Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Gould, Nathaniel Duren

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GOULD, Nathaniel Duren, musician, b. in Chelmsford (now Bedford), Mass., 26 March, 1781; d. in Boston, Mass., 28 May, 1864. His name was originally Nathaniel Gould Duren, but was changed in 1806, in honor of an uncle, who adopted him in 1792 and left him his estate in 1808. His father, Reuben Duren, was distinguished as a builder, and received a premium for the model of a bridge over the Merrimac at Pawtncket Falls. His son exhibited talent for penmanship, and engrossed many public documents and engraved title-pages for books. At the age of eleven he removed to the home of his uncle in New Ipswich. N. H., where in 1804 he was instrumental in forming the first military band in that part of the state. Afterward he studied vocal music under Dr. Reuben Emerson, and at the age of sixteen taught in the public schools. In 1798 he established his first singing-school in Stoddard, N. H., and for twenty years conducted singing-schools in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. About 1807 the Middlesex musical society was formed, of which he was conductor for several years. This society published the “Middlesex Collection.” He removed to Boston in 1819, and taught vocal music and chirography there and afterward in New York for ten years. He then returned to Boston, and passed the rest of his life as a professional penman. He aided in compiling several hymn- and tune-books and anthems for church choirs, and composed several tunes, among which is “Woodlawn.” His principal work is a “History of Church Music” (Boston, 1853). Previous to this he had published in Boston “Companion to the Psalmist”; “National Church Harmony”; “Sabbath-School Harmony”; “Social Harmony”; “Sacred Minstrel”; “Beauties of Writing”; “Writing-Master's Assistant”; and “Progressive Penmanship.” — His son, Augustus Addison, naturalist, b. in New Ipswich, N. H., 23 April, 1805; d. in Boston, Mass., 15 Sept., 1866. He was graduated at Harvard in 1825, and at the medical department in 1830. He followed his profession in Boston with great success, and in 1856 was appointed visiting physician to the Massachusetts general hospital. Meanwhile he became a devoted student of natural history, and for two years taught botany and zoology in Harvard. He made a specialty of conchology, and stood pre-eminent in that branch of science, both at home and abroad. When Sir Charles Lyell visited the United States, in order to pursue his geological investigations, he immediately sought the aid of Dr. Gould as a co-worker. In 1846 the shells collected by the Wilkes exploring expedition were submitted to him for examination, and again in 1860 those collected by Capt. Ringgold and Capt. Rogers were reported on by him. Dr. Gould was also a student of vital statistics, and contributed papers of great value to nearly every volume of the registrar-general of Massachusetts. He was a fellow of the American academy of arts and sciences and of the American philosophical society, and one of the original members of the National academy of sciences. In 1855 he delivered the annual address, entitled “Search out the Secrets of Nature,” before the Massachusetts medical society, and was its president from 1864 till his death. He was also one of the founders of the Boston society of natural history. He was a large contributor to periodicals, and his publications in book-form include a translation of Lamarck's “Genera of Shells” (Boston, 1833); “A System of Natural History” (1833); “Report on the Invertebrata of Massachusetts” (Cambridge, 1841); “Mollusca and Shells” (Washington, 1846); “Principles of Zoology,” with Louis Agassiz (Boston, 1848); Dr. Amos Binney's “The Terrestrial Air-breathing Mollusks of the United States and Adjacent Territories of North America,” edited and completed (1851-'5); “A History of New Ipswich, New Hampshire,” with Frederic Kidder (1852); “The Mollusca of the North Pacific Expedition” (Washington, 1860); and “Otia Conchologia,” consisting of descriptions of new species of shells, with notes on changes in their nomenclature (Boston, 1862). — Another son, Charles Duren, publisher, b. in Ipswich, N. H., 2 Feb., 1807; d. in Boston, Mass., 17 Jan., 1875, became a member of the publishing firm of Gould, Kendall and Lincoln in 1835. The title of the firm was changed in 1850 to Gould and Lincoln, and Mr. Gould remained a partner in it until his death.