Professional Men of New England Ancestry
"New England In Albany"
Boston: Crocker & Co., 1883
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
LAWYERS OF NEW ENGLAND ANCESTRY,
who are now or have been in practice in Albany.
In the profession of medicine Albany has many names of men who have adorned the city by their talents, and helped it on in some of its most valued institutions, especially its Medical Schools and Hospitals. Among the most illustrious, New England has contributed Drs. Tully, Stearns, Willard, Wing, Cogswell, Bigelow, March, Armsby and others, who have yielded to that conqueror whose weapons their skill often parried, but who subdues all at last. They have left names long held dear alike in the cottages of the humble and in the mansions of the rich and learned.
The following is a list of the physicians of this city now deceased, who sprang from New England stock, followed by the names of those now living:
Among the best gifts to Albany from New England are some of its most useful and honored teachers. The Boys' Academy has had Beck of perennial fame, Wood, Gates, and, it is presumed, several others; the Girls' Academy, Booth, Crittenden, Parsons and Stearns, and now the very worthy Miss Plympton; the Normal School, Page, Perkins, Cochrane, Woolworth, Alden, and just now, Waterbury, besides many most useful male and female assistants; the High Schoool now has John E. Bradley, Oscar D. Robinson, Charles A. Horne, Austin Sanford and Richard Prescott; the Grammar grades have had, or now have Valentine, Bulkley, Gilbert, Howe, Cass, Parker, and probably many others both male and female, whose records we have not yet been able to secure.
Besides these, the Schools of Law and Medicine was founded and have been manned almost entirely by men of New England birth or antecedents, as shown elsewhere.
It should be added, that the present Superintendent of Schools is Charles W. Cole, son of that venerable man, so long useful to this city in the cause of education and public justice, John Orton Cole, a native of Connecticut.
Albany has not had many of the class of writers who give their whole time and talent to authorship. It is true that many excellent things have been written here, outside of journalism and the pulpit, which have had a wide and influential admiration. Some have been very effective, as intended, in promoting good morals, education and public improvements of many kinds; and have thus had a lasting influence. But most of our best known writers have written amid the pressure of professional duties, and as the outcome of professional study, that they might enlarge their sphere of active good.
Among our most prolific authors may be named the following:
Our practical people are not given to oratory; they speak by their deeds. But all admire the orator they cannot imitate. Such men crop out now and then among our lawyers and divines, and sometimes where we least look for them, among our men of affairs and our toiling men.
Daniel D. Barnard was always listened to with pleasure; so was Henry G. Wheaton; Lyman Tremain was a man of eloquence, something of the Rufus Choats order.
Albany never had a man that would excite his audience with his unculitivated yet electric eloquence, like the rough carpenter, James Kilburn.
Among our divines, with differing grace of oratory - persuasive, convincing, moving, pleasing, magnetic or powerful - we may name, without question, as ranking very high in pulpit oratory, Eliphalet Nott, John M. Bradford, John Chester, Hooper Cumming, Bartholomew T. Welch, Wm. B. Sprague, Edward N. Kirk, Orville Dewey and Elias L. Magoon - all the gift of New England.
To these should be added the names of men whose preeminent statesmenship has, each in its time and manner, done so much, not only for the good of this city, but for the whole nation. Wm. L. Marcy, Silas Wright, John C. Spencer, Benj. F. Butler, John A. Dix, Daniel D. Barnard and Bradford R. Wood belong to this class. They all took pride in their New England blood, and made Albany, at least some part of their lives, their home.
BOOKS AND LECTURES
Albany has, also, been swayed by such gifted thinkers and orators from New England as Daniel Webster, Wendell Phillips, Edward Everett, Ralph Walso Emerson, Edwin P. Whipple, John B. Gough, Theodore Parker, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Charles Sumner, Thomas Starr King, and most others of its leading platform lecturers.
Their influence has been felt here; it has impressed itself on many minds and led to better lives and nobler deeds. Should it not be placed to the credit of New England in Albany?
And who writes the books our children use in the Sabbath and Day Schools? Who the books and periodicals that delight our hours of leisure, rest us when we are weary, instruct us when we are ignorant, uplift us when we are depressed and urge us on when we are faltering in life's journey? Are they not, most of them, from the homes of New England?
JOURNALISM AND JOURNALISTS
In this department of quiet yet mighty energy, New England has given to Albany its full share. Among them we have only to name Charles R. Webster, that early printer, who so long gave the people knowledge in city and in country, a sort of vox clamantis in deserto, aiming to be successful only as he was true to the interests of the people; the earnest, ambitious Solomon Southwick, who grew better and better as long as he lived; the wise and useful Jesse Buel and Luther Tucker; the keen Edwin Croswell, who wrote so potently and so gracefully; the ever diligent and practical Joel Munsell. and the master magician, Thurlow Weed, who was mighty in council, and carried to the editors' sanctum a clear head, a strong arm and a cogent pen. Sharper and mightier than swords were their pens; as long as New York State has a name their names will be respected.
ART AND ARTISTS
At one time Albany had a "Gallery of Fine Arts," where were collected quite a display of good pictures by such artists as Durand, Sully, Peale, Chapman, Carleton, Weir, the Harts, Ames and others. But most of the artists sought more favored homes and the treasures of the gallery were scattered. Ames, who was the founder and leading spirit, had died. There are good pictures in Albany now in private homes, and some considerable art appreciation; but no organized exhibition or encouragement.
Page, the younger Ames, the younger Palmer, Low, all of New England stock, were born here. Boughton once resided and now has family friends here. Launt Thompson was brought out here by Dr. Armsby. Wm. M. Hunt, born in Vermont, a has left one of his masterpieces in our new capitol. Palmer has done some of the best work in American sculpture; while Eliot was a master in portrait painting; and Twitchell, many think, quite equals, if he does not exceed him in some of the requisites of true portrature.
ARCHITECTS AND BUILDERS
The most noted of this class in the early part of this century were, Christopher Batterman of Boston, Philip Hooker and Elias Putnam of Connecticut, and Jonathan Lyman of Massachusetts. They designed and erected most of the larger and better public and private buildings of their time, which are still admired for the common sense of their proportions and the good taste and good finish of their work. They have stood well the test of time.
The representative taverns, inns, coffee houses, tontines, hotels, and such like, have usually been kept, each in its way, by "the right man in the right place;" among them Robert Lewis, Leverett Crittenden, Christopher Dunn, Ananias Platt, Matthew Gregory and Charles E. Leland, all from New England. To these men is greatly due the fact that Albany has, forthree-quarters of a century, always had first-class public houses.
BANKS AND BANKERS
It is claimed that the first movement for a Bank in this city was made by Elkanah Watson about 1791. It was the "Old Albany" put into operation in 1792; the second in New York and the fourth in the United States. It continued until 1861, It was opposed at first as needless and hazardous. When the books were opened, the whole amount of stock was taken in less than three hours. Watson was one of the first directors of this bank and also of the "Statem" which started in 1803. Of this latter bank, Rufus H. King was president nearly thirty years, succeeded by his son-in-law, Franklin Townsend, and his son, J. Howard King.
The Mechanics and Farmers came next, in 1811, and was under the direction of Solomon Southwick, Benjamin Knower, Elisha Dorr, Isaac Hutton and others. G.A.Worth was cashier. Thomas W. Olcott was, for many years, its president, succeeded by his son, Dudley Olcott. It has always had its full share of public confidence; its managers and stockholders have been largely New England men. No bankers in the United States have enjoyed a better reputation for financial sagacity and integrity than Rufus H. King, Thomas W. Olcott and Chauncey P. Williams. Today, all the banks of Albany stand on the surest foundation and are universally trusted.
A list of those which have presidents of New England birth or ancestry, with their names, is herewith given:
MERCHANTS, MANUFACTURERS AND OTHER BUSINESS MEN
In a city so well situated by nature for trade, and, in later times aided by art, there has been always, for an inland town, a large proportion of traders and merchants, representing nearly every class of trade. Many of them have made their own goods; or commencing as mechanics and manufactuers, have gone, in riper years and with gains of prosperity, into trade. The usual ups and downs of mercantile life have been seen and felt here. A complete list of those thus engaged, it would be impossible to present in this essay. They have represented all nations and people.
Among the most prosperous have been Erastus Corning, Rufus H. King, Isaiah and John Townsend, Matthew and Samuel Patten, Friend Humphrey, James Goold, and, in more recent or present times, George C. Treadwell, Newton & Co.; Bacon, Stickney & Co,; E. P. Durant, Weare C. Little, E.J. Larrabee, E.A. Hobbs, John S. Perry & Col; D.G. Littlefield, Rathrone, Sard & Co.; Weed, Parsons & Co.; Wm. M. Whitney & Co.; Henry Russell, Geo. H. Thacher & son, Kibbee & Dalton, B.W. Wooster, S.L. Munson, Mather Brothers, J. Benedict & Son; R.W. Thacher, James W. Eaton, C.W. Eaton, G.W. Luther, G.B. Hoyt, D.S. Lathrop, T.C. Cooper, Moore & Bellows; Justus F. Taylor, Judson & Capron; Jesse C. Potts, Paul Cushman, Alexander Gregory, and others of the New England class of Manufacturers and Merchants.