Quincy, Josiah by Faye Huntington

Counting back for five generations, we find in the Quincy family a Josiah. The great-great-grandfather of the present Josiah Quincy was a merchant, and we are told that he was a zealous patriot in Revolutionary times, and you all know that meant a great deal.

His son, who was called Josiah Junior, became a celebrated lawyer, and was prominent as an advocate of liberty. It was he who with Samuel Adams addressed the people when the British ships anchored in Boston Harbor with the cargo of tea. But notwithstanding his reputation for patriotism, his action in defending the soldiers who fired upon the mob in what is known as the Boston Massacre, brought him into unpopularity.

Yet I think that if you study the facts carefully, and weigh them well, you will see that although the presence of the British soldiers was an outrage, and justly obnoxious to the people, yet upon that occasion there was some excuse for their action. And John Adams and Josiah Quincy should not be condemned for undertaking their defence.

Afterwards both did good service in the interest of Colonial Independence. Quincy went to England doing much to promote the good of his country.

He died upon the homeward voyage in 1775, in sight of American shores. His son Josiah, three years old at the time of his father's death, was educated at Harvard University, became a lawyer, a member of Congress, and having filled acceptably various other offices, was at length elected President of Harvard, which position he held for fifteen years. He had a son Josiah, also a graduate of Harvard, and again the fifth Josiah in the line is a graduate of the same institution.

There are other Quincys of this family who have attained celebrity; among these are Edmund Quincy, who was prominent in antislavery circles.