rthy ancestors, all members of the Society of Friends, and numbering in their ranks the most influential merchants and ship-owners of Nantucket and New Bedford.
Joseph Rotch, his great-great-grandfather, William Rotch, his great-grandfather, Samuel Rodman, his grandfather, were all men of uncommon character and ability, who left a permanent impression on the community where they lived.
The latter, especially, was a man of remarkable capacity, uprightness, and benevolence, and of physical appearance so striking as to attract attention everywhere.
All Boston, said his friend Josiah Bradlee, of that city, would turn out to see Samuel Rodman walk down State Street.
Something of this personal prestige belonged to his grandson, in middle life, as a mounted officer.
William Rodman spent five years at Friends' Academy in New Bedford, and two years under the care of Mr. William Wells.
He entered college with his class in 1838, and graduated in 1842.
He soon began mercantile life, bei