John Stanton Gould was as born at Newport, Rhode
Island, on the 14th day of March, 1812. He was of Quaker parentage,
and to him one of the most precious facts was the bravery of his ancestor,
Daniel Gould, who was whipped at Boston the day that Mary Dyer and her
companions were hung. He was whipped for his unfaltering allegiance to
conscientious opinions. Another of his paternal ancestors figured
conspicuously the same day, though in a very different manner. Colonel
Edward Wanton had under his command a regiment of cavalry attendant upon the
execution. Returning home, he laid aside his sword, remarking to his
mother, "Mother, I much fear that we have this day been killing the people
of God." Soon afterwards he too became a Quaker, and removed for
greater religious liberty to Rhode Island, where he became governor, and
left a large family of sons, three of whom in their turns also became
governors of the same State
was educated at the Friends' school in Providence, Rhode Island; and at
fourteen years of age he was allowed by his parents to select out of several
excellent opportunities the one he would most desire for his success in
life. He chose deliberately to come with Benjamin Marshall, a
relative, to Stockport, Columbia Co., N. Y., in whose print-works he was
chemist for several of the earlier years of his life.
politics, Mr. Gould was an old-line Whig, and possessed in an eminent degree
the confidence and friendship of Horace Greeley, whose cause he espoused in
the Liberal movement of 1872. While he never courted political favors
his abilities early brought him before the people, who elected him to the
Assembly in 1847. In 1858 he received the nomination for State
senator, but was defeated by William G. Mandeville. In 1867, Mr. Gould
was elected as a senatorial delegate to the constitutional convention, and
bore a prominent part in the discussions and deliberations of that body.
deeply interested in matters of a humanitarian nature, the organization of
he State Prison Association was an object of his earnest solicitude.
He was early called to the councils of the board, and was subsequently made
vice-president of the organization. In this position his broad and
philanthropic views found full scope in devising means for the amelioration
of the condition of the inmates of our prisons, and many of the measures
instituted for the reformation of the dangerous classes were the suggestions
of his fertile brain.
interested always in agricultural matters he had from early life
familiarized himself with the science of farming, and his lectures and
writings upon the subject gained for him a wide-spread reputation.
Upon the subject of scientific farming he had no superior, and his writings
in relation thereto are among the most valuable contributions relating to
this topic. His knowledge of this and kindred matters marked him as
one admirably fitted for the office of president of the State Agricultural
Society, which position he most acceptably filled for one term. His
lecture upon the subject of "Grasses" before the State Agricultural Society
was one of the most masterly productions ever presented to that body.
He was professor of agriculture in Cornell University from the founding of
that institution to the time of his death. As director of the Farmers'
National Bank of Hudson, a position held by him for many years, his presence
always insured sound advice and clear judgment.
early identified with the public school system in this locality, and was for
four years superintendent of pubic schools in the city of Hudson, in whose
welfare he always maintained the greatest interest. He had a wonderful
command of language, and a happy faculty of imparting his knowledge to
others, which made him ever a welcome addition either to the public platform
or the social circle. As a lecturer on education, on scientific
topics, or on agriculture, but few excelled him.
departed this life on the 8th of August, 1874, aged sixty-two years.
He had been twice married, his second wife surviving him. His only
son, who attained to manhood, William Ashby Gould, died in the year 1872;
the remaining children are daughters.
the following just tribute to Mr. Gould's character from the Elmira
Gazette of the date of his decease:
of the death of this man will fall heavily on a wide constituency of
friendship and acquaintance. Without ostentation and without effort,
he had gained a place in the hearts and minds of the middle classes of the
people of this State which few men occupy, and one other holds with the
confidence which was reposed in him.
was an educated man in a double sense. He had the advantage of a
liberal education, and to this acquirement he added the fuller education
which comes of constant study and untiring devotion to applying scientific
truths to practical ends. As an essayist, Mr. Gould enjoyed a high
reputation, his productions being printed and read as widely as the subjects
he treated had application. On the opening of Cornell University he
was selected to give a yearly course of lectures on agriculture and the
mechanical arts. These lectures have been promptly delivered, and at
every course many farmers in the neighborhood of the institution have
attended. He was one of the most popular of the non-resident
professors of Cornell. His death lays on the institution a loss which
it will not be easy to make good."