Autobiography of Seventy Years - Vol. 1

By George F. Hoar | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
LIFE IN WORCESTER

AFTER leaving college I studied for a year in my brother's office in Concord, then for two years at the Harvard Law School, and afterward for four months in the office of Judge Benjamin F. Thomas in Worcester. I was led to choose Worcester as a place to live in chiefly for the reason that that city and county were the stronghold of the new Anti- Slavery Party, to which cause I was devoted with all my heart and soul. I have never regretted the choice, and have spent my life there, except when in Washington, for considerably more than half a century. In that time Worcester has grown from a city of fifteen thousand to a city of one hundred and thirty thousand people. I can conceive of no life more delightful for a man of public spirit than to belong to a community like that which combines the youth and vigor and ambition of a western city with the refinement and conveniences, and the pride in a noble history, of an old American community. It is a delight to see it grow and a greater delight to help it grow,--to help improve its schools, and found its Public Library, and help lay the foundations of great institutions of learning. Worcester had an admirable Bar, admirable clergymen, and physicians of great skill and eminence. Among her clergymen was Edward Everett Hale, then in early youth, but already famous as a preacher throughout the country. There was no Unitarian pulpit where he was not gladly welcomed. So his congregation here, by way of exchange, heard the most famous pulpit orators of the country.

Among the physicians was Dr. Joseph Sargent, a man then without a superior in his profession in Massachusetts. The friendship I formed with him in 1849 lasted till his death, more than forty years afterward.

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