Rhode Island Reading Room
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History  of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical

NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920



p. 1 - 2.

HON. DANIEL RUSSELL BROWN.  --  When the history of Rhode Island and her public men shall have been written, its papers will bear no more illustrious name, and record no more distinguished career than that of the Hon. D. Russell Brown.  If 'Biography is the home aspect of history', as Willmott has expressed it, it is certainly within the province of true history to commemorate the lives of those men whose careers have been of signal usefulness and honor to the State, and in this connection it is not only compatible but absolutely imperative that mention be made of Ex-Governor D. Russell Brown, who was one of the foremost figures in the public and business life of Rhode Island.

Hon. Daniel Russell Brown was the thirty-ninth governor of Rhode Island, president and treasurer of the Brown Brothers Company of Providence, and one of the most influential citizens of this State.  He was a native of Bolton, Tolland county, Conn., where his birth occurred March 28, 1848, a son of Arba Harrison and Harriet M. (Dart) Brown.  On both sides of the house Mr. Brown was descended from old and distinguished families, many of whose members have become conspicuous in different callings throughout the southern portion of the New England States.  The Brown family was founded here in early Colonial days and three of Mr. Brown's ancestors came over in the famous band of Pilgrims who landed from the 'Mayflower' on Plymouth Rock, in 1620.  The Dart family was founded by Richard Dart, who settled at New London, Conn., and purchased land there in 1664.  His son, Daniel Dart, removed to Bolton, Conn., in 1716, and was the founder of the branch which has resided at that place ever since.

The paternal great-grandfather of ex-Governor Brown was John Brown, whose son, also John Brown, married a Miss Perkins, whose ancestry goes back to the 'Mayflower'.  Among their children was Arba Harrison Brown, father of ex-Governor Brown, who resided at Bolton, Conn., most of his life, and there successfully followed the occupation of farming.  His death occurred at Manchester, Conn., in 1887, where the latter part of his life was spent.  He married Harriet Marrilla Dart, who was a woman of usual intelligence and character and was one of those prominently connected with the Abolitionist movement in Connecticut.  Her death occurred in 1864 while the Civil War was still in progress, so that her material eyes never looked upon the complete fruition of her hopes.  Her faith in the eventual outcome, however, was sure, and frequently during her last years she made with the utmost assurance to her friends the statement that 'the war will not end until slavery has been abolished'.  Arba H. Brown was a Baptist in religion, and his wife a Congregationalist; the former joined the Republican party at the time of its organization, and he continued a staunch advocate of its principles to the end of his life.  He and his wife were the parents of eleven children, of whom Daniel Russell Brown was one.

The childhood of Daniel Russell Brown was passed among the healthful surroundings of his father's farm, and as a lad he attended the public schools of his native Bolton.  From there he went to the Academy at Manchester, and still later studied at Hartford, Conn.  During his early youth he assisted his father with the work on the latter's farm, and there gained, besides a strong taste for the beauties of nature and a rural type of life, the splendid health which had stood him so well during his arduous career subsequently.  Upon completing his studies at the Hartford School, he secured a position as clerk with the firm of Trumbull & Newcomb, large hardware dealers at Rockville, Conn.  During his employment by this concern he showed unusual ability, and two years later was offered the position of head salesman for the hardware firm of Francis & Company of Hartford.  He remained with this concern until 1870, and in the month of January in that year came to Providence, with which place his career has ever since been identified.  Although but twenty-one years of age at the time, he had been offered a position as head of the supply store connected with the mills of Cyrus White.  It was his desire, however, to become independent in business, and in less than three months after reaching Providence had formed an association with William Butler & Son, who had purchased Mr. White's business, and the firm became known as Butler, Brown & Company.  In the year 1877 Mr. Brown and his brother purchased the interest of the other partners and organized the well-known firm of Brown Brothers & Company, which not long afterwards became the largest establishment of its kind in the United States.  This business was incorporated in the year 1893 as the Brown Brothers Company, and is still in active operation to-day, ex-Governor Daniel Russell Brown's son, Milton Burrows Brown, being secretary.  In addition to his management of this great concern, Mr. Brown was also associated with a number of other important financial and business institutions here, and became president of the Old Colony Cooperative Bank, vice-president of the City Savings Bank, a director of the old National Bank, and of many other concerns.

Mr. Brown had become even better known in his connection with the public affairs of Rhode Island than as a merchant and business man, and was one of the foremost figures in the political life of the community.  From his earliest youth he was keenly interested in public affairs, and followed his father in his strong adherence to the principles and politics of the Republican party. While still a very young man he began to take an active part in politics, and in the year 1880, when but twenty-four years old, was elected to the Providence Common Council.  In this body he again displayed his marked ability in dealing with practical affairs and served thereon for four years.  In the year 1885 the Republican party nominated him as its candidate for mayor of Providence, but this honor he declined in order to continue in control of his private interests.  He became one of the presidential electors for Rhode Island in 1888, and four yars later was successful Republican candidate for governor of the State.  The campaign of that year was a very interesting one and out of the total vote of fifty-four thousand six hundred and seventy-nine, the largest ever cast in the history of the State up to that time, he received twenty-seven thousand four hundred and sixty-one ballots as against twenty-five thousand four hundred and thirty-three cast for W. T. C. Wardwell, the Democratic candidate.  In the next campaign, that of 1893, he was again the Republican candidate, being opposed by David S. Baker, Jr., of the Democrats, and Henry B. Metcalf, of the Prohibitionists.  Once more there was a closely contested campaign, and once more Mr. Brown was the successful candidate, receiving twenty-two thousand and fifteen votes, as against twenty-one thousand eight hundred and thirty, and three thousand two hundred and sixty-five for the other two candidates respectively.  The election laws of Rhode Island, however, require a majority of the total vote cast in order to elect, and accordingly, there being no legal choice, the election devolved upon the General Assembly of the State.  An exceedingly close and hard-fought political battle followed, in which great corruption was charged against the Democratic members of the Assembly.  It appears that at the opening of the May session the Democrats were in a majority in the House, and proceeded to unseat two Republican members in order to gain control of the grand committee which had the election of the governor.  The House then passed a resolution inviting the Senate to join the House in grand committee to count the ballots and proclaim the result.  The latter body, however, recognized at once that this project was an innovation of a distinctly illegal character and promptly declined the invitation.  They followed this up by a resolution of adjournment until January, 1894, which was not concurred with in the House, the resolution being laid on the table.  The upper body at once communicated with Governor Brown to the effect that a difference of opinion existed between the two branches of the Legislature as to the date of adjournment.  Governor Brown's action was characteristic of him in its courage and promptness, and the Assembly was adjourned at once by his order until the following January.  This, the Democrats of the Lower House declared to be illegal, and they continued to hold rump sessions until the Assembly was reconvened in January, in order to entrap the governor, but Governor Brown was as shrewd as he was fair-minded, and in every case avoided the trap.  The Democrats, as a last resort, laid their case before the Supreme Court of the State, which, however, unanimously sustained Governor Brown, with the result that the unwarrantable procedure of the House was brought to naught, and the matter went back to the people. Intense interest had been awakened throughout the State by the long political controversy, and in April, 1894, an election was held which brought out the largest vote ever cast in Rhode Island.  The result was never in doubt, however, and Governor Brown was returned to office with a plurality of six thousand two hundred and fifty-five votes, his total vote being twenty-nine thousand one hundred and seventy-nine, as against Mr. Baker's twenty-two thousand nine hundred and twenty-four.  Mr. Brown, percieving the evils necessarily attendant upon the old system, had been very active in the meantime to the constitution of the State so as to insure elections by plurality.  This he was successful in accomplishing, and he also exerted strong influence in favor of the biennial elections, as against the former one year term.  Among other valuable services performed by him for the State was the securing of the passage of what was known as the free text book law and of measures providing for the improvement of highways and other reforms, including those regulating the business of surety companies and building and loan associations, and the factory inspector's law. Governor Brown, during the three years of his administration, proved himself to be a most capable and disinterested executive, and gained the approval not only of his own political followers, but also of all right-thinking men in the State.  This approval was expressed before the Republican National Convention in 1896 by making him the State's candidate for the vice-presidency.

Ex-Governor Brown had for many years been prominent in fraternal and club circles in Providence, and especially so in the Masonic order, having taken his thirty-second degree in Free Masonry.  He was a member of Adelphoi Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; the Royal Arch Masons; the Royal and Select Masters; St. John's Commandery, Knights Templar; and the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.  Mr. Brown was also prominently affiliated with the Young Men's Christian Association in this State; the Art Advance; the Talma, West Side and Squantum clubs; the Providence Press Club, the Rhode Island Press Club, the Rhode Island Historical Society, the Rhode Island Sons of the American Revolution, the Rhode Island Art Institute, the Providence Board of Trade, the Providence Business Men's Association, and many other social, benevolent and literary organizations.  He was also president of the Pine Ridge Camp for Consumptives.  Mr. Brown was eligible for membership in the Society of Colonial Wars, and the Society of Mayflower Descendants.  In his religious belief Mr. Brown was a Congregationalist, and had for many years attended the Beneficent Church of that denomination at Providence.

Daniel Russell Brown was united in marriage, October 14, 1874, at Providence, with Isabel Barrows, daughter of Milton and Mary (Guild) Barrows.  Three childen have been born of this union, as follows:  Milton Barrows, who is mentioned above as secretary of the Brown Brothers Company; Isabel Russell and Hope Caroline.  Daniel Russell Brown died at his home in Providence, February 28, 1919.



p. 2 - 5.

FREDERICK S. PECK.  --  On May 22, 1639, the Great and General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony met at Boston, electing John Winthrop governor, and other Colonial officers.  The name of Mr. Joseph Peck, of Hingham, stands at the head of the list of deputies, twenty-eight in number, who met to make Puritan laws for a Puritan Colony.  In that historic assembly of legislators were John Endicott, Richard Bellingham, Simon Bradstreet, Israel Stoughton and Richard Saltonstall, while Humphrey Atherton, noted in Rhode Island history, Robert Keayne, Thomas Mayhew, Simon Willard, Edward Rawson, William Hawthorne, and others, were of the legislative group that were destined to win high honors in civil life in the Bay Colony.  On May 13, 1640, the Great Court met at Boston and again the name of Mr. Joseph Peck leads the deputies, now thirty-one in number.  Of this number, twenty-three bear the title 'Mr.', four are captains, one lieutenant, one ensign, and two carry no title.  In 1641 the General Court of Elections met at Boston, on January 2, and Mr. Joseph Peck is still a deputy from Hingham, with distinguished associates, over whom Richard Bellingham was chosen as governor.  Among them are William Carpenter, Henry Smith, William Cheesbrough, Alexander Winchester, Stephen Paine, and others, who, in 1641, through the agency of Captain Myles Standish and Mr. John Browne, purchased a township of land, eight miles square, of Massassoit, and later called it Rehoboth.

(I)  Mr. Joseph Peck, who, with his brother, Rev. Robert Peck, Jr., were the founders of the Peck family in America, was the son of Robert Peck, a resident of Suffolk county, England.  The son Joseph was baptized in Beccles, Suffolk country, April 30, 1587.  Robert Peck, Jr., received his Master's degree at Cambridge University in 1602; was a Puritan minister in Hingham, England, and with his brother, Joseph, came to New England in 1638, settling at Hingham, in the Bay Colony, where English settlers of Norfolk county had founded a new Hingham on the Bay coast.  Robert and Joseph took the freeman's oath, March 13, 1638-39, and Robert was ordained teacher of the church at Hingham, Mass., 1639.  On October 27, 1641, Robert, his wife and son, Joseph, embarked from Boston from his native land, having been invited, says Cotton Mather, to renew his pastoral office over the Puritan Church in Hingham, England, 'where he is greatly serviceable for the good of the Church'.  He died in 1656, in the midst of a loved and beloved people. Concerning Mr. Joseph Peck and his family, Mr. David Cushing, town clerk of Hingham, Mass., has this record:  'Mr. Joseph Peck and his wife and three sons and daughter, and two men servants, and three maid servants, came from old Hingham and settled at New Hingham.'

Joseph Peck married Rebecca Clark, at Hingham, England, May 21, 1617.  After being the mother of five children, she died October 24, 1637, when Mr. Peck married --------  ---------, who gave him three sons.  The baptismal names and dates of the children were:  Anna, March 12, 1617-18, died July, 1636; Rebecca, May 25, 1620; Joseph, Aug. 23, 1623; John, about 1626; Nicholas, April 9, 1630; Samuel, Feb. 3, 1638-39; Nathaniel, Oct. 31, 1641; Israel, March 4, 1644.

Mr. Joseph Peck was nearly fifty-two years of age when he settled, with others of his old town, as a co-founder, in New Hingham, New England.  He was in the full maturity of physical and mental power, was well-to-do in worldly possessions, and belonged to the superior class of English settlers in America.  Whether aware of his lineage or not, he really had the blood of an early Saxon and Norman nobility in his veins, the proof of which was manifest in his own excellent and well-ordered life, and in the long lines of good men and women who gladly trace their ancestry to Joseph Peck of Hingham and Rehoboth.  The election of Mr. Peck as a deputy to the General Court of the Bay Colony from Hingham, only a few days after taking the freeman's oath, and his repeated elections to the same office, are proof of his social and political standing, while the other offices of trust and honor from town and colony confirm the record; he was a trusted man in the Bay Colony.

Mr. Peck was a pioneer as well as a founder.  Reports came to him of unoccupied lands in the Narragansett Bay country.  Boston had just sent a ship-load of three hundred people to found towns and a colony on Aquidneck. Miles Standish had preempted Sowams (Barrington).  At Mt. Hope (Bristol) were Indian lands, the home of King Philip.  Men of vision saw in the field attractive territory for new settlement, and 'in the year of our Lord 1641, Governor Bradford of Plymouth granted to Joseph Peck, Stephen Paine, Henry Smith, Alexander Winchester, Thomas Cooper, gent., and others with them, and such others as they should associate to themselves, a tract of land for a plantation or township formerly called by the natives Secunke, for which the purchasers paid Massasoit ten fathoms of beads and a coat.'  Most of the settlers were from Hingham and Weymouth, and as lands were apportioned according to estates, we have in the Rehoboth Proprietors' Records, Vol I., p. 1, the estimated estates of the founders of ancient Rehoboth, in 1645. Richard Wright stands first with L834; John Browne second with L600; and Joseph Peck and Stephen Paine next with L535 each.  Mr. Joseph Peck and family moved from Hingham to Rehoboth in 1645, thereby entering the new plantation as purchasers and founders.  The first Peck home was in 'the Ring of the Town', and was located not far from the railroad station at Rumford, in East Providence.  Here Mr. Peck lived an active, useful and honored citizen until his death December 23, 1663, in his seventy-seventh year.

(II) Joseph (2) Peck , first son of Joseph (1) Peck, baptized in 1623, settled near his father at Seekonk Plain, but, about 1660, removed to Palmer's river section of Rehoboth.  He died about 1701.

(II) John Peck, second son of Joseph (1) Peck, settled near Luther's Corners, on the east side of Bowen's river.  He was a representative from Rehoboth to the General Court of Massachusetts in 1700.  He died in 1713.

(II) Nicholas Peck, third son of Joseph (1) Peck, settled in the southern part of Rehoboth, near Munroe's Tavern.  He represented the town of Rehoboth as deputy to the General Court at Plymouth for the years 1669-78-85-98, a period of nine years.  He rose to the rank of captain in the Colonial militia.  He died May 27, 1720.

(II) Samuel Peck, fourth son of Joseph (1) Peck, remained at the homestead on Seekonk Plain.  He was a deputy from Rehoboth to Plymouth for two years, and one of the first representatives of the town to the Massachusetts Colony, after the union with Plymouth.  He was also a deacon of the Newman Congregational Church.  He died in 1708.

(II) Nathaniel Peck, fifth son of Joseph (1) Peck, is the ancestor of Frederick S. Peck, the subject of this sketch.  Nathaniel and his brother, Israel, settled in Barrington, then Swansea, Mass., on lands, a part of which are now owned by Frederick S. Peck, and are styled the Ousamequin Farm.  This farm is a part of the ancient Sowams (Barrington), which was purchased of Massassoit (Ousamequin), in 1653, by Governor Bradford, Governor Prince, Miles Standish, and others of old settlers of Plymouth, in 1653, for L35 sterling.  A prorietary was formed by the purchasers, the territory was surveyed and plotted, roads laid out, and the lands were sold to the dwellers in the towns of Rehoboth and Swansea.  As early as 1655, Joseph (1) Peck had secured an interest in the Sowams proprietary by a purchase of certain lands of the original Sowams proprietors.  These proprietary lands, with certain salt meadows, Mr. Joseph (1) Peck gave, by his will, to his sons Nathaniel and Israel.  After their marriage these two brothers settled in Barrington, building houses and rearing families, the land remaining undivided as one farm, until after Nathaniel, of the third generation, was married.  Nathaniel Peck, father of Nathaniel and Israel Peck above mentioned, died in 1676, at the age of thirty-five, and his wife, Deliverance, in 1678, leaving one son, Nathaniel, as heir to all his father's estate.

(III) Nathaniel (2) Peck, son of Nathaniel (1) Peck, born July 26, 1670, married (first) Christian Allen, of Swansea, March 8, 1695-96.  Three children were born of this marriage:  Ebenezer, Nathaniel and Thomas. Nathaniel Peck married (second) Judith Smith, of Rehoboth, July 18, 1705, of whom were born seven children:   Daniel, David, Abigail, Bathsheba, Solomon, of further mention; John, John.  Nathaniel Peck was a prominent citizen of Barrington, holding various public offices; was an officer in the Colonial militia and a deacon of the Congregational church.  He died August 5, 1751, in his eighty-second year.

(IV) Solomon Peck, son of Nathaniel (2) Peck, was born November 11, 1712, married Keziah Barnes, December 29, 1737, and settled upon a part of his father's estate.  Eleven children were the fruit of their marriage.  Mr. Peck was a useful and respected citizen, and Mrs. Peck a devoted wife and mother.  On his tombstone are the lines:

'My flesh shall rest in hope to rise Waked by His powerful Voice.'

On hers:

'A faithful Wife and Mother dear, Such she was who now lies here.'

(V) Solomon (2) Peck, son of Solomon (1) Peck, was born October 29, 1738; married Mrs. Abigail Barney (born Peck), his cousin, December 8, 1763.  He lived in the house which is now known as the Ousamequin farmhouse, where six children were born:  Abigail, Keziah, Solomon, Darius, Ellis, of further mention; and Beebe.  Solomon Peck died August 22, 1814; his widow, June 16, 1821.

(VI) Ellis Peck, son of Solomon (2) Peck, was born in Barrington, August 2, 1774, and died July 27, 1854.  He married Sarah Hill, daughter of David Hill, who gave him seven children:  Sarah, Abigail, Ellis (2), Hannah, Asa, of further mention; Hannah and William.  No children were born by a second marriage to Lucy Bliss, in 1818.  Ellis Peck and family lived at the homestead of his father, Solomon (2) Peck.

(VII) Asa Peck, son of Ellis and Sarah (Hill) Peck, was born in Barrington, April 7, 1812, and married Lucretia S. Remington, daughter of Enoch and Phebe (Short) Remington, March 4, 1839.  Mr. Peck inherited a part of the ancestral acres bought of the Pilgrim proprietors of Sowams by Joseph (1) Peck, and was born and spent his life in the house occupied by his father, Ellis Peck, and his grandfather, Solomon Peck.  It is probable that the house of Nathaniel (2) Peck stood on or near this site, as a stone garrison house stood in front of the Peck house, in the center of the eight-rod way that ran from the north end of the middle eight-rod highway to the Barrington river.  Asa Peck was a farmer by home occupation, but an energetic body, a resolute spirit and an acquisitive nature led him into other fields, at first as a market drover and trader, and later as a dealer in wool-waste, establishing, with his son, Leander R. Peck, a successful business on Canal street, in Providence, under the name of Asa Peck & Company, into which he later introduced his son Walter A. Peck.  Mr. Peck's business enterprises, honorable dealing and strict integrity won success and a comfortable fortune, which he transmitted to a family of children worthy to receive a rich family heritage and the foundation for a larger fortune. Six children were born to Asa and Lucretia S. (Remington) Peck: Adelaide E., Leander R., of further mention; George A., Juliette L., Walter A., and Ida E.  Mrs. Peck was a woman of unusual mental and physical powers, with a moral and spiritual quality that constituted her a leader in Barrington society.  Harmony, cordiality, generosity and  hospitality characterized the Asa Peck home and family.  Mr. Peck took a deep interest in town affairs, and his voice was always on the side of economy in town expenditures. Although a member of the minority party in the town, he was chosen to fill important offices, and was a member of the Committee of Twenty at the Barrington Centennial Celebration in 1870.  There were two traits in the character of Asa Peck with must be emphasized, his industry and his honesty. Of this latter trait, his grandson says:  'Grandfather would go as far to pay a debt as to collect one, and while he expected a payment to the last cent in any debt due him, he was equally insistent in the payment of the last cent where he owed another.'  Other characteristics were his unostenatious charity, his unfailing cheerfulness and his love of home. The virtues inherited from his Puritan ancestors were transmitted to his children, and he passed to his reward honored and respected.

(VIII) Leander Remington Peck, son of Asa and Lucretia S. (Remington) Peck, was born at Ousamequin Farm, Barrington, R. I., February 12, 1843, died in Providence, January 28, 1909, and lies at rest in Princess Hill Cemetery, Barrington.  After obtaining a good education in high school and academy, and business experience through association with his uncle, Jeremiah S. Remington, a merchant of Providence, he joined with his father in organizing the firm Asa Peck & Company.  The business, buying and selling wool and woolen wastes, although new to Rhode Island, possessed elements of profit which attracted Mr. Peck, and he bent every energy toward bringing the venture to a successful issue.  The firm, the oldest in this line in the State, has always kept its leadership by pursuing the policy worked out and followed by Leander R. Peck, who was its inspiration and its directing head until his death.  In addition to the founding and developing of a stable business house, Leander R. Peck was president of the Lawton Spinning Company; a director and vice-president of the Union Trust Company of Providence; a director in other financial corporations, and filled an important place in Providence business life.  He was a business man of keen ability, but he had other enthusiasms, and regarded life as something more than a succession of business transactions.  He bought the site he had previously selected for the Pomham Club grounds, and was one of the founders of the club, chairman of its executive committee, and later its president.

He added to Ousamequin Farm and rendered the grounds around the house spacious and beautiful; the landscape gardeners being freely called upon to make the old home a place of beauty.  He was a great admirer of the light harness horse, and owned some very speedy ones, but these were kept for pleasure driving only.  His cultured wife, too, had her enthusiasms, the greenhouses and beautiful lawns showing plainly woman's taste.  But her great joy was her private collection of silver and copper lustre.  This collection was begun in 1899, with one piece left her by an aunt and one owned by her husband's grandfather.  In one room at Ousamequin, known as the 'Museum', there was but one piece of modern furnture, and that a tall standing lamp.  The winter home of the family was in Providence, with summer home at Ousamequin Farm.

Leander R. Peck married, September 3, 1866, Sarah Gould Cannon, daughter of Charles and Mary P. (Fisher) Cannon, a descendant through female lines of John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley, both of whom came from Leyden in the 'Mayflower', Mrs. Peck being of the ninth American generation.  Mr. and Mrs. Leander R. Peck were the parents of a son, Frederick Stanhope Peck, of further mention; and a daughter, Edith Remington, born March 14, 1874, married, November 15, 1898, Frank N. Phillips, president of the American Electrical Works, and has a daughter, Charlotte, and a son, Donald Key Phillips.

There are many memorials to the memory of Leander Remington Peck to be found in the community in which he so long resided, two of them in the town of Barrington, and very near each other, being strikingly handsome and appropriate. In Barrington stands the modern high school building newly completed, erected on grounds, which, with the newly completed building, were donated to the town by Mrs. Sarah Gould (Cannon) Peck, in honor of her husband's memory, the building to be known as the 'Leander R. Peck School'. The design is beautiful, the construction and the location perfect, but the true value of the gift is the love which inspired it, and the true philanthropic spirit which could forsee the great and increasing value of an institution which shall make men better by making them wiser.

The second movement referred to is the handsome memorial tomb erected in the cemetery at Barrington, in 1909, by Mrs. Edith Remington (Peck) Phillips, as a tribute of respect to the memory of her father.  In order to make the gift doubly effective and to forever provide for its proper care and preservation, Mrs. Leander R. Peck and her son, Frederick S. Peck, have founded a $10,000 fund to provide for the perpetual care of the tomb.

(IX) Frederick Stanhope Peck, of the ninth American generation, son of Leander Remington Peck, and grandson of Asa Peck, was born in Providence, R. I., December 16, 1868.  He began business life in association with his father in the firm of Asa Peck & Company.  He was a trusted and valued assistant to his father until January 1, 1903, when he was elected secretary and assistant treasurer.  This position he held until the death of his father, January 28, 1909, when he succeeded to the presidency.  He is also vice-president of the National Exchange Bank of Providence; vice-president of the Lawton Spinning Company, and vice-president of the Eastern Coal Company, and a director in many other business corporations.  The business lives of these three men - grandfather, father and son - have flowed in similar currents, and each has exhibited that same public spirited enterprise and progressive ideas which have carried each a little further along as conditions changed, but in business intercourse with their fellowmen the same spirit of fairness and upright dealing has actuated them. Asa Peck & Company, Inc., is their business monument, a corporation just entering upon its second half-century of successful existence.

The old home 'Ousamequin Farm', is now a valued possession of Mr. Peck, not only for its intrinsic value, but for its hallowed associations.  Long before it became his proerty he had bought an estate adjoining it, calling his new residence 'Belton Court', in memory of Belton, the early home of the Pecks in England.  In politics he is a Republican, there departing from the faith of his father's, and rendering Barrington valuable service as councilman, State central committeeman, and representative to the General Assembly of Rhode Island, serving on the committee on finance during his entire membership and for six years as chairman.  He is a member of the National Association of Wool Manufacturers, Boston Wool Trade Association, Rhode Island Island Historical Society, Rhode Island School of Design, Bank Clerks Mutual Benefit Association, Sons of the American Revolution, Society of Colonial Wars, and the Society of Mayflower Descendants.  His clubs are the Bristol Reading Room, Barrington Yacht, Bay Spring Yacht, Commercial, Economic, Pomham, Providence Art, Providence Central, Rhode Island Country, Squantum Association, Turk's Head and West Side.

Mr. Peck married, June 6, 1894, Mary Rothwell Burlingame, only daughter of Edwin Harris and Eliza (Aylsworth) Burlingame, and a descendant of Roger Burlingame, who appeared at Stonington, Conn., in 1654, Mrs. Peck being of the ninth American generation.  Mr. and Mrs. Peck are the parents of a daughter, Helen, who married Weir Williams, September 10, 1918.


BA003 PRINCE'S HILL BURIAL GROUND, Barrington, RI
Ellis Peck
born May 11, 1806
died March 20, 1878
in the 72nd year of his age

Louisa, wife of Ellis Peck
born Jan. 28, 1807
died July 9, 1891
in the 85th year of her age


Giles Edwin Clark 
1864 - 1930 
his wife Mary L. Peck 
1870 - 1953 
~
William Clinton Peck 
1865 - 1938 
his wife Annie Wilcis 
1859 - 1940 
~
Charles A. Clark 
1888- 1968 
PECK
Sarah E. Peck
born Sept. 8, 1836
died Aug. 11, 1901
in the 65th year of her life

William J. Peck
born Dec. 14, 1830
died June 16, 1833

Leroy E. Peck
born Dec. 16, 1843
died March 18, 1844

* * * * * *
William J. Peck
born June 5, 1833
died April 13, 1920

Virginia F. Peck,
his wife
born May 17, 1838
died Aug. 4, 1907
aged 69y, 2m, 18d

 

PECK
Capt. Solomon Peck
died Aug. 22, 1814
aged 76 yr's
Abigail wife of Solomon Peck
died Jan. 16, 1821
aged 86 yr's
Elles son of Solomon Peck
died July 27, 1854
aged 79 yr's 11 mon's 27 days
Sarah wife of Elles Peck
died June 3, 1817
aged 34 yr's
Lucy wife of Elles Peck
died Dec. 9, 1853
aged 82 yr's

Erected in the memory of
Mrs. Huldah Peck
the amiable wife of
Maj. Ebenezer Peck
who was born March 4, 1753
and departed this life
April 22, 1816
in the 64th year of her age.

Sacred to the memory of
Leander Remington Peck
son of Asa Peck
born Feb. 12, 1843
died Jan. 28, 1909

In memory of Sarah Gould Cannon
wife of Leander R. Peck
born April 25, 1844
died March 24, 1929

Sacred to the memory of
Frederick Stanhope Peck
born Dec. 16, 1868
died Jan. 20, 1947

Mary Rothwell Burlingame
wife of Frederick Stanhope Peck
born June 30, 1873
died Oct. 13, 1958



p. 6 - 10.

GEORGE LOTHROP BRADLEY.  --  The name Bradley is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a compound of Brad (broad) and lea (a field or meadow).  It is local in derivation, and it can be readily seen that William of the broad lea would in the evolution of surnames become William Bradley.  The earliest mention of the name in England occurs in the year 1183, when the Lord High Bishop of Durham mentions an estate in Wollsingham which contained three hundred acres, and another at Bradley of forty acres, held by Roger de Bradley.

Arms-- Gules a fesse argent between three boars' heads couped or, Crest-- A boar sable brisled and hoofed or, gorged with a garland vert.

There are numerous townships bearing the name located in Cheshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Southampton and Staffordshire, the latter of which counties contains Bradley estates and townships of very great extent.  In 1437 there is mention of the Bradleys of Bradley.  Again in 1475 the will of Sir John Pilkington, Knight, of Yorkshire, bequeathed to his brother Charles a place named Bradley.  There are great and small Bradley parishes in Suffolk, and Lower and Upper Bradley in Kildwick, Yorkshire.   John Bradley was Bishop of Shaftsbury, in 1539.  In 1578 Alexander Bradley resided in the See of Durham, and about the same time Cuthbertus Bradley was curate of Barnarde Castle.  Thomas Bradley was Doctor of Divinity and chaplain to King Charles I., and afterward prebend of the Cathedral Church of York and rector of Ackworth.  His son, Savile, was fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and another son, Thomas, was a merchant in Virginia.

During this period the persecutions and religious intolerance in England led many to emigrate to America; emigration increased to such an extent that a tax aimed at curtailing it was levied on all who left the country.  This led many to slip away by stealth, leaving no record of their departure.  Among the original lists of emigrants, religious exiles, etc., a number of Bradleys are mentioned.  There are several distinct branches of the family in America tracing their lineage to the several founders who came to the New World in the seventeenth century.  Few branches have produced as distinguished a progeny as the Massachusetts Bradleys, of which family the Hon. Charles Smith Bradley, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, was a member.

(I)  Joseph Bradley, the immigrant ancestor and founder, was born in London, England, in 1649, and settled in Haverhill, Mass., in 1659.  He married, April 4, 1691, Hannah Heath, of Haverhill, and rose to prominence in the life and affairs of the town toward the close of the seventeenth century. The fifth garrison was in his house and under his command.  The Bradley family was among those of early Haverhill who suffered severely from the Indian raids.  In 1697 Joseph, Martha and Sarah Bradley were captured by the Indians.  On April 17, 1701, Daniel Bradley was reported missing.  The wife of Joseph Bradley was captured twice.  The garrison at his house was surprised February 8, 1704, and his wife taken for the second time and carried away.  An infant child, born to her soon afterward, died of exposure and want, or was killed as the following ancient tradition states.  Hannah Bradley received no kindness from her captors, subsisting on bits of skin, ground nuts, bark of trees, wild onions and lily roots, on the terrible journey to Canada, after the birth of her child.  The child was sickly and annoyed the Indians with its crying.  They thrust embers from the fire in its mouth, gashed its forehead with their knives, and finally, during her temporary absence from it, ended its life by impaling it on a pike.  She managed to live through the journey and was sold to the French in Canada for eighty livres.  She was kindly treated by her owners.  In March, 1705, her husband started for Canada on foot, with a dog and small sled, taking with him a bag of snuff to the Governor of Canada from the Governor of Massachusetts.  He redeemed his wife and set sail for Boston.  We are told that during one attack on the Bradley house she poured hot soft soap on an Indian and killed him, and that the torture of her child was in retaliation. Joseph Bradley died October 3, 1729; his widow Hannah, November 2, 1761.

(II) Isaac Bradley, son of Joseph and Hannah (Heath) Bradley, was born in Haverhill, Mass., in 1680.  During an Indian raid, Isaac Bradley, aged fifteen and Joseph Whitaker, aged eleven, were taken captive while in the open fields near Joseph Bradley's house on Parsonage road, near the north brook.  Joseph was, tradition tells us, a large, overgrown, and exceedingly clumsy boy.  On their arrival at the Indian camp at the lake, the boys were placed in an Indian family until the spring, when the Indians intended to take them to Canada.  Isaac contracted a fever, and the kindness and care of the squaw alone saved his life.  On his recovery he planned to escape, managed to get away with his companion, and continued to the southward all night.  The Indians pursued them the following day, and their dogs found the boys.  They gave the meat they had taken for food to the dogs, who knew them, and were saved by concealing themselves with the animals in a hollow log.  Some days later they came upon an Indian camp, but escaped without detection.  They continued almost without food or clothing for eight days. On the morning of the eighth day, Joseph sank down exhausted, and Isaac Bradley went on alone, shortly afterward reaching a settler's camp, and returning for young Whitaker, whom he left at Saco, continuing on to Haverhill alone.

Isaac Bradley married, at Haverhill, Mass., intentions dated May 16, 1706, Elizabeth Clement.

(III)  John Bradley, son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Clement) Bradley, was born at Haverhill, Mass., April 10, 1709.  He married, and resided in Haverhill, all his life, a prosperous and well known member of the community.

(IV)  Lieutenant Jonathan Bradley, son of John Bradley, was born at Haverhill, Mass., and baptized there, February 22, 1746-47.  He served with valor during the American Revolution, and held the rank of second lieutenant in Captain Stephen Webster's company, Fourth Essex County Regiment, in 1778. He married (first) intentions dated, February 11, 1773, Sarah Osgood, of Andover, where she died September 14, 1790, aged forty;  he married (second) April 14, 1791, Sarah Ayer, who died October 20, 1820, aged sixty-five, at Andover.  Lieutenant Jonathan Bradley was a resident of Andover for the greater part of his life, and was one of the leading men of the town in his day.  He died there, February 23, 1818, aged seventy-three years.

(V) Charles Bradley, son of Lieutenant Jonathan and Sarah (Ayer) Bradley, was born at Andover, Mass., December 17, 1792.  He married (intentions dated at Newburyport, November 14, 1817) Sarah Smith, of Haverhill.  She was a daughter of Jonathan K. Smith, and a granddaughter of Rev. Hezekiah Smith, a famous chaplain of the Massachusetts troops in the Revolution, and for more than forty years one of the follows of Brown University.  Charles Bradley was a prominent merchant of Boston, and afterward a manufacturer in Portland, Me.

(VI) Hon. Charles Smith Bradley, son of Charles and Sarah (Smith) Bradley, was born in Newburyport, Mass., July 18, 1819.  He enjoyed excellent educational advantages, and prepared for college in the Boston Latin School. He entered Brown University, drawn to it by the regard he had for his great-grandfather, and in 1838 was with the highest honors in his class, which contained an unusual number of brilliant men.  Several years following were spent in post-graduate study in the University, and after taking the degree of Master of Arts he chose the legal profession for his work in life, and entered the Harvard Law School.  Completing his studies for the bar in the law office of Charles F. Tillinghast, of Providence, he was admitted to the bar in 1841.  In the same year he formed a partnership with Mr. Tillinghast.

He sprang rapidly into prominence through his eloquence as a speaker.  His public utterances were all characterized by a masterly power of reasoning, comprehensive knowledge and a polished diction which led to his appointment often to speak on political and literary occasions.  In 1854 he was elected by the town of North Providence to the Senate of the State, where he was influential in securing the Act of Amnesty to all who had taken part in the Dorr Rebellion of 1842.  At a public meeting in Providence, June 9, 1856 relative to the assault of Brooks on Sumner in the United States Senate, he said:

'Is it not well that the second city in New England, the first which is not connected by any personal ties with Mr. Sumner, should speak of this outrage, not in the first flush of our indignation, but in the tones of deliberate condemnation?  *  *  *  We know that brutality and cowardice go hand in hand, because brutal passions and true moral courage cannot harmonize in the same character.  *  *  *  If the South upholds this act, the antagonism of their civilization and ours will mount higher and come closer and closer; and it requires no horoscope to show the future.'
Judge Bradley was a conscientious member of the Democratic party throughout his life, but had the support and confidence of men of all parties in the city and State.  He represented Rhode Island repeatedly in the National Democratic Convention, notably that of 1860, when the party was divided, and he adhered to the Unionists, casting his vote for Stephen A. Douglas.  In 1863 he was the Democratic  nominee for Congress.  In February, 1866, he was elected Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, as successor of Hon. Samuel Ames, receiving the honor at the hands of a Republican Legislature.  After two years on the bench, years in which he discharged the duties of his office with consummate ability and with the greatest honor to himself and to the State, he resigned to give his entire attention to his private practice.  On the occation of his retirement from the bench the 'Providence Journal' observed:

'He has discharged the duties belonging to that high position with a success, and, we may add, a judicial distinction, in which the people of the State feel both a satisfaction and pride, and which they had hoped would long continue to illustrate in a sphere so honorable and important.'

On the occasion of the opening of the Rhode Island Hospital, Judge Bradley, a generous donor to the fund of $80,000 which was raised at the time, remarked in his address:

'Every human being is united, by mysterious ties, with all the past and all of the future.  Those who most fully realize the greatness of our being have the strongest desire to live after death, even on earth.  It is no personal ambition, but a diviner instinct, which leads such nature to found, or to ally themselves with, great institutions, whose perennial existence of beneficence shall outlast their names and their memories among men.  *  *  * Our State will bear proudly on its bosom through coming centuries this institution, expressing in its object, and its architecture the humanity of the age.  *  *  *  In aiding you place stones of beauty in these walls, whereon the All Seeing Eye, it may not irreverently be said, shall read your name, though time and storm shall have written their wild signatures upon them.  *  *  *  The sons and daughters of toil, as the day calls them to work and the night to rest, will look upon these towers, blending with the morning and the evening sky, with their tearful benedictions.  In the time of illness and accident, if the struggle of life presses too hard upon them, this shall be their honorable refuge, builded with a beneficence akin to, and sanctioned by, the Divine.'
In 1866 Judge Bradley received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Brown University, and was also elected one of the fellows of that institution. For three years he officiated as lecturer in the Law School of Harvard University.  In 1876 he was chosen professor of that school, and filled the chair with remarkable ability until 1879.  On his retirement the board of overseers, through their chairman, Judge Lowell, said:
'We have suffered a great loss in the resignation of Hon. Charles S. Bradley, whose lucid and practical teaching was highly appreciated by the students and whose national reputation added to the renown of the school. We had hoped that some incidental advantage of quiet and freedom from care might be found to outweigh other considerations, and that the professorship was permanently filled.'
Judge Bradley traveled widely in America, and at different times had visited nearly all portions of Europe.  With his love of letters and broad scholarship he united a genuine and strong love for agriculture and rural enjoyments, which was perhaps in a large degree an inherited passion.  The grounds about his elegant residence in Providence, his farm property and products, and his attachment to ancestral estates, were a proof of his appreciation of all that belongs to the oldest and most important of human occupations.  His tastes and culture were manifested in his great love for superior works of art, of which he had many noted specimens in his home. His oration before the Alumni Association of Brown Universtiy in 1855, his oration on the 250th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, his remarks on the retirement of President Caswell from the presidency of the University in 1872, and his oration before the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Harvard University in 1879, were models of rich thought, graceful diction, and lucid argument, vindicating his right to be classed as one of the most impressive orators of his day in the United States.  Of his address before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the Boston 'Daily Advertiser' observed:
'If there were any need for justifications of the custom of annual addresses before the college societies, such an address as Judge Bradley's yesterday gave that justification completely. It is, indeed, remarkable to see an audience of so distinguished men of leading position in every walk of life. It is remarkable to have so much good sense, so many important suggestions, nay, so many of the fundamental truths upon which civilized society rests crowded into one hour. The power of the speaker on his audience, the hold with which he compelled their fascinated attention were again and again referred to through the afternoon.  This is not simply the attention which people give to what they hear with pleasure, it was the satisfaction with which the audience received important principles, of which they felt the value, whether they were or were not new to the hearer. Vero pro gratis indeed might well be taken as the motto of the address.  The passage which showed how the bar of the country must be relied upon to maintain at the highest the dignity of the bench was received with profound sympathy and interest. It deserves the careful attention of the bar in every part of the country.'
His oration on 'The Profession of the Law as an Element of Civil Society', pronounced June 29, 1881, before the Societies of the University of Virginia, was regarded 'as a learned and profound discussion of this subject, in which he argued that the bar is essential to the administration of justice, that the administration of justice is essential to the existence of society, and the existence of society essential for the protection of man in his endeavors to live according to the laws of his being.'

Judge Bradley married (first) April 28, 1842, Sarah Manton, daughter of Joseph and Mary (Whipple) Manton, of Providence, R. I.  She was born March 10, 1818, and died December 12, 1854, survived by three sons:  1.  Joseph Manton, who died March 7, 1879, unmarried.  2.  Charles, of whom see forward.  3.  George Lothrop, of whom see forward.   Judge Bradley married (second) August 4, 1858, Charlotte Augusta Saunders, of Charlottesville, Va., and she died in May, 1864, her daughter, Janet Laurie, dying in the same month.  He married (third) in May, 1866, Emma Pendleton (Ward) Chambers, of Winchester, Va., who died February 28, 1875.  Judge Bradley died in New York City, April 29, 1888, while on a visit to his son, the late George Lothrop Bradley.

(VII) Charles (2) Bradley, son of the late Chief Justice Charles Smith and Sarah (Manton) Bradley, was born in Providence, R. I., May 6, 1845.  He received his early education under Dr. S. F. Smith in a private academy in Newton, Mass., and later attended the University Grammar School of Providence, where he prepared for college.  He entered Williams College, and was graduated therefrom in 1865.  Shortly afterward he entered business life and went to Chicago, where he was engaged in business for several years.  He next went to Colorado, where he was interested in gold mining, but, tiring of this venture and of business life, he returned to Providence, where he determined to enter the legal profession.

He prepared for the bar in the office of his father in Providence, and after being admitted at once began the practice of his profession in the office of Bradley & Metcalf, of which noted law firm his father was senior member. His legal practice dealt more with the technical and involved problems of jurisprudence, and was for the greater part conducted in his office.  He was well known in the ranks of the legal profession in Providence, as a lawyer of fine capability and masterly reasoning powers, but was of a retiring disposition, eschewing public life.  Mr. Bradley spent much time on his country estate in the town of Lincoln, taking great pride in its beauty.  He was essentially a homeloving man, and his home was that of the man of culture, refinement and scholarly tastes.  His library and art collection, the nucleus of which had been left him by his father were his special attractions.  He was a member of the Hope and Rhode Island clubs of Providence, and of the Rhode Island School of Design and the Providence Art Club.  Mr. Bradley died in the prime of life November 9, 1898, in the fifty-fourth year of his age.

On October 31, 1876, Charles Bradley married Jane Whitman Bailey, who was born in the town of North Providence, July 13, 1849, daughter of William Mason and Harriet (Brown) Bailey.  Mr. and Mrs. Bradley were the parents of the following children:  1.  Charles, Jr., mentioned below.  2.  Alice Whitman, born Nov. 5, 1881; resides with her mother.  3. Joseph Manton, born Dec. 10, 1882; was engaged in business in Portland, Ore., for six years at the end of which time he returned to the East, and engaged in cotton manufacturing in Brattleboro, Vt.; he married Margaret S. Walter, of Portland, Ore., and they have two children:  Joseph Manton, Jr., and Margaret Bradley.  He died in Providence, R. I., March 15, 1915.  4.  Mary Emerson, born June 18, 1884; married Dr. Emery M. Porter, of Providence; issue:  Emery Moulton, Jr., who died in infancy; George Whipple; Jane Bradley, who died in infancy; Arnold, and Nancy Porter.  5.  Margaret Harrison, born July 6, 1890; married Brockholst M. Smith, of Providence, and they are the parents of a daughter Helen Bradley Smith, born in Aug., 1914, and a son, Brockholst M. Smith, Jr., born Oct. 24, 1917.

(VIII)  Charles (3) Bradley, son of Charles (2) and Jane Whitman (Bailey) Bradley, was born in Providence, R. I., December 19, 1877.  He was educated in the University Grammar School of Providence, and entered Brown University, from which he was graduated in the class of 1898.  Immediately on completing his education, he entered the employ of the Bell Telephone Company, and was assigned to the Pittsburgh (Pa.) office in 1900.  He rose rapidly to the fore in the office in this city, and by successive promotions was made superintendent of one of the departments of the plant.  His promising career was cut short by his untimely death, as a result of blood-poisoning, on January 17, 1910.

Charles Bradley married, October 16, 1901, Helen N. Hunt, daughter of Horatio A. Hunt, of Providence.  Mr. and Mrs. Bradley were the parents of the following children:  Charles, Horatio Hunt, George Lothrop.  Mrs. Bradley, who survives her husband, and resides at No. 170 Waterman street, Providence, is well-known in social life in Providence, and has been prominently connected with charitable and philanthropic work in the city.

(VII)  George Lothrop Bradley, third son of the late Chief Justice Charles Smith and Sarah (Manton) Bradley, was born in Providence, R. I., October 4, 1848.  He was educated in private schools in Providence, and in Newton, Mass., later attending the Providence University Grammar School of Providence, where he prepared for Harvard and Brown Colleges, passing the preliminiary examinations for both institutions.  He entered neither, however, but becoming deeply interest in metallurgical engineering, went to Freiburg, Germany, where he pursued a course in this science at the School of Mines, from which he was graduated in 1867.  On his return to America, he went to Colorado for the purpose of developing some mining property, making the journey across the plains in a stage coach, at a time when Indians and marauding bands of outlaws infested the region.  The coach preceding that in which he was a passenger was attacked by Indians and all its occupants killed.  After a short period spent in the West, which was filled with the thrilling experiences of the pioneer days, he returned to his home, and shortly afterward went to South America to investigate mining conditions there.

On his return, in Boston he met Professor Alexander Graham Bell, then a teacher of a new system of communication for deaf mutes, who subsequently went to Salem, Mass., and, while giving instructions there, devoted considerable time to the study and development of the telephone.  Professor Bell later came to Providence, where he met Norman N. Mason, who was then in the apothecary business, and they with others placed the telephone on a practical working basis.  Mr. Bradley, deeply interested in the project, and keenly alive to its possibilities, was induced to introduce the invention in Boston, where in 1876 he organized the New England Telephone Company.  In the following year he organised the National Telephone Company in New York City.  In the meantime the Western Union Telegraph Company had acquired the Edison patents for the telephone, and there was a contract between the two companies for the monopoly of the system. This contract between the two companies resulted in a compromise which gave the Bell Company an undisputed field.  Its stock had gradually increased in value from one to fifty dollars per share, and eventually rose to eight hundred dollars per share.  Through his holdings in the company, Mr. Bradley realized a goodly profit.  His name ranks among the foremost in the history of the telephone, and he probably did more to make it a business success than any other man in the country. He saw from the outset the great financial possibilities in what others of recognized foresight had regarded as a mere mechanical toy, and became one of the original investigators and promoters of the invention which has played so important a part in human progress in the past three decades.  In his researches he was associated with Professor John Pierce and Professor Blake, of Brown University, and, encouraged in the undertaking by the late Hon. Rowland G. Hazard, of Peace Dale, who was confident that the telephone would be as univerally used as gas and water.

After establishing the telephone on a financial basis, in 1883 Mr. Bradley settled in Washington, D. C., and became actively interested in the Mergenthaler Linotype Company, which had been a business failure for more than six years.  With the assistance of the late Hon. William C. Whitney, who was secretary of the United States Navy in President Cleveland's cabinet, Mr. Bradley put the latter company in such a sound financial condition that its stock was greatly enhanced in value.

Mr. Bradley later became interested in the Florida Coast Line Canal and Transportation Company, investing heavily in its stock.  The company was organized for the purose of constructing an island waterway five hundred and sixty miles in length along the eastern coast of Florida.  Mr. Bradley gave this enterprise not only great financial aid, but in addition took an active ineterest in the management of the corporation, and for several years served as its president.  In order to form a continuous navigable inland waterway, it was necessary not only to construct canals through the divides separating natural waters, but to remove shoals from the channels of these waters, and in places cut through sharp bends and increase the width of a number of tortuous salt-water creeks which form a portion of the route selected by the company.  The canal is operated under a State charter and has the right of eminent domain, and privilege of charging tolls on all canals constructed and channels improved, the tolls to be fixed by the president and directors of the company, and to be approved by the board of trustees of the internal improvement fund of the State of Florida.  In addition to the rights acquired by the canal company under the above law the State Legislature, by special act granted to the company a land subsidy of 3,840 acres per mile for the purpose of enabling those interested in the project to obtain the necessary capital for the construction of the canals and improvements along the natural waterways.  This policy on the part of the State resulted in the Canal Company becoming such a considerable owner of land on the east coast of Florida that when an opportunity came to secure the construction of a railroad along the coast of Biscayne Bay, the Canal Company decided to grant a land subsidy of about 270,000 acres of land to the railway company, which resulted in the construction of one of the best railroads in the south.  It soon became apparent that the directors of the Canal Company had made no mistake in subsidizing the railroad, as the construction of this railroad not only transformed the eastern section of Florida from a wilderness into the greatest winter resort in the United States, but, in addition, gave great impetus to the development of the agricultural resources of that country by giving rapid transportation to the growers of delicate fruits and vegetables, which enabled them to place the products of their plantations in the northern and western markets in good condition.  The vast improvements of the Canal Company, too, had drained large bodies of rich marsh land, which, when the water was lowered, were ready for the plow, and resulted in new agricultural enterprises, as well as the building of new towns and villages on both sides of the waterway from practically its entire length. A line of passenger and freight steamers was placed in commission and operated between Titusville and Jupiter, one hundred and thirty miles to the south, another important factor in the opening up of this country.  Until the year 1892 the inside waters of the Florida coast were supposed to be controlled by the State, and the canal company, under its charter, improved the channels of the Indian river where necessary.  In the latter year, however, through the efforts of the late Senator Matthew S. Quay, of Pennsylvania, an appropriation was made by Congress to be expended in still further improving the river and in enlarging the canals owned by the land company.  The question of jurisdiction being raised, the United States Attorney General gave the opinion that the appropriation should not be expended until the Florida Coast Line Canal and Transportation Company waived its rights to charge tolls on the channels improved by the company between Titusville and Jupiter.  After some negitiations an agreement was made which provided that no tolls should be collected on that section of the waterway, and the money appropriated was then spent on the channel, and subsequently additional appropriations were made for the same purpose.  The remainder of the waterway, however, is still controlled by the canal company.  In the launching of this colossal enterprise, in the financing of it, and in the subsequent work of placing it on a firm business basis, Mr. Bradley was one of the leaders.  To his consummate genius as a business organizer, executive and financier, a great part of the success of the Florida Coast Line Canal and Transportation Company is due.  As one of the founders of this company he had no small part in the influential place it holds in the growth and development of the interest of eastern Florida.  In the difficulties which beset the establishment of so phenomenal an enterprise, he was ever the wise counselor, the keen, sagacious, foresighted man of business, and his own belief in the future greatness of the gigantic scheme infused into all engaged in it the courage which carried it through to completion.

Mr. Bradley possessed the calm, judical type of mentality, was essentially an individualist and an original thinker.  Although an idealist, he was endowed with a genius for the practical which made him a farsighted but dependable leader a man whose vision might be relied upon, for it was tempered always with a regard for the practical.  The broad understanding and tolerance for the cosmopolite, the culture which comes with wide travel, constant association with men of influence in the world of finance, business and the professions, was his in a marked degree.  He was a linguist of no mean ability, a fine conversationalist, a forceful and compelling speaker. He was deeply interested in literature and the arts, and his home was the center of a thoughtful and brilliant society.  He was essentially a diplomat, a man of affairs, of large visions.  Nothing of a mean nature entered into his life; he was above the petty disagreements.  Mr. Bradley was a lover of nature and outdoor life, and took an especial pride in his estate, comprising over eight hundred acres of land, in Pomfret, Conn., an ideal spot, commanding a magnificent view of the surrounding country.  He was one of the founders of the Pomfret School for Boys, and maintained a deep interest in it until the time of his death, serving as a member of the board of trustees.

Mr. Bradley was prominent in social and club circles in New York and Washington, D. C.  He was a member of the Metropolitan, Cosmos, Elite, Chevy Chase, and Country clubs of Washington; of the Reform and the Players' clubs of New York City; and also of the National Geographical and various other societies.  He was a man's man, generous, chivalrous and upright in every detail of his life, surrounding himself with none of the barriers which men who have attained the place of distinction which was his are apt to erect about themselves.  In consequence, he was not only honored and respected but loved by a vast number of friends and acquaintances.

On June 12, 1878, Mr. Bradley married Helen McHenry Chambers, daughter of Dr. John Mason Duncan Chambers, a prominent physician of Virginia, and his wife, Emma Pendleton Ward.  Mrs. Bradley, who survives her husband and resides on the Bradley estate in Pomfret, Conn., is a descendant from some of the earliest Virginia families.  She is well known in social circles in Rhode Island and Washington, D. C.  Mr. and Mrs. Bradley were the parents of a daughter, Emma Pendelton Bradley.

George Lothrop Bradley died at his home in Washington, D. C., on March 26, 1906, in the sixtieth year of his age.  By the terms of his will, the Bradley estate in Providence, R. I., containing twelve acres of land, became the Emma Pendleton Bradley Home for Convalescents and Invalids, in memory of his only daughter, Emma Pendelton Bradley.


 Continued


These documents are made available free to the public for non-commercial purposes by the Rhode Island USGenWeb Project. Transcribed and pictures 2001-2 by Beth Hurd


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