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passed abroad, in selecting importations and transacting the foreign business of the firm. Though largely engaged in the importing business, he was, in connection with his brother, Nathan Appleton, and others, among the earliest of those who encouraged the introduction of domestic manufactures, and is entitled to share largely in whatever praise is due to the patriotism, the public spirit, "the wise foresight of the future industrial wants of the community," which built up Waltham, Lowell, Manchester, and other manufacturing towns.
In 1819, Mr. Appleton married Mrs. Mary Gove, a lady whose just appreciation of all that was noble and excellent in his own character, whose ready sympathy in whatever interested him, and in all things good and pure, whose gentle virtues, refined tastes, and elevating influence, made his home a scene of serene domestic happiness, as delightful and attractive to others as it was blessed to its inmates. "There never was," writes one who was competent to judge, "a more sunshiny home; and for the sunshine which filled it, it was his happiness to feel that he was indebted to the character and affection of the wife whom he loved."
As he approached sixty years of age, Mr. Appleton retired from the firm of which he had so long been the head, and, gradually relinquishing all participation in the active pursuits of business, passed the remainder of his life in the graceful enjoyment, the wise and noble use, of the ample fortune which an honorable industry, enterprise, and commercial sagacity had secured to him. His old age was beautiful and instructive. As his life had been honorable and useful, cheerfulness and usefulness marked it to the last. Though withdrawn from business pursuits, his sympathies were never withdrawn from the best interests of society, or his aid refused to that which his judgment approved as calculated to promote them. During the last two or three years of his life, he was, in
a great measure, confined to his room and his chair; yet that room was the most cheerful in the house, the centre of attraction to the friends who loved him best and were dearest to himself, and from it there went forth a healthy and holy tone of moral feeling, and wise and large charities, that remain to benefit and bless many hearts. Waiting patiently, like one of old, his work well done, he was at length permitted to say, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace." He died on the 12th of July, 1853, in the eighty-eighth year of his age, leaving behind him that "memory of the just which is blessed."
He was a just man. That comprehensive word describes the great element that controlled his life and character. He was just in his dealings, just in his judgments, just to others, just to himself, to all the powers of his mind and all the affections of his heart, to the mortal
and immortal part of his nature. He had but one purpose, he knew but one law, and that was to do and say and feel that which on the occasion, under the circumstances, it was just, right, that he should do and say and feel. Doubtless he was ambitious of success, and the energy and enterprise, the patient, persevering industry and sagacity, with which he entered upon and pursued his business, indicate a determination to achieve success; but instinctively almost, in the very depths of his nature, there was one condition attached, it must be an honorable and just success; it must be the fruit of integrity, a success which brought no reproaches from others, no accusations from his own conscience. "A stranger, on seeing him," writes Dr. Peabody, "would have been first struck with his apparent simplicity and open-hearted honesty. It was in his manner, in his look, and in the tones of his voice. There was no mistaking it. He was an honest man, without subterfuge or disguise, incapable of anything indirect or underhanded. . . . He knew of but one way of speaking, and that was to say, straight
on, the truth. It was a principle grown into a necessity of his moral nature. He did not know what else to say." And it may be added, that he knew but one way of acting, and that was to do what was just and right. So strong was the impression, the conviction of his perfect integrity, made upon the minds of all who knew him, that in a suit at law brought against him on a note of hand for a few hundred dollars, signed "Samuel Appleton," and found among the papers of a deceased person, — which note he could not prove to be a forgery, as there was a resemblance to his own signature, but simply declared it could not be genuine, as he had no recollection of it, and there were no traces of it in his books, -the jury gave a verdict in his favor, on the ground that they were "quite sure that Mr. Appleton would not dispute the payment of the note, except on the certainty that he did not owe it." What stronger evidence could any man receive of the confidence reposed by his fellow-citizens in his integrity?-a confidence which in this case was proved to be correct, as it was ascertained, several years afterwards, that the note was genuine, but the signer of it was another Samuel Appleton, a sea-captain of Portland, Maine, who had been dead many years.
Mr. Appleton was a just man. Even his charities were in his mind but acts of justice, something that he owed it to God, his fellow-men, and himself to do. It is from this thought, this feeling in his own soul, coupled with his perfect and unspotted integrity, that they derive much of their precious value and efficacy. The charities of an unjust man, a man whose integrity and honor are suspected, or more than suspected, whose scrambles in the market have been so greedy and unscrupulous, that it is felt that "dirt sticks to his gold," carry no great moral power with them. They are available as money to the individuals or institutions on which they are bestowed; but they do not tell upon the heart of the community,
nor gain for the giver a place of high regard and affectionate respect in that heart. Mr. Appleton was beloved because he was known to be just as well as benevolent; because he was both just and benevolent; because he held the property which he had accumulated by just and honorable dealing as a trust, in the use of which he was to be guided by what was due to others, to himself, and to God, the Giver of all.
This controlling element of his character an instinctive integrity and honesty of soul, a simple desire to be and to do what was right-was united with a warm heart, strong and tender affections, and a quick sympathy in the joys and sufferings of others. He retained to the last vivid recollections of all the scenes and associations of his boyhood, of all the friends and companions of his youth, and a deep interest in all that related to the prosperity and improvement of his native town. There is no surer evidence than this of a good heart, uncorrupted by the world, of a pure and unstained life, free from dark. and painful memories. We do not like to look back, if there stand out prominent in the path things that fill us with regret, with shame, mortification, remorse. Mr. Appleton delighted to look back, for the retrospection was peaceful and pleasant, tending only to awaken gratitude to God and kind feelings towards man. He never lost his interest in any, however humble, who were comnected with the labor and struggles of his early life, nor failed to give them, if needed, substantial tokens of his remembrance and his sympathy. To a large circle of kindred his warm affections went out in constant acts of kindness, and in aid and encouragement wisely given to promote their success and advancement in the world. All the best interests and institutions of his native town were fostered by his liberal hand; and its Academy, placed on a permanent foundation through funds which were largely his gift, will stand as a lasting memorial alike of his benevo
lence and of "his love toward the spot where he was born."
But his charities were not confined within the range of his personal interests or sympathies. Always liberal, he made it a rule, during the last years of his life, to dispose of his whole income, and did so in ways marked by a good judgment, as well as by a warm and generous heart. Not only in Boston, but throughout New England, his name as a benefactor, sometimes munificent, always large, is inseparably connected with innumerable institutions to promote education, to advance learning, to uphold religion, to relieve the wants and woes of suffering humanity. By his will, after making the most ample provision for Mrs. Appleton, and for a large circle of kindred by special legacies, he bequeathed in trust to his executors stocks to the amount, at par value, of two hundred thousand dollars, "to be by them applied, disposed of, and distributed for scientific, literary, religious, and charitable purposes." These gentlemen, in the execution of their trust, selected the Massachusetts Historical Society to be the recipient of ten thousand dollars of this trust fund; and in their note communicating this decision, which they believe to be in accordance with his wishes," say: "The donation is made in trust, to constitute a fund, the income of which shall be applied to the procuring, preservation, preparation, and publication of historical papers." On the receipt of this note, addressed to the Treasurer, with his statement annexed that stocks to the amount indicated had been transferred to him in behalf of the Society, the matter was referred to a committee, of which Hon. Charles F. Adams was chairman, who subsequently submitted a report, concluding with the following orders, which were unanimously adopted:
Ordered, That the Historical Society of Massachusetts gratefully accept the donation of ten thousand dollars, made in behalf of the late Samuel Appleton by the