Born 27 February 1826 in New York (Manhattan), New York
Died 29 March 1891 in New York (Manhattan), New York
Buried Woodlawn Cemetery and Conservancy, Bronx, New York
Elected 6 April 1878 at age fifty-two
It is difficult to speak in fitting terms of a man like Howard Crosby without seeming to transcend the bounds of moderation, and yet we would all agree that no words of eulogy could be too extravagant to express our opinion of him.
His life was given to the service of mankind. In his earlier years he occupied the Chair of Greek Professor at the University of the City of New York and at Rutgers College. Since 1863 he has been pastor of the church in Fourth Avenue, which has become identified with his name, and for eleven years was Chancellor of the University which was his Alma Mater. He was a ripe scholar, a diligent and earnest student of the classics, oriental languages and literature, as well as of Egyptology.
With the tastes of a recluse he did not hesitate to enter the arena of politics as a champion of morals and good government, and in the lists his tongue and pen were trenchant weapons.
No man was more respected or feared by officials charged with the enforcement of laws which they made it their principal and peculiar province to violate. No man more clearly exposed the hypocrisy and deceit of those who professed to serve the same cause by voting with their opponents, and although the crusade he led failed for the time by the action of dangerous demagogues occupying high places secured by the abuses and crimes it thus became their interest to protect, he exposed the evil, and found the remedy which, in spite of the opposition of open and disguised enemies, will someday be applied.
He was a devout Christian, an ornament to the ranks of scholars, and a leader among good citizens. What higher praise could be spoken of any man!
Henry E. Howland
1892 Century Association Yearbook