about permitting my relation to this Society, as its President, to
continue during so considerable an absence ; and there are those
present who would bear witness, I am sure, if any witness were
needed, how more than willing I was to make way for others
better entitled to such a distinction. But, by the blessing of
God, here I am ; and, by your favor, I resume the chair which I
have occupied for so many years ; and I can only assure you that
I have returned with a deep sense of obligation to make up, as
far as I can, for lost time, and to spare no efforts for promoting
the continued prosperity and welfare of a Society, which has
ever been indulgent alike to my short comings and to my long
My first impulse this morning, Gentlemen, is to offer, as I
here do, my grateful acknowledgments to Mr. Adams, who has
so kindly and punctually supplied, and more than supplied, my
place ; and to whom the thanks of the Society will, I doubt
not, be offered, as they should be, in a formal vote. Let me
330 RETURN TO THE DOWSE LIBRARY.
myself propose, without further delay or preamble, that the
thanks of this Society be presented to our first Vice-President,
the Hon. Charles Francis Adams, for his faithful and obliging
discharge of the duties of the chair during the absence of the
President for nearly eighteen months past.
I am really appalled, Gentlemen, as I frame the resolution,
at the length of absence of which I am compelled to make con
fession. But I will at least couple the confession with the
promise never to do the like again.
And next, Gentlemen, let me thank you all most heartily for
the " welcome home " which I cannot fail to read, in the un-
wontedly large attendance which greets my return to the chair
to-day. I can never be insensible to such a manifestation of
regard, and I am only sorry to be so inadequately prepared
to meet the expectation which such a gathering may seem to
But, alas ! I miss from your number not a few of those whom
I have been accustomed to meet on such occasions ; not a few of
those whom I might have confidently counted on taking by the
hand, once more, to-day. I had, indeed, been gone from you but
a few months, before I heard of the death of my good friend,
Judge Warren, who once told us, at a Special Meeting at his
own house, on one of the anniversaries of the Pilgrims Land
ing, that he had in his own veins the blood of at least five of
the passengers in the " Mayflower," and the solace of whose
declining age was to spend it within sight of Plymouth Rock.
The death of Judge Warren was soon followed by that of the
excellent Jeffries Wyman, to whom I had been bound, for seven
or eight years past, by peculiar ties of association and of affec
tion, and whose name I cannot mention without a fresh and
deep sense of the loss to Science, to the University, and to us
all, which his early and lamented departure has involved.
Then came successively the deaths of the eminent jurist, Judge
Curtis ; of the zealous antiquary, Dr. Shurtleff ; of the vene
rated pastor, president, moralist, Dr. Walker ; and of the veteran
Boston banker-poet, Charles Sprague.
Our "last enemy," as he is persistently called, though he
so often comes to the suffering and the infirm as their best friend,
RETURN TO THE DOWSE LIBRARY. 331
could hardly have found, in our own ranks, or in those of
any other association, six men of more striking characters, of
more distinguished careers, of more varied and attractive gifts,
to be grouped together as the shining marks of his unerring
shafts, during a single year.
To all these deceased associates and friends, however, I have
already paid some humble tribute in letters to our invaluable
Secretary, Mr. Deane, which have received more attention than
But still other breaches had been made in our little band of
one hundred before my return. While on the eve of embark
ing, I heard, with great regret, of the deaths of the Hon.
Charles Went worth Upham, whom I have always remembered
affectionately as the oldest boy of good Deacon Greele s school,
when I was the youngest ; and of Professor Joel Parker, whose
sturdy and vigorous old age had given promise of many more
years of usefulness and honor. Both of them had done excel
lent work for history and for our own Society ; but I am con
scious that I can say nothing of either of them which has not
been better said, and very recently said, by others.
Meantime, I cannot forget that our Honorary and Corre
sponding roll has been robbed in its turn of the names of
Almack and Twisleton ; of Cyrus Eaton and John Carter
Brown ; of D Avezac, whom I visited twice in Paris while he
was rapidly approaching his end ; and of Guizot, whom I had
the privilege of knowing personally in former years, but whom
I was now too late to see again.
I may be pardoned for mentioning, in passing, that I was
fortunate enough to be in Paris during the sale of Guizot s
library, and to obtain a valuable volume from it, with an auto
graph note on the fly-leaf. And though I am not much of a
collector of autographs, I could not resist the temptation of
securing half a dozen of his collection, which will serve to illus
trate the characters and careers in which he had taken special
interest. They included Bossuet and Mirabeau, two men of
the most widely contrasted lives and periods, but in their several
spheres, perhaps, the most brilliant orators France has ever pro
duced. They included William of Orange, whose name speaks,
332 RETURN TO THE DOWSE LIBRARY.
and will ever speak, for itself. They included Wilberforce,
the great English philanthropist ; and Chalmers, the grand
Scotch thinker and preacher. And they included Walter
But I cannot pass from the losses which our Honorary roll
has sustained without alluding to the latest, and to us the most
memorable of all.
The venerable Horace Binney, of Philadelphia, had already
passed safely through the first half of his ninety-sixth .year,
with his eyes hardly dimmed, his natural strength scarcely
abated, and his intellectual faculties all unclouded ; and we
had fondly hoped that he might have been held back still
longer from the skies, not only to witness the completion of
his country s Century, and to be the most interesting and illus
trious living figure in the great celebration in his own city next
year, but to complete his own century of life, not long after
wards, and to impersonate for us, as indeed he so long had done,
that grand description of the old prophet, " the ancient and the
honorable man, the prudent, the counsellor, and the eloquent
But this hope of us all was not to be fulfilled. I had just been
reading a letter from him, a copy of which had been kindly en
closed to me by Mr. Grigsby, to whom it was addressed as late
as the 7th of July last, in which he alluded to the prospect of
attaining to " the higher life," when a telegram in a London
paper, which had outrun the mail, apprised me that the higher
life was indeed already his.
I have always counted it among my special privileges to have
heard Horace Binney in the greatest effort of his life, his
magnificent argument before the Supreme Court at Washington,
in the Girard College Case, when, though so much of my
sympathy was with his illustrious antagonist, Mr. Webster, and
with the peculiar views of which Mr. Webster was the advo
cate, I Deceived such an impression of the power, the research,
and the eloquence of Mr. Binney, and of the weight of character
like that of our own old Samuel Hoar which he threw into
the case, that I have always regarded that effort as among
the very grandest forensic displays and triumphs which the
RETURN TO THE DOWSE LIBRARY. 333
courts of law in our own land, or in any other land, have ever
I paid Mr. Binney a visit, only a few years ago, in his own
office at Philadelphia, built for him, as he told me, more than
sixty years before ; and certainly a more interesting and beauti
ful exhibition of a serene, philosophic, and Christian old age
could have been seen nowhere else. But my friend and his
friend, Mr. Grigsby, has furnished us with a full account of his
career and of its close ; and I forbear from adding further to
tributes which have been abundantly paid.
Let me turn, then, for an instant from the dead to the living, to
mention a few of our Honorary and Corresponding Members in
foreign lands, whom it was my good fortune to meet, and from
whom I received so many kind attentions. I could hardly for
give myself, indeed, were I to omit all acknowledgment of my
obligations to the distinguished historian, Earl Stanhope, whose
name is now the only one left on our roll of those elected from
Old England, prior to the amendment of our charter in 1857 ;
to Mignet, the eminent and eloquent Academician whose name
is at the head of our later roll, and who has just published two
new historical volumes on " The Rivalry between Francis I.
and Charles V. ; " to Count Adolphe de Circourt, who is en
gaged in publishing a work on the Alliance between France and
the United States in 1778 ; to Thiers, the great writer, orator,
and statesman of France ; to Dean Stanley and Lord Arthur
Hervey ; to John Forster and Edward A. Freeman ; and lastly,
to our American Minister at Rome, George P. Marsh, who in
trusted me with a photographic copy of a rare and perhaps
unique old print of our revolutionary period, as a contribution
to our Cabinet. The print purports to have been designed,
" after nature," in Boston, and to have been engraved in Phila
delphia, and Mr. Marsh gives the following account of its
strange discovery :
ROME, May 31, 1875.
DEAR MR. WINTHROP, The engraving emblematical of the relief of
Philadelphia, by the " Ange de la France," was found by Colonel H.
Yule, the editor of the new edition of Marco Polo, bound into a folio,
entitled : Wahrhaftige ausfiihrliche Beschreibung der Beriihmten Ost-
334 RETURN TO THE DOWSE LIBRARY.
Indischen Kiisten Malabar und Coromandel durch Philippum Baldaeun
weiland Diener des Gottlieb. Worts ans Zeylon. Amsterdam, 1672.
It was bound into the middle of the section : Abgotterey der Ost.
Indischen Heyden, by some old person, who probably took the dancing
party for heathen, performing some licentious rite.
I presume the dessine cTapres nature refers rather to the landscape than
to the saltatory group, though I do not know but the vertueux Insurgens
may have sometimes indulged in such frisky expressions of exultation.
I suppose the design is good authority for the form of the Bonnet de la
Liberte used at that period ; but how is it with the flag ? And is the
town in the background Philadelphia, as it was in 1778? If the design
was made at Boston, probably the artist found the nature after which he
drew nearer at hand. Is there any thing in it that suggests Boston as
the original ?
Very truly yours,
GEO. P. MARSH.
Hon. R. C. WINTHKOP.
Once more, Gentlemen, let me offer you my grateful acknowl
edgments of your indulgence, and renew the assurances of my
devoted interest in the prosperity and welfare of this Society.
PORTRAITS OF WASHINGTON AND
REMARKS AT A MEETING OF THE MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY,
NOVEMBER 11, 1875.
IT will not have been forgotten, I am sure, that, soon after I
went to Europe last year, I was instrumental in procuring for
our Historical Gallery, through the liberality of Mr. Alexander
Duncan, an exact copy of the portrait of Washington which was
captured, in 1780, on its way to the Stadtholder, by Captain
Keppel, of the British Navy.
It seems to have been satisfactorily shown, by our Cabinet-
keeper, Mr. Appleton, in his communication to the Society, at
the November meeting of last year, that this portrait, now at
Quidenham Park, the seat of the Earl of Albemarle, was one
of five or six copies made by Mr. Charles Wilson Peale, of an
original painted by himself by the order of the Council of Penn
sylvania in 1779, the copies differing from each other only in some
variations of scenery or background. Four of these copies or
repetitions have been traced as belonging respectively to the
United States Government, France, Princeton College, and the
Earl of Albemarle.
All this, however, would hardly have been brought to light
without the investigations to which our copy gave occasion.
And there is, moreover, I need hardly say, something of special
interest attaching to the precise picture, with its varying details,
which was the subject of capture in connection with Laurens ;
which had been so long preserved by the family of the captor,
336 PORTRAITS OF WASHINGTON AND FRANKLIN.
remote from the common eye ; and which had been the subject
of so much discussion heretofore among ourselves.
But the investigations by Mr. Appleton, and by others, to which
our copy gave rise, have had further results. Mr. Appleton,
in his communication, alluded to an original portrait of Wash
ington, painted by Le Paon, and which had belonged to Lafay
ette, and he exhibited an engraving of this portrait by Le Mire.
It happened that I, also, had previously obtained a copy of this
engraving, through my cousin, Mr. Frederic Temple Palmer,
who resides at Versailles, and had laid it aside to bring home as
a contribution to our Cabinet. Here it is, and I present it to
the Society without further delay. Le Paon, who is styled the
painter of battles of the Prince de Conde , was probably never in
this country, and had no opportunity of painting Washington
from the life ; and I think no one can doubt, on examining the
engraving, that he must have taken the head substantially from
the portrait of Peale. Lafayette, if it were really painted for
him, may possibly have suggested some changes, from his own
familiarity with Washington s features. But he would certainly
seem to have accepted it as a likeness of Washington, at that
period of his life.
Meantime I have come upon the track of two other portraits
of Washington, during my absence abroad, which may be worth
a moment s allusion. In the National Portrait Gallery of
England, a most interesting and noble collection, near
Kensington Gardens, there is a fine colored crayon of Washing
ton, by Sharpless. The catalogue says by " Mrs. Sharpies,"
but I can hardly doubt that it was by the same person, so
many of whose crayons have recently been discovered in Phila
delphia, and who is well known to have had Washington among
Then there is another original crayon of Washington in the
possession of the Rector of Wymington, Bedfordshire. It is said
to have been taken by a French artist, who persevered in his
resolution to obtain a sitting from Washington, while he was in
camp, until at last Washington gave him permission to sketch
him as he was writing his despatches. The crayon is said to
have come to its present possessor through Mrs. Grant of Laggan,
PORTRAITS OF WASHINGTON AND FRANKLIN. 337
whose " Letters from the Mountains," and " Memoirs of an
American Lady," were well known to our fathers and mothers,
and whose intimacy with the Schuylers of Albany, and her early
residence for four years in America, may have given her the
opportunity of securing such a portrait.
Passing, for a moment, from Washington, I may proceed to
say, what is hardly of less interest, that another of the Rectors
of Bedfordshire, the Rev. C. C. Beaty-Pownall, Rector of All
Saints, Milton-Ernest, has an original portrait of Franklin.
It was given to him by his mother, who received it from her
cousin, Sir George Pownall, to whom it was given by Governor
Pownall of New England. An autograph letter of Franklin was
formerly, I learn, " stuck in the back of the frame, within the
memory of the present owner, but a servant, thinking it looked
untidy, is said to have destroyed it." The portrait is thought to
be by Copley, and is understood to have been given to Governor
Pownall by Franklin himself.
It was certainly striking to hear of original portraits of
Washington and Franklin, not far from each other, in different
rectories in Bedfordshire ; and I was sorry that I was unable to
accompany my friend, the Rev. Mr. Horwood, of Turvey,
whose wife was one of the Church family of Western New York,
and from whom I obtained the account of them, to see them.
In the Milton-Ernest Rectory, too, I should have seen an en
graving inscribed as follows :
"Cotes, pinxit: Earlow fecit. Thomas Pownall, Esq., Member of
Parliament, late Governor, Captain General, and Commander in Chief
and Vice Admiral of His Majesty s Provinces, Massachusetts Bay and
South Carolina, and Lieut. Governor of New Jersey. 5 June, 1777."
The original portrait is at Earl Orford s in Norfolk. How far
it corresponds with the portrait of Pownall in our own gallery,
presented to us by the late Lucius Manlius Sargent, Esq., I do
not know. Mr. Sargent s portrait is believed to have been
copied from an engraving, perhaps a duplicate of the very one
now in possession of the Rev. C. C. Beaty-Pownall, of which I
have just given the inscription.
388 PORTRAITS OP WASHINGTON AND FRANKLIN.
Several other portraits of Franklin came to my knowledge in
England, one of them on the walls of the Royal Society at Bur
lington House, and another in the National Portrait Gallery, not
far from the Sharpless crayon of Washington. A third, said to
be an original Greuze, and to have been given by Franklin to
the famous traveller Denon, was understood to await a pur
chaser, and I took an opportunity to go and see it. But the
attractions of the portrait were not sufficient to reconcile me to
the large price which was put upon it.
Still another original portrait of Franklin came to my knowl
edge, as I was crossing the ocean, a duplicate by Chamberlin,
of the well-remembered picture with the large spectacles and
the hand at the chin. This was in Scotland, in possession of one
of the relatives of the William Penn family.
Surely, if a man s fame is to be measured by the number of
his portraits at home and abroad, Franklin was by far the most
famous American of his period, as, indeed, there can be no doubt
he was. His likeness is to be found in oils and crayons, on
canvas, on paper, on ivory, on porcelain, and in pottery, and not
only on pitchers and tea-cups, like Washington s, but it is said
to have been complimented, as it was called, by being presented
on some of the least dignified utensils of household crockery.
I cannot conclude without recalling a somewhat ludicrous
arrangement of Washington and Franklin which I observed
more than once, in one of the shop windows, in the Rue de la
Paix, in Paris. A handsome frame was conspicuously suspended
to attract the passers-by, in which were four miniatures arranged
as a partie carree. At the top was Franklin, in the fur cap and
big goggles, vis-d-vis with Pope Pius IX. ; and below was Wash
ington, as a pendant to Rachel, the great actress ! I presume
that the collocation was accidental, and the miniatures might
probably have been sold separately, but the exhibition was not
the less amusing to an American eye. I may add that one of
the attendants of the shop, to whom I applied for information,
and who knew the likenesses of all the other three, could not
tell me who was the lady with whom Washington had been so
strangely mated. He may probably have regarded it as the
head of the Goddess of Liberty.
PORTRAITS OF WASHINGTON AND FRANKLIN. 339
During my absence in Europe, and while I still cherished the
hope of returning in season to take some part in the Centennial
celebrations of the present year, I requested our Corresponding
Member, Mr. Sainsbury, to send me an abstract of any papers in
Her Majesty s Public Record Office, which might be interesting
and instructive in connection with the events of 1775. He
accordingly examined the old files, and prepared a paper of
nearly forty pages, which I received in Paris in May last. I had
been obliged, long before that time, to abandon the hope of
returning until the autumn, and I found no leisure for examin
ing the paper with any care. I have gone through it since my
return, and do not perceive much that is altogether new or very
But others, more familiar with these old records, may be
more fortunate, and I leave them, without recourse, for their
1 These papers, including the letter of Lord Percy to Governor Gage, April 20,
1775, are printed in the Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1875-
1876, pp. 340 to 358.
HENRY WILSON AND JUDGE METCALF.
REMARKS AT A MEETING OF THE MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY,
DECEMBER 9, 1875.
SINCE we last met here, Gentlemen, our city and State have
been overshadowed by a succession of bereavements of no
common significance and sadness.
In the death of the Rev. JAMES B. MILES, the cause of phi
lanthropy and peace has lost one of its most earnest and devoted
apostles and advocates.
In the death of the Hon. JOHN WELLS, the Supreme Court
of our Commonwealth has lost one of its ablest and most valua
In the death of the Hon. HENRY WILSON, the Vice-President
of the United States, and so long a senator of Massachusetts,
the whole country has lost a public servant of large experience
and great practical ability, whose career does not require to be
contrasted with the humble circumstances of its origin to be
counted among the most striking in our annals.
His ardent nature, his untiring energy, his devoted advocacy
of every cause which he espoused and of every opinion which
he entertained, and the many amiable personal qualities which
he displayed, more especially under the influence of the deep
religious impressions of his later years, had given him a strong
hold on the hearts of his fellow-citizens, and had quite overcome
any antipathies or prejudices which may have been engendered
by political differences in the earlier stages of his life.
His name, too, is honorably associated with more than one
HENRY WILSON AND JUDGE METCALF. 341
volume, 1 which, though not accepted on all sides as containing
altogether dispassionate or accurate representations of individu
als or of parties, will furnish a valuable contribution to the his
tory of the period which they cover.
Neither of the lamented gentlemen whom I have named was
a member of our Society, but this brief reference to their deaths,
in such close and sad succession, will not, I am sure, be regarded
as otherwise than appropriate to our proceedings and our
Meantime we are called to-day to notice a more direct loss to
our own little number in the death of the Hon. THERON MET
CALF, the eminent lawyer, and formerly a distinguished judge
of the Supreme Court of our State. Had Judge Metcalf passed
away like those to whom I have just referred, while still in
official life, and still in the unimpaired enjoyment of his remark
able faculties, his death like theirs would have been the subject
of profound public sorrow. His labors as a reporter, as an anno-
tator, as an advocate, and as a judge, could not have been
arrested, while he still had strength to pursue them, without
occasioning the impression of an almost irreparable loss. We
can measure what would have been left undone by what has
been done. But he long ago finished his work and retired from
public view, and he has died at last, after completing his nine
tieth year, with hardly one of his contemporaries left to bear
witness to the vigor of his mind and the value of his labors.
The younger members of his profession, however, both at the
bar and on the bench, have not been wanting to his memory,
and I should in vain attempt to add any thing to the tributes
which they have so recently paid him. During the fourteen or
fifteen years of his association with us here, we have all witnessed
with interest the eagerness he exhibited in historical and anti
quarian pursuits, and his perseverance in coming to our rooms
and attending our meetings until within a few months of his
death. We may well cherish the remembrance of such an
example of punctuality and fidelity, and commend it to the
imitation of others.
1 " Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America," by Henry Wilson.
REMARKS AT A MEETING OF THE MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY,
JANUARY 13, 1876.
IT is not, Gentlemen, without a deep sense of personal loss,
that I announce the death of the Hon. JOHN H. CLIFFORD, who
has been one of the Resident Members of this Society for more
than twenty years.
It may not be forgotten that I mentioned, at our last monthly