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advantage in other bodies. Subjects are assigned to indi-
viduals or to small committees, and a written report is
made, which puts the whole class in possession of all the
information gathered by the investigating party. This is
at once a labor-saving and an inspiring system. The
work of research, which calls for time and patience, may
be done by a few for the benefit of the whole. The spirit
of emulation prompts each investigator to do her best in
unearthing something as worthy of attention as has yet
been found. So the whole field of local history isgleaned
afresh. And the results have already shown how much lies
undiscovered, waiting to be disclosed to the descendants
of some forgotten worthy, whose kin never until now had


the leisure or inclination to look it up — and often of
a quality and importance which compares well with what
the livelier curiosity or superior opportunities of some
other delver has long ago dug up.

The Local History Class numbers about sixty, and
consists of ladies, although gentlemen are often honored
with an invitation either to attend or to address its gath-
erings. Its organization is of the simplest. Once a year
it elects a president and secretary. Its meetings occur
weekly throughout the winter, and in summer include
visits to different portions of the County and even exchange
visits with kindred sisterhoods in other portions of the
State. Twenty-five or more of these meetings have been
held within the last year. Some of the papers read have
shown a commendable amount of original thought and
research, while others, which were mainly made up of
matters already put on record, have presented familiar
facts with so much novelty in method, and so contagious an
enthusiasm as to o;ive them the charm of thintys unknown.

The members of the Local History Class feel that
they must, with the report of 1895 and '96, express their
sense of the great loss sustained by them in the death of
their founder and first leader, Mrs, M. M. Brooks, one of
the most vitally interested members of the Essex Insti-
tute ; the growth and welfare of which were very near her

During her many weeks of illness she was constantly
remembering her History Class, and the work they have
accomplished this year is largely of her planning ; as the
class believed that, in fulfilling her plans, they could best
show their regard for her.

Her good judgment was felt and known in many walks
of life and her gracious presence was always a benediction
to her friends, to whom her loss is irreparable.


Two Hundred and Seventy-fifth Anniversary of
THE Landing at Plymouth.

Regular meeting, Monday, December 16, 1895. The
Secretary called the attention of the members present to
a notice received from the Plymouth Pilgrim Society, with
an invitation to this Society to be present at its celebration,
December 21, 1895.

It was voted that Hon. Robert S. Rantoul and Francis
H. Lee, Esq., be requested to represent the Institute at
the meeting of the Pilgrim Society, December 21, 1895,
and those gentlemen attended.

The President of the Pilgrim Society, at the dinner,
spoke as follows : The Essex Institute of Salem responds
to our invitation, not by letter, but by its representatives
in person. That Institute has done a great service in
preserving the history and traditions of the Puritan found-
ers of Salem ; and I have the pleasure of introducing to
you its representative, Hon. Robert S. Rantoul.

Mr. Rantoul's remarks were reported as follows :

Let me thank you, sir, that in the presence of this array
of older bodies, you have not omitted to extend a hand
to the Essex Institute. We are a young society, — pain-
fully young, — much younger than you, not yet count-
ing our tiist half century of life ; — but we are vigorous
and sprightly and active and growing. We are doing
good work and, like all jn-omising children, we like to be

One may well stand abashed, Mr. President, in the
presence of such a scene as this. When I recall the mighty
voices to which this spot has echoed — for what great ora-
tor has our continent produced who has not, first or last,
planted his feet and lifted up his voice on Plymouth
Rock, — who has not found here, first or last, the Mecca


of his ambition, — the shrine of his patriotic and ancestral
devotion? — when I listen, amidst the rolling of these
waters, for one more trumpet tone from that matchless
orsan that is now silent but not forsrotten in the wave-
washed tomb at Marshfield, — when I recall the wonderful
address made at the very outset of his career, standing on
this very spot, invited by this very Society in the natal
year of its existence, when, standing on the Rock of Ply-
mouth, in 1820, two centuries complete, he uttered here
that terrible denunciation of the barter in human flesh
which goes ringing down the ages, now that personal
weaknesses and party asperities have been long forgot-
ten, — when I remember that unapproachable statement
he made, of the interlocking, interacting relations and
functions of the two sovereignties under which we Ameri-
cans of to-day live and move and have our being, — a
statement made in December, 1843, before the New Eng-
land Society of the City of New York, and never to this
hour improved upon — it is hard to believe it ever can be
improved upon — I cannot but pause and hold my breath
and utter a silent prayer for one more diapason-note from
that most miraculous organ.

But, sir, you ask me for a word in behalf of the Essex
Institute which sends me here charged with its greetings
and good wishes. The relations of North and South
Shore, — of Cape Cod and Cape Ann, have always been
friendly and fraternal as they always should be, — never
more so than in this present year of grace. We acknowl-
edge with satisfaction, — we take pleasure to-day in re-
minding you of the debt, — the obligation incurred by
the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the visit from your
skilled and Godly practitioner, Deacon Fuller, when Gov-
ernor Endecott, bitterly bereft in the loss of his courageous
wife, found himself burdened with more than he could bear


in the raging epidemic of 8hip-fever, which scourged us^
during the tirst desolate winter of our plantation. Saya
Nathaniel Morton, in his Brief Relation or Xew England's
Memorial : " This year sundry ships came out of England,
and arrived at yeumskak, (now called Salem"), where
Mr. John Endecot had chief command, and by infection
that grew amongst the Passengers at Sea, it spread alsa
among them on shore, of which many died, some of the
Scurvey, and others of infectious Feavers. Mr. Endecot^
understanding that there was one at Plimouth that had
skill in such Diseases, sent thither for him ; at whose
request he was sent unto them. And afterwards, ac-
(luaintance and Christian Love and Correspondency came
on betwixt the Governour, and the said Mr. Endecot;
which was furthered by Congratulatory Letters that
passed betwixt each other ; one whereof, because it shews
the beginning of their Christian Fellowship, I shall here

Now it is not my purpose to tax your patience with
long-drawn recitals. This is the Pilgrims' day and theirs
is the honor and glory of it. They deserve it all. No-
body — certainly no Massachusetts Bay Puritan, — would
withhold a tittle of the praise they are enjoying. But
may it not be, in the exuberance of joy, that the merits
of old Governor Endecott and his little band of rigid
old Puritans may have been permitted, for the moment,
to pass a little into the shade ? Let us read this letter,
if you will bear with me for a moment, slowly and
lovinoflv tosether. It is not lonir. It is Governor
Endecott's letter to Governor Bradford in recognition of
the great kindness described by Morton in the passage I
have read. It will do us good to hear it. It will be
worth the time if it do no more than call to mind the
lofty strain of courtesy, — the stately, otiicial dignity



which prevailed amongst these old-time magnates. But
it will do more, unless language has lost its meaning, —
unless words possess no longer a current value as the
coinaofe of the heart. Let me read this letter of Governor
Endecott's, and let us see if any better-conceived message
of grateful acknowledgment, official or personal, has ever
passed between these two communities before or since.

It may be true, far be it from me to deny — that our
fine old Governor may have been a little hasty at times,
with the emblem of popery in the King's colors, for in-
stance ; with the Anabaptists and Quakers and other schis-
matics and heretics ; somewhat rough and rigorous at
times, in correcting some little eccentricities in this neigh-
borhood, in connection with certain May-pole proceedings,
for instance ; and your too practical free-trade views, in
dealins: in fire-arms and fire-water with that red-skinned
fraternity, the Unimproved Order of Red Men. Allowing
for all this I wish you would listen kindly to the old Puri-
tan's letter, and see if you have any doubt , when you
have heard it, about its being written by a gentleman.
Here it is :

" To the worshipful and my right worthy friend, William
Bradford, Esqr., Governor of New Plymouth, these, —

Right Worthy Sir :

It is a thing not usual, that servants to one master and
of the same household should be strangers ; I assure you
I desire it not ; nay to speak more plainly, I cannot be so to
you : God's people are all marked with one and the same
mark, and sealed with one and the same seal, and have
for the main, one and the same heart, guided l)y one and
the same spirit of truth ; and where this is there can be no
discord, nay, here must needs be sweet harmony ; and the
same request (with you) I make unto the Lord that we
may, as Christian brethren, be united by an heavenly and


unfeigned love, bending all our hearts and forces in fur-
thering a work beyond our strength, with reverence and
fear, fastening our eyes always on Him that only is able
to direct and prosper all our ways. I acknowledge my-
self much bound to you, for your kind love and care, in
sending Mr, Fuller amongst us, and rejoice much that I
am by him satisfied, touching your judgment of the out-
ward form of God's worship ; it is (as far as I can yet
gather) no other than is warranted by the evidence of
truth, and the same which I have professed and maintained,
ever since the Lord in mercy revealed himself unto me,
being far different from the common report that hath been
spread of you touching that particular ; but God's children
must not look for less here below, and it is the great mercy
of God that he strengthens them to go through with it. I
shall not need at this time to be tedious unto you, for, God
willing, I purpose to see your face shortly : In the mean-
time I humbly take my leave of you, committing you to
the Lord's blessed protection, and rest.

Your assured loving friend and servant,

John Endecot.
ITaumTceak, May 11, A.nno 1G29."

So you see, gentlemen, that Dr. Fuller's mission bore
double fruit ; he relieved the North Shore colonists of a
plethora of the vital fluid, but he also relieved the mind
of Governor Endecott of some qualms about the hetero-
doxy of his Plymouth neighbors. Perhaps this last was
as great a service as the other. Perhaps the deacon was
no less welcome than the doctor, for our excellent Gov-
ernor was no bungler in the art of physic. He could
administer law, medicine or theology upon occasion. He
had brought with him, as every navigator does on a voy-
age, a well-filled medicine chest, with its recipes and ban-


dages, and cataplasms, and with hand-books — books, says
the inventory of the estate, " both of physic and chyrur-
gery, with one saw and six other instruments for a
chyrurgeon." But when he found his outfit of science and
materia medica unequal to the exigency, he did what any
sensible professional man would have done — called in a
consulting physician. If there were time, I should like
to read to you from the report of the case made to Gov-
ernor Bradford by that estimable " chyrurgeon and physi-
tian," Deacon Samuel Fuller, because it shows how blood-
letting and catechising travelled hand in hand, and it also
shows a wholesome belief in a personal devil prevailing in
this section. If you have, by any means, been led to re-
gard the " ould deluder, Satan," as a perquisite of the Bay
Colony, as a product or appanage exclusively of the North
Shore, I beg you to observe that your own saintly Dr.
Fuller, in his letter, from which I shall read a line, not
only recognizes our old friend, the father of mischief, at
sight, but even regards the North Shore potentate as a
pretty fair match for the beneficent powers of the universe.
Here is one of Dr. Fuller's despatches to his home gov-
ernment, if you will allow me to read from it, showing
that theological contention at that time came as easy as
blood-letting. He writes : . . . " I have been at Mat-
apan, at the request of Mr. Warham, and let some twenty
of these people blood ; I had conference with them 'til I
was weary. Mr. Warham holds that the visible church
may consist of a mixed people, godly, and openly ungod-
ly ; upon which point we had all our conference, to which,
I trust, the Lord will give a blessing. . . . We have
some privy enemies in the bay, but (blessed be God)
more friends ; . '. . oppressors there is not wanting,
and Satan is busy ; but, if the Lord be on our side, who
can be against us? . . . Captain Endecott (my dear



friend, and a friend to us all), is a second Burrow. The
Lord established him, and us all, in every good way of
truth I . . .

Yours in the Lord Christ,

Samuel Fuller.
Massachusetts, June 28, Anno 1630."

I fear Governor Endecott was not able during his life-
time to make to Plymouth any return of a favor of this
magnitude, but he was only ten years in his grave when
King Philip's war broke out ; when that dusky strategist
and statesman, — the first expounder, as I take it, of the
Monroe Doctrine on this continent, began swinging the
tomahawk, without discrimination, over fighters and skulk-
ers, babes and mothers, patriarchs and preachers ; letting
his bludgeon tall, like the rains of heaven, alike on the
just and on the unjust in this Plj^mouth Colon}'. Blazing
Medfield was rolled up like a scroll, and pillage and mas-
sacre seemed to wait on what was spared by fire. If ever
a struggling colony wanted help, Plymouth wanted help
at that hour. Providence had favored us at that hour with
a doughty champion in the person of Captain Joseph Gard-
ner — the " Fighting Joe " of the period — who buckled on
his harness, and mustered his musketeers, and marched
out at the head of a gallant train-band from his home in
Salem, — that home not three doors off from the present
quarters of the Essex Institute, — to do and to die in effec-
tive battle for the safety of the Plymouth Colony, and
there, in Xarragansett Swamj), to render up a dearly valued
lite inside the palisado breastworks of the savage chief-
tain. I thank you, sir, for the opportunity of a word ;
and you, gentlemen, my listeners, for your courtesy and
patience in permitting me to refresh your recollections on
two events which should forever bind together the desti-
nies of Eastern Massachusetts.

22 bulletin of the essex institute.


Monday Evening, January 6, 1896. — Regular Meet-
ing in the Library room. — Three interesting papers were
read by members of the Local History Class, — one by
Miss Mary Ropes, on "John Horn or Orne," which called
out a discussion on the Orne Family, and the other two
by Miss Rosamond Symonds, on "Salem Neck and Winter
Island," and on "Salem Common." It was further

Ordered, that this memorial of the last survivor of the
original board of government of the Essex Institute be
spread at large upon our records, and that a copy thereof
be transmitted to the family of the deceased.

George Dean Phippen was born at Salem, April 13,
1815, in a homestead now numbered 20 on Hardy street.
The Phippens were domiciled in Salem before Charles I
made way for Cromwell to govern England and her de-
pendencies. For the more than fourscore years of his life,
Mr. Phippen has had no other residence than Salem. He
died at his home on Bridge street, December 26, 1895.
He was the son of Captain Hardy Phippen and of L^rsula
Symonds Phippen, his wife.

Captain Hardy Phippen was a clerk under our first
Collector Hiller at the close of the last century, and later
an Inspector of Customs in the Salem Custom House. He
navigated the craft used by Dr. Bowditch in sounding
and surveying Salem harbor for his famous charts, and
was with the great astronomer on his early voyages while
his monumental life-work, Bowditch's Navigator, was
shaping itself in his mind. Captain Phippen's first voy-
age was sailed, 1795, in Elias Hasket Derby's famous ship
" Astrea." He followed the sea for upwards of twenty
years, sailing far and near for the Pickmans, Crownin-
shields, Derbys and Pickering Dodge. In 1808, he was
mate of the brig "Nabby," when Captain Nathaniel


Hathorne, the romancer's father, in command of her on a
voyage to Surinam, died in that port. Captain Phippen
came home in command, and brought from Frenchman's
Bay, on her next voyage, the exceptional cargo of selected
lumber used in building and finishing the Woodbridge
mansion at the corner of March and Bridge streets. In our
second war with England Captain Phippen did service in
the building of Fort Lee, and at its close, in 1815, took
the news of peace to Calcutta in the Salem ship " Favor-
ite." A sketch of him from the pen of Hon. Charles W.
Upham appeared on the occasion of his death at the
age of ninety in 1868. From such a father George Dean
Phippen derived many of his most endearing qualities.

Mr. Phippen, after enjoying the excellent opportunities
afforded by the Salem teaching of that day, took his place,
on leaving school, first in the counting room of John Fiske
Allen, and then, in 1838, at the age of twenty-three, con-
nected himself as bookkeeper with the Salem Bank, then
occupying rooms in Pickman Place. Twenty years later
he became its cashier and remained in that position until
his death, thus completing a service in a single monetary
institution of fifty-seven years. Four years before en-
tering on his life-work at the Bank, and while yet in his
teens, he had taken part in an incipient movement to
establish a society for the study of natural history in this
county. The effort bore fruit in such an organization,
formed at Topsfield in April, 1834, and Mr. Phippen was
an original meml)er of it. In 1843 he became a member
of the Essex Historical Society, so that when these bodies
were united in 1848 to form the present county organiza-
tion, Mr. Phippen, belonging to both, was doubly a charter
member of the Essex Institute. He was chosen and served
for years as its first librarian ; later, he was for twelve
years its treasurer, and for more than twice that period


its financial guide, and lived to be the last survivor of its
first board of government as well as of the original mem-
bership of the Essex County Natural History Society.

During Mr. Phippen's early years at the Salem Bank in
Pickman Place, the second floor of the old banking house
was variously occupied by societies in which he took an
active part : the Essex Historical Society, the Salem
Athenaeum, the Natural History Society, the Essex
Institute, in turn had chambers overhead. And besides
his contributions of service to these last he acted as super-
intendent of the East India Marine Museum, not a stone's
throw away, for the seven years succeeding 1848, at
which date the activity of Dr. Wheatland, in that sphere,
seems to have been transferred from the Museum to the
Essex Institute just formed.

He succeeded Dr. Wheatland as superintendent of the
Museum in November, 1848, and received a vote of
thanks from the Marine Society on retiring in November,

Mr. Phippen was through life an ardent lover of flow-
ers, and this passion manifested itself in many ways.
Broad in his denominational views, his interest in the
Ta])ernacle Church led him to furnish the most fitting
floral decorations for his place of worship. His beautiful
garden, looking out on Collins Cove, made famous through
the water-colors of our artist-townsman. Turner, absorbed
for years a generous portion of his time and thought. He
soon came to be recognized as an authority on floriculture
as he had long been on local history. The fruit and flower
shows of the Institute, which were sustained with great
acceptance in various halls of the city, but especially in
that of the Chase Block, now superseded l)y the Holyoke
Building, were greatly helped })y Mr. Phippen's zeal,
liberality and good taste.


Rarely, during the flourishing period ot our field-meet-
ings, was Mr. Phippen absent from one of these gath-
erings and, when present, rarely silent — being almost
uniformly called on to discourse on the typical botany of
the region visited. At a great tield-meeting in Manchester,
held August 2, 18G6, at which Chief Justice Chase was
present and took part, Deacon Fowler of Dan vers was
called on to describe the trees and Mr. Phippen the flowers
of that seaside region. So admirably did they discharge
this task that the Chief Justice, — himself a varied scholar
of no mean attainments, — more than once expressed his
w^onder and delight that gentlemen so preoccupied with
responsible business aflfairs should have reached such
a mastery of these beautiful sciences as well. In this
department Mr. Phippen very liberally enriched our pub-
lications with the products of his })en, contributing to the
second volume of the Bulletin articles entitled, "The Plants
of Scripture," — " Dark Lane and the Wild Flowers of Sa-
lem," — and " The Flora of Bradford."

But his interest in the Institute was not limited to the
scientific side. In volumes I and IV of our Historical
Collections are found papers of his, of the highest author-
ity and value, on the original settlers of Massachusetts
Bay, — the Old Planters of Cape Ann. So strongly in-
grained in his nature was this fondness for the archaic that,
when he had need to name a street just opened near his
famous garden, and in the line of a possible development
of Collins Cove as a tidal basin or water-park, — a scheme
which has more than once had the endorsement of past
IMayors of Salem, who have sought to remove the Alms-
house with its repulsive adjuncts to another section and to
throw open the Neck lands to improvement for residen-
tial uses, — Mr. Phippen selected '' Planters' Street " as a



name well fitted to keep alive the memory of the pioneers
and to mark the locality of Planters' Marsh where, in the
day of small things, the early denizens of this historic re-
gion cut their thatch and flagging. The touching tribute
paid by Mr. Phippen to his early associate and life-long
coadjutor, Doctor Wheatland, at the memorial exercises
reported in volume XXX of the Historical Collections,
was marked by a delicacy of tone, a discrimination and in-
sight, a fineness of phrase and a genuineness of sentiment
which give it rank as a model characterization.

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of his birth, Mr. Phip-
pen was united in marriage with Margaret, a daughter
of Captain John Barton, of Salem, and she, with three
sons, survives him. His seventy-fifth birthday brought
with it the golden anniversary, closing a half-century of
cherished companionship, and this was very generally re-
membered by his friends and neighbors. At the joint
parade of the Second Corps of Cadets and the Salem Light
Infantry, a few years since, — that auspicious hour in which
the jealousies and rivalries of a century were buried out
of sight, Mr. Phippen marched with three sons, shoulder
to shoulder, in the Veteran Light Infantry. He joined
the active corps in 1832. With no lack of manly quality,
there was a fineness of fibre in ]Mr. Phippen's nature

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Online LibraryEssex Institute. 1nBulletin of the Essex Institute (Volume 27-28) → online text (page 12 of 21)