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Full text of "Address of Charles Francis Adams, Jr. : and proceedings at the dedication of the Crane Memorial Hall, at Quincy, Mass., May 30, 1882"

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May 30, 1882. 

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Born on George's Island, in Boston Hari!or, October i8, 1803 ; 
Died in the City of New York, April i, 1875. 



Addkess by Charles F. Adams, Jr 3 

Note 2O 

Official Letters and Action 29 

Dedication 32 

Procession 34 

Masonic Services 35 

Consecrating Prayer, by Rev. Charles H. Leonard, D. D. 40 

Address, by Samuel Crocker Lawrence 42 

Exercises in the Church 45 

Address, by Mr. Ali-.ert Crane 46 


The Craxe Memorial Haix Froniispicce 


View of Interior (north end) 13 

\'iEw of Interior (south end) 24 

Tin: .Mantel and Fireplace 29 


Nearly two hundred and forty years ago, in the early days 
of Massachusetts and before Cromwell was yet Lord Protector, 
there came over to New England, among many others, a man 
named Henry Crane. Little is known of him except that, of 
English blood, he settled in Dorchester, and was the father 
of a numerous progeny. Six sons have perpetuated his name 
in many places throughout that continent which their common 
ancestor helped to occupy. The fifth of these six sons was born 
on the tenth of August, 1665, and was named Ebenezer. 

In November, 1689, this Ebenezer Crane, being then twenty- 
four years of age, married Mary Tolman, a daughter of Thomas 
Tolman of Dorchester, and five years younger than himself. 
The Tolmans were always prominent in the annals of their 
town, and they yet live upon land which has been in the pos- 
session of the family since the settlement of the country. For 
over fifty years a Tolman was town clerk of Dorchester. 
Ebenezer Crane, however, was soon separated from his young 
wife ; for, what with French and Indian wars, those were 
troubled times. Married in November 1689, in August 1690 
his name is found in the muster-roll of a company of soldiers, 
seventy-five in all, who were enlisted in Milton and Dorches- 
ter, and sent out as part of the unfortunate Quebec expedition 
of 1690, under command of Sir William Phip'T. Of the two 
thousand men composing the land force of that expedition, 
only about two hundred were lost, but of those two hundred no 
less than forty-six, it is said, belonged to the Dorchester com- 
pany. They may have been stricken with the small-po.x, or 
they may have been in some vessel whieh fDundered at sea, but 

not the half of those who went forth ever returned. Ebcnezer 
Crane was among the more fortunate twenty-nine who found 
their way back, and presently he moved over to the North Pre- 
cinct of Braintree, as Ouincy was then called. His death, in 
1725, is, however, recorded in Milton. 

Those were the days of patriarchal families. His father had 
ten children ; Ebenezer Crane had twelve. Tenth among 
the twelve, and sixth among eight sons, was Thomas Crane, 
who, born in Braintree in 17 10, married Deborah Owen, also of 
Braintree, or Quincy now, in 1732. He was twenty-two and 
she seventeen, and in the August following their marriage, 
three months before their first child was born, they were both 
admitted as members of the church here, the Rev. John Han- 
cock, father of the patriot of a generation later, being then its 
pastor. Thomas and Deborah Crane had but five children, the 
third of whom, a son, was born on the i ith of September, 1737, 
and christened Joseph. Presently, in 1757, this Joseph Crane, 
being then twenty years of age, married Polly Savil, who was 
three years younger than himself ; for early marriages, as 
well as large families, were then in vogue. The sixth child 
of this couple was a son, whom they called Thomas. Born in 
May, 1770, the second Thomas Crane, in November, 1796, mar- 
ried Sarah Baxter, a daughter of Daniel and Prudence Baxter 
of Quincy. They had six children. The third of the six was 
a son, born on the iSth of October, 1803, whom they named 
after his father ; and it is to the memory of the Thomas Crane, 
thus born, third of the name and fifth in direct descent from 
the original Henry Crane, that this structure has been reared. 

There is one thing very noticeable in tracing through a cen- 
tury and a half the descent of a genuine New England family 
like the Cranes. It is curious to see how pure the English 
blood was kept. The names are all English names, — Henry 
and Ebenezer and Joseph and Thomas. The mothers — 
Marys and Pollys and Sarahs, with one Prudence — are 
Tolmans and Savils and Baxters, standard Dorchester and 
Braintree names from the beginning, names with which the 
town records are full. There is no admixture of any foreign 
element. It is pure, old New England stock. 

The Cranes were not rich. Indeed, before the year 1825 few 
New England people were rich, and the Cranes do not seem to 
have been at best more than well to do. They lived in the 
southern and western part of the. town, and the homestead, 
which was standini,^ until about ten years ago, passed into the 
hands of one of the older branches of the family. Though 
connected soon or late, by marriage, with almost every name 
familiar to the annals of Ouincy, I cannot find that the Cranes 
were ever town officers, or deacons, or delegates to the General 
Court, or in any way prominent in local affairs. From gener- 
ation to generation their lives were the usual lives of common 
hard-working New England yeomen ; they were born, they 
married and had children, and presently they died. And 
these events, and these only, are recorded concerning them ; 
unless, indeed, as in the case of Ebenezer Crane, at some time 
their names found a place on the muster-rolls of the French 
or the Indian or the Revolutionary war. 

Such was the life of Thomas Crane, the father ; born in 
1770, just as the Revolutionary troubles were about to begin, 
and married in 1796, four years after the old North Precinct 
was set off from the town of Braintree and called Ouincy. 
A few years after his marriage to Sarah Ba.xter this Thomas 
Crane left Ouincy, and made his home for a time on George's 
Island, in Boston Bay, where Fort Warren was afterwards built 
and now stands. That island then belonged to one Caleb 
Rice, and contained about thirty-five acres of land, rising on 
the ocean side to a bluff some fifty feet above high-water mark. 
Not until 1825 did it pass into the hands of the city of Boston, 
and work on Fort Warren was begun in 1833. During the 
earliest years of the century, while Thomas Crane lived there, 
George's was a farm, and place to which stock was sent for 
keeping ; and his house was also a house of call for such ex- 
cursionists as, during the season in those earlier and sim|)ler 
days, had occasion for a place of refreshment in the bay. Here, 
on the 1 8th of October, 1803, that son was born who, nearly 
seventy-two years later, on the isl of April, 1875, diicl in the 
city of New York. 

Thomas Crane the younger was a typical man. His career, 


as you will presently sec, was not in any respect dramatic. It 
affords no episodes to which a biographer, much less an orator, 
could skilfully lead up, and then dwell upon them, sure of the 
sympathy of his audience. He was merely a self-educated, self- 
made son of New England, well-intentioned and clear-headed, 
who, a youth, went out from his home into the great world 
and there amassed a fortune, preserving, amid all temptations, 
his New England birthright traits of simplicity, thrift, straight- 
forward honesty and deep religious feeling. He did not infuse 
himself into great movements with which, becoming forever a 
part of them, he identified his career ; on the contrary he was 
a quiet, domestic man, silent, strong and practical. Satisfied 
with the position he had won, and doing his honest day's work 
in it, he had no ambition for office or worldly distinction. 
Thomas Crane, therefore, does not stand forward and arrest 
attention as an imposing individuality ; and it is the very fact 
that, being just what he was and doing what he did, he does 
not so stand forth, — it is this fact which makes him a typical, 
a representative man, a man whom it is well to commemo- 
rate. He represents almost ideally what was strongest and, 
upon the whole, best in that remarkable race of men to which 
he belonged. 

It has been said very often, and with sufficient truth, that 
the three great 'staples of New England are ice and rocks and 
men. New England, since the year 1800, has indeed been for 
this continent what Asia once was for Europe, the nursery of 
nations. In its case the biblical injunction to be fruitful and 
multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it, has been strictly 
complied with ; and there has gone forth from it a column, almost 
countless in number, of men and women of the pure Enghsh 
blood and the rough New England breeding, who have carried 
their native thrift and energy, and the social and political and 
religious teachings of their birthplace, through all the broad 
belt of country lying west of them, until they found themselves 
stopped by the waters of the Pacific. From Mason and 
Dixon's line on the South, to the great lakes on the North, they 
penetrated every nook and corner between the Falls of Niagara 
and the Golden Gate. They leavened the whole lump. It is 

now safe to say that this New England race — this Greater 
Britain, as English writers have called it — is destined to play 
no small part in the future history, not of this continent, (in 
that the predominance of its part is already settled,) but no 
small part in the history of civilization itself. The future is 
theirs. Of this migrating column Thomas Crane was one. 
More than that, he was, and to the last remained, in his own 
person and character, representative of whatever was best and 
strongest and most individual in it. lo commemorating here 
the individual, we also commemorate the mass. 

Those who composed the great New England migration 
were the direct result of two centuries of the surroundings of 
others who had preceded and led up to them. They had been 
undergoing the educational process, — so to speak, they had 
been at school for two hundred years before they were born. 
Men and women of this native growth, they were then trans- 
planted to a richer, a more generous soil. But though they 
changed their skies, they did not change their minds ; and 
where they went they carried New England with them. To 
understand the men, therefore, we must understand the sur- 
roundings amid which they grew up ; and, in the case of those 
who were born and educated before the year 1825, that — at 
any rate here in Ouincy — is no longer an easy thing to do. 
The fact is — and it is none the less a fact because a singular 
and a startling one — that the Ouincy of 1825 is further re- 
moved from us, than was the Ouincy of 1825 from the Brain- 
tree North Precinct of 1660. The changes of the last si.xty 
years have vastly exceeded those of the preceding century and 
a half Born in 1803, and leaving his home in 1829, the 
younger Thomas Crane grew up in another world from that we 
live in. — a world remote to us, even though many who walk 
our streets still easily recall it. What, then, was that Ouincy 
of the first quarter of the century ? 

In 1829 the present order of things, in communities known 
tis civilized, had not yet begun. In England a rough miner 
and self-educated mechanic was laboriously puzzling out the 
locomotive engine ; here, in Ouincy. Gridlcy liryant had three 
years before opened the original Granile Railway ; but not for 

two years yet was the first Massachusetts railroad chartered ; 
not for nine years was the " Sirius " to cross the Atlantic ; 
not for fifteen years was the first telegraph wire to be strung. 
The world was in the stage-coach period. The steamboat had 
indeed been introduced, but it still took two or three days to 
go from Boston to New York ; and when, in 1826, John Quincy 
Adams hurried on from Washington to Quincy to his father's 
death-bed, he noted in his diary that, leaving Washington at 
five o'clock in the morning of the 9th of July, he heard of 
John Adams's death — which had occurred five days before — 
when he got to Baltimore, and he reached Boston at nine 
o'clock on the evening of the 12th. Travelling with all the 
haste he could, he had accomplished his journey in eighty-eight 
hours, or at an average speed of about five miles an hour. 
Ohio was then the West ; and the valley of the Mississippi, 
hardly entered upon by any one, had not yet seen the first 
indication of the coming inroad from New England. 

Quincy in those days was very much what it had been from 
the beginning, — a sequestered New England country town, 
inhabited by a race of one blood and language, whose fathers 
had lived there before them in just the way they were living 
there then. It was a quiet, sleepy, conservative place. - In 
1803, when Thomas Crane v^as born, the entire population of 
the town did not exceed twelve hundred souls ; and when he 
moved away, twenty-six years later, it was but two thousand. 
They were all native Americans. There was not a foreign face 
to be seen or a foreign accent to be heard. The blood was 
pure English ; the names were all English ; but the education 
was not English. That was wholly of New England, — the 
education of the church, the tavern, the town-meeting, the 
training-field, and the common school. 

As from the beginning, the town still clustered near the 
church, which indeed was the nucleus about which it had 
slowly grown up. The parish was the precinct. Unlike most 
of its sister towns, Quincy, however, even then boasted two 
religious societies : the original Puritan congregational parish, 
the established church of town and state ; and the Episcopal 
church, which had been planted here a whole century before. 

No other denominational society had yet organized itself, nor 
was any other organized until 1832 ; and in 1828, as nearly as 
can be ascertained, the Mass had never yet been celebrated in 

The meeting-house, that which was in f:ict the single and 
common place of worship, stood upon the village green and train- 
ing-ground, close to where this edifice now is. The old wooden 
structure, the walls of which had then sheltered, and within 
which in winter had shivered, three generations of his fore- 
fathers, was removed the year before Thomas Crane left the 
town. Close to its entrance up to the last had stood the 
horse-block, just as it had stood there from the beginning ; 
and all about it on the Sabbath were hitched the rude car- 
riages and wagons which had brought the congregation from 
their homes. In that dull, monotonous life, the going to church 
was the event of the week, and the gossip of the meeting- 
house and the discourses of the ministers were the staple in- 
tellectual nutriment. They supplied the place, so far as the 
place was supplied, of lectures and concerts and newspapers 
and current literature now. 

Long before Thomas Crane was born, however, the old Puri- 
tan theological heat had burnt itself out in Quincy, and the 
doctrine preached from the pulpit here was then hardly a liv- 
ing one. It did not take hold of the people. They went to 
meeting because their fathers had gone there and they had 
been brought up to it, and because it made a break in the 
week ; but as a living and guiding force the pulpit had in 
Quincy ceased to make itself felt. It was a fading tradition. 
Nor did the sister Episcopal church fill the seat thus vacated. 
On the contrary, always and everywhere an exotic in New 
England, that church here was then in a state of utter decrep- 
itude. The life hardly lingered in it, and it had none to im- 
part. Those who thirsted could not hope to quench their 
thirst from that source. The church edifice stood in its little 
burying-ground, — the old churchyard after the ICnglish wont, 
— but within its walls, during the first quarter of the century, 
hardly more life stirred than stirred within the graves which 
surrounded it. In silence its pulpit awaited a later revival. 


As there was in reality but one church, so also there was but 
one school in the town. There was no West Quincy, or At- 
lantic, or Wollaston, or even South Quincy or Quincy Point 
then,— outlying districts of the town as large as the town it- 
self. Atlantic was known as the Farms, Wollaston was a cow- 
pasture, West Quincy a wilderness called the Woods, Quincy 
Point a region designated as the Old Fields, which until 1812 
had no road through it, or any connection with the country 
beyond the Fore-river. Thomas Crane, the father, lived near 
a creek leading out of that river, and which still bears his 
name; but during his life his farm never had a public way 
through it. It lay by itself, as did the farms about it,— out- 
side, as it were, even of the httle Quincy world, and secluded 
from it. 

Thus there was then small occasion for great school-houses 
in all sections of the town, for there were not many children to 
occupy them. None the less, while the voters annually appro- 
priated from $400, in 1804, to $700, in 1828, to a single gram- 
mar school at the centre, they also voted sums, varying from $5 
to ^120, to each ot the outlying districts to provide for the sum- 
mer education of its youth. The simple building, which served 
both as a town-hall and as a central school-house, until the last 
day of the year 181 5, was placed on the unfenced training- 
ground, facing the Plymouth road. Then destroyed by fire, 
the better building, which in 18 17 succeeded it, cost but the 
modest sum of $2100. That building stood on the southern 
verge of the little cemetery opposite, or graveyard as it was 
most properly called, for a yard indeed it was. Our fathers 
were not a sentimental race. There was no Decoration Day 
then. That little graveyard held the ashes of six generations 
of villagers, — the rude forefathers of the hamlet, — but until 
1809 it stood unfenced and uncared for by the roadside, a 
thoroughfare and a common in which cattle grazed among 
tombstones and lay between graves. 

Thomas Crane, however, had to do with the school-house in 
Quincy, and not with the graveyard upon which the windows 
of that school-house looked. During the first quarter of the 
century, though there was but a single school-house in the 


town, that single school-house after a fashion sufficed for exist- 
ing needs. Some children had indeed to walk several miles a 
day, — the Crane children at least four miles ; but they were 
sturdy country boys and girls, and it does not appear that they 
or others were the worse for it ; the probabilities, on the con- 
trary, arc that they were a good deal the better. Within the 
school-house, when they got there, were gathered, during the 
winter months, all the children of the town, 204 scholars, as 
the Committee reported in 1820; of whom 79 — among them 
doubtless young Thomas Crane — belonged to the cyphering- 
school, so called. It was no cause for wonder, therefore, that 
the Committee further reported that the " room was so much 
crowded that the scholars were obliged to wait one for the 
other for seats, notwithstanding the master gave up his desk, 
and used every other means in his power to accommodate 
them." To remedy this evil the Committee then went on to 
submit a plan for certain alterations, at an estimated cost of 
$200, by which 250 scholars were to be brought together in 
one room and under one master, " with an assistant when 
necessary." This, remember, was in Ouincy in the year 1820. 
Two hundred and fifty children in one room, crowded into 
"seats calculated to accommodate two scholars when writing, 
and three when they are not writing"! Such, in the better 
class of towns, was the New England country schooling during 
the first quarter of the century. Such was the only schooling 
young Thomas Crane ever had. 

In this common room were gathered children of all ages, 
from the overgrown lad, already a man, to the little girl learn- 
ing her letters ; and during a portion of the school-days of 
young Crane that room must have been presided over by 
Master William Seaver, whose nam(^ is as deeply cut in the 
educational annals of Ouincy as, according to all tradition, the 
rod he so freely used, after the fashion of his time, cut into the 
backs of his refractory pupils. If the use of the rod would 
indeed have saved the child, not many of the youth of Ouincy, 
between 18 12 and 1830, ought in life to have gone astray. 
None the less it should be added that his old jjupils always re- 
tained a kindly feeling towards Master Seaver, who taught 


here for twenty-eight years, and saw the old system go out and 
the new system come in. Up to 1829, however, the primi- 
tive New England system was wholly unreformed. The great 
logs of wood blazed in open fireplaces at both ends of the 
unpainted, barrack-like room, while the children were crowded 
on rude settles which might have been handed down from the 
pre- Revolutionary period, so hacked and disfigured were they 
by the jack-knives of succeeding generations of boys. 

The entire school appropriation for 1803 was but $430, 
and in 1829 it had only risen to ^1,400, of which Master 
Seaver received $500 as salary. These sums seem to us 
small sums, and they were small ; yet they were all the town 
could afford. The people then were poor and few. In the 
election of 1803 there were but 8y votes cast, and in 1828 
only 123 ; the latter was a Presidential election, also, and 
a citizen of Quincy was one of the candidates. The elec- 
tion of 1828, it is true, was not warmly contested in Massa- 
chusetts, — the vote, of Quincy, for instance, being nearly 
unanimous ; but .the largest vote ever cast in the town before 
1830 was but 217. Poor as they were few, these people were 
economical because they had to be economical. A saving 
thrift was ground into them by their necessities. In public 
as in private every cent of outgo had to be watched. In the 
houses wheaten bread was a luxury rarely seen. Cornmeal 
was the staple of life ; molasses was the condiment ; the barrel 
of salted meat was the stand-by. But the public expenditures 
will perhaps afford the best scale of comparison. In 1810, 
when Thomas Crane, the father, moved up to Quincy Point 
from George's Island, the entire appropriation made by Quincy 
for public purposes — and those purposes included the parish 
as well as the town — was but $3,200, or $2.50 on the average 
to an inhabitant. In 1829, when Thomas Crane, the son, went 
to New York, and when the parish had been separated from 
the town, the appropriation was $3,500, or $1.75 to an inhabi- 
tant ; it is now about $12 to an inhabitant. The instruc- 
tion then afforded in the public schools was, perhaps, not of 
the best, when judged by present standards ; but in 1827 it 
cost the town exactly $3.00 a year for each child taught, in- 







stead of over $i6 in 1880. In 1814 a report was made on the 
maintenance of the poor; and the average cost of it in three 
neig;hboring towns was stated at St, cents per week for each 
pauper. Such were the simpUcity and economy of that period 
as compared with this. The poor were no poorer than now ; 
that they could not be. Comparatively, however, they were 
far more numerous, and actually no one was rich. 

But the community was not poor only ; it was wholly with- 
out what would now be called appliances. Those composing it 
had houses and rude tools and unproductive land ; that was 
about all. As a community it was, as we would consider, cut 
completely off from active communication with the world out- 
side, and thrown back upon itself; while within itself little was 
to be found in the way of intellectual nutriment beyond dry 
husks. There was no Public Library, no Adams Academy, 
no High School in the town; — as we have seen, not even a 
public graded school. President John Adams, keenly recalling 
the hard, up-hill struggle of his own youth, had indeed, in 1822, 
given to Ouincy that library of his own, which now at last, 
after sixty years of wandering and neglect, finds a fitting resting 
place in the alcoves of the Crane Memorial Hall ; but the 
books in that library were neither accessible, nor adapted to 
the needs of a country boy craving knowledge. In the village 
there was a private association which owned a few of the books 
of the day, and to this young Thomas Crane was a subscriber. 
Doubtless he mastered the little store of learning thus made 
accessible ; but I cannot find that in the house of Thomas 
Crane, the father, though he was a man, for those times, well 
to do, there was a single book for his children to read or learn 
from, except the Bible and Pilgrim's Progress. Neither did 
the modern newspaper then exist. Take up any one of half 
a dozen Boston papers now daily spread broadcast over the 
town, and it is an education in itself; the world of to-day. 
intellectual, political, social, geographical, is condensed and 
photograplicd in its columns. Everything is there jiopular- 
ized and brought within easy reach of the poorest. Then go 
back and examine, in the files of the Thomas Crane Library, 
a newspaper of the year when young (^-ane left Ouincy. 


It is not the same thing ; it is scarcely even a suggestion of 
it. For sale nowhere, sent only to subscribers, it is the 
newspaper of the politician, the merchant and the profes- 
sional man, — and very poor and meagre at that. There is 
nothing popular or instructive about it. It was not meant 
for the million, and it never reached them. The people's 
newspaper was, in 1829, yet to be invented. So also of cor- 
respondence. Beyond the narrow circle of the educated gentry 
it was an unknown art. A post-office had indeed existed in 
Quincy since 1795 ; and during the youth of Thomas Crane it 
found an abiding-place in the building which stood where the 
former Hancock House now stands, and there it remained for 
six-and-thirty years. Even I can remember when post-office 
and tap-room were one, and the thin mail-bag was flung on the 
whiskey-reeking bar, over which its contents were presently 
distributed. Before 1829, however, mails were infrequent, and 
the rates of postage enormous, and no letter or paper ever 
reached remote families like the Cranes. They lived, perforce, 
in and by themselves. 

Such was Quincy ; such was the ordinary New England 
country town at the time the New England column began to 
move. The surroundings were hard. Those who broke their 
way successfully through them did so by virtue of sheer, native 
strength. Thomas Crane the younger did this. It was no in- 
considerable thing to do ; and because he did it, and did it 
successfully, his Memorial Building stands here in his native 
town to-day. Here it was that he passed his youth ; here it 
was that he developed into manhood ; here he received those 
impressions which shaped his riper character. That the cir- 
cumstances were especially favorable, or his surroundings alto- 
gether good, no one will maintain who has made a study of 
them. We are altogether too much disposed, in looking back 
on the successful careers of the rough-hewn, self-taught men of 
that generation, to see only the Arcadian character of the 
earlier times. We are apt to assume that at least they began 
life with simpler, purer, more patriarchal and virtuous sur- 
roundings than the present, — that they were not subjected to 
our temptations, even if they did not enjoy our advantages. 


This is all false. It was a rugged, stubborn, gnarly race, that 
of New England which I have endeavored to portray, — accus- 
tomed to self-care and self-rule, laborious, thrifty, money-saving ; 
but, judged by our standards, those composing it were far from 
refined, and neither abstemious nor self-contained. They were 
harsh rather than virtuous ; more austere than moral. They 
had their besetting sins. 

Chief among these besetting sins was intemperance. I have 
already named the tavern as being — with the church, the town- 
meeting and the public school — one of the educational influ- 
ences of the earlier period. Few who have not studied deeply 
the history of that period have any conception what a part in 
it the tavern played. It was the rough club-house and political 
debating school, — the predecessor of the caucus and the ward- 
room ; it was also to many — to altogether too many — the 
yawning, gateway of Hell. Rum was the bane of New Eng- 
land ; and it remained the bane of those who went forth from 
New England. John Adams, writing in his diary in 1796, 
exclaimed, io view of what he then saw going on among the 
workmen on his farm : " If the ancients drank wine as our 
people drink rum and cider, it is no wonder we read of so 
many possessed with devils ;" and as late as 1841 the town 
of Quincy voted to give its alms-house paupers "a temperate 
use of ardent spirits when they work on the road or farm." 
No man, however, had a chance for success in life who did 
not keep himself free from this curse ; and of those who went 
out from New England to seek their fortunes, it is safe to say 
that rum ruined, body and soul, the vast majority. In 1825 
that temperance movement, which has since wrought such a 
wonder of reform for New England, had not begun to make 
itself felt ; and. indeed, the first of those ^societies which, in 
the strong language of the day, were to prevent Americans 
from becoming "a community of drunkards," was not organ- 
ized in Boston until a year later, in 1826. The road young 
Crane had to tread was, therefore, not a safe' one. It was, on 
the contrary, dangerously beset ; and, like all the rest, he had 
only himself to rely on. 

There was but one real safeguard against the (lander. It 


was found in the simple morals and strong religious feeling 
which prevailed at so many hearthstones. Those who went 
forth thus shielded were saved ; the rest were lost. The harsh 
general tone of the church and the magistrate counted for 
little that was good ; indeed, it led rather to a greater license 
in reaction. It was the innate or cultivated moral sense and 
rehgious quickening which saved. Fortunately for Thomas 
Crane, with an apparently native self-respect, he also had from 
an early age a strong religious tendency.' Whence he derived 
it cannot be ascertained, for, as I have already intimated, 
Quincy was not a town remarkable for its theological fervor. 
The strong, sulphurous doctrines which gave its moral force 
to Calvinism certainly were not heard from the Rev. Peter 
Whitney's pulpit. At home young Crane had no peculiar 
advantages. The religious yearning was there, however, and 
as he grew to man's estate he was conscious that it was not 
satisfied in Quincy. His father had died in 1818, not yet 
forty-nine. Though a substantial farmer and a man well off 
for the times, he left a wife and six children to divide his small 
estate, — the oldest of the children being not yet of age, while 
young Thomas was only fifteen. A strong, robust, well-knit 
lad, the choice of a means of earning his living was before 
him. He could not well be a lawyer, a minister, or a doctor, 
— a member of one of the three learned professions as they 
were called. He had not the education, nor had he the means 
or time to get it. He must earn his bread at once ; and he 
might make shoes, or work on a farm, or cut stone to do it. 
He tried his hand at shoe-making for awhile, but the confine- 
ment injured his health ; and fortunately for him, fortunately 
for his native town, the lad's natural inclinations then carried 
him to the more robust, the hardier calling. He became a 
stone-cutter, and as a journeyman learned his trade. 

It was now, during those most dangerous years of life which 
end youth and precede maturity, — the period of false and 
callow manhood, — it was during these years that young 
Crane's religious sense began to stir and befriend him. In his 
case it was simply the form which intellectual quickening took. 
The boy had a head of his own, and a brain that worked. Had 


he lived later he would probably have taken to some one of 
those schools of philosophy and thought which have, with such 
regular recurrence, marked the periods of the century. He 
would have got the intellectual food he craved by following 
Benthani or Mill or Carlyle or Spenser, or possibly Emerson 
or Parker. He was, however, either beyond their reach or 
before their time; and so his brain-hunger turned on the only 
thing at hand, — the Bible and religion, the old New England 

Eastern Massachusetts was at this time in something of a 
religious ferment. Universalism, the most liberal creed of the 
day, was striking its roots into the soil. Murray and Ballou 
were at the height of their fame ; their tracts were distributed 
broadcast ; large meetings were being held in all the towns. I 
do not know that this revival reached in any active form the 
quiescent village of Ouincy, but if the seed which fell here fell 
mainly in stony places, some of it at least came in the path 
of Thomas Crane, and bore fruit an hundred-fold. Father 
Hosea Ballou, as he was affectionately called, then preached 
to a congregation which met in School Street, in Boston, 
However or wherever he first heard him, in listening to Mr. 
Ballou the young Ouincy stone-cutter now found that nutri- 
ment he craved. He could get to hear him but in one way. 
There were no public Sunday conveyances then ; a journey- 
man stone-cutter could not afford to indulge in horse or wagon ; 
the distance from Ouincy Point to School Street was ten 
good miles. Young Crane walked them. A religious feeling 
strong enough to induce a man hardly more than a boy to 
tramp twenty miles of a Sunday to listen to his favorite 
preacher, was worth something. ' He who did it had the 
making of something in him. If more of those who, during 
the first forty years of the century, left Ouincy to seek their 
fortunes, had felt moved to do as much, not so many of them 
would at a later day have disappeared in failure. 

Years passed on. Having mastered his calling as a stone- 
cutter, the young man began to look abroad from Ouincy for a 
wider field. He had no money, no connections, not much 
education ; his capital was simply a strong healthy body, a 


clear head, and his skill as a stone-cutter. With these, backed 
by frugal, temperate, honest habits, he, in 1829, went out into 
the world. It was a good stock in trade. No connections, no 
opening before him ready made to his hand, carried him to 
New York. He went there just as thousands and hundreds 
of thousands, first and last, have gone there, — a young man 
seeking his fortune, a workman in search of work. He went 
there just as Ouincy boys have gone there beforehand since ; 
and just as they are going there and elsewhere now. His 
elder brother had preceded him and was already in New York ; 
and the way they met is a curious illustration of how differ- 
ent those days were from these, and how few and little used 
the means of communication were. Though both were in New 
York, neither of the two brothers knev/ where the other was, 
and they finally met on the steps of the Universalist church, 
either in Prince or Duane Street, to which, doubtless, Thomas 
Crane had found his way on the first Sabbath after his arrival 
in the strange city. 

There, however, at twenty-six years of age, he was, in the 
place thenceforward to be his home. Instead of looking aim- 
lessly about for short-cuts to fortune, he went to work at once 
at his trade, and began to earn day wages hammering stone. 
At that time, and during the next few years, several attempts 
were made by associations of journeyman stone-cutters to start 
yards in New York upon a co-operative plan. With one of 
these, on the east side of the city, the new-comer from Ouincy 
presently identified himself. His, however, was too active a 
mind, and he had too large a brain, to permit him long to 
remain a journeyman, and as early as 1835 he was a master 
workman ; already he had e'nrolled himself among the captains 
of industry. 

It was forty-seven years after he went to New York that 
Thomas Crane died, — nearly half a century ; and it was a half 
century of such general growth and development as the world 
had not before seen. In 1829 it was but four years since 
Governor De Witt Clinton had opened to navigation the Erie 
Canal. When it was thus for the first time brought in direct 
communication with the great lakes. New York was a city of 


less tlian 200,000 inhabitants. In 1831 the first hnk of what 
is now the New York Central Railroad was opened to travel. 
In 1S44 the telegraph went into operation. Of more imme- 
diate concern to Thomas Crane, however, was that great fire 
which broke out in New York on the i6th of December, 1835, 
and which, burning for three whole days, laid in ruins the 
busiest parts ot the town. All these events, and especially the 
last, had a direct bearing on his fortunes. The canal, the rail- 
road, the telegraph and the fire combined to make out of the 
quiet city of 1829 the bustling metropolis of to-day. New 
York, as we see it, was to be built, and it was Thomas Crane's 
work in life to help supply the granite with which to build it. 
His opportunity was there, and he availed himself of it. Not 
much more can be said of any man. To be equal to the occa- 
sion in life when it presents itself makes human success. 
During nearly thirty years of as active construction as any 
great city ever saw, there were few buildings of magnitude 
erected in New York, in which granite was used, to which 
Thomas Crane did not contribute, and which did not con- 
tribute to him. 

At a very early day he began to buy out his associates in 
the stone-yard. It was the old story. They were impatient 
and improvident ; they chafed at delay and the slow movement 
of things ; they saw, or thought they saw, better chances else- 
where. So they made short-cuts to fortune, and doubtless 
remained poor all their lives. One by one they sold their 
interests to the clearer-headed, more patient man, who was 
strong enough to bide his time. It was simply another case of 
the survival of the fittest. Solid judgment, shrewd honesty 
and temperate habits did the work. Among them all Thomas 
Crane was the fittest to survive, in that he had most of these 
qualities ; and accordingly survive the rest he did. Worlilly 
prosperity soon flowed in upon him. Literally, he built his 
house upon a rock. Granite, not speculation, was at the foun- 
dation of his fortune. He made his contracts, ever growing 
larger and larger ; he increased the size of his yards, and 
bought new ones. More and more stone came to them from 
the quarries here at Ouincy and at Millstone Point. A larger 


number of workmen handled his tools. In 1837, when the 
great financial storm burst, he suffered with the rest. He did 
not, however, succumb. Once that crisis was weathered, he 
stood firm on his feet ; and he was firm on them all the rest 
of his life The way grew clear. The prodigious growth of 
New York was now impending, and he was one of those 
sagacious enough to foresee it. His stone-yards and his granite 
contracts became henceforth only the basis of his growing 
prosperity. He bought lands in the path of the city's devel- 
opment, and it grew up to them and overran them. It overran 
his stone-yards. Thus his wealth increased with the wealth of 
New York, and enlarged and took new directions, under the 
guidance always of that same clean-cut business judgment. 
He was a bank director, an insurance-company director, a 
street-railway director, a man of note on 'Change. Long before 
his death his measure of success in a business walk was full, and 
beyond that his ambition did not go. As I have already said, he 
did not care for outward worldly distinction. Had he cared for it, 
with his strong judgment and shrewd common-sense, he would 
probably have worked his way to high office in the State ; for 
he was one of that class of men who are less often seen than 
wanted in the Senate Chamber and the Cabinet. I never met 
Mr. Crane, and can therefore speak of him only from the report 
of others. But I do, from personal contact, know something of 
those who in recent years have played prominent parts in 
many public events ; and I do not hesitate to say that the 
qualities which Mr. Crane possessed, and which led to the 
measure of success he coveted, are those qualities which also 
win success in the other and more showy walks of life, but 
which also, in those who essay to tread those walks, are not 
infrequently conspicuous for their absence. Had fortune or 
inclination called Thomas Crane to the position, he would have 
administered a department of the national government with 
the same good judgment and success with which he managed 
his stone-yard. The qualities were all there ; it was the occa- 
sion and the call which were wanting. 

The man's ambition did not turn that way. His tastes were 
domestic ; his devotion was to his calling. Not that he lacked 


public spirit, or was indifferent to the great questions of the 
clay. On the contrary, he carried out with him the teachings 
of his New England home, and never forgot them. The church 
to which he belonged, and of which he was long a trustee, — 
the old Orchard Street Church, as it was familiarly called, under 
the pastorale of Mr. Crane's intimate personal friend, Dr. 
Thomas J. Sawyer, — this church, well known throughout New 
York and the Universalist denomination, had in it a strong 
New England leaven. Prominent among its members was 
Horace Greeley, and with him and his teachings Mr. Crane 
deeply sympathized. The nature of his political affiliations 
may be inferred from the name of a son born to him in 1850, 
and whose premature and sudden death in 1869 fell upon the 
father with a crushing blow ; this son the father christened 
after Mr. Greeley's great political chieftain, — the man who 
may be said to have embodied in himself the Whig party, — 
Ilcnry Clay. But it was during the Antislavery struggle that 
Mr. Crane found himself most strongly drawn to Greeley and 
the " Tribune." He felt then deeply, and went all lengths. To 
be an Antislavery man in New York City before 1861 was not 
popular. Thomas Crane, however, sold his "granite, not his 
political principles ; and a zealous, outspoken Antislavery man 
he remained from the beginning to the bitter end. 

Not that he took an active part in city politics. On the con- , 
trary. he was one of a minority there, in numbers contemptible. 
More than that, he belonged to a class of men who, to the 
great misfortune of the city and the country, were long since 
driven out of New York city politics or made powerless in it. 
It was in his church and denomination that his public spirit 
found its freest expression. He was a pillar of the Universalist 
cause, and the treasun-r and financial manager of its Relief 
Association. Later, when the leaders of the Universalist de- 
nomination founded Tufts College, he was a subscriber to its 
funds, and he held the position of one of its trustees from the 
time it was organized until he died. Indeed, his death, it is 
said, was hastened by the fatigue of a journey made in declin- 
ing health to attend to his duties in connection with it. Of 
its library also he was a benefactor. 


Of Mr. Crane's other and private life through those forty- 
six years after he left Quincy, it remains to speak. It was not 
uncheckered, though in the main a happy one. Three years 
after going to New York, in 1832, he married Sarah S. Munn, 
of Gill, in Connecticut, — the first of his race to marry a woman 
not Massachusetts born. The following summer he was a 
childless widower, his young wife having been swept away in 
her twenty -first year, hardly more than a girl, one of the ear- 
liest victims of the cholera when it scourged New York in 
1833. A little more than three years later, in November, 1836, 
he married Clarissa Lawrence Starkey, of Troy, in New Hamp- 
shire, who was to remain his wife for nine and thirty years, 
and be the mother of his eight children. It is she who now, 
in conjunction with two surviving sons, erects this monument 
to the memory of the husband and the father. 

Having his home always in New York, a portion of Mr. 
Crane's summers for many years was passed in Quincy, and to 
Quincy he paid frequent visits to the end. It was character- 
istic of the man that he never outgrew his feeling for the place. 
He loved to come back to the surroundings and friends of his 
boyhood. He was fond of the water, and liked when down in the 
bay to land on George's Island, revisiting his birthplace and the 
scene of his first recollections, for when his father moved across 
to the mainland he was already a boy of seven. It all seemed 
to recall the glad confidence of life's morning. Even after he 
had purchased that rocky country seat at Stamford, the gradual 
transformation of which into a garden became one of the great 
pleasures of his later years, Quincy Point still retained its hold 
upon him. His tastes, too, were simple. A homeish man, he 
cared nothing for display, and to the end retained the habits of 
his youth. His greatest trial was the loss of children ; for, a 
deeply affectionate father, he had four daughters born to him, 
not one of whom survived the years of infancy. Two sons 
also he lost, who had grown to man's estate. Thus Thomas 
Crane passed from youth to manhood, and from manhood to 
old age, — an active business-man, a public-spirited citizen, a 
devoted husband, a loving and a sorrowing father. At last, 
when for nearly two years he had passed the age allotted to 


man, after a short decline, the long, well-spent, successful life 
drew to its close. On the first day of April, 1875, he quietly- 
died in his own bed and among his own people. 

Here in Ouincy his monument stands and will stand, and 
hero it is fit and proper it should stand ; here, if he could 
have been consulted, he would most have wished to have it 
stand. It stands close by the familiar way over which, with 
brothers and sisters, he walked as a boy. to the village school 
close by, — the way which, a young man, he trod as he went 
to that church in the city where he heard God's word as he 
needed it, — the way which, later, when he returned to his 
birthplace in the full tide of mature and successful life, carried 
him back to those places he loved so well, in which his youth 
had been passed. Quincy was to him always a haven of rest 
and refreshment. It was to Quincy that he liked to go back 
from the noise and bustle and dust of the great city ; it was 
in Ouincy that he would most have wished to be remembered. 
And he will be remembered here. His name, written as it were 
in water where he lived and did his work, will now long be in 
Ouincy a household word. And it is right also that it should be 
so ; for, take him for all in all, Thomas Crane stands easily first 
to-day among the many children Ouincy has contributed to the 
great New England migration. He was the most shining ex- 
ample of those qualities of intelligence, energy, persistence, hon- 
esty, temperance and God-fearing morality which made that 
New England migration the force it was and the yet greater 
force it is destined to be. As the most shining example that this 
town produced, it is therefore fit and proper that his monument, 
reared by pious hands, should stand here by the roadside, a 
conspicuous memorial for coming generations. As I said when 
I began, I repeat now, — it is more, far more, than a monument 
to an individual. There is a sermon to the young in its every 
stone. It stands as a reminder of those sterling, homely quali- 
ties (qualities which all possess, and yet so few know how to 
utilize) which made him — -whose name the building bears and 
whose effigy, carved by the hand of genius, looks down frOm its 
walls — the man he was. It is no monument of human great- 
ness, of conquests and brilliant deeds. I-'or the mass of those 


who shall enter its doors it is better, much better than that. 
Not all men can be great ; and the ways of greatness are not 
the ways of happiness. We can, however, all be temperate ; 
we can be industrious ; we can be patient and persevering ; we 
can cleave to that which is true and honest and of good repute. 
All this Thomas Crane did ; and because he did it he achieved 
success and happiness in life, and his monument stands here 
to-day, — the monument of a son of whom his birthplace may 
well be proud, and vwhose name her children will long hold in 
close remembrance. 

To each civilization there belongs its special modes of com- 
memorating the dead. As you pass out of the gate of San 
Sebastiano at Rome, and follow the famous Appian Way, at a 
distance of two miles or so from the city walls you pass the 
famous tomb of Cecilia Metella, built of great blocks of hewn 
stone, securely set on a vast and solid foundation. The dearly 
beloved wife of a great Roman patrician, her husband erected 
that sombre, dreary mausoleum to protect forever her ashes, 
while it perpetuated the memory of her name and of her 
virtues. There it has stood for nearly twenty centuries ; and 
there to-day it stands, an empty memorial of a buried past, 
useful, in its massive ugliness, not even to the dead. 

" Thus much alone we know, — Metella died, 
The wealthiest Roman's wife : Behold his love or pride ! " 

Now let us turn to what Tennyson has called "the gray 
metropolis of the North," the ancient city of Edinburgh. 
There, close to where was Kirk-a-Fields, may be seen a quaint 
quadrangular building standing by itself, and known as George 
Heriot's Hospital. It is a school made familiar to all through 
the pages of Walter Scott, founded by the goldsmith of James 
I. of England, who in 1603 followed his master from Edin- 
burgh to London, and there amassed great wealth. Dying 
twenty years later, his thoughts reverted to his native city; and, 
after making full provision for such relatives as he had, he left 
the residue of his fortune to found a school in which the chil- 
dren of Edinburgh freemen should be brought up and taught. 
For two centuries and a half George Heriot's Hospital has 
made its founder's name a household word in the city of his 








Here in New England, fortunately for us, our monuments to 
the noted dead — the memorials erected to perpetuate their 
memories — partake rather of the cheerful, useful character of 
George Heriot's Hospital, than of the sterile majesty of Cecilia's 
tomb. Through our schools, our libraries, our churches and our 
college halls those gone before are remembered. In this very 
region, once known as Braintree, of which Ouincy was a part 
until eleven years before Thomas Crane was born, — in this very 
region, now divided into four separate towns, there are to-day 
four public libraries, three seminary endowments and a church 
which preserve the memories of their founders, or of those in 
whose name they werefounded. " Being dead he yet speaketh." 
Those words should be cut deep over the portal of each of these 
buildings. The mortal remains of the founders — those of 
Thomas Crane, as of John Adams and Sylvanus Thayer — 
moulder in the dust. No monument,, for aught we know or 
they would care, protects them, and long since they have dis- 
solved into their elements. Their work goes on. 

Neither can I now see any reason why this building, in itself 
an education in art, should not stand here as long as George 
Heriot's Hospital has stood, or shall stand, in Edinburgh, The 
lapse of two centuries will but soften and lend charm to its 
symmetry ; and I can well imagine, that when the twenty-first 
century is growing old, and Ouincy, a city in itself, shall be 
part of the greater city covering all the shore of the bay, — I 
can well imagine that then, amid a wealth and population and 
knowledge and art such as we cannot imagine, strangers will 
pause in the crowded street to look with delight at the quiet, 
vine-covered Memorial Hall, standing by itself against a back- 
ground of trees. They will ask its history and its meaning ; 
and just as the name of George Heriot, the TCdinburgh goUl- 
smith, comes to us with a remote, far-away echo, — laden as it 
were with memories centuries old, — so I fancy may then the 
name of Thomas Crane, the Quincy stone-cutter, come to them. 
It may speak of a by-gone civilization, — our present, then 
become their past, unreal and quaint and primitive; but in 
Quincy, as in Edinburgh, the name of the benefactor will be 
familiar in the mouths of the children. 


In the foregoing address I say that it was never my good fortune 
to come personally in contact with Mr, Crane. I can speak of him 
only from the report of many persons who knew him well at various 
periods and in all relations of life. In preparing this sketch of 
him and of what he did, which it has seemed to me — from its con- 
nection with the man, and the building and institution which bear 
his name — may have an enduring interest, I have intended to spare 
no effort to describe him as he was. I could, however, only see Mr. 
Crane as others reported him, and was unable to give that strong 
reality to my presentment which can be derived from direct observa- 
tion alone. It has accordingly seemed to me desirable that, in what 
is intended as a personal memorial, there should something appear 
which shall record the impression Mr. Crane made upon those who 
had met him in his family and daily life. In the following letter 
he is described as it was not in my power to describe him. 

C. F. A., Jr. 

Boston, 17 May, 1882. 

Dear Sir, — In compliance with your request, I am glad to state my 
impressions of the personal appearance, life and character of the late 
Thomas Crane. 

Mr. Crane was a man of strong and distinct presence. His figure was 
muscular and well set, of the medium height, with broad shoulders. 

The hair and beard, at the time of my acquaintance with him, were 
white and abundant, — the complexion somewhat florid. 

His forehead was wide and high, — the nose aquiline; the eyes were 
clear, full and of a bluish gray. The glance was keen, yet straightfor- 
ward and sincere, with often an expression of the kindest humor. 

It might be fairly said that his face did not so much invite confii- 
dence as inspire it. He always struck me as possessing real solidity of 

Although relying firmly upon his own conclusions, and very persistent 
in carrying them to practical results, he was notably modest in statement, 
— indeed, quiet and unobtrusive in all his ways. 

I fancy that behind his shrewd worldly sense there was a deep stratum 
of sentiment. He looked upon the foibles of his fellow-men with a mild 


and humorous tolerance, — upon tlieir more serious faults with a genuine 
and helpful sympathy. I doubt, however, if he had sufficient charity for 
show and pretence. 

In all his family relations he was most tender and indulgent. In 
political opinion a Radical, he took an ardent interest in public affairs, and 
gave a generous support to the government during the war. To his 
church he was devotedly attached and constant in its service. 

In brief he was a New England man of the best sort in all his instincts 
and aspirations, tenderly revering his old home, grateful for his prosperity, 
upright, candid and true, of a clear-grained common sense, industrious, 
doing every day a full and worthy day's work, witii no consciousness of 
great excellence, yet thoroughly self-respecting. 

It seems to me that the lines from Wither's " Motto " may well be said 
in his praise : — 

" I have not been ashamed to confess 
My lowest fortunes, or the kindnesses 
Of poorest men ; nor have I proud been made, 
By any favor from a great man had. 
Nor ever for preferment, made I shows 
Of what I was not." 

Believe me, iS:c., 

Charles Fr.\ncis Ad.\ms, Jr., Esq., Quincy. 



On the 20th of February, 1880, a letter, of which the follow- 
ing is a copy, was received by the selectmen of Ouincy : — 

26 Broad Street, New York, 
Feb. 19, iSSo. 
To the Board of Selectmcft of the T07011 of Qidncy, Mass. 

Gentlemen, — The family of my father, the late Thomas Crane 
of New York, are desirous of erecting some memorial to him. 
Though long a resident of New York, my father always retained a 
strong feeling for the town of Quincy, where his family originated 
and had resided for over a century, and where he himself passed 
the earlier portion of his life. After much deliberation, therefore, 
his family have thought that a memorial erected to him in Quincy 
would be both more appropriate than elsewhere, and most in con- 
sonance with the tender feelings and cordial interest he always 
manifested therefor in his lifetime, and which he constantly ex- 
pressed to us. Prior to his death, in 1875, he had made annual 
visits to Quincy for many years, and his affection for his native 
place never in any degree lessened. 

His family, therefore, desire to make, through you, the following 
proposition to the town of Quincy : they will erect an edifice to his 
memory, to be known as the Crane Memorial Hall, or Library, to 
be held in trust forever by the town, or by some corporation author- 
ized by it, for the free use of the town as a Public Librar)- building. 
On this memorial we will e.xpend not less than twenty thousand 
dollars, — we to select the architect (who shall be one of standing 
and ability), the architectural design and the details of material and 
construction, — should the town, on its part, be willing to dedicate 
a site therefor, satisfactory to us, in some convenient and central 
locality. Of the few such sites that seem suitnble none has so 


favorably impressed us thus far as the plot of ground formerly 
owned by the late Dr. Ebenezer Woodward, and now in possession 
of his nephew, we understand. This is urged simply in the way of 

We shall be obliged if you will bring this matter to the notice of 
the citizens of Quincy in such a way as seems to you best, and 
at your earliest convenience, in order that, if this proposition be 
accepted, we may proceed at once to consider the necessary ques- 
tions of detail and work of construction at an early day. 

I remain, &c., 

Albert Crane. 

In consequence of this communication the following article 
was inserted in the warrant for the annual town-meeting, 
issued on the day Mr. Crane's letter was received : — 

Art. 23. — To see what action the town will take on the proposi- 
tion of the family of the late Thomas Crane in relation to erecting 
a memorial building for use as a PubHc Library, and to see whether 
the town will purchase and grade a suitable piece of ground as a 
site for the same. 

Subsequently, at the adjourned town-meeting held on the 
22d of March, the committee on the warrant, to which the 
above article had been referred, reported the following votes, 
which were passed : — 

Voted, That the selectmen be instructed to notify the family of 
the late Thomas Crane that the town of Quincy gratefully accepts 
their recent munificent proposal to erect an edifice in Quincy to his 
memory, to be used as a Public Library building ; and the town 
clerk is instructed to enter at large upon the town records the letter 
of Albert Crane, dated February 19, 1880, conveying such proposal, 
in connection with this vote. 

Voted, That said building, when completed and conveyed in trust 
to the town, shall be known as the Crane Memorial Hall ; the 
town library shall be deposited in it, and shall be thereafter called 
the Thomas Crane Library. 

Voted, That the selectmen and the trustees of the Public Library 
are hereby constituted a special committee to confer with the repre- 
sentatives of the Crane family, with full power on behalf of the 

town to arrange all details respecting said Memorial and Library 
building, and to procure a suitable site for it, which shall be satis- 
factory to them and to the Crane family, at an expense to the 
town of not more than ten thousand dollars. 

Voted, That the selectmen are instructed to apply forthwith to 
the General Court, now sitting, for an act incorporating the trustees 
of the Public Library, with power to receive and hold for the desig- 
nated purposes the proposed hall, the land under and around it, 
and any other property which may be hereafter given or bequeathed 
to the town for Public Library purposes. 

Voted, That the sum of ten thousand dollars, or so much thereof 
as shall be required, is hereby appropriated for the purpose of 
procuring a suitable site for the Crane Memorial Hall. 

In accordance with the foregoing vote the Board of Select- 
men, Messrs William A. Hodges, William N. Eaton and 
Charles H. Porter, applied to the Legislature for an act in- 
corporating the trustees of the Public Library. The applica- 
tion was favorably considered by the Legislature, and, under 
a suspension of the rules, leave to bring in the desired act 
was granted. It encountered no opposition, and appears as 
chapter 202 of the acts of 1880. At a meeting of the trustees 
of the Public Library held on the 4th of May, 1 880, the act of 
incorporation was accepted, and the new Board of Trustees 
of the Thomas Crane Public Library organized. 

In May also, in compliance with the preference expressed 
in the letter of Mr. Albert Crane, the Woodward lot was 
purchased by the town as a site for the proposed Memorial 
Hall. The unexpired term for which the estate was leased 
was then bought up, the buildings on the premises were 
sold at auction, and before the close of the summer of 1880 
everything was in readiness to begin building. 

Mr. H. H. Richardson had meanwhile been selected by the 
Crane family as the architect of the proposed edifice ; and, in 
September, after careful revision by the trustees, to 
wishes and suggestions the most considerate attention was 
shown throughout, the plans were approved, contracts exe- 
cuted, and ground broken for the foundations. These were 
laid before the winter brought work to an end. As a young 


' man Thomas Crane had been a member of the Rural Lodge 
of Free and Accepted Masons of the town of Quincy, and 
accordingly it was proposed that the corner-stone of the 
Memorial Hall should be formally laid with the ceremonies of 
the Masonic order. This was done on the 22d of February, 
1 88 1. The day was exceptionally fine, several inches of snow 
having fallen on the 21st, and the streets of the town were 
alive with sleighs. The sky was clear, the temperature 
moderate, and there was no wind. The South Shore Com- 
mandery of Grand Templars arrived at about one o'clock, and 
at half-past two the procession formed on Hancock Street, in 
front of the hall of Rural Lodge, and, marching thence down 
Hancock Street to Adams, countermarched to the site of the 
Memorial Hall, on' Washington Street. The corner-stone was 
then laid: There were present on this occasion two mem- 
bers of the Rural Lodge, Messrs. Josiah Baxter, of Quincy, and 
Charles Beck, of Milton, who had joined the order in 1825, 
the same year in which Thomas Crane joined it. After the 
exercises at the Library Building the procession reformed and 
marched back to the Masonic Hall, where the South Shore 
Commandery, the Trustees of the Public Library and others 
were entertained by the Rural Lodge at a collation. 

It had been intended to dedicate the hall on the i8th of 
October, 1881, the seventy-eighth anniversary of the birth of 
Thomas Crane. The original plan of the building, however, 
had undergone considerable development while the work of 
construction was going on, and, as the time approached, it 
became apparent that the building would not be then com- 
pleted. The ceremony of dedication was consequently post- 
poned, and fixed to take place on Decoration Day, in the 
succeeding spring. At the annual town-meeting in March, 
1882, an appropriation was made to meet the expenses of the 
day, and the arrangement of details was referred to a com- 
mittee consisting of the Selectmen, Messrs. G. H. Field, C. A. 
Spear and E. A. Perkins, and the Trustees of the Thomas 
Crane Library, Messrs, C. F, Adams, Jr., Henry Barker, L. W. 
Anderson, C. A Foster, H. A, Keith and F. A, Claflin, The 
family of Mr, Crane had some months before formally inti- 


mated a wish, through the Board of Selectmen, that Mr. C. F, 
Adams, Jr., should be invited to prepare a memorial address 
for the occasion, which invitation had been accepted. 

There was more delay in completing- the work on the hall 
than had been anticipated, owing to the elaborate finish of 
the interior; and the grading and planting the grounds not 
only proved a heavier and more expensive work than it was 
supposed it would be, but it was delayed by a long continu- 
ance of wet, cold weather. The spring, indeed, was so back- 
ward that on Decoration Day, May 30, the lilacs were not 
yet in bloom. 

Both within and without the building work was being 
pushed actively forward until the evening of the day preced- 
ing the dedication. On the morning of the 30th, however, 
everything was in readiness. The weather was most favor- 
able. The foliage, after the recent heavy rains, was hardly 
out, but leaves and blossoms were fresh and young, the streets 
were free from dust, and the day was clear and cool, with a 
light westerly wind. Mrs. Crane and her sons with their 
party, consisting of two gentlemen and three ladies, had come 
on from their home at Stamford, Connecticut, on the 29th, and 
passed Monday night at the Hotel Vcndome in Boston. They 
arrived at Ouincy by the train which left Boston at 8.15 
Tuesday morning, and were met at the station by the chief 
marshal of the day, Colonel A. B. Packard, and a committee, 
and taken immediately to the Memorial Hall. 

The committee in charge had, after full consideration, de- 
cided to make the dedication a purely Ouincy affair, and a 
verv simple one. It was to consist of a reception at the Hall 
by the Crane family, and dedicatory exercises in the Stone 
Church ; wliilc the Masonic bodies again kindly gave their aid 
to lend imprcssivencss to the occasion. No formal invitations 
to be present had been sent to oOicial or well-known person- 
ages living outside the town, and the occasion depended for ils 
success on the desire, which was known to exist among the 
people of Ouincy generally, to personally indicate to Mrs. 
Crane and her sons their sense of the benefaction conferred 
upon the town. 


The reception began at nine o'clock, and was the distin- 
guishing feature of the day. The interior of the building 
had during the morning been most tastefully decorated with 
plants and flowers, and its effect was very striking and 
attractive. In the centre of the inner hall, between the 
alcoves, was a large portrait of Mr. Crane, adorned with 
smilax and flowers. Behind this, and at the rear of the hall, 
were Mrs. Crane and her two sons, with Mrs. B. B. Newcome, 
Mr. Crane's sister, near them. Mr. C. A. Foster, on behalf 
of the committee, introduced the ladies and gentlemen as 
they passed by. The attendance at the reception was very 
general, and the kindly feeling, which universally prevailed, 
made it to Mrs. Crane and her sons a gratifying and even 
a touching occasion. Many cotemporaries and schoolmates 
of Mr. Crane were present, and their friendly words as they 
passed by were peculiarly gratifying, especially to Mrs. Crane, 
who subsequently took occasion to make her sense of it 
known. The affair was purely informal. There was no 
attempt at parade, and little ceremony ; the interior of the 
building, though well filled, was at no time unpleasantly 
crowded, and the courtesy and consideration shown was 
marked and general. 

While the reception was taking place in the Memorial Hall, 
the Chief Marshal of the day. Colonel A. B. Packard, with 
the assistance of his aids, Messrs. C. A. Rowland, W. G. A. 
Pattee, E. P. Waterhouse, J. H. Dee, W. H. H. Rideout, J. O. 
Holden, H. M. Federhen and J. E. Burns, formed the proces- 
sion on Hancock Street, and it was set in motion at about ten 
o'clock, in the following order : — 


City Band of Boston, 27 pieces. 

Chief Marshal, Colonel A. B. Packard. 


South Shore Commandery, K. T., 

E. C. W. S. Wallace, 92 men. 

Rural Lodge of F. and A. Masons, 

W. M. Fred. Jones, 129 men. 

Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, of Massachusetts, 

M. W. G. M. Samuel C Lawrence. 


Co. D, Independent Fusilecrs of Boston, 

Captain Snow, 63 men. 

Paul Revere Post 88, G. A. R., 

I. M. Holt, Commander, 60 men. 

Town Officers. 

Orator, Clergy and Invited Guests. 

Union Band of Quincy. 

Fire Department, 

John \V. Hall, Chief Engineer, 155 men. 

Clan McGregor, 
George Farquharson, Chieftain, 46 men. 

The procession moved through Hancock, Elm and Wash- 
ington streets to the Memorial Hall, on the steps and in the 
portal of which the Masonic ceremonies took place. The fol- 
lowing ofificers of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts were 
present, and had formed part of the procession under escort of 
Company D. Fifth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, 
Captain Snow, who had considerately offered their services 
for the occasion, as, later in the day, they were to do escort 
duty in the decoration exercises. 

M. W. Samuel Crocker Lawrence 
R. W. Edwin Wright . . . 
" William Babson . . 
" Charles C. Spellman 
" Wyzeman Marshall . 
" Sereno D. Nickerson 
" William H. H. Soule 
W. Rev, Charles H. Leonard, D.D., 

" Frederick D. Ely . . 

" Charles W. Slack . . 

" Charles Harris . . . 

" William T, R. Marvin 

" George H. Rhodes, | 

" James Mills J 

" John L. Stevenson . . 

" Z. L. Bicknell . . . 

" Darius A. Green "^ 

" James M. Gi.eason \' 

" Henry J. Parker . . 

Grand Master. 
Deputy Grand Master. 
Senior Grand Warden. 
Junior Grand Warden. 
Grand Treasurer. 
Recording Grand Secretary. 
D.D.G. Master, Dist. No. 3. 
Grand Chaplain. 
Grand Marshal. 
Senior Grand Deacon. 
Junior Grand Deacon. 
Senior Grand Steward. 

Junior Grand Stewards. 

Grand .Sword-Ilcarer. 
Grand Standard-Bearer. 

Grand I'ursuivants. 

Grand Tyler. 



R. W. William D. Coolidge . . . Past Grand Master. 

" Abraham H. Rowland, Jr. . Past Deputy Grand Master. 

" Henry Endicott .... Past Grand Warden. 

" Edward Avery " " " 

" Henry G. Fay " " " 

Sir William H. Kent, R. E. Grand Commander, and Sir 
Charles C. Hutchinson, E. Captain-General, of the Grand 
Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, added dig- 
nity to the occasion by joining in the escort. 

Order being secured, W. Fred. L. Jones, Master of Rural 
Lodge, announced to the M.W. Grand Master that all neces- 
sary preparations Jiad been made, and the Brethren now 
waited his pleasure. The Weber Quartette opened the ex- 
ercises by singing the following 


Lead, kindly Light, amid th' encircling gloom, 

Lead Thou me on ; 
The night is dark, and I am far from home, 

Lead Thou me on. 
Keep Thou my feet ; I do not ask to see 
The distant scene, — one step enough for me. 

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou 

Should'st lead me on : 
I loved to choose and see my path ; but now 

Lead thou me on. 
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears, 
Pride ruled my will : remember not past years. 

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still 

Will lead me on 
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till 

The night is gone. 
And, with the morn, those angel faces smile 
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile. 

The Architect, Mr. Richardson, then addressed the Grand 
Master, stating that the labors of the operative workmen 
had at length reached a conclusion, — that the building was 


now ready for the use and occupation of those for whose 
benefit it had been planned and completed with such munifi- 
cent liberality. It only remained to consecrate it to the ser- 
vice for which it was designed, by the mystic rites of that 
Ancient and Honorable Fraternity to whom, from time im- 
memorial, such duties have been assigned. Thanking thg 
Grand Master for the promptness with which he had re- 
sponded to the request of the Committee of Arrangements, 
the Architect invited him to proceed with the ceremony of 

The ^I.W. Grand Master replied as follows : — 

Agreeably to the request of the Trustees, and following the 
practice of Master Masons, who in ancient times designed, con- 
structed and dedicated public buildings to be used for the pur- 
poses of charity, education, art and religion, we will now witli 
pleasure proceed to dedicate this Memorial Hall in accordance with 
the olden customs of the Masonic Craft. 

Who can forecast the influence for good that will flow from the 
establishment of this Public Library Building, in fostering the intel- 
ligence and morality of this community — an influence limited 
neither to age, sex, condition nor time ! 

In consecrating a work of such interest and importance let us, 
according to the usual Masonic custom, unite with our Grand 
Chaplain in invoking the blessing of Deity. 

The Rev. CiiARLKs H. Leonard, D.D., offered the 


God be merciful unto us and bless us: and cause liis face to 
shine upon us, that Thy way may be known upon earth, Thy saving 
health among all nations. We thank Thee for this d:iy which thou 
hast given us, for this circumstance of our lives, and for the occa- 
sion which has called us together. We beseech Tliee to grant unto 
us the consenting mind and the consenting heart. Mercifully with 
Thy favor bless us, and all the services and ceremonies of tliis liuur, 
and so direct us by Thy good Spirit tliai all llial we do at this 
present may be done in view, not only of our need and the good of 
this people, but to Thy honor. For thine is the kingdom and the 
power and the glory forever. Amni. 


The ceremony of dedication then proceeded as follows : — 

Grand Master. Worshipful Brother Grand Marshal, have you 
distributed the implements of Operativ.e Masonry to the proper 
officers for the requisite examination of the building ? 

Grand Marshal. I have, Most Worshipful, and the examina- 
tion has been made. 

Grand Master. Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master, what 
is the proper jewel of your office ? 

Deputy Grand Master. The Square. 

Grand Master. Have you applied the Square ? 

Deputy Grand Master. I have, Most Worshipful, and the 
Craftsmen have done their duty. 

Grand Master. Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden, what 
is the proper jewel of your office ? 

Senior Grand Warden. The Level. 

Grand Master. Have you applied the Level ? 

Senior Grand Warden. I have, Most Worshipful, and the 
Craftsmen have done their duty. 

Grand Master. Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden, what 
is the proper jewel of your office ? 

Junior Grand Warden. The Plumb. 

Grand Master. Have you applied the Plumb ? 

Junior Grand Warden. I have. Most Worshipful, and the 
Craftsmen have done their duty. 

The Grand Master, striking the wall of the building three 
times with the gavel, said : — 

Found square, level and plumb, — well made, well proved, 
true and trusty, — built with good skill and for noble ends. The 
Public Library Building, Thomas Crane Memorial Hall, has been 
erected by the Craftsmen in accordance with the fundamental rules 
of the Masonic Fraternity : with Wisdom in its design, Strength in 
its construction, and Beauty in its completion. 

The Grand Marshal presented the vessel of Corn to the 
Junior Grand Warden who poured the Corn, saying: — 

Corn is the emblem of nourishment. May this community re- 
ceive out of this building, more and more abundantly, that wisdom 
which shall nourish and culture their souls to every good and 
perfect woj-k, zvord and thought. 


The following was then sung by the Weber Quartette : — 

Thou of light the great creator, 

In our deepest darkness rise ; 
Scatter all the night of nature, 

Pour the day upon our eyes. 
Still we wait for thine appearing. 

Life and joy thy beams impart. 
Chasing all our fears, and cheering 

Every meek and contrite heart. 

The Grand Marshal presented the cup of Wine to the 
Senior Grand Warden, who poured the Wine, saying: — 

Libations of Wine were employed in ancient consecrations as 
types of refreshment. May the learning, literature and song that 
shall be gathered within these walls refresh and invigorate the 
virtues of this people till they shall have favor with God. 

The following was then sung by the Weber Quartette: — 

Guide me, O thou great Jehovah ! 

Pilgrim through this barren land ; 
I am weak, but Thou art mighty. 

Hold me with Thy powerful hand. 
Bread of heaven ! 

Feed me till I want no more. 

Open now the crystal fountain. 

Whence the healing waters flow ; 
Let the fiery, cloudy pillar 

Lead me all my journey through. 
Strong Deliverer ! 

15e Thou still my strength and shield. 

The Grand Marshal presented the cup of Oil to the 
Deputy Grand Master, who poured the Oil, saying: — 

Oil is the symbol of joy and gladness. May tiiis noblo memorial 
edifice be to all the citizens of this town as a fountain of wisdom, 
inspiring them with a love of righteousness, so that it may lie said 
of them, as of those in olden time, "therefore God, thy God, hath 
anointed tiiee with tlie oil of gladness above thy fellows." 

The Weber Quartette followed with this 


Arise ! Shine ! for tliy light is come, 

And the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. 

Lift up thine eyes around about thee and see : 

All they gather themselves together, 

They come tg thee. Our gates shall be open continually; 

They shall not shut day nor night ; 

But the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, 

And thy God, thy glory. Amen. 

The Grand Chaplain offered the following invocation and 
prayer of consecration : — 


May Corn, Wine and Oil, and all the necessaries of life, abound 
among men throughout the world ; and that this building may long 
stand a fit memorial of virtue, and a centre of fruitful influence, let 
us pray. 


O God, our wisdom and our strength, in Whom alone all our 
works are rightly begun and worthily ended, grant Thy presence 
now that we come to give to Thee this house which our hands have 
builded, and beseech Thee to bless it to the great uses of human 
enlightenment. We rejoice in the strength and beauty of the com- 
pleted structure, — that according to the plan of designer and the 
skill of workmen, without hurt or hindrance, the good work has 
gone on to these results and to this auspicious day. 

We bless Thee for that wise beneficence whose large and loving 
wish has been so carried out by filial faithfulness and affection. 
We thank Thee for this fit offering of children to the memory of a 
father, and that henceforward it will stand the monument alike of 
bis foresight and generosity, and of their grateful love. We beseech 
Thee to accept this gift of their hearts in the name of what is most 
strong in duty and most tender in affection, and for the sake of a 
life lived in the full measure and meaning of simple truth and quiet 

Hear our prayer, O Thou who dost give direction to all thought 
and action, to the end that this structure may be consecrated in 


honor of that measureless spirit of knowledge and learning which 
here will invite the faculties of the humblest child, and in memory 
of the world's great teachers, the prophets and apostles of truth 
and right in all ages, whose wisdom has been embodied for our 
reading, and bequeathed to us in good books. Here, in glad pro- 
cession, year after year, generation by generation, may the young 
come as to a living spring and freely drink. Here may maturity 
find the rich treasures which are yielded to man's most studious 
hours, — the stimulus of noble minds, and the unfailing delight of 
contact with gifted souls. Here may age find solace, in commu- 
nion through the printed page, with friends unseen, and yet long 
known and deeply loved, — the sustaining tranquillity of life's 
ripening days. 

God of our fathers, we beseech Thee to bless this people, the 
inhabitants of this ancient town, who this day accept this building 
and all its belongings as their entrusted care. In view of a history 
made illustrious by revered names of statesmen and scholars, in 
view of a great inheritance of piety and patriotism, of mighty faith 
and loyal sacrifice, may they, the worthy sons and daughters of a 
worthy history, of ancestral privilege and incentive, w'orthily praise 
Thee, honoring Thy name. Thy ways in the past, and Thy present 
faithfulness, in that Thou dost bless them tliis day in abundant 
good, and in this most gracious promise of favor for themselves 
and those who will come after them. 

O Thou who hast been favorable unto our land and brought it 
through many and great distresses, we would remember before 
Thee, on this anniversary day, that our special rejoicings are 
blended with the nation's larger gratitude towards her princely 
sons and heroes. Help us, therefore, to rise to some ampler view 
of our relations and our duties, so that, while we dedicate this 
house to Thee and the best uses and capabilities of the advancing 
years, we may give ourselves anew to Thee in a more intelligent 
citizenship, and a wiser devotion to public and private good. 

O God, hear these our supplications and thanksgivings, and so 
bless us that we shall be shaped as living stones, at the last to be 
fitted and built into Tliy spiritual temple; and unto Thy great name 
be glory and honor and power, — through Jesus Christ, forever. 

The M. W. Grand Master delivered the following ad- 
dress : — 





In compliance with the official invitation extended to the Grand 
Lodge of Masons of Massachusetts, we have come here to dedicate 
this building to the noble uses for which it has been erected. 
Although the Grand Lodge has from time to time, in conformity 
with the ancient usages of our Fraternity, dedicated many of the 
great public edifices of the Commonwealth, designed for the use 
of the State, and for religious, charitable and monumental pur- 
poses, I am not aware that its services have ever been called into 
requisition in the dedication of a building of this character. If 
such be the fact, I feel no hesitation in establishing a precedent 
which is in entire harmony with the spirit and aims of our Institu- 
tion in originating and maintaining this ancient ceremonial of dedi- 
cation ; and the Grand Lodge has found it a grateful duty to lend 
its presence, through its official representatives, to assist in doing 
honor to this interesting occasion. 

We fully recognize the claim which this historic town has upon 
the respect and gratitude of every American citizen. She has, 
from generation to generation, been the happy mother of sons to 
whom the graces of high mtellect and public virtue have been 
heritable, and the brightest pages of our national annals are illumi- 
nated with their names. 

" To save the State, to mould the fate 

Of empire o'er these broadening lands, — 
What nobler task could Honor ask 
For faithful hearts, for trusty hands ? " 

As the representatives of an institution, in which, from pre-Revo- 
lutionary times to the present, patriotism and loyalty have been 
traditional, we may well feel an interest in every evidence of pro- 
gress and prosperity in this typical New England municipality. 
And we may say, too, that our presence here as members of the 
great Masonic Fraternity, invited to lend the sanction of its rites 
to the dedication of this building, is not without its significance 
and its moral. Scarcely half a century has elapsed since a storm 
of popular odium and suspicion beat against the institution we re- 
present. Many eminent men, honestly misapprehending the char- 
acter and purposes of Masonry, engaged in the warfare against it, 
and one of the most distinguished leaders was a venerable and 


venerated citizen of Quincy. While we recall these facts simply as 
interesting incidents of history, and without the slightest shadow 
of displeasure or resentment, I may be allowed to give public 
expression to the gratification with which the Fraternity regards the 
great and salutary change which has come over public sentiment, 
consequent upon the better understanding of the nature and ob- 
jects of the Masonic institution. The kindly spirit which pervades 
the Brotherhood, the benign social and moral influences which 
emanate from it, and the high respectability of its growing mem- 
bership, are now universally recognized, and the public has ceased 
to dread indefinable dangers from the Ancient and Honorable 
Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons. 

It is proper that we should take part in the celebration of this 
event, — the completion of an enterprise which owed its concep- 
tion to the generous public spirit of a member of our order, and 
which the faithful affection of his family has brought to a success- 
ful conclusion. We heartily congratulate the people of Quincy that 
they have come into possession of such an inheritance. Here they 
will have a fitting depository for the wisdom of all ages, as it is 
made imperishable in books. The value of a well-selected library, 
open to the use of all the people, cannot be adequately measured. 
While it is of the greatest utility as an adjunct to our system of 
popular education, it does something more than to fit men to grap- 
ple successfully with the practical work of life, so far as the ends 
and aims are purely material. It is the great instrument for train- 
ing men to those habits of intelligent inquiry and reHection which 
bring them to an acquaintance with the principles which underlie 
the science of life, without which we have no safe guidance, and 
are fit only to become the dupes of sophists, charlatans antl dema- 
gogues. It is the instrument also for purifying the imagination 
and refining the aspirations of the soul, until man becomes not 
only filled with wisdom and clothed with strength, but crowned 
with moral beauty. We cannot too profoundly recognize this fact, 
the commonplace statement of which is in danger of becoming tire- 
some to the public ear, — that a republic founded upon intelligence 
and virtue is an ideally perfect government, but that without such 
a basis it is a delusion and a mockery. 

Therefore while we felicitate the people of Quincy upon tiie pos- 
session of this noble edifice, and the library which it will contain, 
it is our ftirvent prayer that the full advantages which can be de- 
rived from such an institution may inure to this communily. I beg 


you to call to mind the words of the philosopher whose recent 
death we justly regard as a national calamity. 

" Consider," says Emerson, " what you have in the smallest 
chosen library. A company of the wisest and wittiest men that 
could be picked out of all civil countries, in a thousand years, have 
set in best order the results of their learniAg and wisdom. The 
men themselves were hid and inaccessible, solitary, impatient of 
interruption, fenced by etiquette ; but the thought which they did 
not uncover to their bosom friend is here written out in transparent 
words to us, the strangers of another age." 

Approach, then, this temple, dedicated to the intellectual and 
moral improvement of man, with gratitude for the inestimable privi- 
leges it generously offers to the poorest citizen among you. In 
the serene atmosphere of study and contemplation may your souls 
be penetrated with the lessons of wisdom and virtue which the 
sages of all times have left for your guidance and instruction ; and 
under such gracious influences may you be trained to habits of 
right thinking and right living, to social kindness and brotherly 
love, to a philanthropy which shall be as broad as humanity itself, 
and to all the virtues which exalt the standard of a true American 

The Grand Marshal made the following 


In the name of the M.W. Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachu- 
setts, I now proclaim that Crane Memorial Hall, a public library 
building, erected at the desire and from the wealth of Thomas 
Crane, a venerated Masonic Brother, with the free and generous 
consent of his family, has this day been found square, level and 
plumb, true and trusty, and has been consecrated according to the 
ancient forms of the Masonic Craft. This proclamation is made 
from the East, the West, the South : once [trumpet], hoice [trumpet 
twice], thrice [trumpet thrice]. All interested will take due notice 

The Grand Chaplain offered the 


O God, Thou who art the source and the consummation of our 
life, the beginning and the end of all our undertakings, vouchsafe 


to us now Thy divine benediction. Accept and bless our offerings. 
Preserve to us the memory of this hour. Cheer us more and more 
by the promise of increasing good to flow from widespread schools 
and all institutions established to promote the common good. 
Forbid that we should ever be unfaithful to our opportunities ; but 
may such devotion mark our history that a manifold intelligence 
and righteousness shall prevail throughout all our borders ; that so 
Thy kingdom may come and Thy will be done on earth as it is in 
heaven. Amen. 

At the conclusion of the ceremonies of dedication the 
column was again formed and marched to the junction of 
Adams and Hancock streets, where it was countermarched 
and returned to the Stone Church. This, though the largest 
public building in seating-capacity in the town, was too small 
to well accommodate all who desired to listen to the dedica- 
tory exercises. Mrs. Crane and her party occupied pews on 
the left-hand side of the central aisle ; opposite to her, and 
in his own pew, was the Hon. Charles Francis Adams, with 
Mrs. Adams and members of their family. 

The exercises in the church occupied almost exactly one 
hour. They were opened by the singing by the Weber 
Quartette of the following : — 

Hear our prayer ; grant us Thy peace we pray ; 

Guard, oh guard us, Lord, guard us by night and day; 

In Thee, O Lord, we place our trust, 

Thou who art merciful and just. 

Bend from Thy throne on high ; 

Hear, oh hear our prayer, oh hear our prayer. 

Prayer was then offered by the Rev. Edwakd Norton, pas- 
tor of the Congregational Church of Ouincy. The following 
was then chanted by the Weber Quartette : — 


Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youtli, while (he evil 
days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou siialt say, I have no 
pleasure in them ; 

While the sun, or the light, or tlie moon, or the stars be not darkened, 
nor the clouds return alter llie rain : 


In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong 
men shall bow themselves, and the grinders shall cease because they are 
few, and those that look out of the windows shall be darkened, 

And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grind- 
ing is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the l^rd, and all the daugh- 
ters of music shall be brought low ; 

Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be 
in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall 
be a burden, and desire shall fail : because man goeth to his long home, 
and the mourners go about the streets : 

Or ever the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the 
pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel be broken at the cistern. 

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was : and the spirit shall 
return unto God who gave it. 

In accordance with the programme the Chief Marshal, who, 
together with Mr. Albert Crane, and Messrs. Adams and 
Foster of the trustees, occupied a small platform in front of 
the pulpit, then introduced Mr. Crane, as the representative 
of his father's family, who presented to Mr. Adams, as chair- 
man of the trustees, the key of the Memorial Hall. In doing 
so he spoke as follows : — 

Mr. Chairman and Trustees of the Tho77ias Crane Public Library, 
Ladies and Gentlemen : — 

In behalf of the family of the late Thomas Crane, I have the 
honor to say that the Library is finished, and that we have come 
here to-day to dedicate and formally transfer it to the town of 
Quincy, as a memorial of my father. We have been especially 
gratified by the prompt acceptance of our proposition to build, by 
the generous unification of all your collections of books with the 
structure which will now preserve them, and the co-operation of 
the committee throughout. And now that the structure is ready 
for occupancy and use, I hereby formally deliver to you, as Trustees 
of the Thomas Crane Public Library, and as authorized to accept it, 
— by this key as a symbol of control and ownership, — to have and 
keep forever for the purposes specified in the act of incorporation, 
the full possession of this building, tenderly consecrated to the 
memory of Thomas Crane, by the affections of his family, and 
doubly consecrated in their hearts by the generous sympathy of the 
citizens of his native town. 


To these words Mr. Adams, in receiving the key, responded 
as follows : — 

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Thomas Crane Library 
of Quincy, it devolves upon me to accept from you, Sir, as repre- 
senting the family of your late father, the transfer of the Crane 
Memorial Hall. In doing so I am sure I voice the common senti- 
ment of all the inhabitants of Quincy when I say that this noble 
benefaction comes to us under circumstances making it peculiarly 
grateful. Quincy has heretofore not been unaccustomed to receive 
benefactions at the hands of her children. They have, however, 
come to her from those who have remained her children to the 
end , — a part of the common family, as it were. In the present 
case this is not so. Your father left this town, his native place, 
more than half a century ago, and never again became a resident 
in it. His children were born in another State, and no ties ever 
bound them to Quincy. When, however, you looked about for a 
pli^ce where you should erect a memorial to him, you chose this his 
native town. 

The Crane Memorial Hall, therefore, must always have a double 
significance, — a significance to us as well as to you. As a monu- 
ment of conjugal and filial devotion it will not fail in its purpose. 
To us of Quincy, however, it is more than that. It is a standing 
reminder of that affection, — that strong bond of feeling which those 
who have gone forth from New England, from Massachusetts and 
from Quincy still retain for their native place. It comes to us as a 
gift unexpected and from afar. It will be prized and preserved 

On behalf of the Trustees of the Library, on behalf of the people 
of Quincy, who, one and all, will profit by the gift, I accept the 

At the close of his response, Mr. Adams resumed his seat. 
After a brief pause he rose again and proceeded to deliver the 
Memorial Address. He spoke without notes, and, as the exer- 
cises in the church had begun later than was intended, the 
Address was in delivery much compressed, occupying but a 
few minutes over half an hour. It was listened to with pro- 
found attention, and at the close was warmly ajiplauded. 

When Mr. Adams closed and had resumed his scat, the 
following was chanted by the Weber (Quartette: — 


Though long years have passed away, 

And joyous summer left me, 
Though autumn sings her plaintive lay, 

Yet art thou still dear to me. 
Though far away, thy voice is ever near to me, 
Absence but makes thee dearer to me ; 
No time can change my love for thee. 

A Benediction was then pronounced by the Rev. D. M. 
Wilson, pastor of the church, and the public dedicatory exer- 
cises were brought to a close. The audience was dismissed 
at half-past twelve o'clock. 

Later a collation was furnished the fire department at the 
church building on Hancock Street, which had the day before 
been vacated by the Library officials ; the members of the 
Grand Army dined at their hall ; and the Masonic Lodges 
marched to Faxon Hall, on Canal Street, where they partook 
of an entertainment. Immediately after the exercises at the 
church Mrs. Crane and her party were driven to the residence 
of Mr. C. F. Adams, Jr., whose guests they were during the 
remainder of the day. They returned to Boston in the after- 
noon, and to Stamford the next morning.