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Full text of "Annual Meeting, April, 1896. An Early Book-Catalogue; Demolition of the McLean Asylum; Report of the Council; Report of the Treasurer; Report of the Auditing Committee; Report of the Cabinet-Keeper; Report of Library and Cabinet Committee; Address by the President; Memoir of Martin Brimmer"

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540 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 



ANNUAL MEETING, APEIL, 1896. 

The Annual Meeting was held on Thursday, the 9th 
instant, at twelve o'clock, M. ; the President, Charles 
Francis Adams, LL.D., in the chair. 

The record of the last stated meeting was read and ap- 
proved ; and the list of donors to the Library was read by the 
Librarian, who said that the records of the New South Church, 
consisting of nineteen volumes, deposited by the proprietors 
of that church with the Historical Society on November 11, 
1869, and seven other volumes of the same records depos- 
ited on November 12, 1874, had been transferred to the keep- 
ing of the City Clerk of Boston ; and a receipt had been 
given for the books by that officer. This action was taken in 
accordance with a vote of the Council, passed on March 12, in 
order to conform to the provisions of the Public Statutes, 
chapter 37, section 15, relating to public records. 

The Recording Secretary, in behalf of Samuel Eliot, LL.D., 
who was unavoidably absent, communicated the memoir of the 
late Martin Brimmer, which Mr. Eliot had been appointed to 
prepare for publication in the Proceedings. 

The Hon. James M. Barker, of Pittsfield, was elected a 
Resident Member. 

Dr. Samuel A. Green communicated the following paper 
by title : — 

An Early Book-catalogue printed in Boston, with other Biblio- 
graphical Matter. 

Among the books of the Prince Library, formerly in the 
keeping of this Society for more than half a century, but now 
in the possession of the Boston Public Library, is a pamphlet 
bound up together with a Catalogue of Harvard College 
(1723). 1 It contains a list of books previously belonging to 

1 According to this Catalogue there was in the College Library at that time 
an edition of " Shakespear's Plays " (London, 1709), in six volumes. 



1896.] AN EARLY BOOK-CATALOGUE. 541 

a New England minister, and offered for sale by a bookseller 
in Boston more than two hundred years ago. Considerable in- 
terest attaches to the pamphlet from the fact that probably it is 
the earliest instance in New England of a printed catalogue of 
books advertised for sale. About 1,000 titles, mostly in Latin, 
are given ; and of these perhaps 200 are in English, which 
include not more than six or eight American ones. The 
books are arranged in the pamphlet both by subjects and sizes 
(folios, quartos, etc.), but without date or place of publica- 
tion ; and the general character of the works is furnished by 
the titlepage, of which a fac-simile is given below. 

Presumably the following bore American imprints : — 
" A Psalm Book " ; "A New England Confession of Faith " ; 
"Mather's Mystery of Christ"; " Higginson's Legacy of 
Peace " ; " The Shorter Catechism with Exposition upon the 
same" ; " Hubbard's benefit of a well Ordered Conversation " ; 
and perhaps a few others. 

In Part I. of the Brinley catalogue of books which were 
sold in New York, on March 10-15, 1879, title No. 1669 is 
a catalogue of the Rev. Ebenezer Pemberton's library adver- 
tised to be sold by auction in Boston, on July 2, 1717 ; and 
between quotation marks it is said in a note to be " perhaps 
the first instance in New England of a printed catalogue of 
Books at auction," though no authority is given for the quoted 
paragraph. It will be noticed in the case of the Pemberton 
library that the sale was by auction, while in the other case 
the books were sold over the counter. Keeping in mind this 
difference in the manner of selling the two libraries, the 
statement may be correct. 

The following is an exact reproduction of the titlepage 
of the pamphlet, and with it is given a collation of the 
same : — 



THE 



LIBRARY 

O F 

The Late Reverend and Learned 

Mr. Samuel Lee. 



CONTAINING 

A C/ioice Variety of Book* upon all SuhjeStsx VXtticukity, Cofnen- 

•tarfes on -the Bitte ; Bodies ci Divftiftv. The worte m W«H of tfie 

AncMnt. as of the Modern Divmes; Tretfilfes on the MrtWittfcJts 

in. all Park: Htftory, Annuities; Natural Th'tlofcpky THyfic&.ana 

C?ky>w«ftfy; Wi'tK. GaTnwiAr an4 ScW-BooJtf 

Wi'tA. many Jnore CKaiee3o<>Jtf 7io£ mentioned in this d^figue . 

£xpo6ci at the tnoft Eafv Ifcies, to Sate, 3ify 2>##<*m CvnkU, Book- 
fe?tev at 4fi£ lbcf-farfover'2gpxntk the Cbnduit. 




JS^Prmted fcv 7>wicrtiCktn&eJj Book-fe) %r at tKe 3>ockAa*d ov«f- g4tVt 

tilt Conduit, ity. 



1896.J AN EARLY BOOK-CATALOGUE. 543 

Titlepage, verso blank ; 1,2," Latin Folio's Divinity " ; 2, 3, " Quarto's 
Latin "; 3, 4, " Octavo's Latin " ; 4, 5, " English Quarto's Divinity " ; 
5, 6, " Divinity English Octavo's " ; 6, " Physical Books Folio," 
" Phisical Books in Quarto " ; 6, 7, " Phisical Books in Octavo 
Latin " ; 7, 8, " Philosophy Folio's " ; 8, " Philosophy Quarto's 
Latin," "Philosophy in Octavo"; 8, 9, "Mathematical, Astrologi- 
cal and Astronomical Folio's Latin " ; 9, " Quartos," " English," 
"Astronomy English Quarto's"; 9, 10, "History Folio Latin:"; 

10, "Histories in Folio English"; 11, "Histories in Octavo Eng- 
lish," "Histories in Quarto Latin" ; 11, 12, "Histories in Octavo 
Latin :" ; 12," School Authors in Folio," " School Authors in Quarto," 
" School Authors in Octavo" ; 12, 13, "Juris Prudentia Libr." ; 13, 
"MisellanieBeoks"; 13, 14, " Box 21 Lat : Oct." ; 14-16,"Box22 
Latin Octavo's." Headlines as follows : — 2, " Divinity Latin Folio's 
and Quart's " ; 3, " Divinity Quarto's Latin " ; 4, " Divinity Eng- 
lish Folio's and Quarto's " ; 5, " Divinity English Quarto's and Oc- 
tavo's " ; 6, " Divinity Quarto's English & Phisical Books in Folio 
& Quarto Lat. " ; 7, " Phisick Books Latin Octavo, and Philosophy 
Folio " ; 8, " Philosophy Quarto & Octavo Gosmograh : and Geo- 
graph. Folio " ; 9, " Mathematical, Astrological, Astronomical, Fo- 
lio's, Quarto's Latin" ; 10, " History Latin and English. Folio"; 

11, "Histories Octavo English. Histories Quarto and Octavo 
Latin"; 12, "Histories in Octavo Latin, School Authors Folio's 
& Quarto's Latin"; 13, "Miscelany Books Latin Octavo's"; 
14-16, "Latin Octavo's." 

The border-pieces used on the titlepage above the imprint 
are similar to those often seen in the issues of Green's press, 
whether coming from the father in Cambridge, or from either 
of the sons in Boston ; but very rarely seen in the issues of 
other printers, such as Pierce, Harris, or Allen. Under the im- 
print, near the bottom of the page, in Mr. Prince's well-known 
handwriting, appears the following : u Mr B Green sa} T s — 
This was Prind by his Broth Samuel's Letter, in Boston." 
Bartholomew Green was a printer, as well as his brother 
Samuel, who died in July, 1690. Probably the meaning of 
the sentence is that Bartholomew using his brother's type 
printed the catalogue, as at the date of its publication he had 
a press in Boston. It is interesting to note the use of the 
word " letter " in the sense of " type," which was not un- 
common in those early times. At the end of an Almanac 
for 1682, belonging to this Society, Chief-Justice Sewall has 
written : " The last half Sheet was Printed w th my Letters, 



544 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

at Boston. S. S." During that period he had the official man- 
agement of the printing-press in Boston, having been duly 
appointed by the General Court. The last four leaves of 
the Almanac, or half signature, are printed with a different 
font of type from the other pages, which explains Se wall's 
memorandum. 

The Reverend Samuel Lee, the former owner of the library, 
was a native of London, where he was born in the year 1625. 
He was educated at Wadham College, Oxford, and was a 
Fellow in the same college, and later a Proctor in the Uni- 
versity. For some years he was settled as the minister of an 
independent church at Newington Green, near London. Dur- 
ing the summer of 1686 he came to New England in order 
that he might more freely exercise the functions of his office 
in accordance with his own sense of duty ; and during the 
spring of the next year he was settled over the church at 
Bristol, Rhode Island. Here he remained for four years, 
when with his family he set sail from Boston for his native 
land. After a stormy voyage the vessel was captured by 
a French privateer near the coast of Ireland, when the pas- 
sengers were taken to St. Malo, in France. While his family 
was allowed to proceed thence to London, he was held as 
a captive, and died in prison some time during the month of 
December, 1691. 

In his Magnalia (Book III. page 223), Cotton Mather speaks 
warmly in praise of Mr. Lee, and says of him that " hardly 
ever a more Universally Learned Person trod the American 
Strand" Two sermons preached by Mr. Lee at Bristol, on 
October 7, 1687, were printed in Boston soon after his death ; 
and one of them was " Accompany'd with Preparatory Medi- 
tations, upon the Day of Judgement,' , by Dr. Mather. Other 
works by him were also published in Boston, both before and 
since his death. 

Book-catalogues printed in New England before the Revo- 
lution are now rare, but references to them are often found 
in the newspapers of that period. The following advertise- 
ment, taken from " The New-England Courant " (Boston), 
September 28, 1724, is an instance in point: — 

ggf* The Library of the Reverend and Learned John Leveret, late 
President of Harvard College in Cambridge, being a fine Collection of 



1896.] AN EARLY BOOK-CATALOGUE. 545 

very valuable Books of Divinity, Philosophy, Law, &c. is to be sold 

by Auction in Boston, the Day of October next. The Catalogue 

will be printed as soon as possible, and given out by S. Gerrish 
and D. Henchman, Booksellers, near the Brick Meeting-House in 
Cornhill. 

The four following advertisements are taken from " The 
New-England Weekly Journal " (Boston) of the respective 
dates, as given at the end of each one : — 

On Thursday next the 14th. Instant will be Sold by publick Vendue 
at the Royal Exchange Tavern, a Choice and Valuable Collection of 
Books printed Catalogues with the Conditions of Sale, may be had 
at Mr. Eliot's Shop. 

November 11, 1728. 

A Collection of very valuable BOOKS, English, French, Latin, &c. 
To be Sold by Vendue at the Royal Exchange in Boston, on Thursday 
next the 23d Instant, at Three a Clock, P. M. The Books may be 
seen the Day before the Sale at the same Place, where Catalogues may 
be had gratis, as also at Mr. Benj Elliot's Shop in King-street. 

January 20, 1729. 

To be Sold by Vendue, at the House of Thomas Fleet, at the Sign 
of the Heart and Crown in Cornhill, Boston, a good Collection of 
BOOKS, consisting of Divinity, Philosophy, Classical Learning, &c. 
The Sale of which is designed to begin on Wednesday the 7th of April 
next, at 4 P. M Printed Catalogues may be had at Mr. Henchman's 
Shop, and at the Place of Sale, where the Books may be seen, three 
Days before the Auction begins. 

March 29, 1731. 

There is just Arrived from London, a Large Collection of Valuable 
& Curious Books, Consisting of most Faculties, and in several Lan- 
guages. Catalogues may be had at Messieurs Henchman and Han- 
cock's Shops (Booksellers in Boston) against Thursday next. 

N. B. The Books are mostly New, and in good Condition, and will 
be Sold very Cheap. 

June 21, 1731. 

Another instance is found in " The Massachusetts Gazette : 
and the Boston Weekly News-Letter," April 8, 1773, as 

follows : — 

69 



546 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

On Wednesday 5th May, 

At NINE o'Clock in the Morning, 

WILL be Sold by PUBLIC VENDUE, at the 

Auction-Room in Queen-street, 

A very large and valuable 

Collection of BOOKS, 

being the Library of a Gentleman deceas'd. 
gg* Printed Catalogues will be delivered in Season 

by J. RusseU, Auctioneer. 

Still another is found in "The Boston-Gazette, and Country 
Journal," Supplement, May 17, 1773, as follows : — 

The LIBRARY of 
Sir Francis Bernard, 

CONSISTING of a very large and valuable Collection of BOOKS, 
will be sold very cheap at private Sale, at the Shop lately 
occupied by Mr. Fleeming, opposite the South Door of the Town 
House, from Monday the 24th to Friday the 28th Instant, inclusive. 
Gentlemen who may incline to purchase, are desired to apply within 
that Time, as the Sale will not be continued longer. 
CATALOGUES may be had of Edes and Gill. 

These extracts from the advertising columns of early news- 
papers — and they are by no means exhaustive — show that 
printed catalogues for the sale of books at that period were 
common ; but specimens of them to-day are very rarely 
found. 

There is on the shelves of the Historical Society a copy of 
" A Catalogue of Mein's Circulating Library ; consisting of 
above Twelve Hundred Volumes, in most Branches of polite 
Literature, Arts and Sciences " (pp. 57), which was printed in 
the year 1765. Among all the books mentioned in the cata- 
logue there is only one work bearing an American imprint, viz., 
" The American Magazine," published in Boston, 1743-1745. 
It is interesting to note that in the list there is a copy of 
" Shakespear's Works" (London, 1762) in eight volumes. 
The proprietor of the Circulating Library was " John Mein, 
Bookseller, at the London Book-store, Second Door above the 
British Coffee-House, North-side of King-Street, Boston." He 



1896.] REMARKS BY MR. A. C. GOODELL, JR. 547 

was a Scotchman by birth, and had come to New England in 
the autumn of 1764. Soon afterward he became associated 
in business with another Scotchman, John Fleming, a printer 
by trade, whose name is sometimes written Fleeming ; and in 
connection with their other affairs Mein published " The 
Boston Chronicle," which Fleming printed. 

In the Fourth Part of the Brinley catalogue of books sold 
in New York, on November 15-18, 1886, title No. 8024 is 
a bookseller's catalogue (pp. 24) issued during the last cen- 
tury by T. Cox, Boston, who discontinued his business in 
1744. Without doubt the pamphlet was printed some years 
before that date. 

Mr. A. C. Goodell, Jr., said : — 

Mr. President, I hold in my hand an interesting paper from 
that rich repository, the Winthrop Papers, which, with the 
permission of the owner, Mr. Robert C. Winthrop, Jr., I offer 
to the Society. Before 1 sit down, I shall move to have it 
referred to a committee. The paper appears to be an index, 
for private use, to leading subjects of legislation in the lost 
volume of Colony Laws which our associate Mr. Whitmore 
has so cleverly restored in his essay accompanying his reprint 
of the edition of 1660, — the finest piece of critical, historical 
reconstruction from scattered hints and fragments that has 
ever been attempted, in this country at least. 

The index, which Mr. Winthrop supposed to be a fragment, 
proves to be complete, although it refers only to particular 
topics and not to every ordinance. It is in the handwriting 
of John Richards, who was for a number of years a leading 
member of the Massachusetts General Court and in 1680 
Speaker. In 1682 he was joint Agent to England with 
Joseph Dudley. He was one of the first bench of justices 
of the Superior Court of Judicature of the Province, on 
which he continued until his death ; and he was also one 
of the commissioners of oyer and terminer appointed to try 
the cases of witchcraft at Salem. In this capacity he was 
addressed by Cotton Mather in a memorable letter in which 
that clergyman directed the judges how to proceed judicially 
in the detection of witchcraft and conviction of the accused. 

Richards was born in England, the son of Thomas, one of 



548 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

the founders of Dorchester. After a sojourn at the eastward, 
and subsequently for a brief period in England, he came 
to Boston. He was a member of the Artillery Company in 
1644, ensign in 1665, and lieutenant in 1667. In the militia 
he was successively lieutenant, captain, and major. In 1681 
he was chosen assistant, and held that office until the presi- 
dency of Dudley. He was one of the councillors named in 
the Province Charter, and was elected the next year ; but 
before the expiration of his term he died, — April 2, 1694. 

On the 3rd of May, 1654, he married Elizabeth, daughter 
of Capt. Thomas Hawkins, and widow of Adam Winthrop. 
She died November 1, 1691 ; and on the 2nd of September, 
1692, he married Ann, daughter of Governor John Winthrop, 
of Connecticut. He left no posterity. 

This paper, while bearing indubitable evidence of its refer- 
ence to the first edition of the Colony Laws, does not clearly 
indicate, at least upon the examination I have been able to 
make,, whether it refers to the original manuscript volumes 
or to the first printed edition. No man living is more com- 
petent to settle this point than our learned and ingenious 
associate, Mr. Whitmore, and I move that the paper be 
referred to him, to report upon at some future meeting. 

The motion of Mr. Goodell was adopted by a unanimous 
vote. 

Rev. Edward G. Porter communicated some notes on 
the principal building of the McLean Asylum at Somerville, 
as follows : — 

Demolition of the McLean Asylum at Somerville. 

Mr. President, — Whoever has been out over the Lowell 
Railroad lately must have noticed the forlorn and dismantled 
appearance of the McLean Asylum at Somerville. We have 
been so long accustomed to enjoy the sight of that fine group 
of buildings, and the noble park in which they stood, in such 
agreeable contrast to the railroad purlieus of East Cambridge, 
that the present spectacle is a rude shock to our sense of the 
fitness of things. 

Thus, one by one, the natural beauties of our metropolis 
are giving way to the imperious demands of our commercial 
growth. Fort Hill had to go; Charlestown and the older parts 



1896.] DEMOLITION OF THE McLEAN ASYLUM. 549 

of Roxbury have lost their fine gardens and shade-trees ; and 
now this well-known eminence just over the river must not 
only surrender its half-dozen large and well-built structures of 
brick and stone, its stately elms and its terraced gardens and 
orchards, but the hill itself is at once to be levelled to make 
room for a network of tracks and freight-yards. 

We have no regrets for the asylum. Although it has been 
admirably quartered here for the greater part of a century, it 
has found a quieter site for its future needs in the ample 
demesne out among the Waverly oaks. 

But the transformation of this picturesque remnant of an 
earlier time should not take place without some record of its 
history ; for soon the fact that there ever was a hill there, 
and a great institution upon it, will be known to but very few 
of the busy throng that pass that way. * 

Until near the close of the last century it was a rather 
rough, open area, used for pasture and tillage, and was com- 
monly called " Cobled Hill," as spelled in letters of that time. 
About 1791 the whole promontory — then a part of Charles- 
town — was bought by Joseph Barrell, a wealthy merchant of 
Boston, who had a fine house on Summer Street, with gardens 
extending back to Franklin Place. Being on intimate terms 
with Charles Bulfinch, with whom he had shared a commercial 
venture in the expedition of the ship a Columbia " a to open 
trade on the northwest coast, he engaged that young architect 
to prepare the designs for a large mansion to be erected on the 
brow of the hill, some fifty feet above tide -water. 

It was Mr. Barrell's ambition to create an ideal country- 
seat, adorned with all the accessories of lawns, trees, gardens, 
terraces, greenhouses, fish-ponds, dove-cotes, poultry-yard, 
stable, coach-house, a well-stocked barn, and an attractive 
boat-house. And here he was able to cany out his mag- 
nificent plan. All the resources of Nature and Art were com- 
bined to make Pleasant Hill — as it was then called — the 
most complete and sumptuous residence in the suburbs. The 
choicest plants 2 were imported from Europe, and gardeners to 
take care of them. Elms and poplars lined the winding avenues 
in different directions. At one tims the place was called 

i See Proceedings for May, 1892 ; also " New England Magazine" for June, 
1892. 

2 See Memorial History of Boston, IV. 636. 



550 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

Poplar Grove. Trout and gold-fish were domesticated near 
a fountain by the summer-house at the foot of the garden. 

Access to Boston was made easy by a barge with liveried 
boatmen, which the owner maintained for himself and his 
friends. There being no Craigie's Bridge at that time, it was 
necessary, in driving, to go around by Charlestown ; or one 
could take the longer route by the colleges and through Brook- 
line and Roxbury. Dr. Everett says he remembers hearing 
that Mr. Barrell often drove into town that way with his fine 
horses. That he had a good stable is evident from the fact 
that at the time of Washington's visit, shortly before, he was 
chosen, with Samuel Breck and Dr. Eustis, as a committee of 
the town to escort the President from Worcester to Boston ; 
and these gentlemen furnished their own equipages for that 
occasion. 1 

The crowning feature of this fine estate was the elegant 
dwelling-house — 74 by 42 feet — now in process of demolition. 
It was in Bulfinch's early style, taken from English models of 
the last century. The main part of the building had two 
equally imposing fronts ; the eastern commanding a superb 
view over the garden and Charles River, and Boston with its 
many spires in plain sight. The western porch — for carriages 
— was supported by four Ionic columns, resting on massive 
square bases of Scotch granite. The steps leading up to the 
front door were of the same stone, as also the caps and sills 
and belt-course. A unique arrangement in the hall was 
a flying staircase, ascending at each end — 32 feet long — and 
coming together at a landing in the centre, supported by four 
fluted posts, and again ascending three steps to another land- 
ing, and then diverging right and left to landings connecting 
with each wing of the house as well as the centre. 

The swell eastern front formed an oval drawing-room, one 
story high, on the roof of which rested two Corinthian columns, 
16 feet long, with pilasters against the house, supporting the 
upper roof covering the balcony. 2 The main building was 
three and a half stories high, and the wings originally had two 
stories. 

1 See Proceedings of the Lexington Historical Society, I. lxvii. Address by 
the writer at the one hundredth anniversary of Washington's visit to Lexington. 

2 A good picture of this vine-clad front may be seen in the " New England 
Magazine " for November, 1890. Also a fine old engraving in the " History of the 
Massachusetts General Hospital." 



1896.] DEMOLITION OF THE McLEAN ASYLUM. 551 

The walls were thoroughly laid in brick ; and the timber of 
hewn pine, brought from the Kennebec, measures 12 by 12, 
and sometimes even 16 by 16, inches. In some cases, where 
the timbers were not long enough, ingenious splices were 
made with bolts and nuts, so that they were as rigid as the 
main timber. All the framing shows great care in providing 
against strains and for the support of weights. 

The building has many other features not found in our 
modern houses. The floors are deadened by brick laid between 
floor joists, and an under floor laid over them. Back of the 
base boards are brick laid in mortar, forming what we should 
call fire-stops, but what may have been intended for rat-stops. 
The same precaution was taken where spaces were unused, 
back of partitions and around the big chimneys. And so per- 
fect was this work that the contractors tell me that the usual 
signs of vermin in such an old house are totally absent. 

All the inner partitions, not of brick, are of two-inch pine 
plank set tight together, and split hemlock laths fastened with 
hand-wrought threepenny nails, forming a stiff partition only 
four inches thick when plastered. The wood cornices and panel- 
ling of the principal rooms were finely carved. 1 The outside 
columns are remarkably well preserved, owing to the free use 
of white lead and oil in the joints when put together. As to 
the masonry, the workmanship was everywhere a solid mass, 
without a crevice. The building, as I examined it in partial 
ruin yesterday, reminded me somewhat of Kenilworth Castle 
or of some old Yorkshire Abbey. 

Here Joseph Barrell lived until his death, October 13, 1804. 2 
He always exercised a large hospitality, and was generous in 
allowing strangers to visit his charming grounds. His son-in- 
law, Benjamin Joy, sold this part of the estate in 1816 to the 
trustees of the Massachusetts General Hospital, who added 
another story to the mansion, and made it the residence of the 
Superintendent and other physicians. The neighboring build- 
ings, north and south, with their graceful domes also show the 
hand of Bulfinch. There were two fine rows of elms near 
them, which were allowed to stand for a while, but they were 

1 All the best wood-work is to be transferred to the new country-seat of Mr. 
Francis Shaw in Wayland. 

2 He was buried at night, by his own request, in the family vault at King's 
Chapel. 



552 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

cut down afterward at the suggestion of Dr. Wyman. It was 
remarked at the time that the Asylum buildings were erected 
to accommodate the trees, and then the trees were cut down 
to accommodate the buildings. But they are all disappearing 
now together ; and soon there will be nothing left of Pleasant 
Hill. 

Mr. Justin Winsor presented, in behalf of Miss Palfrey, 
of Cambridge, a small miniature of John Howard Payne, au- 
thor of u Home, Sweet Home," which was for many years in 
possession of her father, the late Hon. John Gorham Palfrey. 
Accompanying the miniature was a lock of Payne's hair. 

Incidental remarks on the various communications, and on 
some connected subjects, were made by the Hon. William 
Everett, Messrs. William S. Appleton, and R. C. Wusr- 
throp, Jr., the President, the Hon. Edward L. Pierce, 
and Rev. Dr. Edward E. Hale. 

The regular business of the Annual Meeting was then taken 
up ; and the Report of the Council, which had been drawn 
up by Rev. Dr. Edmund F. Slafter, who was detained from 
the meeting by illness, was read by Mr. Henry W. Haynes. 

Report of the Council, 

During the past year the Society has held nine stated meet- 
ings, at which important historical documents have been pre- 
sented, and communications, written and oral, have been made 
by our members. Most of these papers have been printed in 
our Proceedings. The value of diaries and letters, relating to 
current events, by intelligent and well-informed citizens in the 
colonial or later years of our Commonwealth, can hardly be 
overstated. They throw light and shade upon the current of 
our history that cannot be obtained from any other historical 
documents. 

A new volume of our Proceedings has been issued, entitled 
Volume IX. of the Second Series, making the whole number 
issued, including the Index, thirty volumes. It contains por- 
traits of the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, of Mr. Edwin L. 
Bynner, Prof. Henry W. Torrey, Dr. Henry Wheatland, and 
Mr. Edward J. Lowell, deceased members of the Society. 
Included in this volume, in addition to important diaries and 



1896.] REPORT OF THE COUNCIL. 553 

letters, is a catalogue of all the American imprints in our 
Library, issued anterior to the close of the year 1700. This 
cannot fail to prove of great convenience to the historical stu- 
dent, as much of our history is scattered in bits here and 
there in these publications. It is greatly to be desired that 
some enterprising antiquary may be induced to complete this 
catalogue by bringing together, as an addendum to this work, 
all the colonial imprints of the same period not already in our 
archives. 

Memoirs have been published, in this volume of our Pro- 
ceedings, of our late President, the Rev. George Edward 
Ellis, D.D., by the Rev. Octavius B. Frothingham, and of 
Edward Bangs, LL.B., by Judge John Lowell. 

A volume of Collections, being the fifty-eighth in our series, 
entitled Volume Eight, Sixth Series, has been published. It 
is an historical index to the Pickering Papers belonging to 
our Society, a collection left by the late Hon. Timothy Pick- 
ering, the distinguished statesman, whose life was largely 
spent in the public service of the United States. They are 
contained in 58 massive volumes, and relate to important mat- 
ters with which he was personally connected. This index 
covers 580 pages royal octavo, together with an historical 
preface giving a full account of these papers. In it the sub- 
ject of each of the papers is clearly but succinctly given, thus 
rendering the whole collection of the Pickering Papers, which 
may probably always remain in manuscript, nevertheless easily 
accessible to the historical student. This index is similar, 
though not on so extensive a scale, to the Calendars of the 
English state papers, whose great value and convenience are 
appreciated by the historical investigator. 

The following gentlemen have become Resident Members of 
the Society during the year, viz. : Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, 
May 9, 1895 ; William Wallace Crapo, November 14, 1895 ; 
Francis Cabot Lowell, January 9, 1896 ; Granville Stanley 
Hall, February 13, 1896. Alexander Agassiz has been elected, 
but is absent from the country, and his acceptance has not 
been received. 

Leslie Stephen, LL.D., of London, England, and President 
James B. Angell, LL.D., of the University of Michigan, have 
been received as Corresponding Members. 

Seven members of the Society have died during the year. 

70 



554 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

The following is a list of their names, together with the names 
of those appointed to prepare memoirs of them to be published 
in our Proceedings : — 

Leverett Saltonstall, died April 15, 1895. Memoir by Charles R. 
Cod man. 

Hamilton Andrews Hill, died April 27, 1895. Memoir by the 
Rev. Dr. Samuel E. Herrick. 

Octavius Brooks Frothingham, died November 27, 1895. Memoir 
by Josiah P. Quincy. 

William Steele Shurtleff, died January 14, 1896. Memoir by 
George S. Merriam. 

Martin Brimmer, died January 14, 1896. Memoir by Dr. Samuel 
Eliot. 

William Goodwin Russell, died February 6, 1896. Memoir by 
George O. Shattuck. 

Benjamin Marston Watson, died February 19, 1896. Memoir by 
the Rev. Dr. Edward E. Hale. 

We have to record the death of two Corresponding Mem- 
bers. Pierre Margry, of Paris, France, died May 27, 1894 ; 
but the notice of his death had not been received at our last 
Annual Meeting. He was born in Paris, December 9, 1818. 
In 1867 he published two volumes relating to discoveries by 
the French in America. He subsequently published his great 
work, relating to the same subject, entitled " Memoires et 
Documents," contained in six royal octavo volumes of about 
six hundred pages each. 

William Wetmore Story, D.C.L., died in Italy, October 7, 
1895. He was born in Salem, Massachusetts, February 12, 
1819. He graduated at Harvard College, and was admitted 
to the bar in Boston. He published several treatises on legal 
subjects, and three volumes of Reports of Cases tried in the 
United States Courts. After 1848 he resided in Rome in 
Italy. He is the author of numerous volumes in prose and 
verse. His life has been chiefly devoted to sculpture. Among 
his works may be mentioned a statue of his father, the late 
Justice Joseph Story, of George Peabody, of Josiah Quincy, 
of Edward Everett, of James Russell Lowell, and of Theodore 
Parker. Of ideal figures may be mentioned the Shepherd 
Boy, Little Red Riding-Hood, and Sappho. He left a wide 
fame both in literature and art. 



1896.] REPORT OF THE COUNCIL. 555 

The publications by members of the Society during the year 
have been as follows, viz. : — 

The Journeyman's Retrospect. Speech of Charles Francis Adams 
at the Harvard Alumni Dinner, Commencement Day, June 26, 1895. 

Abstracts of Early Woburn Deeds Recorded at Middlesex County 
Registry, 1649-1700. By Edward F. Johnson. With some P^xplan- 
atory Notes. 

Howland Holmes. By Edward G. Porter. 

History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850. Vol. III. 
1860-1862. By James Ford Rhodes. 

Diocese of Massachusetts. The Enlargement of its Diocesan Li- 
brary. Being the Twelfth Annual Report made to the Convention of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Massachusetts, held 
in Trinity Church, Boston, May 15 and 16, 1895. By the Rev. Edmund 
F. Slafter, D.D. 

The Teaching of English Law at Universities. By James Bradley 
Thayer. Read at Detroit, August 27, 1895, as the Chairman's Ad- 
dress before the section on Legal Education of the American Bar 
Association. 

A Report (26th) of the Record Commissioners of the City of 
Boston, containing the Boston Town Records, 1778-1783. By 
William H. Whitmore. 

Eighteenth Report (1895) of Justin Winsor, Librarian of Harvard 
University. 

The Harvard College Portrait of Washington Painted by Edward 
Savage. Reprinted from the Harvard Graduates' Magazine, 1895. 
By Justin Winsor. 

The Mississippi Basin. The Struggle in America between England 
and France, 1697-1763. With full cartographical illustrations from 
contemporary sources. By Justin Winsor. 

Massachusetts in the Army and Navy during the War of 1861-65. 
Prepared under the authority of the State by Thomas Wentworth 
Higginson, State Military and Naval Historian. Vol. II. 

Monroe Doctrine. Speech of the Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge, of 
Massachusetts, in the Senate of the United States, December 30, 1895. 

Old School Street, Boston. From the New England Magazine for 
April, 1895. By Henry F. Jenks. 

Joan of Arc. By Francis C. Lowell. 

The Peabody Museum of American Archasology and Ethnology. 
Report of Erederick W. Putnam, November 23, 1895. 

The Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the Consecration of Saint Paul's 
Church, Boston, Sunday, May 26, 1895. A Sermon by the Rt. Rev. 
William Lawrence, D.D., Bishop of Massachusetts. 



556 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

Visions and Service. Fourteen Discourses delivered in College 
Chapels by William Lawrence, Bishop of Massachusetts, 1896. 

Baccalaureate Sermon, Harvard College, Class of 1895. By William 
Lawrence, D.D. 1895. 

Second Annual Address to the Convention of the Diocese of Massa- 
chusetts, in Trinity Church, Boston, May 15, 1895. By the Rt. Rev. 
William Lawrence, D.D. Boston, 1895. 

The above-named publications have been presented to the 
Society by their several authors. 

On the sixth day of August, 1895, the Society purchased an 
estate of William O. Ruggles, being an unimproved lot of 
land in Boston at the corner of the Fenway and Boylston 
Street; containing ten thousand six hundred and four and 
three tenths square feet. On this property it is intended to 
erect a building for the occupation and uses of the Society. 
Its situation for this purpose is highly satisfactory to the 
Council, having abundant capacity for light, and as a corner 
lot, commanding on one side a 'view of the Park known as 
the Fens, and on the other Boylston Street, which at that 
point is of convenient and ample breadth. It is accessible by 
all the Back Bay and Cambridge surface cars, and at no dis- 
tant day it will doubtless be in the centre of the population 
of Boston. The acquisition of this property may be regarded 
as particularly fortunate. 

On the twenty-fourth day of September, 1895, the Society 
sold to Miss Ellen Upton for the sum of twenty-five thousand 
dollars the house and land numbered one hundred and ten 
Marlborough Street, Boston, the estate devised to the Society 
by its late President, the Rev. George E. Ellis, D.D. The 
avails of this sale are to be invested in the contemplated new 
building, an apartment in which is to be set apart as a memo- 
rial of Dr. Ellis. 

On the twentieth day of December, 1895, the sum of thirty 
thousand dollars bequeathed to the Society by Dr. George 
E. Ellis was paid by his executor, George S. Hale, Esq. This 
sum is not to be invested in the new building, but to be kept 
as a separate fund, the income to be expended for the main- 
tenance of that part of the building set apart as a memorial 
to our late President. To this sum has been added, as will 
appear from the Treasurer's account, about five hundred dol- 
lars, the avails of a sale of such articles bequeathed by Dr. 



1896.] REPORT OF THE TREASURER. 557 

Ellis as could not be useful to the Society, making the whole 
property devised and bequeathed by our late President a little 
more than fifty-five thousand five hundred dollars, besides his 
library and some other articles of virtu, upon which no com- 
mercial value has been placed. 

The estate numbered 30 Tremont Street, adjoining the 
King's Chapel burial-ground, now owned and occupied by the 
Society, has been offered for sale ; and when a sale is effected, 
the Society will be in a condition to enter upon the construc- 
tion of a new building on its recently acquired property already 
described. 

Plans for a new building have been before the Council and 
a committee of the Society, but have not been fully matured 
and adopted. 

Edmund P. Slafter, 

Member of the Council. 

The Report of the Treasurer and the Report of the Auditing 
Committee were presented in print, as follows : — 

Report of the Treasurer. 

In compliance with the requirements of the By-Laws, Chap- 
ter VII., Article 1, the Treasurer respectfully submits his 
Annual Report, made up to March 31, 1896. 

The special funds held by him have been increased in num- 
ber and amount by the receipt, Dec. 20, 1895, of the bequest 
of our late President, Dr. George E. Ellis. They are now 
fifteen in number, and are as follows : — 

I. The Appleton Fund, which was created Nov. 18, 1854, 
by a gift to the Society, from Nathan Appleton, William Ap- 
pleton, and Nathaniel I. Bowditch, trustees under the will of 
the late Samuel Appleton, of stocks of the appraised value of 
ten thousand dollars. These stocks were subsequently sold 
for $12,203, at which sum the fund now stands. The income 
is applicable to " the procuring, preserving, preparation, and 
publication of historical papers." 

II. The Massachusetts Historical Trust-Fund, which 
now stands, with the accumulated income, at $10,000. This 
fund originated in a gift of two thousand dollars from the late 
Hon. David Sears, presented Oct. 15, 1855, and accepted by 
the Society Nov. 8, 1855. On Dec. 26, 1866, it was increased 



558 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

by a gift of five hundred dollars from Mr. Sears, and another 
of the same amount from our late associate, Mr. Nathaniel 
Thayer. The income must be appropriated in accordance 
with the directions in Mr. Sears's declaration of trust in the 
printed Proceedings for November, 1855. The declaration 
contains also the following clause : u And when hereafter the 
accumulations of said fund — by its investments of income ; 
by additions made to it ; by gifts, bequests, or otherwise — 
shall amount to a sufficient sum, in aid of other means, to pur- 
chase or secure a suitable site for the library and halls of said 
Historical Society, or to enable said Society to appropriate and 
improve the whole of their present premises, — then, and in 
either of the cases, the said Trustees may, under a recorded 
vote of authority of the Society, draw out and receive the 
whole, or any part, of said accumulations of said fund, to be 
expended by them in the above-named purposes. . . . Pro- 
vided always, that in no case whatever shall the original trust- 
sum be encroached upon or diminished." 

III. The Dowse Fund, which was given to the Society 
by George Livermore and Eben. Dale, executors of the will of 
the late Thomas Dowse, April 9, 1857, for the " safe keeping " 
of the Dowse Library. It amounts to $ 10,000. 

IV. The Peabody Fund, which was presented by the late 
George Peabody, in a letter dated Jan. 1, 1867, and now stands 
at $22,123. The income is available only for the publication 
and illustration of the Society's Proceedings and Memoirs, and 
for the preservation of the Society's Historical Portraits. 

V. The Savage Fund, which was a bequest from the late 
Hon. James Savage, received in June, 1873, and now stands 
on the books at the sum of $6,000. The income is to be used 
for the increase of the Society's Library. 

VI. The Erastus B. Bigelow Fund, which was given in 
February, 1881, by Mrs. Helen Bigelow Merriman, in recog- 
nition of her father's interest in the work of the Society. 
The original sum was one thousand dollars ; but the inter- 
est was added to the principal to bring the amount up to 
S2,000, at which it now stands. There is no restriction as to 
the use to be made of this fund. 

VII. The 'William Winthrop Fund, which amounts to 
the sum of $3,000, and was received Oct. 13, 1882, under the 
will of the late William Winthrop, for many years a Corre- 



1896.] REPORT OF THE TREASURER. 559 

sponding Member of the Society. The income is to be applied 
" to the binding for better preservation of the valuable manu- 
scripts and books appertaining to the Society." 

VIII. The Richard Frothingham Fund, which repre- 
sents a gift to the Society, on the 23d of March, 1883, from 
the widow of our late Treasurer, of a certificate of twenty 
shares in the Union Stock Yard and Transit Co., of Chicago, 
of the par value of $100 each, and of the stereotype plates 
of Mr. Frothingham's " Siege of Boston," " Life of Joseph 
Warren," and u Rise of the Republic." The fund stands on 
the Treasurers books at $3,000, exclusive of the copyright. 
There are no restrictions on the uses to which the income may 
be applied. 

IX. The General Fund, which now amounts to $9,868.56. 
It represents the following gifts and payments to the 
Society : — 

1. A gift of two thousand dollars from the residuary estate 
of the late Mary Prince Townsend, by the executors of her 
will, William Minot and William Minot, Jr., in recognition of 
which, by a vote of the Society, passed June 13, 1861, the 
Treasurer was " directed to make and keep a special entry in 
his account books of this contribution as the donation of Miss 
Mary P. Townsend." 

2. A legacy of two thousand dollars from the late Henry 
Harris, received in July, 1867. 

3. A legacy of one thousand dollars from the late George 
Bemis, received in March, 1879. 

4. A gift of one hundred dollars from the late Ralph 
Waldo Emerson, received in April, 1881. 

5. A legacy of one thousand dollars from the late Williams 
Latham, received in May, 1884. 

6. A bequest of five shares in the Cincinnati Gas-Light and 
Coke Co. from the late George Dexter, Recording Secretary 
from 1878 to 1883, received in June, 1884. This bequest for 
several years stood on -the Treasurer's books at $900, at which 
sum the shares were valued when the incomes arising from 
separate investments were all merged in one consolidated 
account. Besides the regular quarterly dividends there has 
been received up to the present time from the sale of sub- 
scription rights, etc., the sum of $268.56, which has been 
added to the nominal amount of Mr. Dexter's bequest. 



560 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

7. A legacy of one thousand dollars from the late Ebenezer 
Rockwood Hoar, received in February, 1895. 

8. Ten commutation fees of one hundred and fifty dollars 
each. 

X. The Anonymous Fund, which originated in a gift of 
$1,000 to the Society in April, 1887, communicated in a letter 
to the Treasurer printed in the Proceedings (2d series, vol. iii. 
pp. 277, 278). A further gift of $250 was received from the 
same generous friend in April, 1888. The income up to the 
present time has been added to the principal. The fund now 
stands at $1,941.29. 

XI. The William Amory Fund, which was a gift of 
$3,000, under the will of our associate, the late William 
Amory, received Jan. 7, 1889. There are no restrictions on 
the uses to which the income may be applied. The income 
has been allowed to accumulate, with the view to the publica- 
tion of a volume of Collections at some future period. 

XII. The Lawrence Fund, which was a gift of $3,000, 
under the will of our associate, the younger Abbott Law- 
rence, received in June, 1894. The income is " to be 
expended in publishing the Collections and Proceedings " of 
the Society. 

XIII. The Robert C. Winthrop Fund, which was a gift 
of $5,000, under the will of our late associate, received in 
December, 1894. No restrictions were attached to this be- 
quest ; but by a vote of the Society passed Dec. 13, 1894, it 
was directed that the income "shall be expended for such 
purposes as the Council may from time to time direct." 

XIV. The Waterston Publishing Fund, which was a 
gift of $10,000, under the will of our late associate, the Rev. 
Robert C. Waterston, received in December, 1894. The 
income is to be used as a publishing fund, in accordance with 
the provisions of Mr. Waterston's will printed in the Proceed- 
ings (2d series, vol. viii. pp. 172, 173). 

XV. The Ellis Fund, which originated in a bequest to 
the Society of $30,000, by our late President, Dr. George E. 
Ellis. This sum was paid into the Treasury Dec. 20, 1895 ; 
and to it has been added the sum of $574.71 received from the 
sale of various articles of personal property, also given to the 
Society by Dr. Ellis, which it was not thought desirable to 
keep, making the whole amount of the fund $30,574.71. No 



1896.] EEPOPwT OF THE TKEASUREB. 561 

part of the original sum can be used for the purchase of other 
real estate in exchange for the real estate specifically devised 
by Dr. Ellis's will. 

The Treasurer also holds a deposit book in the Five Cent 
Savings Bank for $100 and interest, which is applicable to the 
care and preservation of the beautiful model of the Brattle 
Street Church, deposited with us in April, 1877. 

It should not be forgotten that besides the gifts and bequests 
represented by these funds, which the Treasurer is required to 
take notice of in his Annual Report, numerous gifts have been 
made to the Society from time to time, and expended for the 
purchase of the real estate, or in promoting the objects for 
which the Society was organized. A detailed account of these 
gifts was included in the Annual Report of the Treasurer, 
dated March 31, 1887, printed in the Proceedings (2d series, 
vol. iii. pp. 291-296) ; and in the list of the givers there enu- 
merated will be found the names of many honored associates, 
living or departed, and of other gentlemen, not members of 
the Society, who were interested in the promotion of historical 
studfes. They gave liberally in the day of small things ; and 
to them the Society is largely indebted for its present pros- 
perity and usefulness. 

Besides the bequest in money mentioned above, Dr. Ellis by 
his will gave to the Society the dwelling-house No. 110 Marl- 
borough Street, with substantially all its contents. In the 
exercise of the discretion which the Society was authorized to 
use, this house was sold for the sum of $25,000, and the pro- 
ceeds invested in the more eligible estate on the corner of the 
Fenway and Boy Is ton Street. The full sum received from the 
sale has been entered on the Treasurer's books, to the credit 
of Ellis House, in perpetual memory of Dr. Ellis's gift. 

The stock and bonds held by the Treasurer are as follows : 
$10,000 in the five per cent mortgage bonds of the Chicago 
and West Michigan Railroad Co. ; $5,000 in the four per cent 
bonds of the Rio Grande Western Railroad Co. ; $5,000 in the 
four per cent bonds of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy 
Railroad Co. ; $5,000 in the five per cent gold bonds of the 
Cincinnati, Dayton, and Ironton Railroad Co. ; $5,000 in the 
four per cent general mortgage bonds of the Atchison, Topeka, 
and Santa F6 Railroad Co. ; and $3,000 in the second four per 
cent bonds of the same corporation, received in exchange for 

71 



562 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

their income bonds for the same amount ; $11,000 in the five 
per cent collateral trust bonds of the Chicago Junction Rail- 
ways and Union Stock Yard Co. ; $30,000 in the five per 
cent mortgage bonds of the Metropolitan Street Railway Co. 
of Kansas City ; $6,000 in the four and one half per cent 
bonds of the Boston and Maine Railroad Co. ; fifty shares in 
the Merchants' National Bank of Boston ; fifty shares in the 
State National Bank of Boston ; fifty shares in the National 
Bank of Commerce of Boston ; fifty shares in the National 
Union Bank of Boston ; fifty shares in the Columbian National 
Bank of Boston ; twenty-five shares in the Second National 
Bank of Boston ; thirty-five shares in the Boston and Albany 
Railroad Co. ; twenty-five shares in the Old Colony Railroad 
Co. ; five shares in the Cincinnati Gas Light and Coke Co. ; 
three shares in the Boston Real Estate Trust (of the par 
value of $1,000) ; five shares in the State Street Exchange ; 
and two shares in the Pacific Mills (of the par value of 
$1,000). 

The following abstracts and the trial balance show the pres- 
ent condition of the several accounts : — 



CASH ACCOUNT. 

1895. DEBim 
March 30. To balance on hand $2,730.04 

1896. 
March 31. „ receipts as follows : — 

General Account 2,239.60 

Consolidated Income 4,404.48 

Income of Richard Frothingham Fund 86.40 

Income of Ellis Fund 38.57 

Bequest of George E. Ellis 30,000.00 

Sale of Ellis House 25,000.00 

Sale of Ellis personal property 574.71 

General Fund 600.00 

Investments 2,275.00 

Notes Payable 35,000.00 

$102,947.80 
March 31. To balance brought down §1,442.91 



1896.] REPORT OF THE TREASURER. 563 



1896. credits. 

March 31. By payments as follows: — 

Investments $30,613.00 

Income of Ellis Fund 810.39 

Income of Savage Fund 143.37 

Income of William Winthrop Fund 136.35 

Income of Appleton Fund 1,766.13 

Real Estate 23,500.00 

Notes Payable 35,000.00 

General Account 9,535.65 

„ balance on hand . . 1,442.91 

$102,947.80 



1896. 



GENERAL ACCOUNT. 



DEBITS. 



March 31. To sundry charges and payments : — 

Salaries of Librarian's Assistants $2,940.00 

Printing and binding 1,875.58 

Stationery and postage 77.85 

Fuel and light 186.25 

Care of fire, etc 370.17 

Miscellaneous expenses and repairs 183.96 

Editing publications of the Society 2,000.00 

Interest on mortgage and notes 811.25 

Examination of title 153.25 

City Tax, for 1895, on Fenway estate 455.68 

Accrued interest on bonds bought . . . . . . . 481.66 

$9,535.65 

March 31. By balance brought down $4,029.65 



1895. CREDITS. 
March 30. By balance brought forward $2,048.31 

1896. 
March 31. „ sundry receipts : — 

Rent of Building 150.00 

Interest 46.95 

Income of Dowse Fund . 463.36 

Income of General Fund 754.83 

Admission Fees 75.00 

Assessments 960.00 

Sales of publications 1,007.65 

„ balance carried forward 4,029.55 

$9,535.65 



564 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [APRIL, 

Income of Appleton Fund. 
1896. DEBITS. 

March 31. To amount paid for binding and printing $1,766.13 

„ balance carried forward 1,093.04 

$2^859.17 

1895. CREDITS. 

March 30. By balance brought forward $2,293.73 

1896. 
March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income . . . 565.44 

$2,859.17 
March 31. By balance brought down $1,093.04 

Income of William Winthrop Fund, 

1896. DEBITS. 

March 31. To amount paid for binding $136.35 

„ balance carried forward 159.28 

$295.63 

1895. credits. 
March 30. By balance brought forward $156.62 

1896. 
March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income 139.01 

$295.63 

March 31. By balance brought down $159.28 

Income of Massachusetts Historical Trust-Fund. 

1895. CREDITS. 

March 30. By balance brought forward . . $1,260.96 

1896. 
March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income 463.36 

$1,724.32 
March 31. By amount brought down $1,724.32 

Income of Dowse Fund. 

1896. DEBim 

March 31. To amount placed to credit of General Account .... $463.36 

1896. 0MmTS - 
March 31. By proportion of consolidated income $463.36 



1396.] REPORT OF THE TREASURER. 565 

Income of Richard Frothinyham Fund. 

1895. DEBITS * 
March 30. To balance brought forward $503.68 

1896. 
March 31. To balance brought down $279.27 



CREDITS. 

1896. 

March 31. By copyright received . 85.40 

„ proportion of consolidated income • . 139.01 

„ balance carried forward 279.27 

$508.68 



Income of Peabody Fund. 

1895. DEBITS ' 
March 30. To balance brought forward $1,078.63 

1896. 
March 31. To balance brought down $53.51 



1896 credits. 

March 31. By proportion of consolidated income $1,025.12 

„ balance carried forward 53.51 

$1,078.63 



Income of Savage Fund. 

1895. DEBITS ' 
March 30. To balance brought forward $211.40 

1896. 

March 31. „ amount paid for books 143.37 

$354.77 

March 31. To balance brought down $76.75 



1896. CBEDITS - 

March 31. By proportion of consolidated income $278.02 

„ balance carried forward 76.75 

$354.77 



566 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 
TRIAL BALANCE. 

DEBITS. 

Cash $1,442.91 

Real Estate 156,780.19 

Investments 131,414.45 

Income of Peabody Fund 53.51 

Income of Richard Frothingham Fund 279.27 

Income of Savage Fund 76.75 

Income of Ellis Fund 771.82 

Coupon Scrip 375.00 

General account 4,029.55 

$295,223.45 

CREDITS. 

Building Account $103,280!l9 

Ellis House 25,000.00 

Appleton Fund 12,203.00 

Dowse Fund 10,000.00 

Massachusetts Historical Trust-Fund 10,000.00 

Peabody Fund 22,123.00 

Savage Fund %. 6,000.00 

Erastus B. Bigelow Fund 2,000.00 

William Winthrop Fund 3,000.00 

Richard Frothingham Fund 3,000-00 

General Fund 9,868.56 

Anonymous Fund 1,941.29 

William Amory Fund 3,000.00 

Lawrence Fund 3,000.00 

Robert C. Winthrop Fund 5,000.00 

Waterston Publishing Fund 10,000.00 

Ellis Fund 30,574.71 

Income of Appleton Fund 1,093.04 

Income of William Winthrop Fund 159.28 

Income of Massachusetts Historical Trust-Fund . 1,724.32 

Income of William Amory Fund 1,094.10 

Income of E. B. Bigelow Fund 173.80 

Income of Lawrence Fund 239.01 

Income of Robert C. Winthrop Fund . . . . 249.72 

Income of Waterston Publishing Fund 499.43 

Notes Payable 30,000.00 

$295,223.45 



The operations of the Society as an organization " to collect, 
preserve, and communicate " the materials for American his- 
tory have been seriously embarrassed by the continued loss of 
income from the two lower stories of the building on Tremont 
Street. But it was not thought advisable, in view of a prob- 
able sale of the estate, to make a lease which might interfere 



1896.] REPORT OF THE AUDITING COMMITTEE. 567 

with the plans of a purchaser ; and the question of a sale or 
lease still rests with the Committee to whom the matter was 
referred. It is expected that an early decision will be reached 
on this matter, and the future policy of the Society be thereby 
determined. The income from the invested funds has shown 
a slight improvement over the preceding year. There is reason 
to anticipate a further improvement during the next twelve 
months ; and the income of the Ellis Fund, from which nothing 
has yet been received, will also become available. 

During the year the Society has published the long-delayed 
Historical Index to the Pickering Tapers, being the eighth 
volume of the sixth series of Collections, the cost of which has 
been charged to the Income of the Apple ton Fund. A volume 
of the Proceedings — volume nine of the second series — has 
also been published ; and it is expected that the tenth volume 
will be ready in a few months. The cost of both of these 
volumes has been charged to the General Account. Consider- 
able progress has been made in the preparation of the very 
important and interesting volume of Bowdoin Papers, for 
which provision has already been made. 

It will be noticed that various sums incident to the pur- 
chase of the Fenway Estate have already been charged to the 
General Account ; and future payments of a similar character, 
until the land is built upon, should be charged to the same 
account. 

Charles C. Smith, Treasurer. 

Boston, March 31, 1896. 

Report of the Auditing Committee. 

The undersigned, a Committee appointed to examine the 
accounts of the Treasurer of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society, as made up to March 31, 1896, have attended to that 
duty, and report that they find them correctly kept and prop- 
erly vouched ; that the securities held by the Treasurer for 
the several funds correspond with the statement in his Annual 
Report ; that the balance of cash on hand is satisfactorily 
accounted for ; and that the Trial Balance is accurately taken 
from the Ledger. 

A. Lawrence Lowell, 
T. Jefferson Coolidge, 

Boston, April 4, 1896. 



\ Committee. 



568 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

Dr. Samuel A. Green submitted the Report- of the Libra- 
rian : — 

Report of the Librarian. 
During the past year there have been added to the Library : 

Books 1228 

Pamphlets 836 

Bound volumes of newspapers 62 

Unbound volumes of newspapers . 10 

Broadsides 27 

Maps 10 

Volumes of maps 2 

Portfolios of maps 21 

Bound volumes of manuscripts 5 

Unbound volumes of manuscripts 6 

Manuscripts 749 

In all . . . 2,956 

Of the books added, 1,086 have been given, 40 bought, and 
152 bound. Of the pamphlets added, 791 have been given, 
38 bought, and 7 procured by exchange. 

From the income of the Savage Fund, there have been 
bought 40 volumes, 38 pamphlets, and 2 unbound volumes 
of newspapers. 

From the income of the William Winthrop Fund, 152 vol- 
umes, containing 296 pamphlets, have been bound, and 12 
volumes repaired. 

Of the books added to the Rebellion Department, 25 have 
been given, and 4 bought ; and of the pamphlets added, 49 
have been given, and 4 bought. There are now in this col- 
lection 2,138 volumes, 4,763 pamphlets, 804 broadsides, and 
105 maps. 

In the collection of manuscripts there are 815 volumes, 189 
unbound volumes, 75 pamphlets with manuscript notes, and 
8,017 manuscripts. 

The Library contains at the present time about 39,000 vol- 
umes, including files of bound newspapers, the bound manu- 
scripts, and the Dowse Collection. The number of pamphlets, 
including duplicates, is about 96,652 ; and the number of 
broadsides, including duplicates, is 3,862. 



1896.] REPORT OF THE CABINET-KEEPER. 569 

During the past year there have been taken out 47 books 
and 5 pamphlets, and all have been returned. 

Since the last Annual Meeting Dr. Ellis's library has been 
received at these rooms. Agreeably to the terms of his will, 
an inventory of the books was made, though they are not as 
yet catalogued and placed on the shelves ; nor are they in- 
cluded in the present annual enumeration. Owing to the 
prospect of a removal from this building in the near future, it 
has been thought best to defer the work of cataloguing, etc., 
for the present. According to the inventory of his library, 
there are 5,035 books, and about 2,000 pamphlets including 
duplicates, among which are many of his own works. 

The most important accessions during the year are from the 
libraries of the late Robert C. Winthrop and the late Richard 
Frothingham, which were duly mentioned at the meetings in 
June, October, and February. Another valuable addition is 
the gift of 44 volumes of bound newspapers from our associate 
Dr. James F. Rhodes. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Samuel A. Green, 
Librarian. 

Boston, April 9, 1896. 



The Report of the Cabinet-keeper was then read : — 

Report of the Cabinet-keeper. 

The Cabinet-keeper respectfully reports that there has been 
no change in the condition of the Cabinet during the past 
year. There is the same want of space for the best arrange- 
ment and classification of the various articles, and there is the 
same impossible opportunity to display its valuable contents 
to the public, without whose aid and approbation it is almost 
hopeless to expect accessions. 

Were we obliged to remain under the present crowded con- 
dition of this building for even a few years, the future of the 
Cabinet would be forlorn indeed. But such prospect is quali- 
fied by a present hope, which promises a great relief and 
satisfaction in a new building of the near future, where it is. 
imperatively demanded that there be provided floor and wall 

spaces sufficient to arrange properly, and exhibit for the in- 

72 



570 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

formation of the public, the principal treasures of the Society, 
which have been concealed too long. 

A neighboring Society much }'ounger than ours has mani- 
fested such method and care in the arrangement and exhibi- 
tion of its gifts and loans of historic articles as to attract the 
attention of many citizens of Boston and vicinity, who have 
undoubtedly diverted to such Society many interesting and 
valuable articles which ought to have had a resting-place in 
our Cabinet. 

At the meeting of this Society held in October, 1895, the 
Cabinet-keeper reported at length upon the accessions derived 
from the bequest of Rev. Dr. Ellis and from other sources. 
Since that date there have been received the following gifts, 
viz. : — 

Eight engravings, John Adams, James Madison, and James Monroe, 
after Stuart ; Washington Irving after G. S. Newton ; " A View of 
the City of Boston," drawn on the spot by Governor Pownal in 1757 ; 
the North Battery, Boston, by Paul Revere ; the " Retreat of the 
British from Concord," by James Smillie after Chappel, and the " Bat- 
tle of Bunker's Hill," by Phillibrown after Chappel, both published by 
Johnson and Fry, New York, 1859. Three colored lithographs, the 
" Old Warehouse — Dock Square, Boston," by L. Prang & Co., two 
copies ; and "The Battle at Bunker's Hill, June 17 th , 1775/' published 
in 1875, by C. Frank King, Boston, after a drawing by Henry 
A. Thomas. Two heliotype reproductions, a " View of the Attack on 
Bunker's Hill, with the burning of Charles Town, June 17 th , 1775"; 
and "An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17 th , 
1775," by B. Romans. Given by Thomas G. Frothingham. 

A silver shield or badge, being a part of some ornament used by 
a member of a colored company called " The Bucks of America," 
bearing the device of the company and the initials " M. W." Given 
by William S. Appleton. 

A medal made of aluminum struck to commemorate the meeting of 
the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, Boston, July, 1895. 
Given by Charles Augustus Fernald. 

A pencil drawing made by George Edward Head in 1847, showing 
a view of Beacon Street looking toward the State House from a point 
west of Charles Street. Given by Mr. Head. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Samuel F. McCleary, 

Cabinet-keeper. 



1896.] REPORT OF LIBRARY AND CABINET COMMITTEE. 571 

Mr. James F. Rhodes read the Report of the Committee 
to examine the Library and Cabinet, as follows : — 

Report of the Committee on the Library and Cabinet, 

The Committee on Library and Cabinet report that they 
examined the Library and Cabinet March 18th, assisted by 
the Librarian and Cabinet-keeper. They find the Society 
under the shadow of a moving-day, and with that prospect in 
view it would be idle to formulate a new policy were a new 
policy needed. They discussed with the Cabinet-keeper his 
ideas of the arrangement of the treasures under his charge in 
the future new building, and think that, when the proper 
time arrives, there will be little difficulty in arriving at a 
correct plan. 

In regard to the Library the suggestions and recommen- 
dations of several committees of former years should be care- 
fully considered when the time of leaving this building shall 
come. That quality not quantity, that specialization instead of 
universality, should be our aim, seems to be agreed. Differ- 
ences of opinion, if any there be, arise in the application of 
this general principle. It may be depended on that books 
which the Society purchases are such as are suitable for an 
historical library. The question arises whether there should 
be any limitation as to what the Society should receive or 
retain of gifts coming from individuals, or of public documents 
which reach us, in the usual manner of distribution, from the 
national government, the State, or the city. 

Certain books which the Society now owns should obviously 
be disposed of, as to which the Librarian, your Committee, 
and we believe the Council, are at one. Already, under the 
direction of the Council, the Librarian has disposed of mate- 
rial. Your Committee would recommend the continuance of 
such a policy, and would also recommend that the Society 
sell or give away many of its United States public documents. 
We should except the Congressional Globe and Record, and 
the Annals of Congress ; the War of the Rebellion, Official 
Records of the Union and Confederate armies ; the Report of 
the Committee on the Conduct of the War; volumes con- 
taining Diplomatic Correspondence ; and many reports of 
Congressional Committees which have become part of the legis- 



572 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

lative history of the country. But there are a mass of United 
States documents which are likely to be of little or no use to 
members of the Society that it would be well to dispose of as 
opportunity offered. Moreover, a complete set may always be 
found in other libraries of the city. 

Accessibility to books in a library of this kind is desirable. 
Your Committee cannot speak too highly of the arrangement 
of the works relating to our Civil War, and the room devoted 
to this purpose appears to be a convenient place for study. 
The books which it contains, and the government publica- 
tions at hand, make an admirable collection ; and were some 
of the more recent works on the subject added, it would be a 
substantially complete library of printed material relating to 
the War of the Secession. 

James Ford Rhodes, 
Wm, R. Thayer, 
Francis C. Lowell. 

In the absence of Rev. Dr. Slafter, the Report of the Nomi- 
nating Committee was presented by Mr. R. C. Winthrop, Jr., 
who explained that the Committee had not anticipated being- 
called upon to deal with any other vacancies than those regu- 
larly occurring among the members at large of the Council ; 
but they had found, to their great regret, that the engage- 
ments of Professor Goodwin compel him to retire from the 
office of Corresponding Secretary after only two years' service, 
as it is inconvenient for him to attend the meetings of the 
Council. The following list was then elected by ballot : — 

For President. 
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. 

For Vice-Presidents. 
JUSTIN WINSOR. 
SAMUEL ABBOTT GREEN. 

For Recording Secretary. 
EDWARD JAMES YOUNG. 

For Corresponding Secretary. 
HENRY W. HAYNES. 

For Treasurer. 
CHARLES CARD SMITH. 



1896.] ADDBESS BY THE PRESIDENT, 573 

For Librarian. 
SAMUEL ABBOTT GREEN. 

For Cabinet-keeper. 
SAMUEL FOSTER McCLEARY. 

For Members at Large of the Council. 
ARTHUR LORD. 
EDWARD L. PIERCE. 
THORNTON K. LOTHROP. 
ABBOTT LAWRENCE LOWELL. 
CHARLES R. CODMAN. 

On motion of Rev. Henry F. Jenks, the thanks of the 
Society were voted to the retiring members of the Council. 

The President then addressed the Society as follows: — 

Gentlemen, Members of the Society, — Some of you doubt- 
less remember that when a year ago I took this chair, as the 
successor of Dr. Ellis, I intimated a purpose of preparing, and 
delivering at some not remote day, an address in the nature 
of a formal inaugural. In this address I had intended to 
review the past history of the Society, and to offer a r&umd 
of results already accomplished by it. I then further pro- 
posed, after considering present conditions and aspects of his- 
torical research, to outline a policy to be pursued with a view 
to maintaining the efficiency, increasing the usefulness, and 
systematizing the activity of the organization in the future. 
For entering into such a resum£ and attempting such a fore- 
cast, the occasion also seemed to me not inopportune, inas- 
much as practically the Society is now only just started on its 
second century ; and, with the deaths of Mr. Winthrop and 
Dr. Ellis chancing so close upon each other, its development 
has passed into the hands of another generation. How great 
is the gap thus quietly and almost unconsciously bridged, may 
be judged by a simple statistical statement: Mr. Winthrop 
and Dr. Ellis, so long the President and Vice President of the 
Society, were graduated, respectively, in the years 1828 and 
1833 ; their successors in those positions belong to the classes 
of 1853 and 1856. As was observed here when we met to 
pay our last tributes to my predecessor, those dates mark 



574 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

the difference, historically speaking, between a generation 
which drew its cast of thought and modes of treatment from 
the teachings inspired by the Mosaic dispensation, and a 
generation which draws them from the methods and science 
of Darwin. 

Thus the occasion is at least suggestive. And I will at once 
admit that there are thoughts connected with it interesting at 
least to me, and entitled perhaps to more or less consideration 
on your part, which I had intended before this to present as 
best I might ; but, on the threshold of preparation, I found 
myself confronted with other problems of a less inviting but a 
more immediate and pressing character. They were, it is true, 
in the nature of preliminaries ; but none the less they are, 
so far as this Society is concerned, essential preliminaries, and 
more careful reflection only served to convince me that, if any 
really substantial and satisfactory results are to be secured, 
those preliminaries must be disposed of, and satisfactorily dis- 
posed of, before the larger and much more attractive field of 
inquiry can profitably be entered upon. I refer, of course, to 
the material and financial issues connected with the Society's 
present position. 

I will add that, upon the whole, I also felt that the other and 
more remote, even if in the end much the most important, mat- 
ters of consideration might just as well be deferred to a subse- 
quent time. It is to be remembered that, though as a Society 
we are fairly across the threshold of our second century, the 
year 1900, though not yet here, is close at hand. If any con- 
ceivable time is appropriate for a backward glance, as well as 
for an effort to peer into the future, it is at the point where 
two centuries merge ; and especially will this be the case 
when, so few years hence, and between the sunset of one day 
and another day's sunrise, the momentous nineteenth century 
ends, and the yet more momentous-to-be twentieth begins. 
So far as our Society is concerned, I apprehend also that the 
whole of the short intervening period will be found hardly to 
suffice for the disposition of those material and financial pre- 
liminaries to which I have referred. 

Recurring, therefore, to the consideration of our immediate 
present, I will say at the outset that questions of habitation, 
locality, and finance have occupied the anxious attention of 
the Council throughout the whole of the past year, and the 



1890.] ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT. 575 

position of the Society in these respects should now, in my 
judgment, be clearly set forth. And in the first place it may, 
I submit, be laid down as a fundamental proposition that 
learned societies constitute no exception to the rule which 
applies to political and business organizations, — to States as 
well as to individuals, — the fundamental rule that sufficient 
means and a sound financial condition are essential to success 
and real usefulness. In the case of societies like ours, money 
cannot of course make good a lack in the community of edu- 
cation or of intellectual activity ; but the existence of these 
assumed, — and over these we here can exercise but slight 
control, — it follows that the results attained are to a large 
extent a question of the material means at the disposal of 
those engaged in the work of attaining. Without adequate 
resources an historical society is, in hardly less degree than 
a manufacturing company, crippled at every step. The foun- 
dation must, in the nature of things, precede the superstruc- 
ture ; and before formulating any plans of future work and 
activity, financial conditions must be fully considered and 
adequate provision made. 

In accordance with our established custom, the regular 
annual report of the Treasurer has to-day been submitted, and 
is now in the hands of the members. It merits a study more 
than ordinarily careful. Briefly stated, it appears that the 
Society now owns real estate, including this, the Tremont 
Street building, and the Ellis building-site recently pur- 
chased at the West End, valued at $ 225,000. The West-End 
building-site is subject to a mortgage of $30,000. The Society 
further holds personal property in the form of stocks and 
bonds which stand on its books at a valuation of $131,000, but 
which, bought at a time of higher prices, is, at current market 
quotations, worth about $126,500. It enjoys, therefore, a 
total accumulated endowment, over and above all debts, of 
some 1320,000. 

In addition to the above, the Sibley and Waterston be- 
quests, estimated together at over $160,000, will, under certain 
restrictions, become available at some future period which 
cannot now be very remote. 

An Historical Society such as ours, endowed to this extent, 
cannot be said to be otherwise than handsomely provided for. 
But, as is usually the case, our needs have, in the passage of 



576 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

time and of the changes worked thereby, grown with our 
means, and it so chances that an entire readjustment of affairs 
is at this time forced upon us by a fortuitous concurrence of 
circumstances. It cannot be deferred. 

It will be observed, on examination of the Treasurer's report, 
that though the accumulated endowment of the Society reaches 
the large sum already stated ($320,000), its available income 
derived from investments during the last year has been only 
$4,936.83, a considerable portion of which ($3,500) was from 
securities representing funds the income of which can only be 
devoted to specific purposes. The entire income from what 
may be called the free maintenance fund of the Society was, 
therefore, during the last year but $1,500; and it is of course 
almost unnecessary to add that this inconsiderable sum did 
not suffice to meet the requirements of the organization when 
reduced to the most economical basis, much less to leave 
any balance, as in former years, to be passed to the credit of 
our accumulating endowment. This unsatisfactory condition 
of affairs, so far as current and available revenue is concerned, 
is due to circumstances connected with the building we are 
now in, to which the attention of the Society was called at 
our meeting in October last, but which will now bear repe- 
tition. This Tremont Street estate, it will be remembered, 
represents a book investment of $102,000, and a market value 
in excess of half of the Society's entire endowment. The 
building, erected immediately after the great Boston fire of 
November, 1872, was specially designed for the use of this 
Society, and for occupation by certain departments of the 
County of Suffolk. It was not planned, nor is it adapted, for 
general business purposes. The County of Suffolk, in advance 
of construction, took a fifteen years' lease of the two lower 
stories, agreeing to pay therefor an annual rental of $9,000. 
This lease expired on the 1st of January, 1888; but the 
County continued in occupancy as a tenant-at-will until 
October 1, 1894, when its departments were removed to the 
new Court House in Pemberton' Square. During the last 
year of occupation by the County, the rent* ($9,000) received 
from the leased premises constituted seventy per cent of the 
available income of the Society derived from investments. The 
premises occupied by the County have since remained vacant 
for the reason, already stated, that, constructed for a special 



1896.] ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT. 577 

use, they are not adapted to general business purposes ; and to 
adapt them to such purposes, even in so far as that is practi- 
cable, would involve a large expenditure of doubtful expe- 
diency. The Society has therefore already sustained a serious 
loss from this cause, and the amount of that loss is constantly 
increasing. With seventy per cent of our whole available 
income cut off, we are for the time being financially crippled. 

As I have said, the tenancy of the County of Suffolk termi- 
nated in October, 1894, and the death of our late President, 
Dr. Ellis, occurred in the following December. So far as our 
Society was concerned, the two events had a close bearing on 
each other, and combined to precipitate questions which might 
otherwise have been for some time deferred. But it so 
chanced that just when this building ceased to be available 
as a steady source of revenue, provision came to us under the 
will of Dr. Ellis for the purchase of a new building-site else- 
where, and in a locality which in view of the growth and 
development of the city was in many respects better adapted 
to our needs than this. 

Under these circumstances the course to be pursued hardly 
seemed open to question. The alternative was obvious and 
apparently unavoidable. It lay between a costly and unsatis- 
factory remodelling of this Tremont Street building, on the 
one hand, with the chance of subsequently securing a satisfac- 
tory tenant for the two lower stories, while the Society, hold- 
ing its new building-site unimproved at a considerable annual 
cost, remained for an indefinite period in its present quar- 
ters ; or, on the other hand, taking steps to dispose wholly of 
the present building, to erect a new one on the Ellis site, and 
thus make now a change which, for well-understood reasons 
connected with our work and collections, could in any event 
be deferred only for a limited number of years. It was there> 
fore decided, after full and careful consideration, to make the 
change now ; and to this work the attention of those having 
the affairs and interests of the Society more especially in 
charge has during the past year been almost exclusively 
devoted. 

Substantial progress has been made. In the first place, the 
course to be pursued had to be definitely decided upon. This 
was done, reported to the Society, and its approval of the 
course recommended was obtained at the meeting of October 

73 



578 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

10th last. The bequests under the will of Dr. Ellis had next 
to be considered, and these presented questions not free from 
difficulty. The bequests were in some degree conditional, 
and the purpose of the testator had to be considered and 
carried out to the letter as well as in spirit. How best to do this 
could not, for reasons with which the Society is familiar (supra, 
pp. 150-155) be decided at once, and it was not until a year 
after Dr. Ellis's death that all difficulties were overcome, and 
both bequests — that of the house in Marlborough Street 
and the legacy in money — converted into cash were applied 
towards carrying out the proposed change. Preliminary plans 
and approximate estimates of the cost of a new building were 
then prepared, and a financial scheme arranged ; and of the 
latter I propose to speak more at length presently. It only 
then remained to dispose of this building. The Committee 
having the matter in charge had confidently hoped to be able 
at this meeting to report that a satisfactory sale of the entire 
property had been effected to the City of Boston. The expe- 
diency of the purchase by the city is so manifest that, for 
public considerations, those having the matter in charge on 
the part of the Society have been most anxious to bring it 
about. Did private interests control the large city holdings — 
the City Hall, old Court House, and Probate Building — 
lying between School and Court Streets, and abutting on this 
estate, the increased value which would be given to the whole 
by securing through this property an opening on Tremont 
Street, would leave no question as to the course to be pursued. 
In order to merge it with the others, this property would be 
acquired at any reasonable cost. After looking the situation 
over, the present Mayor at once took this obviously rational 
business view of the matter, and he has recommended the 
appropriation of the money necessary to effect the purchase 
by the city. There the matter now rests. Should the recom- 
mendation of the Mayor be followed and the purchase made, 
the question before the Society will be solved at an early day 
should other considerations prevail, and a sale to the city not 
be effected, it will become necessary either to dispose of the 
estate in other quarters, or to remodel the present building 
in whole or in part, and let it for a term of years. The 
Society cannot of course continue to hold it in its present 
untenanted condition. 



1896.] ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT. 579 

The financial arrangements involved in the proposed change 
remain to be fully considered and provided for. At the stated 
meeting of the Society in May last, this matter was somewhat 
considered and preliminary estimates were submitted. Look- 
ing at the complete future needs of the Society and providing 
for its more fully developed activities, it was suggested that 
four separate funds would be needed : — 

A Building Fund of $250,000 

A Maintenance Fund of 250,000 

A Library Fund of 100,000 

A Publishing Fund of 100,000 

Total . 

$700,000 

In view of the fact that a sale of this estate to the city 
would probably necessitate the immediate removal of the 
Society with all its collections to temporary quarters until 
a new Society Building on the Ellis site could be made ready 
for occupancy, the two funds the condition of which has more 
especially occupied attention have been those for Building 
and Maintenance. The other two funds, those for the Library 
and to carry on our publications, admit of economies, and can 
wait, as was stated in May last, " with a reasonable assurance 
that, through future bequests, adequate provision for them 
will be forthcoming." At the same time it was further said 
that "nothing in the way of building can possibly be done 
until the Sibley bequests become available " on the death of 
Mrs. Sibley. Though this statement was made only eleven 
months ago, events have since then moved rapidly, and the 
problem now is how to do that at once which was then pro- 
nounced practically impossible. 

The estimates submitted in May last were general only, and 
made in advance of the preparation of even preliminary plans. 
Since then such plans have been submitted, and approximate 
estimates made upon them. In May it was assumed that the 
proposed new building would cost $250,000, the site being 
included in that amount. The site has since been purchased 
at a cost of $55,000, leaving $195,000 of the May estimate for 
the construction of the building. I have since, for my own 
satisfaction, carefully gone over the original figures, and with, 
I regret to say, the usual results. They do not seem to me 



580 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

to have been sufficiently liberal. As now advised, I should 
feel disposed to place the ultimate cost of the site and a com- 
pleted fire-proof building upon it, furnished and in all respects 
adequate to the future needs of our Society, at $300,000, or 
$50,000 above the amount then suggested. The building 
itself, with its furniture and ultimate ornamentation, would 
then, apart from its site, be estimated at $245,000. On the 
other hand, and on this point I wish to be explicit, it is not 
necessary, nor, in my judgment, would it be desirable even if 
it was either proper or prudent, that the building should be 
completely finished, ornamented, and furnished at the cost of 
the Society, or that the whole of this large amount should be 
spent at once. On the contrary, I submit that, by pursuing 
this course, the best results would not be secured. The wiser 
plan would be now to design the complete building ; to finish 
at once only so much of it, and that in such a way, as would 
suffice for the immediate accommodation of the Society ; and 
to leave the rest to be done hereafter and by degrees. The 
Society would then be far better accommodated than it now 
is, and, judging by the experience of the past, to complete the 
work it could safely depend on the falling in of legacies already 
made to it, and on additional future gifts and bequests. In- 
deed, the pursuing this course holds out an inducement to 
liberality, whether posthumous or in advance of death. Take 
for instance the entrance, the staircase, or the great hall of 
the proposed building. Each of these in the shape ultimately 
proposed is a costly ornamented structure of elaborate design, 
the supplying of which out of the resources of the Society 
would not, in my judgment, be justifiable ; and on this point 
I do not wish to be misunderstood. It is said that all things 
come to him who waits ; and if this is true of the individual, 
it is far more true of a society like ours. Any plan of 
construction and method of ornamentation we may adopt, 
should, I submit, however simple at the outset, not only 
admit of very great development, but should invite it. The 
cost of this, or of much of it, is included in the estimate I have 
given ; but for the immediate use of the Society, the building 
can be neatly finished, in a temporary but serviceable manner, 
at greatly reduced expense, and yet in a way to serve every 
immediate purpose. In this form it would do its work, while 
the Society awaits the development of events ; nor is it in any 



1896.] ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT. 581 

way improbable that the mere fact of incompletion will from 
time to time induce wealthy and public-spirited members to 
complete hall or stairway or entrance as their private contri- 
bution to a public work. The desire, and the very laudable 
desire, to leave memorials in this way is, as we all know, 
largely on the increase in our community, and it is no more 
than reasonable for a Society such as ours to count somewhat 
upon it. The last few years have, it is true, not been propi- 
tious for liberal giving ; but a change in this respect may be 
safely anticipated, and it is to be remembered that in the single 
year 1894, a year of great financial stress, the Society was the 
recipient of bequests amounting to not less than $75,000. 

Begun on this basis, the proposed building can, it is believed, 
be finished so as to answer every immediate Society require- 
ment for $140,000. The site ($55,000) is already provided. 
So far as the question of immediate construction is concerned, 
the problem is, therefore, the comparatively simple one of 
providing from the Society's various funds the sum of $140,000 
without in so doing crippling its general resources. Should 
the Tremont Street property be sold to the city at the price 
proposed, to wit, $200,000, the difficulty would at once be 
solved, as the amount needed ($140,000) could be taken in 
part ($100,000) from the selling price, and in part ($40,000) 
anticipated from the Sibley bequest by means of a mortgage 
on the new building, leaving a balance of over $100,000 
derived from the sale of the Tremont Street estate in 
our treasury the income from which could be applied to 
maintenance. 

The Maintenance Fund presents greater difficulties. Ade- 
quately to meet the needs of the Society in the proposed 
building in its finished form, and to pay mortgage interest 
($3,200 per annum), would, it is estimated, call for an annual 
expenditure of not less than $15,000. The fund the income 
of which is applicable to maintenance does not now exceed 
$45,000, to which is to be added the Ellis fund ($30,000), and 
the balance, say $100,000, of the money received from the sale 
of the Society's present Tremont Street building, making a 
total of $175,000. From this might possibly be derived an 
income of nearly $9,000 per annum. To it could be added 
the annual fees received from our membership, estimated at 
$900, making a total of $10,000. 



582 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

As, even on the most economical basis, the cost of annual 
maintenance cannot be reduced below $12,000, there would 
remain under this head a deficit of at least $2,000, and more 
probably $3,000, per annum to be made good from other 
sources. This may be supplied through a rental to be derived 
from leasing a portion of the proposed building to some other 
Society of a character similar to this; for the building on the 
plan proposed must almost necessarily be larger than this 
Society now requires for its own immediate use. Or if no 
such joint tenancy could at the outset be arranged, some plan 
might not improbably be devised, by the aid of members of 
the Society, through which the income from the Maintenance 
Fund would be increased for a few years at least, and until 
the use of a portion of the Sibley Fund would become avail- 
able. Under any circumstances, however, it is apparent that 
for some years to come the management of the finances of the 
Society will call for the exercise of very considerable skill and 
judgment, while in any event a severe economy will have to 
be practised. On the other hand, the problem, though diffi- 
cult, does not seem to be insoluble. 

I have thus taken occasion to set the financial situation 
before the Society as clearly and forcibly as I can. In view 
of the difficulties presented, the more conservative course 
naturally suggests itself, — that the Society should remain 
where it now is for an indefinite period, or at least until the 
maturing of bequests and the practice of a rigid economy shall 
have increased the Maintenance Fund to an amount sufficient 
to justify the increased annual expense incident to a removal. 
But even were this otherwise practical under present condi- 
tions, it would entail a continuance, so far as our collections 
and usefulness are concerned, of the present situation through- 
out the active lifetime of the existing membership. The 
members of the Society fully understand what the present 
situation is. So long as it continues, we can in no respect do 
justice to the Society, to its collection of books, works of art, 
and cabinet ; nor is any inducement to liberality held out to 
our members. In a word, the Society is and must remain 
thoroughly hampered and restricted. If evidence of this is 
desired, it can be found in the reports of the Council and the 
various committees spread on our records through a series of 
years, and notably those of 1889 and 1893, prepared by Mr. 



1896.] ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT. 583 

R. C. Winthrop, Jr., and Dr. Herrick, and that to-day sub- 
mitted by the Cabinet-keeper. I do not hesitate to give it as 
my own opinion, reached as a result of a year's careful obser- 
vation as President of the Society, that to infuse into it new 
life and activity, and to hold it in its proper position among 
the increasing number of similar organizations, a complete 
change and renovation is necessary, — a change and renovation 
the effecting which would under any circumstances extend 
over a period of at least five years. 

Bat even if a conservative course of patient waiting and 
sure though slow accumulation should be decided upon as, 
on the whole, wisest, such a course would, for reasons already 
given, be found under existing conditions hardly practicable. 
This would not have been the case had the lease of the lower 
premises of the Tremont Street building to the County of 
Suffolk not expired ; but unfortunately, it has expired, and 
those premises, as I have already stated, are not only unoccu- 
pied, but they are not adapted for any profitable occupation. 
Were the Society now in receipt of an income of $9,000 a year 
from this building, a policy of waiting and accumulation, not- 
withstanding the dangerous loss of prestige it entails, would 
be my own decided recommendation. I am most reluctant to 
incur risk of financial embarrassment. Unfortunately, perhaps, 
but unquestionably, the facts are not as we would have them. 
Since the lease to the County of Suffolk expired, the Society 
has already sustained a gross rental loss of $14,000, and that 
loss is steadily increasing at the rate of $25 per diem. To put 
a stop to it would involve an expensive and most unsatisfactory 
remodelling of this building, amounting probably to a further 
loss of at least two years' rent. I cannot, as the result of 
most careful deliberation, see my way to recommending this 
course. 

A removal, then, at the earliest date that a sale of the 
Tremont Street estate can be effected seems to be the only 
alternative. What this involves I have already endeavored to 
set forth. I can only add that, so far as restriction as to 
means and the hampering of action due to enforced economies 
are concerned, the position of the Society after a removal 
would be in no way worse, and in some ways would be mate- 
rially better, than apparently it must of necessity be should it 
continue where and as it now is. 



584 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

For a Society of the character of this, there is of course no 
practical method of increasing its revenue except through 
rigid economy, slow saving, and occasional gifts and bequests. 
It is not, for instance, desirable that the entrance fee or the 
annual dues should be made greater, for it is and should 
always remain our policy to have membership of the Society 
open to all on conditions, so far as money is concerned, which 
present no insuperable obstacle to any desirable candidate. 
There is, however, one source of slow accumulation to which 
attention may, perhaps, not unprofitably be called. Many 
years ago, in 1873, a by-law went into effect under which the 
regular annual dues might be commuted into a life-member- 
ship on the payment of $150. As the sum of $150 thus paid 
represents an annual income in perpetuity of seven dollars 
a year, it is obviously for the interest of the Society that the 
largest possible number of commutations should be made. It 
is, on the contrary, somewhat noticeable how few members of 
the Society have ever availed themselves of this option. They 
number but ten in twenty-three years. Among these was the 
Lite Judge Hoar, who took out his life-membership in a way 
characteristic of the man ; for having paid his annual dues 
with regularity for over twenty years, in 1887, when he already 
felt that the end was not very remote, he called on the Treas- 
urer, and stating that he did so for the benefit of the Society, 
he, a man making his final arrangements for this world, took 
out a life-membership. That more have not pursued the same 
course is due probably to the fact that the existence of such 
a rule is not generally known. Formerly the money derived 
for life-memberships was passed into the general account of 
annual receipts, and appeared merely in the surplus income 
added to the accumulated fund of the Society. Since 1877 
a different practice has prevailed, and the receipts from life- 
membership constitute a fund by themselves, the ever-increas- 
ing income of which is free to be applied to any end the needs 
of the Society may most call for. It constitutes the nucleus of 
that most desirable thing, — a free fund. I should now further 
recommend that all future admission fees be also paid into 
this fund. At best it will accumulate but slowly, though in 
a quarter of a century it might easily be made to amount to 
$20,000 ; and that sum, had it been accumulated in this way 
since 1870, would now go far towards solving the present 



1896.] ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT. 585 

financial problems of the Society. The income from it would 
almost make good the threatened deficit in our Maintenance 
account. 

The foregoing statement will, I hope, explain to the Society 
why I have not hitherto cared, nor now care, to attempt to 
outline for it any measures of administrative reform, or any 
definite policy in the line of researches, or new fields of activ- 
ity in publication. These are not the questions immediately 
pressing upon us. Before they can be approached the material 
and financial problems must, as I have said, be met, and in 
some way disposed of. During the coming year, as during 
the year just passed, they will call for our undivided attention. 
I therefore now make but one recommendation. Whatever 
is done, the results of the action now taken, so far as the 
Society is concerned, will make themselves felt through a long 
series of years, probably far outlasting the connection with 
it of the great body of the present membership. The respon- 
sibility attached to action, therefore, is great, and it does not 
seem right that it should devolve wholly on the Council, — 
the ordinary executive organization. I would therefore recom- 
mend the continuance for another year of the special commit- 
tee appointed at the stated meeting of October 10th last ; and 
to that end shall close by asking some member to oblige me so 
far as to offer the following vote : — 

Voted, That a Committee of three be appointed from the 
Society at large, to constitute together with the Council 
a Joint Special Committee to which shall be referred the state- 
ment submitted by the President ; and that said Joint Special 
Committee be clothed with full power to decide and act on 
behalf of the Society on all questions of finance or policy 
therein discussed. 

On motion, the vote suggested by the President w r as unani- 
mously adopted. 

After the adjournment, the members and invited guests 
were entertained at luncheon by the President, at his house 
on Gloucester Street. 



74 



586 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 



MEMOIR 

OF 

MARTIN BRIMMER. 

BY SAMUEL ELIOT. 



Martin Brimmer's death in the midst of a life devoted to 
the general welfare caused universal sorrow among those who 
knew him, and very widespread regret among those who had 
merely heard of him. He proved to have been an object of 
personal consideration such as a man wins only by rare char- 
acter and equally rare service. What these were in him we 
are to attempt to understand. 

He was a man of great activity. His mind w T as always 
alert, ready to catch at every opportunity of study, effort, and 
well-doing. Constantly intent on the highest interests of 
Boston, Massachusetts, and the whole country ; drawn to- 
wards the letters and arts of Europe and other continents ; 
quick to perceive and earnest to share the whole human heri- 
tage, — his intellectual and moral powers were almost unbro- 
kenly in exercise. His administrative faculties were equally 
active. He knew how to organize and to execute ; he knew 
how to give of his abundance, and to lead others in the same 
open paths ; he was greatly depended on for wise advice, nor 
did he ever disappoint those who sought his lead. Sensitive, 
conscientious, and far-seeing, he was a remarkable leader. 

At the same time he was quite collected ; untouched by the 
delusion that one's usefulness is in proportion to his agitation ; 
as willing to wait, when necessary, as to push forward ; and 
utterly untempted to wear his heart upon his sleeve, or unveil 
his inner self to mere lookers-on. His reserve was, indeed, a 
life-long trait. He was calmness itself, and neither irritation 
nor folly on the part of a follower or an opponent had any 
power to disturb him visibly. His rector preached a memo- 




9TLan£co<~ firnnnn/rrL^G 



1896.] MEMOIR OF MARTIN BRIMMER. 587 

rial sermon on his gentleness, rightly making that his dominant 

characteristic, — dominant because unassuming, as full of power 

as of charm. He literally 

" Lived the most 
Within the eventual element of calm." 

Born in Boston, December 9, 1829, he was happy in family, 
in estate, in everything personal except physical vigor, for 
this was lessened by constitutional delicacy, and a lameness 
that continued through life, though he was taken to Paris 
for surgical treatment while yet a child. The sufferings oc- 
casioned by this were borne with wonderful fortitude. 

He was, above all, happy in qualities inherited from those 
who went before him. His father, grandfather, and great- 
grandfather were all of the same name. The great-grand- 
father, born in Germany, came to this country early in the 
last century, and married Susanna Sigourney (Sejourne), of 
Huguenot origin. Our friend's mother, Harriet, was the 
daughter of James Wadsworth, born in Connecticut, but 
resident for a great part of his life on' his vast and beauti- 
ful estate at Geneseo, New York. He was the founder or 
supporter of normal schools and school-district libraries, and 
distributed educational books throughout the State. Mr. 
Brimmer, the father, was also helpful to schools, and had a 
large edition of a work by Alonzo Potter and George B. Emer- 
son printed at his own expense for circulation among school 
committees and teachers. The son and grandson of such men 
could not but serve the cause of education ; nor merely that 
cause. All high concerns, literary and charitable, prison 
discipline, the elevation of society, were dear to his father 
and his grandfather, and could not, with his sympathetic na- 
ture, but be dear to him. When his father entered upon his 
second term as Mayor of Boston, in 1844, he spoke of " the 
importance of enlarged views in relation to the improvements 
of the city, in extending and beautifying the streets and public 
places, in a careful attention to internal health and police, in 
an enlarged system of internal and external intercourse, in a 
liberal encouragement of charitable and literary institutions, 
in a far-sighted preparation for the moral, literary, and physical 
education of the rising generation." All this sounds almost 
as if the Mayor were forecasting his son's career. If to this 



588 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

we add the gentle traditions of the mother, a very lovely 
woman, who died when her boy was little more than three 
years old, we have wonderfully promising sources from which 
the new life was drawn. There were side influences. The 
boy's uncle, George W. Brimmer, was a man of public spirit. 
He bought Sweet Auburn, then so called, to save its beauty 
from destruction ; and when he transferred it, as Mount Au- 
burn, at small cost, to the Horticultural Society, it was a 
service for which this community should not cease to be 
grateful. Thus, an inheritor of a great spirit as well as of 
a great fortune, Martin Brimmer bore the stamp of future 
service upon him. 

His boyhood at home was a sober one, but he had com- 
panionship at one school after another. He much enjoyed his 
visits to Geneseo, and there learned that love of nature which 
brightened his maturer years. He was a well-trained youth 
of sixteen when he entered the Sophomore Class of Harvard 
College, and he graduated in 1849. Looking back from his 
later stages, one would not expect to find him distinguished 
according* to college standards, and he was not. Some time 
after his degree, he entered a law office in Boston, but without 
much zeal. His fellow-student in the office says that on a 
good-natured remonstrance as to the lateness of his appear- 
ance, he replied, " You don't know my hours ; they begin at 
twelve, and end at five minutes after twelve." He was left en- 
tirely to his own control. His grandfather, who would have 
exercised great authority over him, died in 1844, and his father 
in 1847, when he was less than half-way through college. 
Then came Europe. He went thither, not merely to enjoy 
himself, but to study, and to follow courses of lectures at 
the Sorbonne and elsewhere. It is uncertain how far we 
can venture to take account of him at this period, when 
he was twenty-three or twenty-four years old. He appears 
to have been regarded as quite above the average, intent 
not so much on professional or conventional successes as on 
a line sure to issue in gain for himself and for others; a 
young man of large fortune and of large purpose, not 3 r et 
to be analyzed, much less ticketed, but promising to live to 
some purpose, if he lived at all. 

Then he came home. He seems to have been snapped up 
at once. A Trustee of the Athenaeum at the age of twenty- 



1896.] MEMOIR OF MARTIN BRIMMER. 589 

four, he began that sort of service early. A year or two later, 
in 1855 or 1856, probably in the earlier year, when he was but 
twenty-five, he went on a chivalrous expedition to Kansas. 
It was the time when the opponents and the supporters of 
negro slavery were struggling for that Territory as for the soil 
on which the final result of the long, long struggle was to be 
achieved. An Emigrant Aid Society had been organized in 
Massachusetts to send out freemen to settle in the Territory, 
and to secure it for freedom. To make certain of its work, 
that it should be for good and not for evil, the Society deter- 
mined to send one of its directors to inspect the state of things 
and to report upon it. Martin Brimmer -was not a director, or 
an officer of any kind ; but he had probably been a contributor, 
and now he offered to go with the director to the scene of 
action. They went together ; they travelled in an old army 
ambulance, slept in strange beds, ate strange meals, and en- 
countered strange adventures. But Brimmer is described by 
the survivor of the journey as never complaining, never over- 
excited or over-depressed, a delightful companion, with fair- 
ness, cheerfulness, unselfishness, and quickness of apprehension. 
u The only time," the director writes, u Brimmer referred to 
his lameness, was on our returning at night from a visit, when, 
having a ravine and a brook to cross, he said that a very 
thick-soled shoe was sometimes useful in keeping one's foot 
dry." On his return home he became a director of the Society 
in whose interest he had been an adventurous traveller. 

In 1860 he was made a State Trustee of the Massachusetts 
General Hospital, and from that time forward was on all sorts 
of charitable boards, — the Farm School, the Perkins Institu- 
tion, the Provident Association, and others, — not serving very 
long on any of these, but much interested in them all, and a 
liberal giver to many of them, apart from any official rela- 
tions. One of the charities he most valued was the Children's 
Aid, — a fact the more striking because he was himself childless. 
But this was characteristic of all his helpful relations. He 
did not enter any of them because of their special claims upon 
his own experiences or sympathies. 

In 1859 he served in the Massachusetts House of Repre- 
sentatives, and again in the two following years. In 1865 
he was in the State Senate. This public life was neither par- 
ticularly congenial nor uncongenial to him, and he had a good 



590 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

deal of influence in it, considering his aloofness from what we 
call politics. It is said of him that he was remarkably keen in 
scenting a legislative job, and vigorous in baffling it. His 
health suffered from the bad air of the chambers, and he re- 
fused further service in the State House. In 1876 he was a 
Presidential Elector. Two years later he consented to stand 
for Congress, saying, as he did so, that he must not be expected 
to contribute as freely towards election expenses as he had 
done when not a candidate ; and the campaign had not pro- 
ceeded far, when he told his wife that his chance was over, for 
he had declined to pledge himself to protection as called upon 
to do by an influential committee. One cannot Wonder that 
Congress is, and has been, what it is when such a man is 
refused admittance. 

In 1864 he became, at an unusually early age, a Fellow of 
Harvard College, and, after a few years in the Board of Over- 
seers, he was again elected to the Corporation in 1877, and 
there continued till his death. He served the College for 
nearly thirty } T ears in all, and every testimony goes to prove 
that his service was of the highest order. At once a liberal 
and a conservative in academic counsels, ready to enter upon 
new courses as he found them commendable, never adopting 
ari} r for the sake of change, or resisting any for the sake of re- 
pose, always generous in supporting movements which needed 
money, dignified and serene in argument, perfectly conciliatory 
towards every associate, he made even those who differed from 
him content when his will prevailed against theirs. One year, in 
the President's absence, he presided at Commencement, to the 
great gratification of the day's graduates and of all the alumni, 
not one of whom but recognized in him a servant of the Uni- 
versity such as, with all its wealth of service, it has rarely 
had. " The Corporation record with inexpressible sorrow and 
sense of loss the death of their honored and beloved associate " ; 
and in this lamentation no loyal son of Harvard can have failed 
to share. 

Only one other public interest rivalled the University in 
our friend's devotion, and that is the Museum, of which he 
was the chief founder. In 1869 three friends, one the late 
Charles C. Perkins, thought it possible to combine the paint- 
ings and sculptures, engravings, casts, and other works of art 
then scattered hereabouts, and make at least a beginning of 



1896.] MEMOIR OF MARTIN BRIMMER. 591 

an Art Museum. It depended upon enlisting, not only the in- 
stitutions possessing these collections, but still more the men 
who would bring them together and build on them as a foun- 
dation. The choice of a head and the inducement to him to 
accept the charge were all important. When Martin Brimmer 
consented to take the post, and enter upon the long labors it 
involved, no friend of the enterprise but believed it would 
succeed. He possessed every qualification, — birth, estate, 
broad and delicate training, wise judgment, and an absence 
of self-seeking, a quietness and modesty very exceptional in 
a man of his position ; being indeed, an ideal chief of this or 
of any other work for the community which he felt called upon 
to assume. The hopes of those early days were never disap- 
pointed. He gave of his fortune, he gave of his learning, he 
gave of his wisdom ; and his neighbors, seeing in him an exam- 
ple which they could follow, a guidance which they could trust, 
gave also, some of their wealth, some of their poverty, some of 
their power, some of their weakness, but all in an enthusiasm 
largely caught from him. Two months more here, and he 
would have been identified with the Museum for twenty-six 
years. It is, and will be, his monumental memorial. 

His literary and artistic studies have been mentioned. What 
they were can be gathered in part from his published writings. 
The principal one of these is a volume on Egypt, which he said 
his niece and he wrote together to instruct themselves during 
a journey in that country. " We are amusing ourselves," he 
informed a correspondent, " by writing a book about Egypt, 
the conditions and ideas that have governed its history, re- 
ligion, etc. Since we take turns in furnishing the ideas, and 
I give the forms and the sentences, and M. supplies the hand- 
writing, you will justly infer that no one but ourselves is likely 
to understand it. Having sufficiently alarmed you by this 
statement, I hasten to relieve you by saying that this will be 
superior to all other books in this, that it will not be printed." 
Of this, however, he was led to think better, and three years 
later the volume appeared in a beautiful form. It is a study 
of deep questions concerning Ancient Egypt, its physical and 
political conditions, its religion, and its art. " The columns 
of Karnak . . . give one an impression of massive strength 
and of human power over matter more striking than one re- 
ceives from any other building in the world." u The obelisk 



592 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

is the only aspiring form in Egyptian architecture." "Apart 
from its size, the Sphinx is one of the greatest of ideal works." 
" The more we consider the arts and religion of Egypt, the 
more we are struck with the indigenous character of both, 
and the more strongly do we feel that both were evolved out 
of the powerful and yet simple impressions made through 
uncounted centuries upon a homogeneous people by the great 
forces and aspects of nature." " The religion was anchored 
on eternal principles. ... It had, indeed, one characteristic 
of a great religion, namely, its many-sidedness." " Apparently 
polytheistic, . . . the essence of the faith was essentially ideal ; 
the worship of one God exhibiting himself to man in a multi- 
plicity of attributes." These, with many observations on the 
Egyptian moral law, not here cited, may serve as suggestions 
of the volume, and explain the respectful interest with which 
it was received. 

Mr. Brimmer printed two addresses in recent years. One, 
at the dedication of an Art Building at Wellesley College in 
1889, shows the importance of studies in art, and unfolds the 
causes which promote the arts. It contains a tribute to 
Millet, an artist whom Mr. Brimmer ranked very high, and 
of whom he was fond of acquiring beautiful examples. The 
other address was in 1894, at the dedication of an Art Building 
at Bowdoin College. Of this the governing thoughts are that 
art is a language, that it is addressed to us, and that if we do 
not respond, the language has failed by our fault. 

This last train of reflection was not unusual with him. 
He wrote to a friend, " Museums and libraries do something 
for those who are reaching out; they do not, of themselves, 
reach in." And again : " I have been reading a little of 
Green [T. H.], and have increased appetite for more. Is not 
this condensed truth the lesson which man learns from ex- 
ternal nature : ' He finds that it is only what he gives to it 
that he receives from it, yet by some mysterious affinity it 
evokes what he has to give, and then it bears witness with his 
own spirit that what he gives is not his own, but inspired from 
above'?" This was his love of nature, this his love of art, 
as each called out his latent powers, broadened and uplifted 
his course, and made him more and more the perfect man. 
What he sought for himself, he sought for others ; and so all 
his association with them was ennobled. 



1896.] MEMOIR OF MARTIN BRIMMER. 593 

One of the administrative matters at the Museum which 
most engaged him was the Sunday opening ; and when that 
was carried, and the galleries were filled week after week 
with men, women, and children who could come on no other 
day, he was satisfied. We must not interpret his calm nature 
according to our uneasy purposes ; but no one entirely of his 
mind with regard to Sunday admissions could avoid feeling 
that when they were ordered, the President of the Museum 
was better pleased with this than with any other measure, 
even subscriptions or gifts, that had as yet been brought 
to pass. 

His growing interest in the Museum increased his concern 
in kindred enterprises, such as the Art buildings at Wellesley 
and Bowdoin Colleges, the Museum at Norwich, Connecticut, 
and especially the Archaeological Institute, and the American 
School at Athens. In all such undertakings he was constantly 
appealed to for the help which he always gave, whether in- 
tellectual or financial. These labors may be grouped together ; 
and as we thus consider them, the tribute of the Museum 
Trustees applies to them all, — " He was one of the few who 
shape and maintain the best ideals of the community." 

Nor was he absorbed in what may be called ideal matters. 
When the immediate necessities of losers by the Boston fire 
of 1872 had been met, a trust for the relief of sufferers from 
injuries at the fire and of their families was created, and 
Martin Brimmer was the first on the roll of trustees. When 
the public schools were threatened by a proscriptive .move- 
ment against Roman Catholic School-Committee members and 
even teachers, he sprang to the rescue, took part in meet- 
ings and in public correspondence, and waxed so unusually 
fervent as to call the fanatical party " the enemy." He was 
much concerned after this in securing better nominations for 
the School Board. The decline of this body in character, 
collective and individual, was much lamented by him, and for 
several years he endeavored by private and disinterested con- 
ferences to propose to the political bodies such names as they 
might accept with advantage even to partisanship. One of 
the very last meetings he could have attended was to this 
end ; and though his impaired health prevented him from any 
laborious exertion, the moral strength of his co-operation was 
invaluable. 



594 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

We have now passed over his public career as well as our 
limits allow. His private life cannot be described with any 
justice, but it must be touched upon. His childhood was spent 
among his elders, — father, grandfather, uncles, and aunts, — 
and could not but be serious. School, college, and travel were 
more enlivening, and society made him very welcome. His 
marriage in 1860 to Miss Marianne, daughter of Henry 
Timmins, was a happy event to him, and to all who cared 
most for him. His homes in Beacon Street and at Pride's 
Crossing were seats of refinement and hospitality. Nowhere 
in our neighborhood were strangers more generously or more 
gracefully entertained. As a host he shone by his simplicity, 
as well as by his power to converse with every guest within 
his doors. He was especially engaging as a fellow-traveller. 
Phillips Brooks wrote from London in 1883, " I left the Brim- 
mers at Biarritz. . . . Mr. Brimmer has been the most, charming 
company." Intercourse with him was the more attractive 
because of the impression that beneath the quiet surface there 
was untold depth. 

Some signs of his sense of humor have appeared in quota- 
tions here. Let us make room for one or two more. He 
visited Bar Harbor in 1884 ; and while gratified by his social 
reception, and appreciating to the full the "delightful things " 
u Nature has to show," he was struck by the idiosyncrasy of 
the place. " As far as I can make it out, it is an attempt to 
get Newport, a White Mountain House, and the Adirondacks 
inside of every twenty-four hours." From Egypt in 1888 : 
" When I was in the East, years ago, I had ridden many a 
mile on that beast [the Camel], and I was pleased now to 
assure myself that he was as disagreeable as I remembered 
him. When he walks, you wish he would trot ; and when he 
trots, you wish he would walk again. But one forgot the camel 
in the beauty of the ride." His pleasure in story-telling or 
in story-hearing is vivid in our recollections of him ; and when 
his ordinarily grave expression was transformed into laughter, 
it was a genuine gayety. But the lingering association with 
him is of the variety and freshness of his subjects. One who 
would seem to have had little in common with him speaks of 
constant surprise on meeting him at the evidences of recent 
and serious thought or reading. 

He was a parishioner of Trinity Church, which he served as 



1896.] MEMOIR OF MARTIN BRIMMER. 595 

vestryman and delegate to the Diocesan Convention. In the 
Convention of 1891 he bestirred himself to secure the election 
of his then rector, Dr. Brooks, to the bishopric of Massachu- 
setts. Between these two there was deep and manifold sympa- 
thy, and their memories are now blended among the best 
traditions of Trinity Church. Mr. Brimmer was a model lay- 
man in many respects, and in none more than in his consistent 
magnanimity. 

He had his trials and his sorrows. The orphan children of 
his wife's brother were almost as his own sons and daughters. 
One of them, a nephew of great promise, was early called 
away. Another, a niece to whom he was deeply attached, 
died after an illness during which his anxieties had not been 
concealed ; and from the poignant grief that followed, some of 
his friends thought that he never recovered. He was more 
than once alarmingly ill during late years ; and when the final 
weeks of suffering came, and every hope of recovery vanished, 
he died without protracted struggle, on January 14, 1896. He 
lives on, as such men do, and will still be remembered after all 
his immediate friends are gone. 

" Lofty designs must close in like effects : 
Loftily lying, 
Leave him — still loftier than the world suspects, 
Living and dying."