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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
Dr. Samuel A. Green communicated the following paper
by title : —
An Early Book-catalogue printed in Boston, with other Biblio-
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 Late Reverend and Learned
Mr. Samuel Lee.
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
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
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
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 : —
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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-
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
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
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
Plans for a new building have been before the Council and
a committee of the Society, but have not been fully matured
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
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
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
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
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
The following abstracts and the trial balance show the pres-
ent condition of the several accounts : —
March 30. To balance on hand $2,730.04
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
Notes Payable 35,000.00
March 31. To balance brought down §1,442.91
1896.] REPORT OF THE TREASURER. 563
March 31. By payments as follows: —
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
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
March 31. By balance brought down $4,029.65
March 30. By balance brought forward $2,048.31
March 31. „ sundry receipts : —
Rent of Building 150.00
Income of Dowse Fund . 463.36
Income of General Fund 754.83
Admission Fees 75.00
Sales of publications 1,007.65
„ balance carried forward 4,029.55
564 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [APRIL,
Income of Appleton Fund.
March 31. To amount paid for binding and printing $1,766.13
„ balance carried forward 1,093.04
March 30. By balance brought forward $2,293.73
March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income . . . 565.44
March 31. By balance brought down $1,093.04
Income of William Winthrop Fund,
March 31. To amount paid for binding $136.35
„ balance carried forward 159.28
March 30. By balance brought forward $156.62
March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income 139.01
March 31. By balance brought down $159.28
Income of Massachusetts Historical Trust-Fund.
March 30. By balance brought forward . . $1,260.96
March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income 463.36
March 31. By amount brought down $1,724.32
Income of Dowse Fund.
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
March 31. To balance brought down $279.27
March 31. By copyright received . 85.40
„ proportion of consolidated income • . 139.01
„ balance carried forward 279.27
Income of Peabody Fund.
1895. DEBITS '
March 30. To balance brought forward $1,078.63
March 31. To balance brought down $53.51
March 31. By proportion of consolidated income $1,025.12
„ balance carried forward 53.51
Income of Savage Fund.
1895. DEBITS '
March 30. To balance brought forward $211.40
March 31. „ amount paid for books 143.37
March 31. To balance brought down $76.75
1896. CBEDITS -
March 31. By proportion of consolidated income $278.02
„ balance carried forward 76.75
566 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April,
Real Estate 156,780.19
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
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
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
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.
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 :
Bound volumes of newspapers 62
Unbound volumes of newspapers . 10
Volumes of maps 2
Portfolios of maps 21
Bound volumes of manuscripts 5
Unbound volumes of manuscripts 6
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
From the income of the William Winthrop Fund, 152 vol-
umes, containing 296 pamphlets, have been bound, and 12
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
In the collection of manuscripts there are 815 volumes, 189
unbound volumes, 75 pamphlets with manuscript notes, and
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.
Samuel A. Green,
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-
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
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.
Samuel F. McCleary,
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
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 : —
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.
SAMUEL ABBOTT GREEN.
For Recording Secretary.
EDWARD JAMES YOUNG.
For Corresponding Secretary.
HENRY W. HAYNES.
CHARLES CARD SMITH.
1896.] ADDBESS BY THE PRESIDENT, 573
SAMUEL ABBOTT GREEN.
SAMUEL FOSTER McCLEARY.
For Members at Large of the Council.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
On motion, the vote suggested by the President w r as unani-
After the adjournment, the members and invited guests
were entertained at luncheon by the President, at his house
on Gloucester Street.
586 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April,
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-
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
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
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
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
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
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 :
Leave him — still loftier than the world suspects,
Living and dying."