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Edward Everett


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 4th district
In office
March 4, 1825 – March 3, 1835
Preceded by Timothy Fuller
Succeeded by Samuel Hoar

In office
January 13, 1836 – January 18, 1840
Lieutenant George Hull
Preceded by Samuel Turell Armstrong (acting)
Succeeded by Marcus Morton

In office
November 6, 1852 – March 3, 1853
President Millard Fillmore
Preceded by Daniel Webster
Succeeded by William L. Marcy

In office
March 4, 1853 – June 1, 1854
Preceded by John Davis
Succeeded by Julius Rockwell

Born April 11, 1794(1794-04-11)
Boston, Massachusetts
Died January 15, 1865 (aged 70)
Boston, Massachusetts
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Charlotte Gray Brooks
Children Anne Gorham Everett
Charlotte Brooks Everett
Grace Webster Everett
Edward Brooks Everett
Henry Sidney Everett
William Everett
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation Politician, educator
Religion Unitarian
Signature

Edward Everett (April 11, 1794 – January 15, 1865) was an American politician and educator from Massachusetts. Everett, a Whig, served as U.S. Representative, and U.S. Senator, the 15th Governor of Massachusetts, Minister to Great Britain, and United States Secretary of State. He also taught at Harvard University and served as president of Harvard.

Contents

Early life and education

Birthplace of Everett in Dorchester, MA. ca.1898 photo

He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to the Rev. Oliver Everett[1], a 1779 graduate of Harvard College,[2] and Lucy Hill, the daughter of Alexander S. Hill of Philadelphia. He attended Boston Latin School and at the age of 13, he was admitted to Harvard University. In 1811, at age 17, he graduated as the valedictorian of his class. He studied theology under the urging of the Rev. Joseph Stevens Buckminster, and was ordained pastor of the Brattle Street Church in Boston in 1814. But he soon gave up the pulpit for further studies and a post as professor of Greek Literature.

By arrangement with Harvard, Everett spent two years in Europe, studying and traveling on full salary. He spent much of this time at the University of Göttingen in Germany, where he became the first American to receive a German Ph.D.. He learned French, German, and Italian, and studied Roman law, archaeology, and Greek art.

He returned to Harvard in 1819, and took up his teaching duties. He hoped to implant the scholarly methods of Germany at Harvard, but after a few years became bored with drilling students in Greek grammar, and became active in politics.

Marriage and children

On May 8, 1822 Edward Everett married Charlotte Gray Brooks, daughter of Peter Chardon Brooks and Ann Gorham. Ann was the daughter of Rebecca Call and Nathaniel Gorham, the fourteenth President of the United States in Congress assembled, under the Articles of Confederation. They had six children:

  1. Anne Gorham Everett (March 3, 1823 – October 18, 1854)
  2. Charlotte Brooks Everett (August 13, 1825 – December 15, 1879); married Captain Henry Augustus Wise USN
  3. Grace Webster Everett (December 24, 1827 – 1836)
  4. Edward Brooks Everett (May 6, 1830 – November 5, 1861); married Helen Cordis Adams
  5. Henry Sidney Everett (December 31, 1834 – October 4, 1898); married Katherine Pickman Fay
  6. William Everett (October 10, 1839 – February 16, 1910); U.S. Representative from Massachusetts

He was the great uncle of Edward Everett Hale.

Early political career

Edward Everett

In 1824, Everett was elected U.S. Representative from Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District. The Federalist Party had collapsed, and the victorious Democratic-Republican Party had become diffuse, so no formal party affiliations existed at this time. Everett was associated with the "National Republican" faction of John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay. He supported Clay's "National System" and the interests of Massachusetts' propertied class. Everett was re-elected to four additional terms as a National Republican, serving until 1835. (The National Republicans became the Whig Party in 1834.)

Everett resigned his professorship in 1826, but remained associated with Harvard as a member of the Board of Overseers, serving until 1847.

Everett retired from Congress in 1835. Instead he ran for Governor of Massachusetts as a Whig. He was elected, taking office in January 1836. He was re-elected in 1836, 1837, and 1838, but was narrowly defeated in 1839. As Governor, he sought to improve public education in the state, following the Prussian model.

Diplomatic service

After leaving office in January 1840, Everett traveled in Europe with his family for several months. When the Whigs won the 1840 election, Everett was appointed "Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James" (that is, ambassador to Great Britain) at the recommendation of his friend Daniel Webster. He served until 1845, when after a change of administrations he was replaced by Democrat Louis McLane.

Return to Harvard

With the Democrats in power, Everett was out of office. He took up the post of President of Harvard University in 1846, serving until 1849. He was not enamored of the job, finding that Harvard was short of resources. He was not popular with the rowdy students, who nicknamed him "Old Granny". Nonetheless, he completed several important reforms and established Harvard's first school of science.

Later political career

Edward Everett

When the Whigs won the 1848 election and returned to power in 1849, Everett resigned from Harvard and resumed political activity in Washington. He assisted Webster, now Secretary of State, and when Webster died in November 1852, President Fillmore appointed him to serve the remaining four months of Webster's term (till March 1853).

Meanwhile, Massachusetts elected Everett to the Senate, for a term starting March 4, 1853. As a Senator he angered Massachusetts anti-slavery men by not voting on the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Everett was nominally anti-slavery, but seemed overly concerned with placating pro-slavery Southerners to avoid civil war. This did not satisfy the increasingly vehement anti-slavery Massachusetts public. In April 1854, he presented a petition from the people of Dedham against the Missouri Compromise and one from the people of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in favor of securing religious freedom for Americans abroad.[3] On June 1, 1854, after only a little more than one year of a six year term, Everett resigned.

Last years

Free of political obligations, Everett traveled the country with his family, occasionally giving public speeches in support of the Union and other good causes. He was by this time a famous orator, known for both the quality of his text and his outstanding delivery. He took up the cause of preserving George Washington's home at Mount Vernon. His speaking tour raised almost $70,000 for that purpose.

The 1860 election threatened to produce a national crisis, with pro-slavery Southerners splitting the Democratic Party, and threatening secession if a Republican was selected President. The Whig Party no longer existed, but a group of former Whigs formed the Constitutional Union Party, which claimed as its sole principle the preservation of the Union. The Constitutional Union Party nominated John Bell for President, and Everett for Vice President. The Bell-Everett ticket received less than 13% of the vote, mostly in the South.

With the election of Lincoln, the Civil War broke out. Everett, though he had been a moderate on the slavery issue, was an ardent Unionist. He devoted his efforts to raising support for the Union cause through public speaking. In November 1863, when the military cemetery at Gettysburg was dedicated, Everett was the featured speaker. His two-hour formal oration preceded the much shorter, but now far more famous Gettysburg Address of President Lincoln. For his part, Everett was deeply impressed by the concise speech and wrote to Lincoln noting "I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes."[4]

In the 1864 election, Everett campaigned extensively for Lincoln and the "Union" Party, as the Republicans called themselves that year. He exhausted himself in this effort, and died on January 15, 1865.

Everett died in Boston and is interred at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Everett also had a love for mathematics as can be seen from his probably most famous quote: ‘In the pure mathematics we contemplate absolute truths which existed in the divine mind before the morning stars sang together, and which will continue to exist there when the last of their radiant host shall have fallen from heaven.’

Notes

  1. ^ He was the one time pastor at the New South Church, in Boston, Massachusetts.
  2. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=-vMWAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA534&lpg=PA534&dq=oliver+everett+and+lucy+hill&source=bl&ots=RGwxh63xnc&sig=9chwufyvjfQfnBG1XW73C9tDTDs&hl=en&ei=qzV4S4XQLoPusQPxstzLCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CBMQ6AEwBTgK#v=onepage&q=oliver%20everett%20and%20lucy%20hill&f=false
  3. ^ "Thirty-Third Congress". The New York Times. April 7, 1854.
  4. ^ Simon, et al., eds. The Lincoln Forum: Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, and the Civil War. Mason City: Savas Publishing Company, 1999. ISBN 1-882810-37-6, p. 41

References

  • Bush, Philippa Call, and Anne Gorham Everett. Memoir of Anne Gorham Everett; With Extracts from Her Correspondence and Journal. Boston: Priv. print, 1857. googlebooks Retrieved December 6, 2008
  • "Thirty-Third Congress". The New York Times. April 7, 1854. 

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Timothy Fuller
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 4th congressional district

March 4, 1825 – March 3, 1835
Succeeded by
Levi Lincoln, Jr.
Political offices
Preceded by
Samuel Turell Armstrong
Governor of Massachusetts
January 13, 1836 – January 18, 1840
Succeeded by
Marcus Morton
Preceded by
Daniel Webster
United States Secretary of State
Served under: Millard Fillmore

November 6, 1852 – March 3, 1853
Succeeded by
William L. Marcy
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Andrew Stevenson
U.S. Minister to Great Britain
1841 – 1845
Succeeded by
Louis McLane
United States Senate
Preceded by
John Davis
United States Senator (Class 2) from Massachusetts
March 4, 1853 – June 1, 1854
Served alongside: Charles Sumner
Succeeded by
Julius Rockwell
Party political offices
Preceded by
Andrew Jackson Donelson
Whig Party vice presidential candidate
1860 (lost)
Party abolished
New political party Constitutional Union Party vice presidential candidate
1860 (lost)
Academic offices
Preceded by
Josiah Quincy III
President of Harvard University
1846 – 1849
Succeeded by
Jared Sparks

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army...

Edward Everett (11 April 179415 January 1865) as an American politician and orator, who served as a US Congressman, US Senator, Governor of Massachusetts, US Secretary of State, and as President of Harvard University. On 19 November 1863 he was the main speaker at Gettysburg, whose two-hour oration has been eclipsed in history by President Abraham Lincoln's brief Gettysburg Address. He was the father of congressman William Everett and the great uncle of Edward Everett Hale.

Sourced

The great object of all knowledge is to enlarge and purify the soul...
It is with hesitation that I raise my poor voice to break the eloquent silence of God and Nature...
  • When I am dead, no pageant train
    Shall waste their sorrows at my bier,
    Nor worthless pomp of homage vain
    Stain it with hypocritic tear.
    • "The Dirge of Alaric, the Visigoth" In The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal Vol. V, No. 25 (January-June 1823), p. 64
  • You shall not pile, with servile toil,
    Your monuments upon my breast,
    Nor yet within the common soil
    Lay down the wreck of power to rest,
    Where man can boast that he has trod
    On him that was “the scourge of God.”
    • "The Dirge of Alaric, the Visigoth" In The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal Vol. V, No. 25 (January-June 1823), p. 64
  • Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army. If we retrench the wages of the schoolmaster, we must raise those of the recruiting sergeant.
    • As quoted in The Common School Journal and Educational Reformer (1852), edited by William B. Fowle, p. 28
  • The great object of all knowledge is to enlarge and purify the soul, to fill the mind with noble contemplations, to furnish a refined pleasure, and to lead our feeble reason from the works of nature up to its great Author and Sustainer. Considering this as the ultimate end of science, no branch of it can surely claim precedence of Astronomy. No other science furnishes such a palpable embodiment of the abstractions which lie at the foundation of our intellectual system; the great ideas of time, and space, and extension, and magnitude, and number, and motion, and power. How grand the conception of the ages on ages required for several of the secular equations of the solar system; of distances from which the light of a fixed star would not reach us in twenty millions of years, of magnitudes compared with which the earth is but a foot-ball; of starry hosts—suns like our own—numberless as the sands on the shore; of worlds and systems shooting through the infinite spaces
  • No gilded dome swells from the lowly roof to catch the morning or evening beam; but the love and gratitude of united America settle upon it in one eternal sunshine. From beneath that humble roof went forth the intrepid and unselfish warrior, the magistrate who knew no glory but his country’s good; to that he returned, happiest when his work was done. There he lived in noble simplicity, there he died in glory and peace. While it stands, the latest generations of the grateful children of America will make this pilgrimage to it as to a shrine; and when it shall fall, if fall it must, the memory and the name of Washington shall shed an eternal glory on the spot.
    • Oration on the Character of Washington (1856); as published in A Library of American Literature from the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time Vol. V (1888) by Edmund Clarence Stedman and Ellen Mackay Hutchinson
  • I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near the central idea of the occasion in two hours, as you did in two minutes.
  • The admission to Harvard College depends upon examinations; and if this boy passes the examinations, he will be admitted; and if the white students choose to withdraw, all the income of the college will be devoted to his education.
    • On admission of the first black student to Harvard University, as quoted in Edward Everett, Orator and Statesman (1925) by Paul Revere Frothingham, p. 299

Gettysburg Oration (1863)

Full text of Everett's Gettysburg Oration (19 November 1863)
  • Standing beneath this serene sky, overlooking these broad fields now reposing from the labors of the waning year, the mighty Alleghenies dimly towering before us, the graves of our brethren beneath our feet, it is with hesitation that I raise my poor voice to break the eloquent silence of God and Nature. But the duty to which you have called me must be performed; — grant me, I pray you, your indulgence and your sympathy.
  • "The whole earth," said Pericles, as he stood over the remains of his fellow-citizens, who had fallen in the first year of the Peloponnesian War, — "the whole earth is the sepulchre of illustrious men." All time, he might have added, is the millennium of their glory. Surely I would do no injustice to the other noble achievements of the war, which have reflected such honor on both arms of the service, and have entitled the armies and the navy of the United States, their officers and men, to the warmest thanks and the richest rewards which a grateful people can pay. But they, I am sure, will join us in saying, as we bid farewell to the dust of these martyr-heroes, that wheresoever throughout the civilized world the accounts of this great warfare are read, and down to the latest period of recorded time, in the glorious annals of our common country there will be no brighter page than that which relates the Battles of Gettysburg.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

EDWARD EVERETT (1794-1865), American statesman and orator, was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, on the 11th of April 1794. He was the son of Rev. Oliver Everett and the brother of Alexander Hill Everett. His father died in 1802, and his mother removed to Boston with her family after her husband's death. At seventeen Edward Everett graduated from Harvard College, taking first honours in his class. While at college he was the chief editor of The Lyceum, the earliest in the series of college journals published at the American Cambridge. His earlier predilections were for the study of law, but the advice of Joseph Stevens Buckminster, a distinguished preacher in Boston, led him to prepare for the pulpit, and as a preacher he at once distinguished himself. He was called to the ministry of the Brattle Street church (Unitarian) in Boston before he was twenty years old. His sermons attracted wide attention in that community, and he gained a considerable reputation as a theologian and a controversialist by his publication in 1814 of a volume entitled Defence of Christianity, written in answer to a work, The Grounds of Christianity Examined (1813), by George Bethune English (1787-1828), an adventurer, who, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was in turn a student of law and of theology, an editor of a newspaper, and a soldier of fortune in Egypt. Everett's tastes, however, were then, as always, those of a scholar; and in 1815, after a service of little more than a year in the pulpit, he resigned his charge to accept a professorship of Greek literature in Harvard College.

After nearly five years spent in Europe in preparation, he entered with enthusiasm on his duties, and, for five years more, gave a vigorous impulse, not only to the study of Greek, but to all the work of the college. In January 1820 he assumed the charge of the North American Review, which now became a quarterly; and he was indefatigable during the four years of his editorship in contributing on a great variety of subjects. From 1825 to 1835 he was a member of the National House of Representatives, supporting generally the administration of President J. Q. Adams and opposing that of Jackson, which succeeded it. He bore a part in almost every important debate, and was a member of the committee of foreign affairs during the whole time of his service in Congress. Everett was a member of nearly all the most important select committees, such as those on the Indian relations of the state of Georgia, the Apportionment Bill, and the Bank of the United States, and drew the report either of the majority or the minority. The report on the congress of Panama, the leading measure of the first session of the Nineteenth Congress, was drawn up by Everett, although he was the youngest member of the committee and had just entered Congress. He led the unsuccessful opposition to the Indian policy of General Jackson (the removal of the Cherokee and other Indians, without their consent, from lands guaranteed to them by treaty).

In 1835 he was elected governor of Massachusetts. He brought to the duties of the office the untiring diligence which was the characteristic of his public life. We can only allude to a few of the measures which received his efficient support, e.g. the establishment of the board of education (the first of such boards. in the United States), the scientific surveys of the state (the first of such public surveys), the criminal law commission, and the preservation of a sound currency during the panic of 1837.

Everett filled the office of governor for four years, and was then defeated by a single vote, out of more than one hundred thousand. The election is of interest historically as being the first important American election where the issue turned on the question of the prohibition of the retail sale of intoxicating liquors. In the following spring he made a visit with his family to Europe. In 1841, while residing in Florence, he was named United States. minister to Great Britain, and arrived in London to enter upon the duties of his mission at the close of that year. Great questions were at that time open between the two countries - the north-eastern boundary, the affair of M ` Leod, the seizure of American vessels on the coast of Africa, in the course of a few months the affair of the "Creole," to which was soon added the Oregon question. His position was more difficult by reason of the frequent changes that took place in the department at home,. which, in the course of four years, was occupied successively by Messrs Webster, Legare, Upshur, Calhoun and Buchanan. From all these gentlemen Everett received marks of approbation and confidence.

By the institution of the special mission of Lord Ashburton, however, the direct negotiations between the two governments were, about the time of Everett's arrival in London, transferred to Washington, though much business was transacted at the American legation in London.

Immediately after the accession of Polk to the presidency Everett was recalled. From January 1846 to 1849, as the successor of Josiah Quincy, he was president of Harvard College. On the death, in October 1852, of his friend Daniel Webster, to whom he had always been closely attached, and of whom he was always a confidential adviser, he succeeded him as secretary of state, which post he held for the remaining months of Fillmore's administration, leaving it to go into the Senate in 1853, as one of the representatives of Massachusetts. Under the work of the long session of 1853-1854 his health gave way. In May 1854 he resigned his seat, on the orders of his physician, and retired to what was called private life.

But, as it proved, the remaining ten years of his life most widely established his reputation and influence throughout America. As early as 1820 he had established a reputation as an orator, such as few men in later days have enjoyed. He was frequently invited to deliver an "oration" on some topic of historical or other interest. With him these "orations," instead of being the ephemeral entertainments of an hour, became careful studies of some important theme. Eager to avert, if possible, the impending conflict of arms between the North and South, Everett prepared an "oration" on George Washington, which he delivered in every part of America. In this way, too, he raised more than one hundred thousand dollars, for the purchase of the old home of Washington at Mount Vernon. Everett also prepared for the Encyclopaedia Britannica a biographical sketch of Washington, which was published separately in 1860. In 1860 Everett was the candidate of the short-lived Constitutional-Union party for the vice-presidency, on the ticket with John Bell, but received only 39 electoral votes. During the Civil War he zealously supported the national government and was called upon in every quarter to speak at public meetings. He delivered the last of his great orations at Gettysburg, after the battle, on the consecration of the national cemetery there. On the 9th of January 1865 he spoke at a public meeting in Boston to raise funds for the southern poor in Savannah. At that meeting he caught cold, and the immediate result was his death on the 15th of January '865.

In Everett's life and career was a combination of the results of diligent training, unflinching industry, delicate literary tastes and unequalled acquaintance with modern international politics. This combination made him in America an entirely exceptional person. He was never loved by the political managers; he was always enthusiastically received by assemblies of the people. He would have said himself that the most eager wish of his life had been for the higher education of his countrymen. His orations have been collected in four volumes (1850-1859). A work on international law, on which he was engaged at his death, was never finished. Allibone records 84 titles of his books and published addresses. (E. E. H.)


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Edward Everett
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Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 4th district
In office
March 4, 1825 – March 3, 1835
Preceded by Timothy Fuller
Succeeded by Samuel Hoar

In office
January 13, 1836 – January 18, 1840
Lieutenant George Hull
Preceded by Samuel Turell Armstrong (acting)
Succeeded by Marcus Morton

In office
November 6, 1852 – March 3, 1853
President Millard Fillmore
Preceded by Daniel Webster
Succeeded by William L. Marcy

In office
March 4, 1853 – June 1, 1854
Preceded by John Davis
Succeeded by Julius Rockwell

Born April 11, 1794(1794-04-11)
Boston, Massachusetts
Died January 15, 1865 (aged 70)
Boston, Massachusetts
Political party Whig
Spouse Charlotte Gray Brooks
Children Anne Gorham Everett
Charlotte Brooks Everett
Grace Webster Everett
Edward Brooks Everett
Henry Sidney Everett
William Everett
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation Politician, educator
Religion Unitarian

Edward Everett (April 11, 1794 – January 15, 1865) was an American politician, religious leader and educator from Massachusetts. He was a Whig. He served as U.S. Representative, and U.S. Senator, the 15th Governor of Massachusetts, Minister to Great Britain, and United States Secretary of State. He also taught at Harvard University and was as president of Harvard. He was the Vice-Presidential candidate of the Constitutional Union Party in 1860. He gave a long speech at Gettysburg right before Abraham Lincoln.

When Abraham Lincoln became president, the Civil War broke out. Everett had been calmer about slavery, but he was a strong Unionist. He worked hard to raise support for the Union through speaking in public. In November 1863, when the military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was dedicated, Everett was the main speaker. His two-hour speech was before the much shorter, but now more famous Gettysburg Address by President Lincoln. Everett was moved by the short speech and wrote to Lincoln, "I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes."[1]

References

  1. Simon, et al., eds. The Lincoln Forum: Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, and the Civil War. Mason City: Savas Publishing Company, 1999. ISBN 1-882810-37-6, p. 41

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