Open main menu

Josiah Quincy III

Josiah Quincy III (/ˈkwɪnzi/; February 4, 1772 – July 1, 1864) was a U.S. educator and political figure. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1805–1813), Mayor of Boston (1823–1828), and President of Harvard University (1829–1845). The historic Quincy Market in downtown Boston is named in his honor.

Josiah Quincy III
Josiah Quincy.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1805 – March 3, 1813
Preceded byWilliam Eustis
Succeeded byArtemas Ward Jr.
2nd Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts
In office
May 1, 1823[1] – January 5, 1829[2]
Preceded byJohn Phillips
Succeeded byHarrison Gray Otis
Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
In office
January 10, 1821[3] – 1822
Preceded byElijah H. Mills
Succeeded byLuther Lawrence
16th President of Harvard University
In office
1829–1845
Preceded byJohn Thornton Kirkland
Succeeded byEdward Everett
Personal details
Born(1772-02-04)February 4, 1772
Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony, British America
DiedJuly 1, 1864(1864-07-01) (aged 92)
Quincy, Massachusetts, US
Resting placeMount Auburn Cemetery[4]
Political partyFederalist
Spouse(s)Eliza Susan Morton[5]
ChildrenEliza Susan Quincy, Josiah Quincy, Jr., Abigail Phillips Quincy, Maria Sophia Quincy, Margaret Morton Quincy, Edmund Quincy, Anna Cabot Lowell Quincy
Alma materHarvard University
ProfessionPolitician, university president

Life and politicsEdit

 
Five Harvard University Presidents sitting in order of when they served. L-R: Josiah Quincy III, Edward Everett, Jared Sparks, James Walker and Cornelius Conway Felton.

Early life and educationEdit

Quincy, the son of Josiah Quincy II and Abigail Phillips,[5] was born in Boston, on that part of Washington Street that was then known as Marlborough Street.[6] He was a descendant of the Rev. George Phillips of Watertown, the progenitor of the New England Phillips family in America.[7]

Quincy's father had traveled to England in 1774, partly for his health but mainly as an agent of the patriot cause to with the friends of the colonists in London. Josiah Quincy II died off the coast of Gloucester on April 26, 1775. His son, young Josiah, was not yet three years old.[8]

He entered Phillips Academy, Andover, when it opened in 1778, and graduated from Harvard in 1790. After his graduation from Harvard he studied law for three years under the tutorship of William Tudor.[9] Quincy was admitted to the bar in 1793, but was never a prominent advocate.

In 1797 Quincy married Eliza Susan Morton of New York, younger sister of Jacob Morton.[5][10] They had seven children: Eliza Susan Quincy, Josiah Quincy, Jr., Abigail Phillips Quincy, Maria Sophia Quincy, Margaret Morton Quincy, Edmund Quincy, and Anna Cabot Lowell Quincy.

CareerEdit

In 1798 Quincy was appointed Boston Town Orator by the Board of Selectmen, and in 1800 he was elected to the School Committee.[11] Quincy became a leader of the Federalist party in Massachusetts, was an unsuccessful candidate for the United States House of Representatives in 1800, and served in the Massachusetts Senate in 1804–5.[12] He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1803.[13]

From 1805 to 1813, he was a member of the United States House of Representatives where he was one of the small Federalist minority. He attempted to secure the exemption of fishing vessels from the Embargo Act, urged the strengthening of the United States Navy, and vigorously opposed the admittance of Louisiana as a state in 1811. In this last matter he stated as his "deliberate opinion, that if this bill passes, the bonds of this Union are virtually dissolved; that the States that compose it are free from their moral obligations; and that, as it will be the right of all, so it will be the duty of some, to prepare definitely for a separation, amicably if they can, violently if they must."[14] This was probably the first assertion of the right of secession on the floor of Congress. Quincy left Congress because he saw that the Federalist opposition was useless.[12]

In 1812, Quincy was a founding member of the American Antiquarian Society.[15]

 
Josiah Quincy, oil on canvas, Gilbert Stuart, 1824–1825. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

After leaving Congress, Quincy was a member of the Massachusetts Senate until 1820. In 1821–22 he was a member and speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Quincy resigned from the legislature to become judge of the municipal court of Boston. Quincy was a candidate for Mayor of Boston in Boston's first election under a city charter, held on April 8, 1822.[16] The votes of this first election were evenly split between Quincy and Harrison Gray Otis, with a few votes to others. Neither Quincy nor Otis had a majority, so neither was elected. They both withdrew their candidacies, and John Phillips was elected Boston's first mayor.[16] In 1823 Quincy was elected as the second mayor of Boston; he served six-one year terms from 1823 to 1828.[17] During his terms as mayor Quincy Market was built, the fire and police departments were reorganized, and the city's care of the poor was systematized.[12]

From 1829 to 1845, he was President of Harvard University, of which he had been an overseer since 1810, when the board was reorganized. At a time when college presidents were chosen for their intellectual achievements, Quincy's past experience as a politician and not an academic made him an unusual choice.[18] He has been called "the great organizer of the university." He gave an elective (or "voluntary") system an elaborate trial; introduced a system of marking (on the scale of 8) on which college rank and honors, formerly rather carelessly assigned, were based; first used courts of law to punish students who destroyed or damaged college property; and helped to reform the finances of the university. During his term Dane Hall (for law) was dedicated, Gore Hall was built, and the Astronomical Observatory was equipped.[12] Quincy House, one of the university's twelve upperclass residential houses, is named for him.[19]

In 1856 Quincy gave an address concerning the then upcoming American presidential election. Quincy endorsed the Republican candidate, John C. Fremont, and denounced how "for more than fifty years, the Slave States have subjugated the Free States."[20] This speech is cited in "Negro President": Jefferson and the Slave Power, by Garry Wills.

His last years were spent principally on his farm in Quincy, Massachusetts, where he died on July 1, 1864.[21][22]

WorksEdit

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ City Council of Boston (1909), A Catalogue of the City Councils of Boston, 1822–1908, Roxbury, 1846–1867, Charlestown 1847–1873 and of The Selectmen of Boston, 1634–1822 also of Various Other Town and Municipal officers, Boston, MA: City of Boston Printing Department, p. 213
  2. ^ City Council of Boston (1909), A Catalogue of the City Councils of Boston, 1822–1908, Roxbury, 1846–1867, Charlestown 1847–1873 and of The Selectmen of Boston, 1634–1822 also of Various Other Town and Municipal officers, Boston, MA: City of Boston Printing Department, p. 219
  3. ^ Crocker, Matthew H. (1999), Matthew H. Crocker. The Magic of the Many: Josiah Quincy and the Rise of Mass Politics in Boston 1800–1830., Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, p. 42.
  4. ^ Quincy, Edmund (1868), Life of Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts, Cambridge, Massachusetts: University Press: Welch, Bigelow, & Co., p. 545.
  5. ^ a b c Allibone, S. Austin (1870), A critical dictionary of English literature, and British and American Authors vol. II, Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott & Co., p. 1718.
  6. ^ Quincy, Edmund (1868), Life of Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts, Cambridge, Massachusetts: University Press: Welch, Bigelow, & Co., p. 18.
  7. ^ Bond, Henry and Jones, Horatio. Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts, Including Waltham and Weston: To which is Appended the Early History of the Town. New England Historical and Genealogical Society, 1860, pgs. 872-882
  8. ^ Quincy, Edmund (1868), Life of Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts, Cambridge, Massachusetts: University Press: Welch, Bigelow, & Co., p. 12.
  9. ^ Quincy, Edmund (1868), Life of Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts, Cambridge, Massachusetts: University Press: Welch, Bigelow, & Co., pp. 34–35.
  10. ^ Lamb, Martha J and Constance Cary Harrison (1896). A History of the City of New York: its origin, rise, and progress. New York: A.S. Barnes & Company. pp. 442–445.
  11. ^ McCaughey, Robert A. (1974), Josiah Quincy, 1772–1864: the last Federalist. No. 90 in the Harvard Historical Studies series., Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, p. 19.
  12. ^ a b c d Chisholm 1911.
  13. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter Q" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  14. ^ Speech on January 14, 1811. In Gales, Joseph (1853). The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States: With an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature; with a Copious Index. Eleventh Congress, Session 3. Washington: Gales and Seaton, 526. Retrieved on 2008-11-15.
  15. ^ American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
  16. ^ a b Quincy, Josiah (1852), A municipal history of the town and city of Boston during two centuries, Boston, MA: Charles Little and James Brown, p. 41.
  17. ^ Quincy, Josiah (1852), A municipal history of the town and city of Boston during two centuries, Boston, MA: Charles Little and James Brown, pp. 435–440.
  18. ^ Kenneth., Sacks, (2003). Understanding Emerson : "The American scholar" and his struggle for self-reliance. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691099820. OCLC 50034887.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  19. ^ The History of Quincy House at Harvard College, harvard.edu website [1] External link in |publisher= (help)
  20. ^ Address Illustrative of the Nature and Power of the Slave States and the Duties of the Free States (Ticknor and Fields, 1856)
  21. ^ "Death of Hon. Josiah Quincy.", New York Times, New York , NY, p. 1, July 4, 1864
  22. ^ Quincy, Edmund (1868), Life of Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts, Cambridge, Massachusetts: University Press: Welch, Bigelow, & Co., p. 544.
Attribution

Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Quincy, Josiah" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
William Eustis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1st congressional district

March 4, 1805 – March 3, 1813
Succeeded by
Artemas Ward, Jr.
Political offices
Preceded by
Elijah H. Mills
Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
1821–1822
Succeeded by
Luther Lawrence
Preceded by
John Phillips
2nd Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts
May 1, 1823 – January 5, 1829
Succeeded by
Harrison Gray Otis
Preceded by
John Thornton Kirkland
16th President of Harvard University
1829–1846
Succeeded by
Edward Everett