1902: July 30th - The New York Times - New York, NY.
HOSEA B. PERKINS
Hosea B. Perkins, who was at one time recognized as an orator of no mean ability, and more recently was called "the Silver Tongued Orator of Washington Heights", died yesterday morning in his homestead on King's Bridge Road. Those who were children in New York twenty-five or Thirty years ago remember him especially well as a Fourth of July orator, who would arouse their patriotism to the highest pitch. When some civic or military event in New York required an orator it was for many years quite the custom to call upon Hosea Perkins for the address. He was always a Democrat, but Mr. Perkins did not take politics very seriously and although upon several occasions offices of considerable importance were offered to him he declined them. He was a member of the Tammany Society and of the Democratic Fordham, Washington Heights, and Century Clubs. Of the latter organization he was President for many years. Although a busy man, Mr. Perkins was a great lover of books, and found time for private study. After his retirement from business he took up the study of several languages and also of the sciences. In 1871 Dartmouth similarly honored him. He was considered an authority on the poetry of Robert Burns, and he delivered a number of lectures on the Scotch bard. Mr. Perkins was born in Dover, N. H., Aug. 8th, 1819. He was the son of Robert P. Perkins and Relief Perkins, his family being one of the oldest and most respected in the State. What early education he got was in public schools of his native town, which he left at fourteen years of age. For three years he worked on his father's farm and as a clerk in a store, and then left for New York. He arrived here when he was seventeen years old, and was fond of telling in his later years that upon his arrival he knew only one person in the city - a poor old negro. He secured a position as clerk in the carpet house of Shaw & Carter. A few years later he went into business for himself on the Bowery with his brother, James P. Perkins. After thirty years in business he retired, having amassed a competency. Although declining political honors, Mr. Perkins served for ten years as a School Trustee and for twenty years represented the Twelfth Ward in the Board of Education. During the war Mr. Perkins was a member of the New England Relief Association and as such upon the return of the Second New Hampshire after the war delivered the address of welcome at the Battery. The affair was one which drew a crowd of 10,000 persons to that park. One of his other memorable speeches was made at the Hampshire Agricultural Society, at which the most prominent men of that time attended and made speeches. Mr. Perkins married on Nov. 9th, 1848, Harriet L. Hanmer, who died in 1888. They had eight children, five of whom survive. They are Mrs. H. M. Noe, Mrs. Thomas H. Disbrow, Mrs. George H. Payson, wife of the Rev. Dr. Payson of Newark, N.J., Mrs. William J. McCreery, and Robert R. Perkins. Mr. Perkins enjoyed pretty good health until 1900 when his daughter, Mrs. Ethan Allen, died. He seemed to grieve over that bereavement a great deal, and also about that time began to show physical ailments. For several months he had been very ill at his home.