'"J-«vta. i^ John-SxrU-i'" ^'"
OCCASION OF THE DEATH
Hon. H. N. M'ALLISTER,
OF CENTRE COUNTY, PA.,
May stk ami 6th. 1873,
TO WHICH IS ADDED A BIOCiRAPHY OF DFXEASED.
INQUIRER BOOK AND JOB PRINT, 304 CHESTNUT STREET.
MONDAY, MAY 5, 1873.
DEATH OF MR. M'ALLISTER.
The President. It is with feelings of profound re-
gret that the Chair announces the death, this morning,
at hah-past four o'clock, of our late esteemed asso-
ciate, Hugh Nelson M'Allister.
Mr. CuKTTN. Mr. President: In the presence of
such a public loss and private sorrow, I move that this
Convention do now adjourn.
The motion was agreed to, and at ten o'clock and
twenty-three minutes, A. M.,the Convention adjourned
until to-morrow at ten o'clock.
TUESDAY, MAY 6, 1873.
The Convention met at ten o'clock, A. M., Hon.
Wm. M. Meredith, President, in the chair.
Rev. James \V. Ccrrv offered the following- prayer:
Oh Lord, our Maker, we come into Thy pre-
sence this morning' with hearts of sadness, when we
remember that death has once more entered our Con-
vention and laid his hand upon one of our members.
We recognize this dispensation of Thy providence, Oh
Lord, as a lesson teaching us that we must die.
Teach us that we are dying mortals, and shortly
we too shall be called upon to exchange time tor
eternity. While our hearts are sad, we rejoice to
know that he upon whom the hand of death has been
laid was a man that feared God. While in the world
his great object was to please Thee. During his pil-
grimage in this life his great object was to glorify God
that he might enjoy Him forever. We are glad that
Thou hast said in Thy word to those who are troubled
and cast down: "Let not your hearts be troubled; ye
Ijelieve in God; Ijelieve also in Me; for in my Father's
house are many mansions; if it were not so I would
have told )ou ; I go to prepare a place for )'ou, that
where I am there ye may be also." This hope cheers
our hearts amid the gloom of death. This hope con-
soles us when we remember that Jesus entered
the grave in mortal flesh and dwelt among the dead,
and in the morning of the third da)' rose again and
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER.
ascended unto the Tather, where He ever Hvetli to
make intercession for iis. W'e are thankful to Thee
this morning, Ahnighty God, that we do not mourn as
those without hope; and we rejoice that through Jesus
Christ we can enter into Heaven and immortal joys.
We earnestly invoke Thy blessing upon the bereaved
wife, and upon the children. Oh, be a father to the
fatherless and a husband to the widow. Do Thou
grant. Oh leather, to draw them 1))' the cords of
Thy love; may they look unto Jesus, the fountain
ot all happiness, so live in the world, and so enjoy
the rich benedictions of Divine grace, that when they
too shall be called upon to pass the way of all the
earth, they may meet the parent who has gone before,
and with him enter into the rest prepared for the
"People of God."
We ask Thy blessing this morning upon our as-
sembling together. We pray for Thy blessing upon
the exercises of this day. Be with us, Oh Lord, and
teach us all to fear Thee and to work righteousness;
and finally, when we have done and suffered Th\-
righteous will here upon the earth, bring us all to en-
joy Thy unclouded presence in Thine everlasting-
kingdom; for Christ's sake. Amen.
Mr. CuRTix. Mr. President: I offer the following
OBITUAR y ADR ESSES.
Resolved, riiat with the most sincere feehns^^; of un-
feigned sorrow we learn of the death of Hon. Hugh
Nelson M'AUister, a member of this Convention, who
enjoyed the highest measure ot respect tor his learn-
ing and abilit)', and esteem for his virtues.
Resolved, Ihat his death deprives this Convention
of one of its most enlightened and industrious mem-
bers, the Commonwealth of one of her most public
spirited and useful citizens, the community in which
he lived of a man whose indomitable energy, inflexible
integrity, and spotless moral character attracted to
him the confidence and affection of all who knew him'
and his faniily of a kind and devoted husband and
Resolved, That we do most heartil)' offer to the
members of his bereaved family the homage of our
sympathy and condolence in this the time of its deep
Resolved, That in respect for the memor\- of our
departed colleague the President is requested to ap-
point a committee of delegates to attend his funeral
at Bellefonte on Thursday next.
Resolved, That the Clerk be directed to transmit a
copy of these resolutions to the family of the deceased.
The resolutions were ordered to a second reading;
and the first resolution was read the second time, as
HON. HUGH NELSON APALLISTER.
Resolved, That with the most sincere feeHnos of
unfeioned sorrow we learn of the death of Hon. H.
Nelson M'Allister, a member of this Convention, who
enjoyed the highest measure of respect for his learn-
ing and ability, and esteem for his virtues.
Mr. A. G. CuRTiN, of Centre County. Mr. Presi-
dent: When we listened a few days since to the elo-
quent and just eulogies on the character and public
service of William Hopkins, we did not suppose that
in the wisdom of a mysterious Providence, the Great
Destroyer would soon strike down another member
of this body, a man quite his peer in all respects. In
many of their characteristics — in their earnestness of
purpose, in their integrity and their pure Christian
character — William Hopkins and Hugh Nelson
M'Allister were wonderfully alike; and without any
disrespect to the living, or want of knowledge of their
learning or usefulness, it can be truly said that no two
men could have been taken from this enlightened
body whose services were of more importance to its
deliberations or whose loss will be more heavily felt
in the communities in which they lived.
Mr. M'Allister, our colleague, was born in Juniata
County, Pennsylvania, (then Mifflin County,) on the
twenty-eighth of June, 1809, so that he was approach-
ing his sixty-fourth year when he died. He was born
upon the farm still in the possession of the family,
upon which his grandfather settled, who was the
second white man to settle in the Valley of Lost
Creek, in that county. Spending his early life in
ordinary labor on the farm, he received at a neighbor-
ing academy the preparatory education necessary for
his admission into college, and at the proper time he
entered Jefferson Colleore, at Canonsbure, Pa., where
he grraduated with distinoruished honors. On his
return to his home he entered, as a student of law,
the office of William W. Potter, then the leader
of the bar in the central portion of Pennsylvania.
He completed his law^ studies in the law school at
Dickinson College, under the charge of the late Judge
When he had been admitted to the bar he returned
to Bellefonte and commenced the practice of his pro-
fession. He had not to wait long for practice. He
entered upon a lucrative business almost immediately
on his coming to the bar, and from the day of his
admission down to the time of his death he continued
to enjoy a large and remunerative practice, the con-
fidence of his clients and the respect and affection of
all the people of that part of Pennsylvania who ad-
mired purity of character, integrity, energy and a
freedom from all the arts and appliances which in
modern times have detracted so much from the char-
HON. HUGH NELSON ArALLISTER. ii
acter of public men and defiled the politics of our
At the time of Mr. M'Allister's admission to the bar,
Judge Thomas Burnside was upon the bench in the
Fourth District. He was afterwards removed to a
seat on the bench of the Supreme Court; and a dis-
tinguished and learned gentleman of this Convention,
who has attained high eminence in his profession, be-
came the judge of the district; and for ten years, the
ten years of the beginning of his professional life, tan
years of constant progress and of growing profes-
sional confidence, and of expanding views, as he
grew to the full proportions of his distinguished man-
hood, he practiced before his Honor, Judge Woodward,
who was then the President Judge of the Common
Pleas of his district.
Mr. M'Allister never held a public station until he
appeared in this Convention. He had a distaste for
public life. He never would condescend to the means
by which public station is too often acquired. His
was a life of labor and industry, and with the earnest-
ness of purpose which attached itself to his profes-
sional character, which incorporated him with the rights
and interests of his clients, which led him to intensify
all the feelings of his nature on any public work in
which he was engaged, in any private enterprise, or en-
largecl charity and hospitality, Mr. M'Alhster could
not from his nature be a politician.
But so great was his influence in the part of the
State in which he lived, so entirely had he engrossed
the confidence of the people in that community, that
he could, at frequent periods of his life, have held
public station if he had been willing. Over and over
atrain he was solicited to ask for office from the people,
and more than once his friends united in importunities
to him to permit himself to be placed in judicial sta-
tions. Once, at least, during his professional life he
refused to be the President Judge of the Common
Pleas of his district, and I know full well that there is
upon this floor a gentleman who would have been only
too glad if his friends had presented his name for ap-
pointment. I hesitate to say that the members of this
Convention knew little of this man until he appeared
amongst them, as a member of the body. I know
equally well, that it would be a more fruitful subject
and more acceptable if I could speak of public works,
of high official position, and the discharge of import-
ant political duties. I have no such eulogy on my
dead friend. I can only speak of him as a true man,
an honest, upright citizen, discharging all the private
and relative duties to the public, to himself and to his
family. 1 can speak only of his integrity, of his ear-
nestness, of his purity; aye, more, I can speak of his
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 13
his devoted Christian character. Mr. M'Allister was a
true behever in the Christian faith, and for many years
of his Hfe devoted much of his time to the affairs and
welfare of the church to which he belonged and of
which he w^as a ruling elder. It is a consolation to the
surviving members of this Convention who were his
friends to know that his accounts were settled, his
peace was made with his God; and while we regret
that a long life of suffering and ill-health has closed,
and the useful and the good man has gone, we have
the consolation of knowing that there is no fear of his
future rest and peace and happiness.
Many years since, when worn down by the constant
labors of his professional life, Mr. M'Allister conceived
the idea that, in harmony with the tastes of first pur-
suits, his health might be restored by turning his at-
tention to agriculture. He purchased a farm in the
neighborhood of Bellefonte, where he lived, and turned
his attention to skilled agriculture. He made that
farm the model for all the people of the neighborhood.
He introduced the most approved scientific culture of
the day, the artificial stimulus necessary to restore ex-
hausted land, and the most improved implements of
modern farming; and while he made it the most per-
fect model farm in the State, he improved the arts of
agriculture in all the surrounding country, where
there is a noticeable improvement in the manner of
14 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
cultivation and increase in production, learned from
the experience and experiments and skill of the
lawyer-farmer who made agriculture merely the col-
lateral of his professional life.
When Mr. M'Allister, with his zeal and his industry,
became connected with practical agriculture, his views
enlarged and he conceived the idea of establishinof in
Pennsylvania a school where farming would be taught
as the chief part of a complete education, and to him
belongs the credit in a large measure of the estab-
lishment of, first, the Farm School of Pennsylvania,
and now the Agricultural College; and while other
men faltered and hesitated under disappointment,
when the school would have failed over and over
again, the energy and persistence of this man kept it
alive, and before his death he had the satisfaction of
seeing it in successful operation ; and there is not to-
day, in all this great Commonwealth, a more success-
ful educational institution than the Farmer's College
I speak of these things as the public works of the
man. I speak of his character as a loss to the neigh-
borhood in which he had lived and labored. I speak
of his Christian character and belief as an example
to all men who are to follow him. This, Mr. Presi-
dent, is a public occasion, and our colleague died in a
public place. It is fit that proper expressions ot s\'m-
BON. HUGH XELSON MCALLISTER.
pathy and regret should be made in this body, but it
is, perhaps, no place and this no occasion to Intrude
private sorrow; and yet at the risk of an impropriety,
I shall be permitted to speak of him as my friend for
man)' years. I was not his equal at the bar, but his
rival, and in all the struggles of an active professional
life, and amid the antaofonisms which orow out of the
trials which constantly occurred, in which we were
opposing counsel, rarely indeeci was our constant
friendship interrupted. With an inclination to attract
men and a modicum of ambition for public life, I ad-
mired in this man just the opposite qualities. To
have made himself Governor or President, our col-
league, who is dead, would have never turned from
his intensity of purpose, his settled convictions of
public or private duty, or his well settled religious
belief. In that respect I never knew his equal; and
while it could not be said that he had the affection
which more attractive and magnetic qualities draw to
the public man, he had the homage of the conviction
in everybody who knew him, that he was a man of
sterling integrity, of constant labor, of iron fidelity,
and of a will which, fixed in a direction he believed
right and true, never failed to carry with them the
accomplishment of his purpose.
And this Convention will pardon me, even here,
for the expression of my individual sorrow at the
1 6 OBJ 1 UAR V ADDRESSES.
death of such a man; my heart goes out in sympathy
to my neighborhood, in which he Hved, where the
people are in tears to-day, because they have lost
their foremost and best citizen, and we are united in
sorrow over his dead body.
Between humanity living and humanity dead there
is but a moment. The tabernacle which held the
spirit, made by God's own hand in His image, is no
more; and the spirit has gone to settle a final account.
Eulogy can be of no consequence. When the good
man dies a void is felt in society where he lived; and
we marvel at the mysterious Providence which takes
away the useful, the charitable and the good. It is
no time for praise: it is the time to make solemn
resolutions to imitate the example which they leave
behind them; and the good works and the purity of
character, the fidelity and the integrity are benefac-
tions the good man leaves to those who are to follow
him. Treading in the examples thus set it is tor those
who live, when the Great Destroyer comes to them,
to leave behind such a character, and such works, and
such a blameless life, that the benefactions they receive
from those who are gone before may be shed upon
those who are to follow them.
Of such a character was this man. He has left us
a life to imitate, and let us profit by such an example.
For long as the people live in the Blue Mountains of
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER.
Pennsylvania, long- as there shall be a man who loves
virtue and truth and integrity, there will be a fresh,
green and beautiful Christian remembrance over the
grave of Hugh Nelson M'Allister, when he is for-
g-otten by those who have only enjoyed his acquaint-
ance for a time, and welcomed him to their councils
when his health was broken and dissolution fast, alas
too fast, approaching.
I am not in a condition to trust myself further. In
youth, we separate from our friends with regret. At
the spring-time of life, when all of the future is rose-
colored, we soon forget the separations which death
causes. Nature's laws invite us to the enjoyment of
health and vigorous life. In large communities, where
you enjoy the friendship of the many, the dropping
away of a friend to-day, and to-morrow, makes but a
ripple on the surface of public affairs or social life.
Of the event we take little note. But when the man
of the small commimity, of the village in the country,
goes, all in that community feel the loss, and those
who live, and enjoy the small circle of intimate friend-
ship and social relations, feel deeply the wound when
death strikes down one — but one — if he was a useful
and just man. I will be pardoned for my emotion by
those who live in the interior of the vState, when I
express so much feeling over the grave of H. Nelson
M'Allister, who was my companion in life, my neigh-
1 8 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
bor, and, hio-her and more sacred to my memory, he
was m)' friend.
Mr. BiGLER. Mr. President: Huoh Nelson M'Al-
lister is dead. He died May the 5th, 1873, at No.
1 104 Spruce street. Philadelphia, in the sixty-fourth
year of his a^re, surrounded by members of his family
and other friends. His great mind remained clear to
the end; among its last efforts was to signify his faith
and trust in the .Saviour.
He was born and raised in Juniata County, Penn-
sylvania, but has resided at Bellefonte, Centre County,
for near forty years. Blessed with fine native abilities,
and accomplished with a liberal education, he readily
became a lawyer of note in his adopted home; and 1
think all who have known him well will agree that he
was a character in himself, peculiar to himself and that,
as a whole, that character, so peculiar, was one ap-
proaching the beauties of perfection. Men of simi-
lar characteristics are rarely met. His precise like I
have never seen. In industry, resistless energy, posi-
tive will, passionate devotion, daimtless courage, large
benevolence and tender humanity, Hugh N. M'Allister
seldom, if ever, had an ecjual.
He was a member of this body, the only office or
trust he ever held from the people of the State; and
those who have witnessed his labors as a delegate
HON. HUGH NELSON AV ALLISTKR. 19
can form some idea of the part he ])erformed in other
departments of Hfe. Sincere, earnest and conscien-
tious, when once he espoused a cause he followed it
up in season and out of season. Ceaseless vigilance
in small things as well as great ones, was his habit.
In his profession he was the same energetic, methodi-
cal and persistent worker that he showed himself to
be in this body.
As a farmer — and he was one of the most learned
In the State — he displayed these same characteristics
in a high degree; so also when he performed his part
as the foremost man, as he uniformly was, in enter-
prises and improvements to advance his town and
section of the State. As significant of his energy and
unselfish devotion, I mention the fact that in the sum-
mer of 1872 he left his clients, his farm and other
interests, and went from Bellefonte to St. Louis to
attend and address an agricultural convention, simply
because he had taken the inipression that he might
say something that would be useful to the farmers of
the west; and he readily became the leading spirit in
that body, though it contained representatives from
more than one-third of the States ol the Union.
But in no other work of his life did the great
characteristics of H. N. M'Allister appear to so much
advantage as in the discharge of his Christian duties.
As an elder in the Presbyterian Church, representing
OBI TUAR V A DDR ESSES.
his congregation in presbytery, he was uniformly in
the lead of the clergy in everything with which it was
proper for him to deal; he was lull ot suggestion, of
work and devotion ; so he appeared in the synod,
in the general assembly, and so also at the great
meeting that united the old and the new school of the
Presbyterian Church. Becoming chairman of the
board of sustentation of the Presbyterian Church, he
found opened before him a field for unselfish labor and
charity commensurate, and only commensurate, with
his enlarged desire to carry forward the w^ork of the
Pord. The clergy of his denomination throughout
the State bear willing testimony to the wisdom and
high ability he displayed in the management of that
work. He had unequaled ability to induce others to
give of their means to the work of the church, and he
possessed in an eminent degree the disposition to give
abundantly himself. I shall excite criticism from no
one in his section when I say that the jjrivate charities
he has bestowed upon the needy, in number and in the
ao-oreu^ate sum, far exceed those of any other man in
the interior of the State.
What a character! Always excitable, at times pas-
sionate, imperious and relentless, and yet generous,
benevolent, compassionate and affectionate. As neigh-
bor, husband and father, I believe his life was faultless.
How saddenino;- the thouoht, Mr. President, that one
HON. HUGH NELSON AFALLISTER. 21
so distinguished for intelligence and conscientious
concern for the welfare of his country, will never again
appear in this body. Let us be consoled with the
belief that our loss is his gain, for "blessed are the
dead who die in the Lord."
Mr. Hamilton Alkicks, of Dauphin County. Vir.
President: I beg leave to add a few words to what has
been so well said in relation to the public loss which
has converted the hall of this Convention into the
house of mourning. I did not reside near Mr.
M'Allister, although I was born on the adjoining farm
to that on which he was born, in Jimiata County. I
knew his manner of living from his youth up. He
was reared on a farm, as you have been told, and his
love for agriculture adhered to him till the close of
his life. It can be said of him truly that he could
raise two spears of grass where an)- other farmer on
the same area of ground in Pennsylvania could raise
one. There was no implement of husbandry, there
was no plow or harrow, there was no reaper or mower,
no pitch-fork or any other instrument of modern dis-
covery, that he did not test himself. He was the
model Pennsylvania farmer. I thought I knew some-
thing about agriculture; but I confess I was put to
shame when I saw his farm, and the products of it.
You have been told that at an early day he went
to jefterson Collei^^e, where he graduated with dis-
tinguished honors, and you have been informed with
whom he studied law, Mr. Potter, and whom he suc-
ceeded in business. He w^as the same emphatic gen-
tleman at the bar that you found him in this Conven-
tion. He belonged to the positive school; but he
was always controlled by right motives. He could
have been upon the bench, but he declined the posi-
tion. What can be said of him, can scarcely be said
with the same degree of truth of any other lawyer in
The attorney at the bar and the judge upon the
bench alike came down to take his counsel; and he
never failed them.
He was the motive power in the church, in the
Agricultural College, and in all benevolent enterprises
of the day in his section of the State. He was a
pillar of the Presbyterian Church, to which he be-
longed, and throughout the whole of that denomina-
tion of Christians in this broad land he was looked
to as a burning and shining light.
It will not be easy for us to supply his place in this
Convention. You, Mr. President, ij'ave him work
enough for any ordinary man to do. He was on two
of the most important committees connected with the
Convention. He lal)ored there with untiring zeal. I
believe it was said ot him truly that he never missed
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER.
a meeting of a committee; and yet he was not satis-
fied. He went before other committees, and there,
with ah the zeal that he could command, he urged the
adoption of those measures which he thought it would
be proper to introduce into the fundamental law of
You, gentlemen, saw him, before he was stricken
down, at his seat. You saw that he was impetuous as
a mountain stream. He was anxious to stir up the
heart of every member of this Convention to a sense
of his duty to adopt proper reforms. He was at his
seat denouncing those frauds which have brought such
discredit upon our Commonwealth, and he fell beneath
his labors. He had not the physical power that would
enable him to do all that he thought it his duty to
I presume, Mr. President, I might say that the
admonition is to you and to me, and to each gentle-
man in this Convention:
" Our hearts
Like muffled drums are beating
Funeral marches to the grave. "
Hopkins is gone; the man at my right hand is gone.
Well may we exclaim: "Of whom shall we seek for
shelter but of Thee, oh! God, who at our sins art
2 4 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
Mr. W. H. Armstr()N(;, of Lycoming County. Mr.
President: Once more the Convention stands in the
immediate presence of death. Another of our num-
ber has been called from the activities of life and the
interests which entraged him, to lie silent in the arms
ol the dread master at whose bidding we all must go.
My acquaintance with the deceased, though personal
and friendly, was not intimate. We were not often
called into close relations, and I knew him far better in
his reputation than from personal intimacy. For all
the years of his long and active life he was esteemed
by those who knew him best, as an upright, earnest
Christian man. He was distinguished for the zeal of
his professional fidelity. The character of his mind
was such that he espoused whatever interest he
assumed to defend or urge, with an untiring industry
which pursued his client's interest through its most
intricate details. No weariness deterred him, no diffi-
culties obstructed his pursuit which energy could sur-
mount. The fidelity of his devotion gained him friends
and clients and success. In this regard his reputation
extended far beyond the limits ot his county. His
interest once strongly enlisted in a cause, or in a
project of public or private importance, engaged him
for the time almost to the exclusion of other pursuits.
He was proud of his profession and of his professional
reputation. His legal discrimination was acute, and
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 25
his analysis of facts strong- and clear. The integrity
which so distinguished his life gave him strong hold
upon the confidence of both the court and jury, and
was a principal cause ot the success which distin-
guished his professional career. He was an inde-
fatigable worker, a safe counsellor, and an ardent
But he was scarcely less distinguished for his devo-
tion to agriculture. Possessed of a large and beautiful
farm adjoining the town of Bellefonte, where he lived,
he applied himself with characteristic earnestness
to its improvement. It became a mociel of neatness
and excellence in all that could embellish or improve
it. He was among the foremost to adopt and experi-
ment with any implements that woulci lighten the labor
of the farm, and equally prompt to test the value of
whatever offered by way of improved varieties of
grain or improved modes of culture. His experiments
w^ere conducted under his own immediate supervision,
and the results noted with characteristic exactness. It
is said that many able papers were contributed by him
to the reports of the National Agricultural Depart-
ment. With so fond a taste for agricultural pursuits,
he did not permit it to divert him from his chosen pro-
fession, and with whatever ardor it was pursued he
did not suffer the pleasures of the one to interfere
with the duties of the other.
zG OBnX'ARY ADDRESSES.
With tastes thus naturall)' turning to the interests
of agriculture it is not surprising that he should early
have become the friend of systematic agricultural
education. This taste grew upon him in his later
years and became one of the sources of his purest
enjoyments. In the development of these inclinations
he became one of the most devoted friends of the
Central Agricultural College of Pennsylvania. And
to him more than to any other person is due the
establishment of that institution in Centre County.
He was identified with the project from its earliest
inception. He was liberal of his time and of his
means in promoting its interests, and his devotion to
all that could advance its prosperity became almost a
passion ot his lite. His interest in it never flagged;
his efforts in its behalf never faltered, and when in
the vicissitudes of its fortunes it most needed friends,
he was most ready to aid it; never despondent when
its fortunes were adverse, he allowed no prosperity to
check the carefulness of his guard, nor to betray him
into any relaxation of his efforts to promote its inte-
rest. He was, I believe, a director of the institution
through most, if not all, its history; and no inscription
could more fitly adorn its walls than one that should
perpetuate his devotion to its interests.
He was not ambitious of public positions; he pur-
sued the even tenor of his life in the practice of the
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 27
profession he had chosen, and the pursuit of such
kindred pleasures as best advanced his domestic and
personal happiness. The first public office he ever
held was as a member of this Convention. He
esteemed it to be an honor to be thus chosen, and
applied himself to its duties with the same all
engrossing earnestness which characterized his pur-
suit of whatever strongly engaged his attention. He
prepared himself by careful and assiduous study to
discharge his duties here with fidelity to the high trust
he had assumed.
My fellow-members will confirm my testimony to
the unselfish and self-sacrificing devotion with which
he cast himself with all his energy into the work
before us. His industry was untiring. The earnest-
ness of his purpose and the ardor of his temperament
forbade him to moderate his exertions to the measure
of his strength. With more confidence in his physi-
cal endurance than the measure of his years and his
impaired health would justify, he labored on in the
intense earnestness of his nature, until the Master
called him from this scene of his busy and earnest
and useful life.
I cannot forbear to further notice his Christian
He was a member and an elder in the Presbyterian
Church for many years, and in all his church relations
28 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
commanded die confidence and respect ot all who
knew him. He was liberal as a stiver and earnest as
a worker. He was a polished stone in the church.
The crowning glory of his life was his devoted, con-
sistent, humble walk with God. Such was his repu-
tation; and it enfolds him like a robe of glory. To
the vision of his faith this world was not his home.
It was the field of his labor, the changing scene of
mintrled joys and sorrows. He lived in the conscious
triuniph of his faith. His life proclaimed him a Chris-
tian, and he died in the faith he professed. It was
the uniform expression of his consistent Christian
This sad event is not without its admonition to the
livin^'-. In the midst of life we are in death. To
many here, advancing years proclaim the relaxing
grasp on life. Twice within the short period ot our
mingling together, we have united our sympathies
with those who mourn around the open grave of a
departed colleague. Where next that deadly bow
may wing its shaft God only knows. May our faith
be brighter and our lives purer for the admonition
this bereavement brings. May it teach us, whilst we
labor to gather prosperity around the State, that, in
the midst of our activities, our ambitions and our
cares, to lay up our treasure in Heaven.
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 29
"This world is poor from shore to shore,
And like a baseless vision,
Its lofty domes and brilliant ore,
Its gems and crowns, are vain and poor ;
There's nothing rich but Heaven.
" Creation's mighty fabric all
Shall be to atoms riven ;
The skies consume, the planets fall,
Convulsions rock this earthly ball ;
There's nothing firm but Heaven."
Mr. G. W. Woodward, of Philadelphia. Mr. Presi-
dent : Once more an afflictive Providence reminds us
that in the midst of life we are in death. Once more
we pause in the active duties of life to think and
speak of death. It is said the insatiate archer loves
a shining mark. He has sped his arrows at two of
our most distinguished and valued members. He
has snatched away from us the two members, in the
persons of Col. Hopkins and Mr. M'Allister, whom
we could least afford to spare.
" The death of those distinguished by their station.
But by their virtue more, awakes the mind
To solemn dread, and strikes a saddening awe.
Not that we grieve for them, but for ourselves,
Left to the toil of life."
It was in the spring of i(S4i — thirty-two years
OB ITU A RY A DDR ESSES.
ago — that I was sent to preside in the courts of the
Fourth Judicial District of Pennsylvania, consisting
then of the counties of Mifflin, Huntingdon, Centre,
Clearfield and Clinton, and there I first met Mr.
M'Allister. He resided at Bellefonte, Centre County,
but was growing into a large and lucrative practice
in several counties of the district. For ten years he
practiced law before me with great ability and success.
I have never seen so laborious and pains-taking a
lawyer. His great forte lay in the preparation of his
causes. He never came into court unfurnished with
evidence, if evidence could, with any amount of
research and industry, be obtained to establish the
facts of the case. Many ejectments upon original
titles were tried in those ten years, and I have known
Mr. M'Allister to give fifty or sixty warrants and
surveys in evidence, to fix the location of the one
tract in suit. He would sweep over a wdiole district
of country and examine surveyors as to every mark
in miles of lines, to verify the conclusions he washed
to establish in the cause upon trial. In all lawsuits,
but especially in ejectments upon original titles, the
law arises upon the facts in evidence, and he is the
most philosophical and successful lawyer who arranges
his facts most fully, and places them before the court
and jury in that orderly sequence which is most
natural and logical. Perhaps I have known lawyers
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER
of more subtle reasonintr faculties than Mr. M'Allister
possessed, but I never knew one who could prepare
a cause so well.
But he was not a mere lawyer. He took a lively
and intelligent interest in all public questions, and
when the State Agricultural Society was formed he
brougrht into that the same methodical and earnest
habits which had always distinguished him at the bar,
and became a valuable member and manag^er of that
useful institution. Very much through his influence
the late General James Irvin was induced to give a
valuable farm, in Penn's Valley, as the seat for the
Farm School, which was established thereon and is
still flourishincr. In the erection of the colleg-e build-
ings, the conduct of the school and the farm, and,
indeed, in all the expenses and labors incident to this
great undertaking, Mr. M'Allister bore a foremost
and conspicuous part. It is no exaggeration to say
that, notwithstanding the munificent donation of
General Irvin, (for which his name should be held in
grateful memory,) the State would not have had the
F'arm School at the time and to the extent it was
established, had it not been for the indomitable energy
and perseverance of Mr. M'Allister. He had excel-
lent co-laborers, among whom I rejoice to mention
with affection, the late James T. Hale, but Mr.
M'Allister was the master spirit of that enterprise,
3 2 OBITUAR V ADDRESSES.
and to him more than to any, and perhaps, to all
others, is the public indebted for one of the noblest
institutions of our day. Not only a good lawyer, he
was a good farmer ; and what is higher praise, he was
a good man. The church of Christ, education, and
all moral and reformatory agencies and influences
received countenance and liberal support from him.
Of his distinguished services in this body there is
no need for me to speak. You wisely placed him at
the head of our most important committee, and he
addressed himself to his duties with an assiduity
that was characteristic, but quite too much for his
enfeebled health. What he recommended, by way of
reform of the ballot, was gladly adopted by the Con-
vention and will stand as an imperishable monument
to his wisdom,
Mr. President, when 1 think of that picturesque
and beautiful village of Bellefonte, and of the refined
and intelligent society 1 found there in 1841, it makes
my heart ache to think of the desolation death hath
wrought there. There was John Blanchard, one ot
the noblest men it has been my good fortune to know,
and Bond Valentine, a genial Quaker, and James T.
Hale, a man of rare endowments, and James Petrikin.
a lawyer, an artist and a wit, and James Burnside,
who was everybody's friend and had a friend in every-
body. These were the lawyers among whom Mr.
JIOX. HUGH NELSON AH ALLISTEK.
M'Allister laid the deep and solid foundations ot his
professional character, and now they are all sj;one to
that judgment bar before which we must all ere long
appear. Bellefonte has, indeed, reason to mourn for
such losses, and to say, with old Jacob, " if I be
bereaved ol my children I am bereaved."
Mr. Carter. Mr. President: x^lthoug-h standing
here this bright May morning, amidst health and
strength, I yet seem to feel in the shadow of a great
sorrow, almost as if in the awful presence of the
messenger of death. As the eldest member of the
Committee on Suffrage, of which Mr. M'Allister was
chairman, I would ofter my brief tribute of respect
to his memory, and be permitted to say a few words
expressive of the high regard I had for him, as a true,
conscientious man, whose eye ever seemed single to
his path of duty and labor.
I never knew him personally until we met in Har-
risburg as members of this Convention, though I had
olten heard of the wonderful, persistent energy which
he so long displayed in building up and sustaining an
institution which he believed would be of great public
benefit, and this, too, under all kinds of discourage-
ments, and without hope of reward, other than that
which follows the performance of duty. I)ut being-
thrown much in his company last winter, I soon dis-
OBirUAR V ADDRESSES.
covered him to be a firm, unHinchinor advocate of re-
form, and thoug'h by nature conservative, he ever
seemed desirous to go any length to reform or cor-
rect those abuses that had gradually crept into the
government. His earnestness of purj^ose, and intense
energy of character and zeal, could brook no barriers
in his way. His industry was ever unfiagging, and
surely such a course is worthy of our praise and such
a character of our imitation. His end was, no doubt,
hastened by his unwillingness to remain away from
his field of lalwr. I often last winter felt it my duty
to caution him of the danger of exertion in his weak
state, but without avail. He had come here for an
object; he had to work; his eye was single to that
object alone. Methinks, sir, I see him now, as pass-
ing down the aisle, with his usual roll of papers in
his hands, over which he had been engaged, perhaps,
tor hours, with his preoccupied look and manner.
Nothing but labor for him. Some men, Mr. Presi-
dent, pass through life, apparently without an object
or purpose, seeking their own ease and sensual grati-
fication, and totally indifferent to or unconscious of
their responsibilities and the field of duty their
Creator had assigned them, not knowing that He had
conferred on them the high privilege of being co-
laborers with Him in the crreat work of elevating
humanity. How many engage in the pursuit of
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 35
wealth as the great object of human existence, con-
tent to elbow their way throug-h the world, regardless
of the beautiful and refining influences which, if cul-
tivated, would irradiate their path through life and
hallow its close; and never realizing- that the true
man should aim at leaving the W'Orld a little better
for his having lived in it. Not such was our friend;
to him duty was the pole-star of his life; honest, un-
remitting labor with unselfish end, his life course;
always just and honest in intention, and a serious,
straightforward man at all times. Such was his char-
acter, and such his life, as described by his life-long
friend. Governor Curtin. Such men are too scarce
not to be prized and respected. But he is gone; his
long, active life is ended ; he has found the rest he
has so well earned. The icy hand of death has
stilled the throbbing- pulse and cooled the fevered
"Life's fitful fever o'er, he sleeps well."
Soon his mortal remains will be borne to the silent
tomb, at his distant home, by his sorrowing friends
and neighbors, who knew his worth and lament his
loss. There will he rest, amid the cjuiet, rural scenes
he loved so well, and had done so much to adorn.
May we all benefit by his example.
OBI TUA R Y A I) J) R ESSES.
Mr. Andkiav Rkkd, of Mifflin County. Mr. Presi-
dent: Scarcely have the ha])iHments of moiirnino-
which draped this hall in niemor)- of the late William
Hopkins, been removed, when the announcement is
made that another seat, in the same row, on the same
side of this chamber, is vacant. H. N. M'Allister is
Living as he did, in an adjoining- count)', and in the
sanie district which I have the honor, in part, to repre-
sent on this floor, I feel that I would be false not only
to the promptings of my own nature, but also to that
sense of duty which would seem to require it if, on an
occasion of this kind, I did not bear my testimon)- to
his worth as a man, a lawyer, a Christian, a neighbor
I liave known Mr. M'Allister from bo)-hood. As a
mail. I/is chief cJiaractcristic, in luy opinion, loas that of
untirino- cna'oy in tlic prosecution of conceived duty.
F^verything he undertook, whether in church, in State,
or in his private business, received the attention ot
all his |)owers, both of mind and ho<\\. He was a
positive man; there was nothing negative in his char-
acter. He formed opinions on nearly every subject
which came before him, and then clung to them with
a persistency which could only arise from a settled
belief in their right. These traits exhibit themselves
in all the relations of his life.
HON. HUGH NELSON M ' ALL IS TER. ,3 7
As a lawyer he was distinguished for abihty, in-
teqrity and assiduous devotion to the interests of his
rhents. The best energies of his Hfe w^ere spent in
the service of his profession; a profession wliicli has
been well said ''to be old as magistracy, noble as
virtue, and necessary as justice."
As a Christian he showed forth the same qualities
of perseverance and energy which distinguished his
labors in the law. Instead of observing just enough
of the outward forms to give him the name, he was
active, zealous and working. He attended upon all
the ordinances of the church to which he beloneed,
and to its support and the support of its different
boards he contributed with an unwonted liberality.
As a citizen \\t\ was conspicuous in the advocacy
and support of all measures which tended to improve
and benefit the common weal. As a neighbor and
friend he was kind and true. A person with the
qualities of Mr. M'Allister could not but make his
mark on the community in which he lived and
He was not an office-seeker. His temperament
and habits had nothing in them congenial to the pur-
suits of the politician ; while, if they had, his great
devotion to the pursuit ot his prof(;ssion left no room
tor their exercise.
The election ot Mr. M'AllistcM* as a delesj'ate to this
38 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
Convention met with the approbation of not only the
part)' with which he w^as connected, in the section of
country where he w^as known, but of all parties.
They knew^ that as tar, at least, as he was concerned,
neither j)arty considerations nor anything- else would
induce him to swerve from what he considered to be
the right, and the Journal of our proceedings will
show that they w^ere not mistaken in their man. His
voice and vote will alwa}'s be found on the side of
that which tends to promote greater purity in the
administration of public affairs.
He took great interest in the work of the Conven-
tion. When exhausted nature would have seemed to
forbid it, we still found him at his post. But a few
days belore he died I was at his bedside, when he
in(piired of me what the Convention w^as doing, and
when told that a certain section of the judiciary report
was under consideration, he expressed his regret at
not being able to attend, and hoped that certain pro-
visions to secure the independence and purity of the
judiciary would be adopted. He is now gone. The
Convention, the State, the church, the community in
which he lived, and his family w^ill all feel and deplore
Mr. J. M. Bailkv, of Huntingdon County. Mr.
President: The second time has the silent messenoer
HON. HUGH NELSON M'ALLISTER. 39
stolen in upon our deliberations, and has removed
another of our number to that "undiscovered country
from whose bourne no traveler returns."
While the visits of death are frequent, yet we never
become accustomed to them, and always stand in awe
at his presence. Terrible and full of warning as such
visits always are, it is strange we heed them so little,
and never fully realize their dreadful reality, until
death's arrow strikes an object near to our own
In rising to second the resolutions so eloquently
and feelingly presented by the distinguished delegate
from Centre, (Mr. Curtin,) I desire, upon this melan-
choly occasion, to pay my humble tribute to the
memory and worth of him who so lately was our
associate here, but now is no more. Hugh N.
M'Allister, as a man, was positive and earnest, honest
and faithful, sincere and generous, assiduous and
untiring in all he undertook — "whatsoever his hands
found to do, he did with his might."
Among the bold and daring he was as bold and
brave as any. Among the faithful he was as faithful
as any. Among the wise and intellectual, he had as
much wisdom as any. While his disposition was as
gentle and unsuspecting and artless as truth herself,
he was, when aroused in the performance of a dut)',
as couraueous as a lion.
40 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
But, sir, whatever eiilotj;-ies may be passed on him
upon this Ooor, or whatever the biographer may write
about him, no higher tribute can be paid to his per-
sonal cliaracter and private worth than this, that he
loas the idol of his family. Whatever a man ma}'
seeni to the world — in whatever disguise he may be
able to conceal himself from others — he is always
exposed to his own family; if he be insincere, untrue
or unkind, none know it sooner; and if he be honest
and noble, their affection will attest it. And I would
rather trust to such silent testimony to a man's moral
w^orth than to all the eulogies and panegyrics that
can be pronounced.
As a Clu'istiaii — his virtuous lite attested the sin-
cerity and fidelity of his profession, as well as the
power and goodness of the Christion religion.
As a citizen — he was true and public spirited,
alwa)s encouraging and aiding such enterprises as
in his opinion w^ould advance the material and social
interests ot his State and community; and to what-
ever [project he laid his hand he pushed it with that
assiduous eftort and untiring perseverance and earn-
est vigor which was the secret ot his success in life.
As a lazoycr — he had no superior in central Penn-
sylvania; his unswerving integrity in his prot'ession
commanded the respect and confidence of every one.
He was alwa\s courteous to his adversaries, true to
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 41
the court as well as his client, and always having pre-
pared his cause well by the dint of labor and study,
he ably tried it. I sa)- liis caiisc\ for he always made
his client's cause his own. He never sought public
position, but frequendy declined it. Devoted to his
profession he was satisfied with whatever of fame his
skillful and successful practice might reward him, and
with such remuneration as its faithful pursuit might
bring to him. He never sought the people for any
thing, but the people sought him for all they have
As a member of tJiis Convention — none labored
harder or with a more earnest and anxious desire to
faithfully perform his duties. He was not working
ror fame — no man courted famedessthan he — but the
necessity of reform had so fastened itself upon his
earnest and faithful nature as to allow him no rest
from the labor which, as a member of this Conven-
tion, he had assumed. And no one can doubt, sir,
diat this excessive labor hastened his death. Ol him
it is literally true, lie oave his life to his State.
And now, sir, in concluding these hasty remarks,
allow me to hold up as worthy of our imitation, the
life of Hugh N. M'Allister, and point to the secret of
his great success, which lay in his unswerving tidelit)'.
in his Christian life, in his indomitable energy, untir-
ing labor and ever enduring perseverance, and point
' 6 '
4 2 OBITUAR Y ADDRESSES.
to this grand moral in it: N^cvci' seek piiblie position,
and never sJiirk nor stint eitJier a pul^lie or private duty.
''Honor and fame from no condition rise,
Act well your part — there all the honor lies."
Mr. Harry White, of Indiana County. Mr. Presi-
dent: I would gladly be silent if I were not conscious
silence was not the performance of my duty. When
the yeas and nays hereafter are called in our proceed-
ings, the name of M'Allister will give no response.
"Like the dew on the mountain,
Like the foam on the river,
Like the bubble on the fountain.
Thou art gone forever."
Our deceased associate was a man who " feared
God, loved truth, and hated covetousness." He had
attained this degree of excellence through years of
earnest effort for a proper life. It has been properly
said that he was one of our most upright, sincere and
industrious members. He has lost his life from a
disease contracted in earnest and devoted attention
to his duties in this body. There are those here
whom we should, in the course of nature, have ex-
pected to precede him to "that bourne whence no
traveler returns." You, Mr. President, and others,
were his seniors in years. They have been left and
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 43
he has been taken. Faithfully and well he performed
his part in life. Now, at its close, his friends, and we,
his survivors, can stand at his open tomb and take an
A brief biography of his life has been appro-
priately and properly given by those who knew and
associated with him in his useful career. In the place
of his residence, a beautiful town nestling in the
mountains of the State we are called here to serve,
he had attained a prominence and excellence in his
profession proper to be held before the young and
before the ambitious at the bar. Shunning public life
because he disliked the associations and jostlings
necessary for success there, he did not shun public
duty; a grateful relief from his professional cares,
anxieties and conflicts was the occupation of the agri-
culturist. How happy he was when, upon his farm
adjoining the town of his residence, he exhibited to
his visitor the degree of cultivation of which the
native soil was susceptible, and aided in giving proper
encouragement to that employment the Father of his
country said "was the noblest occupation of men."
It has been my privilege, sir, more than once to
partake of the liberal hospitality, at his home, of our
deceased associate. When the delegates from the
different parts of the State met at the town of his
residence, near the location of the Agricultural Col-
44 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
lege of Pennsylvania, the home of Mr. M'Allister was
opened to all. It was the centre to which all repaired,
and which every visitor left with regret. It was my
honor and privilege, Mr. President, to be associated
for four years as a member of the Board of Trustees
of the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania. I would
be false to the recollection of those associations if I
did not now pay proper tribute to his industry and
usefulness, to his sincere devotion, to his earnest
enthusiasm for the great work with which he was so
intimately connected. Time and again, suffering Irom
infirmities incident to approaching years, he left the
comforts and quiet of his agreeable home to attend
the meetings of the Board, in a distant town. Time
and again he visited the experimental farms located
in different portions of the State, paying his own ex-
penses, and refusing any remuneration for the contri-
bution of his valuable time.
A more sincere man, a more earnest public ser-
vant, in any position he occupied, I never knew in m)'
limited experience. It is said:
"The evil that men do, lives after them ;
The good is oft interred with their bones."
We who knew Mr. M'Allister, who knew him as a
law^yer, who knew him as an a<'riculturist, who knew
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 45
him as a citizen, owe it to public virtue, owe it to pri-
vate worth, to pay proper tribute to his memory.
Mr. M'Alhster's death, it has been properly said,
will create a void in the community in which he lived.
No eloquence is necessary to impress this upon us.
A void, sir, must be felt in that community for which
he had done so much. Missed ! Yes, there he will
most be missed. There he was known as the affec-
tionate husband, the kind father, the Christian gentle-
man. There he attained his professional eminence,
and so great was his integrity that his statements
were always accepted by the courts before which he
His conflicts in professional life did not prevent the
exercise, in his community, of his liberal and enter-
prising spirit. While our deceased brother had, in
common with humanity, some peculiarities, yet in no
sense was he a narrow or illiberal man. His was the
voice of public improvement, and tireless hours of
his life have been spent to aid the development and
advancement of the resources and industries of the
Commonwealth. As a citizen, then, no less than
law)'er, husband, parent, friend, will he be missed at
his home and all over our State.
Hugh N. M'Allister was indeed a great man, great
because he never undertook without bringing success;
he never embarked in an enterprise unless he gave
46 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
it all the power and the stimulus of his great energy
and intellect. Literally did he obey the scriptural
injunction: "What thy hand findeth to do, do it with
thy might." Yes, sir, Hugh N. M'Allister, our de-
ceased associate, was in every sense of the term a
great man, and in his death how natural to recall that
sentiment of Longfellow:
" The lives of great men all remind us,
We can make our lives sublime;
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time."
Mr. J. G. Patton, of Bradford County. Mr. Presi-
dent: When the Convention adjourned on Friday last,
little did we think we should be called upon, so soon, to
mourn the loss of an honored and prominent member
of this body. But the unrelenting hand of death is
no respecter of persons. The rich and the poor, the
proud and the lowly, alike are in turn made the vic-
tims of its unerring aim.
It was my privilege and my g-ood fortune to know
Mr. M'Allister for many years. I have had the
pleasure of meeting him at his home in Bellefonte,
where he has long resided. But for the past few
years 1 have not seen much of him. Wlien, however,
I met him in the Convention at Harrisburg-, we re-
newed our acquaintance, and I was pleased to notice,
HON. HUGH NELSON AFALLISTER. 47
in our intercourse, that his judgment was still sound,
that his intellect was as fresh and vigorous as the day
I first knew him, notwithstanding age had furrowed
his brow and silvered his locks.
It has been 1)ut a few days since he was here in our
midst, moving around in comparatively comfortable
health, always to be found at his post of duty, looking
after the best interests of his native State.
He was a close student, a gentleman of great ex-
perience and learning, of inflexible integrity, of great
tenacity of purpose ; a man of great industry — faith-
ful and honest in the discharge of every trust confided
to his care. Possessed of sterling honor, and a high
sense of justice, he could not be swerved from the
path of duty by any pretense, however plausible or
alluring. He performed every duty with an honest
purpose to practice and exemplify the virtues of a
As chairman of the Committee on Suffrage, Elec-
tion and Representation, he was an active and effi-
cient member, and we all remember with what earn-
estness and power he advocated and explained the
report of the committee and urged its adoption.
But he has gone to the life beyond, and we have
one member less than we had at our last meeting.
This Hall, which has so often echoed with the
sound of his familiar voice, will be again draped in
4.S OBrrUAKY ADDRESSES.
mourning', out of respect to the memory of our
departed brother, and to remind us that death has
again invaded our body, and summoned another
worthy member to his final home.
Let us all prepare, then, for the great hereafter that
awaits us, for but few decades will intervene before
we in turn shall be summoned to follow.
Mr. WiLiJAM Lilly, of Carbon Count}-. Mr.
President : I rise in my place at the risk of being
considered presumptuous, to add a very few words
to what has been so fitly and well spoken in eulogy
to the memory of our late fellow-delegate, H. N.
M'Allister, for whom we mourn to-day as one lately
My personal acquaintance with him commenced at
Harrisburg, in November last, upon the convening of
this body. My knowledge of him extends to many
years past, for a man of so much philanthropy must
be known over the whole State that he has so greatly
benefited by his self-sacrificing acts for the public
good. 1 had the honor of a place upon the committee
of this Convention over which he presided. From
the time of the organization of the committee at Har-
risburg until he was stricken by the disease that
proved fatal to his life, no man could have been more
faithful to his trust and to what he conceived to be
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 49
his dut\'. Always at his post, ever zealous in the
perfectino- of that which was before him.
He was strono- in his convictions — honest as the
sun — when once convinced that he was rii^dit he
would stand as firm as the eternal hills. I firmly
believe he would have died for the faith that was in
Vox these stern and inflexible cjualities I learned to
respect and admire him as one of God's noblest
works — an honest man. Peace be to his ashes.
Mr. A. A. PuRMAN, of Greene County. Mr. Presi-
dent: This occasion — the death of Hon. Hugh N.
M'Allister — is full of melancholy interest. It is not
because it is new ; for the annals of time are crowded
with memorials of the dead, with repetitions of sor-
rows which know no end, and with renewals of
anguish which continually find utterance upon the
departure of the good, the wise, and the great. The
present event is another evidence of the general
course of human e.xperience — that youth, manhood
and age drop into the grave in all the pride of their
beauty, their power, and their brightest hopes. Such
is human life.
It is but a few weeks since we were weeping over
the death of that good, wise, and pure man and Chris-
tian gentleman, Col. William Hopkins, an occasion
^ o OBITUAR Y ADDRESSES.
which called forth all my sympathies for the afflicted
family of the deceased, as well as the present.
Doubtless it is in accord with the wisdom of Provi-
dence that hiunan life should be held by so frail a
tenure. We are not permitted to be insensible to
the dangers that everywhere surround us. Provi-
dence intends that we shall be daily touched with the
sense of human infirmity. In the death of this good
man we learn again the salutary lesson that Provi-
dence has allotted to each of us his own sufferings ;
that there is no exemption of age, or rank, or station,
but that there is a common doom appointed for all.
As we feel the yet distant evils while administering
to the calamities of others with a soothing kindness,
let us improve the occasion to make us wiser, holier
The life of our departed friend, Hon. Hugh N.
M'Allister, has been one of toil and usefulness, both
to his friends and the State. But death has consigned
him to the home where he shall rest until that hour
when it shall be declared that the dead shall live and
that the living shall die.
I will not attempt to recount his virtues or recall
What can I say that has not been already better
said? What can I suggest which has not already
been suggested, or suggests itself to your own hearts
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER.
and to the hearts of his near and dear friends in a
more touching- form? We can look back upon the
hte of our departed friend with an approving con-
sciousness. We can see everything to love and
admire in his character, and nothing- to awaken regret
for intentional error so common in mankind. Such
as he was we can bear him in our hearts and on our
lips with manly praise. We can hold him up as a fit
example for youthful emulation and ambition, not
dazzling, but elevated; not ostentatious, but pure.
His name can justly be breathed as a watch-word for
honesty, while his public and private life will thrill as
Mr. J. A. Simpson, of Philadelphia. Mr. President:
There are moments in every man's life when the
tong-ue refuses to perform its office, when it is meet
that his voice should be still, as the fittest expression
of his emotion ; there are other moments when duty
commands him to speak, or, as the Preacher says:
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to
every purpose under the heaven; a time to keep
silence and a time to speak."
Sir, I should feel that I had failed in the perform-
ance of a duty if I were to remain silent at a moment
as solemn as this is, whilst others were bearing their
testimony to the worth and faithfulness of our
deceased brother; it I, too, did not present my tribute
and lay one leaf of laurel upon that open coffin.
It was my fortune. Mr. President, to have made the
acquaintance of our lamented fellow-member, some
sixteen years ago, whilst attending court in one of the
counties composing- the section ot the State where he
lived ; that acquaintance was but a casual one, how-
ever, and probably never would have been more than
that but for the occurrences that brought us together
again as members of this body.
You, Mr. President, deemed it proper to place me
upon the committee of which he was the honored
head, and it was there, in the committee room, or in
his chamber, discussing and preparing business for
the consideration of the committee, or the Convention,
that I became impressed with his untiring energy, his
earnestness, and the zeal that he brought to the dis-
charge of his duties ; and it was there, too, that I
learned how entirely, how devotedly he brought ever\'
faculty of his mind to bear upon the important ques-
tions before the committee — nothing too great tor his
grasp, nothing too small to escape his scrutiny.
Differing from him. as I did. upon some ot the
questions that we had to consider, it is but proper
that I should sa)- that the fidelity and integrity dis-
played by his earnest advocacy of such measures as
he deemed important in the cause of real retorm, con-
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 53
vinced me that his convictions were honestly enter-
tained, and that he at least was impressed with the
thought that the labors of the Convention, whether
performed upon this floor, in the committee room or
elsewhere, were no child's play, no mere holiday pas-
time : every source of knowledge open to him was
penetrated, I might say ransacked, to obtain informa-
tion bearing upon the subject specially committed to
his charge, yet he did not forget those in which all
had a common interest. Few of the members of this
Convention were his equals in diligent search for
light ; none, I venture to say, his superiors.
But, Mr. President, this second invasion of our
circle should remind us "that it is appointed unto
man once to die ;" sooner or later the summons will
come to each of us ; none are too exalted to escape,
none too lowly to be overlooked or forgotten. We
shall be commanded to lay aside this mortality and
put on immortality, and whether we are ready or not,
whether our work is done or undone, the summons
must be obeyed. Like the patriarch of old, like our
brother whom we mourn, may each of us have his
loins girded, his sandals bound upon his feet, and with
staff in hand be ready to enter upon that journey
from which there is no return. May we have "our
lamps trimmed and burning," so that when we are
called it shall be from labor to reward ; and tliat it
54 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
may be said of us, as we can say of our departed
friend and brother :
"Let Faith exalt her joyful voice,
And now in triumph sing ;
O Grave, where is thy victory ?
And where, O Death, thy sting?"
Mr. W. H. Smith, of Allegheny County. To me,
Mr. President, this dispensation has been peculiarly
impressive. The lamented delegate from Washing-
ton, the honest and earnest Mr. Hopkins, sat here on
the right, and Mr. M'Allister sat on the left of my
seat, but one cliair removed from my own. Owing
to the occasional absence of the delegate from Frank-
lin, I was brought into very frequent intercourse with
our last departed co-laborer. And although I never
met him but once before I found him here, and know
but little of his character or antecedents, I have been
impressed with his unflinching constancy and firmness
in maintaining what he considered to be right. His
labors in this body, and in thc! committee on which he
served, were untiring, and I am informed that his
anxiety about our progress here and its final results
were intense and without intermission. Like Mr.
Hopkins, who only a few weeks ago preceded him on
the inevitable journey " to that undiscovered country,"
he entertained the homely and primitive sentiment
HON. HUGH NELSON APALLISTER. 55
that to hold pubHc office was not a privilege only, but
a privilege that was associated with a high responsi-
bility. Whoever may have been neglectful of duty
or faithless to their official obligations among the
many servants of this great Commonwealth, it may be
emphatically said of Hopkins and M'Allister that they
were eminently faithful — faithful even unto death. I
might go even yet further, Mr. President, and say that
he who has just left us has sacrificed his health and
life to extraordinary labors here. Indeed, we may
suppose that the lives of both these good and
exemplary men might have been prolonged for much
usefulness if duty here had never been undertaken
by them, or if their part had been performed in an
inattentive or casual way. To each or either of them
the State may say with unreserved approval of their
labors, "well done, thou good and faithful servant,"
and to all that remain, "let your official course and
conduct be like theirs,"
Mr. M. Hall Stanton, of Philadelphia. Mr. Presi-
dent: In the death of our much-honored and esteemed
colleague, the Hon. Hugh N. M'Allister, of Bellefonte,
our Convention has lost a most useful member, and
Pennsylvania a son whose life and character have
been to her "an honor and a pride."
His unexpected death — unexpected, at least, to
5 6 OBITUAR V ADDRESSES.
many of us — has cast a g'loom over our proceedings,
a shadow over the pleasant relations existin^j^ amony^
us, which time alone can dispel. Few men ever
gained more friends in so brief a period as did the
lamented departed while in our midst.
His amiable disposition, gentle manners, good
cjualities, and manly, honest bearing, endeared him to
all with whom he came in contact. He was a man ol
extraordinary energy, and of a virtue ot character
which commanded universal respect and admiration.
Beloved and honored at home, esteemed and revered
abroad, his death, in the micist of his usefulness and
valuable services, has caused a vacuum not easily
filled. As chairman of the Committee on Suftrage,
Election and Representation, he proved his great
ability, extensive knowledge, and thorough honesty
of purpose in his aim to serve the interests ot the
people of our Commonwealth. He was also an in-
valuable member of the Committee on Railroads and
Canals, and whenever duty required, his voice was
heard upon every important measure which had come
before this Convention up to the hour when the grim
monster, laying his hand upon him, bade him to come
up no more to this place. But he is gone from among
us. His seat is vacant, and his strong voice is hushed
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 57
" Leaves have their time to tall,
And flowers to wither at the north wind's breath,
And stars to set — but all,
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death."
We who mourn his loss can the more readily sym-
pathize with those to whom his death will involve
many a day of sorrow which time alone can alleviate,
and reliofion alone can reconcile. To those bereaved
ones we sincerely extend our sympathy; feeling, also,
that they have the consolation to know that their
beloved departed had lived a life honorable to himself
his family and his State, and in the fear and service
of his God. He was truly such a man as the poet had
in mind when he said,
" Man is his own star : And the soul that can
Render an honest and a perfect man,
Commands all light, all influence, all fate ;
Nothing to him falls early or too late."
Mr. Frank Mantor, of Crawford County. Mr.
President: Standing in this hall as I do this mornino-,
I desire to say but one word on this solemn and im-
portant occasion. I cast my eye on this side of the
hall and I see two seats which have been made vacant
by death, and all within a very brief period of time —
a few days at most. Two delegates in the active
pursuits of life have been called away, one whose
eulogy has already been pronounced by nearly a
5 8 OBITUAR Y ADDRESSES.
score of delegates on this rioor. The words tliey
uttered here are implanted in all our hearts. We
then said, one to another, who next? This inquiry is
well made, if we remember that sacred declaration
that "there is hut one step hetiueeii thee and death.''
We all thought then as we now think, and as no
doubt our worthy associate thought, ''it is not I but
you, or some one else;" but it was not you nor I, but
it was he, who thought as we thought then. But the
grim messenger came, and by his never failing word,
has beckoned his victim home, and we can say to-da)'
in our own hearts, loJio next? It is jyv/ or I. It may
not be this day or to-morrow, but the separation will
come. It may be in the morning or the evening time
that we shall be called from the toils and cares of life
to the better land beyond.
It is hard, it is unfortunate, to lose a friend like Mr.
M'Allister. I became acquainted with him at an early
stage of this Convention. I watched his movements;
I saw his anxiety to do his duty, and more than once
did I admonish him that he was overtaxing his system
with the care that he was bestowing on his part of
the work of this Convention, and his reply to me
was; "/ luisJi to do my duty and to do it ivellT
Such seemed to have been his most anxious
thought, and from this standpoint he seemed always
to be actino-. But, sir, we all know that he has died
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 59
with the harness on — died a true man, whose life of
industry we can safely imitate. This Convention can
ill afford to lose him; but then he rests in peace. No
more shall life's troubled ocean toss his frail bark,
and as we bid him a final farewell, we can say:
" Unveil thy bosom, sacred tomb,
Take this treasure to thy trust,
And give these sacred relics room
To slumber in the silent dust.
Nor grief, nor fear, nor anxious care
Invades thy bounds. No mortal woes
Can reach the silent sleeper there,
Where angels watch his soft repose."
Mr. T. E. Cochran, of York County. Mr. Presi-
dent : I should have no warrant to interpose in the
bestowal of these memorial tributes to the distin-
guished delegate at large from the County of Centre,
were it not for the fact that he was a member of the
committee of which I had the honor to be chairman
by your appointment. I think it is proper for me to
bear testimony here to the great earnestness, zeal
and fidelity with which he labored to discharge his
duty upon that committee. Day after day he was
assiduous in his attendance, and even at a time when
sickness would have prevented almost any one else
6o OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
from laboring, he came to the committee room and
gave us the benefit of his counsel and his services.
Mr. President, we had every evidence to satisfy our
minds of the perfect integrity and the full sincerity
with which he entertained the opinions that he
expressed, and advocated the measures that he pre-
ferred. He was indeed a man Justus ct toiax propositi.
a man who was firm and devoted in his purpose, and
unswerving in the vindication of that which he
believed to be rioht. It was most prateful, sir, to
agree with him in opinion, because we knew that
when we agreed with him we had the concurrence of
a man of sound judgment and of single honesty of
purpose. Opposition in opinion to him seemed to
stir one with an emotion resembling
" The stern joy which warriors feel
In foemen worthy of their steel ;"
for he met contest of opinion fairh' and scpiarely. and
encountered those who differed from him face to
Sir, that was the characteristic of Mr. M'Allister in
his connection with the committee of which I have
had the honor to be chairman, and I think there is no
member of that committee who will not sa)' that these
few words which I have uttered here are a simple and
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 6i
just acknowledgment of his merits and of his services
Mr. President, his labors on earth with us are
ended; but we have the consolation to confidently
believe that he has departed to a higher sphere of
reward above. We have a right to entertain "the
reasonable, religious and holy hope" th-at "for him to
depart was for better," while his departure is indeed
to us a loss which we have the greatest reason to
The President. The question is on the resolutions
of the Pfentlemen from Centre.
The first resolution was unanimously adopted.
The President. The second resolution will be
The second resolution was read, as follows:
Resolved, That his death deprives this Convention
of one of its most enlightened and industrious mem-
bers, the Commonwealth of one of her most j)ublic
spirited and useful citizens, the community in which
he lived of a man whose indomitable energy, inflexi-
ble integrity, and spotless moral character attracted
to him the confidence and affection of all who knew
him, and his family of a kind and devoted husband
The resolution was unanimous!)- adopted.
62 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
Ihe next resolution was read the second time, as
Resolved, That we do most heartily offer to the
members of his bereaved family the homage oi our
sympathy and condolence in this the time of deep
The resolution was adopted.
The next resolution was read the second time, as
Resolved, That in respect for the memory of our
departed colleague, the President is requested to
appoint a committee of delegates to attend his
funeral at Bellefonte, on Thursday next.
The President. There is a blank in this resolu-
tion. How shall it be filled?
Mr. CuKTTN. I suggest seven.
The President. Seven is named. If no other
number is named, the blank will be filled by seven.
The question is on the resolution.
The resolution was adopted.
The last resolution was read the second time, as
Resolved, That the Clerk be directed to transmit
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 63
a copy of these resolutions to the tamil)' of th(!
The resohition was adopted.
The President. It wih be entered on the Journal
that these resolutions were unanimously agreed to.
Mr. BucKALEW. I ask leave to make a report from
the Committee on Suffrage, Elections and Represent-
The President. The Committee on Suffrage,
Elections and Representation ask leave to make a
report at this time. Shall the committee have leave ?
Leave was granted.
Mr. BucKALEW. Mr. President: I report the reso-
lutions adopted by that committee in reference to the
death of their chairman.
The President. The resolutions will be read.
The Clerk read as follows :
In the Committee on Suffrage, Elections and Re-
presentation, May 6, 1873, the following resolutions
were unanimously adopted :
Resolved, That the members of this committee have
heard with deep sensibility of the death of their chair-
man, H. N. M'Allister, of Centre County, who has
fallen at his post of duty, leaving an honored memory
among all his colleagues of the Convention.
64 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
That his death may be justly regarded as a piibHc
loss, and to all of us who survive him, it brings sin-
cere sorrow and regret.
That we desire to bear willing testimony that, in
the transaction of business by the committee and in
his relations thereto, their late chairman always exhibi-
ted untiring industry and earnestness, zeal for the
rig-ht, and a sincere desire to reform all existing
abuses in government.
Resolved, That the acting chairman of the commit-
tee be desired to present the foregoing resolution to
the Convention, with the request that the same be
entered upon the Journal, as a fitting tribute to the
memory of the deceased.
Mr. BucKALEW. I move an order that the resolu-
tions reported be entered on the Journal.
The motion was asfreed to.
Mr. Church. I move that, as a further mark of
respect, the Chief Clerk be directed to drape this
Hall in mourning for the space of thirty days.
The PREsn)ENT. The question is on the motion
The motion was agreed to.
Mr. J. S. Mann, of Potter County. Mr. President:
When a good man dies the people mourn, and it is
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 65
fittino- and proper that his associates and companions
should commeniorate his virtues over his open grave.
I know how difficult it is to speak with profit on such
an occasion ; and therefore I shall trust myself to
utter but very few words.
I have only to say that the body of Hugh N.
M'Allister is dead, but his example still lives and
will long live to bless the community in which he
resided and the State of which he was an honored
citizen, for, if it may be said of any man, it may truth-
fully be said of him, that he was one of the noblest
works of God, an honest man. Out of respect for
his memory, therefore, I now move that the Conven-
tion take a recess until three o'clock.
The motion was agreed to, and at twelve o'clock
and eiorht minutes, the Convention took a recess
until three o'clock, P. M.
The President appointed Andrew G. Curtin, of
Centre, Andrew Reed, of Mifflin, John M. Bailey, of
Huntingdon, William H. vSmith, of Allegheny, Thomas
R. Hazzard, of Washington, J. Alexander Simpson,
of Philadelphia, and George N. Corson, of Mont-
gomery, Committee ordered by the resolutions ; all
of whom attended the funeral of the deceased, which
took place at Bellefonte, Centre County, on Thurs-
day the 8th day of Ma)', 1873.
Hon. H. N. M'Allister was of Scotch-Irish descent;
his great grandfather having" emigrated from Ireland
to Lancaster County, Pa., about the year 1730. His
grandfather, Major Hugh M'Alhster, was born in
Little Britian Township, Lancaster County, in 1 736.
He enlisted as a private in Captain Forbes' compan)'
in the Indian war of 1763, and served faithful!}- until
the close of hostilities. Durino- the darkest hours of
the revolutionary struggle Hugh M'Allister was the
first man to volunteer as a private to form a com-
pany for the purpose of reinforcing the shattereci
army of Washington. This company was raised
in Lost Creek Valley, now Juniata County, and
was commanded by Captain John Hamilton, the
father of Hugh Hamilton, Esq., of Harrisburg-.
The company commanded by Captain Hamilton
joined the army of Washington the day after the
capture of the Hessians at l^renton. Hugh M'Allis-
HON. H. N. M'ALLISTER.
HON. HUGH NELSON M'ALLISTER. 67
ter was successively promoted to be I.ieutenant
Captain, and Major. Towards the close of the war
he was in command of the forces stationed at Potter's
Fort, Centre County, and commanded an expedition
sent to punish the Indians for depredations com-
mitted near the Great Island, where the city of Lock
Haven now stands. At the close of the war Major
M'Allister retired to his farm in Lost Creek Valley,
funiata County. He was married to Sarah Nelson,
and raised a large family. Hon. William M'Allister,
son of Major Hugh M'Allister and Sarah Nelson,
was born on the fann of his father, in Lost Creek
Valley, in August, A. I)., 1774. He served as a
soldier in the war of icSi2, and was, for a lonof time,
one of the Associate Judges of Juniata County. He
was married to Sarah Thompson.
Hugh Nelson M'Allister, eldest son of Hon. Wil-
liam M'Allister and Sarah Thompson, was born on
the farm owned by his father and grandfather, in
Lost Creek Valley, Juniata County. Pa., June 28th,
1809. He lived at home, and worked upon his
father's farm during his minority, receiving such
elementary education as the schools of the neighbor-
hood afforded. He received his instructions in the
rudiments of the classics from Rev. |ohn Hutchinson.
He entered the Freshman class at Jefferson College,
Canonsburg, in 1830, and stood so high before the
68 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
end of the year as to be chosen hy his society as one
of its debaters, which honor, however, his modesty
and timidity induced him to decHne. He graduated
in 1833, high in a class in which were many more,
since distinguished in the church and State. As soon
as he graduated Mr. M'AlHster commenced the study
of law, in the office of Hon. W. W. Potter, in Helle-
fonte. After completing the ordinary course of stu-
dies pursued by students in an office, he attended a
law school, then conducted at Carlisle, by Hon. John
Reed, President Judge of that district, and author of
"Pennsylvania Plackstone." On the 25th of No-
vember, 1835, on motion of W. W. Potter, Mr. M'Al-
Hster was admitted to practice in the several courts
of Centre County. He was at once taken into full
partnership by Mr. Potter, and the election of the
latter to Congress soon after threw at once the whole
labor and responsibility of an extensive law practice
upon the young partner. As in every subsequent
situation in life Mr. M'Allister brought so much
ability, earnestness, zeal, and indomitable persever-
ance to bear as to overcome all obstacles, and to suc-
cessfully meet all responsibilities resting upon him.
The early death of Mr. Potter, while in Congress, left
Mr. M'Allister alone in the practice, to compete with
one of the ablest bars in the State. He remained
without a partner until (icn. lames A. P)cavcr was
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 69
called to the bar, in 1859. Prom that time the law
practice was conducted under the firm name of
M'Allister & Beaver. During the long professional
career of nearly thirty-eight years, he had an exten-
sive, laborious, and lucrative practice. Until the last
eight or ten years he regularly attended the courts of
Clinton and Huntingdon Counties, and, at times,
courts of other counties. As a counsellor he was
always discreet, careful and safe. As an attorney he
was faithful, honest, and industrious. As an advo-
cate was earnest, zealous and, at times, impressively
eloquent. He would embark in no man's cause
unless thoroughly impressed with \\s justice, and then
he battled as only a man of his temperament could
battle, for the rigJil. In the preparation of causes he
was most thorough, and frequently performed an
amount of labor which seemed beyond human endur-
ance. His arguments before the Supreme Court of
the State, of which the books of reports are full, were
always strong, clear, and exhaustive.
During the late war, Mr. M'Allister was one of the
most earnest and zealous supporters of the adminis-
tration. He was ever foremost in contributing means
and performing work to secure volunteers, and in
supporting the families of those who were in the ser-
vice. He did more than any other one man to raise
and organize the many companies which left Centre
County, and finally, almost by his unaided exertions
raised a fidl company, and was elected its captain, and
upon its arrival at Camp Curtin, in Harrisbiirg-, was
assigned as Company " F" to the 23d regiment of
Pennsylvania Militia, commanded by Col. Geo. B.
Weistling. Although far beyond the age when men
are relieved from military duty, and being unfit by
education, habits and the state of his health, for the
hardships of a campaign, he accepted the responsi-
bility, went with his company to the field and served
faithfiilly until his place could be filled by a younger
Mr. M'Allister never held many public offices.
Ciovernor l^igler, when a vacancy occurred in the
P^ourth Judicial District, desired to appoint him to
the Presidency of the Common Pleas, and asked his
Iriends to grant his name, and Governor Curtin
twice formally offered him comniissions as President
judge which he declined.
Alter the close of the war, he was appointed by the
Governor one of the Commissioners to investigate,
settle and adjust the claims of citizens of the border
counties for losses sustained l)y the war. This ardu-
ous and responsible dut}' he performed in a manner
highly satisfactory to the State officials, as well as to
the people immediately interested. At the last Re-
publican .State Convention, he was selected as one of
HON. HUGH NELSON A'PALLISTER. 71
the toLirU'cn deleo-ates at lar^e to the Convention to
reform the State Constitution. The nomination of
the deleoates at large by either party was, under the
provisions of the act calHng' the convention, equiva-
lent to an election. He at once commenced a thor-
ough preparation for the duties thus devolved ujoon
him. He procured all works on Constitutional l.aw,
the proceedings of Constitutional Conventions, the
various State Constitutions now in force, or which
had been proposed, and all other publications bearing
upon the subject within the reach of any private citi-
zen, and devoted months of incessant study and labor
to master their contents. When the convention
assembled in Harrisburg, last November, probably
no single member was so thoroughly prepared as he
to enter upon an intelligent discharge of the labors
for which they were convened. He was appointed
chairman of the important committee on " vSuffrage,
Election and Representation," and a member of the
committee on "Railroads and Canals." He entered
upon his work with the energy and zeal which ever
characterized him. Unfortunately he did not limit
his labor by his physical capacity to endure it, but by
his desire for the permanent good of his native State.
Towards the close of winter, his strength gave way
under incessant toil, and he was compelled by his
physician to return home for rest. He remained at
home lour or live weeks, durin^' which time he im-
proved in strength. Three weeks before his death,
actuated by an intense desire to take part in the im-
portant discussions then going on in the Convention,
and by his improved health, he went back to Phila-
delphia, and at once engaged arduously in the labor
of the Convention. He made several important
speeches upon questions pending before that body.
He had over estimated his strength, for his intense
labor brought on the disease which, in a few days,
terminated his earthly career. Literally he offered
himself a sacrifice upon the altar of his Common-
wealth. He sacrificed his life in his effort to protect
the people from the corruptions of the times, and the
evils of misgovernment. The delegates at large,
elected upon the ticket with him, will select a suc-
cessor, but they cannot fill his place.
As a citizen Mr. M'AUister was always enterprising,
public spirited and patriotic. He took the lead in
every enterprise designed to promote the pu])lic
eood. He labored hard and contributed liberally lor
all such purposes. This he did, not in a spirit ot
speculation to promote his own good, but to benefit
the people. He was one of die projectors, the con-
stant friends and liberal supporters of the Agricul-
tural College of Pennsylvania. He kept the County
Agricultural Society in existence for years almost
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 73
unaided. He was the friend and supporter of the
Common Schools, Academies, and Seminaries, as well
as Sunday Schools. For many years he was the
recognized head of the organizations in the county
for the promotion of temperance. As a neighbor he
was ever considerate, kind, obliging and liberal. As
a man he was just, upright and inflexibly honest. He
was not honest from policy, but from an innate love
of right and an intense hatred of everything wrong.
As a husband and father he was most kind, gentle
and affectionate. As a Christian he was sincere,
faithful and most exemplary. For a long time he
was not only a member but an Elder in the Presby-
terian Church of Bellefonte, and took an active part
in the labors of the sessions, presbyteries, synods and
gfeneral assemblies. It would take a volume to con-
tain an enumeration of his virtues and his labors, and
in this brief notice we shall attempt no further to
detail what all who had the benefit of his acquaintance
knew so well. He was a man with no vices, and as
few of the imperfections incident to human nature as
is ever found in our race.
Mr. M'Allister was twice married — first to Hen-
rietta Ashman Orbison, of Huntingdon, Pa., by whom
he had seven children, four of whom died in infancy,
and one, Ellen E., a lovely daughter, died in 1866, at
the age of twenty. Two daughters, Mary A., the
7 4 OBITUAR V ADDRESSES.
wife of Gen. James A. Beaver, and Sarah B., wife of
Dr. Thomas R. Hays, both of Bellefonte, survive
their father. The first Mrs. M'AlHster died April
I 2th, 1857, and on September 12th, 1859, Mr. M'Al-
Hster married Margaret Hamilton, of Harrisburg, a
granddaughter of Captain John Hamilton, under
whom his grandfather served in the revolution, and
daughter of Hugh Hamilton. By this second mar-
riaofe Mr. M'Allister had no children. He leaves his
widow to mourn her irreparable loss.
It will doubtless be generations before another citi-
zen will die whose loss will be so deeply and univer-
sally felt, and whose place in public and private
stations it will be so impossible to fill.
At a meeting of the members of the Bar of Hunt-
ingdon, Clearfield, Clinton and Centre Counties, held
in the Court House, in Bellefonte, on Thursday, May
8th, 1873, the following proceedings were had:
The Hon. Charles A. Mayer, President Judge of
the Twenty-fifth Judicial District, having been called
to the chair, stated the object of the meeting, when
Hon. Samuel Linn, formerly President Judge of
this Judicial District, but now of the Lycoming County
Bar, on behalf of the Committee previously appointed,
offered the following resolutions, which were unani-
mously adopted :
I. Resolved, That we have learned with feelings of profound sor-
row of the death of Hon. H. N. M'Allister, who for a period of
nearly forty years stood in the front rank of the legal profession,
not only in this and the neighboring Judicial Districts, but who
by his learning, his industry and integrity, has acquired throughout
the entire State a high and enviable reputation as a lawyer of
eminent ability ; and who, by his liberality, his enterprising spirit,
his devoted patriotism, his steady and earnest desire to be foremost
in every good work whether pertaining to religion, morality, edu-
cation or patriotism, by his open hearted benevolence and his
unswerving devotion to duty, and to the advancement and promo
tion of whatever he regarded as right, has won the unbounded
esteem, admiration and confidence of the entire community ; and
who, by reason of intense anxiety to perform his whole duty as a
76 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
member of the Constitutional Convention regardless of the decline
of his physical strength, fell at his post a martyr to that high
sense of duty which has been the guiding star of his life.
2. Resolved, That as members of the legal profession, we fully
appreciate the irreparable loss that our membership has sustained
by the decease of one of our number to whom we have been
accustomed to look for wise and prudent counsel and stood
amongst us as an acknowledged leader ; one whom we had learned
and been accustomed to admire and esteem for his many estim-
able qualities, for his profound learning, his kindness toward the
younger members of the profession, his sterling honesty and integ-
rity, his benevolence and hospitality, his fidelity to his clients,
and his untiring devotion to the faithful execution of every trust
committed to his care.
3. Resolved, That his death will be deeply lamented by all whose
privilege it was to know him; by the church of which he was an
officer and exemplary member, and to the interest of which much
of his time, his zeal and his worldly substance were freely offered;
by all those who sympathized with him in his efforts for the educa-
tion of young men and fitting them for spheres of usefulness; by
the associations organized for the promotion of religion and
moral reform ; by the poor, who shared largely in his bounty ;
by the friends of public improvement ; by all, both young and
old, who resorted to him for counsel and advice ; by a sorrowing
community who feel and know that a great and a good man has
been called to his reward ; but most of all by his own family circle
who best knew his virtues and his worth, and were the constant
recipients of his favor and his love.
4. Resolved, That the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania has,
by his death, suffered the loss of its best, truest friend, and patron,
who devoted to its permanent foundation and ultimate success the
best and the most disinterested energies of his life, and to whose
efforts the institution owes its present prosperity and its bright
prospects of future success.
5. Resolved, That we will attend his funeral in a body, and will
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 77
wear the usual emblem of mourning for his departure and respect
for his memory.
6. Resolved, That we sympathize with his family in their sorrow,
and that A. O. Furst be a committee to convey to his widow and
children our expression of sincere condolence and to present to
them a copy of these resolutions.
7. Resolved, That Hon. James McManus is appointed and re-
quested to present the foregoing resolution to the Court of Com-
mon Pleas of Centre County at the next term thereof, and to move
the said court that the same be transcribed and entered at large
upon the record of the court.
SAML. LINN, Chairman,
A. G. CURTIN,
JNO. H. ORVIS,
ED. BLAiN CHARD,
A. O. FURST.
Hon. Samuel Linn then addressed the assemblage
as follows: — Mr. President: The occasion that has
called us together to-day is fraught with sorrow ;
but in the theme presented for contemplation and
remark we find we can give free expression of our
grief There is here, sir, no temptation to drag out
from retirement any delinquency that may be polished
over when clothed in the garb of virtue ; no mystery
to be passed by in painful silence, or covered by the
mantle of charity. No, these things have no pre-
sence or place here. The theme here, to-day, is upon
the record of a long, virtuous, useful and well spent
life; and the living of that life fills us with pride that
such a man lived and had his being among us. We
78 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
are tempted, sir, because he was one of us, to appro-
priate to ourselves some of the honor which belonged
to him alone, because he was our associate and our
friend ; a friend who has been called to his reward by
a summons which no mortal may disobey, and which
no mortal can disregard.
Of his early life, I am not here to speak, for I could
give no just account of it. We are here, sir, to deal
with him as a man, as a lawyer, as a citizen, as a
neighbor, and in all these characters we knew him
well. He first came to the bar, if my recollection is
correct, in the year 1835, ^"<^ was admitted to the
bar of this county. Of the early years of his prac-
tice, I know but little from observation, for I had not
then entered upon the pursuits that belong to mature
life ; but in his after years I knew him well, and knew
him to appreciate and esteem him. He was a man
anywhere and always devoted to duty. What his
hand found to do he did it with his might ; and his
sense of duty, as stated in the resolutions, was the
guiding star of his life. He knew no other motive;
and no matter what obstacles might be found in his
path to deter, he put them all aside, and pressed for-
ward to the completion of what he felt to be his duty.
As a lawyer he was profound, learned in the sci-
ence of his profession; not bound down by the pre-
cedents, for he well knew the elementary principles
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 79
of the profession which he practiced, and which ena-
bled him to arrive at the proper conclusion of any
question he undertook to examine and determine.
We all know his position at the bar, and with what
success he practiced here for a long series of years;
and if there was any necessity for further evidence,
the records to be found in the vaults of this house
would attest to us of his entire devotion to the inter-
ests of his profession. As a citizen he was present
in every good work. What he undertook to do, he
did well. He never engaged in anything and did a
part; what he attempted he finished, and finished it
As a member of the church to which he belonged,
he was zealous, pious, faithful, liberal; in all respects
he acted his part well. As a citizen he was benevo-
lent, kind, and eminently hospitable. His doors were
always open. His table was free; and if any of the
poor around us were here to speak, they would tell
of many deeds of benevolence wherein the right
hand of the deceased was never allowed to know
what the left hand did,
I could speak of many of the virtues of the de-
parted in all the departments of life ; for in every
department he acted his part well and faithfully. He
was kind to the younger members of the bar; ever
ready to relieve them of the embarrassments thrown
8 o OBITUAR V ADDRESSES.
in their way, of which there are so many to the
younger members of the profession. And how many
of them seek advice in this wise, which they can only
learn by inquiring of their elder brethren. No
matter what the business before him, or how press-
ing, it would be temporarily set aside that he might
eive counsel to those who needed it. He lived to
see the advancement of many of these members of
He was faithful to the court; and I believe he
never stated as a principle in law that which he did
not believe to be well sustained by authority; for he
never argued a case without examining it thoroughly,
and he never attempted to speak upon a subject
without having given it full attention and much study.
He was a thorough lawyer, as his success at home
and in the supreme courts testify. We all know how
diligent he was in the practice of his profession. He
came fully up to the definition of duty given by Lord
Brougham, in his famous speech relative to the duty
of counsel to his client: "that an advocate in the dis-
charge of that duty should know but one man in all the
world, and that man his client." He went straight
forward in the discharge of that duty, looking neither
to the riorht nor to the left. No matter how much
labor and inconvenience, no matter what trouble, he
went throuo-h it all to save his client. He served
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 8i
them honestly. Of his large practice I shall not
speak. I do not think it necessary to call to recollec-
tion that which is so well known to every person in
He has gone, sir, to his God. Of those who were
members of the bar when he was admitted to mem-
bership, I believe but four remain. All the others
have been gathered to their reward. To-day their
remains are resting in the tomb, their graves covered
with the green sward and the wild growing vine.
Now he has gone to his reward. To say he was a
perfect man I will not undertake. No mortal was
ever perfect. He had his weaknesses and defects ; but
they never descended to the degree of moral delin-
quency. Neither did immorality ever belong to his
character. He was upright, virtuous, honest, learned
and intelligent; and well for us, Mr. President, if,
when we are called to yield up our accounts and to
answer to the summons which sooner or later awaits
us all, we may find in the record of our lives as few
imperfections as did he. We behold his imperfec-
tions with his great virtues as we do the spots on the
sun. They are visible because of the height of that
luminary. So with him; but with men less virtuous,
less learned, and with lower attainments, these things
would not have been noticed. Because he was great,
good, eminent, and virtuous; because he was a man
8 2 OBITUAR Y A D DRESSES.
of eminent piety, these little defects of character
shone out in him when they would have been invisi-
ble in others.
There are those here who knew him better than I
did, although I stood beside him at the bar, and was
engaged in the profession long enough to know he
was the kind of a man I have described. Others
more intimate with him, who are present here, can
better express his admirable qualities than I can; but
to no man will I yield the appreciation of character
that I hold to-day in memory of our departed friend.
Now, may we say of him, in view of his life, in view
of his virtues, and in view of the manner in which he
discharged every duty belonging to him, "Well done,
ofood and faithful servant."
Ex-Gov. Andrew G. Curtin, as Chairman of the
Committee of the Constitutional Convention, said: —
Mr. President: I think it very kind in the members
of the bar to select me to second the resolutions
which have just been read, and which so faithfully
and truly portray the character of the cidzen we have
lost; for it is many years since circumstances sep-
arated me from the fellowship of the members of this
bar, with whom I enjoyed so long such intimate and
The death of this man causes me to think of the
HON. HUGH NELSON M'^ALLISTER. 83
period of time when he came to the bar; and to re-
member that, save and except the venerable gentle-
man who sits upon your right (referring to Hon.
James McManus), the members of the bar, in prac-
tice in Centre County when Mr. M'Allister com-
menced his professional life, are all dead. Then that
kind, hospitable, and just man, so genial in his nature,
so rigid in his integrity. Judge Thomas Burnside, was
upon the bench. That learned lawyer, William W.
Potter, was then the leading advocate of this and the
surrounding counties; and that example of learning
and purity which attracted to him by common consent
the title of "honest," was in practice, John Blanchard, a
little the junior of Potter; his equal in learning in all
respects, to him I was attached, as I have rarely been
to any man living or dead, for his just, useful and pure
life. The genial, delightful companion, learned and
eloquent advocate, Bond Valentine, was then at the
bar. The gifted Petriken, who died so early in his
life, was then living. James Burnside was then In
full practice, and James T. Hale, both of whom had the
honor of a seat on the judicial bench, and discharged
their duties of a private or public character with a
measure of ability and integrity which attracted to
them so much of the affection and confidence of this
community. One by one they have gone. And now
another is added to the list of the dead, and our
84 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
memories are charged with the departure of one
more bright and shining Hght of this bar. More than
all that, more than an admiration of the legal learn-
ing, or the strifes and antagonisms which follow the
professional life, we hold in our memories their char-
acters as citizens of the community, and we measure
to them our gratitude by the good they did during
I know full well that Mr. M'Allister never had
those attractive, magnetic qualities which makes a
man what is termed popular. He never did — it was
not in his nature to condescend to the arts by which
men too often attain to high official position, or who
become popular in the political acceptation of that
term; and yet I doubt much whether we could have
stood over the grave of one citizen of Centre County
who would be so universally mourned, and whose
JOSS would be more severely felt. It is not the bar
alone that sustains this loss. The society in which
this man moved; the people to whom he gave an
example of integrity and virtue; the community that
surrounded him, has received a wound that is bleed-
ing to-day, and throughout all this region of Pennsyl-
vania there will be sincere mourning, because a useful
citizen and a good man has died.
Mr. M'Allister carried into the convention to reform
the Constitution of the State the same indomitable
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 85
energy, the same zeal and diligent labor, which wasted
his life while he was engaged in the discharge of his
professional duties at home. He took to that body
a sincere conviction of the great trust given to him
by the people of this Commonwealth ; and while there
devoted himself to the task assigned him with such
assiduity as to surprise all his colleagues who were
not acquainted with his earnest nature ; for they had
never known a man like him — a man with such devo-
tion, zeal and anxiety. He worked at night when
other men slept. His convictions of duty were
intensified by the zeal of his nature, and in pursuit of
these convictions he deliberately formed and carried
to the Convention, worked out the remnant of his
life, already so far reduced by ill health and over-
I saw my friend and neighbor often during his last
illness. Indeed for a time I was the only person who
could see him, except the members of his family, who
had gathered around him with so much solicitude and
care. Every day I went to the Convention I was
called upon to answer numberless and anxious ques-
tions by men who never saw him before he took his
seat in that body. To know him was to respect and
admire him ; but if they did not know him personally,
his colleagues soon learned to appreciate his integrity^
and the force and ability with which he maintained his
86 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
settled opinions, and so great was his anxiety to effect
reform in the orcjanic law of the State, and discharge
this public trust with fidelity, that when his mind
wandered, and the grim monster was feeling for his
heart-strinors, his thoucrhts were in the Convention,
where he expected not to make a reputation, but to
do good. I am glad to say to his friends and neigh-
bors in this place, that his last office was discharged
with the same fidelity to duty, that he discharged all
his trusts through life ; and when death finally closed
the scene, we sent your neighbor back, to be put in
the ground in Bellefonte, under the evergreen trees
of our beautiful cemetery, where the winds of Heaven
will sigh his requiem, as they will, my friends and
neighbors, yours and mine before long.
To the members of this bar he leaves a priceless
legacy in his example. Let them take the life of this
man and imitate his discharge of professional duty.
For us who survive him in this village and county, let
us take his blameless life, his integrity and labor, as
an example, and let us so walk in our life, that when
we come to die and be carried to our final resting
place, our friends and neighbors can truly say, as
is said in those resolutions, that we led a life worthy
of the imitation of those who come after us.
I said what I deemed proper and true of Mr.
M'Allister in the Convention when fitting- honors
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 87
were paid his memory in that body, and am glad to
say that the delegates, upon all of whom he has made
so favorable an impression, received what was said
with marked approbation. They believed me when I
told them that Mr. M'Allister was virtuous, honest
and religious. I am glad I bore such testimony to his
character, for I knew well that in the words I spoke I
uttered the sentiment of the hearts of his neighbors
fresh and warm, and that all who knew him would
feel that all that was said of him was true.
I cannot trust myself to say more. My venerable
friend, (turning to Mr. McManus,) we will soon be
gone, and then new and younger men will take our
places. We are the last of that body of men who
were at the bar when Mr. M'Allister first made his
appearance in our courts, and who since has illumin-
ated his profession of this and surrounding counties.
To the dead, farewell. Let us who remain imitate
his noble example.
Hon. John Scott, United States Senator, repre-
senting the bar of Huntingdon County, said: — Mr.
President: In rising in behalf of the members of the
bar of Huntingdon County to second the resoludons
which have been read, I feel that I can but repeat the
sendments which have already been expressed by
those who lived nearer, and knew better, that member
88 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
of the bar whose death we are here to mourn, and to
whose memory we are here to pay respect.
The iron tongue of time, sir, which has just sounded
out its voice upon the air reminds as how rapidly
the fleeting hours have gone since first we met
him, and how rapidly we, too, are going to that
bourne to which he has gone, and to which we are
Coming to the bar in 1846, I met Mr. M'Allister in
full and successful practice; a practice which he re-
tained so lonof as he continued to visit the courts of
Huntingdon County — some fifteen or sixteen years.
Often his colleague and often his adversary, I had
ample opportunity of studying and knowing him as a
lawyer ; and, sir, no man could meet him, no man
could be associated with him, no man could contend
against him, without feeling that he was contending
against the power of conscience and the truth; for
whatever Hueh N. M'Allister uttered came from a
mind and was warmed by a heart which believed
everything he uttered to be the truth. An intensity
of devotion characterized him, which perhaps we
could not with truth attribute to any other member
of the bar with whom we have been associated.
Certainly it has never been my lot to be associated
with any one who became so entirely absorbed in de-
votion to what he believed to be duty. This, sir, was
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER.
not only so at the bar, but it was so in every relation
of life into which his activity carried him.
I remember well, sir, when he came from this town
in the trying year of 1862, in response to the call
which Gov, Curtin issued to the people of Pennsyl-
vania; just at the time our Southern border was
threatened, and a few days prior to the battle of An-
tietam. Serving as an assistant to Adjutant-General
Russell, I was engaged in the duty of receiving and
quartering troops, and forming them into regiments
after they arrived, so that they might be despatched
to the Southern border. When Mr. M'Allister came
there I met him. Within one hour after his company
had been assigned to its quarters I observed him
traveling from the quartermaster's department to the
camp, laden with equipments necessary for his com-
pany, carrying the articles on his back. In less than
half an hour afterwards, I found him seated at his
quarters, with an open book before him, as deeply
absorbed in the study of military tactics as though the
army was to be his abiding place for life.
I not only met him at the bar, but in other avoca-
tions of civil life, I remember how he was tried by
the prejudice of the public, which would not receive
the great enterprise in which he was engaged with
favor; that great enterprise, the Agricultural College
of Pennsylvania, which leaves upon your soil a monu-
90 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
ment to his memory, and one that should make that
memory fragrant to every citizen of the Common-
I met him also in another sphere where he ex-
hibited the truth of the great intellectual and mental
superiority which made him leader of the bar. It
enabled him also to illustrate that humble faith which
led him to be a consistent follower of the meek and
lowly Saviour of men ; and there, too, this same con-
suming zeal was his characteristic. I feel, sir, that
this is a subject upon which I cannot enlarge, and I
need not enlarge in this presence. I feel, sir, that
few words are needed when we come to pay the
last tribute of respect in this community, and in this
atmosphere, to this man. When it was intimated to
me, perhaps thirty-six hours ago, that I would be ex-
pected to say a few words, as a representative of the
bar of Huntingdon, I sat down in the few minutes
that I could snatch from other engagements to see
whether I could sketch his character in a few words
that would be only fitting upon this occasion. Let
me, after apologizing for doing so, read what I hastily
penned, but what I believe to be true.
"Mr. Chairman: In assembling to pay our last
tribute of respect to the memory of Hugh Nelson
M'Allister, we all feel that we come to stand around
the grave of no ordinary man. Those of us who have
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 91
associated with him in the toils, the conflicts, the tri-
umphs, and the defeats which make up so much of a
busy lawyer's life, soon learned and understood the
intensity of his nature. Earnest thought and earnest
work were the employments of his honorable and
useful life. They were elements so marked in his
character, that while they gave him much of the
prominence he attained in the busy sphere in which
he acted in life, they also doubtless had much to do
in bringing that life to its untimely end. They be-
tokened with him
*' 'A fiery soul which, working out its way,
Fretted the pigmy body to decay.'
"Devoted to a single pursuit, and placed where his
actions would have told upon public affairs, rather
than private interests, his untiring industry and his
mental vigor would have made a man of commanding
influence among any people and in any station, He
was the less a great man, because he sought not to live
in the gaze of the world, or to place his name upon the
fleeting breath of fame. He was great in the dis-
charge of duty; duty as he understood it — present
duty regardless of personal consequences; and at the
bars of our county courts he discharged it with an
ability, a fidelity, a fervor of zeal, a high integrity
which upon other fields would have made him a hero
in arms, a great leader in the path of science, a
Luther leading a reform, or a martyr dying for the
"Whether examining his client's case, advocating
it before the tribunals of justice; whether advocating
the interests of his County or State, or that pursuit
to which he was so much devoted ; whether seeking
to bringr comfort to the homes of the devoted minis-
ters who have given their lives to the service of his
and their master ; whether engaged in the relief of
those in penury ; whether in the Convention framing
the organic law of the State ; wherever he was, we
found him to be that man of whom, coming now to
stand before his open grave, we can truly say he
fulfilled the scriptural injunction — he was ' diligent in
business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.' Peace,
sir, and honor to his memory."
Cline G. Furst, Esq., of the Clinton County bar,
said : — Mr. President : In rising on the part of the
Clinton County bar to second these resolutions, these
most fitting resolutions, I feel more forcibly than ever
I did in my life that, that clergyman was eloquent
indeed who, laying his hand on the forehead of his
dead monarch, said : " God alone is great." I feel
that he was as truthful as eloquent.
Mr. M'Allister was my friend. I was his friend
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 93
and I loved him. I became acquainted with him in
August, 1 85 1, when I entered his office, and I was a
student therein for two years. He was my preceptor.
He practiced his profession in CHnton County, from
the formation thereof till 1866, and what Judge or
lawyer has seen him rise in court and make a state-
ment, that did not feel that he believed every word
he uttered. And as has been well said here, when he
stated the law to be this, or boldly declared it to be
that, no one has believed he was stating as law what
he thought was not law. No man can call to mind
in a long contested case, in any case, and I care not
how much preparation attended it, how much was
involved, or that it finally ended by compromise, that
Mr. M'AUister in anything, deviated from the strictest
truth. It was never thought he could be tempted to
violate his word. Who has heard him argue a case
in court that did not say he had a logical mind?
You could not hear his statement of the law, and
attend on his argument of his case, without declaring
that he was a man of great legal knowledge and of
To state that he was a most profound lawyer
would be but to assert what we all well know.
In his decease the bar of this country and the bar
of the Commonwealth has sustained a great loss.
Every honorable act of the lawyer, and his fame, as
94 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
well as every particular virtue attaching to the man,
becomes the common patrimony of the bar — the bar's
I well remember some instructions he gave me.
He told me he never read light literature — novels,
things forgotten as soon as read. In reference to
reading law, he stated to me, it was not the number
of books read but how I read. Better to read few
books, and read them well ; but above all thingfs
possess yourself of the principles of the common law,
and when this you have done you will stand upon
ground behind which no man can go; you will occupy
a position from which you cannot be dislodged.
Again, in speaking of the honesty and veracity
which should always accompany the dealings of man
with his fellow man, (a thousand recollections now
crowd upon me in relation to this), he said, "A man
is not always required to speak when it is his interest
to remain silent ; but if he does speak he is bound to
speak the truth."
No eulogium I could pronounce upon him would
add to his memory. His fame is secure. He was
not ambitious to hold office, or for anything that he
might appear great before the world ; but as has
been said of another, he was ambitious rather that
God might pronounce him good. If I were to inquire
after what was his motto, by what rule was he
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 95
governed — looking over his life from the time I first
knew him, now over twenty-one years, I would plainly
see that to be, rather than seem to be, was the inspira-
tion by which he was governed. I would write for
his motto : — Esse qiiam videri.
When you look upon his character as a man, as a
citizen, as a lawyer, or in any capacity, you behold a
good m.an ; for no one can recall any moral delin-
quency in him, and when you give to him his most
exemplary Christian character, extending through a
long series of years, it is plainly seen, and we all
believe that when Mr. M'Allister descended to his
grave a good man ascended to God.
Hon. George R. Barrett, of the Clearfield County
bar, said: — Mr. President: I esteem it a great privi-
lege to be here on this occasion to mingle my own
individual sorrow with those who feel most sorrowful
here over this great bereavement. It Is a still greater
privilege to represent the Clearfield bar, and to second
the resolutions which have already been read. When
the lightning flashing over the wires brought to us in
Clearfield the intelligence of Mr. M'Allister s death,
not only his brethren there in the legal profession,
but all who knew him, felt to mourn and to sorrow ;
although he had seldom or never been there to
mingle with the bar at their homes, yet, they knew
9 6 OBITUAR V ADDRESSES.
him there and in other places. They knew enough
of him to esteem him as a man, and to admire his
character and reputation when living, and they felt it
would be a privilege to mingle their sorrow with his
most intimate friends.
In Cole's great picture of the Journey of Life, he
divided that great journey into four periods — youth, i
manhood, middle age, and the decline of life. It was
my privilege to meet, and to associate with, and to
know the deceased well and intimately during man-
hood, middle age and in his declining years. I knew
him only as his friends here knew him. I knew him
only to know that he had emerged from youth, and
entered upon manhood, to honor the period he had
left behind ; and when in a few years the wheel of
time had rolled him on, and he had left that period in
the history of his life to enter upon middle age, it was
only to leave the past in the history of his life the
better of his having lived in it. So through all that
great journey until he had moved down in the declin-
ing years to his last moments.
I say it to-day, sincerely, it would have done my
heart good to have had the privilege of our much
esteemed friend, Governor Curtin, to have watched
around him in his last moments ; to have seen his
eyes closed in death ; to have witnessed the expira-
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 97
tion of that long, useful and pious life. He has made
the journey. He has gone to his home.
We can class the duties of life under two general
First, that we should all so live as to leave the
world the better for our having lived in it.
Secondly, we should so live that when we approach
the other world, to enter upon the unending eternity,
our happiness may be vouchsafed there.
Under these two heads we may sum up the whole
of life ; the object of living, the privilege of death.
Who here cannot bear honest, sincere, and heartfelt
testimony, to-day, to the fact that our deceased friend
fulfilled both these missions of his life? That when
he left the world he left it better for his having been
In It, and who doubts that he has gone to meet a
happy resurrection ? He has fulfilled his mission on
earth, and why should we mourn over him here ?
Why should we sob over his departure? His time
had come. His work was done; he had fulfilled his
mission; and God, in his mercy, called the deceased
in his declining years to his reward.
Mr. President, when we have followed his remains
to-day to their final resting place, when we have seen
him interred, when we have known that his immortal
spirit has winged its way to heaven, when we have
dropped the last tears of sorrow upon his newly made
98 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
grave; if we, on retiring, have promised that our Hves
shall be spent as was the life of Mr. M'Allister ; de-
termined that our earthly cause shall be patterned
after his, that we, too, may exemplify these two great
truths of his life, and have the bright prospects of the
immortal crown and a happy eternity, we will have
performed our duty.
The blanks in the sixth and seventh resolutions
were then filled, when, on motion of Mr. Orvis, the
body adjourned to reconvene at the late residence of
the deceased, at 2 o'clock, p. m., to attend the funeral
in a body.
FUNERAL OF HUGH NELSON M'ALLISTER,
BELLEFONTE, PA., THURSDAY, MAY 8, 1873.
DISCOURSE BY REV. W^. T. WYLIE.
Mr. WvLiE took for his text the second chapter of
the second book of Kings, and proceeded as follows:
This word of God is a wonderful book in its adapt-
ation to the children of men under all possible cir-
cumstances in which they can be placed. It is a book
which must not merely be held in the hand, but
treasured in the heart. I feel a peculiar sense of
satisfaction as I hold in my hand what has just been
given to me, a book which is filled with the notes and
jottings of him whose hand is now palsied by death —
his own study Bible — a Bible such as should be, my
dear friends, in the hands of every one of us.
In the second chapter of second Kings we have the
account of Elijah taken up to Heaven:
"And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah
into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from
"And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the
Lord hath sent me to Beth-el. And Elisha said utiio him, As the
Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So
they went down to Beth-el.
"And the sons of the prophets that were at Beth-el came forth
to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will
take away thy master from thy head to-day ? And he said, Yeq,
I know /// hold ye your peace.
"And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee ;
for the Lord hath sent me to Jericho. And he said. As the Lord
liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came
"And the sons of the prophets that were dX Jericho came' to
Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take
away thy master from thy head to-day ? And he answered. Yea,
I know /// hold ye your peace.
"And Elijah said unto him. Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the
Lord hath sent me to Jordan. And hj said, As the Lord liveth,
and as thy^soul liveth, 1 will not leave thee. And they two went
"And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to
view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.
"And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and
smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so
that they two went over on dry ground.
"And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah
said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken
away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double por-
tion of thy spirit be upon me.
"And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if
thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee ;
but if not, it shall not be so.
"And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that
behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and
parted them both asunder ] and Elijah went up by a whirlwind
" And^ Elisha saw //, and he cried. My father, my father, the
chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof! And he saw him no
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. loi
more ; and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two
" He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and
went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan ;
"And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote
the waters, and said, Where /> the Lord God of Elijah? And
when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and
thither : and Elisha went over."
And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at
Jericho saw him, tl.ey said. The spirit of Elijah doth rest on
Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to
the ground before him.
In this exceedingly interesting and touching narra-
tive, my dear friends, it seems to me that we have a
full, instructive, and impressive lesson for the hour
which has called us together to-day. One of the very
first thoughts that comes out in this beautiful passage
is, "how hard our parting with those we love." Is
there one here who has not learned this in his own
personal experience — in his own immediate family
circle? Is there one here whose heart has not been
touched with sorrow, and his eyes dimmed with tears,
at one time or another ; if not thus borne the sadness
and grief many times ?
When we see the briorht sun shininof in the morn-
ing it seems to us then all is joyous and hopeful ; no
matter how long the day we look with sadness when
the sun goes down. When life ends it is the sun-
down of life. We say that one is dead if that one
has died in Jesus Christ, and at peace with the Lord
God. We say he is dead when the angels of God
sing and heaven is jubilant with joy over his entrance
into that upper and better world. We have thus
said in this bereavement ; but it behooves us to
sorrow not as those who have no hope.
How tenderly did Elisha cling to Elijah. He saw
him at the last moment. He learned from him his
last words of instruction. When Elijah asked, What
he should do for him before he was taken away from
him? Elisha's whole soul was wrapped up in the
entreaty — "Let a double portion of thy spirit be upon
me." So in the parting with those who are near and
dear to us we, too, learn that God is ordering these
things. This would be a strange world if death would
never enter it. What would be the condition of this
world if it were not for these experiences through
which God is purifying, purging the hearts of men,
preparing them for the better life ? A little tree
may be taken out of the forest, and on account of the
little space it occupied it will scarcely be missed; but
when a great monarch is stricken in its immensity,
how many there are to mourn, so great is the space
which is left vacant.
In this passage we have not only brought before us
the fact of the hardness of parting, but we see, also,
the Divine power that is given to the servant of God.
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 103
We speak of death as a river, and it is commonly
spoken of as the "Jordan of death." Here we find
the servant of God who, about passing- to glory,
stood upon the bank of the stream and with his pro-
phetic mantle he smote the waters, and they were
divided hither and thither so that he and his sole
companion, that would remain with him, went over on
dry ground. Here have we not the triumph of the
Christian that overcometh? When the stream is
deep and the waters are forbidding, and we stand on
the brink, then, with the grace of God in our hearts,
and with this wand of faith — this perfect mantle — we
may smite the waters and divide them that we may
go safely over. Elijah went over triumphantly to
meet that which was to carry him gloriously from this
world. As they went along the concern of Elijah is
significant when conversing with his companion.
When a child of God is to leave this world, and has
the assurance of joy beyond, he still feels deeply for
those who remain; for friends who are not ready to
go and who cannot feel as the dying believer feels.
He feels particularly anxious and solicitous in his
separation from the dear ones.
It is a consolation to the living when the departed
one has passed up to God triumphantly — when he
has passed through the valley and through the deep
waters and entered upon his heavenly kingdom. It
1 04 OBITUAR V ADDRESSES.
is for those to be glad who remain. It teaches us
not only to be submissive, but something better. It
gives us that spirit of acquiescence, "Even so, Father,
for it seemeth good in Thy sight." Not only does it
give grace to say, "Though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil : for Thou
art with me;" but we catch a glimpse, by faith, of the
saints in heaven — we see through the passage way
through which the departed has gone to his rest.
Then in this passage we see the sudden call. Elisha
would cling to Elijah. He would not be forced or
prevailed upon to go back, and Elisha said " As the
Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave
thee." He clung to him step by step ; and when the
sons of the prophets at Jericho asked him if he knew
that to-day his master was to be taken from him, the
reply came, "Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace."
He knew that the separation would come better than
any of them ; but when the call came, how sudden.
All at once the chariot of fire and horses of fire swept
down and parted them ; his master was caught up in
the chariot and rode by a whirlwind to the glory
above. He did not otq into darkness. A thousand
years afterwards he stood with Jesus Christ upon the
mount transfigured, and talking with Moses and with
Jesus. When our friends and brethren in Jesus go
away from this world, they do not go into blank
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 105
nothingness, they go into blessed activity. How
would it be of our brother if we thought of him as
going into a state of inaction ? The servant of God
has the assurance when he dies, "To-day shalt thou
be with me in paradise."
When death comes to us, no matter after how much
sickness and weariness, it always finds us unexpect-
edly — I do not say unprepared, for the Christian is
always prepared to meet him by faith in Jesus Christ.
No matter what has been the previous warning, when
it comes it is like the chariot of fire and the horses of
fire, sweeping down and calling away the one who
has been preparing for this change.
Then we have in this the realizing cry. As the
prophet Elijah was caught up and disappeared, the
whole soul of Elisha was poured out. He cried out
and said : " My father, my father, the chariot of Israel
and the horsemen thereof." In this cry two thoughts
are brought before us ; and these two thoughts
express, it seems to me, the thoughts to-day not of
the immediate family only but of the entire com-
munity ; and that feeling rolls over and beyond the
State, for our brother had an influence and power
not only at home but in the church, in the Common-
wealth, and far from his home. The very first cry
was expressive of bereavement — " My father ! my
father !" The one we look to for instruction is " my
1 06 OBITUAR Y ADDRESSES.
father." The one who cares for his family, his children
and guides them, is " my father," What recollections
cluster around the name " father." When he has
grown old in years, we seek him for wisdom and
counsel. What love, what wisdom the father shows.
God has used this very name to give us a proper
realization of the nearness of our relation with him.
When God calls such away, it seems to me that the
children left learn a meaning and significance in those
words used in infancy that never appeared to them
before. " Our Father, who art in Heaven." Now, when
such a father is called from earth to Heaven, the
bereaved and mourning children cannot say in the
morning prayer again, " Our Father, who art in
Heaven," without feeling that they are drawn by a
new bond to that unseen and not unknown — to that
glorious one who is our Creator, Preserver, Bene-
factor, Lord, Redeemer.
I dare not, my friends, trust myself to speak upon
this subject of personal bereavement. I am unfitted
by my own relations to this beloved man in the years
I have been ministering as pastor of the church here,
and in what I have learned in my intercourse with
him in his Chaistian life and service. I do not
believe many names could be stricken down in our
community and our State whose removal would cause
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 107
a more extended sense of bereavement in any com-
munity in which they have dwelt.
The words I have used are followed immediately
by "the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof.''
Israel had been exposed to bitter and destructive
foes. In years that had gone by the great protection
of the nation was not its armed force ; it was not its
chariots and horses brought up out of Egypt — Elijah
was a host in himself. Does this not teach the im-
portance of proper laws, not only to the State Con-
stitutional Convention, but to members of the bar
representing this and surrounding counties. The
great want of our nation, to-day, is just such men as
our departed brother. Of unquestioned and unflinch-
ing integrity, with a firm manliness and a purpose to
face wrong, he was determined to act with reference
to the will and approval of God. We may well pray
to-day that the spirit he has manifested in his rela-
tions, both in private and public life, may be poured
out in double portion upon our State and our whole
land. Of his loss to the public we will not speak.
We leave for others, who have been associated with
him in public life, to speak of the public loss. Our
whole town and this entire community feels we have
lost one upon whom we have been leaning for strength
The most cheerful lesson in this most instructive
io8 OBITUARY ADDRESSES.
passage is that which follows this cry: "My father,
my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen
thereof" The mantle was not taken with him. The
God who, by his grace, made this brother what he,
was, is not dead. God lives and calls every one to
come to him. O, Christian friends and brethren, is it
not needful that every one of us should come to Him
for full strength and grace, for full consecration to the
work yet to be done? May I not say to those who
have strength — may I not appeal to those who are not
ready — you who so deeply feel the loss of this man,
with all your respect, and affection, and love for him —
will you not, to-day, seek that like him you may rest
upon this Rock which nothing can move ? Will you
not build upon this foundation which no storms of life
can sweep away?
Elisha did not sit down in idle sorrow. The dearest
earthly friends must turn from solemn afflicting scenes
as this, but not to wrap themselves up in their sor-
rows. There is work to be done, and we must smite
the waters and set out upon the journey over the
land which still remains before us. Elisha set forth
again upon his mortal mission, and the sons of the
prophets observed him and recognized him as moving
and working in the same spirit which characterized
Elijah, his master. As he went along he came near
a beautiful spring, and a whole city depended upon
HON. HUGH NELSON MCALLISTER. 109
the fountain. That city was losing its existence, and
the ground around it was barren because the waters
of the stream were not life-giving. He came and
purified that fountain, and it flowed out again healed
and giving life, joy and fruitfulness, O, ye who stand
by the well springs of society, or the work to which
God calls you, go from this solemn service, that with
the mantle you may part these streams and purify
these fountains and thus help to make society what
God would have it to be. We trust the influence of
our departed friend and brother may be still felt, as
we were assured this morning by the representatives
of his profession and the delegates of the Convention
of which he was a member, and in devotion to the
proper aims and results of which he poured out even
life itself There are wrongs to be righted, and
services to be rendered, and work to be done; and
by this open coffin, to-day, I call upon each one of you
to go forth looking to Him, the Almighty Father, for
new grace, resolved that by His help and strength
you will labor with new consecration in His service
in the work which He gives each one in his place
The day before the death of our Christian brother
his companion, we understand, asked him if he knew
how ill he was ? He replied " O, yes." And the ques-
tion was asked whether he trusted in Christ, and
confided in Him ? The answer was given in but two
words, yet how worthy to be cherished — " Full assur-
ance." Not because of what he had done, but because
of what Christ had done. I never knew a man who
so entirely realized that all his works were naught ;
that the erace of God was to be mag-nified. Let us
seek this full assurance that we may remember our
Redeemer lives, and that He is just as ready to
receive and sustain and bless as we are to be
received and sustained and blessed by Him. Then
having the full assurance that can come only to the
fully confiding, trusting heart, that is devoted con-
stantly to Christian living, we shall be prepared for
death whenever and wherever it may come, as was
our brother who has just gone before.
At a meeting- of the Session of the Presbyterian
Church, held 17th May, 1873, the following- resolutions
were adopted :
Whereas, It has pleased Almighty God, in his All-wise yet to
us inscrutable providence, to remove from our midst by death,
our beloved brother, H. N. M'AUister, who, for ten years, so
faithfully and well performed his duty as an Elder and Office
Bearer in this Church, and who, by his mature wisdom, earnest
zeal and devout Christian life, won the confidence, esteem, and
love of every member of the Church with which he was connected :
And whereas, In this sudden bereavement the Session has lost
one of its most efficient members, one whose counsel was often
sought and followed, whose heart never wearied in well doing ;
whose faith was ever strong in God, who devoted much of his
time, his talents, and his means in promoting the peace, the unity
and prosperity of Christ's kingdom ; who, in the late r years of
his life, rendered invaluable service to the church at large by the
assistance which he gave in securing a scheme of Sustentation, by
which the weaker congregations of our church might be supplied
with pastors who would also be supported by a free and voluntary
system of contribution : Therefore, be it
Resolved, That we bow humbly in submission to the will of our
Heavenly Father, who has so suddenly taken from our number one
whose work seemed yet unfinished ; who was wise in counsel,
faithful in the discharge of duty, exemplary in his Christian life,
ever ready and willing to go where duty called, devoted to the
cause of Christ, and who, by his example, his faith and benevolence,
did much to promote the interest of the church at home and in
distant fields of missionary labor.
Resolved, That as a Session we deeply lament the loss we have
sustained in this sad bereavement. That we here record our deep
sense of gratitude to God for the example of his life ; that we will
ever bear in our hearts a warm and abiding appreciation for the
faithful services of our departed brother, humbly trusting and
praying that through life his virtues and Christian character may
lead and prompt us, who survive him, to a full and earnest dis-
charge of every duty that God calls us to perform ; and that finally
we may again be reunited with him in the mansions of the blest in
Heaven, where sorrow and parting are never known.
Resolved, That we convey to the family of our deceased brother
our heartfelt sympathy, together with a copy of these resolutions ;
that the same be published in the "Presbyterian" and "Evange-
list," and also be recorded upon our Sessional minutes.
W. T. WYLIE, Pastor,
E. C. HUMES,
A. O. FURST,
AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE OF PENNA.
At a special meeting of the Faculty of the Agricul-
tural College of Pennsylvania the following resolu-
tions were unanimously adopted :
Whereas, God, in his All-wise Providence, has removed by
death Hon. H. N. M'AUister, who has, for more than eighteen
years, labored as one of the Trustees of this Institution with a de-
votion rarely equaled. Therefore, be it Resolved,
1st. That the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania have expe-
rienced in his death the loss of one who, by his zeal, his ungrudging
sacrifice of time, money and effort in its behalf, his hopefulness in
the dark hours of its history, and his influence in winning others
to its support, has endeared his memory not only to its Faculty
and Students, but also to the friends of practical education
throughout the country.
2d. That as a token of respect the Faculty attend the funeral
3d. That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the family
of the deceased, and also, that they be published in the Bellefonte
E. T. BURGAN,
Secretary of Faculty.
MAR 25 1907