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MEMOIR OF REV. ZEPHANIAH SWIFT MOORE, D. D., PRESIDENT
OF AMHERST COLLEGE.
BY HON. EMORY WASHBURN OF WORCESTER.
The name of Dr. Moore is associated in the mind of the writer with scenes of childhood and impressions which leave the most indel. ible traces upon the memory.
The old church in which he preached stands before me with its square pews, its “ body seats," its high box of a pulpit, surrounded by a formidable “sounding board,” and the soft earnest tones of the preacher's voice as he pressed home the truths which he uttered to a listening congregation, still linger on the ear, though time has left scarce à trace to the outward eye, as they then appeared, of either preacher, or church, or congregation.
The preacher has long been gathered to his fathers, his corporeal frame with its fine form and stately proportions has long since mingled with the dust, but the impressions of respect with which the mind of childhood regarded him as great among the wise and good men of the land, and which were in no degree weakened by the sure test of our intimate knowledge of the character of his mind and heart in the familiar intercourse of maturer life, are still as vivid as ever.
At the time at which this sketch begins, Dr. Moore was minister of the then only Congregational Church and Society in Leicester, Ms. He was settled there Jan. 10, 1798, upon a salary of $100, and remained the pastor of that church until Oct. 28, 1811, wlien he removed to Dartmouth College, to assume the duties of the Professorship of Languages in that important institution, to which he had been appointed.
As this was the only society to which he ever held that relation, it may be the most proper place in which to speak of his ministerial character.
Few men have stood higher in the estimate of those who knew him best. He had few striking brilliant points of character, yet he had so many of the best qualifications of a parish minister, and these so happily blended, that his influence was far more extensively and deeply felt than that of many whose reputation for eloquence has been the most distinguished.
In every thing that related to his parochial duties he was well nigh faultless. There was a dignity and urbanity of manner that won the esteem, while it commanded the respect of young and old. In his social intercourse with his people, he was a welcome and most interesting companion, and upon the young, both in the schools and in casual interviews, when occasionally thrown in his way, he always left the impression of being a kind and instructive guide, which gained their confidence and affection.
He was a man of such systematic economy of time, that, although he left none of the multifarious duties of his situation undischarged, he was able to pursue a constant and unwearied course of study, by which, in addition to his attainments as a preacher, he was able to hold a respectable if not a high rank as a scholar.
His sermons were models of purity of style and clearness of thought. There was nothing loose, careless or slovenly about any of his pulpit exercises. In his mode of delivering them, he had little of impassioned
eloquence or action. His voice, though not loud, was uncommonly clear and pleasant in its tones, and though he never attempted to carry away his audience by striking metaphors or stirring appeals, he rarely, if ever, fell below the point at which he aimed.
Not only was he able to accomplish the duties of a minister of the gospel in the manner already described, but was from 1798 to 1812 an active member of the Board of Trustees of Leicester Academy, one of the oldest and most respectable literary institutions in Massachusetts, and,
upon Mr. Adams (afterwards Prof. Adams of Dartmouth College,) resigning the place of Principal of that Academy, in 1806, he filled that office for the term of one year with ability and entire success.
During his connection with his people in Leicester, there was a uniform state of harmony prevailing between him and the society, which is rarely witnessed in this day of superior light and freedom! It was not deemed the duty of every minister then to become the convert of every new ism that happened to be broached, nor was it thought the true way to win souls, to carry on a crusade against national sins at the expense of domestic duties.
And when, at last, the connection between him and his society was severed, there was but one feeling, and that of deep regret, that they were to lose a pastor whom they esteemed, and a friend whom they loved. The whole parish assembled when he left town, to give him their parting good wishes, and many of them attended him several miles on his way, as a mark of the respect which they all felt.
Soon after his settlement in Leicester, he married Phebe, daughter of Thomas Drury, Esq., of Ward, (now Auburn,) in whom he found a helpmate and a companion suited to his taste, and to whom he was greatly indebted for the orderly arrangement of his family affairs, by which he was enabled to devote so much of his time to his study and his people. Though in the receipt only of the humble salary which has been mentioned, his table was always plentifully spread, his house was the pattern of neatness and order, and all who shared its hospitalities felt how much of a minister's ability to wring out of a scanty salary the means of being liberal, depends upon her who has the charge of his household.
The rank which Dr. Moore attained in life has much in it to encourage young mien in their struggles to rise by their own exertions and win success by their own merits. He had neither the aid of wealth nor family influence to sustain him in the outset. His father was a farmer, by no means a Muent, who removed from Palmer in this State, where the subject of this notice was born, Nov. 20, 1770, to Wilming. ton, Vt., when he was about seven or eight years of age. He there labored upon his father's farm till about eighteen years of age, and although he always possessed an inquiring mind and a decided taste for scientific investigation, he found but few opportunities for cultivating it, as the means of education at that time enjoyed in that part of Vermont were exceedingly limited.
At that age, having resolved to obtain an education, he went through a course of preparatory studies at Bennington Academy, and the fol. lowing year entered Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 1793. He there was a most industrious and devoted student, rising, a considerable portion of the year, some hours before light, and justly sustained a high rank in his class; and at the time of his graduation delivered the Philosophical Oration, then one of the highest honors among the commencement exercises at that college.
After leaving college he was engaged a year as Principal of the Londonderry Academy in New Hampshire, after which he commenced the study of theology under the instruction of Rev. Dr. Charles Backus of Somers, Ct., and was licensed to preach, Feb. 3, 1796. As this was before the day of theological seminaries, students in divinity were obliged to content themselves with private tuition, and the number of those who, from time to time, resorted to Dr. Backus for this purpose, is a strong proof of the estimation in which he was held as a profound scholar and divine.
Dr. Moore filled the place of Professor of Languages in Dartmouth College with great acceptance, till the commencement of 1815, when, having been elected President of Williams College, he resigned and removed to Williamstown. There he remained until he became the first President of Amherst College, (then Collegiate Institution,) in 1821. He remained at the head of that institution till his death, which took place after a brief sickness, on the 29th of June, 1823, in the 53rd year of his age.
Although justly held in high estimation as a minister, it was in his character as a college officer that he shone most conspicuously. His tastes and habits of thought and application fitted him peculiarly for that place. His learning, though for obvious reasons not very profound, was nevertheless accurate, and his mind so firmly disciplined that it could readily be brought into use whenever occasion called for it. No man however was further from every thing like pedantry or display. He delighted in exciting a love of knowledge in the minds of the young, and was always ready to aid them in its pursuit by ready and varied illustrations, drawn from the rich storehouse of his own mind. No one ever sat at his table or spent a half-hour in his study, or travelled with him in a stage-coach, without feeling that he was made wiser, if not better by it.
Although called upon to meet heavy responsibilities and encounter difficulties and embarrassments in the offices which he held, he never, for a moment, shrunk from meeting and sustaining them. Though diffident and even self-distrustful, he never seemed to know the emotion of fear in the course of duty. With all his blandness of manner and uniform equanimity of temper, his firmness was rarely if ever shaken. He was connected with Dartmouth College during some of its dark hours; but he never wavered in his faithfulness to his trust.
When he took the office of President of Williams College, the institution was in a low and feeble condition. Many doubted if, in its present location, it would ever rise to the rank it ought to hold, and it was thought the public good required its removal to a more central and accessible point in the Commonwealth. Of this number was Dr. Moure, and he consequently took an active part in promoting such a measure. Great opposition to this was made by many friends of the College, and much dissatisfaction was felt by some that the President should have lent his influence in favor of such a renova). Yet, although the meas. ure failed, no one ever thought of charging Dr. Moore with neglecting his duties to the College, or of being actuated by any thing but a proper regard for the institution under his charge.
He was, however, willing to take charge of an institution which might be located near the place to which he would have removed Williams College, and consequently, upon the invitation of the Trustees of the Collegiate Institution at Amherst, became its first President,
in the autumn of 1821, and devoted the whole energies of his mind to raise and establish it in an honorable rank among the colleges of New England.
It was in this field, while engaged in this struggle, that he fell with his armor opon him, in the midst of his strength and usefulness. He was mourned as a public loss to the cause of learning, of education, and of the church, and his memory will long be cherished wherever he was known.
If there was any point in which Dr. Moore particularly excelled as a college officer, it was in the matter of government. In this he was unsurpassed. Though rarely, if ever, betrayed into a harsh or hasty expression, and even though when most tried he was able to command that uniform blandness of manner that went far towards healing the pain he inflicted, yet that student must be hardened or obtuse indeed, who could stand before his rebuke, or fail to yield to the requirements he imposed. He had, withal, the love and esteem of his pupils, who looked up to him as a counsellor and friend as well as a teacher.
We have alluded to the family of Dr. Moore, and are able to add only a brief trace of his genealogy.
His father's name was Judah, who was born in Worcester, May 24, 1730. His mother's name originally was Mary Swift, the daughter of Zephaniah Swift. She was born at Sandwich. Her mother was Lydia, the daughter of — Chipman. They were married May 23, 1753. The father of Judah was Jonathan, and his mother, Mary. They had five children; Eliphalet, b. March 31, 1722; Asahel, b. Oct. 3, 1723; Francis, b. July 25, 1726; Mary, b. Aug. 13, 1728; and Judah. Jonathan was born in Sudbury, and was one of seven brothers. Their father was a native of Lancashire, England. Jonathan removed to Worcester about 1722, and died there in the early part of 1732. His wife was the daughter of the Hon. Francis Fullam, for many years Chief-Justice of the Court of Common Pleas for the County of Middlesex. He held the office of Judge of that court from 1719 to 1755, besides other important places, such as Colonel in the Militia, Member of the Council, &c. He at one time resided in Sudbury, and became a member of the church in Weston at the “ Farms,” so called, at its organization in 1709. He died in Weston, Jan. 18, 1758, at the age of 87.
The father of Dr. Moore had five children, three sons and two daughters. One of the sons settled as a farmer in Wilmington, Vt., and had a family of children. One sister married - Warriner, the ancestor of the very respectable families of that name in Springfield, Ms. The other married the Rev. Winslow Packard, who was born in Bridgewater in 1751, was graduated at Dartmouth College in 1777, settled over a church and society in Wilmington, Vt., July, 1781, and died Oct. 12, 1784. She afterwards married Rev. Edmund Mills, who was born in Kent, Ct., in 1752, was graduated at Yale College in 1775, settled over the church and society in Sutton, Ms., June 29, 1790, and died at the age of 74, Nov. 7, 1825. After his decease she married the late eminent Rev. Dr. Emmons of Franklin.
Dr. Moore left no children. His widow still survives, the respected relict of one whose interests and success in life she did so much to advance by her counsel and her aid.
MEMOIR OF ALBERT G. UPHAM, M. D., OF BOSTON.
We named, in our last number, the decease of Dr. Albert G. Upham of this city, with the remark that we should insert a brief notice of him in the present number.
Dr. Upham was one of the original members of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and from his interest in its objects and his worth of character is entitled to more than a passing notice. He was born at Rochester, N. H., on the 10th of July, 1819, and was the youngest child of Hon. Nathaniel Upham, who was a member of Congress from New Hampshire for the 15th, 16th, and 17th Congresses, from 1817 to 1823. His grandfather was Rev. Timothy Upham, who graduated at Harvard University, 1768, and was the first settled minister of Deerfield, N. H., where he officiated for 39 years until his decease in 1811.
The mother of Dr. Upham was Judith, only daughter of Hon. Thomas Cogswell of Gilmanton, N. H., who was a descendant of John Cogswell, who emigrated to this country and settled in Ipswich in Massachusetts, in 1635.*
Dr. Upham was early deprived of the advice and guidance of his father, and became the object of the tender solicitude of a mother, to whom he was enthusiastically devoted, and of brothers and sisters, whose care and kindness were amply repaid in the affection and worth of the deceased.
From his youth he was an admirer of the works of nature, and an ardent investigator of her mysteries. He commenced early making collections in Botany, Ornithology, Mineralogy, and Geology, and ultimately became deeply versed in these departments of knowledge. Instead of spending his time in the ordinary amusements of youth, his leisure hours were devoted to these pursuits
. He was often absent on solitary journeys to the sea-shore, or to the retired scenery of the interior, with his rifle in hand, and never failed to bring home some trophy or treasure for his cabinet. On a slight acquaintance with him, Audubon, the distinguished naturalist, became so interested in his early attainments in his favorite science, as to present him a copy of his works, as a mark of his respect and esteem.
From young Upham's love of nature and desire to witness her works in all their exhibitions, may be traced a peculiar passion for the sea. It became an early subject of his contemplation, and of his day and night dreains. This passion it was thought desirable he should indulge, and at the age of thirteen he was placed under the care of an experienced ship-master at Kennebunkport, Me., with whom he sailed for New Orleans, and thence to Liverpool. He always spoke with delight of his early acquaintance with the ocean, and of the careeriug of its wild
* From a brief work, published by Dr. Upham, on his family history, which we would recommend as a model for such investigations, we abstract the following notice of his early ancestry: His great-grandfather was Timothy Upham of Malden, Ms., who was the son of Phineas Upham, third, ot' that place, who was the eldest son of Dea. Phineas Upham, who was eldest son of Lieut. Phineas Upham, who died of wounds received in the capture of the Indian fort at Narrazanset, Rhode Island, in 1675.
Lieut. Phineas Upham was the son of John Upham, the original ancestor of the family in this country, who was born in England in 1597, and emigrated to this country in 1635, and was one of the first settlers in Weymouth in the Massachusetts Colony, whence he removed to Malden, in 1648. He died at the advanced age of 84, and his tombstone is still remaining near the centre of the old churchyard in Malden.