Norwood Penrose Hallowell was born in Philadelphia April 13, 1839. He inherited the tradition of the Quakers and grew to manhood in a strong anti-slavery atmosphere. The home of his father, Morris L. Hallowell—the "House called Beautiful", in the phrase of Oliver Wendell Holmes—was a haven of rest and refreshment for wounded soldiers of the Union Army, and hither also, after the assault upon him in the Senate, Charles Sumner had come for succor and peace. Three brothers in one way or another served the cause of the Union, one of them, Edward N. Hallowell, succeeding Robert Gould Shaw in the Command of the Fifty-Fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers. Norwood Penrose Hallowell himself, a natural leader of men, was Harvard class orator in 1861; twenty-five years later he was the marshal of his class; and in 1896 he delivered the Memorial Day address in Sanders Theater.