This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 In the summer of 1848 his mother brought him to Portsmouth, with the design of spending the winter with her father. On the 26th of January, 1849, Mr. Haven died suddenly of cholera, and his widow and her children for the ensuing six years lived together in Portsmouth. During this period Cushman was under the charge of several different teachers, and was with all of them a favorite pupil. At the same time he gained possession of Silliman's Chemistry, and, it is believed, studied it understandingly, without the aid of an instructor; while, with such simple apparatus as he could command or construct, at little or no cost, he repeated many of the chemical experiments which he had witnessed at St. Louis, and tried many others indicated or suggested by his text-book. He also attempted by himself the study of the German language, which proved a profitable mental exercise, though he then attained no great proficiency in it. With a rare amount of scientific and general knowledge for one of his age, and with singularly studious and reflective habits, yet with a rather desultory school education, he was placed, in the autumn of 1855, at Phillips Exeter Academy. Here, without confining himself to the prescribed course, he soon formed the habit of regular and systematic study. He assumed and steadily maintained a high place in his class, while his conduct evinced that he was under the control of the purest principles. He had at once the confidence of his instructors and the love of his fellow-students. Mirthful, fond of play, with an already outcropping vein of wit and humor, he was far enough from being a bookworm, though the extent and variety of his converse with books might have made him appear so. He took a very active interest in ‘The Golden Branch,’ —the old academy debating-society,—whose exercises gave at once strength, direction, and culture to a habit of argumentative conversation which characterized him from early years. Here, too, it may be supposed that he first practised the art of English composition, though his Exeter themes, still preserved, manifest a correctness of diction and a maturity of thought which would have done credit to one several years his senior.
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.