« 上一頁繼續 »
is also president of the Fourth National Bank of Maine, and a director and trusted advisor of the leading manufacturing concerns of Sagadahock County. In all his numerous business ventures he has shown himself to be a keen, progressive man of affairs. Under his management he changed the Main Central from a third rate to a firstclass railroad, with steel rails and all modern equipments.
Though a lifelong Democrat, he has never felt bound to follow blindly the tenets of his party, but has always had an opinion of his own, especially respecting matters relating to finance, the tariff and merchant marine. Thus, when the question of admitting the steamships City of New York and City of Paris to American registry was up in Congress, and was exciting shippers and shipbuilders all over the country, he stepped forward as one of the largest builders of sailing ships in the country and showed so conclusively that the measure under discussion would prove a step toward a revival of our merchant marine, as to convince such Republicans as Senator Fry and Congressman Dingley, and secure their indorsement.
When a few years ago he completed that magnificent fleet of ships, of which the Roanoke is a type, he decided, and he was the first New England shipbuilder to do so that the time of wood in the ocean marine was past; that the age of steel had come. After a prolonged visit to the great yards in England and Ireland he returned to Bath and put up a complete modern steel plant.
The part of his whole life, and that in which he takes the greatest interest, is his career as a shipbuilder and ship owner. His belief in the future of American shipping has never flagged, even when he saw so many of the associates of his youth go out-of the business.
For the past eight years Mr. Sewall has been Maine's representative on the Democratic National Committee until a short time ago, when Dr. S. H. C. Gordon succeeded hiiu. lie was an original Cleveland man and followed the career of the Buffalo statesman up until a couple of years ago notwithstanding the fact that he shared something of the protection views of the late Samuel J. Randall. Ever since the greenback victory which swept over Maine, Mr. Sewall has been a close student of financial question, and this has crystallized in him to a thorough belief in bimetallism and the free coinage of both silver and gold. Mr. Sewall was a candidate for Unites States Senator against Senator Eugene Hale in 1893.
In 1859 Mr. Sewall married Emily Duncan Crooker, daughter of a prominent citizen of Bath. Three children were born to them. Harold Sewall, former ConsulGeneral to Samoa, William Sewall, a junior member of the shipbuilding firm, and Demmer Sewall who died in infancy. Harold Sewall was sent to Samoa at the time of the Samoan outbreak, by President Cleveland. Later he became a Republican and at the recent Convention in St. Louis beheaded a Reed Republican Club from Bath.
Though Mr. Sewall, born in 1835, is over sixty years of age, he does not look to be over forty-five. He is a' splendid example of physical manhood, carries himself with a soldierly bearing and is what might be termed a fine looking man. His hair and mustache are slightly tinged with gray, but the wrinkles of age have scarcely made their appearance on his face.
All who know him accord to him the highost business ability, honesty, persistency and foresight. His manners are straight forward even to brusqueness, and in the expression of his thoughts for the public ear, he makes no pretentions to oratory or magnetism. Though not a society man, in the ordinary acceptation of that term, he is lovable and loyal when once his acquaintance is made. Always a large employer of labor, he has ever treated it justly, and thereby escaped the trouble of protest by strikes and other violent means. He is a practical workman himself, and when occasion required could pick up tools and show a man how his work should be done.
In religion, Mr. Sewall is a member of the Swedenborgian Church, and a liberal contributor to the church in his parish. He finds his social outlet in occasional visits to the Sagadahock Club of Bath, of which he is a member. He is also a member of the Dunlap Commandery, Knight Templars, but is not active in its councils. He is distinctively a home man, and in this shares the tastes of his wife, who is in many ways a remarkable woman. Bright, well educated, with a peculiar grace and charm of manner when she wants to show it, her reticence deprives her of what the world calls popularity. Mrs. Sewall, after attending several New England schools, was sent to the famous Ipswich Institution, where she finished her education. She traveled in Europe for several years after that and returned to America an unusually accomplished girl.j Mrs. Sewall has an artistic temperament, to which a largo collection of water colors, landscape photographs and sketches made by her on two continents bear witness. Gifted with the power of observation and with the ability to recognize the interesting, her reminiscences of European life are charming whenever they are called up in the companionship of her intimate friends. Mrs. Sewall's health has not been good for several years, though she is in no sense an invalid, and she is compelled to exercise care and
lias not been so prominent in society as might otherwise have been the case.
She has been a student and a wide reader, and is proficient in French, which has always been a favorite language with her. She is thoroughly acquainted with this country, having visited every part of it. She has crossed the Pacific on every transcontinental line, and her camera has caught for her bits of scenery in almost every corner of the land. She is an expert amateur photographer, and has received diplomas for her work in Paris, New York and Boston.
The visitor to the Sewall mansion ascends a smooth walk across a sloping lane, and on the wide porch overlooks the Kennebec and the yards where the Sewalls, father and son, have turned out a hundred ships, and he sees eveiy evidence of good trade in the grounds that surround the mansion.
The house is one that evidently cost its owner much money and thought, still it is not what the world calls a handsome one. There is an air of comfort and refinement, and little show about it. Mrs. Sewall's taste is seen everywhere about the house—in the books in the library, in the pictures on the wall, and in the curtains and rugs. Outside in the grounds and the stable it is Mr. Sewall's idea that is dominant everywhere. They have divided the task of home making, and apparently it is a success. Mr. Sewall is very fond of his ground and garden, and none handsomer is to be seen in Maine. He is also fond of good horses, and his stable is well stocked with blooded animals. He is often seen behind a pair of handsome blacks in the streets or on the country roads near the city, in fact, his time is divided between his office, his home and the road when he is in Bath.
When Mr. Sewall went as a delegate to the Chicago Convention of 1896, he carried along with him pronounced convictions as to free silver coinage, but no thought of becoming a candidate for the Vice Presidency. Always willing to serve his party, he had no ambitions to fill public office. But circumstances were such that the trend of sentiment toward his candidacy became inevitable. His conspicuous position in the councils of his party, the fact that Mr. Bryan, of Nebraska, had been placed at the head of the ticket, thus rendering the choice of an Eastern running-mate desirable, and the additional fact that there were many aspirants for the honor of second place in Western sections, whose differences could not be reconciled, all pointed to Mr. Sewall as the candidate in whom centred the best elements of availability and the soundest reasons for choice.
His name was presented to the Convention by his friend, William R. Burk, of California, in the following brief and pointed speech:
"Mr. Chairman and members of the Convention:— What I shall say to you at this juncture I know in one respect will commend itself to you. Taking into account the great mission which has called us into convention, it seems to me that we should consider matters far be}'ond the reach of this great body. We should consider that there are people whom we represent, who have to vote on I this great question. Therefore, geographical considerations should prompt us, as well as the question of ability. It would not become me to say aught of any gentleman whose name has been brought before you in this connection.
"But it seems to me that when we come to make up the remaining portion of this ticket, we should consider those