he looks back with increasing affection to the 
scenes whence he drew his prosperity. With laudable impartiality 
he determines to mark his sense of it by endeavouring to spread his 
benefits over them, whether in his native land or in that in which 
he has made his domicile. Neither does he await that last moment 
when the goods of this world must cease to be in estimation with us 
all. He gives at a time when, to most of us, it seems to be a 
sacrifice to part with our own. (Cheers.) It is the great orb of 
heaven, my Lord, which, while it shines, gathers slowly to the sky 
jfrom every object in nature those minute particles of vapour which so 
soon as it sets in the west begin gently to fall down again to refresh 
and fertilize the parching earth. Just so will it be with him whom 
you this day honour. The precious grains of metal which the labours 
of his years of toil have slowly collected will, long after the hour when 
he shall pass away, come down, sprinkling their blessed fruits for the 
benefit of successive generations of his kind. All honour, then, 
to G-eorge Peabody. Henceforth his works establish his name as a 
new bond of sympathy between two nations. (Loud cheers.) 

The Lord Mayor next proposed the " Health of the House of 
Commons," coupling with it that of the House of Lords, of which lie 
said there was no representative present, and the name of Lord 
Stanley, one of the Trustees of the Peabody Pund. 

Lord Stanley said, — My Lord Mayor, ladies, and gentlemen, — 
I hope that in coupling, as you have done, the Houses of Lords and 
Commons in one toast, you have furnished us with a happy emblem 
of the unbroken connexion which we all trust may continue to exist 
between both branches of the Legislature. Por my own part I have 
great pleasure in returning thanks on behalf of the House of Commons. 


It is the pride and' happiness of my life to be a member of that body. 
I know no English gentleman, however exalted may be his position, 
or however fortunate his career, who does not feel it to be an addi- 
tional honour to share in the labours and responsibilities of an assem- 
bly which, whatever may be its real or alleged defects, is undoubtedly 
the oldest, the most famous, the most powerful, and the most popular 
of all representative institutions. You will always find persons who 
love to exalt the past, to depreciate the present, and to look with 
anxiety to the future. I have heard such persons say that the power 
of Parliament over public opinion was declining, and that Parliament- 
ary oratory was no longer what it used to be in former days. Prom 
both of those opinions I totally dissent. I have often had the oppor- 
tunity of conversing with men who remember what Parliament was 
before the days of the Eeform Bill of 1832, and whatever the party 
might be to which those men belonged, I have always found them 
admit, with hardly a dissentient voice, that while at the present day, 
we have some eminent men who stand as high in point of eloquence 
and debating power above the mass as any did in the days of Pitt or 
Canning, our debates on the average, both as regard matter and 
manner, are very greatly improved. (Hear.) Again, I have heard 
complaints of the inaction of Parliament during the last two or three 
years, but I do not think those complaints are as a matter of fact well 
founded. I believe that a glance at the statute-book would establish 
the justice of a contrary conclusion : but, be that as it may, I for one 
do not regard a restless activity as a sign of health any more in a 
public than it is in an individual body. To complain that we who 
are elected by the people, and who are responsible to the people, 
have been tranquil when public feeling in general is apathetic is as 
unjust as it is to find fault with a windmill because it stands still in a 
calm. (Hear, hear.) There is one word more I would say on behalf 
of the House of Commons. I have sometimes heard it described — 
but never by those who know it — as a body in which wealth and 
influence and connexion exercise a preponderating influence. Now, 
I do not, of course, deny that these adventitious circumstances do 
render the entrance into that House easier than would otherwise be 
the case ; nor do I dispute that sometimes, and to some extent, they 
aid one at the outset of a Parliamentary career. But they do so 
only at the outset. Every popular assembly is sincere. To be so is 
its very instinct, and no influence, wealth, or connection ever, in my 
opinion, procured for a weak or incapable man the ear of the House 
of Commons, while a capable man is sure of succeeding in it if to his 
other talents he only adds perseverance. I have often known the 


House of Commons to discover a man of ability almost before he 
arriyed at the knowledge himself, while I have as often seen gentle- 
men of provincial celebrity — gentlemen who happen to have a great 
gift of speech with nothing particular to say (a laugh), come among 
us and immediately find their level ; nay, some discover that their 
natural position was to remain silent members. (Laughter.) I may 
now perhaps be allowed to say one word in my capacity as a trustee 
of Mr. Peabody's fund — a position of which I am not less proud than 
of that of being a member of the House of Commons. (Cheers.) 
Mr. Peabody told you just now that he relied upon your favour 
rather because of his deeds than of his words. We have all heard 
the saying with respect to taking " the wiU for the deed," but I am 
sure we are glad that in the present instance the proverb has been 
reversed, and that Mr. Peabody's liberality has been exhibited to us 
rather in deed than simply in will. (Hear, hear.) We all know 
that in modem days there has been no gift equal in amount to that 
of Mr. Peabody's, conferred upon the public in his lifetime. But 
that which to my mind is of more importance than the magnitude of 
the gifb is that no endowment of equal amount has ever been more 
wisely appropriated. (Cheers.) Charity in the vulgar sense of the 
word — I mean the giving alms to those who ask us for aid — ^is, as we 
aU know, except under very exceptional circumstances, apt to create 
as much distress as it relieves ; but if a man were to sit down to 
consider how with a certain amount of money he could assist his 
poorer fellow-creatures to the greatest extent, and provide for tbem 
the largest amount of happiness, he could not, I think, find out a 
better means of effecting his object than that which Mr. Peabody 
has adopted. (Cheers.) By his munificent gift, I may add, Mr. 
Peabody has entitled himself to the thanks not only of the people of 
London, but of England, and when I say of England I mean not 
alone the present, but all future generations of our countrymen, 

Sir J. Emerson Tennent said he premised that the toast he was 
about to propose, would give the highest satisfaction ; it was " The 
Health of the Bight Hon. the Lord Mayor." It was a rare event in 
this city, to have for its chief magistrate a gentleman who had been 
twice elected ; and he hoped the City of London might never cease to 
be represented by such gentlemen. His Lordship had alluded to the 
happy event which had brought them together to-night ; the archives 
of the city will never have a more distinguished name than that of the 
gentleman who was received here on this occasion. One thing, how- 
ever, seemed to have been overlooked ; that this gift came not from 


one of ourselves, but from a stranger ; one, however, who had this 
day been adopted by the city of London. "With that great country 
from which he comes, we have been accustomed to associate the idea 
of vastness, and compared with the ordinary streams and channels of 
charity in this country, this gift rises before us as the very Niagara of 
Charity. (Cheers.) He had great pleasure in proposing " The Health 
of the Lord Mayor." 

The toast was drunk upstanding vdth all honour. 

The Lord Mayor in reply, said, that he had humbly but earnestly 
endeavoured to perform the duties of his office during the period of 
his Mayoralty ; but no duty devolving upon the Lord Mayor brought 
its own reward more surely than what he had had the pleasure of 
doing to-night. 

G-. Feabody, Esq., said he had a very pleasing duty to perform, 
he was about to introduce a toast, the name of the subject of which 
required no words of his either to precede or follow it, he should call 
on them all to greet his toast with the warmest enthusiasm, it was 
" The Health of the Lady Mayoress." 

The Lord Mayor said that the Lady Mayoress felt high gratifi" 
cation for the manner in which her health had been proposed and 
received, and she desired him to say that it would ever be her study 
so to comport herself, as to gain their esteem. 

The toast was received with great enthusiasm. 

The healths of the foreign gentlemen present, and the Magis- 
trates and Sheriffs of the city of London were proposed and duly 

A selection of vocal music, under the direction of Mr. J. L. 
Hatton, assisted by Miss Poole, Master Howden, Mr. G. Perren, 
and Mr. C. Beale, was performed during dinner. 

,■* VX V/'V/V/^^ '■'^ »\'X^ 


From the " Ciiy Press" London, August 2nd, 1862. 

At the Court of the above ancient and "Worshipful Company, 
held on Wednesday last, it was moved by 

Alderman Sir John Musgrove, Bart., and seconded by Mr. Alder- 
man Humphery, " That the Freedom and Livery of the Company be 
presented to G-eorge Peabody, Esq., in consideration of his recent 
munificent donation of £ 160,000 to the poor of the City of London." 

Alderman Sir John Musgrove, Bart., in an eloquent address, 
gave a short history of the life of Mr. Peabody, with a statement of 
his liberal contributions to the education of the rising generation in 
his native city, in America, and other acts of truly Christian benevo- 

On the motion being carried unanimously by the Court, MLr. 
Peabody was introduced, when he was addressed by the Master, 
Josiah Wilson, Esq., who adverted to the number of eminent individuals 
who had had a similar honour conferred upon them, numbering among 
them the late Sir Eobert Peel, Lord Kardinge, and the lamented 
Prince Consort. 

Mr. Peabody, in reply, thanked the Court for the honour they 
had done him, and made a short and graceful allusion to the circum- 
stances which had placed him in so honorable a position. He informed 
the Court that the nobleman and gentlemen he had appointed trustees 
had commenced their labours, and had collected a large amount of 
information, which would enable them efl&ciently to carry out his 
intentions, and that they were prepared immediately to contribute to 
the contemplated objects. He then alluded to the fact that the Cloth« 
workers' Company was well known in his native country, by the 
worthy descendants of Adam Winthrop, Esq., of Oroton Hall, in the 
county of Suffolk, who, in the year 1551, occupied the chair bo 
worthily filled by the present Master. 

Mr. Peabody was then escorted over the buiUing by the Master 
and Wardens, and expressed himself highly pleased with the appear- 
ance of the great hall, which was then prepared for the usual dinner 
given at this season of the year to the Masters of the City Companies, 
the Treasurers of the Eoyal Hospitals, and some of the judges and 
members of the House of Commons. 

The ceremonies concluded with a splendid banquet which was 
served up in the new hall, at which a large number of gentlemen of 
distinction were present. 




From the « Times,'' London, March Z6th, 1862. 

We have to-day to announce an act of beneficence unexampled 
in its largeness and m the time and manner of the gift. Mr. George 
Peabody, who has been so long known in the city as an American 
merchant of the highest position, and who in general society has, 
during a residence of many years among us, distinguished himself by 
the kindness and geniality of his disposition, is about to perform a 
work which will for ever place his name among the chief benefactors 
of this capital. In another column will be found, under Mr. Peabody's 
own hand, the particulars of this munificent scheme. Desirous of 
devoting a portion of his wealth to purposes of charity, and anxious 
to testity his good wiQ to the country where he has lived surrounded 
by the respect of so many friends, Mr. Peabody has determined to 
give the sum of £150,000 to " ameliorate the condition of the poor 
"and needy of this great metropolis, and to promote their comfort 
" and happiness." He has placed this great sum in the hands of a 
committee, consisting of Mr. Adams, the United States' Minister, 
Lord Stanley, Sir James Emerson Tennent, Mr. C. M. Lampson, and 
his own partner, Mr. J. S. Morgan, who are to determine in what 
way it may be used so as to " ameliorate the condition and augment 
" the comforts of the poor who either by birth or established residence 
" form a recognized portion of the population of London." Only one 
condition of importance is attached to this gift — namely, that " now 
" and for all time there shall be a rigid exclusion from the management 
" of this fund of any influences calculated to impart to it a character 
" either sectarian as regards religion, or exclusive in relation to local 
" or party politics." 

We feel sure that there is no one who hears of this noble act 
who will not join us in offering to Mr. Peabody the tribute of English 
gratitude andf good will. There is in the present age much to record 
of private and public beneficence. Not a calamity befals a locality 
or a class, not a case of obscure and patient misery is brought to 
light, without a display of charitable feeling which does credit to the 
land. But it is iiideea seldom that good works are done on the scale 


which this American gentleman has now made familiar to na. A 
sum which must be a considerable portion of any fortune is alienated 
by its possessor during his own life for the bienefit of the poor of a 
city where he is only a sojourner. There have been many among us 
who, from various motives, have bequeathed large sums, and even 
their whole fortunes, to charitable uses, or for the promotion of 
literature or art, or to carry out some scheme which was their &ncy 
during life. But this posthumous liberality has little in it that 
resembles the personal sacrifice of Mr. Feabody. The testator 
deprives himself of nothing ; he only diverts the destination of that 
which he must necessarily leave behind. He cannot carry with him 
to the grave the wealth which was his enjoyment during life ; and he 
may, without any impulse of exalted virtue, be willing to enrich an 
institution rather than an heir. But he that gives during life shows 
an earnestness in well>doing that is beyond suspicion. He takes that 
which ministers to the power, the pride, the pleasures of mankind, 
and gives it to those who can make no return to him. It is only in 
the satisfaction of a good deed that the new benefactor of the London 
poor can find a reward. He abandons a sum which is a fortune in 
itself, in order that the poor of that vast, dirtv, ill-built, ill-kept city 
which the wealthier classes never see shall have among them one 
great range of dwellings provided with the necessaries of comfort and 
respectabiLity. And this he does in a country which is not his own, 
and in a city which he may any day leave to return to his native land. 
Certainly such an act is rare in the annals of benevolence. 

But we feel sure that Mr. Feabody will be more gratified with 
the practical success of his good work than by any praises which it 
can receive. The best return that the English pubhc, acting through 
the committee of management, can make to him is to take care that 
the £150,000 which is added to the charitable funds of the metropolis 
shaU. not be wasted or diverted from the real purpose of the donor. 
Mr. Feabody's former acts of generosity have been singularly useful. 
At Danvers, Massachusetts, the place of his birth, there is an institu- 
tion founded some years since which confers great benefits on the 
place, and at Baltimore another on a much larger scale has been 
equally successful. The gift Mr. Feabody has made to the English 
capital will have other uses. In this country there are, unhappily^ 
other needs more pressing even than the need of education. Institutes 
and Libraries have their advantages, but the thing that strikes the 
foreigner, and even the thoughtful Londoner, is the social condition 
of great numbers of the poorer classes. No one can faiL to be shocked 
by the absence of morality and cleanliness and decency among the 
population which is to be found in the more neglected parts of 
the metropolis. It has long been said that the first step to raising 
their moral condition and giving them the instincts of respectability 
and social ambition must be the improvement of their dwellings and 
the consequent recruiting of their nealth and bodily forces. H it 
be the wisli of Mr. Feabodj^ that the fund be devoted to any such 
purpose we think that there is a certainty of a good result. May the 
work be one of lasting success, and remain a valued inheritance to 
future generations and a monument to its founder's memory ! 


From the " Times ,'' London^ April 29 th, 1862. 

The wisdom as well as munificence of Mr. Peabodj's recent gifb 
to this metropolis is forcibly shown in a document just issued. For 
the thirteenth time the Officer of Health makes his report upon the 
Sanitary Condition of the city of London, and for the thirteenth time 
is the old story told. The city is by no means a bad city to live in. 
There are very many places vdth worse air as well as fewer .resources 
for the preservation of health. Of coiurse, such a residence must have 
its drawbacks, but it also has its advantages, and the balance ought 
not to be much on the wrong side. Yet the statistics show a very 
bad case, indeed. The years of man in the city of London are cut 
down to about half their proper span, and infant life, especially, is 
precarious in the extreme. We need not recapitulate the figures, for 
it is but the other day that we recorded and explained them. It must 
be remarked, however, that Dr. Letheby now ascribes the excessive, 
mortality, without the least hesitation, to definite and preventable 
causes. The conditions which prove so fatal to existence in the city 
are conditions which would prove equally fatal anjrwhere. It is true 
that the struggle for life is hard, and the strain upon the toiling crowd 
almost incessant, but it is not this that kills. The Londoner has many 
chances of diversion and many opportunities of relief denied to a 
country labourer. If the atmosphere is impure, it is not so bad as to 
be intolerable, or, under proper arrangements, even absolutely- 
unhealthy. The one great source of mischief is in the character of 
the dwellings which the working classes inhabit. Their aUeys and 
courts are so built that general ventilation is impossible. The several 
houses are equally ill constructed, and are, besides, crowded to excess. 
For want of the appliances required for decency and comfort, the 
whole neighbourhood reeks with impurity, and the population breathes 
an atmosphere of ever-present decomposition. liere lie the seeds of 
disease, premature decrepitude, and early death. There is not a doubt 
expressed about the origm or cause of the evil, not a single misgiving 
felt about the means of cure. If the poor of the city could but be 
better lodged, they would live in London almost as well as in any 
other place. 

But of late years great exertions have been made to remedy these 
evils, and the work of benevolence has doubtless produced its fruits. 
Nevertheless, there are serious obstacles in the way of reform, and 
Dr. Letheby tells us plainly what they are. The barriers in our way 
are formed by ^' the passive resistance of landlords, and the suUen 
" indifference of the poor." Some of our readers may be surprised, 
perhaps, at the mention of the latter impediment, but it is, probably, 
the more serious of the two. On the points in question the poor are 
usually ill-informed, often suspicious, and always jealous of inter- 
ference. They do not connect uncleanliness with suffering, but they 
do connect cleanliness with trouble, and, as they have little spare time, 
they prefer dirt to avoidable fatigue. Then, they have their own ideas 


of domestic independenoe, and do not like to be meddled with. A 
still more awkward consideration is that of expense. Improvements 
are expected to bring improvement rates, and no imaginable prospect 
of good drains or tidy pavements would induce the tenants of these 
courts to accept a new tax. In short, so long as disease is not actually 
in the house, they take no great offence at the squalor of the habitation. 
There are even proverbs claiming a kind of comfort for such living — 
meaning, no doubt, that careless and eas^ ways are more enjoyable 
than pams-taking and anxious house-keeping. 

Of course, a poor man taking a house would rather take a good 
one than a bad one if it could be had for the same money, but the 
choice is rardy put before him. Even model lodging-houses are by 
no means universally popular. They are cheap, wholesome, and 
convenient, but they involve restraints to which the poor are un- 
willing to submit. Admission is by a kind of flEivour, and occupation 
by sufferance. Regulations are imposed — ^necessary, indeed, and 
unobjectionable in themselves, but still obnoxious in the sight of the 
applicants. They want to be independent, and rather than yield 
that point they will put up with any amount of dirt or discomfort. 
As to economy, the poor are bad managers. They take the lodging 
they can get, and trust to chance for the means of payment, without 
thinking sufficiently over the merits of the bargain. Unfortunately, 
their choice is extremely limited, and it mav be said, indeed, that, 
apart from lodging-houses erected on charitable systems, there is no 
regular or sufficient class of good wholesome dwellings constructed to 
meet the wants of the poor. 

It is a sad aggravation of the case that all this while the rents 
paid by the tenants of these miserable abodes are extremely high. A 
well-accustomed " weekly " property as the phrase goes, returns large 
interest for money. It is not altogether a desirable kind of investment, 
but it pays well — so well, indeed, that we must go to the best thorough- 
fares of the metropolis to find any property that pays better. This 
profit is produced by large receipts comoined with small expenditure. 
The landlords get high rents, but spend nothing on the houses. To 

Propositions of improvement they offer a "passive resistance," and are 
y no means wiUing to incur an outlay which would lower the 
per centage of their gains. This is all in the way of trade. "When men 
are getting 20 per cent, for their money they are not ofben disposed 
to turn the 20 into 10 by increasing the capital account on which 
interest is to be forthcoming. A landlord who would voluntarily spend 
money on his house property in the way which philanthropists suggest 
would be doing much the same as if he subscribed to a model lodging- 
house. He would be making the matter not entirely one of business, 
but of charity too. Now, Dr. Letheby seems to be of opinion that if 
reforms are ever to be successfully achieved the element of charity 
must be altogether excluded in favour of pure commercial principles, 
or, at any rate, that the charitable foundation which Mr. Peabody has 
laid must receive a commercial superstructure. The question is not 
without its embarrassments. 

What is needed is a good class of houses just one degree lower 
in the scale of tenements than any now erected. It is singular enough 


that, while the wants of all but the very poor afe liberally consulted, 
they, and they only, are left entirely helpless. A professional man, 
a tradesman, a derK, or a prosperous mecnauic, can suit himself to a 
shade out of rents ranging from £ 2,000 to £ 20. Houses are built 
adapted to every species of calling except that of the daily labourer, 
whue he is left to nnd shelter with swarms of his feUows in miserable 
abodes deserted by better tenants. Why should not his wants receive 
attention as well as those of others ? It is not that he cannot pay, 
for he actually pays more than the rest. Then, why is it that nobody- 
chooses to supply his demands in the ordinary way of business ? We 
fear that part oi the blame must bQ laid upon himself. He is often 
improvident, often uncleanly, so that his rent is thought precarious, 
and his tendency altogether troublesome. A proper^ composed of 
dwellingB for the working classes is not everybody's money ; in fact, 
those who have had most to do with small tenements would give them 
the worst name. Still, if reform is to be accomplished, it must have 
a beginning somewhere, and at present the poor have not a chance. 
They crowd into the pestilential courts of the City because there are 
no other places to receive them. If they had the option of better 
dwellings, they might unlearn some of the habits which they contract 
unconsciously under their present conditions of existence. As it is, 
the high rents which they pay would be justified probably by the 
character of the property wnich they create, but we cannot see why 
an attempt should not be made to improve their ways and their bar- 
gains together. What they want is simply a class of dwellings with 
accommodation fairly proportioned to the rents — dwellings which they 
may hire without sacrifice of their independence, and occupy without 
any sense of obligation. We see plainly enough that a move must 
be made irom both sides together before the desired results can be 
brought to pass, but we cannot think that the object is unattainable, 
especially with such means of commencement as Mr. Peabody's 
bene&ction has fiimished. 

From the '' Daily News," London, March 27tt, 1862, 

The splendid gift of George Peabody to the poor of London is 
more than an act of personid greatness and worth. High as it deserves 
to be rated in this respect — and none will put it higher than we do — 
it has a value and a meaning at the present time' which is even loftier 
and nobler. One hundred and fifty thousand pounds judiciously in- 
vested, and its yearly produce well applied, will bring comfort and 
solace to many a shattered struggler in the combatant rank and file 
of life, and not only in the present generation, but in generations stiU 
unborn, many will learn to bless the generous American banker who 
lived and prospered amongst us during the last five-and-twenty years. 
And as it ifi unerringly written that it is more blessed to give than 



to receive, the happiness which the benefactor must feel at having 
done so much good with his vast wealth ought to be greater than any 
which the most grateful recipient of his bounty can express. Yet on 
public and permanent grounds, we repeat, this magnificent donation 
for the relief of one of the great masses of human misery in the world, 
is worthy of beiug regarded in a more comprehensive point of view. 
At a season when blind and reckless men on either shore of the ocean 
are indefatigably toiling at the work of mutual estrangement, and 
while every engme of hatred, envy, malice, and all uncharitableness is 
busy in the deepening of reciprocal distrust, an irrevocable act is 
calmly and deliberately done by a private person, at his own expense, 
calculated to thwart, by pure and peaceful means, machinations of the 
malignant, and to confound the most obstinate believer in the 
antagonism of two kindred nations. Social fact is stranger than 
political fiction, and instinctive sympathy is far more reliable than 
factitious hate. An American gentleman, whom the accident of 
commercial speculation induced to hx his residence in the Old Country 
many years ago, has by thrift and enterprise realized a rapid fortune 
here ; and on the eve of his retirement from business, while preparing 
to return to the home of his childhood, there to enjoy in tranquillity 
the fruits of a life of honourable toil, he looks around the scene where 
he has dwelt, and is penetrated with the thought that he can do 
nothing better than to bequeath by anticipation a tithe of his 
acquisitions for the benefit of the many poor among whom his active 
years have been spent. To use the touching words of a great writer 
of our day, applied to a very different man — " from the down hill's 
steep, life seems to him to be aU limited ;" the end, though it may be 
distant, is still discernible; and the vanity of the world, and the 
deceitfulness of riches are, he feels, the snares of success to be avoided, 
and, if possible, escaped. The miserable distinctions of local birth 
and breeding are as nothing in the eyes of a man casting up his life 
account with the world. Before all things he wishes it to be 
remembered of him that he was a just man, and that he did good in 
his day and generation, A preference for those whom he knows 
best, whom in early life he trusted most, and amongst whom at the 
close of age he hopes to pass a tranquil eventide, is but natural, and 
reasonable, and right. But all this is compatible with a cordial and 
grateful remembrance of the somewhat less closely related kinsmen 
among whom he has lived his busiest years, and thrived. The 
temporary distinctions of political forms and political prejudices fade 
away before the catholic feeling of proud affection for the Anglo- 
Saxon race : and the destitute myriads whose necessities he has ever 
been ready to relieve from time to time during his sojourn in our 
capital, silently put in their melancholy claim to his compassion when 
about to withdraw from amongst them ; and they plead not in vain. 
This is indeed a nobler protest against international ill-will — a noble 
testimony to the untruth of mutual repulsion. Though a thousand 
pens be dipped in gall, they wiU not be able soon to efface the 
impression which this gracious and generous deed has made upon the 
minds of all sincere men. 

The manner of the thing is as good as the substance. The fruid 


is secured by special trusts to be rendered useful at all future times 
to deserving persons without distinction of birthplaiee, creed, or 
opinion ; and it is to be vested for ever in a given number of 
trustees, who are to be chosen with a like iodifference as to the 
grounds on which prejudice is usually formed. Of those who have in 
the first instance been named by Mr. Peabody to dispense his princely 
benevolence, some are American citizens, some Englishmen or Irish- 
men. It was but fitting that the representative of the great Common- 
wealth of which he himself is a citizen should head the list ; and 
there is a significance not to be mistaken in the association with him 
of the liberal and enlightened heir to one of the oldest earldoms of 
England. And so with the others there is a fitness and meaning in 
the choice of each. The whole scheme has been maturely considered 
and beneficently firamed ; and we doubt not that it will be found to 
work well for the truly philanthropic and pious purposes for which it 
was intended. 

'^"'sy'V'^^'^yX.^^ i'** yVV,y-v f^ 'V>^ •* >^X "■ ^ 

From the '' Star and Dial/* London, March 27th, 186^. 

An act of such munificent generosity as that of Mr. George 
Peabody, in presenting £150,000 to the poor of London, almost 
bewilders us by its magnitude and splendour. "We are not at all 
unaccustomed, in this old and wealthy country, to great and good 
deeds of public charity. Our cities abound with institutions of 
benevolence. In nearly every village there is a Lady Bountiful — the 
living representative of a long pedigree of benefactors. The spirit in 
which our poor law was devised, and in which it is generally adminis- 
tered, is one of honest recognition that property has duties as well as 
rights. If the law limits those duties to the bare provision of shelter, 
food, and clothing, the genius of our people insists also upon the 
amelioration, by voluntary aid, of poverty wherever it may be found 
— even of poverty in close association with recklessness, impurity, or 
crime. There is scarcely a form of human suffering for which some 
relief has not been stored up by the prescient benevolence of our 
ancestors — ^and constant additions are being made by successive 
generations. The creation of hospitals for the cure of diseases, 
bodily or mental, has kept pace with the growth of population and 
the progress of medical science — and the last work of a lately 
deceased philanthropist was to originate a hospital for the incurable. 
Every profession, trade, or industry, has its asylum, its pension list 
for its widowed, fatherless, or disabled members. The reclamation of 
the erring and the criminal has been attempted, in addition to the 
succour of the unfortunate or improvident. The vagrant and the 
convict can no longer complain that society is as much an enemy to 
them as they to society. The world, if not the law, offers to be their 
friend, on condition that they renounce the ways of disorder and 


dishonesty. There is so much of benevolence among the wealthy 
and the well-to-do, that to prey upon it by imposture has been found 
to be a profitable branch of crime. Yet is there an incalculable 
amount of downright suffering from stress of poverty. Among the 
three million inhabitants of this city, there are, no doubt, a hundred 
and fifty thousand who might put in an honest claim to share in 
Mr. Peabody's bounty — a hundred and fifty thousand to whom a 

Sound would be a gift rather below than above the object of his 
onation — " poor and needy" persons, whose " comfort" would not so 
much be promoted as created, for the time being, by the possession of 
a sum which many of us spend in an evening's amusement, or give 
without an effort on the first appeal. The great American merchant 
could not live in London twenty-five years without knowing that it 
has necessities unlike those of Boston, or even of Baltimore. In his 
native country he has founded institutions like that which Mr. Brown, 
with kindred munificence, bestowed on Liverpool. In London there 
is room for libraries, museums, coUeges ; but there is also a vast mass 
of helpless poverty which, though much of it is out of si^ht, arrests 
the eye and moves the pity alike of visitors and residents. If 
Mr. reabody did but go daily from his West-end mansion to his 
City counting-house and back again, he would see something of this 
— ^many living effigies of unmistakable destitution. If, like the 
writers on the morning press, he was wont to pass along the streets 
in the sharp cold or dismal wet of winter nights, he would see much 
more of it; scores of wretched beings couchant in doorways, or 
begging piteously for pence, or hanging wistfiiUy about the coffee 
sttdls — ^thankful for any crust or cup that chance may give, and more 
than resigned to the hazard of being locked up by a policeman 
humane enough to exceed in that respect his duty. In the news- 
papers, every morning for many months, he would read well-authenti- 
cated appeals for help to refuges and night asylums, where a lodging 
and a loaf are dispensed so long as there is room to stretch a rug or 
money to buy bread. These houseless, foodless tenants of the streets 
are the poorest poor. They are the very dregs of destitution. They 
are the sediment that is left on the pavement when all the warmth 
and vigour and hope of life are drained off into the homes where rest 
restores the capacity of doing and enduring. It is in higher strata, 
in running streams, there wiU be found that decent poverty, that 
virtuous need, which alone has really claims to systematic help. Our 
criminal classes we must aim to extirpate — ^to reform and to correct 
them out of existence. Those grosser forms of vice which directly 
involve destitution are deserving but of repression — ^and their miser- 
able offspring must be placed in new conditions before they can be 
permanently succoured. But both classes are fed from those just 
above them in social gradation. It is the forced company of the 
honest and laborious poor with thieves and mendicants that make so 
many boys and girls candidates for the reformatory and the refuge. 
To break off this compulsory association, to release the good from the 
degrading and contaminating neighbourhood of the bad, is the true 
work of a wise philanthropist. And it is to this particular object 
Mr. Feabody wishes his magnificent endowment to be appropriated. 


With a purpose as enlightened as it is generous, he suggests the 
devotion of at least a portion of the fund he provides to "the 
" construction of such improved dwellings for the poor as may 
" combine in the utmost possible degree the essentials of health- 
" fulness, comfort, social enjoyment, and economy." His un- 
precedented munificence will thus follow the best precedents of 
modem philanthropy. The affluent stream of his bounty will flow 
into channels already marked out by the experience of contemporary 
bene&bctors to our great cities. Neither churches nor schools are so 
much needed as dwellings. Tradesmen and artisans find themselves 
straitened to obtain residences at once healthful, pleasant, and cheap. 
The labouring poor are, of course, subject in a much severer degree 
to the same £fficulty. They are crowded together in defiance of all 
sanitary laws, and very often of aU proper sensibflity. In a vitiated 
atmosphere and in chronic discomibrt, that they should contract 
habits of intemperance and even of impurity is nothing marvellous — ^ 
still less that thev should be the ready victims of sickaess or death. 
To relieve them n*om these hard and noxious conditions — ^to enable 
them to breathe more freely, and therefore to live more healthfully 
and happily, is the special object of Mr. Feabody's stupendous act of 
charity. Twenty-five years a resident in London, he devotes the 
splendid result of his speculation and his saving to the ^andest 
improvement of which London is susceptible. If he had raised and 
endowed a cathedral or university, he would have surpassed in 
munificence the proudest of our territorial nobles, the most generous 
of our merchant princes. In rebuilding the homes of the poor and 
needy, he will erect the noblest because the simplest monument of 
Ajiglo-Saxon philanthropy. 

From the « Daily Telegraph,'' London, March 27th, 1862. 

Considering the pleasant sight the memorial of a good man's 
benevolence must be to him, it is somewhat strange that those who 
have it in their power to purchase it, so seldom avail themselves of 
the opportunity. A posthumous fame for generosity is in no way grati- 
fying to the defunct donor, and is occasionally not highly agreeable to 
the feelings of the surviving relatives. When a man by industry and 
perseverance has succeeded in amassing a gigantic fortune, one would 
imagine the delight occasioned by a foretaste of the benefit his money 
was meant to confer would induce him to sacrifice some of the selfish 

Sleasure the possession of his gold afforded him — ^to that holier and 
eeper sense of true happiness which would inevitably result from 
witnessing its wide and wholesome employment. And yet this gencr 
rosity is so uncommon that the noble gift of Mr. Feabody actually 
takes away the public breath with its unexpected mimificence, and 
sends a thriU of almost overwhelming admiration through the public 


heart. Had this liberality taken the form of a legacy, it would have 
been welcomed with thankfulness, and have awakened a sense of deep 
regard for the memory of a good and generous man, but Mr. Peabody 
has not cared to live on in the luxurious enjoyment of a fortune more 
than ample for his comfort and independence. He has dwelt amongst 
us for five and twenty years, and throughout that time has had one 
noble object at his heart, one generous desire over-ruling the cares and 
anxieties of a mercantile career ; the mighty mark at which he haa 
aimed — ^the generous eoal towards which his steps have been directed 
-has been the alleviation of the sorrows of the poor, the sheltering 
and succouring of the hungry and the homeless. With this glorious 
object in view the merchant's ventures have succeeded and filled his 
coffers with that gold which shall, by G-od's help, serve to gladden 
many a gloomy fireside, and smooth away the ^Tinkles from many a 
careworn brow ! Party strife and national bickerings have not warped 
the steady and unswerving determination of this good American ; wara 
and rumours of wars have not turned him aside from his mighty 
purpose. To quote his own honest words, he did not feel himself a 
" stranger ;" for in all his commercial and social intercourse with his 
English friends he had constantljr received courtesy, kindness, and 
confidence. It is in return for this, and under the sense of gratitude 
for these blessings of a kind Providence, that our generous Trans- 
atlantic brother holds forth his liberal right hand to help the poor and 
needy in his adopted home. It is in no spirit of pride, or overbearing 
and oppressive generosity that Mr. Peabody presents the " old country" 
with this gracious gift, since he has already left memorials of his bene- 
volent nature in the annals of his native land. In the town of Dan- 
vers, in the State of Massachusetts, ten years ago, he founded a literary 
institute for the benefit of the people of his birth-place. In the city of 
Baltimore, where nearly a quarter of a century oi his busiuess-life had 
been passed, he founded five years ago an institute devoted to science 
and the arts, with a free library ; in 1858 the comer-stone was laid, 
and the building is now completed ; its dedication being postponed in 
consequence of the unsettled condition of the United States. There 
need be no feeling of jealousy, then, amongst the Americans at his 
generous conduct towards the poor of England, for they have two 
evidences of his liberal love, and, in a quarter of a century, a man 
gets to sympathise with, and feel an affection for, a land in which he 
has lived and laboured. 

Perhaps the most gratifying portion of the unvarnished letter 
which announces the gift is that which states it to be his intention 
that there shall be " a rigid exclusion from the management of this 
" fund of any iufluences calculated to impart to it a character either 
" sectarian as regards religion, or exclusive in relation to local op 
" party politics." This wholesome admixture of sound sense renders 
the donation doubly welcome and doubly valuable. This is as it 
should be, but, alas ! this is as it so seldom is. How many a legacy 
which might have worked a world-wide good has been hampered witn 
some narrow-minded clause, imparting to it a sickening savour of un- 
charitableness, strangely at variance with the apparent benevolence of 
the deed ! How many a gift has been embittered by the ungenerous 


demands of the donor, and that which appeared at first sight to be the 
greatest hlessing has proved in its result almost a curse ! The charity 
which not only begins at home but actually never gets beyond the 
contracted domestic circle, is a mere mockery of benevolence. It is 
that broad, unfettered, cosmopolitan philanthropy which sows the 
seeds of happiness broadcast, which recognises no clique, no narrow- 
minded sect, no particular party, which has no petty prdudices, no 
unchristianlike aversions, but which includes all shades of sentiment 
and all manner of men in its generous grasp — it is that charity which 
covers a multitude of sins, and which places its possessor on a pedes- 
tal in the temple of Fame higher far than heroes who have lought 
their way with fire and sword to the foremost ranks among the great. 
"We hope that the large sum which Mr. Peabody has placed at the 
disposal of competent trustees will not be hastily applied to the pur- 
poses for which it is intended, but that the subject will obtain, as it 
demands, deep and serious consideration. As to the interest of a hun- 
dred and fifby thousand pounds, which would not produce more than 
about five thousand pounds annually, being applied to the alleviation 
of distress among the poorer classes, we fear it would prove to be 
simply jfrittering away a great gift in a comparatively ineffective 
manner. Eive thousand pounds is a mere drop of oil on the great 
ocean of London poverty, and we certainly deprecate anything like 
experimentalising in soup kitchens or institutions of a like character. 
This large sum might form a nucleus, if added to by the public, for a 
great imdertaking, such as building — as has before been proposed — 
numberless clustres of labourers' cottages beyond the narrow courts 
and sickening alleys in which whole famiKes huddle together more 
like brute beasts than human beings, in the slums and purlieus of 
St. Giles's and other filthy and overcrowded localities. The little 
children of the labourer might, if this were done, even in our lifetime, 
exhibit in their ruddy cheeks and stalwart limbs proof of the potent 

Eower of fresh air on the thew and sinew of the kingdom. The 
oUow-eyed wan women who pass their squalid lives in these misera- 
ble dens would surely welcome the pleasant change ; and the cheap 
trains which might convey the artisan to his dailv work woidd save 
him that fearful walk wluch makes him rise at five, obliges him to 
breakfast at a road-side " stall," and leaves him, before his day's 
labour is over, weary, dispirited, and footsore. In the category, too, 
of " poor and needy," come those numberless struggling gentlewomen 
who have declined into hopeless poverty, and whose emuerless hearths 
are rendered the more desolate from the ever-present shadows of their 
former associates, and the bitter recollections of bygone joys. In 
this mighty city, how many a " lady-bom" lan^ishes in a half-starved 
state, too proud to beg, unable to gain a subsistence by her industry, 
eating her heart out in her loneliness, unpitied and unlmown. Again, 
the claims of those unfortunate children for whom the Foundling 
Hospital was originalljr established might strongly be urged. An 
institution, having for its object the shelter and education of these 
hapless little ones would be highly serviceable ; it would tend to rescue 
thousands of infants from an untimely death, and despairing mothers 
from the bitter pangs of remorse and the menacing doom of the law. 


There are numerous ways truly of extracting good from the noble gift 
of Mr. Feabody, although it is a difficult task for those who have to 
fulfil the parts of almoners. We need not remind them of the grave 
trust which is confided to them, that they hold in their power that 
which may lay the foundation for a gigantic philanthropic work — a 
work which will date its commencement from a time when the donor's 
countrymen and the inhabitants of his adopted land were irritated with 
each other from mutual misunderstandings ; a fisict investing the gift 
with an additionally peculiar grace, and which will serve to hand down 
its founder to posterity as a great and generous benefactor. 


Prom the ^^ Morning Post/' London, March ^Bth, 1862. 

The inspired chronicler, after telling us of one of the best of the 
Jewish kings, that in every work he began he did it with all his 
heart, adds, " and he prospered." The like prosperity attends upon 
hearty efforts in all ages and countries, and in aU ranks of life, but 
seldom in the same degree in which it has crowned the honorable 
career of Mr. George Peabody, in this metropolis. Still more 
rarely has such a prosperity been employed by the successfrd mer- 
chant to effect purposes of such princely liberality as those which 
Mr. Peabody is about to carry out. "Wealth, it has been truly said 
by a powerful writer, a countryman of Mr. Peabody, can assume 
many characters. It is an artist, for by its patronage men are 
encouraged to paint, to carve, to design, to build, and to adorn. It 
is a master mechanic, for it inspires man to invent, to discover, to 
apply, to forge, and to fashion. It is a husbandman, for under its 
influence men rear the flock, till the earth, plant the vineyard, the 
field, the orchard, and the garden. It is a manufacturer, for it 
teaches man to card, to spin, to weave, to colour, and to dress all 
useful fabrics. It is a merchant, for it sends forth ships, and fills 
warehouses with their returning cargoes, gathered from every zone. 
It is the scholar's patron, for it sustains his leisure and rewards his 
labours, builds the college in which he studies, and gathers together 
the library that enriches him with its literary and scientific stores. 
But, beyond all these characters, it is — ^and never more so than in 
this munificent act of Mr. Peabody — ^the practical, high-minded, and 
far-seeing philanthropist, mitigating the evils, improving the lot, 
and gladdening the hearts of the friendless and the poor ; removing 
from their path the physical obstacles to their health and happiness, 
and enabling them to participate in the blessings which an improved 
sanitary science has conferred on the wealthier classes in the existing 
generation. The princely gift of £ 150,000, to be held in trust for 
the purpose of improving the lot of the London poor, especiallv aa 
regards the character of their dwelling-houses, would awaken feelmgs 
of gratitude and admiration towards the donor at any time and under 


any circumstances, but at the present moment, and made by one hi 
the position of Mr. Peabody, the gift becomes invested with an 
imusiial interest. Erom the plain, frank, and unaffected statement 
contained in Mr. Peabody's letter, it appears that he has already 
conferred boons of the same nature, at an earlier period, on those 
towns in his own country which, from native ties or early associa- 
tions, possessed the first claim on his considerate philanthropy. It 
has not been until these prior claims were satisfied that the American 
merchant in London resolved to carry out his princely intentions 
towards the poor of the metropolis in which he now resides, and 
where he has so long and so worthily represented the commercial 
interests of his State. It is now, however, some years since he 
resolved to perform the act of munificence with which the whole 
country is now ringing. What must have been the feelings of such 
a man — of one whose ardent philanthropy embraced in its compre- 
hensive spirit at once America and England — during those weeks of 
trying suspense, when the country whose agent he was, and the 
country in which he lived and laboured — ^but not for himself alone — 
seemed likely to be exposed to fche calamities of a desperate and 
desolating warp We often hear fine phrases about transatlantic 
kinsmanship; about the ties which bind every American to the 
country of Bacon and of Shakespeare ; about the family pride which 
makes every Englishman consider the glory of Washington as the 
true vindication of the national spirit and national rights inherited 
from forefathers imbued with a Milton's and a Hampden's resolution. 
But the fine phrases had marvellous little efficacy in moderating our 
criticism on the American question some three months ago. 

We were only too much disposed to doubt the possibility of 
American republicanism ever again bringing forth, in policy or war, 
in social arts or letters, any v^uuable fruit. And now an American 
republican, long settled among ourselves, has iust performed a great 
republican act, in the old and true sense of that much perverted 
word, by advancing the social welfare of the community in whidi so 
much 01 his life has been spent, and so much of his fortune earned, 
in a manner which all must gratefully admit is peculiarly calculated 
to promote the common weal. The sole conditions attached by 
Mr. Peabody to his gift are those which we must all feel he had a 
perfect right to ma]ke, and in making which he has but illustrated 
the most sacred principles of civil and religious toleration. He only 
stipulates that nie really poor, of good moral character, whom his 
charity is designed to benefit, shall receive it without the slightest 
distinction of political party or religious sect. Desirine to do good 
unto his neighbour, he is resolved that no other standard shall be 
Taised up than that by which our Divine Master has himself defined 
the character and conditions of neighbourly love and kindness. 
Neither the priest nor the Levite — ^the good Samaritan alone — ^is to 
preside over the administration of Mr. Peabody's noble charity. As 
in that divine parable he is not termed the neighbour who shares our 
creed, or who lives in the same house, or the same street or neigh- 
bourhood with ourselves — ^but two men are called neighbours who 
probably belonged to different nations, and were entire strangers to 


one another, as if to teach us that the law of loving our neighbour ad 
ourselves takes in every fellow-creature in the world — ^the principle 
alBrmed in Mr. Peabody's donation is but a practical exemplification 
of the same. In merely recommending to the trustees' special atten- 
tion the improvements so desirable in the dwellings of the poor, 
Mr. Feabody has gracefully and delicately paid his tribute to the 
memory of the Prince Consort, who had that cause so much at heart. 
Mr. Peabody's gift will be gratefully viewed by the English people, 
as being, in some measure, an Albert memorial, whilst it records a 
munificence exercised in behalf of the London poor by an American 
citizen which no contemporary EngUshman has surpassed, or even at 
all equalled. 

From the ^^ Mornmg Heraldy^ London, March 21 thy 1862. 

One of the merchant princes of the world has just presented the 
metropolis with a gift for which thousands will bless his name. The 
widow, the orphan, and the poor, for ages to come, in this great city 
will hallow the name of George Peabody as a benefactor, who, in his 
lifetime, set aside a sum rarely within the grasp of the most fortunate 
of men, to find bread and shelter for the outcast and the destitute, 
whose only claim on him was their misery and want. Mr. Peabody 
has for years been well known in the city as one of our first Ameri- 
can merchants : he has not been merely distinguished by the large 
and various enterprises in which he has been engaged, but he has 
been accepted by the higher classes as one who had reached a position 
by his liberality, kindly demeanour, and genial disposition, which 
would not have been accorded purely to his opulence. Of all con- 
nected with him in business and general relations he has invariably 
won the good- will and esteem ; and he now is about to establish one 
enduring link with those who are mostly unaided, unbefriended, and 
unknown. In a correspondence which has at last reached the public 
journals we learn that a sum of £ 150,000 is to be forthwith devoted 
by this gentleman ''to ameliorate the condition of the poor and 
" needy of this great metropolis, and to promote their comfort 
'' and happiness." The administration of this vast sum of money is 
entrusted to Mr. Adams, the United States' Minister, Lord Stanley, 
Sir Emerson Tennent, Mr. 0. Lampson, and Mr. J. S. Morgan, who 
is Mr. Peabody's partner at the present time. The limitations over 
the uses of this noble fund are in like spirit with its foundation. It 
is declared to exist absolutely and exclusively "for the poor who, 
" either by birth or established residence, form a recognised portion 
" of the population of London ;" and now and for aU time, writes the 
donor, "there shall be a rigid exclusion from the management of this 
" fund of any influences sectarian as regards religion, or exclusive in 
" relation to local or party politics." The only title to participation 


in its benefits shall be an ascertained and continued condition of life 
such as brings the individual within the description, in the ordinary 
sense of the word, " of the poor of London," combined with moral 
character and good conduct. There is but one return that can be 
rendered for this princely munificence. In the founder's lifetime let 
the just and unsullied distribution of this great gift commend his own 
gracious act to him, as he witnesses what a vast amount of good is 
being accomplished with the outlay of the fond. Let there be no 
trifling with this boon to the thousands of our distressed and suffer- 
ing fellow-citizens. And especially, as far as possible, let the aspira* 
tions of the philanthropist hunself, "for affording improved dwellings 
for the poor," be one of the chief aims of those who are concerned in 
the management and appropriation of Mr. Peabody's great gift. At 
present the " poor man's home" is nowhere, for the workhouse is but 
a mockery, and sways between a prison-house and an hospital. It 
will be a fitting honour to the name of G-eorge Peabody if a range of 
dwellings, clean, homely, yet cheerful, can, under our eyes, wearied 
with the squalor and desolate aspect of the existing domiciles of the 
indigent, be raised to inspire the poor man with the sacred love of 
home. It would be idle to attempt to find terms to commend this 
spontaneous^ and rare act of benevolence. Men seldom stamp their 
reputation with such noble deeds as this during a lifetime. Vast 
wealth is not ordinarily directed by its owner into very wide channels 
of charity during his own existence ; when the grave is closed over 
him a man parts with his money by necessity, and only by that 
necessity carries out in his bequests his schemes of benefit and good- 
will to his fellow creatures. Not so this merchant " stranger" and 
sojourner in our land. Under a sense of gratitude for the blessings 
of a kind Providence, encouraged by early associations, and stimulated 
by his views of duty and inclination, this gentleman has devoted a 
sum which any one woidd regard as a noble fortune in itself to the 
poorer mass of some three millions of the community who have pro- 
bably never heard his name. " The work of righteousness," says the 
inspired seer, " shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness quiet- 
** ness and assurance for ever." "Whilst his countrymen are warring 
cruelly and inveterately with each other, this generous American is 
working out his mission of goodwill among his adopted people, with 
whom his good name will endure for ever. 

From the •* Standard'^ London, March 27th, 1862. 

It has been suggested by hasty generalisers that the English 
element in American character so nobly impersonated in the Wash- 
XKOTOWS, the Henbtb, and the Peanklins, is dying out under the 
influence of soil and climate, and under the powers of the new 


exigencies that have grown out of a very different social system. The 
letter of the eminent American merchant, Mr, George Peabody, 
which we this day publish, is one of the noblest answers that can be 
made to the suggestion. The gift of £ 160,000 to the poor neighbours 
whom he has been encountering in the metropolis of his adoption 
involves a munificence as to the gift and a liberahty as to the direction 
which stands almost without a parallel not only among the citizens of 
the revolutionary period of America, but among those of aiiy other 
country. The spint of the letter is all that a FBAjrKLnr might have 
evinced in his happiest days, though we may be permitted to doubt 
firom all we know of that illustrious sage whether his UberaUtv, had 
it, possessed even the same means, would have ascended to the height 
of the great argument reached by his mercantile countryman. 

Few men are content to forego in the full maturity of their 
powers a possession which, however useless as an end, offers such 
immense attractions as an instrumentality. Brutus, in the full whirl 
of a people's downfal, was still higgling for cent, per cent, as the 
usance of his moneys, and showing himself ready for any expedient 
that might secure it for him. Seneca, while advancing doctrines of 
an almost Christian philosophy, took less care about the death he 
was always writing about than about living the richest slave Nero's 
empire knew. A &Ise opinion sets out wealth as the stimmmn honwrn 
of life ; and men who have acquired it by the foulest crimes and 
whose consciences have been the nests of a coiled remorse that 
allowed no instant of repose, have rarely or never been coerced, even 
by the power of religion, to relinquish their grasp until the presence 
of death left them no choice except that of directing the dismbution 
of what, in fact, no longer belonged to them. It remained for this 
American merchant to nse, of his own good pleasure, to the singular 
magnanimity of divesting himself in full health of the surplus affluence 
he had honestly acquired, aid of divesting himself of it, too, in favour 
of foreigners. Wise enough to feel that the superfluity of wealth is 
nearly as much a curse as its utter privation, and that the amount of 
it whose finiition we may really attain to is comparatively small, he 
has had the moral courage to eject &om his cofPers the splendid dross 
in order that he might have the good, in his own time, of seeing it 
" go Heaven-directed to the poor." 

In the pursuit of riches every man who has not the organisation 
of the miser fixes for himself some subsidiary aim which spurs his 
industry in the pursuit, and sustains his courage under his difficulties. 
Mr. Peabody tells us that the aim he always proposed to himself in 
the acquisition of the fortune which has at length crowned his deserts 
was precisely that which this generous gift responds to. So far back 
as 1852 he established in his native town, Danvers, in the state of 
Massachussetts, an institute and Hbrary for the benefit of his old 
feUow-townsmen. He assures us that nine years' experience haa 
justified every expectation he entertained in the foundation ; and the 
satisfaction with which he speaks of this green spot in the memory of 
his past may suggest to many a capitalist whose countenance is now 
telling everybody a history of agony which poverty may rarely attain 
to in clearer language than that in which his ledgers set out his bad 


debte, how he may acquire a pleasurable sensation for his future life, 
while doing a good much needed in many of our provincial towns. 

A few years later Mr. Peabody bethought himself of another 
town — that of Baltimore — in which he had spent a later portion of his 
life. In revisiting his native land in 1857 Baltimore received the 
benefit of his kindly reminiscences, in the erection of a free library, 
coupled with an institute devoted, on an extensive scale, to the 
cultivation of the arts and sciences. Some men's lives are as a passage 
of light wherever they make their appearance. They live but to 
diffuse good around them ; and the disposition, acquiring by distance 
and time but new and hallowing forces, returns, fike the " bread on 
the waters" of Scripture, in a redoubling flood of kindness. 

It is in this sense we are incHned to welcome the munificence 
Mr. Peabody dedicates to his acquaintance with London as much for 
the compliment it suggests as for the solid advantages it carries with 
it. The great metropolis never received from — ^we will not say a 
foreigner, for how can we regard Mr. Peabody in that character ? — 
but from any of its adopted children so handsome an acknowledgment 
of the fair play and mendly feeling it offers every new comer who 
proves himself worthy of a welcome. No one knowing it will accuse 
us of prejudice in dauning that it is not only the largest but the most 
cosmopolitan city in the world ; and the American merchant honours 
the fact, not only by his gift, but in the spirit in which it is conceived. 
While the fundamental principle which is to regulate the distribution 
of the fund is that there is to be no exclusion for religious belief or 
political bias, there is a restriction correspondingly binding to limit 
the benefits to the honest and reputable poor, who " either by work 
" or established residence, form a recognised portion of the population 
" of London." How this population may be best benefited he leaves 
to the discretion of the trustees, subject only to his suggestion that 
the fund, or a portion of it, should be employed in the construction 
of dwelling-places on the improved principles which shall best assist 
the health, comfort, social enjoyment, and economy of the inmates. 
One hundred and fifty thousand pounds is certaiDly a large sum to 
play with in charity, even in London, and the names of Lord Stanley 
and Sir J. Emerson Tennent, who are associated to the trust, assure 
us that great as is the amount, it vnll be actively as well as judiciously 
employed. They are among the last men to forget that charity loses 
more than half its value if it induce people to look upon it rather as a 
permanent reliance than as an exceptional aid ; and we have no doubt 
that a cardinal point in their important almonership will be to direct 
the straying and stimulate the sluggish into those ways of self- 
assistance which may make them rather a boon than a bane to that 
society in whose midst, in one or other of the characters, they must 

Let us say, as we leave the subject, that, rarely as the journalist 
has the pleasure of recording so noble an act — ^in the annals of even 
our age — of philanthropy, our envy, were we capable of any, would 
be less for Mr. Peabow's former possession of the money than for 
his present use of it. The £150,000 have taken to themselves wings 


and flown, but they are not the less, but rather the more, his riches 
for that circumstance. As Cowper says of Howard — ^for every guinea 
he so spends, 

<< He makes the poor his clients, the smiles of heaven his fees ;*' 

and whatever funds may fail or banks break, Eate itself cannot rob 
him of this portion of his fortune. 

w> f* .'xy * ''v> v>"N 

From the ''Sun,'' London, March 21th, 1862. 

It were ungrateful, indeed, not to notice with approbation the 
munificent benefaction of Mr. Peabody, the great American banker, 
to the poor of London. Not that he looks to pubHc commendation 
as his reward — ^his motives are too apparent in the simple statement 
of his reasons, not to show that the good done to the poor and needy 
is the only reward he looks for, unless we add to this ms sense of gra- 
titude to the " kind Providence" which he points to as the source of 
the blessings he has enjoyed during a twenty-five years' residence in 
London. He had akeady remembered his native land, having 
founded an institute and library at Danvers, the place of his birth, 
which had been as successful as he could wish ; he had also founded a 
larger institution at Baltimore, in Maryland, where twenty years of 
his business life had been spent : and now he desires to mark in some 
way his gratitude to Providence, and to the natives of a land in which 
he has long received courtesy, kindness, and confidence, and b\it too 
appropriately to London — ^he resolves to remember its poor. 

He sees that there is interest enough in education, home mis- 
sionary, and church building operations, and everything in that Une. 
He chooses, therefore, — and may the "blessing of the poor and 
needy" rest on him for it — "such purposes as may be calculated 
directly to ameliorate the condition and augment the comforts" of the 
poor of London. Such "direct" charily was probably but little 
needed in his own younger and less densely populated country ; but 
with the eye of a benevolent resident he sees that it is needed here. 
We cannot commend too highly the wisdom, as well as the generosity 
of his selection of objects, and the one he hints at, without at all 
binding his proposed trustees by the hint, is every way worthy of his 
sagacity. No want is more deeply felt by thousands who work for 
low wages, than homes in which they can live and bring up their 
families with decency. The poorest class of families never know 
what decent accommodation is within a reasonable walk of the 
Exchange. And when the course of street improvements draws 
them to the suburbs, they are often but little better ofi" there. 


It were premature to speculate on the way in which benefits of 
this kind could be best conferred on the poor. Purchasing and 
thoroughly improving old property is a scheme which has been 
worked with great advantage already ; the improved property, how- 
ever, has, in these cases, been let out in a manner to pay 5 per cent, 
on the outlay. Mr Peabody would probably prefer that all effected 
through the noble fund he has created should be on behalf of those 
who could afford a merely nominal rent, enough, perhaps, just to 
keep the property in good repair. Then commences that greatest of 
all oifficulties — ^the preventing idleness and imposture from reaping 
the advantages he intends for the " poor of moral character and good 
conduct." This, however, as every one who has endeavoured per- 
sonally to relieve the wants of his fellow creatures knows, is the 
universal difficulty in real charity. " Only let me know the really- 
deserving poor," is a prayer the benevolent have but too frequently 
to utter. 

One express condition of the benefaction is a noble example to 
the present generation, and a rebuke of much done by the past. 
Mr. Peabody dislikes fettering the discretion of his present or future 
trustees, but he puts them on their honour as gentlemen not to fetter 
themselves. He doubtless has his ovm religious creed, and he can 
hardly be an American without leaning strongly to the political 
libendism of his own country. But his beneficiaires are to oe with- 
out distinction of either political or religious creed. Character and 
poverty are to be the grounds of their claim. And he concludes his 
few liberal limitations with these remarkable words: — "It must 
" therefore be held to be a violation of my intentions if any duly 
" qualified and deserving claimant were to be excluded either on the 
" ground of religious beuef or of noUtical bias." Noble words these! 
How does the opposite spirit infest our bequests and foundations of 
all kinds? Even our courts of law — ^in this respect not courts 
of justice — confine the emoluments and advantages of innumerable 
charitable and educational foundations to one sect. They always 
understand by religion, statutable religion only. And even if they 
allow a non-churchman a loaf of bread or an education for his child, 
they strictly exclude all who do not worship according to the Act of 
Uniformity from share in the trusts and management. 

Mr. Peabody's munificence is no trifle regarded only in an inter- 
national point of view. The bonds of commerce may be strong 
between nations, but the bonds of generosity and gratitude are 
stronger still. How can England ever go to war with a nation 
whose leading man among us thus sympathises with and blesses her 
poor. Who of us wiU not set the deed of Mr. Peabody, henceforth, 
gainst that of Captain Wilkes, and how shall we forget that the 
United States ambassador to our Court has, from this time officially, 
the office of a kindly benefactor to our poor. Let the noble act of 
one American, who knows us by five-and-twenty years' experience, 
atone for the foolish ravings or scores of American journalists who 
never set foot on English soil. Lon^ may the generous American 
live to witness the good done by his ^t while livmg. His will not 
be the pleasure of directing as he w3l, the use of property which he 



can no longer enjoy. The happier blessing he will enjoy, of sacri- 
ficing a fortune while it is yet his own — of laying a vast estate at the 
feet of those who will assuredly prove themselves true successors of 
the Apostles, in their faithful distribution to the poor and needy. 

From the " M(yming Advertiser ^^ London, March 2Sth, 1862. 

The announcement, which we, in common with our contempo- 
raries, had the gratification of making yesterday, of the magnificent 
contribution of £ 150,000, by Mr. Peabody to the poor of London, 
has been received in a manner with which the British public could 
not £ail to have greeted so imparaUeled an act of benevolence. But 
while it must be pleasing to Mr. Peabody to hear from all quarters 
the plaudits which his more than princely benevolence has called 
forth, there is a something better stiU in store for him. The general 
public admire and praise the humane and munificent gifb, but for the 
giver there remains a much more gratifying return, in the shape of 
the blessings of those who were ready to perish. These will come, 
not from tne lips only, but from the very lowest depths of their 
hearts. And not only will Mr. Peabody be thus blessed in life by 
those whom his surpassing HberaHty will save from the horrors of 
want, and from other evils as well, but long afber he has ceased to 
exist, his memory will be reverenced, and his name pronounced with 
blessings, by those who are the recipients of his bounty. 

But it is not only because of the magnitude of Mr. Peabody's 
benefaction that we invite especial attention to it. On that account 
alone, were there no otjher, every journalist in the country ought to 
bring the gift before his readers, and in the name of humanity offer 
his hearty thanks to him who has performed so noble an act. But the 
benevolence of Mr. Peabody deserves to have all the prominence 
which it is in the power of the journalism of the coim.try to assign to 
it. It is chiefly as an example to others that we refer to it in the 
most prominent part of our paper. Mr. Peabody has set all the 
wealthy men in the land an example of the most commendable kind. 
And our hope is that they will follow it. To one and aU we say in 
words what Mr. Peabody says in acts, — " G-o and do likewise." 

"We are well aware that there are but comparatively few who, 
even if they had the disposition, possess the power to display a liberal- 
ity equally great with that of Mr. Peabody. Probably there are not 
a dozen men in Her Majesty's dominions as opulent as he. But there 
are thousands, even myriads, in G^reat Britain, who are relatively rich. 
There are myriads who could, without at all inconveniencing them- 
selves, afford to give from one thousand to several thousands to pur- 
poses of charity and mercy. Why should not these persons follow 
Mr. Peabody's example ? If they cannot come quite up to him, let 


them approach as near him as they may ; and let those who cannot 
come near follow him even afar off. Better follow him at a great 
distance than not follow him at all. And if all whom, to use Mr. 
Peabody's humble and grateful expression, " a kind Providence has 
blessed," would only contribute a part of the wealth they possess to 
the amelioration of the condition of the poor, an aggregate sum would 
be raised which would fill our minds with surprise at its magnitude, 
while it would relieve an amount of misery which it would not be 
easy to exaggerate. Myriads of hearts oppressed with sorrow by 
reason of their destitute circumstances, would, in the supposed case, 
sing for joy at the benevolence which had reached their state of deep 

We wish we could reach the bosoms as well as the minds of those 
who are blessed with abundance, in reference to the duty of doing 
what they can to relieve those who suffer from the pangs of want. 
We wish we could prevail on them not to defer theur benefactions 
until they have quitted this world. Little do they suppose how great 
is the happiness of which they deprive themselves by postponing their 
liberality, as regards its practical results, until they have ceased to be 
interested in, or cognisant of, the affairs of this world. We can con- 
ceive no purer pleasure, no higher happiness — ^always excepting the 
bliss which has its origin in religious feeling and reugious conduct — 
than to be conscious that numbers are made at least comparatively 
comfortable by our ministering to their necessities. We venture to 
B^ that there is no comparison whatever between the happiness which 
^T, Peabody enjoys at this moment in the contemplation of what he 
has done, and what he would have experienced had he not performed 
the noble act. 

It was but the other day that one of the wealthiest of Her 
Majesty's subjects quitted the world in which he had made his large 
fortime. He had done nothing in life — ^nothing, at least, so far as the 
public are aware — ^to benefit or bless his suffering fellow-men. The 
thought is exceedingly sad, — that one who might have done so much, 
without inconveniencing himself in any way, to ameliorate the con- 
dition of the poor, did nothing at all. Stiu more lamentable is it, 
that even in making those arrangements, which are made for the 
settlement, as it is called, of one's affairs, in the contemplation of the 
closing scene, — ^not one sixpence should be appropriated, after his 
death, to the relief of the poor or needy, or to lessen the load of any 
one's sorrows, after he himself ceased to have any control over his 
enormous wealth. The death of such a man is not lamented: the 
memory of such a man is not blessed. But we forbear to carry out 
the contrast between those of whom the party referred to was a repre- 
sentative, and those who, like Mr. Peabody, feel it to be their duty to 
" remember the poor" in their Ufe, and if not then, at least to do so 
when making arrangements for a dying hour. 



Prom the ^' ExamineTy^ London, March 29^A, 1863. 

"We publisli elsewhere a correspondence so extraordinary, that it 
appears superfluous to comment on, or even direct attention to it. 
London, for the last few days, has been in amaze at the announce- 
ment that one of her opulent bankers, in the high flow and enjoy- 
ment of prosperity and health, has deliberately convejred to Trustees 
the unprecedented sum of £> 150,000, with the simple injunction that 
it shall be so applied as ^' to ameliorate the condition and augment 
the comforts of the poor, who, either by birth or residence, form a 
recognized portion ot the population of London." Not only, there- 
fore, may a native of any part of the United Ejngdom be a partici- 
pator iQ this magnificent bounty, but even a foreigner, if resident in 
London, may be benefited by it — ^nor is this aU ; the barriers with 
which we are so painfully familiar, of religion and politics, are both 
to be broken down, and the grand-hearted donor has enjoined as a 
condition of his bounty that " the sole qualifications for a partici- 
pation in its benefits shall be an accustomed condition of life such as 
brings the individual within the description of * the poor,' combined 
with moral character and good conduct as a member of society ;" and 
he adds, " that it must be held to be a violation of his intentions if 
any duly qualified and deserving claimant were to be excluded, either 
on the grounds of religious belief or of political bias." 

With these injunctions as to the appropriation of this prodigious 
sum of money, the giver of it commits it to the care of those whom 
he has selected as his administrators, with no limit on the exercise of 
their judgment as to its appropriation beyond a recommendation that 
amongst the many modes which may pass under review for expending 
it judiciously, they will not overlook the application of a portion of it 
at least to the " construction of such improved dwellings for the poor 
as may combine, in the utmost possible degree, the essentials of 
healthrulness, comfort, social enjoyment, and economy." 

In our experience, and far beyond its range, in our memory of 
all we have read of the noble deeds that have been done for the 
struggling classes of England, we can recal nothing to equal this mag- 
nificent donation. The only instance that approaches it, in modem 
times, is the munificence of Mr. Brown, displayed in the foundation 
of the intellectual institutions which he has erected and endowed for 
the inhabitants of Liverpool ; but even this, exalted as was the con- 
ception, is surpassed by the bounteousness of Mr. Peabody. 

To satisfy the curiosity of the multitudes of every rant who have 
recently been reiterating the inquiry, WTho is Mr, Feahody ? we are 
enabled from a very imperfect Memoir of this now renowned gentle- 
man, which we have seen ia a New York publication, entitled The 
Merchanfs Magazine, for April, 1857, to state that Mr. George Pea- 
body is a native of Danvers, in the State of Massachusetts, directly 
descended from the stock of the "Pilgrim Fathers," his ancestor 


having emigrated from St. Albans to New England in 1635. Like 
his hajrdy progenitors, he began the battle of life with no other equip- 
ment than his strong right arm ; and when so young as eleven years 
of age he was already in the midst of the conflict. At fifteen he was 
a merchant ; and at twenty-seven he was a partner in a house at 
Baltimore, with branches both at Philadelphia and New York. In 
1S37 he became resident in England, and eventually settled as a 
banker in London : and in the simple and expressive letter in our 
columns, in which he adverts to his present munificence, he thus 
couples it with these stages of his past career. " From a compara- 
tively early period," he says, " of mv commercial life I had resolved 
in my own mind that should my labours be blessed with success, I 
would devote a portion of the property thus acquired to promote the 
intellectual, moral, and physical welfare and comfort of my fellow- 
men ; wherever from circumstances or location their claims upon me 
would be the strongest." In conformity with this steadily cherished 
resolution, Mr. Peabody, on the occasion of a recent visit to America, 
applied the sum of 100,000 dollars to found an Educational Institute 
and Library in the place of his birth : in Baltimore, where his com- 
mercial career may be said to have commenced, he expended, 500,000 
dollars on a congenial purpose, by building and endowing an Insti- 
tution devoted to science and the arts ; and now, looking back on the 
prosperity which has flowed upon him in London, the place where his 
career may be said to close, he has devoted the vast sum of £150,000 
to improve the condition and administer to the comforts of the poor. 

Nothing in thiis brief narrative is more striking than the simple 
purity of the motive in which Mr. Peabody's gm; has originated, 
coupled with the uniform consistence with which it seems to have 
occupied his thoughts, tiU he has brought it to a noble consummation. 
And BO entirely disinterested is the act, that he bestows this donation 
on the people of this country at a moment when he is meditating a 
return to his own, thus debarring himself even of the gratification of 
witnessing the application of his bounty, and of receiving the grateful 
acknowledgments of those who are individually to benefit by it. 

Nor is this event of the week dissociated from another reflection. 
Gfifts equal in amount, and in some rare instances even in excess of 
it, have in former times been offered by persons on their death-beds, 
or bequeathed by will for especial objects. Par from undervaluing 
these, or ascribing as the motive in the one case that '^ repose of the 
soul " which was assumed to be the reward of moribund munificence, 
or adverting to the fact that in the other the donor purchases post- 
humous renown, at the expense of his heirs and successors: we 
cannot but point to the fact that the instance now before us is, so far 
as we know, without a parallel. A gentleman in the plenitude of 
life and its active pursuits and enjoyments has divested nimself of a 
sum which is in itself an ample fortune, with no other object than 
the immediate advantage of those to whom this world has brought no 
greater blessing than the knowledge of such a bene&ctor. 


Prom the ** Saturday Review" London, March 29/A, 1862. 

Mr. George Peabody bas done too noble a tbing, and done it in 
too noble a way, to permit tbe suspicion of a political investment in 
tbe splendid act of charity which has just been announced. Yet his 
munincence will do infinitely more for the North in public estimation 
than even President Lincoln's cheap bid for the Anti-Slavery fanatics. 
The popular sentiment in favour of at least something American, and 
of at least one subject of the Stars and Stripes, will be enlisted at the 
right moment. Happy in his endowment, still more happy is Mr. 
Peabody in timing or in announcing it. But it would be as ungra* 
cious to look a gift horse in the mouth as to speculate on tbe acci- 
dents and circumstances of the day on which ne was sent round to 
our stables. Blood is thicker than water, as the good Southern cap- 
tain said in the Pehio waters ; and blood is thicker than water, says 
the good Northern merchant at his counting-house in I/ondou. 
Mr. Peabody has been long and deservedly esteemed in London and 
among business men. As a resident among us, he has honourably 
acquired a large fortune, and, already experienced in works of practi- 
cal charity, he has now devoted the large sum of £ 150,000 for the 
benefit of the London poor. 

Of course the remarkable value of this benefiuHion is that it is 
first a gift, and next the gift of a stranger. We all understand how 
much a gift exceeds a legacy. The easy virtue of posthumous liberality 
costs nothing, but charitable donations made in a person's lifetime 
are comparatively rare. Not even our Mortmain Statutes have been 
powerful enough to stimulate that stronger and better virtue — ^a 
charity which costs a man something substantial. And yet there are 
sufficient reasons for founding an institution while the founder himself 
can have the advantage of detecting the flaws in his own scheme of 
liberality. It may be that much, or at any rate somewhat, of the 
success of our older charitable foundations is to be traced to the fact 
that they rested upon the intentions of a living man, and did not 
depend on the construction which lawyers might fasten on the sup- 
posed intentions of the dead. This is a value, independent of all 
higher considerations, founded on the fact that a gift implies an actual 
sacrifice. The interest on £ 160,000 is no trifle for even a very rich 
man to surrender while it is open to him to enjoy it. - But tnis is 
more than a gift — ^it is a stranger's gift. It recalls him whose espe- 
cial praise as a foreigner was that he loved the nation in which he 
was not a citizen but a denizen, and built them a synagogue. Very 
probably Mr. Peabody, like the higher representatives of the better 
American mind, has desired to identify himself with the country from 
which his ancestors derived their blood ; and, just as many AmericaDB 
claim their own share in our great names, and in our &me in litera- 
ture and politics, so it may be that Mr. Peabody seeks in his noble 
benefaction to identify himself for ever with our institutions. What 
he wants to show, as he evidently feels, is, that a true American baa 


a personal interest in London, and is himself in a high sense a London 
merchant and a London citizen. He looks on London as common to 
all English kith and kin. Some time ago, aQ Englishman long resi- 
dent in Paris thought proper to leave an Art-CoUection to France, 
and this was thought, and perhaps not unjustly, to be an unpatriotic 
thing. But the founder of the educational institute at Baltimore 
need not fear the charge of forgetting higher obligations due to his 
native land. "We cannot at this moment recall an exact precedent for 
liberality such as Mr. Peabody's ; and it is no slight praise to have 
innovated on the beaten track. 

Mr. Peabody's opinion on the particular point in which he thinks 
English charity requires to be supplemented or stimulated may, 
perhaps, be regarded as unusually important. Strangers often under- 
stand domestic matters better than those most personally and directly 
interested in them. They stand apart from our sectional and tempo- 
rary modes of viewing internal affau^. "We are in danger of forgettmg 
or undervaluing our worst deficiencies ; and the opinion of a really 
intelligent foreigner is better than most of our own social experiences 
and confessions. Mr. Peabody sees that we are sufficiently alive to 
all that Government can do for the people — ^that as to education, and 
hospitals, and schools, and museums, we can do enough, and more 
than enough. Our great religious principles, and our acknowledged 
maxuna in politics-nay, eyen our reUgions divisions and our party 
strifes — ^may well be trusted for acknowledging and supplying most 
of our class wants. But there is one great evfl universally incident 
to humanity—at least to humanity under any and every social system 
which has yet been the result of study or accident. The poor shall 
never cease from the land. Above and beyond and below aU our civi- 
lization — ^perhaps sometimes on account of our civilization — ^wiU seethe 
and fester a large, it may be an increasing, amount of personal human 
suffering. Poverty will be the social ewS. which no state-system and 
no benevolence can ever adequately cope with, and will never pretend 
to eradicate. There will always be the poor, and the poor will always 
want and require more than they can get. There will always be a 
great void into which Mr. Peabody's charity may be properly poured. 
He was quite right, therefore, in selecting the London poor as the 
exclusive objects of his bounty. His choice relieved him from the 
imputation of aiding a party or encouraging a crotchet. The largest 
and eldest want of our common humanity was the safest to select ; 
and Mr. Peabody, in the manner of his beneficence, has shown as 
much wisdom as generosity in its matter. 

At present, the det£uls of the scheme are not settled ; and the 
trustees nominated by the founder will have undoubtedly a serious 
responsibility to face. London is large enough to render impossible 
that evil which has proved fatal to merely local charities, and the 
temptation to flock to any particular town lor the sake of qualifying 
for the local charities is in tnis case wholly out of the question. What 
definition shall distinguish the really poor — ^whether age or sickness, 
or what special chances and changes of this mortal life — may well be 
left to the friture. Who shall be Mr. Peabody's almoners, and who 
his stewards for ever, we can readily decline at present to enquire. 


Enough for us that the London poor are his objects. A^d, after allf 
they are the most substantial objects of charity. Poverty may be 
simulated ; it may be impossible to fix its limits or define its range ; 
but it exists. The majority of the visibly and really poor are no 
impostors. Men do hunger and thirst, and pine and starve. Want 
and wretchedness, and sickness and cold, and tattered clothing are, 
after all, the great true facts, and ever will remain so. As Christianity 
was the first to recognize the claims of poverty, so, on the very front 
of its charter, it placed the duty to relieve the hungry, the thirsty, 
the naked, and the homeless. Every corporate and perpetual charity 
may be, and is certain to be, abused ; but a gift to the London poor 
must of necessity hit more blots than it misses. 

Mr. Feabody has in a thoroughly practical way gone back to the 
old-fashioned, and at one time exclusive method of English charity. 
There is hardly a parish in England which, on some sumptuous board 
in its parish church, does not record the legacies and gifts of old time 
bestowed by our simple fathers on " the poor of this parish" or " the 
decayed inhabitants of this town." Poverty was the one and only 
appeal which founders and benefactors of old could understand. Of 
late years, we have grown, as we think, wiser. We say, and there is 
truth enough in the saying, that it is better to prevent poverty — that 
it requires a higher intelligence to make poverty impossible than to 
feed and clothe it when it stalks an oifence and a disgrace in the land. 
And so it is. But we have not yet destroyed poverty, and we shall 
have to wait till the Millennium before this great work is achieved. 
Meanwhile, it is just possible that the really poor, whether their exist- 
ence is economically justifiable or not, shriek and sigh, and there ia 
but a scanty or fitful answer to special, and oftennot very remarkable, 
appeals, because we dislike the ugly fetct that, after all, we cannot get 
rid of poverty, and bury it for ever out of our sight. Mr. George 
Peabody has done sometning in merely facing an unwholesome truth ; 
and if we were to add that he has also done something to revive that 
particular sort of charity which we are in some danger of postponing 
to the showy charity of education, arts and sciences, parks and wash- 
houses, reading rooms and lecture halls, perhaps we should only say 
that our benefactor excels as much in good sense as in good feeling. 

From the "London Review/' March 29/A, 1862. 

America has of late given us little but sounds and sights of 
anger, excitement, or ferocity. Every breeze that swept across the 
Atlantic brought us the tidings of ruined forts, blazing villages, cities 
swept of their inhabitants, harbours doomed to desolation. The 
noisy language of mutual recrimination rang through the air, and 
showers of opprobrious epithets darkened the sky, as they descended 
upon enemies and neutrals alike. The prevailing animosity blazed 


out in an act of insult towards ourselves, — ^an outrage so palpably 
unjustifiable, as to admit of no other explanation or apology than the 
sort of madness that passion generates. Peace, mercy, moderation, 
seemed to have bidden a final adieu to scenes too rude, and natures 
too implacable, for their gentle influences. The close ties of consan- 
guinity and friendship that linked Englishmen and Americans together 
seemed dissolved for ever. A war, dreadful in itself, seemed still more 
shocking in the hatreds of which it was laying the foundation, and the 
eternal resentments that threatened to foUow in its track. 

In the midst of the uproar, the annoimcement of a great act of 
munificence on the part of an American citizen to the poor of London 
sounds like a note of peace, and recalls us to that calmer and more 
friendly mood which nature and common sense seem to enjoin 
between nations so nearly related. Mr. Peabody's gift is welcome in 
itself, and doubly welcome in the opportunity it wiU afibrd on both 
sides of the Atlantic for discarding prejudices, and burying dislikes 
which threatened, but so short a time ago, to range the two great 
liberal powers of the world in mutual encounter. We have had a 
desperate family auarrel, and almost come to blows ; Mr. Peabody, as 
a really wise ana good relation, by a well-timed act of generosity, 
awakens the better sentiments that underlie so much superficial 
dislike, and inclines both of the disputing parties to a renewal of 
affection. Americans too often imagine that Englishmen regard 
them with jealousy and coldness ; Mr. Peabody, at any rate, during 
his twenty-nve years' sojourn amongst us, has not found it so, and he 
accompanies his offering by the acknowledgment that though he came 
to London a stranger, he did not long feel himself in a strange land : 
" In all my commercial and social intercourse with my British friends, 
I have constantly received courtesy, kindness, and confidence." On 
the other hand, Englishmen are apt to dress up an ideal American as 
a sharp-dealing, calculating speculator, whose '^'cuteness" is only 
rivalled by his cupidity, whose one ambition is '' to flog the 'varsal 
creation" in the way of good bargains, and who would view any piece 
of disinterestedness with the contempt due to virtuous innocence. 
They will be reminded for the future tnat in one instance at least an 
American merchant deliberately formed and realized the idea of 
dedicating a large portion of his wealth to the charitable purpose of 
alleviating the distress and increasing the happiness of people bom 
under another rule than his own, and bound to nim by no other than 
a sentimental connection. How rare amongst ourselves the delicate 
conscience, the keen sensibility, the ready synipathy with a remote 
class, that are implied by such a gift as this! Mr. Peabody, no 
doubt, is an opulant man, and £ 150,000 may not represent to him 
any very considerable sacrifice of income. Such a suggestion is 
answered by the extreme rarity of such acts of munificence, even in 
cases of the greatest wealth. The richest men are by no means those 
who part with their guineas with the least pang, and we may be quite 
certain that it is in no mere pride of riches, in no caprice of su{)er- 
fluity, that the successful New England merchant has divested him- 
self of so large a frtiction of his gains, and laid down so noble a 
contribution for a purpose in which he is so little personally inter- 


ested. It is a romantic act, and Englishmen will, for the fature, 
remember that romance on the largest scale, and involying the most 
considerable sacrifices, is to be found among a race of men, whom 
European fastidiousness affected to despise as rulgarized by com- 
merce and the slaves of prudential considerations. 

Mr. Peabody has exercised a wise discretion in calling in the 
aid of several gentlemen occupying varied positions, and representing 
various interests, for the management of his magnificent donation. 
A great gift, like a great book, may be but a monster evil, and several 
of the prmcipal bequests that the chariW of past ages have left to us, 
have long ceased to produce any useml effects, and have become a 
positive nuisance. The American Minister, Lord Stanley, and their 
colleagues, will have to take care that the sum entrusted to their 
hands is not frittered away in small charitable contrivances, which, 
though affording a momentary relief, in reality only aggravate habits 
of dependence, recklessness, and pauperism ; nor suffered to assume 
a shape which would, by supersedmg the necessity of charity, check 
its natural flow amongst ourselves ; nor wasted on those mendicant 
classes who are ever on the look out for a fresh booty, and who live 
in a state of chronic rebellion against the wholesome doctrine of the 
apostle, that eating and working should keep each other company. 
The evil to be dealt with is so vast, so multiform, and so complex, 
that any injudicious attempt to alleviate it may bring about still 
graver and more irremediable maladies than those which are already 
the shame and danger of our social system. 

The trustees who will administer the charity, have only two 
guiding rules laid down by which to steer their course, and it would 
be difficult to devise two of more radical importance. In the first 
place, it is solemnly enjoined that " there shall be a rigid exclusion 
from the management of the fund of any influences calculated to 
impart to it a character either sectarian as regards religion, or exclu- 
sive in relation to local or party politics." No man, on account of 
his theological or political opinions, is to be excluded from the 
beneficent operation of the gift, and we are saved from the danger 
of its degenerating into a mere machine for bribery or intimidation 
on a monster scale. In the next place, the trustees, in selecting 
an object, are directed especially to "the construction of such 
improved dwellings for the poor as may combine, in the utmost 
possible degree, the essentials of healthfulness, comfort, social enjoy- 
ment, and economy." How this is most effectually to be achieved, 
and whether this scheme wiU be adopted to the exclusion of every 
other, are questions which, when so large a sum is at stake, deserve 
to have all the light that experience, inquiry, scientific knowledge, 
and patient consideration can throw upon them. Suggestions will, 
no doubt, be rained down plentifrdly upon the trustees, and their 
respective merits will be carefully weighed. In another column 
we nave spoken of the wretched condition of the pauper incurables 
in our workhouses ; might not some of the frmd be usetuUy employed 
in erecting the distinct wards, which doctors, nurses, and patients 
alike declare to be so absolutely necessary; or, where this is im- 
practicable, might there not be a central building to which the 


inctirables from London Hospitals might be transferred? Again, 
the scheme of a surburban village, on one of the lines of railroad — 
allowing the labourer to reach his work with ease and his family 
to breathe the fresh air of the country, — ^has been often discussed, 
and as ofben dismissed as hopelessly expensive. May not this be an 
opportunity for tnring an experiment which has so much to recom- 
mend it, and which, if successful, would add so enormously to " the 
healthfulness, comfort, and social enjoyments" of the squalid crowds 
who now swarm, sickly and multitudinous, about the dens and courts 
of the metropolis? Or will the trustees content themselves with 
carrying out on an enlarged scale the operations of those charitable 
buflding societies whose plan it is to buy up the worst and most 
pestilential "rookeries," furmsh them with every appliance for 
decency and health, get rid of a class of middlemen, and let them at 
moderate rates to the poor? The system has already been vei 
nearly made to answer as a speculation, and Mr. Peabody's 
would develop it into such proportions, as to colour the whole 
metropolis, and to infect even the worst neighbourhoods with some 
notions of cleanliness and propriety. If the centralized courts of 
justice are determined upon, it is but too probable that one of the 
most distressed sections of the London poor will be cast out of their 
homes, and fall back, as is invariably the case, upon the already 
overcrowded districts which surround the quarters from which they 
have been ejected. A row of good lodgings would save these poor 
people from a world of misery, and their neighboiu's from the disease, 
discomfort, and immorality incidental to over-packing. Again, would 
not some of the fund be well bestowed on purposes of education in 
those districts whose very helplessness seems, at present, to shut 
them out-from help, and which no existing machinery seems adequate 
to reach ? A good school, so well provided as to bring it within the 
scope of all Government assistance, planted in some of the wild 
regions "across the border," which are only known to us by the 
occasional petition of some struggling clergyman, — ^might act as 
a sort of nucleus of civilization, and would justly fiill within the 
benevolent donor's intention. These and many such benevolent 
schemes will clamour for the trustees' acceptance; nor is there 
a doubt that they wiQ find £ 150,000 go a very little way towards 
satisfying the wants which will be brought to their notice. We 
congratulate them upon having been selected to perform a. task 
which, however troublesome, is likely to confer so large an amount of 
happiness, and we trust that Mr. Peabody's munificence and their 
discretion may succeed in achieving results which " will be appre- 
ciated not only by the present but mture generations of the people 
of London." 


From the " Weekly Dispatch/' London, March 30^A, 1862, 

Mb. Editor, — I was about to address you on this constantlj- 
pressing subject, when the letter of Mr. Qeorge Peabody to tne 
American Minister at St. James's, Lord Stanley, and other gentlemen, 
annoimcing the devotion of no less a sum than £150,000 to the 
service of the London poor, caught my attention in the "Times." 
That letter is almost more valuable in its evidence than in the act it 
announces. At fbrst sight, the recovery of so many, many thousands 
of our fellow-creatures from hopeless degradation, from filth, from aU 
impurity, physical and moral, seems next to hopeless. Yet greater, 
far greater, than the destitution are the means for relieving it. 
Without supposing that every one is to apportion as great a share of 
his riches as Mr. Peabody does to the sacred and indispensable duty 
of helping his feUow-creatures, the spirit in which he dioes this deea, 
frankly accepted and acted upon by all, would root out the misery of 
this great aggregation of wretchedness. Somehow or other everybody 
about us manages to exist, and does so all the more wastefully because 
the means of life are snatched at by fits and starts instead of being the 
fruit of continuous, Veil-directed industry. Crime is the costliest 
thing in the world ; dirt is the next to it, with the usurious interest it 
levies on neglect in the shape of sickness and incapacity for exertion, 
with the vice that is inseparable from its desparing sullenness. If the 
wealthy had sense enough — I will say nothing about generosity, 
humanity, charitv — to go to the work with a wiU, putting the direc- 
tion of their efforts in the hands of earnest and intell^ent men, 
London might be cleared of its sickliest wretchedness in a twelve- 
month. Is it too much to hope that, others, our fellow-countrymen, 
will be stirred up by the noble example of this stranger, and bring 
forth from their hoards, as if for a work in which they take a vitsu 
interest, large sums capable of j^urchasing the means of eradicating 
the worst evils that we behold dily among us ? At a time when the 
Pederal States of Amevica and Ghreat Britain are not too good friends, 
a citizen of the Union gives a large fortune to the miserable of our 
metropolis. And he does this as to his fellow-labourers in a city in 
which he has amassed a great portion of his wealth, acknowledging at 
the same time the " courtesy, kindness and confidence " which, as a 
merchant, he has for twenty-five years invariably received here. This 
testimony to our civilized and genial hospitality cannot be without its 
effect on either side of the Atlantic. It tells the Americans what we 
are at home, how just and how unprejudiced is the conduct of our 
commercial classes. It tells us in how princely a fashion an American 
citizen can acknowledge the friendship, the estimation, the civic 
protection he has enjoyed. Let it not tell this in addition, that the 
successful citizen of a great democratic Republic is ready to do good 
in a stranger land to an amount which its own wealthiest, always 
with one or two illustrious exceptions, are utterly incapable of 


The wisdom of Mr. Peabody's suggestion for the employment of 
the fund he creates is worthy of the benevolence of the gift. He 
directs attention to the dwellings of the poor ; he would lodge them 
better. Now, this employment of such a sum not only begins at the 
right end for doing the most good, but it directly tends to perpetuate 
and to increase the means. Any sum, however large, devoted to the 
destruction of crapulous dens and the erection of wholesome homes, 
cannot be swallowed up, cannot be expended once and for all. 
Although the rents which may feirly be taken for cleanly, healthful, 
cheerfid habitations, may give no great encouragement to capitalists, 
yet they will always return interest enough for the effecting of an 
immense extension of good by skilful reinvestment. Q-ive but 5 per 
cent, as the annual net return of the outlay, and the next fifteen or 
sixteen years may see the £ 150,000 turned into a £ 300,000 capital 
for the perpetual help of the poor, and £ 600,000 may be so counted 
upon in from fifteen to twenty years after that. The benefit may be 
made to increase at compound interest, double upon double. All the 
while the poor are served without being iu the slightest degree de- 
graded by obligation. They are lifted, in fact, from squalor iuto 
decency, and they are helped by being enabled to pay their own way 
into respectability. They are part workers in the scheme which 
is to benefit others after them as weU as themselves. They are 
made men of without the real cost of a shilling in what might be 
called almsgivrog. Moreover, the mode of assistance is precisely that 
appropriate to the relief of the particular class which Mr. Peabody 
desires to benefit — the poor who " form a recognised portion of the 
population of London," the " poor of London in the ordinary sense of 
the word," and such as combine with that designation "moral cha- 
racter and good conduct as members of Society." Por such objects of 
kindliness no deed can be performed so welcome or so benencial as 
housing them worthily. I need not dwell, much as I should delight 
to do so, upon the large-minded and jealous foresight which earnestly 
and repeatedly shuts out " religious belief or political bias," from any 
share whatever in the control of admissions. Heaven send something 
like honest conscience to the trustees in time to come, whoever they 
may be, to perform this most pious of all obligations. 

I had mtended, however, to recur to the cause of the poor before 
I read this letter of Mr. Peabody's. There were other and sadder 
facts that seemed to compel attention. Another letter, and a reply to it 
have appeared in the " Tunes." " An Australian " was coming mto the 
city on the " bitter cold and wet morning " of the 21st. He saw " as 
fair and beautiful a child as could well be seen," in " garments miser- 
ably thin," and with naked feet, " dragging herself along on the cold 
pavement " and " ciying bitterly." He watched her ; she asked no 
alms. He accosted her ; she told him she had no parents alive ; he 
gave her a trifle and went on with a heavy heart. He pointed her out 
to a policeman, and the policeman stolidly pointed in return to half-a- 
dozen other children, not perhaps as interesting in appearance, but 
just as wretched, cowering and crouching out of the way of the 
pitiless weather. The Australian could only wonder, why these poor 
young creatures should not be conveyed to the land he had just come 


from, where they would find food and to spare, and " in time become 
happy and prosperous mothers of families." On this, " W. D. B." 
a signature now well known as that of the promoter of a great scheme 
of metropolitan poor relief, sends a somewhat stereotyped answer to 
the Australian's published story. "W. D. B. can, of course, show the 
terrible evil of encouraging street begging. He can picture, without 
much fear of being accessory to the prevention of useful almsgiving, 
the experienced conviction of the policeman that the wretch who sent 
out the poor child to beg was probably waiting the result of the 
exhibition of distress at the next gin-shop, and, having taken the 
money, woxild drive out the hapless uttle gainer of it with a curse to 
go and put herself in the way of extracting more from the compassion 
of the inexperienced. W. D. B. suggests that the Australian should 
have taken down the child's address in his pocket-book, "and he 
would have had the opportunity, either in person or by proxy, of 
helping, probably rescuing from a life of future fraud and crime, this 
one innocent and perhaps others." Instead of this, the Australian 
has only " helped the pretty face of the child to trade upon the better 
sympathies oi humanity, till it is eligible to minister to its grosser 
vices." Mainly true, horribly true; but not all the truth. It is 
quite certain that we ought most resolutely to button up our pockets 
in the streets, most especially against the appeals of children ; that if 
we help them it should be with bread or heartier food, and see them eat 
it ; that we should take the sternest precaution against the vUlainous 
cruelty that trades upon the suffermgs of the poor helpless little 
creatures. "We see them in the streets as sure as the most miserable 
pitiless weather sets in ; that is, their tyrants well know the season 
when they can most effectively set forth the wicked exposure. Infants 
are brought out in the rain, children are sent shoeless through the 
mud, because then they will palpably be suffering the most. The 
show will not pay at other times, when the accessories are not so 
effective. Well, to encourage the miscreants who live by the 
cruelty is to be an accomphce in their murderous acts. &ive 
nothing. But this is only a part, and the smallest possible, 
part, of our duty. As to taking down addresses, which of these 
parties, impostors or impostors' victims, will give their own ? 
Who amongst us, over-worked and over-wearied strugglers in the 
London world, has the time and spare physical energy to hunt out 
these things? But are they, therefore, to exist? Is there no body 
of rich men — ^I will not say Peabodys, but folks of somewhat more 
than average desire to do good, and courage and resolution to carry 
their will through — ^who will determine to probe this sore to the veiy 
bottom? The parishes cannot do it. Those in which the child- 
murderers and their little slaves are nestled are the very poorest, with 
Union houses stuffed fuU, with out-door relief that means mere bread 
in quantity under starvation point, and with ratepayers themselves 
only trembling a little way off the jaws of the workhouse. The rich 
parishes will not make common cause with the poor ones. A 
metropolitan rate ! It might make the Poor-law a charity instead of 
a mockery to thousands of the perishing, it might drive imposture out 
of the streets by the knowledge that all real distress would be really 


relieved. But then it woiild cost sixpence in the pound tax upon 
rentals now nearly exempt, and would compel the wealthier portions 
of the town fully to provide for the industry engaged in ministering 
to luxury. It would be also asserting that justice which the Hebrew 
language, in its best book, calls righteousness. Of course, it is not to 
be thought of till indignation once for all compels it. As soon leave 
off green wreaths because the manufacture kills certain working girls. 
If wearing them slays a few fashionables that is quite another matter. 
Let us appeal, then, to the interests of the rich. 

"What units cannot do, a body of the honestly charitable may. 
Subscribe largely, and make a razzia upon the streets on the first day 
and night of supremely English weather. "We have often been told 
that the young " Arabs" shall be " taken up and educated." Send 
out emissaries enough to seize upon all and track them to their homes, 
or force them to the police-offices and the workhouses. Astound the 
profligates who live or drink upon this viUany by the nonappearance 
of all their little slaves. Compel what we call "society," or the 
administration that stands in the place of it, to take note that there 
are so many thousands whom it is the very first duty to reclaim from 
a bondage which either ends life far more fearfiilly and prematurely 
than any negro slavery, or just suffers it to crawl on to far more 
pitiable maturity. It is the cowardice of the upper classes that 
shrinks from tms supreme effort. An immense amount of misery 
would be found, and provision must be found for it, but the gulpn 
would not be iinfathomable. Count the sacrifices of this London 
Dahomey, the reckoning would not be beyond our power of redemp- 
tion, when once the children were taken possession of, who, for the 
sake of any pounds or shillings he could in any wise spare, would 
ever permit mem to go back again to their detestable owners — ^their 
destroyers by slow torture — ^lessors or lessees of their sufferings ? 

Extirpate this class of evil, which it only requires the generosity 
and the courage of a few thousands of us to do, and you have cut up 
the roots of the worst weeds in this rank soil. Ton have dug to the 
depth and reached the rock you can build upon. It is a dreadful 
thing that "An Australian" or any one else should see children in 
the street devoted, through bodily pain of the most destructive kind, 
to moral iniquity of the most wretched sort, and be told when he, 
however unskilfully, tries to alleviate the suffering, be it to satisfy 
his own human repugnance to the idea of such infliction, that he 
would have done well to let it alone, and yet that nothing effectual is 
at luuid in the way of mitigation. Others should not do as he has 
done, but all should feel as he does. It is not the mere withholding 
of gifts, but giving wisely and largely, that wiU remove this deadly 
disgrace and cankering disease from us. In social economy it would 
be an admirable outlay, but let our hearts outrun such calculations : 
sure of our instincts, let us only guide them aright. Let us not have 
the commercial melaropolis of the world, the centre of riches, luxury, 

Eower, abundance, represented in the eyes of any stranger by a 
eautiful child of eight years old in the extreme of sorrow who must 
not be relieved, who may excite pity, but whom it is most humane to 
pass away from mth a refusal of al^s. 



From the "John Bull," London, March 29th, 1862. 

We mentioned a little time back a rumour that an American 
merchant, a Mr, Peabody, had resolved to devote no less a sum than 
£ 100,000 for the benefit of the English poor. Prom some corre- 
spondence that has appeared this week, it would seem that the precise 
sum was misunderstood, and that £ 150,000 is the real amount he 
proposes to give, in order to increase the comforts of the less for- 
tunate sons of toil in the land of his adoption, where he has amassed 
an immense fortune. Such instauces of generosity are unfortunately 
rare enough to call for special comments, and the fact that the donor 
is a foreigner and an American, calls at this particular time for more 
immediate acknowledgment. It is for the trustees appointed by 
Mr. Peabody to see that his generosity is not abused, or the value of 
his gift diminished by careless administration. We confess that the 
object he has himself hinted at, viz., the improvement of the dwellings 
of the poor, has our warmest sympathy ; but in whatever way it may 
be expended, we most earnestly nope that it may not be frittered 
away m expenses, but that those for whom it is intended, may reap 
the full benefits of so noble a charity. 

From the "John Bull,'' London, April 12th, 1862. 

The munificence of Mr. Peabody has been formally acknow- 
ledged by the ward of Portsoken, and the Corporation of the city of 
London is about to enrol his name amongst its citizens, and to present 
him in the usual manner with the freedom of the city enclosed in a 
^old box. These are but the begumings, and so far as the outward 
expressions of gratitude may go, we have no doubt that the public 
sense of the bounty of Mr. Peabody will be far more generally and 
appropriately expressed. As the act of one who is not an English- 
man, it is in every way noteworthy, and our thankfulness for his 
princely donation to the poor of London is increased when we are told 
that, so far from hindering, it has followed similar deeds of bountiM- 
ness to the poor of his native town and country. Long may the 
prosperous .Ainerican merchant enjoy the power of bestowing with 
such large-handed munificence 1 Almsgiving, however, even when on 
so noble a scale as that of which we are speaking, is not a mere piece 
of luxury. It has its anxieties and its duties equally with other 
more prosaic and common-place actions. The knowledge which can 
successfrdly direct the course of a stream to irrigate and fertilise a 
thirsty soil is as important as the skill which enables us to discover 
the spring itself. !For this reason we wait with some anxiety to know 


how tbis large sum of £ 150,000 is to be expended. The greatest 
assistance which can at any time be rendered to the poor is that which 
wiU not encourage them to cease from efforts for their own advaatage, 
but which will stimulate them to exertions, and secure to their ex- 
ertions a proper reward. Indiscriminate and thoughtless bounty does 
but degrade and pauperize those whom the same bounty discrimi- 
nately administered would raise from their poverty and elevate in the 
scale of moral beings. It is this fact which renders the spasmodic 
and even the regular and endowed charities of the metropolis often- 
times a curse rather than a blessing to the poor. It is not the lavish 
hand that is alone required if we would benefit our fellows, but more 
than this, the reflective head, patient of labour, and persevering in 
thought, how best to apply a remedy for those evils, the sight of which 
disturb the heart. 

There is one wide field for the bounty of the philanthropist in 
the crowded streets and alleys of London, which we hope will not be 
overlooked by the trustees who have been selected to administer this 
large sum. Year by year, the dwellings of the poor have been be- 
coming more and more insupportable. The mass of the population 
has been driven closer and closer together until the homes of the poor 
have been made also the homes of fever and of death. Every new 
street which we fondly dreamt would let light and air into a crowded 
neighbourhood, has but increased the evil. The poor, compelled by 
the exigencies of their daily needs to cling to one spot, have out been 
swept on either side of the new thoroughfare of trade, and have 
increased the inconveniences and sufferings of their neighbours. 
Palatial warehouses and magnificent and lofty shops are but too often 
like the gold lace which sets off a worn out and threadbare garment. 
They frii^e a neighbourhood of squalor and of disease which has been 
increased, if not created, by the new and spacious street itself. We 
know of few things more disgusting than the prospectus of most of 
the public improvements which have been contemplated or carried out 
in the metropolis. In the project for a country railway, expectant 
shareholders are told of the absence of engineenng difficulties ; in 
one which is to pass through or into the heart of London, the in- 
variable lure is that it wiU be made througK " inferior property,** a 
piece of euphemism which, expressed in plain language, means that 
it will drive out none but the poor. We are not, however, at this 
moment concerned with the causes of the evil which blights the lives 
of the labouring classes of the metropolis, nor do we care to track the 
selfishness which congratulates itseff that it can put its iron heel, 
without hindrance, upon the bodies and the souls of the poor. The fact 
is undeniable, that pnysical suffering, and worse than this, that moral 
degradation have hitherto gone hand-in-hand with much of our town 
improvements. Not that the two are at all inseparable ; if they were 
so, however much we might regret the fact, we should strive to submit 
in silence to what was inevitable. What we complain of is the 
cupidity which takes advantage of the necessity for public works to 
dnv© out the poor, and which resists every attempt to supply or to 
allow others to supply, fitting homes for our ejected labourers. 

Here then, we beHeve, a good and legitimate field exists for the 


employment of the money which the large-heartedness of Mr. Peabody 
has placed at our disposal for the use of the poor of London. Let it 
be used in such a way that a due return for his labours may be 
secured to the poor man. Let it be employed, not in pauperising the 
labourer, but in assisting to raise him from that degradation into which 
he has been forced by others, rather than has sunk of his own accord. 
If the money can be employed in giving us a practical instance 
how best to supply homes for the working men of London, in which 
their families may breathe an atmosphere that is not positively laden 
with fever, and in which the ordinary decencies of life may be some- 
what observed, more will have been done to diminish want, to arrest 
disease, and to check vice, than by anything which has been 
attempted of late years. A pile of buildings devoted to such a pur- 
pose, with separate residences, not suitable for one class only, but in 
which various classes may reside without being mingled, and where 
the suite of rooms of the merchant's clerk, or of the superior and 
skilled artisan may be surmounted by the humbler but decent and 
wholesome abode of the labourer, would become an ever-increasing 
endowment for the poor. The net returns of such a building might 
be employed hereafter in the erection of similar dwellings, and the 
benevolent intentions of the donor might thus bear fruit to after 
generations. Some such a work as this appears to us necessary at 
the present moment, and it would be one which would aid the poor 
in the most unexceptionable of aU ways. An hotel like this, to use 
the foreign word by which such a budding would be called, might 
well perpetuate the name, whilst it evidently carried out the in* 
tentions, of Mr. Peabody. 

From the ^^ Hlmtrated London News/' April hth, 1862. 

Mr. Peabody's career has another aspect beside the financial. 
His position as a merchant has served only ad a foil to display hiTn in 
the character of a humanitarian. The Anglo-American merchant, 
though no professional politician, early perceived that his position 
would enable him to act as a link between the English and American 
people. His Pourth of July dinners, where philo- American English 
and philo-English American gentlemen sat roimd the same table and 
made an annual demonstration of international fraternity in the eyes 
of the two worlds, constitute an event in the history of the relations 
of the two kindred, but alas ! too often alienated, nations. These 
dinners were discontinued only when there was a body of American 
residents who were ready to take the good work out of Mr. Peabody's 

Mr. Peabody is not encumbered with family ties; he is a 
bachelor ; his collateral relations, some of whom he supported when 
he was a very young man, have long since ceased to need help from 


bim. Of the copious stream of private bene&ctions which he 
dispensed to needy Americans in England we can speak only from 
general repute, but the monuments of his public beneficence are, or 
soon will be (we may almost say), scattered over the world. To his 
native town he has given about j[ 100,000 to found a library and 
lecture fund. The Peabody Institute of Danvers is now in active 
operation. To the citizens of Baltimore — ^the city where he spent 
more than twenty years of his business life, and where he gained that 
standing which was the source of his success in London — ^he gave, in 
1857, the sum of ^500,000 to found an institute in that wealthy but 
heretofore unlettered dty, which should embrace a free library, a 
fund to pay for lectures to which certain classes were to have free 
admission, an academy of music, a gallery of art, and premises for the 
accommodation of the Maryland Historical Society. The opening of 
this institution has been retarded by the war in America, which has 
brought upon Baltimore the inconveniences of a military occupation. 
His list public benefaction, that of £150,000 for the benefit of the 
poor of London, differing in kind as it does from those which he has 
Destowed upon his native country, surpasses them all in magnitude. 
It has long been the praiseworthy fashion of American millionaires, 
after providing amply for their families, if they have any, to found 
with the bulk of their wealth some public institution, promotive of the 
intellectual or physical welfare of their fellow-citizens. Thus, New 
Orleans has had her M'Donogh, Philadelphia her Stephen G-irard, 
Boston her John Lowell and Abbott Lawrence, Oswego her Gkrrit 
Smith, New York her John Jacob and WiUiam B. Astor and her 
Peter Cooper, and Baltimore her G-eorge Peabody. The last has 
excelled all other American public benefactors, not alone in the 
extent and variety of his munificence, but especially in this respect — 
that while th^ will be remembered by a grateful posterity m one 
branch only of the English-speaking race, the memory of our Anglo- 
American Mecs&nas will be an inheritance shared equally between 
Britain and the United States, and will add one to that long list of 
names in politics and literature which both nations delight to honour, 
and which serve to nourish a sentiment which moderates the violence 
and survives the effects of temporary causes of estrangement. 

Prom the ''Press/' London, March 29th, 1862. 

Mr. Gteorge Peabody's donation of £ 150,000 to ameliorate the 
condition of the poor oi London is one of those unprecedented acts 
of beneficence which can only be fitly acknowled^d bv the gratitude 
of the nation at large. A nobler use of wealth could not be made 
than to relieve the simerings, and contribute to the comforts, of those 
who have fallen under the ban of poverty through no especial fault of 
their ovm. "We see around us everywhere distress in all its forms, 
of which a great deal, no doubt, may be due to causes which might 


have been avoided — ^to imprudence, recklessness, vice, and even 
crime. But after excluding all cases of poverty as could justly be 
attributed to sucli causes, how many will there not remaia that 
would fairly come within the class for the relief of which Mr. Peabody 
especially wishes his munificent gift to be devoted — the poor of 
London possessed of '' moral character and good conduct as members 
of society." We are sadly reminded of our own shortcomings when 
we reflect that the gentleman who has thus appropriated a sum equal 
to a large fortune for the relief of our poor is an American citizen. 
Mr. Pei^dy came to London a quarter of a century ago, and has 
during that time been known in the city, and in general society, as a 
merchant of the highest position. He had resolved from a compa- 
ratively early period, as he declares in his letter to the gentlemen 
whom he has named the trustees of the fimd, " should his commercial 
labours be blessed with success,'* to devote " a portion of the property 
thus acquired to promote the intellectual, moral, and physical welfare 
of his feUow-men." How this noble-hearted man has prospered his 
princely acts of beneficence sufficiently proclaim. In the year 1852 
he founded in the town of Danvers, in the State of Massachussetts, 
" for the benefit of the people of the place of his birth," a library and 
an institute which have proved " most beneficial to the locality and 
gratifying to himself." On his return to the United States in 1857, 
afber an absence of twenty years, he asain founded at Baltimore '' an 
institute upon a much more extended scale, devoted to science and 
the arts, with a free library." And now, after having so liberally 
promoted the intellectual and moral advancement of his countrymen 
in the States, he devotes this unparalleled gift to alleviate the 
physical wants of the poor of this metropolis. The only condition 
prescribed as to the management of this large fund is that no poor 
person shall be excluded from participating in its benefits ^' either on 
the grounds of religious belief or of poUticfu bias." Simply with that 
stipulation this princely sum has at once been transferred from Mr. 
Feabody's account to that of the trustees, in order that they may as 
soon as practicable give effect to the charitable intentions of the 
donor, who will henceforth be justly ranked among the greatest 
private benefactors not only of this city but of mankind. 

From ''Bell's Life in London/' March SOth, 1862. 

The world has often had reason to be grateful to the munificence 
of individual benefactors, but it never had more reason than on this 
occasion ; for, not only is the sum given (part of the result of honest 
labour) very large, but the motives whicn dictated the gift, and the 
principles suggested for its appUcation, are admirable. Here is no 
waiting tiU ^ath threatens the donor to deprive him of all, and in- 
duces him to hand over a large portion in the hope of spiritual 
advantage, and of obtaining condonation for past sins. The selfish- 


nesB which the Mortmain Act was intended to prevent does not exist 
here* Here is the frank and honest gi^t of an nonourable man, who 
has become wealthy hj honest means, and in his lifetime gives up a 
part of that wealth, in the hope to do good at once, and to win, as he 
deserves, the unadulterated delight of having soothed the sufferings 
and increased the comforts of many of his lellow creatures. And 
then the conditions he imposes on the administration of the fiind are 
such as the truest and most usei^l benevolence suggests. First, it is 
to be employed not in useless, and sometimes mischievous, alms-giving, 
but in an attempt to ameliorate the condition of the struggling and 
deserving poor, who "by birth or established residence form a 
recognised part of the population of London." There is not here an 
expression which does not point to those who labour, but whose 
labours have not been crowned with success — ^to those who do their 
beat to maintain themselves honestly, but require to be assisted in 
the effort. Next comes that wise refusal to allow peculiaritv of 
religious or political opinions to be a bar to a claim on the benefit of 
the fund, and this is felt so strongly that it is repeated in what is 
called the third condition of the gift. Eor ourselves, we look on Mr. 
Peabody's intention to be this, that they shall be assisted who have 
by their conduct shown that they deserve, as by their condition they 
show that they require assistance, and that the giving of this assist- 
ance is in no way to be affected by religious or political opinions. 
Nothing can be better than such a scheme. The consideration to be 
offered for the aid should be need, and that too a need which was not 
the consequence of misconduct, but of misfortune ; while the receipt 
of this aid by the benefit it will confer on those who receive it, will 
act as practical incentive and encouragement to good conduct. 

As yet we know nothing of the mode in which the benefits to be 
derived from this fund are to be conferred. But if it should be in 
the providing at a small rent in some cases, in others free from rent, 
improved dwellings for the poorer classes, it will confer a real benefit 
on society. We are not among those Utopians who fancv that crime 
and wickedness may be entirely banished from the world, but we do 
believe that they may be lessened, and that anything which tends to 
diffuse a taste for the cleanliness and good order of home tends to 
diminish the attractiveness of crime. A life of feverish excitement 
and a hfe of dirty squalor are often combined, and their combination 
is never advantageous. The steady good conduct which must be a 
qualification for obtaining the benefit of the Feabody Eund will 
operate to check both of these. 

From the " Medical Times and Gazette/' March 29th, 1862. 

On behalf of that part of the English community, which is 
engaged in the Practice of Medicine, we offer our thanks to Mr. 
Peabody for his munificent gift to the poor of London. Mr. George 


Feabody is known to man^ of our readers as a Northern American 
merchant, who has long reside^ in London, and has amassed a fortune 
fit for a prince, which he uses with even more than princely generosity. 
He has already founded libraries at Danvers, Massachusetts, the place 
of his birth, and at Baltimore ; and now, after twentjr-five years* 
residence in London, he giyes the sum of £ 160,000 for tne benefit of 
the London poor. And the manner in which the gift is to be bestowed 
is as judicious as the gift is liberal. He proposes to apply the fund, 
or a portion of it, in the construction of such improved dwellings for 
the poor as may combine in the utmost possible degree the essentials 
of " healthfiilness, comfort, social enjoyment, and economy." Thus 
Mr. Peabody refuses to squander his wealth in the miserable shifts 
and expedients of doles and almsgiving, in Consumption Hospitals, 
Befuges for the Incurable, and other well-meaning and meddlesome 
attempts at paUiatiag consequences. On the contrary, he aims at pre- 
vention rather than cure, and desires to surround the poor with the 
conditions necessary for their training in frugality, cleanliness, and 
virtue. It seems humiliating; but we hope Englishmen are not 
ashamed to confess the truth, even though at the expense of their 
pride. Mr. Peabody gives schools and libraries to his own country- 
men. To our poor he offers what is one of the necessities of civilised 
existence — the decent home — without which schools are useless. 

From the " MancJiester Examiner and Times ^' March 27th, 1862. 

An American merchant, Mr. Q-eorge Peabody, has just made a 
donation of a most munificent character, to " ameliorate the condition 
of the poor and needy" of London. He has given the truly princely 
sum of £150,000 for this purpose, and he appoints a body of trustees 
to regulate the distribution of it. The American minister in London 
is one trustee, and Lord Stanley, Sir J. Emerson Tennent, Mr. C. 
M. Lampson, and Mr. J. S. Morgan, are the others. "We refer to it 
fiilly in another column ; it is sufficient to say here that Mr. Peabody 
considers this donation as a return he makes, "under a sense of 
gratitude for the blessings of a kind Providence." 

It is assuredly a grateful task to call attention to a paragraph 
in another column of our paper, recording an act of unexampled 
munificence. Gratitude is generally open to the suspicion of being 
mixed up with inferior motives ; but, on this occasion, we render 
homage to moral worth, and not merely to the bestower of a splendid 
boon. Strictly speaking, we are dismterested parties ; no oenefit 
whatever will accrue to these districts, and we have therefore the less 
restraint in our admiration. To our commercial readers it is un- 
necessary to volunteer any information in connection with Mr: George 
Peabody. They all know him as one of the world's merchant princes, 
a man of rare sagacity, unblemished honour, and enlightened as well 
as extensive benevolence. "We may add, for the sake of others, that 


he is an American citizen, who has resided for many years in London^ 
where he has realised an unusually large fortune in mercantile 
pursuits, carried on chiefly hetween this country and the United 
States. Actuated by a sense of the goodness of Providence in the 
success which has attended him through life, and by the obligations 
thereby laid upon him to do good to others, he has made known his 
intention to appropriate the magnificent sum of £150,000 for the 
benefit of the poor of London. This generous act is not the result of 
a fitful impulse, but the carrying out of a design, or rather the fulfil- 
ment of a vow, which dates nrom the beginning of his business career. 
As knights, when chivalry was in fashion, vowed a pilgrimage to Our 
Lady of Loretto or the Holy Sepulchre, in return for success in love 
or war, so the preua chevalier of modem industry, guided by truer 
motives and an infinitely higher sense of duty, determined that, if 
God should increase him in wealth, he would tithe it all for the good 
of his poorer brethren. Let nobody impertinently boggle at theories 
of causation and a Special Providence. Mr. Peabody is too enlightened 
to be superstitious, but he is manly enough for piety of the most out- 
spoken and practical sort. In pursuance of this long-cherished 
design, he began with his birthplace, the town of Danvers, Massa- 
chusetts, founding there, ten years ago, an institute and library for • 
the benefit of the people. Li 1857 he visited his native land, after 
an absence of twenty years. A Northern man by birth, he had spent 
the most of his life, before coming to England, in Baltimore, the 
capital of Maryland, a Southern State. Here, on the occasion of his 
visit, he founded an institute on an extensive scale, devoted to science- 
and the arts, including a free Hbrary. The building is now finished, 
but the dedication of this temple of peace is delayed by the civil war. 
Having thus munificently dismayed his attachment to his native land, 
he turns next to the land of his adoption, where for so many years he 
has been an honoured resident. He has found it no " strange land," 
and he acknowledges, in language very grateful to us, the courtesy, 
kindness, and confidence which he has received. His requital is 
certainly on a princely scale, and if his benevolent intentions are 
wisely carried out, his name will be perpetuated amongst us for many 

His method of procedure, as described in a letter to the gentle- 
men whom he has named trustees, is characteristic of the man. 
Ghuardin^ well the spiritual side of his philanthropy against all access 
of prosaic ideas, as far as that may be possible to natures not angelic, 
he has made it in its earthly aspect a matter of pure business. He 
had sufficient confidence in himseK to look for several years together 
at £ 150,000 as a gift he intended some day to bestow ; spoke of it 
to his friends, sought their advice and suggestions, without a shade of 
fear that the spirit of avarice, which is generally the more imperious 
as its victims are nearer slipping from its grasp into the grave, would 
ever interpose to make hun inconsistent witn himself. There is a 
moral bravery about this, which is admirable because it is so rare. 
There are moments in the lives of most men when they are capable 
of doiDfi; the grandest things. An afflaiua comes upon them, making 
for a while the veriest gold- worshipper one of the most chivalrous 


and unmeroenary of beings. Hi^py is it, then, for any pet project 
which has been hovering about his conscience, and striving to bewitch 
his sentimentaUtj for years, perhaps with but small success. A 
sudden thought, a rush of devout madness, the nearest approach he 
ever made to the sanity of higher natures, a dash of the pen, and the 
next day a newspaper paragraph records a munificent donation from 
&c., &c., to be glorified still further at some approaching anniversary. 
The way to a certain place is said to be paved with good resolutions, 
a large portion of which may be assigned to splendid deeds of unAil- 
fiUed generosity ; but, as we ofben appear weakest in the light of our 
resolves, so it is there also that it is possible for us to be the strongest, 
and one form in which stren^h displays itself, in being able to look a 
good resolution, costing, when carried out, considerable sacrifice, 
steadily in the face without blenching, as certain that it will be 
redeemed as that it is yet only written in our thoughts. We have 
not the slightest wish to turn Mr. Feabody into an angel ; he reflects 
too much credit upon humanity for that ; but he is at least a strong 
and good man. The long contemplated act is now performed. The 
money has been transferred to five gentlemen, incluoing Mr. Adams, 
the American Minister in London, Lord Stanley, and Sir Emerson 
« Tennent, and a formal deed will shortly invest them with fuU powers 
over its disposal. Three conditions only are annexed to the trust. 
They are, first, that the money shall be devoted absolutely and exclu- 
sively to such purposes as may tend directly to ameliorate the con* 
dition and augment the comforts of the London poor ; secondly, the 
rigid exclusion from the management of the fund of all sectarian 
influence, whether in religion or politics ; and thirdly, that the sole 
qualification for sharing in its benefits shall be honajide poverty, com* 
bined with moral character and good social conduct. Outside of 
these conditions the trustees are left to act, without any restrictions, 
according to the best of their judgment, though Mr. Feabody recom- 
mends, among other projects, the application of the fund, or some 
portion of it, to the construction of a better class of dwellings for 
the poor. Such a project, though one of the most beneficial that 
could be conceived, will be attended by many practical difficulties, 
but, to whatever extent it may be realised, it will tend directly, and, 
perhaps, still more indirectly, to better the condition of the London 
poor, and to do so in a mode which, while it deals solely with fcheir 
physical wants, will have a very powerM effect upon their moral 

We need not ask our readers to tender, one and all, their heart- 
felt homage to this noble American. Nor do we know that it is 
wrong, even at the nsk of an indiflerent pun, to make capital out of 
this great capitalist, for political uses. When so many causes con- 
spire to keep up a mischievous irritation between the two families of 
the iEkigUsh race ; when so many pens are busy, and so many arts are 
applied, to make them detest one another : when the novelists and the 
pouticians of the two countries delight in holding up to contempt the 
nard-fisted, restless, unscrupulous Yankee, and the loud-mouthed, ag* 
gressive, and overbearing John Bull, why should we not be allowed to 
get all we can out of Mr. Feabody, in order to strike a friendly and just 


balance^ on one side at least, between the two nations P If we could 
only persuade some Englishman to do at New York what he has done 
here, we might then augur success on a complete scale. Mr. Peabodj 
is a Yankee. He does not come from the " chivalrous " South or the 
piebald West, but from the spot where its most marked and charac- 
teristic features were first drawn, — from homely, rugged, manly 
Massachusetts. When any miserable reviler attempts to excite our 
prejudices by some one-sided caricature, of the Yankee nature, we 
shall have one practical argument in our mouths. It will be easy to 
tell him that we knew at least one man of that race who would have 
been an honour to any nation, and that if goodness is distributed 
among the people there, in the same proportions as in other parts of 
the world, we cannot think exceptionally iU of his countrymen. A 
pleasant souvenir of the nationality of one of London's future 
benefactors wiU be provided for by a clause in the trust deed, 
stipulating that the United States' Minister for the time being shall 
always be ex officio a member of the trust. In applauding Mr. 
Peabody, let us just admit that he has performed an act which, 
rationally viewed, is as wise in regard to himself, as it is bene- 
volent in regard to others. He chooses to dispense his wealth while 
living, inst^id of enjoying the selfish satisfaction of clutching it 
all so long as breath remains, and only disposing of a portion in 
good dee£) at the moment when he will be forced to resign the 
whole. After all, why should death be made our greatest 
almoner p Why, with the means of doin^ good in our hands, should 
we delay the doing of it till we are cold m the grave, and the warm 
hand of living charity is superseded by the permnctory offices of our 
lawyers and executors? The "G-o and do thou likewise" is too 
obvious to need quotation. We are grateful to Mr. Peabody for his 
beneficent example, and sincerely pray that, wherever he goes, all 
happiness may attend him. 

From the " Leeds Mercury ^^ Leeds ^ March ^ 27, 1862 

America is a wonderful country, and the Americans are a won- 
derful people. Whatever their faults mdjj be, their greatness is 
incontestible. There is something majestic about all their pro- 
portions. Their rivers are roUing oceans, their cataracts are falling 
oceans, their states are kingdoms, their territories are continents, 
their daring is sublime, theur very failures and misfortunes are so 
colossal in scale as to rank among the wonders of the world. They 
are the boldest of inventors in every branch of manufacture. In all 
things they set to work with a magnificence of conception and 
energy of purpose which seem almost ridiculous until rendered sub- 
lime Dy success. A few weeks ago the hopes of crushing the 
Southern rebellion were regarded as utterly vain. He would be a 
bold man who pronounced &em altogether futile now. A year ago 


tbej appeared, wbile the boldest of nations upon all other Bubjects, 
the most cowardly in dealing with the great subject of internal 
slayery. Now their elected President has proposed a scheme for its 
abolition, which, for magoificent yastness of design, as weU as for the 
mighty social reTolution it is intended to accompHsh, is unequalled in 
the world's history. But it is in a different line that an American 
citizen has now come forward to excite the wonder and admiration of 
the world. A gift for charitable purposes, unequalled in modem 
times, has just been made by the well-known American merchant, 
Mr. Peabody — ^not to the poor of his own country — ^but to the poor 
of London, where he resided and laboured for tne last twenty-fiye 
years. £ 150,000 is the princely fortune which this benevolent and 
truly large-minded man has placed in the hands of trustees to be 
deyoted, according to their mscretion, to the improyement of the 
condition of the poor in our metropolis. 

There are many men who, after screwing their neighbours all 
their Hyes, astound the world by the so-called " munificence " of their 
dying bequests. Nothing is more astonishing than the reyerence felt 
for the memory of persons who never did any benevolent action 
while they lived, but cheat their next of kin by " splendid bene&ctions " 
to public institutions when they die. The secret history of gifto of 
this kind would often dispel every feeling of gratitude, and even 
render the consciences of the receivers — ^if corporations had con- 
sciences — seriously uneasy. Others there are, who believe that 
wealth, like every other blessiag, is given to man not merely for his 
selfish advantage, but for the promotion of the happiness and welfare 
of those around him. To such men, giving is both a principle and a 
pleasure. Yet even among these how many there are who give only 
as it were the leavings and overflowings of their income — ^.crificing 
absolutely nothing, except the pleasure of hoarding what they could 
never spend. Perhaps, however, the most numerous class among 
persons who claim, and to some extent deserve, the name of benevo- 
lent, are the indiscriminate givers— a class who give something to 
eveiything and everybody, haviag far greater dread of the trouble of 
inquiry than of the loss of the money thus thoughtlessly squandered, 
To none of these classes does Mr. Peabody belong. Nor does he 
belong to another class of truly benevolent and useful men, who, 
having a single good idea, devote their time and their money with 
singular perseverance to the achievement of their work. With such 
men the object at length becomes so identified with self, that the ex- 
penditure of money and labour in its realisation affords the same sort 
of half-selfish pleasure as the improvement of one's own garden or the 
embellishment of one's own busmess premises. 

Nobody will deny the tribute of gratitude due to men of this 
class. With one exception their labours and gifts are the most useful 
of all. They at least achieve something — and occasionally something 
well worth achieving. But a still higher class of benevolence is that 
which, without confining itself to one object, is yet careful in selecting 
the character of the things to which it is applied — ^neither concen- 
tratiugits efforts on a principle of narrow exclusion, nor squandering 
them with a thoughtless, and often useless, liberality. Mr. Peabody's 

splendid gift is one of this kind. With great wisdom he has handed 
over to trustees, gentlemen well aequaiQted with the wants of the 
poorer classes, the management of the whole fund, himself making no 
further limitation of its use than to guard against its being misapplied 
for the benefit of those who do not fainy come under the title 
of "poor," and against its diversion to serve the interests of any 
political party or religious sect. These are the only limitations. 
Their propriety every one must admit ; indeed their necessity is only 
too obvious from the fact that many of the ancient charities of the 
countiT have either been altogether taken away in course of time 
from tneir original object, or else appropriated by a single sect ot 
party to the exclusion of many whom the more large-hearted founder 
of the charity would probably have wished to benefit. 

The application of this fund in the most useful manner will 
certainly be the subject for much anxious consideration. Mr. Feabody 
himself suggests, in the letter announcing his intention to the trustees, 
that a portion of it should be expended in building better houses^— 
housesbaving more regard to decency and comfort in their construc- 
tion — ^than those with which everybody who has availed himself of 
the "short-cuts" of London must be familiar. By purchasing 
" blocks " of this character, pulling down the existing receptacles for 
filth and vermin, building good, well-ventilated, healthily constructed 
worldiig-meii'B houses fa their place, and selling tbe renovated 
neighbourhood either in a mass or m lots, the firnd thus placed in the 
hands of the trustees might be perpetually renewed, in part or in 
whole, and an almost indefinite amount of valuable work done with it. 
But the whole matter of the disposal of this fund will require much 
anxious care and thought, and happily it is in the hands of men by 
whom that anxious care and thought will be conscientiously given. 
To those who are not residents in London the matter is rather useful 
as affording a noble example of disinterested and princely generosity 
than for uie direct results which it will accomplish. Even here, 
however, we should advise our fellow townsmen not to despair of 
getting good. The knowledge of how to do good is often quite as 
difficuS; to find as the disposition to do good. It is not often that 
such a splendid field for experiment and observation is afforded. 
Here are several able men devoting themselves to the task of finding 
out how a certain sum of money can be made to go &rthest in the 
way of doing good, and permanently benefitting the poor. The very 
&ct of such a committee being appointed proves the di£&culty of the 
problem. On a smaUer scale that problem has to be solved in every 
town where charity is exercised at all. We may learn much, then, 
from the splendid field for experiment which tne liberality of our 
American sojourner has opened out. May the liberality of our fellow- 
citizens afford us opportunities of following up the experiments in 
the most approved manner. 


From the "Liverpool Mail,'' March 2Qth, 1862. 

Mr. George Peabody has been bis own embaLner. His name 
will live, and his memory be fragrant, throughout all time. His most 
pregnant example, Mb more than princely mimifieenoe, ynQ. naturaUy 
tend to propagate and reproduce itself. As an American citizen, and 
an eminent merchant in London for the last quarter of a century, he 
has been blessed with such prosperity that he has acquired a fortune 
of from half to tluree-quarters of a nmlion sterling. On retiring from 
business, with a rare considerateness and conscientiousness, he carries 
out the mental resolye with which he began and continued business : — 
in grateful recognition of that kind Providence which had so largely 
prospered him, he dedicates the magnificent sum of £ 150,000, for the 
benefit of the poor of London, that city of his adoption in which he 
had earned his vast wealth. 

His splendid gift is incalculably enhanced and rendered yet more 
munificent by being given, like Mr. William Brown's, in Mb life-time. 
He has at once transferred it to trustees of highest' character and 
prudence, without imposing any but the most liberal and comprehen- 
sive conditions, and simply intimating his hope that some portion of 
it may help to augment the domiciliary comforts' of the well-con- 
ducted poor. His most interesting letter to his trustees will be found 
in another column. Without ostentation^ without even naming the 
sums, this princely-hearted American gentleman modestly sets himself 
right with nis own countrymen, by briefly intimating that he has not 
been unmindful of his native place, or of hi^ native land ; inasmuch 
as ten years ago he founded an institution which confers great local 
advantages in the town of Danvers, Massachusetts, where he was 
born ; and five years ago he founded another, on a larger scale, in the 
city of Baltimore, where his earlier business life was passed. Such 
miiltiplied and right royal munificence— especially in its main and 
most useful form of practical help in ameliorating the condition of 
the struggling and deserving poor — ^is, we believe, wholly unprece- 
dented in modem times. It distances and dwarfs down all compari- 
sons. It may, however, well serve as a graceful and much-needed 
reminder to our territorial aristocracy of the urgent necessity for pro- 
moting and providing fitter dwelling for the labouring poor of their 
own neighbourhoods, and upon their own great estates ; in place of 
those miserable hovels which, as we have repeatedly protested, rarely 
admit of domestic comfort, , or of the commonest dictates of 
decency and morality. And it ought to serve as a perpetual example 
and a mighty incentive for a more general revival of the ancient 
munificence of our merchant princes and of our middle classes who, 
between them, have founded almost aU the great public institutions 
of this great country. 

As habitually and dearly loving all generous doers of all generous 
deeds, we can only re-echo what we are sure must be ^gland's 
admiring and universal aspirations — ^that Mr. Peabody may yet be 
spared for many and happy years ; that the calm evening of his days 


may be mildly illumined and serenely gladdened by witnessing the 
beneficial working of the noble institutions his own munificence has 
founded ; and that when the hour approaches for him to be gathered 
to his fathers, full of years and full of honours, he may enjoy the 
well-grounded satisfaction of humbly and thank^illy realizing, in a 
more substantial and loftier sense than poet ever sang, — 

'* My Monument shall be my Name alone." 



From the *' Albion,'* New York, April 12th, 1862. 
[The organ of the English public in Kew York.] 

With a sense of infinite relief, we turn from records of blood and 
strife, and international bickerings, and comparisons between Monitors 
and Warriors and Armstrongs and Dahlgrengi, to an act so munificent 
in itself and so gracious in the doing, that we lack words in which to 
offer an acknowledgement. We need not remind the reader, how 
embittered have been the relations of late between this Eepublic and 
the United Kingdom. It is precisely at this moment of reckless pro- 
yocation and foolish recrimination, that an individual American sets 
an example of charity and good-will, taking largely from his gains, 
honourably acquired, to minister to the wants of those who are not 
bis .countiymen. 

Eumour has for some time past been whispering that Mr. George 
Peabody, the wealthy banker, designed to signalise the close of his 
successnd business care«r in London, by a bounteous a<;tion worthy 
of himself. And, for once, rumour was not guilty of exaggeration. 
Mr. Peabody has handed over the immense sum of one hundred and 
fifty thousand pounds sterling to five Trustees, who are to invest and 
manage it for the benefit of the poor of the city wherein he has 
acquired the bulk of his fortune. Tnere are circumstances connected 
with this splendid endowment, which deserve to be publicly noted. 
It is not an uncommon thing for rich men to do posthumous good 
deeds, bequeathing to hospitals, and ahns-houses, and other charitable 
institutions, wealth that must cease to be available to themselves ere 
they put it beyond their grasp. Others again, even during their lives, 
have been known to set up memorials of themselves, useful and 
admirable perhaps, but bearing their own names and standing amid 
their own dkily haimts. Neither of these modes of easing conscience 
or winning applause has Mr. Peabody adopted. The grace, the bounty, 
the philanthrojpy once acknowledged — ^by press and public — there is 
an end of the mcense of praise. The title of any establishment or 
institution, that may hence be founded for ameliorating the condition 
of the London poor, will imdoubtedly suggest to them who is their 
benefactor ; but by them he will be unseen, to them imknown, for 
them little more than a nomims umbra. It was no slight matter for an 
American in the present day to bestow largely of his goods for the 
benefit of Englishmen ; the liberality is enhanced, we say, when the gift 
will only benefit a class who can in no way express thanks to the donor. 


In an extract elsewhere from a letter written by Mr. Feabody to 
the gentlemen whom he had requested, and who had consented, to be 
the administrators of his boon, it will be obserred how careiMly he 
desires to guard it from any abuses into which endowments of this 
nature are apt to degenerate, and how practically he suggests a mode 
in which amelioration may be sought. \Ve need not therefore dwell 
on this point ; nor in fact have we much more to say, beyond putting 
on record the names of the gentlemen in question, and adding a few 
words as to the origin of the act that we chronicle. And in the first 
place as to the Trustees. Mr. Feabody desires — and his wishes will 
be as sacred as the wiU of a testator — ^that the U. S. Minister in 
London for the time being should be ea officio a member of the trust. 
Mr. Adams therefore heads the list, and is followed by Lord Stanly 
and Sir James Emerson Tennent, on whose personal qualifications we 
need not touch further than to say that, though politicians, they are 
eminently men of business. Mr. G. M. Lampson, described " as a 
particular friend" of Mr. Feabody, and Mr. J. S. Morgan, his partner, 
complete the list. The number, if they think fit, may be increased ; 
but it is recommended that it should never exceed nine. 

A few lines may well be employed in calling attention to Mr« 
Feabody's simple and modest imbrmation — conveyed in the same 
letter — as to how and when he conceived the idea, tnat he has now so 
munificently executed. " I am desirous''— Hsays he, and it would be 
hard to improve upon his words — " to explain that from a compara- 
tively early period of my commercial life I had resolved in my own 
mind that, should my labours be blessed with success, I would devote 
a portion of the property thus acquired to promote the intellectual^ 
moral, and physical welfao^e and comfort of my fellow-men, wherever, 
from circumstances or location, their claims upon me would be the 
strongest." What a lesson of moral obligation may be learned from 
allusion to the " comparatively early period" with which the sentence 
begins ! what broadness of philanthropy is seen in the " wherever" 
with which it ends ! — ^Afber a brief allusion to his having founded an 
Institute and Library at Danvers, Massachusetts, his native town, 
and one scarcely longer to a similar but more extensive gift to Balti- 
more '' where more than 20 years of my business life had been passed,** 
Mr. Feabody comes to the immediate subject, touching it however 
almost as briefly and with no more attempt at efiect; He has been 
settled in London, it seems, for 25 years, but he soon ceased to be 
a stranger among his British friends, having in all his long commer- 
cial and social intercourse with them " constantly received courtesy, 
kindness, and confidence." Frompted by grateful feelings, and mind- 
ful of his early resolutions, this high-minded merchant has now put 
as it were a crown upon a career that does honour to his country and 
himself; nor can we avoid expressing our additional satisfaction in 
finding that Mr. Feabody — after long residence in a country where a 
sense of duty is the chief stimulao^ to noble actions — points out that 
very incentive as the one that mainly moved him. 

Printed by £. Coachman and Co., Ftinteit, 10« ThrogmorUm Street^ London.