century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

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George P. Putnam


Centurion, 1850–1872

Full Name George Palmer Putnam

Born 7 February 1814 in Brunswick, Maine

Died 20 December 1872 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York

Proposed by Daniel Huntington

Elected 2 February 1850 at age thirty-five

Archivist’s Note: He ostensibly resigned sometime between 1850 and 1851 and was reinstated in December 1852 with a new proposer, Henry A. Oakley; he again resigned between 1857 and 1860 and was elected a third time in December 1864, proposed by James L. Graham Jr., and Louis Lang. No other member was ever elected on three separate occasions. Father of George Haven Putnam and Herbert Putnam; grandfather of George Palmer Putnam.

Century Memorial

In no year has the club had so many and such losses to deplore. While the average yearly number of deaths for the past six years, since the Century numbered 500, has been only five, we count this year the vacant places of more than twice as many; and the greater number of those places how large, and how conspicuous! In the list that contains the names of Allan Melville, Isaac Bronson, Josiah Lane, Kintzing Post, Charles Hunt, John White, Francis Vinton, Francis Lieber, John Kensett, George Putnam, and John Priestley, a list still rising in dignity as it nears its end, and startling us with the suddenness of the successive shocks it records, we see in one view how much of its strength and its grace have departed forever from the Century. Among its wise counsellors some of the wisest, among its ornaments some of the brightest, among those it honored some who lent it most honor, among its faithful servants some of the most faithful, have gone. “The old order changeth, giving place to new.” Others may come, as dear and honored with our successors as these with us. But, to soften the personal grief that we who have been their associates for a score of years suffer, who can renew for us the temperate prudence of Lane and Melville, the gallant gentlemanhood of Post, or the charm of Hunt’s rectitude and modest intelligence, or our just pride in Vinton and Lieber, or love and admiration like that we had for Kensett, or such gratitude for their faithful work as Putnam and Priestley won. It does not take from the tender remembrance in which we hold them all, to own that the latest of these our losses was the greatest.

Augustus R. Macdonough
1873 Century Association Reports