Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Jackson, Jonathan

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JACKSON, Jonathan, statesman, b. in Boston, Mass., 4 June, 1743; d. there, 5 March, 1810. He was graduated at Harvard in 1761, and became a merchant in Newburyport. He was a member of the Provincial congress in 1775, a representative in 1777, a member of congress in 1782, and state senator in 1789, when he became U. S. marshal, and held this office till 1791. He was treasurer of Massachusetts from 1802 till 1806, was also president of the state bank, and was treasurer of Harvard from 1807 till his death. He was the author of “Thoughts upon the Political Situation of the United States” (Worcester, 1788). — His eldest son, Charles, jurist, b. in Newburyport, Mass., 31 May, 1775; d. in Boston, 13 Dec., 1855, was graduated at Harvard in 1793 with the highest honors. He studied law in the office of Chief-Justice Theophilus Parsons, and was admitted to practice in his native place in 1796. In 1803 he removed to Boston, where he became a partner of Judge Samuel Hubbard, and attained a high rank at the bar. From 1813 till 1824 he was judge of the Massachusetts supreme court, and in 1820 he was a member of the State constitutional convention. He was chairman of a commission to codify the state laws in 1833, and drew up the second part of the “Revised Statutes.” He aided in introducing several important reforms into Massachusetts legislation, especially in reference to debt and credit. He published a treatise on “Pleadings and Practice in Real Actions,” which is a recognized authority on the law of property (Boston, 1828). — Another son, James, physician, b. in Newburyport, Mass., 3 Oct., 1777; d. in Boston, 27 Aug., 1867, was graduated at Harvard in 1796, and, after teaching for a year in Leicester academy, was employed until December, 1797, as a clerk for his father, who was then an officer of the government. After studying medicine in Salem for two years, he sailed for London, where he became a “dresser” in St. Thomas's hospital, and attended lectures. He returned to Boston in 1800, and began practice, which he continued till 1866. In 1803 he became a member of the Massachusetts medical society, and in 1810 he proposed with Dr. John C. Watson the establishment of a hospital and an asylum for the insane. The asylum was soon founded in Somerville, and afterward the Massachusetts general hospital was begun in Boston, of which he was the first physician, till he resigned in 1835. In 1810 he was chosen professor of clinical medicine in the medical department of Harvard, and in 1812 professor of theory and practice, which post he held till 1836, and was afterward professor emeritus till his death. He published “On the Brunomian System” (1809); “Remarks on the Medical Effects of Dentition” (1812); “Eulogy on Dr. John Warren” (1815); “Syllabus of Lectures” (1816); “Text-Book of Lectures” (1825-'7); a memoir of his son, James Jackson, Jr., who died in 1834; “Letters to a Young Physician” (1855; 4th ed., 1856); and numerous contributions to the Boston “Medical and Surgical Journal” and other periodicals. He also published articles in the “Transactions” of the Massachusetts medical society, of which he was president. — Another son, Patrick Tracy, merchant, b. in Newburyport, Mass., 14 Aug., 1780; d. in Beverly, Mass, 12 Sept., 1847, was apprenticed to a merchant of Newburyport, and subsequently established himself in Boston in the India trade, in which he acquired a large fortune. In 1812, at the invitation of his brother-in-law, Francis C. Lowell, who had examined the process of cotton-manufacture in England, he engaged in a project to introduce into the United States the power-loom, then newly invented, and also its mode of construction, which was kept secret. As communication with England was prevented by the war, they were forced to invent a power-loom themselves, and after many failures succeeded, in the latter part of 1812, in producing a model from which a machine was constructed by Paul Moody, an ingenious machinist. In 1813 they built a mill in Waltham, near Boston, which is said to have been the first that combined all the operations for converting raw cotton into finished cloth. He made large purchases of land on the Merrimack river, near Pawtucket canal, in 1821, and several mills were constructed there by the Merrimack manufacturing company, which was organized under his auspices. This settlement formed the nucleus of the city of Lowell. He superintended the formation of another company in the same place, and in 1830 procured a charter for a railroad between Lowell and Boston, the construction of which he directed till its comple- tion in 1835. This was then one of the finest works of its kind in the country. Having met with pecuniary losses in 1837, he took charge of the locks and canal company of Lowell, and subsequently of the Great Falls manufacturing company at Somersworth, N. H. He labored zealously to promote the moral and intellectual improvement of the operatives in his mills.