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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DAWES, Thomas, patriot, born in Boston, 5 August 1731; died there, 2 January 1809. He was a mechanic, and had received a common school education. During the controversy with Great Britain he was made colonel of the Boston regiment in 1773, serving until 1778. He often presided at the town meetings of Boston. He was a member of the house and of the senate, as well as state councilor, and also a member of the Academy of arts and sciences. His son, Thomas, jurist, born in Boston, 8 July 1757; died there, 22 July 1825, was graduated at Harvard in 1777. He was a member of the State constitutional conventions of 1780 and 1820, and of that, which adopted the Federal constitution in 1789. He was judge of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts from 1792 till 1803, judge of the municipal court from 1803 till 1823, and judge of probate until his death. His literary productions were popular, and his witticisms proverbial. He published an "Oration" (July 1787), an "Oration on the Boston Massacre," and the '" Law Given on Mount Sinai" (1777). He was a member of the Academy of arts and sciences.
His son, Rufus Dawes, poet, born in Boston, 26 January 1803 ; died in Washington, D. C., 30 November 1859, entered Harvard in 1820, but was refused a degree, owing to his supposed participation in a breach of discipline. He resented this accusation, which was afterward proved to be unjust, by publishing a satirical poem on the faculty. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar, but never practiced. He contributed poems to the "United States Literary Gazette," published in Cambridge, and conducted for a time a weekly paper in Baltimore, called the "Emerald." He published "The Valley of the Nashaway, and other Poems" (1830); "Geraldine," a composition resembling "Don Juan " in form and treatment (1839); " Athena of Damascus," a tragedy founded on the siege of Damascus by t.he Turks, A. D. 634 (1839); "Nix's Mate," a spirited and successful romance (1840); an " Ode on the Death of Walter Scott"; also several songs and poems, some of which were sung at the laying of the cornerstone of Bunker Hill monument. Mr. Dawes held a government office in one of the departments in Washington during the latter years of his life. He was a Swedenborgian, and frequently preached.
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