This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 in Philadelphia, and on the father's side from a line of worthy 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, being at first chiefly engaged in the oil trade. In 1849, during the California excitement, he sailed for San Francisco in the ship Florida, part of which he owned; but he went ‘before the mast,’ and did his full share of the ship's duty. Leaving the vessel at that port, he returned home by way of Calcutta and Europe, having been absent about two years in all. This was his only prolonged absence from home until he entered the army. During the intermediate period his life was quiet and uneventful. He participated moderataly in business life, and in social and political activities; was never married, lived at home, and enjoyed his books and his gardening, with some admixture of genealogical researches and antiquarian pursuits. As a son and brother he was not merely irreproachable, but carried into those relations a rare tenderness and a loyal, almost romantic reverence. As a citizen he was public-spirited, honorable, and morally stainless. He was president of the local Horticultural Society, a trustee of Friends' Academy, and of the Five Cent Savings Bank; was a member of the Common
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.