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1895.] KEMAKKS BY HON. JOHN LOWELL. 139
MAY MEETING, 1895.
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-
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
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.
140 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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-
1895.] EEMAKKS BY DK. SAMUEL E. HERRICK. 141
quately, though there can be none, I am sure, by whom his
character was more profoundly respected, or his work more
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
142 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Mat,
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
1895.] KEMAEKS BY EEV. O. B. FEOTHINGHAM. 143
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
144 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
" 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
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."
lS95,j EBMAKKS BY HON. WINSLOW WAREEN. 145
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
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
146 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
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.
1893.] EEMAEKS BY MR. EDWARD L. PIEECE. 147
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
148 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
mind was there a sliade of insincerity or disingenuousness.
By liis death we part with an associate in whom there was
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
1895.] BEQUESTS OF DU. GEOEGE E. ELLIS. 149
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
150 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
1895.] BEQUESTS OP DR. GEOKGE E. ELLIS. 151
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
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.
152 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
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
1895.] BEQUESTS OP DR. GEORGE B. ELLIS. 15S
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 : —
154 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCIETy. [May,
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.
1895.] BEQUESTS OP DE. GEOtlGE B. ELLIS. 155
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
156 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCIETY. [Mat,
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
1895.] BEQUESTS OP DE. GEORGE E. ELLIS. 157
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
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
158 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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.
160 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCIETY. [Mat,
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, —
162 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
" 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
1895.] COKFISCATED ESTATES OP BOSTON LOYALISTS. 163
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
Atkins, Gibbs . . .
Auchmuty, Robert .
Bernard, Francis . .
Birch, William . . .
Blair, John ....
Borland, John . . .
Borland, John Lindall
Boutineau, James . .
Bowes, William . . .
Calf, Robert . .
Canner, Henry .
Coffin, John . .
Coffin, William .
Deblois, Gilbert . .
Draper, Margaret . .
MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Faneuil, Benjamin . . .
Fisher, Willfret ....
Loring, Joshua, Jr.
Plucker, Thoniaa . . .
Lyde, Edward . ,
Foster, Edward ....
Gardner, Sylvester . . .
Gay, Martin . . - . .
Geyer, Frederick William
Goldsbury, Samuel . .
Martin, William .
Moffatt, Thomas .
Goldthwait, Joseph . .
Paddock, Adino .
Paxton, Charles .
Gray, Harrison ....
Perkins, William L.
Green, Josepli ....
Powell, John . .
Hallowell, Benjamin . .
Hallowell, Robert . . .
Price, Elizabeth .
Procter, Agnes . .
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 . .
Irving, George ....
Simpson, John . .
Smith, Richard . .
Jackson, William . . .
Jarvis, Robert ....
Stow, Edward . .
Jenkins, Peter ....
Johonnot, Peter ....
Taylor, John . .
Taylor, William .
Troutbeck, John .
Keighly, Edward . . .
Knutting, William . . .
Vassell, William .
Laughton, Henry . . .
Walter, William .
Lechmere, Richard . . .
Leonard, George . . .
Willson, John . .
Lewis, Ezekiel ....
Winnett, John, Jr.
Lillie, Theophilus . . .
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.
1895.] CONFISCATED ESTATES OF BOSTON LOYALISTS. 165
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
MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
THE CONFISCATED ESTATES
Date of record.
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(
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 ....
It tt tt
Nathaniel Greene . .
Sept. 29, 1783
Atkins, Gibbs ....
Thomas Trail ....
Dec. 31, 1788
Nathaniel Hickman .
Jan. 1, 1794
Titus Morgan ....
Feb. 26, 1780
AucHMUTY, Robert et al.
Samuel Clark . . .
1895.] CONFISCATED ESTATES OF BOSTON LOYALISTS. 167
OF BOSTON LOYALISTS.
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.]
MASSACHUSETTS HISTOBICAL SOCIETY.
Date of record.
Apr. 13, 1782
July 31, 1783
Aug. 18, 1779
AUCHMUTY, ROBEKT, et al.
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
JosiAH Waters Jr.
a (( ((
Blair, John ....
Borland, John . . .
BouTiNEAU, James et al.
Bowes, William ,
Victor Blair . .
Samuel Clark. .
Samuel Broome .
Richard Driver .
MUNGO Maokky .
Robert Jenkins .
James Welch . .
1895.] CONFISCATED ESTATES OP BOSTON LOYALISTS. 169
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
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.
MASSACHUSETTS HISTOKICAL SOCIETY.
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
Bkattle, William .
Caneb, Rev. Henry
Coffin, John . . .
Deblois, Gilbert .
Draper, Margaret .
Erving, John . . .
GcsTAVus Fellows . .
Moses Wallack .
Gilbert Deblois, Jr.
Ann Deblois, wife of (
GiLBliRT Deblois \
John Codman, Jr. . .
Nathaniel Appleton .
John Deming . .
Philip Wentworth . .
1895.] CONFISCATED ESTATES OF BOSTON LOYALISTS. 171
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
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
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-
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&
MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
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
Geyer, Frederick ]
Gray, Harrison . .
William Burbeck )
Levi Lane f
William Coleman )
Benjamin Coleman |
Joseph Gardner . .
July 24, 1780 Hallowell, Benjamin
Timothy Atkins . . .
Nathan Frazier ,
John Stanton ')
Samuel Allen Otis
Samuel Gardner Jarvis
1895.] CONFISCATED ESTATES OF BOSTON LOYALISTS. 178
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
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
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,
MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
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
Hatch, Nathaniel . .
HcLTON, Henry . .
John Coffin Jones
H (( .it
Samuel Dunn Jr.
Jeremiah Allen .
William McNeill >
Archibald McNeill f
Edward Compton Howe
John Read ,
1895.J CONFISCATED ESTATES OF BOSTON LOYALISTS. 175
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,
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
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.
MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Date of record.
Oct. 4, 1782
Hutchinson, Eliakim .
John Lucas }
Edward Tuckekman J
March 1, 1783
Nathan Spear . . .
April 3, 1783
Francis Bigelow . .
July 12, 1783
Joseph Kussell . . .
Feb. 18, 1784
Thomas Green . . .
Aug. 28, 1784
Thomas Walley. . .
Dec. 24, 1792
Samuel Emmons Jr. 7
Victor Blair \
May 17, 1793
Jeffery Richardson .
Dec. 15, 1795
Apr. 13, 1796
Martin Brimmer . .
Feb. 25, 1783
" Foster et al.
Ebenezer Parsons )
Daniel Sargent J '
Sept. 25, 1783
John Codman Jr. . .
Dec. 27, 1779
" Thomas, Gov.
Joseph Veasey . . .
1895.] CONFISCATED ESTATES OP BOSTON LOYALISTS. 177
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
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.
MASSACHtJSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCIETY.
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
Keighly, Edward .
johx hotty . .
Ebexezer Parsons 1
1895.] CONFISCATED ESTATES OF BOSTON LOYALISTS. 179
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 mar.sh, 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
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
MASSACHTJSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Date of record.
June U, 1783
Lkchmore, Richard .
Mungo Mackey . . .
May 26, 1781
John Greenough . .
Aug. 3, 1781
Samuel Howard. . .
Aug. 31, 1779
LoRiNG, Joshua . . .
John Keyes ....
Oct. 28, 1779
Isaac Sears ....
Feb. 1, 1782
James Swan ....
Apr. 28, 1783
John Tufts ....
Nov. 23, 1795
Feb. 21, 1785
Lyde, Edward . . .
Nathaniel Byfield Lyde
Sept. 18, 1783
Martin, William . .
Nov. 26, 1782
McNeil, Archibald .
Samuel Conant . . .
Aug. 1, 1782
Paddock, Adino . . .
Thomas Bumstead . .
1895.] COKFISCATED ESTATES OF BOSTON LOYALISTS. 181
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
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
Land in Boston, Orange St. W. ; Henry Bass N. ; the salt water E. ; James
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.
MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCrETY.
Date of record.
Jan. 2, 1783
July 19, 1782
Nov. 12, 1782
Aug. 11, 1783
Dec. 18, 1783
May 10, 1786
Dec. 6, 1782
Peppekell, Sir William
Simpson, John >
Snelling, Jonathan .
John Molineux 7
William Molineux J '
Joseph Barrell .
1895.] CONFISCATED ESTATES OF BOSTON LOYALISTS. 183
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
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.
MASSACHtJSETTS HISTOBICAL SOCIETY.
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
Stow, Edward . .
Taylor, John ....
Vassall, John . . .
Walter, Kev. William
Warden, William . .
WiNSLow, Isaac . . .
Edward Tyler .
Benjamin Thomson .
Isaiah Doane . .
Leonard Jarvis .
1895.] CONFISCATED ESTATES OF BOSTON LOYALISTS. 185
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
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
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
Assignment of mortgage Joseph Crosby to Isaac Winslow, dated Aug. 5, 1768.
186 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Mat,
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,
1895.] LETTER OF MRS. LUCY DOWNING. 187
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.
188 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOBICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
Yo" ever Loving Mo
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 : —
COMMEMORATION AT ACTOK.
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 : —
SITE OP HOtrSE WHERE FIRST
ALARM WAS GIVEN m ACTON !
MORNING OP 19" OF APRIL 1775.
" CAPT. BOBBINS ! OAPT. ROBBINS !
THE REGULARS ARE COMING !!"
MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
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
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,
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 : —
FROM THIS FARM WENT
CALVIN AND LUTHER BLANCHARD
TO CONCORD FIGHT AND BUNKER HILL
SONS OF SIMON BLANCHARD WHO WAS
KILLED AT THE BATTLE OF QUEBEC 1759
LUTHER WAS THE FIRST MAN HIT BY A
BRITISH BALL AT THE OLD NORTH BRIDGE
AND DIED IN THE SERVICE OF HIS COUNTRY
A FEW MONTHS LATER
On the rear of the stone, in a small panel, are the words : —
1895.] COMMEMORATION AT ACTON. 191
ERECTEB 1895 BY
GRANDSON OF CALVIN
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.
MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
It is fitting that this spot should be marked by an enduring
memorial in honor of the first American officer who fell in the
The stone is rounded at the corners, and inscribed as
follows : —
THIS FAKM WAS THE HOME
OF OAPT. ISAAC DAVIS
WHO WAS KIIiiED IN BATTLE
BY THE BRITISH AT
THE OLD NORTH BKIDaB
IN CONCORD APRIL 19^
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.
1895.] LETTER OP CAPTAIN NATHANIEL SALTONSTALL. 193
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-
194 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
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
[Indorsed in another hand]
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
Cotton Mather mav have received this information from
1895.] EAELY HAEVAED COMMENCEMENTS. 195
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
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
196 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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 : —
1895.] EARLY HARVARD COMMENCEMENTS. 197
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.
198 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCIETY. [Mat,
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 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
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
1895.] EAELY HAEVAED COMMENCEMENTS. 199
library of this Society, the day fell " die nono Sextilis "
(August 9) in 1670, — in each instance the second Tuesday of
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
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)  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
200 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
the following : " 8)  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
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.
1895.] EAELY HAEVAED COMMENCEMENTS. 201
" 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
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 : —
202 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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,
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-
1895.] EARLY HAEVAED COMMENCEMENTS. 203
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
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
204 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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.
EAELY HAEVAED COMMENCEMENTS.
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,
Tulley says that it occurred on Wednesday, July 6.
The same authority gives it on Wednesday, July 3.
September 13 ?
Se jtember 11
1 See -post, p. 360.
206 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
1895.] MEMOIR OF KEV. GEOKGE E. ELLIS. 207
GEORGE EDWAED ELLIS, D.D., LL.D.
BY 0. B. FROTHINGHAM.
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.
208 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
1895.] MEMOIR OP KEV. GEOEGE E. ELLIS. 209
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 : —
210 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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,
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
1895.] MEMOIR OF EEV. GEORGE E. ELLIS. 211
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-
212 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAX SOCIETY. [May,
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
1895.] MEMOIR OP EEV. GEORGE E. ELLIS. 213
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
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,
214 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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-
1895.] MEMOIE OF REV. GEORGE B. ELLIS. 215
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 ;
216 MASSACHtJSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
1895.] MEMOIR OP REV. GEORGE E. ELLIS. 217
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
218 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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;
1895.] MEMOIR OF ItEV. GEOEGE E. ELLIS. 219
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
220 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOKICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
1895.] MEMOIK OP EEV. GEOKGE E. ELLIS. 221
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-
222 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
1895.] MEMOIR OP REV. GEORGE E. ELLIS. 223
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
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
224 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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."
1895.] MEMOIR OP EEV. GEORGE E. ELLIS. 225
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."
226 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
1895.] MEMOIR OF REV. GEORGE E. ELLIS. 227
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
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
228 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
1895.] MEMOIR OP EEV. GEORGE E. ELLIS. 229
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-
230 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
1895.] MEMOIR OF EEV. GEOEGE E. ELLIS. 231
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
232 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOKICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
234 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY, [May,
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
1895.] MEMOIR OF EBT. GEORGE E. ELLIS. 235
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."
236 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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 : —
1895.] MEMOIR OP KEY. GEOEGE E. ELLIS. 237
" 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
" 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
238 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
1895.] MEMOIE OF REV. GEORGE E. ELLIS. 239
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
240 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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.
1895.] MEMOIR OF KEY. GEORGE E. ELLIS. 241
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
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
242 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
1895.] MEMOIR OF KEV. GEOKGE E. ELLIS. 243
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."
244 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOBICAL SOCIETY. [May,
This was certainly generous, and showed a real humanita-
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,
1895.] MEMOIR OF KEY. GEOEGE E. ELLIS. 245
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.
246 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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.
1895.] MEMOIR OP BEV. GEORGE E. ELLIS. 247
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
248 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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
1895.] MEMOIR OF REV. GEORGE E. ELLIS. 249
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-
250 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May,
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.
1895.] MEMOIR OP KEV. GEORGE E. ELLIS. 251
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
252 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOKIOAL SOCIETV. [May,
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
1895.] MEMOIR OP EEV. GEOKGE E. ELLIS. 253
Historical Society, that if ever the Club shall be disbanded or its
assets dispersed, the Cup shall revert to that Society.
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
254 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOKICAL, SOCIETY. [May,
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,
1895.] MEMOIR OF EEV. GEOKGE E. ELLIS. 255
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."