THIS volume contains a record of the Transactions of the Society at its Stated Meetings from January, 1895, to April, 1897, and of the Council at two Special Meetings. Although it is a continuation of a similar record in Volume I., it has been designated as Volume III. of the Society’s Publications, because Volume II. was reserved for the Commissions and Instructions of the Royal Governors of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay. The completion of that volume has been delayed by various causes, chief among which is the generous offer of our associate Mr. Abner Cheney Goodell to add to his original gift to the Society copies of the Commissions of Vice-Admiral issued to the several Royal Governors of New England, — a series of important documents but little known even to historians. These papers have been received from England and are now in form for the press, and it is confidently expected that the volume which is to contain them will be ready for distribution in the near future.

    The volume now offered to the Society records an extraordinary mortality among our Fellowship. As will be seen, tributes have been paid to our first President, Dr. Gould, and to our first-elected Vice-Presidents, Judge Lowell and the Hon. Leverett Saltonstall, beside General Walker, Governor Russell, Judge Austin, the Hon. Martin Brimmer, Dr. Daniel Denison Slade, Mr. William Gordon Weld, Mr. George O. Shattuck, the Hon. Darwin E. Ware, the Hon. John F. Andrew, and Dr. Edward Wigglesworth.

    Memoirs of five of our associates are also included in this Record, — of Benjamin Apthorp Gould, by S. Lothrop Thorndike; of the Hon. Martin Brimmer, by George S. Hale; of the Hon. John F. Andrew, by Edmund March Wheelwright; of Mr. William Gordon Weld, by Joseph Henry Allen; and of Dr. Edward Wigglesworth, by Henry P. Quincy.

    Many valuable papers and communications find a place in this volume. Among these may be mentioned Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis’s discussion of the Land Bank and our Provincial Currency, and his elaborate paper on the suit of Frost v. Leighton; Professor Goodale’s paper on the Early New England Plants; a Letter of President Dunster containing new and important facts concerning Harvard College and its first Building, communicated by Mr. Henry H. Edes; Mr. Edes’s correspondence with Dr. Bourinot concerning Pierre Boucher de la Broquerie; Mr. Henry D. Sedgwick’s paper on Robert Sedgwick; Mr. Robert N. Toppan’s paper on The Failure to Establish an Hereditary Political Aristocracy in the Colonies; Mr. Albert Matthews’s discussion of the use at American Colleges of the word “Campus”; and Mr. Appleton P. C. Griffin’s paper on a hitherto unknown daughter of Dr. Franklin.

    Interest will also be felt in the movement to increase the Permanent Funds of the Society, the initiation of which is recorded in the following pages.

    Through the generosity of our associate Mr. Frederick Lewis Gay, the Committee of Publication is able to insert a fine photogravure of Admiral Knowles to accompany Mr. Noble’s paper on the Libel Suit of Knowles v. Douglass. The plate has been engraved expressly for the Society from a rare mezzotint belonging to Mr. Gay, and at his expense.

    The Committee would express its gratitude to Mr. Gay for this acceptable gift; to President Wheelwright for the portrait of Martin Gay and the Plans of his estate in Union Street, Boston; to Mr. Samuel T. Snow for the use of the etched plate of a view of the Office of the Revere Copper Company in 1840; and to the families of those deceased members whose Memoirs appear in this volume for the portraits which accompany them.

    The Index has been made by Miss Elizabeth H. Connolly, whose qualifications for the work are amply attested by the result of her labors, — more especially in the digest which has been made of the several Papers and Memoirs. The Committee has enhanced the value of her work by a fuller specification of persons and places.

    For the Committee,

    John Noble.

    Boston, 27 December, 1899.