Custom House Maritime Museum A View of the Museum from Water St.


Caleb Cushing

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February 17, 2013 @ 3:00pm
Caleb Cushing




Caleb Cushing

Personal Historical Profile
Caleb Cushing
Minister Plenipotentiary
Mission to China 1843-44 
Extraordinary Man / Extraordinary Mission


presented by

J. James Dyer

Sunday, February 17, 2013
3:00 - 4:30 pm
Reception Following


Jim Dyer, co-chair of the Rediscovering Caleb Cushing Committee, is a long time student and advocate for recognition of the outstanding public service legacy of Newburyport’s Caleb Cushing.Jim Dyer

He has written articles commemorating Cushing’s contributions to US public policy. In 2009, Jim portrayed Cushing in the public debate with the Reverend Thomas Wentworth Higginson at Newburyport’s First Religious Society’s meeting house – “Resolved: that preservation of the Union is more important than the abolition of slavery”.

More recently, Jim along with Mary Wilkins Haslinger, as co-chairs, established the Rediscovering Caleb Cushing Committee and began by raising funds and laying a new path and historic marker directing visitors to Cushing’s once neglected grave site in Newburyport’s Highland Cemetery.

The story of Cushing’s mission to China will reveal much about his energy, intellect and passion to protect and advance the interests of the young United States of America.

Please join us in welcoming Jim Dyer on Sunday, February 17th at 3:00 pm, for a grand perspective of this enormously fascinating public servant, Newburyport's Caleb Cushing.

This presentation is open to the public - limited seating available.

Museum members: Free
Non Members: $5
Attendees are invited to a Reception following the presentation

 Rediscover Caleb Cushing

Jim Dyer, left, and Mary Haslinger of the Committee to Rediscover Caleb Cushing, Newburyport's first mayor among a holder of other political offices, stand at his gravesite at Highland Hill Cemetery in Newburyport.
Photograph courtesy of Newburyport Daily News, Bryan Eaton photographer


Caleb Cushing Biographical Highlights:

Provided courtesy of J. James Dyer

  • Born January 17, 1800; graduated from Harvard University 1817; admitted to the Mass bar in 1823;
  • Member of the Mass. state house of representatives and state senate;
  • Served in the US Congress March 4, 1835-March 3, 1843;
  • Appointed by President Tyler as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to China on May 8, 1843, negotiated a treaty of navigation and commerce;
  • Served as colonel of a Massachusetts regiment during the war with Mexico, 1846;
  • Mayor of Newburyport, Mass., in 1851 and 1852;
  • Served as a judge of the supreme court of Massachusetts in 1852;
  • Appointed by President Pierce as Attorney General of the United States on March 7, 1853, and served until March 3, 1857;
  • In 1860 President James Buchanan sent him to Charleston as Confidential Commissioner to the Secessionists of South Carolina.
  • Appointed in 1872 by President Grant counsel for the United States before the Geneva Tribunal of Arbitration on the Alabama claims;
  • Served as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Spain from January 6, 1874, to April 9, 1877;
  • Died in Newburyport on January 2, 1879;
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