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him as an “unthinking, volatile, restless years of age.” The family tradition is, young creature.”

that he was a very engaging boy.

He completed his preparation for col“I fear too,” he adds, “ that he may have lege at home, partly under the tuition of received some contamination (though I hope

the now venerable Dr. Jenks. He was not much) from the indecent and licentious manners of many boys in this place; from

matriculated at Harvard College in 1801, whose society, however, we have endeavored, when not quite thirteen years old. Before as far as possible, to preserve him.”

he entered upon his third college year,

his father died, August 27, 1803. This But no evidence of such contamination made some change in the circumstances appears; on the contrary, all his letters, of the family, his father leaving little from the earliest, show a mind superior to low tastes and passions. His parents, Chief Justice Parsons was prominent,

property. But friends, among whom in parting with him, were “ comforted interested themselves in their behalf, and with the idea of committing him to new

he was able to go on with his college parents so tender, wise, and faithful.”

course. He seems to have been suitably His own account of his abode with Dr. impressed by his father's death, and to Dana is :

have desired to make the best use of his " I became a member of his family when opportunities. Writing June 6, 1804, a child of seven years old, and remained to his only sister, then at Portsmouth, N. under his roof the greater part of the time H., he says : from two to three years. During that period, he treated me with the kindness of a father;

“When we reflect upon the situation in and continued ever after, while he lived, to which we are, how ought we to double our express toward me a truly parental affection. diligence, in order to answer, in some meas* He took a deep interest in children

ure, the expectations of our friends, grounded and young people, and was fond of convers- on the knowledge of the excellent counsels we ing with them, of promoting their improve have received, and examples we have seen! ment, of drawing them out, and of contrib

How ought we to strive to behave in such a uting to their enjoyment. He took a good manner as to gratify and comfort our dear deal of pains, while I was in his family attend- mother! How ought we to labor to pursue ing school in the place, in showing me how that conduct which we have reason to believe to read and speak with propriety and impres- would please our deceased father, were he on siveness, and often called me out to speak the earth to witness it !" little pieces he had taught me, for the entertainment of his guests. * I ought to

August 27, 1804, he informs his sister be a wiser and better man, in consequence of that he has delivered his oration at the the favor conferred upon me, in being placed Junior Exhibition. He praises some of so early under his parental care, and in con

the other parts, but says not a word in tinuing so long to be blessed with his counsels and prayers."

praise of his own. With quite another

spirit he writes : He appears to have left Dr. Dana's in

“How swift, Hannah, are the moments of the spring of 1798. In July, his father

time! It is just a year to-day since papa died; writes Dr. Dana that he “still continues

since we saw him breathe his last; since we good and promising." It was about this

saw him, with his eyes raised to heaven, die time that his kinsman, Mr. John Tappan, the death of the righteous. How much reawho, though several years his senior, yet son have we to be humble, that we have made survives him, first saw him “an exceed

no better improvement of this dispensation; ingly interesting youth, of ten or eleven

that we have no better obeyed his dying
advice, when he charged us so solemnly to
love God supremely, and our neighbor as

1 Dr. Tappan's letter on Dr. Dana. Sprague's
Annals, 1. 601.

During the following vacation, he made


a visit to some friends in Weathersfield, months. I have always had a great inclinaConn., taking New Haven on his way, and tion to try my talents of instruction. How I

succeed, time must determine.” apparently attending Commencement there. From New Haven to Weathers- Some further extracts from the letter field he rode “in company with Dr. Morse may not only be interesting in themand Mr. William Channing;”? with whom selves, but throw light upon his mode of also, the following day, he dined “at thinking and feeling at the time. Colonel Chester's; and, the next day, heard them preach two most excellent

“As to college affairs, I have not much to sermons." Returning to Cambridge, be president ? yet remains unanswered, and

tell you. The long-asked question, Who is to September 27, he found his Cambridge there seems to be no clew by which to discover friends all well, and endeavored to enter what will be the event. It seems to be gentain them with the account of his very erally thought, however, that Dr. Pearson is agreeable journey.

to be the man; and if it be true, as I believe

it is, that the (Hollis) professorship has fallen “But every pleasure is blended with some

into the hands of a man who has fallen off pain, every joy with some sorrow. So it was

from the good faith of our forefathers, it is when I found our much esteemed and beloved

very desirable that the president should be of President Willard cut off from the land of

the old-fashioned stamp, that so he might the living. His funeral I attended on Satur- give a tone of orthodoxy to the college. As day, at which I was much gratified with the

to Mr. Ware, I have been in his company excellent eulogy of Mr. Webber, as likewise

once or twice, and am exceedingly pleased with Mr. Holmes's sermon, the next day, from

with his appearance and manner. His senthis text: "They that be wise shall shine as

timents, whatever they may be, he does not the brightness of the firmament.'”

appear at all solicitous to bring forward. The

list of books, which he has made out for some August 28, 1805, he took his leave of of the theological students in town, is very

much like that which papa used to give; Alma Mater, delivering a Latin oration

such a list as would enable a man to read and on the “ Connection of Things Material judge for himself, by comparing arguments and Intellectual,” still extant, and not on one side with those on the other. discreditable to a youth not yet quite “Last Sunday, Enoch,” the eldest of the seventeen. There is every evidence that three brothers, “and myself, went to hear he made a good use of his time and Mr. Buckminsters in the forenoon. He is

certainly a very good preacher, perhaps not advantages while in college, and that he

a very useful one, for I still think Mr. Chanheld a high rank in his class; further- ning much better. I wish you would tell more, that his mind was of the sober

aunt, that, in some parts of his sermon, he cast, actuated by a high sense of moral struck me as orthodoxical. He combated obligation, no stranger to serious thought. the opinion, as one of the most dangerous Before this time the family had gone

errors in Christendom, that morality was

all that was necessary; and that, if a man back to their old abode at West New

lived well, he would certainly go to heaven. bury. But he appears not to have for. He said that the gospel was not intended so saken Cambridge at once after his grad- much to reveal the duties of morality, (for uation, or at least not to have remained they were known before,) but to reveal docaway. November 8, 1805, however, he

trines for belief, in order to support and writes from Cambridge:

strengthen practice; for, without these arti

cles of faith, a good practice could not be “On Monday next I think of entering into

maintained." a school at Woburn, which I shall keep two

After teaching two months at Wo

burn, he returned to Cambridge, and : Dr. William Ellery Channing, who had not then developed his Unitarian views, which Dr. Morse afterwards was the first to expose and : J. S. Buckminster, of Brattle Street Church, denounce.

then at the hight of his popularity.

spent some weeks“ in reading and ticular tenets so much as many of them do. studying, in writing in the office” (of Dr. Barnard is a very agreeable man in the Mr. Bartlett, his guardian), “ and visit- pulpit, and still more so in his house. One

evening last week I spent at the doctor's, ing.”

and he was exceedingly entertaining. He February 28, 1806, he writes from Wo

told me a number of very fine stories, and burn again, having resumed his school; is he told them with very great spirit and more favorably situated for study than animation." he was before; takes care not to lose

October 13, 1806, he writes of a the advantages of exercise; on a very intimate footing at “ Parson Chicker- jaunt he had made to Newburyport and ing's;” rides with him one day to Cam- Ipswich, seeing his old friend Dr. Dana, bridge, where he spends the day very conferring with him in regard to the bridge, where he spends the day very publication of his father's lectures, and agreeably; affected by the death of one of his scholars, for all of whom he has making him, on his mother's behalf, the great attachment.

present of a coat, at which “ the good How long this second period of teach- man's heart seemed full; it overflowed, ing at Woburn lasted does not appear; he writes, he has been to see a Quaker

I believe, at his eyes.” The evening that but, in May, he writes again from Cambridge, the week after election. He

aunt in Salem, on whose goodness he had heard Dr. Lyman's Convention

expatiates : Sermon.

“How much preferable is the plain lan

guage and unceremonious salutation of a "A very Calvinistic one, and therefore it Quaker, if accompanied by a hearty welcome, did not please the Boston part of his audience. to the round of unmeaning compliments and It does not strike one agreeably to see a most fervent good-for-nothing wishes which clergyman stand up before so large a number flow from the lips of fashionable people, of his brethren of different opinions, and intended, as it would seem, to serve as a subadvance his sentiments in so bold a manner, stitute for genuine friendship and hospitality! and hold them up as absolutely essential Genuine benevolence is a jewel of inestimapoints of faith. We dined at Lawyer Par- ble value. The lustre it diffuses around him sons', with Governor Strong's daughter, and who wears it is more glorious than all the considerable other company."

pomp of wealth, and all the magnificence of

honor, and all the brilliancy of learning." In a letter from Dr. Tappan, which appears in the present Judge Parsons' The sequel of his life shows that this Memoir of his father, he says:

was, with him, no transient sentiment. “My oldest brother and myself, by his kind “See what a long dissertation,” he contininvitation, often visited him and his family


“the kindness of Aunt N. has led me to! at his hospitable mansion in Pearl Street,

You must expect that a young man, who exBoston. Whenever I was in his company,

pects one day to become a preacher, should he treated me very kindly, and gave me such

now and then scrmonize in his letters; espeadvice as he thought adapted to my age and cially when he cannot find much time to sercircumstances."

monize in any other way, as is pretty much

the case with me. For what with school, and In June, 1806, he commences a school the visiting that must unavoidably be made, at Salem.

very little time is left me for study."

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“I have not yet determined what minister Here is the first intiination, in his letconstantly to attend, but probably it will be

ters, of his intention to be a preacher of Mr. Worcester. Last Sunday, I heard him

the gospel. He was, however, growing preach a most admirable sermon from these words: “The heavens declare the glory of up with no other expectation, and would God.' He is a Hopkinsian, to be sure; but seem all along to have been directing his it is said that he does not dwell upon his par- thoughts and studies accordingly; under


the guidance, somewhat, of the list of power to testify his sincere wishes for books which Dr. Ware had made out. her improvement and happiness.”

The extracts already made from his In another letter he advises his sister letters give some idea of the life he led to be sparing in her reading of novels, at Salem. He says a good deal about as " much better for the dessert than for the frequency of parties, balls, etc. the substantial part of the feast.” From his youth up, evidently, he had He continued at: Salem teaching more keen enjoyment of society. Conversing than three years. At a meeting of the about his life at Salem, as death ap- Trustees and Overseers of Bowdoin Colproached, he expressed the conviction lege, in May, 1809, Mr. Andrews Norton that he was then too much given to and Mr. Benjamin Tappan were chosen social pleasures. Balls, however, and tutors of that institution, their term of . dancing generally, he appears to have service to begin at the succeeding comkept aloof from.

mencement. Both accepted the appoint

ment, the former holding it one year, “I do not like the appearance," he writes

the latter two. They had been three his sister, “of a young man who continues

years together at Harvard, Mr. Norton to practise these amusements till his profession obliges him to desist, as is the case with being of the class of 1804. many students in divinity."

The first letter written by Mr. Tappan

to his family after entering upon the He prayed constantly in his school. duties of his tutorship is lost, unfortuHe pursues often quite a serious train nately, so that there is no record of his of reflection in his letters.

first impressions of Bowdoin College, or When his Christian life commenced, of its honored and revered President, there is nothing to show. It is not Appleton. The number both of teachers known that he himself was able to fix and of pupils was then comparatively the point. It would seem that the reli- small; the buildings few; the grounds gious influences surrounding him from far less attractive than at present. the first were continually producing an Cleaveland, however, was there, as well effect. The impression among his friends as Appleton, and there was some pleasis, that the more manifest beginning was ant society out of the college. The in his twelfth or thirteenth year. He had tutors seem to have boarded at the same not, however, when at Salem, joined house, and generally to have walked, himself to the visible church. Perhaps ridden, and visited together. One of it was owing partly to this that he was their rides was to Bath, where they called drawn into no special religious activ- upon Mr. Tappan's former teacher, Mr. ities there, so far as appears, nor into Jenks, now the venerable Dr. Jenks, then attendance upon any devotional services pastor of one of the churches there. during the week. How much he put himself privately under the influence of

“Professsor Cleaveland we call on every Mr. Worcester does not appear, nor

day, and spend a half hour in pleasant chat.

The President, who, by the indeed whether there was any special way, is one of the best men in the world, we acquaintance between them, though visit once a week or fortnight. The pleasthere must have been more or less, antest family to which we have been intro

He writes his sister in regard to her duced since I wrote before is that of Dr. education, expressing the opinion that

Porter, of Topsham, who married a sister of

Rufus and William King, and is treasurer of “ a superficial education is little better,

the college.” if not worse, than nothing," and offering to defray her expenses at a school in So he keeps up his social habits, though Newburyport, “happy that it is in his he says in another letter:

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called on

“I spend my time in a very sober way, we subscribe ourselves your friends and visit but little, and consequently read and pupils. study a good deal."


“NATHANIEL GROTON, He accompanied Professor Cleaveland

“ WINTHROP HILTON, on some of his " mineralogical expedi

“ WILLIAM H. ROBBINS, tions ;” one to Harpswell, where they

“ELIJAH KING. “ Parson Eaton," one of the “BENJAMIN TAPPAN, A. M., Tutor.” remarkable characters of Maine at that day, of whom Sprague's Annals contains But these two years are chiefly interan interesting account.

esting in their relation to Mr. Tappan's Mr. Tappan's letters say little in regard after-life. In these years, he was to comto the incidents of his tutor's life proper. plete his preparation for the ministry; One rather amusing scene he relates of indeed, to commence his career as a his manner of dealing with some mid- preacher. night rioters in college, showing, at least, His opportunities for theological study that he was not wanting in determina. were, of course, better than they had tion and courage. He had a reputation, been before, and he gave himself to it with some, for severity. He always had more earnestly. Unfortunately, his lethigh notions of discipline, and found ters to Dr. Dana, of which there was it difficult to be patient with blundering quite a series, and which, as is shown by recitations. It may be that he was too Dr. Dana's letters in reply, spoke of his stern sometimes. When one who was a theological studies, and propounded varistudent at the time Mr. Tappan was ous questions, besides saying something tutor, in the half-century historical dis- of his religious feelings, cannot be found. course delivered in 1846, among his play- The image, however, stands forth ful allusions to the past, said that Tutor plainly enough of an humble, ingenuous, Tappan used to be thought somewhat prayerful student, anxious always to severe, the only and the very character know the teachings of the Divine Word, istic reply made by Dr. Tappan, in his and bowing reverently to them. How speech at the dinner afterwards, was, much he conversed with Mr. Norton on “ It must be remembered that, when I theological topics, does not appear. He became tutor, I was a young man, not speaks of him as preaching “elegant quite twenty-one years of age.”

sermons,” but as “not being orthodox The following paper, presented on the and animated enough to be popular.” He expiration of his tutorship, in 1811, bears does not seem to have been at all drawn witness to his conscientious fidelity : to the views which Mr. Norton held, and “Impressed with a sense of the strong

which afterwards, as professor in the obligations we are under to you for your Cambridge Divinity School, and in his assiduous care, unwearied attentions, and books, he set forth with such learning unremitted exertions for our improvement and ability. But Mr. Tappan, ,

of course, in science during the year past, we, members

with such a man at his side, thus reof the Fresh nan Class, beg leave to express

minded also how many others held the our grateful acknowledgments, and tender you our sincere thanks. The important ser

same opinions, would be all the more vices which you have rendered us are entitled careful to assure himself that his own to our lasting remembrance

faith rested on solid foundations. Dr. brance, which, we are persuaded, neither the

Dana gave him some excellent counsel, progress of time, nor the changes of situation, particularly on the wisdom of knowing can ever efface. Permit us, sir, to declare our

“ how much need not be known," and of ardent wishes for your future prosperity and happiness.

being “well grounded, both in head and “With sentiments of esteem and respect, heart, in positive truth; in the undenia

a remem

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