century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

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Francis Bacon

Centurion, 1855–1860s

Born unknown in Unknown

Died unknown in Unknown

Proposed by John H. Gourlie

Elected 3 March 1855 at age unknown

Archivist’s Note: He likely resigned or was dropped from the rolls between 1860 and 1864. He is one of only three members whose identity has not been firmly established (cf. William Carlton and Henry Lawrence) even though his photograph is included in the member portrait albums, his name appears in every extant printed membership roster between 1855 and 1860, and he would have had some connection with John H. Gourlie, his proposer. He does not closely resemble the New York piano manufacturer by that name (1831–1905), and he would likewise appear to be too old to be the New Haven physician (1831–1912). A Francis Bacon born c. 1810 is recorded in the 1880 federal census as a boarder residing in New York City, but no corroborating details have yet been discovered about him. A good possibility is the Bostonian mechanical engineer Francis Walker Bacon (1809–1886), an expert on steam engines who lived for some time in Cuba and New Jersey and, among other associations, was a life member of the American Institute of New York.