Peabody, George

Peabody, George an American merchant, whose name deserves to be held in remembrance on account of his munificent philanthropy, was born at Danvers, Mass., Feb. 18, 1795. His parents were poor, and his only education was received at the district school. At the age of eleven he was placed with a grocer, and at fifteen in a haberdasher's shop in Newburyport. When twenty-two years old, he was a partner with Elisha Riggs in Baltimore. In 1827 he went to England to buy merchandise, and to transact financial business for the State of Maryland. In 1837 he permanently removed to London, and in 1843 became a banker. He accumulated a large fortune, but did not forget his humble origin or place of birth. In 1852, on the two hundredth anniversary of the settlement of his native town, he sent home $20,000 to found an educational institute and library, a sum which he afterwards increased to $60,000, with $10,000 to North Danvers. He also contributed $10,000 to the first Grinnell Arctic Expedition, $500,000 to the city of Baltimore for an institute of science, literature, and the fine arts; and in 1863, on retiring from active business in London, he made the splendid donation of £150,000 sterling for the benefit of the poor of London, and in 1866 enlarged this donation by another contribution of £150,000. He also gave to Harvard University $150,000 for a museum, etc.; and in 1867 devoted $2,000,000 to found common schools in the Southern States. He died in London, Nov. 4, 1869. His adopted country honored his remains in many ways, and his native country honored itself by sending a government ship of war to convey the body of this philanthropist to the place of his birth for interment. Great Britain, however, would not suffer any but one of her own ships to take the remains from her country, and the transportation consequently took place in the British man-of-war Monarch.

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