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— OF THE —


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Elected January 9, 1884.


Francis Brinley, Charles W. Parsons.

Secretarif ,
Amos Perry.

Richmond P. Everett.

STANDING committees.

On jV^o in i nations,

Albert V. Jeiiks, William Staples,

W. Maxwell Greene.


On Leciiire^,

Am6s Perry, William Gammell,

B. B. Hammond.

On Build in(j and Ground ft,

Isaac H. Southwick, Henry J. Steere,

lloyal C. Taft.

On the Lthrarii,

Charles W. Parsons, William B. Weeden,

Stephen H. Arnold.

On PithUcation.'i,

John L. Lincoln, John II. Stiness,

Tliomas Vernon.

On GenedhKjicdl Hesp.arrhe^,

Henry E. Turner, William A. Mowry,

Bennett J. Miinro.

Andil (JoinnnltPC,

John P. Walker, Lewis J. Chace,

Edwin Barrows.


For Newport, George C. Mason,

Bristol, AVilliam J. Miller,

Woonsocket, Erastns Richardson,

Hopkinton, George H. Olney,

Scituate, Charles H. Fisher,

Pawtucket, Emery H. Porter,

North Kingstown, David S. Baker.





The first meeting of the year was held January 23,
1883, when Mr. William E. Foster read a paper on
"Stephen Hopkins and his connection with the growth
of a national sentiment in Rhode Island."

At a meeting held I'cbrnary 6. Dr. Charles W. Par-
sons read a paper on "The early votaries of Natural
Science in Rhode Island."

A meeting was held February 20, when a lecture
was delivered by Justin Winsor, Esq., Librarian of
Harvard University, on "The Historical relations of
Latitude and Longitude," accompanied by black-board
illustrations of the progress of discovery on the western

A special meeting was held February 27, to take
some action in regard to the sale of the library of the
late Joseph J. Cooke. Hon. John R. Bartlett was
appointed to attend the sale of the first division of the
library, to begin March 13, and to act for the Society in


the purchase of books, " under such mstructions as the
Committee on the Library may give."

At a meeting held March 6, 1883, Hon. Edwin C.
Larned read a paper on "The Chicago Fire and the
Relief Work."

A meeting was held March 20, when a paper, pre-
pared by Hon. Elisha Dyer, was read by Dr. Charles
W. Parsons, which gave a sketch of " The History of
the Providence Fire Department from 1815 to 1853."
After the reading of the paper, Mr. Charles E. Carpen-
ter gave an account, from his own personal experience,
of the Fire Department from 184:3 to 1860. Dr. Par-
sons read the Constitution and By-Laws of a Providence
Fire Company, formed in 1771.

The quarterly meeting was held on Tuesday evening,
April 3. Letters were read from Rev. George E. Ellis,
D. D., of Boston, and Rev. Stephen D. Peet, of Clinton,
Wisconsin, in acceptance of the appointment respec-
tively, of honorary, and of corresponding member, of the
Society. Communications from the Hon. Elisha Dyer
w^ere read relative to the Providence Arcade, and the
Flamilton Building, which were referred to the Com-
mittee on Publications.

The President announced the appointment of Messrs.
Rowland Hazard, Isaac H. Southwick, and Richmond
P. Everett, as a Committee to devise a plan to meet the
increasing expenses of the Society.

The following gentlemen were elected Resident
Members : Benjamin M. Bosworth, Jr., Warren ; Sam-
uel H. Cross, Westerly ; and Messrs. J. Edwards Risley,
Thomas R. Sliccr, Frederic Talbot, and Charles H.
Parkhurst, Providence.


Dr. Charles W. Parsons reported, in behalf of the
Committee on Publications, the issue of the Proceedings
of the Society for 1882-83, at a cost of |102.

Hon. John H. Bartlett submitted a report of what he
had done as the agent of the Society at the sale of the
library of the late Joseph J. Cooke. INIr. Cooke had
given f 5000 to the Society, payable in books to be pur-
chased at the sale of his library. Mr. Bartlett pur-
chased two hundred and eighty-four volumes for
$675.85, the volumes thus costing on an average f 2.33

Letters were read by the Secretary from the l^ibrary
Committee tendering the resignation of their office, and
requesting that the Society would fill the vacancies they
made. The resignation was accepted, and Messrs.
Charles W. Parsons, William B. Weeden, and Stephen
H. Arnold ^ere appointed to fill the vacancies made.

A quarterly meeting was held July 3, 1883. Messrs.
Dyer, South wick, Hammond and Gorton were ap-
pointed delegates to attend a celebration at Fort Nini-
gret in Charlestown. Mr. William M. Bailey read a
paper on the history of the Jacob Whitman estate in
this city.

The following gentlemen were elected Resident Mem-
bers : Messrs. T. P. I. Goddard, Thomas Vernon, Joseph
Peace Vernon, Charles B. Mathewson, M. D., all of
Providence; also Lewis Hamilton Meader, of Warren.
— Rev. William Hague, D. D., of Wollaston Heights,
Mass. Mrs. Martha J. Lamb, Editor of the Magazine
of American History, New York ; and Justin Wlnsor,
Librarian of Harvard University, were elected Corre-
sponding Members.


]Jr. Charles W. Parsons resigned his place as a mem-
ber of the Committee on Pnblications, and Prof. J. L.
Lincoln \vas appointed to fill the vacancy tlins made in
the Committee.

Messrs. I. II. South wick, R. C. Taft, Rowland Haz-
ard, William Goddard, Henry J. Steere, and Alfred
Stone, were appointed a Committee to consider the
matter of increasing- the accommodations of the Society,
either by an addition to the north end of the cabinet, or
by sncli other means as may seem to them advisable, to
obtain plans and estimates of the cost of the same, and
report at a fntnre meeting.

Mr. Henry T. Hrowne, a Corresponding Member
residing in Ncav York, read a sketch of the life of
the late Stephen Whitney Plienix.

At the quarterly meeting held October '2, 18(83. the
Secretary reported letters received from Mi^s. Martha J.
Lamb, and Mr. Justin Winsor, acknowledging the
intelligence of their election as Corresponding Mem-
bers, and expressing their desire to promote, as mem-
bers, the objects of the Society.

The President called attention to a Record of letters
received at the Providence Post Office between October
6, 1764, and July 4, 1775, the gift of Ex-Governor
Dyer; also the "History of the Honorable Artillery
Company of Crreat Britain from its incorporation in
L587," in two large 8vo. volumes ; "Familiar Sketches
of Phillips Exeter Academy ;" the " Lion Gardiner
Papers and Biography."

Dr. George A. Pierce and James H. Olney were
elected Resident Members, and Col. John Thomas
Scharf, of Baltimore, a Corresponding jNlember.


Mr. B. B. Hammond, from a Committee appointed to
represent the Society at Fort Ninigret, and also in the
erection of the Canonicus Monument in the North
Burial Ground, submitted a report, which was accepted ;
and the thanks of the Society were voted to these gen-
tlemen for their services. The Hon. John R. Bartlett
was appointed to act for the Society at future sales of
the Joseph J. Cooke liibrary, under instructions from
the Library Committe.

Dr. Charles W. Parsons read a copy of an unpub-
lished letter of Roger Williams, written during the
Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, in the interest of law
and order in the Providence Plantations.

At a special meeting held November 7, 1883, the
Hon. Asa Bird Gardner, Judge Advocate, U. S. A., read
a paper, giving a sketch of the rise and decline of the
Society of the Cincinnati in France in the reign of Louis
XVI. The reading of the paper was followed by
remarks from Gen. Horatio Rogers, Gov. Hoppin, and
the President and the Secretary of the Society.

At a special meeting held November 27, Mr. Wil-
liam B. Weeden read a paper on "Indian Money in
New England Civilization," at the conclusion of which
remarks were made by Messrs. B. F. Thurston and B.

B. Hammond and by the President.

At a special meeting held December 11, Mr. George

C. Mason, Jr., of Newport, read a paper on " Queen
Anne or Free Classic Architecture." A vote of thanks
to Mr. Mason was unanimously passed, after remarks by
Messrs. W. W. Douglas, C. W. Parsons, Gov. Hoppin
and by the President.


The Sixty-second annual meeting was held January
8, 1884.

The Secretary laid before the Society three letters :
the first from Rev. William Hague, D. D., of New
York, accepting his appointment as Corresponding
Member ; the second from Mr. James E. Mauran, a
member of the Society who resides in Newport, an-'
nouncing the gift of a portrait of his grandfather, the
late Chief Justice Samuel Eddy, painted by Alexander
in 1823 ; the third letter from the late Edwin M. Stone,
presenting to the Society a copy of his book " Our
French Allies."

The Treasurer presented his annual report, from
which it appeared that the amountof moneys received is
$859.36, and the amount paid is $833.26, leaving a
balance of $26.10. The life-membership fund amounts
to 11000.

The President read his Annual Address, in which he
reviewed the work done by the Society during the year,
and rendered tributes of respect to deceased members,
and also called attention to some of the present needs
of the Society.

Dr. Parsons read the report of the Library Commit-
tee which, after mentioning what had been done in the
Library, emphasized the need of increased accommoda-
tions for the classification of the Society's collections.

The following gentlemen were elected Resident Mem-
bers : AVilliam A. Harris, William Gammell, Jr., Rev.
William H. Bo wen, Augustus A. Wightman, L)r. Ariel
Ballon, James Burdick, Dr. Charles V. Chapin, Henry
V. A. Joslin, all of Providence ; George C. Mason, Jr.,
Newport ; George Carmichael, Richmond.


Hon. John H. Stiness reported in behalf of the Com-
mittee on PnbUcations, that snfficient material is at
hand to constitute Volume VII. of the Society's Collec-
tions, and on motion it was voted, that the Publication
Committee is hereby authorised to publish Volume VII.
of the Society's Collections, as soon as the means of de-
fraying the expense thereof are secured.

The report of the Committee on Building and
Grounds was read by the Chairman, Mr. I. H. South-
wick, and was duly received and referred ; also the re-
port of Mr. George C. Mason, Procurator for New-
port, was read and accepted.

Mr. Southwick reported in behalf of the Committee
on enlarging the Cabinet, submitting drawings of the
proposed enlargement, together with an estimate of the
cost, amounting to f 12, ()()(). The plan came to the So-
ciety with the unanimous recommendation of the Com-
mittee. After explanation of the plan by Mr, Stone, one
of the members of the Committee, it was by vote unani-
mously adopted by the Society, and the Committee were
authorized to raise the requisite funds, and then to
make the improvements recommended.

On motion of Dr. Parsons, the following resolutions
from the Library Committee were unanimously adopted :

Resolved, That the thunks of this Society be given to the Hon.
John R. Bartlett, for his vakiable services in attending the auc-
tion sales of the Cooke Library, his constant vigiLince and ju-
dicious selection of purchases, as agent of the Society, and the
fidelity with which he has aided us in securing our beneficiary

Resolved, That the thanks of this Society be presented to Mr.
James Eddy Mauran for the gift of a life-like portrait of the
eminent jurist and historian, the Hon. Samuel Eddy, LL. D.,
one of the earliest and most honored officers of this Society. We


shall cherish this portrait as a most valuable accession to our
gallery of Rhode Island worthies.

Resolved, That the thanks of this Society be given to Mr.
Charles Congdon of Brooklyn, N. Y., for his valuable gift of
the Publications of the Bradford Club, New York, in eleven
volumes, and for other proofs of generous interest in our work.

The offieers for the ensuing year were elected, as
named on pages 3 and 4.

It was voted, that a tax of three dollars ($3.00), be as-
sessed upon each Resident Member to defray the ex-
penses of the current year.

It was also voted, that the Committee on Pubhcations
be instructed to print five hundred copies of the Pro-
ceedings of the Society for the year 1S83-84, including
in the same the President's Address, the reports of the
Standing Committees and Procurators, with authority
to print at their discretion any papers that have been
laid before the Society, provided the whole expense of
the publication do not exceed one hundred and seventy-
five dollars.



Gentlemen of the Historical Society : —

We close to-day the sixty-first year of our existence
as a Society. In no former year has the Society en-
joyed a larger prosperity or been able to perform a
more important work in promoting the objects which
our predecessors had in mind when they formed it in
1822, This is shown in the widening interest that is
manifested in all historical pursuits and in the growing
sense of the' importance of rescuing from waste and
decay and preserving in some safe j^lace of per-
manent deposit, everything that may serve, in any
way, as material for history. It is on this account
that we receive at our (Cabinet a constantly increasing
collection of books and pamphlets, of manuscripts and
engravings and relics, and an immense variety of ar-
ticles that indicate the topographical landmarks or
illustrate the modes of domestic life, the condition ot
social manners and morals, the styles of dress and any
other characteristics of earlier generations. During
the year we have thus received 1,006 volumes, 2,176
pamphlets and 321: other articles, which have been sent
to us as worthy of a place in a Historical Cabinet. In
addition to these we have also received 1,295 volumes
and 85 unbound pamphlets as a bequest from our late
fellow-citizen and associate, Joseph J. Cooke. The
entire collection of Mr. Cooke was carefully catalogued


and was offered for sale in the city of New York in
three different parcels. The sale of each parcel occu-
pied the afternoons and evenings of one week in
March, one week in October, and one week in Decem-
ber. By a vote of the Society, the Hon. John R.
Bartlett attended as the representative of its interests
at each of these several sales, under such directions
as he might receive from the Library Committee, and
the closing and most important sale was also attended
by Dr. C. W. Parsons, the chairman of that Commit-
tee. The character of these books and the consider-
ations which guided their selection will be sufficiently
set forth in the report of the Library Committee,
whose members gave very careful attention to the
whole matter. The Society was also very fortunate
in having Mr. Bartlett for its purchasing agent, for
he had long been familiar with the bibliographical
character of the entire collection and knew both the
original cost and the present market value of neai-ly all
the most important volumes which it contahied. Mr.
Bartlett also performed his very valuable services
without cost to the Society.

In this manner, Mr. Cooke has caused to be distrib-
uted a large collection of books, many of them rare and
valuable, together amounting to $50,000 at their auc-
tion price, among ten New England libraries, of
which five are in his native State and four are in his
native city. The method adopted for this purpose is
unusual and has attracted much attention. But it has
been resorted to at least once before by the late Mr.
George Brinley of Hartford, who provided in his will
for a similar distribution of one of the largest and


most valuable collections of books on American His-
tory ever made in New England. It would not be
easy to point out a simpler or more satisfactory mode
which Mr, Cooke coidd have selected for carrying
into effect his beneficent purposes towards the several
libraries which he desired to make his beneficiaries.

Quarterly meetings for the transaction of business
have been regularly held, at which subjects of histor-
ical interest have been considered and discussed. In
addition to these, nine public meetings have been held
dui'ing the year, at which and also at two quarterly
meetings, papers relating to historical subjects have
been read. The following is a list of the subjects of
these papers and of their authors :

I. Stephen Hopkins and his connection with the
Growth of j^ational Sentiment in Rhode Island, by
Mr. William E. Foster.

II. Early Votaries of N^atural Science in Rhode
Island, by Dr. Charles AV. Parsons.

III. Relations of Latitude and Longitude to His-
tory, by Mr. Justin Winsor.

IV. The Chicago Fire and its Relief Work, by Mr.
Edwin C. Earned.

V. The Early Fire Department of Providence,
by Ex-Governor Elisha Dyer.

VI. The Providence Arcade, at a quai'terly meet-
ing, by Ex-Governor Elisha Dyer ; also, The Effigy
of the " Turk's Head" and the Jacob Whitman Estate,
by Mr. William M. Bailey.

VII The Services of the late Stephen Whitney
Phoenix, at a quartei'ly meeting, by Mr. Henry Thayer
Drowne, a correspoiiding member.


YIII. The Cincinnati in France in the I'eign of
Lonis XVI., by Major Asa Bird Gardner, a corres-
ponding meinl)er.

IX. Indian Money in New EngLand civiUzation,
by Mr. WilHam B. Weeden.

X. Qneen Anne, or Free Chissic Architectnre,
by Mr. George C Mason, jun.

These papers were all carefnlly prepared and were
listened to with mnch interest by andiences that gen-
erally filled the Cabinet hall. Fnblic exercises of this
description, continned, as they have been for several
years, have now become an important part of the So-
ciety's yearly work. They have brought to the atten-
tion of the community a great variety of subjects
relating both to local and to general histoiy, and
have exerted an important influence in creating a taste
for historical studies and pursuits.

Xo result of these newly-developed tastes is more
striking than that Avhich is to be found in the forma-
tion and services of the Association of Veteran Citi-
zens for Historical Enquiries which has been formed
in Providence. It grew out of the interviews and
conversations of a few elderly gentlemen who took
pleasure in comparing together their personal recol-
lections of the town as it was in the time of their boy-
hood. Their conversations related at first to the spots
where certain famous liuildings used to stand, to the
wharves and water-lines at which gi-eat ships used to
land theii- cargoes, and at length they have extended
to almost every feature of Providence and its environs
as they Avere early in the present century, and even to
tho traditions relating both to peo2)le and events w hich


have come down from still earlier periods. This Asso-
ciation now numbers about one hundred members, and
holds meetings every week, at which is brought to-
gether, alike in written and in oi'al statement, a vast
variety of information as to nearly every subject of
public interest relating to the town and the State in
the generations preceding our own. By its agency
many interesting historical memoranda have been
brought to light, and important historical papers have
been prepared for publication, some of which have
been deposited in our own archives. It is, of course,
not to be claimed that all such recollections of the
distant past, Avhether relating to persons or to places,
are possessed of strict historical accuracy, but when
skillfully used by those who know how to estimate
historical probabilities, they cannot fail to render as-
sistance more or less important, in every endeavor to
reproduce our ancient town as it was when peopled
by the ancestors of its present inhabitants. For the
purpose of ])romoting the objects of their Association,
these vetei'an citizens obtained from this Society, un-
der the direction of the committee on the library, the
loan of the Drop-Scene of the Old Providence Thea-
tre, which presents a view of the town as it was in
1809-10. They retained it on free exhibition for sev-
eral weeks of the last Summer, during which it was
visited by many hundreds of people who gazed with
singuhu- surprise on the narrow dimensions and un-
developed condition which Providence presented
three-cpiarters of a century ago.

I have referi-ed to this Association of Veteran Citi-
zens which has been formed in Providence, not only


on account of the useful service it is rendering in cre-
ating an interest in local history, but also that I may
express the hope that its good example will be fol-
lowed in other towns of the State, in so many of which
local history has been greatly neglected. The Associ-
ation here had its origin in the public-spirited exertions
of a single member of the Rhode Island Historical So-
ciety, and I take the liberty to suggest that our mem-
bers residing in Newport, or if preferred, the local
Historical Society of that city, would render a very
important service if they would take some measures to
obtain from the elderly citizens of that ancient capital
such information as they may possess of the localities
and the people that were conspicuous in a former
generation. The same ought also to be done in others
of the older towns of the State where it has not been
already done. In other States of N'ew England, and
to a great extent in New York, the history of nearly
every old town has been carefully written by compe-
tent hands. This work has been done in only a few
of the towns in Rhode Island, and in many of them
the materials for doing it are rapidly disappearing.

The past year has been marked by interesting events
in connection with the American Indians in several
different parts of the country. The most conspicuous
of these is the establishment of comparatively peace-
ful relations ])etween the Government and j^eople of
the United States and the wild tribes that still roam
the plains of the distant AVest. So promising have
these relations now become, that the General of the
Army as he was retiring from active service declared
that the days of Indian wars are past and gone. Let


US hope that he is not too sanguine in his declaration.
Considerable progress has also been made in bringing
about a radical change in the policy of the govern-
ment towards all the aboriginal tribes within the
domain of the republic. The original mistake of
recognizing them as independent nations with which
treaties were to be made that coiild not be fulfilled,
has been in a great measure abandoned. It will re-
quire, however, a long time to do away with its evil
consequences and to reduce the Indians of the whole
country from their anomalous condition, partly of in-
dependent tribes and pai-tly of wards of the Govern-
ment, to that of citizens of the United States, as they
must ultimately become. Much ethnological investi-
gation is also now devoted to the Indians and it is not
improbable that many of those problems relating to
them which have hitherto been deemed insoluble, will
at no distant day find a solution. Meanwhile Chris-
tian philanthrophy is exerting itself more than ever
before to reclaim them from their barbarism and to
teach them the religion of peace on earth and good
will to all men.

Among the fruits of recent researches j-elating to
the American aborigines, the Society has received
from the author, Dr. Daniel G. Brinton of Philadel-
phia, who is one of our Corresponding Members, a
volume entitled " Aboriginal American Authors and
their Productions: especially those in the native lan-
guages. A Chapter in the History of Literature."
It was prepared to be read at the International Con-
gress of Antiquarian Research, held in Copenhagen
in August, 1883. It is an intei-esting and suggestive

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