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PROCEEDINGS



OF THE



BOSTONIAN SOCIETY



AT THE



ANNUAL MEETING, JANUARY 16, 1917.



Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries



http://www.archive.org/details/proceedingsofbos1917bost



PROCEEDINGS



BOSTONIAN SOCIETY



^



Annual Meeting, January 16, 1917.




BOSTON:

OLD STATE HOUSE.

PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF THE SOCIETY.

M C M XVII.



CONTENTS



I. Annual Report of the Directors. By The
President ......

II. Report of the Committee on the Rooms

III. Additions to the Society's Collections

IV. Report of the Committee on the Library
V. Additions to the Society's Library

VI. Report of the Committee on Publications

VII. " The Melvill House in Green Street," by
Walter K. Watkins ....

VIII. Report of the Committee on Finance .

IX. Report of the Treasurer

X. Report of the Committee on Memorials

XI. Report of the Committee on Nominations

XII. May Meeting. " Dorman Mahoone alis
Mathews, — an Early Boston Irishman,"
by John H. Edmonds

XIII. Form of Bequest

XIV. Officers since Organization
XV. Officers for 19 17 .

XVI. Membership List
XVII. Charter ....
XVIII. By-Laws ....



5

*9

21
23

25

26

40
42
43








44






72






73






74






75






95


,




. 96



Committee on Publications



John W. Farwell
Albert Matthews



Fitz-Henry Smith, Jr.
Francis H. Brown



The Clerk



BOSTONIAN SOCIETY.



THIRTY-SIXTH ANNUAL MEETING




>)$|g)HE Thirty-sixth Annual Meeting of the
Bostonian Society was held in the Council
Chamber of the Old State House, Boston,
on Tuesday, January 16, 19 17, at 3 P. M.,
in accordance with a notice mailed to every
member. The President, Grenville H. Nor-
cross, occupied the chair.

The records of the last monthly meeting were read and
approved, and the following Reports were presented.

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE DIRECTORS

To the Members of the Bostonian Society : —

Your Directors have the honor of presenting their Annual
Report for the past year : —

MEMBERSHIP.

At the close of the year there were in the Society :

Honorary Members .... 3

Life Members ..... 659
Annual Members .... 474



Making a total of . . . 1,136

A comparison of this record with that of one year ago,
shows that the Society has gained twenty-nine members.



An analysis of the Membership Rolls shows the following
changes : —

HONORARY MEMBERS.

There were at the close of the year 191 5 3
Added by election o

Making the present number . . 3

LIFE MEMBERS.

There were at the close of the year 19 15 644
Added by election and transfer . -33



Making 677

Loss by deaths . . . . .18



Making the present number . 659



ANNUAL MEMBERS.



There were at the close of the year 191 5 461
Added by election .... 47



Making 508

Loss by deaths, transfers, resignations, etc. 34



Making the present number . . 474

MONTHLY MEETINGS.

During the year 19 16 the following papers have been read
before the Society at its Monthly Meetings, in the Council
Chamber :

January 18: Annual Meeting. Annual Reports of the
President, the Treasurer, and the various Committees. Also
" Benjamin Franklin, An Appreciation," by Marshall P.
Thompson.

February 15:" The Birth and the Babyhood of the Tele-
phone," by Thomas A. Watson.



March 21:" Substitute Currency in Boston during the
Civil War," by Harry A. Gray.

April 18: "Old Boston," written by the late Edwin M.
Bacon and read by the Clerk of the Society.

May 23: "Dorman Mahoone, alis Mathews; an early
Boston Irishman," by John H. Edmonds.

October 17: "The Arlington Street Church, with special
reference to the Ministry of the Rev. William Ellery Chan-
ning, D. D.," by Miss Eva Channing.

November 21 : "The Howard Athenaeum," by John
Bouve Clapp.

December 19: "Storms and Shipwrecks in Boston Bay
and the Record of the Life Savers of Hull," by Fitz Henry
Smith, Jr.

NECROLOGY.

During the year we have learned of the deaths of the fol-
lowing members of the Society :

Died in 1915.

Miss Amy Louisa Mayo, born in Boston, January 23, 185 1,
died in West Newton, March 30.

James Madison Riley, born in Newry, Me., January 24, 1837,
died in Medford, August 25.

Died in 19 16.

Archibald Murray Howe, born in Northampton, May 20,
1848, died in Cambridge, January 6.

Timothy Aloysius Gallivan, born in Boston, June 21, 1858,
died in Jamaica Plain, January 12.

Charles Henry Calhoun Brown, born in Portsmouth, N. H.,
March 16, 1839, died in Brookline, January 19.

Mrs. Lucy Ann Norcross, born in Boston, October 13,
1 8 16, died in Boston, February 13.

Edwin Munroe Bacon, born in Providence, R. I., October
20, 1844, died in Boston, February 24.



Miss Augusta Magee Brown, born in Boston, July 13, 1822,
died in Boston, March 2.

Henry Pelham Curtis, born in Boston, July 24, 1847, died
in Boston, March 3.

Frederick Lewis Gay, born in Boston, October 28, 1856,
died in Brookline, March 3.

Frederick Thayer Hunt, born in East Weymouth, Septem-
ber 11, 1857, died in East Weymouth, March 8.

John Hopewell, born in Greenfield, February 2, 1845, died
in Washington, D. C, March 28.

Mrs. Susan Eliza Blume, born in Eliot, Me., April 25, 1836,
died in Boston, May 3.

James Longley, born in Boston, January 13, 1840, died in
Boston, May 9.

Frank Ernest Simpson, born in Boston, February 5, 1859,
died in Boston, May 21.

Mrs. Mary Emma Sullivan, born in South Acton, April 4,
1856, died in Manchester, July 2.

John Francis Currant, born in Boston, June 27, 1828, died
in Somerville, July 19.

Mrs. Rebecca Bennett Warren, born in Billerica, June 1,
1 8 19, died in Boston, July 31.

George Augustus Gardner, born in Boston, September 30,
1829, died in Boston, August 6.

Edward Reynolds Andrews, born in Boston, December 22,
183 1, died in Putney, Vt., August 6.

Charles Jackson Paine, born in Boston, August 26, 1833,
died in Weston, August 12.

Charles Lewis Austin, born in Boston, April 17, 1845,
died in Rye Beach, N. H., August 13.

Warren Fisher Gay, born in Swampscott, July 24, 1866,
died in Boston, August 26.

McDonald Ellis White, born in Boston, June 11, 1863, died
in Etna, Me., October 12.

Albert Cyrus Warren, born in St. Louis, Mo., March 18,
1852, died in Brookline, November 10.



Percival Lowell, born in Boston, March 13, 1855, died in
Flagstaff, Ariz., November 12.

Miss Helen Grenville Stevens, born in Boston, November
29, 185 1, died in Boston, November 15.

Livingston Cushing, born in Boston, June 29, 1856, died in
New Haven, Conn., November 25.

Ernest Lewis Gay, born in Boston, December 14, 1874,
died on a New Haven-Boston train, November 25.

Bayard Thayer, born in Boston, April 3, 1862, died in Lan-
caster, November 29.

Charles Richard Batt, born in Fall River, May 24, 1842,
died in Newton, December 9.

Charles Henry Hersey, born in Jamaica Plain, July 27,
1 83 1, died in Roxbury, December 9.

Mrs. Mary Rice Bremer, born in Boston, August 26, 1841,
died in Boston, December 12.

Jerome Jones, born in Athol, October 13, 1837, died in
Brookline, December 13.

Herbert Jaques, born in Framingham, January 23, 1857,
died in Boston, December 21.

Messrs. Curtis, Cushing, Gallivan, E. L. Gay, F. L. Gay,
Jones, Longley, Lowell, Riley, Simpson, Thayer, Warren and
White, Mrs. Blume, Mrs. Bremer, Mrs. Norcross, Miss Mayo
and Miss Stevens were life members. Messrs. Andrews, Aus-
tin, Bacon, Batt, Brown, Currant, Gardner, W. F. Gay, Hersey,
Hopewell, Howe, Hunt, Jaques and Paine, Mrs. Sullivan,
Mrs. Warren and Miss Brown were annual members.

Henry Pelham Curtis was a regular attendant at our meet-
ings as long as his health permitted, and showed his interest
in the Society by his gift several years ago of the Curtis
Collection of Photographs of Boston about the middle of the
nineteenth century.

The three brothers, Frederick Lewis Gay, Warren Fisher
Gay and Ernest Lewis Gay, have all died during the past



IO

year ; all were members of the Society, and Ernest Lewis
Gay had served for four years as a member of the Committee
on Publications. At his funeral at St. Paul's Cathedral on
November 28, the Society was represented by the President
and Messrs. John H. Edmonds and Charles F. Read.

Three of our deceased members had each passed her nine-
tieth year — Miss Augusta M. Brown, 93, Mrs. William Wil-
kins Warren, 97, and Mrs. Otis Norcross, 99. On the one
hundredth anniversary of the birth of Mrs. Norcross, October
13, 19 16, the Society received the sum of one thousand dol-
lars to form the Lucy Ann Norcross memorial fund.

Mr. Charles J. H. Woodbury, President of the Lynn His-
torical Society and Vice-President of the Bay State Historical
League, died in that city on March 20, 1916, and your Presi-
dent with Messrs. Henry F. Tapley, John Woodbury and the
Clerk represented this Society at the funeral services at his
late residence in Lynn on the 23rd.

There have been two changes this year in the custodians
of the Society. Mr. John W. Kennington who had served us
faithfully and efficiently for seven years, after several weeks
illness died at his home in Dedham on June 19, and the
President, Messrs. Manning and Read attended the funeral at
Dedham on June 22d. Mr. James W. Robinson, an intelli-
gent and faithful custodian for nine years became unable on
account of illness to continue his work and after a month's
vacation, ended his services here in November. The places
so made vacant have been filled by Messrs. Herbert E. Bur-
rage and Henry M. Nourse.

On Monday, March 1 3th, two tablets erected by this Society
and the New England Telephone & Telegraph Company,
were unveiled by Prof. Alexander Graham Bell, one at Court
Street, marking the place where the telephone was discovered,
the other at Exeter Place, where the first spoken sentence
over the telephone was transmitted forty years before. Mr.
Courtenay Guild, Chairman of the Committee on Memorials,



II

introduced Professor Bell, and many of our members were
present. In the evening the Clerk, Mr. Read, was a guest
at the dinner to Professor Bell at the Boston City Club and
spoke in behalf of this Society ; he also attended the dinner
to Mr. Thomas A. Watson at the same Club on April 20th.

On March 31st, Mr. Read represented the Society as its
delegate at the Centennial Anniversary of St. Matthew's
Parish at its church on Broadway, South Boston ; — this is
the oldest religious organization in that part of the city.

On Wednesday, June 14th, the new buildings of the Mas-
sachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge were dedi-
cated and the Society was represented by the President,
Messrs. Charles F. Read and Babson S. Ladd.

Saturday, June 1 7th, Colonial Wars markers were unveiled
in the cemetery in that town by the Dover Historical Society,
and a meeting was held in its building at which your President
spoke for the Bostonian Society. Messrs. Watkins, Noyes,
and Dr. Charles M. Green also attended.

On June 17th, Mr. Read attended the dedication of the
new building of the Framingham Historical Society and ex-
tended the greetings of our Society.

On Monday, June 26th, your President spoke for the So-
ciety at the dinner of the Boston Old School Boys Associa-
tion at the Atlantic House, Nantasket Beach.

Tuesday, June 27th, the President, Mr. George K. Clarke,
Mrs. Marrs, Dr. J. Collins Warren and others attended a re-
ception by the Society for the Preservation of New England
Antiquities at the Samuel Fowler house in Danversport.

On Friday, August 4th, a tablet erected by the lawyers of
Boston at the birth-place of Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw in
West Barnstable was unveiled, your President, Messrs. Bab-
son S. Ladd, William V. Kellen and others of this Society
being present.

On Monday, September 25th, the Boston Chamber of Com-
merce held a meeting in the Council Chamber of the Old
State House in commemoration of the two hundredth anni-



12

versary of the lighting of Boston Light, at the entrance of
Boston Harbor. Your President was asked to preside and
addresses were made by Governor McCall, Hon. William C.
Redfield, Secretary of Commerce in the Cabinet of President
Wilson, and Dr. Edward M. Hartwell of the Boston Statistics
Department. In the morning a tablet at the Lighthouse
had been unveiled by Secretary Redfield in behalf of the
United States, and the afternoon meeting adjourned to the
Old Beacon Club House on Point Allerton from which the
company watched the lighting of the lantern of Boston Light
at the beginning of the 201st year, and enjoyed a Cape Cod
clambake afterwards.

On Monday, October 16th, the President attended the
exercises of Ether Day at the Massachusetts General Hospi-
tal and the dedication of the Moseley Administration Build-
ing — a memorial to William Oxnard Moseley, M. D., who
lost his life on the Matterhorn in 1879.

On Thursday, October 19th, the President and Messrs.
Read and Watkins, represented the Society at the flag raising
by the John Adams Chapter, Daughters of the Revolution at
their building in Quincy, — the birthplace of President John
Adams.

On Friday, November 3d, your President attended the un-
veiling of a tablet by the Rhode Island Historical Society in
memory of Major Samuel Appleton of Ipswich, on the island
in the Great Swamp at South Kingston, R. I., the site of the
fort of the Narragansett Indians.

On Friday, December 22d, the Curtis Guild Memorial steps
on Boston Common opposite Joy Street were dedicated and a
bas relief of Governor Guild in the State House was unveiled,
— the Society was represented at these exercises by Messrs.
Courtenay Guild, Charles F. Read and others.

Monday, December 31st, your President attended the ser-
vices at the First Parish meeting-house (Unitarian) in Bed-
ford in celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the
erection of the present building.



13

The thirty-fifth anniversary of the incorporation of this
Society took place on Saturday, December 2d, and was
noticed by a luncheon at the University Club given by the
President to the Board of Directors and members of the
Committees.

During the year the old six-mile stone spoken of in the last
report has been reset on Harvard Avenue in Allston, at the
expense of a number of our members.

On the petition of the Society the Commonwealth appro-
priated the money and the Governor appointed a commission
of which Mr. Courtenay Guild, of our Committee on Memo-
rials is Chairman, to erect a monument in memory of the
Chevalier de Saint Sauveur at or near King's Chapel ; this
monument will soon be ready for unveiling.

The Bay State Historical League has held three meetings
this year; on Saturday, March 28th, with the Bostonian
Society at the Old State House, one hundred and twenty-five
being present. Frank Smith, President of the League and of
the Dover Historical Society presided, and after a welcome
from your President, Mr. Worthington C. Ford of the Massa-
chusetts Historical Society read a paper on " The Functions
of Local Historical Societies," which was discussed by Messrs.
Parmenter, Clarke, Mann, and others. After the meeting
those present were invited to Young's Hotel for afternoon
tea by your President who was assisted at the tables by Mrs.
Marrs, Miss Comer, Miss Manning and Miss Kelly, all mem-
bers of this Society.

On Saturday, June 10th, the annual meeting was held with
the Canton Historical Society at its building in Canton. Mr.
Smith of the Dover Historical Society was reelected Presi-
dent and your President was reelected a member of the Ex-
ecutive Committee.

On Saturday, October 24th, the fall meeting of the League
was held with the Mendon Historical Society in the Town
Hall at Mendon, visiting between luncheon and the meeting,
" Founders Field " and Nipmuc Lake. At all these meetings



14

this Society was represented by your President and delegates
and other members. The delegates from this Society are
now Messrs. William Rotch and George Kuhn Clarke with
your President.

The reports of the various committees will give more in de-
tail the activities of each department of the Society.

Respectfully submitted for the Directors,

Grenville H. Norcross,
Boston, January l6, 1917.. President.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE ROOMS.

The most interesting relic which has been placed in the
Collections of the Society during the past year is the wooden
figure known to several generations of Bostonians as the
" Little Admiral." The sign of the " Little Admiral " has
been displayed on State Street for nearly a century and a
half.

The following facts concerning the figure have kindly been
contributed by Mr. Walter K. Watkins, a member of the
Society :

It was first placed in front of the Crown Coffee House in
1770. This resort was at Number One, Long Wharf, now
the corner of State and Chatham Streets, the site of the new
building of the Fidelity Trust Company. It designated the
shop of William Williams, mathematical instrument-maker.
His advertisement can be seen in the Boston Gazette of 1 2
March, 1770. In the same issue appears an account of the
Boston Massacre. Among the victims of the affray was
Samuel Maverick, who was Williams' half-brother, his mother,
Mary Williams, a widow, having married as his second wife,
20 January, 1748/9, Jotham Maverick. The father of William
Williams was Captain John Williams, a shopkeeper of Bos-
ton, who died 22 March, 1748, at the age of forty-one, and
is buried in the King's Chapel Burial Ground. He left a
substantial estate of £6575, of which .£4544-9-4 was for




THE LITTLE ADMIRAL



i5

goods in his shop. One of the appraisers of the estate was
Jotham Maverick who married the widow. Besides his estate
he left five children: Mary, born, 1734; John, born 1736;

William, born ; Robert, born 1739, and Elizabeth.

William Williams obtained the Crown Coffee House estate
by his marriage in 1773 to Joyce, daughter of Robert Shill-
cock, the owner. This was not till 1782, however, as Shill-
cock's widow, Hannah, did not die till that year.

During the Revolution Williams saw active service as a
private in 1777-9 in Capt. Mills' company, Col. Jeduthan
Baldwin's regiment of artificers. In 1780 he was in Capt.
Pattin's company, Gen. Henry Knox's artillery, stationed at
West Point.

Williams died 15 January, 1792, aged forty-four. In set-
tling his estate, by order of the Supreme Court, his store, 1
Long Wharf, was sold at public auction. It was not the orig-
inal building of the Crown Coffee House, but a building
erected after 1 780 when the Coffee House was burnt.

In 1755, Mary, sister of William Williams, married Joseph
Helyer, blockmaker, of Boston.

14 June, 1792, six months after the death of William
Williams, Polly, the daughter of Joseph and Mary (Williams)
Helyer, married Samuel Thaxter, a native of Hingham. Thax-
ter succeeded to the business of Williams at 1 Long Wharf.
A month after the sale of the property at auction, the follow-
ing notice appeared in the Columbian Centinel, 22 May,
1793:

" Samuel Thaxter

Mathematical Instrument Maker

Respectfully informs the Public and his Customers, that

he has removed from No. 1 Long Wharf to No. 9 Butler's

Row

Where he has for Sale
A very neat Sextant, and a large assortment of Hadley's
Quadrants, Davis' do., sea Books, and Charts, Scales
and Dividers, guaging and surveying Instruments pocket



i6

Compasses, binnicle and cabin Compasses, Spy Glasses,
among which are some very neat pocket ones — all of
which may be had at the lowest price. N. B. Quadrants
and Compasses repaired at short notice."

9 Butler's Row (in the rear of the north side of State,
running from Merchants Row to the water) was a wooden
store on the north side of the Row, owned by Andrew Hall
and Eunice Fitch in 1798.

By 1796 Thaxter had removed to the north side of State
Street at No. 49, a brick store owned by Joseph Lovering &
Sons, tallow chandlers, opposite to Broad Street. He con-
tinued on the north side of the street up to 181 5. He then
moved to the opposite side of the street to the store num-
bered 27 State Street. This was the brick dwelling house of
William Clough, housewright, opposite Merchants Row. Pre-
vious to 1825, 1 State Street was the south corner of Wash-
ington and State. The numbers ran consecutively to Long
Wharf and then up State to the north corner of Washing-
ton Street. After 1825 the numbers were even on the north
side and odd numbers on the south side.

About this last date Thaxter removed to 125 State Street,
the east corner of Broad. The building 125 State was occu-
pied also by Charles Stimpson, Junior, a stationer, who was
one of the publishers of the " Boston Annual Advertiser "
annexed to the Boston Directory of 1826. In the cellar of
the building was Augustus Adams, victualler. The building
was owned by Jonathan Phillips.

Porter, in his " Rambles about Boston," connects the statue
with the Admiral Vernon Tavern on the east corner of Mer-
chants Row. The sign of that tavern was a bust portrait of
the admiral and it was known as the Vernon Head Tavern
for half a century, even after the Revolution.

The effigy has now come into a snug harbor in the Council
Chamber through the generosity of several members of the
Society.




VASE PRESENTED TO THE BOSTONIAN SOCIETY BY THE
DESCENDANTS OF GEN. SAMUEL ANDREWS



17

The Committee is glad to announce that the ancient wood
panel oil painting of the Hancock House which has been
loaned to the Collections for many years by Mrs. Louisa C.
Bacon, a member, has now by her generosity, come into the
possession of the Society. Relics of the Hancock House and
its famous owner, John Hancock, are always interesting to
Bostonians. When the publishing firm of Ginn & Co. re-
moved after several years occupancy of the Brewer house,
which with the Beebe house, was built in 1865 on the site of
the Hancock House, the firm gave to the Society a valuable
collection of Hancock documents and steel portraits which
it had acquired from time to time. These have now been
grouped in the Patriots' Room in close proximity to another
Hancock Collection and are worthy of inspection.

A silver pitcher, notable for historic interest and beautiful
workmanship, has recently been placed in the Collections.
The pitcher, which was made of three hundred Mexican dol-
lars was given to Samuel Andrews on July 4, 1844, at the
time he relinquished the captaincy of the militia company
known as the Boston Tigers. General Andrews was well
known for his long service in the Massachusetts Militia, and
his descendants have placed this relic among the treasures
of the Old State House. The donors are Charles Stanley
Andrews, Katherine H. Andrews, Anson McLeod, and
Miriam McLeod Christie.

An interesting relic of the Webster family has come to us
from Mr. Otis Norcross, a member. This is a pair of gold
link cuff buttons which were owned by Daniel Webster. At
his death in 1852 they came into the possession of his son,
Col. Fletcher Webster, and were worn by him when he fell
at the second battle of Bull Run in 1862 in the Civil War.
Mrs. Fletcher Webster gave them to Mrs. John P. Healy
of Boston and she gave them to Mr. Norcross.

Mr. Henry B. Kelley of Dorchester gave to the Society an
oil painting by him of the first church edifice of St. Matthew's
Protestant Episcopal Parish on Broadway, South Boston.



i8

The church was built in 1816 and taken down in 1868. This
parish which celebrated its centennial anniversary during the
past summer, is the oldest religious organization in South
Boston.

There has been added to the Collections a bust of James
Savage, 1 784-1 873, a well known Bostonian of his time ; and
also from the same source, the Savage family cradle in which
several generations of the family have been rocked.

During the past year the Society has received, through the
Committee, the sum of $190.17 from the sale of prints and
souvenirs, and there has been expended the sum of $738.23
for the purchase of prints and souvenirs, and for the care and
maintenance of the rooms.

For the Committee,

Francis H. Manning, Joseph G. Minot,

Charles H. Taylor, Henry W. Cunningham,

COURTENAY GUILD, THE PRESIDENT,

The Clerk.

Charles F. Read,
December 31, igi6. Clerk.



19



ADDITIONS BY GIFT AND LOAN
TO THE SOCIETY'S COLLECTIONS, 1916.



DESCRIPTION.



Andrews,Gen. Sam-
uel, Descendants
of the late

Bacon, Mrs. Louisa
C.

Blake, Henry S.



Brown, T. Hassall

Calumet and Hecla
Mining Co.

Ellis, Arthur B.

Ginn and Co.



Goodspeed, Charles
E.

Holland, Miss E.


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