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Proceedings of the Rhode Island Historical Society (Volume 31) online

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Francis Brixley Charles W. Parsons

Amos Peuuy

Ricii.MONi) r. Everett

standing committees

On J^oiuinaliovs

AllxTt \'. Jencks AVillinni Stnples

W. M.'ixwcll Groonc

On her In res

Amos Perry ^^'iHi;lnl (iiuiiinell

Barnubas 1>. Ilammnnd


On Tiu'ihlirKj (iiuJ Groiivds

Isaac IT. Southwick Ileiirv J. Steere

Koyal C. Taft

On fhf Lihrrrnj

Charles W. Parsons A^'il]ialll V>. Wceden

Stephen IT. Arnold

On T*nhlic((i'if>ni<

George M. Carpenter Elisha li. Andrews

William F. B. Jackson

On (Jenfah)(flr((l TiPsen rchos

Henry E. Tnrner Horatio Rogers

.lohn (). Austin

Audit Coinniitfee

John P. A\'alkei' Lewis J. Cliace

Edwin Barrows

P roe nra tors

For Xewport, (Jeorge C. Mason

Woonsocket, Erastus Richardson

Scituate, Charles II. Fisher

Pawtucket, Emery H. Porter

North Kingstown, David S. Baker, jr.

Hopkinton, George H. Olney

Hamilton, James N. Arnold

barren, Lewis H. Meadei-



kiiodp: island historical society,


At a meeting' of tlio Society held Janiinrv 27. 1885 Professor
Albert Ilarkness read a paper on "Athens in the age of Peri-
cles," illustrated by maps and diagrams.

At a meeting held February 10, 1885 Mrs Martha J. Lamb
of Xew York city rend a paper on "The Frnniers of the Con-

At a meeting held February 24, 1885 the Kev. James M.
Taylor of Providence read a j)apcr on "The TiiHiicncc of the
Crusaders in European history."

At a meeting held March 10, 1885 the Kev. Carlton A. Sta-
])les of Lexington, Mass., read a pajx'r on "The social and
religious life of a country town one hundred and twenty five years
ago," having especial reference to the town of Lexington. The
subject was further discussed l)y Mr Alfred Stone, the l\v\ .
Thomas R. Slicer and the President.

At a meeting held March 24, 1885 the Hon. Thomas Diir-
i'ee, Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, read
a paper on "The Transcendental Movement in New England a
half-century ago." The subject was further discussed by Pro-
fessor John L. Lincoln and the President.


At the quarterly meeting held April 7, 1885 tlie Librarian
i-eported that there had been received during the past quarter
116 bound volumes, 330 pamphlets and 13 unclassified objects
such as engravings, manuscripts and historical memorials. A
letter was received from the Hon. William A. Courtenay of
Charleston, South Carolina, presenting a heliotype copy of the
Great Seal of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina \vithy«c simile
copies of their autograph signatures, and the thanks of the So-
ciety were desired to be returned to Mr Courtenay. Tlie Com-
mittee on Publications laid before the Society a communication
from the New Haven Colonial Historical Society regarding the
proposed publication of the Diary of the Rev. Dr. Ezra Stiles,
jjart of which relates to Rhode Island history ; and the commu-
nication was referred to the same committee with power to act.
Messrs. John P. Walker, David S. Baker, Jr., Henry T. Beck-
with, James E. Cranston and Richmond P. Everett were
appointed a conunittee with power to arrange for a field-day
during the month of June. INIr George INI. Carpenter, the
Rev. James M. Taylor and Mr Daniel Berkeley Updike of
Providence and Mr Harold Brown of Newport were elected res-
ident membei-s. The President read a biographical sketch of
Isaac Miles Bull,* which was received too late to be })rinted in
the Proceedings of last year.

At the meeting held A])ril 21, 1885 Professor Elisha B. An-
drews read a pa])er on "The Founding of tlie English State."
The subject was further discussed by the Hon. Charles S. Brad-
lev, the Hon. Benjamin F. Thurston and the President.

At the quarterly meeting held July 7, 1885 the Secretary
laid before the Society a communication from the Hon. Elisha
Dvcrres])ecting the ])ro])osed publication of certain j)aj)ers which
Imd been gi\('n to Mr Dyer by Mr Chai'les Danforth with the
understanding that they should be j)rinted ; and the comminii-
cation was i-ctcrrcd to the Committee on Publications. Tlie

*The paper is pviiited in tliis volume under the head of "Necrolog>-."


Librarian rt'jjortcd rliat tluMX' lia<l l)C'cn rccciNcd durini;" the pai^t
quarter 14<S l)oun(l voluuK'ti, 44") painphlett; and /)4 misecllaneons
ohjeotti. Mr John r. Walker reported that the sum of $(580
hud been eollected and phiced in the hands of" the Treasurer as
a Publication Fund : and the tiianks of the Soeit'ty were ex-
tended to Mr AValker for iiis \ahiable ser\ iee in this matter.
Mr Walker also reported ix'gardin<i' the fiidd-day which was held
at ^^'i(•kford. 'i'he Hon. Charles II. Pai^e of Scituate was
elected a resident mend)er and Mr Albert J. Jones of Rome,
Italy, and Mr Sanuiel Briy,<;s of Cleveland, Ohio, were elected
corresponding mendjcrs. ^Messrs. Bai'nabas H. Ilannnond, Ho-
ratio Rogers, John P. Walker, William Staples and Isaac H.
Southwick were a[)pointcd a connuittee to devise a j)lan for the
observance of the 2.')()th anniversary of the settlement of Provi-
dence. The President, on belialf of Dr. (ieorge L. Collins,
presented to the Society a manuscript paper entitled "".Vn Ac-
count of the Malignant, Remitting, Bilious, or Yellow Fever,
in Providence from 171)1 to 171)7 inclusive, with Miscellaneous
^otes and Ol^servations by Moses Brown."*

At the (juarterly meeting held October (J, 1885 a communi-
cation was received from the Royal Society of Xorthern Anti(pia-
rians at Copenhagen announcing the death on the 1 .")th of August
last of J. J. A, \^^orsaee, the distinguished Vice-President of
that society. The Librarian re})orted that theiv had been re-
ceived during the past quarter 81) boimd xolumes, Hl)2 |)am]>h-
lets and 1)2 miscellaneous objects. The special committee
appointed at the last (piartei'ly meeting tt) de\ ise a [ilan tor the
observance of the 2.")()th anniversary of the settlement of Pro\i-
dcncc reported progress ; w^hereupon the connuittee were au-
thorized to confer with the committee o\' the City Council of
Providence and coiiperate with them in regard to a ])lan lor the
celebration. The following resolutions were ado])ted.

Retiolved ^ That this society learns with satisfaction ilmt its
respected mend)er Mr .lohn Osborn Austin is engaged in the
preparation of a (lenealogical Dictionary, endtracing sketches

^ kiiodp: island iustokk'al society.

of the first three or four r)enerations of the families whieli
settled within the present limits of Rhode Island before 1690.
Ile.sol red , That having eonfidence in Mr Anstin's ability to
])roduee \v(n'k creditable to himself and iisefid to uenealoirieal
students, this society reconnnends his enterprise to the favorable
consideration of the })nl)lic.

^Messrs. William .V. Tucker and Kichaid S. Ilowland of
Providence were elected resident members.

At the meeting held Noveml)er o, 18^") the President read a
})a})er* on "The Hngiienots and the Edict of Nantes,"' and the
subject was further discussed by the Rev. Ur James G. Vose.

At the meeting held November 17, lS8o Professor John L.
Lincoln read a paper pre})ared l)y Miss Esther Bernon Carpen-
ter of South Kingstown on "The Huguenot Influence in Rhode
Island. "f

At the meeting held December 1, 1(S(S,") Mr Amasa M. Eaton
read a paper on "French Spoliation Claim and Rhode Island
Claimants. "+

At the meeting held December 15, 1885 Mr Carl AV. Ernst
of J^oston read a [)aper on "The Honorable Historv of the
Tnited Stati's in the Tlicory and Pi'actice of Intel-national I^aw,
with special reference to Ilenrv Wheaton." The Hon. Al)raham
Payni' read a paper gi\ ing a sketch ot the personal and social
liic and character of Mr Wheaton. Tlu' Hon. Charles S. Brad-
ley and the President made brief addi-esses pertinent to tlie lOOth
anniversary of the birth of Mr Wheaton.

At the meeting held l)eceml)er 2!t. l.SS;") Mr (ieorge C. 'Sla-
son, jr., of Newport read a paper on '• Ap]>renticeship and th(>
Manual Training- Svstein."

*Tlic piipcr lias been published in accordance wiih ilie reiiuesl of ihe Society.
t'J'lie paper is printed in this volume.
JThis paper has been elsewhere published.


The t?i.\ty-toiirtli annual nicetinj^' wui? held Jamiarv 12, I8^(i,
the Pix'.'^ident in the chair.

Keportts were [Mcsentcd hy the Trc'a.suivr, the Committee on
Hnihling and ( irounds, tlie Committee on the Library, tlic Com-
mittee on Piihlieations and Messrs. Mason, iNIeader and Porter
of the Procurators.

^lessrs. Pichai'd Aldrich, Joseph Dews, James A. Reid,
Walter 1>. SAvartz. Fred 1. Marev, Welcome A. Greene, Dan-
iel 11. Ballon and Kichard W . Comstock were elected resident
mem hers.

The Piesident lead iiis amuial address, and the same, and the
rt'|)orts of ofHcers and conunittees, were referred to the Com-
mittee on Publications.

It was voted that a tax of three dollars be assessed on each
resilient mend)er to defray the e.\|)enses of the current year.

It was voted that five hundred copies of the proceetHnii's be
|»ul)lished, to include the ])a])ers of President Gammell on "The
IIu<:uenots and the Edict of Nantes" and of Miss Estlier Bernon
Carpenter on "The Huguenot Influence in Khode Island," pro-
vided tlie whole expense of the publication dt) not exceed one
hundi-ed and se\ cnty-ti\c doUars.*

The oilieers of the Society for the ensuing year were ek'cted.
The names of the officers are [)rinted elsewhere in this volmne.

*Tlic paper of the rrcsiJciit lias been scparalcly piibliblicd 'tlic paper uf Miss Carpenlcr is
printed ill this voluiiic.




GerUlonen of the llifitorical Society: —

In accordance with established usage, }i)u will expect me to
present to you a brief statement of the work and progress of
the Society during the year which is now closing. There have
been very few changes or incidents of any kind of much impor-
tance, and many of these will be set forth in the reports of the
standing connnittees. The number of volumes pamphlets and
documents of various kinds which has been added to our collec-
tion is 2262, of which 42S) were bound volumes, 16()(:> were
pamphlets and KiT were miscellaneous. This number is con-
siderably smaller than tliat reported in either of the two vears
innncdiately j)receding. In both those years, however, the So-
ciety was the recipient of s})ecial benefactions. It does not now
vary in any considerable degree from the average of other recent
years. We still invite the peojjle of the State who may be in
possession of articles of historical interest or value to deposit
them in the charge of the Society. Thus, and tlnis alone, will
they l)e sure to be preser\ed for any future ])ublic or ])rivate
use which they may be fitted to subserve. To receive such ar-
ticles of e\ery kind and to preserve them for the purj)oscs I have
indicated, is one of the U'ading objects for which this Society-
was formed and which it is sti'iving to accom])lish. Its rcprescn-
tives are therefore always glad to receive not only c\ erything that
mav serve as material for our h)cal historv, but cxcrvthintr that
may throw light upon it ever so indirectly, e\ei-ythiiig that max


assist in studying it in any of its departments. We shall be
glad to gather in our Cabinet building not only materials and
aids tor explaining the history of every part of Rhode Island,
l)ut to make it, so far as practicable, a historical museum in
which are collected curious relics of all former generations.

Commendable progress has been made in the important work
of cataloauino;, numberini; and i)hu'in<>- on slielves the large ac-
cumulations which have long been gathering at the Cabinet.
This work was begun, according to the system now in use,
more than five years ago. It has been diligently prosecuted
from that time to the present by the Librarian, Mr. Perry and
his assistant, Mr. Smith. A large part of the books, pamph-
lets and materials of all kinds have been arranged and cata-
looued till the existing; shelf-room for receivinij them is nearly
filled. The work in consequence must soon be suspended, or
at best carried on in some modified form, till we are able to ex-
tend our shelves. Its suspension, I need not say, would be a
detriment to the work and even to the general interests of the
Society of ^ery serious import ; for it would delay the labor of
])utting the remainder of our books, papers and manuscripts,
manv of them of great value, in a condition in which they could
be consulted or in any way used for historical purposes. It
would be an admission on our part that we are no longer able to
])rovide suitable places of deposit or catalogues for the articles that
may be sent to us for perpetiuil preservation and for use. This
would be an admission unbecoming an association of highminded
men. I do not mean to convey the impression that we are not
able to receive at the Cabinet all that may be sent to us, and t»»
keep it all in safety. This we certainly can do till all the space
under our roof is occupied in one way or another. But this
would be very tar from the true idea of the Cabinet of a histor-
ical society. To solicit the contribution of materials for history
and to accept them w hen they are brought to us, is only the
smallest part of what is rightly expected of us. We enter, as
it wei'C, into an agreement not onlv to receive and acknowledge


and give tliem house room, 1)ut also to keep them in such con-
dition as will allow them to be inspected, consulted or used when
the occasion may refpiire. To fail in this would obviously be to
fail in the obligations which we assume when we accept the gifts
of others. We immediately become trustees of Avhat we thus re-
ceive, and we bind ourselves to fulfill the special conditions in
accordance with which such deposits are made.

At former annual meetings, as well as on other occasions, 1
have fully expressed my a})preciation of tlie necessity of enlarged
acconunodations, such as are required for the fulfilbnent of the
obligations of the Society, as well as for all its interests. An
enlargement of the Cabinet building. I think, has become indis-
sensable, unless we are ready to abandon the position which we
have aspired to occupy. If, however, this is deemed im})racti-
cable at the present time, 1 think that some temporary readjust-
ment of our ])resent space should innnediately be made that will
enable us properly to put in order and to catalogue all the arti-
cles now in om- possession or likely soon to be received by us.
Materials foi- history, piled miscellaneously in oiu- galleries, are
undoubtedly in a safer condition than when in private hands, but
they are certainly not more useful. They are not so cared for or
so prepared for being consulted, as to fulfill even the most mod-
erate expectations of those who bring them to us. I therefore
take the liberty to reconuncnd that some suitable action be im-
mediately taken as to this whole subject, as one that concerns
the responsibility and the honor of the Society.

In no ])receding year, as I am informed, have oiu* collections
been so largely resorted to for purposes of historical inquiry.
This is especially true in the department of genealogy, in which
our larffe collections aic found to be exceedin<>lv useful. The
practical interest in this class of incpiiries is constantly inciras-
ing, for interest in ancestry is always the result of progress in
civilization. Intelligent people everywhere are beginning to in-
(|uire into the origin and descent of the families to which they
belong. This is no dictate of family pride, still less of personal


j)retension, l)ut :i nafiiial imi)iil.s(' ofeAorv tlioiightt'nl and liberal
minfl. Xo better illustration of" tins could be desired than is
to be found in the fact that an accomplished New England mas-
ter in this class of in(|niries, Mr. Henry F. Waters, has gone to
reside in London for the special })urpose of tracing in English
record offices, the history of American families of English de-
scent. Nor can I forbear to express the high appreciation in
which I hold tlu- labors of oiu' associate. Mr. J. (). Austin, who
has been long engaged in preparing an elaborate work, soon to
be published in two (piarto volumes, and to be entitled "The
(ienealogical Dictionary ot Khode Island: Comprising Three
(generations of the Settlers who came before KJHO." I lia\t'
carefully examined the [)lan of the work and the specimen pages
which are set forth in the pnjspectus. and J cannot doubt that it
will pi'ove ti> be not only a complete account of the families it is
designed to embrace, but also a very important compilation of
materials for the history of the State during the period to which it
ic'lates. The annotations by the compiler, of which specimens
are given, abound in matters of curious interest that illustrate
what were the most conmion forms of property, the methods of
business and the modes of settling estates, in the period which it
embraces. The character of the work recalls the "(ienealogical
Dictionary of New England," by the late Mr. James Savage;
but being limited to our little State, it will comprise a far lai-ger
\ arietv of details in connection with each family name. I hope
it will be as usefid in the famih' history of earlv l\hodc Island
as the work of Mr. Sa\agc has been in that of early New

On the I'th of flune manv mcmlxTs of tlic Society, with ladies
in their companv, made an excursion to North Kingstown, for
the purpose of visitmg the spots of historical interest in that
ajicient part of the State. Among those who joined in the ex-
cursion were ex-(TO\ernor Littlefii'ld and His Excellency (to\ crn-
or Wetmore. The company proceeded by steamer to Wickford,
and were conveyed in carriages to a number of spots whose


names urc montioned in the earliest accounts of the Nari-agan-
sett countrv. Among these I can only mention the ancient St.
Paul's Church, noAv standing in the village of Wickford ; the
site of the i)lockhousc, built and owned hv Koger Williams
and Riclnird Smith, a portion of which was wrought into the
construction of the interesting mansion now standing on the site ;
a singular formation in a rock known as Devil's Foot, mentioned
in the letters of Mr. Williams : the site of another ancient block-
house on the line of the oldest Indian trail in Narragansett ; the
Rolling Hocks, the home of Canonicus. and perhaps the spot
where the deeds were signed conveying Rhode Island to the
settlers. The excursion was admirably arranged and conducted
by the gentlemen of the committee who had it in charge, and
was greatly enjoyed by all who shared in it.

The year 1885 brought with it the second centennial anniver-
sary of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, M^hich was pro-
mulgated October 22, 1685. It is an anniversary of sorrow and
suffering — of the culmination of a series of persecutions the
bloodiest and most cruel recorded in modern history. In at-
tempting to destroy the Huguenots of France, Louis XIV. ri-
Aalled the worst of the Roman emj)erors in the enormities which
they visited u])on the early Christians. The most conspicuous
result ot his fatal fanaticism was that it destroyed the lives or
produced the expatriation of nearly 300,000 of the most indus-
trious, the most intelligent and the most religious of the popu-
lation of France. Those who were not ])ut to a cruel death,
made their forbidden flii>ht secretlv and in diss'uise, to the Pro-
testant counti-ies of Europe and to the Knglisli colonies of
America. A\'her('\('r they went they carried habits of industry,
a knowledge of the iiscfnl arts, no inconsidei-able wealth and
high (jualitics oi' cjiai-actei-, |)ossessions wliicli in that age France
did not lose without calamitous conse(|uences to all her highest
interests. The names of many of those who came to our own
shores ha\(' been distinguished in American history, and their
descendants still deliuht to lionoi- the sacrifices and the \ irtues


of their ancestors. Tliey haw <iceor(lin<^ly made the recent
bi-centennial anniversary an occasion for forming- a Hnjjiienot
Historical Society, of whicli tlie seat is to he in New York. Its
design is to gather and j)reser\ e the memorials of the ])ersecuted
Huguenots who settled in America. The undertakinj; is ceitaiidv
worthy of all connnendation. tor it cannot fail to hrinu' into fnllei'
and juster appreciation the character and services ot this inter-
esting portion of the American [)eople.

The customary winter course of histoiicai papers at the piiMic
meetings of the Society held specially tor the pnr[)ose. has heen
very successfully maintained during the year. These meetings
have heen largely attended, and the papers whicli ha\(' l)een
read have awakened marked interest and have also t'ontrihutcd
to the increasing taste for historical studies which is so per-
ceptible in this conmuuiity. The following sul)jei-ts have heen
presented in cai'efullv prepared pajx-rs since our last annual
meeting :

I. "Athens in the Age of rericles," hy Piofessor Albert

n. "The Framers of the Constitution ofthernited States,"
l)y Mrs. Martha J. Land) of New York.

III. The Jnfluence of the Crusades in Huropeau llistoi\,""
by the Kev. James M. Taylor.

IV. "Social and Keligious Lite in a \ew England Conntrx-
Town One Hundred and Fifty Years Agt),"' by the Rev. Carlton
A. Staples of Lexington, ]\Liss.

V. "The Transcendental MoM'uient in Xcm Kngland." by
Chief Justice Durfee.

VI. "The Founding of the English State." hy PiolV'ssor
Elisha B. Andrews.

VH. "The Huguenots and the Edict of Nantes," by the
President of the Society.

A HI. "The Huguenot Influence in Ivhode I>huid."' w litten
l)y Miss Esther Hernon Carpenter, and read by Professor flohn
L. Lincoln.


IX. "The French Spolifition Claims and Ivhude Ishmd
Claimants," by Mr. Amasa M. Eaton.

X. "The Services of Henry Wheaton in International Law
and Diplomacy," hy Mr. Carl "\^^ Ernst of Boston, Mass.

XI. "Apprenticeship and tlie Manual Training System,"
by Mr. (Tcorge C. Mason, dr., of Newport.

During the year se\en of our resident members lune been
removed by death, viz. : Ciiarles D. Jillson, Simon Henry
Greene, P)enjamin Wood Ham, William Jones Cross, George
A. Pierce, Frederic Augustus Stanhope, Jaujcs Mason Clarke.
Brief notices of these our deceased associates will be j)ublishcd
with the proceedings of the year.

Of (jur coi'responding members we ha\(' also to record the
death of Franklin B. Hough, ]\I. I)., which took place at Low-
ville, N. Y., June 11, IcSS;'), in the sixtv-tiiird vear of his a<>e.
He was the author of many \aluable Avorks relating to local
history in New York and also in New Kugland, and was an
earnest promoter of ]iistt>rical studies. He was elected a cor-
res[)onding member of this Society in ISTT). and he has fir-
quently visited its Cabinet and made imixu'tant contributions to
its collectious.

'['he report of tiie conuuittee on the librai'v will contain a full
account of its pi'esent condition and also of the character of the
additions of exci'v kind which lia\e been uiaiU' (hu'iug the veai".
It will be seen that wc arc securing \olumcs and papers of such
importance and interest as should stimulate us to ca ery exertion
in our powci' not only to keep them w itli watchful preservation,
but also to use them for all the purposes thc\ are fitted to subscr\ e.
It will also appear from tlii^ report of the conuuittee on publica-
tion that a new Aohuue of our collections has been printe<l during
the year. It is the scxcnth in the published series of the Society
and contains, w ith its carefully prepared index, three hundred
and eighty pages. The noIuuu' was published in April. 1885,

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