The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Jackson, Charles

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The American Cyclopædia
Jackson, Charles
Edition of 1879. Written by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (biographies for Charles and James). See also Charles Jackson (judge), James Jackson (physician) and Patrick Tracy Jackson on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

JACKSON. I. Charles, an American jurist, born in Newburyport, Mass., May 31, 1775, died in Boston, Dec. 13, 1855. He was the son of Jonathan Jackson, a merchant greatly respected for his virtues and intelligence. He graduated at Harvard college in 1793, studied law three years with Theophilus Parsons, then of Newburyport, established himself there as a lawyer, and rose rapidly into practice. In 1803 he removed to Boston, and for ten years was a leading member of the Suffolk bar. He entered into partnership with Judge Samuel Hubbard, and the business of their office became more lucrative probably than that of any other in New England had been up to that time. In 1813 he was chosen a judge of the supreme court of Massachusetts, which office he resigned at the end of ten years on account of ill health. He was an influential member of the convention of 1820 for amending the state constitution. In 1832 he was appointed one of the commissioners to revise the general statutes of the state, and drew up the second part of the “Revised Statutes.” In 1828 he published a “Treatise on the Pleadings and Practice in Real Actions.” II. James, an American physician, brother of the preceding, born in Newburyport, Oct. 3, 1777, died in Boston, Aug. 27, 1867. He graduated at Harvard college in 1796, and in December, 1797, became a pupil of Dr. Edward Augustus Holyoke of Salem, with whom he studied nearly two years. He then went to London, where he was a “dresser” in St. Thomas's hospital, and attended lectures at that and at Guy's hospital. After his return he practised in Boston. In 1810, in connection with Dr. John C. Warren, he brought before the community a proposition for establishing a hospital in Boston. The result was the organization of the asylum for the insane at Somerville, and afterward of the Massachusetts general hospital in Boston, of which Dr. Jackson was the first physician. In 1810 he was chosen professor of clinical medicine in Harvard college, and two years afterward professor of theory and practice. In 1835 he resigned his place as physician to the hospital and his office in the medical school. He was several times chosen president of the Massachusetts medical society. His principal publications are : “On the Brunonian System” (1809); “Remarks on the Medical Effects of Dentition,” in the “New England Medical and Surgical Journal” (1812); various articles in the “Transactions of the Massachusetts Medical Society,” including some reports drawn up principally or entirely by him, viz.: “On Cow Pox and Small Pox,” “On Spotted Fever,” and “On Spasmodic Cholera;” “Eulogy on Dr. John Warren” (1815); “Syllabus of Lectures” (1816), and “Text Book of Lectures” (1825-'7), for the use of the medical class; a memoir of his son James Jackson, jr. (1835); “Letters to a Young Physician” (1855); and “Another Letter to a Young Physician” (1861). III. Patrick Tracy, an American merchant, brother of the preceding, born in Newburyport, Aug. 14, 1780, died in Beverly, Sept. 12, 1847. At the age of 15 he was apprenticed to William Bartlett, a merchant of Newburyport, and subsequently established himself in Boston in the India trade, in which he acquired a handsome fortune. In 1812, at the invitation of his brother-in-law, Francis C. Lowell of Boston, who had recently examined the process of the cotton manufacture in England, he engaged in a project to introduce the power loom, then newly invented, and the mode of constructing which was kept secret, into the United States. As the war between the United States and England prevented communication with the latter country, they were forced to invent a power loom themselves, and, after repeated failures, succeeded in the latter part of 1812 in producing a model from which a machine was constructed by Paul Moody. In 1813 they built their first mill at Waltham, near Boston, which is said to have been the first in the world that combined all the operations for converting the raw cotton into finished cloth. In 1821 Mr. Jackson made large purchases of land on the Merrimack river near the Pawtucket canal, on which a number of mills were constructed by the Merrimack manufacturing company, organized under his auspices. This settlement formed the germ of the city of Lowell. After superintending the formation of another company in the same place, he procured in 1830 a charter for a railroad between Lowell and Boston, the construction of which he directed until its completion in 1835. It was then probably the finest work of the kind in the country. Pecuniary reverses having overtaken him in 1837, he assumed the charge of the locks and canals company of Lowell, and subsequently of the Great Falls manufacturing company at Somersworth, N. H., managing both with complete success. He labored zealously to promote the moral and intellectual improvement of the operatives in his mills. — See memoir of P. T. Jackson, by John A. Lowell, in Hunt's “Lives of American Merchants” (New York, 1856-'8).