9 of 14 Parts: 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 most pages of 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 9 of 14 blogs covers alphabetically: PIB, Music. 51 to Salem, Mass.
PIB, Music. 51-Robert Sirota (1949-), Tenth Director during 1995-2005, born in NYC, was a trained in music composition at The Juilliard School, Oberlin (Ohio) Conservatory (B.M.), study in Paris, France; and a Harvard Univ. Ph.D. Early in Sirota’s administration Johns Hopkins Univ. trustee Benjamin H. Griswold IV (Baltimore investment banker), chaired a successful $20 million Peabody Conservatory of Music campaign. Griswold himself gave the Conservatory $2 million in honor of his mother, Leith Symington Griswold, who studied at the Peabody Preparatory School and at the Conservatory, 1926-36. The PIB’s North Hall (where the Peabody Gallery of Art was originally housed) was renamed the Leith Symington Griswold Hall, March 8, 1998. Sirota’s legacy (he left the PIB Conservatory Oct. 2005 to become President of NYC’s Manhattan School of Music) included a $27 Million renovation of the PIB Conservatory campus, a sister (Yong Siew Toh) conservatory in Singapore, prominent faculty appointments, and an endowment approaching $100 Million. Sirota was succeeded by interim director Peter Landgren, PIB Conservatory member since 1981 and teaching excellence award winner in 2003. Ref.: Garside, “Peabody Historic Hall to Honor Griswold.” Johns Hopkins Magazine (Sept. 2005), seen Sept. 9, 2005: http://www.jhu.edu/~jhumag/0905web/wholly.htmal#sorota
Peabody Conservatory of Music In Perspective
PIB, Music. 52-140 Year Perspective. First collegiate school of music in the U.S. (1857) but the fourth to offer instruction (1868), the PIB Conservatory of Music served Baltimore and the nation for some 140 years. Music scholars and others appreciated that the Johns Hopkins Univ. continued the PIB Conservatory of Music tradition. The PIB remains a marble and red brick cultural complex in Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon Place. Scholars use its research library resources. Visitors still enjoy the PIB building’s grandeur. Art students enjoy its art works on loan to various Baltimore art galleries. Lectures still inform, delight, and entertain the public. Music students still study Bach, Beethoven, other classical composers, in traditional form, and also in new electronic music form, using the latest digital synthesis software. (Note: for the massive financial effort to restore PIB solvency under Johns Hopkins Univ. affiliation, including the acquiring of its art collection as part of the Md. State Archives, see PIB Gallery of Art below).
PIB, Music. 53-Computer Music Dept. The PIB Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins Univ. was the first in the U.S. with a computer music department. A degree in recording engineering since 1983 allows students to combine PIB Conservatory music classes with courses in the Johns Hopkins’ G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering. In 1992 the PIB Conservatory enrolled 538 students from around the world, 280 of them graduate students, and 258 undergraduate students. After nearly a century and a half of change, the PIB library, music conservatory, art, and lectures still serve Baltimore, the U.S., and the world. Ref.: (below).
PIB, Music. 54-Computer Music Dept. Cont’d. Ref.: (Computer music): Ulrike Huhs, “Peabody Conservatory Generates Sounds of the Future,” Asheville Citizen-Times (NC), Nov. 28, 1992, p. 4C. Other Refs. (PIB): Schaaf-a, (compiler), Peabody: An Illustrated Guide. Olson, pp. 105, 168, 192. Kahn. Peabody Conservatory of Music Catalogue, 1991-93, and later issues. “Peabody Institute, Baltimore,” The International Cyclopedia of Music, p. 1640.
PIB Gallery of Art
Peabody Institute of Baltimore (PIB) Gallery of Art. 1-Baltimore’s First Art Gallery, Third in the U.S. The PIB Gallery of Art (active 1873-mid-1930s) was Baltimore’s first and the third art gallery in the U.S. Its only predecessor in Baltimore was the Md. Historical Society’s fine art exhibits during 1846-1909. See: PIB for overview.
PIB, Art. 2-Began in 1873. The PIB Gallery of Art began in 1873, when PIB trustee John W. McCoy (1821-89) donated Clytie, a life-size marble statue of a woman in classical Greco-Roman style. PIB Provost Nathaniel Holmes Morison (1815-90) was delighted to have Clytie, which he exhibited with two other marble figures, Venus of the Shell (marble copy of the Vatican’s crouching Venus) and Joseph Mozier’s (1812-70) Pocahontas, the last presented by trustee George Stewart Brown (1871-1941). These works drew between 20 and 100 visitors a day. During March 4 to April 5, 1879, the Peabody Art Gallery held an exhibition of paintings and sculpture on loan, with average attendance of 280 by day and 246 by evening. Ref.: Schaaf-b, pp. 9-14.
PIB, Art. 3-1881 Exhibition. PIB trustee John Work Garrett (1820-84) bought for the Peabody Gallery of Art in London and Paris casts of antiques, bas-relief, and statuary. These, shown in an 1881 PIB Gallery of Art exhibition, also included a half-size bronze copy made by Ferdinand Barbedienne (1810-92) of the Ghiberti gates in the Baptistry of St. John in Florence. The catalog of this popular exhibition went into three printings. Besides being Baltimore’s first art museum, the Peabody Gallery of Art was something of an art school, since art students could by permission copy its works. Ref.: Ibid.
PIB, Art. 4-Donated Art. In 1884, while his private art gallery was being prepared, John Work Garrett lent the PIB Art Gallery 52 paintings he owned for a showing that attracted 13,464 visitors. In 1885, Thomas Harrison Garrett (1849-88, son of John Work Garrett) exhibited his collection of Rembrandt’s etchings at the PIB Art Gallery. In 1893 the PIB Art Gallery received trustee Charles James Madison Eaton’s (1808-93) art collection of 81 paintings, 62 watercolors, drawings, miniature portraits, porcelain, and bronzes by French-born artist-sculptor Christophe Fratin (1800-64). Eaton’s nieces also gave the PIB Art Gallery the considerable art collection of Baltimore merchant Robert Gilmore, Jr. (1774-1848), which their uncle had purchased to prevent its sale to buyers outside of Baltimore. Ref.: Ibid.
PIB, Art. 5-Donated Art Cont’d. In 1908 trustee John W. McCoy, whose gift of Clytie in 1873 started the PIB Gallery of Art, gave it his art collection, which included other sculpture by Md. sculptor William Henry Rinehart, along with paintings by Irish-born American painter Thomas Hovenden (1840-95) and Baltimore-born painter Hugh Bolton Jones (1848-1927). Ref.: “Rinehart, William Henry,” Appletons’, V, p. 256.
PIB, Art. 6-Donated Art Cont’d. In 1911, the Peabody Gallery of Art received the art collection of Baltimore stock broker George Carter Irwin which included works by artists Andrea Scacciati (1642-1710), Casmicache, Elisabetta Sirani (1639-1665), Charles Volkmar (d. 1914), and Bonheur. George Carter Irwin’s sisters established an Irwin Fund used by the Peabody Gallery of Art to purchase paintings by such distinguished American artists as Winslow Homer (1836-1910), George Innes (1824-94), Childe Hassam (1859-1935), and Jonas Lie (1880-1940). Ref.: Rusk-a, pp. 309-338. Rusk-b, XV, pp. 615-617. [William Henry Rinehart], Sun (Baltimore), Jan. 5, 1936. See: Homer, Winslow.
PIB, Art. 7-Active Years. The Peabody Gallery of Art was especially active during 1911-12 when Sunday afternoon hours were introduced. Sun writer H.(enry) L.(ouis) Mencken (1880-1956) wrote humorously of the sacrilege of Sunday viewing. There was a special “Exhibits of Contemporary American Art” in 1911 by the Charcoal Club of Baltimore for prospective buyers, with an illustrated catalog listing 105 participating artists’ names and addresses. Over 4,000 visitors came to see such works as Charles (Webster) Hawthorne’s (1872-1930) Fisher Boys, George Wesley Bellows’ (1882-1925) The Palisades, Jonas Lie’s Harbor in Winter, and Childe Hassam’s (1859-1935) The Ledges. The successful exhibit was for some years an annual event. Ref.: Ibid.
PIB, Art. 8-1912-22. The first one-man exhibit in 1912 featured Baltimore artist Charles H. Walther (1879-1937). In 1914 a modernist exhibit of Cubism and Futurism paintings caused something of a sensation. In 1916 there was a special exhibit of sculpture by Paul Manship (1885-1966). Baltimore women artists calling themselves “The Six” held frequent exhibits between 1912 and 1922. Ref.: Ibid.
PIB, Art. 9-PIB Art On Loan Since mid-1930s. In the mid 1930s the expanding PIB Conservatory of Music’s need for space prompted a decision to close the Peabody Gallery of Art. Its over 1,000 art pieces were placed on extended loan (where they still remain) in the Baltimore Museum of Art (opened 1914) and in Baltimore’s Walters Art Gallery (which became public in 1934). Ref.: Ibid. Lynn D. Poole, “Mantle of Success,” Sun (Baltimore), May 16, 1948.
PIB Art Acquired by Md. State Archives, 1996
PIB, Art. 10-Transfer to Md. State Archives. Financial problems caused the PIB Library to become part of the Enoch Pratt Free Library for 16 years, July 2, 1866, to July 1, 1882, when it and the PIB Conservatory of Music became part of the Johns Hopkins Univ. (effective July 1, 1982). By the late 1980s, additional state and private aid was needed to endow the PIB. A task force headed by then Md. Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg (1933-) devised the Peabody Plan to raise $15 million in state aid plus matching private aid, a goal achieved under Md. Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (1951-) as chair of the Peabody Oversight Committee. In return for this aid, the Md. State Archives gained title to the PIB Art Gallery collection, June 28, 1996. Its treasures remain housed as before in the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Gallery, the Md. Historical Society, the PIB, and elsewhere. It is hoped that some art pieces will circulate around Md., to be enjoyed by Marylanders and world visitors. Ref.: “The Peabody Art Collection, A Treasure for Maryland,” 2 pp., Internet (seen March 2, 2000): http://mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/staagser/s/1259/121/6361/html/history.html
Peabody Institute Library, Danvers, Mass.
Peabody Institute, Danvers, Mass. 1-Name Changes. Brooksby Village, Essex County, Mass., founded 1626, some 20 miles northeast of Boston, was renamed Salem Village (1636-1752), then renamed Danvers (1752-1855). It was called South Parish of Danvers when GP was born there Feb. 18, 1795. Danvers was divided into North Danvers and South Danvers (1855-68), with GP’s home in South Danvers, at 205 Washington St., now the George Peabody House Civic Center in what was renamed Peabody, Mass., April 13, 1868. Ref.: Internet (http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/salem/witchcraft/Danvers.html): “Historical Sites of Danvers.” Danvers Historical Society.
Peabody Institute, Danvers, Mass. 2-Peabody Institute Libraries, Peabody and Danvers. GP founded his first Peabody Institute Library, June 16, 1852, in his hometown of South Danvers (total gift $217,600, renamed Peabody, Mass., April 13, 1868). He founded his second Peabody Institute Library a few miles away in what is now Danvers, Mass., Dec. 22, 1856 (total gift $100,000). In 1692 Salem Village parish (now Danvers) was the center of alleged witchcraft in which inhabitants were arrested and some hanged as witches. Ref.: Ibid.
Peabody Institute, Danvers, Mass. 3-Other Famous Residents. Famous people born in or who lived in or near Danvers, besides GP, include 1-Israel Putnam (1718-90), American Revolution general, prominent in the battle of Bunker Hill; and 2-Grenville Mellan Dodge (1831-1916), Civil War Union general and builder of the Union Pacific Railroad. 3-Poet John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-92), who lived in Danvers from 1875. 4-Writer Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-64) lived in nearby Salem, Mass., where the House of the Seven Gables is located. Ref.: Internet: (http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/salem/witchcraft/Danvers.html): Danvers Historical Society “Historical Sites of Danvers.” See: institutions named.
Peabody Institute Library, Georgetown, Mass. In 1866 GP gave $30,000 for a library, lyceum, and lecture fund in Georgetown, Mass., where his mother was born (the town was then called Rowley) and where his sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell Daniels (1799-1879) lived. In 1866 GP also had built in Georgetown, Mass., in memory of his mother and at the suggestion of his sister Judith, a $70,000 Memorial Church. See: Georgetown, Mass. Memorial Church, Georgetown, Mass. Whittier, John Greenleaf.
Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, Mass. GP’s first Peabody Institute Library was founded June 16, 1852, in what is now Peabody, Mass., to which he gave a total of $217,000. For the controversy over change of name from South Danvers to Peabody, Mass., see Peabody, Mass. (below). For the Peabody Institute’s first librarian Fitch Poole, his partially published diary on GP’s library visits and death, and Fitch Poole’s library display of GP’s honors, see Poole, Fitch. [Poole, Fitch] in Reference. Honors, GP’s, in Life and after Death (in chronological order). Peabody, George, Honors in Life.
Peabody Library Association of the Public Library of Washington, D.C. On April 20, 1867, GP gave $15,000 for a Fund for Public Library. A Peabody Room is in the Georgetown branch of the Washington, D.C., Public Library.
Peabody Library, Thetford, Vt. In Sept. 1866 GP gave $5,000 toward a public library in Thetford, Vt., in memory of his maternal grandparents and of his visit to them there in late winter 1810 when he was age 15. His maternal grandparents then lived in Post Mills Village, Thetford, Vt.: Judith (née Spofford) Dodge (1749-1828) and her husband Jeremiah Dodge (1744-1824). GP then stopped to visit his maternal aunt Temperance (née Dodge) Jewett (1772-1872?), whose husband, Jeremiah Jewett (1757-1836), was a physician in Barnstead, N.H. See: Concord, N.H. Mayall, John Jabez Edwin. Towns and persons named.
South Danvers Renamed Peabody, Mass., 1868
Peabody, Mass. 1-Petition & Opposition, March 13, 1868. In March 1868 a petition was sent to the South Danvers town council to change the town’s name from South Danvers to Peabody, Mass. South Danvers citizens voted their approval which then went to the Mass. legislature, Boston, where the proposal met opposition. A petition signed by 100 citizens opposed to the name change was presented at a late March 1868 hearing at the State House, Boston. At the hearing a Mr. H.W. Poole explained that GP was unpopular with some in South Danvers because of his alleged southern sympathies during the Civil War. Ref.: South Danvers Wizard, April 1, 1868, p. 2, c. 2; April 22, 1868, p. 2, c. 2; May 6, 1868, p. 1, c. 7 and p. 2, c. 1.
Peabody, Mass. 2-GP Defended. GP was stoutly defended at the hearing, especially by Gen. William Sutton, who said that relatively few in South Danvers objected to the proposed name change. Ref.: Ibid.
Peabody, Mass. 3-“Peabody” Suggested over Other Names. Two years before, the business community particularly wanted a name change. “South Danvers” implied a section of Danvers, when South Danvers was in fact a separate town. Even the U.S. post office had difficulty separating Danvers and South Danvers mail. “Peabody” was chosen over other suggested names: “Bowditch,” after locally born famed navigator and mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838); “Antwerp,” because the French spelling of that city in Belgium, “D’Anvers,” was believed to be the original source for “Danvers”; “Brooksby,” the name of the village when first settled in 1626 as part of Salem; “Osborne,” after many of that family in South Danvers; and “Sutton” after a prominent citizen, Gen. William Sutton. Ref.: Ibid.
Peabody, Mass. 4-Second Vote, April 30, 1868. To overcome the impasse in the change of name, the hearings committee proposed a compromise: the State of Mass. would recognize the name change to “Peabody” if there was a second favorable vote by South Danvers citizens. In April 1868, before the town’s second vote, GP’s friends issued a handbill which explained: “At a…town meeting, duly called and legally conducted, we voted to change the town’s name to Peabody…. Opponents who failed to defeat it at the ballot box protested…. Rather than have the name change take effect under imputation of ‘trickery, wirepulling, and underhand work,’ we agreed to a second town vote.” Ref.: Ibid. Ref.: (Pro-GP handbill, April 1868): Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Peabody, Mass. 5-Second Vote, April 30, 1868, Handbill. The pro-GP handbill then explained his financial record in the Civil War: “The charges against Mr. Peabody are unfounded. He never held a dollar of rebel debt nor dealt in rebel bonds. On the contrary over three million dollars of his own money was in United States bonds on which he drew no interest until the war was over. He used his influence to help sell our bonds when we were hard pressed for money and when other bankers in England invested in the Confederate Loan. The success of the rebellion would have shattered his fortune.” Ref.: Ibid.
Peabody, Mass. 6-Second Vote, April 30, 1868, Final Vote. Opposition declined. On the second vote, April 30, 1868, of the 625 votes cast, there were 379 yeas, 246 nays, with change of name advocates winning by 133 votes. Thus, the town was first called Brooksby (1626), later known as Salem Village, then Danvers (1752-1855), then South Danvers (1855-68), and finally Peabody, Mass. (from April 13, 1868, by official Mass. records). Ref.: (Official change of name): Mass., Commonwealth of, Documents…1868…, House Document No. 180, March 31, 1868. Mass., Commonwealth of, General Laws…1868, p. 25.
Peabody Memorial Church, Georgetown, Mass. (1867-68). During 1866-68 at a cost of $70,000 GP had a Memorial Church built in Georgetown, Mass., in honor of his mother who was born there when the town was known as Rowley. GP did this at his sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell Daniels’ (1799-1879) suggestion. This sister Judith also lived in Georgetown and had been part of a group that broke away from the Congregational Church for doctrinal reasons. See: Memorial Church, Georgetown, Mass.
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard Univ., Cambridge, Mass. See: Marsh, Othniel Charles. Science: GP’s Gifts to Science and Science Education.
Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale Univ., New Haven, Conn. See: Marsh, Othniel Charles. Science: GP’s Gifts to Science and Science Education.
Peabody Museum of Salem, Mass.
Peabody Museum of Salem, Mass. 1-Brief History: 1799-1867. Salem, Mass., was a leading New England clipper ship sailing port. Its acquisitive shipmasters brought back from China, Sumatra, India, and the Pacific islands ethnological and marine history collections organized by the East India Marine Society, 1799, the oldest museum in the U.S. Next door was the Essex County Natural History Society, founded in 1833, to collect New England’s natural history antiquities. In 1848 this Essex County Natural History Society merged with the Essex Historical Society (founded 1821) to preserve the history and relics of Essex County, Mass. The 1848 merger resulted in the Essex Institute. See: Science: GP’s Gifts to Science and Science Education.
PM, Salem, Mass. 2-Building Need Brought to GP’s Attention. During GP’s May 1, 1866, to May 1, 1867, U.S. visit, it was brought to his attention that the East India Marine Society’s ethnological and marine science objects and the Essex Institute’s natural history objects were inadequately housed in the moribund East India Marine Society Building in Salem. Ref.: Ibid.
PM, Salem, Mass. 3-Peabody Academy of Science (1867-1915). GP’s Feb. 26, 1867, gift of $140,000 founded the Peabody Academy of Science (1867-1915), Salem, Mass., which combined the two organizations’ science collections. Soon other New England societies began to donate their ethnological and maritime objects to the then new Peabody Academy of Science. Ref.: Ibid.
PM, Salem, Mass. 4-Peabody Museum of Salem (1915-92). The Peabody Academy of Science (1867-1915) was renamed the Peabody Museum of Salem (1915-92). Next to the Peabody Museum of Salem stood the older Essex Institute (1848), containing Essex Country historical documents. Ref.: Ibid.
PM, Salem, Mass. 5-Peabody Essex Museum Since 1992. In 1992 the Peabody Museum of Salem (1915-92) was combined with the Essex Institute (1848-1992) and renamed the Peabody Essex Museum (since 1992). Thus, the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass. (since 1992), has a lineage going back to 1799 or 200 years, the oldest U.S. science museum. Ref.: Ibid.
Peabody Museum of Yale Univ. See: Marsh, Othniel Charles. Science: GP’s Gifts to Science and Science Education. Yale Univ.
Peabody Normal College, Nashville, Tenn. 1-Nashville Normal School. First PEF administrator Barnas Sears (1802-80) wanted a normal school in Nashville as a model for the South. He found the Univ. of Nashville trustees willing to transform their moribund “Literary Dept.” into a normal school. Aided by newly inaugurated Tenn. Gov. James Davis Porter (1828-1912), Sears got the legislature to amend appropriately the Univ. of Nashville’s charter (1875). See: PCofVU, history of. Conkin, Peabody College, index.
Peabody Normal College. 2-Seven Historically Connected Collegiate Institutions. Peabody Normal College grew out of its predecessor collegiate institutions: Davidson Academy (1785-1806); Cumberland College (1806-26); and the moribund Literary Dept. of the Univ. of Nashville (1826-75). The PEF-created State Normal School (1875-89), officially renamed Peabody Normal College (1889-1911), was succeeded by GPCFT (1914-79) and PCofVU since 1979. Ref.: Ibid. For PCofVU’s six predecessor colleges and their nineteen chief administrators, see PCofVU and institutions named.
Peabody Notes is a PIB Conservatory of Music publication.
Peabody Park, Univ. of N.C. at Greensboro. See: Peabody, George Foster.
Peabody Reflector. Alumni publication, GPCFT (1914-79), and its successor, PCofVU (since July 1979), Nashville, Tenn.
Peabody, Riggs & Co. (1829-43)
Peabody, Riggs & Co. (1829-43). 1-Dry Goods and Other Commodities. Peabody, Riggs & Co. was the successor to Riggs, Peabody & Co. (1814-29), in Georgetown, D.C. (1814), with a move to Baltimore (1815-29), and with warehouses in NYC and Philadelphia (1822). The firm imported from Europe and elsewhere dry goods and other commodities for sale to U.S. wholesalers. See: Riggs, Sr., Elisha. Riggs, Peabody, and Co.
Peabody, Riggs & Co. 2-Partners. GP as senior partner had three junior partners: Samuel Riggs (d.1853), nephew of GP’s previous senior partner, Elisha Riggs, Sr. (1779-1853), and two later younger partners: Henry T. Jenkins (b.1815) and Adolphus William Peabody (b. 1814), GP’s younger first cousin (son of GP’s paternal uncle, John Peabody [1768-1827]). Samuel Riggs managed the Baltimore office and then the NYC warehouse. For the firm, GP traveled in the U.S. and abroad, including five European buying trips (1827-37). Ref.: Ibid. See: persons named.
Peabody, Riggs & Co. 3-Merchant to Securities Broker to Investment Banker. On his fifth European trip, GP remained in London after Feb. 1837, initially as Md.’s agent to sell the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal part of Md.’s $8 million bond issue abroad for internal improvements. Peabody, Riggs & Co. declined after the Panic of 1837. GP withdrew his capital in 1843, though some transactions lasted until 1848. Though still head of Peabody, Riggs & Co., GP formed George Peabody & Co., London, Dec. 1838, and became increasingly a broker-banker trading in U.S. state securities. Samuel Riggs left Peabody, Riggs & Co. to join Lawrence Stone & Co., connected with the Bay State Cotton Mills in Lawrence, Mass. Junior partners H.T. Jenkins and Adolphus William Peabody joined other firms. Ref.: Ibid.
Peabody, Riggs & Co. 4-George Peabody & Co. & Successors. George Peabody & Co. prospered (1838-64). Often ill, GP took as partner Oct. 1, 1854, Boston merchant Junius Spencer Morgan (1813-90), whose son John Pierpont Morgan (Sr., 1837-1913) began as NYC agent for George Peabody & Co. GP retired Oct. 1, 1864, asked that his name be withdrawn from the firm, which was succeeded by J. S. Morgan & Co. (1864-1909), Morgan Grenfell & Co. (1910-18), Morgan Grenfell & Co., Ltd. (1918-90), and Deutsche Morgan Grenfell (since June 29, 1990), London. Ref.: Hidy, M.E.-c. See: persons and firms named.
Peabody School, St. Louis Public Schools, Mo., opened 1872, still existing, 2002. See: Peabody, George (1795-1869), Named Institutions, Firms, Buildings, Ships, Other Facilities, Music, & Poems Named for GP (26th entry).
Peabody Statue in London. See Statues of GP.
Peabody Trust of London. GP founded the Peabody Donation Fund, London, March 12, 1862 (total gift, $2.5 million), which built and managed the Peabody Homes of London for low-income working families. Renamed the Peabody Trust Group of London, it housed, in 2005, over 50,000 low income Londoners (1999: 59% white, 32% black, and 9% others) in over 19,500 Peabody apartments in 30 London boroughs. Some Inner London Borough public housing authorities chose to come under the Peabody Trust’s better living facilities, playgrounds for the young, recreation for the elderly, computer training centers, job training, and job placement for working adults. The Peabody Trust also has computer-equipped mobile vans for job training in needy neighborhoods. For more information, see http://www.peabody.org.uk Peabody Homes of London. Authors’ Preface, Sources, Overview.
GP at the Peace Jubilee, Boston
Peace Jubilee, Boston. 1-GP’s Unannounced Visit. In mid-June 1869, during GP’s last U.S. visit (June 8 to Sept. 29, 1869) GP paid an unannounced visit to the Peace Jubilee and Music Festival in Boston. He listened quietly to the orchestra and choir. He was recognized and his presence was announced from the stage at intermission by Mayor Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff (1810-74). His introduction by the Mayor as “the friend of the whole world” brought “a perfect storm of applause,” attributed to the publicity and praise for his philanthropy, particularly the Feb. 7, 1867, PEF ($1 million) and his doubling of that gift to $2 million (June 29, 1869) to revive the defeated South through public education. See: Shurtleff. Nathaniel Bradstreet.
Peace Jubilee, Boston. 2-GP Praised in Sermon. On Sunday, June 20, 1869, 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 the U.S. than a hundred demagogues to destroy it. Ref.: Ibid.
Peboddy, Annis (17th century, dates not known), sister of Francis Peboddy (1612 or 13-1697), first of the paternal family to leave for America in 1635. Annis Peboddy came to America the next year, 1636. See: Peabody Genealogy, Paternal.
Peboddy, Francis (1612 or 14-1697), son of John Paybody (1590-1667), was the first of the paternal family to leave for America, one of a group of dissenters who sailed on the ship Planter for Mass. on April 2, 1635. A year after landing he lived in Ipswich, Essex County, Mass. See: Ibid.
Second Dean, PCofVU
Pellegrino, James William (1947-). 1-Second Dean, PCofVU. James William Pellegrino was the second dean of PCofVU from Jan. 1992 to July 1998 (he remained as professor and researcher). He was succeeded by PCofVU Dean Camilla Persson Benbow (1956-) from Aug. 1998. James William Pellegrino, who succeeded first PCofVU Dean Willis D. Hawley (1938-), PCofVU’s first dean during 1980-89, was acting dean at the Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, before joining Vanderbilt Univ. as holder of the Frank W. Mayborn Chair of Cognitive Studies (from 1989). See PCofVU, history of. Conkin, Peabody College, index.
Pellegrino, James William. 2-Innovative Technology. Dean Pellegrino said of PCofVU in the fall of 1992: “I inherited a financially stable and intellectually robust institution” (enrollment was over 1,500 [870 undergraduate, some 630 graduate students]). His goals were to so undergird PCofVU’s instructional programs with innovative technology that they would be “uniquely superior” and set a standard for other universities. In his six years as dean, he helped keep PCofVU among the top ranking U.S. graduate schools of education and is credited with linking PCofVU to 70 joint projects with the Nashville Metro School system. Ref.: Ibid.
GP and Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania (Penn.). 1-1869 U.S. Visit. On July 19, 1869, and on Sept. 1 and 2, 1869, GP visited Philadelphia-born financier Charles Macalester (1798-1873) at his home in Torresdale near Philadelphia. Charles Macalester, who had visited London in 1842, became GP’s agent and business correspondent in Philadelphia, was one of the 16 original PEF trustees, was among the few PEF trustees and others who saw GP aboard the Scotia on Sept. 29, 1869, on his last return to London. Macalester’s founding of Macalester College, St. Paul, Minn., may have been influenced by GP’s philanthropic example. See: Macalester, Charles. Philadelphia, Penn. Visits, U.S., GP.
Penn. 2-GP and Other Pennsylvanians. GP’s other Pennsylvania connections included: a-Civil War General Martin W. Gary (1819-73), whom he met with other northern and southern leaders, including Robert E. Lee, at White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., summer 1869. b-PEF trustee U.S. Army Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes (1817-83). c-PEF trustee financier Anthony Joseph Drexel (1826-93) who, in founding Drexel University, Philadelphia, publicly credited GP’s philanthropic influence. Drexel’s partner was John Pierpont Morgan (later Sr. 1837-1913), son of Peabody’s partner, Junius Spencer Morgan (1813-90). Young JP Morgan began his career as NYC representative of London’s George Peabody & Co. See: persons named.
Penn. 3-GP and Other Pennsylvanians (Cont’d.). For other Pennsylvania-GP connections, see Forney, John Wien. Hirsch, Samuel. Hoppin, Esther Elizabeth. Lambdin, James Read. Moran, Benjamin. Schenley, Edward W.H.
Perman, Annette Emma. See: Thomas Perman (below).
Perman, Thomas. GP’s last will of Sept. 9, 1869, left $5,000 (ƒ1,000) to his London office clerk Thomas Perman or wife Annette Emma or her child. See: Wills, GP’s.
Perry, Matthew Calbraith (1794-1858), was the U.S. Navy Commodore under U.S. Navy Secty. John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870), who engaged isolationist Japan in U.S. trade (treaty of March 31, 1854). It was Baltimorean John Pendleton Kennedy, GP’s friend since their first meeting as fellow soldiers in the War of 1812, who at GP’s urging, planned the five part PIB, based partly on the British Museum, to which GP gave a total of $1.4 million (1857-69), consisting of: 1-a specialized reference library, 2-music conservatory, 3-art gallery, 4-lecture hall and fund, and 5-annual prizes to Baltimore’s best public school scholars. See: Kennedy, John Pendleton. PIB.
Pershing, John Joseph (1860-1948). Six U.S. nationals were offered and five accepted and received the Freedom of the City of London: Andrew Stevenson (did not accept), GP (first to accept), U.S Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Gen. J.J. Pershing, and Dwight David Eisenhower. See: London, Freedom of the City of London, and GP. Persons named
Persia (ship). On Aug. 19, 1857, GP left NYC for England on the Persia, ending his first U.S. visit after nearly 20 years’ absence as a London based merchant-banker (the visit began Sept. 15, 1856). See: Visits to the U.S., by GP.
Perthshire, Scotland. GP spent mid-Aug. 1862 resting and fishing at Dalguise by Dunkeld in Perthshire, Scotland. Ref.: GP, Dalguise by Dunkeld, Scotland, to Horatio Gates Somerby, Aug. 18 and 21, 1862, Somerby Papers, Mass. Historical Society, Boston.
GP & the War of 1812
Peter, George (1779-1861). 1-GP, War of 1812 Soldier. George Peter was the captain of a military company, military district of Washington, D.C. GP, then age 18, served in this company, July 15-26, 1813, for eleven days. While serving in the Washington, D.C. area, GP first met older established merchant Elisha Riggs, Sr. (1779-1853), who took him as junior partner in Riggs, Peabody & Co. (1814-29). GP also met John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870), original PIB planner and trustee and GP’s longtime friend and advisor. See: War of 1812.
Peter, George. 2-War of 1812 Veterans’ Land Bounty. GP also served Oct. 5-7, 1814, three days, while visiting Newburyport, Mass., in Capt. Joseph T. Pike’s Co., Col. Merrill’s Regiment, or a total of 14 days. Forty-three years later, during his Sept. 1856 to Aug. 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 to which War of 1812 veterans were entitled by Act of Congress, March 3, 1855. GP’s application requested the land bounty as a memento and not for profit. Ref.: Ibid.
GP & Philadelphia, Penn.
Philadelphia, Penn. 1-GP’s Contacts in Philadelphia. GP’s known direct and indirect connections with Philadelphia, Penn., included Riggs, Peabody & Co. (1814-29), in which GP was the traveling junior partner, which moved from Georgetown, D.C., to Baltimore in 1814, and by 1822 had opened warehouses in NYC and Philadelphia. In early 1827 GP’s improvident brother Thomas Peabody (1801-35) worked as clerk with GP’s senior partner Elisha Riggs, Sr. (1799-1853) in Philadelphia and caused difficulty to the older Riggs. Thomas’s faults–hinted at rather than detailed in family letters, included debts, gambling, borrowing at exorbitant rates, inability to hold jobs–led to his untimely death at age 34. See: persons named.
Phila., Penn. 2-Esther E. Hoppin and Alexander Lardner. About 1835 Esther Elizabeth Hoppin (1819-1905) of Providence, R.I., then age 16, visited Philadelphia, where she met and formed a friendship with Alexander Lardner (1808-48), then age 27. They separated, she to finish school; he to establish himself. Three years later she went to England to attend Queen Victoria’s coronation (June 28, 1838). In London she met and became engaged to GP. Returning home to Providence, R.I., she again met Alexander Lardner. Their previous friendship turned to love. See: persons named.
Phila., Penn. 3-Hoppin and Lardner Cont’d. Esther E. Hoppin broke her engagement to GP about Jan. 1839 and returned his gifts through an intermediary. She married Alexander Lardner Oct. 2, 1840. They lived in Philadelphia where he was a cashier in the Bank of the U.S. GP’s NYC business friend John Cryder, knowing of the broken engagement, wrote GP of Lardner’s death in 1848, leaving his widow and two children. For the broken engagement and its effect on GP’s later philanthropy, see Curry, Jabez Lamar Monroe. Humphreys, Mr.
Phila., Penn. 4-Benjamin Moran from Philadelphia. Benjamin Moran (1820-86), who began as a printer in Philadelphia, worked in the U.S. Legation in London as clerk (1853-57), assistant secretary (1857), and as Legation Secty (1857-75). In his private journal, partly published, he wrote critically about GP and others he came in contact with at the U.S. Legation. See: Moran, Benjamin.
Phila., Penn. 5-In Philadelphia for Portrait by Artist James Read Lambdin. GP was in Philadelphia Jan. 10-18, 1857, partly to sit for a portrait in artist James Read Lambdin’s (1807-89) studio, partly to see his 18-year-old niece Julia Adelaide Peabody (b. April 25, 1835), daughter of GP’s deceased oldest brother David Peabody (1790-1841) and his second wife. Niece Julia was in school in Philadelphia, at uncle GP’s expense. Baltimorean and PIB trustee Charles James Madison Eaton (1808-93), an art collector, was also with GP and niece Julia in Philadelphia. See: Eaton, Charles James Madison. Other persons named.
Phila., Penn. 6-GP and Art. Artist James Read Lambdin was also director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Wanting to ask GP for a donation, Lambdin took the group to visit the gallery. GP preferred to wait for them on a bench in the academy. Years after GP’s death (Nov. 4, 1869), Lambdin recorded GP as saying on that occasion, “I do not feel much interested in such matters. You may be surprised when I tell you that, although I have lived for twenty years within pistol shot of the Royal Academy and the National Gallery in London, I have never been within their walls.” Ref.: Ibid.
Phila., Penn. 7-GP and Art Cont’d. Lambdin later commented in his manuscript: “Such was the personal appreciation by this good man of those arts, the value of which he has since acknowledged by his princely gifts to the institution bearing his name. I need not say that after this confession the subject nearest to my heart was left unmentioned.” Ref.: Ibid.
Phila., Penn. 8-GP was also in Philadelphia on Oct. 22, 1866, during his May l, 1866, to May 1, 1867, U.S. visit. He was then met by some PIB trustees who reported on preparations for the PIB’s dedication and opening on Oct. 25-26, 1866. He was in Philadelphia again on Nov. 15-16, 1866. See: Visits to the U.S. by GP.
Phila., Penn. 9-Newspaper Editor John Wien Forney. Philadelphia newspaper owner and editor John Wien Forney (1817-70) was among the 271 passengers aboard the British Cunard Royal Mail ship Scotia from NYC to Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland, May 1-9, 1867. Forney interviewed and wrote about GP. In turn GP arranged for Forney to see the Peabody apartments in London’s borough of Islington. See: Forney, John Wien.
Phila., Penn. 10-Last Visit to Charles Macalester. On GP’s last June 8 to Sept. 29, 1869, U.S. visit, he visited PEF trustee Charles Macalester (1798-1873) at Torresdale near Philadelphia on July 19, again on Sept. 1-2, and again about Sept. 24-26, 1869. Charles Macalester was among those who saw GP depart the U.S. for the last time from NYC on the Scotia, Sept. 29, 1869. See: Macalester, Charles. Penn. (above). Visits, U.S., GP.
Phila., Penn. 11-Resolution at GP’s Death. After GP’s Nov. 4, 1869, death in London, in Philadelphia, Nov. 5, 1869, at a national convention of Jewish religious leaders (rabbis), the Rev. Dr. Samuel Hirsch (1815-89), rabbi of Philadelphia’s Knesseth Israel (1866-88) and chairman of the convention, spoke of GP’s life, philanthropy, and death. The convention unanimously passed a resolution of esteem for GP. See: Death and Funeral, GP’s. Hirsch, Samuel.
Philanthropy, GP’s. See: under Peabody, George, Philanthropy.
GP & the Freedom of the City of London
Phillips, Benjamin Samuel (1811-89). 1-City of London Alderman. Benjamin Samuel Phillips was a City of London Alderman who in London’s Court of Common Council seconded council member Charles Reed’s (1819-81) motion on May 22, 1862, to grant GP the Freedom of the City of London. This honor was proposed following GP’s March 12, 1862, Peabody Donation gift for apartments for London’s working poor (total gift $2.5 million). A suggestion by Council member James Anderton (1785-1868), a solicitor (lawyer) that, instead of the Freedom of the City of London a bust of GP be placed in the Council Chamber, was defeated by a unanimous show of hands. The original motion was passed to grant GP the Freedom of the City of London (July 10, 1862). Charles Reed was later an MP (1868-74), president of the London school board (1873-81), an executor of GP’s estate in England after GP’s death (Nov. 4, 1869), and was knighted in 1876. See: London, Freedom of the City, to GP. Reed, Charles.
Phillips, B. S. 2-Career. Benjamin Samuel Phillips, son of Samuel Phillips, was a warehouseman and importer of fancy goods (firm: Faudel, Phillips & Sons, 36 to 40 Newgate St., London, 1830-86). His biographical sketch listed him as the first Jew in London to be elected common councilman (1847), alderman of the City of London for the ward of Farringdon (June 24, 1857-April 1888); sheriff (1859-60); and lord mayor (1865-66). He was knighted on Dec. 28, 1866. Ref.: Boase, Frederic, p. 1501.
GP & Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.
Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. 1-Nephew Othniel Charles Marsh. At GP’s expense, his nephew Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-99) attended Phillips Academy, later Yale College, Yale’s graduate Sheffield Scientific School, and three German universities. Marsh, who became first prof. of paleontology in the U.S. at Yale Univ. and the world’s second such professor, influenced GP’s founding of three science museums: the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard Univ.(Oct. 8, 1866), the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale Univ. (Oct. 22, 1866), $150,000 each, and what is now the Peabody Essex Museum (Peabody Academy of Science, 1867-1915, renamed Peabody Museum of Salem, 1915-92, renamed Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass., since 1992), $140,000. See: Paradise, Scott Hurtt. Persons and institutions named. Science: GP’s Gifts to Science and Science Education.
Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. 2-GP’s Gift and Papers to Phillips Academy. GP donated $25,000 to Phillips Academy on Oct. 30, 1866, for a professorship of mathematics and natural science. In the early 1870s, the bulk of GP’s business and personal papers were taken from his London firm (J.S. Morgan Co.; previously George Peabody and Co., 1838-64) by nephew Robert Singleton Peabody (1837-1904) and stored at Phillips Academy. In the early 1930s the GP papers were sorted by date and subject into 140 boxes and 250 account and ledger books, newspaper albums, and memorabilia and deposited in 1935 at the Essex Institute, now the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass., where they are calendared and indexed. Ref.: Ibid.
Phipps, Charles Beaumont (1801-66), was Queen Victoria’s private secretary. In Feb. 1866 the Queen read the Peabody Donation fund trustees’ annual report indicating that GP had added $500,000 to the Peabody apartments for London’s working poor (total gift $2.5 million). She asked secty. Phipps to consult Foreign Secretary Lord John Russell (1792-1878) about how best to honor GP. She followed Lord Russell’s advice, given through secty. Phipps, to write him her thanks and to have a miniature portrait of herself made for GP. See: Victoria, Queen.
Photos and illustrations of GP. See: Peabody, George (1795-1869), Illustrations.
Physicians, GP’s. See: Keep, Nathan Cooley, Dr.. Putnam, Dr. Charles Gideon, Dr..
Piatigorsky, Gregor (1903-76), Russian-born cellist who performed at the PIB Conservatory of Music while Otto Randolph Ortmann (1889-1979) was director during 1924-41. See: Ortmann, Otto Randolph. PIB Ref. Library. PIB Conservatory of Music.
GP Portrait by H.W. Pickersgill
Pickersgill, Henry William (1782-1875). 1-Painted GP’s Portrait. London-born artist Henry William Pickersgill’s portrait of GP is in the Corporation of London’s Guildhall, paid for by Philip Cazenove (1798-1880). Ref.: London Times, April 10, 1866, p. 5, c. 3; and April 11, 1866, p. 5, c. 5.
Pickersgill, H.W. 2-Career. H.W. Pickersgill originally worked for a silk manufacturer but the decline in the silk trade because of the Napoleonic Wars led to his study of painting under George Arnald (1763-1841), study at London’s Royal Academy Schools, and public exhibits of his landscapes. He turned to portrait painting, quickly established a reputation, painted the philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), virtually every eminent person in England, and illustrated passages from Shakespeare and Byron. He exhibited regularly and was Librarian, Royal Academy (1856-75). Ref.: Grove Dictionary of Art Online (seen Feb. 9, 2000): http://www.groveart.com
Pickersgill, H.W. 3-Other GP Portrait Artists. Other known portraits of GP were painted by (in alphabetical order): a-British painter Lowes Cato Dickinson (1819-1908); b-Conway, Mass.-born Chester Harding (1792-1866); c-James Reid Lambdin (1807-89); c-Boston-born George Peter Alexander Healy (1813-94). d-Philadelphia-born photographer John Jabez Edwin Mayall (1810-1901), whose life-size photo of GP was said to have been painted over by Queen Victoria’s portrait painter, Jules Arnoult, to resemble an oil painting; and e-London-born Henry William Pickersgill (1782-1875). e-Boston-born John Neagle (1796-1865). See: artists named. Engravers-artists. Peabody, George, Illustrations. Peabody, George, Portraits of. Schuler, Hans (for his bust of GP in N.Y.U. Hall of Fame). Story, William Wetmore (for his seated GP statue in London, a copy of which is in Baltimore). See: Peabody, George (1795-1869), Illustrations.
Pierce, Franklin (1804-69), was 14th U.S. President during 1853-57 when a frictionable incident occurred at GP’s July 4, 1854, Independence Day dinner at the Star and Garter Hotel, London. New, controversial, and jingoistic U.S. Legation Secty. Daniel Edgar Sickles (1825-1914) objected to GP’s toast to Queen Victoria before a toast to the U.S. President. Sickles refused to stand while the other 149 guests rose. He then stalked out of the banquet room “stiff and red-gorged.” See: Sickles, Daniel Edgar.
Pierce, Robert, was PIB Conservatory of Music director during 1983-95. See: PIB Conservatory of Music.
Pierpont Morgan Library of N.Y. (29 East 36th St.). 1-Papers. The Pierpont Morgan Library has the papers of Junius Spencer Morgan (1813-90), his son John Pierpont Morgan, Sr. (1837-1913), grandson John Pierpont Morgan, Jr. (1867-1943), and some GP papers. Junius Spencer Morgan was GP’s partner from Oct. 1, 1854 to Oct. 1, 1864 in George Peabody & Co. (1838-64). J.S. Morgan’s son John Pierpont Morgan, Sr. began his banking career at age 19 as the NYC agent for George Peabody & Co. GP was thus the root of the banking house of Morgan, carried on by grandson John Pierpont Morgan, Jr. Their papers are important in the history of the firm under the following names: 1-George Peabody & Co., London (Dec. 1, 1838-Oct. 1, 1864 [GP had asked that his name be withdrawn after his Oct. 1, 1864 retirement]; 2-J.S. Morgan & Co. (Oct. 1, 1864-Dec. 31, 1909); 3-Morgan Grenfell & Co. (1910-18); 4-Morgan Grenfell & Co., Ltd. (1918-90); and Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, a German owned banking firm since June 29, 1990. See: persons named.
Pierpont Morgan Library of N.Y. 2-GP in 1988 Exhibit. “Creating a Legend: George Peabody and the House of Morgan” was part of a larger exhibit at the Pierpont Morgan Library from about Feb. 28 through May 8, 1988. The author of the New York Times article describing the exhibit (the article featured a portrait of GP) waxed eloquently about GP’s career, his founding of George Peabody & Co., London (1838-64), its subsequent history, the menus from GP’s London U.S.-British friendship dinners, and other facts. Ref.: John Gross, “A Banker with a Gift for Giving, A Golden Touch and a Taste for Dining Well, New York Times, Sunday, Feb. 28, 1988, Section 2, p. 39, c.1.
Pinchon, Edgcumb (b.1883), author of Dan Sickles, Hero of Gettysburg and “Yankee King of Spain” (New York: Doubleday, Doran, 1945). See: Sickles, Daniel Edgar.
Pisa, Italy. In a lengthy Aug. 25, 1831, letter to his sister Judith (1799-1879), GP described his second commercial trip to Europe during April 1830 to Aug. 15, 1831 (15 months). GP went with a traveling companion (name not known) by carriage and with frequent change of horses covered 10,000 miles in England, France, Italy (including Pisa), and Switzerland. See: Daniels, Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell. Visits to Europe by GP.
Pittsburgh, Penn. During GP’s Sept. 15, 1856 to Aug. 19, 1857, U.S. visit, his first return to the U.S. after nearly 20 years’ absence in London (since Feb. 1837), he visited Pittsburgh, Penn., April 14-16, 1857, where he stayed with Capt. and Mrs. Edward W.H. Schenley (he, 1798-1878; she, 1827-1903), who gave a dinner for him. For GP’s March-April 1857 travel itinerary, see Augusta, Ga. See: Schenley, Edward W.H.
Pius IX, Pope (1792-1878, born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti). GP visited Rome, Italy, with Robert Charles Winthrop (1809-94), 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, Rome, via Cardinal Giacomo Antonelli (1806-76). See: persons and institutions named.
Planter, ship on which Francis Peboddy (1612 or 13-1691) sailed to Mass., April 2, 1635. See: Peabody Genealogy, Paternal. Peboddy, Francis.
Plymouth, USS (ship). Soon after GP’s death in London, Nov. 4, 1869, British officials arranged to return his remains aboard British warship HMS Monarch from Portsmouth, England, across the Atlantic for burial in Mass. U.S. Secty. of State Hamilton Fish (1809-93) ordered USS Plymouth as escort vessel to accompany the Monarch. U.S. Rear Adm. William Radford (1808-90), commanding the U.S. Naval European squadron in Marseilles, France, sent the USS Plymouth from Marseilles to Portsmouth Harbor, England, to join the Monarch. See: Death and Funeral, GP’s.
Poem mentioning the Peabody Museum of Yale Univ., New Haven, CT. See: Whittemore, Reed.
Poems about GP. For specific poems, with sources, see Dole, George T. Glyndon, Howard. Greenwood, Grace. Holmes, Oliver Wendell. Whitman, Walt. Whittier, John Greenleaf. See also Quotations by and about GP. For GP eulogies, see Blanc, Louis. Hugo, Victor Marie. Winthrop, Robert Charles.
Poem about the Peabody Museum of Yale. See: Whittemore, Reed.
Polk, James Knox (1795-1849), 11th U.S. Pres. during 1845-49, was a trustee of the Univ. of Nashville during 1839-41, for three years. See: Presidents, U.S., and GP.
Pompeii, Italy. 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. 15, 1831 (15 months). GP went with a traveling companion (name not known) by carriage and with frequent change of horses covered 10,000 miles in England, France, Italy (including Pompeii), and Switzerland. See: Daniels, Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell. Visits to Europe by GP.
Librarian Fitch Poole
Poole, Fitch (1803-73). 1-Librarian. Fitch Poole was the first librarian of the Peabody Institute Library, South Danvers (renamed Peabody on April 13, 1868), from Jan. 3-Sept. 27, 1854, and during 1856-73. He represented South Danvers in the Mass. legislature (1841-42), was on the School Committee (1847-72), and was a member of the Board of Selectmen. He co-edited the Danvers Courier and was editor of the South Danvers Wizard (from 1859), when Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-94) referred to him (Fitch Poole) as “the most genuine humorist in New England.” Ref.: (below).
Poole, Fitch. 2-Ref.: Wells, pp. 33, 35, 37-38. For Fitch Poole’s partially published Diary covering 1849-72, including information on GP’s visits to the library and library activities at GP’s death and funeral, see Death and Funeral, GP’s. [Poole, Fitch] in Reference. For GP’s honors which Fitch Poole displayed in the library, see Honors, GP’s, in Life and after Death (in chronological order).
Pope Pius IX (1792-1878). See: Pius IX, Pope (above).
Tenn. Gov. J.D. Porter & the Peabody Normal College
Porter, James Davis (1828-1912). 1-Tenn. Gov. J.D. Porter’s Career. The son of a physician, James Davis Porter was born in Paris, Tenn., was a Univ. of Nashville graduate (1846), a lawyer (from 1851), Tenn. House member (1859-61), helped organize the Provisional Army of Tenn., and was a staff officer to Confederate Gen. Benjamin Franklin Cheatham (1820-86). Ref.: Losson, pp. 745-746.
Porter, J.D. 2-Univ. of Nashville Chancellor & Peabody Normal College’s Third President. After the Civil War he was a circuit judge; was elected twice as Tenn. governor (1875-79); was president of the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railroad (1880-84); was U.S. Asst. Secty. of State (1885) and U.S. Minister to Chile (1892), both under U.S. Pres. Grover Cleveland; and was Univ. of Nashville chancellor and Peabody Normal College’s third president (1901-09). Ref.: Ibid.
Porter, J.D. 3-Barnas Sears. Barnas Sears (1802-80), first PEF administrator during 1867-80, wanted a teacher training normal school in Nashville as a model for the South. He asked the Univ. of Nashville trustees to consider transforming their inactive Literary Dept. into a normal school (1875). Sears then went to newly inaugurated Tenn. Gov. James Davis Porter, asking him to coordinate the trustees’ agreement with the legislature to amend the Univ. of Nashville’s charter. Toward his retirement as president of Peabody Normal College in 1911, Gov. Porter told how in 1875, just after his inauguration as governor, he helped Sears establish the Peabody Normal College on the campus of the Univ. of Nashville. See: Sears, Barnas. PEF. Conkin, Peabody College, index.
Porter, J.D. 4-Gov. Porter’s Account: “…I was with Dr. Sears, the first General Agent of [the] Peabody Board in 1875, and he said to me, ‘If you will furnish the house I will establish a normal college in Nashville. I am satisfied it is the best place in the South.’ This was within twenty minutes of my inauguration as Governor of the State.” Ref.: White, R.H., Vol. Six, p. 428. Garrett, W.R., pp. 14-25.
Porter, J.D. 5-Gov. Porter’s Account Cont’d.: “I said to him, ‘Meet me here tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock and I will inform you whether I can secure the building for you. I am very anxious to see the school established. Before that hour I interviewed Judge William F. Cooper [1820-1909], Edwin H. Ewing [1809-1902], Edward D. Hicks, III [1831-94] and other members of the Board of Trustees of the University of Nashville and obtained from them consent to establish the college in buildings of the University, and when Dr. Sears called I was able to offer him the most eligible building and the best location of any point in the City of Nashville. He accepted the offer, and in the winter following, the school was organized and entered upon a career of the very greatest success.” Ref.: Ibid.
Porter, J.D. 6-GPCFT. Peabody Normal College, initiated by the PEF, was jointly subsidized by the PEF ($555,730 during 1875-1909) and the Tenn. legislature ($429,000 during 1881-1905). Gov. Porter also helped secure funds the PEF trustees required to match their own $1.5 million to endow GPCFT. He helped raise as matching funds $250,000 from the state of Tenn., $200,000 from the city of Nashville, and $100,000 from Davidson County for GPCFT. See: PCofVU, history of.
Porter, J.D. 7- Next to Vanderbilt Univ. Although Gov. Porter wanted GPCFT to remain at the south Nashville site, he acquiesced in its move to Hillsboro Rd. adjacent to Vanderbilt Univ. for academic strength. Peabody College historian Sherman Dorn wrote (1996): “Wallace Buttrick [d. 1926], general agent of the General Education Board…, arranged for a pension from the Carnegie Fund for the Advancement of Teaching for James Porter, in hopes that “Governor Porter would cooperate in establishing a teachers college in close affiliation with Vanderbilt.” Ref.: Dorn, p. 16.
Porter, J.D. 8-Other Services. During his two terms as Tenn. governor, besides helping establish Peabody Normal College, he helped to found Meharry Medical College for black students in Nashville. He was a PEF trustee, succeeding U.S. Surgeon-Gen. Joseph K. Barnes (1817-83). Ref.: GPCFT, Nashville (Oct. 1941). Darnell, p. 455. Dillingham, pp. 13, 17, 21, 25, 27, 31, 37, 39-41, 48, 52-54, 56-57, 65, 68-70, 74, 77, 80, 84, 89-90, 103, 109, 113, 115, 117, 120. For details of PCofVU’s six predecessor colleges and their nineteen chief administrators, see PCofVU, history of. PEF. Peabody Normal College.
GP & Portland, Me.
Portland, Me. 1-May 28, 1857. Of GP’s two known connections with Portland, Me., the first occurred during his Sept. 15, 1856, to Aug. 19, 1857, U.S. visit, his first return to the U.S. in nearly 20 years since leaving for London. On that occasion he visited the Thomas Shaw family in Portland, Me., the morning of May 28, 1857, and left on the afternoon train for Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. See: Death and Funeral, GP’s.
Portland, Me. 2-Jan. 25-Feb. 1, 1870. 2-The second known connection was that after GP’s death and transatlantic funeral, the British Admiralty chose Portland, Me., because of its deeper harbor, over Boston and NYC, as U.S. receiving port for GP’s remains. Portland thus became the mecca of thousands of visitors who witnessed the Portland ceremonies (Jan. 25-Feb. 1, 1870). These included gun salutes from Fort Preble, the receiving of HMS Monarch and accompanying USS Plymouth by a U.S. Navy flotilla led by Adm. David G. Farragut (1801-70), thousands who viewed the remains aboard HMS Monarch, the disembarkation of remains, the elaborate British-to-U.S. military handing over proceedings and speeches, the lying-in-state of remains at Portland City Hall, the transfer of remains on a specially decorated funeral train (Feb. 1) bound for the final service and eulogy in Peabody, Mass., and final burial in Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem, Mass. (Feb. 8). Ref.: Ibid.
Portraits of GP. See: Peabody, George, Portraits of.
Portsmouth harbor, England. See: Death and Funeral, GP’s.
Post Mills Village, Thetford, Vt. For GP’s visit to his maternal grandparents, Thetford, Vt., at age 15 in the winter of 1810, with sources, see Concord, N.H. Jeremiah Dodge.
Postage stamp, U.S., Honoring GP. See: U.S. Postage Stamp Honoring GP.
Potter, John R. (b. 1815). In his private journal, U.S. Legation in London Secty. Benjamin Moran (1820-86), often critical of GP, reported GP’s Civil War view as told to him by legation visitor John R. Potter, Manchester, England, merchant and former mayor (1848-50), on Dec. 2, 1863. According to Secty. Moran, Potter, in Scotland in the summer of 1863, saw and spoke to GP and found him pro-Confederate in his views. See: Civil War and GP. Moran, Benjamin. Persons named.
Powell, M.J. 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 the Morning Herald editor 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 buying trip to Europe, May 1, 1832, to May 11, 1834 (two years). Ref.: Morning Herald (London), Nov. 5, 1869, p. 4. c. 5-6; and Nov. 8, 1869, p. 3, c. 4. See: Visits to Europe by GP.
GP & U.S. Sculptor Hiram Powers
Powers, Hiram (1805-73). 1-U.S. Sculptor in Florence, Italy. Born in Woodstock, Vt., sculptor Hiram Powers, with a studio in Florence, Italy, had several GP connections. Powers early moved to Ohio where he was a clock maker’s assistant, learned to model in clay from a German sculptor, and was director of the waxworks department at the Western Museum, Cincinnati. He modeled busts of distinguished U.S. statesmen (Franklin, Jefferson) in Washington, D.C. (1835). His more notable statues include The Greek Slave (1843), The Fisher Boy (1846), and Eve Tempted (1850). Powers used George Peabody & Co.’s service in London to forward his mail, to secure and ship statuary materials, and to help sell and collect payment for his statues from clients.
Powers, Hiram. 2-GP’s aid to U.S. Sculptor Shobal Vail Clevenger. Powers’ biographer Richard P. Wunder related that when U.S.-born sculptor Shobal Vial Clevenger (1812-43) was dying from advanced tuberculosis in Florence, Powers, seeking funds to return Clevenger to the U.S., received £10 (about $50) from GP. Ref. Wunder, Vol. 1, pp. 59, 135, 246.
Powers, Hiram. 3-Greek Slave, 1849. Powers and GP were connected in a complex transaction in 1849 about the sale of Hiram Powers’ highly regarded classic marble statue, The Greek Slave, completed in 1843. An Englishman, Lord Ward (later the first earl of Dudley, 1818-85), had seen the original statue and asked Hiram Powers to make a copy for him. Powers made a copy in Jan. 1849 and let Lord Ward know that it was ready. In March 1849 when Powers had not heard from Lord Ward, he asked GP to collect the price of ƒ400 (about $2,000). GP located Lord Ward in Paris. Powers wanted to dispose of the statue but did not want to incur Lord Ward’s displeasure by too many requests for payment. Ref.: Hiram Powers, Florence, Italy, to GP, London, Jan. 13, 1849; March 2 and 19, 1849, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass. Wunder, Vol. 1, p. 160.
Powers, Hiram. 4-Greek Slave, 1849 Cont’d. By May 1849, GP learned that Lord Ward did not want the statue. Not understanding why Lord Ward had changed his mind, Powers wrote to GP to say that he would return Lord Ward’s down payment after deducting his losses. He asked GP to try to sell the statue for him. Powers, who crated and shipped the statue from Florence to London, was short of money and asked GP for credit. By Nov. 1849 GP learned that Lord Ward had changed his mind again and would now buy the statue. Powers sent the bill for GP to collect from Lord Ward and the transaction ended. Ref.:: Hiram Powers, Florence, Italy, to GP, London, May 7, 1849; Aug. 1, 1849; Oct. 23, 1849; Nov. 2 and 20, 1849, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass. Wunder, Vol. 1, p. 187.
Powers, Hiram. 5-GP’s other Aid. In 1850 GP secured for Powers (at Powers’ request) gutta percha, a harder-than-rubber like resin made from Malayan gutta-percha trees. Powers used the gutta percha as a tool for polishing his sculpturing tools and also as plumbing tubing. Gutta percha was used as insulation for Cyrus W. Field’s (1819-92) Atlantic Cable from the 1850s. GP was a director of the Atlantic Cable Co. In 1851 GP took Hiram Powers’ son, Longworth Powers (1835-1904), to the Great Exhibition, London (first world’s fair). GP also arranged for this son’s passage by ship from England to the U.S. Ref.: Ibid, pp. 164, 169. See: Field, Cyrus West.
Great Exhibition of 1851, London
Powers, Hiram. 6-Great Exhibition of 1851, London. Hiram Powers’ Greek Slave, part of the U.S. exhibit at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London might not have been seen to best advantage or won second prize had not GP intervened at a crucial moment with a loan to the exhibitors. The crisis for U.S. exhibitors came in March before the May 1, 1851, opening. The U.S. Congress had not appropriated money to decorate the large U.S. exhibit space at the Crystal Palace Exhibition Hall. The crated U.S. exhibits lay scattered like rubble in the 40,000-square foot U.S. pavilion. See (for fuller account) Corcoran, William Wilson. Great Exhibition of 1851, London (first world’s fair).
Powers, Hiram. 7-Great Exhibition of 1851, London Cont’d. The U.S. Legation and U.S. residents in London were all embarrassed because of lack of funds for the U.S. exhibit. London’s satirical Punch ridiculed the Americans: “We could not help…being struck by the glaring contrast between large pretension and little performance…of the large space claimed by…America….What was our astonishment…to find that their contributions to the world’s industry consists…of a few wine-glasses, a square or two of soap, and a pair of salt-cellars! For a calculating people our friends the Americans are thus far terribly out in their calculations.” Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 8-Great Exhibition of 1851, London Cont’d. The London correspondent of the New York Evening Post criticized U.S. Commissioner to the Great Exhibition Edward W. Riddle (1819-71) of Boston who was in charge of the U.S. exhibitors and their 599 industrial products and art objects: “It is a national disgrace that American wares, which are good, are so barely displayed, so vulgarly and ambitiously spread out over so large a space.” Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 9-Great Exhibition of 1851, London Cont’d. British disdain for brash Americans was reinforced when U.S. locksmith Alfred C. Hobbs (1812-91) walked into a Piccadilly locksmith shop, pointed to a sign offering a reward to anyone opening the firm’s famous lock, picked the lock, claimed the reward, and repeated the performance at another locksmith firm. Without funds to help, U.S. Minister to Britain Abbott Lawrence (1792-1855) was perplexed. He knew Congress would take months to appropriate funds, if at all. Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 10-GP’s Loan. “The whole affair looked like a disgraceful failure,” a New York Times writer later recorded. “At this juncture Mr. Geo. Peabody, of whom not one exhibitor in twenty had ever heard, and who was personally unknown to every member of the Commission, offered through a polite note addressed to Mr. Lawrence, to advance £3,000 [$15,000] on the personal responsibility of Mr. Riddle and his secretary, Mr. [Nathaniel Shattwell] Dodge [1810-74, who remained in London to 1861]. This loan, afterward [three years later re]paid by Congress, relieved the Commission of its difficulties, and enabled our countrymen to achieve their first success in industrial competition with the artisans and manufacturers of Europe.” Ref.: Ibid. See: persons named.
Powers, Hiram. 11-GP’s Loan Cont’d. This New York Times writer described GP’s little known status in 1851: “Mr. Peabody was then 57 years old. A large-framed man, six feet in height, slightly stooping at the shoulders, of easy address, retiring in manner, rather reticent of speech, neat in apparel and dignified in bearing–he appeared rather the English gentleman of leisure than an American merchant…. He had realized a considerable fortune even for London.” “Still,” the article explained, “he was not widely known. Mr. [Joshua] Bates [1788-1864], Mr. Sturgis [1805-87], Mr. (later Sir) Curtis M. Lampson [1806-85] and twenty other Americans [in London] had a larger commercial reputation.” Ref.: Ibid. See: persons named.
Powers, Hiram. 12-GP’s Loan Cont’d. When the exhibition closed on Oct. 19, 1851, over 6 million visitors to the fair had seen to best advantage at the U.S. pavilion, thanks in part to GP’s timely loan: Albert Hobbs’s (1812-91) unpickable lock, Samuel Colt’s (1814-62) revolvers, Hiram Powers’ 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. GP in London wrote to Hiram Powers in Florence on May 14, 1851, praising Powers’ Greek Slave as “the only redeeming object” of the U.S. section. Ref.: Ibid. Wunder, Vol. 1, p. 173.
Powers’ Busts of GP: Misunderstanding
Powers, Hiram. 13-Powers’ Bust of GP, 1862-64. A misunderstanding during 1862-64 about several Powers’ busts of GP left both men irritated and angry. GP thought Powers, who initiated the offer, misconstrued the ordering of the busts. Powers thought GP ordered the busts and then when they were finished decided not to buy them. Each thought his veracity was being impugned. Ref.: GP, Banavie, Fort William, Scotland, to Curtis Miranda Lampson, London, Aug. 3, 1864, transcript supplied to authors by Christine Wagg, legal assistant, Peabody Trust Archives, 45 Westminster Bridge Rd., London SE1 7JB, Aug. 25, 1998.
Powers, Hiram. 14-Powers’ Bust of GP, 1862-64 Cont’d. Since one of the GP busts was intended for the entranceway of the Peabody Donation Fund’s London office (now the Peabody Trust), GP, resting at Banavie, Fort William, Scotland, wrote from memory a long letter on Aug. 3, 1864, to Curtis Miranda Lampson (1806-85), a Peabody Donation Fund trustee, recollecting his transactions with Powers about the GP bust. Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 15-GP’s Explanation to Lampson. GP wrote that in early summer 1862 Hiram Powers came to see him in London in their first ever face to face meeting. Earlier, as noted, Powers had asked George Peabody & Co.’s help in shipping sculpturing materials to and from Powers studio in Florence and also asked for the firm’s help in collecting payment for Powers’ statues. This first meeting was about the time GP received the Freedom of the City of London, July 10, 1862. Powers, from his studio in Florence, Italy, had written George Peabody & Co. to ask about making a bust of GP and to arrange dates when GP could sit for his bust in Powers’ Florence studio. Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 16-GP’s Explanation to Lampson, Cont’d. After receiving the Freedom of the City of London GP felt attacks of gout coming on and told Powers that he was going to rest in Scotland, that he would go to Nice, France, Feb. 1863 and from there would go to Powers’ studio in Florence in March 1863 for sittings. In his Aug. 3, 1864, letter to Lampson GP explained that he went to Nice “& in March I went to Florence for no other object whatever but to redeem my pledge[,] making a journey there and back of about 600 miles by land & water…to oblige Mr Power [GP erroneously referred to Powers as “Power”], or otherwise I would not have taken it [the arduous journey] for the value of half a dozen busts.” Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 17-GP’s Explanation to Lampson, Cont’d. GP recalled to Lampson that after four or five sittings in Florence, Powers “said to me, much to my surprise, that he intended the bust for me & hoped I would accept it. I expressed my thanks for his liberality but declined to accept the bust[.] I remarked however, that I might wish to order one or two copies & asked his price, to which he answered, without further remark, that it would be £75 each [about $375].” Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 18-GP’s Explanation to Lampson, Cont’d. “I [GP] told him [Powers] that the purchase of both depended upon contingencies but I certainly expected to require 1 [one] to present to the Peabody Institute [of] Baltimore & I would decide on receiving photographs which I understood would be sent to me in about 2 or 3 months taken from marble[.] [B]ut much to my disappointment & annoyance, none ever were sent, & it was nearly a year before I heard from Mr. Power[s] on the subject & his letter was then addressed to my House asking what he should do with 2 busts he was finishing for me, & I immediately replied dated 5th March 1864 that he must greatly have misunderstood me as I had never given him any order.” Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 19- GP’s Explanation to Lampson, Cont’d.: “I [GP] wrote [Powers] in haste & kept no copy of the letter but on receiving his extraordinary reply dated 12th March I was fearful that I had inadvertently said something offensive & immediately wrote nearly as follows:– ‘March 18, 1864 My dear Sir [Hiram Powers Esq.], I thought I had addressed you on the 5th inst[.] in a frank, courteous & friendly manner, but as your reply is not written in that spirit I must ask the favor of you to have a copy of my letter taken & send it to me. Very resp & truly yrs (signed) George Peabody.'” Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 20-GP’s Explanation to Lampson, Cont’d.: “Mr Power[s] wrote under date of 24th March sending a copy of my letter of the 5th taken by his wife (no. l) to which I refer you– When I wrote this letter I was as well satisfied as of my own existence that I had never given Mr Power[s] an order for any bust & my mind had undergone no change, for it is so strongly backed by my reflections & intentions as to the disposals of the busts, if I took them, for some months before & several months after I had sit to Mr. Power[s], & left Florence, that a mistake on my part is impossible.” Ref.: Ibid. (Note: GP’s underlining throughout).
Powers, Hiram. 21-GP’s Explanation to Lampson, Cont’d.: “The ‘contingencies’ to which I have referred that would decide whether I should order the 1 or 2 busts or not were as follows:– First A satisfactory close of the dreadful war in America, Baltimore being so situated that she might join North or South & I had determined & so informed my friends there, that I should give nothing whatever to the Peabody Institute, until the war was over & its influences upon Baltimore & the Institute had fully developed themselves.–” Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 22-GP’s Explanation to Lampson, Cont’d.: “Second You are aware that sometime before I had agreed to sit for Mr Power[s] I had promised Mrs Lampson my bust taken in marble by [Irish-born sculptor John Edward] Jones [1806-62] & in the summer of 1863 it was about being finished. It was on that a/c [account] that I was so anxious to have an early photograph from Power[s] to submit to her & to give her the choice of Jones’s or one from Power[s]. It was in consequence of this intention that on Jones’s being finished early in July 1863 that I so particularly asked you if it was perfectly satisfactory to Mrs Lampson & your family, which you assured me was the case, & I am now doubly gratified that it proved so.” Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 23-GP’s Explanation to Lampson, Cont’d.: “Notwithstanding that I never gave an order to Mr Power[s] for 1 or more busts it was my intention, in consequence of his misunderstanding, to take all he had made or was making, & when I wrote the letter 5th March No 1 asking for photographs & promising to write again on receiving them, it was with that view & to entirely protect him from loss.” Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 24-GP’s Explanation to Lampson, Cont’d.: “I particularly call your attention to Mr Power[s]’s letter in reply dated 12th March 1862. The first paragraph is objectionable, as Mr Power[s] evidently intended to be sarcastic, when he says ‘now it appears that I misunderstood your words when you only intended to ask for 2 photographs from the marble of your bust I understood you to give an order for 2 marble copies of the bust at ƒ75 each. On the 2nd page of this letter Mr Power[s] states the notion which induced him to ask me to sit to him as follows viz.: “I was once in much trouble about a payment to be made to Sir Charles Curtis of ƒ200 & I wrote to you for aid & it was at once granted to the extent required, & I then determined if I should ever have the opportunity, that I would shew my gratitude by making your bust in marble & presenting it to you.'” Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 25- GP’s Explanation to Lampson, Cont’d.: “I certainly read these remarks with mortified pride & much annoyance, for I had flattered myself that Mr Power[s], in making the request, had been actuated by higher motives than the loan of the comparatively trifling sum of ƒ200 & I could not but congratulate myself that I had refused the proffered gift. I was also greatly surprised & annoyed that he had mentioned this favor as an isolated case, when at various times for 12 or 15 years I had, without his personal acquaintance, been rendering him pecuniary & other services & for several years without any charge, & until he particularly expressed a wish that I should charge him as I did others did I do so, & his letters for this long period contain the strongest expressions of gratitude for my many kindnesses, & hopes that in one way or another he shall be able to repay them for he says ‘I should like to find some vent for my gratitude.'” Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 26-GP’s Explanation to Lampson, Cont’d.: “In the letter dated the 12th March Mr Power[s] says that when I asked him the price of duplicates of the bust he told me ƒ75 each, but this he says would give him no profit whatever, his regular price being ƒ150. If I had given him an order at ƒ75 & subsequently learned that he had charged me but half his usual price, I certainly could not have received them at that rate, altho’ Mr Power[s] made no comment when he told me ƒ75 & I supposed that it would well repay him for the labor.” Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 27- GP’s Explanation to Lampson, Cont’d.: “On the first page of the same letter Mr Power[s] says ‘the above from your letter of the 5th affords some grounds at least for believing that it has been a misunderstanding of your wishes on my part &c.’ & on the last page of the same letter, most inconsistently, with the above quotation remarks [GP quoted Hiram Powers’ 12th March letter to him]: ‘The position I am placed in by your letter makes the very scalp of my head tingle with mortification–no money–not some of your vast wealth could now purchase your bust of me but I would go to almost any expense to lay it at your feet as a gift.'” Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 28-GP’s Explanation to Lampson, Cont’d.: “These last remarks of course knocked on the head all my previous intentions as referred to & completely tied my hands from any action with regard to purchasing the busts & in the hope & expectation that the matter would be allowed to pass as a ‘misunderstanding’ on the part of Mr Power[s] as he had intimated relative to my words regarding the order, I came to a determined resolution not to answer the letter or to enter into further correspondence on the subject, being well convinced, in my own mind, that no good could result from it and would be likely to further disturb the kind feelings of respect and regard which I have ever felt for Mr Power[s].” Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 29-GP’s Explanation to Lampson, Cont’d.: “His 2nd letter dated 24th March (No 3) from its moderate tone confirmed the foregoing opinion. His 3rd & last letter to me (No 4) dated 5th May contains a memorandum which Mr Power[s] says he made in his book March 28th 1863 (on which day I was on my way home) but such a conversation which took place some days before & my suggestion, not ‘desire,’ referred entirely to the bust Mr Power[s] was working upon & any I might hereafter order.” Ref.: Ibid.
Powers, Hiram. 30- GP’s Explanation to Lampson, Cont’d.: “I should have written a note to him merely to explain this but in the same letter he asked me to do, which I could not do, without a sacrifice of truth & he speaks in conclusion of my ‘repudiation’ of the order I had given him, which, after my repeated assertions that I had never given him an order, made his language quite offensive although I can hardly believe that Mr Power[s] intended it to be so. Very sincerely yours George Peabody.” Ref.: Ibid. See: Statues of GP.
Powers, Hiram. 31-Disposal of GP Busts. Powers’ biographer, Richard P. Wunder’s account was that at Powers’ request GP made a special trip to Florence to sit for his bust. Powers did not charge for the sitting, intending to donate the bust in token payment for GP’s past services for him. Powers did urge GP to purchase two marble GP bust replicas at cost but GP must have suspected that Powers’ motive was to get an order for a GP statue or at least orders for the bust from GP’s various institutes. When GP saw the model he was not pleased, preferred the less expensive and more attractive bust of him made by sculptor Jones, but out of politeness to Powers did not so inform Powers. Ref.: Wunder, Vol. 1, p. 318.
Powers, Hiram. 32-Disposal of GP Busts Cont’d. When Powers proceeded to make the two GP busts and billed GP before sending him the busts—GP was furious. The final outcome, according to Wunder, was that one of Powers’ two unsold GP busts was bought by a British artist living in Florence, Italy, Charles Bethell Otley (1792-1867), who had invited GP to stay in his home while in Florence. Otley donated this GP bust to the Peabody Donation Fund through its governor, Sir Curtis Miranda Lampson (1806-85). The bust was accepted on May 12, 1863, and has since been displayed in the Peabody Trust building entrance in London. (Note: Information supplied by Peabody Trust legal assistant Christine Wagg to authors, Nov. 2003). Ref.: Wunder, Vol. 1, p. 318. Mallalieu (for listing of C. B. Otley. For the Protestant Cemetery in Florence, Italy, where C.B. Otley is buried, see website: http://www..florin.ms/cemetery.html, and for C.B. Otley place in that cemetery, see website: http://www.florin.ms/cemetery3.html See: end of References, g. Internet, under Otley, Charles Bethell.
Powers, Hiram. 33-Disposal of GP Busts Cont’d. Wunder stated that the second GP bust was purchased by Robert Charles Winthrop (1809-94), GP’s philanthropic advisor from 1866 and President of the Peabody Education Fund Trustees. Winthrop presented the bust to the Massachusetts Historical Society. GP-Hiram Powers differences were never resolved. Powers’ final biting criticism of GP made to Winthrop is quoted by Wunder as follows: “…far from wishing…to [sully] the world-wide reputation of Mr. Peabody, I am…firmly persuaded of the falsity of his position…. He was once my very ideal of a generous man. He is now my ideal of a thoroughly selfish man…. I said to him that I determined…to make the bust…and present it to him for the first favor he ever did me. To use his own words [he—GP–replied], ‘You owe me nothing for that, for I knew that your friends would pay if you did not.’ ” Ref.: Wunder, Vol. 1, p 319.
Enoch Pratt & GP
Pratt, Enoch (1808-96). 1-Founder, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore. Enoch Pratt was born in North Middleborough, Mass.; was educated at Bridgewater Academy, Mass.; entered a commercial firm in Boston; and moved to Baltimore (1831) where he became wealthy as a wholesale iron merchant and in other enterprises. As a PIB trustee and treasurer intimately involved in day-by-day library affairs, Pratt knew that the PIB’s specialized reference collection was primarily for researchers. He and others felt the need for a tax-supported free circulation library for Baltimoreans. Encouraged and aided by PIB Provost Nathaniel Holmes Morison (1815-90), Pratt gave $1,145,000 to found the Enoch Pratt Free Library (1882). See: Hart, Evelyn née Linthicum. Hopkins, Johns. PIB Ref. Library.
Pratt, Enoch. 2-PIB Library Part of Enoch Pratt. PIB Library financial difficulties in the 1960s led to a suggestion in May 1966 that the Enoch Pratt Free Library administer the PIB Library. For 16 years (July 2, 1866, to July 1, 1982), the PIB Library was part of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, supported by the City of Baltimore. In the summer of 1982 the trustees of the Enoch Pratt, the PIB Library, and the Johns Hopkins Univ. agreed to transfer administration of the PIB Library to the Johns Hopkins Univ. library system. From July 1, 1982, Enoch Pratt Librarian Evelyn (née Linthicum) Hart (1923-85) skillfully supervised the merger of the PIB Library’s 250,000 volumes and 7 staff members into the Peabody Dept. of the Milton S. Eisenhower Special Collections Division of the Johns Hopkins Univ. Ref.: Ibid.
Md. Praised GP
Pratt, Thomas G. (1804-69). 1-Md. Gov. Pratt’s Annual Report. Md. Gov. Thomas G. Pratt’s 1847-48 annual report to the Md. Assembly (legislature) mentioned GP as: “a citizen of Maryland, who has been for many years past, and is now a resident of London…. Under the…Act of 1835, two [commissioners] received the compensation to which they were entitled: but Mr. George Peabody…has never claimed or received one dollar of compensation…. Whilst the State was struggling with her pecuniary difficulties, he felt unwilling…to add to her burdens; and I am now officially informed that he relinquishes his claim to compensation, feeling himself sufficiently remunerated for his services by the restored credit of his State.” See: Md.’s $8 Million Bond Sale Abroad and GP.
Pratt, T.G. 2-Md.’s Resolution of Praise. On March 7, 1848, both houses of the Md. Assembly passed unanimously a resolution of praise for GP: “Whereas George Peabody, then of Maryland, now of London, negotiated a loan for this state and refused to apply for compensation allowed him; because he was unwilling to add to the burden of Maryland when she was in need–It is unanimously resolved by the General Assembly of Maryland to tender the thanks of the State to Mr. George Peabody for his devotion and interest.” Ref.: Ibid.
GP’s Contacts with U.S. Presidents
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 1-Eight U.S. Presidents as GP Trustees. Eight U.S. presidents were trustees of the PEF or of PCofVU’s collegiate predecessors. 1-Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), 7th U.S. Pres. during 1829-37, was a trustee for over 50 years (1792-1845) in turn of Davidson Academy (1785-1806), chartered Dec. 29, 1785, by the N.C. legislature eleven years before Tenn. statehood (1796); rechartered as Cumberland College (1806-26), rechartered as the Univ. of Nashville (1826-75), from whose moribund Literary Dept. first PEF administrator Barnas Sears (1802-70) helped create and fund Peabody Normal College (1875-1911), Nashville, Tenn.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 2-Eight as GP Trustees. 2-James Knox Polk (1795-1849), 11th U.S. Pres. during 1845-49, was a trustee of the Univ. of Nashville during 1839-41, for three years. 3-Andrew Johnson (1808-75), 17th U.S. Pres. during 1865-69, was a trustee of the Univ. of Nashville during 1853-57, for four years, and had other GP connections described below. See: PEF. Conkin, Peabody College, index.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 3-Eight as GP Trustees. Pres. Andrew Johnson called on GP at Willard’s Hotel, Washington, D.C., Feb. 9, 1867, to thank him for the PEF gift ($1 million, Feb. 7, 1867, doubled to $2 million, June 29, 1869). Pres. Johnson, as have historians then and since, saw the PEF as a national education gift to heal Civil War wounds and bind North and South. To forestall impeachment proceedings, Pres. Johnson’s political adviser Francis Preston Blair, Sr. (1791-1876), suggested a complete cabinet change with GP as Treasury Secty. But Pres. Johnson’s loyalty to his cabinet kept him from this course. GP called on Pres. Johnson, April 25, 1867, before his May 1, 1867, return to London. They spoke in the White House Blue Room about the work of the PEF. Ref.: Ibid.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 4-Eight as GP Trustees. 4-Ulysses Simpson Grant (1822-85), 18th U.S. Pres., during 1869-77, was a PEF trustee during 1867-85, for eighteen years. U.S. Grant was U.S. president during GP’s 96-day transatlantic funeral (after his Nov. 4, 1869, death in London) and concurred in a-the U.S. Navy decision (about Nov. 23, 1869) to send the USS Plymouth from Marseilles, France, as escort vessel to accompany GP’s remains on Britain’s warship, HMS Monarch, for burial in the U.S.; and concurred in b-the U.S. Navy order placing Adm. David Glasgow Farragut (1801-70) in charge of a flotilla of U.S. vessels to receive the Monarch and the Plymouth at Portland harbor, Maine, Jan. 25, 1870. Ref.: Ibid.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 5-Eight As GP Trustees. 5-Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-93), 19th U.S. Pres., during 1877-81, was a PEF trustee during 1877-93, for sixteen years. The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont, Ohio, has a 2 1/2″ copper medal with a GP relief bust marked on one side: “George Peabody” “Born 18 Feb. 1795-Died 4 Nov. 1869;” on back: “Education-a debt due from present to future generations.” “Henry Mitchell, Sculptor.” Ref.: Ibid.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 6-Eight as GP Trustees. 6-Grover Cleveland (1837-1908), 22nd and 24th U.S. Pres., during 1885-89, 1893-97, was PEF trustee during 1885-99, for fourteen years. 7-William McKinley (1843-1901, 25th U.S. Pres., 1897-1901) was PEF trustee during 1899-1901, for two years. 8-Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919, 26th U.S. Pres., 1901-09, PEF trustee during 1901-14, for thirteen years, visited the Peabody Normal College, Nashville, campus, Oct. 22, 1907. Ref.: Ibid. See: Buchanan, James. PEF. U.S. presidents named in above entries.
GP & Pres. Millard Fillmore
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 7-U.S. Pres. Millard Fillmore. U.S. Pres. Millard Fillmore (1800-74), 13th U.S. Pres. during 1850-53, received through U.S. Minister to Britain Abbott Lawrence (1792-1855) a handsome book printed on vellum entitled An Account of the Proceedings at the Dinner Given by Mr. George Peabody to the Americans Connected with the Great Exhibition…On the 27th October, 1851. That dinner was held at London Coffee House, Ludgate Hill. The elaborate book was compiled by GP’s friend, Vt.-born London resident bibliographer Henry Stevens (1819-86). The book contained the menu, toasts, proceedings, and speech by U.S. Minister to Britain Abbott Lawrence. Most of the 150 U.S.-British dinner guests were connected with the Great Exhibition of 1851, London. See: Dinners, GP’s, London. Fillmore. Millard.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 8-U.S. Pres. Millard Fillmore Cont’d. In acknowledging receipt to Abbott Lawrence, Pres. Fillmore wrote about GP: “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 numerous guests which he entertained as one of the happiest days of their lives. Wealth can be envied when it sheds its blessings with such a profuse and generous hand on all around. “The banquet shows that he still recollects his native land with fond affection, and it may well be proud of him. “Hoping that such cordial greetings may never be interrupted by any unfriendly feeling between the two nations, and that Mr. Peabody may live long enough to enjoy them, I remain your obt. svt. Millard Fillmore.” Ref.: Millard Fillmore, Washington City, to Hon. Abbott Lawrence, Feb. 9, 1852, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 9-U.S. Pres. Millard Fillmore Cont’d. Millard Fillmore was in Europe during 1855-56. Mutual friend William Wilson Corcoran (1798-1888) wrote to alert GP of Fillmore’s visit. Fillmore wrote to Corcoran of reaching London “where we found an invitation to dinner from the prince of good fellows, your hospitable friend, Peabody, awaiting our arrival.” [Fillmore], I, pp. 444-445.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 10-U.S. Pres. Millard Fillmore Cont’d. An English source recorded Fillmore’s part in the dinner as follows: “The festivities closed with Mr. Fillmore…rising [to toast] ‘the health of our generous host….’ [Fillmore] described Mr. Peabody as a noble specimen of American enterprise…of whom his countrymen were justly proud. Transplanted to British soil, he still maintained the characteristics of his country, and cherished for her the fond recollection which he had so generously illustrated on this day of our national independence….[Fillmore] pointed to the eagle at the end of the hall, and…described his gratification at the opportunity afforded him of meeting so many of his fellow-countrymen on foreign soil. He should always be proud to join in celebrating the day of our national independence, whether at home or abroad. Mr. Fillmore sat down amidst the most enthusiastic cheering, the band playing ‘Auld lang syne.'” Ref.: Ibid.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 11-U.S. Pres. Millard Fillmore Cont’d. The next year, during GP’s Sept. 15, 1856, to Aug. 19, 1857, U.S. visit, GP spent election night, Nov. 4, 1856, with former U.S. Pres. Millard Fillmore in Buffalo, NY. Ref.: (Fillmore to Corcoran) quoted in Corcoran, p. 137. [Fillmore], I, pp. 444-445.
GP & Pres. James Buchanan
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 12-U.S. Pres. James Buchanan (Sickles Affair, 1854). James Buchanan (1791-1868) was the 15th U.S. president during 1857-61. He was born near Mercersberg, Penn., was a lawyer, served in the Penn. legislature for two terms (from 1814), was U.S. Congressman (1821-31), Minister to Russia (1832-33), U.S. Sen. (1834-45), U.S. Secty. of State (1845-49), and U.S. Minister to Britain (1853-56). Soon after James Buchanan became U.S. Minister to Britain, the London legation secretary he had just appointed, Daniel Edgar Sickles (1825-1914), created an incident by angrily walking out of a GP-sponsored July 4, 1854, Independence Day dinner at the Star and Garter Hotel, London, honoring incoming U.S. Minister Buchanan. See: Corcoran, William Wilson. Sickles, Daniel Edgar.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 13-Sickles Affair under Minister Buchanan. In 1853 before Sickles arrived in London, he wrote GP to reserve rooms for himself, wife, and baby, a courtesy George Peabody & Co. did for visiting Americans. GP consulted Sickles and others about his dinner, let Sickles help select guests, send invitations, and help plan the entertainment. Sickles was an ultra-patriot at a time of U.S. jingoism (the U.S. had recently won the Mexican War and gained territory). Ref.: Ibid.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 14-Sickles Affair under Minister Buchanan Cont’d. As was the custom GP toasted first Queen Victoria and then the U.S. president. Sickles, angry because the U.S. president was not toasted first, sat while the other 149 guests rose for the toasts. He then stormed out of the dining room in “red-gorged anger,” according to his biographer. Ref.: Ibid.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 15-Sickles Affair under Minister Buchanan Cont’d. In a letter to the Boston Post, July 21, 1854, p. 2, c. l, Sickles chided GP for “toadying” to the British and attacked his patriotism. Letters pro and con were published for months. Most writers faulted Sickles and exonerated GP. Ref.: Ibid.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 16-Sickles Affair under Minister Buchanan Cont’d. U.S. Minister James Buchanan thought Sickles was slack in his work, replaced him, but stayed out of the controversy, and did not support GP. A coolness developed between Buchanan and GP, noticeable when GP visited Washington, D.C., in Jan. and Feb. 1857. Buchanan, the only bachelor U.S. president, became guardian of his niece, Harriet Lane (1830-1903), when she was age 10, on the death of her mother, his sister. She was his popular hostess at London social functions where she knew and was friendly with GP. Ref.: Ibid.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 17-Sickles Affair under Minister Buchanan Cont’d. Of GP’s visit to Washington, D.C., in Jan. 1857 he wrote to his friend Horatio Gates Somerby (1805-72): “Buchanan’s friends are particularly attentive to me, but I refuse any interferences to bring us together without a direct explanation from him. I met Miss Lane who treated me with great cordiality.” GP’s partner Junius Spencer Morgan (1813-90) wrote GP from London on March 13, 1857: “Your course respecting Mr. Buchanan strikes me as just the thing. It is for you to receive him if either is to be received, but any reconciliations now would look like truckling to a man because he happens to be in power.” Ref.: Ibid. See: persons named.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 18-Sickles’ Later Controversial Career. Sickles’ later career was also controversial. On Feb. 27, 1859, while serving in the U.S. Senate (1857-61), he shot to death Philip Barton Key (1815-59), son of Francis Scott Key (1779-1843, author of the “Star Spangled Banner”) for Key’s alleged amorous attentions to Sickles’ wife. Key was then attorney general for the District of Columbia. Sickles was acquitted of the murder charge as of unsound mind, the first legal use in the U.S. of that defense plea. Ref.: Ibid.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 19-Sickles’ Later Controversial Career Cont’d. In the Civil War Sickles was a Union general and lost a leg at Gettysburg. As Reconstruction commander of the Carolinas during 1865-67, his 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.
Statues of Four Americans in London
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 20-London Statues of GP and Three U.S. Presidents. Of the four statues of U.S. nationals in London, England, the first erected was of GP and the other three statues erected later were of U.S. presidents, as follows: 1-GP’s seated statue by U.S. sculptor William Wetmore Story (1819-95), paid for by public subscription, was unveiled July 23, 1869, by the Prince of Wales on Threadneedle St., near the Royal Exchange. The other three statues are of 2-U.S. Pres. Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), 16th U.S. president, 1861-65, statue erected 1920; 3-U.S. Pres. George Washington (1732-99), first U.S. president, 1789-97, statue erected 1921; and 4-U.S. Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd U.S. president, 1933-45, statue erected 1948. See: Powers, Hiram, for busts of GP. Statues of GP.
GP & the Freedom of the City of London
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 21-Freedom of the City of London. Of the six U.S. nationals who were granted the Freedom of the City of London, GP was the first (on July 10, 1862), three were U.S. presidents, and one was a U.S. general. Of the U.S. presidents: 1-Pres. U.S. Grant (1822-85) on June 15, 1877; 2-U.S. Pres. Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) on May 31, 1910; and 3-Gen. (later U.S. Pres.) Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) on June 12, 1945. A fourth American granted the Freedom of the City of London was Gen. John Joseph Pershing (1860-1948) on July 18, 1919. Andrew Stevenson (1784-1857), then U.S. Minister to Britain during 1836-41, was the first American to be offered this honor on Feb. 22, 1838, but he declined the honor as inconsistent with his official duties. See: London, Freedom of the City. Persons named.
Pres. William Howard Taft
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 22-Pres. Wm. Howard Taft. PCofVU historian Sherman Dorn described how former U.S. Pres. William Howard Taft (1857-1930, 27th U.S. Pres. during 1909-13) asked industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) for funds for GPCFT. Historian Dorn wrote: “In a letter of 15 May 1913, former president William Taft suggested to industrialist-philanthropist Carnegie that he help endow newly created GPCFT to help supply competent teachers for Southern schools: ‘I doubt if you could do anything that would so help the white people of the south in an educational way as to contribute this last $200,000 of the campaign.” Carnegie did not respond but others did contribute. Ref.: Dorn, p. 17. See: persons named.
Pres. Calvin Coolidge
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 23-Pres. Calvin Coolidge. Pres. (John) Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), 30th U.S. president, wrote an introductory letter warmly praising GP in Philip Whitwell Wilson’s (1875-1956) George Peabody, Esq., An Interpretation (Nashville: George Peabody College for Teachers, 1926). This biography was written in connection with the fiftieth anniversary of GPCFT, Nashville (1925), by a journalist and former member of the British House of Commons. Wilson’s biography used London Times articles and made good use of previously publishing material. See: Peabody, George, Biographies of.
Presidents, U.S., & GP. 24-PEF Trustees’ High Status. Besides the eight U.S. presidents mentioned above who were trustees of the PEF (or college-connected institutions), GPCFT historian Alfred Leland Crabb (1884-1980) and others have documented the high status in government and the professions of the over 50 PEF trustees during 1867-1914. Of their high offices held: thirteen served in state legislatures, four were U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justices, six were U.S. ambassadors, seven served in the U.S. House of Representatives., two were U.S. generals, one was a U.S. Navy admiral, one was a U.S. Surgeon-Gen., three were Confederate generals, eight were U.S. Senators, three served in the Confederate Congress, two were bishops, six were U.S. cabinet officers, and three were financiers (J.P. Morgan, Sr., Anthony Drexel, inspired as PEF trustee to found Drexel Univ., Phila., and Paul Tulane, inspired as PEF trustee to found Tulane Univ., New Orleans, La. Ref.: GPCFT-b, p. 6. See: PEF.
PCofVU Predecessor: Davidson Academy
Priestley, James (1760-1821). 1-Cumberland College President. James Priestley was the second president of Cumberland College, Nashville, during Oct. 24, 1809 to Feb. 24, 1821. Cumberland College (1806-26), which was rechartered from Davidson Academy (1785-1806), was succeeded by the Univ. of Nashville (1826-75), succeeded by State Normal School (1875-89), whose name was changed to Peabody Normal College (1889-1909), succeeded by GPCFT (1914-79), and by PCofVU (since 1979). For details of PCofVU’s six predecessor colleges and their nineteen chief administrators, see PCofVU, history of. Conkin, Peabody College, index.
Priestley, James. 2-Career. James Priestley was born in Rockbridge County, Va., believed to be the son of William Pressley, Sr. He was a student (1782) and later instructor at Mt. Pleasant Academy, near Fairfield, Va. When Mt. Pleasant Academy moved to Lexington, Va., under the name of Liberty Hall Academy, James Priestley was professor of languages and mathematics (1782-84). He was principal of Salem Academy, Bardstown, Ky. (Feb. 25, 1796-1803), principal of newly formed Baltimore College (1803-09), and then president of Cumberland College (1809-21). When Cumberland College closed for three years (1816-19), Priestley conducted a private academy (some sources say for girls) in his home at Montebello, near Nashville. Cumberland College reopened Dec. 1820, with Priestley as president. He died two months later. Ref.: Crabb-c, reprinted in Windrow, ed., pp. 267-273. Ref.: “Priestley,” p. 425.
Prince Consort. See: Albert of Saxe-Co-burg-Gotha (Prince Albert, 1819-61).
Prince of Wales (1841-1910) was Queen Victoria’s eldest son, King Edward VII during 1901-10, who unveiled GP’s seated statue by U.S. sculptor William Wetmore Story (1819-95) on July 23, 1869, on Threadneedle St., near London’s Royal Exchange. GP’s statue in London was the first of four statues of Americans in that city. The other three were U.S. Presidents Abraham Lincoln, 1920; George Washington, 1921; and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1948. A copy of GP’s seated statue in London was placed in front of the PIB, April 7, 1890, by Robert Garrett (1847-96). See: Jones, John Edward [for his bust of GP]. Powers, Hiram [for his busts of GP]. Statues of GP.
Printing press, Richard Hoe’s. GP’s timely loan of $15,000 to the U.S. exhibitors at the Great Exhibition of 1851, London (first world’s fair), allowed over six million visitors to the fair to see to best advantage U.S. industry and art, including Albert 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. See: Great Exhibition of 1851, London (first world’s fair).
Pritchard, Capt. (first name not known), commanded the George Peabody, the largest steam freighter then built for the Chesapeake Bay trade, carrying goods between Baltimore, Petersburg, Va., and Richmond, Va. Its keel was laid May 1, 1857, built by the Powhatan Steamship Co. of Baltimore, and it was to be named Hiawatha. But when the board of directors met a few days after GP’s Feb. 12, 1857, PIB gift was announced, they decided to name their new $90,000 vessel George Peabody in gratitude for GP’s gift and as good company advertisement. On Aug. 13, 1862, during the Civil War, the George Peabody and another steamship, West Point, collided on the Potomac River in an accident in which 83 lives were lost. See: George Peabody (ship).
GP’s Birth Place: Danvers, Mass.
Proctor, John Waters (1791-1874). 1-Danvers Playmates. John Waters Proctor was four years older than GP. They grew up as friends and playmates in Danvers, Mass. (Danvers was divided into South Danvers and North Danvers, 1855, with South Danvers, where both were born, renamed Peabody, Mass., April 13, 1868). John W. Proctor and GP attended the same district school next to the South Church in Danvers. GP, from a poor family, was apprenticed in Sylvester Proctor’s (1769-1852) general store, aged 12 to 16, from May 4, 1807, to 1811. John W. Proctor, from a somewhat better off family, attended Lancaster Academy. Following apprenticeship in Sylvester Proctor’s store, GP worked in his older brother David Peabody’s (1790-1841) dry goods shop in Newburyport, Mass. (1811), and left with his paternal uncle John Peabody (1768-before 1826) to open a store in Georgetown, D.C. (May 15, 1812). Ref.: Wells, pp. 286-287.
Proctor, J.W. 2-Career. After attending Lancaster Academy, John W. Proctor graduated from Harvard College, practiced law (from c.1819), was a county magistrate, a trial justice, a founder of the Essex Agricultural Society, and its treasurer and president. He was a member of the school committee and helped establish the high schools in both North and South Danvers. He was for many years town moderator and initiated the Danvers Centennial Celebration, June 16, 1852, marking Danvers’ separation from Salem, Mass. (1752-1852). Ref.: Ibid.
Proctor, J.W. 3-First Peabody Institute Library, 1852. GP, in London, was unable to attend the June 16, 1852, Danvers Centennial Celebration. He wrote a letter instead, dated London, May 26, 1852, to Danvers town leaders which John W. Proctor read aloud to the gathering on June 16, 1852. GP’s letter described his gift to his hometown of $20,000, first of a total of $217,600, for his first Peabody Institute Library. With GP’s letter and first gift was a slip of paper containing his motto: “By George Peabody, of London: Education–a debt due from present to future generations.” See: South Danvers, Mass., Centennial Celebration, June 16, 1852.
Young GP’s Apprenticeship Under Sylvester Proctor
Proctor, Sylvester (1769-1852). 1-Store owner. Sylvester Proctor owned the store in Danvers (renamed South Danvers, 1855, and Peabody, April 13, 1868), Mass., where GP was apprenticed for four years, May 4, 1807, to 1811 (GP was then aged 12 to 16). The store is described by author J.A. Wells as an apothecary store but may also have sold general merchandise. It was located on Main St. on the site of the later First National Building. It was close enough for young GP occasionally to visit his family, although GP lived, ate, and slept in a room above the store. The Proctors had a son, Sylvester Proctor, Jr., about five years old when GP began his apprenticeship. Nearly 40 years later, Sylvester Proctor, Jr., reminisced in a letter to GP in London about how young GP, then apprenticed to his father, had been his (Sylvester Proctor, Jr.’s) first hero. He enjoyed being taken to the Peabody home where GP’s sisters gave him special attention.
Proctor, Sylvester. 2-GP Apprentice. Thomas Peabody’s (1762-1811) small income limited his son, GP, to four years in a district school, 1803-07, followed by four years as apprentice in “Capt.” Sylvester Proctor’s store, May 4, 1807-1811 (Sylvester Proctor was a captain in the local militia). There were then six Peabody children and a seventh expected: 1-David (1790-1841); 2-Achsah Spofford (1791-1821); 3-GP (1795-1869); 4-Judith Dodge (1799-1879); 5-Thomas (1801-35); 6-Jeremiah Dodge (1805-77); with 7-Mary Gaines (1807-34) expected; and later 8-Sophronia Phelps (b.1809). Thomas Peabody’s leather work, occasional trading, and small farming did not go well. He had to sell land in 1805, 1806, and 1807, was in debt, and mortgaged the family home before his death in 1811 at age 49. In 1814 GP’s mother and the younger children, without resources, had to separate, living with various relatives. Ref.: Haverhill Gazette (Haverhill, Mass.), Sept. 28, 1866, p. 1, c. 6; continued p. 2, c. l.
Proctor, Sylvester. 3-GP Main Family Support. Three years later, 1817, GP, then aged 22 and traveling for Riggs & Peabody, had paid off all debts, restored the family home, paid for the schooling of his younger siblings, and was the family’s main support. Ref.: Probate Office, Courthouse, Salem, Mass., Book 211, Leaf 278, dated Nov. 22, 1816; and Book 215, Leaf 88, dated Jan. 23, 1817. Lawyer Ebon Mosely, Newburyport, Mass., to GP, Baltimore, Dec. 16, 1816, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Proctor, Sylvester. 4-Proctor Helped Peabody Family Affairs. “Capt.” Sylvester Proctor helped settle some Peabody family affairs for GP, then traveling out of Baltimore for Riggs & Peabody. In Dec. 1819, Proctor wrote to GP that his oldest sister Achsah Spofford Peabody was ill, physically and mentally, but was receiving the best of care. She was then age 28 and unmarried. In Sept. 1820, GP’s mother also wrote GP of her concern about Achsah’s emotional health. Ref.: Sylvester Proctor, Danvers, to GP, Baltimore, Dec. 18, 1819, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Proctor, Sylvester. 5-Sister Achsah Spofford Peabody Ill. While the mortgaged Peabody home on Washington Street was under other ownership and occupancy from debt-ridden Thomas Peabody’s death (1811) until GP repurchased it for the family (1817), Achsah boarded with nearby families, including that of Dr. Andrew Nichols (1785-1853), also her physician, a convenient arrangement. She had a fairly successful millinery shop on Main Street near Washington Street. The building owner had sold it to “Capt.” Proctor with whom Achsah developed an aversion, more imagined than real. Proctor wrote to GP Dec. 12 and 16, 1820, explaining that he could not reason with Achsah, that she had been in such a state as to say she would faint away at the sight of him (Proctor), and that when the maternal grandparents had visited (Judith Spofford Dodge [1749-28] and Jeremiah Dodge [1744-1824]), they thought poor Achsah deranged. Ref.: Sylvester Proctor, Danvers, to GP, Baltimore, Dec. 16, 1820, and Dec. 12, 1821, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.; Henderson, p. 3. See: persons named.
Proctor, Sylvester. 6-Sister Achsah Spofford Peabody’s Death. Achsah died Feb. 7, 1821, two months after Proctor’s letters. GP was grateful for Proctor’s help to him and the family. They remained good friends. Ref.: (Achsah Spofford Peabody’s death): Feb. 7, 1821, from gravestone record, quoted in Vital Records of Danvers, Massachusetts To the End of the Year, 1849 (Salem, Mass.: Essex Institute, 1909), II, p. 422.
Proctor, Sylvester. 7-GP to Sylvester Proctor, 1846. In 1846 when GP was aged 51 he wrote to his sister Judith Peabody Russell to ask if the Proctors were still living. Learning that they were alive, GP wrote Proctor on Nov. 3: “Nearly ten years have elapsed since I left my native land, and although I have never ceased to inquire about yourself and family whenever I have met with persons from Danvers or the vicinity…I have been much gratified to learn that you and Mrs. Proctor were enjoying a ‘green old age’ in good health and comfortable circumstances.” Ref.: GP, London, to Sylvester Proctor, Danvers, Nov. 3, 1846, GP Folder, Peabody Historical Society Archives, Peabody, Mass.
“spared to meet again in this world”
Proctor, Sylvester. 8-GP to Sylvester Proctor, 1846 Cont’d.: “I have now passed 50 years of my life and if my memory serves me right you were born in the same year as Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington–1769 and must therefore now be 77.–Life at anytime is uncertain and more so at the advanced age of yourself and wife. I have therefore written to you both to let you know you are not forgotten and to express a hope that our lives may be spared to meet again in this world.” Ref.: Ibid.
Proctor, Sylvester. 9-GP to Sylvester Proctor, 1846 Cont’d.: “It is my intention shortly to manage my business so that hereafter less labour and responsibility will fall on myself and if Providence spares my life I hope to visit the United States in 1848. My health is good and notwithstanding the great vicissitudes in commercial affairs since 1836 I am happy to say I have not retrograded in fortune and I trust not, in what is still dearer to me–character and reputation. I shall be pleased to hear from you and if not giving too much trouble please send me a list of the present male residents of the South Parish of Danvers who have arrived at the age of 70” [footnote inserted by GP: “Those only who lived in Danvers in 1807-1810.”]. “Address me No. 6 Warnford Court, London, or merely London as there is no other person of my name in the City.” Ref.: Ibid.
Proctor, Sylvester. 10-Sylvester Proctor, Jr.’s, Reply. Replying for his father and mother, Sylvester Proctor, Jr. (b. c1803), wrote: “In doing them a service I shall also have the pleasure of writing to one for whom I have always had the highest esteem and respect. One who is associated with my Earliest and happiest recollections.” Ref.: Sylvester Proctor, Jr., Danvers, to GP, London, Nov. 27, 1846, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
“I nestled in your arms”
Proctor, Sylvester. 11-Sylvester Proctor, Jr.’s, Reply Cont’d. Sylvester, Jr., reminisced: “Well do I remember the nights in which I nestled in your arms and how vexed my faithful and tender nurse was when I stole from her to sleep with you. And well do I remember how delighted I was when occasionally I accompanied you home to your Father’s House and was caressed and petted by your Sisters. Perhaps you will recollect, how we sometimes enjoyed teasing our next door neighbor who was always preparing to fight the Enemy.” Ref.: Ibid.
Proctor, Sylvester. 12-Sylvester Proctor, Jr.’s, Reply Cont’d. Sylvester, Jr., ended by writing that his father was well and “often boasts of the smart boy that tended in his store some 40 years ago, who is now a merchant Prince in the great City of London.” He enclosed his father’s list of the old men of the parish over seventy still living, calling GP’s special attention to Dr. Andrew Nichols (1785-1853), who had removed the wen over GP’s eye as a boy and who was still active and still visiting his patients. Ref.: Ibid.
Proctor, Sylvester. 13-First Peabody Institute, 1852. GP, busy in London, was invited but could not attend the Danvers, Mass., Centennial Celebration, June 16, 1852, marking Danvers’ 100th year of separation from Salem, Mass. He sent a letter instead, dated London, May 26, 1852, read aloud by John Waters Proctor (1791-1874), GP’s playmate as a boy, enclosing a sentiment: “Education–a debt due from present to future generations,” and a $20,000 check for his first Peabody Institute Library, Danvers (renamed South Danvers, 1855, and Peabody on April 13, 1868), to which he gave a total of $217,000. See: South Danvers, Mass., Centennial Celebration, June 16, 1852.
Proctor, Sylvester. 14-To Lay the Cornerstone. His letter added: “If Captain Sylvester Proctor shall be living then and there be no objection, I shall request that he be selected to lay the cornerstone of the Lyceum Building.” But Sylvester Proctor died Sept. 20, 1852. The cornerstone was laid Aug. 20, 1853, by Abbott Lawrence (1792-1855), U.S. Minister to Britain during 1849-52. Ref.: (Abbott Lawrence cornerstone laying speech, Aug. 20, 1853): Hill, Ruth Henderson, p. 7. New York Herald Edition for Europe, Aug. 24, 1853, p. 1, c. 2. Cochrane (comp.), pp. 49-50.
Proctor, Sylvester, Jr. (b. c1803), was the son of Sylvester Proctor (1769-1852, above), Danvers, Mass., storekeeper who took in GP as apprentice for four years, May 4, 1807-11. Sylvester Proctor, Jr., was then about age 3 to 5 when GP became his older companion and first hero. Sylvester Proctor, Jr.’s touching letter of Nov. 27, 1846, about their early friendship over 40 years earlier is given above. Ref.: (Sylvester Proctor, Jr., to GP): Sylvester Proctor, Jr., Danvers, to GP, London, Nov. 27, 1846, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass. See: Proctor, Sylvester.
Project Headstart was inspired by educational experiment in Nashville, 1965, by GPCFT Early Childhood Education Prof. Susan Gray (1913-92). See: Gray, Susan.
Providence, R.I.., birthplace of Esther Elizabeth Hoppin (1819-1905), said to have been the most beautiful girl in Providence, who broke her engagement to GP sometime before Jan. 11, 1839, and married Alexander Lardner (1808-48). See: persons named.
Public Library, Newburyport, Mass. On February 20, 1867, GP gave $15,000 toward a book fund for the public library, Newburyport, Mass., where he worked as shop assistant in his older brother David Peabody’s (1790-1841) dry goods store in 1811. See: Newburyport, Mass.
Public Record Office, London, has 1-Aliens Entry Books, recording each date GP entered a British landing port. 2-Admiralty Records, “Log of HMS Monarch, from Dec. 11, 1869, when GP’s remains were put aboard the Monarch at Portsmouth, England; the transatlantic voyage, landing at Portland, Me. (Jan. 25, 1870), subsequent funeral ceremonies in Portland (Feb. 1, 1870); the Monarch officers’ tour to Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and the warship’s return to England. See: Death and Funeral, GP’s. Monarch, HMS. Visits to Europe by GP. Visits to the U.S. by GP.
Punch is England’s famous journal of satire. Its July 2, 1867, issue had a cartoon and long poem praising GP and Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts (1814-1906) as the most prominent philanthropists of the 19th century. British-born Baroness Burdett-Coutts (she was created a peeress in 1871) inherited much land from her banker-grandfather, Thomas Coutts (1735-1822). She built and endowed churches and schools; endowed three colonial bishoprics in Capetown (South Africa), Adelaide (Australia), and British Columbia (Canada). She aided Australian aborigines, Turkish peasants, built several water fountains in London, and built low-rent homes for some 300 families at Columbia Square, London.
Putnam, Alice L., was a 17-year-old schoolgirl from Salem, Mass., who described in a letter how she went to South Danvers, Mass., to hear GP speak at the GP Celebration, Oct. 9, 1856. For her letter, see South Danvers, Mass., GP Celebration, Oct. 9, 1856.
Putnam, Charles Gideon (1806-75, age 69), Dr., is believed to be the Boston physician who cared for an ill GP about mid-June 1869. Early in GP’s last U.S. visit, June 8 to Sept. 29, 1869, he rested at the home of nephew George Peabody Russell (1835-1909), son of sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Daniels (1799-1879). On June 16 GP dictated a letter which his nephew 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. Putnam of Boston and that he could not visit Baltimore until the autumn. Ref.: Mass. Medical Society. See: Keep, Nathan Cooley, Dr. Visits to the U.S. by GP.
Fredrick Ward Putnam, “Father of American Anthropology”
Putnam, Frederic Ward (1839-1915). 1-Curator, Peabody Museum, Harvard. Frederic Ward Putnam was curator of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology of Harvard Univ. during 1874-1909. The Peabody Museum of Harvard was founded by GP on Oct. 8, 1866, followed by GP’s founding of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale, Oct. 22, 1866, with gifts of $150,000 each. GP was influenced in his gifts to science by his nephew Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-99), first U.S. professor of paleontology at Yale and the second such professor in the world, for whose education at Yale and in German universities GP had paid. See: Science: GP’s Gifts to Science and Science Education.
Putnam, F.W. 2-Career. F.W. Putnam, who also founded at Harvard the first anthropology department in the U.S., was called the “Father of American Anthropology.” While at Harvard’s Peabody Museum, he also helped establish the Anthropology Dept., American Museum of Natural History, NYC (1894-1903); helped establish the Dept. and Museum of Anthropology, Univ. of California (1903-09); and was secretary, American Association for the Advancement of Science (1873-98). Famed anthropology professor Franz Boas (1858-1942) wrote that F.W. Putnam pursued the subject of early man with “unconquerable tenacity.” Putnam wrote over 400 anthropological reports, many of them on the culture of the “mound builders,” ancient ancestors of the American Indians. Ref.: Ibid.
Portland, Me., Reception of GP’s Remains, Jan. 25-Feb. 1, 1870
Putnam, William LeBaron (1835-1918). 1-Mayor of Portland, Me. William LeBaron Putnam was the mayor of Portland, Me., when it was the receiving port for GP’s remains, Jan. 25, 1870-Feb. 1, 1870. He participated in the ceremonies of the docking of the funeral ship HMS Monarch and accompanying USS Plymouth; the lying-in-state of remains for two additional days aboard the Monarch; the transfer of remains to and the lying-in-state in Portland City Hall; and the departure of the remains by train to Peabody, Mass., Jan. 25-Feb. 1, 1870. See: Death and Funeral, GP’s.
Putnam, W. L. 2-Career. W.L. Putnam was born in Bath, Me., graduated from Bowdoin College (1855, M.A., 1858; LL.D. 1884; LL.D, Brown Univ., 1893), was asst. clerk, Me. Legislature (1856), practiced law in Portland (1858-92), was Portland mayor (1869-70), helped negotiate U.S. fishing rights in Canadian waters (1887), was a member of the Behring Sea Commission (1896-98), and U.S. Circuit Court (1892-1917). Ref.: Little, George T., comp., Vol. I, p. 57. [Putnam, William LeBaron], p. 103.
Purcell, Henry (1659-95) and William Croft (1678-1727) were English music composers whose works were sung at GP’s funeral service at Westminster Abbey on Nov. 12, 1869. Participant U.S. Legation in London Secty. Benjamin Moran’s (1820-86) journal entry thus recorded his impression of this music: “The grand music of Purcell and was sweetly sung by deep voiced men and silvery voiced boys, the heavy tones of the organ blending with the human music and all rising like incense over the benevolent man’s grave.” See: Death and Funeral, GP’s. Persons named.
Quarterly Review of Archaeology is published by the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass. See: Science: GP’s Gifts: Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.
Quebec, Canada. GP was in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, on May 9, 1857. See: Canada. Montreal, Canada.
Queen Boadicia. For the Queen Boadicia (of Icena, Britain) origin of the family name “Peabody” (later disputed) and the Peabody coat of arms, See: Boadicia, Queen. Hoppin, Esther Elizabeth. Lardner, Alexander. Romance and GP. Peabody, Adolphus William. Sully, Thomas.
Queen Victoria (1819-1901). See: Victoria, Queen (1819-1901).
Queenstown (Cobh since 1922), Ireland, was a disembarkation port sometimes used by GP in his travels between the U.S. and England. Example: an ailing GP left the U.S. for the last time, departing NYC on the Scotia, Sept. 29, 1869, and disembarked at Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland, Oct. 8, 1869; went to friend Sir Curtis Miranda Lampson’s (1806-85) 80 Eaton Sq., London, home where he died Nov. 4, 1869. See: Death and Funeral, GP’s.
Quotations by and about GP
Quotations by and about GP. 1-Background. The quotations that follow are presented in context to show insight into GP’s life and influence. These quotations are from his letters and speeches, from family, intimates, a partner (Elisha Riggs, Sr.), acquaintances, and GP observers.
Quotations, GP. 2-Poor Mass. Family. A bare subsistence family income limited GP’s own schooling to four years, 1802-06, ages 7-11, in a Danvers, Mass., district school; followed by four years, 1806-10, ages 11-15, apprenticeship in Sylvester Proctor’s Danvers general store. When GP was age 16, working in older brother David Peabody’s (1790-1841) dry goods shop, Newburyport, Mass., his father died, May 13, 1811, in debt and with a mortgaged home. The mother and six children at home had to live with relatives. Thirteen days later the Great Fire of Newburyport, May 31, 1811, ruined business prospects. Both tragedies occurred amid a New England depression. Paternal Uncle John Peabody (1768-d. before 1826), whose Newburyport store was also ruined, wanted to migrate south to open a store in Georgetown, D.C., but had no credit. GP asked Newburyport merchant Prescott Spaulding (1781-1864) for a letter of recommendation, on whose surety Boston merchant James Reed gave GP goods worth $2,000 on credit. See: Bradford Academy, Bradford, Mass.
Quotations, GP. 3-Riggs, Peabody & Co. Uncle and nephew sailed from Newburyport, May 4, 1812, and opened their store on Bridge St., Georgetown, D.C., May 15, 1812. Full responsibility soon fell on 17-year-old GP (his uncle went into other enterprises). GP tended store and was also a pack peddler in the Va. and Md. area. While serving briefly in the War of 1812 in defense of Washington, D.C., GP met older fellow soldier and experienced merchant Elisha Riggs, Sr. (1779-1853). Riggs, then age 35, employed 19-year-old GP first as office helper, then as traveling junior partner in Riggs, Peabody & Co. (1814-29), Georgetown, D.C. They imported drygoods and other products from abroad and sold mainly to wholesalers. The firm prospered, moved to Baltimore, Md., in 1815, and by 1822 had NYC and Philadelphia warehouses. Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 4-Family Support. GP soon took on the family support, paid his deceased father’s debts, paid the mortgage (Jan. 1817), and restored his mother and siblings to their Danvers, Mass., home. Newburyport lawyer Ebon Mosely wrote GP Dec. 16, 1816, “I cannot but be pleased with the filial affection which seems to evince you to preserve the estate for a Parent.” Ref.: Ibid.
GP on Educating Relative
Quotations, GP. 5-Educating Relatives. GP paid for the education of six relatives who attended Bradford Academy, Bradford, Mass.: 1-Jeremiah Peabody (1805-77), sixth born of eight siblings and third of four brothers, attended in 1819; 2-Judith Dodge Peabody (1799-1879), fourth born and younger sister, attended 1821-27; 3-Mary Gaines Peabody (1807-34), seventh born and third of four sisters, attended 1822-23; 4-Sophronia Phelps Peabody (b.1809), eighth born and fourth sister, attended in 1827; 5-Adolphus William Peabody, GP’s young cousin, GP’s paternal uncle John Peabody’s (1768-1827) son, attended 1827-29; and 6-George Peabody (1815-32), GP’s nephew, GP’s oldest brother David Peabody’s son, attended in 1827. GP bought a house for the family in West Bradford, Mass., where his mother also lived for a time. Ref.: Ibid.
“Deprived as I was”
Quotations, GP. 6-“Deprived as I was…” Later, when his namesake nephew (brother David Peabody’s son) asked for financial help to enter college, GP wrote pensively from London (his underlining, May 18, 1831): “Deprived, as I was, of the opportunity of obtaining anything more than the most common education, I am well qualified to estimate its value by the disadvantages I labour under in the society [in] which my business and situation in life frequently throws me, and willingly would I now give twenty times the expense attending a good education could I now possess it, but it is now too late for me to learn and I can only do to those who come under my care, as I could have wished circumstances had permitted others to have done by me.” Ref.: Ibid.
GP’s Cousin Adolphus William Peabody
Quotations, GP. 7-Younger Cousin A.W. Peabody. Paternal uncle John Peabody (1768-1827) had not been successful and died in 1827. His wife, Anna (née Little) Peabody, died in 1826, leaving an older daughter Sophronia Peabody and a young son, Adolphus William Peabody (b. 1814). GP supported these first cousins and offered to educate Adolphus. Cousin Sophronia wrote GP in gratitude (March 9, 1827): “I have decided I shall accept of your proposal for the education of Adolphus; his education is my first wish. If his life be spared, he may compensate you at some future time.” Adolphus William Peabody attended Bradford Academy 1827-29. He lived with and was cared for by GP’s sister Judith Dodge Peabody in the West Bradford home GP bought for family members attending Bradford Academy. Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 8-Adolphus Worked for GP. GP took cousin Adolphus under his wing and employed him in the renamed Peabody, Riggs & Co. (1829-48), from the summer of 1837. GP advised him not to try to economize, to dress and appear well, to be friendly with selected people but not intimate with anyone. Adolphus reported to GP, then in London (April 1, 1837): “Regarding my private affairs I could live here on $500 or $600. You kindly said that I might freely spend $800, that you wished me to appear respectable. I have visited but little…. I do not intend being familiar anywhere [but]…must appear as I think you would wish it….” See: Peabody, Adolphus William.
Quotations, GP. 9-Adolphus Worked for GP Cont’d. Adolphus wrote GP again (July 22, 1837): “The friends which you pointed out, I have made mine, not intimately, and my expenses have been proportionate…. Mr. Samuel Riggs [d. 1853, GP’s second partner, Elisha Riggs, Sr.’s nephew] told me of his early days when he spent all he made and advised me to save from the $800. I shall not heed [him] because you told me it would be of no object for me to save at present. I spend as occasion requires…and appear as to reflect your position of wealth and respectability without extravagance…keeping your view, and feelings, rather than my means, in mind.” Ref.: Ibid.
GP & William B. Bend
Quotations, GP. 10-William B. Bend, 1849. William B. Bend, GP’s longtime intimate merchant friend, often wrote GP teasing letters about getting married. He wrote sympathetically after hearing of GP’s broken engagement (c1839) to Esther Elizabeth Hoppin (1819-1905). In early 1849 Bend wanted to establish an insurance company, asked GP to join him by investing some capital, but GP declined (letter of Jan. 12, 1849), and Bend was piqued. His chiding letter to GP (Feb. 6, 1849) began: “Your favor of the 12th ulto. is so disappointing…I am afraid you are too busy to serve me effectually….” [GP had early shared with Bend his future philanthropic intentions. Bend’s letter touches perceptively on GP’s intent]. See: Bend, William B.
Quotations, GP. 11-William B. Bend, 1849, Cont’d. Bend ended his letter with: “You late lake [lack] rest, and eat the bread of watchfulness, work till nine o’clock at night! Do not leave your business five days in five years!… To what purpose, for whose good? If like me you had, instead of wanting a family, wanted an independent fortune, I could understand the case. But I suppose you will imitate the noble example of Mr. Smithson [James Smithson, 1765-1829, who endowed the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.] and benefit posterity by the endowment of some charitable benevolent or literary institution, from your industry, skill and character….” Ref.: Ibid.
Great Exhibition of 1851 in London
Quotations, GP. 12-Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. Little known except to intimates, GP sprang to minor public attention by a timely loan to U.S. exhibitors at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London, the first world’s fair. Two GP-sponsored U.S.-British friendship dinners followed in connection with the Great Exhibition. It was in the warm glow of public praise in the London and U.S. press that GP’s Washington, D.C., business friend William Wilson Corcoran (1798-1888) wrote him, “You will make us proud to call you friend and countryman.” See: Corcoran, William Wilson.
Quotations, GP. 13-“I shall become a strong competitor of yours in benevolence.” GP answered Corcoran, who retired early and had gained renown as a philanthropist: “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.” See: Great Exhibition of 1851, London (first world’s fair).
Quotations, GP. 14-First Peabody Institute Library. The next year, June 1852, when his hometown of Danvers 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 (Danvers, renamed South Danvers in 1855, renamed Peabody, Mass., April 13, 1868), accompanied by a motto, “Education–a debt due from present to future generations.” Because the Great Exhibition marked GP’s emergence socially and philanthropically, it is briefly recounted below. Ref.: Ibid. See: Corcoran, William Wilson.
Quotations, GP. 15-GP’s Loan, U.S. Exhibitors, 1851. The U.S. Congress encouraged U.S. exhibitors to participate in the Great Exhibition; had U.S. industrial and art objects transported to Southampton, England, on a U.S. Navy ship; but neglected funds to display U.S. products in the large (40,000 sq. ft.) and barren U.S. pavilion. Punch poked fun at “the glaring contrast between large pretensions and little performance…by America.” The New York Evening Post’s London correspondent called it “a national disgrace that American wares…are so barely displayed; so vulgarly spread out over so large a space.” Knowing that it would take months to get congressional funds, if at all, GP offered a $15,000 loan through U.S. Minister to Britain Abbott Lawrence (1792-1855). Ref.: Ibid. See: Great Exhibition of 1851, London (first world’s fair).
Quotations, GP. 16-GP’s Loan, U.S. Exhibitors Cont’d. Relieved of embarrassment, U.S. Minister Lawrence, the exhibitors, and other Americans in London were grateful to GP. 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 Albert 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.
GP’s U.S.-British Friendship Dinners
Quotations, GP. 17-GP’s Two 1851 U.S.-British Friendship Dinners. GP then gave two large-scale U.S.-British friendship dinners in connection with the Great Exhibition, noted and praised in the press. His July 4, 1851, dinner attended by some 800 prominent individuals had as guest of honor the Duke of Wellington. U.S. Minister Abbott Lawrence, initially wary (his inquiries led him to believe that the aristocracy would not attend), later wrote GP: “I congratulate you upon the distinguished success that has crowned your efforts…. [You have] done that which was never before attempted.” GP’s Oct. 27, 1851, U.S.-British friendship dinner for the departing U.S. exhibitors was even more successful. GP had the menu, toasts, and speeches printed in an attractive book, widely distributed, with copies on vellum given to distinguished persons. See: Corcoran, William Wilson.
First Peabody Institute Library
Quotations, GP. 18-Centennial of Separation, Danvers from Salem, Mass. GP, in London, invited but unable to attend the centennial celebration of Danvers’ separation from Salem, Mass. (June 16, 1852), asked that his May 26, 1852, letter be read aloud by Danvers boyhood playmate John Waters Proctor (1791-1874). On that gala occasion before the Mass. governor and other prominent figures (Robert Charles Winthrop, 1809-94; Daniel Webster, 1782-1852; Edward Everett, 1794-1865; Rufus Choate, 1799-1859; others), J.W. Proctor read GP’s May 26, 1852 letter. See: Danvers, Mass., Centennial Celebration, June 16, 1852.
Quotations, GP. 19-GP’s May 26, 1852, Letter. GP wrote: “I acknowledge your letter inviting my presence at the one hundredth anniversary of the separation of Danvers and Salem and regret that my engagements do not permit me to attend. It was in a humble house in the South Parish that I was born and in the common schools there obtained the limited education my parents could afford. To the principles learned there I owe the foundations for any success Heaven has been pleased to grant me. Though my early manhood was spent in Baltimore I still cherish the recollections of my early days and anticipate visiting again the town where I was born.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 20-GP’s May 26, 1852, letter Cont’d.: “It is sixteen years since I left my native land. I have seen the great changes in her wealth, power, and position among nations. I had the mortification to witness the social standing of Americans in Europe seriously affected; but, thank Heaven, I have lived to see the cause nearly annihilated. I can hardly see bounds to our possible future if we preserve harmony among ourselves, keep good faith with the rest of the world, and plant the New England Common School among the emigrants filling up the Mississippi Valley. “I enclose a sentiment to be opened after the reading of this letter.” Ref.: Ibid.
GP’s Motto: “Education–a debt due from present to future generations”
Quotations, GP. 21-GP’s May 26, 1852, letter Cont’d.: John W. Proctor opened the sealed envelope and read: “By George Peabody, of London: Education–a debt due from present to future generations. In acknowledgment of the payment of that debt by the generation which preceded me in my native town of Danvers, and to aid in its prompt future discharge, I give to the inhabitants of that town the sum of TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS, for the promotion of knowledge and morality among them.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 22-GP’s May 26, 1852, letter Cont’d.: “This gift has occupied my mind for some years. I add these conditions only to accomplish the purpose of my sentiment: that the legal voters shall meet to accept the gift and elect twelve trustees to establish a Lyceum for lectures free to all, that seven thousand dollars shall be invested in a building for the Lyceum, that ten thousand dollars be invested as a permanent fund. All else I leave to you merely suggesting it advisable to exclude sectarian theology and political discussion forever from the walls of instruction. If Captain Sylvester Proctor shall be living then and there be no objection, I shall request that he be selected to lay the cornerstone of the Lyceum Building.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 23-GP’s Later Gifts. Sylvester Proctor died Sept. 20, 1852, a year before the cornerstone was laid of GP’s first Peabody Institute in his hometown to which he ultimately gave a total of $217,000. Danvers was divided (1855) into South Danvers (where GP was born and site of his first Peabody Institute) and North Danvers. To his second Peabody Institute in North Danvers, 1856, GP gave a total of $100,000 (South Danvers was renamed Peabody, Mass., April 13, 1868, and North Danvers was renamed Danvers). Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 24-GP’s Later Gifts Cont’d. In all, GP established seven U.S. Peabody Institute Libraries (the Baltimore one also had a music conservatory and an art gallery), three U.S. museums of science, model housing for London’s working poor, the PEF, and other gifts for science, math, and engineering professorships. See: Peabody, George, Philanthropy.
GP’s First Partner Elisha Riggs, Sr.
Quotations, GP. 25-First Partner Elisha Riggs, Sr.. GP’s first senior partner Elisha Riggs, Sr. (1779-1853), was age 73, had been ill since he returned to the U.S. from Europe, had recovered, and then fell in the basement of his home and badly sprained an ankle. His last letter to GP before his death (Aug. 1853), given below, recalled their first meeting as fellow soldiers in the War of 1812; the years of their partnership; the circumstances when Elisha Riggs, Sr., withdrew to become a NYC banker, his place taken by his nephew Samuel Riggs (d.1853) in the renamed Peabody, Riggs & Co. (1829-48); and their intermittent relations as friends and in occasional business transactions. Ref.: Ibid. See: Riggs, Sr., Elisha.
Quotations, GP. 26-Riggs, Sr.’s Last Letter, April 17, 1852. Sixteen months before his death Elisha Riggs, Sr., wrote GP (April 17, 1852): “But few men can look back as we can over business transactions and friendly intercourse with as much pride and satisfaction. It should cause us both to feel thankful, remind us that we have been blessed with much good fortune, and admonish us that the enemy is always money or time. “You always had the faculty of an extraordinary memory and strong mind which enabled you to carry out your plans better than almost any other man I ever knew…. [To] these happy faculties I attribute much of your prosperity. [Unusual] perseverance enabled you to rise to an extraordinary position for a man of your age.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 27-Riggs, Sr. Contd.: “40 years is a long time to look back on…. Our early acquaintance, you know, was nearly accidental, we knew but little of each other, but were both disposed to put implicit confidence in each other….” Riggs ended with: “Your friends in the United States have felt gratefully indebted to you in many ways, and more particularly for your kindness to your countrymen during the last 12 months…. I have given more letters of introduction to you than I wished but every American going to England that knows you or has heard of you asks for a letter….” Ref.: Ibid.
Nephew Thanks GP
Quotations, GP. 28-Nephew George Harmon Peabody to GP. GP’s nephew George Harmon Peabody (b.1832) was the first born son of GP’s youngest brother Jeremiah Dodge Peabody (1805-77) and his first wife Ellen Murray (daughter of Andrew Hanna of Baltimore). Nephew George Harmon Peabody worked for Sargent, Harding Co., NYC, when he wrote to his uncle George (March 21, 1853): “I write for us all; it was the wish of our kind mother, deceased, that I would write this at some future time. We are obliged to you for assisting in educating us, in paving the way for us. I thank you for the kindness you are now exhibiting towards my sisters and Aunt Russell [GP’s younger sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell Daniels, 1799-1879] for her untiring willingness in attending to their many wants.” See: Peabody, George Harmon.
GP Celebration, Oct. 9, 1856
Quotations, GP. 29-GP Celebration, Oct. 9, 1856, S. Danvers. During GP’s 1856-57 U.S. visit, his hometown of South Danvers, Mass., honored him with a gala GP Celebration, Oct. 9, 1856. By carriage from Georgetown, Mass., GP, sister Judith, and her son (GP’s nephew George Peabody Russell, 1835-1909) entered gaily decorated South Danvers. GP was greeted by a gun salute, by the committee on arrangements, by crowds of over 20,000 people, by bands playing, and by marching school children. See: South Danvers, Mass., Oct. 9, 1856, GP Celebration.
Quotations, GP. 30-Pride in his Firm. After the welcoming address by Alfred Amos Abbott (1820-84), GP said with pride to 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.” See: South Danvers, Mass., Oct. 9, 1856, GP Celebration.
Md. Institute Reception for GP, Feb. 2, 1857
Quotations, GP. 31-Md. Institute, Baltimore, Feb. 2, 1857. During GP’s Sept. 15, 1856, to Aug. 19, 1857, U.S. visit, he was honored by a reception at the Md. Institute for the Promotion of Mechanic Arts, Baltimore (Feb. 2, 1857). Md. Institute Pres. Joshua Vansant (1803-84) explained the work and progress of the Md. Institute and its new departments including its new Chemistry Dept. (to which GP had contributed $1,000 in 1851). Pres. Vansant then referred to the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London (the first world’s fair), told how the U.S. Navy frigate St. Lawrence arrived at Southampton, 70 miles from London, told how U.S. exhibitors had no funds to move U.S. products to the Crystal Palace Exhibition Hall, London, or to display them adequately. See: Md. Inst. for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts.
Quotations, GP. 32-Md. Inst. Pres. Vansant. Pres. Vansant then spoke directly to GP: “By this act national disgrace was averted. Congress should have promptly repaid this loan but did not. I know you did not present a claim on the government for the sum expended. The U.S. Senate at the first Session of the thirty-third Congress voted to reimburse Edward [W.] Riddle [1819-71] to whom your loan was made but the House of Representatives struck it out because of some constitutional obstruction. (Note: U.S. Commissioner Edward W. Riddle of Boston was in charge of the U.S. exhibitors and their 599 exhibits at the Great Exhibition of 1851, London). Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 33-Md. Inst. Pres. Vansant Cont’d.: “I was a member of that congress, but voted for reimbursement, otherwise I could not now honorably address you. How glad I was when the next Congress (thirty-fourth) finally approved reimbursement to Mr. Riddle, thus enabling him to repay you.” Pres. Vansant continued: “Sir, the mechanics and artisans of the United States owe you thanks for enabling their productive skill to be proudly shown to the world. In their name and in the name of the Maryland Institute I bid you cordial welcome.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 34-Md. Inst., GP’s Reply. Applause followed Pres. Vansant’s reference to GP’s part in the first world’s fair. GP stepped forward and replied: “My heart is filled with gratitude for the warm welcome of this immense gathering. You graciously magnify the little service I rendered. My aid to the Americans in the world’s fair came from personal feelings. As an American I was proud of our products and wanted the world to see them.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 35-Md. Inst., GP’s Reply Contd.: “They say that affection at twenty is stronger than at any other age. I held Maryland in high regard at that age and was myself panic struck and embarrassed that her pecuniary situation made her briefly think of repudiating her debts. But your energy, enterprise, and honor overcame every difficulty.” He continued: “Commerce, agriculture, and the mechanic arts go hand in hand…. It gives me great pleasure to see so many of the working men of Baltimore this evening…. I am myself a working man–my success in life is due to work, and my sympathies are with labor…. When I first went to England, thirty years ago, a Mechanics Institute was generally regarded with indifference….now in that old aristocratic country…members of the most distinguished families annually lecture at these institutes.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 36-Md. Inst., Mayor Swann. Cheers shook the auditorium for this banker who appreciated labor, identified himself with it, and clothed it with dignity. He had struck a chord that pleased. Baltimore Mayor Thomas Swann (1806-83) was moved to say: “It is a compliment to you, Mr. Peabody, to witness the spontaneous expression of 5,000 of the mechanics and workingmen of Baltimore.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 37-Md. Inst., Mayor Swann Cont’d.: “In addition to Baltimore workingmen, both branches of our city council present join me in saying that the city owes you special welcome. In the commanding position you have occupied abroad you have done much for our State and City. By supporting the character of Maryland you maintained its fame.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 38-Md. Inst., GP’s Reply. GP stepped forward again to answer Mayor Swann and to address the city council: “You confer on me so much honor my heart tells me I must look to the future to compensate for it and not to the past.” He went on: “While it is true I said Maryland’s bonds were good, her means ample, and her citizens honorable, Marylanders themselves justified all I said and to their conduct all credit is due.” He concluded with: “Thank you…for the honor conferred upon me this evening. While I live it will never be forgotten.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 39-Md. Inst., Banquet. With the assembly program over GP moved through the hall for the banquet to follow. Old friends and fellow merchants pressed forward to shake his hand and to introduce their wives and children. After the meal a bouquet was presented to GP by a Mrs. Watson. GP replied: “I shall prize this beautiful bouquet as long as it lasts…. I am not too old to admire the ladies, though they look better at a man of twenty than of sixty.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 40-Md. Inst., Mr. Seidenstricker. Baltimorean John Barnhart Seidenstricker (b. 1809), Baltimore City Council member (1835-38) who had served in the Md. General Assembly (1839-40), then spoke. He described GP’s part in selling Md.’s bonds abroad: “I was then a member of the state legislature and knew well the difficulties connected with levying a tax to uphold our bond sale abroad. George Peabody in Europe and [lawyer] John J. Speed [1797-1852] in Maryland upheld public confidence in Maryland’s credit.” He concluded with: “The name of Peabody in Europe, and the writings of Speed in Maryland had accomplished the great work of freeing our State from repudiation.” Ref.: Ibid. See: Seidenstricker, John Barnhart.
Quotations, GP. 41-Md. Inst., Mayor Swann. Mayor Swann then told of GP’s connection with the B&O RR. Swann, connected with the B&O RR during its expansion westward to Wheeling, [W.] Va., said: “I tell you that the first man who gave an impetus to the mammoth undertaking was George Peabody. We held the bonds of the State, but they could not be negotiated, and the first man I wrote to was our guest of this evening; he came promptly to our assistance, and I tell you, gentlemen, that without his aid, we could not have laid our tracks ten miles beyond Cumberland or pushed forward through the Alleghenies to the threshold of the great West.” The speeches went on past midnight and GP retired. See: Md. Inst. for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts.
GP’s Sister Judith
Quotations, GP. 42-Sister Judith Dodge Peabody. Four years younger than GP, fourth born of the eight Peabody children, sister Judith Dodge Peabody was his family link, disburser of his funds to the family, his closest family member, and confidante. She was in frequent correspondence with him or his partner or his close friends in London, followed his travels, worried about his health and frequent illnesses, and kept him informed of family events and of hometown friends and changes.
Quotations, GP. 43-Sister Judith Cont’d. Mindful of what he had done in saving the family home, in supporting the family, in sending her and other relatives to Bradford Academy (normally his older brother should have taken this responsibility), she wrote to GP, May 8, 1823, two years into her studies at Bradford Academy (she attended 1821-27): “Were my brother like other brothers, were it a common favor, which I have received from him, and could I do justice to the feelings of my own heart, I would now formally express my gratitude, but I forebear;…and even then the happiness, that I have enjoyed while acquiring it, would lay me under obligation, which I could never cancel….” See: Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell Daniels.
Quotations, GP. 44-Sister Judith Cont’d. On leaving Bradford Academy she taught school for a time in Chester, N.H.; returned to teach near Bradford, and managed the West Bradford house GP had bought for family members attending Bradford Academy. She married lawyer Jeremiah Russell (d. May 2, 1860), Sept. 20, 1831. They lived in New Rowley, near Georgetown, Mass., GP’s mother’s birthplace, where Jeremiah Russell had his law office. Their son, George Peabody Russell (1835-1909), later GP’s closest nephew, was born May 12, 1835. Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 45-Sister Judith Cont’d. Incredibly busy during his Sept. 15, 1856, to Aug. 19, 1857, U.S. visit, his first return after nearly 20 years’ absence in London, GP stayed when in Mass. at sister Judith’s home in Georgetown, Mass. For the first time his nieces and nephews saw their Uncle George who had been paying for their schooling. He was a legend made real. Nephew Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-99), about to enter Yale College, wrote in his diary (Oct. 12, 1856): “Reached Georgetown in the evening and found Uncle George here. Was much pleased with him.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 46-Sister Judith Cont’d. GP told his nephews that if they conducted themselves well and were steady in their business, he would in a few years place them in a position where hard labor would be unnecessary. He did not intend to make them rich, he said, but by their own effort they would have a good income. If any of his nephews disgraced themselves or him, he admonished, or became engaged or married before being financially able to do so, he would withdraw his support and strike their names from his will. Turning to Judith he asked her to relate these terms to all his nephews. Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 47-Sister Judith Cont’d. On Nov. 5, 1856, while GP was traveling in the U.S. to see friends, Judith wrote to him in a burst of gratitude: “George, if you want me to move to South Danvers and make a home for you among people who love you, I will do so. I don’t know how I will use the leisure you have made possible for me. I remember now what you said to me–that no one thinks better of me for being better off than my neighbors. What are your plans for Thanksgiving?” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 48-Sister Judith Cont’d. Judith worried about GP’s health on his travels by train, boat, and coach. He was frequently ill and she hoped he was always near medical aid. She knew of his concerns getting ready for his Feb. 12, 1857, letter founding the PIB. She read news accounts of receptions for him given by the Md. Historical Society, Jan. 30, 1857, and the Md. Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts, Feb. 2, 1857. The Md. Institute reception, she wrote him Feb. 19, 1857, must have touched him deeply. Among the young ladies he had saluted so “heartily” in Baltimore that night, she teased, “may have been the daughter of…the beautiful [girl] whom as you remarked one day you would have married, if you had been ‘silly enough!'” It was a teasing remark, yet there was more than a touch of pity in it. Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 49-Sister Judith Cont’d. Judith added poignantly in her Feb. 19, 1857, letter to GP (her underlining): “What…results of good, not only to your contemporaries but to ‘future generations,’ were pending on that one act of self-denial, practiced by you in the days of youthful romance. Even at this late day, I have given a tear of sympathy for what may be presumed to have been your feelings, when you made the ‘wise’ decision, and resolved to submit to what you certainly have a right to think a hard lot: and, did I believe that through life you had been less happy, I should most sincerely regret your ‘wisdom’ spite of generations, present and future–myself and posterity included….” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 50-Sister Judith Cont’d.: “But my dear brother is not desolate although alone. One affection, at least, deeper, stronger, steadier than that of a wife, clinging to him with a firmer tenacity as age creeps on, and which no circumstances can change, follows him through all his wanderings. And for the children…all the children are his children.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 51-Sister Judith Cont’d. Judith’s son, George Peabody Russell, graduated from Harvard College (B.A., 1856), spent some time working in Rufus Choate’s (1799-59) law office, and had joined his father’s law practice. In late Aug. 1859 he wrote GP in London: “If I am anything in the world, I shall owe it to you…. I will try to imitate the example of the good man with whom your care placed me to commence the study of that profession [Rufus Choate]; and in honesty and integrity in all dealing with my fellow-men, I will strive to follow the noblest example of which I know–your own.” Ref.: Ibid.
Economic Historian M.E. Hidy on GP
Quotations, GP. 52-M.E. Hidy on GP. Economic historian Muriel Emmie Hidy’s (b. 1906) Ph.D. dissertation (Radcliffe College of Harvard Univ., 1939), George Peabody, Merchant and Financier, 1829-1854 (New York: Arno Press, 1978), offers insights into GP’s life and career. See: Hidy, Muriel Emmie.
Quotations, GP. 53-Hidy on GP’s Social Life: “Peabody’s personal social life contributed to his advancement. He had a vigorous personality, and, in spite of a humble origin, apparently found little difficulty in moving in prominent circles. An ability to attract firm friends among his business contemporaries gave him many useful connections….He benefited by the confidence which as a young man he had awakened in Elisha Riggs [Sr.]. Later his amiability brought him close association with Wetmore, Cryder, Sherman and Lampson. Corcoran [William Wilson Corcoran, 1798-1888], the friend of the American government, was attracted to Peabody by their mutual interest in the Riggs family, but letters indicate that a warm friendship cemented their business relations….” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 54-Hidy on GP’s Social Life Cont’d.: “A comfortable picture of Peabody could be painted [in] his bachelor apartment in London in the forties. E.[zra] J.[enks] Coates, the tall Bostonian, would be relaxed on the couch and Richard Bell, the energetic Englishman, would be arguing the Maine boundary question with the patriotic American, Peabody [over rump steak, ale, or sherry]. Or on another occasion [May 18, 1843] the two bachelors, Peabody and Coates, would be seen entertaining ‘all the respectable Americans in London…about 40.’ Such contacts contributed…to Peabody’s enjoyment…[and] to his knowledge of men and affairs. Intimate letters from the friends of his youth in America added to his understanding of events in the United States and even the local gossip…aided him in formulating his own credit rating of men in America.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 55-Hidy on GP’s Entertaining U.S. Visitors: “For one who wished to make his firm in England a center of American news and business, a ready personality was an asset. However spontaneous were Peabody’s gifts of American apples, Boston crackers, a dish of hominy or some other delicacy from the United States, the business results might follow. When a prominent American visited England in the eighteen fifties, he was likely to have a letter of introduction and Peabody saw that he was well received. A box at the opera with the lavish corsage for the lady, or some other pleasant attention, had a mellowing effect. Peabody had the reputation of entertaining every American who arrived with a letter of credit. …In July, 1855 [he] remarked that he had entertained eighty Americans for a dinner and thirty-five at the opera within a week.” Ref.: Ibid., pp. 357-358.
Quotations, GP. 56-Hidy on GP’s U.S-British Friendship Dinners: “Peabody combined his delight in large entertainments with his interest in forwarding amicable relations between Americans and Englishmen. In the fifties he became known for his lavish dinners given in honor of various notable persons, such as the American minister. It was during the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851 that he gave the first of his July 4th dinners which were to be a feature of London life in the decade before the Civil War.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 57-Hidy on GP’s U.S-British Friendship Dinners Cont’d.: “There had been several irritations to mar the tranquillity of the relations between the two English speaking peoples and the date selected for a big dinner appeared hardly one on which to stimulate the happiest memories. But George Peabody invited the aged Duke of Wellington as guest of honor and prominent social and business leaders perforce accepted his invitation. Among the guests were Thomas Baring, J.P. Horsley Palmer [d. 1858] and Peabody’s old partner, Elisha Riggs [Sr.]. That the occasion caught the public fancy is indicated by the large and friendly newspaper reports on the occasion…. The London Times even mentioned the dinner in its brief review of the business for the year 1851. This and later banquets were a great success. Whatever their effect on international relations, they appear to have been social triumphs and to have given Peabody much publicity.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 58-Hidy on the Impact of GP’s Philanthropy: “When the American exhibitors [to the Great Exhibition of 1851, London, the first world’s fair] needed funds because Congress had failed to provide aid, Peabody advanced them £3,000 [$15,000]. It took him so many years to collect the sum owed that it was often mentioned in the list of his contributions…. It was Peabody’s philanthropy that definitely established his international reputation. Not only did he give generously but he also established funds during his life time, which at that period was unique enough to puzzle the London lawyers who were drawing up the papers for a trust fund.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 59-Hidy on the Impact of GP’s Philanthropy Cont’d.: “It was his charity that brought the banker praise from such diverse men as W.E. Gladstone [1809-98, PM], Victor Hugo [1802-85, French writer], Louis Blanc [1811-82] and many prominent Americans of the time…. Even before his most important work days were over Peabody had given generously enough to catch the public fancy…. When Peabody visited the United States in 1856, after an absence of 20 years, Danvers [Mass., his birthplace] gave a celebration in his honor. The New York Herald [whose editor James Gordon Bennett was often critical of GP] carried five and a half columns of a report telegraphed from Massachusetts at considerable cost. The front page carried banner headlines such as few bankers have enjoyed in moments of triumph.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 60-Corcoran to GP: “‘national’ man in a foreign country.” Having read glowing newspaper reports of GP’s successful U.S.-British friendship dinners, business friend W. W. Corcoran wrote praising GP in 1853 for having made himself a “‘national’ man in a foreign country.” Besides U.S.-British friendship dinners, Corcoran was thinking of GP’s years of helpful service to visiting Americans and of his emerging philanthropy (notably of GP’s first Peabody Institute Library, announced in June 1852, in South Danvers, renamed Peabody, Mass., on April 13, 1868). See: Corcoran, William Wilson.
Peabody Homes of London
Quotations, GP. 61-Peabody Homes of London, 1862. By letter of March 12, 1862, to his trustees, GP created the Peabody Donation Fund (later Peabody Trust), London, to build model apartments for London’s working poor (gift totaled $2.5 million). His original founding letter, which appeared in the London Times, March 26, 1862, stated: “Early in my commercial life I resolved that if my labors were blessed with success I would devote a portion of my property to promote the intellectual, moral, and physical welfare of my fellowmen wherever their need was greatest. “A kind Providence has given me prosperity. In keeping with my resolution I found[ed] in 1852 an Institute and Library for the people of my native town of Danvers, Massachusetts.” See: Peabody Homes of London.
Quotations, GP. 62-GP’s March 12, 1862, Letter Cont’d.: “After an absence of 20 years I visited my country in 1857 and founded in Baltimore, Maryland, where I had worked more than 20 years, a larger Institute of Science and art with a free library. The cornerstone was laid in 1858. The building is now completed but its dedication is postponed by the American Civil War.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 63-GP’s March 12, 1862, Letter Cont’d.: “Twenty-five years ago I came to London to live and to engage in business. I did not feel myself a stranger in a strange land long. For in all my dealings with British friends I received courtesy, kindness and confidence. “With a sense of gratitude for the blessings of a kind Providence, and in keeping with my early resolve, I have confided to personal friends my desire to make a donation to the poor of London.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 64-GP’s March 12, 1862, Letter Cont’d.: “My object is to relieve the condition of the poor and needy of this great city, to promote their comfort and happiness. I am pleased to announce that I have transferred to you £150,000 [$750,000, first part of a total of $2.5 million]….” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 65-GP’s March 12, 1862, Letter (GP listed his conditions): “First,…that this fund be used exclusively to relieve the condition and raise the comfort of the poor who by birth or residence form part of the population of London.” “Second,…exclude…the influence of sectarian religion and exclusive party politics.” “Third, the sole qualification…is that the individual be poor, have moral character, and be a good member of society. No one should be excluded on grounds of religious belief or political bias.”
Quotations, GP. 66-GP’s March 12, 1862, Letter Cont’d.: Published beneath GP’s founding letter was the trustees’ acceptance letter of March 15, 1862, which read in part: “The purity of your motive, the magnitude of the gift and the grand purpose makes this occasion one for the entire nation to appreciate a beneficence without parallel in modern times.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 67-Peabody Homes: Press Reaction. Press reaction to the Peabody Homes of London read in part: 1-London Times, March 26, 1862: “…He gives a fortune so that one part of this vast, ill-built, ill-kept city, which the rich never see, will be more comfortable and respectable for the poor. He does this in a country not his own, in a city he may leave any day for his native land. Such an act is rare in the annals of benevolence.” 2-London Daily Telegraph, March 27, 1862: “The noble gift of Mr. Peabody actually takes away the public breath…and sends a thrill through the public heart. Had this been a legacy it would have been welcomed; instead, a man gives his fortune during his lifetime for an object going back to a resolution he had held more than a quarter of a century…to elevate the poor.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 68-Peabody Homes: Press Cont’d. 3-London Morning Post, March 28, 1862: “…an American living among us has done a great act in advancing our social welfare. In recommending…dwellings for the poor, Mr. Peabody has…gracefully…paid…tribute to the memory of the Prince Consort, who had this cause so much at heart. The gift is in some measure, an Albert memorial…which no contemporary Englishman has surpassed, or…equaled.”
Quotations, GP. 69-Peabody Homes: Press Cont’d. 4-London Morning Herald, March 27, 1862: “One of the merchant princes of the world has just presented [London] with a gift for which thousands will bless his name. The widow, the orphan, and the poor, for ages to come…will hallow the name of George Peabody…who, in his lifetime, gave for the outcast and the destitute…. Whilst his countrymen are warring…with each other, this generous American is working out…good-will among his adopted people.” See: Peabody Homes of London (for 12 additional press editorials).
Quotations, GP. 70-Peabody Homes: 1999. As of March 31, 1999, 34,500 Londoners (59% white, 32% black, and 9% others) lived in 17,183 Peabody homes (i.e. apartments) including, besides Peabody Trust-built estates, public housing units whose authorities chose to come under the Peabody Trust’s better living facilities, playgrounds for the young, recreation for the elderly, computer training centers, job training, and job placement for working adults. See: Peabody Homes of London.
Why GP Gave
Quotations, GP. 71-Why GP Gave: 1866. A quotation attributed to GP that may have insight into his philanthropy appeared in Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry’s (1825-1903) A Brief Sketch of George Peabody…, 1898. Curry, a PEF trustee and its second chief administrator (1881-85 and 1888-1903), quoted from a letter he received (no date given) from the daughter of a Mr. Humphreys. She wrote that when GP arrived during a U.S. visit (no date given but probably May 1, 1866, in NYC), her father, a commercial friend of long standing, went to see GP and congratulated him on his amazing philanthropy. GP then said quietly, “Humphreys, after my disappointment long ago, I determined to devote myself to my fellow-beings, and am carrying out that dedication to my best ability.” See: Curry, Jabez Lamar Monroe.
Quotations, GP. 72-Why GP Gave: 1866 Cont’d. Mr. Humphreys’ daughter added in her letter to J.L.M. Curry: “These expressions made to my father, and so far as I am aware, to him alone, referred to an incident which has had its day and among the circle of Mr. Peabody’s friends, its halo of romance. Mr. Peabody’s own touching reference to it can, after the lapse of so many years, be recorded without indiscrimination, as showing his own reading of an important page in his life history.” For Mr. Humphreys’ daughter’s complete letter, see Curry, Jabez Lamar Monroe. Humphreys, Mr.
Quotations, GP. 73-Why GP Gave: 1866 Cont’d. GP’s alleged remark to Humphreys, “my disappointment long ago,” may refer to his engagement to Esther Elizabeth Hoppin (1819-1905), broken by her just before Jan. 1839. She was a Providence, R.I., beauty who, with other U.S. visitors, was in London for the June 28, 1838, coronation of young Queen Victoria. She had earlier met and been infatuated with Alexander Lardner (1808-48) in Philadelphia. They parted, she to finish school and attend the coronation. In London GP met, fell in love with, and became engaged to Esther Hoppin. Word of the pending marriage spread quickly to GP’s friends in Baltimore, New York, and Philadelphia. See: Hoppin, Esther Elizabeth.
Quotations, GP. 74-Why GP Gave: 1866 Cont’d. Hoppin returned to Providence, saw Alexander Lardner again, realized that her engagement to GP was a mistake, wrote GP of her feelings, returned his gifts, and broke the engagement. She married Alexander Lardner. They had two children. She outlived GP by 35 years. Her portrait by artist Thomas Sully shows her in all her beauty. Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 75-PEF Founding Letter, Feb. 7, 1867. GP’s letter founding the PEF was addressed to his 16 trustees: “Gentlemen: I beg to address you on a subject which occupied my mind long before I left England…. “I refer to the educational needs of those portions of our beloved and common country which have suffered from the destructive ravages, and the not less disastrous consequences, of civil war.” See: PEF.
Quotations, GP. 76-PEF Founding Letter, Feb. 7, 1867 Cont’d.: “With my advancing years, my attachment to my native land has but become more devoted. My hope and faith in its successful and glorious future have grown brighter and stronger; and now, looking forward beyond my stay on earth, as may be permitted to one who has passed the limit of threescore and ten years, I see our country, united and prosperous, emerging from the clouds which still surround her, taking a higher rank among the nations, and becoming richer and more powerful than ever before.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 77-PEF Founding Letter, Feb. 7, 1867 Cont’d.: “But to make her prosperity more than superficial, her moral and intellectual development should keep pace with her material growth, and, in those portions of our nation to which I have referred, the urgent and pressing physical needs of an almost impoverished people must for some years preclude them from making, by unaided effort, such advances in education, and such progress in the diffusion of knowledge, among all classes, as every lover of his country must earnestly desire.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 78-PEF Founding Letter, Feb. 7, 1867 Cont’d.: “I feel most deeply, therefore, that it is the duty and privilege of the more favored and wealthy portions of our nation to assist those who are less fortunate; and, with the wish to discharge so far as I may be able my own responsibility in this matter, as well as to gratify my desire to aid those to whom I am bound by so many ties of attachment and regard, I give to you, gentlemen, most of whom have been my personal and especial friends, the sum of one million of dollars, to be by you and your successors held in trust, and the income thereof used and applied in your discretion for the promotion and encouragement of intellectual, moral, or industrial education among the young of the more destitute portions of the Southern and Southwestern States of our Union; my purpose being that the benefits intended shall be distributed among the entire population, without other distinction than their needs and the opportunities of usefulness to them….” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 79-PEF Founding Letter, Feb. 7, 1867 Cont’d. (after listing his specific gifts of bonds): “The details and organization of the Trust I leave with you…. I furthermore give to you the power, in case two-thirds the Trustees shall at any time, after the lapse of thirty years, deem it expedient, to close this Trust…. ” “In making this gift, I am aware that the fund derived from it can but aid the States which I wish to benefit in their own exertions to diffuse the blessings of education and morality. But if this endowment shall encourage those now anxious [for] the light of knowledge, and stimulate to new efforts the many good and noble men who cherish the high purpose of placing our great country foremost, not only in power, but in the intelligence and virtue of her citizens, it will have accomplished all that I can hope.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 80-PEF Founding Letter, Feb. 7, 1867 Cont’d.: “With reverent recognition of the need of the blessing of Almighty God upon this gift, and with the fervent prayer that under His guidance your counsels may be directed for the highest good of present and future generations in our beloved country, I am, gentlemen, with great respect, Your humble servant, George Peabody, Washington, Feb. 7, 1867.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 81-On Doubling the PEF (June 29, 1869). GP was in Newport, R.I., June 29, 1869, when he wrote his third letter to the PEF trustees, read to them at an early July meeting: “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….” See: Visits to the U.S. by GP.
Quotations, GP. 82-PEF: Historians’ Evaluations. Most historians have said that PEF aid came when it was desperately needed, that PEF trustees were high status achievers, from North and South, and that PEF policy succeeded because it fitted southern middle class interests. Historians’ favorable comments include: 1-E. Merton Coulter: “The greatest act of help and friendship that came to the South during the Reconstruction originated with George Peabody, Massachusetts-born English banker and benefactor….The South was deeply moved by this beam of light piercing their blackest darkness.” Ref.: Coulter, p. 327. 2-Harvey Wish: “Northern philanthropy tried to fill the gap left by Southern poverty and by Bourbon indifference to elementary education. No kindness had touched the hearts of Southerners quite as much as the huge educational bequest of the Massachusetts-born financier, George Peabody of England.” Ref.: Wish, II, p. 37. Other Refs. below.
Quotations, GP. 83-For Other Historians’ PEF Evaluations (Praise and Criticism). Ref.: Ayres. Buck, pp. 164, 166. Clark, p. 30. Curry-a, pp. 226, 230. Curry-b. Dabney, I, pp. 101, 104. Flexner and Bailey, p. 11. Gilman-a, pp. 161-166. Gilman-c, pp. 648-52, 657. Knight-a, p. 393. Knight-c, p. 555. Leavell. PEF, Proceedings, 6 vols. Sears, p. 91. Taylor. Tate, p. 291. West-b, pp. 3-21. Ref.: (Doctoral dissertations): Brouilette, Ph.D., GPCFT, 1940. Drake, Ed.D., Tenn. State Univ., 1990. Lewis, Ph.D., Univ. of Fla., 1955. Peck, Ph.D., GPCFT, 1942. Rice. Spivey, pp. 28, 32, 37, 77-84. Turner, Ph.D., La. State Univ., 1944. West, Ph.D., GPCFT, 1961.
English Statesman John Bright on GP
Quotations, GP. 84-Statesman John Bright. English statesman John Bright (1811-89), son of a Quaker cotton manufacturer, was an MP, was pro-Union during the U.S. Civil War, and was president of the Board of Trade in PM William E. Gladstone’s (1809-98) cabinet (1868). Of his contact with GP Bright wrote in his diary (June 4, 1867): “Call from Mr. Peabody, on proposed visit to him at Castle Connell on the Shannon [River, Ireland]. Agreed to go there on Saturday next, nothing unforeseen preventing.” See: Bright, John.
Quotations, GP. 85-Statesman John Bright Cont’d.: “A fine looking man and happy in the review of his great generosity in the bestowal of his great wealth.” (July 1868, after a week of fishing with GP in Ireland): “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.
Quotations, GP. 86-John Bright and Queen Victoria on GP. After dining with Queen Victoria John Bright recorded in his diary remarks made about GP (Dec. 30, 1868): “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. I said he 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.
Richard Kenin on GP in London
Quotations, GP. 87-Richard Kenin on GP. U.S.-born Richard Kenin (1947-) earned a doctorate degree at Oxford Univ. and was picture editor of Time Life Books. His book, Return to Albion: Americans in England 1760-1940 (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979), examined Americans who lived and worked in England during the period covered. Chap. 4, titled “The Lords of Change Alley: George Peabody and “Co.,'” 18 pp., while not footnoted, is perceptive about GP’s 32 years in London, GP’s character, motives, and importance. Kenin described Morley’s Hotel at 4 Trafalgar Square, in London’s West End, as a “fashionable place,” a “mecca for Americans,” with a crowded bar, good food, and many private dining rooms, where GP often dined with the Vt.-born and London-based successful rare book dealer Henry Stevens (1819-86). See: Kenin, Richard.
Quotations, GP. 88-Kenin: on GP and Books. “When Peabody bought books from Stevens, it was not for his own shelves (Peabody never read anything more serious than a newspaper); rather it was for one of the numerous libraries…he… endow[ed]. Peabody regarded books as just another of nature’s commodities. Frequently he would ask Stevens, ‘How are books today?’ as one might query the price of hogs.” On GP’s simplicity, Kenin wrote: “George Peabody was not a witty man. He was formal to the point of stiffness…. He carried his afternoon meal to work in a small metal lunchbox; and when not entertaining publicly, he preferred to dine in inexpensive chop houses…. In the world of finance, where integrity and reliability were the keystones to a man’s reputation, Peabody was a rock of respectability. He lived alone, and he lived exclusively for his work….” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 89-Kenin: on GP’s $15,000 Loan, U.S. Exhibitors, 1851, London: “Having…pulled his compatriots’ fat out of the fire, Peabody celebrated the success of the American exhibition by hosting a great banquet at the London Coffee House, where Americans…gathered since the days of Benjamin Franklin. Henry Stevens supervised the decorations and later produced a…volume commemorating the occasion…. The dinner attracted much favorable comment in the press. It was a marvelous public relations event, just the thing to attract popular attention, for Peabody never spent or gave money away quietly.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 90-Kenin: After Wellington as Guest of Honor: “On the morning of July 5, 1851, George Peabody’s name was in the mouths of half the kingdom. Peabody’s Fourth of July dinners became an annual event on the London social calendar. Invitations became a highly prized commodity, and as his business grew so, too, did the length of his guest list.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 91-Kenin: on How GP Saved Himself in the Panic of 1857: “Peabody extended…overtures to…private banks, asking temporary assistance until the crisis abated…. His competitors swooped down, offering short-term loans only on condition that Peabody [give] up his banking business…and return to America…. Here was an ideal chance to destroy a firm which was disliked as much for its success as it was respected for its integrity.” Kenin wrote how GP saved himself: “In desperation Peabody turned to Thomson Hankey, Jr. [1805-93], Governor of the Bank of England, whom he had cultivated since the early 1830s. In an action that was unprecedented, the bank [lent] £1 million to George Peabody and Co….. With the Bank of England behind him, Peabody had no trouble in securing ample credits…. When the Panic of 1857 passed and the American economy began to recover…Peabody and Morgan…[became as]…wealthy as Croesus.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 92-Kenin: on GP’s Apartments for London’s Working Poor ($2.5 million housing gift): “What Peabody created, and what still survives today, was no less than the first large housing agency in Britain, operating completely independently of government on a noncommercial basis…. Parliament…between 1868 and 1890 [passed] a number of bills…to deal with the problems of substandard [urban housing]. Peabody’s work was a catalyst which spurred government action toward the creation of a national housing policy. This in itself was a major political achievement.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 93-Kenin: on GP’s Honors (after his London housing gift): “The public response to Peabody’s gift to London was swift. The Court of Common Council of the Corporation of the City of London granted Peabody the freedom of the City and commissioned a portrait of him to hang in the Guildhall…, the first American to be so honored. The Lord Mayor of London held a great banquet in Peabody’s honor at the Mansion House, and he was admitted as a Freeman of the ancient livery companies of Fishmongers and Clothworkers.” “The Queen,” Kenin noted, “enquired…[if] he would accept the honor of a baronetcy or perhaps the Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. [These] would have required him to surrender his citizenship and declare allegiance to the Crown of Britain, which he could not bring himself to do…. What sort of gift [would] he accept [?] Peabody replied that all he desired was a portrait miniature of the Queen, together with a personal note in her own hand.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 94-Kenin: on the PEF: “In America, Peabody’s beneficence…was extensive. But it was in the aftermath of the Civil War, when he gave $2 million to restore Southern education…that his reputation as the founder of modern educational philanthropy was established. A chorus of praise was raised across the nation. Harvard…granted Peabody an honorary doctorate of civil law. The U.S. Congress…commissioned the New York silversmiths Starr and Marcus to design the most elaborate gold medal ever created in America…. It was a moving testimony….” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 95-Kenin on GP’s Fame on Death: “Peabody was more than just a man of the stock exchange and the banks. He had become a national possession–even pubs were named after him…. The Dean and Chapter of Westminster offered space in the Abbey for [his] burial–the highest honor that can be conferred on any British subject, here offered for the first time to an American.” Kenin quoted the New York Times London reporter’s description of the Nov. 12, 1869, Westminster Abbey GP funeral service: “My trans-Atlantic heart beat…quicker at the thought of clergy and nobility, Prime Minister and people, of this great realm gathered to lay [GP] among sleeping Kings and statesmen. The crowd outside was, if possible, more interesting than that within. The gaunt, famished London poor were gathered in thousands to testify their respect for the foreigner who has done more than any Englishman for their class, and whose last will contains an additional bequest to them of £150,000.” Unfortunately Kenin shed no light on why GP’s fame faded, why he is now so little remembered.
GP’s Death & Eulogies
Quotations, GP. 96-U.S. Minister Motley to Count von Bismarck on GP’s Death. On Nov. 7, 1869, U.S. Minister John Lothrop Motley (1814-77) described GP’s death to German statesman 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.” See: Death and Funeral, GP’s.
Quotations, GP. 97-Motley to Bismarck Cont’d.: “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.
Quotations, GP. 98-Louis Blanc’s Eulogy. French Socialist politician and journalist Louis Blanc (1811-82), prompted by an invitation from the GP funeral arrangements committee, Peabody, Mass., sent the following eulogy on GP’s death: “The death of…George Peabody…is a public calamity, in which the whole civilized world ought to share. I feel…bound…to mourn, for the illustrious American whose life was of such value to the most needy of his fellow-men.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 99-Louis Blanc’s Eulogy Cont’d.: “It is but natural…that his mortal remains should be committed to…Westminster Abbey, to be sent…in a ship of war to his native land…. There should be for men of [his] stamp…homage better calculated to show how little, compared to them, are most kings, princes, noblemen, renowned diplomats, world-famed conquerors. “The number of mourners…[at the Abbey], their silent sorrow, the tears shed by so many…of London, the readiness of the shopkeepers [in] closing their shops and lowering their blinds,–these were the homages…due one whose title in history will be…–the friend of the poor. Louis Blanc.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 100-Victor Hugo’s Eulogy. Famed French writer and novelist Victor-Marie Hugo (1802-85), prompted by invitation from the funeral arrangements committee, Peabody, Mass., sent a eulogy on GP’s death which read in part: “America has reason to be proud of this great citizen of the world, and great brother of all men,–George Peabody. Peabody [was a man who suffered] in all sufferings, a…man who [felt] the cold, the hunger, and thirst of the poor. Having a place near Rothschild, he found means to change it for one near Vincent de Paul.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 101-Victor Hugo’s Eulogy Cont’d. “May Peabody return to you, blessed by us! Our world envies yours…. The free American flag can never display enough stars above his coffin.” Victor Hugo. Another excerpt from Victor Hugo’s eulogy on George Peabody, reads: “…Like Jesus Christ, he had a wound in the side, this wound was the misery of others. It was not blood that flowed from this wound: it was gold which now came from a heart…. It [is] on the face of [such] men that we can see the smile of God.” Ref.: Ibid.
Robert E. Lee on GP’s Death
Quotations, GP. 102-R.E. Lee on GP’s Death. Gen. Robert E. Lee (1807-70) had only one chance but memorable meeting with GP at the Greenbrier Hotel (“Old White”), White Sulphur Springs, W.Va,, July 23-Aug. 30, 1869. They ate together, walked arm in arm, and were applauded by visitors. It was a rare meeting. Lee, hero of the lost Confederate cause, had declined lucrative job offers but accepted the presidency (1865-70) of small, obscure and struggling Washington College, Lexington, Va., renamed Washington and Lee Univ. in 1871. GP, then the best known philanthropist of his time, was much in the news because on June 29, 1869, he had doubled his one million dollar fund to promote public education in the South (PEF). For fuller details, including GP’s gifts to Lee’s college, see Corcoran, William Wilson. Death and Funeral, GP’s. Lee, Robert E.
Quotations, GP. 103-R.E. Lee on GP’s Death, Cont’d. Present also at White Sulphur Springs that summer of 1869, by pure chance, were southern and northern political, educational, and former Civil War military leaders. GP and Lee ate together, walked arm in arm, were applauded by visitors, and were the central figures in some remarkable post-Civil War photographs. Their informal talks about the education needs of the South set a precedent for later Conferences on Education in the South (1898-1903), which led to vast foundation aid to southern education, agriculture, and health. Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 104-R.E. Lee on GP’s Death, Cont’d. Some five weeks later, reading of GP’s death in London on Nov. 4, 1869, Robert E. Lee wrote (Nov. 10, 1869) to GP’s nephew George Peabody Russell (1835-1909), who had been with GP in White Sulphur Springs and there met Lee: “The announcement of the death of your uncle, Mr. George Peabody, has been received with the deepest regret wherever his name and benevolence are known; and nowhere have his generous deeds–restricted to no country, section or sect–elicited more heartfelt admiration than at the South. He stands alone in history for the benevolent and judicious distribution of his great wealth, and his memory has become entwined in the affections of millions of his fellow-citizens in both hemispheres.” Ref.: Robert E. Lee, Lexington, Va., to George Peabody Russell, Nov. 10, 1869, quoted in Salem Gazette (Salem, Mass.), Nov. 30, 1869, p. 2, c. 1.
Quotations, GP. 105-R.E. Lee on GP’s Death, Cont’d.: “I beg, in my own behalf, and in behalf of the Trustees and Faculty of Washington College, Va., which was not forgotten by him in his act of generosity, to tender the tribute of our unfeigned sorrow at his death. With great respect, Your obedient servant R.E. Lee.” Ref.: Ibid.
Robert C. Winthrop’s GP Eulogy
Quotations, GP. 106-R.C. Winthrop’s Eulogy. GP’s philanthropic advisor and president of the PEF trustees Robert Charles Winthrop (1809-94) said in his eulogy at GP’s funeral, South Congregational Church, Peabody, Mass., Feb. 8, 1870 (in part): “What a career this has been whose final scene lies before us! Who can contemplate his rise from lowly beginnings to these final royal honors without admiration? His death, painless and peaceful, came after he completed his great dream and saw his old friends and loved ones…..” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 107-R.C. Winthrop’s Eulogy Cont’d.: “The trusts he established, the institutes he founded, the buildings he raised stand before all eyes. I have authority for saying that he planned these for many years, for in private talks he told me all he planned and when I expressed my amazement at the magnitude of his purpose, 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.'” [These underlined words are on GP’s Westminster Abbey marker.] Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 108-R.C. Winthrop’s Eulogy Concluded: “And so we bid thee farewell, noble friend. The village of thy birth weeps. The flower of Essex County stands at thy grave. Massachusetts mourns her son. Maine does honor to thee. New England and Old England join hands because of thee. The children of the South praise thy works. Chiefs of the Republic stand with royalty at thy bier. And so we bid thee farewell, friend of mankind.” Ref.: Ibid.
GP in the NYU Hall of Fame
Quotations, GP. 109-NYU Hall of Fame. GP was one of 29 most famous Americans elected in 1900 to the Hall of Fame of New York Univ. A bronze tablet was unveiled in 1901 in the space allotted to GP at the N.Y.U. Hall of Fame University Heights Colonnade overlooking the Hudson River. The bronze tablet had engraved on it the following sentiment adapted from GP’s Feb. 7, 1867, letter founding the PEF: “Looking forward beyond my stay on earth I see our country becoming richer and more powerful. But to make her prosperity more than superficial, her moral and intellectual development should keep pace with her material growth.” See: Hall of Fame of N.Y.U. Johnson, Robert Underwood. MacCracken, Henry Mitchell.
Quotations, GP. 110-NYU Hall of Fame Cont’d.: A GP bust by sculptor Hans Schuler (1874-1951) was unveiled May 12, 1926, at the University Heights Colonnade. John Work Garrett (1872-1942) represented the PEF trustees, GP’s grandnephew Murray Peabody Brush (b.1872) unveiled the bust, and GPCFT Pres. Bruce Ryburn Payne (1874-1937) gave the address. Ref.: Ibid. See: persons named.
R.H. Bremner on GP as Philanthropist
Quotations, GP. 111-Cultural Gifts Without Restriction. Author Robert .H. Bremner, The Public Good: Philanthropy and Welfare in the Civil War Era (New York: Alfred a Knopf, 1980), pointed out that GP in founding the PIB (1857) and Peter Cooper (1791-1883) in founding Cooper Union, NYC, 1859, were the first U.S. philanthropists to endow cultural institutions for all without religious/political requirements. GP’s founding letters stressed this sentiment. Ref.: Bremner, p. 32.
Quotations, GP. 112-On GP Characteristics. Because of GP’s early poverty, Bremner wrote, he was by nature “parsimonious” and “inclined toward hoarding.” Bremner quoted this confirmation by J.L.M. Curry (1825-1903), second PEF administrator: GP “loved to accumulate, and was not free from pride at his gains and financial standing….” Bremner added that during his London years “he employed lavish hospitality to advance his [banking] career” but that after deciding on founding cultural institutions “Peabody applied the same systematic and prudent methods to the disposition of his wealth that he had earlier employed in acquiring it.” Ref.: Ibid., p. 186.
John Steele Gordon, American Heritage, 1999, on GP
Quotations, GP. 113-John Steele Gordon, American Heritage, 1999. Finally, historian John Steele Gordon, in American Heritage, May-June 1999, wrote the following: “Born poor in what is now Peabody, Massachusetts, he became an immensely successful private banker in London. A lifelong bachelor, he began giving his money away in vast amounts long before his death, and before it became fashionable for the rich to do so.” Ref.: American Heritage, Vol. 50, No. 3 (May-June 1999), pp. 68-69.
Quotations, GP. 114-Historian J.S. Gordon Cont’d.: “His benefactions including money to establish the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, the Peabody Institute in Peabody, Massachusetts; the Peabody museums at Harvard and Yale (at the latter his nephew Othniel C. Marsh established a great collection of dinosaur fossils) and the Peabody Academy of Science in Salem, Massachusetts. He gave $2.5 million [i.e., $2.4 million] to the city of London for workers’ housing and $3.5 million [i.e., $2 million; his Fla. and Texas bonds were not honored by those states] to the Peabody Education Fund to help schools in the South. This last donation anticipated the great philanthropic foundations of Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Ford. Indeed, it was the model for them.” Ref.: Ibid.
Quotations, GP. 115-Historian J.S. Gordon Cont’d.: “Peabody is unjustly forgotten today, but his unprecedented generosity was greatly appreciated in his own time. The British erected a statue to him on the east side of the Royal Exchange, and Queen Victoria offered him a baronetcy, which he modestly refused. When he died, in 1869, his funeral was held at Westminster Abbey and his body returned to his country on HMS Monarch, escorted by American and French warships [escorted only by the USS corvette Plymouth].” Ref.: Ibid.
“R.D.P.” In the NYC Evening Post, Oct. 25, 1866, on the night of the dedication and opening of the PIB (Baltimore), GP was attacked by anonymous letter writer “S.P.Q.” as anti-Union, pro-Confederate in his Civil War financial dealings. He was defended in the next day’s NYC Evening Post, Oct. 26, 1866, by an anonymous “R.D.P.” See: “S.P.Q.”
Radcliffe College, women’s college of Harvard Univ. See: Hidy, Muriel Emmie.
Radford, William (1808-90). 1-Involved in GP’s Funeral. William Radford was the U.S. Rear Admiral commanding the U.S. Naval European Squadron in Marseilles, France, at the time of GP’s death in London, Nov. 4, 1869. Adm. Radford was ordered by U.S. Secty. of State Hamilton Fish (1809-93, and a PEF trustee) to send the USS Plymouth (Capt. William H. Macomb, commander) as escort vessel to accompany HMS Monarch as funeral ship to return GP’s remains from Britain to the U.S. The transatlantic funeral ships left Portsmouth, England, Dec. 21, 1869, went south to Madeira, Portugal; west to Bermuda; and reached Portland, Maine, Jan. 25, 1870. See: Moran, Benjamin. Death and funeral, GP’s.
Radford, William. 2-Career. William Radford was born in Fincastle, Va., entered the U.S. Navy in 1825, was promoted to lieutenant (1837), served in the Mexican War, was promoted to commander (1855), and served with the East India Squadron. Although a southerner he supported the Union in the Civil War, was promoted to captain (July 1862), commodore (April 1863), commissioned rear admiral (July 1866), was in charge of the European squadron (1869), and served in Washington, D.C. After he retired (March 1870), he was on special duty with the Navy Dept. in Washington, D.C. (1870-72). Ref.: Ibid.
What Gift for London?
Ragged School Union. 1-Deciding on a Gift to London. GP first discussed in 1859 a suitable gift for London with longtime business friend Curtis Miranda Lampson (1806-85). They considered and soon discarded the idea of a network of drinking fountains with purified water piped in. The second London gift idea GP discussed with longtime visiting friend, Ohio Episcopal Bishop Charles Pettit McIlvaine (1799-1873), was to aid charity schools for the very poor in Britain run by the Ragged School Union. See: Peabody Homes of London.
Ragged School Union. 2-Ragged Schools Considered. Ragged Schools originated with John Pounds (d. 1839), a cobbler who made and repaired shoes in Portsmouth, England. From 1819 to his death in 1839 he took in poor children and orphans and taught them while he worked. Others took up the work to help ease the poverty accompanying the early industrial revolution. In 1838 a ragged Sunday school was opened in London. A widely read pamphlet by Dr. Guthrie, “Plea for Ragged Schools,” 1847, spread the movement throughout England. Ref.: Ibid.
Ragged School Union. 3-Lord Shaftesbury Suggested Low Cost Housing. For 39 years the Ragged School Union was led by social reformer Lord Shaftesbury (Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl, 1801-85). On GP’s behalf Bishop McIlvaine wrote and then visited Lord Shaftesbury about this plan. Lord Shaftesbury’s advice was that the London poor’s greatest need, more than schools, was affordable housing. This advice induced GP to found on March 12, 1862, the Peabody Donation Fund (later Peabody Trust), London, to which he ultimately gave a total of $2.5 million, to build model apartments for London’s working poor. Ref.: Ibid.
Railroads, U.S., Investment in. Initially wary of selling bonds abroad to finance U.S. railroads, GP in 1852 successfully sold bonds to finance the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad Co. In 1849 he shipped British and European railroad iron for the S. C. Railroad Co. Ref.: Hidy, M.E.-c, p. x.
Raleigh, Sir Walter (1554-1618), English courtier, navigator, and historian, was one of three Englishmen who New England writer Delia Salter Bacon (1811-59) believed wrote the William Shakespeare plays. For her letter of introduction to GP in London, his minimal contact with her, and for her career, see Bacon, Delia Salter. Butler, Charles. Spenser, Edmund.
Randolph, Harold (1861-1927), was the PIB Conservatory of Music’s second director during 1898-1927 (29 years). See: PIB Conservatory of Music.
Raymond, Henry Jarvis (1820-69). 1-New York Times Founder, First Editor. Henry Jarvis Raymond was founder and first editor of the New York Times (first issue Sept. 18, 1851). He was at GP’s July 22, 1858, dinner at the Star and Garter Hotel, Richmond, near London, attended by about 60 Americans and 30 Britons. The guest of honor was John Young Mason (1799-1859), U.S. Minister to France. H.J. Raymond toasted “the Press.” Baltimorean John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870), also present, toasted “the City of London.” Ref.: New York Herald, Aug. 15, 1858, p. 1, c. 4-6. See Dinners, GP’s, London. Moran, Benjamin. Mason, John Young.
Raymond, H.J. 2-Career. H.J. Raymond was born in Lima, N.Y., graduated from the Univ. of Vt. (1840), went to NYC where he studied law, contributed to The New Yorker, a literary weekly, was assistant editor of the New York Tribune (1841), wrote for the NYC Courier and Enquirer (1843-51), served in the N.Y. state assembly (1849-50; was speaker), N.Y. state Lt. Gov. (1854), and was elected to the U.S. Congress (1864). Ref.: New York Times, June 19, 1869, p. 4, c. 2.
Read, Thomas Buchanan (1822-72), portrait painter, sculptor, and poet, born in Chester County, Pa., whose oil on canvas portrait of GP in 1860, 58″x98,” is owned by the Md. State Archives, Annapolis, Md. He is remembered for his 1871 portrait and poem entitled “Sheridan’s Ride.” See: Peabody, George, Illustrations: M. Md. State Archives.
Reaper, McCormick’s, was one of many U.S. industrial products displayed at the Great Exhibition of 1851, London, first world’s fair. See: Great Exhibition of 1851, London (first world’s fair).
Reconstruction, post Civil War. See: PEF.
GP’s Business-Banking Career
Redlich, Fritz. 1-On GP’s Business-Banking Career. Fritz Redlich’s Molding of American Banking: Men and Ideas, traces GP’s transition from U.S. merchant to London-based securities broker and international banker. Of GP’s early commercial career, Redlich wrote: “[GP]…came from a poor family of Puritan stock. As a mere youngster he began to work in a grocery store in a small Massachusetts town (now Peabody). He rose rapidly and by 1814 was the manager and soon thereafter the partner of Elisha Riggs [Sr., 1779-1853], running the latter’s drygoods house in Georgetown, D.C. In 1815 Riggs and Peabody moved to Baltimore; in 1829 the latter [GP] became the head of the firm from which he withdrew in 1837 when he settled in London.” Ref.: Redlich, Part II, pp. 350-353. (Note: GP headed Peabody, Riggs & Co., to 1845 when he withdrew his capital; the firm’s transactions ended in 1848).
GP’s Role in Selling Md.’s Bonds Abroad
Redlich, Fritz. 2-On GP as Seller of Md.’s Bonds Abroad: “Peabody…was one of the three Maryland commissioners appointed to sell in England bonds issued by the state to assist internal improvements. Shortly after having transferred his headquarters to London he undertook [for] the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company to dispose of Maryland state bonds assigned to that corporation. The sales transaction became rather complicated because of credit given on the basis of the securities and because of threatened underselling. (Maryland bonds having been assigned to various firms were offered in the London market by several houses.) Ultimately Peabody unloaded on the Barings those securities for which he was responsible. It was baptism by fire.” Ref.: Ibid.
Redlich, Fritz. 3-On GP as American Securities Trader: “Soon Peabody was to become an outstanding expert in the field of American securities and of security dealings. His knowledge was acquired by investments of his own funds, for Peabody, like other businessmen in this country, believed in the intrinsic value of many American securities which in the early 1840’s were utterly depressed in the English market. Under these circumstances some of them became an advantageous medium of payment for imports from America. Peabody used them himself for that purpose and acquired them on commission for others. When his experience and reputation as a securities trader grew, securities were consigned to him for sale on commission or on joint account. Trading in securities on his own or on joint account was also undertaken.” Ref.: Ibid.
GP & the Mexican War Loan
Redlich, Fritz. 4-On GP and Corcoran & Riggs: Mexican War Loan: “By that time the son of Peabody’s old partner, George Washington Riggs [1813-81], trained in Peabody’s counting house in London, had become [William Wilson] Corcoran’s [1798-1888] partner in the firm of Corcoran and Riggs [Washington, D.C.]…. This fact led to close cooperation between the two firms and to Peabody’s being drawn into the investment banking field. Jointly with Corcoran and Riggs and [with] Elisha Riggs [Sr.], he became a subcontractor of the Washington firm and the Barings to the tune of $750,000 when these firms acquired the lion’s share of the Mexican War loan of 1848 (although as late as 1847 Peabody had believed that no large amounts of federal bonds could be sold in Britain).” Ref.: Ibid.
Redlich, Fritz. 5-On GP and Corcoran & Riggs: Mexican War Loan Cont’d.: “Moreover he [GP] personally assisted Corcoran in his sales efforts in England, accompanying him on his travels, and he took up war bonds over and above the amount for which he had made himself responsible in the subcontract just mentioned: he acquired another $770,000 jointly with Corcoran and Riggs. It is noteworthy that Peabody and the Barings marketed their shares (to the extent that they were taken to England) ‘in perfect union’. They even took a block of the 1847 bonds from the Rothschilds when the latter started underselling them. Many of the securities were marketed through agents on the Continent, selling especially to small investors in Germany.” Ref.: Ibid.
Redlich, Fritz. 6-On Securities Sold by GP: “In the years 1849 through 1851 Peabody increased and diversified his security holdings and in this connection participated in the flotation of new securities, such as Illinois Improvement and Wabash and Erie Canal bonds and Bay State Mills stock; but he acted as an investor, not with resale in his mind. Nevertheless thereby he came nearer to the status of an investment banker, especially since in those years he also became a joint contractor for a few state issues and those of first class cities, such as Boston. (He participated in an unsuccessful bid for the New York City bonds of 1849.) It is telling that when Peabody concluded a partnership agreement in this period, the articles of association, contemplating ‘operations’ in ‘American and other stocks,’ did not distinguish between dealing in securities and contracting. Those articles of association are interesting for still another reason: Peabody reserved the right to operate in securities on his own account, aside from the firm….” Ref.: Ibid.
GP’s Shift from State Securities to Railroads
Redlich, Fritz. 7-GP’s Shift from State Securities to Railroads: “By 1850 interest in America was generally shifting from state to railroad securities, and again Peabody entered the new field only slowly. He did a considerable business in railroad iron, but throughout the 1840’s refused to take railroad bonds in payment…as was customary. By 1850, however, he had changed his policy and, since his business in railroad iron and the acceptance of railroad bonds were bound to make him familiar with both the roads and their securities, it was natural that he should become a full-fledged investment banker in this very field.” Ref.: Ibid.
Redlich, Fritz. 8-Cooperated with Duncan Sherman & Co., NYC: “In the last period of his life and in his capacity as a full-fledged investment banker Peabody closely cooperated with the New York [banking] firm of Duncan, Sherman and Company,…founded in 1851 by Alexander Duncan….Finally in 1853 the London banker took the last step on his long and slow road toward full-fledged investment banking: he contracted in his own name for a total of 1,844 [seven] per cent convertible first mortgage bonds of the Eastern Division (Cincinnati-St. Louis) of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad of which Duncan, Sherman and Company were the bankers. These securities he brought out in the London market under his own name and sole responsibility. The bonds sold so satisfactorily that Peabody took up an option for another block of 600 bonds; and on joint account with Page and Bacon of St. Louis, contractors of the road, he also handled bonds of the Western Division.” Ref.: Ibid.
GP as Investment Banker
Redlich, Fritz. 9-Leading Investment Banking House: GP “in competition with the Rothschilds had dominated the trading in American securities between 1842 and 1848…. [GP] was no innovator in [investment banking] and did not enter it prior to the Mexican War,…late in his life, and even then only reluctantly and first as a subcontractor and on joint account. Rather was Peabody a shrewd investor and an extraordinarily able security dealer. As such he was important from the economic point of view in that he facilitated the flow of European capital to America. His main contribution to American investment banking lay in his building an enterprise which was so structured and so well known that it could easily become, under proper guidance, a leading investment banking house.” Ref.: Ibid.
Redlich, Fritz. 10-GP and the Morgans: “Moreover,…Peabody discovered the man (Junius Spencer Morgan [1813-90, father of John Pierpont Morgan, Sr., 1837-1913]) who was to use the instrument which he had forged…. Moreover even while residing in London, Peabody remained an American and toward the end of his life gained influence on this country’s investment banking both through his own activities and through the selection of his successor.” Ref.: Ibid. See: persons named.
Redlich, Fritz. 11-Comment on GP’s Social Activities. To Redlich’s assessment of GP may be added how his London social activities aided his banking business. His lavish U.S.-British friendship dinners in the 1850s, his helpfulness to Americans visiting London, his unusual philanthropies in the U.S. and in London generated a good press for him on both sides of the Atlantic and won him the confidence of many friends. For GP’s own statement in Aug. 1869 on how and when he made most of his money, see John Jennings Moorman. See: Dinners, GP’s, London. Hidy, Muriel Emmie. Kenin, Richard.
GP’s Public Relations
Redlich, Fritz. 12-GP’s Public Relations (Lawrence). GP’s good public relations also generated a good press and won him the confidence and support of businessmen and political figures. PEF trustee William Lawrence’s (1850-1941) memoir of GP’s sense of PEF public relations, 1867-69, was also true for GP’s earlier business career. Lawrence wrote: “There was in Mr. Peabody a touch of egotism and a satisfaction in publicity which worked to the advantage of this fund [PEF]; by the selection of men of national fame as trustees he called the attention of the whole country to the educational needs of the South and the common interests of North and South in building up a united Nation.” See: Lawrence, William. PEF.
Redlich, Fritz. 13-GP’s Public Relations (Lawrence) Cont’d.: “The trustees brought their wives to the annual meeting in New York, and in the evening met at the most sumptuous [banquet] that the hostelry of those days, the Fifth Avenue Hotel, could provide; the report of which and of what they had to eat and drink was headlined in the press of the South and the North. This annual event took place upon the suggestion of Mr. Peabody and at the expense of the fund; and in its social influence and publicity was well worth the cost.” Ref.: Ibid.
Reed, Andrew (1787-1862), was the father of Sir Charles Reed (below). For Andrew Reed’s career, see London, Freedom of the City of London and GP.
GP & the Freedom of the City of London
Reed, Charles (1819-81). 1-First Proposed Freedom of the City of London. Charles Reed, British statesman, was a member of London’s Court of Common Council when he introduced the resolution on May 22, 1862, that the Freedom of the City of London be offered to GP for his March 12, 1862, Peabody Donation Fund (total gift $2.5 million) for low rent housing for London’s working poor. Reed’s motion was seconded by City of London Alderman Benjamin Samuel Phillips 1811-89). Reed’s reasons for proposing this honor included GP’s U.S.-British friendship dinners (Reed had attended GP’s July 4, 1854, dinner); and GP’s aid to the Second U.S. Grinnell Expedition, 1853-55, to find lost British Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin (1786-1847). See: London, Freedom of the City of London and GP. Phillips, Benjamin Samuel.
Reed, Charles. 2-Career. Reed attended the conferral of the Freedom of the City of London on GP, July 10, 1862, was thereafter GP’s confidant, advisor, and was named in GP’s last will (Sept. 9, 1869) as one of two executors of GP’s British estate (the other executor was Sir Curtis Lampson, 1806-85). GP left each executor $25,000 (ƒ5,000). Charles Reed grew wealthy in type founding, was active in his father Andrew Reed’s (1787-1862) philanthropy, was a member of Parliament (1868-74, 1880), president of the London school board (1873-81), and was knighted in 1876. Ref.: Boase-b, Vol. 16, pp. 832-834. See: also Wills, GP’s.
Reed, James (Boston merchant). See: Spaulding, Prescott (1781-1864).
Reform Club, 104-105 Pall Mall, London SW1, founded for Radicals (1832, opened 1841), blackballed GP when he was proposed for membership in 1844 by two members of Parliament. Americans then were in ill-repute after the Panic of 1837 when nine U.S. states stopped interest payments on their bonds sold abroad Four years later (1848) he was taken into membership at the Parthenon Club without opposition and in 1850 into the City of London Club. Ref.: “Reform Club,” pp. 640-641. See: City of London Club.
Refuge for the Destitute, London. During 1858-60 GP gave $115 to this charity organization. Ref.: Parker, F.-t, p. 210. Parker, F.-zh, p. 210.
GP in W. Va., Summer 1969
Reniers, Perceval. 1-Historian on W.Va. Mineral Springs Health Spa. Perceval Reniers wrote as follows of GP’s visit to White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., July 23-Aug. 30, 1869, and particularly of the Peabody Ball held there in his honor (Aug. 11): “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.: Reniers, pp. 218-219.
Reniers, Perceval. 2-Background. An ill GP, then on his last U.S. visit and four months from death, at longtime business friend William Wilson Corcoran’s (1798-1888) urging, visited White Sulphur Springs health spa, W.Va. (July 23-Aug. 30, 1869). Gathered there by chance were prominent educators (Tenn. Supt. of Public Instruction and later U.S. Commissioner of Education John Eaton, 1829-1906; PEF’s first administrator Barnas Sears, 1802-80; and second administrator J.L.M. Curry, 1825-1903; others); important northern and southern statesmen; and former Civil War generals, including Robert E. Lee (1807-70), then president of Washington College, Lexington, Va. (renamed Washington and Lee Univ., 1871). See: Corcoran, William Wilson. Peabody, George, Illustrations. Persons named. Visits to the U.S. by GP. White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
Reniers, Perceval. 3-Background Cont’d. Often confined by illness to his cottage, GP talked, dined, walked arm in arm with, was applauded and photographed with Robert E. Lee. Just before (June 29, 1869), amid vast publicity, GP had doubled to $2 million his PEF for public education in the South. On July 27, 1869, former Va. Gov. Henry Alexander Wise (1806-76) drew up a resolution of praise, read publicly in GP’s presence 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.” On the evening of Aug. 11 merrymakers held a Peabody Ball, whose gaiety GP, too ill to attend, heard in his cottage. Ref.: Ibid.
Reparations. Slave Trade Reparations and GP. See: Peabody, George (1795-1869), Critics-18-32.
Rescue (ship). The 91-ton Rescue and the 144-ton Advance were two ships contributed by NYC merchant Henry Grinnell (1799-1874) to the First U.S. Grinnell Expedition, 1850-52, and the Second U.S. Grinnell Expedition, 1853-55, in the search for lost British Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin (1786-1847). GP gave $10,000 for scientific equipment toward the Second U.S. Grinnell Expedition. See: persons named. Resolute (ship) below.
GP, Arctic Search & White House Desk
Resolute (ship). 1-Lost and Found in Search for Sir John Franklin. HMS Resolute was a British ship abandoned in the Arctic ice in the search for lost British Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin (1786-1847). GP had given $10,000 for scientific equipment toward the Second U.S. Grinnell Expedition of 1853-55, led by U.S. Navy Capt. Elisha Kent Kane (1820-57), searching for the lost explorer Sir John Franklin (1786-1847). Capt. Samuel Buddington of the U.S. whaler George Henry found and extricated the Resolute. See: persons named.
Resolute (ship). 2-White House Desk Made of its Timbers. 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 as a gift to the U.S. president. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (1929-94), later Mrs. Onassis, found the desk in a White House storeroom in 1961 and had it refurbished for Pres. John F. Kennedy’s (1917-63) use. Famous photos show President Kennedy’s young son John Kennedy (1960-99) playing under that desk. Pres. Bill Clinton returned the desk to the Oval Office in 1993. Ref.: Ibid.
Retirement, GP’s. (Oct. 1, 1864). 1-Longed to Retire. To a young man who applied for a position with him, GP wrote (Dec. 9, 1858): “The influence of the panic year  upon my feelings have been such as to greatly modify my ambitious views and I have fully determined not only to keep snug during the terms of my present copartnership but if my life is spared to its end to then leave business entirely and shall most likely pass any remaining years that may be allotted me by Providence in my native land.” Ref.: (1858): GP, London, to William Heath, Boston, Dec. 9, 1858, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Retirement, GP’s. 2-Declined to Delay Retirement. Although frequently ill and needing rest, GP delayed retirement because of the Civil War until Oct. 1, 1864. Partner Junius Spencer Morgan (1813-90) asked GP to delay retirement beyond that date. GP replied from Scotland where he was fishing: “It has been my fixed determination to retire from all commercial business if I should live till the lst of October 1864 and I can now make no change, for although the continuance of the firm for three or six months, which you suggest, may appear short to you, to me–feeling as I deeply do, the uncertainty of life at the age of seventy–months would appear as years, for I am most anxious before I die to place my worldly affairs in a much more satisfactory state than they are at present.” See: Morgan, Junius Spencer.
Retirement, GP’s. 3-Withdrew His Name from Firm. Without a son and knowing he would no longer exert control, GP asked that his name be removed from the firm. George Peabody & Co. (1838-64) continued as J.S. Morgan & Co. (1864-1909), was succeeded by Morgan Grenfell & Co. (1910-1918), Morgan Grenfell & Co. Ltd. (1918-90), and German owned Deutsche Morgan Grenfell (since June 29, 1990). GP’s last five years (1864-69) were devoted to his philanthropies. Ref.: (1864): GP to J.S. Morgan, Aug. 13, 1864, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass. See: persons and firms named.
Revolutionary War Monument. GP’s patriotic gifts included $50 in 1845 for a Revolutionary War Monument in Danvers for Gen. Gideon Foster. Ref.: Parker, F.-t, p. 209. Parker, F.-zh, p. 209.
Revolver, Colt’s, was one of the U.S. products shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851, London (first world’s fair). See: Great Exhibition of 1851, London (first world’s fair).
Rhode Island. For GP’s visits to business friend William Shepard Wetmore (b.1802), Newport, R.I., Sept. 18-19, 1856, and other times, with sources, see Visits to the U.S., GP’s. For R.I. Gov. George Peabody Wetmore’s connection as trustee of the PEF and the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale Univ., see Wetmore, George Peabody.
Rhone River (Switzerland and France). 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. 15, 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, and crossed the Rhone River. See: Daniels, Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell. Visits to Europe by GP.
Rice, Alexander Hamilton (1818-95), was Boston mayor (1856-57). During GP’s Sept. 15, 1856, to Aug. 19, 1857, U.S. visit, he was in Boston Dec. 23-24, 1856, where he met with Edward Everett (1794-1865), Mass. Gov. Henry J. Gardner (1818-92), Boston Mayor A.H. Rice, and historian John Lothrop Motley (1814-77). A.H. Rice was born in Newton Lower Falls, Mass., graduated from Union College (1844), was a paper manufacturer, served as Boston councilman (1853-54), mayor (1856-57), Rep., U.S. Congress (1859-67), and Mass. Gov. (1876-78). See: Visits to the U.S. by GP.
Richmond, near London, England. The Star and Garter was a highly regarded inn at Richmond, about eight miles from London, overlooking the Thames. Several of GP’s July 4th and other public dinners were held there. See: Dinners, GP’s, London. Star and Garter, Richmond, near London.
Richmond, Va. For GP’s commercial visit to Richmond, Va., Nov. 22, 1814, see Riddle, Joseph (below). Riggs, Sr., Elisha (below).
Richter, William Lee (1942-). For historian William L. Richter’s explanation and defense of PEF first administrator Barnas Sears’s (1802-89) dilemma regarding segregated and mixed race education in the South, see PEF.
George Peabody Riddle
Riddle, Edward W. (1819-71) Edward W. Riddle of Boston was one of two U.S. Commissioners in charge of the U.S. exhibitors and their 599 exhibits at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London, the first world’s fair. The other commissioner was Charles Frederick Stansbury (d. 1882) of Washington, D.C. The crated U.S. exhibits left NYC Feb. 8, 1851, on the U.S. Navy frigate St. Lawrence for Southampton, England. On arrival in Southampton in early March 1851 a financial crisis developed. Neither the U.S. Congress nor the many involved state committees had thought to appropriate funds to transfer the U.S. exhibits to London, or uncrate them, or to decorate the large U.S. exhibition space at the Crystal Palace. Much embarrassment ensued. GP quietly offered a $15,000 loan, made through U.S. Commissioner Riddle, which allowed the U.S. exhibits to be seen at their best by over six million visitors to the Great Exhibition. Three years later the U.S. Congress repaid this loan. But Commissioner Riddle was so grateful to GP at the time of the loan that he named a son, born that year, George Peabody Riddle. Ref.: (George Peabody Riddle): Dalzell, p. 24, footnote 11. For related events and sources, see Corcoran, William Wilson. Great Exhibition of 1851, London (first world’s fair). (Joshua Vansant, under) Md. Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts, Baltimore.
Riddle, Joseph. Elisha Riggs, Sr. (1779-1853), older established Georgetown, D.C., merchant, met much younger GP as a fellow soldier in the War of 1812 before forming a partnership as Riggs, Peabody & Co. (1814-29). Riggs family documents and one later source record that 19-year-old GP began as Elisha Riggs Sr.’s office boy before or in 1814. As early as Nov. 22, 1814, GP carried a letter of introduction to Joseph Riddle of Richmond, Va., to purchase goods for Elisha Riggs of Georgetown. GP was probably a purchasing agent for Riggs as a side account while pursuing his own dry goods buying and selling from the dry goods store he and his uncle opened in Georgetown, D.C., May 15, 1812. See: Riggs, Sr., Elisha.
Alleged GP Romance, Baltimore
Rieman, Mrs. Charles. 1-J.W. Leakin’s “Family Tree of the Knoxes…” Mrs. Charles Rieman was the former Elizabeth Taylor Goodwin. She married Charles Rieman in 1899. According to PIB librarian Frank Nicholas Jones’s (b.1906) pamphlet, George Peabody and the Peabody Institute (Baltimore: Peabody Institute Library, 1965), Mrs. Rieman deposited in the PIB Library in 1958 an undated manuscript by Baltimore lawyer and philanthropist James Wilson Leakin (1857-1922), “Family Tree of the Knoxes and Their Connections,” which is the source for the following story of an alleged romance in GP’s life. Ref.: Jones. See: persons named. Hoppin, Esther Elizabeth. Romance and GP. Other persons named.
Rieman, Mrs. Charles. 2-GP Twice Proposed Marriage. By this account, sometime during his Baltimore years (1815-37), GP proposed marriage to Elizabeth Knox, daughter of Samuel and Grace (Gilmore) Knox. Her father is said to have advised against the marriage, preferring his daughter to marry a banker. She married George Carson, a Baltimore bank teller, who died after the birth of the couple’s fourth child. In the Carson family tradition, when GP returned to Baltimore for a visit in 1857, he again proposed to the widow Carson, then managing a boarding home. She declined, saying that people would believe she had married solely for his money. A PIB Art Gallery catalog listed an 1840 portrait of Elizabeth (née Knox) Carson, stating “Lady to whom G. Peabody twice offered his hand.” Ref.: Ibid. See: persons named. For Elizabeth Knox portrait, see Ref.: g. Internet, under Peabody Art Collection, Md. State Archives.
Rigge, Henry (1803-?), London photographer, 35 New Bond St., W., made a sepia photo visiting card marked “1861-1862,” size 2.5″x3.6/8,” of GP standing full length near draped column with his hands across his chest. See: Peabody, George (1795-1869), Illustrations: R. Rigge.
Riggs Bank, Washington, D.C., founded in 1836, taken over by Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank, May 13, 2005, originally known as Corcoran & Riggs, then Riggs National Bank, later as Riggs Bank, See: also Corcoran, William Wilson (1798-1888). Riggs Bank. Riggs, George Washington (1813-81). Riggs National Bank. Ref.: Ruane, Michael E., “Checks and Balance Sheets of a City’s History,” Washington Post National Weekly Edition, Vol. 23, No. 40 (July 24-30, 2006), p.34.
Riggs National Bank, Washington, D.C. See: Riggs Bank immediately above.
Riggs, Elisha, Jr., the son of GP’s first senior partner Elisha Riggs, Sr. (1779-1853), was in Constantinople when he wrote GP in London for funds to continue his cultural travels. He wrote GP (Nov. 10, 1845): “I am obliged to write to you on the everlasting subject of money.” Ref.: Elisha Riggs, Jr., to GP, Nov. 10, 1845, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
GP’s First Senior Partner
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. (1779-1853). 1-GP’s First Senior Partner. Elisha Riggs, Sr., was GP’s senior partner in Riggs, Peabody & Co. (1814-29), and as such was GP’s first important commercial mentor. Riggs was born in Brookeville, Md., moved to Georgetown, D.C., about 1800, bought property there and was already a successful merchant when at about age 33 he met fellow soldier GP, then about age 18 in the War of 1812. GP’s circumstances in 1812 are described below, followed by Elisha Riggs, Sr.’s circumstances, their meeting, partnership, subsequent business relations, and friendship until Elisha Riggs, Sr.’s death in 1853, covering some 40 years of business and banking changes, family tragedies, misunderstandings, and reconciliations.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 2-GP left Newburyport, Mass., Age 17. GP left Newburyport, Mass., age 17 with paternal uncle John Peabody (1768-early 1820s), part of an exodus following the Great Newburyport Fire of May 31, 1811. Uncle John’s store was destroyed, business prospects halted, and brother David Peabody’s (1790-1841) drapery store, where GP was an assistant, closed. The fire was GP’s second calamity, his father having died 18 days before (May 13, 1811), in debt, his home mortgaged. New England was then also in an economic depression. See: Newburyport, Mass.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 3-Georgetown, D.C. GP and Uncle John were part of a wave of New Englanders seeking a better economic life in the South and the West. Uncle John, bankrupt and without credit, relied on 17-year-old GP who, on the recommendation of Newburyport merchant Prescott Spaulding (1781-1864), got $2,000 credit in goods from Boston merchant James Reed. GP and his Uncle John sailed from Newburyport May 4, 1812, on the brig Fame under Capt. Davis, south along the Atlantic coast to the mouth of the Potomac, to Washington, D.C., still being built. See: Georgetown, D.C.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 4-Georgetown, D.C. Cont’d. They opened a drygoods store on Bridge St.,. Georgetown, D.C., May 15, 1812, whose management soon fell on GP, his uncle being involved in other enterprises. Thus began GP’s two years (1812-14) as a small time storekeeper, occasional pack peddler selling goods to scattered area households, and a volunteer private for 12 days in the military district of Washington, D.C. See: Georgetown, D.C. For GP’s 1812 advertisements of goods for sale, see Advertisement of Goods for Sale (Sept.-Dec. 1812).
GP’s Fellow Soldiers, War of 1812
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 5-War of 1812. Elisha Riggs, Sr., was first a private in Capt. Rothrake’s Co., 38th U.S. Infantry. On April 23, 1812, he was commissioned an ensign in Capt. Owings’ Co., 32nd Militia Regiment. He fought in the Battle of Bladensburg, Aug. 24, 1814. On or about Aug. 27 he was detailed as courier to warn U.S. Pres. and Mrs. James Madison that the British were approaching Washington, D.C. Commander of U.S. forces William Matthew Marine recorded: “I directed Mr. Riggs of Georgetown [D.C.] to proceed to the President and inform him that we had been driven back, but that it was my hope and intention to form and renew the contest between that place and the Capitol.” Ref.: Marine, pp. 419, 493.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 6-War of 1812 Cont’d. Elisha Riggs, Sr., later laughingly referred to this action: “I was the first to see the British, the first to inform the President, the first on the field, the first off it and I did not stop until I reached my father’s home near Brookeville.” Ref.: Riggs, J.B., pp. 320-321.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 7-Fellow Soldiers. GP and Elisha Riggs were storekeepers in the same Georgetown area but knew little of each other. They met casually as fellow soldiers in the War of 1812. GP drilled as a private in the military district of Washington, D.C., July 15-26, 1813, 12 days, plus two additional days the next year, Oct. 5-7, 1814, while on a trip to Newburyport, Mass., a total of 14 days.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 8-Fellow Soldiers Cont’d. When not on active duty Riggs bought and sold naval stores. At 35, Riggs was commercially advanced, successful, and ambitious to expand in drygoods. Riggs family documents and one later source record that 19-year-old GP began as Elisha Riggs’s office boy. As early as Nov. 22, 1814, GP carried a letter of introduction to Joseph Riddle of Richmond, Va., to purchase goods for Elisha Riggs of Georgetown. GP was probably a purchasing agent for Riggs as a side account while pursuing his own drygoods buying and selling. Ref.: Lawrason and Towle, Alexandria, Va., to Joseph Riddle, Richmond, Va., Nov. 22, 1814, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
GP’s First Partnership
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 9-Riggs & Peabody. The Riggs family tradition is that Elisha Riggs, Sr., despite his surprise that GP was only 19 (at 6′ 1″ he looked older), took the initiative in forming a partnership with the personable, ambitious, and honorable young man. Riggs contributed $5,000, nearly two-thirds of their capital, and was senior partner. GP, by scraping every resources, contributed $1,650.40, just over one-third of their capital, and was the traveling junior partner. They formed a five-year partnership, which was periodically renewed until 1829, for 15 years. Ref.: Elisha Riggs Papers, Folder 1813-1820, Library of Congress. Hidy, M.E.-c, p.6. Jackson, p.150. Ref.: (GP began as Elisha Riggs, Sr.’s office boy): Spencer, ed., pp. 599-603. Riggs, J.B., p. 322. Ref.: (Riggs & Peabody initial capital input, 1814): Centennial …Danvers…1852, p. 195. Chapple, p. 5. Schuchert and LeVene, p. 70.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 10-Dry Goods Importing Firm. Riggs & Peabody was a drygoods importing firm, first in Georgetown, D.C. (1814), with a move in 1815 to Baltimore, on the southwest corner of Baltimore and Sharpe Streets (1815-29), later designated as 215 & 1/2 Market St. Ref.: (Riggs & Peabody move to Baltimore, 1815): Scharf-c, p. 663. Md. Historical Society-b, p. 3.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 11-Became Peabody, Riggs & Co. By 1822 the firm had NYC and Philadelphia warehouses. As junior partner GP traveled for the firm through western N.Y., Penn., Md., and Va. When Elisha Riggs, Sr., withdrew in 1829 to become a NYC banker, the firm of Peabody, Riggs & Co. continued for 16 additional years (1829-45, with transactions to 1848), with GP as senior partner, and Elisha Riggs, Sr.’s nephew Samuel Riggs (d.1853), as junior partner. Three of GP’s brothers and others also worked for the firm. Ref.: Ibid.
GP’s 1818 Advertisement
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 12-1818 Advertisement. A Riggs & Peabody advertisement appeared in a June 18, 1818, Baltimore newspaper as follows:
Riggs & Peabody
No. 215 & 1/2 Market St.,
have just received French and German goods
Viz.: Black, white and assorted crapes
Assorted double Florences
Double Levantine and Gauze Shawls
Beaver, Silk and Kid Gloves
An elegant assortment of plain and figured ribbands
Fine Twist coat buttons
Thule Lace and cotton gauze
German hat crapes
A Genl. Asst. of Canton, Calcutta & British
Dry Goods which they offer for sale by the
piece or package, at the lowest market price.
Ref.: American and Commercial Daily Advertiser (Baltimore), June 8, 1818, p. 3, c. 1.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 13-GP’s July 1820 Visit, Barnstead, N.H. Baltimore grew as a trade center after the War of 1812. When the first five-year partnership accounts were tallied, Riggs & Peabody had earned $70,709.24. GP had also done well trading on his own. GP was on a short visit to New England in July 1820 when he took his mother by horse and buggy to visit her sister (his aunt) Temperance (née Dodge) Jewett (1772-c.1872) in Barnstead, N.H. GP had visited there ten years before, in the winter of 1810, when he was a tall, thin uncertain boy of 15. Now, in July 1820, aged 25, he told his uncle, Dr. Jeremiah Jewett, M.D. (1757-1836), that he was worth between $40,000-$50,000. Ref.: (Riggs & Peabody profits after first five year partnership): Spencer, ed., pp. 600-601.
Young GP as Family Breadwinner
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 14-Family Breadwinner. At the time of his junior partnership in Riggs & Peabody, 1814, GP’s mother and five of his siblings, without a breadwinner, had lost their mortgaged home and lived with Spofford relatives in Salem, Mass., and elsewhere. Two years later, Nov. 1816, older brother David Peabody (GP had been assistant in David’s Newburyport drapery store), worked for GP in Alexandria, Va. David released the mortgaged Danvers homestead to GP, who began paying off their deceased father’s debts. Ref.: (GP’s mother and siblings forced to live with Spofford relatives, 1814): Haverhill Gazette (Haverhill, Mass.), Sept. 28, 1866, p. 1, c. 6, continued p. 2, c. 1. For GP’s winter 1810 visit to Barnstead, N.H., with sources, see Concord, N.H.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 15-“filial affection.” Newburyport, Mass., lawyer Ebon Mosely, handling the Peabody home deed, wrote GP, Dec. 16, 1816: “I cannot but be pleased with the filial affection which seems to evince you to preserve the estate for a Parent.” By Jan. 1817 GP had paid off the mortgage. His mother and his siblings had their Danvers home again. GP began paying for the schooling of his siblings, nieces, and nephews at Bradford Academy, Bradford, Mass., and elsewhere. Ref.: Ebon Mosely, Newburyport, Mass., to GP, Baltimore. Dec. 16, 1816, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass. See: Bradford Academy.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 16-“I am highly gratified.” GP spent much time on the road collecting long-standing debts for Riggs & Peabody. He wrote Elisha Riggs, Sr., from Fredericksburg, Va., Jan. 26, 1821, of staying with one reluctant debtor three hours before receiving settlement. Riggs replied: “I have only time to say I am highly gratified at all you have done, I think it could not be better….” Ref.: GP, Fredericksburg, Va., to Elisha Riggs, Sr., Baltimore, Jan. 26, 1821, Peabody Papers, Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore. Ref.: Elisha Riggs, Sr., Baltimore, to GP, Washington, D.C., Feb. 14, 1821, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
GP’s Brothers Worked for Firm
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 17-GP’s Brothers Worked for Firm. On July 29, 1820, Riggs and Peabody renewed their partnership for two years. Elisha Riggs, Sr.’s first wife had died. He was a widower with two sons. He married again about 1822, after branch warehouses were opened in NYC and Philadelphia. Employing others now, Riggs, Peabody & Co.’s main office was at 208 West Baltimore St., Baltimore, Md. GP’s older brother David Peabody and younger brother Thomas Peabody (1801-35) worked for the firm as needed. By 1828 Riggs had three additional children and moved his family to Philadelphia. See: Riggs, Peabody & Co.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 18-Difficulties with GP’s Brothers. In Jan. and Feb. 1827, when scolding letters were exchanged, Elisha Riggs, Sr., was in NYC where he was to remain as a banker after withdrawing from the company. The partners were frequently in different parts of the country and extremely busy in a volatile business market. Riggs had difficulties with GP’s brothers David Peabody and particularly Thomas Peabody.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 19-Older Brother David Peabody’s Circumstances. Older brother David Peabody married Sally Caldwell Jan. 20, 1814. She died in the early 1820s, leaving a son named after his uncle George Peabody (1815-32). GP helped support this nephew; paid for his schooling at Bradford Academy, Bradford, Mass., and was prepared to pay his way through Yale College when the nephew died of scarlet fever at age 17. See: Bradford Academy, Bradford, Mass.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 20-Younger Brother Thomas Peabody’s Problems. Younger brother Thomas Peabody as Elisha Riggs, Sr.’s clerk, was not dependable. He evidently drank excessively, gambled, borrowed money at exorbitant rates which he could not repay, and neglected his work. These misdemeanors fell heavily on Elisha Riggs, Sr. Minor difficulties with David Peabody and more serious difficulties with Thomas Peabody, here briefly told, irritated Riggs but did not affect the GP-Elisha Riggs, Sr., partnership or their later friendship and business exchanges.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 21-Riggs to GP, Feb. 4, 1827. GP complained to Elisha Riggs, Sr., Jan. 13, 1827, of unfilled orders. Riggs answered three weeks later in a hastily written and emotionally composed private letter (Riggs’s underlining): “Mr. George Peabody. Dear Sir: Since your scolding letter of 13th ulto I am without any of your favours. [Y]ou then made several unnecessary remarks which you probably would not have made if you had been as constantly employed both night and day in business as I have been.” Ref.: Elisha Riggs, Sr., NYC, to GP, Baltimore, Sunday, Feb. 4, 1827, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 22-Riggs to GP, Feb. 4, 1827, Cont’d.: “I assure you I have never worked so hard in my life as I have for the last four or five weeks, in buying & hunting goods for Phila. While I expect you are all living at perfect ease in Balto, little or nothing to do, which I am sorry for–you say you do not often trouble me with business–etc. etc….and that you had lost ten times the amount that you would have etc. an agent & so on–by this insinuation you throw out improper reflections which you had better let alone, as they cannot correctly apply to me.” Ref.: Ibid.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 23-Riggs to GP, 1827 Cont’d. Calmer now, Riggs explained that he had been collecting outstanding debts in Philadelphia to use in purchasing new goods, of mistakes made by their correspondents, and the trouble and anxiety required to straighten out these mistakes. In a friendlier tone he explained his troubles with Thomas Peabody, working as his clerk in Philadelphia and in NYC Ref.: Ibid.
Thomas Peabody’s Faults
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 24-Thomas Peabody’s Faults. Elisha Riggs, Sr. explained: “During all this time my whole time was employed late & early in attending to various business, While I was also much trouble[d] in Mind, as to what course to take with Thomas P.[eabody] who I had nearly lost confidence in, and had to be attentive to every thing in the way of business myself, as but little appeared to be done as it should be without my personal attention.” Ref.: Ibid.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 25-Thomas Peabody’s Faults Cont’d.: “I have caused Thomas to remove from his old boarding place to Mr. Devens where I board. [H]e has been here about three days. [H]e promises to be regular in his habits for the future and is generally in the house of nights in good time–As I often have writing for him to do in my room. I have paid all his debts of borrowed money, taylors, shoe bills, etc., with the exception of about 150$ which he borrowed he says of Brokers & Lotter [lottery, i.e. gambling] men, of which David Peabody was also bound. This I told him I would not pay at present.” Ref.: Ibid.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 26-Thomas Peabody’s Faults Cont’d.: “I keep a strick eye over him as well as my business will allow me to do–And have assured him, that if he ever acted again as he has done, that I would certainly get another Clerk–I have taken great pains and talked with him very carefully as to the consequences of his conduct–he appears penitent and I hope will keep his promise hereafter. Ref.: Ibid.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 27-Thomas Peabody’s Faults Cont’d.: “I have acted the part of a good friend toward him in every respect, which he appears to feel and acknowledge. A short time will enable him to see and determine–I understand from Thomas that David is now employed in a lottery office. He is occasionally in the Store….” Riggs ended in confidence: “This letter is written in haste for yourself only, as I have never mentioned to any person except yourself anything about T.P. [Thomas Peabody.] You will therefore destroy this letter–and in the future always be assured that I shall never neglect my duty in business–….Yours respectfully, E Riggs.” Ref.: Ibid.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 28-GP’s Brothers Often in Financial Trouble. David and Thomas Peabody were often in financial trouble when not working for Riggs, Peabody & Co. David in NYC wrote brother Thomas in Baltimore that he needed money. Thomas replied, Nov. 18, 1828, that he was without a job and could do nothing. Four days later GP sent Thomas $15 which Thomas sent to David. Seeking better prospects in South America, Thomas wrote older brother David from Lima, Peru, April 30, 1830, that he was working there as bookkeeper for Alsop, Wetmore & Co.’s agent, that their brother GP was about to sail for England on his second European commercial buying trip (1831-32, 15 months), and that their mother was in poor health. Ref.: Thomas Peabody, Baltimore, to David Peabody, NYC, Nov. 18 and 22, 1828, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass. Ref.: Thomas Peabody, Lima, Peru, to David Peabody, NYC, April 30, 1830, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 29-Mother Ill in Lockport, N.Y. Their mother had gone on a long visit to her recently married daughter Mary Gaines (née Peabody) Marsh (1807-34) in Lockport, N.Y. Mary Gaines Peabody married Caleb Marsh, April 12, 1827. Caleb Marsh bought a farm in Lockport, N.Y. from the dowry GP provided for his younger sister. For Mary Gaines Peabody-Caleb Marsh, engagement, Marsh’s dowry concerns, their marriage, and children, see Marsh, Caleb. Marsh, Othniel Charles (Caleb’s son).
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 30-Death of GP’s Mother, June 22, 1830. On April 30, 1830, Mary wrote David in NYC that their mother was still in poor health, that she had the ague followed by a high intermittent fever. Caleb Marsh also wrote David that mother Peabody was seriously ill and that he did not think she would recover . On June 25, 1830, Mary sent David the melancholy news that their mother had died on June 22, 1830, a month short of her sixtieth year. Mary added that their mother had not been in apparent pain when she died. David forwarded Mary’s letter about their mother’s death to GP by the next ship bound for England. He added to GP, in a postscript to Mary’s letter: “The above I just recd in time to forward by the Canada [ship]–which sails in an hour. I should have gone to Lockport a month since if it had been in my power to have paid the expense of the journey. Yrs. truly, D. Peabody.” Refs. below.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 31-Death of GP’s Mother, June 22, 1830, Cont’d. Ref.: Mary Gaines (née Peabody) Marsh, Lockport, N.Y., to David Peabody, NYC, April 30, 1830, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass. Ref.: Caleb Marsh, Lockport, N.Y., to David Peabody, NYC, June 22, 1830, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass. Ref.: Mary Gaines (née Peabody) Marsh, Lockport, N.Y., to David Peabody, NYC, June 25, 1830 (on mother’s death, forwarded to GP in England), Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 32-Thomas Peabody’s Return from Lima, Peru. Thomas Peabody was ill in Lima, Peru; had to give up his job there; worked his way back to the U.S. as a ship’s clerk, and lost that job when a new crew was hired. GP was out of the country on a European buying trip when Thomas landed in Baltimore without work. He wrote David in NYC: “George being out of the country my necessity for employment is very great & for the present I would be willing to take up with almost any situation.” Thomas Peabody worried the Peabody family, whose letters sadly hint at rather than detail his misdemeanors. In some unwholesome business matter he had wronged brother David and begged to be forgiven. Ref.: Thomas Peabody, Baltimore, to David Peabody, NYC, July 1, 1832, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Thomas Peabody’s Death
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 33-Thomas Peabody’s Death, 1835. Thomas Peabody died April 16, 1835, one day short of his thirty-fourth birthday. He had been operating a school and had gone to pay some debts in Buffalo, N.Y. Not having enough money to meet his obligations and overcome with remorse and shame, he met an unhappy end. The sad news was sent to GP abroad, in an April 20, 1835, letter, in care of the Brown Brothers business firm, Liverpool, England, by GP’s brother-in-law Dr. Eldridge Gerry Little, a physician, married to GP’s youngest sister Sophronia Phelps (née Peabody) Little (b.1809). In March 1833 GP had paid for their farm in Pembroke, N.H. Dr. Little wrote to GP: “It becomes my painful duty to inform you of the death of Thomas. He died in Buffalo on the 16th inst. a victim of his own vices.” Ref.: Dr. Eldridge Gerry Little, Pembroke, N.H., to GP, care of Brown, Liverpool, April 20, 1835, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 34-“poor misguided brother.” The exact cause of Thomas Peabody’s death is not given, leaving the reader of family letters to wonder if Thomas took his own life or died in a drunken stupor. Four months later Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell in her Aug. 23, 1835, letter to her brother GP, care of Brown, Liverpool, England, referred to Thomas as their “poor misguided brother.” Ref.: Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell, New Rowley, Mass., to GP, care of Brown, Liverpool, Aug. 23, 1835, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 35-News of Brother David. Sister Judith Dodge also relayed to GP news of oldest brother David Peabody who had married again. His second wife was a widow with a 14-year-old daughter. He met his second wife when he boarded at her home in Brookline, near Boston, Mass. David and his new family had moved to Zanesville, Ohio, where their youngest brother Jeremiah Dodge Peabody (1805-77) had settled on a farm. Maybe, Judith added about David, having a wife again might teach him economy (i.e., to be prudent in earning and saving his money). Ref.: Ibid.
A Thomas Peabody Debt
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 36-Sarah Whitehorn to GP About a Thomas Peabody Debt. Sixteen years after Thomas’s death, one of his debts surfaced. In London GP received the following letter (July 19, 1853): “Mr. George Peabody, I take the liberty of addressing 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.” Ref.: Sarah Whitehorn, Brooklyn, NYC, to GP, July 19, 1853, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 37-About a Thomas Peabody Debt Cont’d.: “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.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 38-Banking Career. After Elisha Riggs, Sr., withdrew from active partnership in Riggs, Peabody & Co. (1829), he was a successful NYC banker until his death in Aug. 1853. GP undertook to train in merchandising and in banking in London Elisha Riggs, Sr.’s son, George Washington Riggs (1813-81). Elisha Riggs, Sr., then backed this son financially to form a banking firm in Washington, D.C., with William Wilson Corcoran (1798-1888), who had good contacts with U.S. government agencies. The banking firm of Corcoran & Riggs (1840-48) marketed the bonds that financed the second loan for the Mexican War (1847-48). GP in London, in collaboration with Corcoran in Washington, D.C., and Elisha Riggs, Sr., in NYC, sold bonds that financed part of this loan. Ref.: Spencer, ed., pp. 599-619. See: Riggs, Samuel. Corcoran, William Wilson.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 39-Collins Line. Elisha Riggs, Sr., also helped finance the Collins Line of five steamships (the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, Baltic, and Adriatic) carrying passengers, freight, and mail between NYC and Liverpool during 1849-58. Two of the Collins Line’s steamships suffered maritime disasters. One of these, the Arctic, on Sept. 27, 1854, at full speed, collided with the smaller French Vesta, 20 miles off Cape Race, Newfoundland. The Vesta limped to port but the Arctic sank with 322 of the 408 aboard drowned. Also lost on the Arctic were GP’s Va. bonds then worth $35,000. GP tried unsuccessfully for years to get Va. to redeem these lost bonds. See: Arctic (ship). Collins Line.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 40-Va. Bonds to Lee’s College, 1869. On GP’s last U.S. visit four months before his death, he visited the Greenbrier Hotel, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., July 23-Aug. 30, 1869. Gathered there by chance were southern and northern leaders, educators, and former Civil War generals, including Gen. Robert E. Lee, then president of Washington College, Lexington, Va. (renamed Washington and Lee Univ. in 1871). GP talked to, dined with, and was applauded as he walked arm in arm with Lee. Though ill, he heard from his bungalow the merrymaking of a Peabody Ball held in his honor (Aug. 11). See: persons and institution named. Visits to the U.S. by GP.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 41-Va. Bonds to Lee’s College, 1869 Cont’d. GP gave the lost and unredeemed Va. bonds to Lee’s Washington College for a mathematics professorship. Fourteen years later (1883) the State of Va. honored the value of these bonds with accrued interest 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.” See: Science: GP’s Gifts to Science and Science Education. Washington and Lee Univ.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 42-Riggs to GP, April 16, 1850. GP last wrote to Elisha Riggs, Sr., in March 1849. Soon after a coolness developed, the reason for which is not known. Elisha Riggs, Sr., reached out for reconciliation. He wrote from NYC to GP in London, April 16,1850: “It has been some time since I have had the pleasure of a letter from you. I do not feel satisfied to remain in this way, and if agreeable to you, I should be pleased to renew our friendly communication, and to bury the little misunderstanding that took place between us.” Ref.: GP, London, to Elisha Riggs, Sr., NYC, April 17, 1850, Peabody Papers, PEM., Salem, Mass., quoted in Hidy, M.E.-b, p. 11.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 43-Riggs to GP, April 16, 1850 Cont’d.: “We have been too long partners, and friends, I think, knew each other too well, to permit trifles to [a]ffect our good understanding. I therefore propose to you, to bury in oblivion, all and everything that has occurred between us, to cause any coolness whatsoever heretofore. If this meets your entire approbation, I should be glad you will say [so] to me in your next letter.” He ended: “With sentiments of respect and esteem, I remain, dear sir, Yours truly, E. Riggs.” GP must have reacted favorably to Riggs’s warm letter. The next year, two weeks before the opening of the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London (the first world’s fair), GP urged Elisha Riggs, Sr., to attend: “To see the buildings alone is worth a voyage across the Atlantic.” Ref.: Ibid.
E. Riggs, Sr., in England, 1851
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 44-Great Exhibition of 1851, London. Elisha Riggs, Sr., and some of his family were among the over six million who attended the Great Exhibition. He saw GP at his best, serving visiting Americans, securing for them tickets for the House of Lords, the opera, botanical gardens, and dinner engagements. GP had won the praise of U.S. exhibitors who, without U.S. congressional funds, were unable to furbish and display U.S. art and industrial products until GP’s timely loan of $15,000. See Great Exhibition of 1851, London (first world’s fair).
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 45-July 4, 1851, U.S.-British Friendship Dinner. GP also proposed a July 4, 1851, U.S.-British friendship dinner. He consulted U.S. Minister to Britain Abbott Lawrence (1792-1855), who inquired discreetly, found that London society would not attend, and so informed GP. GP, however, got as guest of honor the Duke of Wellington (Arthur Wellesley Wellington, 1769-1852), England’s greatest living hero. GP’s dinner was a huge success and well reported in the London press. See: Dinners, GP’s, London.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 46-July 4, 1851, U.S.-British Friendship Dinner Cont’d. Surprised at how well the dinner had turned out, U.S. Minister Abbott thanked 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. Your idea of bringing together the inhabitants of two of the greatest nations upon earth…was a most felicitous conception…. I congratulate you upon the distinguished success that has crowned your efforts…. [You have] done that which was never before attempted.” Ref.: Ibid.
GP’s Aid to Riggs’s Sick Son
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 47-GP Aid to Riggs’s Sick Son. Staying at Dover, England, Elisha Riggs, Sr., wrote GP to join him for a weekend (July 16, 1851): “…the fine air here will…renovate you and prepare you for your unusual hard labour.” While Riggs was visiting on the Continent, his 14-year-old son William Henry Riggs (b. 1837) was sick in London. GP helped put the boy in care of a friend going to Paris. Riggs wrote appreciatively to GP from Paris (Aug. 29, 1851): “Greatly indebted to you and friend Ward [Horatio Ward, c1810-68] for your kindness to my boy.” Ref.: Elisha Riggs, Sr., to GP, July 16, 1851, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass. Ref.: Elisha Riggs, Sr., to GP, Aug. 29, 1851, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 48-Approved Gooch as Junior Partner. When on Jan. 1, 1852, GP made his valued British-born clerk Charles Cubbitt Gooch a junior partner in George Peabody & Co., Elisha Riggs, Sr., wrote approvingly (April 17, 1852): “It gives strength and implicit confidence in your correspondents [i.e., your business associates].” Ref.: Elisha Riggs, Sr., to GP, April 17, 1852, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
E. Riggs’ Last Letter to GP
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 49-Riggs to GP, Last Letter, April 17, 1852. Elisha Riggs, Sr., was 73, had been ill since he returned to the U.S. from Europe, had recovered, and then fell in the basement of his home and badly sprained an ankle. His last letter to GP before his death in Aug. 1853 poignantly touched on their long relationship (April 17, 1852): “But few men can look back as we can over business transactions and friendly intercourse with as much pride and satisfaction. It should cause us both to feel thankful, remind us that we have been blessed with much good fortune, and admonish us that the enemy is always money or time.” Ref.: Elisha Riggs, Sr., to GP, April 17, 1852, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 50-Last Letter, April 17, 1852, Cont’d.: “You always had the faculty of an extraordinary memory and strong mind which enabled you to carry out your plans better than almost any other man I ever knew…. [To] these happy faculties I attribute much of your prosperity. [Unusual] perseverance enabled you to rise to an extraordinary position for a man of your age.” Riggs went on: “40 years is a long time to look back on…. Our early acquaintance, you know, was nearly accidental, we knew but little of each other, but were both disposed to put implicit confidence in each other….” Ref.: Ibid.
Riggs, Elisha, Sr. 51-Last Letter, April 17, 1852, Cont’d.: Riggs ended with: “Your friends in the United States have felt gratefully indebted to you in many ways, and more particularly for your kindness to your countrymen during the last 12 months…. I have given more letters of introduction to you than I wished but every American going to England that knows you or has heard of you asks for a letter….” Ref.: Ibid.
Riggs, George Washington (1813-81). 1-Elisha Riggs, Sr.’s Son. George Washington Riggs, son of Elisha Riggs, Sr. (1779-1853), was one of the 16 original PEF trustees during 1867-81. He was born in Georgetown, D.C., the year before GP became his father’s junior partner in Riggs & Peabody. George Washington Riggs was educated at Round Hill School, Mass., and at Yale College. GP helped teach George Washington Riggs the mercantile trade and broker-banking business in London. Largely through the financial backing of his father, Elisha Riggs Sr., then a NYC banker, George Washington Riggs became a partner in Corcoran & Riggs, a banking firm, Washington, D.C. (1840-48), with William Wilson Corcoran (1798-1888). Ref.: Curry-b, p. 95. Hidy, M.E.-c, p. 8. See: also Corcoran, William Wilson (1798-1888). Riggs Bank. Riggs National Bank.
Riggs, G.W. 2-Mexican War Loan. Corcoran & Riggs, allied with the Barings of London, financed the $18 million second Mexican War Loan of 1847. Of this loan, GP (in London), in conjunction with Elisha Riggs, Sr. and W.W. Corcoran, undertook to sell bonds worth $750,000. After leaving Corcoran & Riggs, George Washington Riggs headed Riggs & Co., a banking house in Washington, D.C. (1854-81). He was succeeded by his son Elisha Francis Riggs (1851-1910). When this son, Elisha Francis Riggs, retired in 1896, Riggs & Co. became the Riggs National Bank, corner of 15th St. and N.Y. Ave., Washington, D.C., the original site of Corcoran & Riggs. Ref.: [Riggs, E.F.], XV, p. 229. See: persons and organizations named.
Riggs, G.W. 3-PEF Trustee. George Washington Riggs was succeeded as PEF trustee by Philadelphia banker Anthony Joseph Drexel (1826-93). A.J. Drexel stated that it was his PEF trustee experience that led him to found Drexel Univ., Philadelphia, in 1891. Ref.: Ibid.
Riggs, John Beverley, author of Riggs Family of Maryland; A Genealogical and Historical Record, Inc. a Study of the Several Families in England (Brookeville: privately printed, 1939). See: various members of Riggs family.
Riggs, Lawrason (1814-84), was the son of Elisha Riggs, Sr. (1779-1853). He went to school at Round Hill, Mass., and started in business at age 14. GP was Lawrason Riggs’s godfather and gave a dinner in London for Lawrason Riggs on his twenty-first birthday (1835).
GP’s Second Partner Samuel Riggs
Riggs, Samuel (d.1853). 1-Nephew of Elisha Riggs, Sr. Samuel Riggs was the nephew of Elisha Riggs, Sr. (1779-1853), GP’s first senior partner in Riggs, Peabody & Co. (1814-29). Nephew Samuel Riggs joined the renamed firm of Peabody, Riggs & Co. during 1829-48. He managed the Baltimore office and then the NYC warehouse while GP remained in London. Two others employed in the firm from the summer of 1837 were Henry T. Jenkins (b.1815) and Adolphus William Peabody, GP’s younger first cousin, son of GP’s paternal uncle John Peabody (1768-1827). Ref.: Hidy, M.E.-c, pp. 93, 137-138.
Riggs, Samuel. 2-Peabody, Riggs & Co. On Jan. 1, 1840, H.T. Jenkins and Adolphus W. Peabody were given one-sixteenth share of profits, without having to contribute any capital. The firm ended in 1845, with some transactions to 1848. Samuel Riggs left to join Lawrence Stone & Co., connected with the Bay State Cotton Mills in Lawrence, Mass. Younger partners Henry T. Jenkins and Augustus W. Peabody also left to work in other firms. GP remained in London to head George Peabody & Co. (Dec. 1838-Oct. 1, 1864), merchant-banking firm dealing with U.S. trade and securities. Ref.: Ibid.
Riggs National Bank, Washington, DC. For origin and sources, see Riggs, George Washington (above).
Riggs, Peabody & Co. See: Peabody, Riggs & Co.
Rinehart, William Henry (1825-74), was a sculptor, born in Union Bridge, Md., who lived in Baltimore and then in Italy after 1858. The PIB has 42 of his sculptured figures, reliefs, and busts and three marble originals, including his masterpiece, Clytie. See: PIB Gallery of Art.
Rives, William Cabell (1793-1868), was one of the 16 original PEF trustees. He was born in Va. and educated at Hampden-Sydney and William and Mary colleges. A lawyer, he served in the Va. constitutional convention of 1816; was Va. state legislator (1817-21 and 1822-23); was U.S. Minister to France (1829-32 and 1849-53); and was U.S. Senator from Va. (1832-34, 1836-39, and 1841-45). He was a member of the 1861 Va.-sponsored peace convention in Washington, D.C., to prevent Civil War; and served in the provisional and then regular Confederate Congress until 1862. Rives helped PEF agent Barnas Sears (1802-80) contact important Va. citizens in promoting public education, teachers institutes, and normal schools in that state. See: persons named. PEF.
F. C. Robb First Suggested GP Study
Robb, Felix Compton (1914-97). 1-GPCFT Dean and President. Felix Compton Robb first came to GPCFT, Nashville, in 1947 as assistant to Pres. Henry Harrington Hill (1894-1987). He held other administrative posts including Dean of Instruction, and succeeded Hill as president during 1961-66. He left GPCFT to become director, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, 1966-82. A trustee of several colleges and a consultant to various boards and foundations, he last served as interim president of Tallulah Falls School, Ga., l988-89. Born in Birmingham, Ala., he graduated from Birmingham Southern College (1936), received a master’s degree from Vanderbilt Univ. (1939), and a doctorate in education from Harvard Univ. (1952). Ref.: F.C. Robb obituary in Tennessean (Nashville), June 24, 1997, p. 7B.
Robb, F.C. 2-Suggested GP Study. While Robb studied at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard historian Arthur Schlesinger, Sr. (1888-1965), suggested that Robb write on GP’s life and educational influence. Robb chose instead to write his dissertation on school administration. In early 1953, conferring with GPCFT graduate student Franklin Parker and perhaps regretting a good topic not pursued, he encouraged the authors’ research on GP, done concentratedly 1953-56 and since, culminating in this George Peabody (1795-1869) A-Z book. Ref.: Parker, Franklin. “George Peabody, Founder of Modern Philanthropy” (Ed.D., GPCFT, 1956), three vols. See: PCofVU, history of. Preface (under Felix Robb).
Roberts, Henry (1803-76). 1-British Architect. Henry Roberts was a British architect who designed a block of model housing for the poor, built at the Great Exhibition of 1851, London (first world’s fair), at the suggestion of Albert of Saxe-Co-burg-Gotha (Prince Albert, 1819-61), Queen Victoria’s husband. There was no known connection between Henry Roberts’ block of housing and GP’s Peabody Donation gift of model housing for London’s working poor ($2.5 million total gift, 1862-69), although GP did visit the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace. See: Peabody Homes of London.
Roberts, Henry. 2-Career. Henry Roberts was trained in the architectural office of Sir Robert Smirke (1781-1867), who designed the main facade of London’s British Museum, the General Post Office, and the Royal College of Physicians. Henry Roberts designed the Fishmongers’ Hall (1831-33), the first railway station erected at London Bridge (1844), and St. Paul’s Church, East Smithfield (1846). He was architect to Lord Shaftesbury’s Society for Improving the Dwellings of the Working Classes and designed many of their buildings. He was also interested in the housing of the poor in Belgium and Italy. He died in Florence, Italy, in April 1876. See: Shaftesbury, Lord.
Robeson, George Maxwell (1829-97), was the U.S. Navy Secty. at the time of GP’s death in London (Nov. 4, 1869) and transatlantic funeral. In conjunction with Pres. U.S. Grant (1822-85), Secty. Robeson ordered the USS Plymouth, from Marseilles, France, to accompany Britain’s HMS Monarch from Portsmouth, England, across the Atlantic to Portland, Me. Secty. Robeson also placed Adm. David Glasgow Farragut (1801-70) in command of the U.S. Navy flotilla of ships which met the Monarch and the Plymouth in Portland harbor, Me. It was Farragut’s last official duty before his death. See: Death and funeral, GP’s. Persons named.
Robinson, Raymond Edwin (1932-), was PIB Conservatory of Music acting director during 1967-68. He earned the bachelor of arts degree from San Jose State College and both the master’s degree in music and the doctorate in music from Indiana Univ. After military service, he was music conductor and arranger for west coast educational television productions. He left the PIB Conservatory of Music to become president, Westminster Choir College, and then was distinguished professor at Palm Beach Atlantic Univ., Florida. See: PIB Conservatory of Music.
Rochester, Univ. of, has the William Henry Seward (1801-72) Collection and the Thurlow Weed (1797-1882) Collection, both containing letters relating to GP. For W.H. Seward, see Trent Affair. For Thurlow Weed, see Civil War and GP. Weed, Thurlow.
Rockefeller, John D. (1839-1937). For John D. Rockefeller’s General Education Board (1902-62), see PEF.
Rock Hill, S.C. See: Peabody, George (1795-1869), Named Institutions, Firms, Buildings, Ships, Other Facilities, Music, & Poems Named for GP. P.,G.: …Named for GP. 23-Peabody Building, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, S.C.
Romance and GP
Romance and GP. 1-Elizabeth Knox of Baltimore. PIB librarian Frank Nicholas Jones’s (b.1906) George Peabody and the Peabody Institute (Baltimore: Peabody Institute Library, 1965), recorded that a Mrs. Charles Rieman (formerly Elizabeth Taylor Goodwin who married Charles Rieman in 1899) deposited in the PIB Library in 1958 an undated manuscript by Baltimore lawyer and philanthropist James Wilson Leakin (1857-1922), “Family Tree of the Knoxes and their Connections.” This manuscript is the source for the following story of an alleged romance in GP’s life. Ref.: Jones. See: persons named.
Romance and GP. 2-Elizabeth Knox of Baltimore Cont’d. By this account, sometime during his Baltimore years (1815-37), GP proposed marriage to Elizabeth Knox, daughter of Samuel and Grace (Gilmore) Knox. Her father is said to have advised against the marriage, preferring his daughter to marry a banker. She married George Carson (c. ?1841), a Baltimore bank teller, who died after the birth of the couple’s fourth child. In the Carson family tradition, when GP returned to Baltimore for a visit in 1857, he again proposed to the widow Carson, then managing a boarding home. She declined, saying that people would believe she had married solely for his money. A PIB Art Gallery catalog listed an 1840 portrait of Elizabeth (née Knox) Carson, stating “Lady to whom G. Peabody twice offered his hand.” Ref.: Ibid. See: persons named. Hoppin, Esther Elizabeth. Tiffany, Elise. Wilcocks, Miss. For Elizabeth (née Knox) Carson portrait, see Ref.: g. Internet, under Peabody Art Collection, Md. State Archives.
Romance and GP. 3-“that search after a wife.” Horatio G. Ward (c1810-68) was a U.S.-born merchant and GP’s intimate friend. Ward was evidently on a business trip in Bologna, Italy, when he wrote to GP in a teasing manner about getting married. Ward’s letter, dated Nov. 26, 1834, read (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.” See: Ward, Horatio G.
Romance and GP. 4-Esther Elizabeth Hoppin. GP’s romance and broken engagement with Esther Elizabeth Hoppin (1819-1905) was frequently mentioned after GP’s Nov. 4, 1869, death. Born June 4, 1819, into a prominent Providence, R.I., family, she was a pupil of John Kingsbury (1801-74), who conducted the first high school in R.I. for young women. In 1835 at age 16 she visited Philadelphia and met Alexander Lardner, age 27. They formed a friendship. She was still in school. He had yet to establish himself in a career. They parted. She finished school in Providence and soon after went to England for Queen Victoria’s coronation (June 28, 1838). See: Hoppin, Esther Elizabeth.
Romance and GP. 5-Engagement. Where and how she and GP met in London is not known. He at age 42 fell in love with the unusually mature 19-year-old Esther Hoppin. A difference of 24 years would ordinarily loom large. But he was in the prime of life, a successful, ambitious man with fine prospects. Friends considered them a good match and encouraged the romance. Ref.: Ibid.
Romance and GP. 6-Engagement News Spread. News of the engagement and forthcoming marriage spread with many a joke likely made at GP’s expense. Longtime intimate friend and fellow merchant William B. Bend wrote teasingly from NYC to GP in London (Oct. 4, 1838): “I am very busy or I would write a gossipy letter to you. There is a report in circulation here that you are going to be married. Is the story true, and if it is, who is to be the happy fair? Mr. Stell [merchant friend] I understand professes to know all about the affair. I hope it is really to take place. You will be too old if you put it off much longer.” Ref.: Ibid.
Romance and GP. 7-Engagement Broken. Another longtime business friend William Brown (1784-1864) of Liverpool, England, in NYC on business, learned that GP was engaged to be married. He added a word of congratulations in his business letter to GP (Jan. 2, 1839). But GP’s hopes were dashed. Esther Hoppin broke off the engagement sometime before Jan. 11, 1839. Ref.: Ibid.
Romance and GP. 8-Mrs. W. Hyde on Broken Engagement. Three letters touch on the broken engagement. A Mrs. W. Hyde, NYC, believed to be the wife of one of GP’s business associates and evidently Esther Hoppin’s confidante and intermediary, wrote to GP on Jan. 11 (no year given but 1839 by context): “Dear Sir: Miss Hoppin feels your kindness in wishing her to retain the muff and fur, at the same time propriety will not allow her to accept of your kind proposal. Custom has made it imperative that after an engagement is broken that all presents will be returned even to the value of a pin.” Ref.: Ibid.
Romance and GP. 9-Mrs. W. Hyde Cont’d.: “No one can regret more than myself the circumstances which makes the muff & fur mine. I shall keep them and value them highly for the giver’s sake and accept my best thanks not only for this munificent present but for others and the parcel of silk today. You are too kind to me. I shall make a beautiful chain of the satin and give it [in] your name as a memento to my grandchildren. I hope on my return you will visit us whenever you feel inclined for a quiet cry. We shall always be happy to see you. You must take a bachelor’s dinner with Mr. Hyde even in my absence.” Ref.: Ibid.
Romance and GP. 10-William B. Bend on Broken Engagement. William B. Bend, NYC, who had written GP a teasing letter Oct. 4, 1838, about the engagement, congratulated GP again, Feb. 10, 1839, on his forthcoming marriage. Eight days later he received GP’s Jan. 26, 1839, letter telling of the broken engagement. Deeply touched, Bend apologized, stating that he had not known of the disappointment. He wrote sympathetically to GP (Feb. 18, 1839): “My dear Peabody, I have this morning received your favour of the 26th ulto and with my wife, grieve sincerely and deeply over its melancholy intelligence.” Ref.: Ibid.
Romance and GP. 11-William B. Bend Cont’d.: “Having myself experienced a misfortune, somewhat similar to that which has fallen you, and remember most distinctly now, though twenty years have since elapsed, the agony which I endured, I feel the more called on and the more adequate to sympathize with you, than I otherwise should do. Then in the true spirit of friendship do I offer to you my heartfelt condolence. I share in the anguish of your feelings, at the blighting of hopes so fondly cherished, at the crushing of expectations, so warmly, so sanguinely indulged in…. The pangs of despised love, though poignant must be resisted. The balmy effects of time, and the natural elasticity and recuperative energy of the human character, will afford you great relief, and I hope to see you here in the Summer quite yourself again.” Ref.: Ibid.
Romance and GP. 12-T. Macaulay on Broken Engagement. The third letter on the broken engagement, from NYC business friend T. Macaulay, praised GP for acting correctly in the affair, and intimated that some indiscretion came from Esther Hoppin. Macaulay wrote (March 7, 1839): “While upon the subject of family affairs I have learned of matters connected with yourself, and as I should sincerely rejoice in any thing which would contribute to your happiness, did not fail to make myself acquainted with what had transpired since I left England–and I am fully convinced that you have acted as became your character for honorable and manly feeling in so delicate an affair–for although we may err in judgment we must never sacrifice these sentiments of delicacy and propriety upon which our happiness in such matters must rest. I should have expected it from you and I feel gratified that you have acted accordingly.” Ref.: Ibid.
Romance and GP. 13-Esther Hoppin Married Alexander Lardner. After the engagement Esther Elizabeth Hoppin returned to the U.S., again met Alexander Lardner, and realized her engagement to GP was a mistake. She returned his gifts, through Mrs. W. Hyde of NYC as intermediary, and married Alexander Lardner on Oct. 2, 1840. They lived in Philadelphia where Lardner was a cashier in the Bank of the U.S., had two children, and Lardner died in 1848, age 40. Ref.: Ibid.
Romance and GP. 14-John Cryder on Alexander Lardner’s Death. GP’s NYC business friend John Cryder, who knew of the broken engagement, learned of Lardner’s death and wrote to GP (Jan. 27, 1848): “Poor Lardner died in Phila. a few days since leaving his young & interesting widow with two children & about $20,000. He was an excellent man & his death is much lamented.” Esther Elizabeth (Hoppin) Lardner died in 1905, outliving GP by 35 years and her husband by 57 years. Ref.: Ibid.
Romance and GP. 15-Broken Engagement Surfaced at GP’s Death. In the publicity on GP’s Nov. 4, 1869, death and his unprecedented 96-day transatlantic funeral, the Providence Journal (Dec. 22, 1869) printed the following about the broken engagement from an anonymous letter writer: “I well remember, when in London, twenty-eight years ago, hearing all this talked over in a chosen circle of American friends; and also, at a brilliant dinner-party given by General [Lewis] Cass (1782-1866, then U.S. Minister to France]) in Versailles, it was thoroughly discussed in all its length and breadth.” Ref.: Ibid.
Romance and GP. 16-“my disappointment long ago.” Second PEF administrator J.L.M. Curry (1825-1903), in his 1898 book, A Brief Sketch of George Peabody, printed a letter (no date given) from the daughter of a Mr. Humphreys. She wrote that when GP arrived during a U.S. visit (no date given but possibly May 1, 1866, in NYC), her father, a commercial friend, went to see GP to congratulate him on his amazing philanthropy. GP said quietly, “Humphreys, after my disappointment long ago, I determined to devote myself to my fellow-beings, and am carrying out that dedication to my best ability.” Ref.: Ibid.
Romance and GP. 17-“my disappointment long ago” Cont’d. It is not known if GP’s alleged “my disappointment long ago” referred to his broken engagement to Esther Elizabeth Hoppin or to Elizabeth (née Knox) Carson (1799-1880), to whom it is said he twice proposed marriage, or to another. His alleged “disappointment” statement is his only known indication that a lost love was a prime motive for his philanthropy. Esther Elizabeth Hoppin’s portrait by famed English-born U.S. artist Thomas Sully (1783-1872), painted just after her marriage in 1840 and now in NYC’s Frick Art Reference Library, shows classic features framed by lovely auburn hair, a face at once charming and enigmatic. Ref.: Ibid.
Romance and GP. 18-Miss Wilcocks, London, 1852-53. Miss Charlotte Manigault Wilcocks (1821-75) was the niece of U.S. Minister to Britain Joseph Reed Ingersoll (1786-1868, minister during 1852-53). GP gave a dinner in London, Oct. 12, 1852, to introduce incoming Minister Ingersoll and his niece, Miss Wilcocks. The dinner also honored departing U.S. Minister Abbott Lawrence (1792-1855). Prominent guests included Joshua Bates (1788-1864), born in Weymouth, Mass., who became agent, partner (1826), and head of the Baring Brothers; Russell Sturgis (1805-87), U.S-born London resident merchant-banker; and others. See: Dinners, GP’s, London.
Romance and GP. 19-Miss Wilcocks, London, 1852-53, Cont’d. GP gave another dinner, May 18, 1853, providing more contacts 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 (1782-62, eighth U.S. Pres., 1837-41) and “many very distinguished persons” present. There was a band and vocalists, toasts and speeches. See: Dinners, GP’s, London. Persons named.
Romance and GP. 20-Miss Wilcocks and Elise Tiffany. Although GP was sometimes ill that summer of 1853, his 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. See: persons named.
Romance and GP. 21-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.
Romance and GP. 22-Miss Wilcocks 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…” Ref.: Ibid.
Romance and GP. 23-GP to Corcoran on Miss Wilcocks. GP, then age 58, explained in a letter to Washington, D.C., business friend William Wilson Corcoran (1798-1888): “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.
Rome, Italy. GP visited Rome, Italy, with Robert Charles Winthrop (1809-94), Feb. 19-28, 1868. They had an audience with Pope Pius IX. GP gave a $19,300 gift to the Vatican’s charitable hospital in Rome, San Spirito Hospital, via Cardinal Giacomo Antonelli (1806-76). See: San Spirito Hospital, Rome, Italy. Persons named.
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano (1882-1945), is one of four U.S. citizens with statues in London: 1-GP’s statue by U.S. sculptor William Wetmore Story (1819-95), unveiled July 23, 1869. 2-U.S. Pres. Abraham Lincoln, 1920; 3-U.S. Pres. George Washington, 1921. 4-U.S. Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1948. See: Statues of GP. Persons named.
PEF Trustee Theodore Roosevelt
Roosevelt, Theodore (1858-1919). 1-Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th U.S. Pres. during 1901-09 and a PEF trustee during 1901-14, 13 years. He visited the Peabody Normal College campus, Oct. 22, 1907. Theodore Roosevelt was the fourth U.S. citizen to receive the Freedom of the City of London, awarded May 31, 1910. See: Conkin, Peabody College, index. Freedom of the City of London, and GP. Presidents, U.S., and GP.
Roosevelt, Theodore. 2-Freedom of the City of London. Those offered this honor included: 1-Andrew Stevenson (1784-1857), U.S. Minister to Britain during 1836-41, the first U.S. citizen to be offered this honor on Feb. 22, 1838, but who declined as inconsistent with his official duties. 2-GP, second U.S. citizen offered the Freedom of the City of London and the first recipient, awarded on July 10, 1862. 3-Ulysses Simpson Grant (1822-85), U.S. general and 18th U.S. president during 1869-77, third recipient, awarded June 15, 1877. 4-Theodore Roosevelt, fourth recipient as mentioned, awarded May 31, 1910, 5-John Joseph Pershing (1860-1948), U.S. general, fifth recipient, awarded July 18, 1919. 6-Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969), U.S. general and 34th U.S. president during 1953-61, sixth recipient, awarded June 12, 1945. Ref.: Ibid. See: persons named.
Third PEF Administrator Wickcliffe Rose
Rose, Wickliffe (1862-1931). 1-Third PEF Administrator. Wickcliffe Rose was the third PEF administrator during 1907-14. He was born in Saulsbury, Tenn., and while teaching in a rural school was persuaded by a Peabody professor to attend Peabody Normal College in Nashville. There he received the B.A. (1889) and M.A. (1890) degrees (M.A. thesis, “A Discussion of Plato’s Republic”). He taught mathematics and later philosophy of education at Peabody Normal College during 1890-1902, taught at the Univ. of Tennessee during 1902-04, and returned as dean to Peabody Normal College during 1904-07. Ref.: Conkin, Peabody College, index. Dabney, II, Chap. XVIII, pp. 265-277
Rose, Wickliffe. 2-Third PEF Administrator Cont’d. He helped raise required funds from Tenn. and Nashville to match the PEF’s $1.5 million to endow GPCFT at its new location adjacent to Vanderbilt Univ. (opened 1914). He was offered the presidency of the new GPCFT but declined. As third and last PEF administrator, he followed administrators Barnas Sears (1802-80) and J.L.M. Curry (1825-1903) and helped accomplish the PEF’s third phase of aiding rural public schools. Ref.: Ibid.
Rose, Wickliffe. 3-Foundation Executive. Wickliffe Rose was executive director of the Southern Education Board (1909-13), trustee of the John F. Slater Fund for Negro Education (1909-23), member of the General Education Board (1911-28) and its president (to 1928). In these positions he greatly advanced public education for both races in the South. Simultaneously, as executive secretary of the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission for the Eradication of Hookworm Disease (1909-13), he directed the largest public health crusade in the southern U.S.; and as director of its successor International Health Board (1913-23), funded public heath research campaigns around the world, most successfully against yellow fever. Ref.: Flexner, pp. 21-22, 27, 30, 58, 63-66, 70-71, 73-80, 82, 124.
Rose, Wickliffe. 4-Foundation Executive Cont’d. Rose pioneered in applying private philanthropy to public health problems and preventive care. He also helped found the Woods Hole, Mass., Oceanographic Institution (1931) and coordinated the founding of a new telescope and laboratory at Mount Wilson Observatory in Calif. A rare combination of scholar, researcher, and administrator, Rose used private philanthropic aid (mostly from John D. Rockefeller, Sr., and Jr.) to help advance public education and public health regionally (U.S. South), nationally, and internationally. Educational historian Charles William Dabney wrote: “Rose was a marvelously versatile man.” Ref.: Hoffschwelle-b, pp. 811-812. See: PEF.
Rost, Pierre A. (1797-1868). 1-Confederate Agent. Pierre A. Rost was one of three early Confederate agents sent to Europe at the beginning of the Civil War to gain recognition, arms, and aid for the Confederacy. The other two agents were William Loundes Yancey (1814-63) and Ambrose Dudley Mann (1801-89). Unsuccessful, they were succeeded by Confederate agents James Murray Mason (1798-1871, from Va.), and his male secretary, and John Slidell (1793-1871, from La.), and his male secretary. These four Confederates evaded a Union blockade of Charleston, S.C., reached Havana, Cuba, and there boarded the British mail steamer Trent bound for Southampton, England. See: Trent Affair.
Rost, P.A. 2-Trent Affair. One day out of Havana, on Nov. 8, 1861, the Trent was illegally stopped by the Union warship San Jacinto. The four Confederate emissaries were forcibly removed and taken to Boston Harbor’s Fort Warren prison. This illegal Trent seizure created a furor in Britain and France and exultation in the U.S. North. Passions were aroused. Angry recriminations over the Trent affair lasted well into 1862, delaying to March 12, 1862, announcement in London of the Peabody Donation Fund for low rent apartments for London’s working poor (total gift $2.5 million). Pres. Lincoln’s cabinet met Dec. 26, 1861, disavowed the seizure of the Trent, and the four Confederates were released Jan. 1, 1862. Ref.: Ibid.
Rowley, Mass., now Georgetown, Mass., was the birthplace of GP’s mother, Judith (Dodge) Peabody (1770-1830). GP’s younger sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell Daniels (1799-1879) also lived in Georgetown. GP gave $70,000 for a Memorial Church in Georgetown, 1866, in honor of his mother, and $30,000 for a Peabody Institute Library, also 1866. See: Memorial Church, Georgetown, Mass. Whittier, John Greenleaf.
Royal Academy of Art, London. Artist James Read Lambdin (1807-89), who painted a portrait of GP in 1857, later recorded GP as saying of his lack of interest in art: “I do not feel much interested in such matters. You may be surprised when I tell you that, although I have lived for twenty years within pistol shot of the Royal Academy and the National Gallery in London, I have never been within their walls.” See: Lambdin, James Read.
Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington, London. On Feb. 23, 1866, GP bought for ƒ1,000 ($5,000) in perpetuity a 10-seat box at the Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington, London, for the exclusive us of the trustees, Peabody Donation Fund, London, which built and managed the Peabody Homes of London. See: Peabody Homes of London.
Royal Archives at Windsor Castle. For letters pertaining to Queen Victoria and GP, see Royal Archives, Windsor Castle, under References, British library unpublished letters and documents.
Royal Exchange, London. GP’s seated statue on Threadneedle St., near the Royal Exchange, was unveiled July 23, 1869. See: John Lothrop Motley (spoke at unveiling). Prince of Wales (unveiled statue). Statues of GP. Story, William Wetmore (sculptor).
Rubber, invention of. When Charles Goodyear (1800-60) sought financial backing for his rubber-making process, he sent GP samples. See: Goodyear, Charles.
Rubinstein, Anton (1829-94), was a Russian-born pianist brought to perform at the PIB Conservatory of Music by its first Director Asger Hamerik (1843-1923). See: PIB Conservatory of Music.
Rubinstein, Arthur (1887-1982), was a Polish-born pianist who performed at the PIB Conservatory of Music under its Director Otto Randolph Ortmann (1889-1979) during 1924-41. See: PIB Conservatory of Music.
GP’s Closest Nephew G.P. Peabody
Russell, George Peabody (1835-1909). 1-GP’s Closest Nephew. George Peabody Russell was GP’s nephew, son of his younger sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell Daniels (1799-1879) and lawyer Jeremiah Russell. His parents were married in Sept. 1831; and lived in Georgetown, Mass. (formerly Rowley, her mother’s birthplace). After Jeremiah Russell’s death on May 2, 1860, she married Robert Shillaber Daniels (b.1791). George Peabody Russell, named after his uncle, was born May 12, 1835, in New Rowley near Georgetown, Mass.; attended a boarding school in Bradford, Mass.; then entered Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. He entered Harvard College in 1851 but attended Dartmouth College, 1853-54, returned to Harvard where he received the B. A. in 1856. Ref.: Harvard College, p. 242.
Russell, G.P. 2-Harvard College. George Peabody Russell was on vacation from Cambridge in Pembroke, N.H., had done some shooting, and wrote his uncle George (May 12, 1852): “I cannot equal you as a marksman: by the way, we still have a large cushion stuffed with feathers of birds shot by you nearly fifty years ago.” Ref.: George Peabody Russell, Cambridge, Mass., to GP, May 12, 1852, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass. See: Daniels, Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell.
Russell, G.P. 3-Lawyer and PEF Trustee After graduating from Harvard College (1856), George Peabody Russell entered the Boston law office of Rufus Choate (1799-1859). He entered the Cambridge Law School, March 8, 1857, received the LL.B. degree, 1858, reentered Rufus Choate’s law office, was admitted to the Essex County, Mass., bar, Feb. 23, 1859, and practiced law with his father (Jeremiah Russell) in Haverhill, Mass. He wrote gratefully to his uncle in late Aug. 1859: “If I am anything in the world, I shall owe it to you…. I will try to imitate the example of the good man [Rufus Choate] with whom your care placed me to commence the study of that profession; and in honesty and integrity in all dealing with my fellow-men, I will strive to follow the noblest example of which I know–your own.” Ref.: George Peabody Russell, Haverhill, to GP, Aug. 30, 1859, Peabody Papers, PEM, Salem, Mass.
Russell, G.P. 4-Present at PEF Founding. G.P. Russell, who continued to practice law in Haverhill, Mass., after his father died (May 2, 1860), married Lucy Isabella Campbell, daughter of Rev. George W. Campbell, of Bradford, Mass., July 5, 1860. About 1866 the G.P. Russells moved to Salem, Mass., where he was connected in law work with W.D. Northend. He and others were GP’s guests when they arrived in Baltimore, Oct. 24, 1866, greeted by Mayor John Lee Chapman (1812-80) and city council members, taken to Barnum’s City Hotel as guests of the city, to attend the Oct. 25-26, 1866, PIB opening and dedication ceremonies. G.P. Russell was one of the 16 original PEF trustees, was present when PEF trustee Pres. Robert Charles Winthrop (1809-94) read aloud GP’s Feb. 7, 1867, letter founding the PEF ($2 million total, 1867-69) in an upper room, Willard’s Hotel, Washington, D.C., Feb. 8, 1867, to 10 of the 16 original trustees. See: PEF.
Russell, G.P. 5-Present when Pres. Johnson Called on GP. G.P. Russell was present on Feb. 9, 1867, when U.S. Pres. Andrew Johnson (1808-75), his secretary Col. William George Moore (1829-93), and three others called on GP at his Willard’s Hotel rooms to thank GP for the PEF. With GP at the time, besides nephew G.P. Russell, were PEF trustees Robert Charles Winthrop, Episcopal Bishop of Ohio Charles Pettit McIlvaine (1799-1873), and former S.C. Gov. William Aiken (1806-87). Also present were GP’s business friend Samuel Wetmore (1812-85), his wife, and their son; George Washington Riggs (1813-81); and three others. See: PEF. Persons named.
Russell, G.P. 6-Pres. Johnson Called on GP Cont’d. Pres. Johnson took GP by the hand (GP was 72 and often ill) and said he had thought to find GP alone, that he called simply as a private citizen to thank GP for his PEF gift to aid public education in the South, that he thought the gift would help unite the country, that he was glad to have a man like GP representing the U.S. in England, and 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: Johnson, Andrew. PEF.
Russell, G.P. 7-GP Considered as U.S. Treasury Secty. Besides genuine appreciation for GP’s gift 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, including GP as Treasury Secty. But loyalty to his cabinet kept Johnson from this course. Ref.: Ibid.
Russell, GP. 8-GP at 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. Robert Work Garrett (1820-84) and Samuel Wetmore’s 16-year-old son. 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. Ref.: Ibid. See: Congressional Gold Medal and Resolutions of Praise to GP.
Russell, G.P. 9-Accompanied GP’s Remains to the U.S. GP died Nov. 4, 1869, in the London home of longtime business friend Sir Curtis Miranda Lampson (1806-85), 80 Eaton Square. Knowing that GP’s will requested burial in Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem, Mass., Lampson telegraphed GP’s sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell Daniels. Her son George Peabody Russell left for England to accompany GP’s remains to the U.S. for burial. See: Death and funeral, GP’s.
Russell, G.P. 10-During GP’s Funeral Events, London. G.P. Russell arrived in London while plans for GP’s funeral escalated, including a Westminster Abbey funeral service, (Nov. 12, 1869), 30-day temporary burial in the Abbey (Nov. 12-Dec. 11, 1869), and transatlantic crossing on HMS Monarch, Britain’s newest and largest warship. U.S. Legation Secty. Benjamin Moran (1820-86), helping U.S. Minister to Great Britain John Lothrop Motley (1814-72) coordinate GP’s escalating funeral events, described G.P. Russell rather unflatteringly in brief journal entries: Moran’s last journal entries on GP (Dec. 13, 1869): “I dined at J.S. Morgan’s in the evening [and] George Peabody Russell was there…. A dull fellow….” See: Moran, Benjamin.
Russell, G.P. 11-Settled in the Isle of Wight, English Channel. G.P. Russell, who served for a time as secretary of the PEF trustees, resigned as trustee in 1883. He attended to his deceased uncle GP’s estate and legal and business matters, requiring visits in the U.S. and in England. He moved to Monksfield, Binstead Parish, Isle of Wight, English Channel, and on his mother’s death in Georgetown, Mass., April 20, 1879, age 80, he inherited a considerable family fund she held in trust from her deceased brother GP. He bought an estate at Monksfield and seldom visited the U.S.
Russell, G.P. 12-Died June 23, 1909. Before he went to live abroad, G.P. Russell was a member of the N.Y. Yacht Club and owned a schooner and a steamer, reminiscent of aquatic experiences in college and on the Connecticut River. Harvard Univ. Archives has a handwritten copy of G.P. Russell’s London Times obituary, July 7, 1909, p. 11, which reads: “George Peabody Russell of Monksfield, Binstead [Parish], Rhyde, Isle of Wight and of Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, London, who died on June 23 , left an estate valued at ƒ90,003 gross, with net…ƒ83,933. The testator left ƒ100 each to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.” Ref.: London Times obituary, July 7, 1909, p. 11, in Harvard Univ. Archives.
Russell, Jeremiah (d. May 2, 1860), was a lawyer who married GP’s sister Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell Daniels (1799-1879) in Sept. 1831 and was the father of GP’s nephew George Peabody Russell (1835-1909), who accompanied GP’s remains from London to the U.S. See: Daniels, Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell.
Russell, John, 1st Earl (1792-1878), was British Foreign Secty. during 1860-65. Thurlow Weed (1797-1882), influential N.Y. state political leader and founder and editor of the Albany, N.Y. Evening Journal, was in London in Nov. 1861 as Pres. Abraham Lincoln’s emissary to explain the Union cause and to keep Britain neutral in the U.S. Civil War. Weed had several talks with GP on the origins and issues of the Civil War and asked GP’s help in meeting British leaders. GP arranged for Weed’s introduction to his friend Sir James Emerson Tennent (1791-1869), MP from Belfast, Ireland. Through Tennent Weed met and explained the Union side to such leaders as 1-British Maj. Gen. John Wilson, 2-Lord Clarence Edward Paget (1811-95), 3-Foreign Secty. John Russell, 4-MP William W. Torrens (1813-94, also known as William Torrens McCullagh), and others. See: persons named.
Russell, John Dale (b. 1895). See: PCofVU. Conkin, Peabody College, index.
Russell, Judith (1799-1879), GP’s sister. See Daniels, Judith Dodge (née Peabody) Russell.
Russell Sage Foundation. PEF trustee and first president of Johns Hopkins Univ. Daniel Coit Gilman (1831-1908) credited GP’s example with influencing the principles of the John F. Slater Fund (1882-1937), John D. Rockefeller’s General Education Board (1902-14), the Andrew Carnegie foundations, and the Russell Sage Foundation (1907-46). He added: “Almost if not quite all of these foundations have been based on principles that were designated by Mr. Peabody.” See Gilman, Daniel Coit. PEF.
Russia. Tenn. statesman Neill Smith Brown (1810-86) was U.S. Minister to Russia (1850-86) when he attended GP’s July 4, 1851, London dinner connected with the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London (first world’s fair). See: Brown, Neill Smith. Great Exhibition of 1851, London (first world’s fair).
“S.P.Q.” 1-GP’s 1866-67 U.S. Visit. GP’s May 1, 1866, to May 1, 1867, U.S. visit was busy with philanthropic gifts and visits to family and friends. A major reason for his U.S. visit was to dedicate and open the PIB, founded Feb. 12, 1857. Its progress had been delayed for nine years and eight months by the Panic of 1857; by disputes over its location and building cost; by increasing differences between PIB trustees and Md. Historical Society trustees over its management, all aggravated by Civil War differences (Md. was a divided and contentious border state barely pro-Union). See: PIB.
GP Attacked & Defended
“S.P.Q.” 2-GP Anti-Union, Pro-Confederate? GP was also hurt and defensive about charges in the press of alleged anti-Union and pro-Confederate sympathies and financial activities in the Civil War. A sharp attack appeared in the NYC Evening Post, Oct. 25, 1866 (widely reprinted), by an anonymous letter writer signing himself “S.P.Q.” The attack came just after GP founded the Peabody Museums at Harvard Univ., Oct. 8, 1866, and Yale Univ., Oct. 22, 1866, $150,000 each, and other gifts. The attack came the very day (Oct. 25, 1866) he was present to dedicate and open the PIB. See: Eaton, Charles James Madison. Kennedy, John Pendleton. PIB.
“S.P.Q.” 3-PIB Background. The educational gift GP wanted to give Baltimore was conceived of and planned by Baltimorean John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870), based partly on London’s British Museum: 1-a specialized reference library; 2-lecture hall, lecture series, and speakers’ fund; 3-academy of music, 4-gallery of art; 5-and prizes for best Baltimore public school scholars–all to be administered jointly by trustees of the PIB and the Md. Historical Society, with the latter housed in the PIB building. Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 4-Irreconcilable Differences. Far removed, busy in London, and often ill, GP could do little to resolve long simmering differences over the PIB. It was a question of which set of trustees would dominate. The showdown came when the PIB trustees by letter of Feb. 12, 1866, asked the Md. Historical Society trustees to relinquish the role assigned them in GP’s founding letter. The Md. Historical Society trustees refused and initiated a legal suit. Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 5-Need for Reconciliation. GP saw that the Md. Historical Society was in the right. He had to soften this dispute. In his journal PIB planner John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870) expressed the dilemma: “I am myself responsible for Mr. Peabody’s committing the Institute to the Society but this was done at a time when the Society nobly showed some appreciation of its object….” Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 6-Moved by GP’s Plea. Kennedy helped draft GP’s May 8, 1866, letter to the Md. Historical Society, acknowledging their moral and legal right and admitting the wrong done by the PIB trustees. The PIB dedication and opening, GP wrote, depended on the Society’s forbearance and good will. He humbly asked Society members as a personal favor to him to withdraw. Moved by his plea, Md. Historical Society members on May 24, 1866, relinquished their PIB role. GP waited until Nov. 5, 1866, to thank Md. Historical Society members in person and asked to be allowed the privilege of contributing $20,000 to their publications fund. Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 7-“S.P.Q.” Attack. The opening night of the PIB a letter writer signing himself “S.P.Q.” wrote in the NYC Evening Post (Oct. 25, 1866): “Mr. Peabody goes about from place to place inhaling the incense so many are willing to offer him. While Americans at home gave and did their utmost for their country in wartime, what was Mr. Peabody doing? He was making money, piling up profits, adding to his fortune. And what did he do with his gain? Did he use money made in war against those seeking to destroy this country?” See: Civil War and GP.
“S.P.Q.” 8-“S.P.Q.” Attack Cont’d.: “Did he raise and clothe a single recruit? Did he give anything to the Sanitary Commission? Did he lend the government any part of his millions? While making up his mind he did something he thought worthier–gave several hundred thousands to the poor of London and got a letter of thanks from the Queen. Many a poor fellow from simple patriotism gave all he had, his life. That man gave more than George Peabody and all his money. He can yet redeem himself by aiding the disabled veterans who deserve his beneficence as much as the poor of London.” Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 9-“R.D.P.” Defended GP. A GP defender signing himself “R.D.P.” answered “S.P.Q.’s attack in NYC Evening Post (Oct. 26, 1866): “I read with surprise the attack of “S.P.Q.” on George Peabody. Now, in regard to the Sanitary Commission I remember reading in your newspaper of Mr. Peabody’s gifts to that organization [GP gave a total of $10,000 to the U.S. Sanitary Commission to aid the war-wounded]. How could Mr. Peabody send his son to the war when unmarried he had none, or a nephew when no man has that power over his relatives?” Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 10-“R.D.P.” Defended GP Cont’d.: “The intimation that Mr. Peabody made money by speculating on bonds may also be applied to the most patriotic of our bankers. He is not a politician but all who know him know that his patriotism is large and that he loves the whole country. He gives his wealth to public institutions as a permanent source of benefit to all. I am not a personal friend of Mr. Peabody’s but come forward in the name of thousands who recognize the noble disposition of his wealth and say he may well enjoy the applause of those who love such deeds.” Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 11-NY Times GP Defender. An unknown GP defender wrote in the New York Times (Oct. 27, 1866): “When Lafayette revisited this country in 1825 amid honors and acclaim one voice was raised against him. Now Mr. Peabody returns to bestow his gifts amid heartfelt thanks and one hoarse voice attacks his patriotism. What charges are made? First, that Mr. Peabody seeks the limelight of universal praise. What is the truth of this? Since his return Mr. Peabody has passed his time quietly with relatives in his hometown. He declined, persistently, tenders for public demonstrations. In New York he declined private dinners. The man who refused a title from the Queen of England has avoided what he could of popular demonstration in this country.” Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 12-NY Times GP Defender Cont’d.: “The next charge made is that Mr. Peabody deliberately made money at his country’s expense. What is the truth of that? He upheld the credit and character of his country. When Englishmen and Secessionists said our people would not pay taxes, our securities would be repudiated, Mr. Peabody not only repelled the imputations, but proved his confidence in and devotion to the Union by purchasing what they were anxious to sell. If he had bought Confederate bonds, he would not now be rich. If he profited by defending our credit by purchasing Government stock, is that cause for reproach? Did we not all do just that?” Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 13-NY Times GP Defender Cont’d.: “You ask, thirdly, what does Mr. Peabody do with his money? Implying that as a salve to his conscience he gives to charity that which was dishonorably earned. What is the truth of this? His personal expenses have always been frugal. His manner of life and habits have always been commonplace. Since his return to this country Mr. Peabody has given two-and-a-half million dollars to educational philanthropy. This subjects him to half a column of abuse in the Evening Post.” Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 14-NY Times GP Defender Cont’d.: “Lastly, you say Mr. Peabody can yet retrieve himself by doing for the disabled soldiers and sailors of this country what he has done for the poor of London. How Mr. Peabody will dispose of the rest of his estate will become known later. When he shall have crowned all his former acts of charity for his countrymen, will some other ‘S.P.Q.’ impugn his motives and traduce his character?” Ref.: Ibid.
GP: “no hope…except in Union victory”
“S.P.Q.” 15-GP Spoke Out. To the audience at the PIB opening GP said heatedly (Oct. 25, 1866): “I have been accused of anti-Union sentiment. Let me say this: my father fought in the American Revolution and I have loved my country since childhood. Born and educated in the North, I have lived twenty years in the South. In a long residence abroad I dealt with Americans from every section. I loved our country as a whole with no preference for East, West, North, or South. I wish publicly to avow that during the war my sympathies were with the Union–that my uniform course tended to assist but never to injure the credit of the Union. At the close of the war three-fourths of my property was invested in United States Government and State securities, and remain so at this time.” Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 16-GP Spoke Out Cont’d.: “When war came I saw no hope for America except in Union victory but I could not, in the passion of war, turn my back on Southern friends. I believed extremists of both sides guilty of fomenting the conflict. Now I am convinced more than ever of the necessity for mutual forbearance and conciliation, of Christian charity and forgiveness, of united effort to bind up the wound of our nation.” Ref.: Ibid.
“he…gave us no faith…no help in our struggle”
“S.P.Q.” 17-Editor Samuel Bowles’s Attack. Samuel Bowles (1826-78), owner-editor, Springfield Daily Republican (Springfield, Mass.), agreed with “S.P.Q.’s charges against GP. Bowles’s editorial (Oct. 27, 1866) stated that GP’s philanthropy came from a sense of justice, a feeling of generosity, and a desire to be remembered. But GP’s business heart was also moved to make amends for the injustice he had done to his country. Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 18-Editor Samuel Bowles’s Attack Cont’d.: Bowles wrote: “For all who knew anything on the subject knew very well that he and his partners in London gave us no faith and no help in our struggle for our national existence. They participated in the full to the common English distrust of our cause, and our success, and talked and acted for the South rather than for the Nation.” Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 19-Editor Samuel Bowles’s Attack Cont’d.: “American-born and American-bred, the financial representatives of America in England, they were thus guilty of a grievous error in judgment, and a grievous weakness of the heart. They swelled the popular feeling of doubt abroad, and speculated upon it. Through no house were so many American securities–railroad, State and national–sent home for sale as by them. No individuals contributed so much to flooding our money markets with the evidences of our debt in Europe, and breaking down their prices and weakening financial confidence in our nationality as George Peabody and Co.: and none made more money by the operation.” Ref.: Ibid. For likely origin, details, and sources of Bowles’s charges against GP, see Bigelow, John.
“S.P.Q.” 20-Bowles’s Attack Repeated. Bowles’s unsubstantiated 1866 charges of GP’s being pro-Confederate were uncritically repeated in Gustavus Myers’s History of the Great American Fortunes, 1910, rev. 1936; in Matthew Josephson’s The Robber Barons, 1934; and in Carl Sandburg’s (1878-1967) Pulitzer prize biography, Abraham Lincoln, 1939. Sandburg quoted Bowles almost verbatim: “Of the international bankers Peabody & Morgan, sturdy Samuel Bowles said in the Springfield Republican that their agencies in New York and London had induced during the war a flight of capital from America.” See: Civil War and GP.
“S.P.Q.” 21-Bowles’s Attack Repeated Cont’d. Sandburg further quoted Bowles: ‘”They gave us no faith and no help in our struggle for national existence…. No individuals contributed so much to flooding the money markets with evidence of our debts to Europe, and breaking down their prices and weakening financial confidence in our nationality, and none made more money by the operation.'” Bowles’s charges also appeared in Leland DeWitt Baldwin’s The Stream of American History, 1952. Ref.: Ibid. See: Baldwin, Leland DeWitt. Moran, Benjamin.
GP Defended by an “Acquaintance”
“S.P.Q.” 22-An “Acquaintance” Answered Bowles. Someone who signed his letter, “A Twenty-Five Years’ Acquaintance,” answered Editor Bowles in the New York Times (Oct. 31, 1866). This GP “Acquaintance” wrote that Bowles’s accusations in the Springfield Republican were more unjust and injurious than “S.P.Q.’s” loose charges. The allegations were untrue and Bowles was misinformed. Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 23-“Acquaintance” Answered Bowles Cont’d. GP’s “Acquaintance” wrote: “During six of the gloomiest months of the rebellion I was almost a daily visitor at the Peabody Bank in Old Broad-street, London. It was there the friends of our cause–and only its friends–were to be met with. There we waited and watched for telegraphic intelligence, Mr. Peabody and Mr. Morgan deploring any disaster and rejoicing in every success. I remember particularly how warmly they joined in the celebration of our victory at Fort Donelson [Tenn.]. Both Mr. Peabody and Mr. Morgan promoted and facilitated every suggestion of our friends in London, for the promotion of our cause.” Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 24-“Acquaintance” Answered Bowles Cont’d.: “Messrs. Peabody and Morgan, instead of depreciating American securities and American credit, did all they could to uphold both. The sentiment of England and France was unmistakably against us. Financial ‘distrust’ pervaded the continent. Messrs. Peabody & Co. could not refuse to ‘send home’ the securities of their correspondents. Such, indeed, was the ‘distrust’ at home that many of our capitalists sent their money abroad for safekeeping.” Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 25-“Acquaintance” Answered Bowles Cont’d.: “If the charges of the Springfield Republican were true, Peabody & Co. would have taken the ‘Confederate loan,’ and have been losers thereby. How, if ‘they shared in the English feeling of distrust,’ could they have ‘made millions’ by speculating in Federal securities? If they believed in the success of the rebellion would they have invested their millions in Northern securities?” Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 26-“Acquaintance” Answered Bowles Cont’d.: “Men are known by the company they keep,” stated GP’s “Acquaintance,” pointing to Sir James Emerson Tennent [1781-1869, MP from Belfast and a British government official] and Sir Henry Holland [1788-1873, a physician to Queen Victoria], both pro-Union. Loyal Americans constantly came to George Peabody & Co. while secessionists went elsewhere, he wrote. Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 27-“Acquaintance” Answered Bowles Cont’d.: “So far, the only individual whom the almoner of millions have wronged, is George Peabody, who has not had his fair share of the vast wealth he is distributing. Indeed, but for the happiness he derived while making his money, in conferring happiness upon others, he would have been without compensation, for he lived frugally, in plain lodgings, without a carriage or a servant. While, for forty years, Mr. Peabody was habitually liberal with his relatives and his friends, he actually stinted himself.” Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 28-“Acquaintance” Answered Bowles Cont’d.: “I remember an occasion when Mr. Peabody, quite ill at his lodgings in Cork-street, without an attendant and without the ordinary comforts of a sick room, was maturing his plan for giving away millions. But if Mr. Peabody has been habitually and even severely economical in his personal expenditures, he has been just to his relatives, liberal with his friends, prodigal in his hospitalities, munificent in his charities, and more than princely in his gifts.” Ref.: Ibid.
“S.P.Q.” 29-“Acquaintance” May Have Been Thurlow Weed. While this “Acquaintance of 25 Years” chose to be anonymous, the authors believe that the writer was most likely N.Y. state political leader and newspaper editor Thurlow Weed (1797-1882). He was one of Pres. Lincoln’s emissaries sent to London in Nov. 1861 to explain the Union view and to keep Britain neutral in the Civil War. In London he conferred with GP, who helped him contact British leaders. The GP-Weed friendship went back to 1843. GP often confided to Weed his philanthropic intentions, asked his advice, and wanted Weed to direct his philanthropic gifts. But Weed enthusiastically recommended and GP accepted for this role eminent Mass. statesman Robert Charles Winthrop (1809-94). See: Weed, Thurlow.
“S.P.Q.” 30-“Acquaintance” May Have Been Thurlow Weed Cont’d. At GP’s Nov. 4, 1869, death in London and transatlantic funeral, when GP pro-Confederate anti-Union charges resurfaced against GP, Thurlow Weed wrote the widely reprinted “The Late George Peabody; A Vindication of His Course During the Civil War.” Ref.: Ibid.
Salem brass band, Salem, Mass., participated in the Danvers, Mass., Centennial Celebration, June 16, 1852, marking the 100 year anniversary of the separation of Danvers from Salem. GP, invited but unable to attend, sent from London on May 26, 1852, a letter. It was read aloud, initiating what is now the Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, Mass., to which he gave a total of $217,600. His letter also enclosed a motto: “Education: a debt due from present to future generations.” See: Danvers, Mass., Centennial Celebration, June 16, 1852.
Salem, Mass., a port city on the Atlantic in New England, 16 miles northeast of Boston, is the location of the Peabody Museum of Salem, Mass. On Feb. 26, 1867, GP’s gift of $140,000 established the Peabody Academy of Science (1867-1915), renamed the Peabody Museum of Salem (1915-1992), which combined the science collections of the East India Marine Society (founded 1799) and the Essex County Natural History Society (founded 1833). The Peabody Museum of Salem was renamed the Peabody Essex Museum in 1992 and contains the bulk of the George Peabody Papers. See: Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.
End 9 of 14 Parts. Continued on 10 of 14. Send corrections, questions to: email@example.com