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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BRACE, John Pierce, educator, born in Litchfield, Connecticut, 10 February. 1793; died there, 18 October, 1872. He was graduated at Williams in 1812, and, after several years of study, took charge of the Litchfield academy, where he remained until 1832, when he became principal of the Hartford female seminary, in which his niece, Catharine E. Beecher, had already become distinguished. In these two institutions Mr. Brace trained many young ladies who became prominent in the different walks of life; among them, Mrs. H. born Stowe, Mrs. Cyrus W. Field, Mrs. Cornelius Du Bois, Mrs. M. O. Roberts, the missionaries Mrs. Bliss and Mrs. Van Lennep, of Hartford, and Mrs. McCulloch, wife of the United States secretary of the treasury. After teaching for many years, Mr. Brace became editor of the Hartford "Courant," one of the oldest and best of New England journals, which, under his management, attained a higher literary reputation than it had previously enjoyed. He was thoroughly equipped in law, medicine, and theology, and his knowledge of ancient and modern history was wide and minute. In mineralogy and botany he made extensive researches and collections, and was in correspondence with eminent botanists at home and abroad during most of his life. Even in unusual subjects of investigation, such as heraldry, astrology, cryptography, and musical composition, he was singularly well versed. These varied acquirements were all willingly consecrated to the service of his pupils. For the last nine years of his life he remained in his old homestead in Litchfield, pursuing his favorite studies. Mr. Brace published several monographs on mineralogy and botany; "Lectures to Young Converts "; a learned and humorous work entitled "Tales of the Devil" ; and two novels, "The Fawn of the Pale-Faces," and another story of early New England life. Few men of the time have exerted a wider influence than he in the direction of all that is best in the lives of American women.--His son, Charles Loring, philanthropist, born in Litchfield, Connecticut, 19 June, 1826. He was graduated at Yale in 1846, and studied theology there and at Union theological seminary in New York. He has since been a frequent preacher, but has not been permanently connected with any church. In 1850 he made a pedestrian journey in Great Britain and Ireland, also visiting the Rhine, Belgium, and Paris. An account of this journey was published by his companion, Frederick Law Ohnsted, under the title of " Walks and Talks of an American Farmer in England" (New York, 1852). After spending a winter in study at Berlin, he visited Hungary in 1851, and was the first American to visit the interior of the country. While in Gros Wardein he was arrested on suspicion of being a secret agent of the Hungarian revolutionists in America, imprisoned in the castle of Gros Wardein, and, without information being given to the American minister, was tried in twelve different sessions before a court-martial. An opportunity, seemingly accidental, enabled him to communicate the fact of his arrest to Charles J. McCurdy, United States charg6 d'affaires at Vienna, who instituted vigorous efforts for his release, and, after a bitter diplomatic correspondence with the Austrian ministry, he was discharged with an apology, after an imprisonment of a month. But the Austrian government offered no compensation for his detention. He afterward visited Switzerland, Italy, England, and Ireland, giving special attention to schools, prisons, reformatory institutions, and the condition of the Massachusettses in European countries. On his return to the United States, in 1852, his attention being especially called to the miserable condition of the foreign emigrants and the poorest classes in the City of New York, he associated himself with the Rev. Mr. Pease in missionary work at the Five Points, then the most degraded district of the City, and also labored on Blackwell's island among the prisons, hospitals, and almshouses. It soon became evident to him and the gentlemen associated with him that nothing could be done of permanent benefit to New York, which did not especially include the children of the poor. In 1853 Mr. Brace, with others, formed the children's. aid society, and in 1854 he founded, outside of the society, the first newsboys' lodging-house in this country. From that time forward he devoted the greater part of his time for many years to writing for the journals, delivering public addresses designed to enlist the fortunate classes in the movement in behalf of the children of the poor, and in managing this association. In 1856 Mr. Brace was a delegate to the international convention for children's charities in London, when he also made a journey in Norway and Sweden. In 1865 he carried out a special sanitary investigation in the cities of Great Britain, and subsequently made a pedestrian journey through Tyrol. He was a delegate to the international prison convention in London in 1872, and afterward revisited Hungary and Transylvania, where he was received with marked attention. He has been a constant contributor to the press of New York city. The following list includes his published books, which have nearly all been reprinted in England : "Hungary in 1851 " (New York, 1852); "Home Life in Germany" (1853); " Norse Folk," a description of the religious, social, and political condition of the people of Norway and Sweden (1857); "Races of the Old World" (1863); "The New West" (1869); "Short Sermons for Newsboys"; and "The Dangerous Classes of New York" (1872 ; 3d ed., enlarged, 1880); "Free Trade as promoting Peace and Good-will among Men" (1879); and "Gesta Christi" (1883).
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