George Tibbits
George Tibbits


Information on this page is from History of Rensselaer Co., New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, published in 1880.

GEORGE TIBBITS. The ancestor of George Tibbits came originally from Warwickshire, in England, and was among the earliest settlers on the western shore of Providence bay or river, in the then province, now State, of Rhode Island, on a parcel of land which for some time alter bore the name of Tibbits point or neck, and which was situated in the town of Warwick. William, the great-grandfather of George Tibbits, left to his two sons, William and Thomas, his farm. The children of this latter William were John, William, and Caleb. John, who was the eldest, was born at Warwick, R. I., in 1739, and died at Lisbon, in the county of St. Lawrence, in the State of New York, in 1817. His wife was Waite Brown, who was born at Warwick in 1741, and who died at Lisbon in 1811. She was a woman of great force of character, and by her example and good judgment impressed upon her children the value of industrious habits and an honorable life. Their children were ten in number, of whom George, the eldest, the subject of this sketch, was born at the old homestead in Warwick, R. I., on Jan. 14, 1703.

When be was five years old his father removed to the town of Cheshire, in Berkshire Co., Mass., and purchased a farm of about three hundred and fifty acres near the head-waters of the Hoosick river. Here his father remained until about the year 1780, when be sold part of his farm, and removed to the village of Lansingburgh with his wife and eight children. At this time George Tibbits, a youth of seventeen years of age, who had had no experience of the world, but who possessed an energetic and determined nature, resolved to obtain bis own living. His efforts for the next four years were incessant and untiring, but the progress which he made was far from satisfactory to himself.

In the fall of 1784 he had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of Francis Atkinson, an importer of dry goods in New York City, and a man distinguished for the kindness of his nature and the integrity of his character. Without requiring of him any security, Mr. Atkinson furnished to Mr. Tibbits goods charged at reasonable prices, to the amount of about one thousand dollars, and agreed to receive payment for them in pine and oak timber, to be delivered in New York City the ensuing spring. Mr. Tibbits was enabled to fulfill bis promise at the appointed time, and thus was laid the basis of his succeeding prosperity.

In commenting upon the conduct of Mr. Atkinson, Mr. Tibbits, many years after, wrote as follows: "This act of kindness of Mr. Atkinson, in trusting me without any security, made a deep impression upon my mind, which never has been nor ever will be erased. I was surprised at the time at the confidence which he appeared to repose in me. But so it was, and I have reason to bless God for disposing the mind of Mr. Atkinson to this, I may say, credulous act of kindness. I have always looked back upon it as the first stepping-stone to my future progress in life. In the long course of dealings which I afterwards had with Mr. Atkinson, in every instance I found him to be most accurate, honest, and accommodating."

From 1784 until 1787, Mr. Tibbits was alone in business. In the latter year he took his brother Benjamin as a partner, the firm being G. & B. Tibbits, and thus was it continued until the death of Benjamin, which took place Sept. 11, 1802, at Fort Miller, at the house of his brother-in-law, Garret Peebles. After this, his brother, Elisha Tibbits, was a partner in the firm, and so continued until George Tibbits retired from business, about the year 1804. On March 8, 1789, be was married at Lansingburgh, by the Rev. B. Lupton, to Sarah Noyes, who was born at Charleston, S. C, Jan. 14, 1767. She was the daughter of Oliver Noyes, the collector of the king's customs at that place, and her mother was Sarah Badger, who became the wife of Mr. Noyes in 1700.

Mr. Tibbits removed from Lansingburgh to Troy in 1797, and purchased of Abraham Ten Eyck, for a residence for himself and family, the dwelling situated at the northeast corner of River and Congress streets, and the building which occupied the northwest corner of the same streets, as a store for the firm of G. & B. Tibbits. After his retirement from active participation in business, Mr. Tibbits' life, so far as mental and physical activity was concerned, was occupied almost as completely as before, but was measurably free from the cares and anxieties which had accompanied his previous career.

In the year 1800 be made a large purchase of land in the Hoosick Patent, and from that time forward realized one of the wishes of his life, that of being the possessor of many acres. His close study of men and trade was now supplemented by attentive reading, and by earnest and active participation in public affairs, and especially in the development of the resources of all local and state interests. He served in the village of Troy as fire-warden in 1798, 1801, and 1808, as a trustee of the village in 1800, and as chief engineer of the fire department in 1808. From 1830 to 1836 he was mayor of the city, and not only during that period, but during the half-century of his life passed in Troy, was instant in season and out of season in advancing its prosperity and administering to its growth in material, social, and moral directions. He was a member of the assembly in the years 1800 and 1820, and was a State senator from the eastern district in 1815, 1816, 1817, 1818.

He was a Federalist, in politics, and by that political body was nominated in the year 1816 for lieutenant-governor of the State, Rufus King being on the same ticket with him as candidate for governor. In the election which followed they were defeated, and their opponents on the democratic ticket, Daniel D. Tompkins and John Tayler, were elected respectively governor and lieutenant-governor. Mr. Tibbits was also a representative in the eighth Congress, from the tenth Congressional district, from 1803 to 1805.

Early in the history of Troy the project of bridging the Hudson at that point occupied the attention of the people, and on April 9, 1804, an act was passed by the Legislature authorizing the construction of a bridge, to begin at the foot of Ferry street. The directors were named in the bill, and first on the list was Mr. Tibbits. The project was, however, abandoned, and it was not until many years after that the Hudson was bridged at Troy. Ten years later the citizens of Albany began to move in favor of a bridge at that city. The result was an intense opposition to the undertaking, in which Troy was joined by Lansingburgh and Waterford. This opposition was crystallised at a town-meeting, held in Troy on January 11, 1814, on which occasion resolutions condemning the contemplated undertaking were adopted. Foremost at this time and thenceforward was Mr. Tibbits in his endeavors to maintain the navigation of the Hudson, at all tide-water points, free from bridge obstructions, and these endeavors, united with those of his fellow-citizens, were successful, until, owing to the change introduced in the carrying trade by the construction of railroads, the question of a bridge lost the importance which it had once maintained.

When in April, 1814, the Rensselaer and Saratoga Insurance Company was organized in Troy, Mr. Tibbits was chosen as a director. He was a practical student of all subjects pertaining to the cultivation of the soil, and was instrumental in establishing and was the first president of the Rensselaer County Agricultural Society, which, begun in 1818, was organized on June 3, 1819. He was always interested in the encouragement of the study of natural history and the other sciences, and was one of the founders of the Troy Lyceum of Natural History in 1818, whose object was to promote the growth and extension of a knowledge of animals, plants, and minerals. When this society was chartered by the State, he was one of the corporators named in the act of organization passed March 7, 1820.

By an act of the Legislature passed April 18, 1831, the Troy Turnpike and Railroad Company was incorporated, with power to construct a turnpike road from Troy to Bennington or Pownal, or to both of said towns, in Vermont, and also "to make and construct a single or double railroad, or way, from some suitable place in said city to both or either of said towns." The directors of the company were chosen on May 23, 1831, and Mr. Tibbits was of the number. On June 10th following the directors opened the books of the company for stock subscriptions, and in their announcement of this fact stated that the surveys of the ground had been commenced; that the railroad would be constructed upon the route that would best answer the interests of the company and of the public; and that the estimated expense of the road and engines would be about four hundred and fifty thousand dollars. In behalf of this railroad project Mr. Tibbits' sympathies were warmly enlisted; but when the question as to whether the proposed road should he a macadamized road or a railroad was finally submitted to the directors on Jan. 12, 1833, they decided in favor of the macadamized road, Mr. Tibbits alone voting in the negative. But so strongly had he become impressed with the feasibility of a railroad to the east that he pursued his investigations still further, and in the following summer, or in the summer of 1834, at his request Professor Amos Eaton, of the Rensselaer Institute, assisted by some of the students, surveyed a route for a railroad up the valley of the Hudson to the Hoosick River, and thence along the latter stream to the mountains since tunneled. In this Mr. Tibbits, although seventy years of age, accompanied the surveying-party on foot, sharing with them the hardships of the expedition. The road, whose construction he so much desired, was intended to be the beginning of a main line to Boston. It was about this time also that he engaged in a newspaper discussion with the eminent engineer, Loammi Baldwin, of Massachusetts, on the subject of railroad construction. In the course of this interchange of views Mr. Baldwin proposed to lay timbers on stone supports, and on the timbers a strap-rail. In commenting upon this proposition, Mr. Tibbits asserted that "the time would come when the whole longitudinal structure will be of iron," thus virtually announcing the invention of the now universally adopted T rail.

He was for many years a prominent director in the Farmers' Bank, the first banking institution in Troy, and his opinions on finance were always held in high esteem. He was aIso connected in one capacity or another with most of the organizations in Troy that had for their object the prosperity of the community, He was one of the earliest members of the congregation of St. Paul's church, and at the time of his death was the oldest member of its vestry. It should not he forgotten that he was a friend of the colored race, and that he took an especial interest in aiding its representatives in this city in organizing the religious society known as the Liberty Street Presbyterian church.

While serving as mayor of the city, he was mainly instrumental in carrying through to a successful completion the plan for supplying the city with water from the Piscawen creek. His report as chairman of the water-works committee, which was prepared by himself, and which was submitted to the common council on Jan. 2, 1834, was a most succinct and explicit relation, showing the progress of the work, amount of moneys raised and expended, the state of the water-works' fund, a schedule of water rents recommended, an estimate as to the quantity of water supplied by the Piscawen creek, as to the capacity of that stream to furnish a still greater supply consequent upon the growth of the city, and the extent of the area of water use. In referring to his mayoralty, and to the eminent service which he rendered the city, in the successful completion of the means by which an abundant supply of water was secured for its citizens, it was well said of him soon after his death: "He was also the chief magistrate of this city of his choice and love for many years. His name will ever he identified with its growth and prosperity. His practical wisdom, his personal services, and his untiring energy were always devoted to her interests; and if he has no other monument, with those who shared the labor of the enterprise, the salutary waters flowing through our streets, which are under Providence, to us a fountain of health and our best protection from the ravages of fire, will murmur still his epitaph, sweet emblem of the gentle flow of his quiet, useful, peaceful life."

As a writer Mr. Tibbits was strong, forcible, and effective. While his statements were to the point, he did not disdain the use of examples drawn from history or of comparisons between the natural and moral world. At the first anniversary of the Rensselaer County Society for the Promotion of Agriculture and Domestic Manufactures, held in Troy on Oct. 13, 1819, Mr. Tibbits, as president, delivered the annual address. The main topic which he discussed was that of the soil and its capabilities. In introducing this subject to the attention of his auditors, he said: "The soil, my friends, is a subject with which we are intimately connected. It is the source from whence we came; it is the granary from which we are sustained; it is the grave where we are finally to repose, The earth which we cultivate is the same from which we were animated. To-day it is man; tomorrow it is dust. Hence, to us, whom the Providence of God has formed to be its cultitors, it is a subject, in every point of view, highly interesting. It is interesting in its original formation, and as acted upon by man. In its inherent principles of revolution, and in its apparent modifications by the operation of those principles, in all its varying aspects interesting, in none is it so interesting as when considered as the garden of human abode and human sustenance. Hence, to the intelligent patriot, the most gladdening prospect is the extended field, moulded by the labor of man, moistened by his sweat, and teeming with that life-supporting seed which he has planted, and to which God has given the principles of germination. But, if the soil cultivated is an object gladdening to the eye, the cultivation of the earth is a science addressed to the understanding."

Further on, in referring to the position accorded to agriculture in the elder civilizations of the world, he said:

"When the glory of Rome was real, the sword and the pen were wielded by the same hands that directed the plow, by the hands of her heroes and statesmen. This single fact in the history of that exalted republic accounts for the extraordinary circumstance which characterized her conquests of barbarous nations, and which abated much from the miseries incident to her wars, that wherever she established her eagle among them she carried the plow. Wherever the Roman legion fixed its residence among them, in those nations were to be found the monuments of her glory, in the lasting improvements she introduced, and in none so much as in that of agriculture. To them Gaul and Britain were indebted for the first well-regulated systems of practical husbandry, and for a knowledge of the use of calcareous earths and marls in meliorating their soils."

A suggestion, introduced near the close of his address, was as striking as it was opportune and graceful:

"It is a maxim in the science of agriculture, that by displacing a weed you make room for a useful plant. The idea may be extended and applied to the habits of men. By exterminating habits of idleness, intemperance, and litigation, room is left for all those innocent and useful habits which insure to the possessor independence and respectability at home and abroad, and the fireside blessings of domestic harmony and ease."

Early in the present century Mr. Tibbits was a strenuous advocate of the doctrine in political economy that the home market is the best market for a nation; that it belongs of right to the labor and capital of the country that such a market should be maintained, and that it is the duty of the government to protect the labor and capital of the country in such maintenance. This doctrine had been for years previous acted upon in England, but it is believed that Mr. Tibbits was the first writer in this country who claimed that it should be applied and adopted in the United States. Under the signature of Cato, his essays appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and in these productions he argued for that protection from government which should aid in the development and the patronage of American industries, He was a delegate from the State of New York in the general convention of agriculturists, manufacturers and others friendly to the encouragement and support of the domestic industry of the United States, which met at Harrisburg, Pa., in July, 1827, and was a member of the committee then appointed which prepared a memorial addressed in Congress, favoring the adoption by that body of protective measures. When, on Nov. 14, 1833, Henry Clay, the great advocate of the principle of protection, visited Troy, Mr. Tibbits, as mayor, in a public address bade him welcome in the hospitalities of the city, and in strong and glowing language eulogized the statesmanship and the ability which Mr. Clay had displayed in supporting the political measures which he believed to be of the greatest advantage to the country.

By an act of the legislature of the State of New York, passed April 12, 1824, Stephen Allen, Samuel M. Hopkins, and George Tibbits were appointed commissioners to visit the State prisons at New York and Albany, and "to examine into all matters relating to the economy, government, and discipline of the said prisons, and the comparative efficacy of the different systems of punishment pursued in said prisons, and to report to the legislature, at the next session thereof, whether any, and if any, what improvements may be made in the government and economy of said establishments, and in the manner of employing or punishing the convicts; and also to prepare and report such alterations and amendments of the laws for the punishment of crimes as they shall deem necessary." Auburn prison was begun in 1816. Previous to this time the penitentiary system, as it was called, prevailed in the prisons of the country, one of the features of which was the congregation and intercourse of convicts in their large night-rooms. To avoid the evils resulting from this association, the legislature, in April, 1819, authorized a change in the original plan of Auburn prison, by constructing a portion of it so that each prisoner should have a separate cell.

In 1821 solitary confinement, without labor, was tried at Auburn, but with the most unhappy results. John D. Cray was at that time deputy-keeper at Auburn, and to him was given in charge the police management of the prison. By his endeavors, seconded by the agent, Capt. Elam Lynds, a modification in the discipline of the prison was adopted in 1823. The prisoners were confined in solitary cells during the night, but employed in the common work-shops during the day, and compelled to absolute silence. When the commissioners already named visited Auburn during the year 1824, they found this system in operation and were pleased with it. Their report, bearing date Jan. 15, 1825, was presented to the legislature. So important was this report that it was not only regarded as of great value in the State of New York, and in other States of the Union, but attracted much attention in England. William Roscoe, the English historian and the earnest advocate of the abolition of the slave-trade, reviewed it in a pamphlet written in the seventy-third year of his age, in which he spoke in complimentary terms of "the extraordinary, and, it may be said, unexampled labor and attention the commissioners have bestowed in the examination of the State prisons."

Owing to the approval by the commissioners of the "Auburn system" it was adopted by the State, and their report furnished the basis upon which the management of the prisons, not only of this State but of many other States in the Union, has since been conducted. The tendency of one portion of this report was to consider "the criminal," in the words Mr. Roscoe, "as divested of all natural and political rights, and to sacrifice him to the idea of public security," and further to discourage all attempts for his reformation. But in a series of letters to Mr. Roscoe, Mr Allen disavowed these ideas, and Mr. Tibbits, with a view to the reformation of the criminal, not long after favored the establishment of a prison Sunday-school and the employment of a chaplain for the prison.

Soon after the rendition of this report, and on March 7, 1825, the legislature by a special enactment designated George Tibbits, Stephen Allen, and Samuel M. Hopkins as commissioners to build "a new State-prison, to be located either in the first or second senate district of this State as they shall deem most expedient." They also empowered the commissioners to purchase a site, procure necessary materials, and to employ convicts from Auburn to erect the new prison. The commissioners immediately thereafter took measures for securing a proper site for the intended prison, and in the month of April following selected and purchased one hundred and thirty acres of land at Mount Pleasant (Sing Sing), and on May 14, 1825, with one hundred convicts from Auburn, commenced the erection of the prison. Their elaborate reports, rendered to the legislature in the years 1826, 1827, and 1828, exhibit the progress of the work, and exemplified the care, frugality, and good judgment which always characterized any work with which Mr. Tibbits was concerned.

While this work was in progress, complaints had arisen respecting the management of the State-prison at Auburn. After listening to these complaints, the legislature, by an act passed April 17, 1826, authorized Messrs. Tibbits, Allen, and Hopkins to visit the State-prison at Auburn, for the purpose of inquiring into the abuses at that place, and particularly respecting the circumstances connected with the disease and death of Rachel Welch, a female convict. To the performance of the duty thus intrusted to them Mr. Tibbits and Mr. Hopkins gave the closest attention, and their report, submitted to the senate of the State of New York on Jan. 13, 1827, bore abundant evidence of the thoroughness of their investigation, and formed the basis of prison reforms, whose influence was felt and acknowledged for many years after. By an act of the legislature April, 1828, further authority was given to the commissioners, included in which was power to cause to be made a plan and estimate of probable cost of a prison for female convicts, to be erected at Mount Pleasant.

Under this act, the commissioners, on Jan. 11, 1829, reported to the legislature what they had done in the premises. By a concurrent resolution of the legislature, April 17, 1829, this report was referred back to the commissioners, with instructions "to ascertain upon what terms a site can be obtained, and a proper establishment erected in the vicinity of some one of the populous villages or cities of this State, which shall combine suitable employment with moral instruction, and the superintending care of benevolent females."

Throughout his entire connection with the subjects which were brought to his attention while engaged as a commissioner in the erection of the prison at Sing Sing, and in examining into the prison discipline of the State institution, he exhibited a thoroughness of research and an attention to detail which proved of inestimable benefit to the State in leading to the adoption of measures which combined reform with punishment in the management of our prisons.

Respecting Mr. Tibbits' connection with the project of constructing the Erie canal, we have not the opportunity in these pages of presenting all the facts bearing upon this subject. It must sufiice here to say that he was, from the inception of the idea of connecting the waters of Lake Erie with the Hudson river, a warm advocate of the measure. After the determination had been reached that the canal was to be constructed, a proposition was made, originating with De Witt Clinton, that the necessary moneys for the work should be obtained by loans in Europe. But a bill for this purpose proposed by him proved unacceptable the assembly of the State of New York. Then it was that Mr. Tibbits, at that time a member of the State senate, drew up and caused to be presented to the legislature a system of finance designed to obtain the requisite funds. The plan proposed by him was incorporated in the general law of the State, which was passed by the legislature on April 15, 1817, and to him belongs the sole credit of originating the system by which the means were procured for the prosecution of this great enterprise.

In commenting upon the important part taken by Mr. Tibbits in the transaction just alluded to, the Hon. Robert Troup, in a letter which was published in 1822, address to Brockholst Livingston, one of the justices of the supreme court of the United States, makes use of these words: "From the commencement of the session, the Hon. George Tibbits, one of the members of the joint committee, a gentleman of sound judgment, well acquainted with the resources of the State, and much distinguished for his skill in practical finance, had bestowed much attention upon the subject of providing ways and means for the construction of the canals, a matter of great difficulty and importance, on which the successful prosecution of the contemplated improvements materially depended. He drew up a plan of finance, establishing a distinct and permanent fund for the completion of both canals, and pointing out various sources of revenue, which was substantially the same with that afterwards established by the legislature."

Subsequently, in the year 1829, for the purpose of aiding the State to reach a sound conclusion as to the best means of disposing of the surplus funds of the canal then in hand, Mr. Tibbits addressed a letter concerning "the finances of the canal fund of the State of New York, and of their application," to the Hon. Stephen Allen and G. B. Tbroop, Esq., then members of the State senate, which letter was published and was at the time received with great attention. Among other ideas suggested by him in this thoughtlul document was the plan of establishing drawbacks in tolls, upon salt carried beyond a certain distance from the point of production on the line of the canal. The system thus proposed was initiated soon after, and the result was a large increase in the consumption of salt manufactured at the springs in Onondaga, a gain to the revenues received by the State, and an advance in the value of property in the salt section, by reason of the increase in the manufacture of salt.

In 1835, when the Erie canal was about to be enlarged, an attempt was made by the city of Albany to have the location of its eastern termination changed, so that from Schoharie creek it would be carried south of Schenectady and brought, with the surplus waters of the Mohawk river, direct to the city of Albany. Of course a proposition like this, which, if carried into effect, would result in the abandonment of the termination of the canal at West Troy, was bitterly opposed by the city of Troy, and on Feb. 22, 1836, a committee was appointed by the common council of the latter place to propose a remonstrance to the scheme. This committee consisted of George Tibbits, John P. Cushman, George R. Davis, John Paine, and Daniel Gardner; and the document was instinct with the vitality and common sense of the chairman of the committee. A single extract will evince the force of its language. Forecasting the results that would follow should the route of the canal be changed, and its terminus at a point opposite Troy be abandoned, the report said:

"What would be the consequences resulting to either of the cities, town, or villages, which have been built up or greatly enlarged along the line of the canals, should the route now be changed? Can the extent of the ruin be calculated? What would be the actual condition of such deserted towns? Monuments, indeed, not of the folly of those who built them, and who had ventured their all, relying upon the canals and the faith of the State, but of the instability and caprice of the government, of which they had become the credulous victims."

The death of Mr. Tibbits occurred at eleven o'clock on Thursday morning, July 19, 1849, at the age of eighty-six years, six months, and five days. His desire was granted to him, that he might be taken unconsciously away. For twelve years antecedent to his death he had been a great sufferer from a loss of power in one of the organs of the body, but his frame remained almost to the last in vigorous condition, a state which had been reached not only by reason of the possession of a strong natural constitution, but also by the exercise of continued temperance and moderation in all things. Having learned at an early age that a great degree of contentment can be reached by a proper use of a moderate competence, he lived ever afterwards in the exercise of a wise frugality and unattended by extravagant desires. He was a man of sufficient firmness to be self-reliant, and to be ready to take responsibility and bear it when the occasion demanded such a course.

To every project which either originated in his own mind, or which was brought to his attention by others, he applied the touchstone of common sense and good judgment, and thus reached a decision as to whether it was worthy of being encouraged and developed. His was a mind of great natural power, and in whatever direction it was developed, the result of its action commanded the attention and generally the acquiescence of men. In his affections he was warm and tender, bul these were always controlled by those principles which recognizes sensible restraint as one of the safeguards of life and action. As a political economist he had, during his whole career, but few equals in the State and it is doubtful whether there was any who was his superior. He did not create a theory and then press his facts into the mould thus formed, but being possessed of certain data, and being informed of the result which it was desired to reach, his wisdom enabled him to attain the result in a manner which bore witness to the great capacity of his reasoning powers, and of his ability to adapt the conditions by which he was surrounded in such wise [sic] as to accomplish the end proposed.

Looking upon the earth and water as the substance from and out of which many things that inure to the benefit of man are to come, his mind was continually engaged in prosecuting inquiries as to the ways in which the shape of each might be changed, or varied, or used, or modified, either separately or in connection, so as to result in developing their hidden resources for the benefit of man. Investigations like these led him to the consideration of internal improvements, and rendered that topic, to him, one of the most interesting of material subjects.

His reading was pursued with the greatest thoroughness and care, and he never allowed himself to pass over any statement or argument without a comprehension of its meaning. A good natural memory was also an efficient aid, and enabled him to retain for future use the stores of facts and conclusions which were gathered from his books.

In the discharge of his duties as a legislator, and in the various public positions which he filled, he spoke not unless he had a message to convey, and the result was that whenever he did speak he was listened to with attention. As a writer he was distinguished for great strength and force in argument. Before composing, the subject upon which he was to write was first examined with studious care, and his productions always evinced a thorough knowledge of the topic upon which he treated. In many instances he employed a beauty and felicity of language which would not discredit writers whose fame is established as masters of grace and expression.

His industry was untiring, and even when unable to attend personally to many affairs which had long engaged his attention, his mind was active in initiating plans to be prosecuted by others.

The religious character of Mr. Tibbits may be regarded as the crowning feature of his life. Influences of a spiritual nature began to affect him in youth, and increased with a steady and unchecked growth till they absorbed much of his thoughts. Brought up where the views of the old Roger Williams school prevailed, descended directly from dissent in the line of his early forefathers, he came slowly to a decision in the matter of his personal stake in conversion. That decision did not take place until middle life and was undoubtedly largely influenced by his discovery of a form of religion which he could consistently profess. He could not submit to interference in matters that he held to concern himself alone and his personal relation to deity. The externals of religion be regarded as belonging to the department of form. He could unite in a church on aform of worship, but he could not accept the dicta of other men in matters of conscience. Abstaining himself from judging others, be declined to put himself in an organization where the right of indiscriminate judgment was upheld. He expended the full force of his condemnation first upon himself, and was not ready to go on to condemn others till he was first purged of sin himself. The vitality of his religion shone out as his mind grow more and more into the duty of self-scrutiny. The Bible became then to him "the lamp," which he took in hand, and with it started forth to find himself. In this search he found his Saviour. And from that hour his faith, like a stream, poured joyously forth in the sight of all, its source invisible and its end inscrutable.

The funeral of Mr. Tibbits was attended from St. Paul's Church on the Sunday succeeding his death, and on this occasion a sermon commemorative of his life and acts was preached by the rector, the now venerable Rev. Robert B. Van Kleeck, D.D.



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