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Morse, Nathan P.

Nathan Parsons Morse (1821–96), born in Gloucester, Massachusetts was deaf and mute and worked as a printer. His parents were Nathan and Abigail P. Morse and his ancestral home was on what is now Western Avenue, just past its intersection with Bond Street.

According to Nathan’s obituary (May 1896), he was sent to Hartford Asylum for deaf mutes through the generosity of a Judge John W. Lowe. In 1860, Nathan married Jane Hooper in Charlestown, Massachusetts. She was also deaf and dumb and had attended the Hartford Asylum; she was the daughter of Catherine (Pride) and Francis Hooper, born in Nova Scotia. Jane died two years after she and Nathan were married.

Various records show that Nathan P. Morse worked as a printer for many years. The 1855 Massachusetts Census reports that he was living in Gloucester with his mother, as does the 1880 Federal Census. In 1870, Nathan was living in Boston in a boarding house owned by Thomas H. Murray, 30 yrs. of age, printer, and his wife Charlotte, age 40.

Nathan’s obituary in the Cape Ann Advertiser (July 24, 1896) says that he learned the trade of compositor (type setter) while working at the Newburyport Herald in 1845. He later worked “in many of the principal offices of Boston” including John Wilson & Son and Rand & Avery.  While Nathan was employed at John Wilson & Son, he worked on Babson’s History of Gloucester. At various times, he was also employed by the Cape Ann Advertiser and the Gloucester Telegraph.

Nathan Morse was run over by a runaway horse in Gloucester in the summer of 1896 and died a few days later. (1)

 – Martha Oaks

(1) Obituary of Nathan Lane. Cape Ann Advertiser (Gloucester, MA: Procter Brothers, May, 1896).

Citation: "Historical Materials." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum.§ion=Morse%2C+Nathan+P. (accessed April 17, 2024).
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