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JESSE APPLETON was born Nov. 17, 1772 at New Ipswich, N. H. The genealogy of his father's family has been traced to John Appleton, Esq. of Waldingfield, Suffolk, England, who died in 1436. Samuel, a descendant from John, of the eighth generation, came to America in 1635. The fourth in the line of descent from Samuel was Francis, the father of the President. He was esteemed a truly excellent man, pious from early childhood, of vigorous intellect, and of a remarkably calm, sober disposition. He died Jan. 1816, aged 83. His wife, the mother of the President, was a woman of strong mind and devoted piety. A brother of Francis was a clergyman of some distinction in Brookfield, Mass. Mr. Francis Appleton was a farmer in the ordinary circumstances of that class of our community. So contracted indeed were his means, that the subject of this memoir was designed to a mechanic's trade; but as he manifested decided predilection for books while yet a boy, by the kind intervention of a brother, who promised to aid him in procuring a liberal education, his father was induced to send him to college. After having gone through the preparatory course of study at the academy in his native town, he entered at Dartmouth College in 1788 at the age of 16.

At the district school and academy, young Appleton gave evidence of vigorous intellect; and his amiable disposition combined with a native delicacy of feeling, conciliated the high re. gard both of his instructors and companions. Says one,* who

* Prof. Adams of Dartmouth College. VOL. I.


was an intimate friend from his early childhood, “I have rarely, if ever, known a youth so universally esteemed and beloved. His agreeable manners and correct deportment were sure to gain the favor of old and young wherever he was known."

In college, as the writer is informed by the gentleman just referred to, he sustained a high reputation as a scholar. Deficient in no department of the collegiate course, his preference was for those studies which address the taste. As a classical scholar and a writer, he was regarded as inferior to no one in his class. It appears, that at this early period he laid the foundation of those mental habits, especially of that scrupulous regard to method in study, for which he was remarkable through life. He passed moreover through the temptations of a college life without censure or reproach, always exhibiting that delicate sense of propriety and keen moral perception, which were characteristic of his mature years.

After he left college, he was employed for nearly two years, as an instructor of youth at Dover and Amherst, N. H. In this occupation he was highly successful. He indulged much, at this period, his love of social enjoyments. His discriminating mind and general loveliness of character, his humor pure and delicate, and always at command, his social qualities and engaging manuers, made him an ornament of the social circle.

He pursued a course of theological study under the direction of the venerable and eminent Dr. Lathrop of West Springfield, Mass. His

His papers of this period, comprising dissertations on various topics in theology, afford evidence that he was a diligent and successful student. They exhibit the mental traits for which he was afterwards distinguished, careful thought, a disposition to form well defined views, and logical precision. Few pupils in theology have won the confidence and affection of an instructor to so high a degree as did Mr. Appleton ; and few, it may with truth be said, returned that interest with such unmingled respect and love. The Doctor did not conceal the high hopes he cherished of the future usefulness and eminence of his pupil ; and Mr. Appleton, on his part, until the death of his venerated preceptor, maintained an uninterrupted correspondence with him, consulting him freely on the many perplexing subjects relating both to doctrine and the pastoral relation, which present themselves in the studies and labors of an active minister.

Mr. Appleton began to preach in the summer of 1795, and such was the opinion then entertained of his talents and piety, that some clergymen in Massachusetts, who did not consider him as according fully in sentiment with themselves, strongly recommended him to certain vacant parishes, as a candidate for settlement. During the two years that he was a candidate, he preached in several towns both in Massachusetts and New Hampshire; but most in Leicester, Mass. and Hampton, N. H. ; from each of which places he received a pressing invitation to settle in the ministry of the gospel. In deciding the question which was thus submitted to him, he manifested a regard for the will of Providence, which was characteristic of him through life. The situation at Leicester, on many accounts, presented more attractions ; but discovering, as he thought, indications that Providence bad directed his steps to Hampton, he without hesitation decided in favor of that place, and was ordained in February, 1797.

Introduced into a new and important station, he entered upon the discharge of its duties with a deep sense of his responsibilities. He became at once a close, uniform and systematic student. He had indeed already laid the foundation of those admirable habits of study which he preserved through life. In the distribution of his time he was strictly methodical; and nothing but unavoidable avocations was allowed to intrude upon the plan which he had formed. “There was an order, a regularity in his various pursuits, that beautifully corresponded with the structure of his mind and the symmetry of his character." Theology was, no less from inclination than a sense of duty, the principal object of pursuit ; and he left abundant evidence, not only in the reputation which he acquired while in the ministry, but in his discourses, his communications to the religious

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