BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 3 9999 06660 783 7 . i^. -v^i ■*^i i^li|- m^ 'RESENTED TO THE W> U ^ J m #^1 <i^cA2lMJ^l Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive in 2010 witii funding from Boston Public Library http://www.archive.org/details/citydocuments5410roxb City Document — -No. 10. REPORT OP THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE ON THE ANNUAL APPROPEIATIONS. ROXBURT: NORFOLK COUNTY JOURNAL PRESS. 1854. CITY OF ROXBURY. In Common Council, March 6, 1854. Ordered, That the Committee on Finance be and they hereby are instructed to confer with the several Joint Standing Committees of the Cily Council, rela- tive to the necessary sums of money to be raised for the expenses of the City for the fiscal year ending the 30th April, 1855, and report thereon the Annual Appro- priation Bill, as soon as practicable. Passed and sent up for concurrence. JOSHUA SEAVER, Clerk. In Board of Aldermen, March 6,1854. Concurred. JOSEPH W. TUCKER, City Clerk. [Note ^This Report was accidentally omitted to be printed in April, which accounts for its being numbered City Doc. No. 10.] CITY OF ROXBURY. In Common Council, April 17, 1854. The Joint Standing Committee on Finance, who were in- structed, under an order originating in the Common Coun- cil, March 6th, to confer with the several Joint Standing Committees of the City Council, relative to the necessary- sums of money to be raised for the expenses of the City, for the fiscal year ending April 30th, 1855, and report the an- nual appropriation order as soon as practicable, have attended to the duty assigned them, and submit the following REPORT AND ORDERS. For Schools. For pay of School Teachers, . $19,725 00 " Fuel for Schools, . . 1,500 00 " Contingencies, . . . 5,500 00 " Roxbury Grammar School, (for High School,) . 3,000 00 « New School House, . . 5,000 00 For Support of Poor. For Support of Poor, in addition to iheir earnings, . . $3,000 00 $34,725 GO $3,000 00 ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS. [April, Fire Department. Pay of Chief Engineer, . . $200 00 " Assistant Engineers, . . 160 00 " Secretary of the Board, . 15 00 Engine No. 1. Pay of Foreman, $35 00 " Clerk, . 35 00 " Steward, . 75 00 " 38 Men, $25 O.'O 00 Engine No. 2. Pay of Foreman, . $35 00 " Clerk, . 35 00 " Steward, . 75 00 " 38 Men, $25 950 00 Engine No. 6. Pay of Foreman, . $35 00 " Clerk, . 35 00 " Steward, . 75 00 " 38 Men, $25 950 00 Engine No. 7. Pay of Foreman, . $35 00 " Clerk, . 35 00 " Steward, . 75 00 " 38 Men, $25 950 00 $375 00 1,095 00 1,095 00 1,095 00 Hook and ? Pay of Foreman, . $35 00 x,^_»uty \j\j Ladder Co. \ " Clerk, 30 00 " Steward, . 25 00 " 18 Men, $25 450 00 540 00 Hose Co. Pay of Foreman, . $35 00 fJ'^XJ \J\J " Clerk, 30 00 " Steward, . 50 00 " 10 Men, $25 250 00 365 00 $5,660 00 Contingencies, . 2,500 00 ^60 GO 1854.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 10. 5 City Debt and Interest. For Payment of Interest on Debt, . . 111,000 00 Watch and Police. For Pay of Watch and Police, . . . $5,000 00 Salaries for City Officers. For Salary of Mayor, . . . #800 00 City CJerk, . . 900 00 Clerk of Com. Council, 150 00 Treas. and Collector, 12« tO 00 Assessors, . . 52o 00 Clerk to Assessors, 75 00 « Five Ass't Assessors, 100 00 City Messenger, . 275 00 |4,025 00 Highways, Bridges and Sidewalks. For Highways, Bridges and Sidewalks, . |10,000 00 Discount on Taxes. For Discount on Taxes, .... |3,500 00 For Abatement of Taxes, . . . . $1,200 00 Gas, Oil, Lighting and Repairs of Lamps. For Gas, Oil, Lighting and Repairs of Lamps, $3,000. 00 Overdrafts. For Interest on Overdrafts, . . . $500 00 Contingent Expenses. For Contingent Expenses in addition to rents, &c., from City Property, . . . $3,000 00 All which is respectfully submitted. For the Committee, LINUS B. COMINS, Chairman. ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS. [April, CITY OF ROXBURY. AN ORDER, relating to the SPECIFIC APPROPRIA- TIONS for the Financial Year of 1854-55. It is hereby ordered hy the City Council^ That to defray the EXPENDITURES of the City of Roxbiiry for the Financial Year, which will commence with the first day of May, 1854, and end Avith the last day of April, 1855, the following sums of money be, and the same are hereby re- spectively appropriated, viz : FOR PAY OF SCHOOL TEACHERS, Nineteen thousand seven hundred and twen- ty-five dollars $19,725 00 FUEL FOR SCHOOLS, Fifteen hundred dollars 1,500 00 CONTINGENCIES FOR SCHOOLS, Five thousand five hundred dollars. . . 5,500 00 ROXBURY GRAMMAR SCHOOL, (for • High School,) Three thousand dollars. .... 3,000 00 NEW SCHOOL HOUSE, Five thousand dollars. .... 5,000 00 SUPPORT OF POOR, in addition to their earnings, and for repairs of Almshouse, Three thousand dollars. .... 3,000 00 PAY OF MEMBERS OF THE FIRE DE- PARTMENT, Five thousand six hundred and sixty dollars. 5,660 00 Carried forward, $43,385 00 1854] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 10. 7 Brought forward, $43,385 00 CONTINGENT EXPENSES OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, TiDo thousand Jive hundred dollars. . . 2,500 00 CITY DEBT AND INTEREST, Eleven thousand dollars. .... 11,000 00 PAY OF WATCH AND POLICE, Five thousand dollars. .... 5,000 00 SALARIES OF CITY OFFICERS, Four thousand tioenty-jive dollars. . . 4,025 00 REPAIRS OF HIGHWAYS, BRIDGES AND SIDEWALKS, Te7i thousand dollars 10,000 00 DISCOUNT ON TAXES, Three thousand five hundred dollars. . 3,500 00 ABATEMENTS OF TAXES, Twelve hundred dollars. .... 1,200 00 GAS, OIL, LIGHTING AND REPAIRS OF LAMPS, * Three thousand dollars. .... 3,000 00 INTEREST ON OVERDRAFTS, Five hundred dollars. .... 500 00 CONTINGENT EXPENSES, in addition to Rents, &c., from City Property, Three thousand dollars. .... 3,000 00 Making a total of eighty-seven thousand one hundred and ten dollars. . . . 87,110 00 And it is further Ordered, That no excess in any of the respective appropriations aforesaid, shall be paid by the Treasurer, unless authorized by the City Council : Provided, however, that any sums of money which may be subscribed or contributed by individuals, to promote the object of any of the foregoing appropriations, and which form no part of the estimated income of the City, shall be strictly applied according to the intention of the contributors, and shall be credited to said appropriation accordingly. ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS. [ApriL • CITY OF ROXBURY In Common Council, April 17, 1854. AN ORDER Levying a TAX to defray the expenses of the City of Rox- buiy, for the Financial Year, which will commence with the first day of May, 1854, and end with the last day of April, 1855. Ordered, That the sum of EIGHT-Y-SEVEN THOU- SAND ONE HUNDRED AND TEN DOLLARS, be raised by assessment on the Polls and Estates of the inhabr itants of this City, according to law, to pay the current ex- penses of the City of Roxbury, during the Financial Year, which will commence with the first day of May, 1854, and close with the last day of April, 1855. Passed and sent up for concurrence. JOSHUA SEAVER, Clerk. In Board of Aldermen, April 17, 1854. Concurred. JOSEPH W. TUCKER, City Clerk, A MEMOIR OP DR. NATHANIEL SHEPHERD PRENTISS. OP EOXBURY. eoxburt: norfolk county journal press. 1854. Note. — In preparing the following memoir free use was made, by permis- sioUj of a manuscript copy of a beautiful and touching sermon preached at the funeral, by Rev. A. C. Thompson of the Eliot Congregational Church, Rox- bury ; a highly appropriate speech before the Roxbury City Council by Joseph N. Brewer, Esq., on introducing commemorative Resolutions ; and manuscript memoranda by Rev. Joseph Banvard ; in addition to my own memoranda and personal recollections of the good old man and revered friend. Prepared orig- inally for another purpose, it is now printed to gratify many friends of the de- ceased, who having read the manuscript expressed a wish to possess a copy. B. E. C. MEMOIR Dr. Prentiss was born in North Cambridge, then a part of Charlestown, August Tth, 1766, ten years before the Declaration of Independence. The house wherein he was born, since and for many years known as "Davenport's Tavern," is still standing, though somewhat remodeled, nearly opposite the present Cattle Market Hotel. His father was one of the band, who, disguised as Indians, destroyed the obnoxious tea in Boston Harbor in the dawn of the Rev- olution — then an important secret which the lad came very near disclosing by calling his mother's attention, quite early the next morning, to the tobacco with which his father's boots were filled. Young Prentiss saw the British rein- forcements as they marched to Lexington ; and remembered that it was a hot day, and that the season was remarkably forward from having seen the soldiers ornament their mus- kets with cherry blossoms from the trees then in full bloom. Swinging on the gate while the troops halted to drink at his father's well, he had a full and near view of Lord Percy, of whose appearance and bearing he was accustomed in af- ter life to give graphic and glowing descriptions. On their retreat he saw one of the British shot down by a neighbor. The soldier, stopping for plunder, had fallen somewhat in the rear of his company. Perceiving his dan- ger he raised his musket to fire upon his antagonist, but was too late. His body was thrown over the wall, and was an object of fearful curiosity during the remainder of the day. As more troops were rapidly approaching, young Prentiss with the other children was hurried by their mother to the cellar of a house at some distance, to protect them from the shots which were poured by retreating parties into the houses by the road-side. In the great anxiety and distress of the mother, and the confusion incident to their situation, for many families were there collected, he soon found an oppor- tunity to escape unnoticed, and, returning to the road, post- ed himself on the wall in the hope of hearing from or see- ing his father,who had early in the day joined his company in pursuit of the enemy. Repeatedly urged, by friends hur- rying by, to leave a place of so much danger, he obstinately refused until some one coming up assured him that his fath- er had been recently seen alive and well. Overjoyed with the intelligence he hastened back to the cellar, to carry the good news to his mother, whose agonising suspense was be- coming almost too great for human endurance. Dr. Prentiss was quite feeble and delicate in early life. His parents therefore thought it best that he should not be trained to any calling that would require much physical en- ergy and strength. As he was naturally fond of books he was encouraged to follow his inclinations in that particular. When quite a lad he constructed for himself a study in an old carriage-body lying neglected at the bottom of his fath- er's garden, and fitted it up with book-shelf, desk, chair and fire-place. There he was accustomed to retire for reading and study. At school he was distinguished for correct de- portment, faithful application, and facility of acquisition. An anecdote of him at this period may be related, as it is illustrative of the times. His teacher, who was somewhat of a military man, had a "corps of honor" in his school, embracing none but boys of the best scholarship and deport- ment. This class he was accustomed to exercise in milita- ry manoeuvres as a matter of amusement. To this corps Prentiss belonged. Some friend fitted him out with a neat wooden musket and other accoutrements; and, as he was an apt scholar, he soon acquired a practical knowledge of the manual exercise. A few days before the battle of Bunker's Hill, some raw recruits, who had been hastily collected from their farms and workshops, were assembled at Cambridge for the purpose of being drilled. Perfectly ignorant of military matters, they were exceedingly awkward in go- ing through the exercises. Young Prentiss was present. He had taken a position some little distance one side of the men; and every order, given by the officer, he correctly obeyed. The captain seeing this, said to him — "Come here, my lad." £Ie approached. '•'Do you understand the word of command?" "Yes, sir." "Let me see; — order arras!" down went the little sol- dier's gun. "Shoulder arms !" up it went in true military style. "Present arms !" in a flash it was held in the proper po- sition. The examination proving entirely satisfactory, the cap- tain placed the little fellow in front of the company of re- cruits, and told them to look at him, and make every mo- tion just as he did and there would be no mistake. He then proceeded with his drill — the little, delicate, white-haired, blue-eyed boy acting as fugle-man. Dr. Prentiss was prepared for college by Dr. Kendall, principal of the public school in his native town. He en- tered Harvard University at the age of sixteen, in the class of John Quincy Adams, Judges Cranch and Putnam, and graduated in 1787. After leaving college, he taught school in Medford for two years, at the same time pursuing the study of medicine with Dr. Putnam. He then went to Marlborough, where he re- mained about six mouths ; thence to Lancaster, where he took charge of a school, and at the same time continued his medical studies under the instruction of Dr. Israel Atherton, an eminent physician of that day. 6 After completing his engagements in Lancaster, Dr. Pren- tiss returned to Marlborough ; and in 1793 married Miss Abigail Perkins, a grand-daughter of Dr. Kennedy of Bos- ton. He remained in Marlborough over ten years, keeping school and practising his profession. "While in practice in Marlborough he took an aversion to a neighboring physician of the name, and a relative, of the writer of this article. Dr. Prentiss was junior in the pro- fession, and more recently settled in the place. The ill- feeling arose from some real or supposed desire on the part of his predecessor to exclude a new comer, and some mis- construed acts of unintentional opposition. Subsequently a fortuitous circumstance brought the two gentlemen together, and led to an explanation. Dr. Prentiss, in the spirit of true manliness and candor which characterized all his hfe, ad- mitted his misconceptions, and proffered his friendship. He was met in a similar spirit. Mutual kindness and esteem followed, and ever after continued between them. The friendship and good-will thus engendered was bestowed in its full measure on the writer by Dr. Prentiss, on their in- troduction some twelve years since, and steadily maintained in increasing intensity to the very last hour of his conscious- ness. In his practice Dr. Prentiss early inclined to a milder sys- tem of medication than was then usual, and was in conse- quence thought to be a timid practitioner by the indiscrimi- nating, who considered severe dosing as an evidence of "he- roic"' practice. He was never a rash prescriber, as that term implies, having more faith in "old dame nature," as his phrase was, than in the large doses of medicine of some of Ms contemporaries. In this he was more truly "heroic" than those who pursued a more ostentatious and therefore perhaps more popular course. He was admitted a member of the Mass. Medical Society in 1813; and his name was placed on the retired list in 1844. By his mild deportment, soothing manners and indefati- gable attention he won the affections of many familes, who lamented his removal from the place of his earlier practice ; and of many others who continued to seek his advice long after he had expressed a wish to retire from all professional service. While preparing for his profession it had been necessary for him to teach school from prudential reasons. For this employment he was eminently qualified by nature and edu- cation. His preferences also led in this direction, so that when, in the autumn of 1801, he was invited to take charge of the "Grammar School" (now known as the English High and Latin Schools) in Roxbury, on his own terms, he ac- cepted the offer and removed thither. The duties of this position he discharged with fidelity. Among the distinguished men he educated, was one of the first and well-known missionaries to India, Rev. Sam- uel Newell. On one occasion Mr. Newell visited the Doc- tor when his house had been recently painted, and not be- ing aware of that circumstance stepped upon the threshold of the parlor and left there the print of his foot. That foot- print Dr. Prentiss would never allow to be painted over. He preserved it as a memento of the good man who made it. Dr. Prentiss retained the office of Principal of the "Gram- mar School" for nine years. When he announced his resig- nation it caused quite an excitement among his pupils, by whom he was warmly loved. He soon after opened a pri- vate school, and many of them joined his classes. He was a strict disciplinarian for the times. One of his pupils re- cently related the following anecdote in one of the Western papers. "His patience at times would get nearly exhausted by the infractions of the school rules by the scholars. On one occasion, in rather a wrathy way, he threatened to pun- ish with six blows of a very heavy ferule, the first boy de- tected in whispering, and appointed some as detectors* Shortly after, one of these detectors shouted, — 'Master, John 8 Zeigler is whispering.' John was called up, and asked if it was a fact — (John, by the way, was a favorite both of the teacher and his schoolmates.) 'Yes,' answered John, 'I was not aware of what I was about. I was intent in work- ing out a sum, and requested the one who sat next to reach the arithmetic that contained the rule, which I wished to see.' The Doctor regretted his hasty threat, but told John he could not suffer him to escape the punishment, and con^ tinned ; 'I wish I could avoid it, but I cannot without a for- feiture of my word, and the consequent loss of my author- ity. I will,' continued he. 'leave it to any three scholars you may choose to say whether or not J omit the punish- ment.' John said he was agreed to that, and immediately called out G. S., T. D., and D. P. D. The Doctor told them to return a verdict, which they soon did, (after con- sultation.) as follows : 'The master's rule must be kept in- violate — John must receive the threatened punishment of six blows of the ferule ; but it must be inflicted on volun- teer proxies ; and we, the arbitrators, will share the punish- ment by receiving two blows each.' John, who had listen- ed to the verdict, stepped up to the Doctor, and with out- stretched hand exclaimed : 'Master, here is my hand ; they shan't be struck a blow ; I will receive the punishment.' The Doctor, under pretence of wiping his face, shielded his eyes, and telling the boys to go to their seats, said he would think of it. I believe he did think of it to his dying day, but the punishment was never inflicted." On leaving the Grammar School he had partially resumed his practice. The next year he was chosen Selectman of the Town and Assessor, in which capacity he served five years. The three following years he was sent Representa- tive to the State Legislature, and then declined renomina- tion; though subsequently he once more accepted the office. In 1816 he was chosen Town Clerk, which office he held until the close of the town government in 1846 — a period ot thirty years. When the city form of government was accepted he de- chned being a candidate for clerkship, saying that the records of the town were then in good order, and he did not wish to continue in office till from the infirmities of age he injured them. He was then eighty years old. He* relinquished practice at the same time ; and soon after, breaking up house-keeping, went to reside with his daughter, Mrs. Ban- vard. "The duties of Town Clerk" (said Mr. Brewer) "he faith- fully and acceptably performed to the entire satisfaction of all parties ; and notwithstanding there were times when the spirit of party raged almost to madness, men of every polit- ical faith manifested their approbation of his services, by re- electing him yearly to that office by a nearly unanimous vote. The records of the town bear full and ample testi- mony, in their clear and beautiful penmanship, to his indus- try, and to the systematic, correct and methodical manner which characterized all his official acts. "The last official act performed by him was to administer the oath of office to the first mayor of our city, on the first Monday of April, 1846 ; and for that purpose — though he had held a commission as Justice of the Peace for many years — he was qualified only a few days before, expressly to perform this service. There are some who remember well that occasion. It seemed to all there assembled to be qualified as members of the first City Council, that as the members of the old government were surrendering their commissions, the members of the new one were receiving their authority from apostolic hands." :* * * * t'Dr. Prentiss was warmly attached to Rox- bury. To the last he considered himself a citizen here, and exercised the rights of citizenship whenever opportunity of- fered and the state of his health permitted. Coming here in his early manhood, he grew up with the growth of Rox- bury to the green old age of more than four score. When he entered the service of the town, its population numbered 10 a little more than three thousand souls, and when he closed that service it had increased to fourteen thousand. For more than forty years, as teacher and officer, he labored with zeal and energy in the local affairs of Roxbury, with a single eye towards the advancement of the best interests of the town, and the prosperity of its inhabitants. He was jealous of the rights and interests of Roxbury. Whenever those rights were invaded, or those interests adversely affect- ed, by any local or other measure, either proposed or adop- ted, he felt it keenly and sensibly and was not backward in expressing his own convictions. He had no selfish traits of character — so say those who knew him best ; — he had no ambition to gratify. Whatever offices or honors he received from his fellow-citizens, resulted from their own spontane- ous action — their own voluntary offering, and never from any act, word or effort on his part. They had unlimited confidence in his wisdom, his integrity, his judgment, his prudence and his patriotism, whenever they committed their interests to his hands ; for they knew that their confidence would never be abused or misused." Dr. Prentiss was a man of venerable appearance. His tall, robust and noble form, locks white as snow, and open^ pleasant countenance, always attracted the attention of strangers. Being of an affectionate, cheerful disposition, eminently conscientious, ever disposed to do good unto oth- ers, a man of unyielding integrity, great firmness and de- voted piety, he was universally respected by all who knew him. He was twice married. By his first wife he had eight children, three of whom still survive him. In 1807 he mar- ried Miss Abigail Pico, of Boston, for his second wife, and outlived her more than twenty-five years. "Seldom has the man lived," said his pastor at the fune- ral, "even the man of advanced age, who had such an ex- ulting apprehension of the sovereignty of Jehovah, of the rectitude and wisdom of the divine proceedings." 11 * * * * "His name stands first on the list of those organized, nineteen years ago, into the Ehot Church, over whose inception and growth he watched, prayed and wept in exulting gratitude to the King of Zion. His later years were years of singular serenity, soothed and cheered by the ministrations of devoted daughters, and a beloved son-in- law, pastor of the church in whose place of worship we now attend his obsequies. "Seldom has any one of equal age retained such fresh- ness of the bodily senses and the faculties of the mind ; but whatever slight mental infirmity may have been latterly ap- parent, the vita vere vitalis was in full vigor. Faith, hope and charity were stronger than ever. His vital union to Him who is the Yine, became a point of triumphant assur- ance. His last whispered words, as an afiectionate sister wiped a tear from his eye, were, pointing upward — 'no tears there !' and his last conscious act after the power of speech had ceased," (a sign agreed by him to be used if in the closing hour of life he could not speak,) "was, to lay one finger across another in token of the Cross of Christ, in which he gloried to the last." The funeral services were observed in the Baptist Church in West Cambridge, on Monday, November 7th, 1853, and were attended by the City Government of Roxbury, by many of his former townsmen and friends, as well as a large assemblage from the neighborhood. "Not many days before his death," (to quote again from Mr. Brewer's speech,) "a few of his former pupils made him a visit and presented to him a beautiful silver pitcher, and asked his acceptance of it as 'a pledge of their rencAved and continued affection' — 'an evidence that though many years had passed away, he had not been forgotten by them.' The occasion was a solemn and impressive one to all pres- ent. They told him they had appreciated 'his kindness and indefatigable endeavors in directing their young minds to the rudiments of human learning, and instilling into their 1 o r"??" "*i hearts those moral infiuences under which his own long life had been rendered so serene and happy.' Their venerable master accepted the unexpected gift with feelings and emo- tions not easily described. He felt the kindness and affec- tion that prompted the act. His heart was full to overflow- ing — too full for utterance. The 'tender place,' as he ex- pressed it, was then as susceptible as in his youth. "From this time he declined rapidly, and it was evident that the sands of life had nearly run out. He breathed his last on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 5th, 1853. " 'Of no distemper, of no blast he died; Bat fell like autumn fruit, that mellowed long.' " ^t^^ PUBLIC LIBRARY OF THE CITY OF BOSTON. ABBREVIATED REGULATIONS. One volume can be taken at a time from the Lower Hall, and one from the Bates Hall. ' Books can be kept out 14 days. A fine of 2 cents for each volume will be incurred for each day a book is detained more than 14 days. Any book detained more than a week be- j-ond the time limited, will be sent for at the expense of the delinquent. No book is to be lent out of the household of the ])orrower. The Library hours for the deliver)' and re- turn of books are from 10 o'clock, A. M., to 8 o'clock, r. M., in the Lower Hall ; and from 10 o'clock, A. SL, untU one half hour before sunset in the Bates Hall. Every book must, under penalty of one dol- lar, be returned to the Library at such time in August as shall be publicly announced. The card must be presented Avhenever a book is returned. For renewing a book the card must be presented, together with the book, or with the shelf-numbers of the book. «J..- ,.*yYm^ry '.^v^. !!.-*"■■ » ^* ^;..^v y-^ • ,"^- ^■■'■- -^-.^ ^5 * -^ V 1 -/ Vi •ii?.