Billeder på siden

thousand dollars, a small part of which he brought from Groton, and a considerable part of which was the increased value of his real estate. Such were the fruits of sixteen years, devoted uninterruptedly to the practice of law. To give its just weight to the above fact, other circumstances should be considered. His family were numerous, but the most rigid economy, frugality and industry prevailed throughout the whole of his domestic establishment. He kept, it is true, a horse and chaise, but he was expensive in nothing, regular in his habits, an early riser, a judicious manager of his affairs, attending to them personally in their minutest details, a severe economist and a good farmer. This sparing of expense extended even to the education of his children. Neither of his sons had a liberal education. Luther, his eldest son, of whom we have already spoken, entered the active scenes of life with scarcely common school instruction. Samuel, his second son, now of Groton, and who has been a distinguished citizen of Mass., both in her courts of law and halls of legislation, entered his father's office as a student at law with a preparation that would hardly qualify him to enter college. James-Green, the youngest son, was fitted for the counting room, but eventually established himself in the profession of law in Frankfort, in Kentucky, where he was the editor of a paper and maintained a respectable standing. Besides, Judge Dana's emoluments for legal tuition must have been something : for the Hon. Jedidiah K. Smith, the Hon. Silas Betton, the Hon. Reuben Kidder and the Hon. Samuel Bell fulfilled their term of legal study in his office. When it is considered that during Judge Dana's practice, the costs taxable in court were more than double what they are at present, and that the honorary fees are about the same, it seems to me, that no high expectations of wealth ought to be inspired in the minds of my younger brethren of the bar. The

dreams of fame may still flatter then, but the dreams of avarice must give way to sober realities. It should be added that several daughters were fitted out at a moderate expense, and that Mr. Dana had the reputation of working cheap.

His wife and 8 children survived him, to wit, Luther, Samuel, James-Green, Amelia, Thesta, Nancy, Mehetabel Brown and Abigail. Of his sons we have already spoken with sufficient particularity for the purposes of this memoir. Or the daughters it remains to say, that Amelia married Jonathan Smith, Esq. of Amherst,—Thesta married Aaron Brown, Esq. of Groton, and Mehetabel married the Hon. Samuel Bell, of Chester, late gov. ernor of the state of New-Hampshire, and now a member of the Senate of the United States. The widow and daughters have all passed to the land of forgetfulness, but not where they are yet forgotten. The sons still remain (1827) active sharers in the busy scenes of life.

His estate was distributed by a will, executed 1795, particularly remarkable for this, that it did not contain the usual invocation of the Deity, nor his religious creed, nor any bequests of his soul or body. This, it is believed, is the first instance in the county of the omission of all these supposed essentials to the validity of a will. It begins thus; “I Samuel Dana, of Amherst, in the county of Hillsborough,and State of New Hampshire, Esq. being in good health and as sound in mind and memory as I ever expect to be, thinking it expedient and proper to leave some directions concern

* T'e sollowing note on some of the members of Judge Dana's family. is added by the editors.- Mailam Aona Dana was the daughter of Mr. Caleb Kenrick, of Newton, Alassachusetts, where she was born April 30, 1742. She died at AmJersi, October 16, 1810, in the 69th year of her age. Mrs Mehetabel Bell, wife of Hon. Samuel Bell, died at Amhersi, August 17, 1810, aged 30 years. Mrs. Brown died at Groton a few years asier, anul Mrs. Smith died about the year 1826, is the city of New York, whither she had gone to reside with her son, Charles W. Smith. Nancy and Abigail diel unmarried, the former at Grocon, and the latter uobile on a visit a: Nowburgport, in 1803, atllie age of 18.

ing my estate, and convinced that a time of sickness is not the most proper for such a purpose, do now make this my last will and testament." While this is no impeachment of his piety, it is strong evidence of his good sense, for what has religion and a creed to do with a will, more than any other instrument of conveyance? To my apprehension the mind that has familiarized itself io the contemplation of the Deity, death and judgment, will not feel any peculiar propriety, in coming out with its religion, on the occasion of making a will. It would be natural only to those who require such an occasion, to call forth such contemplations. The bequest of the soul is quite useless, as we have no tribunals here to carry it into effect, and may as well therefore be omitted.

A few years before his death, which was caused by a typhus fever, violent in its attack and rapid in its progress, he had procured the establishment at Amherst of a lodge of free masons, of which he was the worshipful master. His remains were interred with masonic honors in the family tomb, April 4, 1798, when Timothy Bigelow, Esq., of Groton, a brother mason, delivered on the occasion, a fäneral eulogy, which is in print.

The recent much lamented death of Professor James-Freeman Dana, who was grandson of the subject of the above memoir, and son of Capt. Luther Dana, has produced from some pen the genealogy of the Dana family, [ See Coll. N. H. Hist. Society, vol. II, p. 290,] from which I subjoin the following extract. 66 Their great ancestor, Richard Dana, who came to Massachusetts before the year 1649, settled in Cambridge where he died in 1695, leaving four sons and three daughters, from whom the numerous families of Dana, in New-England are descended. The ancestors between him and Judge Dana, were Caleb, Caleb and Daniel

در و دیار

Memoir of WysEMAN CLAGETT.-By the Hor.


WYSEMAN CLAGETT, from the time of his first arrival at Portsmouth, in this state, in the year 1758, to the time of his death, at Litchfield, in the county of Hillsborough, on the 4th of December, 1784, when he was sixty-three years of age, occupied a wide space in the public consideration, having been a favorite of the Crown under the Provincial Government, and a favorite of the people under that of the Revolution.

He was a native of Bristol in England. Of his ancestors little can be said ; the means of information not being within reach. There is no doubt, however, that he was of an ancient and respectable line, collaterally allied to families of considerable wealth. His father Wyseman Clagett, was a Barrister at Law-occupied a large estate at Bristol, called the Manor of Broad Oaks, had a mansion with twelve chimneys, lived in style, kept a coach and not less than eight servants. By the ease of his disposition, his liberality and extravagance, the amount of his debts at the time of his death equalled the full value of his property, which went to mortgagees instead of his heirs.

But his only son Wyseman, the subject of this memoir, had received a liberal education, was qualified for the profession of the law at the Inns of court, and admitted a barrister of the King's Bench. I would not be understood to mean that he was graduated at either of the universities; but that he had received an early classical education and had that intimate and familiar knowledge with the Latin and Greek languages which the English schools are so distinguished for imparting and to which so few attain in our own country.

He was also a good belles-lettres scholar and when he came to the province of New Hampshire, was well grounded in the principles of the common law of England. Thus without patrimony was he prepared to seek his fortune in the world. His three sisters, neither of whom were ever married, resided at Bristol in ease and affluence on an estate for which they were indebted to the bounty of their aunt, Mrs. Clifton.

In the year 1748, when about twenty-seven years of age, he determined to establish himself in his profession in the Island of Antigua in the West Indies, a colonial possession of the British crown. Preparatory to this enterprize, he was appointed a notary public, a dignity of no small consideration at that period. His commission for this office is a curiosity, and therefore here inserted.

« Thomas, by divine providence, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England and metropolitan by authority of Parliament lawfully empowered for the purposes herein written ; to our beloved in Christ, WISEMAN CLAGETT, gentleman, born in the Diocese of London, health and grace; We being willing by reason of your merits, to confer on you a suitable title of promotion, do create you a public notary: previous examination and the other requisites to be herein observed having been had; and do, out of our favor towards you, admit you into the number and society of other notaries ; to the end that you may henceforward in all places exercise such office of notary. Hereby decreeing that full faith ought to be given as well in judgment as thereout to the instruments to be from this time made by you ; the oaths hereunder written being by us, or our master of the faculties, first required of you, and by you sworn.

« ForrigeFortsæt »