THE Annual Meeting was held at the Algonquin Club, No. 217 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, on Monday, 22 November, 1897, at half-past five o’clock in the afternoon, the President, Edward Wheelwright, in the chair.
After the Records of the last Stated Meeting had been read and approved, the President addressed the Society as follows:—
Gentlemen of The Colonial Society of Massachusetts,
I have the honor to welcome you to the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Society and to congratulate you upon its continued activity and prosperity, as shown in the Reports of the Council and of the Treasurer.
Yet in one respect the past year has been one of severe trial. We have lost by death no less than seven of our members, including the ripe scholar, eminent man of science, courteous gentleman, whose place, as your President, I now occupy, but cannot hope to fill. Of these seven deaths three have taken place during the summer recess, namely, those of the Hon. John Lowell, Professor George Martin Lane, and the Hon. George Silsbee Hale.
It has been customary at the next Meeting after the decease of a member to give an opportunity to those desiring to do so to pay tribute to his memory, in anticipation of the formal Memoir. In the case of the three gentlemen named there has been no meeting of the Society, since their decease, until now. The pressure of the usual routine business at the Annual Meeting will not allow time for extended remarks, but I shall ask your permission to say a few words of each of them, leaving it to others to speak more at length at the Meeting in December.
The Hon. John Lowell, LL.D., died 14 May, 1897. Born in Boston, 14 October, 1824, he graduated at Harvard College in 1843. As his contemporary in College, though not in his Class but in the one next below it, I had the pleasure of knowing him somewhat intimately in our undergraduate days. He had already those charming traits of character which made him, through life, beloved as well as honored by all who knew him. At my initiation into the Hasty Pudding Club he was one of the chief actors in the ceremony, which was marked by some comical deviations from the usual course of proceedings. It was to me a pleasing coincidence that it was he who presided at the Meeting of this Society at which I was inducted into the office of President. There was nothing comical about the latter ceremony, unless it were the choice of candidate for the honor, and for that Judge Lowell was largely responsible, since he presided at the meeting of the Council at which the selection was made.
It is needless to recapitulate here and now all the steps of Judge Lowell’s career as a lawyer and a magistrate. It will be sufficient to remind you that from 1865 to 1884, a period of nineteen years, he held consecutively the positions of Judge of the United States District Court of Massachusetts and of the United States Circuit Court for the first circuit, offices to which his great-grandfather, also named John Lowell, had been consecutively appointed by Presidents Washington and John Adams. It was well stated in the printed report of a Dinner given to him on his resignation of the last-named position, in 1884, that “during the nearly twenty years in which he had been on the Bench, his decisions had acquired for him a national reputation and placed him in the front rank of American jurists.”
Judge Lowell’s connection with this Society dates from its very beginning. He was one of its Founders, his name being the second in the list of members in the Act of Incorporation. At the Meeting for organization, 27 December, 1892, he was chosen one of the two Vice-Presidents of the Society and he continued to hold the office until his death. He was a frequent and interested attendant at our Meetings. At the February Meeting, 1896, he paid a tribute to the memory of our late associate Daniel Denison Slade, and at the Meeting in January, 1897, he performed a similar office for General Francis A. Walker. He had also received and accepted an appointment to write the Memoir of the late Hon. Leverett Saltonstall, which, unfortunately, remained unwritten at his death.
George Martin Lane, LL.D., died 30 June, 1897. He is best known as Professor of the Latin Language and Literature in Harvard College, having held that position from 1851 to 1894, when, on his resignation, after forty-three years of service, he was made Professor Emeritus. In 1893 he was elected a Resident Member of The Colonial Society, at the February Meeting,
My personal acquaintance with Professor Lane was very slight. Years ago I had some correspondence with him in relation to the Latin inscription for the window placed by the Class of 1844 in Memorial Hall at Cambridge. His replies, giving the desired criticism and assistance, were as remarkable for their kindness and courtesy as for their technical knowledge and good taste.
The Hon. George Silsbee Hale died 27 July, 1897. He was my classmate in college, but I did not know him very intimately in our undergraduate days. After graduation, since he was Chairman of the Class Committee and I was Class Secretary, we were constantly associated in Class matters, and I came to know and appreciate thoroughly some aspects, at least, of his many-sided and admirable character. He, with his wife, and, at first, some others of the Class, was in the habit of making me a visit of some days, yearly, at my country residence in Cohasset. The last of these visits was made by Mr. and Mrs. Hale, alone, a little more than a month before his death. I had never seen him in apparently better health, or in better spirits, or more genial and entertaining in conversation. I was at the time revising a paper I had written to be read before this Society. He went over it very carefully, pointing out some errors and giving most valuable advice and information in regard to some legal questions that were involved in my narrative. On the nineteenth of June, we attended the meeting of the Bar called to honor the memory of the late Judge Lowell, little thinking, either of us, that a similar meeting would shortly be held in his own honor.
Mr. Hale, as a lawyer, attained distinction and success. But the Law occupied only a part, and not the largest part, of his busy and useful life. He held important offices in numerous public institutions and was an active member of various historical, scientific, charitable, social, and political associations. An enthusiastic advocate of every cause that commended itself to his judgment, he was constantly called upon to speak and often to preside at public meetings.
One of the clergymen who officiated at Mr. Hale’s funeral—the pastor of his youth—said of him, “If ever a young man had purity and aspiration written upon his face, it was he.” It may be added that that purity was never sullied, that aspiration was never quenched. He lived a blameless life and was constantly searching for some good thing to do—and then doing it with all his might. Nor were his good works confined to those done as agent for, or in cooperation with, the various institutions or societies with which he was connected. He gave freely of his time, his sympathy and his legal knowledge—often more valuable than mere money—to the friendless and distressed, especially to such of his College classmates or townsmen as were in need of such assistance.
Mr. Hale was elected a Resident Member of this Society at its first Stated Meeting, 18 January, 1893; was one of the speakers at the Annual Dinner, 21 November, 1894; paid a tribute to Leverett Saltonstall at the April Meeting, 1895, and at the same meeting moved a Resolution, which was unanimously adopted, expressing the Society’s thorough appreciation of Saltonstall’s high qualities. At the February Meeting, 1896, he paid tributes to Martin Brimmer, and to his friend and classmate Dr. Slade. He also wrote for the Society a Memoir of Mr. Brimmer.
The writing of the Memoir of Mr. Hale has been assigned to Mr. Archibald Murray Howe.
At the close of the President’s Address Mr. John Noble announced that he had in preparation a paper respecting the military movements and expeditions undertaken by the Province during the French Wars. He then read portions of the following paper:—
THE RECORDS AND FILES OF THE SUPERIOUR COURT OF JUDICATURE, AND OF THE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT,—THEIR HISTORY AND PLACES OF DEPOSIT.
Since the paper entitled The Early Court Files of Suffolk County was communicated to the Society,1 I have found among the papers upon the Files of the Supreme Judicial Court, in a case determined in 1791, a rather curious document, which throws an interesting light upon the history and fortunes of the original files and papers of the Courts in their early days, and which suggests one explanation, at least, among others, and one out of many causes, of the condition in which they were found, when the work of arrangement and restoration was begun, in 1883.
While the original Records—that is, what are commonly called the Court Records of the three successive highest Courts of the Colony, the Province, and the Commonwealth, as contemporaneously made up from the pleadings and other papers in the several cases, and recorded at length in a long series of volumes designated as Court Records—are substantially full and complete from 1673 to the present day, with certain gaps hereinafter referred to, the original papers themselves, in the cases during the earlier part of the period, are not to be found on the regular files or are found only to a partial extent and in a more or less imperfect condition.
No regular files of papers, which have preserved intact their original file arrangement, are to be found earlier than those of 1730; and the papers for the next twenty years are more or less broken and incomplete. But in the course of arranging the quarter million of miscellaneous papers described in my previous communication, very large numbers, as there stated, of these missing originals were found, and identified with their respective cases. These were brought together from their scattered confusion and disorder, and indexed so as to be readily referred to; and the files of the earlier years, thus discovered and restored, were made more or less complete.
The document just discovered is valuable as well as curious for the reasons first stated. It tends also to confirm some conclusions advanced in that communication, as well as to establish, substantially, the truth of some venerable traditions. It contains two Certificates of the Clerks of the Supreme Judicial Court given in 1781, only five years after the event to which they refer,—the Siege of Boston,—of which both Clerks must have been eye-witnesses. These bring positive testimony to bear upon what was before a mere matter of conjecture or vague tradition. They show directly what injuries the Records suffered at that time, injuries much greater than has generally been supposed, and which no attempt had been made to repair when these Certificates were written; in fact, this confusion and disorder continued to a greater or less extent for a hundred years.
The tradition laid the scene in the Old South Meeting House, but it is now shown to have been in the Old State House.
The interest of these two Certificates lies more in the explanation given of the futility of any search and in the statement of existing conditions, than in the result and its bearing on the case in hand,—another instance of the many where the most important and valuable history is that which is to be read between the lines. They run as follows:—
Boston July 5: 1781.
This is to certify that I have made the most diligent Search for a Writ of Facias habere Possessionem issued May 13: 1745 in favor of the Proprietors of the common Lands in the Town of Haverhill against Benjamin Barker of Andover, but have not been able to find it.
This also certifies that the old files of the Office were so scattered during the Siege of Boston, that it would require much time to collect them, and an attempt to find a single Paper would in all Probability be in vain.
Attest. And. Henshaw, Clerk.
This may certify that I have examined the Files and Papers in the Clerks office of the Supreme Judicial Court in order to find the within mentioned Writ of Habere Facias & cannot find the same. I also Certify that there are but a very few Papers in said office previous to the year A. D. 1755. Those Papers & Files belonging to said office before that time (& some since) are chiefly as I apprehend in one of the Cock-Lofts over said office where said Files are all separated & scattered abroad on the Flour—upon which it is said, the Soldiers lay in the time of the Siege of Boston—that it would be almost impossible to find a Single Paper without searching and looking over the whole.
Sept. 20tḥ 1781.
Attest Chaṣ̣ Cushing, Clerk.2
The missing paper referred to in the Certificates was the final process in a sharp litigation between the Proprietors of the Common Lands in Haverhill and Benjamin Barker of Andover, over a tract of sixty acres lying in the town of Methuen, once a part of Haverhill. It began in the Inferiour Court of Common Pleas, in July, 1740, in a plea of ejectment brought by the Proprietors. Reserved on a plea in abatement it went to the Superiour Court of Judicature for Essex, November, 1740, upon the appeal of the plaintiffs, where the defendant prevailed and the writ was abated.3 Starting again in the Inferiour Court, in March, 1741, it was appealed by the plaintiffs to the Superiour Court, May, 1741, where the verdict was for the appellee and the judgment confirmed.4 Defeated again, but not discouraged, the plaintiffs brought a review in the same Court in May, 1742, with a like result.5 At this hearing the defendant was represented by the celebrated lawyer William Bollan, the son-in-law of Gov. Shirley. Under an enabling Act of the General Court, 25 June, 1742, the Proprietors brought another review in the Superiour Court in November, 1742, where, at the May Term, 1743, they at length came off victorious and judgment was entered in their favor.6 The defendant, flushed with five victories to offset this defeat, was not inclined to yield, and in his turn obtained an enabling Act, 15 September, 1743,7 which “vacated and annulled” the previous judgment, and under which a review was entered in the Superiour Court, November, 1743. The record in this case sets out in full all the successive stages of this legal battle. Under a Rule of Court, with a view, apparently, to close a litigation that seemed almost endless, the case was referred to a board of arbitrators, whose award was to be final. At the next Term, May, 1744, they brought in their Report in favor of the Proprietors. Judgment for possession was accordingly entered, and this execution issued 13 May, 1745, as minuted in the margin of the Record.8
Among the Suffolk Court Files there are some forty papers belonging to this case in its successive stages. In one group, only three papers remain out of eighty-five which the endorsement of the wrapper shows to have been once in existence. Some of these papers are especially valuable, since they largely supply the missing Record referred to.9
The two Certificates are found among the Files in the Case of William Bodwell et al. v. Jonathan Barker, tried at the November Term (Essex), 1791. The suit is for the possession of some one hundred acres of land in Methuen, apparently closely related to the tract involved in the earlier litigation. It began in a plea of ejectment in the Inferiour Court of Common Pleas, April, 1791, brought by Barker, in which the defendants prevailed. Barker then appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court at the June Term, 1791, where judgment was rendered in his favor, and an execution Hab. Fac. Poss. issued 6 September, 1791.10 The defendants then brought a review tried at the next November Term, where judgment was again entered for Barker and execution issued 15 November, 1791.11 This File consists of twenty-eight papers, containing among others the original writ of review 14 September, 1791, the pleadings, the record in the Court of Common Pleas, and on the appeal, with various copies of old deeds, depositions, the will of Benjamin Barker, the litigant of half a century before, who was the grandfather of this plaintiff, with various other documents, some of them, like the Certificates, bearing the date of 1781, and others the later date of 1791. What was the stage of the controversy at the earlier date does not appear. The missing execution of 1745, then undiscoverable, seems never to have been subsequently found. It is a curious circumstance that an alias execution, referring to the original one, and dated within sixty days, 2 July, 1745, bearing the endorsements of the delivery of possession by the Deputy Sheriff, 5 July, 1745, and the receipt of possession by a Committee of the Proprietors, 6 July, 1745, together with the moderate costs awarded them, in full satisfaction, is now among the Files.12 That the original of such an execution should have been returned unsatisfied seems a little strange, and this, coupled with the early issue of an alias, may be some indication that the missing original—a search for which, in 1781, would have been so difficult, according to the Certificates,—was in some way lost shortly after its issue. At all events, the existence of this alias would seem to have been unknown when the Certificates were given, and at the time of the trial, and to have come to light a hundred years later in the overhauling and arrangement of these old papers.
These Certificates bear the names of the two Clerks of the Supreme Judicial Court at that time. Both had been Clerks of its predecessor, the Superiour Court of Judicature, Charles Cushing’s name first appearing on its Records in October, 1776, though there is no record of his appointment. Andrew Henshaw had been sworn 17 February, 1778.13 Upon the organization of the Supreme Judicial Court, he was appointed Clerk, 20 February, 1781,14 and held the office till his death in 1783. Charles Cushing was appointed at the same Term.15 The custom of having two Clerks with equal authority runs back to the days of Judge Sewall, who enters in his diary: “Feb. 25, 1718–19, the Judges meet in the Council Chamber, before the meeting of the Council. . . . There, in the Closet, voted it convenient to have two Clerks.”16 Samuel Tyley and Benjamin Rolfe were sworn into office the next day, as appears by the Records of the Court.17
There would seem from the Records to have been more than two Clerks sometimes in office, as, apparently, the appointments occasionally overlap. The Courts had the power of appointment, and the exigencies of the service not infrequently required the appointment of special Clerks. A question arose at the time of the re-arrangement of the Justices, 8 May, 1776, as to the exercise of the power of appointment out of Term time, when Samuel Winthrop was appointed Clerk, which required the interposition of special legislation. Due authority was given 10 May, and the whole proceeding is set out upon the Records of the Court.18
There is also another document,—a Deposition of one of the Clerks of the Court of Sessions—which shows the loss of certain Records in the great Fire of 1747,—another event having an important bearing upon the present state and condition of the Files and Records,—reference to which is made hereafter in this paper.
The Deposition of Ezeckiel Goldthwait of Boston in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England & the said Deponant Testifies & says that before the fire happened that Consumed the Court House in Boston the Ninth of December 1747 there were in the secretary’s office two folio Books in which were Recorded many Deeds & Conveyances of Lands lying in the late Province of Main, now in the County of York that this Deponant has often had said Books in his Possession, and Copyed out from them Sundry Instruments for the Late Secretary Willard that said Books were usually kept in the Lobby belonging to the Council Chamber and Soon after said Fire this Deponant was told that said two Books with many others belonging to the secretarys office were consumed by said Fire & which he Verily believes to be true as he has never seen them since.
Suffolk, ss. Boston, November 27th. 1758. Then the above Named Ezekiel Goldthwait Esqr. living more than thirty Miles Distant from York in the County of York the Place where the Cause is to be tryed in which the above Affidavit is to be used personally appeared and after being Carefully Examined & Cautioned to Testifie the whole Truth made Solem oath to the truth of the above Deposition by him Subscribed, Taken to be used at the Inferiour Court of Common pleas to be holden at York in & for said County of York on the first Tuesday of January next in a Plea of Ejectment: Depending in said Court wherein the Honable. Samuel Waldo of said Boston, Esq. is Plt. and Thomas Haskell of Falmouth in the County of York, shipwright & husbandman is Deft. the adverse Party Thomas Haskell aforesaid not living nor being within Twenty Miles of Boston the Place of Caption was not notified nor present at the Caption of said oath.”
Coram John Phillips Jus. Pacis.
Copy Examd. ⅌ JNọ Frost, Cler.20
One other Certificate has been found which affords further particulars of the loss to the public archives occasioned by the Fire of 1747.
Province of the Massachusetts Bay.
Mrs. Mehetable Sergant; Administratix of the Estate of her former Husband Mr. Thos Cooper deceased claims a certain Tract or Parcel of Land Seituate lying and being in Casco Bay by Said Mr. Thomas Cooper purchased of Mrs. Mary Lawrence of Boston formerly Relict of Mr. George Munjoy of Said Casco and George Munjoy of Said Boston son of Said George Munjoy Decḍ the Same is Bounded as followeth that is to say to begin on the other side of Amancogon River at the Great Falls the upper part of them called Secarrabbig and so down the River Side unto the lowermost Planting Ground the Lowermost Part thereof and so from Each aforesaid Bounds to go Directly into the Woods so far as the said Cooper Will, not Exceeding one mile together with all and singular the Trees and Woods thereof, Profitts Priviledges &c. as per Deed thereof dated April 5ṭḥ 1692 Proved by the Oaths of George Holland & John Nickolls before Richard Middlecot one of the Council September 23, 1692.
The same aforesaid Tract of Land purchased by the said George Munjoy the Father of the said George Munjoy of the Indians Nunattconett Warabitta as per their Deed dated June 4, 1666 acknowledged Decṛ the 10tḥ 1666 before Henry Joslyn J. P a Copy whereof was brought into the office to be Recorded attest by
Joseph Webb cler
I do hereby certify that the foregoing is a True Copy of Record from the Book of Indians Claims in the Secretarys office for said Province and that I have made Diligent Search after the Indian Deed21 mentioned & the Record thereof and have not been able to find either of them nor the attested Copy thereof Signed by Joseph Webb Cler; and I do further Certify that the Books of Record of Deeds and other writings in the Secretarys office were Consumed when the Court House in Boston was Burnt on the 9tḥ or 10tḥ day of December 1747 and that the Books Containing Such Records Now in Said office Commence from that Time only.
Attest Thoṣ Clarke Dpṭỵ Secry
I the Subscriber Clerk of the Inferiour Court of Common Pleas within and for the County of Suffolk and Register of Deeds and Conveyances for said County do hereby Certify that having Search’d the Records do find that Joseph Webb was appointed Clerk on the 30tḥ of July 1689 and Continued so till some time in the year 1698 and that he was also Register of Deeds for sd. County having attested the Records thereof from Octṛ 1689 to Agust 28ṭḥ 1698.
Attṛ Ezekḷ Goldthwait Clerk & Register
Boston Novemṛ 27tḥ 1758.
Copy Examḍ ⅌ Jnọ Frost, Cler.
[Endorsed] “Coopers Claim to the Commissioners of Claims. Copy”22
The two successive highest Courts,—the Superiour Court of Judicature and the Supreme Judicial Court,—whose jurisdiction extended through the Province and the Commonwealth, had their headquarters in Boston, and there all the Records were kept until 1797, while sessions were held also in the different counties.
What old Court Files and papers directly record is but a part of the story they have to tell. Illustrations of the moral and social conditions of the times lie between the lines; glimpses of political changes continually appear; in manifold ways they are the mute chroniclers of events with which they would seem to have had naturally slight connection, and no little history is written, not alone in their faded pages but as well on their battered and mutilated leaves. Where they have been and what they have gone through, increasing year by year since that first record of the session aboard the Arbella, is mixed up with the life and history of two centuries.
It was a long time after the founding of the Colony before the Courts had any abiding place which could be called their own or styled a Court House. After the brief record23 “Att a Court of Assistants aboard the Arbella, March 23th 1629,”—that is to say 1630, New Style,—the day after the Colonists embarked, the first record of any sitting this side the Atlantic is that entitled “The first Court of Assistants holden att Charlton August 23th Año Dm̃ 1630.”24 Johnson states that this Court also was held aboard the Arbella.25 Mr. Charles Card Smith, in his article on Boston and the Colony,26 questions this, “as his [Johnson’s] work was not published till 1654, the statement is of doubtful authority,” but he assigns no place. It seems more likely that the Court was held in the “Great House” wherein “the Governour and several of the Patentees dwelt,” especially as there (by an order of 23 August27) the sitting of 7 September was fixed,—“Att the Goũnrs howse.” At that sitting “It was ordered that eũy third Tuesday there should be a Court of Assistants helde att the Goūnors howse (for the tyme being,) to begin att 8 of the clocke in the morneing.”28 Two Courts were successively held in Charlestown,—on the seventh and twenty-eighth of September, at the latter of which “A Jury impaneld to inquire concerning the Death of Austin Bratcher” brought in their finding,29 and at the next Court, which was “holden att Boston Novembr 9, 1630,” Walter Palmer was put on his “Tryall” . . . and a jury of twelve men found him “not guilty of manslaughter whereof hee stoode indicted & soe the Court acquits him.”30
Where the Court was held in Boston, up to the time of the building of the first Meeting-House, in 1632, does not appear. After that was built, on the present site of Brazer’s Building in State Street, the Court was apparently held there, and, when that became “decayed and too small” for purposes of public worship, in its successor, which stood where the Rogers Building, on Washington Street, now is. This is indicated by Winthrop’s mention of the sitting of the General Court there, in May, 1634;31 and in 1640 Lechford32 says, “the Generall and Great Quarter Courts are kept in the Church Meeting-house at Boston.” In those days of small things sufficient accommodation seems to have been thus afforded, and, considering the close connection between the law of God and the law of the Colony, there was a peculiar fitness in the arrangement.
Where the Records of the Court were kept there is nothing to show; it may have been in the Meeting House, but more likely at the house of the Secretary for the time being. Perhaps in the early days the Records were not very voluminous, as would appear by an Order of the General Court,33 of 9 September, 1639:—
“Whereas many judgments have bene given in or Courts, whereof no records are kept of the evidence & reasons wherevpon the verdit & iudgment did passe, the records whereof being duely entered & kept would bee of good vse for president to posterity, & a releife to such as shall have just cause to have their causes reheard & reveiwed, it is therefore by this Court ordered & decreed that henceforward every iudgment, wth all the evidence bee recorded in a booke to bee kept to posterity”; and the fee prescribed was “for every iudgment at the Court at Boston, 6d.”
The needs of the Town in no long time became pressing, and a demand arose for better and permanent provision for the Courts. In 1649, on the twelfth of March, “At a generall Townes meetinge,” an order was passed looking towards an undertaking “to builde a howse for the Courts to be kept in,”34 but nothing seems to have come of it, and the Courts apparently kept on in their old quarters. Relief, however, came at length, as so often has happened since in Boston’s history, through the public spirit of one of her citizens. Captain Robert Keayne,—
“haveing long thought and considered of the want of some necessary things of publike concernment which may not be only comodious but very profitable & usefull for the Towne of Boston, as a Market place & Cundit . . . also to have some convenient roome or too for the Courts to meete in both in Winter & Sumer,”—
dying 23 March, 1656, by his will,35 dated 28 December, 1653, left three hundred pounds for such public uses. The Selectmen took action 25 February, 1657, “respecting the legacyes given to the towne.”36 On the ninth of March following a Committee was appointed—
“to consider of the Modell of the towne house to bee built . . . and the most convenient place, as also to take the subscriptions of the inhabitants to propagate such a building,”37
and some time in 1658 the first Town House in Boston was completed.38 The history of this ancient building, and also of its successor on the same site, has been so fully and learnedly given by the highest authority39 upon this and the other ancient buildings of Boston, that only the briefest reference here will be necessary.
The occupation of this Town House by the Courts is recognized by the order of the General Court, 19 May, 1658, making an allowance to Boston—
“for and towards the chardges of their towne house . . . provided that sufficient rooms in the sayd house shall be for ever kept free for the keeping of all Courts,” etc.40
This building stood until its destruction by the Fire of 2 October, 1711. Its occupation by the Courts through this whole period appears from Mr. Whitmore’s quotations41 from Josselyn, who was in Boston in 1663, from the orders of the General Court in 1667, and again in 1671, from John Dunton in 1686, and from various passages in Judge Sewall’s Diary, among others the reference to the trial of John Quelch and the other pirates in 1704.42 “The Humble Representation and Addresse of the Select Men of the Town of Boston . . . To his Excellency Joseph Dudley, Esqr. . . . the Honoble the Council and the Representatives in General Court Assembled,” 17 October, 1711, “Amidst the Awfull Desolation & Consumption of Many Dwellings & much of the substance of the Town by the fiery dispensation of Providence” refers to the use of the building, “now lyinge Waste in its Ashes,” by the “Courts of Justice,”43 a use now terminated after more than half a century.
While the rebuilding was going on the town meetings, and probably the Courts, were held in the Meeting-Houses. The Town House, rebuilt upon the old site, was occupied in May, 1713. The Instruction given to the building committee44 ordered them to fit “the West Chamber for the Supr & Infr Courts;” and of the “two offices below stairs . . . one for the Secretary.” “Notwithstanding the order to construct a West room for the Courts, it is very doubtful if this were really done.”45 Even if such a room were not specially fitted up, it would seem that “the Courts for the County of Suffolk were held in the old Town House, until it was burnt in 1747, with occasional sessions, when necessary, in the First Church building or elsewhere.”46 This would appear from Daniel Neal’s account in 1720,47 where he speaks of “another Spacious Room for the Sessions of the Courts of Justice.”
On the twenty-first of September, 1716, the Selectmen seeming greatly exercised at—
“a Publick Notification undr the hand of Edward Weavor, Dept Register of ye Court of Admiralty, Signifying an appointment of a Sale of a ship . . . at the place where the Court is held . . . haveing signified to the Judge of the sd Court That the management of a Publick Sale in ye Town House is Forrein from ye declared Intentions in Erecting thereof, and that such a President may be of Ill Tendancy . . . In discharge of the Trust Reposed in them, they hold themselves obliged to disallow the Improveing any part of ye House to any other use than what was proposed in Erecting the same. And they do direct that the sd Hond Judg have an Attested Copie thereof forthwth Sent him.”48
There are numerous references to the building as a “Court House” in the orders and resolutions of the General Court after the Fire of 1747; and again by Secretary Willard in his letter to Christopher Kilby and William Bollan, Agents of the Province in London, 21 December, 1747.49
From the apportionment of the charges,—one-half to the Province, one-fourth to the County, and one-fourth to the Town,—it would seem that the Courts of Suffolk County were held here, at all events that the highest Court—the Superiour Court of Judicature—had its quarters in this building.
Upon the restoration of the Town House, after the Fire of 1747, the Courts were again held here. The famous trials and the stirring scenes within its walls are matters of familiar history. Several descriptions of the building are quoted by Mr. Whitmore,—that of Francis Goelet in 1750 (p. 61), that in the Massachusetts Magazine, August, 1791 (p. 63), and that of Thomas Pemberton in 1794 (p. 97).
The question of a new Court House came up in 1765; and in 1769 the building had been erected in Queen Street, now Court Street, to which the Courts were removed.50 Whether the Superiour Court of Judicature went with them or not is not clear. The offices of its Clerks, which were on the north side of the building, still continued to be kept in the old building; and these Certificates show those of the Clerks of the Supreme Judicial Court, its successor, to have been still there in 1781, with the multitudinous mass of files and papers piled in confusion and disorder in “the Cock Lofts” above. Dr. George H. Moore51 says, “At the beginning of each Term the Judges robed themselves there and marched in procession, followed by the Bar, to the Court House,” and speaks of the custom as existing in 1785; and Harrison Gray Otis, also cited, in his Inaugural as Mayor in 1830, refers to it as a well known custom.52
A new Court House was built in 1810 upon School Street, on the site of the present City Hall, to which the County and State Courts were transferred. Mr. Whitmore quotes from Shaw’s description of it in 1817, showing—“two Court-rooms in the centre and one smaller in one wing . . . Clerks of the Supreme and Common Pleas Courts,” etc.; from Snow’s History of Boston, in 1826,—“In the eastern wing are the offices of the Clerk of the Courts, rooms for the Judges and for the juries;” and from Bowen’s Picture of Boston, 1829, the same statement.53 There they remained until the completion, in 1836, of the new building on Court Street, now called “the old Court House,” where the Supreme Judicial Court room, with the lobbies, etc., was on the second floor, and the Clerk’s offices on the lower floor.54 In September, 1893, the Supreme Judicial Court removed to the new Court House in Pemberton Square, where, with its Court rooms, lobbies, and offices, it occupies the first and second floors of the southwest corner of the building.
The last sitting of the Superiour Court of Judicature held in 1774 was in Boston, 30 August, and the only Court held in any county in 1775 sat in Boston, in February.55 By an Act of 23 August, 1775, all offices, civil and military, were to cease and determine from and after 19 September, 1775.56 1 May, 1776, there was a change ordered in the style of writs and processes, to the “Government and People of the Massachusetts Bay in New England,” and to bear the date of the Christian era.57 A new arrangement of the Justices was made by order of the Council, 8 May, 1776.58
By an Act of 8 February, 1776,59 the Suffolk County Terms were to be held at Dedham and Braintree, Boston having been made “a garrison by the ministerial army and become a common receptacle for the enemies of America;” but 2 November, 1776,60 this Act was repealed, “as the reasons assigned in said Act . . . had ceased since the passing of the same,” and the Court returned to Boston.
The Records of the Superiour Court of Judicature seem to have suffered little or nothing by the Fire of 1711. The series of volumes comprising them is complete, though what, if any, injuries were done to its Files is not easily determined. No regular series of Files before 1730 remains in the office, though many papers belonging to them have been found in the miscellaneous collection which has. been described. The earliest volume of the Records of the Court of Assistants is not extant, though some of the original papers from which it was made up and many copies of such papers have been found in the same collection. It was different, however, in the later Fire of 1747. There are various gaps in the Records of the Terms in the different counties, shown by the Catalogue of Records, issued in 1890, which seem directly attributable to this Fire, as they are in the then more recent series of Records, and are between 1731 and 1747, while beyond that date they are full and unbroken.
As to the original papers and Files of Court, the Certificates show their condition in 1781. There are now, however, in the Clerk’s office in Suffolk papers from 1730 down to 1800 which have kept their original file arrangement more or less completely; from the later date they are entire. At the time of the Fire the regular Records for the late preceding years probably had not been bound, but merely put together by Terms,61 as is indicated in several ways, and so might easily have been dropped in the removal or left behind in the hurry and confusion. What this was is easily imagined; what actually happened appears in many ways. Mr. Whitmore gives extracts from the newspapers of the day,62 which bring it all vividly before us. From these it appears that the destruction on the second and upper floors was nearly complete, while the books, papers, and records on the lower floor were mostly-saved. The Memorial of Middlecott Cooke and Ezekiel Goldthwait, Clerks of the Court of General Sessions of the Peace, July, 1749, to the Court, setting forth their services in saving and subsequently sorting out its papers, shows how it fared with the Records of that Court which were on the lowest floor:—
“they took all possible pains to preserve the Publick Records and Files of the County then in their office, that in removing the same out of the Town house the Files of writs Executions & other Papers belonging to the County were most of ’em broke, & so Intermix’d that there was Scarce a whole file of Papers together for neare Seventy or Eighty years past.”
The Record of the Court of General Sessions concerning this matter is quoted by Mr. Whitmore (p. 175). The original Memorial, the order appointing a Committee “to take the said Memorial into Consideration and report to the Court,” the Report of the Committee, and the action of the Court endorsed thereon, are still extant.63
The Fires are not alone responsible for such losses as the Records may have suffered. The various vicissitudes through which they have passed in the course of two and a half centuries, referred to in my previous communication, are naturally and inevitably still more accountable. The Certificates charge some of this loss and confusion to the British soldiery when quartered here in Boston in Revolutionary times,—and considering their date, so few years after the events, when knowledge and memory were fresh, the charge must be considered to have had a substantial foundation. The papers themselves are also silent and effective witnesses,—grimed, powder-stained, worn and battered and frayed, with holes burnt by the cinders that dropped from pipes, creased and crumpled, and, when the work of restoration and arrangement took them in hand a few years ago, mixed in many cases in undistinguishable confusion and disorder.
When, in September, 1768, before the war broke out, the two British regiments were ordered to Boston, one pitched its tents on the Common, but the other was ordered to Faneuil Hall, and “the next day the Governor [Bernard] ordered the doors of the Town House to be opened, except that of the Council Chamber; and such part were lodged there as Faneuil Hall rooms would not accommodate,”64 though probably this occupation was but short. During the Siege the papers were exposed to greater and longer-continued dangers. General Howe’s Proclamation, 14 March, 1776, refers to depredations in the Town House, and offers rewards for the conviction of any person “destroying the records and other public papers.” Mr. Whitmore says,—
“Hardly any thing is on record in regard to the Town House during the Siege. It is stated that it was used as a barracks; certainly after the evacuation of the town, no complaint was made of any injury done to it by the troops.”65
These Certificates confirm the fact of such occupation, and show its effect upon the Records. The injury was perhaps such that complaint or compensation would be unlikely; the mischief was probably not wanton, and possibly had some grounds of extenuation; soldiers under the circumstances would not be over scrupulous in extracting what comfort they could from their surroundings.
Perhaps equally damaging with fires, British soldiery, and the casualties of various necessary removals, was the neglect by a later generation, when these old papers, like valueless rubbish, were packed in chests and stored in unfit quarters, or deposited in public insecurity, where they were exposed for years to the depredations of the unscrupulous professional autograph collector and the unrestrained freedom of the legitimate, but careless and forgetful, user.
The present state of the Files and Records of the Supreme Judicial Court, and the extent of the collection which makes up the series of the Records of the highest Courts of the Colony, the Province, and the Commonwealth from that first session “aboard the Arbella,” 23 March, 1629, to the present day, have been described elsewhere.66
In the performance of the duty of submitting a detailed Report of the doings of the Society during the past year, which is imposed upon the Council by the By-Laws, it would perhaps be natural to expect that a review of the condition of the finances of the Society should first engage our attention. Inasmuch, however, as the Treasurer is required to submit his Annual Statement directly to the Society, and as there has been no such change either in the general condition of the Treasury or in the character of the investments, as calls for special comment, unnecessary repetition will be avoided if this topic shall be disposed of by reference to the Statement which will be submitted by the Treasurer at this meeting. In thus disposing of this subject, however, the Council wish to congratulate the Society upon the signs of steady growth shown in the permanent Funds. Although they are not large in amount, it will be admitted by all that the assurance of a future to the Society depends upon the establishment of confidence in the care and preservation of these Funds.
The attendance at our Stated Meetings during the year bears witness to the continued interest of the members in our affairs. It was determined by the Council that the December Meeting should be in the nature of a Memorial in honor of the late President of the Society, Dr. Benjamin Apthorp Gould, and the exercises at that time were practically confined to the consideration of Resolutions prepared by a Committee for the occasion and to listening to addresses from different members of the Society adapted to the character of the Meeting. At each of the other Stated Meetings, however, papers were read, treating of a variety of topics and covering a wide field of time. These papers have all been put in type, and if to the pages which they occupy we add those containing the Transactions from January, 1895, to April, 1896, and the several Memoirs communicated to the Society during the year, we have a volume of four hundred and eighty-nine pages. The Parts containing the proceedings of our meetings down to April, 1896, have already been distributed to members, and it is hoped that the completed volume will be ready for delivery within a few weeks. The preparation of the Index is all that is holding it back, and that is far enough along for us to speak with some sort of assurance of the time of its completion. It will be known as the Third volume of our Publications, being the second which is devoted to the Transactions of the Society.
Work has progressed during the summer in the preparation of the copy for the Second volume of the Publications, which was set aside for the Commissions of the Royal Governors of this Province and the Instructions sent to them for the conduct of their government. The Commissions have been in type for some time, but the work of preparation of the copy for the rest of the volume has been delayed through the necessity for a careful comparison of the Instructions to the several Governors, in order to avoid placing in type in the later Instructions sections where no verbal changes had taken place from those which had previously been given upon the same topic. The great care required to determine whether the language used in these voluminous documents was identical in the copies addressed to the different Governors has involved a protracted and tedious examination. This, however, has been finished, and there is no good reason why the Committee of Publication should not renew its work at an early day.
The study of these Royal Instructions has revealed certain omissions in the series presented to us by Mr. Goodell. Those which we possess consist mainly of the Instructions which were sent to the several Governors when they assumed charge of the government of the Province. These closely resembled each other in their general construction, being based upon a certain preconceived theory of how the Province ought to be governed, the main feature of which was the maintenance of the Royal authority on this side of the water. Supplemental Instructions were at different times sent to each of the Governors. These were called forth by the various exigencies arising from the condition of affairs and to meet the emergencies caused by the protracted conflict between the Governors and the House of Representatives. When the copies of the Instructions which are now in the hands of the Committee of Publication were prepared at the Public Record Office in London, no adequate search was made for these special Instructions, and but few of them were transmitted from England. Whether they can all be found in the Record Office we do not know, but by means of an examination of the Massachusetts Archives, the Council Records, and the Journals of the House, and by references made in the published histories of the times we are able to establish the existence once of a number of documents of this character of which we have no copies. We can demonstrate the probable nature of the contents of most of these, and hence we feel sure that many of the missing Instructions are of great importance in their bearing upon contemporaneous events. In order that we may proceed in a systematic way in our efforts to make our work complete, it has been thought best to institute a thorough search for information concerning the Instructions among the documents and publications likely to aid us which are accessible on this side of the Atlantic. When we shall have collated all that can be procured here, we can lodge a specific order upon the searchers in the Public Record Office in Fetter Lane for certain named documents, and supplement this order with a request for any others that they may find. When the replies shall have been received, our work will be as complete as it is possible for us to expect under the circumstances, and although it may and probably will happen that we shall be obliged, in certain instances, to supply the place of Instructions known to have been sent by abstracts of their contents obtained from outside sources, these defects will only be such as are inherent in work of this sort, for which we shall not be responsible.
A few words may with propriety be said concerning the probable value of this publication for historical purposes. In a recent number of the American Historical Review a writer undertook to give a list of the published Commissions and Instructions to the Governors of the different Colonies and Provinces which were accessible for students. While it may be premised that the list is not complete, still it is worthy of note, that the compiler was only able to include of those in which we are interested Andros’s Commission and Instructions as Governor of New England and Dudley’s Instructions as Governor of the Massachusetts Bay. This would seem to be in itself a sufficient demonstration of the demand that exists for the execution of the work in which we are engaged.
If the Commissions had been uniform the publication of one would have served as a model for all the others. Such, however, is not the case. The phraseology of the different Commissions differs materially, and a study of the various changes which were from time to time made may reveal contemporaneous motives for their existence which have not heretofore been brought to light in consequence of the inherent difficulties which lay in the way of comparing these documents. The task will be relatively an easy one after the publication of this volume.
When we reflect upon the fact that for nearly three quarters of a century a continuous attempt was made to govern this Province through Instructions issued to the Royal Governors, and when in addition it is considered that some of these Instructions were conceived by the inhabitants of the Province to trespass upon the rights of self-government conferred by the Charter, we can understand the impossibility of writing the history of the Province without full knowledge of these Instructions. Inasmuch as they are nowhere to be found in print, the difficulty of obtaining the requisite knowledge for this purpose is obvious, and it will not perhaps be considered as stating the situation too strongly, if we should say that the history of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay for the first sixty years of its life remains to be written. The relation of the events which occurred during this period to the better known incidents which happened just before the Revolution, has never been adequately analyzed. A continuous conflict concerning these Instructions was carried on during these years. It was at times between the Governor and the Assembly, but generally between the Governor and the Representatives alone. It had an important bearing in the development of the spirit of resistance which led to the Revolution. The study of this conflict has been greatly hampered by the difficulty of access to the historical material which related to it. The publication of the volume which this Society will soon issue will place a large and important portion of this material within reach of historical students. We may rest assured that its advent will be welcomed, and that others will join with us in appreciation of the value of the gift received from Mr. Goodell which has enabled us to make this contribution to the historical resources of this Commonwealth.
- Benjamin Apthorp Gould.
- Francis Amasa Walker.
- George Otis Shattuck.
- Darwin Erastus Ware.
- John Lowell.
- George Martin Lane.
- George Silsbee Hale.
It will be seen that the mortality of the year has been unprecedented, not only in numbers but also in character, the distinction of the names included in the above list being so marked that the fact that any Society had suffered this loss from its Roll of Membership, in one year, would not fail to attract attention. Among those whose presence we miss to-day, two were closely connected with our executive force, and have largely contributed towards the development of the Society by their counsel and advice. One of these was our choice, from the organization of the Society down to the date of his death, for the highest office in our gift. The other, during the same period and continuously thereafter until his own death, was selected by us to fill the office next in rank to that held by the first. It will be conceded that it will be impossible for us to fully repair these losses, the accumulation of which within so brief a period has been a severe test of the vitality of the Society.
At the last Annual Meeting it was voted that the Chair appoint a Committee of five members with full powers to consider the subject of increasing the Permanent Funds of the Society, whereby provision might be made for an annual income sufficient to defray the cost of the Society’s Publications, and to take such further action as they might deem expedient. At the February Meeting, President Wheelwright stated that Dr. Gould had prepared a list of those whom he proposed to appoint upon this Committee, and although the announcement of their appointment had not been actually made, it only remained, Mr. Wheelwright said, for him to name the Committee as drawn up by Dr. Gould, and he then added,—
“No more fitting monument to the memory of our late President could be erected by us than such a Fund as he proposed. Out of gratitude to him and in recognition of his eminent services, if for no other reason, every member of the Society should feel bound to contribute to it, in the measure of his ability.”
At the same meeting the number of the Committee was increased to seven, of whom the President was made, ex officio, one. No member of this Society can have escaped knowledge that this Committee entered upon the performance of its work with zeal. As this work was not, in any way, placed under the control or supervision of the Council, the condition of the Fund which they have undertaken to collect must be ascertained from the Report of the Committee to the Society.
In conclusion the Council wish to convey the thanks of the Society to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for the use of their Hall during the year for the Stated Meetings of the Society. So far as meetings of the Council are concerned, the same embarrassment has prevailed as heretofore, owing to our dependence upon others for a place in which to meet. In presenting this question to the consideration of the Meeting, the Council do not mean to suggest that it requires immediate action. It is, however, one of the standing needs of the Society, the remedy for which must be found in the future.
The Reports of the Treasurer and of the Auditing Committee were then submitted. They are as follows:—
The By-Laws of the Society require of the Treasurer, at the Annual Meeting, a statement of the financial operations for the preceding year. In obedience to this requirement I have the honor to submit the following Report.
The Funds of the Society are invested as follows:—
$2,500.00 in First Mortgages on improved property in Boston and Cambridge, 70.82 deposited in the Charlestown Five Cents Savings Bank.
Charlestown Five Cents Savings Bank
Henry H. Edes,
Boston, 15 November, 1897.
The undersigned, a Committee appointed to examine the Accounts of the Treasurer of The Colonial Society of Massachusetts for the year ending 15 November, 1897, have attended to that duty, and report that they find them correctly kept and properly vouched; and that proper evidence of the investments and of the balance of cash on hand has been shown to us.
Eliot C. Clarke,
Richard M. Saltonstall,
Boston, 15 November, 1897.
The President, as Chairman of the Committee appointed to consider the subject of increasing the Permanent Funds of the Society, made a brief statement, by which it appeared that of the Ten Thousand Dollars which the Committee has undertaken to raise $6,870 had been already pledged.
The several Reports were accepted and referred to the Committee of Publication.
Mr. Justice Lathrop, Chairman of the Committee to nominate candidates for Officers for the ensuing year, stated that the Committee had named Mr. John Noble for the office of Corresponding Secretary, Mr. Davis having declined to be again a candidate for re-election. He then presented the following List; and, a ballot being taken, these gentlemen were unanimously elected:—
Mr. Noble then offered the following Minute, which was unanimously adopted by a rising vote:—
No words are needed to show the regret with which the Society has learned of the declination by Mr. Davis of further service in the office of Corresponding Secretary, or the reluctance with which it has felt itself constrained to accept it.
One of the Founders of the Society and its Corresponding Secretary from the beginning, and as such a member of its Council, he has discharged the duties of the office with signal success and to universal acceptance. In losing him from the position which he has so ably filled the Society indulges the confident hope that his individual investigations and studies, the results of which, contributed in part to our Transactions, have added so much to the knowledge of early New England history and to the reputation of this Society, will, in consequence, find only enlarged opportunity and fuller scope.
The Society hereby expresses its sense of obligation to him for his invaluable services, and for its now well-assured success, due in no small measure to his devotion; and places upon its Records a vote of heartiest thanks to its first Corresponding Secretary,—Andrew McFarland Davis.67
After the adjournment of the meeting Dinner was served. Mr. Wheelwright presided, and the Divine Blessing was invoked by the Rev. Dr. Joseph Henry Allen. After dinner, upon the proposal of the Chair, the members rose and, in silence, drank to The Memory of Benjamin Apthorp Gould. While the company was still on its feet Mr. Charles Sedgwick Rackemann said, “‘The King is dead. Long live the King.’ Gentlemen, I give you the health of Mr. President Wheelwright.”
Mr. Henry H. Edes then said:—
I have risen, Mr. President, not to make a speech but to propose a toast.
The Resolutions offered by Mr. Noble and adopted at the business meeting an hour ago, amid applause, attest the Society’s appreciation of the value of the labors of our associate who has retired to-night from the office of Corresponding Secretary. I am not so presuming as to suppose that I can add anything to that felicitously expressed tribute to our friend and his work, but I do want to say a single word upon another side of his labors in our behalf. His contribution of learned papers to our proceedings constitutes only a part of what he has done for us. Faithful in his attendance upon the meetings of the Council, of which, for five years, he has been an honored member, our friend’s services in that Board have been various and valuable. None has been more devoted than he to every interest of the Society; none has been more jealous than he of the Society’s reputation to which he has himself contributed no small share.
On behalf of my colleagues in the Council as well as on my own behalf I give you, Mr. President, the health, happiness, and long life of Andrew McFarland Davis.
Mr. Porter spoke at some length of the importance of an early completion of the Fund now being raised and of the purpose for which the income of it is needed. He mentioned, also, the decision of the Committee having the matter in hand to designate it as the Gould Memorial Fund, in honor of our late President, who had much at heart the liberal endowment of the Society in order that its work in the future might not be hampered and restricted, as it now is, by lack of a sufficient income.
Mr. Lane exhibited the original Charter of the Harvard Chapter of the fraternity of Phi Beta Kappa, which was restored to it this year after it had long been supposed to be lost. He also showed one of the first silver medals used by the Harvard Chapter.
JAMES BRADLEY THAYER.
Darwin Erastus Ware, elected a Resident Member of this Society on the twenty-fourth of January, 1893, was descended from Robert Ware, one of the early settlers of Dedham, Massachusetts, who received a grant of land there on the sixth of February, 1642–43. He was thus allied to the family of the distinguished divines, Henry Ware, father and son, who came from the same ancestor.
Mr. Ware was born in Salem on the eleventh of February, 1831, the son of Erastus and Clarissa-Diliaway (Wardwell) Ware. In 1833 his father bought a large farm in Marblehead, on the seashore and near the boundary line of Salem, and there he always afterwards lived. Ware attended school in Salem until he entered Harvard College in 1848. He graduated there with distinction in 1852, taught for a year in the school of Stephen M. Weld at Jamaica Plain, and then, in 1853, entered the Harvard Law School. He took his degree of LL.B. in 1855, but remained a member of the School until 1856.
After studying, for a time, in the office of Charles Theodore Russell in Boston, he began the practice of law in that city. Mr. Ware was associated with Horace L. Hazelton until 1866; then with John T. Morse, Jr., until 1872; then with George S. Hale until 1874; and then with Peleg W. Chandler and John E. Hudson until 1878. After that time Mr. Ware practised alone, having his office at No. 53 Devonshire Street, Boston. As a member of the Bar he was learned, honored, and successful.
During the years 1863, 1864, and 1865, Mr. Ware was a member of the Legislature of Massachusetts,—for the first year as a Representative from the town of Marblehead, and, for the second and third years, as a member of the Senate from the district to which that town belonged. His legislative service was an honorable one, and he was chiefly instrumental in giving the election of the Overseers of Harvard College to the Alumni,—a reform of the utmost importance to the College.
In 1866 Ware was a member of a Commission for revising the United States customs, revenue, and shipping laws. From 1866 to 1874 he was a member of the Massachusetts Board of Harbor Commissioners. From 1866 to 1878, and again from 1879 to 1881, he was a member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard College. He was at one time President of the Boston Civil Service Reform Association, and was the Treasurer and a Director of the Associated Charities of Boston from the year 1881 until his death. Of many other Societies, also, he was a valued member or officer.
On the twenty-sixth of May, 1868, Mr. Ware was married, in Washington, D. C., to Miss Adelaide Frances Dickey, of Veazie, Maine. He had but one child, a son, Richard Darwin Ware, of Boston, a graduate of Harvard College in the Class of 1890, and a member of the Bar, who succeeds to his father’s business.
Of Mr. Ware’s remarkable and interesting character, the writer of this sketch has already spoken at length, at the Stated Meeting of the Society in April, 1897. It has seemed best, therefore, to limit the present sketch to a simple record of the leading events in his life.
He died on the second of April, 1897. Of a vigorous physical constitution, he was in his usual strength when he last went to his office, on the morning of Tuesday, the thirtieth of March. Before the middle of that day he was attacked by violent pains which he supposed, at the time, to be symptoms of an epidemic then prevailing, known as the grippe, and he soon found it necessary to go home. A physician was summoned. The attack grew more severe, and soon it was pronounced a case of cerebro-spinal meningitis. It was impossible to arrest the disorder, and soon after midnight on the following Friday, all was over. And thus, suddenly and without any warning, our Society and this community lost one of their most valued members,—one who from the beginning had been a pillar of strength to those who had known and loved him.