Otic Clapp, 1806-

Clapp, Otis, 1806-

From the The Clapp Memorial.  (Boston, 1876)

Otis, son of Elisha Bascom and Sally (Hale) Clapp, was born March 3, 1806; a bookseller and publisher in Boston; from 1862 to 1875 collector of the U.S. Internal Revenue for the 4th District in Massachusetts.

Mr. Clapp came to Boston in 1823, and served his time with his uncle Nathan Hale, in the counting-room of the Daily Advertiser.  After leaving that place, he published for awhile the New England Galaxy, which had then just been relinquished by Jas. T. Buckingham, Esq.  A partnership was subsequently entered into with Charles Stimpson, under the firm of Stimpson & Clapp, booksellers and publishers, Mr. Hale being a silent partner.  They published a series of volumes under the name of “The American Library of Useful Knowledge,:” the first of which contained a Preface by Nathan Hale, and Lectures by Judge Story, Daniel Webster, Edward Everett and Lord Brougham.  They also published annually the Boston Directory.  This partnership was dissolved in 1832, and Mr. Clapp became the publisher of New Church works so-called, including those of Swedenborg; also of the New Jerusalem Magazine from 1832 to 1858—24 years, and the Childrens’ New Church Magazine from 1843 to 1858—fifteen years.  He has at different times and during various periods held the following public offices under the city government: Ward Inspector of Elections, Warden, member of the City Council and of the Board of Aldermen (at one time chairman of the latter), member of the Board of Land Commissioners, the Board of Assessors, and eight years one of the Board of visitors of the Boston Lunatic Asylum; also Representative of the State Legislature, and member of several boards of railroads and of associations for charitable purposes.  He has been President of the Washingtonian Home, a charitable Inebriate Asylum in Boston since,1862, and delivered the address at the dedication of its new building on Waltham Street, in 1873, which was erected at a cost of $100,000.  He has also been actively connected, since its first organization, with the Home for Little Wanderers, one of the most beneficent of the many charities in Boston, the disbursements of which during ten years, including building expenses, have been about $320,000, and which has provided for the wants of no less than 3800 destitute children.  Mr. Clapp was one of the earliest and most earnest workers, many years ago, in the cause of cheap postage, and also in favor of the construction of the Hoosac Tunnel; and more recently has publicly spoken and written in favor of a reform in the rates of railroad transportation.  Indeed, he has been a prominent advocate of most of the public movements for the improvement of the morals or the material well-being of the community during the last quarter of a century. On his retiring from the office of collector of the internal Revenue for District 4 in the spring of 1875, on account of the reduction of the number of districts in the State, the presentation of a gold-headed cane was made to him by assistants who had in various ways been connected with him in the duties of the office.  From a statement made by himself at the close of his twelve and a half years’ services as assessor and collector, we learn that the total amount of internal revenue collected in the Fourth District, which was under his supervision during the whole time of its existence, was over twenty-one and a half millions of dollars.  The amount in all Massachusetts during the same time as $162,722,562; and in the whole country, $1,812,495,336.  The cost of collecting these large amounts for the time between Sept. 1, 1862, and June 30, 1867 (near five years), was, in the whole country, 2.83 per cent; while in Massachusetts, it was but 1.5 per cent.

It should be added that Mr. Clapp was one of the most active and efficient of the name in originating and conducting the two Family Gatherings, in 1870 and 1873, and it may well be doubted if either of them would have taken place had it not been for his encouragement and aid.  At the former meeting, he read an interesting paper, prepared with much care, on the connection of the clap Family with the “Puritanic Brotherhood.”  He has also rendered important assistance in collecting the material for this family “Memorial.”

He married first, Aug. 29, 1833, Ann Withington Emery Porter, daughter of Sylvanus Porter, of Boston.  She died Oct. 27, 1843, and he married, second, Oct. 2, 1844, Mary Hadley, daughter of Deacon Moses Hadley, of Boston.  She died Dec. 10, 1871.

Children of Otis and 1st wife Ann Withington Emery (Porter) Clapp:

Otis, b. Sept. 1, 1834; d. Sept. 6, 1834

Henry Otis, b. Sept. 17, 1835; m. Rose, dau. of Rev. David Nelson, of Quincy, Ill.; d. in that town, of consumption, Aug. 1, 1866.

Joseph, b. Aug. 27, 1839.  Enlisted in the 8th Reg. Illinois cavalry, in the war of the Great Rebellion, and rose to be Captain; was under Gen. Farnsworth, and saw much fighting; was successful in taking many prisoners.  He m. Feb. 4, 1864, Elmina Jane Jackson, of Syracuse, N.Y.  Children…

Children of Otis and 2d wife Mary (Hadley) Clapp:

Mary Webb, b. Aug. 18, 1845; m. Oct. 2, 1866, Charles M. Fuller

James Wilkinson, b. Sept. 22, 1847; lives in Boston; m. Oct. 20, 1868, Eliza B. Tuckerman.  Children…

[note that James Wilkinson was the son in the Otis Clapp and Son company]

Rebecca H., b. July 17, 1851

Book of Worship. Liturgy New Church of New Jerusalem, published 1854 by Otis Clapp.


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Posted on

October 25, 2022

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