In 1835 was published his "First Lines in Physiology," a treatise which received the highest commendation both at home and abroad. It passed through three editions, and although the rapid advance in physiological science since its publication has long since led to its disuse, it will still be admired by medical scholars for the purity of its style and the learning it everywhere displays.
In the spring of 1837, Dr. Oliver closed his connection with the college, and returned to Cambridge, where he was temporarily residing at the time of his appointment, again to resume the practice of his profession. He, however, delivered a course of lectures at the Dartmouth Medical School in the autumn of this and the following year. He was also induced, in 1840, after declining professorships both in St. Mary's College, Baltimore, and in Pennsylvania University, to deliver a course of lectures on Materia Medica at the Medical College of Ohio, but he resigned the chair at the close of the session, and returned again to Cambridge, where he resided to the close of his life. Although in declining health at this time, he did not relinquish professional practice until within a few months of his death, which took place on the 1st of June, 1842.
During his comparatively brief career, Dr. Oliver had become widely known as a medical and general scholar. As a teacher in the various departments of medical science with which he was connected he was also eminently successful. His lectures, always prepared with great care, were written with remarkable clearness and elegance, and were often listened to with attention by many outside the ranks of the profession. "His lectures to the under-graduates of the college," says a contemporary, "would be thought, I am persuaded, still more remarkable than those upon Physiology. They were intended to exhibit the present state of mental philosophy. And the singular clearness with which he discriminated the settled points of absolute knowledge in this comprehensive and yet imperfect science, his happy development of intricate and complicated principles, and the beautiful colors which a true poetic spirit enabled him now and then to throw over the bald peaks and angles of this cold region, entitle him to a rank among metaphysicians as eminent as he maintained in his appropriate profession."
 Eulogy on Daniel Oliver, delivered by Rev. C. B. Haddock, professor of Belles Lettres.
"The intellectual character of Dr. Oliver," the same writer afterwards adds, in language admirably chosen, "came nearer than it has been my fortune to observe in almost any other instance to the idea of a perfect scholar. He was at once profound, comprehensive, and elegant. Upon no subject which he had considered was his knowledge fragmentary or partial. A philosophic, systematic habit of mind led him always to seek for the principles of things, and to be satisfied only with the truth. The compass of his inquiries was as extraordinary as their depth. He had investigated with care a surprising extent of knowledge. A master of his own language, and minutely acquainted with all its principal productions, he was also thoroughly versed in the Greek, and familiar with the original works which have given to that tongue the first place among human dialects. The German he read with facility, and had pursued his favorite studies in the masters of its profound learning. Of French and Italian he was not ignorant. Music, both as a science and an art, was his delight and recreation. In the arts of painting and sculpture his information was liberal and his taste said to be excellent. Morals and politics he had studied in their theory, and in the history of the world. His acquaintance with civil history was among the most extraordinary of his attainments. The beautiful in Nature, in life, or in art or literature, few men have so exquisitely enjoyed or so justly appreciated.
"Thus, the principal elements of a perfect mind seem to have been singularly united and harmonized in him,—exactness of knowledge, liberal learning, and true taste."
Bred from infancy in the Church of England, Dr. Oliver continued to the end a faithful member of that communion, and few persons have had a firmer faith in the sublime truths of revealed religion. It was no less to his deeply religious and truthful spirit than to his innate love of right that may be ascribed that regard for things sacred, that singular modesty, that unfailing courtesy, and the high sense of personal honor that distinguished him. It had been his desire, at a late period of his life, to become a candidate for Holy Orders, a step for which his ripe theological scholarship and his critical knowledge of Greek and Hebrew had already prepared him, but his age deterred him.
Dr. Oliver had published little. Besides the treatise on Physiology already mentioned, there are a few pamphlets containing addresses delivered on various occasions, the most important of which are one before the New Hampshire Historical Society in 1836, and that before the college at the time of his induction into the professorship of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy.
Among his medical manuscripts may be mentioned an unfinished work on General Pathology, which, had he lived to complete, would have added to his reputation as a medical author. Among his papers were also a few unpublished addresses and a few short and fragmentary poems, the effusions of his earlier years, all characterized by that elegance of style and fine poetic taste and feeling that marked their author.
A member of many learned literary and medical societies at home, Dr. Oliver was honored in 1835 with a diploma from the Academy of Sciences and Belles Lettres of Palermo, and in 1838 received the degree of Doctor of Laws.
The following notice of a gentleman of rare eminence in the scientific world, is from a reliable source:
James Freeman Dana, who was connected as a teacher with both the Academical and Medical departments of Dartmouth College, was born at Amherst, N. H., September 23, 1793. He was the eldest son of Luther and Lucy (Giddings) Dana, and grandson of Rev. and Hon. Samuel Dana. On the father's side he was descended from Richard Dana, who was among the early settlers in Massachusetts; on that of his mother he was a descendant in the seventh generation from Rev. John Robinson, the pastor of the noble band of Pilgrims who founded Plymouth, Mass.
Dana was fitted for college at Phillips Academy, Exeter, N. H., entered Harvard in 1809, and graduated in 1813, his name standing on the catalogue as Jonathan Freeman Dana; the first name, by which, however, he had never been known, was changed to James, by act of legislature.
Immediately after entering Harvard, Dana showed a decided partiality for scientific pursuits. To Natural Philosophy, Natural History, and Chemistry, he mainly devoted his attention, making excursions into the surrounding country for the purpose of examining its geological structure, and collecting mineralogical and other specimens. The result of these rambles was embodied in a small volume, published in conjunction with his brother Dr. S. L. Dana, in 1819, entitled "Mineralogy and Geology of Boston and its Environs." While in college he formed, together with his brother and several classmates, a society for the cultivation of Natural Science and Philosophy, named at first for two distinguished French chemists, but afterward known as the Hermetic Society. Towards the close of his collegiate course he was appointed to assist Dr. Gorham, the professor of Chemistry, in preparing his experiments. That eminent physician and chemist soon became so much interested in the pupil who displayed such assiduity in scientific researches, that finding he intended to pursue the study of medicine, he kindly invited him to do so under his tuition.
In 1813, Mr. Dana commenced his studies with Dr. Gorham, attending lectures at the Medical College, but though he became well acquainted with the principles and practice of the profession, he never relinquished his preference for Chemistry and Mineralogy. He became an active member of the Boston Linnaean Society, and the first paper read before it, entitled "An Analysis of the Incrustation formed upon the Basket of Eggs from Derbyshire, England" (presented by Judge Davis), was read by him. In the spring of 1813, the Corporation of Harvard College employed Mr. Dana to visit England in order to procure suitable apparatus for its chemical department. During his stay abroad he studied, for a time, under the instruction of the somewhat distinguished Frederic Accum. In consequence of this absence he did not receive his degree of M.D. till 1817, that of A. M. having been previously conferred.
In the autumn of 1817, Dr. Dana was appointed to deliver a course of chemical lectures to the medical students of Dartmouth College. The professors in the Medical School were Dr. R. D. Mussey and Dr. Cyrus Perkins. These lectures were so satisfactory that the appointment was continued, and during the autumns of 1818, 1819, and 1820, he lectured at Dartmouth, residing during the intervals at Cambridge, where, in January, 1818, he was united in marriage with Matilda, third daughter of Samuel Webber, D.D., late president of Harvard College.
In 1821, being appointed professor at Dartmouth, Dr. Dana removed to Hanover, where, relinquishing the practice of medicine, he devoted his whole attention to his favorite studies, to which was now added Botany, upon which he delivered some courses of lectures.
Dr. Perkins, the Professor of Materia Medica, removed to New York after the dissolution of the "University of New Hampshire," and the late admired and lamented Dr. Daniel Oliver, of Salem, was appointed to the professorship. Dr. Mussey, celebrated for his surgical knowledge and skill, remained as the head of the Medical School, and among these gentlemen, differing widely as they did in many characteristics, the warmest friendship subsisted. During the intervals of leisure from strictly professional duties, Dr. Dana occupied himself in continuing to write for "Silliman's Journal," and in frequent excursions to various parts of New Hampshire, for the purpose of analyzing the ores and waters of mines and springs. His published analysis of the waters of a spring in Burton, N. H., was considered so scientific a production, that he was written to as to accepting a professorship in the University of Virginia. Not wishing the appointment, he declined becoming a candidate.
In the latter part of 1825, Professor Dana published "An Epitome of Chemical Philosophy," designed as a text-book for his own classes, but which was afterwards adopted as such in two other institutions. In 1826, he was appointed one of the visitors of West Point Military Academy, and soon after his return was chosen to the chair of Chemistry, in the College of Physicians and Surgeons in the University of New York, to which city he then removed. He was elected member of the Linnaean Society of New York, and accepted an invitation to deliver a course of lectures before the Athenaeeum.
During his residence at Hanover, Professor Dana had been much interested in Electro-magnetism, then a new science, and in preparing apparatus for exhibiting its wonders, freely stating his conviction that it would produce more astonishing results than any power previously known. When surprise was expressed at his selecting for his Athenaeeum lectures this subject, so little known even in Europe, and in which so few in this country would feel any interest, Dr. Dana replied that he had chosen it for those reasons; that he thought it time for public attention to be directed to it, as he was certain it would lead to most valuable results, and that he should endeavor to render it popular. How far he succeeded, the delighted audiences that crowded to hear him bore evidence. Of the truth of his prediction as to the results to be wrought out by the science, the marvels of the electro-magnetic telegraph bear witness to the world.
Samuel F. B. Morse was then following his profession as a painter in New York, and lectured upon art before the Athenaeeum. An intimacy sprang up between him and Dr. Dana, whose lectures he attended, and whom he used to visit in his laboratory, thus becoming familiar with his views on scientific subjects. Morse's published statements as to the origin of his knowledge of electro-magnetism are as follows:
"I learned from Professor Dana, in 1827, the rationale of the electro-magnet, which' latter was exhibited in action. I witnessed the effects of the conjunctive wires in the different forms described in his lectures, and exhibited to his audience. The electro-magnet was put in action by an intensity battery; it was made to sustain the weight of its armature, when the conjunctive wire was connected with the poles of the battery or the circuit was closed; and it was made to 'drop its load' upon opening the circuit. These, with many other principles of electro-magnetism were all illustrated experimentally to his audience. These being the facts, to whom do I owe the first knowledge which I obtained of the science of electro-magnetism bearing upon the practical development of the telegraph? Professor Dana had publicly demonstrated in my hearing and to my sight all the facts necessary to be known respecting the electro-magnet.... The volute modification of the helix to show the concentration of magnetism at its centre, adapted to the electric magnet, the modification since universally adopted in the construction of the electro-magnet, is justly due, I think, to the inventive mind of Prof. James Freeman Dana. Death, in striking him down at the threshold of his fame, not only extinguished a brilliant light in science—one which gave the highest promise of future distinction—but the suddenness of the stroke put to peril the just credit due him for discoveries he had already made. Dana had not only mastered all of the science of electro-magnetism then given to the world, a science in which he was an enthusiast, but, standing on the confines that separate the known from the unknown, was at the time of his decease preparing for new explorations and new discoveries. I could not mention his name in this connection without at least rendering this slight but inadequate homage to one of the most liberal of men and amiable of friends, as well as promising philosophers of his age."
The delivery of these lectures was amongst Dr. Dana's last public efforts. A severe cold, resulting in an attack of erysipelas affecting the brain, terminated his brief life of thirty-three years, on the 15th of April, 1827.
In the various relations of private life he had won the warm attachment of all who knew him. To the charm of a buoyant and affectionate disposition he added Christian principle and character. During his student life at Harvard, he had become a communicant of the Episcopal Church, and continued a devout worshipper according to her liturgy. Her Burial Service was read over his remains, by his friend Dr. Wainwright, the funeral rites being performed at Grace Church, on the 17th of April.
When it was proposed, in 1871, by the National Telegraph Monument Association to erect a monument to Professor Morse, at Washington, the family of Dr. Dana furnished, at its request, a portrait of him from which a likeness was to be cast for one of the faces at the base of the monument. Since the death of Professor Morse, no progress seems to have been made in the effort to erect this memorial of scientific progress.
PROF. BENJAMIN HALE.—PROF. ALPHEUS CROSBY.—PROF. IRA YOUNG.
From reliable sources we have the following account of another gentleman of distinguished worth, who was an instructor also both in the Academical and Medical departments of the college.
Benjamin Hale was born on the 23d of November, 1797, in Newbury, Mass., now a part of the city of Newburyport. He was the eldest son of Thomas Hale, who was the grandson of the fifth Thomas, in that series of Hales, whose first representative came to Newbury in about 1637. His mother was Alice Little, a daughter of the Hon. Josiah Little of Newbury, and grand-daughter of Col. Moses Little, an officer in the Continental Army. On both sides of the house Benjamin Hale came of a race of vigorous, industrious, and useful men, held in honor by their fellow citizens, and invariably distinguished for their exemplary habits, their domestic virtues, their sterling goodness, and their faithfulness in the discharge of trusts and duties. In childhood he was studious, quiet, kind, and genial; fond of books, the favorite of his youthful companions, and the cheerful companion of the aged.
In the autumn of 1813, he went to Atkinson Academy; and in September, 1814, entered Dartmouth College; but his health becoming impaired, he went to Dummer Academy, Byfield, in the autumn of 1815, to pursue his studies under the direction of its principal, the Rev. Mr. Abbott. In February, 1816, he entered the Sophomore class at Bowdoin College, then under the presidency of the venerable Dr. Appleton, whose grave kindness soon won his reverent love. He at once secured an honorable position in his class, which was the largest that had then been in that college. In September, 1818, he received the degree of B. A.; his part at Commencement being the salutatory oration. Having been previously offered the academy at Saco, and recollecting a remark of his old pastor, Dr. Spring, that "one who meant to be a minister would do well to try his hand at being a schoolmaster," he took charge of the academy for one year.
In the autumn of 1819, he became a member of the Theological Seminary at Andover, Mass. Here his college classmate, Rufus Anderson, afterwards the distinguished Secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, was his class-mate and room-mate. Dr. Anderson thus writes of him: "Our friendship was founded in mutual knowledge and esteem, and continued during his life. The operations of his mind were effective, equally so in nearly every branch of learning. He was quick and accurate in the Mathematics, in the Languages, and in Music. I know not in what one branch he was best fitted to excel. While perfect in all his recitations, he was social, always ready for conversation when I desired it. He had, and through his whole life retained, my entire confidence as a man of God, nor was I surprised at the eminent position he afterwards attained in the church of Christ. Pleasant is his memory, and pleasant is the thought of meeting him in a better world." While at Andover he had leisure for reading, and that part of it which he devoted to Ecclesiastical History had an important influence as it turned out, in deciding his future ecclesiastical connection.
At the Commencement of Bowdoin College, in 1820, he was appointed tutor. He taught the Junior class in Natural Philosophy, and Locke's Essay on the Human Understanding, and the Sophomore class in Geometry and some other parts of Mathematics, and in Logic. At the same time he continued to pursue his theological studies, and in January, 1822, was licensed to preach by the York Association. In September, 1821, he delivered a Latin valedictory oration, and took his degree of A. M. With regard to this period of his life, his fellow tutor, now the venerable Prof. Packard, thus writes: "Mr. Hale gave at once the impression of a kind, generous, faithful heart, a clear, acute, and rapid intellect, and a vigorous grasp of any subject to which he gave his thought. He was a diligent student. He loved books. Without conceit he had sufficient self-reliance, which was always of service to him as a teacher and governor. He always had the good-will of his pupils, and whether with them or with his colleagues he exerted an influence above rather than below his age and standing. He was a true man, unselfish, of a decidedly social turn, of warm affections, of a genial humor."
In the summer of 1822, he received proposals from R. H. Gardiner, Esq., of Gardiner, Me., to take charge of a new institution which he had determined to establish for the education of farmers and mechanics in the principles of science. Mr. Hale accepted, and closed his connection with Bowdoin College in 1822, and entering upon his duties January 1, 1823, opened the Lyceum, was inaugurated as its principal, and delivered an address on the occasion. He soon after returned his license, finding it inconvenient to meet the many calls for preaching extended to him, and having become also so settled in his preference for the Protestant Episcopal Church that he determined to take Orders therein, should he ever be so situated as to think it his duty to preach again. On the 9th day of April, 1823, he was married to Mary Caroline King, the eldest daughter of the Hon. Cyrus King, M. C.
The Lyceum soon attracted students and became a flourishing institution. Its principal gave lectures in Chemistry and taught Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, and in winter had classes in Architecture and in Agricultural Chemistry. For the former of these classes he prepared, in 1827, a work on the "Elementary Principles of Carpentry."
In July, 1827, having received an invitation to succeed Professor Dana in the chair of Chemistry at Dartmouth College, Mr. Hale accepted, and delivered his inaugural address on the day after Commencement. His esteemed and able colleagues in the Medical College were Reuben D. Mussey, M.D., Prof. of Anatomy and Surgery; and Daniel Oliver, M.D., Prof. of Theory and Practice of Medicine. It should be noted that at that period the importance of physical studies was not fully appreciated at Dartmouth. The college had not taken a scientific periodical in half a century. There was no cabinet of minerals. "There was not," writes Dr. Oliver, "a single modern volume in the college library upon either Mineralogy or Geology; and scarcely one, if one, upon Chemistry, later than the days of Fourcroy or Vauquelin. The prevailing taste was decidedly anti-physical. It was directed another way, and not only so, but there was among the college Faculty a disposition to undervalue the physical sciences." Dr. James F. Dana, the predecessor of Professor Hale, writing of the college in reference to physical science, used the following remarkable expression: "It was anchored in the stream, and served only to show its velocity." When Professor Hale was engaged, his duties comprised a course of daily lectures to the medical class through the lecture term, to which lectures the members of the Senior and Junior classes were to be admitted; and instruction to the Junior class in some chemical text-book by daily recitations for five or six weeks. This was all.
Professor Hale, however, addressed himself to his work with characteristic activity and zeal. He proceeded to give each year to the college classes a separate course of over thirty lectures, and discharged the expenses of them himself. He substituted a larger and more scientific text-book for that in use, and obtained an allowance of forty or more recitations instead of thirty. He laid the foundation of the cabinet of minerals by giving five hundred specimens, classifying and labeling all additions, leaving the collection in respectable condition with 2,300 specimens. He gave annually about twenty lectures in Geology and Mineralogy; and for some years was the regular instructor of the Senior class in the Philosophy of Natural History. For two years, also, he took charge of the recitations in Hebrew, and occasionally took part in other recitations; and, with another, served as building committee during the whole process of repairing and erecting the college edifices.
December 11, 1827, Professor Hale wrote, in a family letter, "I have made out a plan, for the repair of the College building, and the addition of a building for libraries, etc., for the use of Trustees at their next session. It takes with the president mightily, and I think they will make it go."
And in another family letter, the first after returning from a journey, under date of March 20, 1828, he wrote:
"My arrival at Hanover was very opportune. I was looked for for sometime, and letters were about being despatched for me.... I have the honor of being one-half of the building committee, Professor Chamberlain being the other moiety, and we are commencing operations. The prospects of the College are now so bright, that the plan I at first proposed, and which was adopted by the Trustees, is abandoned, and we are preparing to erect two brick buildings, three stories in height, and fifty feet by seventy. One for students' rooms, and the other for public rooms.... And what is more comforting, our funds are improving so much that the building will not distress us very much if the $30,000 should not be realized. A good many old debts have been collected, and are coming in, by which one building could be erected. About $13,000 have already been subscribed, and subscriptions are daily arriving."
All this was voluntary and gratuitous work. It is no wonder that students thus cared for should respond, as they did, with enthusiasm and regard. Happily, in this department as well as in all others, Dartmouth College is now in motion, and fully up with the foremost in the current of physical study.
During his last three years, Professor Hale was President of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. His portrait, presented, it is believed, by the members of that society, now hangs in the college library.
While at Hanover, Professor Hale thought it his duty to resume his purpose of preaching, and was accordingly ordained Deacon by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Griswold, Bishop of the Eastern Diocese, September 28, 1828, at Woodstock, Vt.; and Priest by the same bishop, in St. Paul's, Newburyport, January 6, 1831. In taking this step he violated in no respect the charter of the college, he undertook nothing which conflicted with the duties of his professorship, he acted neither obtrusively nor illiberally; but while he occasionally preached in neighboring churches, he always, in Hanover, scrupulously observed the appointment at the village meeting-house. On Sunday nights, however, he held a service in his own house, for his own family, and the family of Dr. Oliver, and such other communicants of the Episcopal Church, and friends, as might desire to attend. Difference in sentiment on religious subjects, between Professor Hale and the Trustees of the college, and action on their part which can hardly be regarded as justifiable, led to the termination of Professor Hale's connection with the college, in 1835.
In 1835, Professor Hale published two works, "A Valedictory Letter to the Trustees," and "Scriptural Illustrations of the Liturgy." In August of that year he attended the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church as a delegate from the Diocese of New Hampshire. In October, 1836, the degree of D.D. was conferred upon him by Columbia College. In December, having had a severe attack of bronchitis, he sailed to St. Croix to spend the winter. His published letters under the signature of "Valetudinarius" were very pleasant to the reading public.
In the course of the next year he entered upon the laborious and high duties of an office which occupied the remaining years of his active life. He was elected, August 2, 1836, to the Presidency of Geneva College, N. Y., and entered upon his duties in the following October; delivering an inaugural address on the 21st of December. It is of course impossible here to give the varied and interesting details of his presidential life. To this institution he freely gave the wealth of his well stored and acute mind, his tried experience, and his cheerful, patient resolution. The trials were sometimes great, the laborers few, the support scanty, and there were times when it seemed as if the one man only stood between the life of the college and its death. As one of the Trustees wrote, "Life was already nearly extinct, and death would have soon followed, had not the president given himself wholly to the work with a faith that never faltered, a perseverance which strengthened with difficulties, and a thorough conviction that his work, if well done, would promote the glory of God and his church through all time." And he was successful, as much so as it was within the power of one man to be, both in correcting the evils which he found existing, and in securing the stability of the college beyond all peradventure. Wherever he was, in the recitation room, in the academic circle, in the Medical School of which he was ex officio president, in the Board of Trustees, in the councils of the bishop and the Diocese, in the conferences with the Vestry of Old Trinity Church, before the Board of Regents, before the Legislature of the State, he was always the learned, sagacious, loyal, and inspiring president; respected and beloved always, by all who entered the circle of his influence; and illustrating daily in his own character, the symmetry, strength, and purity of the principle by which he was governed.
Dr. Hale instructed easily in every department of learning. He was most fond of ethical and metaphysical studies. His class room will never be forgotten by those who delighted to go to it, and regretted to leave it. His courses of lectures for many years included Civil and Ecclesiastical Architecture. He loved music, and read it as easily as the words. His diction was always remarkable for the best English, expressed in the happiest style. His memory and power of association were almost unerring. His temper was held in the nicest balance. In preaching he was a Chrysostom in wisdom, truth, and sweetness.
We have not space to dwell upon this theme, nor upon the wholesome influence which Dr. Hale exerted in the diocese in which he was placed, both towards preparing the way for a second diocese in the State of New York, and in ministering in his place to its unity and order, when under the Episcopal charge of the noble De Lancey. In 1858, he left Hobart (once Geneva) College, and in 1859 he left Geneva, with this distinguished record: "The thorough and skillful teacher, the laborious and self-sacrificing president, the sympathizing friend, the genial companion, the judicious adviser, the courteous Christian gentleman; in all these relations so bearing himself as to gain the profound respect and tender affection of all who knew him."
Dr. Hale retired to live in Newburyport, near his birth-place and by the graves of his forefathers, with his children around him. Even then "his influence upon the community distilled like the dews of heaven to gladden the earth." He departed to his rest in Paradise on the 15th of July, 1863. Dr. Hale had four sons and three daughters, of whom the sons (one has since departed) and one daughter survived him.
His published works, beside communications to newspapers on current topics, are: "An Address to the Public from the Trustees of Gardiner Lyceum," 1822. "An Inaugural Address at Gardiner," 1823. "Address to the Public in regard to the Lyceum," 1824. "Introduction to the Mechanical Principles of Carpentry," 1827. "Sermon before the Convention of New Hampshire," 1830. "Lecture before the American Institute of Instruction, On the Best Method of Teaching Natural Philosophy," 1830. "Sermon, On the Unity of God, preached before the Convention of the Eastern Diocese," 1832. "Scriptural Illustrations of the Liturgy of the Protestant Episcopal Church," 1835. "Valedictory Letter to the Trustees of Dartmouth College," 1835. "Inaugural Address, Geneva College, On the Equalizing and Practical Tendency of Colleges," 1836. "A Lecture before the Young Men's Association of Geneva, On Liberty and Law," 1838. "Baccalaureate: Education in its Relations to a Free Government," 1838. "The Present State of the Question," a pamphlet, in relation to the division of the Diocese of New York, 1838. "Baccalaureate: The Languages," 1839. "Baccalaureate: Mathematics," 1841. "Lecture on the Sources and Means of Education," 1846. "Baccalaureate: The Position of the College, the State, and the Church," 1847. "Historical Notices of Geneva College," 1849. "Sermon on the Death of Major Douglass," 1849.
* * * * *
Professor Alpheus Crosby, who was elected to the Chair of Greek and Latin in the College, in 1833, Professor Calvin E. Stowe having filled the position in the interval after the death of Professor Chamberlain, was the son of Dr. Asa and Abigail (Russell) Crosby, and was born at Sandwich, N. H., October 13, 1810. Although less than twenty-three years of age, his superior scholarship fully warranted the appointment. After ably filling this chair several years, by a division of labor he was permitted to confine himself exclusively to the Greek language and literature. To his refined and sensitive nature the stern old Roman was less attractive than the more polished Greek. It is quite probable that Professor Crosby was more largely indebted than he himself was aware to the moulding influence of his amiable and excellent mother, for that particular type of mind and heart which placed him among the foremost Grecian scholars of his time. Professor Crosby's career as a linguist illustrated two distinct forms of success. He excelled both as a teacher and as an author. His success as a teacher no one will question who had the privilege of listening to his instructions, if only for a single hour. He questioned the student with a critical eye and ear, but a womanly gentleness. His translations might well be likened to celestial music, long pent-up in foreign caves, but now finding rich and varied and sweet expression, in the mother tongue. His success as an author is sufficiently indicated by the extensive use of his text-books, especially the "Greek Grammar."
His classmate, Rev. Dr. Tenney, says:
"It is very pleasant for me to bring back before me your brother as I remember him at the commencement of our college life. He was, as you know, a boy of twelve years, dressed in a boy's jacket with a ruffled shirt, collar coming down over his shoulders, such as boys wore in those days—playful as a kitten, and as innocent as the purest-minded girl. He was probably the best fitted (as the phrase is) for college, of any member of the class. He had, I believe, gone over all the studies of the Sophomore year. Without any apparent effort he maintained his pre-eminence through his entire college course, not only in the Languages, but also in Mathematics and Mental Philosophy. My recollection is that he had committed to memory all the Greek primitives before he left college, yet with all his pre-eminence as a scholar he never seemed to have the remotest consciousness that there was anything remarkable about himself. We had ambitious men in the class and some bitter rivalries, but no one ever thought of questioning his position. In short he was both the pet and pride of the class; his conscientiousness as a boy was that which characterized him as a man. I do not think he would have done a consciously wrong thing for his right hand. I remember being with him one Sabbath, when a letter was handed him from home, and his views of the sacredness of the Sabbath were such that he would not open it until the Sabbath was passed. I mention this, not to illustrate the earnestness of his conscience, but simply to show its authority over him.
"As your brother was the youngest of the class, I was one of the oldest, but from the commencement of our class life our intimacy was constant. I could very readily tell why I was attracted to him, but his friendship for me I could never understand; sure I was that I never loved any other man as I did him; he visited me a number of times; as I was at his home in Salem not long before his lamented death, he seemed to me the same at the end as he was at the beginning, one of the most lovable and remarkable men I ever knew, and the world has seemed to be poorer ever since he left it."
Mr. C. C. Chase, Principal of the High School in Lowell, of the class of 1839, says:
"I have had many laborious, faithful teachers, but only one genius, and that was Professor Alpheus Crosby. He was accurate upon a point not because he appeared to have looked it up in the books, but because he instinctively knew it. It was in the Greek that I was instructed by him, and I clearly recall, at this day, the expression of his face, as he explained it to us. He seemed to revel in the beautiful thoughts and splendid conceptions of the great dramatists. He did not appear to be so anxious as most teachers, that our recitations should show our critical grammatical knowledge, but rather that we should appreciate and enjoy the wonderful creations of the great minds of antiquity. He loved to teach. It seemed to be his delight to tell others what he had so much enjoyed himself. It was the study of his Greek grammar that first gave me a love for the noble language of ancient Greece. I know of no grammar that has so few bones and so much meat in it. One can really enjoy reading it in an idle hour! It so clearly reveals the fact that that most beautiful of languages, with all its sweetness and euphony, is but a transcript of the mind of the race of men that knew more of beauty, of taste, and of philosophy than all the ancient world besides. Professor Crosby entered into the secret chambers of Greek thought, and became himself a Greek, and seemed to feel a perpetual flow of delight, as he told to others what seemed so charming to himself. Others might compel an indolent student to devote more time and study to his lessons, but none could equal him in leading those who loved to follow, into the 'green pastures' and 'sweet fields' of the domain of learning."
Hon. George Stevens, of the class of 1849, says:
"My acquaintance with Professor Crosby began upon my admission to college. My preparation in Greek was imperfect, and my knowledge of the language was quite limited. His manner of dealing with and instructing the class soon won my admiration, love, and respect for him, and opened to me a new and unexpected source of pleasure in the beauties of the Greek language. The primitive simplicity, the euphony, sweetness, and artistic perfection of the language awakened a response and an appreciation which only those who are like him can feel. This appreciation of the beauties of his favorite language, kindled in him an enthusiastic love for it. His manner of teaching imparted something of this same enthusiasm in the students. The thoroughness of his instruction, his perfect courtesy towards all the students, the extreme kindness with which he always treated them, his constant mildness and equanimity in the presence of the class, in the face even of rude conduct and inexcusable ignorance of the lesson, his great love and supreme devotion to his duties, apparent to all, won the love and respect, and gave him the control of every student under him, which no sternness or severity could ever have secured. I never knew the least disobedience to him or the slightest disrespect shown towards him, either in his presence or absence. The great simplicity, purity, and honesty of his character, was a perfect shield to him against all attacks, in word or act, open or covert. I consider him, after years of reflection and experience, the best teacher I ever had; and of all the impressions of the teachers of my boyhood and youth, those made by him upon me I find are the deepest and most lasting, and now, after the lapse of more than a quarter of a century, are the dearest to me."
Professor Hagar, in the "New England Journal of Education", says:
"Professor Alpheus Crosby, whose death occurred in Salem, Mass., on the 17th of April, 1874, was so widely and favorably known as a scholar, and was so much esteemed as a man, that a notice of his life and labors, more extended than has hitherto appeared, is justly due his memory.
"Professor Crosby very early showed remarkable power in the acquisition of knowledge. He learned the rudimentary branches of education almost without a teacher. Mathematics, Latin, and Greek came to him almost by intuition. When engaged in study, he was so deeply absorbed that he seemed wholly unconscious of time, place, or surroundings. When in his tenth year he was taken to Hanover, the seat of Dartmouth College, and was placed temporarily under Professor Adams in Algebra and Euclid, under Tutor James Marsh in Latin, and under Tutor Rufus Choate in Greek; and these gentlemen pronounced him fitted for college. He was then returned to Gilmanton Academy, and, to prevent him from trespassing upon college studies, he was put to the study of Hebrew, under the Rev. John L. Parkhurst, who was well known as a ripe scholar. He was subsequently sent to Exeter Academy to bridge over, with various studies, the months which his friends thought must be passed before he should enter college. At the fall term of the college, in 1823, in his thirteenth year, he entered; and he passed through the four years' course of study without a rival and far beyond rivalry. His power of acquisition and retention was marvelous.
"After his graduation, he was kept at Hanover four years; the first, as the preceptor of Moor's Indian Charity School, and the following three as tutor in the college. During this period he joined the college church, and formed his purpose to prepare for the ministry, and spent nearly two years at the Theological Seminary, in Andover, Mass. He was appointed to a professorship of Latin and Greek, in 1833. In 1837 he was released from the Latin and became professor of Greek only, which office he held until 1849, when he resigned; but he remained Professor Emeritus until his death.
"In 1834 he married Miss Abigail Grant Jones Cutler, only child of Joseph and Abigail Cheesboro Grant (Jones) Cutler, of Newburyport, Mass. Mrs. Crosby becoming an invalid, Professor Crosby took her to Europe and traveled with her through England, Germany, and France, until they reached Paris, where Mrs. Crosby died. On his return he resumed the duties of his professorship. After the death of his father-in-law, Mr. Cutler, he resigned his professorship, and removed to Newburyport to care for Mrs. Cutler, who was an invalid. His Greek Grammar, theological disquisitions, and the superintendency of schools in Newburyport occupied his attention until Mrs. Cutler's death in 1854, when he entered into the employment of the Board of Education in Massachusetts as its agent. In this capacity he rendered the State most valuable services by visiting the public schools in various parts of the State, and by his instructive and practical lectures on educational subjects. So efficient were his labors, that in 1857 he was appointed by the Board of Education to the principalship of the State Normal School in Salem; this important post he occupied eight years. To the interests of this school he zealously devoted his great knowledge and ability, raising it to a high standard of excellence and giving to it a most honorable reputation. He gave the school the largest part of its valuable library, and obtained for its use the most of its considerable cabinet. By his heartfelt kindness and his faithful instructions he secured the love and profound esteem of his pupils, who will ever hold him in affectionate remembrance. In the Normal School and elsewhere, as he had opportunity, Professor Crosby earnestly advocated the liberal education of women, believing that their educational advantages ought to equal those enjoyed by men.
"While principal of the school at Salem he, for several years, was the editor-in-chief of the 'Massachusetts Teacher,' performing gratuitous labors which were highly appreciated by the teachers of Massachusetts and of other States.
"Having traveled through the Southern States, that he might gain a better knowledge of his own country before he went abroad, he became deeply impressed with the iniquities of slavery, and dropped readily into the ranks of the abolitionists. He was intensely interested in all the discussions and phases of freedom, from Adams's 'Right of Petition' crusade down to the day of his death. His patriotism during the war was full and glowing. The political disquisitions in his 'Right Way,' which he edited for a year, upon the question of reconstruction, were keen and convincing. He also published a series of elementary lessons for teaching the freed-men of the South to read.
"During all these years, after leaving his professorship, he was building other educational books besides his Greek Grammar—'Xenophon's Anabasis,' 'Eclogae Latinae,' 'Lessons in Geometry,' a 'Greek Lexicon' for his Anabasis, and, last, 'Explanatory Notes to the Anabasis,' which he had nearly ready for the press when death closed his labors.
"The heart of Professor Crosby was full of love for everybody and every creature of God. He drank deeply at every spring whence flowed charity, benevolence, freedom, and patriotism. He remained to his death a member of an orthodox church, but, during the last years of his life, he worshipped with Christians of other denominations, having softened his early faith by a more liberal trust in the boundless love and mercy of God, his Heavenly Father.
"In his association with teachers of every class, he showed himself a friend to all. His geniality of manner, his pleasant words, his sympathizing spirit, his overflowing desire to make others happy, his seemingly inexhaustible knowledge, and his intelligent and ever-courteous discussion of controverted questions in education, morals, and religion, secured for him the warm affection and deep respect of all who were privileged to know him."
Mr. Collar, of the Roxbury Latin School, says:
"Professor Crosby belonged not to Massachusetts alone, but to all New England—to the whole land. Our country is poorer by the loss of an eminent scholar, one of that small band of classical scholars in America who are known and honored at foreign seats of learning. In the latest, freshest, and most original Greek grammar that I am acquainted with, that by Professor Clyde, of Edinburgh, the author acknowledges his obligations to four distinguished scholars, three Europeans, and one American, and the American is Professor Crosby."
"Professor Crosby's first marriage has been referred to; his second wife was Martha, daughter of Joseph Kingman, of West Bridgewater, Mass."
* * * * *
The following paragraphs, from an authentic source, introduce another eminent teacher.
Ira Young was born at Lebanon, N. H., May 23, 1801. His parents were Samuel and Rebecca (Burnham) Young.
His early years were chiefly spent in working at his father's trade, that of carpenter, though every winter after he was sixteen, he taught in one of the district schools in the neighborhood. He cherished a strong desire for a collegiate education, but was not at liberty to take any steps in that direction until he became of age. Want of means would have been with many int his circumstances an insurmountable obstacle,—not so with him. By the willing labor of his hands, he obtained in eight months the means of fitting for college at Meriden Academy, where he studied one year, and soon after leaving that institution, where he stood high in scholarship, he entered Dartmouth College. Neither in this year of preparation, nor during all his college course, did he ever receive pecuniary aid from any individual or society. He paid his way by teaching.
While at Meriden, he became, with many of his classmates, savingly interested in religion, and made a public profession of his faith in Christ in his native place. His religious experience, we have reason to believe, was deep and thorough,—producing an humble, loving faith in Christ as the only Saviour, and a sincere, benevolent goodwill to all around him—to all mankind. His mind was calm and peaceful—not subject to the agitations felt by so many in their religious life, and his trust and confidence in God were never shaken. He could never bear to hear any questioning of the ways of Providence, however dark and mysterious they might appear. "God wills it," was always enough for him.
Through his college course he passed with honor and success, taking high rank in a class which was exceptionally good, producing a large number of men who were afterwards distinguished in professional and public life. Though himself guided in all things by the highest Christian principle, he yet knew how to feel for those who were in danger of falling into evil courses; and certainly in one instance, by his tender and watchful care, he was the means of reclaiming and saving a young friend from threatening ruin.
He graduated in 1828, and taught afterwards for a year in Berwick Academy, Maine, and subsequently in a large public school in Boston, from which, in 1830, he was called to a tutorship in Dartmouth College. He held that position for three years, during which he continued his theological studies, which he had commenced with the ministry in view, and in that year he preached regularly in some of the neighboring towns.
He gave up this purpose, however, when he received the appointment of Professor of Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, and Astronomy, in place of Professor Adams, who resigned at that time, August, 1833. Before the close of that month, he became Professor Adams' son-in-law by marriage to his youngest daughter, Eliza, and seldom were father and son more closely united in affection or more happy in mutual intercourse.
In regard to his qualifications for his department and success in the same, it may be well to refer to some remarks contained in an obituary notice of him, written by one who for many years was associated with him in instruction, and who is now placed at the head of a sister institution.
"Professor Young had some qualities which fitted him eminently for this position. He was, in the first place, thoroughly master of the science and literature of his own department. Distinguished while in college for mathematical attainments, he never relaxed in careful and constant study of those branches to which he particularly directed his attention. His mind was thoroughly disciplined for truth and not for victory, and thus he was ready to test his attainments by the most thorough methods. As he was thorough with himself, so he was with his pupils, trying them with doubtful questions which the studious could easily answer, but which the ignorant could not evade. Yet he was never harsh, nor captious, nor irritating, though quick and ingenious in exposing mistakes and follies. Besides his ample knowledge, he possessed remarkably the power of clear and distinct statement. It was the habit of his mind to reduce his facts to principles, and to present them in their simplest forms. Few instructors have excelled him in the facility with which he could disentangle and elucidate a complicated problem, whether for the satisfaction of his own mind, or the instruction of another. And he was as patient as he was acute. Of a quiet temperament, not easily roused, nor rendered impatient at the dullness or want of perspicuity in another, unless this resulted from a moral rather than an intellectual weakness."
In April, 1858, he went to Europe and spent five months abroad, for the purpose of procuring books and instruments for the college, especially those which were needed for the equipment of the Observatory, whose foundations were laid that year. He had labored successfully in obtaining funds for this object, in which he took a deep interest, and after the completion of the building, it afforded him much pure enjoyment, as it gave him greatly increased facilities both for observing and instructing in his favorite field of science.
Teaching was to him a real pleasure, and he often said that he would not willingly exchange it for any other employment that could be offered him. He felt a truly affectionate interest in the young minds that successively came under his care, sympathizing with them in their perplexities and troubles, grieving for their errors, and rejoicing in whatever advances they made in scientific attainments and true excellence of character. Remembering his own early struggles, he felt much sympathy with young men similarly situated, and often rendered them efficient aid.... Nor was his care and interest limited exclusively to the college, but he sought to do good "as he had opportunity," and in the manifold relations he sustained to others, in the family, the church, the neighborhood, the village, his unselfish kindness was ever manifested. He held the office of Treasurer of Meriden Academy for several years after the resignation of his predecessor, and at the time of his death had been a deacon of the church for twenty years.
During the summer term of 1858, he was unusually occupied with college labors, being employed most of the day in attending his recitations and lectures, and in preparation for them. He had obtained some new philosophical apparatus, which interested him much, and he never seemed to find more pleasure in his work than then, though it often left him quite weary and exhausted.
At that time there was a remarkable degree of religious interest throughout the country, in which the college and the village shared, and it resulted in numerous conversions. He often attended the noon-day prayer meetings of the class he was then instructing, and spoke of them with much pleasure; and his own heart was deeply moved by the heavenly influence.
Near the close of July he began to suffer much from a malady which, though hidden, must have been long in progress. His sufferings were most acute and severe, but never did he lose that sweet patience and serenity of spirit he had always manifested, nor that calm submission to his Heavenly Father's will. He died September 13, 1858.
In the words of one of his most esteemed associates: "The village mourns, for it has lost an excellent citizen; the church mourns, for it has lost an efficient officer; the college mourns, for it has lost a revered teacher; the State mourns, for it has lost an exemplary subject,—one who belonged to that class who are justly styled 'the light of the world!'"
Few men in America have ever been called to teach the abstruse science of Mathematics, who combined in such desirable proportions a thorough knowledge of the science with a faculty of presenting it in a pleasing manner in the recitation room. In the happy adjustment of Professor Young's powers one could but observe a union of quick perception with almost perfect self-control. Whatever the deficiencies of the student, a hasty or unguarded or inappropriate or even an unscientific word was seldom found in Professor Young's vocabulary. His most impressive rebuke was silence.
In a commemorative "Discourse," President Lord says:
"During his college course he was an earnest and successful student. He carried his work before him, finished it in its time, and did it well. He studied his lessons and a few related books, and scattered not his mind by light, promiscuous, and aimless reading. He gorged not, but thought and digested, and never had a literary dyspepsia. Of course he grew right along. He was resolved, prompt, exact, untiring, and true as steel. Everybody knew where to find him. He studied no popular arts. Though never rough or crusty, he was curt and sarcastic; but no man ever took offense who knew the kindness of his heart. His fellow-students loved him. His abilities and knowledge commanded their respect; his moral excellence secured their confidence, and his example gave him power over their minds and manners. He hated and reproved vice, frowned upon all disorder, disdained artifice and trick, and stood out manfully in support of virtue. Once, in the same entry, a few noisy and vicious young men set up to be disturbers. They particularly insulted a worthy but timid student, who was his neighbor. He took that student to his own room, and gave him countenance and protection. Then they committed outrage upon his room, and threatened personal abuse. When his remonstrance availed nothing, he protested that he would not see such evil perpetrated in college, but would report them. They knew him, believed him, desisted, and gave him then the honor of his disinterested virtue, as virtue always receives its meed of honor when it stands erect on its own prerogative, and is not moved by the contradictions of unreasonable and wicked men. Yet he was no ascetic. He liked companionship, was not fastidious or exacting, never petulant or vindictive, but gentle and forbearing. He had especial tenderness for those 'good-hearted' young men who can never refuse to do wrong when they are invited. A distinguished officer of one of our professional institutions once said to me,—'I was, at one time, when in college, thoughtless, self-indulgent, fell among bad companions, and was nearly ruined. Mr. Young pitied me, took hold of me, and saved me.' That excellent man could not now speak of his benefactor without tears of gratitude.
"How he stood at college, that is, what rank he held, whether first, second, or a lower figure in his class, I never inquired, and, if I ever heard, I have forgotten. Probably he was not equally indifferent, for if there be a more excellent way of judgment, it was not quite evident to his calculating mind. I have often admired how his professional bias led him in his measurement of men, almost as by instinct, to arithmetic, as if figures must, of course, be true, and as if insensible moral and physical causes did not often greatly modify or neutralize numerical computation. But it was a generous prejudice, and I have also admired how, in his practical judgment, he would unconsciously neutralize or modify his professional idea. He wanted nothing but realities. He went for scholarship and not the show of it. He accepted no metal that would not ring. He was accordingly judged by others in reference to his sterling qualities. There might have been men about him who made a greater figure than himself. It is very likely. For, as I remember, strangers sometimes undervalued him. Soon after he left college, I was sent to offer him the place of tutor. I had not previously known him, and my first impressions were not agreeable. I hesitated to do my errand. After all it was rather performed than done, more after a Roman than a Saxon fashion. But it turned out better for his character and the public good, than for my own discernment. So of another commission not only from the Trustees, but the venerable Professor Adams, to assure him that he would, after a while, be wanted to take the chair of that noble old man, one of the princes of the earth. They who knew him best had marked him, even when he took his parchment, for that high position. How well he filled it, and every other office he sustained, everybody who knows the college knows.
"Professor Young was a consummate teacher. During his college course he taught school every successive winter, as he had done for years preceding, and earned nearly enough to pay the expenses of his course, for he had high wages, and never wasted them on his clothes or pleasures. That discipline settled in his mind the elements of knowledge. The principles of all true knowledge were already laid; first, when he was born; and, secondly, when he was born again. He had, of course, tools to work with, and facility to use them for the good of others, enlarging all the while his own fabric till he became the man of science that he was for his successive trusts. He loved, as few men ever love, to teach, and as no man can love who begins not early and makes not teaching his profession. He went to his last recitation when he should have been upon his bed, to find relief from the agonies he suffered, and take off his mind from the greater that he feared. He was never more at home, or more at ease, than with his class. He loved to enrich them out of his own stores, and thereby draw out and sharpen their independent faculties. He was not disconcerted when he sometimes drew to little purpose; though sure, by set remonstrance, or by his peculiar, quaint, dry and caustic humor, to rebuke indifference and neglect, or expose the artifice of a bold, shrewd, or sly pretender. He was sure of what he knew, and never gave way without a reason. I have sometimes thought him too sure before he scanned a question. Yet he would never persist when he saw no foothold. He was set but not dogmatic, or no more so than a sincere man must be when he believes what he teaches and is in earnest. He would never defend before his class a theory because it was new, or because it was learned, or because it was his own, or because it was popular, or because he would otherwise be ruled out of the synagogue, till he had made it sure by calculus, or probable by analogy. When convinced that an hypothesis could not be verified in the present state of knowledge, or never in logical consistency with established facts, or moral certainties, he abandoned it like an honest man. But where he had his ground he stood, and would have it understood. Of course his teaching was effectual. Those who would be made scholars he made sound and good ones. He gave a strong character to his departments, and his departments were an honor to the college.
"Professor Young was a ripe scholar in general. He was conversant with the accredited branches of knowledge, and held an honorable place among learned men. He was modest and retiring, content to know, and unconcerned about the appearance of it. He liked not to open his mouth in the gate, but he had wisdom to deliver the city. Nothing crude, partial, superficial, or one-sided, ever came from him. His judgments were clear, comprehensive, and decisive. He was slow, critical, and cautious in forming his opinions, and where he settled there he stayed. No man could cajole or browbeat him out of his convictions.
"When our professor lay dead before us, the thought arose that, now, no longer plodding his way to yonder dome, with steps restrained and painful from an unknown disease, no longer weary with watching, through his telescope, the distant orbs, nor with numbers and diagrams to find their measure, he could survey, without a glass, infinitely greater wonders from a higher sphere; for he had profited by his earthly discipline: the heavens had declared to him the glory of God, and the firmament had showed his handiwork. The day had uttered to him speech, and the night had showed to him knowledge. Next it occurred how natural religion had been thus reproduced in his mind and illustrated by a higher Revelation: 'The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimonies of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.'"
PROFESSOR STEPHEN CHASE.—PROFESSOR DAVID PEABODY.—PROFESSOR WILLIAM COGSWELL.
Professor Stephen Chase, who succeeded Professor Young in the chair of Mathematics, the latter retaining the department of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, was the son of Benjamin Pike and Mary (Chase) Chase, and was born at Chester, N. H., August 30, 1813.
The following notice of this distinguished mathematician is from a commemorative "Discourse" by President Lord:—
"In the first class that entered the college, after my connection with it, nearly twenty-three years ago, a young man, spare, tall, as yet unformed in manner, soon engaged the attention of his teachers. We marked his mild, serene, yet quick and penetrating eye, his independent, unaffected, yet modest and regulated movement, his lively, versatile, earnest, and comprehensive mind, his cheerful and honest diligence, his punctual attendance upon the exercises of the college, his respectful, but unstudied and confiding deportment towards his superiors, his frank and generous, but reserved intercourse with his fellow students, his care in selecting his most intimate associates, and his quiet, unpretending, yet exact and intelligent performance of all the studies of the course. An indifferent stranger would not have noticed him, except, perhaps, to criticize his unique exterior; and his fellow students, as is natural to young persons who are most impressed by aesthetical manner and accomplishment, did not dignify him as a leader or an oracle. But a deeper insight convinced his teachers that, whatever partial observers might think wanting in respect to artistic excellence, was well supplied by more substantial and enduring qualities. Their eye followed him, while here, as a sound-minded, true-hearted young man, and a thorough scholar; and, after he had graduated, as a teacher at the South, and in two of the oldest academies of New England. In these different relations he fully justified the good name which he had left behind him at the college, till, the proper occasions serving, he was called back to be first a tutor, and then professor of the Mathematics. The subsequent course of Mr. Chase proved that his instructors had not miscalculated his powers, nor over-estimated his qualifications for one of the most difficult and trying positions in a learned institution.
"Professor Chase performed the duties of his office without interruption till the close of the last term, during a period of about thirteen years; and died, after a short illness, in vacation, while yet a young man. He was scarcely thirty-eight years of age. Yet he was old, if we measure time, as scholars should, not by the motion of the heavenly bodies, but the succession of ideas. He had made great proficiency in knowledge. Well he might; for he had great susceptibilities. His temperament was ardent, his instincts were lively, his perceptions keen, his thoughts rapid, his reasoning faculties sharp, his imagination fiery, and his will determined. No man has all his active powers proportioned; for that would constitute perfection, which exists not in this world any more in physical than in moral natures. But his balance was less disturbed than most, and, consequently, he was capable of various and large attainments. What he could he did, for his spirit was earnest, and his industry untiring. He had become well founded and extensively versed in most departments of liberal study, and it would be difficult to say in what branch of knowledge he would have been most competent to excel. He was not a genius; that is, no one power of the mind absorbed the others, and his culture was not unequal. Therefore he would not have glared for a while, like a meteor, and then exploded, but he would have stood one of the pillars of learning, and a true conservator of society.
"A man of excellent constitutional faculties, like Mr. Chase, must use them, if Providence gives him opportunity. He has a self-moving power. He cannot be still. Use of the faculties increases their facility and productiveness; and the increase of products increases the love of acquisition. His gains, and his consequent love of gain, will be according to the Providential direction which he takes, whether to a trade, an art, a profession, to the pursuit of wealth, or power, or general knowledge. Mr. Chase's direction was to knowledge. He acquired it easily, his stores rapidly increased, and the love of it became a passion. He loved knowledge as some men love pleasure, and others gold, for its own sake. Yet not exclusively, for he was genial, warm-hearted, and humane. He appreciated the enjoyments of personal, domestic, and social life. No man could be more affectionate, kind, generous, or public-spirited. He was never a recluse or an ascetic. He was ready to take anything in hand, and liked to have his hands full. He desired an estate, he studied a profession, he amused himself with useful arts, he loved a farm, a garden, an orchard, a fruitery, an apiary; and occasionally, to do the work proper to them all himself; and he did it well. But knowledge, science, in the largest sense, was his beau ideal.
"Professor Chase, as might be expected, had great excellence as a teacher and governor of college. His ideal of education may be inferred from his personal culture. This had always been general and liberal. He omitted no branch of important knowledge. He accepted nothing partial. He believed in none of the romantic expedients which are often hastily adopted, and successively abandoned, for making scholars without materials, and forcing public institutions of learning, for a present popular effect, off from the methods which nature has prescribed, and experience has sanctioned. He regarded a college as a place not so much of learning, as of preparation for learning,—a school of discipline, to bring the student up to manhood with ability to perform thenceforth the hard work of a man in his particular profession. To that end no part of fundamental study could be spared. He would as soon have judged that young men could be trained to excellence in the mechanic arts, while they disused any important organ of the body; or a sculptor elaborate a perfect model by chiseling only the limbs. He would not expect such a mechanic, or artist, or educators of the same school, to find either honorable or lucrative employment, when society, though temporarily blinded by ingenious but visionary projects of improvement, should learn the practical difference between the whole of anything and its parts. He would not have consented that any other department of college study should be sacrificed even to the Mathematics.
"But he would have the Mathematics lie, physically, where God has placed it, at the foundation. He would have the student early settled and accustomed to the most approved methods and varieties of demonstrative science. He would discipline the mind among the certainties of numbers, that it might better search for truth among the probabilities of things; just as we learn to swim where we can touch bottom before it is safe to plunge into the deep. He judged soundly that one must learn to use his reason before he can wisely apply it to the purposes of life; and that without this preliminary training nothing else can be learned well; and that whatever otherwise seem to be accomplishments, turn out, at length, to be fantasies that vanish in the turmoil and struggle of life, or mislead men into a false and fickle management of affairs. Wherefore he felt the peculiar responsibility of his position with all the intenseness of his earnest and far-reaching mind. He knew that his department, though most difficult to be commended to young men in general, was most indispensable to their success, and he sought accordingly to magnify his office. That he was a complete master of it is out of question. Of this he has left enduring monuments; and not the least, I am happy to say, in minds which he had trained.
"His own perception of relations was like intuition, and hence he was sometimes uneasy at the embarrassments of students, even when involuntary, and much more, when the result of indifference or neglect, even though they might at times be increased by the rapidity of his own illustrations. I should have dreaded to be taken by Professor Chase to the blackboard, unless I had a good lesson, or a good conscience; and I could not have been sure that the latter would avail me without the former. But though I should have shrunk from the criticism, I should have respected the man. If I feared him in the lecture-room, I should honor him in his study; for there his warm heart would open to the story of my mental trials, and he would lead me, and help me to bear my burdens, with the kindness of an elder brother. He was exacting, but he was humane; he was impatient, but full of generous sympathies. These qualities might not always be tempered in the hurry of an occasion, but found their balance in the leisure and quiet intercourse of retirement. He was just and faithful. He had strong likes, but he would yield a favorite when he must; and strong dislikes, but he was incapable of hate. He stopped short of all extremes. You could move him easily either way on the current of the sympathies; but you could not tempt him to do wrong. As with the judgment, so with the sensibilities; they were led by conscience. As with the love of knowledge, so with the passions; they were subject to the love of truth. Whatever the occasional excitement of the intellect or the feelings, there was that in his mind which made it impossible for him to be an enemy of God or man. The soul had been harmonized by grace.
"Mr. Chase had a pious ancestry, and was brought up by Christian parents in the fear of God. An excellent mother, an invalid in his childhood, sat much in her arm-chair with the Bible on her knee. She used it with her little boy as she would a primer. Before he was four years old he had learned to read it, and read through the New Testament; and that particular volume now remains the best part of his estate. He was ever afterwards a diligent student of the Bible, and never ceased to honor the father and mother who had led him in this way of life. Filial reverence was one of his most beautiful and characteristic traits. It was a natural step to the fear of God; and the early fear of God is likely to be succeeded, according to the covenant, by that love of God which, when perfected, casteth out fear. During his third year at college he became, as he hoped, regenerate, and professed his faith in Christ. It is said that his religious awakening at that time was unusually deep; his awe of the Divine government and his sense of sin profound; his acknowledgment of God's justice and general sovereignty unreserved; and his trust in Christ for justification free and unqualified. That sheet-anchor saved him. It brought him up, subsequently, in the hour of danger. When the fitful and rough winds of the spirit of the power of the air beat upon him, and the swelling waters went over his soul, it dragged, but it held. It was cast within the veil. That New Testament in his childhood, that subjection to his parents, that conversion at college,—they were blessings to him and to us that can be measured only by eternity.
"It was a sorrowful day when, in the solitude and stillness of the winter vacation, we laid him in the tomb. It was sorrowful in that house where he had been the joy and hope of loving and trusting hearts, and had found rest from the cares and vexations of official life; where a sincere, unworldly, unartificial hospitality always reigned; whence tokens of kindness went freely round to friends, and compassionate charity to the poor. It was sorrowful to his colleagues, for we trusted him, his knowledge and judgment, his integrity and zeal, his faithfulness and efficiency, his independence and courage. We knew that he was above pretense, artifice, and duplicity; that in his keeping, righteous principle was safe, and over his application of it wisdom, benevolence, and firmness would preside. It was sorrowful to the village, for he was known to be a just man, a kind neighbor, and a good citizen. He was always ready to do what he could for the common welfare, and to bear his proportion of the common burdens. Every man in the community felt that he had lost a friend."
The scientific world could have no better demonstration of Professor Chase's rare mathematical talents than his text book on Algebra, which is still used in one department of the college.
Professor Chase married Sarah Thompson, daughter of Ichabod Goodwin, and granddaughter of General Ichabod Goodwin, of South Berwick, Me. He died at Hanover, January 7, 1851.
* * * * *
In "Sprague's Annals of the American Pulpit," we find the following notice—furnished by the kindness of Rev. Daniel L. Furbur, D.D.—of a gentleman of great worth, whose early death was a serious loss to the college:
"David Peabody, the youngest son of John and Lydia (Balch) Peabody, was born at Topsfield, Mass., April 16, 1805. He was employed more or less upon his father's farm till he was fifteen or sixteen years of age; but as his physical constitution was thought to be not well suited to agricultural life, and as his early tastes were more than ordinarily intellectual, and he had a strong desire for a collegiate education, his father consented to gratify him; and, in the spring of 1821, he commenced the study of Latin at Dummer Academy, Byfield. The same year his thoughts were earnestly directed to the great subject of his own salvation, though he did not feel so much confidence in the genuineness of his religious exercises as to make a public profession of his faith until three years afterwards. In 1824, he united with the Congregational Church in his native place, and in the autumn of the same year joined the Freshman class in Dartmouth College.
"By severe labor during his collegiate course, he overtasked his naturally feeble constitution, and thus prepared the way for much future debility and suffering. He was graduated in 1828, on which occasion he delivered the valedictory oration.
"After spending a few weeks in recruiting his health at his father's, he became, for a short time, assistant editor of the 'New Hampshire Observer,' at Portsmouth, but before the close of 1828 he entered the Theological Seminary at Andover. In the spring of 1829, he accepted an invitation to take charge of a Young Ladies' Select School at Portsmouth; but in the autumn of 1830 his declining health obliged him to relinquish it, and to seek a Southern residence. He went to Prince Edward County, Virginia, and secured a situation as teacher in an excellent family,—that of Dr. Morton, and at the same time entered the Union Theological Seminary, of which the Rev. Dr. John H. Rice was the founder and principal professor. He remained in the family of Dr. Morton till he had completed the prescribed course of study, and was licensed to preach by the West Hanover Presbytery in April, 1831; after which he supplied the church at Scottsville for six months. So acceptable were his services, that the congregation would gladly have retained him as their pastor; but, as he preferred a Northern residence, he declined all overtures for a settlement, and returned to New England, with his health much improved, in 1832. In November of the same year he was ordained pastor of the First Church in Lynn, Mass. In September, 1834, he was married to Maria, daughter of Lincoln Brigham, then of Cambridge, but formerly of Southborough, Mass. In January, 1835, he was attacked with a severe hemorrhage, which greatly reduced his strength, and obliged him for a season to intermit his labors. Finding the climate unfavorable, he reluctantly came to the determination to resign his pastoral charge, with a view of seeking an inland home, when his health should be sufficiently recruited to justify him in resuming the stated duties of the ministry.
"Accordingly, in the spring of 1835, he was dismissed, after which he spent some time in traveling for the benefit of his health, at the same time acting as an agent for the Massachusetts Sabbath-school Society. His health now rapidly improved, and on the 15th of July succeeding his dismission, he was installed as pastor of the Calvinist Church in Worcester.
"The change of climate seemed, for a time, highly beneficial, and had begun to induce the hope that his health might become fully established; but, in the winter of 1835-36, he was prostrated by another attack of hemorrhage, which again clouded his prospects of ministerial usefulness. In the spring of 1836, his health had so far improved that he resumed his ministerial labors and continued them through the summer; but in September, his symptoms again became more unfavorable, and he determined, in accordance with medical advice, to try the effect of a sea voyage and a winter in the South. Accordingly, he sailed in November for New Orleans; and, on arriving there, decided on going to St. Francisville, a village on the Mississippi. Here he remained during the winter, preaching to both the white and colored population, as his strength would allow. In the spring, he returned to his pastoral charge, with his health considerably invigorated. He labored pretty constantly, though not without much debility, until the succeeding spring (1838), when he found it necessary again to desist from his labors, and take a season of rest. In company with a friend, he journeyed through a part of Vermont and New Hampshire, and on reaching Hanover, the day after Commencement, was surprised to learn that he had been appointed professor of Rhetoric in Dartmouth College. Conscious of his inability to meet any longer the claims of a pastoral charge, and hoping that his health might be adequate to the lighter duties of a professorship, he could not doubt that the indications of Providence were in favor of his accepting the appointment. He did accept it, and shortly after resigned his charge at Worcester, amidst many expressions of affection and regret on the part of his people, and, in October following, entered on the duties of his professorship.
"The change of labor proved highly beneficial, and during the winter of 1838-39, he enjoyed a degree of health which he had not known for many previous years. In March, he was so much encouraged in respect to himself that he remarked to a friend that he thought God would indulge the cherished wish of his heart, and permit him again to labor as a minister. But another cloud quickly appeared in his horizon, which proved ominous of the destruction of all his earthly hopes. In April following, he suffered from an attack of pleurisy, which was followed by lung fever; and, though he so far recovered as to be able to attend to his college duties till the September following, it became manifest to all that his disease was, on the whole, advancing towards a fatal termination. He died at the age of thirty-four years and six months, on the 17th of October, 1839. His last days were rendered eminently tranquil by the blessed hopes and consolations of the gospel. His funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. Dr. Lord, President of Dartmouth College, and was published. He left no children.
"Mr. Peabody's published works are a brief 'Memoir of Horace Bassett Morse,' 1830; a Discourse on 'The Conduct of Men Considered in Contrast with the Law of God,' 1836; a 'Sermon on the Sin of Covetousness, Considered in Respect to Intemperance, Indian Oppression, Slavery,' etc., 1838; the 'Patriarch of Hebron, or the History of Abraham' (posthumous), 1841."
FROM THE REV. SAMUEL G. BROWN, D.D.
"Dartmouth College, July 25, 1856.
"My Dear Sir: It gives me great pleasure to send you my impressions of Professor Peabody, though others could write with more authority. I knew him in college, where he was my senior. He belonged to a class of great excellence, and was honorably distinguished throughout his college course for general scholarship, diligence, fidelity, and great weight of personal influence, in favor of all things 'excellent and of good report.' His character was mature and his mind already well disciplined when he entered the class, and education had perhaps less to accomplish for him in the matter of elegant culture than for almost any one of his associates. Hence there was not the same conspicuous progress in him as in some others. Yet at the time of graduation he stood among the first, as is indicated by the fact that he was the orator of one of the literary societies, and was selected by the Faculty to deliver the valedictory oration at Commencement. In every department of study he was a good scholar,—in the classical, moral, and rhetorical departments, pre-eminent. As a preacher, he was distinguished for a certain fullness and harmony of style, justness in the exposition of doctrine, and weight of exhortation. He was prudent without being timid, and zealous without being rash; eminently practical, though possessing a love of ideal beauty, and a cultivated and sensitive taste, and as far removed from formalism on the one side as from fanaticism on the other. Dignified and courteous in manner, he was highly respected by all his acquaintances, and while a pastor, greatly esteemed and beloved by his people. His fine natural qualities were marred by few blemishes, and his religious character was steadily and constantly developed year by year. Grave, sincere, earnest, he went about his labors as one mindful of his responsibility, and as seen under his 'great Task-master's eye.' Indeed his anxieties outran his strength, and he was obliged to leave undone much that was dearest to his hopes. The disease to which he finally yielded had more than once 'weakened his strength in the way,' before he was finally prostrated by it. The consequent uncertainty of life had perhaps imparted to him more than usual seriousness, and a deep solicitude to work while the day lasted. He performed the duties of a professor in college but a single year, and that with some interruptions. No better account of the general impression of his life on those who knew him best can be given than in the language of a sermon preached at his funeral by the Rev. Dr. Lord.
"'What his private papers show him to have felt in the presence of his God was made evident, also, in his social and official intercourse. Intelligent, grave, dignified; conscientious in all his relations, from the student upwards to the teacher, the pastor, the professor; nothing empty as a scholar, nothing unsettled or inconsistent as a divine, nothing vague or groundless as an instructor; sincere, generous, honorable, devout; keenly sensitive in respect to the proprieties and charities of life; warm in his affections, strong in his attachments, stern in his integrity; above the arts of policy, the jealousies of competition, the subserviency of party spirit, and simply intent upon serving God, in his own house, and in all his official ministrations, he was one of the few who are qualified to be models for the young, ornaments to general society, and pillars in the church of God.'