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Full text of "May Meeting, 1895. Bequests of Dr. George E. Ellis; Confiscated Estates of Boston Loyalists; Letter of Mrs. Lucy Downing; Commemoration at Acton; Letter of Captain Nathaniel Saltonstall; Early Harvard Commencements; Memoir of Rev. George E. Ellis"

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The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 9th instant, 
at three o'clock, P. M. ; the President, Chakles Francis 
Adams, in the chair. 

The record of the Annual Meeting was read and approved ; 
and the Librarian read the list of donors to the Library during 
the last month. 

Rev. Dr. Edward J. Young, Rev. Dr. Alexander McKenzie, 
and Mr. Charles C. Smith were reappointed a Committee to 
publish the Proceedings. 

The Hon. Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, of Boston, was elected 
a Resident Member. 

The deaths of the Hon. Leverett Saltonstall and Mr. Hamil- 
ton A. Hill having been announced, the Hon. John Lowell 
spoke in substance as follows : — 

Mr. President, — I gladly answer to your call to say a few 
words on the occasion of the death of my neighbor for thirty- 
seven years. 

Mr. Saltonstall was known to us all in this Society as a man 
and a gentleman in the highest sense of both these words. 
He was a most manly man, and a most accomplished and 
perfect gentleman. 

At Chestnut Hill, when we went there somewhat less than 
forty years ago, we were in the country, and neighbors were 
possible. In town there are next-door residents, but no 

As a neighbor, Leverett Saltonstall was all and more than 
his general character as known to you would indicate. He 
was ready to forward every good work, to rejoice in our 
successes, and to sympathize readily and truly in our sorrows. 

The great charm which all admit him to have had, was 
owing, as I think, to a certain spontaneous and unaffected 
heartiness with which he met you in all that was of interest to 
you, though of no actual concern to him. In this natural and 
spontaneous characteristic I have known very few persons who 
approached him, though I must except his eldest daughter, who 
died too soon in the lifetime of her father, and who inherited 
this special charm. 


Leverett Saltonstall had a happy and successful life, and 
has left children and grandchildren to uphold the family name 
and the family usefulness and distinction. 

Admirably fitted for public life, he failed to obtain public 
office until it was too late to hope for a long continuance in 
that line. This was owing, from my point of view, to his 
somewhat too absolute dependence upon views which had 
become obsolete, but which he thought that his father, whom 
he justly honored and venerated, would have adhered to if he 
had lived. He thus was thrown a little outside the current of 
thought and political action which prevailed at the time pre- 
ceding the civil war, though during the war he was thoroughly 

When, at last, he was called to fill a public ofiice, we all 
know how admirably he administered its exacting duties, 
showing a power and an aptitude which agreeably surprised 
many even of his friends. No better Collector has held that 
ofiice since its foundation. 

Justly proud of his ancestors, who, from the first settlement 
of Massachusetts Bay to the present time, have been always 
worthy and often eminent citizens of the Colony, the Province, 
and the Commonwealth, he has prepared a book, for private 
circulation, giving the history of his family, which will, I hope, 
be laid on your table at our autumn meeting. 

Our friend was confined to his house and to his room for 
many months, and looked forward with calm and even cheer- 
ful resignation to the event which has now happened. His 
convictions on the subject of death and immortality had long 
been formed upon full study and reflection, and he was well 
assured that death here was but the beginning of life. 

In closing these brief remarks, I will say, as our President 
has said on a recent occasion, the death of a friend leaves a 
void which can never be filled, no matter what other friends 
and interests we may have. I may say, without intending an 
unseemly parody, that we always bear about with us, in the 
body, the death of a friend. 

Rev. Dr. Samuel E. Herkick said : — 

There must be many others here who knew Mr. Hill more 
intimately than I, and who could speak of him more ade- 


quately, though there can be none, I am sure, by whom his 
character was more profoundly respected, or his work more 
heartily appreciated. 

My acquaintance with Mr. Hill for the last twenty-five years 
has been chiefly due to the prominent position which he held 
in the religious communion of which he was a most loyal and 
helpful adherent. It was an interesting coincidence by which I 
discovered, while looking over some old records last Saturday 
afternoon, May 4, 1895, that in the afternoon of May 4, 1845, 
— just fifty years before, and as nearly as possible to the 
hour, — Mr. Hill became a communicant in the Mount Vernon 
church, under the ministry of my venerated colleague and 
predecessor. Dr. Edward N. Kirk. That was twenty-five 
years before I knew much either of him or of the church to 
which he then joined himself. Indeed, before I knew him or 
it, his youth had passed into manhood ; the church had largely 
changed its constituency, owing to the southward movement 
of the population, and he had removed to another quarter of 
the city, and had transferred his parish relations. But it 
shows the forceful and impressive quality of Mr. Hill's social 
and moral character, even as a young man, that long after he 
had severed his connection with the parish, when it was about 
to celebrate the serai-centennial of its foundation two or three 
years ago, Mr. Hill was immediately thought of as the most 
competent person to review that portion of our history with 
which he had been identified. It was a service to which he 
gave himself most cheerfully, and which he performed with 
such characteristic sympathy and service as will preclude any 
necessity of repetition by future annalists. 

It would, of course, be impossible to make the barest men- 
tion at this time of the numerous papers which he read from 
time to time before this Society and other historical and anti- 
quarian bodies. His monumental History of the Old South 
Church is a fine illustration of historic enthusiasm tempered 
by sobriety of judgment; of painstaking accuracy; of candor 
and justice ; of faithful scrutiny and conscientious use of ma- 
terial, and of a vitalizing historic imagination. The work 
which he has left behind him will be not only permanent, but 
of increasing value. 

In speaking of Mr. Hill's personal character, one can hardly 
fail to recognize as prominent, if not predominant, a certain 


quality of British sturdiness, — not obstinacy, though upon 
occasions he was obstinate, rightly and usefully so, — sturdi- 
ness which caused me to remember that, though thoroughly 
American, and loyal to the land of his adoption, he stood in 
the generation of " first remove " from the soil and institutions 
of the mother country. He might have been one of the Ply- 
mouth Pilgrims, or of the first Puritans of the Bay. This 
quality made him a faithful friend, and sometimes a foeman of 
conscientious and unrelenting antipathy. He could be de- 
pended upon equally under either aspect. He was neither 
friend nor enemy in secret. He was open as the day, generous, 
true, straightforward as the light, never swerved, but, if bent 
at all, only in right lines. In religion, in politics, in society, in 
business, in study, or in recreation, our associate was a man to 
be revered, honored, and beloved. More could be said easily, 
but less, not truthfully. 

Rev. OcTAVitrs B. Feothingham said : — 

Mr. President, — I want to say a word about my friend 
Leverett Saltonstall. I call him my friend ; for, though I did 
not see him more than a half dozen times in forty years, when 
I did meet him by chance, his manner was so genial, his greet- 
ing so cordial, the grasp of his hand so warm, that we seemed 
to be intimates. In politics we were very far apart ; but I was 
so sui'e of his essential right-mindedness that any difference 
was overlooked. When I came to Salem in 1847, as minister 
of the North Church, Saltonstall was ti'avelling in Europe ; but 
his family, consisting then of a widowed mother and daughters, 
were members of my Society ; and when he returned he at 
once identified himself with the church, took an interest in all 
its doings, — I recollect his singing bass in the choir, and 
feeling a special concern about the music. 

In my judgment, these were the palmy days of Salem. The 
town within a century passed through three distinct periods : 
first was the commercial period, when the great merchants, 
Derby, Gray, Silsbee, Peabody, Dodge, Pickman, and the 
rest, were sending their great ships round the Cape of Good 
Hope to the Isle of Fx'ance, India, China, Zanzibar, Sumatra, 
Calcutta, Bombay, Batavia, Madagascar, and Arabia. Then 
the Custom House, so melancholy in Hawthorne's time, was 


thronged with visitors ; the wharves, now so dilapidated, 
were piled with merchandise ; the ships lay at their piers 
loaded with sandalwood, spices from the East, rich silks, and 
bearing the costly china which now decorates so many homes. 
All this had passed away ; the great merchants were dead ; 
but their sons and daughters inherited their houses, their gar- 
dens, their estates, and had wealth and leisure for mental 
cultivation. It was, on the whole, the most elegant society 
that I ever saw. The dinners, receptions, suppers, teas, will 
long be in my remembrance. The best books were read ; the 
centre tables were covered with the latest literature ; the 
women were especially distinguished for their grace and 
beauty and refinement. There wei-e the descendants of old 
Governor Endicott, whose lovely manners (like the cannon of 
Napoleon's battles changed into the elegance of the Column 
VendSme in Paris) graced every assembly. Of this circle, 
Saltonstall was one of the charms. His affability, courtesy, 
nobleness of demeanor, frankness of speech, made him wel- 
come everywhere. He is dead now, and his companions are 
either dead or have left the town. To-day Salem is a manu- 
facturing city, with five or six mills where there was one in 
my day, street railroads, and every " modern improvement." 
This period I know very little of, for it was just coming in 
when I went away. 

Saltonstall was always to me the ideal gentleman of this 
world, — not a sage, not a philosopher, not a deep thinker, 
but a real substantial gentleman ; none of your made-up 
figures, prim, dandified, polite, but a real man ; not, per- 
haps, such as old Thomas Dekker describes, — 

" The best of men 
That e'er wore earth about him was a sufferer, 
A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit. 
The first true gentleman that ever breathed." 

Saltonstall was not exactly a gentleman after that pattern ; 
he was not soft or meek, or particularly tranquil in spirit, but 
he was humble after a sort. He never forgot that he was a 
Saltonstall ; he lived in his ancestors, — sunk himself, as it were, 
in his family ; their pictures hung on his walls ; the records of 
their deeds were burning in his memory. They seemed to 
come in whenever he entered the room. He thought not so 
much of himself as of them. Patient he certainly was ; for he 


bore without complaining a painful disorder that affected him 
for years ; and although, in his mind, destiny meant the su- 
preme will of a Heavenly Father, submission to it was none 
the less saintly. There was an edge to his virtues, often 
a pretty sharp one. It is said that he sometimes used an 
oath, but it was never after the fashion of Byron's hero, Jack 
Skyscrape, — 

" Jack was embarrassed — never hero more ; 
And as he knew not what to say, he swore." 

Saltonstall never swore because he did not know what to say, 
but rather because his mind was too full, his feelings were too 
strong to express themselves in ordinary language. He was 
brimming over with moral indignation at perfidy of all kinds, 
— lying, dissimulation, pretence, falsehood. His profanity, if 
he was profane, was always, if we may say so, uttered in a 
good cause, the cause of conscience. 

He should have been a prince, with large estates, horses, 
dogs, beautiful gardens, trees, — of which he was very fond, — 
a numerous tenantry, whom he could befriend ; for he was 
greater than any of these things: he could command them, 
could use them as instruments of his humanity. Very few men 
can bear to be rich ; but he was one of them, and, instead 
of being spoiled by grandeur, would have been ennobled 
by it. 

As I was driving in alone from Chestnut Hill the other day, 
the thought of Saltonstall came into my mind, and through my 
head, all the time that I was thinking of him, these lines of 
Tennyson's would keep singing themselves, — it is Enid's song 
of fortune in the " Idyls of the King." — 

" Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel, and lower the proud ; 
Tnrn thy wild wheel thro' sunshine, storm, and cloud; 
Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate. 

" Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel with smile or frown ; 
With that wild wheel we go not up or down ; 
Our hoard is little, but our hearts are great. 

" Smile, and we smile, the lords of many lands ; 
Frown, and we smile, the lords of our own hands ; 
For man is man, and master of his fate. 

" Turn, turn thy wheel above the staring crowd ; 
Thy wheel and thou are shadows in the cloud ; 
Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate." 


Such was Saltonstall as I knew him. His days of affluence 
were few ; his days of distinction were not many ; but he was 
ever the same brave, high-minded man. 

The Hon. Winslow Warren spoke substantially as 
follows : — 

I can add very little to the admirable delineations of the 
character of Mr. Saltonstall which have been given here to- 
day, and yet I feel that I cannot let this occasion pass without 
a few simple words. 

Leverett Saltonstall was a gentleman by birth, and equally 
so by instinct, — soundly hating all shams and meanness, he 
was vigorous in his expressions and manly in all his dealings. 
He was a Puritan without the asceticism or disagreeable 
qualities of the Puritans. My intimacy with him, while 
largely political, was by no means wholly so ; yet, after what 
has been said here by lifelong friends, perhaps it will be proper 
for me to speak more of the public side of his character, as my 
knowledge of that portion of his career would necessarily be 
somewhat close. 

He never seemed to me wholly fitted for our American poli- 
tics. He had to deal with many men and many things dis- 
tasteful for a man of his nature. He was more than ordinarily 
plain-spoken as to people or measures of which he disapproved, 
and absolutely indifferent to popular applause unless obtained 
by firm adherence to principle; but he had this advantage, 
that his perfectly frank and straightforward manner gained 
for him in a surprising way the respect and good-will of many 
who could hardly appreciate the sincerity of his convictions 
or the integrity of his motives. Called to high official station, 
he performed its duties with rare efficiency and firmness, ele- 
vated the tone of the public service, and retired with the con- 
fidence and respect of all who were brought into connection 
with him, of whatever rank in life. It was a striking testi- 
monial to the hold he had upon the hearts of men, that, among 
his former employes at the Custom House, most of whom 
differed with him in their political views, there was most 
sincere grief at his decease, and that so large a delegation 
attended his funeral at Salem to join in the last sad tribute to 
his memory. 



Though an interested participant in the meetings of this 
Society, I do not think he was a frequent contributor to its 
proceedings ; but none the less was his loss to us a severe one. 
His tastes or his other occupations may not have allowed him 
to take active part in historical investigation and research; but 
his connection with the Historical Society brought to its ser- 
vice those qualities which are ever of advantage to any society, 
— a sound, clear judgment ; the influence of a pure, well- 
rounded, and dignified character ; and the example of a liigh- 
toned, public-spirited citizen. 

The Hon. Charles R. Codman said : — 

I heartily join in the tributes that have been made to the 
manly and gentle qualities of our late associate Leverett 
Saltonstall, and to the loftiness and integrity of his character, 
which so endeared him to all with whom he was associated. 
One thing, however, should be added to what has been so 
well said. 

It was his good fortune to have had the opportunity once in 
his life to perform a great public service. He was among the 
first of the public men of the country to demonstrate the prac- 
ticability of applying the principles of Civil Service Reform in 
conducting an important public office. I do not mean to say 
that the Boston Custom House was a nest of political corrup- 
tion under the rule of the greater number of his predecessors. 
This community has not suffered in that respect as have some 
others. Still it is true that the methods of administration in 
the Custom House, up to the time that Mr. Saltonstall became 
Collector, were not in conformity with the high standards 
demanded by the principles in which he believed. 

Our late associate, whose political opinions debarred him 
from office during the earlier j'ears of his manhood, came at 
last, in the mutations of politics and in the maturer years of 
his life, to hold this important position. It was a great oppor- 
tunity, and he improved it. For the first time in its history 
the place was filled by an avowed Civil Service reformer ; and 
Mr. Saltonstall showed that no political exigencies were strong 
enough to prevent him from living up to his convictions. For 
the first time, in this generation at least, the Custom House 
became in no sense a political machine, and was thus elevated 
in character as well as increased in efficiency. 


This was the notable public service of Mr. Saltonstall, and 
it was so recognized by his fellow-citizens when he retired into 
private life. Others, of course, if they had had the opportun- 
ity, might possibly have done as well ; but none the less is 
honor and credit due to the man who actually performed the 
service, and in so doing refuted the stock argument of the 
spoilsmen, by showing that reforms are not impracticable in 
the hands of men of honor and of force. 

Mr. Saltonstall's administration of the Custom House has 
made the task easier for others who are to follow in carrying 
on the good work in which he was the pioneer. As we recite 
the catalogue of his good deeds, this surely cannot be omitted, 
as there is perhaps none that it would have pleased him more 
to think that his friends and associates remembered and 

Mr. Edward L. Pierce said : — 

My acquaintance with Mr. Hill began twenty-five years ago, 
when we were engaged in a sharp and strenuous controversy 
on a public question. Men are perhaps apt under such cir- 
cumstances to come to a better understanding of each other 
than when they have been in relations only as coadjutors. I 
learned then to respect him as I trust he learned to respect 
me. We have often had friendly intercourse since, abroad as 
well as at home. A month ago we met here, and again the 
same evening at a conference of the Round Table Club, en- 
gaging in conversation in both places. I little thought then 
that we were to meet no more on earth. 

Mr. Hill was eainiest and positive in his convictions, — qual- 
ities befitting one who had passed a part of his early life in the 
atmosphere of Oberlin College, of which his father was treas- 
urer, an institution which has done a good work in promot- 
ing the intellectual, moral, and religious development of the 
West. By his two marriages he was allied to well-known fami- 
.lies of this city, — by the first with the Walley-Phillips family 
distinguished in our history, and by the second with the 
Carruths who have had large business relations with this 

Mr. Hill bore through life the English stamp of character, 
and there is no better. He was most truly an honest man, 
both as a thinker and in affairs. In no remote corner of his 


mind was there a sliade of insincerity or disingenuousness. 
By liis death we part with an associate in whom there was 
no guile. 

Mr. Gamaliel Bbadfoed said : — 

Mr. President, — I suppose my acquaintance with Mr. Hill 
dates back farther than that of any member present, — quite 
forty years ago, — and it has been ever since continued, if not 
intimately, upon a footing of unifoi-m respect. I agree with 
Mr. Pierce, that the strongest impression I received of his 
character was of thorough honesty and sincerity, both intel- 
lectual and moral. His social ambition was high, but based 
upon honorable and elevated principle. I am glad to add my 
testimony to that of Mr. Pierce. 

Mr. Adams, from the Committee appointed at the March 
meeting to consider all questions connected with the bequests 
to the Society by its late President, Dr. George E. Ellis, sub- 
mitted the following report and accompanying resolutions. 
The report was accepted, and each of the votes was separately 
and unanimously adopted : — 

The Joint Committee, consisting of the Council and three 
members of the Society at large, appointed at the March meet- 
ing, to which was referred the general question of the policy 
to be pursued by the Society in dealing with the bequests 
made to it under the will of its late President, the Reverend 
George E. Ellis, have attended to that duty, and report as 
follows : — 

In deciding upon a policy to be pursued in dealing with Dr. 
Ellis's bequests, it is first of all necessary to ascertain the in- 
tent of the testator with a view to paying respectful attention 
thereto. This intent Dr. Ellis indicated in the following 
clauses of his will : — 

" I, therefore, give, devise and bequeath in trust to the Massachusetts 
Historical Society, of which I am now the President, tlie sum of $30,000, 
and also the dwelling-house, numbered 110 Marlboro' St., now owned 
and occupied by me with substantially, that is to say, except as otherwise 
hereinafter provided, all its contents, including library, ornaments, fur- 
niture, &c., therein in perpetuity, and also all policies of insurance on any 


property hereby devised or bequeathed to it in force at my decease. 
This provisiou in my Will is further iudicated and directed by certain 
instructions drawn by me and hereinafter given, which I wish to stand 
as parts of this instrument, addressed to my said Executor as to the dis- 
posal of certain articles in my house, and to said Massachusetts Histori- 
cal Society, declaring the uses, trusts, and purposes on and for which 
the devise and bequests herein made to said Society are made." 

The instructions above referred to are found further on 
incorporated in Dr. Ellis's will, in the form of a direct com- 
munication in these words: — 

" Tenth. To the members of the Massachusetts Historical Society — 
My esteemed associates and friends : 

" I have devised and bequeathed to said Society in this my Will, the 
sum of thirty thousand dollars and also my present dwelling-house in 
Boston, in trust for perpetuity, for uses and purposes such as I will now 

" Perhaps more in the future than at the present time it may be of 
service to the Society to have a place in this part of the City answering 
some of the uses of a Club House confined strictly to members of the 
Society, where Committees may meet in the evening and where indi- 
viduals may at their leisure pursue investigations with such facilities as 
may here be aiforded them. 

" My wish and expectation are that the bequest in money will yield 
sufficient annual income to insure, maintain, and repair the property 
without drawing upon tlie funds of the Society. 

" The property of every kind herein devised and bequeathed to said 
Society is to be under the care, disposal, management, and regulation of 
the Council of the Society for the time being acting as a Committee. 
If they see fit they may allow any officer or member of the Society 
without a family to reside in the house free of rent, he meeting his own 
household charges ; or an employee may be engaged at due compensa- 
tion beyond the privilege of rent of assigned portions of the house. I 
am perfectly willing, indeed I much prefer instead of myself dictating 
minute or even general conditions for the enjoyment and improvement 
of this trust by the Society, to leave all such matters to their discretion, 
good judgment, and appreciation of my single purpose to contribute to 
the welfare, prosperity, and useful resources of an honored fellowship 
in association with which for now nearly half a century I have found 
much good. The Society has my full allowance, and may infer my 
approbation if urgent or reasonable occasion should present itself, to 
dispose of the real estate which is here bequeathed for the purpose of 
an equivalent that may be more convenient and eligible, but the real 


estate which I give the Society liberty to exchange for that which is 
bequeathed must not' require iu its purcliase any portion ot ihe above- 
named sum of thirty thousand dollars, and any money or other things 
received from the sale or exchange of, or insurance on, the property 
hereby devised or bequeathed to said Society, or anything substituted 
therefor, shall be used so far as practicable to rebuild, restore, or replace 
the property sold, exchanged, or insured." 

It will thus be seen that, stated in few words, Dr. Ellis 
bequeathed his house and $30,000 in money to the Society ; 
prefacing the bequest with the suggestion that the house 
should be retained as a sort of up-town club-house, where 
committees of the Society might meet in the evening, and 
where individual members might at their leisure pursue inves- 
tigations ; while the $30,000 additionally bequeathed in money 
would, he thought, provide a sufficient income to maintain 
such a club-house without drawing upon other funds of the 

It will further be observed that Dr. Ellis, throwing this idea 
out as a suggestion of what might possibly be found of use to 
the Society, and carefully introducing it, in a suggestive form, 
with the word " perhaps," then goes on to say that, instead of 
himself dictating minute or even general conditions for the 
enjoyment and improvement of this bequest in trust, he pre- 
ferred, using his own words, " to leave all such matters to the 
discretion, good judgment, and appreciation" of the Society, 
which, he adds, has his " full allowance " and approbation, 
" if urgent or reasonable occasion should present itself," to sell 
the real estate for the purpose of buying an " equivalent in 
real estate elsewhere at some more convenient and eligible 
point"; and he then adds the additional restriction that no 
part of the capital sum of $30,000, also bequeathed to the 
Society, should be invested in the purchase of the equivalent 
real estate, the acquisition of which, through the sale of the 
house, is left in the discretion of the Society; but the income 
of this fund shall be used to maintain or repair either the 
original property or that substituted for it. 

Bearing these instructions of Dr. Ellis in mind, your Com- 
mittee has found itself brought face to face with the question 
of the policy to be hereafter pursued by the Society in the 
matter of a location and abiding-place. This subject has often 


been informally discussed among tlie members of the Society ; 
but, as will presents be seen, the bequest of Dr. Ellis brings it 
vip for the first time in a practical shape, pressing for an early 
decision, though not for immediate action. The application of 
a legacy already received is involved. It is a question of an 
existing investment to be continued, or a new investment to 
be made. 

Forced thus to a consideration of the subject, and looking at 
it in a broad way, it has seemed to your Committee evident 
that the Society could not remain indefinitely where it now is. 
That its present quarters are central is apparent, and no ob- 
jection could on this score be urged against them; but, on 
the other hand, though conveniently placed in some respects, 
the rooms of the Society are high above the street, and can be 
reached only by climbing long flights of stairs ; the nearness 
of this building to the centre of business makes the site better 
adapted and more valuable for commercial than for literary 
purposes ; while the reports of the Committees on the Library 
and the Cabinet, through a series of years, and especially those 
recently made, have dwelt with increasing emphasis upon the 
inadequacy of the space now occupied for the proper preser- 
vation, display, and convenient use of our accumulated pos- 
sessions. Our pictures, stored away as if they were rubbish, 
are seen by no one. Our books and manuscripts are incon- 
veniently placed, hard to be reached, and without adequate 
facilities for examination. Our curiosities are scattered, and 
the space allotted to them is totally inadequate. The diffi- 
culties, moreover, of this character already experienced, will 
of necessity be aggravated in the future. 

Under these circumstances it becomes, in the judgment of 
your Committee, a mere question of time when other and 
more commodious quarters should be provided, adequate to 
present conditions, and the requirements of the oldest and 
most respected historical association in America. The " urgent 
or reasonable occasion," upon the arising of which Dr. Ellis 
expressly provided that the Society had his " full allowance," 
and might infer his " approbation," of the sale of the real 
estate bequeathed to it " for the purpose of an equivalent that 
may be more convenient and eligible," — this very contin- 
gency, thus specifically provided for, has, in the opinion of 
your Committee, presented itself. 


But whenever the Society shall move from its present quar- 
ters and establish itself in others, it will be not merely a 
question of the cost of building a proper fire-proof edifice, 
where the collections of the Society can be kept in absolute 
safety, but also, in addition to this first cost, the increased 
expense of the future maintenance of such quarters must be 
borne in mind. In thus considering the problem in its varioua 
phases, your Committee find that the future financial needs of 
the Society naturally divide themselves under four several 
heads, — 

1. A building fund. 

2. A maintenance fund. 

3. A library fund. 

4. A publishing fund. 

The building fund represents a fixed investment in land and 
the improvements thereon. In the judgment of your Com- 
mittee, an amount of not less than $250,000 will, upon a 
moderate estimate, have to be provided, in order to buy the 
land and construct a building adequate for the needs of the 

Maintenance involves the cost of lighting and heating the 
Society's building, the necessary attendants for it, salaries, re- 
pairs, and all other incidental charges. An income of $10,000 
per annum, or the return on a capital of f250,000, would not 
more than sufiice for these purposes. 

A library fund is necessary to provide additions to the col- 
lections of books, manuscripts, etc., of the Society, and for 
binding the same and keeping them in proper condition. A 
fund of $100,000 would, in the judgment of your Committee, 
supply a reasonably adequate income for this purpose. 

The publishing fund speaks for itself. In the judgment of 
your Committee, the income of $100,000 would be no more 
than a reasonable provision under this head. 

The several funds to be provided would, therefore, be as 
follows : — 

Building fund $250,000 

Maintenance fund 250,000 

Library fund 100,000 

Publishing fund 100,000 



An analysis of the present financial condition of the Society 
shows that, apart from the bequests under the will of Dr. 
Ellis, the following amounts have already either been accumu- 
lated and could be applied on account of these several funds, 
or special or general bequests have been made to the Society, 
which either already have been received, or will come into its 
hands at no very remote day. 

On account of the building fund : — 

One half of the Sibley bequest $75,000 

Four sevenths of the market value of the Society's present 

building, say ... ., 86,000 

Prom the Waterston bequests 10,000 

Historical Trust Fund 8,000 


leaving the sum of $71,000 yet to be supplied on account of 
an adequate building fund. 

For the maintenance fund, the Society already has the fol- 
lowing amounts available, without including in this case also 
the bequest of Dr. Ellis : — 

Historical Society Trust Fund $2,000 

Dowse fund ; 10,000 

Bigelow fund 2,000 

William Winthrop fund (for binding) .... 3,000 

General fund 8,000 

Anonymous fund 1,700 

Amory fund 3,000 

R. C. Winthrop fund 6,000 

Three sevenths of present Society building . . 65,000 


leaving, in round numbers, the sum of $150,000 necessary for 
the completion of this fund. 

In the case of the library fund, the only provision hereto- 
fore made for the purchase of books has been the Savage fund 
of $6,000 leaving $94,000 required on account of it. 

The following provisions have already been made on account 
of the publishing fund : — 



Appleton fund $12,000 

Peabody fund 22,000 

Frothingham fund 3,000 

Lawrence fund 3,000 

Waterston fund (Restricted) 20,000 


leaving 140,000 to be hereafter acquired for the completion of 
this fund to the full amount estimated as necessary by your 

It would accordingly appear that, out of the desired total of 
$700,000, the sum of 1355,000 remains to be accumulated, of 
which there should be : — 

On account of the building fund $71,000 

On account of the maintenance fund . . . 150,000 

On account of the library fund 94,000 

On account of the publishing fund .... 40,000 


The Sibley fund will not be received until after the death 
of Mrs. Sibley. One half of that fund ($75,000) will then be 
available, as above, for building purposes ; the remaining half 
is restricted in its use, and, accordingly, is not included in the 
foregoing estimates. The same is true, so far as restrictions 
are concerned, of a further sum of $10,000 bequeathed by Mr. 

The two essential funds to be provided are those for build- 
ing and for subsequent maintenance. Other funds can wait, 
with a reasonable assurance that, through future bequests, 
adequate provision for them will be forthcoming; but the 
building fund, and the fund for the maintenance of the build- 
ing when finislied, must be provided before construction is 
begun. The first of these funds, that for building, lacks only 
$71,000 of the amount estimated to be necessary ; while the 
second, the maintenance fund, lacks $150,000 of that amount ; 
but in both cases these deficits are exclusive of the bequests of 
Dr. Ellis. Were those bequests applied to these two funds, 
the amounts needed to complete them would at once be 
reduced from $71,000 and $150,000 to $50,000 and $120,000, 
or a deficiency of $170,000 in a total sum of half a million. 


It is to be borne in mind that, beyond the settling on a 
definite polic}', and the making of the more remote arrange- 
ments necessary to carry it out at the proper time, nothing 
in the way of building can possibly be done until the Sibley 
bequests become available ; whilo, on the other hand, judging 
by the more recent experiences of the Society, it would seem 
not unreasonable to hope that, through gifts and bequests, the 
amount ($170,000) needed to complete the two essential funds 
may be forthcoming within the next ten or fifteen years. 

Under these circumstances, it remains to consider the course 
to be pursued in tlie management of the Ellis bequests during 
that time, under the peculiar conditions of the will, and with 
the ends the Society has in view. With the desire of carrying 
out in the most literal manner the suggestions of Dr. Ellis, as 
expressed in his will, the Council has for several weeks past 
kept the Marlborough Street house open, the servants he left 
remaining in charge of it, for the purpose of ascertaining by 
practical test whether any use would be made of it as a club- 
house confined strictly to members of the Society, where com- 
mittees might meet in the evening, and where individuals 
might at their leisure pursue investigations with such facilities 
as might there be afforded them. As a result of so doing, 
your Committee has been forced to the conclusion that the 
Society and its members have no use for an establishment of 
this character. To maintain it permanently, or even for a 
series of years, would be a waste of Dr. Ellis's bequest. We 
cannot but believe that he himself would, on further consider- 
ation, have concurred in this opinion. The purpose of Dr. 
Ellis can, therefore, in the judgment of your Committee, best 
be carried out by availing ourselves of his express permission, 
and, in his own words, " disposing of the real estate " which 
he has bequeathed, " investing the proceeds thereof in an 
equivalent amount of real estate in the judgment of the Society 
more convenient and eligible." 

Acting upon this view, members of your Committee have 
already made somewhat careful inquiry as to what desirable 
real estate might now advantageously be secured for future 
building requirements. As a result, they are satisfied that the 
interests of the Society will be promoted by immediate action. 
Those most competent to form an opinion on the subject now 


believe that the time is not remote when the centre of the 
residence portion of Boston will be in the immediate vicinity 
of the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Massachu- 
setts Avenue, near where the statue of Leif Ericsson now 
stands. So far as the requirements of the Society are con- 
cerned, it is also to be borne in mind as essential, that any 
future building to be erected for its use should be upon a 
central street-railway line, making such a building easily 
accessible to either the residents of the city or those coming 
to it from different directions. Massachusetts Avenue, be- 
tween Boylston Street and Beacon Street, is now the route of 
the principal street-railway communication between the busi- 
ness portions of the city and Cambridge and Brookline. The 
proposed subway will also make this portion of the city imme- 
diately accessible from the north-side stations. For all mem- 
bers residing either west of Boston Common, or in Cambridge 
or Brookline, a Society building somewhere in the vicinity of 
the intersection of Massachusetts and Commonwealth Avenues 
would be, even at the present time, more convenient and 
accessible, besides infinitely better so far as air, light, and 
space are concerned, than the site we now occupy. 

Meanwhile, your Committee is advised that all real estate in 
the portion of the city indicated is not only rapidly appreciat- 
ing in value, but open spaces are being cut up to such an 
extent that the amount of land requisite for a proper building 
for the Society, looking ahead for a century, will soon be diffi- 
cult, if not impossible, to obtain at any price within its means ; 
for it must be remembered that a fire-proof building, two stories 
in height and standing by itself, with open grassed spaces be- 
tween it and all adjacent buildings, with adequate room for 
the collections of the Society and its meetings, — such a 
building would call for a lot of some 12,500 or at least 10,000 
square feet. Your Committee would not recommend a change 
from present quarters until such change could be made in 
a way and on a scale commensurate with the standing of 
the Society. Your Committee has ascertained that several 
areas of this size could now be obtained in the vicinity of 
Boylston Street, Massachusetts Avenue, and Commonwealth 
Avenue, and within two hundred yards of the street-railway 
line. The immediate purchase of one of these areas the Com- 
mittee is prepared to recommend, and it has reason to believe 


that such purchase could be made on terms less disadvanta- 
geous now than hereafter; for, while the Marlborough Street 
house is not likely to increase in value, ^.o vacant land referred 
to almost certainly will. If, therefore, the latter is to be taken 
as the "equivalent" of the former, the exchange should in 
the interests of the Society and of the Ellis bequests be 
promptly made. 

Should the land now be secured, it will be necessary to pay 
taxes upon it and lose interest on its cost until the time, more 
or less remote, when the Society will be ready to build ; but, 
on the other hand, as real estate in a growing portion of the 
city steadily increases in value, these charges will be more 
than off-set. Under these circumstances, your Committee, 
having reached the conclusion that the dwelling recently 
occupied by Dr. Ellis would be of no practical use now or 
hereafter as a Society club-house, recommend that a more eligi- 
ble and desirable site for a future Society building should now 
be purchased, and that the house in Marlborough Street be 
sold and the proceeds of the sale applied, so far as they will 
go, towards payment for this " equivalent." The remainder 
of the purchase money would have to be raised on bond and 
mortgage. The burden thus placed upon the Society would 
be light, while through Dr. Ellis's timely bequest the most im- 
portant future requirement of the Society would once for all 
be adequately provided for. 

Your Committee, therefore, would ask that it be authorized 
forthwith to enter into negotiations for the purchase of a suit- 
able tract of land upon which a future Society building may 
be erected, as near as may be to the pi-esent intersection of 
Commonwealth Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue. They 
would further recommend that the proceeds of the sale of the 
Marlborough Street house be applied fro tanto towards the 
purchase of the land in question. 

They would also, in addition to the foregoing, recommend 
that the money bequest of Dr. Ellis, to wit : 130,000, be set 
aside as an accumulating fund a portion of the income from 
which can be applied to meeting any mortgage interest on the 
land purchased until a building shall be erected ; and, there- 
after, that the income of the entire fund be used for the main- 
tenance of some room or rooms in the building erected, which 
shall be known as the " Ellis Rooms," in which the library 


and other effects bequeathed by Dr. Ellis to the Society shall 
be preserved. And furthermore, your Committee would rec- 
ommend that in planning any proposed building, provision 
should be made so that these rooms may, if desired, be used as 
a club-house, or place where, in the language of Dr. Ellis's 
will, " committees may meet in the evening, and where indi- 
viduals may at their leisure pursue investigations with such 
facilities as may be afforded them." 

The Committee think it not unreasonable to suppose that in 
the lapse of time such facilities may be required, especially in a 
Society building situated more in the residence portion of the 
city. Should this be the case, the bequest of Dr. Ellis will put 
it in the power of the Society to accomplish a very desirable 
result, and, while doing so, to carry out not only in the spirit, 
but almost in the letter, the provisions of Dr. Ellis's will. 

All of which is respectfully submitted, together with the 
accompanying form of votes : — 

Voted, That the Joint Committee consisting of the Council 
and three members at large appointed at the March meeting of 
the Society, be authorized and instructed to take immediate 
steps to carry out the recommendations of the foregoing report 
so far as the bequests of Dr. Ellis are concerned, and to pur- 
chase on behalf of the Society a suitable tract of land to be not 
less than 10,000 feet in extent at such point in the vicinity of 
the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue by Massachusetts 
Avenue as shall seem to the Committee most eligible for a 
future building site for the Society. 

Voted, That the Committee be authorized and directed to 
take immediate steps to effect a sale of the late residence of 
Dr. Ellis, and apply the proceeds thereof when received to- 
wards payment for the building site the purchase of which is 
authorized as above ; and, furthermore, that the President and 
Treasurer be authorized to execute a deed of said real estate 
on behalf of the Society, and to affix thereto its seal, should 
an offer for such real estate be obtained at a price and on 
terms satisfactory to the Committee. 

Voted, That the Committee be instructed to cause the 
library and effects in the house of the late Dr. Ellis to be 
removed either to the present quarters of the Society, or to be 
stored in some secure place, until the same can be made avail- 

1895.] REMARKS BY ME. A. C. GOODELL, JR. 159 

able for the use of the Society in quarters hereafter to be 

Voted, That whenever another building shall be erected for 
the use of the Society as recommended by the Committee, cer- 
tain room or rooms therein shall be designated as the " Ellis 
Rooms," and especial provision made therein for the preserva- 
tion and display of the articles belonging to Dr. Ellis, and by 
him bequeathed to the Society. 

By order of the Committee, 

C. F. Adams, Chairman. 

Mr. A. C. GoODELL, Jr., read the following notice of W. 
Noel Sainsbury, a Corresponding Member : — 

Mr. President, — William Noel Sainsbury, whose name 
stands second on the list of our Corresponding Members, died 
at his home in London, on the ninth of March last, in his 
seventieth year. On the fifth of April I received the tidings 
of his death in a private letter from his daughter. Believing 
that, possibly, you would not have received earlier notice, I at 
once forwarded the letter to you to enable you to make the 
proper announcement at the Annual Meeting ; but you having 
done me the honor to assign that duty to me, it remains for 
me to say the few words that the occasion requires. 

This is neither the time nor the place for an extended biog- 
raphy of the deceased ; nor, in any event, should I presume to 
take a place more appropriate to some one of those of our asso- 
ciates who were familiar with his voice, or have had occasion to 
consult him upon matters of more general interest than are to 
be found in the narrow and obscure field in the exploi-ation 
of which I have so long enjoyed his assistance. 

For more than a quarter of a century I have had occasional 
correspondence with Mr. Sainsbury respecting the action of 
the "home government," — the Privy Council and its com- 
mittees on trade and plantations ; the law officers of the 
Crown ; and the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Planta- 
tions, familiarly knowii as the Board of Trade ; upon colonial 
affairs, particularly upon the legislation of the Province of 
the Massachusetts Bay. In my researches in his department 
I have found him an intelligent, ready, and even enthusiastic 
co-worker, and fully alive to the importance of the contri- 
butions which the great minds of England have made to the 
evolution of our local jurisprudence and our political system. 


It is rather gratifying to the pride of a New Englander 
to know that the minute details of legislation, jurisprudence, 
wars, local diplomacy, and commerce of his own little com- 
munity were subject of deliberate consideration by the politi- 
cal philosophers and others who controlled the government of 
England all through the period of our dependency. The great 
statesmen and lawyers of England, from the days of the Stuarts 
to the time of Mansfield, Pitt, and Burke, found ample scope 
for profoundest study and the exercise of all their ingenuity 
in deciding grave questions of law and public policy, raised by 
the acumen of the political thinkers and law-makers of Massa- 
chusetts. Lord Somers, Sir George Treby, and Sir John Tre- 
vor, Locke, Prior, and Addison, Sir William Jones, Sir John 
Holt, Sir Lionel Jenkins, Sir Simon Harcourt, Sir Edward 
Northe3% Lord Raymond, Godolphin, and Halifax, Lord Hard- 
wicke, Sir Dudley Ryder, and Sir Charles Pratt (Lord Camden), 
Sir Fletcher Norton and Lord Kenyon, and the great untitled 
lawyers, Heneage Finch and Richard West, — either assisted 
in formulating our fundamental law, or regulating our com- 
mercial relations with the mother country, keeping a vigilant 
watch on our local jurisprudence, holding it in due subordina- 
tion to the superior authority of Parliament. 

To this assemblage of great men in aspects nearer and more 
interesting than they appear to us in the law books or even in 
the page of the historian, I was presented by our deceased Cor- 
responding Member in his function of keeper of England's vast 
historical treasure-house, the Public Record Office. This de- 
pository still retains for our use, if we are M-ise enough to avail 
ourselves of it, a mass of the most curious and useful histoi'i- 
cal material, serving to replace our own records, which through 
sheer ignorance and indifference have been suffered to decay 
and disappear, and which to-day, although we are continuing 
them at an annual outlay of half a million dollars, we are 
spending nothing or next to nothing to preserve. 

Mr. Sainsbury's agency in restoring to the descendants of 
English Colonists fragmentary or lost records was not confined 
to this Commonwealth. He has rendered invaluable service in 
the same line to the other States of New England and the Mid- 
dle States, to Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia, to 
the British West India Islands, and to the provinces of the Do- 
minion of Canada. He has been admitted to membership, if I 

1895.] BEMAEKS BY MR. A. C. GOODELL, JR. 161 

am correctly informed, by all the oldest historical societies in at 
least every government in America where the English tongue 
is spoken. In the American Antiquarian Society, I believe, he 
held a higher precedence than he did in ours, being the senior 
foreign member. Of his published historical works, his Calen- 
dars of Colonial State Papers are the chief. Beginning with 
Colonial Series, 1574-1660, published in 1861, and followed 
by the volume embracing East India, China, and Japan, 1513- 
1616 (including the records of the old East India Company) 
which appeared in 1862, he continued the series so as to make 
nine volumes in all. The mere mention here of this work is 
sufficient. His memory is endeared to us chiefly, however, 
for what he has done to aid in the investigations of American 
historians, and for what he has contributed in other ways to 
throw light on our Colonial history. 

It may not be so well remembered that he was the author of 
a historical narrative, founded on the early history of the West 
Indies, bearing the title " Hearts of Oak," which title has been 
assumed for quite a different production. This appeared in 
1870. Besides this and various contributions to art periodi- 
cals, he was the author of " Original Unpublished Papers illus- 
trative of the Life of Sir Peter Paul Rubens," preserved in 
H. M. State Paper Office. This work was commended by the 
London Athenaeum, and by our accomplished Treasurer in the 
" North American Review," in 1859. The Athenseum recently, 
in a brief mention of the book, declared that its great value 
has been fully recognized by Continental writers. 

The falling off of another of our company, which of late has 
been so frequently admonished of the frailty of life that obit- 
uary essays and memorial services have almost excluded the 
regular business for which it assembles in this chamber, is a 
peculiarly painful subject to dwell upon. However, I have 
not shrunk from the duty you assigned me, since I felt that 
our friend deserved some expression of the esteem and grati- 
tude which I am sure is felt for him among historical students 
all over our land, and, moreover, I, who have been so much 
indebted to him, dreaded to incur the reproach which Pope 
uttered against the quondam friends of Montagu, that patron 
of the poets whom I have mentioned as one of the Privy Coun- 
cillors of England, called by his office to take an interest in 
our local affairs, — 



" The love of arts lies cold and dead 
In Halifax's Urn, 
And not one muse of all he fed 
Has yet the grace to mourn." 

Mr. John T. Hassam communicated a list of confiscated 
estates in Boston at the time of the Revolution, and said : — 

The members of the Massachusetts Historical Society are 
doubtless aware that the land on which the Society's building 
now stands was confiscated during the Revolutionary War, as 
the property of a Loyalist, the Rev. Henry Caner, the Rector 
of King's Chapel. His estate is described in the Inven- 
tory taken January 22, 1779, as "A Dwelling House, Barn 
&c. situate in Tree Mont Street near, the Stone Church, with 
the Land & Appurtenances," and it was appraised at jE2550. 
The lot was then two hundred feet from front to rear. The 
entire estate was bought for £750, at private sale, of the 
Committee empowered by the General Court to sell the estates 
of conspirators and absentees. The purchaser was Samuel 
Henly. The deed, dated April 8, 1782, was not recorded until 
September 80, 1798 (Suffolk Deeds, Lib. 177, fol. 82). By 
certain mesne conveyances, the front part of this estate on 
Tremont Street became the property of the Society in 1856 
(Lib. 695, fol. 55). 

The adjoining estate on the North, which now forms part of 
the Boston Museum, was also confiscated. It was the property 
of William Brattle, a Loyalist. 

The estates of Loyalists were sold under an Act passed April 
30, 1779, entitled " An Act to confiscate the estates of certain 
notorious Conspirators against the Government and liberties of 
the inhabitants of the late Province, now State, of Massachusetta 
Bay " ; an Act passed May 1, 1779, entitled " An Act for confis- 
cating the estates of certain persons commonly called Absen- 
tees " ; an Act passed 1780, entitled " An Act to provide for the 
Payment of Debts due from the Conspirators and Absentees, 
and for the recovery of debts due to them " ; an Act in addi- 
tion to that Act ; and under various resolves of the General 

I have compiled, from the records in the Suffolk Registry of 
Deeds, a list of these confiscated estates, giving the date of 
record of the deed, the name of the Loyalist owner and of the 


purchaser at the sale, the Lib. and fol. of the record, and a 
brief description of the confiscated land. These estates are one 
hundred and fifty-nine in number, and they belonged to forty- 
nine different owners. Nineteen parcels of land were taken 
from Governor Hutchinson, the Committee receiving for them 
£98,121 48. 2^d. His mansion-house on the corner of Fleet 
and Hanover Streets brought £33,500. Eighteen parcels were 
taken from Eliakim Hutchinson, of the value of £4386. 
Samuel Sewall lost fourteen pieces of land at £5040 5s. The 
highest price brought by any single estate was £102,000. 
This was paid for dwelling-house and land on both sides of 
Summer Street, belonging to Sir William Pepperell the younger. 
The sum total of all these sales amounted to £529,591 IBs. 
8d. But as the deeds recite that the consideration was paid 
sometimes in " gold and silver," sometimes in " gold or silver 
or its equivalent in paper," sometimes in " specie " or " coined 
specie," sometimes in " lawful silver money," sometimes in 
" specie and paper," sometimes in " specie or its paper equiva- 
lent," sometimes in " lawful money," and sometimes in " Con- 
tinental currency," these figures are very misleading. 

By an Act passed April 9, 1777, and an Act in addition 
thereto, passed October 16, 1778, the Judge of Probate for each 
county was authorized to appoint agents for the estates of 
absentees in such county. The Suffolk County Probate Rec- 
ords contain the following names of absentees : — 

Aldis, Nathan . . . 

Amory, John . . . 
Apthorp, Charles Ward 
Apthorp, Thomas. 
Apthorp, William 

Atkins, Gibbs . . . 

Auchmuty, Robert . 

Bernard, Francis . . 
Birch, William . . . 
Blair, John .... 
Borland, John . . . 
Borland, John Lindall 
Boutineau, James . . 
Bowes, William . . . 
































Brattle, Thomas 
Brindley, George 
Brinley, Thomas 
Burton, William 

Calf, Robert . . 
Canner, Henry . 
Clark, Benjamin 
Coffin, John . . 
Coffin, William . 
Collier, Hannah 
Cunningham, Archibald 

Deblois, Gilbert . . 
Draper, Margaret . . 


1779 16988 

1778 16611 
1779J 17194 

1779 17462 












Faneuil, Benjamin . . . 



Loring, Joshua 



Fisher, Willfret .... 



Loring, Joshua, Jr. 



Plucker, Thoniaa . . . 



Lyde, Edward . , 



Foster, Edward .... 



Gardner, Sylvester . . . 
Gay, Martin . . - . . 
Geyer, Frederick William 
Goldsbury, Samuel . . 



Martin, William . 
McNeil, Archibald 
Minot, Christopher 
Moffatt, Thomas . 



Goldthwait, Joseph . . 



Paddock, Adino . 



Gore, John 



Paxton, Charles . 



Gray, Harrison .... 



Perkins, William L. 



Green, Josepli .... 



Powell, John . . 



Hallowell, Benjamin . . 
Hallowell, Robert . . . 



Price, Elizabeth . 
Procter, Agnes . . 



Hamilton, Col 

Hatch, Nathaniel . . . 



Quincy, Samuel . 



Holmes, Benjamin Mulberr}* 



Richards, Owen . 



Hulton, Henry .... 



Rogers, John . . 



Hutchinson, Eliakim . . 



Hutchinson, Glisha . . . 



Savage, Arthur . 



Hutchinson, Foster . . . 



Scott, Joseph . . 



Hutchinson, Thomas . . 



Sewall, Samuel 



Irving, George .... 
Irving, John 



Simpson, John . . 
Simpson, Jonathan 
Smith, Richard . . 




Misc. Doc. 

Jackson, William . . . 
Jarvis, Robert .... 



Snelling, Jonathan 
Stow, Edward . . 



Jeffries, John 

Jenkins, Peter .... 
Johonnot, Peter .... 
Joy, John 



Taylor, John . . 
Taylor, William . 
Thompson, Robert 
Troutbeck, John . 



Keighly, Edward . . . 
Knutting, William . . . 




Vassell, William . 



Laughton, Henry . . . 


Misc. Doc. 

Walter, William . 



Lechmere, Richard . . . 



Waterhouse, Samuel 



Leonard, George . . . 



Willson, John . . 



Lewis, Ezekiel .... 



Winnett, John, Jr. 



Lillie, Theophilus . . . 



Winslow, Isaac 



Several of these names are not to be found in Sabine's " Loyal- 
ists of the American Revolution" ; and we are able also from 
these records to make a few additions to the names of Loyalists 
in the " Memorial History of Boston," III. 175. 


These lists have been compiled from notes and memoranda 
made by me many years ago, while engaged in making researches 
in the County Records, when those records were not as acces- 
sible as they now are. It is possible, indeed, that further in- 
vestigations and future improvements in methods of indexing 
may bring to light a few more names. But it is not probable, 
however ; and these lists may be considered as practically com- 
plete, so far as the records in these two public offices are 
concerned. In some cases where confiscated estates were ac- 
tually sold, the purchaser failed to record his deed. 

This, with much other material, was collected and laid aside 
until I should have leisure to use it in a long-contemplated 
work.. But as this period of leisure is still remote, and may 
come to me, as it often does to others, too late, I have thought 
it best to put a part, at least, of this material at the disposal of 
historical students and investigators, by making it immediately 
accessible in print. In this way it will he safe from destruction 
and loss, and will be available to others. It illustrates an ex- 
ceedingly interesting and important chapter in the history of 




Date of record. 

Loyalist owner. 





April 27, 1782 

Apthorp, Charles Ward 

Joseph Hail .... 


June 10, 1782 

u (( a 

Edward Smith . . . 



June 22, 1782 

li tl u 

Ephraim Murdock . . 



July 4, 1782 

u tt (( 

Daniel Denni'son Rogers 



July 19, 1782 

it It li 

John Wheelwright . 



July 19, 1782 

a a t( 

it tt 



Sept. 24, 1782 

it C( (( 

Gkizzell Apthorp, ) 

widow, and r . 
Perez Morton ) 



July 30, 1783 

tl It tt 

Andrew Symmes . . . 



March 7, 1786 
June 10, 1786 

(( *t tt 
tt •' 11 

Francis Johonnot, \ 
agent for creditors of / 
Nathaniel Wheel- f " 
WRIGHT, deceased ) 

Samuel Pitts .... 



April 5,1787 

It tt tt 

Nathaniel Greene . . 



Sept. 29, 1783 

Atkins, Gibbs .... 

Thomas Trail .... 



Dec. 31, 1788 

it tt 

Nathaniel Hickman . 



Jan. 1, 1794 

tt tl 

Titus Morgan .... 



Feb. 26, 1780 

AucHMUTY, Robert et al. 

Samuel Clark . . . 






Land and moiety of dwelling-house in Boston, Cole Lane S. W. ; Joseph Hall E. ; 
Samuel Barrett N.; Jonathan Williams W. 

Laud and buildings in Boston, Wings Lane !N. ; Brattle St. E. ; land of Elizi" 
Clark deceased, [formerly] Lillie W. ; John Roulstone S. 

Lands and part of house in Roxbury. 11 A. opposite dwelling-house of the 
late Rev. Mr. Walter, road S. ; said Murdock W. ; heirs of Gov. Dudley N. ; 

said Murdock E. 8 A. near where the old meeting-house stood, road 

N.; John Davis E. ; heirs of John Scott S. ; Ezra Davis W. 2 A., 

said Murdock N. ; John Morrey E. ; town way S. ; WilUam Dudley W. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Beacon St. in front; highway to Beacon Hill 
N.W. ; John Spooner N. and E. 

Land, flats, warehouses and wharf near the South Battery in Boston, Purchase 
St. N.W. ; heirs of Alexander Hunt S. ; the sea E. ; the highway N. 

Laud and dwelling-house in Boston, Atkinson St. E. ; Burry St. S ; Pro- 
prietors of the Irish Meeting House W.; Onesephorus Tileston N. 

One moiety of land and two brick tenements in Boston, Fleet St. N. ; Edward 
Langdon E. ; William and Mercy Stoddard S. ; W. ; S. ; W. ; S. and W. 

Assignment of mortgage Lib. 100 fol. 97. 

Assignment of mortgage Lib. 97 fol. 200. 

Assignment of mortgage Lib. 103 fol. 89. 

One half part of four parcels of land in Roxbdry. 2 A A. ; 17 A. near the 
tide-mill ; 13 | A. woodland; and piece of salt marsh. 

Land and house in Boston, Black Horse LaneN. ; William Clark AV. ; Gibbon 
Sharp S. ; Gibbs Atkins E. 

Land in Boston, Middle St. W. ; Procter's Lane N. ; John and William 
Houston E. ; Thomas Marable S. 

Land with large dwelling-house in Boston, Middle St. E. ; Black Horse Lane 
N. ; Gibbs Atkins W. ; Gibbin Sharp S. 

Land and dwelling-house in Boston, School St. S. ; the town's land W. ; John 

Rowe N. ; Joseph Green E. Garden land near the above. Cook's 

Alley W. ; Leverett Saltonstall N. ; William Powell E.; S. and E. ; Lev- 
erett Saltonstall S. [Description corrected in margin of record.] 




Date of record. 

Apr. 13, 1782 
July 31, 1783 

Aug. 18, 1779 


{continued. ) 

Bernakd, Sir Fkancis 

Jan. 2, 1781 

Sept. 29, 1787 
Aug. 2, 1782 
Feb. 26, 1780 

July 24, 1780 

Feb. 16, 1782 
June 11, 1783 

Feb. 16, 1784 
Nov. 6, 1784 

Loyalist owner. 

JosiAH Waters Jr. 
Increase Sumner 

Martin Brimmer 

a (( (( 

Blair, John .... 
Borland, John . . . 
BouTiNEAU, James et al. 

Bowes, William , 

(( a 

It u 




William Allen 

Victor Blair . . 
William Fallass 
Samuel Clark. . 

Samuel Broome . 

Richard Driver . 
MUNGO Maokky . 

Robert Jenkins . 
James Welch . . 


130 : 
















Discharge of mortgage Fillebrown et al. to Auchmuty dated Feb. 10, 1766. 

6 A, 3 qr. 10 r. land and dwelling-house near the meeting-house in Roxbury, 
the road N. ; Jonathan Davis E. ; S.E. ; and S. ; the lane and Increase 
Sumner W. 

Farm, 50 A., mansion house and barn in Roxbury, highway to Benj. Child 
S.E. ; Jamaica Pond N.E.; Joseph Winchester N.W. ; Samuel Griffin 
and school lands S.W. ; the hill N. ; Samuel Griffin W. ; S.W. ; W. and 

S.W. Wood lot in Roxbury, 12 A. 3 qr. 36 r., Sharp and Williams 

S. ; land of heirs of William Douglas deceased W.; land of heirs of 
Edward Bromfield deceased N. ; land of heirs of Elizabeth Brewer de- 
ceased E. Wood lot in Roxbury, 2 A. 1 qr. 17 r., highway W. ; Capt. 

Baker S. ; John Harris E. ; Mr. Walter N. Salt marsh in Roxbury, 

3 A. 1 qr. , John Williams S. ; creek N.W. ; Robert Pierpoint N. ; creek 
to Dorchester E. 

Land in Dorchester, 25 A. 3 r., road to Point of Dorchester Neck N. ; land 
of town of Dorchester and Richard Withington deceased E. ; said With- 
ington, James Baker, Samuel Blake deceased and James Blake S. ; 

Jonathan [Clap] W. Salt marsh in Dorchester, 2 A. 3 qr., Sir 

Francis Bernard N.; salt marsh of Richard Withington deceased E. ; 
James Blake W. ; the sea S. 

Land and part of dwelling-house in Boston, Purchase St. E. ; Victor Blair 
S. ; W. and S. ; Cow Lane W. ; land of Onesephorus Tilestone deceased N. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Newbury St. W. ; Elizt Durant N. and E. ; 
heirs of Joshua AVinslow deceased S. 

Land and dwelling-house in Boston, School St. S.; the town's land W.; John 

Rowe N. ; Joseph Green E. Garden land near the above. Cook's Alley 

W.; Leverett Saltonstall N. ; William Powell E. ; S. and E.y Leverett 
Saltonstall S. [Description corrected in margin of record.] 

Land and dwelling-house in Boston, Milk St. S. ; land of Old South Church 

W.; Stephen Minot N. ; widow Jones E.;N. and E. Pasture land, 

1 A. 10 r. opposite said dwelling-house. Milk St. N. ; Cole, 

Decoster et al. E. ; heirs of Barnabas Binney etal. S. ; heirs 
of John Greenleaf deceased W. 

Land in Boston, Fitch's Alley W. ; Margaret Phillips N. ; Corn Court E. ; 
Andrew Oliver S. 

One fourth of land, brick distill house and other buildings in Boston, Cam- 
bridge St. N.; George St. E. ; heirs of John Guttridge deceased S. ; 
Belknap St. W. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Wilson's Lane W. ; Dock Square N. ; Arnold 
and Samuel Wells E. ; heirs of Charles Hammock deceased S. 

Land in Boston, Wings Lane N.; Nathan Frazier and heirs of Charles 
Apthorp deceased E. ; said heirs S. ; E. ; S. and W. 





Date of record. 

May 12, 1781 

Sept. 28, 1782 
Sept. 30, 1793 

Aug. 0, 1783 
Mar. 12, 1785 
Feb. 13, 1786 

Feb. 3, 1783 
Oct. 17, 1785 

Feb. 7, 1783 
May 4, 1787 

July 2, 1787 

Feb. 13, 176 

May. 6, 1789 
Mai-. 16, 1782 

Loyalist owner. 

Bkattle, William . 

Brinley, Thomas 
Caneb, Rev. Henry 

Coffin, John . . . 

ti tt 

Deblois, Gilbert . 

it (( 

Draper, Margaret . 
Erving, John . . . 

a tt 

tt It 

tt tt 

Fisher, Wilfobd 



James Allen 

GcsTAVus Fellows . . 

Samuel Henly 

Christopher Clark 

Moses Wallack . 

Edward Jones 

Gilbert Deblois, Jr. 

Ann Deblois, wife of ( 
GiLBliRT Deblois \ 

Richard Devens 

James Lloyd 

John Codman, Jr. . . 

Nathaniel Appleton . 

John Deming . . 

Philip Wentworth . . 






















Land and buildings in Boston, Tremont St. W. ; John Rowe and Henry 
Caner, an absentee, S. ; Nathaniel Holmes E. ; George Bethune N. and 
E. ; John Andrew and heirs of Samuel Pemberton deceased N.; Robert 
McElroy W. and N. ; passageway W. and W. [N.]. 

Land, dwelling-house, distill house and wharf in Boston, Hollis St. S.; heirs 
of Joshua Henshaw deceased W.; low water mai'k. 

Land and dwelling-house in Boston, Tremont St. W ; Chapel Burying 
Ground and heirs of Middlecott Cook deceased S. ; John Rowe E. ; Wil- 
liam Brattle, an absentee, N. 

Land in Boston, Essex St. S. ; Short St. W. ; Joseph Ford E. ; Thomas 
Snow N. 

Laud in Boston, Essex St. S. ; said Wallack W. ; S. and W. ; Blind Lane N. ; 
Thomas Downes and Samuel Bradley E. 

Land in Boston, Essex St. N. ; the sea S. ; sugar house and land of heirs of 
Thomas Child deceased E.; Mary Pitman and heirs of Samuel Brad- 
ley W. ; with flats to low water mark. 

Two thirds of land and brick warehouse in Boston, Coruhill W. ; Spring 
Lane N. ; Stephen Minot E. ; land of Old South Church S. 

Two thirds of land and house in Boston, Common St. W. ; Martha Symmes 
N. ; E. ; N. and E. ; Moses Gill N. ; William Dana E. ; Rawsons 
Lane S. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Newbury St. W. ; heirs of Benjamin Church 
S. and E. ; Josiah Waters Jr. N. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Kilby St., formerly Mackerel Lane, E. ; heirs 
of John Erving deceased N. ; heirs of Samuel Hughes W. ; Joseph Win- 
throp S. 

Land and messuage in Boston, Newbury St. W. ; John Crosby N. ; E. and N.; 
John Soley E. and S. ; passage or alley S. — Land, 14 A., in Walpolk, 
road from Walpole to the sign of the Black Lamb in Stoughtoii N. ; 
Nathaniel Preble S.E.; Philip Bardin S.W. and N.W. 

Land, 14 A., in Walpole, road from Walpole to the sign of the Black Lamb 
in Stoughton N. ; Nathaniel Preble S.E. ; Philip Bardin S.W. and 

Land and messuage in Boston, Newbury St. W. ; John Crosby N. ; E. and 
N. ; John Soley E. and S. ; passage or alley S. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Blind Lane N. ; William Kitchen and heirs 
of Josiah Quincy Jr. W. ; Samuel Hewes S. ; heirs of John Pratt d& 
ceased E. 




Date of record. 

July 2, 1781 
June 22, 1782 
Dec. 12, 1782 

Nov. 21, 1783 

March 2, 1784 
Aug. 7, 1784 
Jan. 7, 1783 
Deo. 13, 1787 

May 12, 1780 

Sept. 24, 1782 
Feb. 11, 1780 
April 4, 1780 

Loyalist owner. 

Foster, Edward 

Gardner, Sylvester 

Gay, Martin 

u u 

Geyer, Frederick ] 

Goldthwait, Joseph 
Gray, Harrison . . 


Thomas Greenough 

William Burbeck ) 
Levi Lane f 

William Coleman ) 
Benjamin Coleman | 

Joseph Gardner . . 

John Boies 

Joseph Henderson 

John Davis 

July 24, 1780 Hallowell, Benjamin 


Timothy Atkins . . . 

Nathan Frazier , 

Perez Morton 

John Stanton ') 
David Devens 
Jonathan Harris] 

Samuel Allen Otis 

Samuel Gardner Jarvis 
























Land and buildings in Boston, Bear Lane, N. ; Middle St. E. ; Theophilus 
Lillie, an absentee, S. ; said Greenough W. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Prince St. or Black Horse Lane N. ; Gibbeon 
Bony E. ; Nathaniel Barber S. ; John and William Freeman W. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Marlborough St. W. ; John Sprague and 
Samuel Partridge S. ; alley between said land and land of John Erving 
E. ; Samuel Partridge N. 

Land in Boston, Marlborough St. E. ; alley S. and E. ; Samuel Dashwood S. 
and E. ; Martin Gay E. ; Winter St. S. ; heirs of William Fisher W. ; 
S. ; W. and S. ; heirs of Henderson Inches S. ; John Williams and land 
of the State W. ; Jon* Cole N. ; John Lucas E. and N. 

Land in Boston, Winter St. N. ; John R. Sigourney W. ; Dr. John Sprague 
S. and E. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Long Lane E. ; Dr. John Sprague S. and E. ; 
Andrew Johonnot S. ; Charles Paxton and Dr. Sprague W. ; said Sprague N. 

Land in Boston, Winter St. S.; Samuel Dashwood E. and N.; Dr. Sylvester 
Gardner, an absentee, W. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Union St. E. ; Philip Freeman S. ; E.; E. and 
S. ; heirs of Benjamin Andrews W. ; N. and W. ; Dorothy Carnes N. and 
W. ; Jeremiah Bumstead N. ; reserving that part of the premises set off to 
Ruth Gay, wife of said Martin Gay. 

Land and house in Boston, Summer St., formerly Seven Star Lane, in front; 
land of First Church S. W. ; John Bowe S. W. ; Benjamin Church, Thomas 

Thayerweather and heirs of Samuel Sewall N.W. Green LaneS.W. ; 

John Welsh S. W. and S.W. ; John Gooch and others S.E. ; James Gooch 
N.E. and N.W. ; John Gooch S.W. and N.W.; James Gooch and others 

S.W. Green Lane S. ; John Welsh W. ; John Gerrish N. ; lane from 

Green Lane to the Mill Pond E. 

One undivided half of land, distill house and other buildings in Boston, 
Pecks Lane W. ; John Osbourn N.; N.W. ; N.E. and N.; Francis 
Johonnot E. ; the sea S. 

Land and two brick dwelling-houses in Boston, Cornhill W. ; land purchased 
by Samuel Allen Otis N. ; E. and N. ; Wilson's Lane E. ; Nathaniel 
Appleton S. 

Land and brick dwelling-house in Boston, Cornhill W.; land purchased by 
John Stanton and others S. ; W. and S. ; AVilson's Lane E. ; Samuel 
Vallentine N. 

Farm, 7i A., and dwelling-house itj Roxbitry, Jamaica Plain N.W. ; road 
by widow Parker's N.E. ; Joseph Williams 8.E.; heirs of Capt. Newell, 
deceased, S.W. 




Date of record. 

Mar. 15, 1782 

Mar. 15, 1782 

July 11, 1781 

Nov. 2, 1782 

May 12, 1781 

Feb. 21, 1782 

June 17, 1782 
Sept. 9, 1782 

Loyalist owner. 

Hallowell, Benjamin 
(continued .) 

Hatch, Nathaniel . . 

Holmes, Benjamin) 
Mulberry | 

HcLTON, Henry . . 

Hutchinson, Eliakim 


John Coffin Jones 

H (( .it 

Samuel Dunn Jr. 

Jeremiah Allen . 

David Cook 








William McNeill > 
Archibald McNeill f 

Edward Compton Howe 

John Read , 







Land and brick dwelling-house in Boston, Hanover St. N. ; heirs of Alexander 
Chamberlain, deceased, and heirs of Miles Whitwoi'th, deceased, W. ; 
land in occupation of Samuel Sumner S. and W. ; said Sumner and 
Joseph Scott, an absentee, S. ; said Scott and heirs of Benjamin Andrews, 
deceased, E. 

Land and dwelling-house in Boston, land purchased by said Jones N. ; Joseph 
Scott E. ; S. and E. ; said Scott and Sampson Mason S. and E. ; Masons 
Court S. ; heirs of Miles Whitworth, deceased, W. 

Land, 60 A., and mansion house in Dorchester, road to Dorchester meeting 
house N. ; Jonas Humphrey, Thomas Wiswall and James Bird E. and S. ; 
John Holbrook S. ; John Williams, Samuel Humphrey and brook between 
Dorchester and Roxbury W. and N. 

One fifth of land and brick house in Boston, Ann St. E. ; heirs of Henry 
Newman, deceased, S. and W. ; Paddy's Alley N. 

Lands in Brooklinb. Land, 5 A., dwelling-house and barn, road S. and W. ; 
Elisha Gardner N". and N.E. ; heirs of Henry Sewall E. and N.E. ; town 

land by the meeting-house E. 5 A., road N. ; town way N. W. ; Sanmel 

Clark E. and S. • Land bounded by same road and town way and by 

land of Elisha Gardner, excepting school-house. 3 A., town way E. 

and S. ; Nehemiah Davis W. and N. 7 A., Samuel Clark E. and' N. ; 

Nehemiah Davis S. ; John Seaver N. and S. ; said Seaver and said town 

way W. 8 A. land, part of 40 A. lot, highway S.E. ; Crafts 

N.E, ; Gardner N. W. ; rest of said 40 A. lot S.W. lOJ A. in 

Sawmill Woods, bounded by lands of Samuel Sewall and Samuel and 
Daniel White. 

Land in Boston, Cow Lane E. ; Howe's ropewalk S. ; W. and S. ; Milk St. 
W. ; Palmer's pasture N. 

Land in Boston, Milk St. N. ; Mr. McNeil E. and S. ; McNeil's ropewalk E. ; 
Cow Lane S. ; ropewalk of Ferister and Torrey W. 

Land, 37 A., in Roxbury, bounded by the road from Roxbury to Dorchester, 
the brook and salt water creek between Roxbury and Dorchester, the 
way to the clay pit and by the lands of John Howes, John Humphrey, 
John Williams, Aaron White, James White, Caleb Williams, Samuel 
Warren, Joseph Clapp, Isaac Williams and Benjamin Williams. Wood- 
land, 13.4., in Roxbury, Elijah Wales S. ; widow Bourne and heirs E. ; 

Noah Davis W. and N. Right of William Shirley Esq. to the clay pits 

above mentioned called the Town of Roxbury clay pits. 23J A. in Rox- 
bury, John Williams N. ; Aaron White, Samuel Cheney, John Hawes, 
widow Warren and heirs of Joseph Warren W. ; Nehemiah Munroe S. ; 

town way from Dorchester brook to Braintree road E. Pasture land, 

19 A., in Roxbury, Daniel Holbrook N. ; Braintree road W. ; James 

AVhite S.W. ; said town way S. and E. 22 A. in Roxbury, said town 

way N. W. ; John Williams and Swan S. ; John Humphrey E. ; 

John Williams N.E. Salt marsh and upland, 20 A., in Roxbury, 

heirs of Benjamin Williams S.W.; town creek between Roxbury and 
Dorchester S.E. ; Joseph Curtis N. 




Date of record. 

Loyalist owner. 





Oct. 4, 1782 

Hutchinson, Eliakim . 

John Lucas } 
Edward Tuckekman J 


March 1, 1783 

'( (( 

Nathan Spear . . . 



April 3, 1783 

It n 

Francis Bigelow . . 



July 12, 1783 

tl it 

Joseph Kussell . . . 



Feb. 18, 1784 

it ti 

Thomas Green . . . 



Aug. 28, 1784 

ti tt 

Thomas Walley. . . 



Dec. 24, 1792 

It tt 

Samuel Emmons Jr. 7 
Victor Blair \ 



May 17, 1793 

(( (( 

Jeffery Richardson . 



Dec. 15, 1795 

(( ti 

tt it 



Apr. 13, 1796 

it (( 

Martin Brimmer . . 



Feb. 25, 1783 

" Foster et al. 

Ebenezer Parsons ) 
Daniel Sargent J ' 



Sept. 25, 1783 

<I u 

John Codman Jr. . . 



Dec. 27, 1779 

" Thomas, Gov. 

Joseph Veasey . . . 





Land in Boston, on Dock Square and Cooper's Alley, bounded by lands of 
Thomas Green, Joshua Blanchard, widow Apthorp, John Newell, William 
Greenleaf, Jonathan Simpson and heirs of Thomas Young. 

Land in Boston, passageway from the Town Dock to Green's wharf W. ; 
Jonathan Williams, William Hyslop, Nathaniel Correy, Alexander Hill, 
heirs of John Gould, of Anthony Stoddard, and of John Walker deceased 
N. ; the end of the wharf E. ; the dock between said wharf and Green's 
wharf S. 

Land in Boston on Milk St., bounded by a passageway and by land of said 
Bigelow, said Hutchinson and Mr. Bourne. 

Land in Boston near Fort Hill, Gridley's Lane S. ; Cow Lane E. ; land of 
Town of Boston and of heirs of Andrew Oliver N. ; Thomas Palmer W. 

Land in Boston, Dock Square S. ; Eliakim Hutchinson W. ; Mr. Blanchard 
N. ; Thomas Green E. ; N. and E. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Cross St. S. ; Thomas Walley W. ; widow 
Holmes N. ; Samuel Ellinwood E. 

Land in Boston, Milk St. and Cow Lane, between a highway and ropewalk 
of Farreter and Torrey. 

Land in Boston, Cow Lane S.E. ; Samuel Emmons N.E. ; Thomas Davis 
S.W. ; extending towards Milk St. N.W. 

Confirmation of above 

Flats and wharf in Boston, Minot's T N. ; flats towards the town W. ; wharf 
and flats of William Davis S. ; the channel E. 

Land and dwelling-house in Boston, Fish St. W. ; passageways N. and E. ; 

land purchased by Thomas Stephenson S. Land and dwelling-house, 

Fish St. W. ; land purchased by John Hancock N. ; Thomas Hutchinson 

E. ; land purchased by John Hotty S. Land, store, block-maker's 

shop and other work places near the above, passageways S. ; W. and E 

Thomas Hutchinson N. Flats, dock, wharf and stores, near the above 

passage W. ; dock N. ; sea B. ; dock S. Flats, dock and wharf adjoin 

ing the above described wharf, John Brick S. ; passageways W. and N. 
dock N. ; the sea E. 

Land, wharf and dock in Boston, Town Dock N. ; heirs of William Clarke 
deceased W.; heirs of Benjamin Andrews S. ; passage from the Town 
Dock to Green's Wharf E. 

Land and dwelling-house in Boston, Fish St. W. ; land purchased by Thomas 
Stephenson N. ; passageway E. ; heirs of William Graves S. 





Date of record. 

July 24, 1780 

Aug 8, 1780 
Feb. 25, 1783 

Feb. 25, 1783 

Mar. 13, 1783 
Oct. 14, 1784 
Sept. 4, 1782 

Mar. 31, 1783 

Loyalist owner. 


(< it 

et al. 


a a 

JoHONNOT, Peter 

Keighly, Edward . 


Samuel Broome 

johx hotty . . 

Ebexezer Parsons 1 
Daniel Sargent 

Ebenezer Parsons 
Daniel Sargean 


Thomas Stephenson 

Enoch Brown 

Ebenezer Seaver 

James Tate 













Land, 43 A. 2 qr. 34 r., in Milton, a back lane E. ; Mr. Ivers and Milton 
River N. ; Stephen Badcook and a brook N.W. ; lane to Stephen Badcock 

S.W. ; road to Milton meuting-house S.E. Land, 33 A. 1 r., mansion 

house and barn in Milton, road to Braintree E. ; heirs of William Bad- 
cock S.E. and S.W. ; road to Milton meeting-house N.W. 14 A. 3 qr. 

3r. in Milton, road to Braintree S.W.; Robert Williams S.E.; heirs of 

William Badcock N.; Milton River N.E. Woodland, 48 A. 1 qr. 9 r., 

in Milton, road by Moses Glover's N.W. : Braintree town line S.E. ; 

John Bois S.W. ; John Sprague N.E. Tillage land, 17 A. 2 qr. 27 r., 

and salt niarsh, 16 A. 14 r. adjoining, in Dorchestkr, lower road from 
Milton bridge to Dorchester meeting-house W. ; Hopestill Leeds N.E. ; 
John Capen and othei-s E. ; Amariah Blake and the river N. ; Ebenezer 

Swift, Daniel Vose and a creek S. Salt, 2 A. 3 qr. 9 r., near 

the Hummucks in Dorchestek, Levi Rounsavel N. ; Robert Swan and 

Madam Belcher S. ; the river W. Salt marsh, 7 A., in Dorchester, 

Billings Creek S. and W. ; Robert Spurr N. ; Henry Leadbettei- S.E. and 

E. One undivided third of 8 A. salt niarsh in Dorchester, held in 

common with Timothy Tucker and Joseph Tucker, Billings Cieek S.; 
Nathan Ford W. Woodland, 33| A. 9r., in Braintkee. 

Laud and dwelling-house in Boston, Fish St. W. ; land purchased by Par- 
sons and Sargeant N. ; passageways E. and S. 

Land and dwelling-house in Boston, Fish St. W. ; passageways N. and E. ; 

land purchased by Thomas Stephenson S. Land and dwelling-house. 

Fish St. W. ; land purchased by John Hancock N. ; Thomas Hutchinson 

E. ; land purchased by John Hotty S. Land, store, block-maker's 

shop, and other work places near the above, passageways S. ; W. and E. ; 

Thomas Hutchinson N. Flats, dock, wharf and stores near the above, 

passat;e W. ; dock N. ; sea E. ; dock S. Flats, dock and wharf adjoin- 
ing the above-described wharf, John Brick S. ; passageways W. and N. ; 
dock N. ; the sea E. 

Land and dwelling-houses in Boston, Fish St. W. ; land purchased by said 
Parsons and Sargeant S, ; passage N. ; passage E. ; land purchased by said 
Parsons and Sargeant S. ; passage W. ; then running W. and S. 

Land and dwelling-house in Boston, Fish St. W. ; land purchased by Parsons 
and Sargent N. ; passage E. ; land purchased by Joseph Veasey S. 

Land and brick dwelling-house in Boston, Middle St. W. ; Fleet St. N. ; 
street from Clark's Square to Fleet St. E. ; Lady Franklin S. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Orange St. E. ; Samuel Pope and Hopestill 
Fosters.; Joseph Lovell and heirs of William Ettridge W. ; Zachariah 
Johonnot N. 

Land and part of house in Boston, Purchase St. S. ; Gridley's Lane E. ; land 

held in common by said Keighly and Tate N. ; said Tate W. Land 

and part of house, Jeremiah Green W. ; said land held in common N. and 

E. ; passageway S. Two undivided thirds of land, Thomas Flucker 

N. ; Gridley's Lane E. ; above-described land and said Tate S. ; Jeremiah 
Green W. 




Date of record. 

Loyalist owner. 




June U, 1783 

Lkchmore, Richard . 

Mungo Mackey . . . 



May 26, 1781 

LiLLiE, Theophilcs 

John Greenough . . 



Aug. 3, 1781 

« a 

Samuel Howard. . . 



Aug. 31, 1779 

LoRiNG, Joshua . . . 

John Keyes .... 



Oct. 28, 1779 

(I ii 

Isaac Sears .... 



Feb. 1, 1782 

a u 

James Swan .... 



Apr. 28, 1783 

(( it 

John Tufts .... 



Nov. 23, 1795 

a (t 

Ellis Gray 



Feb. 21, 1785 

Lyde, Edward . . . 

Nathaniel Byfield Lyde 



Sept. 18, 1783 

Martin, William . . 

John Boson 



Nov. 26, 1782 

McNeil, Archibald . 

Samuel Conant . . . 



Aug. 1, 1782 

Paddock, Adino . . . 

Thomas Bumstead . . 





Land and dwelling-house in Boston, Cambridge St. S. ; Staniford St. W. ; 

passageway N. ; Timothy Newell E. and N. ; Jeremiah Allen E. 

One undivided half of land, brick distill house and other buildings, Cam- 
bridge St. N. ; George St. E. ; heirs of John Guttridge deceased S. ; 
Belknap St. W. 

Laud and buildings in Boston, Middle St. E. ; Samuel Ridgeway S. ; 
Thomas Greenough W. ; Thomas Greeuough and Edward Foster, an 
absentee, N. 

One undivided third of land and large brick dwelling-house in Boston, Sun 
Court St. N. ; Joseph Hemmingway and others E. ; John Leach and 
others S. ; Market Square VV. 

Land, 19 A., mansion house and barn in Roxbury, Joshua Loring N. and 
N.E. ; Lemuel May E. ; Ebenezer Weld S. ; road leading to Dedham W. ; 
then running S., E. and N. on land of John Keyes. 

Farm, 54 A. 3 qr. 9 r., and mansion house in Roxbury, road leading by 
Jamaica meeting-house to Boston W. ; heirs of Mr. Burroughs deceased 
N. and N.W. ; lane N.E.; lane and Capt. May E. ; land of Joshua Lo- 
ring, absentee, now of John Keyes S. 5^ A. salt marsh, creek W. ; 

Mr. Bowdoin S. ; heirs of Joseph Weld deceased E. ; heirs of John Wil- 
liams deceased N. 

Wood or pasture land, 8 A. 31 r., in Beookline, road W. ; Mr. Crafts N.W. 
and N.E. ; Capt. Baker S.E. 

Land and dwelling-house in Boston, common or training-field N.W. ; AVest 
St. N.E. ; David Colson S.E. j heirs or assigns of Dr. George Stewart 

Wood and pasture land, 24J A. 7r., in Roxbury, near Henry Williams; 
Caleb Williams and Mr. Morries S.E. ; Ebenezer Chanies S.W. ; Mr. 
Bourn N.W. and N.E. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Summer St. S. ; Bishop's Alley W. ; heirs of 
Andrew Cunningham deceased N. ; land formerly of John Simpson 
deceased E. 

Land in Boston, Orange St. W. ; Henry Bass N. ; the salt water E. ; James 
Richardson S. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Marlborough St. E, ; land late of William 
Blair Townsend dece.ased S.; William Ireland W. ; William Turner and 

others N. Passageway between the above land, formerly of Timothy 

Batt deceased, and land of the late William Turner and others. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Common St. W. ; land of the Commonwealth 
S. ; heirs of Gillum Tajlor deceased E. and S.; Thomas Gushing E. ; N. 
and E. ; Rawson's Lane N. 




Date of record. 

Jan. 2, 1783 

July 19, 1782 

Nov. 12, 1782 

Aug. 11, 1783 

Dec. 18, 1783 
May 10, 1786 

Dec. 6, 1782 

Loyalist owner. 

Peppekell, Sir William 

Sewall, Samuel 

« u 

a a 

li (( 

John Heath 

Simpson, John > 

Jonathan | 

Snelling, Jonathan . 

Thomas Rdssell 

Edward Kitchen 










John Molineux 7 
William Molineux J ' 

John McLane 

Joseph Barrell . 










Land and dwelling-house in Boston, Summer St. S.; Benjamin Goldthwait 
E. ; heirs of Benjamin Cunningham deceased N.; Samuel Whitwell W. 

Land and buildings, Summer St. N. ; widow Jones W. and N. ; 

Joseph Balch W. ; John Rowe and Thomas Thompson S. ; said Thompson 
W. ; John Rowe S. ; Zachariah Brigdon E. 

Land, 263 A. 1 qr., in Brookline, Thomas Aspinwall E. ; marsh road to 
Charles River N.E. ; Charles River K. ; Thomas Gardner and Moses 

Griggs S. and S.W.-, Solomon Hill S. and S.E. Land, 16 A. 3 qr., 

and half of house in Brookiine on Sherbum Road and the marsh lane, 
bounded by Capt. Cook, Samuel Craft and Elisha Gardner. 

Land and buildings in Brookline. 9 A. 33 r., Sherbum Road S.E. ; a town 

way N.E. ; Mr. Aker N.W. ; a town way S.W. 32 A. 3 r., Daniel 

White and the pound S.W. ; road and Joseph Williams S.E. ; Joshua 

Boylston and William Hyslop N.E. ; Sherbum Road N.W. ISA. 

2 qr. 5 r., Samuel White N.W. ; John Dean S.W. and S. ; a town way 

S.E.; said Dean N.E.; S.E. and S. ; said town way E. ; road N.E. 

59 A. 3 qr. 4 r., Benjamin White and Dr. Winchester N.E. ; Sarah 
Sharp S.W. ; Samuel White and heirs of Justice White S.E. ; Benjamin 

White N.E. ; S.E. and N.E. ; Sherburn Road N.E. 23 A. 3 qr. 33 r., 

Ebenezer Crafts and Caleb Gardner N.W.; said Gardner and Benjamin 
White S.W. ; Moses White S.E.; Benjamin White and Moses White 

N.E.; Moses White S.E.; a town way N.E. 3 A. 28 r., Ebenezer 

Craft S.W.; S.E. and N.E.; the County line N.W. 8 A. 1 qr. 31 r., 

Daniel White N.W.; the County line S.W.; David Cook S.E. ; heirs 

of Ebenezer Davis N.E. 5 A. 2 qr. 38 r., said Craft N.W. ; saw mill 

meadow W. ; William Heath S. and S.E.; Benjamin White and William 

Hammon N.E. 7 A. 2 qr. 32 r., Edward K. Walcott S. and W.; 

Benjamin White 8.; William Acker S.E. ; John Child E.; Charles River 

N. ; Joseph Adams and Daniel White W. 4 A. 26 r., Moses White 

W. ; Esquire White, Ebenezer Craft and a creek S. ; Nehemiah Davis and 
heirs of Caleb Denny S.E. ; the marsh road N. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Newbury St. W. ; Daniel Crosby, John Solely 
and heirs of Benjamin Church deceased S. ; land late of Frederick Wil- 
liam Geyer E. ; Thomas Fairweather, Sampson Reed, John Homands 
and Edward Hollowday N. ; said Sewall W. ; N. ; W. and N. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Newbury St. W. ; said Sewall S. ; E. ; S. and 
E. ; Edward Hollowday N. 

Two undivided thirds of land and buildings in Boston, Summer St. S. ; 
Samuel Whitwell E. ; heirs of Andrew Cunningham deceased N. ; Ed- 
ward Lyde W. Dock Square E. ; Cornhill S. ; John Rowe W. ; Cooper's 

Alley N. Cooper's Alley S. ; Eliakim Hutchinson E. and N. ; William 

Greenleaf W. 

Land and buildings in Boston, King St. S. ; Fitch's Alley E. ; land next herein 

described N. ; Gowen Brown W. Said Brown N. ; Fitch's Alley E. ; 

above de.scribed land S. ; said Brown W. 




Date of record. 

June 16, 1784 
Mar. 19, 1783 

June 11, 1782 
Sept. 25, 1781 

Jan. 8, 1784 

Sept. 27, 1784 
Mar. 4, 1783 

June 15, 1782 

Loyalist owner. 

Snelling, Jonathan 

Stow, Edward . . 

Taylor, John .... 
Vassall, John . . . 

Walter, Kev. William 

Warden, William . . 

WiNSLow, Isaac . . . 

Edward Tyler . 

Benjamin Thomson . 

Nathaniel Fellows 

John Williams 

Isaiah Doane . . 

Leonard Jarvis . 

Christopher Clark 

Ebenezer Crosbey 



















Land and buildings in Boston, Middle St. E. ; David Willis S. and W. ; said 
Willis and Sarah Doubt S. ; George Vincent and John Owen W. ; Kew 
North Alley N. 

Lands and buildings in Boston, Orange St. W. ; heirs of Sutton Boyles de- 
ceased S. ; end of a wharf E. ; said Stow N. Land and shop adjoining 

the above. Orange St. W. ; said Stow S.; the flats E. ; heirs of Thomas 
Thomson N". 

Land and buildings in Boston, Cornhill E. ; William Davis S. ; E. and S. ; 
Joseph Green W. ; heirs of Stephen Boutineau, deceased, N. 

Land, 3^ A., and buildings in Dorchestkr, the high road S. and W. ; Eben- 

ezer and Lemuel Clap N. ; Zebadiah Williams E. JA. South of the 

above, Mr. JeSries E. ; the high road on the other sides. 

Land and buildings in Boston, Tremont St. E. ; heirs of John JefEeries de- 
ceased S. ; heirs of Jeremiah Allen deceased, William Vassall and heirs 
of Joseph Sherburne W. ; William Vassall and land of the old brick 
church N. 

Land and buildings in Boston, South St. W. ; Samuel Quincy, an absentee, 
S. ; Robert Bobbins and heirs of Benjamin Clark, deceased, E. ; Samuel 
Connant N. and E. ; Nathaniel Taylor, an absentee, N. 

Three undivided tenths of dwelling-house and land in Boston, Elizabeth 
Murray W. ; Samuel Hill S. ; said Murray E. ; land of Susanna Heaton 
deceased N. Three undivided tenths of an undivided half of dwelling- 
house and land, Marlboro St. W. ; land late of Nathaniel Wardell deceased 

N. ; John Berry E. ; land above described S. Three undivided tenths 

of an undivided half of land and buildings, Marlboro St. W. ; John Valen- 
tine S.; John Gilbert E. ; Mr. Heaton N. Three undivided tenths of 

an undivided half of land, land late of Thomas Bleigh deceased N. ; 
Bishop's lane or alley E. ; Joseph Gooch S. ; land late of Jabez Eaton 
deceased W. 

Assignment of mortgage Joseph Crosby to Isaac Winslow, dated Aug. 5, 1768. 



Mr. JosiAH P. QuiNCY presented a curious satirical print 
representing Lord North, who, thrown from his horse in an 
imaginary ride from Boston to Salem, fractures the mile-stone 
with which his head comes in contact. It was bought in Lon- 
don in 1775, by the patriot, Josiah Quincy, Jr., and formed 
almost the sole ornament in the college room of his son, after- 
ward President Quincy. 

Rev. Henry F. Jenks communicated an unpublished letter 
from Mrs. Lucy Downing, sister of Governor Winthrop, to her 
daughter Anne, second wife of Governor Simon Bradstreet, 
and said : — 

At the meeting in February I communicated some letters 
from Di'. Isaac Watts to Rev. Dr. Colman, found among the 
early records of the church in Brattle Square, with the state- 
ment that I hoped at a later time to present some other letters 
from the same source. 

About a year ago our late associate, Mr. Hamilton A. Hill, 
whose death we lament to-day, looked over with me the box 
containing those records; and when we came to the letter 
which I hold in my hand we thought that we had made a 
valuable discovery, supposing it, from the superscription, — 
These For my very Loving Daughter M** Anne Bradstreet at 
Boston in New England, — to be addressed to Mrs. Anne 
Bradstreet, daughter of Governor Thomas Dudley, the poetess 
of New England. 

On examination, however, it appeared from the date, two 
years after her death, that we had made a mistake, but that 
we still had an interesting letter, for it was written by her 
mother, Lucy, sister of Governor Winthrop, and widow of 
Emanuel Downing, to the second Mrs. Anne Bradstreet, who, 
as we learn from Savage, was the widow of Captain Joseph 
Gardiner, and married Governor Simon Bradstreet, at the 
time more than thirty years older than herself, June 6, 1676, 
and died, aged 79, April 19, 1713. 

In the third volume of the Winthrop Papers (Collections, 
5th Series, Vol. I.), are about sixty pages of letters from Lucy 
Downing, to which this is an addition. 

Our associate Mr. Robert C. Winthrop, Jr., writes me in 
regard to it : — 

" The letter yon have discovered is probably the latest of hers now 
in existence (she died April 19, 1679, when nearly eighty years old, 


having been born at Groton, Jan. 9, 1600, 0. S.) ; the latest found among 
the Winthrop papers being dated April 17, 1674, four years earlier. 

" The precise date of her husband's death has never been ascertained, 
though there is little doubt that it occurred in Edinburgh in 1659 ; 
so that she was about twenty years a widow. 

" In his introduction to Winthrop Papers, Part III., my father al- 
ludes to the straitened circumstances of her old age, and the stinginess 
to her of her son Sir George, who had become quite rich." 

It will be seen that there is in the letter an allusion to this 

At our last meeting I had intended to communicate this, but, 
expecting that the business of the Annual Meeting would be 
more prolonged, deferred it, by request, until to-day. I men- 
tioned my intention to Mr. Hill, who sat beside me, telling him 
that the letter, though not having the special interest we had 
supposed, was still one of much interest, and added, " You will 
have the chance to hear it at the next meeting." Alas ! that 
chance is not for him ; but I communicate it according to 


May 141' 1678 

Deare Child, — Yo" dated on January 2'' 77 1 received and am very 
glad to heare of yo" good health and abundantly glad of yo^ good Hus- 
band's kind ire, and that ther is so much comeplaticency betwixt you the 
Lord in mercy long continou it 1 am sorey the leter of a Torney was not 
sent sooner last yeare but it was yo"" Bro : Georgs * fait and not myne for 
he did not give it me til the ships were gon as I tould yo" Husband. I 
did not heare til this day that yoF Bro : Georges leters were not gon yet 
and now I heare he will send them tomorow and so I have been all this 
afterrnoon a geting a frend to write yoT Husbands leter for me and there- 
fore I shall only fill yo" w* Comments and Complaints for Inded I 
have been extrordnary weake of my leges all this winter and a very bad 
Cough that gives very litel rest day or night and my Chamber being 2 
paier of bad stayers high I seldom can get doune once in a month nor 
have I so much as Closit either to be privit or to kepe any thing privit 
in : and it is a hard place for coaches y' you can come in to turne their 
coache w"' out giving money whereby I am wholy deprived of seeing 
or going abroad w* my Relations to take the aier some times w* is a 
greater mistife to me then the price of my Chamber and allthough all 
the furnitur of my Chamber be my oune yet yoT sister Peters will not 
abate me one peny of seven pounds a yere for it and 3 pounds a yere 
my mayds wages comes to and Judg you how I can live of twenty 
pounds a yeare for meate drink and Clothes and firing all else and 
inded I have not had one six pence more from [my youjng Lady but 

1 Sir Geo. Downing. 


be not troubled for I cold [illeffible] of this if time were conuencyniy [sic] 
then you [illeffible] bit excep you heard it, but no more of that exept it 
were beter. 1 pray present my servis most affectionately to my sister 
Norton with many thanks to her for her great Civility to her Nephew and 
my Graiisone John Norton. I hope in gods time he will be pleased to 
luable him for his beter servis 1 ame very glad to heare of the well 
fare of all my relations w* you, but I have nither time nor my oune 
pen wherby I can take my oune time to Inlarge to partiqulars therefore 
I must Intreat yo"' selfe as you have oportunity to be myne [?] with 
servis & love to all my relations & freinds w* you y' shall enquier of me 
for I owe a gratfull heart to them all allthough I want ability to expres, 
but I continually participate with them in what I heare of their Condi- 
tions and I hope our mutuall prayers do meete in heaven for each others 
wellfare. jo" sister Peters I supose writs she is very well but her two 
liteler ons that are at home have had the mesels latly and my Lady 
Downing's two yongest daughters Mary & Anne are now in towne and 
have not been this two or three years before & fearing of rouging of them 
by the like distemper although my Lady prefers to send her Coach for 
me when I found myself fitest to goe out yet I have not been there this 
5 months but the Children have all been w* me before the mesels were 
in this house and Inded they are all very handsome well bred Children, 
and my Lady Mary Phenick never sees me but she most affectionately 
inquiers after you & desiers me when I write to present her servis to you 
yo' Nece Cotton hath a daughter & she is big againe but I do not heare 
that yo' Neece Pikering is yet with Child but my Giansone Cotton 
in respect his [Mo]thar is still Living [?] & his Mother in Law still 
a Child bering woman for so [illegible'] evident reasons are so 

[«n« line illeffible^ 
my daughter Pickering's house who is most Richly maTT[illeffible^nd the 
old Lady my Gransones Mothers She is in the house w"" them & the 
tendres M[othe]r of her Daughter-in-Law that can be Immagined I am 
allmost in the mind to goe do[wn] w* them if I can <fc then I cannot 
write one word more but to pray yo"' good helths & beg yo": prayers 
and rest 

Yo" ever Loving Mo 

Lucie Downing. 

Excuse me to John Norton if I live I will write to him next. 

This day I found my Lady Downing but very weake & wears much 
and daily takes the aier in her Coach & wants no meanes that art & 
nature can aford for her Comfort the litel ons Caried me in their Coach 
to hide Park & brought me home again. 

Rev. Edwakd G. Pobtbr communicated an account of a 
visit to Acton on occasion of the recent commemoration of the 
events of April 19, 1775, in substance as follows : — 




Having accepted an invitation from the town of Acton to 
participate in its special observance of the nineteenth of April 
this year, I improved the opportunity to copy the inscrip- 
tions carved upon the three memorial stones which were dedi- 
cated with appropriate ceremonies. 

The weather was exceptionally fine, and from an early hour 
the citizens from all the outlying districts came pouring into 
the town in teams, on bicycles, and on foot. It was a genuine 
old-fashioned celebration, such as we do not see any more in 
our larger towns. It suggested, in some of its features, the 
traditional college Commencement. Enterprising traders had 
pitched their tents around the spacious green, and catered to 
the varied wants of every passer-by. Besides the eatables 
and drinkables, there was an imposing display of dry-goods, 
hardware, and all sorts of " notions." Some of these itiner- 
ants, I noticed, had sold out their entire stock before the 
celebration was over. 

The Acton houses were gayly decorated, — even some of the 
farmhouses in remote parts of the town, — showing the popu- 
lar interest in the observances of the day. At nine o'clock 
some of the military and other guests arrived at the nearest 
station, — about a mile east from the village. The procession 
comprised the Salem Cadet Band, the Isaac Davis Post and 
the Concord Post, G. A. R., the , Dunstable Band and one 
hundred and thirty-five members of the old Sixth Regi- 
ment, M. V. M. 

The first halt was made at the old Robbins farm, about a 
quarter of a mile from Nashoba Brook. Here a boulder, eight 
feet long, and weighing several tons, had been placed by the 
wayside, in front of the cellar-hole of the old house in which 
lived Captain Joseph Robbins. On the face of the stone is 
sunk a deep rough panel, inscribed in large plain letters, as 
follows : — 









The house had two stories in front, with a pitch-roof behind. 
It was painted red, and was said to have been the first painted 
house in the town. It was burned about 1863. The estate 
has descended from father to son for five generations without 
a deed of transfer. I talked with a lady born near by in 
1811, — one of nine children. 

The dedicatory exercises consisted of prayer by Mr. Wood, 
and addresses by Luther Conant, president of the day, and 
Moses Taylor. 

The company then proceeded to the neighboring cemetery, — 
a large and attractive spot, well shaded and well caied for, — 
the old and tlie new in one enclosure. Here, under the flut- 
tering flags, rest more than a hundred Revolutionar}' soldiers, 
— a larger number than can be found in any rural cemetery 
with which I am familiar. This shows the remarkable sta- 
bility of the population of Acton. Her sons have generally 
chosen to remain on the ancestral acres. Here they have 
lived and here they have died, — a homogeneous, industrious, 
contented people. 

After patriotic exercises among the graves, conveyances were 
furnished for citizens and guests to go about two miles through 
the village, to the southwest-central part of the town, to dedi- 
cate another monument. This was placed on the greensward 
in front of the house now owned by H. A. Gould, a little south 
of the Harvard turnpike. It is an old dwelling, but in good 
repair, and was once the home of the Hosmers and Blanchards. 
The boulder is large and well shaped, like the other, and bears 
the following inscription : — 










On the rear of the stone, in a small panel, are the words : — 





Here two ministers of the town, Messrs. Buxton and Lindh, 
conducted the brief memorial exercises. 

An additional inscription ought to be placed here, stating 
that this was also the home of Abner Hosmer, the Acton 
patriot who shared with Captain Davis the honor of being the 
first to fall at Concord Bridge. 

About half-way back to the village, on the other road to 
West Acton, we dedicated the third stone which had been set 
up to commemorate the daj'. This was in front of the premises 
of Captain Davis. The house of his day is gone, but portions 
of it, we are told, appear in the present buildings. The fiat 
stone doorstep now in use is undoubtedly the original. 

Few spots in the town have more interest to the student of 
history. Here, in the early morning, about six o'clock, were 
assembled the brave minute company, — mostly young fellows, 
— eager to place themselves under the command of their 
chosen leader, ready for service, but knowing not just where 
or just what it was to be. 

Davis was a gunsmith, and in his little shop, under the 
apple-trees near the well-sweep, he had that winter examined 
many of their flint-locks and put them in good order. He 
himself carried a musket as well as a sword that morning as 
they went forth, keeping step to the tune of the " White 
Cockade." They followed the lane by the parsonage west of 
the present village, and came out by the old meeting-house ; 
thence they turned down over Nashoba brook, and along the 
old Strawberry Hill road into Concord near Colonel Barrett's. 

The following Sunday another and a very different scene 
was witnessed at the Davis homestead. Perhaps Acton, in all 
its history, has not been so profoundly moved as on this occa- 
sion, when the bodies of Davis, Hosmer, and Haj'ward were 
brought hither for the funeral solemnities. The whole town 
was in mourning ; and the agonizing appeal to heaven uttered 
by the Rev. John Swift, then in the last year of his long 
ministry, found a tender response in every heart. 




It is fitting that this spot should be marked by an enduring 
memorial in honor of the first American officer who fell in the 
Revolutionary War. 

The stone is rounded at the corners, and inscribed as 
follows : — 









and on the other face : — 




Mr. Wheeler is the present owner of the estate. The exercises 
here consisted of an address by Mr. Clark, of West Acton, and 
prayer by Mr. Porter. 

An excellent dinner was then served by the ladies in the 
Town Hall, after which addresses were given in the adjoining 
tent, which was filled with listeners. Mr. Copping, the pastor 
of Acton Centre, officiated as chaplain. The chairman, Mr. 
Conant, welcomed the guests, and introduced as speakers 
Governor Greenhalge, ex-Governor Boutwell, Colonel Olin, 
Secretary of State, Colonel Watson of the Sixth Regiment, 
Captain Adams, Congressman Fitzgerald, and others. Mr. 
Porter responded for Lexington. 

Every one was glad to welcome Mr. Boutwell, of Groton, as 
he was the Governor of the Commonwealth, and a most 
efiicient helper, when the Battle Monument on the village 
green was dedicated in 1851. His presence on that occasion 
is gratefully remembered by the town. 


Two other venerable guests received special honor. These 
were the surviving sons of men who fought at Concord Bridge, 
— Mr. Luke Smith, son of Solomon Smith, and Mr. James 
Miller Edwards, son of Ebenezer Edwards. So far as is 
known, tliere is only one other man living who can claim 
this distinction, and he is a brother of Mr. Edwards, — all 
three, therefore, sons of Acton. 

It is proposed to erect a memorial stone next April at the 
home of James Hayward in West Acton. Lexington has 
already placed a tablet at the spot where he fell within her 
borders, while in pursuit of the British on their retreat early 
in the afternoon. 

The Hon. William Everett read an autograph letter of 
Captain Nathaniel Saltonstall, from whom he was descended, 
as was the Hon. Leverett Saltonstall, whose death had been 
that day commemorated. It was addressed to Governor 
Leverett, and indorsed as received by him. Appended to 
the letter was a minute of court proceedings, signed with the 
initials of Edward Rawson, Secretary. 

Captain Saltonstall, it will be remembered, was that mem- 
ber of the famous Court of Oyer and Terminer of 1692, who 
withdrew at a very early stage from the bench, and took 
no part in the witchcraft proceedings. His graduation at 
Harvard College was in 1659, exactly two hundred years 
before his descendant's who exhibited the letter. 


Hon" Se, — This day May yM6 1675 being informed that Sam" 
Gild jr he who hath been so long lookt for, to be taken and apprehended 
about y'* matter of y'' Rape comitted upon y'^ body of Mary y"' wife of 
John Ash, was in this towne, 1 did forthwith, tho : upon y" Sabbath 
day, judgeing myself bound both to God & Man so to doe, issue out a 
Spetiall warrant for his apprehension, upon which he was seized, in 
order to his conveyance to Boston prison. And because they are now 
upon motion, & goeing as farre as Andover, I could not tell how to let 
slip y" opportunitie of sending the enclosed which is the charge of y* said 
Mary, made before Maj"' Pike, and by him sent to mee, which may be of 
use, and not knowing how soon his triall may bee, I thought it my duty 
to send it to your self, by the officer who takes charge of y" body of y° 
said Sam- being ignorant of w' the Maj' hath done ; in order to y" mak- 



ing of y^ sf charge known to Authoritie. I shall at present trouble yo'self 
no farther, but w y° subscription of self, to be 

Your servant 

Nath : Saltonstall 

To this letter is appended, in another writing, a species of 
court hand, as follows : — 

Samuel Guile in open Court owned 
in Court 9 7 mo 75 that he was present at Newbery on 25 December 
last and that he heard of an Hue en Cry was after him 
and being demanded why he did abscond or hide himself so many weeks 
& months he Ans* not to make himself Guilty sayd now he knows his 
hideing is accounted a flight 

he also owned in Court y' he was Going and was at the Dept Gou"'ner 
House to render himself to y* Dept Gounor, & presently went away 
before the Dept Govenr came. 

E R S (in a somewhat different hand). 
To the much Hon* 
John Leverett Gouf 
at his House 
in Boston 

[Indorsed in another hand] 
Capt. Saltingston 
about Gile 

Dr. Samuel A. Green communicated a paper on the dates 
of some earl};^ Commencements at Harvard College : — 

No attempt has ever been made, so far as I know, to give a 
list of Commencement Days at Harvard College in early times, 
as gathered from contemporary records. There is a list of 
such days in " The New-England Historical and Genealogical 
Register" (XXXIH. 423) for October, 1879, prepared by 
Mr. John Ward Dean, the editor ; but it is based largely on 
the statement of Cotton Mather, in his Magnalia (Book IV. 
128), that the day " was formerly the Second Tuesday va. August, 
but since, the first Wednesday in July." While this state- 
ment in the main is correct, the impression is left that it held 
true from the very beginning of the institution, which is not 
the fact. 

Cotton Mather mav have received this information from 


his father, who entered college in 1651, though he did not 
graduate until 1656. Under date of February 18, 1690-1, 
while in London, Increase Mather writes : " I was sent to 
Harvard CoUedge at Cambridge in N. E. in the year 1651 when 
I was but 12 years old : there continued 6 years " (Proceed- 
ings, 2d series, VIII. 847). A change in the day had been 
made the very year he went to Cambridge ; and long after- 
ward Mather, knowing that Commencement during his college 
course came in August, may have told the fact to his son in a 
general way, leaving the inference — which he himself might 
well have believed — that before his time the day always fell 
on the second Tuesday of August. As a matter of record for 
some years previous to 1651, it came on the last Tuesday of 
July, and before that even as late in the year as September 
or October. 

In the following list of Commencements I have appended 
the authorities, under each year, for the several statements in 
regard to them. I have had occasion to use Mr. Sibley's Har- 
vard Graduates so often, that for the sake of convenience I 
have generally mentioned him by name, rather than his work, 
as my authority ; and for the same reason I have mentioned 
Judge Sewall rather than his Diary. 


Mr. Sibley, in his Harvard Graduates (I. 15), says that the 
first Commencement of the College came probably in October, 
1642 ; but a careful reading of the letter printed on the next 
two pages of that work shows that it took place shortly before 
September 26. Mr. Sibley, doubtless, supposed October to 
have been the date, as it occurred in that month during the 
next year. According to Winthrop's " History of New Eng- 
land," the first Commencement happened on Thursday, Sep- 
tember 22, as under that date the author writes : " Nine 
bachelors commenced at Cambridge ; they were young men 
of good hope, and performed their acts, so as gave good proof 
of their proficiency in the tongues and arts " (II. 105). 


During this year Commencement occurred in October, but; 
the exact day is unknown. In the Historical Library is a copy 


of the printed Theses used at Commencement, and it is dated 
at " Cantabrigiaa Nov. Ang. Mens. 8. 1643." 

See Proceedings (IV. 444-446) for March, 1860, and (2d 
series, IX. 413) for February, 1895 ; and Sibley's Harvard 
Graduates (I. 74-76). 


For these three years I can find no contemporary records. 

The Historical Library owns an imperfect copy of the 
printed Theses for this year, but the imprint at the foot of 
the sheet is " Cantahrigice Nov : Ang : 6. Calend. Sextilis. 
1647," — which day fell on July 27, the last Tuesday of the 

I find no record of the date, but perhaps it was the last 
Tuesday of July. 


The Historical Library possesses a small pamphlet entitled : 

Oratio Quam Comitijs Cantabrigiensibus Americanis Peroravit 
reverendissimus D.D. Samuel Whiting Pastor Linnensis ; in aula sci- 
licet Harvardina, Pridie Calendas Sextiles, Anno M.DC.XL.IX. 
No titlepage. 16mo. pp. 16. 

This date came on July 31, the last Tuesday of the month. 


According to the College Steward's Account-Books, as 
printed in the Appendix to the first volume of Sibley's Har- 
vard Graduates (pp. 548, 549), Commencement fell on Julj' 
30, the last Tuesday of the month. The date is found in the 
entries set severally against the names of Mildmay, Mather, 
and Stoughton, viz.: "Commencment day 30 of July"; 
" Debitor 30-5-50 ' being the day of Commencment ' " ; and 
"his 'Commencment Chardge,' 30-5-50." 


Edward Johnson, in his " Wonder-Working Providence of 
Sions Saviour in New-England " (chapter 19, page 166), while 
speaking of the College, says : — 


The number of Students is much encreased of late, so that the 
present year 1651. on the twelfth of the sixth moneth, ten of them 
took the degree of Batchelors of Art, among whom the Sea-born son 
of Mr. lohn Cotton was one, some Gentlemen have sent their sons 
hither from England, who are to be commended for their care of them, 
as the judicious and godly Doctor Ames, and divers others. 

This extract from the " Wonder- Working Providence " 
fixes the day as August 12, the second Tuesday of the month, 
whicli is confirmed also by the entries after the several names 
of Cotton, Dudley, Butler, and Burr, as found in Sibley 
(I. 551, 552). During the year 1651 the change appears to 
have been made from the last Tuesday in July to the second 
Tuesday of August. 


No contemporary records found. 


According to an entry after the name of Samuel Phillips in 
Sibley (I. 650), the day fell on "9-6-53," August 9, the 
second Tuesday of the month. For a confirmation of this 
date, see also page 322 of the same work. 


See the entry after the name of Michael Wigglesworth in 
Sibley (I. 551), which gives the Commencement charges on 
" 8-6-54," August 8, the second Tuesday. 


The day came " Decimoquarto Die Sextilis 1655," August 
14, which was the second Tuesday, — according to a pro- 
gramme reprinted in Sibley (I. 322). 


According to Sibley (I. 358), it was " Duodecimo Die Sextilis, 
M.DC.L VI." — August 12, the second Tuesday. 

No contemporary records found. 



Under the name of John Barsham in Sibley (I. 539) is the 
following : " Att the 10-6-58 by his Comencment Chardges 
£3," — which date fell on August 10, the secoijd Tuesday of 
the month. 


The programme reprinted in Sibley (I. 593) gives the date 
as " Die Nono Sextilis : M.DC.LIX." — which was August 9, 
the second Tuesday. See also the same volume (page 562) 
for the following entry after John Eliot's name : " Debitor 
from 10-7-52 to 9-6-59," which last date came on August 9, 
and is an ladditional confirmation of the date. 


According to a list of " Qusestiones " printed in Sibley 
(I. 488), the day came " Decimo-Quarto Die Sextilis 1660," 
August 14, the second Tuesday of the month. 

1661 and 1662. 
No contemporary records found for these two years. 


The " QuEBstiones in PhUosophia Discutiendse," as found in 
the second volume of Sibley, on pages 53, 72, 101, and 133, 
give the dates as falling respectively " Undecimo Die Sextilis" 
(August 11), "Die Nono Sextilis" (August 9), "Die Octavo 
Sextilis " (August 8), and " Die Decimo Quarto Sextilis " 
(August 14), all which days fell on the second Tuesday of 
the month. 


No contemporary records found. 


According to the programmes reprinted in Sibley (II. 163, 
205), Commencement occurred "Die Undecimo-Sextilis " 
(August 11) in the year 1668, and " Die Decimo Sextilis " 
(August 10) in 1669 ; and, according to a programme in the 


library of this Society, the day fell " die nono Sextilis " 
(August 9) in 1670, — in each instance the second Tuesday of 
the month. 


Sibley (II. 381) says : " August 8, Adams ' was admitted 
to y* degree of Batehelour of Arts . . . under y* Reverend 
Charles Chancey President.' " The day fell on the second 
Tuesday of the month. 

Sewall (I. Introduction, xiii, xiv) writes : — 

At this time the commencement was in August. In the year 1667 my 
father brought me to be admitted, by which means I heard Mr Richard 
Mather of Dorchester preach Mr Wilson's Funeral Sermon . " Your 
Fathers where are they ? " I was admitted by the very learned and 
pious Mr Charles Chauncey, who gave me my first Degree in the year 
1671. There were no Masters in that year. These Bachelours were 
the last Mr Chauncey gave a degree to, for he died the February 

Without doubt there was no printed programme for this 
year, as there were then no candidates for the second degree. 

1672 and 1673. 

No contemporary records found for these two years. During 
this period the customary way of giving the date of Commence- 
ment on the college programme was changed, and the Roman 
system adopted. 


According to a programme for 1674 reprinted in Sibley 
(II. 335), the day came " Tertio Idus Sextiles " (August 11), 
the second Tuesday ; and this date is confirmed by a note in 
John Sherman's Almanac for that year. According to another 
programme for 1675 in the same work (II. 413, 414), the day 
came "Quarto Iduum Sextilium" (August 10), the second 
Tuesdaj^ This date is borne out by an entry in Increase 
Mather's manuscript diary belonging to the Historical Library, 
as follows: "10) [1675] At Comencement at Cambridge" 
(page 26). According to still another for 1676 in Sibley 
(II. 415), the day fell "Sexto Idus Sextiles" (August 8), 
the second Tuesday. In Increase Mather's diary (page 73) is 


the following : " 8) [1676] At Comment in Cambridge." This 
date is confirmed in part by an entry in Sewall's Diary, where 
the day is placed undated between July 28 and August 12 
in the manuscript copy, though unfortunately iu the printed 
edition (I. 15) it is given under July 28. 

No contemporary records found. 


According to Sibley (II. 447), the day fell " Idibus Sextili- 
bus " (August 13), the second Tuesday. 


Sibley (II. 481) says : " Pridie Idvs Sextiles " (August 12), 
Tuesday ; and this is confirmed by an entry in John Danforth's 
Almanac for that year. 


Sibley (II. 500) says: "Ante Diem IV Idus Sextiles" 
(August 10), Tuesday, which is confirmed by a memorandum 
under that date in John Poster's Almanac for 1680. See also 
an allusion to the day in Quincy's " History of Harvard 
University " (I. 472), at the bottom of the page. 


" Die quinto ante Idus Sextiles " (August 9), Tuesday. See 
Sibley (III. 1), and an entry in Foster's Almanac for 1681 
under that date ; also Sewall (II. 14*) for an allusion to 

Cotton Mather, in his manuscript diary for 1681, writes : — 

9'? 6" This Day, I took my second Degree proceeding Master 
of Arts. 

My Father, was prcesident, so that from his Hand I Received my 

Tis when I am gott almost Half, a year, beyond Eighteen, in my Age. 

And all y'' Circumstances of my Comencement, were ordered by a 
very sensibly kind Providence of God. 

My Thesis was Puncta Hebraica sunt Originis Divince. 



" Die Sexto ante Idus Sextiles MDCLXXXII." (August 8), 
Tuesday. See Sibley (III. 170) ; and also a note in William 
Brattle's Almanac for 1682 under that date. In opposition to 
this, however, is the word " Comencment," in Sewall's hand- 
writing after September 13, in the same almanac, which day 
fell on Wednesday. It is not easy to explain this discrepancy. 

At the bottom of the page under August, Brattle gives the 
following lines : — 

Commencement's come, but (friendly) I Advize 
All sorts of Rabble now their Homes to prize, 
For if to it they come, so Blind they '11 bee, 
Tliat Really no Body they will see. 

Now Sol to Virffo goes, & there does stay, 
Till that his Heat does very much Decay. 

Do they have reference to the drinking-habits of that 
period ? 


In Cotton Mather's Almanac for this year the printed 
announcement of Commencement comes after the date, Sep- 
tember 12, which was the second Wednesday of the month. 
I find no other contemporary authority for the statement that 
it fell on that day, — as it probably did also on the correspond- 
ing day in the preceding year. 


Sibley (III. 210) says: " Calend : Quintilis" (July 1), 
which came on Tuesday. See Noadiah Russell's Almanac and 
Benjamin Gillam's Almanac for a confirmation of this date ; 
and also Peirce's " History of Harvard University " (page 49) 
for other authority. 

A letter under date of December 9, 1683, written by John 
Rogers, President of the College, and by Samuel Andrew, a 
Fellow, and John Cotton, also a Fellow and the Librarian, to 
Increase Mather, who was then the senior Fellow, gives the 
reason why a change in the day was made for 1684. It is 
found in the Collections (4th series, VIII. 621, 522) of the 
Society, and is as follows : — 



Reverend Sir, — We are heartily sorry that we are enforced to 
give you the trouble of these lines ; the purport whereof is to signify 
our great dissatisfaction with the stated time of the Comencem', on the 
first Wensday in July next ; the occasion whereof is, that upon that 
very day wil fall out a grand Eclipse of the Sun, which was not fore- 
seen, or at least, thought of, upon the last meeting of the Corporation. 
What reflection wilbee vpon our oversight of it, or upon our persisting, 
notwithstanding we have still the opportunity of correcting it, before 
the Almanack come forth ; as also how obstructive the Eclipse wilbee 
as to the busines of the day, is very obvious. Wee are not super- 
stitious in it, but reckon it very inconvenient. If, therefore, yourself 
shal joyne with us, and improve your interest once more with the 
Honored Overseers, to alter and confirm the day on the 2* Wensday 
in July, or for this p'sent turne on the first Tuesday in July, or the 
forementioned 2* Wednsday, it shal be most grateful and obliging to us. 
Sir, praying a blessing upon al your labo''s, and begging your prayers 
for us, we kisse your hands, & are 

Your friends & servants, 

J. Rogers. 

Samuel Andrew. 

Jno. Cotton. 
Cambridge, 9, 10, 83. 


In the almanacs for this year, prepared respectively by Wil- 
liam Williams and Nathaniel Mather, Commencement is noted 
after Wednesday, July 1 ; but as there were no graduates in 
1682, there were no candidates for the Master's degree, and 
consequently no programme was printed. Sewall (I. 85) also 
gives the same date. 


According to Sibley (III. 242), the day fell " Nonis Julii " 
(July 7), Wednesday ; and this date is confirmed both by 
Danforth's Almanac and Mather's. 


According to Sibley (III. 270), the day occurred " Pridie 
Nonarum Julii " (July 6) ; and this date is borne out both by 
the Cambridge Ephemeris (William Williams's?) and Tulley's 
Almanac for 1687. Sewall (I. 181) has the following entry: 

Wednesday, July 6. Waited on his Excellency to Cambridge. 
Eleven Bachelors and Seven Masters proceeded. Mr. Mather, Presi- 


dent, Pray'd forenoon and afternoon. Mr. RatclifE sat in the Pulpit 
by the Governour's direction. Mr. Mather crav'd a Blessing and re- 
turn'd Thanks in the Hall. 

Mr. Ratcliffe was a clergyman of the Church of England ; 
and without doubt Andros intended in this way to annoy or 
insult the great body of Congregationalists, who then governed 
the College. 


Sibley (III. 316) says : " Quarto Nonarum Julii " (July 4) ; 
and this is confirmed by Sewall (I. 219), who writes : — 

Wednesday, July 4. Comencement managed wholly by Mr. W"? 
Hubbard ; compared Sir William [Phips], in his Oration, to Jason 
fetching the Golden Fleece. Masters proceeded, no Bachelours. 

At that time Increase Mather, President of the College, was 
in England on public business. See Collections (4th series, 
VIII. 671) for a letter written to him b}' his nephew Warham 
Mather, a graduate of 1685, which gives an account of the 
Commencement exercises, when he took his second degree. 

See Collections (3d series, I. 83) for a copy of Mr. Hub- 
bard's commission to act as President at this Commencement. 


According to the programme reprinted in Sibley (III. 353), 
the day fell " tertio Idus Septembris " (September 11), Wed- 
nesday, though the reason for postponement is not now clear. 
TuUey's Almanac for 1689, printed months before Commence- 
ment, gives July 3 as the date. Perhaps the change was due 
to the political troubles of that period. 


Sibley (III. 368) gives the date "Sexto Nonas Qnin- 
tilis" (July 2), Wednesday ; and Newman's Almanac says 
the same. Under date of July 2, 1690, Sewall (I. 823, 824) 
writes : — 

Came to Cambridge by Water in the Barge, wherein the Govemour 
[Bradstreet], Major Generall [Winthrop], Capt. Blackwell, Mr. Ad- 
dington, Allen, Willard and others : Had the Tide homeward. Thirty 
Commencers besides Mr. [Nathaniel] Rogers, Sir [Samuel] Mather, 
and Mr. [John] Emmerson. Sir Mather in England yet had a Degree 


conferred on him. Mr. Rogers and Emerson should have Commenc'd 
last year, but were hindred by Sickness. 


There were no graduates in 1688, and on that account no 
candidates for the Master's degree in 1691. Presumably there 
was no printed programme for Commencement ; but Newman's 
Almanac gives as the date July 1, which occurred on Wednes- 
day. Henry Newman, who compiled it, was a graduate in the 
Class of 1687, and he showed his loyalty to Alma Mater by 
placing on the titlepage, after the age of the World, and the 
time since the Flood, the number of years since the " Found- 
ing of Harvard Colledge." In this particular the author fol- 
lowed the example of William Brattle, William Williams, and 
Samuol Danforth, who also were graduates, and, respectively, 
wrote almanacs for the years 1682, 1685, and 1686. 


Sibley (III. 404) says: "Die Sexto Quintilis" (July 6), 
the first Wednesday of the month ; and this date is confirmed 
by H. B.'s Almanac for that year. 

Tulley's Almanac gives July 5, Wednesday, as the date. 

Sewall (I. 390) writes : " July 4 [Wednesdaj^], 1694. Waited 
on the Governour to the Comencement." An Almanac for 

this year, " By Philo Mathemat," probably a pseudonym 

of William Brattle, gives the same date. 

John Tulley notes the day after July 3, Wednesday. 

Tulley gives the date as July 1, Wednesday. 


Sewall (I. 456) has the following entry: — 

July, 7. 1697. I ride with my wife and Mr. Stoddard and his wife 
to the Comencement. Mr. Willard, W° Hubbard, Cotton, [of] Pli- 
mouth. Whiting, Brinsmead not there. 




This date, which fell on Wednesday, is confirmed by TuUey 
in his Almanac. 


According to Sewall (I. 481), the day came between June 
28 and July 13, but Tulley gives it definitely as Wednesday, 
July 6. 

Tulley says that it occurred on Wednesday, July 6. 

The same authority gives it on Wednesday, July 3. 



September 22 








August 11 




August 10 




August 8 



July 27 





August 13 



July 31 



August 12 



July 30 



August 10 



August 12 



August 9 




September 13 ? 

Wednesday ? 


August 9 



September 12 



August 8 






August 14 



July 1 



August 12 



July 7 




July 6 



August 10 



July 4 



August 9 



Se jtember 11 



August 14 



Juy 2 








July 6 



August 11 



July 5 



August 9 



July 4 



August 8 






August 14 







July 7 



August 11 



July 6 



August 10 



July 5 



August 9 






August 8 


1 See -post, p. 360. 


Rev. OcTAVius B. Frothingham communicated the memoir 
of the late President, Dr. George E. Ellis, which he had been 
appointed to prepare for publication in the Proceedings. 

A new serial containing the second part of the proceedings 
at the February meeting was ready for distribution at this 






It is not surprising that on the resignation of Mr. Winthrop 
in the early spring of 1885, Dr. Ellis should have been elected 
President (April 9) ; for though this honor does not follow 
from any previous distinction (Dr. Ellis had been Vice-Presi- 
dent since the spring of 1877), and is bestowed only on 
those who are considered, on the whole, the most competent 
members of the Society, by reason of their devotion to his- 
torical pursuits, their loyalty to the Society, their constancy in 
attending its meetings, their fidelity in the discharge of all its 
duties and responsibilities, and their painstaking accuracy in 
the performance of all literary tasks, Dr. Ellis's service to the 
Society deserves to be called distinguished. Apart from his 
work on the Standing Committee for ten years at various 
times from 1852 to 1877, his membership in the Publishing 
Committee, and his production of five memoirs of members 
deceased, — namely, Luther V. Bell, M.D., LL.D. (1863), 
Jared Sparks, LL.D. (1868), Hon. Charles Wentworth Upham 
(1876), Dr. Jacob Bigelow (1880), Nathaniel Thayer (1885),— 
he suggested, in 1869, the course of Lowell Institute Lectures 
on " Subjects relating to the Early History of Massachusetts " 
by twelve members: R. C. Winthrop, G. E. Ellis, S. F. 
Haven, William Brigham, Emory Washburn, C. W. Upham, 
O. W. Holmes, Samuel Eliot, Chandler Robbins, Joel Parker, 
E. E. Hale, and G. B. Emerson. Dr. Ellis gave the second 
and third lectures, respectively entitled " The Aims and Pur- 
poses of the Founders of the Massachusetts Colony," and 
" Treatment of Intruders and Dissentients by the Founders of 
Massachusetts." Besides this, in connection with William G. 


Brooks, as Committee of the Historical Society, he obtained 
from the representatives of the family, in 1868, the papers of 
Judge Sewall. To these, for several years, he gave a vast 
amount of labor ; and although he did not alone edit them 
(his associate being W. H. Whitmore, in connection -with J. R. 
Lowell and Henry W. Torrey), he did act on the Committee 
which passed through the press, in three volumes, Sewall's 
Diary, a very important contribution to the Society. 

George Edward Ellis was born on August 8, 1814, in Sum- 
mer Street, Boston, in the house then numbered 25 (now 51), 
standing between Chauncy Place and Kingston Street. Sum- 
mer Street then was a delightful place of residence ; many of the 
houses had large gardens with fruit-trees, shrubbery, and flow- 
ers. Elm and chestnut trees met in the middle, making a bower. 
The breezes from the ocean crept up the street, in which were 
at that time no warehouses, so that even in summer it was a 
charming place to live in. George Edward was the fourth 
child of David and Sarah Rogers Ellis. Mr. Ellis had been 
married before : his first wife, Theda Lewis, brought him nine 
children, all of whom, except one, died early in life ; and 
Francis, the fifth child, died at Newton Upper Falls, Massa- 
chusetts, in 1839. By his second wife, Sarali Rogers, born in 
Halifax, Nova Scotia, December 25, 1782, there were seven 
children. Both Mr. Ellis and his wife were, in many respects, 
remarkable people. David Ellis was a prosperous merchant 
and shipowner. As he grew old and infirm, to quote the 
words of John Harvard Ellis, George's son, — 

" His mind became somewhat weakened, and, contrary to the urgent 
solicitation of his friends and relatives, he insisted on doing business in 
his old way. This course, as might be supposed, was disastrous to his 
property, and together with the failures in the great commercial crisis 
of 1837 of many of those whose notes he had endorsed, had well-nigh 
ruined him. His sons, however, interposed in season, and insisted upon 
his leaving business and retiring from the city to a place which he 
owned in Newton. This place, situated in that part of Newton known 
as ' Newton Upper Falls,' had originally belonged to a company of gen- 
tlemen in Boston. It had an extensive water privilege which ran a 
cotton factory, a nail mill, and a mill for rolling iron. Attached to 
these were houses for the workmen employed, a store, a blacksmith's 
shop, and a large house situated on a hill at some distance, where his 
brother Rufus had formerly resided as Superintendent of the Company, 
and where his son, Francis, died a few years before. Mr. Ellis, having 


been a large shareholder in this Company, had at last bought up all the 
rest of the stock, so that, at the time of his removal there, he was sole 
owner of the whole concern." 

Sarah Rogers, the mother, was the youngest daughter of 
Jeremiah Dummer Rogers, a barrister, and a Loyalist. His 
devotion to the Crown led to his banishment to Nova Scotia, 
where Sarah was born on Christmas day, 1782. On her father's 
death, she was bequeathed to the fostering care of her Aunt 
Sarah, the wife of Mr. Samuel Parkman, one of the rich Boston 
merchants of that day. At their house she lived until she was 
married. On her husband's death in 1846, at the age of eighty- 
one, she was living in Newton a quiet, retired, settled life. 
She was kind and considerate to her neighbors ; but having a 
good deal of leisure, and being very fond of reading, especially 
in books of poetry, she was able to devote a great deal of her 
time to her family. In the days of pain and sickness, which 
were many, she showed a wonderful constancy and courage, 
and died in 1862, an example of fortitude and goodness. She 
was directly connected with John Rogers, the President of 
Harvard College. Three of her ancestors in succession had 
been clergymen, and ecclesiastical traditions were in the fam- 
ily. The first John Rogers of whom we have any mention was 
settled as a clergyman in Dedham, England, and was a famous 
preacher of Puritanism in Essex. He was supposed to be a 
grandson of the Rev. John Rogers, the first martyr of the 
Marian persecution. It is a curious circumstance that his 
oldest son, John Rogers, graduated at Harvard University in 
1641, studied for the ministry and became his father's col- 
league, but left the ministry afterward. 

Young Ellis began his education when he was but five 
years old, and seems to have drifted about from school to 
school till he entered college. His earliest school-bills show 
that he was first in Boston, then in Medford ; then, in 1824, 
as we learn from a classmate of his, in the Public Latin School 
of Boston. In 1825 he was back in Medford again, at the 
school of Mr. John Angler, the same that Francis Parkman 
attended. After this he must have gone to the Round Hill 
School in Northampton. He wanted to enter there the year 
before, but there was no room for him, as we are told in a 
letter of the managers : — 



Dear Sir, — We have your favor of November 27. Our school 
is at present so full that it is out of our power to offer to receive your 
son inamediately. After our vacation in April next, we can find a place 
for him, if such is your desire. We gather from your letter and those 
accompanying it, that your son has good powers, and that his feelings 
and dispositions are right. If these things are so, we shall feel no 
hesitation as to undertaking the care of him. 

With many expressions of respect, your obedient servants, 

J. G. Cogswell, 
George Bancroft. 
Northampton, 4th of December, 1826. 

Before this, we find him as the pupil of Daniel Kimball, in 
Needham. Thence, after a short time, he went to a private 
seminary kept by Gideon F. Thayer, afterward master of 
Chauncy Hall, where he remained as a day scholar a little 
less than two quarters. From the Round Hill School he went 
to that of D. G. Ingraham (H. C. 1809), who kept a private 
school of some note at the time. From Mr. Ingraham's he 
passed to the school of William Wells, in Cambridge, who 
fitted him for college. He entered in 1829, being then not 
quite fifteen ^^ears old. 

In a speech delivered at the Harvard Alumni Dinner in 
June, 1883, Dr. Ellis said : — 

" It may be a privilege — it is hardly an exhilarating office — to speak 
before a class of Harvard graduates through a retrospect of fifty years 
since we were sent forth to the fates of life. Most vague and dim are 
to me the recallings of my old pupilage here. It has always been a 
mystery to me how I got into the college, and how I got through it; as 
a boy too young in years, undeveloped and immature, to realize that I 
was here till I passed on to serious years and studies. I have no 
remembrance, even, of the occasion when I spoke my ' Commencement 
part ' on the platform of the Old Meeting House, near the site of Dane 
Hall, — last used for the purpose by my class. Better far is the usage of 
these recent years, when young men, as they call themselves, not boys, 
come to improve these glorious opportunities, older on their entrance 
than we were at our exit." 

The roguish disposition that characterized the man broke 
out the first year of his college life, when, for some boyish 
freak, he was suspended for several months. Of his career at 
Harvard we know next to nothing. That he held no high 
rank in his class is proved by the fact that he was not chosen 


a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, but was made an 
honorary member in 1841, the year after his settlement in 
Charlestown ; but he had a Commencement part, whereof this 
is tlie title* " The Moral Effects of PubHc Amusements." 
The following letters indicate the kind of reputation that he 
had on graduating : — 

To WHOM IT MAT CONCERN, — I Certify that George E. Ellis, of 
Boston, a member of the present Senior Class of Harvard Uuiversity, 
is of good rank as a scholar, and of good moral character, and well 
qualified to take charge of the instruction of a school or an academy. 

JosiAH QciNCY, President of Harvard University. 

Cambridge, 18th of July, 1833. 

It may be added, by the way, that Mr. Quincy was inaugurated 
in 1829, — the year that Dr. Holmes graduated, and the year 
that Mr. Ellis entered as a Freshman. Here is another 
tribute : — 

This may certify that Mr. George E. Ellis, of the present Senior 
Class of Harvard University, has been under my tuition most of the past 
year, and that I regard him as a gentleman of studious habits, good 
talents, valuable attainments, and excellent character. I would cheer- 
fully recommend him, both as regards scholarship and character, as an 
instructor, to the trustees of any school or academy for which he may 
be considered a candidate. 

A. P. Peabodt, Tutor in the University. 

Cambridge, July 18, 1833. 

And, as attesting his literary taste, I find among many papers 
the following : — 

The Corporation of the University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 
have received a volume of tracts on the Catholic question, letters to Sir 
W. Scott on the visit of George IV. to Scotland, and a volume of mis- 
cellaneous tracts, a gift to the Public Library from Mr. George Edward 
Ellis, for which the Corporation return a grateful acknowledgment. 
On the part of the University, 

JosiAH Quincy, President of Harvard College. 
Cambridge, September 10, 18.33. 

Among his classmates were the Rev. Dr. Edward J. Stearns, 
the Rev. Dr. Abiel Abbot Livermore, the Hon. William Whit- 
ing, Fletcher Webster, Waldo Higginson, Thomas Wiggles- 


worth, Sidney Howard Gay, Professors Francis Bowen, Joseph 
Lovering, Henry W. Torrey, Morrill Wyman, and Jeffries 
Wyman. From the College he passed directly to the Divinity 
School. There he found William Silsbee, Theodore Parker, 
Abiel Abbot Livermore, John Sullivan Dwight, Eichard 
Thomas Austin, and Samuel Page Andrews. An intimacy 
with Mr. Parker sprang up here, — which is not surprising ; for 
Mr. Parker was one of the sunniest, wittiest, merriest of men, 
very fond of human sympathy, and full of kindliness. This 
was a period before his peculiar theological views were avowed 
or even existent. In connection with Theodore Parker and 
William Silsbee, he edited the " Scriptural Interpreter," 
a monthly founded by Dr. Gannett in 1831 ; and when Ellis 
was in Europe in 1838, and Parker was settled in West Rox- 
bury, the latter wrote familiarly to his classmate. In Parker's 
Journal at the Divinity School, there is this record : — 

" Mr. Dewey gave us the Dudleian lecture tliis year. It was the 
best, perhaps, I have ever heard, though upon the least interesting part 
of the evidences of revealed religion; namely, ' Miracles.' He removed 
the presumption against them. The objections were not only met, but 

In a letter written to his brother Rufus in 1853, Mr. Ellis 
says : — 

" Mr. King has several families who have grown weary of Mr. 
Parker, and who say, that, however interesting his views and style are 
to grown-up persons, they are not the things to benefit the young. 
Mr. Parker's frank publication of opinions which his brethren from the 
first knew him to hold, but which the public had no real understanding 
of, has opened the eyes of many to views which they had not realized 

On his return from Europe in 1839, Ellis called on Mr. 
Parker at West Roxbury, and that is the last that we hear 
about him, — Mr. Ellis having no sympathy with the opinions 
that his friend professed. The Divinity School was left in the 
summer of 1836, and the' companions were scattered. At the 
Annual Visitation of the School, Wednesday, July 20, Ellis 
read a paper on the " History, Character, and Uses of the 
Latin Vulgate, and its Influence on the Formation of the 
Received Text of the New Testament." Many years later, in 
the " Inaugural Address " delivered in the Chapel of Harvard 


College, Tuesday, July 14, 1857, on his induction to the Pro- 
fessorship of Systematic Theology in the Divinity School of 
the University, he paid a glowing tribute to the School and its 
teachers : — 

" A score of hurried years, burdened with changes, pressing cares 
that confuse while they engage the mind, may have impaired the fresh- 
ness of my own remembrance of what this School seemed to me when I 
was a member of it; but its privileges I have ever since been appreciat- 
ing. Those who were then its instructors I love to remember ; for 
affection and honor connect themselves with tlieir names, their features, 
their mild and faithful discipline. The elder Ware — that venerable, 
good old man, whose steps had begun to totter, and whose head had 
long trembled on its withering trunk — comes back to me whenever I 
come here. How candid and gentle and true he was ; moderate, slow 
even, but not dull ; passionless, but still earnest; the embodiment of all 
that was winning and persuasive in a religious guide of young men ! 
And his son, the junior Professor, the inventor and proposer of every 
good work ia our brotherhood, devout, fervent in spirit, whose eye and 
voice and heart and life all preached, and preached the same doctrine, 
because in the same spirit of Christian love ! I may not name him 
who yet lives beloved by all his pupils, because he was so true to them, 
as he has ever been true in other great trusts to God and man, to his 
country, to humanity, to righteousness. Such was the aim of this 
School ; such the men to whom it was intrusted." 

The last man referred to was John G. Palfrey. On leaving 
the School, Ellis went back to his father's home in Boston ; 
for several months he occupied himself in supplying the pul- 
pits of vacant parishes or disabled ministers. It was probably 
at this time that he filled the pulpit of Federal Street (Dr. 
Channing's) ; Mr. Gannett being then absent in Europe for 
rest and health, while Dr. Channing was not then preaching 
at all. 

On the 8th of May, 1838, he sailed for Europe in the 
"Roscoe," under Captain J. C. Delano, afterwards so well 
known among the citizens of New Bedford ; a man of decided 
literary and scientific tastes, who in his ninetieth year came 
up to Boston to attend the lectures of Professor Agassiz. The 
voj-age was on the whole pleasant, and Ellis experienced no 
great discomfort from seasickness. Arriving in Liverpool on 
June 4, he went all over the city, visited every public build- 
ing, the Athengeuca, the Exchange, and the Docks. He found 
the people generally looking well, and the stores handsome, 


but was offended by the beggars and the filth. This journey 
was undertaken for observation and instruction, rather than 
for pleasure. The Journal is contained in several volumes 
of different sizes, altogether comprising many hundred pages. 
Of course it cannot be printed in full, and only those parts of 
it that throw light on the character of the man can be cited. 
The guide-books of that period were exceedingly imperfect, 
and cannot have given him the antiquarian information which 
is so abundantly scattered throughout his pages. From Liver- 
pool he went to Chester, made the whole circuit of the walls, 
noticed the gates, the old inscriptions, and read the record 
placed on the " Phoenix Tower," where Charles I. beheld the 
defeat of his army on Rowton Moor, September 24, 1645. He 
went to the top of the Cathedral, visited Trinity Church, 
where Matthew Henry and Parnell are buried ; the Castle ; 
the old house in Watergate Street, with its inscription, " God's 
Providence is mine inheritance." Then he walked four miles 
to Eaton Hall, the seat of the Marquis of Westminster. On 
his return, he meditated upon " the broad distinctions which 
mark out the inheritances of men, but not their happiness, 
thank God." He went to Nottingham to see the monument to 
his uncle Rogers, who was buried there, — a teacher, of whom 
Lord Byron was a pupil ; then came Birmingham, where he 
was struck with the " ga3'ety of -the streets, the strolling- 
musicians and singers, the number of pickpockets and lewd 
women." After Birmingham came Lichfield, where he looked 
on the monuments of Garrick and Johnson, and explored the 
Cathedral. He admired the Bishop's Palace ; saw the house 
where Johnson was born; went to ''St. John's Free School, 
where Addison, Garrick, Hawkins, Ashmore, Johnson, and 
Wollaston were educated." He heard the bells on St. Mary's 
Church, and saw the spot " where Lord Brook fell in the 
Civil Wars by a shot from the tall steeple of the Cathedral." 
He had strong compunctions against travelling on Sunday, 
but there was no help for it. It is needless to say that he saw 
everything in Warwick Castle, — the curiosities of every sort, 
— the mail in which Elizabeth reviewed her troops at Tilbury 
Fort, the splendid sarcophagus from Italy, the instruments of 
torture from the Spanish Armada, the bloody doublet in which 
Lord Brook was killed. He ascended Guy's Tower, which 
had two flights of steps ; " the one intended for escape is con- 


nected by a subterranean passage with Kenilworth Castle, five 
miles away." He then set out for a walk to Kenilworth. 
" The oldest trace of the Castle is in the reign of Henry I. 
After various changes in owners and additions, Elizabeth gave 
it to Lord Dudley, created Baron Denbigh and Earl of 
Leicester, who expended on it sixty thousand pounds, and 
then invited the Queen to visit it. Geoffrey de Clinton first 
possessed it ; then Henry II. garrisoned it against his rebel 
son ; then Henry III. gave it to Simon de Montfort ; after- 
wards John of Gaunt possessed it. It had sheltered rebels. 
Cromwell made sad work with it, and divided it among his 
officers, who drained the lake, felled the trees, demolished the 
Castle, etc. Chancellor Clarendon afterwards received it from 
Charles II., and his successors now own it. The walls, still 
visible, enclose seven acres ; the old lake is a sheep-meadow ; 
the great gateway is a farm-house. Thus has its glory passed 
away." He is disappointed in Stratford-on-Avon ; but Wood- 
stock and Blenheim were a delight to him. Here is a charac- 
teristic touch : " Visitors must beware of the impositions of 
the servants. The division of labor is carried to a great extent 
among them ; each does a little, and expects a great deal." 
Oxford, we may suppose, occupied much of his attention. 

He reached London on June 15th, and witnessed the coro- 
nation of Queen Victoria, dwelling at some length on the 
magnificence of the ceremonial. He then went by omnibus to 
Chelsea, where he visited the Hospital and walked over the 
grounds, " which are very airy and beautiful. The old sol- 
diers, with their trim uniforms and crutches, looked neat and 
happy." He called on Mrs. Somerville and Mr. Carlyle, who 
received him, without an introduction, with great pleasure 
and courtesy, as he did all New Englanders. " We had a 
long conversation with him upon the prospects of humanity, 
and particularly the condition of England. Here is a man of 
the brightest hopes ; he sees the good in everything. I was 
struck with his apparent simplicity and freedom from affecta- 
tion ; for I had thought, from his writings, that he must be an 
artificial man. We took tea with him, and saw his wife." 
Ellis's companions were Mr. Gannett and Mr. Hutton, of Bir- 
mingham. Of the dinners and breakfasts he attended, it is 
useless to speak. He went through Grub Street, the former 
residence of poor men of letters, now called Milton Street ; 


attended the anniversary of the Domestic Mission Society ; 
went to the British Museum, and "passed two or three 
hours inspecting some documents for Mr. Bancroft"; met 
many distinguished men, — James Martineau and Mr. Hallam 
among the rest. He visited Sir Francis Chantry's studio ; one 
afternoon lie spent two hours in " Bunhill Fields,'' the Dis- 
senters" Burial Ground, " first set apart to its uses in the 
pestilential year, 1665, and then leased to Dr. Tindall, who 
made it a cemetery for dissenters." He was a trifle homesick 
on the 4tli of July, but breakfasted with Mr. Gannett, and 
then set out for a visit to the Tower, which he inspected 
throughout. This is a pleasing incident: "As I was strolling 
in a quiet part of Hyde Park, three pretty children playing 
near me called out, ' The Queen ! the Queen ! ' and I saw her 
again, free from a crowd. The children hailed her, and she 
smiled and kissed her hand to them several times. The sin- 
cerity and heartiness with which she did this made her look 
rather pretty." He heard Brougham, Chancellor Cottingham, 
the Duke of Wellington, Lord Holland, and others in the 
House of Lords. He met Sydney Smith at the Athenaeum 
Club ; visited the rooms of the Royal Society, " forming part 
of the celebrated Somerset House of Queen Elizabeth." " The 
librarian kindly conducted me over the rooms, showed me the 
library, the original manuscript of Newton's ' Principia,' 
the first reflecting telescope made by Newton, the portraits of 
the great worthies, and the mace which is necessary to the 
Charter, given to them by Charles II. It is the very one 
which Cromwell ordered from the House of Commons : ' Take 
away that bauble.' It is verj^ heavy, carved richly, of silver 
gilt with gold." He visited the Fleet Prison, Newgate, etc. 
Where did he not go ? What churches did he not enter ? 
It would be useless to specify all the places he inspected, all 
the men he met. 

On his way to Salisbury, he passed several interesting vil- 
lages, in all of which he found something to interest him, — 
Egham, for instance, " where are held races, where King John 
signed Magna Charta, and where is Cooper's Hill, the scene of 
Denham's Poem." At Salisbury I find nothing particularly 
worthy of note, except this little sentence, which illustrates 
the practical bent of the man's mind : " The spire [of the 
Cathedral] is four hundred and one feet high. A man goes up 


inside of it every year to within forty feet of the top, and then 
goes outside through a hole, and up by hooks, to grease the 
spindle." He sees all the magnificence of Bath ; but the 
warmth of the water made it sickish to his taste. Tintern 
Abbey enchanted him, as it does everybody. He ascended by 
one of the hidden staircases to the top of the walls, and was 
surprised at their width. He " could have looked at it for a 
lifetime, admiring its calm and lovely ruins " ; he walked all 
around it at a distance, that he might lose nothing, and applied 
to the person in charge of it for admittance. " It is a spot in 
which, of all others, one might feel in death the most perfect 
sentiments of love and worship, and where he would most 
willingly give himself up to a past thus attractively set forth." 
He spent nearly three hours in examining every tower and 
vault of the ruins of the old castle of Chepstow. Through a 
staircase in its walls he ascended into the parapet, whence he 
could at one view command the whole plan of the ancient 
structure. Then he went to hunt up the old lame clerk of a 
church, once the chapel of a Benedictine pi-iory. At Ross 
he remembered the " Man of Ross," made familiar by the lines 
of Pope. He was buried in Ross Church, where there is a 
monument to him and a bust. But time was short, and Ellis 
could n't stop to find the clerk and gain admittance ; so he did 
what he could, — he ran to the churchyard and looked in at 
the windows, in order to see the two elm-trees which are 
growing inside, and which spring from a tree outside, said to 
have been planted by Mr. Kyrle. At Hereford he went out 
immediately to visit the Cathedral ; walked into Castle Green, 
— a delightful promenade on the river Wye, in the centre of 
which is a stone column sixty feet high in honor of Nelson, — 
•' a bloody idol of the land " ; saw Pipe Lane, where Nell 
Gwynne was born ; the theatre where Mrs. Siddons and Kemble 
were nursed ; then took a walk of about a quarter of a mile to 
see the ruins of the Gray Friars' Monastery, now converted 
into the Red Coat Hospital. At Oswestry, which he passed 
in going to Bangor, while some of the passengers breakfasted, 
he took the opportunity to wander In the burial-ground ; and 
while the horses were changing at Llangollen, he ran into the 
churchyard and saw the old stone pillar, called the "Sword of 
Glendower." On leaving England, he makes this remark : 
" The word ' flourishing ' is the last in the English language 



which I should think of applying to any village in Wales, or, 
indeed, to many of the towns and villages of England. They 
all appear stationary and dormant, without enterprise or any 
expectation of improvement. How different from the bustling 
thrift of a New England village ! " 

The view of Dublin Bay struck him as beautiful, and the 
buildings in the city seemed to him superb ; but — 

" I was beset at every turn by crowds of the most miserable wretches, 
all in the filthiest rags, women with children, imploring aid in the most 
persevering manner. I was utterly at a loss what t» do with them. 
The contrast of their appearance and the splendid public buildings 
seemed to utter a reproach upon some who have the management of 
afiPairs. The squalidness and filth and nakedness were most disgust- 
ing. . . . Beggars encountered me everywhere, at the doors of the 
churches, on the sidewallss, the steps. I could not but reflect upon the 
ingratitude of the Irish emigrants in America, who, leaving behind them 
such misery and finding there such high wages and such opportunities, 
are still wasteful, indolent, and stubborn ; in America, too, they often 
say how much better things are in their own country. I never will be- 
lieve them after having seen their gross filth and wretchedness. In one 
of the streets through which I passed, I was almost killed with the 
stench. The misery of the people was beyond description. . . . The 
last half of the ride to Belfast exhibited to us a country rivalling parts 
of England in beauty and fertility ; but the first half was distressing, — 
the squalid poverty, the unthriftiness, the lazy listlessness of the people, 
the dirty mud cottages, shared with pigs and monkeys. We saw several 
of those inexplicable round towers, — a riddle of history and a singular 
sight to look upon. ... I was amazed at the contrast between the ap- 
pearance of the women engaged in the factories at Belfast, and that of 
the Lowell girls. In place of the neatness and cleanliness of the latter, 
I here saw a slipshod, ragged nakedness, bare feet and necks, wild un- 
combed hair, and a stench which nearly confounded me. They have 
no lyceum or lectures for their instruction, and work for very trifling 
wages. Whatever ideas I may have had on the picturesqueness of mud 
cottages have flown." 

It is interesting to read what he says about the " Giant's 
Causeway," because it so completely exhibits his love of 
detail : — 

" There is a vast variety in the pillars. They run out to an unknown 
distance into and under the water and beneath the surface upon which 
we stand. We see them from an inch to thirty-six feet in height, ac- 
cording to the slope. They have from three to nine sides, very regular; 


the joints are from six to twenty inches, and the corners run up over 
the edges. They are set so closely together that water stands upon the 
top of them, and yet they are as distinct all the way through as the 
bricks in a large pile. The guide showed me a most perfect triangle 
and hexagon, which seemed to serve as key-stones for portions of the 
■work. Most generally one surface of the joint is concave and one con- 
vex ; but the guide showed me a pillar, which he himself had discovered, 
where one joint had both surfaces convex and the joints beneath it both 
concave. No joint will fit any other beside that from which it came 
off; when separated from each other, a process which requires a crow- 
bar and much strength, there is a report like a pistol." 

At Glasgow he went to the theatre and witnessed a per- 
formance of " Rob Roy." The theatre was small, but very 
pretty ; the gallery was filled with operatives, both male and 
fei)iale. The play was of course well done, as the characters 
of Baillie Jarvie, Rob Roy, and his family were acted by those 
who had the best reason to know the Scotch manners and lan- 
guage. Here 'he was within a stone's-throw of the Tolbooth 
and the salt-market ; " and all my old remembrances of Scott's 
bewitching story were revived." He noticed all the antiquities 
of the place, which, on the whole, he found very pleasing in 
appearance ; admiring the clean streets, the beautiful buildings, 
and the well-dressed people. 

" From the burial-ground around the Cathedral, I tried to call up a 
vivid idea of the old Covenanters, a true memorial of whom I was long- 
ing to see, when my eyes gladly caught sight of an old black stone 
affixed to the north side of the Cathedral." 

From Glasgow he went to Loch Lomond. There he climbed 
up to " Rob Roy's Cave " at the head of the lake, — a wild, 
rocky cavern with a narrow and hidden entrance. From Loch 
Lomond to Loch Katrine was but a step. Then he went 
through the Trosachs, and all the spots rendered interesting 
by Sir Walter Scott. On his way to Stirling he passed 
Doune Castle, " which Queen Mary in her happy days with 
Darnley often used as a hunting-seat." The chief object of 
interest in Stirling was of course the Castle, "an object of vast 
importance in the civil and international wars. It is noticed by 
Buchanan in the ninth century, with Edinburgh, Dunbarton, 
and Blackness Castle, making up the forts which by the arti- 
cles of union are to be constantly garrisoned. ... I went 


into the room where James II. murdered the Earl of Douglas, 
and here I saw an original picture of Mary. It is the birth- 
place of James IV. Mary was crowned here ; and in a room 
now occupied for a carpenter's shop James VI. was educated 
by Buchanan. . . . Seeing the old Tolbooth Tower, I obtained 
permission to enter; and here I saw the old Stirling jug aud 
other appointed standards of measure, — the great court-room 
and pictures, the prisoners with their cells, aud inscriptions on 
the floor, — the condemned cell, and the silver keys of the city, 
a very consequential jailer magnifying his ofSce." At Perth 
he was struck by the singular-looking houses, with winding 
stone steps inside, leading up to diiierent flights or stories 
which are occupied by different families ; by the broad Scotch 
heard at every turn, and the Scotch method of speaking Eng- 
lish, which seemed to him unintelligible and barbarous. He 
had thought of stopping at Kinross over night and making a 
visit to the island in Loch Leven upon which are the ruins of 
the castle in which Mary was confined; but the abominable price 
which was exacted for rowing visitors there deterred him, aud 
he was satisfied to look at it from a distance. At Edinburgh 
he thought of making a visit to Dr. Chalmers, and inquired of 
his friends how it would be received; but tlie impression which 
he was led to feel kept him away. He heard that Chalmers 
held Unitarian ideas in the greatest detestation, and yet had 
so much vanity that the knowledge of his being sought after 
by strangers even from New England would add so much to 
his self-conceit as to prejudice the singleness of his character. 
Of course he explored Edinburgh most thoroughly, and made 
a long visit to the Society of Antiquaries, " which was filled 
with curious objects." From Edinburgh he went to Melrose 
and Abbotsford, and Dryburgh Abbey, where Sir Walter Scott 
was buried ; then to Newcastle on his way to Holland. He 
had no time to stop at Durham to see the Cathedral where The 
Venerable Bede is buried. The chief attraction in York was 
the far-famed minster: — 

"The two towers at the west end are 196 feet high ; length of the 
whole cathedral, 524 feet ; breadth of transepts, 222 feet ; length of 
choir, 131 feet; height of tower, 234. Nothing but a walk around it 
and the measurement of time taken to perform it by the watch held in 
the hand, will acquaint you with its extent. It is august and sublime 
in its whole appearance, — itself an argument for the existence of God 


and the truth of Christianity. If I lived in York, I should wish to go 
into it and around it every week of my life." 

He paced the whole town of Hull from end to end, went 
over the ancient church and the docks, saw the monument of 
Wilberforce and the gilded statue of William HI. ; then he 
passed to Rotterdam. 

In Holland he carried out the same method that he had pur- 
sued in England and Scotland, that of indefatigable research. 
In Rotterdam he visited the reading-room, the great church of 
St. Lawrence, and went in the evening to the favorite place of 
amusement, — rope-dancing, fireworks, horseback-riding, smok- 
ing, " drinking tea and stronger articles." He walked all about 
the town, saw the house where Erasmus was born, his statue, 
the workshops, and everything of literary interest. At The 
Hague he visited first the Cathedral, where he saw some 
women enjoying their tea ; then attended service in the clois- 
ter church ; went into the Lottery building and into the Par- 
liament room ; described the scene at Scheveningen, and was 
everywhere struck by the neat appearance of everything, the 
fresh paint, the absence of mud, the bright polish, — "even 
the tails of the cows and horses are tied up, lest they should 
dirty their sides. Some of the houses at The Hague look as if 
made and polished with watchmakers' tools." At Leyden he 
made for the University, " noble in its origin, history, and 
associations. The Prince of Orange offered the town, in re- 
ward for its bravery during the siege, either an exemption 
from some taxes or a university. They chose the latter. 
Many distinguished men learned their humanities and taught 
their wisdom here. In the senate-room, of one hundred and 
seven portraits, I noticed particularly the venerable faces of 
Scaliger, Salmasius, Everard, Heinsius, Arminius, Simon Epis- 
copius, Boerhaave, Wesselius, Fabricius, Witsius, J. D. Hahn, 
etc. The view from the top of the building is very wide and 
fine. In a turret on the roof is a telescope of great power, and 
an old clock-tower with divers bells. . . . Certainly a very 
interesting city, filled with such objects and sacred with such 
memories. Though a dull, lifeless town as far as apparent busi- 
ness is concerned, it has done more for glory, science, and wis- 
dom than any other place in Holland." Then to Amsterdam, 
not stopping in Haarlem to hear the famous organ, " because 
it was surpassed by those at Birmingham and York, and well- 


nigh rivalled in beautiful architecture by that at Rotterdam." 
In Amsterdam he is amused by the incessant bowing of the 
people in the streets, which sometimes looks laughable to 

" I believe I shall always laugh when I think of Holland : astonish- 
ment at its wonderful perseverance and its miraculous achievements 
often gives place to laughter at its grotes(jue appearances, its delib- 
erate and slow faces, its unchristianlike-sounding language." 

At Utrecht he ascended the high tower of the Cathedral 
(388 feet) ; " such elevations the traveller needs in Holland 
more than elsewhere, if he would get an idea of the country." 
He went with a young friend to the top of the tower of St. 
Lawrence : " a hard ascent ; there is a large number of bells in 
the tower,. — sixty, I think. Indeed the music which they make, 
invented as it was in the Low Countries, seems as much beloved 
there as ever." Once more he is in Rotterdam, and it makes 
him sad to pass the house of Erasmus and see that it is now 
used as a house of ill-fame. At Antwerp he admires the pic- 
tures of Rubens : "The 'Descent from the Cross,' the master- 
piece of Rubens, is in the Cathedral, and long did I sit before it 
to study it. I wished that the German Neologist who says 
Christ was not dead when taken from the cross could look at 
that lifeless figure, — hanging a dead weight upon the fearful 
tree, and the arms of those who with such a gloomy serious- 
ness are lowering it as kindly as if it still could agonize in its 
wounded nerves : the picture speaks its tale of fearful truth. 
The heavens have not yet acquired their serenity, the air 
seems still dark with the frown of God, and the clouds seem 
still to mutter feeble thunder. The pure whiteness of the 
sheet speaks of the devoted affection of the last friends, for it 
is the best and finest that the wardrobe of peasant families 
could offer." At Malines he visits St. Rumbold's Cathedral. 
At Brussels he hunts up the spot " where Tindale was 
strangled and burnt at the stake as a heretic in 1536 " ; a large 
penitentiary, he says, now marks the site. At Brussels, too, he. 
admires the grand old buildings, the H8tel de Ville especially. 
"It -was completed in 1442; its spire, which we ascended, is 
364 feet high ; the view from it is superb, but the situation 
is a very dizzy one. The gilt St. Michael on the top who 
does the duties of a weathercock is seventeen feet." Of 


course he went, after the fashion of the day, to the field of 
Waterloo, upon which he remarks : " If one tenth of the civ- 
ilized world meditated rightly on that battlefield, there would 
never be another. To say nothing of the vice and profanity 
to which this place was witness, the lives which were cut short 
were twenty thousand, and the hearts which were caused to 
bleed were threefold more." He attended High Mass on 
Sunday, 9th of September, in the Cathedral of St. Gudule, 
and expatiates at length on the Roman Catholic service : — 

" I can scarcely say that I attend church, though I spend all day in 
one of the Cathedrals, — for a church for the worship of God should be 
something more than a museum of the fine arts. When I see the priest 
pass along the aisles shaking a kind of cobweb brush about him, I know 
not how to conceive that all who do it do themselves reverence the 
symbol. My previous impression that Catholicism keeps the people in 
ignorance and monopolizes all wealth for its own purposes, is not a 
whit weakened by the fact that in the population of Bruges, estimated 
at forty-three thousand, eighteen thousand receive public charity during 
the winter." 

In Aix-la-Chapelle, he is haunted by the memory of Charle- 

In Cologne the Cathedral is the great object. Of course 
he remembers the history connected with the town, both old 
and new ; " In the time of Napoleon, it is said, there were 
twelve thousand mendicants, thirteen hundred nuns, and 
twenty-four thousand monks, with six thousand citizens; if 
here is not argument enough for the necessity of reformation, 
one must be beyond conviction." Tlie magnificence of the 
Cathedral, both outside and inside, is dwelt upon with enthu- 
siasm. Ellis goes all over it, sees the relics and treasures ; 
visits the sacristy, " which contains wealth to an enormous 
amount"; visits the Church of St. Ursula to see the bones of 
the eleven thousand virgins, — 

" rather an extraordinary number to have existed in Britain in the year 
237 ; but so the story goes. . . . The bones are seen all around the 
church, built into the walls and covered with glass. The skulls, each 
with a martyr's crown, grin out in all directions, while there are whole 
piles of bones to be seen in various parts. It is said that an eminent 
physician was driven by persecution from the town because, on a close 
inspection, he pronounced the relics to be a very general assortment of 
the bones of men, women, and dogs. . . . Last of all, I went to the 


chapel of the Minorites, and entering it through a long range of monk- 
ish cells, looking like the wards of a prison, the sacristan showed me 
the tomb and unlocked the bones of Duns Scotus. His epitaph, 1 308, 
is : ' Scotia me genuit, Anglia me suscepit, Gallia me docuit, Colonna 
me tenet.' I was satisfied that this old scholar should be my last relic 
for the day, though there were many others in this vast relic of a 

It was customary then, as it was for many years afterwards, 
to compare the Rhine with the Hudson. Ellis did so ; and his 
remarks would hardly be worth quoting except for the strong 
feeling for America which they betray : — 

" Considered as Nature shows them, without regard to the handiwork 
of man or the history of his actions, his lays and songs and legends, the 
Hudson has nobler glories ; but then if the Rhine receives all the added 
weight of these attractions, and the Hudson is dressed in its thriving 
villages, its forts constructed not for pillage but for freedom, and its 
crops which rather gladden the heart than gild the countenance of man, 
then is there a contrast, and a contest too, between romance and sincer- 
ity, between the past and the future, between life and death. And 
when we speak of literary attractions, thrilling narratives, the wild 
legend, the touching lay, the Hudson, though unsung, is not unfabled ; 
humanity has poetized its shores, not with the wildness of passion, but 
with the wildness of Nature ; and if rays of solemn depth and melting 
tenderness have fallen more sublimely upon another watercourse than 
this of the New World, it must be in a land yet newer and not now dis- 
covered. On any spot upon the Hudson I could dwell in happiness for 
a life, with a calm or an excited spirit, as my resting-place might be 
either upon a mountain or in a dell, — I should be content that the merest 
chance should there fix the spot of my abode ; but upon the Rhine of 
all places there would be a necessity of choice, of long deliberation 
and slow decision ; and when it was made, it might be followed by a 
long transport of enthusiasm and then excited to change and roving." 

In Bonn he visits the University : — 

" It occupies the old Castle ; so the same intellectual progress which 
invents new means of making a fortress impregnable does away with 
the necessity for it. . . . The German Cornelius who designed it has 
chiefly honored his own countrymen : Goethe, Wieland, and Herder 
stand out at the expense of Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare ; Socrates 
and Cicero, Virgil, Aristotle, and Bacon are deep in the shade. Charity, 
however, has obtained a triumph ; for Saint Jerome and other fathers 
served to unite Luther, Calvin, and WickliiFe with Ignatius Loyola and 
others of the Catholic Church. They would not have stood so peacefully 
together in their lifetime, especially with so many stones around them." 


At Mayence he remembers Gutenberg, the printer : — 

" Mayence rather conquers in disputing both with Holland and Stras- 
burg the honor of the invention of movable type. Here John Gens- 
fleisch, or Gutenberg, was born in 1393 to 1400. The house is now 
removed ; but I saw the inscription upon the new one on its site, and I 
went into his old printing-office. He was undoubtedly the inventor of 
printing. His statue was erected last year in a large market-place 
opposite the theatre, by a collection taken all over Europe : a marble 
pedestal, with four tablets, two with inscriptions, — one the process of 
printing, the other a man coming for a type to G., who sits with dignity 
in his chair ; the whole is surmounted by a magnificent bronze statue, 
modelled by Thorwaldsen : an interesting sight." 

At Wiesbaden he goes to see the gambling-rooms in the 
Kursaal, and tastes the water. " It has a nasty taste, and I 
expect, like chicken-broth, it will do no harm and no good. A 
number of quack physicians infest the spot, mystify the waters 
and stultify the patients by trivial directions and restrictions. 
As for curing diseases, every one knows that a watering-place 
makes ten times the diseases that it cures." In Frankfort he 
goes into the house where Goethe was born, visits the library 
facing the river, examines the curious books and relics, sees 
" the original portraits of Luther and his lady, and Luther's 
two pairs of shoes, the heels cut away and the toes round, looking 
as if they supported an immense frame and supported it well." 
Then he went over the Cathedral, noted its old clock, " and 
drank some of the priests' wine." He is at Mannheim on Sun- 
day, and remarks : ." How gladly would I have listened to any 
religious services to-day if they had been in English ! Never 
during my travels have my thoughts gone back with more 
longing to my New England Sabbaths than to-day. Sunday 
on the Continent would be much more fitly described as a day 
of amusement than a day of religion. The shops are open, and 
many kinds of work go on. 1 went into a Protestant church, 
and listened till I was weary. I tried in the mean while to 
imagine Dr. FoUen back in his loved land and in this town. 
Then I tried the Jesuits' church, but I was disgusted with 
them already, and so took to the place of worship the next 
best to a church. I went to a burial-ground, where I saw 
Kotzebue's simple monument." No charm of Heidelberg is 
lost upon him. He even ascends the steep and green summit 

behind, called the " Kouigstuhl." 



Twenty pages are devoted to delightful Baden-Baden. He 
mounted the tallest remaining portion of the walls of the old 
Schloss, and descended into the recesses of the new Schloss, 
where the instruments of torture are. He had not time to in- 
spect all the curiosities of Strasburg, being there only three 
hours. He did not even ascend the spire of the Cathedral, 
not because it was so hard, but because he had not leisure. 

I intended to omit all of the journal about Switzerland, 
although I had marked several passages exemplifying his 
shrewdness, sagacity, coolness, and extraordinary self-confi- 
dence ; but a few sentences must be quoted, — this, for instance, 
about the Falls of Schaffhausen : — 

" It is very natural that those who have not seen any real waterfalls, 
those who make guide-books, etc., should use the word 'torrents,' 'gal- 
leries,' ' violent cataracts,' in describing this scene ; but truth is satisfied 
when you call it beautiful. The mill at its side had got the true philo- 
sophy of it. A few rocks stand in the current and break the river into 
five beautiful rushing streams. The haze rises in obedience to the law 
of Nature, and if the sun happens to shine brightly, it is said it will 
create a rainbow, as it does in some other places. I looked at the scene 
in all the approved directions, and made the most of it. If I lived within 
two miles of it, I should go to see it again." 

Here is a striking passage about a morning on the top of 
the Righi : — 

" Henceforth when I would write upon that theme [the Glory of 
God], let my pen be dipped in that flood of light, and let my words be 
of strength and of power. The sun, as I have seen it from day to day, 
has seemed to show its years, not by a feebleness in its rays or motion, 
but by its constant and faithful drudgery. If it goes forth each day re- 
joicing like a giant, it has seemed to glory in its patience and dutifulness 
in fulfilling its rounds. But now I shall no longer suppose that the sun 
which measures out the succession of Time, can be marked by its ages. 
This morning it came forth as young and as joyous as on its first morn- 
inc, and when I dared to get a full gaze, it punished all my past dishonor 

Here is another pretty picture, in Berne : — 

" Thirty summits with the ridges all filling a half quadrant in the 
horizon, and all covered with the same virgin mantles, were not imagi- 
nations, but realities. For ages have they stood there, and while whole 
kingdoms have been born and died and forgotten, that fleecy covering 
which we take as the emblem of instability and a momentary life had 


never for a momeat been unveiled. And here in full view of that pros- 
pect, the husbandman for centuries had committed his seed to the ground 
when the winter seemed still to hold his reign, and the sun had ripened 
the most juicy fruits, while he had no power on that hoary mantle, and 
the autumn skies with mild warmth have found their gentle and con- 
tinued agency unavailing. There is no sternness in the sight, but 
rather the solemn and benignant counsel which comes from the man 
of white hairs." 

He passed a night in the Hospice on the top of St. Bernard, 
and ill order to get a view he incautiously ascended a sharp 
peak, the like of which rise like needles all round the house ; 
but the dreary desolation of the view was awful, and he real- 
ized the imprudence of going up, when he tried to come down 
again, for he was obliged to lie flat and slip over rocks without 
the aid of any path. The pass over the Simplon filled him 
with wonder. 

Then he went doM'n into Italy : — 

" The change in the customs, the steeple-crowned hats, the whole 
demeanor was enough without a word of the language or anything 
besides ; but the brilliant eyes which expressed in almost every indi- 
vidual so much fire and passion — and I might also add wickedness — 
not only told me that 1 was in Italy, but explained to me in a good 
measure what it was to be there. There was something in the appear- 
ance of the lowest peasants evidently superior to what is seen in the 
same class in other European countries. They have an expression of 
more character and of a more dignified origin. They meet and greet 
each other and perform their drudgeries with more animation and live- 
liness. I saw two Carthusian friars in the street who looked like a 
remnant of old times with their sandalled feet, coarse robes, cowls, and 
shaven heads. This first view of Italy realized all my conceptions of 
its climate and scenery. The remembrance of our cold morning's ride 
would hardly remain with us when we looked on the soft and gentle 
sky, and saw such a luxuriant verdure all around us. The hills, 
though partaking somewhat of the character of their neighbors, seemed 
to be fertile even to their summits ; and there is something so peculiar 
in the appearance even of the most shabby tenements as to make them 
picturesque, either for their situation, their grouping, or their mere 

Of the famous Borromean Islands he says little ; but there 
is much to see in Milan, — the great theatre, the Cathedral (so 
famed all over the world), the Ambrosian Library, Da Vinci's 
" Last Supper," the picture-gallery, the churches. He went 


to the top of the " lantern tower " in the cathedral, the ascent 
of which he describes as " very fearsome, especially when the 
wind blows stiff ; but one must perform it, and risk falling from 
dizziness through the open works, if he would realize the per- 
fection and symmetry of the vast mass of labor on the white 
marble." The smaller towns of Italy — Treviglio, Brescia, 
Verona, Vicenza, Ferrara, Bologna — we need not dwell on. 
But at Verona he is reminded of the degeneracy of the 
Italians : — 

" Only in the expression and feelings of the Italians would one be led 
to know their origin. Their employments, customs, and ignorance are 
unworthy of their lineage ; but no one would wish to refill that amphi- 
theatre with the multitudes to witness its old scenes. Twenty-five 
thousand people assembled to see men contend for life with each other 
or with wild beasts, trained up from youth for that end, with every feel- 
ing of humanity repressed and only brute passion and suppleness of limb 
cultivated 1 That arena has made a good exchange by losing its scenes 
of suffering, if only for those of folly. It answers now a better purpose, 
poor as it is, than it has ever done before ; the injudicious laugh there, 
but the tortured do not shriek." 

He has no faith in the Juliet legend, and thinks the monu- 
ment of the Scaligers ugly. Venice, of course, is a delight to 
him ; but in speaking of the grand square, he remarks : — 

" Here, then, are gathered the remembrances of her triumphs and of 
her glorious days. Now, if you walk upon the quay, you are surrounded 
by a ragged group who press their gondolas on your service. Every 
stroke of the bells seems burdened with a melancholy note, and even 
the sunshine on the bright array looks melancholy. No new houses are 
seen, and all the old ones need repairs. The Rialto is a market for toys 
and eatables ; the people do not even look as if they remembered their 
former glories ; beggars are numerous ; many of the best palaces are 
owned and inhabited by Jews, or used for lodging-houses." 

At Ferrara he visited the library, saw the manuscripts, and 
in the hospital of St. Anna looked into the cell where Tasso 
was imprisoned. The Puritan feeling breaks out again in 
Bologna : — 

" The Cathedral has a bold front, and on entering it presents an im- 
posing appearance. High Mass was performing ; the cardinal, with 
mitre and crosier, most richly robed and jewelled, and innumerable 
priests of different functions were around the altar. They looked like 
a body of men able to do something, but knowing not what. It seemed 


to me as if they must feel that all the preparation of dress, etc., which 
they had gone through was scarcely repaid by a few bows at the altar. 
It required the whole care of six officials to superintend the motions of 
the cardinal, to take off and put on his mitre, to hold a book before 
him, to keep his robes from the floor when he sat and from encumber- 
ing his limbs when he walked. However, the whole show was some- 
thing, and I wondered that with all their means they did not make 
something more of it." 

And so we come to Florence. I cannot undertake to tell all 
he did there ; uor is it necessary, for there is nothing very 
striking, and the city itself is so familiar that nothing new is 
to be said. 

" Sismondi has characterized it as a city of nobles, the city of indi- 
vidual strength, the city where every man was lord and master in his 
own liouse. ... It has seventeen squares, one hundred and seventy 
public statues, twenty fountains, six columns and obelisks, twenty-eight 
parishes, eight thousand houses, and ninety thousand inhabitants. The 
Jews and other religions are tolerated. . . . Took a general stroll 
through the city. As a whole it cannot be considered beautiful. The 
streets are narrow, without trottoirs, flagged and dirty. The buildings, 
even the palaces and churches, though massive and imposing, have a 
sullen and gloomy appearance, more like prisons and monasteries." 

Here he met and had a pleasant conversation with Ma- 
caulay, " a very agreeable man, with an open Scotch face, 
though not very intellectual in appearance." Here, too, he 
met Dr. Lowell of Boston, and spent the evening with his 
family. This was Friday. On Sunday he saj's : " Went 
around with Dr. Lowell and family to several churches to 
see if we could find any resource for the want of our familiar 
services." It is remarkable how some faculties of tiie mind 
appear under favorable circumstance, and then, under other 
conditions, disappear entirelj'. In all my close acquaintance 
with Dr. Ellis I never heard him speak of a picture, of archi- 
tecture, or any work of aesthetic art. Music he knew nothing 
about, and he never mentioned a building except to speak of 
its external convenience ; but here in Florence he utters him- 
self with all the confidence of a connoisseur in paintings, 
statues, churches, palaces. One would suppose he was an 
expert in all these things. Afterward, in coming back to 
America, there was no soil for such tastes, and they had not 
originality enough to assert themselves. They became atro- 


phied, so to say ; one would not have suspected that they ever 

If it was necessary to summarize the experiences in Florence, 
it is doubly so in speaking of Rome, especially as the journal 
covers a hundred and seventy pages, though almost every page 
has something that exemplifies his common-sense, his keenness 
of observation, his caustic humor, his grave habit of moraliz- 
ing. Still there are two or three incidents that must be 
recorded as characteristic. Here is one: — 

" The Chapel of the Holy Stairs is connected with the Lateran. It 
takes its name from twenty-eight steps of Tyrian marble, on which 
Jesus is said to have descended from the Judgment Hall of Pilate. 
Clement XII. had them covered with wood to keep them from being 
worn out by worshippers. For many centuries these were stowed 
away in the palace, until Sextus V. brought them out again, and 
revived or created the story. It is not 'permitted to ascend even the 
casing except on the knees ; and the temptation to do this is very great, 
as one purchases thereby three thousand years of indulgence. There 
were many devotees kneeing it up, and I joined them ; though when I 
had got half-way up I should have backed out, were I not incited on 
by a desire to see a picture of the Saviour, by Saint Luke, and some 
angels, which makes the altar-piece in the Sanctum Sanctorum at the 

There is a description of a visit to the Sistine Chapel on 
Advent Sunday, the occasion of a festival. 

In Rome he was presented to the Pope (Gregory XVI.), 
and here is his account of it : — 

" I had requested a presentation to the Pope, that I might have a 
present view of one who held all that remained of a power which once 
bound together the Christian and civilized world. Sadly shorn as that 
power has been, ridiculed, resisted, and overcome by the better part of 
its subjects, one must now feel for its holder some of the pity and 
regard which belong to a fallen enemy. . . . Passing in succession 
five halls or rooms, which were attended by servants, attendants, 
guards, priests, and noble oflBcers, rising, in the splendor of their various 
dresses and in their rank, as they approached nearer to the room where 
the Pope was, we at last found ourselves at rest in a handsome apart- 
ment, adorned with a throne, which is used for the meetings of the 
sacred council. Here we were obliged to wait an hour and a half, as 
the Pope had then audience with his Treasurer, with a Roman Sena- 
tor, and with Cardinal Barberini. We saw each of these dignitaries 


enter, which was done with not much pomp, but with easy politeness. 
How little men in place understand or are willing to abide by the 
simple dignity of the human form simply clad ! This endless profusion 
of laces, silks, and trappings, of gold chains and gewgaws, seems rather 
to designate tools and instruments than free human actors. Here they 
are loaded with great abundance ; menials cringe at the sight of them, 
and, as they criuge, the wearers stand up with more pride, I think, and 
think themselves honored. While waiting in this papal antechamber, 
we had a good opportunity to observe the etiquette which is practised 
in the reception of visitors, also of seeing the Marquis of Melchiori, a 
distinguislied man of the city. The Pope's especial body-guard is com- 
posed of the noble families, who serve in rotation. Some priests in 
blue robes were in attendance. At last our turn came. Mr. Greene 
[the consul] had given us instructions relative to the congees, but we 
found them almost unnecessary, for the Pope was not at all formal. 
We were to make three reverences or bows, — one on entering the 
door, one midway in the room, and a very profound one as we 
approached his Holiness. We were received into his private cabinet, 
formed in a line on Mr. Greene's right. The Pope stood close to us, 
addressed himself to Mr. Greene ; and thus the conversation was car- 
ried on with perfect ease for twenty minutes between them. The room 
had a canopied seat, a crucifix, and rich furniture. The Pope was 
dressed in a white woollen robe bound with satin, and a small cape and 
sleeves ; it was buttoned down to his feet, and was much soiled. He 
wore a silk skull-cap, which was likewise much soiled. Indeed, he had 
throughout a most untidy appearance, — his nose, hands, and breast 
being completely covered with snufF. However, he is very easy and 
affable in his manners, a good-looking old gentleman, strong and fleshy ; 
his nose is very large and very red, owing to disease. He is seventy- 
three years old, and has filled his office seven years. He has the rep- 
utation of being profoundly ignorant of common affairs all over the 
world. An Englishman told me that his topic of conversation with the 
English was railroads. He insists that the rapidity of the motion must 
injure the respiration. With Americans his topic of conversation is the 
Canadas. He asks why the States do not interfere and free them, and 
take them into the confederacy, — seeming to be utterly ignorant of two 
facts, namely, that we have no right to interfere with the Canadas ; 
and, secondly, that they are not worth interfering with. He expressed 
himself as perfectly satisfied with the footing of the Catholics as well as 
other sects in the States. The Pope wished to know which of us was 
of New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, and then addressed each of us. 
Mr. G. told him that the Protestant churches of Boston had aided in the 
erection of the Catholic church, with which he was highly pleased. He 
asked us how we enjoyed the sights of Rome, received our thanks, told 


US a story relative to the new planisphere constructing for him, and 
another story about the devil ; and then, with a polite bow, terminated 
the interview. Etiquette demanded that we should back out ; but as 
his Holiness went to his table, and did not look to see the mode of our 
exit, we preferred to follow the plan which Nature adopted when she 
set our noses upon our faces." 

So far the journal : but in private conversation Mr. Ellis 
added some information which he did not virite down. He had 
to dress, he said, in black silk stockings and small clothes, and 
was very cold, as it was in December. The room being chilly 
and warmed only by a brazier, he took occasion to stir up the 
coals in the brazier in order to get heat. Dr. Hale relates that 
the Pope, on learning of Mr. Ellis's place of nativity, said that 
he had no fault to find with the treatment of the Catholics in 
Massachusetts except iu one instance. Mr. Ellis said that he 
presumed that he referred to the burning of the Ursuline Con- 
vent at Charlestown, and thereupon enlightened his Holiness 
in regard to that affair, vindicating the character of Massachu- 
setts and the Protestants. This may be true, is altogether in 
keeping with the man's independence, and I have no doubt 
that Ellis told the 'story ; but he was fond of a good story, 
and was quite equal to embellishing it with a view to effect. 

" On arriving at an inn, the appearance of a stranger in a village -or a 
town is the signal for the gathering of beggars, valets de place, and vet- 
turini ; and it requires some large measure of patience not to listen to 
them, but to hear their various statements without listening. The 
surest way of getting free of beggars is to beg yourself. Take off 
your hat, hold it out and state your case, and many of the strong healthy 
mendicants will be ashamed of themselves." 

The ascent of Vesuvius, then in a state of eruption, well 
illustrates the persevering curiosity of the man, and, besides, 
presents an attractive picture. 

Here is an amusing sketch of his visit to the Grotto of the 
Cumsean Sibyl : — 

" By a long dark passage cut through the tufa stone, and supposed to 
have once led to many secret and mysterious places, we approached the 
sanctum of the ancient oracle. It would be a formidable place to be 
left in without torches ; even as it was, I hesitated a little when I saw 
five men besides our guide strip their clothes far above the knee, tell- 
ing us we must stride their backs. We had not come to consult the 

1895.] MEMOm OF KEY. GEOKGE E. ELLIS. 233 

oracle, but we did not wish to insult it by riding up to it in such a 
ragamuffin way. We found, however, that the dark and secret cham- 
bers which we were to enter, called the Sibyl Baths, were two or three 
feet deep with water, and concluded that if the Sorceress required a 
more courtly entrance, she should keep more courtly apartments. We 
mounted on the strong backs of the fellows, and one by one were intro- 
duced through the splashing passages to the three Mosaic chambers, 
which were very curious. Returning to our carriage, we rode to the 
remains of Nero's villa, of which but a few piles of bricks clinging to 
the crag overlooking the sheltered haven of the bay are now to be seen. 
After the Sibyl's cold Baths, we were scarcely prepared for the change 
to Nero's hot Vapor Baths which were annexed to his villa, and have, 
in their full heat, survived all change unto the present day. We were 
likewise somewhat alarmed to see our guide strip his whole body to the 
skin, and warn us to do so, before entering. I thought if this was neces- 
sary I should prefer not to go, and, intending only to look in at the 
entrance, I kept on my surtout, hat, and gloves. All five of us started 
in the long and dark tufa Grotto. Soon a body of steam of almost in- 
sufferable heat came as;ainst us, and three of my companions turned 
their backs to it and ran out. Thinking the first sensation would be 
the worst, Mr. D. F. and myself persevered. When, after going some 
distance, we turned an angle to the right, it seemed as if we should be 
melted with heat. Every hair in my head became a water-spout, and 
every thread of my clothing was saturated with steam. Here I stopped 
and partly undressed myself, carrying my clothes in my hand and grop- 
ing "along the steep and slippery descent. We came at last to the spring 
at the bottom, the water of which is intensely and scalding hot, boiling 
an egg in two minutes. When we issued forth, we bore the laugh of 
our companions for our sorry appearance, all inflamed and muddy as we 

In the city of Naples he learned that there were more than 
sixty charitable foundations, such as. hospitals for invalids, 
decrepit and aged persons, foundlings, etc. Christian charity, 
he says, " has long been at work, and with all the degraded 
and infamous vice of Naples, it contains elements of virtue. 
Perhaps travellers, having, of course, a superficial acquaint- 
ance with society, are led to form an over-harsh judgment on 
the state of things here ; but there is surely enough for terrific 
censure, as any one who walks the Toledo at night must 
know." Here is a touching scene which shows that Ellis 
had a heart : — 

" Made a visit to the Campo Santo to witness some of the inter- 
ments. As we approached it, we saw men carrying bodies in on trays 



merely covered with a white cloth, and others descending the hill with 
empty trays for more. Thus the first scene of this melancholy spot 
had all the coarse and unceremonious appearance which characterizes 
the Neapolitan disposition of the dead. As we entered the quad- 
rangle, we noticed a poor ragged woman at the gate, attended by two 
children, and having under her arm a small rough coffin with a little 
cross of wood at the end. She remained outside as we entered, and 
seemed unwilling to go in with us. The attendant raised a lai'ge stone 
with a lever, and allowed us to look into the hole which was iu use for 
this day. A hot steam, like a compound of all infectious and deadly 
airs, rose from this fearful tomb. Covering our mouths with handker- 
chiefs, we looked for a few moments upon a sight which it seems to me 
would disgrace a heathen country. Fourteen bodies had already been 
thrown in, and they lay in all directions, crossing and covering each 
other. The feet seemed to be tied together, and the arms bound to the 
side by the wrists. Men and women lay there promiscuously, as naked 
as they were born into the world. While we looked in, the poor woman 
came and laid her little coffin by the hole. The attendant took it 
roughly and broke off the cross from the foot, endeavoring to pry o£E 
the lid with it. He then stood it on end, and broke ofE the top. This 
exposed the little infant, apparently three months old, with a piece of 
dark cloth round its waist. The attendant told the woman to throw it 
in. She said she could not ; and he, asking her why she troubled him 
so, took it by the waist and dropped it in as one would throw a log into 
the cellar. The sound of its fall rang through the pit, and one more was 
added to that mass of corruption more odious than any other sight upon 
which we could gaze. This scene is not only a violation of prejudice, 
but an outrage on humanity. The woman did not weep, but presented 
an image of the most deeply impressed melancholy and serious woe. 
Probably she looked forward to the time when the same rude hands 
should consign her to the same last resting-place ; and if a spark of reli- 
gious fire glowed in her soul, then was the moment when in the barren- 
ness and desolation of every earthly prospect, it would warm her heart 
with a glow of delight which would burst forth into madness, if it was 
not the rapture of the highest intelligences, kindled by the spirit of the 
Great Father of all. The kiss which that mourning mother impressed 
on our hands in gratitude for the gift, to us so small, to her so large, 
which we bestowed, was like an angel's blessing." 

On February 11, 1839, he is in Paris ; busy as ever, curious 
as ever, visiting all the places of interest, and tramping all 
over the city : — 

" Walked about through some of the principal streets and boulevards 
at hazard, and now realize fully the oft-mentioned tale that Paris is 


ever gay and brilliant ; that time needs no killing here, as it dies a nat- 
ural death. . . . Made a tour through some parts of the city across the 
water, and came suddenly upon the majestic Pantheon, which, as the 
inscription ' Aux grands hommes la Patrie reconnaissante,' gilded on 
the architrave, declares, is built by the nation in honor of its illustrious 
dead. . . . What this great building will be next would be difficult to 
say : it would furnish a hard task to a mob to destroy it. Descended 
into the vaults designed for the cemeteries of the great men. It will 
take France a long time to furnish enough great men to fill it. Here 
lie opposite to each other Voltaire and Rousseau, the blue pills of a dis- 
eased society. ... So passes day after day in Paris ; and so for many 
people passes year after year. A person need not even think here, save 
of himself, and then only of the outward man. . . . Went to the Place 
Bastile, the scene of Revolutionary havoc. Peaceful industry now 
marks the spot ; a canal passes through it, and a guard-house in the 
open place bears the tricolored flag and the motto ' Liberie, Ordre 
Republique.' The Bastile was destroyed in May and June, 1790. In 
the centre of the place which it occupied Napoleon designed to make a 
fountain, consisting of a bronze elephant seventy-two feet high spout- 
ing water from his trunk, and having a staircase in one leg leading to 
the tower on its back. But this has not been done, and probably never 
will be. The spot is occupied by a plaster model of the elephant painted 
black and open to the weather. Another monument was begun near it 
by Louis Philippe, to consist of an immense doric column in bronze. 
Th? pedestal alone is now placed. On this spot, which has been the 
scene of so much violence, I saw jugglers performing their harmless 
tricks, while the multitude looked on, — the same multitude, too, that 
changes the dynasty of the country. They certainly appear happy. 
Ev :ry useful art seems to flourish ; but let them be doing what 
they will of labor, they will always break off for amusement. They 
certainly do not have that light, jovial air which their proverbial 
gayety had led me to expect. One would be led to conclude that 
they had a very extensive female acquaintance, as he walks the 

He goes to the Gallery of the Louvre, to see the exhibition 
of paintings by modern artists : — 

" Sixteen hundred paintings were refused admittance ; and if they 
were all worse than those which obtained it, they must have been 
wretched enough. It being evident that so large a number of men 
are determined in some way to live by paint, if the Government would 
employ them in scrubbing up the city and restrict them to real colors, 
they might be made profitable to the State." 


He moralizes over the tomb of La Fayette in the little 
cemetery of the Rue Picpus, where he is buried. He wit- 
nesses the performances of Rachel : — 

" Of course there were several half-clad ladies present ; but they 
seemed to behave themselves, — being, at least for once, in some 
respectable company. There is a seated statue of Voltaire in the hall 
of the theatre, which comes the nearest to life of any piece of marble 
work that I have ever seen." 

On the whole, Paris does not delight the purely ethical 
sense of Mr. Ellis. He is glad to get back to England again, 
where he feels at home. In the Cathedral of Canterbury he 
muses, in true New England style, about the Catholic faith 
and the Gothic architecture. Both alike, he contends, have 
the same defects of exaggeration. 

In London he made a pilgrimage among old bookstores, 
and remarks : " The Americans have become celebrated here 
for their zeal in hunting up old books ; as a dealer said to me, 
not knowing who I was, ' Them Americans are carrying off 
everything valuable.' So be it ; there are good choices left 
yet." He ascended the monument in memory of the great fire 
of 1666, which desolated four hundred and thirty-six acres, com- 
prehending eighty-nine churches. " It is a stately column, — 
the highest ever erected, — two hundred and two feet high, 
fifteen feet in diameter, bearing on its top an immense brazen 
torch. It is a long pilgrimage up to the top ; but then the 
view of the city from this its ancient landmark will repay the 
toil." The tunnel under the river is just begun. He visits 
the places he had not been to before ; hears W. J. Fox preach 
in the South Street Chapel : — 

" lie had a large and respectable-looking audience. He himself, 
though he has a bright eye, is far from looking like a genius, — being 
short and thick, his neck the same size as his head, and his ungainly 
form is clothed in a like ungainly and most unclorical costume. He 
stands upon a small elevated platform railed round with iron. His ser- 
vices are a hymn, prayer, and address, — the last, which was all that I 
heard, seemed to me mere words, with here and there an exaggerated 

He called on old friends, picked up familiar threads, read 
Boston, New York, and London newspapers, saw Mr. Carlyle 
again : — 


" Found him and his wife at home, — she sewing, he reading, before 
a comfortable fire. Had a very entertaining mental illumination from 
him. His conversation is the same as his writings, characterized by 
strangeness, but more so by sincerity. He spoke of the alleged 
increase of the Catholics in England, and, from the signs specified, he 
argues the last rottenness of the system. He has all the extreme 
Presbyterian antipathy to an organ, — saying that the noblest worship 
he had ever been present at was at the wild singing of a Psalm in the 
woods by Presbyterians ; spoke highly of Dwight's Translations, who, 
he said, seemed to understand the matter better than any one else. 
Talked over the late Emersonian controversy, and spoke of the 
' Address ' as the most remarkable utterances he had ever heard from 
that side of the water. It is not unlikely that he may soon make a 
visit to New England, for it seems to him to be the Paradise of 
Lecturers. Left him with a pleasant impression of his character and 
mind. He is certainly original, whether he has become so by affecta- 
tion or not. He lives in a way hijmble for this great city, but seems to 
have all that he wants." 

Days are passed at the British Museum, in an examination 
of the Colonial Records in the State Paper Office, reading and 
copying for George Bancroft. The last day was spent amidst 
scenes — 

" as familiar as dirty brick walks and busy throngs soon become, but 
enlivened by constant variety, and continually offering something new. 
. . . Hats cost much, and wear badly, as of old time ; but London wears 
well : it is, of all the rest of the earth, the gathering-place of the nations, 
with more humbugs and more excellences than any other. Men here 
less than in any other place seem to think of change ; there is no 
mark on them of a revolutionary people." 

Thus ends the Journal of European Travel. He never went 
abroad again, being fully occupied at home, and leading the 
sedentary life of a student. He had fatigues enough and 
pleasures enough, so that foreign fatigues or pleasures had no 
attraction for him. He did not need the voyage for health or 
recreation, and found his life of routine more congenial to 
him than travel and change. He sailed in the steamship 
" Liverpool," and reached Boston on Thursday, May 9, 1839. 

At once he devoted himself to his clerical office, attended 
the Ministers' Meetings, preached continuously, supplied 
vacant pulpits, filled Dr. Barrett's desk in Boston during 
his temporary absence, gave the Thursday lecture. At this 


time again he preached at Dr. Channing's on an engagement 
to supply for three Sundays. In Januar}' of 1840 he received 
a call from the " Harvard Church " in Charlestown, Mass. 
For the record of his ministry in Charlestown, I am indebted 
entirely to the admirable work on the Harvard Church b}' Mr. 
Henry H. Edes, whose untiring industry has gathered together 
every important piece of information, and whose History is 
indispensable to every person who would study the events of 
the society or its ministers. The " church," it seems, was 
formed in March, 1817 ; the parish had been gathered two 
years before. The first meeting-house was built in 1816 ; the 
present meeting-house in 1819. The name of the society was 
altered several times. It was first called " The Second Con- 
gregational Society " ; then, in 1819, the name was changed 
to that of the " New Church." In 18-37, agreeably to a 
vote of the parish, the Legislature passed an Act that the 
"New Church Society in Charlestown" shall be known and 
called the " Harvard Church in Charlestown." " The meeting- 
house was built," says Mr. Edes, " in the most thorough man- 
ner, of brick and stone ; and its external appearance to-day 
is but slightly different from what it was in 1819. The 
auditorium is seventy-one feet in depth and sixty-seven in 
width, and is supplied with galleries on three sides. These 
were, originally, supported by handsome Corinthian columns 
of wood, for which the present ordinary iron pillars were sub- 
stituted in 1859. . . . The pulpit as seen to-day is much lower 
than before the alterations in 1859, when the auditorium, with 
its stately broad aisle and thoroughly ecclesiastical appear- 
ance, was transformed into the present lecture-room." When 
the call was given to Mr. Ellis, he at first demurred, consider- 
ing the size of the parish, the amount of service which would 
be required, the shortness of the term of vacation, and the 
want of absolute unanimity in the invitation, — some of the 
pew-holders preferring another man, the Rev. George F. 
Simmons, a graduate of Harvard College in the Class of 1832, 
and a friend of Mr. Ellis. But, the society being canvassed 
again, these objections were removed, and Mr. Ellis accepted, 
— those who composed the dissentient minority proving after- 
wards to be among the stanchest of Mr. Ellis's friends. The 
ordination took place on March 11, 1840. The names of the 
gentlemen taking part in it suggest the theological attitude of 


the candidate, — Rev. Dr. Parkman, Rev. Alexander Young, 
Rev. N. L. Frothingham, Rev. E. S. Gannett, Rev. Samuel 
Osgood, Rev. Dr. Walker, Rev. George Putnam, Rev. Caleb 
Stetson. It is not important to dwell on the details of the 
Charlestown ministry. They were very much like every other 
ministry, except that fifty years ago the routine was stiffer, 
the duties were more imperative, and the theological tests 
more rigid. Mr. Ellis was most methodical in his method of 
going to work, - there is a list of people who died, of people 
who left the city, of people who had gone to other churches. 
He preached three times on Sundays ; and it is said that he 
made it a principle to be at least two sermons in advance, — 
an achievement that would be impossible if there was anj' con- 
siderable expenditure of nervous or spiritual force, or if the 
themes were suggested by immediate interests. Although at 
that time there were "labors of love" and frequent exchanges, 
there was still required a vast amount of mental activity. As 
if this was not enough, Mr. Ellis proposed several extras, 
— lectures in the chapel, for instance; a preparatory lecture 
before Communion. There were also secular lectures, the 
subjects of which were "Rome," "Switzerland," "Quakers," 
" Inventions," " Known and Unknown," " Literature," " Wil- 
liam Penn," " Italy and the Pope," " Strength, Wisdom, 
Love," " Democritus and Heraclitus." He edited the " Chris- 
tian Register" from September, 1842, to February, 1845. He 
compiled a hymn-book in 1845. He examined the public 
schools, as well as classes at Harvard College in Greek, Latin, 
History, Political Economy. He wrote books, was interested 
in Theological Education. He did an immense amount of 
work as editor with Dr. Putnam of the " Christian Examiner" 
from 1849 to 1855, a period of more than six years. " In that 
time," says Dr. Hale (an authority in this matter), " by far 
the larger part of what are called the ' Literary Notices,' and. 
of the ' Intelligence,' in each number was supplied by his pen. 
I observe, for instance, in the November number of 1850, his 
memorandum is, ' All the Notices by George E. Ellis.' In 
March, 1851, 'J^otice of Whipple's Essays by C. C. Smith ' ; 
the other Notices and Intelligence are by George E. Ellis. 
The range of subjects thus treated is very wide, and the dili- 
gence and skill with which he goes over such a field are 
extraordinary. Of the principal articles in the same time, he 


contributes one or two in every volume ; and there is not a 
volume which does not show the energy which he gave to the 
duty he had in charge. I am certainly justified in saying 
that there was no other scholarly man in this region at that 
time who could have undertaken, with such credit to himself, 
a duty ranging so wide and so far." In addition to this he 
addressed the Agricultural Society in Concord, October 4, 
1854. He attended the American Academy of Arts and 
Sciences on October 14, 1856. Then there were various 
speeches between October, 1856, and 1865 ; there were meet- 
ings of the "Society for Propagating the Gospel among the 
Indians," addresses, orations ; in 1868 an arrangement was 
made for obtaining possession of the Sewall papers ; in 1869 
there were the lectures by members of the Historical Society 
at the Lowell Institute, already referred to; lectures on the 
" Evidences of Christianity," in 1861, before the Lowell 
Institute, together with constant work on Sewall. 

His connection with Harvard College was close. The first 
examination of Seniors and Junioi-s in Greek was made in 
July, 1840. In 1850 he was chosen Overseer, — an office 
which he resigned in 1879. He was chosen Secretary of the 
Overseers in 1853, and kept it for one year. There was a long 
struggle on the point of the connection of the Theological 
School with the College, beginning in 1852. He made a 
report in that year to the Overseers, in which he recommended 
" that this Board do advise and consent to the adoption of 
suitable and proper measures on the part of the President and 
Fellows of Harvard College, to obtain a judicial decision from 
the proper tribunal, authorizing and directing that all such 
funds as may have been collected and bestowed for the estab- 
lishment and maintenance of a Theological School in connec- 
tion with Harvard College intrusted to the management of 
the Corporation, and placed in the custody of the College 
Treasurer, may be transferred to, and vested in, some other 
Corporation, or other Trustees, in trust, to provide for the' 
promotion of Theological Education by a separate Institution, 
under a separate government, so that the same shall be here- 
after distinct from Harvard College." The Supreme Court 
decided against the idea, — the Attorney-General being in full 
accord with the decision. In 1857 Mr. Ellis was appointed 
Professor of Systematic Theology at the Divinity School. 


At a special meeting of the President and Fellows of Har- 
vard College in Boston, March 11, 1857, the President 
informed the Board that the Ovei'seers had concurred in the 
vote, passed January 17, for the establishment of two new 
Professorships in the Divinity School, — provision having 
been made by the Society for Promoting Theological Educa- 
tion for defraying the whole expenses of the same, as appears 
from the following communication : — 

" To the Honorable and Reverend President and Fellows of Har- 
vard College respectfully represent undersigned officers of the Society 
for Promoting Theological Education, in obedience to a vote passed at 
a meeting of the said Society on the 5th of January, 1857, that the need 
of two new Professorships in the Divinity School at Cambridge — one 
of Ecclesiastical History, the other of Systematic Divinity — has been 
so long felt in the University, as that to state at length the reason for 
such an establishment must be altogether unnecessary ; and that the 
want of adequate funds for support of chairs for such officers is by all 
the community accepted as a chief, if not the only, cause of delay in 
creating them ; that in the present deficiency of means for permanent 
foundation, we propose, with sentiments of profoundest respect for the 
government of the University, the measure of instituting the same 
offices for a period of six years, as, by a Committee of our Society, 
appointed in February last, in a Report made and accepted on the said 
5th instant, was recommended at length, whereof a certified copy is 
herewith enclosed, which also we desire may be received as part of this 
memorial : now, to encourage this purpose, we agree to bind the funds 
of our Society for Promoting Theological Education to the punctual 
payment of twelve hundred dollars annually for six years, beginning on 
the day when the two Professors shall be inaugurated for the duties of 
their office." 

It was voted at this time that the salary of the Professor of 
Systematic Theology be six hundred dollars per annum. To 
this chair of Systematic Theology George E. Ellis was ap- 
pointed. He freely expressed to President Walker his doubts 
and misgivings, founded upon these considerations : (1) The 
amount of labor he already had imposed upon him by his 
parish ; (2) The possible dissent of his Society, and the 
arrangement of compensation ; (3) The question of residence ; 
(4) The matter of personal communication with the students 
of the Divinity School. " I confess not only to a lack of sym- 
pathy, but also to a feeling of antipathy towards some of the 



ill-furnished, unsettled, obtrusive, and conceited candidates 
among us. I am not in the habit of expressing this feeling ; 
but it burdens me, and I keep aloof from what would involve 
its exposure. As I do not care to overcome it, but rather con- 
sider myself at liberty to yield to it, it would make any very 
familiar relations with all the chance members of the School 
undesirable to me." But all these objections were overruled. 
Residence in Cambridge was not required ; the congregation 
freely consented that he should go one day in every week to 
his duties at the College, and declined to reduce his salary; 
intercourse with the students was not insisted on. This was 
Mr. Ellis's idea of Systematic Theology : " Systematic Theol- 
ogy is a taking of the Gospel apart as it comes to us, and put- 
ting it together again in a form supposed to be better suited 
to our understanding and use of it. It attempts to resolve 
revelation into its elements, and then to set them forth in 
system." " This institution," he remarks, near the close of his 
inaugural address, " does not offer its opportunities of retired 
study to all the miscellaneous medley of dreamers and the- 
orists of our day. It invites pupils who are supposed to be 
already believers and disciples of Christian truth. And it 
invites them to come, not for the purpose of experimenting on 
conceits of fancy, but that they may grow in grace and in the 
knowledge of Jesus Christ ; not to unsettle, but to quicken 
their faith ; to search for tlie hidden wisdom wrought in with 
the deeper veins of the Gospel mind ; and to fit themselves by 
thorough culture of the intellect, and by earnest experiences 
of the heart, to be faithful ministers of our Lord and Saviour." 
The Inaugural Address was delivered on Tuesday, July 14, 
1857, and was immediately followed by the duties imposed 
on the Professor. Great labor was expended on these lec- 
tures, which were usually prefaced by an essay or exposition. 
They were not popular, and drew no large number either of 
students or of strangers. They were neglected by many of 
the students, who did not take kindly to the man, or have any 
great respect for him as a teacher. Although I cannot speak 
of his connection with the School as a " melancholy failure," 
— as one who attended the lectures speaks of them, — still it 
cannot be considered a brilliant success, and was not continued 
after the six years had expired. However careful Mr. Ellis's 
preparation may have been, his talks were discursive, and 


were interlarded with a great many stories, — some of them 
amusing, but some of them, it must be confessed, not alto- 
gether pertinent. Here is one, for instance, about Benjamin 
Franklin apropos of his generous scientific expectations. 
Ellis said that if Franklin should come to life again, and pop 
up by the side of a railway track just as an express went 
thundering by, " he would n't even wink." His tone concern- 
ing immortality is said to have been unspiritual. At the same 
time he was doctrinally conservative. " I believe," he said in 
the Inaugural Address, " the Christian doctrine and Church to 
be founded on solemn verities of history, date, place, and 
marvel, and to be inseparably wrought in with astounding 
and startling miracles at every step and stage, and in every 
element of it. If I did not firmly believe this, I would not 
undertake to teach, nor would I come here to open my mind, 
as I mean it shall be opened, to your questioning." He speaks 
of the necessity of putting a wise restraint upon the spirit of 
scepticism. In connection with this Professorship, he was 
made a Doctor of Divinity. 

" The most important event of Dr. Ellis's pastorate," says 
Mr. Edes, " was the establishment of the Free Ministry and 
the building of the Harvard Chapel. The Chapel, with its 
furnishings, cost upwards of ten thousand dollars, and was 
dedicated February 12, 1856. The first minister engaged was 
the Rev. N. S. Folsom, D.D., who entered upon his labors 
October 11, 1846. He was succeeded by the Rev. Oliver C. 
Everett in 1850, whose ministry continued until August, 1869." 
In a letter written from 110 Marlborough Street, Boston, in 
1877, Dr. Ellis says: — 

" That Free Ministry was intended to be a practical expression of 
interest and efficient Christian work by the members of the Harvard 
Church in behalf of those who were not gathered into, or cared for hy, 
any religious Society in the town. . . . Five or six years after my own 
settlement I addressed the members of my Society to this efiPect, that 
there was one special matter as to which I did not feel satisfied in my 
position. I was spending my whole time and strength in behalf of the 
most privileged and favored class in the community, writing sermons 
and lectures, making calls, visiting the sick and afflicted, superintending 
the Sunday-school, with sole regard to those who, of all the people in 
the town, could best be deprived of such services, if any of the inhabi- 
tants must be deprived of them." 


This was certainly generous, and showed a real humanita- 
rian spirit. 

Dr. Ellis left Charlestown February 22, 1869. His reasons 
for leaving have been much debated, though they are very 
simple. He himself declares, in a letter resigning his pas- 
toral charge : " Deaths and removals from the city, and the 
steady changes in the membership of this Society, make me 
painfully sensible of the fact that, with a very few exceptions, 
I resign my office to others than those who invited me to 
assume it." Again, in January, 1875, in a letter to his former 
parishioners, he says : — 

" The sharp bereavements which in a little more than one year took 
from me in rapid succession all those the dearest to me in life, who had 
made with me a household and family, leaving with me no one with 
whom I could recall the experiences of the inner home, induced me to 
seek a seclusion in which it would have been more than painful to me 
to have revisited scenes so associated with former companionships and 
joys. ... In the last extended conversation which I had with Dr. 
Walker, he referred with much feeling to the recent experiences of 
your Society, in that which we both of us had known and long served 
as a very large, vigorous, and prosperous Parish seemed to be wasting 
and declining by deaths, by the removal of many of its households, and 
by marked changes in the elements of your increasing population." 

This was his explanation, and it was sufficient ; but I can- 
not help thinking that his retirement was caused partly by the 
decadence of the type of Unitarianism that he represented. A 
new enthusiasm, that for antiquarian research, had taken the 
place of the old one. A new atmosphere began to prevail. 
He wanted more leisure, more room for intellectual exercise, 
less constraint of mental activity, less routine of duty. The 
passion for historical research possessed him. It is quite true 
that Dr. Ellis was born under the Mosaic dispensation, and 
died under the Darwinian ; but when he was born the Mosaic 
dispensation was losing its power with Unitarians, and when 
he died the Darwinian had not entirely prevailed in his mind. 
He did not really leave the profession, but had a continued in- 
terest in the ministry. His belief was assured, though it was 
perhaps becoming dim. He preached often, till near the and, 
and officiated continually at the funerals of his parishioners, in 
other places. In an article entitled " Liberalism, its Loss and 
Gain," in the "Monthly Religious Magazine" for January, 


1873, he writes : " And we may be sure that however we may 
boast, we do not know the truth about anything, unless there 
comes silently, serenely, solemnly, for all our better hours and 
all our greater needs, some sacramental influence from the in- 
spirings and visions of a religions faith, which shall exceed in 
their power all the gatherings of our science and our knowledge 
and all the gropings of our speculation." In an article en- 
titled "Orthodoxy and the Bible," in the "Christian Register" 
for November, 1882, a paper in vindication of the aim of an 
Essay read before the Unitarian Club at the VendSme, and 
very much misunderstood, he ui'ges a plea for the rational 
interpretation of Scripture. It is contended there that the 
ordinary doctrine of literal inspiration supports Orthodoxy, 
and that the way to attack the old creed is to undermine the 
literal authority of the Bible. Thus the essential view enter- 
tained by Dr. Ellis was rationalistic. His punctual attendance 
at the First Church in Boston must not be pressed too hard, 
for it was the church of his brother, as well as of Cotton. He 
seems to have applied, moreover, to all religious questions a 
practical test, considering their bearing on human conduct. 
More than once he has said to me that the moral level would 
sink if man disbelieved in immortality, and that for his part, 
though he could not comprehend it, he was willing to accept 
the doctrine with all the world, and to take his chance with 
the rest. The personal element, too, in his faith seems to have 
been large. Then, with him, faith was, in a large degree, a 
matter oi feeling. His own creed was probably never carefully 
defined, even to himself. As to his Darwinism, he says, in an 
article in the " Monthly Religious Magazine " on Darwin's 
" Descent of Man " (45, 501), that the doctrine of evolution 
does not necessarily imply any disbelief in divine Providence. 
It describes a method of creation rather than disbelief in a liv- 
ing God. He may be called a gentle agnostic, not one who 
disbelieved in divine things because he could not know them, 
but one who thought that divine things might exist although 
he could not know them. The motto of his book-plate, apn 
yivmaKco m fiepox^, " Now I know in part," tells the whole 
story. The truth is, that his thoughts were running in other 
directions than those of speculation. It is quite possible that 
his creed was modified incidentally by criticism and philosophy ; 
but that the citadel was ever touched, I do not believe. The 
fact is that he never grappled with hard problems. 


The ministry in Charlestown was happy and useful. His 
Society was large and devoted, as is attested by the presents 
he received, and by the resolutions adopted, on his resignation, 
by the "Society" and the " Church." The former recognizes 
" during his long ministry his faithful discharge of his pastoral 
duties among his people, — full of good works, in the love and 
spirit of the gospel of the blessed Saviour, — imparting conso- 
lation to bereaved and sorrowing hearts, and strengthening the 
hopes and faith of those who were seeking for the truth as it is 
in Jesus." The " Church " declares : " We are grateful to the 
Giver of all our blessings that we have been so long permitted 
to enjoy your companionship, and to profit by your Christian 
ministrations, the fervor and sincerity of which have quickened 
our heart.s to a more devout and earnest meditation of the 
Divine Word, exemplified in the life and teachings of the 
blessed Saviour, and illustrated by you in your ministrations 
from the altar of our affections and interest." He was popular 
as a preacher, and often invited to other Societies , for he was 
dignified, clear, persuasive, and at times eloquent. It must be 
remembered, too, that in his day the Ministry was pre-eminent 
among the professions , in fact, it stood at the head of '' Lib- 
eral Callings," and was held in high honor accordingly. 
Charlestown, moreover, was a historical place, full of reminis- 
cences of Governor Winthrop and the Revolution. There were 
Bunker Hill and the United States Navy Yard. A number of 
distinguished visitors came there ; he met eminent men. There 
were amenities also. He heard, for instance, Webster's great 
Oration at the completion of Bunker Hill Monument, and walked 
in the procession as chaplain. There were amusements, too, — 
fishing, horseback-riding, theatres , Dickens's readings are 
mentioned ; there were celebrations, dinners, teas, pleasant 
journeys, excursions to the mountains, shows, entertainments. 
It was while there that he married his two wives. On the 
15th of April, 1840, Mr. Ellis was married to Miss Elizabeth 
Bruce Eager, daughter of Mr. William Eager of Boston. She 
lived but a short time, and died, much lamented, April 10, 1842. 
On the 22d of October, 1859, Dr. Ellis married, in Boston, Miss 
Lucretia Goddard Gould, daughter of Mr. Benjamin Apthorp 
Gould, who was a classmate of President Walker at Cam- 
bridge. She died, July 6, 1869, thirty-eight years old, at 
Mount Desert, whither .she had gone to spend the summer. 


His only child, a son by his first wife, John Harvard Ellis, a 
graduate of Harvard College in the Class of 1862, an author of 
some repute, and a lawyer at the Suffolk Bar, died in Boston, 
on May 3, 1870, at the age of twenty-nine. All these losses 
made a deep and sad impression on his mind, and desolated 
his life for years, but were associated with delightful scenes. 

On leaving Charlestown, he moved at once to Boston, and 
lived for some time with Mr. James L. Little, on the corner of 
Commonwealth Avenue and Arlington Street. The house in 
Marlborough Street (110) was bought in 1870, and there he 
lived till the time of his death. From that period his life was 
solitary, devoted to literary and historical work. The Histori- 
cal Society was his great interest and pride , otherwise his was 
a buried existence, and would have been lonely, but for the 
extraordinary activity of his mind, his host of friends, his in- 
terest in the passing world, his capacity for enjoyment, and 
his fund of humor. His summers were passed at Swampscott, 
Saratoga, and Newport. His range of reading was vast and 
strangel}' miscellaneous. Here is a sample : Lathrop's Study 
of Hawthorne, Middlemarch, Robert Elsmere, David Grieve, 
Masson's Milton, Bowen's Modern Philosophy, the Life of 
Charles Sumner, Greg's Creed of Christendom, the Life of 
Turner (tiie Artist), the Life of Daniel Webster, the Letters 
of Chauncey Wright, the Life of Motley, Flipper's Colored 
Cadet at West Point, the Life of William Lloyd Garrison, 
Tom Crhigle's Log, McAllister's Society as I Found It, Hux- 
ley's Hume, Ruskln's Prseterita, Mrs. Jackson's Century of Dis- 
honor, Fronde's Carlyle, Robertson Smith's Old Testament, 
Parton's Voltaire, Morley's Voltaire, Conway's Life of Paine, 
Storrs's St. Bernard, James's Hawthorne, Colvin's Life of Lan- 
der, Schopenhauer's Essays, Life of Sir Christopher Wren, 
Irving's Columbus, Cabot's Emerson, John Inglesant, Sir Per- 
cival, Tolstoi's Kreutzer Sonata, Bellamy's Looking Backward, 
Amiel's Journal, Life of Mrs. Shellej', Evolution of a Snob, 
Ball's Autobiography, R^nan's Recollections, Jane Austen's 
Novels, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Oaird's Literature and Phi- 
losophy, Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter (" a morbid and nightmare 
creation"), Underwood's Quabbin, Barrie's Little Minister, 
Typee, Omoo, Lubbock's Beauties of Nature, Royce's Feud of 
Oakfield Creek, Dickens's Life and Letters, Calmire, Mor- 
ley's Essay on Compromise, the Nuu of Kenmare, the Life of 


Sir Moses Moiitefiori, Clarissa Harlowe, etc. Remember that 
this is a part only, a fair sample, of his omnivorous reading. 
There is no poefay, very little comment, no attempt at analy- 
sis, or discrimination even, — nothing that indicates genius 
or intellectual decision. There is no evidence that he had the 
mental force to break through the crowd of books. As I 
looked over the list, I was reminded continually of Bacon's 
saying : " Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, 
and writing an exact man." A full man he certainly was ; in 
conversation the "con" was omitted, his talk being an out- 
pouring, a " versation," a soliloquy ; he did not like interrup- 
tion or criticism ; he did not discuss. In writing, exactness 
was just what he aimed at. His style was cumbrous, clumsy, 
diffuse, but always in the interest of what he supposed to be 
exactness. He coined words and heaped up adjectives simply 
in order to express little shades of meaning, leaving no room 
for the imagination of the reader to play. On perusing his 
" Puritan Age," I amused myself in marking the passages that 
could be left out or more neatly stated. 

The truth is that Dr. Ellis was not an historian of the 
modern philosophical school, not a great writer. One is con- 
stantly tempted to contrast him with Erasmus (Luther can- 
not be thought of ; Erasmus was one of his admirations). He 
was an Erasmus diluted, not so learned, not so much of a thinker, 
not so earnest or influential. True, as is said in an article on 
" Erasmus and the Reformation," in " Temple Bar " for P"'eb- 
ruaiy, 1895, "he lived and died in his study, and no promises 
of honor or office could tempt him to leave it." But it is not 
quite true that " there were windows all round it, and his 
keen eye was forever passing through them on its travels over 
Europe, East and West and North and South." Windows 
there were, but they looked on back yards. Perhaps we can 
best estimate the man by comparing his opinion of Samuel 
Adams with that of George W. Curtis. I have repeatedly 
heard Dr. Ellis speak of Samuel Adams disparagingly as a 
demagogue, a scheming and not veiy high-principled person. 
Now compare this with what Curtis says in his Oration on 
the " Centennial Celebration of Concord Fight " : — 

" With brain and heart and conscience all alive, he opposed every 
hostile order in council with the British precedent, and arrayed against 
the government of Great Britain the battle of principles impregnable 


with accumulated strength of centuries of conviction. . . . Intrenched 
in his own honesty, the king's gold could not buy him ; enshrined in the 
love of his fellow-citizens, the king's writ could not take him ; and when, 
on this morning, the king's troops marched to seize him, his sublime faith 
saw beyond the clouds of the moment the rising sun of the America 
that we behold." 

This fairly illustrates the man. He was acute, but literal 
and unhopeful ; disposed to look on the shady side of character 
rather than to soar away, as Curtis does, on the wings of future 
anticipation ; a man of strong opinions, bqt not of ardent con- 
victions. His amusements at Saratoga and Newport also illus- 
trate his character ; he went to see in Saratoga, as late as 
1892, the St. Bernard kennels, Barnum's procession (1889), 
"Punch and Judy," Lincoln's " Comicalities " (1886), "The 
Equine Paradox" (1884), Hermann the Magician (1883). His 
insensibility to music is curiously exhibited by his character- 
ization as " singers and screamers " certain Italian performers 
at Saratoga in 1892. He went to the theatre as late as 1892, 
chiefly with friends ; to many theatres, in fact, — the Tremont, 
the Boston, the Globe. He saw Mr. Willard, the Kendals, 
Irving's "Faust," Booth's "Hamlet," Salvini's "Othello," 
Mrs. Langtry, Mary Anderson. He made a point of visit 
ing the Flower Shows in Horticultural Hall as late as 1892, 
although he himself had no taste for horticulture. 

His intellectual activity was incessant. Among other essays, 
he wrote four articles for the ninth edition of the " Encyclo- 
psedia Britannica," — one on Boston (1875), one on Cambridge 
(1875), one on Fillmore (1878), and one on Harvard College 
(1879). He wrote the article on " Unitarianism " in Apple- 
ton's " Encyloptedia," in 1876. In 1880 came the articles for 
the " Memorial History of Boston " ; and in 1889, the papers 
in the " Narrative and Critical History of the United States," 
which involved an immense amount of labor. There were 
notices of books, principally in the " Evening Transcript " and 
the " Christian Register " ; articles in various Reviews, — the 
" New York Review," " North American Review," and the 
" Atlantic Monthly," to which he was a frequent contributor, 
generally on topics of American history. He even completed 
N. I. Bowditch's " History of the Massachusetts General Hos- 
pital," in 1872. He received from Harvard College, in 1883, 
the degree of LL.D., "in recognition of his valuable contri- 



butions to American Biogi'aphy and History, and of his many 
public services as an orator, preacher, and pastor." 

His historical interest began early. We have already seen 
him passing day after day in the British Museum reading and 
copying documents for George Bancroft, — a proof that even 
then he was engaged in historical pursuits, and had such a 
reputation for patience and accuracy of research that he was 
trusted by the most eminent historian of the day. Soon after 
his return home he lectured on the " Quakers" in Salem, Bos- 
ton, Charlestown, and other places, — four times in Salem. In 
1840 he visited Seneca Falls, in order to see the grave of Red 
Jacket. In 1843 he lectured in the Gloucester Lyceum on the 
"Siege of Boston." In 1844 he "visited the graves of Uncas 
and Miantonomo, walked with an Indian to the site of Uncas' 
fort ; rode to Sassacus' two forts and Porter's Rocks, and in- 
spected the town records in Norwich." The same year he 
published the Life of Mason, in the " New Series of Sparks's 
American Biography." In 1845 came the "Life of Anne 
Hutchinson, with a Sketch of the Antinomian Controversy 
in Massachusetts." In 1847 he wrote the Life of William 
Penn, in the same series. The "Half-Century of the Uni- 
tarian Controversy" was published in 1857. The Memoir of 
Luther V Bell has already been mentioned. In 1868 be- 
gan the woi'k on the Sewall Papers. In that same year ho 
presented a report to the Legislature respecting the possession 
of three volumes of papers once owned by Governor Thomas 
Hutchinson. In 1869 the lectures that he prepared for the 
course before the Lowell Institute on the " Aims and Purposes 
of the Founders of Massachusetts and their Treatment of In- 
truders and Dissentients," were reprinted in a volume. In 
1871 the volume about Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rum- 
ford, appeared. The same year were delivered Lowell Insti- 
tute Lectures on the " Provincial History of Massachusetts." 
In 1875 was written a " History of the Battle of Bunker's 
Hill, on June 17, 1775, from Authentic Sources in Printing 
and Manuscript, with a Map of the Battle-Ground and an Ac- 
count of the Monument on Breed's Hill." In 1875 the chap- 
ter on the " College Yard," in Cambridge, was prepared for 
the "Harvard Book." In 1880 the Memoir of Dr. Jacob 
Bigelow was printed. A paper on Dean Berkeley, at New- 
port, was printed in the " Boston Transcript " of August 12. 


An Address on the Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversarj' of 
the First Church in Boston was delivered tlie same year ; in 
that same year, too, an Address on the Two Hundred and 
Fiftieth Anniversary of the First Church in Dorchester was 
delivered. In 1881 he contributed an Introduction to the 
History of the First Church in Boston (these were largely his- 
torical), and an Address at the dinner to Carl Schurz. The 
volume on the " Red Man and the White Man in North Amer- 
ica, from its Discovery to the Present Time," appeared in 1882. 
In the " Atlantic Monthly " for May and October were written 
two articles on Governor Thomas Hutchinson ; also an Ad- 
dress at the Unveiling of John Harvard's statue in Cambridge. 
The Two Hundredth Anniversary of King's Chapel in Boston 
was celebrated b}^ an Address in December, 1886. In 1888 
Dr. Ellis made an Address at the Two Hundred and Fiftieth 
Anniversary of the town of Dedham ; in the same year he 
gave an Address at the Eighty-second Anniversary of the 
New York Historical Society. In 1888 his book on the 
" Puritan Age in Massachusetts " was published. In that 
same year was read an Address at the Two Hundred and 
Fiftieth Anniversary of the Church in Dedham. Several 
other things were thrown in mea:iwhile ; for instance, an 
Address, in 1876, on the Evacuation of Boston. In 1867 Dr. 
Ellis made an examination of the inscription on " Dighton 
Rock." This certainl}' fully attests his character as an anti- 

Chief among Dr. Ellis's personal traits was an insatiable curi- 
osity, — a curiosity so intense that it revelled in the domain of 
private gossip, and sometimes came dangerously near the limits 
of scandal, though usually a high level was maintained. He 
wanted to see everything and everybody of the least impor- 
tance. In Boston, Charlestown, Newport, Saratoga, there was 
scarcely a prominent house that he did not visit. " The 
Pompeian House " in Saratoga was always an object of in- 
terest to him. He attended Forepaugh's Circus ; went to see 
Rarey, Japanese curios, Japanese jugglers ; examined the Bell 
Telephone ; saw the elephants bathe in the Frog Pond. His 
portrait presents this feature prominently ; the open, eager, 
asking eyes strike the notice at once. It was principally this 
inquisitiveness and openness of mind that attracted children to 
him, and made society so interesting to him ; for he wished to 


know all about other people, whether rich or poor, old or 
young, public or private. 

His own way of life was exceedingly simple. He indulged 
in few luxuries, — books being his only extravagance. Indeed, 
it may be said that he spent nothing on himself, and yet his 
generosity was remarkable. He was kind-hearted, humane, 
charitable. In 1878 he lent two thousand dollars to a nephew ; 
and when they were returned, he gave the sum to a favorite 
niece. To his less fortunate classmates he was exceedingly 
kind, and he gave away a great deal of money to indigent 
people. He was interested in the Kindergarten for the Blind, 
and had a letter from Helen Keller. In December, 1881, 1 
find this record in his journal : "Attended first and only time 
the St. Botolph Club, Boylston Street ; smoked out before 
play began." The next day he sent in his resignation of mem- 
bership ; but when his nephew Arthur was in England the next 
year, and saw at a silversmith's shop a collection of valuable 
pieces from old Boston in Lincolnshire, he obtained permission 
to send a goblet to his uncle in Boston, thinking that he might 
want it. Dr. Ellis gave this cup to the St. Botolph Club in 
Boston, with the following letter : — 

110 Marlborough Street, Boston, Feb. 22, 1882. 

Dear Mr. Parkman, — I herewith, through yon, as its President, 
present to the St. Botolph Club of this city a Massive Silver Gilt 
" Loving Cup,'' formerly belonging to the Corporation of our Brother 
Town Boston, Lincolnshire, England. The Cup, with other pieces of 
Silver-plate belonging to that Corporation, was sold by auction in June, 
1837, was purchased by Mr. Daniel Jackson, and by him bequeathed to 
his son Mr. George Jackson. On his death in May, 1881, it was at 
the disposal of his widow. My nephew, Mr. Arthur B. Ellis, being in 
Boston last summer, and having the opportunity, thinking I might wish 
to possess the Cup, was allowed to bring it to this country, — ■ having 
purchased and paid for it, as the accompanying document describing the 
Cup and the receipt will show. It seemed to me that the St. Botolph 
Club should fitly have the Cup in its possession, and would value it, 
though it is not requisite that they should put it to its original use. I 
attach the following conditions to the bestowal and the acceptance of 
the Cup : That the accompanying documents be copied into the Records 
of the Club to certify my rightful possession to the Cup, and also that 
there be entered upon those Records a Covenant, a certified copy of 
which shall be sent to the Recording Secretary of the Massachusetts 


Historical Society, that if ever the Club shall be disbanded or its 
assets dispersed, the Cup shall revert to that Society. 
Sincerely yours, 

George E. Ellis. 

He also furnished the cabinet in which the cup is kept 
now at the Club. He presented his picture to his former 

Dr. Ellis was distinguished for honesty, sincerity', personal 
self-respect. If he could not say the whole truth respecting 
his neighbor, he said nothing. An unkind word he would not 
speak ; and his regard for truth was so exacting that he had 
no patience with anything that looked like dissimulation or 
diplomacy. His respect for character was also quite remark- 
able. The Hon. George S. Hale, the executor of his will, 
says : " In Dr. Ellis's will, chiefly from his own pen, dated 
October 15, 1887, he directs: 'After my interment in my lot 
at the Cemetery at Mount Auburn, I enjoin that my name 
and year of birth and death be cut, without titles, on the rear 
of the monument.' " Though he enjoyed consideration and 
loved personal distinction, he always put merit first. He 
thought a great deal of old-fashioned gentlemanliness. This 
possibly colored his opinions. Like Everett, Prescott, Web- 
ster, he was conservative ; no innovator or reformer or agi- 
tator ; not enthusiastic in anticipations for humanity. He was 
not in sympathy with the Abolitionists, thinking that they 
rather impeded the cause of liberty. He was evidently inter- 
ested in colonization. At the same time he was cordially a 
Northern man. When the Civil War broke out, he had not a 
moment's hesitation in siding heartily with the North. I find 
this record in his diary for 1861 : " The week — after great 
apprehension — closes more calmly under the assurance that 
the Government has the mastery over Southern rascals, 
traitors, and rebels, and will put them down." He took part 
in the sanitaiy fairs for the soldiers, celebrated every great 
victory, and on the death of Abraham Lincoln had his church 
draped with black. But on "Labor's Holiday" (September, 
1887), he writes, "the initiation of mischief"; and in the 
church of San Marco at Florence he has no mention of 
Savonarola, only of Poliziano and John Picus. 

In late years life was not gay to him, though it was cheer- 
ful. He seldom went out in the evening, withdrew from his 


Clubs, and but for his friends and books would have been sad 
and lonely. He lived in his memory, and loved to recall the 
dear bright scenes of the past. His, in fact, was a life in the 
past, although its outvvard motions continued. Yet he lived up 
to the very last moment, and dropped down dead v^hen he had 
done his work. In his case death had no shadow. The 
" dolours of death," as Bacon calls them, he was spared. He 
died, from apoplexy, on the 20th of December, 1894, in his 
eighty-first year. There was little or no premonition, — none 
that attracted observation. His health — thanks to a strong 
constitution and regular habits — was nearly perfect. There 
were a few slight ailments, but there was nothing of any 
duration or severity. He used to say, with a little exaggera- 
tion, that he was never ill in his life; and it was substantially 
true. He enjoyed the good things of the world in moderation, 
— being " temperate " in the strict sense of the term, — and 
practised the old motto, " Early to bed and early to rise," 
though it was not owing to this that he was " healthy, 
wealthy, and wise," so much as to his constant exercise in 
the open air and his wholesome sympathies. He was a singu- 
larly vigorous man, and would have been so considered had 
he been much younger. 

Dr. Ellis belonged to the ancient order, — . the order of 
privilege, — but was an excellent example of his kind, being 
destitute of stubborn prejudices, as well as softened by a 
religious education. A man so fond of service would be valu- 
able anywhere at any time, for this type is rare ; but his 
work was done, his reputation was made, his career had 
touched its iiighest mark. His life, had he existed longer, 
would have been but a trickling streamlet of water at the 
bottom of a channel that had once been full. An earthly 
immortality cannot be claimed for him, for he was not one of 
the commanding persons, but an important one he certainly 
was ; a helper, if not a leader, of his kind ; an influence, if not 
a power; not a great man, — not even a great archaeologist, 
like the late Edwai'd A. Freeman, — not a learned man, or 
accomplished in letters, but sober, peaceable, morally clean ; 
not imaginative, sentimental, enthusiastic, but sensible and 
dutiful. He had his private feelings, but they were kept sub- 
ordinate to his judgment. He had his griefs, too, but he held 
the " climbing sorrow" down. He looked tenderly on the past, 


observingly on the present, and indulged moderate expecta- 
tions of the future. To him may be applied the words of the 
Emperor Octavius to his sister, in Shakespeare's " Antony and 
Cleopatra " (act iii. scene vii.) : — 

" Cheer your heart : 
Be you not troubled with the time, whicli drives 
O'er your content these strong necessities ; 
But let determined things to destiny 
Hold unbewail'd their sway."