Thursday, April 26, 2007

Headstone rubbing of Master Moody

The grave rubbing shown in this photograph is that of the headstone of Samuel Moody, the first Preceptor of Dummer Charity School. Born in York, Maine in 1725, Moody received his education at Harvard College graduating in 1746. Upon the completion of his studies, Moody returned to York to teach at the local public grammar school. In 1756 he left the public grammar school to form his own school in the community. Moody’s reputation as a charismatic and energetic Latin and Greek scholar attracted the attention of the Trustees of the newly established Dummer Charity School. He was hired as Preceptor and on March 1, 1763, in the newly constructed Red School House, Moody began his first day of teaching at Dummer Charity School with twenty-eight students in attendance. The Red School House still stands today and is located at the entrance of the campus.

Master Moody influenced the lives of five hundred and twenty-six young men during his career at Dummer Charity School, the name changing to Dummer Academy after the school was incorporated in 1782. Many of his young scholars became leading citizens to the New Republic. He was instructor to Senator Rufus King, who was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and original signer of the Constitution. He taught Tobias Lear, who became private secretary to President George Washington as well as, Samuel Osgood, who was appointed as the first Postmaster General under Washington. Master Moody also instructed the naval hero, Commodore Edward Preble, Commander of the USS Constitution, and Samuel Phillips, the founder of Phillips Academy Andover in 1778.

Samuel Moody resigned his position at Dummer Academy 1790 and spent his remaining years traveling and visiting at the homes of friends and former students. Moody died on December 17, 1795 at the home of a former student, Dr. Samuel Tenney of Exeter, New Hampshire at the age of seventy. His was buried in York, Maine. The following is a transcription of his headstone inscription.

Integer vitae scelerisque purus
Here lies the remains
Preceptor of Dummer Academy
(The first Institution of the kind in Mass)
He left no child to mourn his sudden death
(for he died a Bachellor)
Yet his numerous Pupils in the U.S. will ever
retain a lively sense of the Sociability, Industry,
Integrity & Piety he possessed in an uncommon degree
as well as the disinterested, Zealous, faithful & useful
manner his discharged the duties of the Academy
for 30 years.
he died at Exeter 17 Dec 1795
AE 70

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