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City Document — No. 6.
JOINT SPECIAL COMMITTEE
ON THE SUBJECT OF THE
DONATION OF HON. LINUS B. COMINS
TO ONE OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF EOXBUKY.
NORFOLK COUNTY JOURNAL PRESS.
CITY OF KOXBURY.
In Common Council, Feb. 25, 1856.
Ordered, That Messrs. Nichols, Bumstead, and Perkins be a Com-
mittee, with such as the Board of Aldermen may join, to ascertain
what sum of money, if any, may be in the hands of the Government,
or may have been expended in any manner, being the whole or a por-
tion of any donation from the Hon. Linus B. Comins.
Sent up for concurrence.
JOSHUA SHAVER, Clerk.
In Board of Aldermen, March 17, 1856.
Concurred. And the Mayor and Alderman Robinson were joined.
JOSEPH W. TUCKER, City Clerk.
In Board of Aldermen, March 31, 1856.
Report read ; and it was ordered that it be laid upon the table, and
twelve hundred copies be printed for distribution.
JOSEPH W. TUCKER, City Clerk.
CITY OF ROXBURY.
In Boaed op Aldermen, March 31, 1856.
The Joint Special Committee, to whom was referred an
order adopted by the City Council, instructing them " to
ascertain what sum of money, if any, may be in the hands
of the Government, or may have been expended in any
- manner, being the whole or a portion of any donation
from Hon. Linus B. Comins," have attended to their
duty, and respectfully ask leave to submit the following
- It appears by a letter dated January 21, 1855, laid be-
fore the Board of School Committee on the 31st of Janu-
ary, and addressed by Hon. Linus B. Comins to Hon.
Bradford K. Peirce, Chairman of the Board of School
Committee, that Mr. Comins enclosed to the Committee
the sum of one hundred dollars, to be expended in a library
of reference, &c, for the benefit of the teachers and pupils
of the " Comins Grammar School for Girls." Also the
Sum of five hundred dollars, to be held in trust ; — the
Chairman of the Board of School Committee, the Mayor
of the City, and the President of the Common Council to
be, ex officio, trustees of the fund; — the income to be ex-
pended annually in prizes to the scholars in the " Comins
Grammar School for Girls," in such manner as the School
Committee shall direct.
It also appears, by a series of resolves adopted by the
Board of School Committee, March 14, 1855, that the
Board accepted the donation of the one hundred dollars,
and appointed a committee to secure the object of the
donor in the purchase of books ; the Board also accepted,
on its part, the trust of the donation of five hundred dol-
lars, to be funded in accordance with the wishes of the
donor, the annual interest to be expended on the library of
the school, under the direction of the Trustees of the fund,
in accordance with the suggestions of Mr. Comins, as con-
tained in a second letter from that gentleman, dated March
It also appears in evidence before the Committee, that
the Chairman of the Board of School Committee, being
also one of the Trustees, ex officio, deposited the five hun-
dred dollars in the hands of the Treasurer or Agent of the
American Sunday School Union, and took his note on de-
mand and on interest, for the same. This note was subse-
quently deposited with Joseph W. Dudley, City Treasurer,
for safe keeping, by the Chairman of the Board of School
Committee, and his receipt was taken for the same.
It has also been ascertained, that when the annual inter-
est on the note for five hundred dollars became due, the
Chairman of the Board of School Committee expended
the amount — thirty dollars — in the purchase of books
for the school, according to the resolve passed by the
School Committee on the 14th of March. These books,
with the books originally purchased with the sum of one
hundred dollars, referred to above, are now in possession
of the school. The note for five hundred dollars, given by
the Treasurer or Agent of the American S. S. Union, still
remains deposited for safe keeping with Mr. Dudley, and
the Chairman of the present Board of School Committee
holds his (Mr. Dudley's) receipt for the note.
It is understood that the individuals designated by Mr.
Comins to hold the fund in trust, in conjunction with the
Chairman of the School Committee, were duly notified of
the same by the Clerk of that Board. It also appears,
CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 6. 5
from a statement made by the Chairman of the School
Committee for the past year, that he communicated his
mode of investing the five hundred dollars, to one of the
gentlemen designated by Mr. Comins as one of the trus-
tees — the Mayor of the City — soon after the fund was
invested. Also that he conferred with the same gentleman
on the subject of depositing the money with the City Treas-
urer as a permanent loan to the City Government ; also
that the interest of the money was expended in a manner
to meet his approval. The gentleman referred to, however?
states explicitly that he never accepted the trust — never
acted as a trustee — and does not regard himself in any
way responsible for any action in relation to the fund or
the disposition of the income arising therefrom. The other
gentleman designated as one of the trustees — the Presi-
dent of the Council — accepted the trust, but never attend-
ed any meeting of the Trustees, or took any action, or was
conferred with in relation to the disposition of the fund.
But whatever may have been the action of the Trustees
of the fund, or of the Board of School Committee, such
action cannot affect the relation of the City Council to-
wards this donation for " the Comins Grammar School for
Girls." It was evidently the intention of the donor, that
the City Council should have no control over, or disposi-
tion of, this money. The subject has never even engaged
the attention of the City Government, in any shape, until
the present year. There is no allusion to it in any record
of the proceedings of either Board ; and the conclusion is
inevitable, that no sum of money, " being the whole or a
portion of any donation from the Hon. Linus B. Comins,"
has ever been in the hands of the City Council, or expend-
ed in any manner by either branch of that body ; — but that
the Board of School Committee, having on their part ac-
cepted the trust; and those Trustees, indicated by the
donor, who have also accepted the trust on their part — if
any — have hitherto had the entire and exclusive manage-
ment and regulation of the donation, and of the interest
arising from the fund ; — and will undoubtedly continue to
adopt such measures in relation to that subject, as may
seem to them wise and expedient.
JOHN S. SLEEPER,
J. P. ROBINSON,
R. C. NICHOLS,
T. L. D. PERKINS.
CITY OF BOSTON.
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