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A Group of Brief Biographies 





Copyright 1908 
American Unitarian Association 





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The sketches making up this 
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by kind permission of the editor 





GEOEGE FRISBIE HOAR, 1826-1904 .... 1 
By Francis C. Lowell 

MORRILL WYMAN, 1812-1903 29 

By Henry P. Walcott 
HORACE GRAY, 1828-1902 45 

By Ezra Ripley Thayer 

CHARLES FRANKLIN DUNBAR, 1830-1900 . . 59 

By Charles W. Eliot 
PHILLIPS BROOKS, 1835-1893 93 

By Charles Carroll Everett 
FRANCIS CHANNING BARLOW, 1834-1896 . . 121 

By Edwin H. Abbot 
HENRY STURGIS RUSSELL, 1838-1905 . . .155 

By John T. Morse, Jr. 
ROGER WOLCOTT, 1847-1900 165 

By William Lawrence 
WILLIAM EUSTIS RUSSELL, 1857-1896 . . .183 

By Charles Eliot Norton 

CHARLES ELIOT, 1859-1897 219 

By William R. Thayer 
WILLIAM HENRY BALDWIN, 1863-1905 . . .231 

By George R. Nutter 


The eleven men whose careers are described in 
this book were all efficient servants of the public 
welfare. They were successful men of affairs, 
but each of them owed his efficiency to a certain 
moral idealism which is a part of the Puritan 
inheritance. In their various callings and pro- 
fessions these men were dominated by ideals of 
private honor and public serviceableness which 
made their careers different from those of men 
who seek selfish ends. Their conception of life 
and its uses was derived from impulses and tra- 
ditionary feelings in the blood, which are the 
distinctive, though not the exclusive, character- 
istics of men of the Puritan descent. 

These men illustrate many different forms of 
usefulness. One was a United States senator, 
two were governors of the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts, a fourth was an able municipal 
administrator. One was a renowned jurist, 
another a beloved physician, another an influen- 
tial editor and teacher, another a great preacher, 
another a brilliant soldier, another an adminis- 


trator of corporate trusts, another a lover of 
beauty and promoter of the health and recrea- 
tion of the people. They were as diverse in 
temperament as in vocation. Governor Wolcott 
was the embodiment of chivalric charm and Dr. 
Wyman of genial wisdom and ceaseless activity. 
Colonel Russell was quick in decision and alert 
in motion ; Judge Gray was deliberate and ma- 
jestic. Mr. Dunbar and Mr. Eliot, though men 
of deep feeling, were reserved and comparatively 
silent in company, while Senator Hoar and Gov- 
ernor Russell and Mr. Baldwin were expansive 
in speech and demonstrative in manner. Gen- 
eral Barlow, while steadfast for the right, was 
not naturally sanguine or expectant of good; 
while Phillips Brooks overflowed with optimism, 
believing in the latent good in all mankind and 
rejoicing with buoyant confidence in the pur- 
poses of God. 

But however they differed in temperament and 
outward habits they all illustrate one principle 
of conduct. They wanted to make their lives 
tell in the increase of freedom and the upbuild- 
ing of a happier Commonwealth. They were 
eager to do something for the regeneration of 
their fellowmen. Faith and conscience met in 
them and made their power. The sense of duty 


and the consciousness of responsibility were in- 
formed by the spirit of good-will. The states- 
men here described were successful politicians, 
but not by reason of craft or timid vacillation 
or bending to catch the popular will. They 
owed their political successes, not only to their 
ability, but also to their integrity and independ- 
ency, their clear grained human worth and 
" brave old wisdom of sincerity." The good 
physician did not merely make his round of visits 
and pocket his fees. Without any thought of 
his own gain or loss he spent his time and 
strength and ability in widening medical knowl- 
edge, in inventing means for the prevention or 
amelioration of disease, in founding a hospital. 
The man of business was also a wise leader 
of many philanthropic and educational en- 
terprises, the dynamic of many a civic reform. 
The editor practised journalism as an art and 
not merely as a business. He contributed not 
only information, but intelligence and sound 
judgment. He was an initial force in form- 
ing public opinion, a reliable monitor of the 
public will, and an inspirer of patriotism. 
The judge saw things in the large way which 
was natural for a man of his massive frame 
and mind. The preacher illustrated ah 1 that is 


universal in religious thought and all that is 
lofty in human character. His commanding 
figure was a fit symbol of a generous and 
magnanimous nature. As the streams which 
move the wheels of modern industry flow from 
secret springs among the high hills, so the ac- 
tivities of these men had their source in the life 
of idealism, vision, and faith which was theirs 
by inheritance. They transmitted an undepart- 
ing and undiminished inspiration. 

All of these men lived simply after the old 
New England fashion. In every relation of life 
they rang true. With all the force of their 
Puritan forebears they hated the things that 
are mean and base and unclean, and with steady 
enthusiasm they loved the things that are true 
and lovely and of good report. They were ac- 
customed to speak their minds plainly and to go 
to their ends by the shortest and most sunny 
road. They possessed the manly reasonableness 
and the high-minded devotion which intelligent 
Americans demand in the leaders they trust and 

Most of these men possessed exceptional ability 
and all enjoyed the advantages of a good educa- 
tion ; some inherited wealth ; two or three of them 
had a touch of the unexplicable quality we call 


genius, and others had larger power of emo- 
tional expression than is common with New Eng- 
landers ; but the qualities that gave them influ- 
ence were courage and unselfish purpose and 
confidence in right principles. They were men 
who believed that this universe is ruled by a 
loving God and that the best way to love God is 
to love and serve one's fellowmen. They be- 
lieved that " no man liveth unto himself alone ' 
and that we are " all members of one another," 
and they tried to make those convictions prac- 
tically effective in the land they loved. 

We who have seen and known such men can 
never believe that the power of money or the 
enervation of pleasure can rob American life of 
high breeding and the sense of romantic chiv- 
alry. We know that life may still be lifted into 
enchantment and lit with spiritual charm. To 
read the record of these lives is to have our eyes 
and thoughts lifted to the heights of honor. 







George Frisbie Hoar was born on Aug. 29, 
1826, at Concord, Massachusetts, of pure 
Yankee stock. Leonard Hoar, the brother of 
his ancestor, was president of Harvard College 
from 1672 to 1675. His paternal grandfather, 
his two paternal great-grandfathers, and three 
of his great-uncles served with the Lincoln Com- 
pany in the fight at Concord Bridge. His 
father, Samuel Hoar, was a leader of the Mid- 
dlesex bar. After he had given up the regular 
practice of law by reason of his age, he was 
asked by Massachusetts to maintain before the 
courts of South Carolina the rights of negro 
seamen of Massachusetts arrested in Charleston 
by virtue of a statute believed to be unconstitu- 
tional. Though the Legislature of South 
Carolina directed the governor to expel him 
from the state, and though the mob of Charles- 
ton threatened him, he refused to abandon his 
clients, and withdrew only when some of the 
leading people, intending to save his life, gave 
him the choice of embarking with or without 


physical violence. In 1898 the New England 
Society of Charleston invited Senator Hoar to 
the city, saying that " Charleston would fain 
give the honored son a welcome which shall 
obliterate the past." Of Samuel Hoar, Emer- 
son said that " He returned from courts and 
congresses to sit down with unaltered humility 
in the church or in the town house or on a plain 
wooden bench, where Honor came and sat down 
beside him." Two of his three sons and two 
grandsons in the male line have been chosen to 
Congress. Senator Hoar's mother was a daugh- 
ter of Roger Sherman, who signed not only the 
Declaration of Independence, but the Associa- 
tion of 1774, the Articles of Confederation, 
and the Constitution of the United States. 
Thus sprung from the seed for which God 
had sifted three kingdoms, Senator Hoar grew 
up in Concord, a rich soil for that planting. 
There he shared the life of New England both 
in tradition and in the present. The boy saw 
and heard the old men who fought in the Revo- 
lution, as Scott in his boyhood lived with the 
men of '45. Hawthorne and Thoreau walked 
about the village, and Emerson was the intimate 
friend of his family. 

From a healthy boyhood Mr. Hoar went to 



ame and sat down 

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Harvard, and there graduated in 1846, without 
difficulty or academic distinction. He turned 
naturally to the law, spent two years in the Law 
School, and studied for a year or two in the 
offices of his older brother and of Judge Thomas, 
good masters in the law. In 1849 he went to 
settle in Worcester, and there made his home 
for the rest of his life. There he died Sept. 
30,, 1904. The Yankee has much pride of 
place, believing himself the citizen of no mean 
city. In the heart of the Commonwealth this 
pride is conspicuous, and Mr. Hoar was proud 
of the city and county of Worcester. He knew 
the land, the hills, and trees, and birds; he 
understood the farmer's way of speech, his prej- 
udices, and his heart. He was justly proud 
that at one time or another he had as his client 
every town in the county; and there are more 
than fifty. Yet he never lost his love of Con- 
cord, and he kept an undivided interest in his 
father's home until he was nearly seventy years 
old. It was a most valued possession, and he 
thought that if his physical or mental power 
should fail and he were compelled to give up 
his home and library in Worcester, it might 
provide him a home for his old age. When, 
however, his nephew thought that the title should 

[ 3 ] 


be united in one owner, he accepted the price 
fixed for his share, and gave the money to 
Clark University to defray an expenditure which 
was much needed. 

As a lawyer he impressed both court and 
jury, learned, persuasive, and sound. His heart 
was in his profession, and for twenty years he 
gave most of his time to it, remembering the 
while that the duties of a citizen are paramount. 
He served with credit and usefulness as Rep- 
resentative in the Massachusetts Legislature of 
1851 and as Senator in 1857. The Republican 
party was forming to oppose the extension of 
slavery, and he did not doubt that it was born 
in Worcester County. It was the love of his 
youth, his maturity, and his old age. In 1868 
he was tired out, and went to Europe. In his 
absence he was nominated for Congress. The 
people of his district knew him so well that 
their choice cannot have been quite accidental, 
as he afterwards suggested. He accepted the 
nomination, partly in order to get the rest 
which comes from a change of occupation, and 
intending to decline reelection. This intention 
persisted for several terms, and yielded only 
to reasons which he deemed of peculiar strength. 
Soon after his first election he was offered an 


appointment to the Supreme Court of Massa- 
chusetts, but he believed that his duty to his 
constituents forbade his acceptance. This de- 
cision settled his career, though he did not know 
it at the time. After eight years' service in 
the House of Representatives he positively re- 
fused a renomination, and his successor was 
chosen in the autumn of 1876. During the 
short session of Congress which followed he was 
selected with General Garfield to represent the 
Republican minority of the House on the Elec- 
toral Commission. A man so trusted could 
hardly have remained out of public life under 
any circumstances, and while the Commission 
was sitting, the progressive wing of the Repub- 
lican party in Massachusetts secured his election 
to the Senate. 

For twenty-seven years his history in the 
Senate was an important part of the history 
of the United States. He was the adviser of 
President Hayes and the intimate friend of 
President Garfield. Notwithstanding their dif- 
ferences about the question of the Philippines, 
President McKinley relied on his judgment. In 
nearly every important debate he took part. 
The usefulness of thirty-five years' service in 
a legislature is not to be judged by one or two 

[ 5 ] 


measures passed or defeated, however important. 
The chief credit for important legislation often 
belongs to persons outside the legislature, and 
the member whose thoughts are all given to one 
bill, however desirable, usually does more harm 
than good. So long as legislatures exist, the 
member who is in his seat day after day, and 
all day, laboring with intelligence to perfect 
the good bill, to make safe the dangerous bill, 
and to defeat the bad bill, will be the most useful 
representative. The work is not pleasant. It 
is infinitely laborious, and generally wearisome. 
In England the legislative leader is in the cab- 
inet, and under the parliamentary system is able 
to shape legislation by compelling his followers 
to do his bidding or go into opposition. A 
responsible ministry implies a rigid party dis- 
cipline. In the loose party discipline of Con- 
gress the task of watching legislation is more 
difficult. Little public credit attaches to it, 
and much unpopularity, for the watchman is 
constantly opposed to bad, foolish, and eccentric 
legislators, and must bear the abuse of them all. 
To deal with general legislation is the especial 
function of the chairman of the judiciary com- 
mittee, a place which Mr. Hoar held for many 



For example: The present bankrupt law is 
not particularly connected with his name. It 
was urged upon Congress by intelligent and 
enthusiastic outsiders. It was opposed by men 
who thought it bore hardly on the debtor. As 
it passed, the Act was not what Mr. Hoar would 
have made it, but he believed it to be better 
than the chaos which preceded it ; he helped make 
it as good a measure as would pass Congress, 
and then he helped its passage. It is said that 
a man, inclined to think the bill too lax, met 
Mr. Hoar while it was pending. " I have been 
reading your bill over," he said, " and, upon 
consideration, while it is too lenient to the 
debtor, yet it is not nearly so bad as I had 
supposed." " Hush," said Mr. Hoar. " For 

Heaven's sake, do not tell that to Mr. [an 

opponent of all bankruptcy legislation], for I 
have been trying to persuade him that it lets 
the debtor off too easily, and is quite unjust to 
the creditor. He is almost ready to vote for 

Not all Mr. Hoar's public work was done in 
Congress. He presided over the Republican 
national convention of 1880 which nominated 
Garfield for president. In some years this pres- 
idency of the convention is an empty honor, but 

[ 7 ] 


in 1880 Mr. Hoar led the delegates of whom 
Senator Cameron said: "There were twenty- 
three men from Massachusetts who went there 
to keep six hundred men from doing what they 
wanted to, and by God, they did it." 

"My life from that time [1869] has been 
devoted altogether to the public service." Every 
educated man should read these words over two 
or three times and consider what they mean ; 
what sort of life that is of which Mr. Hoar 
spoke. It puts an end to rest and peace and 
gain of wealth. Ambition may be gratified, 
but the gratification is hard-earned. The pub- 
lic servant gets more abuse than the heretic 
or a foreign enemy. That many Englishmen 
who might live at ease and in pleasure give 
themselves to this life is a source of English 
strength ; but in England success brings social 
distinction and heritable rank, which are want- 
ing as incentives in this country. Even here 
all good work is not the product of pure dis- 
interestedness, but the presence in the Senate 
of men whose lives have thus been long given 
to the public service maintains the influence of 
that body in the government of the United 
States. Mr. Hoar's way of life was simple, 
adapted to accomplish most effectively his day's 

[ 3 ] 


work. It was frugal from necessity, taste, and 
habit. When, in an excess of delirium, a news- 
paper had charged him with idleness, luxury, 
and gluttony, specifying a fondness for cham- 
pagne and terrapin, Mr. Hoar made answer: 

... I never inherited any wealth or had any. 
My father was a lawyer in very large practice for 
his day, but he was a very generous and liberal 
man and never put much value upon money. My 
share of his estate was about $10,500. All the in- 
come-producing property I have in the world, or 
ever had, yields a little less than $1,800 a year; 
$800 of that is from a life estate and the other 
thousand comes from stock in a corporation which 
has only paid dividends for the last two or three 
years, and which I am very much afraid will pay 
no dividend, or much smaller ones, after two or 
three years to come. With that exception, the 
house where I live, with its contents, with about 
four acres of land, constitute mv whole worldly 

' V V 

possessions, except two or three vacant lots, which 
would not bring me $5000 all told. I could not 
sell them now for enough to pay my debts. I 
have been in my day an extravagant collector of 
books, and have a library which you would like to 
see and which I should like to show you. . . . 
Your " terrapin " is all in my eye, very little in my 
mouth. The chief carnal luxury of my life is in 

[ 9 1 


breakfasting every Sunday morning with an ortho- 
dox friend^ a lady who has a rare gift of making 
fish-balls and coffee. You unfortunate and be- 
nighted Pennsylvanians can never know the ex- 
quisite flavor of the codfish, salted, made into balls 
and eaten on a Sunday morning by a person whose 
theology is sound, and who believes in all the five 
points of Calvinism. I am myself but an un- 
worthy heretic, but I am of Puritan stock, of the 
seventh generation, and there is vouchsafed to me, 
also, some share of that ecstacy and a dim glimpse 
of that beatific vision. Be assured, my benighted 
Pennsylvania friend, that in that hour when the 
week begins, all the terrapin of Philadelphia or 
Baltimore and all the soft-shelled crabs of the At- 
lantic shore might pull at my trousers legs and 
thrust themselves on my notice in vain. 

Stupidity and malice may sometimes be an- 
swered without degrading one's self or dignify- 
ing one's opponent. 

To criticise Mr. Hoar is not easy to a man 
thirty years younger. Each generation has its 
own spirit, and the sons cannot enter perfectly 
into the spirit of the fathers. By its distance 
their criticism may gain in breadth of compar- 
ison, but it loses in sympathy. Only a con- 
temporary can illustrate perfectly Senator 
Hoar's manner of thought and feeling. 

[ 10 ] 


Bishop Lawrence has said that Samuel Hoar, 
nephew of the Senator, was in character the 
typical Puritan of this generation. That 
Senator Hoar was a typical Puritan of his gen- 
eration no one will doubt. What does the 
phrase mean? Seven generations of pure blood 
may breed a Puritan, and they may not. The 
proof is in the man, not in his ancestry. The 
typical Puritan of the 17th century was a 
theologian. From his theology Senator Hoar 
differed so widely that Puritans who could have 
foreseen his heresies would probably have denied 
him the name of Christian. How then can his 
character be derived from theirs by legitimate 
spiritual descent, while we deny their name to 
men whose theology is less changed? The 
Puritan was a man of ideals, who looked for- 
ward, finding his satisfaction in the future, not 
in the present ; his ideals were moral, not esthetic 
nor of material comfort. He was not a dreamer, 
but a man who used the means at hand to realize 
his ideal. The Puritan felt himself personally 
responsible for everything done on the earth. 
If there was a wrong, he was called to right 
it without fear of meddling. These two Puritan 
traits, idealism and a sense of responsibility, 
were Mr. Hoar's, together with qualities less 


important, but worthy of notice. So strong 
was the Puritan imagination that it had little 
need of material form to represent its ideals. 
Hence, its religion was bare of ritual. The 
Puritan's sense of responsibility was so great 
that it referred to God alone, and so he dispensed 
with priest and ecclesiastical organization. His 
temper was austere, industrious, and frugal. 
There was, indeed, a great difference between 
Mr. Hoar and his Puritan ancestors. They 
believed that mankind was essentially vile. He 
believed that it was essentially noble and trust- 
worthy the gospel preached by Channing 
early in the 19th century. Hence he believed 
that human nature, left to itself and tested in 
sufficiently large mass, is a safe guide to ex- 
cellence. This belief in mankind was joined 
to a considerable distrust of particular indi- 
viduals. Like many moral idealists, he tended 
to think that those who did not agree with him 
erred morally as well as intellectually, and he 
did not easily make allowance for difference of 
opinion. As he grew older his temper sweet- 
ened by ripening, until his judgment of his op- 
ponents became full of charity. 

Faithful to the political vision of his youth 
and young manhood, Mr. Hoar had to overcome 



difficulties of which the early Republican did 
not dream. The interest of his career, like that 
of most men of action, lies in his adaptation 
to new conditions. Many an abolitionist, 
brought up to the work of ending slavery, 
found his occupation gone when that work was 
done, and fell to praising the reformer of the 
past while abusing the reformer of the present. 
For nearly forty, years after the war was over, 
Mr. Hoar was dealing with questions of the 
tariff and currency, of education, of capital 
and labor, of immigration and foreign policy, 
as well as the details of legislation. He rejoiced 
in his work, and never feared to undertake a 
job because it was new. While he did not be- 
lieve education a panacea, yet, like a New 
Englander, he believed there was little hope for 
a community without it, and so he tried to aid 
it from the national treasury. For the most 
part the plan failed, but it was characteristic 
of Mr. Hoar, and showed that he did not fear 
to enlarge the functions of the national gov- 

He knew the need of parties in political 
life, and, like all public men and like most 
serious students, he did not dream of doing 
without them. Joining the Republican party 


because the end it proposed satisfied his ideal, 
he idealized somewhat the means to that end. 
There was danger that criticism of his party 
would defeat the end he had in view, and so 
do more harm than good, inasmuch as the party 
was of worth only for the results it accomplished. 
In the heat of political controversy, criticism is 
seldom sincere or good-tempered, and its unfair- 
ness further irritated him. To vote for a man 
whom he deemed dishonest was out of the ques- 
tion, no matter what his politics, but he saw 
no reason to vote for a free trader or for a 
candidate opposed to free elections in the South, 
because upright in his private business. 

Conscious of his own integrity of purpose, 
he dealt with appointments to office. As he said, 
he " always held to the doctrine of what is called 
civil service reform," and voted for the appoint- 
ment of clerks and other subordinates by com- 
petitive examination. He deemed this reform 
in administration, however, of less importance 
than the great political principles which he 
professed. He found in use another system of 
appointing many federal officers. He advised 
the Executive, as he was expected to do, and 
so distributed the patronage which was deemed 
to be his for the benefit of the community by 

[ 14 ] 


the appointment of worthy men. On occasion 
he recommended Democrats, even for the most 
important positions, but that the appointees 
must be mainly Republicans was a custom which 
did not much disturb him. To make the chief 
end of government the appointment of reputable 
men to minor offices, did not suit his sense of 

The right of men to govern themselves he 
believed supreme and unchangeable. The Fif- 
teenth Amendment guaranteed the negro against 
discrimination in the suffrage. Mr. Hoar ap- 
proved the amendment when adopted, and he 
did not thereafter change his mind, as did many 
others. He believed that the nation should make 

its guaranty good, and so he favored the Force 
Bill, so-called, and similar legislation. But at 
length his political sense showed him that the 
attempt to enforce the Amendment was impos- 

I am clearly of the opinion [he said in his auto- 
biography] that Congress has power to regulate 
the elections of Members of the House of Repre- 
sentatives and to make similar provisions for hon- 
est elections and an honest ascertainment of the 
result, and that such legislation ought to be en- 
acted and kept on the statute book and enforced. 

[ 15 ] 


But such legislation, to be of any value whatever, 
must be permanent. If it only be maintained in 
force while one political party is in power, and re- 
pealed when its antagonist comes in, and is to be 
constant matter of political strife and sectional 
discussion, it is better, in my judgment, to abandon 
it than to keep up an incessant, fruitless struggle. 
... I thought the attempt to secure the rights 
of the colored people by National legislation 
should be abandoned until there was a considerable 
change of opinion in the country, and especially in 
the South, and until it had ceased to become matter 
of party strife. 

Mr. Hoar was an orator and delighted in 
the exercise of his art. His education was in 
the masterpieces of Demosthenes and Cicero, of 
Chatham and Burke. He had heard Daniel 
Webster. The oratory of these men observed 
certain conventions from which speakers in the 
present generation have largely departed. Now- 
adays arguments are for reading or for hearing, 
and the two senses are appealed to by different 
methods. If more persons are addressed than 
a speaker's voice can reach, the form of argu- 
ment is the printed page with paragraph and 
headline, italics and index, citation of authorities 
and appendix of statistics. To please the ear 

[ 16 ] 


is hardly attempted. Even if the matter be first 
stated to an audience, the effect is that of reading 
to them a book, well or ill written, as the case 
may be. On the other hand, where the attempt 
is to convince only those who can hear, as in 
an argument to a jury, or in real legislative 
debate, permanence of expression is little re- 
garded, and everything which does not have im- 
mediate effect on the hearers. Mr. Hoar's tra- 
ditions were of the older school, and he debated 
for years with men still young. His style of 
public speech and he took pains with it 
kept some of the old formality, and had much 
of modern directness. He connected Webster 
and those of whom Lincoln was the prototype. 
" I am a passionate lover of England," he 
said. " Before I ever went abroad, I longed to 
visit the places famous in history, as a child 
longs to go home to his birthplace." Yet he 
could see no excuse for the Boer war or for the 
denial of Home Rule to Ireland. He would 
open the door of America to all who wished to 
come in, without regard to poverty, or igno- 
rance, or race. He withstood the intolerance of 
the Know Nothing in his youth, and thirty years 
later that of the A. P. A. Concerning Chinese 
exclusion, he said in 1902, " I hold that every 

[ n ] 


human soul has its rights, dependent upon its 
individual personal worth and not dependent 
upon color or race, and that all races, all colors, 
all nationalities contain persons entitled to be 
recognized everywhere they go on the face of 
the earth as the equals of every other man." 
And alone in Congress he voted against the 
Exclusion Bill. The risk did not frighten him, 
for to fear was to doubt man's duty to succor 
the needy, to redeem the oppressed, and to pro- 
claim the acceptable year of the Lord. " I 
believe that the immortal truths of the Declara- 
tion of Independence came from the same source 
with the Golden Rule and the Sermon on the 
Mount. We can trust Him who promulgated 
these laws to keep the country safe that obeys 
them." Even those who do not agree with Mr. 
Hoar, when they consider the love he won from 
men who differed from him in race and language, 
in politics and religion, may hope to remove 
some dangers of immigration by cultivating his 

In his political theories, as has been said, he 
was a radical. A change which brought liberty 
to some man had no terror for him. But 
his youth in Concord, his lawyer's training, 
his learning and his sentiment, made him re- 

[ 18 ] 


joice when some good thing had the charm of 

He had exquisite pleasure in procuring the 
return of Governor Bradford's history to Mas- 
sachusetts. To the Bishop of London, in whose 
library it was kept, he said, " My Lord, I am 
going to say something which you may think 
rather audacious. I think this book ought to 
go back to Massachusetts." The Bishop said, 
" I did not know you cared anything about it." 
" Why," answered Mr. Hoar, " if there were in 
existence in England a history of King Alfred's 
reign for thirty years, written by his own hand, 
it would not be more precious in the eyes of 
Englishmen than this manuscript is to us." 
The words are good rhetoric, but to those who 
heard the story from Mr. Hoar the words gave 
the least part of the impression. 

A building of the College of William and 
Mary had been destroyed in the Civil War. 
By the laws of war the college's claim for com- 
pensation was weak, but Mr. Hoar's mananim- 
ity was roused. For twenty years in House and 
Senate he labored till he succeeded, learning 
with satisfaction that even his first unsuccessful 
effort created the good feeling which was the 
end he had most in view. 

[ 19 ] 


I have said that this is not a legal claim. It is 
stronger and not weaker for that reason. The 
rule which binds nations at war to respect insti- 
tutions of learning can in no way be made so ef- 
fectual as by adopting the practice of reparation 
wherever that rule is broken. America certainly 
will not leave these ruins as a perpetual witness 
that Louis XVI, a monarch, was capable of loftier 
and more generous regard for learning than a re- 
public itself. America will not leave these ruins 
to testify that England in the bloody and bar- 
barous Wars of the Roses five hundred years ago 
was more humane and civilized than we are to-day. 
We cannot refuse, in dealing with the college 
which Washington administered and loved, to fol- 
low the example which he set us in the case of 

But William and Mary has also her own peculiar 
claim on our regard. The great principles on 
which the rights of men depend, which inspired 
the statesmen of Virginia of the period of the 
Revolution, are the fruits of her teaching. The 
name of Washington, to whose genius in war and to 
whose influence in peace we owe the vindication 
of our liberties and the successful inauguration of 
our Constitution, is inseparably connected with 
William and Mary. She gave him his first com- 
mission in his youth; he gave to her his last public 
service in his age. Jefferson, author of the Decla- 

[ 20 ] 


ration of Independence, who announced the great 
law of equality and human rights in whose light 
our Constitution is at last and forever to be inter- 
preted, drank his inspiration at her fountain. 
Marshall, without whose luminous and far-sighted 
exposition our Constitution could hardly have been 
put into successful and harmonious operation, who 
embedded forever in our constitutional law the 
great doctrines on which the measures that saved 
the Union are based, was a son of William and 
Mary. By the cession of the great Northwestern 
Territory, largely due to the efforts of one of her 
illustrious sons, she lost a great part of her rev- 
enues. Next to Harvard she is the oldest of 
American colleges. The gift of the famous Rob- 
ert Boyle was held by her for many years on con- 
dition of an annual payment of 90 to Harvard. 
Boyle was a friend of many of the early friends 
and benefactors of Harvard, and a correspondent 
of one of its presidents. Each of these two semi- 
naries in its own part of the country kindled and 
kept alive the sacred fire of liberty. In 1743, the 
year Jefferson was born, Samual Adams main- 
tained, on taking his degree of Master of Arts at 
Harvard, the affirmative of the thesis, whether it 
be lawful to resist the supreme magistrate, if the 
Commonwealth cannot be otherwise preserved. In 
this hour of the calamity of her sister college I am 
glad to believe that Harvard does not forget the 


ancient tie. The mother of the Otises and the 
Adamses would gladly extend her right hand to the 
mother of Jefferson and Marshall. 

As he grew older Mr. Hoar seemed to enjoy 
more keenly the society of all sorts of people, 
especially the young, and the exercise of his own 
powers. His labors in Congress did not lessen 
his fresh joy of life. He welcomed invitations 
to make addresses, political, reminiscent, his- 
torical, and religious. The faith in mankind 
which had guided his youth, in his last years 
blended with love of individuals about him. In 
exuberant spirits he wrote the story of his own 
life, not a philosophical autobiography, verified 
as to dates and details, but a revelation of him- 
self abounding in generosity to his friends and 
his opponents, and enlivened by good-natured 
wit at the expense of himself and others. " I 
know men," he wrote, " who have been in public 
life more than a generation . . . who never 
said a foolish thing, and rarely ever when they 
had the chance failed to do a wise one, who are 
utterly commonplace. You could not read the 
story of their public career without going to 
sleep ... I have a huge respect for them. 
I can never myself attain to their excellence, 


yet I would as lief spend my life as an omnibus 
horse as live theirs." Belonging, as he said of 
a brother Senator, to a religious denomination 
small and unpopular, at least in Washington, 
he was constant in his attendance on its worship 
both there and at home. He attended its na- 
tional councils, addressed them, and presided 
over them. In 1899 at the National Unitarian 
Conference he said, in declaring his own reli- 
gious belief, " I have no faith in fatalism, in 
destiny, in blind force. I believe in God, the 
living God, in the American people, a free and 
brave people, who do not bow the neck or bend 
the knee to any other, and who desire no other 
to bow the neck or bend the knee to them." 
" I believe that a Republic is greater than an 
Empire." " I believe finally, whatever clouds 
may darken the horizon, that the world is grow- 
ing better, that to-day is better than yesterday, 
and to-morrow will be better than to-day." 

After his second election to the Senate in 
188S, for twenty years Mr. Hoar enjoyed the 
utmost confidence of the people of Massachu- 
setts. If the statement sounds exaggerated, the 
facts were unusual. The confidence existed in 
every political party, race, religion, and social 
condition. It honored alike the men who gave 

[ 23 ] 


and the man who received it. It did not prevent 
difference of opinion. There were times when 
Mr. Hoar was opposed to a majority of his 
constituents, there was no time when he w r as 
not opposed in important matters to many of 
them. But whether they agreed or disagreed 
with him, the men of Massachusetts trusted him, 
and knew him as the first citizen of the Common- 

At the end of his life, Senator Hoar's belief 
in the worth of mankind, as involving the fit- 
ness of all men to govern themselves, was tried 
grievously. The United States and the Re- 
publican party denied independence to the Fil- 
ipinos. The defection was the more grievous 
because of his love for his country and his 
party, but he opposed them both. He voted 
against the treaty of annexation ; he voted 
against the increase of the army, because he 
would not raise soldiers to carry on war in the 
Philippines. His term in the Senate was ex- 
piring, but, as he said, " I meant that if the 
Legislature of Massachusetts were to reelect 
me, no man would ever have it to say that I 
bought my reelection by silence on this ques- 
tion." Over and over again he denounced the 
policy of the administration. He did not give 

[ 24 ] 


up his principles, his party, or his country. He 
voted for the President, with whom he agreed 
on other matters, rather than for the Demo- 
cratic candidate, whose influence had secured 
the ratification of the treaty and had defeated 
Mr. Hoar's efforts to stop annexation at the 
outset. His faith in his country and his party 
was strong enough to assure him that at length, 
though after his death, they would come to his 
way of thinking. 

Democracy does not declare that all men are 
of equal worth or use. If it did it would de- 
clare a lie. It is content that every man do 
his best for the commonwealth unhindered by 
privilege which does not depend on worth. As 
it cannot make all men of equal stature or in- 
telligence, so it cannot and would not 
hinder a special call of some men to the service 
of mankind. In laziness, or idleness, or selfish- 
ness the call may come, not so loud as to dis- 
pense with the aid of any generous feeling. 
The traditions of his village, the training of his 
college, his father's honor, his mother's love, 
the fear of his child, may so emphasize the call 
as to make a man believe that on him is laid a 
duty or responsibility heavier than that of 
others. Of all generous feelings, an unbroken 

[ 25 ] 


family tradition handed down for generations 
seems the strongest. There is hope for the ill- 
born, as history shows, but no democracy can 
deprive a man of his father's example, can give 
to the son of a worthless man that incentive 
to public virtue which descends to each son of 
the family of Hoar. 

[ 26] 






Morrill Wyman was born in Chelmsford, Mass., 
on July 25, 1812, and died at his home in 
Cambridge on January 30, 1903. He was the 
second son of Dr. Rufus Wyman, and Anne 
Morrill. The Wymans were early settlers in 
Woburn and its vicinity, and the family has 
given to the country many men of eminence 
in man/ callings; but none more distinguished 
that Dr. Rufus Wyman and his sons Morrill 
and Jeffries. 

Rufus Wyman, after leaving college, began 
at once the study of medicine, and upon re- 
ceiving his degree entered upon the practice 
of his profession at Chelmsford. His abilities 
were soon recognized and he gained a reputa- 
tion which extended far beyond the limits of 
the town. 

He was chosen in 1817 to be the head of the 
newly established McLean Asylum for the In- 
sane. After a most faithful and successful 
service there of seventeen years, he resigned his 
place and passed the remainder of his life in 

[ 29 ] 



Roxbury, where he died in 1842. He was pres- 
ident of the Massachusetts Medical Society and 
universally respected. Dr. Luther V. Bell, one 
of the greatest of his successors, uses these 
words in speaking of him : 

" Entering on his duties with no similar 
undertaking for an example to guide him, the 
weight of difficulty and responsibility which 
necessarily fell upon him must have been far 
greater than any of his successors in such trusts, 
who have had the aids of his ingenuity and 
labors, can have experienced. What is due to 
his memory as a public benefactor can never be 
realized or appreciated except by the small num- 
ber whose opportunities and duties enable them 
to judge of the difficulties he encountered and 
the means he projected to meet them." He was 
also singularly averse to any notoriety except 
such as might come to him from the small 
number of those really capable of adequately 
judging the quality of his work. The qualities 
w r hich distinguished the father were equally 
marked in the two sons, who devoted themselves 
to the same profession. 

Morrill and Jeffries prepared for college at 
Phillips Exeter Academy, entered Harvard to- 
gether, and were graduated in the Class of 1833. 

[ 30 ] 


an ins dunes 

him must have been far 

who have K-j-'j of his ingenuity and 

labors, can have e*j.*-r;<:r,c.:d. What is d< 
hjs memory, as a j i nev 


b?r whose n 3 .-i^d duties enahle 

to judge of the ..tiJk-'.atiea he encountered 

aisu ,sj- |'o uisy i. 

number of those really capable qf s 

judging th: y of his work, 

wliich distinguished the j 
Hi in the two sons. 

Morrill and Jeffries pre 
"hi Hips Exeter Academy, 



They received their medical degrees in 1837; 
though Merrill had immediately after his gradu- 
ation from college spent six months as a member 
of a party of engineers who were employed in 
laying out the route of the Boston and Worces- 
ter Railroad. His medical studies were directed 
by his father and his father's friend, Dr. Wil- 
liam J. Walker, of Charlestown. 

Dr. Walker had had all the advantages of a 
medical education in France and England, dur- 
ing the years when Corvisart, Pinel, Laennec, 
and Dupuytren taught in the capital of one 
country and Sir Astley Cooper in the capital 
of the other. Walker's success in his profession 
was great, and until he suddenly abandoned his 
practice in 1846. he was one of the leading 
surgeons of the state. Whatever may have 
been Walker's failings in any other direction, 
his relations to his favorite pupil were such that 
the latter cherished for him an admiration and 
devotion that never wavered. 

For a year Wvman was house physician at 

%; , J. / 

the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he 
had the good fortune, never forgotten, of serv- 
ing under James Jackson, " the model of the 
good and wise physician," and Jacob Bigelow, 
" the most accomplished man of our profession." 

[ 31 ] 


The house surgeon of the year was Samuel 
Parkman, an intimate and much loved friend, 
whose death in the prime of early manhood took 
from medicine one of its brightest ornaments. 

Upon leaving the hospital he at once estab- 
lished himself in Cambridge and remained there 
to the end. Though his early professional life 
was a busy and very successful one, he found 
time to compete for the Boylston Medical Prize, 
which he received in 1846 for an essay on venti- 
lation. This was published in the same year 
increased to a volume of 400 pages ; it is a 
thoroughly original treatise illustrated by a 
number of ingenious experiments. 

Dr. J. S. Billings, one of the best authorities 
upon this subject, says of the book, " It is one 
of the most valuable that we have ; it states the 
general principles of ventilation in a clear, con- 
cise style and in a form which, as a means of 
instruction for the ordinary reader, can hardly 
be surpassed, and is one of the few books on 
heating and ventilation which advocates no pat- 
ent or proprietary apparatus." 

Two years later he prepared, in behalf of a 
committee of the American Academy, a report 
upon the effect of various forms of outlet cowls 
for chimneys. This paper, published with the 

[ 32 ] 


Academy's Proceedings for 1848, is still quoted 
in the best treatises upon heating and ventila- 

The interest which he here showed in a sub- 
ject of prime importance to both the sick and 
the well remained with him through life. A 
few weeks only before his death he was busy 
measuring with an anemometer the air currents 
in various portions of the Cambridge Hospital. 
At a later day he again entered the field with 
success as a competitor for a prize offered by the 
Massachusetts Medical Society for an essay 
which should describe in plain language an 
effective and ready method of ventilating sick 

Twenty-six essays were received, and to one 
marked X Y Z the prize was awarded, this hav- 
ing met all the requirements of " simplicity, 
cheapness, effectiveness, and readiness of appli- 
cation." X Y Z refused to reveal his name 
and requested that the prize money be expended 
in the publication of the essay. For those 
familiar with his language and his methods, 
the letters were a thin veil before the man, who 
made it his business at all times to use a phrase- 
ology so plain that all might understand it. 

An operation for the opening of the chest 

[ 33 ] 


in order to remove the collections of fluids there 
had been known to medicine from the days of 
Hippocrates. It was dangerous and difficult in 
execution and uncertain in its results. With 
the greater knowledge of all diseases of the 
chest, consequent upon the discovery of modern 
auscultation and percussion, it had seemed to 
many men that a safer operation than the one 
in use might be devised; this had not, however, 
been accomplished. 

Dr. Wyman had thought much upon the sub- 
ject, and early in the year 1850 put into use 
the simple operation which he had invented. It 
saved the life of a woman near to death and in 
great suffering. 

Dr. Henry I. Bowditch had bestowed much 
thought on the same problem ; he heard with 
pleasure of his friend's success and invited him 
to perform the same operation upon a patient 
who had consulted Dr. Bowditch in similar cir- 
cumstances. The operation again brought 
prompt relief, and its place among the great 
gains to medicine in America was secure. 

With characteristic modesty Dr. Wyman felt 
that his task, so far as it related to the general 
publication of the merits of the new operation, 
was completed. He knew that his friend would 


see to it, as he did, that the medical world should 
be fully acquainted with the discovery ; he knew 
also that no credit to which he had a claim would 
be taken from him, and it would have been an 
undeserved indignity to both to have even hinted 
the possibility of it. 

From 1853^-1856 he was adjunct Hersey 
Professor of Medicine in Harvard College for 
the purpose of relieving Dr. John Ware, whose 
infirm health required assistance in his duties. 
During the year of Dr. Ware's absence in 
Europe, Dr. Wyman gave all the instruction 
in this department. In 1856 he resigned his 
office ; the methods of the Medical School of that 
day do not appear to have been altogether con- 
genial to him. But whatever may have been 
the causes of his early withdrawal from a pro- 
fessorship in which he had been eminently suc- 
cessful, they never led him to lose his interest 
in the teaching of medicine in the University. 

In the early part of the year 1857, in con- 
nection with his brother Jeffries, Hersey Pro- 
fessor of Anatomy, Dr. John Ware, and Pro- 
fessor J. P. Cooke, he became a teacher in a 
school of medicine in Cambridge, he giving the 
instruction in materia medica and midwifery. 
The school had a fair measure of success and 

[ 35 ] 


a list of students whose names are well and 
favorably known to-day in many, parts of the 

When Jeffries Wyman assumed the curator- 
ship of the Peabody Museum, the school came 
to an end. In fact the real inducement that 
led Morrill Wyman to take part in this school 
was the desire to give to his brother a some- 
what larger field for the teaching of anat- 
omy than that offered by his college professor- 

With some other members of his family, he 
had been a lifelong sufferer from an autumnal 
catarrh, corresponding in its symptoms to the 
affection described by Bostock in 1829 as 
catarrhus aestivus, rose or June cold. The 
form of the disease from which Dr. Wyman 
suffered had not hitherto attracted the atten- 
tion of medical men, and was first accurately 
described by him in his lectures to the students 
of the Medical School in 1854. In 1866 he 
brought the subject to the attention of the Mas- 
sachusetts Medical Society and gave to the mal- 
ady the name autumnal catarrh, adopting the 
general nomenclature of Dr. Bostock, a title 
which commended itself much to his favor, be- 
cause it involved no theory as to the cause of 

[ 36 ] 


the disease. In 1876 he published a volume of 
200 pages upon the subject. 

Early in his career he was elected fellow of 
the American Academy and was for many years 
a very active member of the Rumford com- 
mittee of that body. In addition to a number 
of papers presented to the Academy upon the 
subject of ventilation, he prepared and pre- 
sented in 1887 an elaborate memoir of his 
friend Daniel Treadwell. Dr. Wyman had 
many of the qualities peculiar to his associate ; 
the tendency of their mkids was essentially ex- 
perimental. Both had the ingenuity of the 
mechanical inventor and the philosopher's pas- 
sion for truth. 

At eighty-five he regarded himself as no 
longer subject to the calls of those seeking 
medical assistance ; as a matter of fact, he re- 
corded in his case book the attendance upon a 
limited number of his old patients as late as 
June, 1902. Rest in the sense of inactivity was 
not possible for him ; and his activities had 
always some definite and useful object in view. 
It might be an observation upon the ventilation 
of the hospital, or possibly he was busy over 
some disabled mechanical contrivance which his 
deft hand could still correct. 

[ 37 ] 


Always active in the council of the Massa- 
chusetts Medical Society, he was chosen in 1863 
to deliver the annual address ; his father had 
received the same honor in 1830 and had made 
it the occasion for a statement of the great 
work of his life. The son took the same serious 
view of the opportunity offered to him and 
undertook the defense of his art, as one w r ho 
knew it thoroughly and believed in it, and there 
is not one in this long series of anniversary ad- 
dresses more worthy of notice and faithful 
study. His subject was the " Reality and Cer- 
tainty of Medicine." By an interesting coinci- 
dence, an important measure proposed by him 
at a previous meeting of the council was unani- 
mously adopted at the meeting to which the 
president of the society announced Dr. Wyman's 

The Cambridge which he first knew was a 
village ; w r hen he died it was a great city. He 
had lived through great events in country, in 
state, and in city - - had watched them all with 
eager eyes, sometimes inclined to blame but more 
often to approve. He was interested in all the 
affairs of the community in which he lived, 
but he never allowed them to interfere with the 

[ 38 ] 


real business of his life the care of the sick. 
In 1866 the whipping of a girl f sixteen 
years in one of the public schools of Cambridge 
attracted the attention of the citizens and filled 
Dr. Wyman with a righteous indignation. The 
school committee declared the punishment to be 
strictly within the rules established for the gov- 
ernment of the schools and were unwilling to 
change the rules. By all reasonable means, a 
number of citizens among whom he was foremost 
endeavored to secure from the committee some 
regulation sufficient to prevent the corporal pun- 
ishment of a young woman of this age. All 
efforts were in vain, and as a last resort he 
carried in a citizens' caucus a resolve that the 
corporal punishment of girls should be abolished 
in each and every school in the city. The next 
city election changed the character of the school 
committee and a more humane rule was estab- 
lished. His efforts in this cause were always 
remembered by him with great content, and 
rightly so, for to him more than to any other 
man belonged the credit of the reform. He 
had through it all the cordial support of his 
old close and tried friend, Dr. W. W. Welling- 
ton, to whom the public school system of 

[ 39 ] 


Cambridge owes much. Two of the public 
schools of the city now bear the names of Wel- 
lington and Wyman. 

Several members of his family had suffered 
from a disease of the lungs and he too had re- 
ceived a serious warning, in middle life, that 
he was not exempt from the inherited disability. 
Beyond a brief vacation in Europe the first 
respite he had given himself in seventeen years 
from the burdens of a very large practice 
he apparently bestowed but little attention upon 
his own condition, was at his work in all weathers, 
at all hours of the day and night, and in 
a course of treatment which he could not have 
recommended to a patient conquered the malady. 
His extensive and time-consuming practice did 
not prevent him from keeping fully abreast 
of the best medical literature of the times, and 
few men in the profession had a better knowl- 
edge of the works of the fathers of medicine. 

He was a good citizen, and interested himself 
in the first duties of a citizen ; on the cold bleak 
morning of the last municipal election in Cam- 
bridge he quietly walked over to the polling 
place and cast his vote before the larger part 
of his neighbors were astir. 

[ 40 ] 


Among the various interests that centred in 
Cambridge, no one was greater, next to his 
patients, than the College and his friends who 
were in charge of it. Intimately associated 
with all the great men who, during the past 
seventy years, have taught here, he had him- 
self served the University in many useful capaci- 
ties. Professor from 1853-56, he was elected 
member of the Board of Overseers in 1875 
and reflected in 1881. In 1885 the College 
bestowed upon him its highest honorary degree, 
and he was a member of the visiting committee 
of the Overseers to the Medical School and 
active there until the end. 

The record of his services to medicine and 
the medical charities of Cambridge will remain. 
His friends will not forget the well-built, well- 
kept figure, the serious but kindly and always 
impressive face, the alert and vigorous move- 
ments of the body, that never grew to be infirm ; 
and above all the man himself, tender-hearted, 
tireless in service, sagacious, full of courage, 
impatient of opposition perhaps with regard 
to questions upon which his own mind was 
made up and sometimes aggressive, but never 
forgetful of the rights or interests of others. 

[ 41 ] 


No person in all the wide circle of his ac- 
quaintance ever doubted that he would speak the 
truth that was in him or be ready to acknowledge 
the truth that was in another. He, too, was a 
model of the good and wise physician. 






Horace Gray was born in Boston on March 2-i, 
1828, of the best New England stock. His 
father was Horace Gray, a leading Boston mer- 
chant. His mother was Harriet Upham, the 
daughter of Jabez Upham, of Brookfield, who 
was a member of the National House of Repre- 
sentatives, and a celebrated lawyer. His grand- 
father, William Gray, a State Senator and 

v + 

Lieutenant-Governor, is said to have been the 
largest ship-owner of his day in the United 
States. He owned at one time sixty square- 
rigged merchant vessels. William Gray married 
Elizabeth Chipman, who came of a family of 
much legal and judicial eminence, and was her- 
self distinguished for charitable works. 

Horace Gray the younger graduated at Har- 
vard in 1845. After leaving college he traveled 
much in Europe. He had at first no thought of 
becoming a lawyer. Referring to his plans at 
this time, Mr. Charles Francis Adams has said, 
in a paper read before the Massachusetts His- 
torical Society, " In the very last talk I had 

[ 45 1 


with him, on the gallery of his house overlooking 
the sea about Nahant, a few weeks only before 
his death, referring to that unformed period, 
he told me that, in all human probability, had 
Professor Agassiz come to this country two 
years earlier than he did, he (Gray) would have 
been a scientific man. At college his inclina- 
tion had been to natural history ; for, outgrow- 
ing his strength while a boy, at the age of 
twelve he had attained the full height which al- 
ways afterwards made him noticeable, he was 
threatened with pulmonary troubles, and an 
open-air life with gun and rod was prescribed 
for him. So, for a time, he devoted himself to 
the study of birds and butterflies, while, almost 
to the close of his life, he was an eager angler." 
Circumstances, however, made it necessary 
for him to choose a profession, and he decided 
to study law. Accordingly he entered the Har- 
vard Law School, from which he graduated in 
1849. He then read law in Judge Lowell's 
office, was admitted to the bar in 1851, and 
practiced his profession in Boston. After 1857 
he was in partnership with Judge Hoar. From 
1854* to 1861 he served with distinguished ex- 
cellence as Reporter of Decisions for the Su- 
preme Judicial Court. The value of a report- 


X_/_L _o. 

bich al- 
ii e was 

YAflO 30/.HOH 

From whiclj ] 

j i 

ead 12 
i to the I 


red w' 
of Deci 




er's work and its possibilities in point of com- 
pleteness, elegance, and brevity are shown in 
no better example than the sixteen volumes of 
reports bearing his name. While he did not 
take an active part in politics, he was deeply in- 
terested in public questions. He was one of the 
early members of the Free Soil party, and later 
of the Republican party, and in 1857, in collab- 
oration with Judge Lowell, he published a 
learned and powerful pamphlet, which attracted 
much attention, on the decision in the Dred Scott 

On Aug. 23, 1864*, he was appointed to the 
Supreme Judicial Court by Governor Andrew, 
who had alreadv learned the value of his advice 


on the weighty questions which arose during the 
Civil War. He was made Chief Justice of 
Massachusetts by Governor Washburn in 1873, 
and continued in that position until he took his 
place on the Supreme Court at Washington, and 
as his resignation had not taken effect when he 
died he never ceased in thirty-eight years to hold 
office as a judge. 

The Massachusetts Reports contain an en- 
during record of much of Chief Justice Gray's 
judicial service to his native State. But there 
was an important part of his work very im- 

'[ 47 ] 


portant then, because the jurisdiction of the 
Supreme Court as a trial court was more exten- 
sive than it is now of which there is no written 
record. Of this his intimate and lifelong friend, 
Senator Hoar, has said : " He was an admirable 
Nisi Prius judge. I think we rarely have ever 
had a better. He possessed that faculty which 
made the jury in the old days so admirable a* 
mechanism for performing their part in the ad^ 
ministration of justice. He had the rare gift, 
especially rare in men whose training has been 
chiefly upon the bench, of discerning the truth 
of the fact, in spite of the apparent weight of the 
evidence. That court, in its time, had exclu- 
sive jurisdiction of divorces and other matters 
affecting the marital relations. The judge had 
to hear and deal with transactions of humble 
life and of country life. It was surprising how 
this man, bred in a city in high social position, 
having no opportunity to knoV the modes of 
thought and of life of poor men and of rustics, 
would settle these interesting and delicate ques- 
tions affecting so deeply the life of plain men 
and country farmers, and the unerring sagacity 
with which he came to the wise and righteous 

Traditions which are still strong in Massa- 

[ 48 ] 


chusetts tell of the respect which he himself paid 
and exacted from others to the dignity of the 
court. If at times his lofty view of the judicial 
office led to manifestations of some severity, the 
consequences did not fail to show his kind heart 
and large nature. 

On Dec. 20, 1881, he was commissioned by 
President Arthur as an Associate Justice of the 
Supreme Court of the United States, and on 
Jan. 9, 1882, he qualified and took his seat on 
that bench. 

His views and habits of thought made the ap- 
pointment very appropriate. With a broad 
idea of the powers of the National Government, 
which showed itself soon, and finely, in his opin- 
ion in the Legal Tender case, he combined a high 
conception of the sovereignty of the States and 
the warmest love for his own Commonwealth. 
His learning in its legal history and tradition 
was unequaled, and his twenty years' residence 
in Washington did not dull in the least his local 
pride as a citizen of Boston. Throughout 
his opinions on constitutional questions there is 
to be found a happy mean between the views of 
those judges who have hesitated before a free 
view of federal authority and those who have 
been disposed to press that authority too far. 

[ 49 ] 


He was also singularly fitted to deal with the 
questions of international and public law with 
which the Supreme Court has so much to do. 
It marked the quality of his mind that with all 
his extraordinary learning in the common law, 
and his positive delight in details of practice,* 
he had no less interest in those larger matters 
on the border line of our system of law which 
have wakened so little interest in many a learned 
common lawyer. This narrowness of view in the 
" mere municipal lawyer," upon which he would 
sometimes comment, was far from his own habit 
of thought. Indeed it is with questions of in- 
ternational law that many of his greatest judg- 
ments are concerned. 

He had always before his mind the character 
of his decisions as a precedent ; and no considera- 
ation affecting the exigencies of the particular 
case ever caused him to lose sight of its wider 
influence in the future. His first and last care 
was ' that the law be not wouncjed ; ' and to that 

* Judge Lowell has said, in an admirable memoir 
printed in the proceedings of the American Academy of 
Arts and Sciences, vol. 39, p. 629, " It is literally true, I 
believe, that, without notice, he could have discharged in 
any American or English court the duties of any officer 
from crier to chief justice, so that his example would 
have profited the regular incumbent." 

[ 50 ] 


end he spared no pains that every one of his 
opinions might come as near to absolute perfec- 
tion as he could bring it. His industry never 
hurried and never tired; and he gave to every 
point which he considered, whether in an opinion 
of his own or another's, the same enthusiastic 
interest. He studied the briefs with scrupulous 
care ; he searched the stores of a memory which 
seemed nothing less than complete and infallible ; 
and he pushed his research in every conceivable 
direction with a thoroughness which was the 
despair of the observer. To quote again from 
Senator Hoar, " his wonderful capacity for re- 
search, the instinct which, when some interesting 
question of law was up, would direct Gray's 
thumb and finger to some obscure volume of 
English Reports of Law or Equity, w r as almost 
like the scent of a wild animal or a bird of prey." 
He liked best to do his thinking aloud and de- 
velop his views of a case by discussion. In 
this way his secretary, who was each year a 
student fresh from the Law School, had the rare 
privilege of following his opinions as they were 
formed ; and his secretaries will recall, with warm 
gratitude, his unvarying kindness and consider- 
ation, and the patient courtesy with which he 
would hear to the end the crudest deliverances of 

[ 51 ] 


youth. His flexibility of mind and willingness 
to reexamine without bias or pride of authorship 
his own earlier views were wonderful in a man 
of his strong convictions. In point of fact 
no view was accepted by him because it 
seemed to be settled by decision, and no theory 
denied full consideration because it was new. 
After his matter had been absolutely digested in 
his mind he would write it out with his own hand, 
w r ith a characteristic scorn of stenography as of 
other modern improvements, not relaxing his 
care and study until the last comma in the proof 
had been considered. Always in the end his 
opinion (to quote from one of the beautiful 
tributes to^his colleagues which are not the least 
remarkable among the records of his service as 
Chief Justice of Massachusetts) " had that 
clearness of statement which was the result of 
clearness of apprehension, and which made the 
matter under discussion plain to every hearer 
so plain indeed that one did not always appre- 
ciate the extent of one's obligation to him." 

It is sometimes said that his opinions are the 
product more of great learning than of original 
thinking. This impression is due in part to the 
historical turn of his mind which is so conspic- 
uous in his opinions. But it is also largely 

[ 52 ] 


caused by a conception of the judge's duty which 
it may well be thought he carried to an extreme, 
but to which he held with the strength that char- 
acterized all his views on questions of principle 
and obligation. In the matter of giving credit 
to others his standards were the highest appli- 
cable to forms of literature in which originality 
is a more essential quality than in opinion writ- 
ing, and he would say nothing as his own which 
another judge had said before him. His secre- 
tary would often urge him to incorporate in his 
opinion the forcible and brilliant original rea- 
soning by which he had reached his conclusion 
in oral discussion. But he would only answer, 
" You will find it all there' (indicating a pas- 
sage where another judge had said something 
like it, but generally not half so well), or else he 
would point to the paragraph which can always 
be found somewhere in his opinions, usually near 
the end, in which his conclusions are summed up 
almost with the conciseness of a head-note, and 
would say, " Why doesn't that cover it, after 
all?" Since there was practically nothing in 
the records of the past which escaped him, and 
since his habit of condensing his own reasoning 
was as severe as his quotations from others were 
generous, his personal share in the work often 

[ 53 ] 


fails to receive full justice. But the free and 
powerful mind which formed the judgment, and 
the direct and ripe and patient thought which 
developed it, may be seen in his grasp of the sub- 
ject and in the clear light which he makes to 
shine upon its darkest places. 

He married on Jan. 4, 1890, Jane Matthews, 
the daughter of his colleague and close personal 
friend, Stanley Matthews. Passing each winter 
in Washington, he nevertheless always kept his 
house in Boston, and at the time of his death at 
Nahant, Sept. 15, 1902, he was making his 
plans to occupy it the next year. His private 
life was remarkably happy and complete. He 
was strongly religious, and was an intimate 
friend of Phillips Brooks. Although, he gave 
himself to his work wholly and with character- 
istic enthusiasm, his general reading was very 
wide, and he followed current affairs with in- 
terest. His conversation was delightful, full of 
humor, and enriched by a wealth of anecdote 
and memory that seemed to take the listener into 
the bodily presence of the great men of an earlier 
time. The tastes of his youth were strong in 
him always, and his love of the woods and the 
open air were quick to show themselves in any 
recess from his judicial duties. He carried to 


the end of his life the freshness of spirit and 
vigor of mind of a young man ; and it was easy 
to think of his majestic physical stature as typi- 
fying a like eminence of mind and soul. No 
one who was privileged to enjoy the warmth 
and charm of daily intercourse with him and to 
come under his personal influence can fail to 
hold his memory in lasting admiration and love. 

[ 55 ] 





Charles Franklin Dunbar, born at Abington 
in July, 1830, was of Scotch descent, as his 
sandy hair and complexion, his shrewdness, reti- 
cence, and quiet humor plainly testified. He 
was much interested in his family descent, and 
gave no little time to tracing it both in Scotland 
and in Massachusetts. In one of his journeys 
to Scotland he visited the chief seats of the Dun- 
bar Clan in Morayshire, and found reason to be- 
lieve that from and after the year 1400 Dunbar 
was one of the prevailing names in that region. 
The first Dunbar in Massachusetts was Robert 
Dunbar of Hingham, who said of himself, in a 
deposition he made in court in 1659, that he was 
a servant of Mr. Joshua Foote when Mr. Foote 
lived in Boston. By a series of careful investi- 
gations Charles Franklin Dunbar established the 
strong probability that this Robert Dunbar who 
was held to the services of Joshua Foote for a 
term of years as early as 1655, and possibly as 
early as 1652, was one of Cromwell's Scottish 
prisoners taken at the battle of Dunbar in 1650, 

[ 59 ] 


or at the battle of Worcester in 1651. It is cer- 
tain that some of the prisoners taken at the battle 
of Dunbar were sent to the Colony of Massa- 
chusetts Bay in 1650-51, after having endured 
frightful sufferings which killed three quarters 
of the prisoners originally captured. Robert 
Dunbar, who died in Hingham in 1693 at about 
sixty years of age, was therefore, in all proba- 
bility, of very tough fibre. 

The father of Charles Franklin Dunbar was 
Asaph Dunbar, who was born in 1779 and died 
in 1867. Charles was Asaph's youngest child. 
He had three brothers, all of whom filled out a 
reasonable span of life, and two sisters, one of 
whom died in infancy and the other at the age of 
twenty-one. The father's business was making 
boots and shoes, and Charles's three older 
brothers grew up in that business in Plymouth 
County, but while still young went away to New 
Orleans to sell there the goods which their father 
manufactured. One of these three brothers re- 
turned to New York to establish himself there in 
the same business. Charles was the only one of 
the brothers who received a liberal education. He 
was sent to Phillips Academy, Exeter,- - prob- 
ably because he had always shown a strong de- 
sire to read and an aptitude for study. The 

[ 60 ] 




of tne pnsor . ;t the battle 

Dunbar vt-re sent to the 1 of Massa- 

isetts B ; i v In 1 6505 1 , after ha v ? g> en dured 

frightful sufferings which killed thr- ;. 'Barters 

of the prisoners originally captured. Robert; 

Y-V l j J ~r~r ' i . t'*'>-'-i<-,l ^ 

~, wiio flieci 111 Jtiingiic. ' . .' .'!,'"' ;.ti. 
sixty years of age, was therefore, in all proba- 
bility, of very tough fibre. 

T Franklin D. 

, ; I 

la '<. p);'s youngest i 

H" 1^6 Jhcv*- LI! .f whom filled out 


whom died in infancy and tb<* oth-r ^ tlie age of 
twenty-one. was m 

boots and 's three 

brother ^rf* nji in that business in PI 
County, but while still young went away 
Orleans to sell there the goods which ther 
manufactured. One of these three I 
turned to New York to establish 
the same business. Charles war- 
the brothers who received a Hi 
was sent to Phillips Academy, ,- 

y because he had always 
to read and an &} 


success with which he accomplished the academic 
course at Exeter determined his being sent to 
Harvard College, where he graduated with 
credit in 1851. The fact that he was sent to 
Exeter at thirteen years of age determined his 
subsequent career ; and he always felt un- 
bounded gratitude to that ancient academy, a 
gratitude which he expressed by serving it for 
many years as a member of the board of trus- 
tees. At Harvard College he won the respect 
and friendship of scores of young men, many of 
whom have come to the front in one wav or an- 


other during the forty-eight years which have 
elapsed since he graduated. Some of them were 
associated with him in after life ; and he always 
retained their warm regard and admiration. 

After leaving college he went for a time to his 
brothers in New Orleans ; but soon came back, 
first to New York and then to Boston, applying 
himself steadily to business. A threatening of 
serious trouble in the lungs obliged him to aban- 
don this indoor occupation ; whereupon he bought 
a farm at Lexington, and entered cheerfully on 
the quiet out-of-door life of a farmer, for which 
he developed a strong taste and aptitude. 
Here he soon recovered his health and strength ; 
so that he took up the study of the law at the 

[ 61 ] 


Harvard Law School, and in the office of Eben- 
ezer Rockwood Hoar, and was in due course 
admitted to the Suffolk bar in 1858. Practice 
coming to the young lawyer but slowly, he had 
ample time to write for the Boston Dally Ad- 
vertiser, and, finding this occupation congenial, 
he became within a little more than a year editor 
and part owner of that influential newspaper. In 
this enterprise he was supported and helped by 
the occasional labors of a group of young men 
whom he had known at Exeter and in College; 
but he himself gave his whole time and strength 
to the paper. He remained in the position of 
editor for ten years, all through the Civil 
War, and through the early years of recon- 
struction and gradual pacification. During the 
Civil War he personally wrote every editorial 
article in any way related to the w r ar which ap- 
peared in that newspaper. The Advertiser be- 
came by common consent the leading paper in 
Boston, and no newspaper since has exercised 
the same influence in this community. His po- 
sition brought him into contact with a large pro- 
portion of the leading men of the time in eastern 
Massachusetts, with merchants, manufac- 
turers, politicians, soldiers, lawyers, and preach- 
ers. He wrote, of course, constantly on mili- 

[62 ] 


tary events and prospects ; but the subjects he 
best liked to deal with were financial, economic, 
or political, such as the war loans, tariffs, and 
banking acts, the suspension of specie payments, 
and the measures taken to collect a great internal 
revenue. The amount and the quality of the 
work he did in the ten years between 1859 and 
1869 were remarkable, considering that he be- 
gan this work at twenty-nine and ended it at 
thirty-nine years of age. At thirty years of 
age he was wielding an influence which would 
now seem almost impossible of attainment at 
that age. 

A few citations from his editorials will suffice 
to give an idea of the elevation of their tone, 
and of their moderation, judicial quality, and 
prophetic insight. 

As early as July 4, 1861, he thus defined the 
objects of the war for the Union, and the spirit 
of the Northern people : 

' We are fighting now, as eighty-five years ago, 
to defend a cause in which the grandest principles 
of government and the highest interests of man are 
involved. Our people now as then have thrown 
aside all remembrances of old divisions, and have 
united in an enterprise which they believe to be 
just and holy. Life, fortune, and sacred honor 

[ 63 ] 


are again pledged to the support of the patriotic 
declarations with which the second war for liberty 
has been undertaken; and again has Congress as- 
sembled^ prepared to forego the ordinary topics of 
political strife, to forget as is believed all tests 
save the one question of fidelity to country, and to 
take counsel in singleness of heart for the one great 

Immediately after the heavy defeat of the 
Union troops at the first battle of Bull Run, he 
wrote, July 23, 1861 : 

" We said at the outset that this reverse had 
temporarily defeated the scheme for advancing 
through Virginia. Let no man to-day whisper the 
thought of abating a jot of our vast undertaking. 
Taught by one reverse the nation will rise above 
its misfortune, and press on in its just and holy 
cause. The people who have poured out their 
blood and treasure so freely will be kindled to new 
efforts. . . . Our present misfortune will disclose 
to all the true secret of our weakness, and will 
teach all that the advance for which some have so 
long clamored is not to be accomplished in a single 
effort. With a full knowledge on all hands of the 
nature of our undertaking, and with such further 
preparation as must now be made for this grand 
enterprise, we can doubt its final success as little 
as we can doubt the justice of the cause in which 

[ 64 ] 


it is undertaken, or the wisdom of the Providence 
which rules all things for our good." 

He early foresaw the fate of slavery as an 
institution. Writing on the last night of the 
year 1861 a survey of the events of the year, he 
made this prophetic utterance a year before the 
Emancipation Proclamation was issued : 

" It leaves our own people with renewed cour- 
age, united beyond all hope in support of the gov- 
ernment in a most trying case, and fully alive to 
the importance of closing the war at once. It also 
leaves the majority with an unshaken resolution to 
confine the war to its proper objects, and to sus- 
tain the President in the firm and conservative 
course which he has pursued through the ten 
months in which he has held office. At the same 
time, the year has demonstrated to our whole peo- 
ple the great fact, that in the designs of Omnip- 
otence the South has been led through its own folly 
to write the doom of slavery. Heavier and heavier 
are the blows which descend upon that institution, 
and more and more significant are the proofs that 
the South built upon a weak foundation, when, 
within this very year, it announced slavery as the 
cornerstone of its fabric, political and social." 

Near the close of the year 1862 Secretary 
Chase communicated to the Committee on Ways 

[ 65 ] 


and Means the draft of a bill to provide the 
necessary resources for the prosecution of the 
war. The second section authorized the Sec- 
retary of the Treasury to borrow nine hundred 
million dollars in any of the modes heretofore 
authorized for making loans. The bill also 
contained the details of the national bank 
scheme. Mr. Dunbar's comments on this bill 
are in part as follows : 

" The most important feature of this bill, so far 
as regards the immediate emergencies of the coun- 
try, is the second section, and this it seems to us 
has been well conceived. . . . Should this power be 
granted by Congress, we trust that the secretary 
will use it with liberal forethought. Armed with 
full powers, he will be able to feed the market with 
such securities as are most popular, at times when 
prices are favorable. Unrestricted by needless 
trammels, he can avail himself of the most favor- 
able proposals which may be suggested from time 
to time by those who have money to loan, or who 
can present well-considered plans for meeting the 
wants of the Treasury with the least cost to the 

Of that very important part of the bill which 
related to the establishment of the national bank 
system he speaks as follows, in his few words 

[ 66 ] 


showing that he had a clear vision of the wide 
scope and far-reaching consequences of the pro- 

' It has been taken for granted that this meas- 
ure will provoke a violent opposition, which, never- 
theless, as yet has not manifested itself in any very 
definite shape. It is nowhere denied that the Sec- 
retary's plan insures several very decided advan- 
tages; it looks rather to the establishment of a 
sound currency for the country upon a permanent 
basis than to any immediate results. If it be said 
that it will be time enough to legislate to this end 
when we have got out of the war and the financial 
difficulties incident thereto, it may be answered 
with at least equal force that the necessity of re- 
form will then be less generally apparent. ' Why 
don't you mend your roof? ' asked a traveler of a 
negro in whose leaky hut he had taken refuge dur- 
ing the shower. 'Cause it rains ' was the an- 
swer. ' But why don't you mend it at some time 
when there is no rain ? ' 'Cause then it don't 
leak.' This sort of logic will hardly justify Con- 
gress in refusing a careful attention to Mr. 
Chase's plan, notwithstanding the statement pa- 
raded in advance, that * the maj ority of the Ways 
and Means are hostile to Mr. Chase's scheme,' and 
that ' this sentiment of disapproval cannot possibly 
be changed.' 

[ 67 ] 


After the great victories at Gettysburg and 
Vicksburg, July 3-5, 1863, Mr. Dunbar wrote 
as follows on the 8th of July : 

' We speak of these events as of extreme polit- 
ical importance, because they have now for the 
first time fairly established the ascendency of the 
national power over the rebellion. Hitherto the 
struggle has been often a drawn game, and even in 
our moments of success has left the military 
strength of the rebels so formidable as to keep 
their hopes alive. The handwriting is now on 
the wall in characters which the rudest may read, 
warning the rebels that henceforth theirs is a hope- 
less cause, and that from this time their efforts 
must decline. We may now, at any rate, count 
upon the moral effect of defeat and loss of faith 
in their cause, and may hope for the appearance of 
those discontents and divisions to which despond- 
ency gives rise, and which precede the final ruin of 
a cause which, like the rebellion, has no root in 
sound principle." 

Looking back on this statement after an in- 
terval of thirty-seven years, we are struck with 
its absolute accuracy. 

In his review of the year 1863, on the 31st of 
December, his comments on the Proclamation of 
Emancipation illustrate the perfect balance of 
his judgment : 

[ 68 ] 


' The most distinctly marked event in the con- 
duct of the war for the year, however, is unques- 
tionably the Proclamation of Emancipation issued 
on the 1st of January, 1863. Of this measure it 
can now be said, that it has equally disappointed 
its advocates and its opponents. It has failed to 
effect the dissolution of the rebel power which was 
so confidently predicted as certain to be its instan- 
taneous effect, and has left the actual work of 
emancipation to be performed by the steady ad- 
vance of military operations. On the other hand, 
it has failed to make that disastrous division among 
the loyal which was predicted by many of its op- 
ponents. The mass of the people have acquiesced 
in it as a military measure taken in good faith. 
But we must remark, they have done this the more 
readily since on independent grounds the policy of 
emancipation has gained favor in the popular mind 
rapidly during the year." 

Speaking of the extraordinary sales of 520 
bonds in the summer and autumn of 1863, he 
writes as follows : 

' Throughout the country these bonds have been 
eagerly sought, with the noblest demonstrations of 
confidence and affection towards the government in 
defense of which the money is contributed. The 
success with which the government now deals with 
a debt of great magnitude has inspired the country 

[ 69 ] 


with faith in its ability to cope with the future, 
heavy as are the burdens promised by the Secre- 
tary of the Treasury." 

How far-seeing is the following paragraph, 
which occurs in the same review of the year 

! The feelings of the French Emperor towards 
the United States had long been suspected, but 
were first fully appreciated by our people when his 
designs in Mexico were fairly unmasked, and when 
he announced his deliberate design of erecting a 
throne in that country to be occupied by a prince 
nominated by himself. It was immediately per- 
ceived that France had created for herself upon 
this continent an interest adverse to that of the 
United States. The occupation of the Rio Grande 
by our forces, however, together with the estab- 
lished certainty that the Emperor will for the 
present find enough to do in dealing with the 
Mexican people, who do not accede to the fiction 
that Maximilian is their choice, has finally quieted 
all fears as to the course of France for the. pres- 

In his review of the year 1864, Mr. Dunbar 
wrote as follows : 


Never has the struggle seemed so gigantic as 
in this year, never have the contending forces so 


convulsed the continent with their efforts, or so 
appalled the spectators of a strife as terrible and 
unrelenting as that of the elements. Indeed, this 
is an elemental strife, which we have seen ap- 
proaching its climax and crisis, a strife which, 
in the words of a philosophic observer who was 
lately among us, is waged ' not only between Aris- 
tocracy and Democracy, between Slavery and So- 
cial Justice^ but between ferocious Barbarism and 
high Civilization. 

' It is only when we view the contest in this 
light that it is possible to realize completely the 
futility of such efforts at pacification as that which 
has characterized this year, and which was de- 
feated by the will of the people a few weeks ago. 
These raging elements are as far beyond the reach 
of all such attempts to quiet their agitation as is 
the tempest which purifies the physical atmosphere. 
The forces have long been gathering, they are in 
the full height of their sublime power, and are 
not to be stayed until the mission assigned to them 
by Providence is accomplished. A great political 
party thought otherwise, and sought by months of 
carefully studied effort to still the contention by 
premature peace ; and it finds itself to-day shivered 
to atoms, and its candidates swept aside like chaff 
and forgotten. The judgment of the nation and 
its will have risen to the height of the occasion, 
and have settled irrevocably the devotion of this 


people to their grand task to the very end. In its 
moral aspects, then, the result of the election has 
been the great event of the year and of the war." 

Mr. Dunbar was often called upon to express 
the strongest emotions of the people under cir- 
cumstances of tremendous excitement. After 
listening all day to the rejoicings in the streets 
of Boston over the surrender at Appomattox, 
he wrote at night an editorial in which two out 
of the four paragraphs are as follows : 

' Four years ago this morning we were obliged 
to say in this place ' we do not seek to pierce the 
gloom which now seems to overspread the future/ 
Four years of that future as they have enrolled 
themselves have shown many another crisis, or 
agony more acute, but none of gloom so depressing 
as settled on us all in that week of uncertainty. 
This day is the anniversary of the humiliating cor- 
respondence between General Beauregard and 
Major Anderson, in which he demanded the sur- 
render of Fort Sumter as a foregone necessity. 
To-morrow is the anniversary of the day on which 
he opened his fire. These four years have called 
upon the nation to show its steadfast endurance. 
They have called for that loyalty to institutions 
which does not seek to pierce the gloom of the 
future. They have bidden the nation stand firm 
on the eternal principles of its government, 


and trust God to give it victory, when for victory 
the time had come. Through that gloom, or the 
flushes of hope which at one moment or another 
varied it, the nation has stood firm, and at last the 
end has come. . . . 

* Such are the moral advantages of the victory. 
They make a nation so strong that war in its fu- 
ture is wholly unnecessary, it seems hardly pos- 
sible. This nation is j ust, it can be as generous 
as it is just. It has no entangling foreign alli- 
ances, it need have no petty foreign jealousies. 
God has shown it His mercy in a thousand ways, 
and now that He blesses it with Peace, it has His 
promise that Peace shall lead in every other angel 
of his Kingdom." 

At the close of the year 1865 he wrote as 
follows, prophesying a period of discussion and 
evolution which has not yet ended : 

' The year, we may trust, is the last in the suc- 
cession of years which by striking and exciting 
events compete for the leading place in our annals. 
The period of great deeds is perhaps over; we now 
have remaining questions of magnitude to be de- 
bated and settled, or to be suffered to work to- 
wards their own solution by process of time, and 
not concentrating their fierce interest into single 
great transactions, of which we have known so 
many since I860. The question as to the future 

[ 73 ] 


of the freedmen is not to be settled by the turn of 
any crisis, but by many discussions, the long-con- 
tinued operation of opinions, and the progress of 
immigration, of industry, and of ideas. Financial 
questions, of which we have so many of importance, 
are as little to be determined by any special action, 
but cast their shadow far over the coming years. 
The foreign questions, of which the closing year 
leaves us a supply not trifling in importance if 
scanty in number, are as little likely, we may hope, 
to assume such form as to bring back the unhealthy 
excitements which have long been familiar, but will 
rather relapse into the ordinary course of interna- 
tional litigation, or be settled by causes and in- 
fluences which in power are far above the counsels 
of emperors. In short, we now enter in public 
matters upon a period of discussion; and if results 
appropriate to this method of action are wrought 
out with half the skill and power which we have 
seen displayed in the marvelous twelvemonth now 
ending, we shall find our prosperity and happiness, 
and our development in all that ennobles a people, 
settled on a foundation more solid than our fathers 
ventured to hope for." 

During his administration the Advertiser as a 
property increased greatly in value ; so that 
when in 1869 Mr. Dunbar found it necessary 
again to pay attention to his health, and to give 


up work for a time, he sold his interest in the 
newspaper for a sum which amounted to a com- 
petency for himself and his family. This was 
really a value which his own mental gifts and 
moral character had imparted to the newspaper. 
There is no more satisfactory way in which a 
man can earn a competent support for his fam- 
ily before he is forty years of age. All through 
his life Mr. Dunbar was a careful, frugal, and 
successful man of business, although he gave 
but a very small portion of his time to that side 
of life. 

In order to recover from the nervous ex- 
haustion which he experienced in 1868, he made 
two journeys to Europe, the first alone, but the 
second with his family. I had come into the 
Presidency of Harvard College in 1869, and one 
of the first measures which the Corporation re- 
solved to prosecute with vigor was the estab- 
lishment of a Professorship of Political Econ- 
omy, and the selection of an incumbent for the 
chair. Mr. Dunbar being well known to all 
the members of the Corporation, the appoint- 
ment was offered to him in 1869, and he gave a 
conditional acceptance to take effect two years 
later. A quiet life in various parts of Europe 
restored his health and gave him opportunity 


for the prosecution of studies which prepared 
him further for his new function; and in 1871 
he took up the work of his professorship, to 
which he thereafter steadily devoted himself for 
more than twenty-eight years. 

Professor Dunbar was the first Professor of 
Political Economy that Harvard University 
ever had. That great subject had previously 
been one of the numerous subjects assigned to 
the Alford Professor of Natural Religion, 
Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity. Profes- 
sor Dunbar announced for the year 187172 a 
course prescribed to Juniors on Rogers's " Po- 
litical Economy ' ' and Alden's " Constitution of 
the United States," two hours a week for half 
a year, and an elective course in Political Econ- 
omy for the Senior Class, based on Adam 
Smith's " Wealth of Nations," Bowen's 
" American Political Economy," and J. S. 
Mill's " Political Economy ; ' but these courses 
were announced under the head of Philosophy. 
The elective course was attended by seventy- 
five Seniors. The next year his elective course 
appears under its proper heading, Political 
Science, the description of the course being 
altered to the following: J. S. Mill's " Political 
Economy," McCulloch on Taxation, Subjects 


in Banking and Currency. Professor Dunbar 
also conducted in 187273 a required course for 
Juniors in Political Science, two hours a week 
during half a year. That year he used as text- 
books for the Junior's Fawcett's " Political 
Economy ' and the Constitution of the United 
States. In 187374 Professor Dunbar had for 
the first time the assistance of an instructor, 
because the required course in the Elements of 
Political Economy was transferred from the 
Junior to the Sophomore year, on its way to 
extinction, so that this required course had 
to be given that year to two large classes. Un- 
der Professor Dunbar's elective course, Bage- 
hot's " Lombard Street ' appears for the first 
time. In the next year Professor Dunbar gave, 
in addition to the prescribed Political Economy, 
two elective courses parallel to each other, one 
being preferable for students of History. The 
rapidly increasing number of students in the de- 
partment made it desirable to offer these two 
parallel courses, so that neither class should be 
too large. One hundred and thirty-one students 
chose these electives. In 187576 Professor 
Dunbar was conducting three progressive 
courses : the prescribed elementary course, a first 
elective course on J. S. Mill's " Political Econ- 

[ 77 ] 


omy," and the Financial Legislation of the 
United States ; and an advanced course on 
Cairns's " Leading Principles of Political Econ- 
omy ; ' and McKean's " Condensation of 
Carey's Social Science ; ' and the number of 
students attending his course was steadily in- 
creasing. In the following year Professor 
Dunbar became Dean of the College Faculty, 
an administrative position which he held for six 
years. The prescribed course in Political Econ- 
omy for Sophomores now disappeared. The 
elective courses were fully maintained. Pro- 
fessor Dunbar had some assistance in the ele- 
mentary elective course, because of the necessity 
of devoting a good deal of his time to the ad- 
ministrative work of the Dean's office. His as- 
sistant in the year 1877-78 was Mr. Macvane, 
now Professor of History in Harvard Uni- 
versity. The next year his assistant was Dr. 
James Laurence Laughlin, who had the title of 
Instructor in Political Economy. In 1880-81 
another course in Political Economy was added 
to the two already given, Professor Dunbar 
working in all three courses, but being assisted 
in the first two by Dr. Laughlin. The most 
advanced elective under Professor Dunbar was 
based on Cairns's " Leading Principles of Po- 


litical Economy," McLeod's " Elements of 
Banking," Bastiat's " Harmonies Economiques." 
In the year 1882-83 Professor Dunbar took 
leave of absence in Europe. His work was car- 
ried on by Dr. Laughlin and a new instructor, 
Mr. Frank W. Taussig, now Professor of Po- 
litical Economy in Harvard University. A new 
half-course was added this year, a course on 
the Economic Effects of Land Tenures in Eng- 
land, Ireland, France, Germany, and Russia. 
The next year brought considerable expansion 
to the Department. Professor Dunbar re- 
turned to his work; Dr. Laughlin was made an 
assistant professor ; and Dr. Taussig offered for 
the first time a course on the History of Tariff 
Legislation in the United States. The number 
of courses offered by the Department suddenly 
expanded to four courses running through the 
whole year, and three running through half a 
year. Economic History appeared for the first 
time as part of the instruction given by the De- 
partment, Professor Dunbar having charge of 
the course. It was in that year that the plans 
of Professor Dunbar for the development of 
his department in the University became appar- 
ent to the academic world. Dr. Taussig soon 
became an assistant professor ; Dr. Laughlin was 

I 79 ] 


promoted to a full professorship at Cornell 
University, whence he was subsequently trans- 
ferred to the University of Chicago ; and a 
series of young men, all selected by Professor 
Dunbar, were brought forward in the Depart- 
ment as teachers. The number of teachers and 
courses increased until, in 189495, this De- 
partment, called Economics since 189293, em- 
ployed three full professors, one assistant pro- 
fessor, and three instructors, and the number of 
courses had risen to six full courses and seven 
half-courses. In 1899 the lowest elective course 
in Economics was opened to Freshmen ; so that 
the Harvard student thenceforth had access to 
that subject in all the four years of his college 
course. For the present year, 18991900, 
courses were announced which gave employment 
to three full professors, one assistant professor, 
and six instructors. In the academic year 
189899 the choices made of courses in Econom- 
ics numbered 1263. 

Such was the development given in twenty- 
eight years to a subject which certainly should 
be second to none in value or dignity at an 
American university. At every step of the 
process it was Professor Dunbar's sagacity, so- 
briety, and fairness which commanded confidence 

[ 80 ] 


and secured success. He thus made, in the 
course of twenty-eight years, as it were with his 
own hands, a complete collegiate instrument for 
training young Americans in Political Econ- 
omy, the first such instrument ever constructed. 
If it should occur to any one that this growth 
was made possible by the general atmosphere at 
Harvard, the answer would be that Professor 
Dunbar had much to do with determining the 
quality of that atmosphere. 

In 1886 a timely gift of a fund of $15,000 
from one of Professor Dunbar's pupils enabled 
the Corporation to establish the Quarterly 
Journal of Economics, published for Harvard 
University. They took this step by the advice 
of Professor Dunbar, and on the condition that 
he should edit the Journal. He acted as editor 
for ten years, and in that time established the 
position of the Journal in this country and in 
Europe as a valuable medium for economic dis- 
cussions and researches. The subjects of some 
of the articles which he wrote for this Journal 
will indicate the wide range of his studies : In 
1886, "The Reaction in Politics;" in 1887, 
" Deposits and Currency," and a note on 
Ricardo's Use of Facts; in 1888, a notice of an 
old tract entitled " The New-Fashioned Gold- 

[ 81 ] 


smiths," a tract which appears to have been the 
source of the generally accepted statement as 
to the origin of private banking in London in 
the seventeenth century. In the same year ap- 
peared " Notes on Early Banking Schemes ' 
from his pen, and an article on " Some Prece- 
dents Followed by Alexander Hamilton." At 
the end of this last paper, after a learned re- 
view of the system advocated by Hamilton, and 
of the sources of the measures which he recom- 
mended, Professor Dunbar said in conclusion: 
" No statesman could have a greater task set 
for him, and political science can hardly have 
in store any greater triumph than this applica- 
tion of the experience of other men and other 
nations." In 1889 he wrote for the Quarterly 
Journal an article on the Direct Tax of 1861, 
the conclusion of which was, " The direct tax 
provided for by the Constitution has at last 
been discredited as a source of revenue, and it 
has also been too prolific of misconception and 
confusion to have any influence henceforth as a 
practical measure of finance." A single sen- 
tence from an essay he published in the Journal 
in 1891 on the academic study of political econ- 
omy admirably expresses the true conception 
of the function of an instructor in any moral 

[ 82 J 


science : " That the student should learn to 
reason truly is of far more consequence than 
that he should perceive and accept any partic- 
ular truth, and the real success of the instructor 
is found, not in bringing his students to think 
exactly as he does, which is unlikely to happen, 
and, indeed, unnatural, but in teaching them 
to use their own faculties accurately and with a 
measure of confidence." In another passage in 
the same essay, speaking of the conditions under 
which an instructor may or may not be silent 
concerning his own beliefs, he says, " There are 
few men whose weight of authority is such as to 
compel any extraordinary caution in the dec- 
laration of their minds." Those two statements 
are highly characteristic of Professor Dunbar's 
habitual attitude towards his own students. 

One may easily trace through all the activi- 
ties of Professor Dunbar as a teacher and writer 
the effect on his mind of his ten years' work as 
the editor of a daily paper during a period of 
startling and far-reaching military, financial, 
social, and political events ; but it is interesting 
to observe that commercial and economic ques- 
tions began to engage his attention some years 
before the war. Thus we find in the North 
American Revisw an article by him on the Dan- 

[ 83 ] 


ish Sound Dues written as early as 1856, when he 
was twenty-six years of age. His services as a 
university teacher grew naturally out of the 
studies and interests of his early manhood. 

Professor Dunbar was Dean of the old Col- 
lege Faculty for six years, from 1876 to 1882, 
and the first Dean of the new Faculty of Arts 
and Sciences from 1890 to 1895. He therefore 
gave a large amount of administrative service 
to the University. As an administrative officer 
he was prompt, efficient, and wise. One pecul- 
iarity he had which was rather trying to some 
of the many students and parents of students 
with whom he came into contact, he was some- 
times too reticent and silent. He w r ould listen 
patiently to a long tale in which the narrator 
felt great interest, and take it all in, but hardly 
utter a word in reply. Sometimes, however, 
after his interlocutor had despaired of getting 
an answer, he would give a concise but compre- 
hensive reply which showed how sympathetically 
he had apprehended the whole subject under dis- 
cussion. Ordinarily patient and cautious, he 
was entirely capable of quick decision and 
prompt action. On a reconnoissance he was cir- 
cumspect and thorough ; but when he once made 

[ 84 ] 


up his mind how the land lay and how the 
adversary was intrenched, he moved on the posi- 
tion, in the safest possible way, to be sure, but 
with energy and persistence. As a rule, his 
aspect was serene and mild; but on occasion 
his face could become set, and from his blue- 
gray eyes there came a steel-like gleam danger- 
ous to his opponent. In his judgment of others 
he was gentle, unless he became satisfied that 
some man he had been observing did not play 
fair, or was untrustworthy at the pinch ; then 
he became stern and unrelenting. It was these 
qualities which made him the successful journal- 
ist that he was at thirty years of age. The 
Faculty was always afraid to take a step of 
which he did not approve, and seldom did so, 
unless his occasional infirmity of silence had con- 
cealed from them his opinion. They felt in 
him a remarkable sagacity combined with quick 
insight and unwavering disinterestedness ; and 
they found him to be uniformly just. If he 
now and then betrayed a prejudice, they felt 
sure that he had good grounds for it, and 
were much disposed to share it with him. Every 
one who has seen much of the world will per- 
ceive how rare a combination of qualities was 

[ 85 ] 


embodied in this modest and retiring man, and 
will understand how great a loss the University 
has suffered in his death. 

In addition to the solid satisfactions Mr. 
Dunbar derived from his forty years of pro- 
fessional work, he had great delights in his 
domestic life. He married, soon after leaving 
college, Julia Ruggles Copeland, of Roxbury, 
and he survived his wife only two months. Five 
children were born to them between 1855 and 
1862, of whom three sons and a daughter sur- 
vive their father and mother. 

I have already mentioned the- life of the 
young family at Lexington. When he became 
editor of the Advertiser, he moved, first, to Rox- 
bury ; but finding the inevitable exposures of 
returning to Roxbury from his office late at 
night (often after the omnibuses had ceased 
to run) too great for his strength, he moved 
to a small house on River Street, at the foot of 
Beacon Hill. This house w r as comparatively 
sunless, and, though close to Beacon Street, 
had no outlook whatever. It was a great (je- 
light to him and his wife and his growing chil- 
dren to establish the household in 1872 in a 
spacious house on the hill which rises north of 
Brattle Street, Cambridge, not far from Elm- 

[ 86 ] 


wood, a house which commanded a charming 
prospect, and was surrounded by fine trees. He 
had earned the luxury of fine prospects, abound- 
ing sun and air, and garden grounds, as prod- 
uct of the work of his own brain. His tastes 
and habits were simple, but refined. Luxuries 
and superfluities had no charm for him. He 
was fond of driving and sailing, but needed no 
elaborate equipment for obtaining these pleas- 
ures.^ He valued these sports mainly as means 
of getting into contact w r ith the beauties of na- 
ture by land and by sea. He had the natural 
healthy enjoyment in food and drink, but al- 
ways preferred simple things to elaborate, and 
was displeased by extravagance or excess. 

In 1886 he bought the larger part of Bear 
Island, off Mount Desert, the smaller part being 
already occupied by the United States as the 
site of a lighthouse ; and here he built in 1893 
a cottage for the summer occupation of his 
family. When visiting friends on the neigh- 
boring shore of Mount Desert, he had often 
marked the beautiful form of this island, and 
admired the exquisite views it commanded in 
several directions. In deciding upon the site 
of his house on this island, it was his chief care 
to avoid impairing the aspect of the island from 

[ 8T ] 


the neighboring shores, a thoughtful result 
which he perfectly achieved. All his life he 
had great pleasure in carpentering. He always 
had a carpenter's bench in any house he occu- 
pied, and delighted in good tools and in using 
them with skill. He could build with his own 
hands fireplaces, corner buffets, desks, tables, 
and other pieces of furniture. At Bear Island 
he built a large boat-house with chambers in 
its upper story, doing most of the work with 
his own hands, after the heavy framing had been 
put up. He enjoyed thinning the woods which 
covered the northern shore of the island, and 
studying the flora and fauna of his isolated 
kingdom. A thrifty little spruce, looking as 
if it could easily resist all the ice and snow, all 
the gales, and all the droughts of that northern 
clime, a single graceful birch, a mountain ash 
loaded with red berries, or a clump of ferns, 
sufficed to give him great enjoyment. With 
reading and writing interspersed, such pleasures 
filled his summer days so completely and so 
happily that he seldom wished to leave his island. 
Friends came to stay with him ; but he seldom 
cared to go far from his cottage, unless on a 
sail or a drive with one of his neighbors of the 
main island. There was no road on his island, 

[ 88 ] 


and hardly a path, except little tracks between 
the hummocks and ledges ; and there were no 
sounds, except the beat of the waves on the 
rocky shores, the singing of birds, and the rush- 
ing of the wind through the trees. One of 
the peculiarities of the climate of the Maine 
coast had singular charm for Professor Dunbar. 
On almost every summer evening near sunset, 
there falls a great calm and stillness. No mat- 
ter how boisterous the day may have been, near 
sundown there comes a widespread, profound 
silence, unspeakably grateful to such a tem- 
perament as his. The hills of Mount Desert, 
in full view from his island, reminded him of 
the similar hills built of primary rocks which 
his Scottish forbears had looked on in far-away 

Outside his family circle his intimate asso- 
ciates were not numerous ; but his friendships 
were intense, and his rare and concise expres- 
sions of affection were overwhelmingly strong. 
As I look back on this completed life, it seems 
to me filled with productive labors and large 
services from which came deep satisfactions. 
Grave trials and sorrows hallowed it; but its 
main warp and woof were both made of in- 
numerable threads of happiness and content. 

[ 89 ] 


In his religious convictions he was a Uni- 
tarian, and he valued highly that simple and 
optimistic faith; but his mind was hospitable 
to all forms of theological opinion, while he was 
strenuously averse to ecclesiasticism and aesthet- 
icism in religion. Simplicity, cheerfulness, 
duty, and love were the articles of his faith, 
and human joy and well-being their natural 






The more closely we study the career of Phillips 
Brooks, the more remarkable does it appear. 
At a time when many are saying that the power 
of the pulpit is declining, he, simply as a 
preacher, exerted an influence which would have 
been noticeable in any age of Christian history. 
From the fact that when he was in college he 
is said to have manifested no desire to be a 
leader among his fellows, it would appear that 
he reached his position with little impulse from 
ambition. In his sermons there is nothing mere- 
tricious. He was a typical Harvard man in 
his fastidiousness, so far as anything like sen- 
sationalism was concerned. Certain aspects of 
theology that are often thought especially to 
move the popular mind were hardly, if at all, 
touched upon in his preaching. The fact that 
under these circumstances he reached the com- 
manding position which he held is one of the 
most promising signs of the times, as well as an 
indication of the greatness of the man. 

When we come to seek the source of the won- 

[ 93 ] 


derful power which he possessed over the hearts 
of men, the answer commonly given is that it 
is to be found in the goodness of his heart. He 
was ja man of such broad sympathies, it is said, 
of such tender interest in those about him, and 
of such earnest faith, that he was felt by all 
to be a friend and a helper ; and thus men re- 
sponded to his interest in them with an answer- 
ing love and trust. This statement does give, 
indeed, the ultimate source of his influence ; but, 
however paradoxical it may seem, it does not 
give the explanation of it. There are multi- 
tudes of men and women, of ministers and lay- 
men, who have a religious faith as earnest as 
his, and a love for their fellow-men as strong. 
In many cases this love for man is subjected to 
tests far more severe than were found in any 
experiences of his. He, in spite of occasional 
criticism and opposition, was always surrounded 
by enthusiastic love and applause. He had 
from the beginning recognition of himself and 
of his work ; while many of those of whom I 
speak are giving their lives to their fellows, 
without recognition or encouragement. He 
himself delighted to contemplate the beauty of 
these so often unappreciated lives. He says, 
" I have seen rooms, where such men or such 

[ 94 ] 



power which he possessed over the L 

answer commonly given is that 
to he found in the go** hi- 

was a, man of such broad syir. s. it is sa 

of .such tender interest in those ahou f . him, and 
of such earnest faith, that he was felt by 
to be a friend and a helper ; and thus men re- 
sponded to his interest in them with an answ> 
ing love and trust. This statement does g 
indeed, the u f e source of his influence; but, 
hi v . il". iii '.tv seem, it ci f 

of it. There are multi- 


for men as strong. 

In r.irinv this love for man is 
tests f?ir :^OTV severe than were f 
experiences uf his. He, in spite of lonal 

CT a and opposition, was always sun 

by enthusiastic love and applause. He ) 
from the beginning recognition of hi 
of his work ; while many of 
speak are giving their lives to t' 
without recognition or ent He 

himself delighted to coritempla y of 

these so often unappreciated 
" I have seen rooms, 


women, weak and ignorant, perhaps, were breath- 
ing out their long days of suffering, which were 
very Holies of Holies." 

To the possession of these qualities by the 
great preacher, we have then to add the power 
to manifest them in such ways that men felt 
their influence, and yielded themselves to their 

We cannot fail to notice, as helpful in this 
manifestation, his magnificent personal endow- 
ments ; his noble form, his face that was so 
often all aglow with the inner light, his air of 
culture and refinement, which might at first 
seem to stand between him and the popular 
sympathy, but which, when the difficulty was 
overcome, added new elements of attraction and 
influence. Men loved to see such spiritual 
power so superbly embodied. They loved to see 
a nature so endowed for worldly success sur- 
rendering itself to a life of service. They loved 
to see culture and refinement fired with an en- 
thusiasm such as they too often repress. The 
humblest felt a strange charm in the brother- 
hood that was offered to them across lines which 
are so often those of separation. It was the 
naturalness of it all, the spontaneity, the un- 
consciousness, that gave to such relations their 

[ 95 ] 


great attractiveness. Even the rapidity of his 
utterance, which at first repelled, soon became 
associated with the man, and added a certain 
air of eager impetuosity to his discourse. 

All these characteristics, which I have im- 
perfectly described, unquestionably contributed 
to the power of the preacher. They are not, 
however, sufficient to explain this power. We 
have to recognize the fact that his printed ser- 
mons retained this influence. The noble pres- 
ence, the eager utterance, were absent ; but the 
power remained. To multitudes throughout the 
English-reading world who had never felt the 
magnetism of his personal presence, these ser- 
mons have come with a power of inspiration such 
as few works of their class could claim. They 
have appealed to the same diversities of culture 
and of belief to which his spoken word appealed. 

We have then to recognize the fact that Phil- 
lips Brooks was a man of genius. He was as 
truly such as any one of our great poets. It is 
not important, nor, indeed, would it be possible, 
to make a comparative estimate of his genius with 
that of any specified poet or artist. All that 
is to our purpose is to notice the fact of his 
wonderful genius, and to illustrate, as may be 
possible, its nature and its methods. 

[ 96 ] 


The genius that Phillips Brooks possessed 
was that of the preacher as truly as that of 
Longfellow or of Tennyson was that of the 
poet. I cannot say under what other forms this 
genius might have manifested itself, or what 
other t} r pes of success might have been accom- 
plished by it. What was actually displayed in 
his life was the genius of the preacher. There 
are many preachers of genius who have not the 
special genius for preaching. Some preachers 
do helpful service by their reasoning ; some in- 
spire by the power of their imagination : there 
are comparatively few in whom the special 
genius which marks the truest preacher as such 
makes itself felt. This genius was preem- 
inently the gift of Phillips Brooks. 

The genius of the preacher, I need hardly 
say, consists in the power of so uttering spiritual 
truth that it shall be effective in influencing the 
hearts of men. This implies a profound insight 
into religious truth, an insight that shall re- 
veal implications and applications of which the 
ordinary mind is not conscious. It implies also 
a gift for the presentation of what is thus beheld 
in an attractive and effective form. It is thus 
a genius of expression, which is something very 
different from a genius for expressions. Shakes- 

[ 97 


peare had a genius for expressing the passions 
of the human heart. This implied an insight 
into the depths of human life, a power of crea- 
tion by which what he perceived was embodied 
in living forms, and a power of presentation 
by which these forms that lived for him should 
live also for the world. This may illustrate the 
elements that enter into the genius of the 
preacher, so far as the sphere which limits his 
work is concerned. 

No one can have failed to notice the change 
which, to a large extent, the sermon has under- 
gone in these later years. The older sermon 
we may call classical. It was dignified. It was 
intense, in the sense that there was in it little 
wandering from its special theme. It held itself 
within the limits of theology or religion, strictly 
so called. It touched very few points in the life 
of man. It did not seek to amuse ; we might 
almost say it did not seek to interest. It com- 
manded attention to the truth upon which it 
dwelt. By it the hearer was brought face to 
face with the great realities. If the hearer was 
affected, it was largely through the reason 
that is, by the recognition of some truth, or 
of something that was regarded as truth 
which appealed to his moral or religious nature. 

[ 98 ] 


Perhaps the sermons of Charming may stand 
among the best examples of this form of preach- 
ing. It was lofty, invigorating, profoundly 
religious, and contenting itself with an appeal 
to the spiritual nature by the means of the im- 
pressiveness of truth. 

The modern sermon stands less upon its dig- 
nity. It seeks first of all to interest. It touches 
the life of man at all points. It is familiar 
with the home and with the street. It finds 
illustrations on every hand. It is discursive. 
It dwells upon an illustration till, for a moment, 
one may forget what is illustrated. In a word, 
it seeks to have a human interest as well as a 
religious interest. 

If we may accept these characterizations as 
representing, loosely and generally, two differ- 
ent classes of sermons, we may reach the best 
idea of the sermons of Phillips Brooks by say- 
ing that they possess the dignity of the classical 
type, with the human interest of what might 
be called the romantic type of preaching. 

In his sermons there is almost a total lack of 
discursiveness. At the beginning of each there 
may be a few words of introduction, simply to 
make a connection between the mind of the hearer 
and the special theme to be considered; but, 

[ 99 ] 

4->. i 
v i 


after this, the special theme is never for a mo- 
ment lost from the mind. You may open one 
of his volumes anywhere, and a very few words 
will make clear what the subject is that the 
sermon before you presents. Even the sermons 
of Robertson, which Phillips Brooks rightly 
exalted as at least among' the best of our mod- 
ern world, have often a discursiveness, a tem- 
porary absorption in details, of which the ser- 
mons of Phillips Brooks show little trace. There 
are not many popular preachers from whose 
sermons the bearer would carry away fewer 
special impressions. He did not deal in epi- 
grams ; thus there were few separate sayings 
to be recalled. He was a perfect master of 
w r ords, but never their servant. Each word 
filled its place as perfectly as if it stood in some 
finished poem, but no one was allowed to claim 
undue preeminence. If any particular illus- 
tration was remembered, it w r as most often the 
illustration that formed the heart and life of 
the sermon. What one did carry away was, 
I imagine, most generally, a text that from 
henceforth would have a new significance, an 
illustration that would never be forgotten, a 
truth that had opened depths undreamed of 

[ 100 ] 


before, or a religious feeling, a sense of divine 
realities, which refreshed the life. 

Those who knew Phillips Brooks know how 
keen was his sense of humor. Things disclosed 
their humorous side to him as he went through 
life. In his Yale lectures he shows how aptly 
he could use a humorous illustration to give 
point to his teaching. I doubt if in his ser- 
mons there could be found any trace of this. 
In sermons of the discursive sort a bit of pleas- 
antry, naturally suggested and illustrative of 
the theme, may be effective. In a camp-meet- 
ing the " amens ' are often redoubled after a 
ripple of laughter has run over the assemblage. 
In the sermons of Phillips Brooks, in which 
the solemn truth presented was never lost from 
the consciousness, such moments of relaxation 
would seem to have no place. 

This dignity and this intensity represent, 
however, only one aspect of the sermons of 
Phillips Brooks. We find, united with these, 
elements that we might have supposed to be 
incompatible with them, namely, the charm of 
the imagination and the varied interest of human 
experience. In fact there is nothing more strik- 
ing in these sermons than their sense of the 

[ 101 ] 


relations of our daily life. The world about 
him was evidently very real to the preacher. 
He seems never, for a moment, to have lost his 
congregation out of his mind. This is strik- 
ingly illustrated in his sermon on " The Con- 
solations of God." He begins by recognizing 
the fact that the need of consolation is not felt 
by all. " This side of God's life shows itself 
only to certain conditions of this life of ours. 
It is not for everybody. It is not for the young 
and joyous." But as he went on, he seems to 
have felt these words upon his conscience. He 
could not bear to have any hearers feel that he 
was not speaking to them. At last he exclaims, 
" I would not seem to count out of my subject 
for to-day those of my people the youngest, 
the happiest, the most hopeful, on whom I 
should be sorry any Sunday to turn my back, 
and say, ' There is nothing for you to-day.' 
So he goes on to speak of the child's need of 
consolation ; and only after this recognition of 
that part of his congregation which he had 
originally excluded, does he proceed to the de- 
velopment of his theme. At another time he 
breaks off in the midst of a sermon to exclaim, 
" Oh, it may well be that there are some of 


you who are listening intently at this moment, 

[ 102 ] 


thinking perhaps that now, after a thousand 
disappointments in a thousand sermons, you 
may hear the word you need." This sense of 
a waiting congregation was of itself enough to 
banish from his sermons all mere abstractions 
and all playing with his theme. He was not a 
man who wrote and spoke merely to express his 
own thought, as a poet sings for the mere 
pleasure of the singing. He was not carried 
away by a temptation against which he warned 
the Yale students of theology, the temptation 
to make of his sermon a work of art. The 
sermon was to him an instrument fashioned and 
used for a special end. He spoke to living 
souls, not seeking merely their sympathy, seek- 
ing least of all their applause, but striving to 
awaken within them a consciousness of higher 
things, striving to shape the lives before him 
into conformity with the divine ideal. 

Though Phillips Brooks was right in warn- 
ing the young preacher against the temptation 
to look upon his sermon as a work of art, and 
though he himself, as we have seen, regarded 
his sermons simply as the instruments for accom- 
plishing each a special work ; yet, in spite of 
this purpose that animated them, or possibly 
because of it, his sermons are works of art 

[ 103 ] 


in the sense that each has a positive, aesthetic 
charm, which may be felt even by one who has 
little interest in their direct object. The pur- 
pose for which they were written was sufficent 
of itself to exclude all foreign elements, and to 
shape the elements which really belong to the 
theme discussed into a form of organic unity. 
Given, in connection with this, a poetic nature 
which informs the whole with the life-giving 
power of the imagination, and the result must 
of necessity have grace and beauty. In classic 
and mediaeval times, the most common imple- 
ments of daily life, while perfectly fitted for 
the use for which they were designed, possessed 
artistic beauty, simply because the artistic spirit 
of their makers could not create them otherwise. 
Thus some classic or mediaeval vase, possessing, 
it may be, nothing foreign to its destined use, 
charms us to-day simply through its grace of 
form, this grace of form being that through 
which it is preeminently w T hat it was meant to 
be, namely, a vase. The sermons of Phillips 
Brooks are works of art in this unconscious 
and unpremeditated way. 

A sermon is often considered dreary reading, 
because it consists so largely of commonplaces. 
Indeed, it is happily true that in this age of 

[ 104 ] 


the world the fundamental principles of morals 
and religion are commonplaces. The personal- 
ity of a speaker may give to them a special 
interest or power, just as moral advice ceases 
to be commonplace as it is urged by a mother 
striving to guard her son against some special 
temptation. When the living presence of the 
preacher no longer animates them, such utter- 
ances a' apt to assume their commonplace char- 
acter. There can therefore be few more striking 
proofs of genius than the power to give to such 
truisms permanent or general interest. After 
all, however, the problem is like that which 
meets genius under every form of its manifesta- 
tion ; for the basis of all these manifestations, 
even in the case of a genius like that of Shakes- 
peare, is the commonplace. In this matter of 
the sermon, the genius of Phillips Brooks con- 
sisted, in part at least, in the power to see more 
deeply into the nature and significance of these 
commonplaces than other men. Indeed, it may 
be said that if anything is commonplace, it 
is so only to the commonplace mind. A stone 
on the street, or a flower by the wayside, is 
commonplace enough ; but the geologist, or the 
botanist, will find in it that which will excite 
our wonder and interest. It was as such an 

[ 105 ] 


expert that Phillips Brooks exhibited to us the 
fundamental principles of life. Under his guid- 
ance men saw in them what they had not dreamed 
of seeing before. 

I cannot better illustrate what I mean than 
by quoting a description that he gives in one 
of his sermons of a gem illuminated by the sun- 
light. He is speaking of the mystery of light. 
He says: "But now supposing that the object 
of our scrutiny, being something really rich 
and profound, were brought out of the dark- 
ness into a sudden flood of sunlight, would it 
grow less or more mysterious? Suppose it is a 
jewel, and instead of having to strain your eyes 
to make out the outline of its shape, you can 
now look deep into its heart, see depth opening 
beyond depth, until it looks as if there were no 
end to the chambers of splendor that are shut 
up in that little stone ; see flake after flake of 
luminous color floating up out of the unseen 
fountain which lies somewhere in the jewel's 
heart." This jewel penetrated by the sunshine 
is the best possible illustration of a fact or an 
idea illuminated by the insight of his faith and 
genius. Perhaps it is a text from the Bible 
that opens thus depth beneath depth, and sends 
up " flake after flake of luminous color from 

[ 106 ] 


the unseen fountain at its heart." A striking 
example of this power of penetrating insight is 
found in the last public address that was made 
by him. It was to the choir guild of Grace 
Church in Newton. It was largely addressed 
to the choir boys. The occasion seems simple 
enough, but he saw in it deep meaning. He 
looked into the unknown future, as the genera- 
tion to which these boys belonged should take 
possession of the world, and rejoiced to see 
them going forward, " singing the great psalms 
of the Church, the boys taking up those strains 
which have been upon the lips of the fathers, 
and have expressed the glorious aspirations of 
the multitudes of the past." Then he went on 
to speak of " the beauty of doing a greater 
work than one can understand." " The man 
who perfectly understands the work he is doing 
is not doing the work which he is worthy of 
doing." Thus these boys were doing a work 
larger than they could comprehend. " They 
sing words which mean very much to them, 
but whose full meaning they cannot begin to 
understand until they have gone forward into 
the manifold experiences of life, and have caught 
the spirit of the revelations of the past." In 
this manner does every phase of life open at 

[ 107 ] 


his touch into deep and varied significance. It 
is not that he made much of every such occa- 
sion ; it is that he found much in it. 

Phillips Brooks not only brought out in this 
manner the meaning of whatever theme he 
touched ; unconsciously he revealed himself. He 
had the power of expressing not merely his 
thought, but himself. It is happily no very 
rare thing to listen to a sermon with interest. 
Too often, however, what we listen to is simply 
the sermon. We may admire it ; we may be 
moved and profited by it ; but still it is all the 
while the sermon alone that occupies us. It is 
a rare and happy occasion when we listen not 
to the sermon, but to the man. When Phillips 
Brooks preached, men listened, for the most 
part, not to the sermon, but to him. They felt 
themselves in the presence of a strong, loving, 
aspiring, and believing soul. Many such spir- 
its, we are glad to say, speak from our pulpits, 
and bring messages of strength and cheer ; but 
few have this genius of expression by which 
they reveal themselves such as they are, and 
uplift as truly by their presence as by their 
thought. Even more than this was revealed 
in those moments when this preacher accom- 
plished his highest work. Men felt not only 

[ 108 ] 


in the presence of this spirit, so strong and 
pure; but through it they felt themselves in 
the presence of the infinite spirit that spoke 
through this devout and earnest soul. 

It is to be noticed that in his sermons he 
almost always dwelt upon the positive aspect 
of life. He dealt very little with denunciation. 
He did not believe that men could be helped 
much in that way. He said once, " If you could 
kill all a man's sins you would only make him 
a less bad man. You would not make him a 
better man." This abstinence from denuncia- 
tion was all the more remarkable because he is 
said to have possessed great powers of sarcasm 
and invective ; and men who discover that they 
possess these powers generally like to use them. 
Only now and then in his printed sermons do we 
have a slight touch of sarcasm ; as when he 


speaks of " the superficial grief of a superficial 
mourner at a funeral, all tears and crape." 

What he really loved to do, and what at the 
same time he felt that it was the special work 
of the preacher to do, was to hold up the ideal 
of Christian living, and to strive to make men 
feel the power of the life of God. Certainly 
this method was calculated to bring his congre- 
gation near to him. There was no chasm, to 

[ 109 ] 


be crossed; no repulsion to be overcome. The 
preacher stood simply with words of encour- 
agement and welcome. 

Another thing to be noticed in these sermons 
is the slight place that is held in them by theol- 
ogy. The great preacher was either very little 
of a theologian, or else he felt that when he 
addressed his people there was something vastly 
more important to be considered than theology. 
The probability is that his interest in theology 
was largely, if not wholly, in its practical as- 
pects. I doubt if he concerned himself very 
much with the current discussions in regard to 
these matters, or at least he probably took in 
them only a preacher's interest. He stood with 
a certain child-like fearlessness unharmed amid 
the creeds of the Church and the questionings 
of the time: 

' Non sine Dis animosus infans." 

He took from all only what was the best. He 
left the harshness of the creeds, and took only 
what was tender and life-giving. He took its 
beauty from the Church, and knew nothing of 
its narrowness. From the awakened thought 
of the time he took its breadth and its freedom ; 
but its negations seem not to have moved him. 

[ "0 ] 


As in some cities of the old world where ran 


the line of fortifications are now broad streets 
or pleasure-grounds, so the defenses which the 
Church had set up to guard itself against the 
intrusion of those whose beliefs do not conform 
to its standards with him seem to have become 
avenues of approach, attracting instead of ex- 

No characterization of the sermons of the 
great preacher would be complete which did not 
recognize the fact that some found this lack 
of theological definiteness to be a real drawback 
to their enjoyment of them. They complained 
that when some themes were approached there 
came a certain mistiness into the thought. For 
instance, in the course of the sermon that he 
preached on the occasion of the two hundred 
and fiftieth anniversary of Harvard College, 
he exclaimed, " And what and who is Jesus 
Christ? In reverence and humility let us give 
our answer." At this point the minds that de- 
mand precise statements of belief became intent. 
At last Phillips Brooks was going to declare 
clearly his position. The preacher went on: 
" He is the meeting of the Divine and Human, 
the presence of God in humanity, the per- 
fection of humanity in God; the Divine made 


human, the human shown to be capable of union 
with the Divine ; the utterance, therefore, of 
the nearness and the love of God, and of the 
possibility of man. Once in the ages came the 
wondrous life, once in the stretch of history the 
face of Jesus shone in Palestine, and his feet 
left their blessed impress upon earth ; but what 
that life made manifest had been forever true. 
Its truth was timeless, the truth of all eternity. 
The love of God, the possibility of man, these 
two which made the Christhood, these two, 
not two, but one, had been the element in which 
all life was lived, all knowledge known, all truth 
attained." This is magnificent, but it is not 
theology ; at least it is not the theology of the 
theologians. It is not strange that on the one 
side some suspected heresy, and, on the other, 
some discovered obscurantism. Yet the very 
heart of Phillips Brooks spoke in this utterance. 
Why did he not give a direct categorical answer 
to the question that he asked, an answer that 
would have satisfied the theologian or the free- 
thinker? The only reason can be that he was 
interested in the fact, and not in any formula 
in regard to the fact. He aimed to promote 
righteousness and the religious life among men. 
He aimed directly at the heart of his hearers. 


He brought to bear upon them religious truth 
in what seemed to him its simplest and most 
effective form. 

I would be among the last to underestimate 
the importance of theological thought, and to 
undervalue the sermons that seek to make clear 
and to defend the truths of religion. I do not 
forget how the sermons of Channing purified 
the religious atmosphere of the Christian world. 
The world still needs such clear utterance of 
religious truth. There are, however, diversities 
of gifts. We should remember, further, that 
theology is for the sake of religion. If it is 
the work of those who have done battle for re- 
ligious liberty that has made the preaching of 
Phillips Brooks possible, it is in such preaching 
that this work finds its worthiest fulfillment. 
If a man can be brought, even for a short time, 
actually to experience the religious feeling, or 
something akin to it, he has received a proof 
of the truth of religion more convincing than 
any presentation of arguments could accom- 

However this may be, what has been said 
may illustrate the nature of the preaching of 
Phillips Brooks. The fact that Christianity 
was reduced by him to such simplicity of form 


may do much also to explain his vast liberality, 
which was not tolerance of opinions which he 
rejected, but the recognition of the fundamental 
principle of Christianity under varied names 
and forms. Much of what the sects are warring 
about seemed to him too trivial to demand serious 
consideration. He was too true a churchman 
to think it necessary to guard himself within 
artificial limits. Thus the whole church was 
open to him. He could take part in the instal- 
lation of the pastor of Plymouth Church as 
simply and naturally as if it had been a service 
within the limits of his own communion. Never 
did such largeness of spirit receive wider or 
heartier recognition. Wherever he went he was 
welcomed as the true minister of God. The 
bankers of Wall Street left their offices at noon 
to listen to his words. Harvard students 
thronged to hear him preach. Ministers and 
laymen, of whatever name, were alike eager to 
catch his utterances. 

At the beginning of this paper it was urged 
that the goodness of Phillips Brooks would not 
account for his wide influence ; for this was 
needed great genius, the genius for expressing 
himself, and for presenting the truth which 
he had at heart. In conclusion we must recog- 


nize the fact that his genius would not have 
accomplished the work, if it had not had behind 
it his great personality. One did not need to 
know the story of his life to feel this power. 
One felt it through his very presence. The 
more we know of his life, the more is this im- 
pression deepened. He showed his fearlessness 
at the start, by pleading the rights of the slave ; 
and yet more by pleading the rights of the 
negro on the streets of the city where he lived. 
He showed the depth of his sympathy by his 
labors for the good of the soldier and for the 
comfort of the sick and the wounded in the hos- 
pital. When quieter times came, his labors for 
those who needed help went on more privately 
but no less earnestly. We cannot conceive of a 
life more open than his to every demand that 
might be made upon it. He appears to have had 
little more fondness for machinery in benevo- 
lence than for systems in theology. Perhaps 
his nature was more marked in nothing than 
in its love for freedom and spontaneity. This 
is not the place to dilate upon his many deeds 
of kindness. The story of them is written upon 
many a grateful heart. His days of usefulness 
began early, and ended late. He shrank from 
no scene of poverty or sickness. Thus, as truly 


as any man could, he represented to those with 
whom he had to do the gracious power and love 
of Him whom he recognized as his Divine Mas- 

This life of loving service won the hearts 
of those to whom he ministered. It uttered 
itself in his sermons, even for those who knew 
nothing of its outward manifestations. Thus 
it was that men loved him and honored him 
and opened their hearts to him. It is no won- 
der that the voice of the people within his com- 
munion and outside of it united to lift him to 
the highest position of honor and service which 
his church could offer. He was felt to be the 
Bishop not of a church, but of a people. 

Thus it was that when he died there was such 
sorrow throughout the English-speaking world. 
We must seek far to find a parallel to this uni- 
versal mourning. The expressions of grief at 
his funeral ; the solemn pomp of the service 
within the church that was so dear to him ; the 
waiting crowds outside that thronged the square, 
made up so largely of those whom his life had 
blessed; the turning aside of the funeral pro- 
cession to pass through the grounds of the col- 
lege that he loved, amid the ranks of students 
to whom he had ministered so gladly ; the final 


leaving him at rest in the beautiful inclosure 
where he had so often read the burial service 
of the Church ; the utterance since of so many 
words of sorrow and of gratitude from all sorts 
and conditions of men, from Jew and Catholic, 
from Orthodox and Free-thinker, all this re- 
calls the earlier times when the Church w r as one, 
and its Bishop was the Bishop of all. May we 
not say rather that it is a foregleam of the com- 
ing time, when, if the divisions of the Church 
shall still maintain themselves, they will do it 
in a spirit of mutual sympathy and with a sense 
of sharing in a common work; so that if one 
member suffers all the members shall suffer with 
it; not merely by a sympathetic and reflected 
grief, but because what is a loss for one is felt 
to be truly a loss for all? 





[ 119 ] 


Major-General Francis Charming Barlow died 
at his home in New York, on Jan. 11, 1896. 
He was born in Brooklyn, Long Island, of New 
England parentage, on October 19, 1834. His 
father, David Hatch Barlow, the first scholar in 
his class (H. U. 1824), and also its class poet, 
was at this time the pastor of the First Uni- 
tarian Church in that city. General Barlow 
spent the last years of his life so quietly in 
the practice of law, that the generation now 
at the front scarcely appreciates how large a 
figure he was during the War of the Rebellion 
and the next ten years while he continued in 
public life. 

Having graduated in July, 1855, at Harvard, 
he went to New York in September, and was 
occupied with private pupils for about twelve 
months. He then entered the office of William 
Curtis Noyes, Esq., and was admitted to the 
bar in May, 1858, and in the autumn of that 
year formed a partnership with George Bliss, 
Jr., Esq. He was practicing law in that city 


when the attack on Fort Sumter took place, in 
April, 1861. On April 19 he enlisted as a 
private in the Twelfth Regiment of the New 
York State Militia. He was married on April 
20 to Arabella Wharton Griffith, of Somer- 
ville, New Jersey, and on April 21 he marched 
with his regiment to take part in the defense 
of Washington. He was appointed first lieu- 
tenant in that regiment on May 3, but the brief 
need of militia troops was soon satisfied, and 
on Aug. 5 he was mustered out of service with 
that regiment, and returned to his office. He 
was not content to stay there, however, and on 
Nov. 9, 1861, was appointed lieutenant-colonel 
of the Sixty-first Regiment of New York Vol- 
unteers and started for the field at once. Dur- 
ing the Peninsular campaign his regiment 
formed a part of General Howard's brigade, 
and he was promoted to be its colonel on April 
14, 1862. The Sixty-first Regiment under his 
command behaved with conspicuous gallantry 
at the battle of Fair Oaks, and received high 
commendation for its steadiness and skilful 
handling. General Howard was wounded early 
in this battle, and Colonel Barlow then succeeded 
to the command of the brigade. During the 
seven days' fight on the retreat to Harrison's 


t bumter LOOK: place,, in 

' ' !i '" '*. 

Regiment of the New 

York State Militia. He was married on April 
to Arabella Wharton Griffith, of Somer- 
ville, New Jersey, and on April 1 he marched 
with his regiment to take part in the defense 
of Washington. He was appointed first lieu- 
tenant in that regiment on May 8, but the brief 
need of militia troops was soon satisfied, and 
on Aug. 5 he was mustered out of service 


wojHAa oraxzAHo siSftW 111 ? 

< lieutcnant-c 

i:ht . st Regiment of New York 

untcers .und started for the field at once. D 
ing the Peninsular campaign his r 
formed a part of General Howard's \- 
and he was promoted to be its colonel on i 
14, 1862. The Sixty-first Regiment under 
command behaved with conspicuous 
at the battle of Fair Oaks, and received 
commendation for its steadiness and si 
handling. General Howard was wounded e 
in this battle, and Colonel Barlow then 
to the command of the brigade, 
seven days* fight on the retreat to Harri 


Landing Barlow's regiment assisted in covering 
the rear, and took part in four fiercely fought 
engagements. At Charles City Cross Roads 
his horse was shot under him, and his regiment 
captured a stand of rebel colors. He is men- 
tioned in the official reports of these battles with 
strong terms of praise. General Caldwell, who 
commanded the division, said in his reports : 

" I cannot forbear to mention in terms of the 
highest praise the part taken by Colonel Bar- 
low of the Sixty-first Volunteers. Whatever 
praise is due to the most distinguished bravery, 
the utmost coolness and quickness of perception, 
the greatest promptitude and skill in handling 
troops under fire is justly due to him. It is 
but simple justice to say that he has proved 
himself equal to every emergency, and I have 
no doubt that he would discharge the duties of 
a much higher command with honor to himself 
and credit to his country." 

When the Army of the Potomac reached 
Washington, although the Sixty-first Regiment 
could rally hardly more than seven officers and 
one hundred men, this fragment was joined with 
the Sixty-fourth New York, and Colonel Bar- 
low commanded it during the Maryland cam- 
paign, and at the battle of Antietam. " Seiz- 

[ 123 ] 


ing a tactical opportunity, and changing front 
at the right moment and on the right spot, he 
takes in flank a body of the enemy in the sunken 
road, pours a deadly volley down their line, and 
puts them to flight, capturing three hundred 
prisoners with two flags. . . . The enemy are 
beaten off by the quick and resolute action of 
Barlow." But near the end of the fight Bar- 
low received a severe wound in the groin from a 
canister-shot. He was borne insensible from 
the field, and the wound very nearly proved 
fatal. His commission as brigadier-general of 
volunteers, which reached him two days after 
the battle of Antietam, reads, " For distin- 
guished conduct at the battle of Fair Oaks," 
" a promotion," says General Francis A. Walker 
in his history of the Second Corps, " won by a 
gallantry and address of which it is impossible 
to speak in terms too high." During the winter 
of 1862-63 he was absent from duty on ac- 
count of his wounds ; but, reporting again on 
April 17, 1863, he was assigned to the com- 
mand of the Second Brigade, Second Division, 
Eleventh Corps ; General Howard commanding. 
On May 23 he took command of the First 
Division of that corps, and served with it 
through the Gettysburg campaign, w r here he 


was badly wounded again on July 1, 1863, and 
fell into the enemy's hands, but was recaptured 
when their assault was repulsed, and our troops 
again held the ground. His wounds kept him 
upon the sick list during the winter of 
1863-64. On April 1, 1864, he returned to 
the front, and was assigned to the First Division 
of the Second Corps, under the command of 
Ma j or-General Hancock, and took part in the 
Wilderness campaign. On Aug. 14, 1864, he 
was made major-general by brevet. It was 
during the Wilderness campaign that he earned 
his double stars, and thus became the senior 
major-general whose name is borne on the roll 
of Harvard soldiers. His brilliant capture of 
the salient * at Spottsylvania, where his division 

* The salient, or angle which formed the obstrusive 
portion of the Confederate lines, was the key of their 
position at Spottsylvania. Its capture would break their 
centre, as the Confederate breastworks stretched more 
than a mile on each side. It was held by Swell's Corps. 
The assault was ordered by General Grant to be made 
at four o'clock in the morning of May 12th. General 
Comstock's intended reconnaissance of the ground had 
unfortunately failed from various causes. General Bar- 
low started his column on the march about ten o'clock 
in the evening, but the night was pitch darlF and very 
rainy and the roads bad. His troops did not reach the 
point of attack until after midnight; and, before they 
could be got into position across a clearing in the wood, 

[ 125 ] 


stormed the works and carried them at the point 
of the bayonet, was one of the rare achievements 
of the war. There is an old saying in the army 
that the colonel is half the regiment ; and Bar- 
low's leadership really made the success of this 

Barlow had his share in those personal griefs 
which were the common heritage of almost all 

it was daylight, though the fog was very thick. " Gen- 
eral Barlow made anxious inquiries about the nature 
of the ground over which he was to move, and, not get- 
ting any satisfactory information, desired at length to 
be told whether there was a ravine a thousand feet deep 
between him and the enemy. When he could not be 
assured even on this point, he semed to think he was 
called upon to lead a forlorn hope, and placed his val- 
uables in the hand of a friend." He ordered the charge 
about half past four. "As soon as the curve in the 
clearing allowed Barlow's men to see the red earth at 
the salient, they broke into a wild cheer, and, taking the 
double quick without orders, rushed up against the 
works. Tearing away the abattis with their hands, 
Miles's and Brooke's brigades sprang over the intrench- 
ments, bayoneting the defenders or beating them down 
with clubbed muskets. Almost at the same instant Bir- 
ney entered the works on his side and the salient was 
won! Nearly a mile of the Confederate line was in our 
hands." Four thousand prisoners, two general officers, 
thirty colors, and eighteen cannon were the fruits of 
the victory." Walker's History of the Second Army 
Corps, pp. 465-470. 

[ 126 ] 


during that war. The wife who sent him to 
the front on her wedding-day died on the 27th 
of July, 1864, during the Wilderness cam- 
paign. Barlow believed that he owed his life 
to her tender nursing after his desperate wound 
at the battle of Gettysburg; and old friends 
will remember how bravely he bore his loss. 
On Aug. 24, 1864, his health again broke down 
under the burden of his sorrow and the hard- 
ships of war, and he was forced to leave the 
field. " He had fought," says General Walker, 
" against disease and the effect of his ghastly 
wounds received at Antietam and Gettysburg no 
less bravely than he had fought against the pub- 
lic enemy. During several days preceding he 
had been more like a dead than a living man. 
A few days later he made an attempt to resume 
command of his division, but had to be carried 
on a stretcher from the field at Ream's Station 
shortly before the opening of the battle." He 
was finally sent in November to Europe to re- 
cover his health. He returned to duty March 
1, 1865, and on April 4 was assigned to the 
command of the Second Division of the Second 
Corps under General Hancock, and bore a gal- 
lant part in the final scenes of the war until it 

[ 127 ] 


ended at Appomattox Court House. His com- 
mission as major-general bears date May 26, 

He was married in 1867 to Miss Ellen Shaw 
of Staten Island, the sister of Colonel Robert 
G. Shaw, whom Barlow had fitted for college in 
the summer of 1856, and also of Mrs. Charles 
Russell Lowell, and Mrs. George William Curtis, 
and Mrs. Robert B. Minturn. Two sons, 
Robert Shaw and Charles Lowell and a daughter, 
Louisa Shaw, were born to them. 

Barlow was not merely brave. His courage 
was more than ignorant insensibility to risk and 
the consequences of exposure to danger, for he 
was twice grievously hurt. He seemed through- 
out life, in civil as well as military affairs, lit- 
erally incapable of fearing anything in any 
form. Fear was not in him. Another class- 
mate, Colonel Theodore Lyman, who was serv- 
ing as aide-de-camp on the staff of General 
Meade at the headquarters of the Army of the 
Potomac, had abundant personal knowledge of 
Barlow's conduct during those days. From the 
seclusion of that sick-chamber toward which so 
many look with loving reverence upon great 
affliction nobly borne, he dictates with difficulty 
a few words at the w r riter's special request, while 


this article is passing through the press. They 
are the last "flowers which he lays upon the grave 
of his comrade, whom thirty years ago, on the 
tenth anniversary of our graduation, he had 
greeted at our board, in the pride of youth and 
freshness of fame, as " the hero of the salient at 
Spottsylvania." They dwell upon Barlow's 
personal courage. " Barlow was so brave," 
writes Colonel Lyman, " that he made a joke 
of danger. Once he and General Humphreys, 
who was just such another man, rode toward the 
enemy on a reconnaisance. Neither of them was 
willing to face about, and they nearly went 
over the rebel's skirmish line, when a showier of 
bullets persuaded them to retreat, both laughing 
heartily at the peril." 

There is no living man more competent to 
testify from personal knowledge as to the char- 
acter and worth of Barlow's military services 
than General Nelson A. Miles, himself one of 
the bravest of the brave, who now commands 
the Army of the United States. He was in 
1862 on General Howard's staff when Barlow's 
regiment formed part of Howard's division in 
front of Richmond. He led the reinforcements 
which were hurried to support Barlow's regi- 
ment at the Battle of Fair Oaks (or Seven 

[ 129 ] 


Pines). He succeeded' Barlow as lieutenant- 
colonel of the Sixty-first New York Volunteers, 
when Barlow became its colonel ; and, finally, 
when Barlow was promoted to be brigadier-gen- 
eral, Miles succeeded him in his colonelcy. 
Afterwards, in 1864, in the Wilderness cam- 
paign, General Miles's brigade was in Barlow's 
division when the memorable night march was 
made to attack the salient at Spottsylvania ; 
and Miles's brigade was a part of the first line 
of Barlow's division in the assault which cap- 
tured it. Miles was in the midst of the charge 
which took the works, and was present during 
the terrific storm of battle which raged all day 
long within the captured lines. General Miles, 
last February, came from Washington to at- 
tend the dinner of the Harvard Club in New 
York, because, as he told the writer, he thought 
it was his duty to tell the present generation 
what great and splendid service Barlow rendered 
as a soldier so many years ago. And now, as 
the last thing he can do for his old commander, 
he contributes from his own personal knowl- 
edge his story of Barlow's military career. 

" It was my good fortune," says General 
Miles, " to make the acquaintance of General 
Barlow in 1861. Returning home after the 

.[ 130 ] 


three months' service, he had been appointed by 
Governor Morgan lieutenant-colonel of the 
Sixty-first New York Regiment, and with that 
regiment returned to Washington, in the autumn 
of 1861, to what was known as ' Camp Cali- 
fornia,' about six miles south of Alexandria, 
where the Second Corps was being organized 
under the veteran general, E. V. Sumner. It 
was at this camp where we first came together, I 
occupying the position of aide-de-camp on the 
brigade staff at that time. Our acquaintance 
ripened into friendship and mutual regard, 
and lasted up to the time of General Barlow's 

" The clear and comprehensive intellect that 
had enabled him to pass his rivals in his educa- 
tional race also enabled him to absorb the books 
on military affairs and to acquire a useful 
knowledge of military history. Within a few 
months he had made himself absolute master of 
military tactics. It was as familiar to him as 
the alphabet or the multiplication table, and 
equally so were the Army Regulations. He 
not only knew what they required, but compre- 
hended the principles, and was enabled to com- 
ply with them, and also to instruct his subordi- 
nates in the necessities and principles and re- 


quirements of the regulations governing mili- 
tary organizations. 

" During the months of preparation the 
winter of 1861 62 -his time was devoted to 
this work, and on being commissioned colonel of 
his regiment, Sixty-first New York, he disci- 
plined it as carefully and as rigidly as if it had 
been part of the regular military establish- 
ment of the United States. He paid close at- 
tention to its sanitary condition, the promotion 
of its health and good order in every respect, 
and exercised the utmost vigilance and energy in 
preparing it for the terrible ordeals through 
which that regiment was to pass in the coming 
battles of the great war. 

" During the great onslaught of the Confed- 
erate army at Seven Pines, May 31, 1862, and 
June 1, 1862, his regiment was brought forward 
as part of the reserve, and, although not en- 
gaged in that battle, camped on part of the field 
on the night of May 30. On the following 
morning his regiment with the rest of the com- 
mand was moved forward to occupy a dense tim- 
ber field and to receive the advance of the enemy, 
which was then moving down in expectation of 
repeating the success of the day before. 

" At this time the regiment had not been ' fire- 

[ 132 ] 


tried,' and of course there was more consterna- 
tion in preparing for the first conflict than on 
subsequent occasions. He, however, deliberately 
formed his regiment in line of battle, took es- 
pecial care to see that every officer and non-com- 
missioned officer and soldier was in his correct 
position, and then, taking his place in rear of 
the center and close to the colors of the regiment, 
he addressed a few words to his command, which 
were simply the announcement that in a few mo- 
ments the advance of the enemy would reach their 
line, and an engagement would be fought. He 
did not hesitate fully to impress upon the minds 
of those under his command the fact that a 
serious encounter would occur, and also that he 
expected every man to stand in his place and 
fulfill his duty to the utmost with faithful forti- 
tude. Having said these few words of warning, 
encouragement, and admonition, he drew his 
sword, and closed his remarks by saying that 
the first man who left his place and attempted to 
retreat from the presence of the enemy would 
receive his swift administration of subjugative 
discipline. His language may not have been 
clothed in those exact words, but they were so 
forcible, and so strongly had he impressed his 
character and discipline upon the regiment, that 

[ 133 ] 


every man knew what he might expect if he un- 
dertook to play the role of a coward, and they 
felt a consciousness that it would be quite as safe 
to take the risk of the enemy's fire as to en- 
counter the vengeance of his sword. There ap- 
pears, however, to have been no disposition to 
take a backward step. The regiment received 
the onslaught of the victorious and exultant 
host as the granite wall receives the rush of the 
tidal wave, with a solidity and strength that 
hurled it back broken, crippled, and defeated. 
Although the regiment lost severely in killed and 

wounded, including the gallant lieutenant-colo- 
nel yet they all fell in line as correctly in posi- 
tion as if they had been formed for parade, and 
the ground in front of the regiment was thickly 
strewn with the bodies of the brave enemy. The 
rebel force, however, was defeated, and from a 
strong defense the regiment quickly assumed 
the offensive, and, making a countercharge, 
swept the enemy from the field, and formed a 
part of the line that drove them back in disorder. 
" This was a type of his military service. 
The same cool, deliberate courage, undaunted 
defiance of danger, and intelligent and judicious 
judgment characterized his actions through the 
various engagements that followed at Peach Or- 


chard, Savage Station, White Oak Swamp, Glen- 
dale, or Nelson's Farm, as it is sometimes called, 
and Malvern Hill. During the last two engage- 
ments his regiment was in the thickest of the 
fight, and in the most exposed positions ; yet its 
action was like the true steel, strong and inflexi- 
ble in all its encounters. 

" From Malvern Hill the regiment moved to 
Harrison's Landing, where it remained until the 
army was withdrawn from the Peninsula 
moved back again to Alexandria, Virginia, where 
they had embarked several months before. It 
then moved south to Centreville, where it acted 
as a partial reserve, but was not brought into 
serious engagements. From Centreville it was 
withdrawn back to the District of Columbia, 
thence through Maryland to the vicinity of 
South Mountain, and finally fought upon the 
field of Antietam. In this engagement he dis- 
tinguished himself, and crowned the regiment 
with glory. Being a part of the reserve of the 
Second Corps, it was not at first engaged, but 
during the battle was brought forward to 
strengthen the advancing line, and in a well- 
spirited charge pierced the enemy's line, wheeling 
to the right took the enemy in flank, captured 
two battle-flags and between two and three 

[ 135 ] 


hundred prisoners, in what is known as the 
' Sunken Road,' which was covered with the 
bodies of the dead and wounded of the enemy. 

" From this position he again assumed the 
advance, but was stricken down by the dis- 
charge of a battery of artillery in his front, and 
received the severe wound of a shrapnel shot in 
the groin, which crippled him for several 
months. He was then promoted to the grade 
of brigadier-general, and returned to the field 
in the spring of 1863, and was assigned to a 
division of the Eleventh Corps. He exercised 
the same vigilance in the care and discipline in 
this as he had in former commands, and was 
engaged at Chancellorsville and at Gettysburg, 
where he was again disabled by a severe wound, 
and in the retreat the first day was left upon 
the field, and fell into the hands of the enemy. 
He was, however, treated with due consider- 
ation, and the following day in the advance of 
our forces he was rescued and sent back to the 
hospital. This severe wound kept him out of 
the field for several months, but he returned in 
time to take part in the campaign the following 
spring, and was assigned to the first division of 
the Second Army Corps. 

" He was engaged in the fierce battles of the 

[ 136 ] 


Wilderness, where his command took a most 
important part, and also at Po River. When 
it was determined to make the assault upon the 
angle of the enemy's line at Spottsylvania, it 
was decided that the Second Corps should be 
the leading command in that great assault, and 
his division was selected to act as the pivot in 
that movement. It was considered a most 
hazardous undertaking, and great doubt was 
expressed as to the success of the enterprise. 
He, however, determined to make it a success as 
far as possible, and decided to make the assault- 
ing column so strong as to render it invincible. 
He therefore gave orders for the division to be 
massed in double column by regiments, two bri- 
gades in the front line and two brigades im- 
mediately in reserve. The character of the 
country was not very well known. He was ex- 
pected to charge, and there was some specula- 
tion as to the results. After a long, tedious 
march during the dark night, the command ar- 
rived in position in the gray of the morning, 
and what little information he could gain from 
the officers who had been reconnoitring the day 
before was somewhat vague ; yet without hesi- 
tation they went from column of fours into the 
formation known as double column on the cen- 

[ 137 ] 


tre, and advanced practically forty men deep 
over rolling country and through some timber, 
until they reached the picket line of the enemy, 
and received their fire without returning it. 
They rushed on as rapidly as possible to gain 
the main line of works as soon as practicable. 
The troops were embarrassed by having to go 
through slashed brush and timber, and also re- 
ceiving the fire of the enemy's batteries and in- 
fantry, yet without a halt. They rushed on 
until they reached the chevaux-de-frise, and by 
main force seized them, tore them to pieces, and 
rushed on to meet a line of bayonets in the 
hands of men who had stoutly held their posi- 
tion to receive the attack. By a preponder- 
ance of numbers and great overwhelming force, 
however, the bayonets were crossed but an in- 
stant of time, and the line of battle was practi- 
cally overrun by the great force of the assault- 
ing party. Twelve battle-flags, twenty pieces 
of artillery, and about three thousand prisoners 
fell into the hands of the division, as the fruits 
of one of the most desperate and successful as- 
saults that was ever made. 

" Its victory, however, was not to be en- 
joyed unmolested. A counter-charge was im- 

[ 138 ] 


mediately made by the enemy's troops in re- 
serve, and a most desperate battle was fought 
over the ground, lasting for nine hours, in 
which portions of the ground were absolutely 
covered with the dead and wounded. In many 
places it was impossible to walk without step- 
ping upon the bodies of the dead, and acres of 
ground were thickly covered with the dead and 
wounded of both armies. 

" From this field the command moved on to 
the field of North Anna and Tolopotomy, 
where it was severely engaged, and also in the 
desperate battle of Cold Harbor, where it suc- 
ceeded in piercing the enemy's line ; but as other 
parts of the line were not successful, the fruits 
of its victory were of little value. Thence it 
crossed the James River, and engaged in the 
desperate battles in front of Petersburg, and 
at Deep Bottom, on the north side of the James 
River. The severity of the campaign had so 
undermined his strength as to compel him to 
leave the field for a time, and he was out of the 
field until the following campaign of 1865. 

" On returning to the Second Corps, he was 
present during the retreat of the Confederate 
armv from Richmond and Petersburg, and took 

[ 139 ] 


part in the engagements at High Bridge, Farm- 
ville, and was present at the surrender of the 
Confederate army at Appomattox. 

" Under the most depressing circumstances 
he never was without hope and fortitude. He 
was apparently utterly devoid of the sensation 
of fear, constantly aggressive, and intensely 
earnest in the discharge of all duties. His in- 
tegrity of purpose, independence of character, 
and sterling honesty in the assertion of what he 
believed to be right and just, made him a marked 
man among public men. He abhorred a 
coward; had # perfect contempt for a dema- 
gogue, and despised a hypocrite. He believed 
in the administration of public affairs with the 
most rigid integrit}^, and did not hesitate to 
denounce wrong as he believed it to exist, and 
maintain what he believed to be right under all 

" The gentle, wholesome influence and teach- 
ings he received in his youth doubtless inspired 
him to fulfill those principles contained in the 
lines of ' Fair Harvard :' 

1 With freedom to think, and with patience to 

And for right ever bravely to live.' 

[ 140 ] 


" I esteem myself fortunate to have enjoyed 
for more than thirty years his friendship, a 
friendship that was both sincere and earnest, 
and, with the thousands who knew and respected 
him, I can but offer my humble tribute to his 

Such is the military history of the senior 
officer in the War of the Rebellion among the 
Harvard soldiers. He had entered college in 
1851, and throughout his entire course was 
poor and struggling under peculiar burdens. 
He was a fine scholar in all departments of 
study. He did not manifest special fondness 
for any particular branch at that time, but 
seemed to be equally good in all kinds of intel- 
lectual work. When he graduated at the head 
of the Class of 1855, he had a colleague in this 
honor in Robert Treat Paine, but Barlow was 
the elder twin. College standing in those days 
was determined by the gross total of the marks 
received during the four years' course. The 
system of computation was crude ; for absence 
and behavior both affected in some degree the 


amount of credits. But the curious coincidence 
of identical totals did actually occur in the case 
of Barlow and Paine. Professor Joseph Lover- 
ing, whose function as Regent included the 


preparation of the rank-list, told the writer some 
years after our graduation that he twice went 
through the calculation and reached both times 
the same result. 

When we graduated, nothing could have 
seemed more wildly improbable to Barlow's 
classmates than that he should ever attain mili- 
tary renown. Neither his personal bearing nor 
his tastes had foreshadowed in any degree a 
military career, although he was generally be- 
lieved to have once discharged certain heavy 
artillery in the State Arsenal yard, on a winter's 
night during his Freshman year. But retro- 
spect in the light of subsequent events dis- 
closes in his college life very distinctly those 
qualities which characterized his later career and 
made him so successful as a soldier. He al- 
ways perceived existing facts and relations with 
singular precision and quickness. He prided 
himself in college upon having no illusions, and 
was resolved to see things as they really were. 
He then, and ever afterwards, spoke his thoughts 
without restraint, and with a singular and al- 
most contemptuous disregard of consequence. 
He indulged throughout his life in a very un- 
usual freedom, not to say license, of speech. 
He acted and spoke without paying any regard 


to what man could do, or say, or think about 
him. His total want of reverence and appar- 
ent inability to be afraid tended undoubtedly to 
impair his capacity to form high ideals. He 
lacked that keen perception of eternal verities 
which was the source of Phillips Brooks's 
power in men's lives. Nevertheless, this limita- 
tion upon his power for veneration and imagi- 
nation and poetic conception rendered pecul- 
iarly conspicuous a certain honesty of thought 
and independence in action which is by no means 
common among men. The secret of Barlow's 
success in military life lay in his clear percep- 
tion of the actual situation, and his fearless 
readiness to realize that perception in action. 
His boldness enabled him instantly to carry into 
act what his quick eye saw; and this power of 
prompt decision and utter fearlessness pecul- 
iarly fitted him to lead men in the crisis of bat- 
tle. He was reputed among our leading sol- 
diers to possess singular ability for seizing the 
right moment for daring act in the crisis of an 
event. The good which he could win, he never 
lost by fearing to attempt. This habit of cool 
promptitude enabled him to seize the right in- 
stant for storming the salient at Spottsylvania, 
just as the want of this quality in other leaders 



caused the disaster in the Mine on the Peters- 
burg front. If this intelligent courage, not 
to say audacity, of temper was the mainspring 
of his military success, it is also plain that he 
had acquired at his University a trained intel- 
ligence which much increased his power for 
effective action. When he became a soldier, 
he turned the full strength of his mental pow- 
ers with intense energy to study the science of 
war. He made himself master of every detail 
of tactics, and was eminent for his minute and 
thorough knowledge and rigid discipline. He 
thus established his control over his troops by 
filling his men w r ith absolute faith in his ability 
to lead them. In his subsequent life he ex- 
hibited the same undaunted spirit and power to 
see through appearance, which made him first 
among our college soldiers. 

It is well to remember how young were the 
men who fought that war. When Barlow 
sheathed his sword, and his w r ar record was 
closed forever, he had been not quite ten years 
out of college. 

When the war was ended, he declined a com- 
mission in the regular army, and in September, 
1865, was elected by the Republicans to the 
office of secretary of state in New York. This 

[ 144 ] 


event led him to resume the practice of law in 
New York, where he opened an office in May, 
1866. Failing to be renominated, he contin- 
ued his practice at the bar until May, 1869, 
when General Grant, upon the recommendation 
of Judge E. R. Hoar who was then attorney- 
general, appointed him United States marshal 
for the southern district of New York. He re- 
tained this office about six months, but took 
much satisfaction during that time in cleaning 
out what had become a nest of corruption. He 
removed every person there within the first week 
and filled all the places with honest and capable 
men. During his term of office, the attempts 
of filibusters to send men, arms, and supplies 
to aid the Cuban insurrection came very near 
involving the United States in controversy with 
Spain through violation of the neutrality laws. 
That these attempts did not produce serious in- 
ternational complications between Spain and 
the United States may justly be credited to 
Barlow's energy. The President, by special 
commission, conferred upon Barlow extraordi- 
nary powers, under the Act of 1818, and gave 
him command over the military, naval, and 
revenue forces of New England, New York, 
and New Jersey. He really conducted a cam- 

[ "5 ] 


paign, and actually captured by force in New 
York harbor a large party of Cuban recruits, 
with materials of war, as their vessel was about 
to leave the harbor. He thus broke up com- 
pletely their expeditions, and stopped the de- 
parture of men and arms from that city. When 
this emergency was over and he had prevented 
an occurrence which Spain seemed ready to re- 
gard as an act of war, he resigned, because the 
salary was inadequate and the duties of the 
office prevented his professional work, on which 
he depended for his living. His career as 
marshal showed both legal judgment and per- 
sonal courage in a very unusual degree. 

In 1871 he was one of the founders of the 
Bar Association, the first institution of its kind, 
and began the attack upon Fisk, Gould, and 
David Dudley Field, their counsel. He pre- 
ferred formal charges against Field which in- 
volved Judges Barnard and Cardozo. He be- 
came one of the Committee of Seventy, and 
afterwards was one of its paid counsel. He was 
then elected attorney-general of New York, and 
held that office during 1872 and 1873, and, as 
attorney-general, had superintendence of the 
counsel and direction of the contest which re- 
sulted in the overthrow of Tweed and his as- 


sociates. He officially instituted most of the 
legal proceedings which, under the guidance 
of Charles O'Connor, Samuel J. Tilden, and 
other eminent lawyers, resulted in the removal 
of Judge Barnard and the reformation of many 
other judicial abuses. 

He dared to attack a corrupt judiciary when 
success seemed as doubtful as the forlorn hope 
had seemed desperate in storming the salient. 
The moral courage he displayed in his leader- 
ship in this civic struggle was magnificent in- 
deed. Others followed, but he led. How im- 
portant a part he played appears in a letter of 
the Hon. Charles S. Fairchild, late Secretary 
of the United States Treasury, from which it is 
permitted to quote : 

" The law firm of which I was at that time 
a member was employed in some suits against 
canal contractors, and it fell to me to attend to 
that business. This brought me in close pro- 
fessional contact with General Barlow. His 
devotion to public duty, his bravery and aggres- 
siveness therein, and disregard of selfish con- 
siderations or consequences to himself, filled me 
with admiration and enthusiasm, and, I see, as 
I recall it now, set me a standard of public duty 
that has influenced all my life since. I believe 


that, if it had not been for General Barlow's 
zealous work, it would never have come to Mr. 
Tilden to take the position that he did upon 
canal matters, a position to which Mr. Tilden 
owed the immediate prestige that compelled his 
nomination for the presidency in 1876. Tilden 
but took up and carried on the work that Gen- 
eral Barlow had begun, and begun under cir- 
cumstances of great difficulty and great danger 
to himself, for he was all alone. Not another 
State officer dared stand with him at the begin- 
ning of the fight. Before that time he had so 
pursued and pointed out the judicial wrongs 
that surrounded the Erie and other litigations 
that his work was one of the chief contributions 
to what culminated in the impeachment of the 
judges. I believe that the State owes General 
Barlow more than she does any single man for 
results without which the life of an honest man 
would have been intolerable in this State." 

But Barlow was not renominated for his 
office. He did not work well in political har- 
ness. His readiness to speak his mind as to 
what he thought, and to tell the whole truth 
about what he saw, did not harmonize well with 
those methods which achieve political success 
where offices depend upon caucuses and popular 


votes. He had also made many enemies, who 
sought his defeat for personal ends. There is 
an unhappy significance in the fact that almost 
all of the high public functions which Barlow 
administered, and which gave him the oppor- 
tunity to do great deeds, came to him rather by 
appointment than election. 

At the time of the Hayes and Tilden contro- 
versy about the presidency in 1876, Barlow was 
one of the prominent Republicans who were in- 
vited to go, and went, to Florida, to witness the 
count and investigate into the details of the 
electoral vote of that State. His bold and 
frank statement of the facts did not suit at all 
the purposes of some other visiting statesmen, 
as they were termed, or of the party with which 
Barlow had acted. It was said that he was 
never forgiven for telling the whole story, as he 
did, about the transactions of that time in 
Florida, and the facts of the election. He dis- 
played the same spirit then which he had shown 
when he was United States marshal and had 
been assessed by his party's committee for a 
party subscription. The amount of his assess- 
ment was based upon the very large income 
which was generally believed to be, directly or 
indirectly, within the marshal's reach. The 


letter in which General Barlow declined to pay 
an assessment based upon supposed pickings 
and stealings, and not upon the honest salary 
of his office, did credit to his old teacher of 
rhetoric. It attracted much attention, and re- 
ceived much commendation from men who were 
not practical politicians, but it was not accepta- 
able to the managers of political affairs in his 
party at that time. In short, it became very 
evident, in the course of years, that he lacked 
that suppleness of disposition w r hich is an ele- 
ment so potent in gaining political office in this 

Memorial Hall at Cambridge is for the 
graduates of Harvard a shrine of memory and 
reconciliation. The different classes which 
graduated just before the Civil War have placed 
in the great dining hall a series of windows 
commemorative of their own classmates. The 
window of the class of 1855 contains the figures 
of the great preacher and the great soldier of 
the First Crusade. These figures actually re- 
produce the faces, and symbolize the lives of 
the two most famous members of the class, 
Phillips Brooks and Frank Barlow. Each in 
his own way was the embodiment of duty faith- 
fully done in the presence of a cloud of wit- 

[ 150 ] 


nesses. What ancient heroes are more fitted to 
stir with noble aspirations the hearts of the 
young men who pass year after year through 
the University? What pictured forms can 
better shadow forth to future generations the 
kind of man the college tries to make? 




[ 153 ] 


Colonel Russell's lineage, on both sides, was of 
the best New England type. His grandfather, 
Jonathan Russell, was Minister to Sweden, 
Charge d'Affaires at Paris, Commissioner at 
Ghent to frame the treaty after the War of 
1812, and a Representative in Congress. 
George Russell, son of Jonathan, graduated at 
Brown L^niversity, studied law with the distin- 
guished John Sergeant of Philadelphia, but 
later turned to commerce and founded the house 
of Russell & Sturgiss in Manila. Returning 
thence, after eleven years, with a comfortable 
fortune, he married Sarah (Parkman) Shaw, 
daughter of Robert G. Shaw. Thereafter he 
lived at West Roxbury, and later on his estate 
in Jube's Lane. He was a gentleman of lit- 
erary taste, and of note and influence. Henry 
Sturgis Russell, the first son and second child, 
named after his father's partner, was born June 
21, 1838, at Savin Hill, then a seaside resort 
for the summer months. 

Henry, always more pleasantly known as 

[ 155 ] 


Harry, in early boyhood drifted through several 
schools, of which one was that of Brook Farm 
where the famous Social Experiment was then 
in progress. Later he studied several years at 
the private school of Mr. E. S. Dixwell, whence 
in 1856 he went to Harvard College, and grad- 
uated in 1860. Though little addicted to book 
learning, he acquitted himself fairly well by 
steadfastly facing the duty of study. He was 
popular; of too sober a temperament to be a 
leader, but for the same reason highly respected. 
In 1861 Russell was in the office of that excel- 
lent merchant, William Perkins, the business nur- 
sery of so many young Bostonians. Promptly 
joining the Fourth Battalion, he went with it to 
Fort Independence, in Boston Harbor; and 
there, for a month, he was thoroughly drilled by 
Gen. Thomas G. Stevenson, a born commander 
of soldiers. From this admirable tutelage he 
passed into active service as 1st Lieutenant in 
the 2d Mass. Vol. Infantry (May 28, 1861); 
Dec. 13, 1861? he got his company. His first 
serious engagement was at Cedar Mountain 
where the blunder of General Banks caused so 
shocking a slaughter. When the regiment was 
ordered to retreat, Capt. Russell performed an 
act of generous loyalty to his dear friend Lieu- 

[ 156 ] 


e the famous Social Experim 



Later he studied sevcraJ years at 
the private school of Mr. E. S. Dixwell, whence 
in 1 856 he went to Harvard College, and grad- 
uated in 1860. Though little addicted to book 
learning, he acquitted himself fairly well by 

He was 

popular : of too sober a temperament to be a 
leader, t'ut fur the same reason highly respected. 

T,., 1 x. i T > 1~i f f "L, A I 

irth Battalion, he went with 

there, for a , l.t; was thoroughly di 

Gen. I G. Stevenson, a born con 

of soldiers. From this admirable tut 
passed into active service as 1st Liei 
the 2d Mass. Vol. Infantry (May 28, 18 
Dec 13 1861 he ffot his comrjanv His 
serious engagement was at Cedar 

shocking a slaughter. When the re. 
ordered to retreat, Capt. Russell j 
act of generous loyalty to his dear 

r i/5fi i 



\ Vi 


tenant-Colonel Savage, which afterwards, at the 
Harvard exercises held in honor of the grad- 
uates slain in the war (July 21, 1865), was 
thus narrated by Governor Andrew : 

" I know of no incident of more perfect, of 
more heroic, gentility, bespeaking a noble na- 
ture, than the act performed by one Captain 
of the 2d Mass., . . . who, standing by the 
side of Lieut.-Colonel Savage, . . . fatally 
wounded, not believed by the enemy to be worth 
the saving, refused to surrender until he had 
wrung from the enemy the pledge that they 
would, in capturing him, save also his comrade 
and bear him back to the nearest hospital; de- 
claring that, if they did not, he, single-handed 
and alone, would fight it out, and sell his life 
at the dearest cost." At these words Col. 
Henry Lee, '36, sprang up and called for three 
cheers for Col. Harry Russell, which were well 
given. Col. Savage died of his wounds a few 
days afterward, and later Russell named his 
first-born son after his friend. The result of 
Russell's sacrifice was a miserable captivity in 
Libby Prison. He was liberated Nov. 15, 
1862 ; and on Jan. 22, 1863, was made Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel of the 2d Mass Cav. On April 5, 
1864<, he accepted the colonelcy of the 5th Mass. 

[ 157 ] 


Cav., a negro regiment. He was loath to leave 
his comrades of the Second Cavalry ; the ad- 
vancement in rank was inconsiderable ; the com- 
mand of colored troops was then little desired. 
The inducement, however, was characteristic. 
Between Russell and his cousin, Robert G. Shaw, 
'60, there had existed since childhood a close, 
even a romantic friendship. Shaw's death at 
the head of his colored troops at Fort Wagner 
had then latelv occurred ; and now Russell, tak- 


ing the offered colonelcy, quietly said, " Bob 
would have liked to have me do it," and thus 
simply settled the matter. The Shaw family 
had long been ultra- Abolitionists ; Mr. George 
Russell, more moderate, was yet decidedly anti- 
slavery. Col. Russell shared his father's views, 
insisting always that the war was for the Union, 
but welcoming the disappearance of slavery as 
a happy result. It was at the head of this 
regiment on June 15, 1864, before Petersburg, 
that Col. Russell received his first wound, a 
severe one ; but he also received special com- 
mendation from General Grant which led, a year 
later, to his brevet as Brigadier-General of Vol- 
unteers " for distinguished gallantry and good 

On May 6, 1864, Col. Russell married Mary 

[ 158 ] 


Hathaway Forbes, daughter of the Hon. John 
M. Forbes. Feb. 14, 1865, by reason of illness 
in the family, he left the army, and entered 
his father-in-law's firm, where he remained three 
years, but developed little taste for business and 
gladly escaped to more congenial pursuits. He 
established at West Roxbury the famous Home 
Farm, which two years later he removed to his 
handsome estate midway between Milton Hill 
and the Blue Hills, where he passed the rest of 
his life. Here he indulged his passion for 
horses, built fine stables, laid out broad pastures, 
and kept some of the most famous trotting stal- 
lions in the country, notably Fearnaught, Smug- 
gler and Edgemark. Later he turned his at- 
tention to Jersey cattle. In 18T8, he accepted, 
from Mayor Pierce, the position of Chairman 
of the Board of Police Commissioners. The 
police, hitherto managed by an aldermanic com- 
mittee, had of course sunk into a pitiable con- 
dition, from which Russell was expected to re- 
trieve it by his great faculty for organization 
and his extraordinary capacity for the control 
of men. For two years he toiled hard, vigilant 
by night and laborious by day, and brought 
the force into fine shape. Then he resigned; 
for in fact he was altogether too much of a 

[ 159 ] 


man to be only a third part of anything ; he was 
not meant to be a fraction, or to contribute to 
averages and compromises. So he returned to 
his fields, and had some long, pleasant years 
there until, Jan. 14, 1895, Mayor Curtis ap- 
pointed him Fire Commissioner. Here also there 
was nominally a board of three; but it was 
understood that the other two should not be 
appointed save at request of Col. Russell, which 
request of course never came. So until his 
death he remained in absolute control. It was 
long and arduous work to bring the department 
up to his ideal, but he left it undoubtedly the 
best organized, and the most efficient fire de- 
partment in the country. At the beginning the 
politicians came with their usual demands for 
" influence," but quickly learned that they had 
absolutely none! Shocked and angry at so 
" un-American ' a condition, they would fain 
have ejected the Colonel; but they found him 
evenly indifferent to threats, gallantly backed 
by the powerful insurance interests, and attend- 
ing to business as if such cattle as politicians 
did not exist. In time they appreciated the 
situation, and ceased from troubling; and no 
mayor of either party ever disturbed the Fire 
Commissioner. With his subalterns he was 

[ 160 ] 


popular ; and even with the rank and file ; for 
though very rigid and a strict disciplinarian, 
he was not a martinet. During his term, he 
made short work of disquieting agitations con- 
cerning hours and pay which meddlesome pol- 
iticians sought to stir; yet his men, proud of 
being parts of so fine an organization as he 
had created, did not audibly murmur. He was 
a strong commander, and he reaped the fruits 
of it. During the last year of his life, failing 
health prevented his always giving the close 
dailv attention which he had hitherto rendered 


without a day of vacation, but he rested easy 
in the knowledge that the perfect machinery 
could run a long while without disorder. So 
he was still in office when death came to him, 
in Boston, Feb. 16, 1905. 

Though he achieved much, his friends knew 
that his qualities surpassed his achievements. 
Character counted in him for more than intel- 
lect. His mind worked in a simple, straight- 
forward way, and he reached his conclusions 
by direct processes, without subtlety. Thus 
his convictions were strong and definite, and his 
judgment positive. Naturally, his action fol- 
lowed resolutely, decisively, without compromise. 
He gave the impression of reserved force, and 


was a man not lightly to be opposed. He 
was modest, yet conscious of his strong qualities, 
and by consequence self-reliant. His moral 
courage was equal to his physical, and fear 
of any sort was utterly absent in his make-up ; 
but with his masculine strength he combined 
a very affectionate nature ; loyal and kindly, 
he gave and received warm affection ; domestic 
in his tastes, he knew nothing else so pleasant 
as to live alwavs at home : the f amilv circle, 

* / 

his own house, his own fields gave him complete 
and sufficient happiness. Though neither im- 
pulsive nor demonstrative, he came instinctively 
into human touch with all men in every rank 
of life. Without being imperious, he was al- 
ways thoroughlv the master of his soldiers, his 
policemen, his firemen, and his employees. His 
judgments of them were strict, but just, and 
as generous as the circumstances would permit. 
At times taciturn, and indisposed to sustained 
conversation, he yet had a terse, original, and 
livelv wit, which never failed him even in the 
latest days of weakness and suffering. 

[ 162 ] 




[ 163 ] 


When Roger Wolcott died, the Commonwealth 
mourned, for there had been taken from her 
one who, holding her highest office, had ex- 
pressed in his character her finest traditions, and 
who had thereby won the affection as well as 
the admiration of the people. 

Roger Wolcott was happy in his ancestry. 
For two centuries his fathers had been men of 
force and influence. His very name suggested 
heroic incidents in American history ; for it was 
his ancestor, Roger Wolcott, lieutenant-gov- 
ernor of Connecticut, who in 1745 was second 
in command of the expedition of Sir William 
Pepperell against Cape Breton, which resulted 
in the capture of Louisburg. In the war of 
the Revolution another ancestor, Oliver Wolcott, 
was made brigadier-general. the same Oliver 
who was a signer of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence and second governor of the State of 
Connecticut. His son. Oliver, was in the cab- 
inet of President Washington, as Secretary of 

[ 165 ] 


the Treasury. On his mother's side, too, there 
was a long line of worthy men and patriots. 

He was born in Boston, July 13, 1847, and 
was the son of Joshua Huntington and Cornelia 
(Frothingham) Wolcott. His father had come 
to Boston from Connecticut in 1822 to enter 
the office of A. & A. Lawrence, merchants. He 
was later made a partner in the firm. During 
his boyhood, therefore, Roger Wolcott became 
familiar with the talk, interests, and principles 
of Boston commercial life. Both parents in- 
herited the love of culture which has been so 
typical of New England's best life. A quiet 
temperament, active mind, and sensitive consti- 
tution led him to a deeper interest in literature 
than was common amongst his schoolmates. A 
strong religious atmosphere pervaded the home ; 
for both parents, by inheritance and conviction 
Unitarians, exemplified a high type of the reli- 
gion of New England. 

When young Roger was in the most forma- 
tive period of his boyhood, there entered into 
his life one of those tragedies of the home with 
which the past generation was familiar, and 
which left a deep mark in his character. The 
war of the Rebellion was running its course. 
The boys of Dixwell's School were following 

[ 166 ] 


;r's s 


ston fro 
.: of A. 



:ott b 

of B !,; -.m,'- Trial life. ',, parents 

'(\ uJ* f which has been 

1 % A 


1 > a 

ong religions n ie pervaded 

both par. Jit 3 . ! j iuheritaf 
Unitarians, exemplified a h' 
a of New England. 

young- Roger was in the 
iod of his boyhood, there 
one of those tragedies of the home 
he past generation was fan, 
ft a deep mark in his char 

:e Rebellion was running i 
v- of Dixwell's 



with interest its victories and defeats. They 
had seen one of its masters go to the front with 
a sword in his hand which they had given him. 
Himtington Wolcott, Roger's only brother, two 
years older than himself, was in the first class, 
not yet ready for college. He was a handsome 
boy, with frank face, bright smile, and curly 
hair ; not so much of a scholar as his brother ; 
of athletic mould ; the captain of the school 
in its military drill, no boy in the school was 
more popular. It was whispered among the 
boys from time to time that " Hunty ' Wolcott 
was anxious to enlist, that his father was firm 
against it, for the war was almost over, and 
he was too young. Finally the report ran 
through the school that his father had yielded, 
and one bright day saw Dixwell's School pre- 
senting their playmate with a sword, and heard 
their cheers as he passed out of Boylston Place. 
A few months later, and all that remained on 
earth of the beautiful boy rested quiet in his 
father's home : fever had laid him low and 
brought him to death. 

Roger, a boy of seventeen, was the only child 
now left in that darkened house. The spirit 
of patriotism which was born in him now began 
to bear fruit, and the devotion to his parents, 

[ 167 ] 


which never flagged, and at times dominated his 
life, was now revealed. 

He entered Harvard College with the Class of 
1870. The few who then knew him intimately 
appreciated his simplicity and gentle nature as 
well as his intellectual ability. He was not, 
however, of a temperament to reach out to a 
wider circle or to make himself immediately felt. 
As the years passed, he developed, and his sin- 
cerity, geniality, and force of character were 
recognized by an ever-increasing circle. From 
the dav of his birth (Dr. Holmes would say two 

V tJ 

or three generations before his birth) Roger 
Wolcott was a gentleman. He was as much so, 
yet in a perfectly boyish way, at Dixwell's 
School as he was at the State House. Conse- 
quently, he was elected into the social and lit- 
erary clubs of the College, and, when the Class 
Day elections came, he was by general consent 
the one man to be considered for the position 
of Orator. He was also selected to deliver a 
Commencement part. 

For a man of his tastes, the natural step was 
to the Law School. He had no special love for 
the law, and little ambition to excel in the courts. 
His sympathies were with literature, he inherited 
an interest in commerce, and he was alive with 

[ 168 ] 


the spirit of patriotism. A training in the law 
would prepare him for whatever service he might 
enter, for he was too earnest and industrious 
a man to have ever dreamed of a life of leisure 
or aimless culture. It was natural, too, that he 
should, while studying law, become for one year, 
1871-1872, a tutor at the College in History 
and French. He entered the office of Thornton 
K. Lothrop, Esq., and in 1874 became a member 
of the Suffolk bar. During the next few years, 
his professional calling was that of law, his real 
interests were in literature, philanthropic insti- 
tutions, and his home, with an increasing move- 
ment towards public life. 

In 1874?, by his marriage with Edith Prescott, 
the grand-daughter of Prescott the historian, he 
united two of the noble families of New Eng- 
land, and gained for his constant companion 
one whose devotion, wisdom, and force of char- 
acter were his support and inspiration to the 
end. At the same time his filial piety was un- 
flagging, and to his parents in their declining 
years he gave a rare and beautiful devotion. 
In 1885 he was elected an Overseer of Harvard 
College ; and therewith continued his long service 
to the University, which claimed his affections 
to the last. 

[ 169 ] 


It is one of the glories of democracy that, 
when the public service calls, there come from 
all ranks men ready and able to serve her. 
From one class there have risen men who, sur- 
rounded by everything that is associated with 
privilege and aristocracy, have revealed a spirit 
of democracy which is unexcelled. There was 
no young man in Boston in 1877 who to the 
superficial observer was more of an aristocrat 
than Roger Wolcott : and the same was true 
to the end. A noble ancestry, wealth, and cul- 
ture were his. The whole bearing of the man 
was that of the best aristocracy. That he had 
the convictions and heart of the best democracy, 
is now recognized by all men. Evidence of this 
is seen in the fact that men, women, and chil- 
dren of every class the bootblack, the plough- 
boy, the school-teacher, the shopkeeper, and the 
doctor have claimed him as their friend and 
the representative of their best ideals. It was 
fortunate, therefore, that those who were cast- 
ing about for a nominee for the common council 
of the city of Boston in 1877 should have hit 
upon Roger Wolcott, and that by his election 
the community should have drawn him into its 

The seriousness of purpose, industry, con- 

[ no ] 


scientiousness, and ability which went with him 
through life now began to be revealed to a larger 
circle. It was natural that soon after he had 
served in the common council, in the years 1877, 
1878, and 1879, with credit to himself and the 
city, he should have been elected to the lower 
house of the Legislature. During 1882, 1883, 
and 1884, he was a hardworking and efficient 
member of that house. On the committees he 
did his full share of duty. He made no special 
mark by any great speech or sensational action. 
He simply gained and gained steadily in the 
confidence of the members of the house. 

In the year 1884, the Republican party had 
reached a point where, under the domination of 
its machine, it nominated, in spite of the protest 
of a large fraction of its early and noblest mem- 
bers, James G. Elaine for the presidency. The 
moral sense and political judgment of Roger 
Wolcott revolted against this action, and, though 
still at heart in sympathy with the greater prin- 
ciples of the Republican party, he cast his vote 
in the presidential election for Mr. Cleveland. 
Although he received high honors from the Re- 
publican party in later years, no one, to my 
knowledge, ever heard him express a word of 
regret for that vote. He esteemed his action 

[ 171 ] 


then as the best service that he could do for the 
nation, which was more to him than party, and 
incidentally he believed that it was- the best 
service that he could do for the Republican 

In the reaction which set in against the Re- 
publican party during the administration of 
President Harrison, the Democrats gained 
strength in Massachusetts. They had a worthy 
and strong leader in William E. Russell. He 
had won, as he deserved, the confidence and 
loyalty not only of his own party but of thou- 
sands of citizens who were good Republicans 
or whose party affiliations sat lightly upon 
them. A group of high-minded and ardent Re- 
publicans of the younger generation felt that 
something should be done to stem the tide and 
to bring before the Commonwealth a type of 
Republicanism which was different in some of 
its characteristics from that element which was 
in control of the national and state party. 
They organized the Republican Club of Massa- 
chusetts ; and in selecting a standard-bearer for 
the younger Republicanism, their eye naturally 
fastened upon Roger Wolcott as their first pres- 
ident. His inaugural speech, with its outspoken 
language, its program of a better Republican- 


ism, its clarion call to the young men to set 
before them higher ideals of political life, con- 
firmed the wisdom of his selection and called 
the attention of the Commonwealth to an element 
of political life in their midst which had to be 
reckoned with. 

In September, 1892, was held in Tremont 
Temple, Boston, the Republican State Conven- 
tion. Mr. Haile, the lieutenant-governor, was 
nominated for governor. The interesting issue 
was upon the nomination for lieutenant-gov- 
ernor. There was a conviction on the part of 
some of the Republicans that the president of 
the Republican Club was such a leader of youth 
that he could enter into the lists at election with 
that other youthful leader, Governor Russell. 
The competition between the candidates was 
sharp, but the question was settled upon the 
second ballot, and by a vote of 499 to 473 
Roger Wolcott became the nominee for lieu- 
tenant-governor. His position as lieutenant- 
governor under a Democratic governor, and 
with a governor's council at odds with the gov- 
ernor on certain questions of policy and matters 
of appointment, was a delicate one. His court- 
esy never failed him, and, while supporting 
what he believed to be the true principles, he 


and the governor always sustained that respect 
for each other's opinions and that mutual re- 
gard which go with strong characters touched 
by the graces of Christian culture. 

After three years of honorable service as 
governor, William E. Russell retired, and the 
year 1894 saw a change of administration. 
Frederick T. Greenhalge, of Lowell, who made 
an excellent record as representative to Congress, 
a Republican, was elected, with Roger Wolcott 
as lieutenant-governor. The same administra- 
tion followed in 1895 and 1896. To be elected 
four times to a public office which is clearly a 
subordinate position, to hold it for over three 
years with such dignity, efficiency, and grace as 
to gain the confidence of the people and to keep 
them assured that the faculty of leadership is 
still there, is no mean task. When Governor 
Greenhalge, with whom the lieutenant-governor 
had always worked in sympathy and mutual 
regard, died, there was no doubt in the public 
mind that the acting governor could take up the 
task and administer the office with force as well 
as with that conscientiousness and grace already 
familiar to the people. As acting governor he 
served almost a whole year. Then for three 
successive years he was elected governor. This 

[ 17* ] 


was not without some questioning and even op- 
position within the recesses of the party. Roger 
Wolcott was not a skilful politician ; his serious- 
ness of purpose sometimes caused him to lose 
even legitimate political influence. He never 
deviated in the slightest from what he believed 
to be the right and honorable path, for the sake 
of any political gain either for his party or 
for himself. The sentiment arose now and 
again that he was not quite the man for party 
leadership. He sometimes neglected to notice 
sufficiently, he even offended by an honest and 
outspoken word, some influential man in the 
party. There were occasions when a more 
skilled and at the same time an honorable action 
would have enabled him to avoid some misunder- 
standings by the people. It augurs well for 
the Commonwealth that, whatever some politi- 
cians might say, Roger Wolcott had the con- 
fidence of the people. He was a vote-getter 
because the people trusted him. They knew that 
what he promised he would do. Therefore to 
him belongs the honor of polling by far the 
largest majority that has ever been given to a 
governor of Massachusetts. 

A glance at his administration reveals no 
great political crisis or constitutional change. 

[ 175 ] 


His work was simply the administration of the 
highest executive office of the Commonwealth, 
an office far more burdensome and important 
and far more potent for good or evil than most 
people realize. Under the present arrangement 
of government by commissions, the efficiency 
of the administration of the public service is 
largely dependent upon the personnel of the 
commissions. Upon the governor rests the re- 
sponsibility of appointment. It is often the 
case that the men best fitted for public positions 
are the most difficult to get. Therefore a gov- 
ernor, besides having a high conception of the 
class of men needed, and an insight into the 
character and ability of men, must also have a 
personality and a persuasive or magnetic quality 
that will lead men to see the importance of the 
office, and induce them to take it. Governor 
Wolcott had that quality, and the result was 
that his appointees were of an unusually excel- 
lent character and ability. 

In questions of legislation he felt deeply his 
responsibility. The return of an act to the 
legislature with his veto meant much labor and 
serious thought, and sometimes real moral cour- 
age. Possibly his sensitive conscience and ear- 
nest desire to do what was right prevented him 

[ 176 ] 


at times from seeing things in their true per- 
spective. With rare exceptions, however, he 
was sustained by the legislature and public opin- 
ion. By his word and action, the fear of his 
veto was a potent influence, and on several occa- 
sions caused the amendment or defeat of unwise 
legislation. It was natural that his historic 
sense and artistic temperament should have led 
him to take an active part in saving the Bui- 
finch front of the State House. 

At the breaking out of the war with Spain, 
Governor Wolcott was keenly alert to all the 
demands of the nation and the people. He had 
so anticipated action that under his administra- 
tion Massachusetts sustained her ancient reputa- 
tion for putting soldiers earliest into the field, 
equipped and ready for active service. The 
memories of his boyhood and of his soldier 
brother, struck down by fever, prompted him 
to organize the Volunteer Aid Association, 
which, by its hospital ship, The Bay State, and 
by its various agencies, ministered to the com- 
fort and safety of soldiers of other States and 
of the regular army, as well as those of Massa- 
chusetts. During those months the governor 
was as truly at the service of the nation night 
and day as any soldier in the field. Wherever 

[ 177 ] 


he was most wanted, there he went, to camp, 
to hospital, to the sick soldier in his home, or 
to the council chamber. Although there was 
still the bright smile and vigorous step, he 
seemed to some of us perceptibly to age. 

The people of the Commonwealth had become 
familiar with his face and presence. He had 
spoken to hundreds of thousands of them at 
public meetings and dinners, and on the round 
of public functions so wearing to the governor, 
but sometimes so grateful in its public recogni- 
tion. They were proud of his integrity, his 
bearing, and his beauty. During the war, they 
saw, or rather felt, the heart of the man re- 
vealed, his sympathy, tenderness, his thought 
for the individual, his grace and Christian char- 
ity. From that time he was built into the affec- 
tions and heart of the people in a way that has 
been the privilege of very few public servants 
in the history of our country. Those who saw 
him at the dedication of Grant's Tomb in New 
York will never forget the scene. Well mounted, 
dressed with the severe simplicity of the gov- 
ernor of Massachusetts, a black frock coat and 
tall hat, with no gilt or gay caparison to call 
attention to him or to detract from his radiant 
beauty, he sat the saddle for hours in that bitter 

[ 178 ] 


wind, waiting the command to move. Then, as 
he and his staff swept up the avenue and broke 
from the rolling cloud of dust into the sight of 
the people, the flash of his white hair, the flush 
of his face, and the brilliancy of the whole man 
moved the multitude, and there burst forth such 
a shout as would in other ages have welcomed 
home a Crusader. For to the people, even those 
who knew not his name or office, he seemed to 
represent the beauty and glory of the knight- 
hood of America. 

The opening of the year 1900 found Roger 
Wolcott again a private citizen. For seven suc- 
cessive years he had served the State with honor. 
The people saw in him a man whom they wished 
to promote to larger responsibilities and higher 
honors. The President of the United States 
offered him first a position upon the Commission 
to the Philippines, and then that of Ambassador 
to the court of Italy. He declined both with 
full appreciation of the honor. For the present 
he had done his duty in the public service. He 
felt that he had a high and God-given respon- 
sibility in his home and in leading his children 
into the paths their ancestors had walked. One 
dream of his busy years was fulfilled. A few 
bright and happy months in Europe with his 

[ 179 ] 


wife and children were given him. The pleasure 
was unalloyed, because won by hard work and 

He returned in the autumn in time to vote. 
He was in the fulness of his powers, radiant. A 
few weeks later, and all was over. The same 
typhoid fever that laid his brother low brought 
him to death. On the afternoon of December 
21, 1900, at his home in Boston, his fight for 
life w r as ended, and Roger Wolcott, a pure, 
chivalrous, and high-minded gentleman, a pa- 
triot, a humble Christian, fell asleep. 

[ 180 






Three years ago this month, at the one hun- 
dredth anniversary of Williams College, the 
Governor of the Commonwealth began his 
speech with these words : " An honorable, useful 
life, whether of an individual or institution, is 
always worth commemorating, not only as our 
grateful remembrance of worthy things accom- 
plished, but as a duty to make them an in- 
fluence helpful to the present and future. And 
when such a life is part of the history of the 
State, interwoven with her work and fulfilling 
her high ideals, it is fitting that she should give 
it her recognition and commendation." 

He who spoke these words was the man to do 
honor to whose memory we are assembled here 
to-night, a man whose life has now become, alas ! 
a part of the history of the State, and who, 

* A Memorial Address, delivered in Sanders Theatre at 
the invitation of the City of Cambridge, Oct. 26, 1896. 
Mayor \V. A. Bancroft, '78, presided at the Memorial 
Exercises, Bishop Lawrence, '71, offered a prayer, and 
the Beacon and Albion Quartets sang " Integer Vitae," 
"Into the Silent Land," and "America." 

[ 183 ] 


above any other of her younger sons in public 
life, fulfilled the high ideals of the Common- 
wealth, the dear mother of us all, who now 
mourns for him. 

It is especially becoming for this city to 
commemorate gratefully, with every token of 
respect and of affection, the life of her child, 
born within her borders, trained in her schools, 
who gave his early years of manhood to her 
service, and displayed first in her offices those 
qualities which secured for him the confidence 
of the people of Massachusetts, and led them to 
select him thrice, with special personal selection, 
for the highest office of the State. 

The public career of Governor Russell is 
comprised within the brief space of fifteen years. 
He had graduated at Harvard in 1877, he had 
been admitted to the bar in 1880, and in 1881, 
at the age of 24? years, he was elected a member 
of the Cambridge Common Council. His en- 
trance into public service afforded a curious 
forecast of his later successes. His election to 
the Council was both unsought and unexpected 
by him. He had received no regular nomina- 
tion, but, on the morning of the election, when 
he went to the polls to cast his vote, he found 
to his surprise that friends of his were distrib- 

[ 181 ] 


1 the high ideals of the Comraon- 

ilear mother of us all, * now 

born within her borders, trained in her schools, 

qualities ^hich secured for him the confidence 
of the -.: Hs, and led them to 

L. 11 i.* 

jj >- : T a am -j:-f I^AUJR/ 

The public career of Governor Russell is 
comprised 5th ; n the hH< f >paoe of fifteen years. 
He ha(i I at Harvard in 1877, he had 

been admitted to the bar in 1880, and in 1881, 
at the age of 24? years, he was elected a member 
of the Cambridge Common Council. s en- 
trance into public service afforded a curious 
forecast of his later successes. His election to 
the Council was both unsought and unexpect 
by him. He had received no regular nomina- 
tion, but, on the morning of the election, 
he went to the polls to cast his vote, be 
surprise that frionds of his ^ 



uting slips bearing his name to be pasted on the 
ballot in substitution for the name of the regular 
nominee. It was too late to interfere, and when 
the result of the voting was ascertained, it ap- 
peared that he had been elected by a majority 
of a single vote. 

What is now known as the " Cambridge Idea ' 
had not yet become the principle and determined 
the character of our civic politics. But of that 
idea, which includes in its meaning the combina- 
tion of good morals and good sense in the ad- 
ministration of the affairs of the city, young 
William Russell was the representative. After 
a year's service in the Common Council he was 
chosen for two years successively a member of 
the Board of Aldermen. The affairs of the 
City of Cambridge, from the date of its charter, 
had in the main been discreetly and uprightly 
administered. But good government was not 
intrenched, as it now is, in the City Hall, and 
there had been a period, not long before, when 
the business of the city had been managed not 
in the general interest, but with a view to private 
ends and personal advancement. During Mr. 
Russell's term of service as alderman there were 
symptoms in the Executive Department of the 
government of a recurrence of such conditions, 

[ 185 ] 


and it became obvious that effort was required 
to withstand them. Mr. Russell had already 
shown such qualities as put him at the head 
of the movement for reform, and in the autumn 
of 1884 he was nominated for the mayoralty 
by an independent body of citizens, and in 
December was elected mayor upon a ticket which 
had the support of a majority of voters without 
distinction of party. He was chosen mayor, 
year after year, for the four years from 1885 
to 1888, and such was the general approval of 
his course as chief officer of the city that, for 
two of these years, he was the only candidate 
in the field. 

The services which Mr. Russell rendered to 
the city of Cambridge during his mayoralty 
were signal and exceptional. In his Inaugural 
Address to the City Council in January, 1885, 
he stated certain principles which he believed 
should be followed in the administration of city 
affairs. The result of applying these principles 
with efficiency and integrity was set forth in a 
remarkable statement in his Address at the be- 
ginning of his second year of office. " The 
financial year began," he said, " with an almost 
empty treasury, with unpaid bills of over $20,- 
000, with a floating debt for current expenses 

[ 186 ] 


of 8206,040, including a deficiency of 835,040 
to the city sinking-fund, and with the example 
before us of a year when expenses had largely 
exceeded appropriations, and a higher tax-rate 
had been fixed than for five vears. The year 

V * 

has ended with the bills of 1884 all paid, and 
none of 1885 unpaid, the deficiency to the 
sinking-fund has been made good, the floating 
debt funded, 816.000 of it paid into the sinking- 
fund, and no other floating debt created, ex- 
penses have been well kept within appropriations, 
the tax-rate is the lowest since 1874, and there 
remains a surplus in the treasury of nearly $45,- 
000. The needs of the city have been fully 
met. More money has been spent on our 
schools, more work done on our streets, more 
lamps have been set, more sewers have been laid, 
more has been done for health, fire and police 
protection, and more for the gentle, kindly 
care of our helpless poor, during the past year 
than for many years." It was not strange that 
the citizens approved an administration which 
secured such results. The succeeding years of 
Mr. Russell's term of service as mayor had a 
similar character. Great works of permanent 
local interest were undertaken and carried on 
partly by his originating impulse, partly with 

[ 1ST ] 


his efficient concurrence. The last year of his 
mayoralty was marked by one of the most mem- 
orable and striking events in the history of the 
city, the gifts to it by Mr. Frederick H. 
Rindge, gifts unique in their munificence and 
the importance of their objects. To this audi- 
ence I need hardly recount them: the founda- 
tion of the Manual Training School, the site and 
building for the Public Library, the superb City 
Hall, the fine site for the High School. Such 
gifts were alike extraordinary in amount and 
in the admirable selection of the objects to which 
they were devoted; and while the city will hold 
the name of the donor in grateful honor and 
remembrance, it will associate with his name in 
similar remembrance that of the young Mayor, 
who had deservedly won the confidence of Mr. 
Rindge, and to whose wise suggestion the di- 
rection which the gifts should take was pri- 
marily due. 

The fight which Mr. Russell had made against 
municipal corruption, the capacity which he dis- 
played in his official career, and the distinction 
which he had secured for Cambridge as a mu- 
nicipality whose affairs were better adminis- 
tered than those of any other city in the Com- 
monwealth, naturally drew attention to him 

[ 188 ] 


throughout the State. The election of Mr. 
Cleveland to the Presidency in 1884, and the 
strong and able policy of his administration, 
had given a new prestige to the Democratic 
party, and restored a confidence to it which had 
long been wanting. In Massachusetts, where it 
had held a discredited position, not improved 
by the short interval of partial control of State 
affairs which it had obtained under the spectac- 
ular lead of General Butler, an attempt was now 
making, mainly by young men of high character, 
dissatisfied with the conduct of both parties 
alike, to restore credit to the Democratic party, 
and they found in Mayor Russell a standard- 
bearer admirably fitted for the functions of 
leader. Born, as he himself said, " a veteran 
Democrat," in other words, a member of the 
Democratic party by inheritance, yet not merely 
a member of that party, but a Democrat in the 
widest sense, alike by nature and by conviction, 
young, but already trained by difficult experi- 
ence in executive office, popular wherever he was 
known, possessing in a rare degree the peculiar 
capacities of a public man, with a clear intelli- 
gence, a sound moral character and wide sym- 
pathies, and gifted with an attractive person, 
great capacity of labor, and unusual power of 

[ 189 ] 


plain and forcible speech, addressed to the intel- 
ligence rather than to the emotions of an audi- 
ence, with such qualities and gifts he stood as 
the natural leader of his party in its efforts to 
recover character and place. He was nomi- 
nated Governor in 1888, and defeated by a 
plurality of 28,000. But he had made himself 
known, and increased his reputation by a series 
of vigorous speeches throughout the State. 
The next year he was renominated, again he car- 
ried on an active campaign, again he was de- 
feated, but by a largely reduced plurality, 
not 7,000. In 1890 he w r as renominated again, 
and this year his character and his work brought 
success. His party generally was defeated, but 
he himself was elected by a plurality of more 
than 9,000 votes. No younger man had ever 
been elected by popular vote Governor of Mas- 
sachusetts. He was reflected in 1891 and 1892. 
Few men have ever deserved and received such 
an expression of intelligent public regard. No 
more remarkable personal triumph was ever 
known in the political history of our Common- 
wealth : and no more extraordinary combination 
was ever known in the administration of the 
State; for during the three years in which Mr. 

[ 190 ]" 


Russell held office as Governor, every other 
elected official, with a single comparatively un- 
important exception, from the Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor and the Secretary of State downwards, 
was a Republican. Russell, the leader of the 
Democratic party, was practically elected by the 
votes of his party adversaries. The Gov- 
ernor's Council and both branches of the Legis- 
lature were Republican. 

Such facts as these are absolutely exceptional, 
and they are only to be accounted for by the 
rare character of the man thus exceptionally 
honored. He won, not because of any consid- 
erable change in the relations of parties in their 
comparative numerical proportions, but because 
of the personal impression he had made on the 
people of the State in the campaigns he had con- 
ducted, and of the confidence he had established 
in his integrity, in his capacity, his superiority 
to mere party considerations, and his devotion 
to the higher interests of the State. His tri- 
umph was a testimony not only to his own high 
qualities, but to the good sense of the body of 
the voters in discriminating between the objects 
of party victory and of public good. The 
Democratic party as a party did not hold the 

[ 191 ] 


confidence of the majority of voters, but the in- 
dividual Democrat, strong party man as he was, 
had deservedly gained their trust. 

This unexampled triumph was, indeed, largely 
the direct result of the mode in which Gov- 
ernor Russell conducted his campaigns. He 
threw himself into the combat with the unflag- 
ging energy of youth, and with the zeal of 
moral no less than political conviction. From 
the hills of Berkshire to the shores of Plymouth 
County, he went everywhere, addressing every 
variety of the people of Massachusetts, till, as 
he himself said, he had spoken from every stump 
in the State. His addresses were carefully and 
laboriously prepared. There was no repetition 
in them. The main topics were indeed often the 
same, but the course of his argument and the 
quality of his illustration were always fresh and 
always had special application to the particular 
interests and concerns of the audience to which 
he spoke. He was not a great orator in the 
sense of being a master of rhetorical eloquence ; 
he did not appeal to the passions or prejudices 
of his hearers with words of fire, he did not lift 
them on the wings of imagination, nor thrill 
them with bursts of splendid declamation. He 
did not move them by the bitterness of sarcasm, 

[ 192 ] 


or with heated denunciation of his oppoents ; he 
did not pack his speech with epigram, he rarely 
enlivened it with humor or with anecdote. He 
had, in short, none of the arts of the professional 
orator; but he possessed in large measure the 
command of persuasive and effective speech, 
above all, the power of impressing those who 
listened to him with his entire sincerity. He 
made them feel that he was speaking to them 
what he believed to be the truth, and he was 
able to set forth the truth as he held it with re- 
markable clearness and consecutiveness of state- 
ment, with great abundance of effective illustra- 
tion, with steady enforcing of the main points 
of his discourse, so that he succeeded, to use a 
phrase of Burke's, in " leaving a sting in their 
minds." He spoke as a man of good sense and 
of strong convictions to men whom he addressed 
as capable of appreciating sound reasoning and 
valid argument. They might differ from him, 
they could not but respect the fairness of his ap- 
peal to them as rational beings, while his frank 
manner of speech, his manly bearing, his 
pleasantness of address, created toward him a 
sentiment of personal attachment. 

The general character of his discourses was, 
as I have already indicated, essentially practical. 

[ 193 ] 


He was not an idealist or a theorist in politics. 
Abstract speculation had but little interest for 
him. The special form of his democratic con- 
victions was largely shaped by the teachings of 
Jefferson, and the traditions of the Jefferso- 
nian school, but they were not so much anything 
that he had learned, as they were a part of the 
body doctrine which every genuine American de- 
rives unconsciously from the conditions of birth 
and breeding in the social and political atmos- 
phere of America. They were of his blood and 
bone. The fundamental proposition of his 
creed, or perhaps it were better to say the es- 
sential principle of his life as a citizen of the 
Republic, is expressed in the saying of Theo- 
dore Parker, that " Democracy means not ' I'm 
as good as you are,' but ' you're as good as I 
am.' And it was because Governor Russell 
believed that the principles of the Democratic 
party not always the professions of its plat- 
forms, or the doctrines and conduct of its lead- 
ers that its principles were nearer to a true 
embodiment of democracy thus understood, than 
those of any other party in the nation, that he 
was a faithful servant in its ranks. He was a 
Democrat, as he said, " in heart and soul, not 
for the triumph of any man, but for the triumph 



of ideas." He stated the creed of the Demo- 
cratic party to be " from its first to its thirty- 
ninth article an abiding trust in the people, a 
belief that men, irrespective of the accident of 
birth or fortune, have a right to a voice in the 
government that rules them. Its principles are 
the equality and freedom of all men in the 
affairs of State and before the altar of their 
God; that a government least felt is the best; 
that in its administration there should be sim- 
plicity, purity, and economy, and in its form it 
should be closely within the reach and control of 
the people." But there was a qualification of 
them, or rather an addition to them, which he 
held not less firmly. " While we insist," he 
said, " that the proper sovereign of a nation is 
its people, we realize that our safety and pros- 
perity rest upon their intelligence and educa- 

Of national questions, which affected the in- 
terests of all the States of the Union, there were, 
during his active political campaigns, three of 
paramount importance. the tariff, whether for 
revenue or protection, the adoption of silver as 
a basis for the currency, and the reform of the 
civil service. In the discussion of each of these 
questions he applied the touchstone of his Dem- 


ocratic principles. The question of the tariff 
was a question of taxation ; in other words, of 
the right of government to exact for its support 
or for public uses a portion of the property of 
the individual citizen. " We believe," said Gov- 
ernor Russell, " in the freedom of the individual 
from unnecessary restrictions and unnecessary 
burdens ; that taxation, with its enormous power, 
is not to be used to take from one to give to an- 
other, nor to enrich the few at the expense of the 
many: that it is a necessary evil to be lessened 
by prudence and economy, and that it should be 
levied, not upon necessaries of life, nor upon 
those comforts that may make the humblest fire- 
side more cheerful, but upon the luxuries which 
minister to extravagance and to selfish indul- 
gence, and which beget a spirit of excess and of 
selfishness dangerous alike to domestic virtue 
and to public security." It was with this be- 
lief that Governor Russell discussed before the 
people of the State the question of the Protec- 
tive Tariff. He did not deal with it so much in 
its broader aspects, the false notions of the func- 
tions of government implied in a protective sys- 
tem, its corrupting influence upon national char- 
acter, its subtle sapping of the very roots of 
equality, self-help, industry, and frugality ; its 

[ 196 ] 


nurturing of the perilous policy of which the 
logical end is State Socialism, but he discussed 
it, with admirable abundance of knowledge and 
aptness of illustration, in its direct bearing upon 
the lives of the men and women of the manufac- 
turing towns and farming communities of the 
State, as a system which robbed a thousand 
Peters to enrich a single Paul. Protection to na- 
tive industry has long been a favorite doctrine 
and a successful party cry in Massachusetts. 
But Governor Russell did not hesitate to at- 
tack the system in its very strongholds, and the 
vigor, force, and intelligence of his attack were 
such as to win applause, if not agreement, from 
those most strongly bound by party ties or per- 
sonal interest, by conviction or by prejudice, 
to the support of the policy against which he 
marshaled his armies of fact and of argument. 
There have been no political campaigns in Mas- 
sachusetts more gallantly conducted, or of more 
service to the people of the State as campaigns 
of discussion and enlightenment. 

The peculiar composition of the State gov- 
ernment during the three years of Governor 
Russell's administration, the fact that he stood 
alone, with a Council, a Legislature, and all the 
chief officials of State belonging to the party ad- 

t 19T ] 


verse to that of which he was the representative, 
made his official position one of great difficulty, 
and limited his opportunities of service to the 
State. He was checked and thwarted at every 
turn, but the opposition he encountered made him 
the more ready to take advantage of those points 
where he might promote the public interest with- 
out meeting wdth the hindrance of principle or 
of faction. His pleasant temper, his natural 
tact, his conciliatory bearing, his readiness of 
resource, his experience in dealing with men, his 
practical turn of mind, all stood him in good 
stead. He practiced, in fine, the method of true 
statesmanship, the method of endeavoring to ac- 
complish not the ideally best, but the best pos- 
sible under the circumstances by w r hich action is 

In the campaign preceding his last election 
to the governorship, he took occasion in a speech 
at Dedham to review the policy and acts of the 
two years during which he had been chief magis- 
trate ; the reforms which he had suggested, the 
measures he had recommended, the vetoes which 
he had put to acts of the Legislature, the ap- 
pointments to office which he had made, the 
standard of official duty which he had main- 
tained ; the responsibility for independent action 

[198 ] 


which he had claimed as Governor. It is a 
striking and significant review, in which the con- 
sistency of his principles, and the elevation of his 

views of his official duty are alike manifest. 
Three main features of the record may be se- 
lected as the most prominent and most important, 
first, the defense of local self-government, as 
against the attempt to control the independent 
action of cities and towns, by means of special 
legislation, or by the appointment of independ- 
ent commissions in charge of important branches 
of administration ; secondly, the prevention of 
special legislation for special interests ; thirdly, 
the assertion of responsibility in executive office, 
unshared by a Council with power to assert the 
will of its members as against the judgment of 
the elected Governor of the State. 

The Annual Addresses of Governor Russell 
to the Legislature are models of what such 
papers should be, surveying broadly the inter- 
ests and the needs of the State, not from the 
point of view of a party, but with simple regard 
to the general welfare ; straight-f orw r ard and 
business-like in statement, large in their survey 
of the affairs of the Commonwealth, sensible in 
their recommendations, and earnest in their 
urgency for reform in those portions of the 

[ 199 ] 


affairs in which reform was required. Much 
that he advised was accomplished ; more still re- 
mains to be done. 

Disappointed and harassed as he often was 
under the burden of opposition and the weight 
of care, Governor Russell had the satisfaction of 
knowing, when at the end of three years of hard 
and difficult service he laid down the great charge 
which had been committed to him, that he re- 
tired from office with a stronger hold upon the 
respect and confidence of the people of the 
Commonwealth than that with which he had en- 
tered upon it. However much the wisdom of 
special acts, or of his general policy, might be 
questioned, they recognized, with hardly an 
exception, that he had served the State with en- 
tire fidelity,, with no private ends, but with 
steady regard to public interests. He had won 
the ungrudging respect of his opponents ; he 
had deepened the affection of his friends, and 
had secured for himself the devotion of a large 
personal following such as no other man in the 
State possessed. Whenever he appeared on a 
public occasion, he was greeted with plaudits of 
genuine heartiness. If his familiar and almost 
boyish figure were seen entering the gate at the 
Harvard- Yale football game at Springfield, he 

[ 200 ] 


was hailed not only with the cheers of the Har- 
vard men, but of the whole vast crowd as he 
passed along to his seat. Nor was such greet- 
ing as this confined to his own State. In New 
York, in Chicago, on occasion of great pro- 
cessions in which he had place as Governor of 
Massachusetts, he was singled out by the multi- 
tude of spectators as the recipient of special, 
distinguishing applause. He drank deep of the 
infinite flatteries that are poured out to youth 
and success, but they did not intoxicate him. 
They never disturbed the even balance of his 
judgment, or deluded him into self-flattery and 
conceit. They were for him but stimulants to 
virtue, but encouragements to new effort. 

It was, indeed, an extraordinary hold upon 
public confidence and expectation for so young a 
man to have gained ; and it had been gained by 
legitimate means ; by the force of strong, simple, 
upright character. 

The first essential element of such a character 
is a clear mind, trained in the exercise of its 
own faculties, capable of reflection, accustomed 
to think its thought out to a conclusion ; not 
mistaking, as Sinbad's companions mistook the 
floating back of a whale for an island, the float- 
ing and shifting mass of popular opinion and 

[ 201 ] 


of transient party doctrine for the immovable 
ground of principle and the unshaken rock of 
truth. And with this, inseparable from it, must 
be the firm moral sense, the conviction of the 
absolute supremacy of the moral law as the 
rule of conduct, with authority to control the 
will, the affections, the passions, to determine 
the direction and to limit the sphere of ambition, 
and as possessing not only this authority, but 
also the power in the long run to enforce its in- 

A clear mind and a firm moral sense were 
united in Governor Russell with a remarkable 
simplicity of nature. There was no pretension 
in him, no affectation. He was a pattern of 
simple manliness. Never unmindful of the dig- 
nity of great office, he put on no official airs, 
but secured through his own simple self-respect 
the respect due to the position which he occupied. 
He had no conceit, but he did not fear to trust 
himself, for he was conscious of his own sin- 
cerity. Sincerity is, indeed, but a part of such 
simplicity as his. His simplicity and his sin- 
cerity were the chief sources of the influence of 
his public speech. However much men might 
dissent from his opinion or differ from his policy, 
they could not but believe in his honesty of 

[ 202 ] 


motive and directness of purpose. What Plu- 
tarch says of the speech of the younger Cato 
might be said of his, that it was straight-for- 
ward, full of matter, and the speaker's char- 
acter, showing itself in all he said, excited a 
sympathetic response in the feelings of his 
hearers. As a candidate for office he stooped to 
no mean acts to secure success. He was a true 
democrat, and therefore no sycophant of the 
people ; he showed the genuineness of his de- 
mocracy in never attempting to take advantage 
of the lack of information or the lack of reason 
of the multitude, by trying to deceive them with 
fallacious arguments or with specious flattery. 
He did not pander to their prejudices or excite 
their passions by appeals to distinctions of class, 
and to motives of envy and of jealousy. He 
held in contempt and abhorrence the men in pub- 
lic life, men, some of them, with advantages of 
birth and education not inferior to his own, who 
used such arts as these to advance their private 
ends or to gain a partisan victory. He never had 
to reproach himself with weakening the founda- 
tions of free institutions by scoffs at the value 
of higher education, or by sneers at the teach- 
ers who had helped to train him in knowledge, 
and direct him in the paths of honor. 

[ 203 ] 


His strong sense of duty compelled him to 
continual labor to fit himself for the public 
service. He was in earnest in whatever he un- 
dertook. He gave himself wholly to his work, 
and his sound health and his power of concen- 
tration of his faculties on the work in hand en- 
abled him to accomplish hard and laborious 
tasks with comparative ease. 

Few men surpassed him in the knowledge 
requisite for dealing intelligently with the cur- 
rent questions of politics. He was well in- 
formed of the history of our institutions, and of 
the development of the conditions and princi- 
ples of our national life. Busily employed in 
public affairs from early youth, he had little 
leisure for wide general culture, but he had 
read much, he had an excellent memory, and he 
kept his mind fresh and enlarged its resources 
by resort to the springs of history, and by occa- 
sional readings of the poets. His tastes and his 
mode of life displayed the simplicity and gen- 
uineness of his nature. He loved the sports of 
the woods and the river, he took a hearty inter- 
est in the games of youth in which he himself 
had been an adept ; he was an excellent horse- 
man. But more than all, he was a lover of na- 
ture, with a quick eye and a keen sensitiveness 

[ 204 ] 


to her charm, and with a ready responsiveness 
in his own being to her capacity for the refresh- 
ment alike of the mind and of the body of the 
man worn with harassing cares and burdened 
with heavy responsibilities. 

His humane sympathies were wide, quick, and 
generous. He had a most kindly disposition, 
and his kindliness was not a matter of mere tem- 
perament, but of principle and thoughtfulness. 
It was a vital part of his democracy. For to 
him the best lover and servant of his fellow-men 
was the best democrat. He was a true friend ; 
he had one of the happiest of homes. Ready for 
public service, ambitious to be of use, he yet 
was content with private station, and satisfied 
with the opportunities which it afforded for the 
exercise of his powers, and for the discharge of 
duties not the less important that they are of the 
common order. 

Upon laying down the office of governor, he 
resumed, as we all know, the practice of his 
profession, and gave himself to it with char- 
acteristic ardor and fidelity. And I believe that 
among the many tributes to his worth there is 
none which, could he have foreseen it, would 
have given him more satisfaction than the high 
and honorable testimony borne to him as lawyer 

[ 205 ] 


and as public man, in Resolutions adopted a few 
days since at the Annual Meeting of the Bar 
Association of the City of Boston, for presenta- 
tion to the Supreme Judicial Court, and to the 
Suffolk Bar. 

But though, after laying down the burden of 
office, Governor Russell in resuming the practice 
of the law devoted himself with steadiness and 
success to his professional engagements, his con- 
cern in public affairs remained as deep and con- 
stant as ever. While taking no active part in 
them, he held himself in reserve ready to respond 
to the call of public duty whenever it might 
sound for him. A little more than two years 
ago, disturbed by the course of a considerable 
section of the Democratic party in its manifest 
hostility to President Cleveland, and by the 
popular misunderstanding and misinterpretation 
of the causes which had brought about the 
financial perplexities and distress from which the 
country was suffering, he prepared a brief, clear, 
and forcible paper, entitled " A Year of Demo- 
cratic Administration," which was published in 
The Forum for May, 1894. In this paper he 
set forth what he regarded as the true aims and 
duties of the party in the actual conditions of 
the times, and insisting that the first test of suc- 

[ 206 ] 


cess was fidelity to principle, he maintained that, 
measured by this standard, the first year of Pres- 
ident Cleveland's second administration had been 
successful. The conclusion which he drew might 
be disputed, but the whole tone and spirit 
of the article were those of a patriot who was a 
strong party man because of his honest con- 
viction that the essential principles of his party 
were those upon adherence to which the perma- 
nent welfare of the country depended. His party 
was indeed dear to him, but dear only as it rep- 
resented and maintained these principles. For 
him party success meant public good. He closed 
his paper with striking and prophetic words : 
" The Democratic party in the past," he said, 
" has achieved success only by loyalty to prin- 
ciple ; it never has succeeded by substituting 
tactics for statesmanship, or compromise for 
courage, and it never will. If now in the high 
tide of its power it should fritter away its op- 
portunity in quarrels over petty things, forget- 
ting the larger ; if in the face of its united, ag- 
gressive enemy, it should become rent by 
factional or sectional discord, there will be 
ample leisure in the future for it to ponder on its 
fatal blunders and wasted opportunities. We 
cannot and must not overlook this danger. Per- 

[ 207 ] 


sonal politics, local interests and sectional in- 
fluences, which create discord and impair effi- 
ciency, must yield to a higher view of party 
duty and responsibility." He spoke in vain. 
As has so often happened in the history of 
parties, the voices to which the party listened, 
the influences to which it yielded, were not those 
of wisdom and of patriotism, but of unreason 
and of selfishness. He watched with anxiety to 
the course of affairs during the last two years, 
foreboding defeat to his party and harm to his 
country. But even he did not forsee the catas- 
trophe which was to rend his party in twain, and 
to make of one wing of it a menace to the na- 
tional welfare. 

In this very year, on the 13th of April, in 
celebration of the birthday of Jefferson, Gov- 
ernor Russell delivered at Monticello, in Virginia, 
a speech which contains an admirable summary 
of his interpretation of the principles of the 
Democratic party. His discourse was earnest, 
was eloquent, was high-minded. " We need not 
fear defeat," he declared ; " defeat may be but 
the preliminary to victory ; we should fear the 
discredit of sacrificing principles to expediency." 

Upon the question which was already dividing 
his party in Virginia, and on which he had been 

[ 208 ] 


warned that silence might be expedient, he spoke 
with the plainest words, with the full courage 
of his convictions, and in a single sentence con- 
densed the substance of a thousand speeches 
which have since been made all over the land. 
" Free coinage of silver," he said, " or its com- 
pulsory purchase, or any compromise legislation 
in that direction, in my judgment, is distinctly 
class legislation, which would unsettle business, 
impair credit, reduce all savings and the value 
of all wages, and whose injurious results no 

man can measure.' 

It was but three months after the delivery 
of this speech that Governor Russell found him- 
self at Chicago as a member of that extraordi- 
nary convention, the result of which was the dis- 
ruption of the Democratic party, and the adop- 
tion of a platform of doctrine to most of which 
he was radically opposed, and of which the 
plank of " free silver ' ' was the central and most 
prominent part. 

The spectacle presented at the convention was 
unexampled. Never before in the history of 
nominating conventions, unreasonable and head- 
strong as many of them have been, and unex- 
pected as have been their issues, had there been 
such an overpowering predominance of hysterical 


passion and irrational action. It was no meeting 
of men prepared for manly discussion, and for 
temperate and well-advised counsel. It was a 
mob of individuals deaf to reason, drunk with the 
wine of folly, rejecting the authority of wisdom 
and of experience, and plunging headlong into a 
pit of confusion and of darkness. It was, in- 
deed, a miserable spectacle of the wilfulness of 
misguided ignorance and selfishness ; an alarming 
spectacle to every one who believes that free in- 
stitutions rest securely only on the intelligence 
and moral sense of the mass of the people to 
whose guardianship they are committed. 

To this mob, hardly to be restrained even for 
a moment to listen to him, Governor Russell ad- 
dressed himself in the last words which he was to 
speak to the public ear. They were words 
worthy of him. He was deeply moved. He 
was witnessing the degradation of the great 
party which he had loved and served so well ; it 
was the disappointment of his most cherished 
hopes, the shattering of his desires, and the 
arousing of new anxieties for the future of the 
country for whose sake, and for whose sake 
alone, he had loved his party. " I speak," he 
declared, " I speak, and I have a right to, for 
the Democracy of my State. . . . We did not 

[ 210 ] 


think we should live to see the time when the 
great Democratic principles would be forgotten 
in a Democratic convention, when we should be 
asked to give up the principles for which we 
have labored, and at the demand of a section to 
adopt a policy which we believe invites peril to 
our country and disaster to our party. ... I 
appeal to 3 T ou, my associates of the Massachu- 
setts delegation, do I not speak the true sentiment 
of our State and our party when I utter its and 
your earnest, emphatic, and unflinching protest 
against the platform of this convention? ' But 
it was not with protest or with despair that he 
concluded, but with prophecy of confidence, that 
when " this storm has subsided, and the dark 
clouds of passion and prejudice have passed 
away, and there comes after the turmoil of this 
convention the sober second thought, then the 
protest we of the minority now make will be 
held as the ark of the covenant of the faith, 
with which we shall meet, again united, to carry 
our old principles to triumph and to victory." 

Such words as these were not unworthy to be 
the last which his country should hear from a 
statesman whose appeal had always been to 
reason and to judgment and to the higher 
motives of patriotic duty ; who from the begin- 

[ 811 ] 


ning of his career had been faithful to principle, 
and who loved honor more than victory. 

He returned from Chicago, worn by the fa- 
tigues of the convention, with a cruel burden of 
disappointment, but not disheartened, rather 
girding himself afresh for new and more difficult 
efforts, with no abatement of confidence in the 
principles which he had maintained, and with no 
bitterness towards those who had brought about 
their temporary defeat. 

He had never stood in so commanding and so 
conspicuous a position before the country as at 
this moment. The qualities of his character 
had produced their legitimate effect. " The 
name of William E. Russell," said the New York 
Tribune, a paper that seldom had a good word 
for him, " the name of William E. Russell is a 
platform in itself." The uprightness and dig- 
nity of his nature, the fairness, the solidity, the 
liberality of his intelligence, the disciplined 
powers of his mind, the self-respecting simplicity 
and purity of his bearing and life, his freedom 
from self-seeking ambitions, his devotion to pub- 
lic ends, all made him the pattern of what a pub- 
lic man should be. His career seemed but at its 
opening; no man awakened juster expectancy, 


or had fairer promise of rendering important 
service to his country. 

The promise was not to be fulfilled. His 
death fell suddenly on the heart of the nation 
as an irreparable loss and a great sorrow. Not 
a week ago, a day or two after I wrote the 
preceding words, I received a letter from a total 
stranger, resident in another State, who wrote : 
" Many tears were shed when Governor Russell 
died, and much sorrow was felt all over the 
country by men who, like myself, had never seen 
him, but looked to him as the best promise of 
statesmanship and leadership for the future." 
The forces of good in politics were, indeed, dis- 
tinctly weakened by his death. There was no 
one to take his place. We could ill spare him. 
He was greatly needed at the moment of his 
death ; he is greatly needed now ; he will be 
greatly needed in the coming years. We shall 
long lament his death as untimely. And yet the 
service he had already rendered was abundant, 
and though short not transient. Death came to 
him in a fair hour. " Alas ! ' exclaims Ben 
Jonson, in his noble ode on the death of Sir 
Henry Morison 


"Alas! but Morison fell young: 
He never fell, thou f all'st my tongue, 
He stood a soldier to the last right end, 
A perfect patriot, and a noble friend. 

All offices were done 

By him so ample, full and round, 


As, though his age imperfect might appear, 
His life had the just image of a sphere." 

Yes, I repeat, death came to our friend in a 
fair hour, just at the close of youth, leaving his 
memory to us as the exemplar of what youth in- 
spired with the sense of public duty may accom- 
plish in the service of the State. He stands as 
the type of the youthful patriot in time of peace. 
It was not by virtue of rare genius, not by intel- 
lectual gifts which exalted him above his fel- 
low-men, not by exceptional advantages of acci- 
dent or felicities of fortune, that he won the 
place which he holds and will keep in the affec- 
tion and respect of his fellow-men ; but it was by 
virtue of the right use of faculties which are a 
common inheritance, and of qualities which every 
youth may imitate and may hope to attain. He 
stands all the brighter as an example to youth, 
because the inspiration of his life was the simple 


inspiration of duty. In this democracy of ours, 
where we are all one in mutual and common in- 
terests, where every man has a share in the fate 
of all, the insistent call of his country upon every 

youth is to make the best of himself that he may 
serve her well. His life must be work ; and his 

private work must be adjusted to public ends. 
His duty as a member of society is his prime 
duty toward himself. This was the motive of 
Russell's life, and it is this which makes the 
memory of his life precious, exemplary, deserv- 
ing of our lasting reverence and gratitude. In 
the last letter which he wrote to his wife, a 
sacred letter which she has permitted me to see, 
written from Chicago on the 8th of July, 
from the midst of the turbulence and passion of 
the convention, he said, " I had no idea how 
hard and distasteful this task would be. I have 
but one comfort in it. I know I have done my 
duty with fidelity." Memorable and impressive 
words ! " I have done my duty with fidelity ; ' 
the summary of his life; the fit inscription for 
his tomb ; his best legacy to his countrymen, for 
they are words of highest counsel and of high- 
est comfort which every man may make his own. 
No man could desire a better memory than that 


of having done his duty with fidelity. No man 

[ 215 ] 


but may leave this memory behind him as a 

It was but three or four days after this letter 
was written that Governor Russell returned home. 
He came back with joy to those whom he best 
loved. He was tired, and to secure the refresh- 
ment that he needed, after spending two days at 
home, he went to a beautiful region among the 
wilds of Canada, where in the heart of nature, 
and with out-door occupations, in the company 
of friends, he had before, more than once, gained 
health and recovered from weariness and de- 
pression. He reached the camp in good heart 
and hope. He thought a little rest would re- 
store him to his wonted vigor; but the blow 
struck at his country had fallen too heavily upon 
him. He went to sleep, and he never awoke. 
Clarendon ends his character of Lord Falkland 
with the words : " Whoever leads such a life 
needs be the less anxious upon how short warn- 
ing it is taken from him." 

[ 216 ] 





[ 217 ] 


Charles Eliot, the elder son of Charles W. and 
Ellen Derby (Peabody) Eliot, was born in Cam- 
bridge, Nov. 1, 1859. As a boy he was not 
strong, which led to unusual care being taken to 
keep him out of doors. Three years of his boy- 
hood were passed in Europe. After his father 
was chosen President of Harvard College in 
1869, Cambridge became the family home, and 
there young Charles was fitted for college. His 
studies were sometimes interrupted by ill health ; 
he was taken to Florida and to Canada ; and he 
spent many summers in camp or on a small yacht 
on the coast of Maine. From a child, he had 
learned to sketch, and he rarely failed to illus- 
trate his log with drawings, or to make a map 
of the country which he walked oyer in short ex- 
cursions out of Cambridge. He entered Har- 
yard in 1878 and had hardly more than a bow- 
ing acquaintance with most of his classmates, an 
almost morbid shyness, often misinterpreted, 
preventing him from lifting the veil of reserve 
which seemed to smother his intrinsic friendli- 

[ 219 ] 


ness. The truth is, he was by nature self -dis- 
trustful and subject to periods of depression, 
to which his not strong physique unquestion- 
ably contributed : and as a young man he passed 
through several years of spiritual conflict, or 
earnest pondering on the burden of the mystery, 
which augmented his native taciturnity. Grad- 
uating cum laude with the Class of 1882, he was 
still undecided as to his profession but during 
that summer, having by a process of elimina- 
tion " rejected one after another of the com- 
mon professions," he determined to fit himself 
to be a landscape architect. The profession was 
comparatively new, but he had heard something 
of it from his uncle, Mr. R. S. Peabody, a Bos- 
ton architect, and the fact that it involved much 
open-air life was a recommendation. Accord- 
ingly he studied at the Bussey Institution until 
April, 1883, when Mr. Frederick Law Olmsted, 
the foremost of American landscape architects, 
took him into his office as an apprentice. The 
connection was invaluable, since it afforded not 
only the opportunity for an apt pupil to study 
at close range the methods of a master, but also 
to visit the various works, public and private, 
which Mr. Olmsted then had under way, to learn 
business details, to superintend workmen and 


ness, is, he was by nature self-* 

jeCT CO |X. .1 .' L'l.i.v 01 

to * not strong physique unquestion- 

?'.)r-!\ ;ted: and as a young man he passed 

augmented his native taciturnity. Grad- 
i .trng cum laude with the Class of 1882, he was 
still undecided as to his profession but during 
that summer* $ by a process of elimina- 

titiu " rrj:tt<:-<] one after another of the com- 

j ** \ J i /, I 


.tTHMvilv neTOIJa 83JR^HO d some^ 

ton , and the fact that it involved 

was a recommendation. A 
he studied at the Bussey Institution 
April, 188c7. when Mr. Frederick Law ( 
the foremost of American landscape arr 
took him into his office as an apprentice. T 
c\ ion was invaluable, since it afforded not 

only the opportunity for an apt pupil to s 
at close range the methods of a master, I :so 
to visit, the various works, public and 
which Mr. Olmsted then had under way, to 
business , to superintend \v 

[ 220 ] 


contractors, and to make useful acquaintances. 
In moments of leisure, he read up the literature 
of his profession. He left Mr. Olmsted's office 
in May, 1885, and after six months spent chiefly 
in making trips through New England and as 
far south as Natural Bridge of Virginia, he 
sailed for Europe in November. 

It was an immense amount of work which 
Charles Eliot accomplished during a year 
abroad. He visited England, France, Italy, 
Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Russia and Hol- 
land, studying the parks of the chief cities and 
the great country estates, observing the char- 
acteristic landscape of each region and the 
flora natural to it, making innumerable notes, 
diagrams and drawings, and above all, storing 
up in his memory impressions which were thence- 
forth a precious addition to his equipment as an 
artist. His diary shows that besides the im- 
mediate objects of his profession, he had a keen 
eye for buildings, statues and paintings, a 
healthy curiosity for the history of the lands he 
visited, and an interest in the every-day life of 
the people. He attended the Good Friday 
service at St. Mark's, Venice. " Within the 
church, shadows and darkness, quiet moving 
crowds, the singing most touching, I sat in a 

[ 221 ] 


corner till all was done. Life more a dream 
than ever." At St. Petersburg he says, " The 
common people are dirty and of strangely pri- 
meval appearance, so to speak. They might be 
cave-men, most of them long-haired, and 
completely unkempt, and hungry-looking." Es- 
pecially copious and enthusiastic are his mem- 
oranda on pictures. " To stand before the 
glorified men and women of Titian ! ' he ex- 
claims, after a visit to the Louvre. " What 
superb creatures ! gifted with the same calm di- 
vinity as the Victory ; more than humanly lovely, 
healthy and sane. We folk of to-day and 
particularly these French are the veriest apes 
and idiots in comparison. How I wish I might 
have a drop or two of their rich, warm blood put 
into my feeble heart. . . . After a sight of 
these, the rest of the Louvre counts for little, 
at least one cannot care for it the same day." 
Many another quotation might be given showing 
that the love of beauty, by virtue of which he 
was an artist, and was to embody his artistic 
talent in landscape architecture, made him ap- 
preciative of the beautiful in the fine arts not 
less than in nature. 

On his return home in the autumn of 1886 
Charles Eliot opened an office in Boston. In 


an admirable circular he designated himself a 
" landscape architect," stated what sort of serv- 
ice he was prepared to render, and gave a 
schedule of his charges, from which it appeared 
that " he decided not to undertake surveying of 
any sort, not to take contracts for the execution 
of his plans, and not to take commissions on 
labor or materials, or on the amount of contract, 
as architects habitually do, but to be in all cases 
strictly a professional adviser like a lawyer." 
Among his earliest works were the laying out of 
the Norton estate and of the Longfellow Park, 
Cambridge, and the suggesting of a proper dis- 
tribution of shrubs and plants round the build- 
ings and along the fences of the Harvard Col- 
lege yard. Larger engagements soon came to 
him, parks at Newburyport, at Concord, N. H., 
and at Youngstown, O., the laying out of 
private places, the design for a town-site on Salt 
Lake, Utah, and many similar works. He con- 
tributed frequently professional articles to 
" Forest and Stream," and to the Boston 
" Transcript " and other papers, he occasionally 
sent articles describing the suburban beauty of 
Boston, and urging that more should be done to 
preserve them. 

And here, at last, he found his life-work. 


The times were propitious as we are accus- 
tomed to say when an individual of independent 
force comes along and accomplishes a great 
work ; possibly, without Charles Eliot, as much 
might have been done, by other persons, to effect 
what has been effected: but the truth remains 
that, so far as a retrospect of what actually hap- 
pened can instruct us, he was indispensable. 
The general idea that Boston, which was grow- 
ing rapidly, ought to have a well-considered 
park system, was already in the air. Enthusi- 
asts, like Elizur Wright, had already urged that 
such a rare tract of wild nature as the Middlesex 
Fells ought to be preserved forever. But it 
was Charles Eliot who concentrated these various 
purposes. It was he who conceived the estab- 
lishing of a Board of Trustees of Public Reser- 
vations, to hold in behalf of the public such 
pieces of land or water as they preempt in any 
part of Massachusetts. It was he who, as land- 
scape architect to the Metropolitan Park Com- 
mission, he received the appointment in 1892 
gave the Commissioners, who were men of 
broad views and unflagging zeal, the specific 
information which they needed in order to form- 
ulate wisely and to carry out to the extent which 
we now see the park system of the Boston Met- 


ropolitan district. The work has progressed 
so gradually that few persons realize how stu- 
pendous it has been 9,342 acres of land and 
water set apart for the perpetual benefit of the 
people of Greater Boston, and 24 miles of park- 
way completed all between 1892 and 1902. 
Charles Eliot's ample project embraced not only 
the Middlesex Fells, but the Waverly Oaks and 
Beaver Brook, Revere Beach, the Blue Hills, 
the Charles River, and the Mystic Valley. It 
is significant that one who had been when 
younger so self-distrustful proved now most con- 
vincing in dealing with legislative and other 
committees, on whose support depended the ap- 
propriations necessary for carrying out the work 
of the Commission. He had a simple, direct, 
earnest way of speaking, backed by a complete 
mastery of every professional detail, which won 
over to his side the most reluctant lawmaker, 
who might be impervious to every appeal to pre- 
serve suburban scenery because of its beauty, 
but who could not resist the appeal in behalf 
of improving the healthfulness of Greater Bos- 
ton, and who saw at once that a proposition, 
which by increasing the attractiveness of prop- 
erty would in the long run enhance its taxable 
value, was a practical proposition. It seldom 

[ 225 ] 


happens that a single advocate can command 
the assent of his fellow specialists, of devotees 
of beauty, and of the average personnel of 
our legislative and municipal bodies : this Charles 
Eliot did. The several reports, with maps, 
which he prepared for the Metropolitan Park 
Commission, are monuments to his professional 
ability ; they are also remarkable for a literary 
excellence seldom met with in writings of this 

His work for the Park Commissioners did 
not, however, consume all his time. In 1893 he 
had become a member of Mr. Olmsted's firm, 
which had a large practice, much of the respon- 
sibility for which, owing to Mr. Olmsted's ad- 
vanced age, fell on him. New problems of all 
kinds were constantly pressing for solution, and 
his professional letters show how squarely he 
met each problem, applying to it the general 
principles of his art, and then fitting his solu- 
tion to the special needs of each case. He 
was engaged on the Kenney Park, at Hartford, 
Conn., when he was seized with cerebro-spinal 
meningitis, from which he died at his home in 
Brookline, on March 25, 1897. He was indeed 
" a lover of nature and of his kind, who trained 
himself for a new profession, practiced it hap- 

[ 226 ] 


pily, and through it wrought much good." 
" Charles Eliot found in this community," the 
Trustees of Public Reservations recorded in their 
minutes, " a generous but helpless sentiment 
for the preservation of our historical and beauti- 
ful places. By ample knowledge, by intelligent 
perseverance, by eloquent teaching, he created 
organizations capable of accomplishing his great 
purposes, and inspired others with a zeal ap- 
proaching his own." 

Looking back over his life one sees how from 
boyhood everything even his not robust 
physique, which kept him out of doors con- 
tributed to train him for the work in which 
he came to excel. He was primarily an artist, 
who worked not in marble, or colors, or words, 
but with Nature herself, using her fields and 
rocks and rivers, her lakes and seashore, her 
trees and shrubs and flowers, as materials out 
of which to compose a humanized Nature, 
adapted to man's need of recreation, beauty, 
rest. He was an artist, but he was also a true- 
stock New Englander, filled with the desire to 
serve his fellow-men: so that in the vital work 
of his life his art was but the means for pro- 
curing the largest benefits for the greatest num- 
ber of persons. He employed Art to better 

[ 227 ] 


Nature, and thereby to better Man. In his 
early days, after an evening of music, he wrote, 
" I hope that, some day or other, work of mine 
may give some human being pleasure, pleasure 
of that helpful kind which beauty of music and 
of scenery give me." His hope has been mag- 
nificently fulfilled. To-day, and to-morrow, and 
as far ahead as any one can foresee, thousands 
and tens of thousands of human beings will 
be healthier and stronger, gladder and more 
virtuous, for what Charles Eliot accomplished, 
directly and indirectly, in his short life. Before 
such an achievement, so lasting and so beneficent, 
how cheap and transitory are the conquests of 
the sword! 

[ 228 ] 





[ 229 ] 


The story of Baldwin's life is best told by the 
mere recital of his deeds, even if such a recital 
may seem a Catalogue of Ships. For he was 
essentially a man of action. Of no one could 
it be said more truly, that he was " the son 
of his own works." The number of them shows 
his astonishing vitality, and in their character, 
as his life, short in years, but full in accom- 
plishment, gradually unfolded, appears the fine 
and noble spirit that was behind them. He 
was born in Boston on February 5, 1863, the 
son of William H. Baldwin and Mary F. A. 
(Chaffee) Baldwin. He came of good and 
simple New England stock. For many years 
his father has been the president of the Young 
Men's Christian Union of Boston. 

He fitted for College at the Roxbury Latin 
School, the famous school founded in 1645 as 
a free school for the youth of Roxbury to which 
a Boston boy was eligible on the payment of a 
small fee. His scholarship at school was only 
fair, and in fact his vitality, which in after 


years was a distinguishing characteristic, rather 
inclined him to fun and frolic ; so much so that 
at one period he was favored with a seat in the 
front row, where he might be constantly under 
a higher power. But he was always attractive, 
and popular with his teachers and fellows alike. 
When a petition was drawn up by the boys in 
favor of a delinquent, it was Baldwin who 
handed it in. He was a captain in the military 
drill, and while in those days athletics in the 
secondary schools were modest in comparison 
with their importance to-day, he took part in 
all the games. 

He passed the examination for Harvard in 
the spring of 1881 and entered College in the 
Class of 1885. His course at College was 
marked more by the broadness and diversity of 
his interests than by preeminence in any one 
of them, and he took most readily to those 
sides of College life that called for executive 
and administrative ability. Thus perhaps his 
most absorbing work was his connection with 
the Harvard Dining Association, of which he 
was president. It was at a crisis in its history, 
for during his administration a new steward had 
to be procured and in the management of this 
Association Baldwin showed the traits that after- 

[ 232 ] 



wards were so conspicuous in his executive 
work. On the social side, he was a member of 
the Dickey, the A. A. 3>. and the Hasty Pud- 
ding. He was a Freshman editor of the Har- 
vard Echo, the first daily paper at College, 
famous in its day chiefly for the eccentricities 
of its proof-reading, and later became a member 
of the O. K. He rowed on his Class Crew 
in his Junior and Senior years and took a mod- 
est hand at lacrosse. The love of music, which 
he cherished throughout his life, led him to the 
Glee Club, of which he became the leader, and 
he sang some of the chief parts in the Pudding 
theatricals. With all this diversity of employ- 
ment, his scholarship at College, as at school, 
was only fair, and he graduated without even 
a " cum laude" But he became one of the 
best known men of his Class and was elected 
chairman of the Class Committee, a position he 
held until his death. It is useless to speculate 
upon what he would have accomplished had he 
not gone to College or to Cambridge. But no 
one who knew him there can doubt that Harvard 
was the great influence in his life. He lived 
his College life to the full and never for a 
moment loosened the ties he formed there. But 
more than all, it was at Cambridge that he re- 

[ 233 ] 


ceived the civic impulse that afterwards became 
controlling in his life. 

On his graduation he found, as many a grad- 
uate has found before, that no particular oppor- 
tunity offered itself, and as many a graduate 
before had done, he took refuge in the Law 
School. It is doubtful how far his tastes were 
suited to the study of the law. After he had 
once passed the period of study and had reached 
the chance for action, he might have found it 
interesting. But in those first days, he was 
certainly restless in the study of it. He had 
hardly been in the Law School, however, more 
than a month or so, when an opportunity came, 
almost by chance, which led him into very differ- 
ent field and was the opportunity of his life. 
Mr. Charles Francis Adams had become the 
president of the Union Pacific Railway Com- 
pany and was searching for young men of edu- 
cation for that work. He offered a position 
to an intimate friend of Baldwin's, who, how- 
ever, had already decided upon a very different 
course in life. The friend suggested Baldwin. 
Mr. Adams sent for Baldwin, was attracted by 
his personality, and after some conference with 
President Eliot, offered Baldwin a chance on 
the Union Pacific. The offer was accepted. 


For a month or two Baldwin studied railroad 
law in Cambridge, and in February, 1886, went 
to Omaha to fill a place in the statistical de- 
partment of the railroad. 

The next eight years, to July, 1894, when he 
went to Washington as a vice-president of the 
Southern Railway, were for Baldwin a period 
of preparation, when he devoted himself to 
learning thoroughly the details of his calling. 
He remained in Omaha until May, 1887, when 
he was sent to Butte, Montana, as division 
freight agent, and was in rapid succession made 
manager of the Leavenworth Division in Kan- 
sas, general manager of the Montana Union 
Railroad, and finally in 1890, recalled to Omaha 
as assistant vice-president of the Union Pacific 
Railway. In 1891 he left the Union Pacific 
and for the next three years was the general 
manager of the Flint and Pere Marquette Rail- 
road, with headquarters at Saginaw, Michigan. 
The important events in his life during these 
years were his marriage in 1889 to Ruth Stand- 
ish Bowles of Springfield, Mass., a daughter 
of the late Samuel Bowles of the Springfield 
Republican, and the births of two children, Ruth 
Standish Baldwin and William H. Baldwin, 3d. 
As in every period of preparation, there was 

[ 235 ] 


outwardly not much to tell in his life. Yet 
as usual some of his vitality overflowed into 
other channels. He organized the first Har- 
vard Club in Omaha, and finding in Butte only 
four Harvard men, he organized a University 
Club, which took in all the University men, 
with a membership of seventy. His love of 
music led him to take part in the formation 
of a male choral society in Omaha. These 
years in the West did not change him, but 
seemed to broaden certain characteristics which 
he had shown in his College days. He became 
even more democratic and unaffected. The 
West seemed to give him a sense of the reality 
and true proportion of things that made him 
even more simple and direct and effective in 
everything to which he laid his hand. 

In July, 1894, he was appointed third vice- 
president of the Southern Railway Company, 
a consolidation of railways recently effected by 
the Morgan interests, and later was made second 
vice-president in charge of maintenance and 
construction. This appointment necessitated 
his removal to Washington. With this change 
began the period of fruition, toward which his 
years of preparation had tended. For it was 
here that he came into contact at first hand 

[ 236 ] 


with men of national importance in financial 
matters, and it was here that his strong leaning 
toward civic work, always in his mind and only 
waiting the opportunity to become effective, 
led him into some of the leading educational 
movements of the day. In his railroad work, 
he succeeded in bringing the system out of 
chaos. The best example of his management is 
found in his treatment of a threatened strike 
on the system. The condition of the Southern 
Railway at this time was similar to that of 
many railroads after 1893. It had been com- 
pelled to reduce expenses in every direction, 
including wages. The men sent a committee 
to the management asking that the ten per cent, 
reduction in wages should be restored. The 
road was then operating over 4,000 miles of 
railway and the prospect of a strike was alarm- 
ing. After some reluctance on the part of the 
management, Baldwin was finally given power 
to deal with the situation in his own way. He 
met the men in full confidence, laid before them 
an elaborate report of the financial condition 
of the road, and showed them unreservedly the 
returns to the bondholders and stockholders. 
After a full discussion lasting several days, 
some trifling inequalities were adjusted, and the 

[ 237 ] 


demands for an increase were withdrawn. Each 
side came away with respect for the other, and 
the strike was averted. Later when his name 
was under consideration for the presidency of 
the Long- Island Railroad, Baldwin told the 
directors of his attitude in this strike, which 
was only typical of his general views on labor 
questions, and said to them very frankly that 
he was not the man of whom they were in search. 
He was met with the unexpected reply that this 
was among the very reasons why he was selected. 
His outside interests at this time lay chiefly 
in the line of education. He began then his 
active interest in Tuskegee and the work of 
Booker T. Washington. Mr. Washington 
brought to him a letter of introduction from 
the elder Baldwin, commending the enterprise 
to his son. " I shall be glad to help you," 
Baldwin said, " if on investigation I find it is 
the real thing." For this investigation he vis- 
ited Tuskegee, spent some time in going over 
all the details, and became a trustee of the Tus- 
kegee Institute. For some years he spent what 
he called his spring vacation on the grounds, 
making a thorough inspection of every depart- 
ment of the institution. When he first took an 
interest in Tuskegee, it had property of the 

[ 238 ] 


valuation of about $300,000, and an endowment 
fund of $200,000. When he died the property 
had increased, largely through his efforts, to 
$700,000, and the endowment fund to $1,040,- 
000. In this, as in everything else, his interest 
never faltered, and a week before his death, 
he sent a telegram to Tuskegee, conveying his 
Christmas greetings. 

In 1896, he came to New York to assume the 
presidency of the Long Island Railroad in suc- 
cession to Austin Corbin, and there entered upon 
the last and most important phase of his life. 
Like the period of his preparation, it lasted 
eight years. When he took hold of the Long 
Island Railroad, it was in poor physical con- 
dition. By his efforts, its physical condition 
to-day averages very high. He immediately 
entered upon the work of eliminating steam from 
Atlantic Avenue, a problem which had been 
under consideration by the railroad company 
and the city of New York for thirty years. 
The work has now been practically completed 
at a cost of about $4,000,000. In 1900 he 
carried through the negotiations by which the 
Long Island Railroad became a part of the 
Pennsylvania System. While his title after this 
union still remained that of president of the 

[ 239 ] 


Long Island Railroad, his activities on behalf 
of the Pennsylvania System assumed much wider 
proportions, not only in the city of New York 
but elsewhere. He became a leading spirit in 
the conception and execution of the extensive 
projects of subways, tunnels, and bridge con- 
nections now actually in operation or under 
construction, which when completed will change 
the entire question of transportation in New 
York City. He was a member of the executive 
boards in connection w r ith the Interborough 
interests and the Metropolitan Railroad in- 
terests, and one of the committee which had 
charge of letting the contracts for the great 
subway. It is hardly too much to say that the 
visitor to New York City will find Baldwin's 
monument, as the epitaph reads of Sir Christo- 
pher Wren, by looking about him. At the same 
time, his activity in other business directions 
was almost boundless. When he died, he was 
president or a director in over forty institutions, 
including fifteen transportation lines, six banks 
and trust companies, and such institutions as 
the Equitable Life Assurance Society. 

His civic side kept pace with his business 
development. Continuing his interest in Tus- 
kegee, he became chairman of the General Edu- 


cation Board, the special purpose of which is 
the promotion of education in the South, and 
a trustee of the Southern Education Board. 
He had been for some years a trustee of Smith 


College, and served the University of Tennessee 
in the same capacity. He became a director in 
the Armstrong Association and a trustee of the 
John F. Slater Fund. Naturally he was led 


into the many municipal problems of New York 
itself, and perhaps his chief service in that direc- 
tion was as chairman of the famous Committee 
of Fifteen. This committee was organized in 
November, 1900, as the result of a meeting 
of citizens held at the Chamber of Commerce. 
The object of the Committee was to trace the 
relation between the Tammany government of 
that day and the promotion of crime and to 
point out the increasing corruption under the 
political conditions then existing. He not only 
assumed the general direction, but served as 
chairman of a special Committee of Investiga- 
tion, consisting of five members, who carried on 
through the winter an investigation of the re- 
sponsibilities for the affairs of the city. This 
called for certain hours of work for some days 
of each week for a term of a year, and Baldwin 
remained in town during a large portion of a 


hot summer in order that no part of the work 
might be neglected. A portion of the labors 
of the Committee was subsequently published 
in book form, and is an important contribution 
to the problem of the " Social Evil." 

He took an active interest in the Citizens' 
Union, and was himself mentioned in 1903 as 
a candidate for the mayoralty, but refused to 
be considered. He became a member of the 
Civic Federation, the National Municipal 
League, and was interested in Civil Service. 
The East Side took much of his time. He 
once said, and it \vas the keynote of his great 
success with men, " I am for the man that is 
down ; " and he was interested in the University 
Settlement and served as a member of the Na- 
tional and Local Child Labor Committees. To 
recount these names is not to tell the work that 
Baldwin really did. For he was not the man 
who lent his name and not his heart to any 
enterprise. When he took hold of anything 
he did it to the utmost. " I have served with 
many chairmen," writes a prominent man who 
was with him, " and I have never known one 
whose management of his responsibilities was 
so thoroughly effective." 

In the midst of it all, the time came for the 


wheel to be broken at the cistern. In a letter 
of June 27, 1904, Baldwin wrote that he would 
be in Cambridge for Commencement, but that 
he had a temporary physical difficulty that might 
prevent him. He never came again. Within 
a month an operation showed that he had a 
disease from which there could not be any re- 
covery. It is perhaps a sad satisfaction to feel 
that it did not come from overwork, in spite 
of his wonderful activity. He lingered until 
the New Year. On Christmas he sent a greet- 
ing by telegram to the employees of the Long 
Island Railroad, and on the morning of January 
3, 1905, the world became the poorer by the loss 
of a rare and forceful spirit. 

Any one who knows the demands of the 
modern life realizes at once the fulness of Bald- 
win's life. It was not alone that he was a 
great business administrator. The present age 
has summoned other men as well to be great 
administrators. It was not alone that he was 
profoundly moved by an ethical impulse to help 
his fellows. Other men have felt that impulse 
as profoundly. But he united the two in so 
remarkable a degree that it is difficult to name 
another in this country in whom such a union 
existed. He touched every type of man from 

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the East Side to Wall Street, from the workshop 
to the college, and each found him responsive. 
Himself an optimist, he gives the best hope 
for optimism, for if Harvard can temper such 
steel as this, the battle must W 7 age unceasingly. 
Yet the doer was himself finer than any of 
his deeds. One day in the Elevated train he 
caught a glimpse of a little Jewish child in a 
squalid tenement. Struck by the look of sick- 
ness, he alighted at the next station, and the 
child was taken to the hospital. After his death 
a woman in a distant state wrote a letter of 
sympathy. She had come across the ocean in 
the same steamer with him, but in the second 
cabin. Her child was ill and Baldwin insisted 
on giving the use of his stateroom to her. With 
him who died at Zutphen, following the great 
original of them both, he could always say : 
" Thy necessities are yet greater than mine." 
It was this that makes every one who knew him 
in the wide gamut he touched forget that he 
made a success, and remember only that a friend 
has gone ; for " whoso touched his little finger, 
drew after it his whole body." 

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