Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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SAVAGE, James, antiquary, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 13 July, 1784; died there, 8 March, 1873. He was descended from Major Thomas Savage, who came to Massachusetts from England in 1635. After graduation at Harward in 1803 he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1807, and served in both houses of the legislature. He was also a member of the executive council, and a delegate to the State constitutional convention of 1820, filled several municipal offices, and was a member of the school committee. He was the founder of Provident institution for savings, the first savings bank in Boston, and the United States, of which he was also secretary, treasurer, vice-president, and president, and for nineteen years he was treasurer of the Massachusetts historical society, of which he was also president, and edited several of its collections. Thackeray was much impressed by his sturdy individuality, and remarked to a friend" " I want to see that quaint, charming old Mr. Savage again." Edwin P. Whipple calls him "the soul of integrity," and says" "It is curious that James Savage, the most eloquent of men when his soul was stirred to its depths, should now be particularly honored merely as an acute antiquarian .... His hatred of iniquity sometimes blazed out in a fury of wrathful eloquence which amazed those who specially esteemed him as a prodigy of genealogical knowledge, and even disturbed the equanimity of those who chiefly knew him as the most valued and trustworthy of friends." Harvard gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1841. For five years Mr. Savage was an associate editor of the "Monthly Anthology," which was founded in Boston in 1803 and continued until 1811, preparing the way for the "North American Review." The discovery of the missing manuscript of John Winthrop's journal in the tower of the Old South church, Boston, in 1816, led Mr. Savage to prepare and annotate the original manuscripts, which he published under the title of "John Winthrop's History of New England from 1630 to 1646, with Notes to illustrate the Civil and Ecclesiastical Concerns, the Geography, Settlement, and Institutions of the Country, and the Lives and Manners of the Ancient Planters" (2 vols., Boston. 1825-'6: 2d ed., with corrections, 1853). The first volume of Winthrol's " Journal " had been published from the family manuscripts (Hartford, 1790), in addition to numerous genealogical, historical, political, and controversial pamphlets, he edited William Paley's works (5 vols., Cambridge, 1828" new ed., 1830), and prepared a "' Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, showing Three Generations of Those who canto before May, 1692" (4 vols., Boston, 1860-'4). This work, which occupied him twenty years, and which displays extraordinary industry and research. has been called "the most stupendous work on genealogy ever completed.~ He delivered the Fourth-of-July oration in Boston in 1811, and an address on the constitution of Massachusetts on 26 January, 1832, both of which were published.
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