THE Annual Meeting was held at the Exchange Club, — corner of Milk and Batterymarch Streets, Boston, on Saturday, 21 November, 1896, at half-past five o’clock in the afternoon, the President, Benjamin Apthorp Gould, LL.D., in the chair.

    The Records of the last Stated Meeting were read and approved.

    Dr. Gould then addressed the Society as follows: —

    Gentlemen of The Colonial Society of Massachusetts:

    At this, our fourth Annual Meeting it is once more my privilege to exchange congratulations with you upon the continued and marked progress of our Society. After successfully maintaining its position during an extended period of depression throughout the community, and one which under other circumstances might well have been disheartening, it has held its influence and continued its activity in a marked degree, and justified the expectations of its Founders and well-wishers. It has aided efficiently in carrying out the purposes designated in its Charter, by propagating knowledge of the lives and deeds of our Colonial ancestors; by encouraging individual research into the part taken by our forefathers in the building of our Nation; by promoting intelligent discussion of events in which the people of our Commonwealth have been concerned, in order that justice may be done to participants and false claims silenced; and by inspiring among our members a spirit of fellowship based upon a proper appreciation of our common ancestry. With the return, already manifest, of more favorable conditions, the auguries of an increased usefulness for our Society are becoming brighter still.

    The Report of your Council contains a brief summary of the year’s work and experience. The sad features, which we can rarely expect to escape, are, it is true, not wanting, and some have been token away from us from whose support and assistance we hoped much. In addition to the loss from our number of the three honored and useful members whose removal we were called upon to deplore during the lapse of less than a single month at the beginning of the year, and whose good deeds are soon to be especially commemorated in our records, we mourn for two others whose absence from among us has left a strange void for many classes of our fellow-citizens. One was a man of large affairs and commercial influence, whose ancestry was intimately connected with the earliest history and institutions of the Massachusetts Colony, and whose interest in our work was intense and keen; the other, although comparatively young, was a statesman, beloved and honored by men of all parties, whose personal influence was unsurpassed by that of any public man among us. Few men could be more different than they, — the large financier, who lived a retiring but beneficent life, full of judicious counsel and unostentatious charities, and the brilliant young politician whose example did much to redeem the so frequent, yet perhaps not unnatural, perversion of that term in our land. Both were men of high integrity, who could ill be spared from our fellowship.

    But we will turn, at present, from sad reminiscences, and look toward the dawn. Our outlook is full of promise as well as of hope.

    The Annual Report of the Council was presented and read by Mr. Edward Wheelwright.


    It is provided by the By-Laws that, at the Annual Meeting, the Council “shall make an Annual Report, which shall include a detailed statement of the doings of the Society during the preceding year.” In compliance with that requirement, the following Report is respectfully submitted: —

    Since the last Annual Meeting, a report of which is already in type and in the hands of the Members, the usual number of Stated Meetings of the Society has been held, all of them in the Hall of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in Boston. For the hospitality thus kindly accorded to us in our present houseless and homeless condition, the Society is deeply grateful.

    The Stated Meetings of the Society were well attended, the Annual Meeting bringing together no less than forty-eight members. There were read before these meetings four important papers of considerable length by four different members, while about twenty shorter communications were made by fifteen members.

    The Society has lost five members by death during the year: —

    • Martin Brimmer,
    • Edward Wigglesworth,
    • Daniel Denison Slade,
    • William Gordon Weld,
    • William Eustis Russell.

    The Council has held during the year six Stated Meetings; and as empowered by Chapter XI., Article 3, of the By-Laws, it has appointed the following Committees: —

    • On Finance — The Treasurer, Mr. Henry Winchester Cunningham, and Dr. Henry Parker Quincy.
    • Of Publication — Messrs. Andrew McFarland Davis, Henry Williams, John Noble, Edward Griffin Porter, and George Lyman Kittredge.
    • On Printing — Messrs. Henry Herbert Edes and Edward Wheelwright.

    It has also appointed Mr. Henry Herbert Edes to write the Memoir of the Hon. James Walker Austin, in place of Mr. Abner Cheney Goodell, Jr., previously appointed to that service, but whose engagements precluded his acceptance; the Hon. George Silsbee Hale, to write a Memoir of the Hon. Martin Brimmer; Dr. Henry Parker Quincy, one of Dr. Wigglesworth; Edward Wheelwright, one of Dr. Slade; Dr. Joseph Henry Allen, one of Mr. William Gordon Weld; and Dr. Charles Carroll Everett, one of Governor Russell.

    The following named gentlemen have accepted membership in the Society during the year: —

    • Messrs. Lindsay Swift,
    • Charles Frank Mason,
    • Appleton Prentiss Clark Griffin,
    • Richard Middlecott Saltonstall,
    • Albert Matthews,
    • Andrew Cunningham Wheelwright,
    • Charles Armstrong Snow.

    An event of capital importance in the history of the year has been the publication of the first volume of our Transactions. The admirable manner in which the Committee of Publication have accomplished their task deserves the warmest thanks of the Society.

    The two great needs of the Society, ably dwelt upon in previous Reports, are still “a Publication Fund and a place of abode.” The nucleus of such a Fund has, indeed, been already laid during the time of financial depression from which the country is now emerging, and it is confidently hoped that with the return of prosperity our members will make an earnest effort to place the Society on a firm financial basis. By the Report of the Treasurer it will appear that the Publication Fund now amounts to $424.96. The income of so small a sum as this is, of course, entirely inadequate to defray the cost of our Publications, and until largely increased the annual deficiency must be supplied, as in the past, by voluntary contributions from individual members.

    There also exists a General Fund, formed from the sums paid into the Treasury from time to time by members for Admission Fees and in commutation of their Annual Assessments. This Fund now amounts to $1,774.98, the income only of which is available for the current expenses of the Society. It would be long before the income of this Fund, at its present rate of increase, would suffice for even the hire of the narrowest quarters as “a place of abode.” How to increase the capital of both these Funds is a question worthy of the most careful consideration of the Society; and it is hoped that some action looking to this end may be taken at an early day.

    The Treasurer presented his Annual Report, as follows:


    The first Article of Chapter VIII. of the By-Laws requires that the Treasurer shall submit, at the Annual Meeting of the Society, a statement of all his official doings for the preceding year, of the amount and condition of all the property of the Society intrusted to him, and of the character of the investments. In compliance therewith, the following Report is respectfully submitted: —

    The pressing need of the Society for a substantial enlargement of its permanent Funds has been already referred to in the Report of the Council, and it remains for your Treasurer merely to emphasize that need by calling the Society’s attention to the fact that the increase during the past year has amounted to only $647.99. But, although the Funds amount to $2,200 only, they are safely invested in gold mortgages on improved city property with very large equities, and yield 5⅜ net. These investments are as follows: —


    in a 6% mortgage, payable principal and interest in gold coin, on improved Real Estate in Cambridge;


    in a 5% Parti-Mortgage Receipt (No. 149) of the Conveyancers Title Insurance Company, due 16 April, 1899, and payable principal and interest in gold coin, on improved Real Estate in Boston;


    in a 5% mortgage, payable principal and interest in gold coin, on improved Real Estate in Boston.

    49.94 deposited in the Charlestown Five Cents Savings Bank.

    The following is an abstract of the Accounts for the past twelve months, and a Trial Balance of the books on 21 November, 1896:


    Balance 15 November, 1895



    Admission Fees



    Annual Assessments



    Commutations of the Annual Assessment from Five Members





    Sales of the Society’s Publications



    Henry H. Edes, temporary loan



    Withdrawn from Charlestown Five Cents Savings Bank



    Contributions from three members






    University Press, Printing



    Clerical Service



    C. S. Hathaway, mounting Photographs and Autographs of Members for the Society’s Album



    Miscellaneous incidentals



    Henry H. Edes, temporary loan, paid



    Amount carried forward



    Deposited in Charlestown Five Cents Savings Bank: Commutations, Admission Fees, and Interest belonging to the permanent Funds



    Mortgage on improved real estate No. 5 Louisiana Place, East Boston, recently sold by auction for $1,305, dated 21 September, 1896, three years at 5%, principal and interest payable in gold coin



    Interest in adjustment



    Balance on deposit in Third National Bank of Boston, 20 November, 1896












    Charlestown Five Cents Savings Bank









    Publication Fund



    General Fund





    Henry H. Edes,


    Boston, 21 November, 1896.

    Mr. David Rice Whitney read the following Report of the Auditing Committee: —


    The undersigned, a Committee appointed to examine the accounts of the Treasurer of The Colonial Society of Massachusetts for tile year ending 21 November, 1896, have attended to that duty, and report that they find them correctly kept and properly vouched; and that proper evidence of the investments and of the balance of cash on hand has been shown to us.

    D. R. Whitney,

    Samuel Johnson,


    Boston, 21 November, 1896.

    The several Reports were accepted, and referred to the Committee of Publication.

    On motion of Mr. Whitney, it was —

    Voted, That the Chair appoint a Committee of five members with full powers to consider the subject of increasing the Permanent Funds of the Society, whereby provision may be made for an annual income sufficient to defray the cost of the Society’s Publications, and to take such further action as they may deem expedient.

    Mr. James Bradley Thayer, Chairman of the Nominating Committee, presented the following list of candidates for officers for the ensuing year: —















    A ballot was then taken, and the above-named gentlemen were unanimously elected.

    After the dissolution of the meeting, dinner was served. Dr. Gould took the chair, and the Divine blessing was invoked by Bishop Lawrence. Mr. James B. Thayer addressed the Society, and thenceforward, at the request of Dr. Gould, relieved him in the performance of the duties of Presiding Officer. Speeches were also made by Mr. James Mills Peirce, the Hon. Charles W. Clifford, Mr. Abner C. Goodell, Jr., Mr. George Lyman Kittredge, Mr. S. Lothrop Thorndike, and the Hon. Darwin E. Ware.