Feast of Rossiter Worthington Raymond (December 31)   1 comment

Rossiter_worthington_raymond_photo

Above:  Rossiter Worthington Raymond

Image in the Public Domain

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ROSSITER WORTHINGTON RAYMOND (APRIL 27, 1840-DECEMBER 31, 1918)

U.S. Poet, Novelist, Mining Engineer, Attorney, and Congregationalist Hymn Writer

The purpose of this post is to explain the life of an accomplished man.  A full accounting of his life, with all the honors he received and the beneficial deeds he committed would require a lengthy book.  (A link to a short one is here.)  This post, however, can contain the essential flavor of the life of this great man.

Rossiter Worthington Raymond entered the world at Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 27, 1840.  His parents were Robert Raikes Raymond (1817-1888) and Mary Anne Pratt Raymond.  Robert, who had been a conductor on the Underground Railroad, went on to edit a newspaper, teach English at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, and serve as the Principal of the Boston School of Oratory.  His publications included the following:

  1. The Patriotic Speaker:  Consisting of Specimens of Modern Eloquence, Together with Poetic Extracts Adapted for Recitation, and Dramatic Pieces for Exhibitions (1864);
  2. The Case of the Rev. E. B. Fairfield; Being an Examination of His “Review of the Case of Henry Ward Beecher,” Together with His “Reply” and a Rejoiner (1874);
  3. Shakespeare for the Young Folk (1881); and
  4. Melody in Speech:  A Book of Principle, Precept, and Practice in Inflection and Emphasis (published posthumously and edited by our saint, 1893).

Our saint was a well-educated man.  He attended school at Syracuse, New York, before moving on to the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute (Class of 1858); the Royal Mining Academy at Freiberg, Saxony; the University of Heidelberg; and the University of Munich.  He served in the United States Army as an aide-de-camp to General John C. Fremont during the Civil War.  Then our saint really put his education to use.

Raymond was an excellent mining engineer.

  1. He worked as an engineer in private practice for a few years before becoming the editor of the American Journal of Mining in 1867.  In that capacity (through 1890) our saint criticized corrupt and inefficient mining corporations.
  2. For eight years (1868-1876) Raymond served as the U.S. Commissioner of Mining Statistics.  He wrote excellent reports to Congress.  These documents remain essential historical documents.
  3. In the 1860s Raymond helped to found the American Mining Bureau, forerunner of the American Institute of Mining Engineers (AIME), which he also helped to found.  Our saint served the AIME as a Vice President in 1871, 1876, and 1877, as the President in 1872-1875, and a the Secretary from 1884 to 1911.  In 1945 the AIME established the Rossiter Worthington Raymond Award for the best paper by a member younger than 33 years old.
  4. Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, awarded Raymond an honorary doctorate in 1868.  He was Professor of Ore Deposits there from 1870 to 1882.
  5. Our saint participated in the modernization of Japan for a quarter of a century.  Thus, in 1911, the Japanese government made him a Chevalier of the Order of the Rising Sun, Fourth Class, the highest honor it gave foreign commoners.
  6. He was also an expert in mining law, advising the U.S. Supreme Court prior to becoming an attorney in 1898.  In 1903 Raymond became a Lecturer on Mining Law at Columbia University, New York, New York.
  7. Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, awarded him the Doctor of Laws degree in 1906.

Raymond’s engineering skills extended to areas beyond mining.  From 1885 to 1889, for example, he served as one of the New York state commissioners of electrical subways for Brooklyn.

Our saint, for half a century the Sunday School superintendent at Plymouth Congregational Church, Brooklyn, New York, wrote hymns, most of which have fallen out of favor with hymnal committees.  I have added one of these texts, “Far Out on the Desolate Billow,” to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  Among his other hymns was the following text for the Feast of the Epiphany:

There’s a beautiful star, a beautiful star,

That weary trav’lers have followed afar;

Shining so brightly all the way,

Till it stood o’er the place where the young Child lay.

Refrain:

Star, star, beautiful star!

Pilgrims weary we are;

To Jesus, to Jesus,

We follow thee from afar.

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In the land of the East, in the shadows of night,

We saw the glory of thy new light;

Telling to us, in our distant home,

The Lord, our Redeemer, to earth had come!

Refrain

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We have gold for tribute and gifts for prayer,

Sweet incense, myrrh, and spices rare:

All that we have we hither bring,

To lay it with joy at the feet of the King.

Refrain

Raymond‘s books and other publications in various genres included the following:

  1. The Mines of the West:  A Report to the Secretary of the Treasury (1869);
  2. Mineral Resources of the States and Territories West of the Rocky Mountains (1869);
  3. Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories West of the Rocky Mountains (1870)
  4. Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories West of the Rocky Mountains (1871)
  5. Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories West of the Rocky Mountains (1872);
  6. An Address at the Dedication of Pardee Hall, Lafayette College, October 21, 1873 (1873);
  7. Brave Hearts (1873);
  8. Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories West of the Rocky Mountains (1873);
  9. Silver and Gold:  An Account of the Mining and Metallurgical Industry of the United States, with Reference Chiefly to the Precious Metals (1873);
  10. The Man in the Moon and Other People (1874);
  11. Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories West of the Rocky Mountains (1874);
  12. Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories West of the Rocky Mountains (1875)
  13. Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories West of the Rocky Mountains (1876);
  14. Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories West of the Rocky Mountains (1877);
  15. The Book of Job:  Essays and a Metrical Paraphrase (1878);
  16. The Merry-Go-Round (1880);
  17. Camp and Cabin:  Sketches of Life and Travel in the West (1880);
  18. A Glossary of Mining and Metallurgical Terms (1881);
  19. The Life of Peter Cooper (1897);
  20. Mining Law in British Columbia, Mexico, and the United States (1897)
  21. Introduction to The New Puritanism (1898);
  22. Biographical notice in The Genesis of Ore Deposits (1902);
  23. The Feast of Lights (1910); and
  24. Christus Consolator, and Other Poems (1916).

Our saint, who completed many tasks in a myriad of contexts with excellence, died of heart failure at Brooklyn on December 31, 1918.  He was 78 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 31, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA, FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Rossiter Worthington Raymond and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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One response to “Feast of Rossiter Worthington Raymond (December 31)

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  1. Pingback: Far Out On the Desolate Billow | GATHERED PRAYERS

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