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The stated monthly meeting of the Society was held this 
day, Thursday, 10th of June, by invitation of the President, 
with the concurrence of the Standing Committee, at his house 
in Brookline, at half-past four o'clock, p.m. 

The Recording Secretary read the record of the last meeting. 

The Librarian announced the gifts to the Library the past 

The Corresponding Secretary read a letter of acceptance 
from the Rev. Edmund de Pressense", of Paris. 

The President then spoke as follows : — 

You will not expect from me, gentlemen, any formal words of 
welcome on this occasion ; but I cannot omit to remind you 
that meetings of this kind have repeatedly been held in former 
years, and I hope this may not be the last of them. We had 
a most memorable meeting at the house of our lamented asso- 
ciate, George Livermore, in Cambridge, on the 26th of June, 
1856. It would not be difficult to trace to that meeting the 
inspiration which resulted, soon afterwards, in our possession 
of the Dowse Library ; and I believe Mr. Deane has so traced 
it in the Memoir * of his friend, which forms so interesting a 
feature of our new volume of " Proceedings." During the sum- 
mer of 1858, we held two such meetings ; one of them at 
the historic residence of Longfellow at Cambridge, and the 
other at the charming cottage of the late Frederic Tudor at 
Nahant. Not a few of those who were present on those occa- 
sions are no more ; but others have succeeded to their places, 
as still others will succeed to ours ; and I trust that an occa- 
sional social meeting in the country will long be something 
more than a tradition in our annals. 

* See the Memoir as separately printed, at pages 45-47. 


We are here, to-day, at what was known to the settlers of 
Massachusetts by the repulsive name of " Muddy River," and 
of which the first historical account is thus given by Gov- 
ernor Winthrop in his journal : — 

"August 30, 1632. — Notice being given of ten Sagamores and 
many Indians assembled at Muddy River, the Governor sent Captain 
Underhill with twenty musketeers, to discover, &c. ; but at Roxbury 
they heard they were broke up." 

I will not take up your time in dwelling on the old associa- 
tions of the place ; but will content myself with reminding 
you that a succinct and excellent account of this locality is to 
be found, where so many other good things are also to be found, 
in our own "Historical Collections." In the second volume of 
the second series, printed in 1814, may be read an historical 
sketch of Brookline, " extracted from a discourse delivered 
there on the 24th of November, 1805, the day which completed 
a century from the incorporation of the town," by one whom 
so many of us remember with respect and affection, the genial, 
warm-hearted, and excellent Dr. John Pierce, " the fifth minis- 
ter of Brookline," and a most active and valuable member of 
our Society. 

In turning over the pages of that sketch, which, among other 
matters, contains a list of those who had been educated at Har- 
vard University from Brookline, I observed but one name 
which I knew to be the name of a living man, and of which 
the notice is as follows : — 

" Thomas Aspinwall, A.M., son of the Hon. "William Aspinwall, Esq. 
For several years he was a lawyer in Boston. He is now a colonel 
in the United-States Army." 

I need not say that this is our honored first Vice-President, of 
whom the description was true in 1814, when the sketch was 
revised for our " Collections," but of whom more might be said 
now than it would be quite fair to say before his face. I am sure 
we all feel that in having him here with us this afternoon, we have 
the best and fittest representative of old Brookline, — yes, of 


old " Muddy River," — for his name and lineage go back, I 
believe, to the earliest settlement of the town. 

Let me only add that I think no one who reviews the history 
of the place, not merely as given by good Dr. Pierce, but also 
as developed and illustrated since by those who have dwelt 
within its limits, can fail to be impressed with the rich and co- 
pious streams of benevolence and beneficence, of private virtue 
and of public usefulness and devotion, which have flowed out 
from that old " Muddy River," around which those ten Saga- 
mores and their followers were assembled in 1682, when Gov- 
ernor Winthrop sent Captain Underbill and his twenty 
musketeers to discover and disperse them. 

And now, gentlemen, let me devote a few closing words to 
something more practical. The year before us is destined to 
be an eventful one in our condition as a society. The ap- 
proaching expiration of the lease of the lower story of our 
building, in Boston, renders it important that we should take 
seasonable measures for putting that building into a condition 
both for yielding us a larger rent, and for furnishing ampler and 
more secure accommodation for our own treasures ; and I hope 
that at this very meeting the Standing Committee, or some 
other committee, may be axithorized and instructed to employ 
a careful architect to examine the premises, and prepare plans 
and estimates for the work. Above all things, the building 
should, if possible, be made absolutely fire-proof. 

One other matter seems to me worthy of our consideration. 
Our Society is now limited to one hundred members. We 
have ninety-nine living Resident Members on our rolls at this 
moment. A few of them, Mr. Savage, Dr. Pelt, and Dr. 
Frothingham, we may hardly hope to see among us often, if 
ever, again. I cannot but think that the time is at hand for 
entering upon a moderate and gradual enlargement of our So- 
ciety, or certainly for obtaining liberty for such an enlarge- 
ment. We shall be obliged to go before the Legislature 
without much further delay, to obtain permission for holding 


so large an amount in real estate as our building is now ap- 
praised at; and when we do this, we may well consider 
whether the addition of thirty or fifty to our number would 
not afford us greater opportunity of doing justice to the claims 
of others, as well as of subserving our own interests and pro- 
moting the cause in which we are associated. 

With these general suggestions, I leave the whole matter 
with the Society ; only expressing, in conclusion, the great 
gratification it affords me to find so goodly a gathering here 
this afternoon. 

The President announced as a gift to the Library from the 
government of Nova Scotia, through Thomas B. Akins, Esq., 
Commissioner of Eecords, a volume of public documents, en- 
titled, " Selections from the Public Documents of the Province 
of Nova Scotia." 

The President read a number of letters describing a valuable 
collection of Colonial and Continental currency, made by Dr. 
Joshua P. Cohen, of Baltimore ; who wishes to sell it, and who 
asks $5,000 for it. One of the letters, that of Colonel Brantz 
Mayer, President of the Maryland Historical Society, here 
follows : — 

Baltimore, 23d June, 1668. 

Mi dear Sir, — I have lately had an opportunity of examining 
thoroughly the superb collection formed by Dr. Joshua P. Cohen, of this 
city, during the last forty years, of the Colonial and early Continental 
or Congressional Currencies of North America. This large assemblage 
of the various issues embraces nearly three thousand specimens, com- 
posed of the " bills of credit " (as they were called) put forth by the 
British Colonies in America before and after the declaration of inde- 
pendence, as well as by the Continental Congress, from 10th of May, 
1775, to the last issue, on the 14th January, 1779. 

Let me describe the sets with a little more detail. 1st. The Con- 
tinental series made by Dr. Cohen — being the one issued wholly by 
Congress — is entirely complete. It embraces fine specimens of each 
denomination, and of each date of every issue, exhibiting, by two 
specimens, the obverse and reverse of each bill. Besides these, Dr. 
Cohen has, very properly, included in his collection many specimens 


of counterfeit and altered notes, with a complete set of the extremely 
rare bills of May 20, 1777, and April 11, 1778, which, in consequence 
of the immense quantity of forged notes of the same date, issued from 
New York, then in possession of the British, were, on the 2d of 
January, 1779, ordered by our Congress to be recalled from circula- 
tion, and to cease being passed as values. This collection is con- 
tained in one large folio volume, neatly mounted, and in regular 

2d. The bills issued by the Colonies or States, including those of 
Vermont in 1781, are very extensive, dating from a very early period 
in the history of this species of American currency. Many of them 
were printed at the press of Benjamin Franklin, while the cuts that 
ornament or distinguish them were in several instances either actually 
made by him or under his immediate direction. I am justified in 
saying, that this numerous series embraces some of the very rarest 
Colonial or State bills, and that no other set of equal value is now 
in existence, or could probably be formed by the most industrious of 
our collectors. 

Dr. Cohen has made it by extensive correspondence, and by repeated 
visits to State capitals, and friends in other cities ; and I know that it 
has been his zealous labor of love during a lifetime. This series is 
embraced in thirteen volumes, similar in all respects to the volume, 
previously described, containing the Continental series. 

As a companion of these two sets of currency there is, also, a 
bound volume, compiled with care and skill by Dr. Cohen, embracing 
in manuscript all the enactments of Congress authorizing the various 
issues, all the scales of depreciation, a large collection of illustrative 
materials, and contemporary opinions of Washington, Franklin, Madi- 
son, Jefferson, and other illustrious founders of the republic. 

As mere curiosities, these fifteen important volumes would be of 
inappreciable value to any enlightened collector. But, as a unique 
assemblage of American currency during our early periods, — an assem- 
blage which it will not be possible to duplicate hereafter, — I regard the 
set as a national historical work ; which (if Dr. Cohen parts with it) 
should not be suffered to pass into any other collection than that of 
our government. Congress should be eager to obtain it. If now 
neglected, in a few years our successors will be surprised at the in- 
difference of an ancestry which allowed such a record to escape it. 

I beg leave, most respectfully, to call your attention to the matter, 
as I understand Dr. Cohen would be willing to relinquish it for such 
a national destination. 


The several letters were referred to the Standing Committee. 

He also read a letter from Mr. W. A. Maury, of Richmond, 
enclosing a printed circular relating to the Virginia Historical 
Society, whose friends ask assistance to enable it to resume its 

Dr. Ellis announced the volume of " Historical Lectures," 
delivered before the Lowell Institute, as ready for publication. 

He presented a pamphlet entitled " A Letter to the Reverend 
Andrew Oroswell, &c. By Simon, the Tanner." Boston, 1771. 

The President announced a new volume of " Proceedings," 
embracing the transactions of the Society for just two years, 
closing with the March meeting, 1869. Whereupon a vote 
of thanks to the Recording Secretary, and his associates of the 
Committee, was passed. 

The President said he had received letters from our Honor- 
ary and Corresponding Members, Mr. Bryant and Mr. Grigsby, 
who had been invited to attend this meeting, and who regretted 
their inability to be present. 

He read the following letter from Mr. Grigsby : — 

Edgehill, near Charlotte C. H., Virginia, June 5, 1869. 
Mi dear Sir, — I regret very much that I cannot be present with 
you at the meeting of the Historical Society at your residence on the 
10th instant. I have derived so much pleasure and instruction from 
the intellectual productions of the members, that I should like to see 
and know them in the body, more distinctly than I do at present. In- 
deed, there is hardly a day that passes, without my deriving valuable 
information and delight from the works of your associates. To omit 
the more elaborate works of Mr. Prescott, of Mr. Ticknor, of Mr. 
Motley, of Mr. Palfrey, of Mr. Savage, of Professor Parsons, and of 
others in letters and law, who may be said rather to represent the 
whole country than any part of it, the lighter things which the mem- 
bers now and then throw off, as a tree parts with its leaves to the 
wind, are most acceptable to me. The Life of Warren I recur to again 
and again. The Memoir of Chief-Justice Parsons is a treasure to 
every lover of the law. The Life of Prescott is the most fascinating 
picture of student-life contained in the several literatures into which 
my excursions lead me. It is as if some one who knew Gibbon as 



well as Gibbon knew himself, had undertaken to annotate his autobiog- 
raphy. It will incite the young student to high and sustained effort, 
for generations to come. It will breed young historians, like rabbits, 
from Maine to California. The life of your late Senior Member by his 
son (which I also read in the admirable Memoir of President Walker) 
presents an interesting account of the middle parties, as contrasted 
with the earlier and later, of New England, and is quite as fair a map 
of the tertium quid party of Mr. Jefferson's administration as any we 
possess. It also contains traits of John Randolph's history and charac- 
ter to be found nowhere else. I am waiting for the completion of Mr. 
Pickering's life of his father, before I begin the earlier volumes. The 
face of Mr. Timothy Pickering's old enemy, by Stuart, — Mr. Giles, — 
is looking down upon me as I trace these lines ; but it says not a word, 
as John Randolph, Mr. Pickering's old friend, is looking over his 

I have already told you how much I was delighted with your two 
volumes of the life of your own glorious ancestor ; and I think I have 
told you more than once that a life of his illustrious namesake and de- 
scendant, Professor JohnWinthrop,of Harvard, ought to be forthcoming. 
Judging from the rude materials which I possess or can recall, a very 
fair life of the philosopher is practicable. You know that with Frank- 
lin and Rittenhouse, he made up the philosophic trio of the Revolution. 
Where is Mr. Sibley, with such a theme at his elbow ? But I would 
exhaust your patience, were I to proceed to enumerate the works of 
your associates which I have been reading for more than forty years, 
and which I still read, — for good books, like good wine, improve with 
age ; and although so many of those eminent and excellent men have de- 
parted, I should like to see the survivors once more, before they, too, 
disappear. And here I ought not to omit the confession of the per- 
petual entertainment and instruction which I derive from the solid 
phalanx of your " Proceedings " and " Collections." On the topic of 
Virginia alone, they are very valuable. 

But, liberal as have been the contributions of your associates and 
your own to letters, I am ready, like Oliver Twist, to ask for more. 
Here, on the banks of the Roanoke, and in the shadow of the forests 
that gird the stream of Shells ; and at the distance of a morning's 
drive from the dust of Patrick Henry and John Randolph ; and facing 
that far distant Land of Flowers, which is the fairest trophy of his 
genius, I call for a full, broad, overflowing Life of John Quincy Adams. 
It is one of the grandest themes in our history. Here is a man who 
may be said to have begun his career in 1777, when he went over with 


his father to France, — for he was an observer from his childhood, — 
and who died in full harness as late as 1848 ; if I mistake not, in your 
own room in the Capitol ; a lapse of seventy teeming years, during 
which he came in contact with the most remarkable figures of that vast 
range in Europe and America. Personally, he was in some depart- 
ments a very great man, in many admirable, in all respectable. With 
the exception of Mr. Jefferson, he was the most self-reliant and fearless 
of all our statesmen. This is a striking trait with posterity. Had his 
profound sagacity been sustained by a Southern cabinet, Texas would 
have been ours, without a drop of blood or a word of quarrel, half a 
century ago. I know the delicacy of the task in some domestic aspects, 
but it must be done at one time or other ; and it ought to be done at 
once by the hand of a son, whose large and liberal experience and 
knowledge of the world will teach him to sink the partisan in the patriot, 
and view men and things through the medium of a masculine and 
generous philosophy. What a flood of light the Diary of Mr. Adams 
will throw on the persons and events of more than three-fourths of a 
century past ! He saw almost all that was worth seeing from Edmund 
Burke to Tom Marshall (on the last of whom he bestowed exalted 
praise) and Davy Crockett ; and the images of them all may be re- 
posing in his cabinet. By the way, I spent the morning with Mr. 
Giles, in 1828 or '29, the day after he received the "National Intel- 
ligencer" containing his letters, which Mr. Adams published at his 
defiance, and remember the animation with which he commented on 
each letter in detail. 

There should also be a Lite of Mr. Everett, before his classmates and 
early contemporaries all pass away. In exact, elegant, abounding 
scholarship, it may be said of him what Grattan said of the elder Pitt, 
that he stood alone. By all his contemporaries at home and abroad, 
he was, in some important respects, unapproachable ; and he mellowed 
kindly. His latest works are his best. The last work which I received 
from him, and the last of his works that I have read, was his speech 
on the 4th of July, 1860. He is the only illustration that I can recall 
in recent times, of the possibility of thorough and almost universal 
scholarship in a public man in a land of universal suffrage. In this 
respect alone, his life would afford an invaluable lesson in this country 
to youth, to middle age, and to gray hairs. We must seek his proto- 
type, not in this country or in the Anglo-Saxon race, but on the con- 
tinent ; and it has often occurred to me that a very fair parallel may be 
run, to some extent, between him and Grotius. There was in both 
the same amazing precocity in their early attainments, especially in 


Latin and Greek ; both spent a term at the Dutch or German colleges ; 
both engaged, almost in boyhood, in the most responsible public offices ; 
both received the honors of the Universities wherever they went ; both 
put forth their tracts De Veritate; both, forsaking their legitimate 
professions, embarked in political affairs ; both became Members of 
Congress, and, I think, Secretaries of State, and wrote State papers ; 
both were accredited Ministers to the Court of St. James ; if Mr. Ev- 
erett was Governor of Massachusetts, Grotius was Pensionary of Rot- 
terdam, a far more responsible office in the sixteenth century. Had 
Mr. Everett flourished during the administrations of Jefferson and Mad- 
ison, we see from his writings that he, too, would have sent forth a Mare 
Liberum, which, in a certain sense, he has done ; both were engaged 
throughout their whole lives in honored literary pursuits that embraced 
many provinces ; there was the same mildness of character and purity 
of domestic life in both. Had Mr. Everett finished his long contem- 
plated work on the Laws of Nations, of which he has given us a fore- 
taste, we should have had a De Jure Belli et Pads, as well as a De 
Veritate and a Mare Liberum. The fortune of the two men was very dif- 
ferent. Imprisonment for life, exile, confiscation, the insatiable hatred 
of Richelieu, the base ingratitude of his adopted country, are the lead- 
ing events in the life of Grotius ; and I am not aware that Mr. Everett 
ever met with discomfiture through life, except a failure to be re- 
elected governor by a single vote ; and I never heard that he had an 
enemy. On the score of speeches, or rather of the elaborate speci- 
mens of what Mr. Adams after Cicero calls demonstrative eloquence, 
there is no comparison, as these are the inventions of the present cen- 
tury. Grotius made his speeches at the bar, and at the bar he did not 
remain much longer than Mr Everett remained in the pulpit. 

And while I am asking, let me add one thing more. The next year 
will be the semi-centennial anniversary of your Convention of 1820. 
That was an extraordinary gathering. Yet the memory of it is almost 
gone. Though I can call up many of the members who composed it, as 
I have no copy of the journal, I cannot tell whether Governor Gore 
was there or not. When a youth I knew the character of Gore, who 
was the colleague of William Pinkney in London as a commissioner 
under the British treaty ; and I knew he lived some eight or ten miles 
out of Boston. And, as I was making a pedestrian tour through Mas- 
sachusetts, I looked, on leaving Boston, at every elderly person I met 
with on the road, hoping to see the fine old man walking into the city, 
as was his wont, from his home at Waltham. Had I met him, mijrht 
I not have ventured to inquire whether William Pinkney did really 


and truly stop chewing and smoking tobacco while he was a commis- 
sioner, or postponed the sacrifice until he became Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary ? I still have my doubts on the subject. But no one should 
undertake the management of such a theme as your great convention, 
without a long notice, and without a deliberate design to do full justice 
to the subject. 

If I seem to lay too great a stress upon this topic, of the lives of men, 
it is because I am convinced that one of the chief elements of patriot- 
ism is the household growth of the names and deeds of their great and 
good men in the hearts of a people. This, more than any thing else, 
constitutes the homogeneity of a commonwealth. The tide of change 
and time and foreign blood is perpetually breaking away the continuity 
between the past and the present ; and we are in constant danger of 
becoming an utterly new people, — a bastard people, — a people that 
know not father or mother, — that saddest and most dangerous of 
things, a people without a past. Now, the affections, if I may so speak, 
are practical ; and, to be in earnest, must fix upon persons, rather than 
things. We think more tenderly and lovingly of a good deed, and so 
of the doer, than we think of a mountain, or a plain, or a stream, or a 
bit of paper, write on it what you will. Thus flesh and blood, though 
long reduced to dust, become reinvested with life, and are made our 
contemporary and friend and counsellor, and, far more than inanimate 
nature, kindle our love, quicken our aspirations, and tend to keep the 
great family, past and present, of the State one and the same. More- 
over, we are told by a high authority, that men who do not celebrate 
the worth of those who preceded them, are not apt to leave any thing 
behind them worthy of remembrance ; and I recall to your recollection 
the sentiment of Tacitus, which I am fond of repeating — contemptu 
famce contemni virtutes, — that we do despite to Virtue herself, when 
we fail to keep alive the memory of those whom she has crowned with 

On my return from Massachusetts in 1867, I was frequently asked 
what struck me most of all that I saw. The field of observation was 
vast indeed. I observed the wonderful increase of your city in the in- 
terval of forty years, of Cambridge, and of the neighboring towns ; your 
public schools with their twenty or thirty thousand pupils ; your col- 
lege with its new halls and overflowing libraries, borrowing fresh youth 
from the centuries ; your private and public structures; the Dowse Libra- 
ry and the Winthrop manuscript; your many valuable institutions, your 
munificent endowments ; your intellectual men and brilliant women and 
sweet children ; the dust of your illustrious dead, reposing amid the 


smoke and strife of the city, or beneath the fragrant airs of Mount 
Auburn ; your unequalled and endless succession of rural villas, which 
looked as if your whole land was keeping holiday ; and many other 
things ; and I was chastened and delighted with them all. Yet there 
were two things, which, in such a harvest of life and art, were almost 
insignificant, but which touched me most of all. The first was the large 
number of lads and lasses in common apparel, who were ranged on the 
benches in the Public Library, quietly awaiting their time to be served 
with fresh books in place of those that had been returned ; a moral 
spectacle, which, as my mind ran over its innumerable antecedents and 
consequents, affected me almost to tears. And the other thing was 
the marble statue of James Otis in the chapel of Mount Auburn. I 
was struck by it just as Benjamin West was struck by the first sight 
of the Apollo Belvidere. I was surprised and delighted to see and 
know that the spirit of the great patriot orator of the North was en- 
shrined in so God-like a form. I shall never forget my indebtedness to 
the kind friend who showed me two such sights. I had never heard 
of the statue of Otis. He was my darling character of the more 
modern colonial New England, as John Winthrop was of the earlier 
time. He stands with us of the South in inseparable union with Pat- 
rick Henry. Then his afflictions and timely death placed him, like his 
compatriot, Josiah Quincy, Jr., by a peculiar and fortunate canoniza- 
tion, beyond the atmosphere of faction, and preserved his lustre unde- 
filed by the passion and the dirt of later times. The beauty of his 
daily life ; his literary accomplishments, which enabled him, not merely 
to draw some vague meaning from a Latin or Greek composition, 
which is too often the bound of the knowledge of many modern law- 
yers, but to enter into all the worth of its structure, and to relish the 
minutest graces of its rhythm, — an art he taught others to acquire in 
his tract on prosody ; his splendid powers of argumentation, his 
vivid eloquence ; his moral heroism ever so conspicuous, his patriotism 
ever so pure ; the treatment of his person on that disastrous day so re- 
volting, and his magnanimity in forgiving it all so majestic ; that cloud 
that came over his lordly intellect when in full blaze and shut him 
out from communion with his kind ; that memorable death, com- 
ing just as his country's independence was achieved and assured and 
soon to be acknowledged by the parent-land, and summoning him 
instantly away, as it were, by a special messenger from the Most 
High, — all these attributes and qualities, which would have imparted 
dignity to the humblest figure, embodied in the noblest, appealed with 
resistless force to my heart. As I gazed upon that statue, I strained 

1869.] JUNE MEETING. Ill 

my ear and my memory to catch the tones of some patriotic harp 
that had hymned its praises, either in the bowers of the University 
which claimed the original as one of its brightest jewels, and in the 
presence of scholars and divines and statesmen, and those merchant- 
princes who so frequently take their coursers from the car of com- 
merce and hitch them to the car of philosophy, or in the retirement 
of the closet, or in its own hallowed temple; but I strove in vain. 
The Muse of Song, if she ever deigned to pause in the presence of 
one of her most skilful worshippers, passed in silence by ; and evet 
since that day I have watched the footsteps of Dr. Holmes and Mr. 
Longfellow more closely than ever. All know the genius of those 
two eminent associates of yours, and their glowing patriotism which 
has sparkled on many a brilliant occasion, and who, in their connection 
with you, handsomely and happily do homage to History, as one of 
the Sacred Nine ; and I have an inward and cheering assurance that, 
though the statue itself may perish by time, or fire, or force, or, like 
our own Washington, be lifted from its pedestal and borne away by 
the invader, posterity, in common with the present generation, will 
behold the reflection of the image of New England's most illustrious 
patriot-orator of the era of the Revolution, in the immortal verse 
of at least two of her greatest poets. How blessed and enrapturing 
is the influence of true poetry ! It embalms and popularizes the sub- 
limest forms of sculpture and art. Even the Apollo has gathered 
new immortality from Childe Harold ; and I never think of the Pres- 
cott Swords, but the pleasing strains of Dr. Frothingham come over 

With an expression of renewed regret that I cannot be with you, 
and with the highest respect for the members of the Society, 
I am, as ever, truly yours, 

Hugh Blair Grigsbt. 

To the Hon. Robert C. TVihthkop, 

Boston, Mass. 

The President recurred to the subject of the approaching 
expiration of the lease of that part of the Society's building 
now occupied by the Savings-Bank, and thought the Society 
should soon take some steps toward an alteration in the build- 
ing, both for a future tenant and for the Society's accommoda- 
tion. Whereupon it was — 

Voted, To refer this whole subject to the Standing Com- 
mittee, with full power. 


The necessity of soon applying to the Legislature for leave 
to hold more real and personal property than the present char- 
ter allows, and of enlarging the number of our members, was 
again alluded to by the President, and it was — 

Voted, To refer the subject last named to a committee, con- 
sisting of Messrs. Clifford, Ellis, Gray, Deane, and Davis, to 
consider the subject, and report to the Society. 

Mr. Parkman, who had recently returned from a visit to 
Europe, alluded to some papers of considerable value which 
he had seen in possession of the Marquis of Montcalm in 
Paris ; and particularly to one letter of some historical sig- 
nificance, supposed to have been written by General Montcalm, 
who fell at Quebec. Mr. Parkman's remarks were substantially 
as follows : — 

During the last spring I had a number of interviews with 
the Marquis of Montcalm at Paris. He informed me that he 
had in his possession among his family papers the corre- 
spondence of his ancestor, General Montcalm, with his rela- 
tives in Prance during the last French war in America. He 
allowed me to examine these papers and have copies of them 
made. They proved to be of great interest and value, consist- 
ing of forty-nine letters, some of them very long, from Mont- 
calm to his mother and sister, besides a considerable number of 
other letters written by persons in immediate connection with 
Montcalm in America. I caused the whole of them to be 

Among these papers was the remarkable letter written by 
Montcalm a short time before his death, in which he prophe- 
sies that the fall of Canada will eventually occasion the revolt 
of the British Colonies. This letter, together with several 
others purporting to be written by Montcalm, was published 
in London by J. Almon during the Revolutionary war.* Its 

* The letter to which special reference is here made purports to have been written by 
General Montcalm to M. de Mole, from Quebec, Aug. 24, 1759. This was three weeks 


authenticity was, it seems, called in question at the time, ana 
has ever since remained in doubt. In course of conversation 
with the marquis, — before he had shown me the papers, — he 
remarked that the personal and military qualities of his an- 
cestor were tolerably well known ; but that he had one quality 
which was not sufficiently recognized, and this was his political 
foresight, which was proved, he added, by one of his letters 
in which he made a remarkable prophecy concerning the 
American Revolution. I told him I knew the letter to which 
lie alluded, as it had been published in England in a small 
volume. He expressed great surprise and interest at this, 
saying that he had never seen the volume or heard of it, 

before the fall of that fortress, which was coincident with the death of General Montcalm, 
and was followed by the surrender of Canada to the British power. 

The letter was first printed, both in French and in an English translation (the pages 
of each made to face those of the other), in 1777, in a small pamphlet, with the following 
title: "Lettres de Monsieur le Marquis de Montcalm, Gouverneur-General en Canada; 
a Messieurs de Berryer & de la Mol*. Ecrites dans les Annees 1757, 1758, & 1759. 
Arec une Version Angloise. * * * ALondres: Chez J. Almon, vis-a-vis de Burlington- 
house, Piccadilly," A corresponding English title follows on the 
opposite page, facing this. Besides the letter to Mol^, the pamphlet contains two letters 
addressed to " M. de Berryer, first Commissioner of the Marine of France," — one written 
in the year 1757, and the other in 1758, — both dated from Montreal. 

In the " Gentleman's Magazine" for July, 1777, at page 342, is a notice of this publi- 
cation, the writer giving an extract from one of the letters, and concluding thus: " The 
whole is worth perusal, and shows that M. de Montcalm was lam Mercurio quam Marti. 
It is proper to add, that the authenticity of the work was lately attacked in the House 
of Lords by Lord Shelburne, but ably defended by Lord Mansfield." This debate 
will be found in the Parliamentary Register (Supplement), vol. vii. pp. 122, 126, 127, 
under the date of May 30, 1777. On the titlepage of a copy of Almon's pamphlet, 
among the Ebeling collection in Harvard-College Library, Mr. Sparks has written: 
" The letters are unquestionably spurious." Of course, these criticisms apply to the 
two letters addressed to Berryer, as well as to the letter to Mole*. 

A French writer, the Abbs' Pierre de Longchamps, in a " Histoire Impartiale des 
Ev^nemens Militaires et Politiques de la Derniere Guerre," &c, published at Amsterdam 
and at Paris in 1785, at vol. i. p. 6, cites an opinion of an eminent Englishman (with- 
out giving his name), expressed during the French war; namely, that Canada was 
the guard of the English Colonies, and he wondered why the ministry wished to conquer 
it. Leading from the reference to this Englishman in the text, the writer has a foot- 
note as follows : " L'auteur anonyme des Lettres imprime'es sous le nom de Montcalm, & 
faussement attributes a ce General. Quoique publiees pour la premiere fois en 1777 
elles avoient e'te composees des 1757. C'est le premier ouvrage ou Ton trouve la revo- 
lution actuelle de l'Amerique pr^dite d'un ton ferme & ses causes clairement enoncees." 

Mr. Sparks, who copied this note of Longchamps upon the titlepage of the copy of 
Montcalm's Letters in the College Library, has written under the note the following: 
" Query. — Were the letters written in 1757 ? " — Eds. 



though he was aware that a part of the letter had been, pub- 
lished by Carlyle in his " History of Frederick the Great." * 
On the following day I called again, by appointment, upon the 
marquis, who had meanwhile arranged his ancestor's papers 
in the order of their dates upon a table for my inspection. 
The letter in question was among them, the ink and paper 
being apparently of the same age with those of the other let- 
ters. The handwriting, however, was different, being neither 
that of the general himself nor of his secretary. The letter 
was evidently a copy written with sufficient care to make it 
distinctly legible. Accompanying it, however, was what 
seemed to be the original draft, written in an exceedingly 
small and almost illegible hand, with many erasures and inter- 
lineations. It was in two columns on a small and soiled sheet 
of paper. Not being aware at the time that the authenticity 
of the letter had been seriously challenged, I cannot say posi- 
tively whether or not the handwriting was that of Montcalm. 
My belief is that it was so, and that the small, cramped let- 
ters corresponded with those which caused so much trouble 
to my copyist in the other papers of the general. Being 
unable from weakness of sight to compare the original draft 
of the letter with the engrossed copy, I directed the person 
whom I employed to transcribe them to do so for me ; making 
a copy of the engrossed letter, and noting on the margin of 
it any variations which might appear in the first draft. As 
he made no such notes I infer that the texts were substantially 
the same. 

Two other letters ascribed to Montcalm were published in 
the London volume in connection with the letter in question. 
Neither of these was to be found among the family papers of 
the marquis. 

Mr. Parkman further stated that he had compared the copy 
of the letter to Mole - procured from the Marquis of Mont- 

* In Volume V. of Harper's edition, at pages 449-451. — Eds. 


calm's papers, with that published by Almon in 1777 ; and 
he had noticed many verbal variations, though both copies he 
believed would be found to correspond in meaning. These 
verbal discrepancies must have arisen, he supposed, from 
alterations made in the letter which was actually sent, from 
the wording of the original draft. The letter, published by 
Almon, we may conclude to have been printed from the des- 
patched letter, which may have been captured by the English 
fleet, and thus diverted from its destination. The two copies 
may be seen below, the corresponding portions, side by side 
on the same page, and on the opposite page the English ver- 
sion as published by Almon. 




[from the pamphlet published bt 

Copie d'une Lettre du Marquis de Montcalm d 
Mons. de Mole, premier President au Parle- 
ment de Paris. 


Lettre de Mr h Marquis de Montcalm, Genaral 
des forces Jrancaises en Amerique d M r Mold 
en 1759. 

Monsieur & cher Cousin, — Me void, 
depuis plus de trois mois, aux prises avec 
Mons. Wolfe : il ne eesse, jour & nuit, de bom- 
barder Quebec, avec une furie, qui n'a gueres 
d'exemple dans le siege d'un place, qu'on veut 
prendre & conserver. II a deja consume par 
le feu presque toute la basse ville, une grande 
partie de la baute est ecrassee par les bombes ; 
mais ne laissa-t-il pierre sur pierre, il ne vien- 
dra jamais a bout de s'einparer de cette capitale 
de la colonie, tandis qu'il se contentera de 1'at- 
taquer de la rive opposee, dont nous lui avons 
abandonne la possession. Aussi apres trois 
mois de tentative, n'est-il pas plus avance dans 
son dessein qu'au premier jour. II nous ruine, 
mais il ne s'enrichit pas. La campagne n'a 
gueres plus d'un mois a durer, a raison du 
voisinage de 1'automne, terrible dans ces pa- 
rages pour une flotte, par les coups de vent, 
qui regne constamment & periodiquement. 

II semble, qu'apres un si heureux prelude, 
la conservation de la colonie est presque assured 
II n'en est cependant rien : la prise de Quebec 
depend d'un coup du main. Les Anglois sont 
maitres de la riviere : ils n'ont qu'a effectuer 
une descente sur la rive, oii cette ville, sans 
fortifications, & sans defense, est situee. Les 
voila en etat de me presenter la battaille, que 
je ne pourrai plus refuser, & que je ne devrai 
pas gagner. M. Wolfe, en effet, s*il entend son 
metier, n'a qu'a essuyer le premier feu, venir 
ensuite a grand pas sur mon armee, faire a 
bout partant sa decharge, mes Canadiens, sans 
discipline, sourds a la voix du tambour, & des 
instrumens militaires, deranges par cet escarre, 
ne scauront plus reprendre leurs rangs. Ils 
sont ailleurs sans bagonettes pour repondre a 
cellea de l'ennemi : il ne leur reste qu'a fuir, & 
me voila, battu sans resource. Voila ma posi- 
tion ! — Position bien facheuse pour un gene- 
ral, & qui me fait passer de bien terribles mo- 
mens. La connoissance que j'en aye m'a fait 

Mon cher Cousin, — Depuis plus de trois 
mois Monsieur Wolf me presse vivement, il ne 
cesse de bombarder nuit et jour Quebec, avec 
un acharnement dont on pourrait a peine citer 
un example dans le siege d'une place que l'en- 
nemi desire de prendre et de garder. L'artil- 
lerie a detruit, quasi en entier, la ville infe- 
rieure, une grande partie de la superieure est 
ruinee par les bombes; mais quand U n'j resterait 
plus pierre sur pierre, les ennemis ne viendront 
jamais a bout de leur dessein, tant qu'ils con- 
tinueront a nous attaquer par le cote que nous 
leur avons abandonne des l'instant de leur de- 
scente. Aussi apres trois mois de siege, ils ne 
sont pas plus avances que le premier jour. 
L'ennemi nous ruine et ne s'enrichit point. La 
campagne ne peut durer gueres plus d'un mois ; 
tant a cause des approches de 1'automne, qui est 
terrible pour une flotte sur ces parages, que 
des vents periodiques qui y soufflent avec la 
plus furieuse impetuosity. II semblerait done 
qu'apres de si heureuse commencements, la 
surety de la colonie n'est plus en danger ; rien 
cependant, n'est moins certain. Le sort de 
Quebec depend d'une seule chose : les Anglais 
sont maitres de la Riviere ; ils n'ont qu'a faire 
une descente du c6te oii la ville est sans de- 
fense, sans fortifications ; ils sont en etat de 
nous presenter la bataille que je ne pourrai re- 
fuser, et que je ne puis esperer de gagner. Le 
General Wolf, s'il entend son metier, n'a qu'a 
supporter notre premier feu, et s'avancer vive- 
ment en faisant une decharge lente et generate, 
mes Canadiens, sans discipline, n'entendant 
point le sou du tambour ni des autres instru- 
ments militaires, excites encore au desordre par 
le carnage ne sauront plus reprendre leurs rangs . 
D'ailleurs ils n'ont point de bayonettes pour 
resister a ceiles de l'ennemi, il ne leur reste 
plus qu'A. fuir, et je serai ainsi totalement de- 

Telle est ma situation, la plus penible pour 
un general et qui me fait, en verite, passer les 
plus cruels moments. La connalssance que 


Copy of a Letter from the Marquis de Montcalm to Mons. de Mole, first 
President in the Parliament of Paris. 

Dear Cousin, — For more than three months has Mr. "Wolfe been 
hanging on my hands : he ceases not, night or day, to bombard Quebec 
with a fury, of which an example can hardly be produced in any siege 
of a place which the enemy wished to take and to preserve. They 
have already destroyed, by their artillery, almost the whole of the 
lower town ; and a great part of the upper is demolished by their 
bombs : but, though they should leave not one stone upon another, 
they will not be able to carry their point, while they content them- 
selves with attacking us from the opposite shore, which we have aban- 
doned to them from the moment of their landing. Yet, after three 
months attempting it, they are no farther advanced in the siege, than 
they were on the first day. The enemy ruins us, but not enriches 
himself. The campaign cannot last above a month longer, on account 
of the approach of autumn, which is terrible to a fleet in these seas ; 
as the winds then blow, constantly and periodically, with a most vio- 
lent and impetuous fury. 

It should seem, then, that after such a happy prelude, the security 
of the colony is not much in danger. Nothing, however, is less cer- 
tain : the taking of Quebec depends on one masterly-stroke. The 
English are masters of the river : they have only to effect a landing in 
that part where the city is situated, unfortified and defenceless. They 
are in a condition to give us battle, which I must not refuse, and which 
I cannot hope to gain. General Wolfe, indeed, if he understands his 
business, has only to receive our first fire, and then advancing briskly 
on my army, and giving one heavy and general discharge, my Cana- 
dians, undisciplined, deaf to the sound of the drum and other military 
instruments, thrown likewise into disorder by the slaughter, would no 
more return to their ranks. Besides, they have no bayonets to make 
their ground good against those of the enemy ; nothing remains for 
them but to run ; and thus I shall be totally defeated. Such is my 
situation — a situation most grievous to a general, and which indeed 
gives me many bitter moments. The confidence I have of this, has 




tenir jusqu'ici sur la defensive, qui m'a reussi ; 
mais reussira-t-elle jusqu'a la fin? Les evene- 
mens en decideront I Mais une assurance que 
je puis vous donner, c'est, que je ne survivrois 
pas probablement a la perte de la colonie. II 
est des situations ou 11 ne reste plus & un gene- 
ral, que de perir aTec honneur : je crois y etre ; 
&, sur ce point, je crois que jamais la poaterite 
n'aura rien a reprocher a ma memoire ; mais 
si la Fortune decida ma Tie, elle ne decidera pas 
de mes sentimens — ils sont Francois, & its le 
seront, j usque dans le tombeau, si dans le tom- 
beau on est encore quelque chose ! Je me con- 
solerai du moins de ma defaite, & de la perte de 
la colonie, par I'm time persuasion ou je suis, 
que cette defaite vaudroit un jour a ma patrie 
plus qu'une victoire, & que le vainqueur en 
s'aggrandissant, trouveroit un tombeau dans 
son aggrandissement meme. 

Ce que j'avance ici, mon cher cousin, vous 
paroitra un paradoxe ; mais un moment de re- 
flexion politique, un coup d'osil sur la situa- 
tion des choses en Amerique, & la verite de 
mon opinion, brillera dans tout son jour. Non, 
mon cher cousin, les hommes n'obeissent qu'i 
la force & a la necessite; c'est-a-dire, que 
quand ils voyent armees devant leurs yeux, un 
pouvoir toujours pret, & toujours sufllsant, pour 
les y contraindre, ou quand la chaine de leurs 
besoins, leur en dicte la loi. Hors de la point de 
joug pour eux, point l'obeissance, de leur part: 
ils sont a eux; ils vivent libres, parcequ'ils 
n'ont rien au dedans, rien au dehors, ne les 
oblige a se depouiller de cette liberte, qui est 
le plus bel appanage, le plus precieuse preroga- 
tive de l'humanite. Voila hommes ! — & sur ce 
point les Anglois, soit par education, soit par 
sentiment, sont plus hommes que les autres. 
La gene de la contrainte leur deplait plus qu'a 
tout autre: il leur fa.ut respirer un air libre & 
degagS; sans cela ils sont hors de leur ele- 
ment. Mais si ce sont la les Anglois de l'Eu- 
rope, c'est encore plus les Anglois de l'Ame- 
rique. Un grand partie de ces colons sont les 
enfans de ces hommes qui s'expatrierent dans 
ces temps de trouble, ou l'ancienne Angleterre, 
en proye aux divisions, etoit attaquee dans ses 
privileges & droits, & allerent chercher en 
Amerique une terre, ou ils puissent vivre & 
mourir libres, & presqu'independants ; & ces 
enfans n'ont pas degenerees des sentimens re- 
jmblicains de leurs peres. D'autres sont des 
hommes, ennemis de tout frein, de tout assu- 
jettissement, que le gouvernement y a trans- 
ports pour leurs crimes. D'autres, enfin, sont 
un ramas de ditferentes nations de l'Europe, 
qui tiennent tres peu a l'ancienne Angleterre 
par le coeur & le sentiment. Tous, en general 
ne se soucient gueres du roi ni du parlement 
d : Angleterre. 

j'en ai m'a toujours fait tenir sur la defensive, 
qui m'a reussi jusqu'a ce moment: en sera-t-il 
de meme jusqu'a la fin ? L'evenement le justi- 
fiera. Soyez au moins certain d'une chose : 
c'est qu'assurement ju ne survlvrai pas a la 
perte de la colonie. II est des positions ou il ne 
reste a un general qu'a mourir avec honneur. 
C'est la ma facon de voir. La posterite n'aura, 
a cet egard, rien a reprocher a ma memoire. 
La fortune, quoiqu'elle decide de ma vie, n'in- 
fluera en rien sur ma facon de penser, qui est 
celle d'un vrai Francais, et qui sera de meme 
jusques au tombeau, la si nous sommes encore 
quelque chose, je me consolerai de ma defaite et 
de la perte de la colonie par la ferme persuasion 
que cette defaite sera un jour plus avantageuse 
a ma patrie que la vlctoire, et que le conque- 
rant, en l'aggrandissant trouvera son tombeau 
dans le pays qu'it aura conquis sur nous. 

Ce que je dis, mon cher cousin, vous semble 
un paradoxe ; mais une seule reflexion poli- 
tique, un seul coup d'oeil sur l'etat actuel de 
FAmerique, et mon opinion est demontree. 
Les hommes, mon cher cousin, n'obeissent qu'a 
la force et a la nficessite. C'est a dire lorsqu'ils 
voienfc devant eux des troupes toujours prettes 
a )es contenir, ou lorsque la chaine des besoins 
les soumet a la loi ; hors de ce cas, ils secouent 
le joug, ils n'agissent que pour eux ; ils vivent 
libres par ce que phisiquement ni moralement, 
rien ne les oblige a eontredire cette liberte, 
l'ornement le plus aimable et la plus belle pre- 
rogative de la nature humaine. 

Observez le genre humain, et vous verrez les 
Anglais sur ce point plus homme que les autres 
peuples. Cette espece de contrainte leur deplait 
plus qu'a tout autres ; ils doivent respirer un air 
libre et sans bornes, sans quoi ils ne se trouvent 
pas en leur 61ement, si c'est la le genie des An 
glais en Europe, ce l'est bien plus en Amerique 
Une grande partie de leurs colons sont les en 
fonts de ces hommes qui abandonnereot 1' Angle- 
terre quand leurs droits et leurs privileges 
furent attaques au milieu des dissentions qui la 
bouleversaient ; ils vinrenfe en Amerique cher- 
cher des terres ou ils pourraient vivre et mourir 
libres et quasi independants. Ceux-ci n'ont pas 
degenere des principes republicains de leurs 
peres. D'autres, ennemis de toute contrainte 
et de toute soumission, sont ceux que le gou- 
vernement y a fait transporter pour leurs crimes ; 
d'autres enfin sont un ramassis de differentes 
nations de l'Europe donfc le coeur n'est point 
anime de grands sentiments pour 1' Angleterre. 
Tous en general ont peu de respect pour le Roi 
ou le parlement d' Angleterre. Je les connais 


induced me always to act on the defensive, which has hitherto suc- 
ceeded ; but will it succeed in the end ? The event must decide. But 
of one thing be certain, that I probably shall not survive the loss of 
the colony. There are situations, in which it only remains to a gen- 
eral to fall with honour: such this appears to me; and on this head, 
posterity shall not reproach my memory : though Fortune may decide 
upon my life, she shall not decide on my opinions — they are truly 
French, and shall be so even in the grave, if in the grave we are any 
thing ! I shall at least console myself on my defeat, and on the loss 
of the colony, by the full persuasion that this defeat will one day 
serve my country more than a victory, and that the conqueror, in 
aggrandizing himself will find his tomb the country he gains from us. 

What I have here advanced, my dear cousin, will appear to you 
paradoxical ; but a moment's political reflection, a single glance upon 
the situation of affairs in America, and the truth of my opinion must 
appear. No, my dear cousin ; it is to force and necessity only, that 
men obey ; that is, when they see armies before their eyes, always 
ready and sufficient to controul them, or when the chain of their neces- 
sities reminds them of the law. Beyond this, they submit to no yoke ; 
they act for themselves ; they live free, because nothing internal or 
external obliges them to throw off that liberty, which is the most 
lovely ornament, and the most valuable prerogative of human nature ! 
Search mankind ; and upon this principle the English, whether from 
education or sentiment, are more men than others. This kind of con- 
straint displeases them more than any other : they must breathe a free 
and unconfined air, otherwise they would be out of their element. But 
if this is the genius of the English of Europe, it is still more so with 
those of America. A great part of these colonists are the children of 
those men who emigrated from England when their rights and privi- 
leges were attacked in that country, which was then torn by dissen- 
sions ; they went in search of lands in America, where they could live 
and die free, and almost independent : these children have not degen- 
erated from the republican principles of their fathers. Others there 
are, enemies to all restraint and submission, whom the government has 
transported thither, for their crimes. Lastly, there are others, a col- 
lection of the different nations of Europe, who hold very little regard 
for England in their hearts and sentiments : all, in general, care very 
little either for the king or parliament of England. 




Je les connois bien, non sur des rapports 
strangers, mais sur des informations & des 
correspondances secrets, que j'ai moi-meme 
menages, & dont un jour, si Dieu me prSte 
vie, je pourrois faire usage a Pavantage de ma 
patrie. Pour surcroit de bonheur pour eux, 
tous ces colons sont parvenu dans un Stat tres 
florissant : ils sont nombreux & riches ; ils re- 
cueillent, dans le seiu de leur patrie, toutes les 
necessites de la Tie. L'ancienne Angleterre a 
ete assez sotte, & assez dupe, pour leur laisser 
6tablir cbez eux les arts, les metiers, les manu- 
factures ; c'est-a-dire, qu'elle leur a laissi bri- 
ser la chaine de besoins, qui les lioit, qui les 
attachoit a elle, & qui en fait dependans. 
Aussi toutes ces colonies Angloises auroient, 
depuis long temps, secoue le joug, chaque pro- 
vince auroit form6 une petite republique inde- 
pendante, si la crainte de Toir les Francois a \ 
leur porte n'avoit «He un frein, qui les avoit 
retenu. Maitres pour maitres ils ont prefere 
leurs compatriotes aux etrangers, prenant ce- 
pendant, pour maxime, de n'obeir que le moins 
qu'ils pourroient ; mais que le Canada Tint a. 
etre conquis, & que les Canadiens & ces colons 
ne fussent plus qu'un seul peuple, & le pre- 
mier occasion, ou l'ancienne Angleterre sembte- 
roit toucher a leurs interets, croiez-vous, mon 
cher cousin, que ces colons obeiroient? Et 
qu'auroient-ils a craindre, en se reToltant? 
L'ancienne Angleterre auroit-elle une armee de 
cent ou de deux cens milles hommes a leur op- 
poser dans cette distance ? II est vrai, qu'elle 
est pourrue de vaisseaux, que les villes de 
l'Amerique Septentrionale, qui sont d'ailleurs 
en tres petit nombre, sont toutes ouvertes, sans 
fortifications, sans citadelles, & que quelques 
vaisseaux de guerre dans le port sufllroient 
pour les contenir dans le devoir ; mais Pinte- 
rieur du pays, qui forme un objet d'un bien 
plus grande importance, qui iroit le conquerir 
a-travers les rochers, les lacs, les rivieres, les 
bois, les montagnes, qui le coupent par-tout, & 
ou une poignee d'hommes connoissans le terrein, 
suffiroit pour detruire de grands armies ? 
D'ailleurs, si ces colons venoient a gagner les 
sauvages, & a les ranger de leur cot£, les An- 
glois, avec toutes leurs flottes, seroient maitres 
de la mer ; mais je ne scais s*ils en viendroient 
jamais a debarquer. Ajoutez, que dans le cas 
d'une revolte generate de la part de ces colo- 
nies, toutes les puissances de l'Europe, enne- 
mis secrettes & jalouses de la puissance de 
1' Angleterre, leur aideroient d'abord sous main, 
& avec le temps ouvertement, a secouer le joug. 

bien, non par les rapports des etrangers, mais 
par des instructions et des correspondances 
secretes que je me suis menage et que je 
ferai servir si Dieu prolonge mes jours a 1'avan- 
tage de ma patrie. Que manque-t-il a leur 
bonheur les planteurs sont parvenus a un 
etat florissant, ils sont nombreux et riches, ils 
trouvent chez eux tout ce qui est necessaire a 
la vie. L'Angleterre a ete assez peu prevo- 
yante pour y laisser introduire les arts, le com- 
merce et les manufactures, par ou elle les a mis 
en 6tat de briser les chaines de la necessity qui 
les contenaient, les liaient a elle, et les mettai- 
ent sous sa dependanee. Les Anglais des colo- 
nies auraient depuis longtemps secoue le joug 
si la crainte des Francais qu'ils voyent a leurs 
portes ne les eut retenus. Maitre pour maitre, 
ils aiment mieux etre soumis a leurs compatri- 
otes qu'a des etrangers, en observant la maxime 
de n'obeir que le moins possible. Mais quand 
le Canada sera conquis, et que les Canadiens et 
ce peuple n'en feront qu'un, a la premiere occa 
sion ou PAngleterre semblera toucher a leurs 
interets, pensez-TOus, mon cher cousin, que les 
colonies Teuillent obeir? et qu'auront-elles a 
craindre d'une revolte ? PAngleterre pourra- 
t-elle enToyer a cette distance une armee de 
cent ou deux cent mille hommes ? il est Trai 
que sa flotte est formidable, que d'ailleurs les 
villes du nord de PAmerique Septentrionale sont 
en petit nombre et sans citadelles ou fortifica- 
tions, et qu'il suffit de peu de gens dans leurs 
ports pour les contenir dans le deToir. Mais 
la partie avancee dans les terres qui forme uu 
objet de la plus grande importance, qui osera 
entreprendre d'en faire la conquete, parmi les 
rocs, les lacs, les forests, et les montagnes qui 
la coupent partout dans tout les sens? et ou 
une poignee de gens suflfirait pour detruire la 
plus grande armee ? Les planteurs attireront 
les sauvages dans leurs interests. Les Anglais 
avec leur flotte seront a la verite les maitres de 
la mer, mais je doute qu'ils puissent jamais 
faire une heureuse descente. Ajoutez que dans 
le cas d'une revolte de quelqu'une de leurs colo- 
nies, les autres puissances d'Europe, jalouses et 
en secret ennemis de la Grande Bretagne, les 
aideront, d'abord en cachette et ensuite pu- 
bliquement, a secouer le joug. II faut que je 


I know them well ; not from the reports of strangers, but from infor- 
mation and secret correspondences, which I myself managed, and 
which, if God spares my life, I will one day turn to the advantage of 
my country. To add to their happiness, the planters have all arrived 
at a very nourishing situation : they are numerous and rich ; they 
centre in the bosom of their country, all the necessaries of life. Eng- 
land has been so foolish and weak, as to suffer them to establish arts, 
trades, and manufactures, and thereby enabled them to break the 
chain of necessity which bound and attached them to her, and which 
made them dependent. All the English colonies would long since 
have shaken off the yoke, each province would have formed itself into 
a little independent republic, if the fear of seeing the French at their 
door had not been a check upon them. Master for master, they have 
preferred their own countrymen to strangers, observing, however, 
this maxim, to obey as little as possible : but when Canada shall be 
conquered, and the Canadians and these colonies become one people, 
on the first occasion, when England shall seem to strike at their in- 
terest, do you believe, my dear cousin, that these colonies will obey ? 
and what would they have to fear from a revolt ? Could England send 
an army of an hundred or two hundred thousand men to oppose them 
at such a distance ? It is true, she possesses a fleet, and the towns 
of North America, besides being few in number, are all open, without 
citadels or fortifications, and that a few men of war in their ports 
would be sufficient to keep them to their duty ; but the interior part 
of the country, which forms an object of much greater importance, 
who would undertake to conquer it, over rocks, lakes, rivers, woods, 
and mountains, which every where intersect it, and where a handful 
of men, acquainted with the country, would be sufficient to destroy the 
greatest armies ? Besides, should the planters be able to bring the 
savages into their interests, the English, with all their fleets, would be 
masters of the sea ; but I doubt whether they would ever make good 
a landing. Add too, that in case of a general revolt, of any part of 
these colonies, all the powers of Europe, secret and jealous enemies 
of the power of England, would at first assist them privately, and then 
openly, to throw off the yoke. 





Je ne puis cependant pas dissimuler que l'an- 

cienne Angleterre, avec un peu de bonne poli- 
tique, pourroit toujours se reserver dans les 
mains une ressource toujours prete pour mettre 
a la raison ses anciennes colonies. Le Canada, 
oonsidere dans lui-meme, dans ses richesses, 
dans ses forces, dans le nombre de ses habitans, 
n'est rien en comparaison du conglobatdes colo- 
nies Angloises ; mais la Taleur, l'industrie, la 
fidelite de ses habitans, y supplie si bien, que 
depuis plus d'un siecle its se battent avec avan- 
tage contre toutes ces colonies : dix Canadiens 
sonfc suffisant contre cent colons Anglois. L'ex- 
perience journaliere prouve ce fait. Si l'an- 
cienne Angleterre, apres avoir conquis le Ca- 
nada scavoit se l'attacher par la politique & les 
bienfaits, & se le eonserver a elle seule, si elle 
le laissoit a sa religion, a ses loix, a son lan- 
gage, a ses coutumes, a son ancien gouverne- 
ment, le Canada, divise dans tous ces points 
i'avec les autres colonies, formeroit toujours un 
pais isole, qui n'enteroit jamais dans leurs in- 
terets, ni dans leurs vue's, ne fut ce que par 
principe de religion ; mais ce n'est pas la la po- 
litique Britannique. Les Anglois font-ils une 
conquete, il faut qu'ils changent la constitution 
du pays, ils y portent leurs loix, leurs cou- 
tumes, leurs fa^ons de penser, leur religion 
meme, qu'ils font adopter sous peine, au moins, 
de privation des charges ; c'est-a-dire, de la pri- 
vation de la quality de citoyen. Persecution 
plus sensible que celle des tourmens ; parce- 
qu'elle attaque l'orgueil & l'ambition des 
hommes, & que les tourmens n'attaquent que 
la vie, que l'orgueil & l'ambition font souvent 
mepriser. En mot, etes-vous vaincu, conquis 
par les Anglois ? — il faut devenir Anglois ! 
Mais les Anglois ne devroient-ils pas com- 
prendre, que les tetes des hommes ne sont pas 
toutes des tetes Angloises, & sur-tout d'esprita? 
Ne devroient-ils pas sentir, que les loix doivent 
etre relatives aux climats, aux moeurs des 
peuples, & se varier, pour etre sage, avec la 
diversite des circonstances? Chaque pays a ses 
arbres, ses fruits, ses richesses particuliers : 
vouloir n'y transporter que les arbres, que les 
fruits d'Angleterre, seroit une ridicule unpar- 
donable. II est de meme des loix, qui doivent 
s'adapter aux climats ; parceque les hommes 
eux-memes tienne beaucoup des climats. 

Mais c'est la une politique que les Anglois 
n'entendent pas, ou plutot ils l'entendent bien, 
car ils ont la reputation d'etre un peuple plus 
pensant que les autres ; mais ils ne peuvent pas 
adopter un tel systeme par le systeme manque 
& defectueux de leurs constitutions. Sur ce 
pied le Canada, pris une fois par les Anglois, 

le dise, avec un peu plus de prevoyance dans 
sa politique, l'Angleterre aurait toujours eu en 
main, de quoi mettre les colons a la raison. 
Le Canada, considere en lui meme pour ses 
richesses, ses forces, et le nombre de ses habi- 
tants n'est rien en comparaison du reste des 
colonies angloises ; mais la valeur, l'industrie, et 
la fidelite de ses habitants supplee si bien au 
nombre, que pendant plus d'un siecle, ils ont 
combattu avec avantage, contre toutes les 
autres colonies. Dix Canadiens valent autant 
que cent colons Anglais. L'experience l'ap- 
prend tout les jours. Si l'Angleterre, apres la 
conquete sait la maniere de se les attacher par 
la politique et la bonte, et les garder pour elle 
seule, si elle leur laisse leur religion, leurs cou- 
tumes, leur langage, et leur gouvernement le 
Canada separe sous tous les rapports, des autres 
colonies, formera un pays distinct qui n'entrera 
jamais dans leurs vues, ne fut-ce que par prin- 
cipes de religion. Mais ce n'est point la maniere 
des Anglais. S'ils en font la conquete, ils 
changeront assurement la constitution du pays, 
et y introduiront leurs lois, leurs coutumes, 
leur maniere de penser, et leur religion ; ce qui 
sera une double peine pour les vaincus. Enfin 
ils les ecarteront de toutes les charges pu- 
bliques, espece de privation des droits de cito- 
yen, persecution plus sensible que les sup- 
plies, parcequ'elle attaque l'orgueil et l'ambi- 
tion des hommes ; tandis que les supplices 
attaquent seulement la vie que l'orgueil et 
l'ambition nous font souvent mepriser. En un 
mot, soyez conquis par les anglais, vous serez 
bientot aoglais. Mais ils devraient se souvenir 
que tous les hommes n'ont pas la tete anglaise, 
et qu'ils en ont encore moins I'esprit. Ne de- 
vraient-ils pas s'apercevoir que les lois doivent 
etre appropriees au climat et aux mceurs des 
peuples, et qu'elles sont prudemment vari- 
ces relativement aux diverses circonstances. 
Chaque pays a ses arbres, ses fruits, et ses ri- 
chesses particulieres. Vouloir transporter ail- 
leurs les arbres et les fruits d'Angleterre seraife 
une folie inexcusable. II en est de meme de 
leurs lois qui doivent etre adaptees au climat, 
parceque les hommes tiennent eux-meme beau- 
coup du climat. C'est la nne espece de poli- 
tique qu'ils n'entendent point, ou, a mieux 
dire, qu'ils entendent tres bien ; car ils passent 
pour le peuple le plus reflechi ; mais que l'im- 
perfection de leur constitution les empeche 

En revenant au Canada: une fois pris par 
les Anglais, il soufErira beaucoup en peu d'an- 


I must however confess, that England, with a little good policy 
might always keep in her hands a resource ready to bring her ancient 
colonies to reason. Canada, considered in itself, in its riches, forces, 
and number of inhabitants, is nothing to compare to the bulk of the 
English colonies ; but the valour, industry, and fidelity of its inhabit- 
ants, so well supply the place of numbers, that for more than an age, 
they have fought with advantage against all the colonies : ten Cana- 
dians are more than a match for an hundred English colonists. Daily 
experience proves this to be fact. If England, after having conquered 
Canada, knew how to attach it to her by policy and kindnesses, and to 
reserve it to herself alone ; if she left them their religion, laws and 
language, their customs and ancient form of government, Canada, sep- 
arated in every respect from the other colonies, would always form a 
distinct country, which would never enter into their views and inter- 
ests, were it only from principles of religion ; but this is not the policy 
of Britain. If the English make a conquest, they are sure to change 
the constitution of the country, and introduce their own law3, customs, 
modes of thinking, and even their religion, which they impose under 
pain, at least, of disqualification to any public office ; that is, depriving 
them of the rights of citizens. — A persecution more sensible than 
that of torments ; because it attacks the pride and ambition of men, 
while torments affect only the life, which pride and ambition often 
make us despise. In a word, are you conquered, conquered by Eng- 
lishmen ? — You must become Englishmen ! But ought not the 
English to remember, that the heads of men are not all the heads of 
Englishmen, and much less their minds ? Ought they not to perceive, 
that the laws should be suitable to the climates and manners of the 
people, and that they should be prudently varied, according to the dif- 
ferent circumstances ? Each country has its peculiar trees, fruits and 
riches ; to transport the trees and fruits only of England thither 
would be an unpardonable folly. It is the same with their laws, which 
ought to be adapted to the climate ; because men themselves derive 
much from climate. 

This is a species of policy which the English do not understand, or 
rather understand it well ; for they have the reputation of being a 
more thinking people than others ; but they cannot adopt such a sys- 
tem, on account of the imperfect and defective system of their own 
constitutions. Upon this account, Canada, once taken by the English, 




pea d'ann£es suffiroient pour le faire devenir 
Anglois. Voila les Canadiens transformed en 
politiques, en negocians, en hommes iniatues 
d'une pretendue liberie, qui chez la populace 
tienfc souvent en Angleterre de la licence, & de 
l'anarchie. Adieu, done, leur valeur, leur sim- 
plicite, leur geoerosite, leur respect pour tout 
ce qui est revetu de l'autorite, leur frugalite, 
leur obeissance, & leur fidelity ; e'est-a-dire, ne 
feroient bien-t&t plus rien pour l'ancienne An- 
gleterre, & qu'ils feroient peut-fctre contre elle. 
Je suis si sur de ce que j'ecris, queje ne don- 
nerai pas dix ans apres la conquete de Canada 
pour en voir l'accomplissement. 

Voila ce que, comme Francois, me console au- 
jourd'hui du danger eminent que court ma 
patrie, de voir cette colonic perdue pour elle ; 
mais, comme general, je n'en ferai pas moins 
tous mes efforts pour le conserver. Le Koi, 
mon maitre, me l'ordonne: U sufflt. Vous 
scavez que nous sommes d'un sang, qui fut 
toujours fidele a ses Rois ; & ce n'est pas a moi 
a degenerer de la vertu de mes ancetres. Je 
vous mande ces reflexions, a-fin que, si le sort 
des armes en Europe nous obligeoit jamais a 
plier & a subir a la loi, tous puissiez en faire 
l'usage, que v6tre patriotisme tous inspirera. 

J'ai l'honneur d'etre, mon cher cousin, 
Tdtre tres humble, &c. 


Du camp devant Quebec, 24 d'Aout, 1759. 

nees pour devenir Anglais, Les Canadiens de- 
viendront des politiques, des marchands, et des 
hommes infatues d'une pretendue liberty qui 
degenere souvent chez la populace anglaise en 
licence et en anarchie- Alors plus de valeur, 
de simplicity, de generosite et de respect pour 
tout ce qui porte rempreinte de l'autorite; 
plus de frugality, de soumission et de fidelite. 
lis vont etre bient6t en discussion et divises 
d'interet avec l'Angleterre. J'en suis si assure 
que je ne donne pour le voir pas plus de dix 
ans apres la conquete du Canada. 

Voila ce qui, en vrai fran^ais, me console du 
danger imminent de perdre la colonic Cepen- 
dant je ferai comme general, tout ce qui sera 
en moi pour la defendre. Le roi, mon maitre, 
me l'ordonne ainsi ; et cela me sufflt. Vous 
savez que nous sommes d'un sang qui a tou- 
jours £te fidele a son autorite, et je ne degene- 
rai pas de cette vertu de mes ancetres. Je vous 
envoie ces reflexions, afin que si jamais le sort 
des armes nous obligeait a ceder et a recevoir 
la loi, vous en fassiez usage de la maniere que 
l'amour de la patrie vous fera paraitre le plus 

J'ai l'honneur d'etre, mon cher cousin, votre 
cher cousin, votre tres-humble et tres-obeissant 


Du camp devant Quebec, 21 Aout, 1759. 

[Wliile the Publishing Committee were preparing these sev- 
eral copies of the Montcalm letter for the press, a careful 
comparison of the English and French copies, as published side 
by side by Almon, was made, when it was soon perceived that 
the English copy could not be regarded as a literal transla- 
tion from that of the French. The same comparison was 
made at the same time with the other French copy recently 
obtained from the papers of the Marquis of Montcalm, and 
with a similar result. The English copy, it was found, could not 
have been translated from either of the French taken separate- 
ly : sometimes it corresponds with one, and sometimes with the 
other. The question then suggested itself to the editor of this 


would, in a few years suffer much from being forced to be English. 
Thus would the Canadians be transformed into politicians, merchants, 
and men infatuated with a pretended liberty, which, among the popu- 
lace in England, sinks often into anarchy and licentiousness. Fare- 
well then to their valour, simplicity, generosity, and respect to every 
thing in the shape of authority ; farewell to their frugality, obedience 
and fidelity : they would soon be of no use to England, and perhaps 
they would oppose her. I am so clear in what I now assert, that I 
would not give more than ten years after the conquest of Canada, to 
see it accomplished. 

See then what now consoles me, as a Frenchman, for the imminent 
danger my country runs of losing this colony ; but, as a general, I 
will do my best to preserve it. The King, my master, orders me to 
do so : that is sufficient. You know we are of that blood, which was 
always faithful to its kings, and it is not for me to degenerate from the 
virtue of my ancestors. I send you these reflections with this view, 
that if the fate of arms in Europe should ever oblige us to bend and 
to receive the law, you may make use of them in such manner as the 
love of your country shall direct you. 

I have the honour to be, my dear cousin, your most humble, &c. 

Camp before Quebec, Aug. 24, 1759. 

volume whether the English copy should not be regarded as the 
original, and the French copies as two independent translations 
from that. Such an hypothesis, of course, suggests another ; 
namely, that the letter is a forgery. The importance, there- 
fore, of ascertaining with certainty, whether the copy seen by 
Mr. Parkman in the possession of the Marquis of Montcalm, 
" on a small soiled sheet of paper," and which " seemed to be 
the original draft " of the French letter, " with many erasures 
and interlineations," was really or not in the handwriting of 
General Montcalm, will be obvious to all. Mr. Parkman kindly 
offered to write to the Marquis on the subject, and the printing 
of the " Proceedings " was accordingly suspended in the mean 


time. The following is the correspondence between Mr. Park- 
man and the Marquis of Montcalm : — 


Boston, Sept. 10, 1869. 

Monsieur le Marquis, — When I had the honor of meeting you 
at Paris, I made mention of a book printed at London during the 
American Revolutionary War, and containing three letters of your 
illustrious ancestor. One of these letters is that in which he predicts 
the revolt of the British- American provinces as likely to follow the fall 
of Canada. There are two copies of this letter among the papers 
which you had the goodness to place in my hands. One of them is 
clearly written, but in a hand different from that of the other letters. 
The other is written on a defaced sheet of paper, in a hand very small 
and difficult to read, with many erasures and interlineations. It ap- 
pears to be the first sketch of this famous letter. It is on this point 
that I wish to gain definite information, and I write in order to inquire 
whether or not it is in the handwriting of the celebrated Marquis. 

I make this inquiry for the following reason : Since my return, I 
have learned that the authenticity of this letter was seriously ques- 
tioned at the time of its publication. It was said, in the British par- 
liament, to have been forged for political reasons. To answer these 
doubts, I produced the copy of the letter made in your house, before 
the Massachusetts Historical Society. I was listened to with much 
interest, and those present agreed that its authenticity was almost cer- 
tain, since a copy of it was found among the family papers of its author. 
But if the original itself were to be found there, the proof would b 
unanswerable. I therefore take the liberty of asking you if thif 
the case, and I shall be greatly obliged to you for any further inform*, 
tion which you can give me on the subject. I have compared the copy 
made for me by M. Jeanne with the printed letter. The ideas are the 
same, but the words are different throughout. As for the other letters 
in the English publication, I found none of them among the papers in 
your possession. They relate solely to the condition of the English 
colonies in America. 

Again thanking you for your extreme kindness, I beg you to accept 
the assurance of the distinguished consideration with which I am, etc., 

Francis Parkman. 


The Marquis of Montcalm to Mr. Parkman.* 

My dear Sir, — On my return to Paris from a journey in Germany 
I found your kind letter of August last. Let me at once ask a thou- 
sand pardons for my long silence, which was caused entirely by my 
absence from France. 

It will be impossible for me to give you any real information as to 
the genuineness of the letter attributed to my great-grandfather. The 
only thing I can distinctly assert is that the copies found among my 
papers are not in his handwriting. They were, I think, sent over from 
England at the end of the last century, and then translated into 
French. This will explain the discrepancy you have noticed. The 
style, however, is that of my grandfather, concise, and a little jerky ; and 
the personal sentiments expressed in the letter agree with those found 
in his other correspondence. I am well aware that this is not enough 
to establish the genuineness of the letter. 

There is a tradition in my family that there exists somewhere in the 
national archives of England, a large number of papers relating to 
the Canada war, probably delivered to the English by a faithless 
secretary after my ancestor's death. Is it not possible that among 
them was the rough draft of the letter addressed to the First President 

* This correspondence was conducted in French, on both sides. The following is the 
original letter of the Marquis of Montcalm : — 

Cest en revenant d'un voyage en Allemagne, Monsieur, que j'ai trouv6 a Paris votre aimable 
lettre du mois d'Aout. Laissez-moi d'abord vous demander mille pardons de mon long silence, dont 
la cause seule est mon eloignement de Trance. 

II me sera difficile de vous donner un enseignement serieux sur ^authenticity de la lettre attri- 
bute a mon arriere-grandpere ; ce que je peux uniquement affirmer c'est que les copies trouvees dans 
mes papiers ne sont pas ecrites de sa main. Biles ont, je crois, 6te envoyees d'Angleterre a la fin du 
dernier siecle, et traduites alors en francais, ce qui explique les differences de termes que vous avez 
remarquees, pourtant le style a bien du rapport avec celui de mon grandpere, concis, un peu 
saccade, et les sentiments personnels qui y sont exprimes sont d'accord avec ceux qu'on trouve dans le 
reste de sa correspondance. Mais cela, je le comprends, ne suffit pas pour etablir une reelle 

La tradition de ma famille est qu'il y a dans les archives nationales anglaises de nombreux papiers 
relatifs a cette guerre du Canada, papiers qui auraient 6te livres aux Anglais, a la mort de mon 
ayeul, par un secretaire infidele. Ne serait-ce pas la qu'on aurait trouve lebrouilion de cette lettre 
adressee au Premier President Mole, ou memo la lettre elle-meme intercepted par quelque 
croisiere anglaise ? En somme, je ne saurais, je le repete, Monsieur, lever les doutes que vous 
pouvez avoir a ce sujet. 

Je suis toujours heureux que cette circonstance me donne l'occasion de vous dire combien 
j'ai ete charme des trop courtes relations que nous avons eues. J'espere que malgreUa largeurde 
PAtlantique eltes se renouvelleront encore, et que je pourrai de vive voix vous exprimer, Monsieur, 
les sentiments de reelle sympathie et de haute consideration avec lesquels, je suis 

Votre tres-humble et tres-obeissant serviteur, 
Paris, le2 Octobre, 1869. MONTCALM 

P.S. — Carlisle, dans l'histoire de Frederic le Grand, a donn6 la lettre en question, et il la cite en 
Frances ; a quelle source a-t-il puis§ le document ? 


Mole, or even the letter itself, intercepted by some English cruiser ? 
After all, I can only repeat that I cannot solve your doubts in the 

I am very glad that this incident has given me a chance to say to 
you that I have had much pleasure in our too short relations ; and to 
express my hope that, notwithstanding the extent of ocean separating 
us, they may at some time be renewed, and I may express in person 
the sentiments of real sympathy and great consideration with which I am 
Your very humble and obedient servant, 

Paris, 2d October, 1869. 

P.S. — Carlyle in his History of Frederic the Great gives the letter 
in question, and cites it in French. Whence did he get the docu- 

The result of this correspondence will not tend to strengthen 
confidence in the genuineness of the letter in question, as it 
appears that neither copy in the Marquis of Montcalm's pos- 
session is in the handwriting of his distinguished ancestor ; 
but both are copies of a later French version made from an 
English copy, procured from England. If Almon's publication 
were the source whence the letter in its English form was 
procured and sent to France at the time mentioned by the 
marquis, the question might be asked, why that which was 
represented to he the French original published side by side 
with it, and which we have reprinted above, did not accom- 
pany it ? 

May we not reasonably conclude that the letter attributed 
to General Montcalm was written originally in English, and 
{hat the general was not its author ? ] 

Note. — There were present at this meeting fifty-one members. Before calling the 
meeting to order, the members were grouped on the steps and the lawn in front of tti« 
house, and were photographed by Black. — Eds.