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Nathan Appleton

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Title: Nathan Appleton  
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Subject: Robert Charles Winthrop, Benjamin Gorham, William Appleton (politician), 27th United States Congress, Members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts
Collection: 1779 Births, 1861 Deaths, 19Th-Century American People, American Congregationalists, Burials at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Businesspeople from Boston, Massachusetts, Businesspeople from Massachusetts, Dartmouth College Alumni, Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Massachusetts National Republicans, Massachusetts Whigs, Members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Members of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts, National Republican Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, People from Boston, Massachusetts, People from Lowell, Massachusetts, People from New Ipswich, New Hampshire, Politicians from Boston, Massachusetts, Politicians from Lowell, Massachusetts, Whig Party Members of the United States House of Representatives
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Nathan Appleton

Nathan Appleton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1831 – March 3, 1833
June 9, 1842 – September 28, 1842
Preceded by Benjamin Gorham (1831)
Robert C. Winthrop (1842)
Succeeded by Benjamin Gorham (1833)
Robert C. Winthrop (1842)
Personal details
Born (1779-10-01)October 1, 1779
New Ipswich, New Hampshire
Died July 14, 1861(1861-07-14) (aged 81)
Boston, Massachusetts
Political party National Republican and Whig

Nathan Appleton (October 1, 1779 – July 14, 1861) was an American merchant and politician.


  • Biography 1
  • Family 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Appleton was born in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, the son of Isaac Appleton and his wife Mary Adams. Appleton's father was a church deacon, and Nathan was brought up in the "strictest form of Calvinistic Congregationalism."[1] He was educated in the New Ipswich Academy. He then entered Dartmouth College in 1794, however, that same year he left college to begin mercantile life in Boston, Massachusetts in the employment of his brother, Samuel Appleton (1766–1853), a successful and benevolent man of business, with whom he was in partnership from 1800 to 1809.[2]

In 1813 Appleton co-operated with Francis Cabot Lowell, Patrick T. Jackson, Paul Moody and others in introducing the power loom and the manufacture of cotton on a large scale into the United States, a factory being established at Waltham, Massachusetts in 1814.[3] The Waltham mill employed the first power loom ever used in the United States. This proving successful, he and others purchased the water-power at Pawtucket Falls, and he was one of the founders of the Merrimac Manufacturing Company. The settlement that grew around these factories developed into the city of Lowell, of which in 1821 Mr. Appleton was one of the three founders. In a pamphlet entitled The Origin of Lowell, Appleton wrote of the mills: "The contrast in the character of our manufacturing population with that of Europe has been the admiration of most intelligent strangers. The effect has been to more than double the wages of that description of labor from what they were before the introduction of this manufacture".[4]

Appleton House, Beacon Street, Boston.

Appleton was a member of the general court of Massachusetts in 1816, 1821, 1822, 1824 and 1827. In 1831-1833 and also 1842 he served in the United States House of Representatives,[3] in which he was prominent as an advocate of protective duties. He was also a member of the Academy of Science and Arts, and of the Massachusetts Historical Society. He published speeches and essays on currency, banking, and the tariff, of which his Remarks on Currency and Banking (enlarged ed., 1858) is the most celebrated, as well as his memoirs on the power loom and Lowell. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1842.[5]


Portrait of Nathan Appleton by Gilbert Stuart, ca.1812

Appleton married Maria Theresa Gold on April 13, 1806. Two months later, he hired the artist Federal Street Church.

Maria Theresa Appleton died of tuberculosis in 1833.[7] Nathan Appleton remarried on January 8, 1839, to Harriot Coffin Sumner (1802–1867), the daughter of Jesse Sumner, a Boston merchant, and Harriot Coffin of Portland, Maine. They had three children: William Sumner Appleton (1840–1903); Harriet Sumner Appleton (1841–1923), who married Greely Stevenson Curtis; Nathan Appleton (1843–1906).

His daughter Fanny married Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1843. As a wedding gift, Appleton purchased the house in which Longfellow had been renting rooms, now known as the American Revolutionary War. Nathan Appleton also purchased the land across the street, as Longfellow's mother wrote, "so that their view of the River Charles may not be intercepted".[11]

Appleton was also the cousin of William Appleton.

Grave of Nathan Appleton and other members of the Appleton family at Mount Auburn Cemetery

Fanny Appleton died on July 10, 1861, after accidentally catching fire;[12] her father was too sick to attend her funeral. Appleton died the next day, in Boston, on July 14, 1861.[13]

See also


  1. ^ "Nathan Appleton". Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ Chisholm 1911, pp. 224–225.
  3. ^ a b Chisholm 1911, p. 225.
  4. ^ Tharp 1973, p. 103.
  5. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Tharp 1973, p. 4.
  7. ^ Calhoun 2004, p. 119.
  8. ^ Wilson, Susan (2000), Literary Trail of Greater Boston, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, p. 109,  
  9. ^ Calhoun 2004, p. 167.
  10. ^ Tharp 1973, p. 239.
  11. ^ Tharp 1973, p. 240.
  12. ^ Irmscher, Christoph (2008), Longfellow Redux, University of Illinois, p. 9,  
  13. ^ Tharp 1973, p. 302.


  •  Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Appleton, Samuel".  
  • Calhoun, Charles C. (2004), Longfellow: A Rediscovered Life, Boston: Beacon Press,  
  • Tharp, Louise Hall (1973), The Appletons of Beacon Hill, Boston: Little, Brown and Company 
    • Winthrop, Robert C. (1861), Memoir of Nathan Appleton, Boston 
    • Hale, Susan (1885), Life and Letters of Thomas Gold Appleton, New York 

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Benjamin Gorham
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1st congressional district

March 4, 1831 – March 3, 1833
Succeeded by
Benjamin Gorham
Preceded by
Robert C. Winthrop
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1st congressional district

June 9, 1842 – September 28, 1842
Succeeded by
Robert C. Winthrop

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