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Nathan Appleton


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1831 – March 3, 1833
June 9, 1842 – September 28, 1842
Preceded by Benjamin Gorham (1831)
Robert C. Winthrop (1842)
Succeeded by Benjamin Gorham (1833)
Robert C. Winthrop (1842)

Born October 1, 1779(1779-10-01)
New Ipswich, New Hampshire
Died July 14, 1861 (aged 81)
Boston, Massachusetts
Political party National Republican and Whig

Nathan Appleton (October 1, 1779 – July 14, 1861) was an American merchant and politician.

Contents

Biography

Appleton was born in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, the son of Isaac Appleton and his wife Mary Adams. He was educated in the New Ipswich Academy. He then entered Dartmouth College in 1794. However that same year he left college to begin mercantile life in Boston, Massachusetts in the employment of his brother, Samuel Appleton (1766-1853), a successful and benevolent man of business, with whom he was in partnership from 1800 to 1809.

Appleton married Maria Theresa Gold on April 13, 1806. Two months later, he hired the artist Gilbert Stuart to paint portraits of the newlyweds.[1] The couple had five children: Thomas Gold Appleton (1812-1884); Mary "Molly" Appleton (1813-?), who married Robert James Mackintosh; Charles Sedgwick Appleton (1815 -1835); Frances "Fanny" Elizabeth Appleton (1817-1861), who married the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; George William Appleton (1826-1827), who died in infancy.

In 1813 Appleton co-operated with Francis Cabot Lowell, Patrick T. Jackson, Paul Moody and others in introducing the power loom and the manufacture of cotton on a large scale into the United States, a factory being established at Waltham, Massachusetts in 1814. The Waltham mill employed the first power loom ever used in the United States. This proving successful, he and others purchased the water-power at Pawtucket Falls, and he was one of the founders of the Merrimac Manufacturing Company. The settlement that grew around these factories developed into the city of Lowell, of which in 1821 Mr. Appleton was one of the three founders. In a pamphlet entitled The Origin of Lowell, Appleton wrote of the mills: "The contrast in the character of our manufacturing population with that of Europe has been the admiration of most intelligent strangers. The effect has been to more than double the wages of that description of labor from what they were before the introduction of this manufacture".[2]

Appleton house, Beacon Street, Boston.
Portrait of Nathan Appleton by Gilbert Stuart, ca.1812

Appleton was a member of the general court of Massachusetts in 1816, 1821, 1822, 1824 and 1827. In 1831-1833 and also 1842 he served in the United States House of Representatives, in which he was prominent as an advocate of protective duties. He was also a member of the Academy of Science and Arts, and of the Massachusetts Historical Society. He published speeches and essays on currency, banking, and the tariff, of which his Remarks on Currency and Banking (enlarged ed., 1858) is the most celebrated, as well as his memoirs on the power loom and Lowell.

Maria Theresa Appleton died of tuberculosis in 1833.[3] Nathan Appleton remarried on January 8, 1839, to Harriot Coffin Sumner (1802-1867), the daughter of Jesse Sumner, a Boston merchant, and Harriot Coffin of Portland, Maine. They had three children: William Sumner Appleton (1840-1903); Harriet Sumner Appleton (1841-1923), who married Greely Stevenson Curtis; Nathan Appleton (1843-1906).

His daughter Fanny married Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1843. As a wedding gift, Appleton purchased the house in which Longfellow had been renting rooms, now known as the Longfellow National Historic Site.[4] He paid $10,000 for the home.[5] Frances wrote to her brother Thomas on August 30, 1843: "We have decided to let Father purchase this grand old mansion",[6] which was also a former headquarters of George Washington during the American Revolutionary War. Nathan Appleton also purchased the land across the street, as Longfellow's mother wrote, "so that their view of the River Charles may not be intercepted".[7]

Appleton was also the cousin of William Appleton.

Grave of Nathan Appleton and other members of the Appleton family at Mount Auburn Cemetery

Fanny Appleton died on July 10, 1861, after accidentally catching fire;[8] her father was too sick to attend her funeral. Appleton died the next day, in Boston, on July 14, 1861.[9]

Notes

  1. ^ Tharp, Louise Hall. The Appletons of Beacon Hill. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1973: 4.
  2. ^ Tharp, Louise Hall. The Appletons of Beacon Hill. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1973: 103.
  3. ^ Calhoun, Charles C. Longfellow: A Rediscovered Life. Boston: Beacon Press, 2004: 119. ISBN 0807070262.
  4. ^ Wilson, Susan. Literary Trail of Greater Boston. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000: 109. ISBN 0-618-05013-2
  5. ^ Calhoun, Charles C. Longfellow: A Rediscovered Life. Boston: Beacon Press, 2004: 167. ISBN 0807070262.
  6. ^ Tharp, Louise Hall. The Appletons of Beacon Hill. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1973: 239.
  7. ^ Tharp, Louise Hall. The Appletons of Beacon Hill. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1973: 240.
  8. ^ Irmscher, Christoph. Longfellow Redux. University of Illinois, 2008: 9. ISBN 9780252030635.
  9. ^ Tharp, Louise Hall. The Appletons of Beacon Hill. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1973: 302.

References

See also

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Benjamin Gorham
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1st congressional district

March 4, 1831 – March 3, 1833
Succeeded by
Benjamin Gorham
Preceded by
Robert C. Winthrop
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1st congressional district

June 9, 1842 – September 28, 1842
Succeeded by
Samuel A. Eliot
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

NATHAN APPLETON (1779-1861) American merchant and politician, was born in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, on the 6th of October 1779. He was educated in the New Ipswich Academy, and in 1794 entered mercantile life in Boston, in the employment of his brother, Samuel (1766-1853), a successful and benevolent man of business, with whom he was in partnership from i 800 to 1809. He co- operated with Francis C. Lowell and others in introducing the power-loom and the manufacture of cotton on a large scale into the United States, a factory being established at Waltham, Massachusetts, in 1814, and another in 1822 at Lowell, Massachusetts, of which city he was one of the founders. He was a member of the general court of Massachusetts in 1816, 1821, 1822, 1824 and 1827, and in1831-1833and 1842 of the national House of Representatives, in which he was prominent as an advocate of protective duties. He died in Boston on the 14th of July 1861.

His son, Thomas Gold Appleton (1812-1884), who graduated at Harvard in 1831, had some reputation as a writer, an artist and a patron of the fine arts, but was better known for his witticisms, one of which, the oft-quoted "Good Americans, when they die, go to Paris," is sometimes attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes. He published some poems and, in prose, Nile Journal (1876), Syrian Sunshine (1877), Windfalls (1878), and Chequer-Work (1879).

See the memoir of Nathan Appleton by Robert C. Winthrop (Boston, 1861); and Susan Hale's Life and Letters of Thomas Gold Appleton (New York, 1885).


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