Edward Everett was born 11 April 1794 in Dorchester, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States to Oliver Everett (1752-1802) and Lucy Hill (1768-1824) and died 15 January 1865 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States of unspecified causes. He married Charlotte Gray Brooks (1800-1859) 8 May 1822 in Connecticut, United States.


Early Life and Education

Edward Everett was born on April 11, 1794 in Dorchester, Massachusetts (then independent from Boston), the fourth of eight children, to the Rev. Oliver Everett and Lucy Hill Everett, the daughter of Alexander Sears Hill. His father was a direct descendant of early colonist Richard Everett, and his mother's family also had deep colonial roots.[1] His father had served as pastor of New South Church, retiring due to poor health two years before Everett was born. He died in 1802, when Edward was eight, after which his mother moved the family to Boston. He attended local schools, and then a private school of Ezekiel Webster. During this time Ezekiel's brother Daniel sometimes taught classes; Everett and Daniel Webster would later form a close friendship.[2]

In 1814, Edward Everett became a Unitarian minister in Boston, Massachusetts, but, appointed (1815) professor of Greek literature at Harvard, he went abroad to study at the Univ. of Göttingen (Ph.D., 1817) and to travel. During his professorship (1819–25) he also edited (1820–23) the North American Review. Everett was a professor of Greek literature at Harvard University.

Political service

He was elected to the United States House of Representatives and served from 4 March, 1825-3 March, 1835. He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1834. He was governor of Massachusetts from 1836–1839.

Everett served as United States Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Britain from 1841-1845, declining a commission to China in 1843. He was president of Harvard University from 1846–49

In 1852 he was appointed United States Secretary of State by President Millard Fillmore to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Daniel Webster, and served to 3 March, 1853. He was elected to the United States Senate and served from 4 March, 1853, until his resignation, effective 1 June, 1854. It is said that he was embarrassed by his old-line Whig attitude of compromise on slavery.

Everett was an unsuccessful candidate for Vice President of the United States in 1860 on the Constitutional Union ticket. During the American Civil War, he traveled extensively throughout the North speaking for the Union cause and drawing immense audiences.

Gettysburg Oration

Widely considered the nation's greatest orator of his time, He was invited to give the main speech at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg on 19 November, 1863.

The stirring address has been eclipsed in history by President Lincoln's two-minute Gettysburg Address.

Its main focus was nothing short of an outline of the history of warfare, and it began:

"Standing beneath this serene sky, overlooking these broad fields now reposing from the labors of the waning year, the mighty Alleghanies dimly towering before us, the graves of our brethren beneath our feet, it is with hesitation that I raise my poor voice to break the eloquent silence of God and Nature. But the duty to which you have called me must be performed; — grant me, I pray you, your indulgence and your sympathy."

The town of Everett, Massachusetts, which was incorporated in 1870, was named after him.


On January 9, 1865, Everett spoke at a public meeting in Boston to raise funds for the southern poor in Savannah.[1] At that meeting he caught cold, which he exacerbated four days later by testifying for three hours in a civil dispute concerning property he owned in Winchester, Massachusetts.[2] He died in Boston on January 15, and was interred at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge.[3]

Marriage and Family

On May 8, 1822 Everett married Charlotte Gray Brooks (November 4, 1800 - July 2, 1859), the daughter of Peter Chardon Brooks and Ann Gorham, who like Everett were of old New England lineage.[4] Brooks had made a fortune in a variety of business endeavors, including marine insurance, and would financially support Everett when he embarked on his career in politics. Everett would also become associated through the Brooks family with John Quincy Adams' son Charles Francis, who married one of Charlotte's sisters.[5]

The Everetts had a happy and fruitful marriage,[6] producing six children who survived infancy:[7]

  1. Anne Gorham Everett (March 3, 1823 at Atkinson Street, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA – October 18, 1843 at 46 Grosvenor Place, Belgravia, London, England)
  2. Charlotte Brooks Everett (August 13, 1825 – December 15, 1879); married Captain Henry Augustus Wise USN
  3. Grace Webster Everett (December 24, 1827 – January 8, 1836)
  4. Edward Brooks Everett (May 6, 1830 – November 5, 1861); married Helen Cordis Adams
  5. Henry Sidney Everett (December 31, 1834 – October 4, 1898); married Katherine Pickman Fay
  6. William Everett (1839-1910) - U.S. Congressman from Massachusetts


Offspring of Edward Everett and Charlotte Gray Brooks (1800-1859)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Ann Gorham Everett (1823-1843)
Miss Everett (1824-1824)
Charlotte Brooks (1825-1879)
Grace Webster Everett (1827-1836)
Edward Brooks Everett (1830-1861)
Baby Everett (1833-1833)
Henry Signey Everett (1834-1898)
William Everett (1839-1910) 10 October 1839 Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States 16 February 1910 Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States


Offspring of Oliver Everett (1752-1802) and Lucy Hill (1768-1824)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Oliver Everett (1788-1864)
Alexander Hill Everett (1790-1847) 19 March 1790 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States 28 June 1847 Guangzhou, China Lucretia Orne Peabody (1786-1862)
Lucy Everett (1791-c1864)
Edward Everett (1794-1865) 11 April 1794 Dorchester, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States 15 January 1865 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States Charlotte Gray Brooks (1800-1859)
Sarah Preston Everett (1796-1866) 5 September 1796 Dorchester, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States 14 November 1866 Brookline, Massachusetts, United States Nathan Hale (1784-1863)
Thomas Huse Everett (1799-1839)
John Everett (1801-1826)
Enoch Huse Everett (1803-1826)

External links


  1. ^ Wikisource:1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Everett, Edward
  2. ^ Frothingham, p. 470
  3. ^ Frothingham, pp. 469–472
  4. ^ Haxtun, p. 34
  5. ^ Varg, pp. 23–24
  6. ^ Varg, p. 24
  7. ^ Whittier, pp. 53–54


  1. The Life and Letters of Edward Everett Hale. Volume: 1. Edward E. Hale Jr. 1917.
  2. Hale Family Papers 1787-1988.
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