A Stated Meeting of the Society was held in the Hall of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on Thursday, 27 April, 1899, at three o’clock in the afternoon, President Wheelwright in the chair.
After the Minutes of the March Meeting had been read and approved, the President appointed the following Committees, in anticipation of the Annual Meeting: —
To nominate candidates for the several offices, — the Right Reverend William Lawrence, the Hon. Francis C. Lowell, and Mr. Charles Sedgwick Rackemann.
To examine the Treasurer’s Accounts, — Messrs. George Nixon Black and G. Arthur Hilton.
The Corresponding Secretary communicated the following letter: —
Johns Hopkins University,
March 18, 1899.
Dear Sir, — I have the pleasure of acknowledging your favor of the 15th instant and of saying that I highly appreciate the honor of being enrolled as a Corresponding Member of The Colonial Society of Massachusetts.
I am, dear Sir,
Very truly yours,
D. C. Gilman.
J. Noble, Esq.
Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis read the following paper on —
The apparent unanimity with which the people of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay joined in their resistance to the Stamp Act and the Tax on Tea, and the indignation aroused by the attempt of the British Government to collect revenue in the Province, awaken surprise on the part of the reader who relies upon the sources of information as to the history of the Province at ordinary command. The sudden transformation of a loyal people into rebels seems unaccountable. It may safely be asserted that this surprise would not be felt if the Records of the Province were in more accessible form. The publication by the House of its Journals after the year 1715 has placed a portion of these Records on the shelves of a few of our great libraries, but, unfortunately, no single set of these Journals is complete, and the earlier volumes are not only scattered, but some of them are very rare. These publications, consequently, aid the general student but little in opening up the subject. He, however, who engages in a topical investigation covering the Provincial period is compelled to run down the scattered volumes of the House Journals, to wade through the manuscript Records of the Council, and to search for material in the great chaos of the Archives. In default of a special study directed to the point above suggested, it is to investigations of this sort that one must turn for sidelights upon the political discussions which tended to unify Provincial opinions. Among the various questions which bore an important part in this work was that of the Currency. As we trace out its story through the Records, we can simultaneously follow the development of the strained relations between the Legislative and the Executive branches of the government which paved the way for the assertion by the people of what was then frequently termed “independency.” Through the discussions which then took place the inhabitants of the Province were led to criticise the attitude of their rulers, to oppose the Royal Instructions, and to uphold their representatives in their opposition to the Crown officers even in cases where the grounds of this opposition were not clearly defensible.
“The people of America [says John Adams] had been educated in an habitual affection for England as their mother country; and while they thought her a kind and tender parent (erroneously enough, however, for she never was such a mother) no affection could be more sincere. But when they found her a cruel Beldam, willing, like Lady Macbeth, to ‘dash their brains out,’ it is no wonder if their filial affections ceased and were changed into indignation and horror.
“This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”323
If we eliminate the exaggerated violence from this statement, no person will be disposed to deny the truths which it contains. The existence during the first half of the eighteenth century of a strong feeling of loyalty on the part of the colonists cannot be doubted, and it is obvious that so complete a change as is implied in the conversion of a loyal people, full of affection for the mother country, to the state of mind which could tolerate the thought of armed resistance, must have been brought about by some slow process. A writer who has recently made a careful study of the functions of the Provincial Governor has expressed a thought somewhat akin to this in the following language: —
“Rightly then to understand the deeper forces which produced the war of independence, one must understand the gradual growth of that sense of divergent interests without which all the political agitation of Samuel Adams, the eloquence of Patrick Henry, and even a few injudicious measures of British statesmen from 1760 to 1774, could hardly have led to revolution. Nowhere can this gradually awakening consciousness of divergence, so far as it reveals itself prior to what is commonly called the revolutionary era, be better studied than in the conflicts between the provincial governor and the provincial assembly.”324
This divergence of interest had existed from the beginning and was inherent in the English conception of the functions of a colony. The various commercial Companies which had been established in England for the purpose of colonization were all founded in the thought of gain. This might be of two sorts, — gain to the stockholders or gain to the country at large. So far as the early American adventures were concerned, they were invariably disastrous to the capitalists who fostered them; but whatever the result to the colonists or to the Company, the sole interest taken by the government rested upon the gain, present or prospective, to be derived from the enterprise. No thought was given to the possibility that the Colonists might have other interests than such as were directly contributory to the welfare and prosperity of the mother country. Long after the number of the inhabitants of the Colonies of North America had risen to hundreds of thousands, when generation after generation had been born in the Colonies, and had lived and died there without personal knowledge of the transatlantic kingdom the rulers of which claimed the right to direct the affairs of their governments, they were still treated as if they were mere temporary sojourners whose ultimate interests were vested in Great Britain, and who would endure arbitrary trade regulations and submit to narrow commercial restraints because the same were supposed to be for the benefit of the distant government of which they knew nothing except through its resident Representative. They were of the realm, but not in the realm. They were subjects, and when in England had the same rights as Englishmen, but the laws which were made by Parliament for the regulation of Colonial trade and commerce and, at a later date, of Colonial manufactures, reached them but did not affect the average Englishman. Like much of the penal legislation in the statute books at that time, these laws were so unjust that many of them were incapable of enforcement.
At the outset, there was no precedent by which it could be determined what power Parliament actually held over the Colonies. In 1678, the General Court, answering sundry objections which had been raised by the Lords of the Committee to their legislation, said: —
“That for the acts passed in Parljament for incouraging trade and nauigation, wee humbly conceive, according to the vsuall sayings of the learned in the lawe, that the lawes of England are bounded wth in the fower seas, and doe not reach Amerrica.”
The next sentence begins, —
“The subjects of his majtje here being not represented in Parljament.”325
This, obviously, forms a qualifying phrase of the previous sentence, explanatory of the cause why they thought that the laws of Parliament did not apply to them. Parliament, having the power, decided the question in its own favor, and in this decision the Colonists acquiesced. In consequence, the doctrine of no taxation without representation lay dormant until revived by James Otis, who declared that —
“the parliament of Great Britain has an undoubted power and lawful authority to make acts for the general good, that by naming them [i. e. the Colonies], shall and ought to be equally binding, as upon the subjects of Great Britain within the realm . . . . [It was] from and under this very power and its acts, and from the common law [he asserted], that the political and civil rights of the Colonists [were] derived.”326
One of these, he claimed, was that which had been asserted by the General Court in 1678.
The restraints imposed upon commerce and trade were a far greater threat to the ultimate prosperity of the Colonies than could be found in such Parliamentary legislation as the Stamp Act, and the Townshend Tax Act, the passage of which aroused such a storm of indignation just before the Revolution. John Adams lays bare the secret of this endurance when he says, —
“These Acts [the Trade Acts] never had been executed, and there never had been a time when they would have been, or could have been, obeyed.”327
The voluminous reports and complaints of Randolph, forwarded to the Board of Trade and to his friends in England when he was vainly attempting to enforce the Navigation Act in Boston, bear testimony to the entire truth of this assertion, so far as it applies to affairs in the days of the Colony. In addition to that evidence we have the admission of the Privy Council that they knew that this was the case. In a letter to the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay, dated 21 October, 1681, they say, —
“We appointed Edward Randolph Collector of our Customs in Massachusetts, to check the breaches of the Acts of Trade and Navigation frequently practised and connived at therein. We are well satisfied that Edward Randolph has discharged his duty with all diligence and fidelity, yet, because unlawful trading is countenanced by you, all his care has been of little effect.”328
With regard to the collections of revenue in the days of the Province, an advocate of the new system said, in 1765, —
“The whole Remittance [of Collectors] from all the Colonies at an Average of thirty Years has not amounted to 1900l. a year.329 [And again:] Such has been the Disregard of all Revenue Laws in America, that this has produced hardly any Thing, tho’ the Commodity has been imported all the time in great Quantities.”330
Smuggling was so constantly carried on, and the Navigation Laws were so openly evaded, that testimony to that effect is hardly needed, but if it were, this author furnishes the evidence: —
“Ships [he says] are continually passing between our Plantations and Holland, Hamburg, and most of the Ports on the German Ocean, and in the Baltic (p. 92). Foreign Goods [he adds] illegally run into the Colonies amount in value to no less than 700000l. per Annum, which exceeds by far the Value of those foreign Goods that are conveyed thither thro’ Great Britain” (p. 93).
So long as this was the case, it mattered but little to the Colonists that the avowed purpose of the Act for the Encouragement of Trade,331 while it asserted that the plantations were peopled by subjects of the kingdom, was for keeping those subjects “in a firmer dependence” upon that kingdom. Assertions of that sort, or even the passage of Acts imposing duties on molasses, the collection of which would have destroyed the trade of the New England Colonies with the West Indies, were of little consequence, so long as such assertions were mere words and such Acts were not enforced. This was not, perhaps, fully appreciated in England. It was known that the laws were on the statute books, but the extent to which they were ignored in the Colonies was not generally comprehended. Lord Mansfield, rehearsing in Parliament the evidences of the dependent condition of the Colonies, unconsciously betrayed the utterly impracticable idea of the relationship between such dependencies and the parent government which then prevailed. The Navigation Act, he said, shut up their intercourse with foreign countries; their ports have been made subject to customs and regulations which have cramped and diminished their trade; and duties have been laid affecting the very inmost parts of their commerce. Such were the post-office Acts; the Act for recovering debts in the plantations; the Acts for preserving timber and white pine; and the paper-currency Act. The legislature have even gone so low, he added, as to restrain the number of hatters’ apprentices, and have, in innumerable instances, given forfeitures to the king; yet all these have been submitted to peaceably; and no one ever thought till now of this doctrine, — that the Colonists are not to be taxed, regulated, or bound by Parliament.332 Forcible as is this complacent recital of the wrongs which Parliament had intended to inflict upon the Colonies, it is but partial and incomplete. Still, it was one of the signs which enabled the Colonists to realize that the spirit remained the same and that apparent moderation meant merely that the old policy of rigid laws and loose enforcement was to be superseded by legislation, specifically for revenue, less arbitrary in its nature but more practical in character. The purpose of this legislation was not apparent upon its face. If we turn to the author from whom several quotations have already been made, we shall find what it was.
“In other Countries [he says] Custom-house Duties are for the most Part, little more than a Branch of the Revenue. In the Colonies they are a political Regulation, and enforce the Observance of those wise Laws to which the great Increase of our Trade and naval Power are principally owing. The Aim of those Laws is to confine the European Commerce of the Colonies to the Mother Country: to provide that their most valuable Commodities shall be exported either to Great Britain or to British Plantations; and to secure the Navigation of all American Exports and Imports to British Ships and British Subjects only.”333
The full measure of what is involved in the foregoing extract was not perhaps fully appreciated at that time in Massachusetts, but it was felt that laws, the nominal purpose of which was to raise revenue, were, for the first time, about to be actually enforced through a powerful Custom House régime; and it was then that the country was alarmed and that the spirit of opposition asserted itself in the overawing of the officers appointed to enforce the Stamp Act and in the destruction of the Tea in Boston Harbor. The revival of the policy which sent Randolph to Boston brought with it a renewal of the tactics employed at that time to defeat his efforts.
The prosperity of the Province depended largely upon its shipping, but the community was self-supporting, and there was a large agricultural population whose interests were affected only in an indirect manner by restrictions upon trade and manufactures and taxes upon imports. It is easy to understand why a belief that the government was about to enforce the various restrictive and revenue Acts should have aroused those who were directly interested in commerce; but some explanation is required for the sympathy of the agricultural community and the alertness with which they accepted the new attitude of Parliament as one hostile to their interests. This is to be found in the prolonged conflicts between the Assembly and the Royal Governors, especially that upon the subject of the Currency, which had awakened universal interest throughout the Province, which had created a feeling of hostility to the representatives of the Crown and which had, in a great measure, crushed the sentiments of loyalty and affection of which so many writers speak. Thus, the state of mind was produced which John Adams denominates “the real American Revolution.” The Representatives had taken care, throughout this discussion, to keep their constituents informed with reference to these disputes by constant appeals for instruction to the Selectmen of the Towns; and thus farmers, tradesmen, and laborers were taught Provincial politics.
Bancroft, speaking of the controversy over Dudley’s salary in 1702, says, “Here began the controversy which nothing but independence could solve.”334 This, however, does not date the beginning of the controversy far enough back. Phips wanted a salary as well as Dudley, but this was refused him, and under the guidance of Elisha Cooke the stand then taken upon the salary question was one of the steps in the great struggle which, by slow degrees, developed ultimately into the assertion of independence. At first it was a mere conservative attempt to preserve, under the new Charter, such of the rights to which the Colonists had been accustomed under the former Charter as could be maintained. Among those who were trying to save some of the principles of independent action which had characterized the government organized under the first Charter, there were some who saw in the dependence of the Governor upon the Assembly for his compensation, a weapon which would be available in case of contest, and it was owing to their foresight that the settlement of a salary was avoided. Compensation was freely granted to the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor, but never in the form of a salary. The chronic disputes upon this point were closely interwoven at times with questions connected with the supply bills, and in the interchange of messages between the House and the Governor the plainest of language was used upon both sides, as to what ought to be done, what would be done, and what would not be done. The situation in which Dummer found himself in 1727 and 1728, the hitches that then occurred in connection with the various schemes suggested for securing a new supply of bills of public credit, and, finally, the charge made by Burnet that the Assembly had used their control of the salary question to secure the assent of the Lieutenant-Governor to an emission of currency, illustrate the complications brought about by these disputes. They were maintained with intermittent vigor under each of the representatives of the Crown who chanced to be at the head of affairs, their energy and virulence being largely determined by the character of the Governor or Lieutenant-Governor for the time being.
One point which was frequently under discussion during this period had the effect of keeping constantly before the people the question of their rights under the Charter and the possibility of those rights’ being invaded. The subject of discussion referred to was the extent to which the Assembly could be brought under the control of Royal Instructions. It is true that no direct efforts were made by the Crown to instruct the Assembly how it should legislate; but, indirectly, through Instructions to the Governors to secure the passage of certain laws and not to approve others, it was sought to influence legislation. That which was not desired could be absolutely prevented from taking effect, since all laws were subject to the approval of the Governor, and were also submitted for approval or rejection to the Privy Council. This power of control rendered the Royal Instructions of great moment to the Assembly; but, inasmuch as they were seldom communicated to that body, except in cases of emergency or under pressure, they were not treated with much respect, even when specific knowledge of their character was furnished by the Governors.
The Instructions were subject to interpretation, and the Representatives appeared to think that in the power of interpretation the Governors could make the Instructions plastic enough to fit every emergency. When the Council advised the Governor that the Instructions would not permit him to sign a bill involving the emission of currency, the House said: —
“We cannot but please ourselves, had a more general and proper question been put they had given their advice to your honor to sign the bill.”335
At another time they thought the difficulty lay in the —
“instructions as now understood and improved by his Excellency;”336
and the same idea is involved in the request of the Council that the Governor should —
“take such measures that he may be enabled to give his consent to the said bill as soon as may be.”337
When the Representatives asserted that if they did —
“not struggle in every way to maintain and preserve their liberty they would act more like vassals of an arbitrary prince than like subjects of King George their most gracious Sovereign,”338
we need to be told that the subject under discussion was a Royal Instruction from that most gracious sovereign, if we are fully to appreciate the force of the statement. The Provincial courts of law did not hesitate to disregard such Instructions when, in their judgment, they contravened the rights of the litigants or the courts under the Charter;339 and the Agents of the Province in London did not scruple to advise the Assembly that it was better to force Parliament to intervene than to submit to Instructions which invaded the rights of the people.
“Of what Value [said Wilks and Belcher, in 1729,] is the Charter, if an Instruction shall at pleasure take away every valuable part of it? If we must be compelled to a fixt Salary, doubtless it must be better that it be done by the supream Legislature than to do it our selves: if our Liberties must be lost, much better they should be taken away, than we be in any measure accessory to our own Ruin.”340
When the attempt was made, in 1749, to secure the enforcement of Royal Instructions in the Colonies, through Parliamentary legislation in connection with the currency, William Bollan said, in a Petition to the House of Commons (6 April), that if the Bill —
“should be carried into a Law, by the Matter therein contained, for enforcing the Royal Orders and Instructions throughout the Colonies, all future Orders given by all future Princes, or by and under their Authority, to the Governors of the Colonies, however repugnant they may be to the present Constitution of Great Britain, and her Colonies, will be virtually contained in it, and receive the Sanction of Parliament from it; and that the Orders to those Governors, being in their Nature relative to the People under their Government, however illegal they would have been before making such Law, when they come to be ratified and enforced by it, they will thereby themselves become Laws, and necessarily bind the People.341
It is to the credit of Parliament that it listened to Bollan, and rejected the clause in the law concerning which he was arguing; but the discussion revealed possibilities to which the eyes of the people were gradually opening. We certainly have hints here of a progressive change in the opinions of the people of the Province as to certain methods of the Royal government which indicate an alienation of their affections, and which, if not radical enough to mark the epoch of the “real American Revolution,” at least point out a steady tendency towards the state of mind which would render it possible.
In 1740, under the influence of the fear of a stringency of the circulating medium, created by the Instructions to the Governor to compel the withdrawal of the greater part of the currency, the Land Bank, originally proposed in the Province in 1714, again raised its head. Hutchinson, speaking of the House of Representatives then in power, says: —
“It appeared that by far the majority of the representatives for 1740 were subscribers to or favorers of the scheme, and they have ever since been distinguished by the name of the land bank house.”342
With great caution he adds, farther on, —
“Perhaps the major part, in number, of the inhabitants of the province openly or secretly were well wishers to it.”343
If we turn to the records of that time, we find that the capitalists and hard-money men, powerless to control public sentiment, powerless also, as they found themselves, upon trial, to accomplish anything through their counter scheme, the Silver Bank, appealed to Parliament.
“The authority of Parliament [says Hutchinson] to controul all public and private persons and proceedings in the colonies was, in that day, questioned by nobody.”344
And he adds, that the application for an Act to suppress the Company was very easily obtained. Too easily, alas! for those who knew all the circumstances of the case, ever again to believe that Parliament could be trusted to legislate for the Colonies. Any man who could read could see that the Act of the 6th of George the First, Chapter 18, did not, by its terms, apply to the Colonies, so that every intelligent person in the Province must have understood that a great wrong was done in thus declaring that the organizers of the Land Bank came within the scope of that drastic measure. Some persons in the Province knew that the law officers of the Crown had been consulted, and that they had rendered opinions that there was no existing law under which such an experiment in banking could be reached. There were some who knew that the New Hampshire Bank of 1734 had actually met with approval by the Board of Trade, and yet, when the opportunity came for applying this doctrine of approval to men in Massachusetts engaged in an enterprise of a similar nature, it was discovered that their acts were no longer legal and permissible, but had become, in some strange way, criminal and abhorrent. A law which could not have been interpreted as reaching to the Colonies was declared to have originally applied to them, to have been constantly in operation there, and to be at that time in full force in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay. The majority of the House of Representatives, the majority perhaps of the people of the Province, were converted by this Act from innocent, law-abiding citizens either into actual violators of the law, liable to criminal process, or into what was nearly as bad, — avowed sympathizers with others who were thus situated. How this was looked upon by those who believed in the power of Parliament to legislate as it pleased concerning the Colonies, is disclosed by Hutchinson in the following words: —
“It was said the act of George the first, when it passed, had no relation to America, but another act 20 years after gave it a force, even from the passing it, which it never could have had without. This was said to be an instance of the transcendent power of Parliament.”345
At the time when Hutchinson thus glibly wrote of an Act giving force to a previous one, “even from the passing it, which it never could have had without,” he had abundant reasons for comprehending that something had aroused the people of Massachusetts, and it is difficult to comprehend how he or any other inhabitant of the Province could have calmly contemplated legislation of this character. It must be borne in mind, however, that the capitalists and intelligent business men were then in a state of heated indignation, and were prepared to avail themselves of any method which presented itself for the suppression of the Land Bank. There were some, however, who understood that the influence of these proceedings upon public sentiment was far reaching and important. The subscribers to the Land Bank, believing that they had a perfect right to proceed, were loath to recognize the Parliamentary Act, and reluctantly consented to liquidate the affairs of the Bank. Many of them were, apparently, ready to resist the enforcement of the law; but wiser counsels prevailed, and partly through the voluntary acts of the subscribers, partly through Provincial legislation, the Bank was wound up.
Under the Act of Parliament, every act performed by the subscribers to the Land Bank, under their organization, was null and void. In order to close up the Bank, it was absolutely necessary to recognize the obligations of the Company, and, in turn, those given to the Company by the subscribers. Thus, by Provincial legislation, passed for the purpose of effecting the object aimed at by the Act of Parliament, the Act itself was swept aside. This paradoxical proceeding was referred to by Samuel Adams in a Reply, on the part of the House of Representatives, on the second of March, 1773, to the Speech of the Governor of February sixteenth: —
“The act of Parliament [said Adams], passed in 1741, for putting an end to several unwarrantable schemes, mentioned by your Excellency, was designed for the general good; and, if the validity of it was not disputed, it cannot be urged as a concession of the supreme authority, to make laws binding on us in all cases whatever. But, if the design of it was for the general benefit of the province, it was, in one respect at the least, greatly complained of, by the persons more immediately affected by it; and to remedy the inconvenience, the Legislative of this province, passed an act, directly militating with it; which is the strongest evidence, that although they may have submitted, sub silentio, to some acts of Parliament, that they conceived might operate for their benefit, they did not conceive themselves bound by any of its acts, which, they judged, would operate to the injury even of individuals.”346
When this Act was passed, John Adams was a mere boy of about six years of age. The ceaseless passage of the years bore him on to a period of life when he took an interest in public affairs, and still the protracted legislation and litigation connected with the closure of the Land Bank occupied the attention of the Assembly and the courts of law. When he speaks of the effect of these proceedings upon the popular mind, he furnishes testimony which may be accepted as that of one who had full knowledge of these events. His measure of their importance, stated in the following language, leaves no doubt upon that point: —
“The Act to destroy the Land Bank Scheme raised a greater ferment in this province than the stamp-act did.”347
As we review these events, we can see that the preposterous legislation of Parliament, although incapable of practical enforcement, was made use of as a blind, behind which laws which violated its terms were passed to accomplish its purposes. Its evasion by the Assembly brought the question of Parliamentary Supremacy under discussion. The enforcement of the Provincial Laws passed to put it in practical operation, although acquiesced in by the capitalists and the solid men of the community on account of the good thereby to be accomplished, was not secured without arousing indignation and hostility throughout the Province.
“It’s supposed [wrote one of the pamphleteers of the day, that] there will be about One Thousand Subscribers, who in their Station of Life must have an Intercourse of Business or Dealing interwoven with Ten Thousand more.”348 “Many Towns [wrote another] take and pass these Notes in Trade and Business, scarce one Man dissenting, besides paying their Town and Ministerial Rates with it; at least in Part.”349
As we look over the list of Directors of the Land Bank we see the name of Samuel Adams, and in later Reports of Committees his estate is classed among the delinquents. It is known that the harassing proceedings taken against the estate of the father were a source of annoyance to the son, whose prominence in the political affairs of the Province just before the Revolution has made us familiar with the name. The defiance by the latter of the Sheriff who was trying to levy upon his father’s estate, was published in the News-Letter in 1758.350 Who shall measure the effect of these proceedings upon the mind of the future inspirer of the Committees of Correspondence, — the indefatigable and persistent leader in the revolutionary movement? The success of this movement is largely attributable to these Committees of Correspondence. Who can doubt that the idea of thus arousing the people and keeping them in touch with the contest, had its root in the frequent appeals to the Selectmen of the Towns made by the Representatives during these prolonged discussions? Who can fail to see that the Land Bank, if it had been let alone, would have collapsed in a few months after its organization through its inherent weakness? Yet Parliament, too impatient to wait for this, and too anxious to secure the prompt closure of the Scheme to scrutinize the methods by which it should be accomplished, sacrificed its reputation for consistency and justice, and in its haste to crush the Land Bank resorted to means which then aroused the indignation of this great number of interested persons, and which can not fail to create the same feelings in the mind of the disinterested reader to-day.
As we rehearse these events, who can doubt the instrumentality of the heated discussions concerning the Currency and the Land Bank, the prolonged conflicts between the Royal Governors and the Representatives, and the frequent appeals to the Selectmen by the Representatives, in creating that state of opinion which John Adams said “was the real American Revolution”?
The paper was discussed at length by Mr. Abner C. Goodell.
Mr. Henry H. Edes communicated a collection of unpublished letters and other papers and spoke as follows: —
The papers which I have brought here this afternoon have been drawn from more than one source. Copies of some of them and one of the originals have been in my possession for many years. I have brought them together in chronological order, feeling that in that way they can be made to tell a more connected story than if grouped by authors. The papers, with two exceptions, relate to the early history of Yale University and throw interesting sidelights upon many matters connected with that Seminary, especially as regards the contest in England over Governor Yale’s will, and the long and heated controversy over the permanent location of the Collegiate School at Saybrook, which was finally settled by the establishment of the Society at New Haven, where it has since remained, — the aid of the Governor and Council, however, as well as that of the Sheriff of the County of Middlesex, being necessary to end the struggle.
It is not my purpose to speak further of the history of the University;351 but a brief preliminary commentary upon the authors of these papers may conduce to a more ready understanding of them.
Jeremiah Dummer, who is the largest contributor to the collection, was a native of Boston, a brother of Lieutenant-Governor William Dummer (the founder of Dummer Academy), and a Harvard graduate of 1699. He subsequently studied at the University of Utrecht, where he took the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. From 1710 to 1721 he was the Agent of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in London. He also served the Colony of Connecticut in a similar capacity, as will be seen by his letters. He was a scholar whose literary fame rests chiefly upon his able treatise entitled A Defence of the New England Charters, when their loss was threatened, in 1721, — a fine specimen of his vigorous English style. He died in England, on the nineteenth of May, 1739, at the age of fifty-eight. One of our most recondite scholars has said of Dummer that he “was a bright, particular star in the firmament of two continents, far ahead of his time in many respects, and a very lovable character.”352 His letters afford fresh evidence of the importance of his agency in securing various and valuable gifts in the early days of the Seminary.
John Read was born in Fairfield, Connecticut, on the twenty-ninth of January, 1679. He graduated at Harvard in 1697 and became a successful preacher. In 1699 he joined the First Church in Hartford, of which the Rev. Timothy Woodbridge, to whom most of these papers were addressed, was long the minister. Leaving the ministry, he adopted the profession of the Law, in which he rose to eminence. His reduction of the redundant phraseology of our early deeds of conveyance to the simple form now in use, of itself entitles him to permanent and grateful remembrance, which might well take the form of a visible memorial, placed by the Bar of the Commonwealth upon the walls of King’s Chapel, of which he was at one time a Warden. Before removing to Boston, he purchased of the Indians, in 1714, a large tract of land, which he occupied as a sort of manor and named Lonetown. It was here that his Proposals as to settling the dispute over the location of the College were written, or at least, dated. This territory subsequently became, in part, the town of Redding, — so named in his honor. He was the first lawyer elected to the Massachusetts General Court. His great abilities soon attracted public attention and he was chosen to the Council of the Royal Governor, in which, in the time of Belcher and Shirley, he exercised a commanding influence. He was a truly great man of independent mind and of spotless integrity. He died on the seventh of July, 1749.353
Governor Gurdon Saltonstall of Connecticut, a great-grandson of Sir Richard, was a distinguished divine, orator, and statesman. His widow bequeathed to Harvard College £1,000 to educate students for the ministry.
Elisha Williams had a varied career. Graduating at Harvard in 1711, he entered the ministry and passed from the pulpit to the Rectorship of Yale, in 1726. Retiring from office in 1739, on account of ill health, he was, later, elected to the Legislature, was chosen Speaker of the House, and was subsequently appointed to the Bench. In 1745, he was Chaplain of the Connecticut Regiment sent to Cape Breton; and in the following year he was appointed to command a regiment in the intended expedition against Canada. He died at Wethersfield, on the twenty-fourth of July, 1755.
Dr. Benjamin Colman, long Minister of the Manifesto Church in Boston, was the friend of Calamy and other eminent English divines, and himself stood, at the time of his death, at the head of the New England clergy in respect of talents and influence. A man of brilliancy and intellect, of independent mind and action, and of catholicity of spirit, he naturally excited the envy of the Mathers, who attacked him with the vituperation of which they were masters.354 In 1724, he was elected to the Presidency of Harvard College, of which for seven years he had been a Fellow, but declined the honor. His high-mindedness is seen in the closing paragraph of his letter to Woodbridge, wherein he reveals his unwillingness to take advantage of the distracted condition of Yale.
Dr. Timothy Cutler is remembered in Boston as the Rector of Christ Church for more than forty years after his defection from the Congregational Order. He graduated at Harvard in 1701; and from 1719 till 1722 he was Rector of Yale College.
The Rev. Samuel Russel, of Branford, Connecticut, graduated at Harvard in 1681; and James Pierpont, who graduated at Yale in 1718, served that Seminary as Tutor.
Of the Rev. Timothy Woodbridge, to whom most of these papers were addressed, I have spoken at a previous meeting of the Society.355 He was named in the Charter of Yale College and was one of its ten Trustees.356 He was highly esteemed by the magistrates and was placed on important Committees appointed by the General Assembly to consider great public questions. He was also of a Committee “to furnish their Agent with directions or information” and to answer “charges against the proceeding of the Charter Government.” Notwithstanding his strenuous opposition to the establishment of the Seminary at New Haven, Woodbridge was finally reconciled, was honored by an appointment as Rector pro tempore, and moderated at the Commencement of 1723, when he conferred the Degrees. He was a member of the Saybrook Synod, in 1708, from which emanated the Saybrook Platform. He died at Hartford on the thirtieth of April, 1732. An obituary notice says that he was —
“a learned, well accomplished and grave Divine . . . He had the Interest of our College, especially in his latter Years, very much at heart, and did his utmost to promote the Prosperity of that Society. The flourishing of it, as at this day, is very much owing to him.”357
The text of the documents358 follows: —
15 Augt 1715.
The votes inclos’d will show you that I have no time to write, the Affair of Carolina has by the Artifice of one great villain359 that has bin often in America brought in the Massachusetts & Connecticut into the bill, so that the loss of our Charter comes like a Clap of Thunder without any previous Lightning if I can’t prevent it.
I am Yr Colonies
Letter de Charter &
JEREMIAH DUMMER TO TIMOTHY WOODBRIDGE.
Not having had the honour of a line from you Since my writing you Several letters, will I hope be some apology if I am but Short now. You have with out doubt long before this heard how happy the Maſsachusetts is like to be in Governour Shute who intends to Sail for Boston by the End of this Month. It has bin a vast struggle to procure this bleſsing to New England, & the work of a whole year’s application. It’s an inestimable priviledge which you have in Your Colony to create your own Governour & other inferiour Officers. I shall be glad to hear how your Young Academy grows, & whether you have built a convenient receptacle for your library, that I may send you Some proper Ornaments to furnish it. I hope you had, or at least have by this time, the books & Globes I Sent you by the last Ships, to which I am Still making Additions. I wish you health & all happyneſs, & am Sr
Your faithfull Humble Servt
6th July 1716
I Pray your Acceptance of the continuation of the Mercurys.
JEREMIAH DUMMER TO TIMOTHY WOODBRIDGE.
RevD. & Worthy SR
I have your letter of May Last before me, which if I have not already answer’d (for I can’t certainly tell having kept no Copy) I must depend on your goodnefs to forgive me. I now cover to you the Continuation of the monthly Mercurys being the five last, an Excellent Book of the famous Bishop Hoadley,360 & the Pope’s bull unigenitus, which has caus’d such mighty divisions in France, & in which you’l to your surprize find not onely the most innocent, but the most pious doctrines condemn’d as offensive to pious Ears. You have also in this packet the King’s Speech at the Opening His Parliament by which you’l see the King of Sweden has for some time bin preparing to invade this Kingdom. My Lord Chancellour told me last week that my Lord Carnwath, when he was examin’d a year since on his being taken at Preston, own’d to the King that the Pretender told him in his Closet that his last & cheif dependance was on the King of Sweden. But the Plot being now discover’d, the danger is over, for it would be very Strange if we having so much time to arm, & being protected by France & Holland, should not be able to Defend Our Selves against the power of Sweden, notwithstanding there are so many Male contents among our Selves. To paſs from this Subject to the Affairs of Connecticut, I am Sorry I cannot yet Send you the rest of the books with the Catalogue, but hope to do it by the fall, having a promise of Several large benefactions not yet come in. I should be glad however in the mean time if some oration at your Commencement might take notice of what Books you have already receiv’d (I mean onely in General words) & acknowledge your obligations to yor Friends here, & that then a proper paragraph of it might be prepar’d for the Boston Gazett, & the Gazett sent over to me. I could perhaps make use of this contrivance to the great advantage of the Colledge, besides it is a neceſsary peice of gratitude in you, & as requisite for my acquittal.
As for Dr. Williams’s361 charity, the will is not yet recorded for reasons I formerly gave you. But I have Seen a Copy of it taken in Short hand, & what concerns us is in Substance this. He leaves a Mannor of a 120 £ p annm. for the propagating the gospel among the Indians, whereof one halfe is to Harvard Colledge & the other to the Corporation362 here, but Still for the same use. That the one moiety (which is 60 p annm) should be appropriated to your Colony is very reasonable because Your Indians have bin hitherto wholly neglected, & there is a word in the demise that seems to fix it there, for it said the neglected pagans, which cannot be the Maſsachusett Indians after so much pains have been taken with them. I deliver’d Yor Government’s letter to the Corporation on this Subject, & gave them my opinion upon it, as I now write you, & I think I have interest enough with them to carry it so. However there is no immediate haste, because there’s a life upon the Estate which must fall before it comes into hand. And yet it is fitting to take proper care, for the life is a poor one being a very Sickly woman, who has already liv’d a good deal longer, than the Physicians thôt was poſsible.
I add to the Packet, yesterday’s Flying Post containing the Addrefs of the Afsembly of Carolina to the King to take their Province under his immediate Government. The Agents for that Province are preparing a Petition to the Parliament persuant to the Addreſs, & ’tis probable a bill will be brought in for it, & as probable that Our Enemies will make another push to have us included in it, but I don’t much fear what they Can do, as long as the Commiſsers Of the Customes are quiet, & make no remonstrances against us.
I wish you much health & happyneſs & am With very great Esteem & respect
Your faithfull Humble Servt
21t Febry. 1716/17
MR TimTY. Woodbridge
To the Honbl The Govr and Compa for Setting ye difputes concerning ye place of ye Collegiate School & dependencys thereof ye humble propofall of Jno Read —
Imprimis That the Lower houſe repreſenting ye whole Countrey declare ye place they deſire ye sd School to be Setled in —
That ye Genll Court Grant Six miles Square of Land where it may be found to be Improved as a State of Inheritance to ye uſe of ye School —
That ye Truſtees be moved to Settle ye School in ye place So to be named provided
1. That in three months next coming Some Gent: of ye Lower Houſe yt Shall be in ye vote for ye new place Shall procure a Collection for ye ufe of ye School to ye value of ye Sum Expended allready on ye School at Newhaven, & take ye Materialls at Newhaven provided for ye ufe of ye Contributers —
2. That within the time aforesd Some Gent, in ye vote aforesd procure Such a Subscription for ye new place as they will Warrant to Surmount and go beyond ye Sum̄s and benevolences yt are or shall be in ye Space of one moneth now coming be reaſonably secured for ye founding and Incouragement of ye School at Newhaven.
So yt if ye Collections and Subſcriptions above mentioned in manner and form above expreſsed be not made in ye time above Limitted yt yn ye Sd Truftees Shall proceed by ye Orders & agremts of ye majr part of ym to build & Settle ye Sd School at Newhaven as they have began
Mr Reeds propoſall
about the Colledge
RevD & dear Sir,
I hope you will excuse my not answering your last to me sooner, remembring what a busie time it has been of late with me. But ye more I think & the more I have enquired into ye Circumstances of your College, the more I grow in my Opinion that it is neceſsary for the Well-being of it that ye Claſses with Mr. Williams363 do not desert it. I am aſsured also that it will be heavily born by the Gentlemen Over-seers & others in Governmt with you, who have come into ye Vote for ye building at New-haven. And since ye House is now fixed there, how much soever it might be desired by you that it had not been so, I know your generous public spirit will now dictate to you ye best Methods wherein you may support & serve it. It will I fear weaken & dishearten your Accademy when your Commencement comes on, if several Graduates it may be of ye best Literature should decline receiving their Honours from her. We must in a thousand instances deny our Selves for ye common good. I cannot therefore bring my Self to be willing that any number of your Scholars should at this critical time offer themselves to us, but if your Son364 alone do so I have nothing against it, but shal be glad of any Opportunity to testify my regards unto you, & how much I am
Your Affectionate humble Servt.
Boston, June 4, 1718.
For The Reverend
Mr. Timothy Woodbridge
Pastor of a Church in Hartford.
N Lond: Nov: 20 1718.
This comes expreſs to You, for a Copy of the Act365 of the late Aſsembly, respecting the Settlement of the Colledge Affairs, which I would have, with ye publick Seal annexed to It, sent to Me, by this Meſsenger. And perhaps You will have all the Othr Acts for the Preſs, ready to send the Printer by the Same Opportunity. You had better hire the copying of them, than delay so long, the Sending of them to the Preſs.
Don’t forget the Papers I mentioned to You in my last by Capt Minor.366 (viz the Bundle of Pleas, or Proceedings in Harri’s Case, Contra Hill,) which I laid before the Aſsembly in May last, among the Papers relating to the Indians at Mohegan, & were taken from yt File to improve in yt Case. Which will be wanted here by the Committee. thrfore let them come sealed up to me, togethr with the Act I now write for.
I am concerned for Mr Treasurer367 Yr Neighbour, and desire You to inform Me how he is. I am Sr
Yr very humble Servt
You have among the Papers left on the Council board at N Haven, when I took my leave of You; The Minutes of the Orders We made, relating to the Money to be paid to the Trustees, and the Colledge Books at Saybrook; which You must also Send Me, with an Account [of] what You have done upon those Orders.
If you have a Sufficient Stock of Publick Paper, Such as You had at N Haven, send Me 2 or 3 Quire by this Expreſs.
Since my writing what is before, I understand Some Persons have a design to proceed at Weathersfield, in opposition to the Act of the late Aſsembly, relating to a Colledge at N Haven, & Schollars belonging to It at Weathersfield; Which thô I can hardly believe, Yet I think It may be best for You to draw a Copy of that Act, and cause It to be delivered to the Constable of Weathersfield, with an Order as from Me, that he publish It immediately in ye sd Town. Which You are accordingly to take care of; This will be a sufficient Means to prevent any Such Disorder as is said to be designed there. I would have You thrfore attend this Order, without Delay.
I am Sr
ABORTIVE ACT OF THE LEGISLATURE TO PROVIDE FOR A RESIDENT RECTOR.
An Act for the further Incouragmt of Yale Colledge
Whereas it Is thought Needfull for the Good Govermt of the Colledge at Newhaven and promoting learning there, to have a Reſident Rector, who with one Tutor may be Sufficient to Inſtruct the Studients belonging to the Said Colledge untill there Number be Considerably Increafed. and whereas the Sum̄ of one hundred pound a year already Given out of the publick Treaſury to the tutor of sd Colledge Is not Sufficient for a Reſident Rector & a Tutor. It Is therefore Enacted by the Governr Councell &c. that there shall be the Sum̄ of Eighty pounds more paid yearely out of the publick Treaſury for the Incouragmt & support of a Reſident Rector & one Tutor, which makes one hundred & Eighty pound in the wholeₒ for Such time as there shall be a Reſident Rector. or untill Such time as the Sum̄ of one hundred pound a year Can be raiſed for them Some other way. & then the said Eighty pound a year shall not be paid out of the Treafury but only the Sum̄ of one hundred pound a year as it hath been of late.
Paft in the Uppr Houſe
Teſt Hez. Wyllys368 Secretry
Diſsented to in the Lower houſe
Teſt Tho. Kimberly Clerk
For a Reſident
Rector &c. Yale
P: U: H
N: L: H
TIMOTHY CUTLER TO TIMOTHY WOODBRIDGE.
N. Haven Decr. 31. 1720.
Having communicated to the Revd. Mr Andrew369 and Mr Rufsel,370 a Letter which I recd. from the Govr. bearing Date Dec. 24. relating to the Building a Rector’s Houſe here, and defireing the Reſult of ye Revd. Truſtees Thoughts aſsoon as may be: it is their concurrent Opinion, That with all convenient speed there should be a meeting here of the Revd. Truſtees of this School upon this affair, as well as others, that may then be offered to Conſideration.
They have therefore empower’d me in their names to signify their defires, That you would give your attendance at Sd. meeting on ye 24 of January next enſueing: which I accordingly do, and entreat your Favour in the notification of it to Mr Buckingham.371
Sir, I am senſible that Riding such a journey on this Time (eſpecially as the caſe may be) will be very difficult, and I think that nothing but the urgency of affairs can call for it. But I think that this is the preſent caſe. You are not inſenſible of the Difficultys of my preſent Habitation, and my Tenure of it alſo is as uncertain as poſsible. If any thing be done reſpecting a Building this year it is requiſite there be a preſent Conſideration that the Timber be cut for it in the Winter Seaſon. I know, Sr, that such is your age and Diſtance, That you may as fairly put in for an Excuſe from coming as any Gentleman, but having a particular dependance upon your coming I can by no means be eaſy in a Submiſsion to it, and do therefore take the Freedom to Importune your mindfullneſse of us at that time. And having had so many Inſtances of your goodnefse in affairs of this nature, I muſt promiſe my self the Honr. & Happineſse of a Viſit at that time.
There is lately come amongst us a Dream of one Wait-still Hoping, referring to Stratford & Lime under late & preſent Circumſtances, particularly relating ye affairs of ye late Council at Stratford, & Favouring ye Determinations of it, particularly magnifying the Character and conduct of a Revd. Gentleman Mr Izzard. The Repreſentation of it is in ye way of a deſign’d wedding, the Legality whereof is conteſted and disproved by one Mr Immoveable. The air of it is pompous and rapturous, and pretty taking with us. The Revd. Mr Izzard who is called the Authour may pofsibly be here at ye meeting if his great Diſtance or Vapours hinder not.372
The College Bell is now raiſed and gives a very pleaſant clear Sound, and we are humbly thankfull to Madm. Woodbridge’s Geueroſity in it.373 To whom I give my service as well as to your self, who am, Revd. Sir
Your Hum. Servt.
JEREMIAH DUMMER TO TIMOTHY WOODBRIDGE.
Mr Yale Sends you by this Ship one hundred pounds Sterling in goods for the use of his Colledge, & Aſsures me that a present which he has bin long getting ready, of Instruments, books, & pictures shall be Sent you in a month’s time. I am glad to get what I can of him, thô it be leſs than his engagements; for he promis’d me that he would Send you over 200 £ ꝑ anno as long as he liv’d, & make a Setlement upon you forever, to commence immediately after his death. But I am afraid lest being old he should dye and neglect it, Therefore I think it proper that you Continue writing to him. Mr Hollis has given me Some hopes that he will think of you when he has finish’t what he intends to do for Harvard Colledge,375 which I’le do every thing in my power to promote, thô I’ve receiv’d very Severe reprimands from some of my friends in Boston for having made application to him.
The ruin of Southsea Stock & all publick credit, & the bribery detected in persons in the Administration, & in members of both Houses of Parliament has thrown us into Such confusion, that one can’t tell how or where the Scene will end. If you were but sure of keeping your Charter, I think I should prefer a quiet humble retreat in a corner of Connecticut rather than the most conspicuous place in this Kingdom, which is so universally Corrupt, that there is not the face of honesty left among us. I present you with a bundle of Sermons, which I shall send to Mr Dixwell376 in Boston & desire him to forward it to you.
I am Sr
Your Very humble Servt
LondO. Middle Temple
7th March 1720 [1720–21.]
To The Revd. Mr Woodbridge
Minister of ye Gospel at Hartford in Connecticut
TIMOTHY CUTLER TO TIMOTHY WOODBRIDGE.
N. Haven July 7. 1721.
I humbly thank you for your Concern abt ye College Mony to be procured for us by Capt. Wadsworth.377 But I do not underſtand that there is any come to us beſides wt you sent down a litle while agoe, and I am very much affected with it from my Engagement in ye Purchaſe I have made of a Houſe, for which I shall shortly want 55lb to pay ye man erelong, befides another 55lb yt I have taken upon Intereft on ye same accot.
I have laft night recd a Letter from His Honr. Encouraging us to hope Mr Yale will further remember us in such an Annuity as you Speak of. His Honr. writes, That He shd. have now sent to Mr Hollis by ye ships going for England, but that He could never obtain a sight of ye Letter which the Truſtees formerly wrote to Him, & so could not write in concert with them. I suppoſe He never was addreſsed by the Gov. Truſtees, & yt wt was done was done by your Self in a Letter to Mr Dummer taking notice of Mr Hollis’s Generoſity to ye College of Cam. intimating yt we tho’t He would not be regardleſse of us did He know our State; & this in complyance with Mr Dummer’s Motion
Govr. Yale hath remembred us in a Preſent of 105lb. 0. 3. The laſt Poſt bro’t a Letter from Mr Lyde378 signifying it was in his hands and desireing ye Truſtees orders abt. it. Mr Ruſsel & Andrew & Ruggles379 wrote down to Him praying His care abt ye goods till further Orders. Now ye Govr. hath sent us ye Invoyce from Him. with a Letter alſo frō His Honr. They are in 2 Trunks; Mohair Buttons, Stuffs, Silk sowing &c. He suppoſes they will sell at Bofton for 200lƀ ꝑ Cent, but to get ready Mony is Impracticable. He adds yt yy have the good news of Col. Tailer’s380 Arrival, & yt there is a Proſpect of His being again on ye Establishment for a Coll. in half pay & hopes to be upon his return home sometime in Augt. next. The Gentlemen here have tho’t yt ye Goods might be sold in thefe parts to much better advantage than In Boſton. I hope Sir you will uſe your utmoft care to conceal this advice I now give you, leaſt it totally hinder ye Good Effects of ye Brief out, as ye Genll. news we are affraid in part will.
I almoſt forgot to say yt ye Gentlmen Truſtees aforesd. defired Mr Lyde to send yr Service & Thanks to Mr Yale, & to signify yt He might expect a further addreſse for yt end upon ye firſt meeting together.
I have acted in ye matter relating to N. York381 so far as to acquaint Mr Whittelfey382 Mr. Noyes,383 Mr Hall384 with your Tho’ts & deſires in it. Mr Whittelfey says yt in a fortnight or 3 Weeks he expects Mr Caner385 at his Houſe to make some repairs of it, which will inevitably detain Him from that Service. Mr Hall is too much under the Terrors of a Scotch Warr to go, as He says He intimated to your Self at Ye Election, w̄ you made ye Motion to Him. As to Mr Noyes I have yet had no anſwer. Mr Brown386 & My self shall be averſe to no service in supplying ye Pulpit of any Perfons yt may go upon yt Service yt ye Truſtees shall deſire. Mr Smith387 one of yeactrrs. in the affairs of yt Chh. writes to me for my encouragement to come & spend some time wth us to polifh himfelf & I believe I shall encourage him. Sir your Son is in grt haſte & this obliges me to yt Confuſion yt needs your Pardon. Sir I defire a letter from you Speedily if you see meet. I am Sir
Your H Servt.
Mr. Cutler’s Letter
I writ to you very lately & Sent You a Small Box of Books to be distributed among some of the Students of Yale Colledge, which I hope will in due time come Safe to Your hands. I forgot in my letter to answer that paragraph in Yours relating to a dispute I had in France, which you heard I intended to print, & desir’d a Copy of it. I’le aſsure you I never intended to print it, & was very sorry to fee it mention’d in Our publick News-papers here, which was done by a Learned Gentleman who was present at the disputation being in Paris at that time. You can’t imagine what envy this publication (thô intirely without my knowledge) rais’d against me among some people, who would certainly have discredited The fact, if it had not bin publickly manag’d in the greatest Church in France before many thousands of people, & in the presence of Several English Gentlemen of the first distinction, who were then at Paris, which made it impoſsible to be doubted or deny’d. I must own it was the most remarkable paſsage in my obscure & inconsiderable life, & therefore can’t wonder, Si Invidiae Oculi doluiſsent. I don’t however afsume any glory to My Selfe from the fuccefs of the dispute, which was apparently on my side, but attribute it wholly to the invincible truth of the doctrine I defended. I told the Jesuit, before I propos’d my Arguments, that I was sensible of the Impar Congreſsus between him, a profound Doctor in Theology at the head of the Learnedest University in Europe, & my Selfe an Itinerant Layman, who had receiv’d my birth & Education in the wilds of America; But that I was firmly perswaded of the goodnefs of my cause, which alone gave me the Courage to enter the lists with him. Nor should I have done it neverthelefs, if he had not from the Pulpit invited any person in the Audience who was diſsatisfy’d with his doctrine to oppose him. Nor perhaps then neither, if Sr Biby Lake388 who sate on one side of me, & a Learned Swede of my Acquaintance, who Sate on the Other side of me, had not forc’d me up, & then I did not know how to sit down again; for as soon as I rose The Jesuit fix’t his eye upon me, & the whole Audience Seem’d to expect Something. I Beg pardon for troubling you with this long Story which you have brought upon Your Selfe by desiring an Account of it.
I present you with the Historical Register wherein You ’l find all the material Occurrences for a quarter of a Year past. I shall also put up in this packet a treatise I receiv’d from New England, & publish’t here relating to the inoculation of ye Small pox This new practice begins to Spread here, & is in so good reputation, that The Young Prince, & two Princefses, & a Son of the Earl of Sunderland are now under it.389
I am Sr
Your Most faithful humble Servt
18th April 1722
De Public Disputation with the Jesuit in the Church of Notre Dame Paris &c
GURDON SALTONSTALL TO GEORGE LUCAS.
The Generall Aſsembly of this Colony, at their Seſsions in May laſt, looking into their treaſury, and finding Several Arrears in ye Accts. of our late treaſurer, Capt. Joseph Whiting,390 desired my Care, yt. they might be obtain’d & applied, to ye benefit of a Colledge They have Lately erected at New Haven. The Dedication of those Sums to yt pious Use, prevail’d wth me to undertake ye matter; and more Eſpecially, when I obferved them to be in ye hands of Gentlemen, of too Great Honour, to frustrate a Dedication, of such a Nature; and with whome therefore I should meet with no difficulty.
Among those Arrears, there is an Article of Indian Corn, to the Value of twenty pounds charg’d to Your Account; an Article So Small and of So Long Continuance, that, as I may well be perswaded You have Intirely forgotten It, So I should not Give You any hint about It, had it not been devoted to Support a pious Undertaking, which very much wants it. I have Good Aſsurance from Your Character, that the Opportunity Our Generall Court has given me, of applying those Sums in such a manner, will be Very agreeable to You. And if You pleaſe to Direct to me by any Veſsel, bound to N. London, or any other Port in this Colony, what You may think moſt proper to make ye forementioned Sum here, I shall take care It Shall be disposed of Accordingly; and that that article of your Accts. in our Treaſury, Shall be Cancelled.
It’s now a considerable time since I had ye Opportunity of some Acquaintance wth you, when Your Reſidence was at Hartford and I muſt Confeſs, Should be very loth to take Such an Occaſion as this to renew It, If I had not known You to be a Gentleman of unſullied Honour. But that’s a Sufficient Aſsurance to me of Your Favour in this Matter, as You may by this, be aſsured, that I am with Just Regard
Your most humble Servt.
N London in Connecticut
June 12. 1722.
George Lucas Eſqr
[Filed] To George Lucas391 Eſqr
JEREMIAH DUMMER TO TIMOTHY WOODBRIDGE.
I have two letters to thank you for, one of Septr, & the Other of Novr. last. You have heard before now of the death of Mr Brown,392 the youngest of the three ministers who came over here from Your Colony, & you have probably Seen it in the prints that his death was much lamented. I must needs say it was by me, for his good nature, modesty & ingenuity. Our News papers have told us that Mr Cutler393 is made a Doctr. of Divinity at Oxford, & Mr Johnson394 Master of Arts, but I think it is not true, thô it’s very probable it may be true in a little while for they are gone to the University with that view. When these Gentlemen came first over, I shew’d them the civility of a countreyman, but resolv’d not to meddle in their Affairs, & accordingly I did not accompany them to any Bishop or other great person of my acquaintance. I was the more cautious in my carriage towards them, because I understood by letters from Boston that their defection from the religion of their Countrey was owing to the Library I had sent over, with this particular Slander, that I had fill’d the Library with every book for the Church & not one of the Other Side. You, Sr, that have Seen the books, know that the reverse of this is true, & that there never was an Eminent Diſsenter & Author whose works are not in that Collection. Unleſs some of the books are lost or Stollen (which indeed I hear) You’l find Goodwin, Owen, Baxter, How, Bates, Carryl, Manton, Charnock, Pool, Henry, Calamy; & Others who have learnedly oppos’d the Ceremonys & Hierarchy of the Church, fuch as Didoclavius, Ames, Peirce & Others. And yet I find I have bin reproach’t as before mention’d, which will discourage me from sending any more books At least ’till I hear from you about it. As to the matter of Your Charter, I hope it is Safe. Colo Shute395 has not bin able to move any thing this fefsion of Parliament, & what he proposes to do in the next is pretty much a Secret between him & his Friends (I mean friends to that design) For as to my Selfe thô I may Stand neuter as to the Maſsachusets, who won’t let me Serve them, yet I shall be very Active for Connecticut, if any bill for regulating the Charter Governments Should again be brought into the House of Commons.
The King sets out this morning for his German Dominions, the Plot being wholly defeated inasmuch as the Bishop of Rochester,396 who is thought to have bin the life & Soul of it, has bin convicted, & sentenc’d to perpetual banishment. The Act for his Banishment makes it felony without Clergy for any person to Correspond with him unleſs they have leave under the King’s sign manual.
Europe at present enjoys a general peace, nor is there any prospect of war, unlefs the Turk & Czar of Muscovy should fall out about the latter’s new Conquests in Persia. And should this happen it would do us no harm, but rather confirm our tranquility, as it will find the Czar work at a distance, & thereby prevent his creating new troubles in the Baltick, which will always embroyl us.
I put this letter under Cover to my Brother, & design, if I can meet with any paſsenger to Send you Some prints & pamphlets.
I am with great regards
Yr Very humble Sert
3d June 1723
JEREMIAH DUMMER TO TIMOTHY WOODBRIDGE.
I wrote to you lately; This is onely to accompany some prints which I intend to deliver to Mr Johnson.397 The peice of Divine poetry I Send you for the Sake of some good notes at the end of it, as well as for the poem it selfe, because I know you have a genius that way.
I wish you all happyneſs & am Sr
Your Very humble Servt
Mr Yale’s administratx
delays the hearing at
Doctr.s. Commons, but I
don’t much doubt of succeſs.
London 20th July 1723
N Lond. Sept: 6. 1723
Not only my Brothr Roger’s398 viſit but several other Affairs relating to the publick at this Juncture, have obliged me to lay afide all Thoughts of being at the Commencement.
Upon which I have in a Lettr to M Andrew suggested my Thoughts relating to the better government of the Colledge, as particularly to the setling of a Reſident Rector. It is not that I have any Inclination to insert my Self into Matters committed to ye Care of the Trustees, but as I hope and believe We are of one mind to promote the Benefit of yt Society, I concluded the Freedom I have taken, would not be thought amiſs of. If any thing should happen of a Contrary Nature; You may be aſsured, and I desire You to Aſsure all the Gentlemen concern’d with You, that notwithstanding what I have hinted, I heartily wish well to, whatever Resolves You shall come to relating to that Affair; But I hope You will think it neceſsary, that much more time Should not be lost, in filling up that Vacancy.
I hear M Pierpont399 designs to remove from ye Colledge at the Commencent, and that M Smith400 has also some such Thoughts. It must needs be a great disadvantage to the Colledge to loose them both at Once. I hope therefore If M Pierpont accepts of a Call to the Ministry, You will find a way to prevail wth Mr Smith to Stay a Year or two longer; wc I should be very glad of. I am Sr
Yr very humble Servt
Mr Rogers gives his
hearty Service to You.
JEREMIAH DUMMER TO TIMOTHY WOODBRIDGE.
Your last letter of July 1t. I have now before me. The Gentleman whose picture you receivd from me with a latin Letter is Doctor Turner401, a very Learned Physician & worthy Gentleman, who has made a handsome benefaction of books to your Colledge which I gave a particular account of to Colo Saltonstal; I can have ten guineas of a Bookfeller for one of the books, & the rest are his own Learned Works. You Shall have them all over as soon as I can make up a parcel, having many more in view which I hope Soon to gather in: If you Send this Gentleman a Diploma for a Doctorate, You will do yourselves great honour.
I am going on with my Suit in Doctor’s Commons for the probate of Mr Yale’s imperfect will, as fast as the Slow proceedings of that Court, & the Studyed delays of the Administratrix will permit. I am endeavouring to make Some Oblique impreſsions on Mr Hollis in your favour, for there’s no attacking him directly He being very much a humourist. When he does any thing, He must do it ex mero motu, & not seem to be iufluenc’d by any body.
I am afraid this Winter may prove fatal to Your Charter, for which in all your letters You are So justly & so anxiously concern’d. Colo Shute exhibited to the Lords of the Regency a pretty Severe Complaint, consisting of many articles, against the Maſsachusett’s Aſsembly, & it has bin declar’d that he had prov’d every Charge therein from our own printed votes. Some of the Lords declar’d publickly that we were dancing to the Old tune of 41,402 & that we had done Such things as would be adjudg’d in any other Government than this mild one, to be Treason & Rebellion. If therefore The Parliament Should this winter take the Maſsachusetts to task ’Tis to be fear’d, They ’l take in the Other Charter Governments. The Parliament being a great Body of men, does not consider things distinctly, besure not minutely, but takes every thing in the Lump, & will Suppose that all Governments alike Constituted are or will be guilty of the Same faults. It shall however be my task & no pains shall be wanting, to prevent such an unjust method of proceeding. And my Efforts Shall be the Stronger, as I am afraid they will be my last, to preserve Our expiring American liberty. Perhaps One thing may avert the Evil we fear, I mean the division that is at present among the Ministry. It is certain that My Lords Cadogan & Carterett draw One way & My Ld Townsend & His Brother Walpole another. This was the reason that both the Secretrys went over this year with the King, neither of them Daring to trust the Other. Now if this division should continue & increase, They ’l have enough to do to carry on the Ordinary & Neceſsary buis’neſs of the Kingdom, & It may be will hardly agree together in any new Enterprise. But this is not to be depended upon, & I fear the Worst. Whatever the Event be, Liberavi Animam meam; for I have given the Boston people repeated Warnings of the destruction they were bringing on their Countrey, but I Could not be heard.
We have no News, All Europe as well as this Kingdom in particular, being in great tranquility & like to Continue so.
I am Sr
Yr faithfull humble Serv.
10th Septr. 1723
JAMES PIERPONT TO TIMOTHY WOODBRIDGE.
I received yrs of Oct 28 and am thankfull to you for ye Information you therein gave me. I have in complyance with your Directions accomodated Kilburn403 to his satiffaction.
You are I prefume senfible who the Truftees appointed to go to New York. yy all went save Mr Chapman,404 the Committe from ye Synod mett them, & after much difcourfe among them felves & with ye parties Concerned yy broak up without doing any thing to effect, being obliged thereto by ye Scotch parties extravagant terms, which were such yt our Gent: could by no means adviſe ye Engliſh to comply with
this affair I conclude is so Sircumſtaneed that Mr Edwards405 will not any more enguage in it & therefore I hope he will have your adviſe in favour of North haven in as much as it is a much better place than where, he is, & it is both for ye intereſt of ye Truſtees & safety of ye Colledge to have the neighbouring Clergy both able & well principled both which in my account Mr Edwards bids very fair for.
I have nothing Speciall reſpecting the Colledge therefore shall leave it in your hands to be preſented on all occaſious to ye throne of Grace. I was verry Sorry you were not here att ye meeting of ye Truftees & yt ye more becauſe you were detained through indiſpoſition; of which I hope this will find you freed. So with dutyfull regards to yr Self & Mam I conclude who am yr moſt humble Servant
Yale Colledg No: 5th
To ye Revd Mr
P. E. C407
We have proceeded in the Affair with Middletown408 as farr as we are Capable att prſent and think it very needfull there ſhould be a meeting of the truſtees at New Haven the day before Com̄encement (farther to Confider that Matter) att one of the Clock in the Library Requeſt you will not fail:
Midd: Auguſt 13th 1724:
Yr. Humble Servts: SamLL. Russell409
JEREMIAH DUMMER TO TIMOTHY WOODBRIDGE.
RevD & Dear SṞ
I have your’s before me of Septemr last, which is very obliging as all your letters are. The Diploma for Dr. Turner as also the letter that came with it I deliver’d; and thô you are so modest as to make an apology for the bad latin, I think they were drawn up in a true Roman diction, & both for language & sentiments exceed any thing I ever yet saw from My Own Alma Mater. I must at the Same time observe that the Diploma is writ in a fine hand, & so hansomly ornamented with flourishes, that I was very much pleas’d to See it. As Religion & polite learning have bin travelling westward ever since their first appearance in the World410 I hope they won’t rest ’till they have fixt their cheif Residence in Our part of the World. You have inclos’d Dr Turner’s answer to your’s by which you’l see he Continues his friendship to your Colledge, & I beleive (from his great Modesty) will do more than he promises. I have Sent You in a Box directed to Mr. Read411 of Boston a few more books that were given me, which I hope he will take care to convey to you.
I[t] troubles me every moment I think of it that we lost Our Cause in ye Commons by the vile decree of the Dean of the Arches, who, I verily beleive was corrupted; But as this can’t be prov’d & an Appeal to the Delegates will be very Expensive, I am forc’d to Sit Still, & content my Selfe with this Reflection that I have given the Colledge a fair chance to recover the Legacy, without putting it to any Expence.
I condole with you upon the surprizing death of your late Excellent Governour,412 whose Memory will be to me always precious. I need Say nothing of his worth to you who knew him so well, But I always thought it so great, that there was no other person but your Selfe in the Colony capable of Succeeding him in the Chair of Government. The Gentleman, who is chosen Governour, is wholly unknown to me, but by a letter I have receiv’d from him he appears to be an honest & Sensible Gentleman. I desire you’l Aſsist him in an Affair which I have a Commiſsion to write to him of. The Indian Corporation413 have now a pretty large Sum of money in their hands, & the Governour has promis’d me to propose to the Corporation that this money as well as their Constant Annual Remittance Shall be divided for the future between your Colony & the Maſsachusetts. He has already made a beginning by Nominating your new Governour One of the Society’s Commiſsers. But before this thing can be Compleated, Governr. Talcott must write Governr. Ashhurst a letter to be laid before the Corporation showing what Number of Indians there are in Yr Colony, & what prospect you may have of doing good among them, & particularly setting forth that Your Colledge is founded upon principles agreeable to the Religion of the Countrey, for they have heard a foolish Story, as if you design’d it as a Nursery for the Church of England. The Letter must be thus directed
Governour of the Society for propagating
The Gospel in America
Seeing you are So obliging as to make me an offer of Your friendship, now my good friend is gone, I’le take the liberty of telling you that my Sallary which was given me at first for 60 Sterl (& so much at that time a £100 in New-England was worth) is now fallen to about 30£ Ster., so that I am reduc’d to halfe my Salary, & even this they leave to me to get hither as I can, which I often am Several Years in doing, & at last with loſs. Colo. Saltonstal in his last letter desir’d me to mention it to the Aſsembly, but I don’t love to be writing of my own personal Matters; I shall onely Say to you, if my Salary must remain on the present footing, I had much rather have none at all, & content my Selfe with the Credit of Serving the Colony Gratis.
The Controversy between Cols. Shute414 & Cook415 is yet undecided, but for no Other reason than the Lazyneſs of the Ministry, who are very Angry with us, but won’t be at the pains & trouble of Chastizing us. The Czar of Muscovy is just dead, & left the Czarina (who was once a Drummer’s wife) Sole Empreſs & Sovereign of all Ruſsia, without taking the least notice (in ye deed of setlement) of his Grandson Peter Czarowits, who is about 10 years of Age. Our King is preparing to visit his German Dominions, & we hope will in Conjunction with other protestant powers relieve the poor City of Thorn: I have hardly room to tell you
that I am Yr faithfl humble Serv
25 Febry 1724–5
JEREMIAH DUMMER TO TIMOTHY WOODBRIDGE.
The Winter, that is now past, has interrupted our epistolary commerce, Or otherwise you had receiv’d good Dr. Turner’s letter sooner. I took what pains I could with the Censors’ of the Colledge of Physicians to honour & ratify your Diploma, but my labour prov’d in vain for this onely reason that of late all the little Operatours in medicine about this City have for small ſumms obtain’d degrees at Glasgow, which has so enrag’d the Eminent practisers, that they have resolv’d to discourage every thing of that kind, & show no Countenance but to the Graduates at Oxford & Cambridge. I am glad that the General Court of the Maſsachusetts have bin so wise as to accept the Explanatory Charter which otherwise might have brought ruine both upon them & you. As to the Affairs of your Colony I write particularly to your good Governour, for whom I can’t but have a great esteem. His general Character & his letters to me demonstrate him to be a Gentleman of Singular Worth & integrity. I wish an opportunity would present that I might do him some particular Service. Had we, for our sins bin depriv’d of our Charters, which I much fear’d, I determin’d to use my utmost interest, that he might have bin the King’s First Governour, which would have been some small consolation to the Colony, & in such a Calamity, a very great satisfaction to my Selfe. But it is much happyer as it is, & I dare say Governour Talcott thinks so, notwithstanding the Broad Seal of England, & the title of His Excellency are tempting things.
The three newspapers inclos’d will give you a pretty good account of the publick affairs of Europe for the Year past, & of the difficult prospect we have for the Year to Come. All Europe is arming at this time, & the Several States & powers have shifted sides in a manner very Surprizing. We have three great fleets fitting out, One for the streights, another for the Baltick, & a third for the West Indies.
I have some more books for your Colledge. which I shall soon send you. Wishing you much health & Ease in your advanc’d years,
I am Sr
Your very humble Servt
Londo. 25th March 1725
JEREMIAH DUMMER TO TIMOTHY WOODBRIDGE.
After a long Silence I have at length your kind & friendly letter, which is the more Welcome, & Seasonable to me now than ever before, after losing my great & good friend Governour Saltonstal. I live in hopes of procuring some noble benefaction to your Colledge, & am continually using some means to procure it; but things of this Nature require time & patience. I have some very valuable books by me, that I have Collected for you, which I’le Send you over next Spring.
I should be very willing to gratify your Curiosity about the true reasons of the Fall of the Earl of Macclesfeild, but that the subject is too long for a letter, & too nice to be put in writing. However, I may Say in General, That he did not fall for unrighteous decrees, or a corrupt management of the great Seal (thô both these were pretended) but It was owing to powerfull Enemies in the Cabinet. My Lord Carteret lost the Secretary’s Seals for the same reason, & at the same time, but he being a great favourite of the King, & universally belov’d in the Nation, His few potent Rivals let him fall easily & Honourably by Sending him Vice-Roy into Ireland. Whereas The Chancellour being a haughty man, & very unpopular, & particularly obnoxious to the Great man, Sr Robt Walpole, it was resolv’d to produce him into the publick light, & turn him out for pretended high Crimes & Misdemeanours, that his fall might be the more ignominious. By the inclos’d Register, you’l See the Accusation of the Commons, & his Lordp’s Answer, by which You ’l be able to Judge Something of the merit of the Case.
As to the Affair of Thorn, it is generally believ’d that we shall have a Religious War, but I don’t think so; It seems more probable to me, That Austria & France will interpose their mediation, & oblige the Poles to make some condescentions to their Protestant Subjects; Thô at the Same time it is certain that the Senate & people of Poland (instigated by the Cardinal Primate) seem ready to sacrafice their lives & fortunes rather than to come into any moderate measures with the Lutherans, & Calvinists. The whole affair will turn upon the two treaties which Have lately bin made; one between the Emperour of Germany & the King of Spain; & another between the King of great Britain, The King of France, & the King of Pruſsia, which was concluded at Hannover. It is thought that these two treaties were made in opposition to each other, but no body can see into those deep Secrets except a few people who stand near the Candle.
France is very happy in a Queen, pofsefs’d of all amiable, & princely vertues, by which She will be able to soften the temper of Her Young Monarch, which is very austere & Surly. She is, besides, devout & religious, & has already reform’d The French Court in a great article, which is that of going every Sunday in the Afternoon to an Opera instead of going to Church. Thô I must confeſs, as the French manage Divine Service, especially in The King’s Chappel, there is not a great deal of difference between one & t’other. For they have no preaching, & they Chant the Maſs with Fiddles, & German Flutes, & Severall other instruments of Musick.
Our King is well at Hannover, & there’s no Talk when he will Come over. His English Subjects are very uneasy, but His Hannoverian Ones rejoyce, For the King’s presence there with all the Foreign Ambaſsadours whom he takes with him creates a vast expense, & such a Circulation & plenty of money there as was unknown to them in former times.
I design to write to Governour Tallcott by this Ship. I take him to be a very worthy & Considerate person.
I am Sr
Your very humble Servt
8th Octr. 1725
JEREMIAH DUMMER TO TIMOTHY WOODBRIDGE.
RevD.& Dear SR.
I have your Obliging Letter of Novemr. last for which and for all other kind Expreſsions of your Favours and Friendship I have a very great and juſt Regard.
My Motion for a Tryal of the Controversy about the Divisional Line was under Consideration for Six Months, but was this Week over Ruled against me upon producing two Letters from your Government, One for the Lords of the Counsel, the other to the Board of Trade wherein You submitted the Cause to their Decision; or otherwise I would not have suffered a Matter of Property to have been determined any where but in the Courts of Com̄on Law, and Stil I shall inſist that the Rhode Islanders have got only the Jurisdiction, and the Soil remains with us.416
I am very glad you have got a new Rector417 of Your Colledge who gives ſuch good hopes of promoting the Interest of your Seminary for Religion & Learning. I have Delayed hitherto the sending some Books that have been given to Your Colledge, in Expectation of a Considerable Addition, but whether I have that or not in a little time I shall send you thoſe Books I have by me.
Be pleas’d to accept a Pamphlet which will give you an Accot. of the State of our Affairs in thes Critical & Extreordinary Conjuncture. It is writ by Order of the Government, and put into Stile and Method by two very good Writers, the Bifhops of London & Sarum.418 The Political States I have sent to Your Governor which You’l see in Course.
I thank God for the Continuance of Your Uſeful & Valuable Life which is of so great Service to Your Country.
I am with very great Esteem & Respect
Yo. moſt Obedient humble Servant
10. Febry 1726/7.
ELISHA WILLIAMS TO TIMOTHY WOODBRIDGE.
Since you allow me on all occaſlons the Freedom of offering my Thoughts, & have ever a Mantle ready to Throw over Them yt. diſcover my weakneſs. I preſume to offer Something that has occurred to me in the preſent Conjuncture of affairs, yṯ Surprize & fill everybody with Concern what ye Iſsue may be. For my own part I muſt Confeſs my fears are greater wth relation to our religious than Civil Interests. Thô if our Law reſpecting Inteſtate Eſtates419 be Declared a Nullity ab Initio, & So the Common Law of England, from thence to take place, we are Thrown Into ye. greateft Coufuſion. But in That Caſe it Seems hopefull, — That if we are not able to Make it good yt we had power to Make Such a Law, before ye proper Judges (For I Take it the King & Council Declaring it a Nullity does not make it So) And if we Think it adviſable may have a hearing before ye. Kings Judges — Not that it aught Now to Obtain as our Common Law, being an Immemorial Cuſtom — Yet we may obtain a Confirmation of all paſt Judgments in our Prerogative Courts upon Inteſtate Eſtates — Upon our Petition, Unleſs we Can Suppoſe the King is Willing his Subjects here Should be ruined. And if the Common Law in That Cafe takes place only for the future, The Conſequences will not be So Unhappy. —
Will they not Say our Ecclefiaſical Eſtabliſhment is a Nullity? Our College Charter a Nullity? (Can we plead & make it Good when we have done yṯ ye. Governour & Company have a power to Make a Body Politick?) and may we not fear we Shall in a Little Time be in no better Circumſtances yṉ our Diſsenting Brethren in England? — That our Churchmen are all ways strongly Sollociting ye. Biſhop of London to Send a Suffragan hither we are well aſsured — and I suppoſe the only reaſon why it has not been done, has been the want of wherewith to Maintain him. and I Conclude They Imagine they are getting over That. I have Juſt Underſtood — Mṟ Johnſon420 has Sent the Biſhop of London an account, That ye office of the Probate of Wills in this Government is Worth a Thouſand Pounds ꝑ Annum — and for what he should give him such an account Cant be Conceived Unlefs with Such a view of his Exercifing a Plenary Jurifdiction. For which I obferve in the Prints a Commiſſion is paſſing the Broad Seal421 and if yr. be any poſsible way Jure vel Injuriâ, to Defeat The Intention of Erecting the College it will be done. Nothing will Stand in the way of the Bigots to Mother Church.
Now what I would propoſe to Your Conſideration is whither it would not be adviſeable That The Agent of The Government now Sends, be directed in the Prudentiſt Methods Poſsible, to obtain a Charter for the College from the King. and if it might be, alſo, Something in favour of our Eccleliaſtick Conſtitution. — and Theſe Conſiderations Seem to render it not Entirely hopeleſs
1 The King has but Juſt come to the Throne, — & so it is not an Unlikely Hour for acts of Grace.
2. The Incomparable Good Temper of ye Queen wth whom ꝑhaps a good Intereſt might be made for it.
3. What ye King has Done & after all our Endeavours to releive our Selves will probably do, with relation to our Civill Intereſts will be no Small Shock and Grievance to us — & phaps to do us a favour in another Matter as yt of a Charter for ye. College may be ye more eaſily granted — Since tis not Uncommon nor diſagreeable to ye wiſdom of a Prince to Shew an act of Grace when he has manifeſted Severity — and under such Circumftances we shall find ye greater pity from Thoſe yt have any Tenderneſs for us, and a more Cheerfull aſsiſtance from them — on yse & some other accounts I might have added it Seems to me as fair an Opportunity as ever we Shall have, to endeavour it, & if we Dont I fear we Shall have Little Good of it Very Long. — But Yet if they Send Mr Belcher422 or any other Gentleman out of ye Maſsachusetts Nothing of This Can be done. Nor will it Unleſs by some hearty Friend to us — If Sr You Think it adviſable that what I have propoſed be endeavoured, You will pleaſe to Communicate it (ꝑhaps before ye Courts Sitting) to his Honour, with whom the Matter Muſt Solely [be] left to give it in Direction to the Agent. For if the Aſsembly — or Indeed his Council Should know it, it would take so much air, as That our Bigotted Churchmen would get it, & endeavour all ways Poſsible to Defeat it —
You will pleaſe to forgive me The Trouble of This — & I will add No More Than my Humble Service to Your Self & Maddm — and That
I am Yṟ Very Humble Servt
N. Haven — July 2. 1728
JEREMIAH DUMMER TO JOSEPH TALCOTT.
Your Petition424 is Lodg’d at the Couucil Board & referr’d to the Lords of the Committee before whom we are to be heard, & shall then see what the King will do for us. The Speaker of the House of Commons surpriz’d me lately by Saying, if we had brought our Affair into Parliament, the House would certainly have examin’d into our Constitution, & very probably have given us a new one. If that be so, I think we are well off. My Lord Townsend is gone into Norfolk for a fortnight, & there will be no Committee till his Return to St. James’s.
I am Sr
Your most Obedt. Servt
from Jeriemia Dumr Esqr March 29th 1730 ye Intention of ye Parlyment Relating to our constitution from Mr Dummer Agent 1730
The President stated that the Council had invited Professor Franklin Bowdith Dexter of Yale University, one of the Corresponding Members, to be present at the Meeting and to discuss the various papers which Mr. Edes had just communicated. Professor Dexter accepted the invitation, but, at the last moment, was prevented from attending by a Special Meeting of the Yale Corporation, of which he is the Secretary.
Mr. James Lyman Whitney, an alumnus of Yale, remarked upon the interesting fact that its Founders turned to Massachusetts for aid and advice in their new undertaking and received in return wise counsel from their brethren of the Bay, who had much at heart the interests of the older Seminary at Cambridge.
Mr. William Coolidge Lane commented upon Dummer’s attempt to divert Hollis’s bounty, at least in part, from Harvard to Yale.
Mr. Davis said that Hollis was indignant at the attempt to divert his gifts from Harvard, and his correspondence shows that he repelled Dummer’s interference with vigor. In one letter he says: “I have no inclination to be diverted from my projected design.”426 In another: “I was disgusted at the suggestion, and refused to read on.”427 In a third, he wrote: “Dummer’s management for Yale College led me to suspect a snake in the grass.”428
The Rev. Edward G. Porter described a visit to Fort St. George, at Madras, of which Elihu Yale, a man of mark, rush and ambition, was for several years Governor. There, in the Church, he found a silver basin with a Latin inscription showing that it was Governor Yale’s gift. Upon the Church wall was a mortuary tablet to the son of the Governor who married an Indian woman, — the widow of his predecessor in office. Yale was succeeded in the governorship of Madras by Nathaniel Higginson, whose portrait, in a very large family group, is now in the possession of Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
Mr. Robert N. Toppan showed an invitation from the Sophomore Class of 1796 to one of the Exhibitions in the College Chapel at New Haven, at two o’clock in the afternoon.
Mr. Goodell remarked upon the interest of the papers which were before the Meeting and upon the remarkably large number of important original documents which had been brought to public attention by members of the Colonial Society during its brief existence. The papers which Mr. Edes had just communicated, Mr. Goodell said, supplement Mr. Davis’s paper and afford fresh evidence of the valuable service rendered by the Colony Agents in London. He then paid a high tribute to Dummer, whom, in ability, he ranked as second only to William Bollan.
Mr. Edes communicated, on behalf of Mr. Edward Field, a Corresponding Member of the Society, a copy of the Diary of John Green, kept in Boston, 1755–1764, which records, among other important occurrences, Washington’s first visit to this city, the death of Secretary Willard, the funeral of Colonel Benjamin Pollard of the Independent Corps of Cadets, and the great public reception accorded to Governor Shirley on the thirtieth of January, 1756, on his return to Boston from the Conference of the Colonial Governors at New York. The original Diary is in the Cabinet of the Rhode Island Historical Society429.
Mr. Davis communicated the following information concerning the Historical Societies which have been incorporated since the last Report on this subject was made to the Society: —
FOXBOROUGH HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Purposes. “To preserve and perpetuate the history of the town of Foxborough, in Massachusetts, and to collect, hold, and preserve documents, books, memoirs, curiosities, and all other matters relating to its history; and the publication of periodicals, tracts, and pamphlets devoted to, or treating of, historical subjects. Also the securing of a Memorial Building in which its collections may be preserved and its meetings held.”
Date of Charter. 31 March, 1898.
THE ARLINGTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Purposes. “The gathering and recording of knowledge of the history of Arlington and of individuals and families connected with the town; and the collection and preservation of printed and manuscript matter and other articles of historical and antiquarian interest.”
Date of Charter. 6 April, 1898.
Purposes. “For the prosecution of historical and antiquarian purposes.”
Date of Charter. 23 May, 1898.
THE IPSWICH HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Purposes. “The gathering and recording of knowledge of the history of Ipswich and of individuals and families connected with said Ipswich, the collection and preservation of printed and written manuscripts, pamphlets, and other matters of historic interest and the collection of articles of historical and antiquarian interest and the preservation and furnishing, in Colonial Style, one of the ancient dwelling houses of said Ipswich.”
Date of Charter. 26 October, 1898.
SOMERVILLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Purposes. “The collection and preservation of everything relating to the history and antiquities of Somerville, and incidentally of other places, and the diffusion of knowledge concerning them.”
Date of Charter. 9 November, 1898.430
The Corresponding Secretary reported that since the last meeting letters had been received from Mr. Worthington Chauncey Ford accepting Resident Membership, and from Professor Frederick Jackson Turner of the University of Wisconsin accepting Corresponding Membership.
The following Resolution was then adopted by a unanimous vote: —
Resolved, That the Chair appoint a Committee of seven members of the Society, of whom the President shall be one, to consider what steps should be taken properly to commemorate in New England the Tercentenary of the birth of Oliver Cromwell, and to confer with any similar Committees of other Historical Societies.
The Chair appointed as this Committee, the President and Messrs. James Bradley Thayer, Augustus Lowell, Charles Carroll Everett, Andrew McFarland Davis, George Lyman Kittredge, and Edward Griffin Porter.
Oliver Wolcott Gibbs, LL.D., of Newport, Rhode Island, the Reverend William Reed Huntington, D.D., of New York City, and Mr. George Parker Winship of Providence, Rhode Island, were elected Corresponding Members.
President Wheelwright communicated a Memoir of Dr. Daniel Denison Slade, which he had been requested to prepare for publication in the Transactions.
Engraved for the Colonial Society of Massachusetts from a photograph from life.
by EDWARD WHEELWRIGHT.
Daniel Denison Slade, only son of Jacob Tilton and Elizabeth (Rogers) Slade, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, 10 May, 1823. He was a descendant in the fifth generation from Arthur Slade, who is supposed to have been born in 1682 at Marazion, near Penzance, Cornwall, England, and who lived at one time at Deptford, in Kent, — on the Thames, near London. He emigrated to America between 1706 and 1730; and resided for a time at New Market, near Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he died 12 January, 1746–47, at the age of sixty-four years431. The line of descent is as follows: —
- 1. Arthur Slade (1682–1747), married Elizabeth —— .
- 2. Benjamin Slade, born ——; married Mary Keese, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Keese, of Portsmouth; died 15 April, 1745.
- 3. Benjamin Slade, born 21 April, 1734; married (1) Lucy Hart, daughter of Samuel Hart, Jr., of Portsmouth; (2) Susanna Tilton, 18 November, 1763; died 28 January, 1813, in his seventy-ninth year.
- 4. Jacob Tilton Slade, born in Portsmouth, 6 April, 1778; married, Elizabeth Rogers, daughter of Daniel Denison and Elizabeth (Bromfield) Rogers, 13 May, 1819; died in Paris, France, 21 June, 1854.
- 5. Daniel Denison Slade, born 10 May, 1823.
Of Slade’s earlier ancestors in the paternal line there is but slight record. He, himself, never traced them back to their English origin.432 His paternal grandfather, Benjamin Slade, was, in 1786, Collector of Taxes at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where his mansion house was on Vaughan Street; and his gravestone and that of his Wife are in the old North Burying Ground.
At the time of his marriage, Jacob Tilton Slade, the father of our late associate, was forty-one years of age and a man of vigorous health, tall, of fine personal appearance, polished manners and agreeable conversation. He was for many years connected with the firm of Stieglitz & Co., iron merchants, of St. Petersburg, and, in consequence, was sometimes spoken of as “the Russian gentleman.” After his wife’s death, in 1826, he resided permanently in Europe, where he died, of Asiatic cholera, at the age of seventy-six.433
Dr. Slade’s descent in the maternal line is as follows: —
- 1. Rev. Nathaniel Rogers,434 of Dedham and Coggeshall, in Essex, England, born about 1598; married, in England, MARGARET CRANE, daughter of Robert Crane, of Coggeshall; came to New England in 1636, and settled at Ipswich, Massachusetts; died 3 July, 1655.
- 2. Rev. John Rogers, of Ipswich, Massachusetts, born in England, January, 1630–31; married Elizabeth Denison, daughter of Major General Daniel Denison of Ipswich, and grand-daughter of Governor Thomas Dudley, 1660;435 died 2 July, 1684.
He was President of Harvard College, 1682–1684.
- 3. John Rogers, of Ipswich, born 7 July, 1666; married Martha Whittingham, daughter of William Whittingham of Ipswich, 4 March, 1690–91;436 died 28 December, 1745.
- 4. Rev. Daniel Rogers of Ipswich, and later of Exeter,437 New Hampshire, born 28 July, 1707; married Anna Foxcroft, daughter of Rev. Thomas Foxcroft of Boston, their Marriage Intention having been entered 28 September, 1748; died 9 December, 1785.
- 5. Daniel Denison Rogers, of Exeter, New Hampshire, and Boston, Massachusetts, born 11 May, 1751; married Elizabeth Bromfield, daughter of Henry Bromfield of Harvard, 18 January, 1796; died 25 March, 1825438.
- 6. Elizabeth Rogers, born 11 September, 1798; married Jacob Tilton Slade; died 14 August, 1826.
- 7. Daniel Denison Slade, born 10 May, 1823.
Several of the names in the foregoing list of Slade’s direct ancestors in the maternal line are those of men illustrious in the early history of New England.439 Of his ancestor Major General Daniel Denison, whose name he bore, Slade has himself given a very complete and graphic account in various addresses and papers to be hereafter mentioned. The uneventful, but highly honorable, career of another of his mother’s ancestors, Colonel Henry Bromfield,440 of Harvard, Massachusetts, Slade has also sketched in an illustrated paper entitled A New England Country Gentleman in the Last Century. Of this most estimable man his great-grandson says: —
“His descent through a long and direct line of ancestors, distinguished on both sides of the Atlantic for Christian virtues, intellectual abilities and culture, he regarded with just pride, and it was ever his constant endeavor to maintain the standard of noblesse oblig.”441
There is no doubt that Slade himself kept this adage constantly in mind. He was modestly proud of his inherited noblesse and did not fail in endeavoring to live up to its standard.
Slade also gave an account of his grandfather, Daniel Denison Rogers, and a minute description of his stately residence on Beacon Hill, Boston, in a paper read before the Bostonian Society, 14 April, 1891.442 It was in this house that Slade’s parents were married, 13 May, 1819, by the Rev. F. W. P. Greenwood of King’s Chapel, when “there was a full band of music in the entry and the whole affair was unusually gay and imposing.”443 The house had been built in 1795 by Slade’s grandfather Rogers, who took up his residence in it immediately upon his marriage, in January of the following year. It stood upon the lot of land at the north-easterly corner of Beacon and Mount Vernon Streets which (or at least a part of which) had formerly belonged to William Molineaux or Molineux,444 who died 22 October, 1774,445 and who had also built upon his portion of it “a mansion house quite splendid for those days.”446 The two houses appear to have been confounded by some writers,447 but they were wholly distinct. What became of the Molineaux mansion has not been ascertained. The house built by Daniel Denison Rogers stood until 1834, when it was taken down and a block of dwelling-houses was erected upon the site. These, in their turn, are shortly to be levelled to make one of the contemplated open spaces around the State House.
The Rogers mansion, which will be remembered by some of our older members, was a large house three stories in height and surmounted by a cupola. It was built of brick and brown freestone and stood considerably above the present level of the adjacent streets. It had a garden in the rear and wide open spaces on every side. The entrance was from Beacon Street, where the natural slope of the hill had been fashioned into a series of terraces, through which a corresponding number of flights of steps and a broad paved walk led up to the front door.448 It was in this house that Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Tilton Slade took up their abode on their return from a visit to Europe in the course of which their eldest child, Elizabeth Bromfield, was born, — at Brighton, England, 23 March, 1821.449 Here they continued to reside, with Mrs. Slade’s parents, for two or three years, and here their only son, Daniel Denison Slade, was born.
In the spring of 1824, Slade’s parents went to housekeeping in a house in Mount Vernon Street, the property of Mr. Joseph Joy (now No. 28 Mount Vernon Street, and lately the residence of Col. Greeley Stevenson Curtis), and it was not until late in the autumn of 1825 that they removed to a new house which Mrs. Slade’s father had begun building, expressly for her use, at the northerly end of his garden, and had left unfinished at his death, in March, 1825.450
Dr. Slade’s mother did not long enjoy “the elegant and convenient house” built for her by her father. She died there 15 August, 1826, soon after giving birth to her third child, Mary Ellen, — 16 July, 1826. Her health had been delicate ever since her marriage, and she died at the early age of twenty-nine.
Very soon after his wife’s death Mr. Jacob Tilton Slade went to Europe,451 whence he never returned, and, in December, 1827, Mr. Henry Bromfield Rogers was appointed guardian of his three minor children.452 The young Daniel, aged about three years, with his two sisters, now went once more to live in the Rogers mansion house, where their uncle and guardian, being still a young man and unmarried, also had his abode. Here the boy remained under the care of his grandmother and his aunt Hannah, afterward Mrs. William Powell Mason, until he was ten years of age, attending meanwhile several elementary schools.
In 1833, Slade was sent to the boarding-school kept by Mr. Stephen Minot Weld at Jamaica Plain, and afterward to the family school of the Rev. Samuel Ripley at Waltham. His stay at both these schools was short and in 1835, at the age of twelve, he was sent to Northborough, where he remained for two years under the charge of the Rev. Joseph Allen. At all these country schools young Slade had opportunities of becoming acquainted with rural life and of familiarizing himself with the varied aspects of nature which thenceforth never ceased to have a special attraction for him. In a letter written from Northborough, in 1835, quoted by Dr. Eastman453, he says: —
“The boys have got a society up among themselves to collect specimens of stones and curious things that we might happen to find. I was chosen Secretary, but declined the office. We have a meeting every Monday evening.”
In a journey on horseback winch Dr. Slade made with his daughters, in the autumn of 1883, and of which he published an account, the party halted for the night at Northborough, and the author gives a page to his boyish reminiscences of the place, where, he says, he “passed some of his happiest school days under the guardianship of the old pastor, who was the true pattern of a Christian gentleman.”454
Frequent visits as a boy to the old mansion house at Harvard, with its farm of one hundred and twenty acres, which had been the residence of his great-grandfather, Henry Bromfield, had a still stronger influence in developing Slade’s life-long fondness for the country and for a country life. The old house was occupied from 1823 to 1835 by the Rev. Ira Henry Thomas Blanchard, who, during that period, was pastor of the Unitarian Church in the village of Harvard. His wife was a daughter of the Rev. Dr. Eliphalet Pearson,455 and granddaughter of Col. Henry Bromfield. Her mother was half-sister to Slade’s grandmother, — Mrs. Daniel Denison Rogers. On the boy’s visits to Harvard Mr. Blanchard had been, not only his host, but his chief companion and confidant, and to him he wrote the letter from which the following extract is taken. It is dated 26 November, 1841, Slade being then a Sophomore in College:456
“. . . You know my tastes. I attribute my great love for the country and for agricultural affairs to the early age which I passed so pleasantly at Harvard with you. Some of my happiest associations are connected with that period. It is my earnest hope that nothing will ever occur to diminish my great love for rural life.”
Doubtless, too, the old Bromfield house, stored as it was with ancient family portraits and other mementos of Colonial times, contributed not a little to awaken the youth’s interest in historical pursuits and legendary lore.
In 1837, in the first year of the head-mastership of Epes Sargent Dixwell, Slade was entered as a pupil in the Boston Public Latin School. He was then about fourteen years old. He had passed the age at which boys were usually admitted to the school and his stay was less than the customary four years. He thus missed the thorough grounding in the classics obtained by pupils who take the whole course at that famous school, a circumstance which placed him at some disadvantage with his fellows;457 but that the work of preparation for college was sufficiently accomplished is shown by the fact of his passing the examinations for entrance to Harvard without conditions. He was also awarded a silver medal at the Latin School for Latin hexameter verses.458
In 1840, Slade entered Harvard College as a Freshman, in the class of 1844, and remained through the whole course. He did not take high rank for scholarship and probably never made any serious or persistent effort to attain it. He studied, however, with sufficient diligence to merit a Detur459 in the Sophomore year, but he had no Part at any of the Exhibitions nor at Commencement. On the other hand, he never incurred any serious penalties either for negligence or misconduct. He appreciated the independence of College life, as compared with that of a schoolboy, and gave much of his time to pursuits not embraced in the curriculum. Like most young men of that day having any taste for music, he practised the flute, then the favorite instrument of the Pierian Sodality, though he never attained sufficient proficiency to make him eligible to that association. At one time, influenced, perhaps, by the example of his classmate Ballard, with whom he became very intimate, he took up painting in oil colors and produced a number of landscape sketches which he would show, with a humorous exaggeration of their merits, as his “chefs d’œuvre.” He became a member of the two debating societies, the Institute and the I. O. H., but, like most of those who joined them, took no more than a perfunctory interest in their proceedings. It was otherwise with the Harvard Natural History Society, in which he took a lively interest and of which he became Curator of Ornithology and of Geology, Treasurer, Vice President, and President. Here he found a field for the exercise of tastes which had already begun to be developed by his youthful experience of country life and to which he remained ever faithful. It was before the small audiences of this Society that he began his career as a lecturer. One of the papers read by him was on the Skunk,460 another, intended especially for the benefit of his friend Francis Parkman, was on the Moose.
In the letter to the Rev. Mr. Blanchard, already quoted, Slade speaks of a lecture recently delivered by him, doubtless before the Natural History Society, as follows: —
“I likewise send you my lecture, which, altho’ not as long as it might be, occupied as much time as I could conveniently give to it. It went off with great éclat, I assure you, and was received with immense applause. I have stolen a few expressions, as you will perceive, but I pride myself on its being mostly original. I hope it will meet your expectations, in quality, if not in length.”
The copy of the lecture, sent with the letter, is missing.
Sociability was always one of Slade’s strongly marked characteristics, and life at College seemed to be chiefly attractive to him for the opportunities it gave for friendly intercourse with his fellows. Never aspiring to be a leader, he was yet fond of being a participant in whatever was going on, whether a game of foot-ball on the Delta, an Oxford Cap riot, or a “dance on the green” on a Class Day or at an Exhibition. He early conceived the idea of becoming the Annalist of his Class, and, after several desultory attempts, began, and continued without interruption, a daily record of events as they occurred. In after years, at the annual meetings of the Class at Commencement, he often read passages from this Diary to the great delight of his audience. Although his descriptions of scenes and events are apt to be provokingly meagre,461 the naïveté and quaint unconscious humor both of the narrative and of the writer’s contemporaneous comments, gave to these pages of the Diary — as they were read to an appreciative and friendly audience — an inexpressible charm. This “inadvertent humor,” as James Russell Lowell calls a similar trait in the author of the Natural History of Selborne,462 was a marked feature of Slade’s ordinary conversation, as well as of his College Diary. It was not the only point of resemblance between him and the most delightful of Naturalists.
Among the many warm friends made by Slade during his College life was his classmate Francis Parkman. Their intimacy, based on a similarity of tastes, began with long walks taken together in the vicinity of Cambridge. In the vacation at the end of the Freshman year they made an excursion together into the wilds of New Hampshire and Maine, which has been described in the Memoir of Francis Parkman contained in the First volume of the Publications of this Society. The enforced companionship of a month’s duration in this expedition was in some respects a severe trial to their friendship. Though they had many tastes in common, they had also some wide divergencies both of character and of physical constitution. Parkman, nervous, wiry, excitable, was constantly impelled by his indomitable will and resistless impetuosity to undertake the most difficult exploits and seemed wholly insensible to fatigue and every sort of physical discomfort. Slade, of larger frame and more loosely built, less alert, both physically and mentally, was disposed to take things easily, did not care to make more effort than was absolutely required, grumbled at the petty annoyances of heat and dust, and was by no means indisposed to take his ease at an inn, when any offered. In the matter of sport Slade’s preference was for the calm delights of fishing, and he was disposed to deride his companion for encumbering himself with “a heavy gun” for the sake of the vague chance of some day killing a moose. It is to the credit of both men that the occasional clashings which occurred during this expedition seemed rather to cement than to impair their friendship, — a friendship which was lifelong. In after years it was a mutual delight to them to talk over all the incidents of this journey into the wilderness and to recall its annoying, as well as its pleasant, episodes.
Early in Slade’s college career the interest he took in everything relating to the American aborigines, the frequency with which he introduced in his ordinary talk words and phrases borrowed from Indian usages, and especially his habit of taking long walks, — which he called “going on the war-path,” — gained for him the appellation of The Chieftain; but the sobriquet by which he finally became best known was that of The Count or The Good Count. The original form was Count de Grasse, and was bestowed in allusion to his frequent use in conversation, at one time, of the French phrase “de grâce,” which he had picked up in the recitation room, and which seemed greatly to please his fancy. Identity of pronunciation soon led to the substitution of De Grasse for de grâce, and the name of this distinguished French nobleman naturally suggested the addition of his title of Count. Many, doubtless, used the title in addressing him without knowing whence it was derived, but there were those who knew and remembered. In a set of verses read by the Class Poet463 at a meeting of the Class of 1844, on the twentieth anniversary of their graduation, Slade was thus apostrophized:
“Thou man of medals! thee we must not pass.
A veil of dignity doth grace,
Not hide, the sly old humor of thy face,
And peeping o’er thy prize essays we trace
Thy portly form and beaming smile, De Grasse!”
The small group of his more intimate associates who first, in half quizzical mood, bestowed upon Slade this playful cognomen builded better than they knew. The whole body of his classmates soon recognized its appropriateness in a wider sense than was at first contemplated, and it was with a sincere appreciation of his native nobility of character and of his moral worth that with one accord they thenceforth named him The Good Count.
Slade’s strong social instincts not only made him keenly enjoy personal intercourse with his friends, but prompted him, in their absence, to endeavor to continue that intercourse by means of epistolary correspondence. He early began, and continued to the end, to be a voluminous letter writer. A package of seven letters written by him to a classmate,464 while still in College and shortly after, has lately come into my hands. The letters are long, usually filling three and a half pages quarto, often crossed, and are in the same neat chirography which he retained, essentially unchanged, to the last, with no erasures or interlineations.
The first of this series of letters was dated at the Notch House, White Mountains, 10 August, 1842, and was written during a vacation tour at the end of the Sophomore year. He mentions that he had been at the same place the previous year with Francis Parkman and that his chief amusement then was trouting. He had been travelling, he says, since the first Monday of vacation and had visited Lebanon Springs, West Point, Catskill, Saratoga, Lake George, and Lake Champlain.
“I have visited,” he continues, “everything in each town in any way connected with Indian or Revolutionary history or remarkable in natural curiosities.”
He thus early combined a love of Nature with an active curiosity in historical matters. He refers to “the justly merited honors” obtained by his correspondent at the last term (when he had a Part with the first eight at the July Exhibition) and exclaims, “If I don’t put into my books next winter, then it is because I have not the strength,” and adds that he “had a pretty easy time last term.” The ambition thus aroused was of short duration — perhaps strength of purpose was wanting — and Slade appears to have fallen back into his previous “easy” habits in the matter of study.
The second letter is dated Boston, 30 January, 1844, — about the middle of the winter vacation of the Senior year. He gives a list of his occupations, as follows: “Reading, writing, fluting, going to parties, gymnasium, walking, and taking lessons in exploding vowels with Murdoch, the elocutionist,” who thinks he has “a powerful voice.” He gives gossipy news of several of his classmates, and says, “I have a nice room465 where I do what pleaseth me.” He is melancholy, however, at the thought that next term will be the last, and longs to get back and meet all the fellows. “Cambridge,” he adds, “has been a happy home to me.”
In the last term of the Senior year Slade was chosen Ensign of the Navy Club in the parade of which he took part. He was also one of the party which, according to the traditional custom, went on a fishing excursion in Boston Harbor, and was present at the Class Day exercises. Of all these occurrences he gives an account in the extracts from his Diary contained in a recent publication466 by the Secretary of his Class. These extracts were the only portions of his Diary which Slade wished to have published.
In September, 1844, almost immediately after graduation, he went to live upon a farm near Greenfield, Massachusetts, for the purpose of acquiring a practical knowledge of agriculture, in furtherance of his often avowed intention of becoming a farmer. He writes from that place the third letter of the series mentioned, dated 5 November, 1844. He had then been eight weeks on the farm. Half his letter is taken up with reproaching his correspondent for delay in writing and for the shortness of his letter. Many of the fellows, he says, had written him at least two letters since Commencement, “and they have been answered.” He had —
“kept pretty steady at farming, with occasional trips to Keene.467 . . . I leave Greenfield this week for Boston; . . . . farming is about over for this year, and it would not be a very comfortable place to spend the winter. No carpet on the floor and a straw bed.” He takes his cold bath every morning “much to the astonishment of the ‘coveys’ who think it cold bath enough to go out to the barn before breakfast.”
He announces his intention of spending the winter at Cambridge, where he has entered his name as a Resident Graduate, with seven others of the class, but he has “by no means got sick of agriculture and hopes to follow the pursuit in the spring.” He gives, as usual, a budget of news of a number of his classmates. No fewer than eighteen are mentioned in this letter.
The fourth letter of the series is dated at Cambridge, 6 March, 1845. The winter, he says, has been pleasant and, he trusts, profitable. He has been reading Hume, among other books, studying a little Latin, etc., has been reviewing Virgil, and likes it much. “How different from going over it in one of those dull school-rooms!” His room was at Royal Morse’s,468 — “the most delightful situation in Cambridge,” and he has “very pleasant neighbors, which is a blessing . . . . Should like to remain here all summer, but must do something if ever I am going to.” He has done “a good deal of writing for Professor Sparks, most of which is very interesting, as it relates to the Revolution.” He has “a most superb Newfoundland dog,” given to him by his uncle. “My horse awaits me at Stearns’s stable. How many blessings I enjoy, and how little thankful I am for them! Good health, of all things, is a blessing, and he who enjoys it, as I now do, enjoys the greatest boon Heaven can give for this life.” He then speaks, very feelingly, of the recent death of his youngest sister:469 —
“This poor girl never knew a father’s or a mother’s love since she was four months old, and she looked up to me for protection and a Brother’s sympathy . . . . How she loved me!”
He does not omit his usual stock of news of classmates, of whom he mentions nearly a score by name, including Francis Parkman, of whom he says, he “has given up the Law for the present and is the man of leisure. He will never make anything.” He mentions Parkman again as taking a few lessons of Papanti in dancing, and adds: “Think of it!” Toward the end of the letter he refers to an article he had written and published, and says: —
“It was true, if nothing else. Peirce tried to answer it but could not get over it any way. I have used my humble efforts to cause a reform in some of those departments, particularly mathematics. It is most shameful470 . . . . As to my farming operations,” he says, “I do not know when or where they will commence this spring. No plans yet matured.” He kept up his “habit of moderate smoking,” and had “not neglected the Graces, having learned the Polka and danced it at little parties.”
The fifth letter of the series, dated Cambridge, 15 June, 1845, contains an account of the fire which destroyed the Panorama of Athens471. Graduates’ Hall,472 in which several of Slade’s classmates had rooms, was in great danger and the confusion of moving out their furniture is graphically described. Stearns’s livery stable was also in imminent peril, and Slade says he “worked most” on that, “having property in it, — a buggy, saddle, harness, etc.” He announces his abandonment of the study of agriculture for that of medicine in the following characteristic style: —
“Have you heard of my new Profession? Medicine, Dr. Slade — D. D. Slade, M. D. — Eh! — great! I am putting into it, and have joined the first school in Boston, under Hayward, Bigelow, Holmes, etc. Go to Warren’s twice a week in the city, to see operations performed. We shall have three terrible ones this week. I enjoy plenty of advantages, and nothing is wanting but energy and perseverance. What a change from the farm! However, I hope to combine the two some day.”
It is to be remarked that, with a mingling of frankness and reticence which was customary with him, even in writing to one to whom he seemed to unbosom himself most freely, Slade says nothing of the reasons which induced this change of purpose, beyond the mention of the “advantages” he enjoys, meaning, perhaps, those arising from his social position and the influence of powerful friends. He returns to this subject in the two following letters.
In the sixth letter, dated Cambridge, 4 November, 1845, he says he had spent the summer vacation in travel, visiting Niagara, Trenton, Montreal, and Quebec, and is enthusiastic in his admiration of Trenton Falls. He had also visited the White Mountains and had spent a week at Greenfield, where his “old farmers” greeted him most cordially. He adds: —
“Medicine prospers nicely. The lectures in Boston commence tomorrow and I shall have my hands full for four months. You will hear of Dr. Slade yet, I warrant you . . . . I still hold my old room at Royal Morse’s and live in true Bachelor style. Have bought me a most beautiful black mare, and am happy as a King. I can see my way ahead now for five years, at least — three in Boston and two in Paris and Europe . . . . Do write and prove that you have not forgotten us . . . write soon and tell all you can. See, what a good long letter! Eh!”
The seventh, and last, letter of the series is dated Boston, 13 March, 1846. He is delighted at having a long letter from his correspondent, but —
“I am sorry that you are of opinion that my ‘open heartedness,’ of which some people accuse me, is deserting me. Heaven forbid it, if I really possess such a treasure.”
His friend had, perhaps, taken him to task for not being more outspoken as to his reasons for studying medicine. If that was so, Slade, in his reply, avoids, rather than meets, the accusation: —
“My letters to you,” he continues, “have contained some sentences, perhaps, a little ‘sarcastic,’ but they were for your good, intended to shake you up a little, and remind you of your friends here. They did not seem to answer their purpose, so we will not try them again.”
Of his new studies he says: —
“I have been very busy with my lectures, dissections, books, etc., this winter, and shall continue so till the summer, when I shall haul up a little for recreation. I chose the right study, and no mistake, it becomes pleasanter and more interesting as I advance. Altho’ hard at first, yet it grows less difficult weekly. There is no excuse for my not making myself a good physician, for I enjoy good advantages and shall enjoy still better. My object is to be of some service to my fellow-men, and not live thro’ this life without benefiting anyone but myself, as ten thousand do. I often think how much we have to do, and how little time to do it in, and then that we should deliberately waste so much of that precious time! But why should I moralize, it will not benefit either of us.”
He is delighted that his correspondent liked so much The Cricket on the Hearth, then recently published: —
“Dickens is a noble fellow. I honour him and thank him for much of my most manly and better feelings . . . . I shall love the crickets so much the more now, altho’ I always had a great respect for them. Perhaps you have heard me speak of my affection for them and call their chirp a ‘melancholy pleasure’ to hear. I always greet the first cricket of the year as an old friend.”
He regrets the creeping on of years, putting —
“That college period still farther and farther in the shade; . . . those happy days and well remembered walks! No matter, we begin to see life as it is, or as it should be, now. We are men, and must do our duty ‘as such.’”
“Spring is coming again and I am looking forward to getting back to Cambridge, where with my horse, dog, etc., I shall amuse my recreation hours. There are some nice fellows out there now. Saltonstall and myself are quite intimate, for, as we both own horses, we ride together a good deal.”
No apology, it is hoped, will be needed for borrowing so much from these early letters of Slade. They cover a space of only three years and three months, but they portray the man more vividly than any formal analysis of his character could do. They were written, indeed, by a mere youth, but in Slade’s case there was less difference than is usual between youth and maturity. As he was in these three years, he remained, essentially, to the end. In him, if ever, the boy was father of the man.
According to his own account, and judging also from the result, Slade entered upon the study of medicine with a zeal and ardor which he had not shown at school or college. The study was interesting to him from its close connection with Natural History, necessitating, as it does, an investigation of the structure and functions of the human body. The dissections and clinical lectures he was called upon to attend were a series of object lessons in which he saw and handled actual specimens, the use of which he so strenuously advocated in his own subsequent teachings.473 He was actuated, too, by the high motive announced in one of his letters above quoted, — “to be of some service to his fellow men.” This object he never lost sight of, though he did not, perhaps, attain it in precisely the way he at first contemplated.
After three years’ study in the Medical Department of Harvard College, he received, in 1848, the degree of M. D., and the appointment of House Surgeon in the Massachusetts General Hospital. While yet a student in the Medical School he was an eye-witness of the first capital operation under the influence of Ether, at the Massachusetts General Hospital, 7 November, 1846. Many years afterward he wrote an admirable account of it for Scribner’s Magazine.474 This article he thought was the best he had ever written; it was also the one for which he had been best paid. He held the position of House Surgeon in the Hospital for one year and then went to Europe, in the autumn of 1849, in accordance with the programme he had laid down for himself, passing, however, three years, instead of two, in studying his profession in Paris and Dublin. He also spent two months at the Veterinary College at Maisons-Alfort, near Paris, the most celebrated establishment of the kind in France.475
Returning home, in 1852, he took an office at No. 5½ Beacon Street, Boston, on the first of July of that year, and began practice in his native city. He at once made warm friends among his professional brethren, among whom may be mentioned Dr. John Collins Warren and his son Dr. Jonathan Mason Warren; also Dr. Richard Manning Hodges, who was associated with him as attending surgeon of the Boston Dispensary, and Dr. Samuel Abbott Green, afterward Mayor of Boston and now a Vice President and Librarian of the Massachusetts Historical Society, who had a room in the same house with him.476
In 1853, soon after beginning practice as a physician, the fact that he had, while in Europe, made special study of Veterinary Medicine caused him to be engaged to deliver a course of twelve lectures on that subject at the State House, Boston.477 In 1865 he delivered another series of lectures in the same place and on a kindred topic, — the Importance of a Knowledge of the Physiology of Animals to the Farmer.478
In the American Veterinary Journal for January, 1856,479 was published An Introductory Lecture Delivered on the occasion of the Commencement of the Boston Veterinary Institute by D. D. Slade, M. D., President of the Institute. The lecture is largely devoted to a history of the horse and an account of Veterinary Colleges in England and France. The occasion seems to have been literally a commencement or beginning, for in the opening paragraph of his address Dr. Slade says: —
“This day witnesses with us the commencement of a new era in the cause of science and humanity — the foundation of a Veterinary College.”480
In October, 1853, Slade became a member of the Independent Corps of Cadets, — Boston’s favorite military organization. About the same time he joined the Somerset Club. He continued to perform such light service as was then required in the Cadets for a little more than three years, receiving his discharge 8 November, 1856.481
Early in his medical career he began to write frequently for various medical journals, usually signing his articles Medicus, and also to compete for prizes offered for essays on medical and other subjects. This he continued to do almost to the end of his life, somewhat to the amusement of his friends, to whom the pecuniary rewards did not seem sufficiently large nor the honor sufficiently great to be attractive. An explanation may, perhaps, be found in the modesty of the man and his distrust of his own abilities. He was apt to be dissatisfied with whatever he did, and needed the encouragement which this sort of success gave him, and the stamp of approval thus bestowed. Between 1857 and 1862, he won four such prizes for essays on medical subjects, — the Boylston Medical prize of Harvard University in 1857, the Massachusetts Medical Society prize in 1859, and the Fiske Fund prize in 1860 and 1862.482 Later, in 1875 and 1876, he obtained prizes for essays on subjects connected with landscape gardening and urban embellishment. It was with reference to these prizes that he was apostrophized in the verses already quoted as —
“Thou man of medals!”
Slade continued to practise his profession for about ten years, or until his removal to Chestnut Hill, in 1862. After that date, though for a year or two he retained an office in Boston, he gradually relinquished the active practice of medicine. It must not be inferred that in so doing he abandoned the high purpose with which he had begun his medical studies, — “to be of some service to his fellow-men.” To those who knew him well it was impossible to doubt that he kept this high resolve constantly in view throughout his whole career and that it was a controlling motive in all that he did, whether it was lecturing to farmers at the State House or to students at the Bussey Institution, writing essays on medical, agricultural, and horticultural subjects, or reading papers before historical societies.
On the twenty-seventh of May, 1856, Dr. Slade was married in King’s Chapel, Boston, to Mina Louise, daughter of Conrad and Elizabeth (Lörtscher) Hensler. Eleven children were born to them, — four sons and seven daughters, — only one of whom, a son, has died.483 The truly patriarchal dimensions of Slade’s household were a constant delight to his classmate and neighbor Francis Parkman, who was always an ardent advocate of early marriages and large families.
On his marriage, Dr. Slade took up his residence at No. 17 Temple Place, Boston, but as early as 1860 he had purchased a small lot of land in Newton having an old dwelling-house and other buildings upon it, and two years later had bought another piece of land adjoining his first purchase, at the corner of Beacon and Hammond Streets. To this place he moved with his family, in 1862, occupying at first the old dwelling-house which had been the home of a former owner. He thus became one of the pioneers of the little colony of friends or relatives who settled at the place since called Chestnut Hill, on the borders of the three towns of Newton, Brookline, and Brighton. The old house, though several times enlarged, was finally abandoned for a commodious brick dwelling which he built near it in 1879, better suited to his own needs and those of his growing family. Here, in the immediate neighborhood of the Lees, the Saltonstalls, the Lowells, and others, and not far from his classmates and friends Francis Parkman at Jamaica Plain and Tappan Eustis Francis at Brookline, who became his family physician, he found abundant exercise for his social instincts and could gratify his rural tastes in laying out the grounds about his house, and establishing gardens and conservatories. It was almost the realization of his dream of some day combining the two occupations of farmer and physician.484 How he was appreciated as a neighbor at Chestnut Hill was eloquently told by our late Vice-President, the Hon. John Lowell, at the Stated Meeting of the Society following Dr. Slade’s decease.485
On becoming a resident of Newton, Dr. Slade took a lively interest in its affairs which he continued until his death. He joined the Newton Horticultural Society and became its President; wrote a prize essay on the question, How to Improve and Beautify the City of Newton; read at West Newton an essay on Road Construction, — both in 1875; and was a frequent contributor to the local press.
Early in the late Civil War, Dr. Slade became an associate member of the United States Sanitary Commission.486 In 1862, he was appointed by the Commission one of the Special Inspectors of the General Hospitals of the Army,487 and in that capacity was assigned to the District of Baltimore.488 He made a Report on the District assigned to him,489 and also, by request, a Special Report on Hospital Gangrene at Annapolis.490 He was, besides, the author of the Report of a Committee on the subject of Amputation, published by the Sanitaiy Commission in 1861.491
Always devotedly attached to Harvard College, Slade had a special regard for his Class and was largely imbued with that “Class feeling,” or “Class spirit,” common among the small classes of half a century ago and for which the graduates of 1844 were, perhaps, especially distinguished. It was, in great measure, because he was actuated by this spirit that Slade so faithfully kept the College Diary, already mentioned, and it was this again which prompted him, in 1864, twenty years after graduation, to attempt the compilation of a Record of the Class down to that date. It was an undertaking much facilitated by the habit which he had kept up of frequent correspondence with his classmates, by means of which he was better acquainted with their graduate career than any of his associates. With some slight assistance from the Class Book, in which members of the Class had, for the most part, neglected to inscribe more than their names and birth dates, but chiefly by means of letters addressed to all surviving members, Slade was able to prepare a pamphlet of sixteen pages, containing a brief notice of all his classmates with but few exceptions. This pamphlet, neatly printed but unostentatious in appearance, was distributed to the Class at the meeting held to celebrate their twentieth anniversary. It bore the date 1 July, 1864. It was among the earliest of the Class Reports, since become so common. Three, only, of these antedated Slade’s, while two others were issued in the same year.492
At the Class meetings which have been regularly held at Cambridge on Commencement Day since the Twentieth Anniversary, Slade was always sure to be present, unless prevented by serious illness. Such a cause of absence occurred in 1882, when fifteen of his classmates, assembled on Commencement Day at No. 7 Holworthy, joined in writing to him a note expressing their regret at his absence, their sympathy for him in his illness, their high appreciation of his friendship and love, and their heartfelt desire that his life might be prolonged and his health restored.493 The illness which kept him absent on this occasion was so serious as to cause his friends and medical advisers to fear that he had only a few months more to live. His lungs had been seriously affected, and one lung, it was said, quite destroyed. He recovered, however, sufficiently to be present at the next annual meeting of the Class, in 1883, and never, thenceforth, missed one of these meetings; but his health still remained delicate and he was constantly obliged to use care in avoiding exposure. His death, fourteen years later, was due to causes wholly unconnected with this illness.
Slade’s connection with Harvard College, however, was not merely that of an alumnus. In 1871, he was appointed Professor of Applied Zoölogy in Harvard University, and, in 1885, Lecturer on Comparative Zoölogy and Assistant in Osteology in the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy. His professorship he felt constrained to resign in 1882, in consequence of his severe illness, already mentioned; the other two appointments he continued to hold until his death. His duties as Professor consisted in giving courses of instruction at the Bussey Institution at Jamaica Plain, comprising lectures and practical exercises in Applied Zoölogy, including the dissection of domestic animals.494 His lectures upon the horse, especially, proved very attractive to others beside the regular students of the Institution. He was an ardent lover of the Horse. The “beautiful black mare” which he bought for himself in his resident graduate days had a long line of successors, and, as a medical man, he was a strenuous advocate of the hygienic value of equestrian exercise.495 How acceptably he discharged the duties assigned to him may be learned from the following testimonials. In the Report of the President of the University for the year 1895–96, after announcing Dr. Slade’s death, President Eliot says: —
“Dr. Slade was one of the first well educated American physicians to pay attention to comparative medicine and to study it in Europe. He was consequently ready, in 1871, when the Bussey Institution was opened, to give instruction in the anatomy and physiology of the domestic animals; and for eleven years he taught with great assiduity and acceptance in that School. After an interval of three years, he took up kindred scientific work as Assistant in Osteology in the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy and Lecturer on Comparative Osteology. He was a simple, straightforward, industrious man, who had a clear intelligence and a strong sense of duty. In addition to his attainments as physician and naturalist, he possessed an agreeable faculty of writing, which he exercised in various papers on the interests and occupations of rural and out-of-door life.”
Included in the same report is a Report on the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy by its Director and Curator, Alexander Agassiz, in which, after mentioning the death of Dr. Slade, “who for many years had devoted his time to the Osteological Collection of the Museum,” he says: —
“Dr. Slade attempted to build up an advance course of osteological research, and it was a great disappointment to him that he met with so little encouragement. He devoted his time mainly to the arrangement of the material in his charge, and wrote a number of papers on special subjects connected with osteology. He hoped to build up the osteological collection with special reference to its use as an aid in palæontological research.”
It was eminently characteristic of our late associate that while the Government of the University set so high a value upon his services as Professor and Lecturer, he, himself, esteemed them as of far less worth. Under date of 11 September, 1876, five years after his appointment as Professor, and six years before his resignation, he wrote to President Eliot: —
“During my connection with the University, I have received, as Professor of Applied Zoölogy, compensation which I consider as beyond the value of the services rendered. I therefore propose to return to the University the sum of Six thousand dollars ($6000) with which to found a Scholarship in my name, unrestricted except it may be in favor of my own sons, if they hereafter pursue their studies at Cambridge.”
This was the beginning of the correspondence that led to the establishment of the Scholarship in 1877.496 The endowment of the Scholarship was, however, reduced from Six thousand dollars to Five thousand dollars, as appears by the Treasurer’s Statement for the year ending 31 August, 1877, in which, among the Gifts enumerated as received during the year, was the following: —
To this gift was attached the very sensible condition that —
“The Fund shall never be invested in a specific piece of property, but shall share in the general investments of the University” (p. 6).
Dr. Slade’s duties as Assistant in Osteology took him back to Cambridge, which had been to him “a happy home” in his undergraduate days, — “those happy clays and well remembered walks” which he still delighted to recall. He drove over from Chestnut Hill almost daily, when not prevented by inclemency of weather. He had rooms assigned him in an upper story of the vast Agassiz Museum, where it was pleasant to visit him in the “quiet and still air of his retired study” and to witness the loving care with which he handled and classified his osteological specimens.
Dr. Slade was a prolific writer. In the Memoir of him prepared for the New England Historical and Genealogical Register a list of sixty-eight of his works497 is given. A number of these were strictly medical or scientific in character. Many were devoted to agricultural or horticultural matters, including the dainty little volume, The Evolution of Horticulture in New England, published a few months before his death. It is Dr. Slade’s work in the field of New England Colonial history and biography, however, that will doubtless be most interesting to the members of our Society. The earliest of his publications having an historical character is his Class Report,498 already mentioned, issued in 1864.
In the following year he wrote for The American Monthly — a continuation of the old Knickerbocker Magazine — an article entitled The Sacking of Deerfield, Massachusetts.499 Slade was well acquainted with the scene of the massacre. During his agricultural apprenticeship at Greenfield, his rides and drives had, doubtless, often taken him through the neighboring town of Deerfield, only a few miles distant, and he may often have stopped at the old Sheldon house to examine the historic Door, defaced by Indian hatchets, and the wonderful scenes of slaughter, depicted in the most lurid colors on the inner walls. It was the custom, in those early days, for the stage coaches to stop regularly at the old Indian house to allow the passengers to inspect these curiosities. Slade, himself, had probably enjoyed this privilege on one or more of his College vacation rambles.
The outer Door of the old house was destined to play a part in a characteristic episode in Dr. Slade’s career, which was also an event of some importance in the history of the town. A few years only after he had abandoned the practical study of agriculture at Greenfield, the owners of the house decided to take it down. Report says that the constantly increasing number of curious visitors had become too annoying for further endurance. The old house was accordingly demolished in 1848. Portions of it, however, were preserved, among them the old Door, which came into the possession of David Starr Hoyt, a member of an old Deerfield family, who lost his life during the early troubles in Kansas. In 1863, it was the property of his orphan daughter and was “nearly, or quite, all the patrimony the poor deaf girl had.”500 Friends bestirred themselves to effect a sale of the relic for her benefit, and no resident of the town, apparently, volunteering to become the purchaser, it was offered to Dr. Slade, whose interest in Deerfield and its history was well known, for the sum of one hundred dollars, though it was said that it had been held at a much higher price.501 Slade did not hesitate to conclude the bargain, actuated, no doubt, in part by a charitable motive. The price was paid, and the Door was sent to him at Chestnut Hill, 10 October, 1863. He had it placed in his study, where it remained for several years, — an object of interest to all visitors.
Finally, the slumbering patriotism, or local pride, of the good people of Deerfield was aroused and a Committee was formed to negotiate for the return of their lost treasure. In reply to their application Dr. Slade wrote, in October, 1867: —
“Since it [the Door] came into my possession I have always felt some compunction in regard to it; not that it was not fairly mine by right of purchase, but that it rightly belonged to the town of Deerfield and should be forever retained by that town as a most sacred relic.”
It was soon agreed that the Door should be returned to the people of Deerfield on the repayment to Dr. Slade of what it had cost him. Certain conditions were also annexed to the transfer, namely, that the Door should be delivered into the charge of Trustees, to be appointed to receive it; that it should be kept in a situation easily accessible, as near as might be to the place it originally occupied; that the bill of sale should be recorded in the town records, and the bill itself kept with the deeds to the town. These conditions being accepted, the Door was sent back to Deerfield, where it arrived 19 February, 1868. It had been in Dr. Slade’s possession a little over four years.502 Its return was made the occasion of a popular festival, held in the Town Hall on the evening of 28 February, 1868, — the eve of the anniversary of the Massacre. The recovered relic, appropriately draped with the American flag, had a conspicuous position on the speakers’ platform, a long historical address was delivered, poems were recited, and Dr. Slade was the hero of the occasion. He had been specially invited to be present and, when called upon for a speech, made a short address of a humorous character and at its close was given a round of cheers.503
The subsequent history of the Door is not without its vicissitudes. It was first placed by the Trustees in the front entrance hall of the principal hotel in the village, where it was protected by a glass case. Here it remained until May, 1877, when the hotel was burned to the ground. The Door, with its case, was, however, taken out uninjured, and conveyed to “the old corner store;” but the old store being soon after sold, it became necessary to find a new place of deposit. The one finally agreed upon, as best fulfilling the two conditions of safety and accessibility, was the corn house, or corn barn, of one of the townspeople. Here it remained until September, 1879, when it was finally made over to the custody of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association and placed in its Memorial Hall.504
It is evident that the interest excited by Dr. Slade’s purchase and subsequent return of the Indian Door had no slight influence in bringing about the formation of the above mentioned Association, incorporated in 1870,505 and the establishment of the Memorial Hall in which the Door has found its final resting place.
Dr. Slade’s interest was not confined to Deerfield alone, but extended to the whole valley which takes its name from the aboriginal designation of that town. He had a peculiar fondness for the locality and visited it again and again, attracted no less by the charm of the landscape than by its historical associations. He was present, 12 August, 1884, at the eighth field meeting of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, held for the purpose of dedicating a Memorial Stone at Greenfield, on the spot where Mrs. Eunice Williams, wife of the Rev. John Williams, taken prisoner at the sacking of Deerfield, was killed by her Indian captors 1 March, 1704. On that occasion he read a paper advocating the erection of Memorial Stones, rather than more elaborate monuments, for marking historic sites, and made special reference to such a Stone erected a few years before at Stockbridge to the memory of the Housatonic Indians.506 Later, he wrote for the Magazine of American History507 an illustrated article on The Site of Old Fort Massachusetts, and for The Springfield Republican of 30 September, 1894, a long paper entitled The Grave at Fort Shirley.508 The grave was that of a daughter of the Rev. John Norton, author of The Redeemed Captive.509 Slade seems to have been particularly interested in Fort Shirley. Immediately upon the incorporation, in 1891, of the Trustees of Public Reservations,510 he became a member of the Board, in the Seventh Annual Report of which, after mention of his decease, occurs the following passage: —
“Mr. [sic] Daniel D. Slade was present at the last annual meeting and spoke interestingly of his investigations of the site of Fort Shirley” (p. 16).
Another group of Dr. Slade’s historical publications consists of speeches, papers, and magazine articles relating to his ancestor Major-General Daniel Denison. On the sixth of April, 1870, Dr. Slade joined the New England Historic Genealogical Society. In July, 1869, he had contributed to the Register published by that Society an article on General Denison. On the twentieth of September, 1892, occurred the Two hundredth anniversary of the death of General Denison, and the town of Ipswich, which had been his home and where he was buried, held memorial exercises in the Town Hall. Dr. Slade was present by invitation and the Biographical Sketch of his ancestor which he read appears to have been the chief event of the evening.511 The sixteenth of August, 1884, was the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the incorporation of the town of Ipswich, and the day was duly celebrated by a procession, an historical address, and a dinner. At the dinner Slade was called up to respond to a toast to —
“The Distinguished Men who have illustrated the Annals of Ipswich,”
and made a short speech summarizing the life and services of his ancestor.512 In April, 1892, he printed the Autobiography of Major General Daniel Denison, which had recently been found among the effects of another of his maternal ancestors, the Rev. Daniel Rogers of Exeter.513 Finally, at the April meeting of this Society in 1893, he read a paper entitled Daniel Denison. In it were combined and amended his previous contributions upon the subject.514
Still another group of Slade’s productions of this character relates to the Bromfield branch of his maternal ancestors. His first publication on this subject was a paper entitled The Bromfields, communicated, in 1872 and 1873, by instalments, to successive numbers of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register515. In 1890, he published the article, already cited, entitled A New England Country Gentleman in the Last Century;516 and, in 1891, he read before the Bostonian Society the paper entitled A Boston Merchant of 1791, before mentioned.517
Besides these family histories, he published in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register for January, 1892,518 a Letter of the Rev. Jonathan Mayhew to Richard Clarke, 1765, which Dr. Slade says, in his prefatory note, had recently been found among some of his ancestral papers. The letter relates to a sermon preached just before the Stamp Act riots in August, 1765. In March, 1894, at a meeting of this Society he made remarks on the so-called Louisburg Cross above the entrance to the Library of Harvard College, and exhibited engravings and read extracts from various publications relating to the subject.519 He also wrote an article upon the same subject for The Bostonian,520 which was not published until March, 1896, shortly after his death.
A valuable contribution to the history of his own times was his article entitled The First Capital Operation under the Influence of Ether, already mentioned.521 In the same category may be placed the little pamphlet of twenty-two pages printed for private circulation, in 1892, — The First Church at Chestnut Hill. It gives a short history of this Church, built at the expense of the late Thomas Lee, of Boston, and includes a transcript of the Parish Registers, in which are recorded the births of Slade’s eleven children.
These more formal publications, however, by no means include the whole of Dr. Slade’s historical work. He was an indefatigable writer of letters and short pieces for the newspapers, those on professedly historical topics and on rural affairs being the most numerous. For the Newton Journal he wrote a series of articles, intended, as he says, “chiefly for our younger friends.” Among the titles of these are The Old Indian House at Deerfield, The Grave in The Pasture,522 The Regicides, The Sudbury Fight (1676), and The Gypsies. For the Boston Transcript he wrote The Somerset Line-of-Battle-Ship, Class Day Twenty-five Years Since (1869), besides other pieces.
In whatever he wrote, whether on historical, biographical or miscellaneous topics, whether in his yearly report of The First Appearance of the Little Hepatica Flower, his protest against the shooting of an Eagle, his description of A Charming Spot, Slade seems to have had constantly in view the purpose of developing in the public, and especially in the young, a love of nature combined with an interest in historical events. It is by no means improbable that these apparently slight efforts had an influence in producing the present widespread attention given to the preservation of beautiful and historic places, the creation of Public Parks, and the recent great increase of local historical and patriotic societies.
Not till he had nearly reached his seventy-third birthday did the busy pen drop from his tireless fingers. Then the long delayed summons came and the peaceful current of his life ceased to flow. It was not the strenuous current of “rivers that move in majesty,” but rather that of the “brooks that make the meadows green.” He died at his residence at Chestnut Hill, 11 February, 1896. His funeral took place at his own house on the thirteenth, and was largely attended, although snow was falling heavily at the time.
Dr. Slade was one of the Founders of our Society, his name being the seventh in the list of fourteen associates named in the Certificate of Incorporation, dated 29 December, 1892. At the first election of officers he was chosen one of the Council for the full term of three years. He was assiduous in the performance of his duties as a Councillor, and was a frequent attendant at our Meetings. He was last present at the Stated Meeting of the Society in December, 1895.
The portrait which accompanies this Memoir is a reproduction in photogravure, by A. W. Elson, of a photograph taken, 26 July, 1882, by Dr. Calvin Gates Page (H. C. 1890). It represents Dr. Slade, in the sixtieth year of his age, in a familiar attitude, on the terrace of his residence at Chestnut Hill.