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A. D. 191S 

Typography and Presawork by 

S. J. Parkhill & Company 

Boston, U.S.A. 

19 Colchester St. 
Brookline, Mass. 

This book is lovingly dedicated to the 

oldest and dearest friend of my long 

^ life — Mrs. Arthur (Boit) Hunnewell. 



April 29, 191 5. 


This book is written primarily for the sake of my 
children who know little or nothing of their ancestry, 
and to them it is addressed. But it is also intended for 
my grandchildren and those who may follow them — 
especially those of the name of Boit if such there be. 

If they read these pages they will learn that very few 
of their ancestral relations, on my side of the house, 
have distinguished themselves in public life, but that 
they have been respectable and well-educated ladies and 
gentlemen with good positions in the communities in 
which they have lived. 

Many of them have shown literary and artistic tastes, 
and some few have been well-known writers and painters. 

So far as I have studied them I have found little to 
condemn and much to praise in their refined and simple 
lives. Some have been rich and some poor, but I have 
failed to discover records of any who were not respect- 
able and respected. 

Of all among them there is little doubt but that John 
Boit, of Boston, master-mariner, led the most adventur- 
ous and exciting life. He proved himself to be a brave 
and intelligent man — able to cope with man and cir- 
cumstance — and full of that literary taste so often 
found among his descendants. I hope when my chil- 
dren and their children have read what I have written 




of him, they, too, may feel a little of my own pride in 
him and his career. 

Mere sequences of genealogy make dull reading. 
Therefore I have tried as much as possible, by anecdote 
and incident and personal reflections to lighten up my 

Judging from my own feelings about my own ances- 
tors, I suppose some day, here and there, a descendant 
of mine may wish to catch a glimpse of what my own life 
was. Indeed, I have loved my life, and taken a keen 
interest and enjoyment in many things. I have included 
herein a brief synopsis of it. If in so doing I may seem 
to have over-exalted or been too praiseful of myself, I 
have failed in my purpose, for I fully appreciate the fact 
that my interests have been too diversified for me to 
have achieved real success in anything. However, I 
have entire confidence that however I may have written, 
I shall be criticized by my readers as they see fit. 

My facts and fancies have been taken from family 
legends and manuscripts, from old Boston records and 
from incidents within my own personal knowledge. 

At the end of the book I have given a list of refer- 
ences and many genealogical tables. For the tables of 
the Sturgis and White familes I am much indebted to 
Mr. Francis S. Sturgis of Boston, and Mr. Howard 
Sturgis of Windsor, England ; for those of the Mercer 
and Griffin families of Virginia, to my sister-in-law Mary 
Stuart (Mercer) Walker of Morristown, New Jersey. 


I. John Boit (i) in America 
II. John Boit (2) . . . . 

III. Family of John Boit (2) 

IV. Edward Darley Boit (3) 
V. Julia Overing Boit . 

VI. The Hubbard Family . 
VII. John Hubbard (7) . . . 
VIII. Edward Darley Boit (4) 
IX. Elizabeth Greene Boit (4) 
X. Robert Apthorp Boit (4) 
XI. Jane Hubbard Boit (4) 
XII. John Boit (4) . . . . 

XIII. Boit Genealogical Tables 

XIV. Hubbard Genealogical Tables 
XV. Lilian Willis Boit and the 

Grinnell Family .... 
XVI. General Hugh Mercer and 
Mercer Family .... 
XVII. Georgia Mercer Boit and Cyrus 


XVIII. References. Boit Family in 
England and America . 
















Chapter I 

YOUR great-great-grandfather, John Boit (i), was 
of French and English extraction. He was the 
son of Jacque Boit of Gruchet in Normandy, 
France, and Susan Shawd of Rigate in Surrey, England. 
References to the records of these Boits will be found 
in my list of references at the end of the book. 

The first record which I have succeeded in finding of 
the family of Boit in l^ngland, is in the register of the 
French Church, Threadneedle Street, London, in 1675, 1675 
of Jeane Boite, " a witness to the baptism of Jeane Cat- 
erine fille de Pierre Castille and Caterine Bellier sa 

In the " Domizations and Naturalizations of Aliens in 
England and Ireland," Joseph Boitte is entered March 5, 
1690, and also in " 1698 Joseph Boit born at Luc (Le ' ^° 
Luc) in Provence, in F"rance, son of Matthew Boit and 
Clara his wife." 

Therefore, some of the Boit family in England came 
from the very loveliest part of France, bordering the 
Mediterranean, just back of the Rwiem, and not far east 
of Toulon. 

2 Chronicles of 

In the Northeast of London is Spitalfields, which de- 
rives its name from the Hospital of St. Mary founded 
1 197 in 1 197. Thither came many French emigres after the 
1685 revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, and here 
they established those silk manufactories which have 
been famous even unto this day. Here Jacque Boit 
and his wife Susanne Shawd gave birth to their numer- 
^''3 ous family, and between the years 1738 and 1750 had 
them baptized in the Church of La Patente, as its regis- 
ters show. 

Whether John Boit (i) came direct from London to 
Boston, or first to the West Indies and thence to Boston 
is not clearly estabhshed. As he was always a West 
India merchant from the time he first came to Boston, 
as a young man, it is by no means unlikely he prepared 
himself for this business by a sojourn in the West 

My father, who took very little interest in genealogy, 
was under the impression that the Boits were of Scotch 
origin, and of the same name and descent as the Boyds. 
But although it is said that the Boyds were descended 
from Robert Boyt or Boit or Boyd or Boydell — mean- 
ing Robert the Fair — my own study of the family 
leads me to beheve they are of the above said French 
origin, from Huguenots who settled in England. Both 
my father's father and mother died in his early youth, 
which accounts in a measure for his lack of correct 
information regarding the history of his family. 

The Boit Family 3 

There have been marked characteristics in the Boit 
family, which have seemed to me strikingly French — and 
notably among them, their hot tempers, and gaiety, and 
humor, and ready wit — traits conspicuous in very many 
of them. 

Charles Boit, the miniature painter, one of the 
greatest of his day, was, I do not doubt, of this same 
origin. He was born of French parentage in Stockholm, 
whither his parents went at about the same period that 
the first Boits migrated to England. When he was 
twenty years old, in 1683, he, too, went to England 1683 
to become a painter. He began by giving drawing-les- 
sons to children and young people. He fell in love with 
one of his pupils, who was the daughter of some promi- 
nent English gentleman, and they were about to elope, 
when the plot was discovered by her family, and young 
Boit was seized and cast into prison. He remained in 
prison for two years, and while there devoted himself to 
the study of enamelling, in which he afterwards became 

It was not many years before his talent was recog- 
nized in England and he was patronized by the Court. 
He was greatly admired by Sir Horace Walpole, who 
bought several examples of his work. Walpole said that 
up to that time his enamels had never been surpassed. 
For some of his enamelled portraits he received as much 
as ;!^500 apiece, which was a very high price for such 
work. On a large picture he was painting for Royalty 

4 Chronicles of 

he was advanced, at first, ;^i,ooo, and then, again, jQyoOy 
but he never finished it. There were portraits by him at 
Kensington and at Bedford House. Walpole said that 
Miss Reade, the paintress, had a very fine head of Bolt's 
own daughter enamelled by him from a picture by Dahl. 
This daughter married a Mr. Graham of London. 

Bolt's principal enamel is one of the Imperial family 
of Austria, and is in Vienna. It is on gold and Is twelve 
inches wide by eighteen inches high. At what was 
known as the Strawberry Hill sale, a miniature by Boit, 
of Cromwell after Cooper, was sold for twenty-six guineas. 
This is no doubt the miniature (enamel) by Charles Boit 
which was owned by my Aunt Julia (Boit) Sturgis, wife 
of Russell Sturgis of London. Before her death she 
gave it to your Uncle Edward Boit, who in turn pre- 
sented it to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where it is 
to be seen. It is very beautiful, 

Charles Boit got into debt in England and fled to 
France, where he was received and countenanced by the 
Regent, and given an apartment and a pension of ;!^25o 
per annum. He was greatly patronized by the French 
17 1 7 Court and became a member of the Academy in 17 17. 
1726 He died in Paris in 1726, when he was sixty-three 
years old. 

Your great-great-grandfather, John Boit (i), was born 

1733 in 1733 and came to Boston between 1755 and 1760, 

at the age of twenty-five or thirty. In the records 

of the day he is spoken of as a trader, a grocer, and a 

The Boit Family 5 

merchant. Although he became a prominent merchant 
in Boston, he certainly was not recorded as a citizen 
until during the Revolution, if at all. This is shown by 
the following interesting petition of certain citizens of 
Boston to the assessors of the town : 

"Gentlemen it is our opinion that the following persons, inhabi- 
tants of other towns in this or neighboring states, ought to be taxed 
here, for the real estate they occupy and the business they do 
here, it being agreeable to law, viz: Archibald Mercer, William 
Eskine, Henry Michel, . . . Blair, Henry Livingston, John Boit. 

Signed : 

John Scollay, Sam Austin, Harbottle Dorr, 
Thomas Grenough, Jonathan Williams " 

August 18, 1777. 1777 

After this he was regularly taxed, and taxed, and it 
was apparent from the amount of his taxes that he was 
among those of the largest means in Boston at that 
time. However, we must not forget that then the civil 
population of Boston probably did not exceed eight or 
ten thousand inhabitants. General Gage had a census 
of the civilian population of Boston taken in 1775 and 1775 
found it to be — or reported to be — sixty-five hundred 
and seventy-three. Earlier than that, however, the pop- 
ulation of Boston had been from eighteen thousand to 
twenty thousand, and in 1783 it was said to have been j.g^ 
again eighteen thousand ; while twenty years later it had 

6 Chronicles of 

risen to thirty-five thousand. It is very hard to realize 
in these days what a little place Boston was at the time 
of the Revolution. 

Paul Revere speaks of John Boit as one of Boston's 
leading citizens. 

At the outbreak of the Revolution John Boit (i) was 
nearly fifty years of age, and his sons thirteen and two 
years old, which no doubt accounts for the fact that they 
took no active part in the military affairs of the time. 

This great-great-grandfather of yours was, as I have 
said, a merchant and importer, dealing chiefly in "East 
and West India " goods. Early in life his store was near 
the market (Faneuil Hall), but later he bought a store on 
Doane's Wharf to be near his vessels and their cargoes, 
and it happened that in one of the lofts of this store he 
died. He was a successful man, and owned, and dealt in 
real estate in addition to his regular business. He 
lived in a good-sized house on Green Lane — now 
Green Street — with land running down to the Mill 
1782 Pond as it was called. Later, in 1782, he purchased this 
house and land from the owner, one Perez Morton, and 
1797 when he put a mortgage on it, in 1797, he stated that he 
was still living there. 

This Mill Pond was a large sheet of water stretching 
from land on Green Lane to the foot of Copp's Hill, 
covering all the low-lying lands of the present Haymarket 
Square and adjacent streets. It was cut off from the 
Charles River by a dike nearly half a mile long at or near 

The Boit Family 7 

Causeway Street where the present North Station fronts. 
Several tide-water mills were built where the sluice-ways 
of this pond entered the river. This part of the town 
with Cambridge Street, Leverett Street and others was 
sometimes called West Boston. 

Oddly enough in the Registry of Deeds is a deed en- 
tered on July 26, 1784, by this great-great-grandfather of 1784 
yours, John Boit (i), and another great-great-grandfather 
of two of you children, Nathaniel Willis, transferring 
property of theirs on Hanover Street and the Mill Pond 
to the Masonic Lodge. 

I found also another deed of this John Boit witnessed 
by Eliza Apthorp, a woman of the same name as that of 
the wife of the man — Robert E. Apthorp — after whom, 
three generations later, I was myself named. 

March 15, 1782, the General Court determined to 1782 
raise eighty-five men for the army for three years' ser- 
vice, and divided Boston into eighty-five classes for that 
purpose — each class to pay for one man. In Ward 7 
John Boit (i) was taxed ^12 14s. 6d. for this purpose 
— one of the heaviest taxes paid in his class. 

I find that in 1785 his ta.xes were higher than those 1785 
of Martin Brimmer, or Daniel Hubbard, (another great- 
grandfather of mine) or than those of many other 
prominent men. Yet, if one can judge from the tax lists, 
the property of Boston's leading citizens was exceed- 
ingly small at tliat time. Of course this, in a measure, 
may have been due to the method of assessment ; but 

8 Chronicles of 

we must not forget that this was shortly after the 
close of the Revolution, when the inhabitants of the 
whole country had been reduced to very meagre belong- 
ings. Ten thousand dollars assessed valuation seemed 
to indicate a relatively large estate in those days. 

According to the records, at about this time, John 
Boit had ten in his household, and a man-servant and 
carriage. My father, who was not born for a long time 
after his grandfather died, said that he was reputed to 
have been a handsome and dignified man, very particular 
about his dress, and a noticeable figure among the men 
of his day. Certainly the dress of that period must have 
set off at his best a man with a good carriage and figure. 
Stocks, and ruffled shirts, and low-cut buff waistcoats, and 
blue swallow-tailed coats with brass buttons, and low-cut 
shoes with shiny buckles, and knee-breeches, and silk 
stockings would not now strike us as very well adapted 
to the hustling and bustling of our every-day down- 
town life. Yet thus the Boston gentlemen of that day 
dressed. No doubt they had more time to spare and de- 
voted more of it to their elaborate dress, and comported 
themselves generally with more dignity than we do. 

In those days, before m.arriage, it was the custom in 
Boston to publish one's " marriage intentions," and on 
1762 the 17th of June, 1762, John Boit (i) published his inten- 
tion to marry Hannah Atkins of Boston. Her father 
was Henry Atkins and her mother Deliverance (Sears) 

The Boit Family 9 

Although I have not the date of the wedding, it is 
evident they carried out their intentions in good faith, 
for in the course of a year or so thereafter, their first 
child, Henry, was baptized in the Second Church. 

This church was afterwards called the New Brick 
Church, on Hanover Street, and in it most of John Boit's 
(i) children were baptized. This was the church of the 
Mathers and Chandler Robbins. It is now at the corner 
of Marlborough and Berkeley Streets. It had a distin- 
guished history in our Colonial times, and is well worth 
visiting for its tablets and monuments to eminent men. 

However, in later life he changed his parish, for I find 
when he died, " John Boit, merchant, 65 years, Decem- 
ber 31, 1798" was buried at King's Chapel, according 1798 
to the records of that church. There also, thirty-one 
years afterward, was buried his son " John Boit, Master 
Mariner, 56 years, March 10, 1829." 1829 

The first son of John Boit (i) and Hannah Atkins was 
Henry, born in 1763. For a while he followed the sea, 1763 
but left it when he was still young, and married a Spanish 
woman. They settled in Barcelona, Spain, where he had 
children. I know nothing of his family, though my 
father, who was his nephew, said that while in India, 
when a young man, he met an old gentleman from 
Barcelona, who said he knew his Uncle Henry well, and 
that he had two very beautiful daughters. My father 
never but once saw his uncle. He was then passing 
through Boston on his way to Cuba, or other of the 

lo Chronicles of 

West India Islands, to look after some of his wife's 
property. This was when my father was a boy. I have 
heard it said he died on his journey home. 

In the army of Don Carlos, the Spanish Pretender, 
there was a General Boit, and I have often wondered if 
it could be a son or grandson of this great-uncle of mine. 
The name is peculiar, and it well might be. Thus there 
are possible Barcelona relatives whom you may come 
across some day in your wanderings. 

The oldest daughter of John Boit (i) and Hannah 
(Sears) Atkins was Hannah, who was baptized on the 

1765 24th of February, 1765. She was brought up in Boston, 
and at the best schools of the day, and of course in her 
youth went through all the most troublous times in the 
history of the city, for she was eleven when the Revolu- 
tion began. Imagine the excitement of a young girl 
of her age, when Paul Revere's ride was talked over at 
her father's fireside : when she saw the defeated British 
troops trailing back into Boston after the Concord fight : 
when she heard the guns of the battle of Bunker 
Hill, and stood in the garden by the Mill Pond listening, 
and wondering how the tide of battle would turn. 
How she must have rejoiced, when she saw the British 
in their ships leaving the little town, and Washington 
with his Revolutionary Army entering it. 

She lived through those times of war and excitement 
and distress, and when she was twenty-four years old, 

1789 September 27, 1789, she married Mr. Crowell Hatch in 

The Boit Family ii 

the West Church. He came from Cape Cod and had 
started to make his living by the seas. He finally had 
become one of the largest ship owners and richest men 
of his day. He was much older than Hannah Boit when 
he married her. He built a large house on Fort Hill, 
(which hill has since been levelled), with terraces running 
down to the waters of Boston Harbor. It was said to 
have been surrounded by piazzas "like a Southern 
house." I think this house was afterwards bought by 
Thomas Handyside Perkins and is described in the letters 
or reminiscences of one of Dr. Hugh Cabot's ancestors, 
who was the wife or daughter of this Mr. Perkins. 

These Hatches had a large family, but it ran to girls, 
and so far as I know, none of their descendants are now 
to be found in or about Boston. 

At one time I corresponded with a Mrs. General 
Chamberlayne, of Cuba, Allegheny County, New York, 
who was a granddaughter of Hannah (Boit) Hatch. She 
was an interesting and intelligent woman and had much 
to tell me of her branch of the family. Among other 
things, that one daughter of Crowell Hatch and Hannah 
Boit, Ellen Mary by name, had married Hamilton Gibbs 
of Boston, whose father was an aide-de-camp of General 

She also told me that Hannah (Sears-Atkins) Bolt's 
cousin, named Delia Atkins, had married Judge Tudor, 
(at one time Advocate-general, but never entitled to his 
nickname of Judge), and that their daughter Delia 

12 Chronicles of 

married Commodore Charles Stewart, and again that the 
daughter of Commodore Stewart and Delia Tudor mar- 
ried a Mr. Parnell and was the mother of Charles Stewart 
Parnell, the celebrated Irishman. The son of the so- 
called Judge Tudor was, I understand, the father of 
Mr. Frederic Tudor, who made a fortune shipping ice to 
the East Indies, and was the father of my friend, William 
Tudor, who married my cousin, Elizabeth Whitwell. 

Crowell Hatch was part owner of the ship Columbia, 
of which more anon. 
1814 Crowell Hatch died in Jamaica Plain in 18 14. 

Mrs. General Chamberlayne, who was, as I have said, 
his granddaughter through Hannah Boit, wrote me : 

" I have heard my mother speak of the ship Columbia and 
Captain Gray's discovery. After his return Grandfather Hatch 
bought out the other owners and sent Captain Gray back with a 
cargo of presents and bought the lands for millions of acres from 
the Indians. I have seen the title deeds with the totems of the 
Indians signing it. When the northwestern boundary was settled 
by America and England, it was this discovery which gave the coun- 
try to the United States. Congress gave Captain Gray a pension, 
but took our lands and never paid us a cent. Congress is not fond 
of paying just debts." 

Hannah (Sears- Atkins) Boit, the first wife of John 
Boit (i) died at the birth of her third child, who was 
1767 named John, and baptized March 8, 1767. What be- 
came of this John is not known. A John Boit grew up 
in Groton whose age seemed to correspond with this, 

The Boit Family 13 

and whose descendants claimed he was the son of our 
John Boit (i). Of course this maybe, although there 
are no records of him in our family, and he was not 
mentioned in the will of our John Boit (i). Of this 
John Boit of Groton there are no male descendants living 
of the name of Boit. 

On the 3d of August, 1769, in the New North 1769 
Church, your great-great-grandfather John Boit (i) 
married for his second wife, Sarah Brown of Boston. 
They were married by the Reverend Andrew Elliot. 
It is from this wife we were descended. 

The first child of this second marriage was Sarah, 
named after her mother. She was baptized in the New 
Brick Church on the 24th of June, 1770, and when she 1770 
was nearly twenty, in May, 1790, she married John 
Duballet, who is represented in the records of the time 
as a "wealthy French gentleman." He lived in a "large 
new house" on Green Lane next to John Boit (i), and 
had many dealings in real estate with his young wife's 
father. Let us trust it was not on this account, that 
Mr. Duballet, not long after his marriage, concluded to 
return with his wife to his native country. They settled 
in Bordeaux, France, where various members of the 
family went to stay with them from time to time. They 
both died in Bordeaux, and I think left no children. 

The second child of John Boit (i) and Sarah Brown 
was Rebecca, who was baptized on the 26th of April, 
1772, in the New Brick Church. There are no records 1772 

14 Chronicles of 

of this young girl's life who lived through such a stormy 
period in Boston, other than that she died in March, 

1793 I793> when she was twenty-one years old, and that she 
was buried at King's Chapel. 

The third child of John Bolt's (r) second marriage was 

1774 John Boit (2) born on the 15th of October, 1774, and 
baptized on the 17th day of the same month in the New 
Brick Church. This was about two years before the 
outbreak of the Revolution. This young gentleman was 
to have the honor of being your great-grandfather. 

The fourth child of John Boit (i) and Sarah Brown 
was Mary — or Polly as she was baptized on the 1 2th of 

1776 May, 1776. Mary Boit was never married, but lived until 

1833 1833. She passed the last part of her life in Weymouth, 
Massachusetts, and left her property to the descendant's 
of her father's children by his first wife, Hannah Atkins. 
I think I have now given the story of all the children 
of John Boit (i), except that of his son by Sarah Brown 
John Boit (2), your great-grandfather. 


BORN OCTOBER 15, 1774 

Chapter II 

WHEN John Boit (2) was born there were four 
older children in the house. His half-brother 
Henry, who was eleven, his half-sister Hannah 
who was nine, his sister Sarah, four, and his sister Rebecca, 
two. I can see these young children during the summer 
before his birth playing on the little lawn behind the 
house on Green Lane, and sailing their boats on the 
broad waters of the Mill Pond. I can see their pretty 
young mother on the piazza, busy with her spinning 
wheel, watching the children at play on the banks of 
the pond, and thinking and hoping that the child to 
come might prove to be a boy. 

Perhaps in the cool of the late afternoon she would 
walk with her older children up over Beacon Hill to the 
Common to watch the manoeuvres of the red-coats and 
their officers. For during the summer of 1774 there 1774 
were four regiments of British troops encamped on 
Boston Common, besides three companies of artillery 
with twenty cannon ; and this large body of hostile for- 
eign soldiers and their daily doings must have been of 
unflagging interest to the youth of the town. 

This was four years after that March 4, 1770, when 1770 


1 6 Chronicles of 

the Boston Massacre aroused such a strong feeling of 
hostility in the hearts of the citizens. And, again, it 
was only just ten months before John Boit (2) was born, 

1773 that on the night of December 16, 1773, the Boston 
Tea-party took place, when some forty young men — 
representing Mohawk Indians — boarded at their docks 
the British ships, Dartmouth, Eleanor, and Beaver, and 
threw overboard, into the waters of Boston Harbor, their 
cargoes of tea. I recall these things to try to bring be- 
fore you more vividly the conditions of this little town, 
when John Boit (2) was born on the 15th of October, 

1774 1774, and less than one year before his eldest sister, 
Hannah, stood by the Mill Pond listening to the guns at 

1775 Bunker Hill, on the 17th of June, 1775. 

Of how he was taught or to what schools of Boston 
John Boit (2) was sent we have no definite record. But 
during his young life, the Boston Latin School, situated 
on School Street, where the lower end of the Parker 
House now stands, and opposite the rear end of King's 
Chapel, was the leading school in Boston. 

No doubt this is the school where he was educated in 
his youth and at his death, in old age, he was buried at 
King's Chapel directly across the street. It seems 
strange that with all his years of wandering to the ends 
of the earth, he should have come back at last and been 
buried within a hundred feet of the spot where his school 
days had been passed. 

Of the fact that his education had been well grounded, 

The Boit Family 17 

his journals and log books bear ample testimony. He 
was fond of literature and did a great deal of reading on 
his long voyages. He also had a taste for poetry, and 
besides copying verses of others in his log books, he 
wrote many lines of his own, some of which I shall quote 
from later on and believe you will, with me, think there 
is a very pleasant flavor of the sea about them. 

His father was a large importer, as I have said ; his 
older brother Henry took to the sea in his youth ; his 
brother-in-law was an owner of ships, so it was not un- 
natural that he too should have been filled with the spirit 
of adventure at an early age, and consumed with the 
desire to get to sea. The smell of the sea was in his 
nostrils and we all know what that is to men born on 
our New England coast. The opportunity came to him 
when he was sixteen, in 1790, when his brother-in-law, 1790 
Crowell Hatch, was fitting out the ship Columbia for her 
second voyage of circumnavigation. He begged his 
father and brother-in-law to let him go with her, even if 
it were before the mast. They decided not to permit 
him to do that, but concluded to appoint him fifth officer 
under Captain Gray, the commander. 

The ship Columbia was bound round the Horn to the 
northwest coast of America, where she proposed to pur- 
chase a cargo of furs (preferably sealskins) from the 
natives for blue cloth, ten-penny nails, trinkets and 
other trifles prized by the Indians. Thence they would 
proceed to China, and there trade their furs for spices, 

i8 Chronicles of 

teas, silks, and such other products of the East as in 
those days found a ready sale in our home markets. 

This was the second circumnavigating voyage of the 
ship Columbia. On her first expedition she was the 
first ship to carry the United States flag round the world. 
On that same first voyage she had brought to Boston a 
prince of the Sandwich Islands, the son of King Karna- 
hamaha, at the request of his father, and on their arrival 
the officials of Boston met them at Long Wharf in great 
pomp, and it is said that the prince, in a fine Sandwich 
Island dress made wholly of feathers, marched up State 
Street on the arm of the Mayor. 

On her first voyage, Captain John Kendrick had started 
in command of her and her consort, Lady Washington, 
whose Captain was Robert Gray, but on the northwest 
coast Captain Kendrick turned the Columbia over to 
Captain Gray and took possession of the Lady Wash- 
ington and traded with her, but never reported again 
to her owners, nor returned to New England. He was 
killed aboard of her in the Sandwich Islands by a salute 
fired by an English vessel, lying nearby, one gun being 
loaded by mistake. 

The ship Columbia was built on the North River, 
near Scituate and Plymouth, Mass. It is now a little 
stream wholly unnavigable, but in those days many 
vessels were built on its banks. 

On referring to your great-grandfather's journal of the 
voyage of the Columbia, I find that the ship sailed 

The Boit Family 19 

from Boston, September 28, 1790, when he was only 1790 
sixteen years old, as I have said ; yet his handwriting is 
good and well-formed. His journal heading is as follows : 



" The ship Columbia was fitted out for a four years' cruise on a 
trading voyage to the Northwest coast of America, China, etc. — 
about 250 tons burthen, mounted 12 carriage guns, and navigated 
with 50 men (including officers) — owned chiefly by Sam'l Brown, 
Joseph Barrell and Crowell Hatch, Esq^e — and commanded by 
Robert Gray — cargo consisted of blue cloth, copper, iron, etc." 

This great-grandfather of yours was himself in com- 
mand of a vessel off Cape Horn on his twenty-first 
birthday. They were men in those days ! 

This day he reports in his journal as follows : 

" April 23, 1791 "(Aboard Columbia.) i-^j 

" Between the hours of three and four p. m. departed this life 
our dear friend Nancy the Goat, having been the Captain's com- 
panion on a former voyage round the Globe ; but her spirited dispo- 
sition for adventure led her to undertake a second voyage of circum- 
navigation. But the various changes of climate, and sudden 
transition from the Polar colds to the Tropical heats of the Torrid 
Zone, proved too much for a constitution naturally delicate. At 
5 p. M. committed her body to the deep. She was lamented by 
those who jrot a share of her fnilk ! " 

20 Chronicles of 

He had a pretty humor for a boy of sixteen. No doubt 
this quotation is trivial, but it has a personal touch that 
brings him near to us. 

Again from the journal Columbia's Voyage: 

1792 "May 12, 1792 — W. Long. 46*^ 7' — Lat. 122*^ 47' 


"This day saw an appearance of a spacious harbour 
abrest the ship. Haul'd our vi^ind for it — Observed two 
sand bars making off with a passage between them to a 
fine river. Out pinnace and sent her in ahead & followed 
with the Ship under short sail — Carried in from ^ three 
to 7 fm. and when over the bar had 10 fm. Water quite 
fresh — The River extended to the N.E^ as far as the eye 
could reach and water fit to drink as far down as the 
Bars at the entrance. We directed our course up this 
noble river in search of a village. The beach was lined 
with natives who ran along shore following the Ship. 
Soon after above 20 canoes came off, and brought a good 
lot of furs and Salmon — which last they sold two for a 
board nail. The furs we likewise bought cheap for 
copper and cloth. They appeared to view the ship with 
the greatest astonishment, and no doubt we was the first 
civilized people that they ever saw. ... At length we 
arrived opposite to a large village, situate on the North 
Side of the River about 5 leagues from the entrance. 
Came too in 10 fm. Sand. . . . The river at this place 
was about 4 miles over. We purchased 4 Otter skins for 

The Bolt Family 21 

a sheet of copper — Beaver skins 2 spikes each and other 
land furs i spike each. We lay in this place till the 
20th May. . . . The natives talked the same language as 
those further south but we could not learn it. Observed 
that the canoes that came down River brought no Otter 
skins, & I believe the Otter constantly keeps in salt 
water — They however always came well stocked with 
land furs & capital Salmon. The tide set down the whole 
time and was rapid — whole trees sometimes come down 
with the stream. . . . On the 15th took up the anchor 
& stood up River. ... I landed abrest the ship with 
Capt. Gray to view the country and take possession, leav- 
ing charge with the 2d Officer — Found much clear 
ground fit for cultivation & the woods mostly clear from 
underbrush. None of the natives came near us. 

" May 1 8 — Shifted the Ship's berth to her old station 
abrest the village CJiinoak commanded by a Chief named 
Polacki. . . . Capt. Gray named this River Columbia's 
& the North Entrance Cape Hancock and the South 
Point Adams. This River in my opinion would be a fine 
place to set up a Factory. . . . The River abounds with 
excellent Salmon and the woods with plenty of Moose 
and Deer, the skins of which was brought us in great 
plenty ... in short a factory set up here and another 
at Hancock's River in the Queen Charlotte Isles would 
engross the whole trade of the N. W. Coast, with the 
help of a few small coasting vessels. 

" May 20 — This day left Columbia's River and stood 

22 Chronicles of 

clear of the bars. ... The men at Columbia's River 
are straight lim'd, fine looking fellows & the women are 
very pretty. They are all in the state of nature, except 
the females, who wear a leaf apron — perhaps 't was a 
fig leaf." 


1793 "May 25, 1793 

" I must confess that I was agreeably supprized on 
landing at Jamestown — For from the appearance it has 
from the ship at anchor, you feel prepossessed against 
it, but to me on shore it was quite a pleasant place, and 
the sight of an English Lady made my heart feel — all 
in an uproar — & alas! the poor Sandwich Isle Girls 
were utterly forgot — So it is — and we cannot help it ! " 

The young man was not nineteen. 


1793 "July 25, 1793 — At 8 A. M. a pilot came aboard and 
took charge to take the Ship to Boston. At meridien 
passed the Lighthouse with a light air from Eastward. 
At 6 we passed Castle WiUiam & gave a federal salute 
which was returned. ... At 7 anchored off the Long 
wharf in the Stream & saluted the town with 1 1 guns 
which was returned from the wharves with three welcome 
'Huzzas' ... Of course we have lost one complete day. 

The Boit Family 23 

It was Friday at Boston and Thursday with us It is 
impossible to express our feelings at again meeting with 
our friends. But the loss of an affectionate and much 
lov'd sister during my absence was a great obstacle to 
the happiness I should otherwise have enjoyed. 
"So ends remarks on Columbia's voyage." 

This voyage of the Columbia was adventurous and 
successful, but I have not the space to describe it more 

Following his voyage in the ship Columbia he made a 
second circumnavigating voyage in command of the 
sloop Union, 

He describes his preparation for this voyage and the 
vessel itself as follows : 


" In July 1794, I took charge of the Sloop Union, burthen 98 1794 
tons, she then laying at Newport, Rhode Isle; Bound for a voyage 
to the N.W«^ Coast of America, China, Isle of France & back to 
Boston. Owned by Crowell Hatch and Caleb Gardner Esqre 
Employed during the months of July, and beginning of August, 
giving the Sloop a complete overhaul for a Circumnavigating 
Voyage, and in taking on board Stores and Provisions for three 
years, likewise a Cargo consisting of Sheet Copper, Bar Iron, 
Blue cloth, Blankets, Trinkets of various kinds &c., &c. All which 
articles were suitable for traffic with the N.Wt Indians, for furs 
proper for the Canton markett. The Sloop was completely fitted 
for the Voyage, with a crew of 22 in number. Had good quarters 
and mounted ten Carriage Guns and Eight Swivells on the rails. 

24 Chronicles of 

1794 On the 28th August '94 Got under way and dropt into Coasters 

Harbour, and got in readiness for Sea. 

"John Boit." 

" Adieu to the pretty girls of Newport." 

I judge from John Bolt's {2) accounts that ships in 
those days bound for the Horn, made first for the Cape 
de Verde Islands, off the African coast, and thence took 
the "Trades" to the Faulkner Islands on the south- 
east coast of South America. It was on this cruise 
that his twenty-first birthday was passed off Cape Horn. 

I shall give a few extracts from this remarkable 

voyage : 

** Barren's Sound, Charlotte Islands. 

1794 "June 19, 1794 — At six p. m. came to anchor behind 
an island. . . . Sound 9 fm. water, sand & shells, in an 
excellent harbour. . . . Vast many natives alongside, but 
seem to have few skins. Coyar the chief did not come 
off. . . . Keep a strong watch, with boarding nettings 
up, as this is the identical spot where the Indians tried 
to cut off Capt. Kendrick in the Brig Lady Washington. 
. . . Many natives off in the morning and brought a few 
skins which we purchas'd at a dear rate, — these fellows 
brought us ship's chain bolts and other iron work which 
made me mistrust that they had either cut off some vessel 
or else some ship had been lost on the coast. 

"June 20 — . . . At one p. m. a canoe came off from 
the village, and informed the natives alongside, that two 
of their women was drowned, by a canoe oversetting. — 

The Boit Family 25 

Purchased this day but few skins. — A chief by name 
Hawk Eye appeared to be head man of the sound, and 
Coyar the 2d. At midnight two large canoes passed 
under our stern. The Indians was crying and hooping ; 
therefore let them pass in peace, as I supposed they 
was about burying the drowned women. 

" At daylight many canoes came off, and appeared to 
be armed, better than common — they brought a great 
many otter skins alongside, but would not sell them 
without they were suffered to bring them on deck. This 
was of course refused. The natives seemed anxious for 
me to wood and water, and offered to assist. Their 
whole conduct appeared to me mysterious, therefore kept a 
good lookout after them — and prepared against surprise. 

"June 21 — . . . Calm and pleasant, above forty 
canoes came into the cove, full of Indians, (at least 300 
men) — immediately suspected by their manouvres that 
they meant to attack the Union — Called all hands to 
quarters. Eight Chiefs were on board at this time who 
began to be very saucy . . . and the war canoes kept 
pressing alongside, and the Indians, getting upon the 
nettings. Hawk Eye the head Chief began the attack 
by seizing Mr. Hudson, the 2d officer, at the same time 
the Indians alongside attempted to board, with most 
hideous yells. However we soon paid them for their 
timerity. I killed their ist Chief Hawk Eye in the 2d 
mate's arms, while they was struggling together. The 
rest of the Chiefs on deck was knocked down and 

26 Chronicles of 

wounded and we killed from the nettings, and in the 
canoes alongside about 40 more, when they retreated ; 
at which time I could have killed 100 more, with my 
grape shot, but I let Humanity prevail — and ceased fir- 
ing. At six p. M. a small canoe came off with two 
Indians in her, holding green bows (Emblems of Peace). 
I allowed the chiefs on board, who was strongly ironed, 
to hold converse with them. At dark they left us. 
Kept a strong watch. All hands to quarters through 
the night. 

"June 22 — At daylight took up the anchors, and 
came to sail, stretching toward the village on the West 
part of the Sound. At 9 a. m. severall large canoes came 
off, full of Indians waving green bows. They came along- 
side with fear and trembling, bringing plenty of furs to 
ransom their Chiefs with. Ordered the irons off them, & 
brought the poor devils up. Notwithstanding the treat- 
ment I 'd received, I paid full price for the skins. I 
believe I got every piece of fur they had in the village. 
Took notice that the village was deserted. — Suppose 
they thought it our intention to destroy it. At 1 1 a, m. 
the canoes left us, the Indians crying and praying for our 
success. Indeed the treatment they received from me 
was quite different from what they expected — Suppose 
in the fracas we killed and wounded about 50, but the 
Indians said we killed 70. None of us was hurt, but 
their attack was very impolitic, for had they instead of 
being so intent to board, stood off, and fired their arrows, 

The Boit Family 27 

no doubt they would have killed and wounded several 
of us. However I was too well guarded against surprise 
for them to have been victorious. — Noon. Pleasant 
gales, standing clear of this disastrous Sound, bound for 
Juan de Fuca Straits." 

It is hard to realize this young man was only twenty- 
one, in a sloop of ninety-eight tons, and with only 
twenty-two men aboard. 

Two or three days before reaching Boston, on his 
home voyage, he says : 

"July 6, 1796 — At midnight breezes from S. W. — . 
saw a sail standing towards us Shortly after she fired 
ten muskets and two eighteen pound shot at us, one of 
which went through the foresail. They hailed me, and 
ordered all our sails to be taken in. Their boat boarded 
and took me on board with my papers. She proved to 
be the English Frigate Reason, John Beresford, Cap- 
tain, from Halifax on a cruise. Finding they could 
not make a prize of the Sloop — Suffered me to pass — 
after treating me in a rough ungentlemanlike manner." 

I can well understand how this must have irritated him 
after his long voyage and so close to home. 

Strangely enough, ninety-seven years afterwards, one 
of his own grandchildren — Julian Sturgis of London — 
married into the Beresford family. 

At the close of this voyage he says : 

28 Chronicles of 

1796 "July 8, 1796 — Having sailed round the Globe to 
the Westward have lost one complete day, it being 
Saturday in Boston and only Friday with us. Thank 
God, I found all my relatives in health, and the tender 
embrace of an affectionate and much honored Father 
made up for all the troubles and anxieties incident to 
Such long voyages. 

"During this voyage which was performed in 22>^ 
months, (23)^) the crew enjoyed good health. No doubt 
the care that was taken to keep them clean and to fumi- 
gate their berths was the best preventative for the scurvy 
that could possibly have been adopted. 

" I believe the " Union " was the first sloop that ever 
circumnavigated the Globe. She proved to be an excel- 
lent sea-boat and was a very safe vessel, still I think 
it too great a risque for to trust to one mast in such a 
long voyage — when a small brig would answer on the 
N. W. coast equally as well. The cargo came out in fine 
order and I received great satisfaction in the Idea that 
my conduct through the voyage had been very satisfac- 
tory to the owners." 

Immediately after his return in the sloop Union in 
1796 August, 1796 — he was then about twenty-three — a 
French prize was brought into Boston, and without dis- 
charging her cargo, he was given command to take her 
to the East. After a most perilous voyage he reached 
the Isle of France — or Mauritius. This island is five 

The Boit Family 29 

or six hundred miles east of Madagascar which lies off 
the southeastern coast of Africa. The scene of the 
story of Paul and Virginia was laid in this Isle of 
France. It was owned by the French until about 18 10. iSio 

I think a synopsis of this voyage taken from John 
Bolt's journal may interest you, as it shows well his fear- 
lessness and philosophy in times of peril. It is hard to 
realize that he was only twenty-three when he wrote this. 
I have also his log of the voyage as well as the journal. 


"August I, 1796 — This day I was appointed to ,^05 
command the Snow George, owned by Messrs. Crowell 
Hatch & David Green, merchants at Boston. This was 
an English store ship loaded with provisions, a prize to the 
French Privatere, La Eagle, and was sold in Boston to the 
gentlemen above mentioned for the low price of 8000 
Spanish dollars, although the cargo alone in London was 
invoiced at 25,000 dollars. Was employed till the 12th 
September giving the vessel as good an overhaul as cir- 
cumstances would admit of, but not being allowed to land 
the cargo, and she being very deep, was obliged to let her 
bottom remain untouched, although 't was single and very 
foul and dirty. On the 1 3th September, having shipped 
my crew, dropped into Nantasket Roads, for to wait a 
favorable dark night to get through the bay — as there 
was an English P'rigate cruising between the Cape Cod 

30 Chronicles of 

and Lighthouse for to intercept us. Mr. Thomas 
Nickells, who was my 3d officer in the Union, and had 
been with me as foremast hand in the Columbia, was 
my chief officer on the present voyage." 

On the nth of December he says: "Experienced 
hard squalls from S. W. — carried away the main top- 
sail yard and foretop mast — split the sails — employed 
repairing damage." 

" December 20 — wind from northward — Snow leaks 
more than usual and sails too dull for comfort. The 
grass and barnacles completely bedded on her bottom. 
Five miles an hour is the most we can get." 

From this time on they were leaking badly. 

1797 "Feb. 20, 1797 — the Snow requires 1,000 smart 
strokes per hour to keep her free. The pumps are 
excellent, thank God, being copper chambered and large 

"Feb. 22 — Wind still in our teeth. Leaks still 
increase. It requires all hands fore and aft at both 
pumps to keep the vessel from going to Davy Jones' 
Locker, she averaging at the rate of 500 bbls. per hour. 
Two of our seamen taken in convulsion fits at the 
pumps through fatigue. Employed preparing topsail to 
f other with as a last resort." 

"March 8 — Wind from the N. E. Snow scarcely 
moves on the surface of the waters, with fothered sails 
under the bottom, although the breeze is fresh. Keep 

The Boit Family 31 

every man I can well spare from the pumps on the 
rigging and painting up. For if Davy Jones will not 
serve me a slippery trick, I am determined on my arrival 
at the Isle de France, to serve some honest Frenchman 
a Yankee trick by selling them the Good Staunch We/l- 
fou?id Snow George and appurtenances." 

"March 19 — Hauled the sails from the bottom and 
tydied ship. At 6 p. m. after a distressing and tedious 
passage of 186 days we make the long wished for Islede 
France, with grateful thanks to Almighty God for our 
present situation, after being for forty days past in the 
most critical state of suspense." 

"March 20 — At 4 p. m. a pilot came aboard and 
took charge of us." 

" March 22 — Both pumps steady going without inter- 
mission, and we have not gained one inch to windward. 
Indeed the crew are too much enfeebled to work the vessel 
properly. Poor devils, they are excessive weak. How- 
ever, their hearts are light. At 4 p. m. hoist ensign in a 
wiff as a signal of distress. At 2 a. m. the sloop again 
came alongside and brought a Lieutenant and 20 sailors 
from the Admiral's Ship to my assistance. The Officer 
told me he had strict orders from the Governor and 
Admiral (DeLeroy) to render me every help in his power. 
I immediately sent my poor sailors below to their ham- 
mocks. At six we were well into the entrance of the 
harbor. At nine came to anchor. 

" I went to town accompanied by Mr. Bonjour, the 

32 Chronicles of 

linguist of the Port, and immediately waited on the 
Governor and Admiral to thank them for their polite- 
ness in sending me relief. These gentlemen told me 
it was their duty to reheve the distressed. I could 
not help admiring the manner in which they received 
my most grateful thanks. Sent off fifteen negroes to 
pump ship." 

" March 23 — I kept charge of the Snow George till the 
20th of May, at which time I sold her for a good price to 
a Mr. Hicks for the Madagascar trade. We found the 
Snow leaked just as bad in the harbor as she did when 
at sea. When the carpenter had finished her bottom, 
we hauld to our old berth. Painted the old Snow up as 
fine as a fiddle and on May 20th delivered her to Mon- 
sieur Hicks — a hard bargain on his side I must confess. 
The cargo I sold to Government at an enormous advance 

on the original invoices, So ends the remarks on 

the Old Snow George — God send I may never sail in 
the like of her again. 

" Took a house on shore, attended by my faithful 
servant Chou (a Chinese) — kept Bachelor's hall — and 
in the gay life that is generally pursued by young men 
on this island passed a few months away in quite an 
agreeable though dissipated manner." 

I think the frankness and humor of the young man 
is amusing. The " faithful servant Chou " of whom he 
speaks is no doubt the same " Chou Mandarien " to 

The Boit Family 33 

whom he raised a monument in the burying ground on 
Boston Common. It is still standing and the inscrip- 
tion is legible. It reads : 

" Here lies interred the body 

of Chou Mandarien 

A native of China 

Aged 19 years 

whose death 

was occasioned on the i ith Sept. 

1798 by a fall from the masthead 

of the Ship Mac of Boston. 

This stone is erected to his memory 

by his affectionate master 

John Boit, Jr." 

For a number of years this great-grandfather of yours, 
John Boit (2) commanded, among other vessels, the 
good ship Mount Hope. She was built in Narragansett 
Bay and named after the hill "Mount Hope," which lies 
between Fall River and Bristol. She was considered a 
very big ship when built, and was finally bought by the 
Dutch government, and used as the Flag Ship of their 
navy. Yet she was only six hundred tons. About as 
much of a ship as her namesake was of a mountain I 

34 Chronicles of 

His voyages were full of strange experiences and 
"hair-breadth 'scapes," but, alas! I have not time to 
tell them and must leave unrecounted a variety of ab- 
sorbing scenes by land and sea. 

For many years he went down to the sea in command 
of many ships, but when he was about forty he gave it 
up for good and all — and though he still retained his 
interest in certain vessels, he became a merchant in 
Boston, and Hved there for the rest of his life. 
1829 He died March 8, 1829, and was buried at King's 

In the old credit books of Baring Brothers & Co., in 
London, stands the name of Captain John Boit, with the 
record, " His word is as good as his bond." 

Before turning to the accounts of his family life, I 
must quote- some of his verses from his log books, many of 
which have the true spirit of the age and of the sea : 

The Boit Family 35 


THE RETURN — A Sonnet 

1 802 1802 

The same keen sense, that barbs the pang to part, 

Points the wild rapture when return draws nigh. 
When bosoms beat to bliss, warm heart to heart — 

Hand grasping hand, and eye encountering eye. 
The warm tear sliding down the burning cheek — 

In sweet Elysium wrapt the speechless powers — 
Or eyes suffused, that eloquently speak, 

Shining like summer suns through May's soft showers. 
Then — then it is that souls of purer fire 

Snatch the rare raptures sacred to the few ; 
The clinging kiss — the chat unknown to tire — 

And blessed embrace, that dullards never knew. 
Oh ! let me not count life by days or years, 
But smiles of sweet return, through separation's tears! 

Perhaps this is the best of them, and indeed it is quite 
good enough for anybody. 

36 Chronicles of 


1802 1802 

If purest angels look with pitying eyes 

On man's frail nature, and can feel our woe ; 

If worth celestial left its native skies, 
To bleed and suffer for our sins below — 

Then dearest fair — let pity warm thy breast — 
The bright example still with zeal pursue — 

Smile on the youth who knows not to be blest - 
Save when his heart is full of love and you. 


To sing the charming Mary's praise. 
My muse in humble measure tried, 

When listening to my feeble lays 
Apollo thus indignant cried. 

" Audacious Poet — cease thy song ! 
Nor dare attempt on mortal lyre 
Immortal charms ! Such themes belong 
To Phoebus and the Virgin Choir ! " 

The Boit Family 37 


Life is an Inn — where all men bait, 
The waiter Time — the Landlord Fate 
Death is the score by all men due — 
I 've paid my shot — and so must you ! 


Friday, Dec. 27, 1805 1805 

Lay her before the wind, up with your canvass, 

And let her work! The wind begins to whistle ! 

Clap all the streamers on, and let her dance, 

As if she were the minion of the ocean ! 

Let her bestride the billows till they roar, 

And curl their wanton heads! 

The day grows fair, and clear, and the wind courts us. 

O ! for a lusty sail now, to give chase to ! 

A stubborn bark, that would but bear up to us, 

And charge a broadside bravely ! I 

SS Chronicles of 

1801 July 3, 180 1 

A gentleman seeking apartments one day, 
A bill, up for rooms " to let," fell in his way. 
A comely young servant maid, answered y' door 
As handsome a girl as he'd e'er seen before. 

"Are you to be let with the lodgings.? " he cried; 

" No, Sir, I 'm to be let alone," she replied. 

1801 Sept. ID, 1 80 1 

Our life is like a winter's day, 
Some only breakfast and away, 
Others to dinner stay and are full fed, 
The Oldest only sups and goes to bed. 
Large is his debt who lingers out the day, 
Who goes the soonest, has the least to pay. 

This is an adaptation of a verse written by Joseph 
1678 Henshaw in 1678, but much improved upon. 

The Boit Family 39 


Dec. 5, 1801 1801 

Come and kiss me, little charmer, 
Nor suppose a kiss can harm you. 
Kisses given, kisses taken 
Cannot now your fears awaken. 
Give me then a hundred kisses, 
Number well — those sweetest blisses, 
And on my life — I tell you true, 
Ten-fold I '11 repay what's due, 
When to snatch a kiss is bolder, 
And my fair one 's ten years older. 


Said Damon as he gently press'd 

Fair Indiana to his breast, 
" Can you to me, the reason give, 

That when your sex a kiss receive 

They sometimes wipe the same away ?" 

She quick replied without delay, 
" That may be solved without much bother, 

It's purposely to have Another." 

40 Chronicles of 


When clouds that angel face deform, 
Anxious I view the growing storm — 
When angry lightnings arm thine eye, 
And tell the gathering tempest nigh — 
I curse the sex — and bid adieu 
To female friendship, love and you. 

But when soft passion rules thy breast 
Thy beating heart to mine is prest. 
And cloudless smiles around you play, 
Giving the world a holiday — 
I bless the hour when first I knew, 
Dear female friendship, love and you ! 

1801 Dec. 9, 1 80 1 

" I heard you much slander'd " cries Richard to Ned, 
"T'other day, by an impudent Coxcomb, who said. 

That you scarcely were fit to take Gutts to a Bear " 
" Well what did you say .? " " Why I said that you were 

The Boit Family 41 


Dec. 9, 1801 1801 

Free from the Storms, and Gusts of human life, 
Free from the squalls of passion and of strife. 
Here Jack lies anchored — who has stood the sea 
Of ebbing life, and swelling misery: 
Tho' poorly rig'd, his prudent eye foresaw, 
And took a reef at fortune's quickest flaw ; 
He luffed and bore away to please mankind, 
But duty urg'd him still to head the wind. 
A fever's tempest, soon his Masts destroy'd, 
But Jury Health, awhile, he still enjoyed. 
Laden with grief, and age, and shatter'd Head 
At length he struck, and grounded on his bed; 
While in distress, careening thus he lay. 
His final Bilge exputing every day. 
Heaven took his ballast from its dreary hole, 
And left his body destitute of Soul. 

42 Chronicles of 

j8oi Dec. lo, 1801 

He led her to the Nuptial bower, 
And nestled closely to her side ; 

The fondest Bridegroom of that Hour, 
And she — the most delighted Bride ! ! 

1801 Dec. 16, 1 80 1 

Ha! some one strikes me! rascle who art thou, 
That cowardly insults an old man's brow, 
Which oft, while young, hath borne the Laurel wreath ! 
Good ancient Sir, be calm, my name is Death. 

The Boit Family 43 


Hail ! Wedded Love ! The bard thy beauty hails ! 

Though mixed at times with Cock and Hen-like 
But calms are very pleasant after gales, 

And Dove-like peace much sweeter after Warrings ! 

Dec. 16, 1801 1801 

Hail ! ev'ry pair whom love unites 

In Hymen's pleasing ties; 
That endless source of pure delights 

That blessins: of the Wise. 


If Liberty can soften all our woes, 
If 't is the sweetest blessing Heaven bestows, 
Then Oh ! Ye Gods ! pray keep me from the haunts 
Of Bach'lor Uncles, and Old Maiden Aunts ! 

44 Chronicles of 

1801 Dec. 18, 1 801 

Hail! spotless virgins, free from sin, 

Sweet modest maidens hail ! 
To gain whose bosoms, lank and thin, 

None e'er could yet prevail. 

In flowing numbers, fain would I 
Your won'drous praises sing, 

And let Imagination fly. 
On Fancy's soaring wing. 

Your mopstick arms, ixomjiesh quite free, 
We view with sweet delight. 

Your waists, as thin, as thin can be 
Enchant our wondering sight. 

Sneaking alone, oft times ye sit, 
At once both cold and tough, 

With dog in lap, or fav'rite tit. 
And noses grim'd with Snuff, 

With crabbed looks and sour grimace. 

Ye mope like Owls or Batts 
And with a most enchanting grace, 

Pur, like your tabby cats. 

The Boit Family 45 

But here, I stop, for my poor brain. 

Allows the task too hard, 
To celebrate your Vestal train. 

Requires an abler Bard!!! 

Perhaps it is my high regard for women and sympathy 
for them, whether married or single, that leads me to 
believe that no ancestor of mine ever indited these 
verses ! 


When Fortune smiles and looks serene, 

Tis "Sir, how do you do? 
Your family are well, I hope, 

Could I serve them, or you ? " 

But turn the scale, let Fortune frown, 

And dire disaster greet you; 
'Tis then "I 'm sorry for your loss, 

But times are hard — good bye t ' ye ! " 

Those then who oft your table graced, 

And on your viands fed. 
Will be the first to give a kick, 
"He brouLdit it on his head." 

46 Chronicles of 

1801 Dec. 20, 1 80 1 

Thanks to my gentle, absent friend ! 
A Kiss you in your Letter send : 
But ah ! the thrilHng charm is lost, 
In Kisses that arrive by post. 
That fruit can only tasteful be, 
When gathered melting from the Tree ! ! 


Chloe, sweet girl ! in pity hear 

This small request, that I may live, 

Let me with your grimalkin share 
The balmy kisses which you give. 

And when in search of mouse or rat. 

Puss range abroad, with zeal most fervent. 

Rather than wait to kiss your cat — 
Kiss in her stead your humble servant ! 

The Boit Family 47 

(on an infant) 
Dec. 23, 1801 1801 

Oh ! " why so soon," when the first flower appears, 
Strays the brief Blossom from the vale of tears ? 
Death viewed the treasure, to the desert given, 
Claim'd the fair flower, and planted it in heaven. 

(written near the sea shore in a storm) 

Weep not, Ellen, gentle maid ! 

Though the wild wind swells the main, 
The adverse storm may soon be laid, 

And your Lover come again. 

For not the bird of smallest worth, 
That winnows with light wing the air, 

If He permits not, falls to earth. 
Who numbers ev'ry hair. 

Then blow the wild wind, how it will, 

From North or South, from East or West, 

Weep not ! but humbly trust it still 
Blows for the best. 

48 Chronicles of 

1802 Jan. 2, 1802 

Why, envious Time, will you now fly so fast ? 
When I 'm from Elleti, you never make such haste, 
When I 'm with her, the hours but minutes are ; 
But when from her, then ev'ry hour 's a year. 
You have no rule — you have no equal go, 
But always are too fast, or yet too slow. 


When Cupid saw his power betray'd 
On Earth, and in the Realms above, 
''Let Ellen be !'' he smiling said, 

Ellen appeared — and all was love I 


Am I to set my life upon a throw. 
Because a Brute is rude and surly } No - 
A moral, sensible, and well-bred man 
Will not insult me — and no other can! 

The Boit Family 49 


Jan. 3, 1802 1802 

Women are books, in which we do espy, 
Some blotted lines, and sometimes lines awry, 
And tho' perhaps, some strait ones intervene, 
In all of them Errata may be seen ; 
If it be so, I wish that my wife were, 
An Almanac, to change her ev'ry year ! 


" Women are books," in this I do agree ; 
But men there are, that can't read A, B, C, 
And some who have not genius to discern, 
The Beauties of the books they attempt to learn. 
For those an Almanac may always hold 
As much of science, as they can unfold. — 
But thank our stars, our Critics are not these ; 
The men of sense and taste we always please. 
Who know to chusc, and then to prize their Books, 
Nor leave the strait lines, for to search for crooks ; 
And from those Books their noblest pleasures flow, 
Altho' perfection 's never found below ; 
They know we 're in a World of error thrown, 
And our Erratas place against their Own. 

50 Chronicles of 

1802 Feb. 23, 1802 

Say ye studious, grave, and old, 
Tell me all ye fair and Gay 

Tell me whence I may behold 
The fleeting form of Yesterday ? 

Where 's autumnal plenty fled ? 

Winter, where 's his boisterous sway ? 
Where 's the vernal flower sped ? 

Summer ! where 's thy Yesterday ? 

Jocund sprites of social joy, 

Round our smiling Goblet play. 

Flee ye — power of rude annoy. 
Like the ghost of Yesterday — 

Odorous sweet, and generous wine 
Hither boy ! with speed convey ; 

Jes'mine wreaths with Roses twine 
Ere they fade like Yesterday — 

Brim the bowl, and pass it round 
Lightly tune the Sportive lay, 

Let the festal hour be crowned 
Ere 't is lost — like Yesterday. 

The Boit Family 51 


Feb. 2^, 1802 ,802 

As good Ezekiel, on his bed 

Lay sick and full of fears, 
Attended only by his maid, 

Who oft in need had lent him aid, 
His eyes gush'd out with tears. 

The simple girl to soothe his pain 

And mitigate his grief, 
Thus tried in consolating strain 

(Nor was she wont to try in vain) 
To give his woes relief. 

Ah ! wherefore, Master, should you dread 

Death's all subduing dart; 
You who so good a life have led 

And to so clear, and wise a head 
Join'd purity of heart } 

Your garb was always neat and plain, 

Your hair full straight and sleek ; 
And let it hail, or snow, or rain 

No weather could your zeal restrain. 
From meetins: thrice a week — 

52 Chronicles of 

You never swear, as others use, 

Nor speak, but to some end. 
You ever paid the parson's dues. 

You never trusted Turks, nor Jews, 
Nor e'er deceived a friend. 

You ne'er encouraged legal strife, 
Nor sold your wares too high. 

You ne'er were drunk, in all your life, 

You ne'er debauch'd your neighbour s wife 
Nor ever told a lie. 

At this Ezekiel shook his head 
And heaved a piteous sigh ! 

Then thus in grief of heart he said. 
And sunk dejected on his bed — 
"Ah ! Betty, I 've been sly! " 


War begets poverty — poverty peace — 
Peace begets riches — riches increase 
Till wealth begets pride — pride is war's ground 
War begets poverty — The world goes round ! 

The Boit Family 53 





To build ! T is mighty well designed, 
For that 's the business of mankind ; 
That Nature looks for, at your hand, 
And may your house forever stand ! 
May 't flourish for all time to come, 
With growing youth and constant bloom ! 
To raise dull fabrics, sure was ne'er 
The purpose of the young and fair — 
No ! that and you would ill agree — 
'T is yours to raise a family ! 
A nobler House ! So — build you may. 
But think to build the proper way ! 
Then shall I wish it — good effect — 
And gladly be — your Architect!! 


54 Chronicles of 

1802 Mar. I, 1802 

My Love 's a vessel trim and gay, 

Rigged out with truth and stored with honor. 

As thro' life's sea, she cuts her way. 
All eyes with rapture gaze upon her — 

Built ev'ry wondering heart to please ; 

The lucky shipwrights' love and fancy, 
From stem to stern she moves with ease ; 

And at her launch, they call'd her Nancy. 

When heading up against Life's gales. 
So well she stems the dang'rous trouble, 

I call her Anna as she sails. 

Her form's so grand — her air's so noble ! 

When o'er the trembling wave she flies, 
What plays and sports as she advances ! 
" Well said, my Nan " I fondly cries. 
As my full heart in concert dances. 

In studding-sails, before Life's breeze, 
So sweetly gentle in her motion, 

She's Anne, for as she moves with ease, 
She seems the Queen of all the Ocean. 

The Boit Family 55 

When laying on a tack, so neat, 

The breeze her milk white bosom filling 

She skims the yielding ways so fleet — 
I call her Nance, my bosom thrilling ! 

Thus is she precious to my heart, 

By whate'er name comes o'er my fancy 

Graceful or gay, grand, neat, or smart, 
Or Anna, Anne, Naji, Nance, or Nancy ! 

I have referred these verses to several students of 
English literature. Neither they nor I know them nor 
have been able to find them elsewhere, and it is our 
impression they are original. Yet still as John Boit (2) 
not infrequently quoted from others in his logs and 
journals, it may be found that certain of these were not 
written by him. It is not likely, however, as his quota- 
tions were usually in quotation-marks, which is not the 
case with these. Many are signed by him. Many are 
to his wife, Ellen. 

I think all of them are interesting and there is a fine 
ring to those that have to do with the sea, such as "The 
Return," " Hoisting the Sails," " Epitaph, on a Sailor," 
"My Love's a Vessel Trim and Gay," while none are 
without a point. 


Chapter III 

I SHALL now speak of John Boit's (2) marriage, 
wife and children. 

Several of his voyages, beginning with that of the 
sloop Union, when he was but twenty, started from 
Newport, Rhode Island, and there he made many 

In his log at the end of the sloop Hiram's voyage, he 

1797 writes on the 26th of November, 1797, "In pursuit of 

Miss E J. In her smiles to be happy. Fortune 

de Ger." 

You must not forget that this is the master-mariner, 
the son of the man of English and French descent, who 
first came to this country. He was your great-grand- 
father, as I have repeatedly said. He was born as you 

1774 may remember on the 15 th of October, 1774. 

1799 On the 20th of August, 1799, when he was nearly 
twenty-five, and about seven months after his father's 
death, he was married at Trinity Church in Newport, 
Rhode Island, to Eleanor Jones of that town. The 
reference to the pretty girls of Newport, which I quoted, 
was by no means the only one to be found in his 
journals. His father, John Boit (i), the merchant, had 

1798 died in Boston on the 28th of December, 1798, and his 


The Boit Family 57 

mother a couple of years or more before that, so that on 
shore he no longer had a home of his own. 

Both his father and mother had been buried at King's 
Chapel in Boston, and according to the record of that 
church his father was sixty-five years old when he died. 

Although John Boit (2) was less than twenty-five 
when he was married, he had already been a commander 
of ships for nearly five years, and an officer for three 
years before that, so that he must have been old for his 
age, and certainly was no " chicken " in experience. 

John Boit's (2) wife, Eleanor Jones, was the daughter 
of Edward Jones, a British Officer of Customs in Cork, 
Ireland, who came to Newport, Rhode Island, to live. 
Her mother's maiden name was Henrietta Auchmuty. 
The date of her father's death is unknown. 

Eleanor Jones had a sister Mar)-, and brothers William 
and John and Henry. Her brother Henry Jones (2) 
married and lived in Charleston, South Carolina. The 
two sisters, Eleanor and Mary, lived with their mother, 
Mrs. Edward Jones, in Newport, Rhode Island. 

It is through this family that ours became related to 
the families of Auchmuty, Howard, and Overing, which 
names have been retained by many of their descendants. 
Mrs. Jones was, as I have said, an Auchmuty. Edward 
Jones, the father of Eleanor Jones Boit, died December 
5, 1786, and was buried at Trinity Church, Newport, 17S6 
Rhode Island, December 12, 1786. 

The sisters were said to have been very handsome. 

58 Chronicles of 

They were painted several times by Malbone, the minia- 
ture painter. In fact, Eleanor was the central figure of 
Malbone's " Present, Past and Future " or the •' Three 
Graces " or " The Hours" — all three of which names 
the painting has been called. This picture is owned by 
the Providence Historical Society. 

My father and aunts always vouched for this statement, 
that this was the portrait of their mother, and they must 
have known. When I was a young man, the picture was 
owned by some family in Newport, whose name I have 
forgotten. Ned, my brother, went to see them in 
the hope of buying the portrait for my aunt, Mrs, 
Russell (Boit) Sturgis. Although this family recognized 
the fact that the portrait of the central figure was that 
of my grandmother, Eleanor (Jones) Boit, they would not 
sell it. 

The likeness of the central figure in this painting to 
my brother Edward's daughter, Mary Louisa, was ex- 

The Malbones were close friends of these two good- 
looking Jones girls, and the painter's brother, apparently 
a very delicate man, took several voyages with my grand- 
father as supercargo. They were much attached to each 
other and my grandfather felt his loss very deeply when 
at last he died, as I take it, of consumption. 

During the first years of your great-grandfather's 
married life, his wife Eleanor, or Ellen, as she was called, 
lived in Newport with his children while he was at sea, 

The Boit Family 59 

and afterwards moved to Jamaica Plain and thence to 

When in Jamaica Plain, the family lived on Centre 
Street, at the corner of Boylston Street, in a quaint and 
interesting house with many gables. It was still stand- 
ing when I last drove by, and is well worth visiting, 
though it has been altered and does not retain its old- 
fashioned simplicity. In Boston they lived on Atkinson 
Street, which no longer exists, but was, I think, the 
present Congress Street, or near it. 

After Eleanor's marriage to John Boit (2), old Mrs. 
Jones and her daughter Mary went to Charleston, South 
Carolina, to live with, or near her sons, and they both died 
there. One of John Boit's (2) children — Ellen — also 
went to Charleston and died there, and your great -grand- 
mother, Ellen Boit, went to Charleston for the last winter 
of her life and then returned to Boston to die. Thus the 
family kept in close touch with their Southern relations 
for many years. Eleanor Jones Boit, or Ellen, as she 
was called, died in Boston, in July, 183 1. 

John Boit (2) and Eleanor (Jones) Boit had a number 
of children. 

1. Ellen, who died single in Charleston, South 

2. Caroline, who married Henry F. Baker, merchant, 
of Boston. 

3. Henry, who went South and died there. 

4. Mary, who died single in or near Boston. 

6o Chronicles of 

5. Harriet Auchmuty Howard, who married Charles 
Inches of Boston. 

6. Edward Darley, who married Jane Hubbard of 

7. Julia Overing, who married Russell Sturgis of 
Boston and London. 

The families of John Boit (i) and John Boit (2) held 
a good social position in Boston where many of them, in 
fact most of them, were born and buried. 


Next in order come the children of John Boit (2), and 
I shall try to give you a more or less correct impression 
of these rather unique people. They were my aunts and 
my father. I knew all this generation personally, except 
Ellen and Mary, who died early in life, and an older 
brother of my father, named Henry, who disappeared 
when he was young and died in some unknown part of 
the South. It was said that he married there but left 
no male children. 

I never knew any of my grandparents, three of whom 
died many years before I was born, and the fourth, my 
Grandmother Hubbard, when I was less than a year old. 

In speaking of this generation of Boits which immedi- 
ately precedes my own, I might state that they were all 
emphatically proud of the " Boit blood." Exactly why 
they prided themselves upon it to the extent they did, 
was never fully explained to me. It was not a question 

The Boit Family 6i 

open to argument or discussion. It was either a fact or 
a state of mind fundamentally imbedded within them. 
They were an imperious, handsome race, confident of 
themselves, and with unquestioned faith in a well- 
selected ancestry. If I had been interested in such 
matters in my youth, I might perhaps have discovered 
the cause for their pride and self-satisfaction. But such, 
alas ! was not the case. However, their distinguished 
looks, their wit, their brilliant, well-educated minds, their 
manners and their breeding did, indeed, sufficiently mark 
them as people of birth. No doubt this pride, perhaps 
in a more modified form, has been inherited by many of 
their descendants, for I find that even I, myself, in all 
modesty, am entirely satisfied with my family and for- 
bears, and am ready to praise God, that with all our fail- 
ings, we are not altogether like other men ! 

1. My oldest Boit aunt was Ellen, named after her 
mother. She never married, and went to Charleston, 
South Carolina, where she died while staying with her 
uncle, Henry Jones. 


2. Caroline Boit was born in Newport, Rhode Island, 
May 5, 1S04. She was brought up in Boston and mar- 1804 
ried Henry F. Baker, in November, 1822. I have been ^^^2 
told that none stood higher, as a man and a merchant in 
Boston than Mr. Baker, whom I never saw. He graduated 
from Harvard in the Class of 181 5, and was twice made 1S15 


62 Chronicles of 

Colonel of the First Independent Corps of Cadets, and 
served in that position for nearly six years, from April 24, 
1 826 to December 6, 1 8 3 1 , Their daughter, Ellen Baker, 
left the Cadets some valuable records, inherited from her 
father, of its doings in the early part of the nineteenth 
century. He passed the last part of his life, with his 
family in the West, where he was unsuccessful in busi- 
1857 ness. He died in 1857 and left my aunt a small prop- 
erty upon which, for the rest of her life, she was enabled 
to live only by exercising the strictest economy. She 
was an exceedingly proud woman, and I think her 
"angustas res" embittered her as she grew old. 

After her husband's death she came to live in a small 
house in Jamaica Plain, bringing her daughter Ellen with 
her. It was only at this time, for a few years before her 
death, which took place within a year or two before I went 
to college, that I knew her. We were then living in Glen 
Road, Jamaica Plain, and she and her daughter were 
often at our house. I was from twelve to eighteen years 
old at this time and, being constantly at home, I was fre- 
quently called upon to escort her between our houses. 

I remember well these walks with this slight, erect, 
imperious old lady clinging to my arm. In fact she first 
taught me how, in proper fashion, to give my arm to a 
lady, explaining just how tight she thought I should 
clasp it. If I remember right her rule was " tight with- 
out squeezing." I have endeavored to follow it. 

This aunt of mine made a strong impression upon me. 

The Boit Family 63 

She was above the medium height, and with a temper 
fully equal to her stature. As a young chap I stood in 
very considerable awe of her, for she had a way of piercing 
me with her eagle eye, that was extremely embarrassing. 
I think she suspected me of suspecting her of wearing a 
wig. I am quite sure she did wear one, for I examined 
it at odd moments with the most intimate scrutiny. 

It was said in the family that when her daughter Ellen 
grew up, she was jealous of her youth and especially of 
her splendid hair, and that she treated her with the 
greatest severity. However this may have been her 
daughter never harbored it against her, but, on the 
contrary, always spoke of her mother in terms of honest 
admiration and affection. I think she died in 1861 or 1861 
1862, or at the beginning of our Ci\il War, but I do not 1862 
happen to have the record of her death. 

Her daughter Ellen lived to a good old age, and was 
devoted to her church, and to every member and de- 
scendant of the Boit family. Though we were all fond 
of her, it always seemed to me her cousin, Dr. Charles 
E. Inches, was her most constant, thoughtful and atten- 
tive friend. He certainly did everything in his power to 
make the life of this rather lonely old lady happy and 

Aunt Caroline (Boit) Baker also had a son Darley. I 
never saw him but once, and that when I was young, for 
his life was passed chiefly in the West and South. I 
remember him as a tall, handsome young man of fine 

64 Chronicles of 

proportions. He came to see us when we were living in 
Eliot Street, Jamaica Plain. Only my little sister Jeanie 
and I were at home, and we giggled at his rather senti- 
mental regrets, that although we were his first cousins, 
we did not even know him by sight. I may have been 
twelve and she eight at the time. He married in the 
West, and died, if I remember correctly, in New Orleans, 
leaving no descendants. He graduated from Harvard in 
1848 the class of 1848. 

3. Henry Boit, left home in his early youth and never 
came back again, nor kept in touch with his family in 
Boston. He was older than my father and even he did 
not remember him well. He settled somewhere in the 
South, probably Florida, and married there, but left no 
male descendants. 

4. Then came a daughter Mary Boit, who died young 
and unmarried, though she lived till after her father's 

1829 death in 1829. I never saw her. 


5. Harriet Auchmuty Howard Boit was born in Boston, 
1812 on the 31st of August, 1812, at the time of our second 

war with England. She married Charles Inches, a 
member of a prominent Boston family. His brother, 
Henderson Inches, was Colonel of the First Independent 
1837 Corps of Cadets for a short seven months in 1837. 
Aunt Harriet was a notably handsome woman, 
rather above the medium height, and of commanding 

The Boit Family 65 

presence. I remember her well, her exquisite, clean- 
cut features, her beautiful nose, her white teeth, and her 
quick temper. She certainly had what was called the 
high temper of the Boits, and in moments of anger a 
severe tongue. But, on the other hand, her tempers 
were soon over, and no woman could make herself more 
perfectly charming and delightful than she. Though a 
high-strung woman, she was no more so than many of 
her family, and with it went a great heart and a most 
generous and hospitable nature. 

I was always much attached to her for her many kind- 
nesses to me when I was a boy. I remember once, as a 
boy, while staying with her at Nahant, I put a long suc- 
cession of lumps of sugar into my tea, and was reminded 
by her of the high price of sugar. For a moment I was 
quite overcome by her very proper rebuke. But my 
greed did not prevent her asking me to stay many, many 
times afterward. It was a good lesson. 

Her wit was keen, and nobody ever enjoyed a good joke 
more than she, whether it happened to be her own or some- 
one else's. I can hear her ringing laugh at this moment ! 

Like all the Boits of her generation she was a high- 
bred, aristocratic-looking woman. 

During my childhood and early youth our family 
always dined with Aunt Harriet and Uncle Charles Inches 
on Thanksgiving Day or they with us. And as I 
remember these occasions they were very festive, and 
brilliant affairs, and never a disappointment to my 

66 Chronicles of 

youthful appetite. As I recall the menu, it did not vary 
much year after year from this : First, oyster soup ; 
second, boiled turkey with oyster sauce ; third, roast 
turkey with sausages (the peculiarity of these dinners 
was especially this succession of turkeys) ; fourth, ducks 
or geese ; fifth, puddings and pies and ices and nuts 
and raisins and such-like. Of course I do not remember 
the vegetables, but as I grew older the steady flow of 
champagne made its proper impression upon me. These 
were usually dinners of from twelve to sixteen. 

On one memorable occasion the cook deserted on the 
morning of Thanksgiving Day, and Aunt Harriet cooked 
the entire dinner herself, sitting at table in her low-necked 
evening dress, as the courses were served, and working in 
the kitchen between times. The dinner was proclaimed 
to be a marvellously good one, and I can see Aunt 
Harriet's eyes sparkle with the recognition of her feat and 
its success. It seems to me no less wonderful today, as 
I look back upon it, than it did then. 

At this time both our families were living in Jamaica 
Plain, we in Eliot Street and Aunt Harriet and Uncle 
Charles Inches in Centre Street, near Boylston Street. 
Why I should recall the fact I do not know, for it is 
unimportant, but I do remember that although their's 
was otherwise a long frame house, the entire northerly 
side of it was brick — no doubt for warmth in winter. 
I 'm under the impression this was not unusual in 
the building of old Colonial houses in New England. 

The Boit Family 67 

Aunt Harriet Boit married, as I have said, Charles 
Inches, brother of Herman, Henderson, and Martin 
Inches, and a cousin of Martin Brimmer, among the 
most prominent people, socially, of their day in Boston. 

Their children were : 

(a) Susan, who married Robert S. Sturgis, brother of 
Russell Sturgis of Baring Brothers, and from whom are 
descended, Robert Sturgis, who married Marion Sharpless 
of New York; Charles Sturgis, who lives in Chicago; 
Roger Sturgis of Boston; and Mrs. Ingersoll, Mrs. Scott 
and Mrs. Stewart, all brought up in Philadelphia. Mrs. 
Robert Sturgis was my first cousin and all these, their 
children, are your second cousins. 

Robert S. Sturgis and his wife were both handsome. 
He was one of the best friends I had in my youth and 
his house at Newport always open to me. He used to 
say, "Bob, come to stay whenever you like, don't bother 
to write. If we have no room, we can always put a 
mattress on the billiard table." Their house was 
always a most hospitable one and full of guests. It 
was on Bellevue Avenue, and afterwards bought by 
Levi P. Morton. What jolly times and good dances I 
have had there ! 

(b) Charles Inches, married Miss Pomeroy and is the 
father of Charles and Henderson and Louise, who are 
your second cousins. 

(c) Harriet, who died man)- years ago, single. She 
was a wonderfully handsome woman. 


Sixth Child of John Boit (2) 

Chapter IV 

18,3 T-^DWARD DARLEY BOIT (3), born in 1813, 
1890 I * > died in 1890, who married Jane Parkinson 
Hubbard, daughter of John Hubbard of Boston, 
was my father and your grandfather. 
1813 He was born in Boston, August 31, 18 13, and spent 
some of the early years of his life, as I have said, in 
Jamaica Plain. He has told me that as a little boy 
he learned to navigate Jamaica Pond on a big log, with 
a soap box atop of it, and with a long pole to drive it. 
It was his canoe and he an Indian in search of adventures 
that never failed him. Woods were all about the pond in 
those days, with only one open place on each side of it in 
Brookline and Jamaica Plain, where the road for a rod or 
two ran down into the water, giving horses a chance to 
drink. He was always as careful as possible to avoid 
these openings for fear of being seen, but one day as 
he was poling by the spot where the road touched 
the pond in Jamaica Plain, the family doctor drove down 
to water his horse and recognized him on his log. When 
he reached home that night he got a sound drubbing 


The Boit Family 69 

from his father, who put a stop forever to this absorbing 
though somewhat dangerous sport. 

green's school 

When he grew older, he was sent to " Green's Board- 
ing School," at the corner of Main Street and Pond 
Street, Jamaica Plain. This was one of the favorite 
schools for gentlemen's sons in the vicinity of Boston at 
that period. The house was a very handsome, old 
Colonial, square structure, large and spacious and painted 
white. I remember it well. In fact it was torn down 
less than twenty years ago. It had a grove of fine old 
trees about it, which added to its dignity. 

I do not know to what family it originally belonged 
before it became a school, but the fine old hall, the stair- 
cases and mantel-pieces proved that it must have been 
an important mansion in its day. 

My father used to tell amusing stories of old Green 
and his school. One day the boys were standing in 
line, with one of their number a short distance off plug- 
ging a ball at them. If the thrower hit a boy, that boy 
had his next turn with the ball. My father had the 
ball, and just then old Green came out and said he 'd join 
them and take his chances with the rest. So he took 
his place in the line and my father plugged him in the 
stomach. "Koit," he shouted, white with rage, "go to 
bed at once!" and off my father went and was given 
nothing but bread and water till the next morning. 

70 Chronicles of 

Sometimes Schoolmaster Green would come into the 
dining-room just before dinner, rubbing his hands and 
saying, " Now boys, the fellows that eat the most pudding 
shall have the most meat." They always began with 
pudding — a clever ruse for purposes of economy, but a 
short-lived one, for the boys soon got on to it. At a later 
date my father went to the Boston Latin School, where 
his own father had gone before him. 


1830 He entered Harvard College in 1830 when he was 
eighteen years old. He was rather a gay young man 
and a great favorite, and was elected Colonel of the 
College Regiment by the students. This was always 
considered a mark of special favor and popularity. But 
the President or Faculty called him up at once, and told 
him that he must not accept the position, as he did not 
stand high enough in his studies, and was a little too gay. 
He belonged to most of the college societies, such 
as the Institute, of which he was president, the Pudding, 
the Porcellian, and the Medfax. I see by the Pudding 
catalogue he is not mentioned as belonging to that club, 
but I think it is a mistake, as he often told me of their 
doings. It is my impression he was one of its poets. 
The last year he was in college there was a rebellion, 

1834 and the majority of the class of 1834, at a class meeting 
voted not to take their degrees on graduation. Of course, 
most of the parents made their sons forget this silly 

The Boit Family 71 

promise, but he, having no parents kept his word at the 
time, and did not take his degree until six years after- 
wards, when in 1 840, he graduated from the Law School 1840 
and took all three of his degrees together : A. B., A. M., 
and LL. D. He "roomed" in Massachusetts. 

My father had the reputation of being a handsome man 
and he was certainly a wit and the quickest man in 
repartee that I ever happened to fall in with. As I knew 
him, the great beauty of his wit was that it was never 
biting — it never hurt — the man that was laughed at 
was always ready to join in the laugh himself. Yet I 
have heard him say he was afraid it had not always been 
so in his youth. 

I remember Augustus Lowell, father of the present 
president of Harvard, told me, that when a young man 
he always thought my father and mother the hand- 
somest couple in Boston. I have heard many others 
speak in the same way. My mother was said to have been 
a lovely girl, and my father told me that when they first 
moved out of town someone, whose name I 've forgotten, 
said, "You have no business to take your wife out of 
town. No ball in Boston can be complete without Jane's 
neck and arms." They certainly were very perfect as 
I remember them. 

He grew up with the pleasantest set of Boston men of 
his day and in early life was a favorite among them — 
the Inches, Robesons, Joys, Sturgises, Welds, Minots, 
Amorys, Lowells, Jacksons, Putnams, Lawrences, Motleys, 

72 Chronicles of 

Hubbards, Frothinghams, Tuckers, Perkinses, Lees, 
Apthorps, Greenoughs, Curtises, Lorings, Grants, etc. 
His best man, when he was married, was Mr. John 
Joy, the grandfather of my AHce's friend, Ben Joy, who 
was an usher at her own wedding. 

Immediately after leaving college, he did a lot of sur- 
veying of the flats of Boston Harbor with gangs under 
him. Then he took a trip to India as supercargo. When 
he returned from the East he studied law and was ad- 
mitted to the Massachusetts Bar and bacame the partner 
of Benjamin R. (later Judge) Curtis and Charles P. 
Curtis (under the firm name of Charles P. Curtis, 
Benjamin R. Curtis and Edward D. Boit), and later young 
Charles P. Curtis joined the firm, who was the father of 
the present Charles P. Curtis, who married, I think, a 
Miss Anderson. Edward Darley Boit (3) married my 
mother, Jane Parkinson Hubbard, on the 13th of June 

1839 1839, ^^^ they lived chiefly with Mrs. John Hubbard's 

1846 family until I was born in 1846. 


jg\ From 1846 to 1853, our family lived at "Ingleside" 
a place my father had built on Forest Hills Street, near 
Forest Hills Cemetery, at the junction of Forest Hills and 
Scarborough Street, now Morton Street. This place is 
embodied in Franklin Park and through it is the entrance 
from Forest Hills station. The beautiful trees on these 
grounds were planted by your grandfather. 

The Boit Family 73 

At this time for a year or two he was a member of 
the Massachusetts Legislature, and I have heard it said 
that he served with some distinction. He was an admir- 
able speaker and had a resonant, deep bass voice. Still 
he was too independent and outspoken to make a suc- 
cessful politician. At this time too, he became superin- 
tendent of the Unitarian Sunday School in Jamaica Plain, 
but he soon gave it up, because he said he could hear 
the sound of his own voice growing unctuous and that was 
on the roatl to hypocrisy ! 

In 1854 he went out to Chicago and wrote up the 1854 
first conveyancing books of that city, thinking he might 
settle there, but he could not stand its lack of civiliza- 
tion and so sold the result of his work for $3,000 and 
returned to Boston. 

Our family were living then in West Cedar Street. 
I was eight years old. I remember that the furni- 
ture had been boxed and made ready for monng, when 
my father returned and we went out to Eliot Street, 
Jamaica Plain, to live, instead of to Chicago — a wise 
thing for all of us. 

After this he gave up the law. I think now it was his 
first great mistake, for he had many admirable qualifica- 
tions for his profession, and might have distinguished 
himself. He became a mill treasurer and continued to 
be the treasurer of various cotton mills and print works 
until after the Civil War, when he believed there was 
money to be made in the South, and went to Savannah, 

74 Chronicles of 

Georgia, and there entered into business with a Southern 
man by the name of McKenzie, originally from Scotland, 

1868 This was in the autumn of 186S, just after my gradua- 
tion, and he took my mother and me with him. This 

1875 venture proved most unfortunate and in 1875 the firm 

1874 On January 15, 1874, I was married and taken into 
the firm as a junior partner on a salary, and I remained 
in Savannah for a year or so after the failure, to settle up 
the affairs of the firm. We owed no important debts in 
the South, only two or three small ones for rent and such- 
like. These I afterwards paid out of my own pocket. 

Our heaviest debts were to Baring Brothers & Co. in 
London, whom to a certain extent we represented in 

1874 Savannah. In 1874, just after a panic, and when cot- 
ton had fallen to its lowest point since the Civil War, 
and was said to be below the cost of production, Baring 
Brothers authorized us to ship them all the cotton we 
wished, and to draw upon them for the full invoice cost 
— a most friendly act on their part. 

The head of the Barings, Russell Sturgis, was my 
father's brother-in-law and he thought this a great op- 
portunity to make a fortune for my father. It was a 
temptation few men could have withstood. My father 
felt the greatest confidence in the judgment of Baring 
Brothers (who would not have in those days }) and 
shipped many thousand of bales of cotton to them. But 
cotton continued to go down and down. In fact it was 

The Boit Family 75 

never so high again until a few years ago. The result 
was my father was ruined and the Barings lost a great 
deal of money. Their agents in New York, Duncan 
Sherman & Co., suffered the same fate in the same way 
at the same time. My father and mother gave up every- 
thing they possessed. 

Your grandfather and grandmother passed the last 
sixteen years of their lives in Newport, Rhode Island. 
They died in 1890. During this time they were sup- iggo 
ported comfortably by your Uncle Edward Darley Boit 
and his wife, your Aunt Isa, and by certain legacies left 
them by Mr. and Mrs. Russell Sturgis of London. 

Besides being a wit, your grandfather was a great 

reader and full of literary tastes. When engaged to 

your grandmother, he hid the following verses in some 

flowers he sent her when she was going to a ball one 

night in Boston in the winter of 1836-1837. Your '^3^ 

grandmother showed them to me and let me copy them 

a few years before her death. They were written in a 

diminutive hand on a visiting card. 

76 Chronicles of 


Not when the young and happy throng 
To pleasure's proud and princely piles ; 

Not when glad music floats along, 

And every lip is wreathed with smiles. 

Not when bright eyes — their loveliest flame 
Shed forth — like stars that gild the sea ; 

Not mid gay voices ; do I claim 
A thought from thee ! 

Not when thy brow is decked with flowers, 
And with earth's revellers thou art ; 

Not when mirth speeds the "rosy hours," 
And reigns triumphant in thy heart ! 

Not when amid the common herd 
Thy purer self obscured may be. 

Seek I to gain a passing word — 
A thought from thee ! 

But I do ask when twilight 's throwing 
Its first faint shade on earth and sky ; 

When (the warm sunset's blush still glowing) 
The young mild moon peeps forth on high, 

And when the evening breeze comes stealing 
Sweet perfume from the flowery lea — 

In those calm hours of gentle feeling 
A thought from thee ! 

The Boit Family 77 

And, oh ! at times when none are near, 
When pensive mem'ries of the past — 

Dim dreams of future joys appear — 
Around thee clustering thick and fast, 

When all is quiet — hushed within — 
Thy soul from earth's allurements free ; 

In those dear hours I fain would win 
A thouerht from thee ! 

Many illustrious poets have written worse lines than 

Years afterwards Edward Everett published a poem 
written in a somewhat similar strain though not so good. 

When the city of Chicago was burned, I am told that 
my father's conveyancing books were saved, and that 
they are still in constant use, and the basis of much of 
the conveyancing in the old part of the city. Convey- 
ancing books are the records of the titles to real estate. 

I have always considered it the great misfortune of 
your grandfather's life, that his trend of mind led him 
into opposition at the time of our Civil War, which, 
under the guidance of the inspired and immortal Lincoln, 
resulted, as you know, in the abolition of slavery in 

In the first place, your grandfather was a pronounced 
conservative, and by nature and habits of mind opposed 
to changes of all kinds ; then again, as a lawyer, he 

78 Chronicles of 

believed that under the Constitution, the States had 
the right to withdraw from the Union. In this he was 
upheld by some of the best Constitutional lawyers in 
this country. In the third place, he had been intimate 
with many Southern young men at Harvard, and had a 
strong attachment for them and their ways. They were 
a rich, gay, aristocratic lot, and played an important part 
in the social life of Harvard College at that period. 

Fate, or these influences, put him out of sympathy 
with the war and the enforced abolition of slavery. Not 
that he would have had the South victorious, but he 
could not assist or sympathize with the North. It was, 
as I have said, most unfortunate. It cost him hosts of 
friends and changed the whole current of his life. 

At the time of the war, and before it, I was too young 
to have formed my own views on these subjects, and my 
admiration and affection for my father led me to believe 
that whatever he said, and thought must be right. After 
the war he rarely, if ever, spoke of these subjects, much 
less discussed them, but he must have recognized the 
fact that his war views had seriously affected his position 
among a large class of his old friends in Boston. 

He was a proud man, and never in words withdrew 
from his position, nor acknowledged a change of mind, 
but I think his silence, thereafter, regarding the war, 
what had led to it, and its results, indicated how keenly 
alive his sensitive nature was to the change that had 
taken place in his personal relations, and that he may 

The Boit Family 79 

have realized too late, that he had made a serious 
mistake in judgment. 

Though, no doubt, all this led to his going South in 
1868, I do not think his sojourn there increased his 1868 
affection or sympathy for that section of the country. 
In fact, I am sure, that over and beyond his misfortunes 
in business, the gentlemen of the South, whom he met, 
did not prove wholly congenial to him. In imagination, 
he had pictured them as companions of his youth, but in 
reality, they were much changed by age and the sorrows 
and terrible experiences of the long war through which 
they had so lately passed. So I am inclined to think 
this Southern episode helped to change the tenor of 
his beliefs, as it did the tenor of his life. Through all 
these most trying times, my dear mother was his con- 
stant and devoted companion. 

After this, he never sought other men and lived much 
by himself. He was a great reader, as I have said, and 
always fond of taking long walks, and so was never 
without occupation. But from that time on he saw 
practically only those who came to him, yet was he 
such a charming man, and so full of wit, and stories, and 
information, that many, especially younger men, did still 
seek his companionship. 


In the late fifties of the last century, when I was a 
boy of eleven or twelve, Charles R. Codman bought a 

8o Chronicles of 

house in Cotuit, Massachusetts, and he and his family 
passed their summers there. His wife was Lucy Sturgis, 
my first cousin. Her own mother died when she was a 
young girl, and my mother had been a mother to her. 
In fact, I think her "Aunt Jeanie " was with Lucy at 
the birth of every one of her many children. 

Cousin Charles and Lucy were most kind and useful 
cousins. For many years of my youth they asked me to 
stay with them for ten days or a fortnight every summer 
at Cotuit, and I loved it there. Other members of our 
family often stayed with Charles and Lucy at Cotuit, 
and grew very fond of the place and its people. My 
father and mother liked it so well that they went back 
to it for many of the last summers of their lives. There 
they were surrounded by a number of families of younger 
people who were devoted to them. When they lived at 
Cotuit they rented their Newport house. 

Your grandfather was a great swimmer and used to 
spend an hour or more in Cotuit waters every pleasant 
day. He never touched the bottom from the time he 
went into the water until he came out, and this was a 
habit of his, even to the age of seventy-seven, the year 
before he died. 

The house which they hired at Cotuit, belonged to 
Mr. Jefferson Coolidge, Minister to France. On one 
side of them lived John Templeman Coolidge and his 
wife, (Miss Parker, a sister of Mrs. George G. Lowell). 
Across the road, lived Doctor Algernon Sydney Coolidge, 

The Boit Family 8i 

brother of Jefferson Coolidge, and his family. 
Mrs. Coolidge was the sister of George G. Lowell and 
Edward Jackson Lowell, who was my most intimate 
friend from boyhood. 

Doctor Coolidge and his family were delightful people, 
as were also the family of George G. Lowell, who 
lived nearby. George G. Lowell was the father of 
Judge Francis C. Lowell and of Mrs. A. Lawrence Lowell, 
wife of the President of Harvard University. 

Nearby also lived my intimate friend, Edward J. 
Lowell, and not far off were the families of Augustus 
Perkins and other pleasant people. In fact, your grand- 
father and grandmother were thus surrounded by con- 
genial families of a younger generation, who, as I said, 
were devoted to them. 

It was certainly a very delightful and friendly com- 
munity. Not a day passed that some of these good 
people did not drop in to sit awhile on my father's piazza, 
and Doctor Coolidge, that most delightful of men, could 
always be depended upon by the old people for a game 
of bezique at night. 

Doctor Coolidge, in his younger days, was a great 
expert with broad-sword, single-stick, double-stick and 
foils. There was hardly a better professional in this 
country, especially in fencing. He had been taught 
abroad by the most distinguished masters, and had 
secured various foreign diplomas. I had become 
acquainted with him through his brother-in-law, 

82 Chronicles of 

Edward Lowell, and he taught me fencing for two years 
before I went to college. Oh ! the ease of digressing 
when I have so much to say ! 

It was at Cotuit that I learned as a boy, to sail a boat. 
I loved it and kept at it all my life, when circumstances 
permitted, as you know. Your grandfather and grand- 
mother used to drive every pleasant afternoon at Cotuit 
through the sandy wood roads of the Cape. He was 
very easy on his horse and used to say, " I could n't enjoy 
myself unless I was sure my horse and I were having an 
equally good time together." 

My father was a man of great personal dignity. He 
carried himself well, and was exceedingly particular about 
his dress. In the latter years of his life I have heard 
him say, " No gentleman can bathe and shave and dress 
properly in less than two hours," and I think he did him- 
self spend that time in his dressing-room of a morning. 
He had a handsome foot and late in life always wore low- 
cut patent leather shoes and white stockings. He was a 
man of the ver)^ highest ideals of personal honor. I have 
known him to save his friends from financial loss at 
great personal sacrifice. 

At one time, Mr. Robert Sturgis of Philadelphia, and 
Mr. William R. Robeson of Boston, his intimate friends, 
put ^25,000 or $30,000 each into some cotton mills of 
which my father was treasurer, and in which he himself 
had a $30,000 interest. They made the investment with 
his advice, and for a number of years the mills were very 

The Boit Family St, 

successful. At last, however, a man, who owned the 
controlling interest, interfered to such an extent that 
my father felt the investment to be in great danger. 

He persuaded this man, however, to buy out Mr. Sturgis 
and Mr. Robeson for the amount they had paid for 
their interest, with the agreement on his part to turn 
over for nothing his own interest in the mills, some 
$30,000, as I said. Thus he saved his friends from a 
heavy loss. At the same time he resigned his position 
as treasurer. Within a very short time the owner of 
the mills went crazy, and within a few years more, the 
mills had failed. 

When I was a Freshman in college, I was suspended 
for throwing snow-balls at a professor's window. It was 
a case of skylarking and without premeditated evil intent. 
I was hauled up before the august Faculty the same night 
and the next morning I entered my father's office, No. 
13 Doane Street, Boston, feeling the veriest of culprits, 
frightened and ashamed. He looked up from his desk 
and said, "Hullo, Bob! What are you doing in town 
today?" I answered, "Pater, I have bad news; I've 
been suspended from college." "Good enough," he 
said ; " we've missed you awfully, and shall be delighted 
to have you at home again." Not one question, not 
one word of rebuke — perfect confidence and perfect af- 
fection ! Of course the tears streamed right down my 
cheeks, and from that moment, for life, he had made me 
his devoted slave. 

84 Chronicles of 

He was a man of unbounded generosity and hospi- 
tality, of elastic and bouyant spirits. He never wished 
to talk of death. When my mother touched on unneces- 
sarily gloomy subjects, he would often say "Jean, spare 
us the hearse with its plumes ! " 

How well I remember how cheerfully he entered the 
pleasant breakfast room at Newport on his seventieth 
birthday, saying, " Well, Jean, dear, hereafter I'm a tenant 
at will ! " 

Your Grandfather and Grandmother Boit both died in 
the year 1890. That winter your grandfather had a 
slight shock after playing billiards one morning in the 
Newport Reading Room, of which he was a member. 
I think he was playing with old Tom Hunter, who was 
an amusing character. In fact, Tom Hunter and his 
wife were both amusing. She was the Mrs. Malaprop 
of Newport. She said to me one day, "When Mollie 
(or Bessie) had the scarlet fever, every one in Newport 
tatooed me," meaning "tabooed." There were many 
stories of her sayings. Her husband, Tom, on their 
wedding journey, could never remember to put her down 
in the hotel registers, resulting in many inquiries into 
his apparently questionable proceedings. 

Your grandfather gradually recovered from his first 
shock, to the extent of walking and getting about with 
some difBculty. His illness was a great anxiety to 
your grandmother, and in the spring, in Newport, at 
their pleasant old house " Longacre," opposite the 

The Boit Family 85 

Episcopal Church, where Dr. Mercer preached, she died. 

I think in character she was one of the loveliest, most 
self-sacrificing women I have ever known. All her 
family and friends were devoted to her, and in those 
days when a woman in childbirth wanted the near- 
est and dearest of her women-folk at hand, your dear 
grandmother was in constant demand, called upon 
by her nieces and children alike. There never was a 
calmer, more efficient woman with a tenderer face in a 
sick-room. Old Doctor Samuel Cabot used to say that 
she was a born nurse. And then her lovely hands! 

She was one of the neatest and cleanest and most par- 
ticular of women, and was always careful of her dress, 
especially of her caps, which were exquisite and worn from 
the time she was forty-five or fifty. Yet she was never 
extravagant and was heard to say, " What difference 
does it make how I dress — every one in Boston knows 
mc." I also remember her once remarking with equal sim- 
plicity when we were living in Savannah, " What differ- 
ence does it make what I wear — nobody here knows 
me." As I say, this was with simplicity, not as a pose, 
for she was verily one of the simplest of women. 

I remember one day a friend remarked on her lack of 
interest in someone, and she answered, " I know it may 
seem queer, but really, I^liza, I never can take much inter- 
est in people my mother did not know." Such a true note 
of the Bostonians of a century or less ago ! 

I was with your grandmother throughout her last 

86 Chronicles of 

illness and at the time of her death. I thought your 
grandfather would die under the stress of those dreadful 
days and nights, but he did not, and lived through the 
following summer at Cotuit, with most of his children 
1890 about him, and died there in the autumn of 1890. 
1889 In the spring of 1889, in Newport, a year before my 
mother died, they had celebrated their golden wedding, 
and many of their old friends and relations came down 
from Boston for the occasion. 

When my mother died, her other children were away ; 
Ned in Europe, Jeanie Hunnewell in Europe, and John 
rushing home from the West. He arrived just too late 
to see her again alive — in the afternoon of the day on 
which she died. 

Later Ned and Jeanie came home from Europe leaving 
their families abroad, so that we all of us were with your 
grandfather during the summer at Cotuit. I took a house 
there for my family, and Ned passed the summer with 
me. John and Jeanie were, if I remember right, at 
your grandfather's. 

It was during that summer that Ned painted a picture 
of the corner of the piazza where your grandfather 
always sat, with a view under the trees of Cotuit Harbor. 
Your mother is sitting with him. It hangs in my room 
over the mantel-piece. That same summer he painted 
the beautiful picture of Cotuit Harbor which is em- 
panelled in your Aunt Jeanie Hunnewell's dining-room 
in Wellesley. 

The Boit Family 87 

I think this letter from your grandfather to your 
grandmother on the forty-sixth anniversary of their wed- 
ding-day must be of interest. It was their custom to 
destroy all their letters, but this was found after your 
grandmother's death, among the few that she had kept. 

" Longacre, June 13, 1885. 1885 
" Dearest Jeanie : 

"Whether it is the influence of this anniversary of 
the day when I drew the great prize of a man's life, a 
lovely, good and sensible wife, or whether this beautiful 
day adds its influence to the happy memory of our wed- 
ding day, I cannot say — but I feel in better spirits at 
this moment than I have since Ned left us. 

" I must acknowledge first, however, the deep obliga- 
tion I am under to you — for your love and devotion, for 
your charming companionship, and good and disinterested 
counsel, and your untiring energy and self-sacrifice in 
doing your duty and aiding in making me do mine 
through all these long and happy days of married life. 
Always happy days as far as you were concerned, and if 
any have been less so than the rest, the difference has 
been caused, once in a great while, by trials common to 
all, in the loss of our dear children (Lizzie, Joe and our 
little Julia). But oftener too, too often, I fear, by my 
own obstinacy, hastiness of temper, and disregard (though 
only momentary) of the rights and feelings of the best 
wife that man was ever blest with ! 

88 Chronicles of 

" My love for you is as great today as it was forty-six 
years ago, and if I am to live on, I pray that you may 
always be spared to be the friend and comforter of my 
old age. I beg your pardon for ever having wounded 
your feelings and will sincerely endeavor, in the future, 
to avoid doing so, and, if carried away by the vivacity of 
my disposition, I shall appear to be forgetful of this 
promise, I know, if you think that upon the whole, I am 
trying to keep it, you will forgive me, and be able to 
believe that though ray tongue may sound rebellious, my 
heatt is loyal and forever and forever only yours ! . . . 
and every other blessing to my heart's best beloved. I 
am as ever affectionately yours. 

His verses to her at the beginning of life and this letter 
near the end of it are the messages of a lifetime to all 
of us, and have their meaning. A gallant gentleman 
has gone to his rest ! 


Seventh Child of John Boit (2) 

Chapter V 

JULIA OVERING BOIT, your grandfather's young- 
est sister, married Russell Sturgis of Boston, of 
Russell & Co. of Canton, of Russell Sturgis & Co. 
of Manilla, and finally of Baring Brothers & Co. of Lon- 
don, where he rose to be head of the firm when their's 
was, ne.xt to the Rothschilds, perhaps, the best known 
firm of private bankers in the world. 

Like so many of that generation of the Boits, your 
Great-aunt Julia was a very handsome and distinguished 
looking woman — I think the handsomest of this family 
of handsome women. She was tall and dignified with 
clear-cut features and a low brow. I mean her hair grew 
very low on her forehead, as did your Aunt Lizzie's — 
Billy Patten's mother. 

She was a woman of commanding presence and she 
and her husband together, for Russell Sturgis was a 
notably handsome man, made a couple of unusual beauty. 
It is not strange that some of their children, too, should 
have been handsome, though it is a word that comes in 
so often in these family records, I am getting a little tired 
of it. I fear you young people who never saw these men 


90 Chronicles of 

and women of an earlier generation may think I exagger- 
ate or draw on my imagination. I believe I have confined 
myself quite within the limits of truth. 

Mr. and Mrs. Sturgis entertained a great deal in their 
various country-houses in England, " Coombwood," "Mt. 
Felix," and "The Farm" at Leatherhead, as well as in 
their London houses in Upper Portman Place and 
Carlton House Terrace, and at one time it was said they 
had the best chef in London. I think I remember his 
salary, but hesitate to give it, for fear of exciting the 
envy of some of our mill treasurers. 

Mr. and Mrs. Sturgis were famous for their hospitality, 
and there were few prominent Americans journeying 
abroad, who were not entertained by them. Nor were 
their entertainments confined to Americans, for many of 
the most distinguished people in London were to be met 
at their house. 

William Story, the sculptor, made a large reclining 
statue of my aunt as Cleopatra, which is now in the 
Metropolitan Museum in New York. 

Your aunt, Elizabeth Greene Boit, (William S. Patten's 
mother) passed the winter of 1861 with her aunt, 
Mrs. Sturgis, in London, and was presented at Court, which 
in those days was a mark of distinction. She also stopped 
for some time in the London season with the Honorable 
Charles Francis Adams' family, when he was United 
States Minister to Great Britain, at the time of the Civil 
War in America and went into society under their 

The Boit Family 91 

auspices. She met many noted people, and as she was 
full of humor, had some amusing stories to tell us of her 

In those days no Americans held a better or 
more respected social position in London than 
Mr. and Mrs. Russell Sturgis, and it might well be said 
in the language of the Victorian era that no couple in 
dignity, and beauty, and intelligence, and charm, were 
better fitted to adorn society. 

Aunt Julia Sturgis was the youngest of your Boit 
great-aunts, and like all the Boits of that generation, had 
her full share of temper and imperiousness. I think she 
held herself under better control than some of them, 
though Heaven help the unfortunate upon whom her 
momentary wrath descended ! But none of the Boits had 
those nasty, brooding, subcutaneous tempers. With 
them all it was a flash in the pan. The thunder and 
lightning might knock things flat in a jiffy, but afterwards 
the sun came out brighter than ever, one was permitted 
to get to one's feet, rub one's eyes, and to discover there 
was nothing better to do than to smile and bask again in 
its genial warmth. 

I saw her only when I was a boy, but I loved her 
dearly and thought of her often, for she never forgot me 
at important epochs of my life. When I was eighteen 
she gave me my first gold watch, the one I have 
turned over to your brother John. Not long after 
she sent me a set of carbuncle studs and cuff buttons 

92 Chronicles of 

that I have worn all my life in remembrance of her. 
When your sister Mary was born, she sent me from 
London a most wonderful box of baby clothes, which 
lasted for years. A short time after that when I was 
living somewhere on the Hudson, and Mary dying of 
malarial fever, I received a check from her that enabled 
me to take Mary and her mother at once to Narragansett 
Pier, where the dear little baby gradually recovered. 
Without a doubt that act of hers saved Mary's life. These 
are but a few of her many, many kindnesses to me, so it 
is not surprising that I remember her with the deepest 
gratitude and affection. 


Uncle Russell Sturgis married three times. His first 
wife was a cousin of his, a Miss Lucy Paine. I have 
heard it said that she was ill, perhaps consumption, and 
that he married her to take care of her. She died with- 
out children. His second wife was my mother's sister, 
Mary Hubbard. I will write of her later. His third 
wife was my father's sister, Julia Overing Boit, of whom 
I am now speaking. Oddly enough, Russell Sturgis 
named his first daughter by his second wife, Lucy Paine, 
after his first wife ; and his first daughter by his third 
wife, Mary Greene Hubbard, after his second wife, my 
Aunt Mary. 

He was a most delightful and agreeable man and 
many stories were told of him. At one time, while living 

The Boit Family 93 

in London, he had a very beautiful little box from which, 
when a spring was pressed, a little canary bird came out 
and sang. He was very fond of showing this to his 
guests and one night after he had been exhibiting it, it 
disappeared. He had no suspicion as to which of his 
guests, if any, had stolen it. Within a year or two, as 
he was going down Bond Street one day, he looked into 
a jeweler's window and there, sure enough, was his little 
box. He could get no clew from them as to whence it 
had come, and he bought it again. 

One day at dinner, in London, he was telling his guests 
how within a few days, and for the first time of his life, 
he had been robbed of his watch, and had advertised 
that he would pay liberally for its return, and that no 
questions should be asked. Just then his butler told him 
there was a man at the front door who insisted upon see- 
ing him at once upon important business. So he ex- 
cused himself from the table and went to the door. 
There stood a man who said he had his watch. Uncle 
Russell paid the man five or ten pounds, and received 
his watch and chain, and put them in his pocket. Then 
he said, " Of course, as you know, I promised not to ask 
any questions, but I do wish you would show me how 
you did the trick, as I was never robbed before." The 
man said, " I '11 show you. I did it this way," etc., etc., 
making certain quick passes at him. Uncle Russell 
thanked him and returned to his guests. When he 
entered the dining-room he said, " Well, that is a 

94 Chronicles of 

coincidence ! I 've got my watch again ! " Then he began 
to explain just how the man said he had stolen it in the 
first place, and starting to pull his watch from his pocket, 
exclaimed, " By Jove, the man's got it again and the 
money too ! " 

He was very fond of driving a coach and four, especi- 
ally to the races. He was rather a rapid and reckless 
driver, and I 've heard people say he had many " hair- 
breadth 'scapes." I think it was Mr. Henry S, Hunne- 
well who told me that one day when he was staying at 
"The Farm" at Leatherhead with a party of guests, 
Mr. Sturgis proposed to take them to drive on his coach. 
The top was covered with people. As they started from 
the door the leaders were frightened at something, became 
unmanageable, and in a moment the whole team was 
on the dead run. 

Mr. Sturgis managed to keep them to the avenue, 
but at the gate the turn into the road was abrupt and, 
of course, the horses dashed straight ahead, across the 
road, and over a fence, where the whole party were 
thrown into a plowed field. When they had all got to 
their feet and found that no one had been hurt, 
Mr. Sturgis, who was entirely cool and cheerful, said, 
" Now, I think it 's the right time for a kiss all round ! " 
I have understood this was the last time he ever drove a 
four-in-hand. He was then a well on in years. 

Another anecdote of Uncle Russell occurs to me. 
He was a most generous and charitable man, but one day 

The Boit Family 95 

he was approached for a subscription by a committee from 
some charitable organization in which he was not inter- 
ested, or of which he did not approve, and he declined to 
subscribe. The men were most persistent and finally one 
of them said, " Of course, Mr. Sturgis, you realize that 
the Lord has appointed you merely as a trustee of this 
great wealth which you control." "Yes," answered 
Mr. Sturgis, " I quite understand my responsibility. No 
doubt, if the Lord had thought you would make a better 
trustee, he would have appointed you instead." 

When I was a child, he and his family lived at •' Rook- 
wood," on Scarborough Street, a place he built just near 
our place " Ingleside " on Forest Hills Street. Forest 
Hills Street was then called Jube's Lane, after a negro 
who had lived in a cottage at the foot of the next hill 
towards Boston. After Uncle Russell had lived there 
a short time, he decided that he had not made enough 
money in ihe East to live comfortably in America. He 
thereupon arranged to go again to the Orient with his 
family. The steamer he was to take from Boston should 
have got him to London in time to connect with the 
next steamer sailing for China. 

The expressman who brought their belongings to 
East Boston from " Rookwood " was so late that the 
Cunarder sailed without them. When he (the express- 
man) arrived at the dock he found all Mr. Sturgis' family 
waiting there and the steamer gone. Mr. Sturgis was 
so kind to him, when ho learnt that the delay was not 

96 Chronicles of 

altogether his fault, that the poor man burst into tears. 
This delay forced Mr. Sturgis and his family to await 
the next steamer from Boston and to remain several 
weeks in London for the following steamer bound to 
the East. It was during this delay in London that a 
partnership in Baring Brothers & Go's firm was offered 
him, thereby changing his whole life. 

So it might be said that Mr. Sturgis' position, as a 
member of this great banking house, was directly due to 
the tardiness of a Jamaica Plain expressman. Of course, 
but for his own reputation as a business man and gen- 
tleman, he would not have been offered the position, but 
the opportunity arose from his delay in London, and the 
expressman gave him this opportunity. 

Russell Sturgis and Julia Overing (Boit) Sturgis 
had four children: Henry P. Sturgis, Julian Sturgis, 
Mary Greene Sturgis and Howard Overing Sturgis, my 
first cousins. 

I. Henry P. Sturgis, the oldest son, married Mary 
Gecilia Brand, the daughter of Mr. Brand, who was 
Speaker of the House for many years, and later Lord 
Hampden. They had a number of children, who are your 
second cousins. One son, Henry, is at present an officer 
in the Rifle Brigade. One daughter, Olive, married 
Mr. George Barnard Hankey, an officer in the army and at 
present with his regiment. After the death of his first 
wife, he married the only daughter of George Meredith, 
the novelist. She was, and no doubt is, a very handsome 

The Boit Family 97 

woman. They also have had two children. For many 
years he has been a Director of the London and 
Westminster Bank. He inherited "The Farm" at 
Leatherhead from his father and lives there and in 

2. Julian Sturgis, the second son of Russell and Julia 
Sturgis, married Mary Maud Beresford, related to the 
then Bishop of Armagh. Julian died some years ago 
and left his widow with several children. He was a 
novelist of distinction, an Oxford man, and a handsome 
and delightful companion, 

3. Mary Greene Sturgis, the daughter of Uncle Russell 
and Aunt Julia, married Leopold Richard Seymour, 
Colonel of the Guards, and descended from an illustrious 
English family. Most of my own people knew him 
well and were exceedingly fond of him, and I, myself, 
found him a most courteous, friendly, and simple gentle- 
man. He had a great admiration for Aunt Julia and 
told my brother Ned that in rooms full of the nobility of 
England, where he had often seen her, Mrs. Sturgis always 
stood out, as the most distinguished and aristocratic- 
looking woman among them — a high tribute from an 
Englishman to his American mother-in-law ! 

Leopold and Mary (Sturgis) Seymour had five sons 
and two daughters, your second cousins. 

Several of the sons entered the army and navy and 
the Diplomatic Service. Beauchamp, the fourth son, is 
in the 60th Rifles. Edward, the third son, has a staff 

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appointment in the army. Ethel Seymour, the second 
daughter, married Eric Bonham, who is at present on 
Prince Arthur's staff. 

4. Howard Overing Sturgis, Uncle Russell and Aunt 
Julia's third son, and youngest child, is, as you know, 
unmarried. He was an Eton and Oxford man. He has 
written several excellent novels, as well as his brother 
Julian, and is a man of unique and delightful personality, 
with an unusually large circle of friends. Every mem- 
ber of our family has been indebted to him time and 
time again for great hospitality. He has lived for years 
in that charming place of his " Queen's Acre " Windsor. 

The Sturgis and Boit families are also related through 
Susan (Boit) Inches, my first cousin, who married Robert 
S. Sturgis, to several families in Philadelphia where they 
brought up their handsome family of boys and girls. All 
their children are your second cousins. There were seven 
of them. 

I think I have now told you the story of your Grand- 
father Boit and, in a general way, of your relations 
through him. 


Chapter VI 

AS I have said my mother was Jane Parkinson 

The Hubbard genealogy in this country is so 
long and well known that I will write chiefly of those 
Hubbards from whom we are directly descended. 

The first Reverend William Hubbard came to Boston 
in America in 1635. He was born in England in 1595. '^35 
He settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts, and became a pastor 
there. He died in 1670, I do not remember his wife's 1670 
name beyond that it was Judith and that he married her 
in Cambridge, England, in 1620. 1620 

A son of his named Richard, who graduated from 
Harvard in 1653, married Sarah Bradstreet, daughter of 1653 
Governor Bradstreet, and this Richard's daughter, Sarah 
Hubbard, married the Reverend John Cotton. 

Another son of Reverend William Hubbard (i) was 
named after his father, William, and also became Reverend 
William Hubbard (2) of Ipswich. It is from him that 
we are descended. He was born in 1621 and graduated 162 1 
from Harvard in 1642. This was the first class that ever 1642 
graduated from an American college. There were nine 
in the class. He was known as the Historian and pub- 
lished a book on the " Indian Wars " and the " History 


loo Chronicles of 

of New England." He twice officiated as the president 
1688 of Harvard College, the last time being June 2, 1688, 

when President Increase Mather was abroad. He died 
1704 September 14, 1704 and it is reported of him, "He goes 

to ye lecture, after to Col. Appleton's, goes home, sups, 
1752 and dyes that night." A hundred years later, in 1752, 

Thomas Hubbard was the treasurer of the college. This 

Reverend William Hubbard (2) married Margaret Rogers. 
1648 Their son John Hubbard (3) was born in 1648 and 
1710 died in Boston in 17 10. He married Anne Leverett, 

daughter of Governor Leverett. 

Their son, Reverend John Hubbard (4) was born in 
1695 1677, graduated from Harvard in 1695, and died in 1706. 

He married Mabel Russell. 

1706 Their son, Daniel Hubbard (5) was born in 1706, and 

1741 died in New London in 1741. He graduated from Yale 

1727 in 1727, and married Martha Coit. 

1736 Their son, Daniel Hubbard (6), was born in 1736, and 
married Mary Greene of Boston. He lived and died in 
Boston. He was a Tory when our Revolution broke out, 
but whether he remained so throughout our war for 
independence, I do not know. 

It is my impression he was the first Hubbard to own 
plantations in Demerara. 

It is the portraits of this Daniel Hubbard and his wife 
that were painted by John Singleton Copley, and they are 
a most aristocratic and charming looking couple. You 
are no doubt familiar with the excellent copies of these 

The Boit Family loi 

portraits that are owned by your Uncle Edward Darley 

The original paintings are now owned by Mrs. William 
Tudor, who was Elizabeth VVhitwell, and whose mother 
was Mary Hubbard, a daughter of Henry Hubbard, a 
younger brother of my grandfather, John Hubbard — both 
John and Henry being the sons of Daniel Hubbard (6) 
and Mary Greene. It was said by my mother and her 
brother, the Reverend John P. Hubbard, that these pic- 
tures by Copley were left by their grandfather, Daniel, to 
their father, John, who was the oldest son, but that they 
were lent by him, when he was going abroad, to his 
younger brother Henry ; that my grandfather died soon 
after without reclaiming the pictures, and that my grand- 
mother was never willing to ask for their return. 

If this is true, I feel sure that neither Henry's daughter, 
Mary Whitwell, nor her daughter, Elizabeth Tudor, ever 
knew of it ; besides which the silence of the family im- 
mediately interested unquestionably made a gift of them. 
If they had been inherited from my grandfather, John 
Hubbard, by his eldest son, Gardiner Greene Hubbard, 
they would now be owned by his son, your cousin, Fran- 
cis Stanton Hubbard, the oldest of the male race in this 
line of the family. There are, of course, many other 
branches of this Hubbard family. 

To go back to Daniel Hubbard (6) and Mary Greene, 
who sat for these portraits. One of their daughters, 
Martha, born in 1758, married Adam Babcock. Adam ,738 

I02 Chronicles of 

Babcock and his family were prominent in this vicinity as 
late as the middle of the nineteenth century. Their 
children married into the Bowditch and Higginson fam- 
ilies, to whom we are thus related. 

When I was a boy, I used to be taken by my mother 
to see an old Aunt Babcock — great-aunt I suppose — 
who lived, as I remember, in a house on Walnut Street, 
Brookline. It is a very old house and stands there today, 
directly opposite and facing the road that goes down the 
steep hill towards Jamaica Pond, skirted on the left by 
the Charles Sargent place. This old Babcock place is 
entirely surrounded by the John L. Gardner place and 
Walnut Street. It has a date on its chimney. When I 
was a child, this was called the old Babcock house, al- 
though it is now known by some other family name. 

At one time I owned the Babcock family Bible and a 
number of their family letters written at the beginning of 
the last or nineteenth century. I gave them to Ernest 
Bowditch, who is a direct descendant of Adam Babcock. 
I remember in one of this old gentleman's letters, writ- 
ten when he was about eighty, and his wife some twenty 
years younger, to a son who had lived for many years in 
Mauritius, or the Isle of France, he said, " Your lovely 
mother wears like a diamond — God bless her ! " I 
could not forget that. It means so much at the end of 

Another daughter of Daniel Hubbard (6) and Mary 
1760 Greene, named Elizabeth, born in 1760, married Gardiner 

The Boit Family 103 

Greene of Boston, who thereby became the brother- 
in-law of my grandfather, John Hubbard. Gardiner 
Greene was one of the wealthiest and most prominent 
men of his day. His house stood on Somerset Street, 
with gardens running down to Tremont Street and 
with a fine view of Boston Harbor. I have under- 
stood my mother to say that the old Hubbard house 
stood by the side of the Gardiner Greene house, between 
it and Beacon Street, with similar gardens and terraces 
to Tremont Street. 

There were several alliances between the Greene and 
Hubbard families, still further enlarging relationships 
with Boston families — among them the Amorys. 

After the death of his wife, Elizabeth Hubbard, Gardi- 
ner Greene married, in 1800, Elizabeth Copley, daughter iSoo 
of John Singleton Copley, the painter, and a sister of 
John Singleton Copley, Jr. — afterwards Lord Lynd- 
hurst. It is said she was a good mother to the children 
of his first wife. I think Elizabeth Hubbard left three 

Daniel Hubbard (6) and Mary Greene, are your great- 
great-grandfather and -grandmother. 



Son of Demiel Hubbard (6) and Mary Greene 

Chapter VII 

■OHN HUBBARD (7), my grandfather, was born 

1765 ■ in Boston, in 1765, and died October i, 1836. He 

1836 was, of course, a brother of Elizabeth — Mrs. 

Gardiner Greene. He first married Elizabeth Patterson, 

but left no surviving children by her. His second wife 

was Jane Parkinson, my grandmother. 

John Hubbard (7) was one of the richest and most 
prominent citizens of his day in Boston. Not only was 
he a large owner of real estate in Boston, but he was also 
an extensive sugar planter in Demerara, South America. 
His largest plantation was called " Mainstay " and there 
the family often passed their winters. There two of his 
children were born, his daughter Anne, afterwards Mrs- 
James White of London, and one other. 

My aunts and uncles had many stories of life in 
Demerara, but alas ! I cannot recollect them, though I 
do remember their telling of one incident. One morn- 
ing while all the family were on their knees at prayers, 
and an old Mr. Austin, a relation, reading to them from 
the Bible, the reading stopped. After a few moments 
while they still waited devoutly, with closed eyes, 
they heard him say, " It 's the ship Eliza," and looking up 
they found him, still on his knees, with a telescope resting 


The Boit Family 105 

on the window-sill in front of him, watching a vessel under 
full sail just making the harbor ! 

John Hubbard (7) owned many slaves in Demerara. 
They were finally freed and paid for by the British Gov- 
ernment. Thereafter his plantations were given up. 
He and my grandmother often went abroad, and return- 
ing from one of these journeys they brought with them 
in the early years of the last century some fine old fur- 
niture, several pieces of which I still own. 

They were bought in London at the sale of furniture 
of one of the Embassies — the Russian — I have always 
understood. The bookcase and writing-desk or secretary 
is said to be either a Buhl or Reisner. I am rather 
inclined to think the latter, though Mrs. Robert Apthorp 
(the mother of the late William F. Apthorp, the musical 
critic) who had been intimate with my mother from girl- 
hood, said she had always heard it called Buhl. The 
card-tables also are handsome. 

Your Great-aunt Charlotte (Blake) Hubbard (Mrs. 
Gardiner Greene Hubbard) also inherited two similar 
card-tables. My pier-table on which the Lion clock 
stands, was bought at the same time, but is, I think, of 
another period. 

On one occasion returning from Europe, they brought 
home with them an English nurse, Mary Thompson, and 
and an English cook, Phoebe Robinson. Mary Thomp- 
son, or Mammie Thompson, as she was called, brought up 
my mother and several of my Hubbard uncles and aunts, 

io6 Chronicles of 

and her daughter, Katie Thompson, was our own nurse 
and brought me up and some of my sisters. 

When we were grown, Katie went for a while to my 
cousin, Mrs. Robert Sturgis of Philadelphia, to care for 
her children, and then came back to my sister, your 
Aunt Jeanie Hunnewell, and brought up all her girls, 
and lived with her until she died at the age of seventy. 
Thus she and her mother actually brought up three gen- 
erations of our family. 

When my grandmother died, she left old Mammie 
Thompson a legacy which took care of her comfortably, 
and gave her a nice little house in Newton, where she 
and old Phoebe, the cook, lived together till Phoebe died. 
Then Mammie Thompson went to Somerville and lived 
with a married daughter, Jane Hatch. When Jane 
Hatch's son, Arthur, grew up, I took him into my office. 
He is a fine fellow and is now in a prominent position 
with the Sun Fire Office. 

Mammie Thompson and Phoebe died when I was 
young, but I remember them well. When I was a 
child, Katie often took me to her mother's in Newton, 
and sometimes to stay for several days. Mammie was a 
fine old woman, as was her daughter Katie. 

Phoebe was said to have been one of the best cooks 
that ever lived. I chiefly remember, when I was a little 
child, her sitting in a rocking-chair, knitting, in Mammie 
Thompson's kitchen, and waiting to kiss me good-morning 
and good-night. How I dreaded it ! She was a shrivelled 

The Boit Family 107 

up old woman in cap and spectacles, apparently without 
teeth, and with coarse bristling hairs in unusual places 
about her face. This kissing was one of the ordeals of 
my childhood, and I was called upon to do it with amaz- 
ing regularity. 

Children are so curiously observant and their feelings 
in these respects receive so little consideration. Fortu- 
nately for the youngsters of today, the succulent and 
caved-in lips of the old people of my youth are no longer 
so painfully in evidence. Dentistry supplies this deca- 
dence of nature, and often in this respect age appears to 
be in better condition than youth. 

I recollect, too, that Mammie Thompson had a cross 
little white dog that was always snapping and barking at 
me, and tried my courage to the utmost. 

Then, too, we had another fine old family servant — 
Janet Black, a Scotch woman — a seamstress, who lived 
with us for many years, from the time when I was a boy. 
She afterwards lived with your Aunt Jeanie Hunnewell, 
and died at her house at the advanced age of ninety-one. 
She too was of the best and devoted to the family. I 
could sing today songs she sang to me when I was a 
child. She was of a sentimental nature, and one of her 
songs went like this : 

We met — 't was in a crowd, 
And I thought he would shun me, 

io8 Chronicles of 

He spake, his words were love, 
And his eye was upon me. 

. . . He 's wed to another. 
Oh ! thou, hast been the cause, 
Of this anguish ! My mother ! 

It is pleasant to recall these faithful old servants, who 
seemed like true members of our family. 

But to go back to my grandfather, John Hubbard (7) : 
As I have said, he owned a great deal of real estate in 
Boston. He seemed to have the same views as some of 
the ancestors of the rich New York families. He bought 
land and built upon it and then rented his houses — and 
these are some of the houses I happen to remember that 
he built and owned : 

A portion of the Liberty Square Warehouses, where 
is now Liberty Square ; the houses on the south side of 
Howard Street ; a number of houses on Somerset Street ; 
either three or four houses on Beacon Street, beginning 
at the east corner of Beacon and Joy Streets; three or 
four houses on Mt. Vernon Place, beginning with house 
nearest the State House on the south side of the street. 
The house No. 8 Walnut Street, on the east side, with a 
yard towards Beacon Street, and with one row of its 
windows looking down Chestnut Street. This is the 
house in which I was born, and a delightful house it is, 

The Boit Family 109 

by the way ! — many houses on both sides of Chestnut 
Street ; all the houses on the lower side of West Cedar 
Street between Chestnut Street and Mt, Vernon Street. 

Some of these houses were owned by his children 
when I was a boy, but I think they have now all passed 
out of the family. A Mr. Curtis told me he bought, a 
few years ago, one of the houses originally built by my 
grandfather, on Chestnut Street, simply because it was 
so well built, and had such handsome fireplaces, stair- 
cases and wood-work in it. 

When the Marquis de Lafayette visited this country 
in 1824, at the invitation of Congress, he was enter- 1824 
tained in Boston. My mother told me their family coach 
was borrowed by the city to take him about, because her 
father's coach was at that time the only coach, or one of 
the few coaches in Boston, with liveried servants. I 
wonder if there were two on the box, and two hanging 
to the straps behind ! 

By the way, for this occasion an arch was built on the 
Neck, now Washington Street, just above Dover Street 
— a triumphal arch under which Lafayette was driven — 
and on it was an inscription too good to be forgotten. It 
was written by Charles Sprague, and was as follows : 

no Chronicles of 


" The fathers in glory shall sleep, 

That gathered with thee to the fight ; 
But the sons will eternally keep 
The tablet of gratitude bright. 
We bow not the neck ; we bend not the knee : 
But our hearts, Lafayette, we surrender to thee ! " 

Towards the end of his life, John Hubbard (7) lost a 
very considerable part of his property in a most unfor- 
tunate and unforseen way. He was in Europe with my 
grandmother and had left one of his Hubbard cousins in 
charge of his property during his absence. One day a 
man who owed my grandfather a note for $1,000, came 
into this cousin's office and said he could not pay the 
note which was about to fall due, but would secure it, by 
transferring to him, my grandfather, ten shares in a 
large manufacturing corporation. I think it was a cot- 
ton mill. His cousin thereupon accepted the security 
and had it transferred to my grandfather — no doubt a 
natural thing to do, but without my grandfather's knowl- 
edge or consent. 

Within a very short time and while Mr. Hubbard was 
still abroad, the corporation failed and it was found that 
he was one of the few stockholders of large means. At 
that time every stockholder was liable for the debts of a 
corporation. When my grandfather got the news, if I 
am not mistaken, he appointed his son-in-law, Russell 

The Boit Family 1 1 1 

Sturgis, then a young man, to make the best settlement 
he could with his creditors. 

A settlement was made for $350,000, or thereabouts, 
and to raise this sum Mr. Sturgis was obliged to sell at 
a great sacrifice large parcels of Mr. Hubbard's real 
estate. Such a loss made a great hole in his fortune 
and in his happiness, and I am under the impression he 
did not live for many years after this calamity. Still, 
when he and my grandmother died, there was left some 
$400,000 or $500,000 to be divided among his heirs. 
Even that amount was a large fortune in those days. I 
have understood that this was the last case of the kind 
in Massachusetts, for the great injustice of it was real- 
ized and the law was changed. 

This John Hubbard (7), your great-grandfather, was 
also one of the first citizens of Boston to build a summer 
cottage at Nahant. It is my impression that his and 
Mr. Perkins' houses were actually the first. His Nahant 
house was at the northwest corner of the street which 
runs south from the church used in summer by the 
cottagers, next to the property now owned by the heirs 
of the late Charles T. Lovering. The land ran to the 
little road above the beach and looked southwest towards 
Deer Island and the channel. There his large family 
of boys and girls are said to have passed many happy 

It was in those days that your grandfather, Edward 
Darley Boit, with his brothers-in-law, Gardiner Greene 

1 1 2 Chronicles of 

Hubbard, John P. Hubbard, George Hubbard, and their 
friend, Mr. William Dehon, hired a small yacht from 
Boston, and with its skipper started off one morning to 
fish and shoot on some of the islands off the Beverly 

Between Nahant and Egg Rock, a fierce Northwester 
struck them and they capsized, and their yacht, with 
colors flying, went to the bottom like lead. Fortunately 
for them they were closely followed by Captain Benja- 
min C. Clarke in his schooner-yacht Raven, and as they 
capsized, she shot so close to them that the skipper and 
George Hubbard managed to jump aboard. The rest of 
them were twenty minutes or more in the water before 
the Raven could get back and pick them up. Mean- 
while John Hubbard, who went over with his shot-gun 
in his hand, his shooting-jacket pockets weighed down 
with powder and shot, and wearing long-legged shooting- 
boots, had a hard time of it. My father said at first 
John tried to hold his gun above the water, but only his 
eyes showed, and soon the gun went down. Then he 
managed to slip out of his shooting-jacket, and before he 
was rescued he had already got off one of his boots. 
Uncle John was always a great swimmer even to the 
end of his life. 

Your Grandfather Boit had busied himself with Mr. 
Dehon, who could not swim, and succeeded in keeping 
him up until they were all rescued by Captain Clarke. 
Mr. Dehon considered that your grandfather had saved 

The Boit Family 113 

his life, and he expressed his sense of obligation in a 
very pleasant way. Every Christmas thereafter as long 
as he lived, he sent my brother Ned a handsome Christ- 
mas present. You can easily imagine the first question we 
other children asked on Christmas morning was, '• What 
has Ned got from Mr. Dehon ? " 

I remember one of these presents, many, many years 
after the accident, was the fastest sled on Boston Com- 
mon, which had been renamed by him " Jane," after my 
mother. I was devoted to coasting, so this sled soon 
came to me, and with her I won many a race. 

Two paintings of this shipwreck were made at the 
time by a Boston artist : one is owned by a descendant 
of Mr. Benjamin C. Clarke, and the other, as you know, 
I inherited, and gave to your brother John. It hangs in 
his room. 

The last generation was full of tales of this Nahant 
house, but I have forgotten most of them. One recurs 
to me : 

George Hubbard's room was directly off the breakfast- 
room, and one morning after the rest of the family had 
apparently finished breakfast and gone, George slipped 
in there directly out of bed and in very scant attire. 
Suddenly he heard some one at one of the doors coming 
in. There was nothing to do but slip under the table 
concealed by the cloth. Who should enter but my Aunt 
Julia Boit, who was staying with them, and was also late. 
She sat down at the table and quietly ate her breakfast. 

114 Chronicles of 

George stood it as long as he could, but was growing 
colder and more uncomfortable all the time. Suddenly 
Aunt Julia heard a familiar voice from under the table : 
"Julia, if you don't leave this instant, I'll come out Just 
as I am /" and she fled incontinently. She knew her man. 

John Hubbard {7) married Jane Parkinson, as I have 
said. Her brother, John Parkinson (i), had a farm near 
us when I was a boy and lived at " Ingleside," our place 
on Forest Hills Street. His place was also absorbed by 
Franklin Park. When the father of this John and Jane 
Parkinson died, their mother married a Mr. Austin. She 
was my great-grandmother, 

I remember her, though I think her daughter, Jane, 
my grandmother, died within a year of my birth. This 
Great-grandmother Austin (formerly Mrs. Parkinson) had 
children who were, of course, half-brothers and half-sisters 
of John Parkinson (i) and Jane Parkinson, my grand- 
mother. One of these half-sisters, Letitia Austin, who 
was my mother's aunt, married Jonathan Amory, and 
her children were George Amory, Charles B. Amory, 
Gordon Amory, Mrs. Harriet Garner of New York, 
Mrs. Manlius Sargent of Boston, and several others. 

This George Amory married Caroline Bigelow, daugh- 
ter of Judge Bigelow, and their daughter, Constance, 
who married Alexander Philip Wadsworth, has been at 
our house in Islesboro, Maine. 

Charles B. Amory married Lily Clap, of New Orleans, 
and has several sons and daughters. 

The Boit Family 1 15 

Gordon Amory married Miss Ernst and has no children. 

As I have shown you, the children of Jonathan Amory 
were my mother's first cousins and my first cousins, once 

Mrs. Garner (Harriet Amory) was the mother of the 
first wife of Oliver Iselin of New York, the great yachts- 

Mrs. Manlius Sargent was the mother of Mrs. Nathan 
Matthews of Boston, and Sullivan Sargent of Boston, 
who are my second cousins. 

The son of John Parkinson (i) my great -uncle, was 
John Parkinson (2) who married Gertrude Weld, and 
was my first cousin, once removed. His son, John Park- 
inson (3), who married Miss Emmons, is my second cousin. 

Many of the children of Jonathan Amory and Letitia 
(Austin) Amory were extremely distinguished-looking 
men and women, very high-bred and with much personal 
dignity, and Harriet Garner was certainly very beautiful. 

It is through a brother of Aunt Letitia (Austin) 
Amory that we are also related to Mary Austin, the 
mother of Mrs. I. Tucker Burr. 

Through the Greenes we are also related to another 
branch of the Amory family, and also to the Hammond 
family of Boston. 

Mr. Charles Hubbard (i) of Weston was also my 
mother's first cousin. Charles W. Hubbard (2) of Wes- 
ton, whose son, Charles W. Hubbard (3) was a class- 
mate and friend of your brother John, is my second 

ii6 Chronicles of 

cousin, as also his sisters, Lottie Hubbard (Mrs. Ben- 
jamin Young), Elizabeth Hubbard (Mrs. Francis Blake), 
and Loulie Hubbard (Mrs. Canda of New York). 

The late Mrs. Martin Brimmer of Boston, who was a 
Miss Timmins, was named oddly enough Mary Anne, 
after my aunts, Mary and Anne Hubbard. 

I have heard it said that from Reverend William 
Hubbard (i) to Francis Stanton Hubbard (9) in direct 
descent, none of these Hubbards had been in trade. 

Having explained who John Hubbard's (7) wife, Jane 
Parkinson was, and having told you of some of her rela- 
tions, I will turn to their children — my Hubbard uncles 
and aunts. 


1806 I. Mary Hubbard, born in 1806, the second wife of 
Russell Sturgis, who afterwards married my Aunt Julia 
Overing Boit. Their children were : 

Russell Sturgis (2) who first married Susan Welles 
of Boston and by her had children : Russell Sturgis (3), 
who married Anne O. Bangs ; Susan Welles Sturgis, who 
married John Preston ; Richard Clipston Sturgis, who 
married Esther M. Ogden of New York ; William Codman 
Sturgis, who married Carolyn Hall, who passed much of 
her youth in South America. 

1811 2. Anne Hubbard, born in 1811, who married James 
White of London and Ceylon. In Ceylon he was a 

The Boit Family 117 

successful merchant. He represented Messrs. Baring 
Brothers & Co. there for many years, and finally retired 
from business and returned to London. They had many 
children and descendants. Their most illustrious son 
was John Hubbard White who became a General of the 
Royal Engineers in the British army, and was at one 
time Master of the Mint in Bombay. 

3. Gardiner Greene Hubbard (8), born 18 1 3, who mar- 1813 
ried Charlotte Caldwell Blake, a first cousin of George 
Baty Blake, who married her sister. Their children are 
Francis Stanton Hubbard (9), who married Mabel Hill, 

an Enghshwoman, and John G. Hubbard, who married 
Jane Frances Ferguson. 

4. Elizabeth Hubbard, born in 1815, who married John 1815 
Singleton Copley Greene. She left no children. She 

was said to have been a beautiful and brilliant woman, 
very musical and with a lovely voice. 

5. Martha Hubbard, born in 18 16. When she was 1S16 
about eighteen, she walked to a party and home again in 

thin slippers. She took a violent cold and died a short 
time after. She was engaged to be married at the time. 

6. Jane Parkinson Hubbard (8) born in 18 18, who 1818 
married Edward Darley Boit (3), my father and mother. 

I will speak of their children later. 

7. Reverend John Parkinson Hubbard, bom in 1820, 1820 
who married Adelaide McCulloh. They lost seven unmar- 
ried children. Their other children are Russell Sturgis 
Hubbard, married Miss Elizabeth Perry; Mary Hubbard, 

1 18 Chronicles of 

unmarried ; Annie Hubbard, unmarried ; Lucy Hubbard, 
married William Hamilton Jefferys ; Edith Hubbard, 

8. George Hubbard, who married and died without 
children, after a most adventurous and unfortunate life. 



Son of Edward Darley Beit and 
Jane Parkinson Hubbard 

Chapter VIII 

EDWARD DARLEY BOIT (4) was born May 16, 
1840, in Boston. He attended the Boston Latin 1840 
School and later the school of Epes S. Dixwell 
in Boylston Place, the most popular school of the day, 
where he was finally prepared to enter college. He 
graduated from Har\'ard in the Class of '63. 1S63 

He was a large, strong man, nearly six feet tall, and 
rowed on his Freshman class crew, which in that year 
was successful against the Yale Freshmen on Lake 
Quinsigamond at Worcester. I remember, too, hearing 
most creditable stories of his prowess in a hand-to-hand 
encounter on the Delta with a Sophomore on " Football 
Night." I believe it was fought to a finish in the centre 
of an eager ring of students and that the honors were 
about evenly divided between the contestants, and with 
sufficient for both. 

While in college, he was Secretary and President of the 
Institute; Secretary and Poet of the Hasty Pudding Club; 
a member of the D. K. E. and A. D. F. It is said that he 
wrote the initiation of the D. K. E., much of which was 


I20 Chronicles of 

used for a long time afterwards. He was Class Poet when 
1863 he graduated in 1863, and I remember that James Russell 
Lowell highly commended his poem, and said it gave him 
great pleasure to be able to understand it, " which was so 
rarely the case with Class Poems." 

I will add here the closing lines of this Harvard Class 
Day poem. I think them particularly appropriate to that 
occasion : 

" Beside the College gate, on either hand, 

Old "Harvard Hall" and "Massachusetts" stand. 

Where long, through summer's heat and winter's snow, 

They 've watched youth's annual tide now ebb, now flow. 

And lo ! a venerable form appears, — 

His shoulders bending with the weight of years. 

In at the gate, with faltering step and slow. 

Across the shady green, we see him go. 

Beneath his arm he bears a time-worn book ; 

Now round the scene he casts a curious look, 

As if, 'mid passing groups, he sought to trace 

The features of one well-remembered face. 

Now, sighing, turns and wipes away a tear, 

That he, once so well known, should be a stranger here. 

And now he stands within that Gothic Hall, 

Where countless volumes line the lofty wall; 

And to the guardian of the treasures there 

The old man thus : ' To thy protecting care 

This volume I commit, — a sacred trust, — 

The Boit Family 121 

Record of deeds, whose authors sleep in dust. 

Long years ago, united heart and hand. 

They issued from these walls, a youthful band, 

With manly courage, and with honest hearts. 

On Life's wide stage they played their various parts ; 

All strove alike, with powers some more, some less ; 

And all deserved, while some achieved success ; 

Some died in youth and manhood, some in age ; 

None left a blot on this unblemished page. 

When, in their course, a few more seasons roll. 

My happy name shall close the glorious scroll.' 

— The vision fades ! Classmates, it rests with you 

To make this final picture false or true! " 

After graduation, he entered the Harv^ard Law School, 
took his degi'ee, and was admitted to the Massachusetts 

At about this time he published in one of our maga- 
zines an essay on the Letters of Junius, which was very 
favorably reviewed by the critics. I have been told by 
some of his legal friends that he had an admirable legal 
and judicial mind, and should never have given up his 
first-chosen profession. 

On June 16, 1864, a year after graduation, he was 1S64 
married in Christ Church, in Cambridge, to Mary Louisa 
Cushing, daughter of John Peck Cushing of Boston, a 
successful merchant, who had come back from the East 
with a large fortune and built the beautiful house, and 

122 Chronicles of 

laid out around it the fine estate which he called " Bel- 
mont," and after which the town of Belmont was named. 
Her mother was Mary Louisa Gardiner of Boston. 

Mary Louisa (Gushing) Boit was an only daughter. 
Both her father and mother were dead at the time of 
her marriage. She had three brothers : John Gardiner 
Gushing, who married Susan Dexter ; Robert M. Gushing, 
who married Olivia Dulany of Baltimore ; and Thomas F. 
Gushing, who married Frances Grinnell of New York, 
who was the daughter of Moses Grinnell and a first 
cousin, once removed, of 'your mother, Lilian (Willis) 

The wedding reception was a grand occasion. The 
lawns and gardens were in their most beautiful condition, 
the day itself perfect, and what can surpass a perfect day 
in June, with life in tune to it ? It was a wonderful day, 
a wonderful place, a wonderful house, a wonderful gather- 
ing, and the very loveliest of brides. 

I was just eighteen and a groomsman. I drove my 
bridesmaid over to Belmont that morning. We were so 
very young and so full of all the hopes and possibilities 
of life ! We promised that if either of us were ever en- 
gaged the other should be the first told. What supreme 
simplicity and youth ! 

The groomsmen were Thomas F. Gushing, John G. 
Warren, Lawrence Mason, George G. Shattuck, Francis 
L. Higginson, Francis G. Loring, George Wheatland and 
myself, and the bridesmaids, my sisters Lizzie and Jeanie, 

The Boit Family 123 

Anna Sargent, Rosamond Warren, Alice Bradlee, Marian 
Jackson, Harriet Inches, and Florence Dumaresq. 

We had a grand time with dancing all the afternoon 
in the long drawing-rooms. This Belmont was more like 
a fine old English place than any near Boston, and its 
lawns and gardens and groves and farms and dairies and 
long avenues of English elms were unsurpassed. The 
gardens near the house were in their June beauty, and 
at that time no gardens near Boston equalled them. 
Over the centre of the garden was a large marquee cover- 
ing the fountain. Here the refreshments were served. 
How many delightful days and nights I passed there 
while I was in college ! A few years later this place 
was sold by the Gushing family. 

Your Aunt Isa, as Mary Louisa (Gushing) Boit was 
called, was one of the best friends I ever had, and our 
intimacy and affection lasted throughout her life without 
a break. A great, noble-hearted woman, whose foibles 
and eccentricities added to her charms. Once when she 
heard I was hard up, she wanted to sell her jewels to 
help me. Very properly she was not allowed to do so. 
The thought did not make me love her less. 

In 1889, ^ went abroad with my brother Edward, who 1SS9 
had been visiting this country. After passing a few 
weeks together in Paris, he and I went on to Ouchy, 
where Isa and the children were stopping at the Beau 
Rivage. There I picked up Isa and we two went to 
Bayreuth to a Wagner Festival, stopping in Nuremberg, 

124 Chronicles of 

Basel, Heidelburg and Zurich, and one or two other 
places, going and coming. We had a great time, and 
she proved herself a most delightful and admirable 
travelling companion. 

Shortly after their marriage your Uncle Edward built 
a charming house at Newport, above the Spouting Horn, 
at the end of Bailey's Beach, known as " The Rocks." 
They lived there and entertained there for several sum- 

187 1 mers, until they went to Europe, in 1871. It is now 
owned by Henry Clews of New York. 

Your Uncle Edward and Aunt Isa spent a large part 
of their married life abroad, where several of their chil- 
dren were born, and where your uncle devoted his life 
to painting. They came to this country from time to 
time for longer or shorter visits, and your Uncle Ned 
crossed the Atlantic not less than forty or fifty times. 

187 1 He began work as a painter in 1871, studying for several 

1876 years in Rome and Paris. In the spring of 1876, his 
picture, a landscape, " Rocks, Beach, and Ocean," was 
accepted at the Salon in Paris, His water-colors were 
distinguished and are in many galleries abroad. You are 
all, no doubt, familiar with the set of his water-colors 
purchased by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, He 
first worked with Frederick Crowninshield, in Rome, and 
later with Couture and especially with Francais, in Paris. 
Your Uncle Edward Bolt's wife, Mary Louisa Cushing 
died in Dinard, France, after a most painful illness, on 

1894 the 29th of September, 1894, and was buried in Paris. 

The Boit Family 125 

There are four living daughters of this marriage and 
there were several children that died young. The living 
daughters are, Florence Dumaresq Boit, Jane Hubbard 
Boit, Mary Louisa Boit, Julia Overing Boit, and none of 
them have married. 

January 5, 1897, your Uncle Edward Boit married his 1897 
second wife, Florence Little, daughter of Captain William 
McCarty Little, U. S. N., of Newport, Rhode Island. 

April 28, 1902, his wife, Florence Little Boit, died in 1902 
Paris, France, leaving two sons, Julian McCarty Boit and 
Edward Boit. She died at the birth of her last son, and 
was buried in Newport, Rhode Island. These boys, as 
you know, lived with the grandfather and grandmother. 
Captain and Mrs. Little, in Newport, Rhode Island, and 
are both at present in St. George's School in Newport. 
Captain Little died in March, 191 5. 1915 

After the death of his second wife, your Uncle Ned 
built a large house next to mine on Colchester Street, 
Brookline, intending to pass his winters, for the remain- 
der of his life, in America. After living in it for several 
winters, his daughters, who had passed so much of their 
lives abroad, could not accustom themselves to life in 
America, and persuaded him to take apartments in Paris. 
There they have remained, and their delightful house is 
rented to others. This was a great disappointment to me. 

As you also know, your uncle and three of his girls 
have passed their summers for many years at his Villa 
"Cernitoio," twenty miles from Florence, near the famous 

126 Chronicles of 

forests of Vallombrosa. It is an old convent, once owned 
by the monks of Vallombrosa, altered over into a villa by 
a Roman architect, employed by your uncle for that pur- 
pose. It retains the spirit of old Italy. It is in the moun- 
tains, some twenty-five hundred feet above the sea, with 
fine views down the Valley of the Arno, and of its sur- 
rounding ranges of hills and mountains. There are 
several hundred acres of lands, and a number of farms 
under cultivation on the place. Looking to the west- 
ward and sunsets, there are some fine terraces with 
fountains and flower gardens. A short distance below 
the terraces is the old picturesque square tower of 
Ristonchi, said to have been built in the tenth centur)\ 
It is dwelt in by some of his farm laborers. 

Henry James, the author, once said, after sitting awhile 
on one of the terraces, " Ned, you have the front seat in 
the finest theatre in the world ! " or words to that effect. 

In pleasant weather, on the upper terrace next the 
house, the family set their table for their meals, with 
one of the loveliest of views imaginable spread before 
them, as well as the best of Italian food. I think 
there are five fountains on the various terraces, playing 
day and night. Their cool and grateful singing is never 
more dehcious than on warm summer nights, yet people 
have been known to ask to be moved to the other end 
of the house to get rid of the sound of them. 

Your Uncle Ned was a good landlord. He not only 
brought down an abundance of water from the springs 

The Boit Family 127 

in the mountains above him for the use of his own Villa 
and gardens, but also piped water to the various farms 
on his estate. The families on some of these farms 
have lived there for untold generations. They pay trib- 
ute, by way of rent, with a certain percentage of their 
farm products. His tenants were devoted to him and 
his family. 

Of late years Edward Darley Boit (4) and his family 
have passed their winters in Paris, as I have said. This 
year, the winter of 1914-1915, they lived in Rome, "^'■* 
where your Uncle Edward died on the 21st of April, 
191 5, in the seventy-fifth year of his life. 1915 

He had been taken seriously ill with hardening of the 
arteries ten months before, and had gone through a long 
period of great suffering. 

John S. Sargent painted your uncle's portrait, and 
also that of his first wife, Mary Louisa Gushing, and 
again that of her four girls standing in their Paris hall- 
way. They are all beautiful pictures and that of the 
children one of Sargent's masterpieces. At present this 
last picture is loaned to the Boston Art Museum. The 
others are in Paris. 

Happening to refer to my journal, I find that on 
Thursday, April 9, 1903, I gave a dinner to John S. iqoj 
Sargent at the Somerset Club, and will give you the 
list of guests, which I think is an interesting one : 

Benjamin Kimball, lawyer, and collector of all rare and 
lovely things, a connoisseur of art, a Papyrus president. 

128 Chronicles of 

T. Russell Sullivan, who adapted the play of Jekyl 
and Hyde, and has written much in prose and verse; 
also a Papyrus president. 

Horatio G. Curtis, bank president and collector of prints. 

Henry S. Howe, merchant and collector of books and 

Robert S. Peabody, architect, lover of art, yet still 
the man who built our custom house. 

Edward Robinson, at that time Director of the 
Museum of Fine Arts. 

Doctor Frederick C. Shattuck, my chum in college 
and friend ever since. 

Joseph De Camp, the painter, Sargent and myself. 

We sat down at half past seven and did not get up 
till half past twelve. A most agreeable lot of men, and 
a delightful evening ! 

I had the pleasure of entertaining Sargent on several 
other occasions and always found him a most charming 
companion. I never heard him say an unkind, or un- 
pleasantly critical word of any fellow artist. He told me 
we had as good a set of portrait painters in Boston as 
there were in the world today, and cited specifically 
De Camp and Tarbell and Lock wood. 

John Sargent once told me he did not really under- 
stand his own success, that he never felt that he con- 
trolled, had in his grasp, his own power to paint ; that 
he felt as if it were outside of himself, and might leave 
him at any moment. 

The Boit Family 129 

I, myself, have hung four of Sargent's water-color ex- 
hibitions, two in New York and two in Boston. It gave 
me an intimacy with, and appreciation of his wonderful 
work, that I could hardly have got in any other way. 

Edward Darley Boit (4) was a man of great personal 
dignity and beauty. Nothing could give a better or 
more truthful idea of his face than Sargent's portrait of 
him. He was a very distinguished-looking man, and 
always most particular about his dress. His manners 
and bearing were as simple and distinguished as his per- 
son. He impressed all who knew him as a very "big" 
man, and his kindliness, and generosity, and hospitality 
were not to be surpassed. 

In many ways he was a veritable prince and lived like 
one. Yet with all his love for the beautiful and refined 
in life, he was democratic in his tastes, and no respecter 
of persons, or titles. 

He did not know the meaning of the word snob, and 
I've heard him say, "The world is divided into two 
classes — those who are worth while, and those who are 
not." This was, I think, a very correct expression of 
his views, and he lived up to them. 

He was a most cultivated man and a steady reader. 
He entertained many people in his various houses, and 
was always a most agreeable and admirable host. 
Whether they were rich and distinguished or poor and 
dependent, there was no difference in his treatment of 

130 Chronicles of 

He had great self-control and self-possession, but 
when his indignation was once aroused, the wise kept 
quiet. My brother John used to say, "When you see 
Ned's eyes growing beady, look out for yourself ! " 

He was loved and respected and admired by all who 
knew him, and few had a greater host of friends. At 
his death a real personality left the world, and left the 
world richer by his art, and the memories of a manly, 
noble gentleman. 

Edward Darley Boit was a member of the "Somerset 
Club," of Boston, the " Union," of Paris, and the " St. 
James'," of London. 



Daughter of Edward Darley Boit and 
Jane Parkinson Hubbard 

Chapter IX 

ton, July 7, 1842. She was a fine-looking woman — 1842 
at times decidedly handsome. She was an agree- 
able companion with a keen sense of humor. She went 
to various schools in Boston, finishing at that of Professor 
Agassiz, which was the fashionable school for young ladies 
in my young days. 

I remember while Lizzie was there, the schoolgirls 
were set in a state of great commotion or emotion. One 
of them received anonymously the following verses, well 
suited to excite romantic thoughts in the feminine breast 
at the age of sixteen or eighteen. Of course they were 
soon read and copied by all the young women in the 
school, and thus through Lizzie, came into my possession. 



Best beloved — beyond your sight, 
Where the hills rise bleak and white ; 


132 Chronicles of 

One whose faint and erring feet 
Walk where light and shadow meet ; 
One whose true heart never knew 
Any other love but you — 
Murmurs, on his death bed lying — 
Love me — love — for I am dying. 

Many a league of hill and plain 
Stretches wide between us twain ; 
Traversed only by my thought, 
Out of love and anguish wrought ; 
And my voice still trembles through 
Songs once sung by me and you, 
Like an echo low replying — 

Love me — love — for I am dying. 

Though the smiling angels wait 
Leaning from the shining gate — 
Though their white hands stretching down 
Offer life's unfading crown — 
I would yield it even now 
For thy kiss upon my brow ! 
Crush me not with cold denying ! 

Love me — love — for I am dying. 

Though sweet voices call me o'er 
Softly to the other shore — 

The Boit Family 133 

Where all sorrowing hearts find peace, 
And their weary achings cease — 
Yet my soul, which never knew 
Any Heaven away from you, 
Will not cease its anguish, crying — 
Love me — love — for I am dying. 

Lizzie was presented at the Court of St. James, in 
London, when she first came out into society. 

My father and mother passed the winter of 1866- 1867 
in Providence, Rhode Island, so that my father might be 
near some printworks which he was then building at 
Apponaug, Rhode Island. My sister Lizzie returned 
from Europe at that time and passed the winter with 
them in Providence. Here it was that she met in society 
Joseph Hurlbert Patten, son of William S. Patten of 
Providence, and Eliza Bridgham Patten. William S. 
Patten, Joseph's father, was one of the prominent and 
well-to-do gentlemen of Providence and president, or cash- 
ier of one of its leading banks. I remember him well. 

He was a particularly distinguished and aristocratic- 
looking man, dignified and courtly in his manner, and 
most punctilious in dress. His face was close-shaven 
and his features clear-cut and regular. Distinctly a gen- 
tleman of the old school, and with a quiet, self-possessed 
urbanity of manner, that one rarely has the pleasure of 
meeting today. His son, Joseph, was one of the best 
men I have known. He married Elizabeth Greene Boit, 


134 Chronicles of 

1867 in Boston, on the 20th of June, 1867, when I had just 
become a senior in college. 

They were married, I think, in the Arhngton Street 
Church in Boston, and the reception was at our Boston 
house, No. 30 Marlborough Street. It was at this re- 
ception that my father said to one of Ned's friends as 
he was leaving the house, " Frank, come back and have 
another glass of champagne." ** No, thank you, sir, I've 
had plenty already." "You don't look so," said my 
father. "Then," said Frank, "my looks belie my ap- 
pearances ! " 

They lived after marriage in Providence, Rhode Island, 
with a pleasant summer place at Warwick Neck, Rhode 
Island, on Narragansett Bay. They were most hos- 
pitable people, and many a pleasant time have I passed 
with them both in Providence and Warwick. 
i8^6 Joseph H. Patten was born March 8, 1836, was mar- 
1867 ried, as I have said, on June 20, 1867, and died in 

1874 Providence, in December, 1874, when he was only thirty- 
eight years old. His wife, Elizabeth (Boit) Patten, died 

1875 '^^ ^^^ following spring, April 14, 1875, when she was 
thirty-three years old. They left three children : 

1869 Jane Boit Patten, born in Providence, June 8, 1869; 

Eliza Bridgham Patten, born in Providence, September 
187 1 17, 1 87 1, died in Jackson, New Hampshire, September 
1890 4, 1890; William S. Patten, born in Providence, July 21, 
1^^^ 1873, married to Anna Thayer, June 16, 1904, daughter 

of Nathaniel Thayer of Boston and Lancaster. 



Son of Edward Darley Boit and 
Jane Parkinson Hubbard 

Chapter X 

ROBERT APTHORP BOIT, was born at No. 8 
Walnut Street, Boston, on the 29th of April, 1846. 1846 
I passed the first seven years of my life at 
"Ingleside," on Forest Hills Street, in a house built by 
my father at that time, and, as I have said before, now 
embodied in Franklin Park. The seventh and eighth 
winters of my life we lived in West Cedar Street, Boston. 

Our first winter in Boston, when I was seven, I went 
to a Miss Brown's school at the head of Chestnut Street, 
and the second to Miss Louisa Alcott's on Pinckney 
Street. She was the author of "Little Women" and 
many other children's stories. 

I remember well her father, old Mr. Bronson Alcott, 
who was afterwards noted as one of the Concord School 
of Philosophy. When we were naughty, our punishment 
was to be put in a chair facing the table at which he sat 
in his library, and he would occasionally raise his gray- 
bearded head from his work, and from under his bushy 
eyebrows peer at us over his spectacles. That was suf- 
ficient to fill my infant soul with awe. 


136 Chronicles of 

I was taught a good lesson one day by Miss Alcott. 
Annah and Charley Lovering, five and seven years old, 
also went to this school. I always heard them call Miss 
Alcott " OUie " and so tried it myself one day. I was 
immediately reproved by her. She told me that she 
had been the governess of the Lovering children, and so 
they had got into the habit of calling her " Ollie," but 
she did not wish other children to call her so. I was 
only seven, but it made an impression I never forgot. 
Of course it hurt my feelings at the time, but the lesson 
was a useful one, and rarely, if ever, in life thereafter 
did I put myself in a position where I could be accused 
of being "fresh," as the slang term goes today. 
1855 The following spring, in 1855, on my father's return 
from Chicago, he purchased a small house in Eliot Street, 
Jamaica Plain, near Jamaica Pond. They used to call 
the house the Crystal Palace, it had so many windows. 
My father added to it and made it very comfortable. 
We lived there until I was twelve. It was delightful 
to a small boy to be so near the pond, for there I 
learned to swim and skate at a very early age. 

At this time we passed two summers at East Glouces- 
ter. The first summer we and Mr. and Mrs. David 
Greenough and their children, also from Jamaica Plain, 
and a Mr. and Mrs. Ashton and their one little girl filled 
a Wonson boarding-house, close to the shore opposite Ten 
Pound Island. The second summer we, and the Henry 
Sargent family filled the house, and my intimacy with 

The Boit Family 137 

this delightful family began. Mr. Henry Sargent was 
the grandfather of Mrs. Henry S. Hunnewell. 

While we lived in Eliot Street in 1855-1856, Lucy J^^^ 
Sturgis stayed with us, and while there became engaged 
to Charles R. Codman. I remember they always sat 
with us in the evening and did not go off to a room by 
themselves, as do young couples of this generation, and 
others before them, when they had a chance. The con- 
versation was general and often Lucy and my mother 
sang duets at the piano. They both had sweet, light 
voices and their songs were tuneful and simple. Lucy 
sang the contralto, or second, which seemed quite won- 
derful to me. When it was time for Charles to leave, I 
can hear my father say, " Lucy, go and find Charles' hat 
for him," and then with some embarrassment, they would 
disappear into the entry, and later the front door would 

In the early winter of 1856, when I was nearly ten, ^g^ 
my mother took me abroad with her to stay with 
Uncle Russell and Aunt Julia Sturgis in England. It 
was an important time in the family for Cousin Russell 
Sturgis, Jr., had just married Susan Welles, and Cousin 
Lucy Sturgis was going home to England, to be 
married to Charles Codman. We all went out together 
if I am not mistaken. 

We first went to Uncle Russell's place " Coombwood " 
near Richmond Park. There Lucy was married from 
her father's house, to Charles Codman, in the quaintest 

138 Chronicles of 

and tiniest of little English Churches nearby, and on the 
border of Richmond Park. 

There I learned to ride on *' Donald," the Sturgis boys' 
Shetland pony, and great fun it was. 

Some time after the wedding my mother and I went 
to Paris to stay with Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Wainwright. 
She was a Miss Coolidge and an old friend of mama. 
Paris made a great impression on me. For the first time 
even at this early age, I discovered French cooking, and 
rejoiced in the many delicious ways they cooked potatoes. 
We were in Paris over Easter, and I made my acquain- 
tance with infinite varieties of inedible Easter eggs. We 
were there at the birth of the Prince Imperial, who was 
afterwards to be killed by the Zulus in South Africa. 
Twenty-one guns were to be fired if it was a girl — one 
hundred, if a boy. When the guns began to boom, all 
Paris rushed to the streets ; at the sound of the twenty- 
second gun there was an uproar of enthusiam throughout 
the city. Little Gracie Wainwright of my own age told 
me the Lord had presented the Prince to the Empress 
in an Easter egg. 

This Mrs. Benjamin Wainwright was a sister of Mrs. 
Benjamin T. Reed of Boston, one of my mother's brides- 
maids. Mrs. Wainwright was killed by run-away horses 
attached to a hack. They dashed on to the Beacon 
Street sidewalk at the corner of Charles Street, where 
Mrs. Wainwright was walking with her sister, Mrs. 
Reed. The sisters had seen these run-away horses go 

The Boit Family 139 

down Beacon Street and turn into Arlington Street. 
The horses ran entirely round the Public Gardens and 
came back to them at the corner of Beacon and Charles 

This same Mrs. Wainwright had been saved, with her 
husband and child, from a burning ship in the middle of 
the Atlantic. They were separated in the boats and his 
hair turned white in a night. It had been a miraculous 
escape. Strange she should have been saved for such a 
horrid death as was hers at last ! I think a daughter of 
hers married a Parrish of New York ; was not her name 
" Elise ? " 

In the late spring of 1856, after my birthday, which I 1856 
passed in London, my mother and I returned to Boston, 
where she was faced at the wharf with the news of the 
death of her brother, Gardiner Greene Hubbard, 

Robert Gould Shaw came over with us from London 
— he, who afterwards distinguished himself in the Civil 
War, and whose monument, showing him leading his 
colored troops, stands on Boston Common, opposite the 
State House. He seemed to me very old at the time, 
and won my entire respect and admiration by his affa- 
bility and consideration. I suppose in reality he was not 
then much over twenty. 

My mother and I crossed to England in the Cunard 
steamer, Canada, a side- wheeler of twenty-five hundred 
tons. We returned in the Baltic, a somewhat larger 
boat of the American line. I think most of her sister 

140 Chronicles of 

ships were lost at sea. Certainly the Arctic and Pacific 

We remained in Eliot Street until I was twelve. 
While there we had a militia company, comprising some 
ten or twelve boys of the neighborhood. I remember 
that we had red shoulder-straps and red stripes on our 
trousers, and that I owned and rattled the drum, which 
gave me a position and importance that I would not have 
swapped for the captaincy. 

There is a rumor that this gallant company, at a 
street corner, suddenly encountered a drunken man, and 
incontinently fled for home. I fancy that at such a 
moment, the drum in which I took so much pride, must 
have proved itself exceedingly inconvenient. 

While living in Eliot Street, I went to a boys' and 
girls' school on Burroughs Street, kept by three Misses 
Adam and their mother. This, too, was your Aunt 
Jeanie Boit Hunnewell's first school at the age of four 
or five ; and strangely enough she never went to any 
other, continuing with these Misses Adam, who after- 
wards removed their school to Boston, until she was 

The Misses Adam were well-known characters in their 
day, and the fame of their private theatricals given 
winter after winter, throughout my youth, spread far 
beyond the limits of Boston and its vicinity. They 
gathered in many excellent actors. Miss Hannah Adam 
was the best Mrs. Malaprop I have ever seen. Your 

The Boit Family 141 

Uncle Edward was a constant actor there — usually tak- 
ing the lover's part — and he painted most of the scenery 
that they used. Among the best actors were Mr. Henry 
Lee, Mr. John Cabot, Mr. WiUiam S. Whitwell (a won- 
derful Bob Acres), Mr. Colman, the Misses Adam, Mrs. 
Louis Agassiz, her sister, Miss Emily Russell (afterwards 
Mrs. General Pierson), and I think Mrs. Quincy Shaw, 
and others. Mrs. Agassiz was exquisite ! I adored her ! 

I, myself, took part in these theatricals when I was 
old enough, but not often. 

When I was twelve, in 1858, my father bought a 1858 
house in Glen Road, just above Forest Hills Street, and 
there we lived until the end of my Freshman year, 1865. 1865 
During my twelfth and thirteenth years I went to the 
High School in Jamaica Plain, and then for the next 
four years, and until I entered Harvard, to the school of 
Mr. Epes S. Dixwell, in Boylston Place, Boston, just 
about opposite the present Tavern Club. There I made 
many of my life-long friendships. 

In those days winter was the season I loved best, with 
its skating and coasting. Yet summer by the sea with 
its fishing and boating — surely I loved that just as well. 
And then the spring, with its hockey, and cricket, and 
baseball, and birdnesting, and the hopefulness of the re- 
juvenated world — that was delightful, too. And then 
autumn, when one got back to the crowd of boys at 
school, and the excitement of football — what was the 
matter with that, I should like to know.-' Oh, it was 

142 Chronicles of 

all good, and the heart and wind and muscles strong ! 
When I was fourteen, I felt very much interested in 
an attractive young lady in Jamaica Plain, and on St. 
Valentine's day I invested all my money in a handsomely 
decorated round paper box of chocolate creams, and with 
it sent my first real love poem, which began, 

*' Sweet Kitty, 't is dearly I love thee — 
But I fear that my love is in vain, 
For I feel that you look proudly on me, 
Sweet speeches I see you disdain." 

I think this deserves preservation. How could I forget 
such burning lines as these ? Even thereafter I con- 
tinued to preserve her friendship, and fifty years later 
she told me she had kept the verses, because they were 
the only ones ever written to her. 
^^^8 During the period from 1858 to 1865 in Glen Road 
we led a most hospitable life. There was rarely a Sun- 
day that the house was not full of young people, either 
friends of Ned and Lizzie or friends of Jeanie and me. 
My good father and mother seemed to love to have girls 
and boys about, and on holidays we young people rarely 
failed to ask our friends for a night or two, and in the 
winters there was much skating and coasting in the day- 
time and singing and dancing at night. Those were per- 
haps the most delightful years of my youth. 

While living there I entered with much enthusiasm 

The Boit Family 143 

into all the country sports of boys, and our close friend 
and neighbor, Mr. William R. Robeson gave me a horse 
to ride, which for years was usually at my command. At 
one time we boys had a lively cricket club, in which I 
was the possessor of most of the implements of strife. 
As we could find no one in our vicinity to play against, 
we gave it up and started in its place a baseball club. 
This we kept up for a number of years and played many 
matches. The playground for both of these clubs was on 
our own place, near the house, and I do not forget that 
my family thought us a pretty noisy lot. 

I remember when I was fourteen years old, my second 
cousin, Billy Whitwell, and I rowed a race, across Jamaica 
Pond and back, against two other Jamaica Plain boys. 
We rowed a boat that belonged to Parkman, the historian, 
who then lived on the shores of the pond. We did 
bravely the first half, and led by many lengths, but in 
the middle of the pond on our return, we got quarrelling 
because one of us thought the other was rowing too hard, 
or not hard enough — perhaps we were both worn out. 
But we had it back and forth until our rivals passed us. 
It was a g^eat occasion. The shore was lined with people. 
We were well and deservedly beaten. How my sister 
Jeanie wept ! 

The last year I was at Di.xwell's we started the 
"Oneida" Football Club, which no boy of my time can 
have forgotten. There were from twelve to si.xteen 
of us selected from our Boston Schools, chiefly from 

144 Chronicles of 

Dixwell's, and all of the same crowd. The club was a 
great success. We beat all we could find to play against 
us in this vicinity. We challenged the Harvard Fresh- 
men, and when they refused to play us, we attributed it to 
fear. They intimated it was beneath them to play with 

Of course football then was a different game from 
that played today. We played with a round inflated 
rubber ball. But we had our rules, and good ones. We 
had our "rushers in" our "halfbacks" and our "full- 
backs " and it was a grand and glorious fight. For many 
years the great game in Boston was Dixwell's against the 
Boston Latin School, and they were fierce encounters, 
with varying success. At Dixwell's we also had military 
drill for the last two years, for it was war times, and we 
learned to sing many patriotic songs. Huntington Wol- 
cott, one of the handsomest and best fellows that ever 
lived was our captain. It inspired him to enter the 
army where he became a martyr to the cause of his 
country. He was the older brother of Roger Wolcott, 
afterwards Governor of Massachusetts. 

g^ As I have said, in 1864 I entered Harvard College 

without conditions, and the following year, in the autumn 

JS65 of 1865, we moved to 30 Marlborough Street, Boston. 
During the first winter of my college life the Civil War 
was at its height, and there were so few young men about 
town, that we college Freshmen were taken into Boston 

The Boit Family 145 

I rowed on our Freshman crew, and also trained with 
the "Varsity" in my junior or senior year, rowing at 
five, alternately, day after day with another man. He 
was a better man than I, and finally won his place on a 
successful crew. After a few months I got tired of the 
hard work with the uncertainty of its results, and con- 
cluded I could secure more amusement from other pur- 
suits — and I did. 

While in college, I belonged to the Institute and was 
its Poet ; the D. K. E., the Alpha-Delta-Phi, the A. D. 
This club our own set of men started. It seemed that 
the Alpha-Delta-Phi Fraternity became dissatisfied with 
our Chapter because we would not live up to the rules. 
They asked us to return our Charter and our records. 
The Charter could not be found, but in our insolence 
we tore a few pages from our records and returned them. 
We then started the A. D. Club in its place. As a 
matter of fact, before we left the Fraternity the " Alpha- 
Delta-Phi " was always spoken of as the " A. D." I 
also belonged to the Porcellian Club and the Hasty Pud- 
ding of which latter I was made Chorister and Poet; 
though if my memory serves me, some foolish trouble 
arose and I never read my poem. How good it was can 
be judged from the few following lines of several hundred. 

The story told of a young man, who led a rather dis- 
.sipated life in college. Finally, one night, he became 
engaged to a young woman from the Port, who did not 
have a very savory reputation. His chum, when told. 

146 Chronicles of 

gave him much advice and finally ended with the lines : 

" With those blue eyes and long curls oft before 
Has Hopkins vanquished students by the score ! 
And when deserted by each faithless swain, 
She weeps an hour — then sets the curls again ! 
Let Bacchus Cupid save — seek your warm bunk, 
And write "Excuse me, Hopkins — I was drunk" — 

After much reflection the sorry youth concludes his 
chum has given him a good pointer, and in the still 
watches of the night he writes to his lady-love as follows. 

" My dear Miss Hopkins, I can scarcely write 
From mingled sentiments of shame and fright. 
At what I may have said to you last night. 
'Tis strange, when fumes of wine my reason reach, 
They don't affect my gait, nor yet my speech, 
But of the words my tongue just then may say, 
I can't recall a syllable next day ! 
But friends tell me — who sometimes chance to hear — 
They 're quite unfit for any lady's ear ! 
That I speak falsehoods o'er and o'er again, 
And swear, and rave, and rant — Hke one insane ! 
Now dear Miss Hopkins, still remain my friend — 
Forgive this once, and I '11 no more offend — 
And to your kind regard — my friend for life — 
Some future day — I '11 introduce my wife — 

The Boit Family 147 

But let last night in Lethe's waves be sunk, 
For, dear Miss Hopkins, / was very drunk ! " 

One recognizes the fact that his was not an altogether 
admirable character. 

When we graduated I was made Odist of the class. 
It may or may not be of interest to anybody and there- 
fore I will insert here the Ode I wrote for the occasion. 


June 19, 1868 ,868 


Fair Harvard, today pleasure speeds the gay hours ; 

Beauty's eyes, like the sunbeams are bright, 
And the music of birds, and the fragrance of flowers, 

Fill the emerald earth with delight ; 
But soon this fair scene, like a vision departs. 

Long to linger on Memory's shore, 
While thy children, tonight, leave with sorrowing hearts, 

These dear haunts that shall know them no more ! 

In a few fleeting moments thy time-honored towers 

Shall tearfully fade from our view. 
And the labor and sport of this old world of ours 

Shall give place to the work of the new ; 

148 Chronicles of ' 

But the wisdom we've learned, and the friendships we've 

Shall go with us where'er we may be, 
And led by the one, by the other sustained, 

Thy sons shall do honor to thee ! 

As the brave Spartan vowed 'ere he mingled in fight, 

To conquer, but never to yield. 
To exult as a victor for freedom and right. 

Or in death be borne back on his shield, — 
May thy children, tomorrow, go forth to the strife. 

Bearing "Truth" for their motto on high, 
'Neath her banner, like heroes to triumph in life, 

Or, if vanquished, like heroes to die ! 

1868 I graduated from Harvard in 1868, without college 
honors. I emphasize the word college, for let me hope 
my life there in other respects had not been altogether 
without honor, notwithstanding the episode of my sus- 
pension in my Freshman 3'ear, of which I spoke in the 
life of my father. I had certainly had the honor of sing- 
ing for a year in the Freshman Glee Club, and then for 
three years in the Varsity Glee Club, which seems to 
have held a more important place in college than it does 
today. I got no end of pleasure out of this. 

But the pleasantest experience I had in college was 
that of our Club Table of fourteen men. Twelve of us 

The Boit Family 149 

came together the second term of our Freshman year, 
and we added two more to our number in our Sophomore 
year. These fourteen remained together throughout our 
college course and all became friends for life. Death 
spared us for nearly forty years after graduation. 

Thirty-five years after we left college the inspiration 
seized me to get all the old Club Table together again 
for a dinner at the Somerset Club. All were alive and it 
happened at that moment that all were in America. Our 
dinner took place on the night of February 12, 1903. 1903 
Every man was there. They came from St. Louis, Penn- 
sylvania, New York and Massachusetts, We sat in the 
same position as at our college table. The men at the 
head and foot carved one course for all of us in memory 
of the good old times. I still owned a photograph of us 
taken when we graduated. This I had copied so that 
each might have one. After dinner a flashlight photo- 
grapher took us in the same positions in which we had 
been seated for the old photograph taken thirty-five 
years before. 

You are no doubt familiar with these two curious 
photographs of boys and old men. I doubt if such a 
large and perfect reunion, after such a gulf of years, ever 
took place before. We had a glorious time. Never 
before had we been all together since we left college. 

Our feast was of a higher order than in our college 
days — but did it taste as well .? Not to one of us. Did 
we sing the old songs as well ? I believe we cared more 

150 Chronicles of 

for them, even if our voices were less melodious. It was 
a night of pleasant visions. These were the men : 
Dawes E. Furness of Philadelphia ; Edgar Huidekoper of 
Meadville, Pennsylvania ; Doctor Frederick C. Shattuck 
of Boston ; Doctor Francis P. Kinnicutt of New York ; 
Professor James Barr Ames of Cambridge ; Charles T. 
Levering of Boston ; Augustus G. Bullock of Worcester ; 
Arthur Hunnewell of Boston ; Robert A. Boit of Boston ; 
Leverett S. Tuckerman of Salem ; Horace Bacon of New 
York ; Malcolm S. Greenough of Cleveland, Ohio ; Moses 
Williams of Boston, and Dexter Tiffany of St. Louis. 

As I said on that great occasion, none of us had been 
in jail, however much we might have deserved it ; and 
all of us had been sufficiently successful in life to own 
the dress suits we wore ! 

1915 Today, May, 191 5, fifteen years after our dinner, sk 
are dead. 

1868 In the autumn of 1868, the year I graduated, I went 
with my father and mother to Savannah, Georgia, and 

1875 lived there in business till 1875. During this period I 
passed my summers chiefly in Newport, Rhode Island, 
with visits to my friends in Mount Desert, Nahant, 
Cotuit, and other places. 

While in college I had rowed, more or less, as I have 
said. In Savannah I joined the Couper Boat Club, and 
trained three successful four-oared crews, the last win- 
ning at the annual regatta on the Schulkill in Philadelphia. 
During my stay in Savannah I went into society — a 

The Bolt Family 151 

delightful society it was — and made many life-long 
friends. Although it was so soon after the Civil War, I 
was treated with great consideration and kindness, and 
in many houses became as intimate as if I had been bom 
a Southerner. I never met a more charming, kindly, 
hospitable people. Whenever I think of them my heart 
is filled with gratitude and affection for some of the 
pleasantest years of my life. 

January 15, 1874, in the beautiful old Presbyterian ^874 
Church in Savannah, I married Georgia Anderson 
Mercer, daughter of General Hugh Weedon Mercer of 
Virginia and Mary (Anderson) Mercer of Savannah. 
General Mercer was a class-mate at West Point and an 
intimate friend of General Robert E. Lee, commander- 
in-chief of the Southern forces during the Civil War. I 
had the privilege of meeting this great man a number of 
times at General Mercer's. He was a most dignified and 
distinguished-looking old gentleman. Just what one 
would have expected him to be. I also had the pleasure 
of knowing General Joseph E. Johnston. I met him 
often at the club and at his own house. He lived in 
Savannah and was loved and respected by everyone. 
His influence against it did much towards putting a stop 
to duelling in Savannah. 

In 1875 my father's firm failed. I had recently been 1875 
taken into the firm as a junior partner on a salary. Of 
course, this was a great blow to me, falling as it did, so 
soon after my marriage. As I have before said we owed 

152 Chronicles of 

little or nothing in Savannah, our chief debt being to 
Messrs. Baring Bros. & Co. of London. 

1876 In 1876 my wife and I went to New York, where I 
started in the real estate business, taking desk room in 
the show-room of a gas fixture and chandelier shop on 
Broadway near Twenty-second Street. It was uphill 

1S77 work, but in the summer of 1877, j^st as I was begin- 
ning to see my way in real estate, I was offered the posi- 
tion of cashier in the New York office of the Commercial 
Union Assurance Company of London, at a salary of 
^1,000 per annum, and I accepted it. Mr. Alfred Pell 
of New York, the Manager of the company, gave me the 
position, and we afterwards became very close friends. 

1S76 Georgia and I passed the summer of 1876 at Tarry- 
town, on the Hudson, and most of the following winter 
in New York. The following summer I cannot remem- 
ber, but towards the middle of August we moved again 
to New York and there in a boarding-house on the north 
side of Thirty-fourth Street, just east of Fourth Avenue, 

1877 September 2, 1877, our first child, Mary, was born. My 
mother and father then asked Georgia and the baby to 
pass the winter with them in Newport. This they did, 
and it turned out well, for they all became devoted to 
one another. 

Meanwhile I remained in New York, living in a hall 
bedroom of a boarding-house on West Thirty-sixth Street, 
at $9.00 per week. Off and on I went to the family for 
a Sunday or holiday. 

The Boit Family 153 

These were perhaps the hardest years in my Hfe so far 
as the means of living went. It was hard, too, hving in 
New York, where I knew so many nice people, and at the 
same time felt forced to cut myself off from them entirely 
owing to my poverty. 

Then it was that Franklin Bartlett, the lawyer, and 
his wife, Bertha Post, proved the strength of their friend- 
ship. Their house was nearby, and always open to me 
at any time, day or night. If I had been rolling in 
money they could not have been more constantly atten- 
tive to me. Theirs was practically the only house of 
my old friends I ever went to. They themselves were 
at that time very fashionable people in New York. 
F'rank was a Governor of the Union Club, an officer of one 
of the crack regiments, of which later he became Colonel, 
a most successful lawyer, and an acknowledged leader 
in New York society. His wife's social position was of 
the best. They were my good angels in those hard 
times. Their never-ending devotion and hospitality made 
my heart sing. There is nothing I would not have done 
for them. 

When I had been with the Commercial Union less 
than a year, in the summer of 1878, I was promoted by 1S78 
Mr. Pell to represent the company as its agent in Boston. 

In September of that year I moved into the block of 
houses on Hawes Street, Brookline, near Colchester 
Street. Here on the 26th of November, 1878, our 187S 
second daughter, Georgia Mercer, was born. On the 6th 

154 Chronicles of 

of December, my wife, Georgia Mercer died. And so it 
was, that my noble and devoted young wife, lived only 
long enough to comfort, and inspire me through the 
hardest struggles, and darkest hours of my business hfe, 
and then died just as the day was breaking. My mother 
was with her at the time. 

I continued to live alone with my little children in 
Hawes Street for the next eight years, going to various 
places in the summer. At this time I wrote "Eustis," 
my one novel, and devoted much time to the study of 
singing. I remember that for several years I took sing- 
ing lessons at eight in the morning, so that it might not 
interfere with my business, nor with the freedom of my 
evenings, which I always jealously guarded. 

1886 On the 20th of May, 1886, I married Lilian Willis, 
daughter of Nathaniel P. Willis and Cornelia Grinnell. 
We had known one another well just after I graduated 
from college, but, until a few months before we were 
married, we had not met for sixteen years. We were 
married in the Joseph Grinnell house on County Street, 
New Bedford, and in front of the mirror before which 
Lilian's mother and father had been married, and before 
which, in my own house. No. 19 Colchester Street, 
Longwood, my daughter Alice received, when she was 

1914 married to William A. Burnham, Jr., December 5, 1914. 
Thus, three generations of Grinnell descent have stood 
before this mirror on their wedding days. 

The Boit Family 155 

On May 2, 1887, Alice was born in the Hawes Street 18S7 

On November 20, 1889, John Edward was born in the 1SS9 
same house. 

On December 7, 1892, we moved into our new house, '892 
No. 19 Colchester Street, Longwood. I bought this 
house in the preceding spring and we altered it over that 
summer and autumn while the family were living in Tops- 
field. We have lived in this house ever since. 

No less than five architects have made changes in this 
house for me, to wit : Hunnewell and Shaw, Arthur 
Dodd, Thomas A. Fox, R. Clipston Sturgis, and Peabody 
and Stearns. The result is not without attraction. 

I must mention the quaint story of the marble statue 
and the marble bust in our drawing-room. The bust is 
of Nathaniel P. Willis, the Poet, when about twenty-six 
or -eight years old. The statue is of Cornelia Grinnell, 
at the age of six or eight. 

In 1832 or 1833 Nathaniel P. Willis, a young man, had '^32 
his bust made in Florence, Italy, by Horatio Greenough. 
The same year, Joseph Grinnell of New Bedford, went to 
Florence with his little daughter, Cornelia, and had 
Greenough make a statue of her. At this time Willis 
did not know the Grinnells. 

After Cornelia had grown up, she met Willis, and 
married him. She was twenty years younger than 
Willis. Years afterward, Horatio Greenough came to 
this country, and when dining with Joseph Grinnell in 

156 Chronicles of 

New Bedford, said he had always felt interested in the 
marriage of his daughter, Cornelia, to N. P. Willis, 
because their two statues had been made from the 
same block of marble. 

Long ago both N. P. Willis and his wife passed away, 
but the two pieces of that block of marble, one of a little 
girl, and the other of a handsome young man, are still 
faithfully keeping each other company in my drawing- 
1902 In the summer of 1902, I bought some land in Isles- 

boro, Maine, and built there the following year. 
1904 In June, 1904, we moved into our new house in Isles- 
boro, and there, since then, we have passed most of our 

I have tried, as little as possible, to go into the details 
of my own hfe, yet it occurs to me that, in years to 
come, my children and grandchildren may wish to know 
something of my interests and activities, so I will add a 
brief summary of them, hoping that my doing so will not 
be misinterpreted. 

In Newport, I was for many years a stockholder and 
member of the Newport Reading Room. All the best 
men of both the summer and winter colonies of Newport 
belonged to it, at least temporarily. One also met there 
such officers of the army and navy as were quartered 
from time to time at Fort Adams or the Torpedo Station 
or Naval Training Station. It was a most agreeable 
loafing place. 

The Boit Family 157 

The "genial bowl" flowed more freely here than in 
any Club I ever belonged to ; but its chief frequenters 
were men who had nothing to do in summer but to 
amuse themselves. Besides which, as men gathered 
there from all parts of the country, an exchange of 
drinks was the simplest and most cordial form for the 
making of new, or the renewal of old relations. 

In Savannah, I was one of the Charter members of 
the Oglethorpe Club. I believe only three or four of 
the original members are still living, but the club is as 
successful and important as ever. It was and is today 
on the second floor of a large building at the corner of 
Bull and Broad Streets. The first floor of the building 
is very high-studded. A long, narrow, steep flight of 
stairs runs from the street entrance to the club rooms. 
After a grand military day, Dvvight Roberts, an officer 
of the crack Cavalry, rode a splendid horse of his up 
this flight into the club rooms. They had to use a fall 
and tackle to get him down again. Such things hap- 
pened in Savannah. If they were a wild lot, they were 
again the most delightful and free-handed companions I 
have ever known. Full of fun and full of fight, but the 
staunchest of friends ! 

In New York I have been a member of one or two 
small clubs, and still belong to the Harvard Club. 

In Cambridge I am a graduate member of the Porcel- 
lian, the Pudding, the Fly, the A. D., the D. K. E., and 
the Institute, and a life member of the Harvard Union. 

158 Chronicles of 

In Boston, I was one of the early members of the 
Longwood Cricket Club ; one of the first members of the 
Boston Athletic Association ; one of the first members 
of the Tennis and Racquet Club ; one of the first mem- 
bers of the Exchange Club and on its finance com- 
mittee ; and one of the early members of the City Club. 
I am today a member of Boston Athletic Association ; 
the University Club ; the Harvard Club ; the Somerset 
Club; the St. Botolph Club, of which I was President 
for four years, after holding practically every other office 
in the Club ; the Central Lunch Club ; the Papyrus Club, 
of which I was Secretary and President. This is the 
semi-Bohemian literary club of Boston and has held, as 
members, most of the literary lights of Boston for the 
last fifty years. I am also a member of the Franklin 
Club, another small literary dinner-club ; the Har\'ard 
Musical Association ; the Commercial Club, the leading 
business dinner-club of Boston ; the Metropolitan Im- 
provement League, of which I was the first President 
and continued to be its President for a number of years ; 
the Chamber of Commerce ; the Boston Board of Fire 
Underwriters of which I was one of the original seven 
members and its President ; the Boston Protective Depart- 
ment, of which I was a Director for several years ; the 
Boston Associated Board of Trade, of which I was Presi- 
dent, and also for many years a member of the Executive 
Committee. This Board was finally merged in the Cham- 
ber of Commerce, but prior to that was the most 

The Boit Family 159 

important and influential trade organization of Boston. 
The Presidency of this was my highest civic honor. 

I am also a Director of the Chicopee Manufacturing 
Company ; of the Old Boston National Bank ; of the New 
England Casualty Company ; of the Commercial Union 
Fire Insurance Company of New York ; a trustee of the 
Cushing Real Estate Trust, and several other trusts ; 
for many years a Director and Trustee of the Boston 
Dispensary, and for eight years its President ; a Director 
of the Brookline Friendly Society ; a member of the 
Bostonian Society ; the Historical and Genealogical 
Society, and the Artists' Guild. 

I have always felt it a man's duty to give a certain 
portion of his life and time to the interests of the com- 
munity in which he lived, and from which he derived his 
means of livelihood. 

PVom si.xty to sixty-five I retired from practically all 
work outside of my business, finding at that age my 
business alone required the time and attention I could 
give it. When I began business in Boston, in 187S, 1878 
there were four on my pay-roll ; today there are between 
fifty and sixty. 

From boyhood I was fond of singing, and from twelve 
to fourteen was taught to sing second in the high school 
in Jamaica Plain. At Dixwell's school we had a small 
singing club — at least there were half a dozen or more, 
who were constantly singing together with such parts as 
we could master. In college, as I have said, I was a 

i6o Chronicles of 

member of the Glee Club, and when I went to Savannah, 
I joined a choral society which was a very admirable 
musical association. In Savannah, too, I was for many 
years a member of the quartette choir of Christ Church. 
The soprano was a Mrs. Cleveland, who sang church 
music more superbly than any woman I have ever heard. 
A grand, great voice of most touching timbre ! In this 
choir I sang tenor. I never was a tenor. In Savannah, 
too, I sang for a while, in the beautiful old Independent 
Presbyterian Church. 

During my widowerhood, while living in Longwood, 
I sang for several years in the quartette choir of 
the Unitarian Church on Walnut Street, Brookline. 
Hyram G. Tucker was the organist. In this choir I 
sang bass. I was never a bass. My voice was baritone. 
At this same time I belonged to several male quartettes 
and choral societies. I studied singing under various 
good masters, and loved it. I gave up singing when I 
was about forty -five. 

I had always been able to draw more or less well from 
the time I was a boy, and until I was thirty I often 
sketched in water colors, but without much success. At 
one time, in youth, I thought a little of trying to become 
a painter, and I took my water-colors to La Farge to 
criticise. I remember his words: " I can only say you 
are evidently fond of trying to paint. You may come 
to work in my studio if you wish to." At the time I 
thought this most discouraging, probably expecting him 

The Boit Family i6i 

to say I was an incipient Rubens. Now it appears to 
me to have been a very kind and hopeful view to have 
taken of my amateurish work. I own today examples 
of what I showed him, and am surprised to think of his 
gentleness and forbearance! 

After a long lapse of years, when I was sixty-three, I 
took up oil painting. However mediocre may be my 
work, I have derived an immense amount of enjoyment 
from it, and many hours of absolute peace and forget- 
fulness of the outside world. 

I have contributed from time to time to the daily 
press, but chiefly on insurance questions. I have never 
taken an active part in politics, though I have done fully 
my share of talking about them. I have always voted. 

I have written many verses, indifferently well, for 
the various clubs I have belonged to, and for family 

When I re-read what I have written of the great 
diversity of interests in my life, I am not surprised that 
I never distinguished myself, but I am surprised that I 
should have been sufficiently successful in business to 
bring up my family in comfort, if not in luxury. 

When I was growing up, I passed most of my sum- 
mers in Nahant or Cotuit. I remember our family 
boarded at Nahant for two years, at Johnson's, where 
the Postoffice now stands. One of these summers the 
Inches cousins were also there or in the next house, and 
Robert S. Sturgis was paying court to Susan Inches, 

1 62 Chronicles of 

and driving her about in a high dog-cart that commanded 
my boyish admiration. For two summers we had the 
house just above Pea-Island and the Cave, now owned 
by the Bradlee family, but at that time belonging to my 
uncle, Charles Inches. Opposite us were the Rices and 
Guilds and Grants. Another summer I passed there 
with Aunt Charlotte Hubbard, who was living in the 
Curtis house on the site of which, I think today, stands 
Frank Merriam's house. My Grandfather Hubbard's 
house on this same street had been sold many years 
before, and was owned in my youth by a Mr. Green of 
New York, whose wife was a Miss Coolidge of Boston. 

After I was nineteen or twenty, and until I was twenty- 
seven, I passed my summers in Newport, Rhode Island. 
There I went into society, and became acquainted with 
people from all over the country, but especially from New 
York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Among them I made 
many friends. When hard times struck me I lost most 
of these good people from my visiting list. 

I loved Newport with its wonderful boating and bath- 
ing and dinners and dances and hosts of pretty girls. It 
was a varied and delightful society with perhaps less vul- 
gar ostentation and extravagance than in later years, but 
still with more style and lavishness of expenditure than 
one saw at that period in Boston. A number of Boston 
families passed their summers there, and among them 
were the Robert and Tom Gushing families, the Whit- 
wells, Miss Deacon, the Sigourneys, the Robert Sturgis 

The Boit Family 163 

family, the Hollis Hunnewells, the Brewers, the Princes, 
the Robert Masons, the Andrew Robesons, and Mrs. 
Julia Ward Howe's family at the head of their attractive 
Glen in the country nearby. 

Then my brother Ned and sister Isa lived there, at the 
place they had built just beyond Bailey's Beach — " The 
Rocks" — back of the Spouting Horn. At that time 
Mrs. Paran Stevens was in her prime, with her sister 
Fanny of the lovely voice. There, too, from New 
York, were the Rutherfords, Kings, Traverses — that 
most delightful of families — the Parrishes, Lorillards, 
Keteltases, Lawrences, Belmonts, Whitings, Potters, 
Bonapartes (I heard Christine Nielson sing at their 
house), the Samuel G. Wards, the Barclays, the Van 
Rensselaers, and many others. From Philadelphia and 
Baltimore, the Tiffanys, Powells, Ashursts, Fishers, 
Willings, and other delightful people. It was before the 
coming of the Vanderbilts and Astors to Newport. 

It was a wonderful place for idle young men ! These 
were the years from 1865 to 1874, just prior to my ^„ 


first marriage. During this period I either boarded in 
Newport, or stayed with Ned and Isa, or Robert and 
Susie Sturgis, or lived with my father and mother, who 
for one or two summers hired a house there. I could 
write chapters of gossip of Newport and its people as I 
knew them in my youth ! 

I have been to Europe five times : first, as a boy with 
my mother in 1856; second for three or four months in 1856 

164 Chronicles of 

1889 1889 with Ned, when I went with my sister Isa to the 
Bayreuth Festival ; third, for a month or more with Ned, 

1890 in 1 890, after the death of my father and mother ; fourth, 
1898 for three or four months in 1898, to see Mary and 

Georgia, in Dresden, where they were studying. At 
that time I took them to Nuremberg, and Munich, and 
Innsbruck and thence to Venice and back. Fifth, for 
19 10 the summer of 19 10, when I took my wife, Lilian, and 
daughter Alice, and maid to Paris, (motoring from 
Cherbourg), and thence to Florence, near which city we 
stayed with my brother Ned for six weeks at his lovely 
Villa ** Cernitoio," in the mountains above Pelago, near 
Vallombrosa. Thence, we came home through Germany, 
Holland, Belgium, and England. 

It was at "Cernitoio" that I first tried my hand at oil 
painting. That morning Ned and I went out together 
to paint. He had put such colors on my palette as he 
thought necessary. We selected positions about a hun- 
dred yards apart overlooking those beautiful valleys of 
the Arno. After a couple of hours he came to me and 
looked at what I had done. After a little he said " Bob, 
I won't say that what you have done is good, but I do 
say its the most remarkable thing I ever saw — for you 
Q.2iXi paint ! " And again " I never saw any man do such 
a thing before ! " 

Of course he meant exactly what he said and no more 
— that without ever having used oils, and without trying 
to paint at all for thirty years or more, I had a certain 

The Boit Family 165 

knowledge of painting which usually comes only with 
study and practice. But I had always loved painting, 
and been thrown much with artists, and watched them 
paint, even if never painting myself. That and a love of 
nature had been study, even if not realized by me. 

It was during this stay at " Cernitoio," that, on the 
loth of July, 19 10, I had a quite unusual adventure. 1910 

That morning, my brother Ned took Lilian and me, 
and my niece, Jeanie Patten, in his motor to San 
Gimignano, where we lunched and did a little sightseeing. 
No sojourner in Florence should miss seeing this pic- 
turesque town with its wonderful old towers. In the 
afternoon we motored from there to Florence for tea, 
and thence twenty miles home in the cool of a beautiful 

When we entered Ned's avenue, high up on the moun- 
tainside, and about three-quarters of a mile from his 
house, we were suddenly stopped by a barricade of stones 
thrown across the road. At the same moment we were 
covered by the pistol, and double-barrelled shot-gun of 
two brigands. It was a lonely spot, and as we were un- 
armed there was nothing for us to do, but, after many 
minutes of parleying, to hand over our money, which 
amounted in all to some sixty dollars. 

Lilian and Jeanie behaved with great presence of mind, 
and Lilian managed to take off her glove, conceal her 
diamond engagement ring, and pull on her glove again 
without its being noticed. So that when the ladies' 

1 66 Chronicles of 

jewelry was demanded they had nothing on them but 
Lilian's plain gold wedding ring. This they did not 
take. In fact they did not lay hands on, or personally 
touch any of us. 

Then, not satisfied with their booty, they ordered me 
(no doubt mistaking me for Ned) to stay with them as 
hostage, and the rest of the party to go on to the Villa, 
and bring them io,ooo-lire- worth in money or valuables. 
At Ned's request he was allowed to remain with me. 
They treated us decently while with them, and per- 
mitted us two old men to sit quietly by the roadside. 

When the motor returned, with the chauffeur and 
Jeanie Patten, after an absence of about half an 
hour, the brigands were evidently in great haste 
to be off, for they seized the roll of money, without 
counting it, stuffed it into their pockets and disappeared 
hurriedly into the woods. Jeanie had brought them all 
she could find in the house, but it only amounted to 
about a hundred dollars, so that we got off very easily so 
far as money was concerned. 

The moment the robbers disappeared a throng of Ned's 
retainers came rushing up the road armed with every 
conceivable weapon — some twenty or thirty of them 
with pistols, and rifles, and shotguns, and butcher knives, 
and stilettos, and carving-knives, and pitchforks. They 
were a motley and wildly excited crew ! 

They were so close upon the heels of the brigands, that 
Ned would not permit them to follow, but stopped them 

The Boit Family 167 

in their tracks. He knew there would be a fight and 
was quite unwilling to have any of his men hurt, so long 
as we, ourselves, were safe. It was a quick decision but 
made with Ned's usual wisdom. 

His forester caught a third member of this gang in 
the woods that evening, imprisoned him for the night in 
one of the farm buildings, and turned him over to the 
authorities the next morning. He died in prison, in 
Florence, within a year. The other two robbers were 
supposed to have been killed by the police a few months 
later, while making a similar attack somewhere between 
Florence and Rome. 

This affair created great excitement throughout the 
whole of Northern Italy. It was said such a thing had 
not happened in Tuscany for a hundred years. The 
papers were full of it. The government in Rome quad- 
rupled the force of mounted police, or Carabinieri, in the 
environs of Florence. One evening eighteen Carabinieri 
appeared at " Cernitoio," and passed half of the night in 
our out-buildings, scouring the mountains above us 
before morning. The government offered a large reward 
for the apprehension of the robbers. 

After gazing into the muzzle of a double-barrelled 
shot-gun for twenty minutes or more, I am satisfied it is 
a very persuasive weapon for the extraction of money ! 

I believe I have nothing more to write of myself. I 
have not intended this as an autobiography, but have 

1 68 Chronicles of 

tried to write of myself impersonally. No doubt there 
are lapses here and there. 

For the fortieth anniversary of my class after gradu- 
ation, as Class Odist, I wrote some verses. They were 
read at our dinner at the University Club in Boston, in 

1908 June, 1908. When I had written them I found by a 
strange coincidence there were exactly the number of 
lines that there were classmates who had graduated 

1868 with me in 1868. These are the verses: 


1908 June 23, 1908 


Comrades of old ! Is it a day or year 

Since last we met .' 
Youth is but yesterday — life but a smile — a tear, 

And even yet 
The shouts that echo from our joyous band 

Strike sharp and free, 
As shoulder to shoulder, hand tight clasped in hand, 

We circle round the tree ! 
Hark to the songs we sing ! Hear the wild cries 

As, tussling for the flowers. 
We seek at least one bud to win — a prize 

For some sweetheart of ours ! 

The Boit Family 169 

And then we parted — boyhoods' banners furled — 

Each hugging to his breast 
Faith in himself — his strength to win the world — 

And at its best. 
Keen for a single-handed fall with fate, 

In boyish pride 
We parted — girding up our loins and plunging straight 

Into the surging tide ! 

Some have achieved, some ridden to a fall, 

Some more, some less, been blessed ; 
But we have fought like men, tho' one and all, 

God knows, have been hard pressed. 
Who shall stand first ? He who in springtime sows 

The up-turned field, 
Or he who gathers from the autumn rows 

Their golden yield ^ 
Who shall stand first .? He who may claim of memory 

An unstained past, 
Or he who, wrestling with the tempter hip and thigh 

Is thrown at last .? 
Yes! Who stands first, where all their best have done.? 

Not wealth, nor glory, 
Nor fame for this world's battles won 

Shall tell the story. 

lyo Chronicles of 

Hark ! This man gained the battles of the Soul, 

Unseen, unknown, 
By day, by night, still fighting for the goal, 

In silence and alone ! 
Crushed through dark hours of agony and wrath, 

Yet daylight found him, 
Strong and courageous still to cheer the path 

Of those around him. 
He shall stand first ! Up ! Answer to the call ! 

We hear the cry 
In answer from the fire-purged Souls of all — 

" It is not I." 

And yet about us here, on every side. 

If we but knew, 
Gems of self-immolated lives abide 

In hearts steadfast and true. 
Into each other's souls, if we might see, 

Ere now we part. 
How tight at leash would strain our sympathy 

As heart sought heart ! 

The Boit Family 171 

Those, who, o'er-burdened, left us on the way, 

We greet tonight. 
As they shall greet us with the coming day, 

When all is light. 
Whether of fable or of truth the hope be born, 

That hope beats in us still ; 
In spite of reasons, scoff, or cynic scorn, 

Hope on we will. 
When each of us through that dark night's despair 

Has passed — and hesitating stands — 
Comrades of old shall greet us there — somewhere — 

With out-stretched hands ! 

Rise, brothers, rise ! With voices strong and clear. 

As once you sung, 
Sing us again the songs we held so dear 

When we were young ! 
Those brave old songs of love and hope and youth. 

Of mighty deeds and men. 
Of constancy, eternity and truth — 

Sing ! sing them all again ! 
Then shall we turn to our allotted parts. 

Companioned — or alone, 
With youth's glad chorus ringing in our hearts 

As we trudere on ! 





Daughter of Edward Darley Boit and 
Jane Parkinson Hubbard 

Chapter XI 

'ANE HUBBARD BOIT was born at "Ingleside," 

October 5, 1849. She was brought up in Jamaica 

Plain, and Boston, and took several journeyings 

abroad. We have been sympathetic companions from 


I remember perfectly the morning after she was born. 
I was four and a half. I was taken into my mother's 
room to see her. The sun was pouring into the room 
between the gauze curtains. My mother was lying in a 
high four-poster. I had to be lifted up from the floor to 
see her. She smiled but looked white and thin. Then 
I was shown a tiny little red face beside her. I was told 
it was my httle sister. I felt interested, but it did n't 
seem to me as dear as they said it was. Mammie Thomp- 
son, or Katie, her daughter, told me an angel had brought 
it down in the night, and presented it to mama. It was 
made very mysterious and I was duly impressed. That 
was my first sight of the being who was my sister, and 
was to become my life-long friend. 

When she was a very young girl, an intimate friend of 


The Boit Family 173 

mine, who was much in love with her, sent her these 
verses with a bunch of heliotrope : 

I send a bunch of heliotrope 

With thoughts no written words can name, 
It tells of fear, and doubt, and hope. 

And speaks these three words, " Je vous aime." 

Such words do raptured lovers say 

To those who their hearts' homage claim, 
When in some bower at fall of day 

They gently whisper " Je vous aime." 

And with such words, one day may I 

Tell unto you my heart-felt flame, 
And may the breezes passing by, 

Bring answer — " Moi aussi — Je t'aime." 

They are very lovely, but made no impression on the 
heart of my dear sister. He himself got over it in time 
to marry twice. 

She married Arthur Hunnewell of Wellesley and Bos- 
ton, son of Horatio Hollis Hunnewell and Isabella 
(Welles) Hunnewell. 

They had the following children : Isabella, born May 

7, 1 87 1, married October 8, 1907, James Searle Barclay '^71 

of New York ; Jane Boit, born May 9, 1872, unmarried ; jg.., 

Julia Overing, born November 19, 1873, unmarried; 1S73 


174 Chronicles of 

1^78 Margaret, born May 21, 1878, married June 30, 1902, 
George Baty Blake of Boston and Lenox. 

Margaret and George B. Blake have two children: 

1904 Margaret Hunnewell Blake, born August i, 1904 ; Julia 

1907 Overing Blake, born March 8, 1907. 

Jane Boit Hunnewell and Arthur Hunnewell also 
brought up from infancy, William S. Patten, the son of 
Joseph H. Patten and Elizabeth Greene (Boit) Patten, 
both of whom died within a few years of his birth. 

1845 Arthur Hunnewell was born December i, 1845 5 ^lar- 

\^l° ried June i, 1870; died October 17, 1904. He was a 
classmate of mine at Harvard, and, as I have said, became 
my brother-in-law. At fifty-nine, when he died, he was 
in the prime of life. I never knew a finer man. He 
was very powerful and a great athlete in his youth. He 
was the pitcher of our Varsity nine and much admired 
by his classmates. Later he became a crack lawn tennis 
and court tennis player. In fact, he and his brothers, 
and a few others, built the first tennis court in or about 
Boston, where Thomas Petit grew up; the man who 
finally became the champion court tennis player of the 

Arthur Hunnewell was a splendidly " set-up " man 
and always dressed with great taste and care. He was 
strong and fearless and almost fierce-looking, but with 
the kindest of hearts and gentlest of natures — admired 
and feared by those who did not know him ; admired 
and loved by those who did. He was full of fun, keen 

The Boit Family 175 

of wit, a persistent tease, and a great "sizer-up " of men. 
His judgment was always good, and his common sense 
unfailing. He rarely showed his sympathy and feeling 
in words, but in acts. 

He was a brave, honorable, noble gentleman, if there 
ever was one, and a most loyal and generous friend. 
Life has not seemed the same to me since his death. 

After his death Tarbell painted a portrait of him. 

John S. Sargent painted a portrait of his wife, Jane 
Boit Hunnewell. It is a fine portrait, but failed to do 
entire justice to the great beauty of her face. 

Jane Boit Hunnewell (4) and her daughter Jane, both 
showed a strong artistic taste in some of their pottery 



Son of Edward Darley Boit and 
Jane Parkinson Hubbard 

Chapter XII 

JOHN BOIT (4) was born in Eliot Street, Jamaica 
Plain. He attended various schools in Boston and 
Savannah, and also went to St. Mark's and Exeter. 
He received his LL. D. from the Harvard Law School 
and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar. He studied 
architecture in New York for several years and built the 
New York Yacht Clubhouse in Newport. Thereafter 
he studied painting under John LaFarge, and again in 
Julien's Studio in Paris. On the 7th of September, 

1904 1904, he married Louise Horstmann of Washington, 
District of Columbia. They were married at Laleham, 
on the River Thames, in England. They live in Wash- 
ington, District of Columbia, and have a country place at 
South Natick, Massachusetts, on the Charles River. 
They have one son, John Boit (5), born September i, 

1910 1910, in Colchester Street, Brookline, in my brother 
Ned's house, next to mine, which they were occupying 
that summer. 


The Boit Family 177 

I have used so many family verses to this story, I 
shall also add the following by your Uncle John Boit (4). 


1879 1879 

Heigho ! Heigho ! Why does the farmer's daughter go 
Through the wood so early? 

The farmer's daughter is fair to see ; 

She is so pale and slender and tall ; 
She looketh more like a fair ladie, 

Than a simple farmer's daughter. 

A comely lad is the Squire's son, 

With his curly hair, and his coal black eyes; 

And every morning he shoulders his gun. 
And goes to the wood a hunting. 

Tonight there 's feasting up at the Hall, 

For the Squire's son hath taken a wife ; 
She is both pale and slender and tall. 

But never a farmers daughter. 

There's weeping down at the Farm tonight 

For the farmer's daughter lies dead in the house, 

And on her bosom so cold and white 
A little babe is sleeping. 

Heigho ! Heigho ! The farmer's daughter no more shall go 
Through the wood so early. 

17S Chronicles of 


When spring comes, the children go 
Laughing through the fields and woods, 

Seeking glades where violets grow. 
Slopes where sweet arbutus tv/ines, 
Rocks where fragile columbines 

Nod their scarlet hoods. 

When the Spring comes, hand in hand, 
Youth and maiden, lover-wise. 

Dreaming roam through fairy-land. 
Tearful yesterday has vanished 
Stern to-morrow has been banished 

From Love's Paradise. 

When the Spring comes — lo — she brings 
Mid gay flowers and merry birds, 

Memories of other springs. 

Eyes, long dim, our own eyes seek; 
Lips, long silent, smile and speak 

Old familiar words. 

The Boit Family 179 


Gaily in through the casement peeps the dawn ; 
Gaily the bird in the coppice greets the mom : — 

Love starts from its troubled slumber — wakes and sighs. 

Calmly the moon is shining o'er the world at rest ; 
The bird is quietly sleeping on her nest : — 

Love turns on its feverish pillow with open eyes. 

Your Uncle John certainly was gifted with as much 
power in verse as the rest of the Boit family, and per- 
haps with more imagination, and a subtler touch than 
any of them. He has also done some excellent work in 

With this last member of our family of my generation 
these chronicles of the Boit family must end. 

I know well how few people take an active interest in 
their forbears. Yet here and there is one, who goes 
hunting in the records of the past with a keen scent for 
what he may unearth of the lives of his people. 

I, myself, am one of these, and in my own researches, 
often have lamented, that none of my forefathers had 
left a printed record of those they knew in life, or of 
those who had preceded them. 

I therefore think I have a right to hope, if my race 
does not become extinct, that the work I have done may 

i8o Chronicles of 

prove of value to some descendant in quest of family- 
records. I also hope that my children, for whom it has 
been chiefly written, and m.y other kindred of today, may 
gather from it pleasant and welcome thoughts of some 
of their own people, who have lived their simple lives, 
have done their duty by their fellowmen, as they have 
seen it, and have passed on without making a deep or 
lasting impression on the history of their times, or of 
their country. 


Chapter XIII 





The Boit Family 




In Boston, U. S. A. 


B. 1733; D. Dec. 31, 1798 

in Boston 

Buried King's Chapel 

M. (first; June, 1762 


D. 1767 

M, (second) Aug. 3, 1 769 


D. 1794 

By Hannah Atkins By Sarah Brown 

Hannah Boit (2) 

B. 1765 

M. Sept. 27, 1789 

Crowell Hatch 

of Boston 

B. 1733 

D. 1814 

Many descendants 

but none in or 

about Boston 


Henry Boit (2) 

B. July 1763 

Married and died in 

Barcelona, Spain 

leaving children 


John Boit (2) 

B. 1767 

Said to have died 

in infancy 


Sarah Boit (2) 

B. 1770 

M. 1790 

John Duballet 

French gentleman 

Lived and died in 

Bordeaux, France 

Presumably no children 


Rebecca Boit (2) 

B. 1772 

D. 1793 


Buried King's Chapel 



John Boit (2) 

B. Oct. 15, 1774 

D. Mar. 8, 1S29 


M. Aug. 20, 1 799, in 

Trinity Church, Newport, R. I. 

Eleanor (.-Vuchmuty) Jones 

of Newport. D. 1831 

Both buried King's Chapel 


1 84 

Descendants of 


B. Oct. 15, 1774 

D. Mar. 8, 1829 


M. Aug. 20, 1799, in 

Trinity Church, Newport, R. I. 


of Newport 

D. 1831 

Both buried King's Chapel, Boston 

X Their children 

Ellen M. Boit (3) 

B. Feb. 2, 1803 


D. Charleston, S. C. 


Caroline Boit (3) 

B. May 5, 1804 

D. about 1S63 

M. Henry F. Baker 

Nov. 1822 

Merchant, Boston 

Col. of Cadets 

Harvard 181 5 

Their children 

(a) Ellen Baker (4) 

B. Mar. 8, 1S25, Boston 

D. May 27, 1904, Boston 


(b) Darley Baker (4) 
B. July 28, 1827 
D. Oct. 3, 1868, New Orleans 

No children living 
Harvard 1848 


Henry Boit (3) 

Dates of birth and death 

not known 

Went South when young 

and died there 


Mary Boit (3) 

Bapt. June 13, 1779 

D. June, 1833 

Lived last part of her life in 

Weymouth, Mass. 

and died there 

Harriet Auchmuty Howard 

Boit (3) 

B. Aug. 31, 181 2, Boston 

D. Aug. 20, 1870, Boston 

M. Charles Inches, Boston 
B. Mar. 19, 1808, Boston 
D. Jan. 22, 1888, Boston 


Edward Darley Boit (3) 

B. Aug. 31, 18 1 3, Boston 

D. Oct. 14, 1890, Cotuit 

M. June 13, 1839, Boston 

Jane Parkinson Hubbard (8) 

of Boston 

B. Nov. 25, 1 818 

D. May 14, 1890 

in Newport, R. L 

Harvard 1S34 


Julia Overing Boit (3) 

B. July 15, 1820 

D. May i, 1888 

M. June 4, 1846 

Russell Sturgis 

Boston and London 

Harvard 1823 

The Boit Family 



B. Aug. 31, 1 81 3, Boston 
D. Oct. 14, 1890, Cotuit 
M. June 13, 1839, Boston 


of Boston 

B. Nov. 25, 1818 

D. May 14, 1S90, Newport R. I. 

Harvard 1834 

I Their 

Edward Darley Boit (4) 
B. May 16, 1840, Boston 

D. Apr. 21, 191 5 

M. (first) June 16, 1864 

Mary Louisa Gushing 

B. Dec. 19, 1845 

D. Sept. 29, 1894 

Dinard, France 

M. (second) Jan. 5, 1897 

Florence Little, Newport, R. I. 

B. Nov. 6, 1876 

D. Apr. 28, 1902 

Paris, France 

Harvard 1863 


Elizabeth Greene Boit (4) 

B, July 7, 1842, Boston 

D. Apr. 14, 1875, Providence 

M. June 20, 1S67 

Joseph H. Patten, 


B. Mar. 8, 1836 

D. Dec. 17, 1874 



Robert Apthorp Boit (4) 

B. Apr. 29, 1846, Boston 

M. (first) Jan. 15, 1874 

Georgia Anderson Mercer 

Savannah, Ga. 

B. Sept. 6, 1852 

D. Dec. 6, 1878 

M. (second) May 20, 1S86 

Lilian Willis, New Bedford 

B. Apr. 27, 1850 

Harvard 186S 

children iv 

Jane Hubbard Boit (4) 

B. Oct. 5, 1849 

Jamaica Plain 

I\L June I, 1870 

Arthur Hunnewell 


B. Dec. I, 1845 

D. Oct. I 7, 1904 


Harvard 1868 


John Boit (4) 

B. Oct. 27, 1858 

Jamaica Plain 

M. Sept. 7, 1904 

at Laleham, Eng. 

Louise Horstmann 

Washington, D. C. 

B. Mar. 28, 1869 



Law School 



Julia Boit, (4) 
Died in infancy 

1 86 

Descendants of 




Their living children 

Florence Dumaresq Boit (5) 

B. Newport, R. I., 1868 


Jane Hubbard Boit (5) 

B. 1870 



Mary Louisa Boit (5) 

B. June 5, 1874 

Paris, France 



Julia Overing Boit (5) 

B. Nov. 15, 1877 

Soisy, France 




FLORENCE LITTLE (second wife) 

Their children 

Julian McGarty Boit (5) 

B. Jan. 21, 1900 

Paris, France 


Edward Boit (5) 

B. Apr. 12, 1902 

Paris, France 

The Boit Family 






Their children 

Jane Boit Patten (5) 

B. June 8, 1869 




Eliza Bridgham Patten (5) 

B. Sept. 17, 1 87 1 


D. Sept. 4, 1890 

Jackson, N. H. 



William Samuel Patten (5) 

B. July 21, 1873 


M. June 16, 1904 

Anna Morton Thayer 

daughter of 

Nathaniel Thayer 

of Boston and 

Lancaster, Mass. 

B. May 28, 1883, Boston 

Harvard 1895 





Their children 


Anna Thayer Patten (6) 
B. Mar. 29, 1905 

Jane Hunnewell Patten (6) 
B. May 9, 1906 


William Samuel Patten, Jr. (6) 
Nov. 29, 1909 

Descendants of 





Their children 


Mary Anderson Boit (5) 

B. Sept. 2, 1877 

New York City 

M. Sept. 22, 1902 

Church of our Saviour 


Dr. Hugh Cabot 

B. Aug. ir, 1872 

Beverly, Mass. 

Harvard 1894 

Their children 


Hugh Cabot (6) 

B. Feb. 20, 1905 

3 Marlborough St., Boston 


Mary Anderson Cabot (6) 

B. Sept. 24, 1907 

8y Marlborough St., Boston 

John Boit Cabot (6) 
B. Nov. 18, 1909 
87 Marlborough St., Boston 

Georgia Mercer Boit (5) 
B. Nov. 26, 1878 


M. May 14, 1902 

Church of our Saviour 


Walter Siegfried Gierasch 

B. Berlin, Germany 

Dec. 24, 1877 

Harvard 1902 

Their children 


Christina Stuart Gierasch (6) 

B. July 29, 1903 

Madison, Wis. 

D. Chicago, 111. 


Walter S. Gierasch (6) 

B. July 15, 1905 

Chicago, 111. 


Robert Boit Gierasch (6) 

B. Feb. 12, 1907 

Louisville, Ky. 

David Gierasch (6) 

B. July 5, 1908 
Hingham, Mass. 


Dorothea Gierasch (6) 

B. May 10, 1910 

Brookline, Mass. 


Edward Darley Gierasch (6) 

B. Feb. 14, 1914 

Brookline, Mass. 

The Boit Family 





LILIAN WILLIS (second wife) 

Their children 

Alice Boit (5) 

B. May 2, 1887, Brookline 

M. Dec. 5, 1914, in the 

Church of Our Saviour 


Wm. Appleton Burnham, Jr. 


Harvard 1904 

John Edward Boit (5) 

B. Nov. 20, 1889, Brookline 

Harvard 191 2 

1 90 

Descendants of 





Their children 

Isabella Hunnewell (5) 
B. May 7, 1871 
M. Oct. 8, 1907 

James Searle Barclay 
of New York 

Jane Boit Hunnewell (5) 

B. May 9, 1872 



Julia Overing Hunnewell (S) 

B. Nov. 19, 1873 



Margaret Hunnewell (5) 
B. May 21, 1878 
M. June 30, 1902 


George Baty Blake 

of Boston and Lenox, Mass. 

Harvard 1893 





Their children 

Margaret Hunnewell Blake (6) 
B. Aug. I, 1904 


Julia Overing Blake (6) 
B. Mar. 8, 1907 





Their child 

John Boit, Jr. (5) 

B. Sept. I, 1910 


The Boit Family 






Their children 

Susan Brimmer Inches (4) 
B. Aug. 15, 1838 
D. Nov. 3, 1900 
M. Oct. 4, 1858 
Robert Shaw Sturgis 
B. Aug. 29, 1824 
D. April 2, 1876 

Charles Edward Inches (4) 
B. Aug. 31, 1 841 
D. Jan. 12, 191 1 

Louise Pomeroy 

B. Aug. 14, 1861 

Harvard 1861 


Harriet Boit Inches (4) 

B. Feb. 27, 1844 

D. May 24, 1892 




Their children 


Robert Sturgis (5) 

B. June 27, 1859 

D. May 3, 1900 

M. June 14, 1888 

Marion Sharpless 

of New York 

Harvard 1881 


Charles Inches Sturgis (5) 

B. July 21, i860 

M. June 6, 1893 

Margaret Noble 

Harvard 1882 


Roger Faxton Sturgis (5) 

B. Mar. 21, 1862 

M. Oct. 7, 1893 

Mildred Frazer 

Harvard 1SS4 


Henrietta Auchmuty 

Sturgis (5) 

B. Mar. 1, 1864 

M. Dec. 23, 1 886 

Charles Edward Ingersoll 

of Philadelphia 


Elizabeth Perkins Sturgis (5) 

B. Dec. 18, 1865 

M. June 2, 1885 

James Potter 


Susan Brimmer Sturgis (5) 

B. Aug. 29. 1869 

M. June 27, 1898 

Antonio Yznaga Stewart 



Mary Howard Sturgis (5) 

B. Mar. 25, 1872 

M. Feb. 28, 1898 

Edgar Thomson Scott 



Descendants of 


Their children 

Mary Lyman Sturgis (6) 

B. Feb. 14, 1890 

M. April 23, 191 2 

Armitaee Whitman 

Henrietta Howard Boit 

Sturgis (6) 

B. Oct. 29, 1896 


Their children 

I n 

Robert Shaw Sturgis (6) Frank Noble Sturgis (6) 

B.Apr. 4, 1894 B.Jan. 9, 1897 





Their children 

I n 

Susan Brimmer Sturgis (6) Roger Sturgis (6) 

Born Nov. 11, 1894 Born Feb. 10, 1896 

Anita Sturgis (6) 
B. June 15, 1898 

The Boit Family 






Their children 

Anna Warren IngersoU (6) 
B. Sept. 30, 1887 


Charles Jared IngersoU (6) 
B. Feb. 1 1, 1894 

Harry IngersoU (6) 
B. May 27, 1889 


Robert Sturgis IngersoU (6) 

B. Dec. 16, 1891 

M. Oct. 31, 1914 

Maria Bernard Fowle 

Susan Brimmer IngersoU (6) 
B. Feb. 19, 1896 


John Hobart Warren 

IngersoU (6) 

B. Oct. 27, 1899 





Their children 


Elizabeth Sturgis Potter (6) 

B. July 9, 1 886 

M. Jan. 27, 1908 

Frank Lyon Polk 


John Hamilton Potter (6) 

B. June 13, 1 888 

Robert Sturgis Potter (6) 

B. Dec. 20, 1889 

Harvard 191 2 


Alice Beirne Potter (6) 
B. July 14, 1892 
D. Apr. 12, 1S93 


Descendants of 




Their children 


Susan Brimmer Stewart (6) Elizabeth Potter Stewart (6) 

B. Mar. 2, 1900 b. Nov. 4, 1904 


Mary Howard Stewart (6) Antonio Yznaga Stewart (6) 

B. Oct. 13, 1901 B.July 8, 1906 


William Hood Stewart (6) 
B. May 16, 1903 





Their children 


Edgar Thomson Scott, Jr. (6) 
B. Jan. II, 1899 


Warwick Potter Scott (6) 

B. Apr. 17, 1 90 1 

Anna Dike Scott (6) 
B. June 5, 1907 


Susan Brimmer Scott (6) 
B. Nov. 22, 1908 

The Boit Family 






Their children 

Henderson Inches (5) 

B. Oct. 16, 1S85 

Harvard 1908 

Charles Edward Inches (5) 

B. Feb. 27, 1887 

Harvard 1909 


Louise Brimmer Inches (5) 
B. Feb. 24, 1896 



(Daughter of John Boit (2) 



of Boston and London 

Their children 


Henry Parkman Sturgis (4) 

B. Mar. i, 1847 

M. (first) Oct. 2, 1872 

Mary Cecilia Brand 

D. June 20, 1 886 

M. (second) July 17, 1894 

Marie Eveleen Meredith 

All of England 

Oxford University 


Julian Russell Sturgis (4) 

B. Oct. 21, 1848 

D. Apr. 13, 1904 

M. Nov. 5, 1883 

Mary Maud Beresford 

Both of England 

Oxford University 

Mary Greene Hubbard 

Sturgis (4) 

B. Feb. 2, 1851 

M. (first) July 5, 1871 

Leopold Richard Seymour 

Col. of Guards, London 

D. May 30, 1904 

M. (second) July 18, 1906 

Bertram Godfrey Falle 


Howard Overing Sturgis (4) 

B. Nov. 8, 1855 


of England 

Oxford University 


Descendants of 




MARY CECILIA BRAND (first wife) 

Their children 

Margery Sturgis (5) 

B. June 21, 1874 

M. Jan. 31, 1900 

W, Ellice 

Their children 

James Ellice (6) 
B. June 4, 1901 

Cecilia Ellice (6) 
B. July 19, 1906 


Aline Ellice (6) 

B.July 9, 1909 


Rachel Sturgis (5) 

B. Feb. 6, 1876 

M. Sept. 8, 1898 

Aubrey Price 

Their children 


Margaret Rachel Price (6) 

B. Nov. 15, 1899 

Trevor Price (6) 
B. Mar. 2, 1901 

Olive Sturgis (5) 

B. Apr. 24, 1878 

M. Oct. 18, 1900 

George Barnard Hankey 

Their child 


Hans Mark John 

Barnard Hankey (6) 

B. Aug. 17, 1905 


Henry Russell Sturgis (5) 

B. Oct. 25, 1879 

M. Apr. 28, 1912 

Violet Milne 


John Bryan Sturgis (5) 
B. June 22, 1881 
M. Feb. 19, 1914 
IsHBEL Ellice 


Mary Sturgis (5) 
B. June 17, 1886 
M. Feb. 17, 1 910 

William Basset 

Their children 


Nancy Ursula Basset (6) 

B. Nov. 22, 1910] 


Richard Thurstine Basset (6) 

B. Apr. 27, 1913 

The Boit Family 197 





Their children 

Joan Meredith Sturgis (5) Dorothy Meredith 

B, July 24, 189s Sturgis (5) 

B. Jan. 26, 1897 





Their children 

(a) (b) 

Mark Beresford Russell Gerard Boit Sturgis (5) 

Sturgis (5) B. Sept. 12, 1885 

B. July ID, 1884 Unmarried 

M. July 9, 1914 (c) 

Ellen Rachel Stuart Wortley Roland Josselyn Russell 

Sturgis (5) 

B. Jan. 9, 1888 



Descendants of 





Their children. 


Mildred Seymour (5) 

B. Aug. 14, 1872 


Conway Russfxl Seymour (5) 

B. June 24, 1874 

M. May 27, 1897 

Louisa Mary Street 


Richard Sturgis Seymour (5) 

B. Sept. 21, 1875 

M. April 20, 191 1 

Victoria Alexandra 


Their children 


Leopold Richard Seymour (6) 

B. Sept. 23, 191 2 


Alexandra Victoria Seymour (6) 

B. May 24, 1914 

Edward Seymour (5) 

B. Feb. 10, 1877 

M. July 29, 1905 

Blanche Frances 


Their child 


Verena Mary Seymour (6) 

B. May 24, 1906 


Beauchamp Seymour (5) 
B. Oct. 6, 1878 


Ethel Seymour (5) 

B. Jan. 17, 1881 

M. May 23, 1910 

Eric Henry Bonham 

Their child 


Elizabeth Mary Bonham (6) 

B. July 10, 1914 


Lionel Seymour (5) 
B. Feb. 24, 1889 
M. Oct. 28, 1909 

Catherine Wooding 

Chapter XIV 





The Hubbard Family 201 


Claimed to be from Edward, the First, of England 

1. Edward 1 married Eleanor, daughter of Ferdinand III of 

2. Joan Plantagenet married Gilbert de Clare, Earl of 

3. Margaret de Clare married Hugh de Audley, Earl of 

4. Margaret de Audley married Ralph Stafford, Earl of 

5. Hugh, Earl of Stafford, married Fhilippa Beauchamp, 
daughter of Earl of Warwick. 

6. Margaret Stafford married Ralph de Nevill, Earl of 

7. Fhilippa Nevill married Thomas Dacre, Lord Dacre. 

8. Thomas Dacre married Eliza Bowes. 

9. Joan Dacre married Sir Richard Fienes, Lord Dacre. 

10. Sir Thomas Fienes married Alice Fitz Hugh, grand- 
daughter of Richard Nevill, Earl of Sahsbury. 

11. Thomas Fienes, Lord Dacre, married Anne Bouchier, 
daughter of Sir Humphrey Bouchier. 

12. Catherine Fienes married Richard Loudenoys. 

13. Mary Loudenoys married Thomas Harlakenden. 

14. Roger Harlakenden married Elizabeth Hardres. 

15. Richard Harlakenden married Margaret (Hubbard) Hobart. 

16. Mabel Harlakenden married Governor John Haynes. 

17. Ruth Haynes married Samuel Wyllis. 

1 8. Mehitable Wyllis married Rev. Daniel Russell. 

19. Mabel Russell married Rev. John Hubbard, died 1705. 

Having gone back to Edward I, I understand the line is carried back still far- 
ther to the Emperor Charlemagne. This chain is considered valuable by the 
Hubbard family, and has been much worn. 


Descendants of 



In America 


Came to Boston, in America, in 1635 

He married his wife, Judith, in 

Cambridge, England, in 1620 

Became a Pastor in Ipswich, Mass. 

Died in 1670 

John Hubbard (2) 
B. 1620 

Rev. William Hubbard (2) 

B. 1621. D. 1704 

M. (first) Margaret Rogers 

M. (second) Mary Crane Pierce 

Harvard 1642 

Pastor in Ipswich, Mass. 

Called the " Historian" 


Nathaniel Hubbard (2) 

B. 1629 

Richard Hubbard (2) 

B. 1631 

D. 1 68 1, Boston 

M. Sarah Bradstreet 

Daughter of Gov. Bradstreet 

Harvard 1652 

Their daughter, Sarah 

B. 1659 
M. Rev. John Cotton 


Margaret Hubbard (2) 
B. 1633 

M. (first) Ezechiel Rogers 
M. (second) Thomas Scott 


Martha Hubbard (2) 

B. 1638 

M. (first) Simeon Eyre 

M. (second) John Whittingham 

The Hubbard Family 203 



MARGARET ROGERS (first wife) 

Their children 

John Hubbard (3) Margaret Hubbard (3) 

B. 1648. D. 1 710, Boston B. 1652 

M. Anne Leverett, daughter of M. John Pynchon 

Governor Leverett 
Nathaniel Hubbard (3) 
B. 1650 



Their children 
I V 

Mary Hubbard (4) Hon. Nathaniel Hubbard (4) 

B. 1673 B. 1680. D. 1748 

M. Rev. Thomas Ruggles Harvard 1698 

jj M. (first; Mrs. Elizabeth 

Sarah Hubbard (4) ,, ^'^^'L^'^?'' o\ 

g jg-- M. (second) Mrs. Rebecca 

'^ (Smith) Gore 


Rev. John Hubbard (4) , , X\ , , 

B. 1677 Richard Hubbard (4) 

D. 1706, Jamaica, L. I. ^- '^^4 

M. Mabel Russell vii 

Harvard 1695 Anne Hubbard (4) 
IV B. 1686 

William Hubbard (4) 
B. 1678 

204 Descendants of 





Their children 

Dr. John Hubbard (5) Daniel Hubbard (5) 

B. 1703. D. 1773 B. 1706. D. 1741 

New Haven New London 

M. Elizabeth Stevens Yale 1727 

They had many descendants M. Martha Coit 

After Daniel Hubbard's death 

she married Thomas Greene of 

Boston. D. 1774 





Their children 


Russell Hubbard (6) Elizabeth Hubbard (6) 

B. 1732 Of Norwich and B. 1738 

New London M. Benjamin Greene 

Yale 1 75 1 V 

M. Mary Gray William Hubbard (6) 

Many descendants ^ ^^^^ Of Boston and 

II New London 

Lucretia Hubbard (6) M. (first) Lydia Coit 

B. 1734, Boston M. (second) Mary Copley, 1780 

M. Gregory Townsend M. (third) Joanna Perkins, 1 784 
jjj Many descendants 

Daniel Hubbard (6) 

B. 1736. Of Boston 

M. Mary Greene of Boston 

The Hubbard Family 






Their children 

Martha Hubbard (7) 

B. 1758, Boston 
M. Adam Babcock 

Elizabeth Hubbard (7) 

B. 1760, Boston 
M, Gardiner Greene 


Daniel Hubbard (7) 

B. 1762 


Thomas Hubbard (7) 
B. 1764 


John Hubbard (7) 

B. 1765. D. Oct. I, 1836 

M. (first) Elizabeth Patterson 

M. (second) Jane Parkinson 

Oct. 3, 1802 

D. Mar. 3, 1847, Boston 

Married at " Plantation Grove" 

Mahoica, Demerara 

Lucretia Hubbard (7) 
B. 1767 

Henry Hubbard (7) 

B. 1769, Boston 

M. Mary Chadwell 

Father and mother of 

Charles Hubbard 

Grandfather and grandmother 

of Charles W. Hubbard 

of Weston, and 

Father and mother of 

Mary Hubbard wlio married 

Wm. S. Whitwell, and was the 

Mother of Elizabeth Whitwell 

who married William Tudor 


Gilbert Hubbard (7) 
B. 1771 


Charles Hubbard (7) 
B. 1773 


Descendants of 



JANE PARKINSON (second wife) 

Their children 


Henry Hubbard (8) 

B. 1804. D. 1837 

No children 


Mary Greene Hubbard (8) 

B. 1806, Boston 

D. Sept. 17, 1839 

M. Sept. 28, 1829 

Russell Sturgis of Boston and 



William Hubbard (8) 

B. 1809. D. 1841 

No children 


Anne Hubbard (8) 

B. April 21, 1 811 

Plantation Mainstay 


D. Dec. 22, 1867 

Tunbridge Wells, Kent 

M. James White 

Merchant of London 

and Ceylon 

B. Oct. 31, 1805 

Hailsham, Sussex Co. 

D. 1889 London 


Gardiner Greene 

Hubbard (8) 

B. 1813. D. 1856 

M. Oct. 3, 1844 

Charlotte Caldwell Blake 

B. Oct. 26, 1822 

D. Nov. 29, 1900 

Elizabeth Hubbard (8) 

B. 181 5, Boston 


M. John Singleton Copley 


of Boston 

No children 


Martha Hubbard (8) 
B. 1816 


Jane Parkinson Hubbard (8) 

B. 1818. D. 1890 

Newport, R. L 

M. June 13, 1839 

Edward Darley Boit, Boston 

Harvard 1834 


Rev. John Parkinson 

Hubbard (8) 

B. June I, 1820 

D. Oct. 12, 1899 

M. June 28, 1849 

Adelaide McCulloh 

of Virginia 


Harriet Hubbard (8) 

B. 1822 



George Hubbard (8) 

B. 1823. D. 1867 


No children 

The Hubbard Family 






Their children 


Russell Sturgis (9) 

Manchester, Mass. 

B. Aug. 3, 1 83 1 

D. Oct. 14, 1899 

M. (first) Jan. 10, 1856 

Susan Codmax Welles 

of Boston 

M. (second) May 19, 1866 

Margaret McCulloh 

of Virginia 


Lucy Lyman Paine 

Sturgis (9) 

B. Mar. 13, 1833 

D. Jan. 22, 1907 

M. Feb. 28, 1856, in England 

Col. Charles R. Codman 

of Boston 

Harvard 1849 

John Hubbard Sturgis (9) 

B. Aug. 5, 1834 

D. Feb. 14, 1888 

M. Sept. 14, 1858 

Frances Anne Codman 


D. May 16, 1910 

Sister of Col. Charles R. 


2o8 Descendants of 




Their children 

Russell Sturgis (10) Richard Clipston 

B. Dec. 16, 1856 Sturgis (10) 

D. July 17, 1899 B. Dec. 24, i860 

M. Mar. 30, 1880 M. June 22, 1882 

Anne O. Bangs, Boston Esther M. Ogden of N.Y. 

Harvard 1878 Harvard 1881 

Susan Welles Sturgis (10) William Codman 

B. July II, 1858 Sturgis (10) 

D. Feb. 18, 1888 B. Nov. 15, 1862 

M. Oct. 26, 1886 M. April 4, 1889 

John Preston Carolyn Hall of New Jersey 
No children Harvard 1884 



MARGARET McCULLOH (second wife) 

Their children 


Sullivan Warren Sturgis (10) J. McCulloh Sturgis (10) 

B. Apr. 24, 1868 B. Nov. 13, 1872 

M. July 26, 1S99 Unmarried 

Edith S. Barnes of New York Harvard 1896 

Harvard 1S90 yjjj 

VI Lucy Codman Sturgis (10) 

Edward Sturgis (10) B. Feb. 11, 1876 

B. Apr. 24, 1868 Unmarried 

M. Jan. 14, 1902 
Josephine Putnam 
Harvard 1890 

The Hubbard Family 



Their children 



Russell Sturgis (i i) 
B. Dec. 31, 1880 


Anne Outram Sturgis (11) 

B. Mar. 25, 1882 

M. Apr. 8, 1 901 

Sidney Archer Lord 

Their children 

Joseph Lord (12) 
B. May 26, 1903 


Anne Outram Lord (12) 

B. Jan. 6, 1909 


Hope Gray Lord (12) 

B. July 14, 1914 


Susan Welles Sturgis (11) 

B. Jan. 14, 1885 

M. Apr. 4, 1905 

George Clymer 

Their children 


William Branford Clymer (12) 

B. Jan. 20, 1906 


Susan Welles Clymer (12) 

B. Jan. 8, 1910 


Russell Sturgis Clymer (12) 

B. Aug. 25, 1914 

Beatrice Outram Sturgis (i l) 
B.Aug. 7, 1886 
M. Jan. 22, 1907 

Andrew Hopewell Hepburn 

Their children 


Andrew Hopewell 

Hepburn, Jr. (12) 

B. Feb. II, 1 910 


Russell Sturgis Hepburn (12) 

B. May 9, 191 2 


Gertrude Sturgis (i i) 

B. June 20, 1889 

^L Apr. 24, 1 91 2 

Dexter P. Cooper 

Their child 


Nancy Parshall Cooper (12) 

B. Nov. 27, 1913 


Carolyn Sturgis (11) 

B. June 16, 1891 

M. June 15, 1911 

Theodore Townsend Scudder 

Their children 


Theodore Townsend 

Scudder, Jr. (12) 

B. June 4, 1912 


Frances Scudder (12) 

B. Nov. 8, 191 3 


Frances Sturgis (i i) 
B. Nov. 27, 1893 
M. Jan. 19, 1914 

F. Haven Clark, Jr. 


Descendants of 


Their children 


Richard Clipston Sturgis (ii) 

B. Mar. 17, 1884 

D. Oct. 18, 1913 


Dorothy Margaret Sturgis (11) 

B. July 28, 1891 

M. June I, 1912 

Lester William Harding 

Their child 


Margaret Helen Harding (12) 

B. Nov. II, 1914 


Their children 


Norman Romney Sturgis (11) 

B. Feb. 3, 1890 

M. Nov. 6, 191 1 

Harriette Appleton Woods 

Harvard 191 2 

Their children 


Norman Romney 

Sturgis, Jr. (12) 

B. Oct. 30, 191 2 


Harriette Woods Sturgis (12) 

B. Jan. 19, 1915 


Alan Hall Sturgis (ii) 

B. April 29, 1892 


Margaret Sturgis (11) 

B. Mar. i, 1894 

M. Mar. 26, 1913 

John Wallace Suter, Jr. 

Their child 


Margaret Suter (12) 

B. April 16, 1 914 

Julia Sturgis (11) 
B. May 23, 1898 

The Hubbard Family 

21 I 




Their children 


Susan Bainbridge Sturgis (ii) 

B. Aug. 2, 1900 

Edith Sturgis (11) 
B. April 16, 1903 


Warren Sturgis (11) 

B. Nov. 26, 1 91 2 


Somers Hayes Sturgis (ii) 

B. Oct. 14, 1914 




Their children 


Edward Sturgis (11) 
B. July 25, 1904 


George Putnam Sturgis (11) 

B. July 23, 1905 


Howard Sturgis (11) 

B. Sept. 9, 1906 


Harriet Lowell Sturgis (11) 
B. Feb. 15, 1908 


Josephine Lowell Sturgis (11) 

B. Feb. 22, 1910 


Charles Russell Lowell 

Sturgis (II) 

B. Feb. 8, 1912 


Descendants of 





Living descendants 


Russell Sturgis Codman (10) 

B. Oct. 20, 1 861 

M. Aug. 4, 1 891 

Anna K. Crafts of Boston 

Harvard 1883 

Anne McMaster 

Codman (10) 

B. Nov. II, 1864 

M. Nov. 15, 1892 

Henry B. Cabot of Boston 

Harvard 1883 


Susan Welles Codman (10) 

B. Dec. 30, 1866 

M. May 19, 1896 

Redington Fiske 

John Sturgis Codman (10) 

B. Feb. 25, 1868 

M. Apr. 25, 1901 

Susan Sargent Codman 

daughter of 

Richard Codman 

Harvard 1890 


Julian Codman (10) 

B. Sept. 21, 1870 

M. Apr. 29, 1897 

Nora Chadwick 

Harvard 1892 




Their children 


Charles Russell Codman (11) 

B. Feb. 22, 1893 


Russell Codman (I I) 

B. June 15, 1896 

The Hubbard Family 






Their children 


Henry Bromfield Cabot (ii) 

B. Dec. 7, 1894 


Powell Mason Cabot (11) 

B. Dec. 20, 1896 


Paul Codman Cabot (i i) 

B. Oct. 21, 1898 


Charles Codman Cabot (11) 

B. Nov. 22, 1900 


Anne Mc Master Cabot (i r) 

B. May 13, 1903 


Susan Mary Cabot (11) 

Feb. 27, 1907 





Their children 

Redington Fiske (11) 
B. Dec. 3, 1898 

Francis Fiske (11) 
B. Nov. 26, 1900 


Lucy Codman Fiske (11) 

B. Sept. 22, 1902 


Robert Francis Fiske (11) 

B. Dec. 22, 1903 


John Codman Fiske (11) 

B. Feb. 8, 1910 

2 14 Descendants of 





Their child 


Rachel Sturgis Codman (i i) 

B. June 21, 1909 





Their children 

(a) (b) 

Lucy Sturgis Codman (i i) Hester Schuyler Codman (11) 

B. May 5, 1907 B. April 17, 1909 

The Hubbard Family 






Their children 


John Hubbard Sturgis (10) 

B. Oct. II, i860 

M. July 19, 1898 

Kate Hosmer 

Harvard 1S81 


Gertrude Gouverneur 

Sturgis (10) 

B. Feb. 3, 1862 

D. Mar. 15, 1890 

M. Aug. 29, 1889 

Francis W. Hunnewell 

Harvard 1S60 

No children 


Frances C. Sturgis (10) 


B. Nov. 7, 1863 

Mabel Russell Sturgis 
B. July 17, 1865 


Alice Maud Sturgis (10) 


B. June 4, 1868 


Charles R. Sturgis (10) 

B. April 9, 1 87 1 

D. Oct. 2, 1909 

M. April 13, 1909 

Alice Bowditch 

of Albany, N. Y. 

Harvard 1893 

No children 


Evelyn R. Sturgis (10) 

B. Oct 4, 1872 





Their children 



Gertrude Gouverneur 

Sturgis (II) 

B. July 5, 1899 


John Hubbard Sturgis (11) 

B. Nov. 27, 1900 

D. Sept. 10, 1909 

Frances Anne Sturgis (11) 
B. Oct. 30, 1903 


Katherine Sturgis (11) 

B. Oct. 17, 1904 


Descendants of 


Their children 


Eliza died unmarried (9) 


John Hubbard White (9) 

B. 1834. D. 1910 

M. 1856 

Emma Davies 

General of Royal Engineers 

Master of Mint in Bombay 

Retired and died in England 



Anne Gordon White (9) 

B. 1836 

M. 1866 

Henry Bois, a Merchant of 


Retired to London 



Ellen Parkinson White (9) 

B. Dec. 1838 

M. 1867 

Sir William F. Haynes-Smith 

K. C. M. G. 

Retired to London from the 

Colonial Service 


Madeline Louise White (9) 

B. 1842. D. 1908 

M. 1871 

Sydney Unwin 

Emigrated to Tasmania 

One boy and four girls 

All married but one girl 


Gordon White (9) 
B. 1844. D. 1903 

M. 1880 

Miss Annie Lovell 

Two boys and two girls of 

whom one boy is dead 


Isa Loring White (9) 

B. 1846 

M. 1869 

Gabriel Ross 



Russell White (9) 

B. 1854 

Married twice 

No children 

A Doctor 

Mary Elizabeth White (9) 

B. 1840 

M. 1868 

Frederick Bois 

Brother of Henry Bois 

Merchant of Ceylon 

Retired to London 


The Hubbard Family 



Their children 


John Houghton White (10) 
B. 1857 
D. 1895 


Herbert White (io) 

B. 1858 

D. 1862 


Julian White (10) 

B. 1S60 

D. 1896 


Ella White (10) 

B. 1862 


Sir Henry Pilkingham 

They have one son, William 

who is now fighting in the 

Canadian Contingent 


Three daughters 


Mary White (10) 

B. 1866 



Maude White (10) 

B. 1868 

Herbert Carden 

They had one son who is now 

a prisoner of war 

One other son 

Two daughters 


Beryl White (10) 

B. 1872 


Captain Shelley 

They had two children 

Boy and girl 


James Ross White (10) 

B. 187s 

M. 1908 

Miss Mcpherson 

A Captain of the 

Royal Engineers 

No children 


Descendants of 





Living children 


H. Gordon Bois (10) 

B. 1868 

M. 1900 

Miss Harvey 

No children 

In his father's business 

Ceylon Merchant 


Herbert Gordon Bois (10) 

B. 1873 

M. 1900 

Florence Anderson 

Three boys 

In father's business 

Ceylon Merchant 


Anne Gordon Bois (10) 

B. 1875 

M. 1898 

Thomas Webster 

Two girls and boy 


Elsie Gordon Bois (10) 

B. 1876 

M. 191 2 

John Gabarde 

No children 


Charles Gordon Bois (10) 

B. 1878 


In business in London 

At present in Red Cross work 

with motor in France 


The Hubbard Family 





Living children 
(a) III 

Anne Gordon Haynes- 

Smith (10) 



Captain E. C. Villiers 

Royal Navy 

In command of defences of 

the Nore 

Their children 


Ellen Margaret Villiers (i i) 

B. 1 90 1 


Louis Alexander Villiers (11) 

B. 1902 

Godson of Prince Louis 

of Battenbero^ 

William Amherst Villiers (i i) 
B. 1904 


John Michael Villiers (i i) 

B. 1906 


Edward Jordon Villiers (i i ) 

B. 1909 


William Haynes-Smith (10) 





Their children 


Mary Louise Bois (10) 

B. 1872 

M. 1898 

Graham Hurd-Wood 

They have two sons 

Edric and F^ergus 

Both midshipmen in the Navy 

One of whom was a survivor of 

the " Formidable " 

which sunk on January 2, 191 5 

and one daughter, Margery 


Winnifred Bois (10) 

B. 1875 


2 20 Descendants of 



WHITE (9) 




Living children 



Isa Ross (lo) 

Brenda Ross (lo) 





Sir Stanley Bois 
Youngest brother 

Sir Stanley Bois 
Her sister's 

of her Bois uncles 


No children 

Walter Ross (ro) 

Isa Ross 



Ena Ross (lo) 







Children who reached maturity 

Francis Stanton Hubbard (9) John Gordon Hubbard (9) 

B. Dec. 21, 1847, Boston B. Feb. 13, 1853, Boston 

M. June 23, 1909 M. April 15, 1901 

Fannie Mabel Rebecca Hill Jane Frances Ferguson 

of Kent, Eng. B. Dec. 26, 1857 

B. Feb. 5, 1880 Mass. Inst. Technology 

Joint inventor with 

Francis Blake of the 

Blake Transmitter 

The Hubbard Family 

22 1 





Children still living 


Mary Adelaide Hubbard (9) 

B. Dec. 9, 1850 



Russell Sturgis Hubbard (9) 

B. June 26, 1863 


Elizabeth Perry 
B. Jan. 9, 1875 

Their children 


Russell Sturgis 

Hubbard, Jr. (10) 

B. Sept. 8, 1902 


John Perry Hubbard (10) 

B. Oct. 26, 1903 


James Dewolf Hubbard (10) 

B. Dec. 7, 1907 


Anne McCulloh Hubbard (9) 

B. Sept. 26, 1866 


Lucy Sturgis Hubbard (9) 

B. July 19, 1872 

M. June 10, 1897 

Wm. Hamilton Jefferys 


Their children 

Anne Jefferys (10) 
B. July 27, 1898 

Lucy Jefferys (10) 
B. Mar. iS, 1904 

Adelaide McCulloh 

Jefferys (ro) 
B. Mar. 23, 1907 


Edith Hubbard (9) 

B. Aug. 4, 1 874 


I would say again, in explanation, that 1 am the son of Edward 
Darley i3oit (3) and Jane Parkinson Hubbard (S). I have given 
the pedigrees of the Boit and Hubbard families down to my said 
father and mother. I have given the descendants of my father 
and mother. To these I have added the descendants of the 
brothers and sisters of my father and mother, that is to say the 
descendants of my own uncles and aunts. 

Robert Apthorp Boit (4) 

April 29, 191 5. 


Married May 20, 1886 


Born April 27, 1850 
New York City 

Chapter XV 

THEIR first child was Alice Boit, born in Hawes 
Street, Brookline, Massachusetts, May 2, 1887; 
married William Appleton Burnham, of Boston, 

Their second child was John Edward Boit, born in 
Hawes Street, Brookline, Massachusetts, November 20, 

Lilian Willis was the daughter of Nathaniel P. Willis, 
the well-known author and poet, and his second wife, 
Cornelia Grinnell of New Bedford, Massachusetts. 

Nathaniel Parker Willis was born in Portland, Maine, 
and was a graduate of Yale. His life has been so fully 
written, and his journeyings and writings are so well 
known, that it is unnecessary for me to enlarge upon 

Cornelia Grinnell was born in New Bedford, Massa- 
chusetts, and the daughter of Cornelius Grinnell, who 
died when she was young. Afterwards she was adopted 


The Boit Family 223 

by her uncle, Joseph Grinnell, of New Bedford, who was 
the founder of the old and well-known firm of Grinnell, 
Minturn & Co., of New York. He later returned to New 
Bedford, and was one of the builders of the Wamsutta 
Mills, and its President for fifty years. He was also 
President of the First National Bank until he died, in 
the full possession of his faculties, at the good old age 
of ninety-seven. Another brother of his was Henry 
Grinnell, of New York, who chiefly financed two Arctic 
expeditions in search of Sir John Franklin. Grinnell 
Land was named for him. Another brother was Moses 
Grinnell of New York, who was at one time the Collector 
of the Port of New York, and whose daughter, Frances, 
married Thomas Gushing of Boston, the brother of Mary 
Louisa Gushing, who married Edward Darley Boit (4). 




1. Matthew, born 1602, died 1643. Settled and died 
on Island of Aquidneck, Rhode Island. On May 20, 
1638, was admitted as an inhabitant of Newport, Rhode 
Island, Married Rose . . . who later married Anthony 
Paine, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and again James 
Weeden, of Portsmouth. 

2. Daniel Grinnell, of Freetown, Massachusetts, who 
married Sarah Chase. Another record calls him of 
Portsmouth and Little Compton, Rhode Island. In 1657 
he became a Freeman of Portsmouth and married Mary 
Wordell, born in 1640. By trade, maltster. 

3. Richard Grinnell, born 1675, died July i, 1725, of 
Little Compton, Rhode Island, a large land owner. Mar- 
ried May 25, 1704, Patience Emery, who was born in 
1 68 1 and died 1749. His will was probated July 20, 
1725, dividing a large landed estate among his children. 
The inventory of his estate shows that he owned two 
slaves : Toby, valued at £60, and Phillis, at i;5 5. When 
his v/idow. Patience, died, her estate was valued at ^i, 105. 
They were both buried in the quaint cemetery at Little 
Compton Commons. 

4. Daniel Grinnell, born April 20, 1721, in Little 


The Boit Family 225 

Compton, and died there. He was a prosperous farmer. 
He married, May 31, 1741, Grace, daughter of John and 
EHzabeth Palmer. She was born January 18, 1720. 
Through the Church family (her mother's family) she 
was a descendant of Richard Warren, of the Mayflower. 
5. Cornelius Grinnell, born February 11, 1758, in 
Little Compton, died, April 19, 1850, in New Bedford. 
Started as apprentice to a hatter in New Bedford, but 
broke away, and went to sea, entering the whaling serv- 
ice. In 1 79 1, was first mate on ship Rebecca, owned 
by Joseph Russell, and next voyage became Captain. 
Later, he sailed in the merchant service and prospered 
greatly. He became a very prominent man in his com- 
munity. He married in 1785, Sylvia Howland, daughter 
of Gideon and Sarah (Hicks) Howland, of Dartmouth, 
Rhode Island. She was born August 4, 1765, died 
August I, 1837. During the Revolutionary War, Cap- 
tain Grinnell served his country on land and sea. " Hale, 
hearty, intelligent and hospitable, he died, full of years 
and universally respected, leaving behind him a remark- 
able family." He was a Director of the first bank started 
in New Bedford, in 1803, and called the Bedford Bank. 
He was also an incorporator and trustee of the New 
Bedford Institution for Savings. " Captain Grinnell was 
a gentleman of the old school, hospitable, urbane, a man 
of sound judgment and unswerving integrity of character. 
In personal appearance he was said strongly to resemble 
the great Lafayette. He retained until his last years, 

2 26 Chronicles of 

the costume of his earlier days, and was remarkable for 
the neatness of his person." He and his wife lie side 
by side in Oak Grove Cemetery, New Bedford. 

6. Cornelius Grinnell, Jr., born February 8, 1786, in 
New Bedford, died December 30, 1830. Married (first) 
June 26, 1808, Eliza Tallman Russell, daughter of 
Gilbert and Lydia Russell, born November 27, 1784, 
died January 19, 1827; (second) October 9, 1828, her 
sister, Mary Russell, born October 14, 1790, died Sep- 
tember 10, 1838, while visiting the Blue Sulphur Springs, 
Virginia. He was first in the commission business in 
New York. Then he returned to New Bedford and 
bought a farm at Potomska, where he devoted himself to 
raising fine Merino sheep. About 1828 he returned to 
New Bedford and built his house, which now stands at 
the corner of County and Hawthorn Streets, and was 
afterwards occupied by Horatio Hathaway. He was in 
the Legislature for three years. 

7. Cornelia Grinnell, born March 19, 1825, in New 
Bedford, died March 26, 1904, in Washington, District 
of Columbia. Married October i , 1 846, Nathaniel Parker 
Willis, son of Nathaniel and Hannah (Parker) Willis, 
born in Portland, Maine, January 20, 1806, and died at 
Idlewild on the Hudson, New York, January 20, 1867; 
poet and journalist. 

8. Their children were : Grinnell Willis, born April 28, 
1848; married Mary Haydock, of Philadelphia. Lilian, 
born April 27, 1850; married Robert Apthorp Boit, 

The Boit Family 227 

of Boston. Edith, born, September 28, 1853; married 
Lawrence Leslie Grinnell of New York. Bailey, bom 
May 31, 1857 ; married Margaret Baker of Washington. 

There are other branches of the Grinnell family. 

At the death of her father, Cornelius Grinnell, 
Cornelia Grinnell was adopted by her uncle, Honorable 
Joseph Grinnell, a distinguished man, at one time in 
Congress. He left his property to Cornelia and her 


Sketch of his life by his great-granddaughter, Mary Stuart (Mercer) Walker 

— sister of Georgia (Mercer) Boit. Written for the Celebrations 

at Mercersburgh, Pennsylvania, about 1910 

Chapter XVI 

IN the parish register of the little country church at 
Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, there are the fol- 
lowing entries: "June 9th 1723, this Lord's day, 
Mr. William Mercer, and Mistress Anne Munroe, were 
proclaimed for the third time," their marriage following 
in the same month. 

Then "January 17th 1726 the Reverent Mr. William 
Mercer, and Mrs. Anne Munroe his wife, had a son 
baptised named Hugh." 

In view of the above entries, I must take issue with 
such of his biographers as give the year 1721 as the 
date of the birth of my great-grandfather, Hugh Mercer. 
More accurate history should place it in the year 1725. 

Descended on his paternal side, from a long line of 
ministers of the Church of Scotland, from about 1650, 
it was doubtless both from inheritance and training, that 
Hugh Mercer was so thoroughly imbued with those ster- 
ling virtues of truth, a high sense of honor, loyalty and 
devotion to duty, which made him the good and great 
man he was afterwards to become. According to our 


The Boit Family 229 

family tradition he was a man of modest, gentle, un- 
assuming nature, content to do his duty faithfully as he 
saw it, without any undue regard either to the praise or 
blame of others; and he would, no doubt, in his early 
years, have been very much surprised had it been fore- 
told of him, how prominent a part he was destined to 
play in after life, in the history of his adopted country. 
Hugh Mercer became a student of medicine at Marischal 
College, in 1 740, and we next hear of him as an assistant 
surgeon in the army of " Bonnie Prince Charlie," in 1746, 
in that ill-fated attempt to place him on the throne of 
his fathers. 

The Scotch, especially those from the Highlands, were 
always loyal to the house of Stuart, and Mercer, no 
doubt convinced of the justice of the cause, and with all 
his martial and patriotic spirit stirred to the depths, 
hastened to " Link his fortune and his fate " to the cause 
of the Pretender. 

This was all the more to be expected as he had fight- 
ing blood in his veins, his maternal grandfather being Sir 
Robert Munroe, who fought with distinction in the Brit- 
ish army on the continent, at Fontenoy and elsewhere. 
He was ordered home to oppose the Young Pretender, 
and was killed while in command at the battle of Falkirk, 
in 1746. We do not know whether his grandson, Hugh 
Mercer, was his opponent on that bloody field, but we 
do know that he was certainly at the battle of Culloden, 
where Prince Charlie's army was completely crushed, 

230 Chronicles of 

and the Stuart cause lost forever. " In his flight the 
Pretender was like a hare hunted by hounds. Flora 
MacDonald, a Scottish maiden, foiled his pursuers ; and 
at length he reached France in safety. His loyal and 
loving followers found refuge in any way possible, hunted 
down and mercilessly butchered when caught. The ter- 
rible tragedy of the battle was as nothing compared to 
the butchery of these fugitives by the relentless and 
implacable Duke of Cumberland, a name made infamous 
by his treatment of a fallen foe." 

After remaining in hiding for a time, Hugh Mercer 
managed to escape the vigilance of his enemies, and in 
the fall of the year 1746, embarked at Leith for America, 
landing a few weeks afterwards at Philadelphia. He 
remained but a short time in that city, however, and then 
made his first attempt to establish a home, on the west- 
ern borders of the state of Pennsylvania, at a place then 
described as "near Greencastle," but now, since named 
in his honor, known to all the country as Mercersburgh. 

Here he settled down to the practice of his profession 
— a varied experience in those Colonial times on the fron- 
tier of civilization, requiring high qualities of endurance, 
patience, skill and courage. It is believed that Mercer's 
services as a physician and surgeon covered the whole 
Conococheague settlement, embracing the entire district 
between Chambersburg and his own residence ; and 
young as he was at that time, he was well known to all 
the inhabitants of the region round about, loved and 

The Boit Family 231 

welcomed everywhere, and looked up to as one who not 
only healed the sick, but who strengthened the weak, 
comforted the weary, and cheered the sorrowing. It was 
a splendid preparation for the hardships and privations 
he was in the future called upon to endure. "A life of 
hardship well done, and consecrated by self-sacrifice." 

But Dr. Mercer was not to be allowed to lead his 
chosen life for a very long period among those peaceful 
scenes, in that beautiful part of the state of Pennsylvania. 
After Braddock's disastrous defeat by the French and 
Indians in his attempt to capture Fort Duquesne, in the 
year 1755, the Indians emboldened by success, became 
more and more troublesome, and in self-defence the 
Colonists formed themselves into companies of Rangers, 
of one of which Dr. Mercer was made Captain. His 
commission is dated, March, 1756, and his territory 
extended to the Welsh Run district and Mercersburgh, 
into the remote regions among the foothills, with head- 
quarters at McDowell's Fort, now Bridgeport. 

In one of his Indian fights he was severely wounded, 
and having been left behind by his retreating com- 
panions, he narrowly escaped with his life. Closely pur- 
sued by the savages, he providentially found a place of 
safety in the hollow trunk of a tree around which the 
Indians rested, and discussed the prospect of scalping 
him in the near future. When they had taken their 
departure, Mercer struck out in another direction, and 
completely outwitted them. Sick with his wounds, and 

232 Chronicles of 

worn out with his struggles, he began a lonely march of 
one hundred miles, but finally succeeded in joining the 
remnant of his command at Fort Cumberland. To sus- 
tain existence while on this wearisome march, he was 
compelled to live upon roots and herbs, the carcass of a 
rattlesnake proving his most nourishing meal. 

Hugh Mercer was with the force that surprised and 
destroyed the Indian village of Kittaning in 1756, but 
was severely wounded in that encounter, and once more 
counted among the missing. For the second time he 
had to use all his wits to manoeuvre and march through 
the forest, half famished, and faint from the lack of food, 
until he succeeded in joining his surviving companions. 
Such energy and bravery illicited the applause of all who 
knew his experiences, and in appreciation of his services 
and sufferings, the Corporation of Philadelphia presented 
him with a vote of thanks, and a beautiful memorial 

In the summer of 1757 Mercer was made Commander 
of the garrison in the fort at Shippensburg, and in 
December of the same year was appointed Major of 
the forces of the province of Pennsylvania, posted west 
of the Susquehanna. In the following year he was in 
command of a part of the expedition of General Forbes 
against Fort Duquesne ; and it was on this memorable 
march that he first met George Washington, then a 
Brigadier-general of Virginia troops. A strong attach- 
ment soon sprang up between these two men, which 

The Boit Family 233 

lasted as long as Mercer lived, and as a result of that 
attachment, on the advice and at the suggestion of 
Washington, Virginia became the home of Hugh Mercer, 
and Mercersburgh, Pennsylvania, lost a good and valued 

After the conclusion of the French and Indian War, 
and the evacuation of the forts by their French garrisons, 
Mercer, who had been promoted to the rank of Colonel, 
retired from military life, and moving to Fredericksburg, 
Virginia, again commenced the practice of his profession 
as a physician. " At this time, although thinly settled, 
this part of Virginia contained the homes of many of the 
most distinguished families on the continent. They 
gave Mercer the cordial welcome to which his education 
and talents entitled him, reinforced by his brilliant career 
as a military man, and supplemented by the brotherly 
love and many favors shown him by General Washington." 

Life in the quiet little town of Fredericksburg, during 
the next few years, was uneventful ; the only matter of 
interest being Mercer's marriage to Isabella Gordon, the 
daughter of a prominent Virginia family, and a sister of 
the lady who married George Weedon, a Major-general 
in the War of the Revolution. At his death, General 
Weedon left his property to my Grandfather Hugh 
Mercer, 2d, who was an infant at the time of his father's 
death at the Battle of Princeton. 

With this dear old home, "The Sentry Box," on the 
banks of the Rappahannock River, are connected some 

2 34 Chronicles of 

of the happiest memories of my childhood and early girl- 
hood. My father, Hugh Mercer, 3d, was the much 
beloved eldest son of the family, and as long as his 
parents lived, his children were taken by him every 
year to spend a few weeks in " The Sentry Box," still 
dear to my memory. 

In 1775, Dr. Mercer's quiet life was again to be inter- 
rupted by political troubles. " Ominous clouds were 
gathering in the Colonial sky, and the perilous situation 
was quickly and fully realized by the patriotic Virginians. 
When the general British order went forth to seize 
all military stores in the Colonies, the Americans made 
prompt resistance without further parleying. Massachu- 
setts was speedily followed by Virginia ; and in almost 
the first important item, we find that Dr. Hugh Mercer 
was drilling a partially organized body of Virginia men 
to be ready for any emergency. They did not have long 
to wait, and when ' the next gale from the north brought 
the clash of resounding arms,' the patriots of Virginia 
commenced organizing for immediate fighting." 

In March, 1775, the Virginia Convention assembled 
in St. John's Church, Richmond, where the eloquence 
of Patrick Henry, and his splendid rallying cry of "Lib- 
erty or Death" stirred all hearts to decision and action. 
Mercer, with his customary modesty, made to the Conven- 
tion his simple proffer of ser\dces in the expressive words: 
" Hugh Mercer will serve his adopted country, and the 
cause of liberty, in any rank or station to which he may 

The Boit Family 235 

be assigned." Noble words, these, which found their 
echo in what he said later: "We are not engaged in a 
war of ambition, or I should not have been here. Every 
man should be content to serve in that station in which 
he can be most useful. For my part I have but one 
object in view, and that is the success of the cause; and 
God can witness how cheerfully I would lay down my 
life to secure it." 

After some balloting and discussion, to Mercer was 
assigned the Colonelcy of the Third Regiment of Virginia, 
but Congress having adopted the Virginia troops as a 
part of the Continental Army, Mercer was not long per- 
mitted to remain a Colonel, but on the urgent recommen- 
dation of Washington, was made a Brigadier-general. 

His commission is dated June 5, 1776, and his assign- 
ment with "the Army around New York." It is impos- 
sible within the limits of this short sketch, to follow all 
the details of the later career of my illustrious ancestor, 
as much as it would interest me to do so, and I must 
confine myself to matters only of the greatest interest. 

The friendship between Washington and Mercer con- 
tinued warm and unabated, and there is every reason to 
believe that the latter was often consulted upon military 
matters by his great Chief. It is stated on good author- 
ity that the idea of attacking the British Army at Trenton 
originated with Mercer, and he is also credited with the 
plan of the battle of Princeton. 

This was a most daring venture, for our little army 

236 Chronicles of 

was struggling against tremendous odds, and a single 
break in the American calculations meant untold disaster. 
"All went well through the night, but in the early- 
hours of the 3d of January, 1777, the American troops 
were surprised by the 17th British Regiment under Col- 
onel Mawhood. General Mercer was on a fine gray 
horse, occupying the post of honor in the front, and at 
the iirst volley from the enemy his horse was brought 
down, and his most trusted lieutenant, Colonel Hazlett, 
killed. The British troops charged after the third volley, 
and the Colonists were driven back in disorder before a 
bayonet charge, by a force vastly superior in numbers." 

Mercer was unable to extricate himself from his fallen 
horse in time to defend himself at once, and at that in- 
stant he was surrounded by a detachment of the enemy, 
who thought from his prominent position in the front 
that they had captured the "rebel General Washington." 
They demanded his surrender but with too reckless cour- 
age, he refused, and sought to fight his way out with 
his sword, when he was struck from behind by a blow 
with the butt end of a musket, and was knocked down, 
receiving while he lay helpless, no less than seven bayonet 
wounds in his body, in addition to two wounds in the head. 

As soon after the battle as possible, General Mercer was 
moved to an adjacent farmhouse owned by Mr. Clark, 
where he was tenderly cared for by Mrs. Clark and her 
daughter; and for a time his recovery was hoped for, in 
spite of the intense pain from his wounds and the great 

The Bolt Family 237 

loss of blood. Every thing that medical skill could 
accomplish was done to alleviate his suffering, and to 
save the life of this brave and gallant man, but nine 
days after the battle he expired in the arms of Major 
George Lewis, who had been sent by his uncle, General 
Washington, to minister to the wants of the dying hero. 

General Mercer died as he had lived, bravely and 
calmly sinking into his well-earned rest. "What is to 
be, is to be ! Goodbye, dear native land ! Farewell 
adopted country ! I have done my best for you ! Into 
thy care, O America, I commit my fatherless family ! 
May God prosper our righteous cause ! Amen ! " Such 
was his final prayer; his race was won, his labor over. 

And so passed into the Great Beyond this brave and 
good man, a pure patriot and a martyr to the cause of 
liberty. It is no exaggeration to say that the whole 
country mourned his loss. His body was removed under 
a military escort from Princeton to Philadelphia, where 
it lay in state for a day, and was then interred in Christ 
Churchyard with military honors, and attended, it is said, 
by over thirty thousand persons. General Mercer was a 
member of the St. Andrew's Society of Philadelphia, and 
his body was removed in 1 840 to Laurel Hill Cemetery, 
and reinterred in the burial lot purchased for the purpose 
by that Society, which in addition to caring for his grave, 
is the custodian of his sword, now deposited with the 
Historical Society of Philadelphia. 

I cannot more fitly close this sketch than by quoting 

238 Chronicles of 

the fine words of a recent biographer : "He is entitled 
to the gratitude of all liberty-loving America. His life 
was beautiful and complete in its symmetry, and was 
both a benediction and benefaction. The memory of 
such a man cannot perish from the face of the earth, 
but shall be as eternal as Truth." 

Copy of letter given me by Mary Stuart (Mercer) 
Walker, written by her great-great-grandfather, John 
Stuart, sixth Earl of Traquair, to his daughter, Lady 
Christina Griffin, wife of Cyrus Griffin of Virginia, whose 
daughter married Hugh Mercer, 2d of Virginia. 

"Traquair, 26th March, 1774. 

" To the Right Honorable 

" Lady Christina Griffin : 

" My dear Christina, — 

" Yours of the 14th November from Virginia I received 
about a fortnight ago; but previously to it I had got a 
letter from Mr. Griffin with the agreeable accounts of 
your safe arrival, to which I returned an answer a few 
days after. 

" We were all very sorry for the danger you underwent 
in your voyage ; but at the same time were thankful for 

The Boit Family 239 

our ignorance of the hazard you were in till all your fears 
and dangers were over. Your accounts of little Jacky 
were very agreeable ; long may he be a blessing and 
comfort to you both, and as you have been so agreeably 
welcomed and entertained by all Mr. Griffin's acquain- 
tances and friends in that country, I don't doubt but 
that their future behavior will endear you more both to 
them and to the place. As your sister Lucy who is 
lately come from ... I shall refer you to her ac- 
counts of that town and news of all your acquain- 
tances, and confine mine to those of this family, and 
what chiefly concerns you ; to wit, the death of your old 
friend, Lady Earlshall, which happened about six weeks 
ago. As the papers concerning your claim upon her 
heir were left in my custody by Mr. Griffin, and the 
. . . Mr. Robert Henderson is waiting to be informed 
of all her debts, I have thought it the properest way to 
lodge the vouchers for your claim in the hands of Mr. 
Colquhoun Grant especially as I am not to be long in 
this country. He is to be soon at Traquair; shall then 
make him peruse the papers and after that transmit to 
Mr. Griffin his opinion of them, whether they would 
stand a law-suit, or to save expenses perhaps it would be 
more eligible to submit the affair to arbiters, but in the 
meantime I shall tell him to do nothing in it till Mr. 
Griffin sends him orders how to act. 

"About three weeks ago our family are separate — 
Your brother and wife arc gone to live at Edinburgh 

240 Chronicles of 

until I leave them place, which I propose doing at Whit- 
sunday next. Your sisters and I are to go beyond seas, 
but whether we are to be at Doray (or Douai) or Paris 
cannot yet be determined until I hear from Mr. Gordon 
of the Scots College, as I find both places pretty equal. 
Shall decide myself for the last, if I be agreeably wel- 
comed there as a boarder ; if not, my friend, Mr. Robert 
Grant, will receive me as such at . . . and in that event 
your sisters will either go to the Abbey des PRES or 
any other convent in that town . . . refer to it. If Paris 
is to be the place of our abode, as they don't like to be 
in an English house they propose to be boarded in a 
French convent, the nearest that can be gotten to the 
Scots College if there be a proper apartment there for 
me; for which I wait an answer from Mr. Gordon "The 
Principle," the middle of next monthe, when it comes 
shall inform you before I go away where we are deter- 
mined to settle. 

"Tho' notwithstanding of Lent, I have kept my health, 
thank God, very well, yet the fatigue of so long a 
journey for one of my advanced age frightens me. If 
my daughters were willing I should make most of the 
journey by sea, as the most convenient for the old and 
lame. Wherever I am, I shall be glad to hear from 
you or Mr. Griffin. While on this side of the grave 
your letters to me may be directed to me to the care 
of Mr. Colquhoun Grant, in Edinburgh, and I shall direct 
mine as you desire, care of Mr. Mc. Call, Merchant in 

The Boit Family 241 

Glasgow. Adieu. My affectionate and warmest love 
ever attend you, Mr. Griffin, and my dear little name- 
sake, and I am 

"My dear child 

" Your most affectionate father 

" Traquair. 

" Mrs. Oliver received your present and values it much. 
She was here the other day and begged to be remem- 
bered to you and Mr. Griffin in the kindest manner. 
Mrs. Donnie is returned from her jaunt to Paris. She 
says she cannot understand how the sheets are missing, 
thinks you must have counted wrong." 

242 Chronicles of 


of Virginia 

M. 1834 


of Savannah, Ga. 

Their children were 

(a) (d) 
George Anderson Mercer Mary Stuart Mercer 

M. 1861 M. 1863 

Nannie Herndon of Virginia Henry Harrison Walker 

of Virginia 

(b) ^ 

William Gordon, died young (^) 

Georgia Anderson Mercer 
^^' of Savannah, Ga. 

Hugh Weedon, died young jyi^ 1874 

Robert Apthorp Boit 
of Boston, Mass. 



General Hugh Weedon Mercer, West Point Graduate and General 
in Confederate Army, son of Hugh Mercer of Virginia and 
Louisa Griffin. Louisa Griffin was the daughter of Cyrus 
Griffin and Lady Christina Stuart, daughter of John Stuart, 
Earl of Traquair, Scotland. 

Hugh Mercer of Virginia, son of General Hugh Mercer (baptised 
in Pitsligo, in the Presbytery of Deen, Aberdeenshire, Jan- 
uary 17, 1726), and Isabel Gordon, his wife. 

General Hugh Mercer, killed. Battle of Princeton, 1777, settled in 
Virginia, after the Battle of Culloden, son of William Mercer 
(born 1696; ordained by the Presbytery at the Kirk of Tyrie, 
September, 1720) and his wife, Anna Munro, daughter of Sir 
Robert Munro of Fowlis. Married, June 1723. 

Reverend William Mercer, son of Thomas Mercer of Todlaw 
and Middyburn. 

Reverend Thomas Mercer, son of John Mercer (ordained Minis- 
ter of Kenellan, in Aberdeenshire in 1650) and Lilias Row, 
his wife, daughter of John Row, the Historian of the Church. 

Reverend John Mercer, son of Robert Mercer, Minister of Ellon, 
Aberdeenshire, from 1596, died at Ellon, 1642. 


Great-grandfather of Georgia (Mercer) Boit 

By Sally Nelson Robins 
Chapter XVII 

THE Griffin family, of Virginia, was founded by 
Thomas Griffin, who took up various grants of 
land, from 165 1, on the Rappahannock River in 

Thomas and his brother Samuel came to America 
from Wales. They left their eldest brother in Wales, 
who possessed an estate of ^600 sterling per annum. 
He died without issue, and Samuel went back to Wales 
to look after the estate. He died before his business 
was finished. Thomas then sent over an agent to collect 
the revenue of the estate. 

Thomas Griffin never left Virginia. His wife's maiden 
name is not known. Her baptismal name was Sarah. 
Their eldest child. Colonel Leroy Griffin, Justice of 
Rappahannock County, 1680- 169 5, married Winifred, 
daughter of Colonel Gawin Corbin. Thenceforward the 
" Corbin-Griffins " appear. The oldest son of Colonel 
Leroy and Winifred Griffin was Thomas, of Richmond 
County, Virginia. He was a member of the House of 


244 Chronicles of 

Burgesses, for Richmond County, from 171 8 to 1723. 
His oldest son, Leroy, High Sheriff of Richmond County, 
married October 5, 1734, Mary Ann, only daughter and 
heiress of John Bertrand, of " Belleisle," Lancaster 
County, Virginia, and had four sons, who became useful 
and distinguished men. 

Cyrus Griffin, born in 1749, was the fourth and young- 
est son. 

The opening words of a discolored, almost illegible, 
autograph letter of Judge Richard Peters, dated " Bel- 
mont" (Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania), July 6, 1820, 
addressed to Dr. S. S. Griffin, Yorktown, Virginia, gives 
us a favorable comment upon the character of Cyrus 
Griffin, the last president of the Continental Congress : 

"Dear Sir: — I am happy that any occasion should 
have given me the pleasure of a letter from the son of 
my late much-esteemed friend, Cyrus Griffin, with whom 
I have spent many happy hours, and have cheerfully 
passed through many a gloomy day. At the period of 
our acquaintance, we never complained of 'hard times,' 
for we had made up our minds steadily to encounter 
them. We, of this day, must acquire the same habits, 
and we shall find the pressure the lighter, and the bur- 
den the more easily borne." 

Of the early years of the life of Cyrus Griffin, we 
know little. He was sent abroad to be educated, and 

The Boit Family 245 

studied in Edinburgh and London, and graduated in law 
at the Temple. The family of Admiral Sir John Griffin, 
seated at " Trexted," on the road from London to New 
Market, acknowledged relationship, and the American 
youth frequently visited there. 

While at college at Edinburgh, Cyrus Griffin formed 
a friendship with a young man near his own age, Charles 
Stuart (Lord Linton), son and heir of the Earl of 
Traquair. Lord Linton invited young Griffin to make 
him a visit at Traquair House. There he met the Ladies 
Christina, Mary and Louisa, stiff young Scottish maidens, 
reared in dignified seclusion at their buttressed, historic 
home. We can fancy that this stalwart, frank, young 
American, with his cordial manner and merry words, was 
a revelation to the prim daughters of an earl. Lady 
Christina was at once attracted to the Virginia stranger ; 
indeed, a mutual interest was simultaneous, unobserved 
at first by the noble father, 

John, the sixth Earl of Traquair, Lord Stuart, of Tra- 
quair, Linton and Caberston, died in Paris, March 28, 
1779, aged eighty-one. He married in 1740, Christian, 
daughter of Sir Patrick Anstruther, of Anstrutherfield, 
Baronet, relict of Sir William Weir, of Blackwood, Lan- 
ark, Baronet. He had by her, who died at Traquair, 
November 12, 1771, aged sixty-nine, an only son, Char- 
les, Lord Linton, afterwards the seventh earl, and three 
daughters, Lady Christina, Lady Mary and Lady Lucy. 

246 Chronicles of 

The eldest of this trio, hedged about by royal 
connection, historic family, and the pride of an earl, 
responded to the suit of Cyrus Griffin, in a remote and 
sombre castle ; and, although an irate father and religious 
prejudice (she was a Roman Catholic) forbade a union, 
they, like two blind lovers of our own time, scorned every 
barrier, and were wedded. In an old scrap-book of 
James Lewis Corbin Griffin, a grandson of Cyrus Griffin, 
we find they were married at Traquair by a Romish 
priest ; but there is also a tradition in the Griffin family 
that they fled from Traquair at night, and that the grand 
lady, unused to sudden journeys across a rough country, 
fell and hurt her slender ankle. Then her brave young 
lover bore her in his arms, mile after mile, until they 
reached a parson, who joined them in wedlock. The 
story goes, that in consequence. Lady Christina was 
always lame. 

The marriage bond between Cyrus Griffin and his wife 
was for years in possession of Mrs. Mottrom Dulaney 
Ball, and was destroyed when the Ball mansion, in Fair- 
fax County, Virginia, was burned, in 1886, No copy 
was preserved, but it is said that Benjamin Franklin's 
name was affixed to it ; he was at the time agent for 
Pennsylvania, in London. If they married clandestinely 
the Earl soon forgave them, for their first son, named for 
his grandfather, was born at Traquair, in 1771. After 
the birth of their eldest son, Cyrus Griffin and Lady 
Christina came to Virginia and resided at Williamsburg, 

The Boit Family 247 

and Cyrus Griffin forthwith became zealous for the 
"patriot cause." 

He was a close personal friend of George Washington, 
who valued his judgment, for he asked his opinion upon 
the judiciary appointments of Virginia, wishing to know of 
him which he considered the fittest — Edmund Pendleton, 
George Wythe, Lyons or Blair. Griffin recommended 
Blair and Pendleton. Pendleton declined to serve, and 
Cyrus Griffin himself was then appointed. 

Judge Griffin left the seclusion of Williamsburg in 
1778, having been elected a delegate to the old Congress, 
and served till 1781. August 19, 1778, he presented 
the credentials of himself and colleagues ; September 28, 
he voted upon the conduct of Silas Deane, and December 
19, 1778, he signed the instructions given by Virginia to 
her delegates in Congress, authorizing that body that she 
was •* ready and willing to ratify the confederation with 
one or more States." 

Cyrus Griffin was president of the Supreme Court of 
Admiralty from its creation until its abolition. 

He was re-elected to Congress in 1787, and served 
two terms, and was the last president of the Continental 
Congress. He and Lady Christina attended the inaugu- 
ral ball of George Washington. 

He was elected Judge of the General court by joint 
ballot of the Senate and House of Delegates, December 
27, 1788, in the room of Beverley Randolph, who was 
elected Governor of Virginia. October 29, 1789, he took 

248 Chronicles of 

the oath of privy councilor before Turner Southall, a 
Justice of the Peace for Henrico County, Virginia, and 
in the same year was made judge of the United States 
for the district of Virginia, which office he held until his 
death. He sat with Chief Justice Marshall in the trial 
of Aaron Burr. 

The last years of the life of Cyrus Griffin were dark- 
ened by ill-health. He travelled extensively in the hope 
of recovery, and died in December, 1 8 10. Lady Christina 
had preceded him to the grave three years. 

Judge Cyrus Griffin had four children. John, who 
was a judge in the State of Michigan; Samuel Stuart, 
who married Sally Lewis, of Gloucestertown, Virginia ; 
Mary, who married her cousin, Thomas Griffin, of York- 
town; and Louisa, who married Hugh Mercer, son of the 
famous General Hugh Mercer. Samuel Stuart Griffin, 
the second son of Cyrus, was educated in Scotland. He 
knew well and loved his mother's relations and spent 
much of his time at Traquair. His uncle, Charles Stuart, 
was then the seventh earl, and his first cousin was Charles, 
Lord Linton. His aunts. Lady Mary and Lady Lucy, 
were alive, and used their influence to bring him into the 
Roman Catholic faith. When an old man he used to 
tell his grandchild the weird tales of Traquair, where he 
had eaten the famous "haggis" and heard the mournful 
pipes. Many years after his return to Virginia, the Rev- 
erend Dr. Leyburn, of Baltimore, an eminent divine of the 
Presbyterian Church, and his wife, who was Louisa Mercer, 

The Boit Family 249 

a granddaughter of Cyrus Griffin, visited their kin of 
Traquair House, bearing letters from Dr. Samuel Stuart 
Griffin to his first cousin, Charles Stuart, then the 
eighth Earl of Traquair. 

The Traquair House, where Judge Griffin courted and 
won his wife, stands on the small stream of Quair, near 
its junction with the Tweed, and about a mile from 
Innerleithen. The house occupies a low position, shut 
out from extensive views by a circle of lofty hills on all 
sides, and immediately surrounded by a venerable forest. 
An ancient avenue of trees leading in a straight line from 
the front of the house for half a mile southwestward, is 
a particularly striking feature about the place. This 
avenue, which has been shut up for about two centuries, 
has a spacious entrance gateway with great pillars sur- 
mounted with bears supporting shields containing the 
Stuart Arms, and on cither side are quaint gate lodges. 
The house and offices form three sides of a square, 
measuring about one hundred feet each way, and inclosed 
on the fourth side with a beautiful iron railing. Oppo- 
site this, is the main building, four stories high, having 
a frontage to the courtyard of about one hundred feet, 
and on the outward, or northeast face, of one hundred 
and twenty-two feet. The side wings are one story, with 
attics. The northwest side has an extra story on a low 
fall of land, containing the stables and offices, and a 
chapel with sacristy on the floor above. The wing on 
the cast side contains a brew-house and other offices. 

250 Chronicles of 

On the northeast front of the main building is a high 
terrace, seventeen feet wide, with steps leading to a 
lower terrace, and the park stretching to the Quair. 

The eighth Earl of Traquair never married. When he 
died he left the estates of Traquair to his sister, Lady 
Louisa, who was also unmarried, and who died in 1876, 
aged one hundred years. At her death the press of the 
country was filled with anecdotes of the life of this 
ancient and highly respected lady, and also the heirship 
of James Lewis Corbin Griffin, son of Samuel Stuart 
Griffin, and only grandson (of the name) of Cyrus Griffin 
and the Lady Christina. The descent was so direct and 
close that his right, notwithstanding his being an alien, 
was about to be tested by law, but the expense of the 
proceedings was so enormous that the effort was para- 
lyzed. An unusual scholar and a modest gentleman, he 
died at the house of a maternal kinsman at Lansdown, 
Gloucester County, Virginia, and it is from his valuable 
papers that this sketch is written. 

In Eastern Virginia, about York and Williamsburg, 
there is not left one of the name of Griffin. There are, 
however, Mercers and Morrisses and Wallers, who are 
great-grandchildren of Cyrus Griffin. 

James Lewis Corbin Griffin's sister married Stephen 
Orrin Wright, of Norfolk, Virginia, and had one child, 
Sally Lewis, who married Mottrom Dulaney Ball, of the 
same family as Mary Ball, the mother of Washington. 
Her son, Mottrom Corbin Ball, of Georgetown, is in truth 
next of kin to Charles Stuart, eighth Earl of Traquair. 

The Boit Family 251 

Chapter XVIII 


" Registre de I'Eglise Wallancer de Southampton, England." 

"The Registers of the French Church, Threadneedle Street, 

" Domizations and Naturalizations of Aliens in England and 

"Huguenot Society Publications." 

" Registers of the Church of LaPatente, Spitalfields, England." 


Columbian Centinel, 1 784-1 S32. 

Marriage Intentions, Vol, IV, June 17, 1762. 

History of the Boyd Family and Descendants. 

Records of the Second Church (afterwards the New Brick 

Records of the New Brick Church. 

Province Laws, p. 796, October 5, 1765. 

Marriage Intentions, Vol. V, July 6, 1769. 

Marriages registered in Boston, August 3. 1769. 

New North Church records, page 23, August 3, 1769. 

King's Chapel records. 

Massachusetts Magazine, March 16, 1793. 

Petitions to Assessors of Boston. Selectmen's meeting, Aug- 
ust 1 8, 1777. 

General Court records, — in re taxes, March 15, 1782. 

252 Chronicles of The Boit Family 

Registry of deeds, March 14, 1781, July 5, 1782, September 5, 
1782, September 19, 1782, March 17, 1784, July 26, 1784, July 15, 
1785, June 9, 1795, August 4, 1795, February 16, 1797. 

Taking Book, 1784. 

Valuation Tax Book 1785, 1786, 1787, 1788, 1796, 1797. 

Directory, 1789. 

Boston's Inhabitants, 1790. 

Marriage Intentions, Vol. VI, September 3, 1789; also May 2, 

West Church records, September 27, 1789. 

Massachusetts Magazine, March, 1793. 

Letters from Sarah R. Chamberlayne, wife of General Chamber- 
layne, Cuba, Allegheny Co., New York, a great-granddaughter 
of Hannah Atkin's Boit. 

I am largely indebted to Mr. Francis S. Sturgis, for tables of 
the Sturgis family. 

There are no doubt many other Boston records that I have 
failed to examine. 


Page 9. 

The First Church was the John Cotton Church ; first 
situated on the present State Street ; next in Scollay 
Square ; next in Washington Street, and then called the 
" Old Brick ; " next in Chauncy Street ; and now at the 
corner of Marlborough and Berkeley Streets. 

The Second Church was an offshoot of the First 
Church, and was the church of the Mathers and 
Chandler Robbins. It was first known as the " New 
Brick Church" or the "Second Church." It was first 
in Hanover Street ; next in Bedford Street ; next it 
was moved and re-erected (all but its tower) in Copley 
Square ; next it was situated at the corner of Beacon 
Street and Audubon Circle. 

Page 141. 
Mrs. Louis Agassiz should read Mrs. Alexander Agassiz.