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Earliest Members of the Century Association

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James C. Carter

Lawyer/Public Servant

Centurion, 1857–1905

Full Name James Coolidge Carter

Born 14 October 1827 in Lancaster, Massachusetts

Died 14 February 1905 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Proposed by Dorman B. Eaton and Gilbert M. Speir

Elected 7 March 1857 at age twenty-nine

Century Memorial

“When James C. Carter retires he will make room for a thousand lawyers,” was the generous judgment of one who stood close by his side in the leadership of the American bar. And it is true that in the breadth and exactness of his learning, in his grasp of essential generalizations, in his untiring industry, and—most especially—in the amount and variety of civic service rendered by him, Mr. Carter may have been said to represent a multitude of the ordinary members of his profession. This is not the place or time in which to attempt any estimate of the elements of his rare distinction, which received generous national and international recognition and the appreciation of which is nowhere higher or more cordial than in this Association. Nor is it necessary to recall in any detail his fruitful labors in the castigation and correction of public evils, and in the establishment and promotion of the best standard of public life. We readily recall him as the trusted associate of Mr. [Charles] O’Conor in the legal pursuit of Tweed and his co-conspirators, as a member of Gov. Tilden’s commission for the study of the administration of the cities of the State, as the first President and a founder of the City Club; and his stirring tones linger in the memory of all who have taken part in movements for reform in the last half century in this city. Born in Massachusetts, of an ancestry dating from the earliest years of the colony, he was admitted to the bar of this State in 1853 and elected as member of The Century in 1857. During many years he was constant in his attendance here, where his associations were intimate and sympathetic. Though twice in his career he was forced to suspend work from sheer exhaustion, his vitality—abundant and eager, always—was unfailing and his companionship was stimulating and memorable. We of The Century cherish with natural pride his brilliant and solid reputation as a lawyer, and the recollection of his many and lasting services to the community, but still deeper in our hearts lies the sense of his manly, genial, and noble nature, as it was our privilege here to know it.

Edward Cary
1906 Century Association Yearbook