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Proceedings of the Leeds Philosophical and ..., Volume 7, Issues 3-4 online

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Proceeds of sale of Publications, 468 98

Proceeds of Lectures, 293 05

Sundries, 56 55

•1,433 58


Binding, 70 47 ; Books for Library, 9 33 79 80


Dividends Naumkeag Bank, 12 00

Coupons Mich. Central B. B. Bonds, 58 80

General Fund, 9 00



Preservatives, &c., 14 88; Books, 12 00 26 88

Horticultural Exhibitions, 124 90

•151 78


Dividends Portsmouth, Saco and Portland B. B. 12 00

Dividends Lowell Bleacher j, 40 00

Horticultural Exhibitions, 66 76

General Fund, 31 62 ; Sundries, 1 50 88 02

•151 78


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The following were elected officers for the year ensuing
and until others shall be chosen in their stead : "^

President. — ^A. Huntington.

Vice Presidents. — Of History, Abner C Gpo&ell, Jr. ; of
Horticulture, James Upton; of Natural History, S. P.

Secretary and Treasurer. — H. Wheatland.

Librarian. — N. J. Holden.

Cabinet Keeper. — R. H. Wheatland.

tinancj^ Committee. — John C. Lee, R. S. Rogers, H. M.
Brooks, G. D. Phippen, J. Chamberlain.

Library Committee. — J. G. Waters, D. Roberts, A. Cros-
by, H. J. Cross.

Publication Committee. — A. Q. Goodell, Jr. ; H. Wheat-
land ; C. M. Tracy ; Ira. J. Patch; G. D. Phippen ; W. P.

Curators of Natural History.^^BotBiij^ C. M. Tracy;
Ornithology, Thomas M. Pond ; Articulata, James H. Em-
erton ; Radiata, C. Cooke ; Geology, H. F. Shepard ; Mam-
* malogy and Ichthyology, F. W. Putnam ; Herpetology, R.
H;. Wheatland ; Comparative Anatomy, H. Wheatland ;
MoUusca and Paleontology, H. F. King; Mineralogy,
ip^arlies H. Higbee.

Curators of History. — Eflmol<^y,W. S. Messervy, M. A.
Sti(d;:ney, John Robinson, C. F. Nichols ; Manuscripts, W.
P> Upham, JG. L. Streeter, S. B; Buttricki Henry. M.
^opks ; Fine Arts, Francis Peabody, Joseph G. Waters.

Curators of Horticulture. — ^Fruits and Vegetables, Jamee
Upton, John M. Ives, J. F. Allen, J. S. Cabot, R. S.
Bpgi^$> G. B. Loring, John Bertram, S. A. Merrill ;

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Mowers, Francis Putuam, W. Mack, C. H. Norris, G. D,
Glover, B. A. West.

Voted^ That a Committee be appointed to arrange for the
Evening Meetings the ensuing winter, also to consider the
expediency of having a course of Lectures on some subjects
appertaining to the objects of the Institute — ^and if in the a&
firmative, to make all necessary arrangements in relation
thereto. Messrs A. C. Goodell Jr., Francis Peabody, G. D.
Phippen, E. B. Willson, James Kimball, F. W. Putnam, and
George Perkins, were appointed on said Committee.

Voted^ That a Committee be appointed to arrange for
Field Meetings the ensuing season if expedient. Messrs. A*
W. Dodge of Hamilton,' C. M. Tracy of Lynn, S. P. Fowler
of Danvcrs, S. Barden of Rockport, C. C. Beaman, J. M.
Ives, and C. H. Norris of Salem, were appointed on said Com<*

^Voted, That the Curators of Horticulture be authorized to
hold such Exhibitions of Fruits, Flowers and Vegetables du-
ring the ensuing season as they may deem expedient.

Votedj That F. W. Putnam be requested to act as an assis-
tant to the Cabinet Keeper for such time as his services may
be required. Adjourned.

Wednesday^ Jwne 10, 1868.

Field Meeting at Swampscott. — ^The day was fine and
very favorable for out-door rambles. Some went to the
beaches and collected specimens of the MoUusca, Ac, and*
others to the woods near by gathering a variety, of plants.

Tlie afternoon session was held at the Town Hall and
was called to order at 3 P.M., by A. C. Goodell Jr., one of
the Vice Presidents, who opened the meeting with an appro-

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priate allusion to the ancient dwellers of Swampscott, whose-
names have become a part of the history of the town, also
of the events which occurred in the early settlement.

Records of the preceding meeting read.

Donations received since the Annual meeting of the 18th
ult. were announced :

To the Library — from Mrs. Lucy P. Johnson ; Samuel
Johnson Jr.; Saint Louis Academy of Science ; Philadel-
phia Academy of Natural Science ; H. J. Hastings of Al-
bany N.Y.; New Jersey Historical Society ; N. Paine of
Worcester ; Charles Stephens of Beverly ; William Mack ;
Charles P. Nichols ; Joseph Willard of Boston ; H. I. Bow-
ditch of Boston ; Cahfomia Academy of Natural Science ;
C. B. Richardson of New York.

Tb the Cabinets— from C. F- Nichols ; T. M. Pond ; C.
H. Higbee ; John Robinson ; Joh)i Prescott of Grafton.
N.H.; Oeorge Eillham ; Museum of Comparative Zoology
at Cambridge ; S. Jillson of Peltohville ; Geo. G. Creamer.

Letters were read from Maine Historical Society ; Trus-
tees of Boston Public LibriEiry ; S. P. Fowler of Danvers ;
S. A. Green, Surgeon 24th Reg. Mass Vols.; Nath'l Paine
of Worcester ; S. Barden of Rockport ; Allen W. Dodge of
Hamilton ; Charles Dean of Boston ; Joseph Willard of

Prop. L. Agassiz of Cambridge, being called up by a grace-
ful allusion made by the Chair, spoke of the boundlessness of
investigation, and the importance of studying common things.
Nothing, he said, is so instructive as the continued study of
those things we know most of. The more we examine Na-
ture, the more she suggests to us. He spoke of his recent

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experiments, made with a view of ascertaining the age of
animals and especially of his study of the habits /)f the com-
moji marine snail, (Natica Heros), found upon our beaches.
He desired to ascertain, if he could, its rate of growth, and for
that purpose had gathered about a thousand specimens
of various sizes, within a iew days. These he had assorted,
and found to be easily divided into groups, each group being
of a certain definite size, and there being none of interme-
diate growth. He had previously ascertained that snails
always spawned at the same time, once a year, and that the
process continued but a few days. He therefore knew that
each of his groups of snails — those of the sanae size — were
of the same age, having commenced growing at the same
time ; and having grown under precisely the same circum-
stances, were therefore so much alike. He thus ascertained
the various ages of the Naticas found together upon one
beach from those of one or two years up to those of twenty*
five or thirty years — the latter being the age of the largest
snails usually found upon the beach. He also noticed rings
or transverse lines upon the snail shells, more distinctly
marked than the ordinary lines of growth, the number
of which indicated very nearly their age ; for these
lines coincided with the ordinal number of tlie diflferent
set of specimens arranged according to their size. He
had thus, he thought, ascertained the rate of growth of
these shells. A comparison with other families however,
shows a widely different result. Among the larger land-
snails, (Helices), some species may reach in one year the
dimensions which a Natica takes from ten to fifteen years
to attain. Again, some of our Unios, tsuch as U. cylin-
dricus, require at least fifteen yeare to acquire their full
size, while our Pinnas reach to their full dimensions in seven
or eight years. It is by a similar process, he said, that we

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are^ to ascertain the age of the earth. An exaniinatiou
of the several deposits that form the crust of the earth
shows that they are composed of certain vegetable and
animal productions, and having ascertained the rate
of growth of each, it may become a simple sum in addi- ,
tion to tell how old the earth is. An examinaiion of the.
delta of the Mississippi disclosed eleven different deposits
of trees, each of which were from ,six to eight hun-
dred years old, and each must have grown on the same,
spot ; and yet they only composed a depth of notjnany feet.
Some birds and animals liave a very rapid growth, while
others are very slow. A speckled turtle, for instance, has
scarcely reached half its growth in. eleven years. Prof.
Agassiz dwelt at lengtii upon the importance and value at-
tached to the study of conmion things, The more we know
. of Nature, the more suggestive she is. Like an old friend,
she. opens her heart to us freely, if we seek a tliorough ac-
quaintance with her.

Prof. A. Crosby of Salem, inquired wliether the same
rule of classification spoken of in the case of snails would
apply to vertebrate animals.

Prof. AGAS8IZ said he had not fully investigated that
point. Ho had just set some children at woik to catch all
the sculpins they could, in order that he might make the
test. He was of the opinion, however, that vertebrate ani-
mals of the same kind born at precisely the same period,
and living under precisely tlie same circumstances, would
all grow nearly to the same dimensions during the same
time. The difference in the size of human beings is in
a great measure owing to the different circumstances
nnder which they are born and live. He spoke of the great

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difficulties attending an examination ol the early develop-
ment of the Natica.

Mr. P. W. Putnam of Salem, s^aid he had found the rule
spoken of to apply to toads, and Mr. A. E. Verkill of Cam-
bridge, spoke ol his inyestigations in regard to a species
of the salamander.

Prof. William Russell of Andover, being called upon,
said his investigations in science wore in a different direc-
tion—being the application of aesthetics to the cultivation of
the voice. Upon repeated urging, he came upon the plat-
form and delivered a beautiful poetic apostrophe to the Su-
preme Being, having first, in imagination, taken his hearers
to the grand old woods.

Mr. J. M. Ives ol Salem, spoke of the habits of tliat sin-
gular and interesting bird, the republican or cliflF swallow,
whose nests are found so often under the eaves of buildings.
He mentioned instances of almost human display oi reason
exhibited by birds in the care of their young.

Prof. Russell related anecdotes of birds, and the curious
nests which they sometimes build, showing that tliey do de-
viate from their established habits, under some circum-
stances, notwithstanding the assertion of certain naturalists
that they do not — one of a golden robin which had appro-
priated a child's stocking and ingeniously constructed it into
a nest, and anotjier of a bird which appropriated a lady^s
white collar, worth five dollars, for the same purpose. He
thought they were governed by instinct more than by fixed

Allusion having been made, in some of these anecdotes, to

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iustinct and reason, Goit. H. K. Oliver of Salem, said he had
often wondered where instinct left off and reason began ; and
related some facts connected with the Natural History of
the honey bee, whose habiis ho had closely watched for six-
teen years in hives, in his own garden. He also related
some interesting details recorded by English and French
Apiarians, showing a manifest deviation from the prouiptings
of mere instinct. In one case, when a snail had obtruded his
presence into a hive, the bees had, with a gummy substance
covered over the orifice, and thus sealed the animal within
his shell. When a common slug made a similar intrusion, he
being a soft animal, was sealed up by being covered over
completely. The question occurred to him why should not
the bees, in tlie first instance, have covered shell and all ?
How should they know that that course would not be neces-
sary to protect themselves from the disagreeable odor of a
dead animal ? Gen. 0. likewise told a curious story (and a
true one,) which was related to him by the late Rev. Dr.
Flint of Salem, who was a personal witness of the proceed-
ing, and vouched for its correctness. It is a well known
fact that in early fall, the working bees clear all the drones
entirely out of the hive, drag them away and kill them.
They more frequently worry them to death, than kill them
by stinging. Dr. Flint, on an occasion of this " slaughter
of the innocents," in his own hives, one day sat down by a
hive to watch the process, and assist, perhaps, in this big job
of extermination by despatching the drones as they were
brought out. This he did with a spear, or needle inserted
in the end of a stick. As the bees came struggling out with
a drone, the Doctor would despatch the victim at once.
Having followed this up some time he waited to observe
what eflfect his proceeding would have ; and he found that
the bees, instead of proceeding with their work of worrying

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the drone to death, as they did before he assisted, simpljf
remained holding on to the drone and waited patienUy for
him to finish the operation — ^travelling back for another
victim when he had despatched the last. Gen.. Oliver
said this story seemed almost incredible, and he should
not have believed it himself had not Dr. Flint assured him
that it was a positive truth which came under his own per-
sonal observation. Was there not here a manifest reas-

Prof. Agassiz said that, in reference to the relation of
instinct to reason, he could simply give his own opinion,
which was, that there is no essential difference between
the t\»p — ^his idea being that, while there may be what is
called instinctive action as distinguished from that resulting
from the deliberate exercise of reason, both were actuated
by the same influences. The difference in the influences
which actuate the lower animals and those which govern man,
he considered difference in degi*ee rather than differences of
kind — the one having in an undeveloped condition what the
other has in a perfect state.

Mr A. E. Ye&rill spoke of the changes of the habits of
sea-gulls in the Bay of Fundy, who, from having been often
robbed of their eggs, have ceased laying them upon the
rocks and sand, and taken to the highest trees. In cases
where the robbing has been stopped by legal enactment, the
gulls have returned to lay their eggs upon the rocks.

Messrs. Ives and Putnam alluded to the practice of the
yellow bird who resort to ingenious methods to protect .
themselves from the encroachments of the cow bunting.

Henry Wheatland alluded to the recent decease of Dr.


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George Osgood of Daavers which took place at his late res-
idence on the 26th of May, 1863, after a short illness. His
great love for botanical studies, which were conunenced
under the auspices of the venerable Rev. Dr. Cutler of
Hamilton, and his great interest in these Field Meetings, en-
title him to some notice — therefore

Voted^ That Messrs. S. P. Fowler and G. D. Phippen be
a Committee to prepare a memorial of the late Dr. G. Os-
good of Danvers, also, a series of resolutions to be transmit-
ted to the family of the deceased.

Voted^ That the thanks of the Institute be presented to
the Selectmen of Swampscott for the use of this Hall, also to
Prof. Agassiz and other gentlemen who have favored the
meeting with instructive; and interesting remarks. Adj.

Thursday^ June 25, 1863.

Field Meeting, this day, at Amesbury, one of the love-
liest of June days. The people, and more especially the
Agricultural and Horticultural Society of Amesbury and
Salisbury were very hospitable, furnishing vehicles and
skillful and intelligent guides to conduct the visitors to all
the numerous points of interest. .Some went in search of
the antique and visited several sites memorable not only in
the annals of these towns, but of the county, state and
country;— others fond of natural scenery or some of the
branches of Natural History went to Kimball's Pond, and
were there rewarded in finding several rare plants and in-
sects, specimens of which were collected for the Cabinets of
• the Society. A pleasant drive to several of the other vil-
lages of Amesbury, and along the banks of the beautiful
Merrimac closed the forenoon's excursion.

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The afternoon session was held in the First Congrega-
tional Church, at 2 80 P.M. S. P. Fowler of Danvers, one
of the Vice Presidents, in the Chair. ^

Records of the preceding meeting read.

Donations received since ihe last meeting were an-
nounced : —

To the Library — from Henry Wilson, U. S. Senator ; Chi-
cago Historical Society ; Redwood Library and Athenaeum
at Newport, R.I.; L. A. H. Latour, Montreal, C.E.; Amer-
ican Antiquarian Society ; Thomas Stimpson ol South Dan-
vers ; G. F. Read ; Mary E. Jocelyn ; Albany Institute ; G.
C. Chase ; Thomas H. Johnson ; New York Mercantile Li-
brary Association ; E. M. Stone of Providence'^ R.I.

, To the Cabinets — ^from R. S. Rogers ; J. H. Emerton ; 0.
H. Higbee ; John Robinson ; W. Palmer ; H. M. Brooks ;
Thomas M. Pond ; George Kilham of Boxford ; N. Vickery
of Lynn.

Letters were read from Joel Munsell of Albany ; John G.
Whittier of Amesbury ; C. M. Tracy of Lynn ; A. E. Ver-
rill of Cambridge ; C. W. Felt ; Pennsylvania Historical

H. Wheatland of Salem, gave a brief history of the In-
stitute, and the origin of these Field Meetings ; the first hav-
ing been held at Danvers in June 1849.

G. D. Phippbn ot Salem described several of the thirty-
seven species of plants collected by the party, spoke of the
adaptation of some of them for cultivation in our gardens^
and Suggested the importance of devoting more attention to
this branch of horticulture.

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260 .

Hon. Allen W. Dodge of Hamilton, read a list of the
plants and shrabs found in Amesbury and Salisbury, pre-
sented by Mr. Whittier. He also said, the field meetings of
{he Institute possessed one interesting feature, in the fact,
that every trade and profession was represented, thus show-
ing that whatever else might principally engage their atten-
tion, yet they found time to devote to the study of nature,
and it was really astonishing how much may be learned by
persistent application.- As an illustration of this he referred
to his own experience in a particular department of agricul-
ture — the nursery enterprise — in which he flattered himself
that he had been the instrument of good to the people of the
county, in many parts of which he could recognize fruit
trees that had passed through his hands. He hoped that, in
this regard, the world was better than when he found it. He
then paid a deserved tribute to the excellent Horticultural
Society in Amesbury. Mr. Dodge had noticed with interest
and concern that, in our vicinity, several kinds of fruit seem
to be now hardly worth cultivating. The Plum appears to
have, seceded, the Cherry is feeble, and it was a rare thing
to get a Raie-Ripe. Pears were abundant and excellent last
year ; this year they do not promise so well. Quinces, once
so popular for preserves, had been superseded by the Cran-
berry. It was for the interest of the farmers of the county
to make the best of what they have left. Small fruits, such
as Currants, Raspberries, Ac, might be profitably cultivar
ted. Gooseberries he did not consider so important. As
to Strawberries, he would say that he had taken some exer-
cise in weeding them, and that he considered them cheap at
twenty-five cents a box.

Mr. J. J. H. Gregory, of Marblehead, said a few words
relative to the Strawberry culture, recommending the

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. 201

system of raising tbem in hills instead of tlie common
method of beds. He then took up his favorite topic of
(Jeology and gave a description of the soil, rocks, &c., found
in the town.

A. C. GooDELL, Jr. Esq. of Salem, being called on by the
Chair, said he rose cheerfully, to give an account of what he
had seen, in the delightfnl journey he had, to day, made
through Old Salisbury and this, her neighboring town. And
yet he could not but regret that, in the absence of the Rev.
Dr. Felt who, it had been hoped, would have prepared a pa-
per on the history of these towns to be read at this meeting
— ^this subject could not be more fully and satisfactorily dis-
cussed than in the remarks which he proposed to offer.

He then proceeded to say that a company of nin/e gentle-
mcn, accommodated in two carriages, driven by Mr. True
and the Hon. Streeter Evans, composed the party of which
he had the pleasure of being a member, and which started
on its tour from the East Salisbury station immediately af-
ter the arrival of the train. On the way a conversation en-
sued as to the origin of the namas of these towns ; and Mr.
Evans suggested that, as Salisbury contains no ponds within
its limits, it may have received its name from its resem-
blance in this particular to Salisbury in Wilts, in England-
But the speaker thought this conjecture hardly satisfactory,
inasmuch as Salisbury in 1640 — the date of its incorpora-
tion, — included the present town of Amesbury, which con-
tains several ponds. He was inclined to believe that its
name was changed from Colchester, its earlier name, in
remembrance of the English home of some of its earliest
leading inhabitants — perhaps, as some have supposed, the
Rev. William Worcester, its first minister, or more likely,
Christopher Batt, who was from Salisbury in England,

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262 •

and who was a i^resentative in Greneral Court from the
town of Salisbury, when the name was changed in 1640.
The farm of Mr. Batt ha«l been pointed out to-day by Mr.
Evans. .

Sahsbury, in Wiltshire in England, sometimes called Old
Sarnm, is a town of great antiquity, and the etymology of
its name is involved in great doubt, though Camden is inclin-
ed to trace it to Sorbio- or Sorvio-dunuvi which, in the an-
cient language of Britian, signifies a dry hill — a name which,
on account of its high and barren situation, wiii> quite ap-
propriate in the earliest times, if we may luMieve the Old
Latin distich which is translated thus :

" Water's there scarce, hut chalk in plenty lies..
And those sweet notes tlmt Philomel denies,
The harsher rau^io of the wind supplies."

Soutli of Old Salisbury is the famous Salisbury Plain, mem-
orable not only for its curious Druidic stones, known as
Stonehenge, but as the scene of Hannah More's touching
story of the Shepherd of Salisbury Plain. North of Salisbury,
on the river Avon — not the Avon in Warwickshire, on which
is Stratford where lie the remains of Shakespeare, but an-
other river of that name flowing southwardly into the Brit-
ish Channel — is Ambresbury or Amesbury, from which our
town of Amesbury takes its name. The origin of this name
is more certain than that of Salisbury, being traced to Am-
brosius Aurelianus, a British king, who died about the year
608, and who gave name to the place, which is strictly Am-
brose-bury, that is, Ambrose's-town ; and hence the old-fash-
ioned pronunciation of the name as Amshxivj is, etymologi-
cally, more correct than the modern pronunciation of Ames-

Amesbury was set off from Salisbury in the year 1668.

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The speaker then went on to describe the into lei- ting locali-
ties pointed out by their intelligent guide, such as the site
of the first meeting house in Salisbury, the site of the old
Court House, and of the dwelling-house of the Glerk of the
old Norfolk County Courts, and other places.

In the old grave yard, said the speaker, we were shown the
grave of Rev. William Worcester, the first minister of Sal-
isbury, and the ancestor of Noah Worcester, the distinguish-
ed philanthropist, of . Joseph E. Worcester, the eminent lexi-
cographer, and of the late Rev. Dr. Samuel Worcester, of
Salem ; also the grave of his successor, the Rev. John
WHEBL^VRIGHT, who is distinguished for his persistent advo-
cacy of the cause of Anne Jlutchinspn, and for tlie persecu-.
tions he endured therefor. Anne Hutchinson, the speaker
thought, had not been fairly dealt with by historians, who
have not sufficiently brought to light her exalted character,
and have not done her the justice to place her at the head
of the most spiritual school of New England's religious teach-
ers. She was the precursor of the Friends ; and was the
first to announce the necessity of certain inward experien-
ces which are now generally considered, the essential marks
of "conversion" by evangelical sects. Two Boston clergy-
men were her especial defenders — John Cotton and John
Wheelwright. The former wavered in his adherance to
the cause of Mrs. Hutchinson, who was afterwards banished
from the Colony, and fled to the Dutch settlements west of

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Online LibraryLeeds Philosophical and Literary SocietyProceedings of the Leeds Philosophical and ..., Volume 7, Issues 3-4 → online text (page 20 of 23)