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Elected January 9, 1886.


Vice-Presideiits ,
Francis Beinley, Charles W. Parsons.

Amos Perry.

Richmond P. Everett.


On No7ni7iations ,

Albert V. Jencks, William Staples,

W. Maxwell Greene.


On Lectures,

Amos Perry,

B. B. Hammond.

William drammcll.

On jBiiildin(/ and Gnnoid.^,

Isaac H. Southwick,

Hem-v J. Steere,

Koval C. TafV.

On the Library,

Charles W. Parsons, William B. Wceden,

Stephen II. Arnold.

John L. Lincoln,

On I^nhJications,

Thomas Vernon.

John 11. Stuiess,

On Genealogical Researches,

Henry E. Turner,

John P. Walker

Bennett J. Mimro.

Jhidit Committee,

Edwin Barrows.

Horatio Koucrs.

Lewis J. Chace,

For Newport,




Xorth Kingstown,




George C. ^Nlason,
Erastus Richardson.
Charles H. Fisher,
Emerv H. Porter.
David S. Baker,
George H. Olney,
jTames X. Arnold.
Lewis H. Meader.





A meeting of the Society was held January 22, 1884, at
which Mr. William E. Foster read a paper on the "Rhode
Island Town Governments of the 17th Century." It was an
historical paper of great value, exhibiting the results of original

At a meeting held February 5, Professor John L. Lincoln,
LL. 1)., read a paper on the "Emperor Marcus Aurelius."
The reading of the paper Avas followed by an interesting dis-
cussion of the subject by Thomas Vernon, Esq., Rev. Dr. J.
G. Vose, and President Gammell.

At the next meeting, which was held February 19, John
Erastus Lester, Esq., addressed the Society on the subject of
"Christian Hill," giving a vivid picture of that part of Provi-
dence in the earlier years of its settlement, and illustrating his
subject by pertinent Iiistorical facts.

The next meeting Avas held March 4, when Mr. William S.
Liscomb read a scholarly and valuable paper on the "Destruction
of Avorks of ancient Art."

At a meeting of the Society held March 18, Rev. William
Elliott Griffis, of Schenectady, N. Y., read a paper on "Com-
modore Calbraith Perry." A vote of thanks to jNIr. Griffis
was passed by the Society for his interesting sketch of the Life
and services of one of tlie illustrious sons of Rhode Island.


A quarterly meeting was held April 1, the President in the
chair. The Hon. Latimer W. Ballon, of Woonsocket, and
William Dehon King, Esq., of Newport, were elected resident
members. Dr. Parsons reported in behalf of the Library
Committee that by exchange of duplicates acquired at the Cooke
sale many valuable works had been added to the Library. Pro-
fessor Lincoln, from the Committee on Publications, called
attention to the fact, that some of the Society's papers were now
ready to be published, and to constitute together the Seventh
Volume of the Society's Collections. After remarks by Judge
Stiness and others upon the importance of proceeding to the
publication of this volume, a subscription paper was drawn up,
and about one half of the sum requisite for the printing was
subscribed by members present. The remainder of the evening
was occupied by Dr. Parsons with remarks upon epitaphs,
elegies and other literatvire belonging to the first century of
New England history.

At a meeting held April 15, 1885, Mr. William A. Mo wry
read a paper entitled "The Supreme moment in the History
of North America," — the object of which was to illustrate the
decisive historical influence, upon civilization on this continent,
of the Battle on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec in 1763. It
was a very interesting and instructive paper.

The second quarterly meeting of the year was held July 1,
at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Two communications were laid
l)efore the Society by the Secretary, touching a valuable collec-
tion of literature pertaining to the late Civil War ; these com-
munication were, by vote, referred to the Library Committee,
with authority to act in the matter in behalf of the Society.
Two recent gifts to the Society, were reported by the Secretary.
The first was Hadden's Journal and Orderly Books, 1776—1778,
presented by Gen. Horatio Rogers. The second was the Deed
of the Pawtuxet Lands, a document presented by William V.
Daboll, Esq. This deed bears date of April 25, 1683, and is
signed by William Carpenter of Pawtuxet, and is witnessed by


John Sheldon, William Randall, and Timothy Sheldon. The
deed and accompanying plat belonged to the Eleanor Field es-
tate, and as they were not claimed by the heirs at law, have
been placed for safe keeping in the Cabinet of the Historical
Society by Mr. Daboll as the administrator of this estate.

Messrs. Elisha S. Aldrich, Nicholas Sheldon, and Stillman
White, of Providence, and Mr. Ira B. Peck, of Woonsocket,
were elected resident members of the Society, and Mr. Abner
C. Goodell, Jr., of Salem, Mass., was elected corresponding

Mr. Moses B.I. Goddard read a paper giving a sketch of the
construction and career of the ship "Ann and Hope," which
belonged to the well-known mercantile house of Brown and
Ives. It was a very interesting historical paper, narrating the
fortunes of this ship from its building in Providence, 1795, to
the time of its wreck and loss of cargo at Block Island in 1806.
It contained much instructive information touching the com-
merce of Providence of a hundred years ago.

The third quarterly meeting was held October 7. The
Secretary laid before the Society a communication from the
Buffalo Historical Society inviting the Rhode Island Historical
Society to participate in services to be held in Buffalo in honor
of Red Jacket and other distinguished Indian Chiefs. The
invitation was accepted, and the Secretary was instructed to
acknowledge the courtesy extended to this Society, and to send to
the Buffalo Historical Society a copy of the Canonicus Memorial
in testimony of the fact that the memory of worthy aboriginal
chiefs is cherished also in Rhode Island.

A letter was read by the Secretary from the Hon. Charles
H. Denison, a corresponding member of this Society, urging
the importance of taking steps to secure the preservation of the
early town records of the State by having copies of them made
and deposited in tlie State Library, and in the archives of this
Society. The letter elicited a cordial response in remarks of
the President, and from Hon. John H. Stiness, and Mr. John A.


Howland ; and it was by vote referred to the Secretary, with
instructions to call the attention of His Excellency the Governor
to the object set forth in it, and to ask his co-operation in its

The Secretary presented also a letter from Mr. Abner C.
Goodell, of Salem, Mass., accepting his appointment as corres-
ponding member of the Society, and expressing a cordial
interest in its objects.

Mr. John A. Howland was appointed a Committee to make
a critical examination of the Carpenter Deed and jNIap of 1683
of the Pawtuxet Lands, and to report to the Society the results
of his examination.

The Librarian announced accessions to the library since the
last quarterly meeting, as follows : 95 bound volumes, 788
pamphlets, and some historical memorials, not easy of classifi-
cation. He also annoimced gifts received from Messrs. Henry
J. Steere, Thomas A. Doyle, Albert Holbrook, George C.
Mason, William F. Channing, Lewis H. Meader ; also fifteen
numbers of the Art Folio from the publishers, Messrs. J. A. &
R. A. Reid, of this city. A vote of thanks was passed to these
gentlemen for their gifts.

The Committee on Lectures gave notice that Professor
Franklin B. Dexter of Yale College, would rend a paper, on
the 18tli of November, on Dr. Ezra Stiles and his Diary.

The Committee on the nomination of members recommended
for membei'ship the following persons, and they were elected :
Resident Members, Alfred M. Williams, William A. Walton,
and John A. Carter, of Providence ; Joshua Wilbour, of Paw-
tucket, and Jonathan Russell Bullock, of Bristol ; ami Corres-
])onding Member, Col. Adolphus Skinner Hubbard, of San

The President announced tliat ]Mr. Henry T. Drowne, a
corresponding member, had attended, as a delegate of this
Society, at the laying of the corner-stone of the Bar-
tholdi Statue of Liberty, in New York, and had fittingly


represented the Society on that occasion. Dr. C. W. Parsons
read a most interesting and valuable paper as his report as a
delegate from the Society to a meeting held on the 9th of Sep-
tember for the purpose of forming the "American Historical
Association." (This paper will be found on a later page in this
volume.) Mr. AVilliam B. Weeden, who was elected at the
above-mentioned meeting an officer of the Historical Associa-
tion, which was then formed, followed Dr. Parsons with his
views of the importance of the aims and purposes of that
Association, and the service it would undoubtedly render in
promoting the progress of historical pursuits.

Mention was made by the President of the monument erected
on Fort Hill, Oxford, Mass., to the memory of the Huguenot
settlers of that town, and of the fact that Dr. Parsons repre-
sented this Society by his presence on that occasion.

The Committee on Publications reported through the Chair-
man, Prof. Lincoln, that all the manuscript for Volume VII. of
the Society's Collections was now in the hands of the printer.

The Secretary of the Society read a brief paper on New
England Almanacs, after which the Society adjourned.

At a meeting held November 18, Professor Franklin B.
Dexter, of Yale College, read a paper on Dr. Ezra Stiles and
his Diary. Remarks were made on the many subjects of inter-
est pertaining to Rhode Island history, which were discussed
by Professor Dexter in this paper, by Rev. Dr. Vose, Professor
Lincoln, Governor Hoppin, and President Gammell ; a unani-
mous vote of thanks to Professor Dexter was passed by the
Society for his instructive and scholarly paper.

At a meeting held December 2, Professor William Mathews,
of Boston, read a paper on William Wirt, in which he portrayed
the life and career of this distinguished hiAvyer and statesman.
A vote of thanks to Prof. Mathews, moved by Prof. Harkness,
and seconded by Dr. Parsons, was unanimously passed by the

A meeting was held December 16, at which Hon. John H.
Stiness and General Horatio Rogers read papers, and Rev.


Frederic Denison, a poem, on the Return of Roger Williams
with the First Charter of Rhode Island. The vax-ious historical
bearings of this theme were amply and instructively discussed
in these addresses, and the Society passed a unanimous vote of
thanks to the speakers.

At a meeting held December 30, Dr. Charles H. Fisher read
a paper on Numismatics, setting forth and illustrating the value
of Numismatics as a source of historical knowledge. Mr.
Charles Gorton also read a paper on the early colonial coins and
coinage, after which Mr. Francis W. Furman exhibited an
extensive collection of coins, belonging to different periods and
countries. It was a meeting numerously attended, and the
Society passed a vote of thanks to these gentlemen for the
instruction and entertainment which they had afforded.

The sixty-third annual meeting was held January 13, 1885,
the President, Professor William Gammell in the chair.

The Secretary read three letters : the first from Mr. Adolphus
Skinner Hubbard, of San Francisco, acknowledging and accept-
ing his election as a corresponding member of the Society ; the
second from Prof. Herbert B. Adams, of the Johns Hopkins
University, Baltimore, which urged the importance of the
preservation of town records and presented the writer's views
on the best methods of accomplishing this object ; the third
from His Excellency Gov. Bourn, suggesting that the Society
take the requisite steps towards having a bill presented, and
passed by the' General Assembly of Rhode Island to provide for
the preservation of the several town records.

The treasurer, Mr. Richmond P. Everett, presented his an-
nual Report, giving the following items : Receipts, $844.77 ;
Expenses, $769.40; Cash on hand, $75.37 ; Life Membership
Fund, $1091.90; Publication Fund, $370.00.

The President then read his Annual Address, in which he
discussed the chief events belonging to the history of the Society
during the year, and then commended to the consideration of
the Societv several themes of sfi'eat historic interest and value.


On recommendation of jMr. A. V. Jencks, chairman of the
Committee on Nominations, the following gentlemen were
elected :

As Life Members, George Peabody Wetmore, and John
Nicholas Brown, NeA\'23ort. As Resident Members, William G.
Weld, Le Roy King, and George Gordon King, Newport ;
John C. Wyman, Valley Falls ; and Elisha Benjamin Andrews,
Gorham P. Pomroy, Oliver Johnson, Estus Lamb, Charles H.
George, Julius F. Hartwell, Henry A. Horton, James Pierce
Root, Richard B. Winsor, O. Edwai-d Fitzgerald, Fred A.
Arnold, Isaac H. Southwick, Jr., and George L. Collins, Jr.,
of Providence ; as Corresponding Members, Prof. Franklin B.
Dexter, of Yale College, New Haven ; Peter B. Olney, New
York ; Richard Olney, William A. Mo wry, and Albert A.
Folsom, of Boston.

Mr. Perry reported on behalf of the Committee on Lectures,
that Professor Albert Harkncss would read a paper on the 27th
of January, on Athens in the Age of Pericles, and that Mrs.
Martha J. Lamb, of New York, would read a paper on the 10th
of February ; also that it is proposed to observe in October next,
the two hundredth anniversary of the Revocation of the Edict
of Nantes, by papei-s to be read to the Society, which will
discuss the historical bearings of that event.

]Mr. Isaac H. Southwick reported, for the Committee on the
Building and Grounds, an expenditure of $64.85.

Dr. Parsons presented a very interesting Report on behalf of
the Library Committee, showing an expenditure of $98,05, and
an addition to the Library, by gift and by purchase, of 488
bound volumes, 2,777 pamphlets, and 256 miscellaneous
articles ; the total number of accessions 3,516.

Prof. Lincoln reported, on behalf of the Committee on Pub-
lications, that the Proceedings of 1883—84 were published
early in the year just ended, that Volume VII. of the Society's
Collections was now nearly ready for delivery, and that
material for Volume VIII. was now in an advanced state of
preparation for the press.


Dr. Henry E. Turner, Chairman of the Committee on
Genealogical Researches, made a Report, from which it appeared
that there is unusual activity in genealogical pursuits, and that
a Rhode Island Genealogical Dictionaiy Avas in course of prep-
aration by a member of the Society.

INIr. John A. Rowland presented a very carefully-prepared
Report on the Deed and jNIap of the Pawtuxet lands, of the
year 1683.

The Reports of the Procurators Avere received and placed on
file, as follows : of George C. Mason, of Newport ; of Erastus
Richardson, of Woonsocket ; of Dr. Charles H. Fisher, of
Scituate ; and of Rev. E. H. Porter, of Pawtucket.

The Library Committee was, by vote, instructed to examine,
and report upon, the subject of the Society's right of ownershii)
and disposal of the duplicate copies of the Rhode Island Laws
now in its possession, and what action, if any, should be taken
in regard to the same.

Messrs. Horatio Rogers, C. H. Parkhurst, and B. B. Ham-
mond were appointed a Committee to act u})on tlie recommend-
ation of the Governor to draft and present to the General
Assembly a bill to secure the preserAation and usefulness of the
town records of Rhode Island.

Mr. John P. Walker was ai[)poiuted a Committee to solicit
names, by which the Publication Fund could be raised to $(K)().

The President's Address and the Reports of Standing Com-
mittees were referred to the Publication Committee.

It was voted, that a tax of $8.00 (Three JJollars) be
assessed upon each Resident Member to defray the expenses of
the current year.

It was also voted tliat the Committee on Publications be
instructed to print five hundred copies of the Proceedings for
the year 1884-85, including in the same the President's Address,
the Reports of the Standing Committees and the Procurators,
and also, at their discretion, any papers which have been laid
before the Society, provided the whole exj)ense of the publica-
tion does not exceed one lumdred and seventv-five dollars.



Gentlemen of the Historical Society : —

We assemble again in annual meeting to review the year
which is closing and to prepare for the year which is opening
before us. The transition from the one to the other forms almost
the only epoch in our vmeventful annals as a Society. The work
which we do is so quiet and unobtrusive that there is nothing to
mark its progress or to make known its character save the record
which we make of them at the close of every year. The long
past, of wliich we seek to collect the memorials, is constantly
lengthening, and each successive generation finds itself already
beginning to be historic before it passes from the scene of its ac-
tivity. Indeed, it would be avcII if this were more so than it
is, and if each generation were more disposed to prepare for
those that come after it a i^ecord of its achievements and disas-
ters, its virtues and its crimes, and of all that may give character
to the period to which it belongs.

Our special work is, first of all, to awaken and diifuse an in-
terest in our own history as a State, and to collect and preserve
the materials of which this history must be composed. To do
this is in accordance with a natural dictate of ancestral reverence
and patriotic attachment, and it is always a characteristic of an
enlightened people. This work, I am happy to say, has been
prosecuted during the year now closing with a very good degree
of success. The public interest in it is constantly increasing,
as is seen, not only in the multiplying additions which are made



to our collections, but also in the diversified uses wliicli are
made of these collections for historical and public purposes. The
annual report of the Committee on the Library, which was pre-
sented at our last annual meeting, made mention of the very val-
uable collection of volumes received through the bequest of our
late associate, Mr. Joseph J. Cooke. We have this year received
no such accession as this to our archives, but the report of that
Committee will indicate that in all other res|)ects we have not
fallen behind the year preceding. The bound volumes which
have been sent to the Cabinet are 483 in number, the unbound
pamphlets are 2,777, and other articles, including manuscripts
not classified, are 252, making the whole number of articles of
historical character and interest added to our collection during
the year, 3,516.

The work of cataloo^uino; the articles of all kinds contahicd in
the Cabinet, which was begun a few years ago, has also l)cen
carried forward by the librarian and his assistant, so that now
comparatively little of this work remains to be done, save what
belongs to the preparation of shelf-lists for reference. The uses
also which are made of the books of reference, the manuscripts
and other sources of information which belong to the Society,
are constantly increasing for the purposes of historical and
genealogical inquiry, for ascertaining names and localities, and
also for verifying titles to real estate, and, indeed, for almost
every purpose which curiosity as to the past can suggest. In
all these respects the Society is every year rendering a service to
the community which, I hope, in an honorable degree justifies
the confidence and liberality which have been bestowed upon it.

At our quarterly meetings, in addition to the transaction of
business, there have been brought together the results of such
special studies as have been prosecuted by any of our members.
These have often related to prominent events or characters in our
local history, or to features in the social, commercial or political
life of the people of the State, for there is nothing pertaining to
the history of Rhode Island, or to any of its interests, or to its


representative men or women that we regard as inappropriate to
these meetings. Some of these meetino's also have been marked
by nnusnal interest derived from the reports of special commit-
tees, who have had snbjeets in charge for investigation or inquiry,
or from the contributions of individual members who ha^•e visited
historical spots or attended historical celebrations in other States.
In addition to these, ten public meetings according to our
custom have been held during the Avinter months of the year, at
which carefully prepared papers have been read, designed to
promote an increasing interest in the pursuits in which we are
engaged. These public meetings, which, as is well known, have
now been maintained for several years, have been largely at-
tended and have been productive of very gi-atifying results.
The following is a list of the su]>jects of the papers which have
been presented, and also of the names of their authors :

I. Town Governments in Rhode Island in the Seventeenth
Century, by Mr. William E. Foster.

II. The Emperor Marcus Aurelius, by Professor John L.

III. Christian Hill, its Physical Conformation, its Settle-
ment and GroAvth, by Mr. J. Erastus Lester.

IV. The Destruction of Ancient Works of Art, by Mr.
William S. Liscomb.

Y. Commodore Matthew C. Perry and the Opening of
Japan, by the Rev. Wm. Elliott Griffis, of Schenectady, N.Y.

VI. Quaint Epitaphs and Elegiac Literature in New Eng-
land, at a quarterly meeting, by Dr. Charles AV. Parsons.

VII. The Supreme Moment in the History of North America,
by Mr. William A. Mowry.

VIII. The Voyages and Wreck of the First Ship Ann and
Hope, of Providence, at a quarterly meeting, by Mr. Moses B.
I. Goddard.

IX. Reports on the Formation of the American Historical
Association, at a quarterly meeting, by Dr. Charles W. Parsons
and Mr. William B. Weeden, and on Early New England Al-
manacs, by Mr. Amos Perry.


X. Dr. Ezra Stiles and his Diary, by Professor Franklin B.
Dexter, of Yale College.

XI. The Career of AVilliani Wirt, by Professor William
Matthews, of Boston.

XII. The Eeceptiou in 1 (344 of the First Charter of Rhode
Island, by the Hon. John H. Stiness, Gen. Horatio Rogers and
the Rev. Frederic Denison.

XIII. Numismatics and American Coins, by Dr. Charles H.
Fisher and ]\Ir. Charles Gorton. A very costly collection of
coins was also submitted for inspection.

The Society has by invitation been represented on several
occasions of historical interest in other States. Amono- these
may be mentioned that of laying in the harbor of New York
the corner-stone of the pedestal of the Statue of "Liberty En-
lightening the World," to be presented to the people of the
United States by the people of France. On this occasion, whicli
occurred on August 5, ]Mr. Henry T. Drowne, was requested
to express our interest in an undertaking so magnificent and so
generous as is now proposed by the ancient allies of the United
States in the struggle for independence. On September 9, a
convention was held at Saratoga Springs, X. Y., of representa-
tives of Historical Societies and of other persons interested in
American history for the purpose of considering the expediency
of forming an American Historical Association Avhose object
should be to promote the study of our national history alike in
schools and colleges and among the people of the country. The
meeting was convened under the auspices of the Social Science
Association, and was largely attended by gentlemen from differ-
ent parts of the United States, who are eminently qualified to

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