Chapter 2: Boyhood.—1805-1818.Lloyd shares the poverty and hardship to which his father's desertion reduces the family. He receives a very slender education at the public schools, is apprenticed shoemaker, cabinet-maker, and finally printer in the Newburyport Herald office.
Few New England towns preserve so well the aspect which they wore at the close of the last and the beginning of the present century, or have been so little affected, externally, by the changes and vicissitudes in their business and social life, as Newburyport; and the description which President Dwight of Yale College gave of the place in 1796 is, in the main, not inapplicable to-day.
‘The town,’ he wrote, ‘is built on a declivity of unrivalled1 beauty. The slope is easy and elegant; the soil rich; the streets, except one near the water, clean and sweet; and the verdure, wherever it is visible, exquisite. The streets are either parallel, or right angled, to the river; the southern shore of which bends, here, towards the south-east. None of them are regularly formed. . . . Still, there is so near an approximation to regularity as to awaken in the mind of a traveller, with peculiar strength, a wish that the regularity had been perfect. . . . There are few towns of equal beauty in this country. . . . The houses, taken collectively, make a better appearance than those of any other town in New England. Many of them are particularly handsome. Their appendages, also, are unusually neat. Indeed, an air of wealth, taste, and elegance is spread over this beautiful spot with a cheerfulness and brilliancy to which I know no rival.’During the ten years following the period to which this description refers, the town was at the height of its prosperity. Commercially it was of much importance, excelled only by Boston and Salem, and owned a multittude of vessels engaged in the foreign and coastwise