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Full text of "Brief history of the New-England historical and genealogical register"

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BRIEF HISTORY 



NEW-ENGLAND 



Historical aifo icnealogical Register 



1847—1876. 



BRIEF HISTORY 



NEW-ENGLAND 

historical antr (Dmcalogical Register, 



Being the Report of the Committee on Publication, submitted at 

the Annual Meeting of the New-England Histobic, 

Genealogical Society, Jan. 5, 1876 ; 

Revised and Enlarged. 



H^ 



Reprinted from the Society's " Proceedings " for January, 1876. 




BOSTON: 
DAVID CLAPP & SON, PRINTERS. 

187G. 



(Lonunittco on |1ubliiation, 



ALBERT II. IIOYT, LUCIUS R. TAIGE, 

JOHN WARD DEAN, II. II. EDES, 

WILLIAM 1! TOWNE, JEREMIAH COLBURN. 









KEPOBT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLICATION. 



Mr. Albert IT. Hoyt submitted the following report : 

TI^IIE Historical and Genealogical Register for tbe year 1875 has 
-*- been regularly issued. The last October number contained six ora- 
tions, viz. : of the Hon. Henry Armitt Brown, delivered in Carpenter's 
Hall, Philadelphia, September 5, 1874, on the centenary of the meeting of 
the first Continental Congress, in that place; of Abner C. Goodell, Jr., Esq., 
before the Essex Institute, on the one hundredth anniversary of the meetinw 
of the Provincial Legislature of Massachusetts in Salem, October 5, 1774; 
of the Hon. Richard II. Dana, LL.D., on the one hundredth anniversary of 
the Battle of Lexington; of George William Curtis, LL.D., on the centenary 
of the Battle at Concord ; of the Hon. Charles Devens, Jr., in commemora- 
tion of the Battle of Bunker Hill, delivered on the 17th of June, 1875; 
and of the Rev. Andrew P. Peabody, D.D., LL.D., on July 3, 1875', the 
centenary of Washington's taking command of the Continental Army in 
Cambridge. 

The orations were printed from revised copies furnished for this purpose 
by their respective authors, and with the consent of the municipalities and 
associations, or committees, under whose auspices they were delivered. To 
these are annexed very full and carefully revised reports of the other 
proceedings at these commemorations, and several other papers relating to 
the same events. 

These discourses, proceedings and papers have been also published in a 
separate volume, entitled: "Centennial Orations Commemorative ok 
the Opening Events of the American Revolution," to which is 
prefixed an excellent portrait of General Joseph Warren, engraved by W. 
II. Smith from an original painting by Copley. This volume contains one 
hundred and seventy-eight compactly printed pages, octavo. The edition is 
limited to two hundred and fifty copies. 

Of the orations themselves, it seems not too much to say, that whether 
regarded as eloquent and forcible expressions of patriotic wisdom, as lucid 
and philosophical expositions of the chief operating causes and motives of 
the Revolution, or as vivid and accurate narratives of important events and 
interesting incidents, they will' not suffer in comparison with similar discourses 
in any age or language. Eor these reasons, and from the peculiarly 



interesting circumstances under which they were delivered, we helieve these 
discourses will have an abiding and prominent place in the historical litera- 
ture of this country. 

Soon after the organization of this Society, its members took into formal 
consideration the feasibility of publishing a magazine to be "devoted to the 
printing of ancient documents, wills, genealogical and biographical sketches, 
and historical and antiquarian matter generally." The value of such a 
periodical and its pressing necessity, in view of the scattered and perishing 
condition of the larger part of such important materials of history, were 
sufficiently obvious. 

It was not, however, until the autumn of the year 1846, that definite 
arrangements were concluded for the publication of such a work under the 
auspices of the Society. By this arrangement it was understood and agreed 
between the publisher and the Society that the "title and good will" of the 
magazine should forever remain in the Society, and that it should be pub- 
lished and edited under its general direction ; but that the salary of the 
editor and all other costs and charges incident to the undertaking should be 
paid by the publisher. A member of the Society volunteered to publish 
the magazine, and an editor was chosen by the Society, — the Rev. Wil- 
liam Cogswell, D.D.* 

The first number was issued on the fifth day of February, 1847, under 
the title of "The New-England Historical and Genealogical Register." 
Under this title every volume of this Quarterly has been regularly issued 
without interruption ; and with adequate support, we see no reason why it 
should not be continued for generations to come. 



* The following is a statement of the names of those who have edited volumes or parts 
of volumes of the Register, their residences at time of election, and the numbers edited 
by them respectively : 

The Rev. William Cogswell, D D., of Boston, 

Samuel G. Drake, A.M., of Boston, . 

William Thaddeus Harris, A.M., of Cambridge, . 

Samuel G. Drake. A.M., of Boston, 

Nathaniel B. ShurtlefF, M.D., of Boston,. 

Samuel G. Drake, A.M , of Boston, 

The Rev. Joseph B. Felt, LL.D., of Boston, . 

The Hon. Timothy Farrar, LL.D., of Boston, 

William B. Tnisk, of Dorchester, 

Samuel G. Drake, A.M., of Boston, 

William B. Trask, of Dorchester, 

William H. Whitmore, A.M., of Boston, . 

John Ward Dean, A.M., of Boston, .... 

Samuel G. Drake, A.M., of Boston, 

William B. Trask, of Dorchester, . . ■ 

The Rev. Flias Nason, A.M., of Exeter, N. H. 

The Hon. Charles Hudson, A.M., ot Lexington, . 

John Ward Dean, A.M , of Boston 

William B. Trask, of Dorchester, 

John Ward Dean, A.M., of Boston 

William B. Trask, of Dorchester, 

The Rev. Elias Nason, A.M., of Billerica, 

Albert II. Hoyt, A.M., of Boston, 

John Ward Dean, A.M., of Boston, 



Jan. 


1847, 4 numbers 


" 


1848, 5 


April, 


1849, 3 " 


Jan. 


1850, 1 


April, 


1850, 3 


Jan. 


1851, 4 


" 


1852, 2 


July, 


1852, 1 


Oct. 


1852, 1 


Jan. 


1853,21 


Jan. 


1859, 8 


Jan. 


1861, 4 


" 


1862, 1 


April, 


1862, 1 


Julv, 


1862, 1 


Oct. 


1862, 5 


Jan. 


1864, 2 


July, 


1864, 2 


Jan. 


1865, 4 


" 


1866, 8 


" 


1868, 32 


" 


1876. 



From 1847 to 18G4, inclusive, the Register had four different publishers.* 
In the summer of 1864 a few members of the Society, with its consent, 
formed themselves into an association, known as the Register Club, for 
the purpose of securing the continuance of the Quarterly, the members of 
which pledged themselves to bear the responsibility of the publication. 
The Society readily conceded to them the privilege of annually nomi- 
nating the Committee on Publication, the latter choosing the editor. This 
Club existed for nine years, some members going out and other persons 
interested in the work coming in at the end of each year to lend their 
support. They so prudently administered this trust that, while saving 
themselves from loss and gradually enlarging and improving the publication, 
they were enabled out of the small surplus to place upon the shelves of 
the Society's library a considerable number of much-needed volumes and 
useful periodicals.! 

The editor of the first volume was engaged at a salary of one thousand 
dollars. The first publisher, and for several years nominal editor, of the 
Register, Mr. Drake, kept a book-store, and issued publications of his own. 

* The publishers have been as follows: Samuel G. Drake from 1847 to 1861, inclusive, 
except for the years 1852 and 1857; Thomas Prince, 1852; Charles B. Richardson, 1857; 
Joel Munsell, 1862, 18(53, and 1854. Since the last date the successive volumes have borne 
the imprint of the Society. David Clapp & Son have been the printers since 1864. 

t The names of those who were members of the " Register Club," and the years of their 
membership, are as follows : 

Winslow Lewis, M.D., 1865, 1866, 1889, 1871. 
William B. Towne, A M., from 1865 to 1874, inclusive. 
Frederic Kidder, from 1865 to 1874, inclusive. 
Charles S. Fellows, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1869, 1870. 
William B. Trask, from 1865 to 1874, inclusive. 
William H. Whitmore, A.M., 1865, 1866, 1868, 1869. 
William S. Appleton, A.M., 1865, 1868, 1870. 
Samuel G. Drake, A.M , 1865, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1872. 
John K. Wiggin, from 1865 to 1868, inclusive. 
John Ward Dean, A.M., from 1865 to 1874, inclusive. 
Jeremiah Colburn, A.M., from 1865 to 1874, inclusive. 
John M. Bradbury, from 1865 to 1868, inclusive. 
Deloraine P. Corev, from 1855 to 1874, inclusive. 
Edward S. Rand, Jr., A.M., 1865, 1866, 1868. 
George W. Messinger, 1865. 

The Rev. Alonzo H. Quint, D.D., 1865, 1866, 1870. 
Calvin Fletcher, 1865, 1866. 
Almon D. Hodges, 1865. 
David Clapp, 1865. 

The Rev. Henry M. Dexter, D.D., 1865. 
Charles W. Tuttle, A.M., from 1866 to 1874, inclus-ive. 
Ebenezer W. Peirce, 1866 
William R. Deane, from 1866 to 1869^ inclusive. 
Francis French, 1866. 

The Rev. Edmund F. Slafter, A.M., 1867, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1871, 1872, 1874. 
The Rev. Elias Nason, A.M., 1868. 
Albert H. Hoyt, A.M., from 1868 to 1874, inclusive. 
The Hon. Marshall P. Wilder, from 186»to 1874, inclusive. 
H. H. Edes, from 1870 to 1874, inclusive. 
The Rev. Dorus Clarke, D.D., 1871, 1872, 1873. 
Thomas Waterman, 1871, 1872. 

Commodore Geo. Henrv Preble, U.S.N., from 1871 to 1874, inclusive. 
John H. Sheppard, A.M., 1872, 1873. 
The Rev. Lucius R. Paige, D.D., 1874. 
1* 



He used the pages of the magazine as an advertising medium, and undoubtedly 
realized no inconsiderable returns from that source, as he did also from the 
sale of surplus portions of each issue of the Register. To him as editor 
the publisher of the volume for 1857 paid, we are informed, the sum of 
five hundred dollars as salary for that year. It is stated, also, that two 
hundred dollars was paid to Mr. William T. Harris for editorial service in 
1849. With these three exceptions, no editor of the Register, so far as 
we are aware, has ever received any compensation for his services. 

The legal and equitable property in the title, subscription list, and good 
will of the Register has always been in the Society ; and this has never 
been questioned by any one, so far as our knowledge extends, since that 
matter was settled by the timely and decisive action of the Committee on 
Publication and the Society in 1849.* 



* The following are the names of those who have served on the 
and their places of residence at the time of their first election : 

Charles Ewer, of Boston, 

The Hon. Nathaniel B. Slmrtleff, M.D., of Boston, 
The Rev. Samuel H. Riddel, A.B., of Boston, . 

David Hamblen, of Boston 

William T. Harris, A.M., of Cambridge, . 
Th j Rev. Joseph B. Felt, LL.D., of Boston, . 
The Hon. Nathaniel B. Slmrtleff, M.D., of Boston, . 
The Rev. Lucius R. Paige, D.D., of Cambridge, . 
Charles Deane, LL.D., of Boston, .... 
J. Wingate Thornton, A.M., of Boston, . 
Wi'liam T. Harris, A.M., of Cambridge, . 

Frederic Kidder, of Boston 

The Hon. Timothy Farrar, LL.D., of Boston, . 
William B. Trask, of Dorchester, .... 

Charles Mayo, of Boston, 

The Rev. William Jenks, D.D., LL.D., of Boston, 
Lyman Mason, A.M., of Boston, .... 

t John Ward Dean, A.M., of Boston, 
Wiiliam Reed Deane, of Brookline, .... 

Lemuel Shattuck, of Boston, 

The Rev. Alonzo Hall Quint, D.D., of Jamaica Plain, 
James Spear Loring, of Boston, .... 
The Hon. Francis Brinley, A.M., of Boston, 
Charles H. Morse, of Cambridge, .... 
William H. Whitmore, A. M., of Boston, 
The Hon. Timothy Farrar, LL.D., of Boston, 
William B. Trask, of Dorchester, .... 
The Hon Charles Hudson, A.M., of Lexington, . 
The Rev. Elias Nason, A.M., of Exeter, N. H. 
George Wingate Chase, of Haverhill, 
William H. Whitmore, A.M., of Boston, . 
William S. Appleton, A.M., of Boston, . 
The Rev. Henry M. Dexter, D.D., of Roxbury, 
The Rev. Elias' Nason, A.M., of Billerica, . 
fWilliam B. Towne, A.M., of Brookline, 

Frederic Kidder, of Boston, 

t Albert H. Hovt, A.M., of Boston, .... 

Charles W. Tuttle, A.M., of Boston 

Commodore Geo. Henry Preble, U.S.N , of Charlestown, 
tThe Rev. Lucius R. Paige, D.D., of Cambridge, . 

+H. H. Edes, of Boston 

■j-Jeremiah Colburn, A.M., of Boston, 

t Members of the Committee for 187(3 



Committee on Publication, 



Mar. 


1847, to 


Jan. 


1851 


" 


1847, to 


" 


1849 


" 


1847, to 


" 


1851 


Jan. 


1849, to 


Oct. 


1855 


Feb. 


1849, to 


" 


1849 


Jan. 


18.50, to 


July, 


1852 


" 


1850, to 


Jan. 


1851 


" 


1860, to 


" 


1851 


■« 


18-31, to 


Oct. 


1851 


" 


18.51, to 


Mar. 


1852 


" 


1851, to 


Oct. 


1851 


Oct. 


1851, to 


" 


1855 


Nov. 


1851, to 


Dec. 


1854 


April, 


1852, to 


Oct. 


1853 


Oct. 


1852, to 


" 


1853 


" 


1853, to 


" 


1858 


" 


1853, to 


Dec. 


1854 


Dec 


1854. 






« 


1854, to 


Oct. 


1856 


" 


1851, to 


" 


1856 


Oct 


1855, to 


" 


1856 


< i 


1855, to 


" 


18o| 


«< 


1856, to 


« 


1858 


" 


1856, to 


" 


1858 


" 


1856, to 


Nov. 


1861 


« 


1857, to 


Oct. 


1858 


" 


1858, to 


" 


1867 


Nov 


1861, to 


" 


1863 


" 


1861, to 


" 


1864 


" 


1861, to 


" 


1862 


Oct 


1862, to 


Nov. 


1872 


« 


1863, to 


" 


1872 


« 


1864, to 


Oct. 


1867 


<< 


1865, to 


" 


1868 


Nov 


1865. 






Oct 


1867, to 
1867. 


Oct. 


1868 


Nov 


1872, to 


Nov. 


1873 


" 


1872, to 


Oct. 


1874 


" 


1873. 






«< 


1873. 






Oct 


1874. 







And here it is but just to say, that the Society and all friends of the Reg- 
ister are more indebted than is generally known to Mr. John Ward Dean 
and Mr. William B. Towne for prompt and most valuable services, at a 
critical period in the history of our Quarterly, in the autumn of 1861, 
when they saved it from premeditated death* They have also rendered, 
since then, long-continued and unselfish service in its behalf. 

To Mr. Joel Munsell, of Albany, who volunteered, at a crisis in the exist- 
tence of the Register, to undertake its publication, we are under great 
obligations. He bore the sole financial responsibility of its publication dur- 
ing the years 1862, 1863, and 1864, "without any idea of deriving profit 
from it, but rather as a contribution to a cause in which he felt," and still 
feels, " a deep interest." Mr. William B. Trask also volunteered his ser- 
vices as editor of the first number of the volume for 1862. He has edited 
and assisted in editing fifteen other numbers, besides having been a contribu- 
tor of valuable papers from the beginning. Mr. Frederic Kidder is also en- 
titled to special mention, for having furnished means to one of the early 
publishers, and for other labors in the interest of the Register. 

While the Quarterly was under the control of the Register Club, 
others, besides those already named, rendered important services in extend- 
ing its circulation, among whom Charles W. Tuttle, Esq., and- Commodore 
George Henry Preble, U.S.N., should be mentioned. 

The Register Club having voluntarily dissolved in the autumn of 
1874, the financial responsibility for the publication of the Quarterly was 
assumed by the Society, where it now rests ; while its editorial conduct 
still remains in the hands of the editor chosen by the Committee on 
Publication. 

It is gratifying to know that the magazine has a wider circulation at the 
present time than at any former period of its existence ; and the Commit- 
tee have good grounds for believing that it was never more highly appre- 
ciated. Still, as the history of all periodicals teaches, systematic, persist- 
ent and continuous efforts must be made to keep the Register before the 
public and secure its continued prosperity. 

That this publication has accomplished all, and more than all, its pro- 
jectors anticipated, and that it is worthy of continued support, will be 
evident to all who consider how large a number of valuable historical doc- 
uments, and how much of family and town history it has drawn from pri- 
vate sources, and thus saved from destruction or oblivion. Not only this, 
but it has begotten what may properly be styled a habit in the community 
of collecting and preserving such materials. It has also fostered a wide- 
spread and honorable desire among the people generally to ascertain, com- 
pile and secure the data pertaining to family histories, — data obtained with 
* See " Publisher's Preface " to vol. xv.. for 1861. 



8 

difficulty always, even in respect of the later generations, but with still 
greater difficulty the further back the investigation is prosecuted. Advan- 
tage has thus been taken of the aid to be derived from aged people, whose 
clear recollections extended into the last century, and of family traditions. 

When this Society was formed in 1844, only a few genealogies of Ameri- 
can families had been published or printed. The first of which we have 
any knowledge is a pamphlet of twenty-four pages, printed in 1771. Be- 
tween that date and the year 1813, only one more was printed ; while during 
the ensuing thirty years twenty-two were produced. Prior, therefore,, to 
the establishment of the Register in 1847, but thirty-two genealogies or 
family pedigrees had been printed ; and these, for the most part, were very 
limited in extent and inferior in character, as compared with most of those 
published at the present day. Since the year 1847, or during the last thirty 
years, the number of genealogies, more or less extended and complete, that 
have been printed, is nearly six hundred ; of which by far the larger num- 
ber were produced in New-England. Of histories of New-England towns, 
published anterior to 1845, we have knowledge of only forty-one ; since 
that date about one hundred and twenty have been published, and many 
more are in preparation. In other parts of the country also, genealogies 
and town-histories are rapidly multiplying. Of each of these classes of 
publications, no inconsiderable number were compiled by subscribers or 
readers of the Register. 

In this magazine itself will be found the genealogies, or at least histori- 
cal outlines, of about four hundred and fifty families of English origin ; 
while the number of papers containing genealogies, ranging from one page 
or less to ten or more pages, is about one thousand. Besides these are hun- 
dreds of biographical and obituary sketches. Many of these articles em- 
body the results of laborious and costly research. 

Prior to the establishment of this Quarterly, the only book printed in 
this country that could afford much aid in the study of family history, was 
the " Genealogical Register of the First Settlers of New-England," by 
John Farmer, Esq., Corresponding Secretary of the New- Hampshire His- 
torical Society, — a volume of 351 pages, published in 1829. This work was 
a great help to the early conductors of our magazine. From our Register 
Mr. Savage drew largely for materials for his invaluable Genealogical 
Dictionary, published in 18G0-1862. He corrected many errors in our 
early volumes ; while many mistakes into which he himself was led, have 
been pointed out, and his own work has been greatly supplemented, in our 
later volumes. 

It may, therefore, be fairly assumed that this Quarterly has afforded no 
little aid and stimulus in all these praiseworthy and useful labors of histo- 
rians and genealogists, — much more aid, apparently, than is sometimes 
acknowledged. 



9 

Moreover, the Register has been essentially serviceable to this Society, 
as its special organ, and as a potential agent in making its existence known 
and its objects respected. Other Societies, too, in New-England and 
beyond, that have done and are doing distinguished and valuable service 
for historical and archaeological science, neither have received nor will 
receive, we are sure, any injury from the circulation of this periodical. 

With the close of the last volume, the writer of this report resigned his 
place as editor, which he had held for eight years, — a longer period of 
continued service, ft appears by the records, than has been rendered by any 
of his predecessors. His efforts have been to make the publication worthy 
of the patronage and confidence of historical students and experienced 
genealogists ; to make it thorough and accurate ; to introduce a larger 
proportion of historical matter; to elevate its literary character; to improve 
its typography and dress; to keep its pages free from personal and party 
animosities ; and to extend its patronage. How far he has succeeded 
in these efforts is best known to the patrons of the work. To the gen- 
tlemen with whom he has been associated on the Publishing Com- 
mittee, he returns hearty thanks for their unvarying kindness, support 
and encouragement. Not the least pleasant of his recollections of this long 
association will be the fact, that from first to last the Committee have been 
a unit in every vote or act affecting the interests of the Register. 

The January number of the Register is already published. With this 
issue the Quarterly enters upon its thirtieth volume, under the editorial 
charge of Mr. John Ward Dean, the librarian. His experience, having 
been a member of the Committee on Publication continuously for upward 
of twenty-one years, and other ample qualifications, are a sufficient guaranty 
that the work will not suffer in his hands. 

After the reading of this report, Charles W. Tuttle, Esq., spoke as 
follows : 

Mr. President : I believe it is announced to the Society for the first 
time that Col. Hoyt has retired from the editorial chair of the Register. 
This is an event that cannot be allowed to pass without notice on this occa- 
sion. Eight consecutive years devoted to this publication as the responsi- 
ble editor, without pecuniary reward, has no precedent in its history, and 
is not likely to be repeated soon. It is a bounty that challenges at once 
our admiration and our gratitude. Such a service cannot be represented 
by any money standard ; it ranks with the unpurchasable and the unbought, 
and must ever remain conspicuous in the annals of this Society. 

Having myself been an occasional contributor to the Register during this 
period, I have come to know something of the labor, the anxiety, the perse- 
verance and the ability required for this undertaking; and I am sure I do 



10 

not exaggerate when I say that the number of persons qualified to fill the 
editorial chair is small, much smaller than we are apt to imagine. The 
Register is no brief chronicler of the time; it is a standard authority on 
matters within its scope, every page importing absolute verity as near as 
may be. Its pages are not open for raw and loose compilations or compo- 
sitions. These, when otherwise meritorious, must first he made to come up 
to the required standard of completeness and accuracy, and this must be done 
by the editor. He must be familiar with all sources of information, and 
with New-England history in its details. The Register is designed to 
carry accurate information not only to this generation of readers, but to 
future generations in distant ages. Responsibility attaches to every date 
and to every word it contains. In this age of frivolity, of vast issues of 
popular literature rated as merchandise, it is a real pleasure to think that 
the Register must survive all; that as long as the name of New-England 
shall be repeated with respect or veneration, so long shall an interest in its 
pages continue. 

Every reader must have noted marked improvements, especially in the 
systematic arrangement of genealogies, in uniformity of style, in typographi- 
cal beauty, and completeness in the indexical department. The historical 
and antiquarian matter has manifestly been selected with good judgment 
and discrimination; and the contents of these eight volumes are unsur- 
passed for variety, quality and interest. They are a monument of self- 
sacrificing labor, generously given to the public, the contributors as well as 
tha editor working without reward. I know of no other periodical in the 
world where the entire literary labor is performed gratuitously. Fortunately 
the editorship has fallen into competent hands. 

I beg leave to offer these resolutions: 

Resolved, That the thanks of this Society be given to Col. Albert II. 
Hoyt for his long, able and efficient services as editor of the Register, the 
official organ of this Society. 

Resolved, That the Recording Secretary transmit to Col. Hoyt an attested 
copy of these resolutions. 

Mr. William B. Towne then said : 

Mr. President,: I rise to second these resolutions with pleasure. Having 
been a member of the Publishing Committee for the eight years that the 
gentleman has edited the Register, I can speak understanding^ in the pre- 
mises. And here let me say. that I think we are far more indebted to him 
for his patient, painstaking, and successful efforts than most members of the 
Society suppose. The work of editing a publication of this kind is far dif- 
ferent from editing a purely literary quarterly. In both literary ability is 



11 

requisite, but the historical is replete with names, dates and facts, that have 
to be verified by laborious research, and a failure in any one of these would 
bring discredit on the publication ; and, it it often occurred, destroy its repu- 
tation as an authority. During the eight years before referred to, this work 
has been so conducted as to increase its reputation as an authority, has been 
made attractive by its literary merit, and consequently has had an increased 
number of readers. In conclusion, I will only add, that I regret that the 
Society is not in a condition to offer some fitting testimonial for such faith- 
ful, long-continued and valuable services. 

The Rev. Dorus Clarke, D.D., next addressed the Society as follows: 
Mr. President: It is hardly possible for me to keep my seat and remain 
entirely silent, when a motion is pending before this Society, complimentary 
to Col. Iloyt, for the able manner in which he has edited "The His- 
torical and Genealogical Register" for eight years past. The resolution 
commands my warmest support. To conduct successfully such a work as 
the Register, is no easy task. It is so largely made up of names, and 
tables, and dates, and other figures, that the hundred eyes, which fable 
ascribes to Argus, would be quite insufficient to prevent mistakes. To edit 
an ordinary literary work is a pastime to this. I have been myself an 
editor of several other publications, and also the Historiographer of this 
Society for seven years, — a sinecure, quite similar to that of editing the 
Register for ease" and pecuniary profit, — and have therefore had some ex- 
perience in these matters, and some opportunity to know the extreme 
difficulty of conducting a work of this peculiar character. Sometimes libra- 
ries have to be ransacked, and the mails and telegraph put in requisition, to 
rectify or verify a single letter or numeral. I have often been deeply im- 
pressed by the untiring industry and the ceaseless effort to be accurate, 
which have marked the editorial career of Col. Iloyt in the eight years' 
service which he has gratuitously rendered in his department of the multi- 
form operations of this growing Institution. I cannot therefore refrain 
from congratulating him, and the Society and the public, upon the ability, 
the research, and the success of his editorial labors. 

The Rev. Mr. Shifter spoke as follows : The value and importance of 
the work bestowed upon the Society's quarterly publication cannot be over- 
estimated. This publication consists for the most part, as we all know, in 
all its thirty volumes, of original papers, printed here for the first time, and 
the careful annotation which they have received from the late editor, and 
his predecessors, has greatly enriched the collection, and will' save the 
historical student, when he comes to consult them, a vast amount of pre- 
liminary and embarrassing labor. These publications hold up a mirror to 



12 

our minds, in which we may see shadowed forth, more clearly than any 
where else, the local, domestic and family history of New-England. If the 
labor and time bestowed upon them have been gratuitously and cheerfully 
rendered, it ought only to inspire us with a deeper sense of gratitude to 
those who have voluntarily performed this valuable service. I should be 
very glad if the expression of gratitude, incorporated into the resolutions 
before us, could go beyond that formula, and take here to-day a practical 
shape. No compliment, I am sure, could be so acceptable to the late editor, 
or to the present editor, or board of publication, as to know that all of our 
members, not already subscribers to the Society's quarterly publication, 
would become such before returning to their homes to-night. There are 
at least two reasons why all the members of the Society should have this 
publication. In the first place, its perusal from year to year would gradu- 
ally enrich the mind of the reader with a wide knowledge of New-Eng- 
land history, which can be obtained from no other source. In the second 
place, two hundred additional subscribers would enable us to enlarge the 
magazine, to enrich it with illustrations and maps, and to make it a still 
nobler monument of the Society's great purpose. The sum of three dol- 
lars annually is but a small sacrifice for each member, but in the aggre- 
gate would enable us to enlarge and enrich the sources- of our history 
for all coming time. I venture therefore to hope, Mr. President, that 
our members, distant and near, will send in their names to be enrolled 
as patrons and co-workers in the Society's enterprise of publishing its 
historical quarterly, already venerable with age, under the familiar and 
honored title of the New-England Historical and Genealogical Register. 

The venerable William Lawton, Esq., of New-Rochelle, N. Y., remarked, 
in substance, that he was deeply gratified that, in this bustling age, largely 
devoted to the mere accumulation of money and to the excitements of poli- 
tics, so many men were willing to give their time, their talents, and their 
substance to the study of history, and to the work of collecting and preserv- 
ing the records of our fathers. He had given his early years and middle 
life to the struggles and competitions of commercial and financial pursuits. 
They exerted upon him a fascination for which he could not and did not 
care to account ; but for many years now last past he had devoted a good 
deal of time to historical and genealogical investigations in which he had 
been greatly helped by this and kindred societies. He, therefore, felt him- 
self to be under obligations to those gentlemen who had given and are 
giving so much valuable time and ability to the writing, editing and ac- 
cumulation of the materials of public and family history. 

The resolutions were unanimously adopted. 






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