28 November, 1896.

    A Special Meeting of the Council was held on Saturday, 28 November, 1896, at half-past ten o’clock in the forenoon to take action upon the death of the late President of the Society, Benjamin Apthorp Gould, LL.D., who died on Thursday evening.

    Present, Messrs. Henry Winchester Cunningham, Andrew McFarland Davis, Henry Herbert Edes, Charles Carroll Everett, John Lowell, and Edward Wheelwright.

    The First Vice-President, the Hon. John Lowell, occupied the chair.

    The following is an extract from the Records of the Meeting: —

    We, the Council of The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, have been convened in consequence of the mournful intelligence of the sudden death of our honored President. Our last memory of him in connection with the Society brings him before us, full of life and happiness, joining in the laughter brought forth by the wit of the speakers at our Annual Dinner, and manifesting a zeal and activity on that occasion which gave promise of the continuance for many years of that active interest in our affairs which has always been an inspiration to those who have been associated with him in this work. The shock which this great calamity has occasioned to the community will nowhere be felt with more intensity than within our own ranks. To the world he was the distinguished leader in the particular branch of Science in which he had made his fame. His career was rounded out with recognition at home and abroad which would have satisfied the most insatiable appetite for honors. His was the most conspicuous figure among the men of Science in this country.

    In the formation of this Society, of which he has been the President from the day of its foundation, his influence was conspicuous, and the strength of his honorable name was a magnet which attracted to our membership. For these reasons the loss which we feel has a personal character. It is not only our President but our friend that we mourn.

    In the midst of the enormous amount of professional work with which he was ever oppressed, he found time to prepare and publish an elaborate genealogy of the Gould family. The preparation of this work led to a deep interest on his part in the labors of men who were engaged in the study of the early history of this country, and was probably the underlying cause of his connection with the Genealogical Society, the American Antiquarian Society, and with this Society, in the creation of which he had so much to do. This interest was profound and constant, and his erudition upon the subject of the early settlers of this community was a source of surprise to those who knew him only as a scientific man.

    He was a delightful companion, being endowed with conversational gifts of rare quality. He was ever ready with fitting anecdote, apt quotation, or witty rejoinder. His wide experience in different countries furnished him with a fund of information, from which he would upon occasion draw, for the delight and benefit of his friends.

    He was fond of poetry, and especially of the poems of Holmes. Many of these he knew by heart, and when in the mood would often cap a sentiment with a quotation from them. He was strong in his friendships and strong in his dislikes. It is seldom that men of his years maintain so many personal alliances contracted in their boyhood as did he. The rupture of the ties which bound him to these companions of his life, towards whom he ever maintained a tender, generous, and loyal friendship, will be keenly felt. His loss reaches us as individuals, and is a calamity to this Society. He watched our progress with jealous interest. He took pride in our successes, and was impatient that our affairs did not more rapidly assume a shape of assured permanency. In losing him we may well ask ourselves where shall we turn?

    Resolved: That the foregoing be spread upon the Minutes of the Council; that the Council tender their heartfelt sympathy to the family of their late President, and that the Council will, in a body, attend the funeral of this illustrious man of science, this faithful, zealous President, this loyal, affectionate friend, this charming companion, this many-sided man.

    Voted: That the Stated Meeting of the Society in December be a Memorial Meeting for our late President, and that the Chair appoint a Committee of five to prepare suitable Resolutions and to arrange for the meeting.189