Release Date: October 16, 2004 [EBook #13761]
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*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK the Bay state monthly, ***
Produced by Joshua Hutchinson, Josephine Paolucci,
the PG Online
Distributed Proofreading Team, and Cornell University,
[Illustration: Ben F. Butler]
Bay state monthly.
A Massachusetts Magazine
* * * * *
Benjamin Franklin Butler.
There is a belt extending irregularly across the State of New Hampshire, and varying in width, from which have gone forth men who have won a national reputation. From this section went Daniel Webster, Lewis Cass, Levi Woodbury, Zachariah Chandler, Horace Greeley, Henry Wilson, William Pitt Fessenden, Salmon P. Chase, John Wentworth, Nathan Clifford, and Benjamin F. Butler.
Benjamin Franklin Butler was born in
the town of Deerfield, New
Hampshire, November 5, 1818.
His father, Captain John Butler, was a commissioned officer in the War of 1812, and served with General Andrew Jackson at New Orleans. As merchant, supercargo, and master of the vessel, he was engaged for some years in the West India trade, in which he was fairly successful, until his death in March, 1819, while on a foreign voyage. In politics he was an ardent Democrat, an admirer of General Jackson, and a personal friend of Isaac Hill, of New Hampshire.
Left an orphan when an infant, the child was dependent for his early training upon his mother; and faithfully did she attend to her duties. Descended from the Scotch Covenanters and Irish patriots, Mrs. Butler possessed rare qualities: she was capable, thrifty, diligent, and devoted. In 1828, Mrs. Butler removed with her family to Lowell, where her two boys could receive better educational advantages, and where her efforts for their maintenance would be better rewarded, than in their native village.
As a boy young Butler was small, sickly, and averse to quarrels. He was very fond of books, and eagerly read all that came in his way. From his earliest youth he possessed a remarkably retentive memory, and was such a promising scholar that his mother determined to help him obtain a liberal education, hoping that he would be called to the Baptist ministry. With this end in view, he was fitted for college at the public schools of Lowell and at Exeter Academy, and at the early age of sixteen entered Waterville College. Here for four years, the formative period of his life, his mind received that bent and discipline which fitted him for his future active career.