William Crowninshield Endicott

WILLIAM CROWNINSHIELD ENDICOTT was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on 19 November 1826; was educated at Salem Latin School; graduated from Harvard University, 1847; studied law in the office of Nathaniel J. Lord, 1847–1849; attended Harvard Law School, 1849–1850; was admitted to the bar, 1850; with Jairus W. Perry formed the law firm of Perry and Endicott; was a member of the Salem Common Council, 1852, 1853, and 1857, and its president in the latter term; was city solicitor, 1858–1863; married Ellen Peabody, 1859; was defeated for Congress by Benjamin F. Butler in 1879; served as a judge of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, 1873–1882; was an unsuccessful candidate for governor of Massachusetts, 1884; served as Secretary of War, 5 March 1885–5 March 1889; was a key member of the Board on Fortification; proposed that Congress enact legislation requiring that Army officers pass an examination as a condition for promotion; suggested that Congress enact a statute permitting police officers or private citizens to arrest and surrender deserters to military authorities; requested that Congress authorize the publication of the War Department’s records by the Public Printer; recommended that the powers of the War and Treasury Departments be clearly defined by legislative act to prevent problems over disbursements; retired from public life to settle in Salem; moved to Boston; was overseer of Harvard College, 1875–1885, president of the Harvard Alumni Association, 1888–1890, and a fellow of the corporation, 1884–1895; was president of the Peabody Academy of Science and the Peabody Education Fund; was a resident member of the Massachusetts Historical Society; died in Boston on 6 May 1900.

The Artist

George Bernard Butler, Jr. (1838–1907), portrait, genre, animal, and still life painter, was born in New York City, where he studied art under Thomas Hicks. In 1859 he went to Paris to study under Thomas Couture, then returned to serve in the military during the Civil War. Despite the loss of his right arm, Butler continued his art career in New York and San Francisco, and was elected a National Academician in 1873. Two years later he returned to Europe and remained in Italy for an extended period. He painted Secretary Endicott from life in 1890.


Portrait, William Crowninshield Endicott

1st Cleveland Administration
By George Bernard Butler, Jr.
Oil on canvas, 29˝" x 24˝", 1890

page created 2 March 2001

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