Release Date: May 28, 2005 [EBook #15924]
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*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK Bay state monthly, volume I ***
Produced by Cornell University, Joshua Hutchinson,
Garcia and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
[Illustration: Alex H. Rice.]
A Massachusetts Magazine.
Vol. I. February, 1884. No. II.
* * * * *
Hon. Alexander Hamilton Rice, LL.D.
By Daniel B. Hagar, Ph.D.
[Principal of the State Normal School, Salem.]
Massachusetts merchants have been among the most prominent men in the nation through all periods of its history. From the days of John Hancock down to the present time they have often been called by their fellow-citizens to discharge the duties of the highest public offices. Hancock was the first governor of the State. In the list of his successors, the merchants who have distinguished themselves by honorable and successful administrations occupy prominent places. Conspicuous among them stands the subject of this sketch.
Alexander Hamilton Rice, a son of Thomas Rice, Esq., a well-known manufacturer of paper, was born in Newton Lower Falls, Massachusetts, August 30, 1818. He received his early education in the public schools of his native town and in the academies of the Reverend Daniel Kimball, of Needham, and Mr. Seth Davis, of Newton, a famous teacher in his day, who is still living, in vigorous health, at the venerable age of ninety-seven years. As a boy, young Rice was cheery, affectionate, and thoughtful, and a favorite among his companions. His earliest ambition was to become a Boston merchant. After leaving school he entered a dry-goods store in the city. He there performed his duties with such laborious zeal and energy that his health gave way, and he was compelled to return to his home in Newton, where he suffered many months’ illness from a malignant fever, which nearly proved fatal. About two years later he returned to Boston, and entered the establishment of Messrs. J.H. Wilkins and R.B. Carter, then widely known as publishers of music books and of dictionaries of various languages, as well as wholesale dealers in printing and writing papers. Three years of service in their employ laid the foundation of the excellent business habits which led to his ultimate success.