« PreviousContinue »
THE LATE WILLIAM P. HAWES, Esq.,
HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT,
To commemorate the talents, depict the character, and enlogise the virtues of a departed friend, although a melancholy task, must ever be, in some sort, pleasurable to a survivor ; and for the most part biographers have been so sensible of this sad pleasure, that they have but too often departed from their proper line of duty, and degenerated into mere panegyrists. So far is this, however, froin being in accordance with the views of the writer, that he considers such adulatory notices equally useless as regards the reputation of the dead, and discreditable to the motives of the living. It is, then, his intention merely to lay before the public such brief facts, concerning the deceased, as may suffice to render them acquainted with the individual who ministered so osten and so long to their amusement, under the fictitious name, J. CYPRESS, JR., which has been still retained in the title of these volumes.
William Post Hawes, the author of the fugitive pieces now for the first time collected, was the son of Peter Hawes, Esq., a distinguished member of the New-York bar, and subsequently secretary of the Washington Insurance Company in this city. He was born on the 4th day of February, 1803, and, at a very early age, commenced a course of study in all the branches of a liberal education, in several—the first-schools of the day. In due course of time he entered at Columbia college, and on the 7th day of August, 1821,—when but 18 years
of age—was admitted bachelor of arts, with all the honors; and on the 7th day of August, 1824, master of arts in the same institution, of the Philolexian society of which he had been an honorary member during the greater part of his terms.
Having determnined on the honorable profession of the law, as the career most congenial to his habits, he became a student in the office of John Anthon, Esq., now a celebrated member of the New York bar, and was successively admitted attorney in August, 1824, solicitor in March, 1826, counsellor in the supreme court in May, 1828, and in the court of chancery in May, 1830. It may not be superfluous here to state that Mr. Hawes served in the militia of the state of New-York, from the grade of ensign in January, 1825, through all the successive ranks, to that of colonel of the 222d regiment of infantry, in January, 1836.
From the commencement of his practice as a lawyer at the age of 21, to his untimely end, he continued in that eminent profession; in which he occupied by his talents, industry, and kindly disposition, a highly honorable situation.