Cyrus West Field, the eighth child and seventh son of David Dudley Field, was born in Stockbridge, Mass., November 30, 1819. He took his double name from Cyrus Williams, President of the Housatonic Bank (in Stockbridge), and from Dr. West, for sixty years his father’s predecessor in the pastorate of the old Church of Stockbridge. He was the sixth in descent from Zachariah Field, the founder of the family in this country, who was the grandson of John Field the astronomer. Zachariah was born in the old home in Ardsley, Yorkshire, England. He came over in 1630 or 1632, seemingly from Hadley, Suffolk, and settled first in Dorchester, Mass., afterwards making his way through the wilderness to Hartford, Conn. Then followed in the direct line his oldest son Zachariah Junior, Ebenezer, David, and Captain Timothy, who was born in the north part of Madison, Conn., in 1744. He served in the Continental Army under Washington, and was in the battle of White Plains.
David Dudley Field, Captain Timothy’s youngest son, was born May 20, 1781. In 1802 he graduated from Yale, the next year was ordained a minister of the Congregational Church, and a month later, October 31, 1803, was married to Submit Dickinson, daughter of Captain Noah Dickinson, of Somers, Conn., who first served under Putnam in the French War and afterwards in the War of the Revolution. Submit Dickinson was called “The Somers Beauty.”
Read alsoAn Autobiography: The Story of My Life and Work (Illustrated Edition)
From 1890-1915, the most influential black man in America was Booker T. Washington, who less than 35 years earlier had been born into slavery. The young boy worked laboriously until emancipation before going on to seek an education. By the time he was 40, he was consolidating a network of supporters that came to be known as the Tuskegee Machine,…