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PEABODY HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
■•^^HE name which our Town bears, instiuctively recalls the man whose
^^ beneficence, wisdom and charity enriched humanity, both in the old
world and the new. When the old town of Danvers had been divided, and
we had cut ourselves off from those with whom we had been in communion
since the earliest settlement, it seemed to the citizens a wise and fitting
thing that the town should bear the name of him who, born within her
boundaries, trained in her customs, imbued with her traditions, had gone
out into the world and won honor, dignity and respect among men.
The new town soon became known for the growing excellence of its free
library, at a time when public libraries in towns were rare. It also retained
its supremacy in the manufacture of certain products. To most of the out-
side world these two items were the only things known about the town of
Peabody. The past, with all that it implied, the people, and how they bore
themselves in times of trial, were in many respects as a sealed book to them.
There seemed a danger, too, that this want of knowledge, begotten of in-
difference or forgetfulness, might extend to the inside.
Privation and hardship were the common lot of all New England settle-
ments, courage the common heritage; yet each community has its own
pi-ecious record of deeds well done, of principle maintained at the hazard of
life and fortune. In such as these every right-minded person takes a com-
mon pride. To keep them alive, to preserve them from oblivion, to retain
every incident connected with these events and those who participated
therein, should become his duty.
It was with this intention that the Pkabody Historical, Society was
formed. The lines on which it is founded are broad enough for everyone to
stand on. It welcomes all. It accepts with thankfulness every fact or in-
cident which may shed light on a bygone period, or in relation to those who
were actors in the scenes of those old times. Old books, manuscripts, deeds,
records, odd items from newsjjapers, househeld utensils, needlework, pic-
tures, articles of personal adornment, relics from old houses, everything
which has a bearing on the history of the people who here made their homes,
finds a fitting receptacle and a ready acknowledgment. Neither are things
of today neglected. Events of yesterday in time become past history, and
it is by taking note of such that histoi-y is preserved.
The success of the Society has been gratifying from the outset. It has
seemed as if people were waiting for the call. A preliminary meeting was
held on the evening of April 21st, 1896. The organization was quickly com-
pleted, a board of officers was chosen and the Society became duly incorpo-
rated, Aug. 15, 1896, with a membership of 96.
THE MEETINGS. j i^ * "C
From necessity, the early meetings of the Society were given over to the
selection of oHicers, the adoption of by-laws and other work of like nature.
But it is worthy of mention that at one of these early meetings, May 12,
1896, steps were taken to repair the monument and grade the lot where rest
the remains of General Gideon Foster.
Junk 16th, 1896. The first meeting at which any historical exercises
were held was on June 16th, the anniversary of the separation of Danvers
from Salem. Mr. Andrew Nichols spoke for the Danvers .side of the (jiiestion
and Mr. Thomas Carroll for the Salem side.
August 5th, 1896. The first attempted field meeting ended in a grand
downpour of rain, with thunder and lightning. The members were to meet
on the site of the old Epes homestead and listen to the history of the Epes
family. They were obliged, however, to adjourn to the South Church
vestry, where Hon. Robert S. Rantoul gave an address upon the "Work of
Historical Societies." Mr. Nathan A. Bushby followed with a talk ujion the
"Epes family" and Miss Mary Nichols read from a poem of her grandfather.
Dr. Andrew Nichols, a selection pertaining to the Epes family.
NovKMBEU 11th, 1806. The Potteries of Peabody were described by Mr.
Daniel H. Felton and Mr. Nathan A. Bushby.
Febkuauy 3d, 1897. Mr. Ezra D. Hines gave his lecture on "The March
of Arnold to Quebec."
Ai'iiiL 19th, 1897. This meeting was held in commemoration of the Battle
of Lexington. The hall was tastefully decorated with fiags and bunting.
Mr. Thomas Carroll read a paper on the " Battle of Lexington," as relating
to this town. P'ollowing came Mr. Nathan A. Bushby, who gave a talk on
the same subject, including many unrecorded incidents. Appropriate music
rendered by a choir under the direction of Mr. Pilchards B. Mackintosh,
added much to the enjoyment of the evening.
At a meeting of the Executive Committee, held in September, it was
deemed both necessary and expedient to secure a room in which to place
the many gifts already received by the Society. At the quarterly meeting
held November lltli, 1896, the committee api)ointed to arrange this matter
reported that a room had been engaged in the Warren Bank building; that
this room had been furnished, partly through the kindness of friends; that
the gifts, then numberiiig 61, had been marked and put in place, and that
the room was ready to be opened to members and visitors on and after Nov.
K), 189(5, every Monday afternoon from 2 to .J o'clock. The ladies of the
Executive Committee took the room in charge, and at the end of the year,
May ."jth, 1897, the gifts and loans entrusted to the care of the Society, num-
These include many articles, pictures, old volumes, documents and refer-
ence books, which are instructive as well as interesting, and it is desired
that the memlters should make constant use of this room, not keep it solely
as a museum of antiquities. .
By-Laws of the Peabody Historical Society.
The name of this Society shall be the Peabody Historical Society.
The object of the Society is the collection, preservation and study of his-
torical matters relating to the town and its inhabitants.
All persons who sign the Articles of Agreement, or shall be elected by a
three-fourths vote of all present and voting at any meeting of the Society,
and who shall sign the By-Laws, shall be members of this Society as long as
their dues are paid.
All persons who shall apply in writing and are regularly elected, shall be
corresi^onding members of this Society.
The officers of the Society shall be a President, two Vice-Presidents, a
Treasurer, Recording Secretary, Con-esponding Secretary and nine Directors
who together with the other officers shall constitute an Executive Committee.
The duties of the President, Vice-Presidents, Treasurer, Recording Secretary
and Corresponding Secretary shall be those usually pertaining to such offices.
The Recording Secretary and the Treasurer shall each make a report to
the Society at the Annual meeting hereinafter provided for.
The Executive Committee shall have general charge of the business of the
Society, and it shall be their duty to select, prepare and direct the literary
exercises of the Society.
The Officers of the Society shall be chosen annually by ballot, and shall hold
office for one year and until others are chosen and qualified in their stead.
The Treasurer shall give a bcmd, with two sureties, in the sum of five
hundred dollars, for the faithful performance of his duties.
The Annual Meeting for the election of officers sliall be held on the first
Wednesday in May of each year, and Quarterly Meetings shall be held on
the first Wednesdays of August, November and February and at the time of
the Annual meeting in May.
Special Meetings may be called at any time by the Executive Committee.
An assessment of One Dollar shall be paid by each member on admission,
and the Annual Dues shall be One Dollar.
The Annual Dues shall be payable at the time of the Annual Meeting.
No money shall be expended except upon voucher which shall be approved
by two members of the Executive Committee.
No person is to speak more than fifteen minutes upon any one subject, un-
less by general consent, or when assigned to a subject by the Executive
Eleven members shall constitute a Quorum for the transaction of business
at any meeting of the Society.
These By-Laws may be amended by a three-fourths vote of all members
present at any Annual ^Meeting, provided notice of the intended change
sliall have been given at the jn-eceding Quarterly Meeting.
Membership Fees and Dues,
Kecord Books aud Printing,
Rent of Room and Town Hall,
Fitting Room, ....
Certificate of Incorporation,
Labor on General Foster's Grave,
Expenses at Field Meeting,
Damage to Chairs at Field Meeting,
Gas Bill, .....
Balance, May 1st, 1897, in hands of Treasurer,
FOR THE YEAR ENDINC4 MAY 5tH, 1897.
Warren D. King
Arthur F. Poole
Nathan A. Bushby
Sylvanus L. Newhall
Fred W. Bushby
Elizabeth C. Oseorn
Annie T. Gikfoiii),
Sarah E. Moore,
Nancy J. Moulton,
Sarah E. Stimpson,
Daniel H. Felton,
Frank E. Farnham,
Samuel C. Lord.
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