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(1841-1935) Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (August 29, 1809 - October 7, 1894), noted physician, lecturer, poet, novelist, and father of the Supreme Court Justice with the same name. Through his wit and turn of phrase, Holmes became an iconic figure in popular American culture, most notably through his book of essays, The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, first published in 1858. His image and quotations from his works became ubiquitous, and he was one of the most sought after lecturers in America on topics ranging from medicine to literature.

 Caricature of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., by Sir Leslie Ward, from Vanity Fair, June 19, 1886.

Holmes's schooling after an initiation in adame school, where a companion was the late BishopLee of Delaware, was under Master William Bigelow,and when ten years old he went to a school inCambridgeport, where he had for schoolmatesMargaret Fuller and Richard Henry Dana, whosefamous kinsman, Washington Allston, glorified therather unkempt Port with his studio. At fifteenhe was sent for special preparation to PhillipsAcademy at Andover. His life there, and thecompanionship he enjoyed, he described in hispleasant paper and touched with a kindly light inhis reminiscent poem

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. - Wikipedia

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1947).

With exception of a Dutch strain a fewgenerations before, these ancestors were of NewEngland origin, going back to the early colonialdays. John Holmes, of Puritan birth, settled inWoodstock, Connecticut, in 1686. His grandson,David Holmes, served as captain of British troopsin the French and Indian war and later as asurgeon in the Revolutionary army. The son ofthis David was the Reverend Abiel Holmes, who wasgraduated at Yale College in 1782, and after a sixyears' pastorate in Georgia came to Cambridge,Massachusetts, where he was pastor over the firstparish for forty years, and during his pastoratebeside other writings and lectures compiled a trustworthyand creditable historical survey. His second wifewas a daughter of Oliver Wendell, and her ancestrybesides its Dutch strain was connected with thePhillipses, Quincys, and other well-known NewEngland families.

The reader of this biographical profile will probably be wondering why the famous American jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., appears on the prominent Dutch American listing. Well, the answer is because his grandmother came from an impeccable Dutch American background. His paternal grandmother was Sarah Wendell, the daughter of a wealthy family. Her ancestry goes back to the first Wendell, Evert Jansen, who left Holland in 1640 and settled in Albany, New York. If you look through the phone book pages in Albany, New York today, you will find a plethora of Wendells, all distant cousins of Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. - Wikipedia

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., .

Following his graduation from Harvard Law School, Holmes married his childhood friend, Fanny Bowditch Dixwell. Their marriage would last until her death in 1929. Unfortunately their marriage did not produce any children. They did, however, adopt and raise an orphaned cousin, named Dorothy Upham. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., passed away on March 6, 1935, two day short of his 94th birthday. He was interred in Arlington National Cemetery.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. is recognized as one of the greatest justices of the United States Supreme Court. In his will, he also expressed his love and devotion to his country by leaving his estate to the United States government. He had stated earlier that taxes we pay to the government are a price we pay for being able to live in a civilized society.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.,
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Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr

This as we have said,was published in 1836, and the next year hepublished a medical treatise. Thus neck and neckat the start were the two horses he continued toride for many years. He did not publish a volumeof poetry again until 1847, the year in which heabandoned the practice of medicine, and then hegathered the fugitive poems which had beenappearing in periodicals, or had been used onoccasion since the publication of It is interesting to notethat among the occasional poems were some calledout by his professional relations, as well as oneor two, not occasional, which were inspired by hisstudy and practice; so impossible was it for himto sever his life, as did Bryant, who seemed tokeep journalism in one cell of his brain andpoetry in another, each in solitary confinementand forbidden to hold intercourse with each otherThe volume of 1847 contained also the contents ofthe volume of 1836, and the poetry in thisconsolidated volume was substantially thatincluded in the first three divisions of tiepresent collection and the group of poems whichform the first section of the Appendix. Thevolume was reprinted in England, and for some timeto come represented the clam which Holmes mightmake to a place among poets.

His 1st son, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr

Holmes was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 8, 1841, and was the son of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., and Amelia Lee Jackson, a noted abolitionist. As a young man he liked literature and graduated from Harvard University in 1861. But note that 1861 was the start of the Civil War. Holmes enlisted in the Massachusetts Militia. He rose to the rank of a first lieutenant, and saw much action in the Civil War. He was wounded at the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, at Antietam and at Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Corpus - Oliver Wendall Holmes Essays

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States in 1902. He was nominated by another famous Dutch American, President Theodore Roosevelt, and his nomination passed the United States Senate unanimously. Holmes became one of the most widely cited United States Supreme Court justices in history. He would serve until 1932, when he was asked to resign because of his advanced age. Holmes, by that time, had reached the advance age of 90 years.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Biographical Sketch - Eldritch …

The preservation is a great example of the impact that OWH and his work had on our world.
OWH was bron in Cambridge, MA., on Augest 29, 1809.
First son of Abiel Holmes (a minister) and Sarah Wendell.
Witnessed the last hanging in Cambridge's Gallows Lot along with his brother, John.
His father copied down his first poem when he was 13.
Enrolled in the "Port School", a private academy in Cambridgeport.
One of his classmates was Margaret Fuller, a future critic and author.
His birthplace was a house just north of Harvard Yard, supposedly where the Battle of Bunker Hill was planned.
FunFact: Holmes' grandfather was a judge, as was his future father-in law and his son, who was a Supreme Court Justice.
FunFact: Holmes' was also related to Ann Bradstreet, America's first published poet.
Time-2-Shine: OWH was born in a house just north of what?
Answer: Harvard Yard!!
Attended Phillips academy in Andover, MA.

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