Archive:NEHGR, Volume 37

From WRG
Jump to navigationJump to search

Archives > Archive:Extracts > Archive:The New England Historical and Genealogical Register > NEHGR, Volume 37

Bodge, George M., "Soldiers in King Philip's War", NEHGR, vol. XXXVII (1883), pp. 61-76, 170-189, 278-285, 362-375.

[p. 69]

5 Oct 1675, soldiers under Capt. Henchman:
Samuel Whitney
John Shattock

[p. 282]

[Dec 1675-Jan 1675/6]

List of Capt. Prentice's troopers.
Troopers belonging to Capt. Davis
Samuel Whitney

Moore, Jacob Bailey, "Memorial of Stephen Whitney Phoenix", NEHGR, vol. XXXVII (1883), pp. 229-232.


This image of Stephen Whitney Phoenix appears on the preceding, unnumbered page, to illustrate the following article.


Memorial Notice, read before the New York Historical Society, on Tuesday Evening,
December 6, 1881,

By Jacob Bailey Moore, Esq., Librarian of that Society.
Mr. Phoenix was born at No. 18 State Street in this city of New York, May 25, 1839. The house, which is still standing and devoted to commercial uses, recalls to the minds of old citizens memories of the more aristrocratic and fashionable quarter of Bowling Green and the Battery. He was one of a family of seven, of whom three, Phillips and Lloyd Phoenix and Mary Caroline, wife of George Henry Warren, have survived him, children of J. Phillips Phoenix and Mary, daughter of Stephen Whitney. He was thus descended from two distinguished merchants of the old school, whose names are identified with the growth and prosperity, not only of this city but of the nation.
His father, Mr. J. Phillips Phoenix, was for several terms the efficient representative in congress of a district in this city, comprising a cultivated and intelligent constituency, who delighted to repose their trust in one, whose sterling qualities of head and heart, whose broad national views and fidelity to principle engaged for him the respect and life-long friendship of the leaders of the great Whig party to which he belonged.
The name of Stephen Whitney, Mr. Phoenix's grandfather on the maternal side, has passed into history, not only to be honored as that of the successful and exemplary merchant, but as of the public-spirited citizen who aided in the establishment of many measures for the public good.
From these gentlemen Mr. Phoenix inherited a large fortune and high social position. In 1859 he was graduated at Columbia College, where his natural abilities, fondness for study and close application had won for him the highest academical honors. Subsequently he studied law at its law-school, not for the purposes of a profession

[p. 230]

but as a preparation for the proper discharge of the duties of a citizen. After completing the course, he fitted himself in Europe, under experienced masters, notably among others the distinguished Egyptologist, Dr. Birch, of the British Museum, for an extended tour of observation and scientific research. The results of his subsequent travels, in which he was accompanied by his brothers, through the various countries of Europe, in China, Japan, Syria, Egypt, the West Indies and Labrador, were impressed on his future life and character, and evinced in charming reminiscences of the countries which he had visited, an authoritative knowledge of their history, and in the valuable collection of objects of nature, art and antiquity, which he possessed at his death.
After his return to America, Mr. Phoenix devoted himself to the studies incident to his wealth and station, and as an ardent promoter of literature, art and science, became the active patron and associate of numerous institutions founded for these purposes.
In the discharge of his social duties he did not neglect those which were due to himself, and continued a close student to the day of his death. He pursued the study of genealogy with the ardor of a devotee and the ability of a master of the science. The records of births, baptisms, marriages and deaths of the Reformed Dutch and the First and Second Presbyterian Churches in this city, invaluable to the future genealogist, were copied at his request and expense, and are now being printed under the auspices of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. In 1867 he printed a genealogy of John Phoenix, an early settler of Kittery, Maine, and at the period of his death had ready for publication that of Alexander Phoenix, born in England in 1643, the first emigrant to America of the name, from whom he was directly descended. In 1878 he privately printed the Whitney Genealogy in three magnificent volumes; probably the largest, most complete and costly work of its kind in existence, a copy of which, with a liberality unexampled, he caused to be placed in each of the principal libraries of the country. He also defrayed the expense of copying for preservation the epitaphs on the tombstones in the Trinity churchyard of this city, and devoted much personal attention to the neglected portraits of American worthies in old New York, many of which he caused to be engraved. The favorite work of this nature in which he was engaged was the illustration of Dr. Francis's Anniversary Address before this society, "Old New York"; producing a most sumptuous work in several volumes, a monument to his taste and a model for the future illustrator. His last publication consisted of three volumes, containing reproductions of the New York Poll Lists for the years 1761, 1768 and 1769.
Mr. Whitney was unostentatious and retiring. When he extended his hand it was the pledge of lasting fidelity and friendship. Throughout his life the admirable qualities of a noble mind and gen-

[p. 231]

erous heart were apparent, the sagacity, resolution, persistence and patience, which lead to success; the geniality, unselfishness and sympathy which encourage others to achieve it. He never married, but passed his domestic hours in the bonds of filial and paternal affection, under the same roof with his mother and his brothers. Until the death of his mother he usually expended his summers in her society at the Grange on the Hudson called Glenwood. He afterwards purchased Harbour View, on Halidon Hill, Newport, and there he passed the last summer of his life.
During the spring of the present year he returned from a brief visit to Europe, and the last public meeting which he attended was that of this society, in May. In June the disease to which he was subjected had impaired his health to such a degree, that four eminent surgeons, by advice of his physicians, were called for consultation. He died at his residence in this city on the third of November of this year (1881).
He was bidden from the arena at a time when men are eager for the race, when their facilities are the brightest and their passionate energies are at the highest. But he went with a serene look, and content with the work of his past hours. The protracted pains of a fatal malady were but the ministers to his resignation, and those who stood by the couch of suffering of one, thus stricken in the prime of manhood, of preparation and hope, saw that the ending of his day at noontide, in the meridian glory of life, was not a disappointment, a contradiction, a hardship to him, though it may have seemed so to them. In this our age and land of prosperity and luxury, it would be well if the throng in pursuit of wealth, pleasure and personal preferment, would stop to profit by a contemplation of his character.
Born to great wealth and the highest social station, a crowd of worldly pleasures lackeyed him for his attention. He dismissed them and went on his way with elevated gaze; in the thoughtless period of youth avoiding the idle amusements, vain pursuits and useless ostentations of fashion, so often mistaken for the evidenes of culture and refinement. Nor did he later seek the seductive paths of public life. He cared not to fly before the faces of men, an evanescent apparition for their idle wonder, nor even that nations should sigh, flatter, applaud and throw them at this feet. Nor did he reach that stage of life when men choose to become the sordid guardians of money, a monstrous, dead thing, breeding the dead. But he saw about him, --and shrunk from the sight,-- men living from day to day in deadly coldness, indifference, scorn and defiance, slaying each others' happiness for these, foreseeing everything but the inevitable annihilation of the temples of their selfish hopes.
Yet he who was the inheritor, not of wealth and station alone, but of the genius which takes them until itself as its just rewards, was not without ambition. But it was the laudable ambition which

[p. 232]

is led on by duty, the generous spirit's desire for the glory which makes its beneficent labors the lighter.
From his steady pursuit of encyclopµdic knowledge, from the careful discipline of his passions, from the trained likes of his masculine yet delicate taste, from his early lingering in the Porch and the Academy to learn from the sages of old the emptiness of worldly preferment and pleasure, from his enduring love for the godlike Greek as a brother votary in the religion of sublimity and beauty, it may be rationally inferred that he was thus preparing for some specific loftiness of occupation, in the eyes of wise and good men to make him glorious, in the eyes of Heaven worthy of its smile. He died as he was about to lift the veil from his ideal, as it stood in his imagination, doubtless a perfect and self-approved shape.
But we may affirm, that had he lived to realize that dream of personal greatness, he would have been still occupied with the chief, the unceasing work of beneficence to his fellow-men, which was the impulse of his nature and the principle of his life, still
"to do some generous good,
Teach ignorance to see, or grief to smile."
The final disposition of his great fortune to the grand purposes of education plainly proves not only this, but his clear appreciation of the efficacy of that public benevolence which fosters literature, art and science, that crowning spirit of prosperity and civilization which, when it ceases to be an impulse and becomes a conviction among a people, confers the finishing glory upon the nation.
It is unnecessary to recall, other than with the words of gratitude, his warm interest in the purposes and welfare of this Society. The future student of history in these halls, grateful to him for his numerous and valuable contributions to its collections during life, and the munificent bequest by which he constituted it his successor in the special branch of historical research which was the object of his life-long devotion, will doubtless have at hand an extended account of a life and character so attractive to the biographer as a study, so worthy of his pen as an example.
But to love him, to feel the touch of nature which makes the whole world kin, to know the spring of his joy, his words and his ambition, the student of his life has but to turn to the dedication of the magnificent Whitney Genealogy in this library and read these words:
"I inscribe these volumes to the dear memory of my beloved mother, Mary, daughter of Stephen and Harriet Whitney, for whose tender love and devotion I owe a debt of more than filial gratitude and reverence."

"Notes and Queries", NEHGR, vol. XXXVII (1883), pp 305-313.

[p. 306]

Stephen Whitney Phoenix, Esq. -- A memoir of this accomplished genealogist and liberal benefactor to Columbia College and the New York Historical Society, written by Mr. Moore, the able and efficient librarian of the last-named institution, appears as the leading article in this number of the Register. We are indebted to the liberality of Henry T. Downe, Esq., president of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, and an intimate friend of Mr. Phoenix, for impressions, to illustrate the article, from a portrait on steel belonging to him.
Mr. Phoenix was a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and a sketch of him by the historiographer will be found in the Register, volume xxxvi, page 206.

[p. 307-308] Queries

Dartmouth Graduates -- Further information is wanted concerning the following graduates of Dartmouth College, by John M. Comstock, Chelsea, Vt.
1797. John Whitney, son of Ezra and Mercy (Morse) Whitney, b. Douglas, Mass.; was insane.

"Records of Winchester, N. H.", NEHGR, vol. XXXVII (1883), pp. 296-297, pp. 396-399.

[p. 296]


Communicated by John L. Alexander, M.D., of Belmont, Mass.

These records were destroyed before the copy was completed.

[p. 297]

1784 Aaron Whitney m. Hannah Willard Sept 23.

[p. 398]

1794 Asahel Pomeroy m. Hannah Whitney

Allen, Willard S., A.M. of East Boston, Mass.,"Longmeadow (Mass.) Families", NEHGR, vol. XXXVII (1883), pp. 358-361.

[p. 361]

Pyncheon Families in Springfield.
2d Generation. Colonel John Pyncheon, of Springfield, son of Col. William Pyncheon, was married Oct. 30, 1644, to Ame Willis. Their children-- Joseph, born July 26, 1646. John, born Oct. 15, 1647, died April 25, 1721. Mary, born Oct. 28, 1650. William, born Oct. 11, 1653, died June 15, 1654. Mehittable, born Nov. 22, 1661, died July 24, 1663. Joseph, educated at Harvard College was graduated A.D. 1664, was in England 1675, at the time Springfield was burnt by the Indians. He settled in Boston and died unmarried. The family of John follows this. Mary was married Oct. 5, 1669 to Joseph Whitney. [NOTE: She married Joseph Whiting, not Whitney--RLW] Mrs. Ame Pyncheon the mother died Jan. 9, 1699. Col. John Pyncheon the father died Jan. 17, 1703.

Copyright © 1999, 2006, The Whitney Research Group