Samuel Hoar: Wikis


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Samuel Hoar (May 18, 1778 – November 2, 1856) was a United States lawyer and politician. A member of a prominent political family in Massachusetts, he was a leading 19th century lawyer of that state. He was associated with the Federalist Party until its decline after the war of 1812. Over his career, a prominent Massachusetts anti-slavery politician and spokesperson. He became a leading member of the Massachusetts Whig Party, a leading and founding member of the Massachusetts Free Soil Party, and a founding member and chair of the committee that organized the founding convention for the Massachusetts Republican Party in 1854.

Hoar was a born in the town of Lincoln, Massachusetts, and as an adult lived in neighboring Concord, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard University in 1802, and was admitted to the bar in 1805. In the fall of 1813, he married Sarah Sherman (1785-1862) of New Haven, Connecticut. Sarah was the youngest child of Roger Sherman and his second wife, Rebecca Minot Prescott. Roger Sherman was a signer of United States Declaration of Independence and Constitution.


Political and legal career

Hoar was delegate to the Massachusetts constitutional convention in 1820. Hoar served in the State senate in 1826, 1832, and 1833. Elected as an Anti-Jacksonian candidate to the Twenty-fourth Congress (March 4, 1835-March 3, 1837), he was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1836 to the Twenty-fifth Congress.[1 ] He was a Massachusetts delegate to the 1839 Whig national party convention.[2] Hoar was an expert on the laws pertaining to waterways, canals and maritime commerce.[3]

Massachusetts commissioner to South Carolina, 1844

There was an ongoing constitutional and legal conflict between the state of Massachusetts and the states of South Carolina and Louisiana regarding the seizure of Massachusetts citizens. South Carolina had enacted laws prohibiting the emancipation of slaves, or the entry into the state of free African Americans. South Carolina agents would arrest free African American seamen from Massachusetts, members of the crew aboard ships that arrived at South Carolina sea ports; if the arrestee or the captain of the ship failed to pay fines for the criminal entry into the state, the arrestee would be sold into slavery to pay the fines.

In 1844 the Massachusetts legislature authorized the governor to appoint a Commissioner to reside in Charlston, South Carolina and New Orleans, Louisiana, to collect information as to the number from Massachusetts citizens unlawfully seized in those cities, and to prosecute some of the suits before higher courts for the purpose of testing the constitutionality of the laws under which the forcible seizures were being made. In 1844, Massachusetts governor George N. Briggs (Whig party) appointed Hoar commissioner to South Carolina.[4 ]

Upon receipt of the letter from Massachusetts Governor Briggs announcing Hoar's appointment, South Carolina Governor James H. Hammond promptly placed it before the South Carolina legislature, which issued several resolves, declaring the right of South Carolina to exclude its borders all persons whose presence might be considered dangerous; denying that free Negroes were citizens of the United States, and for the Massachusetts commissioner:[4 ]

That his excellency, the governor, be directed to expel from our territory the said agent, after due notice to depart; and that the legislature will sustain the executive authority in any measures that may be adopted for the purpose aforesaid.

The effective result was that Hoar was prevented from appearing before that state's courts to test the law. On his arrival, with daughter Elizabeth Sherman Hoar, in Charleston, December 1844, local citizens warned Hoar to leave town. Local leading citizens secretly escorted the Hoars out of their hotel, to a ship, in advance of feared mob violence.[3] When news of this incident reached Massachusetts it aroused much ire, contributing to a developing sentiment in Massachusetts against slavery and in favor of abolitionism.[5][1 ]

Hoar in his report as Massachusetts commissioner stated:[4 ]

Has the Constitution of the United States the least practical validity or binding force in South Carolina?
She prohibits, not only by lower mobs, but by her legislature, the residence of a free white citizen of Massachusetts within the limits of South Carolina whenever she thinks his presence there inconsistent with her policy. Are the other States of the Union to be regarded as the conquered provinces of South Carolina?

Free Soil Party

Hoar was elected to the Massachusetts Governor's Council in 1845. In 1848 Hoar chaired the Massachusetts Free Soil Party Convention in Worcester, and was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1850, at the age of 72.[3]

Republican Party

In 1854, he chaired a committee which issued an announcement, summoning leading anti-slavery politicians and citizens to a meeting at the American House in Boston (July 7, 1854), to discuss the potential formation of a new party and to organize a state convention. Anger over the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the issue of slavery in Federal territories were motivating factors leading to the subsequent convention in Worcester. The mass convention of 2,500 people, held in open air on the common in Worcester, September 7, 1854, founded the Massachusetts Republican Party, principally from members of the Massachusetts Free Soil Party, with a few Whig Party, and anti-slavery Democrats.[6] The Massachusetts Free Soil Party in its Springfield convention, on October 17, 1854 voted to adopt the Republican candidates, and to merge into the new Republican organization.[7]

In 1855, at the age of 77, Hoar was appointed chair of a Massachusetts Republican committee to organize mass assemblage or convention, to consider and promote actions might be taken by Massachusetts citizens against the pro-slavery violence in the recent Kansas elections (subsequently known as Bleeding Kansas), with the intent of unifying with all anti-slavery citizens of Massachusetts in national anti-slavery efforts[8 ]

Leading citizen of Concord

Hoar was a co-founder of the first Concord Academy, which had a 41-year existence (1822-1863).[9]

Hoar family

Samuel Hoar had five surviving children (of six offspring); several led influential or prominent lives.

  • Elizabeth Sherman Hoar (July 14, 1814-April 7, 1878) was engaged to Charles Chauncy Emerson (1808-1836), youngest brother of Ralph Waldo Emerson and young law partner of Samuel Hoar; Charles died of tuberculosis before they could marry, and she never married. She was an intimate of the Emerson, Hawthorne and Thoreau families.[10] R.W. Emerson invited Elizabeth into the Transcendentalist community, and she aided in producing their journal, The Dial.[3]
  • Samuel Johnson Hoar (February 4, 1820 - Jan 10, 1821) died in infancy.[14 ][11]
  • Edward Sherman Hoar (1823-1892), (Harvard class of 1844), married childhood neighbor Elizabeth Hallet Prichard of Concord,[15] and was an intimate of Henry David Thoreau (the Thoreau family lived across Main street from the Hoars, in several different houses over the years). Edward with H.D. Thoreau accidentally allowed a cooking fire to get out of control, and caused more than a 100 acres (400,000 m2) of forest to burn on April 30, 1844, along the Sudbury River in the Fairhaven Bay section of Concord. Edward accompanied Thoreau on some of Thoreau's hiking and canoeing excursions.[16][17][18][19] Edward Sherman was a California state district attorney for the fourth Judicial district in 1850. He returned to Massachusetts in 1857.[20]

Other Hoar family members named Samuel Hoar

The Hoar family, a prominent political family in Massachusetts, has had number of individuals named Samuel Hoar since the 1700s:

  • His father, Samuel Hoar (1743-1832), was a lieutenant of the Lincoln, Massachusetts company at the Concord battle on April 19, 1775. For many years a member of the Massachusetts General Court as a representative and senator, and a member in the 1820 - 1821 Massachusetts Constitutional Convention.
  • Son, Samuel Johnson Hoar (February 4, 1820 - Jan 10, 1821) died in infancy[14 ][11]
    • Samuel Hoar (1845-1904), son of Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar, was editor of the American Law Review from 1873 to 1879. In 1887 he became general counsel for the Boston and Albany Railroad Company.[21 ]
      • His son, Samuel Hoar (1887-1952), was partner in a prominent Boston law firm, called during his lifetime Goodwin, Procter and Hoar. The firm was founded in 1914, and Hoar's name was added in 1917 when Hoar joined the firm.[22] In the 1940s he donated a several parcels of land to the Federal Government, which became the founding kernel of the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge on the Concord and Sudbury rivers in Massachusetts. He co-founded a second and still operating Concord Academy in 1922 in Concord, Massachusetts.
        • His son, Samuel Hoar (1927 - 2004), of Essex, Massachusetts also was a senior partner in the firm formerly known as Goodwin, Procter and Hoar.[22][23] As board member of the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), he was a leading member of the litigation team that compelled the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to comply with federal environmental law, and build appropriate facilities to properly treat sewage discharged into Boston harbor, a legal battle that was most intense from 1983 into the 1990s.[24]
          • His son, Samuel Hoar (b. 1955) is a lawyer practicing in Burlington, Vermont. He served as president of the Vermont Bar Association in 2006 and 2007.[25]

See also


  1. ^ a b HOAR, Samuel, (1778 - 1856) Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: 1774 - Present. Retrieved January 20, 2004.
  2. ^ Hoar family of Massachusetts Political Graveyard. Retrieved October 14, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d Robbins, Paula The Hoar Family Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography. Unitarian Universalist Historical Society. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c Flower, Frank A. (1884). History of the Republican Party, Embracing its Origin Growth and Mission: Together with Appendices of Statistics and Information required by Enlightened Politicions and Patriotic Citizens. Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.: Union Book Company. pp. 65–69.  
  5. ^ Governors of Massachusetts: George Nixon Briggs (1796-1861): Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 1844-1851 Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved January 20, 2007.
  6. ^ Wilson, Leslie Perrin. Papers of the Legendary Hoar Family Concord Magazine, August/September 1999; retrieved December 1, 2006.
  7. ^ "Massachusetts Free-Soil State Convention". New York Times. October 18, 1854. Retrieved 2007-10-14.  
  8. ^ "Meeting in Boston to Commit Upon a Republican Movement". New York Times: 6. August 18, 1855. Retrieved 2008-05-04.  
  9. ^ This first Concord Academy is unrelated to a second Concord Academy, which was co-founded by his grandson Samuel Hoar (1887-1952) in 1922. The co-founders of the first Concord Academy were these leading citizens of Concord: Samuel Hoar (1778-1856), Josiah G. Davis (1773-1847), William Whiting (1788-1847), Nathan Brooks (1788-1862) and Abiel Heywood (1759-1839).
  10. ^ Emerson in His Family: Charles Chauncy Emerson, Concord Free Public Library, Concord, Massachusetts. Retrieved December 20, 2006.
  11. ^ a b c Edson, Roz. [1] Hoar Genealogy (Rootsweb)
  12. ^ "Horatio Robinson Storer Papers, 1829-1943: Guide to the Collection". Library: Finding Aids. Massachusetts Historical Society. June 2001, Revised 22 March 2005. Retrieved 2008-05-05.  
  13. ^ "Mrs. Sarah Sherman Storer". New York Times: pp. 7. July 25, 1907. Retrieved 2008-05-05.  
  14. ^ a b Hoar Family Papers, 1738-1958 (Bulk 1815-1935) The Special Collections (Finding Aid). Concord Free Public Library. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
  15. ^ Dall, Caroline Healey; ed by Deese, Helen R. Carol Healy Dall speaks in Concord, 1859 (See footnote 161 at bottom of page.) Daughter of Boston: The Extraordinary Diary of a Nineteenth-century Woman Beacon Press, Boston. 2004. ISBN 978-080705034-7
  16. ^ Henry David Thoreau; (edited by Robert Sattelmeyer, Mark R. Patterson, and William Rossi) Journal 3: 1848-1851 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990. 75-78 and Annotation 75.16-78.19.
  17. ^ Harding, Walter. The Days of Henry Thoreau, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1970), 159-162.
  18. ^ The Writings of Henry David Thoreau: frequently asked questions. (Did Thoreau really start a major forest fire accidentally, and how old was he at that time?) The Thoreau Edition, Davidson Library at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Retrieved January 20, 2007.
  19. ^ Felton, R. Todd. An Early Naturalist Burns Down a Forest Concord Magazine, Autumn 2006. Excerpt from Felton: A Journey Into the Transcendentalists' New England. (Roaring Forties Press, 2006)
  20. ^ Wheelright, Edward. (1896) "Edward Sherman Hoar." Harvard Class of 1844: Harvard College, 50 Years after Graduation Harvard College. (Cambridge Massachusetts)
  21. ^ "Obituary: Samuel Hoar '67.". Harvard Crimson (Harvard Crimson, Inc.). April 12, 1904.  
  22. ^ a b Memorial service held for former Goodwin Procter partner Boston Business Journal. September 27, 2004. Retrieved January 14, 2007.
  23. ^ In memoriam. Obituary of Samuel Hoar (1927 - 2004). Harvard Law School. Retrieved January 20, 2007.
  24. ^ Early History of CLF's Fight to Cleanup Boston Harbor 1983-1986 Conservation Law Foundation. Retrieved January 20, 2007. See section entitled "Spring/Summer 1983." This source has a comprehensive time line of the civil court case and resulting governmental and facilities changes that came about because of it.
  25. ^ Paolini, Bob. An Interview with VBA President Sam Hoar Vermont Bar Journal No. 167, (Fall 2006) Volume 32, No. 3. Vermont Bar Association. Retrieved January 14, 2007.]


  • Samuel Hoar at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "HOAR, Samuel, (1778 - 1856)"
  • The Hoar Family on Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography
  • Samuel Hoar's Expulsion from Charleston, Old South Leaflets, Volume vi No. 140.
  • Hoar, George Frisbie. Memorial Biographies of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Volume III. (Boston, 1883) (A memoir of Samuel Hoar)
  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Lectures and Biographical Sketches (Boston, 1903) (On Samuel Hoar)
  • Robbins, Paula Ivaska. The Royal Family of Concord : Samuel, Elizabeth, and Rockwood Hoar and their friendship with Ralph Waldo Emerson ISBN 140109970X. Pub. Xlibris. Philadelphia PA, 2003.

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SAMUEL HOAR (1778-1856), American lawyer, was born in Lincoln, Massachusetts, on the 18th of May 1778. He was the son of Samuel Hoar, an officer in the American army during the War of Independence, for many years a member of the Massachusetts General Court, and a member in1820-1821of the state Constitutional Convention. The son graduated at Harvard in 1802, was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1805 and began practice at Concord. His success in his profession was immediate, and for a half-century he was one of the leading lawyers of Massachusetts. He was in early life a Federalist and was later an ardent Whig in politics. He was a member of the state senate in 1825, 1832 and 1833, and of the national house of representatives in 1835-1837, during which time he made a notable speech in favour of the constitutional right of congress to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia. In November 1844, having retired from active legal practice some years before, he went to Charleston, S.C., at the request of Governor George Nixon Briggs (1796-1861), to test in the courts of South Carolina the constitutionality of the state law which provided that "it shall not be lawful for any free negro, or person of color, to come into this state on board any vessel, as a cook, steward or mariner, or in any other employment," and that such free negroes should be seized and locked up until the vessels on which they had come were ready for sea, when they should be returned to such vessels. His visit aroused great excitment, he was threatened with personal injury, the state legislature passed resolutions calling for his expulsion, and he was compelled to leave early in December. In 1848 he was prominent in the Free Soil movement in Massachusetts, and subsequently assisted in the organization of the Republican Party. In 1850 he served in the Massachusetts house of representatives. He married a daughter of Roger Sherman of Connecticut. He died at Concord, Massachusetts, on the 2nd of November 1856.

See a memoir by his son G. F. Hoar in Memorial Biographies of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, vol. iii. (Boston, 1883); the estimate by R. W. Emerson in Lectures and Biographical Sketches (Boston, 1903); and "Samuel Hoar's Expulsion from Charleston," Old South Leaflets, vol. vi. No. 140.

His son, Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar (1816-1895), was born at Concord, Massachusetts, on the 21st of February 1816. He graduated at Harvard in 1835 and at the Harvard Law School in 1839, and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1840. From 1849 to 1855 he was a judge of the Massachusetts court of common pleas, from 1859 to 1869 a judge of the state supreme court, and in1869-1870attorney-general of the United States in the cabinet of President Grant, and in that position fought unmerited "machine" appointments to offices in the civil service until at the pressure of the "machine" Grant asked for his resignation from the cabinet. The Senate had already shown its disapproval of Hoar's policy of civil service reform by its failure in 1870 to confirm the President's nomination of Hoar as associate-justice of the supreme court. In 1871 he was a member of the Joint High Commission which drew up the Treaty of Washington. In 1872 he was a presidential elector on the Republican ticket, and in1873-1875was a representative in Congress. He was a member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard University from 1868 to 1880 and from 1881 to 1887, and was president of the Board in1878-1880and in 1881-1887. He was also prominent in the affairs of the Unitarian church. He was a man of high character and brilliant wit. He died at Concord on the 31st of January 1895.

Another son, George Frisbie Hoar (1826-1904), was born in Concord, Massachusetts, on the 29th of August 1826. He graduated at Harvard in 1846 and at the Harvard Law School in 1849. He settled in the practice of law in Worcester, Massachusetts, where in 1852 he became a partner of Emory Washburn (1800-1877). In 1852 he was elected as a Free-Soiler to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and during his single term of service became the leader of his party in that body. He was active in the organization of the Republican party in Massachusetts, and in 1857 was elected to the State senate, but declined a re-election. During1856-1857he was active in behalf of the Free-State cause in Kansas. He was a member of the National House of Representatives from 1869 until 1877, and in this body took high rank as a ready debater and a conscientious committee worker. He was prominent as a defender and supporter of the Freedman's Bureau, took a leading part in the later reconstruction legislation and in the investigation of the Credit Mobilier scandal, and in 1876 was one of the House managers of the impeachment of General W. W. Belknap, Grant's secretary of war. In 1877 he was a member of the Electoral Commission which settled the disputed Hayes-Tilden election. From 1877 until his death he was a member of the United States senate. In the senate almost from the start he took rank as one of the most influential leaders of the Republican party; he was a member from 1882 until his death of the important Judiciary Committee, of which he was chairman in1891-1893and in 5895-5904. His most important piece of legislation was the Presidential Succession Act of 1886. He was a delegate to every Republican National Convention from 1876 to 1904, and presided over that at Chicago in 1880. He was a conservative by birth and training, and although he did not leave his party he disagreed with its policy in regard to the Philippines, and spoke and voted against the ratification of the Spanish Treaty. He was regent of the Smithsonian Institution in 1880-1881, and long served as an overseer of Harvard University (5896-5904) and as president of its alumni association. He was also president of the American Historical Association (1894-5895) and of the American Antiquarian Society (1884-1887). Like his brother, he was a leading Unitarian, and was president of its National Conference from 1894 to 5902. He died at Worcester, Massachusetts, on the 30th of September 1904. A memorial statue has been erected there.

See his Recollections of Seventy Years (New York, 1903). 1903).

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