North American Scholar

GOULD, Benjamin Apthorp

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1787-06-15
  • Born City: Lancaster
  • Born State/Country: MA
  • Parents: Benjamin & Griselda Apthorp Flagg G.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1859-10-24
  • Death City: Boston
  • Death State/Country: MA
  • Married: Lucretia Dana Goddard, 2 Dec. 1823.
  • Education:

    A.B. Harvard, 1814; A.M., 1817.

  • Professional Experience:

    Headmaster Boston Public Lat. Sch., 1814-28; Boston Common Counc, 1834-7; mem. AAAS.

  • Publications:

    Excerpta ex scriptis Publii Ovidii Nasonis (Boston, 1827); Quintus Horatius Flaccus Opera (Boston, 1828); P. Vergilii Maronis. Bucolica Georgica et Aeneis (Boston, 1829); Alexander Adam, Latin Grammar (Philadelphia, 1825); The Prize Book of the Publick Latin School in Boston (Boston, 1820-4).

  • Notes:

    Benjamin Apthorp Gould produced the first American school commentaries on Ovid, Horace, and Virgil while headmaster of Boston Latin. His father, active in the Revolutionary War, was afterward impoverished. By dint of frugality and diligence, Gould was able to enter Harvard at the age of 23. Before he graduated, he was recommended to save the declining Boston Public Latin School by John T. Kirkland, president of Harvard, and within a decade it revived and acquired a national reputation for the quality of its curriculum and students. Overworked and in ill health, he retired in 1928, but following a trip to Europe he was strong enough to return to America and become a wealthy ship owner and merchant trader, as well as a public figure in Boston.

  • Sources:

    George Harvey Genzmer, DAB 7:447; Patrick J. Foley, BDAE, 533; Pauline Holmes, A Tercentenary History of the Boston Latin School, 1635-1935 (Cambridge, 1935); NatCAB 3:519.

  • Author: Ward W. Briggs, Jr.