he, for several years, had taught the winter term of school, as so many young men of his time did. We find no record when his first service as teacher was rendered, but he has frequently mentioned the fact that he taught his first school at the age of seventeen, which would place the date the year before entering college, or 1855.
We find, however, that he taught the winter term of 1857–'58 in Westford, Mass.
, and the two following winters in the town of Dracut
While in college he was interested in all the best activities of college life, and although holding the first rank in his class, found time for the various social duties that come into every career.
He was not a recluse.
An active member of the Zeta Psi
fraternity while a student, he always held fondly to the old associations and kept an interest in fraternity affairs all through life.
When a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa
society was organized at Tufts
he was one of the first members.
He was graduated from college in 1860, the first scholar in the class, and, as was the custom, was assigned for a commencement part the valedictory.
He was yet undecided as to his life work, but as he had had considerable experience in the schoolroom as teacher, he naturally turned to that as an immediate means of livelihood, while giving further consideration to this important question.
He received the appointment as principal of the Braintree High School, where he taught with much success till the summer of 1862, when he had made choice of the law as his future profession.
He accordingly resigned and entered a law office in Lowell
The gloomy days of 1862, caused by the various disasters to the Union
forces during the latter part of the year, produced their effect upon him. The blood of his patriotic forefathers was stirred.
His ancestor, Capt. Samuel Brocklebank
, hastened to the defence of the New England
homes against the Indians in King Philip's war, and met his death in the famous Sudbury
fight; another, Chaplain Moses Coffin
, ‘the drum ’