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State Library 






Published by Authority of the State 




.^73 3 

LAWS OF 1895, CHAPTER 125. 

ING, JANUARY 8, 1895. 

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives in General 
Court convened: 

That the governor and council be requested to procure the 
printing of two thousand copies of the proceedings at the dedi- 
cation of the State library building at Concord, January 8, 1895, 
including the addresses of William J. Tucker and Ains worth R. 
Spofford, with suitable cuts of the exterior and interior of the 

r - /f \« . 4 «>Q 


Introduction . . . vii 

Description of the Building i 

Trustees, i 866-1 895 13 

Librarians, i 834-1 895 15 

Addresses : 

Hon. J. S. H. Frink, President of the Day . . 17 
Rev. Harry P. Dewey, Invocation ... 22 
Hon. Charles H. Burns, of the Building Com- 
mission ......... 24 

His Excellency Charles A. Busiel ... 26 
Hon. Isaac W. Smith, Associate Justice of the 

Supreme Court 27 

Hon. Parsons B. Cogswell, Mayor of Concord . 38 

Hon. George C. Gilmore, Trustee of the Library 40 

Orations : 

Rev. William J. Tucker, d. d., President of Dart- 
mouth College . 42 

Hon. Ainsworth R. Spofford, Librarian of Con- 
gress 59 

Appendix 77 


New Hampshire, in assuming to do for the people 
what the people formerly accomplished for themselves, 
has made progress only after demonstration that pater- 
nalism in government does not trespass upon the theory 
and practice of a pure democracy. The progress of 
thought and the enlargement of practice have founded 
state institutions and generally have granted privileges 
and facilities which individually the people could not 
secure for themselves. The internal history of the state 
library reveals an origin and development in harmony 
with a liberal interpretation of the functions of a wise 
and comprehensive state administration. 

So long as the library remained under the immediate 
control and supervision of the legislature its growth was 
dwarfed and its functions were limited to a narrow 
sphere. In 1866, under more liberal legislation, the 
library became an institution with a permanent board 
of control, and during the succeeding years it has 
profited under the fostering care of the state. Within 
thirty years the number of volumes has been increased 
tenfold, and the interest of the public has kept an even 
pace with the rapid progress of the library. 

In the early history of the state, there was no state 
library or thought of one. Until 1816 there was no 
state house nor any public building in which a state 
library could be sheltered. During the first twenty 
years under the constitution, the legislature held only 


two successive sessions in the same town, and these 
were special and not annual sessions. During the 
years preceding the establishment of a permanent seat 
of government, it is evident the state was not saving and 
moving books from town to town. The treasurer was 
summoned to attend with the iron chest wherever the 
general court pitched its tent, but no library was trans- 
ported from one temporary capital to another. The 
state had none. If we claim for the institution the 
added glory of antiquity, we must admit that in its 
imaginative existence it was vehicular. With the com- 
pletion and occupancy of a permanent state house, it is 
probable that a few books were collected, but it was 
several years before the state entertained any thought of 
a permanent library, or even reserved a copy of its own 
publications for its use. The Journals of the Senate and 
House of Representatives, and other volumes, published 
by the state, previous to 1826, and now in the state 
library, were secured by donation or purchase at a later 

For the first time the state library receives mention in 
the state records in an act of 1823 appropriating $100 
annually for its enlargement. The poverty of the insti- 
tution is revealed in an act of 1826 which provided for 
the purchase of **one copy of the Journal of the Senate 
and House of Representatives for each session since the 
adoption of the present constitution." 

In 1828 Jacob Bailey Moore was appointed an agent 
to prepare a room under the senate chamber for the 
accommodation of the state library. Mr. Moore caused 
to be arranged a series of shelves in a long, narrow 
room across the north end of the state house, and here 
the library remained until the autumn of 1864. An act 
of 1848 provided for the removal of the library to the 
west side of the state house, but no action was taken on 


account of a failure of the general court to make an ade- 
quate appropriation for the purpose. 

In 1828 the whole number of volumes was less than 
600. These were packed rather than shelved in limited 
accommodations, and the door was securely locked the 
greater part of the year. During the succeeding fifteen 
years about an equal number of volumes of a miscellane- 
ous character was added to the originals, and with them 
committed to a continued and solitary confinement. 

The only printed catalogue of the state library was 
issued nearly fifty years ago. An act approved June 
30, 1846, directed the secretary of state, the librarian, ex- 
officio^ to print three hundred copies of a catalogue of 
the librar}^. The catalogue demonstrates that the col- 
lection of statutes and legislative journals of the United 
States and of the several states, had been considerably 
increased within the few years immediately preceding. 
At this date the library also contained nearly 400 law 
reports, digests, and works of an elementary character. 
In the miscellaneous department there were about 600 
volumes of history, biography, and reference books. 

At the June session, 1849, Alexandre Vattemare, of 
Paris, delivered an address before the legislature, advo- 
cating an international exchange of public documents. 
The address was printed at the expense of the state, and 
a joint resolution was passed directing the librarian to 
present Mr. Vattemare **such copies of the Journals of 
the legislature and other volumes and pamphlets in his 
possession as in his opinion can be consistently thus 
appropriated." In exchange the library received in 
uniform and substantial bindings 125 volumes in French. 
They are silent reminders of a policy suddenly adopted, 
and as speedily relinquished. 

In 1834, Jacob C. Carter was chosen librarian, and by 
annual elections was continued in office until the close of 


the session of 1846. During this period, and for many 
succeeding years, the library was opened only during 
the session and for the sole accommodation of the legis- 
lature and the state officers. An act of 1846 changed 
the form, but not the spirit, of the control of the library. 
The secretary of state became the librarian ex -officio 
with authority to appoint a special deputy to open the 
library during the session, and in 1857 the deputy secre- 
tary of state was made librarian ex-officio, and continued 
to discharge the limited duties of the office until 1866. 

The state house was re-modelled between the special 
session in August, 1864, and the June session, 1866. In 
the meantime the books of the state library were stored 
in the basement of the city hall. They were removed 
from the state house in the autumn of 1864, eighty years 
after the adoption of the state constitution. At this time 
it could be called a library only by courtesy. At best 
it was a broken collection of law books and state 
documents with a very few volumes of a miscellaneous 
character. The repairs upon the state house provided a 
room for the library upon the centre of the west side. 
It was left unfinished, and the books remained in storage 
until the summer of 1867. During eighty years the 
legislature practically retained the immediate control and 
supervision of the library. The laws were temporary 
in their character and to no one was delegated an 
authority to secure any permanent results. Each 
annual session legislated for its immediate convenience, 
often doing too much for a month and always too little 
for a year. 

At the June session, 1866, the legislature assembled 
in the re-modeled state house. It was the beginning of 
an era in the history of the library. The spirit of the 
prophet was breathing in the dead bones in the valley, 
and the voice of progress called the people to the opened 


doors of the library. Under the provisions of the act of 
1866 the state library was enlarged from a legislative 
convenience to a public institution. The control was 
delegated to a perpetual board of trustees, and a more 
liberal provision was made for its support. Under this 
management the room provided was completed and a 
permanent librarian was appointed. The results were 
immediate and constant, and the library soon outgrew 
the accommodations provided by the trustees. The 
situation found frequent expression in the legislature 
without results until the session of 1889, in the passage 
of a joint resolution authorizing the governor and coun- 
cil to procure plans and estimates for the enlargement 
of the state house or the erection of a separate building 
for the accommodation of the library. Under this 
authority the governor and council appointed Charles 
H. Burns, John W. Sanborn, Benjamin A. Kimball, 
Irving W. Drew, and Charles J. Amidon. The com- 
mission held frequent sessions, and industriously prose- 
cuted the work of inquiry and investigation. To the 
succeeding legislature they recommended a site, and 
presented plans and estimates for a new building. The 
plan contained provision for a court room and adjoining 
rooms for the accommodation of the court and members 
of the bar. The recommendations of the commission 
were promptly accepted by the legislature, and without 
opposition an act was passed authorizing the governor 
and council to appoint four commissioners to erect a 
l)uilding in accordance with the accepted plans and 
upon the proposed site. The commission under the act 
of 1889 consisted of five members, and with the knowl- 
edge of the desire of Mr. Amidon to be excused from 
further service, the building commission under the act 
of 1891 comprised four members. The governor and 
council appointed Charles H. Burns, John W. Sanborn, 


Benjamin A. Kimball, and Irving W. Drew commis- 
sioners for the erection of the new building. The plans 
accepted were those of A. P. Cutting of Worcester, 
Mass., and he remained associated with the commis- 
sioners during the construction of the building. The 
liberality of the people as expressed in legislation, and 
the wisdom of the commissioners are fittingly expressed 
in the fair proportions and the spacious accommodation 
of an attractive and durable structure. 

The state library enters upon a new era of its exist- 
ence with hope and confidence. During the past 
twenty-eight years, under the management of the 
trustees, its growth has been uniform and constant. 
It now contains, exclusive of duplicates, 50,000 volumes, 
of which 14,000 are in the law department. Including 
pamphlets, state and United States documents, it pos- 
sesses over 100,000 duplicates. Every year is adding 
more volumes than the library contained fifty years ago. 


The problem as received from the commissioners was 
for a building, first, to contain and accommodate the state 
library, with ample means for immediate growth within 
its walls, and so arranged that a stack room for future 
growth could be added, retaining the present structure 
for administrative purposes, with reading room of ample 
dimensions for its prospective growth for many years to 

Second, to provide rooms for the supreme court of the 
state, comprising court room, judges' consultation and 
private rooms, clerks' and attorneys' room, with such 
additional rooms as would naturally grow out of the 
development of the scheme, and suitable for offices 
under the state government, and the whole to be of the 
most substantial character, as nearly fireproof as con- 
sistent with available use. 

It is not necessary to minutely describe all the intricate 
details entering into the construction of the building, but 
in any description, however brief, it should not be over- 
looked that the foundations are laid deep and strong ; 
that the materials were carefully selected and of the best 
quality available ; that each and every one of the intri- 
cate details have in turn received all, and much more care 
and thought than is usually expended upon such prob- 
lems ; that the building not only looks strong and per- 
manent, but it has really greater strength than is appar- 
ent, for by the solid character of the backing of the 


exterior walls and by the tying into them of the solid 
masonry partitions, which buttress them in every direc- 
tion and add untold strength to its otherwise massive 
solidity ; that in heating, lighting, ventilation, and sani- 
tation it is the best that expert service can give ; in deco- 
ration and ornament it is true to the style selected. That 
it is not highly decorated, is true, for both its material 
and purpose forbid such a course. 

It is situated fronting the state-house grounds from the 
north , with a frontage on Park street of 141 feet 6 
inches, on State street, 104 feet 2 inches, with a width 
of 94 feet 4 inches at the narrowest point through the 
library east of the main entrance, with a slight project- 
ing tower 24 feet square at the southwest corner, one 
story higher than the main building, with a high, pitched 
roof; a segmental bay from the centre of the court room 
at the west end, and a semi-circular bay at the right of 
the main entrance with finish membering into and join- 
ing the same. The extreme height of main walls from 
grade is 44 feet, with a gable over main entrance 57 feet 
in height, and a tower 83 feet in height. 

The exterior is wholly of New Hampshire granite 
in two colors. The body of the work and basement 
entire are of Conway red granite, rock face, except 
reveals and mouldings which are fine cut. The trim- 
mings comprising all belts, mouldings, pilasters, cor- 
nices, copings, entrance steps, etc., are of Concord 
gray granite, and wholly dressed work. The backing 
of all exterior walls and partitions is of brick laid in 

The framing of floors, ceilings, roof trusses, stairs, 
columns, entire, are of steel. The floors, columns, ceil- 
ings, and roof are filled with burnt clay tiles, with pro- 
jecting flanges wholly enclosing metal construction, by 
a solid covering of previously burnt materials. The 


floors and roof arches are filled and leveled with con- 
crete to receive floors and roof covering. 

The floors for vestibule, main hall first and second 
stories, and border of court room are of marble mosaic, 
and all other floors marble tiles. 

The roof has a waterproof covering over masonry con- 
struction overlaid with seven-eighths inch planed slates 
bedded in mastic. Flashing and skylight ribs are of 
copper. Skylights are glazed with one-half inch thick, 
hammered plate glass, with all windows glazed with 
thick, polished plate glass. 

The plastering is laid directly to masonry construction. 
The door and window trimmings for the vestibule, main 
and staircase halls, and court room are of polished mar- 
ble ; all other trimmings are of Keene cement. The book 
cases and stacks are of iron. Wood is only used for door 
and window casements and furniture is mainly quartered 
oak, and is of so inconsiderable an amount that the whole 
could be burned in any room in the building without 
endangering its construction. 

The basement has a strong battered wall 6 feet 9 inches 
in height, of unusually large stone, springing from a solid 
underpinning with projecting wash and terminating with 
a belt 3 feet wide of three members, base, die, and sill 
course, running entirely around the building. 

From this belt of light colored granite spring pilasters 
2 feet 6 inches wide projecting 6 inches, with moulded 
base and delicately carved capitals, coupled at the 
angles, single at each division or bay, around the build- 
ing and running up to and supporting the main cornice. 
The motive of the main cornice is Grecian, 4 feet in width, 
composed of frieze, dentils, egg and dart, bed moulding, 
facia and corona. Over the main cornice is a sort of bat- 
tlement wall 3 feet 3 inches in height, of red granite 
trimmed with gray, forming roof stop. 


The segmental bay at the west end back of the judges' 
bench from the court room, is pierced with triple windows 
standing high up on massive panels of red granite, 
with rugged split faces. The spandrils over the same 
windows have similar panels surrounded by ornamental 
mouldings. Through the curtain walls between the pilas- 
ters are the windows for the first and second stories, with 
moulded panels between them, giving the effect of con- 
nected windows. The lower ones have stone mullions 
and transoms, and the second semi-circular tops. 

The rear entrance to the library from the north and 
the hatchway to the basement, while absolutely without 
ornament, are wonderfully interesting, showing as they 
do the massive strength of the work. 

The main entrance is from Park street in the south 
front, 53 feet from the southwest corner to the centre. 
The entrance is composed of thirteen granite steps 20 feet 
wide, solidly buttressed at either side and flanked with 
massive stone piers 6 feet 3 inches wide up to the height 
of first story, from which spring coupled pilasters running 
up to and supporting gable cornice above the battlement 
walls of the main building. The tympanum, formed by 
the pitch of the gable, is richly carved, the central motive 
of which is the modified state seal. 

Standing between the main piers of the first story and 
the pilasters of the second, are four pairs of coupled 
columns, one standing back of the other. These columns 
are polished and of green granite from Conway quarries. 
The lower ones have pedestals membering with the belt 
extending around the building, with moulded bases and 
delicately carved capitals, and support the massive stone 
lintel 2 feet high, 3 feet 9 inches wide, and 18 feet long, 
over which rests the die bearing the inscription in polished 
letters ** STATE LIBRARY.** The die and its capping 
form guard for upper balcony, and from which spring 


companion columns supporting the great arch over the 
balcony. The portico and balcony over it are faced 
with granite with floors and ceilings of solid granite 

The motive of the exterior, as it finds expression in its 
coursed ashlar walls, mouldings, panels, cornices, pilas- 
ters, etc., is of the early Italian renaissance period, 
which originated near the end of the fifteenth century, at 
a time when the great masters of Italian art had grown 
weary of the Byzantine, Gothic, and Romanesque, and 
were reaching out into new fields and gaining fresh con- 
quests in their chosen profession, receiving their inspira- 
tion from Grecian art of 2,000 years before ; their works 
were so successful that they have ever since found ex- 
pression in the best works of every European country, 
and are steadily gaining in favor at home. While in the 
whole there is scarcely a new thing in the builders' art, 
the adaptation to its purpose is quite unusual in archi- 
tecture, and the whole gives the impression of great 
solidity as if built for eternity. 

From the main porch through double doors of polished 
oak surrounded by transoms and side lights, we pass 
through a vestibule 5 feet 6 inches by 22 feet, and enter 
the main hall by similar doors. This hall is 22 feet by 74 
feet 6 inches, running through and receiving its light 
from the triple windows over the main staircase in the 
rear wall, and forms a dividing line between the two 
departments of the building, at the right of which is the 
library and at the left the court departments. 

From this hall by two pairs of double doors at the 
right, we enter the great reading room of the library. 
This room is 42 feet wide, 70 feet 8 inches long, and 34 
feet 6 inches high ; is flanked on either side by a colon- 
nade of six Grecian Doric columns surmounted by a 
classic entablature, which supports a similar colonnade 


with Grecian columns with composite capitals, with inter- 
secting arches, beams in the first story and arches in 
the second story, intersecting with pilasters on the outer 
walls of the room, extending up to the main ceiling. 

The columns forming the second story colonnade are 
connected between them, as well as at the ends, with 
marble rails, supported on ornamental wrought iron bal- 
ustrade. These columns are 9 feet from the alcove walls, 
and are designed to form separating corridors between 
the alcoves and the central section of the main reading 
room, which is lighted with large windows at the east end 
and skylight comprising nearly the whole central section 
of the ceiling. The second story colonnade with the 
attendant balustrade forms galleries around the room from 
which the second story alcoves are reached. 

In entering the library at the first door, at the right is 
an attendant staircase from the basement to the second 
story. Adjoining this is a trustees' room, the extreme 
dimensions of which are 16 feet by 30 feet, with the outer 
end occupying the semi-circular bay, which is pierced with 
a group of five transomed windows. Of the remaining 
four alcoves upon the right hand or south side, three are 
10 feet 2 inches by 22 feet and the fourth is 13 feet by 22 
feet. The three central alcoves on the north side are of 
the same dimensions as the south side, while opposite the 
trustees' room is a vault 13 feet 6 inches by 16 feet 8 
inches, constructed of hard brick with 3-foot walls 
laid solid in cement. At the northwest corner of the 
library department, and connected with a driveway from 
the rear entrance, is a staircase connecting with base- 
ment, and with first and second stories. 

The alcoves in the library department are each 14 feet in 
the clear height, giving the requisite height for two tiers 
of bookcases, when the same shall be required, and are 
each lighted from end walls by large windows surrounded 


by bookcases and provided with reading tables and 
chairs, forming a series of reading rooms for classified 

The basement immediately under the library depart- 
ment has faced and jointed lining walls and. piers of 
brick, with a metalithic concrete floor covering the whole 
space. The whole is amply lighted and used for book 
storage and supplies. Between the basement staircase 
and the main library the two alcoves on the right are 
fitted for cataloguing purposes. 

At the left of the main hall by the first door we reach 
the judges' consultation room, 19 feet by 22 feet 3 inches, 
through which we reach a private office, 15 feet 8 inches 
square, in the space occupied by the tower. From either 
of these rooms through a lobby 7 feet by 9 feet 5 inches, 
entrance to the court room is formed. Outside of this 
lobby is the judges' lavatory, of similar size. Through 
the next three doors from the hall, a wide one in the 
centre, flanked on either side by single doors, we enter 
the court room, 2^ feet by 50 feet by 26 feet 6 inches 
high, with a segmental bay in the immediate front. The 
windows of the bay stand high up over the judges' 
bench, which is located 9 feet from the outer wall. 

Connecting with the court room from the northwest 
corner of the building is a clerk's room, about 17 
feet square, with vault. Adjoining this room and con- 
necting with main hall is a similar room for consulta- 

At the rear end of the main hall at the right, is the 
main staircase, 9 feet wide, constructed of iron and 
marble, and leading to the second story, and connecting 
directly with the second story reception hall, 22 feet by 57 
feet 9 inches, which is surrounded by a finely ornamented 
cornice, with semi-circular glazed ceiling with extreme 
height of 26 feet. From this hall, through a glazed par- 


tition, the balcony over the main porch is reached. The 
light of this room is admirably adapted for the exhibi- 
tion of paintings, views, and other objects of art. 
Through this room are reached the gallery in the library 
and the second story rooms occupying the space used by 
the judges in the lower floor, comprising rooms 19 feet by 
22 feet 3 inches, 15 feet 8 inches square, and 9 feet 5 
inches by 15 feet, and from the landing in the main stair- 
case at the north side of the building a room 17 feet by 36 
feet, thus completing the appointments of the building. 

The heating and ventilating of the building are accom- 
plished by a power system, consisting of two horizontal 
locomotive boilers with heating coils, and a fan driven 
by electric power. These are located under the main 
hall, and are absolutely disconnected from the library 
department, except the heating conduits. The cold air 
is taken from high up in the north wall, and conducted 
by the solid masonry conduits to the heating coils 
through the fan to the distributing conduits. The sys- 
tem includes mixing dampers with thermostats and elec- 
tric control, and as computed by the manufacturers is 
rated at 25,000 cubic feet of fresh air per minute. By 
the electric control a change of two degrees in temper- 
ature only is required to open or close the hot and cold 
air supply. 

The computation of ventilating flues provides for a 
capacity sufficient to change the air in the court room 
every ten minutes, and in the library every fifteen 

The vestibule, main and staircase halls have a rich 
wainscot 5 feet 6 inches high of Sienna marble with base 
and cap mouldings, door and window trimmings of 
Verona red marble, extending up the main staircase to 
the second story, and including the triple windows over 
the staircase. 


Midway between the doors to the library is a massive 
mantel of Grecian design, and like the hall surrounding 
it, is of Sienna marble, with Verona red trimmings, the 
motive of which is solid paneled pilasters relieved with 
decorated mouldings up to and supporting the shelf, 
above which spring coupled fluted pilasters with rich 
capitals carrying the main entablature. 

The space over the shelf between pilasters to the cor- 
nice, is filled with a bronze panel bearing the names of 
those officials who have been instrumental in the build- 
ing's erection, surrounded by symbolic carvings in bas- 

The floors of main hall and vestibule are mosaic, of 
colored marble, with rich borders and centre pieces. 

The space at the rear end of the main hall under the 
staircase is occupied for a general lavatory. 

In the reading room of the library, opposite the man- 
tel in the hall, is the companion fireplace of white mar- 
ble, of classic design, the motive of which is two pairs 
of entasised composite columns, with delicately carved 
capitals 8 feet in diameter, and 7 feet 10 inches high, 
supporting classic entablature with decorated mouldings, 
with mantel shelf terminating between them. Over the 
centre and supported by main entablature is a marble 
clock, designed in harmony with the mantel. 

The main reading room in the library has Italian mar- 
ble wainscot 3 feet 6 inches high, intersecting with the 
pedestals of wall pilasters, and matching the independent 
pedestals of the main colonnade. All the finish above 
the wainscot is of Keene cement, and the floors of the 
reading room and alcoves connected with the same are 
of marble tiles. 

The court-room floor is surrounded by a colored mar- 
ble mosaic border, moderatel}^ decorated, with the cen- 
tral floor covered with concrete and overlaid with rich 


carpet. The room has marble wainscot 5 feet i 1-2 inches 
in height, intersecting with the two marble mantels at 
either end, and with door and window trimmings, the 
whole of carefully selected Italian vein marble. 

The mantels have coupled Grecian Doric columns, 
decorated with egg and dart mouldings, at either side, 
supporting shelves. 

Through the main wall back of the columns are 
grilled registers connected with main flues for ventila- 

The fireplaces are also designed for heating the build- 
ing in moderate weather, and supplement the main flues 
for ventilation. 

The room has an intermediate cornice 13 feet from 
the floor, forming capping over doors and windows and 
encircling the room, from which spring fluted pilasters 
with composite Grecian capitals, supporting the main 
cornice, which is also decorated with Grecian ornamental 
mouldings. From the centre of the court room ceiling 
springs an elliptical dome 28 feet in diameter, with 
ribbed and paneled soffit springing up to and receiving 
light from the ceiling through an ornamental circular 
ceiling light 13 feet in diameter. The judges' bench, 
standing on marble base 15 feet in height, is of classic 
design in solid mahogany. 

The furniture throughout is of oak in general har- 
mony with the work, and of excellent quality. 

The main rooms in the building are provided with 
fireplaces with marble mantels of simple design, which 
will be found of advantage in heating the rooms in mod- 
erate weather, and in aiding materially in the general 
ventilation of the building. 

The system of artificial lighting is for a combination 
of both gas and electricity, and the fixtures were 
designed for the building. The wiring for electric lights 


is a full line of metal-armored conduits starting from the 
basement, and from which every wire in the building 
can be introduced or removed. The fixtures comprise a 
row of lights every thirty inches around the cornice of the 
lower colonnade in the library, with brackets from the 
walls in the first and second stories. Each alcove is 
lighted with independent chandeliers. The second story 
hall is lighted in a manner similar to the library, by a 
row of lights supported by and suspended from the main 
cornice at spring of circular ceiling, rendering the room 
suitable for the display of works of art. 

The court room has a series of electric lights around 
the upper and lower members of the dome, and brack- 
ets at the right and left of the judges' bench. 

The main hall has brackets on the court room side, 
with candelabra of elaborate design at either side of the 

Springing from the walls at either side of the portico 
and back of the piers and columns, are a pair of solid 
bronze brackets carrying electric lights, the models for 
which originated in Southern Italy, and their prototypes 
used for another purpose will be found in the Metropoli- 
tan Museum of Fine Arts, in New York city. They 
find so fitting place through the personal efforts of a 
member of the commission. The reflected electric light 
from them shows with eflect the tri-colored granite, of 
which the portico is composed. 

When the interior of the building shall have received 
the simple color decoration of soft gray, illuminated with 
slight touches of higher color and gold to properly 
emphasize its details ; when time shall have softened its 
exterior tones, and overgrown its lawns with a few 
choice vines and shrubs, giving to its exterior the charm 
of age ; when the same softening influences shall have 
removed from the interior the slight resonance always 


incident to new work ; when the walls and every availa- 
ble space shall be filled with cases, and the cases filled 
to overflowing with the choicest works of law, literature, 
and art ; when the daily throng of those seeking knowl- 
edge where knowledge can be best obtained shall be 
welcomed; then, and not till then, will the full measure 
of its usefulness, and the wisdom of its promoters and of 
the commonwealth that so generously provided for it, be 
fully realized. 


Under the provisions of the Act of 1866, the trustees 
(except two of the first appointments) are appointed for 

the term of three years, and one is appointed each year. 
The following is a record of appointments : 

1866. Asa McFarland, declined to serve. 

1866. George Stark, for three years. 

t866. Nicholas V. Whitehouse, for two years. 

1866. Parsons B. Cogswell, for one year. 

1867. Parsons B. Cogswell, for three years. 

1868. William L. Foster, for three years. 

1869. George Stark, for three years. 

1870. Parsons B. Cogswell, for three years. 

187 1. William L. Foster, for three years. 

1872. George Stark, for three years. 

1873. Parsons B. Cogswell, for three years. 

1874. William M. Chase, for three years. 

1875. George Stark, for three years. 

1876. Parsons B. Cogswell, for three years. 

1877. Wilham M. Chase, for three years. 

1878. George Stark, resigned 1879. 

1879. William L. Foster, for two years. 

1880. William M. Chase, for three years. 

1881. William L. Foster, for three years. 

1882. Austin F. Pike, for three years. 

1883. WiUiam M. Chase, for three years. 

1884. William L. Foster, for three years. 

1885. Amos Hadley, for three years. 



1886. William M. Chase, resigned 1888. 

1887. Charles R. Corning, for three years. 

1888. Albert S. Batchellor, for one year. 

1888. George C. Gilmore, for three years. 

1889. Albert S. Batchellor, for three years. 

1890. Charles R. Corning, for three years. 

1891. George C. Gilmore, for three years. 

1892. Albert S. Batchellor, for three years. 

1893. Frank S. Streeter, for three years. 

1894. George C. Gilmore, for three years. 

1895. Albert S. Bachellor, for three years. 


1834-1846. Jacob C. Carter, chosen by the legislature. 
1846-1847. George G. Fogg, secretary of state, ex- 

1847-1850. Thomas P. Treadwell, secretary of state, 

1850-1855. John L. Hadley, secretary of state, ex- 

1 85 5-1 85 7. Lemuel N. Pattee, secretary of state, ex- 

1857-1858. Nathan W. Gove, deputy secretary of state, 

1858-1861. Allen Tenney, deputy secretary of state, 

1861-1862. George H. Chandler, deputy secretary of 

state, ex-officw, 
1862-1864. Benjamin Gerrish, deputy secretary of 

state, ex-officio. 
1864-1865. James H. Burpee, deputy secretary of state, 

ex-officio . 
1865-1866. Nathan W. Gove, deputy secretary of state, 

1866-1867. Vacancy. 

1867-187 1. William H. Kimball, appointed by trustees. 
1871-1872. Mitchell Gilmore, appointed by trustees. 
1872-1890. William H. Kimball, appointed by trustees. 
1890-1894. Arthur R. Kimball, appointed by trustees. 
1894 . Arthur H. Chase, appointed by trustees. 


The State Library Building was formally dedicated 
Tuesday, January 8, 1895. The general arrange- 
ments were made by Governor Smith and his Coun- 
cil acting in concurrence with the commissioners, 
and will be fully set forth in the following narrative 
of the proceedings. The audience was large, filling 
the spacious building to its utmost limit, and includ- 
ed many distinguished guests from New Hampshire 
and from other states. 

The exercises were formally opened at one o'clock 
by Harry G. Sargent, Esq., of Concord, the marshal 
of the day, who introduced as president Hon. J. S. 
H. Frink, of Greenland. Mr. Frink spoke as fol- 
lows : 


No ''loyal lover of letters" can approach and enter 
this magnificent edifice, which we to-day dedicate to 
literature and law, without a feeling of pride and 

Without any analysis of the architectural design of 
the building, we feel, at once, that it is " comely " to 
look upon. 


I know not whether the capitals, those upper mem- 
bers of the columns and pilasters that adorn its 
outer and inner walls, are Ionic or Doric or Roman- 
esque or English, but I do know, that this building 
answers the prime purpose of true architecture ; a 
beautiful and harmonious adaptation to the purposes 
for which it was designed. 

There is a realism about it and its appointments, 
an apparent absence of surrender of utility to orna- 
mentation, such a blending of the beautiful and 
the uselul, as to make it very satisfactory to one who 
studies its details. 

Let me say, however, parenthetically, that obvi- 
ously, one of the purposes for which this room was 
designed, was not to accommodate this large audi- 

Gratifying and acceptable, as is this library building, 
yet it is not so much this result of the state's munifi- 
cence, and the commissioners' taste, — this beautiful 
achievement of stone and mortar, — that awakens our 
thankfulness, as the implied assurance of an increas- 
ing and abiding interest of our people in the cause of 
a higher education and, consequently, a better 

From this day the State's Library is assured of an 
invigorated and healthier life. The commonwealth, 
by the erection and dedication of this building, gives 
a pledge of a more active assumption of its duties, 
towards this, one of its most worthy beneficiaries. 
To be sure, if our little library should enjoy the most 
abundant prosperity that its warmest patron could 
reasonably expect, it will always remain, com'para- 



tively an inconsiderable collection of books ; yet it 
will serve well all the purposes of our community. 

The. legislator intent upon forecasting the future 
from the lessons of the past ; the public official 
seeking some guidance in his duty, and the jurist 
striving to solve the enigmas of the law ; and who- 
ever may be interested in the religious, social, 
scientific, or political problems of the day, will find 
abundant counselors here, whose advice is wise, 
because born of experience. 

" That place that does contain 
My books — my best companions — is to me 
A glorious court, where hourly I converse 
With the old sages and philosophers, 
And sometimes for variety, I confer 
With kings and emperors, and weigh their counsels." 

If this event should awaken an interest in his- 
torical investigation, the origin of this library will 
furnish a subject of interest to our local historians. 
It seems to be involved in some obscurity. Ency- 
clopaedists and bibliographers credit it with a birth 
antedating our state government. Without invest- 
igation, and upon general principles, I assume that 
this belief is well founded. New Hampshire has 
never been credited, historically, with more than she 
deserved. In fact, we all know that a disposition 
has sometimes been manifested by some of her sister 
states to appropriate her renown. 

With an editor of our State Papers, who has sub- 
dued the most fanciful imagination and grotesque 
humor of any story teller in the state, that he might 
become the most zealous and accurate of historians ; 


with a new librarian, who has abandoned a profes- 
sion, in which he might have succeeded to the honors 
of his father, to become a companion of books; and 
with an assistant, who imbibed from his revered 
parent, — the former custodian of this Hbrary, — a per- 
sonal acquaintance with every book and manuscript 
contained in it; certainly we ought not to want for 
some one who has the ability and interest to pursue 
this investigation. 

New Hampshire, although far removed from the 
great intellectual and commercial centres of our 
country, has been a "quasi" pioneer in the encour- 
agement of public libraries. Our legislative enact- 
ment of 1849, authorizing towns to appropriate money 
to establish and maintain libraries within their limits^ 
was the first public statutory law in the states to this 
end. Our legislature has never been niggardly in 
its appropriations for public institutions of learning 
within the borders of the state. Its munificence has 
reached its climax in the erection of this much 
needed and greatly admired structure, which will 
stand for years as a monument of architectural pro- 
priety and state pride. 

But we dedicate this building to-day to jurispru- 
dence as well as to letters. Many of you have visited 
personally the court room. If you have not, I wish 
I could give you a pen picture of its many beauties 
and conveniences, but I am inadequate to the task. 

I can only say in a general way, that in its sym- 
metrical proportions, its elegant yet chaste adorn- 
ments, and rich but substantial furnishings, it has no 
peer in New England, if in this country. 


The character of this room and all its surround- 
ings is so honestly adapted to the purposes for 
which they are intended, that they would seem to 
act as constant monitors to its professional occupants, 
that ''ways that are dark and tricks that are vain" 
are inharmonious with the clear light and wholesome 
atmosphere of such an apartment. 

Of the site of this building, we can say with the 
psalmist, it is "beautiful for situation." It occupies 
a prominent place in the most beautiful square in 
New England, save Copley square. It is a fit com- 
panion for its handsome neighbor, the post-office 
and federal court house, and it lies almost in the 
embrace of its foster parent, the state house. 

The commission to which was entrusted the erec- 
tion and furnishing of this building has discharged 
its duties. How well, this handsome structure and 
its no less handsome furniture tell. "Finis coronat 
opus." In the language of our governor's inaugu- 
ral, it is a "substantial and commodious structure;" 
as "a work of art, instructive," and in "its strength 
and durability a living prophecy of the perpetuity of 
the institutions it shelters." 

Still some modern "Momus" may carp at its archi- 
tecture, or its arrangement, or cost. 

To the thoughtful and patriotic citizen, such criti- 
cism will seem as unreasonable as that of his pro- 
genitor, who found fault with Jupiter for not having 
placed a window in the breast of man so that his 
thoughts could be read. Were "Momus's lattice " in 
the breasts of such carpers, their secret thoughts 
would reveal the insincerity of their strictures. 


If this building encounters such criticism, it will 
be exceptional and transitory. When the ^'chiefest 
temple " of all who are actors in the scenes of to-day, 
shall be a *' tomb," and other eyes shall behold its 
substantial walls, and other voices awake the echoes 
of its lofty corridors, and other feet tread its mosaic 
walk, it will survive, a beautiful inspiration to wise 
thoughts and worthy deeds. 

But, ladies and gentlemen, a wise man wrote, 

**Let him be sure to leave other men their turns to speak." 

Better things await you than I can offer, and with- 
out further introduction we will proceed with the 
dedicatory exercises. 


Almighty God, we look to Thee for Thy blessing, 
as we enter upon the exercises of this hour, and we 
are humbly confident that Thou art pleased to hearken 
unto our prayer. We have come to dedicate this 
building. Thy hills and forests have furnished it 
substance; forces controlled by Thee hold its walls 
firm and strong ; seeking to realize in its symmetry 
and grace the beautiful which Thou Who art alto- 
gether lovely, dost delight in, its designers and work- 
men have fashioned it ; and all who have given or 
labored with brain or hand for its erection are Thy 
children ; but more than all must it be to Thee, that 
it is set apart to uses that are righteous and holy. 
We are grateful for the means and the skill and the 
toil which have made this imposing structure possible. 


May Its chaste and noble presence ever purify and 
elevate. May it be a persuasive sermon in stone to 
all who look upon it, reminding the citizen of the 
gracious ends it is appointed to serve, the ends of 
truth and justice. Our Father, may we who are 
assembled here feel that we are upon sacred ground. 
May every utterance of the lip and every thought of 
the heart be touched with a feeling of reverence as 
we reflect upon the high and exalted uses to which 
this edifice is consecrated. And in dedicating it, 
may we give ourselves to the cause of truth and 
justice, yea, to Thee, who art Perfect Truth, Perfect 
Justice. So shalt Thou be pleased to establish the 
works of our hands, and the house that is builded 
shall not have been raised up in vain. To Thee be 
praise and honor and dominion, now and evermore. 

The President. — We read in the Scriptures, 
** which of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not 
down first and counteth the cost, lest happly after 
he hath laid the foundation and is not able to finish, 
all that behold it begin to mock, saying, this man 
began to build and was not able to finish." 

The commissioners entrusted with the erection 
and furnishing of this building, heeding the Scripture 
lesson, have counted the cost and finished. To-day 
they render it up to the state complete in all its 

We come here to-day not to '' mock," but to thank 

Mr. Burns in behalf of the committee will now 


deliver the keys to the governor, and the governor 
will respond without further announcement. 

Presentation of the keys by Hon. Charles H. 
Burns : 

Your Excellency : — The commissioners to whom 
was committed the duty of purchasing land and 
erecting thereon a suitable building for the accom- 
modation of the supreme court and the State Library, 
have completed their work. It is now ready for 
inspection, dedication, and occupancy. It is hoped by 
the commissioners that it will be acceptable to the 
people of the state, and a blessing for many years. 

This building has been designed and built for prac- 
tical and useful purposes. While New Hampshire 
was the first state in the Union to empower towns 
"to maintain free public libraries by taxation" by a 
law enacted by its legislature almost half a century 
ago, and providing that such libraries should be 
"open to the free use of every inhabitant;" and 
while, under the impetus of this beneficent law, 
substantial library buildings have been erected and 
public libraries established and maintained through- 
out the state to the manifest advantage of our peo- 
ple, the state found itself in the possession of books, 
maps, charts, periodicals, and valuable documents 
of all sorts, increasing rapidly, and with no ade- 
quate rooms or safety vaults in which to keep them. 
It has been obliged to store large quantities in pack- 
ages and boxes. In times past, books, papers, and 
manuscripts of great value and importance con- 
cerning colonial history, and which can now prob- 


ably never be supplied, have been lost or destroyed 
for want of a place where they could be safely stored. 
This large and commodious room, with fireproof 
vaults, will furnish ample accommodations for our 
valuable library, of which we shall not be ashamed. 

This building is to be the home of the supreme 
court. Here important questions concerning the 
rights of all the people are to be settled. It has not 
been creditable to the state that the court has never 
until now had a suitable place for its deliberations, 
and in which to hold its law sessions. Our citizens 
must be justly proud that the tribunal which is both 
their guide and guardian is now provided with com- 
forts and conveniences to some extent commensu- 
rate with its manifest necessities, and with its high 
character and usefulness. 

This substantial building, erected by the state, 
aided materially by the city of Concord in the gift 
of a valuable tract of land, supplies these wants in 
a manner befitting the dignity and honor of the 
commonwealth. The prosperity of a state does not 
depend upon the beauty or convenience of its public 
buildings, but, rather, upon its men and women of 
culture, character, and conscience ; but such build- 
ings do contribute in large measure to the cultiva- 
tion of the tastes of its people, inspiring them with 
grander ideals of strength and beauty. This noble 
edifice of ours is to be filled with books containing 
the best thoughts of the great thinkers of all ages, 
and with ** whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever 
things are pure," in art ; it is to be the home of the 
highest court of the commonwealth, where justice — 


whose seat, like law, is **the bosom of God" — shall 
be dispensed ; and It will become an Indispensable 
source of protection, enlightenment, and education 
to our citizens, raising higher and still higher the 
standards of civilization ; — for law and learning go 
hand In hand, and are the most effective of human 
instrumentalities in the structure and superintend- 
ence of society. 

It is, therefore, with pride and satisfaction that, in 
behalf of my associates and myself, I deliver to you, 
as the custodian of the property of the state, the key 
to this beautiful building. 

Response by His Excellency Charles A. Buslel : 

In behalf of the State of New Hampshire, I accept 
from your hand the key to the new state library. In 
the discharge of an agreeable duty I am permitted 
to express my appreciation of the ability and the suc- 
cess of the commissioners who have formulated the 
plans and have directed the construction of this ele- 
gant and commodious building. 

Your labors, in this direction, are happily ended. 
The completed building In all Its appointments 
reflects your wisdom and your ready appreciation of 
the needs of the present and the demands of the 

I congratulate the trustees and the patrons of the 
library, and the judges and officers of the supreme 
court, on the completion of this commodious structure. 

By a thoughtful impulse the people have liberally 
provided for the future accommodation of the library 
and of the court. 


As we proceed with the services of dedication, the 
inspiration of the day should be an invitation to 
renewed labor and enlarged usefulness on the part 
of all who are the chosen tenants and custodians of 
this spacious and attractive temple. 

The President: — A portion of this building has 
been set aside for the use of the supreme court. 
The appointments of the court room are so elegant, 
that it is not impossible, that you, gentlemen of the 
legislature, may be called upon to make an appropri- 
ation to purchase silken gowns for the members of 
the court, that their personal adornments may com- 
port with those of the room. It was hoped that the 
Chief Justice might so favor this judicial embellish- 
ment, that he would be present to-day ; but with 
characteristic modesty, he has deputed Judge Smith 
to represent the court. 

Judge Smith, to the regret of all, is soon to retire 
from the place he has so long adorned. I know you 
will all listen with interest to what may be his last 
public judicial utterance. 

Judge Isaac W. Smith responded as follows : 

Our congratulations are due to the distinguished 
gentlemen of the building committee for the success 
which has crowned their labors. This spacious 
building, beautiful in design, in construction, and in 
finish, is a lasting monument of their united wisdom. 
We cheerfully acknowledge the estimable value of 
their services to the State in the discharge of the 
varied and, perhaps at times, perplexing duties 


imposed upon them by the legislature. Their suc- 
cess lies not in the fact alone that here is a building 
beautiful in its architectural effect, which the eye 
views with delight and the mind dwells upon with 
pleasure, — but also a building solid as the native 
granite of which its walls are built, massive in its 
structure, and planned in its minutest details for the 
imperative wants and necessities of the State. Their 
reward consists in the conscious knowledge that the 
service so cheerfully rendered is fully appreciated by 
a grateful people. 

The state is also to be congratulated, that at 
length, after much patient waiting, and after no little 
inconvenience from unsuitable, and overcrowded 
apartments, it has come into possession of a building 
so admirably adapted to the purposes of its construc- 
tion. The people, through the legislature, have 
brought hither their offerings for its erection, that 
they may enjoy accommodations so imperatively re- 
quired by their growing wants and increased pros- 
perity. Without lavish expenditures of money, they 
have provided a building worthy the dignity of the 
state, and the intelligence of its people, and in keep- 
ing with their simple tastes and frugal habits ; where 
there is ** comfort without luxury, and elegance with- 
out display." 

Wilberforce said, in the British House of Com- 
mons, ''Wherever the English language is spoken, 
men shall be free." He meant the freedom that 
comes from minds enlightened by knowledge, and 
from hearts inspired by the love of justice. The 
framers of our constitution, recognizing this truth, 


inserted in the fundamental law of the state this, as 
article 82: *' Knowledge and learning generally dif- 
fused through a community being essential to the 
preservation of a free government, and spreading the 
opportunities and advantages of education through 
the various parts of the country being highly condu- 
cive to promote this end, it shall be the duty of the 
legislators and magistrates ... to cherish the 
interest of literature and the sciences, and all semi- 
naries and public schools," etc. The sources of 
knowledge are many and illimitable: the family, the 
common school from lowest to higher grades, the 
academy, college, seminary, pulpit, press, stump, 
and, what interests us at this present moment, the 
library, the power of which no man can weigh or 
describe. It is sometimes called the ** People's Uni- 
versity." Within these alcoves will be deposited for 
use of the historian, the scholar, the bibliographer, — 
of every one in search of facts, or thirsting for 
knowledge, forty thousand books and pamphlets, — 
the slow accretion of a century, upon law, theology, 
medicine, science, and the arts. The suggestion of 
His Excellency, the Governor, in his message to the 
legislature of last week, whether some system of 
administration may not be found which shall render 
its usefulness more general, is deserving of the 
fullest consideration, the discussion of which I leave 
to those better qualified by study and experience. 

I am invited to speak in behalf of my brethren 
in acceptance of the apartments provided in this 
structure, and this day dedicated to the use and ac- 
commodation of the supreme court of the state. 


We turn instinctively to the names of our judges 
whose Hves have passed into history. The occasion 
does not require nor permit a biographical sketch of 
their lives, nor even a review of their judicial work, 
were I able to perform that interesting duty. A 
brief insight into the times in which they lived, and 
the environment by which they were surrounded, is 
all that is permissible on this occasion. 

In colonial times the practice prevailed of making 
judges of men who were not lawyers. It is said that 
this practice was general in New England. Paul 
Dudley, appointed in 1718, is said to have been the 
first person regularly bred to the law, who sat on 
the bench in Massachusetts. Of Richard Martyn, 
chief-justice of New Hampshire in 1693, 1694, the 
late Governor Bell, in his valuable ''History of the 
Bench and Bar of New Hampshire," says, '' He ap- 
pears to have possessed intelligence and good busi- 
ness qualifications, and to have performed his public 
trusts acceptibly ; " of William Vaughn, chief-justice 
in 1708-1716, '' He was an honest and courageous 
supporter of the people's rights and interests, and 
was the object of their warm affection and admira- 
tion;" of Samuel Penhallow, justice in 17 14-17 17, 
and chief-justice in 1717-1726, ''His mental pow- 
ers, his education, and his familiarity with public 
business rendered him a valuable and excellent 
judge;" of George Jaffrey, justice in 1717-1726, 
and chief-justice in 1 726-1 732, a graduate of Har- 
vard college in 1702, "He was the first man of 
liberal education who appeared on the bench in New 
Hampshire His long service in public 


offices Indicates the confidence he inspired in his 
ability and integrity;*' of Nicholas Gilman, justice 
from 1 732-1740, "He performed the duties satis- 
factorily;" of Benjamin Gambling, justice in 1733- 
1737, that he was characterized by Governor Belcher 
as *' knowing and honest;" of Samuel Gilman, jus- 
tice in 1 740- 1 747, *' He was a man of the highest 
character, and universally respected ; " of Meshech 
Weare, justice in 1747- 17 75, chief-justice in 1776- 
1782, "During the Revolution he administered 
simultaneously the highest offices in the state, legis- 
lative, judicial, and executive, — a conjunction of 
powers which, under the circumstances, and in a 
man of less principle and patriotism, would have 

been hazardous in the extreme He 

sat thirty-five years upon the bench of the superior 
court, where his father and grandfather had sat 
before him, — a remarkable succession never paral- 
leled ; " of William Parker, justice in 1771-1775, 
** By common consent allowed to be at the head of 
his profession in New Hampshire ; " of John Went- 
worth, justice in 1776-1781, ''a man of intelligent 
views, and a sincere patriot ; *' of Josiah Bartlett, 
justice in 1 782-1 790, and chief-justice in 1790, phy- 
sician, delegate to the Continental congress, signer 
of the Declaration of Independence, and president 
and governor of New Hampshire three years, *' His 
fellow citizens reposed in his honesty and ability, 
and he executed the duties of his important stations 
with general approbation." 

The Revolution, it will be seen, brought with it 
new men. Of Samuel Livermore, chief-justice in 


1 782-1 790, William Plumer, Jr., in his scholarly trib- 
ute in memory of his father, published in 1856, 
says : '' Though bred to the law, he was not inclined 
to attach much importance to precedents, or to any 
merely systematic or technical rules of procedure. 
In a manuscript report which I have of one of his 
charges," writes Mr. Plumer, *'I find him cautioning 
the jury against paying too much attention to the 
niceties of the law, to the prejudice of justice — a 
caution of which juries do not ordinarily stand much 
in need." 

John Dudley, justice in 1 785-1 797, was a trader 
and farmer. Woodbury Langdon, justice in 1782- 
179 1, was a merchant of Portsmouth. Timothy 
Farrar of New Ipswich, justice in 1 791-1803, was 
originally designed for the pulpit. Of them Plumer 
says: ''These judges were men of strong powers 
of mind, of large acquaintance with business, and 
superior in talents and information generally to 
second rate lawyers." Jeremiah Smith, in 1796, 
wrote, — "There are now two lawyers on the bench, 
but I think they are by no means the two best of the 
four. Farrar and Dudley, in my judgment, greatly 
overmatch them." Theophilus Parsons of Massachu- 
setts, who practised many years in our courts, and 
later was chief-justice of that state, said of Dudley, — 
** You may laugh at his law, and ridicule his lan- 
guage, but Dudley is, after all, the best judge I ever 
knew in New Hampshire." Arthur Livermore said 
that "justice was never better administered in New 
Hampshire than when the judges knew very little of 
what we lawyers call law." Plumer writes that Web- 


ster told him he had heard the story that a question 
on demurrer filed by Mason was put by Dudley to 
the jury. Happy the judge who could thus rid him- 
self of the decision of a troublesome question of 
law, and retain the respect of such men as Parsons 
and Jeremiah Smith. 

The consensus of opinion is that substantial justice 
was done in the determination of questions involving 
the property, rights, and liberties of the people ; and 
our admiration is increased when we consider that 
the bench and bar of the seventeenth and eigh- 
teenth centuries had almost no books on legal 
subjects. When William Plumer in 1785 entered 
the office of John Prentice in Londonderry (after- 
wards attorney-general) his law library consisted of 
Blackstone's Commentaries, Wood's Institutes of the 
Laws of England, Hawkins' Pleas of the Crown, 
Jacobs' Law Dictionary, Salkeld, Raymond and 
Strange's Reports, the New Hampshire Statutes, 
and a manuscript volume of pleas and declarations. 
The year previous in the office of Joshua Atherton 
in Amherst he was given Coke upon Littleton as 
his first initiation into the mysteries of the law. 
Plumer (Jr.) is authority for the statement that 
when Patrick Henry applied for admission to the 
Virginia bar, he was asked by Jefferson what books 
he had read, and replied with entire confidence in 
the extent of his legal acquirements. Coke upon 
Littleton and the Virginia Statutes. 

Lord Campbell says that 'Tn the simple and happy 
times of Edward I, Glanville, Bracton, and FJeta com- 
posed a complete law library." Plumer, writing between 


1 850 and 1854, estimates the number of reports of law 
courts then in existence as between 500 and 1,000. 
To-day they are estimated at 4,000. In this paucity 
of books, judges as well as lawyers looked for the 
law as deduced from acknowledged legal principles. 
From necessity, they dealt less with authorities and 
more with the reason of the law, and attempted to 
find the rule in the immutable principles of justice. 

The nineteenth century brought with it as judges 
men of judicial science. Of Jeremiah Smith, chief- 
justice in 1 802- 1 809, and in 18 13-18 16, Bell says he 
** did more perhaps for the improvement of the state 
than any other man. Like the monarch who changed 
a city from brick to marble, he found law without 
form and void, and during his connection with the 
courts he reduced it to order and harmony. His 
genius was constructive ; he had the systematizing 
faculty. He did not conceive of the law as a mass 
of detached, independent rules ; in his mind it was 
a series of requirements, each connected with and 
deducible from great central principles. Before his 
day the judges were mostly unversed in the technique 
of the law, and aimed at what they deemed to be 
equitable conclusions. The result was that no man 
could foresee with any confidence the issue of any 
cause. Judge Smith drew straight the lines which 
had been confused or obliterated, and gave the bar 
and the public firm ground on which to stand. The 
counsel who knew the law began to take his place 
above the mere tonguy man who saw nothing 
beyond the case in hand. The influence of this 
upon the bar and upon the administration of reme- 


dial justice could not fail to be of the most benefi- 
cial character. Fortunately we have now the evi- 
dence of Judge Smith's reformatory work in a dura- 
ble form. A volume of his decisions from his own 
manuscript has been recently published, which bears 
unmistakable testimony to his vigorous and scientific 
administration of the law. ... It was unfortu- 
nate that it was withheld so long, for if the opinions 
contained in it had been at once promulgated, great 
expense would have been saved to parties who sub- 
sequently litigated the very questions which Judge 
Smith had before settled so conclusively." 

The state was equally fortunate in the selection of 
his successor, William M. Richardson, chief-justice 
from 1816 to his decease in 1838. With his induc- 
tion into office was commenced the publication of 
reports of cases adjudicated in the superior court. 
His opinion in the famous Dartmouth College case, 
although overruled by the supreme court of the 
United States, has always been regarded as one of 
the ablest on that side of the question litigated. 
Bell says of him, **The judicial ermine received no 
stain from his wearing it. He knew no friends and 
no enemies while in the seat of judgment, nor any 
of the ordinary lines of decisions among men. His 
ideal was the very highest." Judge Perley in " East- 
man V. Meredith, 36 N. H., 284, 299," speaks of him 
as "our own learned and excellent Chief-Justice 
Richardson " in connection with Parsons and Shaw 
of Massachusetts and Mellen and Shepley of Maine, 
'' names which carry with them an irresistible weight 
of authority on all legal questions." 


The memory of Joel Parker, justice in 1833-1838, 
and chief-justice in 1 838-1 848, is yet green with the 
present generation of lawyers. In ability and learn- 
ing he was fully the equal of his two distinguished 
predecessors. His published opinions in thirteen 
volumes of the New Hampshire Reports show his 
familiarity both with the authorities and with funda- 
mental legal principles, and established our reports 
as high legal authority with his cotemporaries. 
Smith, Richardson, and Parker formed a trio *' of the 
most able and learned of a sequence of jurists rarely 
equalled in the annals of any state." 

Time forbids more than allusion to their succes- 
sors : Gilchrist, scholarly, industrious, popular ; 
Woods, even-tempered, patient, and upright ; Perley, 
strong, positive, self-reliant, primus inter pares, 
whose opinions in style and substance are unsur- 
passed in our reports ; Bell, clear-headed, strong- 
minded, justum et tenacem propositi virum ; Bel- 
lows, the high-minded, gracious gentleman and 
learned and conscientious judge; Sargent, careful, 
painstaking, and sensible ; and Gushing, the polished 
gentleman and scholar, and patient and learned 
jurist ; these were the magistrates to whom with 
their learned associates New Hampshire entrusted 
the enforcement of her laws, and whose memories 
we gratefully cherish. 

Five times within the century, In the mad passion 
engendered of political strife, has the court been 
overturned. That this action of the legislative de- 
partment was acquiesced in does not render it any 
the less deplorable or questionable. It may be per- 


mitted, perhaps, to one who looks forward with a 
sense of relief from official responsibility to the early 
day when he shall again put on the gown of the bar, 
to express the hope that henceforth better counsels 
will prevail, and the line of separation between the 
legislative and judicial departments of the govern- 
ment marked out in the fundamental law of the state 
be kept intact. 

The chief-justice in 1905 will probably write no 
better opinions, seated in his upholstered chair at his 
table of quartered oak in yonder spacious and com- 
modious rooms embellished by art, than did his 
predecessor, Chief-Justice Bell in i860, seated in 
his plain chair before his table of pine. For the 
principles of justice are immutable ; but its growing 
spirit inspires the world. Wendell Phillips said that 
to be as good as our fathers we must be better. We 
cannot cast any dishonor on our fathers; but we 
shall honor them best by taking what is best and 
not by being content with their limitations. Discon- 
tent no less than contentment may be a virtue. 
To-day is not as yesterday. It is not a good thing 
to think one's work cannot be better done, because 
it can be better done. There may be great truths 
in law and ethics as in the arts and sciences 
not yet attained. Therefore as we this day conse- 
crate this beautiful temple to the cause of learning 
and justice, may the memories which cluster around 
the past incite us and our successors to higher 
achievements in the cause of good government, that 
this structure in all that it stands for in the pro- 
motion of law, order, and knowledge be endeared 


in the hearts of the people as long as it shall 

The President: — I believe the whole state (ex- 
cepting possibly Manchester) is disposed to credit 
the capital city with a generous act in the donation 
of a part of the land occupied in connection with this 

Mayor Cogswell, in behalf of the city of Concord, 
will make to you such suggestions as may seem to 
him pertinent in regard to his city's connection with 
the selection and purchase of the site of this building. 


As a representative of the municipal government 
of the capital city, it gives me pleasure to assist in 
the dedication of this superb edifice to the noble 
purposes for which it is designed. In a spirit be- 
fitting part of the motto of our city seal — '' Law, 
Education" — the city council responded to the call 
of the state library commissioners for additional land 
to enable them to carry out more completely their 
plans for this library building, by condemning in the 
spring of 1892, certain real estate on the north, 
extending to Centre street. The awarded damages 
to the owners of that property aggregated over 
$25,000, and provision for payment thereof was 
made by a temporary loan, which was met by the 
present city council authorizing an issue of bonds 
bearing three and one half per cent, interest. It is 
a fact which may possess some historical interest 
hereafter, that these are the lowest rate interest- 
bearing bonds ever issued by any city or town of 



our good old commonwealth, and that most of them 
were taken by our own citizens. 

When the library commissioners called last spring 
for the land taken for a public park, the city council 
ordered the speedy removal of the houses situated 
thereon, and aided in the construction of substantial 
sidewalks on the streets around this building and 
its grounds. The city of Concord has thus met all 
the calls made upon it by the state library commis- 
sioners concerning this edifice, and faithfully fulfilled 
all of its obligations relating thereto. I confess to 
a feeling akin to pride for our goodly city in that 
it has borne its part so well in furthering the aim 
of the commissioners to provide a befitting home 
for our state library, and suitable apartments for the 
administration of justice, guarded by law. 

Of the helpfulness and unmeasurable usefulness 
of public libraries, it is not my province to speak. 
Others who have profited from them, largely and 
wisely, will hold your attention with apt and gracious 
words concerning them. It only remains for me to 
commend the state library commissioners for the 
able, faithful, and successful manner in which they 
have discharged the duties imposed upon them by 
the legislature of 1891; and to congratulate the 
trustees of the state library and all its beneficiaries, 
and the Supreme Court of our state, that they are 
to have so beautiful, commodious, and well-appointed 
quarters in the future as this edifice of enduring 
granite and marble will afford them. I am sure I 
voice the sentiment of all present in expressing the 
hope that this building may long escape the crum- 


bling decay incident to age and climate, and that 
the state Hbrary to be housed herein may never 
suffer from fire, or flood, or other destructive agency, 
but that it may continue to grow in interest and 
vahie to our city and state for centuries to come, 
aye, "to the last syllable of recorded time." 

The President: — From this day the active man- 
agement and control of this library will be assumed 
by its trustees. 

The present board is eminently well qualified for 
the proper discharge of this important duty, and we 
only hope that in the coming years its interests will 
always find as intelligent and faithful guardians as 
those who are to-day represented by their president, 
whom I now have the pleasure of introducing to 
you, — Mr. Gilmore of Manchester. 


Little, I apprehend, is expected of the local man- 
agement in the exercises of to-day, our duties being 
all of the future, and it would certainly be pre- 
sumption on my part to attempt to interest this 
large audience by anything I might say, especially 
so when our distinguished guests are waiting on the 
platform to be heard, — men who have given a life 
time to library management. But I cannot forbear 
saying a few words to place on record the early 
efforts of the inhabitants of the towns in this state 
to establish libraries. Dover is undoubtedly entitled 
to the honor of having been the first in the list, as 


early as July, 1776, although the charter for her 
social library was not granted until December 18, 
1792; Rochester's social library chartered February 
14, 1794; Portsmouth's and Tamworth's both the 
same date, June 14, 1796, the above being the first 
four charters granted; from 1792 to 1800, sixty, and 
from 1801 to 1883, one hundred and eighty-seven, 
making a total of two hundred and forty-seven, and 
at the present time only sixty towns are without a 

The petitioners for the social library of Tamworth 
present the advantages of a library as follows: 
"Whereas a general diffusion of useful knowledge 
in a land of liberty has a happy tendency to pre- 
serve freedom, and make better men and better 

The first absolutely free public library is supposed 
to be that of the town of Peterborough, in 1833. 
The legislature of New Hampshire in July, 1849, 
passed an act allowing towns to maintain libraries 
by taxation, being the first act authorizing the 
people of the several towns to tax themselves to 
maintain libraries, in the United States. 

The President: — Without any disloyalty to our 
own alma mater, we all have a feeling of pride in 
our state institution of learning, which is now having 
a new birth under its recently appointed president, — 
a man known and honored by scholars all over the 

I think I may adopt the words of the brilliant 
English essayist and historian, in introducing to you 


Rev. Dr. Tucker, president of Dartmouth College, 
" He is a man of the world among men of letters, 
and a man of letters among men of the world." 

Mr. Chairman, Your Excellency, Your Honors, 
AND Gentlemen of the Legislature : I ask at once 
in your presence, — the question is prompted by the 
occasion, — how shall we ensure to the state or 
commonwealth, a rightful part in the present revival 
of civic pride throughout the country ? 

The chief effect of that revival, as we are now 
conscious of it, is the glorious assurance of nation- 
ality. '* We the people" have at last become the 
nation, and we know it. It has not been an easy 
matter for us to reach this supreme consciousness. 
As late as 1811 Josiah Quincy made this confession 
from his seat in congress : " Sir, I confess it, the first 
public love of my heart is the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts. There is my fireside ; there are the 
tombs of my ancestors." That was the utterance, 
not of South Carolina, but of Massachusetts, in the 
national house of representatives, twenty-three years 
after the adoption of the constitution. No Massa- 
chusetts man, no man, I trust, from any state, would 
utter that sentiment now. The events of our gener- 
ation, in which some of you were actors, have 
wrought a mighty change in our opinions and in our 
feelings. The nation sits enthroned to-day in the 
hearts of the people. The most interesting and the 
most inspiring expression of civic pride is this calm 
but proud consciousness of nationality. We are 
beginning to realize to ourselves the great conception 



of Milton : " Not many sovereignties united in one 
commonwealth, but many commonwealths in one 
united and entrusted sovereignty." 

The present revival of civic pride may be seen at 
work, if not equally, yet with marked effect, at the 
other extreme of our political organization, in the 
municipality. Next to the national feeling, the 
municipal feeling is at present the strongest. Some- 
thing of this feeling is due of course to the recog- 
nized peril of the cities. It is in many cases the 
sense of danger which tests the depth of our affec- 
tion, which may discover the fact itself to us. 
Probably no city in the country has had, in proportion 
to its importance, less municipal pride than the city 
of New York, but he must be less than an alien, 
whether resident for longer or shorter time, who does 
not now feel the responsibility of citizenship. The 
sense of responsibility, however, is not the chief sign 
of municipal pride, but rather the increasing sense of 
opportunity. The city is beginning to stand for 
more than size ; it represents every possible advance 
and improvement. The period of silly rivalries and 
competitions about numbers has been out-grown, 
and account is being taken of solid and substan- 
tial growths. Men are seeking to be identified 
not only in personal interest, but in reputation and 
name with their respective cities. Schools, libraries, 
museums, parks, bearing the names of individual 
donors, are the visible evidence of an enlarged 
municipal enthusiasm ; while the surer though less 
conspicuous sign is found in the fact that here and 
there a citizen of acknowledged capacity is willing to 


forego further gains in his business or profession, 
that he may answer in person the demand for honest 
and capable government. The ardent imagination 
of Mr. Depew interprets a popular tendency, when 
he predicts that the second office in the United 
States will soon be that of mayor of greater New 

Now in this revival of civic pride, so manifestly 
affecting the nation and the city, what of the state, 
the old commonwealth, the original substance and 
life out of which in due time the nation was born, 
and from whose permanent and abounding vitality 
cities are now springing forth ? Evidently the day 
for the reassertion of rights once surrendered is 
forever past, and no encroachment upon the interests 
of the growing communities may be allowed. But 
the commonwealth remains, worthy of a like place in 
the honorable pride of its citizens with that held by 
the nation or a city. 

And amongst us the opportunity, if not the neces- 
sity, for some very practical expression of this pride 
of state, is apparent in the fact that the influence of 
New Hampshire is not overshadowed by that of a 
great municipality within its borders. With us the 
state is not in bondage to the city, nor subordinate to 
it. Neither can the state throw off its responsibility to 
provide for the higher wants of its citizens upon any 
one locality, equipped with all the modern appliances 
of progress, — the library, the museum, the university. 
In few states of the nation are the resources so 
variously, if not equally, distributed as in our own. 
Every section of it, east and west, south and north, 


has a share In its history. The whole state had its 
pre-existence in the province. And under the 
incoming of the later industries, and the consequent 
re-distribution of population, the ancient equality 
has not been altogether destroyed. It is the state, 
not a city, which still offers the great attraction to 
visitors from far and near. It is the state, not any 
one locality, which holds undeveloped resources out 
of which new industries may spring for the support 
of new populations. It is the state at large which 
shelters the great schools, which send out the sons of 
New Hampshire into other states, and which draw 
to their training the sons of all the states. It is, in 
a word, the state, the old commonwealth in its 
entirety, not a city, not any localized centre, by 
means of which we are to maintain the honor of our 
inheritance, and keep step with the march of the 

I welcome therefore, Mr. Chairman, as a citizen 
of New Hampshire, the occasion in which we dedi- 
cate in the name of the state another building, the 
choicest of its outward possessions, to be henceforth 
one more visible reminder of the real presence and 
personality of the commonwealth. I rejoice espe- 
cially in the object of this building, which shows in 
so representative a way the enlarging functions of 
the state. It answers in part, by illustration at least, 
the question with which I began — how shall we 
ensure to the commonwealth its share in the present 
revival of civic pride ? 

I go on then to speak of the maintenance of the 
state library as one of the means through which we 


may show our pride of state, and also as one of the 
agencies through which we may develop the higher 
interests of the commonwealth. I congratulate my- 
self and you that I may restrict my further thought 
to this nearer aspect of the present occasion in view 
of the scope of the address which is to follow. It is 
to the honor of New Hampshire that at the dedica- 
tion of its library building, the state may summon 
one of its sons from his post at the head of the 
national library. 

It may seem almost too obvious for me to say, 
that it is through the agency of the library, that the 
state is best able to avail, itself of its own history. 
But the full meaning of this statement does not 
appear in the utterance of it. The history of a great 
past is made available only to the degree in which it 
can be reproduced in spirit in the continuous life of 
a people. But what is the continuous life of a 
people ? What is the continuous life of the people 
of New Hampshire ? Not the unbroken succession 
of families. Not the local increase of the native 
stock. Names once significant in the annals of the 
state have disappeared, or appear only in remoter 
regions. Families of wide connection and of ex- 
tended influence remain as remnants. Others, let 
us rejoice, survive in the fullness of their strength, 
and gain upon their heritage. But if the state, if 
any of the older states, were dependent upon the 
original stock it would exist as a fragment of its 
former self, unless it could call home its own. The 
state continues to live through the incoming of the 
new, through constant accessions from various and 


unforeseen sources. This continuity of life is abso- 
lutely dependent upon the process of assimilation, 
the moral part of which lies in the power of the state 
to impress its principles, its history, itself, upon 
those who may choose to share its fortunes. 

Pardon me if I pause to assert and emphasize the 
fact, that there are none amongst us upon whom the 
great men and the great events of our history are 
making a deeper impression, than upon the more 
receptive minds of the new population. We ignore 
or underestimate this fact in times of social depres- 
sion. We forget the philosophy which underlies it. 
Noble traditions lose their power when held in too 
easy and familiar possession. Inspiration does not 
long abide in what has become to anyone the com- 
monplace. But the familiar deed springs into new- 
ness of life as often as it gains a fresh hearing. It 
is not alone the new seed, it is the new soil, which 
explains the harvest. Again and again have I 
watched the kindling of eager minds, coming from 
other states, as I have told the early story of Dart- 
mouth, that heroic romance in education, when there 
was nothing in personal inheritance or personal 
association to waken the mind, nothing but the 
contact of an inspiring history with a quick intelli- 
gence. We grievously mistake if we suppose that 
history appeals only to those who are the natural 
heirs to the deeds which it records. History never 
fails in its appeal to men as they come and go, pro- 
vided the sources are kept full and open, so that it 
may be rewritten to the mind of each generation. 
Here is the advantage in part of such a library as 


this, in distinction from the ordinary private, educa- 
tional, or public library. We build here upon foun- 
dations already laid a great storehouse for orig- 
inals — documents of every sort illustrative of early 
and later history, dispatches, records, reports, ad- 
dresses, letters, — nothing of this nature too small or 
too remote to be neglected. This is not the mate- 
rial for a circulating library. It has another use and 
another value. Here is the material on deposit 
which gives worth to the current literature of its 
kind. You open here a home and a workshop for 
the investigator, the scholar, the writer, the man 
who is to come hither with knowledge and imagina- 
tion, capable of translating this ancient life into the 
speech and life of to-day. So you make the history 
of the state available in ever recurring variety of 
form. For, as I have intimated, it is of the very 
genius of history, that it should be written to an age, 
and therefore its story continually retold with new 
motive and in new setting. The age which sings 
the Iliad to the notes of camp and battle and siege, 
is not content till it has sung the Odyssey in the 
strains of love and home and kindred, the arts of 
peace, and the common ways of men. Every con- 
siderable period of history presents various aspects. 
We want to know them all to know the period. We 
want to know, of course, the story of discovery, and 
adventure, and war ; we want to know the record of 
political struggle, and religious advance, and educa- 
tional development, the growth of the arts and 
industries. There is the true source and reason of 
events, the mere narration of which we sometimes 


think makes history. History in Its highest form Is 
the discovery of cause and reason ; It Is the explana- 
tion of actions and events. We read the memorable 
speech of the '' Defender of the Constitution " 
through which he postponed secession for thirty 
years, and made It thereafter more possible to save 
the Union. Is that speech of Mr. Webster's to be 
explained by Its own greatness ? Not at all. His 
father had made It before him. At that critical hour 
when the convention of New Hampshire met to 
adopt or reject the constitution, when Its vote to 
adopt would complete the number of states neces- 
sary to form the Union, when the conventions of 
New York and Virginia then in session were anx- 
iously waiting the result, couriers having been sta- 
tioned by order of Hamilton to carry the news from 
Concord to Poughkeepsle, and on to Richmond, In 
that convention where the result was in serious 
doubt, Colonel Webster arose and uttered this senti- 
ment, — the language may show the revision of a 
later hand : 

'' Mr. President : I have listened to the arguments 
for and against the constitution. I am convinced 
that such a government as that constitution will 
establish. If adopted — a government acting directly 
on the people of the states — is necessary for the 
common defense and the general welfare. It Is the 
only government which will enable us to pay the 
national debt, the debt which we owe for the Revolu- 
tion, and which we are bound in honor fully and 
fairly to discharge. Sir, I shall vote for Its adoption." 


The reply to Hayne was the echo of the speech of 
the New Hampshire farmer. It was the same spirit 
which urged the adoption of the constitution in that 
hour of doubt, which, in the hour of its danger, rose 
to its defense. The speech was in the blood. 

The constant and honorable boast of New Hamp- 
shire has been of the quality of the men whom she 
could furnish to the nation. One historian writes of 
a given administration, and that one of the best, 
that at its time New Hampshire could have furnished 
from the number of her own public men, the full 
equivalent for those who held the offices of president 
and vice-president, and also of those who held seats 
in the cabinet. Grant it. Who were behind these 
men, and made them possible ? As we have seen in 
an illustrious instance, such men do not explain 
themselves. You might as well try to explain the 
flow of the Merrimack as it sweeps these meadows 
on its way to the struggle and toil below, without 
pointing to the hills, as to attempt to explain the 
public men of the state without going back into the 
life of the people. What we ask, therefore, first of 
all for this library, is that it shall be made complete 
to the last degree in whatever pertains to the history 
of the people of the state ; that it shall be a reposi- 
tory, not only for public documents, but also for 
private papers ; that it shall reach out after all facts, 
however transmitted, which have a bearing on vital 
questions of state interest ; and that it shall be able 
to trace the great events in which the state has had 
a part, and the great men whom it has sent forth, 
back to the causes which determined or produced 


them. What we want, in a word, is a library which 
will explain New Hampshire. 

A more direct, if not equally obvious, use of the 
library for the advancement of the state, is to be 
seen in the very great aid which it offers toward 
intelligent legislation, the interpretation of the laws 
and general administration. Doubtless we have in 
this use of the library the chief intent of its founders. 
The statute under which the library is administered, 
provides first that it shall be *'for the use of the 
governor and council, officers of the state govern- 
ment, the legislature and the clerks thereof, the 
judges of the supreme court, and such other persons 
as the trustees may determine; " and afterward in 
fixing the duties of the trustees, it prescribes that 
**they shall procure for the library full sets of the 
statutes and law reports of the United States, and 
of the several states; histories, including those of 
the counties and towns of the state whenever pub- 
lished ; maps, charts, works on agriculture, political 
economy, the arts and natural sciences, copies of 
state papers and publications relating to the material, 
social, and religious conditions of the people, or 
bearing upon the business and objects of legislation, 
and such other works as they may deem suitable, 
works of fiction excepted." 

Naturally this is a law library in its largest intent 
and purpose. The provision which has been made 
in this building for the sessions of the supreme 
court emphasizes this purpose, as also the mention 
of the duty, first among those prescribed for the 
trustees, '* of procuring for the library full sets of 


the Statutes and law reports of the United States 
and of the several states.'* It is a matter of congrat- 
ulation, that in the comparison which this array of 
statutes and reports invites, the reports of New 
Hampshire hold by common consent so high and 
honorable a place. Indeed this was to have been 
expected, if we recall the names, which, in the 
quaint language of a former generation, '' reflected 
the gladsome light of jurisprudence," — the names of 
Weare, Bartlett, Langdon, Livermore, Woodbury, 
Bell, Smith, Parker, Perley, and so many of their 
associates, — an honor one and all to any bench. 

It does not fall to my lot to speak of the relation 
of the state to its bench or courts, but without 
venturing beyond the province of a layman, I may 
fitly call attention to the present demand for the 
more general knowledge of what may be termed the 
literature of the law, the knowledge of statutes and 
reports, as indispensable to wise legislation. As 
any one can see, the relation between the federal 
and state authority is becoming at certain points 
complicated and sensitive. No past political condi- 
tions have ever involved issues of greater perplexity 
than those involved in present economic and indus- 
trial conditions. Decisions are rendered almost 
every month by some one of the United States 
courts affecting the interests of corporations and of 
labor in every state of the Union. Not long since, 
in a western state, I chanced to listen to an after- 
dinner speech from one of the younger judges of 
the United States court of appeals, in which, though 
a man of remarkable wit, he put aside at once the 


pleasantries of the hour that he might impress upon 
the company the very great seriousness of the 
questions upon which the federal courts were called 
upon to pass in determining the rights of property 
and the rights of service. The discussion was as 
earnest as an utterance of the pulpit. And between 
the states the lack of uniformity in the very princi- 
ples of legislation is becoming in some cases not 
only serious but grievous. One has but to refer in 
illustration to subjects so widely removed from one 
another as taxation and divorce. At such a time the 
value of a state library which gives ready and com- 
plete ihformation on all points of current decisions 
and statute law cannot be overestimated. A library 
with these facilities seems as much a part of the 
equipment of the legislature as of the courts. It 
has a distinct moral influence. Through its system 
of exchange it keeps open communication between 
the states. It enables us to realize the closeness of 
the fellowship of the body politic. '' If one member 
suffers, all the members suffer with it." 

The statute, however, which wisely gives prece- 
dence to law in the furnishing of the library, makes 
generous provision for other subjects which have to 
do with the material and social development of the 
state. I see no reason why this provision should 
not be fulfilled, as far as the annual appropriations 
may allow. The teachers of the state have already 
asked that a department of pedagogy may be 
opened. Why should not requests be urged from 
other sources? Why, for example, should not the 
library be made tributary to our great industries ? 


Where should one interested in any one of these 
expect to look for careful information except to such 
a library as this ? Where else within the state could 
one hope to find it? Technical departments are to 
be found to a certain extent in our educational 
libraries, and here and there thQ public library of a 
city may provide some books of this character on a 
given industry. But to what source ought one to 
turn for such discriminating and well-directed in- 
formation on the industries of the state as to the 
state library ? Here again I must remind you that we 
have no great centre to which we can look except to 
the state itself. And in so far as the state may see 
fit to answer this demand, let us suggest that when- 
ever any department of this kind is set up, the fact 
be made known, and a classified list of the books in 
the department be published and circulated. Grad- 
ually and without undue expense, the state library 
may become an authority upon many matters of 
industrial and economic value. 

Allow me the further suggestion that such works 
as have to do most immediately with the resources 
of the state be duplicated, and distributed at conven- 
ient centres, usually in connection with a town 
library, but under the control of the state library. 
Such a distribution would create among our citizens 
a habit of thinking about the state and its interests. 
It would provide material in advance for our legisla- 
tures. It would add to that general intelligence 
which they bring to their duties a special knowledge 
on many points, which there is little time to gain 
during the session of the legislature- It would be a 


Step for the state to take out among the people, 
arousing them to a greater interest in their citizen- 
ship. Like the attempt of which I have spoken to 
make the Hbrary available for recovering the history 
of the state, it would make the library more available 
for its present and future advancement. A great 
library, of any kind whatever, is more than a reposi- 
tory. That is its second use. The first and supreme 
object is to inform, incite, awaken. Rightly used, it 
is one of the creative agencies of civilization. 

Assuming that the specific uses of a state library 
are such as have been indicated, namely, to give the 
state the advantage among its citizens of its own 
history, and to aid the state appropriately in the 
making and interpretation of its laws, and the devel- 
opment of its resources, it remains for me to speak 
of the library as standing for the identification of the 
state with the whole intellectual life of the people. 
In the language of the inaugural address, ''its rela- 
tions to our educational system should be intimate." 
I take the apt suggestion of the term. Intimacy of 
relationship rather than domination or control is the 
<:haracteristic of the New England states in their 
educational policy. The distinction in educational 
policy between the earlier and later commonwealths 
is marked. The later commonwealths, almost with- 
out exception, have created elaborate educational 
systems, culminating in a university, which they sup- 
port and control. The earlier commonwealths de- 
mand popular education as the basis of citizenship, 
and within certain limits they carefully provide for 
it, but they seek to arouse the public spirit of indi- 


vidual citizens, and to develop private munificence. 
Hence the peculiar phenomena, to be seen on every 
hand, attending the intellectual development of New 
England ; great schools, colleges, and universities 
founded and maintained by endowments ; the for- 
tunes of private citizens returning in part to their 
native towns in the gift of libraries ; voluntary asso- 
ciations springing up in all parts of the community 
for the mutual advantage and improvement of their 
members. Meanwhile the state is no mere on- 
looker, an indifferent or curious spectator, its inter- 
ests elsewhere, itself intent on other and lower ends. 
The state is the watchful guardian, the solicitous 
friend, the helper and patron. Its interest in what- 
ever concerns the intellectual life of the people is 
active, constant, and altogether beneficent. The 
state acts by various methods ; now working through 
legislation, as when it reaffirms more vigorously the 
principle of compulsory intelligence; now entering 
into cooperation with the communities under its 
care, as in the library system of our own state and 
of Massachusetts ; now granting immunities and 
privileges to institutions of learning when necessary 
to their freedom, not hesitating if need be to offer 
the helping hand ; and now teaching by example, as 
by this occasion, and through the dignity and worth 
of its own standards, broadening the public thought, 
and elevating the public taste. Such by tradition 
and by increasing practice, is the New England com- 
monwealth in the intimacy of its relationship to the 
intellectual life of the people. It was a statesman, 
you recall, not a theorist, a mere scholar or poet, 


who said, **The state is a partnership in all science, 
a partnership in all art, a partnership in every virtue. 
And as the end of such a partnership cannot be 
obtained in many generations, it becomes a partner- 
ship not only between those who are living, but 
between those who are living, and those who are 
dead, and those who are yet to be born." 

It is impossible to overestimate the impression 
which the state is able to make upon its citizens 
through this noble union, this high partnership in 
great interests. Nothing else can rouse them to 
such a degree of civic pride. 

The state, we must remember, does not always 
appear before us in this aspect. So many of its 
functions are negative and repressive. It is through 
the state that we deal with crime. Much of its leg- 
islation is the iteration of the commandments. 
There is a majesty in this aspect of the state, and 
there is benignity. The other side of law is secur- 
ity, order, peace. Still it is not through its repres- 
sive force that we respond most heartily to the 
power of the state. 

Through other functions the state is concerned 
chiefly with material interests. These interests are 
vital. Nothing concerns any man more than his 
daily work, the work itself, and the result of it in 
his livelihood. But the actual power of the state to 
affect business is far less than that of the general 
government. In every state election the issue 
broadens into the field of national politics. No citi- 
zen looks exclusively to his own commonwealth for 
the adjustment of those conditions which determine 
his work, his business, or his investments. 


The State is excluded from the province of reli- 
gion. The experiment once tried in that direction 
will never be repeated. The one reservation which 
the individual citizen has made for himself for all 
time is liberty of conscience, in every possible ex- 
pression of it, and in all its results. 

The open field into which the state may enter, 
where it may exercise unhindered its higher minis- 
try, where it may illustrate this noble partnership, is 
education, the development of the intellectual, and 
through that, the moral life of the people. The 
essential contribution of New Hampshire, as we 
fondly believe, to the life of the nation, has been 
mental character, not simply brain power, not sim- 
ply conscience, but character informed and devel- 
oped by the trained mind. That has been the 
ground of our boasting. We have no other to 
compare with it. It can have no equivalent and no 
substitute. We may cherish local associations in 
the state with a sentiment which will idealize even 
its rugged and barren hills. We may respect the 
authority of the state as it guards our rights, and 
protects our interests. But the one source of civic 
pride for the state is the maintenance of its extraor- 
dinary intellectual and moral history. It is the 
remembrance of that, and that above all else, which 
quickens the blood, and stirs the spirit within us. 

Fellow Citizens: May this day which is set apart 
in recognition of one of the higher functions of the 
state recover and restore to us this former ideal. 
And accepting the inspiration and teaching of the 
present hour, may we understand better what is the 



abiding duty, and what the lasting honor of the 
sons of this ancient commonwealth. 

Mr. President: As suggested by Dr. Tucker, 
the Committee has been especially fortunate in 
being able to summon Mr. A. R. Spofford, librarian 
of the National library, to address you on this 

Lord Bacon's classification of books was, "Some 
are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and a few 
to be chewed and digested." 

They credit Mr. Spofford with having *' chewed 
and digested " the greater part of the books in the 
National library. He will tell you to-day, something 
of what he knows of the books he has devoured. 

I have the honor of introducing to you Mr. 
Spofford, a native of New Hampshire, but a citizen 
of Washington. 

Mr. Ainsworth R. Spofford, Librarian of Congress, 
delivered the concluding address on 


When I was honored by the invitation to take a 
part in this memorial service, I felt myself constrained 
to respond to the call by two considerations, mainly : 
first, as cherishing an active interest in libraries, in 
whose service the greater part of my life has been 
spent, — and, secondly, as contributing, in some slight 
degree, to a discharge of the debt which every man 
owes to the region of his nativity. As a son of New 
Hampshire, though removed in very early life from 
the state, I take pride in all that conduces to her 


honor, her advancement, and her intellig-ence. As a 
librarian, it is most gratifying to me, in revisiting my 
native State, to behold this fair temple of learning, 
which you have carved out of New Hampshire granite, 
and which you are now dedicating to the enlighten- 
ment of the legislative body, and of all who may in 
the future use its stores. It is equally gratifying to 
recall the fact, that at the capital city of our republic, 
another great library edifice now nears completion, 
constructed of New Hampshire granite, from the 
Concord quarries, as pure and white as the marble 
walls of the capitol. 

But, my friends, while we are justly solicitous to 
provide these spacious and fire-proof repositories for 
the books of the nation and of the state, and to adorn 
their interiors with fitting ornaments and memorials, 
we are not to forget the vast importance of filling 
them with the best and most useful means of infor- 
mation. To what purpose do we dedicate these 
splendid temples to science and literature, unless we 
are ready to provide liberally from the public funds, 
to equip the government library with all the helps 
which the legislator needs ? Indeed, when we reflect 
that, in the last analysis, our laws are only the pro- 
duct of our learning, (taking learning in its largest 
sense,) we see that there is almost no knowledge 
which can come amiss to those who make the laws. 

It is trite enough for me to remind you of the 
saying of that staunch Scotch republican, Andrew 
Fletcher, who wrote, two centuries ago, that '*if a 
man were permitted to make all the ballads of a 
nation, he need not care who should make the laws." 


But the profounder meaning of the aphorism comes 
to us in the reflection that the sentiments of human 
sympathy, justice, virtue, and freedom, which inspire 
the best poetry of all nations, become sooner or later 
incarnated in their laws. If there are those narrow- 
minded enough to think that poetry is out of place in 
a legislative library, let them remember the debt the 
world owes to its great poets, from Homer down to 
Robert Burns. Even that simple little song — with 
the refrain — 

" Then let us pray that come it may, 
As come it will, for a' that, 
That man to man, the world o'er, 
Shall brothers be, for a' that,"— 

may have contributed almost as much to spread 
abroad the great doctrine of human equality, as the 
British Magna Charta, or the American Declaration 
of Independence. So, also, the German race are 
deeply indebted to the ballads of Schiller and Korner, 
and to the ideas of freedom which they have sown 
deep in the minds of men and women for two 
generations, for that measure of constitutional liberty 
which Germany now enjoys. And if we were to 
inquire whether books or battles have contributed 
the most to the progress of mankind, let us put into 
one scale the military achievements of all the con- 
querors, and into the other all the glorious literature 
of the world. If you doubt to which side the balance 
will incline, take the greatest of the warriors, him 
who won more battles than any man known to history, 
who marched from conquest to conquest, made him- 
self the master of France — then the autocrat of 


Europe, and finally filled the world with his fame. 
After sacrificing on the altar of his ambition, the 
liberty of the press, the freedom of opinion, the ties 
of marriage, the peace and welfare of his country, 
and the lives of more than a million Frenchmen, he 
went down at last, his many crimes against humanity 
all unredeemed by that thin varnish which men call 
glory — another witness to the truth, that justice still 
rules the world. 

All history and all literature conspire to teach 
us that there is nothing at last but intellectual and 
moral power, that is sacred or enduring among men. 
We are the fortunate heirs of the intelligence of ages. 
The thoughts and the facts that are garnered up in 
books, are endowed with a life that is perennial. 
Men may die, and legislators may perish, and libra- 
rians are mortal : but libraries and literature are 
immortal. Even though the ever-gnawing tooth of 
time should one day undermine this beautiful struct- 
ure, and its granite walls should crumble to decay, — 
yet through the ever-living power of the magic art 
of printing, books will survive, and the thoughts of 
the mind will far outlast towers of granite, and mon- 
uments of marble. 

"The art of writing," says a great scholar of our 
century, — Thomas Carlyle, ''certainly is the most 
miraculous of all things which man has devised. Of 
all things which men can do or make here below, by 
far the most momentous, wonderful, and worthy, are 
the things we call books." And indeed, when we 
thoughtfully consider how wide and potential are the 
uses of written speech, out of which the world of 


books is made, It seems hardly possible to overstate 
the debt which we owe to authors. Books are the re- 
positories of the wit and the wisdom of mankind. In 
their pages are stored the vast results of science, the 
long annals of history, the speculations of philoso- 
phers, the Imaginations of poets, the discoveries of 
inventors, the narratives of travellers and voyagers, 
the lives of the illustrious, the laws and politics of 
nations, the observations of naturalists, the dreams 
of enthusiasts, the fascinating stories of fiction, the 
creations of graphic art, the harmonies of music, the 
homilies of theologians, the correspondence of men 
of letters, the verdicts of criticism, the traditions of 
the race, and the manifold languages of the world. 

What to read, when to read, and how to read, — 
these are questions of vital Importance to each one 
of us. While I have not the presumption to sup- 
pose that my Ideas upon the choice of reading will 
present anything new, I must infer that the invitation 
to address you takes for granted on my part such 
fitness as a life spent among books and the readers 
of books may Imply. All that any one can do for 
others is to suggest to them a clue, which, however 
feeble, has helped to guide his uncertain footsteps 
through that tangled maze of folly and wisdom which 
we call literature. And my excuse for venturing to 
address you upon a theme at once so exacting and 
so important, is that the suggestions which I may 
have to offer are the fruit of a candid observation, 
and an experience somewhat prolonged. 

The art of reading to the best advantage Implies 
the command of adequate time to read. The art of 


having time to read lies in learning- how to make the 
most of our days. Days are short, and time is fleet- 
ing, but no one's day ever holds less than twenty- 
four hours. Engrossing as one's occupation may 
be, it need never consume all the time remaining 
from sleep, refreshment, and needful exercise. The 
trouble is, most persons think that the unappropria- 
ted intervals when business waits are too brief and 
fragmentary to be of any value to them. They fear 
that they will be interrupted before they have done 
anything to the purpose, and so they do nothing. No 
one can make the most of life who has never learned 
the supreme value of moments. The half hour be- 
fore breakfast, the fifteen minutes waiting for din- 
ner, diligently given to the book one wishes to read, 
will finish it in a few days, and make room for 
another. It is almost literally true, paradoxical as it 
may seem, that the more you have to do, the more 
you can do. The idle person never knows how to 
get ahead of his work ; the busy one always knows 
how. System and a strong purpose will work mira- 
cles; will go far toward achieving the impossible. 
The busiest men I have known have frequently been 
the best informed and the widest readers. 

Let us suppose that you are determined to secure 
two hours every day for self-culture; that is equiva- 
lent to more than seven hundred hours a year — or to 
three entire months of working time of eight hours 
a day. What could you not do in three months, if 
you had all the time to yourself? You could almost 
learn a new language, or go far toward writing a 
book, if need were; and yet this two hours a day, 


which would secure you three months of free time 
every year, is frittered away, you hardly know how, 
in aimless matters, that lead to nothing. 

A famous writer, some of whose books we have 
all read, Bulwer-Lytton, devoted only four hours a 
day to writing; yet he produced more than sixty vol- 
umes of history, poetry, drama, and fiction, of singu- 
lar literary merit. The great naturalist Darwin, a 
chronic sufferer from a depressing malady, counted 
two hours a good day's work; yet he produced results 
in the world of science which have made his name im- 
mortal. Be not over particular as to hours, or the 
time of day, but seize the unoccupied intervals and 
you will soon find that all hours are good for the 
muse. Have a purpose, and adhere to it with good- 
humored pertinacity. Be independent of the meth- 
ods and opinions of others. The world of books, like 
the world of nature, was made for you ; possess it in 
your own way. If you see no good in ancient history, 
or metaphysics, let them alone, and read books of 
art, or biography, or poetry, or travel. The world of 
letters is so related, that all roads cross and con- 
verge, like the paths that carry us over the surface 
of the globe on which we live. Many a reader has 
learned more of past ages from biographies than 
from any formal history, and it is a fact that many 
owe to the plays of Shakespeare nearly all the 
knowledge they possess of the history of England. 

I look with some distrust upon many of the so- 
called '' courses of reading." A great amount of time 
has been consumed in trying to compel the attention 
to reading through long and prosy didactic works writ- 


ten in a style the reverse of attractive, but believed to 
be packed full of learning. These courses, under- 
taken as a task, frequently break down before much 
progress has been made, thus ending in discourage- 
ment as well as disappointment ; whereas, if a good 
book had been selected, written in a fresh and 
flowing style, and treating any topic whatever with 
adequate knowledge, it would have been eagerly 
read and assimilated. Time should be economized 
by selecting attractive intellectual pabulum — books 
which are known from the start to be full of good 
things — capable of nourishing the inner man, and, 
like a well-cooked and well-seasoned dish, both 
appetizing to the palate and comforting to the soul. 

Suffer no man's prescription for a weak or 
deformed intellect to sway your choice, if you are 
conscious of your own mental strength and sound- 
ness. When you are weary or perplexed, who shall 
deny you the recreation of a chapter of Pickwick, or 
what Doctor Dry-as-dust shall compel you to read 
David Hume or Adam Smith, when you crave Ten- 
nyson or the Faust of Goethe ? 

It is unhappily true that books do not teach the use 
of books. It were easier, perhaps, in one sense, to 
tell what not to read, than to recommend what 
is best worth reading. In the publishing world, 
this is the age of compilation — not of creation. If 
we seek for great original works, if we must indeed 
go to the wholesale merchants to buy knowledge, 
since retail geniuses are worth but little, one must go 
back many years for his main selection of books. It 
would not be a bad rule, perhaps, for those who can 


read but little, to read no book until it has been 
published at least a year or two. This fever for the 
newest books is not a wholesome condition of the 
mind. And since a selection must indispensably be 
made, and that selection must, for the mass of readers, 
be so rigid and so small, why should valuable time be 
thrown away upon the untried and unproven writers 
of the day ? 

As the taste for reading is one of the greatest 
of human benefits, so the art of reading to the best 
advantage is one of the foremost things to be desired. 
One hears with dismay that the statistics of our 
popular libraries prove that about seventy-five per 
cent, of the books drawn from them are novels. 
While such aimless reading to be amused is doubtless 
better than no reading at all, it is nevertheless true 
that over-much reading of romances, especially at an 
early age, enervates the mind, weakens the will, 
makes dreamers instead of thinkers and workers, 
and fills the imagination with morbid and unreal views 
of life. Yet this habit of giving up all leisure hours 
to fiction is cultivated, more by the cheapness and 
notoriety of such works, and the absence of wise 
direction in other fields, than by any native tendency 
on the part of the young. People will always read 
the most that which is most put before them, if only 
the style be attractive. 

A two-fold evil follows upon the reading of every 
unworthy book; in the first place, it absorbs the time 
which should be bestowed upon a worthy one ; and 
secondly, it leaves the mind and heart unimproved, 
instead of conducing to the benefit of both. As there 


are few books more elevating than a really good 
novel, so there are none more fruitful of evil than a 
bad one. 

Hazlitt says, '* we owe everything to the authors 
of books, on this side barbarism." He who enters a 
great library walks among the silent ranks of the 
thinkers of all ages. However dull or vapid he may 
sometimes find the society of people, that of a well- 
selected library is never dull. In the world of books, 
your chosen companions will talk to you only when 
bidden, and whenever you hold converse with them, 
they always have something to say. The appreciative 
reader is never less alone than when alone. Sur- 
rounded by the spirits of the mighty dead, still 
surviving immortally in their works, while their mortal 
bodies are but dust, he drinks in the inspiration and 
the instruction that dwell among the leaves. His 
horizon insensibly widens as he reads, and from being 
a resident of Boston, or of Baltimore, or of Washing- 
ton, he becomes a citizen of the world. 

The reader who has held communion with many 
great writers will find his views correspondingly 
enlarged, and his mental vision cleared. The be- 
setting conceit of opinion, the ignoble strife of warring 
sects and schools, are seen in their true light. He has 
read to little purpose who has not imbibed a charity 
as wide as the world, and an open-mindedness that 
is fatal to the slightest taint of bigotry. Much con- 
verse with books fills him with a sense of his own 
ignorance. The more he comes to know, the wider 
opens before him the illimitable realm of what is yet 
to be known. In the lowest deep which research the 


most profound can reach, there is a lower deep still 
unattained, — perhaps, even, unattainable. 

But the fact that he cannot by any possibility master 
all human knowledge should not deter the student 
from making ever advancing inroads upon that 
domain. The vast extent of the world of books only 
emphasizes the need of making a wise selection from 
the mass. One of the commonest and most incon- 
siderate of the questions propounded to a librarian is 
this : '' Do you ever expect to read all these books 
through " ? And it is well answered by propounding 
another query — namely : *' Did you ever read your 
dictionary through " ? A great library is the scholar's 
dictionary — not to be read through, but to be able to 
put his finger on the fact or the thought he wants, 
just when it is wanted. 

He must indispensably learn the art of skipping, — 
not only of skipping all the useless books (whose 
name is legion) but all the useless pages in which 
every book, almost, abounds. This art requires three 
things : Keen discernment, a practiced eye, and a 
resolute purpose to make the best use of time. As 
to the selection, while I am not of those who can see 
no merit save in books touched with the hoar frost of 
time, I have yet frequent cause to lament the pre- 
valent rage for new books, when so many great 
masters lie unopened and unread. Schopenhauer 
tells us of the paramount importance of "acquiring 
the art not to read, or of not reading the books that 
occupy the public mind, make a noise in the world, 
and reach several editions in their first (and perhaps 
last) year of existence." Indeed there is of late, along 


with much good literature, a fearfully increasing 
number of books that are not useful. The spawn of 
cheap novels of second and third rate writers, the 
translations of Zola, Belot, Du Boisgobey, and others 
of the French erotic school, and their American 
imitators, some of whom surpass them in grossness, 
without any of their attractions of style, must be 
deplored by all who regard the moral and intellectual 
welfare of our people. Such publications degrade 
our literature, instead of ennobling and advancing it. 
Defend them as men may, with whatever glozing 
excuses, the books which belong to the lately preva- 
lent bigamy school of fiction are not fit to be written, 
and not fit to be read. " The trail of the serpent is 
over them all." Let all friends of good literature, and 
all teachers and counsellors of the young, never cease 
to remember, that " the wisdom that is from above is 
first pure." 

Another class of new literature is the sensational, 
which tends to vitiate the taste, as surely as the 
other does the morals. Why should one read such 
specimens of prose-run-mad as the novels of Augus- 
ta Evans, or Am^lie Rives, such examples of morbid 
intellectual anatomy as the journal of Marie Bashkirt- 
seff, or such pictures of over-wrought passion and 
vicious life as the stories of Edgar Saltus ? These 
books, and others referred to, that tickle the palate 
for an hour, and perhaps leave a bad taste in the 
mouth, are good books to let alone. They have no 
staying qualities. Why waste the precious hours, 
which you will never see again, over things fit only 
to be forgotten, when the great masters of prose and 


verse are waiting to endow you with imperishable 
wit and wisdom ? 

Yet some readers will eagerly devour every novel 
of Miss Braddon, or ''The Duchess," or the woman 
calling herself *'Ouida," but they cannot appreciate 
the masterly fictions of Thackeray. I have known 
very good people who could not, for the life of them, 
find any humor in Dickens, but who actually en- 
joyed the forced wit of Mrs. Partington and Bill Nye. 
And you will find many a young lady of to-day who 
is content to remain ignorant of Homer and Shakes- 
peare, but who is ravished by the charms of Trilby 
or the Heavenly Twins. But taste in literature, as 
in art, or in anything else, can be cultivated. Lay 
down the rule, and adhere to it, to read none but 
the best books, and you will before long lose all rel- 
ish for the poor ones. Surely we all have cause to 
deprecate the remorseless flood of fictitious literature, 
in which better books are drowned. 

Let no one be dismayed at the multitude of books, 
nor fear that with his small leisure, he will never be 
able to master any appreciable share of them. Few 
and far between are the great books of the world. 
The works which it is necessary to know may be 
comprised in a comparatively small compass. The 
rest are to be preserved in the great literary conserv- 
atories, some as records of the past, some as chroni- 
cles of the times, and not a few as models to be 
avoided. The Congressional Library at Washington 
(soon to have its own separate library building) is 
our great national conservatory of books. As the 
library of the government — that is of the whole peo- 


pie — it is properly inclusive of all the literature which 
the country produces, while all the other libraries 
are and must be more or less exclusive. No national 
library can ever be too large. In order that the 
completeness of the collection shall not fail, and to 
preserve the whole of our literature, it is put into the 
statute of copyright as a condition precedent of the 
exclusive right to multiply copies of any book. Ap- 
prehension is sometimes expressed that the library 
of the United States will become overloaded with 
trash, and so fail of its usefulness. 'Tis a lost fear. 
The public sense is continually winnowing and sift- 
ing the literature of every period, and to books and 
their authors, every day is the day of judgment. 

Out of all the publications of any year, how many, 
think you, ever arrive at the honor of a republication 
at all ? How many are thought worthy of a reprint 
by the readers of the generation immediately suc- 
ceeding ? And will any one learned in the history 
of literature tell us how many, out of the innumer- 
able candidates for immortality, ever reach it, by the 
suffrage of each successive century, calling for con- 
tinually new editions ? Is not the fate of at least 
ninety-nine in the hundred writers, a swift passport 
to oblivion or (which is much the same thing) a 
place among the myriads of forgotten volumes which 
slumber on the shelves of the great libraries of the 
world ? 

It is the melancholy fate of most writers to survive 
their own literary reputation. Not the least among 
the evils of that ''furor scribendi'' that rage for writ- 
ing which afflicts so large a portion of the human 


race, is the utter unconsciousness of its subjects as 
to the worthless or ephemeral character of their pro- 
ductions. A moderate acquaintance with the litera- 
ture of the past would spare these unsophisticated 
authors the trouble of putting pen to paper. The dis- 
covery that what they are so eager to say has not 
only been said before, but a great deal better said 
than they can say it, might save them the mortifica- 
tion of publishing a neglected volume. 

That learned French critic, Bishop Huet, was wont 
to say that all which has been written since the 
beginning of the world might easily be contained 
in nine or ten volumes in folio, provided nothing 
were said more than once. This little proviso is the 
key to that vast copia librorum under which we 
groan. So long as men go on repeating one 
another, so long will this redundancy of literature, 
which makes the despair of students, continue. All 
the ancient classics, both Greek and Latin, may be 
readily contained in a single glass case of very mod- 
erate dimensions ; but the million-fold echoes and 
re-echoes of the ancients which fill these twenty cen- 
turies — is there any library, however vast, which will 
hold the half of them ? 

Yet the world of books, vast and thickly peopled 
as it is, presents no anomaly, no exception to the laws 
which govern the genesis of nature and the growth 
of nations. Everywhere the chaff far exceeds the 
wheat. For a hundred blossoms, we gather but one 
ripe fruit. This ever-growing human race of ours 
goes swarming on, and how many, out of all the 
myriads that are born into the world, leave any mark 


of greatness or of goodness to testify that they ever 
lived at all ? Shall the world of books be expected 
to form the sole exception ? 

Shall we not rather use the brain that nature gave 
us to make a wise choice of our intellectual com- 
panions? And here, let me say, no hard-and-fast 
rule can be laid down, good for all readers. While 
the world of books seems literally infinite, and we 
are ever conscious that our opportunities are finite, 
we may at least resolve to waste little time upon 
writers who have not proven their claim to live in 
literature. Find out how often any author's books 
have been re-printed, in successive generations, and 
you will have one standard of merit to which the 
merely ephemeral writers cannot appeal. The sense 
of the world is keen, and the survival of the fittest is 
as certain as that art is long. 

Next, there is no guide to that reading, which will 
both interest and profit the reader, better than the 
counsel embodied in these two lines of Shakespeare : 

•' No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en ; 
In brief, sir, study what you most affect." 

If this precept seems too free, it is to be borne in 
mind that a book, in order to be relished and remem- 
bered, must have some pleasing qualities to the 
reader. Books that are read merely as task-work 
profit little, in comparison with those which are 
absorbed eagerly, and with a hungry mind. Now 
the best books of the world are the histories, the 
poems, and the stories which are the best told, — and 
which will never want for readers, so long as the 


generations of men shall endure. The taste for the 
best literature will be formed fast enough, if only the 
best be made as accessible as is the trash. 

When Shakespeare would depict for us the sov- 
ereign value of the intelligence which dwells in the 
world of books, he says : " Ignorance is the curse of 
God : Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to 
Heaven." And elsewhere, when he would describe 
in few words a man deficient in understanding — he 
says : ** Sir, He hath never fed of the dainties which 
are bred in a book." Gibbon declared — '*A taste 
for books is the pleasure and glory of my life : — I 
would not exchange it for the wealth of the Indies."^ 
And we remember the lofty panegyric of Words- 
worth's sonnet : 

«♦ Blessings be with them, and eternal praise, 
Who gave us nobler loves and nobler cares ; 
The Poets, who on earth have made us heirs 
Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays." 

In the companionship of books we move across 
the centuries, and mingle with every race and every 
age. They bring us acquainted with the fair forms 
of truth and poetry, and reveal to us the genius and 
the virtue that have illustrated the annals of man- 
kind. Good books are among the few real things of 
life : they are almost the only pleasure in which there 
is no alloy. ''Some books," says Petrarch, ''teach 
us how to live, and others how to die." Through 
them, the spirits of the dead, not mortal, but immor- 
tal, hold free converse with us. Through them, 
each one of us may become endowed with the storied 
wisdom of six thousand years. The world of books 


is a realm as large as the universe, and its noblest 
creations take hold on the infinite. They open to 
us inexhaustible treasures of learning : they awaken 
the reason, they kindle the imagination, they culti- 
vate the memory, they refine the taste, they delight 
us in health, they comfort us in sickness, they 
enliven the fancy, they quicken the conscience, they 
purify the soul; they cheer the desponding, they 
strengthen the weak, they lighten our cares, they 
soften our griefs, they enhance our joys — they ener- 
gize and ennoble the mind. They, and they alone, 
hold that which is imperishable in man ; that which 
survives centuries, conquers oblivion, and triumphs 
over the grave. 


JOINT RESOLUTION authorizing the governor and council to procure plans 
and estimates for additions to the state house. 

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court con- 
vened : 

That the governor and council are hereby authorized to expend a sum of 
money not exceeding five hundred dollars, to be used in procuring plans and 
estimates for additional facilities in the state house for library and other pur- 
poses, and also plans and estimates for a separate building to be used for the 
same purposes, and submit their report to the next legislature. 

That the governor is hereby authorized to draw his warrant for the same out 
of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated. 

Approved August 16, 1889. 

AN ACT for the erection of a state library building. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court con- 
vened : 

Section 1. That the sum of one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars 
be and hereby is raised and appropriated for the purchase of two tracts of 
land situate on the corner of State and Park streets in Concord, and the erec- 
tion of a building thereon, in accordance with the plan of A. P. Cutting, of 
Worcester, Mass., referred to in and annexed to the report of the commission 
appointed to procure plans and estimates for additional facilities for the pub- 
lic library, and other purposes. 

Sect. 2. The state treasurer is hereby authorized, under the direction of the 
governor and council to borrow said sum of one hundred and seventy-five 
thousand dollars on the credit of the state ; and to issue bonds or certificates 
of indebtedness therefor, in the name and on the behalf of the state, payable 
in twenty years from the first day of July, 1891, at a rate of interest not exceed- 
ing four per cent, per annum, payable semi-annually on the first days of Janu- 
ary and July of each year ; such bonds to have interest warrants or coupons 
attached thereto ; said coupons to be signed by the state treasurer ; said 
bonds and coupons to be made payable at such place as the governor and 
council shall designate. 

Sect. 3. Said bonds shall be designated, " State Library Bonds," and shall be 
signed by the treasurer and countersigned by the governor, and shall be 
deemed a pledge of the faith and credit of the state. The secretary of state 
shall keep a record of all the bonds countersigned by the governor, showing 
the number and amount of each bond, the time of countersigning, the time 
when payable, and the date of the delivery to the state treasurer. The treas- 
urer shall keep a record of all bonds disposed of by him, showing the number 
thereof, the name of the person to whom sold, the amount received for the 
same, the date of the sale and the time when payable. The treasurer may 
negotiate and sell such bonds to the best advantage for the state, but no bond 
shall be sold for less than its par value, nor shall such bonds be loaned, 
pledged, or hypothecated in any way whatever. 



Sect. 4. That His Excellency the Governor, with the advice and consent of 
the council, be authorized to appoint four commissioners, only two of whom 
shall belong to the same political party, whose duty it shall be to make all con- 
tracts necessary for the erection, building, and completion of said state library 
building upon the plot of ground named in section 1 of this act, and in accord- 
ance with said plan to procure all necessary specifications for the full comple- 
tion of said building under said plan. No contract by them made shall be of 
any binding force until first submitted to and approved by the governor and 
council, nor shall such contract be made until they have advertised for at least 
thirty days in not less than three papers in this state for sealed proposals 
under said plan and specifications for the entire construction of said building 
in one contract, or in several contracts for the different classes of work to be 
done, and such contract or contracts shall be made with the lowest responsible 
bidders complying with the terms of this act in relation to the amount of bonds 
required to guarantee the completion of said contract ; and it shall be the fur- 
ther duty of said commissioners to superintend the erection, building, and 
completion of said library building, and they shall receive for their services 
each the sum of three dollars per day when employed and their expenses, and 
their bills shall be approved by the governor and council ; and the governor 
shall draw his orders upon the state treasurer for the amounts due from time 
to time upon said bills, and the treasurer shall pay the same out of any 
money provided for in this act. Said commissioners, or either of them, may 
be removed at any time by the governor and council. 

Sect. 5. Said commissioners shall have power and authority to purchase for 
and on behalf of the state the land recommended by the commission and 
named in section 1 of this act, subject to the approval of the governor and 

Sect. 6. In case said commissioners shall be unable to purchase such land for 
the state at a price which they deem reasonable, they are hereby fully author- 
ized and empowered to take and appropriate the same for the use of the state, 
for the purpose aforesaid ; and if such land is so taken and appropriated for 
the use of the state, said commissioners shall apply to the county commission- 
ers for the county of Merrimack to assess the damages to the owner or owners 
of such land, and said county commissioners, upon reasonable notice to all 
persons interested and a hearing thereon, shall assess and award damages to 
the owner or owners of such land, for so much land as the commissioners 
hereby appointed shall designate as necessary and convenient for the pur- 
poses aforesaid. Said assessment and award of the county commissioners 
shall be in writing, and filed in the office of the city clerk of said Concord 
within ten days after the same is completed, which shall contain a particular 
description by metes and bounds of the land so taken, as well as of the dam- 
ages and the persons to whom the same is awarded. And upon payment or 
tender to the owner or owners of the land of the sums so assessed, the title to 
the land so taken shall be vested in the state. 

Sect. 7. Such land-owner, or other party interested, shall have the right to 
appeal from said assessment and award to the supreme court in said county of 
Merrimack, and to an assessment of said damages by a jury on such appeal, by 
filing in the office of the clerk of said court a petition in proper form for that 
purpose, within sixty days after the filing of said assessment and award of 
said county commissioners in the office of the city clerk as aforesaid. 

Sect. 8. The governor shall draw his orders on the state treasurer for the 
amounts that may be or become due from time to time, under the contracts of 
the commissioners hereby appointed, for the purposes aforesaid, after said 
bills shall have been duly approved by the governor and council, to an amount 
not exceeding one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars. 

Approved March 12, 1891. 


AN ACT in addition and supplemental to chapter 13 of the Laws of 1891, enti- 
tled "An act for the erection of a state library building." 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court con- 

Section 1. That the sum of seventy-five thousand dollars be and the same is 
hereby appropriated for the purpose of completing and furnishing the state 
library building and the grounds about the same, to be expended under the 
direction of the commission appointed in pursuance of section 4 of chapter 13, 
Laws of 1891, entitled an "An act for the Erection of a State Library Build- 
ing," and in accordance with said act. 

Sect. 2. The state treasurer is hereby authorized, under the direction of the 
governor and council, to borrow the sum of seventy -five thousand dollars on 
the credit of the state ; and to issue bonds or certificates of indebtedness 
therefor, in the name and on the behalf of the state, payable in twenty years 
from the first day of July, 1893, at a rate of interest not exceeding four per 
cent, per annum, payable semi-annually on the first days of January and July 
of each year ; such bonds to have interest warrants or coupons attached 
thereto ; said coupons to be signed by the state treasurer ; said bonds and 
coupons to be made payable at such place as the governor and council shall 

Sect. 3. Said bonds shall be designated " State Library Bonds," and shall be 
signed by the treasurer and countersigned by the governor, and shall be 
deemed a pledge of the faith and credit of the state. The secretary of state 
shall keep a record of all the bonds countersigned by the governor, showing 
the number and amount of each bond, the time of countersigning, the time 
when payable, and the date of the delivery to the state treasurer. The treas- 
urer shall keep a record of all bonds disposed of by him, showing the number 
thereof, the name of the person to whom sold, the amount received for the 
same, the date of the sale, and the time when payable. The treasurer may 
negotiate and sell such bonds to the best advantage for the state, but no bond 
shall be sold for less than its par value, nor shall such bonds be loaned, 
pledged, or hypothecated in any way whatever. 

Sect. 4. All premiums realized from the sale of the state library bonds, issued 
under and by virtue of chapter 13, Laws of 1891, and under this act, are hereby 
appropriated for the uses set forth in section 1 of this act, and to be expended 
by said commissioners agreeably to this act, and said act of 1891. 

Sect. 5. The governor shall draw his orders on the state treasurer for the 
amounts that may be or become due from time to time, under the contracts of 
said commissioners, for the purposes aforesaid, after said bills shall have been 
duly approved by the governor and council, to an amount not exceeding the 
several sums appropriated by this act, and said chapter 13, Laws of 1891. 

Sect. 6. This act is in addition and supplemental to chapter 13, Laws of 1891. 

Approved February 14, 1893. 

AN ACT in amendment of chapter 8 of the Public Statutes, and chapter 31 of 
the Laws of 1893, relating to the state library. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court con- 

Section 1. Section 8 of chapter 8 of the Public Statutes is hereby amended so 
as to read as follows : " Sect. 8. They may dispose, by sale or exchange, of all 
or any part of the surplus state publications, which have been from time to 
time deposited in the state library in accordance with the laws of the state, 
and of such other books, pamphlets, charts, documents, or duplicates thereof, 
as they deem unnecessary for the uses of the library." 


Sect. 2. Section 16 of chapter 8 of the Public Statutes is hereby amended to 
read as follows : " Sect. 16. The governor, councillors, members, and clerks of 
the legislature, during sessions, state officials, the judges of the supreme 
court, and such other persons as the trustees shall designate, may take books, 
maps, charts, and other documents from the library, subject to such rules and 
regulations as the trustees shall prescribe." 

Sect. 3. Section 18 of chapter 8 of the Public Statutes is hereby amended by 
inserting after the word '* studies," in the last line thereof, the words •' and all 
other printed matter of the institution." So that said section shall read as fol- 
lows : "Sect. 18. The principal of each college, academy, seminary, or other 
institution of learning, incorporated by the laws of this state, shall annually 
and before the first day of November of each year, forward to the state libra- 
rian for the state library two copies, and to the New Hampshire Historical 
Society two copies, of each printed catalogue of its officers and students and 
courses of study, and all other printed matter of the institution published dur- 
ing the year ending on that date." 

Sect. 4. Section 6 of chapter 31 of the Laws of 1893 is hereby amended so as 
to read as follows : " Sect. 6. The public printer shall give the state librarian 
seasonable notice of every state or department publication that is delivered to 
him to be printed, and of the time that same will go to press. Upon receipt 
of such notice the state librarian shall notify the secretary of state of the num- 
ber of additional copies of every such publication that will be required for sale 
or exchange for the benefit of the state library, and thereupon the secretary of 
state shall cause such number of copies to be printed, bound, and delivered to 
the state librarian, in addition to the number of copies otherwise required to 
be printed by law ; provided, however, that such requisition shall be made 
while the work may be done without extra expense on account of composition» 
and provided that the several state departments shall not receive a less num- 
ber of copies for the official distribution than is now authorized by law." 

Sect. 5. The residue of all state or department publications remaining in the 
hands of the secretary of state after distribution by him as required by law, 
shall be forthwith deposited in the state library, to be disposed of as required 
by law. 

Sect. 6. Foreign corporations doing business in this state shall file with the 
state librarian on or before the first day of January in each year, all printed 
reports of their condition issued by them during the twelve months preceding. 

Sect. 7. This act shall take effect upon its passage. 

Approved February 13, 1895. 

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