DECEMBER MEETING, 1917
A Stated Meeting of the Society was held at the house of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, No. 28 Newbury Street, Boston, on Thursday, 27 December, 1917, at three o’clock in the afternoon, the President, Fred Norris Robinson, Ph.D., in the chair.
The Records of the Annual Meeting were read and approved.
Mr. Henry Cabot Lodge of Nahant, Mr. William Crowninshield Endicott of Danvers, and Mr. George Russell Agassiz of Boston, were elected Resident Members; and Mr. Otis Grant Hammond of Concord, New Hampshire, was elected a Corresponding Member.
Announcement was made of the appointment of Messrs. Worthington Chauncey Ford, Frederick Jackson Turner, and Archibald Cary Coolidge as delegates from the Society to the Fourteenth Annual Conference of Historical Societies held in Philadelphia on the twenty-seventh instant in connection with the meeting of the American Historical Association.
On behalf of Mr. Thomas Willing Balch, a Corresponding Member, the following paper was communicated:
The discovery of the new world by the Norsemen in the tenth and eleventh centuries of our present period of civilization had been apparently all but forgotten when the Portuguese and the Spaniards rediscovered it, so to speak, in the fifteenth century. At the end of the fifteenth century, the Law between Nations, like the Nations between whom that Law was to adjust and regulate their every day relations, was barely beginning to emerge from the hodge-podge welter of customs that prevailed in the every day relations between the feudal potentates, both large and small, who ruled in all central and western Europe. The Pope, as head of western Christendom, wielded an influence over all its sovereigns, and when the rival sovereigns of Portugal and Spain asserted their respective claims to dominion in the new world, based on the fact that it had been discovered by some of their respective navigators, Pope Alexander the Sixth, in 1493, settled the matter as between the Portuguese and the Spaniards by a compromise which divided all the new world between them and left Africa to the Portuguese. He granted all the land situated to the westward of a line drawn one hundred leagues westward of the Azores to Ferdinand and Isabella of Castile and Leon and their successors. A few months later he reserved all the new found lands east of that line to the crown of Portugal. That arrangement would have given to Portugal only a small corner of modern Brazil at Cape San Roque. In 1494, however, the sovereigns of Portugal and Spain by the treaty of Tordesillas agreed to extend the Portuguese territorial rights to a new line drawn three hundred and seventy leagues westward of the Cape Verde Islands, thereby saving Brazil to Portugal. That treaty was confirmed in 1506 by Pope Julius the Second.
Henry the Seventh of England and Francis the First of France, however, speedily disregarded this partition of the newly discovered lands both in the old and the new worlds. And after the beginning of the Reformation, titles thus granted by and received from the Popes could not be pleaded against Protestant rulers. Thus when England, France, the United Netherlands, and Sweden, who could not assert having made discoveries in the new world until after Portugal and Spain, desired to appropriate some of the newly found virgin lands beyond the Atlantic, they refused to recognize the assignment of all of that new world by the Pope to Portugal and Spain merely upon the basis of title by discovery. On the contrary, they boldly proclaimed that the possession of the several parts of the new continent should be regulated by discovery and occupation. They asserted that mere discovery did not give a lasting title; but that it must be followed by actual occupation. And all four of those nations proceeded to put their theory into practice, and each and all of them actually occupied and possessed themselves, in spite of the papal grants to Portugal and Spain, of land on the eastern seaboard of North America. In that way the British Crown asserted and carried into effect its right to New England, including Massachusetts. It was upon the same principle, too, that the Swedish Crown, which was even later in entering into the field of trans-oceanic colonization than England, France, and Holland, took possession of land in the valley of the Delaware, which has become the present States of Pennsylvania and Delaware.
When the present Massachusetts was settled in 1620, the Thirty Years’ War in Central Europe, whose close was to mark in a general way the change from feudalism to the present status of nationalism in Europe and also the birth of the Law between Nations, had barely gone on for two years. And it was only five years after the landing at Plymouth of the Pilgrim Fathers, that the universally recognized father of the Law between Nations, Hugo Grotius, gave forth at Paris to the world his treatise, De Jure Belli ac Pacis. The presentation of that treatise to Europe was like bringing water to a thirsty man. Amidst the horrors and terrible curse that war entails — and for many a long century Europe had known far more of war than peace — Grotius’s immortal book urged in a systematized form upon the contestants, principles of humanity in the conduct of war as well as rules for their every day relations in times of peace. The book was the embodied cry of humanity for some respite from the horrors and sufferings inflicted by mankind upon one another in times of war. And during the course of the seventeenth century it passed through countless editions.
Grotius’s work bore fruit soon after its first appearance, and happily before his death. Gustavus Adolphus the Great, of Sweden, during his two years’ campaign (1630–1632) in Germany against the Imperial House of Hapsburg, carried a copy of the De Jure Belli ac Pacis with him. And his sparing of Munich and its inhabitants in 1631, after the provocative sacking and destroying of Magdeburg and the ruthless killing of its inhabitants the year before by Count Tilly and the army of the Catholic League, may be attributed in part to the teachings of the Dutch jurisconsult.
As we have seen, Grotius’s treatise passed through many editions, and it is interesting to know that in colonial days several copies of the work were brought over to the colonies. Through the kindness of our fellow-member, Mr. Lane, I have found that Harvard College was the fortunate possessor in colonial times of several copies of Grotius. The first one it received was one of the books given to the College Library at its very beginning by Governor Richard Bellingham of Massachusetts. In the printed catalogue of the Harvard College Library published in 1723 there is a title, probably a later gift, “Grotii De jure Belli ac Pacis.” That copy was printed at Amsterdam in 1651. Luckily it survived the fire that swept the Library in 1764. On its fly leaves it bears the names of several students who read it during their college course: Thomas Brinley and Ebenezer Winchester, of the Class of 1744; Nyott Doubt, of the Class of 1747; and George Minot (probably the George Minot who belonged to the Class of 1752). The edition of Grotius, edited with notes by Kaspar Ziegler and published at Strassburg in 1706, was a gift presented probably soon after the fire of 1764. The Library also received between 1764 and 1774 from Thomas Hollis, a copy of the French translation by Barbeyrac, published at Leyden in 1759. Another copy of Grotius, “De Jure Belli ac Pacis, . . . Hagae Comitis, 1680,” belonged to the Rev. Thomas Prince, the historian in whose honor the Prince Society was named in 1858. Prince’s collection of books was given to the Old South Church in Boston in the eighteenth century, and the major part of the collection, including that copy of Grotius, is now deposited in the Boston Public Library. The Library Company of Philadelphia also numbered Grotius in colonial times among its collections. One of the earliest books which it received was the English translation of Grotius, together with the notes of Barbeyrac, published at London in 1738. Another copy of Grotius which the Library Company possessed before the Revolution, Mr. Abbot the librarian tells me, was the Latin edition published at Amsterdam in 1646: “Hugonis Grotii De jure Belli ac Pacis.”
The works of two others of the founders of the science of the Law between Nations found their way in colonial days into the Harvard College Library. One was Samuel Puffendorf’s Law of Nature and Nations. A copy of the Latin edition, printed at Amsterdam in 1668, is recorded in the Catalogue of 1723. Barbeyrac’s French translation of Puffendorf, published at Leyden in 1759, was given to Harvard by Thomas Hollis between 1764 and 1774. The English translation by Kennett, printed at London in 1749, is mentioned in the select Catalogue of 1773. The Library Company of Philadelphia also imported in 1732 a copy of the English translation of Puffendorf published, together with the notes and introduction of Barbeyrac, at London in 1729. As it will be remembered, Puffendorf was the first holder of the first chair established for the teaching of the science of International Law, the chair founded in 1661 in the University of Heidelberg by the Elector Palatine Charles Louis.
The third work by a master of the Law between Nations that came to Harvard College in the colonial period was that of the Swiss publicist, Emerich de Vattel. It is entitled, Le Droit des Gens, ou Principes de la Loi Naturelle. A copy of the English translation of the first French edition of 1758 was published at London in 1760, and was received at Harvard before 1773, while the Leyden edition of 1758 appears in the Catalogue of 1790, and may have been received at any time after 1764. The Library Company of Philadelphia likewise possessed in colonial days a copy of the English translation of 1760. Just as the colonies declared their independence another copy of Vattel was presented to Harvard College. This Harvard copy belongs to the edition of 1775, published at the Hague and edited by Charles Guillaume Frédéric Dumas. In 1775 Dumas, who was employed at the Hague as an agent of the colonists, sent, as we learn from a letter he wrote from the Hague on June 30th to Franklin and now among the Franklin papers in the American Philosophical Society at Philadelphia, three copies of his new edition of the treatise of the Swiss publicist to Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia, one of them being intended for the Library Company of Philadelphia, a second for Franklin himself, and the third for a library in one of the other colonies. In October of 1775, Franklin gave one copy to the Philadelphia Library Company, which was then housed in Carpenter’s Hall; and Franklin tells us that that copy was much used by the members of the First Continental Congress. A second copy he kept for himself. It is not known where that copy now is; possibly it has helped to feed some paper mill.1 The third copy, in accordance with Dumas’s written wish, Franklin sent on in the summer of 1776 to James Bowdoin, afterwards governor of Massachusetts and a member of the Massachusetts Convention of 1788, for presentation to the library of Harvard College. Bowdoin gave it to the College Library as a gift from Franklin, but it was really Dumas’s gift, and so his name should have been entered as the donor.2 Franklin’s great opinion of Harvard College is shown by the fact that he sent its library the third copy of Vattel.
About eight years ago, when I was browsing one June day in the Harvard Library, I came across Dumas’s Vattel. I had already made use of the copy in Philadelphia, and it was a real pleasure to find a second copy of that sumptuous edition of the work of the jurist of Neuchâtel. In turning over its leaves, I found written in a French hand, evidently before it had been given to Harvard, an interesting commentary. Subsequently another member of this Society, Mr. Worthington C. Ford, who is well acquainted with Dumas’s handwriting, identified the script as his. It will be noticed that most of this manuscript commentary is placed within quotation marks; and at first it was not possible to find absolute proof that the ideas therein expressed were original with Dumas, and not a quotation from some other publicist. But in the letter to Franklin already mentioned, Dumas says that the ideas expressed in this manuscript commentary are his own. The passage in Dumas’s letter concerning his edition of Vattel is as follows:
On a fini d’imprimer l’hiver passé une nouvelle édition du Droit des gens de Vattel. Je n’ai pu refuser aux sollicitations de certaines gens d’en être l’Editeur. Ce qu’il y a de curieux, c’est qu’à la réserve de mes idées touchant les peines, que ces gens connoissent & approuvent, toutes les autres theses que je soutiens, tant dans mes notes que dans une Lettre que j’ai mise à la tête de l’édition, sont justement l’opposé de ce qu’on vouloit de moi; & mon histoire à cet égard ressemble fort au conte de Balaam; on s’attendoit que je maudirais des tyrans beaucoup moins odieux que ceux que l’on bénit; & j’ai fait le rebours: je doute qu’on me le pardonne; & je m’en console.
Voici donc, Monsieur, trois exemplaires de ce Vattel: un pour votre Bibliotheque, un autre pour celle de Philadelphie, & un tro[i]sieme pour telle autre Bibliotheque & Province que vous voudres. Vous trouveres sur un feuillet blanc, à la tête de chacun, mon idée sur le Gouvernement & la Royauté. Je la crois neu[e] & pourtant la plus simple de toutes, & la seule juste & seine. Impraticable, & par conséquent inutile & dangereuse à discuter en Europe, j’ai cru que, semée en Amérique elle y pourra prendre racine, germer & fructifier un jour.3
Dumas’s manuscript commentary has disappeared from the copy in the Library Company of Philadelphia, for when that copy was rebound a long time since, another and more modern kind of paper than that upon which the book is printed was used for the fly leaves. Franklin’s own Vattel has vanished. So only the manuscript note written into the Harvard Vattel apparently remains.
The French manuscript note in the Harvard copy is preceded by a caption written possibly either by Franklin or by Bowdoin in English, “A note of the Editor.” The commentary is as follows:
Il est des peuples généreux et magnanimes, que leur vertu rendra avec le temps des Etats absolumant indépendents & autonomes. “Mes chers Amis (leur dira alors quelque Sage) Vous ne sauriez mieux faire que d’adopter chez vous la Constitution Angloise, moyennant un petit changement qui, selon moi, pourra rendre plus parfaite cette forme de Gouvernement mixte, si heureusement tempérée. Ce changement est de n’avoir ni royauté, ni noblesse, ni Sénat, héréditaires. L’on peut tout aussi peu hériter de l’art de gouverner les hommes, que de celui de les guérir, ou de leur apprendre à penser, à chanter, à danser. Gardez vous cependant de rendre votre Gouvernement électif; ce seroit encore pire; ce ne seraient presque jamais les meilleurs ni les plus sages, mais les plus forts & les plus méchants qui vous conduiroient. — Qui nous désignera donc les Peres de la Patrie? — Eh! mes Amis, c’est la Nature, qui de tout temps les a montrés du doigt aux premieres Sociétés; & les Sociétés suivantes ont toujours été aveugles, & sourdes à la voix de la nature. Les plus âgés d’entre vos Peres de familles fonciers, voila les seuls Rois, s’il en faut, les seuls Sénateurs, les seuls Seigneurs (Seniores) dignes de Vous. Vous les tirerez de la charrue; ils y laisseront leurs fils; & l’âge avancé seul conciliera à ces derniers le respect & la vénération de vos petits-fils & de vos arriere-petits-fils, avec le droit, s’il se trouvent les ainés de toute la nation, de la conduire à leur tour.”4
In the following manuscript footnote, Dumas explains the meaning of the word fonciers: “J’appelle fonciers les possesseurs des terres.”
It is practically certain that that note of Dumas’s was read not merely by Franklin and Bowdoin, but also by some other men who, like Franklin, sat in the Federal Convention.
There is much to interest us in that text as a forecast of our subsequent historic development for over a hundred and forty years since Dumas wrote it at the Hague into the copy that now belongs to Harvard. In it he gives a prophetic hint of the decadence that has overtaken parliamentary government the world over in its personnel as a result of manhood suffrage. What would his prediction have been over the possibility of all the women being added to the electorate! In that short manuscript, too, the rise to leadership in our country of Lincoln, Grant, and Cleveland is suggested.
That copy of Vattel, in conjunction with the one in Philadelphia, has an especial interest for the student of International Law. For those three books, which arrived here in the early stages of the struggle between the colonies and the mother land, not merely influenced the men who sat in the Continental Congresses in shaping our policy towards Great Britain, but also undoubtedly influenced the framers of the Federal Constitution in the writing of parts of that state document. By the Constitution of the United States the Law of Nations is expressly recognized as being a part of the Law of the land. And if we remember that Vattel’s treatise was recognized in all the Foreign Offices of Europe at that time as the leading authority of the day upon questions of International Law, it may be said that in an actual sense Dumas, as the purveyor of knowledge to the statesmen of the United States of America concerning the Law of Nations, was in a sense the sponsor of the Law of Nations among us. And as that treatise was written by a citizen of Switzerland, a country which up to that time had done more than any other to develop the Law of Neutrality, and as Vattel himself had stated the conception of neutrality probably with more clearness than any publicist up to the time he wrote, it was eminently fitting that the young member of the family of Nations, the United States of America, should help to expand the Law of Neutrality. And, much more than any other Nation, our country has shaped the expansion of the Law of Neutrality. In sending us three copies of the treatise of Vattel, Dumas, as well as the publicist of Neuchâtel, helped to influence our course in the early years of the Republic under Washington and Jefferson, and even afterwards, in moulding the expansion of the Law between Nations.
Since last March, when I communicated some notes on early autopsies and anatomical lectures in this country,5 a few other instances have turned up which are worth putting on record. It was then shown that an autopsy was certainly made in 1674, that one was probably made in 1663,6 and that one might have been made still earlier. It can now be proved that one was made in 1639. On September 3 of that year Marmaduke Peirce or Percy of Salem was accused “of suspition of murther;” on November 3 he was “found not guilty, but was bound to the good behavior, & to appeare at the next Court;” and on March 3, 1640, he was discharged.7 From Winthrop we learn that he was arraigned for the death of his apprentice, and that “The cause was this: The boy was ill disposed, and his master gave him unreasonable correction, and used him ill in his diet. After, the boy gate a bruise on his head, so as there appeared a fracture in his skull, being dissected after his death.8
We are perhaps furnished with another instance in the following passage9 written by the Apostle Eliot on December 30, 1643: “Thomas Pig dyed of a dropsy, a godly Christian man. He had a fall & a bruise on his back, wh hurt his kidneys & not carefully cured they utterly wasted away & many othr of his intrals.”
Referring to the months of November and December, 1659, the Rev. Samuel Danforth of Roxbury said: “The Lord sent a general visitation of Children by coughs & colds, of wch my 3 children Sarah, Mary & Elisabeth Danforth died, all of ym within ye space of a fortnight.”10 Many years later Cotton Mather wrote:
In December 1659. the (until then unknown) Malady of Bladders in the Windpipe, invaded and removed many Children; by Opening of one of them the Malady and Remedy (too late for many) were discovered. Among those many that thereby expired, were the Three Children of the Reverend Mr. S.D. the Eldest of whom (being upward of five Years and half; so Gracious and Intelligent were her Expressions and Behaviour both living and dying, and so evident her Faith in Christ) was a Luculent Commentary on that Marvellous Prophecy, that the Child should dye an Hundred Years old.11
The Rev. Samuel Stone of Hartford died July 20, 1663. “As for Mr. Stone,” wrote Cotton Mather, “if it were Metaphorically true (what they Proverbially said) of Beza, that he had no Gall, the Physicians that opened him after his Death, found it Literally true in this worthy Man.”12
Under date of April 2, 1694, Sewall thus describes the death of John Richards:
Monday. . . . In the Afternoon, all the Town is filled with discourse of Major Richards’s Death, which was very extraordinarily suddain; was abroad on the Sabbath; din’d very well on Monday, and after that falling into an angry passion with his Servant Richard Frame, presently after, fell probably into a Fit of Apoplexy, and died. On Tuesday night was opened and no cause found of his death; noble Parts being fair and sound.13
On August 13, 1708, Sewall noted that “Mrs. Mary Stoddard dies; The hot Wether occasion’d her being open’d, and two great Stones were taken out of her Bladder.”14 In 1753 a Negro at Providence, Rhode Island, tried to set fire to a house and cut a lad’s throat, “after which the Negro made to a Vessel, pull’d off his Cloaths, and threw himself into the River and was drowned; the next Day his Body was taken up and given to the Surgeons to be anatomized.”15 On August 10, 1773, Ezekiel Turner died at Hanover; he had requested that an autopsy should be made, and his wish was complied with.16
“It was Dr. John Warren,” I wrote in March, “who gave the first medical lectures in Massachusetts.” These were advertised in January, 1781, as to be “delivered this Winter.” In saying that these were “the first medical lectures in Massachusetts,” my usual caution deserted me, for within a few weeks I have stumbled on the following advertisement in the Boston Gazette of November 25, 1765:
TO-MORROW EVENING at 5 o’Clock,
WILL begin a general Course of Anatomy: In which the several Parts of the human Body will be demonstrated, on the fresh Subject; and their Structure, Connection and Uses explained.
The Course will take up about three Weeks.
☞Tickets for the whole Course will be delivered by William Lee Perkins, in Middle-Street,17 at SIX DOLLARS each. Boston, 25 Novem. 1765 (p. 2/1).
This introduces us to a Boston physician about whom little is known. Born February 10,18 and baptized at the New Brick Church on February 13, 1737,19 he was the son of John and Abigail (Lee) Perkins, his father having also been a physician. Writing in 1823 Ephraim Eliot said: “The medical gentlemen were of very eminent character, — for instance, William Lee Perkins, who was respectable as to business and reputation.”20 Where he studied medicine, or from what institution he received the degree of M.D. to which (as will later appear21) he was certainly entitled, I have been unable to ascertain. At a town meeting held May 15, 1764, it was stated that “1025 of the poor Inhabitants had passed through the Small Pox by Inoculation a number of whom had been Inoculated, supplied with Medicines and attended Gratis by the Physicians as follows —Vizt . . . Dr. William Perkins 4.”22 On March 18, 1767, he was one of twenty-eight gentlemen who had “a very Genteel Dinner” at the Bunch of Grapes in celebration of the repeal of the Stamp Act.23 In the Boston Evening Post of August 24, 1767, “The following Account of the Contents of Mr. Jackson’s mineral Water, according to divers Experiments made by Doctor William Lee Perkins, is inserted for the satisfaction of the Public” (p. 3/1). On August 19, 1771, and again on April 17 and 18, 1773, he attended John Rowe, who complained that “the Doctor has made an Apothecary Shop in my Stomach.”24
Dr. Perkins was twice married: first, though exactly when and where is not known, to Sarah, a daughter of Shem Drowne and the widow of the Rev. Jeremiah Condy;25 and second, on April 21, 1774, to Elizabeth Rogers, who, born Wentworth,26 had been successively the widow of John Gould, Jr., and of Nathaniel Rogers. By his second wife Dr. Perkins had one child, Anna.
Dr. Perkins was a Loyalist; was an addresser of Gage on October 6, 1775;27 went to Halifax in 1776;28 and was proscribed in 1778.29 From Halifax he must soon have gone to England, for in February and March of 1777 he was seen there by Samuel Quincy,30 and on October 18 of the same year Edward Oxnard declared that Dr. Perkins “has saved the lives of many by his skill & I look upon it as a great blessing that he came over. He has been likewise at great pecuniary expense in aiding, generally refusing to receive compensation.”31 On March 31, 1788, describing himself as “William Lee Perkins of London in the County of Middlesex and Kingdom of Great Britain Doctor of Physick,” he sold to Nathaniel Call for £6 a “Certain Tract of Land situate at the Westerly Part of Boston.”32
As his name does not appear in Evans’s American Bibliography, Dr. Perkins had presumably published nothing while living in Boston, but in England at least one pamphlet and two articles were printed by him. The title of the pamphlet reads in part as follows:
An Essay for a Nosological and Comparative View of the Cynanche Maligna, or Putrid Sore Throat; and the Scarlatina Anginosa, or Scarlet Fever with Angina. By William Lee Perkins, M.D. Member of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh. . . . London: . . . M DCC LXXXVII.33
In 1786 was printed in Medical Commentaries an article entitled “The History of a case of Hydrocephalus terminating fatally, after a salivation was excited by the use of Mercury. By Dr. William Lee Perkins, physician at Kingston upon Thames.”34 At a meeting of the Medical Society of London held October 26, 1789, “A Case of Angina Pectoris cured by the Use of white Vitriol, [was] communicated by William Lee Perkins, M.D. of Hampton Court,” and was printed in 1792.35
Mr. John W. Farwell exhibited a horoscope of Joseph Warren, alleged to have been made in 1743, and spoke as follows:
of Ruxbury. Massachusetts. America,
born there June 11th. 7 h. 52 m. A.M.
Then comes a horoscope, the words “Mors Omnibus Communis 1741” being in the middle; after which follows the prediction:
The native is born under ye signe Gemini that shoulde governe ye shoulders arms & hands & the ruling planet is Mercury. The native would possess a dual nature that is oft frequent & active. Hee should be farseeing yet at times superficial & uncertain in hys aims. Hee shoulde have mental & executive qualities quick to learne but not toward in application, hee is combattive critical and fault finding. Hee has pryde of birthe cortesy & generosity, shrude & skillfull in businesse matters.
Two yeeres before the firste decade of the natives life Saturn shall transmit the place of hys ruling planet mercury which shall implicate advantage to ye native from studie or knowledge of the arts or sciences. It is not clearly shown that the native shall make due and careful use of these advantages altho Jupiter is well Configurated in ye ascendant implicates that hee shall obtaine honour & esteeme in a certaine proper capacity. In or about ye yeere 1768 Saturn shalle transitte the playce of the Sun and this is implicative of some strong contention with magistrates or men in power in that yeere. Untoe this native presageth a violent configuration of the malefics forboden onward. Ye aspect of hylig or giver of life forms a quartile or opposition with each other. these malignent raies are implicative that the natives life is threatend at different times & seasons but averted by occasions showing strong & dignifyd aspects. That the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away shoulde bee carryd to an honest degree by the native forasmuch the native hath not beene free of the unbenign influences radiating from the infortunes they have beene at tymes in good aspect accept it not therefore of a deceptio visus but as the leges legum
The revolutional figure hath shown that in or upon the fourth yeere of the natives fourth decade the luminaries are conjoyned in ye fourth house and ye39 lord of ye fifth posited in ye ascendant forbode death to happen within that yeere. Alsoe Saturn transits the playce of ye Dragons tayle showith that death shall bee of violent or sudden means. Dominus Vobiscum.
When I received it, I was told that it had been found in a bookstore in St. Louis. It was pasted upon an old piece of pasteboard, which had been broken in the middle and appeared to have been roughly handled. The belief that Warren’s parents, when he was but two years old, were not in a position to have such work done, and the accuracy of the prediction, aroused suspicion and led to an investigation. I knew of the horoscope of another eminent man of the same period, which was supposed to be genuine,40 so I compared them. Although this one is dated some seventeen years earlier and the family name in the signature is different, the handwriting is so similar that they appear to have been written by the same person. To carry the investigation still farther, I had it removed from the board, when it was found to have been written on a sheet of music headed: “Antonio’s favorite Song Sung by Miss Romanzini, in Richard Cœur de Lion. Composed by Monsieur Gretry.”41 There were two English musical compositions of this name. One, “Richard Cœur de Lion, A Comic Opera,” by Leonard MacNally,42 was performed at Covent Garden Theatre October 16, 1786. The other, “Richard Cœur de Lion, An Historical Romance,” by John Burgoyne,43 was performed at Drury Lane October 24, 1786. Both were taken from Sedaine’s “Richard, Cœur de Lion, Comédie,” with music by Gretry, first performed at Paris October 21, 1784.44 It was from General Burgoyne’s piece that this song was taken.45
This, of course, settles the matter as to this particular document, which is a good example of how misleading appearances may be.
Several months ago there were offered in Boston, by an English dealer, some water color views of old Boston, which were well executed and attractive, but investigation proved them to have been copied from Gleason’s Pictorial. We all know that books have been so skilfully restored that experts have been deceived. Much of this work has been discovered, but it is probable that many such faked documents have been accepted as genuine.
Mr. George P. Winship exhibited a copy of “The Second Part of Merry Drollery, or, A Collection of Jovial Poems, Merry Songs, Witty Drolleries, Intermix’d with pleasant Catches. Collected by W.N. C.B. R.S. J.G. Lovers of Wit. London, Printed by J. W. for P. H. and are to be sold at the New Exchange, Westminster Hall, Fleet-street, and Pauls Church-Yard” soon after the restoration of Charles II. Two of the poems in this volume have an American interest, “A West-country Mans Voyage to New-England” and “New England described” as a place in which
there shall be a Church most pure,
Where you may find salvation sure.
Mr. Winship pointed out that the four allusions to the trans-Atlantic colonies in this volume doubtless represent the relative amount of interest and information which the seventeenth century Londoners had concerning their fellow-countrymen across the ocean. The exhaustive care with which the descendants of the colonists have interpreted every document relating to the early settlements, and striven to discover the precise historical facts, has given these facts an importance out of all proportion to anything that contemporary Englishmen would have recognized. Important as it is to know what the actual details of any historical event were, those who expound the facts need frequently to be reminded that the contemporaries of any event are influenced, not by the facts, but by whatever they may happen to know and believe concerning the event.
The influences and opinions which had most to do with the inter-relations of the home land and the American colonies are to be found, less in the official documents and in the pamphlets issued in most instances for the purpose of raising money or of selling land, than in the incidental allusions which chance to appear, ordinarily without ulterior design, in whatever was written and printed for contemporary perusal. The total of such allusions in seventeenth century English publications is so small that the opinion seems to be justified that the great majority of the English people at that time neither knew nor cared what the New Englanders were doing or thinking.
Professor Firth of Oxford issued two years ago An American Garland of ballads relating to America printed between 1563 and 1759. Seventeen of these were written before the year 1700, and of these only four concern New England, two of them being those which appear in the Merry Drollery already mentioned. Of the others, two appear to have been put out to stimulate the purchase of tickets to the lottery by which the promoters of the unprofitable colony in Virginia attempted to save themselves from financial failure, and most of the others were designed to attract recruits for the later settlements in the southern colonies.