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Full text of "Report of the centennial celebration of the birth of George Peabody. Held at Peabody, Mass., Monday, February 18, 1895"

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Address of Rev. J. W. Hudson 6 

Address of Rev. 0. S. Butler 9 


Introductory Address by Francis H. Appleton . . .20 

Oration by Lieutenant-Governor Roger Wolcott . . 27 

Poem by Rev. Minot J. Savage 43 


Banquet in the Town Hall 47 

Invocation by Rev. John W. Hudson 47 

Post-Prandial Remarks 48 

Collector Winslow Warren ....... 48 

Lieutenant-Governor Wolcott 51 

Professor W. J. Ashley 53 

Mr. S. Endicott Peabody 54 

Justice Amos Merrill 56 

Alden P. White, Esq 61 

Rev. F. G. Peabody 65 

Professor 0. C. Marsh 68 

Colonel Henry A. Thomas 69 

Letters Received and other Correspondence . . . 73 

The Ball 75 






The one hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Pea- 
body, the London banker and philanthropist, occurred on Monday, 
February 18, 1895, and the day was appropriately and fittingly 
observed in his native town of Peabody, Massachusetts. The 
general interest taken in England and America, wh^!rever his 
name was ki^own, upon his centennial birthday, had awakened a 
few public-spirited citizens of the town of Peabody to the impor- 
tance of properly commemorating the event ; and accordingly a 
preliminary meeting was called, in an informal manner, for Mon- 
day evening, January 21, for the purpose of taking some definite 
step towards honoring the memory of the man from whom the 
town derived not only its name, but its free Public Library and 

The sentiment of the meeting was unanimous and enthusiastic 
for a public celebration, and a committee of twenty was appointed 
to confer vdth the Trustees of the Peabody Institute and the 
School Committee of the town regarding the proposed celebration, 
and to invite them to meet with the Committee at the Board of 
Trade rooms, in the South Danvers National Bank block, on the 
f oUowing Wednesday evening. 

At the second meeting there was a large attendance of repre- 
sentative citizens, and a general Citizens' Committee was chosen, 
including, besides those whose names are given below, about one 
hundred citizens from all parts of tbe town. The Committee or- 
ganized as follows : -^ 



President — William F. Sawyer. 

Vice-Presidents — Charles B. Farley, Jonathan King, Josiah B. 

Secretary — Greorge C. Farrington. 

Treasurer — Lyman P. Osbom. 

Trustees of Fedbody Institute — Arthur F. Poole, Lyman P. Os- 
bom, Frank C. Merrill, John W. Hudson, Richard Barry, Ruf us H. 
Brown, John Shanahan, George C. Farrington, Alexander B. Clark, 
Levi Preston, William P. Clark, B. Frank Southwick. 

Selectmen — Charles H. Goulding, Nathan H. Poor, William S. 
Osborne, Andrew N. Jacobs, Richard J. Cullen. 

School Committee — Charles H. Groulding, Frank I. Kelley, John 
W. Hudson, Caleb F. Winchester, Sarah F. Eittredge, Greorge M. 

From the general Citizens' Committee the various sub-com- 
mittees were appointed to make all the arrangements for a suc- 
cessful celebration of the day. The Executive Committee, which 
had the supervision of all the work, consisted of Mr. William F. 
Sawyer, as Chairman; Mr. Joseph S. Crehore, Secretary; Mr. 
Frank T. Arnold, Hon. B. Frank Southwick, Mr. Warren Shaw ; 
Mr. Charles H. Goulding, who was the Chairman of the Board of 
Selectmen ; and Mr. Arthur F. Poole, President of the Trustees of 
Peabody Institute. 

The Selectmen tendered the Committee the free use of the Town 
Hall, and agreed to decorate the large hall for the public exercises. 
They placed the entire building at the command of the Committee, 
and rendered much valuable assistance towards the success of the 
day's observance. The Trustees of the Peabody Institute also 
entered into the work with a spirit of enthusiasm, and the School 
Committee did likewise. 

The sub-committee on finances, consisting of ten members, cir- 
culated subscription papers among the citizens of the town and 
met with a liberal response, nearly nine hundred dollars being 
subscribed in a short time. Thus encouraged by the town fathers 
and the active and substantial cooperaZ of the citizens of the 
town, the Executive Committee went aliead with their arrange- 
ments, and, despite the comparatively short time between the in- 


ception of the celebration and its occurrence, accomplisbed all 
that was needed to be done. 

Captain Francis H. Appleton was appointed as presiding officer 
of the day ; and Mr. Appleton, Mr. Jacob C. Sogers, and Hon. 
B. Frank Southwick, were selected as a committee on speakers. 
They were fortunate in securing the services of the Lieutenant- 
Governor, Hon. Boger Wolcott, of Boston, whose eloquent ad- 
dress at the afternoon exercises in the Town Hall will be found 
in the report of the meeting in this volume. 

Monday, February 18, 1895, dawned bright and beautiful, like 
a day in spring. It was ushered in by the ringing of all the 
church bells at sunrise, which was repeated at noon and sunset. 
Flags floated from every staff, and people were astir at an early 
hour, as on a holiday. Business was not suspended in the morn- 
ing, but at noon several of the factories shut down, the banks 
closed, and the schools were dismissed for the day. 

The old homestead on Washington Street, somewhat changed 
in appearance since the birth of the illustrious benefactor one 
hundred years before, was modestly decorated for the occasion 
with a tablet over the front door, bearing the words, ^^ Birthplace 
of George Feabody," and the English and American flags. 

The programme as arranged for the day by the various commit- 
tees was as follows : — 

Morning. — Exercises for the school-children at the Feabody 
Institute, divided into two parts: the first for pupils of the lower 
grades, and the second for the higher classes. Bemarks by Bev. 
J. W. Hudson and Bev. O. S. Butler. 

Afternoon. — Public exercises in the Town Hall, including in- 
troductory address by Captain Francis H. Appleton; oration by 
Hon. Boger Wolcott, the Lieutenant-Governor; poem by Bev. 
Minot J. Savage, of Boston. 

Evening. — Banquet in the large Town Hall, followed by a ball 
in the lower hall. 

The piiogramme was carried out with gratifying success, the 
only disappointment being the absence] of the Governor from the 
banquet in the evening. 

Governor Frederic T. Greenhalge, accompanied by Adjutant- 
General Dalton and Colonels Moses and Page of his staff, together 


with his private secretary, Colonel Henry A. Thomas, and Mrs. 
Thomas, arrived in town daring the afternoon and were driven to 
the Peabody Institute, where the building and its interesting ex- 
hibits were inspected. The party were afterward entertained by 
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert K. Fevear at their residence on Main Street, 
the Sutton mansion, where a number of the invited guests of the 
day, including Lieutenant-Governor Wolcott, Hon. George von 
L. Meyer, Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Bepresentatives, 
Bev. Minot J. Savage, Professor O. C. Marsh, of Yale Univer- 
sity, Mr. D. Webster King, of Boston, and others, had assembled. 

The Governor held a brief reception, and expressed his regret 
at being unable to remain to the banquet in the evening. He 
left town by an early train for Boston, accompanied by Adjutant- 
General Dalton. 

The celebration of the day was not confined to the native town 
of George Peabody. Appropriate exercises were held by the 
Peabody Academy of Science in Salem, and the building was dec- 
orated in honor of the occasion. In the adjoining town of Dan- 
gers special exercises for the school-children were held at the Pea- 
body Institute. In Baltimore, Bichmond, Nashville, and other 
cities of the South, which had been directly or indirectly benefited 
Arongh the philanthropic gifts of George Peabody, the day was 
appropriately commepiorated, and a special observance of the cen- 
tennial anniversary was made in London. 



The exercises of the morning were devoted exclusively to the 
school-children, and, by invitation of the Trustees, were held in 
the Feabody Institute, under the direction of the School Com- 

The portrait of George Feabody, in the lecture hall, was 
draped vdth the English and American flags, as was also that of 
Queen Victoria in the library below. The portico on the front of 
the Institute was tastefully decorated with flags and bunting, and 
was surmounted with the Feabody coat of arms, beneath which 
was a large tablet bearing the dates ^^ 1795-1895," surrounded by 
glory flags. 

At nine o'clock the pupils of the lower grades of the different 
schools marched to the hall, accompanied by their teachers, each 
child wearing a small badge suitably inscribed. The Trustees of 
the Institute were present by. invitation of the School Committee, 
and the members of the School Board were also in attendance. 
The children numbered about one thousand, and filled the hall to 
the doors, leaving no room for spectators. 

The programme consisted of music by the Salem Cadet Band ; 
singing by the Boston Singers Quartette ; humorous recitations by 
Miss Mary Hussey, elocutionist, of Salem ; and an address, which 
is given below, by Bev. John W. Hudson, pastor of the Unitarian 
Church, and a member of the School Committee. 

The exercises lasted a little over an hour, and were followed by 
a similar programme for the entertainment of the higher-grade 
pupils, some eight hundred being present. The address to the 
upper classes, which follows that of Bev. Mr. Hudson, was deliv- 
ered by Bev. O. S. Butler, of Georgetown, Mass. At the con- 


elusion of the exereises the schools were dismissed and the pupils 
given a half-holiday. 



After alluding to the full-length portrait of Mr. Feabody 
above the stage of Institute Hall, Mr. Hudson said : — 

Scholars: The Committee having charge of this celebration 
were desirous that you should take part in it as pupils of the 
schools. They have given you the first place in the exercises of 
the day, believing that you would be first in the heart of Mr. 
Feabody. And I am pleased that it falls to me to tell you some- 
thing about him which will explain why we keep this anniversary 
of his birth. 

Other speakers later in the day will relate the full story of 
his life, and I shall only mention a few things that are easy to 

A century ago to-day a boy was bom in a well-known house 
on Washington Street, whose hundredth birthday we and all the 
people of the town« and many elsewhere, are glad to observe. 
There is something unusual in this fact. It rarely happens. No 
other boy was ever bom here whose hundredth birthday people 
cared to remember. Why should we remember George Fea- 
body's birthday? We are told that he became a very rich man. 
But men are not remembered in this way for their riches. If he 
had been merely a rich man, few of us would ever have heard of 
him. We remember him and honor him, not because he was rich, 
but because he was generous, because of the great good which he 
did for us and for others. 

Let us keep that thought in our minds throughout the day. 
Let us make no mistake on that point. We honor George Fea- 
body because he was generous. 

A hundred years is a long time, and there is nobody Uving 
who can tell us anything about him as a boy. All have passed 
away. We should be glad to know what he did and what people 


thought of him as a schoolboy of your age. I have been able to 
learn a few facts about him in his childhood, from a lady whose 
father was his schoolmate and intimate companion in those 

The schoolhouse where he went to school, just beyond the 
South Church at this end of Lowell Street, has been gone for 
many years. It was a little building, with three windows on the 
street, hardly so large as one of your primary-school rooms. A 
picture of it can be seen in the Selectmen's room at the Town 
Hall, with the buildings about it and the Square in front, which 
used to be the playground of the scholars. We may suppose that 
the boy George did not find everything easy in school, any more 
than the pupils of to-day. But I was surprised to learn that the 
study which he found most difficult was arithmetic. He was 
quite discouraged about that. His rank was low. Now, when we 
consider how important arithmetic is in business, especially such 
business as Mr. Feabody followed, we know that he must have 
learned it at last, hard though it was. He began very early to 
do things that he f oimd hard, and to do them well. There is 
encouragement for all scholars in his example. 

One of your studies which came easy to him was penmanship. 
But because it came easy he did not slight it or neglect it, as some 
scholars do. He took the greatest pains with' it. His handwrit- 
ing became very beautiful, and we must believe this had some- 
thing to do with his success in life. There is a letter of his in 
the Institute library, written to his sister while he was still in his 
teens, which is worth looking at, it is so carefully and gracefully 
done. When he was about seventeen years old he was employed 
on one occasion to write all the ballots for one of the parties at an 
election in Newburyport. 

One anecdote of his early boyhood interested me, because it 
showed something of the self-denial which always goes to the 
making of a successful business man. On some public holiday, 
perhaps the Fourth of July, we are told he had an opportunity to 
set up a little stand on the Square, where he could sell cakes and 
fruit. It was his first chance to earn any money, and he needed 
it much, for he was a poor boy. While the other boys were en- 
joying the holiday and spending their pennies, he stood by his 


business from morning till night, and the dollar he earned was 
the first dollar he ever owned, the beginning of his great fortune. 
There is hardly any more useful lesson that a boy can learn 
than that there are times when it is better to work than it is to 

At the age of twelve years Greorge Feabody's school-days were 
over forever. His parents could not afford to send him to school 
longer. This seemed to him a great loss, which he regretted as 
long as he lived. He once told the school-children of this town 
that there was not one among them who did not have far greater 
advantages than he did. For a long time he found it much 
harder to get on in the world than he would if he had had abetter 
education. And for this reason he gave great sums of money, 
later in life, in behalf of the education of the young. 

For the next four years he was at work as a diop-boy in the 
store of Mr. Sylvester Froctor, which then stood on the spot now 
occupied by Mr. Grosvenor's drug store. These four years with 
Mr. Froctor were the last that he spent in his native place. They 
were years of faithful service. He was a good boy, honest and 
industrious. The town is always honored by such boys. Be- 
tween him and his employer there sprung up a warm friendship 
which lasted till the end of their lives. There is no better sign 
of promise for a boy than this, that if his employer is a good man 
he becomes his friend. ... I must not detain you with any ac- 
count of his life after he left this town. Much that I would like 
to say I must omit for want of time. He lived for the most part 
in Baltimore and in London, where, as an honest man of business, 
he accumulated his great wealth. 

In London there are two monuments to his memory: one the 
famous Feabody Buildings, which he built as homes for the poor ; 
and the other a bronze statue, paid for by the people of London, 
as a token of gratitude to our fellow-townsman. 

Here in Feabody we see in the South Church and in the 
Lexington Monument memorials of his generosity; but above 
aU, in this noble Listitute and this magnificent Library, which he 
so richly endowed, and which makes our town admired, if not 
envied, by other towns and cities for the privileges it enjoys 
through his favor. Among his gifts to us, we must not forget the 


motto whioh he sent in 1852, and which stands inscribed upon 
the walls of the High School hall, ^^ Education, — a debt due from 
present to future generations." 

His vast charities to other places I pass by, — they will not be 
forgotten to-day, — and I close with a sentence from an address 
which he delivered, standing in front of this hall, in 1856. Turn- 
ing to the school-children assembled before him, he said, ^^I may 
never meet you again, but while I live I shall ever feel a warm 
interest in your welfare. God bless you all." 

Should we not all be glad that the man for whom our town 
was named was so worthy to be honored ? 

ADDEESS OF EEV. O. S. BUTLER, of Georgetown, 


AT 10.45 A. M. 

After referring to the occasion which caUed forth the observ- 
ance of the day, and touching briefly upon the bu^h and early life 
of George Peabody, Mr. Butler spoke as follows : — 


The following facts were derived from C. M. Endicott, Esq., of 
Salem, Mass. : — 

The Peabody family may well be called old, since it has already 
attained a growth of nearly two thousand years. Boadie, it seems, 
was the primeval name. He was a gallant British chieftain, who 
came to the rescue of his queen, Boadicea, when bleeding from 
Soman rods, from the disastrous battle in which she lost her 
crown and her life. He then fled to the Cambrian moun- 
tains. There his posterity lived, and became the terror of the 
inhabitants of the Lowlands. Thus it was that the term Pea, 
which means ^^ mountain," was prefixed to Boadie, which means 
" man." 

There was a Peabody, it seems, among the Knights of the 
Bound Table, for the name was first given with due heraldic hon- 
ors by command of King Arthur himself. 


Lieutenant Francis Peabody emigrated from St. Albans, in 
Hertfordshire, England, about seventeen miles from London, in 
1635, and settled in Topsfield, Mass., in 1657, where he remained 
until his death in 1698. Of this large family, three sons settled 
in Boxford, Mass., and two remained in Topsfield. From these 
five patriarchs have come all the Peabodys in this country. 

Among those of the Peabody name that have devoted them- 
selves to the sacred profession, we might mention the names of 
Rev. Oliver Peabody, those twin Peabodys, William Bourne Oli- 
ver and Oliver William Bourne (twins not in age only, but in 
genius and virtue, in learning and piety), Bev. David Peabody, 
Bev. Andrew P. Peabody, Bev. Ephraim Peabody, and others of 
nearly equal fame. 

The Peabody name has also abounded in brave and patriotic 
spirits. Many of them served in the French and Bevolutionary 
wars. One of them fell with Wolfe and Montcalm on the Plains 
of Abraham. Another assisted at the capture of Ticonderoga 
and of Louisburg, and in the siege of Boston. Another was 
among the most gallant combatants on Bunker Hill. Another 
commanded a company in the Continental army, and sent his 
sons to the army as soon as they were old enough to enlist. And 
another, Colonel Nathaniel Peabody, commanded a regiment in the 
Bevolutionary war, and afterwards represented his State in the 
Continental Congress. 

Li medicine and law, the reputation of the Peabody name rests 
more, perhaps, on the quality than the number of practitioners. 
In commerce this family may boast at least one eminent example, 
occupying a most conspicuous position among the great merchants 
of modem times, and the architect of a princely fortune, George 
Peabody, the London banker. 

George Peabody was bom in the South Parish, in Danvers, 
Mass., now Peabody, February 18, 1795, and died in London, 
England, November 4, 1869. 


The question may be very properly asked, what did he do with 
his great wealth ? A man may possess the disposition and power 
to accumulate wealth, but may be entirely destitute of the power, 


or disposition even, to dispose of it in the accomplishment of the 
greatest good to the world. But, as we contemplate the life work 
of Mr. Peabody, we know not which most to admire, his wonder- 
ful capacity for acquiring wealth, or his unparalleled spirit and 
method of disposing of it so as to bless the world for untold years 
to come, and, at the same time, so that he might see the first-fruits 
with his own eyes^ 

The first indications of George Peabody's benevolent disposi- 
tion were manifested in his early boyhood, for before he was 
twenty years old he shared his then limited means with his wid- 
owed mother and orphan brothers and sisters, and at the age of 
twenty-four he voluntarily assumed the entire support of the fam- 
ily, and continued to do so through his whole life. 

And Mr. Peabody did not confine his benefactions to his own 
family, but as his wealth increased he dispersed it abroad; in 
small amounts at first, it is true, but manifesting the same gener- 
ous spirit that characterized his larger gifts. As early as 1835, 
when he resided in Baltimore, the citizens of South Danvers un- 
dertook to erect a monument to the memory of those brave men 
who were killed at Lexington on the 19th of April, 1775. When 
the citizens had raised by subscription the sum of $700, it was 
ascertained that the structure as designed would cost $1000. 
Mr. Peabody received a letter from his early friend, Mr. John 
W. Proctor, informing him of the condition of things. He un- 
mediately wrote Mr. Proctor as follows, ^^ I am happy to learn 
that the people of Danvers are about to do what has been neg- 
lected too long already," and that his draft at sight for whatever 
sum might be needed to complete the design would be duly hon- 

The work was completed and the draft was paid. Shortly 
after this, when the church of the South society was destroyed by 
are, the society found itself very much embarrassed financially. 
Mr. Proctor again wrote Mr. Peabody, who was then in London, 
informing him of the ^ts in the case, to which he repUed with 
an appropriate expression of .^pathy, accompanied by a bill of 
exchange for fifty pounds sterling to help rebuild the church on 
the spot where, in his childhood, he worshiped the God of his 


During these years of busy life, Mr. Peabody was planning for 
his larger gifts. As his wealth increased, his plans were enlarged, 
until 1851, when he came to the rescue of our discouraged coun- 
trymen who had taken their inventions and products to Lon- 
don to be exhibited at the World's Fair in the world-renowned 
Crystal Palace. In most, perhaps in all other countries, this ex- 
hibition had been made a government affair. Commissioners had 
been appointed to protect the interests of the exhibition, and, what 
was of more importance, large amounts of money had been appro- 
priated to defray the expenses incurred. But no appropriation 
had been made by Congress for this purpose. 

Our exhibitors arrived, friendless, in the great commercial Ba- 
bel of the world. They found the portion of the Crystal Palace 
assigned to them entirely unprepared for their exhibits, naked and 
unadorned. By their side the neighboring arcades and galleries 
were fitted up with elegance and splendor by the richest govern- 
ments of Europe. The English press began to launch its too 
ready sarcasms at the sorry appearance which Brother Jona- 
than seemed likely to make, and all the exhibitors from this 
country, and all who felt an interest in their success, were dis- 

At this critical moment Mr. Peabody stepped forward and did 
what Congress had failed to do, and, by liberal advances on his 
part, the American department was fitted up in good style, and day 
after day some new product of American ingenuity and taste was 
added to the list, such as McCormick's reaper, Colt's revolver. 
Powers' Greek Slave, Hobbs's unpickable lock. Hoe's very won- 
derful printing-press, and Bond's more wonderful spring governor. 
It now began to be realized that Brother Jonathan was not quite 
the simpleton the English had thought. In fact, the leading jour- 
nal of London admitted that England had derived more real bene- 
fit from the contributions of the United States than from those of 
any other country. Congress afterwards refunded the money to 
Mr. Peabody, with suitable acknowledgment of his patriotic and 
truly American spirit. 

We next find his name among the largest contributors to the 
fund raised to defray the expense of the expedition that went -in 
search of the great explorer. Sir John Franklin. 


In 1852, when the town of Danvers celebrated its one hun- 
dredth anniversary, Mr. Feabody was invited to be present, but 
could not accept the invitation, and sent a sealed package to his 
old friend, John W. Proctor, directing him to open it at the din- 
ner, as it contained his sentiments. The package was opened, 
and the sentiment of Mr. Feabody read as follows : ^' Education, 
— a debt due from present to future generations." Mr. Feabody 
proceeded to say : — 

'* In humble acknowledgment of the payment of that debt by 
the generation which preceded me in my native town of Danvers, 
and to aid in its prompt future discharge, I give to the inhabitants 
of that town the sum of $20,000 for the promotion of knowledge 
and morality among them." 

The instructions of Mr. Feabody were faithfully carried out, 
and on the 20th of August, 1853, the comer-stone of the Feabody 
Institute was laid by Hon. Abbott Lawrence, an intimate friend 
of Mr. Feabody. The address was delivered by Hon. Alfred A. 
Abbott. Mr. Feabody afterward added to the amount, till his 
entire donations for that institution reached the large sum of 
nearly $200,000. 

In 1856 it occurred to Mr. Feabody that the portion of the 
town known as Danvers Flains was not accommodated in the use 
of the library as well as the South Farish ; consequently he gave 
the town of Danvers the sum of $10,000 to establish a branch 
library at the Flains. This was accordingly done, and the first 
delivery of books from this branch library was made September 
5, 1857. This branch library was a great accommodation to the 
townspeople of Danvers. 

In 1866 Mr. Feabody agun returned to this country, and 
found that the old town of Danvers was actually divided, and 
known as Danvers and South Danvers. He at once made provi- 
sion to carry out his purpose of establishing an Institate for Dan- 
vers that should be entirely independent of the Feabody Institute, 
abeady founded in the old South Farish. He accordingly gave 
to the town of Danvers the sum of $40,000, making $50,000 in 
all, and afterwards increased his gifts to the amount of $90,000, 
besides making numerous donations of boobs and medals for the 
meritorious fugUs of the Feabody and Eblten H%h Schools. The 


town of Danvers was not slow in recognizing and appreciating 
the generous gift, and, with characteristic zeal, hastened to carry 
out die wise instructions of their great benefactor. 

At the opening of the Institute, 1866, the town gave Mr. Pea- 
body a public reception, which in enthusiasm and hearty congrat- 
ulations has never been excelled in the history of the town. The 
address of welcome was given by Bev. James Fletcher, the music 
was under the direction of Mr. J. S. Learoyd, and the reception 
was most gratifying to Mr. Peabody. 

In 1866, while the Peabody Institute was in process of erection, 
and before leaving his native country for England, Mr. Peabody, 
in conjunction with his sister, Mrs. Judith Peabody Daniels, com- 
menced the erection of a church edifice for the Second Congrega- 
tional Church of Georgetown, Mass., in which town their mother 
was born. The church was intended as a memorial to their be- 
loved mother. The cost of this church was about $75,000, and 
was a free gift to the society.' It is known as the Peabody Memo- 
rial Church. At the same time Mr. Peabody gave to the town 
the sum of $12,000 for the erection of a library building and pur- 
chase of books, which sum was afterwards increased to about 
$25,000, so that Mr. Peabody's gifts to the town of Greorgetown 
amounted to more than $100,000. 

Immediately after Mr. Peabody's return to England, in the fall 
of 1856, he found his wealth increasing so rapidly that he com- 
menced to plan for the establishment of an institution at Balti- 
more, where he spent a large portion of his business life, and 
in 1857 he gave to that city the sum of $500,000 to found an 
Institute which should embrace a free library, a fund for free 
lectures, an academy of music, an art gallery, and premises for 
the accommodation of the Maryland Historical Society. This 
institution was completed in 1861, but on account of the civil 
war the formal opening was delayed until 1862, when it was 
opened to the public and consecrated to the high purpose of edu- 
cation and morality. 

About this time Mr. Peabody began to realize the magnitude 
of his wealth, and the increasing infirmities of age admonished 
him that, in order to carry out the purpose of his life, he must act 
quickly and at once. This he did, and consummated the crown- 


ing glory of his life by his great gift to the poor of London, and 
I can do no better than to quote his own words, addressed to the 
proposed trustees of the fund. 

He says : '' Under the sense of gratitude for the blessings of a 
kind Providence, encouraged by early associations, and stimulated 
by my views as well as duty to follow the path which I have here- 
tofore marked out for my guidance, I have been prompted for 
several years past, repeatedly, to state to some of my confidential 
friends my intention, at no distant day, if my life is spared, to 
make a donation for the benefit of the poor of London. My ob- 
ject being to ameliorate the condition of the poor and needy of 
this great metropolis, and to promote their comfort and happiness, 
I take pleasure in apprising you that I have determined to trans- 
fer to you the sum of one hundred and Mty thousand pounds, 
which now stands available for this purpose on the books of 
Messrs. George Peabody & Co., as you will see by the accompany- 
ing correspondence." 

The above was addressed to the following named gentlemen, 
who were constituted the first board of trustees : His Excellency 
Charles Francis Adams, U. S. Minister ; the Bight Hon. Lord 
Stanley, M. P. ; Sir James Emerson, LL. D. ; Curtis M. Samp- 
son, Esq., of Londoh ; James S. Morgan, Esq., of London. 

This immense fund was so guarded by instructions and condi- 
tions that it can never be diverted from its original purpose. 
And then the great Peabody tenement-house fund for the poor of 
London became a fact. 

As soon as the knowledge of this great gift reached the ears 
of the public, the whole nation vras aroused and electrified. The 
London Corporation at once accepted the gift, and hastened to con- 
fer upon their illustrious benefactor the freedom of the city of 
London, inclosed in a gold box. 

The London press with one accord proclaimed the gift as un- 
paralleled in the history of the world. The whole nation joined in 
a chorus of praise and thanksgiving, from the throne to the poor- 
est hamlet in the realm. The children of poverty clapped their 
bony fingers and shook their emaciated forms with wild delight, 
to realize that one man was found that remembered the poor. In 
our own country the news was received with unmingled satisf ac- 


tion. The trustees of the fund immediately organized, and com- 
menced the work assigned them. 

The first tenement buildings were erected on Commercial Street, 
Spitalfields, and were capable of accommodating two hundred 
persons. In 1864, February 29, the block was completed and 
thrown open to receive its tenants, over five years before the great 
philanthropist died, so that he saw with his own eyes the first- 
fruits of his noble charity. Before the buildings on Commercial 
Street were finished, the trustees commenced the erection of four 
blocks of buildings at Islington, to contain one hundred and fifty- 
five tenements ; and before these were finished, the trustees had 
contracted to build similar blocks at Shadwell. 

Thus the work has gone on until the present time, increasing 
in magnitude and usefulness. At the same time the fund is in- 
creasing from rentals so fast that it is the opinion of the trustees 
that in fifty years' time the Peabody tenement houses will supplant 
the entire tenement-house system that has disgraced the city of 
London so long. 

The first donation of £150,000 was afterwards supplemented 
as foUows: in 1866, £100,000; in 1868, £100,000; in 1873, 
£150,000, — making in all £500,000, or nearly $2,500,000 ; and 
it is safe to say that this great fund is the best managed charity 
among aU of Mr. Peabody's numerous benefactions, and in every 
particular the object of the great philanthropist is the governing 
motive by which the honorable board of trustees are guarding 
their sacred trust. 

Another great benefaction of Mr. Peabody's was his gift of 
nearly three million dollars for the education of the children of 
the poor in the South. A part of this fund was in Mississippi 
State bonds, which have remained inactive ; but the income from 
the interest-earning portion of the gift has accomplished much 
good, and is now used to assist normal schools for teachers in the 
Southern States. 

Among his other notable gifts were the following : $150,000 to 
Harvard College ; $150,000 to Yale College ; $140,000 to the 
Peabody Academy of Science, Salem, Mass. ; $25,000 to Kenyon 
College, Ohio ; $25,000 to Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. ; 
$10,000 to E^ane's Arctic Expedition. 


But of his lesser gifts to the poor, whether given personaUy or 
through his sister, Mrs. Judith Feabody Russell Daniels, I have 
not the time to speak, and you may not be interested to hear. 
But the gross amount of Mr. Peabody's benefactions would reach 
the enormous sum of six million dollars, besides the family fund, 
which would amount to four millions more. 

And what was the result ? In his own country Mr. Peabody 
became the ideal American citizen. In his native town of Pea- 
body, his name was mentioned with sincere admiration. In Eng- 
land, the land of his adoption, he stood preeminently at the head 
of the list of her greatest men and purest-minded philanthropists, 
and all classes, from the crown to the toiling peasant, hastened to 
do him honor. And when the end of his useful life had been 
reached, and the announcement was made that the great philan- 
thropist was dead, the great city of London was draped in mourn- 
ing. The London press, without regard to sect or party, poured 
forth a wail of woe. The flags of the nation were draped in 
deep mourning. In our own country the news of Mr. Peabody's 
death was received with unmingled sorrow. 

The people of London accorded him a more honorable funeral 
ceremony than was ever accorded to a private citizen. For sev- 
eral days his body lay in state in Westminster Abbey, in close 
companionship with England's illustrious dead, guarded by Her 
Majesty's soldiers of rank. As soon as the arrangements could be 
perfected, the government ordered the largest of Her Majesty's 
naval ships, the Ocean Monarch, commanded by one of her most 
honored naval commanders, to convey the body of the great phi- 
lanthropist across the ocean to his native land, that his remains 
might repose beside the sacred dust of his ancestors. 

Before the great ship had reached our shores, it was found, 
such was the great draught of water of the ship, that the only 
harbor into which she could safely enter, that was approximately 
near the place of his burial, was the harbor of Portland, Maine. 
Into this port she entered, and with grand and solemn ceremony 
the body of Mr. Peabody was delivered to the delegated authori- 
ties representing the government of the United States and his 
native town of Peabody. 

The remains of Mr. Peabody were transferred from Portland, 



Maine, to Peabody, Mass., and placed in the family vault in Har- 
mony Gbroye Cemetery, in Salem, according to his own request, 
with greater pomp and ceremony than was ever accorded to any 
private citizen in our own or any other country. 

The life and death of Greorge Peabody give ample proof that 
'^ Peace hath her victories, no less renowned than War." 

i^fterttoon dTctvci^t^ 



The public exercises of the day were held in the large Town Hall 
in the afternoon, the place being most attractively decorated for 
the occasion with bunting, flags, streamers, and ornamental designs. 
The platform was fringed with plants, and in the rear was a large 
painting of Washington crossing the Delaware, over which was a 
long tablet emblazoned with the words of Mr. Peabody's famous 
sentiment : — 

'^ Education, — a debt due from the present to future genera- 

The Salem Cadet Band gave a concert during the hour before 
the exercises commenced, and at the opening at 1.15 o'clock the 
hall was filled with people. The stage was occupied by special 
guests and town officials, together with members of the Committee 
and weU-known citizens of the town. 

The programme of the afternoon was interspersed with music 
by the band and singing by the Boston Singers Quartette. 
Shortly before the close of the concert by the band, the Chairman 
of the Executive Committee, Mr. William F. Sawyer, and Mr. 
Joseph S. Crehore, Secretary, appeared upon the platform escort- 
ing the president of the exercises and His Honor the Lieutenant- 
Governor of Massachusetts, Roger Wolcott, the orator of the day. 

As the last strains from the band ceased, Mr. Sawyer rapped 
with the gavel and said : — 


Ladies and Gentlemen, — It is most gratifying to the Com- 
mittee to see proof of the great interest being taken in the cele- 
bration of the one hundredth birthday of our benefactor, George 
Peabody, as is evidenced by this large audience which is gathered 


here to do honor to his memory by listening to the inspiring and 
eloquent words that will be spoken here to-day. 

I take great pleasure in presenting to you, as presiding officer 
for this afternoon and evening, one who is well known to all our 
townspeople, Mr. Francis H. Appleton. 


Presiding Officer, 

I thank you, Mr. Sawyer, for the kind words with which you 
^ve presented me as presiding officer. 

It therefore becomes an agreeable duty and pleasure, in behalf 
of the Executive Committee for this day's Centennial Celebra- 
tion, whose authority comes, in good New England and Massachu- 
setts fashion, from the warm-hearted citizens at large of this 
town, to extend to our guests, our neighbors, and my feUow-citi- 
xens as cordial a welcome as words can convey. 

The children, under the guidance of the Educational Depart- 
ment of the Town, this morning assembled to appropriately ob« 
serve the occasion, and met, as do we, in a spirit of rejoicing, not 
only that George Peabody was bom within the limits of our 
town, nor alone that he so grandly and beneficially bestowed 
upon us that '^ debt due from present to future generations " in 
the establishment of our '^ Institute," but that his broad-minded- 
ness saw the value to this nation in the establishment of an Edu- 
cation Fund, under wise control, to promote the great cause of 
popular education throughout our land, and which, we are told 
in the latest report of the trustees of such fund, has met with 
^^ notliing but successful and most encouraging progress." 

Indeed, that same broad-mindedness was not limited by the 
outlines of the land of his birth ; he recognized the like indebted- 
ness to Old England, where his financial work had developed into 
such successful proportions. 

He founded there, in the mother country of our English lan- 
guage, and of English-speaking people, the extensive, useful, and 


gradually growing homes for the working people, a beneficent 
act, which his discernment saw was then, as always, much 

He well knew that decrease in illiteracy, and increase in intelli- 
gence and good citizenship, are greatly promoted by neatness and 
reasonable simplicity in home surroundings, as well as by the 
direct application of school training. Those buildings are known 
to be among the best that architecture can devise to promote the 
object of Mr. Peabody's gift. 

Mr. Peabody's noble gifts to the trustees of his Education 
Fund for the benefit of the nation of his birth are constantly and 
successfully contending against illiteracy, especially in the more 
Southern States, at the present time, and we are informed that 
^^ illiteracy has gradually yielded, and is still steadily and surely 
yielding, to our free common-school system." 

His gifts are ax3Complishing, among many beneficial results, the 
i^r. m»^ pL. of "Lr «^ .J more ,»H»™ J,«. 
tional conditions, which cannot fail to promote the harmonizmg 
of differences of opinion, and thus tending to bind more closely 
the Union of our States. 

Compare the larg^e-hearted and successful banker and merchant 
in Li. jM.,.y^ »i.,i.g «d di*ib.«.g to the 
benefit of his fellow-men the fruits of his labors, with the simple 
home in the New England town where he was bom, and does not 
the great philanthropist stand out beautifully by contrast? 

How happy he was whUe planning and executing, during life, 
the benefactions that were to bring so much help to the worthy of 
mankind, and make his name respected for future years I 

Compare the simplicity of Mr. Peabody's early training with 
the opportunities this town now offers for' the education of her 
children ; consider also the varied and many advantages added 
through Mr. Peabody's thoughtful generosity by collecting in 
volumes the thought and study of the world at our Institute, and 
the courses of lectures by which he planned to bring before our 
people the leading minds of the time. It was by his assent that 
the valuable Sutton Kef erence Library was added. 
• His strict application to aU that he was caUed upon to do, and 
all that he could find time to do, coupled with high ambition, 



sound good sense, and strict honesty, were foundation characteris- 
tics upon which Mr. Peabody builded from youth to old age, and 
by which he acquired large financial success. 

After a full twenty-one years of apprenticeship by a life within 
the nation, Mr. Peabody become a voter, and at a later period 
his business interests called him to England ; but his whole ex- 
ample of citizenship is inseparable from his sterling patriotism, 
whereby his memory becomes an object lesson that is worthy of 
being emblazoned in conspicuous position throughout this broad 

Tempted by honorable and possible decorations at the hands of 
foreign sovereignty, his Americanism shone out brilliantly in his 
declination of such un-American rewards, which were fairly de- 
served and as fairly offered. His great and beneficent founda- 
tions throughout this land of his birth, and within the field of his 
financial successes abroad, are, by the contrast of his modesty 
with decorative glory, elevated upon a loftier and more splendid 
monument of public appreciation than would otherwise have been 
possible in this the land of his birth. 

It is with great pride that our town feels the responsibility as 
custodian of those ^fts that Mr. Peabody received as recognition 
of his worth and prominence. 

By the estabUshment of an Educational Fund that is destined 
to be national in its influence, Mr. Peabody planned to advance 
the intellectual power of this country in its relations towards 
other and the older countries of the world, and as well as in 
interstate relations within our borders. 

He recognized a common medium of exchange called intellec- 
tual power, which he knew was recognized alike by all civilized 
countries, and his patriotic spirit desired that these United States 
should keep in the lead so far as he could aid them. 

As thus with the intellectual, would he not have been as strong 
an advocate of the financial, and have wished that this grand 
Union of States should have as firm a financial foundation, con- 
structed on as strong and of a like foundation, as that in any 
other civilized nation with which we do or can trade. Would he 
not have seen that gold was that foundation until an international 
agreement shall have changed it ? I cannot but think that such 
would have been the judgment of his clear mind. 


Let us fervently pray that the influence of the educational work 
of these benefactions shall guide gradually to the best intelligence, 
whenever the tendency towards rebellion and anarchy exists, in 
order that our law-abiding people may be assured that such a 
spirit, which can work only injury to every temperate interest in 
our land, can be nipped in the bud and crushed beneath the power 
of intelligence, and by a decisive and quick application of the pro- 
visions of law which that intelligence shall have provided. 

Let us, in the spirit set us by Mr. Peabody, apply the wisdom 
that he would have instilled into our citizenship to the.wisest pos- 
sible conduct of our government in its varied forms. 

Let us so arrange that the intelligence of every one employed 
in the extensive business venture known as the United States 
shall have full and free scope to act, unhampered by any uncer- 
tainty as to the time when the term of service shaU end, subject 
only to that termination which wrong-doing or incapacity can 

It is appropriate that some brief estimate of our town's ad- 
vancement during these one hundred years should be given with 
reference to its varied advantageous characteristics at the present 

In his address at the Institute Hall, October 9, 1856, at the 
time when a splendid welcome was accorded him by his fellow- 
townsmen, Mr. Peabody said, in speaking of this part of the town 
of Danvers, now Peabody, after forty years of absence : — 

^^You can scarcely ima^ne how the changes to which you 
have referred impress me. You have yourselves grown up with 
them, and have gradually become familiarized with all; but to 
me, who have been long away, the effect is almost astounding. 

^^ The solitary fields which were the scenes of my boyish sports 
now resound with the hum of busy labor ; and the spirit of im- 
provement, not content with triumph on land, has even converted 
Foster's mill-pond into solid ground, and made it the scene of ac- 
tive enterprise." 

The population of Danvers was in 1795 about 2,534 ; in 1856 
the combined population of South Danvers and Danvers was 
about 10,000 ; of Peabody alone to-day, about 10,300 ; and what 
was then Danvers is to-day about 17,612. 


I regret that I cannot present the town's Talnation in 1795 for 
comparison ; but, with an acreage of 9,050, and Talnation in 1893 
of 97,451,300 ; with 1,682 dweUings ; 800 horses, 677 cows ; and 
advantages for business enterprise that are confined only by the 
present dull times, which wisdom in our halls of national l^;is- 
lation and a return of mutual confidence can do very much to 
dissipate; accommodated with lines of railroads running north, 
south, and inland, — we are weU off in attractions for devel- 

As a land for homes, I venture to say that there is none better 
than in our developed and undeveloped lands throughout our 
territory, from Lynn to Danvers and to Lynnfield and Middle- 
ton, with a growing centre beyond at Wakefield, as well as with 
thriving neighborhoods on the other sides. 

For highways and bridges in 1894 an appropriation of $10,000 
was made. The character of our soil aids us in many places in 
keeping the standard of our roads at a better condition than 
would otherwise be possible. This quality must always be judged 
by comparison, but we have at present reason to be satisfied with 
such as we possess. 

Should the nightmare of a state highway ever be realized in 
our midst, may it take such direction as shall pass through 
pleasant and profitable courses, and convey those who would use 
it in as direct a course to the capital city of our State as shall be 
wise ! May it be wide enough so that street railroads shall not 
conflict with a fair use by man's great companion and helpmate, 
the horse I 

I am indebted to Mr. S. S. Littlefield, Chief of the Fire De- 
partment, for the foUowing information, which shows the devel- 
ment of that branch of our town's service since Mr. Peabody's 
birth. He tells us that buckets were used for extinguishing fires 
in 1795. In 1800 two fire-engines were purchased, and one 
located at Bell Tavern, the other at New Mills. These were 
knowB as receiving engines, and were fiUed by buckets. 

Fire clubs were also organized for the protection of the prop- 
erly of the individual members in case of fire. The Columbian 
Fire Club, organized in 1804, included among its members many 
prominent citizens. The Fire Department was incorporated by act 


of the legislature, March 12, 1830. By this act, enginemen could 
be organized into district companies not exceeding 40 members 
to a suction or draughting engine, and not exceeding 24 members 
to a common or receiving engine. 

The first suction en^ne was bought about 1827. The first 
steam fire-engine arrived in town April 22, 1865. 

Membership of present department is 98. It comprises 5 fire 
stations, 2 steam fire-engines, 8 hose wagons and carriages, 1 
hook-and-ladder truck, all equipped with modem appliances, 10 
horses, 30 fire-alarm boxes, and 218 hydrants connected with the 
town water system. The town property in the charge of the Fire 
Department is valued at $65,000. 

The Superintendent of our Water Board, D. S. Littlefield, 
kindly gives me this information as to our water supply. 

In the year 1795, the only sources of water supply for fire and 
domestic uses were wells. November 22, 1796, a meeting was 
held of the subscribers (composed of Salem and Danvers citizens) 
to a proposed aqueduct, and a petition was drawn up applying for 
a charter to the General Court. 

This petition recites that ''the subscribers have ever been 
much alarmed for the safety of this town in case of fire at very 
dry seasons. To remedy so calamitous an evil, as well as to sup- 
ply the inhabitants with water, we humbly beg your honors that 
we may be incorporated for the purpose of bringing water in 
subterraneous aqueducts from Spring Pond in Salem, and 
Brown's Pond in Danvers, or either of them." 

The petition was granted, the corporation to be known as the 
Salem and Danvers Aqueduct Company, and the act of incor- 
poration was signed March 9, 1797, by Governor Samuel Adams. 
The first mains were saplings of three inches bore, and in the 
spring of 1799 the company began to supply water to its cus- 
tomers. The first iron pipe was laid in 1834. 

July 2, 1873, the plant was sold to the town of Peabody for 
1(125,000. At this time no artificial pressure was used, the water 
flowing by gravitation. In 1881 the town took measures to in- 
troduce the present system, and in May, 1882, the pumps were 
first started. These pumps each have a capacity of 2,000,000 
gallons per day. The number of gallons pumped daily varies 



from 800,000 to 1,000,000, according to the season, the total 
consumption being about 300,000,000 gallons per year. 

The present systems are gravitation and pumping directly into 
the mains, with an overflow into the standpipe, which holds 
500,000 gallons. Takers in Salem are supplied by gravitation ; 
those in Peabody by the high service, which gives an average 
pressure of 75 pounds to the square inch. There are 31 miles of 
mains, with 218 fire hydrants attached. Water is supplied to 
about 1,200 customers. There is an abundant supply of water, 
and the quality is unsurpassed. 

For lighting in the town, we find that, from the tallow-dip 
light of early days, we have been through many changes in home 
and street lighting. From those early lights which ought hardly 
to be called by that name, with the oil, kerosene, and gas, that 
have aided us to consume quickly the valuable parts of the air 
of our halls and dwellings, we have come to the modem electric 
lamps, — arc and incandescent lights, the latter of which does not 
feed upon the air by which we thrive, and upon the purity of 
which we depend. How the source of warmth, for cooking and 
comfort, has undergone changes since Mr. Peabody first saw the 
light of day in this township! — wood, coal, kerosene, gas, and 
now electricity coming to the front. How much the establishment 
of Mr. Peabody's foundations to advance education has had to do 
with the advent of these advances, we shall never know, but let 
us assume that his works aided in their accomplishment. 

May we think that the Institute which he gave to us, to our 
posterity, and to those who may settle here, has and will aid in 
the promotion of great advances ; and may our people, by their 
own efforts, profit by such opportunity I 

And now it is fitting that I, your fellow-townsman, having tried 
to speak for you, and also of our own town briefly, should draw 
to a close. 

But my closing is but a pleasant beginning for us aU ; and in 
introducing to you the gentleman who has, at the invitation of 
your Committee, kindly consented to be our orator to-day, I 
bespeak for him, what I know you are ready and eager to accord 
him, a hearty welcome into our midst, Lieutenant-Governor Roger 




It is in the power of man in many ways to confer lasting 
benefit apon his kind. The statesman who by some great 
measure of legislation turns the pathway of a nation's destiny ; 
the soldier who wins victory in a just war ; the orator who em- 
bodies in imperishable phrase a people's aspiration and faith ; 
the poet who links lofty thought with melodious verse that sings 
itself into the popular heart ; the scholar and teacher who dis- 
cerns and utters truths that sway the actions of generations ; the 
inventor who extends into new fields the empire of man over 
nature, — such are some of the men to whom mankind through the 
centuries is the debtor. How freely and with what gratitude 
this debt is acknowledged may be read on the printed page of 
history and in towering monument or votive tablet, which, how- 
ever, are not needed to preserve from oblivion the great names 
which live eternally in a nation's heart. 

But neither statesman, nor soldier, nor orator, nor poet, nor 
teacher, nor inventor, was the man whose name your town proudly 
bears as that of her most distinguished son, and whose birth we 
are met to-day to commemorate. In other fields did George Pea- 
body win his fame, and perform those deeds which have caused 
his name to pass into the common speech of the people. As mil- 
lions of human beings are bom each year, and as other millions 
yearly cease to live, doomed to be whelmed in the oblivion whence 
they came, we may well ask, when we witness one name snatched 
from the fate inevitable by all but the few, what has this man 
done that the common destiny should pass him by, and dumb for- 
getfulness surrender its prey to fame. And so it is that to the 
generations, as they pass, biography has ever been and must con- 
tinue to be one of the studies most full of interest and instruction 
to the human mind. The lives of great men teach their lessons 
and breathe their inspiration ; and cold must grow a nation's 



heart and doll its pride when it ceases to find both profit and de- 
light in recalling the lives of its worthy dead. 

You have done well, therefore, in determining that to-day, 
being the one hnndreth anniversary of his birth, the life of 
George Peabody should be duly commemorated ; that the memory 
of this native of your town, who conferred such great and lasting 
benefits upon the people of two hemispheres, should be freshened 
to the old who knew him, and made real to the young who knew 
him not, so that in the town of his birth there may be once more 
paid to him the meed of respect and gratitude which is his due. 

Would that . this honorable and agreeable duty had been as- 
signed to more competent hands .than mine ! Surely the theme 
and the occasion are worthy the highest powers of man. Not to 
speak of the living, there is one name which must rise instinc- 
tively to the lips of all present as that of the man most fitted to 
speak of George Peabody, — his trusted friend and adviser, the 
faithful administrator of his bounty, the courteous gentleman and 
consummate orator, Bobert C. Winthrop. Were it in our power 
to roll back for a few years the scroll of time to a period which 
would permit Mr. Winthrop to stand here and speak to you with 
that lofty eloquence which during his lifetime delighted so many 
audiences, then this occasion would become memorable indeed, 
and the life of Peabody would find fit eulogy. 

The main incidents in the life of Greorge Peabody may be 
briefly rehearsed. Your town was part of the town of Danvers 
when the boy who was to bequeath to it his name was here bom 
one hundred years ago to^ay. He came of a family which has 
been prominent in Essex County since the earliest settlement, and 
which from generation to generation has furnished examples of 
the best types of New England' character, winning the respect and 
confidence of their townsfolk by the qualities of courage, patriot- 
ism, enterprise, and sagacity. It was in no home of luxurious 
furnishing or exceptional privilege that his life dawned. Stem 
and ragged was the training which he received, as has been the 
case with so many who in this land have won distinction and suc- 
cess. His only heritage was the vigor of body, the energy of 
mind, and the stanchness of principle which he inherited from his 
New England ancestors, and which the circumstances of his life 
served to strengthen and develop. 


Whatever opportunities for aeqairing learning the schools of 
his town held out were closed to him as early as his eleyenth year, 
by his entering the employ, as an apprentice, of a f ellow-towns- 
man, who kept what is stiU known in common parlance as a conn- 
try store. The mercantile career thus early begun was continued 
at Newburyport, at Georgetown in the District of Columbia, and 
at Baltimore. In the latter city he became the partner, at the 
age of nineteen, of a wealthy merchant in an established business, 
and thus, before he was twenty-one, a reasonable degree of finan- 
cial success seemed assured. 

This partnership was not dissolved until 1843. During this 
period it is not surprising to find abundant evidence of his possess- 
ing the qualities of thrift, accuracy and method of habit, sagacity 
and proWty. In the earlier years of this partnership the Agen- 
cies of business made it necessary for him to perform long joor- 
neys in the saddle, usually occupying from one to two months, 
through the wildest parts of New York and Pennsylvania, and 
the hill region of Virginia and North Carolina. Lodging with 
fanners, or being hospitably entertained upon some great planta- 
tion, he could hardly have escaped forming impressions of the in- 
fluence of slavery, upon white and black alike, which many years 
after were to find expression in noble generosity ; while the ex- 
periences he underwent, often in the inclement winter season, 
must have toughened his physical fibre while widening his know- 
ledge of men and things. As the business of the firm . steadily 
increased, branches were estabUshed in Fhihidelphia and New 
York ; and as the firm dealt largely in imported goods, Mr. 
Peabody several times made voyages across the Atlantic, so that, 
when he later became a resident of London, it was not altogether 
as a stranger to the city itself or to its business men. 

During these years of almost entire absorption in the cares and 
anxieties of a great business, with its intense competition, its 
struggles, its successes and its failures, there were not wanting in- 
dications that the hunger of accumulation was becoming a master- 
ful appetite with him. But he never allowed himself to become 
its slave. It cannot be doubted that he felt at times that eager 
ambition to possess great wealth which so often changes thrift 
into parsimony, and, when its empire is complete, produces a type 



of man's greatest degradation, the sordid miser. To this passion, 
however, he never even for a time yielded complete dominion. 
When its influence upon him seemed most threatening, he was 
making liberal and loving provision, at first from his limited 
means, afterwards from his growing affluence, for the mother and 
brothers and sisters who were left in the old homestead of his 
birth. I think the more honor is due him that the acts of 
splendid generosity which have made his name famous were not 
the result of native instinct to spend with lavish hand the great 
wealth which he had laboriously acquired, but were the accom- 
plishment of deliberate and lofty purpose, and signalized a hard- 
fought mastery over self. 

Passing his life from early boyhood in the engrossing routine 
of commerce and finance, he found but scanty time to cultivate 
those tastes and acquisitions in art, science, and literature which 
adorn life like flowers by the dusty highway ; and, as was the cus- 
tom with business and professional men of his time, the thought 
of rest or recreation had but little place in his scheme of life. 
Effort was never relaxed, the burden never laid down. And yet 
the plain, terse English of his letters, and the admirable power of 
expression which they evince, show that from observation and 
practice he had gained that adequate measure of education which 
to most is imparted by teacher and text-book. 

It is pleasant, too, to record, that, following, as he himself says, 
the example of his father, who was a soldier of the Bevolution, he 
volunteered in an artillery company at the outbreak of the war of 
1812, and saw active service on the banks of the Potomac, al- 
though, contrary to expectation, the duty assigned to his command 
did not bring it within reach of the enemy's guns. Patriotism 
was at no time wanting in the mental and moral make-up of 
George Peabody. In a life of such unremitting toil, it is gratify- 
ing also to note that the gentle art which owns Isaac Walton as 
its patron saint always possessed a peculiar fascination for him, 
although his periods of indulgence in it must have been brief and 

And so we come to the time of his removal to London, there to 
establish himself as a banker and broker, and to enter upon that 
career of splendid beneficence which has entitled him to the last- 


ing gratitude of two nations. In vigorous middle life, tall, with 
a countenance expressive of shrewdness and benignity, possessed 
of remarkable energy and sagacity, and of a probity and sense of 
honor which he exacted of others in all his dealings with them, 
not less rigorously than of himself, — such was the son of New 
England who entered the business mart of the world and seemed 
to win an easy success. Wealth poured in upon him. The ear- 
liest and largest accession to his previous f ortime came at the time 
of the great commercial panic of 1837, when he made extensive 
and varied investments in American securities, which, owing to 
the dishonorable default of certain States, were generally discred- 
ited, but which, he felt confident, a returning sense of public 
honesty would restore. That it was not merely the money-getting 
instinct that led him into this course, but that a becoming national 
pride shaped his action as well, is shown by the fact, that through 
the weight of his recommendation and example, he succeeded in 
negotiating npon farorablo terms a heavy loan for the State of 
Maryland, at a critical moment in her history, thus saving her 
from the disgrace that fell upon some of her sister States, and 
afterwards refused to accept the $60,000 which were his due as a 
commission on the transaction. This was only a small part of 
his payment to the State of his adoption for her hospitality to him 
at the commencement of his career. 

In London, as in America, he continued moderate and even 
frugal in his personal expenditure. Simple in his tastes, modest 
in his lodging, temperate in his habits, he never relaxed the close 
attention which he deemed necessary to give to all the details of 
his great business. But the orderly routine of daily duty was 
now, from time to time, broken by sumptuous entertainments of 
which he was the host, and distinguished Americans and English- 
men the guests, given usually on our nation's birthday, and on a 
scale in numbers and splendor which entitled them almost to be 
regarded as international episodes. These banquets served to 
return the courtesies which he had received at the hands of Eng- 
lishmen, and also to lend an additional pleasure and interest to the 
visit in London of traveling Americans ; but it is plain that in 
his mind they were intended to serve a higher purpose — that of 
strengthening and tightening the ties of mutual knowledge and 


respect between representatiye men of the two nations, — a cause 
which he had eyer much at heart, save, we may suppose, for the 
brief period when, in the uniform of a volunteer, he was antici- 
pating an assault by the British fleet upon Fort Warburton. 

In 1851 was held in the Crystal Palace the first of those great 
World's Exhibitions of which the latest and most splendid was 
mirrored in the waters of our great inland sea. Congress, with 
that short-sighted and inglorious economy of which it has fur- 
nished more than one example, failed to make any appropriation 
to enable the industries, the inventions, and the science of the New 
World to be adequately displayed to the gaze of Europe. In the 
absence of organization, or of a general fund for the purpose, 
each individual exhibitor was thrown upon his own resources, and 
confusion and discouragement reigned supreme, until Mr. Pea- 
body, by promptly advancing $15,000, saved the national reputa- 
tion from ridicule and contempt. 

In 1852 he joined with Henry Grinnell, a native of New Bed- 
ford, in equipping and dispatching to the Arctic seas an expedi- 
dition, under the command of Dr. Kane, to search for Sir John 
Franklin and his companions; and the names of these two Mas- 
sachusetts merchants are borne by lands where the midnight 
sun yields its long vigil to the quivering glory of the northern 

But amid the great interests and the great cares which his 
position now entailed, his heart harked back to old Essex, to the 
town of his birth, where lay the bones of his fathers, and where 
he well knew that other boys were growing up, like himself, 
under the pressure of hard necessity and slender opportunity for 
self-improvement. He would do something to unroU to their ep^ 
the ample page of knowledge, rich with the spoils of time, ^e 
chose well the occasion. In June, 1852, the town of Dani^rs 
celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of its establishment, 
and, as one of her prominent and successful sons, Mr. Peabi>dy 
was invited to be present. This invitation he was compelledl to 
decline, but he sent from London a letter breathing the most fen- 
der affection for the town where his life had begun, and enclosfii^g 
a sealed envelope to be opened when the toasts were being ipro- 
posed at the dinner which was to commemorate the event. When 


the seal was broken in the presence of a great company of towns- 
people, and of others whom the interest of the occasion had 
brought together, the letter was found to contain ^' a sentiment 
from George Peabody, of London," ^Education — a Debt Due 
from Present to Future Generations," and was accompanied by a 
gift of $20,000 for the purpose of establishing a lyceum for the 
delivery of lectures and a library, both of which should be free to 
the inhabitants of the town. This gift was subsequently aug- 
mented by repeated donations to $200,000. How fully it has 
wrought out the declared purpose of its author in ^^ the promotion 
of knowledge and morality," and with what even greater potency 
for good it shall operate in the years that are to come, the men 
and women and children of this town best know. 

There are two significant features of this gift, which were like- 
wise prominent in his other great benefactions to mankind. It 
was no dole of alms that he placed in the open hand of suppli- 
cants for charity ; rather was it his aim through life to hold out 
the prize of opportunity to industry and exertion. His ear may 
have been a little dull to the appeals which reached him in the 
latter years of his life by hundreds daily, from those in whom 
effort had ceased and ambition was dead. His purpose was ever 
to fertilize and stimulate the seed of intelligent and efficient citi- 
zenship, rather than to minister to those morbid and decayed 
growths which do but cumber the soiL Doubtless he felt that 
the claims of mere charity were not likely to be disregarded by a 
humane community, and that a more far-reaching bounty would 
have for its end to make such claims less exacting in the future, 
rather than to meet their demands to-day. He builded for the 
future, and not for the days that are past. 

The second significant feature which I have alluded to above 
was his recognition, in the woids which prefaced his gift, and 
even more eloquently in acts again and again in subsequent years, 
of the indebtedness of the present to the past, only to be liqui- 
dated by adding to the obligation as it is handed on to the future. 
It is not less true of generations of men and of centuries than of 
individuals, that ^ none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth 
to himself." Little indeed should we possess of what we see 

around us, little of the achievements of man which give him the 



mastery of the earth, little of the art, literature, and learning 
which make his life more easy or more beautiful, had not each 
succeeding generation entered upon the possessions and inheritance 
of the past. And this talent our Lord will require of us with 
usury. Would that more men heard and heeded, as did George 
Peabody, this imperious cry of the past, and strove, according to 
their ability, but with good-will equal to his, to discharge this 
debt due from present to future generations I 

The city of Baltimore had been his residence for many years, 
and here had begun his career of success. The ties of friendship, 
the associations of business, the memories of struggles and tri- 
umphs, were not impaired by distance or lapse of years. With 
splendid generosity his hand was stretched across the water, bear- 
ing in its open palm the gift of $1,000,000 to found an institute 
of education, art, and music, within whose walls should forever be 
unheard the discordant voice of sectarian politics or religion, but 
where, to use his own words, should be taught ^^ political and 
religious charity, toleration, and beneficence," that so it might 
^^ prove itself to be, in all contingencies and conditions, the true 
friend of our inestimable Union, of the salutary institutions of 
free government, and of liberty regulated by law." The founda- 
tions of this noble endowment had been laid when the bitter tide 
of civil war swept over the city on which he had bestowed his 
bounty, and caused the suspension for several years of the benefi- 
cent work of education and enlightenment which he had sought to 
inaugurate; but since 1866 the people of Baltimore have reaped 
the full benefit of his noble purpose. 

This splendid beneficence to a city of his own land was followed 
at no long interval by what is doubtless the most colossal material 
gift ever bestowed upon the people of one country by a citizen of 
another. Mr. Peabody's aim was no less than to improve for all 
time the condition of the industrious poor of the metropolis of the 
world, and the means he devoted to this end were in proportion to 
the magnitude of his undertaking. His scheme did not embrace 
the shiftless, lazy, or vicious. They must be left to other agen- 
cies than those he purposed to put in operation. But for the 
thrifty and temperate artisan and laborer, in their varied employ- 
ments, he sought to provide lodgings at moderate rental in build- 



ings so constructed as to provide the best of sanitary and social 
conditions. Cleanliness, abundant water, perfect drainage and 
sewerage, playgrounds for children, have wrought their expected 
effect ; and among the thousands of families who find pleasant and 
healthful homes in the Peabody buildings, the death rate, especially 
of the children, is very markedly below the average of London. 

Following his usual plan of requiring that success should mark 
each stage in his great enterprises before he entered upon the 
next, Mr. Peabody proceeded tentatively in completing the full 
endowment of this great fund for the poor of London, and it was 
by successive gifts that it finally, at his death, reached the great 
sum of $2,500,000. To this has since been added more than 
$3,000,000 received from rent and interest, which is in turn in- 
vested anew in the purchase of land and erection of buildings. 
The estimate has been made by one of the trustees of this fund 
that if it shall continue to be ably administered for two hundred 
years, it will then be sujfficient to provide for three fourths of all 
the industrious poor of the vast capital. The imagination is pow- 
erless to present to the mind even an imperfect conception of the 
aggregate of human joy and comfort for wearied worker, faithful 
housewife, and happy child which must flow from this single source 
as the centuries succeed each other. The sum of such blessing is 
as stupendous and inconceivable as the distances which astrono- 
mers tell us separate the planets in the limitless realms of night. 

It is not surprising that this great gift to those whose need was 
so urgent received prompt acknowledgment at the hands of a 
grateful people. The Queen in gracious phrase expressed her 
deep appreciation of his noble act, and bestowed upon him her 
portrait in lieu of title or order which he had declined. By ad- 
dresses and resolutions, municipal corporations and guilds* made 
permanent record of the estimate in which he was held by the peo- 
ple of England. His statue by the American sculptor Story was 
unveiled in one of the public squares of London, in the presence 
of thousands who blessed his name. 

Mr. Peabody had now passed the prescribed limit of threescore 
years and ten, but the evening of his life was to be made radiant 
with a splendor that surpassed even that of its noonday. The civil 
war had ceased. At the cost of untold sacrifice the Union of States 


rested on foundations more imperishable than those upon which 
its fair and stately structure had been reared, and through the 
grim enginery of war the quicksand of slavery no longer menaced 
its stability. In the Southern States the ravages of war had left 
an impoverished people. To a vast region clouded by illiteracy, 
poverty, and despair, Mr. Peabody brought the warm sunshine of 
his sympathy and aid. Selecting as agents of his bounty from 
different portions of our common country as distinguished a body 
of trustees as were probably ever brought together to give effect 
to the purpose of an individual, and placing at their head Bobert 
C. Winthrop of our own State, he committed to their hands the 
first installment, amounting to $1,000,000, to found the Peabody 
Education Fund *^ for the promotion and encouragement of intel- 
lectual, moral, or industrial education among the young of the more 
destitute portions of the Southern and Southwestern States of the 
Union," the benefits to be ^^ distributed among the entire popula- 
tion, without other distinction than their needs and the opportu- 
nities of usefulness to them." Two years later a second million 
was added, besides numbers of securities of unascertained value, 
which, it is believed, brought up the aggregate amount so bestowed 
to about 18,000,000. 

In accordance with Mr. Peabody's expressed wish, the income 
of this fund has been widely distributed to white and black alike, 
and in such manner as to stimulate, rather than to supersede, effort 
and zeal in the cause of education on the part of those localities 
which were permitted to receive its benefit. By their f athful and 
successful administration of the trust, as well as by their wise dis- 
crimination in the choice of methods of distribution, and of suc- 
cessors to those of their own number whom death has removed, 
this board of trustees has amply vindicated the great confidence 
reposed in them by the founder, and the high expectation of a 
watchful public opinion. 

In his second letter to the trustees, Mr. Peabody concludes as 
follows : *^ I do this with the earnest hope, and in the sincere trust, 
tshat with God's blessing upon the gift ... it may prove a per- 
manent and lasting boon, not only to the Southern States, but to 
ibe whole of our dear country, which I have ever loved so well, 
but never so much as now, in my declining years, • • . and I 


pray that Almighty God will grant to it a future as happy and 
noble, in the intelligence and virtue of its citizens, as it will be 
glorious in unexampled power and prosperity." This hope has 
been abundantly realized, and the fulfillment of the prayer de- 
pends upon the prevalence in successive generations, in however 
varied manifestation, of the generous public spirit which animated 
George Peabody. 

For this, which, by an American at least, may be regarded as 
the crowning act of Mr. Peabody's bounty, he received through 
the action of Congress a costly gold medal bearing the inscrip- 
tion : " The People of the United States to George Peabody, in 
acknowledgment of his beneficent promotion of universal educa- 
tion." A republic showed itself not less grateful than had been a 

Mr. Peabody was not one of those whose altruism is so head- 
strong as to lead them, while conferring benefits upon a larger 
community, to neglect those bound to them by the ties of family 
and kindred. By gift during his life, and by will after death, he 
distributed very large sums of money among many who were more 
or less closely of kin with himself. 

Although he began to feel the infirmities of age, and was not 
unaware of premonitions that his life might not be prolonged for 
many years, it was a great privUege to Mm, in repeated visits to 
this country, to behold the full operation of his several bounties, 
and to receive in person the grateful acclaim of great bodies of 
representative citizens. In this he found intense satisfaction, but 
his delight was greatest when, in the eager faces of hundreds of 
school children who pressed about him, he read that his steadfast 
purpose to benefit the young haid not failed of its accomplish- 

He labored until his day closed* Intent to the last upon pay- 
ing to the future the debt of education which he had so early ac- 
knowledged, he signalized the closing years of his life by liberal 
donations to the Massachusetts Historical Society, to the town of 
Newburyport, where in early youth he had had a brief and disas- 
trous experience in business, and to the Phillips Academy at An- 
dover. In tender memory of his mother, he erected a beautiful 
church in that portion of her native town of Bowley which had 


taken the name of Georgetown in honor of her distinguished son. 
To Salem he gave $140,000 to found an Academy of Science, to 
Yale College $150,000 for a Museum of Natural History, and a 
like sum to Harvard College to establish a Museum of American 
Archaeology and Ethnology, which is already in possession of ma- 
terial of incalculable value and interest. 

In the early autumn of 1869 Mr. Peabody sailed for England. 
He was feeble, and those who knew him well felt that his days 
were numbered, but he seemed not without hope that he might 
pass the winter on the Riviera, and even spoke confidently of a 
future return to this country. The end came speedily. He died 
in London on the fourth day of November, 1869, and in two con- 
tinents from great and humble alike there rose at once a universal 
acclaim of honor and praise. After-years have not in his case, as 
so often befalls, introduced discordant notes to jar the harmony. 
The praise was deserved. 

It is hardly necessary to make the admission that Mr. Pea- 
body's character was not flawless. He had certain foibles, and 
perhaps some faults. But this one thing he did : in the pregnant 
phrase of Mr. Gladstone, ^^ he taught men how to use money, and 
how not to be its slaves." His immense wealth, honestly ac- 
quired, and unstained by chicanery or fraud, he devoted in his 
own lifetime, with wisest foresight, to extending to countless 
thousands of his fellow-men, in time present and time to come, 
the opportunity for improvement in knowledge or in that decency 
of surroundings which ministers to self-respect. He illustrated 
the power of an endless life. Without seeking comparison with 
the immortal few who, like Washington or Lincoln, have changed 
the destiny of nations, or who, like Luther, Columbus, or Shake- 
speare, have opened new worlds to human faith, enterprise, and in- 
tellect, we may well accord to George Peabody high place among 
those who have loved and served their fellow-men. What he did 
was not the result of an impulsive and ill-regulated benevolence, 
which breeds dependence and pauperism among its beneficiaries, 
but was the accomplishment of a deliberate purpose, as wisely 
executed as it was nobly conceived, to lift successive generations 
of men and women to a higher plane of knowledg'e and enjoy- 
ment. It is true that in the eye of eternal justice his life may 


appear to differ from other gracious and generous lives only in the 
magnitude of its bounty and the permanence of its results. But, 
without questioning this judgment, it is not less true that, in 
human estimate, magnitude and permanence of ax^hievement must 
ever bear heavily in the scales in which are weighed the lives of 

It therefore seemed fitting that, awaiting the removal of his 
body to this town of his birth, it should find a temporary resting- 
place beneath the lofty arches of that great abbey where lie the 
ashes of so many who when living have shed lustre upon the page 
of England's history. As ea^h new okimant seeks admission to 
that high feUowship, we may almost imagine the space beneath 
the consecrated roof to be filled with a great company of the 
spirits of the mighty dead, demanding instant answer to their 
proud challenge, ^^ What right has this new-comer to claim our 
comradeship?" Among these jealous shades would float the 
spectres of some of earth's greatest and noblest, but not all could 
show hands free from darkest stain of blood, lust, and rapine. But 
if after death the vision of human actors and of earthly events is 
made clear and just, we may rest assured that, from that invisible 
cloud of witnesses who looked down upon the invasion of those 
hallowed precincts by this untitled American citizen, no voice of 
protest could have been heard in denial of his right of peaceful 
slumber in that mighty bed-chamber of kings, warriors, statesmen, 
and poets. In the nave of Westminster Abbey is an inscription 
marking the spot beneath which that unbroken repose of one 
month's duration was thus watched and guarded. 

And then followed the final transport of his mortal remains 
across the broad sea to its last repose near kindred dust in the 
New England town which had witnessed his birth, and which for 
all time is to perpetuate his name. This was in accord with his 
own wish, set forth in his will, which made final disposition of 
what was left of his great fortune. No dead monarch was ever 
borne homeward from distant shore in more majestic funeral 
barge. By the gracious order of the Queen, one of the most pow- 
erful ironclads of the English navy was made the receptacle of 
the precious freight, and an American man-of-war acted as con- 
voy in the proud but sorrowing {march westward over the Decern- 


ber sea. To the sentinels who day and night, as g^ard of honor, 
paced the deck beneath which, on stately catafalque, lay the dead, 
it must have seemed as if the wintry sun looked down upon their 
progress with more genial warmth, and the favoring breezes blew 
more kindly than is their wont on the stormy Atlantic as the year 
draws to its darkling close ; and if their senses were strained by 
the solemn night, they might have beheld the shining wake aglow 
with the light that never was on sea or land, and to their listen- 
ing ears might have come some faint echo of the song of angelic 
choirs heard at Christmastide in far-off Palestine, ^^ Glory to God 
in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will to men." 

At length, with the furled ensigns of the two nations, and with 
the slow booming of minute-guns, these two great warships, 
joined in reverential service to the dead, steamed at half speed 
into Portland harbor. They were met by the great captain of 
the Bay Fight, Admiral Farragut, with other vessels of the 
American navy, and slowly the stately procession moved up to 
the city's front. Rain had fallen during the night, but with the 
morning had come a fall in temperature which had turned to ice 
every glittering drop, and the sun shone upon the most splendid 
spectacle of our northern winters. Every twig flashed with silver 
sheen, and thus Nature had donned her purest and most radiant 
garb to pay due honor to this son of New England who returned 
to his native land so escorted. The remains having been handed 
over by the British ojfficers and marines to the custody of his own 
people, every means of giving expression to popular respect and 
honor were continued until the interment in Harmony Grove 
Cemetery, in the near neighborhood of where we stand. Bells 
were tolled, houses and public buildings draped in black ; those 
prominent in State and Nation expressed by their presence their 
sense of public bereavement ; eloquent and discriminating eulogies 
were pronounced ; and the mingled sentiments of gratitude for his 
life and grief that it had closed were in the hearts of all. 

And so at length the earth closed over all that remained of the 
man, and from the upper regions of the air the snow cast its glis- 
tening pall over the newly-made grave. Dust had returned to 
dust, ashes to ashes. But the work endured. For untold gener- 
ations the good he wrought will pour its fertilizing and fructify- 


ing flood over vast numbers of mankind, and the voice of the 
future will mingle with the speech of the present and call him 

To him who reads history aright, it must be apparent that the 
immediate and material result of great deeds constitutes but a 
small part of their influence. Cromwell shattered the rule of the 
English Stuarts, but in all lands he shook the buttresses of the 
divine right of kings. Nelson triumphed at Trafalgar, and Far- 
ragut passed the forts at New Orleans ; but the watchword of the 
one, ^^ England expects every man to do his duty," and the im- 
petuous command of the other, ^^ Damn the torpedoes, go ahead," 
will ring so long as war lasts to make heroism more easy for 
those who tread the decks of battleships. Washington founded 
and Lincoln preserved the Union of States, but their influence is 
limited to no past, but stretches into the endless future to teach 
that love of country which heeds not sacrifice or death. 

In like manner, it was not merely dollars, however generously 
and wisely bestowed, that George Peabody gave to mankind. It 
would be but a superficial judgment that would seek to reckon up 
the sum of his beneficences by counting tenements or museums 
or school-houses or lectures which he had provided. The larger 
lesson of his life is to be read in its guidance and control by that 
lofty sense of obligation which he tersely expressed in those words 
read in this town forty-two years ago : " a debt from present to 
future generations." I purposely omit the initial word with 
which he ushered in the sentiment, for, though the obligation 
must be paid in gold, the coin may bear the stamp of many 
images ; virtue, enterprise, patriotism, public service are legal ten- 
der for its discharge, not less than education. The Greeks are 
said to have exacted an oath of each citizen that he would leave 
the fatherland better than he found it. It needed not the sanc- 
tion of an oath to bind the conscience and regulate the will of 
George Peabody. The impulse came from within. What des- 
tiny of unheard-of glory would await our State and Nation if all 
our citizens felt and acted upon this impulse as did George Pea- 
body ! 

We are the heirs of a goodly heritage. It is our high privilege 
to be members of a conmiunity where the standards of education. 



virtue, and comfort are probably as high as anywhere in the world. 
The government rests upon the will of an enlightened people ; the 
public school holds out to every child the open book of opportu- 
nity ; Justice holds her scales with even hand ; bigotry is yielding 
ground to religious freedom ; countless agencies are at work to 
alleviate suffering or to aid the weak ; and slowly, but with no 
backward step, man is advancing in the great destiny of progress 
and improvement which God has imposed. It needs no profound 
reading of history to learn at what cost this has been won. In all 
the years that are past, men have given lavishly of their toil and 
blood, women have labored, wept, and prayed that with God's 
blessing they might transmit a country better by their lives. The 
eye that marks the fall of a sparrow has beheld every great ad- 
vance of man won only at the sacrifice of hecatombs of human 
lives. We now stand in the places of those who have gone be- 
fore. As human society becomes more complex, every succeeding 
era, while witnessing the slow extinction of certain forms of injus- 
tice or oppression, gives birth to new problems, which, if happily 
they find solution, in their turn yield to others. Evil is hydra- 
headed. Our time is no exception to this inexorable rule. The 
relations of labor and capital are with too great frequency embit- 
tered by unreason and heartlessness, which beget each other. The 
corruption of our politics, especially in the administration of mu- 
nicipal affairs, has reached a depth of infamy which constitutes a 
national reproach, and if unchecked must menace the stability of 
our government. The aggregation in our great cities of vast pop- 
ulations, of which the most threatening element is alien to our 
habits of political thought and action, constitutes the compost-bed 
for vice, ignorance, and crime. In the hands of some, immense 
wealth lends itself to selfish or vicious indulgence, and brings no 
sense of responsibility. In the multifarious complexity of mod- 
em affairs, prudent and just legislation requires more wisdom than 
of yore to conceive and more effort to secure. In what spirit shall 
these problems of to-day be met and solved by the present gener- 
ation ? I would reply that, if at any time now or in the future a 
generous and enlightened public spirit fails, our doom is sealed. 
This is the first and supreme duty of the citizen. Happily it may 
be manifested in countless ways and in infinite variety of degree. 


The heroism of the private soldier is as great as that of his com- 
mander ; and to no man or woman, whatever may be their occu- 
pation, fortune or capacity, is it denied in some way to add to 
the sum of human virtue or happiness. 

This, then, is the lesson taught by the life of George Peabody ; 
this the demand which the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with 
her history luminous with the great deeds of our fathers, makes 
upon us of the present generation ; this the obligation which the 
future will rigorously exact, —that we suffer not selfishness, ab- 
sorption in gain, luxury, or sloth to extinguish in us that loyal and 
ungrudging public spirit through which alone popular government 
caf^onSnfe to exist It .nu/be shown in no' scant L niggani 
measure. The open-handed generosity of the past should shame 
us into equal generosity to the future. Freely we have received, 
freely must we give. And since man first peopled the earth, in 
no country and at no time has there been nobler stage for the play 
of this great virtue than that which our own dear land affords. 
She is worthy of our service. Beautiful among nations, radiant 
with a splendor unknown in the past, which sheds the common 
light of equal rights, equal privileges, and equal burdens upon all, 
glorious in the great deeds and willing sacrifice of her sons, she 
incarnates the vision which came to the sightless eyes of the Puri- 
tan poet, ^' Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation 
rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her 
invincible locks; methinks I see her as an eagle mewing her 
mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full midday 

At the conclusion of the oration, the quartette rendered a selec- 
tion, after which Rev. Minot J. Savage, of Boston, read the fol- 
lowing poem, written by him for the occasion : — 



Onb Hukdbedth Anntvebsabt of his Bibth. 

Here we stand upon the summit, looking back a hundred years, 
Down along the weary pathway men have climbed in toil and tears. 


As we gaze, the vision rises of the wonders they have wrought, 
All the glory of their striving, all the triumph of their thought. 

Weakest horn of all earth's creatures, all the rest he holds in rein, 
Standing upright, skyward looking, by the secret in his brain. 

Long and long the slow-paced ages waited for the fateful day 
When the period of his nonage, his weak youth, should pass away. 

He had made the still air vocal by the magic of his lips. 

He had taught the winds to bear him o'er the sea in winged ships : 

He had taught the fire to serve him in the fusing of earth's ores, 
He had borne the battle's thunder round the ocean's echoing shores 

He had made the marble plastic as he caught some beauty's gleam, 
Parthenon and vast cathedral bodied forth his waking dream : 

Wings of type he gave his fancies, and they flitted o'er the earth. 
Kindling in the hearts which caught them visions of heroic worth. 

But the old earth waited, waited, dimly seeing, through her tears. 
Hunger, hate, and sorrow vanquished by the better, gladder years. 

For the earth still hid her secrets, and her man-child sought in vain 
How to wield her subtle forces as the sceptres of his reign. 

So behold him, half developed, but one hundred years ago. 

Ships slow coasting, teams slow plodding, all his life-work hard and slow. 

But I see, in vision rising, all the old earth passed away ; 
Lo, a new heaven arches o'er us, ushering in a fairer day ! 

Man at last has grasped the secret, like the magic lamp of old ; 
At his feet earth's fairies, giants, lay the wonder-powers they hold. 

He commands, and, lo ! the mountains, tunneled, leveled, quick obey, 
While the rising valleys hasten thus to build the king's highway. 


Lines of flashing steel are gleaming, and I hear the tread afar 
Of the fiery-hearted dragon harnessed to the lordly car. 

Oceans long time called the pathless are hut ferry-ways at last, 
Where the smoky-nostriled racers all the white-winged ships rush past. 

Then the fire-beaked cloud-bird, flashing wild across the stormy sky, 
Perches on the hand of Franklin, folds his wings and nestles nigh. 

So protean is his nature that he takes a thousand forms. 
Docile now to human uses who was once the god of storms. 

Shakespeare's Puck, the idle boaster, forty minutes would require 
Round the earth to put a girdle ; but the genius of the wire 

Asks a flashing second only round the globe his thread to bind, 
While the outworn Puck, hard-breathing, lashes on the lagging wind. 

Changing now his shape of magic. Ho ! he cries, bend down your ear ! 
Through a thousand miles of distance voices speak and we can hear. 

Change again, and he, a drudge, is laughing 'neath a monstrous load, 
Or, as if in play, is dragging oars along the common road. 

Change once more, and see, our cities, once so shrouded in their nights. 
All outshine the stars in glory, flashing with a thousand lights. 

Millions are the tireless fingers, steel or iron, whose magic skill. 
Shaping forms of use or beauty, hasten to obey his wilL 

All these wonders are but promise of the wonders yet unborn ; 
Every day on tiptoe staadeth waiting for the miMrrow's mom. 

For earth's foster-child, acknowledged, all his sorrows overpast, 

All the world's resources mastered, shall find home and peace at last. 

But, as yet, amid the marvels which on every hand increase, 
Palace-^iadowed, Labor suffers and can only dream of peace. 

Men are selfish, men are grasping ; and the weak ones sigh and moan. 
Trampled by their stronger fellows who the beast have not outgrown. 


Here and there above the bratal, climbs some man to heart and brain, 
Sensitive to others' sorrow as to his own keenest pain. 

Here and there one gathers riches, for his own joy not alone. 
Holding wealth in trost for others, counting all of his their'own. 

From the dim, far-off first ages, poets, seers have seen a day 
Brightening over some far fatore all whose clouds have fled away. 

For our earthly conquest mocks us, if, along the dreary years, 
StiU the many miss joy's pathway for the blindness of their tears. 

So, beyond all other triumphs, glad we hail the nobler man ; 
Crown of all material glory is the soul that wiU and can ! 

Let the old earth be but peopled with strong brains and tender souls, 
Then no heaven can be fairer than the vision that unrolls. 

Few they have been ? But they have been ; and the harvest 's in the seed ; 
Lo ! I see the glad fields waving, and the end of human need. 

Let the wide earth be foundation ; on it build a pediment, 
Wherein every human triumph, gain, and gold shall all be blent 

Then, upon its lofty apex, seen afar o'er every land. 
Crown of all, of all the glory, let a human figure stand. 

Let his eyes be kind and tender, let his hand be open wide. 
In his face let all that 's human be lit up and glorified. 

So stands Peabody before us, goal and crown of all the race. 
High o'er all material greatness, holding so his fitting place ! 

Wonders of a century's progress, put them all beneath our feet ; 
Let them serve the human in us, so the man shall be complete. 

Let the one man grow to millions, till the earth, from sea to sea. 
Thrills beneath the happy footsteps of the race that is to be. 


The celebration closed with a grand banquet in the large Town 
Hall in the evening, followed by a ball in the lower hall. Imme- 
diately after the close of the afternoon exercises, a large force of 
carpenters commenced to remove the seats from the floor of the 
upper hall, and in less than an hour the hall was cleared and the 
tables placed in position. They were thirteen in number, twelve 
running lengthwise of the hall, and one parallel with the stage. 
The latter was the head table, and contained sixty plates, the 
whole number of plates laid being about six hundred and thirty. 
During the banquet the Salem Cadet Band discoursed music 
from the stage, which was handsomely adorned with foliage 
plants. The decorations of the afternoon remained in the hall, 
and the place presented a beautiful sight as the company took 
seats around tlie tables. 

The festivities were presided over by Mr. Francis H. Appleton, 
and at his right was seated Lieutenant-Governor Wolcott, while 
the other speakers, together with members of the Committee and 
the clergy of the town, each accompanied by a lady, occupied 
seats at the head table. 

About 7.30 o'clock, all having been seated, the presiding officer 
said : ^^ I will ask the attention of those present while the Rev. 
Mr. Hudson invokes divine blessing." 


Almighty God, we thank Thee for this occasion and for the 
spirit which rules this hour, the spirit of gratefulness which unites 
us in honor of one whose good works have blessed us and so many 
others of our fellow-men. We thank Thee for the memory that 
we cherish of him who has shown once more, so clearly and so 
wisely, that it is more blessed to give than to receive. We thank 


Thee that the good of the world does not perish, but that it is 
handed on from fathers to sons, and from generation to genera- 
tion. We would ask that we may be worthy recipients of the 
bounties which have been intrusted to us, and that we may trans- 
mit them, not impaired but increased, to those that shall follow 
us. In the name of Him who on earth went about doing good, 
and of Thine unfailing grace. Amen. 


After the tables were cleared of the good things with which 
they were laden, Mr. Appleton called the company to order and 
said: — 

It now gives me pleasure to introduce the first speaker of the 
evening. We should be glad to see him whom he will represent, 
but we are extremely glad to welcome him. The sentiment which 
I give is, " The President of the United States, a Trustee of the 
Peabody Donation Fund." Hon. Winslow Warren, Collector of 
the Port of Boston, will respond. (Applause, and the band 
played " The Star Spangled Banner.") 


Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, — I had expected upon 
this fine winter's day to find everything attractive in Peabody, 
but I had no idea that the grace and beauty of the town were to 
surround these tables. I congratulate the ladies upon having 
attained their rights in Peabody at least. 

I am glad to make this my first visit to your thriving town 
upon so interesting an occasion as the celebration of the birthday 
of your great fellow-citizen. 

I am here by virtue of the office I have the honor to hold 
under the National Administration, and it is a matter of regret 
to me that the President cannot leave his arduous post of duty to 
express in his own vigorous and happy style the interest which 
the country, blessed by the liberal charity of George Peabody, 
feels in such a recognition by his fellow-citizens of his grand 
work. The position which the President holds as a Trustee of 


the National Peabody Education Fund would have afforded him 
an opportunity of bearing witness to the importance of that great 
charitable work which spreads over nearly the whole American 
Union. It is not my intention, in response to your toast, to 
indulge in eulogium of the President. No man who is earnestly 
and courageously trying to live up to his convictions of right 
needs eulogy beyond the approving voice of his own conscience ; 
nor is it necessary ever in a New England audience to bespeak 
respect and honor for a true and honest man. Party differences 
and discords sink in the presence of manly qualities which even 
opponents can admire. Much less would I suggest for a moment 
that anything but respect is ever due to him who at any time is 
called by the people's voice to the highest post in the civilized 
world, holding his tenure by the divine right of the people's 
vote. It is, however, a special cause of satisfaction and pride 
that now of all other times, when back of all our financial needs, 
back almost of all private honor, is the absolute duty of national 
honor and faith, — that an American President stands like a rock 
for the good name and credit of the nation. (Applause.) Re- 
spect for established authority is the test of belief in our whole 
system of universal suffrage, and can only weaken as our faith 
falters in the perpetuity and strength of republican institutions. 

You are engaged, my friends, in a celebration as unique as it 
is suggestive. This is the birthday of a plain American, not 
a soldier, nor a statesman, nor a writer, nor a poet, — one not 
commonly enrolled by history among those the world calls 
great, but one who, by his own honest labor having amassed a 
large fortime, won enduring fame by unostentatious and wise 
charity. George Peabody belongs to two continents, a resident of 
one, a citizen of the other, and equally honored by both, — a man 
who, "born for the universe," never contracted his powers of 
doing good by the narrow bounds of his native country. Yet he 
never forgot that he was an American, nor abated his interest 
and faith in the institutions of his own land. Here in Peabody 
and Danvers and Salem are the lasting monuments of his fame, 
— here among his fellow-citizens whom he loved, and whose hap- 
piness it now is to gratefully recall that he was of them and 
with them. 



It is not for me to repeat the story of his life ; it has been ably 
and eloquentiy set forth to^iay, and its dignity and force are 
largely from the fact that it was so plain and nnobtrusive. We 
point to no startling events, to no brilliant episodes ; but every 
American can read with pride that a life of absolute simplicity 
and integrity, enriched by deeds of charity and kindness to his 
ifo,^.U^ taJLl h««» by Z righ. ™e of opportu. 
nities which Providence happily gave. How few men realize that 
their power to bless is not measured by the mere opportunity 
before them, but by the hind heart and wise head which enable 
them to so use their wealth that the world may be happier and 
better in that they have lived ! You celebrate what else than the 
surpassing beauty and worth of an unspotted character, made 
noUer bHU by charily which has carried in its train ho;.e and 
comfort and knowledge to thousands of our race. The fame of 
George Peabody is not yours alone. The poor colored men of 
the South just struggling out of long years of bondage ; the men 
left destitute by the Civil War, or with opportunities otherwise 
sought in vain ; the cultured student of Harvard and the citizens 
of these flourishing New England towns, — all have been the 
sharers of his bounty, and join with those across the water, who 
have felt his kindly aid, in recognizing that this plain American 
was great because he was a world's benefactor, one 

" Whose inborn worth his acts commend, 
Of gentle soul, to human race a friend." 

It is a pleasure to be with you in this neighborly testimonial to 
the man who has linked his own name with the name of your 
tovm, and to express the hope and belief that your community 
may ever be the embodiment of the ideas his life so beautifully 
illustrates. (Applause.) 

The Chairman : The next sentiment which I propose is, ^^ The 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts." I have the honor of intro- 
ducing Lieutenant-Governor Boger Wolcott, our orator. (Ap- 
plause, and the band played '^ Hail to the Chief.") 



Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, — I have already to-day 
inflicted myself to such an extent upon the people of Peabody 
that I should consider that I were imposing upon their patience 
if I took more than a moment or two of additional time to-night 
to respond to the toast with which your President has introduced 
me. I think he would be rash indeed who, after speaking to an 
audience for wellnigh an hour in the morning, when escape was 
impossible and relief unseen, should attempt to tax the patience 
of the same audience again after the electric light was shedding 
its beams upon the tables in the evening. 

But, Mr. President, in the absence of His Excellency the Gov- 
ernor, who was unable to remain here so late as this, it gives me 
very great pleasure to respond briefly and informally to the toast, 
"The Commonwealth of Massachusetts." 

I think that, as loyal citizens of our dear old Commonwealth, 
wherever we are, whether within her borders or within the bor- 
ders of neighboring States, in our own country or beyond the sea, 
we always feel our blood bound with a little quicker pulse, the 
flush of pride come to our cheek, as we hear those long and fine 
polysyllables. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. And what, 
Mr. President, do those words signify to us ? It is not, I think, 
anything that can be found in the statistics of the census ; it is not 
to be reckoned by population, or by wealth or by material pros- 
perity. The thought that comes into our minds when we hear those 
words is that of the spirit which animated those who stepped on 
shore at Plymouth Rock, the spirit of heroic endurance of hard- 
ship, the spirit of devotion where duty led. It is the spirit that, 
all through the French and Indian War, kept strong and firm the 
faith of the fibrst settlers of this State. It is the spirit that slum- 
bered in Lexington when Paul Revere rode through the towns of 
Middlesex, and called the spirit of American nationality into life on 
the green of Lexington and at the bridge of Concord. (Applause.) 
It is the spirit that jumped into the fight when the Union was 
threatened, and sent the fibrst regiment to make the death-march 
through the streets of Baltimore. (Renewed applause.) It is 
the spirit that always and at all times has been loyal to liberty, to 


the flag of the Union, to the white banner of the Commonwealth 
of Massachusetts, and we see shed over that flag the glory and 
splendor that have been cast upon it by the great names in literar 
ture, in poetry, in history, that have illustrated and made famous 
every page of the history of our Commonwealth. (Applause.) 
It is not, therefore, palatial residences ; it is not swelling popula- 
tion ; it is not towering warehouses or humming factories. It is 
rather Plymouth Bock, it is Concord Bridge, it is Bunker Hill 
Monument, that typify and embody the sentiment and the faith 
of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That faith, that senti- 
ment, my friends, rests not upon material growth or wealth. We 
may be surpassed by others of the great States in this sisterhood 
of nations in population and in wealth, but it is the spirit that all 
through these centuries has animated the men and the women of 
Massachusetts. And that spirit embodies the loyal heroism, the 
generous bounties and kindly self-sacrifice, of the men who have 
gone before us of the present generation. 

To them we owe whatever the image of Massachusetts means to 
us. As we summon up that august and beautiful image, we see 
behind it this great company, drifting away into the distant past, 
of men and women who have made the fame and the glory of the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and among those men an hon- 
orable place is due to him whose birthday you celebrate to-day. 
(Applause.) The result of his life will be permanent. The mere 
material result will not vanish with the years, but greater and 
more lasting than that, more lasting than marble or bronze, will 
be the great example that George Peabody has given to this 
Commonwealth and the world of great wealth generously and 
wisely bestowed in aid of his fellow-men. (Prolonged applause.) 

The next sentiment which I have to propose is " The Queen 
of England, Victoria — a noble life, a brilliant reign ; may her 
usefulness be prolonged through many a future year." It is my 
pleasure to introduce to you Professor W. J. Ashley, late Fellow 
of Lincoln College in the University of Oxford. (Applause, and 
the band played " God Save the Queen.") 



Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, — It is with pleasure 
and gratitude that I rise to thank you for the toast you have just 
proposed. It is one that seldom fails to touch a responsive chord 
in the heart of an Englishman. To him '^ the Queen " means 
more than the individual, respected and admired as that gracious 
lady is ; it stands for his country, with all its history, with all 
its hopes and fears. And in these modem days ^' the Queen " 
bears this representative character, with an added significance. 
During the last three quarters of a century, the inevitable move- 
ment of political life has turned England into a self-governing 
democracy. In everything save name, England is to-day a re- 
public. But, gentlemen, he would indeed be blind who did not 
perceive the grave dangers which beset democratic government. 
Our confidence in the welfare of England in the time to come 
must be based upon the hope that with the progress of the fu- 
ture it may retain some of the virtues of the past. We trust that 
there men of culture and wealth and social position may continue 
to feel it their duty to take a due share in the government of 
their country. We trust that there men may continue to remem- 
ber how much more important than party triumphs are the great, 
permanent needs of good administration. We trust that there the 
large changes still necessary may continue to come without vio- 
lence or catastrophe, — 

^' Freedom slowly broadening down 
From Precedent to Precedent ! " 

It is thoughts like these — the great ideas of Civic Duty, of 
Good Administration, of Conservative Reform — that are associ- 
ated, to an Englishman, with the name of " the Queen." 

In proposing such a toast on this occasion you have not only 
done a kindly thing ; you have done an appropriate thing. Few, 
perhaps, of those here present, altogether realize the peculiar posi- 
tion that America holds to-day in the thoughts of the English 
people. To tens of thousands of thoughtful English artisans, 
America is a part of their political faith ; one might go further 
and say, it is a part of their religion. It is the Promised Land ; 
the land not only of Freedom, but of what are much more, — of 
Fraternity and Equality. This is a state of feeling that, when 


one comes to see the seamy sides of American politics and Ameri- 
can city life, one is apt to think almost pathetic. Yet it undoubt- 
edly exists; and I cannot but believe that American statesmen 
would do well to bear it more constantly in mind. 

Now I know of my own knowledge that George Peabody's 
great gift to London contributed in a high degree to create and 
stimulate this more than kindly regard for America; not so 
much with those who came to live in the Peabody Buildings as 
with the intelligent skilled mechanics, too prosperous or too proud 
to dwell in them themselves, who yet had them daily before their 
eyes, and could not fail to think about their meaning. The Pea- 
body dwellings confirmed their faith in America by the solid 
witness of brick and stone. It is true, they seemed to proclaim, 
that in America even men who acquire great wealth have a warm 
sense of human brotherhood; in America such men are more 
anxious to give wide and generous aid to those less fortunate than 
to create ^^ families " or build castles. 

And from all classes George Peabody's gift called forth grati- 
tude and respect and admiration. It has done perhaps as much 
to bind the two great peoples together as even the eloquence of 
John Bright. (Applause.) And the Queen, in doing honor — 
as she so properly and pleasantly has done — to George Peabody, 
has shown the sympathetic tact which is one of her chief charac- 
teristics. In thanking George Peabody she has spoken her own 
warm and genuine feeling ; she has spoken, also, as the represen- 
tative of the English people. (Applause.) 

The Chairman : The next sentiment that I have to present is, 
" George Peabody's memory, — merchant, banker, philanthro- 
pist ; " and it gives me much pleasure to present to you S. Endi- 
cott Peabody, Esq., of Salem, Trustee of the Peabody Academy of 
Science. (Applause.) 


It is with much pleasure, Mr. President, that I respond to the 
sentiment that you have just given. In gleaning after such a thor- 
ough reaper as the distinguished orator of the day, I shall esteem 
myself fortunate if I can find a few grains left by the wayside. 



Although but a distant kinsman of Mr. George Peabody, it was 
my good fortune to know him well both in this country and in 
England, and, in common with aU of his intimate friends, I know 
how he loved his native town of Danvers, and how fondly he 
looked back upon his early days, passed for the most part almost 
within the soimd of my voice. But, fortunately for himself and 
for you, he pushed out into the busy world and made the fame of 
which we are aU so proud, and the fortune which will cause his 
name to be remembered for many generations. Many richer men 
have passed away and been speedily forgotten, but such deeds of 
generosity as his, such foresight in establishing benefactions upon 
enduring foundations, Unger long in men's memory and are held in 
lasting honor. Among many admirable qualities, Mr. Peabody had 
none perhaps more striking than his perfect simplicity. After 
a long life spent as a leading figure in the great financial world 
of London, with a credit and name well established all over the 
world, with the grateful attentions of aU classes of society, from 
Her Majesty the Queen to the shopkeepers in Piccadilly and Re- 
gent Street, refusing a baronetcy and preferring his plain bachelor 
quarters to the luxurious surroundings he could have easily com- 
manded, he turned with pleasure to his early friends and found 
his highest satisfaction in bestowing benefits upon the country 
and town of his birth. And he lived to enjoy the reward he most 
coveted, — the love and gratitude of those who so willingly ac- 
knowledged his generosity. 

Since by your favor, Mr. President, I am to-day speaking for 
him, I feel that I but do his bidding in thanking in his name 
all those who have assisted in this heartfelt manifestation of the 
affection of his fellow-townsmen, who, though not of his genera- 
tion, will thus help to keep his memory green even to and per- 
haps far beyond the second century of his birth. And in view of 
his great success wrought by his own hand, of the beneficent use 
he made of his wealth, whereby he gladdened the hearts of thou- 
sands of his fellow men on both sides of the Atlantic, — in view, 
too, of the uprightness and simplicity of his character, itnay I not, 
speaking for the citizens of this town and for ourselves, express 
the conviction that, '^ Take him for all in all, we ne'er shall look 
upon his like again." 


The Chairman : The next sentiment is familiar and dear to us 
all, — " The Town of Peabody ; " and to respond to that senti- 
ment I have the pleasure of presenting to you one who was mar- 
shal of the school children at the reception of Mr. Peabody in 
1856, Justice Amos Merrill. (Applause.) 


Mr. President, — When I was invited by a member of the 
Committee to stand before this audience and add a word con- 
cerning the town of Peabody, I at first felt like declining, but 
after a few minutes' deliberation, I concluded to accept and com- 
ply with the request. 

I did not feel competent to respond to the sentiment which is 
proposed, nor to rehearse the story of his life of which you have 
been learning from the addresses and correspondence which have 
been presented here. I wished that one who was connected with 
George Peabody here in all that he did for the town of Peabody, 
one whom he consulted on every occasion, on whose judgment he 
relied, the Hon. A. A. Abbott, could be here to respond for the 
town of Peabody. Whatever might be said before him, his elo- 
quent word would have been sufEicient to hold your attention ; 
but now it is only left for me to recall to your minds what Mr. 
Peabody has done for the town of Peabody, hot so much what he 
has done for Danvers, as others will respond to a sentiment rela- 
tive to Danvers ; and so I call your attention to the letter which 
was received from Mr. Peabody on a June day in 1852, while 
there was a gathering of people in a grove near Crowninshield 
Pond. At that reception and dinner a letter was read by John 
W. Proctor, Esq., containing the sentiment, " Education — a debt 
due from present to future generations,'' and donating the sum of 
$20,000 for the purpose of erecting a building, establishing a 
library, and giving a permanent fund for the support of lectures. 
Some of us were astonished, when we read the items in that com- 
munication, that $7,000 only was appropriated for the purchase 
of a building. We knew that it was not half enough, and why so 
small a sum should be named we could not tell, until we found 
out that it was a suggestion of a citizen of South Danvers who 
had been visiting Mr. Peabody, and who told him that amount 
was sufEicient for erecting a building. 


The gentleman told me himself that it was his estimate, and I 
did not hesitate to express my surprise and astonishment that he, 
knowing perfectly well what it would cost to erect a suitable 
building, should have suggested so small a sum. It gave no little 
trouble to the committee, the Trustees, who were chosen by the 
town of Danvers. The letter was received on the 16th of June, 
and on the 28th day of June a town meeting was called, a Board 
of Trustees chosen, and resolutions adopted accepting the trust. 
You can judge how enthusiastic the people were, from the fact 
that in so short a time, only twelve days, they responded and 
chose a Board of Trustees. Of that board only one member is 
now living, our highly respected citizen, Mr. Aaron F. Clark, 
who, I am happy to say, was one of the most intelligent, one of 
the most useful members. All the rest have gone. 

There was considerable difficulty in determining the location 
of the building. The older citizens who are here present will 
remember that there was a great difference of opinion on the 
question, but I may say that the location which was finally adopted 
has proved satisfactory, even to those of us who were opposed to 
it at the time. But the next difficult thing to determine was 
how the building should be constructed, for only about $5,000 
remained. Then came to our aid Mr. Abbott, who, as I have 
already said, was on all occasions the man who helped the Board 
of Trustees and all others interested out of their difficulties. Mr. 
Abbott called, with some other member of the Trustees, upon Mr. 
Peabody's sister, laid the matter before her, called her attention 
to the facts, and it resulted in Mr. Peabody's sending on immedi- 
ately $10,000 more, and I think we will all concede that the 
Board of Trustees furnished the town with a remarkably good 
building for the time and with the money that was at their dis- 
posal. It is, to be sure, a plain, simple building, not all that 
would be required to-day either in architecture or in plan ; but 
at the same time it meets the purpose exceedingly well, as it is 
a substantial building and good for a great length of time. 

In 1856, as you are aware, it was learned that Mr. Peabody 
was to come here and pay a visit. The town immediately held 
a meeting, and appointed a committee of twenty-three to make 
arrangements for his reception. Five of that committee were 


appointed to go to New York to meet liim there. I believe that 
only one of those who were appointed to go to New York is now 
living, Mr. Stephen Blaney, and only two others of the committee 
of twenty-three citizens who were appointed at that time are liv- 
ing, Mr. Nathan H. Poor and Mr. Thomas M. Stimpson. The 
town of Danvers also chose a similar committee, the two towns of 
Danvers and South Danvers uniting in the reception. 

This committee went to New York and met Mr. Peabody im- 
mediately on his arrival. He was at once tendered receptions 
by the cities of Baltimore, New York, and Philadelphia ; but 
declined all, declaring that it was his purpose to accept only the 
invitation from his native town, and he did so accept. The re- 
ception, I think those of you who remember anything about it 
will concede, was one of the finest celebrations that ever had 
been held in this town. I know a little something about the pro- 
cession, having had charge, as has already been stated, of the 
school -children. We had some seventeen hundred scholars in 
the procession, more than one half of them marching and the 
remainder in barges and carriages, each school carrying a fine 
silk banner. A better exhibition, I can assure you, never had 
been seen here than that made. On the part of the procession 
it was everything that could be desired. It made a very strong 
impression upon Mr. Peabody. When we had countermarched 
from the Salem line and arrived at the Institute, and arranged 
the scholars together on the platform erected for that purpose, 
those who were in the carriages remaining in front, Mr. Abbott 
delivered an address to which Mr. Peabody responded. He said 
to the boys and girls there before him that not a single one of 
that number had so poor advantages for an education as he 
had, and not one of them but was capable of attaining respect 
and good standing in the community if he made the best use of 
his opportunity. I am quite sure, as I have said, that Mr. Pea- 
body was deeply impressed with the reception which he received 
here. He could not be otherwise ; and I am also convinced that 
it had very much to do, not only with his subsequent donations 
to this town, but in giving him an inspiration to do what he 
did elsewhere. 

No man gives without feeling a desire to be appreciated in giv- 


ing. No matter how small the amount, or how small the favor 
that is done to a friend or any one, a man desires to be appreci- 
ated in doing so, and I am quite sure that the appreciation which 
was shown here at that time had an effect upon Mr. Peabody that 
wa^ permanent, and inspired him to go on and do what he after- 
wards did. 

In the process of time, as you are aware, we received additional 
amounts from Mr. Peabody, amounting in all to $200,000. The 
last gift that was made by him was made at the Institute for 
$50,000. It was a somewhat peculiar occasion. Mr. Abbott 
refers to it in the report which he made as a '^ solenm occasion." 
It was in 1869, 1 think, the last time that Mr. Peabody visited 
the town, and Mr. Abbott says : " No member of the Board whose 
fortune it was to be present will ever forget that interview. It 
was manifest that Mr. Peabody regarded it as probably the last 
time he should ever visit this his native town; in all human 
probability they were looking their last upon their great bene- 

Mr. Peabody at that time did make some criticism in regard to 
what had been done. It was slight, not the criticism that has 
been reported in a little book which I have seen, but a criticism 
which was perhaps just, that too large an amount had been paid 
for lectures. I hardly wonder, for very large sums were paid for 
lectures then, and it was his special desire that some of his gift 
should be set aside as a permanent fund. The Trustees on that 
occasion pledged their honor that, so far as in them lay, a certain 
sum should be set aside for a permanent building fund for the 
future. It was a wise forecast on the part of Mr. Peabody, and 
wise on the part of the Trustees to make the promise which they 
did, — a promise, of course, which could not be binding upon a 
future Board, but which ought to be kept by all future Boards of 
Trustees until the time comes when a new building is needed, the 
fund for which shall be thus provided for by the foresight of Mr. 
Peabody, and the wisdom of the Trustees. 

Now, I desire to ask a question and attempt to answer it. 
Why was it that Mr. Peabody was so strongly attached to this 
town ? What kind of a town was it that he left in 1810 ? Was 
it the town which you see as you now pass through our streets ? 


Was it the town even which was seen by those who were present 
at his reception in 1856 ? Not by any means. There were no 
streets, so called, in the town. There were a few roads. Washing- 
ton Street was the Old Boston Road ; Lowell Street was South- 
wick*s Lane; Central Street was Gape Lane; and to-day we 
have a hundred streets and courts, all built upon, but not one 
of which was in existence when Mr. Peabody was here as a boy. 
In 1810, at the time when he left, it was a country village with 
1,700 inhabitants. I am speaking now simply of the town of 
Danvers, that part which now is in Peabody, and which Mr. Pea- 
body himself knew, and only which he knew to any considerable 
extent. There were then only 1,700 inhabitants, and 350 pupils 
perhaps in the schools, — a few small country schools ; nothing 
more, but a few tanneries, several small shoemaker shops, and 
two or three stores. That was the sum and substance of the 
town that Mr. Peabody lived in. That was where he got his 
education. What kind of education did he get in our schools ? 
Those of you who have looked into the Selectmen's rooms to-day 
have seen a very rough painting of the old church he attended 
in his boyhood, precisely as it was then, and at the west of it, in 
the picture, you saw the small school-house where he attended 
school. Now, what was taught in those days ? Not such a 
course of study as is taught in our schools to-day ; not a great 
variety of lessons was taught. The three R's, as they were called, 
— reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic — were about all. There were 
a few scholars who studied the higher branches, but the great 
part of the teaching in those days was in those simple studies. 
That was the education Mr. Peabody got here in South Danvers 
village ; and then here as a boy with Mr. Proctor, from the age 
of eleven to fifteen, for four years, he was undoubtedly forming 
habits of sobriety, of industry, of patience, and of close applica- 
tion to business, which, with the slight education which he got in 
our common schools, formed the groundwork of the character 
which afterwards developed in the great London banker and phi- 
lanthropist. It was precisely the kind of an education, and the 
kind of circumstances and surroundings, which the majority of 
the people of Massachusetts had in the small villages of the earli- 
est time, which have made for this Commonwealth a name above 


that of any other State in this Union, a synonym of all that is 
best and truest and noblest in our national life. 

May we not, then, feel that here, in the quiet village of his 
early years, Mr. Peabody, in his home, his school, and among the 
friends of his youth, formed an attachment to this home which 
prompted him to do what he did when he made the gift to the 
town, — when he said that, " in acknowledgment of the payment 
of that debt by the generation which preceded me in my native town 
of Danvers, and to aid in its prompt future discharge, I give the 
inhabitants of that town the sum of 120,000 for the promotion of 
knowledge and morality among them." It was, then, the recog- 
nition of the fact that for these few advantages which he had 
received here in the town, he was ready to make the gift which 
should be a permanent fund for all time, and should be the means 
of encouragement to the citizens to furnish abundant education 
for their children, and an incentive and motive to the boys and 
girls who were the recipients of those advantages to make the 
best use of them. (Applause.) 

The Chairman : The next sentiment is, " The Town of Dan- 
vers, our twin sister : We send her greetings." Alden P. White, 
Esq., of Danvers, I am pleased to introduce. 


Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, — Unfortunately I am 
suffering from a cold, which I wish had come upon some other, 
night. I will not. waste — that is an unfortunate word — I will 
not use the few minutes which I. purpose to take in speaking of 
any relations which exist or ought to exist between the two parts 
of the old town of Danvers. I will speak, in the few minutes 
which I shall take, on one theme alone, and that is the theme 
which brings us all together, the name of him whose memory is 
honored to-day. 

There are some things dramatic in the most humble, the most 
undramatic of lives. It was not my privilege, which I much 
regret, to listen this afternoon to the words which I know were 
eloquent, because all words which come from our Lieutenant- 


Governor's lips are eloquent (applause) ; it was not my fortune 
to hear him retell the story of George Peabody's life. Perhaps 
it struck him, as it struck me, when previously I had some occa- 
sion to study the same life, that there was a little scene, the effec- 
tive pathos and sentiment of which probably never occurred to 
him who was its central figure. It took place shortly after 
George Peabody had originated that grand scheme for the educa- 
tion of the South, which he carved out of his own mind, there being 
no precedent for any such scheme. After he had written it out 
and modestly unfolded it to Robert C. Winthrop in his country- 
house at Brookline, imderneath a picture of Benjamin Franklin, 
in a seat which Mr. Winthrop kindly allowed me to occupy while 
I heard the story from his lips, — after having put Mr. Winthrop 
at the head of his scheme, he got together the men whom he in- 
trusted with carrying it out. It was characteristic of George 
Peabody to put his great scheme in great hands. Just as in 
London he had put his grand project for the raising of the poor 
to a higher level into the hands of men of the best minds and 
best hearts in England, so here in America he intrusted his peer- 
less plan for the educational regeneration of a stricken people to 
the best heads and hearts in the North and the South. The first 
formal meeting of the board was in an upper room in Willard's 
Hotel at Washington. One was from the State of Ohio, Bishop 
Mcllvaine, with whom Mr. Peabody had consulted in London 
about his other grand charity, and whom he called ''the good 
bishop." Having unfolded his scheme to them, it was proposed 
that the blessing of Almighty God, simply and informally, be 
asked upon it, and they knelt there, a circle of some of the most 
distinguished men of these United States. The best blood of 
New England Puritanism, the energy of the West, the keen- 
ness of the metropolis, the crushed pride of the South, touched 
elbows around that little circle. The good bishop was on the 
one side of Mr. Peabody, and on the other was a man in undress 
uniform ; but its simple stars declared the wearer to be none 
other than he who had carried the flag of his country, but a few 
years before, out of the darkness of defeat to the victory of Appo- 

George Peabody and General Grant ! The picture so unpre- 


pared, so unthought of as to its dramatic effect, but typifies the 
two sorts of heroes. They were alike in their poor birth, their 
humble origin, their self-earned success. We almost deify the 
great soldier for what he did, and we are warranted in doing so ; but 
was George Peabody, bom in this little house, the picture of which 
adorns the programme, — and which, by the way, this town 
ought to own and to forever preserve, — was George Peabody any 
less noble than the foremost military hero of his age ? I answer 
No, and am tempted to go a step farther, and, realizing to the full 
the debt due to him who contributed so largely to preserve the 
unity of our country, judging only by the acts which the one had 
forced upon him to do, and the acts which the other quietly evolved 
out of his own heart and quietly performed, I am tempted to say 
that George Peabody was the nobler man. (Applause.) Why ? 
Because successful soldiers are heroes whose tracks must be laid 
over desolate homes, over widows whose husbands have been left 
upon fields of battle, over children who are left fatherless. George 
Peabody made homes more homelike, — bound father and mother 
and children together by the stronger ties of a better life than 
they knew before. And he raised the standard of life at no 
cost of death. Such a man we, Old Dan vers and South Dan- 
vers, Danvers and Peabody, the old town whose name he loved 
and the new town which loves his name, are privileged to honor 

I have prepared nothing like a set speech, and time runs on 
when one is talking thus. I was reminded by the cablegram 
which the President of the evening has read to us, coming at the 
dictation of Her Majesty the Queen, of a couple of letters kept in 
the sacred archives of yonder Institute. Captain Appleton, a 
few hours ago, kindly took a few of us to look at the golden boxes 
and other keepsakes which are kept with the picture of the Queen 
in the fire-proof vault in that building. I have seen them before, 
I hope I shall see them again many times ; but, however often, it 
shall be with more and more reverence, more and more effort to 
appreciate the identity of the poor little boy who was bom here 
with the recipient of those tokens of gratitude from cities and 
states and nations. 

Among the precious things there preserved are a couple of let- 


ters. One is from a little boy some dozen years of age. It was 
written from the town of Georgetown, on the Potomac River, to a 
sister somewhere in Vermont, couched in that old-fashioned tone 
of courtesy which obtained in letters of that era, even between the 
dearest of friends, — a boy's letter to a boy's sister. Side by side 
with it is a letter from a woman to a man. The woman signed 
herself "Victoria." The man was he whose name is upon all 
our lips and in all our hearts. What did it mean when a poor 
boy from this typical little democracy of our loved New England 
lived such a life and did such deeds that the Queen of great Eng- 
land felt it her honor and privilege to sign her revered name to a 
letter of thanks to him for what he had done to her poor in her 
great metropolis ? Is it any wonder that he cherished that letter 
most fondly ? 

That part of the old town in which George Peabody was born, 
which I am proud to be asked to represent, preserves the only 
name by which he knew his birthplace, the name which he loved 
and which was on his lips almost with his latest breath, — '^ Dan- 
vers, Dan vers, don't forget Danvers." It is honor enough to 
Danvers to retain the old name. There is no disposition to 
claim, no jealousy concerning, the right which pertains to this 
favored community alone, of all the world, to say, "Here was 
the birthplace, here passed the childhood, here began the munifi- 
cence, of one of the noblest men God ever made." This proud 
honor belongs, not to Danvers as it is, but to South Danvers, which, 
avoiding the fulsome flattery of such an act during his life, has 
honored itself, and paid the fittest tribute to her most illustrious 
son, by adopting the name of Peabody. 

I am privileged to follow his very footsteps in responding to 
this toast. At the conclusion of his address on the occasion of 
the great reception tendered to him by the then recently divided 
towns, George Peabody uttered this sentiment : " Our old town 
of Danvers as it was constituted in 1752 : may she know none 
but civil divisions ! " Far more eloquent than the words of the 
living are these words of the dead. No other man had so full a 
right to utter that sentiment, and to expect, at the hands of those 
future generations for whom he so liberally provided, the realiza- 
tion of his prophecy. 


the judicial frame ol mind in aU relations between the two great 
universities. Sometimes it is a little difficult at a boat race or a 
foot-ball game (laughter) to keep my mind in this judicial frame, 
but I certainly try to do it, because I believe that this is the right 
way to look at both institutions ; and as you have coupled this 
toast with a reference to the gifts of my good uncle, Mr. Peabody, 
to Yale and Harvard, it gives me great pleasure to say, and I may 
say it here properly, that it was my good fortune to give Mr. 
Peabody advice on that question of his gift to those two universi- 
ties for the purpose of building educational institutions, and my 
advice then was, as I say it ought to be now, to be perfectly dis- 
interested and impartial between the two. Mr. Peabody's gifts 
to Yale and Harvard were each the same amount, $150,000 ; and 
as I had the honor and pleasure of drawing up the deeds of gift, 
I may add that the two deeds were almost identical in language ; 
and, of all the gifts of Mr. Peabody of which we have heard so 
much to-day, I am sure no two gifts have done greater service in 
the cause of education, science, and everything that adds to the 
sum of human knowledge, than the two gifts to Yale and Har- 

I thank you most kindly for the toast which has been proposed ; 
and as I stand here to represent Yale, I also wish to say this good 
word for Harvard, that I hope there will be a dual link between 
Harvard and Yale, not merely in athletics, but in literature and 
science and all good practices. (Applause.) 

The Chairman : It now gives me pleasure to introduce to you 
Colonel Henry A. Thomas, private secretary to His Excellency 
the Governor, and I introduce him to you as a genial, courteous, 
and efficient gentleman. 


Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, — I know that you think 
the programme is about finished, and therefore I will not detain 
you long. I remember another occasion where the speaking had 
continued quite a while, and a gentleman was called upon to 
speak. He said, ^' After all that has been said, what shall I 



speak about ? " and a little fellow in the back of the hall jumped 
up and said, ^^ Suppose you speak about a minute." (Laughter.) 
We have had a great deal of eloquent talk to-night, but I see a 
good deal of occasions of this kind during the weeks and months, 
and it reminds me of a story, which I heard at the Merchants' 
Association dinner the other evening, about an American and an 
Irishman who met together one evening and they were determined 
to fight. They talked the matter over and they finally said, 
" How shall we settle it?" Well, they agreed to go up into a 
certain alley, but the Irishman said, ^^ It is dark up there, and 
there are no referees. We shan't know who has got the best of 
the other." Finally they agreed upon a plan that whoever got 
the worst of it first should say, " Enough." Well, they went up 
there by themselves and began to pummel each other. First the 
Irishman was down and then the American, and they started at 
it again, and were pretty well bruised. The American was tired 
and he called out, '^ £nough," and the Irishman said, '^ Begorra, 
I have been trying to think of that word for the last ten min- 
utes." (Loud laughter and applause.) 

Now, I know you have had about enough of the banquet. You 
certainly are not thinking of me. But there was a young man in 
court the other day, in the city of Detroit, I think. He was going 
about seeing the city, and he was arrested and brought into court. 
At that time he had not sobered off quite enough to realize where 
he was and what a court of law meant. The judge heard the 
case, and finally said to him, " I will give you thirty days or 
flO." Well, the fellow looked up and said, " I thank you for 
treating me so well. I will take the $10, for I have no other 
means of getting home." (Laughter.) I have been treated so 
well since I arrived here in Peabody that I think I prefer thirty 
days to $10, as I do not expect to get home at all to-night. 

We have heard a great deal about Massachusetts, and I am 
glad I am not called upon to represent the old Commonwealth. 
The Governor honored Peabody by his presence for a few hours 
this afternoon, but was not able to come to this banquet. He 
was ably and eloquently represented, as has been said, before 
your citizens this afternoon by the distinguished and accomplished 
Lieutenant-Governor ; but when we are gathered together on an 


occasion of this kind, men and women who have grown up in a 
town like this, we cannot help being proud of old Massachusetts ; 
and when we reflect what she has done for education, for labor, 
for religion, and for philanthropy, we thank God that we were 
born under the shadow of Bunker Hill. Where in all this coun- 
try could you get together a gathering more representative of 
New England and American character than we see here to-night? 
I had the fortune to go to Beverly the other night, and they were 
proud because they have recently become a city ; but the great 
strength of New England, the great strength of the United 
States, is the country town and populous village. It is from such 
places that have come our Lincolns, our Grants, our Garfields, 
and our Websters. It was from such a place as this that came 
George Peabody, the man whose memory you honor to-night. 

The sentiment which struck me as I came into the hall, *' Ed- 
ucation, — a debt due from the present to future generations," 
means more than we can realize to-night. When our fathers 
came to this country, almost the first thing which they did was to 
establish Harvard College, and then they established the common 
school ; and if in future years our Ship of State shall run against 
any rock, the only thing that can save it is the education which 
comes from the public school. There is nothing in other lands 
that can compare with our system of education. What we need 
to cultivate to-day and ever in the future, in order to make Massa- 
chusetts and the country great, is a spirit of patriotism, of true 

I was reading for pleasure the other night that chapter of Haw- 
thorne about the Gray Champion, where Sir Edmund Andros 
tried to overawe the citizens of Boston by a display of military 
power ; and as the Royal Governor came upon them the citizens 
trembled, fearing that there was to be another massacre, when 
suddenly an apparition came before them'; they seemed to recog- 
nize his face, but could not tell just who he was. But the old man 
stood his ground, in the centre of King Street, now State Street, 
and this military force advanced upon him and were about to push 
him one side, when he said, ^^ Stand back I " and the Governor 
said, ^^ Will you stay the march of the Governor, the emissary 


of the King?" He said, "I have not only stayed the march of 
governors, but ere this I have stayed the march of a king him- 
self," and the city was saved. He said : " Thou art no more Gov- 
ernor. James is no more King, but William sits upon the 
throne." And it is said that that same spirit comes whenever there 
is trouble ahead of the people of this country. It stood again on 
State Street in after years. It stood on Concord Bridge. It 
walked all night at Bimker Hill, and, as Hawthorne says, '^ Let 
it come, for it represents the spirit of chivalry and patriotism 
which has made New England the foremost collection of States in 
all the civilized world." 

I am glad to be here in my humble way to add honor to the 
memory of Mr. Peabody. You ought to be proud that he was 
born here. He was a part of Essex County, and he never forgot, 
in whatever land he was, that he was an American citizen. It 
reminds me of that little story of Webster, who, in his dying days, 
called his servant to his bedside and said : '^ Put the lantern at the 
mast of my old boat on the river, and then put the American flag 
above it, in order that I may see it in my waking hours during the 
night as long as I live ;" and so these colors here to-night, the flag 
on every school-house representing the crises through which it 
has passed, can always be pointed to as the emblem of New Eng- 
land spirit, of Massachusetts and New England patriotism. 

Deeds of good men live after them. Go to Trinity Church ; 
go anywhere in that vicinity, and you think of that great man, 
Phillips Brooks, who has passed away. His spirit is with us still, 
and, as was said the other evening by Mr. Baldwin, the President 
of the Young Men's Christian Union, he is a greater man to-day, 
greater in his influence, than he ever was before. So it is with 
George Peabody. The work which he did for education, for hu- 
manity, while he lived, still continues as an example to other men 
to press forward to nobler efforts and grander achievements in the 
cause of humanity. He represents a class of men in this coimtry 
whom we are proud to honor. Men like these cannot die ; they 
shall live forever in the memory of mankind. 

I thank you, Mr. President and ladies and gentlemen, for the 
privilege of enjoying this occasion ; and as the orchestra invites to 
the dance, may the joy in your hearts only be the reflection which 


comes from the contemplation of a noble manhood and noble 
womanhood ! (Applause.) 

The Chairman : To conclude this notable celebration, you are 
all invited to join with the band in singing " Auld Lang Syne;" 
and let us hope that when the two hundredth anniversary of our 
distinguished benefactor is celebrated, it may be under as favor- 
able auspices as we have had to-day and under as favorable skies. 


During the evening the foUowing telegrams, letters, and replies 
were read by the President : — 

\_C<iblegram from Her Majesty Queen Victoria.'] 

On this, the hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Peabody, 
the grateful remembrance of him, and of his noble munificent deeds of 
charity in this country, is fresh in my heart and in that of my people. 

[^epZy to Her Majesty Queen Victoria.'] 

The Committee desires to express its sincere thanks to the Queen of 
England for the honor done the town of Peabody by Her Majesty's gra- 
cious message upon the commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of 
the birth of George Peabody. 

Fbancis H. Appleton, Chairman, 

The reply cablegrams were sent through Mr. Walter H. Bums, 
of Messrs. J. S. Morgan & Co., London, who received and trans- 
mitted to the Committee on Speakers the following letter : — 

Embassy of the United States, > 
London, February 23, 1895. ) 

Deab Mr. Bubns, — The reply of the Committee of the town of Pea- 
body to Her Majesty's message was duly conveyed, and to-day a note 
from Colonel Arthur Bigge, private secretary of the Qaeen, b here, in 
which he states that '' he is requested by the Queen to convey to the 


Ambassador of the United States Her Majesty's thanks for the copy of the 
reply telegram from the Feabody Committee to the Queen's message." 
This completes the kindly episode. 

Sincerely yours, 
(Signed) T. F. Bayabd. 

Walter H. Bubns, Esq. 

[Cciblegram fr(yin the Duke of Devonshire at London.'] 

The Chairman and Trustees of the Feabody Donation Fund desire to 
associate themselves with the Conmiittee formed to commemorate the 
birth of George Feabody, and offer their sincere tribute of grateful re- 
spect on the occasion. Deyonshibe, Chairman* 

[^Reply to the Duke of Devonshire^ Chairman.'] 

The Committee of the Town of Feabody desires to thank the Chairman 
and Trustees of the Feabody Donation Fund for their union with them in 
commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Fea- 

Francis H. Appleton, Chairman. 

Johns Hopkins University, > 
Baltimore, February 14, 1895. | 

Francis H. Appleton, Esq., Chairman. 

Dear Sir, — I am very sorry that it is not in my power to accept 
the invitation with which I have been honored to take part in the cele- 
bration of the birthday of George Feabody which will be held in his na- 
tive place on Monday next. 

If I were to be present, I might perhaps call attention to the fact, 
which is doubtless familiar to you, though unknown to the public, that 
the success that has attended the administration of his gifts is due not 
alone to the munificence of the donor, but also — and, as it seems to me, 
in a large degree - to the wisdom that was exercised in drawing ap the 
instruments by which the trusts are administered. So far as I know, all 
the Feabody foundations work well. Of two, the Feabody Educational 
Fund 'for the promotion of education in the Southern States, and the 
Feabody Institute of Baltimore, I can speak with personal knowledge. 
Every year unfolds the excellence of the plans which received the sane- 


tion of George Peabodj and shared his bounty. There is good reason 
for saying that the gifts of Johns Hopkins to Baltimore were the natural 
sequence of the gift of Feabody, and that the John F. Slater fund for the 
education of freedmen was largely the result of Mr. Feabody's influ- 
ence. I am glad that in his birthplace, under such dignified auspices, 
the birthday will be celebrated of that great philanthropist. 

I am, dear sir. 

Respectfully and truly yours, 

D. C. Oilman, President. 

[Reply to President Daniel C. Gilman, who is also a Trustee of the 

Peobbody Educaiion FundJ\ 

The ten thousand five hundred citizens of |Peabody celebrating the 
centennial of George Peabody's birth, send you greeting, and thank you 
for the interesting letter from you which has been read at this evening's 

[Tdegravn received from, NashviUe^ Tenn.'] 

The Faculty of the Feabody Normal College and its five hundred stu- 
dents join heartily with you in celebrating the centennial anniversary of 
the birth of our great benefactor. 

William H. Payne, President. 

[Reply to President Payne,"] 

All the ten thousand five hundred citizens of Feabody join in sending 
yourselves and five hundred students hearty greeting and appreciation 
of your kind telegram and cordial words which it contains. We recip- 
rocate your expressions of interest in the celebration of this centennial 
of Mr. Feabody's birth. 

Francis H. Ajppleton, Chairman. 


The ball which marked the close of the day's celebration was 
held in the lower Town Hall after the banquet, and lasted till one 
o'clock. The company repaired to the dance ball from the ban- 
quet hall at 10.30 o'clock, but many remained only a short time, 
owing to the large number present. Music was furnished by the 
Cadet Orchestra, and the hall was beautifully decorated for the 
event, as were also the corridors and some of the ante-rooms. 


The following historical extracts relating to the Peabody Insti- 
tute and the gifts of George Peabody, its founder, to his native 
town, were taken from an unpublished sketch of the Institute and 
a synopsis of the reports of the Trustees for the first thirty-three 
years, which was compiled by Mr. Francis H. Appleton while a 
member of the Board of Trustees, and remains at the Library, 
awaiting completion. 

June 16, 1852. Mr. Peabody gave 120,000 for a Public Library 
and Lyceum, $10,000 to remain a permanent fund. 

1852. Mr. Peabody gave $10,000 additional. 

August 20, 1853. Corner-stone of building laid. 

September 28, 1854. Portrait of Mr. Peabody was received 
and placed in the hall. 

September 29, 1854. Building was dedicated ; address made 
by Eufus Choate. 

October 18, 1864. Library opened with 5000 volumes. 

October 9, 1856. Public reception at South Danvers and Dan- 
vers in honor of Mr. Peabody. 

1866-57. Gift of $20,000 from Mr. Peabody, he holding the 
fund ; another gift of $16,000 from Mr. Peabody to purchase the 
Merrill and Sutton estates, together with $1500 to move the Mer- 
rill house and build wall and fence, and $1100 to pay all out- 
standing liabilities. 

1857-58. George Peabody's bust by J. S. Jones, and grand 
piano given by Mr. Peabody, received. 

1863-64. Gold box with the freedom of the city of London 
received ; 10,000 volumes in the Library. 





July, 1866. Mr. Peabody visited the Institute and made a fur- 
ther gift of $100,000 to the Trustees. 

September 22, 1866. Portrait and autograph letter of Queen 
Victoria received. 

October 15, 1866. Mrs. Eliza Sutton founded the Eben Dale 
Sutton Eeferenee Library with a gift of $20,000. 

1867-68. Institute building enlarged, and strong-room and 
portico built. 

August 5, 1867. Mr. Peabody established a fund of 12000 for 
medals to graduates of the Peabody High School. 

1868-69. Congressional medal was received. 

September 13, 1869. Mr. Peabody again visited his native 
country and town, and made the Institute another gift of $50,000. 

September 14, 1869. The Keserve Fund was established by 
the Board of Trustees. 

1869-70. Mr. Peabody died in London. Imposing funeral 
ceremonies in England and America. 

1877-78. The Library contained 18,000 volumes. 

1879-80. Gold medal and diploma, given by Mr. Peabody in 
recognition of the Southern Educational Fund, deposited in the 
Institute Library. 

1883. The Library contained 23,271 volumes. 

October, 1884. Hon. Alfred A. Abbott, President of the 
Board of Trustees, died. 

January, 1887. Heirs of George Peabody established a fund 
of $1000 to keep the Peabody burial lot in good condition. 

A reading-room was opened to the public, in a part of the Insti- 
tute Library room in 1880, and was removed to a separate room 
some years later. In 1887 the Library was opened for the deliv- 
ery of books every week-day, and, commencing May 14, 1893, 
the reading room was opened to the public on Sunday and until 
9 p. M. every week-day. 

In the last annual report of the Trustees, the forty-third, the 
real estate and invested funds of the Peabody Institute were re- 
ported as follows : General Fund, not including the Institute 
building, $117,800 ; Keserve Fund, $35,800 ; Eben Dale Sutton 
Eeferenee Library Fund, $25,000 ; Sutton. Library Building 
Fund, $5752.93 ; Sutton Library Light and Fuel Fund, $5000 ; 
High School Medal Fund, $2000; Burial Lot Fund, $1025.94. 


The number of books loaned from the Peabody Library during 
the year 1894-95 was 37,786, an increase of twelve per cent over 
the preceding year. The number of volumes added to the Library 
during the year was 740, making a total of 32,169, exclusive of 
Patent Office Eeports. It was estimated that the number of vis- 
itors to the reading-room from February 1, 1894, to February 1, 
1895, was 13,366, which was a large increase over the year before. 

t^eabon^ ^nation fnnn* 

BER 31, 1894. 

The following statistics relating to the Peabody Donation Fund 
of London were taken from the thirtieth annual report of the 
Trustees for the year ending December 31, 1894, and show the 
magnitude and remarkable growth of the fund under a wise and 
conservative management : — 

The first donation made by Mr. Peabody for the purpose of 
erecting good tenements at low rents for the poor of London was 
in 1862, for <£150,000. In 1866 he gave <£100,000 more ; in 1868, 
another £100,000, and in 1873 the Trustees received by bequest 
from Mr. Peabody an additional £150,000, making in all a total 
of <£500,000. The net receipts for rent and interest in the [mean 
time have been £640,904 6^. lie?., swelling the fund to a total of 
£1,140,904 6«. lid. on December 31, 1894. This amount would 
be, in round numbers of United States money, about $5,704,521. 

During the year the Trustees completed two blocks of forty- 
eight dwellings, containing 110 additional rooms, giving a total of 
5121 separate dwellings and 11,371 rooms. The number of per- 
sons in residence at the time of the report was 19,918. The aver- 
age weekly earnings of the head of each family was about $6.00. 
The average weekly rent of each dwelling was $1.25, and of each 
room about 54 cents. 

funeral of d^eovge peaboti^^ €&[. 



[From The Boston Herald, February 16, 1895,'] 

As the funeral of George Peabody, the eminent London 
banker, was one of the ibost interesting events which has taken 
place in Essex County within the last half century, the following 
sketch oi the same, by one who was present on the occasion, wiU 
be read with interest : — 

The public funeral services of the great philanthropist first took 
place on Tuesday, February 8, 1870, for which a large committee, 
composed of prominent citizens of Peabody and surrounding 
towns, had made elaborate arrangements. 

From the day following the arrival of the remains, on Febru- 
ary 1, they had been lying in state at the Institute, and thousands 
had passed through the hall. The day before the funeral decora- 
tors were busy draping the public buildings, the South Congrega- 
tional Church, and the larger stores and residences in the town 
with mourning emblems, those in the church being very tasteful 
and appropriate. 

The morning of the funeral opened with a raw, cold wind and 
snow mixed with sleet, which increased as the day wore on to a 
severe storm, the snow increasing in volume, until marching by 
the military in attendance was a difficult matter, and this contin- 
ued through the day. Notwithstanding the unpropitious weather, 
thousands were in the town as visitors, either to take part in or to 
witness the proceedings, the larger part coming in teams, while 
the regular and special trains on the Eastern Railroad were 
crowded ; but with all the crowd there was not the slightest dis- 


turbance, and the fifty members of the State Constabulary who 
were present under their chief, Colonel A. H. Stevens, had little 
to do but politely give information to those making inquiries. 

The military to form the escort to the procession consisted of a 
battalion of regulars, embracing companies A, D, I, and E, Fifth 
Regiment Artillery, with its band, the First and Second Corps of 
Cadets, M. Y. M., and a battalion of five companies of the State 
militia, consisting of Company A, Fifth Regiment, Captain H. C. 
Cutler, of Charlestown ; Company F, Eighth Regiment, Captain 
J. G. Whittier, of Lynn ; Company I, Eighth Regiment, Captain 
J. C. Bacheller, of Lynn ; Company H, Eighth Regiment, Cap- 
tain J. P. Reynolds, of Salem ; and Company K, Eighth Regi- 
ment, Captain S. B. Rowell of Salem, the battalion being under 
the command of Major D. H. Lowe. 

In addition to the above, there were the Sutton Guards, Fifth 
Regiment, M. V. M., of Peabody, who were detailed as a guard 
of honor, and flanked the hearse in the procession ; and a section 
of the Fourth Light Battery, M. V. M., of Lawrence, which fired 
minute-gims while the procession was in motion. 

Of course there was much curiosity to see his royal highness 
Prince Arthur, now the Duke of Connaught, who represented his 
mother. Queen Victoria, at the funeral ; and there was a great 
crowd at the Grove Street crossing in Peabody when the special 
train on the Eastern road arrived there about ten o'clock, but few 
saw him, as he quickly entered a carriage with Major A. A. 
Abbott, and was driven to the residence of the latter on Wash- 
ington Street, whose guest he was for the day. In the special 
train were Colonel H. Elphinstone and Lieutenants A. Pickard 
and Fitzroy, of the staff of Prince Arthur ; Sir Edward Thorn- 
ton, the British Minister at Washington ; Governor Claflin, Lieu- 
tenant-Governor Tucker, the Executive Council, Hon. Robert C. 
Winthrop, Hon. Charles Francis Adams, ex-Governor J. H. 
Clifford ; President Eliot, with the Faculty and many Overseers 
of Harvard College ; with delegations from a large number of 
societies, who thus testified their regard for the memory of the 

In order to prevent undue crowding at the church, cards of 
admission to the services were issued by the Committee of Arrange- 


ments at the Institute building to invited guests, who reported 
there on their arrival in town, and these were taken upon presen- 
tation at the church by the State Constabulary, and the holders 
seated by a corps of ushers in the pews assigned to them. 

The funeral .procession was formed at 10.30 o'clock, under di- 
rection of General William Sutton and a staff of aids, and con- 
sisted of the military before named, with their bands as escorts, 
followed by Chief Marshal Sutton, carriages containing the clergy, 
and the following pall-bearers : Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, Hon. 
Charles Francis Adams, Hon. John H. Clifford, Hon. Otis P. 
Lord, Hon. George Osborne, Kev. Milton P. Braman, Mr. James 
M. Beebe, Mr. Lewis Allen, Mr. Elijah W. Upton, Mr. Fitch 
Poole, Mr. Samuel T. Dana, Mr. Eben King, and Mr. George A. 

These were followed by the funeral car, drawn by four horses, 
surrounded by the Sutton Guards as a guard of honor, and next 
came carriages containing the family connections of the deceased ; 
Prince Arthur and his staff and Minister Sir Edward Thornton, 
representing Queen Victoria ; Governor William Claflin, Captain 
Commerell of H. M. S. Monarch, and several of his officers; 
Captain Macomb of the U. S. S. Plymouth; and a number of 
officers of the army, navy, and militia. The above were all in 
full uniform, the Prince wearing that of the Rifle Brigade, Colonel 
Elphinstone that of the Royal Engineers, and Lieutenants Pick- 
ard and Fitzroy that of the Royal Artillery, while Sir Edward 
Thornton was in full court dress. Carriages to the number of 
over one hundred followed, containing state officials, judges, may- 
ors, a few of the old residents of Peabody, and some of the school- 
mates of the deceased, legislative and other delegations, and rep- 
resentatives from many societies. 

Arriving at the church, no time was lost in unloading the car- 
riages, their occupants filling the pews reserved for them, and 
then it appeared as though every seat was filled. The service 
commenced with a voluntary and singing by a select choir, after 
which Rev. Mr. Marsh, pastor of the Memorial Church, George- 
town, read selections of Scripture, when Hon. Robert C. Winthrop 
delivered a funeral oration, which occupied less than an hour. It 

was an eloquent tribute to the memory of the deceased, who, as a 




practical philanthropist, had no equal. Prayer was then offered 
by Bev. Mr. Marsh, and with this the church services closed. 

The procession was then reformed, and marched down Main 
to Washington Street, and up Abom Street to Holten, down 
Holten to Main, thence to Grove Street and to Harmony Grove, 
where the casket with the body of Mr. George Peabody was 
placed in the tomb of Mr. Frank Peabody temporarily. This 
closed the services, and the military marched back through Grove, 
Boston, and Main streets to the Institute, where they were dis- 

After the procession was dismissed, the invited guests were fur- 
nished with refreshments in the refectory then under the Insti- 
tute, the two Cadet companies in Warren HaU, Main Street, the 
other miUtaiy companies in other haUs, while the regulars ate 
their own rations they carried in their haversacks wherever they 
they could get a chance for shelter. 

The Eastern Eailroad Company contributed much to the success 
of the arrangements by running their trains promptly to and from 
the town.