1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Higginson, Henry Lee
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Higginson, Henry Lee
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HIGGINSON, HENRY LEE (1834-1919), American banker, was born in New York City Nov. 18 1834. At the age of 17 he entered Harvard College but before finishing his course entered the banking house of S. & E. Austin, of Boston. He later went to Vienna for a year, where he studied music. On the outbreak of the Civil War he was commissioned second lieutenant of volunteers and was soon promoted to first lieutenant. Later he was made captain and transferred to the volunteer cavalry, being promoted major in 1862 and two years later brevetted lieutenant-colonel. In 1863 he was severely wounded at Aldie, Va., and in the following year was honourably discharged, after serving for a time on the staff of Maj.-Gen. Barlow. In 1868 he joined the banking firm of Lee, Higginson & Co., of Boston, with whom he remained until his death. His interest in music led to his founding the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1881. A long line of distinguished directors placed this organization in the first rank. It was a stimulating source of musical education in America and won full recognition abroad. In 1891 as a memorial to certain friends who died in the Civil War, he presented Soldiers' Field to Harvard University. In these extensive athletic grounds the Stadium was built. In 1899 he erected the Harvard Union as a general meeting-place for all undergraduates. He was a trustee of numerous institutions, including the New England Conservatory of Music, and was for many years a fellow of Harvard University. He died in Boston, Mass., Nov. 14 1919.
See Bliss Perry, The Life and Letters of Henry Lee Higginson (1921).