A longer biographical sketch of David walker is written by Leon Jackson at Ferris State University.
Source: Cayton, Emerson's Emergence (for lifespan, Webster's Bio ...)
Collections of Watts' hymns formed the core of many 19th century American hymnals. Many of Watts' hymns express a sublime absorption in the grandeur of God and his creation. Some, like "Lord I am Vile" (p133 Watts Select), or "Sin Like a Venomous Disease Infects Our Vital Blood," give voice to the Calvinist doctrines that have mostly disappeared from Christianity.
Watts has been called the "Creator of the modern hymn" (Encyclopedia Americana; Leonard Ellington).
In addition, he wrote philosophical and theological works that were used by Oxford, Harvard, and Yale until around 1800.
Leonard L. Richards, in Gentlemen of Property and Standing, called him the "North's most vehement anti-abolitionist spokesman". Also, acc. to Richards, the onetime colonel (or militia?) "saw himself as the foremost protector of the interests and traditions of New York City's gentlemen merchants ... shunned impersonal relations in business, cuffed and caned 'inferior' rivals on the street, fought one duel and caused another."
His son, Alexander Stewart (1835-1911) was a Civil War general, chiefly responsible for the repulse of Pickett's charge. Another son was named after William Seward (lived 1851-1926).
Born in New Hampshire. Became a lawyer, then served New Hampshire congressman 1813-17. As his fame grew, he moved to Boston Massachusetts, which in time also made him a congressman - from 1823-27. He was in the U.S. Senate from 1827-41 and from 1845-50, serving as secretary of state in the intervals between those two periods, and from 1850-52.
In the Senate, he made the famous "reply to (Robert)Hayne", from which schoolboys would thereafter quote, when practicing oration. He ringingly defended Andrew Jackson's putting down of Nullification by stick and carrot.
His last major act was to support Henry Clay in working out the "compromise of 1850" which for a while prevented the breakdown of the union on the issue of whether new territories should allow slavery or not (to simplify somewhat). As Massachusetts was tending more and more towards radical anti-slavery, this caused many there to disrespect his memory, and when one of the most outspoken anti-slavery men, Charles Sumner, succeeded Webster in his Senate, it was regarded as a watershed event.
He was born in a rural log cabin on a turnpike connecting two Catskill towns, and within ten miles of the Hudson. His father, a poor carter, soon took the family to the town of Catskill on the Hudson, 30 miles south of Albany.
There, while his father struggled, going in and out of debtor's prison, he got a few months schooling - which was all he ever got; he spent two years as a cabin boy on sloops sailing the Hudson in those pre-steamboat days. He was also, in 1808, did odd jobs for Dr. Croswell, the editor of the Catskill Recorder. He would have been acquainted with Croswell's son, a future arch-rival editor and political operative - Edwin Croswell, future editor of the Albany Argus.
In 1809 the family moved to Cincinnatus, in Cortland County, which was then a wilderness
In 1821, he got a position on the Rochester Telegraph, which he kept until 1827.
In the election of 1824, he engineered a coup in the selection of presidential electors which may have been critical in causing Adams to be elected. It involved very careful vote-counting, deal making, and a secretly printed split ticket.
While Van Buren's "Regency" continued to dominate New York politics into the late 40s, Weed eventually became what Van Deusen called the "Dictator" of New York.
He helped place William Henry Seward in the governership from 1838-1842, and afterwards, accompanied Seward into the Republican party, and supported the moderate anti-slavery man for president.
Was consulted by Abraham Lincoln on the selection of Lincoln's presidential cabinet.
Born in Hampton Connecticut to Ludovicus Weld, graduate of Harvard, and pastor of the town's Congregational Church.
He had a wild side to his nature, and before he was ten, had had
"a broken hand, a broken foot, at least four dislocated bones, the cords of a finger severed, and an eye almost hooked out of its socket... In middle age he confessed 'I must cut capers'; and every day the chance afforded he would seek a secluded spot where he might 'jump and hop and scream like a loon and run on all fours and wrestle and throw stones and play tag and hide and seek ... and all those childish rompings. (Thomas, Weld)
At sixteen, he tried to put himself through Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. In his second year, while driving himself excedingly hard, he became unable to read, and had to drop out of school (The same happened to Emerson in college, and Emerson's aunt Mary, and may have been due to long hours of reading by the light of a dim candle).
Shortly after, he mastered the "science of mnemonics", or art of improving the memory, and from age 17 to 20 or 21, lived on the road as a successful lyceum-style lecturer, traveling from New England down as far as North Carolina.
In 1825, with improved sight, he entered Hamilton College in Clinton NY, near Fabius, where his family had since moved.
Born in Glastenbury CT (now spelled Glastonbury) to Samuel Welles, a successful shipping merchant until the embargo caused him to retrench. They were still comfortably middle class, but too pinched to readily send sons to Yale or Harvard. Gideon's father was also a fervent Jeffersonian, and an Episcopalian (In late 18c and early 19c Connecticut this was often a sign of anti-Calvinist rebellion; it seems to have been so in both the Welles family and that of Amos Bronson Alcott -- see below).
Slow to chose a career, he made a belated attempt at a college education, attending the Episcopal Academy at Cheshire, CT, directed by Tillotson Bronson (the uncle of A.Bronson Alcott).
After a sojourn in Pennsylvania, where he failed to salvage his father's shaky land claims, he attended the American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy in Norwich VT (now Norwich University), in 1824-25. In the year Welles attended, the heavily promoted school's enrollment went from 162 to 400. Meanwhile, Welles found the atmosphere rowdy and overcrowded, the courses in the catalogue mostly nonexistent, and the library poor and grossly misrepresented.
In the late 1820s, he moved to Hartford,to study law, which he failed to do, but found his calling, and blossomed, as he became editor of the Hartford Times, and a powerful figure among the growing set of Jacksonian Democrats in Connecticut.
<to be continued>
He became a priest of the Church of England in 1728. Became leader of his brother Charles' "Methodist Society" at Oxford (1729-34). Accompanied Gov. Oglethorpe to Georgia as missionary to the colonists and Indians, was influenced there by Zinzendorf, founder of the Moravian church.
Soon after his return to England, in 1738, he experienced a kind of dramatic conversion, abaondoned ecclesiastical and High Church views, began preaching in fields and in a deserted gun foundry which he bought.
He traveled constantly throughout Britain, building a new organization of Christians who rejected the Calvinistic doctrine of election (rather, they believed anyone could be saved). They brought about highly emotional conversions. They also maintained a structure that included bishops, used circuit riders, and had a complex and energetic system of conferences in which ministers were held accountable for the numbers they brought into the church. They were particularly effective on the frontiers of the U.S., where settlements had outrun churches, leaving a religious vacuum.
For more on the Methodist church in America, see Peter Cartwright and Francis Asbury.
Accompanied Garrison to the 1833 anti-slavery convention, and wrote an account of it, found in Harper's Encyc. of U.S. History.
His life is somewhat connected with that of congressman Francis Preston Brooks, who badly beat Senator Charles Sumner in 1856. Wigfall and Brooks were both born in Edgefield district, SC; both attended South Carolina College, and both shot each other (nonfatally) in a duel in 1841.
Source: James, Anne Royall's U.S.A., p157.
He also was a peace organizer, writing A Solemn Review of the Custom of War, in 1814, and The Friend of Peace from 1819-28.
Uncle of Samuel A. Worcester, the indian missionary.
One of the founders, in 1810, and later corresponding secretary, of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
His brother, Noah Emerson, was a Unitarian minister, and, indeed, was the first editor (1813-18) of the Unitarian publication Christian Discipline, whose name was later The Christian Examiner.
Uncle of Samuel A. Worcester, the indian missionary.
Born in Worcester MA. Nephew of Samuel (1770-1821) and Noah Worcester.
Frances Wright was a British-born radical reformer/adventurer who became an American citizen, and considered the United States her home after 1824.
Born in 1795, She and her younger sister Camila were orphaned very early, and sent to live in London with a grandfather, and an aunt whom she came to despise; she also came to despise their Tory politics. The death of an uncle gave the two Wright sisters a sizeable fortune, and resulted in her foster family (also heirs of the uncle) setting up an estate in Devonshire. She then spent her adolescence (ages 11-18) in the very milieu described in Jane Austen's novels. At 18 Fanny, with her sister, fled their legal guardian, and were welcomed in Glasgow by an uncle, James Mylne, a successor to Adam Smith's professorship of Moral Philosophy. In this great university town, in the bosom of a learned and liberal family, Wright accomplished much of her impressive self-education.
Wright's childhood was spent in the early days of industrialization, during which the landless poor were also being deprived of the use of common lands, and the French Revolution followed by the Napoleonic wars helped generate a violent reaction against liberal ideas by the party in power, which made the U.S.' Alien and Sedition Laws look very pale by comparison.
In this period, America looked to her like the Promised Land, and as soon as she came of age, in 1818, she sailed for New York, with Camilla in tow. During these first years in America, she wrote a very successful play, which flattered the American self-image. Though the sisters filed for U.S. citizenship in late 1820, the two sisters were on their way back to England in early 1821.
Back in England, Frances Wright published Views of Society and Manners in America, which most Americans welcomed as fair and accurate, and which James Fenimore Cooper called "nauseous flattery". She became something of a disciple of the radical-thinking Jeremy Bentham, and then on a visit to France sought out Lafayette, and became his passionate friend for life, spending much of her time at the Lafayette estate.
In 1824, Wright followed Lafayette to the U.S. when he came to see the almost 50 year old nation he had helped liberate. There was much awkwardness with Lafayette's family, so the Wright sisters were kept at arms-length, and they eventually struck out on their own. Since their application for citizenship, the necessary five years had elapsed, and despite their having been out of the country most of that time, citizenship was granted.
Fanny Wright had always abhored American slavery, though it took her a long time to see just how deeply embedded it was in the nation's life. In late 1825, she decided on a scheme to demonstrate just how the U.S. could extricate itself from the "misfortune" of slavery. She would gather a group of slaves (purchase them, in fact), and with them she would break a tract of virgin land on the Wolf River in the wilds of south-western Tennessee. Meanwhile she would educate them morally and intellectually in preparation for freedom. The slaves, understanding her good intent, would work much harder than slaves normally worked. Out of the procedes their purchase cost would be defrayed, with a nicely growing profit so that the venture could not only continue, but expand rapidly. Others, seeing that this sort of enterprise was more profitable than slavery itself, would copy it, which would lead, before very long to the end of slavery in America. The community was called Nashoba.
What happened to Nashoba? It was a well-intended and in some ways ingenious plan, but revealed Wright's problem dealing with or even perceiving human factors, and her lack of grasp of the fragility of human processes.
Under Wright's immediate guidance, and that of George Flower, a true soul-mate to Fanny (and probable lover), the enterprise did look promising. William Maclure, who clearly saw the failure of New Harmony, was "astonished that everything proceeded so smoothly. ... The slaves worked hard without coercion -- even without apparent direction". But by this time, George Flower was already gone (having returned to his wife), and Fanny's health was nearly wrecked by the chronic illnesses, including malaria, suffered by nearly all American pioneers.
To overcome decades of being lied to and abused; to convince slaves of the improbable notion that one who held ownership papers on them was planning their liberation, and, with all this, to lead them through a transformation of their culture from that of slaves to that of free and independent educated people -- without the two tremendously gifted organizers, the process would founder.
Wright decided that to recover her health she would need to travel to a different climate. Thus for most of 1827, she traveled back to Europe. While she was gone, the managers of Nashoba used sometimes terrible judgement in dealing with their charges, and even resorted, on occasion, to whipping. They also informed the world at large of their disdain for the marriage institution, and that one of the men was openly living with a free "mulatto" woman.
In England and France, Wright reenvisioned the enterprise as a communal place of work and education, in which the marriage contract would be invalid (the Rubicon having been crossed), and the two races would learn to live in peace and harmony. From henceforth, they would receive only free blacks, and would educate them for colonization in a land where they would be safe from the viciousness (towards blacks) of white culture in America. It was thought that they could be colonized in Haiti, as a few indeed were at the time of the dissolution of the Nashoba experiment. Unfortunately for Wrights plans, there were no large numbers of free blacks wanting to be sent to a strange new country, much less would the mostly urban free blacks want to serve an apprenticeship in a pestillential swamp in western Tennessee. They rightly doubted that this would be an improvement, even over their current oppressed lives.
Meanwhile, Wright tried to recruit enlightened Europeans to take part in the building of a new world. She found one taker, another Frances, or "Fanny", the mother of Anthony Trollope, who would write a book on the Domestic Manners of the Americans at wide variance from the "nauseous flattery" of Wright's views of the U.S.
Frances Trollope was a lively, open-hearted woman (though a caustic observer), by no means radical in politics, though having some share of liberal optimisim, and able to be dazzled, for a while, as people were, by the brilliant Wright. Mrs Trollope, two of her children, and her artist protege Auguste Hervieau accompanied Wright to America, expecting to spend considerable time in America, away from English creditors, in brilliant company, getting a fine education for her children, and with the artist participating in the experimental educational institute of Nashoba.
As Wright composed a sort of manifesto to be presented to the newpaper of another communal venture in the American west, (Robert Owen's New Harmony), Mrs. Trollope "watched, while Fanny sat on a coiled rope in steerage and read parts to a sailor patching his trousers" the composing of her "Explanatory Notes on Nashoba" (See Jacksonian Miscellanies, 3/25/97, 4/8/97).
Frances Trollope described Nashoba, and the Frances Wright of Nashoba, as follows:
It must have been some feeling equally powerful which enabled Miss Wright, accustomed to all the comfort and refinement of Europe, to imagine not only that she herself could exist in this wilderness, but that her European friends could enter there, and not feel dismayed at the savage aspect of the scene. ... Each building consisted of two large rooms furnished in the most simple manner ...
** [Frances Trollope's footnote]: The Frances Wright of Nashoba, in dress, looks, and manner, bore no more resemblance to the Miss Wright I had known and admired in London and Paris than did her log cabin to the Tuileries or Buckingham Palace. But, to do her justice, I believe her imagination was so exclusively occupied on the scheme sh then had in view that all her other faculties were in a manner suspended, for she appeared perfectly unconscious that her existence was deprived of all that makes life desirable. I never saw, I never heard or read, of any enthusiasm approaching hers, except in some few instances, in ages past, of religious fanatacism. When we arrived at Nashoba, they were without milk, without beverage of any kind except rain water; the river Wolf being too distant to send to constantly. Wheat bread they used but sparingly, and to us the Indian corn bread was uneatable. ... She herself made her meals on a bit of Indian corn bread, and a cup of very indifferent cold water, and while doing so, smiled with the sort of complacency that we may conceive Peter the Hermit felt when eating his acorns in the wilderness.
I shared her bedroom; it had no ceiling, ... The rain had access through the wooden roof, and the chimney, which was of logs, slightly plaistered with mud, caught fire, at least a dozen times in a day; but Frances Wright stood in the midst of all this desolation, with the air of a conqueror ...
The Trollope family and their artist-in-tow soon fled Nashoba, and within a few months Nashoba was no more. Neither the self-supporting institution for buying(!), educating and freeing the slaves, nor the cultivated interracial commune was forthcoming, and Wright had dangerously compromised her modest fortune.
Wright subsequently became co-editor of the New Harmony Gazette, which was renamed the Free Enquirer. She lectured all over the United States (the first woman to so address mixed audiences -- "promiscuous audiences", as they said back then ) promoting strict equality of the sexes, a strong universal education system, free love (and, more or less, abolition of marriage), atheism and communalism. She relocated the Free Enquirer to New York, and there purchased a former Baptist church, rechristening it a "temple of science" - a combination lecture hall with seating for 3000, museum, bookstore, and headquarters. Walt Whitman described her in this period as
Two years later, Wright chartered the brig John Quincy Adams to take the former slaves to Haiti. She was accompanied by William Phiquepal D'Arusmont, an unfortunate traveling companion. She must have felt drawn to him during the difficulties of this trip, for sometime on the voyage she became pregnant by him. She became, for almost five years a recluse, and married D'Arusmont after the child was born. She was so hidden from view that the press did not get to make hay over her illegitimate baby, as much as they delighted in attacking her.
The marriage to D'Arusmont was an empty affair and worse, he gained control of much of her remaining fortune. Late in 1835 she returned to America and tried to stage a comeback as a lecturer. The rest is anticlimactic until her death in 1852, in Cincinnati. She did lecture and write, but no longer reached a large audience. She and D'Arusmont eventually divorced. Her daughter became an ardent Christian and a conservative, and in 1874 testified against woman's suffrage before an American congressional committee.
Principal Source: Eckhardt, Celia Morris Fanny Wright - Rebel in America (Harvard U. Press, 1984).
See also Jacksonian Miscellanies, 3/25/97, 4/8/97.
Born in Amherst, MA. Moved with his father to Wybridge, VT the next year (not on the maps I have checked). He graduated Middlebury College (VT) in 1815. He moved to Sandy Hill, Washington County, NY, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1819. He was surrogate of St. Lawrence County 1821-24, a member of the State senate from 1824-27, appointed Brigidier General of the State Militia in 1827, and the same year, become something of a national figure, as a U.S. Congressman (see above for the rest).