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Joseph H. Choate


Centurion, 1858–1917

Full Name Joseph Hodges Choate

Born 24 January 1832 in Salem, Massachusetts

Died 14 May 1917 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Stockbridge Cemetery, Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Proposed by John D. Sherwood

Elected 6 February 1858 at age twenty-six

Archivist’s Note: President of the Century Association, 1912–1917. Brother of William Gardner Choate; grandfather-in law of Charles Barney Harding and Geoffrey Platt. He died while the incumbent president of the Century, and a series of memorial addresses delivered at the clubhouse on 19 January 1918 by The Rt. Hon. Arthur James Balfour, The Rt. Hon. Viscount [James] Bryce, Charles W. Eliot, Theodore Roosevelt, Elihu Root, and Francis Lynde Stetson was subsequently published as Joseph Hodges Choate: Memorial Addresses Delivered before the Century Association, January 19, 1918.

Century Memorial

A week from to-night there will be a meeting in memory of our late beloved President, Joseph Hodges Choate. Nevertheless it is fitting to record in our Club Book the affection we all bore him and the honor in which we held him. We will not speak of the fair course of that long and happy life. But we cannot be denied to-night a closing reference to the week of heroism in which it terminated. The time, as all remember, was the week of the reception of the representatives of England and France. The city looked to Mr. Choate to take the foremost part in honoring the city’s guests. It was of international importance that he should do so, and thus by an example make clear to Europe that the best of America was heart and soul with the Allies. Mr. Choate had been informed that the exertion might have a fatal ending. He did not hesitate. His mind was bright and his heart as glad as the hand which he extended. But the body was outworn. And as we hold him in our minds slowly ascending the steps of City Hall with Mr. Balfour, we know that he then faced death with equal heroism and greater certainty than the men in the trenches. May it also be given to us that nothing shall be closer to the noblest intention of our lives than the manner of our departure.

Henry Osborn Taylor
1918 Century Association Yearbook