Henry Grafton Chapman and John Jay Chapman


Henry Grafton Chapman (left) attended St. Paul’s School from 1873 to 1878 and is a member of the Form of 1878.

The 1917 School publication, The Fifth Form of 1878 (pg. 36), has this information about Chapman:

. . . born in New York on June 7, 1860, and graduated from Harvard in 1883; he was on the Freshman Crew which won the class race, and was also on the crew that defeated Columbia at New London in 1883; he was on the editorial board of the Harvard Advocate and the Harvard Lampoon, and wrote the Class Day Poem of 1883, which was highly commended; he studied at the Harvard Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1886, and practiced law in New York City; he did much literary work, and was a frequent contributor of articles; . . .

John Jay Chapman (right) attended St. Paul’s School from 1874 to 1877 and is a member of the Form of 1879.

John Jay Chapman was a celebrated writer.  In his obituary published in the Winter 1933 edition of the Alumni Horae (pg. 98), writer Owen Wister, Form of 1877, had this to say about him:

St. Paul’s School has sent into the world of letters no writer so gifted as John Jay Chapman; more than this, he was the most gifted of his generation. To describe a quality which lies beyond the reach of description, we use the word genius, and it applies to him. His school life was so brief, and, to those who saw it, apparently so little involved in the general current, that one might well hesitate to ascribe what he became to anything imparted to him there, but for a certain essay which he wrote in later years. This, too, is among the significant examples of his complete mastery of words and the rare powers of intuition which his words conveyed; and it makes plain how much the School had to do with his spiritual growing up, how the seed planted by St. Paul’s unknown to himself then, sprouted as he matured. Spiritual is the word one thinks of first in thinking of him; intellectual is the second; artist, the third; and all upon a noble level.

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Mora. "Henry Grafton Chapman and John Jay Chapman." St. Paul's School. Ohrstrom Library Digital Archives. Web. 13 July 2024.