William Hickling Prescott

By C. Harvey Gardiner | Go to book overview

IV
Down the stream of Italian narrative poetry
we have wandered ...

THE EARLY 1820's were kind to the Prescotts. Terminating more than a decade of service to Harvard as overseer, Judge Prescott, as he commonly was called, had assumed the responsibilities of fellow. As lawyer, he was enjoying the professional success which enabled him to retire before the end of the decade. Upon his elder son he generously had settled income-producing property which gave a semblance of dignity to the young scholar's continuing dependence. Catherine Prescott superintended the household which now bore the address Twenty-two Bedford Street. She also continued to dedicate astonishing fervor and energy to the support and direction of the Boston Female Asylum and to what became the Lying-in-Hospital. In 1821 grandmother Abigail Prescott went to her grave, but even as death carried off one generation, birth introduced a new one. William Prescott Dexter, son of Lizzie and Frank, brought joy to his parents, pride to Judge and Mrs. Prescott, and possibly a tinge of envy to William and Susan who, as yet, were childless.

In mid- 1822 the Athenaeum moved once more, to bigger quarters. Both William and William H. Prescott continued to support and frequent it. In 1823 they each subscribed fifty dollars to its building pro

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