Elizabeth's Top Matches
About Elizabeth Porter Gould
Title Representative Women of New England New England library of popular biographies Editors Julia Ward Howe, Mary Hannah Graves Compiled by Mary Elvira Elliott, Mary A. Stimpson, Martha Seavey Hoyt Publisher New England Historical Publishing Company, 1904 Original from Harvard University Digitized Jul 10, 2007 Length 499 pages
ELIZABETH PORTER GOULD, author and lecturer of wide reputation, now a resident of Boston, is a native of Essex County, Massachusetts. The eldest daughter of John Averell and Elizabeth Cheever (Leach) Gould, she comes of substantial New England stock, numbering among her ancestors two colonial governors, the first woman poet of New England, eight or more ministers of the gospel, and several Revolutionary patriots. She can trace her descent from over thirty early settlers of Essex County. Through the public services of nine of her forbears she is eligible to membership in the Society of Colonial Dames.
The Gould ancestral line is: Zaccheus,1 John,23 Solomon,4 John,5" John Averell7—showing Elizabeth P. to be of the eighth generation in New England. Zaccheus Gould came to the Bay Colony about the year 1638, and somewhat later settled in Topsfield.
The line of descent from Governor Thomas Dudley and his wife, Dorothy Yorke, is through his daughter Anne, wife of Governor Simon Bradstreet; their son, John Bradstreet, born in Andover, Mass., in 1652, who married Sarah Perkins and lived in Topsfield; his son, Simon Bradstreet, who married Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev. Joseph Capen, of Topsfield; Elizabeth Bradstreet, who married Joseph Peabody; Priscilla Peabody, married Isaac Averell; Elijah Averell, married Mary Gould; and their daughter, Mary Averell, who, marrying John" Gould, named above, became the mother of John Averell Gould and grandmother of Elizabeth Porter Gould.
Mary Gould, wife of Elijah Averell and maternal grandmother of John Averell Gould, was a daughter of Captain Joseph Gould, of Topsfield, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev. John Emerson, of Malden. Her maternal grandfather, the Rev. John Emerson, was a son of Edward and Rebecca (Waldo) Emerson, grandson of the Rev. Joseph and Elizabeth (Bulkeley) Emerson, Elizabeth Bulkeley being the daughter of the Rev. Edward Bulkeley and grand-daughter of the Rev. Peter Bulkeley, the first minister of Concord, Mass. (Edward Emerson and his wife, Rebecca Waldo, were great-grandparents of Ralph Waldo Emerson.)
Miss Gould's mother was a daughter of Benjamin,3 Jr., and Susan (Cheever) Leach, of Manchester, Mass., and on the paternal side a descendant of Robert2 Leach, an early settler of that town, and his father, Lawrence Leach, who is said to have come to Boston from Scotland in 1628. Susan Cheever Loach, Miss Gould's maternal grandmother, was a grand-daughter of the Rev. Ames3 Cheever, of Manchester, and his wife, Sarah Choate, and groat-grand-daughter of the Rev. Samuel2 Cheever, of Marblehead, who was son of Ezekiel1 Cheever, the famous schoolmaster of the olden time in Massachusetts and Connecticut, for forty years the head of the Boston Latin School.
In Chelsea, whither Mr. and Mrs. John A. Gould removed when their children were young, they resided for about thirty years, the city then being noted for its good society, numbering among its leading families the Osgoods, Frosts, Fays, Sawyers, Shillabers, and others. Mr. Gould for a number of years served as one of the School Committee, also as a member of the Common Council, and was chairman of the Music Committee of the First Congregational Church. Mrs. Gould was one of the foremost in works of benevolence, and was much loved and respected. She died in Chelsea in 1893. A daughter Susie, who had unusual musical talent, was the "little rosebud of a Chelsea girl" who sang at one of the public readings of Harriet Beecher Stowc in 1872, being thus mentioned in Mrs. Fields' biography of Mrs. Stowe.
Elizabeth Porter Gould, the oldest daughter, was named for her grandmother Gould's sister Elizabeth, the wife of Dr. John Porter, of "Fairfields," the old Porter estate in Wenham.
With Miss Gould the possession of talent has been a call for its improvement. The pleasant paths of learning in which her mental powers were developed easily led into equally pleasant fields of useful activity. Whenever congratulated upon the many patriotic services she has rendered, she has always declared with her kinsman, Dr. Benjamin Apthorp Gould, that her "ancestry made it a necessity." And so in regard to her many acts of kindness, her intelligent sympathy in behalf of so many causes, she simply says: "I was born in a house dedicated to God and humanity. I can't go back on that." Questioned, she tells how the house in Manchester-by-the-Sea, where she first saw the light of this world, June 8, 1848, was dedicated like a church by a kinsman of her mother's, who, on its completion, called together people from far and near for a service of prayer and praise.
An inspiring leader and adviser of clubs during her long residence in Chelsea, after the club era began, she was also for years an intelligent power among the society women of Boston, Brookline, Newton, and other places, by her "Topic Talks," opportunities for which came to her wholly unsolicited. In fact, they seemed to be thrust upon her, for it was clearly noted that this author of varied learning and reserve force had the power of expressing herself in extemporaneous speech, as well as on paper, a rather rare gift.
As an officer in philanthropic and educational organizations, she has struck important chords in the line of reform. Her brochure, "How I became a Woman Suffragist," preluded a membership in the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association, and led to the casting of her annual ballot at school board elections. As a director from the first of the Massachusetts Society for Good Citizenship, she entered by voice and pen into the good government work of that organization. As an officer for years of the Massachusetts Society for the University Education of Women, her good judgment and wise counsel have been of service. As a member of the Woman's Board of Foreign Missions, she is able, as she says, to become a seed-sower in behalf of the broader education of foreign women. She has written convincingly in the interests of the American college on the Bosphorus and in other lands. Her article in the Century for 1889 on "Pundita Ramabai" was but an outline of the lecture which, with those on "John and Abigail Adams," "John and Dorothy Hancock," "Holland and the United States," "The Brownings and America," and others, she has delivered before numerous women's clubs and other organizations. Her gratuitous platform work in behalf of the George Washington Memorial Association led her as far south as Richmond. Her lecture in Charlottesville was the first ever delivered at the University of Virginia by a woman. As seen in her poems and speeches in behalf of the restoration of "Old Ironsides," her plea for the Lincoln memorial collection at Washington, D.C., and in the brochure, "An Offering in behalf of the Deaf," concerning speech education, many another cause has had her helping hand.
Miss Gould is an honorary member of the Castilian Club of Boston, having contributed one of the ablest papers to volume xxvii. of members' essays, presented by the club to the Boston Public Library. Her right-to-the-point speeches on a variety of subjects also made her an honorary member of the Wednesday Morning Club of Boston. She was the only woman speaker upon the erection of the Abigail Adams cairn, June 17, 1896, under the auspices of the Adams Chapter, Mrs. Nelson V. Titus, Regent, and was the poet of the Webster Centennial at Fryeburg, Me., in the summer of 1902, having been made some time before, for articles written on Webster, an honorary member of the Boston Webster Historical Society.
Her conscientious and extensive research in historical realms is seen in her interesting book, "John Adams and Daniel Webster as Schoolmasters," for which the Hon. Charles Francis Adams wrote an introduction. This, with its companion, "Ezekiel Cheever: Schoolmaster," will, it is said, become the final word on the respective subjects, to be more and more valued as the years go by. Her versatility has led to her being the poet of occasions and of movements. Her "Endeavor Rally Hymn," to which her nephew, Willard Gould Harding, composed the music, has been widely scattered. Her "Columbia—America," set to music by Adeline Frances Fitz, which is played by Sousa's Band, is the accepted song of the Massachusetts Daughters of the Revolution. Two of her Children's Songs, set to music and published by Clement Ryder, are in demand for Children's Sunday. Her verses on the Mountain Laurel, on its proposal as the State flower, were dedicated to the Massachusetts Floral Emblem Society. Perhaps Miss Gould is most popularly known by her single Stanza, "Don't Worry," which has been copied far and near, even a little Alaska paper having caught its sunshine, and, widely scattered in leaflet form, has been a comfort to many a troubled soul. Not to mention, for lack of space, the "Songs of the Months" and verses to notable contemporaries and friends, it may here be stated that all that Miss Gould wishes saved of her poetry has been recently collected under the name "One's Self I sing, and Other Poems." A story, "A Pioneer Doctor," and. "The Brownings in America," have been recently published.
A book of selections, her "Gems from Walt Whitman," published in 1889, called forth warm response from "the good gray poet": "I want to thank you as a woman," he said, "for the capacity of understanding me; for," he added, somewhat meditatively, "only the combination of the pure heart and the broad mind makes this possible." The publication of her "Anne Gilchrist and Walt Whitman" in 1900 gave further evidence of her generous capacity for friendship and her appreciation of that gracious quality in others. An official connection with the Walt Whitman International Association was accorded to Miss Gould in recognition of her labors of love in that direction.
Educated in music, "brought up," as she once said, "on symphony concerts," a sympathetic student also in other realms of art, she has been both a musical and an art critic. Her tastes are nowhere more plainly seen than in the collection of choice paintings, and literary treasures—signed photographs, autograph books, letters, stamps, and souvenir cards—which her wide acquaintance with famous men' and women in this country and abroad has brought to her.
An extensive traveler in this country and in Europe, Miss Gould, like some other tourists, has made a practice of dipping her hands in the water of various places she has visited, her list including the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans,- and the chief rivers, lakes, bays, falls, of our own land and a number of the most famous abroad. The hot geysers of the National Park and the icy waters of the Muir Glacier in Alaska mark the extremes of temperature she has encountered in pursuing this "hobby." The highest water she has reached is that of the Yellowstone Lake, and the lowest, that of Holland.
In concluding this brief notice of Miss Gould and her work, it may be said she lives in the atmosphere of her own lines:—
"One day at a time
For humanity's climb —
One day at a time."
Link to her books available online: http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Gould%2C%20Elizabeth%20Porter%2C%201848-1906