previous next
[12] officer in the colonial army. While so engaged, he applied himself, in leisure hours, to medical studies. He began to practise as a physician; but, changing his plan of life, he prepared for college, entered Harvard, and, graduating with the class of 1771, became a clergyman. He maintained zealously the patriot cause during the Revolution. Taking with him his gun and surgical instruments, he rode on horseback to Bunker Hill and shared in the battle. While a clergyman, he was accustomed to receive students of the academy into his family. At the suggestion of Washington, when President, Colonel William Augustus Washington sent his two sons, Bushrod and Augustine, to the academy; and Charles Lee also sent the two sons of his deceased brother, Richard Henry Lee. The young Washingtons were received into the family of Rev. Mr. French.1 Josiah Quincy was, from 1778 to 1786, an inmate of Mr. French's family, while pursuing his studies at the academy under Mr. Pemberton and his predecessor, Dr. Eliphalet Pearson, afterwards Hancock Professor at Harvard College.2 Mr. French has been commended for his fidelity and success as a Christian teacher. He died, July 28, 1809.3

To both Mr. Pemberton and Rev. Mr. French Major Sumner wrote with earnestness concerning the education of his son, laying much stress on his manners as well as his progress in knowledge. To the former he wrote, Aug. 26, 1787:—

It rests with you, sir, entirely, to form his mind while young, and lead him into the paths of virtue, of education, and good breeding; which will redound to your glory and his felicity. He is now brought into a new line of life, and will probably finish his education under your direction. Do with him, in all respects, as you shall think most proper. . . . I wish the child's manners to be particularly attended to, and that he may see and be introduced to as much company, in the house where he may live and others, as may be consistent with a proper attention to his studies.

The letter also referred to ‘the army, the law, physic, or merchandise,’ as the boy's future occupation, to be determined by his capacity and choice. In a letter written in October of the same year to Rev. Mr. French, he enjoined upon him to correct

1 Memoir of Hon. Samuel Phillips, Ll.D, by Rev. John L. Taylor. Boston, 1856. pp. 253-256.

2 Life of Josiah Quincy, by his son, Edmund Quincy, Boston, 1867, p. 26, where an account is given of Mr. French's family life.

3 Sprague's Annals (Trinitarian and Congregational), Vol. II. pp. 42-48, containing an account by Josiah Quincy. Memorial of Abigail Stearns. Boston, 1859.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1867 AD (1)
1859 AD (1)
1856 AD (1)
July 28th, 1809 AD (1)
August 26th, 1787 AD (1)
1786 AD (1)
1778 AD (1)
1771 AD (1)
October (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: