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1869.] SEPTEMBER MEETING. 143 

to the approaching celebration of the Centennial Anniversary 
of the birth of Alexander von Humboldt, who was at the time 
of his death an Honorary Member of the Society, and sug- 
gested that those who thought of attending should secure seats 
together at the Music Hall, where the address by Professor 
Agassiz, was to be delivered. 



SEPTEMBER MEETING. 

A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held this day, 
Thursday, September 9, at eleven o'clock, a.m. ; Vice-President 
Aspinwall in the chair. 

The record of the last meeting was read. 

The Librarian read the list of donors to the Library for the 
past month. 

The Cabinet-keeper read a list of the donations to the 
Cabinet for the past month. These included a pair of tongs 
once owned by the family of Thomas Hutchinson ; also a war- 
club from the Sandwich Islands, brought thence by Captain 
"William Ballard, of Boston; given by his grandson, Mr. 
William Ballard, of Brooklyn, N.Y., through Mr. John J. May, 
of Boston. 

The Corresponding Secretary read letters of acceptance 
from M. Thiers, of Paris ; and from Mr. William S. Appleton 
and the Rev. Henry M. Dexter, of Boston. 

Mr. Davis spoke of the Montcalm letters which had been 
the subject of a communication from Mr. Parkman at the 
June meeting, in one of which appeared some remarkable 
predictions of historical events in this country, of sufficient 
importance to attract the attention of Mr. Carlyle in his 
"History of Frederic the Great." Mr. Davis said that Car 
lyle was mistaken in supposing, as he seemed to do, that 



144 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

these predictions originated with Montcalm. They undoubtedly 
represented the common belief of all the French and many of 
the English statesmen of that day. As early as 1748, accord- 
ing to Bancroft, it was " announced by reasoning men in New 
York that the conquest of Canada, by relieving the Northern 
colonies from danger, would hasten their emancipation " ; and 
this opinion was published in Europe by a Swedish traveller 
who heard it that year in America. Similar opinions were 
expressed during the negotiations which led to the peace of 
1762, by Choiseul and Vergennes, by William Burke, by the 
anonymous writer of a letter from a gentleman in Guadaloupe, 
and by many others. 

Mr. Deane presented to the "Library, in the name of the 
author, a book of 323 pages in the Spanish language, entitled 
" Historia Secreta de la Mision del ciudadano Norte-Ameri- 
gano Charles A. Washburn, cerca del Gobierno de la Republica 
del Paraguay. Por el Ciudadano Americano, Traductor titular 
(in partibus) de la misma Mision : Porter Cornelio Bliss, B.A." 

Mr. Deane stated some of the circumstances, as commu- 
nicated to him by Mr. Bliss, under which this fictitious narra- 
tive was written by the latter in Paraguay, while in a state of 
duress from the tyranny of Lopez. 



OCTOBER MEETING. 

The stated monthly meeting of the Society was held this 
day, Thursday, October 15, by invitation of our associate, Mr. 
Lawrence, and with the concurrence of the Standing Commit- 
tee, at his house in " Longwood " ; the President, the Hon. R. 
C. Winthrop, in the chair. 

The Recording Secretary read the record of the previous 
meeting.