11 of 14: George Peabody (1795-1869): A-Z Handbook of the Massachusetts-Born Merchant in the South, London-Based Banker, and Philanthropist’s Life, Influence, and Related People, Places, Events, and Institutions. ©2007, By Franklin Parker & Betty J. Parker, firstname.lastname@example.org
This work updates and expands Franklin Parker, George Peabody, A Biography (Nashville, Tenn.: Vanderbilt Univ. Press, ©1971, revised with illustrations ©1995), and the authors’ related George Peabody publications. Note: To read on your computer Franklin Parker’s out-of-print George Peabody, A Biography, 1995, as a free Google E-book copy and paste on your browser: http://books.google.com/books?id=OPIbk-ZPnF4C&pg=PP1&lpg=PR4&dq=Franklin+Parker,+George+Peabody,+a+Biography&output=html&sig=6R8ZoKwN1B36wtCSePijnLaYJS8
Background: Why these 1 to 14 blogs on George Peabody? The authors attended George Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville (renamed Peabody College of Vanderbilt Univ. July 1, 1979). Franklin Parker’s doctoral dissertation, “George Peabody, Founder of Modern Philanthropy,” 1956, has been an ongoing research and writing interest for over 50 years. The authors’ intent is to perpetuate public memory of him.
George Peabody, now largely forgotten by scholars and the public, was significant as: 1-a Massachusetts-born merchant in the U.S. South, beginning as junior partner in Riggs, Peabody & Co. (1814-29); then head of Peabody, Riggs & Co. (1829-43), importing dry goods and other commodities worldwide for sale to U.S. wholesalers. He transformed himself from merchant into: 2-a London-based merchant-banker, George Peabody & Co. (1838-64), which helped finance the B&O RR, the 2nd Mexican War Loan, the Atlantic Cable, and by choosing Junius Spencer Morgan (1813-90) as partner Oct. 1, 1854, was a root of the JP Morgan international banking firm.
Merchant-turned-banker George Peabody finally became: 3-the best known U.S. philanthropist of the 1850s-60s, founding the Peabody Homes of London for the working poor; founder in the U.S. of 7 Peabody Libraries and Lecture Halls; the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Baltimore; three Peabody Museums at Harvard (Anthropology), Yale (Paleontology), and the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA (maritime history); and founder of the Peabody Education Fund for the South (1867-1914), a model for all later larger U.S. funds and foundations.
Two tributes to George Peabody:
Historian John Steele Gordon called George Peabody the “Most Underrated Philanthropist…. Peabody is unjustly forgotten today, but his unprecedented generosity was greatly appreciated in his time.” Ref.: American Heritage. Vol. 50, No. 3 (May-June 1999), pp. 68-69.
“The Peabody Fund, established in 1867 by George Peabody to assist southern education, is often credited with being the first foundation….” Ref.: Reader’s Companion to American History, ed. by Eric Foner and John A. Garraty (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991). Internet: http://HistoryChannel.com/
End of Background. HTML symbols are intended for blogging (ignore). This 11 of 14 blogs covers alphabetically: U.S. Ministers. 4 to Whittier, John Greenleaf (1807-92). 1.
U.S. Ministers. 4-Goodwill in Md. and Abroad. GP’s faith that Md. and other states would resume bond interest payments bore fruit in 1847-48. The depression eased. Md. and the other repudiating states resumed bond interest payments. On March 7, 1848, the Md. legislature recognized GP’s service and passed unanimous resolutions of praise for his financial help. GP was sent these resolutions with Md. Gov. Philip Francis Thomas’s (1810-90) cover letter to GP saying: “To you, sir,…the thanks of the State were eminently due.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 5-GP Praised. The London correspondent of the NYC Courier & Enquirer wrote: “…the energetic influence of the Anti-Repudiators would never have been heard in England had not Mr. George Peabody…made it a part of his duty to give to the holders of the Bonds every information in his power, and to point out…the certainty of Maryland resuming [payment]…. He…had the moral courage to tell his countrymen the contempt [because of repudiation] with which all Americans were viewed…. [He is] a merchant of high standing…but also an uncompromising denouncer of chicanery in every shape.” Ref.: Ibid. See: Speed, John Joseph.
U.S. Ministers. 6-Successful American Firm in London. Asked three months before his death (Aug. 22, 1869) when and how he made his money, GP said: “I made pretty much of it in 20 years from 1844 to 1864. Everything I touched within that time seemed to turn to gold. I bought largely of United States securities when their value was low and they advanced greatly.” During 1837-mid-1840s GP was in transition from merchant to securities broker and international banker. Ref.: Letter from Dr. John Jennings Moorman, M.D., resident physician, Greenbrier Hotel, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., quoted in Baltimore Sun, Dec. 2, , copy in news clipping album, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass. Moorman-b, pp. 15-17.
U.S. Ministers. 7-Proud of His Firm. The success of his London banking firm, George Peabody & Co. (begun Dec. 1838), allowed GP to emerge socially and philanthropically. On a U.S. visit he told a hometown (South Danvers, Mass.) audience of 1,500 on Oct. 9, 1856: “Heaven has been pleased to reward my efforts with success, and has permitted me to establish…a house in a great metropolis of England…. I have endeavored…to make it an American house; to furnish it with American journals; to make it a center for American news, and an agreeable place for my American friends visiting England.” See: South Danvers, Mass., GP Celebration, Oct. 9, 1856.
U.S. Ministers. 8-Serving Visiting Americans. U.S. visitors passing through London increasingly sought letters of introduction to GP. Besides banking services, he got for them theater and opera tickets, gave corsages to their ladies, and helped them contact British leaders. His little noted first U.S.-British friendship dinner began simply in 1850. The next year his social and philanthropic emergence came about from his loan to U.S. exhibitors in financial difficulty at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London, and his two U.S.-British friendship dinners that followed, both connected with this first world’s fair. See: U.S. Minister to Britain Abbott Lawrence, below, fourth of the ten GP-connected U.S. Ministers in London.
GP & Andrew Stevenson (1784-1857), U. S. Minister to Britain, 1836-41
U.S. Ministers. 9-U.S. Minister Andrew Stevenson. GP had no known direct contact with Va.-born Andrew Stevenson, a lawyer, Va. House of Delegates member and its Speaker, Va.’s Representative in the U.S. Congress (1821-34) and its Speaker during 1828-34, U.S. Minister to Great Britain (1836-41), and finally rector of the Univ. of Va. (1841-57).
U.S. Ministers. 10-Freedom of the City of London. GP and Andrew Stevenson had only one known indirect connection. Andrew Stevenson was the first U.S. citizen offered the Freedom of the City of London on Feb. 22, 1838. He declined the honor as being inconsistent with his official duties. GP was the second U.S. citizen offered the Freedom of the City of London and its first recipient on July 10, 1862.
U.S. Ministers. 11-Freedom of the City of London, Five U.S. Recipients. Besides 1-GP, the other four U.S. citizens who received the Freedom of London included 2-Ulysses Simpson Grant (1822-85), second recipient, awarded June 15, 1877 (U.S. general and 18th U.S. president during 1869-77). 3-Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), third recipient, awarded May 31, 1910 (26th U.S. president during 1901-09). 4-U.S. Gen. John Joseph Pershing (1860-1948), fourth recipient, awarded July 18, 1919. 5-Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969), fifth recipient, awarded June 12, 1945 (U.S. general and 34th U.S. president during 1953-61). See: London, Freedom of the City of London. Persons named.
GP & Edward Everett (1794-1865), U. S. Minister to Britain, 1841-45
U.S. Ministers. 12-Career. Edward Everett was a U.S. clergyman, educator, statesman, and an acclaimed orator of his time. He was born in Dorchester, Mass.; was a Harvard graduate (B.A., 1811, M.A., 1814); one of the first U.S. scholars to study at Göttingen Univ., Germany; was Harvard professor of Greek literature (1819-26); member, U.S. House of Representatives (1824-34); Mass. governor (1836-39); U.S. Minister to Britain (1841-45); Harvard Univ. president (1846-49); U.S. Secty. of State (1852-53); and U.S. Senator (1853-54). His two hour speech as principal speaker at the dedication of the Gettysburg cemetery, Nov. 19, 1863, is largely forgotten while Pres. Abraham Lincoln’s short address became famous. Ref.: Boatner, p. 268.
U.S. Ministers. 13-Edward Everett-GP Indirect Contact, 1852. Edward Everett was one of several prominent Mass. statesmen who sent congratulatory letters to Danvers, Mass., citizens, June 16, 1852, on the celebration of its 100th year of separation from Salem, Mass. Invited to Danvers’ centennial celebration but unable to attend, GP wrote from London, May 26, 1852, a letter read to those assembled by GP’s boyhood classmate John Waters Proctor (1791-1874). GP’s letter contained a $20,000 check for his first Peabody Institute of South Danvers, Mass. (renamed Peabody April 13, 1868), first of a total of $217,600 to that institute library. With his letter and check was his sentiment: “Education: a debt due from present to future generations.” See: Danvers, Mass., Centennial Celebration, June 16, 1852. Persons named.
U.S. Ministers. 14-Edward Everett’s Oct. 9, 1856 Speech. Four years later Edward Everett spoke at the Oct. 9, 1856, celebration honoring GP in his hometown of South Danvers, Mass. The celebration came during GP’s May 1, 1856 to May 1, 1857 U.S. visit, his first return in nearly 20 years since he left for London in Feb. 1837. After Mass. Gov. Henry J. Gardner’s (1818-92) short speech, Edward Everett said (in part): “While in England I had the opportunity to witness Mr. Peabody’s honorable position in commerce and social circles…. When American credit stood low and the individual states defaulted their trust, our friend stood firm and was the cause of firmness in others. When few would be listened to on the subject of American securities in the parlor of the Bank of England, his judgment commanded respect; his integrity won back trust in America. He performed the miracle by which the word of an honest man turns paper into gold.” See: Everett, Edward.
U.S. Ministers. 15-Edward Everett’s Oct. 9, 1856 Speech Cont’d.: “He promoted the enjoyment of travelling Americans as so many here can attest. The United States Minister in England, with little funds, could not bring together Americans and Englishmen and women in convivial friendship. Our honored guest, with ample means, corrected this defect. At the first world’s fair in London, 1851, the exhibitors of other nations went officially supplied with funds to display their nation’s wares. The American exhibitors found a large place to fill naked and unadorned. At the critical moment when the English press ridiculed the sorry appearance we presented, our friend stepped forward and did what Congress should have done. Our products were shown at their best. Leading British journalists admitted that England derived more benefit from the contributions of the United States than from any other country.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 16-Edward Everett’s Oct. 9, 1856 Speech Cont’d.: “Time and again he brought together men of two nations to drink from loving cups of goodwill. These are some reasons we welcome to old Danvers one of her greatest sons. (Great cheering.) “When on the 16th of June, 1852, Danvers celebrated its one hundredth year of separate existence our friend sent a slip of paper containing a noble sentiment. Now a slip of paper can easily be blown away. So, as a paperweight, to keep the toast safe on the table to repay his debt, Mr. Peabody laid down $20,000 and has since doubled it.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 17-Edward Everett on GP’s Harvard Gift. GP consulted Edward Everett among others about a philanthropic gift to Harvard Univ. GP’s first gift idea for Harvard in 1861 was an astronomical observatory. He discussed this idea in letters to Francis Peabody (1801-68) of Salem, Mass., William Henry Appleton (1814-84) of Boston, and with Edward Everett (former Harvard president during 1846-49). Everett thought Harvard needed a “School of Design” [i.e., art], more than an astronomical observatory. GP’s Harvard gift idea went through a third change, from astronomical observatory to Edward Everett’s suggested School of Design or art, to a museum for archaeology and ethnology, largely through the influence of GP’s nephew Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-99). See: Marsh, Othniel Charles. Science: GP’s Gifts to Science and Science Education.
U.S. Ministers. 18-Harvard Gift Influenced by Nephew O.C. Marsh. GP had paid for nephew O.C. Marsh’s education through Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.; Yale College, and Yale’s graduate Sheffield Scientific School. During 1862-65 GP paid for Marsh’s doctoral study at the universities of Heidelberg, Berlin, and Breslau, Germany; paid for Marsh’s library of paleontology books, and for shipment of two and a half tons of fossil bones sent to Yale where Marsh became the first U.S. paleontology professor. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 19-Marsh on GP’s Science Gifts to Harvard and Yale. Marsh spoke with uncle GP in London in Oct. 1862 about new scientific findings, about Charles Darwin, evolution, and European scientists Marsh had talked to. Marsh, turning uncle GP’s thoughts toward science gifts for Harvard and Yale, described these talks in letters to his mentor, Yale Prof. Benjamin Silliman, Jr. (1816-85): “I had a long talk with Mr. P. in regard to his future plans and donations…. I will tell you confidentially that Harvard will have her usual good fortune. So many of our family have been educated at Harvard that he naturally felt a greater interest in that institution than in Yale, of which I am the only representative. I can assure you, however, that I did [not] allow the claims of my Alma Mater to be forgotten…and I have strong hopes that she may yet be favored although nothing is as yet definitely arranged. The donation to H. [Harvard] is a large one and for a School of Design….” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 20-Peabody Museums of Harvard and Yale Universities. GP visited the U.S. during May 1, 1866 to May 1, 1867, consulted further with knowledgeable friends and founded the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard Univ. (Oct. 8, 1866), the Peabody Museum of Natural Science at Yale Univ. (Oct. 22, 1866), $150,000 each, and what is now the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass. (Feb. 26, 1867, $140,000) for maritime history and Essex County historical depository. Ref.: Ibid.
GP & George Bancroft (1800-91), U. S. Minister to Britain, 1846-49
U.S. Ministers. 21-Career. George Bancroft was also a distinguished U.S. historian, author of the History of the United States, 10 volumes published during 1834-74. While GP had no known contact with George Bancroft as U.S. Minister, he had friendly relations with George Bancroft’s nephew, John Chandler Bancroft Davis (1822-1907), Secty. of the U.S. legation in London during 1849-54. See: persons named.
U.S. Ministers. 22-Contact with London Legation Secty. J.C.B. Davis. GP sometimes dined with J.C.B. Davis, born in Worcester, Mass., and Davis’s Harvard College classmate, Vt.-born Henry Stevens (1819-86), rare book dealer, resident in London, who later acted as GP’s agent in book shipments to Peabody Institute libraries. Davis and Stevens lived for some years in the same Morley’s Hotel, London. On Nov. 24, 1849, Davis, Stevens, and GP dined at the home in East Sheen, near London, of Joshua Bates (1788-1854), born in Weymouth, Mass., who went to London in the early 1800s. Bates, who became agent, partner (at age 38), and head of Baring Brothers, became a naturalized British subject, was the most prominent U.S.-born financier in London in the 1840s, and GP’s friendly business rival. See: persons named.
U.S. Ministers. 23-Dinner with Herman Melville. Joshua Bates’s dinner guest of honor was U.S. author Herman Melville (1819-91), who later wrote Moby Dick (1851). Melville was in London, on his only trip abroad, to market his manuscript, White Jacket. They talked in part about Melville’s older brother Gansvoort Melville (1815-46), former U.S. legation secretary who died two years before and whom those present had known. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 24-Dinner with Herman Melville Cont’d. Melville’s journal mentions meeting GP: “On my right was Mr. Peabody, an American for many years resident in London, a merchant, & a very fine old fellow of fifty or thereabouts.” Melville continued: “I had intended to remain over night…but Peabody invited me to accompany him to town in his carriage. I went with him, along with Davis, the Secty. of Legation…. Mr. Peabody was well acquainted with Gansevoort when he was here. He saw him not long before his end. He told me that Gansevoort rather shunned society when here. He spoke of him with such feeling.” Ref.: Ibid.
GP & Abbott Lawrence (1792-1855), U. S. Minister to Britain, 1849-52
U.S. Ministers. 25-Career. Abbott Lawrence (1792-1855) was born in Groton, Mass. With his brother Amos Lawrence (1786-1852), he started cotton textile mills in Lowell, Mass., and in Lawrence, Mass. (named after him). As a statesman he was a member of the U.S. Congress (1835-37, 1839-40) and served on the Northeast Boundary Commission (1842). He also gave $50,000 to found the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard Univ. (1840s). GP had extended contact with U.S. Minister Abbott Lawrence during the Great Exhibition of 1851, London (world’s first fair).
U.S. Ministers. 26-Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. The idea for the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London originated with Henry Cole (1808-82), member of the Society of Art (later Royal Society of Art), who had arranged several industrial and art expositions. The idea occurred to him in 1848 for a first world’s fair, with each nation showing its best industrial and art products. Knowing that such a large enterprise needed royal sponsorship, Cole turned to Albert of Saxe-Co-burg-Gotha (Prince Albert, 1819-61), Queen Victoria’s husband and president of the Society of Art. German-born Prince Albert nurtured the idea to reality. A Royal Commission (Jan. 3, 1850) helped raise funds, issued contracts, and invited the world’s nations to participate. Joseph Paxton (1801-65) designed the striking glass-covered Crystal Palace in Hyde Park to house the exhibits and the Exhibition. See: Great Exhibition of 1851, London (world’s first fair).
U.S. Ministers. 27-U.S. Exhibitors Without Funds to Adorn U.S. Pavilion. The U.S. Congress appointed nonpaid commissioners who selected U.S. industrial and art objects to exhibit. Congress also authorized the U.S. Navy’s St. Lawrence to transport U.S. products and exhibitors to Southampton, England (Feb. 1851). But Congress did not appropriate funds to adorn the large (40,000 sq. ft.) U.S. pavilion. Crates strewn about the unadorned pavilion provoked the satirical Punch to poke fun at “the glaring contrast between large pretensions and little performance…by America.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 28-Dilemma. The London correspondent of the New York Evening Post called it “a national disgrace that American wares…are so barely displayed; so vulgarly spread out over so large a space.” U.S. Minister Abbott Lawrence (1792-1855) and his legation staff had no funds to decorate the U.S. exhibit and knew it might take months for Congress to appropriate funds, if at all. Hearing of the lack of funds to decorate the U.S. pavilion, GP, then comparatively little known, quietly offered, through a polite note to Minister Lawrence, a loan of $15,000. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 29-GP’s Loan. U.S. exhibitors, U.S. residents in London, the legation staff, and especially Minister Lawrence were relieved of embarrassment and grateful to GP. Partly through GP’s loan, which Congress repaid three years later, over six million visitors to the first world’s fair saw displayed to best advantage U.S. manufactured products and arts. The U.S. items most talked about were Alfred C. Hobbs’s (1812-91) unpickable lock, Samuel Colt’s (1814-62) revolvers, Hiram Powers’ (1805-73) statue, the Greek Slave, Cyrus Hall McCormick’s (1809-84) reapers, Richard Hoe’s (1812-86) printing press, and William Cranch Bond’s (1789-1859) spring governor. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 30-GP’s Proposed July 4, 1851, Dinner. With so many visiting Americans in London and in the international spirit of the Great Exhibition, GP proposed to give a U.S.-British friendship dinner. He chose July 4, 1851, U.S. Independence Day, which would appeal to Americans, but not to some disdainful British. GP’s motive for the dinners, as in making the loan to the U.S. exhibitors, was to improve U.S.-British relations. Criticism of the U.S. in London newspapers saddened him, as did anti-British reports in U.S. newspapers. He was painfully aware of past strained relations. It had been 10 years since the U.S.-British dispute over the Maine boundary, 37 years since the War of 1812, 75 years since the American Revolution. Wondering if British society would attend his July 4th dinner, GP sounded out Minister Abbott Lawrence, who discreetly asked the opinion of London social leaders. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 31-“the fashionables…do not wish to attend this Ball.” On June 26, 1851, Minister Lawrence, finding a wary reaction to the idea, warned GP: “Lady Palmerston was here. She has seen the leading ladies of the town and quoted one as saying the fashionables are tired of balls. I am quite satisfied that the fashionables and aristocracy of London do not wish to attend this Ball. Lady Palmerston says she will attend. I do not under those circumstances desire to tax my friends to meet Mrs. Lawrence and myself–Your party then I think must be confined to the Americans–and those connected with America, and such of the British people as happen to be so situated as to enjoy uniting with us.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 32-Duke of Wellington. Prospects looked dim. But GP thought his dinner might succeed if a distinguished British hero was guest of honor. Through friends, GP approached the Duke of Wellington (Arthur Wellesley Wellington, 1769-1852), then England’s greatest living hero. The man who beat Napoleon at Waterloo reportedly huffed, “Good idea.” When it was known that the 84-year-old Duke of Wellington would attend, British society followed. GP’s Friday night, July 4, 1851, dinner succeeded enormously. See: Lawrence, Abbott. Wellington, Duke of.
U.S. Ministers. 33-Eight Hundred at Dinner. The July 4, 1851, dinner was held at the exclusive Willis’s Rooms, sometimes called Almack’s. GP hired a professional master of ceremonies, a Mr. Mitchell of Bond St. On either end of the spacious ballroom were portraits of Queen Victoria and George Washington. Flowers were tastefully arranged. English and U.S. flags were skillfully blended. More than a thousand guests came and went that evening. Eight hundred sat down to dinner. See: Dinners, GP’s, London.
U.S. Ministers. 34-Distinguished Guests. Present were several MPs, former Tenn. Gov. Neill Smith Brown (1810-86, then U.S. Minister to Russia); London’s Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress; Thomson Hankey (1805-93), the Bank of England’s junior governor; Baroness Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts (1814-1906), the 19th century’s greatest woman philanthropist; Joseph Paxton of Crystal Palace fame; and other English nobility. An orchestra played and a ball followed in a spacious ballroom decorated with medallions and mirrors, lit by 500 candles in cut-glass chandeliers. At 11 p.m. as the Duke of Wellington entered, the band struck up “See the Conquering Hero Comes.” GP approached the “iron duke,” shook his hand, and escorted him through the hall amid applause, and introduced him to U.S. Minister Abbott Lawrence. Ref.: Ibid. See: persons named.
U.S. Ministers. 35-Good Press. The London Times reported that His Grace had a good time and left at a late hour. The same article referred to GP as “an eminent American merchant.” The Ladies Newspaper had a large woodcut illustration of GP introducing the Duke to Abbott Lawrence. Even the aristocratic London Morning Post took favorable note of the affair. See: Dinners, GP’s, London.
U.S. Ministers. 36-“more than regal entertainment.” U.S. Minister Abbott Lawrence, gushing with pride and thanks, wrote to GP: “I should be unjust…if I were not to offer my acknowledgments and heartfelt thanks for myself and our country for the more than regal entertainment you gave to me and mine, and to our countrymen generally here in London.” Lawrence went on: “Your idea of bringing together the inhabitants of two of the greatest nations upon earth…was a most felicitous conception….” Lawrence concluded: “I congratulate you upon the distinguished success that has crowned your efforts…. [You have] done that which was never before attempted.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 37-Oct. 27, 1851, Dinner to Departing U.S. Exhibitors. On Oct. 6, 1851, U.S. commissioner to the Great Exhibition Charles F. Stansbury and other exhibitors, about to return to the U.S., invited GP to be guest of honor at a farewell dinner. He gratefully declined on Oct. 11, said they had overestimated his services, added that his 15 years in London had erased sectional and political difference and that he did what he could to further the U.S. as a whole. This invitation may have prompted his own Oct. 27, 1851, dinner to the departing exhibitors. It was grander and better received than his July 4, 1851, dinner. He also had the proceedings and speeches recorded, printed, and beautifully bound copies selectively distributed to U.S. and British officials. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 38-Oct. 27, 1851, Dinner. The Oct. 27, 1851, dinner was held at the London Coffee House, Ludgate Hill, where Benjamin Franklin as American ambassador had met friends to discuss American colonial affairs over food and drinks. British and U.S. flags draped life-size paintings of Queen Victoria, George Washington, and Prince Albert. Pennants and laurel wreaths decorated the long hall. At 7:00 P.M. GP took the chair, grace was said, and dinner was served to 150 U.S. and British guests, many of them connected with the just-closed Great Exhibition of 1851. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 39-Oct. 27, 1851, Dinner Cont’d. The toastmaster, a Mr. Harker, began: “Mr. Peabody drinks to you in a loving cup and bids you all a hearty welcome.” A U.S.-made loving cup of English oak, inlaid with silver, inscribed “Francis Peabody of Salem to George Peabody, of London, 1851,” was passed around until each guest tasted from it. After dessert, GP rose and gave the first toast to, “The Queen, God bless her.” All stood as the band played God Save the Queen. His second toast was to “The President of the United States, God bless him.” All rose while Hail Columbiawas played. His third toast to “The health of His Royal Highness Prince Albert” brought more flourishes of music. After U.S. Minister Abbott Lawrence was toasted, the band played Yankee Doodle. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 40-Minister Lawrence’s Speech. U.S. Minister Lawrence spoke of the many ties binding the U.S. and Britain. He praised Sir Joseph Paxton, “The man…who…[planned] a building such as the world never saw before.” He praised Earl Granville (Granville George Leveson-Gower, 1815-91), who had “the skill and enterprise to execute the plan.” He praised Sir Henry Bulwer-Lytton (William Henry Lytton Earle Bulwer, 1801-72), British ambassador to the U.S. Minister Lawrence said to the departing exhibitors: “We came out of the Exhibition better than was first anticipated…. You will take leave of this country…impressed with the high values of the Exhibition…in the full belief that you have received every consideration.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 41-Sir Henry Bulwer-Lytton’s Response. Sir Henry Bulwer-Lytton, grasping the hand of Abbott Lawrence, said: “I clasp your hand as that of a friend and claim it as that of a brother. [Cheers] The idea of this Great Exhibition…was…to collect…the mind of the whole world, so that each nation might learn and appreciate the character and intelligence of the other.” “You live under a Republic,” he said to the Americans, “and we under a Monarchy, but what of that? The foundations of both societies are law and religion: the purpose of both governments is liberty and order.” “Hand in hand,” he concluded, “we can stand together…the champions of peace between nations, of conciliation between opinions.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 42-GP’s Concluding Speech. Ending the festivities, GP stood and when the cheers subsided, said: “I have lived a great many years in this country without weakening my attachment to my own land…. I have been extremely fortunate in bringing together…a number of our countrymen…and…English gentlemen [of] social and official rank…. May these unions still continue, and gather strength with the gathering years.” The proceedings lasted more than four hours. Good reports of its effect reverberated in the press. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 43-Press Reports. The New York Times gave two full columns to the dinner. Another NYC newspaper stated: “George Peabody’s dinners were timed just right. For years there have been built up antagonism and recrimination. Suddenly a respected American, long resident in London with a host of American and English friends, brings them together. The thing works and…elicits applause and appreciation from both the American and English press.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 44-Haddock’s Report. Great Exhibition participant Charles B. Haddock’s (1796-1861) letter in a New Hampshire newspaper read: “Mr. Peabody’s dinner to the departing Americans had several good effects. (1) It highlighted American achievement at the Exhibition; (2) brought George Peabody into notice; (3) raised Abbott Lawrence’s esteem as United States Minister to England. “It is something to have sent to the Exhibition the best plough, the best reaping machine, the best revolvers–something to have outdone the proudest naval people in the world, in fast sailing and fast steaming, in her own waters…. Moreover, it is a great pride for America to have George Peabody and Abbott Lawrence in England who represent the best of America and uphold its worth and integrity.” Haddock referred to the U.S. yacht America, which won the 1851 international yacht race, defeating the English yacht Baltic in British waters. The first prize (a silver tankard) has since been known as America’s Cup. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 45-Dinner Proceedings Book. GP commissioned Henry Stevens to compile, print, and distribute a handsome book with the dinner menu, toasts, proceedings, and speeches. Born in Barnet, Vt., a graduate of Yale College (1841) and Harvard Law School, Henry Stevens went to London in July 1845 and remained there for the rest of his life as a rare book dealer and bibliographer. He bought U.S. books for the British Museum and sold British books to U.S. libraries. Stevens had 50 copies printed and bound in cloth by Nov. 25, 1851, and sent copies to departing U.S. exhibitors. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 46-Copy to U.S. Pres. Fillmore. Through U.S. Minister Abbott Lawrence, GP gave a copy printed on vellum to Pres. Millard Fillmore (1800-74). Pres. Fillmore acknowledged receipt and wrote to Abbott Lawrence: “From all I have heard of Mr. Peabody, he is one of those ‘Merchant Princes’ who does equal honor to the land of his birth and the country of his adoption. This dinner must have been a most grateful treat to our American citizens and will long be remembered by the…guests…he entertained as one of the happiest days of their lives…. The banquet shows that he still recollects his native land with fond affection, and it may well be proud of him.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 47-Copies Sent to Dignitaries. U.S. Minister Lawrence also sent copies on vellum to Prince Albert, The Duke of Wellington, and Lord Granville. Lawrence wrote to GP: “I have a note from Colonel Grey [Charles Grey, 1804-70], the Secretary of Prince Albert, acknowledging the receipt of your beautiful volume with expressions of thanks to you for it, from his Royal Highness.” U.S. Minister Abbott Lawrence’s son, after sending copies to Boston dignitaries, wrote to GP that the book was “much talked of in Boston and has been greatly praised.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 48-“quite a public character.” GP’s nephew George Peabody Russell (1835-1909) wrote his uncle from Harvard, where GP was paying for his college education: “Your parting entertainment to the American Exhibitors has caused your name to be known and appreciated on this side of the Atlantic…. In fact, you have become quite a public character.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 49-GP’s Gift to the Md. Institute. Praise of GP’s London dinners appeared in Baltimore newspapers. This publicity may have prompted the Md. Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts to make him an honorary member. After GP read a newspaper report of the Md. Institute’s effort to raise funds for a school of chemistry, he wrote the Md. Institute’s Pres. William H. Keighler, Oct. 31, 1851, enclosing a $1,000 gift for the chemistry school “as a small token of gratitude toward a State from which I have been mighty honored, and a City in the prosperity of which I shall ever feel the greatest interest.” This (still) little known gift began his educational philanthropy. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 50-First Peabody Institute Library. The next year, June 1852, when his hometown of Danvers, Mass., celebrated its 100th year of separation from Salem, Mass., GP, who could not attend, sent his first check to found his first Peabody Institute Library (now in Peabody, Mass.) accompanied by a motto, “Education–a debt due from present to future generations.” To Washington, D.C., friend William Wilson Corcoran (1798-1888), who had written to GP, GP answered: “You will make us proud to call you friend and countryman. However liberal I may be here, I cannot keep pace with your noble acts of charity at home; but one of these days I mean to come out, and then if my feelings regarding money don’t change and I have plenty, I shall become a strong competitor of yours in benevolence.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 51-GP’s Emergence. GP early told a few intimates of his intent to found an educational institution in towns and cities where he lived, worked or visited relatives. Public praise for his loan to the U.S. exhibitors at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and praise for his two Exhibition-connected dinners furthered that determination. In 1851 GP emerged socially as sponsor of U.S.-British friendship dinners (mainly on July 4, U.S. Independence Day), and as a philanthropist in the U.S. and in Britain. In the 1860s he was the best known philanthropist of his time. Ref.: Ibid.
Joseph Reed Ingersoll (1786-1868), U. S. Minister to Britain, 1852-53
U.S. Ministers. 52-Oct. 12, 1852, Introduced Minister Ingersoll. Joseph Reed Ingersoll was U.S. Minister to Britain one year, 1852-53 (commissioned, Aug. 21, 1852; arrived in London Sept. 30, 1852; presented his credentials, Oct. 16, 1852; and relieved Aug. 23, 1853). GP gave a dinner in London on Oct. 12, 1852, to introduce incoming Minister Ingersoll and his niece, Miss Charlotte Manigault Wilcocks (1821-75). The dinner also honored the departing U.S. Minister to Britain, Abbott Lawrence (1792-1855). Guests included Joshua Bates, head of the Baring Brothers (mentioned in connection with London Legation Secty. J.C.B. Davis above), and Russell Sturgis (1805-87), another U.S-born London resident merchant-banker. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 53-Courtesies to Ingersoll. GP’s dinner enabled the Ingersolls to meet U.S. residents in London and prominent Britishers. GP’s gifts of apples and tea, use of his opera box, and U.S.-British friendship dinners earned Minister Ingersoll’s thanks in a letter on June 16, 1853: “I do but echo the general sentiment, in expressing to you the feelings of regard and esteem which you have inspired.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 54-May 18, 1853, Dinner for Ingersoll. GP’s May 18, 1853, dinner provided more contact with London society for U.S. Minister J.R. Ingersoll and his niece, Miss Wilcocks. The dinner was held at the Star and Garter, Richmond, about eight miles from London, overlooking the Thames. The 150 guests (65 English, 85 Americans) included Harvard Univ. professor (and president in 1860) Cornelius Conway Felton (1807-62). He later wrote in his book, Familiar Letters from Europe, of being a guest “at a splendid and costly entertainment” in 1853 by GP with Martin Van Buren (1782-1862, eighth U.S. Pres., 1837-41) and “many very distinguished persons” present. A band and vocalists began and ended the dinner with the British and U.S. national anthems. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 55-May 18, 1853, Dinner for Ingersoll Cont’d. After the sumptuous meal GP expressed his pleasure at bringing together U.S. and British friends. Minister Ingersoll then gave the toasts: “The Queen: the President of the United States: and the people of the United States and the United Kingdom: the two great nations, whose common origin, mutual interests and growing friendships, serve to cement a union created by resemblance in language, liberty, religion and law.” Ingersoll’s speech that followed his toasts contained complimentary references to former U.S. Pres. Martin Van Buren and to GP. These references evoked cheers. Pres. Van Buren rose and paid respects to the occasion and to GP as host. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 56-May 18, 1853, Dinner for Ingersoll Cont’d. GP’s friend, Episcopal Bishop of Ohio Charles Pettit McIlvaine (1799-1873) rose to speak. A few years later he would help GP plan the Peabody apartments for London’s working poor (from March 12, 1862, $2.5 million total gift). McIlvaine said, referring to GP’s British-U.S. dinners: “When history should come to be written, and due weight should be given to all the influences which tend to perpetuate international concord, if history should consent to notice incidents apparently so trifling as social festivities and the interchange of friendly greetings, it would assign…a very high place to their host as one who had done very much in this way to promote mutual knowledge and goodwill between the people of the two great nations who were there represented.” The dinner and speeches received favorable transatlantic press coverage. What the dinner cost GP is not known, but one bill, only part of the total, was about $940. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Minister. 57-Partner-to-be Junius Spencer Morgan Present. Also present at this GP dinner honoring Minister J.R. Ingersoll were Boston merchant Junius Spencer Morgan (1813-90) and Mrs. Morgan. Because GP was often ill, business friends had long urged him to take an American partner to give continuity to George Peabody & Co. Friends recommended J.S. Morgan as a likely partner of great probity, experienced in dry-goods importing and knowledgeable about securities and banking. GP and Morgan had been in correspondence about a possible partnership. The J.S. Morgans and their 16-year-old son, John Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), had come to London expressly to look into the possible partnership. The May 18, 1853, dinner allowed GP and Morgan to take each other’s measure in a social setting. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Minister. 58-Young J.P. Morgan. Young J.P. Morgan, who was not at the dinner, wrote to his cousin that night, “Father and Mother went to a dinner given by George Peabody at Richmond.” GP and J.S. Morgan were both favorably impressed. The Morgans returned to Boston. J.S. Morgan visited U.S. firms with which George Peabody & Co. did business. Morgan decided to accept. He made another trip to London to examine the company books. The partnership took effect the next year, Oct. 1, 1854 (through Oct. 1, 1864). Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Minister. 59-Miss Wilcocks and Elise Tiffany. Contact with Minister J.R. Ingersoll also brought speculation of a possible romance with Ingersoll’s niece, Charlotte Manigault Wilcocks, a Philadelphia belle who lived with her uncle after the early death of her parents. Although sometimes ill in the summer of 1853, GP’s social entertainment included Miss Wilcocks and another lady, Elise Tiffany, daughter of Baltimore friend Osmond Capron Tiffany (1794-1851). From Paris in June 1853 Elise Tiffany’s brother George Tiffany asked GP by letter to help get an apartment for them in London. He added, “I just asked Elise if she had any message for you. She says, ‘No, I have nothing to say to him whilst Miss Wilcocks is there.'” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Minister. 60-Miss Wilcocks and Elise Tiffany Cont’d. The Tiffanys had been invited to the May 18, 1853, dinner for the Ingersolls but Elise would not go. Her brother George Tiffany explained in a letter to GP: “Elise knows the entertainment is to the American Minister and Miss Wilcocks. The thing is impossible. Her trunks will not pack, nor her Bills pay…. As to the Scotch trip of a couple of weeks, Elise counts upon your making that sacrifice as a balm to her wounded feelings, caused by the various reports all through the winter.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Minister. 61-Miss Wilcocks and Elise Tiffany Cont’d. GP had gone to the opera with Miss Wilcocks and they appeared together at social functions. A London reporter for a NYC newspaper wrote about a possible romance: “Mr. Ingersoll gave his second soiree recently. Miss Wilcocks does the honors with much grace, and is greatly admired here. The world gives out that she and Mr Peabody are to form an alliance, but time will show….” GP, then age 58, denied any matrimonial intentions in a letter to Washington, D.C., business friend William Wilson Corcoran. GP wrote: “I have now arrived at an age that throws aside all thoughts of marriage [although] I think her [Miss Wilcocks] a very fine woman.” Ref.: Ibid.
GP & James Buchanan, (1791-1868), U. S. Minister to Britain, 1853-56
U.S. Ministers. 62-Career. James Buchanan was born in Mercersberg, Pennsylvania, was a lawyer, U.S. Congressman (1821-31); U. S. Minister to Russia (1832-33), U. S. Senator (1834-45); U. S. Secty. of State (1845-49); U. S. Minister to Britain (1853-56); and the 15th U. S. president during 1857-61. New Minister Buchanan appointed as U.S. Legation Secty. the controversial Daniel Edgar Sickles (1825-1914), who provoked an unfortunate incident, the Sickles Affair. A super patriot at a time of U.S. jingoism, Sickles, objecting to GP’s toast to the Queen before a toast to the U.S. President, refused to stand, walked out at GP’s July 4, 1854, dinner, and accused GP in the press of “toadying” to the British. See: Corcoran, William Wilson. Sickles, Daniel Edgar.
U.S. Ministers. 63-Incoming Legation Secty. Sickles. In 1853 before he arrived in London, Sickles wrote GP to reserve rooms for himself, wife, and baby, a courtesy service George Peabody & Co. did for visiting Americans. GP consulted Sickles and others about his planned July 4, 1854, Independence Day banquet. Sickles suggested that it be a subscription dinner and that he, Sickles, arrange it. GP insisted on paying for the dinner as usual but let Sickles help select guests, send invitations, and help plan the entertainment. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 64-Walk-Out, July 4, 1854, Dinner. As was the custom, GP first toasted Queen Victoria as British head of state and secondly the U.S. President. Sickles, an ultra-patriot, was enraged that the Queen should be toasted before the U.S. President. Considering this a national insult, Sickles sat while the other 149 guests stood for the two toasts. Stiff and red-gorged, wrote his biographer, Sickles stormed out of the banquet. Buchanan, who had employed Sickles as legation secretary, remained. He was the guest speaker. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 65-Attack in the Press. Sickles fanned U.S.-British press reports of the incident by attacking GP’s lack of patriotism in the Boston Post, July 21, 1854, p. 2, c. l, and chiding GP for “toadying” to the English. One reader swayed by this charge wrote GP: “If you had a grain of national feeling you wouldn’t have done it…. You are no longer fit to be called an American citizen.” Such reaction led GP and others to send the facts to the Boston Post. Pro and con letters were published for months, with most faulting Sickles and exonerating GP. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 66-“most contemptible of all Americans.” A friend wrote GP: “We are astounded that you lower yourself by a correspondence with the most contemptible of all Americans, Sickles, who was indicted by a New York Grand Jury for fraud, which indictment stands to this day.” Another friend wrote GP that proof of Sickles’ guilt in committing fraud was contained in letters stolen from the NYC post office by Sickles’ direction. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 67-Statement by Dinner Guests. Statements about the July 4, 1854, dinner by participants were published. Horatio Gates Somerby (1805-72), Newburyport, Mass.-born genealogist, London resident, and GP’s friend and sometime agent who helped arrange the dinner wrote: “At Mr. Peabody’s request I drew up a series of toasts and submitted them to Mr. Buchanan…..[These] were returned to me as approved…. Mr. Sickles did indeed object to Englishmen being present. The Minister approved and Mr. Peabody’s course was independent of Mr. Sickles’ opinion.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 68-Statement by Dinner Guests Cont’d. A letter from 26 Americans present at the dinner, including Henry Barnard (1811-1900), Conn. Superintendent of Common Schools (later first U.S. Commissioner of Education), read: “The undersigned have read Mr. Peabody’s letter to the Boston Post of Aug. 16, 1854, and without hesitation affirm as true the events described by Mr. Peabody.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 69-Lawrence on Sickles. Abbott Lawrence (he had left the diplomatic service in 1852) wrote to GP about the Sickles Affair: “The attack made upon you I deem unworthy of any man who professes to be a gentleman. Your misfortune was in having persons about you who were not worthy to be at your table. I had hard work to get rid of some men in England who hung about me, but cost what it would I would not permit a certain class of adventurer to approach me.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 70-Corcoran on Buchanan. Longtime Washington, D.C., business friend William Wilson Corcoran, with whom GP had helped sell U.S. bonds abroad that financed the Mexican War, wrote GP that [U.S. Minister to Britain James] “Buchanan had not the slightest respect” for Sickles but for political reasons could not reprove him. Buchanan, with a less controversial new legation secretary, wrote to Sickles: “Your refusal to rise when the Queen’s health was proposed is still mentioned in society, but I have always explained and defended you.” Two years later, while GP was in Washington, D.C., during his 1856-57 U.S. visit, and when James Buchanan was the 15th U.S. president, there was a coldness between the two men, who did not meet again. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 71-Sickles’ Later Career. Always controversial, Sickles, on Feb. 27, 1859, while serving in the U.S. Senate (1857-61), shot to death Philip Barton Key (son of Francis Scott Key, 1779-1843) for Key’s alleged attentions to Sickles’ wife. Sickles was acquitted of the murder charge as of unsound mind. In the Civil War Sickles, a Union general, lost a leg at Gettysburg. As Reconstruction commander of the Carolinas during 1865-67, Sickles’ punitive actions against former Confederates were said to have been so severe that Pres. Andrew Johnson (1808-75) transferred him to another command. Sickles was U.S. Minister to Spain (1869-73), served again in the U.S. Congress, helped establish Gettysburg as a national park, and helped secure the land for NYC’s Central Park. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 72-Last Tribute to Abbott Lawrence. Abbott Lawrence died in Boston Aug. 18, 1855. GP gave a last tribute to Lawrence a year after Lawrence’s death. The occasion was a celebration in Danvers, Mass., Oct. 9, 1856, to honor GP on his first return to the U.S. after nearly 20 years’ absence in London (since Feb. 1837). In his speech, turning to Edward Everett on the platform with him, GP said: “The cornerstone of the Peabody Institute [of South Danvers, renamed Peabody in 1868] was laid by Abbott Lawrence, now gone, who followed worthily in Mr. Everett’s footsteps. I admired his talents, respected his virtues, loved him as a friend. He too worked for conciliation and goodwill between the two countries. I pay tribute to his memory.” See: Danvers, Mass., GP celebration, Oct. 9, 1856.
George Mifflin Dallas (1792-1864), U. S. Minister to Britain, 1856-61
U.S. Ministers. 73-Career. George Mifflin Dallas was born in Philadelphia, graduated from Princeton College (1810), was a lawyer (from 1813), U.S. Sen. from Penn. (1831-33), Penn. Atty. Gen. (1833-35), U.S. Minister to Russia (1837-39), U.S. Vice President (1845-49) under Pres. James K. Polk (1795-1849, 11th U.S. president during 1845-49), and U.S. Minister to Britain during 1856-61.
U.S. Ministers. 74-June 13, 1856, Dinner. GP introduced incoming Minister G.M. Dallas at a U.S.-British friendship dinner and entertainment, June 13, 1856. The 130 guests included the Lord Mayor of London and the Mayoress; Curtis Miranda Lampson (1806-85) and Mrs. Lampson (C.M. Lampson was a Vt.-born naturalized British subject and GP’s longtime business friend); GP’s partner; Mrs. J.S. Morgan; Crystal Palace architect Sir Joseph Paxton (1801-65); and Baltimorean John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870). J.P. Kennedy wrote in his journal about the June 13, 1856, dinner: “A great banquet given by Mr. P., with tickets to the Concert there at 3…we got to dinner about 7. We number nearly 130.” See: Dinners, GP’s, London.
U.S. Ministers. 75-Crimean War Difficulty. This dinner to introduce Minister Dallas was held soon after the Crimean War (1855-56, Russia vs. England, France, others). In the U.S. this European conflict created some anti-British feeling,. British Minister to the U.S. John Crampton indiscreetly tried to recruit U.S. volunteers for the British army. U.S. Secty. of State William Learned Marcy (1786-1857) objected and had Crampton recalled. See: Crimean War. Dallas, George Mifflin.
U.S. Ministers. 76-Crimean War Difficulty Cont’d. Former British Minister to the U.S. Henry Bulwer-Lytton (1801-72) was to have proposed the health of U.S. Minister Dallas at GP’s June 13, 1856, dinner. But Bulwer-Lytton, being Crampton’s colleague, explained to GP that to appear at this dinner and propose the health of U.S. Minister Dallas would be unfair to his dismissed colleague John Crampton and might evoke British public resentment. It was a tribute to GP that he could still successfully sponsor this U.S.-British friendship dinner at that tense time of misunderstanding and mistrust. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 77-July 4, 1856, Dinner. More than 100 Americans and a few Englishmen attended another of GP’s U.S.-British friendship dinners, July 4, 1856, at the Star and Garter Hotel, Richmond, eight miles from London on the Thames. Minister G.M. Dallas gave a short speech. GP then prefaced his toast with some remarks. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 78-GP’s Remarks: “I have before me two loving cups, one British the second of American oak, presented to me some years ago by Francis Peabody [1810-68, GP’s distant cousin from Salem, Mass.] now present. Let me say a few words before passing these cups. The first dinner I gave in connection with American Independence Day was a dinner in 1850 at which the American Minister, American and English friends were present. In 1851, the Great Exhibition year, I substituted a ball and banquet. Some of my friends were apprehensive that the affair would not be accepted that year of Anglo-American rivalry but the acceptance of the Duke of Wellington made the affair successful. For twenty years I have been in this kingdom of England and in my humble way mean to spread peace and good-will. I know no party North or South but my whole country. With these loving cups let us know only friendship between East and West.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 79-Wm. Brown’s Remarks. GP proposed “The Day We Celebrate,” followed by “Her Majesty, the Queen,” and “the President of the United States.” MP from Liverpool William Brown (1784-1864) said: “The day we celebrate will ever be remembered in the history of the world. For we English derive as much satisfaction from it as you do. None of us are answerable for the sins of statesmanship or the errors of our forefathers. George Washington, remembered with respect by England and the world, would rejoice to see the enterprising spirit of the country he brought into existence, a country which seeks to bridge the Atlantic and Pacific via canal and now explores the Arctic seas (cheers).” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 80-Wm. Brown’s Remarks Cont’d.: “I deny that England is jealous of the United States. We rejoice in your prosperity and know that when you prosper we share in it. It is not true that the fortunes of one country arise from the misfortune of another. While we have differences they can be amicably adjusted (cheers). I toast the American Minister, Mr. George M. Dallas (cheers).” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 81-Minister Dallas’ Reply. Minister G.M. Dallas replied: “I rejoice to find so many patriots present to celebrate American Independence Day. We are, as a country, but eighty years old, yet how proud we are of her (cheers). Small and feeble at birth, she now contains twenty-seven million people. Once on the margin of the Atlantic she is now an immense continent. It is a matter of sincere regret that the free nations are not always the sincerest friends (hear, hear).” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 82-Others Present. A complimentary toast was proposed to GP as host. His few remarks in response concluded by saying that the land of his birth was always uppermost in his mind. When he sat down the band played “Home, Sweet Home.” Present at this dinner was Irish-born sculptor John Edward Jones (1806-62), who made a bust of GP in 1856. Also present was U.S. inventor Samuel Finlay Breese Morse (1791-1872). A toast to “The Telegraph” was suddenly proposed. Not anticipating the toast and not having a reply at hand, Morse rose and modestly quoted from Psalm 19: “Their line is gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world.” See: Dallas, George Mifflin.
GP & Charles Francis Adams (1807-86), U. S. Minister to Britain, 1861-68
U.S. Ministers. 83-Career. Charles Francis Adams (1807-86) was born in Boston, grandson of the second U.S. Pres. John Adams (1735-1826) and son of the sixth U.S. Pres. John Quincy Adams (1767-1848). He was a Harvard College graduate, a law student under Daniel Webster (1782-1852), and U.S. Minister to Britain (1861-68) during GP’s residence in London. See: Adams, Charles Francis.
U.S. Ministers. 84-U.S. Minister During Civil War. C.F. Adams and GP had friendly contact during strained U.S.-British relations over the Civil War, with British aristocrats favoring the South for socio-cultural and economic reasons (Lancashire mills needed southern cotton, purchases of which were cut off by U.S. naval blockade of Confederate ports, resulting in loss of jobs of British cotton mill workers). As U.S. Minister to Britain during 1861-68, C.F. Adams helped prevent British recognition of the Confederacy. He also helped ease British-U.S. tensions over two major Civil War incidents, the Trent Affair and the Alabama Claims. See: topics mentioned.
U.S. Ministers. 85-Trent Affair. The Trent Affair began on the stormy night of Oct. 11, 1861, when four Confederate emissaries evaded the Union blockade at Charleston, S.C., went by ship to Havana, Cuba, and there boarded the British mail ship Trent en route to England. The Confederates sought aid and arms in England and France. On Nov. 8, 1861, the Trent was illegally stopped in the Bahama Channel, West Indies, by Capt. Charles Wilkes (1798-1877) of the USS San Jacinto. Confederates James Murray Mason (from Va.), John Slidell (from La.), and their male secretaries, were forcibly removed, taken to Boston harbor, and jailed. Anticipating war with the U.S., Britain sent 8,000 troops to Canada. But U.S. jingoism subsided after Pres. Lincoln allegedly told his cabinet, “one war at a time,” got the cabinet on Dec. 26, 1861, to release the Confederate prisoners on Jan. 1, 1862, and apologized to the British for the illegal seizure. See: persons and ships mentioned. Trent Affair.
U.S. Ministers. 86-Slidell’s Secretary Married to Louise Morris Corcoran. GP’s minor connection with the Trent Affair was with Confederate emissary John Slidell’s secretary, George Eustice (1828-72), husband of Louise Morris Corcoran (1838-67), only child of GP’s longtime Washington, D.C., business associate William Wilson Corcoran (1798-1888). She was a favorite of GP, who had entertained Corcoran and his daughter, sometimes the daughter alone, on European trips. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 87-GP Mentioned. When Capt. Richard Williams, Trent officer in charge of the mail, was asked at a dinner to give his version of what happened, it was published in the Liverpool Daily Post, Jan. 8, 1862, p. 5, c. 1-2. His reported account was that when the USS San Jacinto‘s Lt. Donald McNeill Fairfax (1821-94) demanded to take Mason and Slidell into custody, they appeared before him with Slidell’s daughter clinging to her father. When Lt. Fairfax tried to separate father and daughter, she slapped his face. The Daily Post article added that there was a contradiction to Capt. Williams’ version from an MP who “had the contradiction from George Peabody, the well known banker and merchant.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 88-Allen S. Hanckel. The article added information from a Mr. Allen S. Kanckel (his last name, misspelled, was Hanckel), who claimed to have witnessed the Trent incident. He informed the editor that Slidell’s daughter did not slap Lt. Fairfax but “put her hand twice on his face to keep him back.” The article ended with: “Mr. Kanckel adds, that Mr. Peabody, uninvited, called on Mrs. Slidell, and behaved ungentlemanly.” The editor sent GP the news article along with Allen S. Hanckel’s calling card. Hanckel wrote to GP that the Daily Post editor had made a mistake, that it had been GP’s partner, Junius Spencer Morgan (1813-90), who had burst uninvited into Mrs. Slidell’s room. Hanckel added with an implied threat, “I shall certainly call upon you and hope to receive an explanation.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 89-Trent Stirred Passions. Mr. Hanckel’s threatened visit to GP never materialized. The Trent affair stirred passions and worried GP, partly because it threatened his long-term U.S.-British friendship concern; partly because the Trent Affair threatened public announcement of his housing gift for London’s working poor ($2.5 million total, 1862-69). Press announcement of this gift, delayed until March 12, 1862, was warmly received despite the Trent Affair. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 90-Alabama Claims. Without a navy and with its southern ports blockaded by the North, Confederate agents evaded the blockade, went to England, secretly bought British-built ships, armed them as Confederate raiders, renamed them Alabama, Florida, Shenandoah, and others, which sank northern ships and wrecked northern ports. The U.S. demanded reparations caused by these British-built raiders. This demand was not resolved until 1871-72 when a Geneva international tribunal determined that Britain should pay the U.S. $15.5 million indemnity. See: Alabama Claims.
U.S. Ministers. 91-Alabama Claims Settlement. In 1868, a year before his death, GP had been suggested but not chosen as a U.S. arbiter in the Alabama Claims controversy. In the final settlement, Charles Francis Adams represented the U.S., British jurist Alexander James Edmund Cockburn (1802-80) represented Britain, and three members were from neutral countries. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 92-Trent and Alabama Affected GP’s Funeral Honors. As will be shown below, the Nov. 8, 1861, Trent Affair and the lingering Alabama Claims were two of several Civil War related incidents that evoked near-war U.S.-British tensions. GP died Nov. 4, 1869, in London, at the height of these tensions. Letters from the public poured into the press requesting public honors for him. High British officials seized upon his death and the fact that his will asked for burial near his hometown. See: Death and Funeral, GP’s.
U.S. Ministers. 93-Trent and Alabama Affected GP’s Funeral Honors Cont’d. Partly in appreciation for a foreigner who gave London, a city in a country not his own, $2.5 million for housing their working poor, partly because he publicly supported U.S.-British friendship, and politically to soften near-war U.S. angers–British officials heaped unprecedented transatlantic funeral honors on him. What British officials started, U.S. officials felt they had to emulate. But all this lay ahead and is told through U.S. Minister to Britain John Lothrop Motley, who followed U.S. Minister to Britain Reverdy Johnson below. Ref.: Ibid.
Reverdy Johnson (1796-1876), U. S. Minister to Britain, 1868-69
U.S. Ministers. 94-Career. Reverdy Johnson (1796-1876) was born in Annapolis, Md., attended St. John’s College in that city, was a Baltimore lawyer (from 1817, when he first knew and legally represented GP), became Md. State Sen. (1821-29), U.S. Sen. (1845-49), U.S. Atty. Gen. (1849), and was again U.S. Sen. (1863-68). Reverdy Johnson-GP relations follow. See: Johnson, Reverdy.
U.S. Ministers. 95-Helped Plan the PIB. In 1854 when Baltimorean Reverdy Johnson was in London, GP, searching for an educational gift idea for Baltimore, asked Johnson’s advice, and asked him to consult and plan with other Baltimoreans. Back in Baltimore, Reverdy Johnson told John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870) of GP’s wish for the three Baltimore leaders (Reverdy Johnson, John Pendleton Kennedy, and William Edwards Mayhew), to help him plan what came to be the PIB. The PIB was largely Kennedy’s plan, based partly on London’s British Museum and made possible by GP’s total gift of $1.4 million (1857-69). See: persons named.
U.S. Ministers. 96-Kennedy’s Plan. Kennedy conceived of the PIB as a five-part institute: 1-specialized reference library; 2-lecture hall, lecture series, and lecture fund; 3-academy (later called conservatory) of music; 4-gallery of art; and 5-annual prizes for best scholars in Baltimore public schools. Kennedy helped draft GP’s Feb. 12, 1857, founding letter. The PIB building, delayed by the Civil War, was dedicated on Oct. 23-24, 1866, and was opened on Oct. 26, 1866, with GP present. See: PIB.
U.S. Ministers. 97-U.S. Senate, 1867. GP founded the PEF (Feb. 7, 1867, $1 million, doubled on June 29, 1869) to promote public education in the former Confederate states. A few days later Pres. Andrew Johnson (1808-75) called on GP in Willard’s Hotel, Washington, D.C., to thank him for the PEF as a national gift. A month later, March 5, 1867, U.S. Sen. Charles Sumner (1811-74, R-Mass.) introduced in the U.S. Senate resolutions of Congressional thanks and a gold medal to GP for the PEF. See: Congressional Gold Medal and Resolutions of Praise to GP, 1867-69.
U.S. Ministers. 98-Sen. Reverdy Johnson Defended GP. Radical Republican Senators Thomas Warren Tipton (1817-99, R Neb.) and James Wilson Grimes (1816-72, R-Iowa), believing GP to have been pro-Confederate, wanted to bury the resolutions in an investigating committee. Sen. Reverdy Johnson (Md.) rose to say that he had been GP’s lawyer in Baltimore in 1817, had several later contacts with him in London, and defended GP as a staunch Unionist. The Senate voted 36 yeas for the resolutions, 2 nays (Senators Grimes and Tipton voting nay), with 15 Senators absent. See: Congressional Gold Medal and Resolutions of Praise to GP, 1867-69.
U.S. Ministers. 99-Congressional Praise Passed in the U.S. House. The resolutions were debated in the U.S. House of Representatives on Mar. 9, 1867. Rep. Abner Clark Harding (1807-74, R-Ill.) moved: “…to strike out the gold medal…. I am informed Mr. Peabody made profit from the rebellion which he aided and abetted.” Harding’s amendment failed. The U.S. House passed the resolutions March 14, 1867. They were announced and enrolled in the U.S. Senate March 15, and went for signature to Pres. Andrew Johnson on March 16, 1867. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 100-Congressional Gold Medal. Finished by NYC silversmiths and jewelers Starr and Marcus, May 1868, the gold medal went to the Dept. of State, was seen by Pres. Johnson’s cabinet, May 26, 1868, and was exhibited in the U.S. Capitol Building. Informing U.S. Secty. of State William Henry Seward (1801-72) that the gold medal would be kept safe in the Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, Mass., GP added: “Knowing the uncertainty of life, particularly at my advanced age, and feeling a great desire of seeing this most valued token my countrymen have been pleased to bestow upon me, I beg…that the medal, with its accompanying documents, may be sent to me here, through our Legation.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 101-GP Saw Gold Medal. On Christmas Day, 1868, in London, GP opened the package before gathered friends who admired the delicate workmanship. A few months from death, he made his last trip to the U.S., June 8-Sept. 29, 1869, returned to London gravely ill, and died there on Nov. 4, 1869. See: Death and Funeral, GP’s.
U.S. Ministers. 102-Last Reverdy Johnson-GP Contact, 1868. In Nov. 1868 GP was in Brighton, England, with Reverdy Johnson and Sir James Emerson Tennent, Irish-born MP and GP’s longtime friend. Reverdy Johnson was appointed U.S. Minister to Britain (1868-69) in part to negotiate the Johnson-Clarendon Treaty to settle the Alabama Claims (the U.S. demanded indemnity for British-built Confederate ships, CSS Alabama and others, which cost Union lives and treasure). See: persons named.
U.S. Ministers. 103-Public Dinner in Brighton. To honor GP, Tennent, and Reverdy Johnson, Brighton citizens held a public dinner, Nov. 21, 1868. GP was too ill but Tennent and Johnson attended. Reverdy Johnson spoke of his efforts to reconcile the Alabama Claims. He also complimented GP’s past efforts to promote British-U.S. friendship. On Nov 22, 1868, GP and Reverdy Johnson attended Brighton’s Christ Church. The Rev. Robert Ainslie praised Reverdy Johnson for promoting peace and compared GP with British reformer John Howard (1726-90). Ref.: Ibid.
John Lothrop Motley (1814-77), U. S. Minister to Britain, 1869-70
U.S. Ministers. 104-Career. John Lothrop Motley, statesman and historian of note, was U.S. Minister to Britain during GP’s last illness, death, and funeral. His official position necessarily involved him in the early part of GP’s transatlantic funeral. J.L. Motley was born near Dorchester, Mass.; was a Harvard College graduate (1831); attended the universities of Berlin and Göttingen, Germany; wrote two novels and articles for the North American Review; and is best known for his historical works, The Rise of the Dutch Republic (3 vols., 1856) and History of the United Netherlands (4 vols., 1860-67). He was a member of the Mass. House of Representatives (1849), was U.S. Legation Secty. at St. Petersburg, Russia (1841-42); U.S. Minister to Austria (1861-67); and U.S. Minister to Britain (1869-70). See: Motley, John Lothrop.
U.S. Ministers. 105-Motley at Unveiling, of GP’s London Statue. Minister Motley and the Prince of Wales were the main speakers at the July 23, 1869, unveiling of GP’s seated statue on Threadneedle St. near London’s Royal Exchange. The statue by U.S. sculptor William Wetmore Story (1819-95) was one of several honors given to GP for his housing gift for London’s working poor (on March 31, 1999, 34,500 low income Londoners [59% white, 32% black, and 9% others] live in 17,183 affordable Peabody apartments in 26 boroughs). See: Statues of GP.
U.S. Ministers. 106-GP in W.Va. When London Statue Unveiled. On the day of the unveiling, GP, on his last U.S. visit (June 8-Sept. 29, 1869) was at White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. There by chance he met, dined with, and was photographed (Aug. 12) with Gen. Robert E. Lee (1807-70) and other northern and southern political, military, and educational leaders. GP was publicly praised for his $2 million PEF gift for public education in the South. A “Peabody Ball” was held in his honor (Aug. 11). To Robert E. Lee, then president of Washington College, Lexington, Va. (renamed Washington & Lee College, 1871), he gave a gift of Va. bonds for a professorship of mathematics, later redeemed with interest, totaling $60,000. See: Corcoran, William Wilson.
U.S. Ministers. 107-GP London Statue Unveiling. Few of the thousands gathered in narrow inner London streets near Threadneedle St. were able to get within sight of the unveiling ceremonies. GP had often stood there to catch a horse-drawn omnibus from his nearby office to his simple lodgings. The Prince of Wales eulogized GP, praised sculptor W.W. Story, and referred warmly to U.S. Minister Motley. Minister Motley said: “Of all men…he [GP] least needs a monument. I am proud it was made by an American sculptor. In Rome [at Story’s studio] I saw Mr. Peabody and his statue seated side by side…. Now tens of thousands, generation after generation, will look upon his likeness.” See: Statues of GP.
U.S. Ministers. 108-GP Saw Photo of Statue Unveiling. Sculptor W.W. Story was asked to speak. He pointed to the statue and said, “There is my speech.” A statue committee member, who sent GP a photograph of the statue, ended his cover letter with: “Our work is now completed. This statue, like your philanthropy, is devoted to the good of men and the glory of God.” GP’s Aug. 31, 1869, reply from Baltimore was signed in a shaky, barely legible handwriting. A sick GP left NYC on the Scotia, Sept. 29, 1869, landed in England, and went directly to bed at the 80 Eaton Square, London, home of longtime business friend Sir Curtis Miranda Lampson (1806-85). The Lampsons, physician Sir William Withey Gull, M.D. (1816-99), medical attendant William H. Covey, Minister Motley, and a few friends attended GP until his death, 11:30 P.M., Nov. 4, 1869. See: Death and Funeral, GP’s.
U.S. Ministers. 109-Minister Motley to Fish on GP’s Death. Minister Motley and his Legation Secty. Benjamin Moran (1820-86) were heavily involved in GP’s last illness, death, and prolonged funeral. On Nov. 6, 1869, in an official dispatch, Minister Motley described GP’s last days to U.S. Secty. of State Hamilton Fish (1809-93). Motley wrote: “It is with deep regret that I inform you of the death of that good benefactor to humanity, George Peabody. “The event took place on the night before last, the 4th inst. at half past 11 o’clock. Mr. Peabody, as you are aware, left the United States in broken health.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 110-Motley to Fish on GP’s Death Cont’d.: “For a few days after reaching London he was able to be taken down stairs daily to the family circle of Sir Curtis Lampson, No. 80 Eaton Square, at whose house he was residing and where he was tenderly cared for during his last illness but his strength soon failed him. He lingered some few days in a condition which enabled him occasionally while lying in his bed to receive visits from a friend or two. It was my privilege to see him thus two or three times.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 111-Motley to Fish on GP’s Death Cont’d.: “On the last occasion, which was about a fortnight before his death, he seemed in good spirits and was evidently encouraged about his health. He conversed fluently and in a most interesting manner about the great work of his life–his vast scheme for benefiting those needing aid in England and America–and narrated the way in which the project first grew up in his mind and generally developed itself into the wide proportions which it had at last assumed. “I remarked to him that it must make him happy, lying there on his sickbed, to think of the immense benefits which he had conferred on the poor of two great countries, not only in his generation, but so far as we could judge as long as the two nations should exist.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 112-Motley to Fish on GP’s Death Cont’d.: “He observed with a placid smile that it made him very happy to think of it. He was sure that the institutions founded by him would do much good. “Very soon after this interview Mr. Peabody became too weak to receive visits except from the family of Sir Curtis Lampson, the physicians and a clergyman. Bulletins of his condition were published regularly in the journals and inquiries as to his health were made regularly by the Sovereign of the country [Queen Victoria] and by persons of all classes. “During the last few days of his life, he was almost entirely unconscious and he passed away at last without pain and without a struggle.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 113-Motley to Bismarck on GP’s Death. U.S. Minister Motley also described GP’s death in a Nov. 7, 1869, letter to Count von Bismarck (1815-98): “Our great philanthropist George Peabody is just dead. I knew him well and saw him several times during his last illness. It made him happy, he said, as he lay on his bed, to think that he had done some good to his fellow-creatures. “I suppose no man in human history ever gave away so much money. “At least two millions of pounds sterling, and in cash, he bestowed on great and well-regulated charities, founding institutions in England and America which will do good so long as either nation exists. “He has never married, has no children, but he has made a large number of nephews and nieces rich. He leaves behind him (after giving away so much), I dare say, about half a million sterling.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 114-A Funeral Service in London? Knowing that GP’s last will requested burial in Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem, Mass., Sir Curtis Lampson telegraphed GP’s nephew George Peabody Russell (1835-1909, son of GP’s younger sister Judith Dodge née Peabody Russell Daniels), who left for England to accompany GP’s remains back to the U.S. Since there would be two weeks’ delay, Sir Curtis spoke about a funeral service in England with Minister Motley’s Legation Secty. Benjamin Moran (Nov. 6, 1869). Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 115-Legation Secty. Benjamin Moran. U.S. Legation Secty. Benjamin Moran kept a secret journal. His entries on GP were critical. Among the first, soon after GP’s return from an 1856-57 U.S. visit, was (Aug. 31, 1857): “He [GP] generally bags the new American Minister for his own purposes and shows him up around the town, if he can, as his puppet to a set of fourth rate English aristocrats and American tuft-hunters who eat his dinners and laugh at him for his pains.” Moran’s views were best characterized by historian Henry [Brooks] Adams (1838-1918), U.S. Minister to Britain Charles Francis Adams’ son and private secretary, who wrote: “Benjamin Moran…had an exaggerated notion of his importance; he was sensitive to flattery, and easily offended…. [His] diary…must be read from the point of view of his character….” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 116-Moran on Funeral Service in London. On a possible GP funeral service in London, Legation Secty. Moran recorded: “Sir Curtis Lampson came and asked me if it were possible to have a funeral service performed here over Mr. Peabody’s remains in view of the fact that they are to be conveyed to the United States and I said yes, instancing at the same time the particulars in the case of Horatio Ward and Mr. Brown[e], better known as Artemus Ward [1834-67, U.S. humorist writer-lecturer who used the name Artemus Ward and died in London]…. “These cases seemed to satisfy him and no doubt some funeral service will be performed here, probably in Westminster Abbey.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 117-Westminster Abbey Offered. Westminster Abbey’s dean, Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815-81), was in Naples, Italy, when he read of GP’s death. His telegraphed offer of the Abbey for a funeral service and burial was relayed by Sir Curtis Lampson to Legation Secty. Moran. Moran recorded: “Sir Curtis Lampson has been to see me. The Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey has asked that Mr. Peabody be buried in the Abbey. This can hardly be assented to: But a funeral service will no doubt take place there, and has been fixed for Friday, inst., at 1 o’clock [Nov. 12, 1869].” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 118-Westminster Abbey and a Royal Ship. Queen Victoria is said to have first proposed and PM William Ewart Gladstone (1809-98) first mentioned to Sir Curtis Lampson on Nov. 9, 1869, the offer of a Royal Navy vessel to return GP’s remains to the U.S. This offer was confirmed at Gladstone’s Nov. 10, 1869, cabinet meeting at which HMS Monarch, Britain’s newest, largest warship, was chosen by the Admiralty as escort vessel. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 119-Moran on Funeral Plans. U.S. Legation Secty. Moran recorded: “Sir Curtis Lampson called early to-day about the funeral ceremonies over Mr. Peabody in Westminster Abbey…. Tickets for spectators will be issued, and the Legation is to have a large supply. “At his own request Mr. Gladstone is to be present in the Abbey in his capacity of Prime Minister but he will not follow as a mourner. He spoke to Sir Curtis Lampson about sending the remains home in a ship of war and asked [if] Mr. Motley would approve, saying that he might bring the subject officially to his notice.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 120-Moran on Funeral Plans Cont’d.: “The suggestion is no doubt from the Queen; but Mr. Motley can give no opinion one way or another as to the proposal, and has decided after consulting with me to refer the question if made to the Govt. at Washington for their instructions. It is without precedent, and as Mr. Peabody was a copperhead and never gave a cent to the institutions founded for the widows and orphans of the war, and moreover is a private citizen–it is placing the Minister in embarrassing circumstances to ask him if he will accept the tender of one of Her Majesty’s ships to convey the body to the United States. To accept such an offer would be to commit his Government and that he cannot do. It seems to me that Her Majesty’s Government should determine the case for themselves and not bother us about it at all.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 121-Moran’s Journal. Legation Secty. Moran’s journal entry described the carriage procession from 80 Eaton Square to the Westminster Abbey funeral service (Nov. 12, 1869): “At about 12 to-day Mr. Motley and I arrived in his carriage at Sir Curtis Lampson’s, 80 Eaton Square, where we met Sir Curtis and his three sons, J.S. Morgan [GP’s partner Junius Spencer Morgan, 1813-90], Russell Sturgis [1805-87, GP’s fellow U.S. merchant resident in London], Mr. F.H. Morse [U.S. Consul, London], Mr. Nunn [Josiah Nunn, U.S. Vice Consul, London], Drs. Gull and Covey [medical men who attended GP], Horatio G. Somerby [1805-73, U.S.-born genealogist in London; GP’s friend and agent], and several other gentlemen, who were to act as mourners at the funeral of Mr. George Peabody in Westminster Abbey.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 122-Moran’s Journal Cont’d.: “Mr. Charles Reed [1819-81, MP] did not reach the house on time, but we took him up in the street. Mr. Motley, Sir Curtis, Mr. Reed and I were in the first carriage. Two royal carriages followed those of the mourners and the Minister’s carriages were immediately behind that of the executors. The cortege of private carriages was very long,…the streets all the way being crowded with spectators, the mass evidently being workingmen of the better class.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 123-Moran on the Abbey Service.: “The day proved fine. Mr. Motley and I followed closely to the coffin and entered the grand old Abbey…. The scene was sacred. Beholding it as I did–being one of the actors–it was impressive…. I thought of Peabody as I stood by his coffin and heard the priests chanting over his remains, and…mentally remarked that I could now forget that I had ever warred with the dust before me. And then I reflected on the marvelous career of the man, his early life, his penurious habits, his vast fortune, his magnificent charity; and the honor that was then being paid to his memory by the Queen of England in the place of sepulcher of twenty English Kings….” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 124-Moran on the Abbey Service Cont’d.: “The Prime Minister of England and the United States Minister stood near the head participating in the ceremony, while Mrs. Motley, Lady Lampson, Mrs. Morgan, and other American ladies were grouped at the foot. ‘Ashes to ashes,’ said the priest, an anthem was sung, and the service was at an end–George Peabody having received burial in Westminster Abbey, an honor coveted by nobles and not always granted kings. “A wreath of immortelles was thrown into the lap of Peabody’s statue the other day, and loud cries were made to call the new street in the city from the Bank to Blackfriars Bridge after him….” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 125-Conflicting Messages. Before the decision to use HMS Monarch as funeral vessel, U.S. Minister Motley received two messages at the same time. British Foreign Secty. Lord Clarendon (Nov. 13, 1869) stated that Queen Victoria wished to show her respect by transporting GP’s remains to the U.S. on a British ship of war. U.S. Secty. of State Hamilton Fish (Nov. 12, 1869) asked Motley to inform the British government that U.S. Rear Adm. William Radford (1808-90), commanding the U.S. Naval European squadron in Marseilles, France, was sending a U.S. vessel as funeral ship. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 126-Moran on Minister Motley’s Dilemma. Legation Secty. Moran recorded Minister Motley’s dilemma: “These communications threw Mr. Motley into one of his fits of indecision and when I arrived he hardly knew what to do. I advised that he should telegraph the substance of Lord Clarendon’s note to Mr. Fish and ask for instructions. This he did and late tonight he received a telegram from Washington saying the President yielded to the Queen’s Govt….. “And thus the matter for the present rests, more noise having been made over the old fellow dead than living. [Lord Clarendon] said that Her Majesty would have created Peabody a Peer had he been disposed to accept.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 127-Moran’s Journal (Dec. 6, 1869). When Minister and Mrs. Motley were invited to dine with the Queen at Windsor Castle, Legation Secty. Moran recorded (Dec. 6, 1869): “But it delays the departure of old Peabody’s remains. Will that old man ever be buried? Indeed it seems as if he would not. He gives trouble to all classes of officials, royal, republican, state, diplomatic, naval, consulate, military, ecclesiastic, and civil, and has stirred up commotion all over the world.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 128-Moran’s Journal (Dec. 8, 1869). Because of high tide, transfer from Portsmouth dock to the HMS Monarch was rescheduled by the Admiralty for Dec. 11, 1869. Moran recorded (Dec. 8, 1869): “There is another hitch about sending away Peabody’s remains. He must go on board the Monarch on Saturday morning, or not for ten days to come, as the tide will not serve as to get the ship out of the harbor, except at night, and the Admiralty don’t want to risk taking her away in the dark.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 129-Moran’s Journal (Dec. 11, 1869). Moran described the hectic transfer events (Dec. 11, 1869): “[Minister Motley] has gone by special train to Portsmouth…and if no hitch takes place–about which I am not so sure–we shall get rid of the old fellow on Monday and the people on the other side will then have their time….” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 130-Moran’s Journal (Dec. 11, 1869) Cont’d.: “Mr. Motley got back about 7:30 from Portsmouth…. As usual, Johnny Bull blundered in the arrangements…. Nobody knew what to do. Captain [John E.] Commerell [1829-1901, of the Monarch] seemed frightened and nervous. The remains were put on board pretty much as you would embark a bale of goods, only there was no invoice…. When ready to leave for their return every official had disappeared…. The consequence was that Minister, executors, and friends got refreshments at the railway station–the viands consisting of ‘cakes and ale.’ A tablet to Geo. Peabody is to be placed in Westminster Abbey.” Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 131-Moran’s Journal (Dec. 15, 1869). On Dec. 15, 1869, Moran wrote his last entry on Minister Motley and GP: “He [Minister Motley] is long winded about Old Peabody’s embarkation, and somewhat prosy.” Thus, Moran’s journal entries on J.L. Motley’s connection with GP ended, throwing light on GP’s last illness, death, Westminster Abbey funeral service, and transfer to HMS Monarch for the funeral voyage to the U.S. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 132-GP Funeral Overview: 1-Funeral service and temporary burial in Westminster Abbey (Nov. 12-Dec. 11, 1869). 2-British cabinet Nov. 10, 1869, decision to return his remains on HMS Monarch. 3-U.S. government sent USS Plymouth from Marseilles, France, to accompany HMS Monarch to the U.S. 4-Impressive Dec. 11, 1869, ceremony transferring GP’s remains from Portsmouth dock to HMS Monarch. 5-Transatlantic voyage, Dec. 21, 1869 to Jan. 25, 1870. 6-U.S. Navy’s Jan. 14, 1870, decision to place Adm. David G. Farragut in command of a U.S. naval flotilla to meet HMS Monarch in Portland harbor, Maine. Ref.: Ibid.
U.S. Ministers. 133-GP Funeral Overview Cont’d.: 7-Final two-day lying in state aboard HMS Monarch (Jan. 26-28, 1870). 8-Lying in state in Portland City Hall (Jan. 29-Feb. 1, 1870). 9-Special funeral train to Peabody, Mass (Feb. 1, 1870). 10-Lying in state at Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, Mass. (Feb. 1-8, 1870). 11-Robert Charles Winthrop’s funeral eulogy, Congregational Church, Peabody, Mass., attended by several governors, mayors, Queen Victoria’s son Prince Arthur, and other notables. 12-Burial ceremony at Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem, Mass. (Feb. 8, 1870). See: particularly the “In Retrospect” part of Death and Funeral, GP’s.
U.S. Postage Stamp Honoring GP. 1-1941. In 1941 Silver Springs, Md., real estate dealer William F. Carlin, a stamp collector, promoted the idea of a U.S. postage stamp to honor GP. Supporting this action were Sen. Kenneth Douglas McKellar (1869-1957, Tenn. Dem.), Rep. J. Percy Priest (1900-56, Tenn. Dem.), and Rep. Lawrence J. Connery of Mass. In Nashville there was talk of raising $5,000 for a memorial to GP. But these efforts failed. Ref.: Nashville Tennessean, May 25, 1941; and June 6, 1941. See: Honors, GP’s, in Life and after Death (in chronological order).
U.S. Postage Stamp Honoring GP. 2-1990s. A concerted but unsuccessful attempt at a GP U.S. postage stamp was initiated in Mass. in 1993 for the GP Bicentennial (Feb. 12, 1795-1995), supported by U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D Mass.) and others. More successful in 1999 was a GP U.S. postage pictorial cancellation (special postmark), led by U.S. Army retired Chief Warrant Officer Edward F. Nevins, a Peabody, Mass. Native. and a GP booster, The post mark consisted of GP’s name spelled out and his motto “Education-a Debt Due from Present to Future Generations,” in capital letters, circling an outline of GP’s face in old age. GP cancellation envelopes seen by the authors include one dated November 4, 1999, Lexington, Ky. 40506. Ref.: Correspondence with CWO Edward F. Nevins, 1999-2000.
U.S. Postage Stamp Honoring GP. 3-1999-2000. CWO E.F. Nevins’ effort resulted in official U.S. Post Office authorization of GP pictorial cancellations (special postmarks), Nov. 4, 1999, for these Mass. cities: Danvers, Peabody, Georgetown, Salem, Newburyport, and Cambridge; also in Post Mills, Vt.; and Atlanta, Ga. Ref.: U.S. Postal Bulletin 22010 (Nov. 4, 1999), pp. 60, 62.
U.S. Presidents. See: Presidents, U.S., & GP.
GP ‘s Donation to the U.S. Sanitary Commission
U.S. Sanitary Commission (1861-65). 1-GP Contributed $10,000. The U.S. Sanitary Commission was administered by the federal government on June 12, 1861, to aid sick and wounded Civil War soldiers, sailors, and their dependents. In the winter of 1863-64, some U.S. residents in London met at Westminster Palace Hotel to collect funds for the U.S. Sanitary Commission. Funds were donated by GP, his partner Junius Spencer Morgan (1813-90), GP’s Vt.-born business friend Curtis Miranda Lampson (1806-85, who became a naturalized British subject), and other U.S. residents in London. In May 1864, GP sent $8,000 to the U.S. Sanitary Commission, having previously sent $500 each to the U.S. Sanitary Commission fairs in Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. GP’s total donation was $10,000. Ref.: GP, London, to John Pendleton Kennedy, May 7, 1864, Kennedy Papers, PIB. NYC Albion, May 7, 1864, p. 224, c. 2. London Anglo-American Times, Dec. 23, 1865, p. 8, c. 1-2.
U.S. Sanitary Commission. 2-Origin. The U.S. Sanitary Commission, modeled in part on the British Sanitary Commission in the Crimean War (Oct. 1853 to Feb. 1855), was organized by Unitarian minister Henry Whitney Bellows (1814-82), its president during 1861-65. He was born in Boston, graduated from Harvard College (1831) and Divinity School (1837), and was pastor of NYC’s First Congregational Society, Unitarian (later All Soul’s Church), during 1838-82. He helped industrialist-philanthropist Peter Cooper (1791-1883) found Cooper Union in NYC in 1859. It was at a meeting at Cooper Union at the outbreak of the Civil War that Rev. H.W. Bellows and others discussed how to meet Civil War military relief needs. As president of the U.S. Sanitary Commission during 1861-65, Rev. Bellows supervised over $5 million expenditure in Civil War relief and over $15 million in relief supplies. Ref.: Boatner, p. 720. See: persons named.
U.S. Visits by GP (1795-1869). After his fifth European commercial buying trip (Feb. 1837), GP made three visits to the U.S. during 1-Sept. 1856 to Aug. 1857 (11 months); 2-May 1, 1866 to May 1, 1867 (12 months); and 3-June 8, 1869 to Sept. 29, 1869 (4 months). See: Visits to the U.S. by GP.
Univ. of Missouri-Rolla’s “The Order of the Golden Shillelagh,” founded 1977 to promote financial support and high quality education, cites on the internet and elsewhere GP’s 1852 Education motto. See: “Education: a debt due from present to future generations.”
Lineage of PCofVU
Univ. of Nashville (1826-75), Tenn. 1-Lineage. The Univ. of Nashville’s lineage goes back to the building of Fort Nashborough on the Cumberland River (1779-80) to protect the earliest settlers. In 1784 surveyor Thomas Mallory divided a 640-acre land grant including Fort Nashborough into three tracts. The southernmost tract was set aside as public property to support a school. Davidson Academy (1785-1806) was chartered Dec. 29, 1785, as a collegiate institution by the N.C. legislature, eleven years before Tenn. statehood in 1796. The N.C. legislature endowed it with 240 acres of land. Ref.: “The first Nashville, 1780’s,” Nashville Tennessean, Sept. 2, 1996. p. 6A. Conkin, Peabody College, index.
Univ. of Nashville. 2-Lineage Cont’d. On Sept. 11, 1806, Davidson Academy was rechartered as Cumberland College (1806-26) by the Tenn. legislature. On Nov. 27, 1826, Cumberland College was rechartered as the Univ. of Nashville (1826-75), whose moribund Literary Dept. was rechartered as State Normal School (1875-1889, supported by PEF funds), was renamed Peabody Normal College (1889-1909), rechartered as GPCFT (1914-79); and renamed PCofVU, since 1979. Ref.: Ibid.
Univ. of Nashville. 3-15th U.S. Collegiate Institution after Harvard. The lineage makes PCofVU the 15th collegiate institution in the U.S. after the founding of Harvard College in 1636. There were temporary closings for lack of funds. Cumberland College was closed during 1816-22 (six years) because of financial problems. Philip Lindsley (1786-1855) was Cumberland College president two years after its reopening (1824). The Univ. of Nashville (1826-75) was closed temporarily in 1850; its medical department began operation in 1851. The Univ. of Nashville, reopened in 1855, the year Pres. Philip Lindsley died, with Lindsley’s son, John Berrien Lindsley (1822-97), as chancellor. Ref.: Folmsbee, et. al., pp. 274-275. See: PCofVU, history of.
GP & A Proposed Central American Canal
Upham, Nathaniel G. (1801-69). 1-Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, April 19, 1850. Nathaniel G. Upham, a lawyer of Concord, N.H., proposed GP as a U.S. arbiter in a U.S.-British dispute in 1853-54 over the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, signed on April 19, 1850, concerning a possible future Atlantic-Pacific Central American canal. A British commissioner’s gentle objection to GP as arbiter led to the appointment of GP’s Baltimore friend Reverdy Johnson (1796-1876) to arbitrate on behalf of U.S. interests.
Upham, N.G. 2-Background. British-U.S. rivalry since the 1820s for political influence in Central America to build a canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans led to the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of April 19, 1850. U.S. Secty. of State John Middleton Clayton (1796-1856) and British Minister to the U.S. Sir Henry Bulwer (1801-72) agreed that neither country would exert exclusive control over a possible canal. Ref.: Bailey, pp. 295-298.
Upham, N.G. 3-GP Proposed. Minor disputes over this treaty led to the naming of possible arbiters to meet in London in 1853-54 to resolve differences. Nathaniel G. Upham proposed GP. A British commissioner declined to accept GP, saying (as sent in a letter to GP by Upham): “He [GP] had honorably earned a high character for integrity & uprightness & reflects credit on the country of his birth; but he is essentially an American standing at the head of the American commercial firms in this country [Britain]–and is looked upon here as par excellence–The representative of the American Commercial community in this country.” Ref.: Nathaniel G. Upham, London, to GP, London, Sept. 30, 1853, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Upham, N.G. 4- GP Proposed Cont’d.: “To take him therefore from his proper sphere, & to erect him into an impartial arbiter, between the government of this country, & the very class of men, of whom, as I have stated, he is considered the fitting & honourable head, would create an impression, however unfounded it might be, that impartiality was not sufficiently regarded.” Ref.: Ibid.
Upham, N.G. 5-Reverdy Johnson Chosen. The U.S. arbiter chosen was GP’s Baltimore friend Reverdy Johnson (1796-1876). Reverdy Johnson was a Baltimore lawyer from 1817, when he first knew and legally represented GP. Reverdy Johnson was a Md. state senator during 1821-29, Md.’s U.S. Senator during 1845-49, and U.S. Atty. Gen. from 1849. See: Reverdy Johnson.
Upham, N.G. 6-Reverdy Johnson-GP Contacts. In 1854 GP asked Reverdy Johnson, then visiting London, to help plan with leading Baltimoreans GP’s intended philanthropic gift to Baltimore. Reverdy Johnson discussed the matter with important Baltimoreans, including John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870), who was the chief planner of the PIB, 1857 (to which GP gave a total of $1.4 million). See: Eaton, Charles James Madison. PIB.
Upham, N.G. 7-Reverdy Johnson-GP Contacts Cont’d. On March 5, 1867, U.S. Sen. Charles Sumner (1811-74, R-Mass.), introduced resolutions for Congressional thanks and a gold medal to GP for founding the PEF ($2 million total gift, 1867-69). When two senators objected, asking that the resolutions be sent to an investigating committee, it was U.S. Sen. Reverdy Johnson of Md. who rose to defend GP as a loyal Unionist. Johnson’s defense led to passage of the resolutions in the Senate that day, passage in the House on March 9, 1867, and signing by Pres. Andrew Johnson on March 16, 1867. See: Congressional Gold Medal and Resolutions of Praise to GP. Persons named.
Vanderbilt, Cornelius (1794-1877). 1-1853 Contact with GP. Cornelius Vanderbilt was born on Staten Island, N.Y., and made his fortune in ferry boats, steamship lines, and railroads (N.Y. Central, 1867). The only known Vanderbilt-GP personal contact was in June 1853 when Vanderbilt secured credit from George Peabody & Co. for himself and his party on a European
trip. Returning to NYC, Oct. 1853, Vanderbilt wrote to thank GP for extending kindnesses to himself and his party while in London. Sixty-one years later, in 1914, Vanderbilt Univ. and GPCFT would occupy adjoining campuses in Nashville, Tenn., exchanging students, common library facilities, and amalgamating on July 1, 1979. Ref.: Cornelius Vanderbilt to GP, June 14 and Oct., 1853, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Vanderbilt, Cornelius. 2-GPCFT-Vanderbilt Univ. Connection. In brief, in Nashville, 11 years before Tenn. statehood, Davidson Academy was founded (1785-1806), was rechartered as Cumberland College (1806-26), rechartered as the Univ. of Nashville (1826-75), from whose moribund Literary Dept. first PEF administrator Barnas Sears (1802-80) helped create State Normal School (1875-1889, financed by PEF funds), renamed Peabody Normal College (1889-1911), rechartered as GPCFT (1914-79), which relocated from South Nashville to the Hillsboro area adjacent to Vanderbilt Univ. See: GPCFT. PCofVU, history of. PEF.
Vanderbilt, Cornelius. 3-Vanderbilt Univ. Vanderbilt Univ.’s origin goes back to Feb. 1873 when Methodist Bishop Holland N. McTyeire (1824-89) of Nashville visited Cornelius Vanderbilt in NYC. Their wives were cousins and intimate friends from girlhood in Mobile, Ala. (she was Cornelius Vanderbilt’s second wife, his first wife having died). Bishop McTyeire had led in chartering (Aug. 6, 1872) in Nashville the Central Univ. of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which needed money for buildings. Ref.: Ibid.
Vanderbilt, Cornelius. 4-PCofVU, 1979. The McTyeire-Vanderbilt talks about the South’s higher educational needs, and particularly the building needs in Nashville, induced Cornelius Vanderbilt to give $500,000 on March 12, 1873, later doubled to $1 million to Nashville’s Central Univ., renamed Vanderbilt Univ. on June 6, 1873. After 65 years of academic cooperation and student exchanges, GPCFT, on July 1, 1979, was amalgamated with Vanderbilt Univ. as PCofVU (Vanderbilt’s ninth school). Ref.: Ibid.
Van Riper, Robert (1921-), A Life divided: George Peabody, Pivotal Figure in Anglo-American Finance, Philanthropy and Diplomacy (Xlibris electronic publisher http:www.Xlbris.com, 2000). GP’s recent biographer is a retired executive in public relations and advertising who has written two novels and one other non fiction book. His GP biography, claimed to be based on original sources, lacks footnotes to help verify interesting insights presented. Ref.: (reviews): Salem, Mass. Evening News (Dec. 4, 2001, p. A8), Alan Burke, “George Peabody biography—with a hint of scandal.” Salem, Mass. Evening News (Dec. March 8, 2002, p. B4), Edward F. Nevins, letter to the Editor, “More on George Peabody.”
Vansant, Joshua (1803-84), was president of the Md. Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts, Baltimore, when he praised GP at the Md. Institute’s reception for GP on Feb. 2, 1857. He was also Baltimore mayor (1871-75). Ref.: Browne, G.L., p. 373. See: Md. Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts, Baltimore. Swann, Thomas.
Vatican. GP and Robert Charles Winthrop (1809-94) visited Rome, Italy, Feb. 19-28, 1868; had an audience with Pope Pius IX; and GP gave a $19,300 gift to the Vatican’s charitable San Spirito Hospital in Rome. See: persons mentioned.
Venice, Italy. GP’s second European buying trip of some 19 months was made April 1830 to Aug. 15, 1831, with an unknown American friend. They went by carriage and with frequent change of horses covered some 10,000 miles in England, France, Italy (including Venice), and Switzerland. See: Daniels, Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell (GP’s sister).
Venning, Walter Charles (d. 1897). 1-Walter Charles Venning, Prime Warden, Fishmongers’ Co., London, was one of a deputation of four members who called on GP, April 18, 1866, to offer him honorary membership. Others in the deputation were 2-George Moore (1806-76); 3-William Flexman Vowler (d. Feb. 7, 1877); and 4-William Lawrence (1818-97). GP gratefully accepted, explaining that he was leaving April 21, 1866, for a visit to the U.S. It was decided to admit him to honorary membership as of April 19, 1866, and to send to him in the U.S. the membership scroll in a gold box worth 100 guineas (about $525), making him the 41st honorary member and the first U.S. citizen to be admitted to the Fishmongers’ Co., whose ancient charter had been endorsed by 23 British monarchs. The membership scroll and box, mailed to him in the U.S., are among his honors in the Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, Mass. See: Fishmongers’ Co. Persons named.
Verneuil, Philippe-Èdouard Poulletier de (1805-73), was a French geologist visited by GP’s nephew Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-99) in 1864-65. GP paid for this nephew’s education at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.; science education at Yale College (B.A., 1860), Yale’s graduate Sheffield School of Science (M.A., 1862), and the German universities of Berlin, Heidelberg, and Breslau (1862-65, Ph.D.). GP also paid for nephew Marsh’s science library and fossil collection, both gathered in Europe, in preparation for Marsh’s career as first U.S. paleontology professor at Yale Univ. and the second such professor in the world. Marsh also conferred with English scientists Sir Charles Lyell (1795-1875), British Museum Keeper of Geology Henry Woodward (1832-1921), Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-95), and Charles Darwin (1809-82). See: Marsh, Othniel Charles.
Verona, Italy. See: Venice, Italy (above).
Vicksburg, Miss. George Peabody & Co. had early news in London of the fall of Vicksburg, Miss. (July 4, 1863) to Union forces, indicating the ascendancy of the Union Army. The news came from 26-year-old John Pierpont Morgan, Sr. (1837-1913), son of GP’s partner (Junius Spencer Morgan, 1813-90). Young Morgan was then junior partner in Dabney, Morgan & Co., which acted as NYC agent for George Peabody & Co., London. J.P. Morgan’s cousin James Goodwin (1835-1915) telegraphed the news to Halifax, N.S., Canada, where it was placed aboard a steamer crossing to England. Telegraphic communication with Halifax broke down after the ship left port. GP was thus the first one able to share the news with U.S. Legation in London officials and others. Ref.: Satterlee, p. 347.
Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Profits from the Great Exhibition of 1851, London, the first world’s fair, built the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. GP’s timely loan of $l5,000 to the U.S. exhibitors at the Great Exhibition, which the U.S. Congress repaid three years later, enabled U.S. industry and arts products to be seen by over six million visitors to best advantage. See: Great Exhibition of 1851, London (first world’s fair).
Queen’s Letters of Thanks and Miniature Portrait to GP
Victoria, Queen (1819-1901). 1-Peabody Homes of London Background. GP’s honors in England came from his March 12, 1862, gift of apartments for London’s working poor ($2.5 million total). 1-On April 7, 1857, in Baltimore about to found the PIB, GP first confided to John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870) and others his intended gift to London. 2-GP first considered with business friend Curtis Miranda Lampson (1806-85) in London in 1858 a network of drinking fountains with purified water piped in. See: Peabody Homes of London.
Victoria, Queen. 2-Peabody Homes of London Background Cont’d. 3-GP next considered with another friend, visiting Episcopal Bishop of Ohio Charles Pettit McIlvaine (1799-1873), late 1858-early 1859, aiding Lord Shaftesbury’s (Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl, 1801-85) Ragged School Union, which managed charitable schools for poor children. 4-The housing decision was made when Bishop McIlvaine reported Shaftesbury’s opinion that the London poor’s greatest need, more than schools, was affordable housing near their work. Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 3-GP’s British Honors. Despite delay and worry caused by the Nov. 8, 1861, Trent Affair (U.S. illegal seizure of Confederate agents from a British mail ship), GP’s housing gift won praise in the British and U.S. press. British honors showered on GP included: (1)-The first U.S. citizen to receive the Freedom of the City of London, July 10, 1862 (also later given to Pres. U.S. Grant, June 15, 1877; Pres. Theodore Roosevelt, May 31, 1910; Gen. John Joseph Pershing, July 18, 1919; and Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, June 12, 1945). (2)-Honorary membership in the ancient guilds of the Clothworkers’ Co, of London, July 2, 1862; and (3)-the Fishmongers’ Co. of London, April 19, 1866. See: persons, organizations, and topics mentioned.
Victoria, Queen. 4-GP’s British Honors Cont’d. (4)-Sculptor William Wetmore Story’s (1819-95) seated GP statue erected near the Royal Exchange, Threadneedle Street, London, paid for by popular subscription and unveiled by the Prince of Wales, July 23, 1869, with a replica statue erected in front of the Peabody Institute of Baltimore, 1890 (London has four statues of Americans: GP, 1869; Abraham Lincoln, 1920; George Washington, 1921; and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1948). (5)-Honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree, Oxford Univ., June 26, 1867. See: Statues of GP.
Victoria, Queen. 5-GP’s British Honors Cont’d. (6)-Queen Victoria’s letter of thanks, March 28, 1866 (quoted below), followed by (7)-a miniature portrait of Queen Victoria by artist F.A.C. Tilt (fl. 1866-68), which she had made especially for GP (cost $70,000) and had delivered to him by the British ambassador in Washington, D.C., in March 1867. See: Honors, GP’s, in Life and after Death (in chronological order).
Victoria, Queen. 6-How Can the Queen Honor GP? As Queen Victoria’s March 28, 1866, letter to GP (below) shows, he was earlier asked on her behalf if he would accept either a baronetcy or the Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. He declined, knowing that U.S. citizens could not accept a foreign title without renouncing U.S. citizenship and becoming a British subject. This, GP indicated, he could not do. Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 7-GP Added to his Housing Gift. Nothing was done until in Feb. 1866 Queen Victoria received the Peabody Donation Fund trustees’ proceedings showing that he had increased his original March 12, 1862, $750,000 gift by another $500,000. Knowing he could not be honored as a British subject, she asked her private secretary Charles Beaumont Phipps (1801-66) to consult Foreign Secty. Lord John Russell (1792-1878) about how best to honor GP. Ref.: Queen Victoria’s Secty. C.B. Phipps to Foreign Secty. Lord Russell, Feb. 12, 1866, Royal Archives, L. 18/20a, Windsor Castle, England.
Victoria, Queen. 8-The Queen’s Secty. to Lord Russell. Secty. Phipps wrote to Lord Russell, Feb. 12, 1866: “Private. My dear sir, There has been sent to the Queen the report of the proceedings of the Trustees of the Peabody Fund and also the statement of that gentleman having added [another $500,000] to his former splendid donation, thus making up a sum of a quarter of a million [English pounds] which he has presented for the benevolent object of improving the condition of the poor of London–a magnificent liberality, I believe, wholly unexampled.” Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 9-Queen’s Secty. to Lord Russell Cont’d.: “The Queen is disposed to think that it would be becoming that she should in some way make her affirmation of this benevolence shown by a foreigner to the poor of the metropolis of this country, but the fact that Mr. Peabody being a citizen of the United States makes the mode of doing this rather difficult, as it is not possible to offer him any of the marks of distinction usually bestowed upon subjects. “Her Majesty has authorized me to consult you upon this subject. What would you think of the Queen writing him a letter expressing her admiration of his magnificent charity–or if you agree that it is desirable that something should be done, can you suggest any preferable measure? Yours sincerely, C.B. Phipps.” Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 10-Lord Russell Consulted GP’s friend, Tennent. Lord Russell consulted (by letter) British statesman James Emerson Tennent (1791-1869), known to be intimate with GP. Besides a letter of thanks from the Queen both thought that GP might be presented with a miniature portrait of the Queen made especially made for him. It was the custom to give such a gift to foreign ambassadors who signed treaties with Great Britain. Ref.: Foreign Secty. Lord Russell, Belgrave Sq., London, to Queen Victoria, Feb. 26, 1866, Royal Archives, L. 18/20b, Windsor Castle, England.
Victoria, Queen. 11-Lord Russell to the Queen. Lord Russell made these suggestions in a Feb. 26, 1866, letter to Queen Victoria: “Lord Russell recommends to Your Majesty’s attention the letter of Sir Emerson Tennent, and he would observe that if Your Majesty’s portrait in miniature, such as used to be given to foreign ambassadors who signed a treaty, could be presented to Mr. Peabody with an autographed letter of Your Majesty it would gratify that very generous man exceedingly.” Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 12-Lord Russell on the Queen’s Letter and Portrait. Lord Russell wrote the Queen again on March 21, 1866: “It may be as well that Your Majesty should write to Mr. Peabody, and send the letter to Lord Russell. The miniature [portrait] if not ready can be sent afterwards.” He added: “Mr. Peabody is going back to America and it is necessary therefore that Your Majesty should write this week the autographed letter that has been promised. “The picture will be paid for out of public money. “Either Lord Russell or Sir Emerson Tennent can be entrusted with Your Majesty’s letter.” The Queen drafted her letter to GP on March 26, 1866. Ref.: Foreign Secty. Lord Russell, Belgrave Sq., London, to Queen Victoria, March 21, 1866, Royal Archives, A. 34/60, Windsor Castle, England. Other Refs. below.
Victoria, Queen. 13-Lord Russell on the Queen’s Letter and Portrait Cont’d.: Ref.: Draft of letter, Queen Victoria, Windsor Castle, England, to GP, London, March 26, 1866, Royal Archives, L. 18/20c, Windsor Castle, England. Ref.: Lord Russell, Pembroke Lodge, Richmond Park, S.W. London, to Queen Victoria, March 28, 1866, Royal Archives, L. 18/20d, Windsor Castle, England.
Victoria, Queen. 14-The Queen to GP, March 28, 1866. The Queen’s letter to GP on small black-bordered paper (she was still in mourning for her late husband, Prince Consort Albert of Saxe-Co-burg-Gotha, 1819-61) read: “Windsor Castle, March 28, 1866. The Queen hears that Mr. Peabody intends shortly to return to America; and she would be sorry that he should leave England without being assured by herself how deeply she appreciates the noble act, of more than princely munificence, by which he has sought to relieve the wants of her poor subjects residing in London. It is an act, as the Queen believes, wholly without parallel; and which will carry its best reward in the consciousness of having contributed so largely to the assistance of those who can little help themselves.” Ref.: Queen Victoria, Windsor Castle, to GP, March 28, 1866, original in the Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, Mass., widely reproduced, with GP’s April 3, 1866, reply (below).
Victoria, Queen. 15-The Queen to GP, March 28, 1866, Cont’d.: “The Queen would not, however, have been satisfied without giving Mr. Peabody some public mark of her sense of his munificence; and she would gladly have conferred upon him either a baronetcy or the Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath but that she understands Mr. Peabody to feel himself debarred from accepting such distinctions. “It only remains, therefore, for the Queen to give Mr. Peabody this assurance of her personal feeling; which she would further wish to mark by asking him to accept a miniature portrait of herself, which she will have painted for him, and which when finished, can either be sent to him in America, or given him on the return which she rejoices to hear he meditates to the country that owes him so much.” Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 16-GP’s Reply to the Queen, April 3, 1866. GP was at the Palace Hotel, Buckingham Gate, London, preparing to leave for the U.S. He answered Queen Victoria (April 3, 1866): “Madam: I feel sensibly my inability to express in adequate terms the gratification with which I have read the letter which Your Majesty has done me the high honor of transmitting to me by the Earl Russell. “On the occasion which has attracted Your Majesty’s attention of setting apart a portion of my property to ameliorate the condition and augment the comforts of the poor of London, I have been actuated by a deep sense of gratitude to God, who has blessed me with prosperity, and of attachment to this great country, where, under Your Majesty’s benign rule, I have received so much personal kindness and enjoyed so many years of happiness.” Ref.: GP, London, to Queen Victoria, Windsor Castle, April 3, 1866, Royal Archives, L. 8/20e, Windsor Castle, England.
Victoria, Queen. 17-GP’s Reply to the Queen, April 3, 1866, Cont’d.: “Next to the approval of my own conscience, I shall always prize the assurance which Your Majesty’s letter conveys to me of the approbation of the Queen of England, whose whole life has attested that her exalted station has in no degree diminished her sympathy with the humblest of her subjects. “The portrait which Your Majesty is graciously pleased to bestow on me I shall value as the most gracious heirloom that I can leave to the land of my birth, where, together with the letter which Your Majesty has addressed to me, it will ever be regarded as an evidence of the kindly feeling of the Queen of the United Kingdom toward a citizen of the United States. “I have the honor to be Your Majesty’s most obedient servant, George Peabody to Her Majesty the Queen.” Refs.: below.
Victoria, Queen. 18-Ref.: GP, London, to Queen Victoria, Windsor Castle, April 3, 1866, reprinted in Cochrane (comp), pp. 60-61. Hanaford, pp. 144-145. Bryant, p. 18. Wilson, P.W., p. 56. London Times, April 12, 1866, p. 11, c. 4-6. New York Herald, April 27, 1866, p. 7, c. 3. New York Times, April 27, 1866, p. 1, c. 6.
Victoria, Queen. 19-GP’s 1866-67 U.S. Visit. GP’s U.S. visit, May 1, 1866, to May 1, 1867, was a whirlwind of visits to family and friends. He strengthened his institutes with further gifts and created new philanthropies including the PEF (Feb. 7, 1867) to aid public education in the former Confederate states. That year in the U.S. his 17 philanthropic gifts totaled some $2,312,000. See: Peabody, George, Philanthropy. Visits to the U.S. by GP.
Victoria, Queen. 20-GP Received the Queen’s Miniature Portrait. GP was in Washington, D.C., in March 1867, when British Ambassador Sir Frederick Bruce (1814-67) presented him with Queen Victoria’s miniature portrait. It had been painted especially for him by British artist F.A.C. Tilt. The 14″ long by 10″ wide portrait, baked on enamel, was set in a solid gold frame, and was said to have cost $70,000. See: Tilt, F.A.C. Peabody, George, Illustrations (for sources where the miniature portrait is shown or described).
MP John Bright and GP
Victoria, Queen. 21-John Bright, 1867-68. British statesman John Bright (1811-89) was a longtime MP who befriended GP from 1867. At GP’s invitation, they fished together in Ireland and shared thoughts and concerns. Bright wrote his impressions of GP in his diary which was later published. Bright also dined with and talked to Queen Victoria about GP, also recorded in his diary. See: Bright, John.
Victoria, Queen. 22-John Bright’s Career. John Bright was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, England, the son of a Quaker cotton manufacturer. He represented Durham, England, as MP from 1843, Manchester from 1847, and Birmingham from 1858. He was anti-slavery and pro-North during the U.S. Civil War and was president of the Board of Trade in 1868 in PM William E. Gladstone’s (1809-98) cabinet. Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 23-John Bright and GP in Ireland. In 1867 GP rented the Castle Connell, Limerick, Ireland, on the Shannon River where he liked to fish. John Bright, whom he invited for a visit, wrote in his diary on June 4, 1867: “Call from Mr. Peabody, on proposed visit to him at Castle Connell on the Shannon. Agreed to go there on Saturday next, nothing unforeseen preventing. A fine looking man and happy in the review of his great generosity in the bestowal of his great wealth.” Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 24-Bright and GP again in Ireland. John Bright was again GP’s guest for a week at Castle Connell, Limerick, Ireland, in July 1868. Bright described his visit and wrote of GP in his diary: “Went to Ireland on a visit to Mr. P at Castle-Connell on the Shannon. Spent more than a week with him pleasantly. Weather intensely hot; river low; fishing very bad. “Mr. Peabody is a remarkable man. He is 74 years old, large and has been powerful of frame. He has made an enormous fortune, which he is giving for good objects–chiefly for education in America and for useful purposes in London. He has had almost no schooling and has not read books, but has had much experience, and is deeply versed in questions of commerce and banking. He is a man of strong will, and can decide questions for himself. He has been very kind to me, and my visit to him has been very pleasant.” Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 25-John Bright and Queen Victoria on GP. On Dec. 30, 1868, John Bright went with Lord and Lady Granville to dine with the Queen. In his diary Bright recorded his and the Queen’s remarks on GP. Bright wrote: “To Osborne with Lord and Lady Granville to dine with the Queen. Some remarks were made about Mr. Peabody: it arose from something about Ireland, and my having been there on a visit to him. She remarked what a very rich man he must be, and how great his gifts.” Ref.: Bright, p. 334.
Victoria, Queen. 26-John Bright and the Queen on GP Cont’d.: “I [John Bright wrote in his diary] said he[GP] had told me how he valued the portrait she had given him, that he made a sort of shrine for it, and that it was a thing of great interest in America. I thought nothing in his life had given him more pleasure than her gift of the miniature, and that he had said to me, ‘The Americans are as fond of your Queen as the English are.’ To which she replied, ‘Yes, the American people have also been kind to me.'” Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 27-John Bright and the Queen on GP Cont’d. Note: Granville George Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl (1815-91), with whom John Bright dined with the Queen, was a British statesman, an MP (from 1836), and foreign minister during 1851-52, 1870-74. and 1880-85. He had attended GP’s Oct. 27, 1851, London dinner honoring the departing U.S. exhibitors at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London (first world’s fair). See: Bright, John.
GP’s Last U.S. Visit
Victoria, Queen. 28-GP’s Last U.S. Visit, 1869. In London, often ill, GP determined in May 1869, at age 74, not to delay what might be his last U.S. visit. He wanted to add to his institutes and double his gift for southern education (PEF). He wrote to Baltimore friend John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870), May 22, 1869: “I fear if I postpone this visit until next year it will be too late.” Ref.: GP, London, to John Pendleton Kennedy, May 22, 1869, Kennedy Papers, PIB.
Victoria, Queen. 29-GP’s Last U.S. Visit, 1869, Cont’d. PEF trustee Pres. Robert Charles Winthrop (1809-94) also expressed concern about GP’s health in a May 20, 1869, letter to U.S. Secty. of State and PEF trustee Hamilton Fish (1808-98): “Recent advices from Mr. Peabody make me very apprehensive that he is more ill than we had anticipated.” Ref.: Robert Charles Winthrop, Brookline, Mass., to Hamilton Fish, May 20, 1869, “Correspondence of Hamilton Fish,” LX, Nos. 7930 and 7931, Library of Congress Ms.
Victoria, Queen. 30-Arthur Helps to Queen Victoria. About to leave England for what might be the last time, GP was troubled by a delicate matter involving Queen Victoria. He let the Queen’s Privy Counselor Arthur Helps (1813-75) know that he wished to see him. Arthur Helps reported GP’s concern in a note to the Queen: “Before Mr. Peabody left England he expressed a wish to see Mr. Helps. Mr. Helps accordingly went to see him. He found him very unwell, and that he had rather suddenly determined to go to America, to settle certain affairs there, and then, in about a year’s time, to return to England.” See: Helps, Arthur.
Victoria, Queen. 31-Arthur Helps to Queen Victoria Cont’d.: “The object of the interview which was, of course, brought out with some hesitation, and at some length was practically to this effect:” Helps explained: “Mr. Peabody would find it very uncomfortable to him, and it would put him in an awkward position, to be asked, as he knew he should be asked perpetually, whether he had an interview with the Queen. He also thought and feared much that when he should reply in the negative, it might occasion some unpleasant remark, and might in some minds, diminish the affectionate respect with which Your Majesty is regarded in the United States.” Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 32-Arthur Helps to Queen Victoria Cont’d.: “He then suggested that a letter from Your Majesty might be useful.” Helps enclosed with his report to the Queen a draft of a letter which the Queen, if she decided to write GP, might use as a guide. This correspondence was reviewed by the Queen’s advisor Gen. Charles Grey (1804-70), who suggested a few changes. Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 33-Queen Victoria to GP, June 20, 1869. Queen Victoria’s June 20, 1869, letter to GP, her second letter written to him, reached GP in Salem, Mass. It read: “Windsor Castle, June 20, 1869. The Queen is very sorry that Mr. Peabody’s sudden departure has made it impossible for her to see him before he left England, and she is concerned to hear that he is gone in bad health.” Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 34-Queen Victoria to GP, June 20, 1869, Cont’d.: “She now writes him a line to express her hope that he may return to this country quite recovered, and that she may then have the opportunity, of which she has now been deprived, of seeing him and offering him her personal thanks for all he has done for the people. Queen Victoria.” The New York Times printed the Queen’s letter and added: “Queen Victoria has paid our great countryman a delicate and graceful compliment. Mr. Peabody left England unexpectedly, his departure known only to a few friends. His feeble health became known to the Queen through London newspapers. With her goodness of heart which Americans never fail to appreciate she sent him a personal letter.” Ref.: Ibid.
GP With Robert E. Lee in W. Va.
Victoria, Queen. 35-GP’s Last U.S. Visit, 1869, W.Va. Sick and five months from death GP saw his U.S. relatives, friends, and trustees for the last time. On June 29, 1869, he doubled his PEF to $2 million. Washington, D.C., business friend William Wilson Corcoran (1798-1888) urged GP to join him for rest and relaxation at White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Gathered there by chance during GP’s visit (July 23 to Aug. 30, 1869) were leading political, military, and educational leaders, including Gen. Robert E. Lee (1807-70), then president of Washington College, Lexington, Va. (renamed Washington and Lee Univ., 1871). See: persons named. Visits to the U.S. by GP. White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
Victoria, Queen. 36-GP’s Last U.S. Visit, 1869, W.Va. Cont’d. Publicity on his doubling the PEF to $2 million and his advanced age and ill-health made GP the center of affectionate attention. His presence and that of Robert E. Lee, both heroes and education advocates, led to informal talks on southern educational needs. These informal talks set the stage for the later important Four Conferences on Education in the South (1898-1901). Those conferences led in turn to other PEF-like but vastly wealthier foundations, all dedicated to uplifting the South through public education and health education. Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 37-GP and R.E. Lee in W.Va., 1869. It was the last summer of life for GP and next to the last summer of life for Robert E. Lee. They talked, walked arm in arm, ate together in the “Old White” public dining hall, were applauded, and were photographed (Aug. 12) with others. Resolutions of praise were publicly read to GP who rose painfully to express his gratitude. A Peabody Ball was held in his honor (Aug. 11) whose merrymaking he heard from his bungalow. GP and Lee departed together on the same train. Ref.: Ibid.
GP’s Last Hurrah
Victoria, Queen. 38-The Peabody Ball. Of GP’s presence and of the Peabody Ball historian Perceval Reniers, authority on the southern springs, wrote: “The affair that did most to revive their [the Southerners’] esteem was the Peabody Ball…[that] was given to honor the king of philanthropists, Mr. George Peabody, the Yankee-born millionaire of London. Everything was ripe for the Peabody Ball, everybody was ready for just such a climax, the background was a perfect build-up. Mr. Peabody appeared at just the right time and lived just long enough. A few months later it would not have been possible, for Mr. Peabody would be dead.” Ref.: Ibid. See: Reniers, Perceval.
Victoria, Queen. 39-GP to Queen Victoria, July 19, 1869. GP was in NYC when he dictated his July 19, 1869, reply to Queen Victoria’s June 20, 1869, letter to him. His letter read: “Madam, I have had the honor to receive the very kind [letter] which Your Majesty addressed to me from Windsor Castle on the 20th ultimo. Nothing could have afforded me greater satisfaction than such an expression of interest and regard from one whose character has commanded a homage far [greater] even than her own sovereignty, and for whom, in common with all Americans, whether residing at home or abroad, I have ever entertained so profound a respect.” Ref.: GP, NYC, to Queen Victoria, July 19, 1869, Royal Archives, L.18/32, Windsor Castle, England.
Victoria, Queen. 40-GP to Queen Victoria, July 19, 1869, Cont’d.: “I am most deeply sensible to the favor which Your Majesty has so signally exhibited, both now and heretofore, towards my humble efforts for ameliorating the condition of the Poor of London, and I pray Your Majesty to accept this feeble assurance of my heartfelt gratitude.” Ref.: GP, NYC, to Queen Victoria, July 19, 1869, Royal Archives, L.18/32, Windsor Castle, England. Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 41-GP to Queen Victoria, July 19, 1869, Cont’d.: “I am sorry to be obliged to say, in reply to Your Majesty’s most gracious expression of concern, that my health has not improved since I left England. I know not how soon I may be able to return there. “Should a kind Providence spare my life, and allow me once more to return to the land in which I have enjoyed so many happy and prosperous years, I shall esteem it the highest privilege to avail myself of Your Majesty’s permission to wait upon you in person and to renew the expression of my grateful acknowledgment of your thoughtful considerations and kindness. “I have the honor to be, Madam, With greatest respect[,] Your Majesty’s most humble subject [,] George Peabody[,] to the Queen Most Excellent Majesty.” GP shaky signature to this dictated reply to the Queen was barely legible. Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 42-Return to London. PEF trustees saw GP leave NYC aboard the Scotia on Sept. 29, 1869, for England. He reached Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland, Oct. 8, 1869, and hurried to London. Gravely ill, he rested at the home of long-time business friend Sir Curtis Miranda Lampson, 80 Eaton Sq., London. The London Anglo-American Times, Oct. 23, 1869, reported: “Mr. Peabody has been lying all week very ill at 80, Eaton Square…. There has been no improvement…. Every one, from the Queen downward, has been making inquiries about the eminent American philanthropist.” See: Death and Funeral, GP’s.
Victoria, Queen. 43-Invitation to Windsor Castle. Queen Victoria learned of GP’s return to London. Before she knew of his precarious condition, she asked her privy councilor Arthur Helps to invite GP to visit her at Windsor Castle. Helps transmitted the Queen’s message to Sir Curtis Lampson on Oct. 30: “‘Regarding Mr. Peabody, the Queen thinks the best way would be for her to ask him down to Windsor for one or two nights, where he could rest–and need not come to dinner, or any meals if he feels unequal to it; but where she could see him quietly at any time of the day most convenient to him.'” Ref.: Ibid.
GP’s Last Return to London
Victoria, Queen. 44-Invitation to Windsor Castle Cont’d. Helps added in his cover letter to Lampson: “You will be the best judge whether this should be mentioned to Mr. Peabody, and, if you think it should, will doubtless choose a favorable time for doing so.” Helps concluded with: “Hoping to hear a better account of our good friend’s health today….” Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 45-Death, Nov. 4, 1869. But it was too late. Newspaper health bulletins constituted a veritable death watch. Largely unconscious his last days, GP died Nov. 4, 1869, 11:30 P.M., at Lampson’s London home. His last will became public, requesting burial in Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem, Mass. Lampson telegraphed the sad news to GP’s sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell Daniels (1799-1879) whose son George Peabody Russell (1835-1909) left for England to convey the remains to the U.S. for burial. Ref.: Ibid.
GP Funeral Affected by Alabama Claims Angers
Victoria, Queen. 46-GP Died During Alabama Claims Angers. Letters descended on London newspaper editors demanding public honors for GP. Circumstances conspired to make British officials first and then U.S. officials outdo each other in an unprecedented 96-day transatlantic funeral. The immediate motive was sincere appreciation for GP’s philanthropy. A second more pervasive motive, important first to British, then to U.S. officials, was to ease angers over the then disputed Alabama Claims. Britain, officially neutral in the U.S. Civil War, had turned a blind eye to Confederate agents who secretly bought British-built ships, like the CSS Alabama, outfitted them with armor and guns and used them as Confederate raiders to sink Union ships with Union lives and treasure lost. U.S.-British angers, at near war intensity at GP’s death, needed to be softened. Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 47-Mounting British Honors. PM W.E. Gladstone (1809-98), after eulogizing GP in a public address on Nov. 9, 1869, ended with the statement: “With the country of Mr. Peabody we are not likely to quarrel.” Hearing of GP’s death, learning that his will requested burial near his hometown, Queen Victoria suggested returning his remains in a royal vessel. On Nov. 10, 1869, PM Gladstone’s cabinet approved HMS Monarch, Britain’s newest, largest warship, as funeral ship. Not to be outdone, U.S. officials felt they had to equal and even outdo British honors. Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 48-Transatlantic Funeral Overview. GP’s unprecedented transatlantic funeral included: (1)-Westminster Abbey funeral service (Nov. 12, 1869) and temporary burial there for 30 days (Nov. 12-Dec. 11, 1869). (2)-British cabinet decision (Nov. 10, 1869) to return GP’s remains for burial in the U.S. on HMS Monarch, somberly repainted as a funeral vessel, with a specially built mortuary chapel. (3)-U.S. decision to send the USS Plymouth from Marseilles, France, to accompany HMS Monarch to the U.S. (4)-Impressive transfer (Dec. 11, 1869) of GP’s remains from London’s Westminster Abbey to Portsmouth dock, and from Portsmouth dock to the Monarch. Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 49-Transatlantic Funeral Overview Cont’d. (5)-HMS Monarch and the USS Plymouth‘s transatlantic voyage (Dec. 21, 1869-Jan. 25, 1870) from Spithead near Portsmouth, past Ushant, France, to Madeira island off Portugal, to Bermuda, and north to Portland, Me. (6)-Adm. David Glasgow Farragut (1801-70) in command of a U.S. Naval flotilla to meet the Monarch in Portland harbor, Me. (Jan. 25, 1870). (7)-The Monarch captain’s request, on behalf of Queen Victoria, that the coffin remain aboard for two days as a final mark of respect, while Portlanders viewed the coffin in the ship’s mortuary chapel (Jan. 27-28, 1870). Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 50-Transatlantic Funeral Overview Cont’d. (8)-Lying in state of remains in Portland City Hall (Jan. 29-Feb. 1, 1870). (9)-Special funeral train from Portland, Me., to Peabody, Mass. (Feb. 1, 1870). (10)-Lying in state of remains at the Peabody Institute Library (Feb. 1-8, 1870). 11-Robert Charles Winthrop’s funeral eulogy, South Congregational Church, Peabody, Mass., attended by several governors, mayors, Queen Victoria’s son Prince Arthur, and other notables (Feb. 8, 1870). (12)-Final burial ceremony at Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem, Mass. (Feb. 8, 1870). Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 51-The Queen’s Involvement in GP’s Funeral. GP funeral researcher Allen Howard Welch’s article stated: “The Queen, in fact, was personally grieved, and it was her own request that a man-of-war be employed to return Peabody to his homeland.” HMS Monarch, with GP’s remains aboard, and its escort, USS Plymouth, were kept at Spithead near Portsmouth, England, by blowing gales during Dec. 12-20, 1869. On Dec. 18, 1869, 1:00 P.M., the royal yacht Albert with Queen Victoria aboard passed Spithead to view the funeral ships. USS Plymouth saluted with 21 guns and raised the British ensign. Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 52-Congress Orders a U.S. Naval Flotilla to Receive GP’s Remains at U.S. Landing Port. The Queen’s name was used in U.S. House Resolution No. 96, passed in the Senate, Dec. 23, 1869, signed into law by Pres. Grant, which read in part: “Whereas, in the death of George Peabody…our country and the world have sustained [great] loss…. “And whereas the Queen of Great Britain, the authorities of London, and the Emperor of France have made extraordinary provision for the transfer of his remains to his native land; therefore, “It is resolved…[that] the President was authorized to order as many ships as were convenient to meet at sea the European convoy conducting George Peabody’s remains home.” Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 53-Portland, Me. Receiving Port. In solemn proceedings at the U.S. receiving port, Portland, Maine’s Gov. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (1828-1914) accepted GP’s remains from HMS Monarch‘s Capt. John E. Commerell (1829-1901). Gov. Chamberlain said: “I receive this sacred trust and express the appreciation of the American people for the tender honors with which the Queen of England restored to its native land this precious dust. England honored this man while he lived. When he ceased, she laid him with her Kings. You return without him but you bear a nation’s gratitude, reverence, and love.” Ref.: Ibid.
Prince Arthur at GP’s Funeral
Victoria, Queen. 54-Prince Arthur at GP’s Funeral. Queen Victoria’s son Prince Arthur’s presence (William Patrick Albert Arthur, 1850-1942, Duke of Connaught) added a dramatic royal touch to GP’s final funeral and eulogy in Peabody, Mass., on Feb. 8, 1870. Prince Arthur was on a Canadian tour when in mid-Nov. 1869 British Ambassador to the U.S. Sir Edward Thornton (1817-1906) received Queen Victoria’s approval for Prince Arthur to visit the U.S. Prince Arthur left Montreal, Canada, on Jan. 20, 1870, went to Washington, D.C., where he met Pres. U.S. Grant, and was in NYC on Jan. 29, 1870. Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 55-Prince Arthur at GP’s Funeral Cont’d. A Jan. 27, 1870, letter from the Prince’s military aide, Lt. Col. Howard Cawfurd Elphinestone (1829-90, later Sir), to Queen Victoria’s advisor in England, contained the first mention of Prince Arthur’s attendance at GP’s funeral: “Should Mr. Peabody’s funeral take place soon after that, Col. Elphinestone thought it would be a gracious act on the part of the Prince to attend.” Prince Arthur left NYC on Feb. 5, 1870, for Boston and left Boston on Feb. 8 for Peabody, Mass. The presence of British Ambassador Thornton, Prince Arthur, and the prince’s retinue at the funeral service and at PEF trustee Pres. Robert Charles Winthrop’s funeral eulogy attracted wide favorable press coverage. Ref.: [Elphinestone, Howard Cawfurd]. See: Death and Funeral, GP’s.
Victoria, Queen. 56-British Officials Outnumbered U.S. Officials. Episcopal Bishop C.P. McIlvaine and PEF trustee Pres. R.C. Winthrop expressed concern that British officials far outnumbered U.S. officials at GP’s final Feb. 8, 1870, funeral service and eulogy in Peabody, Mass. The Monarch‘s officers were honored and dined in Portland, Me., and in Annapolis, Md., but were not invited officially to Washington, D.C. Noting this inattention from the U.S. president, cabinet, and Congress led a perceptive writer on GP’s funeral to conclude with the plaintive statement: “The coldness at the White House remained substantially unthawed by Queen Victoria’s efforts to send a private American citizen back to his homeland in ‘an almost royal state.'” Ref.: Ibid.
Victoria, Queen. 57-GP Centennial, Feb. 18, 1895. Twenty-five years later, the Queen, then age 76 and in the 58th year of her reign, remembered GP on his 100th birthday. She had become queen in 1837, the year GP went permanently to London. Her cablegram, sent to the GP Centennial Celebration Committee, Peabody, Mass., Feb. 18, 1895, read: “On this, the hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Peabody, the grateful remembrance of him and of his noble munificent deeds of charity in this country, is fresh in my heart and in that of my people.” See: GP Centennial Celebration (Feb. 18, 1795-1895).
GP’s Gift to R.E. Lee’s College
Virginia Bonds, GP’s. 1-Gift to Lee’s College. In Aug. 1869, GP gave to Gen. Robert E. Lee’s (1807-70) Washington College (see entry below) a gift of Va. bonds to be used for a mathematics professorship. Background: On the foggy night of Sept. 27, 1854, the Collins Line steamship Arctic collided with the smaller French ship Vesta 20 miles off Cape Race, Newfoundland. Of the 408 passengers aboard the Arctic, 322 drowned. Lost on the Arctic were GP’s Va. bonds worth $35,000. After waiting for years for Va. to redeem the lost bonds, GP presented their value with accrued interest in Aug. 1869 as a gift for a mathematics professorship to Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Washington College (renamed Washington and Lee Univ. in 1871), Lexington, Va. See: persons, ships, and institutions named.
Virginia bonds. 2-Bonds Redeemed. In 1883, the state of Va. honored the value of these bonds with accrued interest and gave the univ. GP’s gift in the amount of $60,000. R.E. Lee’s biographer C.B. Flood thus wryly described GP’s gift of these lost Va. bonds: “It was generosity with a touch of Yankee shrewdness: you Southerners go fight it out among yourselves. If General Lee can’t get [this lost bond money] out of the Virginia legislature, nobody can.” Ref.: Ibid. Flood, pp. 215-216.
Virginia General Assembly. There was an unsuccessful attempt in February l896 in the Virginia House and Senate by State Sen. William Lovenstein to place a statue of GP in Statuary Hall, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Capitol Bldg., Washington, D.C. See: Lovenstein, William. Honors, GP’s, in Life and after Death (in chronological order).
Visiting card photos of GP (Carte de Visite). See: Peabody, George (1795-1869), Illustrations.
GP’s Visits to Canada
Visits to Canada by GP. 1-Toronto & Montreal, 1856 and 1857. During his Sept. 15, 1856, to Aug. 19, 1857, U.S. visit, his first return in nearly 20 years since leaving for England in Feb., 1837, GP visited Toronto and Montreal, Canada, Oct. 15 to Nov. l, 1856. He suffered gout attacks on this visit. On May 29, 1857, he was in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. See: cities named.
Visits to Canada by GP. 2-Montreal, July 1866. GP visited Montreal, Canada, again in early July 1866 during his May 1, 1866-May 1, 1867, U.S. visit. That year, 1866-67, his 17 philanthropic gifts totaled $2,310,450. Sometimes ill, wanting seclusion before attending the opening of the PIB, Oct. 25, 1867, he went to Montreal, Canada, to rest and to fish. John Gregory Smith (1818-91), former Vt. governor (1863-65), arranged GP’s travel on a special railway car on the Vermont Central Line.
Visits to Canada by GP. 3-Montreal, July 1866 Cont’d. GP was greeted on arrival in Bonaventure Station, Montreal, July 7, 1866, and greeted again at the St. Lawrence Hotel. On Sunday, July 8, 1866, he attended Christ Church Cathedral and in the evening the Church of the Messiah (Unitarian). To accommodate Canadians who wanted to meet and speak with him he held a public levee (open house), talking longest with Canadian MP from Russell, Ontario, Robert Bell (1821-73) about public affairs, Anglo-American relations, and Queen Victoria’s gift to him of her portrait, being specially prepared, which he received in Washington, D.C., in March 1867. See: persons named. Visits to the U.S. by GP.
Visits to Canada by GP. 4-Salmon Fishing, Marguerite River. GP left Montreal, Monday, July 9, 1866, for the Saguenay River on the steamer Quebec which flew the U.S. flag in his honor. He enjoyed 12 days of salmon fishing on a Marguerite River stream reserved for him by a friend, Alexander Urquart. Out of 12 days in the fishing lodge, he slept under a tent l0 nights. Ref.: GP, Clayton, NY, to Horatio Gates Somerby, July 23, 1866, Somerby Papers, Mass. Historical Society. Montreal Gazette (Montreal, Canada), July 10, 1866, p. 4, c. 5. London Times, July 17, 1866, p. 10, c. 1, and Aug. 2, 1866, p. 9, c. 2. New York Herald, July 9, 1866, p. 4, c. 6; July 10, 1866, p. 4, c. 6; July 11, 1866, p. 4, c. 6; and July 22, 1866, p. 11, c. 6. NYC Albion, July 14, 1866, p. 332, c. 1.
GP’s Visits to Europe
Visits to Europe by GP. 1-Five Commercial Buying Trips. GP made five commercial buying trips from the U.S. to Europe: a-Nov. 1, 1827 through Aug. 1828 (nine months). b-April 1830 to Aug. 1831 (15 months). c-May 1, 1832, to May 11, 1834 (two years). d-Aug. 1835 to July 1836 (one year). e-From early Feb. 1837, to his death in London on Nov. 4, 1869 (for 32 years), GP lived in London, as head of George Peabody & Co. (1838-64), and thereafter as an American resident in London, except for three U.S. visits: a-Sept. 15, 1856, to Aug. 19, 1857 (nearly a year), b-May 1, 1866, to May 1, 1867 (exactly a year), and lastly c-June 8-Sept. 29, 1869 (four months).
Visits to Europe by GP. 2-First European Trip: 1827-28 (nine months). In the fall of 1827, while GP was junior partner in Riggs, Peabody & Co. (1814-29), he saw an opportunity to negotiate the sale of a crop of southern cotton in Lancashire, England and, while in England, to locate, purchase, and ship to his warehouses salable prints, woolens, linens, and other dry goods. He secured a passport dated Oct. 22, 1827. As he packed for his first transatlantic crossing (left Nov. 1, 1827, returned Aug. 1828) he took with him gifts of a Bible, an Isaac Watts Hymnal, and the accompanying letter marked “Baltimore Oct. 26, 1827,” from Mary Elizabeth Shaw and Anna Marie Shaw. The girls, believed to be the daughters of a Baltimore business friend, gave him the volumes. Ref.: (Bible & Isaac Watts Hymnal gifts): Mary Elizabeth and Anna Marie Shaw, Baltimore, to GP, Oct. 26, 1827, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Visits to Europe by GP. 3-First European Trip: 1827-28 Cont’d. GP left NYC, Nov. 1, 1827, on a packet ship, Florida, with 20 passengers aboard. He landed in Liverpool, England, 25 days later, Nov. 25, 1827, ill from seasickness, greatly weakened, and having lost considerable weight. He suffered the worst seasickness on this the first of his five voyages to England, 1827-37, and subsequent three crossings from England to visit the U.S.: Sept. 15, 1856 to Aug. 19, 1857; May 1, 1866 to May 1, 1867; and June 8 to Sept. 29, 1869. Ref.: GP, NYC, to sister Mrs. Mary Gaines (née Peabody) Marsh, Nov. 1, 1827, Peabody Papers, Yale Univ. Ref.: GP, Liverpool, to Riggs, Peabody & Co., Nov. 26, 1827, Peabody Papers, Rare Book Room, Ms. Collection, Boston Public Library.
Visits to Europe by GP. 4-First European Trip: 1827-28 Cont’d. On this his first nine-month commercial buying trip to Europe GP wrote of poverty he saw in rural Ireland. On April 16, 1828, he wrote to his sister Sophronia Peabody (b.1809): “As soon as you leave this city [Dublin] the inhabitants of the smaller towns and villages are in the most deplorable state of Poverty and wretchedness. It was not unusual, on leaving a public house in a country town, to be [surrounded] by 20 or 30 beggars at a time, which always excited in my mind feelings of congratulations, that I lived in a country where such things are unknown, but where industry and economy never fail to procure the comforts of life.” Ref.: GP, Paris, to Sophronia Peabody, April 16, 1828, quoted in Schuchert and LeVene, pp. 70-71. See: Dublin, Ireland. Ireland.
Visits to Europe by GP. 5-Second European Trip: 1830-31. In a lengthy Aug. 25, 1831, letter to sister Judith Dodge Peabody (1799-1879), GP described His second commercial trip to Europe during April 1830 to Aug. 1831 (15 months). He went with a traveling companion (name not known) by carriage and with frequent change of horses, he covered 10,000 miles in England, France, Italy, and Switzerland. See: Daniels, Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell.
Visits to Europe by GP. 6-Third European Trip: 1832-34. GP’s third commercial trip to Europe was made during May 1, 1832, to May 11, 1834, two years. When GP died (Nov. 4, 1869) his obituary in the London Morning Herald stated that he first came to England in 1837. To correct this error, A Mr. M.J. Powell wrote to the editor of the Morning Herald to say that he had seen GP in Manchester in 1832 and remembered his good face, kind manner, and the good impression GP had made on him. GP was then on his third European trip. Of GP’s fourth European trip: Aug. 1835 to July 1836, little is known.
Visits to Europe by GP. 7-Fifth European Trip: Feb. 1837. On his fifth trip abroad, beginning early Feb. 1837, GP went as one of three agents to sell Md.’s $8 million in bonds abroad to finance the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal part of Md.’s internal improvements. In the Panic of 1837 the other two agents were unsuccessful and soon returned to the U.S. GP remained in London for the rest of his life (1837-69), 32 years, except for three U.S. visits. See: Md.’s $8 Million Bond Sale Abroad and GP.
Visits to Europe by GP. 8-Fifth European Trip: Feb. 1837 Cont’d. GP eventually sold in London his portion of Md.’s bonds, made a transition from merchant to securities broker to international banker, established George Peabody & Co. in London (Dec. 1838-Oct. l, 1864), took as partner on Oct. 1, 1854, Boston merchant Junius Spencer Morgan (1813-90), whose son John Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) began his international banking career as NYC agent of George Peabody & Co. Ref.: Morning Herald (London), Nov. 5, 1869, p. 4. c. 5-6, and Nov. 8, 1869, p. 3, c. 4.
Visits to Europe by GP. 9-Nice, France, and Florence, Italy, Feb.-Mar. 1863. GP was in Nice, France, Feb. 1863; and in Florence, Italy, March 1863, he sat for his bust being made at U.S. sculptor Hiram Powers’ (1805-73) studio in Florence. See: Powers, Hiram.
Visits to Rome and Paris by GP, 1868. 1-Audience with the Pope. With philanthropic advisor Robert Charles Winthrop (1809-94) GP visited Rome, Italy, Feb. 19-28, 1868, had an audience with Pope Pius IX (1792-1878), and soon after gave a $19,300 gift to the Vatican’s charitable San Spirito Hospital, Rome, through Cardinal Giacomo Antonelli (1806-76). See: persons and hospital named.
Visits to Rome and Paris by GP, 1868. 2-Visit with G. Eustis. GP and Winthrop then went to Cannes, France, where about March 16, 1868, GP visited the family of George Eustis (1828-72), William Wilson Corcoran’s son-in-law (Corcoran’s only child, a daughter, Louise Morris née Corcoran Eustis, died three months before, Dec. 4, 1867). See: persons named.
Visits to Rome and Paris by GP, 1868. 3-Received at the French Court. GP and Winthrop then went to Paris, France, where GP was introduced at the court of Napoleon III (Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, 1808-73) and the Empress Eugénie (1826-1920). See: persons named.
GP’s Three Visits to the U.S.
Visits to the U.S. by GP. 1-Overview. After Feb. 1837 GP remained in London and made three U.S. visits: a-Sept. 15, 1856, to Aug. 19, 1857 (nearly a year), b-May 1, 1866, to May 1, 1867 (exactly a year), and lastly c-June 8 to Sept. 29, 1869 (four months). For GP, frequently ill with crippling gout, these three U.S. visits were busy seeing family, friends, consulting advisors on philanthropic plans and gifts, and observing socio-political-economic conditions with a merchant’s eye and an investment banker’s mind. (Note: at end of each unit below, see: listing(s) indicate where fuller accounts with refs. may be found. Where relevant, See: persons, places, and institutions mentioned).
GP’s 1 st U.S. Visit: Sept. 15, 1856, to Aug. 19, 1857
Visits to the U.S. by GP. 2-Met by Delegations. GP first returned to the U.S. after nearly 20 years’ absence as a London banker (Sept. 15, 1856 to Aug. 19, 1857). He was greeted on arrival, NYC, on the Atlantic, Sept. 15, 1856, by NYC, Boston, and South and North Danvers delegations. His sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell (1799-1879) had written him not to accept public dinners before the Oct. 9, 1856, public affair planned for him by his hometown friends. South Danvers, Mass., people, she wrote, had voted $3,000 for a public welcome for him and they “will be extremely disappointed if they do not do much more than anybody else and do it first. They are tenacious of their right to you.” Ref.: New York Daily Times, Sept. 16, 1856, p. 4, c. 4. New York Herald, Sept. 16, 1856, p. 3, c. 6. Ref.: Mrs. Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell to GP, Sept. 10 and 22, 1856, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 3-Declined NYC Dinner. GP declined a proposed NYC public dinner offered by author Washington Irving (1783-1859), Edward Cunard (1816-69), August Belmont (1816-90), and others. He explained that he had promised this honor to citizens of his hometown of South Danvers. He said to the NYC greeters: “Like Rip Van Wrinkle I stare amazed at the changes before my eyes.” The New York Herald, Sept. 16, 1856, greeted him with: “He returns to his native country after an absence of about 20 years.” He stayed at the St. Nicholas Hotel, NYC. Ref.: (Declined NYC public dinner): New York Daily Times, Sept. 24, 1856, p. 1, c. 5.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 4-Newport to Providence, R.I. to Georgetown, Mass. On Sept. 18-19, 1856, GP visited business friend William Shepard Wetmore (1802-62) in Newport, R.I. During Sept. 20-Oct. 9 he went from Newport, R.I., to Providence, R.I., to Georgetown, Mass., to be with his sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell and her family.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 5-Newburyport, Mass. On Oct. 2 he visited the Essex County Agricultural Fair, Newburyport, Mass., where he recognized and greeted merchant and former mayor Moses Davenport (1806-61). A man stepping from the crowd said to GP: you don’t know me. Shaking the man’s hand GP replied, “Yes, I do, Prescott Spaulding [1781-1864],” explaining to all that this was the Newburyport merchant who stood surety for his first $2,000 goods on consignment from Boston merchant James Reed in early 1812 when at age 17 he left Newburyport, Mass., with paternal uncle John Peabody (1768-before 1826) to open a store in Georgetown, D.C., May 15, 1812. Ref.: Daily Herald (Newburyport, Mass.), Oct. 7, 1856, p. 1, c. 2. Currier, II, p. 406. See: Davenport, Moses.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 6-Oct. 9, 1856, GP Celebration, S. Danvers. On Oct. 9 GP went from Georgetown, Mass., by carriage with sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell and her son, George Peabody Russell (1835-1909), to their gaily decorated hometown of South Danvers, Mass. At the Maple St. Church from which flags flew, GP was greeted by a gun salute and shook hands with the committee on arrangements. He was greeted by crowds of over 20,000 people, amid bands playing and marching school children. The welcoming address was by Alfred Amos Abbott (1820-84). See: South Danvers, Mass., Oct. 9, 1856, GP Celebration.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 7-Oct. 9, 1856, GP Celebration, S. Danvers Cont’d. Later, GP told 1,500 dinner guests, including Edward Everett (1794-1865), U.S. Minister to Britain during 1841-45: “Heaven has been pleased to reward my efforts with success, and has permitted me to establish…a house in a great metropolis of England…. I have endeavored…to make it an American house; to furnish it with American journals; to make it a center for American news, and an agreeable place for my American friends visiting England.” Ref.: Ibid.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 8-Canada and Ohio. In mid October GP visited Toronto and Montreal, Canada. He suffered gout attacks in Canada. During Oct. 21 to Nov. 3, 1856, he was in Zanesville, Ohio, with his younger brother Jeremiah Peabody’s (1805-77) family, and in Cleveland to visit Episcopal Bishop of Ohio Charles Pettit McIlvaine (1799-1873). He spent election night, Nov. 4, 1856, with former U.S. Pres. Millard Fillmore (1800-74) in Buffalo, N.Y. See: persons named
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 9-Nov. 7-Dec. 24, 1856. During Nov. 7-24, 1856, he was confined to bed with boils on his knees at NYC’s St. Nicholas Hotel. He spent Thanksgiving, Nov. 25 to Dec. 4, 1856, in Georgetown, Mass., with his sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell. During Dec. 5-11, 1856, he visited his sister, Sophronia Phelps (née Peabody) Little (b.1809) and family in Pembroke, N.H. 7-In Boston during Dec. 23-24, 1856, he met with Edward Everett (1794-1865), Mass. Gov. Henry J. Gardner (1818-92), Boston Mayor Alexander Hamilton Rice (1818-95), and historian John Lothrop Motley (1814-77). Ref.: Ibid.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 10-Late Dec. 1856-Feb. 14, 1857. In late Dec. 1856 to Jan. 9, 1857, GP spent three days in Providence, R.I; one day in Hartford, Conn.; and 12 days in NYC. He was in Philadelphia during Jan. 10-18, 1857, was entertained in Baltimore Jan. 26 to Feb. 14, 1857, with receptions at the Md. Historical Society (Jan. 30) and the Md. Institute for the Promotion of Mechanic Arts (Feb. 2). See: cities, persons, and organizations named.
Visits, U.S. 1856-57. 11-Baltimore 1857. GP attended several private dinners in Baltimore. He planned his Feb. 12, 1857, letter founding the PIB with PIB trustees John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870), William Edwards Mayhew (1781-1860), and Charles James Madison Eaton (1808-93). Ref.: Ibid.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 12-War of 1812 Land Bounty. In Washington, D.C., during Feb. 14-23, 1857, he visited William Wilson Corcoran (1798-1888). With the help of Corcoran’s colleague, Anthony Hyde, a justice of the peace, GP prepared affidavits to apply for a land bounty War of 1812 veterans were entitled to by Act of Congress, March 3, 1855. The application requested the land bounty as a memento and not for profit. See: War of 1812.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 13-March-April 1857 Tour. GP’s motive for his 1856-57 U.S. visit, besides seeing relatives and friends and founding the PIB (Feb. 12, 1857), was also as an investment banker to observe recent growth in the U.S. South and West. Declining public dinners, his March-April 1857 itinerary took him to (1) Charleston, S.C., March 7, 1857, then by water on the steamer Le Grande to (2) Augusta, Ga., March 9, to (3) Mobile, Ala., March 15-18, where he stayed at the Battle House for a few days to recover from illness. See: Augusta, Ga.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 14-March-April 1857 Tour Cont’d. From Mobile, Ala. he went to (4) New Orleans, La., on March 19-23, where he stayed at the St. Charles Hotel, declined a public dinner but attended a private dinner, and was made a Chamber of Commerce member. He was in (5) Cairo, Ill., on March 30, in (6) St. Louis, Mo., on April 3, where he attended a Chamber of Commerce reception; in (7) Terre Haute, Ind., and (8) Indianapolis, Ind., on April 7, where he stayed with Ind. Gov. Ashbel P. Willard (1820-60). Ref.: Ibid.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 15-March-April 1857 Tour Cont’d. On April 10, he was received at the (9) Indianapolis Merchants Exchange, (10) went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he again declined a public dinner but received and acknowledged resolutions of praise. In (11) Pittsburgh, Penn., during April 14-16, he stayed with Capt. and Mrs. Edward W. H. Schenley (1798-1878) and attended a large private dinner. On April 25 he was in (12) Oswego, N.Y., joined by Vt.-born but naturalized British business friend Curtis Miranda Lampson (1806-85). See: persons mentioned. Ref.: Ibid. (For Pittsburgh, Penn., visit, See: Ref.: Pittsburgh, Pa., Evening Chronicle, April 14, 1857, p. 1, c. 1-3.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 16-March-April 1857 Tour Cont’d. GP was back in (13) Baltimore, May 20, ill with rheumatism in his feet. On May 25 he was in (l4) Georgetown, Mass., with sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell. On May 28 he visited the Thomas Shaw family in (15) Portland, Me., and on May 29 was in (16) Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada; on July 16 in (17) Concord, N.H. On Aug. 10, 1857, he was in (18) Newport, R.I., where William Shepard Wetmore (1802-62) gave an elaborate farewell banquet, said to be the greatest entertainment fashionable Newport had Seen to that time. Nine days later GP departed NYC (Aug. 19, 1957) on the Persia for England. The hectic 1856-57 visit, his first return to the U.S. in nearly 20 years abroad was over. Ref.: Ibid.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 17-Hostile-N.Y. Herald, Oct. 3, 1856, p. 4, c. 3. Press reports of GP’s 1856-57 U.S. visit were mainly laudatory except for hostility in editor James Gordon Bennett’s (1795-1872) New York Herald. The Herald‘s coverage of GP’s arrival was fair and objective but soon became sarcastic and hostile. The Oct. 3, 1856, Herald article, titled “Taking the Starch Out of Him,” read: “For 20 years in London he has been in grand entertainments with high society, much publicized. In one month after Mr. Peabody arrived here, we have taken the starch out of him, and made him quite a respectable person. We shall send him back to John Bull quite a different man.”
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 18-N.Y. Herald, Oct. 6, 1856, p. 4, c. 6: “…the purer air of this country is taking silly notions from Americans corrupted abroad. We wish his dinners, balls, feasts in Richmond Hill [in greater London] had been conducted with equal modesty and propriety. Had he done this he would not be the jest of London and the sorrow of thinking people here. But he grows wiser as he grows older.” The Herald of Oct. 10, 1856, p. 1, c. 4-6, and p. 8, covering the Oct. 9, 1856, GP celebration in South Danvers, had unusually large coverage, three columns on page 1 and continued inside, costing, the article writer complained, between $200 and $300 in telegraph bills.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 19-N.Y. Herald, Oct. 11, 1856, p. 4, c. 3: “Last spring we [James Gordon Bennett] were in London and received one of the first invitations to Mr. Peabody’s entertainment at Richmond Hill on River Thames at which were Americans, a few silly baronets, and a noodle of a Lord. Ex-President Fillmore and W. W. Corcoran were there. We could not accept it, because about that time [we] were busy with Lord Palmerston and Lord Clarendon; but we have now the pleasure of returning the generous, though sometimes silly, Peabody.”
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 20-N.Y. Herald-, Oct. 11, 1856, p. 4, c. 3 Cont’d.: The sarcasm in the article continued: “Besides conferring on Danvers the favor of being born there, he gave thirty or forty thousand dollars for a lyceum. Peter Cooper gave a larger sum of $200,000 yet New York never made such a fuss over him as Danvers over George Peabody. His speech was good. He did not break down as he does in London, which shows he has acquired more strength in his backbone and more continuity in eloquence….”
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 21-N.Y. Herald-, Oct. 13, 1856, p. 4, c. 4: “The philosophy of Mr. Peabody’s dinners is that he who gives the finest dinners to his customers makes the most money. Being a shrewd Yankee George Peabody does his own drumming, banquets his customers and their friends, sprinkles in a lord or two, a knight or baronet, sometimes a hungry member of Parliament. Inferior speeches and toasts do not matter as long as the turtle is good and the champagne sparkling. The immense sum spent for this purpose, to advertise the house of Peabody and bring trade to the shop, brings a hundred-fold return. The idea that his dinners had the least influence on Anglo-American diplomatic relations is so amusing that Edward Everett had to laugh when his speech touched upon it.”
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 22–N.Y. Herald- Cont’d. One of GP’s newspaper friends, F.C. Adams, called on Herald- editor James Gordon Bennett and took him to task for the scurrilous articles. Bennett stopped for awhile. GP’s cousin, Joseph Peabody, in NYC, irate over the Herald-‘s slurs, sent GP this explanation: “I exceedingly regret that your pleasure in this country should be marred by the wretched leaders in the ‘Herald.’ You certainly have given no occasion for their remarks which disgust everybody with their wanton unreasonableness.” Ref. F.C. Adams to GP, Nov. 5, 1856, and Joseph Peabody, NYC, to GP, Montreal, Canada, Oct. 18, 1856, both in Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 23-Cousin Joseph Peabody to GP on Bennett’s Hostility. “I fear that any attempt to influence Bennett would make the matter ten times worse. He knows better than anybody that you never invited him to the Fillmore dinner, he also knows that he was not in England at the time, so he published this falsehood expressly to provoke a reply….It seems to be well known in this community that he makes it a system to attack some prominent person, it matters little who that person may be!…as regards the ‘Herald,’ it is even better to be abused than be praised by such a rascal as Bennett.” Ref.: Ibid.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 24-N.Y. Herald Cont’d. Bennett’s Herald continued to ridicule GP long after his return to London (end of Aug. 1857), particularly GP’s July 22, 1858, dinner at the Star and Garter, Richmond Hill, London. That dinner, attended by 30 Briton and 60 Americans, had as guest of honor U.S. Minister to France John Young Mason (1799-1859). Other guests included Baltimorean John Pendleton Kennedy and New York Times editor Henry Jarvis Raymond (1820-69). Ref.: New York Herald, Aug. 15, 1858. For Herald editor Bennett’s charge of George Peabody & Co. difficulties in the Panic of 1857, see: Morgan, Junius Spencer.
Visits, U.S., 1856-57. 25-N.Y. Herald Cont’d. Bennett’s criticism of GP’s July 22, 1858, London dinner is best seen through the private journal entry of U.S. Legation in London Secty. Benjamin Moran (1820-86), also antagonistic to GP. Moran wrote: “The New York Herald of the 15th inst. just at hand has an article ridiculing Peabody’s dinner to old Mason at Richmond on the 29th of July [July 22, Moran’s error], and very properly says Peabody is not admitted to good Society here, that the titled snobs who sit at his table are merely nobodies & only go for a dinner, & that any nobleman would consider himself insulted to receive an invitation to dine at a tavern. This is a sore cut to the old fool.” See: Moran, Benjamin.
Visits, U.S., 1866-67. 26-Bennett’s N.Y. Herald Characterized. A recent respected author wrote that “The Herald was the spiciest paper in America, laced with sex, scandal, and James Gordon Bennett’s erratic opinions…. Bennett was sinful and unscrupulous…. Gideon Welles [1802-78, Lincoln’s Navy Secty.] despised him…as ‘an editor without character whose whims are often wickedly and atrociously leveled against the best man and the best causes, regardless of honor and right.'” Ref.: Waugh, pp. 138-139.
GP’s 2nd U.S. Visit: May 1, 1866, to May 1, 1867
Visits, U.S., 1866-67. 27-Georgetown and Boston, Mass: Ten years later on his second U.S. visit GP arrived in NYC on the Scotia, May 1, 1866. On May 3, 1866, he went to Georgetown, Mass., to visit his sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Daniels and family (Judith’s first husband Jeremiah Russell died May 2, 1860; she married Robert Shillaber Daniels in 1862). On May 8, 1866, to soften differences that had developed, GP humbly wrote to the Md. Historical Society trustees to ask their withdrawal from PIB administration. On May 9, 1866, he consulted with advisor Robert Charles Winthrop on philanthropic plans (he also consulted with Winthrop in June, Sept., and Oct. 1866). On May 25, 1866, 50 Boston officials and merchants invited him to a public dinner, which he declined.
Visits, U.S., 1866-67. 28-Memorial Church, Georgetown, Mass. On June 19, 1866, ground was broken for the Memorial Church, Georgetown, Mass., costing $70,000, GP was having built in memory of his mother, born in Georgetown when it was named Rowley. His sister Judith lived there. He also gave $30,000 for a Peabody Institute Library of Georgetown, Mass. On June 29, 1866, he consulted with John Pendleton Kennedy in NYC on the PIB inauguration scheduled for Oct. 26-27. On July 7-22, 1866, he visited in Montreal, Canada; traveled on the Saguenay River, and fished for salmon on the Marguerite River.
Visits, U.S., 1866-67. 29-In Massachusetts. On Sept. 19, 1866, he laid the cornerstone of the Memorial Church and library in Georgetown, Mass., in his mother’s name. On Sept. 22, 1866, he added $100,000 to his first Peabody Institute Library, South Danvers, Mass. (renamed Peabody April 13, 1868), founded June 16, 1852, total gift $217,600.
Visits, U.S., 1866-67. 30-Peabody Museums, Harvard & Yale. On Oct. 1, 1866, Harvard Univ. scientist Louis Agassiz (1807-73) proposed, through Robert Charles Winthrop, that GP finance a science publication series. GP’s letter of Oct. 8, 1866, was read donating $150,000 to establish the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard Univ. On Oct. 15, 1866, GP spoke to South Danvers, Mass., schoolchildren. On Oct. 19, 1866, he added $500,000 to the PIB, founded Feb. 12, 1857, total gift $1.4 million. GP’s letter of Oct. 22, 1866, was read donating $150,000 to establish the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale Univ. He left NYC Oct. 22, 1866, stopped in Philadelphia on Oct. 23 where some PIB trustees met him and described PIB dedication arrangements.
Visits, U.S., 1866-67. 31-Baltimore 1866. On Wednesday morning, Oct. 24, 1866, in a special railway car arranged by B&O RR Pres. John Work Garrett (1820-84), GP and guests left Philadelphia on the Philadelphia & Wilmington RR, with a brief stop at Havre-de-Grace near the Susquehanna River. He was joined on the train at Havre-de-Grace by PIB trustees George Nathaniel Eaton (1811-74), Enoch Pratt (1808-96), George Washington Dobbin (1809-91), and others who escorted GP and guests into Baltimore.
Visits, U.S., 1866-67. 32-Baltimore 1866 Cont’d. In Baltimore, Oct. 24, 1866, Mayor John Lee Chapman (1812-80) and city council members greeted GP and his guests. These guests included Charles Macalester (1798-1873) of Philadelphia, Capt. Charles H.E. Judkins of the Scotia, GP’s nephew George Peabody Russell and wife, nephew Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-99), and George Peabody Wetmore (1846-1921) of Newport, R.I. (later R.I. governor, 1885-87, and U.S. senator. 1895-1913); and some PIB trustees. They were taken by carriage to Barnum’s City Hotel, guests of the city (GP had lived at Barnum’s from its opening [about 1836] until his departure for London in Feb. 1837). See: persons, cities, institutions named.
Visits, U.S., 1866-67. 33-Baltimore 1866 Cont’d. GP spoke at the dedication of the PIB on Oct. 25, 1866. On Oct. 26, 1866, standing on the PIB steps he was greeted by 20,000 marching Baltimore schoolchildren. On Oct. 27, 1866, he shook hands with 3,000 to 4,000 Baltimoreans. He attended First Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, on Oct. 28, 1866. On Oct. 30, 1866, he visited B&O RR Pres. John Work Garrett’s home near Baltimore, Md. He added $40,000 to the Peabody Institute Library, North Danvers, Mass., and gave $25,000 to Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., for a professorship of mathematics and natural science. See: Eaton, Charles James Madison.
Visits, U.S., 1866-67. 34-Nov. 1866. During Nov. 2-10, 1866, GP was in Zanesville, Ohio, visiting relatives. On Nov. 5, 1866, he gave a $20,000 publication fund to the Md. Historical Society, Baltimore. On Nov. 6, 1866, he gave $25,000 to Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, for a professorship of mathematics and civil engineering. During Nov. 12-13, 1866, he was with John Work Garrett in Md., was in Philadelphia during Nov. 15-16, 1866, and in NYC and Mass. during Nov. 19-27, 1866.
Visits, U.S., 1866-67. 35-Dec. 1866-Feb. 3, 1867. Also in autumn 1866 GP gave $450 for church repair in Barnstead, N.H., in the name of a resident relative, and $5,000 for a Peabody Library in Thetford, Vt., where his grandparents had lived and where he had visited at age 15 in 1810. During Dec. 1866 to Jan. 1867 he was in Salem and Georgetown, Mass. On Jan. 1, 1867, he gave a $20,000 publication fund to the Mass. Historical Society, Boston. On Feb. 3 he was with Robert Charles Winthrop in Baltimore.
Visits, U.S., 1866-67. 36-Founding the PEF. On Feb. 4, 1867, GP was in Washington, D.C., preparing his Feb. 7, 1867, letter founding the PEF for public education in the eleven former Confederate states plus W.Va. ($1 million, doubled to $2 million on June 29, 1869). On Feb. 8, 1867, GP was present at the first meeting of the PEF trustees, held at Willard’s Hotel, Washington, D.C. On Feb. 9, 1867, Pres. Andrew Johnson called on GP in his Willard’s Hotel rooms in Washington, D.C., to thank him for the PEF as a national gift. On Feb. 20, 1867, GP gave $15,000 for the Peabody Library Book Fund, Newburyport, Mass., where he had worked in his oldest brother David Peabody’s (1790-1841) dry goods store in 1811.
Visits, U.S., 1866-67. 37-Feb. 26 to April 25, 1867. On Feb. 26, 1867, he gave $140,000 to found what is now the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass., combining maritime history with Essex County, Mass., historical documents. On March 8, 1867, in the U.S. Senate Mass. Sen. Charles Sumner introduced a joint Congressional resolution of praise and the award of a gold medal to GP for founding the PEF. On March 22, 1867, GP hosted a banquet for Gen. U.S. Grant and other PEF trustees in NYC. On April 20, 1867, GP gave $15,000 for the Peabody Library Association of Georgetown, D.C., now the GP Room of the Georgetown, D.C., branch of the Public Library of Washington, D.C. GP attended the wedding of Reverdy Johnson’s (1796-1876) daughter (c. April 24, 1867) and on April 25, 1867, with a few friends, called on Pres. Andrew Johnson in the White House. Ref.: (wedding): Baltimore Gazette April 25, 1867, p. 1, c. 6. (White House): New York Herald, May 1, 1867, p. 4, c. 6.
Visits, U.S., 1866-67. 38-Influenced Johns Hopkins. April 25, 1867, was also the most likely date when B&O RR Pres. John Work Garrett deliberately brought together at dinner at his home near Baltimore GP and Johns Hopkins. Garrett knew that Hopkins sought advice on a philanthropic gift to leave in his will. GP explained how and why he became a philanthropist. The next day Hopkins is said to have drafted his will leaving $8 million to found the Johns Hopkins Univ., hospital, and medical school in Baltimore. On May 1, 1867, GP sailed on the Scotia for Ireland and England. See: persons named.
Visits, U.S., 1866-67. 39-Begging Letters. GP was deluged with begging letters toward the end of his May 1, 1866, to May 1, 1867, U.S. visit. These begging letters were prompted by newspaper accounts of the 17 philanthropic gifts he made during 1866-67, totaling some $2,310,450. He received hundreds of letters each day. His sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Daniels opened and sent him only those of a business or personal nature. He sent a March 7, 1867, circular letter to newspaper editors stating that in strict confidence and sworn secrecy he had delegated the opening of his mail to others and had about 4,000 begging letters burned in his presence that day. See: Begging Letters to GP.
GP’s 3rd (Last) U.S. Visit: June 8-Sept. 29, 1869
Visits, U.S., 1869. 40-Weakened GP’s Arrival. On June 8 a greatly weakened GP arrived in NYC on the Scotia. He was met by five trustees of the Peabody Institute of Peabody, Mass., and two nephews, who took him to rest with business friend Samuel Wetmore (1812-85), 15 Waverly Place, Greenwich Village. His intimates sensed that this might well be his last visit (he died Nov. 4, 1869, five weeks after his return to London).
Visits, U.S., 1869. 41-“in advanced age and declining health,” The New York Times, June 9, 1869, reported GP’s arrival “in advanced age and declining health,” evaluated the Peabody Homes of London, and closed with remarks about begging letters. “Wherever he goes,” the article read, “he is worried by begging letters from individuals expecting him to get them out of some scrape. When these letters went unanswered abuse is heaped on Mr. Peabody. He was much persecuted in this way in England. Now that he is in America he should be left to the quiet and repose he so greatly needs.” Ref.: New York Times, June 9, 1869, p. 5, c. 1-2.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 42-June 9-10, 1869. On June 9, 1869, GP rested with the Wetmores, took a drive with nephew Arthur J. Peabody and Wetmore and saw a few visitors. On June 10 he left for Boston, where he was met at the railway station by PEF trustee Pres. Robert Charles Winthrop (1809-94), PEF first administrator Barnas Sears (1802-80), and Mass. Gov. John Clifford (1809-76), and was taken to rest at the home of Boston merchant Samuel Turner Dana (1810-77). See: Dana, Samuel Turner.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 43-June 11-16, 1869. On June 11 he was in Salem, Mass., resting at nephew George Peabody Russell’s home (sister Judith Dodge [née Peabody] Daniels’ son). On June 16 he dictated a letter which nephew George Peabody Russell wrote to B&O RR Pres. John Work Garrett (1820-84), who arranged GP’s train travel. GP let Garrett know that he was ill and under the care of Dr. Charles Gideon Putnam (d. 1875, age 69) of Boston and that he could not visit Baltimore until the autumn. Ref.: (Dr. Putnam): Mass. Medical Society.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 44-To Join Corcoran at White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. On July 6 his nephew wrote on GP’s behalf to William Wilson Corcoran, who was at White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.: “…Mr. Peabody…is weaker than when he arrived…. He has…decided to go to the White Sulphur Springs…[and asks you to] arrange accommodations for himself, and servant, for Mrs. Russell and myself.” See: Corcoran, William Wilson.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 45-Boston Peace Jubilee and Music Festival. In mid-June 1869 Boston held a Peace Jubilee and Music Festival to which GP paid an unannounced visit and quietly listened to the chorus. At intermission, Mayor Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff’s (1810-74) announcement of GP’s presence brought “a perfect storm of applause.” On Sunday, June 20, Unitarian minister, the Rev. William Rounseville Alger (1822-1905), in his sermon closing the Boston Peace Jubilee, mentioned that GP had done more to keep the peace between Britain and America than a hundred demagogues to destroy it. Ref.: (Rev. Wm. R. Alger): Boston Post, June 21, 1869, p. 3, c. 4. See: Shurtleff, Nathaniel Bradstreet.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 46-Peabody Education Fund. GP invited PEF Administrator Barnas Sears to Salem for a conference, drafted his third letter to the PEF trustees, and went over the draft with PEF trustee Pres. Robert Charles Winthrop at the Mass. Historical Society offices in Boston. See: persons mentioned.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 47-Librarian Fitch Poole. On June 22 Librarian Fitch Poole of the Peabody Institute, Peabody, Mass., called on GP in Salem and found him looking better than he had expected. GP gave Fitch Poole three photographs of himself and spoke of visiting the Institute soon. Ref.: (Fitch Poole’s Diary, June 22, 1869): [Poole, Fitch]. His diary is in the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 48-Doubling the PEF. On June 29, 1869, GP wrote his third letter to the PEF trustees, which he read to them at an early July meeting in Newport, R.I.: “I now give you additional bonds [worth] $1,384,000….. I do this [hoping] that with God’s blessing…it may…prove a permanent and lasting boon, not only to the Southern States, but to the whole of our dear country….” On July 12 when GP visited the Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, Mass., Librarian Fitch Poole remarked privately in his diary how feeble GP looked. See: Poole, Fitch.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 49-Passing Irritation. During July 12-13 in Georgetown, Mass., he visited the Peabody Institute Library and the Memorial Church he had built in memory of his mother. He joined the choir in singing the “Old Hundredth,” earliest English usage of (1561) and most widely paraphrase of Psalm 100, by William Kethe (d. 1606). On July 14 he met early and briefly with the trustees of his first (June 16, 1852) Peabody Institute, Peabody, Mass., gave way to passing irritation at their spending too much on their lecturers, but soon brightened and said, “Well, well, I must give you $50,000 more to get you out of trouble. And I must say that none of my foundations have given me so much satisfaction as this one at my native place.” GP gave a total of $217,600 to this, his first Peabody Institute Library in the town of his birth. Ref.: New York Tribune, quoted in Hanaford, pp. 295-296.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 50-Peabody Institute Library, Danvers, Mass. At 3 p.m. July 14 he spoke at the dedication of the Peabody Institute in Danvers (note: GP’s first institute  was in the south parish of Danvers, his birth place, later named South Danvers, and renamed Peabody in April 13, 1868. It was at the dedication of the Peabody Institute in Danvers [formerly called North Danvers] that he spoke). He said (in part): “I can never expect to address you again collectively…. I hope that this institution will be…a source of pleasure and profit.” To what is now the Peabody Institute Library of Danvers, Mass., begun as a branch library (Dec. 22, 1856), GP gave a total of $100,000. Refs. below.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 51-Peabody Institute Library, Danvers, Mass. Cont’d. Ref.: New York Times, July 16, 1869, p. 1, c. 6. Peabody Press (Peabody, Mass.), July 14, 1869, p. 2, c. 2, 4-5; July 21, 1869, p. 2, c. 2-6; July 28, 1869, p. 2, c. 2-5. Boston Sunday Courier, July 18, 1869, p. 2, c. 1-2. New York Tribune, July 16, 1869, p. 2, c. 2-3; and July 20, 1869, p. 4, c. 5. New York Herald, July 16, 1869, p. 5, c. 5-6. London Times, July 30, 1869, p. 4, c. 3.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 52-Peabody Institute, Peabody, Mass., Reception. On July 16, 1869, he gave a reception at the Peabody Institute, Peabody, Mass., to which he had invited 30 friends from Boston who arrived by special train. They included former Mass. Gov. Clifford Claflin (1818-1905), Boston Mayor Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff, U.S. Sen. Charles Sumner (1811-74), and poet Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-94). Oliver Wendell Holmes later read aloud a poem titled “George Peabody” written specially for the occasion. See: persons named.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 53-Peabody Institute, Peabody, Mass., Reception Cont’d. Also present were Robert Charles Winthrop and former U.S. Minister to Great Britain Charles Francis Adams (1807-86). Alfred A. Abbott (1820-84) introduced the speakers. GP’s friends went by carriages to the home of Francis Peabody (1801-68) near the boundary between the towns of Peabody and Danvers, then on to the Peabody Institute of Danvers for more speeches. There Gov. Claflin praised GP’s education gift to the South (PEF). See: Holmes, Oliver Wendell.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 54-“the Dives who is going to Abraham’s bosom.” Poet Oliver Wendell Holmes’s letter two days later echoed what all GP’s friends thought–that GP looked very ill. Holmes referred to GP in one letter as, “the Dives who is going to Abraham’s bosom and I fear before a great while.” Ref.: Ibid.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 55-July 1869. On July 18 GP left Salem, Mass., and stayed with the Samuel Wetmores in NYC. On July 19 he left NYC to visit Charles Macalester in Philadelphia. During July 20-21 he stopped one night at John Work Garrett’s home near Baltimore and then went by train to join William W. Corcoran at White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. During this interim, GP replied to Queen Victoria’s June 20, 1869, letter and received news of and a photograph of the July 23, 1869, unveiling of his seated statue made by William W. Story (1819-95) on Threadneedle St., London, near the Royal Exchange.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 56-GP’s “cough is terrible.” On July 22 Charles P. McIlvaine wrote to Robert Charles Winthrop: “The White Sulphur Springs will, I hope, be beneficial to our excellent friend; but it can be only a very superficial good. [His] cough is terrible, and I have no expectation of his living a year.” See: Corcoran, William Wilson.
GP in W. Va., 1869
Visits, U.S., 1869. 57-White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. GP arrived at White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., on July 23, 1869. Present was Tenn. Superintendent of Public Instruction and later U.S. Commissioner of Education John Eaton (1829-1906). He wrote in his annual report: “Mr. Peabody shares with ex-Gov. Wise the uppermost cottage in Baltimore Row, and sits at the same table with General Lee, Mr. Corcoran, Mr. Taggart, and others…. Being quite infirm, he has been seldom able to come to parlor or dining room, though he has received many ladies and gentlemen at the cottage…. His manners are singularly affable and pleasing, and his countenance one of the most benevolent we have ever seen.” Ref.: Ibid.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 58-Resolutions of Praise. GP’s confinement to his cottage prompted a meeting on July 27 at which former Va. Gov. Henry Alexander Wise (1806-76) drew up resolutions which were read publicly in GP’s presence amid a crowd on July 28 in the “Old White” hotel parlor: “On behalf of the southern people we tender thanks to Mr. Peabody for his aid to the cause of education…and hail him ‘benefactor.'” GP, seated, replied, “If I had strength, I would speak more on the heroism of the Southern people. Your kind remarks about the Education Fund sound sweet to my ears. My heart is interwoven with its success.” Ref.: Ibid.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 59-Peabody Ball. On Aug. 11 merrymakers at the “Old White” held a Peabody Ball, whose gaiety GP, too ill to attend, heard in his cottage. Historian Perceval Reniers wrote of this Peabody Ball: “The affair that did most to revive [the Southerners’] esteem was the Peabody Ball…given to honor…Mr. George Peabody…. Everything was right for the Peabody Ball. Everybody was ready for just such a climax, the background was a perfect build-up. Mr. Peabody appeared at just the right time and lived just long enough. A few months later it would not have been possible, for Mr. Peabody would be dead.” Ref.: Ibid.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 60-GP and R.E. Lee. During Aug. 15-19, 1869, GP and Robert E. Lee were central figures in several remarkable photographs of the Reconstruction Era. In the main photograph, five sat on cane-bottomed chairs: GP front middle, Robert E. Lee to GP’s right; William Wilson Corcoran to GP’s left; at the right end Turkish Minister to the U.S Edouard Blacque Bey (1824-94); at the left end Richmond lawyer James Lyons (1801-82). Standing behind the five seated figures were seven former Civil War generals (mainly Confederate), from left to right: James Conner (1829-83) of S.C., Martin Witherspoon Gary (1831-73) of S.C., Robert D. Lilley of Va., P.G.T. Beauregard (1818-93) of La., Alexander Robert Lawton (1818-96) of Ga., Henry Alexander Wise (1806-76) of Va., and Joseph Lancaster Brent (1826-1905) of Md. There is also a photo of GP sitting alone and a photo of Lee, GP, and Corcoran sitting together. Ref.: Ibid. See: Persons named.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 61-Barnas Sears on GP’s Presence. PEF first administrator Barnas Sears described why GP’s presence at White Sulphur Springs that July 23-Aug. 30, 1869, was important to the PEF’s work in promoting public education in the South: “…both on account of his unparalleled goodness and of his illness among a loving and hospitable people [he received] tokens of love and respect from all, such as I have never before seen shown to any one. This visit…will, in my judgment, do more for us than a long tour in a state of good health….” Ref.: Ibid.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 62-Gift to Lee’s College. On Aug. 16 GP dined in the Old White and left on Robert E. Lee’s arm. Both were soon surrounded by well admirers. Barnas Sears wrote of GP’s public appearance: “Yesterday he went to the public dinner-table (about 1500 persons are here and dine in a long hall) and then sat an hour in the parlor, giving the ladies an opportunity to take him by the hand….” R.E. Lee was then president of Washington College, Lexington, Va. (renamed Washington and Lee College in 1871). In late Aug. 1869 GP gave Lee’s college a gift of Va. bonds, redeemed in the 1880’s at $60,000, for a mathematics professorship. Ref.: Ibid.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 63-Last Sept. in U.S. GP stayed at John Work Garrett’s home near Baltimore. During Sept. 1-2, 1869, he visited PEF trustee Charles Macalester at Torresdale near Philadelphia. During Sept. 3-9 he was in NYC with Samuel Wetmore. On Sept. 9 he wrote his last will. On Sept. 10 he was in Salem, Mass., ordered a granite sarcophagus, and had a tomb built for his burial. On Sept. 13, from Salem, Mass., he added $50,000 to the Peabody Institute of Peabody, Mass., making his total gift to that institute $217,600. On Sept. 19 he was in Boston; then to the Samuel Wetmores in Newport, R.I., where he spoke to John Pendleton Kennedy then visiting from Baltimore. Ref.: Ibid.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 64-Last GP-Kennedy Talk . Kennedy’s journal entry for Sept. 20 read: “I had an interview with Mr. P…[for] about an hour, which was [as] long as he had strength to talk to us. He was very feeble and lay on the sofa apparently short of breath…..” GP wanted Kennedy to accompany him to Baltimore, but Kennedy was himself too ill. Kennedy’s last journal entry about GP, whom he had first known 55 years before as a brash soldier marching and drilling during the War of 1812, with a plume in his hat, read: “E. [Elizabeth, his wife] and I called upon him and after a short interview, took an affectionate leave, which both parties felt was probably a final one.” Ref.: Kennedy’s journal, Sept. 21, 1869, pp. 372-375, Kennedy Papers, PIB.
Visits, U.S., 1869. 65-Last U.S. Departure. During Sept. 20-21, 1869, leaving Kennedy in Newport, R.I., GP went to John Work Garrett’s home near Baltimore, dictated a letter to sculptor William W. Story to tell him how much his friends admired GP’s seated statue on Threadneedle St., near the Royal Exchange, London, since its July 23, 1869, unveiling by the Prince of Wales. On Sept. 22 a committee of PIB trustees escorted GP to the PIB building. He gave them a last $400,000 gift, making his total to the PIB $1.4 million. On Sept. 23 he left Baltimore, spent a few days in Philadelphia, and went to New York to spend two hours with Thurlow Weed (1797-1882). Finally, PEF trustees Samuel Wetmore, Charles Macalester, Hamilton Fish, and a few others saw GP aboard the Scotia, Sept. 29, 1869, on his last return to London where he died Nov. 4, 1869. Refs.: (below).
Visits, U.S., 1869. 66-Last U.S. Departure Cont’d. Ref.: (With J.W. Garrett, Baltimore): Baltimore Sun, Sept. 21, 1869, p. 1, c. 8; and Sept. 27, 1942, Sect. 1, p. 5, c. 6. Ref.: (GP’s last $400,000 PIB gift and last Baltimore departure): Baltimore Sun, Sept. 23, 1869, p. 1, c. 2. New York World, Sept. 23, 1869, p. 3, c. 6. New York Tribune, Sept. 23, 1869, p. 1, c. 4. New York Herald, Sept. 23, 1869, p. 7, c. 2. Baltimore American & Commercial Advertiser, Sept. 23, 1869, p. 1, c. 6. Anglo-American Times (London), Oct. 9, 1869, p. 11, c. 2.
U.S. House Debate on U.S. Navy Reception for GP’s Remains
Voorhees, Daniel Wolsey (1827-97). 1-U.S. Naval Reception for GP’s Remains. Rep. Daniel Wolsey Voorhees (D-Ind.), participated in the Dec. 21, 1869, U.S. House debate on House Resolution No. 96 requesting Pres. U.S. Grant (1822-85) to order a naval reception to receive GP’s remains at the U.S. receiving port. Rep. Robert Cumming Schenck (1809-90, R-Ohio), who led the opposition to the resolution, moved that the House adjourn to allow time to consider if it should go to this expense at all. Rep. D.W. Voorhees said he regretted that a move to adjourn was made, in view of GP’s vast gifts to U.S. education and science. See: Death and funeral, GP’s.
Voorhees, D.W. 2-Career. The House refused to adjourn and, with Rep. Schenck objecting, passed the resolution that day. The Senate passed the resolution on Dec. 23, 1869. It was signed into law by Pres. Grant on Jan. 10, 1870. Rep. D.W. Voorhees was born in Liberty, Ohio; graduated from what is now De Pauw Univ. (1849); practiced law in Covington, Ind.; was U.S. district attorney for Ind. (1858-61); and served in the U.S. House (1861-66, 1869-71, 1877-97). Ref.: Ibid. For biographical sketch click on Voorhees at: http://www.anb.org/login.html?url=%2Farticles%2Fhome.html&ip=220.127.116.11&nocookie=0
Vowler, William Flexman (d. Feb. 7, 1877), was one of the deputation, Fishmongers’ Co., London, who called on GP, April 18, 1866, to offer him honorary membership. Others in the deputation were George Moore (1806-76);Walter Charles Venning (d. 1897), Prime Warden; and William Lawrence (1818-97). GP gratefully accepted, explaining that he was leaving April 21, 1866, for a visit to the U.S. It was decided to admit him to honorary membership as of April 19, 1866, and to send to him in the U.S. the membership scroll in a gold box worth 100 guineas (about $525), making him the 41st honorary member and the first U.S. citizen to be admitted to the Fishmongers’ Co., whose ancient charter had been endorsed by 23 British monarchs. The membership scroll and box, mailed to him in the U.S., are among his honors in the Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, Mass. See: Fishmongers’ Co., persons named.
Waite, Morrison Remick (1816-88). 1-PEF Trustee. Morrison Remick Waite was a PEF trustee for nearly 14 years, succeeded PEF trustee Charles Macalester (1798-1873), and was himself succeeded as PEF trustee by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Melvin Weston Fuller (1833-1910). Ref.: Curry-b, pp. 74, 102, 137.
Waite, M.R. 2-Career. M.R. Waite was born in Lyme, Conn., graduated from Yale College (1837), was a lawyer in Ohio (1839), served in the Ohio legislature (1849), was appointed by Pres. U.S. Grant, with others, to represent the U.S. in the Alabama Claims (the U.S. was awarded $15.5 million from Britain in reparation for damage from British-built Confederate ships [Alabama and others] which cost Union lives and treasure). As Chief Justice of the U.S. (1874-88), he led in interpreting the U.S. Constitution in the post-Civil War period. Ref.: Ibid. See: persons named.
Wales, Prince of, later Edward VII (1841-1910), unveiled GP’s seated statue by U.S. sculptor William Wetmore Story (1819-95) on Threadneedle St., near London’s Royal Exchange, July 23, 1869. See: Statues of GP.
Peabody Museum of Harvard
Walker, James (1794-1874). 1-GP’s Harvard Museum Gift. Unitarian clergyman and educator James Walker was Harvard Univ.’s past president (during 1853-60) when GP’s philanthropic advisor Robert Charles Winthrop (1809-94) asked his advice about GP’s intended gift to Harvard. A codicil in GP’s 1860 will shows that his first thought was to leave $100,000 for a Harvard Astronomical Observatory. He discussed this idea in letters to Francis Peabody (1801-68) of Salem, Mass., and William Henry Appleton (1814-84) of Boston. His second thought, to endow a Harvard “School of Design,” probably for art or for architecture, was suggested to GP by former Harvard Pres. Edward Everett (1794-1865). Ref.: A codicil to GP’s 1860 will is in the Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass. See: Science: GP’s Contributions to Science and Science Education. Harvard Univ. Marsh, Othniel Charles.
Walker, James. 2-GP’s Harvard Museum Gift Cont’d. GP’s nephew Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-99) finally turned GP’s thoughts toward science. GP paid for nephew Marsh’s education through Phillips Academy, Yale College, Yale’s graduate Sheffield Scientific School, and doctoral study at the German universities of Heidelberg, Berlin and Breslau. GP also paid for Marsh’s purchase in Europe of many books on geology and paleontology and a fossil rock collection weighing 2.5 tons. Marsh, the first U.S. paleontology professor at Yale and the second such professor in the world, influenced GP to found science museums at Harvard, Yale, and what is now the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass. Ref.: Ibid.
Walker, James. 3-Peabody Museum of Harvard. Contemplating a Peabody museum at Harvard to study what is now anthropology, GP asked Winthrop to inquire about its acceptability among Harvard authorities. Winthrop had a series of meetings on the proposed Peabody museum of Harvard: with GP on June 1, 1866, at the Tremont House, Boston; on June 4, 1866, with GP’s nephews, Yale Prof. O.C. Marsh and George Peabody Russell (1835-1909, Harvard graduate class of 1856) at the Massachusetts Historical Society; and on June 17, 1866, again with GP who gave Winthrop permission to consult confidentially with Harvard friends. Winthrop especially sought the advice and approval of Louis Agassiz (1807-73), leading U.S. scientist and Harvard zoologist, and of past Harvard Pres. James Walker. Ref.: Ibid.
Walker, James. 4-Peabody Museum of Harvard. Agassiz, Winthrop, and Walker knew that Harvard officials preferred new gifts of money to go to its library and to its Museum of Comparative Zoology rather than for GP’s proposed museum. Pres. Walker said to Winthrop: “…When a generous man like Mr. Peabody proposes a great gift, we…had better take what he offers and take it on his terms, and for the object which he evidently has at heart…. There…will be, as you say, disappointments in some quarters. But the branch of Science, to which this endowment is devoted, is one to which many minds in Europe are now eagerly turning…. This Museum…will be the first of its kind in our country.” Ref.: Ibid.
Walker, James. 5-Peabody Museum of Harvard Cont’d. Winthrop communicated his conversation with Pres. Walker to GP on July 6, 1866. On Sept. 24 Winthrop again met with GP and his nephews, Prof. O.C. Marsh and G.P. Russell. On Sept. 28, 1866, Winthrop called the first meeting of the trustees of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard. The trustees accepted GP’s gift of $150,000. Ref.: Ibid.
Walker, James. 6-Peabody Museum of Harvard Cont’d. GP’s Oct. 8, 1866, founding letter ended with these suggestions: “…In view of the gradual obliteration or destruction of the works and remains of the ancient races of this continent, the labor of exploration and collection be commenced at as early…as practicable; and also, that, in the event of the discovery in America of human remains or implements of an earlier geological period than the present, especial attention be given to their study, and their comparison with those found in other countries.” Ref.: Ibid.
Walker, James. 7-Peabody Museums of Harvard and Yale. The founding of GP’s Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale Univ. followed on Oct. 22, 1860, also $150,000. James Walker, born in Burlington, Mass., graduated from Harvard College (1814), studied divinity at Cambridge, Mass., under Henry Ware (1764-1845), was pastor at the Unitarian Church, Charleston, Mass. (1818-39), was a founder of the American Unitarian Assn. (1825), edited the Christian Examiner (1831-39), was a Harvard prof. of religion (1839-53), Harvard president (1853-60), and the leading exponent of early 19th century Unitarian metaphysics. Ref.: Ibid.
Wallace, Lewis (Lew Wallace, 1827-1905). 1-Union General. Lewis Wallace was a Union general and later author of the novel Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880). One source (Freeman-a, 1935, appendix) is most likely in error in listing Gen. Lewis Wallace as one of seven Civil War generals photographed Aug. 12, 1869, with GP, then visiting White Sulphur Springs mineral health spa at W.Va., July 23-Aug. 30, 1869. The generals in the photo, correctly named by Leonard T. Mackall of Savannah, Ga., in 1935, do not include Gen. Lew Wallace. See: Corcoran, William Wilson. Peabody, George, Illustrations. Lee, Robert E. Visits to the U.S. by GP.
Wallace, Lewis. 2-Career. Gen. Lewis Wallace was born in Brookville, Ind., was a journalist, lawyer, served in the Mexican War, was a member of the Ind. legislature, was active in the Ind. militia, and became a Union Maj. Gen. After the Civil War he returned to his law practice, was governor of the Territory of New Mexico (1878-81) and Minister to Turkey (1881-85). His novels, besides Ben Hur, include The Fair God (1873) and Prince of India (1893). Ref.: Boatner, p. 887.
Wallis, Severn Teackle (1816-1894), was born in Baltimore, Md.; graduated from St. Mary’s College, Baltimore (1832, where he became interested in Spanish classics); was admitted to the bar in 1837; served in the Md. legislature (1861) where as an anti-Unionist he was imprisoned for 18 months; then resumed his law practice in 1870; and was elected as Univ. of Md. provost. By invitation on Feb. 18, 1870, on what would have been GP’s 75th birthday (GP died Nov. 4, 1869), Severn Teackle Wallis lectured at the PIB on “Discourse on the Life and Character of George Peabody,” which he was invited to repeat Feb. 25, 1870, to the Md. Senate and House of Delegates. In 1843 S.T. Wallis acquired a rare edition of Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha, printed in Belgium, 1616-17, which he gave to the PIB Library. Ref.: Wallis.
Walters, William Thompson (1819-94). This Baltimore merchant and PIB trustee’s art collection, to which his railroad magnate son, Henry Walters (1848-1931) added substantially, became the famous Walters Art Gallery, opened Feb. 3, 1909, near the PIB. William Thompson Walters and his son may have been influenced in this gift in part by the father’s 19-year experience (1895-94) as PIB trustee with oversight of the PIB’s art gallery. W.T. Walters served on the PIB Executive Committee, 1879-83; member of the PIB Arts Committee, 1875-94 (its chairman during 1876-94); PIB Finance Committee member, 1875-1894; PIB Vice-Pres., 1893-94. He was elected PIB Pres. in 1894, but died several days later. See: PIB. 17-GP’s Influence Through the PIB.
Walther, Charles H. (1879-1937), was a Baltimore artist, a showing of whose paintings was the PIB Gallery of Art’s first one-man exhibit in 1912. See: PIB Gallery of Art.
GP’s Service in the War of 1812
War of 1812. 1-How GP Became a Merchant in the South. Two calamities befell GP, age 16, in May 1811 which led him to become a merchant in the South. His father died May 13, 1811, in his 49th year, after an accident in which his leg was broken. GP’s mother was left without support, with six children needing care, in a mortgaged home to be vacated, burdened with her late husband’s debts. Eighteen days later, on May 31, 1811, occurred the Great Fire in Newburyport, Mass. All business prospects were ruined including oldest brother David Peabody’s (1790-1841) drapery shop, where GP worked as assistant clerk. Ref.: An Account of the Great Fire…Newburyport …31st of May, 1811. Smith, E.V., pp. 188, 190-191.
War of 1812. 2-Merchant in the South Cont’d. Also ruined was his paternal uncle John Peabody’s (1768-d. before 1826) store, stock, and credit. Newburyport became an exporter of young people. GP’s uncle John Peabody, somewhat of an adventurer but without credit, suggested that he and GP open a store in Georgetown, D.C. Needing goods to sell, GP, age 17, asked and got Newburyport merchant Prescott Spaulding (1781-1864) to stand surety for $2,000 worth of goods on consignment from Boston merchant James Reed. Ref.: Hanaford, p. 43.
War of 1812. 3-Merchant in the South Cont’d. GP and his Uncle John left Newburyport May 4, 1812, on the brig Fame under Capt. Davis. They sailed south along the Atlantic coast to the mouth of the Potomac, then up the Potomac to Washington, D.C. On May 15, 1812, with the goods on consignment in GP’s name, GP and his uncle opened a mercantile store (also in GP’s name) on Bridge St., Georgetown, D.C. GP thus began his first two years as a Yankee storekeeper in and dry goods peddler around Georgetown, D.C. See: Georgetown, D.C.
War of 1812. 4-Merchant in the South Cont’d. Forty-five years later this turning point in GP’s life was described at an Oct. 9, 1856, dinner honoring GP in his hometown, South Danvers (renamed Peabody on April 13, 1868). Speaker Alfred A. Abbott (1820-84) said: “He found himself, by his father’s and his brother’s misfortune, an orphan, without means, without employment, without friends, and all in the most gloomy times, but…buoyed up by a firm resolve and a high endeavor he turned his back upon the endeared and now desolate scenes of his boyhood, and sought under a southern sun the smile of fortune.” Ref.: (A.A. Abbott’s speech about GP in 1811): Proceedings…Dinner…George Peabody…Danvers, October 9, 1856, p. 149. New York Times, Oct. 10, 1856, p. 1, c. 3, and Oct. 11, 1856, p. 2, c. 1-5. Chapple, p. 4. Wilson, P.W., pp. 24-25.
War of 1812. 5-Fourteen Days as a Soldier. Washington, D.C., was under threat of British attack. All able-bodied men were conscriptable. Before being called, GP enlisted in Capt. George Peter’s (1779-1861) artillery company. On June 28, 1813, GP wrote from Georgetown, D.C., to his sister Judith Dodge Peabody (1799-1879) of his situation. His letter, with errors of a largely self-taught 18-year-old, related that he was burdened with the running of the store, of the military situation in the area, and of his military service. Ref.: below.
War of 1812. 6-GP, Age 18, To Sister Judith (in part): “…But in my Situation I cannot feel that ease & tranquillity I should wish as the management of the business in which I am engaged entirely devolves on me, and subjects me to all the cares and anxieties that generally attends it. We are also under considerable apprehensions of an attack from the British upon this district, So much so that the President has made a requisition of 500 men which have been ordered on duty and are now encamp.d within sight of this place. I was one of the detach.d members, but fortunately the day previous to the draft attach.d myself to a choir of Artillery, otherwise it would have cost me from 50 to 75$ for a Substitute. My duty however now is not the easyest having to meet every other day for the purpose of drill exercise and which is the case with every person capable of military duty in the district….” Ref.: below.
War of 1812. 7-GP, Age 18, To Sister Judith Cont’d. Ref.: GP, Georgetown, D.C, to sister Judith Dodge Peabody, Thetford, Vt., June 28, 1813, Peabody Institute Library Archives, Peabody, Mass. Also printed copy in newspaper clipping pasted back of a GP portrait, Print Dept., Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass. “George Peabody-a,” Hunt’s…, p. 430, reprinted as A Biographical Sketch of George Peabody of London From Hunt’s Merchants’ Magazine For April, 1857 (New York: Baker and Godwin, 1857), p. 8.
War of 1812. 8-Fellow Soldier: E. Riggs, Sr. One account listed among GP’s mess mates a gunner in the battery at Fort Warburton, Md., a young lawyer named Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) who, the next year, composed “The Star Spangled Banner.” GP also came in contact with Elisha Riggs [Sr.] (1779-1853), 16 years older than GP and an established merchant in Georgetown, D.C., who took GP as junior partner in Riggs, Peabody & Co. (1814-29), first in Georgetown, D.C. (1814-15), with a consequent move to Baltimore (1815-29). See: persons named.
War of 1812. 9-Fellow Soldier: J.P. Kennedy. GP also met John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870), novelist, statesman, planner and trustee of the PIB, to which GP gave a total of $1.4 million (1857-69). Kennedy conceived of the five-part PIB, based in part on the British Museum of London: a lecture hall and fund, art gallery, reference library, academy (later conservatory) of music, and prizes to Baltimore’s best public school students. Fifty years after the War of 1812 Kennedy recorded in his journal his remembrance of GP in that war: “My remembrance of him oddly enough now brings him to view in the character of a rather ambitious and showy, well-dressed and trig young soldier…–an apparition strangely incongruous with that peaceful aspect and solid gravity we are accustomed to….” Ref.: “Sketch of George Peabody,” John Pendleton Kennedy’s Journal, Vol. 73 (n.d.), Kennedy Papers, PIB.
War of 1812. 10-Land Bounty, 1857. GP served 12 days as a private soldier in the military district of Washington, D.C., July 15-26, 1813. The next year, on a trip to Newburyport, Mass., he served two additional days as a private in Capt. Joseph T. Pike’s company, Col. Merrill’s regiment (Oct. 5-7, 1814), a total of 14 days. Ref.: GP’s War of 1812 land bounty warrant application, Feb. 25, 1857, Veterans Records of the War of 1812, Record Group No. 15A, BL wt. 56 861-160-55, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
War of 1812. 11-Land Bounty, 1857 Cont’d. Forty-three years later, during his Sept. 15, 1856 to Aug. 19, 1857, U.S. visit, GP was with longtime business associate and friend William Wilson Corcoran (1798-1888) in Washington, D.C., Feb. 14-23, 1857. With the help of Corcoran’s colleague, Anthony Hyde, a justice of the peace, GP prepared affidavits to apply for a land bounty War of 1812 veterans were entitled to by act of Congress, March 3, 1855. GP’s application requested the land bounty as a memento and not for profit. Ref.: Ibid. See: Winder, William Henry.
Horatio G. Ward & GP
Ward, Horatio G. (c.1810- May 1868). 1-Merchant Friend. Horatio G. Ward was a U.S.-born merchant and longtime London resident. His business connection and friendship with GP went back to at least 1834 when Ward, on business in Bologna, Italy, wrote GP in a teasing manner about getting married. Ward wrote (his underlining), “How do you get on? I don’t mean in business matters for they are always right with you; but as prospects that search after a wife that you thought of setting about when we parted.–Don’t by any means give it up, for I rely on you to make my path in the same line, smooth… [John] Cryder tells me they are fine women, and so let me persuade you…to make a beginning.” Ref.: Horatio G. Ward, Bologna, to GP, Nov. 26, 1834, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Ward, Horatio G. 2-Died in London. Horatio G. Ward was also intimate with U.S. Legation in London Secty. Benjamin Moran (1820-86), with whom he often dined and whom he named as one of his executors of his will. After Ward died in London, May 1868, Secty. Moran recorded in his journal (May 28, 1868) “Mr. George Peabody came to tell me that Horatio Ward went out as super cargo for him more than 40 years ago; but that he [Ward] quarreled with him in London and afterwards apologised [sic] for his behavior. He said Ward was very unjust and abusive and might have left on record a statement of the quarrel. That was untrue. He saw I was one of the Executors and came to say how the matter stood, and if need be to show me Ward’s apology. I said his statement was sufficient and the papers not needed.” See: Moran, Benjamin.
Ward, Lord, later the first earl of Dudley (1818-85), bought a copy of sculptor Hiram Powers’ (1805-73) statue, The Greek Slave. Powers asked GP’s London firm to help negotiate the sale. See: Powers, Hiram.
Ward, Samuel G., was U.S. agent for the Baring Brothers, GP’s chief competitor in London for U.S. trade in goods and securities. When GP was in the process of taking as partner (during Oct. 1, 1854-Oct. 1, 1864) Junius Spencer Morgan (1813-90) into George Peabody & Co., London, Samuel G. Ward wrote to his superior, April 11, 1854: “Mr. Morgan is highly thought of here as a man of talent, energy, & labor. If Mr. Peabody was safe before, he will be much safer now with Mr. Morgan at his side.” Samuel G. Ward was one of eight children of Thomas Wren Ward of Salem, Mass. (below). See: Morgan, Junius Spencer.
Ward, Thomas Wren (1786-1858), born in Salem, Mass., worked for the import and export firm of Ropes & Ward, Boston, before becoming the resident U.S. agent for the Baring Brothers, London, leading British banking firm (1829-53). He was the father of Samuel G. Ward (above) and seven other children. Ref.: “Ward, Thomas Wren,” Vol. 22, pp. 563-654.
Warnford Court, London. George Peabody & Co.’s first London office (called “counting house” in English parlance) was at 31 Moorgate St., Dec. 1, 1838 to c.1845, then moved to 6 Warnford Court, Throgmorton St., 1845-55, then moved to 22 Old Broad St. (1855), all in London’s inner city near the Royal Exchange and near Threadneedle St., where GP’s seated statue by William Wetmore Story (1819-95) was unveiled by the Prince of Wales, July 23, 1869. See: named streets. Statues of GP. Story, William Wetmore.
Warren Prison of Boston Harbor. On Nov. 8, 1861, a Union ship captain stopped the British mail ship Trent in the West Indies Bahama Channel, removed Confederate agents James Murray Mason (1798-1871) of Va. and John Slidell (1793-1871) of La., and their male secretaries, on their way to seek recognition, arms, and aid in Britain and France. The Confederates were taken to Warren Prison in Boston Harbor, amid northern jubilation and British anger. U.S. jingoism calmed. Pres. Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet disavowed the seizure. The Confederates were released on Jan. 1, 1862. The Trent Affair delayed GP’s March 12, 1862, Peabody Donation Fund press announcement, leading to the Peabody Homes of London. See: Trent Affair. Peabody Homes of London.
Washington and Lee Univ. (formerly Washington College), Lexington, Va. In late Aug. 1869 GP gave his Va. bonds lost on the sunken Collins Line steamship Arctic, Sept. 27, 1854, to Gen. Robert E. Lee, Washington College president (Washington and Lee College after 1871) for a mathematics professorship, which Va. redeemed in 1883 at $60,000. R.E. Lee’s biographer C.B. Flood thus wrote of GP’s gift of these lost Va. bonds: “It was generosity with a touch of Yankee shrewdness: you Southerners go fight it out among yourselves. If General Lee can’t get [this lost bond money] out of the Virginia legislature, nobody can.” See: Arctic (ship). Collins Line. Persons named. Science: GP’s Gifts to Science and Science Education.
Washington College, renamed Washington and Lee College in 1871, to which GP gave $60,000 in Aug. 1869, for a mathematics professorship. See: Washington and Lee University (above).
Washington, George (1732-99, first U.S. Pres., 1789-97). London, England, has only four statues of U.S. nationals: GP’s seated statue by U.S. sculptor William Wetmore Story (1819-95) was unveiled July 23, 1869. The other three statues are of U.S. Pres. Abraham Lincoln, statue unveiled 1920; U.S. Pres. George Washington, statue unveiled 1921; and U.S. Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, statue unveiled 1948. See: Presidents, U.S., and GP. Statues of GP.
Washington Land. U.S. Navy Commander Elisha Kent Kane (1820-57), who headed the Second U.S. Grinnell expedition (1853-55) in search of lost British Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin (1820-57), named Peabody Bay off Greenland for GP’s $10,000 gift (March 4, 1852) for scientific equipment. In his official report Kane wrote to the U.S. Navy Secty.: “The large bay which separates it (Washington Land) from the coast of Greenland and the Glacier I have described bears on my chart the name of our liberal country-man and contributor to the expense of the expedition, Mr. George Peabody.” See: Kane, Elisha Kent.
Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.
Washington Monument, Washington, D.C. 1-GP Gave $1,000. On July 4, 1854, GP gave $1,000 toward construction of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. The suggestion came from GP’s longtime Washington, D.C., business friend William Wilson Corcoran (1798-1888), with whom GP had helped sell U.S. bonds abroad to finance the Mexican War. Corcoran wrote to GP, then in London, June 19, 1854: “Would you like to donate to the Washington Monument now being organized? Donors of $1,000 have their names inscribed on a tablet in the monument.” GP replied that he had just returned from a July 4, 1854, British-U.S. friendship dinner he gave at London’s Star and Garter Hotel for 150 guests: “While seated beneath the portrait of [George] Washington…it recalled to my mind the magnificent Monument now being erected in your city to the Father of his Country…. That I might have a hand in its construction…I…authorize you to place my name on the subscription list for one thousand dollars.” Ref.: Washington Weekly Reporter (Washington, Penn.), Aug. 9, 1854, p. 2, c. 5. See: Corcoran, William Wilson.
Washington Monument, Washington, D.C. 2-Brief History. The Washington Monument originated in a 1783 congressional resolution to honor the first U.S. president with an equestrian statue. Because George Washington himself objected to the expense, nothing was done until after his death in 1799, when Chief Justice of the U.S. John Marshall (1755-1835) suggested a George Washington tomb. In 1832 a Washington National Monument Society began to raise funds. The obelisk monument was designed by U.S. Architect of Public Buildings Robert Mills (1781-1855). The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848, but construction was halted for lack of funds. Congress did not appropriate funds until 1876. The 555 foot and five eighths inch monument on the Mall south of Constitution Ave. and west of l4th St. was completed in 1880 and was opened to the public in 1888. Ref.: Journal entry, July 25, 1854, Board of Managers, Washington National Monument, National Archives. See: persons named.
Waterloo Station, London. After a Nov. 12, 1869, Westminster Abbey funeral service, GP’s remains lay in the Abbey to Dec. 11, 1869 (30 days). At 7:00 A.M., Dec. 11, 1869, with the Abbey’s Dean Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815-81) present, the coffin was taken by carriage to Waterloo Station, placed on a special funeral train, taken to Portsmouth dockyard, where amid solemn ceremony, it was placed aboard HMS Monarch for a transatlantic crossing for burial in Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem, Mass. See: Death and Funeral, GP’s.
Waterlow, Sir Sidney Hedley (1822-1906), first proved that low-rent housing could be a philanthropic and commercial success in his block of model housing opened in Mark St., Finsbury, London, soon after publication of GP’s March 12, 1862, letter founding the Peabody Homes of London. See: Peabody Homes of London.
Waters, Mary (née Marsh) (c1829-c1852), was the daughter of GP’s younger sister Mary Gaines Peabody (1807-34, seventh born of eight children) and Caleb Marsh (b. c1800). The Marshes lived in Lockport, N.Y., where Mary Gaines (née Peabody) Marsh died of cholera, Aug. 27, 1834, age 27. She died soon after the birth of her third child, George Marsh who died in his first year (c1834- c1835). Caleb Marsh was left with two children, Mary Marsh, age 5, and Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-99), approaching age 3. Mary Marsh, who married Capt. Robert Waters, died at age 22. Her death shocked her brother O.C. Marsh, who had been drifting without direction. He devoted himself to private study, entered and won honors at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.; Yale College; Yale’s newly opened (1861) graduate Sheffield Scientific School; and three German universities–all at uncle GP’s expense. O.C. Marsh became the first U.S. paleontology professor at Yale, the second such professor in the world, a renowned discoverer of fossil remains, praised by Charles Darwin and others. See: Marsh, Othniel Charles. Science: GP’s Gifts to Science and Science Education.
Waters, Robert Henry, Jr. (b.1852), was the son of Mary (née Marsh) Waters (see above).
Watson, Samuel (d. Jan. 17, 1865), of Tenn., was a PEF trustee, succeeded in that office by Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-93), 19th U.S. Pres. (during 1877-81), and is buried in National Cemetery, Madison, Tenn.
Waverly Place, No. 15, Greenwich Village, NYC, was the home of Samuel Wetmore (1812-85). During GP’s last U.S. visit, June 8 to Sept. 29, 1869, he stayed several times at business friend Samuel Wetmore’s NYC home at 15 Waverly Place, Greenwich Village, Manhattan. GP stayed there when he arrived in NYC on the Scotia, June 8, 1869, again on Sept. 9, 1869, and again on Sept. 29, 1869, the day he boarded the Scotia to return to London. See: Wetmore, Samuel.
Webb, James Watson (1802-84), was editor of the NYC Courier and Enquirer during 1827-61. In 1854 he was in London with Baltimorean Reverdy Johnson (1796-1876) when GP asked their advice about an educational institution he planned to establish in Baltimore. Back in Baltimore, Reverdy Johnson told John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870) that GP wanted the three Baltimore leaders (Reverdy Johnson, John Pendleton Kennedy, and William Edwards Mayhew) to help him plan what came to be the PIB to which GP gave $1.4 million total, 1857-69. The PIB, largely Kennedy’s plan, was based partly on London’s British Museum and consisted of a five-part institute: 1-specialized reference library; 2-lecture hall, lecture series, and lecture fund; 3-academy of music; 4-gallery of art; and 5-fund for best scholars’ prizes in Baltimore public schools. Kennedy helped GP draft his Feb. 12, 1857, founding letter. Delayed by the Civil War, the PIB building was dedicated and opened, Oct. 24-25, 1866, with GP present. See: PIB. Persons named.
Webster, Daniel (1782-1852), was a N.H.-born lawyer, orator of note, N.H Rep. In the U.S. House of Representative (1813-17), then Mass. Rep. In the U.S. House (1822-27), Mass. Sen. in the U.S. Senate (1827-41, 1845-50), and U.S. Secty. of State (1841-43, 1850-52). Daniel Webster sent GP on March 31, 1852, a letter introducing a Mr. Ebenezer Seeley. Daniel Webster’s letter read: “Although I have not the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with you, yet your public and private character is so well known to me, that I take the liberty of presenting…” Ref.: Daniel Webster, Department of State, to GP, London, March 31, 1852, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
GP & Thurlow Weed
Weed, Thurlow (1797-1882). 1-Was GP Pro-Confederate? In 1866 and 1869 when GP was denounced as pro-Confederate and anti-Union in the Civil War, his longtime friend Thurlow Weed defended him as solidly pro-Union during the Civil War. Background: GP was accused, without substantial proof, of pro-Confederate sympathy and anti-Union bond sale activities. These charges, which he hotly denied, were made by individuals and in the press in 1-1861; 2-during GP’s May 1, 1866 to May 1, 1867, U.S. visit; 3-during his June 8 to Sept. 29, 1869, last U.S. visit; 4-at his Nov. 4, 1869, death in London; and 5-during his 96-day transatlantic funeral and final burial in Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem, Mass., Feb. 8, 1870. Critics faulted GP for 1-living and working as a merchant in Baltimore and the South for 23 years (1815-37); 2-for aiding the South with his $1.4 million total PIB gift (1857-69), for his $2 million PEF gift for public education in the South (1867-69), and for having been honored and fêted in southern cities. See: Civil War and GP.
Weed, Thurlow. 2-Defended GP as Staunch Unionist. A letter writer identifying himself as “S.P.G.” attacked GP’s Union loyalty in the NYC Evening Post, Oct. 25, 1866, the day the PIB was dedicated and opened with GP present. Two days later editor-owner Samuel Bowles, Springfield (Mass.) Daily Republican, Oct. 27, 1866, agreed with and added to the “S.P.G.” attack. An anonymous defender of GP, identifying himself as “A Twenty-Five Years Acquaintance” in the New York Times, Oct. 31, 1866, was almost certainly Thurlow Weed. GP’s patriotism was again questioned amid the publicity of his last illness, death, and 96-day international funeral. Thurlow Weed again sprang to GP’s defense in his widely reprinted “The Late George Peabody; A Vindication of his Course During the Civil War,” New York Times, Dec. 23, 1869, p. 2, c. 2-3.
Weed, Thurlow. 3-Career. Thurlow Weed, born in Cairo, N.Y., began as a printer, served in the War of 1812, and founded and editedThe Agriculturist, Norwich, N.Y.; The Republican, Manlius, N.Y.; and The Telegraph, Rochester, N.Y., 1822. He was twice elected to the N.Y. state legislature; founded, edited, and made the Evening Journal, Albany, N.Y. (1830-65), the leading Whig Party and later Republican Party journal. Weed masterminded the election of William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) as ninth U.S. president in 1841; helped get the presidential nomination for Henry Clay (1777-1852) in 1844; backed Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) as 12th U.S. president during 1849-50; and guided William Henry Seward’s (1801-72) political career as N.Y. state legislator, governor, and senator; worked for Seward’s nomination as presidential nominee in 1860 but backed Abraham Lincoln after Lincoln won the nomination.
Weed, Thurlow. 4-Pres. Lincoln’s Emissary. In Nov. 1861, to offset Confederate agent intrigues for British arms and recognition, Pres. Lincoln sent Thurlow Weed, who had European influence, to meet with British leaders. U.S. Legation in London Secty. Benjamin Moran (1820-86) recorded Weed’s visit to the Legation (Dec. 6, 1861): “Thurlow Weed…has been up to pay us a visit. He is a tall, slender man, with grey hair, a marked & intellectual face, a good head, and evidently possesses a strong mind. I…confess myself favorably impressed by him. Mr. Weed must be over 60 years of age….” Secty. Moran saw Weed again Dec. 9 and 30 (along with GP), Feb. 10 and March 8, 1862, noting on May 7, 1862: “Thurlow Weed has returned to London on his way home….” Ref.: Wallace and Gillespie, pp. 918-920, 932, 952, 963, and 997.
Weed, Thurlow. 5-Weed Vindicated GP. In Weed’s Dec. 23, 1869, vindication of GP, he told how he conferred with GP (Nov. 1861-May 1862) whom he had known intimately since 1843. Weed explained to GP the issues that had forced the Union into Civil War. Weed then told how GP helped him meet such leaders as Lord Clarence Edward Paget (1811-95), Foreign Secty. John Russell (1792-1878), and Members of Parliament James Emerson Tennent (1791-1869), and William W. Torrens (1813-94). (Note: In 1863 Irish-born barrister and MP during 1847 to 1885, William Torrens McCullagh, took his mother’s surname, Torrens). Ref.: (Torrens): Wallace and Gillespie, eds., II, p. 933, footnote 17. See: Civil War and GP.
Weed, Thurlow. 6-Weed’s Vindication Endorsed by McIlvaine. Weed’s Dec. 23, 1869, vindication of GP was publicly endorsed by another of Pres. Lincoln’s emissaries to Britain, Ohio Episcopal Bishop Charles Pettit McIlvaine (1799-1873). Despite Weed’s firm pro-Union vindication of GP and McIlvaine’s strong endorsement, GP’s Civil War loyalties continued to be questioned. Ref.: Ibid.
Weld, Charles R., Mrs. (née Frances Eaton, d. March 13, 1947), was the daughter of Baltimorean George Nathaniel Eaton (1811-74), one of the original 16 PEF trustees, and niece of Charles James Madison Eaton (1808-93), original PIB trustee. She donated a portrait of GP by U.S. artist Chester Harding (1792-1866) to the Md. Historical Society, Baltimore. A print of this GP portrait is in “Baltimore’s 150th Birthday,” Maryland History Notes, Vol. 5, No. 3 (Nov. 1947), pp. 1-2. Under the copy of Chester Harding’s portrait of GP (on p. 1) is printed: “Painted during the early years of his maturity,” probably in GP’s early thirties. It is an oil painting on canvas, 30″ x 25,” in an oval frame. See: Harding, Chester. Peabody, George, Illustrations. Persons named.
Wellesley, First Duke of (1769-1852). GP’s July 4, 1851, U.S.-British friendship dinner during the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London was successful largely because the Duke of Wellington agreed to be the guest of honor. See: Great Exhibition of 1851, London (first world’s fair).
Wells, Alfred (1814-67). Junius Spencer Morgan (1813-90), GP’s partner in George Peabody & Co., London, from Oct. 1, 1854, was apprenticed in merchant-banker Alfred Wells’s wholesale dry goods business in Boston and was briefly Wells’s partner. J.S. Morgan then became a partner in Morris Ketchum’s private bank on Wall St., NYC; and then was a partner in the dry goods house of Howe Mather & Co., Hartford, Conn. (which became Mather Morgan & Co.). J.S. Morgan was a partner in J.M. Beebe, Morgan & Co. of Boston during 1851-54, dealing in dry goods and commodities, when he came to GP’s attention. GP had dealings with this firm and particularly valued James Madison Beebe’s (1809-75) high regard for J.S. Morgan as GP’s partner. J.S. Morgan’s son, John Pierpont Morgan, Sr. (1837-1913), began his international banking career as NYC agent for George Peabody & Co., London. See: persons named.
West, Henry. GP’s last will of Sept. 9, 1869, left $11,000 (ƒ2,200) to his London office clerk Henry West or wife Louise West. See: Wills, GP’s.
West, Louise. See: above.
West Point(ship). See: George Peabody (ship).
West Virginia. 1-With Gen. Lee at the Springs. Four months before his Nov. 4, 1869, death in London, an ailing GP visited the White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., mineral springs health spa, July 23-Aug. 30, 1869. There by chance he met northern and southern political, military, and educational leaders, including Gen. Robert E. Lee (1807-70), then president of Washington College, Lexington, Va. (renamed Washington and Lee Univ., 1871). GP and Lee talked, dined, walked, and were photographed together and with others (Aug. 12); resolutions of praise were presented to GP; and a Peabody Ball was held in his honor (Aug. 11). See: Corcoran, William Wilson. Lee, Robert E.
West Va. 2-PEF Aid. W. Va. became a state in 1863. The PEF Trustees included it along with the 11 former Confederate states because of its poverty.
GP’s Westminster Abbey Funeral
Westminster Abbey, London. 1-Westminster Abbey Funeral Service for GP. The Dean of Westminster Abbey, Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815-81), was in Naples, Italy, on Nov. 5, 1869, when he read in the newspapers of GP’s Nov. 4, 1869, death in London. He telegraphed Abbey colleagues his wish that GP be interred there. His entry in his “Recollections,” compiled 12 years later (1881), records: “The next funeral of which I was cognizant was the only one that I made an exception to my general rule of not proposing anything as from myself, and it was then done under very peculiar circumstances. I was in Naples, and saw in the public papers that George Peabody had died. Being absent, considering that he was a foreigner, and at the same time, by reason of his benefactions to the City of London [the word ‘fully’ follows and is scratched out] entitled to a burial in Westminster Abbey, I telegraphed to express my wishes that his interment there should take place. Accordingly it was so arranged.” The Westminster Abbey funeral service for GP was held Nov. 11, 1869. See: Death and Funeral, GP’s.
Westminster Abbey, London. 2-Dean Stanley’s Career. Arthur Penrhyn Stanley was born in Aldersley, Cheshire, England; educated at Rugby, where he was influenced by the liberalism of headmaster Thomas Arnold (1795-1842). He entered Balliol College, Oxford Univ. (1834), was a Fellow of University College, Oxford (1838), took deacon’s orders (1839) and priest’s orders (1843), became a University College tutor (1843) and Oxford Univ. preacher (1845), was Canon of Canterbury (1851), traveled in Palestine and Egypt, was Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Oxford Univ. (1856), Canon of Christ Church College (1858), and Dean of Westminster Abbey (1863).
Westminster Abbey. 3-GP’s Abbey Burial Marker. The stone marker for GP in Westminster Abbey consists of nine stone blocks containing these words carved in stone, all in capital letters: “HERE WERE DEPOSITED FROM NOV. 12 TO DEC. 11 1869 THE REMAINS OF GEORGE PEABODY, THEN REMOVED TO HIS NATIVE COUNTRY AND BURIED AT DANVERS NOW PEABODY MASSACHUSETTS. ‘I HAVE PRAYED MY HEAVENLY FATHER DAY BY DAY TO SHEW MY GRATITUDE FOR THE BLESSINGS WHICH HE BESTOWED UPON ME BY DOING SOME GREAT GOOD TO MY FELLOW MEN.’ ‘LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE BEFORE MEN, THAT THEY MAY SEE YOUR GOOD WORKS AND GLORIFY YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN.'” See: Death and Funeral, GP’s.
Westminster Abbey. 4-GP’s Abbey Burial Marker from Winthrop’s Eulogy. The words on GP’s Abbey burial marker are from philanthropic advisor Robert Charles Winthrop’s (1809-94) eulogy on GP, given Feb. 8, 1870, South Congregational Church, Peabody, Mass. Winthrop said (italics added): “…when I expressed my amazement at the magnitude of his purpose [GP’s intended gifts, which GP first shared with Winthrop most likely on May 9, 1866, or in Oct. 1866] he said to me with guileless simplicity: ‘Why Mr. Winthrop, this is no new idea to me. From the earliest of my manhood, I have contemplated some such disposition of my property; and I have prayed my heavenly Father, day by day, that I might be enabled, before I died, to show my gratitude for the blessings which he has bestowed upon me by doing some great good to my fellow-men.” Ref.: (Photo of GP’s Westminster marker): Crichton, pp. 14-17. Ref.: (GP to Winthrop quotation, 1866): Winthrop-a, III, pp. 48-50. Winthrop-b. PEF, Proceeding, I, pp. 151-167. New York Times, Feb. 9, 1870, p. 1, c. 4-7. London Times, Feb. 10, 1870, p. 5, c. 1. New York Herald, Feb. 9, 1870, p. 4, c. 1-4.
GP & the Wetmores
Wetmore, George Peabody (1846-1921), was born in London while his parents were abroad. His father, William Shepard Wetmore (1802-62), was a partner in the NYC-based mercantile firm of Wetmore & Cryder with which GP dealt in corn, grain, and other commodities during 1844-47. G.P. Wetmore was educated at Yale Univ. (B.A., 1867; M.A., 1871), studied law at Columbia Univ. (LL.B., 1869), was a lawyer, entered politics as a Republican (1880), was a Presidential Elector, was R.I. Gov. (1885-87), U.S. Sen. from R.I. (1895-1913), and trustee of the PEF and of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale Univ. Ref.: Internet (seen March 3, 2000): http://reed.senate.gov/senators/wetmore.htm. Sobel and Raimo, eds., p. 1357. Internet “George Peabody Wetmore [1846-1921], p. 24: http://reed.senate.gov/senators’wetmore.htm (seen March 3, 2000): See: Wetmore, Shepard.
Wetmore, Samuel (1812-85). 1-GP’s Business Friend. Samuel Wetmore was one of the 16 original PEF trustees and PEF treasurer. He was the uncle of William Shepard Wetmore (1802-62), of Wetmore & Cryder, a NYC-based mercantile firm with which GP dealt in corn, grain, and other commodities in South America, China, and North Atlantic trade during 1844-47. Samuel Wetmore was present at the PEF’s first meeting when trustee Pres. Robert Charles Winthrop (1809-94) read aloud GP’s Feb. 7, 1867, letter founding the PEF. It was in an upper room at Willard’s Hotel, Washington, D.C., on Feb. 8, 1867, with 10 of the 16 original trustees present. See: PEF.
Wetmore, Samuel. 2-Pres. Johnson Called on GP. On Feb. 9, 1867, Samuel Wetmore, his wife, and their 16-year-old son were in GP’s Willard’s Hotel rooms when U.S. Pres. Andrew Johnson (1808-75), his secretary, Col. William George Moore (1829-93), and three others called on GP. With GP and the Wetmores were PEF trustees Robert Charles Winthrop, Episcopal Bishop of Ohio Charles Pettit McIlvaine (1799-1873), and former S.C. Gov. William Aiken (1806-87); along with GP’s nephew George Peabody Russell (1835-1909), George Washington Riggs (1813-81), and three others. Ref.: Hidy, M.E.-c, p. ix. See: persons named.
Wetmore, Samuel. 3-Pres. Johnson Called on GP Cont’d. Pres. Johnson took GP by the hand and said he thought to find GP alone. He called, he said, simply as a private citizen to thank GP for his PEF gift to aid public education in the South. He said he thought the gift would help unite the country, and was glad to have a man like GP represent the U.S. in England. He invited GP to visit him in the White House. GP thanked Pres. Johnson with some emotion, said that this meeting was one of the greatest honors of his life, that he knew the president’s political course would be in the country’s best interest, that England from the Queen downward felt only goodwill toward the U.S., that he thought in a few years the country would rise above its divisions to become happier and more powerful. See: PEF.
Wetmore, Samuel. 4-Pres. Johnson Called on GP Cont’d. Besides genuine appreciation for the PEF as a national gift, Pres. Johnson had another motive. He faced impeachment by hostile radical Republicans in Congress angered by his conciliatory policy toward the former Confederate states. To avoid impeachment, Pres. Johnson’s political advisor, Francis Preston Blair, Sr. (1791-1876), advised a complete change of cabinet, with GP as Treasury Secty. But loyalty to his cabinet kept Johnson from this course. Ref.: Ibid. For others in the proposed Cabinet change, see Andrew, John Albion.
Wetmore, Samuel. 5-GP Visited the White House. Before his May 1, 1867, return to London, GP called on Pres. Johnson in the Blue Room of the White House on April 25, 1867. They spoke of the work of the PEF. With GP at the White House were B&O RR Pres. John Work Garrett (1820-84) and Samuel Wetmore’s 18-year-old son, William Boerum Wetmore (b. Dec. 7, 1849). GP told Pres. Johnson of young Wetmore’s interest in being admitted to West Point and Pres. Johnson said he would do what he could for the young man. See: Congressional Gold Medal and Resolutions of Praise to GP. Persons named.
Wetmore, Samuel. 6-GP’s Last U.S. Visit, 1869. During GP’s last U.S. visit, June 8 to Sept. 29, 1869, he stayed several times at Samuel Wetmore’s NYC home at 15 Waverly Place, Greenwich Village, Manhattan. He stayed there when he arrived on the Scotia, June 8, 1869, again on Sept. 9, 1869, and Sept. 29, 1869, when he boarded the Scotia to return to London. In London he rested at the home of business friend Curtis Miranda Lampson (1806-85), where he died Nov. 4, 1869.
Wetmore, William Boerum (b. Dec. 7, 1849), son of GP’s business friend Samuel Wetmore (1812-85), one of the original 16 PEF trustees, and at whose NYC home (15 Waverly Place, Greenwich Village) GP stayed several times during his last U.S. visit, June 8 to Sept. 29, 1869. W. B. Westmore was a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, 1867-72, served in the Indian War of 1874 and the Battle of Red River, and was a cavalry major. Ref.: g. Internet (World Wide Web): Wetmore, William Boerum. http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/Wetmore/2002-09/1031277775 Ref.: See: Wetmore, Samuel. Willard’s Hotel, Washington, DC.
Wetmore, William Shepard (1802-62). 1-GP’s Business Associate and Friend. William Shepard Wetmore was born in Saint Albans, Vt., was educated in schools in Vt. and Conn., and began his business career with Edward Carrington & Co., Providence, R.I., in which his uncle Samuel Wetmore (1812-85) was a partner. He established several mercantile firms in South America, China, and was a partner in Wetmore & Cryder, NYC. GP had longtime dealings with W.S. Shepard in corn, grain, and other commodities. Because he was then in London, GP used Wetmore’s help in NYC in 1853 to transfer his (GP’s) $10,000 donation for scientific equipment for the Second U.S. Grinnell Expedition, 1853-55. This expedition, led by U.S. Navy Commander Elisha Kent Kane (1820-57), failed to find lost British Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin (1786-1847) but did initiate U.S. Arctic exploration. See: persons named.
Wetmore, W.S. 2-GP’s Visit to W.S. Wetmore, Newport, R.I., Sept. 1856. W.S. Wetmore retired early to a palatial home in Newport, R.I. During GP’s Sept. 15, 1856, to Aug. 19, 1857, U.S. visit, his first return after nearly 20 years in London (since Feb. 1837), he made several visits to Wm. S. Wetmore in Newport, R.I., an early one on Sept. 18-19, 1856, leaving for Providence, R.I. (Sept. 20-Oct. 9, 1856), and then to Georgetown, Mass., to be with his sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell (1799-1879) and her family. Ref.: “William Shepard Wetmore,” p. 25. See: Visits to the U.S. by GP.
Wetmore’s Farewell Banquet for GP
Wetmore, W.S. 3-GP’s Visit to W.S. Wetmore, Newport, R.I., Aug. 10, 1857. Nine days before GP’s return to London, Wm. S. Wetmore held an elaborate farewell banquet for him at Newport (Monday, Aug. 10, 1857). From 1,200 to 2,500 guests attended (accounts vary) the four-hour program of entertainment, food and dancing on a specially built 100 square foot pavilion near the palatial Wetmore home, a veritable chateau, on 40 acres of cultivated lawns. Forty yachts had arrived at Newport harbor bringing guests. GP had entertained lavishly in London. But the Newport affair was one only a U.S. millionaire could arrange. A NYC Evening Post article called it the greatest entertainment fashionable Newport had seen to that time. News accounts called it “the Great Fête Champêtre at Newport.” Ref.: NYC Evening Post, Aug. 12, 1857, p. 1, c. l; and p. 2, c. 2-3. New York Daily Times, Aug. 12, 1857, p. 1, c. 6. Newport Mercury (R.I.), Aug. 15, 1857.
Wetmore, W.S. 4-GP Farewell Banquet, Newport, R.I., Aug. 10, 1857, Cont’d. News accounts described the dining tables, loaded with the finest foods, with crystal, porcelain, glass of every description, expensive silver, and a fabulous array of flowers. Flags, wreaths, and bouquets dominated the scene. Boston carpenters had used 32,000 feet of lumber to build the pavilion. Tentmakers spent $3,000 for canvas alone. Ladies were everywhere in their best millinery and crinoline. Ref.: Ibid.
Wetmore, W.S. 5-GP Farewell Banquet, Newport, R.I., Aug. 10, 1857, Cont’d. Guests included the British and Russian ambassadors and at least two members of the English peerage. A musical group, the Germanians, directed by Wm. Schultze, played the coronation march, an overture, another march, sixteen dances, waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and galops. Refreshments included ice cream and fancy ices; 24 baskets of champagne, sherry, Madeira, cognac, and other liqueurs. Present and awed by the opulent splendor were GP’s two nephews, Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-99) and George Peabody Russell (1835-1909). GP slipped away from the crowd for a time for business talk with Wetmore and other friends. Ref.: Ibid.
Wetmore, W.S. 6-Father of R.I. Gov. George Peabody Wetmore. Of W.S. Wetmore’s three children, his son, George Peabody Wetmore (1846-1921), was born in London while his parents were abroad, was named after GP, attended Yale College (1867) and Columbia College Law School, NYC (1869), was R.I. Gov. (1885-87), U.S. Sen. from R.I. (1895-1913), and trustee of the PEF and of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale Univ. His father, William Shepard Wetmore, died at home in Newport, R.I., June 16, 1862. Ref.: (On G.P. Wetmore): Representative, p. 24. Ref.: (On W.S. Wetmore): Hidy, M.E-c, p. ix. R.I. State Archives Death Register, Vol. 1862, p. 772 (listed W.S. Wetmore’s death at home, Newport, R.I., June 16, 1862). See: persons named.
Wetmore and Cryder, was a NYC-based mercantile firm with which GP dealt in corn, grain, and other commodities in South America, China, and North Atlantic trade during 1844-47. See: Wetmore, William Shepard.
Whipple, Henry Benjamin (1822-1901), was the Episcopal Bishop of Minn. and a PEF trustee. Born in Adams, N.Y., ill-health kept him from college. After some business years, he studied a theological program privately (from 1847), became a priest in the Episcopal Church (1850), was rector of Zion Church, Rome, N.Y. (1850-57), and of Holy Communion Church, Chicago (1857-59). He was consecrated first bishop of Minnesota (Oct. 1859) and in 1860 with Episcopal minister James Lloyd Breck (1818-76) founded in Faribault, Minn. Seabury Divinity School and also founded a church boys’ school and a church girls’ school. He became widely known as “the apostle to the Indians,” who called him “Straight Tongue.” U.S. presidents from Lincoln to McKinley sought his advice on Indian affairs. Ref.: “Whipple, H.B.” p. 2317. See: PEF.
GP & the Pope
White, Andrew Dickson (1832-1918). 1-GP and the Pope. Andrew Dickson White was president of Cornell Univ. when he heard the following story from U.S. sculptor William Wetmore Story (1819-95), who had a studio in Rome, Italy. GP was in Rome, Italy, with his philanthropic advisor Robert Charles Winthrop (1809-94), Feb. 19-28, 1868, mainly for sittings in Story’s studio for the GP seated statue Story was preparing for placement on Threadneedle St., near London’s Royal Exchange (unveiled July 23, 1869, by the Prince of Wales). See: San Spirito Hospital, Rome, Italy. Persons named.
White, Andrew Dickson. 2-GP and the Pope Cont’d. About Feb. 24-25, 1868, GP and Winthrop, accompanied by former Secty. of the U.S. Legation in Rome, James Clinton Hooker (married to R.C. Winthrop’s niece), had an audience with Pope Pius IX (Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, 1792-1878, Pope during 1846-78), GP’s only audience with the Pope and Winthrop’s second audience (Winthrop’s first audience with the Pope was in 1860). Winthrop introduced GP to the Pope “as a gentleman who though unmarried, had hundreds of children; whereupon the Pope, taking him literally, held up his hands and answered, ‘Fi donc! Fi donc!” (French term of disapproval). Ref.: Ibid. See: Hooker, James Clinton.
White, Andrew Dickson. 3-GP and the Pope Cont’d. The remark was clarified and the talk turned to charity and philanthropy. Leaving the Pope, J.C. Hooker introduced GP and Winthrop to Cardinal Giacomo Antonelli (1806-76) through whom GP donated $19,300 to the Vatican’s charitable San Spirito Hospital, Rome. A.D. White was born in Homer, N.Y.; attended Geneva (now Hobart ) College and Yale Univ. (1853); studied in France, Germany, and toured Europe; was in the N.Y. state senate (1864-67), where he helped plan and was first president (1867-85) of land grant Cornell Univ. He wrote History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896) and was U.S. Minister to Russia (1892-94) and Germany (1879-81, 1897-1902). Ref.: Ibid.
White House, Washington, D.C. GP gave $10,000 toward the expenses of the Second U.S. Grinnell Expedition, 1853-55, led by U.S. Naval Commander Elisha Kent Kane (1820-57), searching for the lost British Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin (1786-1847). HMS Resolute was a British ship abandoned in the Arctic ice in the decade-long search for lost Sir John Franklin. A Capt. Buddington of the U.S. whaler George Henry found and extricated the Resolute. The U.S. government purchased the damaged Resolute, repaired it, and returned it to Britain as a gift. When the Resolute was broken up, Queen Victoria had a massive desk made from its timbers and gave it to the U.S. President. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (1929-94) found the desk in a storeroom in 1961 and had it refurbished for Pres. John F. Kennedy’s (1917-63) use. Famous photos show Pres. Kennedy’s young son “John-John” playing under that desk. Pres. Clinton returned the desk to the Oval Office in 1993. See: persons named.
White House, Washington, D.C., GP’s Visit. On April 25, 1867, before his May 1, 1867, return to London, GP and a party of friends called on Pres. Andrew Johnson in the Blue Room of the White House and they spoke of the work of the PEF. See: Congressional Gold Medal and Resolutions of Praise to GP.
GP in W. Va., 1869
White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. 1-GP’s Visit, July 23-Aug. 30, 1869. During GP’s last U.S. visit he stayed at the Greenbrier Hotel, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., during July 23-Aug. 30, 1869. There by chance he met southern and northern educators, statesmen, and military leaders including Robert E. Lee (1807-70), then president of Washington College, Lexington, Va. (renamed Washington and Lee Univ., 1871). Lee and GP talked, dined, walked, and were photographed together (Aug. 12). Having just doubled to $2 million his PEF, resolutions of praise were read in GP’s presence, and a Peabody Ball was held in his honor (Aug. 11). See: Corcoran, William Wilson. Confederate Generals. Eaton, John. Greenbrier Hotel. Lee, Robert E. “Old White.” Visits to the U.S. by GP.
White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. 2-GP’s Visit, July 23-Aug. 30, 1869, Cont’d. Historian of the springs of Va. Perceval Reniers wrote of this Peabody Ball: “The affair that did most to revive [the Southerners’] esteem was the Peabody Ball…given to honor…Mr. George Peabody…. Everything was right for the Peabody Ball. Everybody was ready for just such a climax, the background was a perfect build-up. Mr. Peabody appeared at just the right time and lived just long enough. A few months later it would not have been possible, for Mr. Peabody would be dead.” Ref.: Ibid.
White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. 3-Cold War Use. During the cold war years of the Eisenhower Administration a large bunker was built under the wing of The Greenbrier Hotel. The 720-foot deep bunker, whose existence was made public in 1992, was meant to house members of the U.S. House and Senate in case of nuclear attack. It was code named Project Greek Island, could accommodate 1,000 people, had a medical clinic complete with operating room, a 400-seat cafeteria, and dormitory facilities. Although never used, its personnel were on alert during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. The Greenbrier Hotel today remains an active conference and recreation site in rolling green surroundings, with three golf courses, 20 tennis courts, riding stables, and a 29,000 foot spa on 6,500 acres. Ref.: Marialisa Calta, “Gimme Shelter,” New York Times, July 14, 1996, pp. xx, 29.
Rent Debt of GP’s Brother Thomas Peabody
Whitehorne, Sarah. 1-NYC Boarding House Keeper. In advanced age Sarah Whitehorne, a NYC boarding house keeper, wrote to GP, July 19, 1853, about a debt owed her by GP’s younger brother Thomas Peabody (1801-35), fifth born in a family of eight children. “Mr. George Peabody, ” she wrote, “I take the liberty of address[ing] you a few lines presuming you are the Mr. Peabody who was formerly of the firm of Riggs & Peabody and who the Papers say is possessed of great wealth and much benevolence. I wish to call to your recollection many years ago when your Brother David and family boarded with me and his wife died at my Home. Two or three years after that your brother Thomas boarded with me and went away thirty dollars in my debt.” See: Riggs, Sr., Elisha.
Whitehorne, Sarah. 2-Brother Thomas Peabody’s Rent Debt. “I know not whether he is living but I am very destitute, far advanced in life, and with very feeble health, would you be so kind as to send me that small sum, it would be of great service to me for I need it now more than ever–when your Brother David with his Wife and Son George boarded with me, it was just after the yellow fever was in New York and I recollect your calling there of an evening in Greenwich Street–be assured Sir it is exactly as I have stated and you will not I trust refuse me. Address me No. 75 Fulton Avenue, Second door from Joy Street, Brooklyn, New York.” Ref.: Ibid.
Poem on GP’s Death by Whitman & Whittier
Whitman, Walt (Walter, 1819-92). 1-Poem on GP’s Death and Funeral. U.S. poet best known for his Leaves of Grass (1855, 1856, 1860) also wrote the following poem about GP’s death and burial, considered less than his best:
“Outlines for a Tomb [G.P., Buried 1870]”
by Walt Whitman.
1. What may we chant, O thou within this tomb?
What tablets, outlines, hang for thee, O millionaire?
The life thou lived’st we know not,
But that thou walk’dst thy years in barter, ‘mid the haunts of brokers,
Nor heroism thine, not war, nor glory.
2. Silent, my soul,
With drooping lids, as waiting, ponder’d,
Turning from all the samples, monuments of heroes.
While through the interior vistas,
Noiseless uprose, phantasmic, (as by night Auroras of the north,)
Lambent tableaus, prophetic, bodiless scenes,
In one, among the city streets a laborer’s home appear’d,
After his day’s work done, cleanly, sweet-air’d, the gaslight burning,
The carpet swept and a fire in the cheerful stove.
In one, the sacred parturition scene,
A happy painless mother birth’d a perfect child.
In one, at a bounteous morning meal,
Sat peaceful parents with contented sons.
In one, by twos and threes, young people,
Hundreds concentring, walk’d the paths and streets and roads,
Toward a tall-domed school.
In one a trio beautiful,
Grandmother, loving daughter, loving daughter’s daughter, sat,
Chatting and sewing.
In one, along a suite of noble rooms,
‘Mid plenteous books and journals, paintings on the walls, fine statuettes,
Were groups of friendly journeymen, mechanics young and old,
City and country, women’s, men’s and children’s,
Their wants provided for, hued in the sun and tinged for once with joy,
Marriage, the street, the factory, farm, the house-room, lodging-room,
Labor and toil, the bath, gymnasium, playground, library, college,
The student, boy or girl, led forward to be taught,
The sick cared for, the shoeless shod, the orphan father’d and mother’d,
The hungry fed, the houseless housed;
(The intentions perfect and divine,
The workings, details, haply human.)
3. O thou within this tomb,
From thee such scenes, thou stintless, lavish giver,
Tallying the gifts of earth, large as the earth,
Thy name an earth, with mountains, fields and tides.
Nor by your streams alone, you rivers,
By you, your banks Connecticut,
By you and all your teeming life old Thames,
By you Potomac laving the ground Washington trod, by you Patapsco,
You Hudson, you endless Mississippi–nor you alone,
But to the high seas launch, my thought, his memory.
Ref.: Untermeyer, pp. 358-359.
Whitman, Walt. 2-Whitman’s biographer, David S. Reynolds, wrote of this poem: “…He [Whitman] produces an obsequious, procapitalist poem like ‘Outlines for a Tomb,” eulogizing the millionaire philanthropist as a ‘stintless, lavish giver’ who funds the arts and feeds the poor.” Ref.: (Poem is in): Untermeyer, pp. 358-359; (poem is mentioned in): Reynolds, p. 505.
Whittemore, Reed (1919-), poet, whose full name is Edward Reed Whittemore II. He graduated from Yale University, B.A., 1944, New Haven, CT; taught at Carleton College, Northfield, Minn.; and was Laureate Consultant at the Library of Congress. His poem below, “Elm City,” referring to the Peabody Museum of Yale University, New Haven, CT., was Read by Garrison Keillor on “Writers Almanac,” NPR station, Knoxville, TN, Feb. 13, 2007.
“The Elm City,”
by Reed Whittemore
The hard, yellow, reversible, wicker seats
Sit in my mind’s warm eye, varnished row on row,
In the old yellow childhood trolley
At the end of the line at Cliff Street, where the conductor
Swings the big wooden knob on the tall control box,
Clangs the dishpan bell, and we wander off
To tiptoe on stones and look up at bones in cases
In the cold old stone and bone of the Peabody Museum,
Where the dinosaur and the mastodon stare us down,
And the Esquimaux and the Indians stare us down
In New Haven,
The Elm City.
I left that town long ago for war and folly.
Phylogeny rolled to a stop at the old Peabody.
I still hear the dishpan bell of the yellow trolley.
Ref.: (Sources on Reed Whittemore: http://www.rollyo.com/search.html?q=Reed+Whittemore&sid=5630
Whittier, John Greenleaf (1807-92). 1-Poem on GP’s Memorial Church for his Mother. During 1867-68, at a cost of $70,000, GP had a Memorial Church built in Georgetown, Mass., his mother’s birthplace (then called Rowley). His sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell Daniels (1799-1879) also lived in Georgetown. Wanting to honor GP’s and his sister’s devotion to their mother’s memory, Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier wrote a special poem entitled “Memorial Hymn,” read by the Rev. George W. Campbell of Bradford, Mass., Jan. 8, 1868, at the dedication of this Memorial Church. When Whittier later learned of GP’s restriction–that the church “exclude political and other subjects not in keeping with its religious purposes,” he stated that the poem would never have been written nor his name lent to the occasion had he known of this restriction. The background of this controversy is given below. Whittier’s poem follows in full:
by John Greenleaf Whittier
Thou dwellest not, O Lord of All:
In temples which Thy children raise;
Our work to thine is mean and small,
And brief to thine eternal days.
Forgive the weakness and the pride,
If marred thereby our gift may be,
For love, at least, has sanctified
The altar which we rear to Thee.
The heart and not the hand has wrought
From sunken base to tower above;
The image of a tender thought,
The memory of a deathless love!
And though should never sound of speech
Or organ echo from its wall,
Its stones would pious lessons teach,
Its shade in benedictions fall.
Here should the dove of peace be found,
And blessing and not curses given;
Nor strife profane, nor hatred wound,
The mingled loves of earth and heaven.
Thou, who didst soothe with dying breath
Thy dear one watching by Thy cross,
Forgetful of the pains of death
In sorrow for the mighty loss;
In memory of that tender claim
O mother-born, the offering take,
And make it worthy of Thy name,
And bless it for a mother’s sake!
Ref.: Whittier, IV, pp. 188-189.
End of 11 of 14. Continued on 12 of 14. Send corrections, questions to email@example.com