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PR0GEEDINGS

OF THE

BesTONIAN seeiEtY



AT THE



Annual Meeting, January ii, 1898.



MASSACHUSETTS STATE LIBRARY



FROM THE LIBRARY OF

FREDERICK LEWIS GAY




OF BROOKLINE
MASSACHUSETTS

® MDccccxvi m




PROCEEDINGS



BOSTONIAN SOCIFTY



Annual Meeting. January h, 1898.




BOSTON:

old state house.

Published by Order of the Society.



M.DCCC.XCVIII.



/



CONTENTS.



I. Report of the Directors, .... 6

II. Report of the Treasurer, .... 12

III. Report of the Committee on the Rooms, 15

IV. Report of the Library Committee, . . 16

V. Report of the Nominating Committee, . 17

VI. Boston and Transportation, by C. W.

Ernst, ........ 18

VII. Hon. Thomas Hancock, by Rev. C. A.

Staples, ....... 32

VIII. The Old Franklin Street Church, by

Rev. J. P. Bodfish, ..... 44

IX. Accessions to the Society's Collections, 60

X. Accessions to the Library, ... 62

XI. Officers for 1898, 64

XII. Roll of Membership, 65

XIII. By-Laws, yZ



Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Boston Library Consortium IVIember Libraries



http://www.archive.org/details/proceedingsofbos1898bost



BOSTONIAN SOCIETY.



SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL MEETING.



The Seventeenth Annual Meeting of the Bostonian Society
was held in the Council Chamber of the Old State House,
on Tuesda}'-, January ii, 1898, at 3 P. M.

In the absence of the President, on account of illness, Mr.
Benjamin C, Clark, of the Board of Directors, took the chair.

In calling the meeting to order, the Chairman alluded in
feeling terms to the severe illness of President Guild, whom
he had recently seen, and who sent through him to the
Society his cordial greetings, hoping that its members might
not suffer what he had been called upon to endure.

The Chairman spoke of the obligations of the Society to
maintain during the coming year the high standard of the
past. He referred to the great advances recently made by
the city, and recalled the men who had made Boston great, —
the merchants, philanthropists, educators, jurists and minis-
ters of the gospel.

The records of the last annual and the last meeting were
read by the Clerk, and approved.

The candidates recommended by the Directors were elected
by a ballot cast by the Clerk.



REPORT OF THE DIRECTORS.

The Rev. Joshua P. Bodfish, in behalf of the Directors,
presented their Annual Report : —

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the Bos-
tonian Society :

At the close of 1897 there were in the Society,

Life Members ...... 383

Annual Members ..... 536



Total ...... 919

The changes in membership during the year were as fol-
lows : Additions, 69 ; dropped from the rolls, 14 ; resigned,
31 ; died, 39; showing a loss of 15 in the total membership
during the year.

The Directors would again urge upon the members the
importance of proposing and bringing in new members to
carry on the work of the Society. We believe there are
many, who if induced to visit this historic building and in-
spect the unique collection gathered here, illustrative of the
past history of Boston, would gladly join the Society and
give material assistance to the good work we have in hand.

VISITORS.

The number of visitors to this building in 1897, who regis-
tered their names, was 14,833.

From Boston ...... 3,989

" elsewhere in the United States . 10,030
" Foreign Countries . . . . 814



Total 14.833

This, however, does not adequately represent the number
«of visitors, as a large number do not register their names.
From observation we think that 90,000 would be a fair esti-



mate of the number of visitors to the rooms during the
year.

We cannot but remark that three-fourths of our visitors
were from distant parts of our own country and foreign
lands, showing how generally it is recognized that this is
the spot where "independence was born." Can it be that
Bostonians, through familiarity with these historic scenes,
appreciate them less ?

MONTHLY MEETINGS.

The following papers were read at the monthly meetings
in 1 897 :

February 9 : " Glimpses of By-gone Days on Washington
Street," by Mr. Joseph B. Moors.

March 9: "Boston and Transportation," by Mr. C. W,
Ernst.

April 13 : "The Anthology Club and the Literary Develop-
ment of Boston," by Mr. Nathan Haskell Dole.

May II : "Hon. Thomas Hancock, Proprietor of the Han-
cock Mansion in Beacon Street," by the Rev. Carlton A.
Staples.

October 12: "The Old Franklin Street Church and its
First Pastors," by the Rev. Joshua P. Bodfish.

November 9 : "The Old North End and the New," by the
Rev. J. Henry Wiggin.

December 14: "The Story of the United States Sanitary
Commission," by Mr. William Howell Reed.

The attendance at the monthly meetings at which these
papers were read has been unusually good, showing an in-
creasing interest in the life and times of those who laid the
foundation of Boston's greatness.

Several of the papers read have dealt with the history of
the remarkable transformation of the Old North End, which
at one time was the greater part of Old Boston. The early



settlers were crowded out by the large numbers of emigrants
to our shores. These new comers, largely from Ireland in
early days, settled in the Old North End. By their industry
and thrift they prospered, and in turn sought more salubri-
ous dwelling places. Their places have been filled with later
emigrants from Italy, Poland, Russia and other countries,
until now as you walk through the old streets, you hear most
every Continental tongue spoken by the throng around you.
The Public Schools are thronged with children who come to
learn the English language, and to the surprise of many soon
become the most enthusiastic lovers of America and its free
institutions.

NECROLOGY.

The Necrology of the year shows a loss of thirty-nine
Members, ten more than last year, of whom sixteen were
Life Members. It is as follows :



George Henry Eager, born in Northboro', November 3, 1833,
died in Boston, January i.

Francis Amasa Walker, born in Boston, July 21, 1840, died
in Boston, January 5.

Francis Faulkner Emery, born in Roxbury, March 26, 1830,
died in Boston, January 15.

Arthur Davenport Phelps, born in Boston, March 16, 181 7,
died in Boston, January 19.

Caleb William Loring, born in Boston, July 31, 18 19, died in
Camden, S. C, January 29.

William Henshaw Horton, born in Milton, December 16,
18 1 7, died in Boston, February 20.

George Otis Shattuck, born in Andover, May 2, 1829, died
in Boston, February 23.

(Mrs.) Frances Ann Moseley, born in Medford, April 14,
1826, died in Boston, March 2.



Otis Everett Weld, born in Boston, May 20, 1840, died in
Savannah, Ga., March 17.

William Andrews Browne, born in Boston, February 24,
1 83 1, died in Baltimore, Md., March 28.

Benjamin Shreve Calef, born in Saco, Me., May 3, 1822, died
in San Francisco, Cal., March 30.

Charles Myrick Carter, born in Lancaster, May 3, 1822, died
in San Francisco, Cal., March 30.

Philip Case Lockwood, born in Charlestown, December 22,
1844, died in Boston, March 31.

John Courtland Van Voorhis, born in Charlestown, Novem-
ber 15, 1 82 1, died in Newton, April 7.

Benjamin Dean, born in Clitheroe, England, August 10, 1824,
died in Boston, April 9.

John Foster, born in Hudson, N. H., December 30, 18 17,
died in Boston, April 9.

George Lincoln Lovett, born in Beverly, September 28, 1833,
died in West Newton, April 21.

(Mrs.) Mary Elizabeth Atkins, born in Brewster, November
18, 1820, died in Boston, April 29,

Caleb Davis Bradlee, born in Boston, February 24, 1831,
died in Brookline, May i.

John Calvin Paige, born in Hartford, Vt., September 14, 1842,
died in Boston, May 8.

Justin Whittier, born in Roxbury, November 19, 1848, died
in New York, May 13.

Samuel Tarbell Ames, born in Pepperell, March 23, 18 10,
died in Cambridge, May 25.

Thomas Mack, born in Fitchburg, June 25, 1826, died in Bos-
ton, May 26.

Charles Henry Andrews, born in Boston, January 29, 1834,
died in Boston, June i.



lO



Joseph Story Fay, born in Cambridge, December 8, 1812,
died in Boston, June 14.

Isaac Fenno, born in Canton, January 12, 1823, died in Bos-
ton, June 25.

Henry Sullivan Marcy, born in Rutland, Vt., January 28,
1847, died in Belmont, August 10.

Nahum Chapin, born in Jamaica, Vt., July 16, 1820, died in
Boston, August 12.

John Codman, 2d, born in Boston, January 16, 1863, died in
Lancaster, August 31,

John Frank Pratt, born in Greene, Me., August 3, 1830, died
in Chelsea, September 5.

John Brown Callender, born in Boston, October 22, 1824,
died in Boston, September 12.

Daniel Denny, born in Boston, January 16, 1835, ^^^^ ^^
New York, October 14.

Thomas Doane, born in Orleans, September 20, 1821, died
in West Townsend, Vt., October 22.

Seneca Sanford, born in Boston, April 8, 1853, died in New-
ton, October 28.

(Mrs.) Julia Bradford Huntington James, born in Boston,
December 3, 18 10, died in Boston, November 6.

William Henry Talbot, born in Dighton, April 19, 1824, died
in Milton, November 11.

Warren Gould Roby, born in Cambridge, February 18, 1834,
died in Wayland, November 18.

Micah Dyer, Jr., born in Boston, September 27, 1829, died in
Boston, November 24.

John Jeffries, born in Boston, December 30, 1823, died in
Boston, December 12,



II



Of these, Messrs. Bradlee, Browne, Chapin, Codman, Dean,
Denny, Emery, Fay, Foster, Loring, Lockwood, Mack, Paige,
Weld, Walker, and Mrs. Atkins, were Life Members.

These were all men and women honored by all who knew
them, many of them prominent in business or professional
life. We mourn their loss and revere their memory.

Among them, our deceased Life Member, Gen. Francis
Amasa Walker, deserves more than passing mention. As an
officer of the Union Army during the last war, he won high
distinction as a brave and gallant soldier, and was promoted
to his high rank for his courageous and efficient services on
the field of battle. As an administrative officer in times of
peace, he rendered services to his country no less meritori-
ous and distinguished. As a prolific writer on Political
Economy, his works commanded world-wide attention, and
became almost text -books on the subjects he treated. His
crowning labors for technical education as President of the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology are familiar to you
all, and have placed him in the foremost rank of the world's
educators. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the
City of Boston, paid a loving tribute to his memory at the
Memorial Exercises, held in Music Hall, on the 14th of
October last, when His Excellency Gov. Wolcott and the
Hon. George F. Hoar, U. S. Senator from Massachusetts,
eloquently told of his invaluable services to the city, the
State and the country. We wish also to place on record
the appreciation of this Society for the distinguished services
of our deceased member, and to render due honor to his
memory.

History records that a great-grandfather of mine, William
Bodfish, was for seven years a member of the Great and Gen-
eral Court that assembled in these very halls we now occupy.
I sometimes in fancy recall the scenes in which he mingled.

Looking from these windows, instead of the towering busi-
ness palaces that now meet the eye, one beheld only modest
two or three-story buildings ; around the residences were
spacious and well-kept grounds. As one passed along the
narrow and winding unpaved streets {Drake tells us there



12

were no sidewalks until after the Revolution, people walked
in the middle of the streets, where the only paving was of
pebbles, and stepped aside when they met a vehicle), one
would meet characters well known in the town, the Sewalls,
the Quincys, the Adamses, the Warrens, the families of Otis,
Perkins, Everett and others, whose undying devotion to
principle and the new-born inspiration of liberty, laid the
foundations of a great nation. They builded better than
they knew. We are their debtors. Let us honor them for
their noble characters and the great personal sacrifices they
made to make our country the land of freedom.

Certainly this Society, whose object is to collect and pre-
serve whatever illustrates the glorious history of old Boston,
deserves the zealous cooperation of every patriotic citizen.

For the Directors,

Joshua P. Bodfish.

The report was accepted and ordered printed.



REPORT OF THE TREASURER.

The Treasurer begs leave to present his Eighth Annual
Report, for the year 1897. It may be interesting to compare
its features with his first report rendered in 1891 for the
previous year. The Society then contained 241 life mem-
bers, now 383. The Permanent Fund of the Society then
amounted to ^6,418.56, while the interest upon it was ^128.83.
The entire sum contributed to that fund, with the exception
of interest to the amount of $1,700, transferred within the last
three years to the current fund, amounts now to 1^25,498.68,
the interest upon which during the last year was ^950.60.
The amount invested, with a description of the bonds, is as
follows :



Eight City of Cleveland 5 per cent. Bonds, cost
Nine City of Boston 4 " " "

Two City of Dayton 5 " " '

Three State of Massachusetts 3^ " " '

On hand



Total



$8,394 02
9-595 86
2,215 00
3,268 87
2,024 93

$25,498 68



13

During the past year a box for the custody of these bonds
has been hired in the Union Safe Deposit Vaults.

The Permanent Fund has been increased by three legacies,
viz. : Four thousand dollars from Samuel E. Sawyer with
interest, of which ninety-six per cent, has been paid ; four
thousand dollars from Mrs. Richard Perkins, and one thou-
sand dollars from J. H. Stickney, of Baltimore. On the
1 8th of January last, the family of our late Director, Major
George O. Carpenter, presented to the Society the sum of
one thousand dollars, in memory of the great interest he had
taken in the Society from its organization. The gift was
suitably acknowledged and placed in the Permanent Fund.

It has been necessary for three years to transfer a portion
of the interest of this fund to our current account. This has
been caused both by the increased expenses incurred by the
addition to our rooms, requiring an additional custodian, and
by the election of many Annual Members to place them-
selves on the Life Membership List without further assess-
ment. The amount so transferred last year was, however,
less than that appropriated in 1895 and 1896. The increase in
the Permanent Fund has been attended by a diminution of
the annual assessments, for the last three years, as follows :

189s $2,975

1896 2,805

1897 2,610

An effort will doubtless soon be made to increase our list
of paying members, who have decreased during the last three
years, as follows :

1895 634

1896 550

1897 536

The Society is fortunate in the possession of so large a
Permanent Fund, the interest of which may be called upon
in emergencies. It will not, however, justify any laxity in
the proposal of new members and the increase of our annual
assessments. A statement of the financial condition of the
past year is herewith appended.

S. Arthur Bent,

Treasurer.



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15



REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE ROOMS.

While the accessions to our collections during the past
year have not been of unusual value or number, they still
show the interest taken in the Society by our members and
the public. Recent events indicate the growing importance
of the relics of the past, some of which may properly be men-
tioned in this report.

The leading article of the November number of the New
England Magazine, on " Old Ironsides," very appropriately
printed in view of the return of the gallant vessel to Boston
and her enthusiastic reception, contains among the illustra-
tions four reproductions of prints or paintings "in the col-
lection of the Bostonian Society," viz. : two views of the
engagement between the " Constitution " and the " Guer-
ri^re," "the Constitution in Boston Harbor in 1846," and
the engagement between the "Constitution" and "Java."

In a recent suit at law in the Supreme Court, between ad-
jacent owners of real estate on Tremont Street, four views
of the part of that street known as " Colonnade Row," from
the Curtis collection, were introduced as evidence. In a
recent discussion of the changes in the so-called " Bulfinch
front " of the State House, the newspapers reproduced from
our collection cuts of the dome and cupola of this historic
building to support the views taken by their correspondents.
These are proofs additional to, though unlike, many previous
ones, of the exceptional value of our wonderful collection of
views of old Boston.

Within a month a new show-case has been placed in the
lower room, and filled with interesting relics of the Wyman
family, who settled in Woburn in 1679. Some of them were
undoubtedly brought here by the immigrants, as they could
not have been manufactured in this country at that time,
such as a kettle and two ladles of polished brass. Other
articles, as a pewter platter, plates, and a pitcher were used
previous to 1770, and plates from a set of over 100 pieces of
blue Staffordshire ware were among the first brought to this
country. These articles, with certain Revolutionary relics
of unique interest, already in our collection, after being



i6

locked up in boxes for forty years, have been loaned to us
by our fellow-member, Mr. George B. Dexter, a descendant
of the original owners.

Mr. John B. Callender, who had faithfully served the Soci-
ety as collector for many years, and more recently as custo-
dian of the lower rooms, died last September, and was suc-
ceeded by Mr. Merrill N. Boyden.

The vacancy on the Committee caused by the lamented
death of our former chairman. Major George O. Carpenter,
was filled by Capt. Nathan Appleton, Mr. Levi L. Willcutt
being appointed chairman.

A detailed statement of the accessions and donors is ap-
pended to this report.

Respectfully submitted for the Committee,

S. Arthur Bent,

Clerk.

REPORT OF THE LIBRARY COMMITTEE.

The accessions to the library during the past year have
consisted of 80 volumes and 50 pamphlets. Among them
may be mentioned a complete set of " Hunt's Merchant's
Magazine," in 42 volumes, from J, Grafton Minot ; " Life of
Dr. A. A. Miner," from Albert A. Folsom ; " Centenary of
Washington Lodge, F. & A. M.," from the Lodge ; Volumes
II and III of " Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the
Revolution," from the State ; four volumes of the " Records
of Providence, R. I.," from Thomas S. Mitchell ; " Municipal
Government in Great Britain," from Benjamin C. Clark ;
"By-Laws of the Winslow Blues, 1813," from A. A. Folsom;
"Annals of King's Chapel," two volumes, from Arthur T.
Lyman ; "Biography of H. O. Houghton," from his children ;
Volume II of the "History of the Ancient and Honorable
Artillery Company," from the Company ; Year Books of the
" Society of Colonial Wars," of the " Sons of the American
Revolution," and " Sons of the Revolution," from those So-
cieties ; "The Semi-Centennial Celebration of the Discovery
of Anaesthesia," from the Trustees of the Massachusetts



17

General Hospital ; " Life of the Rev. C. D. Bradlee, D. D.,"
from George H. Ellis; "Life of Robert C. Winthrop," from
R. C. Winthrop, Jr.

The Society is reminded that contributions to our local
history and to the biography of those who in early days, or
in more recent times, have contributed to the fame of Boston,
are always acceptable. These books, and all others compris-
ing our library, are open at all times to the public, who are
availing themselves of the opportunity to pursue their studies
in Boston's history to an extent which is another proof of the
important position which this Society has already taken in
the community.

For the Committee,

S. Arthur Bent,

REPORT OF THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE.

Mr. James Means, from the Committee appointed to nom-
inate officers of the Bostonian Society for the year 1898,
reported the following names :

For Clerk and Treasurer.
Samuel Arthur Bent.



For Directors.



Curtis Guild,
Joshua P. Bodfish,
John Lathrop,
Benjamin C. Clark,



James F. Hunnewell,
Levi L. Willcutt,
David H. Coolidge,
Edward G. Porter,



Albert A. Folsom.

The report was accepted, and a ballot being ordered, the
candidates nominated by the Committee were declared
elected.

The foregoing reports were accepted and ordered printed.
The Society then adjourned.

S. Arthur Bent,

Clerk.



i8



BOSTON AND TRANSPORTATION.

A paper read before the Bostonian Society, March 9, 1897,
by Mr. C. W. Ernst : —

Our term "transportation" is rather American, and of late
we associate it largely, or mainly, with railroad traffic ; but it
includes the conveyance of persons or goods by water lines.
And we of Boston cannot safely neglect this larger meaning,
for even now we seem to carry our heavy freight by water
more than by rail. In the past, water routes controlled
altogether, both here and throughout the country, and heavy
teaming was slight in Massachusetts until the war of 18 12.
Boston owes its supremacy to water transportation. It is
this that made Boston our chief commercial city, until steam
and the rise of the West gave an advantage to New York.
No man will dispute the enormous importance of the rail-
road interest and all it implies ; but the future will make
more of water routes than this generation, — for in the long
run the cheapest carrier has little to fear in the struggle for
business.

The early traffic between Boston and England was lively
enough, and produced at least one regular packet, the famous
ship "Lyon," commanded by William Peirce (Pierce), who
made more voyages across the Atlantic than any other man
of his day and nation, and was more important to the found-
ers of Boston than a whole steamship company is to us. He
was also the first of our trans-Atlantic mail carriers. He
perished in the West Indies, at a time when regular traffic
between Boston and England had greatly declined, making it
unprofitable to maintain anything like a regular line. It is
not unreasonable, perhaps, to think that the traffic between
Boston and England, from 1630 to 1640, was equal to that
from 1640 to 1700. Nor was that traffic very considerable
from 1700 to glorious 1776. I think that we overrate the
manufactures of England in those times. Such European
products as our people wanted, they could obtain more ad-
vantageously elsewhere than in London or Bristol. They
had good reasons for avoiding British ports and British navi-



19

gation laws ; and for our own products, especially fish and
leather, lumber and ships, London was a poor market. In
1749, therefore, when Boston reported 504 clearances, only
18 were bound for Great Britain ; and the year was not ex-
ceptional. From the days of William Peirce to 1776 our
best market was in the West Indies and Spanish America,


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